Saturday, September 03, 2005

The sharks are beginning to circle their prey

The Democrats think they smell blood in the water, trying to make political points at the expense of the tragedy in New Orleans. The New York Times has joined the fray in a recent column titled "As White House Anxiety Grows, Bush Tries to Quell Political Crisis". The column makes the case that President Bush is in the midst of a political crisis, and that "analysts and some Republicans" have warned that the White House's response to the crisis in New Orleans, which has been widely seen as slow and ineffectual, could further undermine Mr. Bush's authority at a time when he was already under fire, endangering his Congressional agenda."

Widely seen in Democratic circles, that is.

In typical fashion, the column is laced with subtle cracks at President Bush, such as this one:

He struck a more somber tone than he had at times on Friday during a daylong tour of the disaster region, when he had joked at the airport in New Orleans about the fun he had had in his younger days in Houston.

HE JOKED?! How dare he! I suppose that this means that the President doesn't take the disaster seriously enough. Oh, and you didn't miss that part about his having "fun in his younger days"... oh, ho, we all know what that means, don't we?

And this one: "The magnitude of responding to a crisis over a disaster area that is larger than the size of Great Britain has created tremendous problems that have strained state and local capabilities," said Mr. Bush, slightly exaggerating the stricken land area.

OH NO! President Bush made an obvious geographical error, which proves, beyond a doubt what an idiot he is!

And here is glaring proof that the White House is running scared:

As Mr. Bush spoke, Vice President Dick Cheney and Karl Rove, the president's senior political adviser, listened on the sidelines, as did Dan Bartlett, the counselor to the president and Mr. Bush's overseer of communications strategy. Their presence underscored how seriously the White House is reacting to the political crisis it faces.

YEP, the mere presence of Karl Rove (Bush's handler, you know) is stongly suspect, since it is he who pulls the puppet's strings, right? Funny, but I think Karl Rove has been present at most other speeches, too, but I could be wrong. Maybe the President has been running scared since winning the election. Who knows.

The last one that I want to mention is in regard to the perception among some blacks that the White House had been slow because so many victims were poor and African-American. (Their description.) According to the column, this statement came from a Republican who would only discuss the question on the condition of not being identified . To me, when it refers to someone "who would only discuss the question" indicates that it was the reporter who broached the subject, not the unnamed Republican.) Here is what it says about President Bush:

But Mr. Bush, reflecting concern within the White House about the president's standing among blacks, notably said in this radio address that "we have a responsibility to our brothers and sisters all along the Gulf Coast, and we will not rest until we get this right and the job is done."

So, the folks at the NYT think that President Bush was obviously referring to blacks when he said "brothers and sisters" as a vain attempt to connect with African-Americans. I think the NYT is confused, because it was Bill Clinton who was the first black President, not George W Bush! What they don't understand is that in certain areas of the country, people of faith (all races, btw) call others their brothers and sisters, it isn't an expression used only by blacks.

There is also a reference to the war in Iraq and the La National Guard, blah, blah, blah. This column covered ALL of the Democratic talking points. I realize that a column in the NYT really doesn't mean much, since you can't expect them to write anything supportive of the president. I just wanted to point out this as just one of the numerous attempts to politicize the disaster and place the blame on President Bush.

I heard just a while ago that Kathleen Blanco has purportedly called in the former head of FEMA (under Clinton) as an advisor. It is rumored that it is being done in an effort to bolster the argument that the disaster was the result of combining agencies under Homeland Security. The governor and the mayor of New Orleans seem to be in full court press to deflect the blame from themselves.

We all know that many mistakes were made, on many different levels, the result of which is the disaster that we are all watching unfold. There is plenty of blame to go around.

But now is not the time for this. Peoples lives hang in the balance. Our people, fellow AMERICANS.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Hope is on it's way!

Let's summon all our positive thoughts and prayers and send them swiftly to Germany.

"Angela Merkel's conservatives rallied for the final three-week push of the German general election campaign with polls showing unanimously that victory is within their grasp."

Go Angie Go!!!

P.S. Also send prayers (and money) to the hurricane survivers!...Now! Here are some options.

