Cheat-Seeking Missles

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Bush's Non-Hysterical Approach To Warming

Nearly lost at the bottom of President Bush's speech today on all the U.S. tax dollars he intends to ship off to Africa and Vietnam to fight AIDS was the prez-speak behind the leaked and viciously red-lined mark-up of Germany's draft global warming initiative.

Scroll way down here, or read the salient points here, complete with a hysterical (as in Warmie hysteria) cartoon:
In recent years, science has deepened our understanding of climate change and opened new possibilities for confronting it. The United States takes this issue seriously. The new initiative I am outlining today will contribute to the important dialogue that will take place in Germany next week. The United States will work with other nations to establish a new framework on greenhouse gas emissions for when the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.
Note that he didn't say that science has deepened our understanding of the threat of climate change; President Gore certainly would have delivered that line differently. The new initiative he is outlining is certainly meant to contribute to the discussion in Germany, as in knock the German proposal off the table.

So my proposal is this: By the end of next year, America and other nations will set a long-term global goal for reducing greenhouse gases. To help develop this goal, the United States will convene a series of meetings of nations that produce most greenhouse gas emissions, including nations with rapidly growing economies like India and China.

Two key elements to this graph: First, the phrase "a long-term global goal" is loaded with meaning. It's not a G8 goal, it's a global goal, and it's long-term, which presumably will eschew the 2020 goals of the Germans, which are basically nuts when you're looking at a global climate system which may not be heating up anyway?

And most important, Bush is signaling that without commitments from China and India, there will be no deal with the U.S. Huzzah! Win-winsville, because either China and/or India submarine the deal and we're off the hook, or they join in adn the world will become a less polluted place.

In addition to this long-term global goal, each country would establish midterm national targets, and programs that reflect their own mix of energy sources and future energy needs. Over the course of the next 18 months, our nations would bring together industry leaders from different sectors of our economies, such as power generation and alternative fuels and transportation. These leaders will form working groups that will cooperate on ways to share clean energy technology and best practices.

I like the flexibility defined in this paragraph: short-term and mid-term steps allow opportunities to test impacts of various goals on the economy. It's also very non-european, and a very bright idea, to include industry leaders in the talks.

It's important to ensure that we get results, and so we will create a strong and transparent system for measuring each country's performance. This new framework would help our nations fulfill our responsibilities under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. The United States will work with all nations that are part of this convention to adapt to the impacts of climate change, gain access to clean and more energy-efficient technologies, and promote sustainable forestry and agriculture.

Reaganesque: Trust but verify.

The way to meet this challenge of energy and global climate change is through technology, and the United States is in the lead. The world is on the verge of great breakthroughs that will help us become better stewards of the environment. Over the past six years, my administration has spent, along with the Congress, more than $12 billion in research on clean energy technology. We're the world's leader when it comes to figuring out new ways to power our economy and be good stewards of the environment.

And, in closing, the way to meet this challenge is not draconian restrictions on global economies and artificial restrictions on the opportunities for poorer nations to improve the lives of their citizens. Rather, it is technology.

This is everything the Europeans didn't propose, and it explains all the red ink on the German draft proposal.

As evidence mounts that predictions of global warming doom are just mis-reads on what's happening on the planet ... or the solar system ... it looks like Bush is buying time by initiating a cautious, slow process that has plenty of opportunity for other nations to blow it.

I'm warming up to it.

Labels: , ,

You Think Our Lawyers Are Bad?

This is really a story about the foolish hanging-on of arranged marriages more than it is about bad lawyers (although it's about bad lawyers, too). It's from India, a land where many misogynistic traditions that should have died hang on tenaciously in the face of modernization.
LUCKNOW (Reuters) - Lawyers tied a young man to a tree and beat him outside a court in India for refusing to marry one of their relatives, an official said on Wednesday.

They rounded on the victim when he arrived at a court in the Taj Mahal town of Agra to settle a dispute over marrying the niece of one of the lawyers.

Indian TV channels showed the abusive lawyers tearing off the man's shirt, tying him to a tree trunk and cutting bald patches into his hair. The 22-year-old victim was then beaten up.
Now we know this story would have never made the international wire if the perpetrators hadn't been lawyers -- we love to laugh at/feel disgusted by lawyers. We have to wonder how many similar cases of violent outfall from planned marriages come and go without our notice.

The Hindus aren't the misogynists the Muslims are, but besides forced marriages, they abort or kill their pre-born/new-born daughters, burn widows with their husbands and subjugate women in many ways -- which you'll recognize the next time you see an Indian couple walking, the man several steps ahead of the woman.

This is just another example of the incredible energy and potential wasted by cultures that insist on keeping women from reaching their natural potential. I've read two outstanding thoughts on this topic today, thanks to the Watcher.

The first, linked above, is from Pat Santy (Dr. Sanity), writing broadly (please, no pun) on how Islam treats women:
We frequently joke about men's preoccupation with sex and female body parts in the West, but our fascination with "T&A" is nothing when you consider that the Muslim world is literally consumed by female sexuality and with their fear of it. It is ironic that both Muslim men and women are under the mistaken impression that Western society is oversexualized compared to them, when in fact, it is practically impossible to be more obsessed with sexual matters than they are in Muslim communities.
The second was from Kobayashi Maru, in a post about climate change; specifically, about a brilliant 15 year-old Australian girl who developed a model that accurately predicted the end of Australia's drought while at the same time disproving much global warming dogma:
In much of the Islamic world (to put it mildly), a 15-year-old female would not have access to the kind of intellectual cultivation, encouragement or freedom this young woman obviously has.
Wow. I've gone all the way from some Hindu planned marriages to Islam's fear of, hatred of and destruction of women. Sickness knows no bounds.

Labels: , ,

My Fair Ahmadinejad

I almost never lift a post in its entirety, but this is just too good, so what's a rule if you never break one?

Without further adieu, Judeopundit's Why can't a Zionist be more like Iran? (Poor souls who have never seen My Fair Lady, be rebuked!)
Why can't the Zionists be like Iran?
Iran is so honest, so thoroughly square;
Eternally noble, historically fair.
Who, when you're Mugabe, will always give your back a pat.
Why can't the fake regime be like that?

Why does every one do what the other does?
Can't a Kuffar learn to use his head?
Why do they do everything the Big Satan does?
Why don't they grow up, well, like the Imam instead?

Why can't the Zionists take after Iran?
Iran is so pleasant, so easy to please.
When they take you hostage, you're always at ease.

Would you be slighted if I put your name in quotes?

Of course not.

Would you be livid if I had a centrifuge?


Would you be wounded if I spoke of wiping you out?


Well, why can't the fake regime be like you?

Some Basij commander may shout a bit.
Now and then, there's one who's less than sublime.
One perhaps whose vigilance you doubt a bit,
But by and large we are a world paradigm!

Why can't the Zionists take after Iran?
'Cause Iran is so friendly, good-natured and kind.
A better ally you never will find.

If I hosted the First International Congress on the Culture of Resistance would you bellow?

Of course not.

If I denied your silly Shoah, would you fuss?


Would you complain if Nasrallah was my fellow?


Why can't a Zionist be like us?


Why can't the Zionists be more like Iran?
Persians are decent, such regular chaps;
Ready to help you through any mishaps;
Ready to buck you up whenever you're glum.
Why can't a Zionist be a chum?

Why is thinking something Zionist never do?
And why is logic never even tried?
Martyring Palestinians is all they ever do.
Why don't they straighten up the mess that's inside?

