Wednesday, November 23, 2005

When democrats run the place #17 - San Francisco to Army: Drop Dead

Speaks for itself. TODH to and the weekly Standard.

San Francisco to Army: Drop Dead
The perils of the counter recruitment movement.
by Stanley Kurtz
11/28/2005, Volume 011, Issue 11

HAS SAN FRANCISCO SECEDED FROM the United States? The passage on Election Day of Measure I, dubbed "College, Not Combat," would seem almost to amount to that. By a margin of 60 percent to 40 percent, San Francisco's voters told military recruiters to stay out of the city's high schools. Although Measure I is nonbinding, it is a repudiation of a basic obligation of citizenship. Whatever one's views on the Iraq war and the president's policies, we are all under the protection of the U.S. military. Fighting for our foreign policy goals in the public arena is one thing. Making it impossible for our military to recruit is another.

Measure I may be "merely" symbolic, but the statement it makes is in no way trivial. In the simplified language of the ballot, voters were told, "If you vote 'yes,' you want it to be City policy to oppose military recruiters' access to public schools and to consider funding scholarships for education and training that could provide an alternative to military service." And they replied, overwhelmingly, yes, that is what we want.

San Francisco's symbolic rejection of the military deserves to be met with an equally powerful symbolic response. Congress ought to consider a resolution of censure. Clear statements of disapproval by national officials from the area--Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi? Sen. Barbara Boxer? Sen. Dianne Feinstein?--would also be in order.

Unfortunately, matters are breaking in the opposite direction. Instead of facing up to San Francisco's rejection of its elemental duty to this country, Pelosi tried

to turn the debate over Measure I into a debate over Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly, who called for a cut-off of federal funds to the city, and hinted at the need for a travel boycott. "I was not behind [Measure I] 100 percent," said Pelosi. "But that's not the issue here." Oh, yes, it is.

Meanwhile, the problem metastasizes. Far from being an isolated occurrence, San Francisco's approval of "College, Not Combat" is simply the first local success of the national antiwar movement's newest tactic: "counter recruitment." With slogans like, "Don't Die for Recruiters' Lies," and "An Army of None," counter-recruiters aim to stop the war in Iraq by starving our army of troops.

In the words of counter recruitment activist April Owen, "When the soldiers are really hurting because there are no new recruits, then we're getting somewhere." The more radical counter-recruiters hope to rid America of its military altogether. But there is a split within the movement--between those who want to stop all fighting immediately, and those who want to use a reduction in the number of volunteers to force a draft. Only a draft, this latter faction believes, will bring the antiwar movement to the peak of success it enjoyed during the Vietnam years.

It's tempting to dismiss the San Francisco-based counter recruitment movement as a motley collection of the usual suspects. It is that, of course. Cindy Sheehan is a prominent supporter of the movement, as are Marxist antiwar groups like ANSWER, Not In Our Name, and the International Socialist Organization. Then there are left-feminists like Code Pink, Ralph Nader's Green party, the gay anti-marriage group, Lesbian and Gay Insurrection, and the Quaker group, the American Friends Service Committee, which is proselytizing public school teachers, school boards, and PTAs across the country in an effort to undermine military recruiting.

Outliers they may all be. But their success in San Francisco should not be gainsaid. The city, by the way, had successfully banned military recruiters from its high schools for a decade prior to passage of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA) in 2001. That act denies federal funds to any school that bans military recruiters. Only because of No Child Left Behind did San Francisco lift its earlier ban on military recruitment, and only because of NCLBA is Measure I strictly symbolic. San Francisco needs those federal funds.

While the ultimate goal of the counter recruitment movement is an outright ban on military presence in the schools, NCLBA has forced activists to turn to more subtle tactics. Counter-recruiters have developed lesson plans, videos, and guides for community activists, all designed to encourage students to "opt out" of military recruitment. "Opting out," in this case, means withholding student contact information from military recruiters.

The No Child Left Behind Act, you see, not only punishes schools that ban recruiters, it also authorizes schools to provide recruiters with student contact information. Students can opt to keep their information off of the contact list, however, and the counter-recruiters are trying to ensure that they do. While all schools provide students and their parents with opt-out forms, counter-recruiters are trying to get schools to give those forms more prominence, or even to bundle them with other forms that have to be filled out and returned.

