Saturday, May 31, 2008

Grand Rapids

It is time for the annual trek to GR for the MHSAA track and field finals.

Anyone traveling south of Cadillac on 131 this morning should watch out for a broken down Buick with an irate driver kicking in the door.

Please, call my mom.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Please! Please! Please!

Susan, pack up those aging breasts and get off our soil!

If your most intelligent and heartfelt yearnings lead you out of our country when a candidate you do not support is elected by a majority of your peers, well, what can I say other than, "do you need any help packing? Will you be taking your your husband?"

Bamboo Poles and Tarpaulins

I have to hand it to you Burmese generals who took the time to plaster your names on the sides of food boxes supplied by international relief efforts--you've got bravado!

It truly takes melon sized testicles to show such blatant disregard for the welfare of a citizenry that you assumed the responsibility for through a military action. If all you wanted was territory and something to rule over, why didn't you buy a beef herd in Manitoba?

Obama Must Again Distance Himself

It took me until about the second grade to figure out that John wasn't the type of kid I wanted to hang around with. His interest in smoking (sneaking one or two a day from his mother's purse) and the resultant stale smell were more than I wanted to rub close elbows with. John also used a vocabulary that was strikingly profane for someone so young. He uttered words both under his breath and over the playground cacophony that would have gotten my ears boxed had I been so bold.

But, what the heck did I know? I was about nine.

Is it odd that the obvious behavior and speech patterns amongst my peers affected my socialization? I gravitated toward those with whom I felt comfortable and I distanced myself from those whom I did not. Believe me, John was not an outcast for he had his own little group of smoking, swearing and stinky compatriots. He found out where he wanted to nest, and he did so. There was never any animosity between us, we just traveled in different circles.

It is becoming more and more obvious where Barack Obama has been nesting the past 20 years or so. Unfortunately for politicians, a person's past is just as important as a person's promises for the future. This is a lesson that Obama is now learning.

For me to believe that Obama is just now figuring out that some of those sharing his nest are race-baiters, Jew haters and anarchists is a bit of a stretch, at least for someone like me that began to pay attention to what people were doing and saying long before I knew all my state capitols.

Obama could use these shady associations to his benefit if he could point to one iota of evidence that he firmly rejected the beliefs of these people while he was still actively associated with them. At least that way we would know that his beliefs are contrary.

That he cannot do this either exposes his inability to understand even the simplest motivations and beliefs of those around him, exposes his reluctance to undertake vigorous debate with close associates with whom he disagrees, or more likely, is simply an example of what I learned in elementary.

Birds of a feather and all that.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

NY To Honor Out-of-State Same Sex Marriages

Well, now this is a shock.

Governor David Paterson of New York, a huge fan of marriage if fidelity itself isn't much of a concern, has jumped on the bandwagon of homosexual marriage by declaring his state will recognize the same sex marriages of those performed in other states.

Sadly, while this war is not over yet, the writing on the wall seems to say that it will end someday with same-sex marriages being performed in all states in this country. This, of course, barring some sort of Supreme Court intervention or passage of a Marriage Protection Amendment to the Constitution.

That a vast majority of voters resist this, that these legislations are being created by judicial fiat rather than through legislative bodies, that the nosy state has largely wrestled what is a religious union away from religions, that those benefits granted to married couples could be bestowed to partnered homosexuals through either common law or civil unions, and that the primary benefit of marriage is that it provides a stable environment for the raising of children, doesn't seem to be much of a concern when it comes to embracing lifestyles and culture changes that can expand the boundaries of our collectiveness. You see, we will accept this change and we will like it! (And if we don't like it, too bad.)

It is, after all, for our own good.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Uniform Squabble in Tortilla Factory

Let's add tortilla maker to the list of jobs that Muslim women should refrain from taking because their religious garb will not allow them to do the work either properly, cleanly, or safely.

As Robert Spencer at Dhimmi Watch says:

These women could just find jobs that don't require them to violate their standards of modesty. But instead, non-Muslims must adapt and accommodate Muslim demands. It is all part of the stealth jihad.
If Muslim women aren't stripping for a living because of their convictions, they shouldn't be making tortillas for the same reason. I can respect that. This "poor me" crap heaped on the rest of by a gaggle of opportunistic claptrap artists is something that I cannot.

Get a job your oppressive religion's garments will allow you to perform. Otherwise, shut up.

Free Speech To Die in the EU?

Things are getting truly scary in parts of Europe where the EUtopians, in an effort to solidify their existing power while expanding the geographical area of that power's influence, have cooked up a scheme that might forever place most of that continent under the cloud of dhimmitude.

For all the right reasons, of course.

It is contained within the Lisbon Treaty's European Arrest Warrant--scheduled to take effect next year.

The European Arrest Warrant specifies a vast grouping of crimes for which the EU can take action. These crimes include heinous ones such as terrorism, murder and rape, but also includes other crimes weighed just as offensive by the document, such as racism and xenophobia and computer related crimes.

The really interesting twist is that any member state can issue an arrest warrant for anyone within the territory of another member state. Therefore, if a cartoonist or a newspaper in Denmark were to publish cartoons that were deemed offensive by Muslims in the streets of France, French authorities, giddy to appease anyone that ever threw a rock, could issue a warrant by the time the second car was torched.

What will happen when Turkey becomes a member state, or when the EU expands to include states from north Africa as has been suggested? Will a blogger in Belgium, pointing out the fact that Mohammad consummated a marriage with a nine year old, be arrested under a warrant issued in Turkey?

Will a British clergyman, after pointing out that Muslims should be approached for conversion, be charged with xenophobia in France? Will a mishandled Koran in Germany result in a Bulgarian trial?

