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Monday, August 30, 2004

Inside the Brain of John Kerry


Finally. A scientific explanation for the seemingly unfathomable behavior of John Kerry.

This article doesn't appear to be a joke (although I have little faith in psychology and realted sciences). And it does sound disturbingly logical. You decide.

"Is your boss a charming, well-educated and polished leader intent on climbing the career ladder? If so, he could be a psychopath, psychologists gathered in Stockholm said.

"Recent research has shown that not all psychopaths are violent killers -- many of them hold normal jobs, with some rising to the highest levels of executive management.

"But their charisma and ambition are often mistaken for leadership traits rather than psychopathic ones, industrial-organisation psychologist Paul Babiak of the United States told the EuroScience Open Forum in Stockholm.

"Psychopaths tend to be charming, have a grandiose sense of self, and they like money, power and sex. They have strong verbal skills and can manipulate by telling a good story. Because they can talk big, you think they have vision and can lead an organisation, but a psychopath will mislead," Babiak said."

So all you undecideds out there… Do you really want to elect a psychopath ?

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Lazier-Faire Political Commentary


Yesterday Glenn Reynolds commented:

"Just as who controlled the Senate in 2002 wasn't the most important thing in the world, who wins the White House in 2004 isn't either, except perhaps to those involved."

Reynolds is flat out wrong. As much as people hate the whole "trickle down" philosophy, it's as true in political leaders as it is in business models. When business prospers, the workers prosper with new jobs and higher salaries. When the President is strong, optimistic, and (for the most part) ethical, the populace itself feels strong, optimistic and successful. So we are all  involved whether we like it or not.

Humans always look up to other humans as examples--good or bad--and are swayed by what they see. They emulate that person, whether it be parents, minister, doctor, teacher, the local pusher draped with gold chains, gangsta' rappers, "Jackass," Brittany (et all ), or a President who smiles away lying and adultery.

Eight years of Reagan made us collectively feel "I can do it!" and communism fell. Eight years of Clinton made us collectively feel "I can get away with it!" and we were nearly flattened by Muslim jihadists.

The surest yardstick to how the public psyche is inexorably tied to these trickle-down morals from the highest office in the land is the rise and fall of professional victims groups. Homelessness, the AIDs crisis, racism, poverty, health costs, and environmental ruin had us all teetering on the brink of destruction during the Reagan years. Magically they vanished (or were solved?) the moment Clinton took the oath of office. Now they're back in all their gruesome, gut-wrenching, grant-to-study-them-needing, legislation-to-cure-them glory.

For eight years during the 90s we allowed the Piped Piper of the mainstream media to lead us along the primrose path of moral relativism. We allowed them to be the traffic cops at the national accident in progress, waving their arms authoritatively and shouting "Move along, move along. Nothing to see here!"

No more. The Internet has elbowed its way onto the roadway to expose the drunk drivers on both sides.

So what if you're bored with all the Kerry controversy? Deal with it. The MSM would love for the blogsphere to become bored with exposing their pet candidate's shameless pandering, inconsistencies, and questionable funding. They pray for the time all the independent commentators "move on" to other things and give them back the mantle of "kingmakers."

Don't count on it, you ink-stained wretches and babbling heads. Glenn Reynolds might be bored with the debates, but there are a hundred other bloggers just getting warmed up.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Poll Monitors


Well, this  bit of information should make voters feel safe when going to the polls November 2.

"The AFL-CIO will monitor polls in battleground states on Election Day to guard against voting abuses, and is launching a new effort to educate voters about the process and their rights."

Brass knuckles and truncheons optional.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

The Great Red/Blue Divide


World Magazine Blog had a long post yesterday about a new blueprint for Democrat control of the United States.

