Urbin Report

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Junk Science meets lame opportunistic political fear mongering

Mr Reynolds has the scoop.

How the EU contibutes to world hunger

Ronald Baily writes in Reason about the EU's stance on new biotech crops.

I don't think he actually said that...

...but Ace certainly captures the spirit of Neville Chamberlain with:

If at first you don't succeed, just give them Tel Aviv and see what happens then.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Possible new Star Trek Film

/Film tells us that Erik Jendresen, screenwriter for Band of Brothers, has turned in a draft for a proposed Star Trek film.

"This would take place just a couple of years after the end of the events in Enterprise, but well before the original series..."

The leader of a former Communist country has a warning for the West.

Via Mr. Reynolds comes a warning from Czech President Vaclav Klaus:

President Klaus spoke last Monday, warning for the new “substitute ideologies of socialism” such as “Europeanism” and “NGOism.” These “isms” are currently threatening Europe. “In the first decade of the 21st century we should not concentrate exclusively on socialism,” he said. . . .

As substitutes of socialism, Václav Klaus cited “environmentalism (with its Earth First, not Freedom First principle), radical humanrightism (based – as de Jasay precisely argues – on not distinguishing rights and rightism), the ideology of ‘civic society’ (or communitarism), which is nothing less than one version of post-Marxist collectivism which wants privileges for organized groups, and in consequence, a refeudalization of society […], multiculturalism, feminism, apolitical technocratism (based on the resentment against politics and politicians), internationalism (and especially its European variant called Europeanism) and a rapidly growing phenomenon I call NGOism.”. . .

He also opposed “excessive government regulation” and “huge subsidies to privileged or protected industries and firms.” He warned that Europe’s social system “must not be wrecked by all imaginable kinds of disincentives, by more than generous welfare payments, by large scale redistribution, by many forms of government paternalism.” Instead, Europe has to “be based on freedom, personal responsibility, individualism, natural caring for others and genuine moral conduct of life.”


Making Sense instead of Sensation

Austin Bay gives an example:

Establishing a democracy in a predominantly Arab Muslim Middle Eastern country is the most astonishing news since the Berlin Wall cracked. If only historians with Thucydides’ grander understanding of time are astonished by this then we’re damned, if for no other reason than “seeing the big picture” is absolutely vital to waging a victorious war.

Here’s a thought not in the essay. Does a billionaire historian exist, a bucks-up wiseman prepared to underwrite the Astonishing News Network, a television channel willing to take The Oath of Thucydides? (The Oath– no, there’s no oath per se, but Thucydides said he wasn’t writing for an immediate audience.) ANN merges The History Channel and C-SPAN, then goes a step further and puts vision into television. Challenging the tyranny of The Sensational Now, ANN editors and producers would examine current events from the perspective of a historian at least fifty years in the future. ANN programming for the 2003 to 2013 decade would ask this question: How do we make modernity work? Answering it would necessitate detailed coverage of sputtering, flailing, suffering, struggling, but evolving Arab, African, and Asian democracies interspersed with stories on nano-tech and genetic engineering.

Dispelling the Myth

By way of Say Anything comes the results of Rusty Shackleford's survey of bloggers and their military service (or lack thereof):

…among the top bloggers on both the Left and Right, only a minority have ever served in the military. Are bloggers on the Left draft-dodging haters of the military? There’s no evidence to suggest that. Are bloggers on the Right warmongering chickenhawks eager to send others to war but not face that risk themselves? There is certainly no evidence to suggest that either.

Moreover, among top bloggers at least, it would seem that bloggers on the Right have a slight advantage in terms of numbers who have seen active military duty. There is no basis in reality, then, to the widespread accusation that the Right bloggers are members of the 101st Fighting Keyboardists.


Rob has a damn fine summary:
Clearly this dispels the myth that one must have served in the military in order to support the war, which is a prerequisite that makes about as much sense as saying that you must have served as a human shield in Iraq in order to oppose the war.


Update: Mr. Goldstein posts a Veteran's response.

Ace asks a damn good question.

First, he point out that that the 9/11 Commission Suppressed Evidence of Links Between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein.

AHMED HIKMAT SHAKIR IS A shadowy figure who provided logistical assistance to one, maybe two, of the 9/11 hijackers. Years before, he had received a phone call from the Jersey City, New Jersey, safehouse of the plotters who would soon, in February 1993, park a truck bomb in the basement of the World Trade Center. The safehouse was the apartment of Musab Yasin, brother of Abdul Rahman Yasin, who scorched his own leg while mixing the chemicals for the 1993 bomb.

When Shakir was arrested shortly after the 9/11 attacks, his "pocket litter," in the parlance of the investigators, included contact information for Musab Yasin and another 1993 plotter, a Kuwaiti native named Ibrahim Suleiman.

These facts alone, linking the 1993 and 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, would seem to cry out for additional scrutiny, no?

The Yasin brothers and Shakir have more in common. They are all Iraqis. And two of them--Abdul Rahman Yasin and Shakir--went free, despite their participation in attacks on the World Trade Center, at least partly because of efforts made on their behalf by the regime of Saddam Hussein. Both men returned to Iraq--Yasin fled there in 1993 with the active assistance of the Iraqi government. For ten years in Iraq, Abdul Rahman Yasin was provided safe haven and financing by the regime, support that ended only with the coalition intervention in March 2003.

Readers of The Weekly Standard may be familiar with the stories of Abdul Rahman Yasin, Musab Yasin, and Ahmed Hikmat Shakir. Readers of the

9/11 Commission's final report are not. Those three individuals are nowhere mentioned in the 428 pages that comprise the body of the 9/11 Commission report. Their names do not appear among the 172 listed in Appendix B of the report, a table of individuals who are mentioned in the text. Two brief footnotes mention Shakir.

Why? Why would the 9/11 Commission fail to mention Abdul Rahman Yasin, who admitted his role in the first World Trade Center attack, which killed 6 people, injured more than 1,000, and blew a hole seven stories deep in the North Tower? It's an odd omission, especially since the commission named no fewer than five of his accomplices.

Why would the 9/11 Commission neglect Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, a man who was photographed assisting a 9/11 hijacker and attended perhaps the most important 9/11 planning meeting?

And why would the 9/11 Commission fail to mention the overlap between the two successful plots to attack the World Trade Center?

The answer is simple: The Iraqi link didn't fit the commission's narrative.


