Sunday, July 22, 2007

Organized Voter Fraud

The investigation by King County, Washington, into the voter registration fraud apparently committed by ACORN (the "Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now") last year just got larger — it has now been joined by Pierce County. This expansion of the investigation, along with a reminder of ACORN's apparent involvement in both fraudulent voter registrations and fraudulent ballot counting there in 2004, are reported by Sound Politics today.

I don't know why anyone should be surprised. It seems like every time large-scale voter registration fraud occurs, ACORN is right in the middle of it. They were embroiled in a voter fraud scandal in St Louis last year and in 10-20,000 fraudulent voter registrations in Albuquerque (see here, too) in 2004, just as a couple of examples.

With ACORN having this kind of consistent history, it would seem to me that voter registrars should decline to accept any voter registrations from them. Period.

UPDATE: The New York Times claims charges like these are phony, just as Ruben Navarette did (on which I commented here). This is not the only time the Times has made such claims. A lot of that should be obviated by things like the problems in St. Louis and Milwaukee, the charges in Washington, and the failure to pursue obvious illegalities here. Lots of voter fraud, of various sorts, with few prosecutions. Wonder how much that cost, and who paid it.

UPDATE II: A reader e-mails to say “Seems like the GOP are the real villains here, trying to make a mountain out of a molehill while doing everything possible to keep people from the polls.” He attached the text of a Talking Points Memo Muckraker article basically saying the vote fraud charges are really a conspiracy conjured up by Karl Rove.

It seems to me that jurisdictions with thousands more votes than voting voters indicate substantial vote fraud, that venues with significantly more voters than residents indicate substantial voter registration fraud, and that counties (in sparsely populated states) with tens of thousands of fraudulent voter registrations indicate massive voter registration fraud. Those are mountains, not molehills.

Meanwhile, I have seen Leftists’ claims of GOP attempts to keep people from the polls, but I have yet to see a single one of these claims substantiated. (The best they have managed so far is an assertion that a sheriff's car was parked several blocks from a polling place — which they pretend somehow did something.)

As for David Iglesias, former U.S. Attorney for New Mexico: He may have launched a voter fraud task force after the 2004 election, but he evidently didn't want it to find anything. He even declined to prosecute a case in which he had a confession. (!)

I am a Democrat, but I am pissed! I am pissed that my party, both directly and through organizations like ACORN, is directly committing vote fraud. And I am pissed that the national leadership of my party is, in my opinion, actively promoting vote fraud ... and getting their flunkies like the Talking Points Memo to lie for them.

Friday, July 20, 2007

“The Eagle Has Landed”

On this date thirty-eight years ago, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon, leaving Michael Collins orbiting
above. Armstrong announced the landing, saying “The Eagle has landed.” We all stayed glued to the TV set to watch the historic event, absorbing everything we could till the astronauts were back in the lunar module for the night.

A day or so later, my grandfather was remarking on what was so striking to him in watching the landing. He mentioned that as a young man he had spent the afternoon in a park in St. Louis, Missouri, watching as a pilot worked very hard to get a Wright flyer off the ground. By the time of the moon landing, he and my grandmother had taken a round-the-world vacation by commercial airliner. My grandfather never ceased to be amazed at the progress made by humanity in just his one single lifetime.

Monday, July 16, 2007


The following story is from 1945, and is true:

Marty had been excited when she boarded the bus that would take her from Jacksonville, Illinois, to Tucson, Arizona. The war in Europe was over, which meant Bud would be returning home. Marty didn't know just when Bud would get home. But she wanted to get back to Tucson, eager to be home again and eager to lay the groundwork so she and Bud could get married as soon as possible after he returned.

Now it was late at night (actually, early in the morning) as the bus rolled across New Mexico. Everyone else was asleep — only Marty and the bus driver were awake, and they were in the middle of a long discussion. Suddenly, the sky lit up with a brilliant light that seemed brighter than mid-day. Everything in sight stood out, but it wasn't obvious where the light was coming from.

The discussion stopped. When it started again, the topic for all the rest of the trip to Tucson was “What was that????” Marty and the bus driver were unable to find any reasonable explanation.

Marty figured it out three weeks later when the newspaper headlines told of the use of a new type of weapon — an atomic bomb — over Hiroshima, Japan. The news stories said there had been a test in the New Mexico desert. A check of the calendar showed that what she and the bus driver had seen that night was the flash from the Trinity Test.

Meanwhile, Bud was still stuck in Europe wondering, along with many others, why they weren’t being sent home and released now that the war was over. He may not have known the Army was working on the logistics of shipping them all from the European to the Pacific Theater. Bud returned home five months later, and my parents were married on Christmas Eve, December 24th, 1945.

