Thursday, July 31, 2008

Lieberman a Serious VP Running Mate for McCain?

I hope the rumors are not true, but it is being reported that Joe Lieberman is being seriously considered as a VP candidate by the Maverick.

The most serious deficiency that Dick Cheney had as a Republican VP candidate is that he was unwilling to carry the party's torch after President Bush left office. In a perfect conservative world, the Maverick's VP would be much more conservative than the Maverick himself, younger, a better speaker, and willing to carry the party's banner at the top of the next Presidential election. He ain't, he ain't much, he ain't much, and he ain't capable.

Of all the sharp sticks that McCain has poked into my eye lately, if this comes true, it will be easily the sharpest one. A McCain/Lieberman ticket could destroy the Republican Party if it wins. A loss in this election might actually be a better long term alternative.

John McCain, I beg you, please, give me a reason to vote for you.

This ain't it.

h/t Little Green Footballs

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Gas is Expensive Up Here

cross posted at Right Michigan

When Bartholomew Thomas "Bart" Stupak first went to Washington in 1993 as Michigan's newly elected representative from the 1st Congressional District, Bill Clinton was yet to be sworn in as President, Monica Lewinsky was still a teenager, Wayne Fontes was the revered mastermind behind the success of the 5-11 Detroit Lions, and gasoline was about a buck a gallon.

It was a different world then, what with the Lions being less than a year from making it in the playoffs, and Bill and Monica being perhaps three from making it in the Oval Office.

Oh, we also had oil flowing out of our ears.

Why are things so painful now?

Before and during the Scott Mitchell dynasty, there was, relatively speaking, a glut in world oil supplies. (The oil embargo years excluded.) Global economic growth had remained slow and steady while other countries around the world were tapping into previously undeveloped oil fields. Supply more than met demand, and oil and gasoline prices were stagnant. OPEC ministers spent many a day during the 90s lobbying both their own members and non-OPEC members to reduce production to stabilize world oil prices. Ah, those were the good old days when Arab leaders were the ones that had to travel the globe groveling.

The refining industry has changed a lot too. When oil was brought to market 20 years ago, refining was competitive and sometimes barely profitable. It was this financial reality that ultimately led Ultramar Diamond-Shamrock in 1999 to shutter its Alma refinery after trying unsuccessfully to sell it throughout much of the decade. At the time, the Alma facility was one of the only two remaining oil refineries located in Michigan. (In 1952 there were as many as 16 refineries here.)

Given oil supplies in the 1990s, decisions governing oil exploration, drilling and refining were virtually painless. In 1990, President George HW Bush even went so far as to issue an executive order that banned new offshore oil drilling, an order only recently lifted by President George W. Bush.

Bit by bit, piece by piece, the landscapes available to oil leasing, exploration and drilling became more limited. Offshore was out. Vast areas of land such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge were deemed too fragile to sustain oil drilling and transport. Environmentalists also worked diligently to halt the usage of oil shale for the country's energy needs based on perceived environmental impact.

Fossil fuels, it was argued, were too toxic for a delicate planet bound to choke to death on its own pollution or die either from the rising or the cooling temperatures caused by greenhouse gas emissions. Whatever the flavor of the month happened to be.

One way to clean the toxins from the air, according to environmentalists, was to mandate gasoline blends for different areas of the country and different times of the year. The Clean Air Act of 1990, signed into law by the Senior Bush but not fully enacted until a few years later, added additional refining, storage and transportation expense to the cost of gasoline.

Meanwhile, the world economy began to ramp up, partially fueled by cheap energy on its own accord, itself creating larger energy needs, these needs primarily met by oil and coal produced in areas of the world with much poorer environmental records. (Ever been to Kazakhstan?) As China began pulling 1,000,000 people per month out from under the weight of poverty, other third world countries such as India and Viet Nam began creating their own burgeoning economies. This type of growth, powerful enough to help stamp out poverty, carries a huge energy price tag--and the oil demand relative to its supply began to grow. Prices rose.

This is very simplistically where we are today, in a world and a country with expanding energy needs, and in a country that is divided over increased production of domestic fossil fuels. Yet, while the science of global warming and the environmental impact of carbon emissions have proven to be inconclusive, and as even more and more scientists come on line by publicly voicing their skepticism, Bart Stupak has not wavered.

Throughout the 90s and the 00s, Bart Stupak (the lawyer, not the scientist) reaffirmed time and again his belief in the global warming theory brought on by the usage of fossil fuels. He did it when gasoline was $1.00 per gallon, $2.00 per gallon, $3.00 per gallon, and he continues his quest today at $4.00 per gallon. Presumably he would do the same at $5.00, $6.00, $7.00 and $8.00.

His answers to historically high gasoline costs are myriad, ranging from punishing gougers at the pump (never mind that profit margins have remained relatively stagnant over that period of time,) to reduce speculation in the oil markets by punishing large users of energy for trying to lock in future guaranteed prices (remember, it is hard to have a seller if you don't have a buyer,) by threatening to sue OPEC (a silly voyage into international trade that will provide zero results,) by removing oil and gas subsidies for oil exploration, keeping offshore oil out of reach, keeping ANWR off limits, denying licensing or building of new refineries, and voting for the Kyoto Treaty.

In addition, he has jumped onto the ethanol bandwagon with both feet, firmly planting himself in the "no blood for oil" camp, presumably because starving third world children don't bleed when they die of starvation. Oops!

When bureaucrats today argue that tapping into our country's vast oil reserves is pointless because it will take up to ten years to retrieve black gold, understand that this is an exaggerated argument that misses much of the point. While it is true that offshore and ANWR drilling may take several years to produce fuel, this is not the case of all extraction currently being banned or held up in leased and explored areas in the continental US because of politicians, environmentalists and judges. Just such an occurrence in Crawford County took place earlier this month. Besides, wouldn't it have been neato to have people suggest more drilling a few years ago?

We don't typically elect visionaries to office, unfortunately, for usually we just elect lawyers--they talk so pretty and have nice suits. Bart Stupak typifies the progressive, environmentalist, lawyer-type walking the halls of government that is largely to blame.

When Bart Stupak first began fighting George Bush on his energy policies back in 2003, gasoline was running at approximately half of what it is today. Oddly, the evil oil barons, George Bush and Dick Cheney, did foresee the coming crisis and tried to initiate policies to increase our domestic oil supply. Bart Stupak (the lawyer, not the oilman, businessman or economist) would have none of it, and much of that oil could be coming on line today. Hmmm, maybe we did accidentally elect a couple of visionaries (at least on energy policy.)

Bart Stupak has spent many years fighting tooth and nail against substantive policies and initiatives that would have helped us at the gas pump today, while he embraced symbolic gestures that have done little more than help bury our economy knee-deep into the Arabian sands.

As Bart would say, it is the gougers, OPEC, speculators, polluters and evil oilmen that are to blame for all of this mess.

Meanwhile, gasoline just dropped to $3.99.9 in my small part of the 1st District. At least it ain't $4.00.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My Heart Does Not Bleed for Ted Stevens

though it is quite odd how quickly his party affiliation is identified in an AP story about his indictment on charges.

When a democrat's party affiliation is often buried many paragraphs deep in a story on corrupt progressives, it takes AP writer Lara Jakes Jordan all of eight words to announce his Republicanism.

Ted Stevens exemplifies much of what is wrong in Washington today. Pork, pork, pork. That he tried to get himself a little slice of bacon for himself cannot be much of a surprise.

Perhaps the charges are warranted and perhaps not. Regardless, the best case scenario would be for a true conservative to be able to wrestle this seat back before the leading Democrat, Mark Begich, can swipe another Senatorial vote away from a Republican Party that has largely decided it would rather govern like a Democratic one.

Dear God, Bless the Journalists Who...

will certainly print this prayer in its entirety.

Do you recall the candid moment that President Bill Clinton spent on the beaches of Normandy, reflecting on the horrible price that was paid by the United States in trying to liberate Europe? He walked, slowly, stoically. His emotions gripped at his very being.

He paused, coincidentally, by a small collection of pebbles (the only ones on the beach for who knows how great a distance) and spontaneously, emotionally, rearranged the cobbles into a cross where only every freelance photographer and news gathering organization on the planet could record the event. It might have even made the evening news on Mars.

Not to be outdone by Mr. Clinton, Mr. Obama is also very good at getting the entire Earth to witness his most private and reflective moments.

Hamas: For The Children!

PowerLine has an excellent post today on the many smuggling tunnels that run between Gaza and Egypt. The tunnels are a major conduit of illegal arms used to create havoc against Israel according to both the Israeli and Egyptian governments.

Not so, says Hamas.