Why can't a Zionist behave like Iran?
If I had usurped the Al-Buraq Wall,
Been made a Pariah by one and by all;
Would I start weeping like a bathtub overflowing,
Or carry on as if my home were in a tree?
Would I launch jets and never tell me where they're going?
Why can't a Zionist be like me?

Labels: ,

Ryan Gets His Knife And Heads For Iraq

Remember Ryan? The soldier who's leaving next week for Iraq and is the recipient of the kindness of his on-line buddies at Here's an update from Incredible Daughter #1:
We succeeded in getting Ryan his knife! So far we have raised nearly $400, and a brand new Reeves knife will be in his possession before he leaves next Tuesday.

However, we are still raising money for his under-stocked platoon. If you would like to help Ryan and his fellow soldiers in the 82nd Airborne Division, please send your money to:

Paypal to:

Cash/check/money order to:
Attn: Operation Buller
521 South College St
Winchester TN 37398

Make sure you put Operation Save Buller in the subject line.
ID #1 tells me Ryan was very touched by this show of support. He said he feels it's not appropriate for him to keep the knife that came to him as the result of the kindness of others, so he will hand it over to another Iraq-bound soldier when he's safely home.

What an exemplary young man! Please keep him in your prayers.


Battle For The World Bank, Round Two

Robert Zoellick is entering a war zone. The forces of corruption at the World Bank have won their first battle, with Paul Wolfowitz as a high-profile casualty, and they are pressing forward.

Victory, which they define as the complete removal of Bush and Wolfowitz fellow travellers who have reform on their mind, is near, so they have shifted their focus to Wolfowitz-ite Suzanne Rich Folsom, who heads the bank's Department on Institutional Integrity.

(What better place for the forces of corruption to attack?)

We pick up the story in today's WSJ op/ed:
Mr. Zoellick's first test will come early. As we go to press, sources inside and outside the bank tell us that a follow-up to the putsch against Mr. Wolfowitz is being engineered by Managing Director Graeme Wheeler and Staff Association Chair Alison Cave against Suzanne Rich Folsom, who runs the bank's Department of Institutional Integrity, or INT. Ms. Folsom, an ethics lawyer brought in by former president Jim Wolfensohn and promoted to her current job by Mr. Wolfowitz, has been aggressively pursuing corruption investigations, much to the alarm of some at the bank.

Prominent among those investigations is one concerning an Indian health project. Irregularities in the project, including indications of bid-rigging and bribery, led Mr. Wolfowitz to veto further loans to India in 2005 while the investigation unfolded, despite fierce protests from the project's managers. Now that the INT is about to issue a report about the project, Mr. Wheeler has been lobbying the bank's executive directors to place Ms. Folsom on administrative leave, and for the INT's oversight responsibilities to be radically diminished.
If Zoellick stops Wheeler and Cave in their tracks and supports a strong and independent INT, he will be signaling the World Bank community that the name on the door might have changed, but the direction of management has not.

If Folsom falls, Zoellick will be telling us he either lacks the will or the power to fight the corruption that is at the core of the world bank.


Hillary Takes Money From Geezer-Bilker

"What could be more despicable," writes Froma Hallop in today's RCP, "than selling data about vulnerable old people to telemarketers already under scrutiny for defrauding them?"

She goes on about the company that did just that:
InfoUSA packaged the names under such labels as "Suffering Seniors," for elders with cancer or Alzheimer's disease. Another list, called "Oldies but Goodies," identified gamblers over the age of 55. "These people are gullible" is how it was advertised.

Crooked call centers from Canada to India bought these databases and proceeded to con lonely old Americans out of their life savings. It's against the law for list brokers to sell names to apparent criminal operations, but that did not deter infoUSA, according to the Iowa attorney general, who is investigating the company.

One victim was Richard Guthrie, a 92-year-old Iowa farmer. InfoUSA sold his name to a swindler who employed women to lure him into the spider's web by offering friendship over the phone.

"One gal in particular loved to hear stories about when I was younger," Guthrie later told a reporter. The sharks proceeded to drain at least $100,000 in savings, according to his family.
Cause to be upset, for sure. But why is Frommer, who worked for the Clinton administration and says of herself "people like me worked their darndest to drag Bill over the finish line of his last four years. We were not about to let the Republican leadership use a sex scandal as a pretense to overturn an election," bring this up now?

Because, she says, "that old sick feeling is coming back," the old sick feeling she had when Clinton pardoned Marc Rich, the global con man. It's coming back because InfoUSA's prez, Vinod Guptar is a major, and welcome, Clinton contributor.
In 2002, he flew the Clintons to a vacation in Acapulco on the company jet. The Omaha-based enterprise subsequently paid Bill Clinton more than $2 million in consulting fees. Gupta gave $1 million to his foundation.

The concern goes beyond the Clintons' decision to consort with such questionable personalities. That they would do it so openly magnifies long-festering discomfort over their judgment.

If you're from Iowa, you know all this because the story of Richard Guthrie, the geezer with a heart for gold-diggers, has been publicized extensively.

Hallop, who likes Clintonian politics, asks Hillary to show a little class. But that's all it would be: a show. Hil and Bill have shown us time and again that they won't apply moral judgments to their political and financial methodologies.

That didn't hurt Bill because he slid into power as a relative unknown. Hillary, on the other hand, has had the opportunity to learn from past misdeeds and mistakes and better herself, but she has chosen not to. She remains corrupt to her core, unable to put good above Clinton.

She has no business -- other than the business of bettering the Clintons -- to be president.

Labels: , ,

Which Sentence Is Cruel And Unusual?

Death penalty foes are quick with the powerful words "cruel and unusual," hoping to hand a Constitutional guilt on those of us who support the death penalty. It's never worked because for all their magic, mere words almost never can change deeply held convictions.

But experience can ... and I wonder if this story will change the thinking of death penalty advocates. BBC reports from Italy:
Hundreds of prisoners serving life sentences in Italy have called on President Giorgio Napolitano to bring back the death penalty.

Their request was published as a letter in the daily newspaper La Repubblica.

Italy has almost 1,300 prisoners serving life terms, of whom 200 have served more than 20 years.

Italy has been at the forefront of the fight against capital punishment and recently lobbied the UN Security Council to table a moratorium on it.

But at home some of the country's longest serving prisoners want the death penalty re-introduced.

'Light into shadows'

The letter they sent to President Napolitano came from a convicted mobster, Carmelo Musumeci, a 52-year-old who has been in prison for 17 years.

It was co-signed by 310 of his fellow lifers.

Musumeci said he was tired of dying a little bit every day. We want to die just once, he said, and "we are asking for our life sentence to be changed to a death sentence".
Is life imprisonment more cruel and unusual than a quick execution? For many, it must be. Musumeci is the type it would hurt the most: He lived the high-adrenaline life of a mobster, got thrown in prison where he re-applied his energy to earn a law degree. That's a lot of drive to be confined to the hopeless repetition of days that is his sentence.

And nearly a quarter of his fellow lifers feel the way he does.

Communist legislators (i.e., those that share the views of our current batch of Dem leaders) have a solution: Cap sentences at 30 years. It's actually an interesting concept because releasing a bunch of 55 to 85 year olds probably won't pose much threat to society, but morally, it's corrupt.

Death sentences are reserved for capital cases, and the only two possible punishments for murder are a life in return -- either a life behind bars, or a life that's terminated.

Death penalty foes should look at Italy and ask themselves about the nature of cruelty. If so many prisoners see a life sentence as more cruel than a death sentence, who are they to belittle the morality of death penalty supporters?

