Monday, December 27, 2004

The UN's Food for Sex Program and Linux

Times Online - World

Holy Crap! Is there no end to the corruption in the U.N.?
HOME-MADE pornographic videos shot by a United Nations logistics expert in the Democratic Republic of Congo have sparked a sex scandal that threatens to become the UN’s Abu Ghraib.

The expert was a Frenchman who worked at Goma airport ... When the police arrived the man was allegedly about to rape a 12-year-old girl sent to him in a sting operation ... Investigations have already turned up 150 allegations of sexual misconduct by peacekeepers and UN staff despite the UN’s official policy of “zero-tolerance”. One found 68 allegations of misconduct in the town of Bunia alone.

UN insiders told The Times that two Russian pilots based in Mbandaka paid young girls with jars of mayonnaise and jam to have sex with them.

Of course these abuses are not officially U.N. actions, but should we not consider that certain organizations lend themselves to corruption? Furthermore, once an organization has been corrupted to the extent that we now find in the U.N., there really is no hope of rehabilitaion.

When your copy of Windows has been messed up by years of sloppy program installations, the best fix is format c: and re-install.

We should reformat the U.N. This time let's install Linux.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

The Ethics of Stem Cell Research: When is it Okay to Kill Someone?

Recently I had an argument with my best friend. She’s an intelligent person, and I don’'t take her opinions lightly, but we disagree on a lot. For example, she was appalled that I said Ron Reagan Jr. is an idiot.

Okay, he’'s not, but in political banter, yes he is. In politics, it’s okay to call your opponents idiots when you think they’re wrong— she thinks Bush is an idiot. Here’'s my vision of that idiocy spectrum:

Brilliant--------Smart-------Idiot-------Can't Participate
DaVinci---------Churchill------Bush---------Ron Reagan
Hawking---------Twain--------Kerry---------Embryos

My friend wondered if I’d heard Ron Reagan's speech at the DNC. I hadn'’t, so I found it and read it. I was not disappointed to find his case ever so easily shattered.

Ron Reagan is perfectly entitled to disagree with the pro-life argument, but I don’'t think he understands it. He dismisses it as “the theology of a few” , ”an article of faith”, a “mere ideology”. But he is participating in the decision to define life. Whether your religion or lack of it informs your decision, it’s still an article of faith. In other words, I can’t prove an embryo is a person, but he can’t prove it’s not. Please don'’t misinterpret this as Ron does, smugly implying that I don'’t recognize the moral difference between a clump of cells and a diabetic 13-year old girl. Of course, I can make the distinction. The question is, what should I do with that. He says “it is a hallmark of human intelligence that we are able to make distinctions”. That's 100% wrong! My cats make distinctions! A truer hallmark of human intelligence is imagination. If he has imagination, he knows that the complexity of the discussion lies in the morality of defining person-hood, and where we draw lines.

Here are some applicable excerpts from his lack-luster speech:
... even one [embryo] that will never he implanted in a womb and will never develop into an actual fetus, By the way, no fetal tissue is involved in this process. No fetuses are created, none destroyed. This all happens in the laboratory at the cellular level . . . these cells could theoretically have the potential, under very different circumstances, to develop into human beings -- that potential is where their magic lies. But they are not, in and of themselves, human beings. They have no fingers and toes, no brain or spinal cord. They have no thoughts, no fears. They feel no pain. Surely we can distinguish between these undifferentiated cells multiplying in a tissue culture and a living, breathing person -- parent, a spouse, a child.

He limits the discussion by only comparing cell clumps and suffering loved ones. He never engages other incredibly important questions. For instance, at what point does it become not okay to harvest humans? At what point is person-hood a fact and not “an article of faith”? Which is more arrogant: killing someone based on your belief of when life begins; or telling someone they don’t have the right to kill someone based on their belief of when life begins? Is it morally okay to require people to pay for what they find morally repugnant? Is it a violation of church and state to take my money for a practice that is against my religion? How much money should you take from more promising research to give to less promising research? I could go on and on, but Ron Reagan can’t—actually I think he can, he just doesn’t. He prefers to be sophomoric and insulting.

So where does this leave us? Mengele experimented on Jews. Robespierre slaughtered the enemies of the Republic. The Confederacy enslaved Blacks. They all rationalized how their work created a better world, sublimating the issue of human rights. But human rights are inalienable. They’re not a gift of the government or the will of the people. The question is what is human? As Ron Reagan himself says, the magic lies in the potential.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

A Vote for Bush was a Vote for Morality

My father gave me quite a shock last weekend when he unabashedly admitted over dinner that he had voted for Bush this election. Shocking, because both he and my mother stayed unified in their disdain for Bush and "his" war all during the election. Because of this, Kerry would be getting their votes on Nov. 2nd.

Why, then, did he vote Bush? The abortion issue. When it came down to it, he could not in good conscience vote a "pro-choice" official into office. My mother still voted for Kerry. Dad, a Catholic since 1997(I think). Mom, a Catholic since the day she was baptised ( a long time ago). I couldn't be prouder of my dad for not putting his religion to the side because it didn't suit his political beliefs.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

"A Retailer's Christmas Story"

You may have seen on the news or heard by word of mouth the Target and Salvation Army controversey. If you have heard something about it, then you probably only have half the story. If you haven't, then I will summarize it for you. If you don't care, then please go on to the next post below.

Every Christmas Target stores have allowed the Salvation Army to post a bell ringer at the front of each store. But not this year. After refusing other charities that same opportunity, these organizations threatened Target with lawsuits. So Target pulled the plug on the bell ringers to avoid this hassle. The Salvation Army guys were furious and shocked that Target took this "scrooge-ish" postion. They claim that they will lose approx. 9 million in donations by not soliciting at Target stores. This story was reported in the media and unhappy citizens are sending e-mails to consumers urging a mass boycott of Target stores.

O.K., first of all Target should be able to do whatever the hell they want. They are a private business and if they want fifty guys or just one guy soliciting at the store that is there business. I think they should be able to pick and choose who they want and if they want it. Also, the Sal. Army and the idiot public are blaming the wrong people for that lost 9 mil. Because a few charities got greedy, they prevented a perfectly good and legitimate organization from realizing their holiday donation goals. I will also mention that after the decision to bar the bell ringer was made, Target decided to donate money to the Sal. Army. The official numbers are not in yet, but each store could donate to their local chapter and decide how much to give based on each store's budget. (and that varies from store to store.) Our store gave the max. amount of $700. If every store gave at least that much than the company-wide donation would be approx. $910,000. Since this is is considerably less than the supposed 9 mil they would have made, it seems very cheap. But look at it this way, Target didn't have to give anything. With the bell ringer in place, Target pays nothing. Because of the lawsuits, Target donates this meager amount, and the Sal. Army falls short of its goal. Nobody wins here.

The good news for Target is that by next year no one will remember this story or that they were ever mad at Target to begin with. This year however, Target management like my husband will continue to recieve phone calls from customers shaming them for their cold-heartedness. Although not all the calls are negative. Some are actually thanking the store for removing the "annoying" bell ringer. I personally don't mind it much and despite the unfair press they've given Target, I'm sure I'll keep putting my quarters into the red bucket.

Lucky for us, Buckley is still around

Goldwater - Conservatism is on 'firing line':

We are the governing power and we won something similar to a mandate if not, in fact, an actual one. The question we have before us now is, "What do we do now?" We have been the opposition party for so long, we have to be careful how we proceed. What I mean is that we must guard against becoming the thing we hate. Here is an excerpt for the above discussion:
"Now, there's a difference between how a movement in dissent engages and how one that seeks to govern does so. But there's also a difference between political pragmatism and abandonment of principle.

Politicians need to make tactical decisions about how to nudge policy in the right direction. But the role of philosophical conservatives should be to try to expand the ambit of the politically possible through persuasion.

Right now, the conservative movement has an insufficient ratio of philosophers to tacticians. "

Let us continue to push political thinking to the edge and then bring it back too. We are the party of ideas and of debate. Let us continue to offer up ideas like the consumption tax / abolishing the IRS or the flat tax.

We are and must be the keepers of the flame of Liberty. It would be a shame if we let that flame go out simply because we were afraid of losing an election.

