Historians continue to debate who was more responsible for the final collapse of the Soviet Union, Ronald Reagan or Mikhail Gorbachev. At The Wall Street Journal, our version of that debate concerns whether to give more credit to the Gipper, or to George Melloan.Thank you.
We'll concede Reagan tipped the scales with the arms buildup, SDI and the "evil empire" speech. But George--who is retiring this week as a columnist and Deputy Editor of the Editorial Page after 54 years at the Journal--favored Reagan's policies before Reagan and devoted much of his career to reporting on and resisting that totalitarian temptation. Significantly, he arrived in Brussels to edit the Wall Street Journal Europe's editorial pages in 1990, and soon thereafter the Soviet Union collapsed. Coincidence? We doubt it, comrade.
Relatives of Polish officers killed on Joseph Stalin’s orders in the Katyn massacre are to take Russia to the European Court of Human Rights. They demand that Russia disclose the full truth about the killings.
Stalin’s secret police killed 21,587 Polish Army reservists in Katyn on the grounds that they were “hardened and uncompromising enemies of Soviet authority”. Russia has refused to prosecute surviving suspects or reveal their names. It is keeping two-thirds of the files on the subject classified, and has classed the murders as an ordinary crime whose statute of limitations has expired.
[H]e [does not] possess human empathy for Americans (or citizens of any other nation) -- He just spouts words that actually mean nothing to him; someone just told him to say them.This people blame Bush for everything. They blame him for market forces. They blame him for insatiable thirst China's economy has for oil. Where are their calls to limit the same insatiable thirst that our government has for gas taxes? 60 cents per gallon.
It still works.I'm contemplating how Carter screwed up Iran in the first place and how Clinton vetoed ANWR drilling.
Some of us are contemplating Iran, the mideast mess, the wondering whether Bush will raise the security alert level to orang or red just before the election to stir up fearful emotions and hopefully save his hide for his last miserable years in office.
America is unique in the world and I feel it is becoming less America-like, with those in leadership positions in America who are ignoring our Constitution and various American laws and American rights & freedoms, who are running the country into an un-American condition -- for their own personal greed and agendas, who lie to us -- the very people they are supposed to represent and take care of domestically and in the world.This is very puzzling to me because I don't know what Americas they are talking about. When was America the way they want it to be? If anything America is becoming less like America I came to because of their crazy ideas.
Mr. Greenberg hasn't dimmed, but he believes America has. "You couldn't build an AIG today," he explains. Overbearing regulators, new corporate governance rules, protectionism, a failing tort system, prosecutors unleashed--these, as he sees them, are the obstacles to corporate greatness. And Mr. Greenberg is uniquely positioned to know.
It isn't just that over 38 years he transformed a tiny operation into a global insurance empire currently valued at $169 billion, a feat that even detractors--and he has many--admit counts as one of the great corporate success stories. It's that Mr. Greenberg was front and center to witness how prosecutors, regulators and lawyers could bring that success to its knees, practically overnight. "Why is it that private equity is growing as fast as it is. . . . Why are public companies not doing as well? Once [a country] gets a reputation that way, once it loses momentum, it takes quite a while to regain it. It doesn't happen overnight," says Mr. Greenberg.
"One of the biggest problems" facing America's competitiveness at the moment "is regulation," he states. He notes the legislative fiasco that flowed out of Enron--Sarbanes-Oxley. "Any time you publish regulations in a crisis mode, you probably do it wrong," he says, and as proof he points to all the companies now listing in London rather than New York. "Friends don't let friends regulate in a crisis," he jokes.
Corporate governance changes alone would make a new AIG impossible. Mr. Greenberg notes that when AIG started, it had almost entirely an "inside" board, made up of senior partners deeply involved in the business. "And we obviously did something right because we became the largest insurance company in history." Today's intense focus on outsiders and independence limits the expertise. "A board of directors can't run a company. They can oversee a strategy, but they can't be involved day to day in a company, otherwise you get nothing done."
At least for now, Mr. Greenberg is sticking with his private companies, which he calls "more fun," since they allow him to "invest in the next generation of opportunities." He's eyeing China, which has a historical symmetry: Cornelius Vander Starr, his mentor, started his first insurance agency there in 1919. Mr. Greenberg just returned from a trip, "encouraged" by Beijing's new plans to boost per capita income (i.e., more people able to buy insurance) and set up a "social safety net." Anyone who believes "China will become an irritant or a problem in the international arena lacks an understanding of the immense issues they have to deal with at home." He also has a fondness for China, since "it's nice to go to a country where they don't pay as much attention to the headlines." Only, it seems, to the bottom line.
