Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Happy new year!

My mother had a tradition of eating sauerkraut for good luck to start the new year.

To me, eating sauerkraut was just about #1 on my do-not-do list. If I ate sauerkraut to start the year, that was the worst thing that could happen. From a start like that, things could only get better.

I am going to do what I normally do for New Years: Sleep through it. It's no big thing for me any more.

If you're partying tonight, take care, use a designated driver and watch out for the amateur drunks.


Quote of the year

I have read many quotes from all of those people capping off 2003. Right Wing News has a top 10 list of his favorite feedbacks from the Democratic Underground. This one is my favorite.
"What we MUST realize in order to win - Americans are stupid and uninformed. This is very important because in order to win we must understand the way the average American thinks. I'm afraid WE have nothing in common with them.

I came to the two following conclusions when I saw the large number of people who voted for Bush back in 2000.

#1 - I would dare to assume that most of us here are in the upper 1%-20% of the population intelligence-wise. We must come to the realization that the majority of the population is in the lower 80% to 99% percent of the bell-curve. WE are not the norm. The Republicans understand that the average American is not very bright. They cater and pander to the masses. The Democratic Party tries to appeal to the population about "issues" that these people just don't understand.

I've heard it said that the reason that Clinton's sex scandal resonated so strongly among "the people" was because it was a scandal that the average American understood. The average person can't understand a financial scandal.

In addition, people of average or lower intelligence tend to not be as logical or reasoned as those of higher intelligence - they deal with emotion. Therefore they are more likely to get riled up about someone burning a flag rather than a illogical tax cut.

#2 - The majority of people do not read the newspaper OR listen to the news, CNN, etc. Therefore -they get their news from the Tonight Show, Letterman, Oprah and Saturday Night Live. Or, they get their news from talking to their co-workers at the water cooler.

Also, for the few people who DO listen to the news - who do they hear it from? Fox News and Bill O'Reilly are the most popular. Most newspapers and media outlets are owned by Republicans.

THIS is what we are fighting against people. In order to win we will need to start pandering to the masses." -- Janekat
This is the fringe that is presently control of the Democrat party. I'm glad. As long as the rabid zealots run the house, they will scare away the moderate swing voters that will make the difference.

These people actually remind me of schizophrenics. People who suffer from untreated schizophrenia are in their own world, responding to things that the rest of us don't see, hear or understand. Schizophrenics are easy to spot, however. They hear the TV talking to them, schizophrenic believe that computers are beaming thoughts into their brains and the like.

Now you tell me. Re-read the quote I have up there again and tell me this person does not have a serious disconnect from reality. Janekat does not imply, she says it in plain english that she thinks most Americans are stupid. They have to be not to see how right she is. It doesn't even occur to Janekat that she might be wrong. That is simply not possible. She's too smart to be wrong. Her stance on "The Democratic Party tries to appeal to the population about "issues" that these people just don't understand" doesn't even consider that the majority of people have already looked at their issues and just don't agree with them. She doesn't think that these people have the right to disagree with her. After all, she's right.

Yeah, right.


Don't let this happen

God bless the ACLU is a rather scary look into our possible future. Do your best not to let it happen.

In 2007, the American Civil Liberties Union was finally successful in getting Ten Commandments plaques removed from public buildings in all fifty states. In addition:
1. They forced the Ten Commandments to be expunged from the Supreme Court building;
2. They obliged the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to fire their chaplains;
3. They won a ban on official chaplains in the military;
4. They removed "In God We Trust" from all currency and public documents;
5. They removed "Under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance;
6. They removed all crosses, Stars of David and crescents from the gravestones of American soldiers in military cemeteries around the world.
The last part that I didn't quote is the scariest of all.

Read on.


I'm at 8

While I am felling better than yesterday, it's not by much. Getting to have lunch with my family yesterday and do some shopping with them helped with my mood. My family still loves me. We are apart because of my condition and lack of emotional control. That's it. If I could handle normal stress, If I could be a positive asset for my wife and her struggles, I would be home today. But that's not going to happen for a long time, if ever.

This time of year has been very rough with me ever since I got sick. Most of my hospitalizations have been in the winter months. My wife thinks I have Seasonal Affective Disorder on top of everything else.

I'll shoot for a 7 tomorrow to start off the new year.


Victor strikes again

Another great article by Victor Davis Hanson. The Western Disease goes into the why some of us are ashamed of our success.
Our Western intellectuals are sheltered orchids who are naïve about the world beyond their upscale hothouses. The Western disease of deductive fury at everything the West does provides a sort of psychological relief (without costs) for apparent guilt over privileged circumstances. It is such a strange mixture of faux-populism and aristocratic snobbery. They believe only a blessed few such as themselves have the requisite education or breeding to understand the “real” world of Western pathologies and its victims.
Read on. It's good for you.


More government records

I found this in The Washington Times, about the BATF and their quest to be the secret police. Bill limits gun-buyer database means they are trying to keep records on those who buy guns legally.

And if they get away with a 90 day record keeping, then they will go for 6 months, then a year, and so on until it becomes permanent. They are already permanently digitizing and archiving all of the 4473's from gun shops that have gone out of business. A 4473 is the ATF form that you fill out when you buy a gun from a gun shop or someone who owns a Federal Firearms License.

This is not an aberration because the BATF is trying to do the same thing for rocketry as well. Years ago, they decided to add Ammonium Perchlorate to their explosives list, without checking to see if it really was an explosive or not. AP is the major propellant used in high power rocketry. In fact, it's the same stuff used in the two boosters used on the space shuttle. Now the BATF wants to regulate it out of the hands of rocketeers. You need to have a license for it, you need to store it in such a way, you must record when you use it and so on.

And my mental illness precludes me from obtaining a license for AP, just like a firearm.

The BATF is an enormously aggressive force, grabbing everything they can, never letting go and always hungry for more. It needs to be given close oversight control and be reined in severely. You can find hundreds of anecdotal incidents out there that range from destroying law-abiding citizens lives all the way down to killing kittens.


Victims compensation

This article, Criminals Owe Debt to Victims, Not Society has been bandied about for years. I myself wrote about this subject in an earlier version of The Conservative Zone.
Most people realize that the court and penal systems in North America are seriously broken and must be fixed. With the possible exception of China, the United States currently imprisons more of its population than any other nation: the Bureau of Justice Statistics reports 2,033,331 imprisoned as of December 31, 2002.
I wrote that upon conviction, a fine should be assessed the convictee, to cover court costs, victims recompensation and enough so that the criminal, upon release, has a substantial nest egg (~$10,000) to help start a new life.

A large portion of those behind bars today are there for drug related crimes. While drugs have many parallels to alcohol and prohibition, there are many important differences. To get into them would be a digression I am unwilling to take right now, maybe later.

Suffice it to say our judicial system needs a capitalistic overhaul. Most of us have to pay our way through life, I see no reason for those who break the rules to do any different.


Tuesday, December 30, 2003

I feel horrible

No, I don't have the flu, but rather peaking at 9.5. The only reason I got out of bed this morning was to feed my birds. I got really bad like this last year around Christmas too. The time of year when you're supposed to be the happiest I'm at my lowest ebb.

It really sucks not being with your family, knowing that if you do spend more than a few minutes with them, you get out of control and become a danger to everybody around you. It really sucks to know that they need your help and you are unable to give it to them.

I'm going to crawl back under the covers and call in sick. Maybe something this afternoon.


Monday, December 29, 2003


The family emergency (leaking hot water tank) is being fixed as we speak, and things are getting patched up between me and the wife. Her troubles are still there, but there is nothing I can do to help with that.

I forced myself to get out the last two entries, but now I really have to go into the closet. There is much gnashing of teeth and wailing going on this side of the screen. I need the darkness to quiet down and regain control of myself.



Khaddafi's "Conversion"

While glancing through National Review Online, I found a guest columnist and his article, Khaddafi's "Conversion".

Written by the former head of Romania's foreign intelligence, who "ran" Khaddafi for the Soviet Union, we get the impression that Khaddafi is being more smart than scared.

Whether he's smart, scared or whatever, as long as we can know for certain that Khaddafi has no WMD and no ties to terrorism, he's clean as far as we are concerned. We have no strategic interest in his country as long as he keeps his nose clean. As Ronald Reagan once said, "Trust, but verify."

I don't care what spots he has as long as they pose no danger to us. That might sound rather harsh, but look at the reality. The US cannot depose every dictator, no matter how brutal. At least not in any quick succession. The rest of the world either doesn't care or is unable to do so by their own internal problems.

