Monday, December 19, 2005

The heat is on

I have just read perhaps the most important book of the millenium, Boiling Point by Ross Gelbspan. He makes a strong argument that fossil fuel emissions are rapidly warming up the earth and that immediate steps are needed to avoid a catastrophe. I started the book with doubt on the subject, but I now endorse Gelbspan's position. I'll quote from some of the most important parts of the book:

More than 2,000 scientists from 100 countries reported to the U.N. that brutal droughts, floods, and violent storms across the planet will intensify because emissions from humanity's burning of coal and oil is driving up temperatures much more rapidly than scientists had anticipated just six years earlier (this report issued in 2001, p.5).

Rising temperatures will melt ice sheets and raise sea levels by as much as thirty-four inches,causing floods that could displace tens of millions of people in low-lying areas. (emphasis added). Storms triggered by such climatic extremes as El Nino will become more frequent. Diseases such as malaria and dengue fever will spread (p.6).

Gelbspan points an accusing finger at the Bush administration, which he accuses of having its head in the sand. He also criticizes the media for its relatively sparse coverage of global warming. Gelbspan concedes that there are a few scientists who don't believe global warming, but charges them with being in the pay of the fossil fuel industry. I think Gelbspan makes an excellent case. I urge anyone reading this to buy or borrow this book ASAP.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Gross negligence

I have written before that George Bush has done nothing in the four years since 9-11 to secure the borders. We remain vulnerable to a terrorist attack, notwithstanding the "fight them in Iraq instead of here" argument. Recently, the 9-11 commission condemned the administration and Congress for neglecting homeland security. See Eric Alterman's piece in the Nation for the complete story. As Alterman points out, the Bush administration is guilty of the following derelictions (and more):

1. allocating homeland security funding based on pork-barrel politics, not on risk
2.refusing to declassify the intelligence budget, thereby precluding effective Congressional oversight of budget priorities
3. not securing weapons of mass destruction

I'm not trying to be alarmist, but I am concerned about the nation's security. President Bush apparently isn't concerned about that at all. See also this article from the New Republic. One sentence sums it up:

Through passivity or, more often, active opposition, President Bush has repeatedly stifled efforts to strengthen domestic safeguards against further terrorist attacks.

As I have said before, Bush deserves impeachment lying us into war; he deserves just as much condemnation for his laissez-faire approach to homeland security.

Friday, December 16, 2005

No to McCain in 2008

I will not, under any circumstances, support John McCain for president in 2008. I have three primary reasons for my opposition:

1. His weak support of border control/ immigration reform. He has a bill, yes, but it does little to solve the problem of our porous borders.

2. His "campaign finance reform" legislation, i.e. restrictions on campaign speech and the First Amendment. It is now illegal to even mention an incumbent's name in a campaign commercial 60 days before an election. Senator, what part of "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech" do you not understand?

3. Worst of all, his recent bill banning harsh treatment of prisoners. This is not, as many in the media have portrayed it, an antitorture bill. This bill applies to tactics that are harsh but not inherently acts of torture. This bill will make it much harder for our intelligence agents to obtain information from captured terrorists. See this article by Andrew McCarthy of National Review Online. (Memo to President Bush: you are allowed to veto legislation; it's in the Constitution, not that you've read it).

I did not mention his support of Iraq war, because reasonable people can disagree on that issue. Also, I must concede McCain has done some things I approve of, such as opposing pork barrel spending and the regressive Bush tax cuts. Overall, though, I do not approve of his actions as a U.S. Senator and cannot support him for President in 2008.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Bye, bye, Tookie!

A quick side note: when did ESPN and FOX Sports decide poker was a sport worthy of being televised? If you're watching poker on TV, you have way too much free time on your hands.

