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Wednesday, March 31, 2004

I'm online, kinda


I'm getting thru to the net at 19.2k via my cell phone. It's painful, but it works. I'm used to loading web pages in 3 seconds instead of a minute or more. I'm connecting after 9.00pm because of my unlimited minutes so you'll get Fridays information written Thursday night. I might get some work done on the blog over the weekend.

Don't worry, we'll get through this.

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One Book I want


I have had an issue with John Stossel for years. I used to be a scuba instructor, and Stossel did a standard 20/20 attack piece against the diving industry, interviewing three disgruntled people, then doing a surprise hostile interview with the VP of PADI.

But this book sounds interesting. It's one book I might actually read. Stossel: Fight Back - Don't Let Big Brother Take Your Freedom.

I especially liked this paragraph:
"Remember the dead-eyed look of the people in the Soviet Union?" he asked. "That's the same look of people who live in a bureaucratic state."
I used to notice how the eyes of people in Soviet propaganda photos out of the 50's and 60's looked. Now I know why.

Here's the money paragraph:
The media use fear to panic the people, politicians use it to pander, and the trial lawyers promise to make somebody pay, all in the name of junk science fostered on the public by people with their own political agendas.
We are all being played, and it's time we woke up to this. It almost reminds me of the subliminal messages in They live.   Yes, unfortunately I watched that movie. It's right down there with Deep Star Six.    But I digress.

If someone wants to buy a poor guy on disability this book, let me know by my email address on the right and I'll set up a gift account on Amazon. Then I'll review it for you, dear readers.

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Commerce clause


In a related vein, I found this article on Fox, Too Fat: Federal Powers Need a Constitutional Diet. And while I agree with the premise of the story, I don't agree with the substance.

The article goes on to talk about obesity and how the federal government is considering a bill to protect restaurants and food companies from lawsuits.

This is very similar to lawsuits brought against firearms dealers and manufacturers, specifically to bankrupt them by having to defend against dozens of suits, even if the suits have no grounds and never get to trial. Just having to defend against scores of motions costs thousands of dollars.

With the number of overweight people out there that are potentially sue happy, it doesn't take a successful lawsuit, just the chance of one to have hundreds, if not thousands of "I'm fat and you made me this way" lawsuits brought against McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, et. al., and the weight of these lawsuits will eventually bankrupt them.

While I always disagree with the federal government stepping into such matters, this will prevent the irresponsible fat people from shifting the blame for their condition away from themselves and onto somebody else.

This is one bill that needs to pass.

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Good News


I am now able to connect to the net with my cell phone. My unlimited minutes start at 9.00pm Central, so my work starts after that.

I'll see you then.

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I'm in trouble


When I came back from work last night, I found my cable down. I called and scheduled an appointment this morning and the cable guy will be out MONDAY AFTERNOON to fix my problem.

In the mean time, posting will be light and late tomorrow, and really late on Friday and Monday. I apologize for the inconvenience, but this is beyond my control. I am having to come into work to get my internet fix and this is the computer available for clients to play games on and such.

I have a way to hook (slowly) to the net using my cell phone, but I couldn't get it to work last night. I will continue to try tonight.

Hold on. I'm doing the best that I can and help is on the way.

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He misses the target


I found this article, Blagojevich calls for assault weapons ban, and I just want to say he misses the target, literally.
"No one needs assault weapons for hunting," the governor [Blagojevich] said. "No one should need an assault weapon for any purpose unless you're in the military fighting a war."
First of all, like so many times in the past, these are not assault weapons. Those are weapons that have the option of automatic fire. Those have been regulated since 1934.

Second, he is right, you do need such a weapon when fighting a war, namely against an oppressive government that refuses to listen to the will of the people. That is the true meaning of the Second Amendment. Our founding fathers would be surprised that the system of government they set up has lasted so long without another revolution or two.

We have a three step box system to change this government, the soap box, the ballot box and the cartridge box. So far we haven't needed the third, but when you get such a repressive and over-regulating government as such in Illinois, then step 3 cannot be far behind. That is if the people don't like the government. It could be that they like that kind of system, in which case everything is working fine.

It has been said you get the government you want. I guess that's true.

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Air America is finally here!


Well, it looks like Liberal Talk Radio has finally made it to the air. Liberal Voices Get New Home on Radio Dial. The bad news is they wanted to buy the stations so they could have total programming control over the station, but that hasn't happened. They have had to purchase air time like everybody else.

A fellow blogger remarked that the life of Air America is only to December, whether or not Kerry is elected. If we get President Kerry, then Air America will have done its job of swaying the vote in those major markets, and if we get to keep President Bush, then it will run out of venture capitol and die anyway.

Only time will tell if Air America will make a difference or not.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Is no news good news?


I am still dragging from this weekend. My circadian rhythms are still off from the lack of sleep and the massive infusion of caffeine.

I didn't find anything that caught my eye this morning, so no insightful news commentary. Oh well, maybe if I had access to Rush's Stack of Stuff things would be different, but I don't have the money to subscribe.

TTYL.

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Monday, March 29, 2004

MidSouthCon Report


This past weekend I attended the MidSouthCon, held here in Memphis, TN. If you have never gone to such a convention, go, especially if you are young, 18-25.

This was a gaming convention, and boy did I game. Board games, card games, strategy games, war games, you name it. I even ran into Brock from Signifying Nothing, who was part of the strategy board gaming group and played a few games with him.

I ran a couple of Mechwarrior demos Friday and ran one tournament Saturday. Everybody got a prize, and we gave away free stuff whenever we could. My son bought a booster and got a highly prized unique figure. Pretty good for a $10 investment.

I also got to participate in the main reason why I attended in the first place, the Rogue Trader Tournament for Warhammer 40K. There were some problems, but we got the tournament under way. I placed second overall, losing only to a Chaos Space Marine army against which I had no chance anyway. I lasted about three turns longer than was expected, but I was wiped out from almost 50 figures to three.

My second game I did the same to my opponent, wiping him totally out except for one tank and three figures, but he made some stupid mistakes that made it easy. Destroying one of his main battle tanks with my first shot didn't hurt either.

My third game was more balanced. I had to charge his stationary position, but I made it across the table and was able to meet the scenarios objectives better than he did, so I eked out a win.

I ended up with a certificate for BEST ARMY, which I plan on getting the particulars written via calligraphy and mounted on my wall. It reads, "By a combination of masterful painting with an eye for superb army background and theme, you have put together a force anyone would be proud to command!" Not bad for my first tournament.

Back to the Con. There were all kinds of people in costume. I saw Gabrielle from Xena, Milla Jojovich's character from The Fifth Element,   pirates, ogres, and a lot of Stormtroopers. The Stormtroopers have their own Legion and go around doing stuff like any other club.

I also made an interesting discovery, a beverage called Bawls. This is a drink that is supercharged with caffeine. I went from tired to wired in 30 seconds and three swigs of this stuff. A staple at LAN parties, this will keep you up for days. I lived off of this stuff and snack foods for the entire con.

I also discovered the formula for Romulan Ale. Equal parts of 151 rum, blue curacau and Everclear. I shied away from it as I am not supposed to have alcohol on my medication, but those of my friends who did partake, it was indescribable.

I didn't get out of bed until 9:30 this morning, still recuperating from the con, and will probably go to bed early tonight to finally make up for it. I got about 6 hours of sleep Thursday night (planning for the con), 4 hours of sleep for Friday night and another 5 hours on Saturday night. Coupled with the side effects of my medication, I probably really only got 12 hours of sleep over 4 days.

It was worth it. I'm going back next year. My only change will be to find a sitter for the birds and get a room so I don't have to keep driving back and forth every day.

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Another Step


I wish I had a better search function on this blog. Maybe when I upgrade to MT and move over to conservativezone.com. This article is disturbing, and hopefully it will be brought down. Court Opens Door To Searches Without Warrants.
It's a groundbreaking court decision that legal experts say will affect everyone: Police officers in Louisiana no longer need a search or arrest warrant to conduct a brief search of your home or business.
The article did not get into the specifics on what entailed a 'brief search.' Is is just the room you're in, or does it include the entire house/apartment? Drawers, closets, etc? And so on.

Back in December when I was writing about the Campaign Finance Law that restricts the First Amendment, I wrote this:
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.
Ex Post Facto, First Amendment, now the Fourth. When will it stop?

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Friday, March 26, 2004

Agree and disagree


This little Op-Ed, Without the Consent of the Governed, has some stuff that I can agree and disagree with.

I agree that Consent of the Governed is one of the bedrocks that this country was founded upon (God-man-government) and the government derives its powers from the people, not the other way around.