The Great Divide: [Retro Vs. Metro America , a new book by John Sperling] is billed as "a blueprint for how the Democratic Party can regain, and maintain, control of the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives." Mr. Sperling, founder of the University of Phoenix, believes that conservative voters with traditional values are a millstone around America's neck,

Most of you probably know the University of Phoenix--or at least had one pop-up ad for the place invade your screen. They're big on email appeals too. If you visit the University website, you will find they actually have campuses around the country and are looking for faculty. Wonder how many conservatives have been hired.

If you follow the link to a sample from Sperling's book, you'll find a side by side comparison of what he considers Retro versus Metro--conveniently categorized in red and blue columns with a long, jagged virtual tear between them.

"Retro America’s commonalities are religiosity; social conservatism; an economic base of extraction industries, agriculture, nondurable goods manufacturing, military installations; and a commitment to the Republican Party.

"Metro American states are loosely held together by common interests in promoting economic modernity and by shared cultural values marked by religious moderation; vibrant popular cultures; a tolerance of differences of class, ethnicity, tastes, and sexual orientation; and a tendency to vote Democratic.

Note the addition of the adjective "vibrant" in the Metro description. I'm surprised Sperling didn't slip the word "morbund" into the Retro paragraph instead of limiting himself to the description "nondurable."

"Retro Representatives support subsidies to oil, mining and agriculture, but they are opposed to women’s rights, gay and lesbian rights, affirmative action, welfare, organized labor, and taxes of any kind… These are “God, Family, and Flag” folks politically dominated by rural, conservative, white, Fundamentalist Christian populations. Retro America is not the land of co-habiting, unmarried, hetero, or same-sex couples, or of the young seeking cultural excitement in the large Metro cities.

Got guilt?

"Metro America values inclusion, respects science and social discourse, and promotes policies designed to provide physical, economic and social security for all families, both the 20 percent of the “old traditional families” and the 80 percent of the “new traditional families.”

Metro America "values," "respects," and "promotes" while Retro Americans "are opposed" to just about everything, not to mention "dominated by" their Fundamentalist (note the capital "F" just for good measure) Christian populations.

The final insult is the closing sentence of the "Metro America" profile:

"If America is ever to be a true United States, it must embrace these Metro values of inclusion and respect."

Closely  embraced by inclusive, respectful, liberal Democrats as they lead us to the Promised Land.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Seeing the World Through Rose-Colored Glasses…


…is not a good thing. Cockeyed optimists are out. Crabby is in. Science has vindicated Lucy.

"People in a negative mood provide more accurate eyewitness accounts than people in a positive mood state, according to new research.

[…]

"People in a positive mood such as happiness were shown under experimental conditions to have relatively unreliable memories, and show poorer judgement and critical thinking skills.

"By contrast, those who experienced a negative mood such as sadness were shown to provide more reliable eyewitnesses accounts and exercise superior thinking and communication skills.

[…]

"In a second experiment, researchers put different subjects in a positive or negative mood state and asked them to write down an argument in favour of a particular proposition.

"When their arguments were analysed for their quality and persuasiveness, subjects in a negative mood were shown to be far more effective in their critical thinking and communication skills.

That might explain the extraordinarily literate arguments (and success) of the Swift Vets. Of course the Democrats have to be in an even more negative mood… Perhaps they're the exception that proves the rule.

"The finding makes sense in evolutionary terms," says Professor [Joe] Forgas. "Animals that are wary of their environment are more likely to perceive threats to their survival. This supports the idea that mood states are evolutionary signals about how to deal with threatening situations. That is, a negative mood state triggers more systematic, more attentive, more vigilant information processing.

"By contrast, good moods signal a benign, non-threatening environment where we don't need to be so vigilant."

Darwin has his uses, I suppose. At least now we have clinical proof that a socialist-state Utopia will never survive. It's unnatural.

No More Playing Fields


The Duke of Wellington is said to have commented that the Battle of Waterloo was "…won on the playing fields of Eton,"

We can only hope another Napoleon never arises out of France. (I don't suppose there really is  much danger of that.) But if, in years to come, a charismatic "emperor" does manage to pull together a massive army to come face to face against the United States, we are in deep trouble. Any future creative, imaginative leaders have nowhere to play today.

