Buckley said in effect, Well, there's something known as American conservatism, though it does not even call itself that. It's been calling itself "voting Republican" or "not liking the New Deal." But it is a very American approach to life, and it has to do with knowing that the government is not your master, that America is good, that freedom is good and must be defended, and communism is very, very bad.Heavy? Maybe so, but it's the sort of thing you need to keep top of mind in the face of the throngs of Americans for whom those words are incomprehensible. You know who those people are; they go to Obama rallies and literally pass out with euphoria at the prospect of finally getting a messianic president that promises to turn government into a chronic and benevolent parental authority figure.
When you have it right about laws and kings, and what life is, then your politics become grounded in the facts of life. And once they are grounded, you don't have to hold to them so desperately. You can relax and have fun. Just because you're serious doesn't mean you're grim.
29 February 2008
28 February 2008
As for the NRA logo, it’s a reminder of the happy days of FDR’s attempts to revive the economy by pouring a bowl of alphabet soup over its face. The NRA, among other things, was intended to prevent the depredations of competition, and “allowed industry heads to collectively set minimum prices,” as this rather scant wikipedia entry notes. (The same page relates the story of the tailor who was arrested for charging 35 cents to press a suit; the NRA rules specified the price at 40 cents. So he was arrested. Consider that the next time someone complains that liberty and civil rights have been eliminated in the last 7 years.)Federal economic favoritism for those companies that tote the governemtn line? Where have I heard that one before?
Since the government-approved slogan for the NRA was “We Do Our Part,” businesses that didn’t display the logo were, by implication, not doing their part, and not with the general flow of the modern world, brother.
Last time I was at Pulaski Hall, after a wedding party and dance that could not be beat, we had to wait to exit the alley in our car. A Lincoln full of the, uh, 'new locals' cut us off, perpendicular to traffic, so several the car's occupants could get out and relieve themselves. Nice.
The 80-year-old Polish-American Club on Arcade Street in St. Paul is being forced to vacate its venerable temple, that two-story 87-year-old building with the wide, awning-shaded steps and the big Polish eagle flying on high. This has been a haven for wedding receptions, polka festivals, Friday night fish fries, ritual booyas and the occasional hidden-room poker game, but the club can no longer make the nut.
"Our property taxes have doubled in the last couple of years, from $4,000 to $8,000," said club president Joe Zimlich, who's been a member since before he was married in the historic building in the 1960s. "The taxes and our license fees will kill us this year, so we have reluctantly voted to sell the building.
(A) little third-floor "inner sanctum" that historically housed some legendary poker games. Those occurred during the Prohibition era, when Minnesota's choicest bootlegged booze, "Minnesota 13," was trucked in from St. Cloud along with "Dago Red" wine, produced in bulk just down the street by the Italians on Railroad Island. With that and the polka music, Pulaski Hall was a busy if slightly nefarious place.
Lesson - when some stoodge politician with a messianinc complex runs with their jive about the importance of diversity in a community, ask youself if they are embracing the legitimate culture a group can bring tot he community, or are they just trying to cement the dependency of a constituency?
JF: What does the emergence of Mexifornia mean for the U.S.? What consequences are likely to arise from it?Here at the Dog Farm we love it when folks get right the point.
VDH: If illegal immigration continues and we reach 30-40 million illegal residents from south of the border, who don’t fully assimilate in rapid fashion, then look at the Balkans, Rwanda, Iraq, and elsewhere for the sorts of factionalism and sectarianism we will soon experience. We are already beginning to see towns and communities in the American Southwest resort to apartheid status, where English is not spoken and Mexican nationals here illegally comprise the vast majority of the resident population.
JF: Why is the U.S. allowing this to happen?
VDH: The libertarian/corporate Right likes cheap, exploitable labor, while the identity-politics on the Left wants more constituents. And the majority in between was asleep at the wheel for thirty years, afraid to speak out lest they be called “protectionists” and “nativists” by elites who read the Wall Street Journal and “racists” by the academic and political left.
23 February 2008
Who is Alianiss Nunez Morales? According to U.S. immigration officials, not the same woman who crashed her van into a bus Tuesday and killed four students near Cottonwood, Minn. Tim Counts, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman, said agency investigators believe the woman was in the United States illegally and not using her true identity.Felony vehicular homicide, no license, false identification and do you think there's any auto insurance of any sort? I tell ya - the hits just keep on coming with this one.