This I disagree with:
... courts cannot will majorities into being--they can only articulate the implications of previously established legislative actions.
Ever since the 60's, Liberals have sought to install judges who want to bring about social change rather than interpret the law. They have been deciding on a wide range of social context subjects that would not pass legislatures because they were too liberal.

I have yet to hear of the case before the Massachusetts State Supreme Court that made them decide that homosexual marriage is legal. It appears that they decided one day to just okay it. This is precisely what I am talking about. That and decisions that lack any basis in reality. I wish I had some of these decisions on hand, but I don't have a Nexus account to peruse the database and do the appropriate research.

The judges have just about the ultimate say on things, as they are the judges as to what is constitutional. The process to change the Constitution is enormously difficult (and rightfully so) so that only the really important laws make it.

However, judges who constantly "reinterpret" the Constitution are a significant danger to our society and must be stopped.

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Movies


I found this, G, PG clean up at the box office and was not that surprised. They have been proclaiming this for years.

The reason why these movies gross so much is because these are family films. You get four tickets for the family so the kids can see the movie. And since kids like repetition, they'll see the movie at least twice in the theater, then purchase the movie when it comes out on DVD, all adding to the gross. While the young adults in the 17-25 watching the R movies will most likely watch the movie only once, and rarely buy the DVD.

Sometimes I believe this is a feature, not a bug. Maybe for some reason Hollywood wants our young desensitizing to gratuitous violence. Why I don't know. Maybe those movies are "placeholders," getting the young adults to continue seeing theatre movies between them watching the G movies as kid then parent.

Who knows.

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Personal Property


This article, Property Rights Form Foundation of Freedom, discusses a building block of our great republic.

Personal property and the Constitutional protections afforded it goes right up there with our freedom of speech and right to bear arms. The right to be secure in the possession of ones personal effects is what separates us from the Socialists, who believe that everything belongs to everybody. Yecch.
"A man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights. Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions." - James Madison on Property, (1792).
While we here in Memphis have been able to successfully able to fight eminent domain on several occasions, at least we don't see the abuse on a daily basis.

Our land developers here are hooked on shopping malls. Strip malls abound and the number grows every day. We have the Wolfchase Galleria, a 1.1 million square foot mall. They have another 1.3 million square feet of strip malls across the street, with a Wal-Mart Super center around the corner. And they are talking about putting in more malls.

But they don't care that malls have a life cycle. As you build new malls, the older malls die. When my family and I first moved here in 1992, there was the Raleigh Springs Mall. A pretty jumping place. Now 3 of the 4 anchors have left and it is on its last leg. We just had the Mall of Memphis close on Christmas Eve. That was a blessing, because it was also known as the Mall of Murder, for a rather rampant crime problem.

But I digress.

Personal property and the right to not have it taken away for specious reasons is a cornerstone of our Constitution and society. Fight the injustice of false eminent domain whenever you see it.

If they can get away with it today, who knows what they will try for tomorrow.

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Thursday, March 25, 2004

Hmmm


It seems that I found all of today's subjects already. I couldn't find anything this morning to comment on that I didn't already last night.

Enjoy.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Some Twain for you.


I believe it was Mark Twain who said, "There's lies, damned lies and statistics." This article, Reading Between the Numbers shows that you should always be careful when someone tries to sell you something "and has the numbers to back them up."
How can we trust research?

The question is not trivial, since studies and statistics form the basis for many of the laws under which we live. If they are wrong, then the laws may be as well.

Short of taking a course on statistics and poring over data, the best way to get a sense of which data to trust is through common sense. There are five questions you should demand of any statistic.


And it goes on to get you to question the underlying veracity of the facts. As you should.

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Stupid anti-gunners


I was referred to this article of an entry on the Assault Weapons Ban by Say Uncle. This is the stupidest anti-gunner I have come across. Bang, Clinton 1994 assault weapons ban.

First of all, the guy doesn't use a spell checker, or re-read his product. I found three misspelled or misused words. Not good for a supposed wordsmith.

Second, he doesn't seem to have a firm grip on how the government works. He seems to believe that the actions by the Senate makes his wet dreams law. He seems to forget that a similar bill needs to pass the House and then be signed by the President, which doesn't seem likely.

He also doesn't seem to understand reality. I used to own a MAK-90. The only difference between my rifle and a banned AR-15 is the caliber of ammunition used and the style of stock. I could still fire my MAK from the hip in that "evil" fashion and still had a threaded muzzle for one of those "silencers." Of course, you can't silence a supersonic bullet.

Then he tries to give advice. Too bad he doesn't know that using a rifle is the last choice in home defense. At least he tries by using G. Gordon Liddy. Too bad Liddy has a felony conviction and the only kind of handgun he can use is a black powder pistol. Of course he's going to recommend what he has.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

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More of the same Big Brother


Here's more on how our private lives are getting smaller. Like It or Not, RFID Is Coming.

Radio Frequency identification tags are the next wave of barcoding. With these devices, retailers will be able to track every item individually throughout the entire time it is in the store. Once these are in wide use, all you will need to do to check out is to walk through a scanner, which picks up the ID of every tag in the cart (plus the ones in your pockets if you didn't take off the tag). If your credit cards are equipped with RFID as well, all you have to do is choose which card at the pay station without even taking it out of your pocket.

I am reminded of a commercial I saw a few years ago. It has a man going through a supermarket, stuffing things as he goes into his pockets, picking up nasty stares from the other customers. At the checkout, he walks through an arch which glows red as he walks through it. As he walks past the security guard, the guard says, "Excuse me sir... You forgot your receipt."

But what kind of hazards exist for this kind of technology? Let's just say for a moment that you have RFID equipped credit cards, ID cards and even a medical history card. After all, that is what the article talks about. All it takes is someone with a portable scanner to get close enough to you to scan your tags and they will have pickpocketed you without even touching you. With all of the rampant identity theft going on today, do you really want to make it that easy for them?

Same thing with cops. All they have to do is get near you to scan your RFIDs, then get an instant readout of any warrants, restraining orders, etc., on you before even talking to you. A police car could just go down the street, pinging everybody as they go along. This would include pulling over anybody who doesn't give off a ping, since it is usually state law that you carry a state picture ID with you at all times.

Don't think it won't happen. It will. It already is.

Do you use a frequent customer card? Then that store knows you better than you know yourself. They could fill 90% of your order based on past purchases. Does your receipt have a barcode on it? Your purchasing habits just got tabulated. If you used a credit card, then your name is part of the data. Target or Wal-Mart can tell you exactly what you bought by credit card since they started barcoding the receipts, if not earlier.

With these methods, data miners can tell if you like store brand over name brand, at what price point will a sale appeal to you, even if the products on the aisle ends appeal to you or not. And that's going on today.

With RFID IDs, stores can scan you when you enter. When you go through that magical arch at the entrance, it will look up your record and download specific targeted advertising and purchase suggestions to an on-cart computer display which will talk to you as you walk through the store.

It will happen, I promise.

Does any of this scare you? It scares the hell out of me.

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Humor Wednesday


Would you like fries with that?



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Flip-Flop, kinda


I must admit that I am changing my position, kind of. After reading the latest article about the SCOTUS case about 'Under God' in the Pledge of allegiance, I have realized that I am incorrect.

I want the SCOTUS to hear the case and rule on it.

If they reject the case or tie 4-4 on it (Justice Scalia has recused himself), then the 9th Circus ruling against the words will stand.

When I wrote about it in my last entry, here, I asked for the case to be thrown out. I did not fully realize that this position would be counterproductive to the outcome I desired.

This latest article, Supreme Court to Take Up 'Under God', talks about polls supporting the words.

It seems 87% of Americans support the words 'Under God' in the Pledge.

This was not surprising:
The AP poll, conducted by Ipsos-Public Affairs, found college graduates were more likely than those who did not have a college degree to say the phrase "under God" should be removed. Democrats and independents were more likely than Republicans to think the phrase should be taken out.
So college grads, Democrats and Independents lean away from the words, while Republicans lean towards them.

Considering the 87% number, there must be a lot more Republicans than Democrats, or it's a 99% for the Republicans and 50/50 for the Dems.

Please, please, rule in favor of 'Under God.' There is no separation of church and state in the Constitution, and even so, this does not preclude religion, merely a state mandated church.

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Appeasement


Well, the link to the article doesn't work any more, but it was all about drawing parallel lines between Neville Chamberlain of Britain and Zapatero of Spain.

I collect quotes for fun. It's cheaper than collecting cars or stamps. Here's the one that applies:

"Appeasers believe that if you keep on throwing steaks to a tiger, the tiger will become a vegetarian." - Heywood Broun

Winston Churchill was also prescient when he said to Chamberlain, "You had a choice between war and cowardice. You chose cowardice and will get war anyway."