Then Ace nails it:
Whenever you bring facts like this up, the "no operational link" crowd changes the subject.

Excuse me-- who's the "faith-based" community, and who's the reality-based community?

You can have your own opinions, as my Pappy used to say, but you can't have your own facts.

You can say the links between Al Qaeda and Iraq were no strong enough to justify war, but you cannot say there were "no" links between them.

That statement, in terms the left can understand, is a lie.


You can find a perfect example of this in the first comment to my previous post.

Monday, August 29, 2005

A walk down the Historial Record...

New Sisysphus takes a long, detailed look at the Congressional Record concerning Iraq and it's threat to the United States as perceived by the Congress and the last three Presidents.
He points out such tidbits as:

Whereas in Public Law 105-235 (August 14, 1998), Congress concluded that Iraq's continuing weapons of mass destruction programs threatened vital United States interests and international peace and security, declared Iraq to be in `material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations' and urged the President `to take appropriate action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of the United States, to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations';

(Wait a minute!!! What!?! 1998!?! 1998!?! Why, who was President then? But, hey, it doesn’t matter. It probably got rushed through Congress by a secret Jewish Neo-Con Cabal and the White House while Bill wasn’t paying attention.)


Whereas Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations;

(This little gem is real handy next time a Democrat tells you that Iraq was never a threat to the United States. Lots of Democrats thought so at the time. Man, I just *love* the Congressional Record!)


Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people

Whereas members of al Qaeda, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;

Whereas Iraq's demonstrated capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction, the risk that the current Iraqi regime will either employ those weapons to launch a surprise attack against the United States or its Armed Forces or provide them to international terrorists who would do so, and the extreme magnitude of harm that would result to the United States and its citizens from such an attack, combine to justify action by the United States to defend itself;

and
Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338) expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime;

(There’s that damn 1998 stuff again. But, I suppose, if you want to maintain that regime change was Bush’s invention and only his policy, go right ahead and look like a moron. God knows, I won’t stop you.)

There is a lot more. Stop by and read it.

Interesting data point often left out by the left...

Many of the left constantly finger point to the Rev. Fred Phelps, founder of Westboro Baptist Church in, Topeka, Kansas as an example of "Right Wing Republican hate".

Of course, they never mention the fact that Fred Phelps a is a democrat!
Mother Jones News points out that he was a major organizer for the state's democrat party for years and housed campaign workers for Al Gore's 1988 presidential run. Rev. Phelps and his wife were invited, and attended the Clinton inaugrations in 1993 and 1997.

HT to Mr. Goldstein.

The CIA's War...

Via Ace, Christopher Hitchens points out that the CIA is is waging a political civil war against the Pentagon and Bush Administration. He also points out one of the key blunders of the G.W. Bush Administration.

Childishness is one thing[, but] puerility in adults is quite another thing, and considerably less charming. "You said there were WMDs in Iraq and that Saddam had friends in al Qaeda. . . . Blah, blah, pants on fire." I have had many opportunities to tire of this mantra. It takes ten seconds to intone the said mantra. It would take me, on my most eloquent C-SPAN day, at the very least five minutes to say that Abdul Rahman Yasin, who mixed the chemicals for the World Trade Center attack in 1993, subsequently sought and found refuge in Baghdad; that Dr. Mahdi Obeidi, Saddam's senior physicist, was able to lead American soldiers to nuclear centrifuge parts and a blueprint for a complete centrifuge (the crown jewel of nuclear physics) buried on the orders of Qusay Hussein; that Saddam's agents were in Damascus as late as February 2003, negotiating to purchase missiles off the shelf from North Korea; or that Rolf Ekeus, the great Swedish socialist who founded the inspection process in Iraq after 1991, has told me for the record that he was offered a $2 million bribe in a face-to-face meeting with Tariq Aziz. And these eye-catching examples would by no means exhaust my repertoire, or empty my quiver. Yes, it must be admitted that Bush and Blair made a hash of a good case, largely because they preferred to scare people rather than enlighten them or reason with them. Still, the only real strategy of deception has come from those who believe, or pretend, that Saddam Hussein was no problem.

[H]aving debated almost all of the spokespeople for the antiwar faction, both the sane and the deranged, I was recently asked a question that I was temporarily unable to answer. "If what you claim is true," the honest citizen at this meeting politely asked me, "how come the White House hasn't told us?"

I do in fact know the answer to this question. So deep and bitter is the split within official Washington, most especially between the Defense Department and the CIA, that any claim made by the former has been undermined by leaks from the latter. (The latter being those who maintained, with a combination of dogmatism and cowardice not seen since Lincoln had to fire General McClellan, that Saddam Hussein was both a "secular" actor and--this is the really rich bit--a rational and calculating one.)

There's no cure for that illusion, but the resulting bureaucratic chaos and unease has cornered the president into his current fallback upon platitude and hollowness.

Correcting the Gray Lady

By way of Mr. Reynolds, comes a news article in the Fort Collins Coloradoan about:

A Colorado State University professor who quit a Bush admission science advisory team researching the causes of global warming said his reasons for leaving the committee were "mischaracterized" in an article published Tuesday in the New York Times.


The articles continues with:
Roger Pielke Sr., a respected atmospheric science professor and also Colorado's state climatologist, on Wednesday issued a retort to a Times article in the form of an open letter to reporter Andrew Revkin.

"The reference to my perspective and to the reasons I resigned from the committee are mischaracterized and erroneous in the New York Times article," Pielke said in an online posting on a departmental Web log, or blog, called Climate Science.

The New York Times could not be reached for comment Wednesday by the Coloradoan.
...
"I was very disappointed that the New York Times so badly mischaracterized my perspective, but fortunately we now have blogs so that errors can be corrected, and I've posted my response there," Pielke said in an e-mail statement sent from Tucson, Ariz., where he is attending a conference, after speaking with the Coloradoan by telephone.
...
Pielke, in his post, also disputed a line in the Times article that said he "contends that changes in landscapes like the spread of agriculture and cities could explain many of the surface climate trends, while most experts now see a clear link to accumulating emissions of heat-trapping gasses like carbon monoxide."

Pielke responded to that sentence in his posting by saying: "This is a completely bogus statement of my conclusions on climate."
...
In the end, Pielke said readers of the Climate Science blog will be provided a correction to the Times article.

"I am simply aghast at the major errors and mischaracterizations in this article," he wrote.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

More on Africa

I've posted on the problems of Africa a few times.