The EU has, in essence, provided to The Religion of Perpetual Offendedness the legal framework in which to drag its ideological foes into a criminal court because they don't like what they have read or heard.

In Europe, "I have been offended" may soon get every bit as much legal attention as "I have been raped."

Now, what could ever go wrong with that?

h/t Brussels Journal

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Report: UN Suspected in Widespread Sexual Abuse of Children

Perhaps this newly released report will be enough to help persuade the UN to begin to police itself more thoroughly rather than point fingers at the US military's running of the Guantanamo terrorist detention camp.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed "deep concern" Tuesday after a leading children's charity said it uncovered evidence of widespread sexual abuse of children at the hands of U.N. peacekeepers and international aid workers.

The report by Save the Children UK, based on field research in southern Sudan, Ivory Coast and Haiti, describes a litany of sexual crimes against children as young as 6.

It said some children were denied food aid unless they granted sexual favors; others were forced to have sex or to take part in child pornography; many more were subjected to improper touching or kissing.

"The report shows sexual abuse has been widely underreported because children are afraid to come forward," Jasmine Whitbread, chief executive of Save the Children UK, told Associated Press Television News.

"A tiny proportion of peacekeepers and aid workers are abusing the children they were sent to protect. It ranges from sex for food to coerced sex. It's despicable."

At the U.N. headquarters, spokeswoman Michele Montas said Ban "is deeply concerned" by the report.

"We welcome this report. It's fair, and I think it's essentially accurate," Montas said.
I've always believed that the UN is a dismal failure at all things related to policing, but I've been more forgiving of them when it came to disaster relief and distributions. After the disastrous oil for food program and now this far reaching scandal of the most heinous sort, it is time for me to stop being so complimentary to that elite international body of yammering bozos.

Church of England Leaders Denounce Evangelism of Muslims

The Great Commission is dead. Evangelism? Extinct. Spreading the Gospel? Little more than a footnote in the history of the Church of England, dying a quick death at the hand of multiculturalism and interfaith respect.

From the Telegraph:

The Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, accused the Church of failing in its duty to "welcome people of other faiths" ahead of a motion at July's General Synod in York urging a strategy for evangelising Muslims.

However, his comments were condemned by senior figures within the Church. The Rt Rev Stephen Lowe, the former Bishop of Hulme and the newly appointed Bishop of Urban Life and Faith, said: "Both the Bishop of Rochester's reported comments and the synod private members' motion show no sensitivity to the need for good inter-faith relations. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs are learning to respect one another's paths to God and to live in harmony. This demand for the evangelisation of people of other faiths contributes nothing to our communities."
It seems that for many leaders in the Church of England, this whole Jesus thing could really get in the way of what might otherwise be a pretty cool ride.

In today's church, not making people angry or uncomfortable supersedes the word of Jesus Christ.

h/t Dhimmi Watch

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Long Weekend

I have a lot planned for this long weekend so any posting that takes place will be light.

That we finally have some bright spring sun around here isn't helping to advance my good paying blogging career one whit. Though, in fairness, my roofing career might really take off.

Friday, May 23, 2008

To Lansing!

A pressing appointment tomorrow with an orthodontist, two teachers, a counselor and at least one gas pump.

$4.14 yesterday in Oscoda County with rumors of $4.29 by Monday.

I absolutely worship Bart Stupak.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Hatin' Some Jews

The morons commenters are out in full force over at the Detroit Free Press today.

It seems that a certain editorial from that esteemed rag for once didn't totally misrepresent Israel, and the natives aren't too happy about it.

From 66wildcat:

I am not an anti-Zionist or whatever-but Israel has a lot of culpability in this mid-east mess. And we as a nation have been so pro Israel that we have been blinded. We should simply tell the Israeli's either give the Palestinians a homeland and their freedom back or lose our support. What everyone seems to be forgetting is that Jews, bent on having this 'homeland' used the exact same tactics as the current Palestinians to gain their way. And this is after suffering terribly at the hands of the Nazi's! Does no one have a memory here? The Jewish state should be the shining example of how to not act like their oppressors and instead, use many of the same ideas. And then fanatical nut jobs like Bin Laden use the Palestinian mess as a way to stir up the hornets nest. Take away the nest and you take away the cause celeb. It is in the best interest of the United States to support states that share our ideals. Sadly, the current Israeli government does not.
Gaymarriage4all says:
enduring democracy? Yeah - riiiiiiiiight. Enduring opressors. They took their treatment of the Palestinians right out of the Native American-extermination playbook.
Darwyn opines:
"While it was altogether appropriate for President George W. Bush to join in observing the 60th anniversary of Israel"

Altogether appropriate to celebrate an apartheid nation?! LMAO! Who's the idiot who wrote this? They need to start actually reading the news.
If ignorance is bliss, these should be some very happy people. Why do they sound so miserable?

Oil Executives Under Fire

If you are as tired of overpaying for gasoline at the pump as I am, you are probably even more tired of pontificating windbag Democrats angrily denouncing big oil for gouging consumers, automobile companies for producing inefficient cars, and consumers for not riding bicycles.

Yesterday, one such moment of pontification took place on Capitol Hill where wealthy members of the Senate Judiciary Committee took a moment to appear to care about consumers and their shrinking bank accounts by grilling top executives of the largest oil producers and refiners in this country.

John Hinderaker at Power Line provides an excellent summary and concluded his article with the following:

The committee's Democrats attempted no response. They know that they are largely responsible for the current high price of gasoline, and they want the price to rise even further. Consequently, they have no intention of permitting the development of domestic oil and gas reserves that would both increase this country's energy independence and give consumers a break from constantly increasing energy costs.