Labels: ,

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

My Favorite Iraq War Photograph, Maybe

I saw this photo yesterday on AP but didn't have time to do anything with it, so I was glad that Gateway Pundit posted it.

The photo speaks volumes about who the Iraqis really trust as the good guys and I just love it.



Fred Dalton Thompson will run for president, Politico reports:
Thompson is planning to enter the presidential race over the Fourth of July holiday, announcing that week that he has already raised several million dollars and is being backed by insiders from the past three Republican administrations, Thompson advisers told The Politico.

Thompson, the "Law and Order" star and former U.S. senator from Tennessee, has been publicly coy, even as people close to him have been furiously preparing for a late entry into the wide-open contest. But the advisers said Thompson dropped all pretenses on Tuesday afternoon during a conference call with more than 100 potential donors, each of whom was urged to raise about $50,000.
RCP's polling summary currently puts the undeclared Thompson at 10%, tied with Romney and behind McCain (18.2%) and Giuliani (26%).

The 4th of July is one of the slowest media days of the year, so he'll get massive coverage ... with few watching. But if he comes out with a hefty campaign chest and the right note to his announcement, the polling numbers should shuffle quickly.

Me? Undeclared. I'm not a McCain guy by any stretch and Giuliani's lack of federal experience and social liberalism scare me. Thompson poses a powerful alternative to Romney, so I'm just going to sit back and enjoy the campaigning right up to when I tap the tube in the voting booth in the California primary.

hat-tip: Real Clear Politics

Labels: ,

Wednesday Reading

Oh, happy day! The Watcher has posted this week's nominees for some of the finest reading in the blogosphere.

My humble nominees were my post Bush Defies Warming Autocrats At G8 and for best post by someone not a member of the Watcher's Council, Memorial Day and the Mirror of Hope from Sigmund, Karl and Alfred.

Before getting to the rest of the nominees, an announcement: there's an opening on the Council. We will greatly miss the exceptional writing at Francis W. Porretto's Eternity Road, but our loss could be your gain. If you're up to a couple hours of excellent reading a week in return for greater exposure for your blog (sounds like a deal, eh?), read these rules and consider it.

Now, here's the full list, starting with the Council links:
  1. Living on $1 a Meal
    The Glittering Eye
  2. "But Isn't the Real Issue ...?"
    The Colossus of Rhodey
  3. Mitt the Mormon
    Bookworm Room
  4. Talking With the Bad Guys
    Soccer Dad
  5. No Friend Left Behind (Update)
    Done With Mirrors
  6. HuffPo Writer Equates Isolated Christian Nutjob To Islamism's Global Terror Network
    Rhymes With Right
  7. Reflecting On 230 Years Of Blood and Sacrifice
    Right Wing Nut House
  8. Bush Defies Warming Autocrats At G8
    Cheat Seeking Missiles
  9. A Cure for “Anti-Zionism”
  10. Let Their Victims Come
    Big Lizards
  11. Memorial Day: Just Another Day of Instruction?
    The Education Wonks
Non-council links:
  1. In Response to the WaPo: What Really Matters
    The Moderate Voice
  2. Liberal Pyromaniacs
    Intellectual Conservative
  3. Sticking To What I Know Best
    Dr. Sanity
  4. Why Can't a Zionist Be More Like Iran?
  5. US Muslims and Suicide Bombings
    The Huffington Post
  6. Teachers Pay Raise: $430. Governors Pay Raise: $32,000.
    Bay Area Houston
  7. Obama's Health Care Panacea
    The QandO Blog
  8. Memorial Day and the Mirror of Hope
    Sigmund, Carl and Alfred
  9. Brave Men and Demons
    Michael Yon
  10. On Memorial Day
    Hugh Hewitt
  11. Death to Pedophiles
    La Shawn Barber's Corner
  12. From the Mouths of Babes: Climate Analysis That Actually Works
    Kobayashi Maru
  13. Changeable News Network
    Rite Wing TechnoPagan


Vegas' Green Bust

No, Vegas' green bust isn't the latest titillating show on the strip; it's the latest lesson in why we should let the market establish prices and buying decisions. Will politicians ever learn?

In one of today's most-emailed WSJ stories, the tale is told of high-minded Nevada legislators who thought that the construction of green buildings -- buildings that conserve energy and energy, and use earth-friendly building materials -- should be incentivized.

Now, one would think that in a desert city where the temperature routinely reaches 300 degrees or so, developers would need no incentive beyond lower electric and water bills to build green buildings. But legislators didn't get this, so here's what they cooked up:

In 2005 the Nevada Legislature unanimously approved a measure that cut property taxes up to 50% for 10 years and lowered sales taxes for building supplies to 2% for energy-efficient construction. ... Original estimates put state abatement costs at just $250,000, though no one can say how that figure was conjured.

The $250,000 cost was just a wee bit off -- the ding to the state in lost tax revenues is approaching $1 billion. Green buildings already in the pipeline got meaningless incentives and new buildings got decked out in the greenest shades of green, when a lighter shade of green might have been sufficient.

Nevada has no income tax, so when its sales and property taxes flatten, there's no back-up plan for funding schools, road and infrastructure projects except the General Fund. So, and I can't say this any better than WSJ did:

... late last week the Nevada Legislature, already facing budget shortfalls, worked out a retroactive compromise and essentially asked for a mulligan.

The details of the roll-back aren't important; the lesson of the roll-back is. If there's a good product that offers benefits to the market, the market will buy it. The market is smarter than the legislators, every time.

But if the legislators followed this wisdom, how would they keep themselves busy?

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Fine Send-Off For This Soldier

Meet Ryan, who will be leaving soon for his first tour in Iraq. He's a friend of Incredible Daughter #1, a member of an on-line community at, BMW lovers all, who have grown into great friends through the forum and, for many, road trips, race days and meets.

Today, in the matter of a couple hours, Ryan's Bimmerforum friends got together quite a send-off. Incredible Daughter #1 picks up the story:
So this morning Ryan, my friend, asked [on Bimmerforum] for recommendations for a nice knife. He wanted to get it before he leaves next Tuesday for Iraq. He made it clear that he didn't have a huge budget, and couldn't afford a really nice knife. By mid-afternoon, another member, Patron, suggested that we collect money to buy Ryan a knife.

At that point, Joe from picked it up, offering his services for the Ryan fund. Post from Joe:

My plan is to take whatever money we raise, and buy Buller his knife/additional gear at dealer cost. This will allow us to get more badass gear for the money.
Just didn't want you guys to think I was going to profit from this.

Those wanting to contribute can paypal me"
Within 20 minutes we had 80 dollars. One member posted that this was stupid because a knife was standard issue and Ryan could use his own money to buy a knife. Joe and other members put him in his place. Response from Joe:

"This is his first deployment, and some of us would like to honor his duty and sacrifice by sending him to the show with a good knife."
By 5 p.m. (4 1/2 hours later) we had over $300.
Ryan had no idea what we were doing, he was offline long before we started the drive. He didn't sign on again until the evening. When he did he posted this:
In all reality I really think I should hold off on spending any of the money quite yet because when I get over there I will have a much better idea of the kinda gear that we will need and don't have....and our troop is definitely VERY under supplied. Considering we are the last brigade in the 82nd to deploy...and with our departure the entire 82nd Airborne Division will be deployed..... getting anything that we need will be very hard.