Friday, November 26, 2004

ABC News: New Details Emerge in Matthew Shepard Murder

ABC News: New Details Emerge in Matthew Shepard Murder

Well the story aired and 20/20 went to lengths to say that even if it was not a hate crime, it tought us all to be nice to gays. Huh? I doubt that there are more than two or three people that learned this lesson. I mean, the sort of stupid bigot who would be mean to gays only because they are so is not the sort to learn this lesson.

But this logic is exactly the problem with liberal thinking: If the result B of event A agrees with leftists ideology then A is good. It is consequentialism perverted beyond belief. Do not ask about event A itself, and if you do find out that event A is really a completely different event C, ignore that fact and maintain that result B is still valid.

Normal people, when they discover that event A is in fact event C, say something like, "well, maybe I should rethink my understanding of result B." Think McArthy, Japanese Internment, Viet Nam, etc.

Also, as I have argued in the past, this is another example of people confusing the simple and the complex. Surprise! The Shepard murder turns out to be more complex in its details. Liberals have been happy to think of it as simple hate crime and use it as a means to implement their stupidly complex code of gay rights. But what do they do when they find out that the details are very much more complex? They end up in fits.

Complexity does not bother us so much, since we do not lose sight of the simple truth. Matthew Shepard was murdered. That is the truth and no change in the circumstances will adulterate that crime. For Liberals, Matthew Shepard was not murdered, he was the victim of a hate crime. Worse, he was dehumanized into another "Cause." Remembering him that way is ugly and evil.

Reply to Steven's "Post Election Trauma"

Sub Cultro: Post-Election Selection Trauma

Honestly, it sickens me when I hear someone going on about the draft. That is the sort of person with which one can not reason. Do we counter that with our own hysterical, conspiracy story? I mean one that a liberal might believe? Do we need to construct our own big corporation, skull and bones, mustache twirling image of the Democrats and then spread the story around campi that Hillary is from a red state and is secretly a KKK queen who wants to nationalize health care in order to provide easy abortions for blacks thereby eliminating them from the American gene pool?

That should be easy because, since they have no ideas of their own, there is plenty of room in their mushy little heads for this sort of thing.

I think that smart people can end up like these morons because some people place politics in the non-rational portion of their lives. I mean, many people are smart but make stupid life choices. Money can be this way too. That is why you find mathematicians who go broke.

I know I've detected this before. You can just sort of feel it when you listen to them discuss politics -- they do not construct their sentences quite right: lots of "I feel", "everyone knows" and that sort of thing. The best give away is that they do not respond when someone knocks out the factual basis of their argument. They just restate their conclusion or simply deny the validity of the facts.

That 4th debate was quite funny. Speaking of that, those SNL debate skits were funny and not 100% against Bush either (like they normally are). Nice. Perhaps another signal that things are changing. I have heard it strait from a professor's mouth that SNL has the "right" politics. Well, if that is true, if SNL (and obviously the other Upper West Side media outlets) leads the way, then this really could be a sign that the Left is losing its monopoly on our media culture.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Desperate Housewives Controversy- aka The Lesson of the Superbowl Fiasco

Nick and I just watched a debate regarding the show Desperate Housewives.

A guest panelist was indignant that the producers of Desperate Housewives had intentionally advertised during football games.

I say it's inappropriate to advertise such content during family programming. Also, I say they would've been stupid not to. They knew that it would create a huge activist morals movement as it did against Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake. Who could ask for better advertisement than that?

The actual commercial itself is small change compared to the add time Desperate Housewives will get when the morality wars are fought.

The "opened minded" are salivating to tell off the uptight prudes, thereby demonstrating their hip open-mindedness. The prudes and the hipsters at home can't wait to yell at the TV about how offended they are.

It's guaranteed ratings for the show and any news program that discusses it.

I think D. H. producers and ABC are the ones who best learned the lesson of the Superbowl "fiasco".

Post-Election Selection Trauma

There are a lot of Kerry supporters who were majorly stunned by the election result. I can tell you that here at the University of Tennessee's Hodges Library (which during the campaign I referred to as "Kerry Country", the days after the election did not show many happy faces. Apparently it was so bad that some people in Florida are seeking therapy to fight the "trauma" they have experienced. Seeing the people's reactions around here (and this is in a state that everyone new was going to vote Bush, but still hoped the nation would choose "correctly") I can believe that people in Floriday are seeking help and (I AM NOT JOKING HERE) really might need help.

There was the impression here that Kerrey would win (I'll admit I thought he would) and an honest shock (I was not shocked, but pleased). Something else that was weird was how deep some of the people were biting into the "Bush and the Draft" spin, "Bush is a dumb person" spin, and the "Cheney's ex-company profiteering" spin. The draft and the dumb thing puzzle me because these are intelligent people, but it's like they threw up a mental block. The draft was an obvious political lie put out by the democrats and meant to spread misinformation. I don't approve of it, but that is part of politics today. The dumb thing I could kind of get my mind around because of the urge to mock the opponent, but it seemed to go farther than that in many of the peoples minds around here, and I am having more of a problem understanding that.

There was also a lot of dissatisfaction with the "no child left behind is a terrible program" which isn't quite a spin as much as a dislike of a program (although no alternative program seemed to ever be presented by those with this attitude).

Noticeably missing was the "I like Kerry's idea of changing ...." or" I think Kerry's idea of fixing ..." thoughts which you would think would be present in the candidate you support. This of course, supporting the already mentioned notion that people were voting against Bush, not for Kerry.


Check out this site for the therapy articl. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1275260/posts. The article seems good but the peoples comments at the end are predictable. For the short and sweet report: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&u=/afp/20041109/ts_alt_afp/us_vote_kerry_offbeat I actually first heard it on one of the television news programs but I can't remember which.

Also check out the "4th Presidential Debate skit" on http://www.capsteps.com/ . Ammusing even if no longer relevant.

Bush strikes blow in Culture War

President Bush Awards 2004 National Humanities Medals

I saw at Armavirumque that Bush awarded Hilton Kramer a National Humanities award. Don't know who that is? Well, that is not suprising since he has been a critic of Leftism and a proponent of objectivity for many years. Here is a snipet from First Things' review of his essay collection Twilight of the Intellectuals:
But it is when he turns to matters of art and aesthetics that Kramer’s strengths as a thinker come most fully into play. Though a host of his ideological enemies have branded him a "reactionary elitist" for his belief in objective aesthetic standards, Kramer is no Philistine. After half a century, he retains a qualified but genuine love for the achievements of modernism in art. For all of its contradictions and dead ends, modernism was a movement that cared about beauty, meaning, and the prophetic calling of the artist.

Kramer brings these commitments to bear on Susan Sontag in one of the best essays in the collection. In an unsparing dissection of Sontag’s famous 1964 essay "On Camp," Kramer sees this "pasionaria of style" to be the herald of our postmodern malaise. Sontag’s celebration of camp, with its fundamentally amoral vision ("the victory of ‘style’ over ‘content,’ ‘aesthetics’ over ‘morality,’ ‘irony’ over ‘tragedy’"), has gone hand–in–hand with the triumph of pop culture, the decay of standards, and the sort of blithe nihilism that dominates much of academia today.

Irving Kristol's wife, Gertrude Himmelfarb, loved by us hated by them, also received an award. She has written about the virtues of Victorian Values; can't you just imagine the red faced liberals!

Finally, John R. Searle made the triple play. Notable now for his Philosophy of Mind, but worthy of special attention for his deconstruction of Deconstruction, his fight with the center of all literay evil, the now dead Derrida. From the New Criterion:
In 1977, for example, the philosopher John Searle wrote “Reiterating the Differences: A Reply to Derrida,” an attack on deconstruction that was devastating—we would have said “unanswerable,” except that Derrida instantly swung into print with a tenebrous piece of sophistry that would have been funny if it had not been in earnest. (“When I say that I do not know John R. Searle, that is not ‘literally’ ‘true.’ For that would seem to mean that I have never met him ‘in person,’ ‘physically,’ and yet I am not sure of that,” etc., etc.)

Among other things, Derrida’s response to Searle illustrated the Janus-faced character of deconstruction. For Derrida’s followers, deconstruction was a weapon, an instrument of subversion.
We are winning the war on terror. We are winning the political war. These victories, however, will be fleeting if we do not win the war of ideas. As Professor Liulevicius says. "Ideas have Consequences."

