Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Time to take our nation back and impeach those bastards..

I just signed an online petition to impeach the SCOTUS members involved with the overthrow of the Constitution. There has been a lot of (well-deserved) bellyaching going on after that infamous decision. Here's an opportunity to possibly do something about it. Click here.

*Hat tip to Faithmouse.

Bush Scores a Home Run ....but the usual suspects slither from under their rocks..

President Bush hit a home run last night, flawlessly outlining the reasons for staying the course in Iraq. But of course, the usual suspects are out, seditiously doing their best to undermine our efforts:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congressional critics of President Bush's stay-the-course commitment to the war in Iraq argued Wednesday that the administration lacks sufficient troops on the ground to mount a successful counterinsurgency.

And Democrats in particular criticized Bush for again raising the September 11 attacks as a justification for the protracted fight in Iraq after the president proclaimed anew that he plans to keep U.S. forces there as long as necessary to ensure peace.

Urging patience on an American public showing doubts about his Iraq policy, Bush mentioned the deadly 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington five times during a 28-minute address Tuesday night at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Some Democrats quickly accused him of reviving a questionable link to the war in Iraq -- a rationale that Bush originally used to help justify launching strikes against Baghdad in the spring of 2003.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi accused Bush of demonstrating a willingness "exploit the sacred ground of 9/11, knowing that there is no connection between 9/11 and the war in Iraq."

First of all, President Bush made it very clear last night that the number of boots on the ground in Iraq was directly proportional to the number needed:
Some Americans ask me, if completing the mission is so important, why don't you send more troops? If our commanders on the ground say we need more troops, I will send them. But our commanders tell me they have the number of troops they need to do their job. Sending more Americans would undermine our strategy of encouraging Iraqis to take the lead in this fight. And sending more Americans would suggest that we intend to stay forever, when we are, in fact, working for the day when Iraq can defend itself and we can leave. As we determine the right force level, our troops can know that I will continue to be guided by the advice that matters: the sober judgment of our military leaders. (emphasis mine)
The problem with the dems is that the fact that the war on terror, and in particular the war in Iraq is a WAR is at best immaterial. The fact that they can open the Viet Nam playbook and use the war as a political football is what they are most interested in. The lessons of Viet Nam are clear: Let politicians control the war, we lose. President Bush is well aware of that lesson. Too bad the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are willing to sacrifice more American lives on the altar of political opportunism.

Second, the link between this war and our overall strategy post 9-11 could not be more apparent:
As Iraqis make progress toward a free society, the effects are being felt beyond Iraq's borders. Before our coalition liberated Iraq, Libya was secretly pursuing nuclear weapons. Today the leader of Libya has given up his chemical and nuclear weapons programs. Across the broader Middle East, people are claiming their freedom. In the last few months, we've witnessed elections in the Palestinian Territories and Lebanon. These elections are inspiring democratic reformers in places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Our strategy to defend ourselves and spread freedom is working. The rise of freedom in this vital region will eliminate the conditions that feed radicalism and ideologies of murder, and make our nation safer.
But Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and "Swimmer" Kennedy, blinded by pure political ambition and opportunism, continue to treat this war as nothing more than an opportunity to "get Bush"; to hell with the consequences. One can only be thankful that these seditious traitors were not in power during WWII; for our homes may very well have been sporting lampshades courtesy of our cousin Jaime, and soldiers may have been very well been doing the goosestep down Main Street.

For everything else, there's the race card

It appears that Oprah Winfrey was denied access to Hermes of Paris 15 minutes after the shop closed:
The store said the incident occurred on June 14 around 6:45 p.m., about 15 minutes after the store closed. It said Winfrey and her team arrived at a time when "a private PR event was being set up inside."

Harpo Productions spokeswoman Michelle McIntyre said Winfrey "will discuss her 'crash moment' when her show returns from hiatus in September."

"Crash" is a film dealing with race relations. The phrase "crash moment" refers to situations where a party feels discriminated against on the basis of skin color.
The "crash moment" for me in this case is the realization that Oprah believes she is due preferential treatment from a store after hours simply because she is Oprah Winfrey. If I am the store manager at Hermes, I can choose to let a customer in after hours or not. If you or I went to Hermes, and the store was closed, there may have been a clerk that opened the door, stated that the store was closed, and that would be that. We would either choose to go back the next day or take our business elsewhere. But not Oprah! She is denied preferential treatment and immediately plays the race card. Oh the drama!!
The New York Daily News cited sources close to Winfrey as saying the talk show host was first rebuffed by a clerk and then a store manager. The Daily News reported Winfrey had gone to the store to buy a watch for singer Tina Turner, her dining partner that night.
She was rebuffed? What the hell does she expect? She's shopping in Paris for cripes sake! Parisians (or as I prefer to call them, parisites) are equal opportunity jerks. They rebuff everybody (look what they did to George Bush).

I can just envision a new ad for the multiculturalist left:
  • Handbag from Gucci $4500
  • Lunch at Cafe d' nuit $275
  • Using the "Race Card" for being denied access at an exclusive store in Paris after hours? priceless.
For shopping there's American Express. For everything else, there's the Race Card®.

Don't leave home without it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Sweet justice for the Justice

A land developer is proposing to utilize the right of eminent domain to seize the home belonging to none other than Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter. This from World Net Daily:
According to a statement from Clements, the proposed development, called "The Lost Liberty Hotel" will feature the "Just Desserts Café" and include a museum, open to the public, "featuring a permanent exhibit on the loss of freedom in America." Instead of a Gideon's Bible in each room, guests will receive a free copy of Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged," the statement said.

Clements says the hotel must be built on this particular piece of land because it is a unique site – "being the home of someone largely responsible for destroying property rights for all Americans."

Souter has claimed Weare as his home since he moved there as an 11-year-old boy with his family.

"This is not a prank" said Clements. "The town of Weare has five people on the Board of Selectmen. If three of them vote to use the power of eminent domain to take this land from Mr. Souter we can begin our hotel development."
Gives new meaning to the term, "You reap what you sow," doesn't it? Clements is gathering a group of investors and many have already expressed interest in the venture. Count me in!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Dead White Men 3 : Multiculturalism 2

This past Wednesday, June 22, the Bord of Directors of the Berkeley Unified School District voted 3 - 2 to retain the name of Jefferson Elementary by rejecting a petition to change the name of that school to Sequoia Elementary. The petition was motivated by widespread community resentment toward the Jefferson name arising from the historical fact that Thomas Jefferson was a holder of negro slaves. I do not, however, consider this modest victory to be of any significance when a great many people formulate their opinions of historical events without consideration for the context in which those events transpired.

It is undeniable that the history of our federation will be forever tainted with the stain of slavery as will the reputations of those of our founding fathers who where once the owners of slaves. The question is not if such men where terribly flawed, they were; the question is whether or not the glaring deficiencies in their character should be allowed to completely overshadow their indispensable contribution to the cause of liberty. These Dead White Men, the literal icons of American history, are now continually derided by an increasingly secular society that has embraced multiculturalism as a moral good, an almost religious truth.

