Thursday, February 28, 2008
Israel is right in attacking terrorists in Gaza because Palestinians are incapable of preventing Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli citizens.
Israel is right to attack the areas the rockets are fired from, even if Hamas is launching from populated areas, using civilians as shields.
Israel is also right to embargo Gaza to prevent armaments going in, and suicide bombers coming out.
Israel attacked Hezbollah in Lebanon, and will have to do it again because Iran and Syria are rearming Hezbollah with rockets.
Columbia is right for killing rebels staging from Ecuador. Chavez is an idiot for thinking otherwise.
Why is so hard for leftists to understand that it’s not OK for terrorists to attack with impunity from neighboring countries?
Even Obama seems to understand that's wrong, because he said we should attack Taliban in Pakistan if the Pakistanis won’t take care of the terrorists on its borders.
Sanctuaries can be built in many ways, for many reasons. During the Vietnam War, North Vietnam and Cambodia were sanctuaries for the Viet Cong and for North Vietnamese aggressors.
Why were they allowed sanctuary?
Because they were supported by the USSR and China, and we were afraid of escalating a regional war into an international one.
Obviously we hadn’t learned any lessons from the Korean War, where China (backed by the Soviet Union) provided sanctuary and prevented the military collapse of North Korea.
Sanctuaries exist all over. In the United Kingdom, France, and in most of Europe, Muslim communities give sanctuary to spewers of radicalism and hatred. Behavior is tolerated which normally would not be because the fear of abnormal violent reactions from Muslim communities causes authorities to look the other way.
This happens in America, too. When Danish and European publications struck a principled stand for freedom of the press and printed the Danish cartoons depicting Muhammad, the press of the United States took the coward’s way out and didn’t.
It is an abomination before our principles of press freedom that a nation that has no qualms about photos of a “Piss Christ” or a “Madonna Framed in Elephant Dung and Vulvas” cannot publish cartoons which are identifiable as Muhammad only by their captions.
The sanctuaries we gave Muslims are just like the ones of the Viet Cong and North Koreans – they exist because we were afraid to take them away.
Our fears license more sanctuaries, as they betray our principles.
The reason fishing was so good was so few people were allowed by the land owners to fish and pick abalone on their property. In essence, landowners like the Richardsons, Ratcliffs, Stornettas, Pedrettis, Leporis, and others, were operating their own marine sanctuaries. Their families and friends didn’t take enough fish and abalone to make a difference. They constantly repaired fences damaged by trespassers, patrolled their properties to chase away poachers, and were far more effective and less costly to taxpayers than an army of game wardens.
The difference a change from private to public access can make is obvious on the Stornetta property turned over to the Bureau of Land Management. Abalone were rapidly depleted, and the land trashed. What the Stornettas did without cost to taxpayers, the government can’t afford.
Now the public wants fishing restricted on private lands, and not on public. This makes no sense. The private owners take very little from the ocean resources, pay large property tax bills, and spend their own money to reduce damage caused by the public. Restricting them on their own property would deprive them of valuable property rights they have enjoyed, and paid taxes on, for a very long time.
It would make more sense to make marine sanctuaries primarily in areas now open to the public, because those are the areas that have suffered the most over the years.
In a 28 February 2008 article, McCain’s Canal Zone Birth Prompts Queries About Whether That Rules Him Out, By CARL HULSE, The Times reports: “To date, no American to take the presidential oath has had an official birthplace outside the 50 states.”
This will come as quite a shock to the British, and to the first seven Presidents of the United States, who were all born on British soil as British subjects.
Our eighth President, Martin Van Buren, is arguable, since he was born in 1782 in New York, and the British considered all inhabitants of their American colony at that time to still be British subjects.
William Henry Harrison was President number nine, and was born in Virginia in 1773, three years before the Declaration of Independence. He was definitely born a British subject.
The Treaty of Paris in 1783 ended the war and recognized the sovereignty of the United States over the territory bounded by what is now Canada to the north, Florida to the south, and the Mississippi River to the west.
So, New York Times, since when is being born on foreign (British) territory to foreign (British) parents equal to having an official birthplace inside the fifty states?
This is not just an academic exercise. Thousands of American citizens have been born overseas to parents serving in the military service of the United States. Usually the place of birth for military dependents has been on property owned or under the control of the United States. To a much lesser extent, there are also and have been American citizens (civilians) born of American parents working overseas.
My oldest grand-daughter was born in a US Army hospital in Germany, which wasn’t unusual since her father, my oldest son, spent ten years stationed at Army posts in Germany. Although each of my three sons was born in the United States, each was born within a year of a time when I was stationed at overseas Air Force bases, first in Turkey, and later in the United Kingdom.
I would be incensed if an American like John McCain was barred from seeking our presidency because he was born overseas as a result of his father’s military service.
That would make about as much sense as a child of illegal immigrants being eligible to be President because its mother sneaked across the border and had her baby in a United States border-town hospital.
Oops, I almost blew that one, didn’t I?
That child of illegal immigrants is eligible to be President, but there are Democrats that insist that the children born of Americans while serving their country overseas are not.
That’s so typically Democrat. Reward illegal acts like sneaking across the border to produce an “American” baby, while penalizing Americans in service to their country.
And as always, aided and abetted by sloppy New York Times reporting and editing.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Barry Bonds and his Godfather Willie Mays celebrate No. 756!
My respect for Barry Bond’s abilities and accomplishments increases each day as I find out more and more pitchers, like Roger Clemens, were “juiced” (on steroids). I suppose I should have known all along that pitchers were the primary users/abusers of steroids. The very act of pitching creates strains on arm, back, legs, the whole body, which keep pitchers on the trainer’s table more than any of the position players.
There were other, not subtle, indicators that pitchers had joined the ranks of the chemically enhanced. The JUGGS guns provide the evidence.
I remember a few decades ago when any pitcher with a fast ball that cracked 90 mph was called a “flamethrower.” Now that we’re in the era of the routine 100 mph fastball, the 90 mph one is called a “change-up.”
How did pitchers go from a century of struggling to top 90 mph, to two decades of 100 mph hummers?
Go ask Roger. Just get in line behind the Congressmen.
While you’re waiting, consider this.
Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Babe Ruth played on an even playing field, because no one was juicing in those days.
Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGuire, Jose Canseco, etc., were playing on an even playing field because almost everyone was juicing.
The guys that weren’t sat on the bench and cashed the little paychecks, and didn’t last long in the majors.
In fact we encourage them to drink more, live it up - at least up to the point their livers can take.
One of my favorite columnists is C. W. Nevius of the San Francisco Chronicle. A few months ago he had some great columns about homelessness in San Francisco which placed most of the blame for homelessness on the homeless. And their wild-eyed enablers of every liberal stripe except a practical one.
That’s earth shattering (a description not in favor in San Francisco) for a San Francisco columnist to see what is real, instead of what political correctness dictates.
However, CW blew it on the proliferation of liquor stores where alcoholics live. The question that immediately sprung forth in my head was: Do alcoholics live by liquor stores, or do liquor stores locate where people want to buy alcohol.?
If San Francisco liquor stores were located at least 500 feet apart, would there be fewer alcoholics in San Francisco? 1,000 feet?
No, although the extra walking would make them healthier alcoholics.
If San Francisco reduced its number of liquor stores by 26 percent, as Oakland has, would there be fewer alcoholics in San Francisco?
Hint: There aren’t fewer in Oakland.
As Jimmy Shamiel, vice-president of the Arab American Grocers noted, “…crime hasn’t gone down in Oakland (Strong Ox Note: it’s gone up). So maybe we need to address the issues rather than scapegoat small businessmen.”
One thing that would happen is that while a bunch of liquor store owners would lose their businesses, the ones left would be much more profitable.
None of the “creative approaches” taken by other cities mentioned in CW’s article seemed to have the slightest chance of reducing alcoholism in San Francisco, or in the other cities either. They might reduce the number of stores, increase fees per store while decreasing total fee revenue by reducing the number of stores, create more vacant store space in already economically depressed areas, and drive some businesses and jobs away.
But reduce alcoholism in San Francisco?
Cutting the number of liquor stores would be like Prohibition without any prohibitions.
Combating alcoholism by reducing the number of liquor stores reminds me of the idiocy of rent control. Rent control laws result in fewer rental units being built, in existing units being converted to condominiums, and rental rates going sky high because an ever increasing demand is facing an ever shrinking supply.
