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Wednesday, June 30, 2004

How do you celebrate a profound surprise?

 
Quietly.

Ali of Iraq the Model tells this tale of what happened at the Iraqi hospital where he works when the news of Iraqi soverignty broke.

Certainly you or I would celebrate a wonderful gift like a new car by shouting and jumping up and down, but we know what to do with a car.

I think a quiet joy and bewilderment is precisely the reaction that one should expect from a people who have never had real freedom and self-determination. Their joy at the overthrow of Saddam was understandable, since they knew how bad he was. Few Iraqis know what it is to be a free and self-governing people.

This step is profound, and the fact that we (America) kept our promise to make them a sovereign nation was important for everybody, but how it impacts the people of Iraq can't be gagued by our expectations. I think it's the fact that there haven't been wild parties in the street means that the Iraqis are taking stock of this new circumstance. They are recognizing that freedom is a blessed labor and it's not for the faint of heart. The responsibility of self-rule that we Americans take for granted is a sobering one.

God bless the Iraqis. I hope they can open themselves up to the philosophies of "Creativity" and "Responsibility" which they will need for sustained freedom. Those philosophies will, if embraced, cause a sea-change in the culture of Iraq, but without them, they'll continue fighting tribal or religious leaders who will periodically rise up and try to subjugate people to a greater or lesser degree. Dear readers, keep the people of Iraq in your prayers, they need them as much now as they ever have.

Talk is cheap... when it's about "Free Speech"

 
I'm sure most you have heard about the Tuesday 6/29 Supreme Court ruling in Ashcroft v. ACLU which upholds a lower court's block on the Child Online Protection Act (COPA).

I suppose that this ruling isn't all that surprising. It's probably wrong, but it's not surprising. The law intends to make it illegal to COMMERCIALLY make pornography available to children (under 13 years of age) on the internet with an affirmative defense of allowing a commercial porn provider to claim that he/she/it required a reasonable proof-of-age check before allowing the user to get to the porn.

Let's be clear. It is emphatically the government's ability to regulate all things in interstate or international commerce within the bounds of the nation. That has long been taken to include electronic communications that have a terminal point within the U.S. (See U.S. Const. Art. I sect. 8). The "freedom of speech" as embodied within the 1st Amendment is expansively written and, generally, understood to be fairly expansive, but not absolute.

"Obscene" expressions are not covered by the first amendment. (Also, speech that causes a clear and present danger of imminent unlawful action, fighting words, defamation, false or deceptive advertisements, and where the government has a compelling interest are classifications of speech that are not protected by the first Amendment.) Lewd expressions (and things like commercial expressions) are considered "low value" speech, and so are allowed some protection, but are not afforded broad protection. Governments are allowed to restrict (but not outlaw) the "low value" expressions (usually in "time, place, and manner"). That means that, for example, "adult oriented" businesses may be prohibited from opening within some reasonable distance from a school, but the concerned governmental body cannot prohibit the business from operating entirely within the general area.

That brings us to this case... The Supreme Court has decided that restrictions on COMMERCIAL outlets for internet pornography might be too tight if the government requires the COMMERCIAL providers to provide some proof-of-age.

That's BULL CRAP. Whether you like pornography or not, the government has the Constitutional authority ro regulate the commercial aspect of it, because it's commercial, as well as the content aspect in a limited sense since the government is accepted to have a substantial (if not compelling) interest in protecting children from the ills of exposure to pornography. The government isn't trying to end all pornography, or even all commercial pornography, so requiring proof-of-age information is a reasonable means of restricting but not eliminating this low value expression.

OK... so the court got this wrong... at least it's because they expansively protect individual liberties, especially "freedom of speech," right?

NOPE!

If you remember this post, I pointed out that freedom of speech, when it counts, is almost dead.

A long time ago, as the Supreme Court was deciding on whether "freedom of speech" meant that anybody could say or express anything, the court decided a number of things. One of them was that "Freedom of Speech" covers more than just spoken words it covers all expressions; and another thing it decided was that the core purpose of the First Amendment protection for speech was so that ideas, especially political philosophical, and religious ideas could be allowed to compete without government intervention in the "marketplace of ideas."

Basically, political speech is among the types of expression that should be free from restriction the most. Just to set the stage, the Supreme Court recognized that campaign contributions ARE political expressions, but unfortunately has decided that supporting candidates and parties is not a valuable expression. (See especially Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976).) This is asinine. If political expression is valuable, then it's valuable. However, the Supreme Court has decided that those in power are, in fact, the best possible guardians of the political process. An objective analysis would make one scratch one's head and mutter aloud something about what exactly the Justices must have been smoking.

So... The status of the Freedom of Speech is this:
1. Political Expression is among the most important types of speech, and therefore those in power, who have the most to loose, as a class, if political communication is not tightly controlled should be allowed to restrict it.

2. Lewd Expression is low value and when commercial is doubly subject to governmental regulation, and therefore regulations that require commercial providers of pornography to make reasonable inquiries as to the viewer's age (therefore eligibility to view the pornographic materials) is too much of a restriction on this protected type of speech.

Is it just me, or does it seem to you, too, that the high valued form of our freedom is less protected than the low value variant (i.e. barely included under the Freedom of Speech).

I agree, generally, with the broad interpretation of the First Amendment. I don't like the idea of the government spending too much time determining whether or not my ideas or those I want to entertain are high value or low value. Some of the distinctions make sense. Commercial versus non-commercial speech is an important distinction. Expressions that actually convey ideas as opposed to those that are intended to provoke some immediate response might also be rationally be differentiated. Nevertheless, the way things stand now, we are quickly loosing our ability to reclaim the actual value of the Freedom of Speech... and why? In a word: LUST

Whether for for political power, personal financial gain, or physical gratification, the motivation that pushes this distortion of liberty is the lust for easy gratification of desires, and that is the nature of lust.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Bush seriously impaired al Qaeda's capabilities

 
Rush tipped the world off to the story thatBush's war on terror has "severely impaired" al Qaeda's capabilities to organize and execute significant attacks against the U.S. homeland.

NewsMax deserves the credit for finding this story which the major media has negleted in order to concentrate on an improper understanding of one sentence (Not to re-hash, but the staff report found no credible evidence that Iraq helped to plan or execute the 9/11 attacks, but, and this is what the major media has neglected, did find a serious string of connections between Iraq and al Qaeda.)

The major points that I have been making, mostly in person to my acquaintences, is that it's better to take the fight to them than to let them bring it to us. In the analysis of the 9/11 Commission, it's hard to see any result but that President Bush's Doctrine of going after the terrorists where they are is disabling the central organization of al Qaeda and focusing their energy on acting in Middle Eastern nations rather than here. This is a sign, once again, that President Bush's leadership has produced a solid win for the security of the American people, but don't hold your breath waiting for the major media to bring you that news.

NOTE: There's a significant amount of variation on the spelling of "al Qaeda". NewMax prefers "al Qaida", and I've seen other inventive spellings. My preference will be to use the "aeda" variation with no disrespect intended to those of an alternative persuasion.

NOTE: Trevor also has some comments about this topic. He's disapointed by the statement... Not for it's content, he thinks that's great news. Rather, he's disapointed it's been put forward by the 9-11 Commission which has shown itself to be a political farce of a fact-finding body. I guess you can't argue with that. My response to that take is this: Is there any source that is universally accepted as a provider of truth? Anything produced by a media outlet is considered marred by the political biases of its author, and a court ruling is always rationalized by the losing side as a product of the judge's bias ("See, another Clinton/Reagan/etc. appointee just towing the line!"), or some other improper motive. At least with the 9-11 Commission, there are partisans on both sides of the isle, so everybody can, approximately equally, revile and respect its results. Trevor calls it a "silly body," yeah, but it's a "silly body" to both the right and the left, so maybe its results are about as close to true as we can hope for from any group.

Time to beat MOM with a cluebat

 
Yesterday, Martin O'Malley (MOM) hosted an elite $1,000 per plate get-together for DUMB-o-cRAT presidential hopeful, Senator Waffles.

I'm not going to go into the inane drivel that Sen. Snobby-Gigolo-Traitor Dwarf spewed. That'll get enough coverage, I suppose, in the national media. What I want to touch on is what the Mayor of Charm City (MOM) decided to spout-off about when his proximity sensor detected microphones.

MOM says he's (she's?) more afraid of the Bush Administration than of al Qaeda. Don't take my word for it, here's the quote:
I remember after the attacks of September 11th, as Mayor of the city, I was very, very worried about al-Qaida....and still am. But I'm even more worried about the actions and inactions of the Bush adminstration.

