Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Chicago's Gun Ban Proves a Point

Here's a horrific story. Several people beat to death a 16 year old student, reportedly using rail road ties. Clearly Chicago's gun ban works--by getting rid of one instrument sometimes used for criminal violence, we've stopped all violence!

Of course, I'm being a bit ironic. By the way, Chicago gets plenty of shootings, too, so the gun ban there really isn't working. However, this incident does prove a point I made some time ago.

Ending violence involves finding the correct method. The inherent fallacy about gun banning is that somehow you can prevent people from harming one another by removing one of the tools they sometimes use for that purpose. It's no surprise that approach doesn't achieve the desired result. You must instead work to change the violent nature of humanity. Then it won't matter what tools are available. So long as we are violent by nature, taking away any particular implement or class of implements won't help. There are plenty of rocks and sticks in the world. Oh, and railroad ties.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Racism's Role in Health Care Reform

Earlier this week, irrelevant former President Jimmy Carter said in interview with NBC Nightly News of efforts to oppose socialized medicine:

"I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he's African-American.

"I live in the South, and I've seen the South come a long way, and I've seen the rest of the country that shares the South's attitude toward minority groups at that time, particularly African-Americans."

Full story here.

Other people disagree, including Michael Steele, the first African-American to chair the Republican National Committee. "President Carter is flat-out wrong," Steele said in a statement. "This isn't about race. It is about policy." (From the above story).

While Bill Cosby agrees with Jimmy Carter (and this is inexplicable given his comments to the African American community with regard to self-reliance and self-determination), President Obama does not.

"Are there people out there who don't like me because of race? I'm sure there are," Obama told CNN. "That's not the overriding issue here."

Younger people seem to get it: to a large degree, our generation's thought processes aren't dominated by race. We have moved closer to Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream of a society that judges not by the color of one's skin, but by the content of one's character.

In listening to Andrew Breitbart this week, I heard him express the progress of our society quite brilliantly. He said, in essence, that the fact that cries of racism are such bugbears in our society is a wonderful commentary on the fair-mindedness of our current mindset as a nation. Racism is so repugnant to us that accusations of it are seen as nearly as horrible as accusations of child molestation. We see racism as a wildly incorrect ideology unacceptable to us as a people. That speaks to the color-blind functioning of most adults in our country today.

In discussion of the subject, I heard a gentleman suggest that if most of us aren't racist, then accusations of racism shouldn't bother us, since they're baseless. That's true, and they do, but it doesn't make the charge just. If we're innocent of any wrongdoing, why would we object to warrantless wiretapping, or why object to police asking to have your fingerprints and DNA on file? The answer is that in our society, we don't punish the innocent for the actions of the guilty, nor do we place the burden of proof on those who have done no wrong. Further, we don't accuse people of wrongdoing just in case they might some day give basis for that accusation.

Based on the above concept, the false accusation of racism, especially categorically against an ideological group, should be as repugnant as racism itself.

Others suggest that only minorities can fairly define racism. I contend that all races have a voice in the process. We handed the task over to ethnic studies professors and they defined it so unfairly that what Kanye West did this week (a convenient example) can't be called racism by their definition. This despite his past statements indicating that his opinions and many of his actions are racially motivated if not flat out anti-white. So, I reject the definition I was given in my ethnic studies class and insist on a say, despite my skin color. Judgments and biases by a member of one race that marginalize, denigrate, or unfairly characterize another race are racist.

One of the strengths of humanity is that we are capable of building relevant categories that speed our thought processes. Wisdom dictates that when those categories are irrelevant, we should discard them. Racial classification is irrelevant. It's easy to name-call and finger-point based on race, and that's probably why it's still done. If we're interested in progressing, we'll need to put forth a bit more effort and look beyond color to concept and character.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

More Media Bias, this time (predictably) from the

Today the New York Times published this column.
Conservatives Draw Blood From Acorn

By SCOTT SHANE
Published: September 15, 2009

WASHINGTON — For months during last year’s presidential race, conservatives sought to tar the Obama campaign with accusations of voter fraud and other transgressions by the national community organizing group Acorn, which had done some work for the campaign.