One of Alice’s old boyfriends, who owns several rental units in San Francisco, loves rent control, because it restricts and even eliminates competition. It’s easy for him to get very high rents for his units, and to keep raising his rents, as long as he makes sure to rent only to younger, mobile tenants. And to be very vigilant to prevent them from illegally sub-leasing to others.
Rent control is the primary reason that there are no affordable rental units in San Francisco for low-income families.
It’s a landlord’s best friend.
As with most loopy liberal ideas, rent control hurts the ones it was supposed to help, and helps the ones it was supposed to control.
I just read about how it has gotten so cold this past year because solar activity suddenly decreased. Just a dog-bone minute there, you guys!
Don’t you remember telling me that warming was caused by increased atmospheric carbon dioxide, and that variations in the Sun’s activities are too weak to drive warming?
Well maybe the Sun is too weak to drive warming, but apparently it can slow down and cause cooling, even when carbon dioxide is going up.
Actually, this current cycle of warming, following the previous cycle of cooling called the Little Ice Age, looks a lot like the Medieval Warm Period of 1,000 years ago, which followed the cool period of The Dark Ages.
In fact, just in the 18,000 years since the end of the last Ice Age – when sea levels were over four hundred feet lower and a mile-thick ice sheet covered Chicago – there were three major climate change cycles, and two of the warm periods were much warmer than the current one.
Now there are ominous signs that the current warming trend is fizzling out. From January 2007 to January 2008 we have experienced the largest one year drop in temperature ever recorded. Of course, you will have to excuse me for using the same sort of alarmist and apocalyptic rhetoric that Al Gore and his Acolytes use to describe short-term weather phenomena when it’s warming.
According to the believers that anthropogenic global warming is upon us and will destroy civilization, each heat wave, every strong hurricane, any droughts, most floods, Midwestern tornados, a drowned polar bear, an early Spring, and just about any weather event “out of the ordinary,” is a sign that man-caused global warming is here.
However, we’ve already seen how temperatures were cooler for thirty years (1945-1975) while CO2 increased steadily. How temperatures rose more rapidly in thirty years (1915-1945) than in the sixty years since. We’ve seen how Arctic Ice in the Winter this year (February 2008) is the same as it was February 1980, and how it fluctuates in forty year cycles caused by wind-driven warm currents, not atmospheric warming.
The bottom line is that Alice and I can't count on Gualala getting warmer as we get older. We don't want to be like all the other old folk, who can't take cold weather anymore and move to Florida or Arizona. We want it warmer, and we want to stay put.
Like Al Gore promised.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Then there was "The Catch"
The rest is history.
It’s easy to pick the 49ers as having the best NFL team of all time, the hard part is to pick which 49er team was the best.
Both teams are consistently picked by experts as among the top five teams ever, and the 49ers are the only team so honored.
Was it the 18-1 1984 team which came four points short of a perfect 19-0 season and romped over the New York Giants 21-10 and the Chicago Bears 23-0 before annihilating the Miami Dolphins and their supercharged offense 38-16 in the Super Bowl? Or was it the 17-2 1989 team, which only lost two games by a total of five points, and blasted through the playoffs and Super Bowl beating the Vikings 41-13, the Rams 30-3, and the Denver Broncos 55-10?
Both teams were led by the greatest quarterback of all, Joe Montana. Among his many accomplishments, Joe never threw an interception in a playoff or Super Bowl, and racked up four Super Bowl victories without defeat.
With the loss in Super Bowl XLII, Tom Brady will never be able to match Joe’s record of never losing a Super Bowl. Of course, Tom Brady is in good company, since among all the greats – Elway, Favre, Simms, Aikman, Starr, Staubach, et al – only Terry Bradshaw can match Joe’s 4-0 record in the Super Bowl.
It takes more than a quarterback to lay claim to being the greatest team. Coached by the incomparable Bill Walsh, the 1984 team had great balance on offense, with Wendell Tyler and Roger Craig running, Craig leading the team in receptions, and talented receivers led by Dwight Clark, Freddie Solomon, and Russ Francis. The athletic and precise 49er offensive line was anchored by Pro Bowlers Fred Quillan, Randy Cross, and Keith Fahnhorst, All-Pro John Ayers, and massive Bubba Paris.
Although the 49er offense was second only to Dan Marino’s Miami Dolphins in points scored, the 49er defense was second to none and led the league in least points allowed. For the first and probably only time, the entire 49er defensive backfield – Ronnie Lott, Dwight Hicks, Carlton Williamson, and Eric Wright – were selected as starters in the Pro Bowl. The 49ers also had an incredible defensive line, led by Dwaine Board, Fred Dean, Gary “Big Hands” Johnson, Michael Carter, Manu Tuiasosopo, Lawrence Pillers, Jeff Stover, and Jim Stuckey. You never heard much about individual accomplishments from this group because 49er defensive coordinator George Seifert rotated them continually to have fresh defenders in the game from start to finish. A good crew of 49er linebackers were led by All-Pro Keena Turner, Ricki Ellison, and Dan Bunz.
In the NFC Championship Game, the 49ers crushed the Chicago Bears 23-0. The following year the Bears had their only Super Bowl season, beating the 49ers 26-10 in the regular season. Some say the 1985 Bears were the best team ever, but while their defense was the best (like the 49ers was in 1984), their offense was only 7th overall, 1st rushing but only 20th passing, while the 49ers 2nd rated offense was balanced, ranked 2nd both in running and passing.
In the two seasons following their Super Bowl win, the Bears were eliminated both years by the Washington Redskins in the first round, and in a 1987 regular season game, the 49ers won their first game with the Bears after the 1985 Super Bowl by a mortally embarrassing score of 41-0.
Although the Bears tout their record 1985 through 1988 as the “best four seasons any team has ever had,” they won the same number of Super Bowls during that period as the 49ers – one – and during the period 1984 through 1989, the 49ers won three Super Bowls.
Getting back to the 1984 49ers, after humiliating Chicago’s legendary “46” defense under Bears defensive guru Buddy Ryan, the 49ers then faced the super-hyped Dolphins top-rated offensive machine. During the regular season Dan Marino had set records for touchdown passes (48) and yards passing (5,084), while only being sacked thirteen times. In the Super Bowl, George Seifert confused Marino with changing defenses that disrupted his receivers’ pass routes and resulted in four sacks and many hits and hurries. The final score of 38-16 clearly reflected the 49ers dominance on both sides of the ball.
As great as the 1984 49ers were, many experts think the 1989 team was better. They have many points on their side. Joe Montana had his greatest season, throwing for 3,512 yards, 26 touchdowns, and only 8 interceptions, giving him what was then the highest quarterback rating in NFL history (112.4). However, Joe’s quarterback rating was 3rd on the 49ers that year, behind Steve Bono’s 157.9, and Steve Young’s 120.8. Joe also won NFL awards for Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year.
Good quarterbacks make good receivers, and vice versa. The 49ers had Jerry Rice at the top of his game with 112 receptions, John Taylor who could take a short toss 90 yards or more (twice for TDs in the 30-3 win over the Rams), Brent Jones catching like a wide receiver from the tight end spot, Roger Craig receiving and running through tackles with his chest-high knee action, and fullback Tom Rathman catching 73 safety valve flips. San Francisco's offense led the league in total yards from scrimmage (6,268) and scoring (442 points), and was ranked #1.
The 49ers defense was ranked #3, 3rd against the rush and 11th against the pass. Overall the 49ers were first in differential between points scored and points allowed, although the differential was not nearly as large as for the 1984 team.
The two games lost could just as easily been won. Ronnie Lott was out, four starters were missing from the offensive line, and the 49ers fumbled the ball away on the Rams 19-yard line while leading 12-10 with just over two minutes to play. Instead of at least a 49er field goal and a 15-10 lead with little or no time left, the Rams got a field goal for a 13-12 win.
The 49ers lost 21-17 to Green Bay on a day when the Green Bay winning touchdown drive of 73 yards was done with 45 yards of 49er penalties, and a 94-yard TD runback of an interception was erased by an offside penalty on the 49ers.