Counts said the van driver told investigators she was from Mexico, but little else. "She was minimally helpful to our agents," he said.So now you know that when her lawyer says she has great remorse for what happened, that's just phony lawyerspeak. Did you catch the part of the story where she claims the bus hit her? The crash damage is on the side of the bus and the front of her van. She's so full of crap she doesn't know which end is up.
A May 2006 traffic ticket issued to an Alianiss Morales in Montevideo describes a woman who "looks like she does not know how to drive" maneuvering through a lawn. An officer issued her a ticket for not having a driver's license.And then what, she drove away across the lawn?
This week I came from my annual date with my tax man. The news at the end of the meeting was that we have to cough up well over a thousand more dollars than what we already paid in calendar 2007. I guess giving over 30% of what we earn to the government just isn't enough.
If we're supposed to throw more money in the pot, I sure hope it stops going to underwrite law enforcement and court systems that don't remove dangerous and irresponsible drivers from the road. I don't like paying for such ineffectiveness.
I hope our tax money stops going to worthless state agencies that cowardly hide behind a curtain of data privacy, obfuscating the reasons why this woman was in the country, why she had a state-issued identification card filled with bogus information and who she was or was not working for. I'm done paying for that crap, too.
I wish less and less of my tax money would go to governing bodies that actively discourage local police from making any inquisition about immigration status even after a crime is committed and a suspect is charged, all because touchy-feely mayors have it in for the president of the United States. I loathe underwriting such wilful misuse of government authority.
This isn't about hating Mexicans. This is about identifying and isolating those whose very first act upon arriving in this nation is to break our laws. If nothing changes as a result of this horrible crime that resulted in four deaths, than it proves that here, in Minnesota, we'd rather sacrifice our own children than risk being tagged as xenophobic.
UPDATE: So Morales, or (all together now) whoever she is, had been already cited once for driving without a license, here's someone else that's been cited 14 times for driving without a license. He also killed someone with his car but, since we're too afraid of what others will think of us nice, kind, thoughtful, loving rubes who dole out massive social benefits to anyone with a pulse, we just keep turning criminals like him loose to kill more people on the streets.
St. Paul police Senior Cmdr. Gregory Pye said misdemeanor charges of driving after revocation aren't much of a deterrent to keeping unlicensed drivers off the road. Pye said he'd like to see officers be able to take a vehicle away from an unlicensed, uninsured driver. He'd also like to see an increased effort to recoup fines by withholding tax refunds, rebates or benefits.Pye is suggesting that there should be consequences for people who break the law, and tomorrow some letter to the editor will brand him a racist.
Let's be frank: motor vehicle accidents aren't much fun for anyone. But when a 27-foot-long tube-steak spins out on a snow-covered highway, it's bound to generate some grins.
That's what happened Sunday to an Oscar Mayer Wienermobile on Route 15 about two miles south of Mansfield.
Oh yea, free health care; the single defining principle of the terminally misguided. So good is health care in the Marxist paradise, when Fidel needed intestinal surgery in 2007, doctors were imported from the EU.
CASTRO STEPS ASIDE - Years of solid leadership
Many Americans hated Cuban President Fidel Castro but they never knew what he did for his country. Castro led a revolution that overthrew the U.S.-backed dictator, Fulgencio Batista. He brought health care to everyone and free education all the way to the university level. Castro took the big farms of the fleeing wealthy and divided them up and gave them to the people. The people who before lived in dirt huts and barely scraped by now had enough land to feed their families, health care and
college. We should be praising his accomplishments and hoping that his brother can bring as much good to Cuba as he did.
TRAVIS PETERSEN, MINNETONKA
Forget the fact that Castro ran and continues to run an island prison. Forget that any growth of Cuba's 'economy' has not enriched any regular folk. Forget that most people in Cuba don't know that Fidel is supposedly stepping aside since the state-run media (the only media in Cuba) hadn't reported it as of late last week. Forget the state-planned economy, the crushing of dissent which is allowed under the legal code, the rationing and black markets of consumer goods, etc.
Forget that endless human rights abuse, including torture, arbitrary imprisonment, kangaroo courts, stifling of religion and travel restrictions which has been standard operation procedure since 1959.
Forget all the pesky and confusing human rights madness says Travis Peterson and useful idiots all over our land, for as a proud Cuban, you can go to college for free! And then, after you graduate, you are restricted to a land where you can't do anything with whatever you might have learned.
