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Monday, October 31, 2005

Notice Anything Different About THIS Nomination?

Perhaps my memory is failing me, but I don’t recall this kind of reaction from the lefties the DAY Harriet Miers was nominated.

Chuck Shumer, PFAW, Pandagon One more, Think Progress

h/t Jeff G at PW

You know it’s a good nomination when all the right people are pissed off about it. Just like voting for the California initiatives, looking at the opponents is probably more revealing than looking at the supporters. I do have to give Chucky credit for snippiest remarks of the day:

“Like Rosa Parks, Judge Alito will be able to change history by virtue of where he sits. The real question today is whether Judge Alito would use his seat on the bench, just as Rosa Parks used her seat on the bus, to change history for the better or whether he would use that seat to reverse much of what Rosa Parks and so many others fought so hard and for so long to put in place…Judge Alito's visit to Rosa Parks this morning was appropriate. His record, as I'm sure Rosa Parks would agree, is much more important.”
Yeah, I’m sure Rosa Parks would be really wrapped around the axle over Judge Alito’s nomination. I do give Chucky mad props for so shamelessly using the death of an American Civil Rights Icon to immediate political advantage. That immediately reminded me of Hillary coming strong with the gun control meme right after the Columbine massacre. New York is very fortunate to have not one, but two world class mendacious hacks occupying both Senate seats.

Not to be outdone by some baby kissing pol, John Roberts of CBSNEWS characterized the nomination of a man who has spent the last 15 years as a distinguished appellate judge as “sloppy seconds.”

Chris Matthews is reported to have “outed” some racists on the left in today’s Hardball episode. Reading from a Democratic talking points fax:

“I’m sitting here holding in my hands a disgusting document, put out not for attribution. But it come from the Democrats, they are circulating it, I can say that. It's a complaint sheet against judge Alito's nomination. The first thing they nail about this Italian-American is he failed to win a mob conviction in 1988. They nail him on not putting Italian mobsters in jail. Why would they bring this up this ethnically-charged issue?"
Just off the top of my head I’d say that they will do or say anything it takes to destroy a nominee that they are opposed to while simultaneously holding conservatives to absurd standards with respect to racial comments all the while slandering Italians, blacks, Hispanics or anybody else that gets between them and government sponsored abortion. Or something like that.

My favorite is the “Scalito” blast that the entire MSM has adopted as a racist pet name combining the Italian surnames of nominee Samuel Alito and current Justice Antonin Scalia. Isn’t it so cute that these two dagos kinda look alike and are both conservative and such? I almost wish the President had nominated Emilio Garza or Miguel Estrada just so I could hear the Dems refer to him as “Dirty Sanchez.” NOT!

These are all very positive developments on balance, as they show the left flailing wildly from day one already making fools of themselves demonizing a man that looks like a slightly dorky dad from a dozen Hollywood movies. It is not going to stick. Sit back and enjoy the spectacle, we are about to witness the resurrection of the Bush Presidency.

Slick move of the day goes to the President for having nominated a candidate from the home state and judicial circuit of Judicial Committee Chairman Specter. This puts the squishy pro-abortion Republican in the position of having to consider the ramifications of punching out a fellow Pennsylvanian while attempting to reconcile that conflict with his fawning NARAL buddies. Touche' Mr. President!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Scooter is Going to Jail…

Because he is stupid. I listened to the press conference by Patrick Fitzgerald, (indictment here) and if what he alleges is true and he can prove that it is true, Libby is in deep Kimchee. As a former federal agent whose job is was to investigate and build cases against liars, I would have been all over Libby like a cheap suit. The old Washington adage that you get burned for the cover up instead of the crime once again holds true.

The way I understand Fitzgerald’s summation, Libby told the FBI and the Grand Jury that although he had heard that Valerie Plame was CIA from government officials in the past, he had forgotten it, and was told by Tim Russert about Plame and considered it to be as if he learned it anew. Excuse me, but if somebody that I interviewed told me that bullsh*t and expected to get away with it, they would be sorely mistaken. That would really piss me off to have a person in Libby’s position attempt to sell me on a weak a$$ story like that. Not to mention that you could hardly pick a more hostile MSM reporter to pin your hopes of substantiating your lame story to than Tim Russert.

Additionally, a cursory examination of the statute that was initially alleged to have been violated to wit, exposing the identity of a covert agent should have instantly been dismissed as a viable line of prosecution by Libby’s attorneys. This has been borne out in that Rove, who was apparently truthful with the FBI and the Grand Jury, was not indicted for anything despite clearly having “leaked” Plame’s identity to reporters. Libby basically had two choices: a) With the understanding that Plame was not in fact a covert agent at the time of her “outing”, he could have freely told the FBI and the GJ that he’d heard about her from several government sources and passed that along to Miller and Cooper or b) Concoct a weak and implausible story that was guaranteed to be blown out of the water by Tim Russert. He chose B. That was dumb.

He will plea this down and spend 6 months in jail. He should do this quickly and get it over with.

By the way, Valerie Plame never was some kind of James Bond secret agent spanning the globe in search of America's enemies. She wasn't running and recruiting informants amongst the enemies of America. She wasn't down at Gitmo smearing menstrual blood on pious AQ psychopaths. She was an analyst in the WMD section of the Directorate of Intelligence not a Clandestine Service Officer in the Directorate of Operations. There is a difference. A huge freaking difference. Outing a CSO would have been a very irresponsible breach of national security. Outing an analyst mother of four is inconvenient for her, but doesn't put her at risk or affect national security.