Sunday, November 21, 2004

I AM A CONSERVATIVE . . .Really, I am

I am a conservative . . .Yes, really, I am. I've been told I'm not, but not by one who is an authority on the subject. There are people who matter to me who still don't know why and how I am indeed a conservative.

This will be a series of posts because it's just too much info for only one. Becoming conservative has been a slow, organic process. I'm always questioning what I believe and why I believe it. I was a Democrat longer than I've been a conservative. For a while, I claimed to be a Libertarian, and I was at the time. Now I'm a registered Republican voter.

I vote Republican because I am a conservative; what do I wish to conserve? -- The Constitution and the freedoms it seeks to protect. Our democratic republic. A just and reasoned approach to government.

People who know me know that I am no bigot. I'm not a religious person. Absolutely I am not a country music fan. I'm not stupid or prudish. Among my peers (I'm a registered nurse) I'm considered well informed.

How, you may ask, can I be a conservative (and indeed, vote for Dubya) if the characteristics above do not apply to me?

Stay tuned for future posts . . .

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Superiores Rantores

I'm sure you've seen the Fuck the South site. It is funny, that is true, and we all love a good rant. I am happy to give credit where it is due, but nothing beats a righteous rant.

Here are two. First from Dean's World, and second from Cold Fury, thanks to RepulicanWitch.

Just glorious...and true too.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Elitism, Marxism and Moonbats

I have been saying that the Democrats need to purge Leftism from their party. Because I like to hear myself say the same things over and over in slightly different ways, I offer this:
Paul Conkin (The New Deal, 1967), a reasonably typical representative of younger radical scholars, emphasized capitalism’s ugliness and spiritual poverty ... The problem lay not so much in the inadequacies of the New Deal as in the inadequacies of the American system. Conventional democratic politics, he said, is "a perennial interim accommodation with ignorance." The final blame for the New Deal’s failure lay with the "appalling economic ignorance and philosophic immaturity of the American electorate." FT October 2004: Articles

Sound familiar? The Left has made very little real progress in their thinking since the sixties, other than calling themselves Progressive. As evidence, I introduce the charming modern Marxist Tom Frank who wrote What's the Matter with Kansas. You may have seen him recently on Harball or O'Reilly (he also op-eds for the NYT). Now, I rather like this guy, but he is deeply wrong. He professes moderation, but still talks in terms of workers and management. It is my belief that the rest of us, the not-Leftists, have made intellectual progress since the good ole days. We have come to realize that classifying people in terms like workers is anachronistic. People are individuals. The Founders set the stage with their still revolutionary notion that each individual has inalienable rights. The rest of the Law flows from this. It is wrong, and possibly immoral, to treat people only as members of a class. This is what Conservatives mean when they cry Class Warfare!

It is true enough that in the early part of the 20th century America needed to be corrected, and that the Left did the correcting -- the free market is also subject to the moral code. People should be free to enter into whatever working arrangement they want, but their individual rights should also be protected. One problem is that the Left has an immoral code. Specifically, they do not believe in personal freedom and individual inalienable rights. If they could, they would institute social justice policies that violate these rights. One simple example, of which my wife, here Ben and Clover, is fond: charity by means of the state is impossible and in fact evil. (Walter Williams is the most famous proponent of this idea).

Laurin has recently complained about the barking moonbat Jeneane Garofalo. For some reason most of these idiots accept the basic assumptions of the Left. This is weird since they make all their money from capitalism. I would love to see their tax returns. If they are like Kerry's it would be revealing. I mean if you are going to preach about giving money to the less fortunate, you had better give more than you pay in taxes or you are a hypocrite. Of course, red states actually are more generous than blue states; and that is after subsidizing liberal programs and with the market burdens of stupid liberal restrictions.

America dominates the world in freedom and goodness despite the appalling economic ignorance and philosophic immaturity of the American Leftists. Imagine a world without them.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

"Stick to making funny movies, Jeneane."

I loved Jeneane Garofalo's comedy in one of my favorite movies "Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion". But now she has a new brand of "comedy" that is gross and anti-American. In addition to her stint as a liberal radio talk show host on Air America, she performs a stand-up routine which mostly is a forum for her political views. In one sketch, she sits on a chair pretending to be Laura Bush reading a storybook to a group of dead Iraqi children. For those who believe in this war and for the loved ones of men and women who have died in order for Iraqi children to be free, to say this is disgusting, unfair, and wrong is a gross understatement. I find it interesting, though, that her compassion for children does not extend to the millions of children in this country who are not even born because their mothers exercised their right to kill them.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Autism from Wizbang

Wizbang

It seems this interesting Wizbang fellow is from New Hampshire -- God, I love it up here! Although my NH peeps did vote 50-49 for Kerry. I blame the lefty MA types who outsource their housing.

Anyway, inflammation and immune responses both are moderated in some people by a paleo diet (even for moderate carbohydrate intake, if I remember). I can think of two very clear examples of this.

Further, the Paleolithic model would also predict that children need exposure to germs and so forth.

Laurin was supposed to post about her experience with vitamin and fish oil supplementation, but I guess she too wants to be removed from the team.

Also, go back to Wizbang and check this out. Holy Moly!

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Matthew Shepard, The Bull Moose and History.

WorldNetDaily: Was Matthew Shepard just a robbery victim?

Why, this is interesting. The killers have nothing to gain here, except, I guess, publicity, whatever that is worth to one serving a double life sentence.

Remember those fake Muslim hate crimes? And need I mention the littany of other false "crimes" in our history books.

How about this discussion of The Bull Moose over at Ex Parte.

Now that Derrida is dead (fun had here and here etc.) perhaps we can actually correct all the crazy history his ilk has bequeathed us.

How old is Noam Chomsky?

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Race, Drugs and Conservative Wisdom

Michelle Malkin: NEW YORK TIMES WEIGHS IN ON THE SCIENTIFIC VALIDITY OF RACIAL CLASSIFICATIONS

Some things are simple. Some things are complex. Most things are both. I have written on this before, but I guess every one in the world did not read my post. Let me sum it up.

Conservatives are so because we know that the past offers us a vast treasure of simple wisdom to deal with things which are complex. The Left calls itself the progressive movement precisely because they desire to leave that wisdom behind. When confronted by a complex problem, they lack the simple wisdom developed by humans over the last million years or so.

One example of this is the gay marriage problem. There are two important simple truths that conservatives know. First, human life is organized around the family with its clear gender roles. Second, social change is best when deliberate. We took many decades to affect the end of slavery and rightly so. Only with this process could we have succeeded. Today, the Progressives try to affect social change through he courts, subverting the deliberative process. Expectedly, they are failing in a dramatic way which will probably set them back 10-20 years.

Race is another example. The glorious Michelle discusses the recent news about a heart drug that is more effective for blacks than whites. Of course, this is very troubling for the Left because it is a complex issue. The simple truth is that people are not equal. We are very different in a extremely complex manner. Race is a shorthand -- an often sloppy, but sometimes useful way of describing some of these differences. Clinal adaptation, of course, accounts for much of the observed racial difference. [Gene Expression, see blogroll, is an interesting blog we found recently and here is a post that discusses this issue] You ignore that at your peril. Just because you do not like the "sound" of it, are you willing to hinder medical progress?

Another simple truth is that all people are created morally equal. There you go; two simple ideas that guide us through a maze of complex issues. Despite the history of racial problems, do not blacks have the right to receive the best medical care? Why would anyone want to challenge that?

Bush Voters also Vote for Legal Prostitution

The Volokh Conspiracy -

This puts the "Bush won because of the Evangelicals" hysteria in perspective. GK is right: Bush/Kerry voters were and are and will not be monolithic. Many Bush votes came from Dems and some Kerry votes came from conservatives.

See also this entry.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Daniel Pipes commenst on Arafats death: just as it should be

Arafat's Bedroom Farce - article by Daniel Pipes

This guy is one of the best Mideast guys I know -- right up there with Krauthammer. His article is a nice wrap-up of all the events and gossip surrounding the blessed death of That Bastard.