On to the subject of the day: capital punishment. I strongly support it and I'll address the main objection to it in this post. One objection, recently put forth by conservative/libertarian talk show Tucker Carlson, who I respect,is that the state should not have the power of life and death over an American citizen. This argument, though plausible, is wrong for two reasons. First, the state has a military composed of people whose explicit mission is to kill enemies of the government. If it is morally permissible to kill a Sunni Iraqi terrorist, why is it immoral to kill a domestic terrorist like Tookie Williams or Timothy McVeigh? (There are pacifists who would object to any state-sanctioned killing, but society could not survive on that principle). Second, these oppponents of the death penalty concede that the state has the legal and moral right to imprison a man for the rest of his life if he commits a murder. I do not see the moral distinction between the government executing someone versus jailing him for the rest of his life. Personally, I would rather take a lethal injection than live for 30+ years in prison.

I don't care that Tookie Williams wrote children's books. I don't care that Edward Asner and Susan Sarandon think he should have been spared. The man deserved exactly what he got, a quick death. I have zero remorse over his execution.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Toleration of dissent

I now have a sports-only blog for anyone interested here. Please check it out.

Now, to the burning issue of the day: Jonathan Chait's article. Chait is a great writer, but he is wrong in his central thesis. He believes dissent among the left is more tolerated than it is among conservatives. I think the opposite is true; the left wing in America tolerates almost no dissent. Pro-life Democrats, for example, are far less welcome in their party than are pro-choice Republicans are in theirs. Joe Lieberman had to come before Maxine Waters in sackcloth and ashes to plead for forgiveness for opposing racial preferences. Colin Powell, on the other hand, was welcome in the Republican party despite his support for affirmative action. The Democrats are losing elections because they are following Lenin's old strategy: reducing your base rather than expanding it. All liberals who support the Democratic party should be concerned. If you want to win some elections, stop letting NARAL and the NAACP enforce a rigid party discipline. I should point out this is objective criticism, as I have no liking for the Republican party either.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Worst president ever?

According to historian and columnist Richard Reeves (see entire article here), George Bush is considered the worst president ever by 50 out of 415 historians recently polled by The History News Network at George Mason University. So is G.W. Bush the worst president ever, or are the historians just blinded by liberal bias? The answers: not quite and probably.

As of right now, Woodrow Wilson holds the dubious honor of being the worst president ever. I say that now with a caveat. If a terrorist slips over our porous border and sets off a nuclear bomb, I would rank Bush as the worst ever. In four years since 9-11, he has done nothing to secure the borders of this country from invasion. As the 9-11 commission recently concluded, this country is still very vulnerable to a terrorist attack. Bush is guilty of gross negligence, at the very least.

Why, you ask, is Woodrow Wilson the worst president to ever take office? He did a lot of bad things for sure, such as creating the Federal Reserve, but that pales before his worst offense: dragging a reluctant country into World War I. I believe strongly that American involvement in WWI set the table for the rise of Nazism and the even greater horrors of World War II. My argument is that had Wilson been a statesman, instead of a British stooge, he could have brought both sides to the negotiating table and had a real "peace without victory." (That phrase was used, absurdly, by Wilson to describe what would happen at Versailles after the war). Instead, U.S. involvement allowed the Allies to crush Germany and impose a harsh, unjust peace on that country. The German economy collapsed after the war. The harsh peace at Versailles created the conditions that allowed a demagogue like Hitler to come to power.

So Bush is not yet the worst president ever, with all due respect to the historians in the survey.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Rumsfeld must go

Richard Cohen has a great article in the Washington Post saying what I have been saying since 2003: Don Rumsfeld is incompetent and must be fired immediately. As Cohen points out, Rumsfeld is responsible for almost every major mistake in Iraq: the lack of sufficient troops, the disbanding of the Iraqi Army under the oversight of the incompetent Paul Bremer, and the dismissal of the post-war looting as insignificant.

Of course, Bush will not fire Rumsfeld. That would be admitting a mistake, which he is apparently incapable of doing. He tried to make war on the cheap, without sufficient forces and armor and the result is the fiasco we now see in Iraq. This is a shame, as this war might have been won with better planning. We'll never know for sure what a President Gore or Kerry would have done. Then again, they might have had the common sense to stay out of Iraq in the first place.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The case for impeachment

As we all remember, Bill Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives for lying. Essentially, he was impeached for lying about a blowjob. Yet George Bush lied repeatedly to Congress and to the American people on a much more important matter, the war in Iraq. Yet Bush has faced no impeachment inquiry, let alone a Congressional vote on the issue. I am calling now for such an inquiry. I will make the case here, as succintly as possible.

