Tuesday, August 31, 2004

September 1 in military history

1939 Germany invades Poland. At 4:45 AM, German troops invaded Poland which preciptated World War II and resulted in the deaths of countless millions of people. The invasion was the logical result of a policy of appeasement of Hitler that the other European powers had been following in order to avoid war. As has been shown many times in the past, appeasing a dictator for peace will only result later in war. To paraphrase a Blue Oyster Cult song, "History shows again and again, how appeasement points out the follies of men."

Lucky for the world, President Bush is a student of history. He knows that if you can not remember history, you are destined to repeat it. Just stand by for "reruns" if Joh Kerry is ever elected president.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Order in the (Kangaroo) Court

The University of Utah's lawsuit to overturn parts of Utah's concealed weapons law was argued before the Utah Supreme Court today.

In a nutshell, the University of Utah has a policy that bans employees and students from possessing firearms on campus. This means no compact 9mm in your purse, no .30-30 in your truck, not even a .22 in your dorm room. The Utah Attorney General issued an opinion a couple of years ago that confirmed the University was required to comply with Utah's pre-emption law, which prevents municipalities and state agencies from making firearms policy that conflicts with any state gun law.

Predicably, the University thumbed their nose at the AG and filed a "friendly" lawsuit to overturn the law. "Friendly" in the sense that the University got to go to court, the most friendly place for anti-gun liberals. In short order, they had convinced a district court judge to say "Law? We don't need no steenking law!" and thus preserve the status quo.

In response, during its last session the Legislature changed the law to clarify that as a state agency, the University was required to obey the law (what a concept, especially for liberals).

The University responded with a yawn, and the AG appealed to the Utah Supreme Court.

I don't wish to sound pessimistic, but this is all a dog-and-pony-show for Republican AG Mark Shurtleff's re-election campaign. The Supreme Court is the place where the University wanted to go in the first place. The University couldn't find a more accomodating group of stooges if they had appealed to the Brady Campaign itself.

Need proof? Well, take a gander at the biographies of the current 5 justices of the Utah SC. Pay special attention to where they went to school:

Chief Justice Christine Durham: BYU Law School professor (good), University of Utah Law School professor (bad), appointed by a Democrat (bad), has very liberal views (very bad).

Justice Michael Wilkins: University of Utah graduate.

Justice Matthew Durrant: Harvard Law School.

Justice Jill Parrish: Yale Law School.

Justice Ronald Nehring: Another U of U graduate.

That's three votes that are almost sure to go the U's way, and two more that are probably more anti-gun than pro-gun. In reality, the best outcome we gun owners could hope for would be a narrow 3-2 victory for the University.

Why? Because there are literally dozens of public school districts, and the state's other universities, and even some cities (Salt Lake City, Park City, Moab) that are chomping at the bit to gut Utah's pre-emption law. If the University wins in a blowout, the litigation floodgates will be opened, and they will all begin to defy the law.

With the Supreme Court on their side, the strongly pro-gun Legislature will become irrelevant.

With a narrow victory, the outcome will be less sure, and most school districts and universities won't want to waste money and piss off the Legislature unless they know they could win.

Captain Holly's prediction? A 5-0 slam dunk for the University.

Utah's gun owners have been spoiled. Thanks to our efforts, we've gotten a very friendly Legislature and a smart-enough-to-go-along Governor to pass some very good laws during the past decade. Liberalized concealed carry, strong pre-emption, reciprocity of permits all came to pass through our tireless lobbying.

But during that time, these supposedly pro-gun governors and legislators appointed and approved justices that didn't share our views. And as a result we are going to suffer our first big defeat in a long, long time.

We're going to have to force some of our friends in the Legislature and Governor's office to make some hard decisions. Like cutting the budgets of defiant universities and school systems. Firing University presidents and regents who support defying the law. And, if necessary, impeaching judges who think that the laws of Utah are mere guidelines.

It won't be pretty. But if we don't stop this now, we can pretty much kiss all of our recent gains goodbye. Once it gets out that the Utah Supreme Court is willing to ignore the law, even the very strong RKBA Amendment in the Utah Constitution won't save us.

Finland checks the Czechs

In the first game of the World Cup of Hockey tournament, Finland beat the Czech Republic, 4-0.

Quite a surprising result, if you ask me. I thought the Czechs would be alot stronger this time, and the recent death of their coach should have inspired them. They are currently the third-ranked team in the world, according to the IIHF.

