Monday, May 30, 2005

Democrats misrepresent abortion data

Prominent Democrats Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and Howard Dean have publicly stated over the last few months that abortions have increased since George W. Bush took office in 2001.

Talking to a group of family-planning providers in New York Sen. Clinton tried to compare the abortion rate under Mr. Bush with the rates under hubby Bill, alleging that rates are higher now than then. She cited three states where rates are higher, and left the clear impression that the experience of those three states was representative of the nation as a whole. In fact, the national average is lower now than under Mr. Clinton.

Defeated Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry said on NBC’s Meet the Press back in January, “and do you know that in fact abortion has gone up in these last few years with the draconian policies that Republicans have” implemented. That statement went unchallenged by moderator Tim Russert. Like Sen. Clinton's statement, it is also untrue.

Just last week Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean said on Meet the Press, “You know that abortions have gone up 25 percent since George Bush was President?” Again Tim Russert failed to challenge the statement, or even question Mr. Dean on it, leaving viewers to believe the 25 percent figure was accurate. It is a gross misstatement.

According to the respected Alan Guttmacher Institute, a 20-year decline in abortion rates has continued since Mr. Bush took office, and unlike Clinton, Kerry and Dean, Guttmacher has the data to back it up. Actually, not long after Mr. Clinton took office there was a pause in the rate of decline for about a year, after which the decline has continued steadily.

The bad data picked up by the three amigos and grossly exaggerated by Mr. Dean came from an article published in the Houston Chronicle, which apparently did not fact-check the data. Obviously, neither did Clinton, Kerry or Dean.

One marvels at the spectacle of Howard Dean. The term “loose cannon” may actually have been created just for him, but it fails to adequately describe his lack of passion for the truth. As for Ms. Clinton and Mr. Kerry, well, what more needs to be said?

Two points need to be made here. First, it is certainly positive for society that abortions are decreasing. Even if you buy into the rationalization that abortion is something other than the killing of a future person, it is difficult to argue that doing less of it is a bad thing. And the fact that Democrats, the champions of abortion rights, use high abortion figures as criticism is a step in the right direction, even if they only use it for short-term political gains.

And second, the press is once again guilty of failing to do its job. Publishing incorrect data on any subject and taking the word of any political party ­as gospel without checking out its claims are just irresponsible. But that is nothing new for the mainstream media, whose recent history is something akin to Swiss cheese.

France deals the European Union a blow

By a 10- point margin, French voters turned thumbs down on the proposed constitution for the European Union. Questions linger as to whether this is a death blow, or merely a bump in the road to formalizing European unity. In other discussions I have predicted difficulties in tying this collaboration up in a neat bow, given the diverse nature of the members. Yesterday's vote confirms that.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Government contributes to our problems

When I first started on this piece, the news had just broken that convicted sex offenders can get Viagra paid for by our government. I wanted to express my disgust for this situation, the utter stupidity of which is obvious to even the dim-witted. Since everyone realized that right away, even the mainstream media, saying that it is stupid at this point is, well, stupid.

However, upon thinking about how this ridiculous situation evolved, I was led rather circuitously to the conspicuous reality of just how much our government does that is contrary to common sense, and not at all what was intended by those wise gentlemen who wrote our Constitution more than 200 years ago.

Had we been sensible enough to not fiddle with that document and just live by it, had we been wise enough to stand against the efforts of judges to create and impose through judicial command laws and policies the people would never have agreed to through proper legislative channels, there would be no mechanism of government that could pay for Viagra for convicted sex offenders.

But, of course, we haven’t been sensible or wise in following the guidelines set forth for us, and we are immeasurably the worse for it. The government has grown into a largely inept, gargantuan bureaucracy with its fingers in nearly every facet of our lives. Maybe I’ll make a list later on.

In school I learned that the Framers were good men, smart men, unselfish men, who made sacrifices to establish this nation. More recently, though, I’ve come to question just how smart those guys really were. You would expect really smart people capable of developing a governing document that would last more than a mere 150 or so years before people were able to distort and dismantle it the way we have. Maybe they were unable to imagine that Americans could become selfish, self-centered and narcissistic and would forget that a thriving and enduring nation requires sacrifice and commitment from its members. I’ll bet they never dreamed of the possibility that the concept “if it feels good, do it” would become more important to Americans than pledging allegiance to their nation.