And while freedom is every person's birthright, it remains something that must be earned, not given. Freedom is a scary way to live. Not only can you win big, you can also lose big as well. Freedom to starve is right next to freedom to succeed. That's why we as Americans are so successful. We know there is nobody to catch us if we fail. Very few of us who reach for the stars get there on the first attempt. It is by failure that gives us the incentive to try again, and harder. In brutal dictatorships where any success is seen as a threat to the State, no one tries. Because the reward for success and failure is death. In places like Iraq was, doing nothing also could get you a trip into the plastic shredder. So again, there is no incentive to try very much. You eke out what you can and hope you don't attract the attention of the secret police.

I stand by what I said when I wrote that freedom must be earned, not given. The people of Iraq have not been given freedom yet, but rather the removal of the yoke of dictatorship. They must still earn it. Iraqis are only learning about the fundamentals of freedom today, they are getting the payoff of freedom first. They still have to learn the responsibility part. It takes eternal vigilance on the part of the people to make sure freedom stays free. The people of Iraq can still lose their freedom before it ever gets off the ground if they do not wisely choose their form of government. Hopefully we will steer them down the proper path.


Time for Recess

This article, Bush Makes Dozen Recess Appointments discusses how the President has appointed several people into positions he wanted them in, but the Democrat minority didn't.

These appointments are up for a review in just over a year when the next Congress is sworn in. Hopefully there will be a filibuster proof Republican majority come 2005 and we can move forward without interference.

The question remains is will President Bush continue on this path and put in the judicial nominees that are being held up. Hopefully soon.


Sunday, December 28, 2003

Relatively Painless

Wow. I made it through with only one tech support call, very little screaming and no bloodshed. I got the major programs reinstalled, now the minor stuff will take place over the next week to a month. It'll be a good indication of what I actually use. Instead of having to worry about squeezing out a little more disk space, I have a whole 6 gig (out of a 10 gig drive) free. I use a laptop, so it isn't easy to just upgrade the hard drive.

Phew. This was one job I was really dreading. I'm glad it turned out to be a molehill.


So far so good

Drive wiped, Windows reinstalled. Internet conection re-established (duh!). Now I'm on to update Windows before I install anything.



I finally got hold of a bootable DOS disk with format. So, I started backing up my hard drive last night and this is my last post before I wipe my drive.

I should be back on line by this evening, the biggest headache will be installing all of the updates after reinstalling Windows. Once that is out of the way, I can take my time over the next week discovering what I have and what I need. When I need something, I'll take the time to install it. That should simplify my Start menu.


Saturday, December 27, 2003

Paying their way

I found this article tonight, Florida Tells Cities to Pick Up Costs of Nuisance Suits.

It tells the story where the small municipalities use state court to prosecute nuisance suits and get the court for free. Well, tight budgets has forced the state to stop offering use of the court for free. It's now going to cost the cities several thousand dollars for prosecuting and defending lawyers, plus filing fees, all for a $50 fine.

The solution is simple: Pass the costs on. Assess court costs if you go to court and lose. Let the people know that a $1-2,000 court cost gets tacked on to that $50 fine. It makes pleading guilty cheaper.

Of course there are problems associated with this, but the only other choice is to stop enforcing these minor crimes. The problem with that is once you stop enforcing the minor stuff, the area goes downhill and bigger crimes start happening.

It has been documented in places like NYC that overall crime goes down in neighborhoods where the minor violations are vigorously enforced. By keeping tight on the little stuff, you keep the criminals away, and thus the bigger crimes are not committed.

In a situation like this, there are no simple or easy answers. But there is the right one.


A bit of fun

While perusing my referrer logs, I found one from Blogshares. It's a fun website where you can buy and sell shares of blogs. Think fantasy stock market. If you've got some time to waste, wanted to dabble in the stock market or whatever, try this.

Here's the link to my stock.

Have fun!

PS, I woke up late, so no news analysis this morning, maybe something when I get back tonight.


Friday, December 26, 2003

Family update

Well, the family had a emergency at 2:00 am this morning, necessitating me walking up and taking care of it temporarily until the landlord can fix it. Between last night and this morning, several conversations ensued between my wife and I, and I found out her condition has taken a turn for the worse in several regards.

I am totally useless to her, considering that I have no transportation to help and I cannot handle my own life, let alone support her in her hour of need. That's what tears me up inside, not being able to be there. If I were there, I would quickly build up from the pressure and explode, becoming violent and out of control.

It might suck to be me, but it sucks a lot more to be my wife. Not only is her medical condition serious, her husband is more of a liability than an asset. The only person she can lean on is our son, and he has his own set of problems.

If anybody can help, it would be greatly appreciated. A miracle would really come in handy about now.


Thursday, December 25, 2003

Jesus the Christ

Hat tip to American Realpolitik.
"A young man whose father is a carpenter grows up working in his father's shop. He has no formal education. He owns no property of any kind. One day he puts down his tools and walks out of his father's shop. He starts preaching on street corners and in the nearby countryside. Walking from place to place preaching all the while even though he is in no way an ordained minister he never gets farther than an area perhaps 100 miles wide at the most. He does this for three years. Then he is arrested, tried and convicted. There is no court of appeal so he is executed at age 33 along with two common thieves. Those in charge of his execution roll dice to see who gets his clothing -- the only possessions he has. His family cannot afford a burial place so he is interred in a borrowed tomb. End of story?

No. This uneducated, propertyless young man who preached on street corners for only three years who left no written word has for 2000 years had a greater effect on the entire world than all the rulers, kings and emperors, all the conquerors, the generals and admirals, all the scholars, scientists and philosophers who ever lived -- all put together. How do we explain that?

...Unless he really was what he said he was." --Ronald Reagan


Merry Christmas

Take a time out from opening your presents, and remember those less fortunate than you, especially those men and women who are serving overseas away from their families.

Remember the reason for the season, the birth of Christ.

Give your family members an extra hug for me, please.


Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Shaving points

President Bush is at it again. Immigration Reform on Bush Agenda

The Administration is again systematically stealing issues and votes from the Democrats. President Bush and his team are performing accomplishments in areas that Democrats have promised movement on for 40 years. In the process of actually addressing these problems, he is converting these single issue voters from Democrat to Republican. And he doesn't have to convert that many. A simple five to ten percent swing in multiple issues translates to an overall big swing that steals states. Barring a major catastrophe in the next year, Bush is looking at a landslide of Reagan-sized proportions.

The Democrat Party is in serious trouble. They are at significant risk of being declared a minor party because they are so fractured and there is no one on the stage that stands as a unifier. Instead, they are engaging in large-scale cannibalism. All 9 dwarves are all busy attacking the leader, each other and President Bush that they have no time left to say what they will actually do if they win. The few plans that have been talked about are easily picked apart and seem to be made off-the-cuff than by think tanks.

The Democrat ship never made it away from pierside. They have so many candidates that no one will be happy (except the winners camp) by the time a winner is chosen. The spectrum of these candidates are so wide that some supporters might actually support Bush over the Democrat candidate. There needed to be a guiding hand at the helm of the Democrat party that would have culled the herd before things got too far along. Too many choices confuse the voters. In all of the elections I have paid attention to, Republicans have put forward two candidates, while the Democrat side looks like the Boston Marathon.

I'm glad there's no one on that side of the aisle to hold things together and make the incoherent understandable. The Democrats are self-destructing and the 2004 election cycle will put a stake in the heart of this monster.

Hopefully then the Democrats will regroup, be reborn and come back a stronger party, interested in the things that appeal to the majority of American citizens. I'd hate for this country to become a one party state.


Today is bad; tomorrow is worse

I've been peaking at about 8 on my depression scale all day today. I have not been interested in anything at all today. Right now I'm pigging out on chili dogs and M&M's.

It's bad not being able to be with your family, especially when they are within walking distance. Not being able to see them hurts deeply, even when there are severe problems that exist between you and them.

So today has sucked, and tomorrow will be a complete waste for me. Except for feeding the birds, I may not get out of bed. Some Christmas.

Do me a favor, when you and your family is opening presents tonight or tomorrow, give them an extra hug for me.


The time is now

Closet time now, comments later.


Tuesday, December 23, 2003

More Mrs. Kravitz's

Remember Mrs. Kravitz, the nosy neighbor across the street in Bewitched ? Now, it seems, she's running things in South Florida.

Abuse of power? Homeowners group tells woman to remove Virgin Mary. It details the case against an old lady who wants to display her faith, as she has for the last 19 years.
The Mote Ranch covenant doesn't mention statues. But it does make two association committees "the ultimate deciding'' bodies in what a person can do to his home and property.
I could never live in such a place. I would not sign such a covenant. That would be a deal breaker for me. I am the one paying the mortgage, I should be the one in control of the property. These "homeowners associations" go so far as to decree what colors to use on the interior of your house. I understand the want to keep property values up, but this kind of stuff goes way too far.