Just look at your standard playground bully. He beats up kid A. Kid A comes back the next day with a roll of nickels in a sock and beats bully in the face with it. Bully then picks on kid B. Kid B comes back the next day and surrenders his lunch money without a fight. Who do you think the bully will continue to pick on?

bin Laden, et. al., is nothing more than your international bully. When he picked on us, We got some friends together and broke his kneecap and broke the collarbone of his best friend. He just picked on one of the weakest kids and got him to at least be neutral about this fight. Now Australia's out-of-power party is talking about withdrawing from the coalition. Poland is climbing up onto the fence as well.

This is only going to get tougher, and we have to stick to it. To do anything less allows for making 9/11 a common occurrence.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Oops


I had a nice post on appeasement, but I lost it. I will repost it tonight or tomorrow. Gotta go to work now.

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FMA Compromise?


I don't know about this. Federal Marriage Amendment Proponents Offer Compromise.

This story is about how the FMA would still define marriage between a man and a woman, it would leave the door open for states to individually allow for civil unions and such.

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet and all that.

I don't like this compromise, because it allows what it is outlawing, if you know what I mean. There are some compromises that I can swallow, this isn't one of them.

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The Scarlet Letter


I like this idea. Ohio Requires DUI 'Scarlet Letter' Licenses.

If you get convicted of a DUI and get a restricted drivers license, you also get awarded a red on yellow license plate to show your fellow citizens that you are dangerous while on the roads.

Good Job, Ohio.

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Monday, March 22, 2004

Who can reason with this person?


I think this picture says a lot:



Words escape me when I see this picture.

How can you reason with a person like this? His worldview and mine are so different that I don't know if we share the same language. We may both speak English, but the meanings of his words does not coincide.

Is there any empathy in this person, or do they torture gerbils in their spare time?

As you can see, you can't see this persons face. It's good that he hides it, otherwise he would get the shit beaten out of him. By me and a few of my friends.

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The danger of anti-depressants


I was perusing some websites this afternoon and found this article, FDA Wants Suicide Warning Labels on Antidepressants.

For those of you who haven't read through my back blog entries, I became ill when I started taking Effexor in January 1999. I thought I was treating some "leftover" childhood ADHD, but it severely exacerbated an undiagnosed case of bipolar disorder. Two weeks after starting to take it, I crawled into my hall closet, screaming and crying, banging my head and I haven't been the same since.
It isn't clear yet that the drugs actually do lead to suicide, the FDA stressed. But until that is settled, advisers to the FDA called last month for stronger warnings to doctors and parents that the antidepressants may cause agitation, anxiety and hostility in a subset of patients who may be unusually prone to rare side effects.
The drugs in question are: Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor, Celexa, Remeron, Lexapro, Luvox, Serzone and Wellbutrin. I have been on Effexor, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa and Wellbutrin in that order. I have had over 12 suicide attempts, which started with me getting agitated and irrational, then violent, then suicidal once I see what I did.

Only the Wellbutrin seems to help, but because of my sensitivity to having my serotonin levels elevated, I am under close supervision to monitor me so I don't go over the edge again. I have my case manager and the Mobile Crisis Team on speed dial on my cell phone.

It has taken me removal from my family and the right medication to stabilize my condition. Whether or not I can rejoin my family is unknown. I know that there are things that must change with my family before I can consider going back. We must all make changes in order to deal with my condition.

It is in ways like this where mental illness is like other conditions like alcoholism, it shatters families and lives.

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Housekeeping


On to personal matters. I hope you'll be happy that my attacks are almost down to zero. I still get overloaded when writing for this blog, but it involves no closet time, just a few seconds hunched over with my head on the table.

So the Trileptal is really working, with the major side effect the I drool like a three-week old baby. I can't say more than three sentences without having to stop and swallow a mouthful.

My Space Marines are ready to fight Saturday. I've gotten a couple of practice battles in over the past two weeks. The first time my opponent wiped the board with me, the second time I did a whole lot better. Every game has it's own particular nuances as far as tactics goes, and I've learned a lot over the past two weeks. Maybe one more battle this week, but I'm as ready as I'll (n)ever be.

I'm going to be running demos and games both Friday and Sunday, so little or no posting Friday and a big report on next Monday.

I've also taken a big step in making this apartment my long term home. I went out and bought myself a chair. So now I actually have three places to sit, my computer chair, my fold up outdoor recliner and my papasan chair. I also got a book case to hold up a bunch of stuff that used to be on the floor.

Also, after this tournament, I'll be looking at continuing my work on my Level 2 rocket, with a May or June launch date. If I fail in this attempt, I'm done with it as I don't have the financial resources to build a 3rd HPR rocket. I have the one that was given to me, but I can't use it for certification because I didn't build it.

That's it for now, enjoy the rest of my posts.

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Under God, continued


I have written about this before, but blogspot lacks a search function for me to go back and easily dig up my old posts. Michael Newdow is currently under review to see if he even has standing to bring his case to the SCOTUS at all. He is a sperm donor, a non-custodial parent who isn't even married to the mother. Hopefully the case will die on those grounds. Pledge of Allegiance Case Could Hinge on Child Custody Dispute.

When Conservatives talk about a secular government, we talk about one that has no mandatory religion, or one founded by the government, such as the Church of England. It does not mean that we have no reference to God.

The very basis of our freedoms come from Him, no matter what you want to call Him, be His name God, Allah, Jehovah, Yawyeh or whatever. As long as you believe in a single God (outside of Satan, et. al.) who grants powers to man and not government, you're just fine with me.

Atheist activists, on the other hand, want all reference to God removed from anything government, for they have no religion and believe no one else should have any outside of their respective churches. I don't know what they think about the order of (God)-Man-Government, but it seems like more and more people are of the mind that government should be over the people instead of the other way around.

If this case wins and "Under God" is removed from the Pledge, then the presence of God on our money will be next, followed by government buildings, chaplains in government service and right on down the line.

It would be a disaster for a small minority to change the direction of the country so radically. Any time that such a minority has leverage like this over the majority is wrong.

While some people would consider this as 'tyranny of the majority,' it is not. The God-man-government order of this is upon how this country was founded. It is our greatest strength and it is why we are the most powerful nation on Earth. No other country has the mindset that the government derives its powers from the people, and the people have the power to revoke those powers it has given to the government.

Please, please let this case be thrown out for lack of standing.

UPDATE: Family Dispute at Heart of Pledge Case

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Picking the wrong fight


Hamas is barking up the wrong tree this time. Hamas Threatens U.S. After Israel Kills Terrorist Leader.

The defecation will really hit the rotary oscillator if Hamas decides to pull off an attack on the US and actually succeeds.

I can just imagine an American division air-dropped into the West Bank from Germany. If Hamas wants American involvement, they can have it, but they won't like it very much.

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Big Brother


Big Brother is running just a little late. TSA’s ‘Trusted Traveler Program’ Heralds Big brother.

If you want to zip through airport security, all you have to do is give up your personal information to Big Brother. It's voluntary. Considering the incrementalism of Social Security and income taxes, it won't be too long until everybody has to do this. After all, isn't that what CAPPS II is?
And when Ben Franklin uttered this remark more than 200 hundred years ago, he could not have imaged how prescient he would be: "Those willing to give up a little liberty for a little security deserve neither security nor liberty."

Franklin is clearly turning over his grave after recent proposals to make America "safer."

Consider the federal government's efforts to increase security in the months and years since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. One could easily argue some of the methods Uncle Sam is employing are Orwellian, to say the least, and liberty killers at their worst.
I'll never fly again. Not only will I not surrender my personal information, but even if I did I would be red flagged due to my mental history. They wouldn't want me flipping out in the middle of a flight.

And any system can be hacked, allowing terrorists to 'breeze' through security, allowing for a sequel of 9/11.

There now, don't you feel safer, now that a significant portion of your freedoms have been taken away?

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Smoking Nazis strike again


In yet another intrusion into personal rights, California is starting to restrict smoking at public beaches. No-smoking forces taking new territory: the beach.

I don't associate with very many people who smoke. I can smell it when someone lights up 50 feet away. But I don't complain about it as long as they do it outside. I simply move upwind.

I also don't understand about the logic of this. Municipalities like the tax money that comes from tobacco, yet they restrict how it can be used to the point of extinction? There are places that would make it unlawful (illegal is a sick bird) to smoke in your own car or even home. They like this tax, but don't give the consumers any place to use it. If they get rid of smoking entirely, how are they going to get this tax money?

Sheesh.

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Friday, March 19, 2004

More information


I wrote an article where the linked story included Larry Hiibel yesterday here. I found an article that has more information on Larry Hiibel and his plight, Supreme Court to Hear Landmark Privacy Case.

Whenever I think about this kind of thing, what immediately pops into my mind is the phrase, "Papers, please" in a German accent. While I can understand the position of the police, you must remember that he works for the citizen, not the other way around.