The Framers understood that it is not the responsibility of, nor is it desirable for government to provide sustenance for civilian citizens. The government’s duty to its citizens is to provide a framework under which they can use their brains, skills and initiative to make of themselves as much as they can. Some will necessarily do better than others.

We cannot successfully legislate that all of us become equal. I am a better writer than Jim. Jim is a better musician than I. No law or public policy can make him a better writer or me a better musician. Each of us has the opportunity to make ourselves better at whatever we choose to be better at, and that is all we can expect. The rest is up to us, individually and collectively, through our own initiative and good will.

Attempting to legislate equality will tear the nation apart, as we are now witnessing. The socialist tendencies that nations like France are now abandoning because they have failed and are dragging the country down are still on the upswing in the US. If we can learn anything useful from France, it is that.

Unfortunately, the liberal/progressive ideology seems not to recognize its failures, but sees more socialism as the answer.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Soft-headed on crime

It must first be said that some debts to society cannot be paid; there is no way to right certain wrongs. Sentencing someone to years in prison or even putting them to death does not repair the damage to society or to individuals of certain crimes. No matter what society does to some criminals for their anti-social behavior, the criminal act is not made right by the sentence the criminal receives. The mindless murder of an innocent victim is one of them.

The murderer has taken the life of a person who has done nothing to deserve it, yet goes on living, while the victim is gone, likely in a terrifying and brutal way. The victim will never be able to know the joy of a full life, of a long-term relationship with a husband or wife, or children, or his family and friends. The victim’s family and friends are deprived of the relationship with that person for years to come. The injustice and unfairness of this situation is palpable, it is enormous, and it cannot be reconciled.

The injustice is compounded, furthermore, when the criminal is brought to justice, for unlike his victim the murderer is fairly judged before sentence is passed, and he has numerous and substantial constitutional protections to make certain he is not unfairly treated. In America the guilty are considered innocent until proved guilty in a court of law. Their victims have no such rights or procedures; the murderer is judge and jury.

Worse yet, and contrary to reason, in many states the sub-human being who has willfully taken the life of an innocent person has his own life protected by law. It is considered cruel and unusual for society to exact on a murderer the penalty the murderer has exacted from his victim. Society is thus condemned to keep him alive at taxpayer cost for decades, despite his horrendously anti-social and brutal behavior. Despite the pain and agony his victim and their family and friends suffered because of his evil act, the murderer gets to live, has to live. Living in prison may not be a bed of roses (or it may not be so bad), but it is nonetheless a bed, food, shelter … and life.

All too often after serving his time, the murderer is returned to society to live the life he chooses, good or bad. Most often, the life he chooses is a bad one, given that prison does not rehabilitate, and that these vile creatures may be beyond rehabilitation. He has the opportunity to marry or resume a previous relationship, have children or continue with his family, and draw breath for as long as he lives thereafter. The murderer gets all the things he has brutally and senselessly denied his victim(s).

What is the solution? There is no way to right the wrong, as previously stated. Yet one of two things ought to occur for every murder of an innocent person. 1) The murderer ought to be painfully put to death after a relatively short time, and during the waiting period his life ought to be hell on Earth. 2) The murderer ought to spend the rest of his life living in horrid conditions, given only the bare necessities of life. Perhaps he ought to be incarcerated on an abandoned prison island with other scum like him, to kill or be killed, perhaps then having some sense of the horrors to which he subjected his victim to.

Is this justice? It is as close as we can come to it.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

A parting shot: PC and silliness reign supreme

Just before leaving I have to add comment about what I think is the silliest bunch of nothing currently being discussed.

While I agree that the United States is and ought to be far more humane in its treatment of prisoners than your average nation of murderous barbarians, the idea that we ought to be held up to the standards of the Geneva Conventions where terrorists are concerned is absurd. The terrorists are outside the bounds of the Conventions for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that they are not the army of a particular nation. Other equally compelling circumstances also strengthen this position.

That the "atrocities" of Abu Grhaib are really serious breaches of human behavior is ridiculous. They are minor infractions deserving our concern and our effort to prevent them from occuring, but they do not deserve more.

