12 December 2007

A Truly Remarkable Statement

Cynthia McKinney visited my new home state this week. Apparently she is running for president. I'm not sure of what.

But this remarkable statement appeared in the Madison paper:
McKinney accused President Bush of ignoring warnings of the Sept. 11 attacks because friends in the defense industry would profit from a war. She has hosted numerous panels on Sept. 11 conspiracy theories, which Barrett champions.

"I asked a very innocent question," McKinney said Tuesday. "I asked what did the administration know and when did it know it about the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001. And I was excoriated."

Who would have guessed that a woman who could not figure out how to show her security pass to the capital hill security guards would even know what excoriated meant!?!

And now, BTW, if they nominate her, the Green Party can give up any pretensions to seriousness.

06 December 2007

I lived in the Pacific NW too long

You can tell that I lived in the Pacific NW too long (12.5 of the last 19 years).

I saw this headline
Gates: Iran causes chaos ‘everywhere’ it turns
And thought, wow, what is Bill Gates doing talking about international affairs?

Then I saw the sub-headline:
U.S. defense chief urges Gulf nations to press Iran to renounce nuke arms
Oh. That Gates.

20 November 2007

a WHAT?!?

There is this story about a woman who is suing for divorce in Egypt because her husband refuses to bathe.

But the best reason given for filing for divorce is the last one listed of the unusual reasons:

- A sorcerer's wife filed for a divorce after he refused to give up his job.

She didn't know he was a sorcerer before the wedding? Why did she think he had on the pointy had with stars all over it?

Women. Always the same thing: marry a guy and then try to change him ....

16 November 2007

A strange sense of levity

So some boneheaded bridge players decided to make a political statement while receiving a championship award at the world bridge games.

Now this would be just a little silly, except for a comment one of them made, emphasis added, which indicates that it is very silly.

The players have been stunned by the reaction to what they saw as a spontaneous gesture, “a moment of levity,” said Gail Greenberg, the team’s nonplaying captain and winner of 11 world championships.

“What we were trying to say, not to Americans but to our friends from other countries, was that we understand that they are questioning and critical of what our country is doing these days, and we want you to know that we, too, are critical,” Ms. Greenberg said, stressing that she was speaking for herself and not her six teammates.

We are critical, but it is not a serious matter, it is, in fact, a source of excessive or unseemly frivolity!



27 October 2007

How the mighty have fallen

I caught a piece the other day on Opinionjournal about how the politically charged, anti-American / Anti-Bush / anti-Iraq (pick one, two or three of the above) GWOT movies that are coming out right now are bombing at the box office.

One of the most political of actors in recent years has been the almost derangedly anti-Bush (and, in my opinion) anti-American Sean Penn. I had not realized how hard his activity had been on his career until I saw this headline from TMZ.com regarding the recent fires.

Sean Penn Loses Trailer in Malibu Fire

H/T: BotWT

26 October 2007

Well, Bully for Bill!

Bill Clinton scores one in my book with this video clip and the attached text.

Take that, 911Truthers!

26 September 2007

Dirty tricks?

I received this email from a lefty relative of mine:

Subject: They're already trying to steal the White House

Hi,

Republican operatives -- including some of the 2004 Swift Boaters -- are working on a proposition for the June ballot that would essentially hand over 20 of the state's electoral votes before the elections even begin next November.

Reject the Republican power grab in California:

http://www.democrats.org/DirtyTricks

Thanks.

So I went to the site to see what was up with this. Here is what I found:

Reject the Republican power grab

Republican operatives -- including some of the 2004 Swift Boaters -- are working on a proposition for the June ballot that would essentially hand over 20 of the state's electoral votes before the elections even begin next November.

Reject the Republican power grab in California:








Well, that sure did not tell me much more.

Now normally when I get an email that makes a provocative claim and has a link. the link contains information ... or at least more links ... to substantiate the claims that are being made. That is how an American Family Association email usually works, for instance.

But apparently the Democratic party is made up of such sheep that they will sign a petition without even knowing what this thing is about.

So I went looking. Turns out that some people think it would be a good idea to distribute the electors in the electoral college proportionately to the percentage of votes each candidate gets. They want to put this proposition on the ballot next June.

This is not a "dirty trick", it is not an "abuse of power", and it is not "corruption". (That is the caption on the Democratic website linked above.)

It is an attempt to let the people decide in a fair and open election how their electoral college votes will be allocated. It is a bad idea, though.

Two thoughts:

1. I believe it is a bad idea for California now (which might benefit Republicans) just as I believed it was a bad idea for Colorado in 2004, when it was advocated by Democrats. But to not push against this idea now without acknowledging that the Dems would do it in every Red State if they could get away with it is cynical and hypocritical.

2. The proposal is to let the people vote. Why do the Dems suddenly think letting people vote (by secret ballot) is a bad idea?

17 September 2007

Freedom of Speech

One of President Bush's big blunders was his reaction to the Mohammed Cartoon Controversy of a couple of years back. (LGF reminds us that Clinton is no better and Michelle Malkin had more comments.)

Bush appeared with the King of Jordan and, as CBS reported it:
As leader of the most powerful democracy, he defended the rights of newspapers to print what they see fit. But he felt obliged to tell the news media they must be sensitive about their power to offend. ...

The president spoke out about the controversy for the first time, signaling deepening White House concern about violent protests stemming from the publication of caricatures in Denmark's Jyllands-Posten and reprinted in European media and elsewhere in the past week.

"We reject violence as a way to express discontent with what may be printed in a free press," the president said.

At the same time, Mr. Bush admonished the press that its freedom comes with "the responsibility to be thoughtful about others."

Mr. Bush commented alongside King Abdullah II of Jordan at the White House. Abdullah, too, called for protests to be peaceful, but he also spoke against ridicule of Islam's holiest figure.

"With all respect to press freedoms, obviously anything that vilifies the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, or attacks Muslim sensibilities, I believe, needs to be condemned," the king said.
Got that? You have freedom of the press, BUT ...

In spite of being one who has endured Piss Christ and and all sorts of public "artistic", money grubbing and attention-hungry attacks on Christianity, I am a big endorser of free press and freedom of political expression.

I think Bush, reversing the order to emphasize the freedom, should have said, "Sometimes people get offended, but in the West he have a tradition of freedom of religion and expression and the press which faith must accommodate."

Apparently Islam refuses to do so, and now a Swedish cartoonist has a $100 k bounty on his head. (Is Al Queda dissing the Euro?)

Striking a (pitifully small) blow for freedom of speech, I here reproduce Day by Day's response. I endorse Chris Muir's right to draw this and I claim a universal right to post it.

16 September 2007

Reverse Jury Nullification

I have always believed that the O J Simpson verdict in the murders of Goldman and Brown -Simpson was a case of jury nullification. By focusing on the language used by Detective Mark Fuhrman in an odd circumstance, O J's attorney's got the mostly black jury to focus on the potential racist attitude of the LA police department and therefore acquitted what was - to most of the rest of the country - a guilty man.