Thankfully case law in Florida is on this woman's side. There is an elderly man who put up a flag pole to display the Stars and Stripes and got put through the wringer for it. Governor Jeb Bush came to this mans rescue by pushing a bill through the Legislature making things like this legal. The homeowners association then went so far as to put a lien on this mans house for legal expenses the association ran up bringing the case against him. Thankfully there was a drive by Sean Hannity and others to raise the cash to let this man keep his home.

Hopefully this lady won't have to go through the same hell.


Morning Funny


Monday, December 22, 2003

3 days old, but still good

I found something that the Liberal media won't say anything about, because a) it's a followup, b) it makes fools of those who yell the original claims. Halliburton's "Gouging": What Really Happened
The obvious question raised by the discrepancy was: Why would Halliburton deliver high-priced fuel from Kuwait when it could be obtained at a much lower price from Turkey?

The company says it did so because the Army demanded that it deliver fuel from Kuwait...
It turns out that Halliburton did exactly what the Army wanted. Unless stupidity on the Army's part is a crime, there is nothing here to yell about.

But you'll never see Brokaw, Jennings or Rather talk about this.


Socialists are full of it

I found this article, AFSCME Official Endorses Socialism After Union Backed Dean and it reminded me that I owe Spike Magazine's blog Splinters and article on Socialism.

Let's start off with the comments:
"The first thing we have to do is remind ourselves that we are fighting for socialism," said District Council 1707 President Brenda Stokeley of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

Stokeley's remarks were made during the Workers World Party's national conference in New York on Dec. 6 and 7. The conference was entitled, "Reviving the Worldwide Struggle for Socialism."
First of all, there are three types of social structure for this discussion: Capitalist, Socialist and Communist.

Capitalist is the one most free. You are allowed to start whatever business you want (within some very wide parameters) and go for it until you succeed or go broke. You are allowed to go where and when you want, and it is the government that is limited in their powers rather than you.

Communist is best described as governmentless. After all of the people have been properly and completely indoctrinated, the government would just "fade away" and be no more. Everybody would be equal and everybody would work for the common good.

Now let's talk about exactly who is/was Socialist.

Socialist can be best described as either "hard" or "soft." Countries such as the UK, France, Germany, et.al. are best described as soft socialists.

Soft Socialist societies still have a large contingent of capitalistic entrepreneurship, while the government is heavily invested in social programs and controls major industries. Freedoms exist, but at the pleasure of the government. In the UK, the press is nominally free, but can be gagged at the governments leisure if "official secrets" comes out.

Now the hard socialists, they are another ball of wax. The former Soviet Union, China, North Korea, Cuba. No freedoms, the State controls everything, constant indoctrination, "re-education" camps for those who don't conform, the list goes on and on. Imagine having to get permission from the State to leave the county where you live. Imagine the only freedom of speech you have is what the government tells you what to say. If you were accused of a crime, you had to prove your innocence. It's very hard to prove a negative under those conditions.

Everything is controlled by the State. Where you work, how much you get paid, where you live, etc. And we all know how well this system works. In the Soviet Union, the small privatized plots for the farmers outperformed the collective farms. You had to stand in three lines to buy anything. Stand in line to see what is for sale, stand in another line to get a ticket for it, and hopefully you get what it is you were looking for in the third line. Military units had a Zamploit or political officer to make sure the troops were properly indoctrinated and they had the power to overturn a commanders decisions if they went against the party interests.

Socialism works somewhat in China because of their culture. The Chinese have pigeonholed everybody for thousands of years. You stayed where you were, you do what you're told and you don't complain. Even so, China is beginning to see Capitalistic overtones. It will be a long time, however, before those who control China give up the reins of power. Constant indoctrination of the people still goes on, and dissent is still ruthlessly crushed as Tienanmen Square plainly showed.

People no matter where they are have pretty good BS detectors. When they live in squalor and under a ruthless government, there comes a point where people realize that they are being told a crock of shit, however they also see the point of the gun being pointed at them if they aren't sufficiently enthusiastic enough about being in a workers paradise. Why do you think people from these countries defect every chance they get? Why do you think dozens died trying to cross the Berlin Wall? Why do you think it was put up in the first place? It certainly wasn't to keep us out.

Cuba and South Korea are hard Socialist dictatorships. You can tell that it's a dictatorship because there is one guy in power and that is all that matters. Unless the succession is to a son, there is no "line of succession." Nobody is given enough power to threaten the dictator, there is no orderly transfer or power upon his death.

The situation in North Korea can be summed up in one word: Cannibalism. Some workers paradise that is.

Cuba depends on trade with Europe, because it can't survive on its own. It was being heavily subsidized by the Soviet Union, but that came to a halt when the SU collapsed. They still have thousands of people a year fleeing from this 'paradise,' only to die on the way or be executed upon their return. Dissidents are routinely jailed for years or executed if they get too loud.

And this is the kind of world Ms. Brenda Stokeley wants us to live in. Never forget that. There is no such thing as a benign government, even our own. It takes the power of the people to keep the government in check, not the other way around.


Not doing well

I am working on an article about socialism, but it is overloading me. I have already been in the closet twice today and I am looking at a 3-peat very soon. I have been unable to search the news sites beyond what I got for the article.



Sunday, December 21, 2003

More Big Brother

I found two related stories on The Drudge Report. Lost? Hiding? Your Cellphone Is Keeping Tabs obviously talks about how GPS technology in your cell phone that can instantly locate you. The other story is from the UK, Police call for remote button to stop cars talks about remotely stopping cars who are evading police.

These two related technologies show the best and worst side effects of technology. Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park asked, "Just because we can do something, does that mean we must do it?" Movies such as Enemy of the State and Changing Lanes show just exactly what can happen to a person if they become the target of anybody with such resources, and the capabilities of these people grow every day.

Identity theft is a prime example of a nefarious use of our interlinked society, where a couple of words and numbers in the right order spell disaster for thousands of people every day.

I don't like the technologies described in these stories, especially the "mandatory in the future" part of it. Every good reason you can come up with I can come up with two bad reasons, things that bad people can do to you.

I've asked this before, and it bears repeating: If I know everywhere you go, and you know I know, are you truly free? Can you honestly say your decisions on where and when you go are untainted by the knowledge that someone could be watching you? I spend great amounts of time online, and I do so with the knowledge that I am watched. Every website I visit, every email I send and receive is logged somewhere, ready at a moments notice for someone to look at. This knowledge does affect where I go and what I say. And I don't like it. It isn't for my protection, it isn't in my best interests at all, but it happens nonetheless.

These are the last days that we are truly free, if they are already not passed. Remember them well. They will not come again.


Alert Level Raised

I just got back from a MechWarrior tournament and saw the terror alert level raised.

Hat tip to Mike Hollihan for having this on his blog for me to see. Click on the Sesame Street icon to the right to see the entire spectrum. Hope it never gets to Elmo.


It's working

President Bush's long range plans are bearing fruit. Despite the lack of positive press coverage, things are getting better every day in Iraq. The capture of Saddam has put a large stake into the heart of despotism. Countries in the region are seeing that is far better to have us as a friend rather than an enemy.

Iran is screaming for nuclear inspectors to prove that they are not developing a nuclear weapons program. Time will tell. The mullahs have had to put down several pro-democracy movements, and the internal pressure is still building. External pressure via Iraq is also beginning to show in the fact that they are willing to have international inspections concerning their nuclear program.

Libya is begging us to take away their WMD and promising that they won't do it again. The history of Libya took a hard right turn back in the 80's thanks to Ronald Reagan. Qaddafi was making a lot of big noises, especially about his "line of death." A carrier group brushed his defenses aside and an F-111 dropped a bomb into the tent next to his. He was down right quiet after that.

I don't know if Qaddafi was directly responsible (ordered) the bombing of Pan-Am Flight 103, but he certainly is paying for it and a similar French aircraft bombing. He has been moving toward civility for some time, this WMD step is just the latest step. While the timeline is not exact, it indicates that the negotiations to get rid of Qaddafi's WMD started about the time we rolled into Iraq. I'm sure Qaddafi saw his own future in that attack.

The United States has played softball far too long. The world is a dangerous place, and we as a people need to realize that. Thank God that there is a man in the White House who is willing to play hardball with those who wish to do us harm. 9/11 came about because we were seen as soft. We must be seen as swift, unequivocal and fatal in our responses to keep us safe. Trying to be nice and being ambivalent with our military strength caused two towers to fall.

The most dangerous time of the world is yet to come. Terrorists must have nations as sponsors. That is how they get most of their money, their training bases and a pool of potential recruits. We need to convince (and I am sure we are doing so) these states that an NBC (nuclear, biological or chemical) attack on the US will result in at least a limited nuclear strike against those countries deemed responsible.

