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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Mark Steyn On The "Imperial" Senate, Wiretaps, And Moonbats

One of my favorite guests on Hugh's show is Mark Steyn. Not only does he have the wonderfully superb English accent, but he is one of the smartest people you will ever hear.

HH: It's also been reported over the last week that the fellow...the president of Iran continues to say the sorts of things we associate with the Holocaust deniers in the United States and around the world, who we put into that cabin of nutters. And this guy has a lot of power. Is that intentional on his part? Or does he really believe it? Is he trying to provoke? Or is he trying to be believed?

MS: Well, I think if you look at this guy's background, he was one of the fellows involved in the hostage crisis 25 years ago. He does believe it. You hear this all the time in the Middle East. I like an awful lot of Arabs, and an awful lot of Persians. But when you're out there, there comes a point in the conversation, sometimes it's two minutes into the conversation, sometimes it's forty minutes into the conversation, where an apparently well-educated, intelligent person will say something to you about Israel and the Jews that is utterly insane. And the only surprise here is that this guy is saying it in public, and when he sees the Western press, and I gather that several of the bigshot ayatollahs are telling him to ease up on it, instead of saying he was misunderstood, he actually clarifies it each time.

The thing about his "clarifications" is that more often than not, it is only getting worse. I would rather him stand at a podium with a scimitar and say, point-blank, he hates Jews. I would love to see a tirade erupt out of this man reminiscent of the Hitler rally speeches. That way he is on the record, which he obviously wants, and he gets it out of his system, which is apparently eating at his mind. He sounds like a madman. Demanding that Europe take care of "their problem." The Jews originated in the Holy Lands; they have just as much right to exist there as the Arabs do. Moreso in my opinion.

HH: Yes. Yes, he says no, I really do mean this, and Israel's got to go.

MS: Yeah.

HH: So at what point does Europe...forget us...does Europe get serious? Or is Israel going to have to do this on their own?

MS: There will be...nobody in Europe is going to get serious, I think with the possible exception of the British government. But even the British government has gone along with this pretense that Iran is, in fact, a Muslim democracy in the Middle East. And many of these continental countries, after America withdrew in the wake of the fall of the Shah, the Germans and the French were eager to jump in there and take up the big trade deals and everything that were an offer, and they are simply too locked into that. And they...I think not so much in London, but I think in Paris and Berlin, they've already adjusted to the reality of a nuclear Iran. In other words, they understand that Iran is going to be a nuclear power, and they accept that.

To put Israel's safety and security in the hands of Europe is like inviting the sleepy sheepdog to watch the sheep, and keep the wolves at bay. More often than not, Europe turns a blind eye to things they dislike, and they have no problem jumping into bed with a devil like Ahmadinejad. Look at France, Germany, and Russia; noe of them had any misgivings about dealing weapons--forbidden weapons, mind you--to Saddam Hussein, and being paid in the same money that they were receiving in kickbacks. That, of course, was the Oil-For-Food Scandal.

HH: That is remarkable. Will Israel accept it, in your opinion, Mark Steyn?

MS: I don't think so, but that isn't the easiest flight to make, to take out the Iranian nuclear program. And again, I think insofar as there's any kind of sane strategy between what Tehran is doing, it's basically trying to stretch out these sort of joke European Union negotiations for long enough to close off the Israelis' options. That's really the interest in them from Tehran's point of view.

I could not agree more. Tehran is jerking the EU around, and trying to placate us in the meantime while they work on their nuclear program. They bought 25 surface-ti-air missiles from Russia last month, making Israel's job even tougher. Today, Jane's Defense Weekly (which Hugh mentioned at the top of the show) reported that Iran has aquired 25 medium to intermediate range missiles from North Korea. Not nuclear, mind you, but they now have a delivery package available to them. What is even more disturbing is that the clowns in the EU would be just stupid enough to cave in, and give Iran the heavy water reactor they have been demanding. Sure, give the pyromaniac the zippo, you dolts. Heavy water reactor waste is fissionable material; it is the nuclear component needed for a nuclear weapon.

HH: All right. Let's switch to the United States, where the United States Senate is hardly covering itself in glory this week. Have you watched much of the last couple of days, Mark Steyn?