I do not know much about the demographics of Las Vegas, and I do not know how strong the evidence is in the current burglary case against him, but it would seem to me that it is possible that OJ might find himself serving time for the double murder over the theft of some sports memorabilia.

I wonder if that is really what he was after after all ...

The truth is not as much fun as a good urban legend

This story

Man Trying to Sneak Into Concert Venue Impaled on Fence

reminded me of one of the great Urban Legends of the early years of the Internet. (And having been to the Gorge Amphitheater at George, Wa several times, I can tell you that there is no place where this would have been possible, but it is a great piece of writing. I reproduce it in its entirety.

Misadventure at the Metallica Concert (1996)


Police in George, WA issued a report on the events leading up to the deaths of Robert Uhlenake, 24, and his friend, Ormond D. Young, 27, at a Friday night Metallica concert.

Uhlenake and Young were found dead at the Gorge Amphitheater after the show. Uhlenake was in pickup that was on top of Young at the bottom of a 20-ft drop. Young was found with severe lacerations, numerous fractures, contusions, and a branch in his anal cavity. He also had been stabbed and his pants were in a tree above him, some 15 ft off the ground, adding to the mystery of the heretofore unexplained scene.

According to Commissioner-In-Charge Inoye Appleton, Uhlenake and Young had tried to get tickets for the sold-out concert. When they were unable to get any tickets, the two decided to stay in the parking lot and drink. Once the show began, and after the two had consumed 18 beers between the them, they hit upon the idea of scaling the 7-foot wooden security fence around the perimeter of the site and sneak in.

They apparently moved the truck up to the edge of the fence and decided that Young would go over first and assist Uhlenake. They did not count on the fact that, while it was a 7-foot fence on the parking lot side, there was a 23-foot drop on the other side.

Young, who weighed 255 lbs. and was quite inebriated, jumped up and over the fence and promptly fell about half the distance before a large tree branch broke his fall and his left forearm. He also managed to get his shorts caught on the branch. Since he was now in great pain and had no way to extricate himself and his shorts from the tree, he decided to cut his shorts off and fall to the bushes below.

As soon as he cut the last bit of fabric holding him on the branch, he suddenly plummeted the rest of the way down, losing his grip on the knife. The bushes he had depended on to break his fall were actually holly bushes, and landing in them caused a massive number of cuts. He also had the misfortune of landing squarely on a holly bush branch, effectively impaling himself. The knife, which he had accidentally released 15 feet up, now landed and stabbed him in his left thigh. He was in tremendous pain.
Enter his friend Robert Uhlenake.

Uhlenake had observed the series of tumbles and realized that Young was in trouble. He hit upon the idea of lowering a rope to his friend and pulling him up and over the fence. This was complicated by the fact that Uhlenake was outweighed by his friend by a good 100 lbs. Happily, despite his drunken state, he realized he could use their truck to pull Young out. Unfortunately, because of his drunken state, Uhlenake put the truck in reverse rather than into drive. He broke through the fence and landed on Young, killing him. Uhlenake was thrown from the truck and subsequently died of internal injuries.

"So that's how a dead 255 lb. man with no pants on, with a truck on top of him and a stick up his ass, came to be" said Commissioner Appleton.

Urban Legend Status conferred 31 Dec 97: Declared an urban legend by on the following grounds: Intensive searching of online Washington State newspapers failed to produce validation. The statement attributed to the Commissioner is obviously bogus, as police do not make light of deadly shenanigans and never use the word ass to describe the rectum. And the editor of another Darwin Awards page, officialDarwinAwards.com, actually contacted the Washington State sheriff's office, which disclaimed knowledge of this story.


14 September 2007

This analogy made me smile

Although it will drive some of my family nuts.

It was attached to the end of a chain email I received.
"Calling an illegal alien an "undocumented immigrant" is like calling a drug dealer an "unlicensed pharmacist."
Kim Strassel over at WSJ has a commentary subtitled Look Who Won Petraeus Week. Though I think her tone is a little overconfident (or maybe that is all in my head) She puts very well the problem faced by the Donkeys.
Speaking of Democrats, they've conversely had a bitter taste of the perils of investing their political fortunes in military failure. Their decision to throw in with the antiwar left has left them with nowhere to go now that the better news is rolling in. That much has been obvious by the speed with which they've been blowing through new political strategies--each one less convincing than the one before.
When one includes MoveOn.org. and looks at the very apt comparisons being made between MoveOn's attacks and those of Sen McCarthy here, here and here, the left is starting to look desperate.


11 September 2007

It is indeed long overdue that we cut the cords of dependence

I thought we were going to get a serious welfare reform proposal out of the Democrats!

I thought WOW.

Then I saw the rest of the statement by Senator Carl Levin (D-Michigan).
It is indeed long overdue that we cut the cords of dependence and push the Iraqis to take more responsibility and ownership by giving them the lead in counterinsurgency operations.
Two comments:

1. Even if they aren't ready?

2. Want to try that same philosophy in Detroit, Senator?

10 September 2007

Appropriate and Dignified Commemorations

This is the sixth anniversary of thee 9/11 attacks. I have some questions about how long we will continue to agonize over this day, as Dan Henninger wrote in last week's WSJ. But we still are, so I would think that the morning news shows would focus on the commemoration.

After all, they were on live when the attack happened.

Katie, Matt, Ann and all are burned into my memory that morning, along with travel editor Peter Greenberg pointing out that the planes were all trans-continental flights so they were maxed out with fuel.

Of course I have moved on from NBC, as I detailed here.

But this morning, after an appropriate and respectful Fox & Friends, I went off the the gym to try and lose a little weight. I looked up and saw three women on the Today Show, and they were (according to the closed caption) saying things like "... on airplanes, in train stations, on buses, you have to be able to give a look ..." and I thought, wow a segment on how we have changed and the need to be on the alert in public places.

No.

It was a segment called "Tips and secrets to dating men."

I guess the Today Show is completely over 9.11.

05 September 2007

Kudos to Mike Nifong


Mike Nifong has done the criminal defnse bar of the United States a huge service.

When I once considered becoming a lawyer, I always said that I would have difficulty defending the guilty (though I did toy with Constitutional Law, so I could defend principles). As such, I have always disliked the adversarial system where a defense attorney will do whatever it takes to defend a guilty man as well as he can.

But Mike Nifong has shown the necessity of a system in which the attorneys for defendants will do almost anything to get defendants acquitted, because sometimes, the intent of the state and its agents is evil.

03 September 2007

Another Victim of Political Correctness

One of these days I will post a longish piece on why I think that we have given certain words way too much power.