[...] was founded by a group of Iraq and Afganistan [sic] War veterans who believe in the mission of freedom, specifically Operation Iraqi Freedom, but who have become frustrated with the way the operation has been politicized and reported to the home front.The executive director of Vets for Freedom, who served two tours in Iraq with the Marines before being wounded in action, says in his guest editorial in today's Washington Post that people like West Point Graduates against the War, CodePink, MoveOn.org, John Murtha do not represent most troops' views.
In January 2006, this group of veterans, enlisted personnel, and officers decided to take action. The result was the creation of Vets for Freedom, a non-profit advocacy group whose mission is to promote the unbiased, nonpartisan truth of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan to educate the public and mobilize public support for the Global War on Terror.
The founders and members of Vets for Freedom have witnessed the firsthand events, both the successes and failures, of the Iraq War. While their voice has largely been ignored by many policymakers and the media, they have earned the right to be heard and will use this organization to lend their insights to this worthy cause.
In view of his distinguished military career, John Murtha has been the subject of much attention from the media and is a sought-after spokesman for opponents of the Iraq war. He has earned the right to speak. But his comments supposedly expressing the negative views of those who have and are now serving in the Middle East run counter to what I and others know and hear from our own colleagues -- from junior officers to the enlisted backbone of our fighting force.
Murtha undoubtedly knows full well that the greatest single thing that drags on morale in war is the loss of a buddy. But second to that is politicians questioning, in amplified tones, the validity of that loss to our families, colleagues, the nation and the world.
While we don't question his motives, we do question his assumptions. When he called for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, there was a sense of respectful disagreement among most military personnel. But when he subsequently stated that he would not join today's military, he made clear to the majority of us that he is out of touch with the troops. Quite frankly, it was received as a slap in the face.
Like so many others past and present, I proudly volunteered to serve in the military. I served one tour in Iraq and then volunteered to go back. Veterans continue to make clear that they are determined to succeed in Iraq. They are making this clear the best way they can: by volunteering to go back for third and sometimes fourth deployments. This fact is backed up by official Pentagon recruitment reports released as recently as Monday.
The morale of the trigger-pulling class of today's fighting force is strong. Unfortunately, we have not had a microphone or media audience willing to report our comments. Despite this frustration, our military continues to proudly dedicate itself to the mission at hand: a free, democratic and stable Iraq and a more secure America. All citizens have a right to express their views on this important national challenge, and all should be heard. Veterans ask no more, and they deserve no less.
The most recent Gallup poll (March, 2006) of Americans' attitudes on various environmental issues has revealed that there has been virtually no change in the last 17 years in the fraction of people worried about global warming. Only 36 percent of 1,000 adults polled in mid-March said that they worried a "great deal" about global warming. That increased to 62 percent when worrying by at least "a fair amount" was included. While this percentage is significantly higher than it was only two years ago (51 percent), it is lower than it has been in some previous years, with the peak number of worriers being 72 percent in 2000.So he wrote recently:
My point is that, one of the reasons society chooses to ignore global warming, is trust. Who can a lay person believe? Do you listen to the scientists? Do you listen to Jerry Falwell or George Bush? Do you listen to Detroit, or do you listen to the leaders in California where this issue is so immediate? People don't know who is telling the truth and who is not, so they tune it out and they do nothing. Worse, they buy SUV's and consider their choice "a right". "Me first and get out of my way. The tree huggers don't want me to be happy. They want everything I've worked so hard for."I would say I would listen to scientists. The problem, as the editorial points out, is that scientist are people too, mostly employed by universities relaying on government grant money. To get the money for further research they have to come up with a good reason. The editorial also says that the honest scientists who dissent from the "consensus" view on global warming are bullied into silence or changing their views altogether. So I have to relay on common sense and history: I just can't imagine that we could change Earth's climate; the same scientists cried about global cooling only 30 years ago; the Sun, it seems, goes through cycles and it may be in one of those cycles that cause global warming right now. I would say: let's wait a few more decades before we destroy our economy in name of pseudo science.