Retribution would likely come in the form of a Trident D-5 SLBM. Unclassified capacity is 12 warheads per missile, but I have heard that we only have 8 warheads each. Each of the 8 is a W-88 thermonuclear warhead, with a 475 KT yield, equal to 31 Hiroshimas for a total of 248 times the devastation. I hope the terrorist sponsoring countries do the math and realize it is not in their best interest to be on the wrong side of the US.


Saturday, December 20, 2003

Bumper Snickers

I clicked thru an ad while doing my morning research, to Bumper Talk.

They sell the funny and thoughtful bumper stickers that you see on cars today. I myself would never dress up my car with these, I do understand why people do it.

I myself collect these witticisms, simply because they are cheaper than collecting cars or stamps. I have over 400 tucked away in a Word file, and I add to it whenever I come across something thought provoking or funny.

I use these witticisms as signature lines in emails and whenever I post on public forums. Here are my prior and present sig lines:
"Do not meddle in the affairs of Dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup."

"Jesus saves, Allah protects, Cthulhu thinks you'd make a nice sandwich." (You need to read H.P. Lovecraft for this one.)
I know, I know, I've got a twisted sense of humor. But what can I do about it?


Under God Update

The Bush Administration has weighed in on the "Under God" case before the SCOUTS. Administration Asks Supreme Court to Support Pledge.
"The reference to a 'nation under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance is an official and patriotic acknowledgment of what all students - Jewish, Christian, Muslim or atheist - may properly be taught in the public schools," the administration argued in its 63-page filing.
I agree. "God" can equally mean Jehovah, Yahweh, Allah, and so on. While God names the One True God, there are many ways and Names to worship Him. Under God means that we recognize that our rights and power as a people come from Him. The rights and power granted by God do not go only toward Americans, but to all who recognize that fact. Too bad there are no other governments that derive their power from the people.


Friday, December 19, 2003

Blogging works

I talked about P E T A in this post, along with the front cover of their "comic." Well, I had heard some extra gross things today about the inside that I wanted to check out.

It turns out that URL to it is now dead. You come up with a placeholder search page. It seems that these people have discovered they bit off more than they could chew. Rather let the world see how truly radical their tactics are, they took it down. Remember, they want to tug on your heartstrings, and they can't do that while showing graphic images to young children.

Too bad. I think everybody should see what they want to show young children.

UPDATE: It was either unrelated down time or a denial of service attack, but it's back up. You can find it through P E T A's website, the obvious page. Sorry but I won't link to them.


Living Wage

This article, Living Wage Law Is Blocked in N.M. City is a sign that reasonable people are trying to stop a stupid law.
Earlier this year, the Santa Fe City Council set a local minimum wage of $8.50 for all businesses with at least 25 employees. The law was scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.
This is plain bad law, and the people who passed it know nothing about economics.

This is a wonderful Liberal idea, to make sure everybody is paid "a living wage" but as always, the reality sharply interferes with the ideal. Why did they stop at $8.50? Why not $10 or $12? When does the number become ludicrous? And why is that number so unreasonable? Why not just pay everybody $17 an hour, which translates out to the average income for the US? Any argument you can make for $8.50 I can make for $17.

I have already written that businesses don't pay taxes, they pass the costs along to the consumers in the price of the product. The same applies here. If these companies are forced to raise their pay level, they will have to either a) cut back on employees to save payroll, b) increase prices, or c) a combination of both.

Wages do not exist in a vacuum. Raising wages via legislative fiat translates into people losing their jobs and price increases somewhere else. It happens every time it's done. Every time the minimum wage goes up, the price of everything goes up a little to reflect the increased cost of doing business.

When will they learn?


Blast from the past

From inside the ring:

History lesson
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, in a statement in December 1998 supporting President Clinton's four-day bombing of Iraq:
"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process. The responsibility of the United States in this conflict is to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, to minimize the danger to our troops and to diminish the suffering of the Iraqi people."
This just shows how two-faced she is. She can support long-range bombing of targets that in the end do nothing, but when it comes time to actually do something about it, she is against it because a Republican is the one doing it.

She can say with certainty in 1998 that Hussein is a direct threat because he is developing WMD, but when President Bush says, "Let's not wait until he actually has them" Pelosi starts crying about where the WMD are. This is standard Democrat rhetoric, against anything Bush is for, just because he is for it.

Just for one day, I would like to see President Bush come out for gay marriage, just to see the Democrats come out against it. It will never happen, but it is a dream I have.


Early riser

Well, I normally stay cowered under my covers until 8:30 or so but since my Abilify is waking me up starting at about 5:30, I decided to get up an hour earlier. This will give me extra time to produce stuff to go with your morning caffeine. I hope you like what I write.


Thursday, December 18, 2003

Another sign of the Apocalypse

I saw this on Drudge this morning, but he took the link down before I could get around to it. Here it is: Jacko Finds Islam
High-ranking members of the Nation of Islam have been working to bring Jackson into Rev. Louis Farrakhan's flock - and Jackson's conversion is now well-known in the NOI [Nation of Islam] community.
And we all know how reasonable and peaceful Rev. Farrakhan is. I think Jacko is clutching at straws to get him out of the hole he has dug for himself, and this is one more play on the public relations scene.

But then again, there is an old Arab adage that I heard years ago, "A woman for sons, a goat for pleasure, a boy for ecstasy." Maybe Jacko heard of it.


I don't think these people are reasonable

And these guys are planning on handing this out to children going to a Nutcracker performance. Fur flies over flier: P E T A targets "Nutcracker" kids
"And the sooner she stops wearing fur, the sooner the animals will be safe. Until then, keep your doggie or kitty friends away from mommy - she's an animal killer.''
I will be the first to admit that the conditions that these animals are kept under and killed are deplorable. I commend P E T A for wanting to improve the conditions of these animals. But inflicting such propaganda on children is beyond horrendous. It shows that these people have no boundaries at all. This would severely and permanently traumatize a child who is supposedly going to have a fun evening with their parents. It is these kind of people who make me wish that Klingon pain sticks were real. I'd declare open season on these people. The sad thing about it is you can't change the mind of anybody who would hand one of these to a child. These people are sickos and there is very little you can do to them.

On a side note, I'm sure you know these "people" will spray paint anybody who wears fur, destroying the clothing. Well, some people got the bright idea to "go right to the source" so to speak. They decided to start spray painting the baby seals directly, so the seal hunters wouldn't go after them. They got that part of the plan right. The bad news is a baby seal needs that white coat to make it invisible to polar bears. They become easy to see with a large stripe of bright red paint on them, and polar bears know how tasty baby seal is. So the animal is directly doomed to death by their actions instead of having a fighting chance to grow up. So much for well thought out plans.


What's next?


Another step towards Big Brother

A while back, I handed out a reading assignment, This Perfect Day by Ira Levin. It was a world where you wore a bracelet with your nameber (Mark GH 7246931) and every time you passed a station, you stuck the bracelet in to have it scanned, so UniComp knew exactly where you were at any given moment.

Of course, back in the 70's when the book was written there was even no concept of Wi-Fi, the Internet, RFID tags or any of the technology that surrounds us today.

This article, Summit group confirms use of ID chip talks about having RFID tags in the security badges used by the attendees.

The technology exists today to track your every movement. The only hurdle is the individualistic notions of the American people. Once that is out of the way, it would be a relatively minor cost to install RFID scanners throughout the country. Then the only thing left is to install the chips in every person. Mark of the devil anyone?

Oops, there goes your freedom. Because if I can track everywhere you go, are you truly free?

Of course, this will start small. Chips in sex offenders and scanners nearby schools to keep them out. Then all criminals and prisons, then in kids (because you've already got the scanners in the schools). Once you get them into the kids, that is the point where everything is lost. Because if you can get the kids to grow up and think nothing is wrong with it, then all the fighting is over. Adults can wail all they want, but if the younger kids accept it, there is no younger generation to carry on the fight.

When missionaries invaded (correct word) foreign lands, the first step to converting the local populace was to teach the missionaries language to the local children. This drove a wedge between the children and the older generations, with their customs. Once that wedge was in place, it was relatively easy to destroy the old culture and replace it with the missionaries culture. It took 20-30 years, but it happened.

That is where a lot of people learned incrementalism. Take small steps when possible, don't give up ground and hope the other side doesn't catch on to what you are doing. That is what Liberals have been doing for the last 40 years and they have been good at it. The bad news is the people of the US is starting to catch on to what the Liberals have been doing.

Let's hope they wake up all the way and combat this incrementalism.


This guy is stupid

This is shocking. You can read the whole thing here: Gen. Wesley Clark The piece before the transcript is total gushing cotton-candy fluff. Yecch.