James Glassman gives us a peak into our hurricane past:"Giant hurricanes are rare, but they are not new. And they are not increasing. To the contrary. Just go to the website of the National Hurricane Center and check out a table that lists hurricanes by category and decade. The peak for major hurricanes (categories 3,4,5) came in the decades of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, when such storms averaged 9 per decade. In the 1960s, there were 6 such storms; in the 1970s, 4; in the 1980s, 5; in the 1990s, 5; and for 2001-04, there were 3. Category 4 and 5 storms were also more prevalent in the past than they are now. As for Category 5 storms, there have been only three since the 1850s: in the decades of the 1930s, 1960s and 1990s.
And Senior Kuwaiti Official extends his gratitude concerning America: "Katrina is a Wind of Torment and Evil from Allah Sent to This American Empire"

Sunday, August 28, 2005

At the Walter Reed Army Medical Center

Faceoff with Code Pink

I hate to post again so soon, as there's a lot more to discuss with regard to my Scotland trip, and the whole issue of religion in Europe and America, but this story simply cannot wait.

As most of you probably know, a story broke this week that members of a far-left group called "Code Pink Women for Peace" have been holding a weekly protest outside of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, which is located in Washington DC.

The story erupted on Thursday when Marc Morano of CNS News published this story and video on the protests that have been held, unnoticed by the mainstream media, outside of the main gates of the Walter Reed hospital complex.
The anti-war demonstrators, who obtain their protest permits from the Washington, D.C., police department, position themselves directly in front of the main entrance to the Army Medical Center, which is located in northwest D.C., about five miles from the White House.

Among the props used by the protesters are mock caskets, lined up on the sidewalk to represent the death toll in Iraq.

Code Pink Women for Peace, one of the groups backing anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan's vigil outside President Bush's ranch in Crawford Texas, organizes the protests at Walter Reed as well.
Once word of their presence got out, a counter-protests organized by the conservative group started. Every Friday night, both groups hold forth on opposite streetcorners. They start shortly after 6pm, and the "main event" is the arrival by bus of soldiers which occurs sometime around 9:00. I believe that these are newly arrived wounded soldiers just flown in from the front but will have to investigate further.

The Code Pinkos would hold up signs saying things like "Maimed for Lies" and "Enlist here and die for Halliburton", all the usual stuff you'd expect from the far-left. One soldier told the CNS News reporter that one day when they drve by they saw "...a bunch of flag-draped coffins laid out on the sidewalk." The wounded troops could see all this, mind you. Nice, eh?

Location, Location, Location

The problem that I and other conservatives have with Code Pink is that they are staging their protests outside the military hospital where wounded troops are brought from the front to recover. If they want to protest in front of the White House or Capitol building, fine. But not here. And let's be clear; they have been doing this as an "in your face" to the troops.

Code Pink, of course, claims otherwise;
The anti-war protesters claim their presence at the hospital is necessary to publicize the arrivals of newly wounded soldiers from Iraq, who the protesters allege are being smuggled in at night by the Pentagon to avoid media scrutiny. The protesters also argue that the military hospital is the most appropriate place for the demonstrations and that the vigils are designed to ultimately help the wounded veterans.

"If I went to war and lost a leg and then found out from my hospital bed that I had been lied to, that the weapons I was sent to search for never existed, that the person who sent me to war had no plan but to exploit me, exploit the country I was sent to, I would be pretty angry," Luke told Cybercast News Service.
Indeed, Code Pink is now claiming that they are not even protests at all. From their website:
These are vigils, not protests, and participants have included Washington, DC-based members of Veterans for Peace, Military Families Speak Out, and DC Labor Against the War, who all want more support for veterans.

“Since we started these vigils, we feel we have helped put the spotlight on the needs of the soldiers and helped achieve positive results, such as greater VA funding and a rollback of attempts to make soldiers pay for their own meals, phone calls, daily hospitalization fees and increased co-payments,” said CODEPINK’s Gael Murphy, one of the vigil’s organizers.
But this is not true. We've got the goods on them.

A New Code Pink Spin

Since the publicity hit last week spokeswomen for Code Pink have has been spinning like tops. Whenever interviewed on the radio or TV they've tried to claim that "oh no, we're not against the troops, we're doing this in support of the troops!" and "We just want them to have the best health care possible!"

Yeah right.