The Gay Patriot points to a TechCentralStation article about a "fast one" the Clinton Foundation has pulled on those suffering from AIDS in Africa.

I found this comment to his post interesting:

Voted Mondale in 1984, Dukakis in 1988, Clinton in 1992, Clinton in 1996, Gore in 2000 here.

Bush 2004 was the first Republican Presidential vote I have ever cast.

I was a definite liberal in the 1980s and 1990s, before wising up. Even today, I refuse to be a Republican because, although Bush personally is more “anti-anti-gay” (which is good) than he is anti-gay, I’m not in love with religious and social conservatives. Somebody in another thread said they’re Goldwater Republican - I would say I’m more like a Goldwater libertarian.


The late Senator Goldwater, that Icon of the Conservative Movement, before it added the "neo", who once said, "You don't have to be straight to shoot straight."

Grassroots vs.Astroturf

"I can't say I'm surprised: the "grassroots" antiwar movement keeps turning out to be MoveOn/A.N.S.W.E.R. astroturf." -- Glenn Reynolds

Friday, August 26, 2005

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Now this is just plain wrong!

According to Drudge, a story is about to be broke about anti-war protestors targeting wounded service men and women.

Now, this is America and the Anti-War protestors are free to protest.
Targeting the soliders is just plain wrong. If you want to protest, go to Washington, D.C. and protest the members of Government, Executive & Legislative, Republican & Democrat, who supported the war in Iraq.

Leave the military out of it. They didn't decide to go.

Update: Rob at Say Anything has more.

Terrorists captured in LA

Flopping Aces has the story and the update.

Recently updated

New pictures

Page 2 of Computer Sigs, Page 2 of Military Sigs, Page 12 of Political Sigs, Page 8 of general sigs, Page 2 of RPG sigs, Coffee Sigs, and Page 2 of SciFi sigs.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The morning Quote

Fundamental Axiom of Technology: The impact of learning about a technology must be minimal, and must not stand in the way of applying the the technology.

Understanding SNMP MIBs - David Perkins & Evan McGinnis, Prentice Hall, 1997

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The King Lives!

At least he's being photographed....

News you should be hearing...

...but probably are not.
By way of Mr. Reynolds comes this NY Post column by Ralph Peters on Media Coverage on Iraq:

What should have made headlines? It would've been nice to see more attention devoted to the complexity and importance of drafting a new constitution for Iraq. But my nomination for the "Greatest Story Never Told" is a quieter one: Locked in a difficult war, the U.S. Army is exceeding its re-enlistment and first-time enlistment goals. Has anybody mentioned that to you?

Remember last spring, when the Army's recruitment efforts fell short for a few months? The media's glee would have made you confuse the New York Times and Air America.

When the Army attempted to explain that enlistments are cyclical and numbers dip at certain times of the year, the media ignored it. All that mattered was the wonderful news that the Army couldn't find enough soldiers. We were warned, in oh-so-solemn tones, that our military was headed for a train wreck.

Now, as the fiscal year nears an end, the Army's numbers look great. Especially in combat units and Iraq, soldiers are re-enlisting at record levels. And you don't hear a whisper about it from the "mainstream media."

He has reached legend status...

Tom Paine points out that Specialist "Skippy" Schwarz will now exist through out time and space:

3,756. There is a perfecly good reason Starfleet keeps changing its uniforms every few years, and Specialist Schwarz is not permitted to criticise this policy, or to suggest they are all "kinda gay".


HT to Mr. Bates

Big Brother is on his way...

...and he's Canadian.

"...on the whole, I'd probably say that Kabul is safer than Johannesburg"

A Joburg resident who is serving in Afghanistan makes the comparision.

Verifrank follows up with this interesting tidbit:

"The murder rate in South Africa, at about 43 murders per 100 000 people, is roughly the same as the death rate from terror attacks on civilians in Iraq.

So despite the government's claims that crime is 'stabilising', South Africans are still living in what amounts to a state of civil war between criminals and law-abiding residents."


I've been to Johannesburg. My hotel had a security wall and armed guards at the gate.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Another reason why offsourcing off shore can be a bad idea..

From Yahoo News:

Australian police were called in to investigate claims that workers in India-based call centres are selling personal information that put tens of thousands of people at risk of Internet fraud.

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said he had asked the federal police to look into allegations by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that some call centre operators in India were running a black market in identity details gleaned from their work.

Scandel in NJ predicted.

The Gay Patriot correctly predicted a growing scandal in New Jersey concerning the Democrat-controlled state government funnelling Homeland Security funds primarily to Democrat-controlled municipalities.

The return of Torg Potter...

...and this time Kiki is with him...

Some very early morning quotes...

"It isn't a fascist police state when you can publically call it one - unless you mean that term as a complement." -- Lisa Steele

"If Communism was such a good idea, why does every single nation that could get rid of it as a form of government did, and why the last few remaining in the world require the largest per capita police, internal security, and military forces around to maintain domestic order?" -- Cheng Tseng

"Leftists would like to pretend that any criticism of their views raises the specter of domestic repression. But in a country with a First Amendment, no suppression from government is likely, and in the citadels of the media and the academy, the far left is actually vastly overrepresented." -- Andrew Sullivan, a senior editor of The New Republic

"A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government." - Thomas Jefferson

"The function of socialism is to raise suffering to a higher level." -- Norman Mailer

"This is such music to my ears. James Carville advocating a tax cut to stimulate the economy." -- Mary Matalin, Meet the Press, 12/29/02

"I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand." -- Susan B Anthony


Sunday, August 21, 2005

A Cape Wind Summary..

In case you haven't heard of it, Cape Wind is a really good, environmentally friendly way to provide Cape Code with clean electricity.

It's getting a lot of opposition from rich, so-called, "environmentalists" who don't want it off their coast.
Someplace where poor people live would be fine.

Jonah Goldberg has a good article on the subject.

Witness the current fight in Cape Cod over an effort to build wind farms just offshore. It features sanctimonious environmentalists, super-rich property owners, and super-rich, property-owning, sanctimonious environmentalists feeding on each other like big hungry sharks in a small tank.
...
The opponents of the project have made every ludicrous claim in the book, proving that environmentalists will even lie to other environmentalists. The windmills will kill whales, cause oil spills, ruin fishing, etc. None of these things are true, and the honest opponents know it. This is simply NIMBY politics pure and simple.

