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Friday, October 20, 2006

Was That Wrong?

Remember when George was fired for shtupping the office cleaning lady. He asked: "Was that wrong? Because if I had known that was frowned upon, I would not have done it."

Now, Noko's Kim says, per the Chinese that he apologizes for nuclear test. He also told the Chinese "we have no plans for additional nuclear tests".

That was enough for Clinton and Allbright and dammit that's good enough for me. Let's get right back to the Foley issue (and not the Harry Reid corruption story that never happened---ssshhhh).

Thursday, October 19, 2006

They Call It Journalism?

Mike Taylor adds this to the discussion below:

.. .and that this land deal didn't need to be recorded.

If I were a journalist, I would ask "How effective are ethics requirements that never require million-dollar land deals to appear on the books?... How many other land deals like this are you involved in, Senator?...How many people got money in this land deal, or was it just you? Does your son, who sits on the county land commission, know about this deal? Did your son vote on the deal, and if so, isn't that also an ethical breach? Did you, or your son, change the zoning laws for this piece of property to increase its value, and isn't that an abuse of the public trust?"

And those are just the questions that occurred to me in the last 30 secs.

Apparently, the MSM doesn't see anything of real interest here.

-- MTT

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Honor And Resignations

Mike Taylor provides this analysis of the punditry's demand for the resignation of House Speaker, Dennis Hastert:

The article "Whatever Happened To Honor", deftly written by Paul Greenberg, brings to mind a "Swinging Sixties" embarrassment involving a high-level British government official and a young woman of less than pure reputation. The "Profumo Affair" was a classic sex scandal involving powerful men, attractive teenage women, London sex parties, illicit drugs, secret assignations, payoffs and even international espionage. I've never read a Sidney Sheldon novel, but I imagine the Profumo Affair could serve as the plot for any of his best-sellers.

Mr. Greenberg suggests that, in light of recent Republican disgraces, someone ought to do the honorable thing and resign. He calls out Denny Hastert and Donald Rumsfeld for their failing to prevent the Foley Follies and Abu Ghuraib respectively.

I might call for the resignation of these men as well, were they to be personally involved as much as John Profumo was involved with his teen aged mistress. Profumo was British Secretary of War when he was sleeping with Christine Keeler who was also sleeping with a Soviet attache. All this was going on in London at the height of the Cold War. The opportunities for blackmail were abundant and the stakes were high.

As far as I can tell, Hastert witnessed some odd e-mails shared among congressional pages and a closeted homosexual Congressman. Hastert didn't write the e-mails, and if he is to be believed, didn't know anything about the more lurid e-mails that have since come to light. When the more damaging e-mails were revealed, Hastert forced Foley out of the Republican Caucus and out of the Congress.

Donald Rumsfeld didn't stack up those Iraqi prisoners himself. He didn't hold the chain of the dog used to intimidate detainees at that infamous facility. Upon learning of the goings on at Abu Ghuraib, Rumsfeld ordered an investigation. Courts martial have since been handed down.

I believe both men acted responsibly in both instances and I fail to see the lack of honor that Mr. Greenberg describes. Profumo, by his own actions, created a political firestorm. Profumo had full knowledge that he was doing could cause great harm to himself, his party and his country. Of course, Profumo should have resigned and he did.

Mr. Greenberg may have a romantic notion that falling on one's sword is always the right course when things go wrong. Perhaps he sees ultimate sacrifices as a way of redeeming his political party. If such were the case, there wouldn't be any politicians or generals left in this world. Responsibility means you take the correct action at the appropriate time.

Here are the three rules for resignation, as your humble correspondent sees them:

If you are directly involved, doing what you know is the wrong thing, resign.

If you are covering up something someone else has done, resign.

If you start an investigation, finish it and follow through as justice dictates.

If you start, and then stop because you don't like where the evidence is leading, resign.

Here are recent scandals and how each rule should have applied:

William Jefferson Clinton and his perjury in the Paula Jones trial.
Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal.
Hillary Rodham Clinton and William Jefferson Clinton and the Whitewater affair, the Rose Law Firm papers, the Juanita Broderick rape allegation, Sandy Berger and the 9/11 Commission papers removed from the National Archives and "accidentally" shredded.

As you will recall, the Republican on this list resigned and the Democrats have been richly rewarded. Bill and Hill are treated as rock stars by the press and members of the United Nations. (Sure, it's an incomplete list. I could easily add Oliver North to either #2 or #3... he's doing well despite breaking the law.)

I could also add the staff of Newsweek under #3. They knew of Bill Clinton's cover up of his affair with Monica Lewinsky and how it would impact the Paula Jones' trial... and they "spiked" the story hoping it would just blow over. Only after it appeared on "The Drudge Report" did Newsweek run the Lewinsky story. Nawww, there's no bias in the main stream media... but that's another story.

Here's my rejoinder to Mr. Greenberg: the actions of Mr. Hastert and Mr. Rumsfeld don't rise to the level of required resignation. Their resignations would not purify the Republican Party. Their resignations would not redeem Republican reputations among the press at large.

