Sep 2, 2006

Iran: words vs actions

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, "interviewed" by Mike Wallace: "We are not looking for - working for the bomb. The problem that President Bush has that in his mind he wants to solve everything with bombs. The time of the bomb is in the past. It's behind us. Today is the era of thoughts, dialogue, and cultural exchanges."
Iran test fires long-range missile
August 27, 2006
TEHRAN, Iran (Reuters) -- Iran test fired a long-range, radar-evading missile on Sunday from a submarine in the Gulf as part of war games that began earlier this month, state television reported.
The missile was called Sagheb, which means Piercing, but the report did not give the missile's range.
"Minutes ago it was launched from a submarine in the Persian Gulf and it hit the target," television reported.
Western nations have been watching developments in Iran's missile capabilities with concern amid a standoff over the country's nuclear program, which the West says is aimed at building atomic bombs. Iran says the program is only civilian.
Iran's military also held war games in the Gulf in April. Those exercises were interpreted by analysts as a thinly veiled threat that Iran could disrupt vital oil shipping lanes if pushed by an escalation in the nuclear dispute.

Which one are you going to believe? Our future depends on it.

Aug 10, 2006

only in morality politics is less more

We've all heard the hysteria:
Since Elvis and the Beatles, music has been a touchy issue between parents and kids. But today's lyrics are more graphic, more violent, and more sexual than ever. "Today" host Katie Couric reports on what your kids are listening to. - MSNBC

Teens whose iPods are full of music with raunchy, sexual lyrics start having sex sooner than those who prefer other songs, a study found. - also MSNBC

So you would naturally deduce that teens must be having more sex than ever, if the music they are listening to is more sexual than ever, and sexual lyrics lead to more and earlier sex. Right?
Fewer U.S. high school students are having sex, and the ones who do are less likely to have multiple partners, according to a report issued on Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

*GASP* You mean the morality police and hysterical media got something wrong? Oh the huge mammaries!
One of these things just doesn't belong... So today's lyrics aren't more sexual than ever, but sexual lyrics are still enticing children to sex, but jut not as much. Or today's lyrics are more sexual than ever, but sexual lyrics don't lead to more teen sex, so there isn't more of it. Or lyrics are more sexual, and sexual lyrics do lead to more teen sex, but the CDC got it wrong and there actually is more teen sex now than before. One of the above must logically be true. I'm putting my money on the CDC.
So the next time some volunteer in the morality militia starts whining to you about how horrible today's music is and how it's polluting our children's minds and turning them into a generation of Paris Hilton clones, you can tell them to mind their own damn business. They're wrong.

Aug 9, 2006


Lieberman set on independent Senate bid
Voters in Connecticut turned him down, rejecting three-term Sen. Joe Lieberman for a political newcomer in the nation's first major test of the depth of anger over the Iraq war.
But Lieberman, undaunted, vowed to run as an independent against fellow Democrat Ned Lamont. "For the sake of our state, our country and my party, I cannot and will not let that result stand," he said of Tuesday's Democratic primary results.

First of all, good for Leiberman. He's one of the more sane members of the Democrat party. He would make a great independent Senator, and it could even set him up for a third party ticket in 2008. Who knows?
But on the story, notice how the AP calls Leiberman's primary defeat the "first major test of the depth of anger over the Iraq war." Is it just me or was there a presidential election two years ago? Thirty-three Senate elections two years ago? Four hundred thirty five House elections two years ago? Yeah, those don't count apparently. But once someone who supports the war looses, that counts as the first test of support for the war. What a bunch of ridiculous "journalists" over there at the AP...

Jul 30, 2006


Hezbollah leader said to be hiding in Iranian Embassy
Intelligence reports indicate the leader of Hezbollah is hiding in a foreign mission in Beirut, possibly the Iranian Embassy, according to U.S. and Israeli officials.
Israeli military and intelligence forces are continuing to hunt for Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's secretary-general, who fled his headquarters in Beirut shortly before Israeli jets bombed the building last week.
"We think he is in an embassy," said one U.S. official with access to the intelligence reports, while Israeli intelligence speculates Sheik Nasrallah is hiding in the Iranian Embassy.
If confirmed, the reports could lead to an Israeli air strike on the embassy, possibly leading to a widening of the conflict, said officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Foreign embassies are sovereign territory and an attack on an embassy could be considered an act of war.
As an initial reaction, I have no problem with the IDF reducing any embassy harboring a terrorist leader to rubble, even our own. If some internationalist utopian is hiding Nasrallah in the US embassy, send a tactical team in to dispatch them both. And if he's in the Iranian embassy, flatten the whole block.
However, it might be prudent to have a few IDF snipers stationed on the buildings surrounding the Iranian embassy watching the windows. A quick shot at Nasrallah walking by an unobstructed window would be clean and less likely to lead to Iranian escalation. Not that I'm opposed to Iranian escalation. I'd just as soon have the whole region swept up into the war, make it official, and turn them all to glass. But there are practical considerations, of course.

healthy nuts

According to a New York Times article on a University of Chicago study, people are healthier than ever. Despite rampant obesity, smoking, drugs, and general bad behavior, people are living longer, and with less chronic illnesses than in any generation in human history. So the next time you hear some utopian whining about banning trans-fats, tobacco, sunbathing, wheat, or just plain fun, you can tell them to shut their unfortunately healthy mouths. Let freedom ring!