[snip]

Conservative advocates and broadcasters were gleeful about the success of the tactics in exposing Acorn workers, who appeared to blithely encourage prostitution and tax evasion. It was, in effect, the latest scalp claimed by those on the right who have made no secret of their hope to weaken the Obama administration by attacking allies and appointees they view as leftist.

[Emphasis added]
Just a note, Scott, you're not doing the president any favors by pointing out ACORN is an ally. I'm guessing he's really not happy you mentioned that just now.

The goal here isn't to weaken the Obama administration, it's to help put a stop to corruption, tax fraud, and voter registration fraud. Thank you for demonstrating your extreme bias, however.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

More Media Bias, and the need for continued vigilance

If you've been following ACORN for any length of time, even before last week you knew they were corrupt, under investigation for voting fraud and other crimes. There was also an embezzlement scandal largely covered up with a complicit media. Now we have video evidence of advice that clearly crosses into the criminal, including how to evade taxes and run a whore house.

If one were a reporter handling this story fairly, there's some neutral ground to be had, but Reuters didn't even come close to that. People wonder why moderates and anyone even slightly to the right politically don't trust much of the media. Here's an example. Full story here.
U.S. Senate denies funds for poverty group

By Andy Sullivan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A poverty-rights group that has drawn the ire of conservatives suffered another setback in Washington on Monday when the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly to deny it access to federal housing funds.

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, which helps poor people fight foreclosures and fix tax problems, has received more than $53 million in U.S. funds since 1994, but conservatives' charges of widespread fraud have begun to impact its reputation in the capital.

[snip]

Republicans say ACORN engaged in widespread fraud during the 2008 presidential campaign when it launched a massive voter-registration drive in minority communities, which typically support Democrats and ended up voting overwhelmingly for President Barack Obama.

[snip]

ACORN more recently has been embarrassed by conservative activists who secretly taped employees in several cities giving tax advice to a couple posing as a pimp and prostitute.

[Emphasis added]
Nice display of bias, Andy Sullivan. There's no pretense of neutrality there. The truth is that this isn't a conservative or Republican issue. This is an issue that should be of concern to every honest taxpayer no matter what their political ideology. Oh, and anyone who is concerned about the integrity of the election system, not just who wins, should be worried about ACORN's activities.

Mr. Sullivan need not worry, however. ACORN isn't really going away, it's just going to morph. ACORN is a prominent tentacle of a much larger movement with plenty of organizations doing similar things under different names.

If we wish to keep the Republic, we can not now sit back and relax, believing the enemy defeated. We'll need to stay vigilant, continuing to object to organizations like ACORN and the SEIU and appointees like Van Jones (who, by the way, will certainly be working with the administration in a less prominent capacity). The activists on the left don't rest. We can't afford to, either.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Health Care Solutions

If you've followed this blog, or run a search here on "Health Care" you'll see that Reason TV has an excellent video out on the subject. There's more that can be done, though, and as the President called for suggestions he won't listen to, I thought I'd add some of my own. These are not novel, which means he really should be aware of them.

I firmly believe that the left would never use these ideas because they do not expand government power. Because health care is already heavily regulated, government action would be needed to implement them, however.

1. Open interstate competition to insurers. This will have a real, immediate impact on prices.

2. Revert to a model that successfully controls costs. Insurance should exist for catastrophic events, not regular doctor's visits. This also applies market forces to health care. That is, rather than an HMO or government bureaucrat (equally bad in my opinion) deciding what you need, you decide what's valuable enough to pay for.

3. The government is terrible at serving the poor. Private charities have successfully administered to the needs of those who can't afford medical care for centuries. By forcing costs lower through choice and market forces, we open the door for charities to do more, and by fostering competition, people retain more disposable income to charities than they presently do.