A police officer must always take direct and total control of whatever situation they are in, for everyone's safety. A police officer involved in an altercation cannot afford to lose it. It may take 15 officers, but they must and will be victorious.

With all of that being said, I believe (based on the available information) that the officer in this case lacked the probable cause to demand the identification of Mr. Hiibel, or to detain him.

I sure hope he wins.

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Stupid Anti-Gunners


I found this, Brady Campaign Sues; 'New Gun Part Is Same As New Gun'.

For once, I can see their side of things. They actually have some logic behind their position. Too bad it's hogwash.

Yes, changing the receiver changes the serial number by which the firearm is known. But in the end, you still have only one firearm. I could see some grounds for their position if you could make a second firearm out of the old receiver, but you can't. You still in the end only have one firearm.

This is what they get for writing and passing a bad law. They wrote it based on looks and looks alone. In the end, it hasn't made a lick of difference because the gun manufacturers just sawed off the bayonet lug, or redesigned the stock to make it legal again.

Stupid people.

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Large scale idiot


I found this, Blix says Iraq war may have worsened terror threat, and I am enraged.

We have a severe gang problem here in the US. We treat is like a law-enforcement issue and all it does is get worse. Jail time to these guys is time well spent for them. If we want to solve the gang problem, we must improve the conditions that spawn the gangs, and kill all of the gang members. It's a war that normal citizens are losing.

That is what we are trying to do with terrorism. We kill every terrorist we see, we choke off their money supply, we destroy their training camps, and we are trying to change the social climate that creates them in the first place.

And here comes Mr. Sensitive, saying, "Maybe if we leave them alone they will stop attacking us. Please don't do anything to them or you will make them madder at us."

You have to understand the world view of these terrorists. You are either in compliance with their form of Islam, or you are an Infidel, which is legal to kill according to their law. They have as much problem wiping out a thousand Americans as you or I have with stepping on a roach.

Of course, 98% of the followers of Islam want to live peacefully. They don't mind Infidels that much. It's that 2% that gives everybody else the bad name, and those are the ones we must deal with, swiftly, decisively and permanently.

America's path is clear. We must do this, not in revenge of 9/11, but to prevent more of them.

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Thursday, March 18, 2004

Fellow traveler


I got a letter this morning from a mom who's kid is suffering a situation similar to mine, i.e. bipolar exacerbated by an anti-depressant. I backtracked to her blog and found this entry, Tragedy of the worst kind.

She starts off by relating the tale of a kid who had an argument with his mother, then killed a deputy responding to the house. The kid later committed suicide, surrounded by as many as 150 officers. She then relates her sons story.

This passage made my blood run cold:
There, but for the Grace of God and Lithium, go I.
Simply because I have been there. I myself have been surrounded by a dozen officers, guns drawn, commanding me to come out with my hands up. Twice.

Thank God and Trileptal for me. I am in an emotionally stable environment under (finally) the correct medication at the proper dosage. I am almost ready to rejoin the human race.

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IMPORTANT


Read this article and take heed: Fourth Amendment Protects All Citizens
Few people seem to like the Fourth Amendment (search) to the American Constitution. The Fourth Amendment is the provision that places limits on the power of the police to detain and search people.
Read the stories with the article, and put yourself in their shoes.

I remember a while back that a police officer succumbed to mental illness while on the job. The officer stole a school bus and was driving around town picking up "suspicious" people. A group thought it was strange that this was happening, and refused. When the other police finally caught up with the sick officer, they also arrested the group who refused to get on for "not following the commands of a police officer," or some such.

I live in constant fear of the police. With my history of mental illness I don't know what they can do to me. I wake up several times every night because of the medication, and when I do I lay there awake in dread of the knock on the door in the middle of the night.

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Dissecting the Opposition


VP Cheney Took apart Kerry yesterday in a speech. Here is the article, Cheney Blasts Kerry on Voting Record, Claims of Foreign Support.

I heard parts of this on Rush yesterday, and it was actually amusing to hear a taste of what is coming down the road for the campaign. A ruthless, systematic dissection of every Kerry position and waffle.

I especially liked this quote:
"I know that yesterday, attempting to clarify the matter, Senator Kerry said 'I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it,'" Cheney said, eliciting laughter from the audience.
I love it when Kerry waffles in the same sentence.

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Where have all of the Republicans gone?


This article, While Republicans were sleeping asks a not-so-rhetorical question.
Where have all the Republicans gone?

I'm not talking about all of the would-be candidates who scattered like bugs in the days after Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell announced he wouldn't seek re-election - after months of his campaign staff assuring us he would.

I'm looking for those dyed-in-the-wool conservatives who once kept government out of our lives and federal spending in check.
What should make us different from Democrats is rapidly disappearing from our makeup. At least our leaders makeup. We should be the party of low taxes, smaller government and less intrusion into the lives of the citizens. While there are still qualities that the Republicans have over the Democrats, those differences are getting thinner every election.

This upsets me to no end. Republicans were elected to power in 1994 under these mandates, and just like the Dems, they have not fufilled their part of the bargain. We have gotten tax cuts, and that has boosted the economy like a rocket, but there should be reasonable spending cuts (not "reductions in growth") to go along with it to compliment the fiscal responsibility they promised us.

Less governmental regulations would also be nice. I have written about that earlier here.

This needs to get straightened out now, and short of resurrecting Cincinnatus I don't know what to do.

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Makeup for Wednesday


Whatever was wrong with Despair.com is now fixed, and here is a belated Humor Wednesday:




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Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Bill strikes again


The esteemed essayist Mr. Bill Whittle has put up a small (for him) tidbit of thought about maps and miracles.

I used to have a comic of a mathematician with a blackboard full of a formula, and in the middle of the formula it says, "And then a miracle occurs."

Miracles are nice, miracles are wonderful, but you can't depend on them happening with any regularity. If they happened frequently, then they wouldn't be a miracle.

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Added to the Blogroll


I keep a close eye on my refer logs, and found a new one the other day. I have been watching it for a while to make sure I like it, and I am now satisfied.

Linoge is the blog of a Georgia Tech student, working toward a commission in the Navy (always a good mark in my book). How and why he found and bookmarked me I have no idea, but he did and I am glad for having found him.

Please visit him.

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Humor Wednesday


Nothing today. I'm getting a 401 error and a sign-in popup box, no matter where I go. I don't know why, but I can't get to the site. Please try here and see if you get in. If you do, please let me know.

Thanks and sorry.

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Homosexuality and morals


Here's an interesting but consistent stand. Rapper's Slurs Okay; But Not Dr Laura's 'Rhetoric'.

50 Cent publicly voices his uninformed bigotry in Playboy, and GLAAD wants to educate him, to try and bring him to a more enlightened position where he is at least neutral, if not sympathetic to GLAAD's positions.

Not so with Dr. Laura. Her positions come from a reasoned, core value driven center. This earns her the ire of GLAAD because Dr. Laura is vocal, coherent and unchangeable in her position.

Dr. Laura uses words like 'deviant' and 'biological error' to describe homosexuality, which homosexuality fits the dictionary definitions of those terms. She has reasons why she uses those words, and she sticks with them.

I happen to agree with her. Homosexuality is a biological aberration. It is inherently self-destructive because it is a gene mutation that cannot reproduce via homosexual means. If the homosexual is to pass his (or her) genes on to another generation, they must have heterosexual sex to reproduce. Which is an anathema to those of homosexual leanings.

I do not believe that you can 'convert' homosexuals to heterosexuals. You can teach them to override their base instinct, but that only works so far and can be easily undone in a few moments of inattention. Kind of like an alcoholic falling off the wagon.

What is the solution? I don't believe there is one. You can't cure a homosexual of his tendencies any more than you can 'cure' me of my heterosexual tendencies.

I cannot see past allowing homosexuals to marry other homosexuals. Those are incentives given to couples to marry and legitimately produce children. It is precisely acceptance of such homosexual unions that has led to the declining birthrate in Europe. I wrote about it here.

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Second Chances


I found this on National Review Online, The Right Minder.

I have always been one of those who wants to drop all of the repeat criminals off on an island and let them kill each other. But here you have a guy who worked his way back from prison time to Chairman of the Board of a major company. I can cut this guy some slack, because he did the right thing. He kept his nose clean and worked hard.

I like this idea. If you keep out of trouble for a certain number of years after a conviction, I think a review of your performance should be in place to see if you get your full rights as a citizen back. A balanced carrot-and-stick approach as it were. All carrot or all stick approaches don't work very well. We have a 60% recidivism rate in this country because we have no (or very little) rehabilitation services outside of prison. We just dump them out the gate and let them fend for themselves. It is very hard getting a job right out of prison, so some help goes a long way. Sure, it will be at the bottom rung of the ladder, but what else do you expect?

