Gone until 2007
Here is hoping you have nothing but the best of times in the New Year.
Another cog in the wheel known as the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy to combat the Extreme Left-Wing Media.
When the Wall Street Journal and President Bush claim we need the illegal immigrants to do "jobs American's won't do" I wonder if this is one of the jobs they are talking about:
A man suspected of shooting two police officers during a traffic stop was killed in a wild shootout with police in a strip mall parking lot, authorities said Thursday. More than 50 shots were fired between Santa Ana police officers and 33-year-old Oscar Gabriel Gallegos on Wednesday, Santa Ana Police Chief Paul Walters said. Gallegos was an illegal immigrant who had been deported three times and had a criminal record dating back to 1990, including arrests for drug offenses and assault with a deadly weapon, authorities said.Am I the only one that thinks this guy exemplifies why we need real border enforcement?
Here are a few more articles on the passing of our 38th president:
Ford was a fine man and a distinguished public servant, and he deserves to be remembered warmly. But the idea that his presidency saved America is ahistorical sentimentality.I think part of the reason people are acting sentimentally about Ford's time in office is due to respect for how gracefully the man served and how he knew to stay out of the business of his successors. But more than that, the fact that Carter was such an abysmal failure who made many people regret not voting for Ford in 1976 is contributing to overly positive remembrances.
Through no fault of Ford's, the man from Michigan presided over two of the worst years in American history. It would not be fair to call his presidency a failure, since he found himself in an impossible situation and managed as best he could. But there's no sense pretending that the 30 months between August 1974 and January 1977 were anything but dire.
You can find various articles this time of year where members of the Baseball Writers Association of America defend and explain their votes for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Usually I'm not persuaded by the argument of if so and so is in then this other guy should be in because he has the same number or better in one particular statistical category. This argument is often fallacious due to comparing apples and oranges (outfielders to infielders) or cherry picking a statistic which supports a one dimensional player (McGwire). However, Scott Miller of CBS Sportsline effectively uses that line of reasoning in arguing for greater consideration of Alan Trammell's Hall of Fame election.
But here goes: Ozzie Smith rode 91.74 percent of the vote into Cooperstown in 2002. Trammell last year received 17.7 percent of the votes. Trammell isn't a slam-dunk Hall of Famer, but I know this: No freakin' way there should be that significant of a gap in the voting between him and Smith.Smith routinely batted 8th in the St. Louis lineup while Trammell was normally a strong middle of the batting order guy. There is no way that the higher number of runs saved by Smith's glove exceeds Trammell's greater offensive output. If Trammell doesn't merit election then there is no defending Smith's election.
In the 1980s, you probably would have taken Smith over Trammell defensively, but it was darn close. While Trammell wasn't as flashy, he still made all of the routine plays, and his range was significant. He was above average defensively.
Across the board offensively, it wasn't even close: You'd take Trammell in a heartbeat. He outhit Smith over their careers (.285-.262), significantly outhomered him (185-28), collected more RBI (1,003-793), outslugged him (.415-.328) and compiled a better on-base percentage (.352-.337).
Sometimes you read an article and it is so ludicrous you wonder if it was a spoof. Here is an example.
In a recent interview in The Observer's special "gay edition" of Music Monthly Magazine, musician Sir Elton John told the UK newspaper that religion should be outlawed because it lacks compassion and promotes hatred of homosexuals. In the Sunday, November 12, 2006 issue, John said, "I think religion has always tried to turn hatred towards gay people. Religion promotes the hatred and spite against gays."The article goes on to make several points about the stupidity of John's comments. The authors main point is how John while bemoaning a lack of tolerance for the gay lifestyle choice shows zero tolerance of religion. Beyond that, to me, the bigger point is he is wrong in his contentions about religions. There may be churches that preach strongly against homosexuality, but I've never attended one. However, even if a preacher were to discuss homosexuality it should be addressing the individual's action just like when preaching about gambling or drinking. Personally, I think it is a goofy lifestyle choice, but I'm not going to hate someone for making that choice and I've never met a religious person who would.
Is he talking about brands of radical Islam that oppose homosexuality? No, it seems like he's directing his fire at Christianity.
ESPN just reported that Gerald Ford the 38th president of the United States passed away tonight. A long life lived well. A decent man who served his country honorably should be more remembered for the good he did than the pratfalls publicized by comedians. He could have taken action to facilitate his reelection but instead did what he thought was right. Not a great president, but definitely a great man even if he was a Michigan football player. My prayers go out to his family.
You will also see many mentions of people wishing they had their vote back in 1976 to do-over. However, I think the nation actually needed to see the perfidy of Jimmy Carter and a Democratic controlled Senate and White House to make the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 possible. If Ford had won in 1976 then it is very likely that we would have seen four years of vetoes and over-rides and finger pointing. Ford would have been unable to run in 1980 and it is entirely possible that the Republican President would have been blamed for "stagflation" allowing someone like Ted Kennedy to win election in 1980 instead of Reagan.