Every once in a while, Congressional hearings turn out to be informative.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Any Excuse for a Riot

And here you thought rioting over a cartoon was dumb.

Muslims in Nigeria are pissed that police there have rescued two underage girl kidnapping victims before they could be forcibly converted to Islam and married off to a Muslim man. All in the quest for expanding Islam.

The results of the rioting? Six churches burned.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What Possible Harm Could Come From This?

The Talaban must be partying down today, that is if drinking goat milk in a cave could ever really constitute a party.

In an arrangement that will do nothing but bring further kidnappings and extortion, Pakistan, that country already on a political tightrope, has decided that it makes sense to negotiate with terrorists and give in.

Amongst the released prisoners was a Guantanamo Bay detainee who was being held in Pakistan. If he were still being held in Cuba, he would not be walking free today in Pakistan, ready to resume his role as a terrorist.

If ever there was an incentive to grease these sociopath criminals before they ever see the inside of a detainment center this is it. If ever there was a reason to refuse release of detained prisoners to our supposed allies in this war against Islamic terrorism, this is it. If ever there was a reason to hold what prisoners we do detain in secretly run CIA prisons overseas, this is it.

But, I suppose, in doing so we'd simply be pissing off the UN. Never mind.

Defining the Enemy

An excellent article in yesterday's New York Daily News by Tawfik Hamid.

Call Radical Islam By Its Name

h/t Red State

Monday, May 19, 2008

US Invites UN Diplomat to Investigate US Racism

Who is the numbskull in the US government that invited Dr. Doudou Diène, a renown UN expert on “contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”, on a three week--eight city tour of the United States to study how bad the US sucks?

Like this card-carrying Muslim career diplomat would even know his head from his ass when it comes to things such as fairness, economics or the pockets of financial inequality that develop when people are granted the freedom to pursue their own version of happiness.

From Front Page Magazine:

Diène is from Senegal, a predominantly Muslim country which is a member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the largest voting bloc at the United Nations. He has consistently sided with that bloc against Western and other democracies such as Japan. His cultural and religious biases have led to his obsession with Islamophobia, which he has called “the most serious form of religious defamation.”
I expect the UN to crowd their corridors with political chaff like this simply because that is the contemporary purpose of the UN.

I certainly expect better from our government than to waste one nickel passing this guy around town. It is probably too much to hope that he's sleeping at the Motel 6.

Official Mourning in Myanmar

The ruling junta of Myanmar has finally leaped into action and declared a three day period of mourning for the 100,000 or so dead and missing victims of a massive cyclone that hit there some two weeks ago.

The sociopath regime has thwarted nearly all foreign efforts to help ease the suffering of innocent victims including delaying aid shipments, denying rescue efforts, preventing foreign medical teams from treating victims, and disallowing disaster experts from touring the area. Meanwhile the government has seen fit to take the time to hold a national referendum (designed to strengthen the junta) and to slap the names of ruling generals onto box lunches provided by foreign countries. These sorts of propaganda opportunities don't occur every day.

So, as disease surely sets in among the now homeless and thirsty people of the Irrawaddy delta, the junta will solemnly pay its respects to the many tens of thousands of soon to die citizens its paranoid inaction will certainly kill.

Not only is the junta filled with sociopaths, it is also filled with people oblivious to irony. Those box lunch stickers would have been better used on caskets or on signs surrounding piles of burning corpses. At least that way proper credit would be issued.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

MHSAA Track Regionals Today

It should not be surprising that it is quite cool, windy and wet here in northern Michigan this time of year.

In a dynamic world where the forces of global warming and high school regionals collide, global warming is little more than a sad pretender.

Thermal underwear, three pairs of socks and a jacket over four shirts should suffice. Gore owes me a carbon credit.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Dutch Authorities Allow Radical Islam To Bear Fruit

Europe's utopian nannystate is becoming ever more brazen in its efforts to silence the critics of Islam as evidenced by a recent arrest in the Netherlands of Gregorius Nekschot, a cartoonist friend of Theo Van Gogh, for the crime of “publishing cartoons which are discriminating for Muslims and people with dark skin.”

Van Gogh, if you remember, was murdered in the street by a vengeful Muslim for offending Islam.

The Dutch government, disliking the looks of blood-stained concrete (and apparently the additional security costs associated with protecting outspoken critics of Islam,) believes it more fitting and effective to silence the critics to avoid violence rather than to make violent Muslims understand that they must yield to the rule of law and that falling into a murderous rage after any perceived insult will not be tolerated.

Achieving insult to Islam is not difficult. It can be done with a cartoon, stating an opinion, retelling history, quoting a Muslim authority, handling a Koran or even labeling a delicious ice cream treat. Discriminating against Muslims is also very easy to do. It could include making Muslims present picture identification, making them wash their arms in before administering first aid, forcing Muslim taxi drivers to provide service to all taxi patrons, forcing Muslims behaving in provocative ways off of commercial jet airliners, or by making reluctant Muslims adhere to company work rules that are adhered to by every other person working there.

There is extreme value in broadcasting to those that would bully you, that you will not be bullied any longer. There is value in letting thugs know that you will not be forced into a box of antiseptic thought. There is value in letting others know that you strongly believe that it is time that violence prone scoundrels grow up and begin to act in an adult manner instead of behaving like an elementary school tough-guy trapped in a perpetual time bubble.

That this must be done by the cartoonists, writers and movie directors of Europe while crowned heads spend their energy trying to silence them is an abdication of a government's most basic of purposes--to protect the safety and welfare of its citizens.

