Saturday, October 22, 2005

Chiefs and Indians

Tongue-Tied informs us of a marvelous specimen of liberal hyper-sensitivity and hypocrisy all wrapped into one.

It appears that the Kansas City Chiefs football team recently enjoyed a win over the Washington Redskins, but the Kansas City Star referred to the losing side only as "the Washington team". The Star's various accounts of the Chiefs' victory Sunday over Washington never used the word "Redskins." The paper piously declared that, "The Star's policy is not to use Washington's team name because it is a racial slur."

Well, then, what about the Chiefs? The paper explained that, "the Chiefs were actually named for former Mayor H. Roe Bartle -- known as The Chief -- who was key in getting the team to come to Kansas City in the 1960s." The name has nothing to do with degrading ethnic insults.

Tongue-Tied is amazed: "A racial slur? I thought 'Redskins' conveyed an heroic image! Why else would a sports team have adopted it? I don't think they meant to portray themselves as primitive morons, do you? Or is it a slur to portray someone as heroic these days? I guess it is in certain loony Left circles."

As a reader of Tongue-Tied notes, the Kansas City Star's ridiculous rationale for refusing to say "Redskins" but having no problem with "Chiefs" is nonsense. If it were true that the name has nothing to do with Indi.., er, Native-Americans, why would the Chiefs' helmets have an arrowhead on them, and why would they be playing in Arrowhead Stadium?

Maybe Mayor Bartle, aka The Chief, also walked about with an arrow wrapped around his head.

A Training Ground For Terrorists

The Fourth Rail's Bill Roggio addresses the criticism that the United States has made Iraq a training ground for foreign terrorists. The claim, according to Roggio, is doubtless correct but also trivial (Our word, not his):

Al Qaeda is pushing fighters into the country, and some of those who leave will impart their knowledge to others and potentially conduct attacks against their home countries. But al Qaeda has been doing this in other countries; in Chechnya, Bosnia, Kosovo, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Afghanistan and a host of countries throughout the world. Absent Iraq, the jihadis would enter these countries for their training.

Proponents of the Iraq War believe the establishment of democracy in the heart of the Middle East and the accompanying ideological defeat for al Qaeda, the drawing in of senior al Qaeda operatives into the country, the high casualty rates among foreign terrorists, the valuable combat experience and intelligence gained by U.S. forces, the establishment of an Iraqi intelligence agency and security forces hostile to al Qaeda's operations, the exposure of al Qaeda networks outside Iraq, the pressure placed on Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran, and other benefits far outweigh the negative of potential bleedback by the terrorists fleeing Iraq.

In the course of explaining why the claim that Iraq is a terrorist training ground is of very little moment Roggio mentions that over half of the foreign terrorists who have come to Iraq to fight so far this year have been killed or captured:

In an October 20th press briefing, Major General Rick Lynch reports that 376 foreign fighters had been captured this year, and over 400 killed. The foreigners come from countries that are outside the reach of U.S. forces. With an estimated 150 terrorists entering the country monthly, well over half of the year's total have been killed or captured, an exceedingly high attrition rate. General Lynch also points out that al Qaeda in Iraq's leadership is often of foreign origin. al Qaeda is not in the habit of putting green recruits into leadership positions.

There's much more at the link, including a graphic which breaks down the captured terrorists by nation from whence they came.

Republican Hypocrisy

Freshman Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) recently introduced an amendment to the budget resolution which would have taken money from an incredible piece of pork, a 220 million dollar bridge in Alaska that connects the mainland to an island with a population of about fifty people, and used that money to rebuild a bridge in Louisianna that was damaged by Katrina. The Alaskan bridge, often referred to as the bridge to nowhere, is just a wallet-stuffer for Alaskan workers. The money could have reduced the amount that taxpayers will otherwise be handing over to Louisianna by almost a quarter of a billion dollars.

It's the kind of legislation on which Republicans campaign for office. It's the sort of thing we vote for Republicans to support. The Senate vote was Thursday. It was defeated 85 to 15. Only fifteen senators had enough character to vote on behalf of the American taxpayer and against a spectacular waste. The rest of them voted to squander our money on a bridge that will service no more than a few people a day.

The roll call on the vote can be found here.

The fifteen heroes are: Allard (R-CO), Allen (R-VA) [Our early favorite for '08], Bayh (D-IN), Burr (R-NC), Coburn (R-OK), Conrad (D-ND), DeMint (R-SC), DeWine (R-OH) [Partial redemption for joining the gang of 14], Feingold (D-WI), Graham (R-SC) [Partial redemption for joining the gang of 14], Kyl (R-AZ), Landrieu (D-LA) [We were surprised, too, until we remembered that Louisianna gets the money], Sessions (R-AL), Sununu (R-NH), and Vitter (R-LA). Eleven Republicans and four Democrats.

Noticebly missing from the list are such stalwart Republican opponents of governmental profligacy as John McCain, Rick Santorum (This is Santorum's second offense against principle. His first was endorsing Arlen Specter in his primary race against Pat Toomey), Bill Frist, and, well, the vast majority of the Republican caucus. One expects Democrats to vote for fleecing the public, but it's an outrage that people who advertise themselves as fiscal conservatives have done it. Santorum is in a tough race in '06 in Pennsylvania. He upset a lot of his base with his endorsement of Specter. This vote may have alienated many of them. It certainly has made me consider withholding my vote for the office of senator on election day. Too bad Toomey won't challenge Santorum in the primary.

To make matters worse this amendment was just one of several that Coburn introduced that would have stripped another $500,000 from a sculpture park in Washington, $200,000 from a proposed animal shelter in Rhode Island, and another $200,000 from a parking lot in Omaha, Nebraska, and redirect these monies to disaster relief. Those proposals also lost by similar margins.

The Grich has the pathetic reactions of porkmeisters Ted Stevens of Alaska and Patty Murray of Washington to Coburn's attempt to introduce sanity and integrity to the Senate.

Stevens threatened to resign if he didn't get his bridge. We urge the voters of Alaska to assist him in finding his way out the door.

Murray threatened to block the pet projects of any senator who voted against her sculpture park. May we recommend that the first sculpture will be a huge hog feeding at the public trough.

Andrew Sullivan lists the number of pork projects by year and shows the dramatic increase from 958 in 1996 to 13,997 in 2005. The fat has actually doubled since President Bush came into office.

Ironically, I received a call yesterday afternoon from the RNC asking for a donation. I told the caller, who was not just a hired telemarketer, that I won't be contributing another cent to the Republican party until they start acting like Republicans and start acting like a majority party. Why, I asked her, should we vote for Republicans if they're just going to morph into Democrats? She gave me a number to call to voice my concerns. I suspect that the number, like the bridge in Alaska, goes nowhere.