When I hear the self-loathing blather of how glorious life in Cuba is and how we should all be crawling to Castro, begging him to enlighten us dummies in the United States, I'm reminded of the good old days of Bill Clinton, Janet Reno and Elian Gonzales and recall the words of John Derbyshire:
Every time I turn on my TV, every time I pick up a newspaper, I see a new one. It’s like a Night of the Living Dead—lefties coming up out of the ground and lurching off across the landscape looking for a Maximum Leader, a Great Helmsman, a Little Father of the People to slobber over. With the centenary of Lenin’s revolution looming on the far horizon, and after all the horrors of our age—mountains of corpses, oceans of lies—these fools are still with us.Amen.
Wherever there is a jackboot stomping on a human face there will be a well-heeled Western liberal to explain that the face does, after all, enjoy free health care and 100 percent literacy. Won’t they ever learn? No, their stupidity is impenetrable. They will never learn.
21 February 2008
1. High esteem is like a potato. Peel it and fry it in some butter.
2. It's too late for you to be the first person on the moon, but it's not too late for you to complain about it.
3. Remember the rules of electricity: positive attracts negative. So be negative to attract the positive. Also, negative repels negative. Double win!
4. Use the Internet more, because the Internet is not going to use itself.
5. Think of some possession you're grateful for. Is it food? Is it TV? OK, I give up.
6. You can't change people. They have to change themselves. Just like babies.
7. One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. One man's meat is another man's poison. Add it up and you get one big poisonous-meat-terrorist freedom fighter.
It is hard to describe this smell; it is definitely not the olfactory equivalent to describing the palette sensations of some new food as "tastes like chicken." The best description I can come up with is metallic; a rather pleasant sweet metallic sensation. It reminded me of my college summers where I labored for many hours with an arc welding torch repairing heavy equipment for a small logging outfit. It reminded me of pleasant sweet smelling welding fumes. That is the smell of space.Although it's a vacuum, I guess there's still "stuff."
20 February 2008
Some data I got from the St. Paul district's site:
When you open the chute and drop the pool 13 feet (exactly what I'd do if I had access to the big valves that let you "play river") the riverbed is revealed in places and the river itself moevs in ways not seen with normal pool levels. Check out the guy on the usually-submerged sandbar below.
Below - more riverbed revealed and obvious waterlines along the lock walls.
Yea, it was well below zero when these pictures were shot. Here's some local media with video.
The group followed (National Park Service Ranger Dave) Wiggins across the bridge, turning to look back at the dark-russet granite feet of the Stone Arch Bridge, which normally are nearly covered by river water. And they turned again to see the roots of Spirit Island, once an 18-foot tree-covered stone column and Dakota sacred site jutting out of the river, now little more than a gravel spit just downriver of the bridge. Farther down, past an old piling from the dismantled 10th Avenue Bridge, a faint V-shaped shore-to-shore dip marks the location of a now-abandoned 1897 dam.
* Please say in our reporting that Castro stepped down in a letter he wrote to Granma (the communist party daily), as opposed to in a letter attributed to Fidel Castro. We have no reason to doubt he wrote his resignation letter, he has penned numerous articles over the past year and a half.You know, last night I listend to a Canadian reporter on a CBC program who said most of Cuba doesn't even know Fidel stepped down. His state-controlled media has not released that information yet to the peasant masses.
* Please note Fidel did bring social reforms to Cuba – namely free education and universal health care, and racial integration, in addition to being criticized for oppressing human rights and freedom of speech.
* Also the Cuban government blames a lot of Cuba’s economic problems on the US embargo, and while that has caused some difficulties, (far less so than the collapse of the Soviet Union) the bulk of Cuba’s economic problems are due to Cuba’s failed economic polices. Some analysts would say the US embargo was a benefit to Castro politically – something to blame problems on, by what the Cubans call “the imperialist,” meddling in their affairs.
* While despised by some, he is seen as a revolutionary hero, especially with leftist in Latin America, for standing up to the United States.
I wonder if James Earl Jones ever regrets saying "This is CNN" so distinctly.
True Blues has now come to an end on Radio Wales.Web radio is gone a shade dimmer. At least Walter Love still lives on.
We've decided to make some changes to the evening schedule on Radio Wales, and we will no longer be broadcasting this programme.
16 February 2008
As this becomes more and more the norm from Obama, how will the True Beleivers spin it so that it's all acceptable?
But it's the notion that only Barack Obama can save our souls that is the most offensive part of the speech, by far. Government doesn't exist to save souls; it exists to ensure domestic tranquility and provide for the common defense. If I feel my soul needs saving, the very last place I'd look (in the US) for a savior would be Washington DC or Capitol Hill. I'll trust God and Jesus Christ with my soul, and I'm not going to mistake Barack Obama for either one.