The American Revolution and the instantiation of our federal government did not end slavery or oppression, but these events did have a profoundly beneficial and lasting impact on our history and the history of the world. These Dead White Men created the first modern republic which has been the model, the template for liberty, from which every subsequent liberal government, respecting the rights of individual people, has been inspired. It is not just hundreds of millions of Americans who have benefited from their passionate love of liberty, it is all the people of the world who now live within free societies. The American Revolution was that catalytic event, that essential action, which dramatically altered the course of history in a time when despotism, slavery and oppression where the norm.

That Dead White Man, in whose honor Jefferson Elementary is named, penned The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America which is arguably the single most important political document in all of modern history. His eloquent words are the most perfect expression of those core ideals from which all free peoples have derived and sustained their sacred liberty.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed, -- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

When, in the name of multiculturalism, we ignore these words because they were written by a Dead White Man who once owned slaves, we hazard the very freedoms, our sacred liberties, that these words helped to create. Thomas Jefferson was born into a society in which slavery was routinely accepted. He was born into an affluent family and inherited his father's estate at a tender age, an estate that including a significant number of slaves. Thomas Jefferson was a flawed man living in a flawed time, just as I am a flawed man, but he left this world a far better place than when he entered it. Would that every American, every person of character regardless of race, nationality, gender or religion, could have as significant and as beneficial an impact on the future course of human events as did Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, James Madison or any of the other Dead White Men, our founding fathers, who first gave birth to the very flower of liberty that now flourishes on this Earth. If the cost of embracing multiculturalism is to be the rejection of the collective wisdom, the indispensable contributions, of these great men, then I have no choice but to decline to pay such a terrible price as I would rather spend my last breath and shed my last drop of blood defending the ideals of freedom and liberty that these great men gifted to the world then to accept a view of history distorted by an ugly desire to impose some modern standard of multicultural ethics on the events of the past.

Not since that day when the Christ Jesus redeemed man from the damnation of his sins has any man, or group of men, done more for the cause of liberty than those Dead White Men we know as our founding fathers.

Friday, June 24, 2005

List of things to do....

  1. March in my last parade of the summer (perhaps I'll see King there and rope him into joining our merry band once and for all).
  2. Head over to Detroit Lakes tomorrow afternoon for some R & R...
  3. Head back to Chicago to seal up some family business..
  4. Drive my dad to see his sister in Indiana...
  5. Return by Thursday evening next week, where I'll be singing the national anthem for the home team.
  6. Try to blog during the midst of everything.

Have a great weekend and a better week!

I've got to start listening to Paul Harvey more often

I grew up listening to Paul Harvey, and had been listening to him since I was 11 years old. I can certainly credit Mr. Harvey with instilling in me many of my conservative ideals. During the late 80s, however, it appeared that Mr. Harvey was getting more liberal in his views, and my listening became more and more sporadic. that is, until Nihilist transcripted a broadcast Mr. Harvey made yesterday (23 June):

I've been choking on something for weeks. Lets get it, up and get it out, for what it's worth. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Winston Churchill said that the American people, he said the American people he said, and this is a direct quote, "We didn't come this this far because we are made of sugar candy." That was his response to the attack on Pearl Harbor. That we didn't come this far because we are made of sugar candy. And that reminder was taken seriously and we proceeded to develop and deliver the bomb even though roughly 150,000 men, women and children perished in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

With a single blow, World War II was over. NewYork'ss September 11 Pearl Harbor, Winston Churchill was not here to remind us that we didn't come this far because we are made of sugar candy. So following the New York disaster we mustered our humanity, we gave old pals a pass even though men and money from Saudi Arabia were largely responsible for the devastation of New York and Pennsylvania and our Pentagon. We called Saudi Arabia our partners against terrorism and we sent men with rifles into Afghanistan and Iraq and we kept our best weapons in their silos. Even now, we're standing there dying, daring to do nothing decisive because we've declared ourselves to be better than our terrorist enemies, more moral, more civilized. Our image is at stake, we insist.

But we didn't come this far because we are made of sugar candy. Once upon a time we uh, elbowed our way onto and into this continent by giving smallpox infected blankets to Native Americans. Yes, that was biological warfare. And we used every other weapon we could get our hands on to grab this land from whomever and we grew prosperous. And yes, we greased the skids with the sweat of slaves.

And so it goes with most great nation-states, which feeling guilty about their savage pasts, eventually civilize themselves out of business and wind up invaded and ultimately dominated by the lean, hungry, up and coming who are not made of sugar candy.

Paul Harvey - Good Day!
While browsing the site, I listened to today's broadcast and came along this gem:
American voters can watch themselves these days in the mirror of California. Californians had wearied of politicians; insisting they wanted courageous, hard dollar pragmatists to lead them, a pay-as-you-go statesman for governor. So they found one. And they elected him (laugh) and today his popularity rating is down to 37%--and this relates to that:

The Heritage Foundation has been auditing us, to discover that Americans more than ever before depend on government--depend on government to pay for their education, their health care, and their housing, yet more Americans than ever before pay NO income tax--NONE--ZIP, ZERO-- nada!

Federal spending on education is up 150 percent. Federal spending on health care is up 48%. On housing 27% and yet-- 42.5 million Americans pay NO income tax. Who do? You do!
Mr. Harvey is getting on in years, and is getting only sharper. It will be a true loss to this nation when his voice no longer graces the airwaves.

Who was that masked blogger?... welcome, Richard

The previous post was written by a wonderfully intelligent friend of mine, Richard. Richard, who hails from Texas, is a veritable walking encyclopedia of knowledge, and is wise beyond anyone's estimation. Look for more of Richard's posts to come.

Fundamentalism, Christianity and Islam. A peaceful religion?

Not long ago, I encountered a typical statement from a liberal describing Muslim terrorists as "... fundamentalist, extremist ...", but also claiming that Islamic scholarship does not support terrorism.

"While some fundamentalist, extremist Muslims may interpret the Koran to support their terrorist agenda, most Muslim scholars do not support that interpretation"

If Islam is basically a peaceful religion as many claim, then any fundamentalist, that is a person that accepts the basic of fundamental principles of a religion, would also be a peaceful person and Islamic fundamentalism should be encouraged or even celebrated by any who honestly desire peace. What is definitely true is that either Islam is not a peaceful religion, or Islamic terrorists are not fundamentalist. If a core principle of the Muslim faith is peace, then it is rather foolish to label any Muslim terrorist as a fundamentalist.

How then do liberals continually associate Islamic fundamentalism with terrorism while maintaining that we should be tolerant of the Muslim faith because it is a peaceful religion? It is my view that a great many American liberals posess a preprogrammed tendency to distrust any person who is a strong adherent to religious principles as modern liberalism espouses a set of secular values that are in continual conflict with fundamental Christian principles. Thus, fundamentalism, or any strict adherence to a set of religious moral principles, is considered undesireable regardless of the actual religious principles that a person is adhering to. In this manner "fundamentalism" becomes a negative label to be attached to any religiously motivated behavior without regard to whether or not that behavior actually is in agreement with the fundamental principles of the specific religion that is professed. To describe the Islamic terrorist as a fundamentalist when one believes that the Muslim faith is a peaceful religion is to reveal a more general distrust of all religious fundamentalism.