From the Brussels Journal:

Nekschot’s work is rude and often sexually explicit. As such it is characteristic for the Dutch liberal mentality and not beyond the limit in the Netherlands. In his cartoons, however, he mocks the multicultural society, and that does seem to be beyond all bounds.
Offending Christian sensibilities is apparently not as critical as offending those of Muslims. Could it be that Dutch authorities do not fear violent reactions from gangs of roaming Catholics and Christian Reformed?

The Dutch authorities are doing nothing more than allowing Muslim extremist activity to bear fruit.

How, exactly, is this supposed to turn out?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Is That Your Bias Showing?

Just more hot air emanating from the cavernous pie hole of Keith Olbermann over at MSNBC. This is the same network that is trying to fight its way into contention with more conservative Fox News as cable television's ratings leader.

Things aren't going so well though, nor will they ever get much better as long as this professional pinhead holds the network's ostensible position of news director.

From Newsbusters:

On Wednesday's Countdown, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann's latest "Special Comment" attack on President Bush accused the President of "panoramic and murderous deceit," and of "creating" an America that "includes 'cold-blooded killers who will kill people to achieve their political objectives,'" contending that "they are those in, or formerly in, your employ, who may yet be charged some day with war crimes." He further accused Bush, whom he referred to as having an "addled brain," of "laying waste to Iraq to achieve your political objectives" in an "insurance-scam, profiteering, morally bankrupting war." Outraged by Bush's declaration that he had given up playing golf out of respect for those killed in Iraq, Olbermann called on the President to "Shut the hell up!"
The only way Olbermann could ever get any worse would be to try his hand at sportscasting.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Massive Bombing in India: Methodists Suspected

Well, not really, but according to the BBC, we just really cannot be sure who could be behind it. No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, so at this point, who could know?

No group has admitted planting bombs in Jaipur. It is not yet clear what the motive for attacking the city might be.

Most people in Jaipur are Hindus but the city has a large Muslim minority. Correspondents say it has no history of religious violence.
Yep, that motive is a real teaser. It couldn't have anything to do with the Religion of Peace, now could it?

We'll have to wait and see if anyone comes forth.

General Dynamics Sells Out The West

I'm sure nothing could go wrong with this little exchange.

General Dynamics United Kingdom Limited has confirmed that it has signed an 85m pounds Sterling GBP ($165m USD) contract to supply a tactical communications and data system as part of the United Kingdom's initiatives to improve economic, educational and defense links with Libya. It will provide communications and data handling capabilities, together with technical and training support, to the Elite Brigade of Libya's armed forces.

The program has been developed with the full support of Her Majesty's Government and is in accordance with both the UK's Defense Industrial Strategy and foreign policy objectives. It recognizes the international reputation of General Dynamics UK as a leading exporter of command, control, communications, computing and intelligence (C4I) capabilities. General Dynamics UK has already achieved export success of similar C4I capabilities with the Netherlands and Romania.

Sandy Wilson, president and managing director of General Dynamics UK, said: "This initiative has been developed with the full help and guidance of the Defense and Security Organization, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. It complements current business activities in Libya, and other opportunities being explored by European companies."
I mean, they already said the were sorry for Lockerbie.

h/t Dhimmi Watch

Monday, May 12, 2008

Huckabee Leading GOP VP Contender? Gack!

I've been lamenting the Republican's possible selection of John McCain for its presidential candidate since long before he won it.

I wanted Fred Thompson. Alas, he could not stay awake long enough to win much of anything. Then I went to Romney knowing full well that many of his beliefs were clearly harnessed to big government. Yet, I could tolerate that, given the alternatives and the fact that on many other issues he and I were solidly alike.

Now I am left with McCain as my only potential candidate but the choice of whether to vote for him or sitting it out is not getting any clearer.

US News:

Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas and defeated contender for the GOP presidential nomination, is currently at the top of John McCain's short list for a running mate. At least that's the word from a top McCain fundraiser and longtime Republican moneyman who has spoken to McCain's inner circle. The fundraiser is less than thrilled with the idea of Huckabee as the vice presidential nominee, and many economic conservatives—turned off by the populist tone of Huckabee's campaign and his tax record as governor—are likely to share that marked lack of enthusiasm.
Huckabee for VP? Ya, rather than throw me a bone he threatens to beat me over the head with it.

As Mike says at Cold Fury:
Christ on a crutch, you gotta be kidding me. I’d take it with a grain of salt, to say the least, early as it still is. But if it does come to pass, well, if this ain’t the final straw for conservatives, I’m sure I can’t imagine what would be.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Planned Parenthood Passes the Collection Plate for Mother's Day

Fiscal year 2006-07, the last full year reported by Planned Parenthood (PP), was an astoundingly good year. The non-profit slicer and dicer of unborn children produced a whopping 289,650 abortions in 2006 with total revenue exceeding $1 billion.

Taxpayers chipped in with over $336 million to help keep the assembly line moving. Overall profit for the non-profit amounted to $112 million.

Buoyed by their success and with grifted confidence overflowing, PP is asking for private donations this year in celebration of Mother's Day.

( - Planned Parenthood, a major abortion provider, is soliciting Mother's Day gifts for itself.

In a May 3 e-mail blast, Planned Parenthood Federation of America's president, Cecile Richards, asked recipients to "Make a Mother's Day Gift" by donating to the organization - a solicitation that some critics say is ironic given that many Planned Parenthood clinics perform abortions.