Bush prior to the war sold it to the American public as a necessary attack against a country that was a threat to national security. Bush and Cheney repeatedly told Americans that Saddam Hussein was actively working with Al-Qaeda against us; Bush in a speech on September 2002 actually alleged that Iraq was training Al-Qaeda in the use of biological weapons. These allegations were absolutely false, and the Administration knew it. This was not a case of a "intelligence failure," it was a blatant lie. The intelligence was fine. An intelligence report released to the President ten days after 9-11 said clearly there was no relationship between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda. See the report at The National Journal. The
Administration knew absolutely that what they were saying was a lie. This report was never released to the Congress, and many members voted for the war because they believed the White House's false claims of Iraq-Al Qaeda linkage. So do not believe the Scott McClellan/Rush Limbaugh spin that Congress had the same information as Bush prior to the war. They did not.

The report, damning as it is, documents just one of Bush's many lies on Iraq. He also made numerous false statements about Iraq's military capacities, for example stating that Iraq possessed unmanned drones that could attack the United States. Also, Cheney's claim that Hussein had reconstituted nuclear weapons turned out to be false. I won't detail every lie as that would take too long. I advise anyone who wants more information to visit the media watchdog FAIR for the complete list.

You may wonder why I have waited this long to call for the impeachment of Bush, a president for whom I have never had much good to say. I wanted completely strong evidence that he was guilty of deliberate lying, and not simply the victim of faulty intelligence. The evidence is in. I am satisfied that Bush did in fact blatantly lie and should pay the price, namely impeachment. Impeachment is not fanciful thinking. The Democrats could gain control of the Congress in 2006 and put a lot of heat on Bush for his deceptions. Many Congressmen are upset at the White House for misleading them.

Well, what are you waiting for? Go to house.gov and senate.gov right now and send an e-mail to your representative expressing the need to inquire into the possibility of impeachment proceedings. A grassroots movement got Clinton impeached; it can do the same thing today.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Some ideas for a better America

Here's some wishful thinking, but with nothing else to write about, I'll list my top 5 ideas for a better America:

1. Abolition of the Federal Reserve and return to a gold standard (no more Fed produced inflation).
2. A fence at the Mexican border to keep illegals and terrorists out of this country (see weneedafence.com ).
3. Health care reform where every American is covered regardless of their employment status or age.
4. Abolition of all racial preferences in education or employment.
5. Repeal of Roe v. Wade and the passage of moderate, reasonable abortion restrictions.

These may all seem far-fetched and impractical, but they're not. They can and will happen if you- I'm talking to all citizens of this Republic- pressure your elected representatives to get on board.

Friday, November 18, 2005

He's right , you know

Prospective Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is under fire from leftist pro-abortion groups (shocking surprise, I know) for a controversial comment. He apparently wrote in 1985 the Constitution does not protect the right to an abortion. Shocked? You shouldn't be. He is absolutely correct.

Under the framework of the Constitution, anything not explicitly mentioned is reserved to the states or to the people- see the 10th Amendment if you don't believe me. Abortion, of course, is not mentioned in the Constitution. The federal government has no authority to either ban or promote abortion (e.g. Medicaid funding). On the other hand, the states have every right to legislate on the subject of abortion. Not until 1973 did a court find abortion to be a constitutional right in the (in)famous Roe v. Wade ruling.

This is optimistic, but I hope Alito will vote with John Roberts to overturn Roe. The issue of abortion will be taken out of the federal arena and back to the states where it belongs. Most states, I assume, will pass some restrictions without completely banning the procedure. Then the federal government can concern itself with its proper role, protecting the people from terrorists and cracking down on illegal immigration. Wishful thinking, perhaps.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Failure of democracy in CA

This is a day of disappointment for all Californians. The governor submitted several bold reform plans to the people of California. They were all defeated and none really came that close to passing. Prop 73 (the abortion notification bill), which I have argued for before on this blog, went down fairly soundly. Even worse, Prop 77, which would have taken support of redistricting away from the legislators who draw up districts to ensure their reelection, went to an even more overwhelming defeat. I don't understand this completely, but I will point to two major factors:

1. large amounts of special interest money (e.g. the drug companies outspent Prop 79 proponents 40 to 1 according to a newspaper report).

