Raging Right Wing Republican

For those of us who are politically informed, and therefore Republican.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

I Have New Respect for JLo

PETA Targets Jennifer Lopez Film Premiere:
Lopez was asked what she thought of the protesters.

"I don't," she replied as she headed into the premiere.

Good Economic News Portrayed as Bad

Wages, spending, the market and the overall economy are all growing.
Americans' incomes rose by 0.5 percent in March, the best showing in three months, and spending increased by 0.6 percent ...

... The 0.6 percent increase in consumer spending followed a 0.7 percent gain in February and no increase at all in January.

Both the rise in incomes and spending came in better than the 0.4 percent increases in both categories that economists had been forecasting ...

... The 0.6 percent increase in consumer spending during the month was led by a 2.2 percent jump in outlays for durable goods, such as autos and other items expected to last at least three years. Spending on nondurable goods was essentially flat during the month while spending on services, the biggest spending category, rose by 0.6 percent.

Disposable incomes, the amount left after paying taxes, rose by 0.5 percent in March.

Personal savings, represented as a percentage of disposable income, dropped to 0.4 percent in March, the lowest level for savings since a negative 0.2 percent savings rate in October 2001.

The government reported on Thursday that overall economic growth slowed to 3.1 percent in the first three months of this year, the weakest showing in two years, as consumers and businesses were jolted by higher energy costs.

Economists don't believe the surge in energy prices this year will be enough to push the country into a recession, but they expect the country to endure a repeat of what Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan termed last year a "soft patch."
Endure? This is all good news, isn't it? So why is it being reported as something we have to "endure"?

Friday, April 29, 2005

Whatever Bush is For, I'm Against

If you want any more proof that blinding partisanship is making deranged liberals take positions contrary to Bush - simply because of Bush, and even when it was a position that they supported 24 hours before Bush took it - here is the final summation.
There was a time when liberals could be counted on to defend the interests of working class Joes. Marshall and the others are now taking the exact opposite position. They are saying, in effect, that ensuring ever-increasing benefits for well-to-do retirees is more important than promoting the financial well-being of young working people.
Bush is going to have to reduce Social Security benefits for the rich (those bastards), who will not need the support as much as those who still have to make it in life, and John Marshall and Daily "Screw the troops" Kos are having a conniption fit over it.

Jackasses.

Banning Books

I'm not very enthusiastic about this:
Republican Alabama lawmaker Gerald Allen says homosexuality is an unacceptable lifestyle. As CBS News Correspondent Mark Strassmann reports, under his bill, public school libraries could no longer buy new copies of plays or books by gay authors, or about gay characters.

"I don't look at it as censorship," says State Representative Gerald Allen. "I look at it as protecting the hearts and souls and minds of our children."

Books by any gay author would have to go: Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote and Gore Vidal. Alice Walker's novel "The Color Purple" has lesbian characters.
It's dumb. And the left has used the "for the children" formulation enough to make it a self-parodying statement.

However, it didn't happen in a vaccuum, coming into birth spontaneously. It's most likely a response to the long train of advocacy dressed up as education that has been going in public schools for the last few decades. I'm referring to the long list of politically correct books inundating students every time they walk into the classroom, the "Heather Has Two Mommies" and excessively inclusive sex ed variety of nonsense that seems to be what all our taxpaying expenses have gotten us.

I'm also referring to incidents like this, which I noted earlier:
Police arrested a Lexington father who refused to leave the Joseph Estabrook School yesterday after school officials rejected his demands that his 6-year-old son be shielded from any discussions about gay households. David Parker, 42, confronted officials after his son brought home ``Who's in a Family,'' a storybook that includes characters who are gay parents. Yesterday, Parker refused to leave a meeting after Lexington Superintendent Bill Hurley rejected his demand that he be notified when his son is exposed to any discussion about same-sex households as part of classroom instruction. "Our parental requests for our own child were flat-out denied,'' Parker said in a statement.
So what of parents who object to having militantly pro-gay material shoved in the faces of their six-year-old kids? And it's public material, at the expense of the parents' pocketbook. Who owns this child, his parents, or the state?

The books shouldn't have been banned in Alabama, but he didn't start the fight. And his law failed, which means schools that have been controlled by leftwing radicals since the 60's are still free to push their politics unopposed on unsuspecting students in the classroom.

And that's worse in some ways than limiting access to a few books in a school library, where reasonable limits on the availability of objectionable material should be expected anyway.

Assisted Suicide

"Police who went to the aid of a distraught man jumping off a bridge in Seattle ended up shooting him early this morning."

