Friday, May 27, 2005

I'll be gone for the weekend...

Going up north to commune with nature. Be back on Monday. Drive safe, remember our veterans, and FLY YOUR FLAGS!!

A blog for the Times .....A MUST read

As Memorial Day approaches, there is a blog that starkly captures and reminds us of the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform--Zero Two Mike Soldier. A member of the military himself, he relates his own and others' experiences. As this monday approches, pay special attention to the sites he links here and here. Thanks, Mike--for your service. It is indeed appreciated.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Separated at Birth?

So much for the Art of "Compromise"...Bolton Cloture vote fails...

It would seem as if the democrats are still acting like democrats. Who'd a thunk it. Can Republicans perhaps start acting like the majority party now? I got a fundraising call from my friendly RNC gal tonight. Told her no can do. Funny... she said everyone else was saying that, too. I wonder why.

Makes ya real be a republican, doesn't it?

? and the Mysterians got nothing on this guy. The NYTimes has a puff piece (go to bug-me-not to get a log-in password) on Voinovich and the other RINOs .

WASHINGTON, May 12 - The unusual pact that permitted the nomination of John R. Bolton to go forward on Thursday without the support of a crucial Republican senator has exposed, in a very raw and public way, the extreme pressures facing Republican moderates in a Senate that is increasingly dominated by conservatives.

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Senator George V. Voinovich, who broke ranks with Republicans on Thursday over John R. Bolton’s nomination as envoy to the United Nations.


President Bush called the dissenting Republican, Senator George V. Voinovich of Ohio, on Wednesday, the day before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on which Mr. Voinovich serves, was to take up the nomination, the White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, said.

Karl Rove (click here for dramatic effect), the president's powerful political adviser, and Andrew H. Card Jr., the chief of staff, also called to chat with Mr. Voinovich in recent weeks, Mr. McClellan said.

And Mr. Voinovich, who has steadfastly refused to answer questions about any discussions with the White House, is hardly the only Republican who is feeling the squeeze these days.

From the fight over Mr. Bolton to the looming blowup over the president's judicial nominees to the debate over the proposal to overhaul Social Security, Republican moderates are caught in the middle as never before. As they look to the near future, to a possible vacancy on the Supreme Court, they realize that the pressures will only intensify.

"Bolton is a perfect example of putting the moderates in an impossible situation," said Senator Lincoln Chafee, the Rhode Island Republican who also sits on the Foreign Relations Committee and who agonized publicly over Mr. Bolton for weeks. "It's a no-win. Either we don't support the president or we vote for a very unpopular pick to represent us at the United Nations." (click here to read the rest...)

The piece goes on to relate the trials and tribulations of the six other Senate RINOs. Ohhh boo-friggen-hoo! I heard Voinovich's testimony on the Laura Ingraham Show this morning, and he literally sounded like he was ready for the rubber room at "2-South" at the St. Cloud hospital. He was literally blubbering and crying, wringing his hands at the prospect of a Bolton confirmation, fearing for his grandchildren. (sound clip here courtesy of radioblogger)

(literally)--When you're talking about the collection of thugs and criminals at the U.N., the last thing we need is a blathering, blubbering idiot who is worried that we're going to send someone there who isn't going to be very nice to them. Where is General Patton now when you need him to go up to the podium and bitchslap this pantywaist?

Like I said before, Ohio, the RNC, the U.S. Senate, and the United States of America can do a lot better than George Voinovich.

Smoke 'em if you got 'em ...Parte deux

This from Newsday:

Judge upholds NY smoking bans after private Players Club sues to defend pipe ceremony


Associated Press Writer

May 25, 2005, 9:21 PM EDT

NEW YORK -- A judge has tossed out a lawsuit brought by a 115-year-old private club that sought to strike down smoking bans so it could continue to honor its members _ who include Walter Cronkite and Carol Burnett _ with pipe ceremonies.

The Players Club is no more entitled to special privileges with city and state health inspectors enforcing the smoking bans than are pro-tobacco organizations that tried unsuccessfully to overturn the laws, U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero said Wednesday.

"Individuals have no `fundamental' constitutional right to smoke tobacco," (emphasis mine) the judge wrote. "While individuals' freedom of association, freedom of assembly and freedom of speech merit constitutional protection, there is no basis for concluding that the smoking bans infringe those rights."

He said the smoking bans target conduct _ smoking in certain places _ rather than speech, association or assembly, which are not regulated by the statutes.

The judge rejected the argument that the smoking bans caused a prohibition on a club tradition in which members are honored with pipe ceremonies, which involve smoking on the club's premises.

The judge suggested that the ceremonies at the club's Gramercy Park facility still might be able to occur after a substitution of "suitable non-tobacco products." (maybe they can import some of this from Vermont).

The Players Club filed the lawsuit in December 2003 after health inspectors ticketed it for keeping ashtrays behind an office desk. A telephone message for comment left with a club lawyer was not immediately returned Wednesday.

The city smoking law went into effect in March 2003, banning smoking from all restaurants, bars, offices and private clubs with paid staff and requiring the establishments to remove their ashtrays. The state law went into effect in July 2003.

The Players Club had claimed that scientific evidence of second-hand smoke's health effects was bogus and that the ban violated its rights to due process and equal protection.

Besides Cronkite and Burnett, the club counts among its roughly 700 members Angela Lansbury and Timothy Hutton.

Did I read that right? The judge stated that individuals have no 'fundamental' Constitutional right to smoke tobacco? While admittedly the action of puffing away on a heater cannot be found in the Constitution, what can be found in the Constitution is this:
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." (10th Amendment)
Hmm... must've slipped his mind. I'm not arguing against the judge's decision here. What I take with great umbrage is what the judge is using to justify his decision. Using that logic, anything under the sun or any activity that a judge takes exception with and that is not enumerated in the U.S. Constitution would be subject to confiscation or worse.

Heck, since parts of the Constitution apparently don't mean anything to anybody anymore, maybe we should just hand it over to Iraq. Perhaps they'll have better luck with it.

Smoke 'em if you got 'em....

David Strom from the Minnesota Taxpayers League has an eye opening article on how smokers are paying the freight for nonsmokers, even before Pawlenty's proposed tax increase "user fee".

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the societal costs of smoking amount to about 15-24 cents a pack in 1986 dollars, or 27-43 cents a pack in 2005 dollars. Those costs are obviously substantially less than the taxes charged by the state and federal governments and being paid for by smokers through the tobacco settlements—amounting to 64 cents a pack in 1998. This year alone the state is getting about $200 million in tobacco settlement dollars from smokers, adding up to $1.6 billion paid into state coffers since 1998. Tobacco products are also subject to the 6.5% sales tax. “Smokers are getting reamed already,” said David Strom. “Blue Cross and the tobacco tax advocates are smoking something if they are trying to argue that smokers aren’t paying their way already. They are already paying about $1.60 a pack in direct and indirect taxes to the government per pack.”

“Compared to the high-end estimate of social costs per pack of cigarettes put out by the Journal of the American Medical Association of 43 cents a pack, smokers are subsidizing non-smokers to the tune of over a $1 a pack. Adding another 75 cents a pack is highway robbery!” said Strom.

“Hitting smokers with another tax may be the most politically popular solution to the budget impasse, but it sure isn’t fair! The average retail price of a pack of smokes is $3.81 today—adding another $.75 is highway robbery.

“Given that smokers are disproportionately lower-income, this is also one of the most regressive taxes you can raise,” Strom added. (emphasis mine)

The “health impact fee” on cigarettes also opens a can of worms; sugar, corn syrup, trans-fatty acids, saturated fats, and a whole host of other foods are known to have adverse health effects. “What next, a twinkie tax?” asked Strom.
“Given that smokers are disproportionately lower-income, this is also one of the most regressive taxes you can raise,” Strom added.
Gives new (this time, real) meaning to the trite phrase, "balancing the budget on the backs of the poor," doesn't it? Pawlenty has now jumped with both feet onto the politically-popular cash cow ride via smokers with this proposed user fee tax. Something about this has Bush 41 written all over it.. something about reading lips.