And outright bans on military recruitment may still be achievable. The counter recruitment

movement is anxiously awaiting the Supreme Court's upcoming decision on the constitutionality of the Solomon Amendment, a federal law that withholds federal funds from universities that ban military recruiters. If the Court overturns Solomon, legal challenges to the recruitment provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act are sure to follow. That would mean the introduction of "College, Not Combat" measures in left-leaning cities and towns nationally. And this time the recruitment bans would be binding, not merely symbolic. Certainly San Francisco would restore the ban on recruitment that was undone by No Child Left Behind.

Universities like to portray their opposition to the Solomon Amendment as part of a principled defense of gay rights. Supposedly, it would violate universities' nondiscrimination policies to allow the military--with its "don't ask, don't tell" policy--on campus. But the counter recruitment movement's pacifist and antiwar focus makes it clear that gay rights is just cover for a broader hostility to the military and to U.S. foreign policy. Recruiters and ROTC chapters have been banned from some of our finest campuses since Vietnam. The counter recruitment movement is now attempting to export that university ethos to the high school level and to the country at large. It is a serious attack on fundamental American notions about citizenship and deserves a more serious response from elected officials than it has received.
Stanley Kurtz is a fellow at the Hudson Institute.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Columbian blows it: In Our View - Bias? What a Laugh!

With friends like this, who needs enemies?

The fringe leftists running the Columbian’s editorial board took a stab at comparing apples to oranges today in the matter of Storedahl v. County Commissioners.

The Storedahl position is clear, easily proven, and black-letter law. Commissioner Stuart has, according to Storedahl, made what amounts to incriminating statements, incriminating in so far as the matter of bias is concerned. Commissioner Morris has engaged in actions that tend to prove her bias by virtue of providing funds and involvement with two rabid anti-Storedahl organizations, Fish First and Friends of the East Fork.

The matter of bias is not a philosophical issue. One can put aside their philosophy and adhere to the law, much like the Columbian puts aside common sense when they support neo-communist fringe leftists in their endorsements.

The standard that must be met here is to avoid even the APPEARANCE of bias… or else, recuse one's self from considering the issue at hand.

The Columbian not only aids in proving Stuart’s and Morris’s bias, they revel in it. That, of course, is their privilege, like so much of their idiocy is their privilege. But that begs the legal issue: are commissioners with a proven bias in a matter required to recuse themselves from an issue coming before them? The answer is quite clearly, yes.

The Columbian’s cheap shot at Boldt (yeah… they’re only concerned about “balance”) is in no way comparable to the issue at hand. If the Columbian or anyone else believes Boldt to have a predisposition to support Storedahl with an incorrect application of the law due to some bias, then by all means, make the allegations and prove it.

So, is there some particular reason that the Columbian has used their bully pulpit to, well, bully those they happen to disagree with, both now and in the past?

Here, the issue is one of an incorrect application of the law against Storedahl that was driven by the bias of two commissioners.

So, as far as it goes, there is a laugh, all right: a laugh at the ignorance of the anonymous editorial writers… a laugh at their efforts to engage in propaganda driven by their OWN bias… a position that, in effect, says: screw the law, we want it our way (Not unlike the embarrassment of Koenninger’s crusade against the Beas… and the destruction of his position by a 9-0 ruling of the state supreme court.)

Yup… a million yuks… all helping Storedahl to prove their point.


Monday, November 07, 2005

When democrats run the place #16: Ken Schram Commentary: Steamed At New Espresso Machine

This speaks for itself.

Ken Schram Commentary: Steamed At New Espresso Machine
November 7, 2005
By Ken Schram

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SEATTLE - Maybe I'm over-reacting.

Here's the deal: Washington State is planning to open a latte stand inside the McNeil Island penitentiary.

You heard me right: A "give me a double tall mocha with extra foam" latte stand for the inmates.

Can someone - PLEASE - tell me what the hell the bozos in Olympia are thinking?

The Department of Corrections says it's 'thinking' that the latte stand will make a fine addition to its vocational training program.

Well, that may be what the D.O.C. says, but I say this is one of the dumbest damn ideas I've come across!

What's next? TIVO to go along with the cable TV in the cells?

Look, I get it that the thousands of dollars spent on a commercial grade espresso machine will eventually come to make money.

But if making money legitimizes everything, might as well train women inmates over in Purdy to give massage - then open up a felon's "Tub and Rub" parlor at McNeil, or maybe up in Monroe.
You can bet that'd bring in a buck or two!

