Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Caroline Kennedy for Quote of the Year?

Wow. Her cluelessness knows no bounds. She actually said:
I was really surprised and dismayed by my voting record. I'm glad it's been brought to my attention.
Just wow.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Thank Obama for Best Headline of the Year

This one is my favorite (from the LA Times):
Obama team probe of Obama team finds no Obama team impropriety

Why I Can't Believe Anything Obama Says

Over the weekend, a friend asked me why I'm not giving Obama a break, taking a wait-and-see approach to his election--after all, he sounds pretty good, right?

My answer is that he's a liar. Whenever he is backed into an inconvenient position, he simply lies and no one calls him on it. This was particularly egregious when he was at Saddleback Church and lied about his abortion stance, slandering a pro-life organization in the process.

This was business as usual from him. Here's the comprehensive case against Obama, published before the election (from Michelle Malkin's site, Hot Air). Much of the case is simple video from Obama's mouth.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Something we may see

When discussing changes we would probably see and changes I'd like to see under an Obama administration, I included the Federal decriminalization of marijuana. Now there are rumors, but fairly credible rumors, that this might be on Obama's agenda.

Remember for the shocked: I don't smoke marijuana. I don't even drink alcohol. I simply don't believe the prohibition on marijuana, which has become a socially accepted substance is worth the blood or money currently spent on its continued enforcement. I can teach my child not to use it just as I'll teach her not to use tobacco or alcohol.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Unions Don't Get It

I recognize that Unions exist to get their members the best deal possible. Well, kind of. These days, they exist to line the pockets of their leadership. However, I was shocked at this story. In order to reduce the burden of unsustainable spending on California's dwindling funds, Governor Schwarzenegger ordered State employees to take two unpaid days off per month. The unions are suing to stop that.

The Unions have forgotten the first rule of the parasite: Don't kill the host.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

China Blocks access to the New York Times

China does some pretty inexplicable things. One of them is blocking access to the New York Times site for their subjects, er, citizens. Why bother blocking access to one of your own media arms?

Today media blamed George Bush for the mortgage meltdown and economic crisis. Really? Quite a few people were to blame spanning more than one administration, but the vast majority of blame belongs to Congress. The point is humorously made here, and treated more extensively (by a democrat) here.

The truth is that people are having a hard time believing the media any more. In this last election, they had an agenda so strong and unchallenged that they failed to do their job. In case you've forgotten what that job is, it's not to get one candidate elected, but to critically evaluate each candidate in the race, including discovering their backgrounds, foibles and failures. That's right, they're not supposed to only find those things out about the Republican candidate. The result is that we're going to have quite a few surprises in the months to come, and they'll be things we should have known before we voted.

For the media, this agenda-driven approach to reporting is going to be more costly than ever. Fewer people are relying on traditional news sources. Trying to get any semblance of balance means going to the internet to take in multiple data sources. This only hastens the demise of the major papers, who were already sliding given their method of operation: Yesterday's news, served up cold today!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Now that's great timing

One of the few entities that has a lower approval rating than President Bush is the U.S. Congress. Demonstrating the appropriateness of that low approval rating, they've decided that now is a great time to give themselves a raise.

Good job, Congress. You're clearly doing the work of the people.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Obama's Secretary of Energy

Here is a lecture by Steve Chu - Obama's pick for Secretary of Energy:

I like him.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What Same-sex Marriage has Wrought

One of the arguments the anti-8 folks (weird to have an anti- movement after the prop passed, but whatever...) is that pro-8 folks claimed Bad Things Would Happen, but those Bad Things were lies to hype up the support of prop 8.

Well here's a list of things that have happened in Massachusetts since the courts ruled that it was unconstitutional to prevent same-sex couples from marrying (the ruling was in September 2003). I present a partial list, but the full list is at the link:

The Public Schools
  • At my own children's high school there was a school-wide assembly to celebrate same-sex “marriage” in early December, 2003
  • Within months it was brought into the middle schools.
  • By the following year it was in elementary school curricula.
  • In 2006 the Parkers and Wirthlins filed a federal Civil Rights lawsuit to force the schools to notify parents and allow them to opt-out their elementary-school children when homosexual-related subjects were taught. The federal judges dismissed the case.
  • In 2006, in the elementary school where my daughter went to Kindergarten, the parents of a third-grader were forced to take their child out of school because a man undergoing a sex-change operation and cross-dressing was being brought into class to teach the children that there are now “different kinds of families.”
  • School libraries across the state, from elementary school to high school, now have shelves of books to normalize homosexual behavior and the lifestyle in the minds of kids
  • It’s become commonplace in Massachusetts schools for teachers to prominently display photos of their same-sex “spouses” and occasionally bring them to school functions.
  • “Gay days” in schools are considered necessary to fight “intolerance” which may exist against same-sex relationships.
Public Health
  • The Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is “married” to another man.
  • Since homosexual marriage became “legal” the rates of HIV / AIDS have gone up considerably in Massachusetts.
  • All insurance in Massachusetts must now recognize same-sex “married” couples in their coverage. This includes auto insurance, health insurance, life insurance, etc.
  • Businesses must recognize same-sex “married” couples in all their benefits, activities, etc., regarding both employees and customers.
  • The wedding industry is required serve the homosexual community if requested. Wedding photographers, halls, caterers, etc., must do same-sex marriages or be arrested for discrimination.
Legal Profession
  • The Massachusetts Bar Exam now tests lawyers on their knowledge of same-sex "marriage" issues.
Adoption of Children to Homosexual "Married" Couples
  • Homosexual “married” couples can now demand to be able to adopt children the same as normal couples. Catholic Charities decided to abandon handling adoptions rather submit to regulations requiring them to allow homosexuals to adopt the children in their care.
  • In 2006 the Massachusetts Department of Social Services (DSS) honored two men “married” to each other as their “Parents of the Year”.
Government Mandates
  • In 2004, Governor Mitt Romney ordered Justices of the Peace to perform homosexual marriages when requested or be fired. At least one Justice of the Peace decided to resign.
  • Also thanks to Gov. Romney, marriage licenses in Massachusetts now have “Party A and Party B” instead of “husband and wife.”
  • Since homosexual relationships are now officially “normal”, the Legislature now gives enormous tax money to homosexual activist groups.
  • In 2008 Massachusetts changed the state Medicare laws to include homosexual “married” couples in the coverage.

Go to the link for more details.

Putting Big Budget Numbers into Perspective

When the $700B bailout talk started, I wondered how big it was. Lots of comparisons have been made, but here's one that matters to me:
With enactment of the FY2008 Supplemental and FY2009 Bridge Fund(H.R. 2642/P.L. 110-252) on June 30, 2008, Congress has approved a total of about $864 billion for military operations, base security, reconstruction, foreign aid, embassy costs, and veterans' health care for the three operations initiated since the 9/11 attacks: Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) Afghanistan and other counter terror operations; Operation Noble Eagle (ONE), providing enhanced security at military bases; and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Did the Tribune Rescue Blago from Jail?

One of the questions surrounding the case of the corrupt Illinois governor is why the investigation didn't wait until Blagojevich actually sold the senate seat, thus giving the prosecution a stronger case.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the reason is the Chicago Tribune blew the investigation:
Members of Fitzgerald's team are livid the scheme didn't advance, at least for a little longer, according to some people close to Fitzgerald's office. Why? Because had the plot unfolded, they might have had an opportunity most feds can only dream of: A chance to catch the sale of a Senate seat on tape, including the sellers and the buyers.

The precise timing of Tuesday's dramatic, pre-dawn arrest was not dictated by Fitzgerald, nor was it dictated by the pace of Blagojevich's alleged "crime spree." It was dictated by the Chicago Tribune, according to people close to the investigation and a careful reading of the FBI's affidavit in the case.

At Fitzgerald's request, the paper had been holding back a story since October detailing how a confidante of Blagojevich was cooperating with his office.

Gerould Kern, the Tribune's editor, said in a statement last week that these requests are granted in what he called isolated instances. "In each case, we strive to make the right decision as reporters and as citizens," he said.

But editors decided to publish the story on Friday, Dec. 5, ending the Tribune's own cooperation deal with the prosecutor.
Note that this is the same prosecutor (Fitzgerald) who nailed Scooter Libby for muddying the waters in the whole Valerie Plame case. Does anyone think the Tribune will get into trouble for their actions?