WorldNetDaily: U.S. pressures Israel to release Palestinians

WorldNetDaily: U.S. pressures Israel to release Palestinians

OK, so here again I will argue that everyone gets a chance. Arafat is dead. There is a chance, however small, to make real progress with Palestine. So, as always, the good guys prove themselves by offering an olive branch. I am not necessarily supporting release of terrorist, but we and Israel should make some substantive move.

On the other hand, if this move is rejected or ignored or gains us nothing, we will be justified in calling them an enemy and acting accordingly. Like the Soviets and Iraq, it is foolish and irresponsible to continue to try and negotiate with someone who refuses to engage in honest relations.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

PLEASE RESPOND YOU BASTARDS

I just saw a couple of interviews on CNN regarding the potential nomination of Arlen Specter for senate judiciary committee chairman. A representative from Christian Science Monitor said that he'd be a good nominee because Specter would be an effective bridge between Republicans and the fillibustering Democrats. She thinks he'd get more court nominees confirmed.

I disagree. First, I'm tired of Republicans being held hostage by the notion that they have to "reach out" to their opposition, or nothing can be done. The attitude seems to be growing that the Right has to compromise to the Left. I hear no appeals to the Left to do the same.

Second, I say it's our job to do our job. The job here is to place judges who strictly interpret the Constitution. That and only that is the task at hand.

In other words, the judicial committee chairmanship does not exist for the purpose of harmony between Dems and Reps.

Arlen Specter has said that he believes the Costitution is a living, breathing thing. That is not conservative. I don't want a non-conservative representing me in a sort of liasonship with those who oppose conservatism.

What say you all?


Reagan, Bush and Arafat

The Ronald Reagan Ranch

D'souza discusses Reagan's efforts to end Communism:
During his first term Reagan pursued tough anti-Soviet policies aimed at curtailing the Soviet nuclear threat and stopping Soviet advances around the world. Calling the Soviets an “evil empire,” Reagan initiated a massive defense buildup. These measures were fiercely resisted by liberal Democrats, who decried Reagan’s policies as confrontational and likely to make nuclear war more likely.

OK that one is easy but check out this one:
Reagan immediately recognized Gorbachev as a new breed of Soviet leader. He supported Gorbachev’s reforms and arms control initiatives during his second term, when many conservatives criticized him for being na├»ve and credulous. William F. Buckley, Jr. warned that Reagan’s new stance was “on the order of changing our entire position toward Adolf Hitler.” Columnist George Will mourned that Reagan had “accelerated the moral disarmament of the West by elevating wishful thinking to the status of political philosophy.”

These criticisms missed the larger current of events that Reagan alone appears to have understood. In attempting to reform communism, Gorbachev was destroying the system. Reagan encouraged him every step of the way; as Gorbachev himself joked, Reagan induce him to take the Soviet Union to the edge of the abyss and then take “one step forward.”

Even Will and Buckley missed what Reagan saw. He understood the true nature of Soviet Communism and so a changing circumstance did not confuse him. He merely adjusted his attack to respond to this new situation. Both methods were successfull because both struck at the core problems "over there" as it were.

Bush, I think, knows this lesson too. That is why we invade an Iraq, but not, yet at least, a Syria. Differnt circumstances demand different responses. As long as we understand the nature of our enemy -- we must be willing, for example, to identify an "axis of evil" -- we can devise strategies that will work.

Arafat will die soon. This may change the circumstance, but not the nature, of our Palestinian enemy. Perhaps we will work with the new leader to enact transformational reforms. Maybe we will encourage Israel to fortify its wall.

Reagan knew that to win he had to destroy his enemy, not feed it. We must be willing to destroy ours too.

HA! Arafat had too little oxygen!

AM - Palestinian officials confirm Arafat in critical condition: "NABIL SHAATH: The last three and a half years incarcerated in a very small office which has very little oxygen"

That is the funniest thing I've heard all day -- and I watch [adult swim]

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Top 5 things the Dems need to do?

1. Stop imposing a religious test to Supreme Court nominations OR stop filibustering.

2. Repudiate in clear and strong words certain personalities like Michael Moore Maureen Dawd, Al Franken, Noam Chomsky, Cornell West and other insane, too-far-left, ideologically blind assholes.

3. Adopt a strong and clear opposition to Communism, Socialism and totaitarianism and adopt a strong and clear pro-American Nationalism. These probably should apply domestically, but must apply to foreign policy.

4. Repudiate and reject false leftists histories: McCarthy, Vietnam and so on. At least admit that there is a debate.

5. Purge bigotry and hatred and absolutism from their politics. No more "republicans are evil and stupid."

I hope that this list will start a discussion here. Please, please post your own list or post your comments. Let's work on this together.

Also, I don't like the comments feature here. I'm working on it, but post your comments as a new post.

Election maps by population

Election result maps
This is a very interesting set of maps that give a better representation of the country's votes. Red, Blue and purple.

Roman skin cream found.

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Roman cosmetic secrets revealed

As Victor Davis Hanson likes to say, the Greeks and romans were much more like us than not.

Although fun, this story should also remind us that other aspects of ancient and paleolithic life are still with us. Our modern culture of progress has not displaced the ancient culture which prized tradition above all. We ignore the latter at the peril of the former.

Smart girls know how to deal with Liberals

Michelle Malkin puts it all together for us: Ann Coulter, Arlen Specter, The Vile One and Karl Rove. She's right proud of her work and rightly so.

Now, I will add that Bush compromised with Democrats like Ted Kennedy on the No Child Left Behind Act, giving up vouchers for private (i.e., more effective ) schools and letting them add a host of stupid programs. What did it get us? Kennedy et alia have been screeching at the president ever since. Need I remind you that after screwing the bill up and nearly removing all the reform efforts from it, the President could have used the Veto to force his hand.

Frank Salvato says:
President Bush, and ironically Ted Kennedy, lobbied Congress and added $26 billion to the federal education budget for the implementation of NCLB. A Harvard study contends that NCLB is one of the most unintrusive educational initiatives ever created and that it is completely funded. But Kennedy refuses to acknowledge the study from one of our most liberal and prestigious institutions of higher education. Rather, Kennedy contends that the program is a failure because he isn’t allowed to hold the purse strings.

As I said before, Republicans should stop being so nice. Helping Arlen Specter in the belief that he will help us is stupid. Liberals and Leftists, even when they have a "R" beside their name, do not respond honorably to such bipartisanship.

If Bush had supported Toomey and both men had spoken honestly about gay marriage and partial birth abortion, we might have won PA and banished a Specter.

Have we learned? Don't go soft on Fallujah.

Dispatches from Fallujah [Brain Shavings]

Here is a marine who tells us that many Fallujah residents are asking the coalition to destroy their city and even their homes in order to defeat the terrorists therein. Thier only conern is that we will be too soft.

Damn, that is admirable. I hope that our leaders are as admirable and tough minded as those they hope to free.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

As far as I can tell it is manual for now and I don't even know if the rest of you can do it. I suppose you would need your own account at Haloscan. I will keep working on this.

If you DO want to add a trackback just tell me and I can do it for you.

Funny pic on some dude's blogs

The Intricate Workings of this Life

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Fallujah plans stolen while soldiers at play

WorldNetDaily: Kurd officer deserts with Fallujah plans

Well, this certainly supports Laurin's claim that we are going to storm Fallujah pretty soon. I thought we would take several more weeks in hopes that we could use more Iraqis. I guess that was dumb. I don't really see any way to prevent this sort of thing. It is the price we have to pay for managing the war the way we do. The alternative would probably be more dangerous.

Of course, this whole thing could be dis-information. Also, do you really think we would give mission critical info, info that could jeopardize our men, to a newly trained Iraqi, Kurd or otherwise?

With the tension building our noble soldiers goof around for relief

Happily Britain supports the Fallujah strike and the steely, rock hard, scotsmen of the Black Watch are on the march!

Thanks to Michelle Malkin and Brian Shavings where you can read letters from a soldier in Iraq to his dear old dad.

IQ vote hoax, leadership and Moral Values

Table of Bush/Kerry voters by IQ
Make sure to check out the "here" at the bottom which links to a much more rigorous examination.

The originator of the State IQ:Vote hoax inadvertently shows us the problem with Liberals.