I offer this premise for the consideration of the community; if a religion is basically good, then fundamentalists of that faith, those who accept and adhere to the fundamental principles of that religion, are of necessity also basically good, and if a fundamentalist is considered to be evil, than the religion they profess must also, by it's very nature, be evil.

As I think my premise is without error, then I must conclude that those who rail against Christian fundamentalism are demonstrating a general contempt for the fundamental principles of the Christian religion, that by viewing Christian fundamentalism to be evil, they also view the Christian religion to be evil. To such people, Christianity only becomes acceptable when fundamental Christian doctrines are subordinated to secular moral standards, but such bastardizations of the core Christian principles would create a new and distinct system of religious belief that is "Christian" in name but not in character.

Honest men might well disagree as to what are the fundamental or core principles of the Christian faith, but any man who respects Christianity would not find fundamentalism to be objectionable. Fundamentalism is not a negative descriptor to be applied contemptuously, nor would such a respectful man describe splinter groups like the Christian Identity movement as fundamentalists. The careful observer can examine in what manner the word fundamentalism is used to discriminate between those who are genuinely respectful of the Christian faith, and those who only make a pretense of respect out of a desire to appear tolerant of our religious liberties. In this manner, the use of the word fundamentalism becomes a window in the true heart of any man, revealing both an honest and sincere respect for religious conviction, or a general animosity to the same.

The liberal is greatly inclined to describe Muslim terrorists as fundamentalists while making the claim that those very same terrorists have distorted or misinterpreted the principles of peaceful Islam, which would of course mean that terrorists are not true followers of Islam; that they are not fundamentalists.

"You see, it is the strict adherence to the literal interpretation of the text of the Bible, Koran, etc.. Of course in the case of fundamentalist Muslims the situation is also complicated by the low level of literacy among some of their followers. Consequently, those who can not actually read the Koran accept what they are told is the literal interpetation of the word of God."

I would note that this also demonstrates a general lack of knowledge about Islam as most Muslims can recite the Qur'an from memory in Arabic, even those who are illiterate. Also, the Qur'an is only half of the sacred writings that are the center of Islamic theology with the other half being the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad [saas]. It is not unlike The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints having both the Bible and the Book of Mormon. The Qur'an is considered the literal Word of Allah and the Sunnah was inspired by Allah but the words are those of the Prophet [saas]. Also, Muslims are very strict about preserving the meaning of the Qur'an and consider even a translation of the spoken words of Allah into a language other then Arabic to be an "interpretation" which is why the Qur'an is memorized in it's original Arabic as it was delivered directly to Prophet Muhammad [saas].

Islamic scholarship is also very extensive and has a very long and interesting history. It encompasses five schools of law madh'habs, four of which are Sunni, Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i, and Hanbali and the last which is the Wahhabi or Salafi school which is dominate in Saudi Arabia and influential in much of the world.

The question then becomes, are acts of terrorism permissible under any of the schools of Islamic law?

I am certainly not qualified to provide a definitive answer to that question, but, clearly, neither are the vast majority of liberals who consider Muslim terrorist to be acting outside of the normal character of the Islamic faith. A Fatwa, a legal pronouncement in Islam issued by a religious law specialist, by the Mufti Sheikh Faysal Mawlawi examined the issue of whether or not suicide was permissible in martyr operations as suicide is generally forbidden by the Islamic faith. "Martyr operations are not suicide and should not be deemed as unjustifiable means of endangering one's life. Allah says in the Glorious Qura'n: "And spend of your substance in the cause of Allah, and make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction; but do good; for Allah loveth those who do good."(Al-Baqara:195).

A discussion of the Fatwa can be found at the online Fatwa bank at

Wa`alykum As-Salamu wa rahmatullahi wabarakaatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear brother in Islam, we appreciate your forwarding the question to us, with aim of getting acquainted with the teachings of your religion. This is what is required of all Muslims, to strive hard in seeking knowledge with which he will benefit Muslim Ummah.

First of all, we have to bear in mind that when we, Muslims, state that Islam is a religion of peace, we are not trying to prove something unreasonable or solve a crossword puzzle. Rather, we are just stating a fact backed by clear-cut evidence and unquestionable proofs. Even we don’t need to state this fact, for Islam, in itself, is self-explanatory, in terms of its meaning, its noble teachings and the core of its message conveyed by the Prophets Allah sent to mankind. At the same time, all peoples believe that peace and security should be attained through justice and equity.

As regards your question, the following is the fatwa issued by Sheikh Faysal Mawlawi, deputy chairman of European Council for Fatwa and Research:

"Martyr operations are not suicide and should not be deemed as unjustifiable means of endangering one's life. Allah says in the Glorious Qura'n: "And spend of your substance in the cause of Allah, and make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction; but do good; for Allah loveth those who do good." (Al-Baqara:195).

The verse obviously indicates that failing to spend in Allah's Cause is like casting oneself into ruin. That is the reason behind the revelation of the noble verse. Reviewing the Islamic rule: "Words should be construed as imparting general meanings regardless of their specific occasions", the meaning of the afore-mentioned verse is bound to extend to include any negligence of a religious duty; i.e. forsaking a religious duty entails casting oneself into ruin. The same applies to committing sins.

Therefore, it's quite an abysmal analysis for someone to focus on the aforementioned verse through a narrow a perspective, without taking into consideration all relevant points.

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) strictly forbade suicide and made it clear that anyone who commits suicide would be cast into hell. But in such case suicide means Muslim's killing himself without any lawfully accepted reason or killing himself to escape pain or social problems.

On the other hand, in martyr operations, the Muslim sacrifices his own life for the Sake of performing a religious duty, which is Jihad against the enemy as scholars say. Accordingly, a Muslim's intention when committing suicide is certainly different from his intention when performing a military operation and dying in the Cause of Almighty Allah. So it is natural that the religious legal status would differ in each case, as Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) says in a Hadith: "Actions are but by intention, and every man shall have but that which he intended."

This means that martyr operations are totally different from the forbidden suicide. Concerning the Palestinians, they carry out the operations in showing resistance to the aggression launched by the enemy who has occupied their land, destroyed their houses, desecrated their sacred places and driven about four million of them out of their houses, replacing them with even larger numbers of Jewish settlements. The enemy relies on sophisticated military equipments while, at the same time, denying the Palestinians their basic human rights, killing their women, children and men mercilessly, and rendering the Palestinians powerless and incapable of defending themselves – even all the Arab countries face the same fate, lacking necessary weapons.

So the Palestinians have nothing in their disposal but stones which they throw at their enemy in order to defend their country. This, despite its indication of a high morale, cannot deter the enemy this way. So the Palestinians resort to martyr operations, in which the martyr blows himself/herself up, sacrificing his life for the sake of his country and inflicting serious but reciprocal harms on the enemy.

In the light of the above-mentioned facts, I believe that those missions are a sacred duty carried out in form of self-defence and resisting aggression and injustice. So whoever is killed in such missions is a martyr, may Allah bless him with high esteem. I call on every Palestinian not to hesitate in carrying out such operations as long as they are the only way of making Jihad and are made with an intention of sacrificing one's life for the Sake of one's religion and nation. I wish that other scholars who hesitate concerning such a matter to reconsider their views according to what I have said and what other scholars have said. May Allah guide us all to what is right."