Who are you if you have to fear President Bush more than al Qaeda? Me thinks the answer would be something akin to "a terrorist," or "a head of state that supports terrorism." MOM can't get anything right. Granted, much of Baltimore looks like a war-torn third-world slum, but that doesn't mean he really qualifies as either. The only terrorist organization that MOM has any influence over is the Baltimore City School system which has set about the task of destroying the potential of as many city students as possible and thereby condemning them to live in dispair and poverty. MOM hasn't even been able to do that very well, the schools are drowning in red (ink here, not blood like the more famous terrorist organizations), and he has merely been acting like a dealer for a junkie... making sure they get more of what they've proven they can't handle without any real oversight or appropriate attention.
Seriously, though... Why would he say that? The simple answer is, he's lying. He's a DUMB-o-cRAT, so he's had some significant mentoring in that discipline. Nevertheless, President Bush has taken care of more terrorist issues than Clinton had women. President Bush is confronting those who would cause death and destruction for Americans and that bothers MOM.
One thing I haven't yet been able to find on the internet, but that I heard on the radio was MOM's whining about the role of Federal Prosecutors. Basically, the BATF has determined that Baltimore is among the 15 cities with the highest violent crime rates and needs their assistance. MOM complained that federal prosecution of crimes in Baltimore has dropped off in recent years (traslation "during the Bush Presidency"). He didn't mention that one type of federal prosecution that has significantly increased in recent years is federal investigation and prosecution for corruption in local governments. Hmmm... I wonder why he didn't cite that as a positive achievement...
What I want to point out to you, dear reader, is that prosecution for local crimes is a LOCAL issue. As the chief executive of the city, prosecution of local criminals is, roughly, under his umbrella. To be sure, the city does elect a "State's Attorney" who has the direct responsibility to manage the prosecution of crimes in the city, but the Mayor funds the State's Attorney's office out of the city budget, and he has a great deal of influence on the operation of the prosecution effort in the city. If MOM doesn't like the way prosecution is happening in Baltimore, then HE needs to work on fixing it. Maybe he needs to increase his funding of the State's Attorney's office. Maybe he needs to threaten to reduce funding if the S.A. doesn't fire the inept prosecutors. In any event, prosecution of local crimes is NOT a "federal" issue. MOM is blaming his failures on everybody else.

MOM is a frikikn' moron, and a cry-baby. If he were a man, he would do his job. He's a moral weakling since he's unwilling to confront the problems that are uniquely his own, and denounces others for not solving his own problems. I've known people like him... He's not acting like a man, and he's not even acting like an intellectually mature woman. He's a girly-man with a title, and he is Baltimore's continuing shame.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Judge compares Bush to Hitler & Mussolini; later appologizes saying he did not intend to "take a partisan position"

 
Judge Calabresi of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has issued an appology for a speech he gave to the American Constitution Society (A neo-communist legal society bent on making the Constitution a "living" and therefore making the words on it meaningless independent of their desires. Incidentally, it hopes to someday be as respectable and influential as the Federalist Society. There's no chance of that.)

Reuters has this story about the appology.

Here's a little info about the speech. Below I've got a couple of excerpts from the speech, and I believe I'm presenting them in context:
"In a way that occurred before but is rare in the United States ... somebody came to power as a result of the illegitimate acts of a legitimate institution that had the right to put somebody in power. That is what the Supreme Court did in Bush versus Gore. It put somebody in power. ... The reason I emphasize that is because that is exactly what happened when Mussolini was put in by the king of Italy...The king of Italy had the right to put Mussolini in, though he had not won an election, and make him prime minister. That is what happened when Hindenburg put Hitler in. I am not suggesting for a moment that Bush is Hitler. I want to be clear on that, but it is a situation which is extremely unusual," the judge said.

Apparently later in the speech, Judge Calabresi calls for the ouster of President Bush. That appears to be a fairly clear violation of the Cannons of Judicial Ethics, and Eugen Volokh has a fairly good analysis on the topic.

I'm not a big fan of impeachment, except when it's actually deserved. Clinton deserved to be impeached, and he should have been removed from office, but the Senate was full of weak-kneed moral relativists who cared more about politics than law. The Constitution says that Federal "judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behaviour." I think that in this case, the reason to remove the judge is clear and convincing.

So... Who's going to join me and write your congress person and demand that they issue articles of impeachement against Judge Calabresi? I don't care that he's a liberal... That's what you would expect from a Clinton appointee. I care that he doesn't have the judicial temperment necessary to respect the other branches, and the Constitutional process of selecting a president, and he, apparently, does not respect the Federal law principle of respecting each and every vote in a state equally that the Supreme Court announced in Bush v. Gore simply because he doesn't like the outcome.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Here Comes The Judge...

 
I've heard of police pumping a witness or suspect but this is the first time I've heard of a judge pumping himself, and I don't think it's the same thing.

The Smoking Gun is reporting that an Oklahoma judge is being removed from office for pleasuring himself with a male-enhancement pump while presiding over various hearings.

Yeah... I agree, if he comes, he should go.

S.D. man robbed after answering door nude

 
This article says that the assailants stole his wallet. This raises the question, I think: Where was he keeping his wallet?

Totally unbelievable, right?

 
The Sun paper out of England (Note, "Page 3" section is NOT work safe) is reporting that Bubba's got a new squeeze, a wealthy divorced mother who is the daughter of a wealthy Clinton supporter.

I personally find this to be a totally irresponsible smear campaign. Honestly, there's no reason whatsoever to believe that Bubba would disregard his marital vows, and even if he wanted to, I'm certain that his loving wife keeps a close watch over him so that he wouldn't have any realistic opportunities to stray even if he were so inclined.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to consult a physician about getting my tongue surgically extracted from my cheek. Somehow or another my tongue seems to have imbedded itself in my cheek all of the sudden.

Get that man some Preparation H!

 
(And a discount card for repeated psychological counseling)

A Motorcyclist has earned the "Iron-Butt" record for driving from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to Key West, Florida, in 100 hours.

I don't know what to say about that, really, except, Wow!, and Why?

I actually do enjoy a good long roadtrip once in a while, but 5632 miles in 100 hours is just too much for me. I wouldn't mind covering that amount of distance in that time as a leisurly two-legged flight plan with a three day vacation lay-over, but I couldn't go for the idea of driving it.

This just in from the "No controlling legal authority" camp

 
Matt Drudge has this short article about a planned address by former Veep and Bhudist Monestary fundraiser extrordinaire, Algore: AL GORE TO ACCUSE BUSH ADMINISTRATION OF INTENTIONAL DISTORTION ON IRAQ/AL QAEDA TIES IN DC SPEECH THURSDAY

It's interesting on a couple of fronts. Algore apparently is upset that the Bush administration is pointing out the connection between Saddam's Iraq and al Queda merely because there is actually a connection. The President isn't now, and never has claimed that he had knowledge that Iraq played a recognizable role in the planning and execution of the 9/11 attacks of 2001. There's plenty of evidence of a more generalized connection between Iraq and al Queda, including Iraq's providing of chemical weapons expertise to al Queda.

Yeah... no connection.

What struck me was Drudge's comment that "Gore will also discuss the implications of the Administration's claim to be above the law in ordering the torture of suspects." Wow... I never thought I would hear a complaint about an Administration acting above the law from Algore. All we have to do to see how duplicitious that protestation is is look back less than a decade -It's abundantly clear that Algore and Slick Willy were systematically engaged in patently illegal fundraising activities, but GoreBot incredulously claimed he new of "no controlling legal authority" that would prohibit his activities. That from Algore, and now he's complaining about President Bush coming to a legal conclusion that is objectively correct about an issue after deliberation with executive counsel and advisors, but with which Algore disagrees, or at least thinks his opposition to it is worth some political mileage.

Quick question: Do any of you think that the administration that sold missile guidance technology to Red China, that gave us Waco incidents, that bombed an aspirin factory to take the focus off of that President's personal legal and moral failings withing the office, and that aggressively violated every campaign finance law they could find would have had a problem with the morality of making foreign prisoners uncomfortable and forcing them to eat the same food as our soldiers?
Lets set this straight right here and right now:
1. There is NO documentary evidence that the President ordered or knowingly permitted any torture, anywhere.
2. An objective analysis of the pertinent laws would indicate that the US is NOT bound by the Geneava Convention with regards to terrorists, since they are not fighting as agents of a sovereign nation.
3. The only documentary evidence relevant to this issue shows that the President, upon examining the issue and deciding that the Geneava Convention simply does not apply, nevertheless ordered that the intent of the Convention be followed.
4. The approved interrogation techniques, though not what you would necessarily want to subject your parents to, is far from "torture."
5. There is no indication that the President or Donald Rumsfeld attempted to brush the incidents of torture by American service personnel under the rug. The non-publication of the photos would tend to fall under the rubric of "due process." For what it's worth, our service personnel have a right to Due Process, because they are Americans, but NON Americans who are not subject to a treaty guaranteeing Due Process are NOT.