Now, this latest tempest in a teapot over
photographs of Saddam Hussein in his undies and in a robe is laughable. Yes, it is a terrible thing to show this ugly thug in his briefs, but only because it offends the eye, not because it causes him any emotional distress.

The United States has no obligation to treat people who were caught trying to kill Americans with any respect or concern whatsoever, except to the extent that by doing so we might get some useful information from them. We owe them only continued existence with the basics: food and shelter.


I realize some of the more "sensitive" readers will recoil in horror from this statement, and I apologise for shocking your misplaced compassion.

I invite your comments, and we can continue this dialogue when I am again able to post.

Montego Bay

We are bound for paradise for a few days, as I had said before.

I'm going to try to post while we're there, but I may be distracted.

I will be back May 30.

Thanks for continuing to visit and support Observations.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Taking a little time off

I'm headed south on vacation until May 29, soI don't know how much time I'll have to post to the site, and I'm really not sure whether I can connect where I'm going, so there may not be any activity here on Observations until the following week.

I hope to be able to get something posted occasionally, just so I don't have withdrawal symptoms.

I guess we'll see.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Who do you trust?

The name of a former game show hosted for several years by Johnny Carson finds its way as the title of a post on Observations because of a perplexing situation facing air travelers.

My wife and I are about to venture south next week, celebrating our 25th anniversary in Montego Bay, Jamaica. We are looking forward to this trip. We both need some time away, and this is a pretty special observance, most would agree. We haven’t had more than a couple of days away for just the two of us for … well, a long time.

Watching The O’Reilly Factor tonight gives me reason for concern, however. In a segment of the show host Bill O'Reilly informed me and other viewers that it is not uncommon for items to “disappear” from luggage checked in at the airline you’re traveling on. Transportation Safety Administration regulations forbid passengers from locking their luggage, because locked luggage cannot be searched, and that is a problem for those seeking to protect passengers from innocent travelers like me and the missus. Thieves, however, can enter unlocked luggage, and that’s where trouble begins.

As it turns out the airlines apparently will reimburse only a small amount for “lost” items, assuming you can prove it was actually “lost.” Trying to get your money out of the federal government is, well, a federal case.

The major problem with items being stolen, however, is apparently not from personnel working for airline companies; it is from personnel working for the Transportation Safety Administration. The message from Bill: Don’t check anything valuable; carry it on.

Having heard this frightening message, I have begun researching what I can and cannot take on vacation with me, what I can take in my carry-on and what I can’t take, and what can and cannot be checked through in luggage.

For example, I like a good cigar occasionally. I can take cigars with me, but I can’t take my lighter. Well, actually I can take the lighter, but it ain't easy, and it ain't sensible. I can, oddly enough, take up to four packs of certain types of matches in my carry-on, so long as they are not “strike anywhere” matches, meaning “safety” matches. The TSA tells us the following:

*All lighters are prohibited as carry-on items. Lighters without fuel are permitted in checked baggage, but lighters with fuel are prohibited. If you are uncertain as to whether your lighter is prohibited, please refrain from bringing it to the airport.

** Up to 4 books of safety (non-strike anywhere) matches are permitted as carry-on items, but all matches are prohibited in checked baggage.

To read the entire list, go here.


However, elsewhere we are informed that lighter fluid is not permitted either in checked luggage or in carry-on luggage. So, it’s fine if you pack your lighter, empty of fuel, in your checked baggage, but you may not take fuel for your lighter to fill it when you reach your destination. Presumably you can buy lighter fluid when you reach your destination, but you may not bring home with you that lighter fluid that you did not use while on your trip, and you had better be sure the lighter is empty, totally empty, before checking your luggage for the return trip.

I suppose that, as a law-abiding, taxpaying American citizen who is not a terrorist, I should applaud the efforts of our government to thwart efforts of those who are terrorists to hijack or blow up airplanes. And I do.

I just wish we non-terrorists would not be put through this inane BS in the process.

The Media Hall of Shame

CBS News and now Newsweek magazine in the space of several months have duped the public in the name of honest journalism. Poor and slanted reporting happens everyday, but the magnitude of these recent disintegration of responsibility and public trust is enormous.

