Tuesday, December 28, 2004

U.S Contributions to Tsunami Victims

Some U.N. worker from Norway says the U.S. is being stingy with our assistance to the victims of the Tsunami. This criticism came only 36 hours or so after the disaster and our total contribution is increasing steadily, but I agree we can surely give more. Congress should immediately designate 50% of our U.N. dues to the effort and simply cancel the other half.

Friday, December 24, 2004

From IBD

On Dec. 22, 1944, almost 60 years ago to the day 22 people died in a mess tent in Mosul, Brig. Gen. Anthony McAuliffe of the 101st Airborne, surrounded in Bastogne, Belgium, by a German offensive that was not expected, responded to a Nazi surrender demand with the famous one word response: “Nuts!”
Things don’t always go as planned in war. We certainly found that out in World War II, when our first encounter with the Nazi Wehrmacht, at Kasserine Pass in Tunisia, in February 1943, using outdated tanks and tactics, was a disaster.
As Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld put it recently: “You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you might want or wish to
have.” We learned from our mistakes at Kasserine, and we went on from there to victory. Yet there were more surprises to come.
One wonders how today’s press would have handled getting bogged down and taking heavy casualties on Omaha Beach or plodding through hedge row country. Yet nobody said the D-Day assault on Hitler’s Festung Europa was badly planned or mismanaged. Our eyes remained on the prize.
On Dec. 16, 1944, Allied forces were surprised by Hitler’s last
great offensive, and found themselves in the single biggest engagement in which U.S. troops have ever fought. Yet no one demanded Eisenhower resign because he didn’t expect the Battle of the Bulge.
Allied intelligence had reports of a transfer of German troops from the Russian Front to the Western front in the fall of 1944, and there was evidence they were regrouping in the Ardennes. But six months after the invasion of Normandy, the war seemed won. The information was not forwarded up the chain of command. In today’s vernacular, nobody had bothered to connect the dots.
The battle would involve three German and three American armies and three British divisions, more than a million men. Americans would suffer 80,000 casualties and 19,000 dead — 500 a day. Yet few demanded to know why our intelligence failed. There were no hearings, no demands foe Eisenhower’s scalp.
The Nazis had taken everything into account except the sheer determination of the American GI and a nation that knew victory would be worth the price being paid. Operation Iraqi Freedom should be no different. Patience and courage won the day in the Ardennes. It will again in Iraq.

Among the dead in Mosul were members of the 276th Engineer Battalion, a Virginia-based unit that traces its lineage back to 1652 and once had George Washington as its commander. Its motto is Patrick Henry’s passionate “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death.” It is up to us to ensure they have not died in vain.
John F. Kennedy once pledged that America would pay any price, bear any burden and meet any hardship to ensure the success and survival of liberty. He spoke of a long, twilight struggle with the enemies of freedom and democracy.
Let us keep that pledge and respond to the cowardly killers in Mosul and to Zarqawi and to Bin Laden and the terrorism they represent: “Nuts!”

Thursday, December 23, 2004

A first person account of the Mosul Bombing

The following was submitted by a Chaplain on the scene at Mosul. Every one should read the entire blog.

"Mark" was put on a stretcher and laid along a wall. A small monitor on his hand would tell the nurses when he was dead. Even a cursory glance said it was inevitable. Mark had a head wound that left brain matter caked in his ear and all over the stretcher he was lying on. I knelt next to Mark and placed a hand on his chest. His heart was barely beating but it was beating so I put my face close to his ear to pray with him. If you've never smelled human brain matter it is something unforgettable. I had something of an internal struggle. He's practically dead so why stay? He probably can't hear anything! A prayer at that point seemed of little value. But I couldn't risk it. I prayed for Mark and led him in the sinners prayer as best I could. There are few things in this life that will make you feel more helpless. After that, I needed some fresh air.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Cold Weather in Iraq

I am still not sure why our military in Iraq continues to write home asking for clothing to keep warm. I have written about this before and some of the reasons seem to be a) they were given allowances to buy clothing before they left and didn't plan correctly, and b) they had clothing, but it was lost or stolen when sent to the laundry. Some of our troops who have just arrived seem to be in need of warm clothing as indicated by this E-mail from a Marine in Iraq. You can respond to this web site.

22 Dec 2004:
Our Deployment started out as the 31St MEU, Then We were tasked in short notice that we would be leaving for Iraq, Though we are now begining to adjust to life in Iraq, it is still hard to adjust to the cold weather, the best possible things that could be sent are, warn gloves, any type of warm clothing, thermo socks. thank you for your selfless acts to support what we are doing.

P.S. anything of entertainment value is always welcomed.

Sgt "Slim" Schroepfer


A Fascinating Blog

I am amazed every day when I discover how hard some really clever people work to contribute to the blogosphere. I ran across this most entertaining blog today by John Hawkins. Evidently this is the third year that he has published a list of the 20 most annoying liberals and goes on to describe how they achieved status on this list. You need to read the whole thing and see how well done it is, but here is an example. This is for AlGore and he was only number 13 on the list.

When he's not acting all "angry and stuff," Gore spends his time claiming he was cheated in the 2000 elections. For example, here's a joke from his speech at the Democratic National Convention -- undoubtedly fed into his memory banks by Democratic programmers trained to handle wooden robots -- about the 2000 election...

"Friends, fellow Democrats, fellow Americans, I'll be candid with you. I had hoped to be back here this week under different circumstances, running for re-election. But you know the old saying: You win some, you lose some. And then there's that little-known third category."

Here he is again in the same speech,

"And let's make sure that this time every vote is counted. Let's make sure not only that the Supreme Court does not pick the next president, but also that this president is not the one who picks the next Supreme Court.

Gore's like a guy you beat at foosball who's still complaining about it four years later, "I said 'time out so I could get a soda' and you said 'after the game, let's go' and I really wasn't ready because I was thirsty and it was unfair and..."

GET OVER IT CRYBABY, YOU LOST! There were two machine recounts and you even got one unconstitutional recount and you didn't win any of them. That whining was annoying way back in 2001 when Gore started it and ain't like wine, it doesn't get any better with age...

Defining Quote For The New, Angry, Al Gore: "The (Bush) administration works closely with a network of rapid response digital brownshirts who work to pressure reporters and their editors for "undermining support for our troops." -- Al Gore

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Good News from Iraq

Arthur Chrenkoff has a summary of good news from Iraq .Here is an example:

Also in Sadr City, soldiers from the First Cavalry Division's First Brigade Combat Team "teamed up with local children and cleaned a trash-covered area in the middle of an eastern Baghdad neighborhood, converting the land into a park. Infrequent visits from the city's trash trucks and no trash bins for people to use had resulted in what was turning into a trash dump, threatening the health of those living nearby":

Seeing U.S. vehicles entering the area, local children ran to meet the soldiers and ask for candy, which soldiers often bring for them. This time, however, the soldiers distributed tools that the children could use to help in the cleanup. "Kids always approach us and want candy, but this time we had something for them to do. We wanted to encourage the local children to help themselves by using the rakes and shovels we provided to help clean up," [First Lt. Gerald] Kubicek said. "Since there were a lot of kids out there, we gave school supplies as a token of our appreciation after the work was done."

Kubicek said getting the neighborhood energized was essential to the success of the project. "We tried to draw the community together by getting different families to help us with this project," he said. Since trash disposal had been the problem that made the field unusable in the first place, a trash pit was constructed so families have a centralized place for refuse.

The following day, a local contractor delivered two swing sets and other playground equipment, giving local kids a place to hang out and play soccer, the Iraqi national pastime. "Now we have a nice, open park, two swing sets, and a place for them to deposit their garbage, instead of having it laying all over the place," Kubicek said. "We have a vested interest in giving something back to the Iraqi people. Projects like this one are a reminder that the American people are here to help."

From Military News about Iraq

December 21, 2004: Suicide car bombs in the last three days have left nearly a hundred dead. Most shocking were several attacks in the Shia holy cities of Najaf and Karbala. These attacks in southern Iraq caused Shia leaders to call for peace between Sunni and Shia, and for the use of armed volunteers to guard polling places for the upcoming elections. The bombings also brought forth many tips from citizens, and over fifty people have been arrested as suspects in these attacks, and earlier ones. There are over a million Sunni Arabs living in southern Iraq, but they have not encouraged terrorist attacks in order to avoid retaliation from the much larger number of Shia in the area. Abu Musab al Zarqawi and his al Qaeda killers are believed to be responsible for most of the car bombings. Zarqawi wants a religious dictatorship in Iraq, and believes that if he sets off bombs in Shia areas, he can trigger retaliation from Shia and cause a civil war in Iraq. While nearly all the current violence in Iraq is committed by Sunni Arabs, it's only a minority of the Sunni Arab community. Zarqawi knows that unless he can get more people fighting (either the Americans, the government or just other Iraqis), then the new democratic government might succeed. This would be a major defeat for al Qaeda. However, Zarqawi's tactics are not popular inside al Qaeda. Osama bin Laden apparently does not approve, as bin Ladens latest taped message made no mention of Zarqawis operations (he encouraged attacks on oil facilities instead, something Zarqawi is not keen on.) Bin Laden believes that it's all about money, and that if you destroy the oil income, the current Arab governments will fall, and Islamic dictatorships can take over.