In particular, I think that using circumlocutions like "the N-word" as a substitute for a racial epithet is silly. Likewise, I think that any attempt to ban it (a la a New York City councilman's recent crusade) simply gives the word too much stature. This is arguable in terms of semantics and theology, but on an everyday sense, words have only as much power as the hearers invest them with. This pre-occupation with the N word - albeit a word with a sometimes painful and violent history - has made it one of the most powerful words in our culture.

There is another, more effective way to disarm a word: shamelessly mock its hateful uses. There was a classic movie that did that with the N-word. Unfortunately, political correctness has now ruined that movie, at least on basic cable.

On Saturday evening, the Country Music Television channel ran Mel Brook's brilliantly irreverent Blazing Saddles. But, in my opinion, when everybody, even Cleavon Little, has that pesky word deleted from the soundtrack, the movie loses much of its humor, and the racial tension the movie seeks to mock out of existence is strangely heightened.

01 September 2007

Sometimes people perpetuate the stereotypes about them ...

When I read this headline
Mathematicians Sum Up Jessica Alba's Sexiness: It's in Her Walk
I thought, all right, the geeks get one right.

Then I read the rest of the story:
A group of mathematicians at Cambridge calculated that actress Jessica Alba’s sexy sway can be attributed to her hip-to-waist ratio, the U.K.'s Telegraph reported.

The academics say this calculation causes the strut in a woman’s walk, with 0.7 being the ideal ratio, providing the correct torso strength to produce a more angular swing and bounce.

Therefore, a woman with a 25-inch waist and 36-inch hips would have the exact proportions to carry off a sexy sway.
So (assuming that mathematicians at Cambridge are geeks, which would fit the stereotype) once again, the problem with geeks is that instead of talking to a woman to take the measure of her personality, they look at her measurements to determine her sexiness. (Like looks are the only measurement of sexiness.)

But the funniest thing about this piece was from James Taranto at OpinionJournal.com, who included
a similar headline in his feature “Bottom Stories of the Day”.

Bottom.

Stories.

Indeed.

21 August 2007

A Fine Sermon

A friend of mine - I've mentioned him before - was a POW in Laos. He recently sent me the text of an address he had given at the dedication of a new chapel at a VA facility, which I present here.


Chapel Dedication

Veterans Administration Medical Facility

Vancouver, Washington

August 4, 2007

During the Vietnam War, a newly captured prisoner had spent the usual first month of captivity undergoing interrogations and savage beatings. After he was moved in with other prisoners he mentioned that during that month he’d really gotten religion. The conversation went on for a few minutes when another prisoner interjected, “Wait a minute...just which religion did you get?” He replied, “All of them.”

What religion does this chapel represent? All of them. So whose chapel is this? God’s.

We’ve all heard there are no atheists in a foxhole. That is simply not true. But it is true that the longer you are in a foxhole, the less likely it is that you remain an atheist.

A “Foxhole” is where you go for some measure of safety and protection when you are in danger. A foxhole can be as simple as a hole you dug in the ground, or as complex as a mentally constructed safe place which only exists in your mind. Simply put, you need to place yourself in a secure spot to review your situation with your Maker; and discuss with Him an approach to whatever comes. This is not to say you can “solve” your problems. But it does suggest you can address these problems with the one who made you.

My personal observation as a prisoner of war was that atheists in solitary were very, very lonely. This makes logical sense. They didn’t have anyone to talk to.

A foxhole can also be as simple as a solitary table at the back of the mess hall. At Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base during the height if the battle for Vietnam, the pilots mess hall was filled with tables that seated ten. But if you noticed--they weren’t easily seen--there were three or four very small tables way in back, against the far wall. Each was large enough for two but only set for one. When you came in for a meal, it was customary to look around for your buddies and join them.

Unless a friend was seated at one of the small tables.... Those tables, by common understanding and agreement, were reserved for those who needed to be alone. A bad mission; a disturbing letter from home.... If you chose to sit at one of those tables you expected, and got, the privacy you wanted. Too many times we had all, at one time or another eaten alone in the back of the mess.

I’d had a bad mission. Flying the Skyraider, an old propeller driven fighter bomber left over from Korea, on rescue missions over North Vietnam, and Laos, we seemed to have too many bad missions. I sat alone. In a total breach and disregard of all decency, the Catholic chaplain walked up and sat down at my table. My resentment flared immediately.

Had he said anything, even a simple, “Hello”, I probably would have told him to leave. When the waitress arrived I order dinner, totally ignoring him. We had attempted to rescue a pilot from behind enemy lines. We did succeed in recovering him from the jungle but he died of injuries on the way home.

I didn’t want to talk. Fortunately, my unwanted guest remained silent. The waitress brought him a cup of coffee. I don’t remember him ordering anything.

I returned to my own thoughts of this very successful mission which failed. Strangely I found comfort in having a human sitting nearby, not intruding, just being there.

As I finished my meal the priest stood and as he left he placed his hand on my shoulder and said, “I don’t know if you will live or die. But I do know you are held in God’s hands.”

We are here today to dedicate the new Chapel. It has taken years to accomplish. First, it was a spare room. Then it was a room where we held services. Furniture was moved in, a simple alter, a piano and a few chairs. All very simple and very private.... The only nod given to the religious character of the room was to be a panel of lovely stained glass windows. Again, simplicity. It became “The Chapel”.

The biblical admonition is that when you pray, enter into your closet. Matthew 6:6-8 Before coming to this room today I stopped by our chapel. I think it makes a very good closet.

Shortly after an unsuccessful escape in another camp, the North Vietnamese Army became very concerned that we were planning an escape from our camp. They determined to “make us tell the truth”.

After several weeks of brutality, sleep deprivation and dehydration, I was pretty much reduced to a stinking biological mass on the floor of the interrogation room. Whatever humanity I might have had, had long since departed. I was no longer even an animal. The stench of my body was horrid. Without a breath of breeze, the heat of summer in Southeast Asia compounded the foul odor of the interrogation room. On a number of occasions I recall floating up to a corner of the ceiling where I could look down and watch what they were doing to me. I watched, but as long as I stayed on the ceiling I was safe. I could not control when I would return to my body but when I did, it hurt far beyond comprehension.

The descent into pain and insanity is slow, a slow and excruciating immersion. Over the course of weeks of unending torture, in the fog of pain and insanity we had all been broken many times over, but the torture went on, seeking answers which did not exist.

At some point, when back in my body, I cried out, “God, help me.”

I vividly recall the chief interrogator, kicking me over with his foot, sneering, “Your God will never find you here.”

My reply was, “Well then I won’t embarrass myself before Him.” And with that, I emptied my bladder. I didn’t realize the body could store up so much liquid. The smell of the urine on top of the already sickening stench of the room was over powering. The interrogator raced from the room and screamed at two of his bully-boys.

