Friday, May 26, 2006

Is the NYT better than Murtha?

In a New York Times article published today, it quotes several sources to claim that while the investigation is not complete and while, “All of those who discussed the case had to be granted anonymity before they would talk about the findings emerging from the investigation”, several marines are likely to be charged with murder.

I sort of hate to come to the conclusion that I actually believe the NYT more than I believed Murtha when he was spouting off about this, but actually the NYT has written a less inflammatory if just as damning accusation. At least they are couching their terms more as we have come to expect of a liberal newspaper talking about criminals. At least they leave some room for the investigation to conclude.

That makes me ask, if we assume that Murtha were briefed officially before he took to the podium, why couldn’t he have behaved at least as well as the NYT? If he were briefed, he had to know what was coming, so, was he charging to the front of the hounds to yell “follow me!” and appear to be a leader? Was he trying to imply that only by his breaking the news would the investigation be made public? Or was it just the typical politician’s appetite for face time? Any ideas out there?

BTW, Calley should have fried. And so should any marines guilty of murder.

P.S. The campaign site for Murtha’s challenger is here.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Murtha: US troops" killed innocent civilians in cold blood".

The phrase “in cold blood” means with callous disregard or lack of emotion doesn’t it? Whatever the other circumstances, I doubt this very much. The “in cold blood” crack (crock, probably) is political hyperbole.

Over on ESPN we have “analyst” Deborah Robinson complaining that the Duke Lacrosse Team Captain is “tainting the jury pool” by doing a press conference after approximately 70 press conferences held by DA Nifong. Here we have John Murtha, a politician (once you become one of those, why should anyone believe you about anything?), who can have direct influence over a soldier’s career, making charges not yet adjudicated by a court martial board. I have sat on three boards, and I am incensed that this jackass is trying to make political hay before the facts are in.

Wasn’t the way that journalist was injured a while back was not by the IED but by small arms fire coming from surrounding houses immediately after the blast? The soldiers attacked the ambush and suppressed it. Is it just too much TV? Is that why the initiated don’t connect the blast and the followup fire into one event? The operating standard is to attack when you are drawing fire after the opening rounds of an ambush. The fastest way out is through.

Now consider construction values and the ammunition types that might be used to suppress that “possible” fire. I have participated in a “mad minute” put on as a demonstration at Ft. Sill in 1970. Four of us with M60 machine guns totally destroyed  a 10′x10′ brick building (all four walls) in less than sixty seconds. Our sweetness and light enemies do not tend to evacuate their womenfolk or their children from the line of fire and it is harder to see through walls than to shoot through them.

Was it a “My Lai” moment? I don’t know, it could have been. Was it a doctrinaire attack through an ambush? I don’t know. It could have been. But my kneejerk reaction when Time magazine and a politician are on the same page is to cover my wallet and dive for cover. The fact that is still under investigation in this conflict means very little. With all the second-guessing being done by media, I’m quite sure the Marines want to dot every i and cross every t. Back in March, Lieut. Colonel Michelle Martin-Hing, spokeswoman for the Multi-National Force-Iraq, told Time the involvement of the NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) does not mean that a crime occurred. And she says the fault for the civilian deaths lies squarely with the insurgents, who "placed noncombatants in the line of fire as the Marines responded to defend themselves."

Let’s wait for the determination from the people who know something about warfighting and don’t stand to make political points by railing into any loose microphone.

I personally think he is maneuvering for political advantage by getting "face time" and counting on the public to never notice if the findings of the investigation don't lead to any charges. If charges are brought he will be the “crusading leader”. It will be a few months and will never be brought up by the Main Stream Media Party if charges aren't filed and it lasts long enough, only his opponent for November will bring it up and then we will hear from him about "ongoing investigation". So it is pretty much a win-win for him either way. A little sound and fury now may smudge his face time by the election but most voters (they have to be memory-challenged to have kept re-electing him anyway) won't remember it, just that he was "tellin' truth to Power" a few months ago. They'll never even remember what it was about.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Thirteenth Solution

The Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution says:

  • Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

  • Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

The House bill wants to make illegal immigration a felony.

Many people have been saying “immigrants do work Americans won’t do.” (Leaving out, of course “at a price that is below market.”)

Gazing into my very cloudy Crystal Ball, I see a question. If a year of slavery was the sentence for illegally crossing the border, and the cheap employers could contract for the slave labor, would that satisfy the labor demand and discourage enough migration to satisfy every one?

Before you go too crazy on me, be aware that some of the immigrants in my family got their ticket from Ireland by volunteering for indentured servitude. Basically slavery with an expiration date.

Friday, May 05, 2006

A Kennedy being a Kennedy

The "late for a vote" routine is why they didn't give him a sobriety test. Article I Section 6 of the US Constitution says "Representatives shall privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session ... and in going to and returning from the same".

While you may volunteer to take a sobriety test, you may not be forced to give one without being arrested in any jurisdiction I’m aware of. Since his claim that he was “late for a vote” prevented him from being arrested, he was able to prevent any testing.

We have the same provision in the Georgia Constitution (it is supposed to prevent arrest by opposing political hacks influencing votes), and recently had a case where a state judge threw that defense out because of what time it was.

I think Kennedy had heard about that and used the "late for a vote" for the reason that (if he actually has read the Constitution instead of just watching it burn at Kennedy Coven Meetings) the "returning from" part might not be as familiar to junior officers and getting it on the record that he was impaired might be embarrassing to the boy.

BTW, doesn't DC have a "under the influence" statute? Here, prescriptions are included under the heading of influence.

Monday, May 01, 2006


Bryan at has an interesting post about sending the Bush Peso back in the business reply envelopes included when the Republican’ts send us those delightful four page surveys with the questions that illustrate the technique of piss-poor push polling. I wish I had registered on there in time to point out this other image that I send in the same envelope. The milk carton with the “have you seen me?” illustration of a spine pretty well sums it up.

Update: Pare Amnistia Ahora! The Cero Peso Campaign