Bush Spending

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article outling the problems President Bush is going to face as he responds to those in both political parties who have criticized his supposed lack of discipline in controlling spending during his first term. As a man who seems to keep his promises and be a man of his word, the goal of reducing the federal deficit in coming budgets will be loudly renounced as he goes about reaching that goal. Anytime the entrenched factions in Washington are forced to actually make choices and prioritize spending, there will be squeals about how unfair it is to hold some program to last years levels. We can expect the ones to complain loudest will be those who ran to the microphones to decry deficits in the past. I say "Go George".

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Social Security Facts and Figures

By 2018 the amount of money going into the Social Security fund will fall below the amount going out.

The only money in the fund now is IOUs. The fund will then have to start cashing in these IOUs and by 2042, these IOUs will run out.

The hole in the fund is estimated to be $24 to $27 trillion over the next 75 years. The only way to fill that hole is to cut benefits or raise taxes or both. That would and should set off an intergenerational war. Reckon our laws regarding euthanasia will change?

The government estimates that those starting to work today can expect a negative return of -0.87% a year on the money they put into Social Security as opposed by a 6.5% increase on contributions to a stock market fund over the next 50 years.

There has never been a 30 year period with negative returns in the market.

The Heritage Foundation estimates that if Americans take 2-4% of their taxable payroll and put it into investments, the funding gap will drop to $7 trillion, a savings of some $20 trillion. The so-called transition cost of this is said to be $1-2 trillion, so this is a pretty good return.

Finally, private savings accounts will mean $91 billion in increases in the savings by Americans each year. Since the total savings by Americans last year was $110 billion, the increased amount available for research, building factories, and other GDP - enhancing activities will be a considerable benefit to our economy.

The opponents of this, mainly Democrats will say it is too risky to do this, but the status quo is much riskier.

Food Police

Something called the Center for Science in the Public Interest has decided that Hardee's Monster Thickburger is beyond pornographic. "If the old Thickburger was food porn, the new Monster Thickburger is the fast-food equivalent of a snuff film". It is true that the new burger is an amazing 1420 calories --200 more than the original-- and I am no longer allowed to indulge in such snacks, but the CSPI doesn't want to let my wife make that decision for me. It is pushing for "programs and policies" that would ban such offerings by restaurants.

How long will it be before the fast food industry is sued by these zealots in the name of public health? It would be a mistake to conclude that it won't happen.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Battle of the Bulge vs. Iraq War

Here is an excellent account of how the Battle of the Bulge would be written by the main stream media if it occurred today.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Scientific Truth from IBD

During the campaign, Democratic vice-presidential candidate John Edwards promised voters that if they voted for running mate John Kerry, “people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk, get up out of that wheelchair and walk again.”
Kerry himself pledged to end President Bush’s alleged “ban” on stem cell research — the only thing, it seemed, standing between us and a series of medical breakthroughs. Not so.
The same day, studies were published showing umbilical cord blood — and the stem cells it includes — could save the lives of many adults with leukemia who can’t find bone marrow donors.
Song Chang-Hoon, professor at South Korea’s Chosun University’s medical school, told of Hwang Mi-Soon, a 37-year-old paraplegic who, after being paralyzed for 20 years, was able to rise from her wheelchair and take a few halting steps with a walker. Six weeks earlier she had a transplant using umbilical cord blood stem cells.
Using cord blood could improve the odds of getting a transplant for the 16,000 U.S. adult leukemia patients each year who can’t find a compatible marrow donor, according to Dr. Mary J. Laughlin, the U.S. study’s leader. There are 4 million births a year in this country and most cord blood, which contains stem cells capable of developing into every type of blood cell, is thrown away.

Liberal media have made this an ideological rather than scientific debate by ignoring the demonstrable promise of and progress made in adult stem cell research. They’ve overhyped “good” embryonic stem cell research vs. “bad” adult stem cell research.
Truth is, most progress in stem cell research is being made using the adult rather than the embryonic variety. Yet the media largely ignores that fact, while portraying opponents of embryonic stem cell research as heartless Bible-thumpers prolonging human suffering.
Adult stem cells have been used therapeutically since the 1980s, and there are almost 80 therapies using them — actual treatments, not theory or research. More than 250 adult stem cell clinical trials have taken place using adult stem cells. There are zero treatments using embryonic stem cells and there have been zero clinical trials.
Yes, more research needs to be done and such research needs to be peer-reviewed and replicated. But you can bet that if Hwang Mi-Soon had been treated with embryonic stem cells, we’d have heard about it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

The Bush Doctrine

For some time now, I have be wondering to what extent the Bush Doctrine seems to have been abandoned. It is comforting to be joined by Bill Kristol. This essay focuses on Syria, but there are other countries like Iran and Saudia Arabia that I would add to the discussion.

"WE WILL pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make: Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime."
George W. Bush, Address to Congress,
September 20, 2001


One of my favorite Blogs is ScrappleFace . Here is an example of their offerings which give me a chuckle.

NARAL Outraged at Peterson Death Sentence

(2004-12-13) -- A California jury today sentenced Scott Peterson to death for the double murder of his wife and unborn son. The sentence sparked outrage from the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL).

"We decry the inhumanity of the death penalty for a man who simply exercised his choice to end a pregnancy and to end the woman who was harboring an unwanted fetus," said an unnamed NARAL spokesman. "This emotional jury decision shows no respect for Mr. Peterson's reproductive rights. It's a sad day for America and may have a chilling effect on the hundreds of physicians nationwide engaged in similar work."

In related news, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC announced they would "go on indefinite hiatus due to a lack of meaningful news stories now that the Peterson trial has ended."

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Poor Canada

The flood of American liberals sneaking across the border into
Canada has intensified in the past week, sparking calls for increased
patrols to stop the illegal immigration.
The re-election of President Bush is prompting the exodus among
left-leaning citizens who fear they'll soon be required to hunt,
pray and agree with Bill O'Reilly.
Canadian border farmers say it's not uncommon to see dozens of
sociology professors, animal-rights activists and Unitarians crossing
their fields at night.
"I went out to milk the cows the other day, and there was a
Hollywood producer huddled in the barn," said Manitoba farmer Red
Greenfield, whose acreage borders North Dakota.
The producer was cold, exhausted and hungry.
"He asked me if I could spare a latte and some free-range
chicken. When I said I didn't have any, he left. Didn't even get a
chance to show him my screenplay, eh?"
In an effort to stop the illegal aliens, Greenfield erected
higher fences, but the liberals scaled them. So he tried installing
speakers that blare Rush Limbaugh across the fields.
"Not real effective," he said. "The liberals still got through,
and Rush annoyed the cows so much they wouldn't give milk."
Officials are particularly concerned about smugglers who meet
liberals near the Canadian border, pack them into Volvo station
wagons, drive them across the border and leave them to fend for
"A lot of these people are not prepared for rugged conditions,"
an Ontario border patrolman said. "I found one carload without a drop
of drinking water. They did have a nice little Napa Valley cabernet,
When liberals are caught, they're sent back across the border,
often wailing loudly that they fear retribution from conservatives.
Rumors have been circulating about the Bush administration
establishing re-education camps in which liberals will be forced to
drink domestic beer and watch NASCAR.
In the days since the election, liberals have turned to
sometimes-ingenious ways of crossing the border. Some have taken to
posing as senior citizens on bus trips to buy cheap Canadian
prescription drugs. After catching a half-dozen young vegans disguised
in powdered wigs, Canadian immigration authorities began stopping
buses and quizzing the supposed senior-citizen passengers.
"If they can't identify the accordion player on The Lawrence
Welk Show, we get suspicious about their age," an official said.
Canadian citizens have complained that the illegal immigrants
are creating an organic-broccoli shortage and renting all the good
Susan Sarandon movies.
"I feel sorry for American liberals, but the Canadian economy
just can't support them," an Ottawa resident said. "How many
art-history majors does one country need?"
In an effort to ease tensions between the United States and
Canada, Vice President Dick Cheney met with the Canadian ambassador
and pledged that the administration would take steps to reassure
liberals, a source close to Cheney said.
"We're going to have some Peter, Paul & Mary concerts. And we
might put some endangered species on postage stamps. The president is
determined to reach out."