I swear, I wish I could debate Algore. I would shred him with fact and logic... but those who are enthralled by what he says are not moved by silly little things like "fact and logic," so perhaps it's a waste of time.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Tribune Co. auditors working for CBSNews / Amazon.Com ?

 
Perhaps the same people who provided the "optimistic" circulation numbers for the Chicago Tribune are now working for CBSNEWS.

RatherBiased.Com is reporting that CBSNews.com has a business relationship with Amazon.com

That might not seem like much, but remember, it was CBS's 60 Minutes that provided the PR "Lewinsky" for Former President and still philanderer, Bill Clinton, and their parent Company also owns Slick Willy's publisher.

Could it be that Amazon and CBSNews are shading their coverage of the Billy's booksales numbers? This Drudge archive-page from eariler today (look on the right hand column) seems to indicate that the book isn't selling as well as we have been led to believe.

Hmmmm...

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Newspapers... Going down for the (mis)count?

 
Over the last few days several articles have appeared about the most recent plague on the Newspaper industry.

I, for one, was SHOCKED that there might possibly be counting irregularities at the major newspapers from Chicago. Turns out, there are issues in Chicago and New York.

When I heard there were problems in the Windy City that related to numbers... I simply couldn't believe that the city of the Daley political legacy that gave us such such memorable mottos as:
Vote Early. Vote Often!

and
One voter can make a difference, if he votes enough times!

could have possibly had irregularities in their accounting.

Then, I thought to myself... What if it's true? What if there really are problems with the circulation numbers? Could it EVER happen in charm city?

Then I got a chill... I realized that the Ball'mer Sun is owned by the same company as the Chicago Tribune... Uh-oh... Then I remembered, Baltimore has frequently gotten excellent turn-out from City residents who live in the "eternal retirement communities."

Then again... If circulation numbers are inflated in our fair city, perhaps the unaccounted-for papers are actually going to the dead... At least that would indicate that they are trying to be educated on the issues (although they should order a subscription to a more reliable news source, or get internet service so that they could read this blog). That's a lot more than can be said about most of the living voters in the city.

Heir Apparent

 
Who said, "The ultimate goal of American foreign policy is not just the prevention of war but the expansion of freedom"?

If you were thinking "That Evil, War-Mongering George W. Bush!" you would be wrong. That's what Ronaldus Magnus (President Ronald W. Reagan) said upon leaving the Reykjavik Summit in October of 1986.

A lot of "girly-men" who fancy themselves conservative and or Republican have been trying to reinvent President Reagan so that they can make the claim that President G. W. Bush isn't anything like him, really. President Reagan was a staunch believer in freedom for all mankind, and that the cause of freedom alone was sufficient grounds for action. President Reagan was hampered by logistical and other realities that limited his ability to act fully, but nothing stopped him from doing what he could.

A Freeper, "doug from upland," posted: Ronald Reagan kicking commie butt -- from Ann Coulter's "Treason". I've been thinking about Anne's work because she brushes the BS aside so succinctly. For example, this is the primary paragraph about the context of the Reykjavik Summit:
The last great battle of the Cold War was fought at Reykjavik, Iceland on October 13, 1986. That was the day Reagan refused to accede to Mikhail Gorbachev's demand that the United States abandon the Strategic Defense Initiative. The Soviets were terrified of Star Wars. Without the credible threat of being able to launch a nuclear strike against the United States, the USSR was just another Third World country. Star Wars would make the USSR's nuclear weapons obsolete, making the Soviet Union no more threatening than Switzerland, and a less appealing place to live.

That brings us to today. Our current President is fighting against terrorism. He's going against, not only the particular people who plan and execute terroristic acts, but also people who facilitate terrorism through more removed but intentional actions such as funding or providing haven for those who plan and execute terrorism.

From what I can see, the thing that's making the "girly-men" (RINOs) and neo-communists (liberals) upset the most is that President Bush is confronting the cespool societies that have spawned the culture of terrorism from which our explicit opponents have sprung. The terrorists want to institute a world of domination to their views. They want to enjoy the fruits of the world and appropriate all of the world's wealth to themselves and they have no appreciation for the idea of creating value or personal choice.

Though less obviously barbaric than Islamofacism, it and communism spring from the same fundamental premises. To be honest, communism, in its "pure" form was more efficient at killing and destroying humanity than Islamofacism, but at their core, they are indistinguishable.

In the last couple of weeks, the nation has been looking back at President Reagan, and for some, finally realizing how great of a man and President he was. (They still can't admit the full truth, but they can't deny it all any longer either.) Inevitably, the questions finally arise, "Who can take his mantle?" and "Who is the true political/spiritual heir to President Reagan."

Was it President George H. W. Bush? No. He was a good man, but he didn't burn with passion for the goal of advancing freedom. He was a fine and honorable man, but he wasn't pro-active in his belief in the innate goodness of hardworking people with liberty. Or, at least, he wasn't in the same league as President Reagan had been and he let himself be pushed around rather than leading on principle.

Was it President Clinton? No. He had the charisma. He connected with people, and American wanted the best for him. However, he was a narcissist. He loved himself and put his own ambition above the best interest of the nation. Without getting into conspiracy theories about what he may or may not have done, you can still be disappointed with his public record. He didn't seem to have any principles that motivated his policies. He is credited with welfare reform, but that's shallow, at best. He supported welfare reform only after Republicans swept both Houses of Congress and he didn't have any choice. He likes to take credit for the economy, but pointing to any particular economic policy that he put forward that led to economic growth is an exercise in futility. I can point to a major factor that he provided which led, substantially, to the Tech-bubble, and Enron (and similar) debacles. He pushed through a quasi salary cap for executives. He determined that nobody needed to earn more than $1,000,000 per year so the tax code was revised to eliminate the ability of corporate employers to deduct an executive's salary above that. Subsequent to that, instead of taking less compensation, executives started paying themselves in stock options. This was a loop-hole that incentivized the shading of information about corporate performance and unfounded hyping of corporate securities. Executives made far more money from enhancing the public image of a company than they did for running the company, and that led to the Tech-bubble's eventual burst, and other assorted scandals.

Is President George W. Bush President Reagan's political heir? I think so. Certainly, anyone who listens to any one of Reagan's speeches' will be disappointed by the rhetorical and charismatic characteristics of President Bush's speeches. Nevertheless, President Bush is acting on principle. Few but the most hard-core tin-foil-hat wearing neo-communists refuse to admit that. President Bush is moving forward to advance personal liberties and expand freedom throughout the world.

(NOTE: I don't want to hear a word about your fears of the PATRIOT Act if you haven't read the Act with your own eyes. Everyone I've heard who wants to say that President Bush and Atty. Gen. Ashcroft have been eliminating personal liberties have no clue about that which they are speaking. They don't know what the Constitution actually guarantees nor do they know what exactly the PATRIOT Act allows. So far the only part of the PATRIOT Act that has been found unconstitutional is the provision that restricts the ability of people to donate to "humanitarian" charity organizations that are known to be associated with terrorists. From my reading of the ruling, I would be surprised if a higher court does not reverse that ruling, which was at the lowest level of the Federal Judiciary.)

President Bush believes in the moral superiority of economic decisions made by discrete economic entities. That is, he thinks you know what you want and need better than a governmental bureaucracy, in general, and should be allowed to keep as much of your income as possible. He believes in the sanctity and innate value of human life, and that has led him to restrict Federal funding of research on embryonic stem cells. That belief in the value of human life is also a major part of why he is following Reagan's example and working to dismantle repressive tyrannies. He's limiting his actions to areas where he has authority to act, but he is acting... on principle.

Maybe somebody will come along in the not-too-distant future who will take up the Reagan mantle more completely and with more grace and eloquence than President Bush. Be that as it may, for this particular day and age, President George W. Bush is the heir apparent, and thank God He has not abandoned us after our national 8-year fit of selfishness that were the Clinton years.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Putin body slams DUMB-o-cRATS, again - Is Moore's cover blown?

 
Not long ago, I mentioned that Russia's President, Vladimir Putin slapped the Donks around for their idiotic stance on the Iraq war. Of course it was funny, because Putin didn't support the war from the beginning, and you could imagine that he would welcome our pulling out of Iraq as quickly as possible. Nevertheless, he smacked 'em verbally for their two-faced opposition to President Bush over this, and showed their cries of the evils of America's acting "unilatterally" (they mean "without France") and illegally since we didn't have the UN's full support for our invasion to be the pathetic political ruse that it truly is.