If? There you go again. What will it take for you o act? At what point will you be convinced we have a problem? IS it not logical that, even if this is all a cruel joke, and we've tricked ourselves with the evidence, wouldn't it be prudent to start sooner rather than later just on the possibility this is for real? And if you knew anything about global warming you'd know the answer to the latter part of your question. If you appreciated the human animal, you would have some faith that, of course, human kind can do incredible things. We are amazingly resourceful once we accept we have a problem. But that's the problem: some of us still don't see that we have a problem. Do we wait for the slow kids in the class to get it? Do we respond in spite of them? Or, do we wait? Do you have children?So a few days ago he started talking about buying solar panels to do his part to save the Earth.
I attended a work shop yesterday on Green Building and Renovations as they apply to global warming, and they told of a remarkable opportunity for businesses and home owners. Check this out!He sounded as excited as many people who got badly burned on some of those one-in-the-lifetime-now-or-never investment opportunities. Some people tried to explain to him that solar panels may not be cost-effective in this part of Oregon but he wouldn't listen and had only this to say after consulting with the solar panel salesman:
You can buy a 3Khr photovoltaic panel along with the converter and a meter for about $24,000. That's a lot of money, but, guess what! After five or six years, you can own it and it won't have cost you a cent. And, it has a thirty to fifty year life, so it will be making electricity for you for a long time to come.
There is a large initial investment. It will take some patience and time to do all the paper work. Thus, this is not yet for everyone, but it may be for you and you and you. And rather than burning fossil fuel and putting tons of carbon in the atmosphere, you will be using a renewable source right on your own roof.
I don't know that these panels produce anything for people who voted for Bush.I worry that like the scientists who are milking our government for more research grants, there are unscrupulous salesmen who will milk the true believers.
The spectre of Florida hung over Italy late last night after a general election that all commentators and opinion polls as well as the official exit poll had given to the centre-left seemed to be heading for a dead heat. According to projections by pollsters, the centre-left and centre-right coalitions appeared close to taking 50 per cent each of both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate in the general election.Coincidence? Could be. I remember many people explaining the 2004 exit polls by blaming lefties who just couldn't stop babbling to anybody who would care to listen how they were throwing out that bum Bush while conservatives were in rush to get back to doing their jobs and paying taxes.
Things began to go horribly wrong for the centre-left around 6pm yesterday, as the true results and projections based on them began to flow in. Exit polls published immediately after the close of polls at 3pm indicated that Romano Prodi and his coalition would beat Silvio Berlusconi's House of Liberties coalition by four to five percentage points. Italy appeared headed for a peaceful revolution, and an end to the tumultous Berlusconi era.
The true cost of educating a child is $4,780No, this is not a typo. True, I have to pay for all sport activities my children want to participate in. But I don't have for other children's sport activities. And I don't have to pay at all if they decide that kicking a soccer ball on the street or playing some hoops behind the garage is good enough. I don't have to pay for unionized teachers, administrators, nurses, advisors, councilors, etc.
Three Oregon school districts have signed on as plaintiffs in an impending lawsuit over the adequacy of state school funding, and nearly 20 more are weighing the possibility.This is news today:
Portland's superintendent suggests drawing down reserves to maintain class sizeThis should be news today but it's not:
Phillips conceded that her plan is riskier than simply making $24 million in cuts. It also could sour taxpayers who are wary of government talking gloom-and-doom then pulling out a last-minute reprieve.
The district plans to ask voters to approve a $33 million local-option levy in November to replace that package in subsequent years. Without some longer-term solution, Phillips said, the district will simply be staving off deep staff cuts for a year.
The U.S. Census Bureau ranking released Monday uses financial figures for the 2003-2004 school year - the most recent available. It puts Utah's per-pupil funding at $5,008, compared with a national average of $8,280 and a high of $12,981 in New Jersey.OK, so it's news in Utah. I also found one article from Texas. The reason why Utah and Texas news-papers may be interested in this ranking is because both states' spending per pupil is below average. Maybe both papers want to use the ranking to convince tax-payers not to be so "greedy."
Heat things up with your liberal friends and burn The Right Brothers music. Great fun and therapeutic release for frustrated liberals. Free signed 8X10 photo included to get the fire started right..or left. Get'em while their hot, baby!Great sense of humor! In that spirit I dedicate the receipt below to Honest Abe. Yes, Abe, just after I read your comment I went to Right Brothers' web site and purchased the Greedy Capitalist Pig Edition package. I will use the extra CDs as gifts for two friends of mine who happen to have birthdays on our next poker night and both happen to be Republicans.