Friday, December 10, 2004

Cell Phone Puzzle

I was reading an E-mail from one of our soldiers in Iraq the other day and he mentioned that his unit had caught a man responsible for a roadside IED explosion and that he still had the cell phone used to detonated the device when they caught him. That got me to wondering about how the terrorists go about using cell phones to work well enough to time an explosion to be as effective as our news suggests they are. My cell phone is much too iffy to be used in this way, I think. When we had AT&T service, the phone wouldn't work if you were standing right under a tower. We have a second home on Edisto Beach in South Carolina and our phone works off a cell tower placed on the water tower and our phone won't work if you get past the Piggly Wiggly grocery store. This all suggests to me that Iraq has intermittant electricity, woefully inadequate sewage treatment, and numerous other infrastructure deficits, but they must have one terrific cell phone system to explode IEDs. Why must Iraq have cell phone service at all? I say shut it down all over the country. Surely our military doesn't need cell phones to function. If it does, we are in worse shape than I imagined. When the country is pacified and our troops are no longer under attack, the cell phones can be turned on again. Until then, if even one soldier can be prevented from being killed or wounded, we should make sure cell phones in Iraq don't work.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Facing one's mortality

For some time now, I have mentioned to my wife following a notice of someone's passing or in regard to some news event that I will not die like that. For example, when Sonny Bono hit that tree while skiing, I could confidently state that won't happen to me. Similarily, when President G.H.W. Bush jumped out of a perfectly good airplane with a parachute, I could readily state that I will definitely not die in a skydiving accident. The same holds for motorcycle accidents (with me driving), roller coaster accidents, and other things like that. Now I can add another. I will not die by fire, get trampled, or be shot to death in, during, or prior to a heavy metal rock concert.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

More from "Any Soldier"

I have been reading more of the requests from our military here. This morning I saw the following:

From the Soldier:

07 Dec 2004:
the guys are no longer in need of food products...they are more concerned about the cold weather and keeping warm....
wool socks, waterproof gloves, heavy duty flashlights (streamline or surefire), long sleeve underarmour, coldgear tactical hood, thermal underwear, a watch, 2 way radio( 5 mile or greater!)

I probably shouldn't be writing this with smoke still coming out of my ears, but I am absolutely incensed that we would send a single soldier to Northern Iraq where the winters are known to some to be fairly brutal without absolutely everthing imaginable to protect them from the weather. Wool socks? Thermal underwear? Underarmor? Flashlights? Who is responsible for this nonsense. I am outraged. My Congressman brother-in-law doesn't like to be confronted with things like this, but that is just tough in this case.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Any Soldier

I ran across this web site yesterday and decided we could maybe participate in what seemed to me a great program. A large number of military from several theaters overseas have volunteered to serve as contacts to receive contributions from the U.S. When you go to the site, you can see what someone needs or wants to make life better, get the list and send it to the address given. The soldier or Marine then delivers the contents of the package to his or her buddies. We chose GySgt. George Harrison (presumably not a Beatle) and sent him a lot of candy, cookies, toiletries, and other stuff which we hope they enjoy and make life more tolerable in Afghanistan than it would be otherwise.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Quote from Mark Steyn, National Review

"Democrats seem to have great difficulty getting even the well-known bits right. Christmas, according to Hillary Rodham Clinton in 1999, is when those in that particular faith tradition celebrate "the birth of a homeless child." Or, as Al Gore put it in 1997, "Two thousand years ago, a homeless woman gave birth to a homeless child." For Pete's sake, they weren't homeless — they couldn't get a hotel room. They had to sleep in the stable only because Dad had to schlep halfway across the country to pay his taxes in the town of his birth, which sounds like the kind of cockamamie bureaucratic nightmare only a blue state could cook up. Except that in Massachusetts, it's no doubt illegal to rent out your stable without applying for a Livestock Shelter Change of Use Permit plus a Temporary Maternity Ward for Non-Insured Transients License, so Mary would have been giving birth under a bridge on I-95."

An Editorial from Aljazeera

I have only recently started reading some stuff on the Aljazeera website to see for myself what goes on there. Today I was drawn to an editorial written by an Iraqii living in England who is calling for a boycott of the coming election in Iraq.

Senator Clinton's Facts

The Washington Times today has provided a correction to several incorrect assertions Senator Clinton made in a rare Fox News interview. One is given below.

Mrs. Clinton complained in the interview about "huge tax cuts" that are "shifting the tax burden rather dramatically away from those of us who are most able to bear it to the middle class." Again, she got it wrong.

Among other things, the 2001 and 2003 individual income-tax cuts doubled the child tax credit from $500 to $1,000; added the 10 percent tax bracket (chopping the income taxes of married couples and singles by $700 and $350, respectively); virtually eliminated the marriage penalty, saving tens of millions of married couples an average of about $1,500 per year; and reduced the quintessentially middle-class marginal income-tax bracket from 28 percent to 25 percent. Contrary to Mrs. Clinton's assertion, according to an August analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, in 2004 the share of individual income-tax liabilities of the second quintile (representing 21 to 40 percent of the household-income stream) will fall from 1.5 percent under 2000 tax laws to -0.1 percent under current tax laws. The comparable income-tax share of the third quintile (41 percent to 60 percent of the household-income stream) will fall from 6.4 percent to 5.4 percent. For the fourth quintile (61 percent to 80 percent), the income-tax share will fall from 15.3 percent to 15.2 percent. On the other hand, the income-tax share of the top 10 percent of the income stream will increase from 63.5 percent under 2000 tax law to 66.7 percent in 2004, following the 2001 and 2003 income-tax cuts.

Fog of War

The Washington Post has a long article today on the incident which took the life of Pat Tillman, the NFL football player turned soldier, in Afghanistan. It is pretty depressing, but probably not something that can ever be completely avoided in war.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Oil for Food Scandal

This commentary confirms my suspicions about the State Department and its opposition to my belief that the U.N. has long outlived its usefullness. We have already seen Bush duck and dodge when asked about Kofi the crook. Our best hope is conservative Senators and Congressmen and maybe Condi.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Another Pearl from Sowell

My main man does it again and pegs the MSM (main stream media) perfectly on Iraq coverage. Read it here.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Intelligence Reform?

The best commentary on the so-called intelligence reform measure that I have seen is this one.

Canada Doesn't Want our Whiners

By Ian Robinson -- Calgary Sun

In the wake of the U.S. presidential election -- in which I cheerfully took a Sun assistant city editor, who figured Senator John Kerry couldn't lose, for $10 (a quick pause to gloat here) Americans disenchanted with President George W. Bush's re-election romp back into the White House, continue to deluge the Canadian immigration website.

How anybody can be unhappy with the president's re-election is beyond me.

Bush has my admiration in no small part because he manages to simultaneously annoy France and Germany, not to mention those renowned deep, geopolitical thinkers, the Dixie Chicks, Bruce Springsteen, P-Diddy or whatever he's calling himself now, Gwynneth Paltrow and Ben Affleck.

(Interesting note about France: America invades Iraq without UN approval and America is portrayed as a barbarian striding across the world stage. Recently, France essentially invaded the Ivory Coast to protect its interests there ... without asking the UN squat. Just pointing out the hypocrisy.)

Plus, let's face it: France deserves to be annoyed by as many people as possible, as often as possible, if only for encouraging Jerry Lewis by telling him that he was a genius.

Not to mention for exporting snotty wine culture across the Atlantic so that otherwise reasonable North Americans have turned into cork-sniffing oenephiles -- although the word sounds like an exotic perversion, it just means wine-nerd -- who can actually say with a straight face: "This is a full-bodied Cabernet, rich with a full body tasting of plum, blackberry and leather cooked on an oak plank."

Anyway, the day after the U.S. election, 115,628 Americans checked out the site and those numbers haven't fallen off very much.

Before the election, some U.S. celebrities and numerous other Democrats vowed that they'd move to Canada if Bush were re-elected.

I hope I'm not alone in gently suggesting to those considering coming to Canada: Stay home, you pathetic whining maggots.

Particularly celebrities. Canada has suffered enough without having to put up with any of the Baldwin brothers or -- heaven forfend! -- Barbra Streisand.

And frankly, I don't know if we can afford to feed Michael Moore.

Bad enough that Canada became a haven for the gutless wonders of the 1960s who fled the Vietnam draft. I sometimes think that the draft dodgers welcomed by the Trudeau government were a political virus that invaded our body politic, and we still suffer the lingering effects of that illness.

Our nation's preposterous pacifism, belief in nonsense such as "soft power" and fidelity to a morally bankrupt United Nations overrun with tin-pot dictators and other left-wing idiocies, may well be traceable back to the influx of thousands of the testosterone-challenged whose allegiance to country was superceded by their allegiance to smoking dope while trying to figure out the inner meaning of Beatles songs.

We have immigrants coming to this country who have been hunted from the air by murderous Islamofascists in Sudan.

Some new Canadians survived the atrocities in Rwanda or old Europe's final convulsions of genocide in the former Yugoslavia.

We have physicians from some parts of the world who are willing to throw away their prestige and power in their homelands for the privilege of driving a cab in Moose Jaw.

As a nation, we ought to welcome our share of people fleeing genuine oppression, and those willing to gamble everything to secure a safe and decent future for their families.

But welcome a bunch of spoiled brats willing to abandon their very nation because they don't like the man elected to be their leader for the next four years?

Geez, in my entire lifetime, there was maybe one prime minister I'd trust to run a street-corner hot dog stand -- the rest of them weren't fit for much more than compost -- but it never occurred to me to emigrate.