From an article from Israel Today:

Palestinian officials from the Gaza Strip have distributed a set of carefully-staged photographs they say are evidence that the smuggling tunnels running under the Gaza-Egypt border are for milk and other essential goods, not weapons.


The photographs show masked Palestinian militants lifting jugs of milk and sacks of baby food from the entrance to one of the tunnels on the Gaza side of the border.
More pictures are placed with the article.

As everyone knows, the behavior of people in front of a camera or an observant eye are always consistent with every day behavior. Ya, right.

I remember a kid from high school. He was in my grade as a freshman. When I was a junior he was still a freshman. Let us just say that neither academics nor good behavior were his strong suit. Well, the Mother of said struggling student was unable to comprehend his 9th grade struggles. She could not believe that the perfect boy at home would ever engage in disruptive classroom antics. He was too observant and bright for that.

To prove her point, SuperMom sat in the back of SuperSon's classrooms for several days, taking careful notes while observing her little angel. She was certain he would excel if only the dastardly teachers would stop picking on him and allow his finer skills to emerge. She left the classroom after several days, a notebook filled with scrawled narrative, completely satisfied that her son had been falsely accused and now vindicated.

A couple days later, the moron removed a pot pipe from his smelly pants and repeatedly blew through it when the teacher wasn't looking. Let us just say the room took on a smell of illegality. I don't even remember if he was caught or not--I do remember that his behavior was altered when certain people were watching.

Hamas' propaganda is intended for a particularly gullible audience. As ridiculously absurd as it is to those of us that know the character of Hamas, it will succeed amongst the audience for whom it was intended.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Obama's World Tour

The message isn't particularly good, fresh, or wise, but ultimately none of that really matters. It is the delivery that counts, though a little aura doesn't hurt either.

So we have Barack Obama concluding his World Rock Star Tour and coming home to face a 9% bump in the polls.

Change!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

"The Arrogance That She's Shown has Shaped Him"

Kwame Kilpatrick is not the rare apple that fell so far from the tree as to be untraceable. He is not that one apple in a million that bounced off the bell, downhill, into the street, pushed along by breezes and passing cars, into a swollen ditch swelled by an autumn deluge, into a river that flowed to the great lakes, bobbing there, helpless, for days and weeks, even months, only to make root on some anonymous sandy beach along the shores of the Detroit River, innocently growing there oblivious to rearing. Oh, he didn't grow up as a pear either.

Nope. He belongs to Mom and Dad, and he fell right next to the trunk.

The title of this post is quoted from Reginald Amos in a Freep story on Sunday.

I've no favorite candidate in any of those congressional districts down state that will sell out for the progressives for no other reason than they are progressive.

Fool me once shame on you. Fool me about 104,411 times, um, sooner or later it is my friggen fault.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Godspeed, Randy Pausch

I just read on Michelle Malkin's site that Randy Pausch, the inspiring college professor and lecturer, has died after his year-long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Randy had been famous for some time within the realm of the computer sciences, but it was his publicized last lecture at Carnegie Mellon University that gave the rest of us the opportunity to get to know him, look in on his life, and allow him to bless us.

I purchased his book, "The Last Lecture" a few months ago for my son. We both read it greedily, absorbing every page.

This world will be weaker without Randy Pausch, though he did his best to strengthen the rest of us before he left.

Godspeed, Randy Pausch.

Dearborn McDonalds Sued Over the Hijab

A landscape of tort as far and wide as the eye can see has an impact on the decisions that corporations make when they determine what is appropriate dress for the workplace.

Liability insurers demand that the insured, especially employers whose employees work directly with the public, and/or work around or operate dangerous equipment, diligently observe their working environs for hazards. If you want to see someone in the grocery store scramble, spill a little cooking oil in aisle 4.

Carriers of worker's compensation insurance also make demands on employers so they can avoid injury to workers thereby keeping their costs lower. I know I am not the only one in this country tormented by the painful memories of having had to achingly sit through tedious safety meetings, time after time, month after month, yawning, nodding, rubbing the eyes, listening to the same monotonous topics being droned on, and on, over and over and over again, to fulfill these insurer driven requirements--in an effort to prevent needless injury. These meetings have a tendency to be a tad boring.

OSHA and MiOSHA (in Michigan) also get into the act by carrying out spot inspections to try and keep workers safe. Also, depending on what the business is, different governing bodies do routine inspections to guarantee safety to the public when it comes to things such as food manufacture, storage, distribution and preparation. In fact, there is a whole army of taxpayer compensated bureaucrats out in the field every day making sure that the evil employer does not take advantage of the innocent employee with barely enough common sense to show up to his manure shoveling job in sequin encrusted flip-flops.

Dress codes and uniforms are often times a part of these safety efforts. Steel toed boots, clip-on ties, no loose clothing, hair-nets, etc., are all commonly required in many industries to keep the worker or the customer, or both, safe.

Employers also routinely set and enforce strict dress code policies for a number of other purposes too that might include preserving the corporate image, simple continuity of color, not grossing out the clientèle, and because, simply, they figure it is their business and they can do whatever they want to do in their business.

I am reminded of a sign that hung in the office of the boss where one of my high school friends worked shortly after college, this before his career of shoveling horse manure in sequined flip-flops really took off. The sign read;

This is not Burger King. You do not get it your way. You get it my way, or you don't get the sonofabitch at all.
Here comes the curve...

Businesses are being sued (this time McDonalds) for daring to require that employees adhere to the dress code, or for not hiring people who affirm they will not adhere to the dress code, because, they say, their religion requires them to dress in a manner that is inconsistent with the requirements, and because, golly, it hurts their feelings not to be hired for that reason.

So, today's litigation amounts to "May I have $10,000,000.00 please, for your refusal to hire me?" Tomorrow's might very well be, "May I have $10,000,000.00 because the sleeve to my hijab was caught in the slicer." This, further complicated by another suit, this one from a customer who was exposed to unsanitary conditions when the hijab's sleeve was accidentally dragged through the special sauce and deposited on the McRib.

Safety is on the mind of industry every day, they cannot afford it not to be and, as a result, many uniform and dress codes are required and enforced for reasons that supersede feelings and some pedestrian's arbitrary desire to seek a career of flipping burgers rather than one working at a greenhouse or shoveling manure.

h/t Dhimmi Watch

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bawling My Eyes Out For Bloomfield Hills

The poor unfortunate souls of southeast Michigan may once again be the victims of Michigan's financing of public schools.

You know, this is the model-of-fairness law that forces the Bloomfield Hills School District to survive on only $12,387 per pupil while most other districts are blessed with state-mandated equity financing of about $7,200.

This has the Bloomfield Hills School District ticked.

"This is completely insufficient in light of our rising fuel costs, health care and retirement costs," said Betsy Erikson, a spokeswoman for the Bloomfield Hills School District.
How ridiculous have things gotten when a classroom of twenty students generates revenue of almost a quarter of a million dollars for the school district, yet that windfall is considered insufficient to get the job done?

Grow up, and learn to live like the rest of us.

Another Fine Example of Children's Programming in Gaza

Children's television in the United States features lovable (if sometimes grouchy) characters such as Benny Rabbit who complains when his name is mispronounced.


Children's programming in Gaza features lovable characters such as Assud the rabbit who threatens to "kill and eat Jews."


From the Mail Online:

An Islamic TV station using a Bugs Bunny lookalike to preach hatred to children has been slammed by religious leaders in the UK who fear it could brainwash vulnerable British children.

Assud the rabbit, who vows to 'kill and eat Jews' and glorifies the maiming of 'infidels' appears on Palestinian children's show, Tomorrow's Pioneers.

The rabbit is a number of characters who is punished by viewer's vote when he breaches Sharia law.

In one episode, Assud admits stealing money and is seen begging for mercy after young viewers and parents phone in demanding his hands are cut off as punishment.

Assud the rabbit is threatened with punishment for stealing on Palestinian children's show Tomorrow's Pioneers

At that point the 11-year-old presenter intervenes - and rules that the bunny should only have his ears severed because he has repented.
All cultures are not created equal.

h/t The Religion of Peace

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Obama, Just Tell The Truth

There is no way that any human can spend as much time being followed around as closely as are our presidential candidates are, without sooner or later making a misstatement or committing some sort of woeful gaffe. Obama has made several recently including saying he had campaigned in most of the 57 states. Believe it or not, I found that comment funny from Obama, but not the label of a moron that does not know how many states their are. Obama is fully aware that there are 50 states.

The same thing occurred to John McCain with a statement that he made that butchered teh Shiite/Sunni make-up of much of the Middle East. The comment was unfortunate for McCain but worthy of a few laughs by some (and mean spirited attacks by others that tried to assert that McCain didn't know the difference.)