"Concerned about safety and injuries and worried about bullying, violence, self-esteem and lawsuits, school officials have clamped down on the traditional games from years past. Gone from many blacktops are tag, dodgeball and any game involving bodily contact. In are organized relay races and adult-supervised activities.

[…]

"Natomas Park [Elementary School in the Natomas Unified School District] administrators say physical safety was the main reason they instituted restrictions. But they admit to worrying about bullying and potential lawsuits from parents."

For that worry we can thank Democrat VP nominee John Edwards, king of lawsuits aimed at destroying society. But of course it is all "for the children."

"At Maeola Beitzel Elementary, Janis Mayse, the mother of a fifth-grader, doesn't think the fun is worth it if a game is played to the detriment of another child. "All of us want to hang on to the games we played as kids," she said, "but we have to keep an open mind that there are games that kids can get a benefit from without hurting one another."

[…]

"Child behavior experts are concerned that strict rules for play threaten to straitjacket students' creativity. Recess is supposed to be spontaneous play. The unstructured time helps fuel the imagination, said Dolores Stegelin, associate professor of early childhood education at Clemson University.

"It encourages creativity. It strengthens social development when they can be creative and plan something together and set up their own rules. It allows for leadership," said Stegelin, a member of the Association for the Study of Play. "Adults need to be there, but there needs to be more time for kids to be innovative and do their own activity."

Dodgeball teaches students eye-hand coordination and gross motor skills. Getting singled out and eliminated from competition is part of life, said Tom Reed, professor of early childhood education at the University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg.

"Life is not always fair," said Reed, also a member of the Association for the Study of Play. "You don't get what you want. Things like this are learned on the playground."

"That's what worries Kellie Randle. A former teacher and a parent of a student at Joseph Sims Elementary School in Elk Grove, Randle believes kids aren't as creative as they once were. "I'm concerned about the direction of a society where kids are encouraged not to run and play," she said. "If you take away running, freeze tag, and red light, green light, you're taking away a big part of childhood."

Now could someone please explain to me why everyone is so worried about the "obesity epidemic" among children when those same children are being forbidden to engage in the very games that might take the weight off ?

Friday, August 20, 2004

Those Seven Minutes Still Rankle


At least a few people, apparently, although I think "mattcable2506" who brought up the question at My Little Corner of the World was more interested in engaging in "gotcha'" posting than a real debate. Anything and everything must be dragged out to counter the devastating effect the Swift Vets are having on the Kerry campaign.

Tom at Mud 'n Phud did some major keyboard work tracking down the various links from my original post, and the explanation we read is entirely logical and appropriate.

As I mentioned to Tom, I didn't question the "7 minutes" explanation primarily because I have had a number of opportunities to talk with former Secret Service agents (some from the Reagan era) who explained their duties in surprising detail. Their object is always to keep the President safe and secure whatever the situation, and they will not, under any circumstances, allow the President to move/travel unless they are positive the route is as secure as they can make it. So what I read made sense. President Bush was safe in the classroom--potentially not  safe outside the classroom.

Hopefully the radical left will give up this Mickey Mouse--er--Michael Moore--argument and get on with the rest of the election.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

The Difference Between Them and Us


I've often written about the fact Islam was/is a cult spread across the Middle Eastern map through conquest and coercion. Attaining religious legitimacy through force of arms is an acceptable alternative and stories of brokering a truce until one is strong enough to destroy one's "peace partner" are a part of the Qu'ran.

This is a concept largely unthinkable to those with roots in the Judeo-Christian tradition whose leaders (for the most part) will still accept a peace plan with the sincere belief in its veracity. That misguided notion has been at the bottom of all the conflict between the so-called Palestinians and Israel and I  still labor under the misapprehension our leaders will eventually figure out the scam.