The 49ers ended the regular season shutting out the Chicago Bears 26-0, the third time they had shut them out in five years – 23-0 in the 1984 season, and 41-0 in 1987. In the playoffs, the 49ers #1 offense met the Vikings’ defense which had been ranked #1 for all sixteen weeks of the regular season, and won 41-13 in a “game that was even more one-sided than the score,” according to Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Next the 49ers faced the Rams for the third time, narrowly losing 13-12 in the first regular season game, and coming back twice from 17-point deficits in the second game to win 30-27. However, this time it wasn’t even close, with Montana completing 26 of 30 attempts, the running game with Craig and Rathman clicking, and the defense holding the Rams to 156 total yards, only nine first down, and only 20 minutes time of possession.
Then the 49ers faced the Denver Broncos and their defense ranked third in the NFL. Suffice it to say that Montana’s five touchdown passes, three to Jerry Rice, were only part of a story that included eight 49er touchdowns along the way to winning the most lop-sided Super Bowl ever, 55-10. Elway was held to just 10 completions out of 26 attempts for 108 yards with no touchdowns, and was intercepted 2 times.
So there you have it, two great 49ers teams that in a span of nine Super Bowls won four of them. Both the 1984 and 1989 teams have a lot going for them in claiming to be the best NFL team of all time. Based on what happened in the year each won the Super Bowl, there’s not much to give one team or the other the nod.
The 1984 49ers had a better defense and running game, but the 1989 team had Joe Montana at his peak throwing to Jerry Rice, the greatest receiver of all time, and still had a pretty good running game with Roger Craig and Tom Rathman.
In the final analysis I have to go beyond the outstanding season each team had, and look at each team’s performance before and after their Super Bowl season. Just as the 1985 Chicago Bears had a great season, so did the 1984 49ers.
And just like the Bears, the 49ers lost the NFC Championship Game the preceding season, losing 21-24 to the Redskins (The Bears lost to the 49ers 0-23 in the 1984 NFC Championship Game).
The 49ers were 10-6 in 1985, while the Bears were knocked out of the 1986 playoffs by Washington in the first round losing 13-27. All this leads up to why the 1989 49ers were the greatest NFL team ever. The previous year the 1988 49ers won the Super Bowl, and in the following year the 1990 49ers came within a Roger Craig fumble while they were running the clock out against the New York Giants of “three-peating” in the Super Bowl.
Another objective assessment of the greatness of the 1989 49ers is that their unrelenting success spurred the NFL to adopt the salary cap system starting in 1990 to stop Eddie DeBartolo from collecting and stockpiling the best players that other teams couldn’t afford to keep. For example, the 49ers had certain Hall of Famer Joe Montana at quarterback, and future Hall of Famer Steve Young on the bench.
The 49ers had eight defensive linemen, and their second unit could have started for almost any other team in the league. In fact, the 49ers rotated them constantly to keep fresh players on the field, and the second unit players had about the same playing time as the starters. Their outstanding linebacker group featured Keena Turner, Bill Romanowski, Matt Millen, and Charles Haley playing the hybrid “elephant” (linebacker-defensive end) position. The 49er defensive backfield included Eric Wright, Tim McKyer, Don Griffen, and was anchored by Ronnie Lott, the greatest defensive back of all time.
Not bad, don’t you think? A team with three of the greatest players of all time, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, and Ronnie Lott. Of course, there are experts who rank the 1984 49ers as the greatest team of all time, and in doing this I’ve come very close to agreeing with them. (This analyst actually picks the 1984 49ers first, and the 1989 team fourth, because he had picked the 2007 Patriots third assuming they would be 19-0 after the Super Bowl. Never assume anything!)
But in the end, I have to pick the 1989 49ers, not just for the 1989 season, but for their sustained excellence 1988 through 1990.
1984 49ers or 1989 49ers? For a 49er fan, what a wonderful dilemma!
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Our Gualala Rotarians are, for the most part, retired business people and professionals. In other words, a bit older, and often struggling with declining hearing ability.
I decided I wanted to give everyone a chance to participate fully in the quiz, so I gave everyone a printed copy of it.
As far as selecting the questions for the quiz, that was easy. I just looked for subjects where “news” selectively reported by the main stream media had created false perceptions or, put another way, erroneous conventional wisdom.
Two subject areas leaped out: the conventional wisdom that the United States economy was a basket-case, and that global warming was caused by the activities of mankind.
Rather than attempt argument, I chose to just present facts – facts that would fly in the face of wide-spread perceptions.
Al Gore and I don’t have many things in common, but neither of us is a scientist, and both of us think a picture is worth a thousand words – or in Al Gore’s case, a thousand converts.
I wanted desperately to include at least one picture in the quiz, but it would have been too cumbersome, so I left it out.
But I can add it to your quiz.
This photo was used by Al Gore in "An Inconvenient Truth" to illustrate his claim that global warming was causing unprecedented melting of Arctic ice, and imperiling polar bears by taking them into danger of starving and drowning. Which of the following answers is an inconvenient truth about this photo?
a. It was taken in August, at the end of Summer when such melting of ice is normal.
b. These polar bears were close to land and in no danger of drowning.
c. Both of these statements are inconvenient truths if your name is Al Gore.
d. None is an inconvenient truth, since none of the above statements is true.
1. What percentage of the world’s gross domestic product was produced by the United States in 2006?
a. 12% b. 17% c. 22% d. 27%
2. The United States GDP for 2006 was roughly as large as the total of the next highest ___ countries?
a. 2 b. 3 c. 4 d. 5
3. The 2006 GDP of the European Union was $14.6 trillion, approximately equal to the total of three nations, the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
How many countries are in the European Union?
a. 17 b. 22 c. 27 d. 32
4. Which is the biggest exporting country in the world?
a. United States b. Germany c. China d. Japan
5. Which of these countries has the highest unemployment rate?
a. United States b. Germany c. China d. France
6. Which has the lowest?
a. United States b. Germany c. United Kingdom d. France
7. Measured by purchasing power per person, which nation is ranked above the United States?
a. Luxembourg b. Ireland c. Norway d. Only these three e. None of these three
8. According to an article in the journal Science, how many years does it take before savings from using biofuels instead of conventional fuels equals the amount of greenhouse gases created during the first year of their production?
a. 0 years b. 13 years c. 23 years d. 93 years
9. The production of biofuels and ethanol causes:
a. Food costs to rise b. Increased water shortages c. Increased use of natural gas d. All the above e. None of the above.
10. During the first thirty years of greatly increased atmospheric CO2 (1945-1975), the Earth experienced:
a. Global warming b. No change in climate c. Global cooling d. Hot flashes and erratic mood swings
11. Evidence that the Medieval Warm Period (about 800 to 1300 AD) was warmer than the present includes:
a. Thriving vineyards in the south of England that can’t survive today.
b. Tree remains hundreds of feet above the current tree line.
c. Remains of Greenland farms now being uncovered as ice retreats.
d. All the above.
e. None of the above.
12. Proof that the Medieval Warm Period was a world-wide phenomenon was derived from a study of over 240 climate studies conducted by:
a. The Institute of Vast Right-Wing Conspiracies
b. Al Gore and his Acolytes of Apocalypse
c. A team of Harvard and Smithsonian researchers
d. All of the above
e. None of the above
13. What factor does not correspond directly with the following dramatic periods of climate change of the past 5,000 years known as the Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age, Holocene Optimum, Roman Warm Period, and Dark Ages Cool Period?
a. Increased atmospheric carbon dioxide preceding warming
b. Variation in solar activity
c. Orbital variances
d. All the above
e. None of the above
14. The warmest year on record during the past 100 years was
a. 1934 b. 1998 c. 2005 d. 2007
15. United States temperature records for the past 100 years, which are the most complete and measured with the most sophisticated weather technology of any in the world, indicate how many of the ten warmest years in the past one hundred years occurred over fifty years ago?
a. 1 b. 3 c. 6 d. 9
16. During the past century global sea level rose about seven inches. What has been the average rise in sea level per century during the past 18,000 years since the end of the last Ice Age?
a. About zero b. About 6 inches c. One foot d. Two feet
17. Glacier retreat is thought to be a sign of man-caused global warming. Since significant increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide began about 1945, when did the current glacier retreat start?
a. 1945 b. 1975 c. 1995 d. 1850
18. The Little Ice Age began approximately AD 1300. When did it end?
a. AD 1350 b. AD 1450 c. AD 1650 d. AD 1850
19. Frequently we hear that the present period is the warmest on record. When did the record begin?
a. Just before Noah built the Ark in 2304 BC.
b. About 1450 when Gutenberg invented the printing press.
c. About 1850 when graduated thermometers came into use.
d. 1978 with the first weather satellites.