General Wesley Clark was on Hardball December 8th and had this to say:
Well, if I were president right now, I would be doing things that George Bush can't do right now, because he's already compromised those international bridges. I would go to Europe and I would build a new Atlantic charter. I would say to the Europeans, you know, we've had our differences over the years, but we need you. The real foundation for peace and stability in the world is the transatlantic alliance. And I would say to the Europeans, I pledge to you as the American president that we'll consult with you first. You get the right of first refusal on the security concerns that we have. We'll bring you in.
"You get the right of first refusal on the security concerns that we have." Wow. If he was in charge, he would surrender the security of this country to other countries that have had a vested interest that is in opposition to our own security.

Let me say that again: He would give the power of deciding what is in the best interests of our country to those countries that have interests in conflict with ours. Countries that would never allow us to respond to attacks upon the US in such a manner so as to make sure they won't happen again.

On 9/11, the terrorists took this fight to a new level. No longer were they concerned about getting the infidels out of their territories, but rather the destruction of as many infidels as possible in their home country. These fanatics will not rest until either they or America is dead. We didn't start this war, and the only way to finish it is to kill all of the terrorists, because surrender is not part of our vocabulary. And Clark is willing to prevent us from doing that because he wants to make nice with France and Germany.

France and Germany are not against us just because they had interests in Iraq, but because they view themselves as being a counterbalance to us. Just like the Democrats are against anything President Bush is for, just because he is for it, so are France and Germany against anything the US is for.

To surrender control of our security to those who work against us is ludicrous. I'm glad he doesn't have a snowballs chance.


Blatant discrimination

These "conservative bake sales" where you are charged according to your sex and skin color are really offensive. To the Liberals. The one thing they can't stand is being made fun of while strictly adhering to the principles they hold dear. Liberals hold disdain, and hatred of them as badges of honor. It (to them) reinforces that they are right. What they can't stand is laughter. Being laughed at offends their sensibilities.

Orwell would be proud, because Liberals believe that some people are more equal than others, namely themselves. In order to assuage their guilt of being more equal, they want minorities to have two bites at the apple to make up for past injustices. So instead of picking the best qualified candidate regardless of skin color for any position, they force unqualified candidates, primarily minorities, into positions where they have little real chance to hold onto what they have been given a shot at.

To put a person, regardless of color, into college when they struggled through high school is an injustice to that person. The chances of them surviving four years in college is very slim. I myself was in a similar situation. When I joined the Navy, I aced the entrance exams. A recruiter looked at me and asked, "How would you like to go to Annapolis?" That is the Naval Academy where you go to become an officer. I turned it down. I knew I would have never made it. I had a 2.8 GPA in high school and someone with that level of studying skills has no place in a high pressure situation like a military academy. Hell, I almost flunked out of my Electronics Technician school twice. If I would have accepted and had been admitted, I would have flunked out quickly and had denied a more qualified person their slot. That should not happen.

In the business world, putting an unqualified person into a position in a company is a dangerous proposition. A company depends on every person doing their job, and if someone slacks off, things don't get done and the company suffers. Normally that person is fired for not doing their job. But if that unqualified person is a minority who was specifically hired to promote "racial diversity," then you're stuck with a big hole that you can't do anything about. You're damned if you keep them, you're doubly damned if you get rid of him.

I'm not saying that you can't take a chance on a person. One of the major things that businesses hire on is potential. But I am saying that if it doesn't work out, then the company should be able to let him go without recriminations.


Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Say it again Terry

Terry McAuliffe has gone and been a poster boy for the GOP again, making himself and his party look petty, hateful and spiteful. DNC chairman’s school visit sparks anger among Portsmouth city officials.

He was supposed to give a class on democracy and the political process to some social studies classes. The remarks he made were outrageous, silly and just plain stupid.
During the presentation, McAuliffe told students that due to Bush’s mismanagement of the country, 70 percent of college graduates will not be able to find a job upon graduation. He also told students that if the war in Iraq continues as it has, there could be a reinstatement of the draft.
The sickening thing of it is, this very stuff is being taught as gospel at a thousand other schools by teachers and is going unchallenged.

The unmitigated and outright lies on our Constitution, our way of life and our president goes on every day, in almost every grade. Get involved with your child's school, learn what the teacher is teaching and refute it with the truth.


Albright strikes again

"Bill Clinton's dimwitted former secretary of state Madeleine Albright" (FOX words, but I like them) suggested that Bush already had bin Laden and was going to spring him as an "October surprise."

Believe me, dimwitted is a compliment for her. She tries to swim with cement shoes. But she has backtracked, saying she was only joking.
It was a "tongue-in-cheek comment and was not intended in any other way," Albright told Fox News Channel.

"But witnesses to Albright's comment said the ambassador did not appear to be joking Tuesday when she suggested President Bush may reveal bin Laden's capture as an "October surprise" before next November's presidential election," FNC reported.
Do you think if everybody ignores her, she will go away? I guess the problem is some news show will ask her opinion, and she will always stick her foot in her mouth doing it.


Experiencing difficulties

My IE is crashing on almost every page, so I have had to go to Netscape for a browser. Well, I'm having problems with Netscape as well. All of the help and the link managing windows open for a second, then close again, being very frustrating. If you can offer any help, with a working browser or knowledge of Netscape, I would be grateful.

Until I can get this mess managed, posting will be spotty. Sorry.


Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Timing is everything

The Loony Left strikes again. Wash. Congressman Questions Saddam Timing

This sums it up rather well:
Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., told a Seattle radio station Monday the U.S. military could have found Saddam "a long time ago if they wanted." Asked if he thought the weekend capture was timed to help Bush, McDermott chuckled and said: "Yeah. Oh, yeah."

The Democratic congressman went on to say, "There's too much by happenstance for it to be just a coincidental thing."
I think we should have held onto the news for a couple of days. Intelligence recovered with Saddam is bearing fruit, but the roaches are scuttling for cover. If we had sat on him for a couple of days, we would have had a better chance of getting some of these insurgents. Then again, hindsight is always 20/20.

It has already been expressed that if we hand control of the Iraq government to local control on June 30 as promised, Saddam will be executed on the 1st of July. I'm sure he will get a fair trial. Just as fair as the ones he gave to his people.

Of course, his family wants an international court. That alone is reason enough not to do it.

I'm not for torturing the man, but I hope the method of execution is feet first into the wood chipper. A close second would be a firing squad. On live TV of course. We want to make it clear that he is not coming back.


Monday, December 15, 2003

Some Housekeeping

I wanted to clear some things up about myself and my family and why I am not with them. It seems appropriate to discuss this with the holidays coming up.

I write this blog because I have difficulty putting my thoughts into audible words. It takes me several hours to write a piece like this. I write out several thoughts, then I have to put them into an understandable sequence and expand on them to make them comprehensible. This is one way I communicate with my case manager and medication nurse, my two major mental health caregivers. I have to because I can't fully explain myself during my appointments.

Dealing with a mental illness is a lot like being in recovery. It's something that you have to battle every day. Complacency about the problem leads to a relapse, which in my case can be fatal. A relapse for me means I eat a gun, or step in front of a bus, or something else equally gruesome.

I am still emotionally unstable. I haven't been stable since the first time I crawled into the closet. It doesn't take much to push me into the closet. The only thing the medication does is level my playing field to a hill instead of a vertical cliff. With everything I do to make myself as stable as possible, it still isn't enough. I still have to head into the closet on a daily basis to combat the overloads I experience.

My family has serious fears about me. My instability has already put them through multiple terrible incidents. Serious issues exist between my family and I and because I cannot stabilize the load I already have. It would literally be suicide for me to try and take on the additional burden of my families problems. Especially since I do not have the capability to actually do anything to help out. The most I could do is commiserate with them, which does nothing but stir everybody up. I can't do anything to help out because I would get halfway through solving the problem, then fall apart and abandon the project, leaving things worse than if I had done nothing at all. I know this because I have done it before on several occasions.

My wife and son love me, but they are scared to death of me. For the sake of everyone's survival, I cannot be in their life. They have cut themselves off from me for their own survival, both emotionally and physically. They are already in a bad situation right now, for multiple reasons. But as bad as things are, it would be worse if I was around.

More people commit suicide around the holidays and I can see why. This should be a time of great joy to spend with family and friends. My family is only 2.5 miles away, but for all practical purposes they might as well be on the moon. I see little reason to celebrate anything this year. With my family afraid to deal with me, there isn't a lot that keeps me going.

The only thing that does keep me going is the fact that my family is dependent upon my disability money. If I blow my head off, that money ends. And for as bad as things are for them now, it would get a thousand times worse.

