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Monday, July 30, 2007

Bush Critics Report Real Progress in Iraq

Michael E. O’Hanlon and Kenneth M. Pollack of the Brookings Institution, a liberal public policy think tank based in Washington, D.C., have returned from eight days in Iraq and have written an op-ed in today's New York Times. Their main point might surprise some people.
We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw...
According to O'Hanlon and Pollack, as a result of the recent troop surge, progress is being made and morale is high.
Today, morale is high. The soldiers and marines told us they feel that they now have a superb commander in Gen. David Petraeus; they are confident in his strategy, they see real results, and they feel now they have the numbers needed to make a real difference.

O'Hanlon and Pollack provided some examples of the difference being made.

In Ramadi... we talked with an outstanding Marine captain whose company was living in harmony in a complex with a (largely Sunni) Iraqi police company and a (largely Shiite) Iraqi Army unit...

In Baghdad’s Ghazaliya neighborhood, which has seen some of the worst sectarian combat, we walked a street slowly coming back to life with stores and shoppers...

We traveled to the northern cities of Tal Afar and Mosul. This is an ethnically rich area, with large numbers of Sunni Arabs, Kurds and Turkmens. American troop levels in both cities now number only in the hundreds because the Iraqis have stepped up to the plate....

While democrat leaders in Congress continue to attempt to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by calling for the immediate withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, O’Hanlon and Pollack conclude that "there is enough good happening on the battlefields of Iraq today that Congress should plan on sustaining the effort at least into 2008."

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

All Fluff - No Substance

If you want to know what liberalism is really all about, look no further than the global warming debate and some of the crackpot methods for fighting it that have been suggested.

In response to the carbon footprint caused by transporting fruit, Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, had this to say.

"I live in North Carolina. I'll probably never eat a tangerine again."

What a joke! That's nothing more than a symbolic, worthless gesture. Even if global warming were a man-made problem, Elizabeth Edwards' giving up tangerines wouldn't do a thing to help the problem; it's strictly a political statement, as are most of the so-called methods of fighting global warming.

On Friday I wrote about the vegetarian who said that we should stop eating meat to combat global warming.

Singer/environmentalist Sheryl Crow has proposed a limit on toliet paper usage as a way to save trees:

I propose a limitation be put on how many sqares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting. Now, I don't want to rob any law-abiding American of his or her God-given rights, but I think we are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where 2 to 3 could be required.

Now, I have to admit that Sheryl Crow is beautiful and a fine singer, but what a nut!

The so-called war on global warming, like most liberal policies, is full of fluff and short on substance. Liberals love actions that make them and others feel good, actions that make them feel like they are solving problems.

Too bad they almost never do.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Saving the Planet; Saving my Waistline

A report released Wednesday shows that eating beef contributes more to global warming than does driving an automobile.

Taking into account all the processes involved in raising beef, Japanese scientists calculated that producing 2.2 pounds of beef generates greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to driving a car non-stop for three hours, and consumes 169 megajoules of energy, enough to light a 100-watt light bulb for 20 days.

Most of the greenhouse gas emissions are caused by the release of methane from the cattle's digestive system; most of the energy is consumed in producing and transporting cattle feed.

So what if we stopped eating beef? Would that help? Evidently, the answer is "Yes!"

According to Su Taylor, press officer for the Vegetarian Society, "Everybody is trying to come up with different ways to reduce carbon footprints, but one of the easiest things you can do is to stop eating meat."

Now, I have to tell you, when I read this, I felt really guilty. My love of a good steak is obviously contributing to the destruction of the planet. My wife has been telling me for years that the sixteen-ounce sirloin at the Texas Roadhouse was harmful to my waistline; she said the six-ounce was big enough. Of course, my response has always been, "If I order the six-ounce, what am I supposed to eat for my second bite?"

Well, I guess with this alarming new report on beef production's harmful effect on the environment, I no longer have a choice. I'm going to have to just order the six-ounce steak from now on. Maybe I can save the planet and my waistline.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Mother Leaves Unwanted Newborn in Trash Can: What Would Obama Do?

Yesterday police arrested a 17-year old woman on the charge of felony child abuse after she gave birth to her baby in the restroom of a Denny’s restaurant near Disneyland in Anaheim, California, then left the baby to die in the trash can inside the restroom.

The baby was found by a Denny’s customer, paramedics were called, and the baby is said to be in good condition.

Anaheim police Sgt. Rick Martinez said that anyone who has a baby and doesn’t want it should surrender it to a hospital or another safe haven location. Under California’s Safely Surrendered Baby Law, a parent may surrender a baby within three days of birth without fear of prosecution.

Most rational people would think that Sgt. Martinez's solution would be better than allowing the baby to die by discarding it in the trash. However, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama may not agree.

Mr. Obama doesn’t have a problem with allowing unwanted newborn babies to die. He proved that in 2002 when, as an Illinois legislator, he voted against the Induced Infant Liability Act which would have required medical attention for babies who survived an attempted abortion by premature inducement. The bill required that these unwanted, but born alive, babies be given the same medical attention as wanted babies who were born prematurely.

Obama’s message is clear: a newborn baby deserves medical care only if he or she is wanted by the mother. If the baby is not wanted, allow the baby to die.

The 17-year old mother in Anaheim didn’t want her baby, so by Mr. Obama’s reasoning, what was wrong with leaving the baby in the trash to die?

Maybe if Obama is elected President, he can issue this mother a pardon.

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