Friday, December 30, 2005 


I will be gone starting today until Tuesday the 2nd. So until then:


Thursday, December 29, 2005 

Follow the Money (China and Iran In Bed Together?)

(Reuters) WASHINGTON - The United States has imposed sanctions on six Chinese state-run firms for selling missiles or chemical weapons-related supplies to Iran, a State Department spokesman said Tuesday.

The nine companies [1 Austrian and 2 Indian companies as well] were punished for violating the 2000 Iran Nonproliferation Act, designed by Washington to block international aid for what it suspects are Iranian nuclear and chemical weapons programs.

Maybe this will shed some more perspective on why China would join Russia in opposing the EU-3 and the US in their bid to refer Iran to the UN Security Council?

Money makes the world go ‘round.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005 

Galileo Launch Begins EU Weaning off US Teat

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The European Union launched its first Galileo navigation satellite on Wednesday, moving to challenge the United States' Global Positioning System (GPS).

The 3.6 billion-euro ($4.27-billion) Galileo program, due to go into service in 2008 and eventually deploy 30 satellites, may end Europe's reliance on the GPS and offer a commercial alternative to the GPS system run by the U.S. military.

EU officials say Galileo, organized as a public-private partnership, will offer more exact positioning. They privately add Galileo would never be switched off for strategic reasons, which might be the case with the GPS.

But Europeans keep insisting that the EU, and all its initiatives are not intended to be nothing but a counter weight to the United States…. I’m sure that this, combined with the recent Internet spat, and of course Kyoto, and/or other foreign political battles (Iraq, Iran, North Korea) have nothing to do with the ultimate objective.

We could just ask former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. Back in October, when he was accepting defeat, he reminded everyone of the importance of the Franco-German link, saying “it was crucial for the defense of Europe’s social model.”

Yet Liberal America still remains delusional about Europe and her motives. They remain under the spell that Europe is more enlightened, and really only has the best of intentions that we Americans repeatedly ignore... queue up the Smurf Song.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005 

New Site of the Week that Gets Special Attention

I normally don’t do a special post about the “Rent My Blog” patrons I get, but this one deserves some special attention. Please see the link in the top left of my site. That is where I put a “Site of the Week” up every 7-10 days.

This particular one is don’t by a National Guard Soldier currently in Iraq. If you wonder or not they hear about Dean’s claims that we cannot win in Iraq, or maybe just how much Coke they get to drink, you can get an insider’s thoughts over at "Across the Pond: See the World Through The Eyes of a Soldier"

So again, please click the link up in the top left of my site and drop in on the guy.


Politics, Southern Style

A tax raising Republican, a Republican Evangelical Crusader, a Crooked Democrat, and a Woman. Sounds like the lead in to a political joke right?

Well it’s not, it is the current race for Governor right here in ole’ Alabama.

Incumbent Gov. Bob Riley (the tax raising Republican) is facing much criticism after a failed $1.2 billion tax plan and the biggest tax increase in state history.

Former Chief Justice Roy Moore (Republican Evangelical Crusader) has made national headlines with this stand on the display of the Ten Commandments.

Former Gov. Don Siegelman (Crooked Democrat) is currently fighting off a federal indictment for racketeering and conspiracy, including soliciting $1 million in cash and gifts in return for official actions.

Lucy Baxley (the Woman) is trying to be the first outright elected woman governor of the state. She has name recognition from her ex-husband, Bill Baxley, a former attorney general and lieutenant governor that made unsuccessful attempts at governor in 1978 and 1986 (after the latter they divorced). Her campaign shtick: “I love Lucy”.

What a selection. Riley is a RINO, Moore has no experience outside the court room and the Bible, Siegelman is a criminal, and Baxley has never held a policy making office, and uses an old sit-com for a campaign slogan.

You just can’t make this stuff up. Sweet Home Alabama.


GOP Holding Breath On ANWR (They Are Turning Blue)

Remember Jan Brady? Remember “Marsha Marsha Marsha”?

Now, fast-forward to today and Congress. House GOP has decided to act in the same fashion, only instead of “Marsha”, it’s “ANWR ANWR ANWR”

(Fox News) Republicans have battled Democrats to open ANWR to oil drilling for more than a decade, but now that drilling is closer than ever with the Senate approval of petroleum exploration last week, a tiny band of moderate House Republicans stands in the way.

Twenty-five House Republicans wrote to GOP leaders Tuesday threatening to withhold support for a $54 billion dollar deficit reduction bill unless a provision on drilling in ANWR was removed. GOP leaders said they remained committed to ANWR drilling, but didn't as yet have the votes to prevail.

Now, this is what I see: Congressional GOP is trying to pass a blatent political base pandering legislation inside of a “budget cutting bill”. While Pork style provisions are nothing new to Washington, calling this thing anything other than that is just trying to spin.

Unlike many of the people against ANWR, my opposition to this is not from an environmental standpoint. I am fully aware of the technological advancements that we’ve made, and am wholly confident that we could commence drilling there with little to no impact on the environment.

Instead, I am opposed to the immense effort, time, money, and political capital wasted (in my estimation) on a something that would only supply, at peak, 3%-6% of US oil consumption. To me, this is a “tempest in a teapot”, with Congressional Republicans trying to laud this as some kind of miraculous money saver and huge asset in the quest to reduce foreign oil dependence.

Here’s a thought: if we make our cars about 1% more efficient, we’ve just “saved” as much oil as we could pull out of ANWR. Here’s another thought: if we spent this much time and money on finding an alternative fuel source (and implementing it), we’d already be out of the woods on this subject.