Tim Pawlenty has lots of political capital to spend, but does he really want to spend it on this?

Now I'm no smoker (except for an occasional fine cigar), so in effect I don't have a dog in the fight. But if Pawlenty doesn't figure out a way to wriggle out of this proposal, and do it fast, he's going to have a lot of mud flung his way (and rightly so)smacking of "broken promises" come election time.

***UPDATE**** King Banaian has some insights here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Those F'ing BASTARDS ...Are they all insane??

This just in from Reuters:
FBI memo reports Guantanamo guards flushing Koran
Wed May 25, 2005 7:58 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An FBI agent wrote in a 2002 document made public on Wednesday that a detainee held at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had accused American jailers there of flushing the Koran down a toilet.

The Pentagon said the allegation was not credible.

The declassified document's release came the week after the Bush administration denounced as wrong a May 9 Newsweek article that stated U.S. interrogators at Guantanamo had flushed a Koran down a toilet to try to make detainees talk. The magazine retracted the article, which had triggered protests in Afghanistan in which 16 people died.

The newly released document, dated Aug. 1, 2002, contained a summary of statements made days earlier by a detainee, whose name was redacted, in two interviews with an FBI special agent, whose name also was withheld, at the Guantanamo prison for foreign terrorism suspects.

The American Civil Liberties Union released the memo and other FBI documents it obtained from the government under court order through the Freedom of Information Act.

"Personally, he has nothing against the United States. The guards in the detention facility do not treat him well. Their behavior is bad. About five months ago, the guards beat the detainees. They flushed a Koran in the toilet," the FBI agent wrote.

"It's not credible," chief Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita said of the allegation regarding a Koran in a toilet.

Di Rita said the U.S. military questioned the detainee on May 14, and that the man was "very cooperative and answered the questions but did not corroborate the allegation recorded on Aug. 1, 2002." Di Rita said he did not know whether the man actually recanted the allegation.

"These kind of, sort of, fantastic charges about our guys doing something willfully heinous to a Koran for the purposes of rattling detainees are not credible on their face," Di Rita told reporters.


The documents indicated that detainees were making allegations that they had been abused and that the Muslim holy book had been mishandled as early as April 2002, about three months after the first detainees arrived at Guantanamo.

In other documents, FBI agents stated that Guantanamo detainees also accused U.S. personnel of kicking the Koran and throwing it to the floor, and described beatings by guards. But one document cited a detainee who accused a guard of dropping a Koran, prompting an "uprising" by prisoners, when it was the prisoner himself who dropped it.

"Unfortunately, one thing we've learned over the last couple of years is that detainee statements about their treatment at Guantanamo and other detention centers sometimes have turned out to be more credible than U.S. government statements," said ACLU lawyer Jameel Jaffer. [ED: Any surprise there?]

Former detainees and a lawyer for current prisoners previously have stated that U.S. personnel at Guantanamo had placed the Koran in a toilet, but the Pentagon has said it also does not view those allegations as credible.

In document written in April 2003, an FBI agent related a detainee's account of an incident involving a female U.S. interrogator.

"While the guards held him, she removed her blouse, embraced the detainee from behind and put her hand on his genitals. The interrogator was on her menstrual period and she wiped blood from her body on his face and head," the memo stated.

A similar incident was described in a recent book written by a former Guantanamo interrogator.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan last week said Newsweek "got the facts wrong" and Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman called the article "demonstrably false." Di Rita said last week the Pentagon had received "no credible and specific allegations" that U.S. personnel had put a Koran in the toilet.
What a bunch of sick idiots. Let's have a few more Muslim riots. Let's have more people die. Let's make the recruiting lines for suicide bombers even longer. Let's have more of our service men and women come home in body bags.

Sick bastards. The MSM doesn't give a rat's ass about anything except for circulation. Screw them. Send the bastards out on a pizza run in Iraq right next to an IED and see how they like it.

Gads, I'm so friggen mad right now I could just friggen explode.

How the hell do you flush a Koran down a toilet? Tell me that. Again, sick propaganda being spewed forth by media ghouls. And we and others around the world are going to have to pay the price.

That's a prisoner's word--and of course the MSM eats it up and reports it as if it were friggen gospel, while being spoon-fed by the ever-so-nonpartisan ACLU. The FBI statements are just that. Statements. Uncorroborated. But as Newsweek and others so aptly coined the addage: Don't let an uncorroborated story get in the way of a good U.S. smear piece--and if we can take some soldiers down, so much the better! Screw the consequences!.

After the Newsweek debacle, the MSM has decided to circle the wagons. You can also read about it here and here, here, and here. Hell, even Calypso Louie is getting into the act. I suppose if enough ghoulish bastards report on the same thing.. and say the same thing enough times in enough places, just like any good propaganda, it will become true.

These ghouls report on uncorroborated "fairy tales" without taking one second to ponder whether they should.

Rather than learning from their missteps, the MSM has now apparently taken a step in normalizing the reporting of uncorroborated stories. Make no mistake about it. This is the beginning of an undeclared war on fact checking and the blogosphere through sheer will; no more will they kowtow to scrutiny by paeons. It is now clear that they will fight to keep what they perceive as their god-ordained right to print whatever the hell they please, whatever the hell the consequences And if they take down some American lives in the process? Hey, it's just collateral damage in the war, then, isn't it?


This from Powerline:
This story is absurd on its face. What about the "similar incident" described by the former Guantanamo interrogator? Presumably Reuters refers to the recent book by Erik Saar, the only book-writing former interrogator I know of. I heard Saar relate this story on the radio, only it wasn't blood, it was red ink, and there was nothing about the female soldier removing her blouse, etc. "Similar," indeed.

This story has been marked by two features, I think: lousy reporting, and a desperate desire on the part of leftists worldwide to believe that assertions made by Guantanamo detainees, no matter how outlandish and uncorroborated, are true.

It will be interesting to see this non-story's ability to sprout legs in the coming days.


Rush has a similar take:
But, oh, no. Mainstream press has to circle the wagons and protect their own inside Washington, DC, and I told you to be on the lookout because we were going to see a spate of stories about how this was true anyway even though Newsweek got this instance wrong, that this was true anyway. So you read the New York Times story, "The prisoners' accounts are described by the agents in detailed summaries of interrogations at Guantanamo in 2002 and 2003. The documents were among more than 300 pages turned over by the F.B.I. to the American Civil Liberties Union in recent days and publicly disclosed Wednesday." So it's the same story, it's the same allegation by the same wacko detainee, but the press writes about it today as though it's brand-new, a new story, a new allegation when it's the same one, it's three years old and there's no corroboration for it. The only difference is that the report in which the allegation is contained has been made public, this is the report that Newsweek did not make public, that they obviously have a source on who was wrong.

An Open Letter to the FEC

Dear Sirs and Madames,

Please let me voice my ultimate disapproval and opposition to any regulation of free political speech on the Internet. The First Amendment makes no bones about free political speech:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
— The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Please note that no law shall be made abridging the freedom of speech. As any school child can tell you (or should be able to tell you) the First Amendment was enacted especially so as to protect free and unfettered political speech. The Internet and the freedom that it offers, in my opinion, would be the Founding Fathers' dream. The internet has become the national version of the town hall; a forum in which ordinary people from all walks of life can participate and freely exchange political ideas. That, gentlemen and gentleladies of the FEC, is the embodiment of the internet and the true intended spirit of the First Amendment. Weblogs, or blogs are a venue whereby ordinary citizens can have their say in the townhall of ideas, which are thankfully no longer monopolized either by print or broadcast media, and no longer the exclusive purview of politicians.

Gentlemen and gentleladies of the FEC, let me make it abundantly clear: Any move to abridge the freedom of political speech on the internet and specifically on political blogs can only be construed as a direct violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America--which makes it perfectly clear that Freedom of Political Speech shall NOT be infringed!