2. voter ignorance/apathy- I regrettably think that most of this state's residents just didn't care enough to educate themselves on the issues.

On that bitter note, I close. Taking a vacation until next week, but feel free to leave any comments.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Scooter, we hardly knew ye

Before I get to my main point, I strongly encourage all readers to check out Sam Harris' brilliant article on Islamic fundamentalism. If you have not read his book The End of Faith you are missing a terrific, devastating critique of religious fundamentalism, particularly that of Islamic fundamentalism. For some strange reason, CAIR isn't trying to silence him,at least not yet (to the best of my knowledge).

As for Lewis "Scooter" Libby, I think he's getting a raw deal. I still fail to see what he did that was so terrible. (If someone who has followed this case closely disagrees, please let me know why I am wrong).If you want villains, I've got two for you: Karl Rove and Robert Novak. They were the ones who went after Valerie Plame and blew her cover. Apparently, Fitzgerald couldn't get the real miscreants and had to come up with some indictment to justify his investigation. I grant you a grown man really shouldn't go by Scooter, but bad taste in names doesn't call for an indictment.

I'm going to reserve judgement on Judge Alito for now. I actually believe in weighing the evidence on both sides before making a decision, unlike the loud party hacks rushing to judgement. (I'm talking to you, Rachel Maddow and Rush Limbaugh).

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Coach under attack by PC crowd

Air Force football head coach Fisher DeBerry has been in the news recently. Not for his team's performance on the field, which hasn't been too remarkable, but for a racial comment. He dared to say that "Afro-American" players are faster than white players and that his team would be better if he had more black players.

Granted, his complaint about not having enough black players is silly, as he does recruit the players himself. But his comments regarding the superiority of the black athlete, widely criticized by the ultra-sensitive, were exactly right. He apologized, but why? There's a reason black players are represented in college football, the NFL, and the NBA far beyond their proportion in the general population. It is because they are better athletes. Take one example: How many white cornerbacks are in the NFL? I don't know, but my educated guess is zero. I challenge anyone who disagrees with me to name one white athlete who can run with Darrell Green or Deion Sanders, or jump with LeBron James or Kobe Bryant.

Max Kellerman, an intelligent boxing analyst for ESPN, said it well: "We are not ready for an honest discussion on race in this country." This is because if anyone mentions even obvious truths that are politically incorrect, they are demonized, accused of "
racism" or "insensitivity," and pressured to shut up. (I use the quote marks because I do not regard these as legitimate words, because they have no stable meaning. Being poorly defined, they can mean whatever a race-baiter wants them to mean).

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Bush to conservatives: drop dead

Social conservatives of the country unite: You have nothing to lose but your chains. George Bush despises you. The invaluable Jonathan Chait has an excellent article in the New Republic showing just how much Bush has exploited the social/religious conservatives. Already upset over Bush's non-response to our immigration catastrophe, conservatives are raging mad.

Even though Harriet Miers is a good bowler (thank the New York Times for that oh-so relevant fact), her nomination is a poke in the eye to the religious and social conservatives who supported George Bush in his last two elections. The Bush administration is now reduced to crying "sexism" and "elitism" toward conservatives who oppose Miers. As Tucker Carlson pointed out on his show last week, those accusations are usually made by people who have no real arguments. Miers is a unqualified crony, and the White House knows it. Bogus charges of sexism are all the administration has left. Unfortunately, Miers will be confirmed, probably with a sizable number of Democratic votes.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Worst pick ever

Harriet Miers may well be the least qualified person ever nominated to the Supreme Court. Whether you're a liberal or a conservative, you should be outraged. I will quote an unnamed lawyer who identifies himself as a Bush supporter in the National Review's blog:

Miers was with an undistinguished law firm; never practiced constitutional law; never argued any big cases; never was on law review; has never written on any of the important legal issues. Says she's not even second rate, but is third rate. Dozens and dozens of women would have been better qualified. Says a crony at FEMA is one thing, but on the high court is something else entirely.