The most recent evidence of this tactic among Muslims has been playing out with deadly results in Najaf. I've lost count of how many "truces" Sadr has brokered when he was on the verge of defeat, then broken when he had once again built up his strength. Yet the Iraqi National Conference continues to offer "peace" and even legitimacy to this man.

"BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has accepted a peace plan drafted by the Iraqi National Conference, which would include laying down arms and withdrawing his militia from a holy shrine in the city of Najaf, a delegate told the conference Wednesday. There was no immediate confirmation from al-Sadr's office.
[…]
"On Tuesday, an eight-person delegation from the conference traveled to Najaf to present a peace proposal to al-Sadr. It demanded the cleric's militia disarm, leave the Imam Ali Shrine where it has taken refuge, and transform itself into a political party in exchange for amnesty."

While many on both sides of the asile will celebrate this pseudo cessation of rebellion on Sadr's part, it will serve no one's interest--except perhaps Sadr's who is a wanted murderer , remember--and should never have been offered in the first place.

Imagine, if you will, all the names and titles in the news report are changed and it now reads as follows:

"New York, USA - Radical evangelical preacher Jerry Fallwell [or Pat Robertson or any other national Christian televangelist] has accepted a peace plan drafted by Congress, which would include laying down arms and withdrawing his militia from a holy church in the city of New York, a delegate told the conference Wednesday. There was no immediate confirmation from Fallwall's office.
[…]
"On Tuesday, an eight-person delegation from the House and Senate traveled to New York to present a peace proposal to Fallwell. It demanded the minister's militia disarm, leave St. John's Cathedral where it has taken refuge, and transform itself into a political party in exchange for amnesty."


Would anyone in this country, right or left, agree with such an offer? Oh please, people. By that reasoning, Timothy McVeigh should be the Representative from Oklahoma!

Sadr must be exterminated or Iraq will end up split into armed factions filled with endless Palestinesque "uprisings." Think about it. Do you really want to see Sadr's dessicated face plastered all over the evening news in 40 years á la Yassar Arrafat?

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Seven Minutes in September 2001 versus Christmas Day in 1968


I'm not sure why there's any focus on the 7 minutes Bush remained in the classroom on September 11th when there is the entire Christmas Day 1968 that Kerry spent in Cambodia to discuss, but New England Republican links to PoliPundit who seems to have found the answer:

"On 911, Bush was instructed to keep going as normal while the SS set up a perimeter and plotted an alternate route to the airport where they could board Air Force One. They altered the route in case there was an attack planned against the President."

Works for me.

NERepublican has a good roundup of links on the Cambodian issue as well.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Judge Not Yourself, Bob Ray


At the World Magazine Blog site, I ran across a link to this opinion piece (registration required--go to BugMeNot if you don't want to register). In it Mr. Bob Ray Sanders misses a number of important points. And no, Bob Ray, I don't have to use Scripture to point them out. Strange caveat for a gentleman invited to teach a Sunday School class, though. Perhaps you (or better yet, your colleague) should rethink the whole idea.

"Recent discussions, debates and outright attacks on religion remind me of two kids in a schoolyard arguing about their fathers.
[…]
"This conversation came to mind after a colleague invited me to speak to his Sunday school class and suggested I talk about how different people see God, and specifically, how those of one faith reconcile their beliefs with acceptance of those who practice other religions.
[…]
"Frankly, it is sickening to hear some people--especially Christians--talk about other religious groups, particularly Muslims.

"The blatant prejudices are shocking coming from those who supposedly teach love. I've talked before about how some folks like to wrap God in their own little boxes, define him and "protect" him from anyone who might challenge their definitions of the deity."

First major miss and it's one everyone seems to be making today--in most cases deliberately.

Disagreement does not equal prejudice. Write that down somewhere Bob Ray, and refer to it frequently. Use it as a mantra if you wish. Disagreement does not equal prejudice. 

