Saturday, April 29, 2006

"Heartless" Capitalism Is The Most Compassionate

Alice, my lovely wife of Great Expectations fame, is also a smart businesswoman who is the founder, majority shareholder, and Chief Executive Officer of a very successful baling wire manufacturing and distribution company, Vulcan Incorporated, Hayward, California. Her story is an “only in America” tale in more ways than one.

For starters, today we discussed world business environments over lunch, and agreed that she could not have had her successful business in a European country, like France for example, particularly in light of French labor laws. Presently the student rioters in France are making headlines because they want to maintain the very laws that are destroying France’s economic competitiveness.

Here is a simplified summary of the French labor law situation. In France, if a business hires an employee, they cannot fire them. Now think about the dynamics this creates in the minds of the business owners.

Owner: “If I hire good employees, after I train them and they become competent in my business, other businesses will want to hire them away from me, or they may go into business for themselves and compete against me. I hope I can keep them happy.’

‘But if I hire bad employees, no one will want to hire them away, they won’t want to leave me to start their own businesses, and I can’t fire them. Inevitably I will have one or two bad employees I can’t get rid of and my good employees will be disgusted working with them and leave. When I try to hire replacements, good workers won’t want to work with bad ones, so I will only be able to hire more losers. Soon all I will have is bad employees I can’t fire.’

‘Then my business will fail, and we’ll all be out of work.’

‘What if I hire a young Muslim? Their unemployment rate is 50 percent. But they are not well educated, they are not good workers, instead of assimilating they are actually trying to separate and segregate themselves from French culture and society. Who wants to hire an attitude problem that will just get worse that you can’t get rid of?”

Meantime, in the United States, Alice has been able to keep her good employees, fire the bad ones, and success has fed success. Every good employee contributes to and shares in her company’s increased profitability through bonuses on increased production, profit sharing, and a sweat equity program. That’s why they are happy to see poor employees go, and would resent laws that prevented their firing.

In the final analysis, which system is the most worker friendly? One that results in unproductive and failing businesses and high unemployment, or one that rewards both the good employees and the owners?

Capitalism isn’t killing socialism. Socialism is dying from self-inflicted wounds, and the sooner it dies, the better for all.

Below are links to other "Alice" posts:

Great Expectations - The tale of our whirlwind "story book" romance, featuring me picking Alice from a book.
The Dublin to Tralee Train, and how Alice stopped it!
Alice, the California Can Carrier - I think the Italian men liked the way she carried her can.
A Burning Desire - How lust landed me on the ski slopes
The Strong Woman Myth - In conclusion, a tribute to Alice and her daughters
Christmas Letter, 2005 - Alice had a busy year
A Fool Such As I - In a letter to the editor of our local paper, someone called me a fool. Alice didn't like that, and replied.

Democratic High Gas Price Hypocrisy

This article was passed to me by an old friend -- younger than me -- who used to burn thousands of pounds of jet fuel an hour, and when he hit the afterburners on his F-4 Phantom II (the most important jet fighter in history), could convert 1,000 pounds of fuel per minute into jet thrust. The cost then was about ten cents a gallon, so a minute of afterburners only cost about $10. But then along came OPEC. And the environmentalists. And Democratic politicians. And opportunistic fund raisers.

Pains at the PumpApril 29, 2006; Page A8 - THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

"If $75 a barrel oil and a $3 average for a gallon of gasoline isn't a wake-up call, then what is?"
-- Senator Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.), April 23, 2006.

Yes, that's a fine question Senator Schumer asks. But a wake-up call for what, exactly? A wake-up call to produce more domestic oil? Heaven forbid.

In fact, Mr. Schumer and most of his Democratic colleagues in the Senate -- the very crowd shouting the loudest about "obscene" gas prices -- have voted uniformly for nearly 20 years against allowing most domestic oil production. They have vetoed opening even a tiny portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil and gas production. If there is as much oil as the U.S. Geological Survey estimates, this would increase America's proven domestic oil reserves by about 50%.

They have also voted against producing oil from the Outer Continental Shelf, where there are more supplies by some estimates than in Saudi Arabia. Environmental objections seem baseless given that even the high winds and waves of Hurricane Katrina didn't cause oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico. In the 1970s the environmentalists and their followers in Congress even protested building the Alaska pipeline, which today supplies nearly one million barrels of oil a day. If they've discovered some new law of economics in which a fall in output with rising demand can cause a reduction in price, we'd love to hear it.