20. Which of the following statements is true?
a. The highest rate of warming came in the first half of the twentieth century (+0.6º C from 1910 to 1945)
b. Global warming has only increased 0.6º C in over sixty years since 1945
c. For a thirty-year period (1945-1975), as atmospheric CO2 went up, global temperature went down
d. All the statements (a, b and c) are false
e. All the statements (a, b and c) are true
21. In “An Inconvenient Truth” Al Gore showed a chart of carbon dioxide and temperature fluctuations over hundreds of thousands of years. Which of the following statements is true?
a. Carbon dioxide increases are followed by temperature increases.
b. Temperature increases are followed by carbon dioxide increases
c. Carbon dioxide increases are followed by temperature decreases.
d. "b" and "c" are correct
22. Which of the following statements is true?
a. Global warming is unequivocal.
b. Global warming is natural
c. Both statements are true
d. Only a. is true
23. Which of the following statements is true?
a. Some of the years since 1998 have been warmer than 1998.
b. Arctic sea ice is much smaller (Feb. 2, 2008) compared to February 2, 1980.
c. Both statements are true
d. Both statements are false
24. Global warming scientists at the UN say there could be many signs of global warming, among which are the weather being:
a. Cooler b. Wetter c. Calmer d. All the above e. None of the above
25. Scientists say there could be many signs of global cooling, among which are the weather being:
a. Cooler b. Wetter c. Calmer d. All the above e. None of the above
26. Which of the following statements in false?
a. Al Gore and I are not scientists
b. Al Gore and I both believe global warming is unequivocal
c. Al Gore has proof that global warming is caused by increased levels of atmospheric CO2.
d. I have proof that global warming has occurred naturally many times
27. Which of the following occurred because of the colder weather of the Little Ice Age (AD 1350 to 1850)?
a. Crop failures and famine
b. Pandemics of influenza, cholera, and plague
c. More frequent and violent storms
d. All the above
e. None of the above
The answers can be found by clicking "ANSWER SHEET"
Now that Hillary Clinton is kaput, I find myself with mixed emotions.
I’m overjoyed that Bill won’t get his third term. No amount of anything else can take the smile from my face knowing that the Clintons are through.
However, I’ll miss Hillary’s sky-high negatives, which I was highly confident would make her a loser against John McCain. I live in a radical leftist enclave, and they were more anti-Hillary than even right-winged Republicans, like yours truly. Their rallying cry was (and is): “Any Democrat but Hillary.” This was the only area I know of where the majority thought Dennis Kucinich was a viable candidate.
But now that Hillary’s gone, and the waves of relief keep washing over me, I’m worried about Obama. From what little anyone knows of him, he’s more of a radical socialist than Hillary. He says his positions are quite clear, so I checked them out.
He doesn’t like the way things are now, so he plans to make them different. He wants our healthcare to be more like the failing systems of Europe and Canada. Sort of a universal Medicare. I suppose it would be crass of me to point out that Medicare is already bankrupt, and due for total failure as Baby Boomers start joining in three years.
Medicare is cutting and has cut the reimbursement rates to doctors, which currently are 60 percent below commercial rates and dropping. Hospitals with many senior patients must reduce services to cut costs, resulting in denying medical care to seniors. Obama wants more of the same, thinking medical care is fair when all are equally miserable.
Obama says that whatever health care you have now won’t change, except it will cost less, and everyone will be covered. It’ll be just like in the United Kingdom, without the sky-high tax rates and the high-cost premiums the British pay for private coverage to get good health service and shorter waiting times.
In other words, expect a miracle!
Hallelujah, Obama in the highest!
All you need is hope.
And confidence that someone who has accomplished nothing can succeed where all others have failed.
Including Bill and Hillary, with the help of a Democrat-controlled House and Senate, in 1993.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Based on the managerial and financial acumen Hillary Clinton has demonstrated in managing her campaign and its finances, we can draw an analogy as to how effective she would have been as President and the steward of taxpayers’ funds.
A simple phrase sums it up nicely: “Piss poor.”
Management, particularly financial management, does not exist in a vacuum. It is not good financial management to amass funds and then hold on to them when there was a reason besides greed for soliciting the funds in the first place.
Hillary amassed her campaign funds for a very significant reason: to become President of the United States. Her objective was not to be the Democrat Party nominee – that was just a necessary step in the process. However, to win the presidency, you must be your party’s nominee, and to have the highest probability of being elected President, you should win the Democrat nomination convincingly with a lot of resources to spare.
When Hillary began her campaign for the presidency perhaps decades ago, but certainly as early as 1992 when Bill was elected President, she steadily began amassing resources. Her ability to solicit funds and political talent among Democrats was boundless, and her ace resource, Bill, was always handy to calm perceptions that she had no political accomplishments except for her health care disaster.
“If there are problems, things that need to be done, she can just call for Bill. It’s really his third term, you know.”
Soon her vast resources were a formidable barrier to opposition from Democrat or Republican alike. In many main stream media outlets she was already anointed the next President.
Along the way Al Gore and John Kerry played the useful fool for her. It would have been a disaster, the crashing end of her dream, if Gore became president. Florida kept her dream alive.
Hillary wouldn’t have been able to run until 2008, and if Gore had been reelected in 2004, she would have to shoulder Joe Lieberman, Gore's heir apparent, out of the way. The only way she could accomplish that would be if the Gore presidency was a disaster, at which time a Republican would be poised to retake the presidency, regardless of which Democrat ran.
No wonder Bill and Hillary did all they could to sabotage Al Gore.
Then there was John Kerrey in 2004. Hillary couldn’t run yet, because she was just a first term carpet-bagging senator from New York who had not placed her legislative stamp on anything.
Come to think about it, now Hillary is just a second-term senator who still hasn’t placed her legislative stamp on anything.
Every night Hillary must pray her thanks for the Swift Boaters. A President Kerrey might have prolonged her wait until 2012, at which time she would be a much older, veteran two-term senator still without her legislative stamp on anything. A John Edwards without the pretty face and nice hair.
Pretty-boy Edwards, of course, would consider himself John Kerrey’s heir as next President, so Hillary would be put off until 2016 or later. By then she would be 69 years old, and no one would remember that she represented Bill’s third term. Bill would be 70 years old then, finally certified “intern-safe.”
Looking at an inventory of Hillary’s resources, it was obvious she would be our next president.
She raised huge piles of contributions, more than anyone before, sooner than anyone before, faster than anyone before.
She had the highest name recognition of any candidate for any office ever; only Bill had higher name recognition, and he wasn’t running.
She was his surrogate for a third term.
She had two decades to put together a plan and a team for the 2008 presidential election.
Over half of voters are women.
Older voters are the most likely to vote, and are her strongest supporters.
But Hillary is not going to be our next president.
With all the time and resources in the world, she’s losing badly to a freshman senator who has absolutely no accomplishments except speaking ability, and the good sense to steal good lines when he finds them.
Hillary knew Obama was a good speaker. She was at the 2004 Convention. And did nothing to counter, like improving her own abilities to at least "adequate."
Hillary knew from the Howard Dean example that internet fund raising was a rich source of funds, and left it for Obama.
Hillary knew from the Howard Dean example that Iowa required extraordinary effort and organizing strength and energy, and finished third to a fledgling campaigner and an underfunded and understaffed one, while basically sitting out Iowa.
She had the means to administer coups de grace to both Obama and Edwards, yet ended up giving momentum to Obama and his supporters. Although she won in New Hampshire, she had already squandered her air of invincibility and inevitability.
Others started to notice what I have always thought was obvious: Hillary is not likable or charismatic, her only accomplishment was organizing a healthcare train wreck that led to a Republican takeover of the House and Senate in 1994, and only got to her leading position among Democrats because she was Bill’s wife and surrogate. Any strong, principled woman would have pulled the plug on their marriage decades before, but Hillary knew she couldn’t and still hang on to her political dreams.
So here she is, after suffering public humiliation by Bill for over three decades, now her inept management and weak leadership skills exposed for all to see, and honored for running the worst presidential campaign ever.
At least John Kerrey is happier. He was stuck with the title of “worst campaign ever” for only four years.
I think Hillary will own it a long time.