But this shows just how closely matched the teams are in this tournament. The big game is Tuesday night on ESPN 2, when the US and Canada meet to begin their tournament play. Captain Holly does not plan to miss it. Neither should you.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

August 29th in military history

1533 Pizarro executes the last Inca emperor.

Atahuallpa, the last emperor of the Incas, dies by strangulation at the hands of Francisco Pizarro's Spanish conquistadors. The execution of Atahuallpa, the 13th emperor, marked the end of 300 years of Inca civilization. Oh well.

1862 The Second Battle of Bull Run.

Confederate General Robert E. Lee defeats the Union forces of General John Pope at the Second Battle of Bull Run near Manassas, Virginia. Even the second time, the Union couldn't get it right.

1949 The Soviet Union explodes the atomic bomb.

The Soviet Union detonated it's first atomic bomb in Kazakhstan. Not long after that, the Democrats start looking for ways to lick their boots.

And now for something not related to military history, but could be considered a black day in the history of the United States.......

1958 Michael Jackson is born.

Friday, August 27, 2004

It's in the Bag

The US will not win a gold or silver medal in men's basketball this year. The Dream is over, so to speak.

While there are plenty of reasons to explain this (poor team chemistry, international referees, the rest of the world has caught up), Captain Holly would like to dwell on the unseen significance of this development:

George Bush will win big this year.

As I posted earlier, whenever the US men's team loses in the Olympics, the Republican candidate goes on to win in a landslide.

In 1972, the US lost to the Soviets; Nixon buried McGovern.

In 1988, the US lost to the Soviets again, and George Bush Sr. clobbered a Massachuesetts liberal, Mike Dukakis.

So rest easy, Bush fans. It's in the bag.

Crazy Like a Fox

I admit it. I've been pretty critical of the Bush Campaign. I thought they were incompetent, insulated from reality, too timid. I was beginning to consider the possibility of a (shudder) Kerry presidency. If Bush was going to win, it would be by the thinnest of margins, a la 2000.

I should have had more faith. The Bushies are beginning to make some exquisitely shrewd political moves in advance of the Republican Convention. Using the controversy over the incredibly effective Swift Boat Veterans ads, Bush has just pulled off a major coup.

This is a classic. By threatening a lawsuit, they effectively distance the campaign from the Swift Boat Veterans, while at the same time calling attention to the enormous amount of money the Democrat 527's have been spending. The resignation of their campaign lawyer cast a spotlight on the incestous relationship of the Democrat 527's and the Kerry campaign. And they have effectively brought McCain back into the fold with the lawsuit.

Best of all, nothing will happen until the campaign is over.

So the Bush campaign has outflanked the Democrats and regained the moral high ground, the Swift Vet ads will continue, McCain is now back on board, and the Democrat 527's and their dealings have been exposed.

Not a bad piece of work.

Stephen Den Beste predicted something like this a few months ago. His entire post is worth reading, but these quotes sum it up the best:

"So what I conclude is that the next Bush "masterstroke" is going to be the November election. The Republicans and the Bush administration have been biding their time, and conserving their money. They have been carefully accumulating political ammunition and have resisted the urge to expend any of it too soon. They've laid the groundwork for a very effective campaign this autumn, and the Democrats are going to get routed."

"And I am pretty confident that when they do really get serious, the consequences for the Kerry campaign will be catastrophic. After the November election, a lot of people are going to wonder why it was that anyone ever thought that Kerry had a substantial chance of winning."

Death of a Soldier's blog

I went to one of my favorite sites this morning and found it had been taken down.

For those of you who didn't have the chance to read his blog, CB (as he was called) was a refreshing change from the standard template stories hawked by the MSM. He wrote in his own style, not paying too much attention to grammar or spelling but simply letting the words flow out of him. One could get a realistic sense of what life was like for an infantryman in Iraq. It probably was the most authentic storytelling about the war that I've ever read.

Alas, it was that authentic writing that got him into trouble. After his gripping account of a battle in Mosul on August 5th, Kim du Toit and some other big blogs linked to him. He was Instalanched a few days later, and by that time, everyone on the 'net knew who he was.

And so did his commanding officers. At first, they allowed him to keep blogging, with just some restrictions to preserve OPSEC. But then came an interview with National Proletariat Radio, who foolishly broadcast his name, age, and unit. He was no longer anonymous, and that could be dangerous for someone in his situation.