Jul 22, 2006


Sometimes I need to be reminded why I no longer watch network news. Last night at my parents' house after the local news ended, they left on NBC Nightly News for a while (read: until I changed it). The first ten minutes were a summary of recent events in the current Israel-Hezbollah Front of WW3, except a large portion of it was dedicated to journalistic wailing and gnashing of teeth over the civilian casualties in Lebanon. They went the entire segment without putting this unfortunate toll in context - the context of Hezbollah storing and firing rockets at Israel from Lebanese homes and businesses. It's not Israel's fault that Lebanese homes are being destroyed and "innocent" people killed; maybe the Lebanese "civilians" shouldn't let Hezbollah fire rockets from their houses. Israel is only firing back at precise locations where rockets were fired from, so if that happens to be someone's house or business, then too fucking bad. It's Hezbollah's problem, not Israel's.
This type of context-free journalism is what disgusts me about network news and most other leftist media outlets. It leads people to conclusions about world and domestic events that are at best not the whole truth and at worst utter fabrications.

Jul 17, 2006

World War III

Is this really World War III, or is it World War IV? Has it even started yet, and if so, when exactly did it start?
You might say that World War III was really the Cold War in which we battled Russia on various indirect fronts around the world from Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, Nicaragua, Grenada, and other Soviet satellites. In that case, what we see now is World War IV.
Regardless which war this is, when did it start? It started in some sense with the Islamist Coup in Iran in 1979. Probably the more ovious consensus would be September 11, 2001, our generation's Pearl Harbor. At least that is when this war officially began for us; when we finally decided that we would fight back.
I'm sure some people still don't think that we're in World War III (or IV). Despite the fact that they are wrong, I will give them the benefit of the doubt that the major combat operations have not yet begun. We had the Battle of 9/11, and opened two small fronts in Afghanistan and Iraq, but other that prolonged anti-terrorist counter-intelligence operations, there has been very little World War II style epic ground operations. That will come if Iran and North Korea ever get directly involved other than sending weapons and money to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Well, I say bring it. Yes our military may be a bit busy at the moment, yes it will be extremely messy, but yes we will get to truly see who are allies and enemies are in the world, and we will finally deal with these problems that have been brewing for decades. Our children and grandchildren will thank us.

Jun 28, 2006


The Surgeon General released a report this week that claims that secondhand smoke is definitely the killer that some always suspected it to be. This determination must rationally lead to one of two courses of action by the federal government:
  • Ban smoking completely, or
  • Legalize marijuana
Now you may be saying, well how can both of those be rational consequences of a finding of the lethal nature of secondhand smoke when they are so diametrically opposed to each other? Let me explain.
If smoking primarily or secondarily is so dangerous that it raises health risks with even the mildest contact, then there is no justifiable reason for it to remain legal. It has no significant health benefits, contributes nothing substantive to life or society, causes trash and air pollution, and is an all around nuisance. The only benefit that it provides is billions in tax dollars every year, yet it remains legal. This is not a rational situation on a purely cost-benefit basis. Fortunately, I don't form my opinions on cost-benefit rationality alone. I hold the freedom to kill oneself slowly to be more important.
So if tobacco remains legal even after it is determined to be unhealthy even for secondary smokers, then the only rational next step is to then legalize marijuana. Smoking marijuana, unlike tobacco, does not cause lung cancer (or any other cancer), so it cannot therefore raise the risks of cancer for secondary smokers either. It is no more incapacitating than alcohol, which remains legal, so for that argument, current laws prohibiting driving under the influence would be sufficient (if they are for alcohol, that is). The only remaining argument against marijuana use is that it is a gateway drug. This is an anecdotal argument at best, and my all accounts it is no more relevant than to say that alcohol is a gateway drug. Otherwise why would anyone only smoke cigarettes when they drink?
So if the Surgeon General's report does not lead to a nationwide ban on smoking tobacco, then it must necessarily lead to a nationwide legalization of marijuana. If one of these things does not occur, then our government is not being run rationally. ...but you already knew that.

Jun 27, 2006


It's very sad that there are only 34 sensible members of the US Senate right now. It's even sadder that I probably only agree with these 34 on about two other issues. An amendment to allow Congress to prohibit physical desecration of the flag (read: free speech) has failed by a single vote. Three Republicans (McConnell, Chafee, Bennett) voted no, while 12 Democrats voted yes. The rest of the votes are party line. It's disgusting that a simple issue like the free expression of dissent is so partisan that it takes a few brave members to stop the body from trampling all over the Constitution. It lives to see another day...

Jun 23, 2006

sayonara, Mineta

Today, Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta announced his resignation as of July 7, 2006. All I have to say is good riddance, Mr Mineta. This holdover from the Clinton administration was responsible for perhaps the most absurd and dangerous policy instituted after September 11, 2001: random passenger searches in airports. Yes, that's right. Everytime an 80 year old Jewish woman in a wheelchair gets searched at Logan Airport, it's Norman Mineta's fault. But now he's gone! Shall we have a parade?

Jun 20, 2006

music to my ears

Pa. city poised for immigration crackdown
With tensions rising and the police department and municipal budget stretched thin, Hazleton is about to embark on one of the toughest crackdowns on illegal immigrants anywhere in the United States.
Last week the mayor of this former coal town introduced, and the City Council tentatively approved, a measure that would revoke the business licenses of companies that employ illegal immigrants; impose $1,000 fines on landlords who rent to illegal immigrants; and make English the official language of the city.
goooooooooood bleeeeeeess aaaaaaaameeeeeeeericaaaaaaaaaaaaaa I may have to ask my wife if she wants to move to Pennsylvania.

Jun 16, 2006

they took our...hospitals?

According to KTRH, the Harris County Hospial District has had to charge $97 million to Harris County taxpayers for costs associated with treating illegal aliens in fiscas year 2005. That's after federal grants (which are also taxpayer funded, obviously) and direct/third party payments for services. The bad thing? There are only two major hospitals covered under the Harris County Hospital District. The deparment also covers a few clinics and various medical and public information services, but $97 MILLION in taxpayer theft for illegal aliens out of only TWO hospitals for a single year?! That's outrageous. The number has also nearly doubled from $55M in fiscal 2002 to the $97M in fiscal 2005.

