Thursday, May 28, 2009

What Religion?

The BBC is unable to attribute any speculation.

At least 10 people have been killed in two separate attacks in the Pakistani city of Peshawar.

Six were killed and about 70 injured when two bombs exploded at a busy market, police said.

Shortly after, a suicide bomber attacked a military checkpoint on the city outskirts, killing four soldiers.

The attacks came hours after Pakistani Taliban warned of further violence following a gun and bomb attack in Lahore which killed at least 24 people.

In the initial Peshawar attacks, bombs were on two motorcycles and detonated by timers, bomb disposal squad chief Shafqat Malik told reporters, according to Associated Press news agency.
Believe me, I've got my eye on you Methodists.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Off With the Blindfolds!

Sonia Sotomayor:

"All of the legal defense funds out there-- they're looking for people with court of appeals experience. Because court of appeals is where policy is made. And I know, I know this is on tape and I should never say that because we don't make law. [Laughs] I know. I know. [Laughter] I'm not promoting it, I'm not advocating it, I'm...y'know."
Now that is empathy.

The legislative branch might just as well take the rest of their career off.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Colin Powell Delivers the Republican Perspective

Colin Powell, that great conservative voice that endorsed Barack Obama during this last presidential election over fellow military man John McCain has decided he wants a more "inclusive party."

“I have always felt that the Republican Party should be more inclusive than it generally has been over the years. And I believe we need a strong Republican Party that is not just anchored in the base but has built on the base to include more individuals. And if we don't do that, if we don't reach out more, the party is going to be sitting on a very, very narrow base.”
You know, the kind of party that would be attractive to persons likely to vote for the most liberal member of the Senate in a tight race even when the Republican alternative is one of the most moderate Senators of the Powell's self identified party.
Powell said he believes it is time for the Republican Party to stop listening to “diktats that come down from the right wing of the party.

“You can only do two things with a base. You can sit on it and watch the world go by, or you can build on the base,” said Powell. “And I believe we should build on the base because the nation needs two parties, two parties debating each other. But what we have to do is debate and define who we are and what we are and not just listen to diktats that come down from the right wing of the party."
Just looking at the Republican candidate during the last election should show everyone that the Republican Party is a big tent party. Its standard bearer supported what amounts to amnesty for illegal aliens. Its standard bearer, while battling against earmarks, supported the bailouts (even suspending his campaign to try and hammer out a deal,) was originally against the Bush tax cuts, was a member of the Gang of 14, attacked George W. Bush on countless issues of military policy, is a huge supporter of the AGW myth, and, if you need to know anything else, I could mention McCain-Feingold.

John McCain was not a straight and narrow conservative on all issues. Not even close. And yet, despite all the advertised conservative zealots within the right-wing GOP, I do not personally know of one Republican that stayed away from the polls or that voted for Obama because of McCain's many centrist views. Like me, every one of them trudged off to the precinct and reluctantly voted for John McCain.

Colin Powell had the perfect centrist GOP candidate in John McCain, the kind of guy that Powell should have been gaga over. I'm sure they did not agree on everything, but I think that is the point that Powell was trying to make--that Republicans need to compromise on some of their more conservative positions in order to be attractive to many of those with whom they do not agree with on everything else. And yet, despite this, Powell went ahead and endorsed Barack Obama, a man who has never once had so much as a conservative thought penetrate his rock star head.

How could the Republicans ever seriously compete for the vote of those like Colin Powell when, in the end, all they really want to do is to vote for the most liberal candidate they can find? And, more importantly, why would the GOP even want to? And, why is it that CBS is unable to find a Republican that, you know, actually votes Republican, to represent a true Republican's viewpoint on their highly respected television program? We could have just as easily had Harry Reid or Bart Stupak give us the Republican viewpoint.

Political parties can be flexible and our voting public is too large and diverse to be even close to monolithic. To expect otherwise is more than a bit naive. It does strike me though that the political parties should have certain principles that they take very seriously--there has to be some glue there. Absent these principles there is nothing to bond a party together in the first place and we might as well just go out and pledge a fraternity.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Four Muslims Arrested on Terrorist Charges

For all of the pandering that takes place these days by the politically correct in toting the "Islam is a religion of peace" canard, one thing that remains troubling is the fact that, despite all protestations to the contrary, Islam remains a veritable hotbed of terrorist recruitment.