ANWR is about opening up an income source for domestic oil companies, and increasing the tax base/income of the surrounding area. There is no doubt that it would create jobs and spur an economic boom in the local area (by local I mean Alaska). But I’m not going to buy the line that this is going to save the nation money, or reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Stop pandering to the lobbyist desires, and start addressing the peoples needs. Then we can start to make some progress.

Friday, December 23, 2005 

Merry Christmas All Of You, See You After The Holiday

(John 3:16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The Birth of Jesus
(Luke 2:1-7) In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels
(Luke 2:8-20)
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Hallelujah, Lift His Name on High

Thursday, December 22, 2005 

Christmas Takes South Korea By Storm!

In just bizarre news, Reuters has VIDEO of what Christmas is in South Korea. You just have to watch this thing… seriously, there are no words to describe the level of weird this is.

Remember the whole birth of Christ thing? Remember that Saint Nicholas was the patron saint of charity? What does a monkey on a cart have to do with any of that?

And just one last note, what is with the tiger hat chick?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 

The Quest to Disprove God? (Pot Becomming the Potter?)

(Globe and Mail) Work on the world's first human-made species is well under way at a research complex in Rockville, Md., and scientists in Canada have been quietly conducting experiments to help bring such a creature to life.

Robert Holt, head of sequencing for the Genome Science Centre at the University of British Columbia, is leading efforts at his Vancouver lab to play a key role in the production of the first synthetic life form -- a microbe made from scratch.

"Here we are trying to understand the human genome with 24,000 some odd genes and 100 trillion cells and we don't know how 300 or 400 genes work together to yield a simple living cell," he said.

"So if we ever have any hope of understanding our own genome, we need to start with something we can actually tear apart, break down and rebuild. So we're starting with a four-cylinder engine instead of a space shuttle."

In the quest to create life from scratch, are we expanding upon the gift that God has given us, or are we delving too deep into the Creator’s jurisdiction? This renders promising results, but devastating dangers. Can we, as humans, go too far?


Is GOP Leaving NY Senate Seat All To Hillary?

(AP) ALBANY, N.Y. - Jeanine Pirro has decided to halt her struggling campaign for the Republican nomination to challenge Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in two Republicans close to the situation said Wednesday. She will run instead for state attorney general, the sources said.

Pirro has been under pressure from top state GOP leaders to make the switch. It would leave Republicans with two active candidates for the Senate nomination, former Yonkers Mayor John Spencer, who is not well- known statewide, and tax attorney William Brenner, even less well- known.

Has Hillary reached Juggernaut status in New York? Is the GOP is trying to make sure they don’t waste a good candidate on an obvious loss to Mrs. Clinton?

Independent polls have shown the former first lady, a potential 2008 presidential contender, with huge leads over Pirro and the other potential GOP challengers. And, as of the end of September, Clinton had about $14 million in her campaign coffers.

Or, is this a case, once again, where Republicans will not support someone not in lock-step with the party line?

Pirro, a supporter of abortion and gay rights, also had major problems in her attempts to court support from leaders of the state Conservative Party. No Republican running statewide in New York has won without Conservative Party support since 1974.

Maybe a bit of both?


A Real Texas Tornado (With DeLay In The Middle)

(AP) WASHINGTON - Lawyers for Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff are in discussions with the Justice Department about his possible cooperation in a congressional corruption probe, a person involved in the investigation said Tuesday night. The probe involves a number of members of Congress as well as staff. A former aide to ex-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, has already pleaded guilty.

This thing keeps spinning up into a bigger ball of legal fun time. The only constant seems to be Tom Delay in the middle of it all. Texas politics the Grand Old Party way, or just isolated cases of ambition over principle?


A Copy of The Executive Order For Non-Court Ordered Searches

Click the Title, or HERE to go to actual original:

[Federal Register page and date: 60 FR 8169; February 13, 1995]


Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release February 9, 1995

- - - - - - -

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitutionand the laws of the United States, including sections 302 and 303 of theForeign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 ("Act") (50 U.S.C. 1801,et seq.), as amended by Public Law 103- 359, and in order to provide forthe authorization of physical searches for foreign intelligence purposesas set forth in the Act, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Pursuant to section 302(a)(1) of the Act, theAttorney General is authorized to approve physical searches, without acourt order, to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods ofup to one year, if the Attorney General makes the certificationsrequired by that section.

Sec. 2. Pursuant to section 302(b) of the Act, the AttorneyGeneral is authorized to approve applications to the ForeignIntelligence Surveillance Court under section 303 of the Act to obtainorders for physical searches for the purpose of collecting foreignintelligence information.

Sec. 3. Pursuant to section 303(a)(7) of the Act, the followingofficials, each of whom is employed in the area of national security ordefense, is designated to make the certifications required by section303(a)(7) of the Act in support of applications to conduct physicalsearches:
(a) Secretary of State;
(b) Secretary of Defense;
(c) Director of Central Intelligence;
(d) Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation;
(e) Deputy Secretary of State;
(f) Deputy Secretary of Defense; and
(g) Deputy Director of Central Intelligence.

None of the above officials, nor anyone officially acting in thatcapacity, may exercise the authority to make the above certifications,unless that official has been appointed by the President, by and withthe advice and consent of the Senate.

February 9, 1995.