Of course, these points are irrelevant to George Bush. As long as you're his friend, you're qualified for any open position. After all, he can look inside your heart and see if you're a good person (Remember his sucking up to Putin). Unfortunately, the Senate won't have the guts to vote against Miers, so we're stuck with her on the Court for a long time. And, no, Senator Cornyn,it is not a positive thing that she has no experience on the bench.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Price gouging at the pump

According to an impressive study by The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights , the energy companies are deliberately restricting the supply of oil to boost prices. According to internal reports issued by the oil companies, a decision to deliberately reduce the supply was hatched in the late 1990s. Furthermore, according to a study by petroleum industry analyst Tim Hamilton, from January 17th to April 18th 2005 gasoline prices jumped 65 cents per gallon and refiner profits rose by 61 cents per gallon. The extra four cents went to the state in increased sales tax collection. The Foundation (they go by FTCR) found no evidence that there was an increase in the price of producing crude oil, refining oil into gasoline or diesel, or transporting the refined products to market.

This evidence seems pretty damning to me. I urge anyone who is tired of this gouging to contact their Congressman and Senators and urge an immediate investigation.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Air America no more?

Apparently, the liberal Air America radio network is going bankrupt. This is hardly tragic, but it is somewhat surprising. Apparently, they're not good enough, smart enough, and goshdarnit, people don't like them. Seriously, I don't completely understand why they are in such bad shape. True, most of the hosts on Air America are dull, very partisan, and have completely predictable views on every issue. But so are the vast majority of "conservative" talk radio hosts (e.g. Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity), yet these hosts are extremely popular. I can't adequately explain this anomaly. I would not automatically assume that Air America's failure proves a liberal radio network can't succeed. My guess is that Air America has not marketed itself well and isn't getting enough advertisement money. One would think some rich leftists (where are you, George Soros?)would get together and bail it out, but apparently that hasn't happened.

I personally don't care if Air America survives, as it adds little of value to the public debate. My advice to them would be simple: find a liberal who thinks for himself like Jonathan Chait (a shameless plug for my favorite liberal columnist). This won't happen, so I bid Air America a less than fond farewell. With any luck, Al Franken will return to Saturday Night Live and give me some reason to watch that show again.

(For those of you who didn't get the joke in third sentence, watch Al Franken's character Stuart Smalley on a Saturday Night Live rerun and you'll understand).

Monday, September 26, 2005

The most dangerous organization in America

The most dangerous organization in America is not, surprisingly, the ACLU, the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund, the Republican Party, or the Democratic Party (though I despise them all). This dubious honor belongs to CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations. This group's modus operandi is to try to ruin anyone who criticizes any aspect of Islam, or anyone who points out that Islamic fundamentalists are responsible for the vast majority of the world's terrorism. They recently got a popular talk show host who harshly criticized Islam fired. (I know, my leftist friends, it was a white guy in Oklahoma City, there's exceptions to every rule).

I signed up on CAIR's e-mail list, and they are quite open about their contempt for the First Amendment. Arsalan T. Iftikhar, the national legal director for CAIR, said it was time for everyday Muslims to "defend the image and reputation of the community and Islam in general." "I am here to teach you how the American Muslim community can legally empower itself to protect itself in the American courts," he said, as he went into the nuances of the limits of the First Amendment (emphasis added). Personally, I agree. Really. I hate how that pesky Bill of Rights stands in the way of a "civil rights" group suppressing speech it doesn't like.

Now, Mr. Iftikhar is upset again. It seems (horror of horrors) that agents of the New Jersey Office of Counter-Terrorism have been accused of targeting suspects that were Muslim. Iftikhar, apparently a law enforcement expert in his spare time when he's not busy circumventing the First Amendment, went on to say "Profiling is never an effective law enforcement technique." He didn't site any evidence or expert testimony for that opinion, not surprisingly.