Do I feel sorry for Hillary? After she endured so much for so long, had her life’s ambition in her grasp and felt it steadily slipping away forever, and with everyone watching and wondering how such an impossible thing could happen?
Do I feel sorry?
(Well, sort of. I'm a compassionate conservative, and Hillary would have been easy for John McCain to beat. I feel sorry that McCain will have to work a little harder now. However, if Hillary will only keep fighting through the Democrat convention, which I'm sure she will, it will make McCain's election a lot easier.)
Thursday, February 21, 2008
While The Times was working on the story!
What sort of editorial ethics is that?
(Update: The Times' ombudsman agrees The Times should not have run the article)
The Times endorses a Republican for President when they think he’s morally and ethically challenged?
The Times only does that for Democrats.
Mr. McCain, his wife Cindy, and Ms. Iseman flatly deny the story, and The New York Times issued a statement that it stands behind its reporting.
What did The Times report?
Allegations by unnamed, former campaign staffers that they were concerned about an appearance of impropriety ten years ago?
No stained blue dress?
No taped telephone confessions?
No angry red-faced, finger wagging denial?
The four Times reporters primarily involved with the story aren’t talking.
The Times’ Washington bureau chief Dean Baquet, wrote: “The story speaks for itself.”
Times Reporter David Kirkpatrick said: “I think the story speaks for itself.”
Guess what Times Executive Editor Bill Keller said? Give up? “On the substance, we think the story speaks for itself..”
Trust an Executive Editor to be creative.
According to The New Republic: “The story is filled with awkward journalistic moves--the piece contains a collection of decade-old stories about McCain and Iseman appearing at functions together and concerns voiced by McCain's aides that the Senator shouldn't be seen in public with Iseman--and departs from the Times' usual authoritative voice.”
One good theory about the timing of releasing the “story” after it spent ten years being rightfully ignored was that it commands more attention to accuse the Republican presidential nominee of hanky panky than just another senator. Those familiar with the scandals of senators like Ted Kennedy, and the Times' editors are very knowledgeable in that regard, know that nothing causes such a convulsive yawn as another allegation of Capital Hill infidelity. If the alleged miscreant is a Democrat, even allegations of impropriety by a presidential nominee or even a sitting president don’t create much buzz.
The improprieties of Democrat senators are legion, and are intensely ignored by the New York Times and main stream media.
That’s why Robert Byrd is still a leading Democrat senator, even with his KKK background and statements on national television that he knows “white niggers.”
Plagiarist Joe Biden was still considered a viable presidential candidate.
“Travel-gate,” “File-gate,” and “Cattle-gate” queen Hillary Clinton was considered a viable presidential candidate up until the moment when she actually tried to get people to vote for her, and people suddenly realized that she was just another undistinguished senator from New York.
Confessed dope smoking, cocaine snorting Barack Obama is still considered a viable presidential candidate, even without amassing any accomplishments except making dreamy and gauzy promises while passing for Black.
Unlike The New York Times “report” about John McCain, every one of these improprieties by Democrats is thoroughly researched and documented.
Obviously not the work of The New York Times.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Diplomatic relations not only do not exist between Muslims and the United States, they don’t exist between Muslims and anybody else, including other Muslims.
How can you negotiate an agreement with terrorists to not blow up innocent civilians with suicide bombers? What can you say to them, what agreements can you make on their demands? What can we stop doing that will stop them from blowing up innocent civilians?
Stop supporting Israel?
Is that why Muslims kill Hindus in India, because they support Israel?
Do Shia support Israel, and that’s why Sunni blow them up? And vice versa?
It’s a hard figure to pin down, but for every infidel killed by a Muslim, I think 100, or perhaps 1,000, Muslims are killed by Muslims.
If anyone could talk diplomacy with Muslims, wouldn’t you expect it would be other Muslims?
No one can talk diplomacy with Muslims, because their terrorist acts are commanded by Allah.
You know that.
Nothing happens that Allah doesn't will to happen.
Therefore, terrorists are carrying out the wishes of Allah, and will be rewarded by Allah.
But wait. Isn't Allah a God of peace, and compassion?
Would a God of peace and compassion direct his followers to slaughter innocent men, women, and children?
Most of whom are also his followers?
There is the answer as to why diplomacy doesn't and will not work with the Islamic terrorists.
They are a pack of fanatical, ignorant idiots.
No true God of peace and compassion, all powerful and all knowing, would cause and reward the slaughter of innocents. Therefore, the terrorists are acting without reason and cause. If there truly is a God worthy of worship, every Islamic suicide bomber and those who aid and direct them are on express tracks to Hell.
John McCain and Barack Obama.
I sense incredulity amongst my faithful readers.
Both of you.
OK, pink then - bright red when he gets mad – but totally white on top.
But given the racial conventions of today, McCain is considered white.
Barack Obama is an easy one to call too.
His mother was white.
He married the mother of his children – before their children were born.
(The black marriage rate is only 35%, compared to over 70% for whites)
(75% of black children are born out of wedlock, compared to 22% for whites)
He attended and graduated with honors from Punahou Academy, a prestigious private school in Hawaii.
Obama studied at Occidental College in Los Angeles for two years. He then transferred to Columbia University in New York, graduating in 1983 with a degree in political science.
(White males are almost twice as likely as Black males to complete a Bachelors degree or higher)
After graduation he had full-time jobs until he went back to college in 1988.
(Black males are over twice as likely to be unemployed as Whites)
Obama entered Harvard Law School in 1988. In February 1990, he was elected the first African-American editor of the Harvard Law Review. Obama graduated magna cum laude in 1991.
(So far Obama's career path seems to be right out of the Upper-Class White Person's Guide to Success - just like the Clintons, Bush 1, and Bush 2, all Ivy Leaguers)
He worked as a lawyer in Chicago, and taught at the University of Chicago Law School.
He was elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1996.
So Obama, with his white mother, white education, and white cultural ways would not be considered a Black by Blacks. In fact, Blacks consider Bill Clinton the "first Black president," and would not even consider Obama the second.
Let's face it, it's racist to consider someone with as little as 1/16th Black blood to be Black, yet that's what we do.
Great shades of apartheid!
However, Blacks are not the only race to be treated in this fashion. Native Americans are Indians with only 1/16th Native American blood, as Chinese are Chinese with just a trace of Chinese blood, and so it goes and goes.
Since Obama is half White, and follows "Whitey's" ways, he's what Blacks call an "Oreo," black on the outside and white inside. Only in his case he's half white on the outside, and all white inside.
I guess that makes him a Twinkie.
In the first instance, they bemoan how Obama’s charisma trumps Hillary’s accomplishments.
Borrowing shamelessly from an overflowing pile of clichéd responses, following the lead of Hillary and Obama, I say:
Hello? Since when is being married to Bill Clinton, and putting up with his philandering while he was governor and president, considered accomplishments? Especially by feminists.
Hillary, you weren’t elected governor, he was.
You weren’t elected president, he was.
If you weren’t his wife, you would never have been a senator, let alone from a state you never lived in, New York
What are your accomplishments, Hillary?
You had eight years while Bill was president, and almost eight years since, constantly in the public eye, and keeping it a secret from no one that you were running for president the whole time. Now you’re whining about having your butt kicked by another Democrat whose resume is almost as thin as yours?
But at least he gave a pretty speech at a convention. That’s something you haven’t done yet, given a pretty speech anywhere about anything.
No one will ever accuse you of employing soaring rhetoric.
Even when you swipe Obama’s programs and slogans.
Which he swiped from someone else.
Democrats love to share.
Between the two of you your accomplishments can politely be summarized as minuscule.
The only accomplishments either of you have are plans to spend a lot of taxpayers’ money for “universal” healthcare coverage, and neither of you has a believable plan to pay for it.
Repealing tax cuts for the rich seems to be your plan, but that’s your plan for all your government spending increases. However, you also plan to give tax relief to Democrats living in high-cost states like New York and California by eliminating the alternative minimum tax. Where are you going to get tax revenues to cover any of this?
Increase taxes on corporations?
Corporations just pass those costs on to individuals through their costs of goods sold. Then when the taxes hurt them competitively, they move to another state, or move their operations overseas where corporate tax rates are much lower.
In response to a question about what she would do to repair America’s international relations, Hillary responded that she would play the “Bill card,” and send her husband abroad to rebuild goodwill.
Way to assert yourself, Hillary.