When a reporter for The New York Times Magazine called Walter Cronkite, a windmill opponent, and asked him about the proposal, the retired newsman bristled at the suggestion that this was all about selfishness. But, he had to confess, that's exactly what it is.

"The problem really is Nimbyism," he conceded by telephone, "and it bothers me a great deal that I find myself in this position. I'm all for these (windmills), but there must be areas that are far less valuable than this place is." The reporter prodded, and he said maybe the California desert would work. Isn't that a bit far away to supply Cape Cod? Well, he added, "Inland New England would substitute just as well." In fact, any place but here would do just fine.


HT to Ace

This should be damn usefull...

Disposable short term email addresses

The News you have to hunt for...

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Catching up with some old stuff

Cold Fury reminds us that giving control of the Internet to the UN is a bad idea.

Real Gay Bashing is pointed out over at the Political Yen/Yang.

Flopping Aces gives an example of Twisting the Truth.

Rob Port asks "Where are the democrats when we need them?"

Kudos to MegaTokyo!

I stopped at my local library today and saw this way cool poster with all the folks from MegaTokyo.

Part of what was cool about it was the word "MegaTokyo" was no where on the poster.
It was all about being at the library...

Damn nice work guys!

More on PETA

In a rational, sane world, that would stand for People Eating Tasty Animals.
I posted about the moonbats we have using that name before.

Tony has something to say about them as well.

Useful site...

Old Versions of useful software

I downloaded the current verson (10.0) of Musicmatch. Yuck!
Big and gets in the way of doing what I want to to. Time to roll back.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Why you shouldn't use IE

Here is a site that lists IE's faults and alternative browers that actually follow standards.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Ok, this is just way over the top...

By way of Ace comes this NY Sun article:

The United Nations bankrolled the production of thousands of banners, bumper stickers, mugs, and T-shirts bearing the slogan "Today Gaza and Tomorrow the West Bank and Jerusalem," which have been widely distributed to Palestinian Arabs in the Gaza Strip, according to a U.N. official.

The U.N. support of the Palestinian Authority's propaganda operation in the midst of the Israeli evacuation of Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip has provoked outrage from Israeli and Jewish leaders, who are blaming Turtle Bay for propagating an inflammatory message that they say encourages Palestinian Arab violence.


I could buy the massive UNSCAM corruption. What else do you expect when you take petty third world thugs and thieves and give the chance to line their own pockets at the expense of the poor and down trodden. It's what they do.

Now the UN is not just in bed with the genocidal maniacs who want to destroy the state of Israel one idiot with the vest full of Semtex at a time, they are buying them dinner and flowers first.

Hussein with his mass graves filled with over 300,000 Iraqis is OK with the thugs at Turtle Bay, and so are the folks who toss grenades into Bat Mitvah receptions it seems.

The truth from the guy on the ground with a rifle

By way of Mr. Reynolds:

A SOLDIER IN IRAQ, TO MATT LAUER: "Well sir, I'd tell you, if I got my news from the newspapers I'd be pretty depressed as well."


This fits well with this previous comment from Mr. Reynolds:
But back then [WWII], the press wanted us to win.

Inside Air America: An Investigative Blog Report

Part. 1: A Trail of Debts
By Michelle Malkin and Brian Maloney


It's not just the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls that's knocking on Air America Radio's door looking for lost money. According to court records obtained by Radio Equalizer/MichelleMalkin.com, another major creditor has been demanding that Air America pay up. The liberal radio network has refused to do so, despite a court order and scathing words from a New York judge overseeing the case. Now, the creditor--Multicultural Radio Broadcasting Inc.--has filed a new complaint, accusing Air America and Piquant LLC (Air America's current owners) of engaging in a "sham transaction" and "fraudulent conveyance" of assets in order to avoid paying its debts. (See the prescient Professor Bainbridge for corporate law background.)

Like wow, Karl Marx could learn a few things from these guys...
_

G4 is starting to realize it's mistakes...

nyc's finest pizza posts this from the G4 forums:

"Call For Help, along with Robot Wars, Future Fighting Machines, and Nerd Nation are going to start airing on G4 in the USA at the end of this month! (August 29th, I think. Keep an eye on the online schedule) Judging from the tons of email and PMs I've gotten about wanting the show back in the states, I'm guessing that's got to make some people happy. And yes, Call For Help will be NEW episodes."

Quote of the Morning

"Well, if I use Hispanic culture I get corruption and really good salsa music. If I use Chinese culture I get rigid thinking and decent Szechwan. If I use Islamic culture I get...not damned much of anything. And ditto for Africa although at least the rhythm is good and you can dance to it. But if I use Western European Culture I get industry, higher standards of living, longer lifespans and a generally "happier" society. Damn, I think I'll just have to go with WesternCiv even if I do have to put up with the Lutherans." -- John Ringo

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Finally, a good use of the RICO act...

I heard this NPR story also, but Jay Tea beat me to posting about it.

In Idaho, Canyon County Commissioner Robert Vasquez has a burr under his saddle over illegal immigration. He's decided to go after the demand side of the economic equation -- the companies that hire them. And he's been using the RICO -- Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations -- statute, originally intended to go after organized crime, to drive down the profits in hiring illegal aliens.

Vasquez is being labelled a traitor to his heritage -- he's the grandson of legal Mexican immigrants, born in Texas. But he says he's an American first. A Korean War veteran who lost part of one leg and the use of one hand, he speaks Spanish fluently -- but refuses to conduct interviews in Spanish. His attitude seems to be that when he's acting as an American elected official, he will speak only in English.

It's not the first time Vasquez has taken on the illegal immigration issue. Last year he sent a bill to the Mexican government for $2 million dollars for services rendered to illegal Mexican immigrants. And he also unsuccessfully petitioned Idaho's governor to declare his county a disaster area, based on an "imminent invasion" from Mexico.

Vasquez has a lot -- a LOT -- of local support. Many of Idaho's construction companies have been hurt, badly, by having to compete with rivals who use cheap illegal labor. Those that play by the rules simply can't work as cheaply.

Vasquez recently announced he's running for Idaho's single seat in Congress, and some say he's using this to garner publicity and support.

Me, I don't care. He's saying and doing the right thing, and that is good enough for me.

Random quote of the early afternoon...

"There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality." -- Pablo Picasso

National Airborne Day

Blackfive has a roundup of Airborne Qualified bloggers

"Surging revenues and a steadily growing economy."

Mr. Reynolds points out why the DNC/MSM no longer calls it the "Bush Economy."