The e-mail reads:

"Dear Friend, Join us! Make a Mother's Day gift. My daughter, Hannah, recently wrote this for a national magazine:

'I was raised by strong women. My mom, Cecile Richards, fights daily for women's reproductive rights and social justice as president of Planned Parenthood. It's a legacy she got from her mom (my late grandma), Ann Richards, the former governor of Texas. I've learned that the most rewarding battles in life are those waged for something you truly believe in.' ...

"... As Mother's Day approaches, I am grateful for the opportunity to make a difference and hope you'll join me. Happy Mother's Day."

John Jansen, co-director of Generations for Life, the youth outreach program for the Pro-Life Action League, in response to the e-mail, told Cybercast News Service : "I think it's ironic that an organization dedicated to helping women avoid motherhood is celebrating motherhood. It doesn't make sense. (Planned Parenthood) is the leading abortion provider in the country."
A h/t to Dan Collins at Protein Wisdom who believes there is a better term than "ironic" to describe this sort of shameless pandering.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Myanmar's Disgraceful Military

It ain't quite Madison Avenue yet, but you can't blame a bunch militaristic narcissists for trying. The junta in Myanmar, fresh after confiscating UN shipments of desperately needed supplies while still thwarting other massive relief efforts, began distributing the confiscated food rations today to a population that stands on the brink of total disaster--with the names of prominent generals plastered all over the boxes.

Myanmar's military is a perfect example of absolute power corrupting absolutely.

When hurricane Katrina hit off the gulf coast, it was America's civilian led military that carried the day. While lawyerly bureaucrats at the local, state and federal levels spent precious hours casting blame on each other, America's armed forces were scooping up survivors. As parked empty school buses succumbed to the rising water of a broken levee, the Coast Guard was in action. As Louisiana's state officials refused to give water to people at the Super Dome out of a desire to drive the stranded refugees further inland, the national guard was distributing food and water. As federal officials tried desperately to figure out a way to make it appear as if they were doing at least something, General Russell Honoré cut through the red tape of government and made things happen. All of this, presumably, without anyone in our military plastering their names on food rations in an attempt to achieve a hero's lofty status.

Our civilian military is in love with this country. The sacrifices of our men and women that don the uniform in this and previous generations while seeking little or no personal fame, prove this.

Myanmar's military led government uses its might for another purpose--to hang on to power. It's need for dominance over the populace has eclipsed any desire those military men ever had for its people--it would rather rule absolutely (and famously) over a starving and diseased wracked people than to sit anonymously amongst a healing population.

There are many times when we, if we take a little time to pay attention, can see the value of liberty to the citizens of a nation, and the value of a competent, civilian-led military that is dedicated to that liberty. Sadly, perhaps the easiest time to notice all of this is when it is juxtaposed to people dying by the tens of thousands, just so sociopath generals have ample time to slap their John Henrys on a few biscuits.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Scatter Shooting

I will not be able to blog today--things just aren't working out toward that end.

Here are a few posts around the net today that deserve serious attention.

Protein Wisdom: A pinch of hope, a dash of change, and voila! — a Living Constitution that a good progressive would be proud to serve alongside the antipasto and the 2005 Prosecco Perlage Riva Moretta

The Strata-Sphere: Mooki Sadr Left High And Dry By Shiite Grand Ayatollah Sistani

Dhimmi Watch: U.S. most charitable nation; oil-rich Muslim countries give almost nothing

and Right Michigan: Smoke 'em if you got 'em... no wait... DON'T!

Quiz on Monday.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

We Got Us an Al-Qaeda Leader UPDATED

Waterboard, anyone?

This is the type of monster you strap to a board, cover with plastic, and pour under water.

Repeat as often as necessary.

Analysis here by AJ Strata.

Now the BBC says NOT. Crap.

Michigan Senate: "Hand Over That Butt"

The Michigan Senate has passed a bill that will outlaw smoking in all public places including bars and restaurants if ultimately passed into law.

LANSING -- The state Senate voted today to ban smoking in public places including restaurants and bars, sending the issue back to the House, which has passed a similar bill.

The Senate vote puts a statewide smoking ban on the verge of final approval and a victory for antismoking advocates who have lobbied for years to ban smoking in public places.

The measure passed on a 25-12 vote. Unlike a similar House bill that passed, the Senate version would extend the smoking ban to casinos and bingo halls.
How long will the sheep in this country allow big brother to herd them into quaint little pens?

We've got millions of people up in arms in this country over the US government eavesdropping on terrorists communicating with one another overseas, yet most people applaud when bureaucrats swoop into private business in this country and quite literally take cigarettes right out of smoker's hands. The former is supposedly an attack on our civil rights, while the latter is not. Go figure.

The commenters at Freep are seeing this as a smokers versus non-smokers issue when it is not that at all. This is an intrusive government versus private business owners issue. This is a case of an expanded and all-knowing benevolent government sticking its fat nose into the business of private institutions and citizens because it thinks it is so much smarter than the rest of us.


Perhaps when big brother comes looking for our candy bars (to prevent tooth decay), saturated fats (to lower our cholesterol), pasta (to keep our weight down), salt (for our blood pressure) and force us to walk four miles a day for our cardio-vascular system, we will start to notice.

I doubt it though. Sheep really don't care much which pen they are led into.

Peres the Naive

To desire peace is commendable. To pursue it to the point of ignoring common sense, history, current events, and the sworn doctrine of your enemy makes you a fool.

Shimon Peres is that type of fool.

"Although in '98 everything seemed dark because of Rabin's murder, I believed we could still move the peace process ahead more quickly. I did not think we'd have so many problems. I believed the separation between the West Bank and Gaza would make things easier, not harder. I did not imagine that we would leave Gaza and they would fire Qassams from there; I did not imagine that Hamas would show so strongly in the elections.
This is astoundingly naive coming from a man having reached the lofty position of President in a country surrounded by terrorist savagery.