Gentlemen and Gentleladies of the FEC, I urge you in the strongest possible terms to preserve the First Amendment Rights for which our forefathers sacrificed life and fortune, and for which so many of our fighting men and fighting women have fought for and continue to fight to preserve! Do NOT let their sacrifices be in vain! Not only for our own sakes, but even more importantly for the sake of our progeny.

Gentlemen and Gentleladies of the FEC, the future of free political speech, the very essence of our Republic, is in your hands. I trust you will make the right decision.

Respectfully yours in free speech,

Leo J. Pusateri
656 Roosevelt Road
Saint Cloud, Minnesota 56301

Owner and editor of: Psycmeistr's Ice Palace

Only 10 Days Left to protect bloggers from the FEC

This from the Online Coalition:


Time is running out at the Federal Election Commission. The period for public comment on the proposed rulemaking regarding the Internet closes June 3, 2005.

As a blogger, or blog reader - you have valuable input from your firsthand experience that the FEC desperately needs. You don't have to be a lawyer, and you've got a duty to weigh in. Please take a moment and read over and endorse the 11 Principles for Online Freedom we've written up with the Center for Democracy & Technology and the Institute for Politics, Technology, and The Internet:

If you'd like to file your own comment, here are two places where you can find help and instructions:

Daily Kos

Once you do submit a comment, please consider sending us a copy. Knowing what bloggers are telling the FEC will help throughout this process.


Mike Krempasky
Michael Bassik

On Bending Yodi's Ear....

Here's a blog worth reading. No, it's not political. But the author (a Roman Catholic Priest), a wonderful writer, has some sage advice, some timely musings, and incredible insights on day-to-day life issues. Check it out.

I almost forgot about this...

This has gotta make you laugh--from Sesame Street and the Muppet show.

(hat tip to Eckernet)

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

What Kind of Blogger are You?

You Are a Snarky Blogger!

You've got a razor sharp wit that bloggers are secretly scared of.
And that's why they read your posts as often as they can!

Hat tip to Kevin. BTW,

snark·y Audio pronunciation of "snarky" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (snärk)
adj. Slang snark·i·er, snark·i·est
Irritable or short-tempered; irascible.

C'mon Mitch, tell us how you really feel (and a lot of other Republicans, too)

Read here

Extraordinary Circumstances?

Now that I have spent the remainder of what was inside my stomach and have given my due to the porcelain god, I am somewhat ready to comment on the "deal" made between seven (yep, 7) Republicans and 7 democrats (though it may have been the whole friggen DNC for that matter). These seven RINO brides for seven brothers are responsible for thwarting the President's agenda, the majority party in the Senate, and by fiat the mandate given Bush's agenda by a sizeable majority of the United States' electorate. The deal, which allows an up or down vote without threat of filibuster on only the next three judicial nominees (Janet Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owen and William Pryor) to come down the pike. Three out of 10. Now there's a great deal for the majority party--NOT. Reminds me of the deal the Indians got for Manhattan. And the dems, in return for their continued ability to exercise their unconstitional option to filibuster judicial nominees, promise that they will only filibuster under extraordinary circumstances. What is an "extraordinary circumstance" to the likes of Teddy Kennedy, Harry Reid, and "Sheets" Byrd? Why the fact that the candidate was appointed by George Bush, of course! Under the agreement, Bush will actually have to consult with this coalition of 14 moderates prior to nominating a candidate. That's 14 people out of 101 (including the President) that are going to be the powerbrokers with regard to judicial appointments. Talk about tyranny of the minority!

I'm not even going to waste my time focusing on the "moderate" dems. They are who they are. But I will focus my attention on the usual cadre of RINOs who have seen fit to usurp party leadership in an unprecedented power grab, along with the will of a majority of the American people: Lincoln Chaffee, John McCain, Mike DeWine, Lindsey Graham, John Warner, Susan Collins, and Olympia Snowe. A good rundown of the whole story can be found here.

Meanwhile, this on Free Republic, comparing John Warner to Neville Chamberlain, after he sold out Czechoslovakia:
"Peace in our time, eh?"

(It appeared that I blogged this too late--Doug at Bogus Gold had a similar assessment yesterday.)

On the Limbaugh show, Frist's office reportedly called and assured that the Constitutional option was still on the table, and that he would ensure that all of Bush's judicial nominess would get the up or down vote they deserve. Frist's office noted an outpouring of irate phone calls to his office. Frist, hopefully, has seen the writing on the wall. His RINO counterparts would also do well to heed it.

Tiple_A from Residual Forces has this take:
What did the GOP get?
If I got it right, only 7 out of the 10 nominees on the Senate Floor right now get votes. Meaning to me, that 3 of them are still being phillibustered! So what kind of compromise was this? The Dems got what they wanted, and the GOP got squat!

The only bright spot of this whole thing is we now know the day the GOP died.
. Triple_A counted 7; I counted three. In any case, I have to agree with that last paragraph.

I want my MTV, Benedict!

This from the St. Cloud Times Writers Group, Ron Ohmann:

Habemus papam. "We have a pope."

After watching John Paul II neurologically decline and heroically suffer, the white smoke was welcome.

While Cardinals Hummes of Brazil or Danneels of Belgium would have given many of us more ecclesial hope, Joseph Ratzinger was installed as Benedict XVI exactly a month ago today. Who is this 78-year-old Bavarian theologian?

After attaining his doctorate in 1953, Ratzinger began university teaching and, at the Vatican II Council, served as a liberally minded theology expert.

The Rev. Hans Kung recruited him to the University of Tubingen. In 1968, at age 41, following campus unrest and the untidy dissent against Humanae Vitae (Paul VI's encyclical against hormonal regulation that Bishop Wojtyla, the late John Paul II, even more strongly opposed), the Bavarian professor left Tubingen and allied with Paul VI and Wojtyla.

Soon afterward, elevated to bishop and then cardinal, Ratzinger gravitated toward Augustine and away from Thomas Aquinas. It was dualism theology: the city of God and the city of man, in conflict.

He wrote, "Mankind comes to itself not through what he does but through what he accepts." And again: "Faith comes not from reflecting. Its essence consists in the rethinking of what has been heard."

The ideals of Vatican II — loosening of hierarchical authority, more internal debate and honoring of individual conscience — were gradually de-emphasized in the prelate's thinking.

His view of a less horizontal Catholicity, by which laity and bishops could counter Rome's dominance, gave way in 1968. He now criticized Kung's views as "school certitude" and instead embraced dogma that does not change.

Church hierarchy

All indications are that centralization and absolutism of the papacy will become, once again, more entrenched. This seems especially distasteful to many American Catholics who have a strong sense of democratic governance.

Moreover, the early years of Catholicism in America under Bishops John Carroll and John England were remarkably open and egalitarian.

The new pope's reign has begun with some positive gestures.

However, optimistic sentiments are dampened by last week's forced resignation of Thomas Reese as editor of "America," a long-standing Jesuit publication.

It seems "America" had a tradition of presenting both sides of a theological question. This could not be reconciled with Ratzinger's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

All in all, about 140 theologians have been variously punished or silenced under the new pope's former office. Is this any way to run a church?

Dark days

The Catholic Church has suffered dark days before, notably the pontificate of Pius X.

This pope (1903-1914) led a campaign against his own theologians and imposed an Oath Against Modernism on all clerics. It took Benedict XV to bring some reconciliation to the church.

Our new pope has hinted that he too, as Benedict, will bring healing, promote collegiality and mitigate divisiveness.

However, that begs the question that Arthur Jones of the National Catholic Reporter asks: Can the sheepdog become the shepherd?

As you may surmise, I don't share the optimism of some regarding this pontificate.

However, as a lifelong Catholic, I do hope and pray that Benedict XVI will be somewhat redirected to use his prestigious role as Holy Father to really address the entire Catholic community.

I also hope he will call on his cardinals and bishops to show at least a tolerant respect to theologians and scripture scholars as they debate various theological views in their quest of God.