As to the issue of Libby acting maliciously to somehow punish Joe "Politics of Truth" Wilson by attacking his wife, that is an MSM fantasy as well. Wilson falsely stated in his NYT op-ed that his mission to Niger was commissioned by the Vice President. As the VP's Chief of Staff, Libby would have been asked about this by a multitude of reporters. I can hardly blame him for attempting to correct the perception that the VP was responsible for sending the man who was then attacking him. Why wouldn't Libby tell those reporters in response to that question, "We didn't send that turd. His wife got him the job." Especially since he did know that Plame was a keyboard commando and not a Bond girl over at CIA.

UPDATE: Full Disclosure Alert: I may be incorrect that she was Directorate of Intelligence v. Directorate of Operations. That said, if she was considered to be at all covert, Rove and Libby would have been nailed for the underlying matter and they were not.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Let’s Have a Fight, Shall We?

My candidate for SCOTUS to replace Harriet Miers is none other than Miguel Estrada. Estrada pretty much started the whole issue of judicial filibustering when his nomination to the DC Circuit Court failed to reach cloture in the Senate 7 times. As a reminder, Estrada was born and raised in Honduras and emigrated to the US at the age of 17, learned English, and went on to graduate cum laude from Columbia and Harvard Law. Not that I really care where somebody went to college, but hey, that’s a pretty impressive achievement considering. Estrada was maligned by far left Hispanic victim-identity groups as being not Hispanic enough.

"Being Hispanic for us means much more than having a surname," said New Jersey Rep. Bob Menendez, a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. "It means having some relationship with the reality of what it is to live in this country as a Hispanic American." Even though Estrada is of Hispanic origin, and even though he lives in this country, Menendez argued, he falls short of being a true Hispanic. "Mr. Estrada told us that him being Hispanic he sees having absolutely nothing to do with his experience or his role as a federal court judge. That's what he said to us." Menendez found that deeply troubling.

But Menendez was relatively kind to Estrada compared to the representatives of Hispanic interest groups. Angelo Falcon, an official of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, railed about the "Latino Horatio Alger story that's been concocted" about Estrada's success and, more generally, about the "concocted, invented Latino imagery" of Estrada's life.

Which is particularly ironic since Mr. Estrada is actually from “Latin America” having been born and raised there, unlike his critics who are most likely native born US citizens. Of course, this kind of “what are you doin’ off the plantation/out of the lettuce patch” racism from the left is regularly ignored by the MSM. In a very recent example of this blatant racist sentiment on the left, I present to you a blog by some pinhead liberal named Steve Gilliard who photoshopped Maryland Lt. Governor and Republican Senate Candidate Michael Steele into a “Mammy” black face and referred to him as Simple Sambo. That picture is perhaps the most overtly racist image I have seen in my life.

The vehement opposition to Estrada's nomination to the DC Circuit by extreme leftist groups in the past makes me feel extremely comfortable with his conservative bonafides, but it is his experience in the Solicitor General’s office that establishes his Con Law abilities. The Solicitor General argues cases before the SCOTUS on behalf of the President. The beauty of SCOTUS candidates having this experience is that not only is it outstanding preparation for being a SCOTUS Justice, but unlike an Appellate Judge, a candidate’s writings are protected by attorney-client privilege. John Roberts was successfully confirmed without opening up his writings in the Solicitor General’s office to Senate scrutiny. This was the pretense used by the Dems to block Estrada the first time. But the SCOTUS is not the DC Circuit, and they would not be able to credibly filibuster Estrada based on a premise that wasn't applied to an evil white man who just got confirmed as Chief Justice.

I say we make the left go on record as the racists that they are and force them to resort to attacking a minority candidate with a flawless resume, well qualified by the ABA, and solid conservative credentials.

Did I mention that Miguel Estrada is 44 years old?


Monday, October 24, 2005

Now That's Funny Right There

Hat tip Breslin

California Proposition 77

This is one of Governor Schwarzenegger’s “big four” propositions that he is using to bypass the hopelessly liberal and entrenched legislature. In fact, this is the one designed to disinter some of the more radical State Senators and Assemblymen from their gerrymandered districts.

I have to admit that I am not really fond of the idea that retired judges be given the authority to set political district boundaries, but when you have a successful recall election to bounce the current governor followed by a statewide election that fails to unseat a single incumbent in the legislature, you have a problem. I don’t begrudge Democrats from being elected to the legislature, but the way these districts are laid out in this state, hard core gay rights activists, international ANSWER types, and various other far leftist moonbats have actually been elected in Northern California. In fact, despite the overwhelming passage of a ban on gay marriage only five years ago, the California Legislature passed a bill authorizing it which the Governor subsequently vetoed. These people do not care what the people of California want; they are wholly owned subsidiaries of various victim-identity groups and labor unions. I can’t see any other way to pry these psychos out of office at this point as distasteful as it is to give judges this kind of authority.