Four men accused of plotting to bomb New York synagogues and fire Stinger missiles at aircraft are due in court on weapons and conspiracy charges.

They were arrested on Wednesday after planting what they thought were bombs at two Bronx synagogues.

Visiting one of the synagogues, New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said all four "wanted to commit jihad".
I am encouraged that the BBC has seen fit to identify the men openly as Muslims rather than wiping out all references of Islam.

Meanwhile, President Obama is expected to announce that America sucks at this anti-terrorism thing.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Another Blemish for the UK Foster Care System

Here is an interesting point of view from the UK regarding the adoption and fostering of children in state care.

It is apparently better for a child to "get no school qualifications and go on to lead lives of unemployment, drug addiction, crime and prostitution" than to be adopted outside of their ethnic category.

From the Daily Mail Online:

The Bristol University researchers said that of 50 ethnic minority children whose adoption cases it followed, only 13 actually found new parents due to the insistence on 'same race placements'.

In one case a nurse offered to adopt an ethnically mixed child with severe disabilities. She was turned down because she could not meet the 'Polish element' in the child's ethnicity. The child remained in state care.

Children who are adopted do much better than children left in the state care system, where most get no school qualifications and go on to lives of unemployment, drug addiction, crime and prostitution. The report is to be published in full later this summer.

Its disclosure comes after last week's row over the state-funded British Association for Adoption and Fostering's guide for gay couples. It referred to opponents of gay adoption as 'retarded homophobes' who 'need an excuse to whinge'. It later apologised.`

BAAF remains one of the greatest advocates of applying race rules to adoption. But the Bristol report said this results in regular attempts at the deliberate destruction of foster families in which parents and children have formed a bond.
It is sad to see the welfare of children being placed lower on the priorities list than the political ideology of social manipulators and bureaucrats.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Obama and Granholm and Schwarzenegger, Oh My!

Barack Obama and Jennifer Granholm (and Arnold Schwarzenegger for good measure) have finally agreed on emission and mileage standards for new vehicles. It will prove to be, of course, largely irrelevant to global temperatures but will manage to punish consumers mercilessly at the car lot.

Estimates are that the price of a single automobile will rise by approximately $1,300 to meet the new standards in 2016.

But worry not saith The Obama!

Obama agreed that “it costs money to build these vehicles.” But he also stressed that “the cost of driving these vehicles will go down as drivers save money at the pump.”
What is being suspiciously left out of this narrative is that it is not the goal of the Obama administration or environmentalists to offer motorists a less expensive way to drive or, honestly, even to mitigate the increase in the cost of the new automobiles. In fact that would run counter to the energy strategy that Obama brazenly embraced when he said that energy costs would "necessarily rise" in order to spur conservation. Any cost savings realized at the pump are nothing more than an inadvertent byproduct to consumers that are paying too much attention to Michelle Obama's fabulous arms than they are to notice the second half of his overall environmental/energy strategy.

Simply put, it is the goal of this administration and environmentalists to increase the price of travel to punitive levels in order to keep people off the road. When adequately punished travelers do meekly find the will to climb behind the wheel of the best balsa wood and tissue paper car that Detroit can build, they certainly will enjoy the best gas mileage possible, however, they will also be subjected to astronomical prices at the gas pump due to energy and tax policies that are still being formulated.

This is the future that our overlords have decided we must embrace. All travel must be christened absolutely necessary in order to comply with the plan, and all necessary travel so christened must be conducted in a manner that complies with state directives aboard a government blessed car.

Lets see just how these overall policies impact our finances before we get so silly as to celebrate our potential savings at the pump.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Discrimination Based on "Social Condition"

The Canadian Human Rights Commission has a broad goal, namely to make sure no one ever has to hear anything that might cause offense or be hurtful. Now, that sort of goal is difficult to achieve if only a handful of predictable and easily identifiable identity groups qualify for the protection.

What to do?

Well, the commission has been thinking long and hard and has come up with a solution by finding a new identity group worthy of protection...that of social condition.

The best thing about the new class of potential victims, as far as the commission itself is concerned, is that "social condition" really doesn't identify any single person on any particular day, and on a different day it could mean everyone. It is joyfully undefined and is, in effect, the trump card of all identity groups that could be used to put the chill on anyone provided the government can be sufficiently persuaded to bring charges.