And just as importantly, that he call on his Catholic subjects to show sensitivity and love to each other and to other Christians despite any differences in their journeys of faith.

My grandfather was a Catholic-educated Bavarian, and he would agree.
Translation of this piece: "I want to define deviancy down. I want to feel okay with aberrant behaviors, and want my neighbors to feel okay too. Just like a "living and breathing Constitution" made malleable to fit the times, the new Pope needs to bend the teaching of the Church to fit in with our whims du jour."

Have I gotten that right?

Monday, May 23, 2005

Somehow this does not surprise me...

Question: Do Newsweek's editors hate America?

The American Feb 2nd, 2005 Version of Newsweek

The International Feb 2nd, 2005 Version of Newsweek.

The Japanese Feb 2nd, 2005 version of Newsweek:

Caption above the U.S. flag placed in a trash can: "The Day America Died"

Any further questions?

That, coupled with the Koran-in-the-Toilet nonstory, leaves no doubt in my mind that Newsweek's editors do hate America. Not only that, but the cowardly bastards refuse to say it to our face.

Chalk up another one to my list of organizations that will not get any of my thin dimes.

This from Shape of Days:

(Hat tip to Ozark Preacher from Unto the Breach)

Not one thin friggen dime... not one...

Will go from my pocket to the national GOP. Mind you, this is coming from a delegate. Here's why. Now pardon me while I go to my favorite commode and call Ralph.

A Clear Message? It's anything but...

In yesterday's St. Cloud Times Opinion section, a letter, supposedly written by Minnesota Chamber of Commerce president David Olson, ran as follows:

Letter: Kleis' vote on taxes sends clear message
By David Olson, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce,

On May 6, Sen. Dave Kleis voted for, and the Senate passed, a bill that will raise taxes by $1.2 billion during the next two years.

Kleis supported one of the largest tax increases in recent history at a time when the economy is fragile and Minnesotans are facing higher costs for consumer goods and rising interest rates.

Wouldn't it be nice if Kleis and the 34 other senators would have paused for a second and thought about the message they are sending to successful entrepreneurs, business owners and other folks who decide where their companies are located and where they expand their operations?

Kleis is now on record for higher business property taxes, higher corporate income taxes and the highest marginal rate for personal income taxes in the nation, which affects many small-business owners.

Businesses in Kleis' district, and throughout the entire state, will not forget this vote.

Many senators will posture this vote as the first step in negotiating a budget settlement with Gov. Tim Pawlenty and House Republicans.

Negotiations or not, the message has been sent: If you want to do your part to create jobs in Minnesota, you're going to pay more to state government for that privilege.
There are problems on so many levels with this letter, which of course ran on the day of the week with the Times' highest readership levels. First,Dave Kleis voted against the bill, not for it. He was one of the most vocal adversaries of the bill, and has throughout his term been a champion against higher taxes in Minnesota. Which brings us to another two pronged issue. First, that the letter would have come out of the Minnesota Chamber office in the first place, and second, that the Times would print such a falsehood. At 6:15 this morning, on Dan Ochsner's show, the original story was that David Olson denied sending the letter. Later, around 7:50 am, David Olson called the show, and while not admitting that he wrote the letter, said that the letter probably came from his office. What happened, apparently, is that form letters (i.e., insert legislator's name here) went out to state newspapers, and somehow, Dave Kleis got on the list of those who voted "yes" to the tax increase. Shame on the Minnesota Chamber!. The second part of this bad soap opera is the fact that the Times, having full access to Senator Kleis' voting record, and having often reported Kleis' opposition to tax increases, didn't bother to check their facts before printing the op-ed. Shame on the St. Cloud Times! To their partial credit, the Times now has the following disclaimer next to the story on their website:
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Information containted in this letter has been found to be incorrect. Sen. Dave Kleis did not vote for the tax bill.)
But the problem with something being published in the Sunday paper, is that many folks don't read the paper again til the next Sunday. If they don't listen to the local news, or check the web site, they will be left with the erroneous impression that Kleis is turning into a tax-and-spend liberal. Both the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and the St. Cloud Times owe Senator Kleis a BIG apology, and a very public one at that. How 'bout a full page ad in next Sunday's Times for starters?

King Banaian from SCSU Scholars has this to say:
What is remarkable to me is that our university is still campaigning about anonymous comments on the Times site, yet in this case not only did they expose the error and get it corrected, but that not one but three local legislators -- including the two area DFL legislators -- came up to Sen. Kleis' defense rather early in the day. But in the middle of the chat there's our Mayor Ellenbecker trying to score a political point on Pogomonster's soak-the-rich tax increase. Ellenbecker would do well to get off those boards -- he keeps adding fuel to the fire. Which, as long as he is going to stand in the middle of it, is just fine by me.

BTW--I don't venture predictions too often, but I think this one's a sure bet. Should Senator Kleis decide to run again, either for his current Senate seat, or for another office, some kinniving democrat will state that Kleis voted to raise taxes, citing this article. Prediction made 5/23/2005, 10:31pm.


The Minnesota State Chamber of Commerce has issued this apology:
Our sincere apologies to Sen. Dave Kleis for our letter Sunday, which misstated his vote on the Senate tax bill ("Kleis' vote on taxes sends clear message.")

He did not vote for the tax increase, and we know better. The mistake was ours, regardless how it happened.

Kleis has been a longtime proponent of protecting the interests of the business community and has been a staunch advocate of holding down taxes.

We know he'd never support the bill passed by the Senate on May 6 which would raise taxes by $1.2 billion in the next two years. We regret our error.
Well, that takes care of the Minnesota C of C; now what about the Times. While the Times took the step to retract the story, an apology is lacking. Kleis' voting record is readily available. The Times has oft reported regarding Kleis' stand on raising taxes. Their not checking the sources was negligence that could very well have resulted in damage to Kleis' reputation and character. I think an out-and-out apology by the Times is in order. But I'm not holding my breath.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

In the "Paved with Good Intentions" department...

This story on Yahoo news:

N.Y. Audit: Sex Offenders Getting Viagra

ALBANY, N.Y. - Scores of convicted rapists and other high-risk sex offenders in New York have been getting Viagra paid by Medicaid for the last five years, the state's comptroller said Sunday.

Audits by Comptroller Alan Hevesi's office showed that between January 2000 and March 2005, 198 sex offenders in New York received Medicaid-reimbursed Viagra after their convictions. Those included crimes against children as young as 2 years old, he said.
Said Hillary Clinton:
it was "deeply disturbing and runs contrary to the purpose of Medicaid, which is to provide health care coverage for uninsured, low-income individuals." Clinton, a Democrat, urged Leavitt to look into the matter, and said she would explore legislative options.
The esteemed Chuck Schumer:
...said at a press conference in New York City that he hoped the issue could be resolved without a bill, but he's prepared to offer one if needed.

"While I believe that HHS did not do this intentionally, when the government pays for Viagra for sex offenders, it could well hurt many innocent people," he said.
It is said, and indeed has been proven since time immemoriam that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. This is just another in an unending series of those proofs. But take heart, readers on the left, Chuck & Hillary are merely following Step 10.

Appropo after last night's festivities

Found this on Wog's Blog:

How true. How very true.

What kind of aircraft are you?

What military aircraft are you?

F-15 Eagle

You are an F-15. Your record in combat is spotless; you've never been defeated. You possess good looks, but are not flashy about it. You prefer to let your reputation do the talking. You are fast, agile, and loud, but reaching the end of your stardom.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by quizzes and personality tests.

Reaching the end of my stardom? Heavens--I didn't know I was a star to begin with. Better enjoy my remaining 15 minutes while I can!

What's a little 2 million dollars between friends?

The Dirt Pile and Raging Right Wing Republican report on this story in the London Telegraph that reports on a two million dollar bribe offered a Swedish member of the weapons inspection team by none other than Saddam Hussein.
Rolf Ekeus, the Swede who led the UN's efforts to track down the weapons from 1991 to 1997, said that the offer came from Tariq Aziz, Saddam's foreign minister and deputy.