The dirty little secret about oil politics is that today's high gas price is precisely the policy result that Mr. Schumer and other liberals have long desired. High prices have been the prod that the left has favored to persuade Americans to abandon their SUVs and minivans, use mass transit, turn the thermostat down, produce less consumer goods and services, and stop emitting those satanic greenhouse gases. "Why isn't the left dancing in the streets over $3 a gallon gas?" asks Sam Kazman, an analyst at the Competitive Enterprise Institute who's followed the gasoline wars for years.

Scan the Web sites of the major environmental groups and you will find long tracts on the evils of fossil fuels and how wonderful it would be if only selfish Americans were more like the enlightened and eco-friendly Europeans. You will find plenty of articles with titles such as: "More Taxes Please: Why the Price of Gas Is too Low." Just last weekend Tia Nelson, the daughter of the founder of Earth Day, declared that even at $3 a gallon she wants gas prices to go higher.

At least Ms. Nelson is honest about wanting European-level gas taxes. We doubt that many American voters would be as enthusiastic. If you think $3 a gallon is pinching your pocketbook, fill up in Paris or Amsterdam, where motorists have the high privilege of paying nearly $6 a gallon thanks to these nations' "progressive" energy policies. (See nearby chart.)

However, you can be sure you won't hear that from Democrats or Northeastern Republicans on Capitol Hill -- at least not in public. Far from it. They're suddenly all for cutting gasoline prices, just as long as that doesn't require producing a single additional barrel of oil. We haven't seen this much insincerity since the last Major League Baseball meeting on steroid abuse.

So how do the sages on Capitol Hill propose to reduce gas prices? They want to slap a profits tax on Big Oil because of alleged price gouging. Here we have another head scratcher that seems to defy even junior-high-school economics. Usually when you tax something, like tobacco, you get less of it. But somehow a tax on oil will magically lead to more oil.

As a Harvard study has shown, when the U.S. imposed a windfall profits tax in 1980, prices rose to an inflation-adjusted range even higher than today, and domestic production fell. As for claims of "gouging," the price of gasoline at the pump in the U.S. has risen 25% less than the rise in the global price of crude oil since 2003, according to Wall Street economist Michael Darda.
We've also heard proposals to force the oil companies to cut the pay of their CEOs to $500,000. That's about what Kobe Bryant makes for a handful of basketball games, but even if the salaries were chopped to this level -- and all of the savings passed on to consumers -- the gas price would fall by at most one-tenth of a penny. In any case, CEO pay is an issue to be resolved by shareholders, not Congress.

Which brings us to the Bush Administration, which is bludgeoned daily by the likes of Mr. Schumer, whose real concern is exploiting an issue that might elect a Democratic Senate in November. Meanwhile, the White House refuses to attack the left's anti-consumer energy policies and has even capitulated on requiring a rise in auto fuel-efficiency standards. Mr. Bush could instead be talking about the national and economic security need for a pro-domestic-production energy policy -- starting with drilling in Alaska. It's worth reminding the American public that in 1995 the Republican Congress passed an ANWR production bill, which Bill Clinton vetoed because he said it could be five to 10 years before the oil would be produced. We would have that oil today if Mr. Clinton had signed that bill.

Instead we have rising gas prices and record dependence on foreign oil. Is that enough to spur Congress to act on ANWR and deep-sea production? If not at $75 a barrel and $3 a gallon, Mr. Schumer, then when?


Average price of a gallon of gas, including tax, on April 10, 2006.
BELGIUM $ 6.10 ( $ 3.77 gas tax )
BRITAIN $ 6.13 ( $ 4.03 gas tax )
FRANCE $ 5.80 ( $ 3.65 gas tax )
GERMANY $ 5.96 ( $ 3.82 gas tax )
ITALY $ 5.91 ( $ 3.57 gas tax )
NETHERLANDS $ 6.73 ( $ 4.12 gas tax )
UNITED STATES $ 2.98 ( $ 0.38 average gas tax for 50 states )
source : Energy Information Administration

101st Fighting Keyboardists

This is the logo of a blogger group I joined, the 101st Fighting Keyboardists, formed by Captain Ed Morrisey of Captain's Quarters, and friends. Lots of friends. The inspiration for the group is the penchant of the Left to try to shut up supporters of the Iraq Reconstuction by calling them "chicken hawks." Although I served in the Air Force for over 21 years, 1962-1984, I never saw combat. Most of us in the military, including a lot that went to Vietnam, never saw or will see combat either. Be that as it may, it is scurilous of the Left to try to shut up supporters of President Bush's policies in Iraq by name calling.