And then yesterday, although it didn't get nearly as much press as the obsessive misreading of the 9-11 Commission's report regarding Iraq's roll in the 9-11 attack, we hear that Putin announced that Russia warned U.S.of Iraq's intention to perpetrate terror against the US after 9-11. Cool-aid drinking Moon-Bat liberals are probably in shock over this, if they were able to hear the news over their shouts of "BUSH LIED!"

Here's an exceptional and suscinct quote from President Putin that should put an end to the argument, but we know it won't:
"I can confirm that after the events of September 11, 2001, and up to the military operation in Iraq, Russian special services and Russian intelligence several times received ... information that official organs of Saddam's regime were preparing terrorist acts on the territory of the United States and beyond its borders, at U.S. military and civilian locations," Putin said.


In a potentially related story...

It appears that front organizations for Hezbollah are attempting to aid the effort to get wider distribution for Michael Moore's hack-job of a movie.

Could it be that there is a relationship between the two stories???

The only people I can think of who hate America almost as much as (but, I don't think any more than) Michael Moore are Saddam Hussein and Ossama Bin Laden

Study - Girls hold grudges, are violent, and are more likely to use weapons than boys, researchers shocked

 
The June issue of the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine includes a study of children who visited the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and included some eyebrow-raising conclusions

PR Newswire has this article about the study.

I heard about it this morning, and I promptly told my wife. She responded by throwing a plate at me for besmirching the reputation of the female sex, and she told me she would never forgive me for it.

Just kidding.

Seriously, though. I could have saved them some time and money... Everybody knows that girls hold grudges, and by virtue of their being weak have always felt that they could escallate confrontations by using whatever weapons they could obtain. Duh. For the most part, women can expect most men to not fight back when they start to get violent. I'm not going to say that it's OK to hit a girl under any circumstance. But they know that most men feel that way. Also, if a female is hurt in a fight between a male and female, the police won't ask who started the confrontation. That might or might not be brought up later, but initially, at least, the police will arrest the man. So... What incentive do women have to control their tempers? Not enough.

Early in my marriage, when my wife and I would get into disagreements, she would lash out, physically. I never did. I would occassionally hold her hands so that she wouldn't be able to hit me. After about two months, I told her that if she would not control herself, I would respond in kind. She has never been physically violent since then... That was well more than a decade ago.

Perhaps we should teach girls from a young age that they cannot expect anybody to hold back from returning physical violence. Sure we hope that everybody would be able to control themselves, but not everybody does, and, for the most part, boys are stronger than girls, and that means, girls will get hurt if they don't control themselves.

For what it's worth, the fact that women are equally violent or even more violent than men in most relationships is a little fact that most of the people who make their living off of terrifying women into thinking every many wants to beat and or kill them don't want to get out. It's out there if you look for it.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Done

 
Triple murderer Steven Oken - DEAD at 9:18 PM EDT June 17, 2004.

"justice has been done..."
- Fred Romano Jr. (Brother of murder victim, Dawn Gavin)

Amen.

May God have mercy on his soul if He sees fit in His infinite wisdom and Justice tempered by Mercy. Mr. Oken's account is now settled with humanity.

Umm... No, that's not a badge...

 
Drudge is reporting that Slick Willy thinks that his imeachment was a badge of honor.

Um... No. That was actually a stain, not a badge. Ironically, Clinton actually said "I don't see it as a stain, because it was illegitimate." Let me clear a few things up for ya, Slick... There was, most certainly a stain associated with your impeachement. The fact that you have a pattern of philandering means that, in all liklihood, much of what has resulted from your hardest work is, in fact, illegitimate.

The president went on to say that his infidelity was a "terrible moral error."

Well... Guess what! Billy-boy has just admitted that his impeachement was proper, properly founded, AND that he should have been removed from office.

If you don't know how I got to that conclusion from "terrible moral error," then you, I'm guessing, have been confused by the lies he and his supporters put forward about the Constitutional standard to be applied. Here's what the Constitution says about it:
U.S. Const Art. II Sect. 4
The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

All of these reasons for impeaching, convicting in the senate and ultimately removing a president are morality and trustworthyness issues. Clinton's supporters intentionally lied to the public about the meaning of "high crimes and misdemeanors." (For a full discussion of the topic, get and read this book) I brief, "High Crimes" were violations of the Laws of the Highest Authority. That's right... A high crime is a serious transgression of bedrock morality. A crime that shows a serious moral failing is one that would tend to cast doubt on that person's credibility, generally. That's why witnesses can be impeached by crimen falsi.

Clinton's purjury is certainly within the definition of "high crime and misdemeanor." Likewise, his affair with one of his interns itself is a serious moral failing, and therefore, is a sufficient reason to impeach and remove him from office.

Thanks Bill. It's not as if we didn't know you were a cheap flim-flam artist, but I'm glad you've told the whole world that you deserved to be impeached and removed from office. I guess that we can extrapolate that your fight to retain the office in spite of the fact that you recognized your moral failings would tend to mean that you disrespect the office of the Presidency such that you think that YOUR status is more important than the office. Mr. Impeached Philandering Former President, you are a disgrace.

9-11 Commissioners sever ties with reality and investigate alternate universe

 
I've heard all over the radio this morning that the 9-11 Commission was going to have it's final public hearing today.

Here's a description of what they're investigating today -
It will look into whether some of the hijacked jets could have been intercepted if military jets had been scrambled sooner.

That seems like the most innane question to ask. Of course the planes COULD have been shot down if we had something in place to shoot it. Of course, we would have shot the plane(s) down if we had known that they were going to be used as cruise missiles to kill thousands.

That's totally irrelevant.

The only questions that need to be answered is (1) whether we knew or had enough coherent information that we should have known (without using hindsight to aid interpretation of intel) that the terrorists were going to use passenger planes as cruise missiles on or about 9-11-01, and (2) whether, if we had know, we could have done anything within the law to stop it, (3) whether, if we could have known that the attack was coming based on the information we had available to us at the time if we had different (generalized) procedures in place, and finally (4) is there any culpability on anyone's part for the failure to recognize and appreciate sufficient data, or creation of procedures and systems that kept us from being able to compile the information we had in a way that might have enabled us to foresee the attacks.

There is not culpability, really, in the question of whether we could have stopped the attack had we known, since we didn't and the question is therefore purely hypothetical. It needs to be asked as a prophylactic so that in the future, if information about an attack becomes known, we could do something about it.

The Commission's goal today could be like the question of whether we could have stopped the attack, but it sounds like they want to attach blame. If you want to find blame in this inquiry then you've wandered into investigating an alternate universe. That's universe where the question of whether the actions that could have prevented or lessened the injury should have been taken because it is known that they could have been taken. That's just not our universe, and this hearing is just another piece of proof that these show-trial-like hearings have become a shameless political farce of an investigation.

Forget the ties!

 
Larry Magid's About Gadgets is a (fairly new) weblog about all sorts of goodies that nobody probably really needs but all of us guys WANT.

If you love your dad, or just want him to think you do, get him something good for Fathers' Day, and that means GADGETS!

For those of you who are more traditional... Dick DeBartolo has had his site going for some time, and it's got information on all sorts of Gizmos, and, as a Dad, I can tell you, there is no meaningful difference between Gizmos and Gadgets so far as receiving them as a gift is concerned.

Oken Croakin'

 
The Ball'mer Sun has this article which I'm sure you've already heard about. Steven Oken is gonna get the needle. (Unless Gov. Ehrlich wimps out, but I think he'll let Justice take its course.)

Just so that you know, Steven Oken was convicted in 1987 of killing three women in especially brutal fashions.

The amazing thing is that Oken's appeal was not based on any theory of his innocence, or any error in his conviction. No... He was whining that the state uses 3 drugs instead of 2, as mentioned in the statute. If I were running the show in the state, I would have said, "Fine, we'll kill you with two drugs." Basically, they are afraid he'll feel some pain.

PAIN?

I think that Dawn Garvin was terrorized both physically and emotionally as he raped and murdered her. I think a few moments of discomfort (maybe) while the justice that he has had 17 years to contemplate and come to terms with is finally done is not the least bit cruel. Pain, is not, in and of it self, unconstitutional. Pain for pain's sake is an improper punishement. Pain, here, is an inadvertent and temporary side effect of an appropriate judgement. Pain, of the sort that's unusual and cruel, is what has been inflicted upon the families of his victims by way of the legal maneuvering that Oken and his lawyers have been doing over these last several days intent upon subverting an appropriate verdict which is not even challenged.