There is something completely different though about openly lying to appear super-duper important. Lying is not a misstatement or an accident. Lying is willful deceit.

Barack Obama is a liar.

From PowerLine:

Obama continued:

Now, in terms of knowing my commitments, you don't have to just look at my words, you can look at my deeds. Just this past week, we passed out of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, which is my committee, a bill to call for divestment from Iran, as a way of ratcheting up the pressure to ensure that they don't obtain a nuclear weapon.

But Obama is not a member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. Obama just made that up so he could count the committee's action as one of "my deeds."

If committed by a Republican, this would be a gaffe of historic proportions. Even a Senator as inattentive to his duties as Obama certainly knows what committees he serves on. For him to fabricate the claim, out of whole cloth, that the Senate Banking Committee is "[his] committee," strikes me as another sign of Obama's megalomania.
Obama is cruising on Rock Star status right now and has been coasting above any serious level of criticism from the press.

This will change pretty soon if he doesn't stop playing so loosely with the truth. It is one thing for the press to nuance the news. It is another thing for the news to try and nuance the press.

The press doesn't seem to like that very much, it doesn't matter who you think that you are or, for that matter, what committee it is that you want them to believe you sit on.

One Huge Bucket Of Soot

cross posted at Right Michigan

When the last glacier finally withdrew from northern Michigan some 10,000 years ago, its retreat revealed a signature blanket of dust, pebbles, rocks and boulders in many places piled up hundreds of feet thick. This final vast ice sheet, with a depth of perhaps one mile, like its unyielding predecessors, gouged and clawed its way through the ancient bedrock and soils forever transforming that landscape into the one that is now so familiar to us.

Atop this coating of glacial till where most of us walk every single day, we can easily find the remnants of an even more ancient age, ones that were scooped up by the icy masses from a long dried salty sea and redeposited in our gardens, forests and fields. In fact, Michigan's state stone, the Petoskey Stone, is the fossilized remains of the tropical sea coral, Hexagonaria percarinata, a name I could say ten times really fast if I only cared to.

From the tropics to a land of ice and more ice, from warm salty waters to the sandy soils now surrounded by our cool fresh water lakes, Michigan has already seen its fair share of climate change, every bit of which was achieved without the contemptible usage of dirty carbon emitting lawnmowers and crass barbecue grills.

Much is being made of climate change today, from its potential to melt the ice caps, to its ability to motivate famine, flood, disease and extinction. (I personally would welcome the extinction of the earwig and head lice, so sue me.) This is nothing new. Forty years ago there were very serious concerns about climate change, though those concerns had to do with man-made global cooling. This from Newsweek in 1975:

There are ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production – with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth.
While many confident scientists, journalists and politicians of the 70s are shyly asking for a do-over on that whole embarrassing global cooling thing, one attitude that has not significantly changed is the desire for governments to do something immediately about the cataclysmic climate disaster that is heading our way. The article concludes:
Climatologists are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change, or even to allay its effects. They concede that some of the more spectacular solutions proposed, such as melting the Arctic ice cap by covering it with black soot or diverting arctic rivers, might create problems far greater than those they solve. But the scientists see few signs that government leaders anywhere are even prepared to take the simple measures of stockpiling food or of introducing the variables of climatic uncertainty into economic projections of future food supplies. The longer the planners delay, the more difficult will they find it to cope with climatic change once the results become grim reality.
Today's alarmists (as well as a few polar bears and caribou) are thrilled that yesterday's alarmists lacked the political clout to act out on their harebrained schemes of blackening Greenland and tearing up pristine Canadian wetlands, though I suspect that somewhere The Joker just kicked a cat.

Today's environmental activists are every bit as bent on immediate action now as what their predecessors were a few decades ago. Armed with evidence of our planet's man-made overheating, (evidence that is, at best, scientifically inconclusive[PDF],) the green army is putting the cross hairs right on Michigan's chest. While yesterday's goof ball reactionaries were crazily scheming to spread soot on the ice caps, today's more rational activists are simply suggesting the destruction of Earth's modern economy while pushing Michigan down the stairs head first. The Joker is now more hopeful.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner Albert Gore has become the face behind this movement. From his humble 10,000 square foot hovel near Nashville, Gore has selflessly jetted from location to location around the world to plead with the rest of mankind to stop selfishly jetting from location to location around the world. Mountain to Mohamed and all that.

Michigan is sadly represented in Washington by a number of elected officials that have forsaken Michigan's wellbeing at the behest of Gore's hysterical legions demanding that something be done NOW about global warming.

They have no definitive proof that global warming is the result of human activity. They have no proof that enacting their Michigan economy destroying measures will affect global temperature. They cannot even prove that their measures, if enacted, will not create a worse climate crisis than the one they are trying so earnestly to avoid. The only historical fact that they really do have is that this Earth and this state have been exposed to a dynamic climate since God hung the planets and that huge fiery ball in the sky. This little detail, however, seems to be of no special importance, what is important is that something, anything, be done, and now!

That is why, my friends, they are outside filling up one huge bucket of soot.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Off To the Capitol

Or, more aptly, provided I don't take a wrong turn, an orthodontist only three miles from the Capitol.

If I post anything later today it will be the writings of a much poorer man, juiced on coffee, and still aglow from an adventure that led me so close to the halls of the wise and powerful. Then again, maybe I'll just be a grouch.

Monday, July 21, 2008

NYTimes Hearts Obama

Or perhaps it just despises John McCain. Who knows?

Without a doubt there is a difference in respect being paid to the two candidates. Only one week ago the Times printed an Op-Ed submitted by Barack Obama titled "My Plan for Iraq."

John McCain, in response to the Obama editorial, penned his own essay and submitted it to the times. It was rejected by the Op-Ed editor for the NYT, David Shipley, a former Clinton White House official, who said ‘I’m not going to be able to accept this piece as currently written.’

Nope, no favoritism there. Move along.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

$100,000,000,000.00 Doesn't Go As Far As It Used To

The government of Robert Mugabe's in Zimbabwe is issuing a brand spanking new K$100 billion note because of the country's inflation rate estimated by many to be more than 2,000,000% a year.

So, what does 2.2 billion Zimbabwean dollars buy you these days?

But Zimbabwe residents say the latest note is already worthless, and does not even cover their daily lunch.

"Nowadays, for my expenses a day, I need about Z$500 billion," one resident said.

"So Z$100 billion can't do anything because for me to go home I need Z$250 billion, so this [note] is worthless."

Zimbabwe was once one of the richest countries in Africa.

But it has descended into economic chaos in recent years, with many international observers blaming the policies of President Robert Mugabe.
Socialism marches on.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Thank You, Mayor, For Saving Us From Chaos

Because chaos would be oh, so much worse than this.

Guess what, another city council meeting on Thursday was raucous, disruptive, confrontational, and accusatory, but certainly fell short of chaotic. Voices became raised, a mother-in-law was insulted, a deputy mayor was booted, charges of impropriety were traded, an anonymous letter alleging corruption was made public, and two pieces of important city business were left unresolved. Again.

When the meeting had cleared there were two clear losers--Detroit citizens and Detroit business. Every one on the council and the mayor's staff will proudly receive their paychecks and benefits as usual, thank you very much, Citizens! Cha-ching!

Later in the day, Kilpatrick and Ken Cockrel tried to reassure residents that city business will continue despite the day's incendiary nature.

"Sometimes we disagree verbally, loudly, violently," Cockrel said. "But at the end of the day, city government is going to continue to move forward."

Kilpatrick said what happened Thursday is no different than the legendary fights that have taken place at City Hall for decades.

"City councils and mayors of this town have been fighting for years. Kwame Kilpatrick and council, we've had our back and forth, the notorious skirmishes between the late Maryann Mahaffey and the late Coleman Young. There's always been a tension there. At the end of the day, every council and mayor, including this council and this mayor, have been able to deal with the city's business no matter what was going on," the mayor said.
"Moving forward" and "deal[ing] with the city's business no matter what is going on" are not two of the first thoughts that cross my mind when I'm reading articles like this in the Freep and looking at replays of the dispute.

The fact is, now that a thick cloud of corruption is blanketing the city, everyone and everything is suspect, so much so that an anonymous letter alleging corruption now has the power to disrupt city business and perhaps scuttle a deal that could bring investment, jobs, and added positive activity to Detroit.

This is why the mayor was asked to resign by so many--for the betterment of the city. Kwame Kilpatrick publicly said he would not do so because the city would be subjected to chaos in his absence. Now, with Kilpatrick still holding the reins, every potential piece of business the city must address runs the risk of being sidelined by the merest hint of impropriety.