What news reports do you suppose he was watching for all those years?

This quote from an interview with Peres conducted by Haaretz.

h/t Dhimmi Watch

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The "Reasonable" Myanmar Junta

We are now five days after a cyclone struck Myanmar and killed many thousands of people, wiped out entire villages and left tens of thousands of people without homes, food or water. Five days, yet there are still many aid teams being kept out of the country waiting on visas by the Myanmar's military junta. US naval ships still wait to assist the victims in transport and providing precious fresh water--they have not been given permission to help.

Today I read this in the BBC:

Speaking to reporters, the UN's humanitarian chief John Holmes accepted that aid agencies had faced difficulties accessing the disaster zone.

But, he said, co-operation from the Burmese authorities was "reasonable and heading in the right direction".

He dismissed a suggestion by the French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner that the UN Security Council should adopt a resolution allowing aid to be flown into the country by force as unnecessarily confrontational.
Reasonable according to whom?

Maybe he's saving his forceful commentary for when the cholera epidemic hits.

McCain Defines Michigan's Problem

I've never been much of a fan of John McCain and, recent comments on his potential judicial appointments notwithstanding, my impression of him is not improving much.

This snippet from a campaign speech he made yesterday in Troy as covered by the Detroit News:

"The problem is not free trade ... we have not cared for the displaced worker," McCain said at a town hall meeting at Oakland University north of Detroit.

"Innovation is here in the great state of Michigan - the birthplace of the modern automobile industry. ... Of course, the old kinds of doing business (are) not coming back. But there are new kinds ... that will eliminate our dependence on foreign oil.

"We have to retrain and educate workers to take advantage of that opportunity."
I agree that free trade is not the problem in Michigan, and I can agree that Michigan has been, historically, a place of great innovation. I can even agree that the old kinds of doing business are not coming back.

Where I disagree with McCain is in his assertion that our economic problem is because "we have not cared for the displaced worker."

This is unadulterated hogwash.

In Michigan we suffer economically because of a monumental trifecta of anti-growth stupidity shared in equal portions by an unresponsive domestic auto industry, state and local governments that make it difficult to do business here, and a belligerent labor force that appears it would rather see thousands of good-paying jobs move permanently out of state than accept industry-competitive wages that would keep their jobs here while allowing their employers to grow profitably.

No amount of retraining displaced workers is going to rectify that situation. Now, I am not going to make the mistake and dismiss the fact that a well-trained work force is one component that businesses consider when they select a place to expand--but it is only one of many, and here it might be a distant fourth (at best.)

Retraining and educating an unemployed work force in order to attract new businesses is putting a gargantuan cart before a spindly legged nag. The only companies that will benefit from such shenanigans are the companies that will be chosen to provide the education and retraining. Did I mention the horse had spindly legs?

The best way to care for displaced workers is to act preemptively by nurturing a profitable business climate that helps to keep workers off the unemployment line to begin with.

Michigan has failed at this.

Consequently, this is why Michigan has failed.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Red Wings on Versus--Guess Who Won't Be Watching

I hope I am reading this wrong, but it appears as if only game 5 of the upcoming Detroit Red Wings/Dallas Stars playoff series will be available for me to watch in northern Michigan. And, if the Red Wings should happen to advance beyond this round, the first two games of the Stanley Cup finals will also be off limits (at least if you can believe much of anything that Wikipedia has to say about the NHL-Versus television contract.) Radio? Ken Kal's voice doesn't reach this far.

To make matters worse, earlier this year the nitwit NHL signed a three year extension with Versus which will make it difficult for me to watch playoff hockey right through the end of the 2010-2011 season.

Now, don't give me that "go to the bar and watch it" bullshit either. I'm not going to watch a game that has to compete with a juke box, a pool table, a drunken (and sadly aging-breasted) karaoke star wannabe, Jennifer Granholm's Club Keno farce and the gratuitous so-thick-you-could-cut-them-with-a-knife carcinogens. Truthfully, I could probably take the smoke if need be, but keep that karaoke broad in the next county.

It sucks to have followed the club all year long only to be essentially blacked out for the playoffs. I wish I had not watched at all.

I will not be making this mistake again. A ceremonial Red Wing paraphernalia burning will take place tonight in my fire pit, along with an effigy of Gary Bettman (providing I can find my colored pencils and a couple of dog droppings for eyes.)

The NHL is dead to me. Don't send any cards.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Forrest Gump Endorses Obama

Really it is Tom Hanks that is doing the endorsing, falling in line behind other worship worthy humans such as Oprah Winfrey and Bruce Springsteen.

Hanks explains his decision in a short video titled "Beware: Celebrity Endorsement." He says he's backing Obama because of "his character and vision, and the high road he has taken during this campaign."
Because, who else other than Obama, could ever envision socialism?

Big Brother Knows Best

Oh no! Not another smoking post? Please, No!

Too late.

I'd stop writing this stuff if government snoops would leave their noses out of the private lives of individuals. That ain't happening yet.

At least not in Illinois where officials have disallowed smoking at a "pipe smoker's convention."

From the Freep and AP:

A new Illinois law bans smoking in public places. That's taken some of the steam out of this weekend's Chicagoland International Pipe & Tobacciana Show in St. Charles.

The event draws 4,000 pipe collectors from more than 60 countries. Organizers tried to get around the new law by arguing their gathering was a private club meeting. Police and health officials said no.
One should be able to assume that attendees of a smoker's convention would be aware that smoking might actually be taking place at the event, and that this smoking could prove detrimental to the participant's health.