What is worse, if anything can be worse than the abandonment of one’s solemn duty, is that both CBS News and Newsweek have tried to rationalize their failures in a hopeless and unsuccessful attempt to save face. Newsweek said something to the effect of “Well, there were some mistakes in the story, but it has not been proved that someone somewhere, sometime, somehow didn’t flush the Koran down a toilet, so we are standing by our story.” Dan Rather said essentially the same thing about CBS’s fallacious story on George Bush’s imagined dereliction of duty in the National Guard.

You don’t have to be a media bigwig to know certain basic procedures about covering important events. Among them is that you always – always – double-source your information when your first source wishes to remain anonymous. In the absence of confirmation, the journalist ought to assume his source is wrong. To do otherwise is negligent. In the case of CBS News’ irresponsible reporting, a presidential election hung in the balance.

Newsweek’s reckless reporting poured gasoline on the flames of fundamentalist, fanatical Islamic fascists just looking for an excuse to commit murder and mayhem, and more than a dozen people died.

Dishonorable gaffes in reporting like these feed the growing feeling that the mainstream media has an agenda. In the case of both the shameful CBS News/Rathergate debacle and the more recent colossally deadly Newsweek blunder, it is difficult to fend off charges that the media is anti-George Bush and anti-war. The notion that these eager newshounds are poised on the edge of their keyboards waiting for an opportunity to slam Bush and /or the Iraq war is a compelling one. How else can anyone explain why these supposedly honorable media organizations ran stories that were so disgracefully and contemptibly wrong?

The mainstream media seems incapable of learning from their mistakes. Is this arrogance? Hubris? Complacency?

Yes to all.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Women have abortions for "lifestyle reasons"

The following appears on The Drudge Report:

A dramatic rise in repeat abortions has reinforced fears that women are increasingly having terminations for lifestyle reasons. One in three abortions is now carried out on women who have had at least one before, London's Daily Mail reports on Monday.

Figures from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service suggest that women who become pregnant at university or at the start of their careers see abortion as a means of delaying motherhood. Women between 20 and 24 have taken over from teenagers as the largest age group to have terminations, while only one in 100 abortions is carried out solely because of a medical risk to the baby.

It was revealed that one woman from London had six abortions in just 12 months!

Campaigners warned that the emotional and physical risks of abortion were being 'swept under the carpet.' The procedure can make it more difficult for women to ever start a family and many later suffer depression.

Researchers said the trend could be reversed if more support was available for mothers trying to juggle careers and families.

The new figures from the BPAS, Britain's leading abortion provider, reveal that 181,582 terminations were carried out in England and Wales in 2003, a 3.2 per cent increase on the previous year and a 15 per cent rise since 1993.

Among these some 57,241 - 32 per cent - were on women who had already undergone a termination at least once. This is almost a third higher than the 1993 figure.
Many of us who know the U.S. Constitution does not provide a "woman's right to choose" to kill her fetus for whatever reason she deems appropriate said at the time that ruling was made that it was a thinly veiled effort to relieve men and women of the responsibility for their actions.

We believed that someday abortion would plainly be shown to be a convenience, and nothing more.

It appears that that day has arrived.

Lt. Pantano not guilty of murder

Marine Corps 2nd Lt. Ilario Pantano, who shot to death two Iraqi insurgents a year ago during a raid on an insurgent hideout in the "Triangle of Death," and faced murder charges for his actions, has been cleared of charges, according to Bill O’Reilly tonight.

This is wonderful news. To convict this brave Marine for defending himself and his fellow Marines would have been a travesty. We cannot allow America’s enemies, neither those within our borders nor those outside them, to put our military personnel on trial for doing their job.

The investigating officer, Lt. Col. Mark E. Winn, recommended that Lt. Pantano face administration punishment for firing too many rounds at the two men, a far less serious charge. However, given the dangerous circumstances under which Lt. Pantano acted, even that criticism must be questioned.

In any event, this is good news.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

A good trip

Well, the trip to Northern Virginia to see the new grandkid was a pretty good trip. The kid is great, his mom is doing fine, we got to see both of the older daughters and all but one of the six grandkids, as well as a few other folks. Actually a lot of other folks.

Anyway, it's good to be back.

I've got a pile of work to do this week, and we'll be celebrating our 25th wedding aniversary next week in Jamaica, so things will be kind of crazy.