This $97M is the tip of the iceberg that is going to bring our health system to its knees. Also not covered under the $97M are the 34 clinics run by the Harris County Public Healthcare System Council. Also not covered are at least 10 major hospitals (most in the Texas Medical Center) that are privately funded. Also ignored are the thousands of private medical practices in Harris County.
So not only does $97M not even begin a full accounting of the cost of illegal aliens on our healthcare system, it is only a tiny fraction of the undoubtedly BILLIONS stolen at gunpoint from taxpayers throughout Harris County, the rest of the state of Texas, and the nation as a whole.

I didn't say we should deny anyone without a valid social security card medical treatment. But couldn't we at least send Vincente Fox a vague invoice for $97M from some unaccountable medical billing office?

Jun 7, 2006

leadership disconnected

As I'm sure you've heard, the Senate couldn't even muster enough votes to end debate on the pathetic Federal Marriage Amendment today. This is not at all surprising. The thing had no chance of making it out of the Senate even if they could actually get to vote on it.
What's ridiculous is the timing of this charade. After the massive illegal immigrant marches of April and May, the country finally awoke to the national emergency of our immigration problem. Every poll out there shows that up to 80% of the country wants at the very least a secure border, and a majority want that to include a wall. Immigration policy should come second. So after five years in office and the entire country raising their voices in unison against illegal immigration, the president and Congress finally managed to write a policy to handle the immigration problem. Actually, they made three policies, the president's, the Senate's, and the House's, and none of them are the same. So what do we get? As of now, a few miles of fence along parts of the US-Mexico border, and some cameras. oooh. Basically, lip service.
This brings us back to the marriage debacle. After the Massachusetts and San Francisco marriage breakthroughs of 2004, parts of the country were clamoring for protection of the "sanctity of marraige." It was a huge campaign issue. Probably enough to secure the president's re-election, though John Kerry was similarly opposed to same-sex marriage, though you'd never know it from the coverage. Fast forward to this year. The president's poll numbers are in a freefall based on stagnation in Iraq and an overall lack of public presence to project a strong image. It's a Congressional election year, and a majority of the country is feeling vehemently anti-incumbent. So what do the president and his pals in the Senate do? They bring back up the canard of gay marriage, and their attempt to engrave a state issue into the federal constitution fails once again. But they tried, damnit! And they'll be sure to remind us as campaign commercials start rolling out before November.
What someone needs to remind the president is that our federal system of states' rights is doing exactly what it should do on this issue, exactly the opposite of the "judicial activism" that the president claims is overtaking the nation. Massachusetts approved same-sex marriage (and re-elected nearly all the legislators who supported it), California did so as well, Connecticut approved civil unions, and the Defense of Marriage Act has been upheld thrice by federal judges (so much for that "activism" eh?). Yes, many states have also passed laws or state amendments strictly defining marriage, but that's their right as well. That's how our system is supposed to work. On issues where the several states can effectively make up their own minds, the federal government is supposed to butt its nosey ass out.
This is one issue that the Democrats have consistently correct. No one can hurt my marriage but my wife and I. However, we must protect the Constitution from these petty partisan potshots at all costs.

(a much better dissection of the issue is here)

Jun 6, 2006

06.06.06 ... yawn.

Fundamentalists amuse me. All day long on the radio, people were calling in fretting about how the end of the world was going to start today or the antichrist was going to be born today. Somehow I don't think omnipotent supernatural entities follow the modern Gregorian calendar.
The apostles and writers of the New Testament thought that Jesus was going to come back and end the physical world in their lifetimes, so they wrote it down to warn everyone to be prepared. Subsequently, every generation since then has thought they were going to see the end of days. They were all wrong. So are all you wackjobs who had C-sections yesterday to keep your children from being evil (they will be anyway, trust me).
Did the end of the world come on June 6, AD 106? No, I don't think so. How about 206? No? 306? ... 1806? Nope. 1906? Nope. Then what the fuck makes you think it's going to be today? Oh, that's right, it's your pathetically overdeveloped sense of spiritual self-importance. Spare us your fevered ego tainting our collective unconscious and have a little fun for once.

May 24, 2006

political enema, please

Ok, that's it. Fire the entire Congress. Our founders warned us of the President becoming a royal office with too much power. Congress now considers itself untouchable in the same way. It's time to clean house, folks. There may be a few current representatives that deserve to keep their seats (see Kyl, Tancredo, Sensenbrenner, Poe, Culberson, etc). Anyone else with an "I" next to their name on a ballot should be automatically voted against in their next election.
In case you're wondering where all this is coming from, this was the tipping point for my outrage. Congressman Jefferson's government office was recently raided by the FBI investigating charges of corruption and bribery after he was VIDEOTAPED taking money from an undercover FBI informant. But that's not surprising...for a politician from Louisiana. What was absolutely shocking was how Speaker Hastert and Majority Leader Boehner think that the FBI raid was off limits as a separation of powers issue and should be challenged in the Supreme Court. *mouth*hangs*open* What a bunch of preening elitist power whores... It's time to start from scratch in Washington.
A glimmer of hope here is the recent trend in polls that show that a large majority of American voteres think that most members of Congress need to be replaced. WOOHOO. But another question in these polls reveals a very opposite situation. While most people think that the majority of Congress should not be re-elected, the majority of people (almost the same ratio) think that their own representative should be re-elected. Now that just spoils the whole idea. If everyone thinks their own rep is just fine and dandy, but everyone else's is the problem, then none of them are going to get sent home, and we have to live with the same problem for at least another two years (and realistically, decades). It's simply an abomination.
Fortunately, I don't have to make the decision to re-elect my Congressman in November. He already made that decision for me by tucking his tail between his legs and announcing his sad pathetic resignation. Good riddance, Delay. So my district is guaranteed to get a new face in Washington after the next election. It's got to start somewhere...

