Saturday, August 30, 2008

Democrat and Republican political campaign ads, continued.

I've tried finding Obama political ads, but they are difficult to come by. Why? I don't know. As I mentioned earlier, I discovered I'm not the only one frustrated by this phenomenon. Luckily, Althouse did have an Obama ad, which I post below:

"What other country in the developed world produces beauty queens who hunt caribou and serve up a terrific moose stew? "

As an immigrant, I'm not saying I came to the United States purely to meet chicks like that, but it was certainly high on my list of priorities. And for the gun-totin' Miss Wasilla then to go on to become Governor while having five kids makes it an even more uniquely American story.
Here's the rest of Mark Steyn's reasons why he likes Gov. Palin.

By the way, here's a photo of Miss Wasilla:
and here's the Governor of Alaska at a hunt.

The Palin choice.

I think Jonas Melchnik, commenting at The Commentary Magazine blog may be absolutely right:

Will we look back on 08 and see that the [American] election was really Palin vs Obama? This whole campaign on both sides is about change, future, and turning over the old guard. So, maybe its a referendum on Obama vs McCain’s choice in passing the conservative mantle.

Yes, Palin was only a governor for 2 years, but that is executive experience, and she is an actual reformer, unlike Obama. She has no biographies out, did not rise to power through radical ties. She does her job and raised a family without fanfare, and is really great without a script. In addition, she has no academic elitism towards small town America.

I think McCain is thinking big, and setting up a new conservative movement from his own personal vision. If this plan succeeds and McCain/Palin wins, I see the headline.

“How McCain worked as the Maverick for decades, then re-invented and re-energized American conservatism on his own terms to become President in 2008″ Brilliant pick. Brilliant politician.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Of Sarah Palin and hairdos...

If you are wondering about Sarah Palin and her hairdo... check out Ann Althouse.

Shattering glass ceilings...

McCain is to be congratulated! He is a man who feels comfortable in his own skin. It was time to have a woman in a presidential ticket. As someone close to me observed.. it's about time that the "dinosaurs" in Washington, DC got a whiff of fresh air. There will be plenty of mud-slinging before November 4th. Yet, let us enjoy the moment:


Good news from Iraq...

seldom -if ever- is reported. But here's a nice summer story:

In what was once a recruiting hotbed for terrorist and illegal militia elements in northern Baghdad, community leaders gathered to celebrate the grand reopening of a pool complex that now serves as a spot of relief for residents.

Read the whole story here.

McCain congratulates Obama:

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Democrat and Republican political campaign advertisements, continued.

It seems I'm not the only one wondering where the Democratic political campaign ads are... McCain's camp seems to have produced more, or at least, seems to have made these ads more accessible.

Here are more samples:

And here are some spoofs from The Nose on Your Face:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Democrat and Republican political campaign advertisements.

One of the things we miss living abroad is watching political TV advertisements during an election year in the US.

Thanks to the Internet, the blogosphere and You Tube, here are a sampling of such ads:

Friday, August 22, 2008

An interview with Brigadier General Brooks Bash.

A little over a year ago, the Iraqi air force was kind of like a flying club. They flew about 30 sorties a week, with no command and control. Today, they have an air operations center, they have 73 aircraft, and in late April they set a record of 383 sorties in one week. They are engaged in the counter-insurgency fight at the same time they are building an air force. In just one year, it’s phenomenal progress, and our hope is that they can continue to contribute to the fight that is essential to Iraq.
Read the whole interview about how the Iraqi Air Force is being rebuilt.

Solzhenitsyn and courage...

An excerpt from a brilliant article by Harvey Mansfield in The Weekly Standard:

Courage in the raw, physical sense is the noble ability to control one's fear and terror of bodily pains. When Aristotle said that the noblest courage is to confront death in battle, he implied that society depends on this individual virtue. Courage as a virtue practiced for its own sake is not undertaken to defend society, but society needs it and must cultivate and reward it. Now, modern materialism is an attempt to avoid depending on virtue generally and, especially, on courage.