In addition, his comments section had become a circus. Every link-whore, troll, and poseur on the internet descended on his site and posted their often irrelevant comments. One clueless Brazilian leftist even played secret agent and posted his comments in Portugese (which CB and his wife apparently speak) so the Evil Americans wouldn't be able to understand what he was saying (this spanish-speaking American was able to figure it out). There were countless anti-Bush/anti-war types who would show up and add something like RIGHT ON BROTHER FIGHT THE EEEVIL BUSHITLERCHENEY WAR MACHINE. They figured that just because CB used profanity, liked punk rock, and read Hemingway that he somehow was one of them.

Which he most certainly was not. Before I even posted a single comment on his site, I went back and read all of his archives. What I discovered was a complex person, a generally patriotic young man who often saw through the official Army bulls%$t and wasn't afraid to tell everyone about what he saw. He was neither rabidly pro-war nor reflexively anti-war. He was just a soldier, doing his duty to the best of his ability, trying to stay safe and alive and see his family and country again.

It's too bad his blog is gone. It was a priceless glimpse of what war and the military are really like. Hopefully, CB will return home safe and tell us all the rest of the story.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

August 24th in military history

79 A.D. On this day in military history, Vesuvius volcano erupts outside of present day Naples, Italy and completely destroys the towns of Herculaeum and Pompeii.

1814. The British capture and burn Washington D.C. during the War of 1812. Where is the bi-lateral commission to investigate this terrorist attack?

1572. On St. Bartholomew's Day, King Charles IX of France orders the killing of French Huguenot Protestant leaders in Paris to celebrate the marriage of Henry de Navarre to the king's Catholic sister, Margaret. This set off an non-stop orgy of the massacre of thousands of Huguenots across France and caused the resumption of religious civil war in France which the marriage of Henry de Navarre to Margaret was supposed to stop. Duh!

The Hockey war has begun

The World Cup of Hockey tournament has begun, with several exhibition games. And the biggest was at Columbus, Ohio last night, where the USA beat arch-rival Canada 3-1.

Of course, this is exhibtion, so these games don't really count. The real games start next week, with the USA taking on Canada again. Go to the WCH web page for schedules and team info.

Or, if you're like El-ahrairah, you can go to the German Hockey League web page and get the details in German.

Now Hear This...

For his tireless work exposing John Kerry's numerous prevarications, obfuscations, and exaggerations, Captain Ed has been added to Captain Holly's Daily Reads.

Go and read it yourself.

That's an order.

I have returned from "Island Anthrax"

The Great El-ahrairah has returned from his vacation to "Island Anthrax", tanned and rested to do battle with the forces of evil! During that time, I was "out of the loop" on current events, so I'm still coming up to speed on what happened during my two weeks swimmin', snorklin' and soakin' up the sun surrounded by Playboy models (OK, I made up the Playboy models part). In my absence, it looks like the Cap'n re-tooled the site and added some links to make it look more "professional". I guess I'll have to stop acting so much like an "idiot" (is that possible?) and more like a "professional" along the lines of other bloggers when I post.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Great Kerry Joke

Spoons posted a dandy on his site. Go and read.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Parker Jensen is still alive -- and he's not sick, either

About a year ago, the big story here in Utah was about a 13 year-old boy who the state was taking away from his parents because they refused to treat him for cancer. The boy, Parker Jensen, had been diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, and when his parents had the temerity to ask for a second opinion, the snooty doctor at Primary Children's Medical Center (their motto: "The Child, first and always" which should be amended to read "The Parents: Last, if ever") turned them into the state Division of Child and Family Services. The DCFS, used to taking kids away from drug-addled single moms, went to a judge and started their normal process.

And then all hell broke loose.

Parker's parents were not pushovers. Instead of caving in to the DCFS, they took him and fled the state, and then got the media involved. By the time the smoke had cleared, the DCFS and their lawyers, the Guardian ad Litem office, had their butts handed to them by a massive swell of public outrage. The outrage carried over to this year's Legislative session, but only a couple of reform bills passed.

(I blogged about this extensively when it was happening, but that was in the old, Bigwig-hosted Warren days. The old Warren is no more, the links to my posts have all rotted away, and I don't have the patience to wait for Bigwig to send me copies of the posts via e-mail. Check here and here and here for background information.)

Well, the Deseret News recently followed up with the Jensen family, and found that Parker is quite well and happy, with no sign of cancer. Aside from impending bankruptcy, Mr. Jensen's continuing unemployment, and over $400,000 in debt, the Jensen family is doing about as well as can be expected.