The federal budget-deficit picture turned brighter Monday as congressional scorekeepers released new estimates showing the level of red ink for the current fiscal year would drop to $331 billion.

The new report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which does budget analysis for lawmakers in Washington, gave the latest proof that surging revenues and a steadily growing economy are combining to bring the deficit down from a record $412 billion posted last year. CBO predicts a $314 billion deficit for the budget year starting Oct. 1.


Note also how the NY Times changed it's copy so it's not quite so positive...

Just say No to MSIE-only goverment websites

From Slashdot:

wikinerd writes "The United States Copyright Office asks whether you would have any problem if you were required to use Microsoft Internet Explorer in order to pre-register a work via their website. The Norwegian government recently said no to proprietary formats, but it seems that the US government sites should be informed about the existence of non-Microsoft Web browsers, such as Firefox, Konqueror, Opera, and Safari. I have written a letter about this issue, which is posted on my blog for everyone to copy and base on it their own response. If they see how many people use alternative browsers, they'll probably reconsider and stay within the W3C standards."

Monday, August 15, 2005

And then there were three...

In addition to Kofi and Kojo having their fingers in UNSCAM scam up to their arm pits, the Secretary-General's brother Kobina is listed in the ongoing investigation.

HT to Ace.

I hope this goes better...

Yahoo bought flicker.

I hope they handle this better than the utter fiasco they made of their rape of webring.org.

The uncharted wilderness of California

CNN covers the discovery of a nearly 400 foot waterfall in the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area.

Pluging someone else's photos

If you haven't stopped by to see Oleg Volk's work, take the time to do so.

Some isn't work safe, but most of it is.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Michael Moore's fans

Done with Mirrors points out that there are those besides the far left in America who are big Michael Moore fans:

The religious authorities in Iran scrapped the scheduled program at the Farabi Cinema complex in Tehran to put Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" on display. "This film unmasks the Great Satan America," a spokesman said. "It tells Muslim people why they are right in hating America. It is the duty of every believer to see [this film] and learn the truth."


As anybody who has bothered to check knows, the "Truth" and Michael Moore don't have much in common.

For those who also mourn for Tech TV

Martin Sargent has surfaced...

An observation

I watched "Be Cool" last night. Funny, not great, but entertaining. The Rock was great. Best acting in the movie, followed by James Wood and Cedric.

My one observation, based on seeing Uma Thurman in that film, Ethan Hawke is an idiot.

Air Enron update

Michelle Malkin has a round up, as does Captain Ed.
Stop by Brian Maloney's site for the whole story.

Supersize this!

From CNN comes the story of a women who only ate at McDonald's for 90 days and lost 37 pounds!

While the Moorsian filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, designed a diet of 5000 calories a day to sell his film, Merab Morgan, acting like a responsible adult, designed a McDonalds diet of no more than 1,400 calories a day.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Quick movie review

Watched Alexander last night. It didn't do well in the box office. Not because of the homosexual/bisexual references.
If that was case, Will & Grace wouldn't be popular. Alexander didn't do well because it was a bad movie.
The movie was choppy, with bad uses of flashbacks, and poorly cast, with the exception of Angelina Jolie.
Colin Farrell with his blonde hair and black eyebrows was horribly miscast.
This could have been a good, even a great movie, in the hands of anybody other than Oliver Stone.
Instead it was another long, dragged out example of why Oliver Stone needs a lot of therapy.

As Oscar Wilde said, "There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. That is all."

This was just a badly made movie. Don't try to read any deep social commentary into why it was bad.

Update: OK, so some of the other cast was good. Anthony Hopkins was good, but his on screen time was very limited. Val Kilmer took a bad role and owned the screen whenever he appeared. The rest, pretty awful...

Friday, August 12, 2005

One of the darlings of the left...

...is the organization PETA.
No, not People Eating Tasty Animals, the terrorist supporting, misnamed, so called "People for the Ethical Treament of Animals."
A bunch of people racking in the dough who get a new one ripped open by Penn & Teller in their series Bullshit.

The folks at the Center for Consumer Freedom are doing it also, with their website http://www.petakillsanimals.com/


From July 1998 through the end of 2003, PETA killed over 10,000 dogs, cats, and other "companion animals" -- at its Norfolk, Virginia headquarters. That's more than five defenseless animals every day. Not counting the dogs and cats PETA spayed and neutered, the group put to death over 85 percent of the animals it took in during 2003 alone.
...
"PETA raked in nearly $29 million last year in income, much of it raised from pet owners who think their donations actually help animals. Instead, the group spends huge sums on programs equating people who eat chicken with Nazis, scaring young children away from drinking milk, recruiting children into the radical animal-rights lifestyle, and intimidating businessmen and their families in their own neighborhoods. PETA has also spent tens of thousands of dollars defending arsonists and other violent extremists.

"PETA claims it engages in outrageous media-seeking stunts 'for the animals.' But which animals? Carping about the value of future two-piece
dinners while administering lethal injections to puppies and kittens isn't ethical. It's hypocritical -- with a death toll that PETA would protest if it weren't their own doing."

Thursday, August 11, 2005

9/11 Commision report back in the news.

Set the Wayback Machine to Thursday, October 28, 2004, when I quoted the Washington Times:

"According to 9/11 Commission co-chairman Thomas Kean, Mr. Clinton believed with 'absolute certainty' that Iraq provided al Qaeda with weapons of mass destruction expertise and technology in the 1990s. He believed it as president when he ordered the destruction of the al Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Sudan, and he believes it now. And it's not just Mr. Clinton. According to Mr. Kean, 'Top officials — Bill Clinton, Sandy Berger and others — told us with absolute certainty that there were chemical weapons of mass destruction at that factory and that's why we sent missiles.' "


Well, the 9/11 Commission is back in the news. Namely, Clintonite and 9/11Commissoner Jamie Gorelick who set up the "wall of separation" between US Intelligence Agencies.
Via Ace comes Phinn's recap of the Able Danger story:
I think the Able Danger story is going to be the biggest of the year.

A. A SOCOM unit, run by Gen. Shelton himself, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, identifies Atta and the Brooklyn cell as a threat as early as 1999. (It doesn't hurt that the unit has a cool sounding name, too.)

B. A year before 9/11, they recommend that that the FBI close down the cell. (Who was president a year before 9/11 again?)