Also, it’ll be beneficial to read:

Justice... for Peace and Security.

Allah Almighty knows best.

What is interesting is that Islam is described as a peaceful religion but then goes on to justify suicide bombings as the fulfillment of a religious duty.

We can also note how Islamic suicide bombers are not outcasts from their own societies, ridiculed and repudiated by the communities from which they arise. Rather they are literally poster boys, and now girls, plastered on the walls of Palestinian schools.

An ignorant person might read of the Prophet's [saas] general prohibition against suicide and easily conclude that the terrorist of 9.11 where acting outside of the principles of the Islamic faith, but a deeper inspection clearly reveals that this is not the case when participating in a Jihad.

Is Islam a peaceful religion? Perhaps when it is not engaged in a holy war, a Jihad against Israel and the West.

Slick Willie would be envious....Lindbergh quite busy in his off-time...

Being a Minnesota resident, this may sound somewhat blasphemous, but the more I have found out about the life of Charles Lindbergh, the less impressed I am with him. When I visited the museum with my then second-grade son, my eyes were opened to information that I was theretofore unaware of, that lent itself to somewhat of a "yuck factor." While his accomplishments are undoubtedly noteworthy (the first soloist to cross the Atlantic, inventing the artificial heart) there are many aspects of a checkered past that certainly cloud his achievements. Specifically, Lindbergh was a Hitler apologist who opposed the U.S. entry into what he termed a "Jewish war." Despite his anti-semitism, Lindbergh continued to be treated as a hero, and was appointed to posts of honor in both democrat and republican administrations--a kick in the face to everyone who suffered under Hitler's regime.

Lindbergh's character deficiencies are the reason why this latest allegation comes as no real surprise to me. Having three simultaneous mistresses and fathering seven children out of wedlock seems somehow to be in character for him. Little Falls, understandably, is having a bit of trouble recognizing the flaws of its favorite son:
"It has nothing to do with what he accomplished," said Little Falls resident Patricia Nicoski, who was showing some Chicago relatives around the tree-shaded site recently. "His moral standards are his own business."
The Lindbergh home does generate a considerable amount of tourism every year. But it is time for historians to recognize that Lindbergh's blatant anti-semitism and kowtowing to one of the 20th century's most infamous despots should relegate him to much less than hero-status.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

On being Bold....

One thing about Blogger that I haven't been able to figure out is the fact that every once in a while, the text in all my posts turns bold, and I can't seem to correct it. Then after a week or so, the "all bold, all the time" text turns back to non-bold text. I've contacted Blogger about this anomaly, but they offer no helpful advice in this regard. Anyway, just to let you know that the all-bold all the time text is not my intention. Stay tuned.

The Captain weighs in on Rove

Captain Ed has a great commentary regarding Karl Rove's criticisms of the Democrats' responses to the war on terror, which have every basis in fact:
"Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers," Mr. Rove, the senior political adviser to President Bush, said at a fund-raiser in Midtown for the Conservative Party of New York State.
Mr. Rove also said American armed forces overseas were in more jeopardy as a result of remarks last week by Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, who compared American mistreatment of detainees to the acts of "Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime - Pol Pot or others."

"Has there ever been a more revealing moment this year?" Mr. Rove asked. "Let me just put this in fairly simple terms: Al Jazeera now broadcasts the words of Senator Durbin to the Mideast, certainly putting our troops in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals."

Said Captain Ed regarding a demand for a retraction from Harry Reid:

Would this be the same Harry Reid who called George Bush a loser and a liar, and later said that he would only retract the "loser" comment? Could this be the same party that has its chairman calling Republicans people who never did an honest day's work in their lives, the party of "unfriendly ... white Christians" and who "hates Republicans and everything they stand for"? Surely the party that has stood up and demanded civil trials for captured terrorists instead of the military detention they require and bemoaned the loss os sympathy that the world had for us on 9/11 cannot have taken offense at Rove's assertion that "liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers."
Read the entire post here.

The Constitution is Dead. Supreme Court re-writes 5th Amendment.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that it is indeed permissible for state and municipal governments to seize property and give it to private concerns:
The 5-4 ruling _ assailed by dissenting Justice Sandra Day O'Connor as handing "disproportionate influence and power" to the well-heeled in America was a defeat for some Connecticut residents whose homes are slated for destruction to make room for an office complex. They had argued that cities have no right to take their land except for projects with a clear public use, such as roads or schools, or to revitalize blighted areas.

As a result, cities now have wide power to bulldoze residences for projects such as shopping malls and hotel complexes in order to generate tax revenue.
Why is it that the Constitution is constantly being re-written by these black-robed charlatans? The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution states
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.(emphasis mine)
As a result of this decision, any government decision for what "public use" entails is good enough for the Supremes. Forget what our Founding Fathers said about the sanctity of private property:

John Rutledge: "Property was certainly the principal object of Society." [9]

Alexander Hamilton: "One great objt. of Govt. is personal protection of the security of property." [10]

John Adams: "Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist." [11]

"The right of property," Arthur Lee of Virginia declared, "is the guardian of every other right, and to deprive a people of this, is in fact to deprive them of their liberty." [12]

In a letter published on April 7, 1774 in the London Gazetteer, which sought to explain to the British the reasons for the Boston Tea Party, the unknown author said:

“...for the end of Government is the preservation of property, and there can be no property where there is an arbitrary power of taxation...[T]he law of nature, being founded in reason and justice, admits of property; for the better preservation of which, and for the use and enjoyment of it in peace and quiet, men entered into society. If therefore, any man, or body of men, claim a right to take away at pleasure from other men their property, and to dispose of it as they please[,] such claim tends to a dissolution of society, and is repugnant also to the law of nature, as it would place mankind in a worse condition than the state of nature, wherein they had liberty to defend their right against the injuries of others.” [13]

But let's not have the original intent of the Constitution get in the way of tyranny by the government. Dont' let a little thing like the 5th Amendment get in the way of the continued march of the government's usurpation of power. This opens the door to any developmental entity with deep pockets and corresponding political ties to railroad their will over ordinary citizens. And the Constitution won't be around to protect them. Said Justice O'Connor in a dissenting opinion:
"Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random," she wrote. "The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms."
Justice Scalia, Justice Thomas, and Justice Rehnquist joined Justice O'Connor in that dissent (isn't it interesting how the more liberal elements of the court sided against the ordinary citizen and for big business? I thought liberals were the champions of the downtrodden!).

Yes, dear readers, as of today, June 23, 2005, we have stopped living in the United States of America. Instead, we have started living in a strange land where the Constitution no longer holds sway in protecting the rights of its citizens or limiting the power of government. If the 5th Amendment can be re-written; indeed if the 1st Amendment itself can be rewritten; the Constitution is, as of today, rendered meaningless, overthrown by a judicial coup. The final nail has been driven in the coffin of liberty as we have known it. Perhaps it is time to start fighting to take it back.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Let's just call them spelunkers, ok?.... Repubs "cave in" to dem S.S. fairy tales.