At least it isn't chaos.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Tough Economy Hits Ohio Family Hard

I was on the road late yesterday afternoon and early evening. Old habits die hard and as is my wont, I turned the radio onto NPR's All Things Considered.

David Gold, a radio personality in the Dallas area when I lived there, used to call NPR "National Socialist Radio." The name has always stuck with me.

I listen because I hate most music radio stations and the trip always goes faster if something is on for me to listen to. I also have always figured it is a good idea to know what it is the other side is saying.

Last evening they did a feature on an Ohio family suffering from the downturn in the economy. They cannot find work, are unable to do the most basic things because of transportation issues, and can hardly afford food on their limited government stipends.

Today I was directed by Moonbattery to NPR's website and I was immediately able to better understand some of the problems facing this particular Ohio family.

This is not parody...it is for reals Nacho!

Nunez, 40, has never worked and has no high school degree. She says a car accident 17 years ago left her depressed and disabled, incapable of getting a job. Instead, she and her daughter, Angelica Hernandez, survive on a $637 Social Security check and $102 in food stamps.

Hernandez received her high school diploma and has had several jobs in recent years. But now, because fewer restaurants and stores are hiring, she says she finds it hard to find a job. Even if she could, she says it's particularly hard to imagine how she'll keep it. She says she needs someone to give her a lift just to get to an interview. And with gas prices so high, she's not sure she could afford to pay someone to drive her to work every day.


[...]
The rising cost of food means their money gets them about a third fewer bags of groceries — $100 used to buy about 12 bags of groceries, but now it's more like seven or eight. So they cut back on expensive items like meat, and they don't buy extras like ice cream anymore. Instead, they eat a lot of starches like potatoes and noodles.
I really am not posting this to ridicule the Nunez family, but I do think the article and picture help to display a few obvious failures of the socialist state.

Really, what more do I need to say?

Oops

I read this quote in today's Patriot Post:

"If men of wisdom and knowledge, of moderation and temperance, of patience, fortitude and perseverance, of sobriety and true republican simplicity of manners, of zeal for the honour of the Supreme Being and the welfare of the commonwealth; if men possessed of these other excellent qualities are chosen to fill the seats of government, we may expect that our affairs will rest on a solid and permanent foundation." ---Samuel Adams
For no apparent reason this scary vision popped into my head.


Sorry Mr. Adams. I think we've screwed up.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Zero

That was the effective chance that the once great state of Michigan ever had at being the site of the huge $1 billion factory that Volkswagen is planning on building in the US. The factory will instead be built near Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Zero. None. Nil. Zip.

Early leaked memos said as much, but common sense told us Michiganders that this was the case long before any secret memo was uncovered. In fact, it is pretty easy to eliminate Michigan from any future car factories for the next 20 years or so.

Why?

As the Freep reported yesterday:

The sites in Chattanooga and Huntsville, Ala., emerged as favorites early in the search, and officials in both states lobbied hard for an investment that could top $1 billion. Both states prepped giant tracts of land with rail and freeway access that could have been turned over to VW almost at a moment's notice.

"This area has a deep base of well-trained labor, with excellent engineering and manufacturing programs at the universities and technical colleges," said Stefan Jacoby, president and CEO of Volkswagen America.

Michigan was named as a finalist, but many analysts said the state's chances of winning the plant were slim from the start. In addition to lacking a competitive physical site, Michigan's history of labor organizing and UAW-automaker battles makes it difficult to lure investment from foreign automakers, despite a deep pool of well-trained workers.
Or even a deep pool of unemployed and well-trained workers.

Governor Granholm, I'm sure, gave it the old college try.

As Michigan's annual budget battles surely indicate, the state is too fiscally fragile to make the types of infrastructure investments that Alabama and Tennessee can. While Alabama may have lost this particular factory, you can bet that the tract of land that it prepared will be snapped up soon by another manufacturer.

Though unable to make these types of investments to benefit Michigan's established automobile industry, Michigan has found many millions of dollars to bribe Hollywood to make motion pictures here. But, while automobile factories create thousands of direct permanent jobs and create millions of dollars in tax revenue, Hollywood's contribution to our state will be a quick wave from Clint Eastwood (isn't he dreamy!) and a huge credit card bill.

It occurs to me, however, as if this particular angle is of lesser importance than Michigan's famously combative organized workforce. The union is king in Michigan and it is also perhaps the most valuable voting bloc to Michigan's Democrat Party. Jennifer Granholm actively recruited the union vote in each of her gubernatorial campaigns as have most democratic candidates in Michigan for the past half century.

Granholm laments her inability to attract VW's newest factory to the Automobile Capital of the World. What she will never lament is the support of her most important constituency, the one that couldn't care less that VW just walked away.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Karen Tumeh Sues McDonalds

When McDonald's first began shoving grub through a drive-through window, it probably didn't realize it was entering into a sacred pact with the public in which it would forever be expected to make unreasonable accommodations to food seeking drivers regardless of the circumstances, practical application, or its ability to make any money in the venture. Profit being a dirty word these days.

From FoxNews.com:

A hearing-impaired woman filed a federal lawsuit against a local McDonald's, saying workers refused to let her order food at the drive-thru window.

Karen Tumeh of Lincoln says they insisted she either order at the electronic speaker along the drive-thru lane or come inside to order.

Tumeh wears a hearing aid but still cannot hear while using the drive-thru ordering box at fast-food restaurants, according to the lawsuit.

At least three times since September 2007 workers at a Lincoln McDonald's refused to let her place her order at the drive-thru window, Tumeh said.
Something that is not mentioned is why the McDonald's refused her service?

While Ms. Tumeh and her lawyers would like to make it sound that the calloused restaurant turned her away because of some prejudice against her disability, it does not mention how many times Ms. Tumeh's order had been screwed up in the past because of shoddy communications, or how long it typically takes for Tumeh to place an order when she cannot hear. If she was denied three times there has to be two sides to that story.
In denying her service, McDonald's violated the federal Americans With Disabilities Act, she said. Tumeh's lawsuit seeks to force McDonald's to make accommodations for hearing-impaired people to order food in restaurant drive-thrus.

She also seeks unspecified damages and attorney's fees. McDonald's corporate headquarters did not immediately return a message seeking comment Tuesday by The Associated Press.

Tumeh is physically capable of walking inside to order, but that's not the point, her attorney, Shirley Ann Mora James, said Tuesday.

"She has children who are autistic, and if they're having difficulties, it would make it problematic for her," Mora James said.
So what is it, Ms. Tumeh? Do you want the McDonald's franchise in your area to accommodate you because of your hearing or accommodate you because of your children's disabilities?

A hat tip to Van Helsing at Moonbattery who says:
This is the sort of insanity the deranged ADA made inevitable. The apparent main objective is to keep the lawyers who bankroll the Democrat Party floating in cash.

Another purpose of the ADA is to establish anyone who claims to be defective as a superior citizen, whose whims can be dictated to society at large, regardless of the cost to others.
Maybe if you win this lawsuit you can pay someone else to go inside for you.

An Introduction to the First

cross posted at Right Michigan

Michigan's 1st Congressional District covers a huge land area totaling nearly 25,000 square miles. It is the second largest congressional district east of the Mississippi River and has more coastline than any other outside of Alaska. In fact, its size alone is larger than the combined land areas of Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey and Massachusetts. (That is ten US Senators if you are counting.)


If a person was to jump in his vehicle (assuming he could actually afford the gas and the bridge toll) to travel from Pinconning, one of the district's most southern cities, to Ironwood, one of its most western, the trip would be 471 miles in length and take eight and one half hours to complete, assuming, of course, that my Dad wasn't driving in which case the drive might take up to six days. That Pinconning to Ironwood trip would be about ten minutes shorter than one completed by another driver, equally rich, and leaving Pinconning for a land called Tennessee.

Forty four percent of Michigan's land mass is contained within the 1st. (If we include coastal waters the percentage is larger.) Have I mentioned that it is a big district?

In a state where much is shrinking including the population, employment and incomes, the same cannot be said of the 1st, at least geographically. Redistricting (and renumbering) in 1993 and 2002 have added to the mass of the 1st, while chipping away at what little political clout it ever had. If current trends continue, the 1st might very well swallow the rest of Michigan while M*A*S*H is still in syndication.

Since 1993, Michigan's 1st has been represented in Washington by Bart Stupak of Menominee. Stupak is a native of the UP and, without a doubt, a Yooper at heart. He would be considered, by today's standards at least, a conservative Democrat, though his American Conservative Union places his lifetime voting record at a thin 22 percent. That being said, he is an outspoken critic of abortion and a stalwart advocate of 2nd amendment rights--he has proven that he will not strictly tote his party's line (unlike a couple of US senators that I know.)

