13 August 2006

A Friendly Reminder

While we appreciate debate that takes place in the comments section of this blog, we repeat our request that you please keep your comments clean. Though we will never censor comments based on their ideology or belief, we maintain the right to delete those that are offensive.

Please guys, don't make this a game of seeing who can get to the gutter first. Keep it clean.

11 August 2006

Saving Lieberman

We awoke this morning, like the rest of you, to news of a terrorist plot that had been stopped by the British with help from US and Pakistani intelligence services. Considering that we return to the states (from Cambridge via London) in just over two weeks, we are somewhat relieved. The Patriot Act, greater collaboration with foreign intelligence services (in this case, Pakistan)--especially the British, and increased attention to our own, averted what could have been a replay of 9/11.

Responses have been typical--if not predictable--from some Democrats and Angry Left bloggers. Democrats have long been the party of minorities, environmentalists, pro-choice advocates, the working class. Since when did it become the party of conspiracy theorists (Michael Moore, etc.)? They march out the tired trope that the threat of terror will help Republicans in the coming election. Ignoring the obvious whacked out conspiracy theory that this threat was somehow "contrived" by Karl Rove and his merry band of spinmeisters, don't they think that maybe, just maybe, the reason they are afraid this will help Republicans is because their party remains "weak" on fighting terror?

Democrat supporters will respond that the idea that they are "weak" on terror is simply a perception and not reality. If it were simply a perception the Angry Left wouldn't have voted for the fool, Ned Lamont, rather than Joe Lieberman. Senator Lieberman has proven himself to be a vocal supporter of the War on Terror, Israel, and the U.S. position in Iraq. Liberal readers of this blog will repeat (time and again, they will repeat) that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Fine. Saddam had no direct involvement with 9/11. Few people would have ever made that argument to begin with. Bush certainly didn't. This is simply liberals favorite straw man to burn when complaining about the war. The consensus is--even among most liberal dems--that if we don't finish the job in Iraq, it will turn into post-Soviet Afghanistan. And that's the real worry. That, our friends is the true concern. Not that Iraq will turn into Vietnam.

Despite the wish of a press that came of age following Vietnam and Watergate, Iraq is not Vietnam and Bush is not Nixon. In the Cold War we were fighting a nation-state--the Soviet Union. Our war today is not with any specific country, but with a transnational ideology--what President Bush today referred to today as Islamic fascists. Borders, treaties, diplomacy, the Geneva Convention, the UN--none of these things mean anything to these Muslim radicals. They hate the West (America included) and will ally themselves with whoever or whatever will provide them the means to attack their target. This much is evidenced by Afghan history over the last 20+ years. Sunnis will unite with Shiites will unite with secular terrorists will unite even with the US in order to defeat a common enemy.

Whether you agree with the reasons we (collectively speaking) are in Iraq or not (and we know many of you did--at least, you did when an overwhelming percentage of Congress voted for war, and some 80% of Americans were in favor of the same, according to opinion polls), you must realize that to pull out now would be disastrous. It would result in a few things of which we can be absolutely sure. First, civil war will engulf Iraq. Besides the obvious negatives for the people of Iraq, such an event would create in Iraq a sort of safe-haven for terrorists, a la Afghanistan pre- and during the reign of the Taliban. Call that reason self interest and a philanthropic long view for our emerging allies, the Iraqis. Secondly, and equally as important, it would send the message that we will back down each and every time the going gets tough. It will tell the islamofascists that all they have to do is outwait us (think Lebanon with President Reagan and Somalia with President Clinton). Whatever else Iraq did, it gave teeth to our War on Terror and sent a message to terrorists and terror sponsoring states. Pulling out anytime before the job is done would tell Iran, Syria, and North Korea (are we forgetting anyone?), that we don't really mean what we say. For the carrot and (big) stick diplomacy to work, they must believe that you will actually use the stick.

All of this makes Lieberman's loss to Lamont all the more incomprehensible. The Angry Left and Democrats generally, send the message that not only are they not tough on terror, they are ignorant of the possible ramifications of an early pull-out. So Lieberman supports Israel, so what? So do most Americans. Most Americans recognize the difference between Israel attacking Hezbollah and civilians dying because Hezbollah uses them as shields, and the out and out disregard for human life--civilian or otherwise--Hezbollah shows by shooting rockets into Israeli cities.

Senator Lieberman understands what's at stake in Iraq and the War on Terror. Like most Americans, he may not now like that we are even in Iraq, but he understands what will happen if we cut and run. But we don't mistake his loss for a popular grassroots groundswell of support for immediate withdrawal. And neither should you. As we learned way back in our high school politics class, the only people who vote in primary elections are the extreme fringes of both parties. That a liberal state like Connecticut was able to produce enough people from the Angry Left to vote in Ned "the fool" Lamont shouldn't surpise anybody. It is telling, however, that a state as liberal as Connecticut, could barely scrape up enough left-wingnuts, completely ignorant of reality, to elect someone whose only semi-coherent position seems to be immediate troop retreat from Iraq.

This fringe position attracted a scant majority of people in a primary election in one of the most liberal states in the Union. At best, this news is no news. No news because come November, when closer to 50% of the electorate turns out rather than a mere 10%, Senator Lieberman, running as an Independent, will win going away. And if he doesn't, Democrats will deserve to be labeled "weak on terror," because they will have turned out one of their toughest, Senator Joe Lieberman.

08 August 2006

Robbie Tobeck-Matt Hasselbeck: Funniest 1-2 Punch in the NFL

Of course, that doesn't count Bill Simmons Unintentional Comedy Rating (subscription required).