This, though, is the religion of statism distilled to its essence. Only a government can rescue people from the consequences of their own decisions. Only government programs can provide for your every need, and only government can use your money wisely enough to ensure that your needs get covered. Individuals cannot possibly manage to help their neighbors through their churches or community organizations, let alone encourage people to do for themselves.
When Republicans talk about broken souls in the context of civil society, the nutroots start screaming about the obliteration of the church-state line. When the Obama campaign uses the same rhetoric to get him elected to the White House, everyone swoons.And 'swoon' is the correct term in this instance.
A hockey arena in Hallock, an orchestra hall for Minneapolis (which already HAS one!), upgrades to the John Rose skating rink in Roseville, the “Prairie Ecology Center” in Jackson County, an ATV trail in Kittson County, the Thief River Falls multi-events complex, an ice arena for Crookston, a senior center in Mora, the Hinkley Fire Monument (The whole town is still living off a 100-year old fire; very sad), wxpansion of the Saint Cloud Civic Center, the Pine Grove Zoo in Little Falls, the Northwest Hennepin Family Center (no OTHER place for families to go?) the Austin Area Success Center (oxymoron alert) improvement to the Duluth Convention Center, the Voyageurs Heritage Center, the Alden Community Center, the Blazing Star Bicycle Trail, a snowmaking machine for the Battle Creek Recreation Area (preemptive move for the coming of global warming), Heritage Village Park in Inver Grove Heights, the Mayo Civic Center, the Southern Minnesota Women’s Hockey Exposition Center (thing about women's hockey, it's not possible to play it on rinks that men use, apparently) a community Center in Pemberton.Not only is the sleight of hand ugly, the speaker of the house and her strange little sidekicks are holding their breath and will turn blue over their transportation bill, which they declare as the only one they will let out of the legislature, or there will be no transportation bill:
House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis, and Senate Assistant Majority Leader Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud, said both chambers plan to vote Thursday on transportation legislation that would raise an estimated $8.4 billion over 10 years for a massive building program. The legislation would:There's the DFL's definition of bipartisanship; accept their terms, or they'll withhold bridge money and let it sit in the bank. Oh yea; to hell with what the public thinks:
-- Increase gasoline taxes 7½ cents a gallon.
-- Levy a half-cent sales tax increase in the metro area.
-- Boost license tab fees.
"This is the bill," Kelliher said. If it doesn't pass, the House will not take a run at a second bill with a lower price tag. House Majority Leader Tony Sertich, DFL-Chisholm, agreed. "No games. One bill," he said.
KSTP/Survey USA Poll shows that the vast majority of Minnesotans oppose the tax
increases contained in the Democrat's transportation plan:
54% oppose a metro-wide sales tax, 62% oppose an increase in license registration fees & 62% oppose an increase in license tab fees.
(T)his poll should make the DFL's transportation package (filled with tax increases) D.O.A. when hearings begin at the capitol. Will Democrats listen? I doubt it.
15 February 2008
Sauerbraten, schweinshaxn (plated with the knife sticking in the top!), some liverwurst and crackers for an appetizer, and all chased down with Franziskaner Dunkel, Gosser Dark, a Pauwel Kwak and Maredsous. The motto for the night was "If it's not pickled, it's crap!"
14 February 2008
Ben Abdalla, 42, a real estate agent in Boca Raton, Fla., said he preferred to date fellow vegetarians because meat eaters smell bad and have low energy. Lisa Romano, 31, a vegan and school psychologist in Belleville, N.Y., said she recently ended a relationship with a man who enjoyed backyard grilling. He had no problem searing her vegan burgers alongside his beef patties, but she found the practice unenlightened and disturbing.
Her disapproval “would have become an issue later even if it wasn’t in the beginning,” Ms. Romano said. “I need someone who is ethically on the same page.” While some eaters may elevate morality above hedonism, others are suspicious of anyone who does not give in to the pleasure principle.
Did you catch that quote from Ms. Isabel?And advocating for Barack Obama to boot. Just another example of how 'those whacko bloggers' are outmaneuvernig legacy media at just about every turn.
It’s wrong to try to implement restrictions in my private property. I own this piece of land. This is America. I should be able to do anything I want with it.
Yet she’s flying and hanging a Cuban flag with Che Guevara’s face plastered on it?