While there are many nice things that can be said about Bart Stupak, there are many issues on which he can be taken to task. There is, after all, the remaining 78 percent that someone has to answer for.

Over the next few weeks and months I will be delving into many of the issues that most affect the average Joe living in northern Michigan. These topics will often times relate directly to Bart Stupak's political leadership and voting record, but will not strictly adhere to a "lets bash Bart" format.

We do have other candidates involved in the upcoming election, many far reaching issues to look into, and since I am the average Joe that I referred to, I might even talk about that stupid black bear that keeps dumping over my burn barrel and getting into the bird feeders. While the first two topics might be more important to both of my regular readers, it is the latter one that confirms my desire to "keep and bear," if you know what I mean.

Nick at Right Michigan, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to dreadfully blather to a wider audience of readers that, up until now at least, has been fortunate enough to entirely avoid the Rougblog.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have a bear to go clean up after.

"Christian Doctrine Offensive to Muslims"

When one offends Islam he plays a dangerous game.

False rumors of widespread Koran desecration at Gitmo led to multiple deaths around the world. A handful of degenerate guards at Abu Ghraib nearly capsized a fragile effort to free millions. Cartoon depictions of Mohammad in Denmark led to numerous deaths, worldwide protests, riots, embassy attacks, intimidation, and calls for the jihad--buildings were burned, rocks were thrown, and placards proclaimed that death should be bestowed onto all who insult Islam.

A short time ago, police in the UK apologized to the local Muslim community for daring to put a puppy on a poster that advertised a new non-emergency call in number. Shortly thereafter the police began a policy whereby their explosives and drug sniffing dogs could inspect Muslim homes only after the dogs slipped on booties. In fact, Muslim households that objected to a dog in the house would, unless in extreme cases, be able to prevent any canine search at all.

Offense is a serious business.

Muslim over-reaction to perceived offenses and clumsy non-Muslim attempts to avoid any future offense to Muslims have led us far enough down this slippery path that even some of the most basic principles of Western civilization are now being looked at as potential tempests. A lot of this by people that should know better.

Now this out of the UK:

Christian doctrine is offensive to Muslims, the Archbishop of Canterbury said yesterday.

Dr Rowan Williams also criticised Christianity's history for its violence, its use of harsh punishments and its betrayal of its peaceful principles.

His comments came in a highly conciliatory letter to Islamic leaders calling for an alliance between the two faiths for 'the common good'.
While the esteemed Archbishop did not apologize for the Bible's texts, just yet anyway, he has pointed a finger at the faith for much of its past.

Williams has done his fair share of encouraging the surrender of many principles on which western society is based, all in an attempt to keep Muslims from figuratively hacking his fool head off.

He has spoken out against attempts to convert Muslims and has even gone so far as to advocate the introduction of Sharia law into Britain. He thinks it is unavoidable. When in Rome and all that...

Now that the Archbishop of Canterbury has finally recognized that some Muslims are offended by Christianity and the Holy Bible, will he continue on his road to appeasement, or will he steadfastly cling to Biblical principles? With the ease that he was able to toss out the great commission, I'm not very confident in his ability to cling.

Unfortunately, I feel an apology coming on. As all apologists go, Rowan Williams, The Archbishop of Canterbury, is an all-star.

h/t Dhimmi Watch

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Obama Floundering on War

When a Democratic presidential candidate's position on war is so obtuse that it cannot even garner the support of the Brookings Institution, you know that said candidate is having difficulty figuring out the nuts and bolts of the issue and simply floundering.

Michael E. O'Hanlon, a Democratic defense analyst at the Brookings Institution who has been an outspoken supporter of the war in Iraq, said he could not believe that Obama would put such a definitive timeline into print before a trip to Iraq, where he is to consult with Iraqi leaders and U.S. commanders.

"To say you're going to get out on a certain schedule -- regardless of what the Iraqis do, regardless of what our enemies do, regardless of what is happening on the ground -- is the height of absurdity," said O'Hanlon, who described himself as "livid." "I'm not going to go to the next level of invective and say he shouldn't be president. I'll leave that to someone else."
Using beautiful words that belie his inexperience and naiveté seems to be Obama's specialty.

h/t AJ Strata

Global Warming To Cause Kidney Stones

It was bad enough that this global warming fiasco is causing sea levels to rise, glaciers to melt, polar bears to starve, hurricanes to intensify, droughts to worsen, and fruit to freeze right on the vine, it now appears that if global warming is allowed to continue unabated, we could be looking at monster kidney stones.

More Americans are likely to suffer from kidney stones in the coming years as a result of global warming, according to researchers at the University of Texas.

Kidney stones, which are formed from dissolved minerals in the urine and can be extremely painful, are often caused by caused by dehydration, either by not drinking enough liquid or losing too much due to high heat conditions.

If global warming trends continue as projected by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007, the United States can expect as much as a 30 percent growth in kidney stone disease in some of its driest areas, said the findings published in Monday's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The increased incidence of disease would represent between 1.6 million and 2.2 million cases by 2050, costing the US economy as much as one billion dollars in treatment costs.
Panic in the streets!

Who can deny that kidney stones are caused by low hydration? What we can plausibly deny is that there is any man-made contribution to the heating of a global climate that began to cool about ten years ago.

Every day brings another story of hysteria.

Moral of the story: drink more water.

h/t Moonbattery

Monday, July 14, 2008

More McCain

Mike at Cold Fury points me to this article in The Weekly Standard.

Rich Keenan owns the Old Glory Flags and Flagpoles Company in Livonia, Michigan. Wearing jeans and a black buttondown with an American flag embroidered over his left breast, Keenan took the microphone and told McCain that he would not be voting for Barack Obama. But he said: "What I'm trying to do is get to a situation where I'm excited about voting for you."

Keenan was "concerned" about some of McCain's views--he mentioned the opposition to the Bush tax cuts and his views on the environment--and told the senator that he was grateful that McCain had begun taking more conservative positions. "I guess the question I have, and that people like me in this country have, is what can you say to us to make us believe that you actually came to the right position? We want to take you to the dance, we're just concerned about who you're going to go home with."

The audience laughed, and McCain did, too. Then McCain grew serious. "I have to say, and I don't mean to disappoint you, but I haven't changed positions." He defended his vote against the Bush tax cuts and, at some length, reiterated his concerns about global warming. Later, he went out of his way to emphasize his respect for Hillary Clinton and boast about his work with Democrats Joe Lieberman, Russ Feingold, and Ted Kennedy.

This is McCain being McCain.
Simply depressing.

Why Should Joe Speak at the Republican Convention?

Word is out that the RNC will probably extend Joseph Lieberman an opportunity to address its national convention later this year.

That the Republican National Committee must dig so far into its bag of tricks to create a little lighting speaks much more loudly about the cracking of its conservative foundation than it does about about anything else.

Why does the RNC believe it needs Lieberman to deliver an address to a party in which he does not belong and to a group with whom he holds so little in common? This is not a Zell Miller who, despite membership in the Democrat Party, could personally and passionately point to the changing progressive tide of his own party. In fact, much of Miller's comments could have been directly aimed at one Joe Lieberman, a politician so progressive as to have a more liberal lifetime voting record (as judged by the American Conservative Union) than Harry Reid.

Joe Lieberman has been an outspoken advocate in our war against fundamentalist Islamic terror. He is an outspoken advocate of our support of Israel. His support of the war and of Israel found him no favor within the monolithic Democrats that will harbor no love for a prodigal son. When defeated in the Connecticut primary for the Senate seat he has owned for many years, Lieberman switched his party affiliation to Independent and won the general election quite easily.

While I can respect Joe Lieberman for speaking his mind and being right on at least one topic in the past few years, I have difficulty becoming very excited about the would-be speaker at the convention.

What does Lieberman have to offer?

As an article in TheHill.com pointed out a few months ago when the rumor became mainstream:

Republicans close to the McCain campaign say Lieberman’s appearance at the convention, possibly before a national primetime audience, could help make the case that the presumptive GOP nominee has a record of crossing the aisle. That could appeal to much-needed independent voters.
I'm sure that it could.

When will John McCain and the RNC begin to try and appeal to the conservatives?

We conservatives are out here and we would like to vote for someone we believe that also believes in us. Displaying once again (and this time in prime time) that John McCain and the Republicans are more than willing to dismiss us in the upcoming election isn't a particularly good way to fire me up for the home stretch.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Hate in a Vacuum

The emotional left has an immature inability to separate politics from the personal. The death of Tony Snow is but the latest example.

