Friday, March 15, 2002

Parties Tense After Divisive Vote

"Of course you know this means war!"

Somewhere we need to get rid of this idea that one side can every "get even" with the other. It's always perceived as getting ahead unfairly and requiring payback.

For all the "You did it, too!" from the Democrats, I don't recall any Democrat nominee for a judgeship ever being borked, the way the Democrats went after Bork himself, or Clarence Thomas or Judge Pickering. This will only end with much poorer judges being appointed unless we end up with a President and Congress of the same party. Even then, it will drive good people away from serving. The only solution will be to nominate Judges like Bush I did Justice Suter, find someone who hasn't written much and has no history, in other words, a non-thinker. Good luck with that!

BBC News | AMERICAS | Texas mother gets life sentence

I guess this is the best they could do. All I know is that if I came to and realized that I had done this, I wouldn't be able to stand the pain. She will now spend the rest of her life comfortably numb on psychotropics or in hell. May God have mercy on her soul. - Catholic paper: Is priestly celibacy tied to sex abuse? - March 15, 2002

It's about time someone started talking about this. Celibacy was never part of original Christianity. I don't care whether the Roman Catholic Church ordains women, because I don't think it has any legitimate authority to grant. The real Church of Jesus Christ was lost within the first few hundred years after the apostles died, certainly by the time of Constantine, who made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. Security Systems Standards and Certification Act Sec. 101: Prohibition of Certain Devices

I propose the following addition:

Sec. 103 (b)

It shall be unlawful to include and utilize certified security technologies that adhere to the security system standards adopted under section 104, to content which has, wholely or in part, been released previously in another medium whether digital or analog.

Thursday, March 14, 2002

Owl data knowingly faulty -- The Washington Times

Keep it up, Greens! It's just a matter of time until everybody recognizes that environmentalists aren't the heroes they want us to think.

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Radley Balko says we are losing our privacy!

His first sentence is right. It's not only cliche, it's stupid. Where did everybody get this idea that we all walk around invisible all the time? Up until recently, everybody was trying to be famous, a celebrity. Once you get that, you can complain about losing your privacy, but nobody will feel sorry for you.

I used to get this kind of twat from divorce clients--"He's watching me!" "Well, flip him the bird and close the drapes."

Putting up surveillance cameras is NOT as violation of your privacy, unless you find them in your living quarters without your permission, and even then, if they have a warrant, you're SOL.

Do people think the FBI and Police have nothing better to do that track Joe Blow around every day? Actually, they usually know who they're looking for and have a very good reason to be looing for him. Otherwise, they could care less who walks past their camera, unless he commits a crime while doing so.

What about all these face recognition tech and iris identification? Sorry, Bunky, it's only to cull you out from the ones they really want to keep an eye on. Once they know you're not he or she, it's "Move along, Buddy!"

If the time ever comes that they really want to duplicate Big Brother, we'll have a lot more to worry about than whether someone is watching us, because the courts will be gone and martial law will be in effect.

Philadelphia Daily News | 03/12/2002 | 'Fighting Whities' make a statement

A more apt analysis is pro-wrestling. Most of these guys are white, but they aren't the kind who wear ties and business suits.
It's the crazy savages that turn people on. If our collective memory of indians was that of a bunch of peaceful farmers or hunter gatherers, they wouldn't be used as mascots.

How many teams are called the Navahos or the Hopi? These evoke images of shepherds and old women weaving rugs, not fighters. Maybe this stunt is to try to change our image of indians from fierce, wild warriors to hippies demonstrating for political correctness. If I were Native American (I am, but not in the PC sense), I'd prefer Crazy Horse to the rugweavers as my symbol. I suspect most NA's would too.

Terrorist Pilots' Student Visas Arrive ( "Federalize the airport inspectiors," they said! The real question is whethery they'd become law enforcement agents or bureaucrats. This story shows the difference.

Anybody who bought John McCain's book should send it back as a protest. The faith of MY fathers was certainly not to expect the government to do more and more and more for the people, especially when they screw up like this!

Tuesday, March 12, 2002

Brit Hume and his All-stars

took the twin Times (LA and NY) apart on their big story about the Pentagon's nuclear posture review. They point out that the reaction around the world was overblown, of course, but also that, far from making the U.S. a "rogue state" as the NYTimes putit, these reviews are required by law to be performed routinely.
Even Mara Liasson from NPR played it down. I guess she's the only one from there smart enough to be allowed on the air with Brit.

How long before the Gray Lady becomes as big a joke as the LA Times?

"James Tobin � Yale professor, Nobel laureate and adviser to John F. Kennedy
� died yesterday. He was a great economist and a remarkably good man; his passing seems to me to symbolize the passing of an era, one in which economic debate was both nicer and a lot more honest than it is today."

That's rich, coming from Paul Krugman. I don't know Tobin, but it'll take somebody more intelligent and trustworthy than Krugman to convince me what a great man he was. He should have sent flowers.