The last poll conducted on October 15-17 had the measure passing 54-41 with 5% undecided. Froggy urges Californians to vote YES ON PROP 77, so that we can get rid of some of the dead wood in Sacramento and get this State back on its feet.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


I just finished watching the Frontline report on “The Torture Question” and there really wasn’t much of a question about how the libs over at PBS feel about the issue. They were seemingly able to directly connect SecDef Rumsfeld to General Ricardo Sanchez to General Janet Karpinski to some Colonel named Pappas, to the military interrogators themselves such that Rummy’s pressure to produce results in these interrogations and his tacit ascent to “torture” techniques was transmitted down the Chain of Command resulting in the Abu Ghraib situation. Of course the connection was made largely by hearsay from Janice Karpinski and three former interrogators which leaves out quite a few steps in the grand conspiracy postulation. Notably, Janet Karpinski was demoted and subsequently retired for having been the Commander of Abu Ghraib at the time of the scandal. She was strident in her accusations during her portions of the interview, and in my opinion she was basically engaging in a legacy remodeling project.

The interviews of the military interrogators themselves were much more interesting, however. Specialist Tony Lagouranis was especially frank in his description of what kinds of things were going on at Abu Ghraib. One of the more sensational charges Lagoranis leveled was that
“Or some people, the Navy SEALs, for instance, were using just ice water to lower the body temperature of the prisoner. They would take his rectal temperature to make sure he didn't die; they would keep him hovering on hypothermia. That was a pretty common technique.”
My question upon hearing this was, “What SEAL Platoon were you operating with in Iraq?” That’s a pretty specific charge to make on national television, effectively tarnishing the entire SEAL community with deliberate and premeditated inducement of hypothermia on detainees. Did the SEALs conduct hypothermia training seminars at Abu Ghraib? How in the hell does some peon Army E-4 find out about what would clearly be the secret operational techniques of SOF operators from an entirely different service?
“In Mosul, again, I remember the chief warrant officer in charge of the interrogation facility. He'd heard about how the SEALs had set up a "discotheque" with loud music and strobe lights in order to disorient the prisoner, and he heard about the ice water. We didn't use the ice water; he felt that was too dangerous, somebody might die.”
Oh, OK. The CWO “heard about it”. Of course he didn’t “hear” about it from any SEALs because it is unlikely that some Army CWO from Abu Ghraib had some buddies in a SEAL Platoon in Mosul that liked to swap interrogation technique stories. Who knows how many awestruck Army guys were between the “SEAL disco” and Abu Ghraib turning some exciting Frogman exploits into the script of a Hollywood movie.

Conspicuously absent from the Frontline report was any mention of Manadel al Jamadi who was the detainee that died in custody at Abu Ghraib after being captured by members of SEAL Team SEVEN. Jamadi’s death prompted the courts martial of a SEAL officer who was subsequently acquitted of any involvement in the man’s death. That didn’t stop Lagouranis from buddy f*cking his own by saying,
“Well, I never saw too much with the interrogators who were actually professional interrogators that they were doing much more than what I described to you: the dogs, the stress positions, the hypothermia. Which ended up not really causing severe bodily harm, anyway, to the prisoner. The worst stuff I saw was from the detaining units who would torture people in their homes. They were using things like … burns. They would smash people's feet with the back of an axe-head. They would break bones, ribs, you know. That was serious stuff.”
This guy is a world class blue falcon. After inoculating himself and his “professional” colleagues sitting inside the wire at Abu Ghraib waiting for people to interrogate, he drops completely unsupported charges on the soldiers out in the field risking their lives to snatch these people from very dangerous neighborhoods. But he’s not done.
“And I saw that over and over again. And some of the worst cases that I saw of abuse coming out of the Force Recon Marines in North Babel -- I was writing reports about this, abuse reports and sending it up through the Marine chain of command. And I know that nobody ever investigated these things because I had taken pictures of the wounds. I had organized the medical reports that the Corpsmen had put down, and taken sworn statements from the prisoners.”
So now Super Specialist Lagouranis is taking sworn statements from Corpsmen and detainees captured by Force Recon Marines? Who is this guy, Matlock?

Let me lay this out for those of you who may not be familiar with these kinds of folks. Lagouranis said he joined the Army to learn Arabic and that they decided to make him an interrogator first, then send him to DLI in Monterey for language training. In order to get an assignment like that, a soldier has to be a very intelligent person who was able to score high marks on his ASVAB and subsequent language examinations. It is no secret that not everybody in the Army is a rocket scientist, and this situation makes life somewhat difficult for those people who start to get the feeling that they are smarter than everybody they work with. The Army doesn’t promote or reward you for being the smartest guy in the unit, it promotes and rewards people who demonstrate that they are good soldiers and cheerfully do there jobs with a minimum of complaining. Conforming to this system is often a frustrating experience for people like Lagouranis, and it was clear to me in his interview that he was getting some payback. Payback for the Army that never promoted him past E-4 despite the fact that he was a very intelligent Arabic linguist and all around brilliant individual. Payback for seeing SEALs, Force Recon Marines, and fellow soldiers receiving respect and admiration from his peers for being a bunch of knuckle draggers while he was derided for being a whiner and complainer.

Do I have a single shred of evidence to substantiate these charges aside from my personal experiences and interactions with fellow servicemembers over a 15 year military career? Not really. But I doubt he has any evidence to support the slanderous charges that he leveled against dozens of operators on a nationally televised documentary. He stated at one point that he “made the CWO sign off” on every interrogation technique that he used at Abu Ghraib. I’d like to see that paperwork for starters, or how about some of the pictures from the Force Recon abuse collection, but I’m not holding my breath.

UPDATE: Specialist Lagouranis is in the comment thread trying to peddle his story in the Frogosphere. His statements thus far have only served to confirm my assessment of his character above and to bring further discredit upon himself and his baseless accusations. If you have something to say to Tony, by all means, speak up.