The moron "computed" avergae state IQ simply by looking at average state incomes. [another dumbass used SAT/ACT as well, which, at best, is an indictment of public schools] Equating IQ with income is vapid. Americans not indoctrinated by university idiots know damn well that there is more to success and leadership than IQ. Indeed, the higher IQ types make the worst Presidents. Jimmy Carter was smart and a disaster as a leader. My uncle would have been considered a stupid hick from Arkansas, but he died a millionaire farmer, well loved by all.

Leadership requires not smarts so much as wisdom. This is what Bush has, but somehow the Left can't even see it. When people say that "moral values" was important to them, this is, in part, what they meant. It is wrong to think that "moral values" voters just voted against gays. Many voters chose the man who had strong and good moral values because those values would lead him to lead us in the right direction.

Nobody can know the consequences of national policy. This is why conservatives know that one must govern according to principles and that those principles must be good ones. That is why Bush won: he has strong and good principles and Kerry has weak and bad ones.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Election does force some Dems to think again

Here is an interesting post from Diplomad which explains the problem in the State Department.(Thanks Instapundit) The state department is the subject of a book too.

But, regular Dems seem to be asking the right questions

Democratic Underground Forums - Arguing centrist v. leftist is missing the point, in my opinion.

Misunderestimations

I say, yes, Dems should embrace what conservatives have known for some time; small government is better. Yes, they should accept that Democratic economics are absurd and their socialist ideas are vile.

The Dems should offer Americans a candidate who
can run against Bush's NCLB, Prescription Drugs, and so on. The party has never had any better ideas, but maybe they will for 2006/8.

Probably not since Krugman provides his usual screeching, and the E. J. Dionne at the Post is no better.

Chirac is a Weasal

Chirac wrote Bush congratulating him on his win:

I hope that your second term will provide an opportunity to reinforce the Franco-American friendship… It's in the spirit of dialogue, of mutual esteem and respect that our cooperation, our common fight against terrorism and the actions we are leading together to promote liberty and democracy must continue to develop.

But his first actions after the election prove he is lying. It was not enough to put Arafat, one of the world’s great villains, in French military hospital, today he visited Arafat. But, wait don’t answer yet. He also struck a blow against Bush when he rebuffed Allawi.

Still, Liberals do not get it at all. The Boston Globe wrote in an editorial today:

IF IN his second term President Bush wants to revive alliances that he allowed to deteriorate, he would be wise to adopt the approach of his predecessors. America badly needs to return to the spirit of internationalism embraced by both Bush's father and Bill Clinton.

Internationalism, as the Liberals conceive it, is deeply flawed. France is not our ally. They are, for now, an enemy of the United States. Yes, we should try and get other nations to help us, but not in the "spirit of internationalism." American nationalism must be our guiding principle.

It's finally happening...

The trend started slowly at first but has rapidly picked up speed of late. There was docile Fidel Castro...then supermodel Yasser Arafat...then the two 12 year olds that watch MTV that the executives were spending trillions of dollars trying to motivate to get to the polls...and about 4 million other pot-heads from the Serpent Party who very much hate Bush for his aggressive buzz-killing and drastic not-being-cool...and just Wednesday we found out about Poopie-Pants-Edwards' wife...

You guessed it. Global warming is poisoning the Serpent Party and it's supporters. Who next? The loveable Jack Sherack of Francie? Heartwarming Terry McAuliffe? Philanthopist Kim Jong-Il? President Bush is obviously more clever than anyone had realized. I suspect that it has been his plan since the beginning to prey on the weaker people of the Serpent Party. Realizing long ago that their carefree lifestyles of over-eating, lascivious meetings between supermodels, HIV, homosexuality, use of unnatural chemicals and binge-drinking made them weaker than the manlier remainer of the United States, Bush began promoting "oil" to pollute the air and "weed-out" the effeminate Serpent Party. His plan seems to be working beautifully. Also it doesn't hurt that he stopped the Kyoto Treaty that, by now, would have completely reversed the completely non-fictional encroachment of the gum disease known as GLOBAL WARMING.

In conclusion, I'd like to mention that this is a satire incase a liberal is reading it and that Global Warming doesn't exist incase a completely blind, retarded person is reading it. I'd also like to mention that it was hard to find a good picture of Chris Matthews. Go Bush!

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Liberals are incapable of compassion

Michelle Malkin: TURNING THE TABLES ON MICHAEL MOORE

This picture and the discussion of it is revealing of the chasm between the Left and the Right.

My comment: How do you, Lefties, think the newly free men, women and children of Afghanistan and Iraq would interpret this image?

It is interesting that the only real debate occurs among conservatives.

County by County Popular Vote Map

USATODAY.com

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Team America F@$&k Yeah!

The title of this blog has been edited in deference to my dad who possibly may read this post, and who does not suffer the F-bomb lightly.

Team America is hilarious! There is no need to say anything else about it except this:

Puppeteers are quite capable of creating very explicit (and hilarious) sex scenes with marionettes.

WoooooHooooo!

I stumbled upon a blog site that features political opinion a la ORSON SCOTT CARD! Turns out, he agrees with us! I'll try to add it to the "Points of Light".

I explored the comments to his articles and found the forum members to be articulate and mostly tolerant. However, they spend a lot of time congratulating themselves for being articulate and tolerant rather than exploring OSC's points.

I think he's right on target.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

A Pro Bush Feminist?

Yes sir. Tammy Bruce is a strange bird. She still calls herself a Democrat, Progressive and Feminist, but she voted for Bush in this election, encourages other Dems to do the same, voted for Reagan, and regularly opposes her now corrupt party and its corrupt ideology. She is a good example of what I have been calling for. In Reason, Cathy Young tries to explain her, but as usual she gets it only partly right-- still it is interesting. She is a contradiction to be sure, but the fact that raving liberals and their political sheep loathe her is a good sign.

See? I told you there is room for two pro-American political parties. It is a shame more Democrats do not have the independence and courage of Tammy Bruce.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

What should we do to recruit more soldiers?

Of course, some of us have debated before whether we actually do need more troops for our current mission. I am undecided, but tend to lean toward the "more troops" side. (Remember, though, we are training Iraqis and our greatest weakness is NOT troop strength; it is the Liberals here at home, just as it was in Vietnam.)

We all know the draft scare is stupid as it is. But, the so-called back-door draft seems to be a real issue. On the one hand, that is in fact what they signed up for. On the other hand, it is not customary and many reservists (et al.) did not expect year long assignments.

Further, if we are to take a more active military role around the world -- Like Nial Ferguson and Tom Barnett suggest -- then we will need more troops.

Now, the military is not having trouble meeting its current recruiting goals, but I am suggesting that those goals are too low. I am also suggesting that we should not be using the reservists (et al.) for more than a year at a time. We should, moreover, have raised these goals so that we can send these guys back home. This seems like a good idea if only for its political impact.

Yes, this is a criticism of Bush. I think after 9/11 we could have dramatically increased troops numbers. I think the Rummy desire for a small military is wrong. I think he is right to streamline it but I don't mind spending money on a large and efficient military. I mean, if we had another 100,00 troops here at home, how do you think Iran or Syria would feel right now? [For fun imagine that we also had political unity behind the Bush doctrine]

So, what should we do to get more highly qualified recruits?

Kerry lied about meeting with Security Council

Joel Mowbry in The Washington Times

I do not expect that anyone is suprised by this either. I just wanted to make my case that Kerry is the same lying traitor that he was in 1970-1.

I chalk this up to the Leftist ethic of utopian-fantasyland-unrealistic ends justify any means.

Honestly, how can regular Democrats continue to support Clintons, Gores and Kerrys? There are real Americans in the party. I know republicans who would have voted for Lieberman or Zel or the like. If they would just purge the Leftist ideology from their party!

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Bush has higher IQ than Kerry

This is fun and from the NYT to boot. It has Kerry at 120, Bush in the mid 120's and Gore 10 points higher than Bush. That seems fair. I like Meehan's response:
The true test is not where you start out in life, but what you do with those God-given talents. John Kerry's 40 years of public service puts him in the top percentile on that measure.

OK, but Bush is the President.

More on Winning the War of Ideas: Kerry is a plagiarist

The Left has a long history of outrageous lying. We are all familiar with the deceit of Environmentalists and, now, it is well known that out media has been lying to us for years. Both groups do this because to face the truth would discredit their entire culture.