On a side note, we're looking for a good, catchy name for these Tobeck-Hasselbeck features. With the onset of the NFL season, we've no doubt we'll see more humor from these two. Any suggestions?

We've written in the past about the verbal jousting that goes on primarily between Seattle Seahawks Pro-Bowl Center, Robbie Tobeck and Seattle Seahawks Pro-Bowl Quarterback, Matt Hasselbeck. This one and this one were written in the run-up to last years Super Bowl. Upon review, we still laugh at our own jokes--David Letterman style--six months after writing them.

In the credit where credit is due department, we take our collective hat off to Tacoma News-Tribune blogger/reporter extraordinaire, Mike Sando. We read everything we can about the Seahawks and this guy (Sando), is the authority.

The latest comedic chapter--a piece about mistaken identities--includes these great quotes from Robbie Tobeck and Matt Hasselbeck.

Asked about fan confusion, Robbie Tobeck noted:

“Just the other day some guy says, ‘You’re Grant Wistrom, right?’ ” center Robbie Tobeck said. “And some other guy goes, ‘No, that’s not Wistrom. That’s Steve Hutchinson.’

“It’s funny because the women always seem to know exactly who I am.”

Click here and judge for yourselves if Tobeck is the lady-killer he claims.

Of course, asked which Seahawks personnel he thinks would be easily confused, Matt Hasselbeck takes a jab at Tobeck.

“Gilby and Tobeck,” quarterback Matt Hasselbeck quipped, comparing his center to 58-year-old assistant coach Keith Gilbertson.

The discerning fan knows Gilbertson is the one who has already undergone hip-replacement surgery. Less-educated fans couldn’t tell Mike Holmgren from Blitz, the team mascot.

Considering that Tobeck is one of the oldest players on the team, Hasselbeck's gibe is spot on. Though an injury (hip or otherwise) to Tobeck could prove disastrous for the Seahawks season. Tobeck's response to Hasselbeck is easy. The Seahawks center may be the grandpa of the team, but he still has more hair than Hasselbeck.

05 August 2006

Israel vs. Hezbollah

After a long delay, something.

This post is an extension of our debate with several students here at Cambridge. We've been surprised by how many express anti-Israel sentiment. Considering that many attend school at Cal (Berkeley), it really shouldn't come as a surprise. Especially when we read of things like this (Hat tip: James Taranto & BOTW):
One Cecilia Lucas, a graduate student at UC Berkeley, has penned a "love poem for Hizbullah." We kid you not. Here's a sample:
You were born out of death to a life in a cage
Where bombs are not the only reason people die
Fed by the violence of hunger and homelessness
Raised by colonialism
Your heart and your will still grew strong

You scare me
Not just because they tell me to be scared
Not just because they repeat, repeat, repeat
The story of 1983
Begging me to understand
Americans are worth more than Lebanese
We suppose a certain romanticization of nihilistic political violence is a common enough form of adolescent rebellion, though one suspects young Miss Lucas is getting egged on by her professors, many of whom no doubt are liberal baby boomers who never outgrew their own adolescence.

Ah well, the best way to respond to this sort of thing is with mockery, as blogger "Iowahawk," writing under the nom de plume "Omar Walid Muhammed, Chairman, Hezbollah Poetry Club," devastatingly does, in a poem called "I Love You Too, Cecilia Lucas":
You were born in the Valley to a life in a suburban cage
Encino, where mean girls and cheerleaders
Drop bombs of hate on the unpopular girls
Shy poetry club chicks like you
With 1480 SATs and early admission to Berkeley
Fed by the violence and lookism of the dance squad
Raised in a four bedroom colonial
They wouldn't let you wear your Che T-shirt to prom
But your heart and your armpit hair still grew proud and strong

You scare me too
Not just because you have that Code Pink Manson girl freak-vibe
Not just because you repeat, repeat, repeat
All those quotes from your dog-eared volumes of
and Zinn
and Edward Said
Begging me to understand
Can't we just hold each other
Instead of talking, talking, talking
About your Masters thesis?
If that doesn't have you rolling on the ground laughing, well, you might be a leftist student at Berkeley.

While reading Friday's Best of the Web (subscription required) we came across one piece that does a great job highlighting the difference between Israel and Hezbollah.

This was written by Naomi Ragan, a novelist whose son is an Israeli soldier. Click to read the full transcript.
My son spoke to his friend yesterday, and this is how he described it: "The village looked empty, and then we heard noises coming from one of the houses, so we opened fire. But when we went inside, we found two women and a child huddled in the corner of the room. We were so relieved we hadn't hurt them. We took up base in one of the empty houses. And then all of a sudden, we came under intense fire. Three rockets were fired at the house we were in. Only one managed to destroy a wall, which fell on one of us, covering him in white dust, but otherwise not hurting him.

"I spent the whole time feeding bullets to my friend who was shooting nonstop. We managed to kill 26 terrorists. Not one of us was hurt. Our commanding officer kept walking around, touching everybody on the shoulder, smiling and encouraging us: 'We're are better than they are. Don't worry.' It calmed us all down. And really, we were much better than them. They are a lousy army. They only win when they hide behind baby carriages."
Further illustrating (literally) the difference between the two are political cartoons found here and here.

While liberal elites and the Democratic party leadership (oxymoron?) continue to give credence to Hezbollah and Hamas, we will continue to wonder, wonder, wonder, why they get so much support from Jewish Americans.