And you thought it was a Bush thing.... does this change the "outrage" you feel?
If you are feeling really frisky, HERE is one by Jimmy Carter, authorizing electronic surveillance with no court order. It doesnt make it right, but it does mean that, once again, those fun loving Senate Democrats are parading around for the cameras, and not for principles.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 

Call it a Comeback? (Poll Numbers Are In, Bush is Up)

As we watched the latest speech on Iraq Sunday night, I questioned (along with many others) what purpose this served. Aside from deflecting attention from the questionable surveillance authorizations by the President, the speeches themselves didn’t have much more substance than “Wah Wah Wah, Wah Wah Wah” as if from the Peanuts cartoons.

However, apparently I am proved wrong again (yet another reason I don’t work for the DNC or the GOP), because I don’t know jack. The poll numbers are in, and it looks like Dubbya is making a comeback.

(ABC) Dec. 19, 2005 — The recent elections in Iraq and an improved economic outlook at home have shifted public support in the president's direction, lifting him from career lows in his job performance and personal ratings alike.

Overall, 47 percent of Americans in this ABC News/Washington Post poll now approve of George W. Bush's work in office; 52 percent disapprove. While hardly robust, that is up from a career low 39 percent-60 percent in early November to its best in nearly six months.

Specifically, belief that the United States is making significant progress toward establishing a democratic government in Iraq has jumped dramatically, by 18 points, to 65 percent. A sense of progress in establishing civil order similarly is up, by 16 points, to 60 percent. Each is its best since these questions first were asked in the spring of 2004.

Now, what I find amazing, is that all this poll data is being reported rather well, except for one small tidbit.

59 percent [of Americans] thinkt he administration does not have a clear plan for handling the situation there. Views on the lack of a clear plan have been steady since spring 2004; what helps the president politically is that even more — 74 percent — think the Democrats in Congress don't have a clear plan for Iraq, either. (Emphasis mine)

While the White House has done a miserable job of explaining and clarifying their position on Iraq, and the current progress in Iraq, apparently the Democrats have PROVEN to America that they don’t have a clue either, and are just obstructing the President.

I wonder if Nancy Pelosi still thinks theirNo Strategy is Our Strategyis a good idea?

Monday, December 19, 2005 

FL Conservatives Cant Buy Good Press Coverage (But They Can Try!)

(Reuters) WASHINGTON - Two U.S. newspapers said Monday they would stop publishing articles by a conservative commentator who was paid by a criminally indicted lobbyist to write pieces favorable to his clients.

Peter Ferrara has admitted taking payments from Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a key figure in a growing probe into payments to members of Congress who has already been indicted for fraud in the purchase of a casino cruise line in Florida.

These guys can’t buy good press coverage… seriously.

Ferrara, a prominent advocate of Social Security reform, told BusinessWeek Online last week that he takes payments from lobbyists "all the time" to write articles favorable to their clients and did not see anything wrong with the practice.

Mr. Ferrara, there is nothing “illegal” about it, but that does not mean there is nothing “wrong” with it. No one likes mercenaries, especially in the battle of news and politics.


Who Leaked Bush Spy Ring? Which is Worse?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush said on Monday he presumed a Justice Department leak investigation was underway into who disclosed a secret NSA eavesdropping operation.

I’m in quite the quandary… I disagree with the wide sweeping methods that Bush is using to fight he war on terror, yet agree 100% with his assessment of someone leaking this to the press.

How about this: Bush, lay off the constitutional interpretations you accuse the Supreme Court of doing, and Capital Hill, quit playing politics and PR with my national security. If you leaked this out for the principalities of it, you would have talked to the Justice Department, not the press.

Look, it’s a win/win situation! Maybe I should run for office...



G's Op-Ed Monday: Kyoto Bad, Civilization Good

I was calming reading my Sunday paper (how archaic right?), when I stumbled upon a piece in the opinion section that I had to share. My paper does a section every Sunday where they pick a topic, and give you two articles on it: a ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ coverage style.

This Sunday’s was “Global Warming: Do We Need Kyoto?” I read both articles thoroughly, and was impressed by both author’s attempts to plead their cause. However, I was left with a revelation that the crowd that is most shrill about Kyoto and global warming seems to be the least informed (or maybe "most selective" in what they pay attention to). Before I continue my “rant”, I will link you to both articles:



The article in favor of Kyoto was written by Amitabh Pal, who is the Managing Editor of The Progressive magazine (and occasionally moonlights for Knight Ridder). His other recent articles include “Condoleezza fails to sell torture” and “Bush’s Unpopularity is Good News of the World”. Pal has a Master's in Political Science, specializing in international relations, from N.C. State University in Raleigh, N.C. He has a Master's in Journalism from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He did his Bachelor's from Lucknow University, double majoring in Geology and Chemistry.

The article against Kyoto was written by Roy Spencer, a principle research scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville, previously named Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, and the recipient of NASA’s Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement. He is principle known for his satellite-based temperature monitoring work, for which he got the American Meteorological Society’s Special Award (who occasionally moonlights for the local paper and Tech Central Station).

I’ll leave it to you to decide which has more credence, or which opinion to assign more weight to concerning Kyoto and global warming. But let’s suffice it to say that one openly supports a “progressive” political ideology, and can only claim to be an accomplished journalist. The other has won awards for his research and work into the world of climate and meteorological study.

Roy recently wrote about his attendance at the latest rounds of Kyoto talks… and his quote:

MONTREAL -- As one of the very few scientists at the UN's eleventh Conference of the Parties climate meeting (COP-11), I feel like an outsider. That's because I am. The army of thousands in attendance (international delegates, NGOs, and all manner of stakeholders in the climate change issue), have little interest in knowing how certain or uncertain the science of global warming is. All these people know - or need to know - is that the "glaciers are melting," it's getting "hotter every year", and "climate change is killing people now" (all of these are direct quotes from presenters).”