This is really awesome of you guys. I'm really humbled by what you guys are doing and your support will definitely make things way better for us when we need something desperately and can't get it. As for the guy that was asking why I don't spend my combat pay on stuff, the main reason I don't want to is for the past couple months and all the way through Iraq until I'm out of the Army I'm saving all my money for helicopter flight school for when I get out...that way I'll have a decent job right out of the Army. I can spend on little things but when it comes to multiple hundreds of dollars...that's hours of flight time that is very valuable towards my license.

Again thanks a ton for the support and if you guys don't mind I would rather set the funds aside for something that all the guys in the platoon can really benefit from when I'm over in country. And again if there is anything I can do for any of you guys just let me know and I will help out to the best of my ability.
Right now, we are thinking about adopting his platoon through The problem with this is that Ryan is not [Bimmerforum's] only soldier. We have dozens, and a lot of them are on tour right now. Ryan just gets the attention because he gives us lots of updates. So while I really want to help Ryan, I think it's unfair to all the other soldiers we have in our ranks.
Well, sure, but I think it's great that these kids (most are in their 20s) feel so strongly supportive of what Ryan is doing -- and that's what the troops need more than anything else, just the knowledge that we care.

Labels: ,

Bush Plays It Safe: Zoellick To World Bank

Yes, John Bolton would have been the more fun nominee, but W. picked a safe and solid candidate in Robert Zoellick, who will be officially announced tomorrow as Paul Wolfowitz' replacement at the World Bank.

Here's a fine summary of the man from WSJ:
Robert B. Zoellick served as U.S. trade representative -- a cabinet-rank post -- during Mr. Bush's first term. The 53-year-old was considered for the World Bank job the last go-round, before moving to the State Department, where he served as deputy secretary, at the start of Mr. Bush's second term. Mr. Zoellick is regarded as a tough-minded but nonideological advocate for U.S. power. As U.S. trade representative, Mr. Zoellick often acted as an international healer in the wake of tumultuous events and has pushed trade liberalization in the Arab world.

The perennial candidate for many high-profile Washington jobs, his name was floated as successor to World Bank President James Wolfensohn in 2005. In his resignation letter as the No. 2 person at the State Department, Mr. Zoellick said he was particularly proud of having "reframed" the administration's approach toward China. He joined Goldman Sachs in 2006 as a managing director and chairman of the firm's international advisers and was expected to play a central role in advising Goldman's global strategy.
Democracy Arsenal has a more succinct summary:
Googling readers will already know, or I can save you the trouble, that he's a realist's realist...
Experience in the Arab world is a plus, as is the assurance that he'll stand for America's interests. Also a great relief is that there's no apparent connection between the man and George Soros.

What's missing from all the summaries I've read so far is what cred he's got in the area of his most important task: Rooting out corruption and streamlining the bank. We know such stuff can get you fired from the World Bank (forget all the girlfriend smoke and mirrors!), so hopefully Zoellick has the stamina and smarts to take on the World Bank staff and its more corrupt participating states.

Labels: , ,

Obama Health Plan: Take From The Rich, Give To The Lazy (And Illegal?)

The rap (well deserved) on Barak Obama is that there's plenty of sparkle, but not much substance, so in an effort to be considered a "serious candidate," according to AP (and isn't it funny that he's gotten this far without being serious?), Obama got serious today.

Did he get serious about making sure the economy stays robust? No. Was it the war on terror? Nope. Was it fixing Social Security before it goes bankrupt? Think again. It was universal health insurance! The no-brainer of politics!

You can float out whatever universal health insurance plan you want with absolutely 100 percent assurance that nothing like it will ever become law, and in this case, that's a very good thing.

Obama says his plan will insure the "45 million" Americans who are uninsured. That number is so high it appears to include illegals, along with the millions of young Americans who have made a financial decision to spend their sufficient incomes on something other than insurance. Neither should be insured at public expense.

Who's going to pay for it? Obama says it won't be us; no, we'll SAVE $2,500 a year. It'll be THEM, because he plans to help pay for it by repealing "the Bush temporary tax cut for the wealthiest taxpayers." You mean the folks who've always paid for their insurance, and probably paid for or contributed to the insurance costs of thousands of their employees? Those richest Americans?

It's worth it, Obama says, because "the skyrocketing profits of the drug and insurance industries" shouldn't be on the backs of the people. How about the skyrocketing profits of the class-action attorneys?

We'll know truly meaningful health insurance reform, because it will come with tort reform designed to protect drug companies, doctors, hospitals and insurance companies from the ravenous attacks of shark lawyers.

And you'll never, ever see that universal health insurance program coming from a Dem.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, May 28, 2007

Left Praises Hugo For Squelching Free Speech

As Hugo Chavez forced an opposing voice off the air -- it was only the longest-standing broadcast outlet in Venezuela -- so he could impose his views, and only his views on the Venezuelan people, here's how the left met the news, courtesy of Democratic Underground:
Caracas, May 28 (Prensa Latina) The new Venezuelan Social TV Network (Televisora Venezolana Social, TEVES) inundated channel two of Venezuela"s radio-electric spectrum on Monday, marking the beginning of a new era in Latin American media.

With the appearance of its signal in the first minutes of May 28, TEVES switched off the image of private Radio Caracas Television (RCTV channel), which had exploited the frequency for 53 years to benefit only its owners and their families.

At the same time, this was the materialization of a patient effort of the Venezuelan government in its struggle for democratization of the media in this South American country.

RCTV was off the air at the very moment its concession to use radio-electric space expired, as it was not renewed by authorities in order to facilitate the launching of the public service TEVES station.
The left is utterly without honor. It used to stand for something: For the liberal exchange of ideas, for freedom of speech, for government not heavy-handedly imposing its will on others.

That is now long-gone, as the left gleefully welcomes the brutal and total suppression of any thought but Chavez-thought in Venezuela.

As I wondered this morning: NanPo and Kookcinich, are you tracking this? Is it making you feel better than ever about your efforts to reimpose the Fairness Doctrine on America?

Labels: , ,

Left Would Rather Not Report On Iran Talks

Maybe they're all BBQ'ing their tofu-burgers this Memorial Day, but the leftyblogs, after demeaning the Bush admin for not talking to Iran, are not writing much about the diplomatic talks today with representatives of the Iranian regime.

(The photo shows Iran's ambassador to Iraq, Hassan Kazemi-Qomi, either showing us that Iranians can't even pick their noses right ... or he's giving us a gesture that we'll soon find out is quite obscene ... we'll have to keep an eye out on MEMRI.)

Despite the near-total news blockout on the left, I did find this:
For much of the Bush administrations tenure, and especially prior to the 2004 election, direct conversations with Iran were off limits ... [All Spin Zone]
Yes, as they have been for nearly 30 years, since the Iranian hostage crisis. Your boy Bill didn't talk to them, either.

It's going to be very difficult for these talks to get anywhere since the Iranians' actions don't follow their policy -- they're officially for a stable Iraq, but they're working hard to destabilize it, and to kill Americans in the process.

So if -- and that's a very little if -- the talks don't produce results, expect the left to follow up on its general ignoring of the talks with loud and unified howls of derision, blaming Bush's "lack of diplomatic skills" on the failure.

One of the controversial and much-trounced points of the Iraq Study Group that I've always agreed with is the need to open talks with Iran. I'm not hopeful that they'll go anywhere, but not talking isn't going anywhere either.

And with the Bush admin at the table instead of Kerry, we can be fairly sure the talks will proceed as they should, with a near-complete lack of trust and a near-fanatical commitment to verification.

Labels: , , ,

Chavez "Fairness Doctrine" Leads To Demonstrations

Venezulea has been rocked with demonstrations against the despotic regime of Hugo Chavez, with the "people's president" using tanks and water cannons against his people.