This email confirms that you have paid The Right Brothers (firstname.lastname@example.org) $62.94 USD using PayPal.
PayPal Shopping Cart Contents
Your Confirmed Address
If you have questions about the shipping and tracking of your purchased item or service, please contact The Right Brothers at email@example.com.
Thank you for using PayPal!
The PayPal Team
"Whether you agree with the causal argument, these guys are stunningly informed about recent world events."The Right Brothers deliver a great reply to Bush's critics with their new single. The music is great but the lyrics even better:
Bush Was Right
Written by: Frank Highland
Freedom in Afghanistan, say goodbye Taliban
Free elections in Iraq, Saddam Hussein locked up
Osama's staying underground, Al Qaida now is finding out
America won't turn and run once the fighting has begun
Libya turns over nukes, Lebanese want freedom, too
Syria is forced to leave, don't you know that all this means
Bush was right!
Bush was right!
Bush was right!
Democracy is on the way, hitting like a tidal wave
All over the middle east, dictators walk with shaky knees
Don't know what they're gonna do,
their worst nightmare is coming true
They fear the domino effect, they're all wondering who's next
Ted Kennedy - wrong!
Cindy Sheehan - wrong!
France - wrong!
Zell Miller - right!
Economy is on the rise kicking into overdrive
Angry liberals can't believe it's cause of W's policies
Unemployment's staying down, Democrats are wondering how
Revenue is going up, can you say "Tax Cuts"
Cheney was right, Condi was right,
Rummy was right, Blair was right
You were right, we were right, 'The Right' was right and
Bush was right
Bush was right
© 2005 Pool Guy Music (ASCAP), All rights reserved.
Pacifist group revealed as moral imbecilesOh, man, do I feel better just reading this stuff! I know what lefties on GroveNet would call this man. To me he's simply a common-sense-monger.
These smarmy, international busybodies, the Gladys Kravitzes of the Iraq occupation, peering out at the world from behind the curtains with their pursed little disapproving lips?
These sanctimonious, reality challenged little creeps?
What would the hostages have done if shots had been fired? Voluntarily returned to captivity?
If ever a group wasn't worth the effort and risk to free them, it's these guys.
A report out of Baghdad also indicated these self-involved, self-righteous morons declined to provide valuable intelligence about their kidnappers to the British, U.S. and Canadian soldiers who saved their lives!
See, members of Christian Peacemaker Teams are pacifists and they don't co-operate with men with guns who might use the information to track down kidnappers and/or terrorists and shoot them in the head until they agree to stop kidnapping and/or terrorizing people.
Pacifists don't believe in violence and refuse to use it or abet its use. Pacifists are therefore moral imbeciles.
They're like the guy at the party who won't kick in for the pizza but sneaks a slice when he thinks nobody's looking.
Pacifists are the same.
They're thieves who enjoy the protection offered by those they morally despise but aren't willing to get their hands dirty themselves.
We have a functioning government in this country even when the Liberals are in power --although it pains me greatly to admit it,
Taxes are paid and used to fund various projects which are, technically, for the good of all.
I personally would not volunteer to pay income taxes because I am a greedy libertarian.
I pay my taxes because if I don't, men with guns in the service of the state will come to my house and drag my sorry butt to the slammer for evading income taxes.
We live in a civilized society -- in which wimpy pacifist losers can walk around safely -- because we live under constant threat of socially sanctioned government violence.
It's the reason I don't speed (too much), rob banks, use heroin, enslave the weak so I never have to do my own laundry again, or hunt down the teachers who annoyed me in high school to cover them in Hershey's chocolate syrup and stake them out on the nearest red ant hill in the hot sun.
Pacifists such as Loney have never accomplished anything in this world and never will, and they've certainly never created what they purport to love: Peace.
They believe violence never solves anything when, in fact, the judicious use of violence solves many of the large problems.
South Korea is free because men -- real men, not pacifists -- sacrificed to stop the North Koreans from enslaving it. Ditto for Nazi and Japanese aggression during the Second World War. Violence ended black slavery on this continent.
All of those achievements were won by men with guns, not the wimps on the sidelines praying and feeling smug about occupying the moral high ground.
October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 May 2013 July 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 May 2015 September 2015 November 2015 December 2015 March 2016