May 19, 2006

public re-education

In case you were doubting the rampant leftist bent in public education these days (and who could?), then you haven't read this.
Seattle public schools definition of "cultural racism" includes "emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology." That's right, folks. Now if you think of yourself as an individual instead of part of some herd, you're a racist. Welcome to the 1984, where words are redefined at will to suit a political agenda.

May 10, 2006

bordering on treason

It was reported all over the country yesterday that through Mexican consular requests for information, the US Border Patrol had been divulging the whereabouts of the Minutemen along the US-Mexico border. Talk about a conflict of interest... Well, today the Border Patrol is refuting this charge, but using double-speak in doing so, saying it doesn't provide the Mexican government with Minutemen locations, but that through the Vienna Convention does have to provide information to the Mexican government about interactions with that government's citizens. So basically, they're not sending over a daily briefing on Minutemen patrols, but if the Minutemen notify the Border Patrol of an illegal crossing and the Mexican consulate asks for information about the illegal crosser, they also get to find out that the Minutemen were involved.
This whole situation smells of rotting elephant dung. It's bad enough that we have to have private citizens volunteer to monitor the border because our government isn't up to the task. But to have these patriots sold out to the corrupt government of Mexico on a legal technicality is disgusting.
If Mexico is so concerned about its citizens' safety, maybe they should give them reasons not to risk their lives crossing the desert on foot or selling themselves into slavery to pay a coyote to ferry them across the border in a locked and boiling trailer.

May 1, 2006

another one bites the...oh wait no, there he goes...

[Former CIA agent Michael Scheuer] told Four Corners that during 2002, the Bush Administration received detailed intelligence about Zarqawi's training camp in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Mr Scheuer claims that a July 2002 plan to destroy the camp lapsed because "it was more important not to give the Europeans the impression we were gunslingers".
"Mr Bush had Zarqawi in his sights almost every day for a year before the invasion of Iraq and he didn't shoot because they were wining and dining the French in an effort to get them to assist us in the invasion of Iraq," he told Four Corners.
If this is true, it is unforgivable. Most of our hardship in Iraq over the last three years has been because of Zarqawi and his thugs. If we could have taken him out before the war, it would have saved many thousands of lives and probably hundreds of US soldiers after the fall of Baghdad.
I don't ever want to hear a conservative bring up as some kind of damning crime the fact that Bill Clinton letting Osama bin Laden go during his presidency. Now President Bush has one of his own.

Apr 20, 2006

please, fence me in

Minuteman Leader Pushes Border Fence
If the government doesn't build security fencing along the Mexico border, Minuteman border watch leader Chris Simcox says he and his supporters will.
Simcox, whose civilian watch group opposes illegal immigration, said Wednesday he was sending an ultimatum to President Bush to deploy military reserves to the Arizona border by May 25 or his supporters will break ground for their own building project.
"We're going to show the federal government how easy it is to build these security fences, how inexpensively they can be built when built by private people and free enterprise," Simcox said.
Congress has been debating immigration reform for several months. One bill, approved by the U.S. House in December, calls for nearly 700 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border. The fence proposal has angered Mexicans, with President
Vicente Fox calling it "shameful."
Gaaaaaawd bleeeess Ameeeeeericaaaaaaaaaa!
My only reservation at this point in the story is this: On whose private or public property is the fence going to be built? Is eminent domain going to be invoked by cooperative local authorities in order to build such a privately-funded fence? But then...
Simcox said a half-dozen landowners along the Arizona-Mexico border have said they will allow fencing to be placed on their borderlands, and others in California, Texas and New Mexico have agreed to do so as well.
Surveyors and contractors have offered to help with the design and survey work, and Simcox said some have said they will provide heavy equipment for his Minuteman Civil Defense Corps. to build fencing.
Well, there you go. Forge ahead, Mr Simcox. And when you're done, run for Congress or Senate, please.

Apr 11, 2006

oversimplified public debate

All this talk about the illegal immigration problem has gotten me thinking. And I think the debate is currently rather short sighted. All you hear about is about "supporters" or "opponents" of either "immigration" or "illegal immigration", and the way the two latter terms are used in the media make them completely interchangeable. But of course, they are not. And the sides of this are even more complicated than pro/anti as well.
There are actually several questions in the illegal immigration problem, and each person in the debate can answer any number of ways on each question. This means that there are not only pro and anti sides, but many distinct sides, each having a combination of pro and anti positions on each of the questions. Wow, this is getting confusing. Let's simplify it.

The first question to ask in the immigration debate is: How strong do you want border security to be? Some people want there to be a guarded wall along the entire US/Mexican and US/Canadian borders. Some want no wall, but a military presence to guard the border. Some want to keep the border relatively secure and relatively porous as it currently exists. And some do not recognize a border at all and think people should be able to move about at will.
That's roughly 4 sides on the single question of border security in the immigration debate. You see how quickly this issue gets impossible to debate with any degree of simplicity.

After border security, one has to consider the question: What do we do with the millions of illegal immigrants already in the US? Some people want them immediately arrested and prosecuted in the US justice system. Some want them immediately deported back to their home countries. Some want them to be able to work toward legal residency. Some want them to be able to work toward naturalized citizenship. And some think they should be immediately granted equal citizenship with native-born Americans.
Surprisingly enough, the answers to this question do not always correlate with the relative progression of answers to the first question. I have heard people support the position of using a military presence on the borders, but simultaneously allowing current illegal immigrants to work toward citizenship. So not only is there a progression of opinions on each question, but each individual does not necessarily hold the same level of opinion for each question. *head*spins* I know...