Free speech and freedom of the press are the triggering issues of the demonstrations, which started when the nation's oldest broadcast outlet, RCTV, was forced to close after Chavez refused to renew its broadcast licence. (Dem supporters of the Fairness Doctrine, are you tracking this?)

BBC reports:
Within seconds of screens going blank, the insignia of a new state-sponsored broadcaster, TVES, appeared.

Mr Chavez said RCTV had tried to undermine his government.

The president says the new channel that took RCTV's place at midnight on Sunday (0400 GMT Monday) will better reflect the socialist revolution he has pledged to lead.
(Nancy Pelosi and Dennis Kucinich, are you finding this interesting?)

The blog The Devil's Excrement (hat-tip, Gateway Pundit, which has several more good links) gives a blow-by-blow of the day's events, including:
Then the Minister of Defense going into a military parade comes in and says that "minority groups can not go against the majority feeling of the Venezuelan people to create uncertainty with the closure of RCTV, as if there was a majority support to the decision, which is in any case a legal decision and not one to be decided by popularity,["] but in any case, all indications are the illegal and political decision is highly unpopular, contradicting the Minister's words.

Meanwhile, as people begin checking the newssites on the Internet, Noticiero Digital, Megaresistencia and RCTV websites are taken down by denial of service attacks, the effects of which are still being felt hours later. This is compounded by problems with the CANTV network which take down some other news sites in what may be unrelated to the denial of serivce attacks, since all the others are hosted abroad.

Then the autocrat/dictator himself shows up at the military parade, the main focus of which is the new Russian planes. I had little tie to listen (or interest) to the speech, but what little I heard may have been Chavez at his nuttiest . While I will wait to have the transcript, the intimidation was there, dressed in military garb (which is illegal since he is not active), the President told his supporters not to worry that "his" new planes (on the right above) are flown by experts and carry bombs which these experts can drop with pinpoint accuracy on their targets. (Us?).

And then, as if this were not enough evidence and proof of how we have lost our rights and freedom in this country, the Constitutional Hall of the Supreme Court decides to "protect" the diffuse rights of the "people", the same rights that it refused to protect in allowing the shutdown of RCTV, and essentially allows the Government not only to shutdown the network, but to take over the equipment rightfully owned by the owners of RCTV, all in the name of the "Law". Gimme a f... break! This is a simple and direct confiscation of the enemy's property, which goes beyond anything ever seen so far in the Chavez Dictatorship, as usual under the guise of "legality".
Let's see, a regime that's hungry for power and frightfully afraid of any opposition on public airwaves revokes broadcast licenses of outlets that aren't "fair." One more time: that sounds just like the thinking behind the Fairness Doctrine, doesn't it?

hat-tip: Memeorandum

Labels: ,

Google: Screw The Fighting Man!

Once again, Google has decided not to honor Conservative or religious values on its home page, adding a slight of heroes killed in combat to its earlier slights of Christian holidays.

Today, Memorial Day, Google welcomes you with a plain page. No remembrance there of those who died so Google would be here today, and be free to do business with the Commies in China. Not one electron expended to pay homage to those that made Google's home page possible by defending our country and our freedom of speech. did better, with this little patriotic icon and a link to its Memorial Day search page, which leads off with this nice history of the day from, where I learned among many other interesting things that this is the 139th Memorial Day, and that the tradition may have started in the South with widows honoring their Civil War dead, but,
It is more likely that [Memorial Day] had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen [John] Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868.
There's also a petition on the site you can sign to ask Congress to move the Memorial Day holiday to its traditional day, May 30, instead of its current floating day. Seems like a good idea.

How hard would it be for Google to admit that it is an American company, serving American people who, by and large, cherish our American holidays and have "a general human need to honor our dead?"

How hard would it be for you to at least try a different search engine as your default, and turn to Google, as I do, only when you need its generally superior search capabilities?

God bless our fallen heroes, who deserve better than Google.

Labels: ,

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Mahmoud Again Calls For Israel's Destruction

Mah- I'm- in- the- moud- for- euphemisms Ahmadinejad (rhymes with "Antisemitism -- now that's iron-clad) has once again called for the destruction of Israel, but not with his old "wiped off the map" rhetoric. Here's the latest from his mouthpiece news agency, Fars:
TEHRAN - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Saturday warned the Zionist regime of Israel to avoid invading Lebanon, adding that in case it intends to make up for its last year defeat in Lebanon, regional nations would uproot the regime from the region.
Liberal media may see the change from "wiped off the map" to "uprooted from the region" as indicative of a less strident, more approachable Ahmadinejad. They do try mightily to find evidence of more liberalness in Tehran, not because it's there, but because they think it might forestall a Bush-directed attack, which they feel is imminent.

They might note that the kinder Ahmadinejad is so diplomatic that he even warns Israel of the specifics of its forthcoming doom:
"According to our information, they intend to invade Lebanon this summer to make up for their last year defeat, and I warn other nations and this [Israeli] regime to be vigilant and to understand that this year is not going to be similar to last year," the Iranian president underlined.
I wonder how he underlined it. A gesture, perhaps? A swish of the hand across the air? An upthrust arm, palm open?

And what if we should try to stop this new, more approachable Ahmadinejad?
"But we have the honor to proclaim here today that satanic powers are not capable of harming the Iranian nation even for a bit, and if they think that they can make the Iranian nation surrender to them by avoiding dispatch of nuclear fuel or equipment to Iran, they are wrong, because we have already gained access to the production of nuclear fuel at an industrial scale," the Iranian president underscored.
Underscoring, underlining, underhanded SOB. I would humbly point out that satanic powers are not interested in harming the Iranian nation even one bit, because it's doing a fine, fine job of carrying out their agenda.

Labels: , ,

They Fought For More Than Country

When we see veterans marching in a Memorial Day parade, we are watching the men and women that are a living testimony to those who would defend the principles and ideals of freedom. They fought for more than geography and they fought for more than country.
-- Sigmund, Karl and Alfred

The quote above, from the post Memorial Day And The Mirror Of Hope, stretches out and catches the beauty of the defense of the American experiment beautifully -- it is a Willie Mays in the '54 World Series kind of beautiful catch.

Our veterans have fought, don't you see, for Madison and Jefferson and Adams and the others, not for Teddy or FDR or LBJ or W. Not for Pusan or Da Nang or Tikrit. They fought, and fight, for the principles those men laid down in that incredibly difficult time at the end of the 16th Century when out of a sea of divisiveness and discord they hewed a beautiful ship -- call her Liberty, call her Freedom, call her The People -- and launched her into history, forever changing it.

When our armed services take up arms, they do it for the ideals our God-inspired forefathers created, beyond all human capability to create. That, so much more than the remembrance of every wrong from the Alamo to the World Trade Center, is what they are willing to fight and die for.

I woke up this morning, as I do every Memorial Day, thinking of a man I never met, Christopher Fassnacht. Chris was everyone's favorite cousin in my mom's world of aunts and uncles and cousins. He was Paul and Rosetta Fassnacht's boy, who grew up just down the street from the house Granddad and Grandmother lived in for over 60 years.

Paul worked with Granddad at Indiana Lumber and Rosetta was the sweetest great-aunt, such a soft voice, and an eye condition that kept her from opening her eyelids, save for a tiny slit, so she had to tilt her head way back to see you. They must have teamed up wonderfully on Chris, because his cousins adored him.

He served his country in WWII as a bomber pilot and was lost over Germany when his plane was shot down. So many died as he did, in a trail of smoke against the sky -- so many that he's lost even to Google.