Certainly, their resignations would fuel the fires of the Democrat re-election efforts. Rest assured, the main stream media would continue demonize both gentlemen. As a result, we'd be assured that the next Speaker of the House would be a San Francisco liberal. Those are the stakes in 2006. Resignation is not the honorable thing to do, in these cases.

-- MTT

Skip March asks:

Why isn't there an outcry from the MSM for Harry Reid to resign at least his Minority Leader post with the recent revelations regarding his real estate dealings. Geez...he hung up on the AP reporter when he called to inquire....that should raise some suspicions maybe even outrage. Possibly Dingy and his Dems threatened the AP with some form of censorship. To Mike's point, he actually failed to report the transaction (in the millions of dollars by the way)....not something you are likely to forget happened. While Hastert didn't write any of those e-mails

My comment is:

As you know, the MSM is part of the Dem machine and will do nothing to undo the momentum they have developed since Foley. We hear time and again that they will follow any story for the sake of selling papers or getting viewers and they trot out their supposed coverage of the Clinton Lewinsky affair as an example of this. Today, they are all part of the Bush Rage anti-conservative axis that will do nothing to hurt their cause. Remember it was the blogs that aired the Rather fraud. It is up to the alternative media to put the pressure on the Reid corruption story.

Bono Finds A Whole Lotta Tax Relief

Bono, the famous lead singer for the rock band U-2, may practice a misguided form of economics with his renowned world aid program but at least his business management understands the subject. U2 has reacted to a repeal of an Irish tax on royalties by moving its publishing company to the Netherlands. The Netherlands tax is half the Irish tax rate on royalties. Some consider it hypocritical that he would avoid paying taxes while preaching that his country increase its foreign aid (largely to African countries) and absolve the debt of poor countries.

I do not see it that way. I consider this a step in the right direction.

What Bono now has to recognize is that all people have personal property rights in their labor (including the composition of 3 minute love songs) that should be respected by governments. Increased taxes either cause people to reduce their efforts to increase income or to migrate for better opportunities elsewhere. Bono should also recognize what Peter Bauer taught us about the failings of foreign aid. It barely gets into the hands of the needy. It instead goes into the hands of the political leaders or the government bureaucracy. It stifles local entrepreneurs who may be striving to produce a good or service in need. The hand-out from afar may wind up as indirect competition with this local farmer, retailer or manufacturer.

Meanwhile that progressive organization , the EU, is doing its best to level the playing field in Europe so there are no tax advantages among its member nations.

Thanks to American Thinker for carrying this post yesterday.

Joe Kenner adds:

It is funny that once upon a time the EU sanctioned Ireland for cutting taxes.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tommy Can You Hear Me?

Thomas Sowell in "Can We Talk" discusses the censorship instituted throughout the U.S. from enforcement of speech codes (his examples were of San Francisco and Columbia University) or re-introduction of the "fairness doctrine" for broadcasters (a liberal attempt to hinder conservative discussion on talk radio or Fox News). Speech that insults or offends is being outlawed officially on college campuses by the Left-wing intelligensia who try to control the debate under the guise of protecting feelings.

Writes Sowell:

Free speech rights exist for the whole society, not for writers and speakers. When you say that we can hear only what a growing number of censors want us to hear, you are condemning us to grope in the dark when making all sorts of decisions -- about ourselves, our families and the future of our society.

One of our contributors writes:

A woman I work with here at American Express was telling a colleague about her recent trip to India (a vacation her and her husband booked for 3 weeks with great anticipation) and how disappointed she was because it was so dirty and hot and just horrible. Couldn't drink the water let alone the food. Almost everyone on the trip got sick. Well...an Indian employee happened to over hear her and found out who her boss was and complained that the conversation made them uncomfortable. She was warned.

This woman planned and went on a trip to India - believing that she was going to have a great time and was unfortunatly greatly disappointed...and someone didn't like hearing the truth. Ugh. I guess the truth hurts and is unacceptable in a politically correct environment...

And to think they believe they are the tolerant ones.

Monday, October 16, 2006

France's Heroism Shows Itself Again

France is going through an unreported civil war where policemen are being attacked and injured by armed Muslims as reported by Arnaud de Borchgrave. 2500 policement have been "injured" this year.

But France's politicos are showing their backbone. Per de Borchgrave:

Jean-Marie Le Pen's far right National Front appears to have opted for a can't-lick-'em-join-'em strategy, a rapprochement with France's large immigrant Muslim community -- with undertones of anti-Semitism. Le Pen's reasoning appears to be the recognition that Islamicization is in France to stay with 25 percent of France's under 20 population Muslim (40 percent in some cities), 2nd and 3rd generation North Africans.

This may only sound like political posturing but this pandering had consequences:

The metropolitan Paris police tabulated 10 to 12 anti-Jewish incidents per day in the past 30 days throughout the country.

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