I know this sounds like heresy to the masses of people determined to save the earth despite any and all evidence that it doesn’t need saving, but please, just read the articles, and keep your mind open.

For another article about the fallacy of global warming and Kyoto, see “COP 11 Coverage: Culture Shock in Montreal”, also by Roy Spencer. Remember folks, he is the scientist (whom we hear are supposed to support global warming).

As for my opinion, I think you can figure that out by now.


Another Speech, Another Service (Lip Service That Is)

Alright, so I settle in to watch “National Lampoons Christmas Vacation” with my wife. We are set, have some warm apple pie with Cool-Wip ready, kids are in bed, things seem great.

Then suddenly “da da da-da…. this is a special report, a message from the President of the United States../"

My gut reaction: “Are you serious?”

Lets all be honest: his last speech covered just as much as this one. This has less to do with Iraq, and much more to do with trying to maintain focus off of the Presidential authorizations for unreasonable search and seizure (aka FBI wiretaps). Thankfully the President has admitted to this as forward as possible (avoiding any more liberal “SCANDAL!” cries), but really… do you need to give everyone another “pep-talk” about Iraq, three days after your last one, in a feeble attempt to shift the attention off of this very disturbing revelation?

Just one request, from a humble citizen, and one of your “supporters” (I did vote for you). Don’t interrupt prime time TV (which I don’t get to watch enough of anyway) to feed me some of your “wag the dog” politics. Your true base will still be spooked by your blatant infringement on personal freedoms, regardless of how much you wave the “War on Terra” flag.

Sorry, just keeping it real.

Friday, December 16, 2005 

Dem Position: No Official Position!

(Washington Post) House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said yesterday that Democrats should not seek a unified position on an exit strategy in Iraq, calling the war a matter of individual conscience and saying differing positions within the caucus are a source of strength for the party.

Pelosi said Democrats will produce an issue agenda for the 2006 elections but it will not include a position on Iraq. There is consensus within the party that President Bush has mismanaged the war and that a new course is needed, but House Democrats should be free to take individual positions, she said.

Now that my friends is some spin. The Bush Administration has nothing on that. Nancy must be taking Ralph Waldo Emerson’s word for it, believing that

“Our strength grows out of our weaknesses”.

Me, I’ll take Jack Handy’s idea on it:

“If you think a weakness can be turned into strength, I hate to tell you this, but that’s another weakness.”
“When mental energy is allowed to follow the line of least resistance and to fall into easy channels, it is called weakness.” – James Allen

Yeah, I know, I got quote crazy…


Smoker Laws and Bush Spies, Helping Bring Big Brother Home!

Orwell may have been more accurate than even he thought. Although he and many others seem to have missed that “Big Brother” is coming from both sides.

Two stories, opposite ends of the political spectrum, same goal… to control your life through governmental monitoring and regulation.

(New York Times) WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 ­- Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.


(Washington Times) Anti-smoking activists who are driving cigarettes from public places across the country are now targeting private homes -- especially those with children.

Their efforts so far have contributed to regulations in three states -- Maine, Oklahoma and Vermont -- forbidding foster parents from smoking around children. Parental smoking also has become a critical point in some child-custody cases, including ones in Virginia and Maryland.

Maybe the anti-smoking crowd can get with Bush to help monitor the evil smokers breaking the law in their own homes? One is doing it for your "protection", the other is doing it for your "health". America, land of the Free?

As a side note:

I personally think the government, by use of law or other authority, has no constitutional right to impose health standards on persons in the private homes. The government should not be in the practice of trying to save the stupid people from themselves. And before you go “but it’s for the children” on me… this is about the larger picture, and the precedent that it represents.

And my wife and I are now 14 weeks, 2 days, 14 hours, 9 minutes, and 14 seconds smoke free! We have not smoked 2,011 cigarettes, and saved $301.65. Numbers curtsey of Quitmeter.


Redneck Lesbians Get Civil Union Split?

(AP) BRATTLEBORO, Vt. - A lesbian couple who entered into the nation's first same-sex civil union are splitting up amid allegations of violent behavior. Carolyn Conrad, 35, asked a court in October to end her relationship with Kathleen Peterson, 46.

Conrad also obtained a restraining order Wednesday against her partner, saying Peterson punched a hole in the wall during an argument and threatened to harm a friend.

"All I want to say is that the civil union was a big source of pride for me, and now it's not," Peterson said.

This sounds like something from “Chronicles of a White Trash Wife”, maybe rednecks and lesbians have more in common than they thought?

Easy trigger, it's friday, were just having fun!

Thursday, December 15, 2005 

Forget Bush, Katrina Didnt Care About Black People

( - Statistics released by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals suggest that fewer than half of the victims of Hurricane Katrina were black, and that whites died at the highest rate of all races in New Orleans.

The state's demographic information suggests that whites in New Orleans died at a higher rate than minorities. According to the 2000 census, whites make up 28 percent of the city's population, but the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals indicates that whites constitute 36.6 percent of the storm's fatalities in the city.

African-Americans make up 67.25 percent of the population and 59.1 percent of the deceased. Other minorities constitute approximately 5 percent of the population and represented 4.3 percent of the storm's fatalities.

Overall for the state, 658 bodies have been identified. Forty-seven percent were African-American and 42 percent were Caucasian. The remaining bodies were either non-black minorities or undetermined.