Even though I never knew him, he gave me my sense of the loss of a loved one serving in the armed forces. That's because the love of his cousins and his legacy as a man live on in my brother Chris and a cousin Chris, and an entire branch of the family, the Christophers, who used to be the Fassnachts until Uncle Bill changed his name after the war.

(I don't know if there's a connection, but Robert Fassnacht, a distant cousin, had a son Christopher before he was killed in an anti-Vietnam war bombing at the University of Wisconsin in 1970.)

That, my friends, was a man who touched so many during a short life. And there are thousands upon thousands of Chris Fassnachts who we honor today -- remarkable young men and women who meant so much to so many, but were willing to fight for the principles and dreams of a nation that has touched so many more.

Some would have us leave Iraq before we can finish our work there. They don't hold enough faith in the bright vision of America to think we can change a place like Iraq. They're right in saying Iraq is a tough, tough place for that vision to take hold. But they dishonor the almost 3,500 wonderful, honorable and courageous Americans who have given their lives so that the American dream may be dreamed by others.

Labels: ,

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Warning: Stupid People Driving ... Or Governing

According California DMV, some extremely stupid people are driving on our roads and highways. I have it on good authority -- it's right on the wrapper of my new license plate.

Right next to the "click it or ticket" logo is this:
A safety belt can
  • Prevent painful injury
  • Save your life
When you buckle up!
Protection is void if your seat belt isn't fastenened at time of impact.
Thank you for that helpful little tip, Mr. Schwarzenegger & Co. Here we thought we could avoid the discomfort of continual seatbelt clickage by simply waiting until we have an accident, then click it shortly after impact. Things are much clearer now.

Does the government really think they serve people this stupid? Or is the government so stupid that it actually thinks warnings like this are necessary?

Methinks the latter.

Labels: ,

A Really Phat Fatwah

Maybe the Islamist economies can recover from their stupid insistence on muzzling half of their creative and economic power, their women.

Yes, there may be a way around the Koranic interpretations that keep Muslim women far out of the mainstream:
The head of the Hadith Department in Al-Azhar University, Dr. Izzat Atiyya, recently issued a controversial fatwa dealing with breastfeeding of adults. The fatwa stated that a woman who is required to work in private with a man not of her immediate family - a situation that is forbidden by Islamic law - can resolve the problem by breastfeeding the man, which, according to shari'a, turns him into a member of her immediate family. (MEMRI)
Ay, that'll do the trick, Matey! It seems a bit hard to align this fatwah with all that stuff about women needing to display extremely modest dress, but I'm sure the idea will have some appeal among the leagues of lecherous Muslim men who have been fearfully deprived of cleavage on display.

And what an incentive for Muslim women to go to work! Leave the repression of the home, enter the sexual exploitation of the office!

Atiyya's fatwah created quite a stir. Muslim Brotherhood members of the legislature brought the matter up for debate, and in typical free-spirited Islamic discussion of ideas, the government seized every copy of the newspaper that published it.

Atiyya apologized, but was suspended nonetheless. And in his apology is the fruit of this story:
Dr. Atiyya, on his part, published a retraction and apologized, saying that the fatwa was no more than a personal interpretation of a certain hadith [verse from the second most holy book of Islam], and furthermore, that the hadith in question relates a particular incident that occurred under specific constraints, and has no general applicability. However, Al-Azhar refused to accept his apology.
Oh, so you mean all these fatwah that are being written about jihad this and death to the infidels that are nothing more than personal interpretations? Opinions that might be withdrawn in the face of suspensions, investigations, pressure?

Then where are the moderate Muslims? Where are their suspensions and investigations of jihadist fatwah-writers; where is their pressuring for and end to the fatwahs that have made Islam the enemy of all peace-loving nations that happen to not fall prostrate before their sick religion?

Where indeed?

hat-tip: memeoranum

Labels: , ,

Bush Defies Warming Autocrats At G8

There was a choice of articles to read this a.m. about the apparent U.S. rejection of the G8 global warming agenda (thanks to memeorandum). There's NYT and WaPo, but I thought I'd go for a bit more stridency, so I went with the Guardian -- after all, it's headline said we'd rejected "all" climate proposals.

The G8 Summit doesn't get underway until June 6, so the story is a result of a leak by Greenpeace. That's easy enough to figure; a Green in the German environmental agency leaked it to a Green outside the environmental agency.
... a note attached to a draft [global warming] document circulated by Germany says the US is "fundamentally opposed" to the proposals.

The note, written in red ink, says the deal "runs counter to our overall position and crosses multiple 'red lines' in terms of what we simply cannot agree to".

"This document is called FINAL but we never agreed to any of the climate language present in the document ... We have tried to 'tread lightly' but there is only so far we can go given our fundamental opposition to the German position," it says.

The tone is blunt, with whole pages of the draft crossed out and even the mildest statements about confirming previous agreements rejected. "The proposals within the sections titled 'Fighting Climate Change' and 'Carbon Markets' are fundamentally incompatible with the President's approach to climate change," says another red-ink comment.

Is there hope the red-lining can survive even the two weeks until the meetings start? It seems to me to be a defiant staking of a tough negotiating position. Still, the Bush administration just might have the gumption to stick to the position because the model to look at here for guidance isn't the multiple issues the administration has waffled on; it's immigration.

Despite howls of protest from the GOP faithful, Bush has stuck to a more liberal approach to immigration designed to ensure an ongoing flow of labor to ag and biz. Call it what you will (and I'm sure there are a lot of choice descriptors out there), it is a free market approach to the borders ... not my favorite application of a free market philosophy, mind you.

And if you're looking for a two-word descriptor of all that red ink on the draft G8 document, it is "free market," one of the three approaches to global warming that we're limited to:
  1. Ignore it and pursue business as usual. You're free to pursue this on an individual basis if you wish, but it isn't going to happen on a large scale because government is hankering to impose its will, as are the people, who are pushing industry for greener products.
  2. Legislate and mandate a change to business as usual. The favored G8 and Schwarzenegger approach, it would set limits and force compliance. The draft G8 document seeks to cut global emissions, curb the rise in average temperatures this century to 2C and raise energy efficiency in power and transportation by 20% by 2020. Should governments commit to such bold standards in the face of what probably is not be human-caused global warming, the regulators are guaranteed jobs for life with lots of meddling in our lives.
  3. Let the free markets play it out.
We don't hear much of the third alternative in the global debate discussion of global warming, but it is the only place we should be focused.

Because there are irritating questions about what's causing global warming, questions that would, in a normal debate discussion, give rise to a certain degree of caution and lead to a desire to test the water before we jump in, weighted down with thousand-page books of regulatory mandates. The free market allows such testing.

If global warming is indeed anthropomorphic, it will presumably become more evident as the "crisis" continues and we anthropoids will then respond accordingly, demanding greener products and greener policies. We'll vote with our pocketbooks and in our polling booths, and the world will become a greener place without bureaucratic head-butting.

All this is quite foreign to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the hostess of G8 and, apparently, 7 of the other G's. In Merkel's preview comments about the upcoming summit, it says:
In the field of climate protection, Merkel is convinced that the industrialised countries must act as trailblazers. Only then will the less developed economies follow. "Otherwise we have no chance of combating climate change," declared the Chancellor.

With respect to energy efficiency, in particular, technological cooperation with emerging economies must be stepped up.

Interestingly, the comments immediately follow her section on the importance of open markets -- not exactly the same as free markets, but philosophical brothers nonetheless. There's nothing in her global warming language that implies a draconian Warmie bureaucracy, and nothing that states that certain markets should close and others should become regulated in order to deal with the "crisis."