Froggy OUT

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

How to Know What Ballot Initiative to Vote For in California

When I first started voting in California, it was very difficult for me to determine which side of a proposition I should vote for. I remember being told by a friend in my youth to, “Vote NO on everything and things won’t get worse.” That might work for a 18 year old college student, but it’s not a viable voting strategy especially when important issues are at hand. California is having a special election coming up on November 8th.

One of the real hot topics on the ballot this time around is Proposition 73 which is essentially an Amendment to the California Constitution that if passed would mandate parental notification by a physician performing an abortion on a minor 48 hours prior to the procedure. Governor Schwarzenegger has come out in support of this initiative saying that he would “kill” someone if they took his daughter to get an abortion without informing him. That sentiment pretty much sums up my reaction to the idea that my daughter would have a surgical procedure performed on her without my knowledge. I mean, how can it be that a student could be suspended or expelled from high school for bringing aspirin to school, but that same student is allowed to placed under anesthesia and have surgery without supervision?

The slogan for the Anti-73 movement is, "If she can't come to me, I just want to keep her safe."


How about, "If she can't come to me, I'm a piece of crap parent that raised a future porn star."

Or perhaps, "If she can't come to me, then she might as well have some lefty abortionist jam his slimy hands up into my daughter while I remain blissfully ignorant of my personal failures as a parent and a human being."

Pretty catchy, huh?

But the best way to figure out whether or not to support an initiative is to look at who is against it. Here are some of the opponents of Prop 73:

American Civil Liberties Union, California Affiliates
California Democratic Party
California Federation of Teachers
California National Organization for Women
Feminist Women Health Clinic
Feminist Majority Foundation
League of Women Voters of California
NARAL Pro-Choice California
National Abortion Federation
People for the American Way, California
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California
Sierra Club
Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry, California
Cal Berkeley Democrats
Code Pink, San Francisco Bay Area
Food Not Bombs, Comida No Bombas, Los Angeles
Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services, Los Angeles County/Oakland
Green Party of Monterey
Khmer Girls in Action, Long Beach
Multi-Cultural Feminist Group of California State University, Monterey Bay
National Lawyers Guild, San Francisco/Bay Area
National Organization for Women
People’s Democratic Party of Santa Cruz County
Planned Parenthood
San Diego LGBT Community Chapter
SEIU Local 415
Sex Workers Outreach Project USA
US Senator Barbara Boxer
Congresswoman Barbara Lee
Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez

This list represents maybe 10% of the entire list, but you get the idea. When this conglomeration of psychopaths coalesce against an issue, it’s a safe bet that you should vote for it.

UPDATE: 60% of Likely Voters currently support Prop 73

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Chachi Follow Up

Chachi emailed me yesterday…
I just got off the phone with Jon. He's cool, but I really got a sense for how pissed you are. I'm sorry.

My support for the troops is clear. That isn't up for debate.

On the charges of insensitivity to the real letters that soldiers send home - I plead guilty. If you're angry at me, be angry for infrequent humor-deafness, because you know that in my little sliver of the blogosphere, my support for the military is immovable.

My "thanks" for the traffic was a sincere one, but also a tongue-in-cheek "farwell" that I expected you to take as a joke because you know how safe skydiving is. I underestimated how serious people would take what I thought would be an obvious joke and the length that anyone would ever go to find out.

I intended to follow up the offending post (which I've taken down) with the actual post of my great experience, but considering this, I may not get the chance. My intention was to only leave it up until I finished the follow-up, but the video is harder for me to get online than I thought.

Imagine my surprise when I read everything today that I've read. I thought you'd be the first to sniff it out as a joke, considering some of my stuff you've read/linked. I'm sorry that for a time you felt "responsible", Jon mentioned you were upset. Matt, you guys can't be emulated. Imitation was never my intention. My intention was to enjoy my birthday gift from my girlfriend, tell a joke and then tell the real story. I don't blame you for the personal attacks on me, my job or my stupid picture. I'm sorry that the nature of my lapse in judgement offended you and I thank you for pointing out how inappropriate it was, considering the gravity of soldiers who send home similar letters. I don't have experience with that. I didn't mean to be so unimaginative to not consider it. I'm asking for your forgiveness.


Frankly, I could care less why somebody would decide to do something like this, but there is a lesson to be learned. Hugh, has posted before about how blogs are susceptible to being used dishonestly to disseminate false or misleading material (See Kos, Atrios, et al). He used the example of the Belmont Club who, at the time, was written by someone in the PI that was unidentified (Wretchard has since come out of the shadows for the Pajama Media project). Wretchard’s analysis and intel on GWOT issues is disturbingly accurate, and his credibility is therefore beyond reproach. But an anonymous Wretchard could have used that credibility to put out bogus stories to satisfy some unknown ulterior motive. Clearly Chachi has never even approached that level of influence or popularity in the blogosphere nor was he destined to, but the ethics of blogging apply to the great and to the small.

One of the other great things about the blogosphere as opposed to the MSM, is that it is a self-healing organism…at least on the right. When a cancer starts to grow somewhere on the body, somebody steps in to cut it out. This time it happened to be me doing the cutting, but it is incumbent upon all responsible bloggers to police ourselves so that we can continue to grow the credibility gap between us and the MSM. And don’t forget anti-free speech politicians like McCain; if we allow the blogosphere to devolve into teeming morass of lies, rumors, and stupid hoaxes we will call down the thunder on ourselves.