I think this should finally put to rest the claims by some that the aftermath of Katrina had anything to do with race, but had everything to do with inept government response. I wonder if these statistics have been shown to the groups likening black’s Katrina struggle to the Holocaust.


Iraq Elections, Bush Speechs, Non-Issues To This Site

There are some readers here that have asked me about why I didn’t do a post on the Iraqi vote, the huge turn out, and the historic and pivotal ramifications this will have. There are others that have asked why I didn’t post on President Bush’s final speech that concluded a quest to re-invigorate the American public’s support for the war in Iraq.

First, I’ll give you links so you can read about them:

Iraq War

Bush Speech

I guess if you really want my two cents on it, fine: The elections are a watershed moment of sorts because of the historic and symbolic significance they hold. However, they wont do anything this month, or the next month to change Iraq right now. Either you think we should get out now, or we should see this through. The line in the sand has been drawn already, and these elections don’t change that.

Bush’s speech is a welcome relief to conservatives and Bush supporters. It is another source from which to cut and paste parts of for snide remarks to liberals and Bush detractors. For the rest of us, it is more lip service, explaining the obvious. It will energize his base, and anger his opposition, but it too will change nothing in the immediate future.

So, on to why I didn’t post about either one. First reasoning being that any number of sites are going to flood the blogsphere with this stuff. I hope and/or assume you would come here for something different. Second, as stated above, I really don’t see these things as something significant enough to make long extended posts about that you will probably not read, but still throw in a partisan comment about.

I might be wrong on this, but I just didn’t want to jump into “cliché” land with another post on dead horse subjects.


The Heart of the Free Trade Debate (WTO Talks Lag)

(Reuters) "In the three days the meetings have taken so far, the rich countries have transferred more than $2 billion to their farmers in various forms of support," World Bank Vice President Danny Leipziger said in a statement.

"In the same period, the 300 million poorest people in Africa have earned less than $1 billion between them."

Poor nations slammed Washington and Tokyo for baulking at a deal that would allow their exports in free of duties and quotas, saying that after years of prescribing liberalisation for others it was time they "swallowed their own medicine".

One official said U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman "went ballistic" over that statement, which was issued by Zambian Trade Minister Dipak Patel on behalf of the poorest WTO countries.

The United States also came under fire over the $4 billion a year in subsidies enjoyed by its cotton farmers, and won little respite when it announced its willingness to offer duty-free access for cotton from impoverished West African states.

"They export cotton. Why would they import any of our cotton? What they need to do is halt the subsidies," said Francois Traore, president of the African Cotton Producers Association.

This really is the crux of the situation isn’t it? Poor nations, suddenly given voice by the UN and WTO, want rich countries like the US to effectively sell out it’s own citizens and economic stability to ensure that poor nations get a piece of the pie. Essentially Mr. Traore is asking the United States to stop it’s cotton farmers from making money by exporting cotton, so that we can import it from his countries.

How far should a nation go to try and extend the hand of generosity and assistance to developing nations? How far can American elected officials go, who’s primary duty is to Americans, to assist poor nations in accessing global markets? Those who are not elected officials, serving the people that elected them seem to think there should be no limit.

The EU struggles with this also in their stand on market access for farm goods from developing countries without further concessions from them on industrial goods and services. Poor countries want us to open up every market to them, but they do not to place restrictions on any of those markets.

Is this entire debate about trying to reach a “fairness” level by spreading the misery among everyone equally? The demands made by the poor countries would amount to the United States and EU collapsing their own economies so that the poor nations may grow.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005 

Trade Deficit At All Time High! (Conservative Economics?)

(AP) The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that the gap between what America sells overseas and what it imports rose by 4.4 percent to $68.9 billion, surpassing the old record of $66 billion set in September.

America, the world’s leader in economics, imports more from China than they import from us.

"Month after month, we see new record trade deficits that spell real trouble for the United States," said Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D. "Behind these deficits are massive numbers of American jobs lost to foreign countries."

Critics said the administration's strategy of pursuing free trade deals with individual countries and negotiating a new global trade agreement under the auspices of the World Trade Organization was not working.

"We just don't see how current U.S. strategy is going to reverse these very dangerous trends," said Alan Tonelson, a research fellow at the U.S. Business and Industry Council, which represents mainly small U.S. manufacturing companies.

Well, I honestly don’t know how to fix this (I’m no economist), but I do know that the poster Republicans carry around all the time declares their support for protecting our economy from “dirty liberal tricks”…

I would think that same mentality should extend to foreign trade…. What’s that oath again? “Defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic…”

Bush needs to remember that companies making a lot of money from exported cheap labor does not make a solid economy.


Media Reports On Its Own Bad Job? (Quote of the Day)

Quote of the Day:

Anderson Cooper, CNN:

Every soldier I talked to today said the media hasn't done a good job of telling the full story from Iraq. It's a complaint I've heard before, and certainly understand. I do think television tends to focus on the bombs and the bullets, the most dramatic headlines. So much of what happens here never makes the nightly news.

Well no crap Anderson. Thanks for the Captain Obvious imitation. For any of you that would like to see where Mr. Cooper gets this “inspiration” for going with the troops on patrols from, please visit Michael Yon’s site. It is the grittiest and most true to life account of what being a US service member in Iraq is all about.

Sorry, I’m still shaking my head that Anderson reports this like it is something new, or that CNN isn’t a part of it.


Iran, Working For a Better Iraq (Through Fake Ballots)

(NY Times) BAGHDAD, IRAQ - Less than two days before nationwide elections, Iraqi border police seized a tanker truck on Tuesday that had just crossed from Iran filled with thousands of forged ballots, an official at Iraq's Interior Ministry said.