MS: I find the Senate unwatchable. I mean, I think they are the House of Lords, and I think these people...these guys with hundreds of staff. I lost a beloved assistant of mine in my own New Hampshire office, Melissa, who went off to work for Senator Sununu. And I assumed, you know, that she was going to be his executive supremo, like she was for me. He's got hundreds of people working for him, and I don't understand why citizen legislators need these sort of...the size of court that a self-respecting Middle Eastern emir would have. I think that's part of the problem. That's why they're out of touch. It's effectively become the House of Lords, literally in the case of Lincoln Chafee, whose only there because of his dad. He inherited the title. It's like inheriting a dukedom or an earldom. And I think it's an obnoxious and disgraceful offense for American democracy, even if it hadn't performed abysmally in the last four years, which it has. It's a September the 10th Senate.

No, it's worse. This is a Senate that believes they are living in 1977, and nothing can happen to them. All is well, the country has it's problems (mostly due to their dawdling to begin with) but they can live with it. The Senate is busying itself in slowly dismantling our ability to see our enemies coming at us. Thomas has stated that if the Patriot Act dies, and they browbeat the GOP into caving on the NSA program, that we are screwed. "The clock is ticking, and as of now, the enemy is keeping score." Thomas is right. Mark is right. And anyone with a brain knows this.

HH: It is. That's on my list of questions for you. Are we living in a 9/10 or a 9/12 world, and you've just answered it for the Senate. And I think it's even...it's spreading through the House of Representatives, etc, which came back to the proposed six month extension of the Patriot Act, and it's turned into a one month extension of the Patriot Act, when nobody's there, Mark Steyn. It's like a carnival.

MS: Well you know, I mean just to clarify my position on that, I'm a small government guy. I think the ATF and the DEA and the FBI have way too many powers. I think there's a big bureaucratization that has gone on in the name of homeland security, which has nothing to do with homeland security. But at the same time, I think if you do want a government that has extraordinary powers in wartime, the ability to conduct foreign intelligence is the one corner of the world where they should be free to do things. And you know, it's not even that we're back in a September 10th America, it's worse than that, because effectively now, what's happened under the Democrats and weak-willed Republicans is the United States government is effectively extending the rights and privileges of United States citizens to foreign terrorists in foreign countries. They're saying now that if you really want to act against some guy in an al Qaeda cell in Hamburg, or in Pakistan, he's effectively got the same rights that O.J. Simpson had when he was accused of something. I mean, this is preposterous.

Which is what much of this debate revolving around civil liberties is about. Those on the "Defeatocrat" side wants to give everyone in the world the same as we possess. We are a sovereign nation. We have borders and we have laws. The most precious law that exists lies within the Constitution. It is our highest law, and nothing can trump it. The Fourteenth Amendment specifically outlines what a citizen is. Habib from Iran is not a citizen here. Mohammed from Pakistan is not a citizen. The Constitution is explicit, and there is no way in Hell that these people should be extended our rights. They are trying to kill us for crying out loud. What part of that does the Left not get. The more these animals try to kill us, the angrier we get. And when we do not see results we throw temper-tantrums that result in job losses. Ask Tom Daschle.

HH: Have you been following the legal argument today, the Deparment of Justice released a brief, my friend, John Hinderacker at Powerline put everything up, I have been writing about it extensively. Even liberals like the University of Chicago's Cass Sunstein, who will join me next hour are agreeing the president has this power. But have you been following this debate? And as a very well-informed non-lawyer, is the correct analysis getting through in your opinion?

MS: I think...Well, I think there are two things. I mean, I think on the legal side is absolutely right. In other words, I don't believe they have a legal case. But I think that in the big picture things, this is the very least that most Americans would expect their government to be doing. And so I think the politics of it would be disastrous for Democrats, even if they could prove that they were right in the very narrow, legalistic sense. I still think the politics would be disastrous. But I think the legal grounds are absolutely clear here. And even in the bits where it gets a little murkier, this distinction in law between what they call a U.S. person and non-U.S. person. Even their way does get a little grayer. The preponderance of the evidence is that the president is within the rights to do what he's been doing, and we would expect him to do it.