Yet, according to the draft, that is the G8 approach, and mandated limits are no different than price controls. They will be no more successful. The only approach to Warmie hysteria that will work is to let the free market settle the issue -- and that's what all the red ink on the Bush mark-up of the draft document stands for.

Let's pray the ink is indelible.

Labels: , ,

Friday, May 25, 2007

Rosie: Lessons From The Master

What a pussy. For all her dyke bravado, all it took was one person to stand up to her and call her a coward and Rosie was gone, like that. Kaput.

Can you imagine a conservative storming off the set because a liberal yelled at her? When don't liberals yell at conservatives on the set?

Can you imagine a conservative talk host's main writer drawing mustaches on pictures of her boss' adversary? Can you imagine a conservative talk show host having a writer?

So Rosie was determined to teach us all about liberalism (not that I watched The View to learn from her). Give her an A+. She's done an outstanding job.

Labels: ,

At World's End

Incredible Daughters #1 and #3 and I took off the afternoon and went to see Pirates of the Caribbean, At World's End today. I won't spoil it for you laggards who haven't seen it yet, other than to say it was delightfully entertaining with some edge of the seat stuff and plenty of laughs.

Consensus view: The best one yet when it comes to Jack's entry; a wonderfully surreal episode that has more than a bit of Felini in it.

Also: A surprising appearance of Micky Mouse's voice.

Who Won The War Funding Stare-Down?

It's nice that Bush stared the Dems in the eye, said "Go ahead, make my day," and got his money for the troops and the War on Terror. But did he really win? (I know I said earlier that he did, but I'm having second thoughts.)

Yes, he was able to keep the Dems from telegraphing a "Loose Lips Sink Ships" communique to every terrorist on the globe, so they could plan how best to exploit a coming US surrender. And yes, he got Gen. Patreus some time and some money.

Let's hope the General does very well with what he's got because the ugly Dem is looking to dance with Bush again, come September.
"Change is what I hear," Mr. Murtha said of the administration's war policies. "By September, they'll come around, I think." (WSJ)
Now our generals have some money and can plan for another few innings, but this just might be another 100-plus inning affair, like the one they played in Iowa back in the day, and the Generals aren't being given a clue as to how to plan beyond the next few plays.

You see, the Dems saddled Bush with impermanence on the war and got permanence on their beloved social programs.

The $2.10 an hour spike in the minimum wage isn't going to be evaluated and voted on again in September -- we'll just get three 70-cent hikes, like clockwork. We won't be able to see if it's slowed down the economy and reconsider the measure if it has; it's just in, forever.

Also forever is this pork:
  • Billions of dollars in domestic spending for farm drought relief, medical coverage for poor children and hurricane recovery
  • $25 million for spinach growers hit by last year's E. coli scare
  • $500 million for wildfire prevention for the West Coast
  • $120 million for shrimp and Atlantic menhaden fishermen
  • $15 million to prevent salt water 'intrusion' on Louisiana rice fields
  • $3 million for funding a sugar cane Hawaiian co-op
  • $24 million for funding for sugar beets
  • $2 million to the University of Vermont Education Excellence Program
  • $25 million for the Safe and Drug Free Schools program
  • $48 million for disaster reconstruction for NASA
  • $13 million for mine safety research
  • $25 million for asbestos abatement and tunnel repair at the Capitol Power Plant
  • $640 million for the Low Income Households Energy Assistance Program
  • 13.2 million for avian flu research and monitoring
  • $3.5 million related to guided tours of the U.S. Capitol
  • $22.8 million for geothermal research and development
  • $12 million for forest service money (hat-tip, Beyond Babylon)
Well-meaning programs all, natch, but they have nothing to do with the war effort, should have stood on their own, and like the minimum wage hike, they're not coming back for review in September; they're forever.

So who capitulated here? It seems like the Dems took a hard look at the polls, decided being the Party of Cowards wouldn't play all that well in '08, and decided to hog-tie the prez and pork up their districts.

On the other side of the bargain, Bush got a few months of war funding, which means the whole charade will start again before we have a chance to show real progress in Iraq -- unless there's a major miracle in the offing along the Euphrates.

And even then, would you trust progressives to know progress when they see it?

Art: Darleen's Place

Labels: , ,

Drive A Phoneymobile!

Want a definition of the apex of well-healed liberalism? How about Al Gore at the Marin Civic Center? That should do the trick.

And how did all these fine Warmie hysterics get to the event, where Gore was hawking his new book, The Something or Another That's All Wrong About This Or That. Here's how:

Yep. SUVs, minivans and assorted high-end sedans.

Talk about an assault on reason!

For more fun, including photos of truly dangerous "Gore/Obama 2008" people and a photo that makes Gore look like Dracula (a scroll-down treat), see the photo-carnage at Zombietime.

hat-tip: memeorandum

Labels: , , ,

Watcher Winners

The Watcher's Council has spoken, and here's our picks for the best blog posts for this week:

Among the Council, Joshuapundit's spot-on analysisof the latest blow-up between Israel and the Jew-haters to the south topped the picks, followed by Rightwing Nuthouse's Musings on a Late Spring Afternoon, which depressed me mightily, but only because it's very likely true -- and well worth reading.

Next, the Colossus of Rhodey with a good job on a topic I often write about, Why Are Liberals So Afraid of Their Own Ideas?

Following hence, a three-way tie of posts, all first-place worthy: Soccer Dad's great analysis of global warming skepticism, Big Lizard's Pressure Mounts for Clinton, Obama, Feingold, Biden, Reid to Resign From Senate, a gnarly analysis of the Dem candidates and the Senate anti-war meltdown, and Done with Mirrors latest on Iraq.

Someone was kind enough to cast a sole vote for my Hello, Hillarycare! post, and The Glittering Eye, Eternity Road and Rhymes with Right all curried a vote or two as well.

Among the Non-Council winners, we see TigerHawk at the top o' the heap with On Dehumanizing the Enemy In War and the Nature of Victory. I highly recommend my nominee, which came in third, a piece by Claudia Rosette on the UN's latest scandal, Dollars for Despots, and its connection to the puppet-players behind the Wolfowitz matter.

See the other winners at Watcher of Weasels.

By the way, Dodgeblogium's post garnered a couple votes, which I was happy to see (one of them was mine). He posts weekly to the contest on his own, following the offer of link whorage. Consider following suit if you'd like your best post critiqued by the Council.

Thanks again, Watcher!


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Porn And Pity, Or Porn And Responsibility?

James Pacenza just might shake up the American workplace ... in a very weird way.

Pacenza is suing IBM, his employer, for firing him just because he was logged onto an adult chat site while working.

They should have helped me not fired me, say Pacenza, because he's just self-medicating, not getting into pornography at work.

Well, he could be right, of course. A lot of sexual addition is just an owie-cover, just as lots of alcoholics and drug addicts use their habits to cover the deep psychological ailings within. In Pacenza's case, he says its to cover post-traumatic stress disorder from his time in Vietnam.

Sorry, Jimmy, you ol' lech. You've had 40 years to get over that stuff, so I don't think it's really that great an excuse for chompin' in the pornocopia.

Besides, it would be a real shame if Pacenza prevailed because it won't end when he pockets the $5 million he hopes to strip from Big Blue's pockets. If companies are forced to keep se addicts who are acting out at work on the payroll, it's a bit different from having to keep the druggie or boozer on the payroll.