One of the final, but most important questions to ask is: How thorough and stringent should the legal immigration process be?
Some people think we should cut off all immigration immediately (though I've never heard this opinion expressed). Some people think we should cut off immigration from certain nations or regions. Some think we should simply lower the amount of immigrants allowed in legally each year. Some think we should raise the limit. Some think there should be no limit. Some think there should be no process at all, and anyone should be free to move and reside and work anywhere they chose without having to register with the government to do so.
Surprisingly enough, I have heard a great many people express the interesting combination of opinions that we should build a wall on the borders, deport all illegal immigrants, but greatly increase the number of immigrants that are allowed in legally. Their contention is that this policy would heighten security while encouraging respect for the law and keep a fresh flow of blood pumping into our melting pot. Sounds reasonable to me.

These are only a few of the issues involved in the Great Immigration Debate of 2006 (read: 1776-), but you can already see how complicated the issue is, and I haven't even touched on drug smuggling, human trafficking, paramilitary violence, or labor market effects. This issue can't just be boiled down to "THEY T'K 'R J'BS!!" or "This is OUR continent!" Give me a break. So the next time you hear some pundit or reporter trying to split the entire world into "pro-immigrant" and "anti-immigrant" forces, give them a hearty FUCK YOU and tell them to try to actually think through something before spewing forth a nauseatingly pithy and irrelevant soundbite.

Apr 9, 2006

sin city

Having just returned from a several-day vacation in Las Vegas, may I just say that sin is fun. Gambling, public nudity, sex, alcohol, all fabulously good pasttimes. About the only sinful thing in which my wife and I didn't indulge was a little consciousness altering, and that's only because getting catalysts for such activity there and back on an airplane is a little complicated.

Mar 29, 2006

reconquista continues

In case you are as yet unconvinced that one of the underlying motivations of the illegal alien protests is the taking back of the former Mexican territories, may I present this:

The criminals marching for their rights at a high school in California defiled the symbol of this country by subjigating it to the banner of a foreign nation on our own soil. And it gets worse and worse and worse.

Mar 27, 2006

political backlash 101

A few points about the recent "immigrant" protest marches in Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, et al:

  • The participants are not calling for equal rights for immigrants, but amnesty for illegal aliens. Two entirely different issues.
  • Any discussion you see about opposition to "immigration" or "immigrants" is a blatant lie. I have never heard anyone say that they are opposed to immigration. What some people are opposed to is lawlessness and flagrant violation of current immigration policy. Follow the law on the way in the door, and we welcome you with open arms. Break the law as your first act in this country, and you deserve nothing but the inside of a jail cell.
  • As you can see in the top-right corner of this photo, some of those masquerading under the banner of "immigrant rights" are actually engaging in a "reconquista" of the southwestern United States. Believe it or not, it's a fact.
  • Why are those allegedly rallying in support of equal rights for immigrants carrying so many flags of their native countries? If they want equal rights here, maybe they should be carrying American flags. Granted some are, but there are at least as many with Mexican flags. If they're so fond of their home country, I hear it's quite easy to get across the border. It's not a one way type of thing either.
  • Why is it that half a million illegal aliens can gather openly in downtown Los Angeles without fear of arrest and deportation? Kinda like the town hall meeting in Houston last year in which illegal aliens shouted down city officials who were trying to allay their fears about alleged (though unfortunately not actual) INS sweeps. These people are growing more brazen by the day, and our elected officials and bureaucratic overloards are coddling them as if they were natural born citizens of this country. It's completely unacceptable.
  • As my title suggests, these protests are going to do little to bring about the amnesty that they seek. Quite the contrary, every talk radio show I caught today was on this top to bottom. This is going to create a backlash that will blindside the protesters like nothing they've seen. It's just like what happened with the marriage rights debate in 2004. Because of all the people staging protests and flagrantly violating the law by granting null and void marriage contracts, they pissed the rest of the country off and helped pass 11 state constitutional amendments and laws ridigly defining marriage. While I support their cause (marriage, not alien amnesty), their tactics were counter-productive in the long run. These amnesty protests will probably help get more Republicans elected in November and make the proposed immigration reform in Congress even more strict (as it should be).
  • Although I can't credit it as my own, I had to pass along an amusing phrase I heard on the radio today. Someone called in and identified himself as an "undocumented border patrol agent" since he had participated in the Minuteman project. *claps* Genius...and patriot.

Mar 23, 2006

thou shalt not pursue happiness

"If you're not doing anything wrong, you don't have anything to worry about."

That sentence should send chills down the spine of any clear-headed freedom-loving person. It is most commonly used as part of an illogical defense of invasive and oppressive security or safety measures implemented by either tyrannical or maternal governments (redundant, I know). We all know that my personal political philosophy is a unique balance between freedom and security, but when it comes to sacrificing basic civil liberties like free transit and association, I draw the line quite clearly in the sand.

Take for instance the recent crusade by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission that has resulted in the arrest of more than 2200 people for drinking in...get this...bars. Gosh, I feel so much safer now that my nanny state government is protecting me from all those people enjoying themselves. These people were not fighting in the streets or driving with blood alcohol above the legal limit, they were just acting like drunk people do. And who is to say that they weren't going to call a cab on their way back home, or have a sober friend drive them?
If the Imperial State Government is going to start arresting people who "may be a danger to themselves or others", how about going down to the local Planned Parenthood clinic and sterilizing all the single women looking for information on the morning after pill or abortions? That would certainly eliminate lots of potential "dangers to others".