The Left used similar arguements against conservatives when we said Bill Clinton should not be the Commander in Chief because he was a draft dodger, and had stated that he "loathed the military." In turn, the military loathed Bill Clinton, and he was a very ineffective Commander in Chief. However, the Left supported Bill's military adventures, like the ill-considered "bombing-lite" of Iraq in 1998, the attack that killed the cleaning ladies in the Sudan asprin factory, and the cruise missile barrage that scared the piss out of a couple of camels in the Afghanistan boondocks. The Left, almost all of whom have no military experience, supported his actions, even though it appears that Bill, while discussing one of the attacks via telephone with an Army general, was being serviced by Monica. Another example of his vaunted ability to "compartmentalize" things, and multitask.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Mohammad Cartoons Update

Islamofascist idiocy about the Mohammad cartoons has reared up again, this time as a lawsuit by Pakistanis against the Danish newspaper that ran the cartoons over half a year ago. If the suit is successful, the penalty is, of course, death. Along the way, bloggers discovered that a Danish imam displayed a supposedly offensive portrayal of the prophet Mohammad (pbuh) that turned out to be a bad photocopy of a Frenchman participating in a pig-squealing contest that had nothing to do with Islam or Mohammad (pbuh). Because of the perfidy and rabble rousing of this Danish imam, many Muslims died foolish deaths, and some non-Muslims were killed also.

Pamela at Atlas Shrugs has been on top of the Mohammad cartoon craziness from the start, and has links to the latest. The whole thing has been and continues to be ludicrous, except that the Islam idiots take it seriously and people die. Supposedly this is to prevent idolatry, but in the process they have made idols of both Mohammad, just a man, and the Koran, just a book. When they are not blowing up and destroying mosques, Korans, and fellow Muslims, the Islamofascists are looking for the tiniest sign of blasphemy or disrespect to have an excuse to attack everyone else.

As usual, Islam proclaims it is a religion of peace, and will kill anyone who disagrees.

Liberals Thrive In A Facts-Free Environment

Mr. Sullivan

Your attempts to link President Bush to the breaking down of our moral and legal compass are ridiculous. Of course, when we tried to pin similar accusations on Bill and Hillary, on "Slick Willy" for his antics with Monica, Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers, Kathleen Willey, and Juanita Broderick, and on "the smartest woman in America" concerning her incredible memory lapses about rummaging through FBI files on prominent Republicans, lost law firm billing records that mysteriously disappeared and then reappeared in the White House much later, and the like, you liberals were outraged against we conservative moralists. But at least in our accusations, we had facts on our side. In your accusations, facts are prominently missing.

You wrote: "Bush's moral standard is that imprisoning suspects without trial, stripping them of due process, and abusing and torturing them is morally defensible."

To which I reply:

"Bush's moral standard is that imprisoning suspects without trial..." These are not suspects. They were not apprehended by police for violating our laws. They are unlawful enemy combatants of no particular state/nation, serving under no internationally recognized command authority. They are not a part of any body that is a signatory to the Geneva Convention, and their treatment of prisoners they hold has included torture and summary execution.

"stripping them of due process..." Again, this is war against unlawful enemy combatants. They do not have the rights of felons apprehended by police, or of uniformed combatants captured in combat. By the way, prisoners of war are also stripped of due process and do not have standing in our court system. We can try prisoners of war for committing war crimes, but we cannot try them for being lawful enemy combatants.

"and abusing and torturing them is morally defensible." That is not the position of President Bush. Many of those who abused and tortured prisoners were arrested and were on their way to trial by courts martial before the Abu Ghraib scandal broke. They have been convicted and sentenced. My son served in Abu Ghraib at the time of the abuse, with the Nevada National Guard. His unit was well trained and disciplined, and performed their duties in a proper professional manner. They were under no direction to do otherwise. Those that abused were not following orders and established guidelines for the treatment of prisoners. They were rogue guards, and have been dealt with accordingly.

You exhibit all the classic symptoms of "Bush Derangement Syndrome," which on this subject is curable by examining the facts of the status and treatment of unlawful combatants. For liberals, there is no known cure, since liberals live in a facts-free environment.