If we close our borders to anybody, it should be these fools. They'll be easy to screen out.

They'll be the ones who are whining.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Influenza Warning from World Health Organization

BANGKOK, Thailand -- The World Health Organization has issued a dramatic warning that bird flu will trigger an international pandemic that could kill up to seven million people.

The influenza pandemic could occur anywhere from next week to the coming years, WHO said.

"There is no doubt there will be another pandemic," Klaus Stohr of the WHO Global Influenza Program said on the sidelines of a regional bird flu meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.

"Even with the best case scenario, the most optimistic scenario, the pandemic will cause a public health emergency with estimates which will put the number of deaths in the range of two and seven million," he said.

"The number of people affected will go beyond billions because between 25 percent and 30 percent will fall ill."

Flu Warning from World Health Organization

BANGKOK, Thailand -- The World Health Organization has issued a dramatic warning that bird flu will trigger an international pandemic that could kill up to seven million people.

The influenza pandemic could occur anywhere from next week to the coming years, WHO said.

"There is no doubt there will be another pandemic," Klaus Stohr of the WHO Global Influenza Program said on the sidelines of a regional bird flu meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.

"Even with the best case scenario, the most optimistic scenario, the pandemic will cause a public health emergency with estimates which will put the number of deaths in the range of two and seven million," he said.

"The number of people affected will go beyond billions because between 25 percent and 30 percent will fall ill."

Comments on News

A couple of news articles caught my attention recently. First, I just read an article on the confusing situation with Southwest Airlines. As one might suspect, the federal government created this mess and there is now a move to correct it. When the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport was built in 1979, Southwest determined that it wanted to stay at Love Field since it is close to downtown. In an effort to protect the new airport, Jim Wright who was the Speaker of the House of Representatives passed the Wright Amendment which limited the Southwest flights from Love Field to such an extent that if a flight left there, it could only land in Texas or a state which bordered Texas. This created the situation where if you want to fly between Nashville and Dallas, you have to fly American at a cost of $1,200 for a round-trip unrestricted ticket, but if you want to fly to Houston, you can fly on Southwest for no more than $356. Until now, Southwest hasn't complained much becase it has made a lot of money shuttling between Dallas and Houston. Furthermore, there was no competition for Southwest in the area they served. American Airlines was and still is happy since they could charge more for flights into Dallas from places like Nashville. Now, Delta is leaving Dallas as a hub and Southwest is seeing the possibility to expand by using DFW to other cities. For those of us who have family in Texas and a strong aversion to idiotic laws, it is time to drop the Wright Amendment.

Another commercial situation which still interests me is the Merck situation with Vioxx. I noticed in the Wall Street Journal today that the company has given the top echelon of the company golden parachutes that open lucratively when and if the company is taken over or some other situation arises which leads to them losing their jobs. Now that is a bad sign for the prognosis of the company as it faces the lawyers. Who would have thought that this bluest of the blue chip stocks would ever come face to face with virtual oblivion?

That leads to another thought about how drugs come to market. Most all drug studies prior to FDA approval now require studies that show the new drug is better than a placebo in clinical trials which could well be the wrong question. Maybe we should also require that the new drug also be better than an existing drug with known toxicity. In this case, Vioxx would probably not be shown to be better than naproxen which is often sold as Aleve and Merck would still be a viable company.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The Battle of Fallujah

Most of us probably don't appreciate what our Marines and Army soldiers went through clearing out the terrorists in Fallujah. Everyone should be asked to read personal accounts such as the one from this Marine.

Opinion Column

If I had the assignment of honoring someone with the best opinion column of the year, this
would certainly be near the top of my list with serious competition only from one written by Thomas Sowell.

Monday, November 22, 2004

NBA Brawl

Everyone else seems to have an opinion on the Pacers/Pistons fiasco so I may as well give my thoughts. I lost interest in NBA basketball a long time ago. The game and players just didn't seem like basketball to me. Walking isn't called and defense isn't played. The players seemed to lack, shall we say, character. So, I mostly follow college basketball.
This latest incident finds me with nobody to root for. You have overpaid jerks going into the stands to fight idiotic, drunken fans. This seems like an inferior version of professional wrestling to me. It is time the fans wise up and quit paying outrageous sums to see the game so salaries come down to a level where the only ones left in the game are players who actually want to play basketball as it is supposed to be played without all the cultural styling. As it stands now, I suspect the lawyers are going to wind up with all the money.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Microbiologists at Risk

If someone is out there killing off Microbiologists who are getting too close to some secret government research program, let the word go out that this Microbiologist is not close to any research program any more. Read the story here .

Report from Iraq

This is must reading from Iraq.

Friday, November 19, 2004

E-mail Warning

One of the more interesting stories in the news now relates to the Merck withdrawal of Vioxx due to heart problems in some persons who have taken the drug for arthritis. Any time something like this happens, the lawyers start up the class action apparatus to sue for as much as possible with as many plaintiffs as possible--even if they have had no drug related problems and never will have any. The drug company is then sent into full defensive mode and tries to explain that their activities are all proper and no legal remedy should be enforced. When the lawyers start looking into the company activities, however, one thing always seems to give them fodder. That is employee E-mails. People send these out with such little thought and with such off the cuff opinions that the company is put at an almost impossible disadvantage when preparing for legal encounters. This has been true for every company that has come under scrutiny in the last 10 years. I am immediately reminded of poor Bill Gates trying to survive an interrogation about his E-mails. If I were a CEO, I might be tempted to do away with them in my company.

Bush Can't Win

The following essay by Jonah Goldberg is pretty good. Here is an example:

When Bush was allegedly acting unilaterally (Iraq), he was denounced for not being multilateral. When he was multilateral (North Korea), he was denounced for not being unilateral. When Europeans are excluded, that's bad (again, allegedly Iraq); when Europeans are allowed to take the lead (Iran), that's bad, too. When Bush "outsourced" the war in Afghanistan by using non-American troops, that was a monumental mistake, according to Kerry and others. When we didn't outsource the war in Iraq, that was a monumental mistake as well. And so on.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Tom Sowell always says it well.

The Marine shooting incident in Fallujah is put into perfect context here.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Election Humor

One sunny day in 2005, an old man approached the White House from across Pennsylvania Avenue, where he'd been sitting on a park bench.

He spoke to the Marine standing guard and said, "I would like to go in and meet with President Kerry." The Marine replied, "Sir, Mr. Kerry is not President and doesn't reside here." The old man said, "Okay," and walked away.

The following day, the same man approached the White House and said to the same Marine, "I would like to go in and meet with President Kerry" The Marine again told the man, "Sir, as I said yesterday, Mr. Kerry is not President and doesn't reside here." The man thanked him and again walked away.

The third day, the same man approached the White House and spoke to the very same Marine, saying, "I would like to go in and meet with President Kerry." The Marine, understandably agitated at this point, looked at the man and said, "Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mr. Kerry. I've told you already that Mr. Kerry is not the President and doesn't reside here. Don't you understand?"

The old man answered, "Oh, I understand. I just love hearing it." The Marine snapped to attention, saluted, and said, "See you tomorrow."

Liberals Can't be Satisfied

In the first term, the liberals criticized the Bush administration for having too much controversy between the State Department and the Defense Department. Now, they are all in a lather because Bush is appointing White House insiders and there won't be enough diversity of opinion brought to the President. They were probably wrong originally and are wrong in their predictions.

Random Thoughts

1. What ever happened to the investigation of Sandy Burger who was last seen leaving the super tight National Archives with classified documents stuffed into his pants?

2. John McCain is very disturbed about the White House view of global warming and wants to pass legislation reducing carbon dioxide. I am constantly amazed by how easily politicians are convinced by bad science. I remember in the 70's a well known "scientist" wrote extensively about how the world would be so crowded by 2000 that everyone would be starving to death. Then the enviroment wackos convinced the politicians that we had to have laws limiting the tank size on toilets to save water. Now you have to go to Canada to buy a toilet you don't have to flush 2 or 3 times instead of the once back in the days before this problem was "fixed".

3. At the wedding in San Francisco there were a number of us visiting and enjoying the views from the hills of Tiburon when 3 of the group in about a 10 minute period got cell phone calls from various parts of the country with one message---Peterson was found guilty. Amazing.

4. Our hotel in San Franciso was the Raddison Mykoto which is located in a section called Japantown. There was a Chinese restaurant across the street from the hotel which was owned and completely staffed by a family of Koreans. For some reason, that tickled me, but the meal was great and the portions were huge.

5. The liberals are going to try to make much of the Marine who shot the insurgent in Fallujah. Let's count the number of front page articles it generates in the New York Times.