Mar 12, 2006

full circle

Some commentators on the Right like to point out that others on the Left are so radical that they are (consciously or not) siding with terrorists against Western and American ideals. Well, I would like to point out a converse and infrequently discussed collusion between those on the Right and those who plot the destruction of Western civilization.
Andrew Sullivan pointed out a story about how some Christianists who rail against gay marriage have added a new facet to their argument - that terrorists don't like gay marriage, so if we do, we are attracting the wrath of terrorists.
To some of you, this might seem like a logical argument. To the rest of us, it is the most illogical argument possible. We do not live one way or another at the whim of those who wish us harm. We live how we choose. However, this appeasement argument has become more common among conservatives, not only on the gay marriage issue, but on media saturation as well. They complain about Hollywood and decadent movies and culture partly because it makes the terrorists hate us.
Well, my hypocritical friends, so do freedom of the press, freedom of religion, two-piece bathing suits (oh, sorry, those are evil too), and hickory smoked bacon, but we're not giving those up, are we? Only those issues on which you agree with Islamists we should give up.
I have a different idea. How about everytime a wackjob in a C4 vest points out something about us that he doesn't like, we do more of it? That would seem to be a more idealisticly sound and intellectually consistent proposition. We're not inviting more terrorist anger; they hate us already and forever simply because we exist. Responding to the reverse of their demands (as with things like Shock & Awe) is only going to make them more vocal and more visible. We want the psychos to stand up and tell us that they don't like what we do and that we should be destroyed because of it, so then we know where they are and can send Predators after them. Not that we have the balls to do that though...

judicial urination

Well, that didn't take long. I found a story that is so clear-cut and so obvious and yet has not been politically mangled by anyone I've heard.
Ruling on an appeal brought by a Berkeley man who was charged with cocaine possession after an officer stopped him mid-pitstop, the Court of the Appeal for the Second District said Wednesday that public urination is a crime that justified the officer's search of the man's pockets.
"Urination on or near a busy commercial street interferes with the comfortable enjoyment of both life and property," Presiding Justice J. Anthony Kline wrote in an opinion that concluded public peeing qualified as "a public nuisance."
"The sight and smell of urine are vile and offensive, and those who use the public streets and sidewalks cannot be freely subjected to such unpleasantness," Kline continued.
If anyone wants to whine about judicial activism, here's opportunity. This justice decided that even though there is no public urination law either in the area or state where this arrest occured, he was going to pretend that there was one so that the arresting officer had a legitimate reason to search the defendant. Sure, public urination may be "vile and offensive" but if the California legislature or Oakland city council can not be bothered to make it illegal, then, Mr Presiding Justice, it's none of your fucking business.

Mar 10, 2006

political boredom

So, you may be wondering why I haven't posted anything in quite a while...


Well, I'm bored. I'm bored with the entire state of politics and government and society lately. Nothing grabs my attention. Well, I take that back. Plenty grabs my attention, but as soon as it does, it gets so instantly turned into partisan rancor that any interest I may have had gets quickly quelled. Yawn. Dubai Ports World pulls out of port terminal deal, and potentially many other US industries. Yawn. Tom Delay wins 63% in primary. Yawn. The economy is roaring. Yawn. Abortion is illegal in South Dakota. Yawn. It's just all so...done.
Maybe I need to read another Ayn Rand book.

Mar 1, 2006

Arabian whoppers

Recently everyone's favorite vice president-turned-insane rambling lunatic thought it would be fun to take a trip to Saudi Arabia and tell everyone that the United States has been scooping up scores of Arabs amongst its population, interning them, and torturing them without due process. This claim is only hilarious because it's the exact opposite of the truth. Since the Day We Woke Up, our federal government has been implementing as many policies as it can to ensure that no two Arabs are looked at in the same way, regardless of potential threats.
To add an additional layer of irony onto Vice President Gore's statements, the current president is planning to allow an Arab company to purchase leasing rights in several of our seaports. So not only are we not interning Arabs in this country, we are giving them control of some of our infrastructure.

Feb 21, 2006

when is evidence not evidence?

Yates' lawyer wants photos of kids barred
The request sparks fight with prosecutors ahead of her 2nd trial
The image of 7-year-old Noah Yates floating facedown in the murky brown water that filled a bathtub after he and his four siblings were drowned is something Andrea Yates' defense attorney doesn't want jurors to see during her second capital murder trial.
Yates' attorney, George Parnham, filed 30 pretrial motions, which were made public Monday, including one requesting "any and all photographs" of her children not be shown to jurors during the trial set to begin March 20.
Parnham claims the photographs could cause jurors to be unfairly prejudiced or serve to confuse and mislead them.
Um... Yeah, that's the point. What a dumbass. Heaven forbid the jury actually get to see the aftermath of the crime. There is no surer way for justice to be served than for Andrea Yates to be reconvicted and this time sentenced to a swift and speedy death.


The entire blogosphere and talk radio spectrum is in a giant kerfluffle over Dubai Ports World purchasing part of Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation, a British company. This means that an Arab company from a remarkably Western nation will be doing some operations in six ports that were previously done by a British company. Yes, the initial reaction of "THEY TOOK OUR JOBS!" or "Arabs running seaports?!?" are perfectly reasonable given the circumstances. But I, along with others don't think this deal is a huge problem. In fact, it's almost completely none of our business. So an Arab company wants to buy a British company that does some work in the United States? So what? The same people are providing security at the ports. The same people are doing the union labor at the ports. It's not like Dubai is going to ship in thousands of Islamists to guard shipping containers. BFD.