I have posted a new piece on Reflections for those who are interested.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

A brief respite, and then back to work

These last few weeks have been a whirlwind that has kept me from being as attentive as I want to be with the site, and I have not been able to post as regularly as I'd like.

Now, we are going to visit daughter #2 who has recently given birth to grandchild #6, who is grandson #2, and will be away for a couple of days. (I hope that wasn't too confusing.)

Please check back on Monday, for I will surely have been able to post something meaningful by then.

Until then, please put all your liberal/Left opinions aside, as they are clearly wrong, and tend toward the Right in your thinking. When I get back, I'll answer all your questions (grin).

Let him die

As federal and state judges heard arguments Wednesday on last-minute attempts to prevent New England's first execution in 45 years, serial killer Michael Ross told those same courts he is ready to die.

The 45 year-old murderer was sentenced to death for killing four young women in eastern Connecticut in the early 1980s and has confessed to four other murders in Connecticut and New York. Last year, he decided to end his appeals and accept his death sentence.

He was hours away from being put to death in January, when his attorney, incredibly under pressure from a federal judge, asked for a new hearing to examine his competency.

One appeal claimed that Ross' execution amounts to state-assisted suicide and would have such a negative effect on suicidal prisoners that a "suicide contagion" would result among the state's inmates. "These prisoners will try to kill themselves in the hours, days and weeks following Michael's death," the suit states.

The Connecticut Attorney General dismissed the notion the execution amounted to a state-assisted suicide because Ross decided to forgo his appeals. He vowed to fight the suit.

Then things got really silly. One attorney argues that Ross has been coerced into deciding to die by his own narcissism and the harsh conditions of living on death row. "Saying he is competent is not the same as saying he's capable," the attorney said.

An attorney interviewed on Fox News this morning made the statement that because Ross has been on death row for so long, he has been in a condition of sensory deprivation, and thus is not capable of knowing whether or not he wants to die.

So, if I understand this correctly, someone who kills eight innocent women is tried, convicted and sentenced to death for his crimes, and because of the lengthy process of mandatory appeals and such that we have for condemned criminals, that that process renders the criminal of being emotionally/psychologically unfit to die?

All of that notwithstanding, Michael Ross deserves the death penalty. He earned it, and the jury and judge agreed that it was appropriate. Society has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep this subhuman creature alive for well over 20 years.

Enough is enough.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Ol’ Cwydie Ain’t Workin’ In No Coal Mine

by The Windjammer

There was a family in the little village where we lived in which there were three fully adult sons. I never heard of any of them actually doing any muscle building exercises more strenuous than lifting a fork full of food or raising a brown bottle, and those activities rarely put their hands above their heads. They all received monthly checks which burned their pockets until they could get to their favorite store. The three of them kept after a neighbor to ‘get them a job.’

Har heard that the B&O was looking for day laborers to do track work, so he loaded the three in the back of his home made truck and headed for 12th Street where the work was in progress. That was back in WW II when all the regular workers were busy somewhere else. They were hired on the spot to shovel ballast. The foreman told them to ‘grab one of those shovels and get up there in the car and start throwing gravel on the track bed.’ The oldest one replied, "To H--- with that! That sounds like work. The Old Man started that years ago and never did get over it." The three took off running across the railroad bridge and raced up the hill toward home. Har had to drive back alone and when he pulled into his parking spot the three were already sitting on their front porch watching him park.

A friend who was, before he retired, an official in one or more of our coal companies which operated locally told me that another coal company had four mines ready to open but could not do so. It wasn’t the environmentalists throwing road blocks this time. They couldn’t get workers, even when the rookies could get $17 to $18 dollars an hour and experienced technicians were being paid far more--and that was without assessments for union dues.

That reminded me of another character whose given name was Clyde, but Clyde couldn’t talk plain. When he talked of himself, he used the third person and referred to himself as Ol’ Cwyde or, more frequently, as Ol’ Cwydie.. The circumstances were a bit different, but with a little journalistic freedom, the story can be applied to the mining problem.

Clyde was one of those unfortunate individuals who had at least five problems, each compounded by the others. One of those problems was not the fact that he was as healthy as a bull and almost twice as strong. Clyde’s problems were that he warn’t too well-versed in book larnin’; cigarettes; whiskey (and an occasional beer); wild, wild women; and, last but certainly not least, a welfare check that just wasn’t big enough to support all his other vices at the same time. Clyde’s time, too, was back during that same slight period of manpower shortage.