Academia is, of course, the heart of this problem. The very place where we are supposed to learn about intellectual honesty is rife with flagrant dishonesty. We still hear about McCarthy with no mention of Venona. The slaughter of 2.5 million men, women and children after we abandoned Vietnam to the Communists somehow fails to indict the anti-war movement in texts and lectures.

High schools still teach I, Rigoberta Menchu even though the book has been proven to be a fake. The incomparable Dinesh D'Souza discusses this here.

Remember the anti-gun fake Arming America by Bellisales? The good news is that he was exposed by many including other academics and forced to retire. What is weird is that he thought he could get away with it. If an argument has to resort to deception, what does that tell you about the argument?

Now we have John Kerry exposed as a plagiarist. We are supposed to vote for this guy? He would be kicked out of school for this, but, no, the Presidency is OK.

New documents prove Kerry was a traitor!

OK, not quite. More like a useful idiot and it is a breaking story so it may not even be true.
Read this for the main story.
Read this for a timeline and analysis of Kerry's visits to Paris and the media coverage of that story.

You know, it is too bad that Kerry has such a low opinion of Americans. In reality, we are the noblest people on the planet (as a whole of course). If Kerry would just clearly, honestly and totally repudiate his disgusting anti-war activities and reform his politics accordingly, Americans would forgive and forget. After all, that is exactly what we did with Bush. He was a stupid, irresponsible alcoholic. But, then he repudiated that and reformed his entire life. We love him for it.

The problem with Kerry is that he is the same person he was back then.

The 380 tons of stolen explosives

We have already destroyed over 200,000-400,000 tons of weapon material and there are hundreds of thousands of tons more.

Yes, 380 tons of high explosives are missing. Come on! As we have been trying to say, this is a war. It is messy and difficult. Remember "it's hard work"? This is what we were talking about. It is totally stupid to pretend that this indicts Bush's war plan. It is to be expected in war. Yes, it may be a mistake. No, it does not mean that the Bush plan in Iraq is flawed. That Kerry seized on this like a jackal only points to his low character and small mindedness.

Kerry said today that this loss was due to incompetence and tried to blame it on the Bush administration. He went on to say again that we should have used the best trained force in Tora Bora instead of outsourcing the job. Uh, dumbass, it is precisely this same force that was responsible for creating the plans to secure this stuff. Which is it? Is the military great or incompetent?

Also, all or some of it may have been stolen before we entered Iraq and after the IAEA left. Now, consider this: The IAEA allowed Saddam to have these explosives since they may be used in quarrying. OK, but they can also be used to make Nukes! Read this. This is exactly why we went to war. As Duelfur made clear, Saddam had figured out a new strategy to gain WMD’s and this is another example of him doing it.

Would you really be suprised if we find out that Saddam snuck these explosives out and buried them or sent them over to Syria right under the IAEA's nose?

Finally, I note that the problem is supposed to be that terrorists will use these explosives. Honestly, do you think that al-Qaeda and the other terrorists are really having trouble finding bomb material? I'm sure that if terrorists got these explosives, they will kill people with them. But, they have been killing innocent people and soldiers for years without RDX or HMX.

Tommy Franks sets the record strait on Tora Bora

In the NYT , no less.

John O'Neill, Lawrence O'Donnell and the War of Ideas

We are winning the War of Ideas. How do I know? Check out this "debate" between SwiftVet John O'Neill and Lawarnce O'Donnel on Scarborough Country.

Ann Coulter's third rule from How to Talk to a Liberal (If you Must) is "Outrage the Enemy." Well, the sputtering, name calling outburts from O'Donnell seem to prove that this works.

O'Neill is a true patriot and has faced many Liberals who virulently and disgracefully scream invective at him. As I have pointed out before, and as he does towards the end of his appearance, his arguments are good and most certainly have not been refuted. Kerry has offered testimony to counter the SwiftVets, but the SwiftVets both have more testimony and better textual arguments. The fact that O'Donnell resorts to this sort of childishness is proof that he can not stand up to O'Neill's arguments.

Tonight Pat Buchanan, again in for Scarborough, announced that O'Donnell's "manner" "crossed the line" and was "disrespectful" to the audience. He said that O'Donnell's "insults did not forward the debate." Pat assured us that this would not happen again. He also said, to O'Donnell's credit, that O'Donnell agreed with all this. It was a sort of apology, but not quite. I will try to add the transcript of it when available.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Republicans should stop being so nice!

Democrats will do and say anything to get elected.

Today they harangued Cheney for getting a flu shot. This is, of course, perfectly consistent with what Bush said the other day (which was, btw, a great example of leadership). Cheney is one of the "most vulnerable Americans." So is Bill Clinton. Cheney getting a flu shot is setting the perfect example. Either they can not see this -- in which case their judgment is unfit to lead this country -- or they are lying for political gain. [Yes, Frist set up a clinic for congress to get it too. Duh. I sure as hell do not want my congressman to sit idle, wasting tax money, due to a flu which he could have prevented. This is not Republican elitism; it is responsible governance]

This follows on Teresa patronizing Laura Bush and saying "But I don't know that she's ever had a real job." She apologized later for this remark: "I had forgotten that Mrs. Bush had worked as a schoolteacher and librarian, and there couldn't be a more important job than teaching our children." Even CNN put "forgot" in ironic quotes in the headline.

And need I mention the disgusting, but revealing, Lynn Cheney remarks. If you think that these remarks were "off the cuff", you're nuts. At least you have to admit that the second, Kerry's, was on purpose. I mean Edwards' was all the talk for days! Remember, this is the guy who promises that he is so "sensitive" he will be able to create stronger alliances. Well, so far he seems like an insensitive prick. [Compare to Bush who actually does make friends with foreign leaders: Putin in 2001 and even through the strain after Iraq in 2003]

How about the draft? This is the stupidest thing I've seen in presidential politics. I argue that the whole draft issue exists merely to remind people of Vietnam and make them associate it with Bush and Iraq. Sadly, MTV idiots believe this ridiculous lie. There a some Democrats and some Republicans supporting it, but they are wrong and/or stupid. Besides, Kerry is the one explicitly saying that he will add more soldiers. Thus, there is more chance that Kerry will draft us than Bush. Besides, it is fairly easy to get more volunteer soldiers by other means -- pay, college etc. Volunteers make better soldiers anyway and in this kind of War we need committed volunteer soldiers. Bush, Rumsfeld and others have said explicitly "No! There will be no Draft."

They promised that if you elect them people like Christopher Reeve would walk again. That turns my stomach. What a low and base tactic. They should sell a miracle snake-oil cure too...oh, wait, they are. Read Krauthammer's take -- not unlike my own.

Finally, now we hear "God" and "faith" more from Kerry than from Bush. What a joke! Even stalwart lefty Lawrence O'Donnell does not believe him. [In this he takes comfort] I am not religious, but this kind of cavalier disregard for and manipulation of American's deep felt and guiding faith is disgusting. How could someone of faith, whatever the kind, vote for a man so insulting of it.

[some brilliant text indicting leftists and a cool "Crispin's Day" speech lost to Blogger]

Why are Dems willing to be so dishonorable and deceptive? It is because
Leftist ideology took over the party 40 years ago. Leftists believe that their utopian ends justify ANY means. This is the classic defense for evil.

The Soviet collapse shook the leftist ideology to its core. 9/11 may destroy it. The Left knows that it is in a fight for its very life. If the Bush doctrine proves successful overseas, it will simultaneously destroy Leftism at home.

Tolerance is a core conservative idea. We must not, however, tolerate that which will destroy tolerance itself. We should believe in our American ideals enough to speak out in clarion tones against America's enemies -- even when they are Americans. Democrats should reject leftism and reform themselves. The current conservative party is large and varied enough to split into a Republican and modern Democrat party. Then we could have real, honest and honorbale political debates.

National ID Card and The 9/11 Bill

Shannon wants input on this issue -- I am particularly interested in Milewski's ideas.

What the GOA has to say:
http://www.gunowners.org/a100404.htm

The bill:
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c108:h.r.10: (Thanks to Steve L.)

What Steve L had to say about it:
The bill mentioned does not seem to be as bad as it is advertised on the GOA site.