No, the real issue here is the image of a warm and fuzzy prison system where rapists and murderers get to sip lattes and munch on scones.

And I'll tell you: It's an image that genuinely ticks me off.

But, like I said: Maybe you think I'm just over-reacting.

Or maybe you agree.

If you do, let the good folks at the Department of Corrections in on how you feel.

Here's the email address:

Want to share your thoughts with Ken Schram? You can e-mail him at
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Sunday, November 06, 2005

There are lies, damned lies, and two damned liars: The Columbian AND Steve Stuart.

Yesterday, the Columbian blasted the County GOP for letting the cat that the Columbian knew full well they had, out of the bag. Today, Steve Stuart cemented himself as one of the great liars of all political time in this county by absurdly claiming that he, Steve Stuart, is not about “personal negative attacks.”

The editorial The Columbian put out yesterday was so hypocritical as to be absurd. Instead of stating the FACT of the matter, which is indisputable: that Steve Stuart is in foreclosure, they parse it and lie about it by saying that Stuart was “was having some trouble making house payments.”

As most people with the intelligence of a board fence or better know, there is a HUGE difference between foreclosure and “having some trouble making house payments.”

Talk about spin. Talk about damage control. Did the Stuart Campaign send in one of those nice $10,000 developer checks he’s been getting?

Does the Columbian, or any person with dull-normal intelligence or above believe for one second that, had the roles been reversed, the Stuart campaign and/or the democrats would not have attempted to take advantage of that fact of his foreclosure?

In the end, if there is any shame, it belongs to the Columbian itself, for so blindly and blatantly supporting a candidate they endorsed, doing everything they can to strengthen his candidacy, including sitting on information that should have been published without anyone sending an email anywhere. The Columbian, their denials notwithstanding, RARELY endorse Republicans at any level, and their claim that ”many” of their endorsements go to Republicans is facetious at best.

In local elections, one need look no farther than last November to see the lie in their statement: They endorse a democrat for the Senate who’s never lived here. They endorse an ultra-liberal democrat for re-election to the House in a district that is anything but ultra-liberal. They endorse a pro-gay marriage/pro-partial birth abortion democrat in the 18th… for some reason… God only knows. They endorsed the most liberal, arrogant, dishonest democrat in the legislature in the 49th…

When a Republican is looking for an endorsement from the Columbian, they have to keep in mind the fact that giving the democrat the endorsement is the default setting. And then, once they’ve taken the endorsement, there’s nothing that person can do to cause the Columbian to question their own choice.

As their endorsement of Stuart has proven, there is no level of incompetence or lack of a plan that will change their minds. The Columbian tells us to go to Steve Stuart’s web site to check him out. Unfortunately, there’s not even a thin veneer of substance located on that piece of work. There is, in effect, no there, there. There is no plan… no vision… no thought. No record of accomplishment or achievement, nothing of the sort.

The moment the Columbian endorses a candidate (AND THEY ROUTINELY ENDORSE DEMOCRATS BY FAR GREATER NUMBERS THEN REPUBLICANS, EVEN IN A PROVEN REPUBLICAN DISTRICT) they stop being an “unbiased” source of news for or about that candidate. They have made their decision. Once made, they will do anything and everything they can to support it… to the embarrassment of many, and to the discredit of their profession of “journalism.”

Stuart’s bogus effort to distance himself from the negative campaign he has designed and implemented, or to condemn either the push-polling or hit pieces that both his campaign and the Progressive Majority has engaged in is just that: bogus and an example of the Columbian's hypocrisy.

How can he condemn that which he has deliberately engaged in? How can allegedly condemn negative politics while reveling in it from the tribal-backed efforts of the Progressive Majority, now up to $86,000 in a little more then a week… more money then they’ve ever spent on any candidate anywhere in the country, and the ONLY county commissioner race they’ve EVER been involved in ANYWHERE?

So, the hypocrites at the Columbian bitch and moan and whine like this: “But what we find unseemly is when one is caked with the mud but pretends to be clean as can be,” while maintaining an absolute silence about the nasty, divisive politics practiced by the Stuart campaign or those operating at his behest.

And that is, bar far, the biggest hypocrisy practiced at the Columbian: their selective application of the standards they apply to everyone else, but fail to apply to those they support.