Friday, November 12, 2004

A Blue State

This is my first visit to a blue state since the election and I am deep into one here in San Francisco for a wedding. The first clue that this is not exactly Bush territory came last night on the way from the airport to our hotel. Several examples of graffiti expressed such sentiments as "Stop Bush". There is a Bush Street down here and each sign I saw indicating that fact had been attacked by something abrasive. Norma saw a woman sitting at a table in Tiburon with her Kerry/Edwards proudly on her chest. One gets the idea they aren't taking it well here in California.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Electoral Bullet Was Dodged

An article in the Wall Street Journal points out that if Kerry had gotten about 75,000 more votes in Ohio, he would have been elected even though Bush got 51% of the vote to his 48%. Bush would have carried 30 states, picked up seats in the House and Senate, and the question of who has a "mandate" would have really been up in the air. This was caused by heavy Bush support in the states he carried coupled with narrow Kerry wins in such states as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. What a mess that would have been.

Democrat Woes

After the 2000 election the Florida results brought forth a call from the Democrats to "count every vote". So, in 2004, we did that and they still aren't satisfied.

Democrats Soul Search

The most popular sport since the election is to give the dems suggestions on how to improve their fortunes in coming elections. One idea I have not seen is for the party or someone who wants to lead the party to come out with a call for African Americans to heed the advice of Bill Cosby and insist that their young people apply themselves in school, quit making babies in adolescence with no marriage commitment, form two parent families to raise the children, and get rap and its filthy language out of the home. This message is widely resisted even when advanced by Bill Cosby, but it could be strengthened immeasureably if it was reinforced by the political party to which blacks give 90% of their votes. The party would be rewarded by getting a measure of admiration from those of us who see Democrats as shameless panderers to a collection of special interest groups which are more and more at odds with the majority of Americans. A similar approach could then be taken with the gays, the pro-abortion extremists, the unions (especially the teachers), and the trial lawyers.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Random Thoughts

Bush should ask Bill Clinton to be his personal representative to the Mid-East negotiations which should follow Arafat's death. The guy knows a lot about the situation and would love the stage it would put him on. It is also better to have him in the tent as the saying goes.

Senator Spector should not be denied his chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee even though my first instinct was to call Senator Chambliss and ask him to vote against him. The denial would just antagonize him and other liberals in the senate and if he chairs the committee, he will be under such a bright light during the hearings and subsequently that he will probably be an asset in any difficult confirmation hearing. If not, we can mount a coup.

If state taxes were no longer tax deductible on federal returns, it would serve the dual purpose of freeing up $70 billion for other tax adjustments and also put pressure on states not to raise taxes. An added attraction for me would be it would hurt blue states more than the rest of us.

We are going to have a very nice run in the stock market for the rest of the year. You need to be fully invested now.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Social Security

President Bush has promised to address the fact that Social Security can not survive for our young people unless some changes are made. His widely stated view is that our younger workers should have the OPTION to put a small portion (usually projected to be 2%) of their "contribution" into personal accounts which could be invested in stocks or bonds and thereby grow over the next decades to levels which would not otherwise be available when these workers retire. Current recipients, contrary to the demogoguery advanced by the liberals, would not be affected in any way.
The main drawback to the personal accounts proposals is that we have become dependant on current social security payments to pay current recipients since Johnson put these monies into the current accounts budget. A decrease resulting from young workers diversion of money into personal retirement accounts would in essence increase the budget deficit. Any revision to the current situation must address this fact. I am not sure how much of an effect it would have on the total budget, but I wonder how many current social security recipients would voluntarily permit the contributions of their children to be deducted from their current social security checks. Few of us would just give the government money, but if we knew it was going directly into a retirement account of our children, participation might be significant. In addition, with some PR encouragement, senior citizens who do not have children but do have other retirement funds might be willing to "adopt" a specific young worker and let a portion of their current social security funds be directed into his or her retirement account. Just a thought.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Greedy Drug Companies

It has recently been found that trachoma, a disease largely unknown in the the U.S. , causes blindness in societies where hygiene is not up to our standards. In Africa, where trachoma is a serious disease, it has been found that an antibiotic called azithromycin can cure trachoma even with only one dose. Furthermore, if everyone in a village is given the drug, the incidence of the disease drops to almost negligable levels. Azithromycin is a fairly popular drug in the U.S. since it is highly effective against ear and other infections in children. One of its greatest advantages is one pill a day is taken for only 5 days rather than multiple doses a day for 2 weeks for other antibiotics. So, the next time you hear liberals like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton complain about the greedy drug companies extorting our money and forcing poor people to choose between drugs and food, keep in mind that Pfizer is giving 143 million doses to 19 African countries to treat trachoma and prevent blindness.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Blog Recommendation

This is a pretty interesting blog.

Election Post-mortem

O.K., I was wrong and seldom have I been more pleased. The night was indeed a sweet one and having Daschle lose in tandem with Kerry was just delightful. A few things about this election stand out. First, as long as the Dems think that having P.Diddy holler "Vote or die" will help them in any way, they are doomed to minority status. Same with all the other left coast wierdos which have latched onto the Democrats and funded them so generously. Real people in the red states are turned off by their attempts to advance liberalism in a manner which suggests those of us who don't agree are imbeciles.

One of the most important events during the election went largely uncommented upon. If the Australian election had resulted in a withdrawal of their troops from Iraq, Kerry would have had a very large club to beat the President with. It could have been pivotal.

Men preferred Bush to Kerry by about 10 percentage points. I think the phoney goose hunt in newly bought camo was a big part of it. Women may not see that as a pathetic sham and if they do, it must not bother them as much. as it does men.

It will be interesting to watch the party of Rev. Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Michael Moore, Dan Rather, and the New York Times as it searches in vain for the answers which it doesn't want to recognize.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Political Break

I will be glad to get away from election politics for a while. It has become tedious to listen to the usual blather from all politicians and especially those who spout the usual democrat talking points. The following are especially grating:

1. "I want to protect the tax breaks for the "working man". This implies the surgeon, for example, who goes to the hospital at 5:00am and sometimes doesn't leave until 8:00 or 9:00pm after rounds doesn't work. The small business owner who opens his store at 8:00am and works into the night trying to make it better and grow does not work. Their problem is they work too well to get a tax break.

2. War on terrorism. As I have said before, we are in no such war. Our war is with Islamic terrorists and we should say so.

3. "45 million Americans are without health care. "This is nonsense. There may be that many without health insurance, but if they get sick, they get health care if they are intelligent enough to ask for it.

4. "Bush has lost more jobs than any President since Hoover." Of course, Bush didn't lose any jobs. He is not in charge of hiring and firing workers who lost their jobs following the attacks of 9/11/01. He did not burst the internet bubble or close the ridiculous dot.com outfits which closed when the market crashed before he was elected. Furthermore, we don't want to live in a country where the government can come in and tell an international company residing in the U.S. that it must do business in a certain way or hire certain workers at a given salary. Shear demogoguery.

I need a respite from all this nonsense.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Today's Quote

"It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first."
-- Ronald Reagan

Bush's Problem

Sometimes I read an article or in this case an editorial which really hits the core of something I am interested in and just haven't managed to articulate. A prime example explains Bush's basic problem as he enters an election he should be leading by at least 10 points and 50-60 electoral votes. Today's Wall Street Journal makes the point that Bush met a number of challenges and despite his small electoral and Supreme Court- assisted election tackled some of them head-on without undue worry about spending political capital. He made the right moves to get us out of a recession he inherited and the Afghan response and success were great positives. When he continued on into Iraq, however, he was severely handicapped by his almost pathetic inability to communicate. He avoided press conferences which could have steeled him and afforded needed practice in making his case for such things as the decision regarding Fallujah and the happenings at Abu Ghraib. All of this was most evident during the first debate and really throughout Bush's presidency. When you can't take the American public along with you, your leadership suffers tremendously. I think Bush recognized this as a liability and for this reason he avoided a number of situations where contentious defending of a position would have been required. This resulted in a disastrous farm bill, McCain-Feingold, steel tariffs, Medicare prescription drugs, and a recent caving on intelligence reform. He just accepted them rather than try to defend the superior alternative. I am afraid this great failing will give us an especially glib explainer of bad decisions. Hope I am wrong.

Kerry's Discharge Problems

It is probably too late, but Kerry's discharge problems can be found here. http://www.nysun.com/article/4040

Thursday, October 28, 2004

The problem with Arabs?

'The Developed Peoples are Those Whose Women have High Status in Society'

"The U.N. 'Arab Human Development Reports' of recent years show that in comparison with other peoples, the Arab world is at the bottom [of the scale] culturally, socially, politically, and otherwise. There is no need to reiterate what these reports say, since they can be found online. But there is a need to place our finger on the roots and causes of this situation, and to attempt to point out ways and means to be rid of this tragic, dead-end [situation]...

"If we glance at the world around us, we see that the developed peoples are those whose women have high status in society. This status did not did not emerge out of thin air, but rather has developed and grown in the past centuries against a certain economic, cultural, and religious backdrop which facilitated the advancement of women and their rise to an active and organic role in these societies. In contrast, it appears that in Arab societies women have not yet overcome the nomadic tribal [social] order that is the founding principle of Arab societies…

"There is no escape from viewing the Arabs today as being similar to the nomadic Arabs of the past - even if they travel by airplane, drive cars, and surf the Internet. Even if they were born and raised in Western countries, their notions have not changed. We often hear of so-called 'honor' crimes among the people of the [Arab] diasporas in Scandinavia, Britain, France, and other countries. These crimes, that traverse seas and continents, take place because Arab societies developed within a patriarchal mentality at their primitive, animal stage. And if these things occur in Europe, then they clearly occur with greater frequency in the Arab world."