The state DCFS now admit that Parker is healthy, but add that he faces an elevated chance of developing cancer in the next 3-5 years. But that's not what they told the judge a year ago. Back then, Parker was close to death and needed immediate treatment. As that was before the public knew the details of the story, they could get away with it. Once the public found out the details, they were forced into a humiliating retreat.

One could say that the Jensens "beat" the DCFS. With all their problems, it would appear to be Pyrrhic victory, indeed. Once again, the awesome power of the state was used to crush some recalcitrant individuals. Unfortunately for everyone involved, those individuals were innocent.

The story has legs, after all

Like most in the blogosphere, I have been following the John Kerry/Swift Vets tussle for several weeks now. And like many conservatives, I was pretty sure that after a small splash in a few states, the Swift Vets' damning allegations of Kerry would be ignored by the Mainstream Media and die of neglect. I didn't really think the blogosphere and talk radio would be able to overcome Big Media's coverup, let alone keep the story alive.

Well, I was wrong, and how. The Swift Boat Veteran's modest anti-Kerry effort might turn out to be the most significant issue of the campaign. And the Kerry campaign and the MSM have no one to blame but themselves. By ignoring the issue, they made it all the more significant. Kerry now appears to have covered up negative aspects of his record, while the MSM have shown everyone just how biased they really are by openly helping him to do so.

This is now the issue of the hour, day, week and month. Every other issue Kerry and the Democrats wanted to emphasize -- the economy, Iraq, health care, etc. -- has taken a back seat to Kerry's Viet Nam service. Which is supremely ironic: Kerry's Viet Nam service was his main issue. Careful what you wish for.

This issue isn't going away. Instapundit, Ed Morrisey, and other now smell blood and are moving in for the kill. There are enough contradictions in Kerry's official account(s) of his service that even the most biased observers have to admit that he is in trouble. And the Swift Vets are just getting started. In a masterful tactical move, they started their attack with the most controversial allegations about Kerry's Viet Nam service. Now that everyone is paying attention, they have changed directions and are emphasizing Kerry's anti-war past. If the first ad was damaging to Kerry, then the new ad will be devastating.

Poor John Kerry. He has the misfortune of running for president just as Big Media's power is collapsing. Now he has to run on his record, not his resume. For a liberal, that is political suicide.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Stick a fork in Kerry, he's done!

The US men's basketball team was trounced Sunday by a scrappy bunch of Puerto Rico players, led by Utah Jazz point guard Carlos Arroyo.

This the first time the US has lost in Olympic play since we started fielding "Dream Teams" back in 1992. It is the first loss in the Olympics since 1988. The only loss previous to that was in 1972. It would appear that the US basketball team is destined to have an off year every 16 years.

However, those numbers hold greater significance. Look closely. Every time the US loses an Olympic basketball game, the Republican candidate has gone on to win the election in a landslide that fall. Nixon in '72, Bush Sr. in '88. There may not be a gold medal for the US this year, but it looks like Bush Jr. is a lock for the presidency.

Remember, you read it here first.

And lest you think this method of election predicting is silly, take a look at what Bigwig is using.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Someone, please explain this to me

Regarding Governor McGreevy's "courageous" announcement yesteday, I have a couple of questions:

Why is it that a man who has been in a stable heterosexual relationship for more than a decade suddenly becomes "gay" when he has sex with another man? Does this mean he and his wife aren't ever gonna have sex again? Did they announce a divorce?

Think about it: If McGreevy had been openly homosexual and in a stable relationship with a man for the same amount of time, and then announced that he had been banging his female secretary, would everyone conclude that he was now "straight"?

Just wondering.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Profiles in Courage (NOT!)

New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevy has resigned, admitting that he cheated on his wife with another man. He was tainted by some fund-raising scandals as well.

(hmmm, sounds familiar. Young Democrat Governor, has corrupt friends, cheats on his wife. Are you sure this isn't Arkansas, circa 1984?)

Contrary to conventional wisdom, this is not a politically fatal move. Using the Bill Clinton precedent, he will be able to shake the adultery charge quite easily, and if the media like him, the corruption will disappear as well. And nowadays, at least for a Democrat, being gay is an asset, not a liability.

So this was not a courageous decision by any stretch of the imagination. It was merely a tactical retreat for McGreevy. He will be back, perhaps in a Hillary Clinton administration.

After all, she's very familiar with men like him.

Obey the law? What a novel concept!

The California Supreme Court have discovered the rule of law.

The upshot of this decision is that for now, at least, gay marriage is dead in California. The 7-0 smackdown the Cali Supremes delivered to Mayor Gavin Newsom is about as strong a "hell no" that can be delivered by words. Even liberal justices can read the text of a law.