I'm stuck where I am with little hope for improvement. I don't have any bootstraps to pull myself up with anymore. The drugs barely work and therapy doesn't address the issues hindering my progress. Even though I don't have my family any more, they are the sole reason why I get out of bed in the morning. They are the reason why I must continue to exist.

It's not a lot, but it will have to be enough.


Sunday, December 14, 2003


Saddam Hussein has been captured! The news programs are full of wall-to-wall coverage over this.

The democracy of Iraq just got pulled off the respirator. He can no longer come back to threaten his former subjects.

The chance of the Ba'athists coming back to power after (if) the US leaves has dropped by 50-70%, and I am glad.

The only work left to do is wipe out the cockroaches that still survive. That is all we can do, they will not surrender or go away.

Good news today, all-in-all.


Friday, December 12, 2003

Oh, Please

This article isn't outrageous, it's plain stupid. Nursery rhymes put kids 'at risk', where it talks about 'first responders' to Humpty Dumpty. Indeed.

These "Canadian Researchers" need to go and find something better to do. These nursery rhymes were written several hundred years ago and reflected contemporary themes. Humpty Dumpty referred to a king who had fallen from power. I don't remember who or when. The part about the kings men and horses meant they couldn't return him to power. "Ring around the rosie"? That referred to bubonic plague. And so on.

To try and bring a modern context to these tales is ridiculous. They are historical similes to talk about terrible events and nothing more. They are songs or short stories that have lost their meaning in the sands of time and it should stay that way. If a child is very inquisitive on the subject, look it up together on the internet. I'm sure the answers are easily Googled.

Some people have either too much time on their hands or too much grant money.


Thursday, December 11, 2003

Happy RamaHanaKwaanzamas

Glenn Beck played a parody song designed to anger the ACLU by throwing all of the December holidays into one, just so you don't offend any major religion or ethnic group.

I like it.


Volunteer Tailgate Party

Big Stupid Tommy has hosted the latest Volunteer Tailgate Party, where members of the Rocky Top Brigade offer posts as contributions. I'm happy to be part of the party! Check it out!


Some Right-thinking people

Of course, I have my browsers home page set to my blog. Well, this morning I had an interesting link in the ad area that I clicked through on and I'm glad I did. The Black Conservative is a web site of essays by, believe it or not, black conservatives.

I have only had time to read two essays so far, but they were clear, concise and an interesting read. Well worth your time to investigate.


Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Stick it to the ACLU

A talk-show host is trying to force-feed Christmas to the ACLU. The Anti-Christmas ACLU has got me fired up.

This is what he wants:
If you agree with me that it's time to stand up to the ACLU, feel free to send me as many Christmas cards as you can. Some listeners have sent me 25 or 50 at a time. Remember, make sure each one is hand-written by you and contains a message to the ACLU. Send your Christmas cards to:

Mike Gallagher's "Merry Christmas, ACLU!" c/o The Mike Gallagher Show 6400 N. Beltline Rd. Irving, Texas 75063
Please donate to this worthy cause, if only to piss the ACLU off. I'm buying a card for them tomorrow when I go shopping.


MCS Reorganization

The Memphis City Schools recently hired a new Superintendent, and she is wasting no time. She is requiring all Administration officials to re-apply for their positions, with the stated intent that some positions will be eliminated and officials that have not been doing their job will not be rehired.

I like her. She's got some backbone and I think she intends to push the normally immobile School Board as far as she can, and I think she's got her job cut out for her.


Stupid people

I think the headline says it all: Saddam's European and Canadian Allies Furious They Can't Profit From War They Opposed

I don't understand these people. I guess they really don't understand us. We act decisively in favor of our own security, and all they had to do was stay out of the way. They decided to do a Jane Fonda instead, and now they are uncomprehendingly upset about why we are still not playing with them. Their own short memory does not recall our own long memories. Americans as a people remember who are friends are. This past year has shown us that we had some fair-weather friends, and some friends we didn't know about.

These people back the wrong team, then want a piece of the pennant when they lose.

The funny thing is the rules only go so far. It only prohibits these companies from being primary contractors on US money. They have $13 billion from other sources to bid on as primary contractor, and they can be a subcontractor on the US money.

But of course "We are all friends." Yeah, right.

UPDATE: It is clear to the world that American friendship is valuable; it must be equally clear that American enmity is expensive. That way we encourage other nations to cooperate with us. - Steven Den Beste


Blogger was down

I would have posted the last entry this morning, but Blogger has been down until now. Maybe someday, when I get enough hits to warrant it I'll open up a tip jar to cover the expenses and move this over to its own domain. Until then I'm at the mercy of somebody else's servers.


Oops, they did it again

The SCOTUS has upheld restrictions on the First Amendment. The details are unimportant, all you need to know is there are now restrictions on your right to free speech.

This is not the first time the Constitution has been directly violated.

Back about 1997, Clinton signed into law the "Domestic Violence Act," another bad law. For years, you had your right to bear arms taken away from you only when you committed a felony (served more than one year in jail). Misdemeanors were okay. Not anymore. This law made this particular misdemeanor grounds to take away your Second Amendment rights.

That's not the bad news.

What violated the Constitution was the "retroactive" part, meaning if you were convicted of domestic violence 20 years ago, you lost your SA rights today instead of being "grandfathered" in. This caused a number of police officers to lose their jobs, because they could no longer carry firearms.

It says very clearly in Section 9 paragraph 3 of the Constitution, "No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto [after the fact; retroactive] Law shall be passed."

We have taken the second step of violating the Constitution. There will be a third step soon, then a fourth. Soon it will become a walk, then a trot, then a run.

We must stop this, and now. Urge your Congressman and Senators to repeal the Campaign Finance law, to take away this stain on the First Amendment.

This ruling makes me scared that they will strike down the "Under God" in our Pledge of Allegiance. Please don't let that happen.


Tuesday, December 09, 2003

The Right Thing...

...for the wrong reasons. The Cost of Doing the Right Thing points out something that will come back to bite the GOP in a couple of years.
One more such victory and I am lost.” -- Pyrrhus

Conservatives once cheered at the idea of controlling both houses of Congress and the White House. But unless we base our reform on true conservative principles, we’re going to fail. If all we do is expand the size and influence of government in our lives we, like Pyrrhus, will eventually find that our legislative “victories” have destroyed everything we’ve worked so hard to accomplish.
The GOP sacrificed a major principle to make a minor tactical victory. Pyrrhus' words ring true more than ever. They could lose control of Congress over this as soon as '06, but I think it will be more like '08 when the next president is elected. If Hillary takes the White House, she could take both houses with her, and I am sure she will hammer the GOP over this very same Medicare bill.


Monday, December 08, 2003

I finally did it

Since the days that I had my Fat Mac, there is one particular sound effect that I wanted. Today, I finally got it. I downloaded the appropriate shareware, pulled out my DVD of Our Man Flint and got the ring off the Presidents' phone. I have wanted that ring since I first saw the movies back in the 70's.

I also got Ash's little quip, "Good, bad, I'm the guy with the gun." Name the movie for Bonus Cool Points.

The bad news is my Buckaroo Bansai DVD is with the family. Maybe Blockbuster has it.

Now all I have to do is go through all of my DVD's before the shareware runs out.


Hat tip to American Realpolitik for this quote:
"No one is more victimized by the failures of America's government-run school system than the children of the urban poor, and those children are usually black. Stuck disproportionately in schools that don't work, blocked from the escape hatch of private or parochial school, black children routinely perform far below average in every subject. Sixty-three percent of black 4th-graders, for example, cannot read. The average black high school senior is about as well educated as the average white middle school student. There are many ways to ruin someone's life, but few are as effective as ignorance. And ignorance, by and large, is what public schooling guarantees for children from America's poorest and blackest neighborhoods." --Deroy Murdock
I see the results of such a system every day I drive through the worst parts of Memphis. Please make them stop.


The Dope on Steel

Alpha Patriot has a good blog entry on The Steely Truth
A lot of people decried the president's actions when he placed import tariffs on steel in 2001. So why did he do it?
Read the whole thing, it's important.


Hillary's Blitzkrieg

I watched Meet the Press yesterday, but missed Face the Nation (I didn't know it was on at the same time). I don't care for George, so I watched Fox News Sunday instead.

But what I did see made Hillary sound almost reasonable. She admitted that the intelligence of the UN and Bill Clinton was wrong. Of course we still should not have gone in, but at least we were wrong the right way.

I'm sorry, but when someone uses chemical weapons, that's proof positive they have them. When tens of thousands of American lives are at stake, 97% sure he doesn't have any more doesn't cut the mustard. He had them, he's willing to use them and just because you haven't found any doesn't mean they aren't there. To assume that there aren't any can kill a city.

She also pushed the "We need to be multilateral" saw again.