As he told it, "Ol’ Cwydie went over to the Unemployment Office and they tol’ me I had to git a job. I ast them what they had for me to do an’ they tol’ me they had a job up at Katherine #3 for a trackman. They tol’ me it was workin’ underground an’ I tol’ them, ‘Ol’ Cwydie ain’t workin’ in no damned coal mine’."

I’m not sure that I blame Ol’ Clyde.

Katherine #3 was where I worked before I went to the Navy.

When I came back, I didn’t go back. I went to work where I could make some gravy money--in a grocery store.

The rest is history.

But one of the reasons for Clyde and the three brothers refusing to work may be a part of the reason for the dilemma of our mines and factories today.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Let the voting begin

It is not a misapplication of the term “arena” to apply it to the chambers of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. More games are played there than at any two athletic venues in the world. A game currently under way in the Senate stadium is the judicial nomination contest.

Some of us take sides with Republicans who want to move forward on the nomination process, while others side with Democrats who want to delay the process.

This flap comes down to a simple disagreement that has existed for decades, which is that each party has its own idea about the kind of person who should sit on the federal bench. When the Democrats are in power, the nominations favor activists who view the Constitution as a collection of broad principles and concepts that allow judges to draw on personal beliefs and values when forming their opinions on cases. When the Republicans are in power, the nominations tend to be of originalists who strictly interpret the language of the Constitution, and who believe judges should not overturn the will of legislative majorities unless a constitutional right has been or would be violated.

The device of choice for Democrats in delaying voting on federal judicial nominations is the filibuster. Essentially, a filibuster is a tactic of delaying action on a bill by talking long enough to wear down the majority in order to win concessions or force withdrawal of the bill. The record for the longest individual speech goes to South Carolina's J. Strom Thurmond who filibustered for 24 hours and 18 minutes. Theoretically, filibusters can go on indefinitely, until enough votes are mustered, or one side gives in.

A group that cannot muster enough votes to defeat a bill by vote normally employs the tactic. Filibustering is possible in the U.S. Senate because Senate rules allow unlimited debate on a bill. A group or a single member may carry out a filibuster, and the speech need not be related to the bill under discussion. Calling for a vote to limit debate (cloture)—which requires 60 votes, the votes of three-fifths of the entire membership, in the U.S. Senate—or holding around-the-clock sessions to tire the speakers are measures used to defeat filibusters.

The Democrats threaten to use the filibuster not to defeat a bill as it has traditionally been used, but to delay action on judicial nominations, for which the filibuster has never been used. It was utilized one time to block the nomination of a sitting Justice to the Chief Justice position.

Normally, nominations are passed out of committee and voted on by the full Senate. A simple majority of 51 in favor is all that is required to confirm a nominee. If Democrats employ a filibuster, the nomination cannot be voted on unless 60 Senators vote to end the filibuster, effectively placing a higher standard on the nominee under consideration than has ever been placed on a nominee to a federal judgeship before. A nominee may have 59 senators who think he or she ought to be confirmed, a substantial majority, and certainly well beyond the normal standard, yet that nominee will not be confirmed because ending the filibuster requires 60 votes. Some believe this is unfair. I am one of them.

Republicans threaten to change Senate rules, which as the majority party they have the right and power to do, so that the filibuster may not be utilized to avoid voting on judicial nominees. Democrats cried “foul,” touting the filibuster as a valued legislative tool that is employed by both parties, which is true.

My own opinion is that Democrats ought to drop their opposition and give each nominee an open vote like other judicial nominees throughout the history of the United States. Let senators vote up or down on each nominee. If they are confirmed, fine. If not, that’s fine, too. That is the constitutional process. That is the right thing to do.

The next time the Democrats are in power, they can nominate activists to the bench to counter whatever perceived imbalance may have occurred during this period of Republican dominance.

Short of the Democrats giving up their imposition of what amounts to a super-majority requirement to confirm these nominees, Republicans need to do whatever is required to get these nominees before the full Senate so that the Senate can do its duty.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Here's a point you may not have considered

From LaShawn Barber's site: Hiring Illegal Aliens

"Do you realize how insane it is to have people taking off their shoes and sometimes submitting to pat downs at airports, when illegal aliens, who walked right across the southern border, are working in secured areas of the same airport, as well as highly sensitive areas of government facilities?"