At least five seem to be able to reason, as well. They correctly deduced that if a marriage is performed without legal authority, then it is null and void. A couple of justices couldn't resist the urge to impose their superior wisdom on the California electorate, but for now, sanity reigns.

However, there's a Machivellian part of me that thinks they did this only to defuse the issue for the time being. Had they followed their hearts instead of their heads, they would have struck down California's marriage law as unconstitutional. But that would have stirred up a political hornet's nest in the state, and possibly given President Bush a powerful issue to use against John Kerry. Better to wait until next May, when no one is paying any attention.

Then they'll be free to return to their regularly-scheduled legislating.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

7 August in military history

On this day in military history, in 1998, Al-Qaeda attacked the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania killing 224 persons and wounding 4,500 more. Of the dead, 12 were Americans. Then President Clinton, instead of taking the war to the terrorists, decided that lobbing some cruise missiles into Afghanistan was a more "appropriate" response to an attack on American interests at the time.

Also on this day, in 1942, the 1St Marine Division, along with elements from the 1st and 2nd Marine Raider Battalions, waded ashore on the island of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands during the first amphibious assault of World War II. The invasion caught the Japanese by surprise but it wasnt until February 1943 when the Japanese finally left the island. Thus started the long "island-hopping" campaign to defeat the Japanese in the Pacific.

Friday, August 06, 2004

This day, 6 August, in military history

The atomic age was ushered in when on this day, August 6th, 1945, the US dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. Whether the liberals like it or not, the atomic bomb kept the US and Europe safe for almost 50 years from Soviet aggression and also contributed to the downfall of the "evil empire". Although the Soviet empire collasped in 1991, the atomic bomb's usefulness as a deterent to other governments and regimes has not been diminished and will only increase once the ballistic missile shield is in place.

Also on this day, the first draft of the Constitution was debated in Philadelphia in 1787 and the electric chair was used for the first time to execute a criminal in New York in 1890. Using the electric chair as considered more "humane" than hanging at the time. The more things change, the more things stay the same.

Even more news you won't read at Andrewsullivan.com

Missouri voters chimed in on the issue of gay marriage, and it wasn't even close.

While some would say that is not unexpected, what is significant is that Missouri is supposedly one of those "swing states" that could vote for John Kerry this fall. The state is not entirely red; the St. Louis area produces some of the most liberal politicians in the nation. Yet 71% of voters supported an amendment to the state constitution banning gay marriage.

A few months ago, I predicted that the gay marriage issue would overshadow all others this fall and produce a Bush victory. The massive backlash has not materialized, partly due to extraordinary restraint on the part of gay activists and their lawyers. I had expected a thousand lawsuits to bloom nationwide by now with some liberal judge somewhere overturning the DOMA and creating chaos. It would appear that the gay lobby understands that would not be in their best political interests right now, and are keeping a low profile on the issue, at least until John Kerry is in the White House.

However, the Missouri vote confirms my contention that gay marriage is wildly unpopular, especially in the heartland. Several states are voting on gay marriage bans this fall. While almost all are Bush strongholds, a couple (Arkansas and Oregon) are swing states. Bush lost Oregon in 2000 by only a few thousand votes. The ballot initiative might produce a large enough evangelical turnout which would help Bush carry the state, and possibly win the election. The gay marriage issue may yet prove to be the big issue in November.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

This day, August 5, in military history

On this day, 5 August 1864, the Union forces under Admiral David Farragut, defeated the Confederate forces at the Battle of Mobile Bay. It was during this battle, that Admiral Farragut uttered the immoral words that all sailors hold so dear (next to "Liberty Call, Liberty Call"), "Damn the torpedos! Full speed ahead!"

Also on this date in 1963, the US, Soviet Union and Great Britain signed the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which has proved to be anything but.

Monday, August 02, 2004

This day in military history

On this day in military history, in 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait. Although much smaller than her neighbor, Kuwait's armed forces were able to delay the Iraqi invasion long enough for the royal family to escape to Saudi Arabia. Much of the credit for this goes to the Kuwaiti air force Hawk missile batteries who decimated the helicopters carrying the Iraqi special forces tasked with the capture of the royal family. In miltary layman's term's, the skies above Kuwait city were a "target rich" environment for the Kuwaiti Hawk missiles and Skyhawks. A true "fire and forget" scenario.

On this day in military history, in 1934, Adolf Hitler became the absolute ruler of Germany on the death of President Paul von Hindenburg.