A halfway house for just released prisoners would be a nice idea. Give the person some stability in their transitional phase so it's not one big shock going from prison to freedom in one big step. Continue drug or alcohol 12 step programs, help them get a GED and/or professional certifications, etc.

You might think that money spent this way would be like flushing it down the toilet, but when you consider that we can dramatically reduce the crime rate by turning criminals into upstanding citizens, it's money well spent. Of course, if we taught our children correctly in the first place so they actually could read their diplomas and had a chance at the job market, we wouldn't have all of these people turn to crime for an income source in the first place.

How about them apples?


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Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Leave us alone?





I believe Jan is typical of Liberals, and so misses the point. Radical Islam sects will not leave us alone until we either surrender and adhere to their twisted vision of Islam, or we are dead. Or, more preferably, they are dead.

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End of Social Promotions


This article, MIKE AND PALS 'FIRE' AWAY TO END FREE PASS FOR SCHOOLKIDS, talks about ending the promotion of children, regardless of their grades.

Well, sort of.

Most of the article is about the fight between the council members and Mayor Bloomberg (who is a RINO, Republican In Name Only). Only one paragraph is about the actual important stuff.

I found out a couple of days ago that 51.8% of black males in NYC are unemployed. That is simply horrible, until you realize how bad the schools are, how they promote you as long as you attend class most days, even though you learn nothing of consequence. That number is directly related to the abysmal condition not only of the schools, but of the home life and social conditions these people live in. Yes, the schools are to blame in a major way, but the society in which these children live is also to blame, and those responsible refuse to accept their burden to work themselves out of their poverty.

I've talked about the fact that if you graduate, not have a kid before you're married and you turn 20, you have a >90% chance to escape poverty, while if you violate one of those rules, you have an 80% chance to end up in poverty. Having a abysmal school system that doesn't teach you anything worthwhile is almost the same as not graduation from school.

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Monday, March 15, 2004

The difference between us and Europe


Here's two op-eds, that agree with me that the bombings in Spain was successful. Spain Decides to Run Away and MAR. 15, 2004: A WIN FOR TERROR

This is the fundamental difference between the US and Europe. They will do their best to appease the attackers, in "the hope that they are eaten last," (from the first article) and in the US, it just pisses us off and all the rules of politeness goes out the window.

Spain's response is to change governments and withdraw from the war on terrorism. Our response was to topple two governments.

You know what this means. If al Qaeda has any WMD capability at all, they will unleash it against us, sometime in October to try and effect regime change here as well. A biological attack will start around the 10th or so, giving it time to spread before the election. A chemical or nuclear attack will take place on Halloween, the day of "trick or treat" and live up to that days traditions.

The problem that won't work in this equation is there is 79 days between election day and the actual transfer of power. Lots of time to lob a nuke or two at the people found responsible. If Bush is defeated because of this, at least he will go out with a bang.

But then again, another attack could galvanize the voting populace into switching their votes from Kerry to Bush, simply because Kerry doesn't have the balls to do anything about another attack, except what Spain did and withdraw to our borders, which is the worst possible thing to do.

In my wargames, I have learned that in order to win games, you must engage the enemy on their side of the board and on your terms. To fight on your side of the board and on his terms ensures defeat. If we retreat, now or at any time in the future, we will hand the timing and initiative to our enemies, giving them the time to regroup, resupply, replan and reattack. We must not allow this to happen, and the only way to prevent it is to stay on the attack, engage the enemy on their turf and on our terms.

Remember this come election day. Who will fight on which side of the board.

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Kissing Cousins


This actually came out Friday and I declined to comment upon it then, but I liked the final paragraph of this article, Iraqi spy case shows media at it again.
Two hundred people died in Madrid because of a war Democrats refuse to admit exists. But, hey, you never know: Maybe the guy who did it will be a third cousin twice removed of Karl Rove.
Yet another example of the bias the LEFT-WING media has. They down play the Democrat connection, but put the Republican connection, which really doesn't exist at all, on the headline.

Typical.

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Words you can't say


This is a weekly column for Fox, and it is filled with multiple stories, but this one stuck out, emphasis mine:
The Los Angeles Times has a rule that the phrase "pro-life" will not appear on its pages because it might offend the pro-abortion crowd, reports Reuters, something a witless opera reviewer found out the hard way.

A music critic for the paper wrote that a Richard Strauss opera was "pro-life," intending to mean that it was a celebration of life. But he had his story changed by a copy editor to read "anti-abortion."

"It's about children who aren't born yet screaming to be born — not abortion," said the critic, Mark Swed. "Somebody who didn't quite get it got a little bit too politically correct ... and we had a little breakdown in communications."

The ban apparently doesn't extend to the phrase "pro-choice."
This is yet another example of the overwhelming bias this paper has. I know I shouldn't be surprised, but every now and then something like this sticks in my craw.

Yecch.

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Friday, March 12, 2004

VDH Friday


If you haven't read him already, here's this weeks installment. Thicker than Oil.
The truth is, as usual, far more simple. The United States never did intend to steal or manipulate the oil market — not necessarily because we are always above such chicanery, but because it is nearly impossible in a fungible market under constant global scrutiny, and suicidal in the Byzantine politics of the Middle East.
As always, good, insightful reading. Enjoy.

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Like the headline says


Rationality strikes the California Supreme Court. It's About Time, Marriage Defenders Say.

I'm actually surprised that such a normally liberal court would actually stick to something like the written law. Now all they have to do is invalidate all that the wingnut mayor has done with his "civil disobedience."

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Too Many Laws


Congress makes laws like they were paid on a commission basis. This article, America Mired in Morass of Laws and Regulations talks about it.

I've told you about my wargaming hobby, with MechWarrior:Dark Age and Warhammer 40,000, but I haven't told you about my adrenalin based hobby, High Powered Rocketry.

Here's a picture with one of my rockets, right before it crashed:



The fuel I use in rockets like this is the same used in the solid rocket boosters used on the space shuttle. Back in the 70's, the BATF decided that it was an explosive, without testing it. Ammonium Perchlorate only burns, it does not detonate. Anyway, in order to store or use this stuff in a rocket, you need to have a Federal Anal Probe inserted fairly deep, if you know what I mean. I won't go into details.

This is but one example of the bureaucratic nightmare we stagger under every day. The two common sense solutions, the five year reauthorization and the delegation doctrine will never see the light of day, simply because it makes sense and it makes the Congress work for a living.

I'm with Shakespeare. Bonus Cool Points if you know what I mean.

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Time waits for no one


I've got to go to work but I have more to say. When I get back home tonight.

Later.

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Thursday, March 11, 2004

Sorry.


Between an attack that robbed me of two hours and my internet access up and down all day, I've lost two posts. Sorry for no more bloggedy goodness, I've got obligations that I've got to get to. Places to be and people to annoy and all that.

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Liberal Radio


They're still at it. Al Franken to Lead Liberal Talk Radio Lineup.

Drudge has a schedule and comments on the different shows, but I lost the link. Corky hit the hibernate button on my laptop and I lost this post and all of my links.
Walsh said the company hoped to raise "upward of $30 million" by the time the network goes live, which would allow them to operate for about two years before turning a profit. He declined to say how much they had raised so far.
You realize how failed of an operation this already is, don't you? Their product is so unpopular that they can't sell it on the open market. Rush, Hannity, Dr. Laura, et.al., all sell their shows to individual stations, who sell advertising space to pay for buying the programs and making a profit. The Liberals can't do it because nobody wants to listen to their drivel.

Which is why they have to buy an entire radio station so they can put on what they want to. I give them 6 months before the money runs out and the people stop calling. Even Liberals will get tired of constant fearmongering and hateful satire. They are reminding me of the clueless Lieutenant on Good Morning Vietnam.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Humor Wednesday


Ooh, that's going to leave a mark...



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The death of marriage


Here's the documentation you wanted on what will happen here if you allow homosexual marriage to continue. Death of marriage in Scandinavia.
Data from European demographers and statistical bureaus show that a majority of children in Sweden and Norway are now born out of wedlock, as are 60 percent of first-born children in Denmark. In socially liberal districts of Norway, where the idea of same-sex registered partnerships is widely accepted, marriage itself has almost entirely disappeared.
What more empirical evidence do you need? But then, of course, It could be that this is a feature, not a bug.

It could be that the same non-homosexual people who are pushing such things are deliberately trying to duplicate the very same result as in Scandinavia. A purposeful destruction of the nuclear family. Why? Only they know. But that does seem to be at least a secondary objective to this subject.

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Reluctant War Hero


This article, Revealed: how 'war hero' Kerry tried to put off Vietnam military duty portrays Lt. Kerry in a not-quite-positive light.