I've long considered Jimmy Carter the worst U.S. president. Beyond that, I've become convinced that he is an immoral man who has sided with those opposed to Israel out of an inherent anti-semitism. Tonight, I read an article that argues that Carter is not so much an anti-semite as he is just anti-intellectual.
Carter wants to do what's just. His heart's in the right place. He just can't figure out what the right is. He is, and always has been, a man of good intentions bereft of good judgment. He invariably finds himself defending tyrants and dictators at the expense of their oppressed peoples. Not because he is a bad man, but because he is a confused man.Upon further reflection, I'm still convinced he has deep seated anti-semitism, but I will grant this authors point that Carter's poor judgment can be attributed as much to stupidity as to racism.
CARTER SUBSCRIBES to what I call the Always Root for the Underdog school of morality. Rather than develop any real understanding of a conflict, immediately he sides with the weaker party, however wicked or immoral.
Here is an article from the Washington Times which makes a good point about the affect on the Democrat 2008 presidential field of the early drop outs of Mark Warner and Evan Bayh. The absence of those relatively moderate candidates tilts the field decidedly to the left.
Ethiopian warplanes attacked the airport in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, on Monday in another major escalation of fighting between the Ethiopian-backed Somali government and the Islamic Courts movement that in recent months has taken over much of the country.This caught my eye for a couple reasons. First, Somalia has become what we could expect to see develop in Iraq if we abandoned that country to al Queda. In 1993 we turned tail and ran from a few thugs in Somalia. Osama bin Laden specifically cited Somalia as proof that the United States has grown weak and was vulnerable. Secondly, from a personal point of view I'm concerned because I have a friend who is departing in a week on a mission to visit a Catholic hospital in Ethiopia.
This is the time of year when we publish those headlines about the "Top stories of 2006," as if the Republican election beat-down and bombings in Iraq made the Casey Kasem Countdown of the media's greatest hits.
But what about the bottom stories of 2006? What about the stories that were underplayed, ignored or quickly shoved in the back of a drawer because they remind us why journalism would be the least respected profession in America if not for politicians? (Thank you, politicians.)
An unlikely lawmaker is taking the lead to change Florida law to restore voting rights to convicted felons. Orlando state Sen. Gary Siplin, a convicted felon himself, has sponsored Senate Bill 466, which automatically restores voting rights a year after the felon's sentence is completed.So the convicted lawmaker introduces legislation from which he would directly benefit and politicians wonder why most of us are cynical about their trustworthiness.
Merry Christmas to one and all. My simple prayer at this time of year is for people to remember the reason for the season.
A few months ago I noted the story of a Wisconsin politician who was turned in for voting twice in the 2000 election. Now, we have the news of his punishment.
Riley agreed on Thursday to pay a $10,000 fine, surrender his law licenses in Wisconsin and Illinois and not practice law. He must also return campaign contributions to supporters who request refunds in the next 30 days even if it means paying them from his personal funds.I understand prosecutors offer lighter sentences to get plea agreements to save the cost of a trial, but this is far too lenient if you ask me. However, I suppose I should just be glad he received any punishment. Now if only his punishment got half as much national exposure as Britney Spears got for forgetting her underpants. he obviously isn't the only one pulling this kind of stunt and the only way to discourage people from committing vote fraud is if we make the penalty severe and publicize the penalties.
He has 45 days to meet those conditions. In exchange, the single count of election fraud, voting more than once, will be reduced to a misdemeanor. The deal, under which Riley avoids jail time, was reached in a plea bargain. . .
This is funny. Alan Dershowitz has an article calling out Jimmy Carter for refusing to debate his book which he says he wrote to stimulate debate.
7. The Constitution Means What It Says
Believing in the God-given rights of man and understanding the imperfect nature of human beings, the Framers crafted a Constitution designed to protect the former from the latter. Many of the problems in U.S. government would be resolved if the President, Congress and Courts limited themselves and each other to the authority the Constitution actually grants them.
Here are a few starting suggestions:
Bluntly identify radical Islam as fascistic - without worrying whether some Muslims take offense when we will talk honestly about the extremists in their midst.
What's in a name? Sometimes plenty. Here is an article out of England about most popular baby names. Why is it worth noting?
Mohammed, and its most common alternative spelling Muhammad, are now more popular babies' names in England and Wales than George, reflecting the diverse ethnic mix of the population. The Office for National Statistics said there were 2,833 baby boys called Mohammed in 2006.That should be alarming to any Brits not inclined to kneel facing Mecca five times a day.
