Then and Now: Fingers vs. Fingerprints

September 14, 2012

.

 Iraq 2009  Libya 2012
 Thank you, George Bush  Thank you, Barack Obama

This is what the election is about.

Stoutcat


A Study in Contrasts

September 12, 2011

A moment of prayer at yesterday’s World Trade Center ceremony:

At a guess, the New York Times desperately wanted to morph that golden glow on Obama’s face into a halo, but it would have been just too blatant. Despite that lack, Joah of Argghh! gives this photo the perfect title: “Ground Ego”.

Stoutcat

H/T: Althouse


At Least Someone Is Acting Presidential

November 7, 2009

Sadly, it’s not the President.

Friday night, former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush made a private visit to those wounded in the Fort Hood massacre. No press corps, no photographers, no reporters. Just President and Mrs. Bush, comforting the victims. After a few hours there, they left as quietly as they had arrived. This is only to be expected of a Commander-in-Chief who understands that those injured or grieving may have no wish to be bombarded by camera flashes or microphones shoved in front of tearful faces.

The former President and his wife behaved exactly as we have come to expect them to do. With class, dignity, and grace. With gravitas and humility. bush hugging girlIn a word, presidential.

Has President Obama visited Fort Hood yet? Why, no. No, he has not. Right now, he’s at Camp David with the First Family. (Unless he is making a private trip out there as I write this, in which case, good for him!)

Barack Obama is our President. But as far as I’m concerned, George W. Bush is still our Comforter-in-Chief.

H/T: Atlas Shrugs

Stoutcat


Sign of the Times

October 1, 2009

 

GWB poster

Say no more!

Stoutcat


Fun With (Presidential) Words

April 17, 2009

 

Okay, I admit it. I’m behind the times here at Chateau Chat Valliant, so it’s likely that you all know about this already. But I’ve just been pointed to Wordle, a very cool word tool. On the offchance that you don’t know what it is, the site explains:

Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text.

It’s fun, it’s addictive, and it’s also very informative.

For example, out of idle curiousity (and at the prompting of commenter Stoutcat’s Sister), I “wordled”  the text of two separate presidential inauguration speeches, to see if it could tell me anything about the ideas and aspirations of the speakers. I left the standard defaults in place (it omits common words like “the”, “with”, “and”, etc.), and here’s what I got:

Inaugural Speech A

                                                            Inaugural Speech A

inaugural-2

                                                            Inaugural Speech B

The two speeches were Barack H. Obama’s 2009 Inaugural speech, and George W. Bush’s 2004 Inaugural speech. Can you tell which is which? (Click on each image for larger versions.)

Stoutcat


Iraqis To US: “Don’t Let The Door Hit You On The Way Out”

April 10, 2009


Saddam Toppled 2003

Saddam's Statue Toppled 2003

Years ago, when I was dating a young lady who worked in a travel agency, a huge poster on the wall beside her desk always intrigued me. It said, “Come Visit The Middle East… Where It All Began.” There was actually a series of these posters, each featuring a different middle eastern country. This particular one featured photos of Iraq. It did the trick. I longed to go there and visit this strange, but alluring country.

This morning’s Christian Science Monitor reports tens of thousands of supporters of Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr converged in Firdos Square in Baghdad, to demand that U.S. President Obama “fulfill his promise to withdraw US troops.” This happens, no coincidence by the way, on the sixth anniversary of the day US Troops and joyful Iraqis pulled down the statue of Saddam Hussein that had stood guard in this same square for years in tribute to the former leader.

File this under, “Allah never lets any good deeds go unpunished.”   Tt comes as no surprise to me that the Iraqis would eventually demand US troops vacate the country they liberated from the hands of  murderous tyrant Saddam Hussein.  It should further be pointed out that people in this region were deep into America Bashing long before it became so in vogue that even our current President loves to participate by apologizing for virtually everything this country has done since liberating Europe in WWII. 

Reading between the lines, however, this poses an interesting conundrum for the Obama administration.

  • When he was campaigning, Obama repeatedly announced he would end the war quickly and bring the troops home. He often refused to give a specific date or define “quickly.”  This was done principally to give him an edge over Hillary Clinton (really an unnecessary campaign promise, as ACORN had pretty much cleared the way for his nomination through their alleged voter registration fraud in numerous key states).
  • Obama announced on February 27th of this year: “Let me say this as plainly as I can: By August 31st, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end.” 
  • But in the same speech, Obama added he plans to leave a force of 35,000 to 50,000 to advise Iraqi security forces, conduct counter-terrorism missions and protect U.S. personnel.  That’s about half of the number of troops we started out with in 2003.  I’m not sure the Iraqis will see this as a full withdrawal of troops.  Perhaps more of a problem for Obama, those who elected him based on his alleged commitment to end the war and bring all the troops home are bound to be disappointed.

The fact is, history will eventually show that Bush was right to go into Iraq for reasons too numerous to go into in this short space. Key among those reasons, however, was to install some sense of a democracy in a region where the vast majority of people live in the 14th century or earlier based on religious beliefs. These are a people who have fought amongst themselves with sticks and stones for centuries.

Until they caught up to the technologies of war. Now, government and religious radicals in this region have (or are developing) weapons that can essentially wipe the entire Middle East of the face of planet earth. And, unlike western nations, they don’t care if that happens, because it’s an honor to kill and/or BE killed for Allah.

Stability in this region isn’t an option.

The bottom line? It’s not a popular one, but here it is, boys and girls: Bush was right. And Obama would be wise to stick to his guns about maintaining a presence of 20,000-30,000 troops in the area.

It’s been years since I dated that young lady, and I don’t know whatever became of her.  But I can visualize the poster that would be in that office today… “Come See The Middle East. Where It All Began. Before It All Ends.”

Gerry Ashley


Legacy of the Purple Finger

February 1, 2009

Here’s my guess as to what Dubya’s ultimate legacy will be.

  • It won’t be the drubbing of the economy – we can thank liberalism for that.
  • It won’t be Abu Ghraib… The enemy bears the guilt of so much of this. Objectively, we pale in comparison.
  • My guess is that it won’t even be the seven years he kept America safe after 9/11…

No… 50 or 100 years from now, Americans (and perhaps even the world) will finally understand the two precepts that George Walker Bush tried so many times to explain… First, freedom is an intrinsic right of the human condition. (Mr. Bush et al call it “God-Given”… So be it.) And the second is that societies of free peoples don’t behave aggressively (and even preemptively) unless cornered by cults and madmen. (The last time I checked, Germany, Italy, and Japan haven’t attacked us lately.)

Yesterday, the Iraqi voter turnout was 60% – 70%… Remarkable by any standard. So perhaps Dubya’s legacy will simply be that of millions of purple fingers and the meaning therein.

Not bad, George… Not bad…

Alan Speakman