What drives the pathological instinct in Republicans that makes them think they need to "cave in," thinking that something magical will happen that would make the democrats and MSM think favorably of them again?
Democrats swiftly accused Republicans of mounting a fresh attempt to privatize the Depression-era program. "This is privatization, plain and simple," said Rep. Sander Levin (search), D-Mich. "Just like President Bush's plan, this proposal would take money from Social Security to set up private accounts."

In a blow to the White House, Republicans said their measure will not contain any of the politically painful cost-cutting steps needed to ensure long-term solvency for Social Security — higher taxes, an increase in the retirement age or curbs in benefits.

Bush has made solvency and personal accounts financed from payroll taxes the twin goals of his call to overhaul the program. Despite an extensive nationwide campaign, he has failed to generate significant public support for his proposals.

Democrats are virtually united in their opposition and are preparing to use the issue in the 2006 midterm elections.

While Bush has called for using current payroll tax receipts to create a permanent new option for personal accounts, Republicans opted for a different approach.

And after weeks of bucking political headwinds, they said their proposal would strengthen Social Security. "It does stop the raid of the Social Security surplus," said Rep. Clay Shaw, R-Fla., echoing claims made by numerous Republicans.

Officials said that under the proposal, for an initial three-year period, surplus Social Security funds would be used to establish individual accounts for willing younger workers. The money would be in the form of "marketable Treasury bonds," according to a written description, with the interest rate set by the government.

Unlike current law, according to Rep. Jim McCrery, R-La., the effect would be to create a financial obligation to individual workers by name. He contrasted that to the current arrangement, which he described as the government promising, "We're going to pay you these (Social Security) benefits and we're going to get them from somewhere."

The GOP approach "effectively seals that money off for Social Security and just Social Security," he said.

Officials said that for the initial three-year period at least, the Treasury would continue to make use of the surplus Social Security funds to pay for other programs — just as it has for years.

The legislation will establish an advisory board to recommend changes to Congress to take effect after three years, officials said.

She said Democrats "stand ready to begin bipartisan discussions on protecting Social Security solvency, but this cannot begin until Republicans begin talking about ways to make Social Security stronger, not weaker."(pardon me while I gag again)
As you can tell from the logo half way down the bottom of this page, I am a big supporter of the Bush Social Security Plan. You know, the one that offers the option of investing part of your money into private accounts? As I have stated earlier, the issue to democrats has nothing to do with privatizing accounts, really. To wit:
President Clinton:

"[I]f You Don’t Do Anything, One Of Two Things Will Happen. Either It Will Go Broke And You Won’t Ever Get It, Or If We Wait Too Long To Fix It, The Burden On Society … Of Taking Care Of Our Generation’s Social Security Obligations Will Lower Your Income And Lower Your Ability To Take Care Of Your Children To A Degree That Most Of Us Who Are You Parents Think Would Be Horribly Wrong And Unfair To You And Unfair To The Future Prospects Of The United States.” (President Bill Clinton, Remarks At Georgetown University On Social Security, Washington, DC, 2/9/98)


Harry Reid:

...told "Fox News Sunday" in 1999 that "most of us have no problem with taking a small amount of the Social Security proceeds and putting it in the private sector."
When asked whether people should be allowed to make those investment decisions rather than the government, Mr. Reid said, "I think it's important that we look, and I'm totally in favor of [doing] this. And, in fact, there are a couple of programs now that we're taking a look at to see if it will work with Social Security."
The issue to them is simply the fact that the idea is being implemented by a Republican administration. Social Security (as Fox News calls, a "depression era program") has always been a cause celebre among the democrats. If it is actually fixed, who will need democrats? As I have written before
If successful social security reform is enacted by a Republican president (and there is no doubt that privatization will outperform traditional s.s. by a wide margin), the DNC's collective gander is as cooked and eaten as a Thanksgiving dinner in an inner-city soup kitchen. Social security has been a political sacred cow and football that belonged solely to the DNC since the 1930s. The prospect of a "looming" crisis has always been near and dear to the heart of the DNC, much like a proverbial damsel in distress. The looming social security crisis was always there, like an old trusty shotgun, ready and willing to aim at wascally wepublicans and others who may be in their political crosshairs. Now along comes a REPUBLICAN who will finally actually RESCUE their fair damsel in their stead? Not if they can help it. For if social security is fixed, who will need the democrats?
The democrats have never been about fixing anything. They *need* crises. If crises are ameliorated, they have lost their 'raison d'etre' and another weapon they could otherwise use for scaring people into voting for them will be taken away. But taking the social security issue away from the democrats is not taking away just any old weapon.. It's taking away their MAIN weapon; their howitzer, and supplanting it with kryptonite. It will be much like throwing water on the wicked witch of the West... and the result will be the same
King makes some astute observations here

My whole point is, why don't the Republicans see this? When one is right, and is doing the right thing, why the incessant and pathological need to sink to the lowest common denominator? Do they actually think for one second that the dems and the MSM will all of a sudden like them and "be friends"? To wit:
Democrats argued that Republicans were making only a cosmetic change in Bush's proposal. "One approach would create risky private accounts directly from a worker's paycheck, and the other would finance risky private accounts from Social Security payroll taxes when they reached the federal Treasury," said House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California.
Democrats are virtually united in their opposition and are preparing to use the issue in the 2006 midterm elections.
Democrats swiftly accused Republicans of mounting a fresh attempt to privatize the Depression-era program. "This is privatization, plain and simple," said Rep. Sander Levin (search), D-Mich. "Just like President Bush's plan, this proposal would take money from Social Security to set up private accounts."
Just begs the question...How many more spelunking expeditions will we need to undergo before the Republicans finally grow a spine and act once again like the majority party?

Okay, okay... I bit...

I got this from King who got it from Sandy
Your IQ Is 130

Your Logical Intelligence is Exceptional
Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius
Your Mathematical Intelligence is Genius
Your General Knowledge is Exceptional

I didn't quite make the mark like King did, but still scored fairly respectably ;)

Assimilate or hit the road.... Americans are getting fed up.

Poll shows huge majority want foreigners to integrate, learn English for citizenship.
Americans to immigrants:
Get with the melting pot
Poll shows huge majority want foreigners to integrate, learn English for citizenship
Posted: June 22, 2005
5:00 p.m. Eastern

© 2005

Two-thirds of Americans believe immigrants should integrate into the U.S. culture, according to a new poll.

The Rasmussen Reports survey found that just 17 percent believe immigrants should maintain the culture of their home country while 67 percent believe newcomers should "adopt America's culture, language, and heritage."
This is refreshing news, and should send a clear message to any democrat (or RINO) who has bought into the multiculturalism mentality. And before you go dismissing myself (or 67 percent of Americans, for that matter) as narrow-minded bigots, consider this: What is to be gained via the bulkanization of the American landscape? Does allowing immigrants to continue to be ignorant of our society, its langauge, and customs do them any real favors? Or does it only serve to keep them stupid, subservient and, in turn, democrat voters (the liberal version of "barefoot and pregnant")? I'm all for legal immigrants succeeding and living the American dream and promise. But that will never happen without the access to society that assimilation affords. Multiculturalism is just another in the long list of empty utopian promises designed to keep the masses stupid, dependent, and on the limousine liberal plantation. It's heartening to see that the vast majority of Americans are waking up to that fact.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Will the lunacy ever end?? They need to be tried for sedition.