13 February 2008
(P)rinter ink, especially for photos, is probably the most expensive substance per volume you’ll ever buy—more expensive than gold, oil, perfume, even blood in most cases . . . you’re shelling out the equivalent of between $3,000 and $5,000 per gallon.
Canon sued (and won) to keep refilled cartridges from being sold in Japan without Canon ink; HP sued and won for patent infringement against a company that made replacement cartridges. Epson, however, settled a lawsuit claiming their cartridges intentionally signaled they needed replacement when they still had ink left. And more recently one man filed a class-action suit claiming that HP illegally colluded with Staples by giving them a $100 million “bribe” not to carry low-cost replacement ink.
(I)t’s now far cheaper to order prints through Flickr, Shutterfly or iPhoto, or if you need them in a hurry, from your local Wal-Mart, Walgreens or even mom-and-pop photo store.
The product lifecycle is a speedy one and it can be hard to catch up for anyone with a life.
12 February 2008
11 February 2008
Over 16 pages, the al-Qaeda in Iraq leader detailed the organization’s demise in his sector. He once had 600 men, but now his force was down to 20 or fewer, he wrote. They had lost weapons and allies. Abu Tariq focused his anger in particular on the Sunni fighters and tribesmen who have turned against al-Qaeda in Iraq and joined the U.S.-backed Sunni Sahwa, or “Awakening,” forces.Meanwhile, Pelosi sticks to the same old saw:
This is a stark and telling admission of the demise of the al Qaeda organization in Iraq, and quite obviously was never intended to be studied by U.S. intelligence. What was once a little less than Battalion strength in this emir’s area of operation is down to less than two squads. In one sense, this demise was destiny for al Qaeda given the assumption that the U.S. wouldn’t lost hope or sight of the desired end.
“There haven’t been gains, Wolf,” the speaker replied. “The gains have not produced the desired effect, which is the reconciliation of Iraq. This is a failure. This is a failure…”
They're rolling in dough and we're still coughing up.
Last year, the average college endowment increased by 17 percent. Dozens of schools now have endowments of more than $1 billion — and it isn’t just the heavy hitters such as Harvard University, which has an endowment of $35 billion. The University of Maryland’s Great Expectations campaign set a goal of $1 billion. Even the University of Delaware’s endowment tops $1 billion. Spending just 1 percent of that money on financial aid would free $10 million for scholarships. When so many schools are flush with money, why does Congress continue to soak taxpayers?
To quote Judge Smails, "The world needs ditchdiggers, too."
Bella, a 3-year-old golden retriever/collie mix who was once rescued as an abused puppy, returned the favor to her owners by alerting them to a house fire. With help from Maddie, a 6-month-old golden retriever, Bella helped get Sue Feuling and her 9-year-old daughter, Mckenzie, out of the house last week. The dogs didn't make it.
"Those dogs were without a doubt the heroes," said Winona Assistant Fire Chief Jim Multhaup. Bella had jumped on Feuling's bed early Friday morning and started barking, and Feuling then smelled smoke, grabbed her daughter and rushed out of the house. Sue Feuling said she was only thinking about her dogs. "Everything I lost is nothing compared to them," she said.
10 February 2008
The British government is now requiring its athletes to sign an oath to stay mum about Chinese human rights abuses this summer while competing at the Beijing Olympics. Refuse to sign, and the government won't let them compete.It has no been a good week for the UK on the old national self-assurance front.
He didn’t start calling me a Nazi and racist, though, until he noticed the book in my hand. Saturdays arethe only time off I have from this job, so I try to get a little reading in sometimes. In this case, it was Liberal Fascism, and I’m up to the part where Goldberg gets into Wilson versus Teddy Roosevelt in progressive ideals. Apparently the red cover is a red flag. Then I got called a racist for being white–how do you know what I am, quite frankly?–and it got a little loud in the shop.
09 February 2008
“The surprising conclusion using the Stern Review’s own estimates,” Dr. Goklany writes, “is that future generations will be better off in the richest but warmest” of the I.P.C.C.’s scenarios. He concludes that cutting emissions will do much less good than encouraging sustainable development in poor countries and policies of “focused adaptation” to deal with disease and environmental problems like coastal flooding.
For a fifth the cost of the Kyoto Protocol, he calculates, these adaptation policies could yield more immediate and also long-term benefits than would a policy that entirely halted global warming (which would cost far, far more than Kyoto). He argues that this path isn’t merely an economic but also a moral imperative: For the foreseeable future, people will be wealthier—and their well-being higher—than is the case for present generations both in the developed and developing worlds and with or without climate change.