It is in the narrow, biased interest of certain peoples and parties, however, to equal the two. Disagree aloud with the behavior of fourteen Syrian males on an U.S. domestic flight and you are accused of intolerance by CAIR. Disagree aloud with CAIR's methods and you are labeled prejudiced.

Disagree aloud with same-sex marriages and you are homophobic.

Disagree aloud with affirmative action and you are racist.

You see how it's done Bob Ray? You seem a reasonably intelligent person and they've managed to suck you right in to their delusions.

The Christian's Jesus did a lot of disagreeing, Bob Ray. Disagreeing with the Scribes and Pharisees is what got him killed, in case you've forgotten that little fact. He wasn't all sweetness and light, either. As I recall, he broke up those tables and moneylenders as good as any redneck in a cowboy bar. And only one of the two thieves on Calvary was forgiven.

"Certainly I have caused some of my fellow Christians concern in recent years by merely acknowledging that other religions have great gifts to offer the human race."

Miss number two. Other religions brought some gifts to the world centuries ago .

Whenever I hear that kind of statement, I just look at the various countries around the world. Maybe you should too. Take a good, hard, realistic look at the quality and equality of life in the Middle East, Africa, India, China, Indonesia, Russia and the former Soviet satellite states. For the most part, all the prosperous, peaceful counties are (or were) governed by those who embrace the Christian culture and beliefs. (And don't start with any argument about how the U.S. and Britain started the Iraqi war. Saddam started that war back in 1991 and we're just finishing it after he broke the treaty he signed then.)

"It is sacrilege to some in my faith to be remotely tolerant of other faiths, and they are quick to declare you "hell-bound" if you refuse to try to proselytize in the name of Jesus."

Well, that's their problem, not mine. Yours too if you use it to condemn all Christians.

"During tough times, and specifically during times of war, we become less accepting of those who are different, and we call on our gods to take sides."

Miss number three. Bob Ray, you're forgetting we're less accepting at the moment because great numbers of those "different" people are spending all their time trying to kill us . And I haven't heard many objections from the Islamic community here in the United States, either. Except for CAIR, of course, who spends all their time being insulted whenever a Muslim has to go through a security check at an airport.

As far as "God" taking sides, well, I can only look at what people do in their particular "God's" name. If it's just a bunch a ranting and raving, I can handle that. If it's using airliners as bombs, I think I have a perfect right to figure the God I know doesn't approve, ergo Islamic fanatics and me do not have the same God--and mine is the right one.

"So we label others evil or devils or the anti-Christ, making ourselves, in turn, the chosen ones. Condemn me if you wish, but I will not allow religious bigotry to contaminate my soul. I have friends and family members of many faiths--a few of no particular faith at all--and they are all good people, caring people, loving people."

I think you secretly like it when people "condemn" you, Bob Ray. It makes you feel very much like a, well, "chosen one," doesn't it? But you're treading close to reverse bigotry--like someone in the 60's protesting "Some of my best friends are black."

I, too, have many friends of many faiths--or none at all--and they are very nice, good, caring people. That doesn't mean I won't disagree with them, debate them, and, yes, even (gasp!) proselytize if the opportunity arises. Deal with it.

"Love or acceptance of an individual should never be based on that person's religion or nationality or any other accident of birth."

Miss number four. Religion is not an "accident of birth," Bob Ray. It's a choice. Unless you live in a Muslim country. The choices are a bit different there. (Oops! There I go with that nasty discriminating/hating business again.)

"The basis of my affection for others will be their own humanity and their treatment of others. It bothers me greatly to see savagery carried out in the name of God, or to watch terror groups or nations (democratic or otherwise) declare that they are fighting "holy wars."

People can say whatever they want, that doesn't make it true. And you sound like a person who's worried we might "inflict" Christianity on Iraq in some way.


"We ought to be careful about what we blame on God, or how we use God as an excuse for what we want to do to benefit us as individuals or as a country.

"Religious folks, if you must, go through your rituals of ringing bells, lighting candles, blowing horns and chanting daily prayers, but it is time to stop the ritual of discrimination and hatred of those who are different.