I am not surprised about this. His attempt to time his entry into the military into a post-Vietnam war phase is telling about how willing he really was to join.
The revelation appears to undercut Sen Kerry's carefully-cultivated image as a man who willingly served his country in a dangerous war - in supposed contrast to President Bush, who served in the Texas National Guard and thus avoided being sent to Vietnam.
This should put a big hole in his haughtiness over his war service, which has been his position up until now.

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Placeholder


My case manager is here and he's going to take me to do some business. More bloggedy goodness when I return this afternoon.
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Flip-Flop away


This article by Dick Morris, Bush 'Flip-Flop' Ads Will Damage Kerry gives away the strategy that Bush will use to devastate Kerry over the next months.
The obvious goal of the Bush attack is to discredit Kerry and make it hard for anyone to believe in him or anything he says. But this round of flip-flop attacks is just the precursor of the main Bush offensive. Attacking Kerry for reversing himself on many key issues will weaken the Democrat, but the real point is to soften him up for two more deadly attacks likely to follow.
I'm just glad Disk is on our side now.

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Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Just for laughs


Why the 80's had to end:



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More marriage stuff


Another article on the violation of the institution of marriage. Gay Marriage and the Constitutional Amendment: Honest Observations.

I like this paragraph:
The same amendment would also ban "incest marriage", "threesome marriage", "pedophile marriage", and the ever popular "anything that you can think of other than one woman and one man marriage." Marriage is an institution, authorized by God, recognized for a specific purpose by the state. To create any other arrangement and call it marriage - ceases to make it marriage.
Tennessee is one of those states that will never allow homosexual marriage. Never. If they did, I would champion a cause for multiple wives. If a marriage isn't between a single man and a single woman, then why not a single man and multiple women? If I had a 14 year old cousin, I'd try to marry her too. And a sheep. Just to cause a state version of the Federal Marriage Amendment.

There is considerable hope that this issue will backfire on the Dems (and Kerry) with moderate voters. It is already starting. I just hope it lasts to November.

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Gun Control in Britain


Well, well, well. A Tory (British liberal) is coming out against gun control, to a point. Tory urges gun lessons for children.

The gist of the story is about letting children have BB guns so they know how to handle shotguns later in life, the telling part is in the first few paragraphs.
Patrick Mercer, Conservative frontbench home security spokesman, said a ban on handguns introduced after the Dunblane massacre had "no effect" on spiraling gun crime.

The MP told BBC Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme: "While laws have been introduced to ban legally-held pistols in gun clubs, that had absolutely no effect on gun crime."

He added: "If anything, it has driven it up or helped to drive it up.
While this is partly true, the major reason there is such a high burglary rate is because, by law, there is no self-defense, not even of yourself. If someone breaks into your home, you are expected to evacuate by the nearest exit, even if it's a 2nd story window. Which is why Britain has an extraordinarily high incidence of 'hot' burglaries (where the residents are home at the time of the crime).

I'm quite sure if they got rid of the self-defense limitations, let the homeowners arm themselves and give the homeowners a pat on the back instead of a prison cell for killing a burglar, the rates of burglaries would drop dramatically.

But I doubt it will happen any time soon. They're too civilized.

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Boy Scouts


Let me say up front that I admire the Boy and Girl Scouts. They teach morals, self-sufficiency and the ability to handle a variety of urgent situations. They expose the Scouts to a wide variety of things in the pursuit of those merit badges.

But these things come at a cost. Here is one of them: Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Boy Scouts' Appeal.

This article talks about how they were dropped from the state employee donations program, to the tune of $10,000 annually.

The Scouts policy of preventing openly gay men from being in leadership roles of the scouts violated a state law, which prompted the removal.

I have to side against the Scouts on this one.

Just like the Dixie Chicks got slammed for their views, the Boy Scouts got it here.

This is an easy decision. You can A) stay true to your morals and lose the money, or B) compromise a core belief for money. I'm glad they chose A. Both choices have serious consequences, but A is in line with their core values and I'm glad they stuck to them instead of compromising who they are.

Yes, they lost a large donation in Connecticut, and they are losing the use of public land in San Diego. These can be worked around with other solutions. But they are not giving up on their core beliefs. They are not exposing the kids to a group of men who have a high incidence of pedophilia. They are keeping the NAMBLA members out.

I am sorry for their loss, and I hope they win in California. But they made the right choice and I commend them for it.

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Monday, March 08, 2004

Jaramillo Update


I spoke about Mr. Rafel Jaramillo here.

I got this unsigned letter, but the name as part of the email address that sent it to me contained the name Jordan, so I will address it to Mr. Jordan.

First, here's the letter.
just commenting on your Rafael jaramillo article, you cause I love a good debate, and although I agreed with most of your article, I think you should know the facts of this case so you can see why so many people are trying to help him, people have done tv interviews, 4 articles and alot of community support..the guy is a good kid, who made a bad mistake but dont get it confused, he was no drug dealer, like makeing money, etc...he made 1 phone call, no priors and lived here forever, his parents never made him a citizan because they went through a divorce, he now has a beautiful American baby boy along with a beautfiul American wife, who has stuck by his side unconditionally through out everything, he learned from his mistake, he agrees with the law and feels that no one shold be allowed to stay here if they dont learn from their 1 mistake...he did, he goes to school now, pays taxes, wroks hard and supports his family, he was let off probation early for good behavior and now focuses on his lovely family...be alittle more compasionate, because he has honestly thought about ending his life over this...its people like you who jsut dont understand how bad he really feels about this...lets show him support and help him stay in the only country he has ever loved and known.. Thanks Rafael Jaramillo and Family
Rafael is not a citizen. That's a fact. Neither he, nor either of his parents went through the effort of making him a citizen. According to my math, he was 19 or 20 when he committed his crime, plenty of time to at least start the process. If he truly loved this country, he would have become a citizen like his siblings did.

As far as the drugs go, there is a bit of "there but by the grace of God go I" kind of thing. During my time in the Navy I knew both shipmates and casual friends who used drugs, and there were several times an ill-timed raid would have got me caught up in it as well. But I never used, I never dealt, I got out and stayed out of those situations and people from that point on.

In the article it kind of alleges the DA inflated the charges, but the article and your letter doesn't substantiate that one way or the other.

And I was not singling Mr. Jaramillo out. I stated that if we were able to, I would do it to all of our criminals.

I will admit, you have me feeling sorry for him now. I have no doubt that the law was poorly written, since it includes first time offenders, and misdemeanors as felonies, but the crux of the matter is he is not a citizen.

He isn't getting deported for committing a drug crime, he's getting deported because he's not a citizen. That responsibility fell squarely on his shoulders and he let it slide off.

He can be sorry all he wants. I know what it's like to attempt suicide. I'm glad he turned his life around. But has he ever taken the step to become a citizen, even now? That should stop the deportation. If there were so many people interested in his plight, can't he get citizenship bestowed on him, one way or the other? Or does the conviction stand in the way?

Has anyone tried for a pardon from the Governor to get this rolling? I'm just throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks.

Good luck. But keep his bags packed.

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Defending Freedom of Speech


I find this article unsettling. Howard Stern Predicts He Will Be Shut Down.

I for one am repulsed by this man, what he says and what he does. I have no problem with him saying it, it's just that I, expressing my freedom, refuse to listen to him.

And that's the crux of the issue. Everyone has a freedom not to be interfered with by the Federal government when they have something to say. But nobody has to listen to what you have to say. Which is why I only get about 10 hits a day on this blog.

Nobody is screaming about Sterns views, he's in hot water over how he expresses his opinion. I can't comment on anything more because I don't listen to his show and could tell you what he talks about or does.

I just think that as long as stations can continue to sell advertising on his show, he should be allowed to say what he says on the air, within the standards of decency as set by the FCC. I don't think it's hard to stay within those guidelines. He can call the President a fascist, as long as he doesn't calling a fucking fascist.

Clear Channel got hit with a whopping fine over Sterns show, and until he cleans up his act to the FCC's standards, they are going to continue to pay if they still carry him (which they aren't).

Being the responsible, upstanding and forthright guy Mr. Stern is, I'm sure he will at least cut a check to Clear Channel to pay for the fines he caused. Probably not.

I don't like him, but I can't shut him up without endangering my own rights. So I let market forces work on him. If he gets kicked off the air, it's his own damn fault and nobody else's.

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More Kerry Waffles


Man, Waffle House and IHOP ought to come out with a Kerry Waffle.

Here's two more waffles, Kerry Praises Terrorist Leader Arafat as 'Role Model' and MEDIA COVER-UP OF VIETNAM VETERAN REJECTION OF KERRY REACHING EXPLOSIVE LEVEL.

That such a liberal could come down on both sides of the same issue does not surprise me, Slick Willie did it for eight years. That Kerry isn't getting a free pass on this does (pleasantly) surprise me.