The Minneapolis Red Star Tribune has gone off the deep end in an editorial in defense of "Osama Bin" Dick Durbin:
Durbin was spot on in his assessment of Guantanamo. That's why he was so roundly attacked. He told the truth. And his message is of vital importance; the United States is better than this.(emphases added)

The issue of whether Durbin's rhetoric crossed a line is small potatoes compared with the undeniable truth that American treatment of its prisoners has crossed many, many lines -- of morality, of international law, of practical benefit.

But instead of discussing what goes on at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and other prison camps, the right would prefer to get into a senseless argument about whether "we" are better than the Nazis or Saddam Hussein or the Soviets or Pol Pot or whomever a critic of Guantanamo might raise as a comparison. It's a tactic the group running Washington now has used again and again: They're quite deliberately changing the subject -- from Guantanamo to words spoken on the Senate floor.

It's not too late, as Durbin said of Bush in his speech: The senator should stop apologizing and keep up the criticism of the hellhole America's military has created at Guantanamo. He has no reason to be defensive; he's telling the truth. It's a truth Americans need to hear, and its tellers must resist intimidation.
Gads... I can't even begin to contain my anger at this filthy rag as I type this screed. Durbin was right?!?! WHere is the evidence?? WTF--Osama bin Laden's bodyguards eat better than I do!! They eat better than the average friggen Cuban. As a result of this I have come to the undeniable conclusion that the editorial board at the Star Tribune has its collective head up its collective ass. I currently have a nephew in Iraq and a son who will no doubt be there by this winter, and I truly believe that the Strib editorial board needs to be charged with sedition:
SECTION 3. Whoever, when the United States is at war, shall willfully make or convey false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States, or to promote the success of its enemies, or shall willfully make or convey false reports, or false statements, . . . or incite insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States, or shall willfully obstruct . . . the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States, or . . . shall willfully utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States, or the Constitution of the United States, or the military or naval forces of the United States. . . or shall willfully display the flag of any foreign enemy, or shall willfully . . . urge, incite, or advocate any curtailment of production . . . or advocate, teach, defend, or suggest the doing of any of the acts or things in this section enumerated and whoever shall by word or act support or favor the cause of any country with which the United States is at war or by word or act oppose the cause of the United States therein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than twenty years, or both....(emphases mine)
I have called the Star Tribune editorial board to ummm... voice my displeasure. I urge all of my readers to do the same: (612) 673-4000 (ask for the editorial board office). Hat tip: Doug


Captain Ed reports a Dick Durbin quasi-apology. Will the Strib have the sense to follow suit?

In the grasping at straws department ... not enough union thugs in Iraq.

June 15, 2005

Iraqi Union Leaders In St. Paul Tomorrow

Don't miss this rare opportunity to learn how the Bush Administration's anti-labor agenda is hurting Iraqi working families. (emphasis added)

Public Forum
June 16th, 7:00 pm
710 Olive Street
Lakes and Plains Carpenter's Hall
Saint Paul, MN 55101

In Iraq, the Bush administration still enforces Saddam Hussein's labor policies that ban unions for most of Iraq's workers.

In Iraq, over 400,000 Iraqi jobs have been ‘outsourced’ and currently there is 70-80% unemployment in Iraq.

The UN Declaration of Human Rights guarantees workers the right to freely organize and form unions.
If things got any more laughable I'd die laughing. They're so desperate as to trot out union thugs from Iraq to further discredit U.S. foreign policy. Just pull out the old Democrat/Union Thug propaganda playbook, fudge up some different numbers, and insert "Iraq" wherever you find "U.S." Ya gotta admit; if nothing else they're cleverly stupid.

Sometimes it's frustrating ...having Republican representation...

Living in St. Cloud, I am blessed by being represented by three commonsense legislators: State Representative Jim Knoblach; State Senator Dave Kleis; and of course, U.S. Congressman Mark Kennedy. Please don't think for one minute that I would rather have anyone but the above to represent my interests at the state and national level. But at the same time, I can't help but feel frustration when we have a comedy of errors with a do-nothing special session (I still don't see what's so special about it--it's pretty much business as usual, other than the fact than many legislators are accepting special pay for their continued lack of productivity). The real problem is, to whom do you complain when your elected officials already agree with you?? Take Dave Kleis, for instance:
Like you, I’m extremely frustrated with the gridlock and bickering that seems to have become the permanent state of affairs at the Capitol. That is why I introduced a proposal this week that, if approved by voters, would trigger July special elections for all 201 legislators any time the Legislature can’t finish its budget work by the end of the odd-year session in May.

The whole point of this bill is to hold lawmakers accountable. I suspect that if my proposal was passed, it would rarely, if ever, mean any actual special elections. With the threat of having to answer for inaction in office, I believe our work would get done on time, every time.
So in my frustration, I can't complain to Kleis. So what's a pissed-off voter to do with his anger? I guess for once, I'd like to maybe move to a democrat district for a day, so that as a constituent, I can call and deliver a well-deserved, cleansing primal scream, and rip him up one side and down another. Even if it doesn't produce the desired results, it may nonetheless prove to be a therapeutic exercise.

Monday, June 20, 2005

An untimely end... Rest in Peace..

From the St. Cloud Times

Jun 19, 8:04 PM EDT

Service for Mueller, Soul Asylum bassist, set for Wednesday

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A memorial service for the late Soul Asylum bassist Karl Mueller is scheduled for Wednesday in Minneapolis.

Mueller, 41, was a founding member of Soul Asylum, one of the most successful rock bands to come out of the Twin Cities. He suffered from throat cancer and died Friday morning at his Minneapolis home.

The service will be held at Lakewood Cemetery Chapel.

Mueller, Dave Pirner and Dan Murphy started the band Loud Fast Rules in 1981, which evolved into Soul Asylum in 1984.

The quartet is best known for its 1992 bestseller "Grave Dancers Union" and the hit "Runaway Train." The group completed another album with Mueller this year, and the band has been negotiating with a major label to release the CD.


Information from: Star Tribune,

© 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Yeah I know I said I was going.... but ya gotta see this!

Iowahawk has some side-splitting Dick Durbin complaint letters that are a complete hoot! Check 'em out! (hat tip to Bogus Gold).

I love a parade ...and so does Husky

I'll be in the Spass Tag parade in Waite Park tomorrow with the chorus. While we're trying to recruit members, the show stealer will no doubt be my greyhound, Husky (race name-Flying Husqvarna). He stole the show at the Sartell Fun Days parade last weekend. I'll then be camping up north. I may see you on Monday; I need to go to Chicago next week for some family business, but I'll be bringing my laptop along. Drive safe!

Give Koffi a tin cup .... Congress does the right thing.

© 2005

Congress sent a powerful message to the United Nations today, voting to cut funds by half if the world body does not meet a list of demands for substantial change in its performance and behavior.