Major Michael B. Combs, U S Air Force, Retired
Gualala, CA 95445

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Oil Company Windfall Profits Tax (Again)

Among the most predictable events are the cries by politicians and consumer-protection activists every time the oil companies earn high profits. One such instance emailed to me is tied to a fund-raising effort by the American Family Association, whoever they are. They may do good works, but from what I've seen in this effort, they are just opportunistic money grubbers, preying on their members concerns about higher costs to get donations. My outrage caused me to send them the following:

Since 1977 our governments have collected more than twice as much in taxes than the oil companies combined have made in profits (courtesy TaxProf Blog), so why are you trying to get people upset with the oil companies? The oil companies take risks, make investments, drill dry wells, employ thousands, and answer to shareholders, while the government just sits back and collects the really big money, and then gripes when the oil companies occasionally make big profits. Notice the government wants more taxes when the oil companies do well, yet keep taxes high and even raise them when the oil companies are doing poorly. The oil companies have cut gas prices many times, but when has the government cut gas taxes?

I know Americans love to demagogue big business, mostly because Americans are very ignorant about both business and the taxes they pay. Most Americans think that businesses pay taxes, which shows how ignorant they are even of basic accounting. The money to pay business taxes come from us, the ultimate consumers of goods and services. To the businesses, taxes are just another element of their costs of doing business, and are passed on to the consumer. In essence, each business acts as a tax collector, and helps the government hide their true tax bite. The only exception to this is when a business is operating at a loss, in which case property taxes, payroll taxes, and other non-income taxes come out of the business' hide and bring about its failure that much more quickly.

If you were truly pro-family, you would give your subscribers useful information instead of trying to jump on the high cost of gasoline bandwagon to help your fundraising.

Shame on you.

Update: Since I posted this last week, our politicians raced to show that they are not only stupid, they are stupidly creative! What they were smoking/drinking/injecting when they came up with the idea of the $100 tax rebate because of gas price increases I do not know, but I wish I did so I would be sure never to touch the stuff. Hillbilly White Trash has excellent commentary on what, in a rational world, would be a nonissue.

Monday, April 24, 2006

The Reconquistadores

(Mexifornia may have been coined by Victor Davis Hanson a couple of years ago when he wrote Mexifornia, A State Of Becoming.)

Reconquista is the current rallying cry for illegal immigrants from Mexico and some Mexican-Americans, and has provoked concern and outrage among many American citizens. Truly, Reconquista is much ado about nothing. The plan of the Army of Reconquistadores appears quite simple – in fact, exceedingly simplistic – they are going to shoot out babies!

Simplistic, yes, but they have a role model, the Arabs in Israel and Muslims in Europe. Especially in Europe, the Muslim conquest via higher birthrates will eventually succeed, primarily because Muslims are increasingly separating themselves from the modern lifestyles of their hosts. By their already great numbers and cultural isolation, they have succeeded in instituting de facto Muslim law or Sharia in parts of France, and to a lesser extent in Germany, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom, and Scandinavian countries.

European countries have helped the Muslim conquest, especially through their generous socialist welfare programs. In addition, Europeans do have very low birthrates, which Muslims are quick to point out make their victory just a matter of time. Personally, I think their low birthrates are a reflection of their high taxes and high costs of living, combined with high rates of unemployment – in other words, the Europeans have succeeded in creating a depressing socialist environment that discourages the creation and growth of both strong economies and families with children.

Los Reconquistadores are faced with totally different circumstances in the United States. The major differences include, the U. S. is the richest country in the world, by far, has the most stable government and economy, and although not really a factor, has the third largest population in the world.

More importantly, the U. S. has a Constitution and system of courts and laws that protect its citizens from the tyranny of any majority, such as one that might be created by a flood of illegal immigrants with a high birthrate. Even if hoards of illegal immigrants quickly became citizens, they would not be able to usurp the rights of other citizens by suspending their Constitutional rights.

So the question becomes, why would the Reconquistadores want Mexican rule in the United States? Didn’t they come to the United States to enjoy the prosperity that the failed governments of Mexico have never been able to secure for its own citizens? Do they want everyone to be as miserable as their friends and families back in Mexico?

Many of us have heard variations of claims by the Reconquistadores that they didn’t cross the border, the border crossed them, or that they can’t be illegal immigrants on their own land. So then we should investigate their claim that we took something of theirs, and now they are taking it back. Who established their claim to the Southwestern United States, and when?

Apparently their claim is based upon Native Americans being here first and having their lands taken away by conquest. This of course also happened in all the lands of North and South America, including Mexico, as evidenced by the “foreign” languages – English, Spanish, and Portuguese – that are the official languages rather than the languages of the Inca, Mayans, Aztecs, etc.

Now that we have established that there were a series of conquests throughout the Americas, it becomes difficult to determine which conquest and which conquered peoples have the rights to the various territories. Do the Aztec descendents, who if they ventured north of the Rio Grande never established their settlements and culture, still have a claim to del Norte? If so (and even if not), what claim do Mexicans have to lands ceded to the United States via purchase or treaty?