The Daily Kos, a site on which many Democrat officeholders and candidates contribute content, has been the site of some of the most hateful and vile commentary on the death of Tony Snow. The commentary was sadly predicted at Cold Fury, but thankfully documented by Protein Wisdom's Jeff Goldstein, who, as hard as it is to believe, is having to defend himself from leftists who contend that pointing out the infractions of the left is every bit as bad as the original infraction.

Don't you all understand? We need to let them vent in a vacuum and not notice.

Aren't you glad that law enforcement doesn't work under those same assumptions?

RIP Tony Snow

It is sad to see the passing of Tony Snow.

Snow was not only a gifted debater and writer, but was a person that refused to lose his cool regardless of the cacophony that surrounded him. He could face anger with a sincere smile.

It was hard not to like Tony Snow. He truly was one of the good guys.

The media spin is already in full force. Says the BBC in the last paragraph of their article:

Before joining the White House staff, Mr Snow criticised Mr Bush's "lacklustre" domestic policy. On one occasion, he described the current US president as "something of an embarrassment".
What do you think Snow would have to say about that?

Friday, July 11, 2008

It is Time to Bulldoze the United Nations

The UN officials have banged on the podium, have denounced the intimidation, have demanded that Robert Mugabe loosen his grip on power, and then in one final action of decisive world leadership, have called a big 'never mind' on the whole Zimbabwe ordeal. Emily Litella couldn't do a better job herself of echoing the sentiments of that most loved collection of inept crowned heads.

A draft resolution to impose sanctions on Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and a number of his key allies has been vetoed at the UN Security Council.

China and Russia both rejected the proposed measures, including a freeze on their financial assets and travel.
You know, cutting the feet off the wife of a political opponent and then burning her to death is no way to score political points at UN HQ, but gosh, you cannot punish every little thing, can you?

Once you have condemned these little acts in the strongest language possible, what is there left to do?

How about bulldoze the building?

Dave Bing! Come on down!

I don't know that much about Dave Bing and what I do know about him was primarily learned as a kid as I watched him on the hardwood--the best player and an all-star on a Pistons team that was generally outmatched.

But, I like what this man says, and I like the example of his actions. He is a man that has succeeded in Detroit's business community, created hundreds of jobs, operated ethically, and is a man both highly trusted and respected by the businessmen and citizens of Detroit and Michigan.

Oh, incidentally, he has also voiced an interest in running for the office of Mayor of the city of Detroit.

Dave Bing! Come on down!

There is much about this hypothetical match that I like. I don't pretend to be a Detroiter, but like most Michiganders, I see Detroit as the most important city in our state, the sole city within our borders with the capability to breathe life into the rest of our cities, or reversely, to suck up all the oxygen.

I have taken my fair share of shots at Detroit over the past few years too, not because I enjoy seeing it floundering, but because I am aghast at the moral and ethical depths to which its leaders have crashed. Do we even need to talk about the city's economy or the school district?

While Dave Bing might not be the answer to all of the city's problems, he certainly could be the answer for many of them, all the while his steady presence could be the catalyst behind the slow changing of attitudes that needs to take place before Detroit can even come close to regaining its place as A Great American City.

Some things that I like about Bing.

Dave Bing will not have to rely on the old guard. He is well connected enough in this city that he will not have to depend on one corrupt bureaucrat to assist him in the building of his new model. He could gain the election without the endorsement of any sitting member of the tainted city council, the tainted mayor, tainted police chief or any tainted dog catchers for that matter. He is not an insider.

Bing has no desire to feather his nest while in office--in fact he has stated his administration would only be for four years. While I think four years might not be long enough to root out the pervasive corruption that has wormed its way into every level of every department of the city, Bing has said he would want to make the tough decisions and then turn the reins over to the new guard. While I fear that four years will not be long enough for his tough choices to bear fruit or for self-centered attitudes to be tossed aside, the fact that his primary motivation for office is not to bask in the glowing light of power and prestige for the rest of his life is very encouraging.

However, Detroit's problems go much deeper than just corruption. Some of its problems are firmly anchored in poor economic policy and the citizenry's embrace of envy as its principle motivator in voting. Dave Bing is a successful businessman. He knows what it takes for local government to assist in the creation of private sector jobs. He also knows what the burden is on the private sector when high minded bureaucrats enact policies that hobble businesses and home owners, drive them out of town, out of southeast Michigan and out of the state.

Dave Bing, as a businessman, also understands that you do not have jobs without employers, and you do not have employers without profit and wealth. Dave Bing understands that employers are not the enemy of the poor any more than the rich are the enemy of the poor. Dave Bing understands that envy by those who vote, and apathy by those who do not, are the destructive forces behind Detroit's collapse. It is, after all, these emotions that gave rise to the power of Kwame Kilpatrick and an embarrassingly pathetic city council.

All in all, I'm encouraged by Dave Bing's interest in a very thankless job.

I think the man might be just what Detroit needs, and I haven't even talked about his jump shot yet.

Krauthammer Today

One of the finest articles I've read in years is highlighted in today's Townhall.

Charles Krauthammer calls it The Altar of Soft Power.

WASHINGTON -- On the day the Colombian military freed Ingrid Betancourt and 14 other long-held hostages, the Italian Parliament passed yet another resolution demanding her release. Europe had long ago adopted this French-Colombian politician as a cause celebre. France had made her an honorary citizen of Paris, passed numerous resolutions and held many vigils.

Unfortunately, karma does not easily cross the Atlantic. Betancourt languished for six years in cruel captivity until freed by a brilliant operation conducted by the Colombian military, intelligence agencies and special forces -- an operation so well executed that the captors were overpowered without a shot being fired.

This in foreign policy establishment circles is called "hard power." In the Bush years, hard power is terribly out of fashion, seen as a mere obsession of cowboys and neocons. Both in Europe and America, the sophisticates worship at the altar of "soft power" -- the use of diplomatic and moral resources to achieve one's ends.
Read the entire article.

Everyone wants to use diplomacy if it is legitimately viable. However, diplomacy as the only tool with which to fight tyranny and evil is a loser.

Diplomacy assumes that all parties are rational. It assumes that the people that negotiate will do so in good faith. It assumes that extended yapping isn't the goal of the negotiation. It also assumes that the negotiators consider what is best for those on whose behalf they negotiate.

Embracing diplomacy-only strategies is a toothless way to confront evil.

Krauthammer hits this one right out of the ballpark. Was Todd Jones pitching?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ralph Nader vs. Rush Limbaugh

Please Ralph, shut up!

From courant.com:

Ralph Nader called on radio host Rush Limbaugh on Thursday to make voluntary payments for his use of the public airwaves, saying that Limbaugh is an example of corporate welfare.

In a letter sent to Limbaugh's office in New York City, Nader said that Limbaugh's new, eight-year contract will be paying him at least $38 million annually.

"You are making this money on the public property of the American people for which you pay no rent,'' wrote Nader, a Connecticut native who still keeps his voting address in his hometown of Winsted. "You, Rush Limbaugh, are on welfare.''
In case Mr. Nader has not noticed, Rush Limbaugh is paid by the people who are licensed to use the airwaves on which Rush's show is beamed. They pay taxes on their operations, just as Rush is paying taxes on his income.

Whenever I see Ralph's sour face on television or hear his nasally whining voice on the radio, he is using exactly the same vehicle that he criticizes Rush for using. Though, much less successfully.

Which, I think, sorta ticks the crotchety ol' socialist off.

Trimming the Hedges Might be Homophobic

Or, it might mean you just want to trim the hedges. I suppose the intentions for a well manicured public park could be rather sinister at that, or something.

Well, lets at least give the nuts in the UK a little credit for being consistent. The good thing is that this particular farce is being championed by a private group rather than a government one. We can only hope that the local government has the moral wherewithal to fight back this attempt at bringing lunacy farther into the mainstream rather than capitulate as it too often does.

From the Telegraph:

Bristol City Council wants to prune bushes and remove cover from an area known as the Downs to improve the landscape and encourage rare wildlife.

But its own gay rights group has opposed the move, claiming that cutting back the bushes was "discriminating" to homosexual men who used the area for late night outdoor sex known as dogging.

Work on the beauty spot has been temporarily delayed while talks with gay rights groups take place to try and break the deadlock.
So, even though public sex is still illegal in the UK, advocates believe the government should be required to provide participants with adequate privacy so that the "dogging" can go on without unnecessary exposure to those that might be charged with not allowing the activity to begin with.

Makes perfect sense to me. I promise not to be surprised at the outcome.

h/t Moonbattery

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Black Hole is now a Racist Term

Never mind that the term "black hole" actually has a meaning in our natural universe, and that the term has other rather obvious applications.

So, when Dallas County Commissioner Kenneth Mayfield used the term "black hole" to describe an agency that has had the reputation of losing paper work, he was reprimanded for using a racist term.