The atomic test 15 seconds after detonation July 16, 1945
The Trinity test was the first ever test of a nuclear device

Sixty years later, in July of 2005, my wife and I joined in the event at the National Atomic Museum commemorating the Trinity Test and the beginning of the Atomic Age. It started the night before. We ate dinner with an older couple; she lived through the bombing in Germany as a young girl, and he had seen the Trinity flash on his way to go fishing outside Roswell. There were 1940’s cars in the parking lot, and wartime fashions were shown. The meat of the evening was a panel discussion (more a series of presentations) by two historians and two men who had been part of the Manhattan Engineering District — the Army’s part of the atomic bomb development program more broadly known as the Manhattan Project.

The next morning, on the sixtieth anniversary of the test, we were on one of the event’s three buses. The White Sands Missile Range had the site open for the anniversary. (Normally, it’s only open to the public on two Saturdays a year — one in October and one in April.) We were at Stallion Gate when it opened, and drove in to the McDonald Ranch house where the plutonium pit was assembled. We then spent some time at Ground Zero, before having green chile cheeseburgers at the Owl Cafe in San Antonio (where Manhattan Project people often ate on their way back and forth between the site and Los Alamos) before returning to Albuquerque.

One of the benefits of going as part of the group from the National Atomic Museum was that we weren’t just on our own looking around. Panel members from the night before spoke at the locations, giving us more of a picture of the conditions of sixty years ago. We also heard at least parts of interviews by various press organizations.

At the ranch house, an historian from the museum gave a picture of the camp that existed nearby at that time. He noted that the well and windmill could produce only about a gallon per hour of not very good water — which was why water for the several hundred people at the camp was trucked in. The one luxury was the stock tank, which was used as a swimming pool. Herb Lehr, who in 1945 was a sergeant in the Special Engineering Detachment, recounted bringing the plutonium pit (then the world’s supply of plutonium) down from Los Alamos, and told something of the checkout and assembly process. He noted that the markings on the door (clean your feet, don’t track in dust, etc.) were not authentic because they were done in chalk in 1945, while the ones you see now are painted on. At the request of some of the press representatives, he reenacted for the photographers how he took the assembled pit from the ranch house to the car (a 1942 Plymouth obtained new in 1945) to deliver it to the tower at Trinity Site Ground Zero.

Lehr also told of the hiccup in everyone's heartbeats as they attempted to load the pit into the rest of the device on the tower. Attempted — it didn’t fit, though the same pieces had fit at Los Alamos. The team lead said to just stop and they left it where it was, in contact with the outer uranium sphere, while they thought it through. A few minutes later, it slid in a fraction of an inch, and they realized they had a thermal problem. The plutonium core and the part of the unit near it were hot to the touch; the sphere had overnight cold. As the core heated the section of the sphere near it, its thermal expansion allowed the unit to slide in. Over a half hour or so the unit was assembled.

The historian speaking at Ground Zero (Ferenc Szasz, author of The Day the Sun Rose Twice) focussed on the difficulties in actually performing the test. This included worrying whether the night’s thunderstorms would clear before morning, and needing the wind to come from the proper direction. General Groves directly threatened the meteorologist that night, but fortunately the weather worked out well. That still left the question of whether the device would work properly, and with what kind of explosive yield. Of course, it did work — as everyone who saw the flash can attest.

That made me think of the tale told me years ago by people who had been in the Manhattan Project. Enrico Fermi was among those outside the blockhouse when the Trinity Test took place. After the initial radiation flash, he stood up and started dropping small pieces of paper. When the shock from the detonation arrived, the piece of paper that was in mid-air was moved and fell away from the rest. Fermi measured how far it was moved by the shock and, in just a few minutes, computed an estimate of the test’s explosive yield that was almost as good as the value that came days later from analyses of the experiment’s instrumentation.

Back at Ground Zero, Szasz noted that the inner fence surrounds the area where the test’s fireball touched the ground, where the trinitite was created. (Trinitite is glass created from the sand there by the heat of the Trinity Test fireball, all of which was later buried.) He also said that area was used to determine the detonation altitude that should be used in the attacks on Japan, both to maximize blast and shock effects on the cities from the atomic explosions and to avoid having the detonation fireballs reach the surface. Keeping the fireballs from touching the ground was necessary to minimize nuclear fallout from the explosions so the cities (and the areas downwind) would not be overly dangerous (longer term) either to their surviving residents or to invading U.S. soldiers — and so they would be better able to recover when the war was over.

On the bus ride home, I thought about the wartime focus that allowed a new weapon — a new class of weapon — to be used in the war just three weeks after the Trinity test showed it would work. That’s a very different timeline from what we see today. But it did bring the war to an end.

The National Atomic Museum hosted another event, three weeks after this one, that had as its focus the use of these new weapons during the August missions of the Enola Gay and Bock's Car that dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

More information on the Trinity test and site can be found at the following web locations (among others):

UPDATE: Links added in penultimate paragraph, and for Szasz’ book, in August.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

... What She Said

I have wanted to write a piece about the need to quit ignoring the barbarity of those who have declared themselves our enemies, and the need to recognize how very important it is that we not lose — or quit. Now somebody else has done it, and done it much better than I ever could.