I'm happy tonight to report a story of a politician doing something good. The mayor of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Ron Littlefield, gathered up a bus load of homeless people and took them to see the inspirational movie The Pursuit of Happyness. The Pursuit of Happyness is the true story of a man who found himself down on his luck and struggling to raise his son while living in a homeless shelter. The movie is a story of hope and perseverance. If the homeless people Mayor Littlefield took to the movie left with the hope of a better future then his idea was a success. Hope is more important to the human existence than money.
No war or its aftermath ever perfectly matches a preconceived plan. Whatever failings occur in a war zone are fair game for politicians who want to criticize whoever is in charge at a particular time. The Iraq portion of the War on Terror is no exception. Like with any war there have been enough things go wrong for an opportunistic politician to criticize without having to make stuff up. However, some politicians and their accomplices in the media are playing funny with facts to make things sound worse than they are. This weekend, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), who has never let the truth get in the way of making a nonsensical point, was being interviewed on FOX by Chris Wallace and made the following statement.
Our military has been in Iraq longer than in World War II, World War I, longer than the Vietnam War.Wallace never called Kennedy on his mendacity. We had troops in Germany and Japan for a half century after WW II. The Vietnam War lasted approximately 8 years. The war in Iraq lasted about a month and the occupation has lasted about four years. It is incredibly disingenuous for politicians to make such comparisons between the conflict in Iraq and past wars. We lost over fifty thousand troops in the Vietnam War. We lost over four hundred thousand servicemen in World War II. There is no valid comparison between this conflict and past wars. Having said that, there is a bigger point to be made. Even if there were very obvious comparisons to past wars either in length of time or number of casualties it would have no bearing on whether we should have ever prosecuted the war or whether we should stand by Iraq as it struggles to survive as a democracy.
WALLACE: But let me ask you about this, because some people would say that there need to be bigger changes than what you're talking about. Let me give you an example.Huh? 1995 is six years ago to him?
Back in 1995, you were one of only 12 senators to vote against welfare reform, which was subsequently signed by President Clinton. And you said the bill was — and let's put it up on the screen...
KENNEDY: This is...
KENNEDY: Six years ago, OK.
Last night there was a brawl near the end of an NBA basketball game. After all the punches were thrown and all the players thrown out, the TV talking heads were left to explain what happened. Turns out this brawl was precipitated by a perception by one team, the New York Knicks, that the other team, the Denver Nuggets, was disrespecting them by violating an unwritten rule of the sport. Near the end of the game, the coach of the Knicks Isiah Thomas complained to a Nuggets player about them having their starters left in the game even though they had a big lead. Consider this quote:
"Up 19 with a minute and a half to go, (Carmelo Anthony) and (Marcus) Camby really shouldn't be in the game," Thomas said. "We had surrendered. (Those) guys shouldn't even be in the game at that point."Instead of coaching his own team, he is worrying about who is playing for the other team. The reason unwritten rules are called unwritten rules is because they don't exist. If you don't want to get embarrassed by your opponent play better. During last years little league tournament, we had a player's dad almost thrown out of the game for arguing with the other teams first base coach because they were still stealing bases even though they were winning by more than a couple runs. I had to explain to him that if we don't want them to steal we need to show that we can stop them. Your opponent is under no obligation to play down to your level.
Labels: Sports - Basketball
The Boston Red Sox have completed a deal with pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka. The total cost for the pitcher's services for six years is over 100 million dollars. Ridiculous! Too much to commit to a player who has never played in the major leagues. Maybe teams will learn a lesson abut buying a pig in a poke, if, as I expect, he turns out to be no better than average against major league talent.
When it is pointed out that he has had almost--almost--two years in the U.S. Senate, and before that was an obscure state legislator in Illinois, his supporters compare him to Lincoln. But Lincoln had become a national voice on the great issue of the day, slavery. He rose with a reason. Sen. Obama's rise is not about a stand or an issue or a question; it is about Sen. Obama.
EVERYONE who laughed when the elfin Dennis Kucinich threw his hat in the ring to run for president in 2004 should realize why he smiles. He had 2,955,963 reasons to smile. That is how many bucks federal taxpayers gave his ridiculous campaign for president. Kucinich had no chance. Yet under the bizarre federal election rules, taxpayers had to give this fool $2,955,963 just to humor his vanityDo away with funding of these fools errands with confiscated monies (taxes)!
I guess it is a matter of perspective. This headline uses the word blame when I think credit would be much more appropriate.
Departing U.N. chief Kofi Annan has much to answer for during his tenure, including his own possibly criminal behavior. Instead, in one of his final speeches, he lets loose a flood of bile, mostly aimed at the U.S. . . .