08 February 2008
Hundreds of GTA Muslim men in polygamous marriages -- some with a harem of wives -- are receiving welfare and social benefits for each of their spouses, thanks to the city and province, Muslim leaders say.Another nation so afraid of being demonized as intolerent it bends over finacially for those who seek to recast as Islamic the entire established society.
He estimates "several hundred" GTA husbands in polygamous marriages are receiving benefits. Under Islamic law, a Muslim man is permitted to have up to four spouses.
Brenda Nesbitt, the city's director of social services, said benefits are only paid to one spouse and names and addresses are cross-checked for possible fraud. "There may be polygamous cases we are not aware off," Nesbitt said yesterday. "They can apply as single people and we won't know."So that whole 'cross-check' is rally just jive, as the government has no real handle on what it's paying out to Muslim polygamists.
Councillor Rob Ford said taxpayers' money should be spent on education and schools instead. "This is wrong," Ford said yesterday. "They should put a stop to this immediately."Come on, Ford, get with the program; don't you want Canada to be the open, compassionate, accepting, anything-goes alternative to that bad, bad United States?
I sometimes sadly wonder if Canada is an acronym, with the 'C' standing for "chump."
Meanwhile, across the ol' pond, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has already thrown in the towel with regard to Sharia Law.
07 February 2008
Bangladesh, with 134 deaths, is the worst affected. The northern Dinajpur and Rangpur regions, close to the Himalayan foothills, are facing the coldest winter in recent years. In Nepal, the toll is nearly 50, with the temperatures well below the normal mid-20s for this time of the year. Parts of Pakistan, where at least 16 people have died, have recorded their lowest temperatures in more than 70 years. Temperatures have fallen as low as minus 14 degrees in northern areas. In India, the toll has crossed 60. Millions of Chinese began the New Year on Wednesday without power after more than a week of fierce winter weather, making it China's coldest winter in 100 years.Looks like Groundhog Al, who will not come out of his hole unless a first-class ticket on a jumbo jet is involved, will be sitting this one out. Anyway, it's not like anyone is going to politicize the weather, right?
06 February 2008
Now - if I want to be somebody, what I need to have is a narcotic pain killer, valium, a heavy sedative, some more pain killers, an anti-depressant and a prescription sleep aid all at the same time.
No wonder I don't have parasitic photographers following me.
05 February 2008
(I)f Saudi funding for terrorism is the crux of the issue, then we have little choice but to confront the Saudis directly. The indirect approach of reducing oil demand is meaningless. Only a worldwide boycott of Saudi oil would effectively cut off their oil revenues. Yet such a boycott would be difficult to orchestrate and would itself be tantamount to war. The problem with sponsoring terrorism is not that oil revenues are the source of funds. The problem with sponsoring terrorism is that it is grossly immoral. People introduce the connection with oil revenues as a red herring. As we have seen, trying to make a connection between fighting terrorism and regulating SUV's or drilling for Alaskan oil is a violation of Oil Econ 101.
At best, it is a way to dodge the challenge posed by apparent Saudi support for terror. At worst, it is an attempt to advance another agenda using terrorism as an excuse. The real issue is the alleged Saudi funding of terror. No matter how much demand we withdraw from the oil market, the Saudis will have revenue and we have to be concerned with how they use it. If cutting off funding is critical to winning the war on terror, then we must press the Saudis on that point. We should tell them that we respect their rights as a sovereign nation, but they owe it to the community of nations to not fund terrorists. If that approach does not work, then it is a waste of time to wring our hands over our "dependence on foreign oil." The only fallback position is the one suggested by my wife: just take the oil.
Where's that governor of theirs?
THEY TOLD ME THAT IF GEORGE W. BUSH WERE REELECTED, public access to places offering unpopular minority views would be restricted, and government stooges would use zoning restrictions to crack down on free speech and crush dissent. And they were right:
Berkeley peace activists are gearing up to circulate a petition to place a measure on the November ballot restricting where public and private military recruiters can locate within the city.
When a group of people have the power of leading a city government, they have certain responsibilities that come with that power. Those responsibilities don't include fighting for social justice or ensuring every business in their city is ideologically acceptable, as the Berkeley City Council has tried to do. Nor do they include supporting the Federal Government and the United States Military, as many on the right want them to do. Those responsibilities include protecting basic human liberties, such as the rights to life, liberty, and property, and providing a city where citizens and business have basic protections and services like police, fire, and infrastructure.