Umm, wow… Not surprised, but still, wow. Iran and the US both want the same thing. A government in Iraq that could be an ally. The US goes about it by trying to secure enough stability that free elctions may take place. Iran goes about it by letting the US set up the elections, and then sending in hundreds of thousands of their own “personalized” ballots.

Aww shucks, lets just give them some nuke power, after all, the Holocaust never happened… at least that’s what Iran’s President says.


BAGHDAD(Reuters) - The head of Iraq's border guards denied police reports on Wednesday that a tanker truck stuffed with thousands of forged ballot papers had been seized crossing into Iraq from Iran before Thursday's elections.

"This is all a lie," said Lieutenant General Ahmed al-Khafaji, the chief of the U.S.-trained force which has responsibility for all Iraq's borders.

"I heard this yesterday and I checked all the border crossings right away. The borders are all closed anyway," he told Reuters.

Iraq's frontiers are closed for the period of the election.

"I contacted all the border crossing points and there was no report of any such incident," Khafaji said.

This gets the “WTF” award for the day. Everyone say “Thank You New York Times”…

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 

Aussie Youth Cast Shame on Nation?

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - The racial unrest that broke out in Sydney's beachside suburbs over the weekend has spread to two other large Australian cities, where people of Middle Eastern descent were assaulted by whites, police said Tuesday.

In New South Wales, where Sydney is located, lawmakers scheduled an emergency session of the state Parliament to consider legislation cracking down on the rioters who rampaged through the city's suburbs for two straight nights, the region's premier said.

"I won't allow Sydney's reputation as a tolerant, vibrant international city to be tarnished by these ratbags and criminals who want to engage in the sort of behavior we've seen in the last 48 hours," Iemma said.

He added that rioters had "effectively declared war on our society and we won't be found wanting in our response."

Remember the Paris riots? It was about a month or so ago, but Muslims were rioting in the streets. The only difference was that the Muslims were not attacking people. I’d say this is about as shameful as it can get for Australia.


CIA Secret Flights Proved? (The Coin Flips?)

PARIS, France (AP) -- An investigator looking into claims of secret CIA prisons in Europe said Tuesday that people were apparently abducted and transferred between countries.

"Legal proceedings in progress in certain countries seemed to indicate that individuals had been abducted and transferred to other countries without respect for any legal standards," Swiss senator Dick Marty said in a written report to a Council of Europe committee in Paris.

He added that "information gathered to date reinforced the credibility of the allegations concerning the transfer and temporary detention of individuals, without any judicial involvement, in European countries."

He also said that the United States has never formally denied such allegations.

When you combine this with the recent UK statement (See: Sometimes It’s…), perhaps the UK is trying to absolve themselves (officially) before the real fire storm hits? One thing of note that a commenter (_H_ from Terrorism News) pointed out:

The process by which this is being done is the "detainees" , "rendered prisoners" were provided with US Diplomatic Passports starting series No 600 - , so notionally they were agents of the US State. These un-uniformed people often had no documentation - so the CIA simply provided them with some along the lines of the Nansen certificates of the Displaced peoples (DP's) in Europe during and after WWII.

Now, as he pointedly notes: It is amazing that you can become an American citizen quicker if you are a suspected terrorist in a foreign country, than if you are a Mexican migrant worker.


Senate Nuclear Option Is Nuclear Stupid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd warned Monday that he would bring the U.S. Senate to a virtual standstill if Republicans carry out a threat to change its rules by outlawing filibusters on judicial nominations.

Byrd of West Virginia, a staunch defender of the Senate's often arcane rules and procedures, was responding to a comment by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who said Sunday he might move to restrict filibusters if Democrats try to block the nomination of Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court.

As much as I dislike Byrd (a KKKat by a different color is still a KKKat), I agree with him, and completely disagree with Senate Republicans. I understand the frustration with the current trend of filibustering a judicial nominee. I understand it is an abuse of the tool, and an abuse of the system. I understand that this era of “self importance” has led Washington down a path that put’s their political interests above the public interest.

But because the folly of a few, we don’t suddenly start changing the rules. I think this would invite an even more destructive pattern and precedent. Senate Republicans (and Bill Frist) need to remember that they will not always be the majority party, and that if they can suddenly change rules to suite their agenda, so can Democrats when they are the majority party.

I would rather Frist and others simply put this into the court of public opinion, and let the political suicide effect take its course. Holding up all legislation infinitely so that you can keep the Senate from voting is something I think no Senator can do, and keep their seat.

Gang of 14, Where are you?

Monday, December 12, 2005 

Sen. Obama Criticizes Republicans (And Points Out Liberal Idiocy)

(Reuters) "They have a philosophy they have implemented and that is doing exactly what it was designed to do. They basically don't believe in government. They have a different philosophy that says, 'We're going to dismantle government'," Obama said.

Republicans running the federal government believe, "You are on your own to buy your own health care, to buy your own retirement security ... to buy your own roads and levees," Obama said, referring to flood barriers that gave way in New Orleans during Katrina last August.

What heresy by those vile Republicans! How can we expect people to buy their own health coverage and retirement security? You’d think we are humans instead of mindless sheep at the government trough! How on earth did we ever make it before without big government to take care of us?

We’ve gone from “The Greatest Generation”, to the “Dependency Generation”… sick.


Sometimes, Its What they Dont Say (Secret CIA Flights?)