The bill passed 221-184 despite the Bush aministration's warning that a funding cut actually could hamper reform. The U.S. dues make up 22 percent of the U.N.'s $2 billion annual general budget.

Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., the author of the legislation, said persuasion is not enough to spur changes.

"We have had enough waivers, enough resolutions, enough statements," said Hyde, chairman of the House International Relations Committee. "It's time we had some teeth in reform."

Hyde and other lawmakers listed complaints such as coddling of rogue regimes; a bias against America and Israel; irresponsible spending; scandals such as the oil-for-food program and sexual abuse by peacekeepers; and human rights abusers sitting on the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.

Failure to comply with the demands would result in withholding half of U.S. dues to the general budget and a refusal to support expanded and new peacekeeping missions.

Among the 39 reforms sought, according to the Associated Press, are slashing the public information budget by 20 percent; establishing an independent oversight board and an ethics office; and barring countries that violate human rights from serving on human rights commissions.

The secretary of state must certify that 32 of those reforms are met by September 2007 and all 39 by the next year.

The administration argued it was actively engaged in U.N. reform, and the Hyde bill "could detract from and undermine our efforts."

Eight former U.S. ambassadors to the United Nations also opposed the legislation, including Madeleine Albright and Jeane Kirkpatrick, who was appointed by President Reagan.

The former diplomats said withholding of dues would "create resentment, build animosity and actually strengthen opponents of reform."...Read the rest.

Weeeeellllll.... it's about friggen time!!! I'm personally tired of having my tax dollars being wasted to support a corrupt institution that currently shows no hope of reform, and this looks like a carrot-and-stick approach that may actually work. What I can't understand is the recalcitrance of the Bush administration, who wants John Bolton for the same reasons enumerated in the above congressional proposal. It is my hope that this is a "good cop-bad cop" strategy, with Congress, who controls the purse strings, playing the role of the bad cop. I am anxious to see how this plays out.

Congressman Henry Hyde provides a great balance in Illinois politics with the likes of Dick "Osama bin" Durbin. Too bad he'll be retiring at the next election cycle.

Do the right thing! Vote my conscience.

Radio Blogger is in the waning days of its quarter wars between Minnesota and Colorado. There is literally only a 27 vote lag in favor of the Colorado quarter. Even if you don't live in Minnesota, I now make a shameless plea for you to vote for the Minnesota quarter. Heck--you don't want to give Ward Churchill any amount of satisfaction, do you??? And even on top of that, wouldn't you like to give the nod to a Mayberry-esque design over some craggy ol' mountains, anyway? Come now. It's your civic and moral duty to vote my conscience. Vote early. Vote often.

RE: Terri Schiavo:.... the fat lady isn't singing yet..

Jerri Lynn Ward provides a very compelling argument (picked up by World Net Daily) that despite Schiavo's brain damage, she may have been very well capable of higher-level cognitive functioning. Read here, here, here, here, here, and here. MUST READS!!!

If this isn't sweet poetic justice ....2 PETA members arrested for animal cruelty

Two PETA Employees Arrested on Animal Cruelty Charges in N.C.

Two individuals from Hampton Roads, employees of the Norfolk-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, were arrested Wednesday night in Ahoskie, N.C., on animal cruelty charges.

The two were arrested after authorities allege they dumped dead dogs and cats in a dumpster at a shopping center on Memorial Drive in Ahoskie.

Andrew Benjamin Cook, 24, of Virginia Beach, and Adria Joy Hinkle, 27, of Norfolk, were arrested at the shopping center. Police say they found 18 dead animals in the dumpster and 13 dead animals in the couple's van, which according to authorities, is registered to PETA. Both suspects were charged with 31 counts of animal cruelty and eight counts of illegal disposal of animals.

According to police, the animals were from two North Carolina animal shelters - one in Northampton County and the other in Bertie County.

Officials say the animals were alive when they left the shelters, but have not said how they died.

North Carolina officials say they have been investigating reports of dead animals at the shopping center for over a month. Authorities say there were four other incidents of dead animals found in the shopping center dumpster, each on a Wednesday night. Surveillance was conducted this week, resulting in the two arrests.

Cook and Hinkle were released on bond. They have a court date in Winton, N.C., on June 17th.

A PETA spokesperson told WAVY News 10 that the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has a long-standing relationship with shelters to euthanize pets that the shelters feel are no longer adoptable, and the spokesperson is confident the animal cruelty charges will be dropped. (They're from PETA, for God Sake!!! Being liberals, they don't need to follow the same laws everybody else does!)

If the animals were put into a dumpster as alleged, the spokesperson termed that 'outrageous.'

PETA says Hinkle has been suspended. Cook is still working for the organization.

Talk about your fruitcakes!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Bush 41 redux .... in Minnesota

I knew from the beginning that as soon as Governor Tim Pawlenty proposed the "make nice" effort to impose a 75-cent cigarette user fee tax, he and the rest of the Minnesota Republican party would soon be heading for a tailspin. Not only from the disgruntled rank and file members of MN GOP, who have long held faith in the No-New-Taxes pledge Pawlenty ran on that kept his approval numbers in the stratosphere, but also from the DFL, who like the national DNC with Bush 41, would use this chink in the armor to deal, if not a mortal blow, then a deadening thud to the once-impenetrable Pawlenty mystique. This has already started:
"The governor has no high ground on taxes," Entenza said just before entering the talks with Pawlenty and the GOP leaders. By proposing the cigarette fee and $139 million of local property taxes, he said, "virtually every Minnesotan would be touched by the governor's tax increases."
This coming, of course, from the party who will pride itself on raising Minnesota's state income tax level to the highest in the nation, and after proposing upping every other tax under the sun, and after "accepting" 55 cents out of the 75-cent hike proposed by Pawlenty. Remember back in 1991? "Yes, George H.W. Bush... you go along with us in the (then) largest tax increase in American History, and we'll make sure you'll get full credit for it." Turned out well for good ol' George, didn't it? The Dems had it both ways. They raised taxes, and took down a well-intentioned Republican president in one feld swoop by pinning it on him. The same thing, very predictably, is happening with Pawlenty and the Minnesota DFL. Don't ever think that they will let this go come election time. Even though they themselves have proposed relatively astronomical tax hikes, you can bet that the DFL will do their level best to pin it all on Pawlenty, and hype up the notion that Pawlenty cannot be trusted to keep his promises. The DFL, right out of the playbook of the early 90s, was brilliant in setting up its trap, and the governor, obviously oblivious to history, took the bait.

Pawlenty appears to have finally recognized the folly of his ways:

Pawlenty, who has taken a licking from some fiscal conservatives for offering the tobacco compromise, said he had "burned substantial political capital" in negotiations so far.
Unfortunately, IMHO, a realization that came a day late and a dollar short. Although I would surely love to be proven wrong in this regard.

Well.. it was a good term while it lasted.

Regarding the Schiavo Autopsy......they're missing the point...

Bill Wenke states that Christians owe Michael Schiavo an apology.
A lot of so-called "Christians" owe Michael Schiavo an apology.

During the days and weeks before his former wife, Terri, died of dehydration in a Florida hospice, Terri's family and their supporters kept spreading stories that Michael mistreated her, perhaps even tried to strangle her.