4. Permit the formation of non-profit health insurance cooperatives similar to credit unions. This combined with point 1 will bring to bear even more competition.

To free up more money to assist private charities and individual citizens in their efforts to help those in need, we should also adopt a flat tax or fair tax. These taxing solutions are simple, obviating the need for extensive taxing bureaucracy, and generally result in greater prosperity and tax revenue for the governments that implement them. Why aren't they in use then? Our Congress will not implement them because they do not expand government power. Does that seem like a good reason to you?

Others have given excellent responses to the President's push for "his"* health care solution. Here's an excellent commentary including Sarah Palin's very cogent response.

*The proposals before Congress aren't his, and that's been a huge point of confusion. HR 3200 was evidently written by the Apollo Alliance (I think this is their site) which is a far left organization. HR 3200 includes points he specifically says are not in his plan. So, President Obama, where exactly is your plan?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Fantastic Cartoon and a positive item

I was forwarded a fantastic cartoon featured at Red State: Would I Lie to You?

Here it is, credit to Toby Toons:

Photobucket

And, in marvelous news, the Census Bureau has decided to dump ACORN for the 2010 census. May ACORN be disbanded and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law should be the fervent hope of everyone who still believes in liberty.

Stiffening our Resolve: Remembering 9/11/2001

I originally wrote the bulk of this on September 11th, 2006. Things have changed in the Middle East, but the media's message hasn't. This was demonstrated when during the Republican convention 9/11 memorial footage was shown and Keith Olberman declared it to be unnecessary, graphic, and insensitive.

If you paid attention to commentators like that, you’d think today was only about sorrow, that events of 9/11/2001 made us a nation of crying sufferers, incapable of anything else. It’s not true. It’s just what the major media would like.

We remember Pearl Harbor as the event that brought us into WWII. We have a day of remembrance on December the 7th, recalling and honoring our losses in 1941. During WWII, while we were still fighting, they didn’t do much special on that day besides rededicate themselves to eradicating the scum that initiated a cowardly sneak attack on a sleeping harbor. They didn’t prosecute our boys fighting back then–if you shot an enemy in Germany or the Pacific Islands heading toward Japan, you were a hero, not a criminal. We used flamethrowers to clear the islands of the Pacific, rather than having our men go into caves full of the enemy to be slaughtered. It was brutal, but it was us or them. We didn’t intend for them to win.

The media doesn’t want us to resurrect that fighting spirit, because if we do we might actually be successful in the Middle East. Only strength is respected in that part of the world. We have that strength, inherited from our parents and grandparents, but haven’t used it, because of our media, which the terrorists are playing like a violin.

The media are happy to go along with the enemy. They’ll do anything to make George Bush look bad, even long after he's left office. That’s their prerogative, since they own the equipment and the air time is theirs to use as they see fit. What’s not fine is this seemingly concerted effort to turn each September 11th into a sobfest, desperately trying to make sure we treat this horrific attack as an isolated incident, to be mourned tearfully as tragic. It’s not just tragic. It should be fortifying and angering and help us have the resolve to take our enemies out.

The sheer magnitude of the 9/11/2001 attack makes it stand as monolithically above the others as the Trade Towers used to stand above other buildings in the New York skyline, yet it was still just one of many. The others were not trivial. To these same enemies we can attribute many atrocities. Please note that during the 1980’s, Hezbollah is believed to have claimed responsibility for some acts under the name of “Islamic Jihad.” If the details aren’t of interest, skip the list; the size alone will make the point.

November 4, 1979: The U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran was taken by radicals and 66 diplomats held hostage until January 20, 1981. Brazen, but not yet as bold as they would become.April 18, 1983: Islamic Jihad detonated a suicide truck bomb at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. 63 people were killed and 120 injured.October 23, 1983: Islamic Jihad detonated a suicide truck bombs in both French and American military compounds in Beirut, Lebanon. 241 Americans were killed, and 58 French.December 12, 1983: Iraqi Shia terrorists tried to bomb the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait, but were stopped by guards. They detonated their explosives in the courtyard. 5 people were killed.March 16, 1984: William Buckley, the CIA station chief was kidnapped by Islamic Jihad, with Iranian backing. Buckley was reportedly tortured, then killed by his captors.