Bush is now a weather threat

There are bill boards in Florida claiming the hurricanes there were made worse because of global warming and it is Bush's fault. I also heard that he was responsible for all the leaves on your trees turning colors and simply dropping to the ground. You can see this happening right in your own yard. The depressing thing is I am convinced that there are people out there who will believe this and vote accordingly.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

U.N. Madness

The following is a quote from The Desert Sun:
"The head of the United Nations’ nuclear inspection arm told the UN Security Council on Monday that nearly 380 tons of high-grade explosives that could be used in nuclear bombs or terrorist weapons are missing from a storage facility in Iraq ..."

This story was first run on the front page of the NYTimes and has bestirred all the main stream media and Kerry is now citing this as evidence that Bush has seriously mismanaged the war by not guarding weapons caches well enough. Now NBC is saying that these particular dangerous weapons were gone before we invaded. I guess we can now conclude that Saddam did not have any weapons of mass destruction except the ones Bush failed to protect after the invasion or the ones which were there before the invasion but are now gone.

Election Status

It looks to me that with only one week to go that President Bush is going to lose. I have decided the polls are screwed up and the main problem Bush has is job approval numbers and right way/wrong way sentiment. There are too few voters like myself who feel that Bush's job approval is not one justifying another term but will vote for him anyway. The election laws have expanded the time to vote prior to Nov. 2 and the dems have been using the time in the urban areas to haul every drunk and nursing home patient to the polls. Similarily, the absentee ballot has been corrupted and misused to Bush's disadvantage. Unless Bush is well over 50% next Monday in the popular vote and comfortably ahead in Florida and Ohio, he is toast. The Republicans won't go to the mat to contest the election in the courts like the Democrats will if it is close, so we need to get ready to have another Jimmy Carter in the White House and Hillary Clinton on the Supreme Court. The only way to avoid this I think is to bring out the heavy ammo and put Kerry's dishonorable discharge out there in a couple of days.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Just what I need

I will be taking a couple of trips in the next few weeks. This is not helpful as I look toward them!

The latest airplane accident occurred earlier today when a twin-engine plane owned by Hendrick Motor Sports crashed in the Blue Ridge Mountains as it was approaching its destination, Martinsville, Virginia. All 10 aboard, mostly relatives of the owners of Hendrick's Sports, died.
Last Tuesday, a small plane en route to Kirksville, Missouri crashed, killing 13 of the 15 people aboard, as it approached the airport.
Two pilots died as their plane crashed approaching the Jefferson City, Missouri airport Friday, October 15.
The FBI are investigating small puncture holes discovered in two US Airways jets in Charlotte Monday October 18. Similar punctured holes were found on another aircraft in Orlando the prior week.
On two separate trips from Chicago, busses crashed in southern Missouri and southern Illinois. The one in Missouri resulted in 14 fatalities.
I am not a conspiracy buff, but all of these plane and bus crashes condensed in such a short period of time baffles me. Are they connected? Is there a common thread, such as local terrorism? Or are they all just isolated incidents?

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Wisdom of Thomas Sowell

"Who said, "if you hold your fire until you see the whites of his eyes, you will never know what hit you"? It was President Franklin D. Roosevelt and he said it on May 27, 1941. It applies even more today.
If you are going to go to war against terrorists in a nuclear age "only as a last resort" and also only when it meets international approval, you might as well not bother. You could see a mushroom cloud before you see the whites of their eyes."

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Assisted Living

There was a fascinating article in the Wall Street Journal this morning about problems in assisted living facilities. As these become more popular for seniors, it is becoming more widely apparent how much the social structure there resembles problems common to high school. There are cliques which exclude those with annoying habits and some of the same sexual interactions teachers in high school have to monitor are also evident in these facilities. Conflict can occur when someone tries to eat lunch or dinner at a table where others have staked out territory. Some facilities have to contact the children of residents who develop romantic involvements to indicate how far the relationship should be allowed to go. This can range to holding hands and kissing to more private time in closed rooms. Interesting.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

An alternate election speech

The following was written by Ronald J. Watkins who publishes the sunnyblog.com.

If Bush had not invaded Iraq
The Election
Democrat Presidential nominee John Kerry delivered a speech today condemning President Bush for failing to invade Iraq in the follow-up of military action against the Talaban and Al Qaeda in Afghanastan. "Leaving this tyrant in power in contravention of numerous United Nations resolutions is unconscionable," Kerry told the Veterans of Foreign Wars. "He has left available a base of operations and a source of supply and money."
Kerry went on to criticize the war against terror as "stalled" while the real threat to America, "Saddam Hussein’s Iraq goes untouched." Kerry said, "People are murdered daily in Baghdad and throughout the country. Rape rooms are a tragic reality. Torture chambers are full as Saddam’s sons carry out their sadistic impulses on the helpless and hapless victims of this regime. President Bush has done nothing as this brutal dictator takes the money from the Oil for Food to build palaces while his people go without food...
"There can be no doubt of Saddam’s ties to our terrorist enemies. We know that in 1998, after bin Laden issued his public fatwa against the United States, two al Queda members went to Iraq where they met with Iraqi intelligence. Within weeks, an Iraqi delegation traveled to Afghanistan to meet with bin Laden and extend to him safe haven in Iraq. Bin Laden remained with the Talaban, but the invitation from Saddam was always there. Al-Zarqawi has long received refuge in Iraq. The terrorist Forouk Hijazi is known to train his forces there. Abu Nidal has safe haven in Baghdad as he plots murders. Abu Abbas, who planned the hijacking of the Achille Lauro, lives in safety in Iraq. And at Salman Pack, just south of Baghdad, terrorists train using the fuselage of a commercial jet airline. The trail of evidence revealing Saddam Hussein’s ties to terrorists is self-evident to all but those in the White House.
"Our own intelligence organizations and those of Great Britain, France and Germany, agree that Saddam is aggressively pursuing weapons of mass destruction. For all that, he has been left free to further develop his weapons of mass destruction which he can deliver into the hands of those who make war against us at any moment. Saddam Hussein has trained, financed and armed terrorist who attack and murder us, yet our President stands stalled on the border of Iraq, preoccupied with wiping up the last remnants of the Talaban in Afghanistan. To leave this cancer in the midst of the Middle East is to have assured defeat in this so-called war against terror. We need fresh leadership, a President with the vision to remove those who support our enemies from power. To have not invaded Iraq, when the whole world acknowledged the necessity, is to leave a job undone and is the height of arrogance and criminal stupidity."

As I have long expected

This came from a web site that is very informative if you are interested in politics and this election. http://www.electoral-vote.com

Are the voters stupid? It is not considered politically correct to point out that an awful lot of voters don't have a clue what they are talking about. A recent poll from Middle Tennessee State University sheds some light on the subject. For example, when asked which candidate wants to roll back the tax cuts for people making over $200,000 a year, a quarter thought it was Bush and a quarter didn't know. And it goes down hill from there. When asked which candidate supports specific positions on various issues, the results were no better than chance. While this poll was in Tennessee, I strongly suspect a similar poll in other states would get similar results. I find it dismaying that many people will vote for Bush because they want to tax the rich (which he opposes) or vote for Kerry because they want school vouchers for religious schools (which he opposes).

Monday, October 18, 2004

Scary Thought

For months I have waited to see how Bill and Hillary would sabotage Kerry's election chances. The insertion of his former campaign advisers into the Kerry camp may have been designed to do this, but what about a different scenario? What if the fix is in and in return for Clinton's assistance, Hillary would be the first Kerry nominee to the Supreme Court? As a sitting senator, she would eventually be confirmed and then we would have her for life. Is that scary enough?

Kerry's Hometown

A couple of weeks ago the MSM (main stream media) made much of the endorsement Kerry received by the editor of the Crawford newspaper down by Bush's ranch. Some 32 years ago, Kerry started his political career in the Lowell, MA communities. The Lowell Sun just endorsed George Bush citing his steadfastness in the war on terror. Have we seen much made of that on ABC, CBS, etc.? I haven't.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

It had to come to this

Now it is coming to light that our military in Iraq is pleading with the idiots in Washington to let them sidestep some of the beaurocratic rules and regulation and speed money to projects fixing the infrastructure over there. The problem was easily predictable when Kerry and the dems started demogoging against the no bid contract which went to Halliburton. For political gain they ignore the fact Halliburton also got one from Clinton's administration for Bosnia because they have unique abilities. So, the desk jockies in Washington sit there insisting that all the usual guidelines required to spend our money are followed to the letter. It makes no difference to them that our troops are placed in ever increasing danger because the Iragis are unemployed and expected improvements in their lives are not being realized. As a result they join the insurgency.