C. DOD lawyers (lawyers!) overrule this recommendation, and refuse to allow the Able Danger guys to pass this information on to the FBI, because Atta has a legal immigration status, and they are worried about political fallout after Waco. They put Post-It notes over Atta's face so that all reference to him is kept secret (a nice touch, dont' you think?).

D. The 9/11 Commission chose to omit any reference to it or investigate. This is inexcusible, regardless of how accurate the story is. It clearly deserves to be addressed and the facts explored, to be proved or disproved.


Update: Flopping Aces has more
This will become huge people. Wait for the firestorm. I do agree with the good doctor tho, the people to blame for 9/11 are the attackers themselves and Al-Qaeda. If there was this huge of an intelligence failure as I wrote about in my earlier post then it should be known. If there was an attempted cover-up by Sandy Berger & Co, as I believe there was, then they should be put in jail.

But the only one's responsible for 9/11 is Al-Qaeda.

A well deserved verbal spanking

George Will delivers one to former President Jimmy Carter

A quarter of a century has passed since 44 states said "No, thanks" to Jimmy Carter's offer to serve a second term, yet he still evidently thinks his loss is explained not by foreign policy debacles, such as invading Iran with eight helicopters, and a misery index -- inflation plus unemployment -- of 22, almost triple today's index.

Read the whole thing, Former President Carter is still spreading several lies that Mr. Will corrects.

Ht to Vodkapundit.

If blogging isn't enough for you...

Try creating your own Podcast.

Now this is just cool...

A bit dangerous, but then a lot of cool things are...Probaby illegal here in the PRM too.
By way of Ace comes:Make Your Own DIY Flamethrower Out of PVC Piping and Lighter Fluid

Like any red-blooded, masculine man of the male gender, I love PVC weaponry. You should too. If the concept of heading on down to the local Home Depot and transforming $100 worth of random pipe bits into a killing machine doesn’t appeal to you, you’re a frikkin' pansy. Also, you’re probably sane and will live significantly longer than I will. Nonetheless you disgust me, and I take comfort in the knowledge that your obituary will be nowhere near as humorous as mine.

Ok, he is a bit crazy, but at least he knows it and is aware of the danger involved. You should be too before you try it.

Stepping away from the Moonbat...

By way of RedState.org, comes this article on how democrats are avoiding Howard Dean on his tour:

Now consider those Democrat officeholders and office-seekers in Republican states. They can't win on a message of unrestrained belligerence. After first thinning their resources, Dean has yoked them with rhetorical baggage that damages their electability even further.

To many red-state elected Democrats, Dean is about as welcome as a Wal-Mart Superstore. On a recent trip to Georgia, not one of the six Democrat state officeholders appeared with Dean. Democrat governors in predominantly Republican states such as Tennessee, Kansas and South Carolina all pleaded "scheduling conflicts" when Dean headlined events in their backyards.


Jennifer over at Demure Thoughts has a few words on Howard Dean also.

An interesting insight...

Jonah Goldberg points out that:

Both Novak and Carlson are journalists — opinion journalists, to be sure, but journalists nonetheless. They speak for nobody but themselves and they have a long-term interest in maintaining their credibility. Obviously, they have views more amenable to conservatives and Republicans, but that’s different from being on the payroll of the Republican party. For example, Novak never supported the Iraq war and Carlson doesn’t now.

Carville and Begala, meanwhile, are party operatives and always have been. They were even advisers to the Kerry campaign while still keeping their “analyst” jobs at CNN.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

For a good cause...

Stop by DaybyDay to see why you should Click4Cathy.

You'll be helping a small cancer clince that could use some PR.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

HooYaa!

The space shuttle Discovery landed safely at Edwards Air Force Base in the California desert.

UNSCAM update

Captain Ed links to a CNN report that a former UN official named in the Oil-For-Food scandal has pled guilty to money-laundering and conspiracy charges in New York. CNN also reported that Alexander Yakovlev had his diplomatic immunity lifted by the UN and had been arrested shortly afterwards.

There's more.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Martial Arts Flashback...

At the old school I used to teach at, I had a Monday night class that was, with the exception of one kid in high school, all female.
The typical class had 4 to 6 women, with only one being a teenager. The rest were women in their 20's to 40's.

That was an interesting class for me to teach, because I couldn't teach them to do techniques the way I did them.
I decended from a long line of WASP farmers and weigh about 50 pounds more than I look, a lot of that being in upper body strength.
Well, Kempo is a system that adapts to the student, not the other way around and I was good training me to live that as a teacher.

Now I'm at a new school with my old instructor, and in my class tonight was four women. The youngest was 20 and the oldest a few years younger than I am. For two of them, it was their second class.

While it's cool to teach black belts and brown belts, it's good to teach beginners too. I reminds you were we all started from and keeps you humble.

Wolf needs to buy a clue...

The Counter Column points out a very clueless mistake made by CNN's Wolf Biltzer.

HT to Mr. Reynolds.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

HPATHBP spoilers ahead

Yes, I did read it. I borrowed one of my kids copies.

Molly Ringwraith does a condensed, and damn funny version of Harry Potter and Half Blood Prince

Part 1

Part 2

HT ot Absinthe & Cookies

I'm surprised, in a good way.

The crew of the Russian minisub trapped 625 feet down was reached while they were still alive.

They don't have a good record for that sort of thing.
What is interesting is that they only took six crew members off. They left one there. Why?

One major factor in the rescue was the fact that it wasn't the Russians who freed the sub.
It was a British deep diving robot. Go Brits!

New pictures

I have new pictures posted at flickr.

A perfect record!

By way of Ace comes Ken Wheaton's brilliant summation of the leading leftist blog:

Yup: So far, the Daily Kos has endorsed 16 Congressional candidates, and has lost... every... single... time

All the news we think is fit to print...

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Thanks Scott...

I watched "Man of the House" last night. A light comedy with Tommy Lee Jones as a Texas Ranger protecting five University of Texas cheerleaders (they witnesses a killing and now are targets themselves).

High art it's not, but I was in a mood to be entertained and this fit the bill, plus the eye candy was good without getting too graphic.
Plus it had Anne Archer and R. Lee Ermey.

One of the main reason I picked up was because an old college friend, Scott Lobdell (there is were we find out how serious a Marvell fanboy you are) was credited with the the original story outline.