The Berkeley City Council's refusal to meet its basic responsibilities makes it a disgrace and a failure. Period.
04 February 2008
When an insurgency that is so favored ends up as ineffective as the one in Iraq today, there can only be one reason for it: a lack of support from the local population.Yea, read it all, for it names domestic collaborators.
This is because native populations are to this type of fighters what water is to fish. Since they move and live among them, the insurgents depend on locals for cover, sustenance and other necessities. But the Iraqis apparently do not provide them with the support they need and demand. In fact, the opposite is the case. Everyday our soldiers receive tips which help them to bust enemy safe houses, find weapons caches, and foil plots.
This may come as a shock to some, but our low casualty rate clearly shows that the Iraqi people have taken the side of America and that on a mass scale.
Muslim medical students are refusing to obey hygiene rules brought in to stop the spread of deadly superbugs, because they say it is against their religion.That whole 'clean health environment' thing is really just a ploy to opress Islam ya know.
Women training in several hospitals in England have raised objections to removing their arm coverings in theatre and to rolling up their sleeves when washing their hands, because it is regarded as immodest in Islam.What's the big deal of a few more hundred people die, I mean, we're talking Islam here. At least one MP is not afraid to be painted as a Great Satan (as he surely will be soon):
Universities and NHS trusts fear many more will refuse to co-operate with new Department of Health guidance, introduced this month, which stipulates that all doctors must be "bare below the elbow." The measure is deemed necessary to stop the spread of infections such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile, which have killed hundreds.
Dr Charles Tannock, a Conservative MEP and former hospital consultant, said: "These students are being trained using taxpayers' money and they have a duty of care to their patients not to put their health at risk. "Perhaps these women should not be choosing medicine as a career if they feel unable to abide by the guidelines that everyone else has to follow."I guess when you live in the West, it's your lot in live to abandon what you know, one thing at a time, in order for others to be happy by avoiding assimilation in all it's forms.
03 February 2008
Last week, the government shut down Iran's most important feminist magazine, which had been published for 16 years. The authorities also arrested a small group of students after a protest at Tehran University over poor conditions in their dormitory. In the middle of a snowy, icy winter, women have been arrested for not wearing proper Islamic clothing. Hats over head scarves, boots over pants, can bring trouble.Hell, why go overboard. Sounds like a magnificent place.
"Their harsh reaction to everything shows they feel very vulnerable," said Morad Saghafi, a philosopher and writer in Tehran. "They arrest 10 students because they think, if they don't, 100 will come. Yes, they feel vulnerable."
"The present government, similar to any other government, has certain shortcomings which should be mentioned sympathetically," (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei) said recently before warning critics not to go overboard.
01 February 2008
Beating its own record to rack up the largest annual corporate profit in American history, Exxon Mobil Corp. said Friday it earned $40.6 billion for the year, reaping the benefits of crude-oil prices around $100 a barrel. Exxon Mobil also topped its own record for profit in a single quarter, posting net income of $11.7 billion for the final three months of the year - about $1 billion more than the same period in 2005, the previous quarterly record. And the quarterly profit alone is about the same as the size of the entire economy of Iceland or Namibia.Oh, those greedy corporate oligarchs, taking food off the tables of starving children. Don't forget that this sort of news attracts all the usual political buzzards:
Chevron Corp., No. 2 behind Exxon Mobil among U.S. oil companies, also had its best year ever in 2007, saying Friday that it banked a profit of $18.7 billion. With the economy weakening and the prospect of $4-a-gallon gas looming for spring and summer, the hefty oil profits immediately renewed charges that Big Oil was profiting at the expense of most Americans.
Within hours of Exxon Mobil and Chevron reporting their results, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., a member of the Senate Finance Committee, urged Congress to repeal tax breaks for the oil industry. "Congratulations to Exxon Mobil and Chevron - for reminding Americans why they cringe every time they pull into a gas station and for reminding Washington why it needs to act swiftly to break our dependence on foreign oil and roll back unnecessary tax incentives for oil companies," Schumer said.Three times in the story they breathlessly wail about $100/barrel oil (it closed today at $88, by thte way) and never mentioned two important facts. First is that Exxon Mobil alone paid $30 billion in taxes in 2007. They paid $28 billion in 2006. That's $58 billion into government coffers over two fiscal year. No other compnay has ever paid that sort of tax bill over two years. There are entire sectors of our economy don't contribue $58 billion over two years.