As far as the criminal history database goes, the bill contains plenty of restrictions on who is required to submit this information and who is authorized to obtain it. The Attorney General is allowed some powers in gaining this data from industries that are critical to our nation's infrastructure but it is a distortion to say that it could be anyone/anywhere. Of course it would not exactly be a secret that you would have your name checked when they take your fingerprints.

Also, the ID card is not being issued by the feds, it is still issued by the states. They just want a certain minimal level of information and verification to go into each state's records. Nothing about the ID cards will contain information we don't already have to reveal about ourselves already.

As far as the national airline database goes, that does bother me a little bit because it could delve into much more personal details although it doesn't really mention that fact in the bill itself. It appears that its main function will be to create profiles of people that are using air transport to help identify terrorists and criminals. However, it does offer the suspect the right to appeal his status and correct any wrong information in the system. The capacity for abuse of this information is pretty high and they need to have some really strict controls on who can gain access to it.

The bill does seem to restrict the rights of foreigners to obtain asylum and reduces the judicial oversight of deportation cases in general. That may be more fuel for the fire of the human rights groups but that is an issue that is too political anyway.

When identity theft is rising in volume every year, the bill seems to be helpful in providing security to our personal ID. I don't want someone else walking around spending my money or implicating me in any of his crimes and this bill seems to be a good measure for reducing that possibility.

Stephen L.
The devil is in the details, but it is often illuminating to think of how different administrations would use such powers. Would you feel comfortable with Janet "Waco/Elian" Reno enforcing this bill? This same argument can be applied to the USAPATRIOT. Even though there have been many lies about it and virtually no civil rights violations from it, I expect that others may try to abuse it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Petitio Principii OR The Politics of Solipsism

Hardball asked a bunch of college kids what “what do you want to hear your candidate say tonight?” A Kerry supporter answered that she wanted to hear specifics adding, “I believe in him, now I want to hear it.”

This is one of my complaints about Liberals. They assume the conclusion and go looking for the proof. Of course, I have more examples to prove my case.

The Dan famously proved this point recently. He basically, but not actually, admitted that those documents were forged. He was careful to point out, though, that nobody has been able to disprove the main thrust of the story – the story backed up by the false documents.

Paul Krugman said on Tuesday

Mr. Kerry sometimes uses verbal shorthand that offers nitpickers things to complain about … The point is that Mr. Kerry can, at most, be accused of using loose language; the thrust of his statements is correct.

He also said on 7.2.04
Fahrenheit 9/11 is a tendentious, flawed movie, but it tells essential truths about leaders who exploited a national tragedy for political gain…

What allows them to commit this classic logical fallacy, the Petitio Principii? I submit that they do not understand the opposing position, the conservative position, at all. Instead of actually trying to understand it, they just reject it and that only leaves their own position. Now if they can just find facts to make it seem true…

Monday, October 11, 2004

"Americans in Hell" a poem

Volume I, Issue 2 Poems

Chuck Lipsig

Americans in Hell

The Devil said unto the Lord, “You’ve played a nasty trick.
Not since you flung me down here have I ever felt so sick.
For you’ve condemned all sorts of folk to my eternal care,
But now you’ve sent Americans. Good God, sir, is that fair?
For all you’ve sent before them were no trouble, for the most:
Hardly the sort of fighters that long ago were your host.
It’s kings and queens and emperors and dictators they’ve served,
So when it comes to face me down, they hardly have the nerve
To protest when I torture them. Oh, they are my delight:
Broken down in lifetime, they have no hope to see more light.
But Americans condemned to me, I can’t understand.
Did you change the formula, when you made them for that land?
They won’t give in to torture: When I burn them, they make ice.
When I freeze them, they make fire. Whenever a demon tries,
To slice them up, they will fight back, and three times out of four,
For all the pain that they sustain, they give back even more.
Now they’ve taken my brimstone and set it aside to cool
And my demons’ swords and pitchforks, they’ve reforged into tools
To build bridges in my valleys and cities in my hills
And half my lava rivers with clear water they have filled.
I try to reason with these souls and get them to give in,
They say, ‘What else can you do, whether this be grace or sin?’
And now they’re building something new, these dead, eternal souls:
New roads and war machinery: I fear that their next goal
Is to lay siege to my towers, my castles, and my halls.
Good God, who has cast me down here! Where have I left to fall?
There’s but one hope I have for them: That is, when they are through
Taking over my Hell from me, that, God, they’ll come for you.”

Edwards Bulldog and Explainer

In addition to his role as attack dog (which both vice presidential candidates share) Edwards now seems to have the role of Explainer. At the second debate when Kerry stated he was going to lower taxes on the middle class and at the same time implement some wonderful programs. Most people I have heard talk about it agree that the money from "taxing the rich" just won't pay for all the programs. The other day Edwards was interviewed saying that if the revenues weren't there then they would cut back on the programs (it wasn't said which ones). Point is, the campaign advisors are having Edwards make this statement and not Kerry. Anybody seen any other examples. To be fair, I think Bush's secretary of war fulfills some of the same function with his recent troop level in Iraq comments that Bush's campaign people don't want him to be the one to say.

Internets, yes it can be plural

I know that virtually everyone thinks that Bush used a Bushism when he said internets. Guess what. My dad had a lot of old system manuals for his Industrial Control computers and that is where I first learned about networking. I am pretty sure that there was frequent use of both singular and plural. I found in my first search a definition from 1982 (about right) that uses plural:

1982: INWG establishes the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP), as the protocol suite, commonly known as TCP/IP, for ARPANET. This leads to one of the first definition of an "internet" as a connected set of networks, specifically those using TCP/IP, and "Internet" as connected TCP/IP internets

Yes this is "old school", but so is "Nucular". Nucular is a common pronunciation in the Pentagon.

Geoffrey Nunberg says:

I once asked a weapons specialist at a federal agency about this, and he told me, "Oh, I only say 'nucular' when I'm talking about nukes." In the mouths of those people, "nucular" is a choice, not an inadvertent mistake -- a thinko, not a typo. I'm not sure exactly what they have in mind by it. Maybe it appeals to them to refer to the weapons in what seems like a folksy and familiar way, or maybe it's a question of asserting their authority -- as if to say, "We're the ones with our fingers on the button, and we'll pronounce the word however we damn well please.


I am suggesting that Bush is talking to same kind of people, pentagon types and "old schoolers" and their mannerisms may suit him fine. I bet someone he knows uses the term "Internets".

Keep your chin up: The media is changing

Yes they are biased, but things are changing too. As Galen has pointed out, the College Republicans are flourishing even in the midst the crazed leftists at U.T. The internets and the bloggers are forcing changes (aside: I'm talking about The Dan). FoxNews is huge. Despite the recent and very, very stupid/biased memo form ABC's Halperin, ABC's Gibson conducted a fair debate, maybe even one that favored Bush: Read this.

Old Story: Military Tribunals, Polls, Democracy

I was reading the new Coulter book and she mentioned that there were no polls (as of the writing of her November 28, 2001 column) asking Americans whether they favored military tribunals and so on. Well, that very day ABC had released such a poll and NPR/Kaiser/Kennedy School had just conducted one too -- probably also released around the 27th or 28th). Guess what. The worst numbers constituted a majority in FAVOR of the tribunals and mostly the support of them against terrorists was around 2/3.

I don't remember a lot of talk about these polls do you? Yes, there was a lot of talk about the issue but I don't remember hearing often that most to a super-majority of us supported them. Is this bias or am I just a flake?...Steve shut-up, Galen shut-up, Shannon shut-up.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Outsourcing

They say all politics are local. Ok, fine. Voting that way is right and good. In fact, when we vote based on what we think might be good for "the other guy", that is, beyond our own experience or knowledge we often make mistakes. When I was still a liberal, I supported Democrat Tsongas for President because I thought he would be good for businesses. I know better now.

The Democrats promise to help people and many Americans vote for them in order to help others. They believe the Democrats when they say that things are bad for this or that group. Of course, some group of people is always doing worse than another -- that is always true, by default, since the argument is by comparison. Moreover, there will always be some group of people which needs help. We should be careful, though in voting one group of people the power over us in order that they might help another group.