Another quick Book review

I finished John Ringo's Into the Looking Glass. As I've stated before, I'm a big fan of John Ringo. IMNSHO, this book didn't disappoint.Unlike most of this novels, the protagonist is not a member of military. William Weaver is a multi-discipline scientist, focusing on physics.
Now, he's not just your regular egghead. He's a Redneck Quantum Physics with string of doctorates he collected while mountain biking and practicing Wa Lum Kung Fu. Those physical hobbies help keep up with the Navy SEALs he starts hanging out with.
Why Navy SEALs you ask? Well, without out giving away more than cover flap blurbs, a Quantum Physics experiment goes really, really bad. The really big explosion is just the first and not so bad effect. Wormhole gates are opening up and there are "Bad Things" out there.
How bad you ask? One of the characters explains the Sanity Roll from the Call of Cthulhu game. The others, including hardened military veterans and Quantum Physicists think this is a good explanation and start make comments about people failing their SAN roll.

Friday, August 05, 2005

UNSCAM Update

By way of Mr. Reynolds is a New York Post article that states:

Investigators have concluded that the former chief of the Iraq oil-for-food program, Benon Sevan, took kickbacks of at least $160,000 under the humanitarian operation and refused to cooperate with their probe, his lawyer said yesterday.

While the amount of money is small compared to the size of the program Sevan oversaw — one of the largest humanitarian operations in history — the findings would be a major blow because of his stature in the organization and the control he had over it.

First we defeat the Communists...

...Then we make Coffee! Contra Caffe Coffee!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

War Crimes charges are brought...

Boli-Nica blog points out that Daniel Ortega and his leftist Sandinistas are being charged with crimes against humanity.

Is it because there are no mean ol' conservatives to blame?

Via Powerline comes an editorial in Investors Business Daily on the Air American Stealing Funds from Children Scandal.

Rush Limbaugh's prescription drug troubles were splashed all over the media. Yet a financial scandal rocking a leftist radio network rates no coverage.

The mainstream media, fixated on bringing down Karl Rove, have so far deemed apparent funding irregularities at Air America unworthy of note. But that doesn't make them any less of story.
...
While this mess is being sorted out, the city has suspended its ties with Gloria Wise and Pathways. That means money intended for poor minority children and Alzheimer's victims was instead used to make sure the financially tanking and ratings-troubled Air America could keep blathering.

Public funds used to prop up a business! Just the kind of scandal that left-leaning media would die for. Yet for some reason they're giving this one a pass.

Is it because there are no mean ol' conservatives to blame?
...
Nothing wrong, mind you, with reporting on Limbaugh's woes. Nothing, that is, as long as the media cover flaws of those on the left with equal enthusiasm.


Update: Nick Danger sums it up:
It would appear that Air America would be out of business today were it not for this incredibly timely six-figure "loan" of taxpayer funds from a city- and federally-funded charity.

At first it was wondered how in the world Mr. Cohen was able to convince Gloria Wise management that Air America represented a credit-worthy borrower when it was widely known at the time that the fledgling network faced imminent bankruptcy. But now it appears that Gloria Wise management did not know they had even made such a loan.

Still more amazing is that upon receiving the funds, the left hand of Air America's investors sold the network — now containing $800,000 in taxpayer money — to the right hand of most of the same investors, who now called themselves Piquant LLC.

At first Piquant denied any responsibility, claiming that the "previous owners" had taken on the debt; the money would have to be recovered from the now-cratered Progress Media.

Once it became apparent that Piquant and Progess Media were the same people (minus the now-disgraced Mr. Cohen), Piquant's story changed to "we have agreed to pay it back." But that was months ago, and as of today they have not paid anything.


Additional Update: Michelle Malkin advises us to break out the Kleenex (tm), because Al Franken is taking the typical liberal tactic of playing the victim card.
Al Franken says 20,000 poor kids and old people weren't the only victims of an exec who allegedly arranged a Bronx charity's mega-buck "loan" to Air America.

"About three weeks into the life of Air America, I became an involuntary investor — I stopped being paid," Franken told listeners yesterday on WLIB (1190 AM).

It was the first time the all-liberal network's biggest star addressed at length a controversial $875,000 loan from the disgraced — and now de-funded — Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club...


All you Far left liberal extremists out there, don't forget to Feed Air America.

The first day on the job...

James Lileks gives his view of what John Bolton's first day the job was like...

Bill Clinton defends George Bush

From today's Washington Times Inside Politics Column:

Mr. Clinton surprisingly backed Mr. Bush's position against sending soldiers to the troubled Darfur region of Sudan.
"I don't think it's fair to blame President Bush because (a) he didn't have the troops to send with our efforts in Afghanistan, Iraq and South Korea; and (b) the Sudanese government would not take or accept any other troops other than Africans,"

Former President Clinton forgot to add his unilaterial foreign invasions of Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo to the list.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Damn Skippy!

Via Mr. Reynolds comes an excellent point made by Austin Bay:

If Air America were a conservative radio network its corrupt funding trail and cynical abuse of a poverty program would be front page news at the NY Times and full-time mega-scandal at CNN.

Of course, if it were a conservative radio network it might: (1) have an audience and (2) ad revenue.

Next time Al Franken smirks ask him “Al — Air America’s funding racket. What do you know and when did you know it?”

Vote Fraud, Intimidation & Suppression in the 2004 Presidential Election

From today's Washington Times Inside Politics column:

A nonpartisan group yesterday released a report that said paid Democratic operatives were far more involved in voter intimidation and suppression activities than were their Republican counterparts during the 2004 presidential election.
The American Center for Voting Rights Legislative Fund (ACVR) report, "Vote Fraud, Intimidation & Suppression in the 2004 Presidential Election," said neither party had a clean record on the issue, but Democrats were worse.
Examples include paid Democratic operatives charged with slashing tires on Republican get-out-the-vote vans in Milwaukee and an Ohio court order stopping Democratic operatives from calling voters and telling them the wrong date for the election and faulty polling-place information, according to the report.
The report further found that thousands of Americans were disenfranchised by illegal votes cast and a coordinated effort by members of certain "nonpartisan" organizations to rig the election system through voter-registration fraud in more than a dozen states.
The ACVR Legislative Fund is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that neither supports nor endorses any political party or candidate.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

This is no surprise to anyone who is paying attention

"My probe of the U.N. as Chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations revealed management that was at best, incompetent, and at worst corrupt. The first priority for the United Nations must be fundamental reform of its management and operations rather than any expansion of its authority and responsibilities."

"Putting the U.N. in charge of one of the world's most important technological wonders and economic engines is out of the question. This proposal would leave the United States with no more say over the future of the Internet than Cuba or China-countries that have little or no commitment to the free flow of information."