Throwing The Shoe

I may not be keyed in to the deep cultural meaning of throwing a shoe at a head of state. They say it is a deep insult coming from an arab. I wouldn't know.

But one conclusion is totally inescapable. This story has traction over there. The thinly disguised glee, and the glee worn straight out in the open says one thing. All the crap we were told over the last several years about how we will be seen as liberators is merely propaganda. Whatever we were supposedly trying to accomplish over there didn't work.

I'm saying this from the point of view of someone who is inclined to support my government. I even supported this war on the cynical idea that we were going over there to increase the amount of oil that would make it onto the global marketplace.

I don't claim to know what the answer is, but I'm pretty confident in saying that the neo-conservatives don't have the answer.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Encapsulating the Issue

We're all pretty tired of Prop 8 discussion. Reading last night, I unintentionally came across a brief treatment of the issue in a multi-topic opinion piece by Camille Paglia. You can read the entire thing here. She neatly encapsulated my thoughts on the subject.

"Another hot-button issue: After California voters adopted Proposition 8, which amended the state Constitution to prohibit gay marriage, gay activists have launched a program of open confrontation with and intimidation of religious believers, mainly Mormons. I thought we'd gotten over the adolescent tantrum phase of gay activism, typified by ACT UP's 1989 invasion of St. Patrick's Cathedral, where the communion host was thrown on the floor. Want to cause a nice long backlash to gay rights? That's the way to do it.

"I may be an atheist, but I respect religion and certainly find it far more philosophically expansive and culturally sustaining than the me-me-me sense of foot-stamping entitlement projected by too many gay activists in the unlamented past. My position has always been (as in "No Law in the Arena" in my 1994 book, "Vamps & Tramps") that government should get out of the marriage business. Marriage is a religious concept that should be defined and administered only by churches. The government, a secular entity, must institute and guarantee civil unions, open to both straight and gay couples and conferring full legal rights and benefits. Liberal heterosexuals who profess support for gay rights should be urged to publicly shun marriage and join gays in the civil union movement."

There's more to her thoughts, and it's worth reading, but this brief passage is the core of it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Obama Is At Least a Liar

Well, who knows if he's dirty, but he is at least a liar. This is one of the things I was worried about as I watched his campaign---whenever something unpleasant comes up, he simply lies. And the press doesn't call him on it.

Sweetness & Light has the details, including transcripts, but here are the videos:

Obama says "I had no contact with the governor or his office and so I was not aware of what was happening" (about 3 minutes in):

But Axelrod says back in Nov 23 that he has talked with the Governor about his successor:

Craziness in Illinois; is Obama dirty?

My objections to Obama have to do with legitimate differences with his record as a state and federal legislator. I don't believe or write about baseless accusations that have been made about him, including questions about faith and citizenship. I don't believe them.

With the recent news out of Chicago, I'm left with questions I hope the media will clarify some of the reports. One of the things that came out is that President-elect Obama asked through advisers that a candidate he likes for the position be appointed. There is nothing wrong with that. The governor asked for favors in return, which is a big problem, but Obama evidently didn't promise anything. What bothers me and I want to see clarified is that there's a suggestion that advisors may have indicated a cabinet level position might be available in a couple of years if Obama's candidate were appointed, but for now all the governor would receive is the President's appreciation. If that's the case, an illegal deal was proposed, and I would find it hard to believe Obama wasn't aware of his advisers' offers. I hope that's not true. I want to believe that although I may disagree with my President-elect politically, he's not corrupt and he has the same goals as I do for this nation--its continued prosperity and success. We'll find out more as details come out. I don't want Obama to be involved, but it's imperative the possibility is not overlooked.

Update: This leaves little doubt Obama's involved, I'm sorry to say. I haven't had the chance to read the FBI affidavit, but it click the above link and have a look. The evidence is pretty damning.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Shame on the big 3!


Source here.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A New State Religion

I have long held that Atheism is a faith. I will make that argument more strongly if there is interest. I've also argued that Atheism must not be established as the State religion. It flies in the face of the 1st Amendment. The first phrase of the first right guaranteed by the bill of rights was: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." That is freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. To freedom from religion, there is no right.