I quote from USS Clueless:
A lot of those nations, both Gang-of-8 and Vilnius-group, are in Iraq, helping us: Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain have boots on the ground. I was particularly surprised by how large the Netherlands contingent was (and I offer my thanks).

Of course, the UK has the second biggest presence after our own. Australia's not listed, but they were there for the invasion. But I'm surprised and pleased to see that New Zealand's there. (Maybe there's hope for the anglosphere yet. Hello, Ottawa? Care to get back into the game and make it five of five?)

Also Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua (!) are in, collectively providing some 1140 troops who are operating with the Spanish.

You also got Azerbaijan, Moldova, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, Macedonia, Ukraine.

The largest contingents come from Italy (3000), Poland (2400), Ukraine (1640), Spain (1300) and the Netherlands (1106). All told it's more than 15,000 troops, in addition to those sent by the US and UK.
That's 30 countries by my count, a full brigade of troops, how could that possibly be unilateral?

She also poo-pooed her running in '04, and I believe her. She would rather run when she doesn't have an incumbent to fight, so she's got her eyes on '08 and is doing everything she can (including showing up on three Sunday news programs) to steal the oxygen from any Democrat hopeful to make sure they lose. Hillary is smarter than she looks. She has a long term plan and it's a good one. She scares me and the Republicans better have a plan and a candidate that can outdo her.

Senator Frist isn't one of them. He is seen as too timid right now and Hillary will eat him alive. Unless he gets a total makeover starting now, he won't survive. Hillary is running for '08 now, somebody on the GOP side better start now as well.


Non-Lethal Options

This article, Cincinnati Mayor Wants Stun Guns is going to get a police officer killed.

Non-lethal options sound good on paper, but there are real-world circumstances that make NLO's dangerous to the police.

First of all, tasers can be defeated by clothing. In Cincinnati right now, it's colder than the devil's heart. People are wearing heavy jackets. You would have to get a successful hit in the legs to subdue a perp, but there's a high chance that at least one of the darts will miss the legs. Besides, police are trained to go after the center of mass.

Tasers work by overloading the nervous system. Talking with someone 15 feet away in a quiet room is easy. That's the normal operation of your nervous system. Trying to talk with the same friend the same distance away in the middle of a rock concert is impossible. That's what the Taser does. But if your nervous system is already at rock concert level due to drugs like meth or PCP, then the Taser isn't as effective. It may hurt the perp, but it won't disable him. Remember, people hopped up on PCP can lift cars. They will cause massive damage to themselves doing it, but they can do it and feel no pain.

I hope the police regarding NLO's are first option only with multiple officers on the scene. Because the lone officer who tries a Taser first against someone in this situation will be killed. He won't have time to use his firearm after he realizes that the NLO is ineffective.

When I carried my weapon, I had a 25 foot zone around me at all times. If someone with a weapon would have entered that zone, I trained myself to shoot first and tell them to drop it later. Why? Because if they were in that zone, they were in under my reaction time and could get me before I could get them. Even though I could draw and shoot twice in less than 3/4 of a second, someone with a drawn weapon could cross that 25 feet in the same amount of time and get me first. Even if I had my weapon drawn, normal response time to assess the situation, decide on the action and carry it out is still about 1/2 a second. Still plenty of time to get me.

I brought this up because I wanted to illustrate the kind of distance you need for safety. Police often work in contact with the perps, so they are way under response time. They have to read intentions over a second in advance so they can break contact and get far enough away to draw their weapon.

NLO's are a wonderful Liberal thing. It looks good on paper, nobody gets hurt, sometimes it works and when it doesn't the defecation really hits the rotary oscillator.


Sunday, December 07, 2003

In Memoriam

To remember this Pearl Harbor Day, I give you two links:

All four stanzas to the National Anthem

Red Skeltons Pledge of Allegiance

I would have had this up sooner, but Blogger was down most of the day. My apologies.

Another Pack of Rabid Liberals

I've already written about the rabid environmentalists, who fully ascribe to the religion of environmentalism, here's another breed of rabid people: P E T A. The website is the obvious one. I'm sorry, but I don't want to provide a backtrack to my blog. I may be crazy but I ain't stupid. These people blow up who they don't agree with.

I bring this to your attention because I found an article, Consumer Group Takes on Animal 'Rights' Activists. Here's the 7 things you didn't know about P E T A.

Just like their tree-hugging cousins, these people have no limits on their consciences and actions and will do anything to 'liberate' animals, including property damage via bombs. To my knowledge they have not killed any humans in any of their 'liberations,' but I wouldn't put anything past them.

Environmentalists don't care about loggers, because they purposefully drive spikes into trees, which will kick a chainsaw back into the operators face. I don't think P E T A's 'activists' care about staff when they place their bombs.

Of course, the official position of the organizations are to disavow these radicals, but they do so with a wink and a nod.

These guys do a good job of tugging at your heart strings, including mine. Yes there is animal suffering. Yes we should do our best to do something about it. But don't fall for their claptrap. While their cause is noble, the limit of their goals is extreme and the execution of their agenda is violent.

Just as a side note, I remember the Thanksgiving episode of the Rush Limbaugh TV show. They had a nice banquet spread out on the set. Rush went over and filled a pita pocket with turkey and went into the audience with it. He gave it to a young man wearing a "P E T A" shirt. You could tell he was burning over the insult and was itching to do something. I suppose a combination of off-camera security and a camera in his face talked him out of trying to disrupt the show.


Businesses and taxes

I made a comment on William Burton's blog. He commented on the old saw about taxation and the rich.

I commented, Businesses don't pay taxes. They pass it along as they would any other cost to the consumer.

Mr. Burton took a whole post to explain why I was wrong.

While I can't necessarily disagree with his points, all I can say is he hit the wrong target.

I could have said, "Businesses don't pay the employee payroll. They pass it along as they would any other cost to the consumer" and have been just as right.

Business taxes are just like rent, payroll and equipment depreciation, they are all costs of doing business. To the businessperson, it doesn't matter if his taxes or his rent went up $1000 a month, his expenses went up $1000 a month that must be paid for out of his gross profit. Hopefully he has some net profit left.

The customer, by paying for the product, indirectly pays for all of the costs of doing business, taxes is but one part of it. If any part of the cost goes up, of course some of it will be absorbed by profit, but there comes a point where you can't squeeze any more blood out of that rock so new costs (nee taxes) must be passed, dollar for dollar, to the consumer.

Actually, he got one point wrong:
The important thing to remember is Businesses already charge as much as they can get away with in their particular market. A corporate tax increase would change the formula somewhat, as would any increase in costs, but it would not be passed along to consumers dollar for dollar. Some would be absorbed through lower profits, and some through attempts to lower other costs. (emphasis in original)
Companies like Wal-Mart see things differently. They would rather sell 2,000,000 units with a $1.50 profit than sell 1,000,000 units at $2 profit. That 50 cent price difference cuts them under K-Mart and Target, so it steals sales away from the competition.

Which is exactly how tax cuts work. By putting more money into the hands of those people with money, the people with money can expand current businesses or open new ones, which generates more tax revenue than if the government had kept the original amount. Poor people don't create jobs, rich people do.

One notion that must be disabused is the "greedy capitalist pig businessman." If your boss offered you a 50% raise, would you take it? If so, aren't you a "greedy capitalist pig worker"? Everybody wants to make money. That's what businesses are in business for. Why abuse those who were smart enough to accrue it through legal work?

The reason France has a 30% unemployment rate is because business owners are considered evil for wanting to make money. The business owner is so severely hamstrung there is no incentive to go into business or to expand it at all. In fact, there is a penalty for expanding, you can't lay off workers when business goes down.

Like I said. Businesses do not pay taxes.


Saturday, December 06, 2003

Can't write

As I write this, I have several open windows bookmarking things I want to comment upon. But I can't, I'm too busy beating my head into the wall. I don't know why, but I've been like this all day. So it's closet time for me and hopefully I'll have lots of juicy stuff for you on Sunday.


Friday, December 05, 2003

We're not anywhere but here

Victor Davis Hanson has turned out another great piece, A Real War.

We are not in a war with a crook in Haiti. This is no Grenada or Panama — or even a Kosovo or Bosnia. No, we are in a worldwide struggle the likes of which we have not seen since World War II. The quicker we understand that awful truth, and take measures to defeat rather than ignore or appease our enemies, the quicker we will win. In a war such as this, the alternative to victory is not a brokered peace, but abject Western suicide and all that it entails — a revelation of which we saw on September 11.
Read it all.


More environmentalism

Fox News carries this piece, Eco-Imperialism's Deadly Consequences, and it just reinforces what I said just below in "Environmentalism as a religion."

These eco-nuts are more concerned about a nature that doesn't exist over real-world realities. To them, they would rather let people die in large numbers rather than exert some control over Nature.