Also, do you have to be a pure-blooded Native American to claim title to all of North America? Would a Mexican of pure Spanish descent have an equal claim? A half-breed? Is the slightest trace of Native American blood all it takes? In making racial determinations, the Reconquistadores could look to Nazi Germany, and South Africa during apartheid, for guidance.

Los Reconquistadores have as much right to be in the United States without proper entry documents as American Indians have to be in Mexico without approved documents.

I have also heard illegal immigrants demanding equal rights. In respect to violations of law, they already have the same right as American citizens. They have the right to be silent when questioned or detained by the police. Comprende?

Makes Sense Only To Liberals And Lawyers

A woman who smoked since she was 17 died of cancer. A California jury awarded her heirs 28 billion dollars, since reduced on appeal to 28 million, a reduction of 99.9%. Now if the award was further reduced 99.999999%, to 28 cents, that would be about right.

I don’t mean that. That would be silly. What I really mean is that her heirs shouldn’t get anything, and her estate should have to reimburse the insurance companies and government for all the excess medical costs her smoking caused.

I don’t mean that either. No one should owe anybody anything. The cigarettes she smoked are a legal product, manufactured and sold through properly licensed channels. If fault is to be found, the fault is that of the government that allows tobacco products to be manufactured and sold legally, then happily reaps and squanders the enormous tax revenues thereby created.

If tobacco products were illegal, then the fault would be obvious – the smoker. What, you don’t think that is obvious? The government would not be at fault. They made the manufacture of cigarettes illegal. The manufacturer is at fault only to the extent that they manufactured and sold an illegal product in much demand. Think marijuana, heroin, cocaine, prostitution, etc. They can be arrested, tried, thrown in jail, but no one but a complete nut case or liberal would think they were responsible for the costs of medical treatment, of pain and suffering, and of funding rapacious attorneys’ visions of riches.

Basically, the seller of an illegal product can make enormous profits from its sale, but cannot be held responsible for the damages it causes because the person damaged was part of the illegal activity.

This is indeed an interesting paradox – selling a legal product legally can cause you financial ruin, while selling an illegal product limits your liability to jail and fines. Since you are a crook, and not an idiot, you have made sure most of your assets are squirreled away safe from the long arm of the law. In fact, since your product was illegal, you never paid sales taxes, property taxes, social security, medical insurance, income tax withholding or tax payments, neither for yourself nor any of your employees. While the tobacco company being ruined financially paid all these taxes and more, and its employees’ medical insurance, the illegal providers paid none while creating costs for law enforcement and uninsured medical needs.

Further puzzling thoughts – why aren’t the retailers and wholesalers responsible, along with the tobacco companies? We already know why the government is not responsible -- they make the laws. But it is hard to understand how the government could operate a legal system that allows a government approved activity to be placed in such legal jeopardy.

Why aren't alcohol brewers and distillers liable for death and disability caused by their products? Prolonged alcohol consumption can cause death from cirrhosis of the liver. Binge drinking can cause death immediately. Driving under the influence can cause the death and injury of innocents as well as the drinker. Just as the case with tobacco, alcohol is a legal product sold through legal channels.

It truly only makes sense to lawyers and liberals.

“All lawyers are liberals, but not all liberals are lawyers.” Nope, not true. But if you replaced “lawyer” with “trial lawyer,” then probably so.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Katrina Response Myths Debunked

Big Lizards, a blog favorite of mine, has an excellent analysis of the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Report just released on the Hurricane Katrina response. The conclusions do not surprise me in the least. In fact, I expected them because I was a careful student of the blogs of military logistics experts during Katrina (see here, here, here, here, and here). While the main stream media (MSM) exhibited their glaring lack of knowledge and their incompetence at analyzing and reporting disaster planning and response (and concentrated on finding President Bush and his administration responsible for every dereliction of duty by Louisiana Democratic leaders), the military bloggers pointed out what needed to be done, what was done, what wasn’t, and who should have done what and when.

While the MSM reported that the military showed up late, the military bloggers were reporting where ships and other rescue resources were, why they were there, and how they were being used. The MSM should have given credit where credit was due by reporting that the military followed right behind Katrina and performed rescues, and set up and operated emergency hospitals, while Katrina still raged. Instead, the MSM were clueless then, and six months later still are. They are still crowing about how wonderful they were, a case of their ignorance being the wellspring of their bliss.

The bottom line is that the FEMA “problems” that the Democrats and MSM obsessed over have been debunked by the Inspector General Report. The real FEMA problems weren’t noticed by the Democrats and MSM, because they were too ignorant of logistics and disaster response to be aware of them.