Monday, February 18, 2008
The education came from looking at the evidence that peaceful and idyllic Peleliu was the site of the bloodiest battle of World War II. In a two-month period beginning September 1944, tiny Peleliu (six to twenty-four square miles, depending on how you measure the mangrove swamps) hosted the deaths of 1,800 Americans (1,500 Marines and 300 Army), and almost every last one of its 11,000 Japanese soldier occupying force.
To put these numbers in perspective, more Americans were killed in less than two full months on Peleliu than were killed in the first two full years of fighting in Iraq, and the 1,800 dead are more than half the total killed in combat in Iraq since the war began five years ago.
With all the killed, I went to look for the crosses marking or commemorating their deaths.
We found this one on the Peleliu Evangelical Church, just across from our bungalow in Storyboard Beach Resort.
About a half mile south we found a cemetery with many crosses, but none seemed to have anything to do with the epic battle to wrest Peleliu from the Japanese in 1944.
Near Bloody Nose Ridge, the scene of the bloodiest fighting, we found this modest memorial to American combat dead. On this face of the memorial are listed Medal of Honor recipients; five of the eight were awarded posthumously.
Nearby was a less modest Shinto shrine, a memorial to Japanese dead. You can get a good idea of size when you compare Alice standing in the middle of this Japanese shrine to her standing by the Marine memorial.
At the rear right center is a plaque shown in the following picture that reads: “Tourists from every country who visit this island should be told how courageous and patriotic were the Japanese soldiers who all died defending this island.
Pacific Fleet Commander in Chief (USA) C. W. Nimitz (Built Nov. 24, 1994)”
Where are the crosses?
Alice and I had walked and biked all over Peleliu and hadn't found any crosses marking the final resting places of almost 2,000 brave Marines and GIs.
These are the crosses in the Marine cemetery on Iwo Jima, with Mount Suribachi in the distance. American casualties on Iwo Jima were greater than the total Allied casualties at the Battle of Normandy on D-Day. This photo was taken in 1945. Those killed in the battle for Peleliu in 1944 wouldn’t be buried here.
They were probably buried in Punchbowl Military Cemetery on Oahu, with a cross or Star of David on the grave marker. Punchbowl was one of the most popular stops for Japanese tour groups when I was stationed at Hickam Air Force Base 1978-1982.
Anti-war activists have placed crosses (and Stars of David, but apparently no Islamic crescents) for US soldiers killed in Iraq on a hillside across from the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station in Lafayette, California, which is about 20 miles east of San Francisco.
I’m grateful that there are so few.
During the last year of LBJ’s presidency, more Americans were killed in each two-month period in Vietnam than in five years of combat in Iraq.
A Cuban-American walks next to crosses in a symbolic cemetery at the Tamiami Park in Coral Gables, Miami February 16, 2008. Cuban exiles placed more than 10,000 crosses in the park to honor loved ones who died fighting Castro's government or trying to cross the ocean to the United States.
I wonder who is putting up crosses for the hundreds of thousands killed in Sudan by Muslim terrorists, Stars of David for the thousands of innocent Israeli civilians slaughtered by Palestinian suicide bombers, or crescents for the hundreds of thousands of Muslims killed by other Muslims all over the world?
The attention of the American press given to symbols of grief and commemoration seem very selective and only involve anti-Bush activists. The greater suffering in the rest of the world is ignored.
Christians and Muslims join together to repair a cross on a church in Baghdad.
Some crosses are easier to bear.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
So it is with Obama, with a campaign begun in a Place Called Hope, fueled by Dreams, destination Change.
Obama’s campaign is the distilled essence of Bill Clinton in 1992. It’s the Man from Hope without the policy wonkishness.
It’s ending the Iraq War with no idea how to do it.
We’ll pull one or two brigades out each month, and be all gone by the end of 2008. I’m sure al Qaida in Iraq will behave during and after our withdrawal.
We must hurry to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory before anyone besides al Qaida notices the Surge worked.
It’s universal health care with no clue how to pay for it.
Oh, that’s right. We’ll repeal tax cuts for anyone making over $250,000, and the only ones who will pay it are Democrats, who are always eager to pay more taxes, and Republicans who are too stupid to take advantage of all the loopholes.
And I’ll oppose repeal of the estate tax, which will help attorneys to continue earning obscene fees for setting up trusts to avoid estate taxes, while making sure that families that don’t pay this legal extortion are financially ruined.
You can’t take it with you, you know, and you can’t keep the government from taking most of it if you won’t share your wealth with your lawyers (who, by the way, are the biggest and most reliable contributors to Democrats).
Opposes privatization, but has pledged to take steps to keep Social Security and Medicare solvent.
When I wave my magic wand, Social Security will be OK forever without increasing taxes or cutting benefits, or raising early or full retirement ages. Since Medicare is already bankrupt, I’ll wave my wand for it before I leave the Inaugural Platform.
Come to think of it, since everyone starts collecting Social Security early, we’ll leave that at age 62, and raise the full retirement age to 85. That way anyone who keeps working keeps paying into Social Security.
(Following the journalistic trail blazed by CBS News, all these quotes were imagined by me, but as CBS News said of the Texas Air National Guard letters, “Although forgeries, they illustrate essential truths.” The only difference between my lies and theirs is that I admit mine immediately, instead of first trying to pass them as truth.
And although the quotes are made up, Obama's positions are not.)
If you think these are just dirty tricks by another Wascally Wepublican (as Democrat Elmer Fudd would say), Bill and Hillary are saying the same, and no one is listening to them either.
Please go to Villainous Company for more about the wraith that is Obama.
Charles’ rant centered around conservatives being fake Christians because they don’t follow Biblical teaching to forgive your fellow man and help the poor. According to the highly judgmental Barkley, conservatives are too judgmental.
Of what, he doesn’t say, except that he is for gay marriage and freedom to choose concerning abortions.
I never knew there were so many conservative Blacks until I listened to Charles and he reminded me of the many blacks that oppose abortion. Even Rev. Jackson, back in 1977, called abortion “Black genocide” before he realized that would cost him White liberal votes and contributions, and this caused him to immediately trade his soul to stay on the good side of “Whitey.”
(Click on this link to go to the Black Genocide website)
Unlike the opportunistic Jesse Jackson, and the ignorant Charles Barkley, many principled Black leaders and “authentic” Black Christians oppose abortion, as do many Catholic Democrats.
A Zogby International poll found that 62 percent of Blacks said “abortion should never be legal or be legal only when the mother's life is in danger or in cases of rape and incest.”
Concerning gay marriage, 58 percent of Blacks say they would never vote for a candidate who was for gay marriage. Charles should also be aware that the percentage of Blacks opposed to gay marriage is even higher in the South. As ignorant as he has shown himself to be, he may not be aware of the positions and issues that are important to the people he fancies himself governing in six years.
Since 26 percent of Alabama’s five million citizens are Black, Charles should be aware that most of them disagree with him.
In fact, there are a lot of Black “conservatives” you’re going to have to explain yourself to when you start campaigning in Alabama, Mr. Barkley.
Since the only two issues you raised are sure losers in Alabama, I would be interested to find what positions you hold that you think are winners.
Since Alabama has voted Republican in presidential elections ever since their mistake of voting for Jimmy Carter in 1976, and now has a Republican governor, perhaps Mr. Barkley would find politics more to his liking in Massachusetts, or Berkeley, California.
I am loath to insult your intelligence by assuming your positions are as stupid as the ones you showcased on national television, Mr. Barkley, but apparently there is not much chance of insulting one’s intelligence if one does not have any.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
If anything, it omits or glosses over significant Hillary messes, such as her missing Rose Law Firm billing records which showed up in her White House library without explanation two years after they were subpoenaed and the investigation closed. Or her financial killing in "Cattlegate" futures.
For these and many other reasons I'm looking forward to Hillary salvaging her campaign through "superdelegate" skullduggery, making Obama's supporters "mad as Hell and not taking it anymore," then going down in flames before John McCain's withering criticism of Hillary's "accomplishments."
Hillary Hopes You've Forgotten - Have You?