"Believe me, I know I'll hear from many of you who are ready to tell me how wrong I am and that I'm probably on my way to hell. I welcome your comments, but please leave out the Scripture."

Well, Bob Ray, just in case you missed it--your comments are highly discriminatory and clearly reveal your hatred of "religious folks" and their "rituals." And I didn't have to use Scripture once to prove it.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

"If This Be Treason...

make the most of it."*

This Reuters article by Peter Gaff accuses our own intelligence services of revealing the man who was most likely a mole working inside the Al Qaeda organization.

"Reuters learned from Pakistani intelligence sources on Friday that computer expert Mohammad Naeem Noor Khan, arrested secretly in July, was working under cover to help the authorities track down al Qaeda militants in Britain and the United States when his name appeared in U.S. newspapers.

"After his capture he admitted being an al Qaeda member and agreed to send e-mails to his contacts," a Pakistani intelligence source told Reuters. "He sent encoded e-mails and received encoded replies. He's a great hacker and even the U.S. agents said he was a computer whiz."

What is more revealing, though, is this paragraph:

"Last Sunday, U.S. officials told reporters that someone held secretly by Pakistan was the source of the bulk of the information justifying the alert. The New York Times obtained Khan's name independently, and U.S. officials confirmed it when it appeared in the paper the next morning. None of those reports mentioned at the time that Khan had been under cover helping the authorities catch al Qaeda suspects, and that his value in that regard was destroyed by making his name public."

The implication is that we are a collection of Inspector Clouseaus bumbling cluelessly about in the nefarious Islamofascist underworld. But the article clearly states "[t]he New York Times  obtained Khan's name independently, and U.S. officials confirmed it when it appeared in the paper the next morning." [Emphasis mine.]

U.S. intelligence did NOT reveal their source--the NYTimes did. And with the man's name already in print as the person supplying us with information, Khan's use was at an end.

Iraqi government has temporarily suspended Al Jazzeera for inciting violence against Iraqi and coalition personnel. Personally I would have no problem with our own government doing the same thing to the New York Times  and/or the Washington Post  the next time either one reveals the names of our deep cover operatives. They are, at best, DNC operations and, more seriously, treasonous organizations.

Found via The Corner.

*When [Patrick] Henry ended his speech saying that some good American would do to George III what Brutus had done to Caesar, Speaker [of Virginia's House of Burgesses] John Robinson flew into a rage and accused him of treason.

"If this be treason," Henry famously replied, "make the most of it."


Saturday, August 07, 2004

The Real  Oil War


This item at "Slate" (found via Instapundit)reminded me of the dangerous silliness spread by extreme greens and their endless campaign to demonize SUVs in the name of conserving oil.

"Well, here's a surprising piece of news. It may not be. Cities throughout California—the nation's largest car market—prohibit the heaviest SUVs on many of their residential roads. The problem is, they don't seem to know they've done it."

Add to that their pathological opposition to oil drilling and refinery construction anywhere within spitting distance of the United States. The refinery issue is really the most serious because, even if we could get crude at a low per-barrel price, the cost of turning it into a usable product drives the price back up because of the lack of actual refinineries to do the job.

I imagine you're as thoroughly sick of listening to their idiocy as I am, and the way that message has infected our society. Fed up, I did a bit of research on precisely where and how "oil" and "oil byproducts" (petrochemicals) are used and how they affect consumer prices in every single facet of our society.

Does anyone else out there recall the santimonious "paper or plastic" debate the tree huggers used to rid grocery stores of all paper grocery bags? Raving ignorance on display. All plastics are made from petroleum products--aka oil --which means anything you buy that is wrapped, bundled, stored, or in any way protected by or sold in plastic containers will cost more when oil prices spike . And if those same tree huggers wave their cute little cloth shopping bags under your nose, remind them the weaving process to create that sack includes lubricating--or oiling --the strands. Pop quiz: which is the "renewable" resourse--trees or oil?