In short, if you want to open up a Tim Horton’s franchise in Quebec and put up a “no shoes, no shirt, no service” sign, not only do you not know whether you are violating the law by discriminating against shoeless, shirtless, and thus possibly impoverished people, the Human Rights Commission thinks that it is a good thing that you do not know, because the law should be “flexible” to let them prosecute you if they think they ought to be able to. The Human Rights Commission would like the Human Rights Act to become Schroedinger’s Law, so that all of your actions exist in an indeterminate cloud of legality or illegality until some dizzy bureaucrat opens the box and looks at your case.

Spreading Jennifer Granholm's Success

It appears as if our esteemed governor, one Canadian born, California raised, east coast educated, and Michigan suffered, has made the short list of potential nominees to fill the slot of soon to retire squishy Supreme Court judge, David Souter.


As is pointed out at Right Michigan, Jennifer Granholm is uniquely qualified for the high bench.

Never mind that Granholm has zero days total experience sitting on any judicial bench- she makes up for her relatively amateurish legal credentials with the sort of resume line item that seems to grab President Obama by the throat and refuses to let go.

What Jennifer Granholm has that every other member of that esteemed list lacks (we assume) is the kind of personal history that the President's other early-term appointments indicate he values the most... serious personal tax problems.
I've opined before on Granholm's many talents some of which have helped launch our fair state into the number one position in the nation when measured by the usage of outgoing moving vans.

How can a person with such heartily documented failure be considered for any job with such important national implications? That is, unless the people considering Granholm for this position are pleased with her performance. Dismal, like beauty, must be solely in the eye of the beholder.

How blind must a person be to overlook such miserable, abject, whole encompassing failure and be satisfied with the results, so satisfied in fact that the main orchestrator of the disaster is considered for an even loftier position?

Then again, perhaps I am looking at this all wrong. Perhaps the goal of those arriving at this short list is to spread Michigan-type success on the rest of the nation like a rat would heartily support a growing expanse of garbage in the yard of a vacant, dilapidated house.

If capitalism and the free market system are to die and if the goal of our current administration is to expand the social state, why not implant some of its major innovators into positions atop the halls of government? In that light, why wouldn't Granholm be among those best qualified for the job, a job able to create conditions wherein people become beholden to and dependent upon the utopian state for survival?

What other motivation makes any sense?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Future of Adoption in America?

Once again, look to Europe to see what America is striving for.

People who have concerns about the adoption of children by gay couples are 'retarded homophobes', the state-funded national adoption agency said yesterday.

Those who protest over controversial gay adoption laws are merely 'whinging', according to the British Association for Adoption and Fostering.
Tolerance, it would appear, is a one way street.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Bright Spot in Michigan

Things are apparently not so bad after all. If they were that bad, could we spend money on something like this?

Even with the federal government nearly $2 trillion in debt this year alone. Even with the state of Michigan facing a nearly $1 billion shortfall. Even with the city of Detroit hundreds of millions in debt, prisons being forced to close and criminals released, roads buckling and pitted, campgrounds closing, and many public school systems in this state hacking away at teaching positions and programs in a desperate attempt to try and make ends meet.

Hallelujah! We have a bright spot!

Despite the doom and gloom of a horrible economy created by Republicans and its most evil of henchmen, Dick Cheney, big oil, and the rich, at least one vitally important study being spearheaded by Dr. Xiaoming Li, director of the Prevention Research Center at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, will be moving full speed ahead.

( -- The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will pay $2.6 million in U.S. tax dollars to train Chinese prostitutes to drink responsibly on the job.

Dr. Xiaoming Li, the researcher conducting the program, is director of the Prevention Research Center at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit.

The grant, made last November, refers to prostitutes as "female sex workers"--or FSW--and their handlers as "gatekeepers."

"Previous studies in Asia and Africa and our own data from FSWs [female sex workers] in China suggest that the social norms and institutional policy within commercial sex venues as well as agents overseeing the FSWs (i.e., the 'gatekeepers', defined as persons who manage the establishments and/or sex workers) are potentially of great importance in influencing alcohol use and sexual behavior among establishment-based FSWs," says the NIH grant abstract submitted by Dr. Li.