Seriously.

From the Dallas Morning News:

A special meeting about Dallas County traffic tickets turned tense and bizarre this afternoon.

County commissioners were discussing problems with the central collections office that is used to process traffic ticket payments and handle other paperwork normally done by the JP Courts.

Commissioner Kenneth Mayfield, who is white, said it seemed that central collections "has become a black hole" because paperwork reportedly has become lost in the office.

Commissioner John Wiley Price, who is black, interrupted him with a loud "Excuse me!" He then corrected his colleague, saying the office has become a "white hole."

That prompted Judge Thomas Jones, who is black, to demand an apology from Mayfield for his racially insensitive analogy.
Having spent a number of years in the Dallas area, I have to say that this sort of interjection by John Wiley Price is not particularly surprising because he has been race baiting and threatening an uprising for years.

But, if John Wiley Price's feelings get hurt because he is woefully ignorant, why is that someone else's fault? The burden should fall on Price to go back to elementary school and learn a thing or two about basic science rather than forcing others to bear the burden of dumbing down their speech to a point that Price understands and doesn't get offended.

You do not salve the hurt of racism by becoming so hypersensitive to it that you falsely accuse innocents of being racists.

Mr. Price...lighten up. You are hurting the cause.

h/t Michelle Malkin

British Man Arrested For Protecting His Family From "Youths"

What sort of craziness is it that is going on in the UK? In the past couple of weeks we have seen the police agree to putting booties on drug and explosive detection dogs to keep Muslims from being offended, have seen a government funded agency instruct child care workers to be on the lookout for racist toddlers who dislike spicy food, and have seen students punished for refusing to pray toward Mecca during a session on Islam.

In the slow motion suicide of Britain, the bullet has just entered the brain.

Today's chapter comes to us from the Daily Mail where a tormented family man finally reacts to the "youths" outside who have habitually bombarded his home with rocks for months, breaking windows and putting his family in danger.

For more than two years, Sydney Davis's house has been under siege from youths throwing stones.

After two hours of bombardment in the latest attack and no sign of the police, the 65-year-old retired builder decided enough was enough.

As a particularly large missile landed in his kitchen, he grabbed a plank of wood from the garden and ran towards the gang to scare them away.


The police arrived just in time - to arrest Mr Davis for possession of an offensive weapon.

He now faces up to six months in prison. Yesterday Mr Davis said he was bewildered by the decision to prosecute him.

He claims objects have been thrown at his house on 700 separate occasions. His windows have been smashed five times in eight months.

'Something needs to be done to stop these kids. They are out there every night,' he said.

'One of my neighbours even had a seven-month-old in their kitchen when a brick came through the window.

'It showered glass across the baby's face.'
The British government and local police forces there have completely abdicated their responsibilities for the protection of its citizens in favor of multiculturalism.

This will not end peacefully, and it will not be pretty.

h/t Rachel Lucas via Moonbattery

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

And You Thought You Had No Life

Imagine being an informed activist in the San Francisco area and all you can come up with is this sort of tongue-in-cheek humor aimed at a President for whom you harbor no respect.

A California group has actually taken the time and money to circulate a petition that collected some 10,000 signatures, all for the purpose of renaming a wastewater treatment plant after George W. Bush.

Brian McConnell, one of the group's organizers said:

"We think that it's important to remember our leaders in the right historical context."

"In President Bush's case, we think that we will be cleaning up a substantial mess for the next 10 or 20 years. The sewage treatment facility's job is to clean up a mess, so we think it's a fitting tribute."

"What we're really doing is symbolizing the fact that as he leaves office, we'll begin the process of basically repairing damage and rebuilding our country's reputation."
If enough petition signatures qualify and the proposal passes on the ballot this fall, the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant will be renamed to the George W. Bush Sewage Plant.

And this, my friends, is what activist San Franciscans feel is a worthwhile political action. No word as of yet on how much money it will cost to place said proposal on the ballot. Who cares? California is only billions of dollars in debt.

h/t Protein Wisdom

Monday, July 07, 2008

Eat Those Strained Peas, You Filthy Racist Child!

Just how far into the ridiculous depths of political correctness are multiculturalists willing to go? Never mind that racism truly can be a problem, these morons are so busy redefining what it means to be racist, that at best the word has become to mean little more than silliness while at worst the abridged language is being used as a bludgeon to keep the masses in line.

Well, we now seem to be well past the slippery slope of language and are now in free fall.

Along the lines of silliness, it would seem that the Brits now have a growing problem on their hands...racist toddlers.

Are these little cherubs toddling around calling each other cracker, nigger or dirty Jew? Nope, they are apparently being singled out for disliking food identified with another culture.

Toddlers who turn their noses up at spicy food from overseas could be branded racists by a Government-sponsored agency.

The National Children's Bureau, which receives £12 million a year, mainly from Government funded organisations, has issued guidance to play leaders and nursery teachers advising them to be alert for racist incidents among youngsters in their care.

This could include a child of as young as three who says "yuk" in response to being served unfamiliar foreign food.

The guidance by the NCB is designed to draw attention to potentially-racist attitudes in youngsters from a young age.

It alerts playgroup leaders that even babies can not be ignored in the drive to root out prejudice as they can "recognise different people in their lives".
Henny Penny stands silently by, shaking her head in disgust.

h/t Little Green Footballs

Goats Amassing on Detroit's City Limit

Sam Riddle may have said it best when he declared the only difference between Detroit and a third world city is that Detroit didn't have goats in the street. If corruption is a precursor to third-world status, today's elected officials in Detroit are putting the local goat trade on the fast track.

The latest installment comes from WXYZ:


(WXYZ) Our reporting partners at the Detroit News are reporting that the FBI has electronic surveillance that links Detroit City Council President Pro Tem Monica Conyers to the Synagro scandal.

The evidence reportedly proves that Conyers received either a payment or payments in connection with the city-approved sludge contract.

Conyers was a vocal opponent of the $47 million a year Synagro contract, but changed her position and eventually voted for the deal when it passed by 5-4 vote in November.
Now, is it any wonder that Conyers is lukewarm on the ouster of Kwame Kilpatrick over charges of perjury and gross incompetence? Monica would never condemn Kwame over his actions, simply because those are the types of actions Monica appreciates in an elected official.

Who would have ever thought that our beloved John Conyers could be successful at finding a single women with the same ethical guidelines and moral compass that has pointed him though his many years of selfless public service?

When, exactly, did corruption become one of eHarmony's 29 Dimensions of higher compatibility?

h/t Moonbattery

Sunday, July 06, 2008

No Offense Intended

Nothing speaks tolerance quite as fluently as a bootied canine tiptoeing around a suspected criminal's flat.

Police sniffer dogs will have to wear bootees when searching the homes of Muslims so as not to cause offence.

Guidelines being drawn up by the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) urge awareness of religious sensitivities when using dogs to search for drugs and explosives. The guidelines, to be published this year, were designed to cover mosques but have been extended to include other buildings.

Where Muslims object, officers will be obliged to use sniffer dogs only in exceptional cases. Where dogs are used, they will have to wear bootees with rubber soles. “We are trying to ensure that police forces are aware of sensitivities that people can have with the dogs to make sure they are not going against any religious or cultural element within people’s homes. It is being addressed and forces are working towards doing it,” Acpo said.

Problems faced by the use of sniffer dogs were highlighted last week when Tayside police were forced to apologise for a crime prevention poster featuring a german shepherd puppy, in response to a complaint by a Muslim councillor.

Islamic injunctions warn Muslims against contact with dogs, which are regarded as “unclean”.
Emphasis mine.

So, objecting to an effective form of drug and explosive discovery could, unless in extreme cases, disqualify that form of investigation.

What could possibly go wrong with that?

h/t Dhimmi Watch

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Students in UK Refuse to Pray to Allah and are Punished: It's all Part of Diversity Training

What in God's name is going on in the UK? It's like the whole friggen country lost its brain in an unfortunate plumbing accident.

Of course, this has been going on in slow stages for years with steps so small it wasn't noticed by much of anyone. While it may have been surreptitious to begin with, now there isn't even any desire to keep things on the sly. The more in your face, the better.

The latest is a British school that has reportedly punished students for refusing to pray toward Mecca in a class teaching the students about Islam.

From The Telegraph:

Two schoolboys were allegedly disciplined after refusing to kneel down and "pray to Allah" during a religious education lesson.

A spokesman for Cheshire County Council said 'Educating children in the beliefs of different faiths is part of Cheshire's diversity curriculum'

It was claimed that the boys, from a year seven class of 11 and 12-year-olds, were given detention after refusing to take part in a practical demonstration of how Allah is worshipped.