Outsourcing is one these issues. If you or you someone you know has lost his/her job to outsourcing, then you have a reason to support democratic policies intended to remedy this. I do not beleive that these policies will work. I am just saying that you would be voting locally and that is a good start. But, we should all try to vote with some understanding. Outsourcing affects far fewer of us than it seems from the media coverage and it is not always a bad thing anyway. As usual, the liberal take on the issue is wrong and panders to our protectionist instincts. I submit the following:

Why We Have Nothing to Fear from Foreign Outsourcing

The United States continues to enjoy tremendous advantages in global IT competition. Our domestic economy is one of the most free, flexible, and open in the world. Our telecom, transportation, and utility systems deliver dependable service. Our talent pool of scientists and our university research facilities are second to none. Entrepreneurs can obtain financing for their ideas and intellectual property protection once they are developed. Relative to many other systems of government, ours is transparent, predictable, and dedicated to the rule of law. Our domestic market is the largest in the world. Those inherent advantages of doing business in the United States cannot always be offset merely by lower labor costs elsewhere and are especially important in those aspects of production that require creative freedom and specialized skills.

U.S. companies are also discovering the limits to outsourcing. There are perfectly good, market-driven reasons why U.S. companies will continue to do most of their IT work onshore if not in-house. Foreign outsourcing can generate costs of its own, such as the need for more travel, training, and management oversight. Depending on the type of project, those costs can eat into if not entirely erase the costs savings from lower wages abroad. Sending work abroad can also risk the loss of control of sensitive personal and financial data and copyrighted material. It can mean the loss of control over time-sensitive aspects of a project or becoming too reliant on outside firms. As some U.S. companies have discovered, it can result in reduced quality of service if the providers are not sensitive to cultural differences or lack specialized information expected by customers.

The increase in outsourcing is neither and unemployment is low

Another non-issue sure to grow tiresome in a few more months is the maniacal anxiety about imports of business services -- a trivial pursuit that would have gotten no attention at all had it not been deviously mislabeled as "outsourcing." That is not what outsourcing means. Outsourcing means having business services done by specialist firms rather than inside a manufacturing or financial firm.

What uninformed politicians and journalists mean by "outsourcing" is importing services. They would have you believe the United States has suddenly been importing many more services. Yet the increase in service imports last year was precisely zero. From 1997 to 2000, by contrast, U.S. service imports grew 9.7 percent a year.

If Sen. John Kerry had hoped to make a big political issue out of an unemployment rate that is likely to be below 5 percent by election time [It is actually 5.4 now], he had better start trying to change the subject as soon as possible. And his never-ending wisecracks about Herbert Hoover could backfire, too, because Hoover enacted the same policies key Democrats now recommend -- namely, higher tax rates and tariffs.


Outsourcing is good for America

If a capable radiologist in India can read x-ray pictures at a quarter of the cost of doing so domestically, important health care services can be delivered at lower cost to everyone, putting a brake on exploding medical costs.

The outsourcing of services to India counts in the U.S. balance of payments as an import of services. If we are going to start importing large amounts of such services, these imports must be paid for by exports of something. The dollars being spent by firms to purchase these services will come back to the United States either in the form of demand for U.S. goods (our exports to India) or foreign investment in the United States. As McKinsey has noted, "[service] providers in low-wage countries require U.S. computers, telecommunications equipment, other hardware and software. In addition, they also procure legal, financial, and marketing services from the U.S

If unemployment is still way low, then how bad could job loss overseas be? And, they say that the jobs which are replacing the lost jobs are paying less. But are they? The ITAA says (among other positive things) that real wages have and will continue to rise due to off shoring jobs since the effect is to make our home economy better.

Conservatives know that the free market works only when it is adaptable. We are the party of change; we are the party that believes in the future. Yes, some will have to find and possibly train for different jobs. This flexibility is what makes the American market so damn good. Embrace it. Remember, America is the greatest force for good the world has ever known. Our poorest jobless citizen is rich beyond belief compared to most of the world (and compared to most of human history too). In this country if you lose your job and are willing you can find another one. It is our free market which allows this. It is our free market which allows us to be that force for good. We should protect our economy against leftist policies because in so doing we protect ourselves.

Friday, October 08, 2004

John Kerry and the Duelfer Report

You can't see this, but I'm waving good-bye to Kerry's foriegn policy as it flies out the window. What are he and John Edwards along with the media saying about the Duelfer report? Ha!- There absolutely are no WMD's in Iraq. Really? We' ll see in ten or so years when they can actually do a thorough search. And who says Saddaam's weapons are even in Iraq? Anyway, I digress. John Kerry is in trouble, but you won't hear about it from the liberal media who are hungry to see Bush's head on a chopping block The only story on the Duelfer report that we are hearing is the shocking news that stockpiles of nukes were not found. The Dem's will act like this was the only reason Bush had for invasion. What we won't hear much of is the reported corruption of the United Nations and the "oil for food" program headed by Saddaam. Or of the charge that French nationals and businesses took bribes from Iraq. Saddaam allegedly paid millions of dollars in cash and petrol vouchers to France in exchange for their help in ending the U.N. sanctions there. These are the organizations Kerry wants us and the Iraqis to trust and to align ourselves with. And now France and Germany have declared that they would not join the coalition even if Kerry is elected. What's your "secret plan" now, Senator? I guess we will never know.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Here is why this is a private blog

This is an email thread started by one of our members -- jmason, aka Shannon.

Has anyone else noticed that everything (except Health Care Reform, and Outsourcing) that Kerry has said he would do so far is already being done by the current administration, except that Kerry wants to spend more money to do it faster, despite the current budget problem. How? I refuse to believe that a 20 year Senator doesnt know the limiations of the budget.

It is obvious that the reformation of the Health Care System, which in the short-term is an impossibility (unless we give the decision as to who gets what care to a bureaucrat with a budget), will be a hard road or else it would have been done by now. It will be a process that will take a minimum of 8 10 years to accomplish, and that is wishful thinking.

The outsourcing problem: Is anyone up on that subject? I cant see how the problem can be fixed without throwing up barriers to free trade which would force other countries to retaliate. I understand the taxing side of it, but that will barely scratch the difference in the cost savings of outsourcing. Since the savings are so great, any reasonable taxes applied to it will make very little impact. The problem lies in the value of the dollar in the countries that receive most of the outsourcing, and effectively controlling that is out of our hands.

I welcome responses by those with more factual knowledge on these subjects than I

  • Anne replies
you know i usually stay out of these political discussions.
this time, i'm gonna say something, just to be clear.
i used to be an activist. i used to try to get laws changed, go to protests, and make my voice heard. the current administration, and their "martial law" changes to our basic rights and freedoms scare the hell out of me. for the first time ever, i am afraid to have my voice heard, my name noted. they are systematically taking away all of our rights.
and do a little research on the bush administrations plans for privatization of all public lands and public holdings. how would you like Halliburton managing our parks and wilderness areas?
the current folks are super scary.
i really hope everyone gets out and votes. i don't know how much more we can afford to lose.
Kerry isn't perfect, but he's no bush.
VOTE!!
  • Dave Williams,
I'm with Anne. In my case, I'm voting for Kerry, not because of what he's said he will do, but what he's said he won't do. Bush did widen a deficit with tax cuts. That is NOT conservative, and it is NOT responsible. My daughter will help pay for Bill Gates' tax cut 10, 20 years from now. The Bush administration did rush to war in Iraq. Bush did alienate many allies. Iraq is now a breeding ground for terrorists. We have lost many more American lives in Iraq since Saddam's regime fell than he ever killed during his reign.
To Shannon's specific question, I'm not well enough informed to answer. I don't know enough about the ramifications of protectionism, or how to fund health care reform. Other issues have already decided this election for me.
  • Craig said,
Annie, I concur. I stay out of these things too, but there is something to be said when I am more "afraid" of our own government than I am of some outside threat. I am not convinced that these so called terrorists are not feeding their families with our tax dollars...or the profits of the renewed bumper crop of Poppy (mostly eradicated under Taliban control)in Afghanistan which helps to fund the "non-existant" Black Budget.


I haven't the time or the energy to do the research for anyone but
myself. I must agree, it is very easy to go through life with blinders - accepting everything I am fed without question. Bush/Kerry; in my humble opinion they're both the same. The agenda has been set, and the puppet we "elect" president...well, who knows the dance of a different puppet. At least Kerry can construct a coherent sentence.