For starters, they look at porn on their computers. For the person at the next work station, that's not exactly like their co-worker having the munchies or beer-breath.

And you can't type your credit card number into your computer and get a drink or a joint, but you can get everything from horny nuns to gay pipefitters -- and once that happens, it's as likely that the addict will get back to work that it is to get a drunk out of the bar before Happy Hour is over.

Pacenza is pathetic. Either he's hiding behind his addiction instead of dealing with the problems in his head, or he's fabricating the problems in his head to justify his addiction -- and he thinks IBM has an obligation to deal with this mess.

I just hope the judge isn't a guy who logs onto porn sites when the doors close to his chambers.

Labels: ,

ABC Gets A Drubbin' For Iran Story

If you want to have some fun, check out the 1,500 or so comments posted at ABC News since it ran its story on Bush authorizing covert action against Iran.

The comments are overwhelmingly negative, calling ABC both traitors and "traders," suggesting new names for the network and many more of this slant:
Why, if it is covert, are you airing it and telling the Iranians what we are doing? Do you want more war and more killings of Americans? Let them do their [jobs] and keep your mouths shut.
Of course, those who want us to lose the war against terror voice of too. Here are three:

The Neocons will be out of office shortly.I pray for that day every morning.They are truly evil on this Earth.

I for one appreciate ABC's courage in letting Americans know what the government is up to. It's the present insane US government, not the Iranian, that's a threat to US citizens.

You have to be one ignorant sucker to not have known the US was already in Iran. Bush and his criminal politicos are fostering giant increases in terrorism in the US. Just wait and see. He has caused more harm to the US than any other president in history. Now, we'll all pay for it. God what morons these neo cons turned out to be.
Presumably, ABC reads the former and thinks, "What a bunch of rightwing whackos!" They read the latter and think, "Right on!"

Is anyone in the MSM asking themselves when was the an American president said a country should be wiped off the map? When was the last time an Iranian president said it? Where are the "giant increases in terrorism in the US?"

To paraphrase the last commenter above, God what morons the left continues to be.

Labels: ,

Carter's Book Raises CBS Shareholder's Ire

The Left does have one point I'll buy -- there's too much consolidation in the media. Of course, they propose all the wrong actions and draw all the wrong conclusions from that point.

I'm a free market guy, so laisse faire on this, but the fact is, the liberal media extends its reach through its holdings, polluting the national discourse in the process. A case in point, from Galley Cat:
The New York Sun's Gary Shapiro reports that former President Jimmy Carter's most recent book, PALESTINE: PEACE NOT APARTHEID has riled up CBS stockholders in a big way. That's because the book was published by Simon & Schuster - a subsidiary of CBS - and so Carol Greenwald, the treasurer of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (and a CBS shareholder) plans to criticize the publisher at the meeting.

According to a statement shown to The New York Sun, Greenwald, who calls Carter's book "error-filled," plans to ask that a fact-checking system be set up to prevent material errors in books Simon & Schuster publishes and that a code of ethics be adopted for its publishing division.
CBS, which is quite good at sticking microphones in faces and intimidatingly demanding comment, declined to comment.

Of course, while I agree with the left concerning the problem, I don't agree with their solution: resurrecting, Zombie-like, the Fairness Doctrine. All that will accomplish is a chilling of the national discourse.

If we could just chill Carter's discourse ...

Labels: ,

Dems Grub For Bad In Goodling

Not too much came out of the Monica Goodling testimony yesterday except for photos like these, which are priceless, and writing like this, from Dana Milbank at WaPo, that is similarly priceless:
"Was that legal?" demanded Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.). Under the witness table, Goodling wrung her hands and rubbed her bracelet. She drew a deep breath. "I know I crossed the line," she admitted.
Gooding was a witness in well out of her league; a young Republican suddenly jerked from her cushy glitz job and thrown under the bus by mission-driven Dems while the TV lights nicely highlighted her hair.

From what I've read, the only thing they got out of Gooding on the prosecutor firing is her allegation that Assistant AG Paul McNulty was "not fully candid" with Congress about his knowledge of White House involvement in the firings. Not exactly who knew what, when.

Dems also are making hay of her conversation with AG AG, which they say shows his previous statement that he did not try to influence witnesses was a lie.

Here's the exchange:

"Let me tell you what I can remember," [AG AG] said, according to her account.

"He laid out for me his general recollection . . . of some of the process" of the firings and then asked "if I had any reaction to his iteration," Goodling said.

She said the conversation made her "a little uncomfortable" because she knew that she, Gonzales and others would be asked to testify before Congress.

"Do you think, Ms. Goodling, the attorney general was trying to shape your recollection?" Davis asked.

Goodling paused, then said: "No . . . I just did not know if it was a conversation that we should be having, and so I just -- just didn't say anything."

She added that she thought Gonzales was only "being kind."

"Another nail in the Gonzales coffin!" screamed one leftyblog. I'm not so sure; it seems more like a brad, a mere staple, to me. If it's a nail, it's typical Dem witch-hunting, a la Scooter Libby and the Plame Game. Here, they're going after AG AG for politicizing the office (as if they didn't) and firing people who don't play the game (as if they don't), but if that won't stick, it'll do to catch him in a minor, off-topic perjury. Go for a grand slam, hoof out an infield single.

The most interesting passage of the day had more to do with Dem bigotry than AG AG and the prosecutors. Again, Milbank:

The only break Republicans got all day came from a neophyte Democrat on the committee, Steve Cohen (Tenn.) [and not exactly a Goodling-quality looker], who decided to poke fun at the educational pedigree of Goodling, Regent University law school Class of '99 ("top 10.5 percent of class," reported her résumé).

"The mission of the law school you attended, Regent, is to bring to bear upon legal education and the legal profession the will of almighty God," he said. "What is the will of almighty God, our creator, on the legal profession?"

"I'm not sure that I could define that question for you," Goodling answered.

Cohen continued: "Are you aware of the fact that in your graduating class, 50 to 60 percent of the students failed the bar the first time?"

"I know it wasn't good," she conceded.

Republicans erupted in groans and cries of "bigotry." "Regent University students won the American Bar Association's Negotiation Competition February 11," protested Randy Forbes (R-Va.).

Hmmm. I thought this investigation was supposed to be rooting out politicization in Justice, not poking Christianity in the ribs. Cohen's got a point (He went to Vanderbilt, where the pass rate is in the mid-80s to low-90s), but really, what an idiot.

The Dems have an immunity-protected witness who cuts a bit of a sympathetic jib with most of us and he mocks Christians? Do you suppose this useful idiot, whose resume brags ...

Steve Cohen has never faltered in his fight for those who do not have the power bestowed by wealth and advantage, realizing that the American dream cannot flourish without constant rededication to its principle.
... did not apply the will of almighty liberal dogma to the studying he pursued at Vanderbilt? That's Vanderbilt, the university founded by a $1 million (in 1873 dollars!) gift from "Commodore" Cornelius Vanderbilt, of whom Wikipedia says:

Ruthless in business, Cornelius Vanderbilt was said by some to have made few friends in his lifetime but many enemies. In his will, he disowned all his sons except for William, who was as ruthless in business as his father and the one Cornelius believed capable of maintaining the business empire. ...

Vanderbilt gave little of his vast fortune to charitable works, leaving the US$1 million he had promised for Vanderbilt University and $50,000 to the Church of the Strangers in New York City.

Yeah, Steve. Keep fighting for those poor, oppressed folk who can't afford the Commodore's law school. Fight loud and obnoxiously. Beat up on young blondes. You're doing your party proud.

Labels: , , ,