I wonder where on the front pages the MSM will report the Inspector General Report findings? How many times it will be the lead story on the evening news? Will Time, Newsweek, and U S News & World Report all have it as their cover story?

I truly am a dreamer!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Buddy, Can You Spare A Fatwa?

(The hypocrites at Borders and Waldenbooks should go visit their soulmates at City Lights bookstore in San Francisco. Maybe City Lights would post their Banned Book Convention poster.)

Fatwas are multiplying like rabbits eating Viagra-spiked pellets, and I still haven’t got mine. Youssef Ibrahim, in a Special to the Sun, New York, is quoted by Pamela at Atlas Shrugs: “Among the wave of fatwas already out there, some authorize suicide bombings, forbid participation in voting or elections by Muslims living in the West, void marriage between spouses who practice intercourse in the nude (this one from Egypt), and ban the exchange of seasons’ greetings between Muslims and nonbelievers, to cite a few.”

I feel like Rodney “I can’t get no respect” Dangerfield. They are down to giving fatwas for things that Ms. Manners would cover, like wiping your mouth with your left sleeve at dinner, and my truly offensive drawing of Gay Muhammad has gone un-fatwaed. It’s enough to make you want to flush a Koran.

In the meantime, a few of the latest fatwas have not been frivolous. For example, there is now a fatwa by a heavy-hitter in Egypt, “Egypt’s highest Islamic jurist, Sheik Ali Gomaa, decreeing that the exhibition of any statues is sinful, as is sculpture and those who practice it — going all the way back to Pharaonic temples, Greek and Roman sculptures, and Christian images spanning several centuries, ever since the dawn of history.” Holy Taliban, Fatwa-man!

Of course, there is still the unending fatwa against Salman Rushdie – unending, because the only one who could lift it, the Ayatollah Khomeni, is now frustrating 72 virgins in what Islamists call Paradise, but I call a brothel. In addition, there is a fatwa on Wafa Sultan -- American Muslim psychologist who dared to speak out against the Muslim treatment of women.

Who needs a fatwa? Just the thought that an unreasoning Islamist might take deadly offense is enough to make some so-called supporters of freedom of speech cave in without a fight. Borders, which just sponsored a Banned Book Convention (and Waldenbooks), will not stock the April-May issue of Free Inquiry magazine because it exhibits the Muhammad cartoons. (hat tip to Say Anything blog)

I thought that only conservative authors were banned in book stores, like the famously liberal City Lights in San Francisco, which won’t carry Oriana Fallaci's new book, "The Force of Reason,” because City Lights decreed her a “fascist.” Liberals use that term for anyone who disagrees with them. Funny, City Lights has no problem carrying the discredited work of nutcases like Ward “9/11 victims were little Eichmanns” Churchill.

Am I digressing? Somehow, to me, it all seems to flow. The hypocritical Left thump their “diversity and multicultural” Bible while making sure they never notice that the America they beat on all the time is the freest nation the World has ever known, and that the Islamists they avoid noticing are among the most repressive. While championing basic civil rights, they turn their heads and participate in the trampling of freedom of expression. The Left screams about wiretapping a call to Al Qaeda, and says “Genocide? Oppression? I don’t see that, nothin’ to see here, just keep on walkin’” in Iraq under Saddam, in Somalia, and in Rwanda while Clinton dithered.

Liberals have their own form of fatwa – they control what and how events are reported. If a bunch of whacked out Islamists want to do something really weird, like destroy all the ancient statues of Egypt, it’s President Bush’s fault because he didn’t get them to sit down with him and “reason together,” like LBJ did in Vietnam. Anyone who disagrees with the liberal-controlled media better get a blog.

(Check out my favorite blogs, listed in the left margin. They are all great, or better. Guaranteed.)

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Isn't It Interesting? (Abuse Of Muslim Women)

Editor, Independent Coast Observer

I am grateful to Mr. Schneiderman for suggesting that I combine intelligence with an open mind to arrive at wisdom, as I wouldn’t want him to type me as a “radical right wing war monger self serving republican hawk fascist.” Conservative Republican would suffice.

Isn’t it interesting that Muslim extremism and hatred of America predated President Bush, and that World Trade Center, Khobar Towers, and embassy bombings, and the attack on the Cole all occurred while Clinton was president? Interesting that the 9/11 attack was planned, and participants selected and trained, during the Clinton presidency? Interesting that the Left only recognizes Muslim hatred of America after President Bush took office?