Yes. Yes. Right on the money. At some point, the Left will have to concede who is and is not a citizen. When that time rolls around, enough dots will have been connected to the others that are, and we can still nail the ring. But he is right. The Democrats sit within a Catch-22 right now. They are not ginning up nearly as much outrage over the NSA program as they had hoped. The stalling of the Patriot Act lit up phone lines in Congressional offices in DC. Their attack has already backfired. By pushing further, you risk really irritating the voters. On the flip side, if they do find a tiny little edge of legality that a court would be willing to exploit, enough people know the spying does not affect the average citizen. In other words it is not hurting us, it is hurting the terrorists, and by hurting the president over this, it is going to hurt us in the long run. And I wonder who will lay the hurt on the Democrats then?

HH: I agree with you completely. Let's go to the politics of it then. Ought the Republicans in the Senate yesterday to have forced the Democrats to A) shut down the Pentagon, or let us drill in ANWAR, or B) force them to filibuster the Patriot Act. Should they have gone the extra mile?

MS: I think so. I think ANWAR is something where I think you can fault Republicans in general, and also, I think, the president for not making this case in the fall of 2001. But basically, our only interest, the interest of the Western world, and the interest it has in the Middle East, is basically that it's an oil producer. And so the way to in effect the Middle East less critical to our interests, is to play up North American sources of energy. And the idea that you prioritize at a time of war the world's largest mosquito herd, which is what all that...you know, wilderness sounds very nice. In fact, it's extremely ugly up there. I've been north of 60, as they say, a few times, and anyone who thinks this is sort of pretty is wrong. It's basically a wilderness with a giant mosquito herd. And the elks like the pipeline, and the caribou like the pipeline. It would be fine. And if you can't do it in wartime, then when can you do it?

The GOP, in general, since the beginning of the year have been reluctant to act with any air of determination or leadership. They have caved into the Democrats. They have compromised. They have been willing to take it on the chin, night after night being cordially civil, and the Democrats still do not respect them. There will never be respect for conservatism from this crop of liberals. They think we are wrong from the start, and believe that they are entitled to the power that the people removed them from. ANWaR is an extremely important issue that the Left just will not budge on, and the GOP is scared to death to force. And Mark is correct as Thomas and I have been carping about this since the debate erupted, and we have always maintained that the drilling in ANWaR is a matter of national security. It will lead to our own energy independence. We should not be dependent on outside sources on this day, at this time. And for the Left to continue basically protecting one giant tundra because the tree-huggers are afraid an oil well will disturb their pristine wilderness, or ruin the view of a mountain. It is truly pathetic how much they are willing to pander to their bloody special interests.

HH: Exactly. And thirty seconds, Mark Steyn. Senate leadership, Bill Frist, up or down this week in terms of your esteem?

MS: Down. You know, we keep talking about getting to the sixty seat Senate. Looking at the way some of these Senators behave, you'd have to have seventy nominally Republican Senators, and even then you'd be in doubt on a lot of votes.

Agreed. If anyone wants a barometer of how lost the GOP is, look at Sen. Frist. They are weak, capitualting, and afraid of their own shadows. Why is it that we--bloggers, those in the alternative media, or an average citizen--can mount an argument, foster that argument, engage with that argument, no matter the subject, and the GOP leadership is afraid to? There is a level of decorum wirthin the Senate, and if the party must mount a real filibuster, or force the Democrats to close down business, then so be it. But to kow-tow to this party of defeatists so that they will not talk bad about you is precisely pathetic.

HH: Always a pleasure, Mark Steyn. You can read everything he writes at Steynonline.com, America. Mark Steyn, thank you.

I really like Mark Steyn, and now you can see why. He is polite in his critique. It reminds me of the book I am reading right now. It is "Weapons of Mass Distortion" by Brent Bozell. It was a lesson Sam Donaldson taught him: "Always professional, never personal."

The Bunny ;)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe the Jewish people in Israel when they say, "Never again." They mean it. The two most powerful leaders in Iran agree that Israel is to wiped off the map. Israel won't permit that to happen. The UN never condemned the remarks but rather sided with Palestine. Rawriter

2:04 AM  

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