September 20, 1984: Another suicide bombing on the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon killed 23 and injured 21.

March 16, 1985: Islamic radicals, backed by Iran, begin the tradition of kidnapping journalists with Terry Anderson of the U.S. in Beirut, Lebanon. He was fortunate, as this was before they began cutting journalists’ heads off. He was released later, unharmed.

June 9, 1985: Thomas Sutherland was kidnapped from the American University in Beirut. He was held for 6 years, then released.

June 14, 1985: Hezbollah hijacked a Trans World Airlines flight and murdered a U.S. Navy diver on board. The other passengers were released 17 days later.

September 12, 1985: Joseph Cicippio, also at the American University in Beirut, was kidnapped by Iranian backed Islamic terrorists. Like Sutherland, he was released 6 years later.

October 7, 1985: Palestinian Liberation Front terrorists hijacked the Achille Lauro, an Italian cruise liner. The terrorists prove their bravery and dedication to Islam by shooting the disabled and wheelchair-bound 69 year old Leon Klinghoffer and tossed his body overboard.

October 21, 1985: Edward Tracy, an American Business man, was kidnapped in Lebanon by Islamic terrorists and held for almost 5 years.

March 30, 1986: Palestinian terrorists blew up TWA Flight 840, killing 4 Americans.

April 5, 1986: Libyans detonated a bomb in a West Berlin nightclub, killing 2 Americans and wounding 79 others.

January 24, 1987: Jesse Turner and Alann Steen, Americans, were kidnapped in Beirut and held for almost 5 years.

February 17, 1988: While serving with the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organization in southern Lebanon, U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Higgins was kidnapped and killed by Hezbollah.

April 14, 1988: The Organization of Jihad Brigades blew up a car bomb outside a USO Club in Naples, Italy. One U.S. Sailor was killed.

August 8, 1988: A bomb was detonated aboard a C-130 aircraft, killing the Pakistani President and U.S. ambassador. Islamic terrorists were the likely bombers.

December 21, 1988: Pam Am Flight 103 was blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland. No one claimed responsibility, but it was likely in retaliation for strikes against Libya ordered by President Reagan in response to the 1986 Berlin nightclub bombing. The best evidence indicated the bombers were Libyan.

February 26, 1993: Islamic terrorists bombed the World Trade Center for the first time. The intent was to cause one tower to fall into the other, destroying both. Despite the massive explosion, the Towers stood firm.

April 14, 1993: The Iraqi intelligence service attempt to assassinate former president George Bush in Kuwait.

August 21, 1995: Hamas detonated a bomb in Jerusalem, killing 6 people and injuring over 100, including several Americans.

November 13, 1995: Terrorists bombed a National Guard training center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, killing 7.

June 25, 1996: Islamic radical terrorists blew up a truck bomb in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia near U.S. Air Force housing, killing 19 Americans and injuring 385.

February 23, 1997: A Palestinian gunman shot tourists on the observation deck of the Empire State Building. He killed a Danish visitor and wounded several others while, per a note in his pocket, “punishing the enemies of Palestine.”

August 7, 1998: Islamic Terrorists linked to Osama Bin Laden attack U.S. Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar-es-Salem, Tanzania. Bombs did massive damage to both embassies.

December 28, 1998: Yemeni militants kidnapped a group of Western tourists.

August 12, 2000: The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan kidnapped 4 Americans, who escaped later that day.

October 12, 2000: The U.S.S. Cole sustained heavy damage in Yemen when a small dinghy was detonated near the hull by supporters of Osama Bin Laden. 17 Americans died and 39 were wounded.

December 30, 2000: The Moro Islamic Liberation Front detonated a bomb in a plaza next to the U.S. Embassy in Manila in the Philippines, injuring 9 people.