Mr Ekeus told Reuters news agency that he had passed the information to the Volcker Commission. "I told the Volcker people that Tariq [Aziz] said a couple of million was there if we report right. My answer was, 'That is not the way we do business in Sweden.' "

A clean report from Mr Ekeus's inspectors would have been vital in lifting sanctions against Saddam's regime. But the inspectors never established what had happened to the regime's illicit weapons and never gave Iraq a clean bill of health.

The news that Iraq attempted to bribe a top UN official is a key piece of evidence for investigators into the scandal surrounding the oil-for-food programme. It proves that Iraq was offering huge sums of cash to influential foreigners in return for political favours.

Nile Gardiner, of the Heritage Foundation in Washington, who has followed the inquiries, said: "It's the tip of the iceberg of what the Iraqis were offering. For every official like Ekeus who turned down a bribe, there are many more who will have been tempted by it."
This has to beg a question... If Saddam had no WMDs, why the need to bribe inspectors so as to "doctor" a report to give Iraq a "clean bill of health" (something that, according to the story, was never given)? And how many of those inspectors actually took the bribe? Since Rolf Ekeus was the only one to report being bribed, one could justifiably harbor the suspicion that others were not as forthcoming; perhaps for reasons of self-interest. Anyway you put it, the sudden absence of WMDs in contradiction of a plethora of evidence that they were there, and Saddam's bribes in what appeared to be an effort to keep them from being reported, begs the real $64,000,000 question that nobody appears to be asking: Where are the WMDs now?

Thought for Today Iraq, or D.C.?

From Kiwi-Too at Unto the Breach:

Thought for the day:

If you consider that there has been an average of 160,000 troops in theater in Iraq during the last 22 months, and with the number of deaths, that gives a firearms death rate of 60 per 100,000.

The rate in DC is 80.6 per 100,000. scared.gif

That means that you are more likely to be shot and killed in our nation's Capitol, which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, than you are in Iraq.

Conclusion: We should immediately pull out of Washington, D.C. blink.gif

(Kiwi_Too is a civilian contractor currently in Iraq)

About Last & the MOB...

I'm creating this post a bit on the hungover side, so please bear with the poor spelling and other seemingly tangential and/or loose associations that may come about in the course of this screed. Thanks to King Banaian for putting on this great event. Granite City Food & Brewery, as always, did a bang-up job of service and serving up the finest brew in the nation. It was great to finally meet with King, a fellow St. Cloud Blogger. Rumour has it that he may be joining me in my passion for singing, and he would be a great addition to our barbershop chorus. (I've also tipped his wife off to steer him in that direction). It was also great to meet John "The Night Writer" and his wonderful family, whose collective countenance would be at home on the cover of "Home and Garden" or in a Norman Rockwell painting. Cathy in the Wright, Kevin from Eckernet, Captain & Mrs. Fishsticks, the lovely and gracious Jo, and The smokemeistr Marcus Aurelus from the Attic. It was also a pleasure to meet the extremely funny Mitch, as well as Flash and Brian from Heavy Handed Politics. King Banaian's economics colleague Phil from Market Power was also there, as was Gary of Let Freedom Ring and Wog from Wog's blog. Speed Gibson was also in attendance, as was Shawn (not Sean) of The American Mind. Cathy in the Wright guest blogged on SCSU Scholars, giving a gripping account on an altercation between the Scholar Family and a waitress. The only thing she left out was the midget mud wrestling... but that's a topic for another day.

Great meeting everyone. Tis a great bunch of bloggers we have in Minnesota. :)

Thursday, May 19, 2005

The White Limousine Liberal Plantation and Justice Brown ...a political lynching in the making

If you think the current U.S. Senate dog fight over Priscilla Owen is resulting in the dems getting their thongs in a bind, wait til you see what's coming down the pike. Justice Janice Rogers Brown. Brown, the daughter of a sharecropper in rural, segregated Alabama, worked her own way through law school while being a single mother. An African American woman, and the antithesis of the lilly-white limousine liberal plantation establishment, Justice Brown embodies the fullness of the American spirit. A champion of small, laissez faire government, Justice Brown recognizes the insidious encroachment of government in our lives, and tells it like it is:
Protection of property was a major casualty of the Revolution of 1937. The paradigmatic case, written by that premiere constitutional operative, William O. Douglas, is Williamson v. Lee Optical.23 The court drew a line between personal rights and property rights or economic interests, and applied two different constitutional tests. Rights were reordered and property acquired a second class status.24 If the right asserted was economic, the court held the Legislature could do anything it pleased. Judicial review for alleged constitutional infirmities under the due process clause was virtually nonexistent. On the other hand, if the right was personal and "fundamental," review was intolerably strict. "From the Progressive era to the New Deal, [ ] property was by degrees ostracized from the company of rights.25 Something new, called economic rights, began to supplant the old property rights. This change, which occurred with remarkably little fanfare, was staggeringly significant. With the advent of "economic rights," the original meaning of rights was effectively destroyed. These new "rights" imposed obligations, not limits, on the state.

It thus became government's job not to protect property but, rather, to regulate and redistribute it. And, the epic proportions of the disaster which has befallen millions of people during the ensuing decades has not altered our fervent commitment to statism. The words of Judge Alex Kozinski, written in 1991, are not very encouraging." 'What we have learned from the experience of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union ... is that you need capitalism to make socialism work.' In other words, capitalism must produce what socialism is to distribute."26 Are the signs and portents any better at the beginning of a new century?
Is this woman brilliant, or what? I urge all to read the entire text of the speech here.

Of course, the usual suspects are not wasting any time in doing their level-best to smear Justice Brown, calling her ( GASP!! ) a female Clarence Thomas (as if that's supposed to be some kind of insult). In a joint statement on the Black Commentator, People for the American Way and the NAACP state:
"Janice Rogers Brown has a record of hostility to fundamental civil and constitutional rights principles, and she is committed to using her power as a judge to twist the law in ways that undermine those principles (emphasis mine), said Hilary Shelton, director, NAACP Washington Bureau. "For the administration to bring forward a nominee with this record and hope to get some kind of credit because she is the first African American woman nominated to the DC Circuit is one more sign of the administration's political cynicism."
So, all of a sudden, interpreting the Constitution according to the Founding Fathers' original intent is "twisting the law" in ways that undermine principles? Which principles? Whose principles? You mean those "principles" that have to do with the NAACP and the Limousine Liberal Establishment's wish to make the Constitution a "living, breathing document" to be malleated at will into their whim du jour? You mean the principles of expanding the dependency class on the White Limousine Liberal plantation, creating more vest pocket voters for the DNC cause?

The mental midgets go on:
The report, "Loose Cannon," notes that when Brown was nominated to the state supreme court in 1996, she was found unqualified by the state bar evaluation committee, based not only on her relative inexperience but also because she was "prone to inserting conservative political views into her appellate opinions" and based on complaints that she was "insensitive to established precedent."
So taking an original intent view of jurisprudence, that is, going by the Founding Fathers' intent when writing the Constitution, is somehow wrong or ill-advised?

And experience?
Since May 2, 1996, Janice Brown has been an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court. From November 4, 1994, she was an Associate Justice of the Third District Court of Appeal in Sacramento. From January 7, 1991, to November 1994, Ms. Brown served as Legal Affairs Secretary to Governor Pete Wilson. The job included diverse duties, ranging from analysis of administration policy, court decisions, and pending legislation to advice on clemency and extradition questions. The Legal Affairs Office monitored all significant state litigation and had general responsibility for supervising departmental counsel and acting as legal liaison between the Governor's office and executive departments.

Prior to joining Governor Wilson's senior staff, Brown was an associate at Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Mueller & Naylor, a government and political law firm.
Yep... no experience there.