Monday, March 11, 2002

TIME: Deadly Mission - The battle at Shah-i-Kot

This story has such a negative, weepy tone it's hard to believe that we're winning. Obviously nobody wants casualties, but if we turned and ran every time we got surprised, we mighnt as well not have a military. Obviously, our intel has to get better; we're still discovering that many of our friends are playing on both sides of the street. Still, to fly into an ambush and come out with a 100 to 1 loss ratio in our favor is not something we should hang our heads about.

Toughen up, people! This is what my father's generation went through, but worse. It's probably why so few of them could talk about the battles they were in without losing their composure. It's here again, and I'm too old and sick to enlist, but these men did, and they deserve more than wobbly thumbsuckers reporting this stuff at home. Every one we lose is added to the list on the plaques in countless city halls and public cemeteries around this country, where they will live in honor as long as this nation goes on. There will be more. They know that. It's part of the deal they made to defend this country.

What they don't need is reporters making it sound like we're beaten by a bunch of third-world thugs after a tough fight. We are winning this. These guys are heroes. They have the best training, equipment and weapons on earth. We must not let them feel that the nation hasn't got the resolve to stand behind them.

Time's Take on the Letterman Dance

It sounds to me like it's not only Nightline that's irrelevant. Letterman himself is probably as nice to have around as a running sore.

This is told by one of his people:
But what Letterman seems to want most is respect and some coddling. "The entire history between Dave and CBS is negative. From Day One, they never treated him importantly," a former Letterman associate says. "He needs people to talk to him, and Les went the other way and ignored him. I'll give you an example of stupid CBS tricks. Dave's people used to try to get a company plane to take him to St. Bart's. He's their No. 1 guy, but getting the plane was like pulling teeth. You'd think they'd take him down whenever he wanted to go."

If I were Dave, I'd care less what CBS did for me after paying the salary. The wise-ass, stupid pet tricks guy is just a personna he adopts on the air. It sounds like the rest of the time he's just a jerk, and not an ordinary jerk, a high paid, egotistical jerk, still upset that he didn't get Johnnie Carson's spot and determined to make everybody else miserable in revenge.

Sunday, March 10, 2002

Advice and Dissent The New York Times suggests that Bush's conservative judicial nominees must be defeated at all cost.
There is a danger that despite the
Republicans' record of blockading well-qualified, moderate
judicial nominees during the Clinton administration, Democrats
in the Senate will become tired of being called obstructionist and
give way.

There is too much at stake for that to happen.

I sent the following letter to the editors:
It's already clear what most politicians consider the minimum standards for approving a judge: he/she has to agree with them on all judicial issues with political ramifications. And since we can't trust evasive nominees to tell us how they are likely to vote, we just can't take the chance on anyone with a conservative/liberal record. It no longer matters whether
a judge is intelligent and writes well-reasoned opinions based on the law, he/she has to give
us the certainty that he/she will vote the way we want when called upon to do so.

It used to be that such matters weren't that important, but with more and more political
issues being determined by courts rather than democratic politics, the selection of judges
has become more important for those who know they can't win on, say, the floor of the
Senate or in the polling booths.

This deadlock is the natural result of relying on courts to settle what are basically political issues. When we become so intent on having our own way that we no longer care how we
win, as long as we do win, we will increasingly turn to non-democratic means, such as
lawsuits, and who the judges are will become increasingly a matter to be controlled in
advance, as well.

Winning War on Terrorism Takes More Than Military Success

I wrote to the author:
I just read your piece in the Sunday Trib, and find your points well taken.

It has seemed to me for a long time that Americans have lost the ability to explain why
America is great. To a large extent I blame this on the attitude among our intellectual elite
that America is something to be ashamed of, that patriotism is distasteful and plebian.
Those who speak for us prefer rather to emphasize passivity, trying not to look like the
hegemon any superpower is whether it wishes to be or not. In many ways, our State
Department has acted as though it were embarrassed by democracy. I know that there are
many in our universities and media who are embarrassed that we have elected George W.

To ask people like this to handle our public relations is like asking France to give us a
testimonial. On the other hand, we have business people, like those who run MTV, who
think that showing Afghan teenagers videos of Jennifer Lopez will prove the superiority of
our system.

We seem to have failed to recognize the impact of the madrassahs in Muslim countries,
which have been used by radical Islamicists to recruit their youth to hatred and blame
rather than to show them how to improve their own lives.

I keep wondering why we haven't funded any schools to teach children in these lands the
value of education, hard work, tolerance, freedom of choice, cooperation and their value
as human beings; in short, the values that successful societies are built upon. Instead we
invite them to matriculate in the U.S. and offer the talented and ambitious a way out,
leaving the rest to suffer in poverty and oppression. We train people like Mohammed Atta
and Osama bin Laden, and sell arms to the authoritarian regimes that they hate. We are so
unsure of our own spiritual values that we make enemies by being non-judgmental and
non-interfering when we should not be, until the bough breaks and we go to war. I'm sure
that we are as big an enigma to the Muslim world as they are to us.