Orwell, Call Your Office

The Washington Times notes a curious comment by a Democratic congresswoman on the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, which the House passed Wednesday, and which would make it a federal crime to transport a minor across state lines to evade her home state's parental-notification laws:
Democrats said Congress is intruding unfairly into family issues and said Republicans have not learned from their attempts to intervene in the case of a brain-damaged Florida woman.

"The people of this country don't want the government intruding" in family disputes, said Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, New York Democrat.
In fact, this bill would not intrude into family disputes; it does precisely the opposite: It would punish those who intrude into family disputes by helping girls procure abortions without their parents' knowledge.

In yesterday's item about the act, I noted the incongruity of the Associated Press's equating the injury of an unborn child during an assault on the mother with abortion. The Houston Press reports on a case in which this equation actually does make sense:

Sixteen-year-old Erica Basoria was pregnant with twins by her 18-year-old boyfriend, Gerardo "Jerry" Flores. Basoria's family wanted her to abort the pregnancy, but Flores had urged her not to. Five months into the pregnancy, she miscarried. Police became suspicious when doctors reported that her body was bruised, and her explanations for the injuries didn't add up.

When the police questioned Flores, they learned that Basoria had changed her mind about carrying the twins to term:
After Erica's doctor's visit a week earlier, Jerry said, she had decided she didn't want to be pregnant anymore. She'd heard that if someone stood on a pregnant woman's stomach, you could abort the babies. For days, she'd asked Jerry to do it. He didn't want to, but ultimately he gave in.

Erica lay on the bedroom floor, and Jerry, about five foot eight and 180 pounds, stepped onto her stomach, just above the navel. Then he pressed his K-Swiss sneakers into her flesh. Their statements vary as to how often they repeated this process. Jerry said it was two or three times during the week leading up to the miscarriage; Erica said he stepped on her twice in the two weeks prior to the miscarriage.

Flores is now in jail, facing two counts of capital murder. But Basoria is "guilty of nothing, since a mother has the right to end her pregnancy."
This is a tragic, abhorrent and despicable case all the way around, showing how far we've come in devaluing innocent life for the sake of expediency. All of this which could so easily have been prevented by an adoption.

I'm inclined to think that prosecutors should show Flores some mercy and charge him with a lesser crime than capital murder. Still, even if one thinks a woman should have the 'right to choose', can't everyone agree that standing on her stomach is a form of abortion that ought to be criminalized?

BushHitler's Online Museum


Where else are you gonna go for all of your BushHitler needs?

Father Arrested for Protecting His Son

In the name of tolerance, in Kerry's home state of Massachussetts...
Police arrested a Lexington father who refused to leave the Joseph Estabrook School yesterday after school officials rejected his demands that his 6-year-old son be shielded from any discussions about gay households.

David Parker, 42, confronted officials after his son brought home ``Who's in a Family,'' a storybook that includes characters who are gay parents.

Yesterday, Parker refused to leave a meeting after Lexington Superintendent Bill Hurley rejected his demand that he be notified when his son is exposed to any discussion about same-sex households as part of classroom instruction.

``Our parental requests for our own child were flat-out denied,'' Parker said in a statement.
Unbelievable. Does it make any sense that schools today use outdated books, but can provide free condoms for students? That we used to have to get a permission slip in order to be administered Tylenol by the school nurse, but a teenage girl can still get an abortion without parental notification, and that a parent can't make decisions about the welfare of his own child so that the school can indoctrinate young children with their material?

The Enlightened Ones

Here's an article filled with a surprising amount of common sense by Professor David Gelertner from the LA Times. He writes that the Democrat's philosophy can be summed up in one sentence: You're too stupid to make your own decisions. What you need, good citizen, is for the wise and all knowing men of the government to make all the decisions for you. All they need is your cooperation. And your money.
That's the whole basis of Democratic philosophy (I use the term loosely). We'll take care of you. Leave the thinking to us. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, minority leaders of the House and Senate, respectively, - kindly Mom and Pop to a nation of intellectually limited youngsters. (But thank goodness, they love us anyway.)

How could anyone be opposed in principle to private investment accounts within Social Security? I could understand Democrats arguing that "private accounts are a wonderful idea but the country can't afford the transition costs right now." But mostly I hear Democrats saying they're a lousy idea, and that President Bush wants to wreck Social Security - because, after all, he wants to let you keep a great big whopping 4% of your payroll taxes in a private account instead of handing over every cent to the government. How on Earth could anyone be opposed in principle to letting taxpayers manage a minuscule fraction of their own money (their own money, dammit!) if they want to? Because private accounts violate the Infantile American Principle, so dear to Democratic hearts. Little kids should turn over their cash to the Big Smart Government for safekeeping.

But of course they can't say that, so instead they say, "Bush wants to privatize Social Security" - as if government were going to wash its hands of the whole mess. The technical term that logicians use for this rhetorical gambit - applying a correct word for one part of a proposal to the proposal as a whole - is "lying."