Pain... Pain, of the unusualy and cruel sort, but that is entirely just, is what is probably waiting on him AFTER the uncomfortable needle event about which he's whining.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Foreseeable unintended consequence #32502185873987345

 
What do you suppose would happen if you -
1. Have a Constitutional guarantee of Freedom of the Press
2. Therefore no licensing of what constitutes the "Press" or "News," and
3. Campaign finance "reform" laws that restrict freedom of speech in advocacy prior to an election that specifically exempts news organizations from their prohibition?

DUH!!!

You get everybody declaring himself/herself to be "The Press." (Anti-speech liberals who don't want people to be able to present the truth in contradiction to what you spew through your outlets, EAT IT!)

NewsMax has this article about the NRA developing it's own news outlets to avoid the restrictions of the campaign finance reform law.

For future reference, Right To The Point IS a news source. You get my take on issues that interest me, but that you may or may not have known about before consulting this site. Fair? Balanced? More than some, perhaps less than others, but with greater honesty and thoughtfulness than you'll find on any traditional news source. The networks will not survive long in their current form in the Age of the Blogsphere!

Welcome to the revolution! The Lefties in the major media wanted Campaign Speech Restrictions, and now they have 'em, and they were too dumb to realize that thinking Americans are fully capable of using the same loopholes and exemptions that they enjoy.

Dem Golden Rule: Do unto ourselves as we attempt to do to the nation!

 
At least they practice what they preach. The DUMB-o-cRAT Convention is overbudget.

I'm shocked! Shocked, I say!!

Is their advertisement a big wiener, or are they now all wet?

 
I'm sure each and every one of you who care already know that Detroit Beat L.A. last night to take the NBA championship. Congrats to MoTown.

Nevertheless, I have to wonder about the Detroit Pistons. They are apparently coming out with a new advertising product... Urinal Screens with a hidden message that's revealed when warmed by a body-temperature fluid. (See the last paragraph of this article.)

Is it just me, or does this seem like a bad idea to you too? Don't you think the will now be known as the "Detroit Pissed-Ons"? Will commentators (besides me) refer to them, when they lose, as the "Detroit Pissed-Offs"?

Americans desperately need to cut back on CARB

 
California Air Resource Board (CARB), for lack of a better phrase, is a domestic beachhead of communism.

None of us have time to recount all of the communistic initiatives and anti-capitalistic regulations they have enacted. Suffice it to say, CARB is far less concerned with fixing the air than it is with making sure that there is no economic activity involving cars that would either tend to make money for automobile manufacturers, or enable the middle and lower class citizens to obtain their own automobiles.

If you disagree, I have two thoughts for you:
1. You're wrong, and
2. What is the likely result of attempting to force by regulation the widespread adoption of expensive and immature technology... That's right, cars become less desirable and less affordable.


Now... CARB has gotten in trouble before for overstepping its boundaries. You see, the "Commerce Clause" of the Constitution (see U.S. Const. Art. I Sect. 8) Part of the Commerce Clause jurisprudence is what's called the "dormant commerce clause," and that's the part of the clause that isn't written down. What it does is prevent states from meddling in areas that affect interstate or international commerce if the federal government has spoken to the general topic, if the federal government has not granted some sort of exemption. This, basically, works to keep states from screwing around with interstate commerce.

In a moment of weakness, I can only presume, the Federal government has granted states the ability to regulate fuels and fuel additives for the purpose of controlling emissions. (See. 42 U.S.C. Sect. 7545) One thing that CARB (any state agency, not just the Commie-Californians) can't do is regulate Fuel Economy. The Federal government has spoken directly to that issue with the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards (49 U.S.C. Sect. 32901 et seq.).

Long story short... The latest news about CARB is that they have decided to mandate that fuels reduce "greenhouse gases." Do you know what those are? Of course you do, because I'm sure all of my readers are highly intelligent (or you will be if you read my writings long enough... Just kidding). Carbon Dioxide C02. That's right our friend... what we exhale, and what vegetation consumes. I presume you know, but if you don't, the products of combustion, if done properly, are H20 (water) and C02. So... How do you meet this standard? Burn less fuel or abandon petroleum. Those are your only options.

Did you notice something... It looks like California is attempting to regulate fuel economy. Hmmm... That's against the law. This sort of crap is really annoying, and it's not as if it's an honest mistake. CARB is intentionally attempting to regulate Fuel Economy, which is something they know they are not allowed to do directly. Worse yet, they know that California is too big of a market for car-makers to abandon, and it's too expensive to make alternate sets of cars. The result, of course, if this regulation stands will be for car-makers to either:
1. Stop selling a wide range of popular vehicles in California, and/or
2. Effectively regulate fuel economy standards for all cars manufactured for sale in the United States, and thereby increase the cost for all car-buyers throughout the nation.

I know this will never happen, but I would like to see the automobile manufacturers go after CARB as a "1983" action. It's something of a strained theory, but this meddling into how cars are designed intentionally, and knowingly beyond their grant of authority, perhaps they can be held liable personally. I know, I know, a business might not be a "person" under the statute, but, it might be, and I think it's worth a shot. There's no reason a corporation's right to contract should be infringed upon when the dormant commerce clause is supposed to protect them from interference by states. That's right, sue the commies!

It's certainly not illegal to be a communist... The 1st Amendment gives you that right. However, when commies get into screwing with interstate trade and intentionally exceed their authority in order to damage commerce, I think they should be held personally liable.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Ronnie's confusion and bitterness

 
I liked Ron Reagan's tribute to his father, but his comments at one point might have been something of an attack on President Bush.
"Dad was also a deeply, unabashedly religious man, but he never made the fatal mistake of so many politicians - wearing his faith on his sleeve to gain political advantage. True, after he was shot and nearly killed early in his presidency he came to believe that God had spared him in order that he might do good. But he accepted that as a responsibility, not a mandate. And there is a profound difference."

The New York Times has this article: Reaganite by Association? His Family Won't Allow It

At first I gave Ron the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he was speaking of the liberal tendency to turn the military into a meals-on-wheels program. That would certainly fit the description of using religiosity as a mandate to go enforce goodness on the world. Perhaps he was warning against a John "Waffles" Kerry future that would squander our military on feel-good missions without the resolve to stick with the mission to actually see good done. Perhaps.

Nevertheless, IF (and this is a BIG if), the NYT article is correct, it looks like Ron's comments might have been directed at President Bush. If that is the case, then let's look to see what the difference between mandate and responsibility are that Mr. Reagan has alluded to...
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.
mandate

n 1: a document giving an official instruction or command [syn: authorization] 2: a territorial possession controlled by a ruling state [syn: territory, dominion, territorial dominion, province, colony] 3: (politics) the commission that is given to a government and its policies through an electoral victory v 1: assign under a mandate; of nations 2: assign authority to

and
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.
responsibility

n 1: the social force that binds you to your obligations and the courses of action demanded by that force: "we must instill a sense of duty in our children"; "every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty"- John D.Rockefeller Jr [syn: duty, obligation] 2: the proper sphere or extent of your activities; "it was his province to take care of himself" [syn: province] 3: ability or necessity to answer for or be responsible for one's conduct; "he holds a position of great responsibility"; "young children on a farm are often given responsibilities" [syn: responsibleness] [ant: irresponsibility, irresponsibility]

So... Where does that leave us? A reasonable reading is to say that a MANDATE is that which creates RESPONSIBILITY. (i.e. A soldier is under a DUTY to comply with his superior's official instructions. Another way to restate that is: A soldier has a responsibility to comply with his superior officer's mandates.)

The distinction that Ron Reagan was attempting to make does not appear to be all that substantial. The only "nuance" (sorry if that sounds a bit "French.") that I can determine is that a "mandate" does not necessarily imply the will to follow through, but "responsibility" does.

The sticking point that the talking heads seem to point towards is the fact that Nancy Reagan apparently supported stem-cell research. Contrary to what many people thing, President Bush does too. He does not, however believe in government funding for embryonic stem-cell research. Just so that you know, a stem-cell is a fairly special cell that is capable of re-assigning it's role and reproduce different types of cells. A point that's not really addressed is that stem-cells have been found in all sorts of bodily tissue with a large concentration in fat, and bone marrow. I've not heard any conclusive evidence that embryonic stem-cells are actually more medically advantageous than other stem-cells. (NOTE: "Cord blood" is chock-full of stem-cells but is not usually saved, and most hospitals don't even have the capability to preserve those cells if requested. I would strongly advocate a program to mine the stem-cells in cord-blood since no life has to be lost to be able to gain those cells, and we do not even need to use any invasive techniques to acquire those cells.)