Feb 11, 2006

foreign policy, my ass

This war is not about American imperialism. This war is not about Israel. This war is not about oil. This war is about fundamental principles of human existence. It has never been so clear as this:

Feb 9, 2006

the Great Cartoon War of 2006

The world has gone mad. In September 2005 a Danish newspaper published from a contest 12 editorial cartoons depicting Muhammad in various forms and contexts. There was no outrage. In October 2005 a newspaper in Egypt republished the cartoons. There was no outrage. Then last week a French newspaper reprinted the cartoons. Now the French editor has been fired and radical Muslims around the world are rioting and burning embassies and cars over what they see as a blasphemy to their religion.

Two words: FUCK YOU.

Non-Muslims are incapable of committing blasphemy against a religious figure they do not consider divine. You cannot be guilty of a sin that you do not believe exists. Pentacostals believe it is indecent to show the knees and thighs in public. Does that mean my wife is going to hell because she wears a bathing suit at the beach? Of course not. She's not Pentacostal.
A liberal society (in the classical sense) requires that individuals are free to believe and practice what they choose. Someone cannot force me to believe or worship something in which I have no interest. So while it is perfectly acceptable for Muslims to be upset that their "prophet" is depicted in an unflattering manner, it is absolutely unacceptable for them to infringe on my right to create or distribute such a depiction.
But that gets to the heart of the matter, doesn't it? Radical Muslims do not want to live in a liberal society where everyone is free to think and do what they choose. They want to live in a world governed by sharia as interpreted by the most oppressive theology possible. In their riots and protests, these zealots are holding signs that say "KILL THOSE WHO INSULT INSLAM". Well, I say kill those who can't take a fucking joke. The world is not required to live by your 7th Century dogma. The more you kill in the name of your religion, the more images like this will continue to apply:

Feb 2, 2006

radical Christianism strikes again

Evangelical Filmmakers Criticized for Hiring Gay Actor
Christian ministers were enthusiastic at the early private screenings of "End of the Spear," made by Every Tribe Entertainment, an evangelical film company. But days before the film's premiere, a controversy erupted over the casting of a gay actor that has all but eclipsed the movie and revealed fault lines among evangelicals.
The film relates the true story of five American missionaries who were killed in 1956 by an indigenous tribe in Ecuador. The missionaries' families ultimately converted the tribe to Christianity, and forgave and befriended the killers. The tale inspired evangelicals 40 years ago with its message of redemption and grace, and the film company expected a similar reception.
On Jan. 12, though, the Rev. Jason Janz took the filmmakers to task for casting Chad Allen, an openly gay man and an activist, in the movie's lead role as one of the slain missionaries, and later, his grown son.
So some Christian wackjobs are upset because someone they perceive as a "sinner" was cast in a film about a group of missionairies who forgive and convert a tribe of murdering savages. Am I missing something here? Oh wait, no. The Christian wackjobs are.
"Hey, buddy! C'mere! Mr. Funny-man, c'mere! Hey, buddy, we're Christians, and we don't like what you said."
"So then forgive me." Later, when I was hanging from the tree...

Jan 31, 2006

to perjure or not to perjure

Is it perjury to answer questions about classified national security programs inaccurately? Andrew Sullivan seems to think so. He noted today a Washington Post story about a Senate Judiciary Committee Heaaring in which Attorney General Alberto Gonzales called any discussion about warrantless wiretapping "hypothetical." I tried to get the full context of this discussion from the hearing, but only the introductory statements are available online. However, from this information we can at least assume that this hearing was public. When asked about any potential warrantless wiretapping, should Gonzales have disclosed the existence of the classified program? Wouldn't that be a crime?
So if answering a question accurately is a crime (disclosing classified information to the public) and answering a question inaccurately is a crime (perjury under oath), then what is a person to do? It is my opinion that perjury is the lesser evil in this situation, since classified national security information should remain so, and therefore Gonzales should have no charges brought against him in either case.

Jan 25, 2006

photographic dissonance

Some people are busy wailing and gnashing of teeth that there may be a few photos of President Bush and Jack Abramoff in the same room together, as if that means the president had a hand in Abramoffs bribery schemes. Meanwhile, a video has been released from 1999 of George Galloway and Uday Hussein chortling together about how evil America is.
It amuses me how some people see damning proof of impropriety in a photo of two (innocent-at-the-time) politicos (456 Google News hits), yet completely ignore one of a politico pledging allegiance and fealty to the murderous son of a murderous dictator (7 Google News hits). No double standard there at all...

so close...

8 Are Killed by Bombings in Restive City in South Iran
Two separate bombs exploded Tuesday morning in the southern city of Ahwaz at a bank and a government building, leaving 8 people dead and 46 wounded, state-run news agencies reported. The first bomb went off at 9:30 a.m. at Saman Bank and the second 30 minutes later at the government office for natural resources. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had been expected to meet his cabinet in the city, but the trip was canceled Monday evening. His office said the four-day trip was canceled because of bad weather, the IRNA news agency reported Monday. The explosions occurred at the time he had been expected to make a speech in Ahwaz.
We really need to get the CIA more current information if they can't even bother to shut off the bombs when the guy's not going to be there anymore. *shakes*head* Better luck next time, guys...

Jan 23, 2006

maple leaves are red again

Congratulations are in order for Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party in Canada for gaining the largest voting block in today's nationwide elections. With their new 37% minority ahead of the Liberals' 31%, this is the first time Conservatives have held the most seats in parlaiment since 1994. Interesting that our countries' legislative bodies both switched alignments in that same year, but in the opposite direction.
This by no means gives the CPC a ruling majority or even a very clear mandate in Canada, but it does send a long over due signal that our fine friends to the North are slightly more tired of corrupt liberalism ruining their country than they were before. Personally, I don't understand how parlaimentary multi-party systems function without disintegrating into anarchy, but hopefully Harper can whip his country into shape as a world player once again. We miss Canada at the table.