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain has found no evidence that the government of U.S. President George W. Bush has been transporting terrorism suspects through UK airports, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said on Monday.

"This careful research has been unable to identify any occasion since September 11, 2001, or earlier in the Bush administration when we've received requests for permission by the U.S. government for a rendition through UK territory or air space," he told BBC Radio.

Notice the extreme care taken by Mr. Straw to emphasize that no flights like these took place under the Bush Administration Did they take place under OTHER Administrations then?

He said it had always been U.S. government practice to request permission for rendition flights to land. Under the administration of former U.S. president Bill Clinton, Britain received three requests and granted two of them, Straw said.

Have “secret CIA flights” been a tactic even before the evil Bush/Cheney pro-torture regime took place? If so, were they just as evil then, or is this another instance of potential moral relativism?


Sen. Obama Pops Liberal Impeachment Balloon (Woops?)

Snoop over at Snoopzone has this:

Democrat presidents misled and troops wound up dead?

(NewsMax) That's what Sen. Barack Obama seemed to be saying in a wide ranging interview with the Chicago Tribune this week. Commenting on claims that President Bush used on bogus intelligence to take America into the Iraq war - he noted that more than one Democratic president has done the same thing.

The revelation came as Sen. Obama recounted a recent town meeting where an audience member had asked him about the war, saying: "Shouldn't the president be impeached for lying?"

The top black Democrat recalled answering: "Well, FDR, JFK, LBJ -- we have a pretty long list of presidents who maybe were not entirely forthcoming with intelligence information before they went to war, so I'd be cautious against making legal cases against the administration."

Sen. Obama was apparently referring to longstanding allegations that FDR ignored intelligence that showed the Japanese planned to attack Pearl Harbor - knowing that such an attack would mobilize public opinion for a war against Nazi Germany. In JFK and LBJ's case, he was apparently alluding to intelligence that was manipulated before the Vietnam War - such as Lyndon Johnson's claim that the North Vietnamese attacked US ships in the Gulf of Tonkin incident. Historians now say no such attack ever took place.

Well, if this Democrat can realize this, why exactly are the rest having such a hard time with it? Maybe American history isn’t a strong suit of the modern liberal movement?


If only Kerry or Dean had won the Presidency in 2004

(AP) The new Maryland "flush tax," a $30 fee that generates money for the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Restoration Fund, will be collected for the first time this year. It was seen as a major piece of environmental legislation for Gov. Robert Ehrlich. Owners of property with buildings on them, whether they use public water and sewer systems or septic tanks, must pay the fee.

Holy crap, they are trying to tax crap! Outstanding! What’s next, taking peoples land away to raise tax revenue? Oh wait… that has already happened: (Castle Coalition)

Baltimore, Maryland – City officials have moved one step closer to seizing the vacant Chesapeake Restaurant and two row houses for Station North Development Partners LLC, which wants to build a $40 to $50 million development of condos, townhouses, shops and offices called Chesapeake Square. The restaurant owner had already agreed to sell his land to another developer, so the city is pushing ahead to condemn the property for its developer of choice.

Baltimore, Maryland West Side business owners in the Superblock continue to be forced to relocate under the threat of eminent domain for private retail, residential, and office development. The area includes 51 properties, most of which will be “redeveloped.” At least nine businesses have been condemned so far.

Baltimore, Maryland - City officials are relying on eminent domain for the Uplands Renewal Area project in Southwest Baltimore. While the city has already purchased some of the land from the federal government and a local church, it plans to seize a number of buildings and businesses in the area.

Baltimore, Maryland – 80 acres of homes and businesses north of the Johns Hopkins medical campus in East Baltimore are being razed and redeveloped into a biotech park.

This is a small sample. Are liberals (worse yet, Democrats) unknowingly inviting in the Orwellian scenario they all seem so scared of by their “ignorance is bliss” policy concerning their own party? How can you oppose “big business”, but not oppose the “big government” that facilitates it?

Saturday, December 10, 2005 

Open Letter (Chain Mail) For Saturday.

Well, I’ve done it now. I’ve decided to post a chain letter. I got this about a month ago, chuckled a bit, and then moved on. Then I got it again, read it through a little better, and realized it was eerily true. Now that I’ve gotten it a third time, I decided to post it (hey, it’s Saturday, what else have you got to do?). So, with no further ado, read and enjoy… or complain, whichever suites you.


Humans existed as members of small bands of nomadic hunter/gatherers. They lived on deer in the mountains during the summer & would go to the coast and live on fish and lobster in winter.

The 2 most important events in all of history were the invention of beer and the invention of the wheel. The wheel was invented to get man to the beer. These were the foundation of modern civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into 2 distinct subgroups: Liberals and Conservatives.

Once beer was discovered it required grain and that was the beginning of agriculture. Neither the glass bottle nor aluminum can were invented yet, so while our early human ancestors were sitting around waiting for them to be invented, they just stayed close to the brewery. That's how villages were formed.

Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to B-B-Q at night while they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what is known as "the Conservative movement."

Other men who were weaker and less skilled at hunting learned to live off the Conservatives by showing up for the nightly B-B-Q's and doing the sewing, fetching and hair dressing. This was the beginning of the Liberal movement. Some of these liberal men eventually evolved into women. The rest became known as 'girliemen.'

Some noteworthy liberal achievements include the domestication of cats, the invention of group therapy and group hugs and the concept of Democratic voting to decide how to divide the meat and beer that Conservatives provided.

Over the years Conservatives came to be symbolized by the largest, most powerful land animal on earth, the elephant. Liberals are symbolized by the jackass.