The Reagan family, understandably, hated the impact of Alzheimer's Disease on President Reagan. Nancy had pushed for a lifting of the ban on federal funding on for embryonic stem-cells for research to cure Alzheimer's disease. While I understand her desire to find a cure for her husband or keep others from going through what President Reagan and his family went through, I just do not believe that President Reagan would have wanted to kill an embryo (or, more likely, hundreds of them) to save his life. President Reagan was unabashedly religious, and pro-life. In a letter to Human Life Review, he said:
We cannot diminish the value of one category of human life — the unborn — without diminishing the value of all human life.

Furthermore, the quote at the sight where he has been entombed says:
I know in my heart that man is good. That what is right will always eventually triumph. And there's purpose and worth to each and every life.

I could be wrong, but from what I've seen, I do not believe that President Reagan would have wanted Nancy or his children to advocate for killing embryos just because it would benefit him personally.

I feel for the Reagan family. I really do. I've had cancer, twice. I suspect that stem-cell research will eventually be able to offer new treatments and, hopefully cures, for many diseases including cancer. Nevertheless, I think it would dishonor President Reagan's legacy to compromise on principle just because holding fast to core beliefs becomes painful.

If Ron Reagan did intend his comment as an attack on President Bush, I'm sad. If President Reagan believed he had a responsibility to "do good," then he had to believe that there was some divine instruction, a mandate, that created that responsibility. President Bush is following the same principles and is not willing to waiver from them just because his sympathies have been touched by President Reagan's plight. That unwaivering dedication to following principle is what treating the obligation to do good as a responsibility looks like. I'm sorry that Ron Reagan and his mother Nancy Reagan are angry at President Bush for his principled stance, but I believe that President Reagan would rather die on principle than live at the expense of the lives of innocent children.

Thank God for President Reagan, and thank God that President Bush is attempting to follow his example of governing by principle.

Monday, June 14, 2004

President Ronald Reagan's Burial Eulogies

 
Previously, I included links to the eulogies from the State Funeral, and then the National Funeral. Below, are the links to the statements made by President Reagan's surviving children at his burial. If you didn't see them live on TV, please make sure you read them. President Reagan has for many years been an icon of what a conservative could and should be, but at the burial, I heard something more than I hd ever heard before. Not only was he a great leader and gentleman, but he was a real flesh-and-blood man who was a father to his children. I knew he had children, but hearing them speak about their father turned that knowlege into a new revelation of the President for me.

Michael Reagan's Eulogy
He also sent letters to his grandchildren. He wasn't able to be the grandfather that many of you are able to be because of the job that he had. And so he would write letters. He sent one letter to Cameron, said: "Cameron, some guy got $10,000 for my signature. Maybe this letter will help you pay for your college education. He signed it, Grandpa. P.S. Your grandpa is the 40th president of the United States, Ronald Reagan. He just signed his sign."

Those are the kinds of things my father did.


Patti Davis
He chose to write down the first verse of an Alfred Lord Tennyson poem, Crossing The Bar, and then he decided to add a couple lines of his own. I don't think Tennyson will mind. In fact, they've probably already discussed it by now.

Tennyson wrote: "Sunset and evening star, And one clear call for me! And may there be no moaning of the bar, When I put out to sea."

My father added: "We have God's promise that I have gone on to a better world, where there is no pain or sorrow. Bring comfort to those who may mourn my going."


Ron Reagan
The idea that all people are created equal was more than mere words on a page, it was how he lived his life. And he lived a good, long life. The kind of life good men lead. But I guess I'm just telling you things you already know.


By the way, keep an eye on Michael Reagan. He was adopted by President Reagan, so he doesn't have the President's blood, but from what I heard, he seems to have more of his heart than anyone else there. I foresee that Michael will continue to grow in his father's legacy, and eventually make an impact too. As long as he doesn't forget what has meaning, I think he'll be a great man in his own right too.

A BOLD initiative

 
WorldNetDaily has this report that an resolution introduced at Southern Baptist Convention calling for all members to remove their children from public schools has been endorsed by the Home School Legal Defense Association. (Feel free to visit and support the HSLDA, by the way.)

I strongly support the idea that Christian Parents should take an active and the primary role in their children's education. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that all parents should homeschool their kids, or even, necessarily, send them to private schools. What I am saying is that, as Christians, we believe that G-d has entrusted our children to us and we have been charged, personally, with the responsibility to make sure they are raised properly.

Home or private schooling will, almost always, be the best choice for kids. Doing what's best for the kids may require a painful sacrifice, but that's what character is all about. Nevertheless, I probably would have to disagree with this:
The activist [Bruce Shortt] says he considers sending children to government schools as "the grossest kind of sin," saying Christians don't want to be confronted with the issue because it would be inconvenient and financially challenging to kick the public-school habit.

There are still a *few* public schools that are probably good and responsible places to send your kids to be educated. Just entrusting your kids to the government without taking your responsibility to assure that the particular school where your kid(s) will be going is what is best for them is a gross neglect of your divine duty, but I can't agree with the blanket statement of Mr. Shortt.

Nevertheless, this is great news. Let's get the conversation started in earnest. Let's remind Christian parents that parenting isn't something that takes care of itself or can be an afterthought. If more parents took their responisbility seriously, I believe that we would have more Ronald Reagans, Ben Carsons, and Thomas Edisons throughout the land.

Rush to Divorce

 
I heard last Friday that Rush Limbaugh had announced that he and his wife have decided to divorce. Today, Rush clarified that he and his wife are getting a divorce, an amicable divorce, supposedly, and that HE had requested it. He also said something fairly cryptic about it involving someone else.

This is an issue for me.

I won't rush to judgment because there might very well be a good reason for this divorce. Those good reasons are fairly few and far between, I think, but it might be appropriate.

My issue is this. I hate divorce. I'm married and staying married is tough. It's work, day in and day out. Sometimes it's fun. Sometimes it's easy. However, most of the time marriage is a covenant which is far more than a contract. It symbolizes a connection based in love. Note, however, hove isn't a "feeling" of affection, it's a decision, and it's almost never the easy choice.

I do believe that Rush is a Christian. I know nothing of his wife, but I presume she's a believer too. Since he's a Christian, I think that he's very aware of the restrictions on divorce for believers. Divorce is supposed to be limited to the few circumstances where the covenant has been violated, usually by some action such as infidelity. I believe that physical abuse and other actions that outrageously risk the health and welfare of the family are other reasons that would be sufficient grounds for a divorce.

Where one party to a marriage is a Christian, he or she is not supposed to seek a divorce, generally, but may do so in the above circumstances. If, however, the non-believing spouse chooses to leave the marriage, the Christian is instructed to not force the non-believer to stay in it. (I believe that verbal persuasion to convince the non-believer to change his or her mind to stay of his or her own will would be OK.) (See 1 Cor. 7:12-16)

So, in Rush's case, what does this mean... Basically, I fear that since Rush is requesting the divorce, he is probably in the wrong. The only exception that would relieve him of this being improper would be if his wife had been unfaithful. (NOTE: Even in this case, divorce is not the preferred course of action. Remember that G-d kept describing his people Israel as an unfaithful bride who had broken his heart but whom he would take back if she would repent of her sinful ways and return. The entire book of Hosea is an example of this message.) That is a distinct possibility, especially given that he refered to the divorce involving someone else. However, that's not necessarily the case, and I don't want to be seen as picking on Mrs. Limbaugh on the basis of no information.

I really wish Rush had been able to work out the issues in his marriage. I not surprised that the marriage is ending, since that often happens when adictions are involved, and we all know that Rush had been adicted to pain medicines. I am surprised that Rush is the one requesting the divorce.

My final comment on the issue, until there is more information, is this: Like I said, I hate divorce. I hate it, I think, mostly because I know that I could all too easily go down that road, and I don't want to do that. The more marriages fall appart, the harder it is to hold your own together. I'm not saying that peer-presure will make you, me, or anybody else get a divorce, but it's demoralizing in the fight to keep a marriage together when you see others admit defeat, and I just don't want to see that. I don't want to see it among family or friends or people I respect. Like I said before, I know that sometimes divorce is appropriate, but I don't want to have anything to do with it. For that reason, I dread family law (which I will take, eventually), since I don't want be a part of ending a marriage that should be saved. How strange is that... a lawyer (well, a law student right now) who doesn't want to follow the easy money... for a principled reason. The end may be near, indeed!

Poised to overtake Harry Potter as Top Fiction Book of the decade

 
The NY Times is reporting that Clinton's book is ready to go on sale and apparently advanced sales are already making the book a Best-seller.

Yawn.

I have a far more worthy use for my leisure reading time. I suspect that, even if you don't read the same thing as me, you have far more valuable things to do with your time too.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Both Bill and Hillary Clinton sleeping at the Reagan Funeral

 
I noticed that, for whatever reason, I've been getting a lot of hits by people who are searching for information about the former Philanderer In Chief sawing logs instead of paying appropriate respect for President Reagan at his funeral.