Let's look at this logically. If the vast majority of terrorist activities are done by one group, which they are, it would be absolutely insane not to watch members of that group more carefully. If a few innocent Muslims are harassed,that is regrettable, but unfortunately necessary. The next attack on America could make a 9-11 look like a firecracker. Unfortunately, we have to deal with groups like the ACLU and CAIR more concerned with sensitivity and political correctness than stopping terrorism. For the good of the nation and of the world, American citizens must awaken to the danger of CAIR.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The time has come

The Federal Reserve, under the leadership of Alan Greenspan, raised short-term rates again this week, under the guise of fighting inflation. Of course, this action will slow an already sluggish economy, but Greenspan and his fellow central bankers simply don't care. Republican Senator Jim Bunning blasted Greenspan as being insensitive to working families. The senator is correct, but he doesn't go far enough. It is time for Congress to abolish the Federal Reserve System.

This sounds like a extreme step, but it isn't. The Fed's ostensible purpose, combatting inflation, is an absolute farce. The Fed causes inflation, it does not prevent it. If federal policy makers really wanted to fight inflation, they would abolish the Fed and return America to a gold standard. Incidentally, as an economist prior to assuming control of the Fed, Alan Greenspan favored a return to the gold standard, so the idea is hardly radical.

Thomas Jefferson, were he alive today, would be horrified at the power the Fed has over the country. He once said:

A private bank (which is what the Fed is) with the power to issue unlimited currency is a greater threat to the liberties of the people than a standing army. We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.

This is exactly what has happened, as spendthrift Congressmen and Senators have used the Fed to cover their spending by "monetizing" the debt; basically the Fed simply adds money to the existing money supply to cover the spending, increasing inflation in the process. This practice must end, and it will end if the American people demand accountability from their elected officials.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Funny, in a bad sort of way

I don't know whether to laugh or cry at the following story, reported by Barton Gellman in the Washington Post yesterday. This is a story that should be in the Onion, but it is all too true. Apparently, possible Al-Qaeda agents or sleeper cells in America are no longer a threat the American public . The FBI can focus on the real problems threat facing Americans: adults looking at naked pictures. The religious fundamentalists who jointly control the Bush administration (in conjunction with the major corporations) are getting almost everything they want. First, no federal funding for stem cell research. Next, "intelligent design," a.k.a. creationist nonsense, taught in high school science classes. Now, a war on the evil of pornography. What's next, mandatory school prayer?

Notice Gellman points out this is a "top priority" of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, in my opinion, the next Supreme Court Justice. (If you're curious, I'm also picking the Colts and Panthers in the Super Bowl). Before you lose respect for Gonzales, though, remember one important thing about him: he is the son of immigrants! (I personally wouldn't resort to this irrelevant argument, but Bill O'Reilly felt it necessary to mention this fact when supporting Gonzales for the position of Attorney General). Please don't ask me why being the son of immigrants qualifies one to be Attorney General; direct your questions to mailto:oreilly@foxnews.com.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Yes on prop 73

For some reason, there's actually a debate on the merits of Prop 73, which would require parental notification for a teenage girl to get an abortion, and requires a 48 hour waiting period. NARAL and Planned Parenthood are (surprisingly!) opposed to this modest restriction. I thought these organizations were too busy smearing John Roberts to get involved, but I was wrong.

The pro-choice crowd's position makes no sense. A high school student cannot go on a field trip without parental permission, but they should be allowed to get an abortion without even informing Mom or Dad? Sorry I don't see much logic in this argument. NARAL's argument is especially curious:

Proposition 73 would serve as a blatant intrusion by the government into private, personal family matters. It places our most vulnerable teens—those in abusive homes or are pregnant as a result of rape or incest.

Huh? On the contrary, prop 73 is a pro-family bill. Parents ought to be consulted in important decisions involving their children. Nor does NARAL provide any evidence that a majority or even a significant number of pregnant teenage girls are pregnant because of rape or incest. Isn't it possible that they are pregnant because they didn't use proper birth control when having irresponsible sex? Furthermore, if it is an extreme case like incest, the girl has the option of going to a judge who can authorize the procedure.