Modern materialism rests on self-preservation or the right to life, in which survival is paramount. But one can never be courageous with such an attitude, for courage requires willingness to sacrifice one's life for something higher, for a noble life. That is why modern democracies have such difficulty defending themselves. They require a virtue that is not explained or justified in their principle. The Declaration of Independence begins by setting forth rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and stating that all men are created equal. But it ends with a vow in which the signers mutually pledge their sacred honor to one another.
Read it all.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Somehow, I missed this juicy bit of epicurean news...

Oh dear... what does this say about Europe's disdain of the golden arches?

Europe is McDonald's biggest region by revenue, generating 42 percent of sales in the first quarter and 39 percent of operating profit. The U.S. generated 47 percent of profit.

Some commentary on the aftermath of the Russo-Georgian war.

From The Guardian: "If Georgia and Nato are the principal casualties of this week's ruthless display of brute power by Vladimir Putin, the consequences are bigger still, the fallout immense, if uncertain. The regional and the global balance of power looks to have tilted, against the west and in favour of the rising or resurgent players of the east."

International Herald Tribune: "The implications of Russia's action reverberate well beyond that, from the European Union's muddled relations with its key energy supplier, Russia, through Armenia and Azerbaijan in the south, to Ukraine and Moldova.

This region has everything the West and Russia both covet and abhor: immense reserves of oil and gas, innumerable ethnic splits and tensions, corrupt and authoritarian regimes, pockets of territory which have become breeding grounds or safe havens for Islamic fundamentalists. As a result, the region has become the arena for competition between the Americans and Europeans on the one hand, and Russia on the other, over how to bring these countries into their respective spheres of influence."

Friday, August 15, 2008

"New" Europe versus "Old" Europe...

Der Spiegel's analysis on the ripples from the Russo-Georgia war and "New" Europe's solidarity with Georgia:

The sight gave hope to Georgians and credibility to their embattled president, Mikhail Saakashvili. On Tuesday, five heads of state from nations once controlled by the Soviet Union -- Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Ukraine and Poland -- arrived at a rally in Tbilisi to rebuke Russia for its invasion of the Caucasian country.

For French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who was engaged in frantic shuttle diplomacy between Moscow and Tbilisi to bring an end to the conflict, Tuesday's visit was badly timed. More than anything, it highlighted deep divisions within the European Union over how to deal with Russia. Since it expanded into Central Europe and parts of the former Soviet Union in 2004, Poland and the Baltic states have pushed the EU to take a stronger stance against Russia -- to the dismay of many diplomats in what some call "Old Europe."
Read the entire article.

President Bush's remarks earlier this morning, in their entirety:

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. I've just received an update from my national security team on the situation in Georgia. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in Tbilisi. She's conferring with President Saakashvili and expressing America's wholehearted support for Georgia's democracy.

She will be traveling to Crawford, where I will meet her and she will bring me up to date on what she has seen and what she heard in Georgia, as well as in Paris -- I mean, in France. She did not go to Paris. Secretary of Defense Gates will keep me briefed on the humanitarian assistance to the people of Georgia. We're working closely with our partners in Europe and other members of the G7 to bring a resolution to this crisis.

The United States and our allies stand with the people of Georgia and their democratically elected government. Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected. Moscow must honor its commitment to withdraw its invading forces from all Georgian territory.

Some Americans listening today may wonder why events taking place in a small country halfway around the world matter to the United States. In the years since it's gained independence after the Soviet Union's collapse, Georgia has become a courageous democracy. Its people are making the tough choices that are required of free societies. Since the Rose Revolution in 2003, the Georgian people have held free elections, opened up their economy, and built the foundations of a successful democracy.

Georgia has sent troops to Afghanistan and Iraq to help others achieve the liberty that they struggled so hard to attain. To further strengthen their democracy, Georgia has sought to join the free institutions of the West. The people of Georgia have cast their lot with the free world, and we will not cast them aside.