The piece combines Michael Yon's on-scene observations with Kathryn Jean Lopez' analysis to make a necessary point with superb clarity. It is titled "Severed heads beat report cards to the truth".

Go read it. Now.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

An Update from Iraq

There's a new dispatch from Michael Yon in and around Baqubah, Iraq. He provides new information on what the U.S. and Iraqi soldiers are dealing with there, and some perspective on the al Qaeda atrocity he reported previously (and I commented on here). There is information on a couple other topics as well.

Definitely worth reading. Recommended.

Saturday, July 7, 2007


Courtesy of Military Motivator. (Take a look at the kids' pictures on Michael Yon's site, too.)

Certified Pits

Did you know the U.S. hasn't been capable of making nuclear weapons since 1989?

Friday, July 6, 2007


Every time I think they can't possibly get more debased and perverted, they can't possibly sink to an even deeper level of barbarity, the sub-humans of al Qaeda prove me wrong.

The official reported that on a couple of occasions in Baqubah, al Qaeda invited to lunch families they wanted to convert to their way of thinking. In each instance, the family had a boy, he said, who was about 11-years-old. As LT David Wallach interpreted the man’s words, I saw Wallach go blank and silent. He stopped interpreting for a moment. I asked Wallach, “What did he say?” Wallach said that at these luncheons, the families were sat down to eat. And then their boy was brought in with his mouth stuffed. The boy had been baked. Al Qaeda served the boy to his family.
It seems to me the families served in this way were those with whom al Qaeda had been making no progress. This sort of barbaric treatment is unlikely to convert parents to the barbarians' point of view.

There are those who have suggested this is some sort of urban legend. And that is possible. But these actions were clearly believed by the official who reported them, and who showed a firm grasp on what had really been going on in the Baqubah area in the rest of what he said. And I, for one, would not be ready to assert that those rape and kill women and children in front of their families, and who enjoy using power drills on people in al Qaeda torture houses, would shrink from this additional barbarity.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Fourth!

Yes, we have our disagreements. Some are even important. But let's remember what binds us together. Two hundred thirty-one years ago, our Founding Fathers created our nation as one of the most audacious experiments in history. Since then, we have become the greatest nation on God's green earth — and that's something to celebrate!

Just a Normal Al Qaeda Day

Al Qaeda terrorists are trying to set up a shadow government in Iraq, complete with its own courts, torture houses, and prisons. They are trying to call themselves "The Islamic State of Iraq" but Michael Yon reports the new name is just "lipstick on a pig" there. One reason is the version of Sharia law implemented by the Al Qaeda Muftis (judges) which includes severing the two "smoking fingers" of those caught smoking, beatings for refusing to grow beards, and beatings for such "obscene sexual suggestiveness" as carrying tomatoes and cucumbers in the same bag.

Like most bullies, Al Qaeda terrorists make a great show of being fearsome warriors but, also like most bullies, they are cowards. Al Qaeda terrorists hide behind women and children, and attack Coalition soldiers from behind their human shields. Al Qaeda terrorists are caught trying to escape while dressed as women. Al Qaeda terrorists take over a village they think they can hide in and attack American and Iraqi soldiers from, murder every man & woman & child & animal in the village, and rig the houses with explosives when they cut & run — leaving it to the Iraqi army to provide the burial rites of the religion the terrorists pretend to follow. Al Qaeda terrorists cut off the heads of children.

All in a normal day's activities for the Al Qaeda wolves, the pretenders in Muslim sheep's clothing. And, of course, these activities are completely ignored by the New York Times.

Scooter Libby Commutation

President George Bush on Monday commuted the sentence imposed by a federal judge on I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, removing the imprisonment but leaving the conviction intact with its fine and probation. The Left's response has been to attack Bush for the commutation, claiming it's an interference in the judicial process — ignoring the fact that executive clemency has always been an integral part of the process. Meanwhile, the Right has been angry that Bush didn't pardon Libby outright.

One thing every commentator I have seen has missed, however, is this: If Bush had pardoned Libby, the appeals process would have been aborted. By commuting the sentence, but leaving the conviction intact, Bush has enabled the appeal to go forward. Clearly he expects the conviction to be overturned by the appellate courts — perhaps in part because of several of the judge's rulings, but mostly because of the actions of a rogue prosecutor who knew at the beginning of his investigation (1) who the leaker was (Richard Armitage) and (2) that (probably) no crime had been committed; he ignored the actual leaker — the supposed object of his investigation — but continued anyway until he could find somebody he could convict of something. That's a result that may, as Bush and his advisors seem to feel, merit keeping the appeal alive.