Look for the treatment of this woman of color to only get nastier. While it is true that the white limousine liberal establishment despises Republicans, they hold a special place of hatred toward those they deem should be one of their own, but refuse to play their game. While it may be true that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, that fury doesn't even begin to touch the fury of the white limousine liberal plantation and its inhabitants thereof toward a person of color who refuses to be a card carrying slave to their philosophy of dependency and government largesse. You don't believe me? This cartoon was part of the People for the American Way/NAACP hit piece:

I thought blatantly racist cariacatures like that went out with the minstrel shows and Amos n Andy.

Look also for the racist democrats in the Senate (and their willing pet RINOs as well) to get particularly nasty, and host their own little political lynching party. But instead of white sheets and pointy hoods over their head (well, perhaps this guy will revert back to the good old days), they will be burning a cross of intimidation, sending a message to un-like minded people of color that they not only need not apply, but better not apply.

Separated at Birth?

Cuban Militant/Terrorist Luis Posada, awaiting extradition to Venezuela

Andy Griffith, a/k/a Matlock.

Think Barney Fife had a clue?

(hat tip to Squid from Unto the Breach)

Dougger and the Psycmeistr...separated at birth?

Doug at Bogus Gold has a link to take a test to see which Star Wars character you most resemble...

Both Doug & I had the following:

Said Doug
Don't know how thrilled I am that my alter ego is dead. But they gave me a lightsaber, so it balances out.
As Dark Helmet said to Lone Star in Spaceballs, You have the ring. And I see your schwartz is as big as mine.

Speaking of Star Wars, there's a great spoof at Atom Films. Quite unexpected ending.

I'll be at the MOB road show on Saturday

King Banain has all the details.

I'll be dewinterizing my camper (hopefully it's safe enough to do so by now) in Detroit Lakes this Friday night, staying overnight, and then hopefully will be back in St. Cloud by 5:30 or 6:00p on Saturday. I'm very much looking forward to meeting everyone there!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Ice Palace will soon be going International

...stay tuned for details!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Play Ball!!

Yours truly will be singing the Canadian and American National Anthems tomorrow night (May 18) at the Twins-Toronto game (along with a hundred or so other barbershoppers). Unfortunately, they don't usually air the anthem on TV anymore, but I hear you can catch it on the radio broadcasts. Anyway, I did it last year as well and it's always a blast. I'm especially looking forward to a cold beer and a jumbo Chicago dog (a Chicago native, I'm partial to hot dogs, and, believe it or not, the Metrodome has as good a Chicago dog as anyplace in Chicago).

Of course, I'm also looking forward to a Twins-Win.

Musings of a chain gang worker

I had the pleasure of working road side cleanup on Highway 23 East between St. Cloud and Foley this evening, part of our organization's participation in the "Adopt a Highway" program. When I volunteered to do this, I thought I was doing my part to beautify Minnesota, a state which although not a native, I have adopted as my home state. As a partner and I were trudging down the roadside ditch, cleaning the two-mile stretch, my sense of civic pride evntually started turning into one of first annoyance, and then outright disgust. Cups from McDonald's; newspapers; porno rags, hundreds of cigarette butts, cigarette packs by the score, beer cans, pop cans. And I thought, "What the hell am I doing here, picking up everybody else's garbage? Couldn't they just wait til they got to a garbage can at a gas station instead of just chucking the crap out their car window?

And it got me to thinking about all the times I have walked to the edge of my driveway when mowing the lawn, only to see at least a hundred cigarette butts strewn on my lawn and on road next to the curb to be picked up--every week (I live on a fairly busy throughway), and I thought, "Geeze, people--Do I go and take a friggen crap on your lawn?" And it got me to fantasizing about the day when I finally see someone chucking a cigarette butt out their car window, and my following them to their house, carrying a week's worth of residue from my four dogs, and dumping it on their doorstep. Aaahhh.... hey...a guy can dream, can't he?

Monday, May 16, 2005

Too Little, Too Late? Newsweek retracts.

Newsweek has now retracted its story:

"Based on what we know now, we are retracting our original story that an internal military investigation had uncovered Quran abuse at Guantanamo Bay," Whitaker said.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan called Newsweek's retraction "a good first step" but said it could not repair all the damage that had been done.

"The report had real consequences," McClellan said. "People have lost their lives. Our image abroad has been damaged. There are some who are opposed to the United States and what we stand for who have sought to exploit this allegation."
Newsweek has taken an important first step in righting a wrong. But the task that Newsweek has ahead of itself in repairing its reputation is nothing compared to the task that is before our nation in repairing the damage done with respect to U.S.-Islamic relations. Newsweek's irresponsibility served only to breed further distrust and to fan the flames, creating an even larger pool of potential suicide bombers and others willing to die for the jihadist cause. In the midst of our efforts to create a safer world, Isakoff and Whitaker's actions served to thwart those efforts. If they truly do regret their actions, they would do well to step down from their respective positions.

(hat tip to Captain Ed)

Yet another weasel gets sucked into a jet engine...

Fox News has a story regarding deep Russian government connections in the Oil for Food scandal. According to a report released today,
The payments were made so that Iraq could buy support for lifting sanctions against Iraq in the U.N. Security Council, former Saddam officials told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (search) investigations subcommittee.

Saddam's vice president, Taha Yasin Ramadan (search), told investigators that the allocations were "compensation for support," according to one of two reports released Monday.

Well Surprise, Surprise, Surpriiiise!!!

The light that continues to be shed on these cockroaches known as The "coalition of weasels" continues to deplete the left of the ammunition required to maintain their argument that the U.N. Security Council had only the world's best interests at heart when they opposed the U.S.-led Iraq invasion.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Newsweek's Non-Apology

This just in on the Fox News website:

"We regret that we got any part of our story wrong and extend our sympathies to victims of the violence and to the U.S. soldiers caught in its midst," Editor Mark Whitaker wrote in the magazine's latest issue, available on U.S. newsstands on Monday, the Reuters story said.

..And from this story:

Newsweek, which said opponents of the Afghan government including remnants of the Taliban had used its report to fan unrest in the country, said it was not contemplating disciplinary action against staff.

"This was reported very carefully, with great sensitivity and concern(emphasis mine), and we'll continue to report on it," said Newsweek Managing Editor John Meecham. "We have tried to be transparent about exactly what happened, and we leave it to the readers to judge us."

With great sensitivity and concern? This comes as close to a non-apology as anything gets. At least 15 people are dead (this latter story reports 16). U.S. Islamic relations in a nation where our soldiers continue to be in harm's way and where our soldiers continue to rely on their cooperation to obtain our objectives, are now without a doubt at a new low. Not to mention the fact that our enemies in the rest of the Islamic world are now getting a much needed morale and P.R. boost.

It has been often said that the pen is mightier than the sword. What Newsweek has done with regard to reporting this non-story in its hell-bent propagandistic jihad to bash America at all costs is to set back U.S.-Islamic relationships at least three years, putting our troops at further risk, lengthening the terrorist recruiting lines, and costing more and more American lives in the process.

And they plan no disciplinary action, and to let the readers decide?? At least when this guy lied, nobody died.

All that the esteemed readers of Newsweek need to do is look at the literal carnage this fiasco has left behind to know that one should spend not one more dime on that rag.


Newsweek continues on its long journey down that River in Egypt:

Whitaker, however, did not say that the allegations in the story were wrong, but that the Newsweek reporters' source could not pinpoint where the source obtained his or her information. He also implied that the story had no causal effect on the recent riots in Afghanistan, in which 16 people have died and dozens have been injured(emphasis mine).

"The riots started and spread across the country, fanned by extremists and unhappiness over the economy," Whitaker wrote.

No causal effect? This guy is so steeped in denial that he couldn't get out of it if someone handed him a 10-mile long section of rope. His & Isakoff's deliberate negligence in their blind efforts to badmouth an administration with which they are at odds (regardless of cost or consequence) initiated a chain reaction that cost lives. There is no getting around that. There is no denying that. Isakoff and Whitaker will answer for their derelictions, sooner or later. If not in this world, then in the next.