The autopsy says none of that is true. The medical examiner said he cannot determine why Schiavo's heart stopped unexpectedly 15 years ago, plunging her into a "permanently vegetative state." But, he said, there is no evidence she was abused.

There was evidence, however, that her brain was damaged beyond hope. It was only half its expected size. She was blind.

Do you remember the controversy? Do you remember all those taped clips of Schiavo laughing and interacting with her family? There was always something doctored about those clips.

Look, I have sympathy for her family. They lost a daughter. They don't want to believe the facts. I wouldn't either, if I were in their position. Even today, they say they don't accept the medical examiner's findings and would like to see a new report. I can sympathize with that.

What I have more trouble with is all the people who wrapped themselves in the cloak of Christianity and kept insisting that Michael Schiavo tried to murder his wife. I have more trouble with all the so-called religious people who denounced the Florida judge who ruled in Michael's favor. I have more trouble with all those who kept trying to convince of of "facts" that turned out not to be facts at all.

There is room for honest disagreement on whether people in Terri Schiavo's condition should be maintained on life support -- I include artificial food and hydration in this definition -- and there is room for the position that we should protect all life.

What there is not room for is the vilification of people, like Michael Schiavo, who are put in the position of having to make these excruciatingly difficult decisions.
First of all, the autopsy does not vindicate Michael Schiavo, it merely is inconclusive. I cannot say whether or not Michael Schiavo abused his wife in the early days of her debilitation. What I can say is that Michael Schiavo continues to be morally culpable in her death. While it may be true that Terri Schiavo's brain damage was irreversible, the lack of stimulation afforded Terri during the early and subsequent years of her debilitation most certainly contributed to that outcome. Lastly, it must be pointed out that Terri's brain damage did not cause her death. She would still be alive today, if she was not starved and dehydrated to death. The fact that she was blind and brain damaged did not make her any less human, nor less worthy of life than you or I. I have maintained throughout this ordeal that basing a person's right to live, indeed a person's very humanity on a person's physical or cognitive ability is a very slippery slope indeed. I have personally worked with seriously mentally handicapped adults and children who would be slated for death row based on the Schiavo criteria. Schiavo was deliberately starved and dehydrated to death, aided and abetted by the U.S. Judicial system; by far a worse form of torture than has been experienced by any Gitmo detainee. But where are Amnesty International, the ACLU, and Dick Durbin on this issue?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

My Oh My... where do I start?

So now our military is put in the same class as the Russian gulags, Hitler's concentration camps, and Pol Pot's massacres? Did we hear this wonderful comparison from the latest OBL tape? NO, no, dear readers. OBL didn't need to say it. Heck, not when you have Dick Durbin and the ever-present RINO in the Senate! To compare the "frat-boy" antics at Gitmo with the Gulag Archipelego, Pol Pot (who wiped out 2 million plus of his own people), and Adolph Hitler is beyond the pale. To wit:
"On one occasion, the air conditioning had been turned down so far and the temperature was so cold in the room, that the barefooted detainee was shaking with cold. ..... On another occasion, the (air conditioner) had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated room well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his hair out throughout the night. On another occasion, not only was the temperature unbearably hot, but extremely loud rap music was being played in the room, and had been since the day before, with the detainee chained hand and foot in the fetal position on the tile floor.' If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime -- Pol Pot (Photos history)or others -- that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners."
Now while I would agree that (at least for me) listening to 24 hours of P Diddy or Eminem would be torture, that hardly holds a candle to what happened in Nazi Germany. The Nazis gassed their people. Pol Pot killed millions of his own citizens. The Gulags were largely in Siberia, where prisoners were frozen or starved to death or worse. So now we have Dick Durbin (or Durbin the Turbin, as Savage calls him) joining the ranks of the Al Qaeda apologists like Al Jazeera. Again, with senators like Durbin, who needs bin Laden? But alas, dear readers, not to be outdone by a whacko democrat, our ever-present RINOs are getting into the act. From Fox News:
Senators on both sides of the aisle have said that the U.S. naval base in Cuba has created an image problem for the United States that is hurting its reputation in the Arab world.(emphasis mine).
To me, the only embarrassment is that we have some namby pamby senators who are trying in some sick way to get political mileage by doing Al Jazeera's and OBL's leg work. Does anybody, anyone in the Senate have a friggen lick of sanity anymore?

Monday, June 13, 2005

On Radio Blogger today

Check out Radio Blogger for a beauty contest poll on which state has the most beautiful quarter, Minnesota or Colorado. (Hey Minnesotans.. think of your state pride, will you?)

In addition, Radio Blogger has a great photo managerie of Michael Jackson's jury (I refuse to use the term "MJ" --I have too much respect for this guy). Anyway, just as on the OJ jury, you probably won't find any of these people sitting on the faculty of Rocket Science at M.I.T.

Welcome Fraters readers! :) please note that there is an updated post here.

Schwarzenegger may have something...

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is calling for a special election which, in part, seeks to prohibit union contibutions from being used for political purposes. As a non-union educator, I have and continue to be thankful that none of my paycheck is going toward supporting political or moral causes to which I am diametrically opposed. I have known many right-leaning colleagues who have long bemoned that their union dues were going to support political policies and candidates that were against their views or wishes. Or, just as bad, to support politically-motivated educational policy initiatives that were against their personal views of best educational practice.

If Schwarzenegger succeeds in this endeavor, it is hopeful that the movement will spread nationwide, and that the original intent and purpose of the Union (better working conditions and wages for members) will again come to the forefront, and that the days of the unions as vest-pocket arms of political parties may come to a close. But I'm not holding my breath.

The Verdict is In though it is not clear what it is..

The verdict in the Michael Jackson case is expected in around 50 minutes from the time of this writing. Right now on Fox News they're talking about riots should the verdict turn out ot be "guilty".

Regardless of the verdict, one thing is clear: The parents of the child in this case need to be brought up on cases of negligence. Jackson's proclivities had been clearly known at the time of the abuse, yet their parents chose to place their child in that situation. Given that, the parents are clearly as much the opportunists as Mr. Jackson is considered to be a pedophile.


The verdict is indeed in--not guilty on all counts.

My take is the same. Although he may have indeed done all the things of which he was accused, the parents need to be held accountable for neglect. To say that a 40+ year old man who sleeps with 10-14 year old boys is in the realm of being unhealthy, to say the least, is an understatement that bears being placed above many other understatements made in this or the last century.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

What color is your flag?

A federal judge has sided with gay activists in St. Augustine Florida to force the city to fly 49 "gay pride" rainbow banners on a city bridge. Since this federal judge has sought it fit to ram the acceptance of a particular sexual practice down St. Augustine's throat (pun intended, perhaps), maybe it's time we got everybody into the act. Heck... maybe we can get the fine folks at NAMBLA to design some banners, too. Or get a zoophilia club. Heck... let's just design some masturbation flags while we're at it. Screw everyone's sensibilities. It's every man/boy/farm animal for him/her/itself. If it feels good, do it, baby. To hell with civilization. If it's up to this judge, you'll not only accept it, you'll like it. Or suffer the consequences.