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Legend of Chachi the Asshat

Going through my comments this morning I noticed one from a reader named Morgan Farmer saying,

“Check out the Spanktuary. Chachi was killed in a skydiving accident. There is a final post from a note he left. I am heartbroken. His voice was truly unique for someone his age.”
I hadn’t been reading Chachi much lately, except when he would link me or send me an email about one of his posts. So I clicked on over to see what had happened.

Sure enough, there was a letter posted by “a friend of Chachi's who found a note among his things.” The letter reminded me of something that might have been written by a soldier while at war in order to convey his feelings to those he loved in the event of his death.

“If you're reading this, my journey from cradle to casket was more winding than it was long. I think everyone secretly knew this was going to be the case. It's OK, I packed a lot into 29 years. Caution only seemed to play itself out as the alternative to the choice I usually made. I didn't know how to do things differently. Did you really expect that someday I'd be lying on a bed dying of nothing? Neither did I.”
He seems to indicate that he was somehow different from all of those other mortgage brokers in Minneapolis; he was a risk taker and an inspirational figure.

“Will my memory be a permanent fixture in your mind or will grocery and to-do lists habitually evict me from your recall? Did I inspire anyone, anywhere, to do anything they wouldn't have otherwise done? Is it OK that I told myself that I did? I'm in a place that knows no pain or suffering. I just hope I don't get kicked out for doing wheelies up and down the streets of gold. Please join me, but not until much, much later.”
Chachi is a punk. He is a wannabe and a loser. He has been unable to contribute anything meaningful to the blogosphere, and unwilling to put himself in a position to contribute anything to the War on Terror although he claims 9/11 was his inspiration for blogging and a life changing experience.

I am no Sky god, but Froggy has probably a 100 or so freefall jumps the majority of them military. When I was a new guy at SEAL Team FOUR, we were told by the Command Master Chief that if we went ahead and got our civilian USPA B Licence on our own we could transition to military freefall without waiting years to get a slot at the US Army Military Freefall School. So a few of us saved up and went through Accelerated Freefall (AFF) in Chesapeake, VA. One of the first things I learned at AFF was about a little piece of equipment called the Cypres. The Cypres is an automatic actuation device for reserve parachutes used by civilian skydivers. This device has been the gold standard in safety for almost 20 years, and there is not a student rig in the United States that does not have a Cypres on it, period. Skydiving centers could not obtain liability insurance from the USPA without equipping all student parachutes with a calibrated and documented Cypres.

So what? Well Froggy conducted his own investigation regarding the untimely demise of Chachi this morning, and it took me all of 5 minutes. First, I called the USPA and talked with their national safety and training director to ask if there had been any reports of fatal skydiving accidents in either Minnesota or Wisconsin in the past month. Answer: No. Any students die at all this month? Answer: No. Next, I followed the link left by Chachi on his “farewell” post to the AFF instruction facility he was planning to go to.

Let me digress for a moment. In this post from October 7th, Chachi invoked me by name thanking me for sending his blog traffic. When I first read that comment on my site and saw his reference to me in his last post, I thought for a moment that perhaps he wanted to skydive in order to emulate me in some small way. This made me feel somehow responsible for his “death”, now I just feel like bitchslapping the fool.

I called SKYDIVE TWIN CITIES and spoke to the owner, John. I gave John the background on Chachi’s site, his postings regarding AFF, and my conversation with the USPA. I gave him the Spanktuary’s url and John immediately recognized Chachi from his wannabe cool guy picture, and told me that he not only remembered him, but he had actually filmed his jump last weekend! Unfortunately, John sold all the film and video to Chachi so I couldn’t get an actual photo of him having survived his jump, but I’ll take John’s word for it.

So there you have it. The legend of Chachi the asshat. Many people would say that they feel sorry for somebody so pathetic that they went to such lengths to gain attention for themselves. I am not one of those people. Chachi is not special, he is not a victim of his own self esteem issues, he is a jackass and a punk. If you take the time to read his last two posts, I think that you will agree that he is a dork and a loser even if he had burned in. It’s just that nobody would have mentioned it so as not to offend his family. The thing about this that bothers me besides the unseemly and feeble attempt to deceive, is the set up letter and the farewell letter that he wrote. As I mentioned, these posts were strikingly similar to letters I have seen written by American soldiers facing the real possibility of death in combat for their country. That Chachi used this kind of device to perpetrate his fraud demonstrates a profound lack of character and disrespect for those of us who have put our lives on the line for our country. Five years ago a stunt like this would have little prescience, but after these long years of combat, I am disgusted that some faggot mortgage broker from Minnesota has the temerity to mock the real dangers faced by our troops with an infantile exercise such as this.

One more thing. If I were John at SKYDIVE TWIN CITIES, I would consider taking some kind of action against Chachi. I mean, he basically erroneously inferred that John and his staff at STC allowed a student jumper to die. Additionally, if Chachi does apply for a USPA License at some point, I would hope that he will be turned away. Skydiving is an exciting and fun pastime, but it is a very serious business as well. The practitioners of the sport spend countless hours documenting all of the safety measures that they have to undergo to remain in compliance with USPA regulations. This is equally true of military parachute riggers whose diligent work to maintain safe parachutes is chronically under appreciated. Not just anybody is allowed to pack a reserve parachute. You have to be certified by the USPA as a rigger, and you have to tag that reserve and repack it at regular intervals so that it can be inspected. When a reserve doesn’t open and somebody burns in, that rigger who packed it, and the jumpmaster who checked the Cypres are on the hook for that. These accidents are investigated exactly like a plane crash and the cause of each accident is determined in order to prevent future occurrences. The Skydiving community doesn’t need immature little $hitheads that think faking fatal parachute accidents is funny.