Fair question. And some of those same illegal aliens are getting free health care, too.

The failure of the U.S. government to recognize the danger posed by the pourous southern and northern borders is malfeasance of the highest order.

New post on "Reflections"

My sister site, "Reflections," has a new post, for all who are interested.

The Bad Old Days

Thursday, May 05, 2005

A new site added to the link list

I happened on this site the other day and was fascinated by some of the topics.

If you are into oddities and such, check out Anomaly Resource.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The best the Left has to offer?

Why do they resort to such low-class behavior?

Are campus liberals so devoid of intellect that they can do no better than throw food and insults at their enemies?

Apparently not.

From The Drudge Report:

Arrest made at Coulter speech; Student arrested, charged with disorderly conduct after offensive question

Incessant heckling and shouting culminated in an arrest Tuesday night during a speech by controversialist Ann Coulter at the University of Texas at Austin.

THE TEXAN reports: Shouts became so pervasive during the question-and-answer session that Coulter informed the organizers she would no longer take questions if the hecklers were not silenced. For a time, the shouts were considerably lessened, until the issue of gay marriage was broached.

Coulter said she supported the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman on the basis that a good woman civilizes and inspires a man to strive for something better, leading to a question that was met with a stunned silence.

"You say that you believe in the sanctity of marriage," [an English sophomore] said. "How do you feel about marriages where the man does nothing but f*@k his wife up the ass?"
Yessir, that's real class.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Is Another Capitalist About to Bite the Dust?

by The Windjammer

When I was about 60-odd years younger and not nearly as smart as I am now (translate that "experienced"), I had a nodding acquaintance with a gentleman who was once nominated on his party’s ticket to run for vice president of these United States. That was his claim and I was too busy to try to research it to see if he was telling the truth. I suspect he was. The only problem was that his party was the Socialist Party and the timing just wasn’t right. He got less than 2000 votes and that was all over the U.S.

He still proclaimed that he was a Socialist. His son, who was about my age, also claimed to be a member.

We both had stores in the little town where nearly everyone supported home-owned businesses rather than the big chains like A & P and Kroger. Oh, Boy, I hope that last phrase is the only big lie I tell in this piece. I was an out-and-out capitalist and wouldn’t have denied it under any circumstances. He, too, was actually a capitalist (on a scale about two points above mine) but he would not admit it. I had two employees and he had six to eight, depending on whose fingers you were using while totting up the Workers. That was where the similarity in our capitalistic bent ended

He made money. I didn’t. I’m not sure why I didn’t, but I have a sneaking suspicion about why he did. I paid my two employees more than any similar business in town. One in fact received more pay per week than I took home to the wife and kids. I worked every day except Sunday in my little store and most of the time harder than either of my hired help. I’ll admit that much of that time was spent trying to comply with government regulations and to avoid cheating the IRS out of its blood money. That for me was just as hard as pushing a plow behind a reluctant horse on our rocky hillsides, a chore which I swore I would do no more..

He abandoned his socialistic principles when it came to the filthy lucre which he so despised. He did not want his workers to be burdened with too many finances which they were not trained to handle. If they went to the hospital, they had a choice, alms or else. There was a huge gap between his philosophical socialism and his practice as he saw fit. He was the only person I ever knew who would sell his soul for profit. OOOOPS! There’s another one.

I was in my favorite barber shop last week and the conversation turned to the troubles of Ford and GM. Ford and GM are a lot like me when they try to compete with auto makers who are subsidized in whole or in part by the government of the motherland. I just read that the subsidies may be in the form of health care provisions. At least that’s what a spokesman for GM is alleged to have said. The health care costs of employees and retirees are paid by the companies and they are hitting new highs. One estimate (it may be one of those educated wild guesses) projects as much as 15 Billion with a capital B. I jammed up my calculator trying to figure how much that is per car. GM is in deep, deep trouble and Ford is standing with its toes dangling over the grave site.