They grabbed my arms and dragged me out the door, across the compound and down the trail to my solitary concrete hut. There they dropped me by a well and spent a long time throwing buckets of water on me. Finally done, they dumped me into the cell, slammed the three inch thick door, and ran three steel rods through the hoops imbedded in the outside walls and across door. I had been returned to the safety of solitary—returned to my closet.

That evening I was given a watery soup, a small piece of bread, and a small pot of water. Night came and I slept. In the morning I was given another meal like the night before. Shortly thereafter I was called out of my cell and was able actually able to walk the hundred yards or so back to the interrogation room. We picked up where we left off. We went on for about three more weeks.

I had called out to my Maker for help. He answered me. I received the first bath I’d had in weeks, two meals, water, and a full night’s sleep. God didn’t find me in that camp...He was already there. My final release was not to come for three more years but at that moment He gave me rest and succor; He gave me peace. Why didn’t he release me? I don’t know. I do not presume to understand His unfolding creation. I did not, and still do not comprehend his Plan. But I know I asked to serve Him, not the other way around.

Those events took place thirty-eight years ago. Today we are here to dedicate our chapel. Our closet...a small private place...this one without bars on the doors. This is a secure retreat where you can speak frankly with your Maker. This chapel is always secure...and never secured.... The door handle is on the inside of the door.

I don’t know if we will live or die, but I do know we are all held in God’s hands.

And so is our Chapel.

God bless you all.



Edward W. Leonard,
POW Laos, 1968 - 1973

18 August 2007

What cave have they been hiding in ...

A story from Fox News
The Virginia is for Lovers "Live Passionately" campaign will remove images of models making the hand gesture, one of several signs associated with the Gangster Disciples, Virginia Tourism Corp. officials said Friday. The gesture shows thumbs and index fingers formed into a heart.
"Our intent was to show people using their hands to make a heart to signify 'Virginia is for Lovers,' " the state's longtime tourism slogan, the agency's president Alisa Bailey said in a statement. "For the majority of people, the heart sign is a symbol of love -- and the campaign's images intended to convey a love of travel and a love of Virginia."

At first, tourism officials thought the gang was a small group in South Carolina and continued with the ads.
They thought the Gangster Disciples was a small group in South Carolina? Maybe these Viginia tourism yahoos should try Google ...

Single Payer Socialized Medicine is definitely the Way to Go!

Not.

See this article on a couple who had quadruplets. They are Canadians who chose not to have their children in Canada. Why?
The Jepps drove 325 miles to Great Falls for the births because hospitals in Calgary were at capacity, Key said.
Thanks to the free-market medical care available to them south of their border, everyone is doing fine.

Hat tip: BOTW

Global Warming Alert


This is just a bad idea. Don't these people realize that all earth loving peoples will cover their bodies with insulating natural fibers (e.g. wool). Otherwise, their own bodies are giving off heat, warming the atmosphere and, at least in this case, melting a glacier.

How inconsiderate of the earth!

The "I'm Sorry" Culture

It seems odd that we expect whole peoples to apologize for things that were done by their ancestors. A few years ago state governments are apologizing all over the place for Jim Crow laws and Slavery. My former church body apologized a few years ago to the Jews for Luther's writings.

I think the whole notion of historical apologies cheapens apologies in general, and while I can regret something my great grandfather may have done, I do not know that it is appropriate for me to apologize at all, and certainly seems silly for me to apologize to someone else's descendants. (One of my forebears was on Sherman's March to the Sea, so who knows how many Southerners I might owe an "I'm (collectively) sorry" to ...)

But as apologies for ancestral wrongs go, this one takes the cake:

Sorry we ate your forefathers

The descendants of Papua New Guinea cannibals who killed and ate four Fijian missionaries in 1878 have apologised.
Now everyone can finally move on, I guess.

Email from a friend

SAVE FOR FUTURE USE.

If you are sitting next to someone who irritates you on a plane ...

1. Quietly and calmly open up your laptop case.

2. Remove your laptop.

3. Boot it.

4. Make sure the guy who won't leave you alone can see the screen.

5. Close your eyes and tilt your head up to the sky.

6. Then hit this link: http://www.thecleverest.com/countdown.swf


My friend also notes that if you do this, you will likely never fly again.

Why the Coverup? Why the Name?

Here is a story you won't read very many places.
A Google cache of an Internet page for Milwaukee's homosexual "PrideFest" reveals that its outreach coordinator, now facing felony sex charges for allegedly trying to meet a 14-year-old boy, was the contact person for the event's children's attractions.

Authorities have reported David W. Bodoh, 42, of Wauwatosa, Wis., apparently made contact with a boy from Oconomowoc, and eventually set up a meeting with an undercover state agent who posed online as the child.

The boy's foster mother is said to have discovered explicit e-mails between her son and Bodoh in January, and contacted police.

... Bodoh was the "contact" for events including "ComedySportz for Children," an event that was on the daily schedule twice, as well as "Kids' Story Time with Broad Vocabulary," which also was scheduled twice.
Now my point is not that gays are all ephebophiles (attracted to adolescents); they are not. Nor am I surprised that a person who volunteers to work with children is inappropriately attracted to them; we face this all the time in churches. And I do not really care that the sponsoring group took his name off the webpage as soon as they could and the authors of the present piece had to find it on a chache; everybody tries to keep their best face forward.

But I do have two points: First, if this had been a pastor, or a church volunteer, it would have been all over the state-wide news. So why is the media so quiet?

Second, I know that the the Stonewall Riots are regarded as a seminal event in the history of the gay movement in this country.

Historian Martin Duberman wrote a book, Stonewall, in which he described what led up to the police raid which turned into a riot. (This quote citing the book is, unfortunately, from someone else who does not care for gays. Apologies. It is the best citation I can find right now.)

In his well-documented book Stonewall (Dutton, 1993), the pro-homosexual Martin Duberman ... reveals how middle-aged men “cruised” in “Stonewall” looking for underage male prostitutes. He quotes one homosexual activist as saying the bar was a haven for so-called “chicken hawks,” adult males who coveted underage boys. Another homosexual activist says “Stonewall” was “a real dive, an awful, sleazy place set up by the Mob for hustlers, ‘chickens’ to be bought by older people.” Duberman tells how the doorman at “Stonewall” was accused of “purveying drugs and young flesh there” and how he was involved in taking payoffs from the Mafia and New York cops.
(I suspect the author means "making payoffs", not taking them.)

So, since there is no truth to the notion that all gays are child molesters (ephebophiles or pedophiles), why would you name the children's activity area at a gay pride festival after a bar that was known for underage prostitution?

How do they keep the inmates inside ...

... if the cows can escape so easily?

25 July 2007

A Humorous Email

I received this joke by email.

Actually, I do not think that this applies to Nancy Pelosi, about whom the original email joke was told. I consider Pelosi profoundly misguided, but I think she has skills.

The joke does, however apply to Harry Reid ... so I changed it.

While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75 year-old Nevada rancher whose hand was caught in a gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Senator Harry Reid and his elevation to Senate Majority Leader.