By the way, I have .pdfs of both posts, so if Chachi takes his site down or erases those posts, I will have them up here.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Let My Mentors Do My Talking For Me

I am growing weary of the “Harriet Miers Situation TM” so I’ll direct you to my two favorite columnists for impressions. First, the incomparable and smokin’ hot, Ann Coulter:
“The only sexism involved in the Miers nomination is the administration's claim that once they decided they wanted a woman, Miers was the best they could do. Let me just say, if the top male lawyer in the country is John Roberts and the top female lawyer is Harriet Miers, we may as well stop allowing girls to go to law school.”
Or if you like:
“The average LSAT score at SMU Law School is 155. The average LSAT at Harvard is 170. That's a difference of approximately 1 1/2 standard deviations, a differential IQ experts routinely refer to as "big-ass" or "humongous." Whatever else you think of them, the average Harvard Law School student is very smart. I gather I have just committed a hate crime by saying so.”
Ann’s compassionate side:
“I genuinely feel sorry for Miers. I'm sure she's a lovely woman, brighter than average, and well-qualified for many important jobs. Just not the job Bush has nominated her for. The terrible thing Bush has done to Miers is to force people who care about the court to say that.”
That pretty much sums up my thoughts on her qualifications for SCOTUS as far as I am able to determine. I would like you to notice Ann’s unflinching ability to cut straight to the heart of a concept, and then to rip out that heart with her bare hands, take a generous bite out of it while it’s still beating, spit that bite out into the face of the most squeamish lefty nearby, then push that lefty to the ground and scream, “What the f*ck are you looking at, b*tch?!” I can only hope to attain such a level of beatific harmony with my own writing.

My other hero of the opinion page is none other than the godfather of snark, Mark Steyn. The clarity and richness of his prose is only matched by the breadth and abundance of his content.

“Harriet who? Well, she served as his "staff secretary," or, as her biography says, "the ultimate gatekeeper for what crosses the desk of the nation's commander in chief." Legally speaking, that makes her sound more Della Street than Perry Mason. But don't worry, she is, in fact, a lawyer. Indeed, for some years, back in Texas, she was Mr. Bush's personal lawyer. But she's not a judge, not a constitutional lawyer, or a legal scholar, or someone with any judicial philosophy or who has shown an interest in acquiring one. She is a pal of the president…

But Mr. Bush, for good or ill, believes in himself as the real Third Way deal: it's a remarkable achievement to get damned day in day out as the new Adolf Hitler when 90 percent of the time you're Tony Blair with a ranch. The president is a religio-cultural conservative who believes in big government and big spending and paternalistic federal intervention in areas where few conservatives have ever previously thought it wise. Not my bag, but, that said, every time I or anybody else have predicted he has blown it he has managed to eke out another victory.”

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Secret SCOTUS Strategery

After much contemplation and reflection, I think that I may have discovered the very devious agenda of President Bush that caused him to pick Harriet Miers for the Court. The political calculation and strategic planning that I now believe the President has demonstrated in this case is nothing short of remarkable. Surely Karl Rove’s evil hand is buried deep into this decision and if it all plays out the way they intend, conservatives and Republican Presidential candidates in 2008 will be deeply in their debt.

As I have stated before, the key to beating Hillary in 2008 is the Republican’s ability to nominate a national figure renowned for their leadership on a large stage with name recognition that can compete with a Clinton. This is a very tall order, and potential candidates like Senators George Allen and Bill Frist, or Governor Owens of Colorado would likely be fine Presidents and would readily be nominated by the conservative base, but they do not have the name recognition to go head to head with Hillary. Meanwhile, Republicans that do have that kind of mojo like Rudy Giuliani, Senator McCain, or even Condi Rice are under suspicion for their social conservative creds (and for good reason). These nationally popular Republicans can only be nominated in an environment where the SCOTUS is firmly leaning to the right. That means a solid 5-4 majority. Assuming that Miers is confirmed and is as conservative as the President says she is; she would ostensibly be joined by Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas in a quartet of reliable conservatives. This would put Anthony Kennedy in the “swing” vote and Ginsberg, Breyer, Souter, and Stevens on the left. In order to dial in that 5-4 majority, we need at least one of the 5 to retire or die.

Waiting for Justices to die is an unfulfilling and ultimately untenable strategy. So how does Bush convince one of the lefties to take a cruise and not come back? He sends the signal that he is weak, cannot trust the Senate, and is forced to nominate Souterettes or marginal conservatives to replace them. John Paul Stevens is into his eighties now, and Ginsberg looks like a stiff wind might put her on her a$$. Bush is clearly targeting Stevens for retirement, and this limp wristed nomination of Miers is a invitation to him saying, in effect, "you don’t have to carry the load anymore buddy, just step aside and I’ll put Alberto Gonzalez up there so you won’t feel like you betrayed the DNC." If Bush and Rove are really lucky, Stevens will talk Ginsberg into walking off into the sunset with him. It is statistically impossible to lose the Senate majority during the remainder of Bush’s term, so if he can pick off one more liberal he’ll be able to go back to the deep conservative bench and pluck out another Roberts and go out a hero.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Screw the Senate

There has been a lot of squawking from Hugh, Powerline, Cap’n Ed, and others on the right side of the blogosphere about how Harriet Miers should just be confirmed anyway because if not, it will damage the Republican majority now in place. They seem to be willing to admit that while she isn’t a Scalia/Thomas/Roberts level nominee, she’s good enough for government work and therefore should be confirmed. I’m not buying it.