Now, for all the enviro-freaks out there--do you have children in school? I know you do because I've encountered numerous students worried about how the environment is being destroyed and protesting the "war for oil" in the Middle East. Well, kids, maybe you should ask your parents about these facts.

When you get ready for school, remember the toothpaste tube you're using is made of plastic and "[v]irtually all synthetic fabrics and plastics are made from petrochemicals produced from petroleum or coal." And while you're in the bathroom, check out your first aid kit. Filled with plastics, chemicals, and cotton. "The sticky bandages are made from plastics (petrochemicals) and cotton, and many ointments are disinfectants derived from petrochemicals in a petroleum jelly base."

The clothing you're wearing--whether your parents like your fashion sense or not--is made of cotton, nylon, polyester, orlon, and elastic. All are synthetic except cotton--but a lubricant is used in the weaving process. "The synthetics are made from petrochemicals. The elastic that holds up socks and underwear is a synthetic rubber made from petrochemicals."

The backpack you drag around is made of nylon and plastic. Petrochemicals.

That down-filled winter coat keeping you warm is made of nylon with plastic fasteners. "Down comes from geese and ducks fed with grain fertilized with petrochemical and potash-based fertilizers. The nylon…is made from petrochemicals, as are synthetic insulating fibers."

The pencils you use for tests (if there still are tests in schools) are made of graphite and wood--while the eraser is synthesized from petrochemicals. The paint is made from petrochemicals, mineral pigments, and mineral fillers.

Those cell phones, portable CD players, and radios you can't live without are made with plastic casings, you know. Oh, and be sure you include the batteries to power them in that list too.

If the power at home goes out and your parents begin to lecture on the benefits of "back to nature" living, you might want to think about the matches used to light your fireplace--or grill (more petrochemical products there). Matches, of course, are tipped with sulfur--a byproduct of oil refining and phosphorus. Add in the flashlights with plastic cases (and the batteries), kerosene lamps, cooking utensils with plastic handles--the list is endless.

So kids, the next time you--or your parents--launch into a diatribe against SUVs and wax vitrolic in an essay about how America need to conserve gas and oil--well, if you're not living naked in the woods eating nothing but wild grass and berries--you're just a bunch of hypocrites who could never in a million years practice what you preach.

Update: See what I  mean?

THE TWO AMERICAS, IN ULSTER COUNTY, N.Y. [Rick Brookhiser]

In New Paltz, a woman shaking her head at traffic backed up for the Ulster County Fair said, "They should all get out of their cars, and stop bombing Iraq for oil, you know what I mean?"


Thursday, August 05, 2004

Is There Something in the Water?


Reason number 4,367 not to get anywhere near  Tennessee. That state is rapidly become the sick joke of the south. They must hold the record on how to torture and murder pets, from police shooting a vacationing family's dog during a traffic stop to using small dogs as footballs, to grilling stray puppies for sport.

Not satisfied with terrorizing innocent tourists and small animals, they've now gone international:

"Two members of a group of Iraqi visitors who were barred from city hall were robbed at gunpoint on a Memphis street, police said Wednesday. No one was hurt. The seven visiting Iraqis are civic and community leaders on a three-week American tour sponsored by the State Department. On the tour, they are to learn about how American government works on the local level.
[…]
"The Iraqis were scheduled to visit city hall Monday but city council chairman Joe Brown objected, saying they were security risks. Elisabeth Silverman, head of the Memphis Council for International Visitors, said Brown told her he would "evacuate the building and bring in the bomb squads." The group met with another member of the city council at different location to talk about Memphis government."

I'm sure there more than bigots, deadbeats thieves, and dog killers living in Tennessee, but I'm not taking any risks during my  next road trip.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

So Move Already


Michele Catalano wrote today about the "gotcha'" mentality running rampant among the left about the news the Homeland Security warnings recently issued were based on "old" intelligence reports. Lots of people seem to find that a reason to say they aren't valid. No surprise there. Their God-President Clinton ignored warnings and attacks for eight years, so why should they change now?