Modern liberals like imported beer (with lime added), but most prefer white wine or imported bottled water. They eat raw fish but like their beef well done. Sushi, tofu, and French food are standard liberal fare.

Another interesting revolutionary side note: most of their women have higher testosterone levels than their men. Most social workers, personal injury attorneys, journalists, dreamers in Hollywood and group therapists are liberals. Liberals invented the designated hitter rule because it wasn't "fair" to make the pitcher also bat.

Conservatives drink domestic beer. They eat red meat and still provide for their women. Conservatives are big-game hunters, rodeo cowboys, lumberjacks, construction workers, firemen, medical doctors, police officers, corporate executives, Marines, athletes and generally anyone who works productively. Conservatives who own companies hire other Conservatives who want to work for a living.

Liberals produce little or nothing. They like to "govern" the producers and decide what to do with the production. Liberals believe Europeans are more enlightened than Americans. That is why most of the liberals remained in Europe when Conservatives were coming to America. They crept in after the Wild West was tame and created a business of trying to get MORE for nothing. Here ends today's lesson in world history:

It should be noted that a Liberal may have a momentary urge to respond to the above before simply laughing and forwarding it. A Conservative will be so convinced of the absolute truth of this history that it will be forwarded immediately to other "true believers."

Dave aka JarHead
Fair Winds & Following Seas

Now, take a deep breath, relax, it’s a joke (kind of…)

Friday, December 09, 2005 

Friday Summary

After close examination of your comments, we have the following (Note your comments in bold):

Tookie Willimas trial (HA!) A former LA Crips gang leader, convicted of a series of murder robberies who has been nominated five times for the Nobel Peace Prize and four times for the Nobel Prize for Literature for his series of children’s books, is currently being pushed on to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for “clemency” by the NAACP and a slew of other organizations. I guess first: what does this say about the “Nobel Peace Prize”? And exactly what about writing children’s books, and publishing them (on the California tax payer’s dollar) qualifies you to be absolved from your previous crimes?

Michael Irving crack pipe scandal (HA! HA!)
But, he said it was his friend’s, whom he had just picked up from prison?!

AU finally getting university accreditation.....again?
Or BAMA failing the APR used by the NCAA to measure if a school will be punished for failing to graduate student-athletes?

Pete Carrol back to the NFL after another BCS championship? Where does Matt Leinart go?
You mean USC isn’t a pro team?

Why only 3 invitees to the Heisman Award this year (why bother with anyone not named Reggie Bush?)
You need two others to give him a handshake and to look dejected, but still glad they had a good season.

Does Indy go 16-0? Do they keep Peyton in all day on Sunday against Jax?
Yes and Yes. Payton wont stop until his arm or leg (or both) fall off.

Will Delta pilots kill the airline like Eastern?
Strikes are cool and fun, especially around the holidays. Just remember, if you can’t get what you want, take your ball and go home. They will call you back when they realize what a big mistake they made… idiots.

If a tree falls in the forest.....
If a bird can fly, why can’t a fly bird?

Well you have the stunning agreement today in Montréal on the next stage of targets for the Kyoto treaty:”
It’s a good thing Mr. Clinton is not in a position where he has to make executive decisions any more, lest he not be able to sit in the cheep seats and make asinine comments. I wonder how he will change his stance if his wife becomes President. No one, regardless of party, will voluntarily enter us into Kyoto as it will sink our economy. And I promise, no President wants the legacy of “the one that killed the American Dream, but saved some trees.”

"The US is said to suspect it is being lured into making commitments and to be angry with Canada's tone towards it"
Notice this quote though: “Japanese Environment Minister Yuriko Koike called on developing countries like India and China, which are exempt from Kyoto, to join in the fight against global warming.”

Why are China and India “exempt” but the US is the enemy? Japan has crop failure directly due to the huge smog clouds from China… but we are the bad guys?

"did the guy say bomb" bit , in the UK this is being viewed as of little importance , he had bi-polar , that is similar to schizophrenia in many ways , he would have had voices in his head
Same thing here, but watch and see the ACLU come up and sue (on behalf of the grieving wife of they psycho) the government for unlawful shooting of a nut-ball on an airplane.

Hamas is to end its truce with Israel
Khaled Meshaal:
I say to our brothers in the [Palestinian] Authority that we are witnessing political stagnation, I say it loudly, we will not enter a new truce and our people are preparing for a new round of conflict."

I Read this as: We are loosing money and recruits, and the stabilization of Palestine under the PLA has severely threatened our power base. Aside from that, our sugar daddies in Iran have said they would cut our funding if we didn’t start killing Jews again…. “brothers”.

Last but not least: Dems Try to Take Credit For Iraq Success.

So, I am checking things out on a lefty site that I visit, and here we go again. First, the left has shifted all of it’s rhetoric about “Where are the WMD”, and “Where is Osama” into “pull the troops out now!”

But hark, there is a new calling! They are suddenly full of pride in their plan and suggestions that the troops should be pulled out in planned stages, starting in 2006 after the elections. Sen. Murtha even gave us a number of the first pull out, saying “20,000” troops should be pulled out after the elections.

Wait a minute; that is pretty close to the number that has already been planned by the Administration, and the time tables falls in nicely with the elections that are being used as a benchmark by the Administration. And to make it even more blatant, the left is going on the attack saying that the Administration actually stole it from the Democrats!

And that wraps it up. Since very few of you actually gave me any comments… We can try it again next Friday, see if I get some more ideas. Thanks for reading… see you guys on Monday.