Yesterday parents accused the school of breaching their human rights by forcing them to take part in the exercise.

One, Sharon Luinen, said: "This isn't right, it's taking things too far. I understand that they have to learn about other religions. I can live with that but it is taking it a step too far to be punished because they wouldn't join in Muslim prayer.

"Making them pray to Allah, who isn't who they worship, is wrong and what got me is that they were told they were being disrespectful."
This is just one small example of what occurs when the pursuit of diversity and multiculturalism becomes so ingrained that it supersedes an individual's right to proudly embrace his own culture.

h/t Dhimmi Watch

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Independence Day 2008

An essay from Mark Alexander in this week's Patriot Post, reproduced here in toto:

INDEPENDENCE DAY 2008
A Necessary Observance

If our nation’s Founders could visit us on this, our 232nd Independence Day, what would they make of us? What would they declare of us?

A hint can be discerned in a letter from John Adams to his wife, Abigail, on July 3, 1776, as the Declaration of Independence had just been approved. “It ought to be commemorated,” said the man who would become our second president, “as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Day’s Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.”

Americans have maintained the “Pomp and Parade” for more than two centuries now, and the “Bonfires and Illuminations” are commonplace, but how often do we recognize Independence Day as “the Day of Deliverance?” How often do we honor it with “solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty”? How often do we contemplate the cost of our freedom, “the Toil and Blood and Treasure?”

Our Founders believed that independence was more than a choice; they viewed our break from royal rule as necessary.

Consider the first statement of the Declaration: “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

The signatories were emphatic that separation from the crown was not only an objective, but an obligation: “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.—Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.” In conclusion, the Founders wrote, “We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation...”

Their cause, of course, was not anti-government. Rather they objected to the misgovernment of the king, saying, “He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.” Furthermore, the Americans had been patient, petitioning their British rulers for redress for over a decade. Armed hostilities had commenced on April 19, 1775, at the battles of Lexington and Concord, and the colonists faced the full power of the British Empire in their quest for American independence.

One year before taking that step for nationhood, on July 5, 1775, the Continental Congress adopted the Olive Branch Petition, beseeching the British king for a peaceful resolution of the American colonies’ grievances. A day later, that same Congress resolved the “Declaration of the Causes and Necessities of Taking Up Arms.”

King George III refused to read the peace petition and assembled his armies. On July 2, 1776, Richard Henry Lee’s proposal for a formal declaration of separation passed, and the document was ordered printed on July 4.

The war-weary among us today might ask, was independence really necessary?

To pose the question at the outset of the Revolutionary War was to answer it. Representatives of the colonial Americans realized that, in voicing this query, they already possessed proof that they, not the King of England, were legitimate instruments of self-government for their countrymen. How could circumstances be otherwise when the king offered no remedy for his subjects’ complaints, no guarantee their rights would be respected, and no means for them to govern themselves in their new lands?

The founders knew, however, that power could not be its own justification. They recognized that only an appeal to overarching laws, binding the king as much as his subjects, was legitimate. And abuse of authority demonstrated disqualification of any governor, whether a monarch or a purported representative.

We would do well to apply this insight to the political debates of today.

Indeed, two competing philosophies of government at odds during the American Revolution have reappeared, with the anti-republican form seen in those politicians who would seek to gain favor by manipulating language and misrepresenting their positions. Royalists, on the other hand, believed that the king was divinely ordained to rule over the people and was therefore above the law. This view is manifest currently in government officials—especially our elected officers—who believe they may properly command the citizenry to whatever they please, to whichever they purport to be for the good of the people.

As Thomas Jefferson observed, “Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread.” Yet the prevailing philosophy of government proposes exactly this—that directions from Washington as to how we must conduct ourselves, in matters large and small, will lead inexorably to scarcity and will inevitably erode our freedom.

Our system of government today is not so different from the monarchy we escaped, except that a swarm of bureaucrats have taken up the throne.

A necessity thus presents itself to us as well: We must reconnect with the timeless principles that inspired our Founding Fathers; those same principles that long ago gave birth to a good, great and God-blessed nation.

“[W]hat do we mean by the American Revolution?” reflected John Adams. “Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations... This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.”

Let us celebrate this Independence Day 2008 in a manner that Adams himself might recognize—with “solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty,” and with a rededication to the principles of our necessary American Revolution. And as always, in the words of George Washington, “Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.”
The Patriot Post is available by free subscription and is delivered by e-mail three times a week. I highly recommend you make reading it a habit.

Detroit Cops Have Nothing Better To Do

Detroit cops have nothing much to do these days with the crime rate near zero, gang members spending most of their time holding hands and joining knitting clubs, the drug trade now just a trickle, no huge parties taking place down at Manoogian, and each and every driver on the road maintaining a speed safely within the limits.

So, lets find something for them to do with all that time. Better yet, lets find something for them to do that might generate a little needed cash for a city with, shall we say, a slight financial problem.

The city is way ahead of me, it seems, with a new city directive that will ask the police force to begin to levee $55 fines for unregistered bicycles. That ought to curb the activities of hardened criminals down on Gratiot.

From the Detroit News:

"This will assist with the identification of stolen bicycles," Detroit Police spokesman Officer Leon Rahmaan said.

The ordinance requiring bicycle registration, rarely enforced, has been on the books since 1964.

A Detroit Police press release issued Wednesday said: "Increased enforcement of the ordinance will ... take place citywide in order to ensure that any stolen property is returned to its proper owner. Enforcement will remain relaxed until Aug. 7, 2008, to allow bicycle owners an opportunity to register their bikes without penalty."
In a day and age where Detroit is recognized as one of the most crime riddled cities in the country, it is not the time to dilute law enforcement effectiveness by meandering off course into the policing of free, law-abiding individuals riding their Schwinns.

Bicycle theft is nothing to laugh about. Thieves deserve to be caught, fined and thrown in jail. I'm not so sure that a city that demands $55 from an innocent bicycler deserves a much better fate.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Top Ten Reasons Why Not To Hold Your Next Convention In Detroit

10. You will probably have to book on Northwest.
9. Our Shrek isn't the green one.
8. Who will recycle your sludge?
7. Detroit Public Schools is to provide the motivational speaker.
6. A full one third of the Supremes might be indicted before you even arrive.
5. The FBI could be recording everything.
4. Alonzo Bates hired the wait staff.
3. Monica Conyers is cruising the hotel lobby looking for free drinks.
2. The best strippers are already booked at the Manoogian.
1. The Mogadishu Convention Center is still available.

My apologies to former Supreme and current Detroit City Council member Martha Reeves for the indictment crack. But, after uttering this sort of blathering idiocy, I simply could not resist.

Detroit: The McDonalds of Corruption

Corrupted third world cronies have nothing over on their counterparts selflessly serving the fine citizens of Detroit. While the highly publicized shenanigans of Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick still resonate around the country, it is clear to see that the Detroit City Council and its subordinates have been learning through Kwame's masterful example.

If it wasn't such a tragedy it would be pure comedy. If it didn't add to the squalor, we could giggle in delight.

The FBI is now conducting a far-reaching investigation into activities surrounding the awarding of a huge city contract for a sludge treatment facility. After being confronted by the FBI over payoffs he was making to Detroit officials in pursuit of the contract, an executive of Synagro Technologies, the company that was ultimately awarded the contract, continued his bribing efforts with one small twist--the FBI was now on board and taping the transactions.

I guess the lesson here is that if you want to do business with the city, you had better have a wallet full of cash, and if you work for the city, maybe you should get yourself one of those full faced ski masks. Apparently, public office in Detroit pays too little and offers no anonymity.

How reluctant were city officials to accept the bribes? According to comments given to the Detroit Free Press, officials were nearly falling all over themselves to get themselves a piece of cheese.

The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the probe's sensitive nature, said they were surprised how cheaply some public officials could be bought.

"If you're going to trade your vote, you'd think it would be for a lot of money," one said. "Four figures is not a lot of money. ... They were selling their votes in volume."
What is Detroit? The McDonalds of the corruption industry?
Reached at home late Tuesday, Council President Ken Cockrel Jr. said: "It's not surprising, but it's very disappointing and very disturbing," adding that he got a hint of the probe's scope last week in talking to the FBI.
Things are so bad in Detroit that the council president is not even surprised by the allegations.

So, another chapter is opened in the true-crime story that is Detroit city politics. Only time will tell how wide the net is cast.

One thing is for certain. Until the citizens of Detroit start to take their local elections seriously and elect candidates based on their love of the city rather than name recognition and party loyalty, we can expect Detroit to continue down into the sinkhole.

What is Keith Butler doing these days?