Here's the money paragraph:
Desowitz reports a U.S. Agency for International Development official named Edwin Cohn as saying, "The third world didn't require a healthy labor force because there was a surplus of workers; better some people should be sick with malaria and spread the job opportunities around." Even more bluntly, Cohn reportedly said people in the third world were "better [off] dead than alive and riotously reproducing."
Earlier in the article, they tried to put in perspective:
The Ugandan woman is only one of more than 300 million annual victims of malaria in the third world. Between 2-3 million die every year. "Over half the victims are children, who die at a rate of two per minute or 3,000 per day -- the equivalent of 80 fully loaded school buses plunging over a cliff every day of the year," explains Driessen.
That is abominable. We're talking about filling a pro football stadium every ten days, of just children who die because eco-nuts think that DDT is evil, when it has been proved effective and safe as any other pesticide.

But how do you change these people? Who have such strong beliefs despite scientifically proven,independently reproducible results? You can't. You can only drop the clear evidence in front of them and then ignore them. And that is what we must do. For the children.


Christmas Party

Attended the company Christmas party, Got my holiday bonus and won a tool kit in the prize drawing. I'm off for the rest of the day, but I have to go and deposit the bonus so I can commence with the holiday shopping. Bloggedy goodness to follow.


Thursday, December 04, 2003

Environmentalism as a religion

Hat tip to American Realpolitik.

Michael Crichton gave this speech to The Commonwealth Club about environmentalism.

He writes that they are a fundamentalist religion. I believe that. They are as rabid about their beliefs as Pat Robertson and Osama bin Laden.
There is no Eden. There never was. What was that Eden of the wonderful mythic past? Is it the time when infant mortality was 80%, when four children in five died of disease before the age of five? When one woman in six died in childbirth? When the average lifespan was 40, as it was in America a century ago. When plagues swept across the planet, killing millions in a stroke. Was it when millions starved to death? Is that when it was Eden?
While I do believe that there was an Eden, it was destroyed by Adam and Eve. Their punishment was a world like the above.

Just like we must convert the Islamic fundamentalists, we must convert the rabid environmentalists. There is no other choice.


This is getting fun

Well, Mr. Spike (Steve according to the byline) wrote about me and commented on my Hate Bush Meeting, here.

He brought up Chomsky. I don't know too much about Chomsky, but what I do know isn't very flattering. First, his act of not answering questions imbibes a certain amount of sage in him, which is not warranted. Scott Adams has Chomsky's number here:

Also, facts are like the cubes in a Rubiks Cube. You have to get them in the right position and the right orientation to solve the puzzle. Chomsky likes to tell you the facts, but not the context so you can make sense of the facts. Let me illustrate:

I have here on my desk a magazine that talks about two murderers who are not being prosecuted for killing a total of three people. Justin Doyle killed one man, while Wesley Steven killed two. Based on these facts alone, you would think that these are two despicable guys and the police are failing to do their job. But when I tell you both of these men were acting in self-defense and murdered home invaders, well that puts a different spin on things, doesn't it? Of course, Steve is in the UK and isn't allowed the right of self-defense, so he might have a different take on things.

He also asks the following question:
I wonder what he makes of Chomsky's claim that "No president [since 1945], judged on the principles of Nuremberg, would have escaped hanging"? That includes even the most liberal, that nice Jimmy Carter for example.
I would answer that the winners write the history. The Nazis understood that, they were surprised that they got a trial at all, let alone an actually fair trial.

Has America done some despicable things? Yep. Are we proud of them? Nope. Do we try to get it right the next time? You betcha. America is not perfect, and it is wrong to try and hold us to that standard. We do the best we can, and that is all anybody should be expected to do. Sometimes all we can choose between are two bad choices. It's like when kids get together to play baseball/football/rugby etc., and sometimes one team is left picking the dorky, uncoordinated kid because that's who's left. America had to make some choices like that. We didn't like who we picked, but we really had no choice in the matter.

Sometimes we have been forced to make a choice, and no matter what we chose, somebody was going to die in large numbers. The only differences was who and how many. Sometimes there is no "good" choice.

Do I actually try to equate any US President to either Stalin or Hitler? Nope. My reference to them was pure hyperbole. Hitler was directly responsible for over 6 million Jewish deaths. Stalin ruthlessly murdered by various means well over 20 million of his own people. You do not see those things happening in the US. You could try to lay Korean deaths at Trumans feet, as well as Vietnamese dead at the feet of Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. But it won't wash. I'm talking non-war civilians dead persecuted by their own government, you're talking about war dead. No US president since 1917 has ever systematically, brutally, and near totally exterminated any group of people for their political beliefs, ethnicity or religion. I know we have in the past when certain paradigms were in place, but when the paradigms were changed, so did the behavior.

Getting back to Chomsky: There is one paragraph where I did agree with him:
'Responsibility I believe accrues through privilege,' he begins. 'People like you and me have an unbelievable amount of privilege and therefore we have a huge amount of responsibility. We live in free societies where we are not afraid of the police, we have extraordinary wealth available to us by global standards. If you have those things then you have the kind of responsibility that a person does not have if he or she is slaving 70 hours a week to put food on the table - a responsibility at the very least to inform yourself about power. Beyond that it is a question of whether you believe in moral certainties or not.'
Myself, living off of $850 a month, in a clean apartment with a TV, laptop with cable broadband internet, cell phone, refrigerator, et. al., I live better than 60% of the worlds population. I know this and am grateful for it. I try to use my power as an American citizen the best way I can. When I communicate my position on any subject to my elected officials, I expect a courteous response and that they consider my view. Sometimes my elected officials have to go against my wishes, but there are times that they know more about it than I do. That's what I pay them for.

I would like to thank Steve for giving *both* of my brain cells a good workout tonight. I promised him a piece on the difference between a Liberal and a Socialist. That will take a few days, I want to get it right.


I've been insulted!

...In a good way, I think. Despite my voluminous vocabulary, Mr. Spike managed to use a word I didn't know. He used his pretty word to say that my Conservatism stems from my mental illness. I left him a comment on the subject.

Check him out: Spike Magazine. Who knows, I might add him to my blogroll....


Vince Foster

NewsMax has come out with an article reviving Vince Foster's death. Vince Foster: What the Media Won't Tell You again points out that there are enough holes in this story to make it look like swiss cheese.
...But despite 10 years of denial by the major media, the Foster case has not "closed" - as the Supreme Court hearing Wednesday demonstrated.

The case won't close because of the failure of authorities to make full disclosure - and to conduct a full investigation into the case, including a complete autopsy.
There are too many quick decisions, too many quick investigations, too many unexplained facts, too much cover-up to make this go away as "just a suicide." Coupled with all of the other shady incidents that surrounded the Clintons, there has to be more to it and someday I hope to see it all come out. There is no statute of limitations on murder.

I have no doubt that Vince Foster was murdered. I have no doubt Bill and Hillary were involved. While I don't think one of them pulled the trigger, I do believe that one of them said, "Do it." They ran that White House pretty tightly and nothing significant happened that they didn't approve first.


Hate Bush Meeting

Remember the Hate Bush email sent out that got reported on by Drudge?

Well, some new information has come out, Politics of hate won't beat Bush and sadly, it is nothing new.
The people whose votes Democrats will need to defeat George Bush don't hate him. On a personal level, they like him. They need to be convinced not to vote for him, for reasons that have to do with the war, or special interests or the economy. "Hate Bush" headlines do just the opposite.
I was told several years ago that American politics are divided 40/20/40. The 40% on the left would vote for any Democrat candidate, even if it was Stalin. The 40% on the right would vote for any Republican candidate, even Hitler. It's the 20% of voters in the middle that decide elections. While I can't agree on the extremeness of the candidates, I do agree on the mix.

While the Right is moving towards the center to actively work for that Center vote, the 9 dwarves are moving farther and farther left, courting the very people who believe Bush=Hitler. The extremism that they show now will severely haunt them when the winner tries to move toward the center during the general election. Short of a national catastrophe, Bush will win.

That's the way Hillary wants it. She sees 2008 as her one shot back to the White House. It is better to do it when there is no incumbent rather than have to fight someone of "her" party. Here's the tricky part. Hillary is the most polarizing person in politics today. She has a good shot at '08 unless the Republicans counter with a move of their own.

Run Condi Rice.

I think Ms. Rice should get the nod for VP on the second term. This will groom her for a shot as well for 2008. Even if she only gets the VP slot again in '08, it will show the nation who truly is the party of diversity and equality. I think she is getting groomed even today. She's in charge of the Iraq situation on this side of the ocean and if this can be pulled off, she will be in prime position to move up in the world, possibly to the top spot.


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