Unsurprisingly, I'm not the first person to have had such thoughts, or to speak out about them. Religion is not for intellectually challenged or the unsophisticated. A bit of research on this man will demonstrate that even if you disagree with the tenets of his faith, he was incredibly intelligent and as demonstrated, a great speaker. He also spoke about many of the things facing communities of faith today long before our current situation developed.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mike Huckabee on the Big 3 bailout specifically, and bailouts in general

Mike Huckabee gave an interview this morning with Armstrong and Getty, local radio show hosts in Northern California. In hour 2 of the show, approximately 18 minutes and 44 seconds in (podcast here for as long as the leave it up), he said something incredibly telling:

"If we keep borrowing money against our grandchildren's future, are not we setting them up for a far greater economic collapse than the one that we keep fearing that we're going to have right now? And if we look a the difference between our parents' generation and our own, our parents were willing to make sacrifices in order to give their kids a better life. It appears to me that what we're trying to do is sacrifice our kids so that we can have a better life ourselves and avoid the consequences of our own stupid actions."

Thomas Jefferson would have agreed: "I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers to be feared. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. If we run into such debts, we must be taxed in our meat and drink, in our necessities and in our comforts, in our labor and in our amusements. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labor of the people, under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy."

By the way, that doesn't mean he was for taxing the people. It means that extreme discomfort was preferable to public debt. That discomfort would not only get the people out of debt, but cause them to oppose new debt to the point where government could not incur it. Also, note that he felt everyone should share that burden, so that everyone would oppose new debt.

In perusing quotations from "What would Jefferson Say," I found related interesting thoughts:

"To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."

"I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious."

More specifically, from the same source: "The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale." (Cited here, more interesting quotations at this site).

An Idiot's Guide to carrying your gat

Recently, Plaxico Burress wounded himself carrying his .45 pistol, landing in big trouble with the police and NFL. .45 is a big round, which will do you a lot of damage. To help prevent further such injuries, here's an idiot's guide to carrying your gat:

So, you want to carry your heat with you. Why not? You never know when you're going to end up in a Toys R Us with a sawed off runt willing to throw down over an excited conversation. There are several things to consider before you run around with your gat in your pants.

1. Concealed carry permits are a good thing. They help keep you from going to jail. Start by discussing the availability of these with your local Sheriff or Police Chief. You're a celebrity. They'll usually issue to celebrities. You don't have to tell your friends you're carrying legal--you can keep up that dangerous criminal aura by not flashing your permit. You're still strapped.

2. You don't need a .45. Some people will tell you they're the only thing that will drop the other gangstah when he gets up in yoh grill. It's not true. They're heavy, hard to carry in anything but a traditional holster and very likely to slide down your pantleg. The subcompact models kick like a mule so you end up missing unless you spend a lot of time at a range practicing. What ganstah has time for the range? Get yourself a nice .38 auto or 9mm. They're lighter, smaller and will get the job done.

3. Get yourself a proper holster. It's not as cool as walking around with your gat in your waistband, but you end up not blowing your boys off. Concealed carry holsters fit inside the waist of your pants, and give your gat the proper support it needs. It's like wearing your jock strap in to the big game. You don't let precious and potentially dangerous junk flap around like a circus clown on a roller coaster. You don't aim a gun at anything you don't mind having destroyed, and you want to keep your junk!

4. Son, leave your safety on. Unless you really expect trouble from your nether regions, your safety does not need to be off until you actually draw the gat! A little practice and you can draw and flip the safety off almost as quickly as you can blow a hole in your leg.

5. Wear better pants. It's not just a great New Year's resolution, it's vital to supporting your piece. if you can't wear a belt, you've got the wrong trousers for walking around strapped.

Follow these simple steps, and you can avoid a lifetime of explaining to potential girlfriends why you're no longer a man.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Good Move By The Big 3 (if it was 10 years ago)

General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler are going hat in hand tomorrow, begging money off of the American taxpayer.

Here is a story detailing how after the public relations fiasco a few weeks ago, the Big 3 Auto Manufacturers have sold off their private jets, or are planning to sell them off. Instead of flying into Washington in 3 separate corporate jets, they're driving to Washington in their cool new fuel efficient cars.

Hey, it's a good public relations move. Except that tiny detail that they're asking for BILLIONS of dollars from Joe Taxpayer. Listen up Detroit CEO's ---- That was a decision you should have made years ago before you drove your company into the ground.