Sunday meanderings... a lighter look on things...

(originally posted 4:20p on 3/6/2005)

My wife and I took our weekly sojourn to the Waite Park Goodwill store today, where my eyes beheld a true relic. It was a 1940s-50s era woodburning set, complete with the original box, stenciled pieces of wood, and instructions on how to use it (printed on the inside cover of the box). The instructions, paraphrased, said,
1. Plug woodburning tool in 110 volt outlet.
2. Wait for woodburning tool to heat up.
3. Begin using tool to burn designs in wood pieces.
On the outside of the box cover was a picture of a boy and girl, clad in "Leave-it-to-Beaver" attire, smiling, and carving pictures into wood. All harmless enough. Until something about it hit me. "Wait a minute," I thought. There's something missing. Not one word of "caution" on the tool, the box, the wood pieces; not one word of caution to be found. Anywhere. No "Caution, improper use of this tool may lead to injury or death," or "Danger-Fire Hazard- product may be hot, do not place tool on lap," or "do not use this toy while bathing," or "You'll shoot your eye out!" No "no warranty made, express. written or implied, as to the safe use of this product." No multi-lingual 25-page pamphlet filled with the hazards of using the woodburning tool. Anywhere. Just an electric wood burning tool, pieces of wood, and a box with instructions printed on the inside of the cover.

This observation led me to wonder if the emergency rooms were filled in the 1940s and 1950s with children who were maimed or dismembered via uninformed, improper use of wood burning tools. I wonder if the courtrooms of the 1940s and 1950s were filled with ambulance-chasing trial lawyers hell bent on getting every last nickel out of the Acme woodburning tool company for not warning their clients ahead of time that their child may burn his fingers if not careful while using their product. Or, alternatively, did their moms simply have their child run his finger under some cold water, put a band-aid on the finger, give the tool back to him, and then advise him to be more careful with it?

It also got me to wondering, was it the same kids who had actually maimed themselves with woodburning kits the kids who would later grow up to be bureaucrats working at the Consumer Products Safety Commission and other nannystate agencies, determined that other children should not suffer the same fate as they? It's been an interesting voyage our society has taken -from the "oops" generation to the "Somebody-else-is-responsible-for-my-oops-and- I'll-sue-the-pants-off-you-get-my-attorney-now" generation. And it gets me to wondering what the next 50 years will bring.

Thank you, Newsweek ..the consequences of irresponsible MSM "journalism"

Newsweek sparks global riots with one paragraph on Koran

Claim that the Holy book was defiled by US guards at Guantanamo Bay has incensed Muslims
Demonstrators show the depth of anti-American feeling in Islamabad after the Newsweek report (REUTERS)
AT LEAST nine people were killed yesterday as a wave of anti-American demonstrations swept the Islamic world from the Gaza Strip to the Java Sea, sparked by a single paragraph in a magazine alleging that US military interrogators had desecrated the Koran.

As Washington scrambled to calm the outrage, Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, promised an inquiry and punishment for any proven offenders. But at Friday prayers in the Muslim world many preachers demanded vengeance and afterwards thousands took to the streets, burning American flags.

Although the original report in Newsweek was small, it was re-broadcast by television networks such as al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya and in Pakistan it was quoted by Imran Khan, the cricketer-turned-politician, at a press conference. He said it would strengthen the impression that America’s War on Terror was against Muslims.

The most violent protests were in Afghanistan, where the death toll in clashes between demonstrators and security forces reached fourteen after a third day of rioting. Three people were killed and twenty-two injured near Faizabad, in Badakhshan province, when a thousand rioters burnt down aid agencies’ offices.

Worshippers in Pakistan poured on to the streets after prayers, chanting “Death to America”, and burning American flags. In Jakarta, hundreds gathered noisily at a mosque. Thousands marched through the streets of a Palestinian refugee camp in Gaza.

The unrest began this week after Newsweek published an allegation that American military interrogators had desecrated the Islamic holy book in an effort to rattle detainees at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. The report said that they had placed the Koran on the lavatory inside inmates’ cells and had “in at least one case, flushed a holy book down the toilet” .

Thing about it is, there is NO EVIDENCE that such an event ever took place. So, in Newsweek's zeal to put an anti-American slant on things, albeit without confirmation, people died. Hope you're happy, Newsweek. Hat tip to Little Green Footballs.


From Fox TV News: Newsweek has just come out with a statement to the effect that it regrets any errors that it may have made, and that they send their sympathies to the families of those who were injured or who were killed. As of this writing there is no such statement on their web site, nor on the Fox News web site. As soon as the actual text of the retraction is available, I will post it here.

For now, suffice it to say that 15 people have died, and scores more have been injured. I would say that some journalistic heads should roll after this one.


Saturday, May 14, 2005

Stuart Smalley, without the annoying Al Franken personna

Click on this for a quick pick-me-up. Hat tip to Residual Forces.

Not to be outdone by Newsweek, CBS gets into the act.

CBS headline on its coverage of Uzbekistan:

U.S. Ally Fires On Its People

Of course, the fact that Uzbekistan is a U.S. ally has a bearing on this story like a snowstorm in Siberia has a bearing on whether the Twins game will be cancelled, or whether "weather concerns" in May really have a bearing on a certain Minnesota majority leader's decision not to visit St. Cloud.

With friends like CBS, who needs France?

hat tip to Little Green Footballs

The Smoothing Plane hits it spot on...

Check out the Smoothing Plane for a great post regarding Paul Harvey's take on modern day PC terminology regarding terrorists. One heck of a slap-in-the-face wake up for a P.C. spoon fed electorate. A MUST READ.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Poor Dean Johnson... a little under the weather?

From the KNSI News web site:
Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson had been scheduled to make a stop in St. Cloud yesterday, however he cancelled the trip because of concerns over the weather. On Wednesday the Willmar Democrat had been criticized by Senate Republicans for not staying at the capital and finishing up the session. Johnson had been facing pressure to meet with Governor Tim Pawlenty and House Speaker Steve Sviggum for budget negotiations yesterday. Johnson had been scheduled to stop in Saint Cloud to promote the D-F-L budget plan for an income tax increase to fund schools.(emphasis mine)

It would appear that Dean Johnson is now taking hiding lessons from Mark Dayton. Only rather than imagined terrorist threats, Dean Johnson, a Minnesotan, seems to have a fear of a 1000:1 shot freak May snowstorm. If that is truly the case, Dean Johnson, you may want to call your buddy Mark Dayton to reserve an adjacent padded cell.

A momentary lapse of reason? or the shape of things to come?

The Republican Controlled House of Representatives voted yesterday to increase the Minnesota State gas tax by 10 cents over the next three years. The RINOs who voted for this measure are:

Jim Abeler, District 48
Ray Cox, District 29B
Ron Erhardt, District 41A
Pat Garofolo, District 36B
Denny McNamara, District 57B
Doug Meslow, District 53B
Dennis Ozment, District 37B
Neil W. Peterson, District 41B
Char Samuelson, District 50B
Kathy Tingelstad, District 49B

Minnesota House Speaker Steve Sviggum, who said he was surprised by the vote, vowed that it would never get to the Governor's desk in its current form.

Now seeing this actually pass a Republican controlled body of the state legislature, one only has to wonder... just what were they smoking? Why pass a law that they know will be vetoed by a governor who has done-very-well-thank-you by sticking with his "no new taxes" pledge?

As Dan Ochsner so aptly said, "They will have the distinct honor of sharing the fate of John Kerry, when they tell their constituents, "I actually voted for the bill, before I voted against it." If this keeps up, it would appear that the Minnesota state Republican party will share the fate of their national party counterparts.

Filibuster was busted at the House of Representatives...