He should be asking the world — including the U.S. — for forgiveness for his many failures as U.N. chief. He also should be indicted or at least investigated for crimes committed on his watch. But Annan's lucky. Instead, he'll retire to the lecture circuit, with a lavish pension funded largely by the U.S., a nation he despises
Just saw the main headline on Lucianne.com announcing that former U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick has passed away. She was a clear thinker and a clear speaker. She understood the threat of communism and brought the same clarity of thought to the current threat of Islamic-terrorism.
65 years ago today, our country was brutally attacked. On a quiet Sunday morning in the Hawaii port of Pearl Harbor as sailors were starting their day (or sleeping off Saturday night if they didn't have duty) the Japanese Navy commenced a surprise attack which killed over 2,400 sailors and decimated the U.S. Pacific Fleet. After that morning we could no longer ignore the war in Europe and the Far East. It is right to remember those lost that day and in the war that followed that attack. However, it is equally important to remember the lesson we should have learned that day.
More than any election in recent memory, the 2008 presidential election is wide open with no clear standard bearer for either major party. This has resulted in an incredible number of politicians believing they have a chance. I've probably missed some, but I'll list below everyone I've seen considering a run. There are over ten on each side. It is a fact of political life that to have any chance at winning a party's nomination a candidate needs to secure massive amounts of campaign funds. So many of the people I'm going to list will drop out of the race once they realize that the serious money is committed elsewhere. Regardless, here is an early list of potential candidates for each party.
What happened to the policy of shooting spies during wartime?
A military judge today sentenced Petty Officer 3rd Class Ariel J. Weinmann to 12 years in prison and a dishonorable discharge for espionage, desertion and other crimes.Not enough. That is a firing squad offense.
Two decades before he allegedly murdered Mary Hutchison in a suburban Burger King, James Ealy was convicted of murdering a pregnant woman and three children on Chicago's West Side.It is irresponsible for appeals courts to free dangerous criminals due to police not following approved investigative procedures. Administratively punish the police (loss of rank or one week suspension - whatever) if they don't remind a crook of their Miranda rights, but you should not release the crook to kill again.
But an appellate court threw out his conviction -- and left prosecutors no evidence to try him again.
Friedman made a major intellectual contribution to the formation of a voluntary army. In testimony before President Nixon's commission on eliminating the draft, General William Westmoreland said he did not want to command an army of mercenaries. Mr. Friedman interrupted, "General, would you rather command an army of slaves?" Gen. Westmoreland replied, "I don't like to hear our patriotic draftees referred to as slaves." Mr. Friedman then retorted, "I don't like to hear our patriotic volunteers referred to as mercenaries. If they are mercenaries, then I, sir, am a mercenary professor, and you, sir, are a mercenary general; we are served by mercenary physicians, we use a mercenary lawyer, and we get our meat from a mercenary butcher."We need men of Friedman's intellect to respond to the Charlie Rangels who would act to restore the draft.
For nearly 20 years -- ever since Pete Costello was 8 -- his mother has collected disability benefits on his behalf. In meetings with Social Security officials and psychologists, he appeared mentally retarded and unable to communicate. His mother insisted he couldn't read or write, shower, take care of himself or drive a car. But now prosecutors said it was all a huge fraud, and they have video of Costello contesting a traffic ticket to prove it.When we create a social welfare system that is based on how many kids you have and gives a larger amount of money if your kid has problems don't be too surprised that people pull scams like this.
If Thomas Sowell can title articles occasionally as a collection of random thoughts then so can I.
It didn't take long for my first "celebrity" sighting. As I was checking into my hotel Sunday night, I heard a pair of familiar, booming voices a few feet away. Glancing to my left, I saw Fox's Kevin Kennedy and XM radio's Charley Steiner (who's most famous for his days at ESPN). It's odd enough seeing random recognizable faces-although that's basically what I'm expecting this entire week-but what made it particularly weird was hearing familiar voices saying non-familiar things. As difficult as it was-and I had one of those "devil on one shoulder, angel on the other" internal dialogues going on-I somehow managed to avoid asking if Steiner ever got that whooping that Evander Holyfield promised him in an old ESPN commercial.
The men who crafted our Constitution understood that some office holders would act in a manner which would necessitate their removal from office. However, they also realized that occasionally politicians would abuse those procedures so they intentionally made the process fairly difficult.
The comic strip, by Garry Trudeau, shows a professor teaching a class, in which he compares two presidents -- Bush and Clinton. Of Bush he says, "The first president initiates a bloody, costly, unending war on false premises ... and approves covert policies of illegal detentions, kangaroo courts, extraordinary renditions, torture, and warrantless wiretapping of thousands of Americans."Click here for the rest of the article. Card very effectively refutes Trudeau's nonsense.
Of Clinton, he says, "The second president lies about hooking up with an intern. Question: Which one should be impeached?"
The only reason Trudeau's little screed is worth answering is because there are a lot of bitter, angry Democrats who feel the same way.