The old rancher said, "Well, ya know, Harry is a post turtle."

Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a "post turtle" was.

The old rancher said, "When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a post turtle."

The old man saw a puzzled look on the doctor's face, so he continued to explain. "You know he didn't get there by himself, he doesn't belong there, he doesn't know what to do while he's up there, and you just want to help the poor dumb animal get down."

24 July 2007

When People Die Democrats Lie

This is a cleaned up and embellished copy of an email I sent some so called "progressive" relatives, who have immediate family who are refugees from the Communist takeover of Vietnam.

+++++++

I simply cannot get this OpinionJournal.com piece out of my head. (Link below.)

I will accept that it is a reasonable position to hold that George Bush lied about Iraq. (I disagree, but I will, for the purposes of this post, stipulate that it is a reasonable position to hold.)

However, no matter how much one may believe that he did so knowingly, it is hard to prove.

Here is demonstrable proof that the other side will say whatever it takes to gain some political advantage. What is most striking to me about this is that this is a matter which affects your own family directly, and yet no one seems unhappy with it.

First, Senator Russ Feingold (D-Mooland) had this to say on Meet the Press yesterday:

MR. RUSSERT: You were—used the word redeployed. John Burns, the bureau chief in Baghdad for The New York Times, who’s lived there for some time, offered these words this week: “It seems to me incontrovertible that the most likely outcome of an American withdrawal any time soon would be cataclysmic violence. And I find that to be widely agreed” among “Iraqis, including Iraqis who strongly opposed the invasion.” Is—are you concerned that we leave behind violence, catastrophe, genocide?

SEN. FEINGOLD: Let’s be clear what we have now. We now have cataclysmic violence. That’s the status quo. It is possible that things would get worse if we left; it is possible that things would get better.[Emphasis added.]

(I'll ignore the fact that the violence, as terrible as it is, is nowhere near cataclysmic.) Never mind, most of all what the people on the ground have to say, says Senator Feingold, I believe something else is possible!

And the person on the ground is a New Orc Times employee. The NYT is hardly a neo-con war-mongering publication.

But it does not stop there! To prove that the Lower House can lower the bar of caring for our fellow man too, my own congressman, David Obey, had this to say last week:
But many acknowledged that Iraq could first plunge into vicious sectarian fighting much like the kind of ethnic cleansing that consumed Bosnia a decade ago and is now afflicting Sudan's Darfur region. Yet they flatly rejected the use of U.S. troops to stop the killing. "I wouldn't be surprised if it's horrendous," said House Appropriations Committee Chairman David R. Obey, a Wisconsin Democrat who has helped lead the drive against the war. "The only hope for the Iraqis is their own damned government, and there's slim hope for that."
There will be horrendous killing, but it is not our problem, even though we have the troops there now to stop it. (And there is evidence that the "surge" is working.)

You want to know why the Arab street and much of the brown-skinned world thinks white America doesn’t care about them? Because the Democratic leaders make it clear that they do not.


Given the utter lack of Democratic objection to the commitment of U S troops to Kosovo by then President Clinton, it does all beg the question, why does the left only seem to care about the deaths of white people?

Perhaps the answer lies below. Senator John Kerry does not, apparently, consider the deaths of a couple of million people in Cambodia, South Vietnam or Laos as even having happened! I guess when the Democrats are doing the counting, brown people don't count unless they are going to vote.

This is from OpinionJournal.com.

'It Didn't Happen'
We suppose it was inevitable: Four and a half years after Congress authorized the liberation of Iraq, some observers are comparing the situation there to Vietnam, where America lost a war after its will faltered. It turns out at least one congressman actually served in Vietnam, so he ought to be particularly qualified to help us determine the lessons of that conflict for this one.

Meet John Kerry, junior senator from Massachusetts. Some say he looks French, others call him haughty. But everyone agrees on one thing: He served in Vietnam.

After returning from a tour of duty that lasted an astonishing four months, Kerry also became an antiwar activist. In 1971 Kerry testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the Vietnamese were a simple people, too simple to care about freedom or oppression:

We found most people didn't even know the difference between communism and democracy. They only wanted to work in rice paddies without helicopters strafing them and bombs with napalm burning their villages and tearing their country apart.

Kerry's side prevailed. In 1973 the U.S. withdrew its troops from Vietnam, and in 1975 Congress, its Democratic majority expanded by the post-Watergate election of 1974, voted to cut off aid to the South Vietnamese government. That year Saigon fell to the communists.

What happened then? Not much, according to Kerry, quoted in the Chicago Tribune:

"We heard that argument over and over again about the bloodbath that would engulf the entire Southeast Asia, and it didn't happen," Kerry said, dismissing the charge out of hand as he argued that the American presence only makes the situation worse every day.

In 2001, California's Orange County Register published an investigation of communist re-education camps in postwar Vietnam:

To corroborate the experiences of refugees now living in Orange County, the Register interviewed dozens of former inmates and their families, both in the United States and Vietnam; analyzed hundreds of pages of documents, including testimony from more than 800 individuals sent to jail; and interviewed Southeast Asian scholars. The review found:

* An estimated 1 million people were imprisoned without formal charges or trials.

* 165,000 people died in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam's re-education camps, according to published academic studies in the United States and Europe.

* Thousands were abused or tortured: their hands and legs shackled in painful positions for months, their skin slashed by bamboo canes studded with thorns, their veins injected with poisonous chemicals, their spirits broken with stories about relatives being killed.

* Prisoners were incarcerated for as long as 17 years, according to the U.S. Department of State, with most terms ranging from three to 10 years.

* At least 150 re-education prisons were built after Saigon fell 26 years ago.

* One in three South Vietnamese families had a relative in a re-education camp.

According to John Kerry, "it didn't happen."

Things were even worse in Cambodia, as the Christian Science Monitor reported in 2005:

When the Khmer Rouge victoriously entered Phnom Penh 30 years ago, many people greeted the rebels with a cautious optimism, weary from five years of civil war that had torn apart their lives and killed hundreds of thousands of Cambodians. . . .

During the nearly four years following that day--April 17, 1975--Cambodia was radically transformed. . . .

Everyday freedoms were abolished. Buddhism and other forms of religious worship were banned. Money, markets, and media disappeared. Travel, public gatherings, and communication were restricted. Contact with the outside world vanished. And the state set out to control what people ate and did each day, whom they married, how they spoke, what they thought, and who would live and die. "To keep you is no gain," the Khmer Rouge warned, "To destroy you is no loss."

In the end, more than 1.7 million of Cambodia's 8 million inhabitants perished from disease, starvation, overwork, or outright execution in a notorious genocide.

But don't worry. According to John Kerry, "it didn't happen."

Last week, as we noted, Kerry's colleague Barack Obama opined that genocide in Iraq would be preferable to America's continued presence there. But John Kerry has shown the way. If genocide, or some lesser horror, does occur in the wake of a U.S. retreat, Obama can simply assert: "It didn't happen."