Fortunately, Drudge has this picture that proves it for those of us who didn't catch it while it was happening.

Look at it like this... It's a moral victory of sorts... Bill and Hillary are finally sleeping together again. Awww.

The right-wing Energizer Bunny

 
Ann Coulter has this article: So now they think he was charming

You've gotta love it! I'm gonna take on some of the stupidity that's been floating around about Reagan changing course in time to avert a nuclear war.

The point to remember, and that those numb-nuts never quite understood was that if you have a goal there might be more than one way to go about getting there. President Reagan was a hardliner when he needed to convince the U.S.S.R. that they couldn't out develop us in weapons systems, and he was a genuinely caring person when he needed to facilitate the final acts that marked the end of the Soviet Union. President Reagan didn't put his ego above his goal. If he could do good only by letting somebody else take the credit, that was fine by him since that still ended up with the good result.

In letting Gorby claim the credit for ending Communism, he made that course of action more appealing to Mr. Gorbachev and the Russian people. Reagan understood humans so well and had such mastery over his ego that he could remember what his goal was when it came time to choose his own glory or his goal. I've not seen his like since then, but I surely hope we do.

The Eulogies of the National Funeral for President Ronald Reagan

 
NOTE: I have not yet found the text of each speaker's eulogy at the time of this posting, but I will update them throughout the afternoon as I find them.

For the text of the eulogies of Wednesday's State Funeral for President Reagan, see this post, below.
The Program for the Funeral including Justice O'Connor's reading of John Winthrop's 1630 sermon. Below is the text of the reading:
Now the only way... to provide for our posterity is to follow the counsel of Micah, to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God... We must Delight in each other; make others' conditons our own; rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work as members of teh same body... The Lord will be our God and delight to dwell among us, as His own people... For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. so that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdeaw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word through the world.

Baroness Margaret Thatcher
Ronald Reagan knew his own mind. He had firm principles - and, I believe, right ones. He expounded them clearly, he acted upon them decisively.

Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney
Ronald Reagan was a president who inspired his nation and transformed the world. He possessed a rare and prized gift called leadership — that ineffable and sometimes magical quality that sets some men and women apart so that millions will follow them as they conjure up grand visions and invite their countrymen to dream big and exciting dreams.

President George H. W. Bush (My personal favorite of the Friday eulogies.)
As his vice president for eight years, I learned more from Ronald Reagan than from anyone I encountered in all my years of public life. I learned kindness; we all did. I also learned courage; the nation did.

Who can forget the horrible day in March 1981, he looked at the doctors in the emergency room and said, "I hope you're all Republicans."

And then I learned decency; the whole world did. Days after being shot, weak from wounds, he spilled water from a sink, and entering the hospital room aides saw him on his hands and knees wiping water from the floor. He worried that his nurse would get in trouble.

The good book says humility goes before honor, and our friend had both, and who could not cherish such a man?

President George W. Bush
And where does that strength come from? Where is that courage learned? It is the faith of a boy who read the Bible with his mom. It is the faith of a man lying in an operating room, who prayed for the one who shot him before he prayed for himself. It is the faith of a man with a fearful illness, who waited on the Lord to call him home.

Now, death has done all that death can do. And as Ronald Wilson Reagan goes his way, we are left with the joyful hope he shared. In his last years, he saw through a glass darkly. Now he sees his Savior face to face.

And we look to that fine day when we will see him again, all weariness gone, clear of mind, strong and sure, and smiling again, and the sorrow of his parting gone forever.

May God bless Ronald Reagan, and the country he loved.


Drudge links to this story: Nation Bids Final Farewell to Reagan
It had a couple of very interesting pieces of interesting information that I wanted to share with you as well.
American guns around the world were firing in Reagan's honor - at noontime, 21-gun salutes at every U.S. military base with the artillery and manpower to do it; at dusk, another worldwide round of 50-gun salutes.

and
The final family in the line came from Conyers, Ga., and drove all night with little expectation that they would be able to view Reagan's casket lying in state.

"I think we came on adrenaline," said Stephanie Guerry, 43.

Her husband Ted Guerry, 46, said that as he walked down the steps from the Capitol he felt, "numb and struck and awed."

President Reagan's Chief of Staff, Ken Durberstein, had these comments about President Reagan on the White House website.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Putin: President Bush's political adversaries have no moral right to attack him over Iraq

 
You know you're bad off when an ex-high KGB official who happens to agree with you on the substance of the debate publicly suggests that you're being two-faced.

Ouch!

Write your Congressperson! We NEED "Rope Control" right NOW!!!

 
I'm sure you're as shocked as I am that what we formerly were able to think of as merely a tool has turned on us. Rope Kills!

I see no reason that Congress should not absolutely ban all rope, or at the very least implement a 7-day waiting period before you can buy the dangerous implement. A background check is a MUST!

Keep your eyes peeled. Before long you'll be seeing graphic news reports of drive-by hangings, and people who accidentally hang themselves while they are cleaning a rope or maybe while they're goofing off with rope and don't realize that they've got enough to hang themselves. Saddest of all will be when a toddler gets ahold of rope and accidentally hangs another toddler.

Why can't parent's keep rope in a lock box?!

Dogs can understand language - Scientists claim hope for teaching same to Liberals

 
Apparently, Dogs can understand language. That much of the title is true.
German researchers have found a border collie named Rico who understands more than 200 words and can learn new ones as quickly as many children.

I made up the second part. If you've met anyone who has studied liberals, you know that, if they're speaking honestly, they have no hope that the liberals will actually understand the meaning of words.

The article did have an interesting idea that could help to reduce the level of acrimony in political debate.
Patti Strand, an American Kennel Club board member, called the report "good news for those of us who talk to our dogs."

"Like parents of toddlers, we learned long ago the importance of spelling key words like bath, pill or vet when speaking in front of our dogs," Strand said. "Thanks to the researchers who've proven that people who talk to their dogs are cutting-edge communicators, not just a bunch of eccentrics."


Since the liberals like to make up new definitions and use multiple definitions as they go, it's probably best just to spell-out words that are likely to get them riled up. It's not trickery, since they, obviously, don't understand the truth when it's painstakingly explained to them, so this technique is really just expedience.

I suggest always spelling things like:

"S-E-C-O-N-D A-M-E-N-D-M-E-N-T"
"T-A-X C-U-T"
"S-C-H-O-O-L V-O-U-C-H-E-R-S"
"W-E-A-P-O-N-S O-F M-A-S-S D-I-S-T-R-U-C-T-I-O-N" (Note: They've already learned to recognize the acronym, even though they don't understand what it means, apparently, so we need to spell the whole thing out.)

Education - Let's FIX the problem

 
I think that's what President Reagan would want, right?

The fact that, perhaps, the biggest issue in the public/private school debate over the last several years has been "school vouchers" (Here's one article.)

I think that's a great start. It will go a long way to making sure that more kids get a chance to have a real education, rather than a PC indoctrination (sans anything resembling learning of useful information).

However, if you want to FIX the problem with "public" schools, then we need to look at this from a different perspective. My faithful reader(s) will already know that I'm being proactive about education with my family. Nevertheless, I think that public schools CAN be fixed.

In reality, I think that public schools can be fixed CHEAPLY.

How?

I'm so glad you asked. Basically my solution uses similar principles to the voucher program, utilizes intelligent tax policy, and recognizes that feeding bureaucrats to sit on their butts doesn't serve the cause of education, at all.

Here's the plan: Don't have a general policy to fund public schools through tax revenues, instead provide a 105% tax deductibility for all private or corporate donations to support local schools. A greater percentage could be allocated for donations to schools in poor urban areas. Part-in-parcel with this plan is the idea of competition. If a high-school wants the money from local (or national) businesses, they will have to produce graduates who are competent. If you're graduating kids based on age without regard for the fact that they're still illiterate, no business will want to donate to perpetuate your failure. High-schools will need to have some authority over the middle and elementary schools so that they are fed students who have the basic building blocks with which the high-school could build a successful graduate.

This "profit motive" will do a number of things. Perhaps the most important is that it will encourage schools to boot out administrators who are only interested in indoctrination, and poor performing teachers would find themselves in another line of work.

Let's presume that DefenseCo (an imaginary company, I think) is a local, mid-sized (approx 1000 employees) technical company. Lets say that they want to hire high-school graduates who are competent at reading schematics and performing electrical technician work. Quite often, to find students who have the skills that they need they will have to hire college (associate or bachelor level) graduates. The work that they need done doesn't take that level of specialization and years of education, but that's what they have to pay for under the current system to find anyone who is remotely qualified. Under my plan, they could go to a local school system (or 2 or 3) and help them structure an electrical technician vocational or pre-engineering program that provides graduates who are prepared to do the work that they need done. They would donate, probably between $500,000 to $2,000,000 per year, and have lower payroll and hiring costs. More than that, they would be able to shelter between $25,000 and $100,000 (maybe more) of profits from any taxation, and would be able to get great public relations in the community.

