Sunday, September 30, 2007

Woodrow Wilson's request for war

In a speech before both houses of Congress, delivered April 2nd, 1917, Woodrow Wilson requested a declaration of war:

We have no quarrel with the German people. We have no feeling towards them but one of sympathy and friendship. It was not upon their impulse that their government acted in entering this war. It was not with their previous knowledge or approval.

It was a war determined upon as wars used to be determined upon in the old, unhappy days when peoples were nowhere consulted by their rules and wars were provoked and waged in the interest of dynasties or of little groups of ambitious men who were accustomed to use their fellow men as pawns and tools.

Unhappy day are here again?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Juan Williams' previous Bush interview

Juan Williams interviewed Bush back in January, right at the start of the surge.

I can't find any mention of al Anbar province in it. The goal of the surge was to stabilize Baghdad.

One interesting question and answer from it:

MR. WILLIAMS: All right. You know, you mentioned timetables. NPR has a reporter embedded with the Minnesota National Guard in Iraq, and one of the soldiers there asked the question – says, my name is Specialist Ryan Schmidt (sp) from Forest Lake, Minnesota, and my question for you, Mr. President, is what if your plan for a troop surge to Baghdad does not work?" What do you think?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, I would say to Ryan, I put it in place on the advice of a lot of smart people, particularly the military people who think it will work, and let us go into this aspect of the Iraqi strategy feeling it will work. But I will also assure Ryan that we're constantly adjusting to conditions on the ground.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The politics of home schooling

While browsing for kid's books online, I found out Bob Jones University is a leading supplier of textbooks for home schoolers. Bible Truths K4 Teacher's Picture Packet (color) is a pretty standard offering.

They also offer advise for home schoolers, which is how I found the link to the Home School Legal Defense Association.

Wow, are they ever organized on the political front!

Note the list of national and state legislation on the right (complete with an up or down recommendation on whether to support or oppose each bill).

A sample -
Massachusetts House Bill 399: Mandatory Full-Day Kindergarten:

HSLDA's Position:

Action Requested:
Contact as many members of the Joint Committee on Education as possible and ask them to oppose this legislation. You do not have to identify yourself as a homeschooler, as House Bill 399 affects all families with young children.

In your own words, convey the message: “Please vote against House Bill 399. This bill is unnecessary. It restricts parental choice and wastes taxpayer money.”

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Last shot presidential candidates

Of the leading presidential candidates, Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Giuliani, Thompson, Romney and McCain, I think only Obama has a chance of running again in 2012 if he loses next year.

Call it the Bob Dole try.

Age and a shifting political climate pretty much guarantee we won't be seeing these candidates running again.

Who will take their place?

Eliot Spitzer seems like a lock to challenge Obama in 2016(2016? Yikes!) if Hillary wins two.

On the Republican side...hmmm?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Military expenditures as a percent of GDP

1. Oman - 11.4%
2. Qatar - 10.0%
3. Saudi Arabia - 10.o%
4. Iraq - 8.60%
5. Jordan - 8.60%
6. Israel - 7.30%
12. Syria - 5.90%
16. Kuwait - 5.30%
17. Turkey - 5.30%

66. Iran - 2.50%

From the C.I.A.

Iceland - 0.00%

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Save Firefly...and Iraq!

While watching David Patraeus testifying before Congress today, I was reminded of the efforts to save the show Firefly from cancellation.

Dear Sir,

This petition is directed to the management of the Fox television broadcasting company regarding their new show “Firefly” currently shown at 7.00 pm on Fridays (

Due to apparently low Nielsen ratings for the first three shows broadcast a number of rumours are circulating on the internet and conventional media that the show might be cancelled before the end of the first season.

We, the undersigned, wish to show our eagerness for the show to be given a chance to prove itself. The creative force behind the show, Joss Whedon, has already proved his talent for sophisticated genre shows with “Angel” and the phenomenally successful “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” now in its seventh season. Yet both of these shows took time to settle into their formats before fans were attracted to them in significant numbers...

Talented leader with past successes, plot that needs more time to unfold, etc.

Firefly fans couldn't save the show from cancellation, but they did help its producers raise enough money for a feature move.

I think Patraeus will get similar results.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

F.Y. 2008 U.S. research budget: Cancer vs I.E.D.s

Americans expected to die from cancer this year = 559,650.

Funding for fighting cancer next fiscal year = $4.7 billion.

Americans expected to die from I.E.D. attacks this year = about 700.

Funding for fighting I.E.D.s next fiscal year = $4.0 billion.


Thursday, September 06, 2007

Fred Thompson's whole campaign in 2:28

Success in al Anbar! - January 27, 2006

Iraqi tribes in Anbar arrest 270 Arab and foreign al-Qaeda members!

The Anbar tribes’ campaign to rid the province of Zarqawi’s terror organization, al-Qaeda in Iraq is in its 2nd day and so far, 270 Arab and foreign intruders have been arrested.

[…]Usama Jad’aan, the leader of Karabila tribes in Qaim told al-Hayat that “the operation will continue to eliminate terror elements according to a quality plan” and added “270 Arab and foreign intruders have been arrested, in addition to some Iraqis who were providing them shelter”.

Sheikh Jad’aan added “the operation is conducted in coordination between the tribes and the minister of defense Sa’doun al-Dulaimi and since we arrested hundreds of terrorists, I don’t expect the operation to take a lot of time”.

From Iraq the Model.