First of all, she’s 60 years old and she looks every day of it. My Dad is 74 and he looks 10 times better than she does (thanks for those genes, Dad), meaning that she has probably 10 fewer years to strike down stupid liberal ideas than any of the well known crop of pipe hitting conservatives that have already made it to the federal bench. Jeff Goldstein has documented some disturbing tendencies with regard to affirmative action…
This gets precisely to the point, and it echoes an observation that I made recently, namely, that “the Miers nomination[...] appears to be an instance of George Bush finding an evangelical who will be tough on porn and abortion (which social cons will find appealing), but [who] will prove to be “moderate”—or at least deferential—on affirmative action and other proportional-based moves toward social-engineering [the Dallas firefighter example, which suggests, too, she would likely support Title IX].” That is, she appears to be a person whose loyalty to Bush extends to his political philosophy, which, on the domestic front, at least, is far less conservative than Howard Dean or the MoveOn folks would have you believe.
And I think Jeff captures nicely some of the gut level sentiment that many conservatives are experiencing…

People see Miers get the Supreme Court slot and it reminds them of when they played Little League baseball and didn’t get to pitch because the coach’s son got the slot even though he wasn’t as good.

Frankly I could care less about the “majority” we currently “have” in the Senate. I really don’t see anything that is very likely to upset it for what that’s worth. Having a 55-45 majority in the Senate looks good on paper, but in practical application, it doesn’t really do much for the party or the country. They basically take something accomplished in the House and add 25% in unneeded spending to it for the President to sign. Besides, the Dems have all kinds of really questionable seats up for grabs in ’06 and the odds of them flipping the majority under any circumstances is very slim.

The real issue is 2008. If the President was willing and able to pack the SCOTUS with rock ribbed, young, and reliable Justices, then we cannot lose in 2008. If the Court “issue” was moot for the right, then very popular Republicans could sail through the nomination process and kick the snot out of Hillary. Giuliani NEEDS a packed Court to win. Without it, his wobbly abortion/gay/social agenda will draw effective fire from the Christian conservatives. With it, they can hold their noses and stomp Hillary into the ground in the general election. It’s a simple as that. Putting questionable Justices on the Court really confuses the matter and could lead to a split in the Party.

Miers is questionable, old, and a crony. Let’s kick the old bag to the curb and get one of the young bucks in there.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Hey CIA, Here’s Your Chance

Porter Goss doesn’t have a hair on his a$$ if he doesn’t have one of his clandestine service officers at least try to get this job. Although I doubt any of the Ivy League ninnies over at CIA have the stones or the ability to get hired as a video production assistant for AQ, it would be nice if we could find somebody to do it. Alas we need to wait 5 more years (or is it 4 ½?) until the Clandestine Service is capable of handling the threats that we are facing today. So why not go for it, Porter? h/t New Editor via Michelle Malkin

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Oh Hell No

“My benevolence is upset and so is my pride, that’s why I took my b*tch for a ride…”, the poetry of one Anfernee Jefferson from the movie High School High starring John Lovitz. Suffice it to say that Mr. Jefferson would not be counted amongst the greats, but that excerpt sums up nicely the attitude of a bipartisan group of bedwetting Senators working to codify techniques and procedures available to military interrogators to use against captured enemy combatants. In a 90-10 vote, Senators passed this amendment in an ill advised and hubristic attempt to tell the President that anything more than pattycake with hardcore terrorists is somehow beneath the United States and should be outlawed.

The amendment was sponsored by Senator McCain, who is perhaps the only person in the Senate with a history of being the object of actual torture in a real POW camp in North Vietnam. While Senator McCain most certainly has every right to extrapolate his experiences and attempt to apply them to his job as a legislator, he is forgetting a crucial difference between his POW experience and that of detainees in the GWOT. McCain was a legal combatant and Vietnam was a signatory of the Geneva Convention making the retributive acts perpetrated upon him objectively illegal and demonstrably in conflict with a signed treaty. AQ terrorists are not legal combatants under any conceivable definition, and AQ is not a party to the Geneva Conventions. The organization’s stated goals and tactics are in direct opposition to the spirit and letter of the Geneva Convention and therefore its members are entitled to treatment commensurate with their own actions.

During Special Report with Brit Hume, Mort Kondrake noted “waterboarding” as a tactic that should be disallowed and would be ostensibly made off limits if the Senate got its way. Waterboarding or Chinese water torture (which is what we called it for some reason) consists of taking a piece of cloth material that can be breathed through and holding it across the subject’s face while pouring water from a canteen, hose, etc. over the target’s mouth and nose. The water doesn’t really go down the target’s throat so much as it changes the characteristics of the cloth such that it is no longer able to allow air to pass through. It is this change in conditions that produces the extreme anxiety in the target. One moment they can breathe through the cloth and they feel somewhat relieved although they are subject to the control of some angry looking SEALs. The next moment, when the water makes the cloth impermeable, that relief is rapidly destroyed and the target feels completely helpless, terrified, and VERY willing to talk. This sh*t works, and it only takes one canteen to get the job done. It is completely safe physiologically, but it produces immediate and positive results.