Those are the true words of Senator Norm Coleman in a statement into the Congressional Record denouncing a final report issued by the United Nations' Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) suggesting that the U.N. assume global governance of the Internet.

Senator Coleman also said that "a culture of corruption that was exposed by the Oil for Food scandal, peacekeeping sexual abuse scandals, and other instances of organizational failures at U.N."

HT to Drudge.

Monday, August 01, 2005

A Neocon way ahead of the wave...

By way of Polipundit, comes David Gelernter's LA Times column and Pedro's analysis:

Thus, Gelernter sneakily points out what is embarrassingly obvious but universally, you know, sort of ignored -- that is, JFK, with his tax cuts, his Peace Corps, his anticommunism, and his belief in the humanitarian uses of American power (as well as the post-WWII moral responsibility of a great power to not turn a blind eye to oppression and atrocity in the world) would today be scorned as a "neocon."

Before the "postmodernists" of a thrice-defeated and nihilistic France and her dour anti-idealist collaborators in the US rejected the optimism of JFK in return for the self-hatred and defeatism of McGovern and Carter, remember how the world greeted "neoconservatism?" Remember "Ich bin ein Berliner?" Nowadays, cynicism is mistaken for sophistication and intelligence, and the resulting assumption that the US can never have a legitimate motive for action has made the same teenaged boomers who swooned at JFK's idealism the angry, ugly, and leisured demagogues who churn out form letters and online petitions for leftist PACs in Berkeley and Washington.

Who, in today's politics, resembles JFK more?


HT to LASunsett for this.

Poughkeepsie makes the news again...

For those hardcore gamers out there, how many remember John Nowak's Car Wars Senario "Escape from Poughkeepsie"?

I mentioned Poughkeesie a week or so ago, when "Plan 9 From Outer Space" entered the public domain.

Now a couple of Poughkeepsie boys are making the news with their band "Robbers on High Street."

What did Al Franken Know and When did he Know It.?

The Err American funds taken from kids scandal is picking up steam.

Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds links to the Captain's latest story on the subject. Captain Ed points out that the New York Sun is now covering story. "It turns out that [Air America founder] Cohen didn't just get money for the netlet, but also managed to get plenty for his own pockets as well while sitting on the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club board."

Captain Ed then points out:

Now we have potential wire fraud, forgery, and fraud by deception, and probably a host of other potential charges against Mr. Cohen for his actions with Gloria Wise and Air America. Ms. Graves also tells the New York Sun that AA has agreed to pay back $800K over the next two years, not just the $480K originally noted by the Bronx News. Fortunately, Gloria Wise remained solvent, despite the wording in Piquant Media's earlier statements which tended to suggest otherwise.

Clearly, though, AA did not pay a dime back before this investigation broke open. Nor did they agree to pay back the illegal transfers immediately, which again underscores their fragile economic status. They still have to meet that payroll, including that of their stars, who apparently don't mind taking their money ahead of what's owed to the poor kids, elderly, and Alzheimers patients served by Gloria Wise.


Paul over at Whizbang covers this as well. He closes with this key observation:
I think we should have a call to action... I think callers to Air America should demand that their multi-millionaire talk stars refuse to cash their paychecks until the children are given their money back... Millionaire liberals would NEVER take money from children would they?

Howard Dean strikes again...

Paul over at Whizbang points out that Howard Dean doesn't let reality get in the way of his rants.

A note on Stem Cell Research

This is in the news again because Senate Majority Leader Frist recently broke away from the President's policy on the matter.

Just so we're all on the same page here, let us review a few facts of the matter that often get passed over:

Federal funding of stem cell research started during the administration of President George W. Bush.

Federal funding of embryonic stem cell research started during the administration of President George W. Bush.

What the federal government is not funding is research on embryonic stem cells outside of the pool that existed when he announced his policy on the subject.

Research on new embryonic stem cell lines is not illegal and is going on in the US, using either private or State supplied funding.

Now, given all that, it's still a given that a lot of biotech research houses won't touch a project without some federal funding. I guess it's hard to give up that federal tit I guess.

President Bush objects to opening new embryonic stem cell lines on moral grounds. While it is a nice change to have a President with actual morals, personally I disagree with him here.

Last I checked, abortion is still legal in this country, so there are aborted fetuses available for use in this research.

Now perhaps I'm just channeling Robert Heinlein here, but it seems like not using that genetic material is a waste. Even if you are trying to make a “snowflake” baby, it takes multiple embryos. So from a strict Pro-Life view, you burn through several kids to get one.

It is my personal view, that if the available pool of aborted fetuses were being used, i.e. Not generating new ones just for use in embryonic stem cell research, most Americans would be supportive of that. Even some of the more moderate Pro-Life supporters would probably buy into it since they would be used for positive medical research.

One interesting point is that some of the supporters of new embryonic stem cell research also support criminal arson of a medical research lab that performs animal testing. Killing human fetuses is OK in their book, but if a bunny might get hurt it's time to torch the place...


The UN needs a swift kick in the Pants!

The President made a recess appointment today, making John Bolton the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

The UN, where slave trading nations get a seat on the "Human Rights" committee does not need a pin-striped cookie pusher representing the world's Hyperpower.

If the UN so-called "leadership" where to show more interest in the problems of the world than lining their own pockets, then a more "moderate" choice would be sufficent.

Just who is that Memorial supposed to Honor?

As Cox & Forkum point out, the NY Times seems to have forgotten:


Tim Sumner at 9/11 Families for America, in particular this post: American or not?, writes:

The 9/11 memorial at the World Trade Center should be a place for remembrance of those we lost and 9/11 should be allowed to speak to each visitor to Ground Zero, uninterrupted. At Dachau, I saw no debate being held about Chilean refugees. At Gettysburg, I saw no Holocaust "art" center overlooking Little Round Top. At Martin Luther King Jr.'s memorial in Atlanta, I saw no "public square" where the discussion might include the merits of segregation nor would anyone need to be reminded how wholly inappropriate such a discussion at that marker would be. 9/11's history should not be up for grabs and holding political discussions at Ground Zero is not appropriate for that site or any memorial site. Placing unrelated activities upon hallowed ground is disrespectful to those who fell at such places and everyone who remembers them.

A interesting Moral question...

It's being asked by Purple Shinypants and Billie Goat-Gruff. Stop by and see just where they went...