If we want to make abortion less common, the solution is simple: sex education combined with access to birth control. If people from both sides of the political spectrum worked together to reduce abortions, it could be done fairly easily. This won't happen, of course, but I'd like to end this post with a pleasant thought.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Fiddling while Rome burns

The California state legislature ought to be ashamed of itself. It is wasting time and money, as usual. Suddenly, gay marriage is a major priority. A letter writer to my local paper put it well:

There are skyrocketing gas prices, 30 million Californians are struggling with crisises in medical care, housing, energy, clean air, immigration, and a budget that is out of control. And is what is the top priority of our elected Democratic officials in the state capitol? Whether a few licenses have marriage or domestic partners written on it!

Exactly, Robert Keirsey of San Diego. I would also add a few other issues to his list of concerns the state is ignoring. I am not either advocating for or against homosexual marriage. I simply don't think it is an important issue. I have two more urgent issues Mr. Keirsey didn't mention that far trump gay marriage: the poor performance of our schools and the broken foster care system. For a depressing look at the state of foster care in this state see this editorial in the Sept.11 San Francisco Chronicle.

Please find out who your local senator/representative is and tell them to get to work immediately actually doing something for the good of the state.

Monday, September 05, 2005

True incompetence from the feds

It's really disgusting, but you should check out the L.A. Times reporting on the poor federal relief effort. Where did all that highway bill money go anyway? Unbelievable. I think the mayor of New Orleans is on the verge of a breakdown. I would highly suggest listening to his interview, also on the Times' website.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Why was the government so unprepared for Katrina?

Two real conservatives,William Norman Grigg of the New American and Paul Craig Roberts have come through with an excellent analysis of the government's poor relief efforts. You may say, who the heck are these guys? Many of you may never have heard of them, for good reason. They have too many independent thoughts to make it on Fox News or on the Bush-loving "conservative" talk radio shows.

Grigg wrote an excellent article that is now on his magazine's website, "Why So Few First Responders in New Orleans? They're in Iraq." He points out the following key facts:

The occupation of Iraq has rested heavily on the services of National Guard units, including those from Gulf States that have been mutilated by Hurricane Katrina. Additionally, many Guardsmen and reservists now serving in Iraq are key law enforcement and disaster response personnel whose absence is also being keenly felt in the flood-ravaged states.

Another anti-Bush conservative, Paul Craig Roberts, points out in Antiwar.com, that the Bush administration slashed the funding for the Corps of Engineers' projects to strengthen and raise the New Orleans levees and diverted the money to the Iraq war. An even more important point: Rumsfeld's refusal to send enough troops to Iraq in early 2003 led to, you guessed it, national Guardsmen being sent there later.

The chickens have come home to roost. As if it wasn't bad enough that 1800+ (for now) lives have been lost in a war that has helped place into power a pro-Iranian government.

No, Kanye West, Bush isn't a racist. He's just incompetent.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Bush's on vacation: so what's the problem?

Many people, mostly but not all liberal, seem to be upset that George Bush is on a long vacation during a very tumultous time in Iraq. I am not one of those people. Far from it. In fact, I wish Bush would extend his vacation until about, oh, January 2009. It's not as though he were solving any problems when he was officially "working."

All he did was hold one press conference after another where he just repeated mantras and cliches, primarily "we're making progress." If he ended his vacation today, would the war go any better? Of course not. Some pro-war critics have maintained sending more troops to Iraq would help the situation. They may be right, but it won't matter. Bush will never send more troops to Iraq because that would force him to admit he didn't send enough soldiers in the first place. That kind of mea culpa is impossible for this administration.

As for his domestic policies, America needs a long break from all of those bad ideas. I think we can prosper without more disastrous corporate giveaways like the bankruptcy bill, the energy bill, CAFTA, and the pork-laden highway bill. He can't mess up the country as badly on vacation. Don't listen to those lefties, Mr. President, take as long a vacation as you want! As for your critics, those anti-Americans can be dealt with by your cohorts at Fox News and on the "conservative" talk radio shows, e.g. Melanie "The WMDs will still show up" Morgan, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, etc...