Georgia's emergence as a young democracy has been part of an inspiring and hopeful new chapter in Europe's history. Europe has moved beyond the world wars that killed millions of people, and the Cold War that divided its citizens between two superpowers. Every administration since the end of the Cold War has worked with European partners to extend the reach of liberty and prosperity. And now, for the first time in memory, Europe is becoming a continent that is whole, free, and at peace.

Unfortunately, Russia has tended to view the expansion of freedom and democracy as a threat to its interests. The opposite is true: Free and prosperous societies on Russia's borders will advance Russia's interests by serving as sources of stability and economic opportunity.

We hope Russia's leaders will recognize that a future of cooperation and peace will benefit all parties. The Cold War is over. The days of satellite states and spheres of influence are behind us. A contentious relationship with Russia is not in America's interest. And a contentious relationship with America is not in Russia's interest.

With its actions in recent days Russia has damaged its credibility and its relations with the nations of the free world. Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century. Only Russia can decide whether it will now put itself back on the path of responsible nations, or continue to pursue a policy that promises only confrontation and isolation. To begin to repair its relations with the United States and Europe and other nations, and to begin restoring its place in the world, Russia must respect the freedom of its neighbors.

Thank you.

Anti-West Russia.

Strobe Talbott:

Moscow's action and rhetoric of the past week have highlighted yet another, potentially more consequential respect in which this episode could bode ill for all concerned. For the Bush administration -- and those of Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush as well -- the fundamental premise of American policy has been that Russia has put its Soviet past behind it and is committed, eventually, to integrating itself into Europe and the political, economic and ideological (as opposed to the geographical) "West."

Prominent Russians have said as much. In one of my first meetings with Vladimir Putin, before he became president, he spoke of his country's zapadnichestvo, its Western vocation. Yet it now appears that beyond the undisguised animosity that Putin bears toward Saakashvili, he and his government regard Georgia's pro-Western bent and its aspiration to join two Western institutions, NATO and the European Union, as, literally, a casus belli. If that is the case, the next U.S. administration -- the fourth to deal with post-Soviet Russia -- will have to reexamine the underlying basis for the whole idea of partnership with that country and its continuing integration into a rule-based international community.

Repercussions of the Russo-Georgia war.

John Bolton:

" is the time to find out if Nato can withstand a potential renewed confrontation with Moscow, or whether Europe will cause Nato to wilt. Far better to discover this sooner rather than later, when the stakes may be considerably higher. If there were ever a moment since the fall of the Berlin Wall when Europe should be worried, this is it. If Europeans are not willing to engage through Nato, that tells us everything we need to know about the true state of health of what is, after all, supposedly a “North Atlantic” alliance.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Meeting steel with steel:

President Bush's remarks today about the Russo-Georgian crisis, in its entirety, via The White House:

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. I've just met with my national security team to discuss the crisis in Georgia. I've spoken with President Saakashvili of Georgia, and President Sarkozy of France this morning. The United States strongly supports France's efforts, as President of the European Union, to broker an agreement that will end this conflict.

Flanked by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, President George W. Bush delivers a statement in the Rose Garden Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2008, regarding efforts by the United States to resolve the crisis in Georgia. White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian The United States of America stands with the democratically elected government of Georgia. We insist that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia be respected.

Russia has stated that changing the government of Georgia is not its goal. The United States and the world expect Russia to honor that commitment. Russia has also stated that it has halted military operations and agreed to a provisional cease-fire. Unfortunately, we're receiving reports of Russian actions that are inconsistent with these statements. We're concerned about reports that Russian units have taken up positions on the east side of the city of Gori, which allows them to block the East-West Highway, divide the country, and threaten the capital of Tbilisi.

We're concerned about reports that Russian forces have entered and taken positions in the port city of Poti, that Russian armored vehicles are blocking access to that port, and that Russia is blowing up Georgian vessels. We're concerned about reports that Georgian citizens of all ethnic origins are not being protected. All forces, including Russian forces, have an obligation to protect innocent civilians from attack.