Prominent Democratic officeholders are willing to deny or countenance crimes against humanity in order to justify a popular political position. Doesn't this shock the conscience of Democrats?

Of course, as I have pointed out before, Kerry is not the first prominent Dem to try historical revisionism so he can ignore the inconvenient truth that our troops are doing good in Iraq.

++++++++++++++++

So, dear friends and family, you want to know why I am a Republican voter now? One big reason is because when people die, Democrats LIE. Especially to cover up the fact that it was we Dems who abandoned them in 1973-5.

20 July 2007

Uhhh, Bob, Stop! Think!

West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd had a few things to say about the Michael Vick dog-fighting case.

Personally, I think that Vick is, if guilty, a moron and at least slightly sub-human.

Quoth the Byrd:

Byrd called the activities described in the Vick case "sadistic" and "barbaric." At one point, Byrd began shouting and pumping his fist.

"Barbaric!," he yelled. "Let that word resounding from hill to hill, and from mountain to mountain, and valley to valley across the broad land. Barbaric! Barbaric! May God help those poor souls who'd be so cruel. Barbaric! Hear me! Barbaric!"

Byrd, 89, said he would not prejudge the men's guilt or innocence, but he left no doubts about his sentiments.

"I am confident that the hottest places in hell are reserved for the souls of sick and brutal people who hold God's creatures in such brutal and cruel contempt," he said.

"One is left wondering," he said. "Who are the real animals: the creatures inside or outside the ring?"

On a televised newscast, he also said that he would not object to electrocuting dog-fighters.

Given that Vick is a wealthy (uppity?) African American, and given that Byrd once publicly referred to black men as "race mongrels", two questions come to mind:

First, hasn't someone in the Democratic leadership figured out that it might not be the best idea to have a former Exalted Cyclops of the West Virginia Ku Klux Klan talking about handing out killing black men and tried to rein him in?

Second, what is this man doing in the Senate leadership of the Democrats anyway?

18 July 2007

James Taranto may not be omniscient after all

Opinionjournal.com's editor and columnist (Best of the Web Today) James Taranto is usually a pretty good prognosticator. And his humor amuses us.

As does his use of the royal plural.

In the 2004 election cycle, he got in the habit of writing poems, which he called Bye-ku's (inspired by Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone) for each of the Democratic candidates as they dropped out of the race. This year he is doing them for the Republicans as well, it seems. (This link contains the one for Jim Gilmore - 2008 Republican Candidate from ... Who knows or cares?). He also had them for 2004 for John Kerry, Dennis Kucinich, Al Sharpton, John Edwards, Howard Dean, Wesley Clark, Joe Lieberman, Dick Gephardt, Carol Moseley Braun and Bob Graham.

Here is where is fortune telling skills have fallen down. On October 28, 2003, after penning the first of these for Graham, he said:

Who's next? We're guessing Kerry, after New Hampshire. As luck would have it, "served in Vietnam" is five syllables.
Oops.

This Guy Ripped Me Off

According to this FoxNews report, StreetWars, a game where you receive instructions to assassinate a fellow player and then take thier it, and you keep playing until there is only one agent left, was
created by New York securities attorney Franz Aliquo — and though it has police in Chicago worried, it began there on Monday as planned, so far with no arrests.

BS. We did this in college!

I ran the game for two quarters my senior year, 80-81, and I think I stole the idea.

"Created by" my foot!

14 July 2007

If you're not conservative when you are old ...

Writing on a report about changing attitudes towards abortion, James Taranto at BOTWT comments

As it happens, there has been a similar, though slightly less dramatic, shift, in the attitudes of 30- to 49-year-olds. In 1992, 27% of women and 23% of men in this age group described themselves as "strongly pro-life"; in 2006, 38% and 34%, respectively. For "strongly pro-choice," the proportions declined from 38% to 26% of women and 34% to 21% of men.

The 30- to 49-year-old cohort in 2006 includes those who were 18 to 29 in 1992, so one may surmise that this group has moved in the "pro-life" direction. This would be consistent with the self-interest hypothesis: As young adults age, they tend to get married, and therefore to become less worried about unplanned pregnancy.

I do not completely discount this possibility, but I think he is missing out on another important piece. The older we get, the more conservative we tend to become. There are a variety of reasons for this. part of it is self-interest, but part is also that we have seen some goofy liberal attempts at fixing things (including things that are not broken), and they often just don't work.

Also, the older I get, the more valuable life seems to me.

So I do not think that this is just self-interest, I think there is a practical and spiritual component here.

The interesting question is whether, over time, this same right-shift phenomenon will affect aging younger populations who currently seem to favor normalization of homo-erotic activity.

11 July 2007

Infallible?

Once again, the Pope shows why the doctrine of infallibility is a sham.

Pope Benedict XVI has reasserted the universal primacy of the Roman Catholic Church, approving a document released Tuesday that says Orthodox churches were defective and that other Christian denominations were not true churches.

The audacity of telling Jesus who he has called ....

Try reading the Augsburg Confession, Article 7, Benny.

To its absurd conclusion ...

I consider extreme feminism an extraordinarily silly enterprise.

This article simply proves my point:

Women demand female Pamplona bull run, with cows

Of course, the serious part about this has to do with different standards for the same job. A number of years ago, a would-be firefighter in Washington State got a judge to throw out the physical fitness test for the department that had refused to hire her because she could not lift x number of pounds because she was a girl. Never mind that there were other women on the force who had passed the test. And never mind that the inability to lift a certain amount of weight meant that you could not handle a firehose properly, and therefore would endanger yourself and other firefighters.

If you want a run with the bulls girls, run with the bulls. But don't run with cows and call it a bull run.

16 June 2007

Civil Rights Alert

While the moonbat left may sit around complaining wildly about the supposed civil rights abuses of the Bush Administration, let us remember a very real civil rights abuse in the news today.

And let us also remember that Mike Nifong, the former District Attorney of Durham, NC, is a Democrat.

11 June 2007

I'd rather be Luther, but this result isn't bad ....

There is an interesting little quiz that I was challenged to take: here are my results. What are yours?

You scored as Karl Barth, The daddy of 20th Century theology. You perceive liberal theology to be a disaster and so you insist that the revelation of Christ, not human experience, should be the starting point for all theology.

Karl Barth


93%

Martin Luther


87%

Augustine


60%

John Calvin


60%

Friedrich Schleiermacher


53%

Anselm


53%

Jonathan Edwards


47%

Paul Tillich


40%

J├╝rgen Moltmann


20%

Charles Finney


13%

Which theologian are you?
created with QuizFarm.com

02 June 2007

A few days late

So Cindy Sheehan is going home. Well, she is leaving the public eye. I do not think she has a home to go to.

Sadly.