P.S. Mr.President, is John Gibson on your payroll? I'm really getting suspicious. You already bribed Armstrong Williams and Maggie Gallagher. Gee, do you really think Karl Rove deserves a medal of honor? I really don't see why, but maybe John is such a subtle genius the rest of us just don't realize the full extent of his wisdom. And I thought it was just ridiculous bias. Mea culpa.

Theocracy comes to Iraq

Supporters of the Iraq war are desperately denying that Iraq is becoming an Islamic fundamentalist state. They are, unfortunately, dead wrong. As the Wall Street Journal points out in its August 23 issue, page 3: "Islam has been named a source of law and a clause says no legislation shall be passed that contradicts Islamic principles." (On a side note, wouldn't it be nice if the writers on the editorial page read their own newspaper once in a while?). Furthermore, Iraqi prime minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari has told a magazine that "Iraq should become an Islamic state." In fact, during his visit to Iran, al-Jaafari signed several bilateral accords. One accord was a military alliance wherein Iran will provide arms to Iraq; Iran will provide border security between the two countries; and the two countries will share intelligence. "This is a new chapter in relations with Iraq," enthused Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Aref during al-Jaafari's visit. Agha Panayi, an Iranian intelligence official, has offered a similarly enthusiastic assessment: "Throughout Iraq, the people we supported are in power."

It would be great if MSNBC, CNN, NBC, ABC, and the other nitworks could run a story about this once in a while, as much as I hate to interrupt the fascinating cruise ship mystery or the nondeveloping Natalee Holloway case. On a side note, Beth Holloway Twitty is now the second most annoying grieving mother on TV. FOX obviously won't cover this because it might reflect poorly on their Supreme Leader, George W. Bush. Yes, I know, there's been a major flood recently, but let's face the facts: the nitworks weren't covering anything important prior to that disaster anyway. (Yes, reader, I am deliberately misspelling the word network).

My primary source for this post is the one of the best magazines you've never heard about,the New American, staunchly conservative, but non-partisan. The bookstores won't carry it, for whatever reason. Please see http://www.thenewamerican.com/artman/publish/article_1995.shtml

Friday, August 26, 2005

Milton Bradley as the new Joe McCarthy

As a baseball fan, I will occasionally veer off and discuss the game, especially controversial issues like racism. Milton Bradley of the Dodgers, a black player who is a head case and a jerk, has accused Jeff Kent, a white player who is also a jerk, of racism. However, Bradley has not mentioned what specifically Kent said that was allegedly so horrible. Are we in Wheeling in 1950 again? Did he call you a dumb n-----? Did he make a comment on fried chicken? If you just don't like him, say he's a cancer or a bad teammate, don't accuse him of racism. Something like that can destroy a man's reputation and in Kent's place, keep him out of the Hall of Fame or out of a future manager's position. This is not a defense of Jeff Kent's personality, only an attempt to get to the heart of a serious matter.

My first and (hopefully) last comment on Cindy Sheehan

I wish this subject would go away, but apparently it won't , so I will add a few seemingly obvious observations:

1. As Jonathan Chait wisely points out in his August 19LA Times column , http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-chait19aug19,0,1594714.column Sheehan's rightful grief as a victim does not ipso facto validate her opinions on the war. The arguments people make on both sides should be evaluated strictly on their merits. The same principle applies to the pro-war military mom that Bush is trotting out to support his position. Like Sheehan, her opinions do not become holy writ because of her unfortunate situation.

2. Contrary to the rather silly whining of Coulter, Hannity, Limbaugh, et al, Sheehan's continued presence on the TV immensely helps the pro-war cause. Her rather silly and stupid opinions on American history, the origins of war, etc... help to discredit people who also oppose the war, but do not believe some of the radical conspiracy theories Sheehan espouses. Obviously, as an opponent of the war I would rather have a military hero like Chuck Hagel as my spokesman, excuse me, spokesperson, than Sheehan. Somehow, no one in the media seems to recognize this fact. (I think Hagel overstated his case when he compared Iraq to Vietnam, but at least he's not associating with radical leftists like Michael Moore).

Update as of 9-3: I have heard that Sheehan's comment "this country is not worth fighting for," referred to Iraq, not the U.S. so I have modified this post in the principle of fairness.