Just in case one of the attendees might be an idiot and not have figured this out, and because most bureaucrats are idiots and obviously have not, smoking activities will be relocated outside of the convention hall in a smoker's tent.

Where, apparently, patrons actually know there is going to be smoke.

Freedom From Offense Overriding Freedom of Speech?

Being offended can mean big money. Oh sure, going through life as a perpetually dissatisfied sourpuss might be a crappy way to have to live your life, but it could pay off in green.

Over the past few weeks I've written a couple of nearly incoherent posts about what I feel should be a person's reasonable right to smoke, and about a private establishment (restaurant or bar) being able to allow its employees and patrons to smoke on the premises without big brother swooping in and micromanaging the business.

A private business, to a great degree, is becoming less and less private as the nannystate slowly absorbs areas of commerce that it has no moral or ethical standing to consume.

Things might get worse for businesses if a recent 11th Circuit Court (CA) decision is any indication. Not only, according to the court, can a private business be sued for harassment levied at an employee by the employer, but now the employer can be sued for sexual harassment by the employee for things that are simply overheard, whether or not the speech is intentionally directed at the employee, uttered by the employer, offensive to anyone else at work, and "didn't involve any sexual extortion, any offensive touching, any sexual propositions, or even any insults targeted to her personally."

The offensive culprit, this time, is raunchy radio.

From the Volokh Conspiracy:

As a matter of good manners, and sound business management, I gladly condemn people who expose unwilling colleagues to such speech. The employer -- a private entity that's not bound by the First Amendment -- was free to restrict the speech, just as private Internet service providers, schools, churches, malls, and householders are generally free to restrict speech on their private property (setting aside a few contrary state laws that are not relevant here).

But here the government is saying that this speech is legally actionable, because it supposedly reflects a "degrading" perspective on women. The speech does not fit within any First Amendment exception -- there is no such exception for vulgarity, including relatively nonpolitical vulgarity (understandable, given the impossibility of defining the boundaries of such an exception). The government ought not be able to limit it, including through threat of massive civil penalties, whether the penalties are imposed on the speaker or on property owners that tolerate the speech. Yet this is exactly what happens here.

What's more, the logic of the case (which expressly draws on racial harassment caselaw and not just sexual harassment caselaw) extends far beyond talk of sex. The reasoning would apply even more forcefully to sexist political statements, sexist criticisms of politicians, racist political statements, racist criticisms of politicians, radio shows that condemn Islam and Muslims, radio shows that condemn atheism, and the like. And harassment law has indeed been used in the past to impose liability based on such political, religious, and social commentary, see here and, most recently, here (anti-Islam, anti-Muslim, and on occasion anti-Arab political statements).

On top of that, while harassment claims are generally not easy for plaintiffs to win, they have a perfectly predictable deterrent effect on employers, who don't want to risk losing them (or even litigating them). If you're an employer, you hear about this case, and then someone complains about allegedly sexually themed, religiously offensive, sexist, or racist radio programs being played, or overheard lunchtime conversations, what would you do?

I'm pretty sure that if you're rationally worried about litigation, you'd order that the radio playing and the conversations stop, for fear of government-imposed liability, and not just out of good manners or a desire to promote morale. I generally don't fault employers for reacting this way. But I do fault the legal system for imposing this sort of content-based, viewpoint-based deterrent to speech.
I couldn't agree more.

I would not allow Howard Stern to be played in a business I owned just out of any possible offense that might register to my tender Mennonite ears. I should be able to restrict radio use because of my status as business owner. Millions of Americans would be offended by the antics and speech of the Howard Stern show and it would seem a common sense approach to shut Howard up (especially in a mixed-sex environment.)

But, Stern isn't the only radio personality with the ability to offend. Millions more would be offended by right wing broadcasts of Rush Limbaugh. Most Limbaugh listeners, however, choose to turn on the radio and tune him in. What about people that happen to pass by when Rush is on one of his patented tirades against NOW and Planned Parenthood? Should happenstance listeners of Rush that become offended be able to overrule the desires of those who intentionally want to listen in?

What about Pat Robertson? Randi Rhodes? Michael Savage? How about any Jew?

This isn't necessarily about winning big money in court (though that would certainly be possible depending on your jury) but over allowing sensitive ears to dictate all acceptable speech thresholds in the workplace and perhaps beyond.

h/t Overlawyered

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Republican Money Addicts Too Afraid To Embrace Earmark Moratorium

It used to be pretty easy to tell who was Republican and who was Democrat by listening to what they had to say about domestic policy. There used to be foundational philosophies that served as the glue that held political parties together. This is no longer the case.

At one point in time, if you heard someone talk about government being too big, that was your Republican. If you heard someone talking about how the government must come up with solutions to solve the problems that face average Americans, there was your Democrat.

At this point in time there is very little difference between what most Republicans have to say about spending and what Democrats have to say. Both groups, with obvious individual exceptions of course, are primarily beholden to a philosophy that calls for big government solutions to problems brought about by nearly any circumstance. It doesn't hurt to have some federal dollars to lavish on the locals when it comes time for reelection.

Republicans have joined the Democrats in the belief that spending is the elixir on which the public must be sustained, or perhaps the reverse is more true, spending on the public is the elixir on which a long and prosperous political career must be sustained.

When we met adolescents in high school with this attitude we observed that they were buying their friends and had unnaturally low self esteem. I'm not so sure that this is not true about the vast majority of today's Republican politicians who have sold their souls for popularity and prestige.

Writing in RealClearPolitics, Robert Novak reports that Republicans aren't all that excited about a one year moratorium on earmarks. Which, I think, pretty much completes the loop.