She now understands that she was used by partisan political forces. She writes:
The first conclusion is that I was the darling of the so-called left as long as I limited my protests to George Bush and the Republican Party. ... However, when I started to hold the Democratic Party to the same standards that I held the Republican Party, support for my cause started to erode and the "left" started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used. I guess no one paid attention to me when I said that the issue of peace and people dying for no reason is not a matter of "right or left", but "right and wrong."
Now it will come as no surprise to the one or two readers of this blog that I have little sympathy for Sheehan's cause. I do, however, admire her political ethics. It is about stopping the war for her, not about any political side. (That is the one of the few things I find admirable about my badly misguided Senator, Mr Fiengold.)

What is badly mistaken by Ms Sheehan, however, is this conclusion:

The most devastating conclusion that I reached this morning, however, was that Casey did indeed die for nothing.

My dear lady, no.

While making a point about the MSM, Chris Muir also tells us a small portion of what your dear Casey, may he rest in peace with all the honor he deserves, did die for.I realize that you do not do so, Ms Sheehan, but I honor your son's sacrifice. However badly handled some aspects of this war have been, it was an honorable venture, and still a necessary victory for the United States.

01 June 2007

Poor Mrs Speaker

I do feel bad for Mrs Andrew Speaker. She is all upset over the fact that her new husband is sick. And all these people are saying nasty things about him for selfishly putting dozens of people at risk for a potentially fatal infections disease.

Ok, maybe I don't feel sorry for her about that.

But what I really do feel sorry for her because she is now married to an arrogant, self centered jerk, who is willing to lie and put others at risk in order to get the best for himself.

Saith attorney / tuberculosis patient Andrew Speaker:

"I never would have put my family at risk, and my daughter at risk. I repeatedly asked my doctors, 'Is my family at risk? Is anybody at risk of this?"' Speaker said. "They told me I wasn't contagious and I wasn't dangerous."Speaker said he and his wife were "scared out of our minds" at the prospect of being indefinitely placed in an Italian hospital and dying there."I know people will judge it, it's natural human instinct to judge what other people do," Speaker said. "Truly, in our minds, we were told we were not a threat to the people around us and we wanted to get home."

So he would never put anybody at risk. And he was told he wasn't contagious, so he flew. Well, that might hold up except that:

Speaker, his new wife and her 8-year-old daughter were already in Europe when the CDC contacted him and told him to turn himself in immediately at a clinic there and not take another commercial flight. Speaker said he felt as if the CDC had suddenly "abandoned him." He said he believed if he didn't get to the specialized clinic in Denver, he would die.

So he did know he was dangerous, and was barred from flying from, and decided to drive to Prague, fly to Montreal (putting more people at risk knowingly) and sneak back to Denver. Except that he didn't. He went home to Atlanta. He just wanted to get home.

What a jerk.

While it is certainly true that the United States has some of the best health care in the world, he was in Italy, which is not too shabby as I understand these things. it is not like he was in Zimbabwe!

And finally, I wonder how many of his litigious clients this trial lawyer has counseled to forgive those who they want to sue instead...

The problem with Unions

I believe that the labor union movement has helped give us the better society that we live in today. However, I also believe that unions, as a concept, may have outlived their usefulness. The reason is that, in the interest standing by their man, they will ignore the greater good and say some incredibly dumb thing.


Consider the case of the border agent at Champlain, New York. He let Andrew Speaker into the country, even though Speaker was known to have a case to extremely drug resistant tuberculosis. The unnamed border agent has been taken off duty, but his or her union leader spoke on his or her behalf:

Colleen Kelley, president of the union that represents customs and border agents, declined to comment on the specifics of the case, but said "public health issues were not receiving adequate attention and training" within the agency.

But here is the description of what happened at the checkpoint:

The inspector ran Speaker's passport through a computer, and a warning — including instructions to hold the traveler, don a protective mask in dealing with him, and telephone health authorities — popped up, officials said. About a minute later, Speaker was instead cleared to continue on his journey, according to officials familiar with the records.

How much clearer could it have been made to this agent?


This is a case of a union protecting a moron. And if they are going to do that, they have outlived their usefulness.


30 May 2007

I couldn't be happier for Elisabeth

Rosie O'Donnell Says She May Never Speak to Elisabeth Hasselbeck Again

I mean, this may be the best news Elisabeth has had all year. But why does Fox News think we care? Am I really that much of an outlier on their demographic?

26 May 2007

Disturbing Polls

The recent poll of American Muslims had some disturbing numbers in it, especially the one that said that up
About 1 in 4 young adult American Muslims says suicide bombings against civilian targets "to defend Islam" can be justified rarely, sometimes or often, according to a new Pew Research Center poll -- a finding that disturbed American Muslim leaders and thinkers across the country.
that the lead paragraph from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Others are far more Rosie in their outlook. Including, oddly, James Taranto at OpinionJournal.com, who writes:
We looked over the full results ... and our conclusion is that while there is something to be said for both of these interpretations [the SF Chronicle lead and USA Today's fluff piece] , on the whole there is more truth to the optimistic one. At the very least this survey strongly refutes the claims of some right-wing extremists that Muslims simply cannot adhere to civilized Western values. For although it is true that enough of the Muslims surveyed hold invidious views to give one pause, they are still a small minority.

Unfortunaletly, as Taranto points out later, terrorism is not a matter of needing a majority or even a substantial number of people to carry out a terrorist attack; a very small minority of people can do devastating damage.

I am not sure how this optimism is different than Ms O'Donnell, who said:

Rosie O’Donnell: "Faith or fear, that's your choice. You can walk through life believing in the goodness of the world, or walk through life afraid of anyone who thinks different than you and trying to convert them to your way of thinking. And I think that this country–"

Elisabeth Hasselbeck: "Well, I'm a person of faith, so I, but I also believe–"

O’Donnell: "Well, then, get away from the fear. Don't fear the terrorists. They’re mothers and fathers."

Now, what do we do about it? I do not think that we descriminate against Muslims, but we need to be aware that there is a strong force which agitates within Islam against assimilation into the American mainstream, and some will follow that force.

If you want to realize how at odds with American values Islam is, read the following. Can you even imagine that this could possibly be a real story?

From IowaHawk (via JihadWatch)

Midwest Lutherans Largely Reject Violence

Chicago - By an almost two-to-one margin, Midwest Lutherans voiced solid opposition to decapitation, suicide bombing, and chemical warfare in a new comprehensive survey of their social attitudes.

The Pew Research survey, conducted May 13-19, queried nearly 2,500 randomly selected Lutherans at flea markets and convenience stores across the Midwest. Interviews were conducted in High Plains Twang, Great Lakes Nasal and Flat Ohio Valley Bland.

"If there is one headline here, it's how remarkably moderate the Lutheran community is," said Pew director Andrew Kohut of the survey, which was co-sponsored by the Council on American-Yooper Relations. "It really paints a picture of a dynamic culture in or somewhere near the American mainstream."