That's fine with me. Ignore them. Those warnings are only for the general New York City metropolitan area anyway and who lives there that matters? A bunch of blue-state liberals. So what if they get turned into a huge smoking crater? Less aggravation for the rest of the country in the long run. We'd have to pay to clean up the mess, of course, and I'd be sorry about it for the few reasonable-minded acquaintances I have living in the general area, but all-in-all would it really be such a great loss? These people don't believe there's any terror danger out there, so stop wasting my tax dollars to protect them. If they're worried they can afford to pay for their own security measures from the huge tax cuts they just got from President Bush. (Hey, they claim they don't need that money anyway.)

The greatest problem I see is the economic defeat it would cause. So why haven't all those major financial institutions begun to relocate to other cities--spreading out a bit more so they won't be such sitting ducks? With current technology they really don't need to be huddled up against the physical presence of the NYSE and there are numerous towns, cities, counties, and states up and down the east coast that would welcome such major players with open arms and big tax breaks. It would do those "I'm-better-than-you-are-because-I-live/work-in-New-York"-ers good to exit their big, dirty plastic bubble and experience real life for a change. If they won't leave, well, there's plenty of other people more than capable of taking over their jobs.

And what about the hints that Al Qaeda might also be targeting the West Coast? So? I might miss Disneyland and a couple of other spots that are favorites of mine in CA, but let's be realistic here. Who would really miss Hollywood & Co.?

Wonder if Al Qaeda has gotten their mitts on that aerial photo of Barbra Streisand's house?

Just a thought…

Conspiracy Theory


When I first read of the rumors of "abuse" at Abu Ghraib, a picture of the officer in charge of the entire Iraqi prison system was included with the story. My first thought would be classified as homophobic if I actually wrote it down. My second was 'this broad is going to get a pass'--thanks to women in the military political correctness. My third was 'assigning her to that post was just about the dumbest thing the army could have possibly done.'

Since the officer in question is married I guess my first thought was wrong. But my second and third were right on target.

"The general who headed the U.S. military prison at Abu Ghraib said in an interview broadcast Tuesday that there had been a conspiracy to prevent her knowing about prisoner abuse at the jail.

"Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, who was suspended by the Pentagon in May, has denied knowing about any mistreatment prisoners until photographs surfaced at the end of April. U.S. investigators have not implicated Karpinski directly in any of the abuses.

"Karpinski told British Broadcasting Corp. radio that she had information suggesting officials took action to keep her in the dark about the mistreatment."

Why is this female giving interviews to the BBC instead of sitting in a jail cell? And does anyone still believe that if this was Brig. Gen. Jack  Karpinski, the male soldier would be getting the same treatment?

"I have been told there's a reliable witness who's made a statement ... indicating that not only was I not included in any of the meetings discussing interrogation operations, but specific measures were taken to ensure I would not have access to those facilities, that information or any of the details of interrogations at Abu Ghraib or anywhere else," Karpinski said. She didn't identify the witness."

Why is the theme song from Hogan's Heros  suddenly echoing inside my brain?…

"Correct," Karpinski responded when asked if she thought there was a conspiracy at senior level to stop her knowing what was going on. "From what I understand ... it was people that had full knowledge of what was going on out at Abu Ghraib who knew that they had to keep Janis Karpinski from discovering any of those activities," she added. Asked whether she thought the conspiracy reached up to the Pentagon or the White House, she said: "The indication is that it may have."

Ah yes. Poor Janis was just a hapless, hopeless, clueless Colonel Klink in disguise, blumbling around her prison while the sly duo of Cheney and Rumsfeld ran an undercover operation right under her monocle.

Catching Up


Meant to post this link earilier and got distracted by other things. Political Correctness Watch is one of my favorite sites, and their Health Correctness Watch post is just plain scary !