Oh yea, that money goes through the formality of the treasury right to the clowns, liars, cheats and finks in the US House of Representatives who use it to buy votes to get themselves reelected. By the way Senator Schumer, what sort of "tax breaks" are the oil companies enjoying since they are they are paying 41% to demagauges like you.
The second thing unreported is how these profits were not divided among only 15 or 20 old, fat, white guys in suits who eat red meat 8 times each day. That's not reported because Exxon Mobil, like all the other oil companies is publicly traded. Anyone can own a piece of Big Oil, and many of us do in mutual funds in our 401(k) plans. Those who portray oil profits as some unattainable club for others are fooling themselves and they hope you go along with them. It's like craving the sunshine but being too obstanant to come out from under the shade of the tree.
So when you hear the feet stomping and the alligator tears over the profits from big oil make sure you ask the right questions of those who thing they have all the answers.
The inability of the Minneapols City Council to keep its eye on the ball is legenday. It's about time Cam Gordon and the other juviniles were more regularly skewered for it.
Operating under the false pretense that being elected to the prestigious Minneapolis City Council gives him carte blanche to impose PETA's fringe agenda on the rest of us, Cam Gordon, hero to persecuted pachyderms, appears bent on running the Shrine Circus, and all the good it does, out of Minneapolis.
Since his proposed all-out ban on circus elephants failed in September, Clever Cam, marinading in sour grapes, has decided to play the role of busybody and tack on an amendment to the proposed ordinance that would forbid children from touching or riding elephants. Perfectly aware that elephant rides are a large source of revenue for the circus, Gordon is attempting to hurt the circus financially and impose a de facto ban by citing a newfound concern for "public safety."
To hear Gordon tell it, letting small, grinning children touch or, even worse, enjoy a short ride on a circus elephant is akin to placing a child on a trunked, floppy-eared 5,000-pound grenade, then pulling the pin. And to back up his assertion that circus elephants pose a public safety threat, Gordon even provided this troubling list of the names of children maimed by elephants at the Shrine Circus. It looks like this: ----.
So instead of laughably hiding behind the public safety issue, Gordon and the other elephant-obsessed members of the Minneapolis City Council should just admit that they're sore losers and, acting as dutiful stooges for the animal-rights lobby, are callously putting a far-left agenda ahead of the free orthopedic care the Shriners' hospitals provide to needy children.
MATT DREW, MINNEAPOLIS
(Geoff) Luurs collected jewels, charms and rare coins - some 50 items - over four years while playing FFXI, an online role-playing game where he adventured as Sots, a tiny magician. Worse yet, Luurs suspected a fellow gamer and friend by the character name of Ayri had emptied him of treasure worth 75 million Gil, the currency used to measure success within the game.If I steal names, addresses and social security numbers from a source via the internt, I could sell that "valueless" information to someone in the identity theft business and it would be a crime. Why is this any different?
Luurs decided to get justice and took his virtual beef to Blaine police. He told them Ayri could make real money, he said about $3,800, from selling the loot to gamers who would rather pay for it than play for it.
So, would police charge Ayri with theft? No.
"What happened here is somebody stole almost $4,000 and got away cold," said Joshua Fairfield, an associate professor of law at Washington and Lee University in Virginia. He said he thinks if the monetary value of the goods had been higher and if a corporation instead of individuals had been involved, cops would have investigated.
"This is just a matter of zeros," Fairfield said. "The first time IBM loses $10 million, we're going to see some police action."
I could see (McCain's) personal contempt for Mitt Romney roiling under the surface. And why? Because Romney ran campaign ads that challenged McCain’s record? Is this the first campaign in which an opponent has run ads questioning another candidate’s record? That’s par for the course. To the best of my knowledge, Romney’s ads have not been personal. He has not even mentioned the Keating-Five to counter McCain's cheap shots. But the same cannot be said of McCain’s comments about Romney. Last night McCain, who is the putative frontrunner, resorted to a barrage of personal assaults on Romney that reflect more on the man making them than the target of the attacks. McCain now has a habit of describing Romney as a “manager for profit” and someone who has “laid-off” people, implying that Romney is both unpatriotic and uncaring. Moreover, he complains that Romney is using his “millions” or “fortune” to underwrite his campaign. This is a crass appeal to class warfare. McCain is extremely wealthy through marriage. Romney has never dennigrated McCain for his wealth or the manner in which he acquired it. Evidently Romney’s character doesn’t let him to cross certain boundaries of decorum and decency, but McCain’s does. And what of managing for profit? When did free enterprise become evil?