Anyhow, the first article slams Kerry for the Palestinian issue. With Arabs/anti-Israel people, he decries the wall. When he wants to garner the Jewish vote, he praises the wall.

Second article pins him to the wall on Vietnam. He should denounce one of his positions about the Vietnam War, because they are so dichotomous of positions.

But he won't. And I'm glad. As long as he continues to come down on both sides of every issue and gets caught at it, the more of a laughing stock he becomes. That makes me happy, because he will start to drive voters away from him. That has no down side.

Keep going John, don't stop being you.

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Smart stuff


I'm not really sure what to write about this article, Elizabeth Smart Revisited, but I think something needs to be said.

This hit piece, from a normally Conservative news bureau, starts off with several scare quotes.
March 12 marks exactly one year since Elizabeth Smart - missing for the previous nine months - was found by Utah police officers just a few miles from her home, wandering the streets with people who her parents, law enforcement officials and psychological "experts" claimed were her "abductors."
While I am normally leery of psychological matters, having experienced the mental health industry first hand for five years now, there are people who know what they are doing, because they work off of good, solid science. However alleging that Elizabeth wasn't taken by force is a bit ludicrous.

Next comes the slam about the book and the movie. Granted, it appears to have been at least a little cold hearted and such to be in the middle of the money making side of this. But remember, this stuff would have been made regardless, so to exert control over the process that the Smart's did, made sure the ordeal of their daughter didn't turn into a hit piece like The Reagans.

Then comes the psychoanalyzing by the author of how the dad described he felt.
Not agonizing, a test of faith, devastating, terrifying or depressing, but frustrating, the same term most of us apply to being stuck in traffic or trying to fix a computer glitch. Nevertheless, when his beautiful daughter vanished into thin air and he heard nothing from her for the better part of a year, it was "frustrating" to Ed Smart.
My mental illness has frustrated me from doing what I wanted and planned for my life. I can assure you it involves all of the adjectives used by the author in the first sentence of the quote above.

Wow. Then the attack on God.
Then Smart told Couric that his own and his wife's faith in God proved that God was watching out for them - an amazingly egocentric, insensitive and ignorant statement, given that parents who have lost babies to eye cancer, women and children who have lost husbands and fathers to war and families who lost heroes and victims to the September 11th terrorist attack on our nation certainly believed and continue to believe in God as fervently as the Smarts do. Was Mr. Smart suggesting that God loves his family more than He loves other families?
I do not know where the vitriol came from for the author to write this, but it is not deserved.

It is precisely things like 9/11 that make us appreciate things like Elizabeth's recovery. If we have no bad things to compare good to, how do we know they are good things?

More psychobabble:
Um. What about The Stockholm Syndrome and the life-long aftereffects that psychobabble experts predicted she would experience forever? If you asked them today, they'd say the same things! After all, that's what their bogus educations taught them and what their livelihoods depend on - no matter the accuracy!
For those of you who don't know what the Stockholm Syndrome is, that is where a kidnap victim starts to identify and bond with their abductors and their cause, refusing to leave when the time comes.

To me, it appears that Elizabeth never succumbed to it. She kept her personality separate like a POW and always thought of escape. Why she didn't identify herself that first opportunity I don't know, but I think she was afraid of her abductor and his threat to harm her family if she escaped.

Now this I agree with. The modern media has done it's best to turn everybody into victims, unable to control the events around themselves.
So much for sob sisters like Couric and dozens if not hundreds of her ilk who specialize in the culture of victimization and refuse to consider alternatives to their poor-me theories or to focus instead on the immense capacity of the human spirit to triumph over adversity.
Then the author broaches why she has put "abductor" in scare quotes: She alleges that maybe Elizabeth left on her own. I couldn't tell you one way or the other, but I doubt she went willingly.

That's all I can handle from this article. Please excuse me while I wash out my keyboard.

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Friday, March 05, 2004

No posting today


I have to go into work 2 hours early today. Maybe something tonight.

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RTB Business


The latest RTB Tailgate Party is up at Hatamaran. If you ever want to see such a diverse group of entries and information in one place, then a tailgate party is where you need to be.

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Thursday, March 04, 2004

90% done


I've got 3 weeks until the tournament, and I am 90% done. All I have to do is paint my Chaplain and Apothecary, finish my two Rhinos, then touch up and flock all of the bases (glue sand on them and paint them green). How does it look?



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Only when it suits them


Democrats, having no core values, are willing to break whatever laws, including the ones they wrote, in order to defeat President Bush. Anti-Bush Group's TV Ads May Be Illegal, Republicans Say.

The 527's, such as MoveOn.org, are willing to do whatever is necessary to win.
[Republican National Committee Chairman Ed] Gillespie said Democrats have made it clear that they "intend to run one of the dirtiest presidential campaigns in modern politics, and breaking the campaign finance law in order to defeat the president is something it seems they're willing to accept."
This could backfire on the Dems. If Bush keeps the economy strong, openly prevents another terrorist attack, captures bin Laden, etc., then Bush will get a boost in the polls and the ballot box, especially if he keeps his campaign clean. Or at least cleaner than Kerry.

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Give them an inch...


I think this article pretty much explains itself. Heartened by Senate Vote, Anti-Gun Groups Demand 'Stronger' Ban.

The anti-gunners are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. They don't realize that it's the headlamp of an oncoming train. The NRA, CCRKBA, GOA and other pro-2nd Amendment groups will work hard on the Republican Senators who defected to the other side of the isle in this weeks vote to extend the Assault-Weapons Ban. Either hard to get them to change their minds, or get them out of office.
The Washington-based Violence Policy Center accuses the gun industry of "willfully circumventing federal law" by modifying a new generation of weapons and renaming them 'post-ban' or 'after-ban' assault weapons.

Such weapons are perfectly legal under the so-called "assault weapons" ban. But the Violence Policy Center accuses the gun industry of evading the intent of Congress by "making minor cosmetic changes and producing 'clones' and 'knock-off' versions to continue to sell for profit at the expense of public safety."
When you make a law based on cosmetic features, don't be surprised to see cosmetic features redesigned to bring the weapon into compliance of the law. The anti-gunners have (and have had for the last 10 years) egg on their faces for writing such a stupid law. Looking at a catalog and saying, 'Gee, that one looks really evil' and writing the law to ban that weapon based sole upon it's looks is bad law, no matter how you look at it.

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They want it both ways


There are more "flip-floppers" in the Democrat party than just Senator Kerry. Terry McAuliffe now joins this not-too-select group. McAuliffe's Strict Constructionism. The sub-title reads, "The Dems suddenly fall in love with the Founders," which is incomplete. It should also say, "...when it suits them."
Here's my problem: Most of the liberals invoking the inviolability of the Constitution in the debate against the [Federal Marriage Amendment] are the same liberals who generally invoke the doctrine of a "living Constitution," which demands that we constantly "reinterpret" the document.
Which means they've been saying one thing for years, and when all of a sudden the other side of the fence looks greener, they jump that fence faster than a criminal on COPS.

Which means, of course, they have no core values. Please read my core values to the right. These people will sell their soul to whomever can give them an advantage to getting back into power, and they whine and complain like children when the bill comes due.

Typical.

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Firefly is coming back?


Firefly, a show that I really liked and was cancelled too soon, has been approved to make a movie. Fireflyfans.net has the skinny.

Firefly showed the underside of the human condition when faced with a totalitarian federal government. Our heroes are the underdogs, and we as Americans have always rooted for the underdogs. Not everything goes their way, which is why the series was so endearing to me.

Anyway, I'll be looking forward to next year.

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Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Humor Wednesday


Just when you thought it was safe...



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Non-science


This article, Enviros Commence Election-Year Attack really jumped off the screen at me. These eco-nuts are at it again.

Until I see these nuts walk every where they go (so as not to consume any petroleum products), wear only natural fibred clothing and so on, I have no respect for them. If they don't want any of us to consume petroleum, then they shouldn't either, no matter what the consequences.

But there's the dangerous part:
[Union of Concerned Scientists]...advised its members to give media interviews about global warming in a 1997 memo:

"1. Stay on message. The message is simple - global warming is a serious problem - we must take action now to fight global warming.

"2. Don't confuse them with doubt. In other words, don't talk like a scientist, with caveats and error bars. Emphasize the word consensus.

"3. Don't talk too much. So practice your soundbites and don't get trapped into giving the reporter what he is looking for. Set your time limit in advance - so that you can terminate the interview before you are in over your head without appearing to be evasive - Your main purpose is to advocate, not to educate."
I thought scientists were supposed to be objective about how the data turned out? I guess I'm wrong.