"Therefore, in this application, we propose to develop, implement, and evaluate a venue-based alcohol use and HIV risk reduction intervention focusing on both environmental and individual factors among venue-based FSWs in China," says the abstract.
The study had to be held in China because, as is well known in Motown, Detroit prostitutes don't drink.

Aside from the fact that China practically owns the US already by buying up all of our debt, why should we borrow another $2.6 million dollars from the Chinese so that we can send the money back to China in an attempt to get prostitutes in that country to act more responsibly?

This is wrong on every possible level and yet it made it through the budgeting process being merely one example of the thousands of incidents of carelessness that are routinely perpetrated by those we elect to represent us.

This is insanity.

I need another tea party.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Chrysler: Playground of the Social State

It is scary what is happening at Chrysler these days. Scary, not just for the company itself and its employees, but also scary for lenders who routinely stick their necks out by providing capital to companies who employ a lot of people.

Over the past year we have seen just how important credit flow is. Now days it is much easier to appreciate the importance of available credit since it has virtually disappeared to many companies and individuals. TARP funds were approved and slathered about without sufficient scrutiny because, according to the powers that be, something had to be done immediately for the sole purpose of loosening up tight credit markets. There simply was not time to do the sane thing.

In the aftermath of this hurried infusion and the subsequent infusions of cash into the coffers of Chrysler and GM, we are now beginning to see what could result if an aggressive government is allowed through its extreme political might to supersede law and set aside private contracts as well as bankruptcy codes simply because Big Brother Obama knows best.

And this is supposed to make it easier for credit to flow in our future?

The fate of Chrysler and its workers pale in comparison to the wrecking ball that would be taken to economic order if bankruptcy judge Arthur Gonzalez approves the administration’s plan to give Chrysler’s secured creditors the shaft. And what prize will we-the-people get in return? A doomed third-rate car company majority owned by its militant union run by Italian management building congressionally designed “green” cars no one wants to buy financed by taxpayers into perpetuity because no private investor in their right mind will touch the company with a ten foot pole. Is this supposed to be economic policy or comic opera?
h/t neo-neocon

Related at Protein Wisdom

Monday, May 04, 2009

DeMint: How Republicans Can Build a Big-Tent Party

[...]To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, if you aim for principled reform, you win elections in the bargain; if you just aim for elections, you get neither.

No Child Left Behind didn't win us "soccer moms," but it did cost us our credibility on locally controlled education. Medicare prescription drugs didn't win us a "permanent majority," but it cost us our credibility on entitlement reform. Every year, another Republican quality was tainted: managerial competence, fiscal discipline and personal ethics.

To win back the trust of the American people, we must be a "big tent" party. But big tents need strong poles, and the strongest pole of our party -- the organizing principle and the crucial alternative to the Democrats -- must be freedom. The federal government is too big, takes too much of our money, and makes too many of our decisions. If Republicans can't agree on that, elections are the least of our problems.
h/t Cold Fury

Beware the Symbolism

I suppose in a world where the gun is considered evil by interventionist dogooders we should not be surprised that the starter's pistol, used by officials to start races at track and field meets, is under attack.

And the movement to ban the gun because of its deadly symbolism includes someone who literally has pulled the trigger to start foot races for thousands of high school athletes across Ontario.

"We don't need people standing around with (pistols) – those days are done," said Brian Keaveney, a former teacher and an internationally ranked starter who has his own pistol.

Having guns in and around schools is bad optics, he added.

Keaveney has been joined in the call for the starter gun ban by some officials from the Toronto District School Board and Athletics Ontario, among others.

The push for a change comes almost two years after the May 2007 shooting death of 15-year-old Jordan Manners at Toronto's C.W. Jefferys high school.

A probe into school safety after the Grade 10 student's death raised troubling questions about safety levels in GTA schools and the threat of weapons on school property.
Questions that I'm sure will all be answered as soon as starter's pistols become a thing of the past.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Feelings, Nothing More Than Feelings

It was a sad moment when Barack Obama announced today that any person he would consider for a Supreme Court nomination would need to have empathy for people and that the nominee will have to consider the way that the decisions made by the court will affect people.

Justice is supposed to be blind, but that is not what I'm hearing Obama wants for jurists on his court. This is an open admission by our President that the rule of law is over and that the Constitution should take a second seat to how people feel about the law. In other words, legislating from the bench is just hunky-dory with Barack.