I find all this very interesting, because I think an open-minded intelligent person would see that Islamic anti-Americanism did not just start on Inaugural Day, 2001. Such a person would note that President Bush kept senior Democratic leaders informed of wiretapping of contacts with Al Qaeda, while Bill and Hillary Clinton allowed unauthorized access to over 1,000 FBI files of prominent Republicans, a clear assault on democratic policies.

Other very interesting things: Democratic amnesia over the intelligence they and the agencies of other nations cited about Iraqi WMD. Silence about the thousands of boxes of Iraqi documents now being translated that prove Saddam had terrorist connections. Muslim riots in France, and Muslim unrest in other European nations that have bent over backwards to tolerate Islamic demands. Horrific Muslim suicide bombings in Indonesia, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Russia, Chechnya, and over a dozen other nations that had little or nothing to do with America and President Bush.

Finally, isn’t it interesting that an American male is more knowledgeable and upset about female abuse by Muslims than a Muslim female civil rights activist? Anne Rein never heard of forced child clitorectomies, right?

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Pardo's Push

The Officers' Club: Piggyback Hero reminds me of my post that was inspired through my efforts to contact buddies from RAF Bentwaters in England, "Pardo's Push - Bravery, Ingenuity, Loyalty." Many years passed before this extraordinary story was given the attention it deserved and its participants received recognition for service above and beyond the call of duty.

Main Stream Media Ducks Freedom Of Speech Fight

Update: So much for cartoon bravery. South Park may have been ready to take on the Islamofascists, but their network Comedy Central weren't. From Power Line:

"The episode was built around a network and the free speech/Mohammed hypocrisy. Mohammed's appearance in the cartoon was of him handing off a football, purposefully tame. That's when the "Comedy Central won't air this part" popped up. Then, in the cartoon, the Muslim extremists react by making their own offensive cartoon, including the images of Jesus and Bush defecating on themselves and the American people."

So Mohammed doing even the most innocuous thing was too much for Comedy Central, but I guess they figured correctly that no amount of offense involving Christians or Republicans would lead to violence. Islamofascists rule!

I posted the link and article below thinking that a major American media outlet was finally ready to stand up for freedom. Wrong again.

The Officers' Club: South Park Takes on the Mohammed Cartoons Freedom in the "Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave" has fallen to a very low level when we applaud a television cartoon show for standing up for freedom of speech, and find that the standard bearers of freedom of speech, our newspapers, magazines, and TV news, have wimped out. In the military we had a crude saying, "Don't shit in your mess kit." Freedom of speech is the basis for the existence of our news services. If they can't stand up and protect their turf, they are less than useless - they are dangerous, because like paying the ransom invites the next kidnapping, caving in to Islamist threats encourages more. Soon they will only feel safe printing "all the news that Islam says is fit to print." Then the Piglet doll on your desk, or the piggy bank you collect loose change in, will invite a complaint, and your boss will tell you "we can't afford to make them angry." These are not unrealistic concerns - these are complaints that have already caused rules against displaying "pigs" in England. Militant Islamists are creating "super rights" to not be offended by the customary practices of their "host" countries.

Uncle Jack

(Synopsis: At this point, 31 August 1998, Alice and I were in the 11th week of our four-month bicycle trip. Germany and England were behind us, Ireland was ahead of us, and halfway between was the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea. To continue - )

We arrived in Douglas, Isle of Man, on the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company ferry from Liverpool to a rainy welcome and the sight of hundreds of motorcycles parked along the Loch Promenade and Strand Street. Unbeknownst to us, we had, according to the happy motorcyclists all around us, been one of the lucky few to have room reservations for the start of the world renowned Manx Grand Prix for motorcycles. We had never heard of it. And when we got to our hotel, our landlord had never heard of us. So much for confirmed reservations during the infancy of the Internet.

Yet somehow, on a small island with no vacancies, our landlord found he had a room for us. Nothing too fancy. Not especially nice. In fact, the note Alice made about it was very brief, “AWFUL PLACE.” And she wasn’t the one who had to carry our packs up several flights of steep, narrow stairs. I would have made a nastier comment, but was too tired.

That evening we went to a nearby restaurant overlooking the Loch Promenade, and when my meal arrived I started to eat with great gusto, not unusual for me. After the first couple of bites I started to compare my memory of what I had ordered with what I was eating. As good as it tasted, I hadn’t remembered ordering it. At about that time, a fellow at an adjoining table remarked that his meal seemed wrong. That observation lead me to remark that I might possibly be eating his, and vice versa. A comparison of the two meals confirmed our suspicions, and we concluded that, since neither of us had consumed much of the other’s dinner, and since neither of us looked like a carrier of an untreatable communicable disease, we would just exchange plates and continue.