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Padded like a pillow


I have written about how anti-gunners must lie about the statistics in order to generate support. This article, Do Gun Control Activists Pad Gun Death Statistics? shows just how they do it.
To begin with, Blek is probably referring to the 2000 MMM event. (In 2001, only about 100 people participated and the event is now virtually ignored.) This means she is stating that almost 14,000 children died from gun violence between 2000 and 2004. The figure is almost certainly an extrapolation from prior data.

The definitive source for data on injury-death in America, including gun deaths, is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Taking relevant data for 2001, the latest year available, and multiplying the results by four should provide a figure close to 14,000.

During 2001, the CDC reported a total of 157,078 injury-deaths. On their interactive Web site, if you click "Firearm" under "Cause of Injury," the figure becomes 29,573. For deaths in children, click on <1 as the lowest in the age range and 17 as the highest. Also select the "No Age-Adjusting Requested" option. The figure becomes 1,433. Multiplied by four, this is 5,732, or roughly 40 percent of what MMM asserts.

[...]

Maria Heil of the pro-gun Second Amendment Sisters comments on one of the misleading categories: "They [MMM] are not upfront that over half of those deaths are suicides. Suicide is not committed because there is a gun. Studies show that our suicide rate is on par with other industrialized nations, including ones with very strictly regulated guns."

[...]

Changing the age parameters on the CDC site to register the gun deaths of children between <1 and 12 years old renders the number, 223 for 2001. Multiplied by four, this becomes 892 or about 6 percent of MMM's asserted figure. Anti-gun advocates should be stating that, between 2000 and 2004, the gun deaths of 892 children could have been avoided through gun control or prohibition. With valid statistics that are properly used, real debate could then begin.
According to the article, you would have to include deaths of people up to 21 years of age in order to get near that 14,000 figure. I don't think ADULTS 18-21 are children, do you?
MMM hopes to create a groundswell of public outrage against guns. But, MMM should reconsider the inflation and skewing of statistics on dead children. As a strategy, it looks cruel and heartless and could easily backfire.
It already has. Why do you think nobody shows up for the event anymore?

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Down in flames


In another gun-related story, I think the headline says it all: Gunmaker Liability Bill Goes Down in Defeat.

The anti-gunners managed to convince enough Republicans to vote to extend the Assault Weapons ban and attach it to the main bill. This killed the important part.

This is known as standing on your principals. It is also known as "You can be in the right and just as dead."

I hope they reintroduce after the AW ban is over. They'll have to wait that long at least. Probably until the next Congress in January of '05. Hopefully Dubya will be there to sign it and not President Kerry.

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No more Supersize in 2005


Well, McDonald's is taking a big step in the healthy direction. They will be getting rid of the Supersize option next year. Big deal. It will mean a one ounce less in maximum fries size, but should be several ounces less in drink size.

Back in the 50's, a meal meant one Cheeseburger and what is now known as a small fry. The meal size (and calorie count) has at least tripled since then. The Cheeseburger patties are known as a "10 to 1" because they are 1/10th a pound each.

Let's see Mickey get rid of the Big Mac with it's dose of Thousand Island dressing. And the biggest size of drink and fries after they get rid of the supersize category. Then we'll see a change.

Oh, wait, I can't advocate that. That takes away your choices. How about YOU eat just a Cheeseburger and a small fry twice a week instead of a Quarter Pounder a day? That makes it your personal responsibility to choose if not the healthy things, at least the fattening ones in moderation.

Me? I average less than one Big and Tasty and a Dollar fry a week. No drink, I drink Pepsi. Sometimes a small shake. Believe me, I am tempted. But I stay the course and use only in MODERATION.

Good Luck to you.

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Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Life with mental illness


First of all, I would like to thank Mr. Jon Sparks for directing some of his traffic today my way. Memphis Cool is a fellow Memphis blogger and works for the local newspaper, which has been called everything but it's name.

Mental illness is a devastating disease, like alcoholism or drug addiction. Once you have it, it is a dominating factor for the rest of your life. Mine came about by a negative reaction to a prescription drug some 5 years ago. I have lost my job, my home and my family over it. It has taken me this long to get a drug cocktail that has stabilized me into something approaching normalcy. I used to have attacks that have no description. The mild attacks would leave me whimpering under the covers of my bed. The bad attacks would leave me screaming and crying in my closet.

Instead of a level playing field for me to get better on, I've had to work on a vertical cliff face. Now I'm trying to get up a moderately steep hill. Three pills in the morning, one pill and a multivitamin at night. It is dangerous to me to miss even one dose of pills. But I have side effects. I only sleep about an hour at a time, so I yawn a lot. My anti-psychotics make me drool a lot. If I'm not careful, I can (and have) drooled all over myself.

If I get off my medications, I'm dangerous only to myself. My attacks get more severe and almost constant. I have stopped counting the times I have attempted to commit suicide to end the fear and the pain. The Memphis Police Crisis Intervention Team (who handles mentally ill situations) used to know me on a first name basis.

Things are much better now. My medications are working, I am in a stable situation and I'm starting to make progress. For the first time in a long time, I am beginning to feel hopeful. I have a job helping other mentally ill people, so I am doing my best to give back to the community.

Wish me luck.

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A Racist is a racist, no matter the color.


This article got to me. Congress Should Sanction a Racist.

Congresswoman Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) stuck her pumps in her mouth the other day. She was facing off against representatives of President Bush when she called the administration (including the Mexican-American she was speaking to), wait for it...
Then it came. She called Bush's representatives "a bunch of white men."
There you go. I'm sure Rep. Brown would be welcome at the Ladies auxiliary of the local KKK chapter.
Predictably, there hasn't been much buzz in the liberal mainstream media, which I consider to be most television networks, major newspapers and leading magazines (online and print). But superimpose a white Republican lawmaker - say, Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi - over this incident, and change "white" to "black" or "brown," and then step out of the way. The amount of Internet bandwidth and ink denouncing Lott would be enough to drown a nation.
Yep.

It's okay to be a black racist, just not a white racist. It makes sense, just not to me.

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Day late, dollar short, wrong page


The ever-prescient, masters of the obvious USA Today has this article: U.N.: Iraq had no WMD after 1994.

Only now, after months of searching does the UN get around to stating the obvious. They were right along with the rest of us saying the Iraq had stockpiles of WMD's up until the invasion. And when someone has had WMD's, and used them, you just can't ass-u-me that he magically no longer has them. You say he has them until you have incontrovertible proof that he doesn't. And we are only at the beginning of that now. Surprises could still be in store for us.

Let's get this straight. WMD's were only ONE reason we went in. WMD's were a major threat, one that we had to dispose of before they were handed to the wrong people. But in order to end terrorism, we must change the culture. Look at Palestinian elementary schools. Children are indoctrinated to grow up to be martyrs. They are taught to hate Jews and the sole purpose of their lives is to blow up and take Jews with them.

Let me say this again, because it needs to be clearly understood: Short of wiping everybody out, there is no way to combat terrorism other than to change the culture. That is the reason for the invasion of Iraq. It is also showing wonderful dividends. Discovery of WMD programs in Libya, selling of nuclear secrets by Pakistan, calls for democracy in countries like Iran, I'd say our plan is working.

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Monday, March 01, 2004

What she said


This resonates with me: Character, not color, counts the most.

I am lucky. Had I grown up in Mississippi instead of Ohio, my father would have been a Klucker. He was a Klucker in all but name. But then in Ohio we knew somebody who knew somebody who knew a black person. Out of a class of 200 in my high school, I doubt we had more than 5 black kids. I moved to my last home in Ohio in 1972 and got to know a black kid named Bernard in 6th grade. I liked him, but still felt uneasy toward him because of his skin color. I'm glad I got over it.

I am lucky that the Klucker mentality of both of my parents never took hold in me, because it would have been beaten out of me during my time in the Navy. Today, living in Memphis, Tennessee, about 90% of the people I interact with are black. If I had any racist underpinnings, I would be SOL in my job.

I have done my best to take Dr King's words to heart in my dealings with other people, and they have served me well. Which is why I like this article. It talks about how blacks are still fighting the battles of the 60's when they were won way back then.

Liberals have done much to destroy the black population, all through the bigotry of low expectations. All of that has led to the massive degradation of the condition of this minorities condition.
Yes, past racial injustices helped create these conditions and a litany of other injustices - racial profiling, predatory mortgage lending and assaults on affirmative action - endures. But rather than focus on what others have done to undermine black culture, we would be better served to remember the charge Martin Luther King Jr. issued: to live with dignity and discipline, to fight physical force with soul force. We can begin by refusing to allow those guilty of bad behavior - the brother hustling crack, the neglectful parent who offers a child Timberlands instead of time, the prodigal couple who chooses bankruptcy over modest living and the famous athlete accused of rape - to make these issues about the color of their skin rather than the content of their character.
Amen.

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