From Diane Rigali 2-6-8
Hillary Clinton has been telling America that she is the most qualified candidate for president based on her "record," which she says includes her eight years in the White House as First Lady - or "co-president" - and her seven years in the Senate. Here is a reminder of what that record includes:
HILLARY, As First Lady, assumed authority over Health Care Reform, a process that cost the taxpayers over $13 million. She told both Bill Bradley and Pat Moynahan, key votes were needed to pass her legislation, that she would "demonize "anyone who opposed it. But it was opposed; she couldn't even get it to a vote in a Congress controlled by her own party. (And in the next election, her party lost control of both the House and Senate.)
HILLARY assumed authority over selecting a female Attorney General. Her first two recommendations (Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood) were forced to withdraw their names from consideration, and then she chose Janet Reno. Janet Reno has since been described by Bill himself as "my worst mistake."
HILLARY recommended Lani Guanier for head of the Civil Rights Commission. When Guanier's radical views became known, her name had to be withdrawn.
HILLARY recommended her former law partners, Web Hubbell, Vince Foster, and William Kennedy for positions in the Justice Department, White House staff, and the Treasury, respectively. Hubbell was later imprisoned, Foster committed suicide, and Kennedy was forced to resign.
HILLARY also recommended a close friend of the Clintons, Craig Livingstone, for the position of director of White House security. When Livingstone was investigated for the improper access of up to 900 FBI files of Clinton enemies (Filegate) and the widespread use of drugs by White House staff, both Hillary and her husband denied knowing him. (FBI agent Dennis Sculimbrene confirmed in a Senate Judiciary Committee in 1996 both the drug use and Hillary's involvement in hiring Livingstone. After that, the FBI closed its White House Liaison Office, after serving seven presidents for over thirty years.)
HILLARY, in order to open "slots" in the White House for her friends the Harry Thomasons (to whom millions of dollars in travel contracts could be awarded), had the entire staff of the White House Travel Office fired. They were reported to the FBI for "gross mismanagement" and their reputations ruined. After a thirty-month investigation, only one, Billy Dale, was charged with a crime - mixing personal money with White House funds when he cashed checks. The jury acquitted him in less than two hours.
HILLARY also assumed the duty of directing the "bimbo eruption squad" and scandal defense:
...She urged her husband not to settle the Paula Jones lawsuit.
...She refused to release the Whitewater documents, which led to the appointment of Ken Starr as Special Prosecutor. After $80 million dollars of taxpayer money was spent, Starr's investigation led to Monica Lewinsky, which led to Bill lying about and later admitting his affairs.
...Then they had to settle with Paula Jones after all.
...And Bill lost his law license for lying to the grand jury.
...And Bill was impeached by the House.
...And Hillary almost got herself indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice (she avoided it mostly because she repeated, "I do not recall," "I have no recollection," and "I don't know" 56 times under oath).
HILLARY accepted the traditional First Lady's role of decorator of the White House at Christmas, but in a unique Hillary way. In 1994, for example, The First Lady's Tree in the Blue Room (the focal point each year) was Decorated with drug paraphernalia, sex toys, and pornographic ornaments, all personally approved by Hillary as the invited artists' depictions of the theme, "The Twelve Days of Christmas."
HILLARY wrote "It Takes a Village," demonstrating her socialist viewpoint.
HILLARY decided to seek election to the Senate in a state she had never lived in. Her husband pardoned FALN terrorists in order to get Latino support and the New Square Hassidim to get Jewish support. Hillary also had Bill pardon her brother's clients, for a small fee, to get financial support.
HILLARY then left the White House, but later had to return $200,000 in White House furniture, china, and artwork she had stolen.
HILLARY played the "woman card" in the campaign for the Senate, by portraying her opponent (Lazio) as a bully picking on her.
HILLARY'S husband further protected her by asking the National Archives to withhold from the public until 2012 many records of their time in the White House, including much of Hillary's correspondence and her calendars. (There are ongoing lawsuits to force the release of those records.)
HILLARY, as the junior Senator from New York , passed no major legislation. She has deferred to the senior Senator (Schumer) to tend to the needs of New Yorkers, even on the hot issue of medical problems of workers involved in the cleanup of Ground Zero after 9/11.
Quite a resume, isn't it? Sounds more like an organized crime family.
Friday, February 15, 2008
On the one hand we have the Republicans, who note that: “…the city of Berkeley insulted our troops and their constitutional mission to defend our country, while still coming to the federal government asking for special taxpayer-funded handouts.”
The total of $2,145,000 in special handouts to Berkeley, also known as congressional earmarks, include $87,000 for a school garden, $750,000 for ferry service between Berkeley and Albany, $94,000 for an emergency communications system, $975,000 for the Robert T. Matsui Foundation for Public Service at UC Berkeley, and $239,000 for the Ed Roberts Campus.
Before I go any farther, there are obviously going to be many proponents and defenders of federal government funding for each of these programs, and a lot more. Gardening is good, ferries are good, emergency communications are essential, public service is mother’s milk for Democrats (since their strongest support comes from public service unions), and the Ed Roberts Campus serves disabled adults and children.
So why should federal funds be taken from these programs?
That’s not the question.
Why were federal funds given these programs in the first place? Better yet, how were federal funds given these programs?
The answer to the second question first. The funds were given via congressional earmarks, also know as “pork-barrel spending,” or “pork” for short. Each item was approved as a part of a process that enables a congressperson to show their constituents that they can “bring home the bacon.”
The primary reason that the Berkeley earmarks won’t be eliminated by congressional action is simple: congresspersons don’t want to invite retaliation to remove their own earmarks. The earmark process is based on the old adage, “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours,” but what perpetuates the system is the clear threat, “You gore my ox, and I’ll barbeque yours.”
To answer the first question of why these particular items were chosen for federal funding is to delve deeply into the confused psyche of political perceptions. The first step is to consider the nature of resources. They are finite and limited, whereas the need for resources verges on the infinite and unlimited.
Therefore, since unlimited needs are pursuing limited resources, who gets what becomes a reflection of who has the power.
For example, why does a Berkeley school get funds for a school garden when an Oakland school can’t provide enough textbooks for its classes?
Because Congresswoman Barbara Lee wants to show Berkeley voters she can bring home the bacon for them. She knows that Oakland voters will vote for her up to the point her vital signs are flat lines, and probably even after that, so she doesn’t have to prove anything to them.
Senator Barbara Boxer, of course was apoplectic about punishing Berkeley by having earmarks withdrawn and given to the Marines. “Why on Earth would we punish decent citizens because some members of their local government…say something that’s highly offensive?”
One reason is that the decent citizens of Berkeley chose their members of local government, and can choose to remove them if they don’t agree with what they did.
A better reason would be that the programs funded by the earmarks are not the urgent and valid responsibilities of our federal government anyway, whereas funding the Marine Corps is. Doubters of this point should read the Constitution of the United States of America.
Another point would be that Berkeley aided and abetted activities that interfere with the lawful functioning of an agency of the federal government.
What does Barbara Boxer have to add to defend Berkeley’s right to retain federally earmarked funds? Does she think Berkeley has a right to them, regardless of what is said or done? Does she think there is no better use for the funds, such as in the defense of our borders?
I wonder if she is aware that defending our borders is a federal government responsibility under our Constitution, whereas school gardens, ferry services, etc., are not?
I bet she thinks it’s the other way around.
Even if Berkeley apologized to the Marines and rescinded Code Pink’s parking space, the correct action would still be to take away Berkeley’s earmarks and put them to better use.
In fact, all earmarks should be rescinded and the funds put to better use.
If that were to happen, I would consider the “Battle of Berkeley” one of the most significant of all Marine victories, one that should be proudly added to the “Marine’s Hymn.”
From fat congressional earmarks, to Pork in Berkeley
We shot down constitutional abuses, while setting the budget free
If the Senators and Congressmen, ever look at their responsibilities
They would find they include Marine recruiting
And not the school gardens of Berkeley.
(With humble apologies to the Marine Corps. I'm saluting them at the same time I'm ridiculing Democrats and Berkeley. Some of my best friends, and a few relatives, are or were proud Marines.
Alice and I just returned from Peleliu, where 1,500 Marines and 300 GIs gave their lives, and so did 11,000 Japanese, to ensure that Democrats and Berkeley residents are free to disrespect our soldiers and to praise our enemies. However, the hard-won American freedoms that so many bought so dearly don't included a right to pork-barrel funding.)
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Their concern for debt being passed to following generations is highly selective. Robert Samuelson of Newsweek in a recent article noted that annual payments for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are 44 percent of government expenditures, and over twice total defense outlays (including the Iraq War, of course). Further, these costs have risen 24 percent above the inflation rate since 2000.