However, our unusual introduction served to spur conversation, and we found we had met Sam Irwin of Carrickfergus, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, the Road Manager of Northern Ireland Motorcycle Tours. Unlike ourselves, Sam was happy to be on the Isle of Man when it was filled to overflowing with fellow motorcyclists, or as Alice and I described them, motorcycle nut cases. We told Sam how we were unhappy with our room, and with all the motorcycles roaring around the narrow, twisting island roads, and that we planned to cut our stay short and press on to Belfast, Northern Ireland. Sam agreed that Isle of Man might not be as thrilling for bicyclists as motorcyclists at the moment, and suggested that when we got to Northern Ireland it would be much nicer if we went to the Bed & Breakfast operated by his Uncle Jack’s family in Carrickfergus, instead of one in Belfast. We agreed that sounded like a good idea, and got the address and phone number for Uncle Jack.

We couldn’t leave the next day by ferry, so we pedaled westward across the island to Peel. Along the way we passed through St. Johns and went to Tynwald Hill, which since 1417 has been the Isle of Man parliament's ceremonial home. The island is lovely, its history fascinating, and it all would have been wonderful if the motorcycles had been somewhere else. But unfortunately for us, they weren’t. In fact, it seemed that every would-be motorcycle racer in the world was there on the island with us, and the day we pedaled across was one of the days that anyone who wanted could run his motorcycle on the race route. In the space of just a couple of hours, a couple of hundred motorcycles raced by us. We counted. Alice won our bet. There were a lot more motorcycles running amok than I thought.

Picturesque Peel was a welcome spot of quiet sanity. It is a fishing port, and all the fishing boats were aground on the channel bottom – it was low tide, and in less than six hours the boats would be floating on over twelve to fourteen feet of water, a twice -daily event where the tide change from high to low can be twenty feet. We had lunch in Peel, and visited a castle ruin that probably looked pretty grand when it was new in 1392.

The next morning we boarded the Isle of Man ferry to Belfast, Northern Island, and on our departure were serenaded by the roar mixed with high pitched whines of hundreds of motorcycles doing what they do best, making the rest of us wish they had never been invented.

When we got off the ferry at Belfast, a young policeman spotted us and signaled us to stop. He wondered if we would mind answering a few questions; where we were from, where we were going, what was in our packs, etc.? The single worst atrocity of the IRA terrorist campaign, the Omagh bombing which killed 29 and wounded hundreds, had occurred on August 15, less than a month before our arrival. As soon as we opened our mouths, he knew we were Yanks and stopped worrying about us, and things like plastic explosives in our bike frames (Just a month before, during our week in London, we were lucky our bikes weren’t confiscated and destroyed while we were visiting Kensington Palace). He then gave us instructions to the train station to take us on our way to Carrickfergus.

We got off at Newton Abbey and pedaled towards Uncle Jack’s, just a couple of miles away. When we arrived, we were met by a small, stooped old man, Uncle Jack himself. He apologized that he didn’t have a room for us, but had arranged accommodations for us at his niece Margaret Crawford’s Woodbine Farm B & B. When we asked directions, Uncle Jack told us it was too far to get there on our bikes before it got dark, and that he would transport us in his truck and trailer. When he brought the small truck and trailer around, I started to load our bikes and packs, but Uncle Jack said it was best if he did the loading himself. He did allow me to lift the bikes and packs and pass them to him, but placing and tying them down was all done by Uncle Jack.

When Uncle Jack was satisfied with the load, we got into the truck and he drove us down Carrickfergus Road to Margaret’s house. Along the way he pointed out where his nephew Sam and other family members lived. It appeared that Uncle Jack’s family had not been dispersed by economic necessity like so many other Irish families. When we arrived at Margaret’s, I pulled a few pounds from my pocket to repay Uncle Jack for his gas, and he politely refused with a short statement that has guided Alice and I on our travels and in our lives ever since.

“No, keep your money,” said Uncle Jack. “If you had the chance, you would do the same for me as I have done for you.” After we thanked him, and he chatted with Margaret, he drove off. And Alice and I both wondered, “If it was us, would we have taken the time and helped?” Before we met Uncle Jack, I think Alice and I would have answered, “Well, maybe, if we have the time and it’s not too much of a bother.”

But after our short visit with Uncle Jack, Alice and I agree that our answer would be, “Of course we’ll help, and when you thank us, thank Uncle Jack too.”