And by the way, just so we're clear... This now makes at least eleven twelve nations that have elected or re-elected more conservative (in a Western sense) and pro-war governments in the years since the Iraq War began (United States, Australia, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Afghanistan, Iraq, Canada, Lebanon, Poland [UPDATE: and Portugal]). So much for the whole world being against us, huh?

Jan 21, 2006

American Idolatry

In case you didn't see the premiere of American Idol last week, you missed quite a spectacle. The finale of one of the shows was a young skinny guy wearing women's jeans, shirt, shoes and accessories, with a women's haircut. The judges were all quite confused, and I'm sure much of the rest of the country was as well. The guy's audition was horrendous, of course. But when he got rejected and left the audition room, he began complaining to any available camera that he had been discriminated against. He was "ashamed to be an American" if this is the way that we treat people who are different. I've got news for you, buddy. You were rejected because you SUCK.
This has become a major problem in this country. Anytime someone who feels different from the "norm" (whatever that is) gets passed over for a job or called out on something, they immediately yell discrimination, regardless of the actual reason for their loss.
Michael Jackson was not prosecuted because he was black (though he's not), but because he molested children. OJ Simpson was not prosecuted because he was black, but because he murdered his wife and her man-friend. Matthew Shepard was not murdered because he was gay, but because he had money. Ellen's sitcom wasn't cancelled because she was gay, but because people stopped watching it. And this wack job was not rejected for American Idol because he dresses like a girl, but because he can't sing.
Crying wolf like this doesn't make cases of actual discrimination any easier to deal with. It's just like saying President Bush is Hitler. Until he starts rounding up people by the millions for extermination, the only thing such rhetoric does is water down the real meaning of such a reference so that when the next Hitler actually comes along, no one notices.

Jan 20, 2006

Johnny Taliban is still breathing

US father appeals for Taliban son
... Reviled by many Americans as a traitor, Lindh agreed to a plea deal in which he was spared a possible life prison sentence and all terrorism charges against him were dropped. In exchange, he pleaded guilty to two charges of aiding the Taliban and carrying explosives. Now in federal prison in southern California, John Walker Lindh is appealing to George Bush, the US president, to commute his sentence. Frank Lindh said he was proud of his son. "He was extremely unpopular in the United States and probably still is because of the way his case was portrayed by the government and by the media," he said. "People will come to realize that what happened in his case was wrong, that the torture was wrong."
I am with Mr Frank Lindh. What has happened in this case is a horrible travesty of justice. The torture of John Walker Lindh is unconscionable. He should never have been tortured (if he was), and he shouldn't serve a day in jail. ... Upon his capture in Afghanistan, Johnny Taliban should have been immediately tried for treason and sedition in a military tribunal, convicted, and hanged from a lightpost in Times Square until his traitorous, shameful spirit was extinguished from his body. This guy was literally fighting with our enemy, and the most he can get is 20 years in jail because he plead guilty? He wasn't saying nasty things about our troops in newspapers, he wasn't hoping for the defeat of coalition forces, he was LITERALLY captured armed in combat on the side of the terrorist regime of the Taliban. The fact that his head is still attached to his neck is indefensible to me, and is one of the worst failures of the Bush administration.

Jan 18, 2006

I have a nightmare

Today's lesson, ladies and gentlement, will be one of contrasts:
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. - King
It's time for us to come together. It's time for us to rebuild New Orleans - the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans. This city will be a majority African-American city. It's the way God wants it to be. You can't have New Orleans no other way. It wouldn't be New Orleans. - Nagin
No further comment needed.

Jan 16, 2006

this is John Galt

Some noteworthy quotes from John Galt's speech, which I just began, in Atlas Shrugged:
"We are on strike against self-immolation. We are on strike against the creed of unearned rewards and unrewarded duties. We are on strike against the dogma that the pursuit of one's happiness is evil. We are on strike against the doctrine that life is guilt."

"A being who does not hold his own life as the motive and goal of his actions, is acting on the motive and standard of death. Such a being is a metaphysical monstrosity, struggling to oppose, negate and contradict the fact of his own existence, running blindly amuck on a trail of destruction, capable of nothing but pain."

"By the grace of reality and the nature of life, man - every man - is an end in himself, he exists for his own sake, and the achievement of his own happiness is his highest moral purpose."

"You who speak of a 'moral instinct' as if it were some separate endowment opposed to reason - man's reason is his moral faculty."

"A 'moral commandment' is a contradiction in terms. The moral is the chosen, not the forced; the understood, not the obeyed. The moral is the rational, and reason accepts no commandments."

Jan 11, 2006

random thought of the day

Does wanting to watch the entire Alito confirmation hearing from opening statements to full fledged inquisition make me a total dork? Or just a blooming Constitutional scholar?

Jan 9, 2006


At 11,000, Dow Seeks a Revival
The Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen from the dead, closing above 11,000 for the first time since June 2001.
Monday's advance above the psychologically important 11,000 level has the potential to create some buzz and excitement, a nice change as the blue-chip index had fallen out of favors over the past several years. The Dow even fell 0.6% in 2005, its first annual loss since 2002. The Dow's last attempt to breach the key level, in March 2005, quickly fizzled away.
But on Monday, at least, the Dow managed to hold onto its gains and closed at 11,009.26, adding 49.95 points, or 0.5% on the day. It earlier touched an intraday high of 11,020.
*ahem* Once again...
Goddamn, that horrible Bush economy. Soup lines, rampant unemployment[1], widespread famine, pestilence ravaging the nation. Wait... None of that's happening? huh... You mean people are making more money now than they ever have before in the history of the world? Interesting... Well then why are all these people scowling in the corner pulling their hair out and whining about how horrible everything is right now? Oh, that's right, THEY'RE FULL OF SHIT!

[1] Oh yeah, that's below 5% now too.