One of my platoons conducted a Maritime Interdiction Operation (MIO) in which we stealthily boarded a target vessel and quickly moved to and secured the bridge. We were looking for a terrorist hiding somewhere aboard, and my platoon commander asked the captain where he might be found. The captain, feeling his oats apparently, demurred and brusquely refused to divulge this information. In response, my platoon commander socked him in the face, and with the assistance of other guys held him down, pulled his t-shirt over his face and poured maybe a half a canteen of water over his mouth. After making noises reminiscent of a nubile young co-ed laying eyes on Jason Vorhees for the first time, he couldn’t tell us fast enough where this idiot was hiding. By the way, this was a training operation and the captain was a US Naval officer aboard his own vessel. This was many, many moons ago and the statute of limitations (if there is a UCMJ violation here) has run, and besides, this captain didn’t tell anyone about it. In fact, after the op was called, we debriefed him and he praised us for our effectiveness and skill!

The lesson being that if you need to know something RIGHT NOW, there are ways to do it without ripping off fingernails or taking a ball peen hammer to somebody’s nut sac. When detainees are dying or being severely injured in US custody it should be vigorously investigated, but that is a very small minority of cases. US forces should be authorized and encouraged to take captured terrorists WAY out of their comfort zones when necessary. In fact, these kinds of techniques should be formally taught to SOF and Infantry units conducting Direct Action. What that captain came to understand was that by the time we were aboard his vessel, he and his crew did not have a chance to stop us. He persisted in his intransigence thinking incorrectly that we were not willing to do what it took to get the information that he had. Our actions merely confirmed to him that not only were we viciously professional, but we were mercilessly serious about the mission we were sent to accomplish.

The importance of this perception amongst our enemies cannot be understated. It is this perception and not the verbal games played by professional interrogators (of which I am one) that ultimately break the will of a captured enemy combatant which results in timely and accurate intel. In my opinion, the Bill of Rights does not apply outside the United States in general nor should it apply to those deemed illegal combatants specifically no matter what their geographic location is.

The Senate would be advised to not meddle in the President’s prerogatives as the Commander in Chief in the GWOT not only to prevent the usurpation of powers specifically enumerated to the Executive Branch, but also because the President is the only person with the balls to wage it. Producing an “off limits” techniques list for internet publication seems to be an obvious error, but as usual, the Senate is “stuck on stupid”. Those profound words from Anfernee Jefferson demonstrate a body full of itself, high on its own PR appropriate morality trying to score some points with liberal elites against the President by kicking him when he is down. But as his speech today brought into sharp relief, this President gets it and knows how to take the fight to the enemy. I don't appreciate 90 blowhard Senators trying to take ME for a ride and make a b*tch out of our war effort against a bunch of evil murders just so they can pretend to be benevolent with power they don't have.

Monday, October 03, 2005

She Made Coffee and Brought Donuts…

I just heard Hugh Hewitt making the case for Harriet Miers to James Dobson of Focus on the Family by saying, “She was on the mission board at her church for 10 years. She made coffee and brought donuts…” Which is fantastic. I appreciate people at church that are servants and who are involved in the ministry in a critical area like missions. Later on in life when I have more time to devote to it, I would really like to be on my church’s mission board. But that don’t mean I should be on the Supreme Court.

Now, I understand that Hugh is not actually arguing that her church service qualifies her to serve on the Supreme Court, but when you actually have to use information like that to substantiate her nomination, then that probably isn't good. Additionally, she is 60 years old, and forgive me for saying so, but not a sprightly looking 60 at that. If I was in charge of nominating SCOTUS Justices, I wouldn’t even talk about people over 50, and if I could get away with a 30 something with impeccable credentials, then I’d take a crack at it.

There is no doubt that this pick, no matter what kind of Justice she would turn out to be, signals the acknowledgement of the President’s APPARENT weakness politically. He may SEEM weak now, but the numbers haven’t changed since last November and they aren't scheduled to until a year from now. The President seems to be saying with this pick that no conservative with any kind of paper trail has a chance at confirmation. If that is true, let’s find out now and save the stealth nominee in the on deck circle if a real conservative is successfully Borked.

In my opinion, this is the President’s way of saying that its naptime. He tried to get the Social Security package through and failed, he's taken a beating on Iraq and Katrina, and now he seems to have lost his stomach for a fight. He may have accepted his lame duck status early, and with the Hammer out of the picture, he doesn’t have a good pitch for the count so he’s going to ride the pine for the rest of the game. I hope I’m wrong, but this funk surrounding the White House has been thickening for a few months now, and I am not confident that it will lift.

Here’s the big question. Do the Democrats smell blood in the water and bork her anyway (with the cooperation of Senate conservatives) and put the President on the run? Or do they count their blessings, confirm her, and step up the lame duck rhetoric and use Republican frustration against the White House to stymie further legislative priorities? Because Republicans often eat their own over principled disagreements, Dems can capitalize on this and we lose our tax cuts and get to choke on more Katrina/Entitlement/Welfare spending.

Like Patrick Swayze (Bohdi) said in the movie Point Break, “It’s basic dog psychology, you get them peeing down their legs and then you can take what you want.” Or something like that. As it turns out, the junior SCOTUS Justice (Breyer for over a decade now) is tasked with bringing coffee and donuts to the rest of the crew. So apparently I'm mistaken, she's phreakin' perfect for the job.