September 11, 2001: 4 hijacked aircraft were used by Osama Bin Laden’s supporters to kill over 3,000 Americans, two crashed into the tallest buildings of the World Trade Center (the Twin Towers), one crashed into the Pentagon, and one suspected to be aimed for the White House crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. The one headed for the White House seems to have been brought down by passengers who decided they wouldn’t permit their aircraft to be used as a weapon.

This isn’t a comprehensive list, and there have certainly been terrorist attacks since 9/11/2001, including the October 12, 2002 car bombing of a Bali nightclub by Jemaah Islamiyah, an Islamic Indonesian terrorist group dedicated to forming an Islamic State in Indonesia. People have been kidnapped, tortured and beheaded. September 11, 2001 was one horrible and bloody date among many.

These Islamic Radicals, Fundamentalists, Terrorists, or whatever else we label them are implacable. In 2006, on the 5th anniversary of the 2001 attack against he United States, Ayman al-Zawahri, one of Bin Laden’s top deputies, said: “We have repeatedly warned you and offered a truce with you,” al-Zawahri said, addressing Americans. “Now we have all the legal and rational justification to continue to fight you until your power is destroyed or you give in and surrender.” Yes, they’ve made their terms clear in the past. Convert to radical Islam (moderate Muslims aren’t “Muslim enough” for them), or face extermination. Most consider these poor terms for a truce.

Our enemies are still there, still working hard to kill us. “United we Stand,” everyone proclaimed after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Then why are we fighting now, the liberals saying our actions as a country in trying to deny our enemies the power to hit us again weren’t justified, and that our continuing efforts aren’t justified? Do we not remember Palestinians handing out candy and celebrating our losses 7 years ago?

We can’t slump sobbing on our couches watching memorial presentations on 9/11/2001. We have to remind our elected representatives we expect results. As long as we have military in the Middle East, it’s time to turn the news cameras off, stop prosecuting our men and women for doing their jobs based on Al Jezeera reports and tell our military, “Do whatever you have to to make them stop.” When we take the gloves off, we as Americans, united in our pain and anger, but more importantly, in our sincere resolve to protect our children’s futures, can absolutely get this job done and end the threat of fundamentalist Islamic terrorists.

Photobucket

In 2006, the day after I posted this at another blog, Islamic militants, likely Hezbollah, helped prove my point. They attacked the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, Syria. They were using automatic rifles and hand grenades and had a van packed with explosives. They didn’t make it into the compound and were shot by Syrian anti-terrorism forces. Witnesses reported that the terrorists tried to throw grenades into the U.S. Embassy while shouting “Allah akbar!” or “God is Great.” This is the chant used as background for Al-Qaeda’s release of 9/11/2001 memoirs yesterday, and the chant normally used while cutting off innocent kidnap victims’ heads.

I’m not a prophet, but somehow I can’t think that these acts glorify anyone’s god in any degree. They believe it, though, again demonstrating this is an ongoing war against a persistent enemy, not an isolated incident 7 years in our past. That attack was one more demonstration that Islamic Fundamentalists won’t be reasoned with and won’t be understood. They must be killed, before they kill us.

Other commentaries today on 9/11:

The Natural Truth

The Jawa Report

Friday, September 4, 2009

Tracking Unemployment vs. "Stimulus"

Back in February, the Obama administration promoted the Stimulus plan, projecting what unemployment would do (PDF link) with and without the plan.

Over at Innocent Bystanders, they've been tracking unemployment vs. that prediction. Here's the latest update:




Keep this in mind whenever you hear any politician attempt to predict anything.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Pledges of Servility are not Patriotic

I'm shocked and amazed by this video. Like most reprehensible filth, it leads in with things that seem very good, very patriotic, very desirable. You really only need the last few seconds to get the real message though: these people are encouraging you to pledge servility to the President. As citizens of a Constitutional Republic, we don't pledge to be servants of any leader as one would in a monarchy or dictatorship. Worse yet, this video was evidently played in a grade school in Utah.