But FreeRepublic has the goods on them. Check out these photographs of past Code Pink signs on their website.

Who is Code Pink?

Code Pink is just about as bad as you think they are. Check out their website, they're a typical leftie group. David Horowitz, as usual, has the goods on them. From his invaluable Discover the Network website, a database of left-wing groups, is this:
Mocking the Bush Administration's color-coded security alerts, the "Code Pink Alert" warns that this administration poses "extreme danger to all the values of nurturing, caring, and compassion that women and loving men have held." Proclaiming that "women have been the guardians of life . . . because the men have busied themselves making war," Code Pink calls on "women around the world to rise up and oppose the war in Iraq. We call on mothers, grandmothers, sisters and daughters . . . and every ordinary outraged woman willing to be outrageous for peace." During one Code Pink demonstration in Washington, D.C., participants marched up the steps of the Capitol, unfurled their slogan-bearing banners, and stripped down to the dove-adorned bras and panties they wore beneath their clothes. "We're putting our bodies on the line," they shouted. "You Congress people better get some spine. We say 'Stand back, don't attack - innocent children in Iraq!'"
But wait, it gets worse
During the last week of December 2004, Medea Benjamin announced in Amman, Jordan that Code Pink, Global Exchange, and Families for Peace would be donating a combined $600,000 in medical supplies and cash to the terrorist insurgents who were fighting American troops in Fallujah, Iraq.

That's right; this group gave $600,000 to the other side.

"Peace group" my foot. They want us to lose.

The News

So all of this hit the news this week, and was all over the radio. As I think I mentioned in a previous post, my job allows me to listen to the radio most of the day, and it doesn't take much brains to figure out who I tune in to; Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Michael Reagan... ok I occasionally listen to music but that's mostly at night.

Anyway, it all allows me to stay on top of things. So they all started talking about this on Thursday, with Marc Morano of CNS being just about the most-interviewed man on the planet, and it didn't take me long to figure out what I was going to do come Friday night.

I live in the Washington DC area. I wasn't going to miss this for the world.

Friday, August 26

After work I hurried to Walter Reed, arriving shortly after 7pm.

The main entrance to the hospital complex is on a main street, with four lanes of traffic. Across from the entrance another street runs perpendicular to it, forming a four corner intersection (I hope this is clear. I did't think to take any "big picture" photos).

The Code Pink protesters on one corner, one of those by the entrance (to the left if you're looking at the entrance). We were on the other three corners. They had a maximum of 22 people (a FreeRepublic person kept count), whereby we had maybe 75 or so. So we outnumbered them by at least 3 to 1, and probably more, but I'll be conservative.

Here are some of our people outside the entrance

This was our largest sign. You just gotta love it!

I just had to pay the Code Pink folks a little visit. Nothing nasty, mind you, I was on my best behavior. So I walked over to their corner and asked "Can I take a photo?" Without really waiting I took a few.

"What are you protesting?" I politely asked.

One of their party looked a bit confused and looked at another for assistance. "It's not a protest, it's a vigil" one of them said.

"What's it a vigil for?" I asked.

No response.

At that point they'd had enough of me. "You're in front of my sign. Go back to your own corner."

Deciding that enough was enough, I retreated, taking this photo of them as I left

Here's your intrepid reporter, holding a sign that the FreeRepublic people made. They kept a bunch handy for people who showed up.

The Code Pink people were silent all night. No chanting or singing, nothing.

We, on the other hand, were somewhat vocal, and more so as the evening went on:

"Move your protests to the White House!"

"Code Pink gave $600,000 to the terrorists in Fallujah!"

"Where are your old signs!"

At around 9pm the troop bus arrived. I couldn't get my camera out fast enough to got a photo as they drove past us, so this one is as it enters the complex.

But when it came past our corner, the driver turned the lights on in the bus so that we could see the troops. They all smiled and waved to us. I couldn't see their reaction to the Code Pink folks, but have heard that they've been known to give them the one-finger-salute.

The Code Pink people broke camp and went home shortly after the bus arrived. They'd made their point, I guess. But so had we.


Cam Edwards has some more photos and even video of the event on his website.

Update II

Check out the the post on the goings-on that night. They've got lots of photos and great reporting on what went on. They were nice enough to give us a plug, too. Thank you, guys!