A recent secret survey of the House Republican minority by the party's whip organization showed a two-to-one margin opposed to imposing a moratorium on earmarks.

House Republican John Boehner, who personally sponsors no earmarks, has indicated the party's position should be based on what GOP House members want. That led to the whip check.

Reformers had contemplated calling for a vote on earmarks by a closed-door session of the House Republican Conference, assuming it would be difficult for many members to vote no. But the lopsided outcome of the whip check dissuaded reformers from requesting a vote.
Is one lousy year too much time to ask for Republicans to push themselves away from feeding trough, even though every one of them knows that it is not good fiscal policy? These people are so addicted to the narcotics of power and self-importance that all they are worried about today is being able to win their next election so the binge can continue.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Released Gitmo Detainee Carries out Bombing

Back in World War 2 there were several prisoner of war camps in Michigan's upper peninsula. To my knowledge, the prisoners housed there had been rounded up in Europe on the battlefield and were taken to a place far away where they could not endanger anyone for the duration of the war. None of those prisoners were allowed to their freedom so that they could rejoin the battlefield.

You would think that today's deep thinkers could muster up enough rational thought to conclude that the arrangements of WW2 made a lot more sense than today's idiocy surrounding Guantanamo. Protesters demand Gitmo's closure and that its detainees be treated as criminals rather than soldiers, thereby affording them the legal protections offered US citizens accused of a crime. Many a bureaucrat has fallen for this hype.

We find ourselves engaged in a War, and it would be best if politicians and lawyers continued to recognize this.

The word today is that a detainee released from Gitmo back in 2005 was the perpetrator of a recent suicide bombing carried out in Mosul that killed as many as seven people.

The specific story of the released detainee has not been reported yet, so there is no word as to why the man was released in 2005. One can be pretty sure, however, that without grandstanding legal theorists and leftist sympathizers there would have been no push to release this detainee until the end of hostilities.

None of the seven victims were available for comment.

h/t PowerLine Blog

Walter Williams: Excising and Smuggling

Shortly after my last rant I had an opportunity to read Walter Williams latest article at Front Page Mag--Excising and Smuggling.

Tell me what's wrong in people wanting to wear a Swiss watch, have a drink, purchase tea from a Dutch rather than an English seller or cheap cigarettes from North Carolina rather than expensive ones from New York. People in government or those in pursuit of a do-good agenda think they know better and think they have a right to use government's brute force to hinder peaceable voluntary exchange.

Busybody Local Governments

It is a busy Friday and I will have very little time to post today. So I'm going to use this short bit of time to say that I'm sick to death of politicians at all levels of government, using their lofty status as overlords to try and bludgeon the rest of us into a position of obedience.

Just a few months ago, there was a resolution (thankfully failed) that would have made it illegal for restaurants in Mississippi to serve food to fat people. Would it be good for fat people to stop eating? I suppose it might help in some cases, but what bureaucratic machine would ever have the ability to police every eating establishment in the state to make certain that only skinnies were snacking? How would a restaurant owner know whether a person was obese from overeating or because of some other medical condition? Would the state have to begin issuing restaurant acceptability cards for potential fast-food patrons?

Here in Oscoda County, the District Health Department has brought forth the recommendation (currently being considered by the County Commissioners) to outlaw all smoking in public areas including bars and restaurants. I'm not a smoker but I might have to take up the habit. If I go to a bar to watch a game I'm going to do it with the full knowledge that second hand smoke will be billowing in the air. I don't need bureaucrats protecting me from my own personal decision of watching hockey on the big screen.

What is prompting this this rant is a short article on M-live where I read that the Chelsea City Council is considering a ban on plastic grocery bags within the city.

"As gas prices edge toward $4 a gallon and our nation is seeking ways to increase our energy independence, this is an opportunity for Chelsea to add a small step in the process." - Chelsea Council Member Frank Hammer in a new report to the City Council.
Would there be an upside to using fewer bags? Absolutely, there would be less waste of plastic. Would there be less waste overall? Hmmm. What will the city council do with all the extra paper waste that will be created if plastic is eliminated? Will they instead mandate the usage of cloth bags for our own good?

The reason that stores began moving from paper to plastic a few years ago was because of cost. It was simply cheaper to use plastic so most stores changed over. Now, it seems, select bureaucrats don't like the changes the stores have made. Their solution? Get involved in the managing of retail grocery businesses.

As is always the case, busybody bureaucrats will never find enough back scratchers to take care of every part of them that itches. When and if this plastic bad resolution passes, another council member has big plans too.
Hammer has the support of at least one other council member.

"I'm in favor of further discussion," Council Member Cheri Albertson said. "And I'd like to take it a step further and eliminate the sale of fertilizer with phosphorous within the city limits."
I hope the fat people in Chelsea can learn on their own to watch what they eat so that the city council doesn't have to step in.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Somali al-Qaida Leader Meets Allah

Another one has bitten the dust, er, excuse me, "has received what he was looking for — death for the sake of Allah — at the hands of the United States."

But ridding the world of an evil murdering pipsqueak isn't necessarily good news if you read the AP.

Analysts say the strike is likely to harden extremists and make it more difficult to appeal to moderate elements in the Islamist movement, which contains many clan members, businessmen and members of the Somali Diaspora.

Iise Ali Geedi, an analyst at the Somali University, says the attacks will increase anti-American sentiment. The attack may also weaken the position of the prime minister, who wishes to bring more militant elements into the talks against the wishes of the president.
Taking out evil used to be universally recognized as a good thing, but now it is just something else for seasoned diplomats and journalists to fret over.