We are talking about more than 100 billion dollars in the pipeline here and much of that will be wasted anyway. I think we should waste it as quickly as necessary to get some work done over there so we can get out.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

An Iraqi appraisal

The following was submitted to another blog I read. I found it to ring truthful and decided to copy it over here.

I’m an Army battalion commander currently serving in the heart of Baghdad. Its difficult for me to express how important this election is to those of us currently in harm’s way. First, let me say that my brigade combat team has been here 6 months. In this time, we have lost over 25 soldiers and had over 300 seriously wounded. Yet, in my battalion alone I have reenlisted over 100 soldiers. I have less than 20 soldiers a day go on sick call out of over 600. Amazing when you consider the oppressive heat during the summer. I you tell this because our soldiers know they are making a difference, and absolutely believe in this mission. We don’t give a rat’s ass about WMDs and know we are not fighting for oil. Truly, first and foremost we believe that we are defending America by attacking the enemy on his turf. For God’s sake what do people think the likes of Zarqawi/OBL would be doing if they were not on the run trying to prevent us from establishing modern states in the Islamist world? There is no safe haven! This is only true because the US Army and Marine Corps is in his back yard. Also, we are providing hope for people who have been brutally oppressed for a generation. What an insult to tell those of us who know, and are doing the fighting and dying, that this is the “wrong war, wrong time, wrong place”. Imagine the effect on our military if we have a commander in chief that believes our brothers and sisters have died in vain. Like you I am more liberal than the President on most social issues, but these issues can wait, and probably will seem irrelevant if a nuclear devise is exploded in NYC, or we experience a couple of Breslan’s in the United States. I beg, plead that my friend’s on the left or undecided, cast there ballot for the President this election, on only one issue, the war on terrorism. Ask yourself what does Ed Koch, an east coast liberal Jew, know that I don’t know. Sorry for the length, be proud of your military.LTC Bob Hope

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Pretty good insight on the election

This is a liberal blogger's conclusion on the choice available to us next month. I like it. The article is entitled "The Tiki Barber Metaphor" and was published on October 12, 2004.

Monday, October 11, 2004


It is flu season and the big news is a contamination problem in England affecting the Chiron flu production facility which will prevent them from providing vaccine this year. This will cut our supply by about 50% and many U.S. citizens will get no additional protection this year. Why do we only have two companies making a vaccine which is known to prevent thousands of deaths each winter? The better question is why we have any companies making vaccines. This sad situation is brought about by trial lawyers who take any adverse outcome and rush to court to collect large slices of awards designed to punish the cruel drug companies which make these instruments of death. The fact is, there is no drug or vaccine which is completely safe and punative damages which fail to recognize this put the vast majority of us at considerable risk. If you have a vaccine which is 99.99% safe, you have 0.01% of all who take the vaccine experiencing some untoward reaction. This is a large number of customers for the lying, thieving lawyers to exploit and use to sue the company and their insurers. This is simply not a situation which makes economic sense for the companies which make only pennies per injection. The solution to this problem is not only obvious, but one which is not likely to be reached if we elect two lawyers next month.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Jay Leno from October 8, 2004

Friday Night October 8
I'm sure you all heard the report is in and no weapons have been found. But enough about Martha Stewart's strip search.
As I’m sure you know today, Martha Stewart is off the streets and millions of housewives feel safer. Finally they can have a dinner party without some know-it-all telling them they screwed it all up.
Martha reported to prison before dawn, so no one could see her. It's the same thing she does when she shops at K-Mart.
Martha Stewart entered Alderson Prison this morning at 6:15. But this shows you how efficient she is. By 6:30 she'd cleaned her cell, planned a riot and made ten license plates. She's going to get prisoner of the week.
The prison that Martha Stewart has been sentenced to is nicknamed "Camp Cupcake". The bad news - today, she met cupcake. She's a 280 pound trucker named Madge.
Tonight was the second presidential debate, which was be a town hall format. That's where everyday Americans, not just reporters, get a chance to have their questions avoided.
To relax President Bush spent today fishing in the rain. Am I missing something - are they afraid he was a little too prepared for the last debate.
Last night John Kerry stayed at a hotel in Colorado to get ready for the debate today. A hotel in Colorado. Today, Kobe called him and said, "Whatever you do, don't order room service!"
Do you know there are now dating services that fix people up based on their political leanings? If you're a Republican they fix you up with a Republican. If you're Democrat they fix you up with a Democrat. And if you're a Nader supporter, they actually fix you up with Ralph Nader.
How stupid is this - a Minneapolis company has come out with a credit card size shotgun that fits in your wallet. The inventor says he invented it to give people a sense of security. Oh yeah, what makes you feel more secure than sitting on shotgun?
Now how doers this work? What's the first thing a thief steals? Your wallet, oh, now he's got your gun too!
Did you hear about this? This is one of those only in California stories - elementary school students in Berkeley are receiving a class credit for "lunch". Since they learn about nutrition, lunch is now considered a class. See, that's when you know we're getting too fat in this country, when students are actually majoring in lunch!
What if you flunked lunch? How embarrassing would that be?
You know parents will walk around going, "My Timmy is an exceptional child. Only 8 but he's eating at a 9th grade level."
I got a hell of a deal today; I went on eBay and bought a flu shot.
The Dodgers got killed again last night in St. Louis. You know that last people to have this much trouble with the Cardinals were Boston alter boys.
Anheuser-Busch is coming out with a fruity-smelling beer called "B to the E" - it has caffeine and herbal supplements in it. Apparently their research showed a lot of consumers felt that wine coolers just weren't gay enough.
Starbucks has raised their prices. Starbucks is so expensive now, a lot of people are going to AA meetings just for the free coffee.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Sad but true


I recommend this commentary by Bruce Bartlett. The last line is the most compelling:

"It looks more and more like the Republicans have become the Democrats they overthrew in 1994."

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Makes sense

"We do not choose to be born. We do not choose our parents. We do not choose our historical epoch, or the country of our birth, or the immediate circumstances of our upbringing. We do not, most of us, choose to die; nor do we choose the time or conditions of our death. But within all this realm of choicelessness, we do choose how we shall live: courageously or in cowardice, honorably or dishonorably, with purpose or adrift. We decide what is important and what is trivial in life. We decide that what makes us significant is either what we do or what we refuse to do. But no matter how indifferent the universe may be to our choices and decisions, these choices and decisions are ours to make. We decide. We choose. And as we decide and choose, so are our lives formed. In the end, forming our own destiny is what ambition is about." - Joseph Epstein

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Sad Story

I just read an article in the Columbia, S.C. paper about 2 college professors who were fired and are now suing the school (Benedictine College) and its President alleging all manner of discrimination and ill-treatment. It seems the President of this black school had decreed that the school had to do more to help student enrolled there to keep their financial aid. Too many simply weren't making the grade. So, he told the faculty to give students grades based on 60% effort and 40% on actual class performance. When these two professors declined to go back and change grades based on their effort, they were fired. The professors both stated that they were not able to make such a subjective judgement on student effort.
I have several immediate reactions to this story. The first is disappointment that there are only two professors who declined to participate in this idiocy. My second thought was that if I were presented with this situation, I might be inclined to go back and lower the grades of the whole class based on the contention that they all could have worked harder and none put in maximum effort. My third thought was I am really pleased that one of the two professors has a doctorate in Microbiology and the other was also a scientist.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Global Test

Senator Kerry last night said he would be all in favor of a preemptive military action if the circumstances passed a "global test". Bush didn't understand what he meant by a global test and I must admit I am a bit ignorant on the subject myself. So, here are some questions about that test.

1) Is there an old copy of it floating around we can get our hands on?
2) Is it multiple choice or essay form?
3) Is the test written in French, German or English?
4) Who determines if we can retake the test?
5) Is it pass/fail or is it more like the SAT?

I suspect it is written in French.

From Jay Leno

You know what’s interesting about this whole Martha Stewart case? People think she was convicted for insider trading, but she was only convicted for lying to prosecutors. Her prison term is for giving false information and covering it up. And today Dan Rather said, "You can go to jail for that?

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Ignored facts on WMD

The world's most implacable foe of the Iraq war, French President Jacques Chirac, actually did believe Saddam possessed WMD. If he had evidence that Saddam was disarmed, wouldn't he have used that evidence to stop us from going to war? Of course he would have. So would German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. So would Russian President Vladimir Putin. But Putin, who opposed the war, actually thought that Saddam was preparing to stage terrorist attacks on the United States. As he said last month: "After the events of 9/11, and up to the military operation in Iraq, Russian special services and Russian intelligence several times received . . . information that official organs of Saddam's regime were preparing terrorist acts on the territory of the United States and beyond its borders, at U.S. military and civilian locations."

Stephen Wright Observations

All I ask is a chance to prove money can't make me happy.

Show me a man with both feet firmly on the ground, and I'll show you
a man who can't get his pants off.

One nice thing about egotists... they don't talk about other people.

It's not an optical illusion. It just looks like one.