Kohut pointed to one of the study's key findings that only 29% of all respondents agreed that "bloody, random violence against infidels" was "always" or "frequently" justified, versus 56% who said such violence was "seldom" or "never" justified. The approval of violence rose slightly among younger Lutherans and when the hypothetical violence was targeted against Presbyterians, but still fell well short of a majority.

"The only demographic cohort we saw where murderous random violence had a majority support was among 18-35 year old male followers of the Wisconsin Synod," said Kohut. "And that was barely above the margin of error. Even then, fewer than half (41% to 46%) said they would personally volunteer to carry out the violence themselves."

Further bolstering the findings, Kohut noted that fewer than 6% of respondents physically attacked field interviewers during the survey.

Although a majority 87% of respondents agreed that "The world should be brought to submission under global Lutheran conquest and eternal perfect rule," there was a great deal of disagreement on the means to accomplish it. More than 95% supported "pancake breakfasts" and "popcorn fundraisers," but support dropped to less than 80% for "cow tipping" and "T-P'ing infidel houses." Support dropped even more dramatically for more violent means of conquest, such as "suicide bombing" (28%), "decapitation" (24%), and "running over Presbyterians with my Ski-Doo" (23%).

"Taken as a whole, the results show that Midwest Lutherans emphatically support a moderate, mainstream path to world domination," said Kohut. "These folks are well-assimilated into the broad fabric of American society, and unless you are Presbyterian, there is probably very little here to cause concern."

Kohut said that optimism about the results should be tempered by the grim economic realities faced by many in the Lutheran community. Nearly 65% of female survey respondents said they lived more than 30 minutes from the nearest outlet mall, while a strong majority of males said they were "often" or "sometimes" worried about having enough money for green fees and Leinenkugel.

Equally disturbing, many respondents reported experiencing discrimination at the hands of non-Lutherans. Frequently cited examples of non-Lutheran bigotry included "Got all nose-in-the-air like" (48%), "Made personal remarks about my hot dish" (37%), "Wouldn't let me borrow their combine head" (36%), and "Wouldn't stand still so I could kill them" (22%).

"I think it's important for all of us to remain vigilant against this kind of virulent anti-Lutheran backlash, and make sure they feel a welcome part of our society," said Kohut.

Ted Jarvenpaa, spokesman for CAYR, agreed.

"Ya, we're done doin' dat assimilatin' eh?" said Jarvenpaa. "Now it's your turn."

Like I said, I do not know what we do do about Islam in America, but as disturbing as this piece would be if it were real, the real survey ought to be equally disturbing to Americans of all faiths.

21 May 2007

Carter Again

Ok, first, Jimmy Carter says, during an interview about his new book of Sunday School lessons, that President Bush has the worst foreign policy in US history.

Then he backtracks and says that he was only comparing Bush's foreign policy to Nixon's foreign policy, and that he was "maybe careless."

Yeah.

Ok, but let's consider his fall back position.

While there was much to admire in Richard Nixon's foreign policy (though not perfect, it included reaching out to Mainland China, standing up to the Soviet Union, a rather conprehensive Latim American and African policy), Nixon's domestic troubles and his intentional foreign policies also led to his abandonment of the South Vietnamese, Cambodian and Lao peoples, handing them over to Communist oppressors, costing a couple of million Asian lives and dealing the United States its first military defeat.

Nixon was also the last of the U S presidents who could /would throw support to any brutal third world dictator simply because he was anti-communist. Carter campaigned on a human rights platform that rejected that aspect of U S policy and no president has followed it since.

Bush, on the other hand, stands by his policies in spite of how unpopular the war is and refuses to abandon the people of Iraq to internecine slaughter, thereby admitting a U S defeat where none yet exists.

And Carter thinks Nixon had the better foreign policy?

Not unless Carter was wrong about human rights (he wasn't) and American defeat and the slaughter of innocents is a good thing. (It isn't.)

As one of my few commenters said on another Carter post: Carter, what a clown.

19 May 2007

Taking Responsibility

Assuming that Global Warming is real - which I wonder about - and assuming that humans are causing it - which I doubt - I have a new, unlikely culprit. As far back as 1999, a study had reported that
it took a pound of coal to create, package, store, and move 2 MB of data. They also explained that while processors and other circuits were getting smaller and more efficient, demand for ever faster circuits (which are anything but efficient) was growing at a much higher clip. They figured five years ago that a PC required about 1,000 watts of power to operate (and this was using 1999's slower chips and smaller screens). At the time, the average home Internet user was online about 12 hours a week, which worked out to 624 kilowatt-hours a year. If you assume that Internet and PC use was up in the past five years, you're probably talking about 1,000 kilowatt-hours per PC. Back in 1999, consumers in the United States accounted for about 50 million PCs, with the remainder being business PCs. The ratio is probably not 1:4 consumer-to-business PCs, as it was in 1999, but is probably closer to 1:2. That ratio is important because business PCs run 40 or more hours a week instead of a dozen. That means that a business PC could be using as much as 2,000 kilowatt-hours to operate a year. If you extrapolate these ratios and power consumptions worldwide, that's 250 billion kilowatt-hours for home PCs and 1 trillion kilowatt-hours for business PC users. You heard that right: 1.25 trillion kilowatt-hours a year. That's how much energy goes into the PC, and in the summer months, that is how much energy must be removed from the office and home environment in warm climates. [Emphasis added.]
Another article discussing this same study reports that 8% of the US electricity usage. (Never mind that Salon is trying to debunk the study. Even if the 8% is over stated by a factor of two, that is almost 1/25th of all US electricity.) And if that is 8% of US usage, what percentage must it be in the emerging economies (India, China) where computer use is growing in the absence of electric garage door openers and mustache trimmers? A 2004 study from Duke states that
The Internet service infrastructure is a major energy consumer, and its energy demands are growing rapidly. One projection is that US data centers will consume 22 TWh of electricity in 2003 for servers, storage, switches, power conditioning, and cooling.
What, then, is the carbon footprint of the internet and all the pc's that have been purchased and plugged in simply because the internet was a must have? I do not know how to calculate it, but clearly the internet is a huge contributor to Global Warming! And who is responsible for
the Internet?
"I took the initiative in creating the Internet."
CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer, March 9, 1999

So now, at last, we know who is responsible for Global Warming!

18 May 2007

Universal Studios

I do not get out to movies much, and I pay almost no attention to what studio has what movies out. And I know that Universal has spent a lot of time and effort on the newer Islands of Adventure theme park next door, but I am just wondering why, except for Shrek and the television properties (Nickolodian and Fear Factor), all the attractions at Universal Studios Orlando are tied to movies made in the '90, the '80s, even the '70s.

Aren't we 7 years into this decade? Seems to me that they better update ir ... or bulldoze it ... soon.