When listening to Rush Limbaugh a couple of days ago, he pointed to an article by John A. Barnes at the National Review regarding Reed's Rules, which were enacted by Senator Thomas Brackett Reed (known thereafter as "Czar Reed" after the incident) in 1889, as a response to end a filibuster tactic in which democrats, who were physically there (mentally? I don't know), would refuse to acknowledge being there during roll call, thereby preventing a quorum. The article points out striking, even eery similarities between the conditions in the House of Representatives then, and the conditions in the present day U.S. Senate. For an interesting lesson in history, I would urge all to read this piece. Barnes ends his piece by opining
Majority rule no doubt has its problems, but they pale in comparison with those presented by minority rule. The term was unknown in 1889, but "going nuclear" can be unavoidable when a majority party finds itself caught between keeping faith with its electors and an obstinate minority that simply refuses to yield. "Czar" Reed knew that. Does Sen. Bill Frist?

Just how long will the Republican "Majority" continue to thwart the will of the voting majority constituents? Just when will the Republican "leadership" rein in the RINOs and once again assert their majority status? Right now there are a lot of angry republicans whose deep pockets are going to close wide shut should things not change, and the current Republican "majority" leadership will once again find themselves in the minority (a position in which, by virtue of their inactions, they will beyond a doubt feel the most comfort).

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Who needs democrats?

George Voinovich, just another in the cadre of the ever-present RINOs, had this to say regarding John Bolton:

VOINOVICH: Mr. Chairman, I have to say that after poring over the hundreds of pages of testimony, and, you know, I wasn't here for those hearings, but I did my penance, I read all of it. I believe that John Bolton would have been fired, fired if he worked for a major corporation. This is not the behavior of a true leader who upholds the kind of democracy that President Bush is seeking to promote globally. This is not the behavior that should be endorsed as the face of the United States to the world community in the United Nations. Rather, Mr. Chairman, it is my opinion that John Bolton is the poster child of what someone in the diplomatic corps should not be.

All things being equal is my proclivity to support the president's nominee. However in this case all things are not equal. It's a different world today than it was four years ago. Our enemies are Muslim extremists and religious fanatics who hijacked the Koran and have convinced people that the way to go to heaven is through jihad against the world, particularly the US. We must recognize that to be successful in this war, one of our most important tools is public diplomacy. After hours of deliberation, telephone calls, personal conversations, reading hundreds of pages of transcripts, and asking for guidance from above, I've come to the determination that the United States can do better than John Bolton.

I would dare say that after this complete and utter display of idiocy and given his track record of complete ignorance of who we are dealing with at the U.N. nowadays, the Republican party, the State of Ohio, and the United States in general can do better than "Senator" George Voinovich.

Friday, May 06, 2005

I'll be on the road for a few days..

I'll be travelling to Chicago to do some catching up with an old friend. I'll try to do some blogging while over there. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The Ox and the Kamp ... in Iraq

Local St. Cloud radio personalities, Dan "The Ox" Ochsner and Cory "The Kamp" Kampschorer have been broadcasting live from Iraq this past week. During Operation Homeland, Ochsner and Kampshorer have been providing St. Cloud listeners with actualities from Kuwait and Baghdad. Though their main objective, to embed with Minnesota area guardsman in Tikrit, was thwarted due to safety concerns, they were still able to hook up with those soldiers via phone link, and broadcast it back here in Minnesota. They'll be in Iraq til Friday. You can listen live from 6a-9a CDT, Monday thru Friday here, or you can listen to audio clips of the broadcasts here.

As a founding "200 Club Member" (I credit myself with coming up with the term) I salute Ox and the Kamp for their efforts!

Biting the Big Apple ...The Night Writer has some great observations

My friend The Night Writer took his family to New York, and has been blogging from there this past week.. Don't miss his musings, sure to delight. This guy is a novel, waiting to happen.

Can We Afford Minnesota-Nice at the Capital?.. legislators pass a "feel-good" minimum wage hike; Pawlenty expected to sign it..

The Minnesota House & Senate agreed yesterday on raising the minimum wage, and Governor Pawlenty is expected to sign it:
"It was a reasonable increase," said Sen. Paul Koering, R-Ft. Ripley, one of eight Republicans who joined DFLers to support the increase. "It's not out of line to have an increase once in a while." (ED: In that vein, it's not out of line to go rob a liquor store, as long as it's only "once in a while")

An estimated 49,000 workers earn the minimum wage in Minnesota.

About 4,000 workers in Koering's district make $7 an hour or less, according to information from the Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Senate members voted in February to increase the minimum wage to $7 an hour in two years, but agreed to the lower increase the House approved Monday because Gov. Tim Pawlenty said he would sign it.
Politically it was a given that this thing would go through, even among Republicans, so as to allow a chance for one and all to avoid the dreaded "voted against higher wages for Minnesota workers" attack line come election time. Good politics is good politics, even if the practice of "good politics" serves only to throw a wrench into a recovering economy.

At the time of the February signing (can't find the link but in my "steel trap" mind I remember) one of our esteemed legislators said that we need to raise the minimum wage because even McDonald's (voluntarily) pays higher than the minimum wage.

Do you see the disconnect there? McDonald's pays higher than the minimum wage because they know they can attract better employees that way, and that is what the labor market demands at the time.

Minimum wage is what the market will bear to obtain the quality of employees that a business desires. Minimum wage is associated with entry level, unskilled jobs. Given the amount of financial assistance for technical colleges and other venues of higher education, especially for those with very little means, there is no reason why one must forever have an "entry level" job. Government imposition of a "minimum wage" should therefore be deemed irrelevant and unneeded.

An increase in minimum wage also increases inflationary pressure, because once an increase in the minimum wage takes effect, pressure to increase wages in skilled positions also increases. Either costs of manufacturing and/or providing services increase, or businesses attempt to do more with fewer employees, resulting in fewer entry-level jobs.

As one of the few legislators (especially in the Senate) with any common sense, Dave Kleis called the legislation a "feel good measure," saying:
"It should happen at the federal level so Minnesota doesn't become an island," said Kleis, whose district includes about 5,500 workers who earn $7 an hour or less. "We don't need to put ourselves at a competitive disadvantage to neighboring states."
But State Senator Ellen Anderson actually went so far as to state that the minimum wage passage is
"...a way that we can show those who clean out the bedpans in the nursing homes, the people who make the beds in the hotels, the people who serve us eggs and coffee at the cafe, that they are going to get a strong message from us in the legislature that we value their work" and "...that's what raising the minimum wage is all about. [ED: insert music here]"
Ain't it a caution how some people can be so generous with other people's money. If Ms. Anderson values their work so much why doesn't she just leave an extra tip? Easy... because like all good liberals, she feels perfectly comfortable tipping the wait staff with other people's money (i.e. the businesses' money) rather than her own.

As Senator Kleis said,
"Senator Anderson, by passing this bill, you said you know, you're going to pass this bill so all the hard working Minnesotans are going to have this all of those people who get up in the morning and work hard, are going to make $6.15 per hour. First of all, the market dictates that and it's already above that in the market, so that's not the case
"Those who vote for this will feel good and say that they raised the wage. But you gotta remember that it's private businesses that actually pay the wage---they pay the wage based on the market, not according to the government"
and (this is my favorite line),
"I almost feel like doing an amendment to say insert everything in after the enacting clause, and insert "feel good" because that's what this's just "feel good" legislation-it doesn't do anything."
Kleis went on to point out how after a minimum wage hike in Washington even service jobs were outsourced, and drive through orders in Washington were taken by pimply faced teenagers in South Dakota.

Unfortunately, the substance and common sense inherent in Senator Kleis' comments took a back seat to an Anderson-injected "butt monkey", who felt the need to comment that
"...over 80% of Minnesotans think that the state's minimum wage is too low."
Err...uh.. Senator Kleis--maybe Anderson's got a point. Let's not let any common sense keep a bunch of liberals (along with a cadre of 8 spineless Senate Republicans and a Republican-led House) from feeling good, right?

Hey... a dose of reality can sure wreck a good buzz, can't it? It sure is good to have people like Kleis around to dish it out.