With these concerns in mind, I have directed a series of steps to demonstrate our solidarity with the Georgian people and bring about a peaceful resolution to this conflict. I'm sending Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to France, where she will confer with President Sarkozy. She will then travel to Tbilisi, where she will personally convey America's unwavering support for Georgia's democratic government. On this trip she will continue our efforts to rally the free world in the defense of a free Georgia.

I've also directed Secretary of Defense Bob Gates to begin a humanitarian mission to the people of Georgia, headed by the United States military. This mission will be vigorous and ongoing. A U.S. C-17 aircraft with humanitarian supplies is on its way. And in the days ahead we will use U.S. aircraft, as well as naval forces, to deliver humanitarian and medical supplies.

We expect Russia to honor its commitment to let in all forms of humanitarian assistance. We expect Russia to ensure that all lines of communication and transport, including seaports, airports, roads, and airspace, remain open for the delivery of humanitarian assistance and for civilian transit. We expect Russia to meet its commitment to cease all military activities in Georgia. And we expect all Russian forces that entered Georgia in recent days to withdraw from that country.

As I have made clear, Russia's ongoing action raise serious questions about its intentions in Georgia and the region. In recent years, Russia has sought to integrate into the diplomatic, political, economic, and security structures of the 21st century. The United States has supported those efforts. Now Russia is putting its aspirations at risk by taking actions in Georgia that are inconsistent with the principles of those institutions. To begin to repair the damage to its relations with the United States, Europe, and other nations, and to begin restoring its place in the world, Russia must keep its word and act to end this crisis.

Thank you.

Meet the Russian blogger warriors:

It started as a fairly predictable digital conflict, mimicking the one in the real world and displaying no shortage of “conventional” cyberwarfare: Web pages were attacked, comments were erased, and photos were vandalized. A typical prank on the Georgian Foreign Ministry’s Web site visually compared Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili with Adolf Hitler.

As Russian tanks lumbered southward over mountainous Ossetian terrain, Russian netizens were seeking to dominate the digital battlefield.

But sophomoric pranks and cyberattacks were only the first shots of a much wider online war in which Russian bloggers willingly enlisted as the Kremlin’s grass-roots army. For Russian netizens, “unconventional” cyberwarfare—winning the hearts and minds of the West—became more important than crashing another server in Tbilisi.
Read the whole article in Foreign Policy. Thanks to TigerHawk.

"Did our government assume that we could continue to bait the Russian bear in his cave and not eventually get his claw thrashed against our face?"

From Tony Blankley:

here in America, our condemnatory words will have little effect on Moscow. We can influence Moscow (and other restless aggressors) only by building our own nation's strength back to the point that our words alone mean something internationally.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Alvaro Vargas Llosa on Russian nationalism:

What we have seen in Georgia these past few days is nothing less than the perfectly rational decision by Russia to take that country's born again nationalism one step forward. It is important to understand this reality now that the debate about whether to isolate, engage or ignore Russia is about to begin in earnest in the West.

"We are all Georgians today."

Via Gateway Pundit.


On Georgia and Russia:

From the Wall Street Journal editorial "Vladimir Bonaparte":

Vladimir Putin's Russia isn't the former Soviet Union, bent on ideological confrontation around the world. But it is a Bonapartist power intent on dominating its neighbors and restoring its clout on the world stage. Unless Russians see that there are costs for their Napoleon's expansionism, Georgia isn't likely to be his last stop.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Not Everyone Hates Our President...

Over at Gateway Pundit, Jim Hoft introduces us to Amy Proctor’s report on the amazingly large crowd of South Koreans that came out to welcome George W. Bush to their country. It’s a good thing that Amy clued us in here in America, because our media sure ignored the story of this large turnout.

Amy directs our attention to The Korea Times report that revealed that 374 “conservative groups” intended to “stage a large-scale demonstration welcoming Bush, at Seoul Plaza,” and boy did they ever come through. It turns out, the anti-Bush protesters were only able to muster a could of hundred protesters while the pro-Bush rally saw 15,000 Koreans turn out to participate.

Read the WHOLE thing.