There is one thing that capitalists everywhere should be telling their socialistic workers. I coined an adage several years ago in one of my columns and it immediately became popular. I don’t know of a single instance of anyone else’s ever using it. "When you cut off the head of the goose that lays the golden eggs, the other end stops working." It may take a while for it to stop flopping, but whatever comes out of the egg port in the dying process doesn’t have much practical use.

Especially in a goose pasture.

Monday, May 02, 2005

What should be Jennifer Wilbanks’ fate?

The runaway bride is back. We’re all glad she wasn’t really kidnapped. We’re all glad she’s safe and unharmed. Now what?

What we know is that she left nearly all her earthly possessions, including her engagement ring, at home when she went jogging, and never came back. She caught a bus, and headed west to Albuquerque. Somehow, she got to the bus station, and somewhere she got the money to buy a ticket. There’s the suggestion she bought the bus ticket a week earlier in another town. True? We don’t yet know. But either she bought the ticket early, in which case this was clearly a premeditated act, or she had enough money when she went jogging to buy the ticket. If that’s true, why did she leave everything else at home? It’s pretty clear that this was not a spur of the moment decision.

We also know that she called 911 and told authorities that she had been kidnapped. That was a lie. What was the purpose of this lie? This is no kid. If it was a 20-year-old girl, you might be able to excuse all of this as youthful stupidity. But Jennifer Wilbanks is 32; she’s no immature little girl. And if she did indeed get cold feet, was it really necessary to put her fiancĂ©, her family, and her friends, through days of hell wondering if she was alive or hurt? Efforts to locate Ms. Wilbanks must have cost thousands of dollars, and diverted some law enforcement resources away from real cases to look for this woman.

So, some questions arise:

  • Will sympathy take over, and she will be excused for her crimes and indiscretions? “The poor little thing. She needs our understanding,” you can hear the apologists saying.
  • Will she be charged with a misdemeanor? This is the very least she should get. A stiff fine to pay for the money she caused officials and family to spend looking for her.
  • Will she be charged with a felony? This might be more appropriate. A fine, some jail time or probation might get the point across to others who might try the same thing.
  • Will her fiancĂ© still want a relationship with her? I can’t imagine a more vicious slap in the face before the wedding than what was done to him. But love causes people to do strange things.
It will be very interesting to watch this situation play out. I think it will tell us a lot about ourselves.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Health care and the American automobile

"[T]here is more health care than steel in a GM vehicle's price tag," columnist George Will says in a recent column.

Another excerpt: "GM can still develop splendid cars: today's Cadillacs may be the best American cars ever built. But every dollar GM spends on health care cannot be spent on developing cars -- hybrids, for example -- more enticing to buyers than some new offerings like the Pontiac G6 and Buick LaCrosse."

Read the entire column.

Hubble's glorious images

I have been fascinated by outer space for decades. Photos like these from the Hubble Space Telescope are part of the reason.

The top photo is of the Eagle Nebula, Messier 16.

The bottom photo is of the Whirlpool Galaxy, Messier 51.

Oooops! I didn't think about that

Congressional and other Democrats are dancing on one leg these days, having shot themselves in the other foot while trying to shoot down Tom DeLay. You remember Mr. DeLay, the Republican leader in the House who has become the target of upstanding Democrats for being a particularly effective leader. The Democrats are upset about Mr. DeLay having been notified by the House Ethics Committee that he had walked along just this side of the border between right and wrong not just once, but three times.

This should serve as a warning to Republicans that just staying on the right side of wrongdoing isn’t good enough. You have to be well this side of the line, or you’re guilty of something. If not actual wrongdoing, well then, it certainly is questionable behavior, and you’d probably better step down from your position, just so things don’t look bad.

In their eagerness to take down Tom DeLay, and with the failure to first assess the likely results of their actions that is so typical of Democrats, they have unleashed intense scrutiny by the media into Congressional travel arrangements and, horrors, a whole passel of Congresspersons are now rushing to file paper work on trips they’ve taken, or to revise previously submitted paper work that contained “errors” in the section where they have to tell who paid for their trip.

Even the prim and proper leader of the Democrat’s DeLay attack, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the Minority Leader, has run into some embarrassing problems explaining about mistakes on her own paper work. She is not the only Democrat with this problem. This is the appropriate time to remind the Democrats of the Biblical admonition to “let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

Is it still legal to quote the Bible to liberal Democrats?