Words from Tony Blair on Iraq

The evidence about Saddam having actual biological and chemical weapons, as opposed to the capability to develop them, has turned out to be wrong.
I acknowledge that and accept it.
I simply point out, such evidence was agreed by the whole international community, not least because Saddam had used such weapons against his own people and neighboring countries.
And the problem is I can apologize for the information that turned out to be wrong, but I can't, sincerely at least, apologize for removing Saddam. The world is a better place with Saddam in prison not in power.
But at the heart of this, is a belief that the basic judgment I have made since September 11th, including on Iraq, is wrong, that by our actions we have made matters worse not better. . . .
Do I know I'm right?
Judgements aren't the same as facts. Instinct is not science. I'm like any other human being as fallible and as capable of being wrong.
I only know what I believe.
There are two views of what is happening in the world today.
One view is that there are isolated individuals, extremists, engaged in essentially isolated acts of terrorism. That what is happening is not qualitatively different from the terrorism we have always lived with.
If you believe this, we carry on the same path as before 11 September. We try not to provoke them and hope in time they will wither.
The other view is that this is a wholly new phenomenon, worldwide global terrorism based on a perversion of the true, peaceful, and honorable faith of Islam; that its roots are not superficial but deep, in the madrassahs of Pakistan, in the extreme forms of Wahhabi doctrine in Saudi Arabia, in the former training camps of al Qaeda in Afghanistan; in the cauldron of Chechnya; in parts of the politics of most countries of the Middle East and many in Asia; in the extremist minority that now in every European city preach hatred of the West and our way of life.
If you take this view, you believe September 11th changed the world; that Bali, Beslan, Madrid, and scores of other atrocities that never make the news are part of the same threat, and the only path to take is to confront this terrorism, remove it root and branch, and at all costs stop them acquiring the weapons to kill on a massive scale because these terrorists would not hesitate to use them.
Likewise, take the first view, then when you see the terror brought to Iraq you say: here, we told you; look what you have stirred up; now stop provoking them.
But if you take the second view, you don't believe the terrorists are in Iraq to liberate it.
They're not protesting about the rights of women--what, the same people who stopped Afghan girls going to school, made women wear the Burka and beat them in the streets of Kabul, who now assassinate women just for daring to register to vote in Afghanistan's first ever democratic ballot, though 4 million have done so?
They are not provoked by our actions; but by our existence.
They are in Iraq for the very reason we should be.
They have chosen this battleground because they know success for us in Iraq is not success for America or Britain or even Iraq itself but for the values and way of life that democracy represents.
They know that.
That's why they are there.
That is why we should be there and whatever disagreements we have had, should unite in our determination to stand by the Iraqi people until the job is done.
And, of course, at first the consequence is more fighting.
But Iraq was not a safe country before March 2003.
Few had heard of the Taleban before September 11th 2001.
Afghanistan was not a nation at peace. . . .
It's simply that I believe democracy there means security here; and that if I don't care and act on this terrorist threat, then the day will come when all our good work on the issues that decide people's lives will be undone because the stability on which our economy, in an era of globaliaation, depends, will vanish. . . .
Military action will be futile unless we address the conditions in which this terrorism breeds and the causes it preys upon.
That is why it is worth staying the course to bring democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan, because then people the world over will see that this is not and has never been some new war of religion; but the oldest struggle humankind knows, between liberty or oppression, tolerance or hate; between government by terror or by the rule of law. . . .
I have changed as a leader.
I have come to realise that caring in politics isn't really about "caring." It's about doing what you think is right and sticking to it.

This makes sense to me.

"All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership."
-- John Kenneth Galbraith

"Emphasis mine."

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

War on Terrorism

We have a lot of problems in this day and age and the one which seems to be toward the top in the U.S. is generally referred to as a "war on terrorism". Both of our presidential candidates want us to conclude they could best execute this war. It has recently occurred to me that this is an unfortunate and calculated misnomer. Terrorism is not an object but is in fact a tactic. We do not have a war on this tactic. For example, the separatist in Spain (the ETA) practice terrorism and we are in no way at war with them. Other groups with specific non-U.S targets could be mentioned. The U.S. may not be in favor of these activities, but we are not at war against these terrorists. We are at war with radical Islamists who target the U.S. and its citizens. All of these are Muslims and our politicians are loathe to admit that. Political correctness run amok, I feel. It seems to me that if we had a more honest daily admission that we were at war with radical Muslims, the moderate Muslims might express more outrage toward the activities of their murderous bretheren. I think it is necessary to correctly identify your enemy if you are at war.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

This is pretty funny


Just wondering

Can someone explain why anyone cares whether a no-talent bimbo like Brittany Spears is or is not married on any particular day?

Government Books and Cooking Thereof

I read in the WSJ this morning that in fact the federal government under Clinton in the years 1998,1999,2000, and 2001 ran up a "surplus" of $558.5 billion which one would assume resulted in a reduction of the national debt by that amount. In fact, the national debt rose by $1.312 TRILLION in that period. This, according to the article, was the result of creative bookkeeping which produced the "surplus". Maybe Bush could make the current deficit disappear like Johnson did in 1968. He was criticized for budget deficits and simply moved the Social Security trust funds which were in surplus to the on-budget category. Presto! No more deficit. Better yet, he should maybe get control of his Republican legislators who are worse spenders than the dems ever were.

Monday, September 27, 2004

International Relations Kerry Style

The Art Of Losing Friends
By Charles KrauthammerFriday, September 24, 2004; Page A25
Of all our allies in the world, which is the only one to have joined the United States in the foxhole in every war in the past 100 years? Not Britain, not Canada, certainly not France. The answer is Australia.
Australia does not share only a community of values with the United States. It understands that its safety rests ultimately on a stable international structure that, in turn, rests not on parchment treaties but on the power and credibility of the United States. Which is why Australia is with us today in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
Australian Prime Minister John Howard has taken great risks and much political heat for his support of America. There is a national election in Australia on Oct. 9, and the race is neck and neck between Howard and Labor Party leader Mark Latham. Latham has pledged to withdraw from Iraq.
This is a critical election not only for Australia but also for the United States. Think of the effect on America, its front-line soldiers and its coalition partners if one of its closest allies turns tail and runs.
The terrorists are well aware of this potential effect. Everyone knows about the train bombings in Madrid that succeeded in bringing down a pro-American government and led to Spain's precipitous withdrawal from Iraq. But few here noticed that this month's car bombing in Jakarta, Indonesia, was designed to have precisely the same effect.
Where was the bomb set off? At the Australian Embassy. When was it set off? Just weeks before the Australian election and just three days before the only televised debate between Howard and Latham.
The terrorists' objective is to intimidate all countries allied with America. Make them bleed and tell them this is the price they pay for being a U.S. ally. The implication is obvious: Abandon America and buy your safety.
That is what the terrorists are saying. Why is the Kerry campaign saying the same thing? "John Kerry's campaign has warned Australians that the Howard Government's support for the US in Iraq has made them a bigger target for international terrorists." So reports the Weekend Australian (Sept. 18).
Americans Overseas for Kerry is the Kerry operation for winning the crucial votes of Americans living abroad (remember the Florida recount?), including more than 100,000 who live in Australia. Its leader was interviewed Sept. 16 by The Australian's Washington correspondent, Roy Eccleston. Asked if she believed the terrorist threat to Australians was now greater because of the support for President Bush, she replied: "I would have to say that," noting that "[t]he most recent attack was on the Australian embassy in Jakarta."
She said this of her country (and of the war that Australia is helping us with in Iraq): "[W]e are endangering the Australians now by this wanton disregard for international law and multilateral channels." Mark Latham could not have said it better. Nor could Jemaah Islamiah, the al Qaeda affiliate that killed nine people in the Jakarta bombing.
This Kerry spokesman, undermining a key ally on the eve of a critical election, is no rogue political operative. She is the head of Americans Overseas for Kerry -- Diana Kerry, sister to John.
She is, of course, merely echoing her brother, who, at a time when allies have shown great political courage in facing down both terrorists and domestic opposition for their assistance to the United States in Iraq, calls these allies the "coalition of the coerced and the bribed."
This snide and reckless put-down more than undermines our best friends abroad. It demonstrates the cynicism of Kerry's promise to broaden our coalition in Iraq. If this is how Kerry repays America's closest allies -- ridiculing the likes of Tony Blair and John Howard -- who does he think is going to step up tomorrow to be America's friend?
The only thing that distinguishes Kerry's Iraq proposals from Bush's is his promise to deploy his unique, near-mystical ability to bring in new allies to fight and pay for the war in Iraq -- to "make Iraq the world's responsibility" and get others to "share the burden," as he said this week at New York University.
Yet even Richard Holbrooke, a top Kerry foreign policy adviser, admits that the president of France is not going to call up President Kerry and say, "How many divisions should I send to Iraq?"
Nor will anyone else. Kerry abuses America's closest friends while courting those, like Germany and France, that have deliberately undermined America before, during and after the war. What lessons are leaders abroad to draw from this when President Kerry asks them -- pretty please in his most mellifluous French -- to put themselves on the line for the United States?

Personal Unsecured Loan