One of the great things about this idea is that it totally bypasses the (state and federal) education bureaucracy. I've heard that it takes between $1 and $3 dollars collected to spend a single dollar by the Federal government. States, generally, aren't much better. A $1,000,000 donation would be worth between $2,000,000 and $4,000,000 collected in tax revenue. What does that mean? Quite simply more money would stay IN the economy, being productive. Bureaucrats in the education establishment would have to go find real jobs! That would not only get them off of the public payroll, but it would add tax revenues since they would be part of the productive sector of society, thereby reducing the tax-burden on the rest of us!

I know, that before this idea could be implemented, it would need to be thought-over fairly thoroughly, but I think the basic structure... i.e. "incentivize that which you want more of" is sound. I think that if you give people the option of benefiting from generosity that helps children, I think they would be happy to do so. Better yet, if you give schools an incentive to produce educated graduates, they might actually do so!

Maybe if we went that direction in Baltimore, we would have less of what we've been seeing... over and over again.

Transcripts of the Reagan funeral eulogies

 
Below are the transcripts of the speakers that I was able to find with an excerpt from each.

Vice President Richard Cheney
The cheerful spirit that carried him forward was more than a disposition; it was the optimism of a faithful soul, who trusted in God's purposes, and knew those purposes to be right and true.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dennis Hastert
While others worried, President Reagan persevered. When others weakened, President Reagan stood tall. When others stepped back, President Reagan stepped forward. And he did it all with great humility, with great charm, and with great humor.

President Pro Temp of the Senate, Ted Stevens
This President inspired Americans by reaching out far beyond what he could attain. Like a good coach, he understood the value of a goal isn't always in achieving it; sometimes it is enough to simply look out into the future and remind people what is possible. And, often he achieved the impossible.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Reagan: Before he was a leader he was a crime fighter and a real hero

 
WorldNetDaily: Reagan pulled gun on mugger to save woman

He was brave then, even before he was a Republican. That was back when you could be a Democrat and still love America.

Wis. woman burned to death after trying to set boyfriend on fire - Boyfriend ARRESTED

 
FresnoBee.com: Nation: Wis. woman burned to death after trying to set boyfriend on fire
Here's an interesting paragraph:

The woman died at a hospital several hours later. Harris said her 57-year-old boyfriend, who lived at the apartment, was treated and released with minor injuries, but was arrested on a drug-related charge.

This is Zero tollerance and PC law enforcement gone WAY too far... He was only smoking because she tried to set him on fire!

Don't study hard: get better grades

 
Here's an article about a new report out of Germany says that students who play "bedroom golf", regularly, get better grades.

Too many puns come to mind.

"Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."

Now we've got a German study to prove it!

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

What did you expect?

 
Drudge has this news flash, CLINTON DISAPPOINTMENT: LEFT OFF FUNERAL SPEAKERS LIST

Reagan was a president who respected the presidency of the United states so much that he is purported to have never even taken off his suit coat in the Oval Office.

Clinton was a president with so little respect for the presidency of the United States that he could hardly bother to pull up his pants in the Oval Office. (I hear that he nearly had it renamed the "Oral Office.")

Now the Arkansas Pig of New York is upset that President Reagan's Widow, Nancy, didn't invite him to speak at President Reagan's funeral?! Excuse me, but I suspect that she loved and respected the man too much to have Slick Willy, who put so much time and effort into debasing what President Reagan revered, speak at his funeral. DUH!

All that needs to be said is this: "Get over it you disgusting prick!"

New Mexico Motto: Be a parent, Go to jail

 
I have serious reservations about the widespread use of Ritalin by school kids (pushed by the schools, of course), and it's become quite a big debate throught the nation (here's one article). This ABC News story illustrates one of the things that's most eggregiously wrong with the current PubliK Screw-all governing philosophy.
Dad Investigated for Taking Son Off Meds

In a nutshell, the father (Chad Taylor) noticed his child was suffering symptoms of adverse effects from Ritalin usage. The father decided that the best course of action for his son was to take his son off of his medications. When the school got wind of the insolent father putting the kid's health above their convenience, they sicked the New Mexico Department of Children, Youth & Families on him.

The father now claims he was threatened with arrest for child abuse and neglect.

Let's think about this for a moment...

Child Abuse - For NOT giving the child medications that were having a serious adverse impact on the child's health, and subsequent to cesation of medication the child recovered from the symptoms he had been suffering.

Child Neglect - For NOTICING that the medicines were endangering the child's health.

The article goes on to discuss the big-picture best scenario and techniques for treating kids. Although I'm not terribly interested in discussing that particular aspect of the topic, I did find this paragraph very interesting:

Taylor is among many parents facing a dilemma over whether to medicate children who suffer from mental disorders. A recent study by Express Scripts Inc., a medical benefits management company, found antidepressant use increased 49 percent among consumers younger than 18 between 1998 and 2002. Preschoolers up to age 5, the study found, were the fastest-growing users of prescription antidepressants.


Now to the point that most interested me... The stupidity and arrogance of the state... threatening criminal prosceution against the parent for using his discretion to determine what he believed was best and safest for his child. We're not talking about a situation where the medication provides some vital nutrient without which the child will die. We're talking about a kid who is rowdy in class without the medicine, but who had lost his appetite and was losing weight, and wasn't sleeping because of the medicine. The father weighed the alternatives and determined that his child's interests were better served by ceasing the medication.

So, what would be the legal grounds for a criminal charge... The first place to look is, of course, the statutes!
N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-6-1 (2003)
Abandonment or abuse of a child

A. As used in this section:
(1) "child" means a person who is less than eighteen years of age;
(2) "neglect" means that a child is without proper parental care and control of subsistence, education, medical or other care or control necessary for his well-being because of the faults or habits of his parents, guardian or custodian or their neglect or refusal, when able to do so, to provide them; and
(3) "negligently" refers to criminal negligence and means that a person knew or should have known of the danger involved and acted with a reckless disregard for the safety or health of the child.

B. Abandonment of a child consists of the parent, guardian or custodian of a child intentionally leaving or abandoning the child under circumstances whereby the child may or does suffer neglect. Whoever commits abandonment of a child is guilty of a misdemeanor, unless the abandonment results in the child's death or great bodily harm, in which case he is guilty of a second degree felony.

C. A parent, guardian or custodian who leaves an infant less than ninety days old in compliance with the Safe Haven for Infants Act [24-22-1 NMSA 1978] shall not be prosecuted for abandonment of a child.

D. Abuse of a child consists of a person knowingly, intentionally or negligently, and without justifiable cause, causing or permitting a child to be:
(1) placed in a situation that may endanger the child's life or health;
(2) tortured, cruelly confined or cruelly punished; or
(3) exposed to the inclemency of the weather.
Whoever commits abuse of a child that does not result in the child's death or great bodily harm is, for a first offense, guilty of a third degree felony and for second and subsequent offenses is guilty of a second degree felony. If the abuse results in great bodily harm or death to the child, he is guilty of a first degree felony.

E. A person who leaves an infant less than ninety days old at a hospital may be prosecuted for abuse of the infant for actions of the person occurring before the infant was left at the hospital.

Needless to say, emphasis added, mine.

The state's grounds for any criminal prosecution would be the word "proper." Used in this context, it's too ambiguous. Does proper always mean following everything your doctor tells you? Perhaps it would if it was something about which there was absolutely no controversy, and where the results of non-compliance are would have a grave impact on the well-being of the child. This is not such a case.

Arguably, and I think more easily argued than that the father's actions were abusive, the father of the child would have been more guilty of abuse if he had left the kid on the medicines. If the medicines were endangering the kid's health, or the father reasonably thought that they were, then keeping him on them would have met the definition of "abuse." Also, since the child was loosing weight and appetite on the medicine, not noticing it and taking action would have met the definition of "neglect" since it was adversely effecting the child's subsistence.

So... Does this strong-arming offend you? Does it make you want to jump up and shout out that it's "Outrageous!" It does for me, and that means that the intimidation tactics of the New Mexico Department of Children, Youth & Families seems like "Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress" on the family. Since that's an intentional tort, and is not action that is demanded by law, the state actors won't be able to hide behind Sovereign Immunity.

Ya know, maybe this is all for the best. If Mr. Taylor engages a good attorney, he might be able to afford a top-notch private education for his son after the settlement.

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