No government costs are as big, or increasing as rapidly, as elderly benefits according to a recent USA Today study.
None of this stops, or even slows down Democrat grandstanding about the horrors of saddling future generations with our debt. However, even as Democrats beat their breasts and gnash their teeth over the immorality of it all, both Hillary and Barack propose huge increases to provide universal health care, which certainly will be far more expensive than their estimates, and both have long lists of targeted tax cuts to benefit their supporters at the expense of other taxpayers.
Taken in total their proposals, including pulling US forces out of Iraq, would not even significantly reduce the growth rate of the deficit, let alone reduce it. Of course, there is also the matter of the Alternative Minimum Tax which both want to eliminate because it is increasingly taxing upper-middle class Democrats and above living in high cost states like California, New York, and Massachusetts.
Rather than cutting the deficit, Clinton and Obama have started a bidding war of who can come up with the most attractive new spending programs. Obama’s latest proposal to top Clinton is to spend $210 billion to create jobs in construction and “environmentally friendly fields.”
President Bush can be rightly criticized for increasing government spending, but Democrats taught him early that no good deed to trim spending would go unpunished. Democrats are willfully ignoring the handwriting on the wall that Medicare is already bankrupt, and Social Security will be in less than a decade. When President Bush tried to do the responsible thing and save Social Security, Democrats spewed righteous indignation, even though many prominent Democrats previously had admitted it was failing rapidly and was already on life support.
Concerning the impossibility of President Bush balancing the budget, Robert Samuelson writes: “The most telling figures in (Bush’s) budget involve his proposal to eliminate or dramatically reduce 151 programs, for savings of $18 billion. That's sixtenths of 1 percent of federal spending. Is that all the White House could find that's worth axing? What's telling, though, is that Congress will probably reject even many of these proposals.”
The simple political calculus is that there is not a natural constituency for cutting budgets, but there is one or more supporting every spending increase. Budget cutting is an abstract concept, but each funded program makes a contribution to filling some group’s desires and is quite tangible. When you ask them if their pet program is really necessary, their truthful answer can always be that there are hundreds of other programs less worthy that should be cut first.
Unfortunately, they are always right, no matter how worthless their program may be in the great scheme of things.
Apparently, if you’re a Liberal, Democrat-supported debt is worthy of being passed on to our grandchildren, and Republican is not, even though our Constitution makes provision for defense-related expenditures and not for social welfare.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Chuck was willing and eager for the task. It seems that Bill, Red, and I had been killed in an automobile accident and our souls departed immediately to claim our eternal rewards. St. Peter met us at the Gate and said, “Hold on, it’s not as easy as that. Come along now and follow me.”
St. Peter led us to a door and said, “Open it, Bill.”
Bill opened it, and inside was a huge, angry gorilla.
St. Peter turned to Bill and said, “Bill, you’re a sinner, and you’ll spend eternity with this gorilla.”
Uh oh. I had a feeling that my turn was next, and it was.
St. Peter said, “Mike, this door is yours, open it.”
Not waiting for Chuck to announce my fate, I cried out, “Oh no, it’s Hillary, isn’t it?” and sobbed as I buried my face in my hands.
Everyone burst out laughing, since my strong Republican sentiments are well known by all.
Chuck didn’t miss a beat.
“Mike, you’re a sinner, but not that bad,” said St. Peter. “It’s only a huge boa constrictor, and it’s your companion for eternity.”
“Thank God!” I gasped.
Then it was Red’s turn.
St Peter said, “This is your door, Red. Open it.”
Red opened the door, and there was Cindy Crawford stretched out on a bed wearing nothing but a skimpy negligee.
St. Peter: “Cindy Crawford, you’re a sinner.”
That almost brought the roof down.
Later last night, when I got home, I checked my email. There was a note from one of my friends.
“Hi Mike. I heard that you were living with Hillary Clinton, and calling it Heaven!”
That makes it very easy for me to conclude they don’t have any.
However, now and again there is a Joe Lieberman, or a Tom Lantos.
You can easily spot the principled Democrats.
Other Democrats can’t stand them while they’re alive, although they praise them mightily when they’re dead.
Like they did Ronald Reagan.
Democrats thought he was awful in every way when he was President, and for many years after as America basked and prospered under his legacy.
Now that he’s gone, Democrats disparage every Republican presidential candidate by saying, “He’s no Reagan.” And wish that they could find a Reagan to lead them.
My impossible dream would be to be compared in a positive way to Ronald Reagan. Another wish or dream of mine is to be considered by Jews as a latter-day "Righteous among the Nations" person, a Righteous Gentile. I already consider myself one and have proclaimed myself an Honorary Jew.
I have consistently supported Israel and attacked the Islamofascists with the only weapons available to me, my blog and letter to editors.
What do you expect, Rambo?
Tom Lantos was a righteous Democrat.
I didn’t agree with a lot of his positions, but neither did many Democrats, even in his own district.
I don’t agree with everything John McCain advocates either, particularly campaign finance “reform,” but I am a 100% supporter because of four little words – “Aging Supreme Court Justices.” And immigration reform is a good idea.
I honor John McCain's sacrifices and service to his country, and despise the "scum-sucking pigs" who tell lies about it.
Back to Tom Lantos. He courageously supported getting rid of Saddam. While Democrats condemned Saddam’s WMD activities while Clinton was president, and forgot their condemnation during Bush’s presidency, Tom Lantos didn’t forget.
Also, unlike most Democrats, he understood that Hamas wages war on Israel while hiding behind Gaza women and children, and that Hezbollah does the same and hides among civilians in Lebanon, and that both scream “aggression” when Israel retaliates for attacks on its citizens.
I didn’t agree with his action to condemn Turkey for the Armenian genocide, not because it didn’t happen, but because it had nothing to do with the Turkey of today. The problems that condemning Turkey was causing in the present would in no way change what happened a century ago.
If there was logic in Lanto’s position, in equity we should pass condemnation of Japan for not paying reparations to China for atrocities such as the Rape of Nanking, to Korea for “comfort women,” and to Japanese-Americans placed in internment camps (by a Democrat President and Congress) because of wartime fears of sabotage and invasion.
On a very personal note, my Virginia ancestors owned slaves, and some fought for the Confederacy, but I would never consider it fair to accept condemnation and to pay reparations for their actions. Or even to be ashamed of or for them, because nine of our first twelve presidents were slave owners, and seven of that nine were Virginians like my ancestors.
In the final analysis, I salute Tom Lantos for his principles and courage. I didn’t agree with a lot of his tax and spend, quasi-socialist ways, but I’m a proud American that appreciates, as Tom Lantos said, that “It is only in the United States that a penniless survivor of the Holocaust … could have received an education, raised a family and had the privilege of serving the last three decades of his life as a member of Congress. I will never be able to express fully my profoundly felt gratitude to this great country.”
Congressman Lantos, I feel the same inadequacy in expressing my appreciation for you and all you did.
Men of principle and courage may not win my total agreement, but they do win my total admiration.
UPDATE: A gifted writer, and Holocaust survivor, Zdena Berger lives near our Gualala home on The Sea Ranch. Her haunting autobiographical novel, "Tell Me Another Morning" should be read and appreciated by all.
Obviously Senator Boxer and other prominent Democrat leaders find it easy to modulate their moral indignation on the basis of party affiliation.
Even though the Arkansas Bar Association suspended and fined him $25,000, and Clinton resigned from practicing before the Supreme Court rather than accepting certain disbarment, the United States Senate has never even so much as censured or admonished him for admitted criminal conduct.
I guess they have smaller fish to fry.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Sort of like Hillary Clinton supporters without the sour look.
Well I know the magic that will immediately energize Republicans, and it is just four simple words. You don’t need toe of newt or eye of bat, or a virgin’s kiss or a sorcerer’s hat.
At second thought, a virgin’s kiss never hurts, but it’s not essential.
Good thing it's not essential, given its short supply.
Just four little words:
Aging Supreme Court Justices.
There are five of them over 70, and a couple of them look like they are already on life support.
If one or more of them start to fail before President Bush completes his term in office, it’ll be Terri Schiavo all over again, only this time the Democrats won’t pull the plug.
Rush just came up with three little words that will unify and energize Republicans even more than "Aging Supreme Court Justices":
"Democrats Nominate Hillary."