Here's another one: How could anyone be opposed to school vouchers? Vouchers let you decide where to spend tax money to educate your children. You give the voucher to any public or private school; it's your call. But Democrats worry that (among other things) too many parents will spend their vouchers at a local Obedience School for Little Nazis or the neighborhood Witchcraft Academy. That's what they think of their fellow citizens. That's what they think of you!
I don't think that characterization applies to a lot of rank and file Democrats, like my friends, but it certainly does seem to hold for the politicians leading the party, who want to get their hands on regulating everything from businesses to how many french fries you should be able to eat.

Because, after all, if we did get a tax cut and had that extra money, we might spend it on our children or our home, and then where would all the money for the solar powered windmill come from? Who would fund the art industry? Right this minute, there are performance artists who desperately need a government subsidy from the NEA to purchase the cow blood and motor oil they need to smear all over their nude bodies as an ironic metaphor for the common man's subjection to the military/industrial complex's desperate need for petroleum.

What the...

What a clueless woman. She was flying a Nazi flag outside her home because her baby 'likes bright colors'.

She claims not to know anything about what the flag stands for.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Bush's Conference

If you missed his televised speech tonight, as I did, you'll find a useful recap here.

Leftist Hatred

While Democrat Zell Miller lies in a hospital bed, his condition unknown, the leftists in the fetid swamp called Democratic Underground can barely contain their glee.

Justice

Good news:
"A military jury sentenced a soldier to death Thursday for a grenade and rifle attack on his own comrades during the opening days of the Iraq invasion, a barrage that killed two officers and that prosecutors said was driven by religious extremism.

Sgt. Hasan Akbar, who gave a brief, barely audible apology hours earlier, stood at attention between his lawyers as the verdict was delivered. He showed no emotion.
He should have been tried and shot on the battle field where they caught him.

Justice will not be served until Hasan Akbar is dead.

Bolton


(Cartoon courtesy of Cox and Forkum.)

The Democrats have been attempting to prevent the appointment of John Bolton as America's representative at the UN, saying that he's unfit because he's just a 'mean person', of all things. Apparently having somebody with a spine carrying our water over at the UN is a bad thing.

Here's Jonah Goldberg on the Democrats' blockading of the Bolton nomination:
Here is the undeniable, irrefutable truth of the whole controversy over John Bolton's embattled nomination for the job as America's ambassador to the United Nations. If John Bolton had been the nicest, sweetest, let-me-help-you-with-your-groceries, you-can-sleep-on-my-couch, I'll-get-the-thorn-out-of-your-paw teddy bear to everybody he ever worked with or met, not a single Democratic senator on the Foreign Relations Committee would change his vote from "no" to "yes." And, if Bolton were an H. G. Wellsian lover of one-world government who believed that the United Nations was America's last best hope, all those "no" votes would switch to "yes" votes - even if it turned out that Bolton had a Skipper complex that compelled him to swat every wayward staffer in the head with his hat.

In other words, all of the "controversy" of the last couple weeks is bogus. It's a kabuki dance. Whether the allegations against Bolton are true or not is almost entirely beside the point, because if a completely unrelated set of facts were not in play, no one would care. In short, this is borking pure and simple.
It pays to be wary of the organization, given it's track record. Bolton would be a man who represents America at the UN and fights for it first, rather than the other way around, and with his attitude he's unlikely to give them much leeway.

Somebody has to take out the trash at the UN, and he's just the man to do it.

Zell Miller Rushed to Hospital

Breaking...
Former Sen. Zell Miller fell ill while giving a speech in Gainesville Thursday night and was taken to a hospital emergency room. His wife said he had flu-like symptoms.

Miller, 73, excused himself from the stage at a banquet for the Gainesville Care Center at the Georgia Mountains Center and was transported to Northeast Georgia Medical Center.

He was admitted to the emergency room and was in stable condition, according to nursing supervisor Tammy Harbison. She said she did not know what made Miller ill.

Miller's wife, Shirley, was at the hospital and released a statement about an hour later saying he was feeling better.
...Hope he's okay.

In the meantime, here's Powerline's latest Zell post, which is filled with admiration for the man.

Laughing Stock

If the UN Human Rights Commission is already a laughing stock, what do you do? Well, you could, I suppose, give people yet another reason to laugh at it:
Zimbabwe, the human rights pariah accused of violence, intimidation and suppression of free speech against its people, has been re-elected to the United Nations Human Rights Commission for a three-year term over the strong protests of Australia, the US and Canada.
There is an answer to these protests:
Zimbabwe's UN ambassador says no country has a perfect human rights record.
Don't laugh.

Abortion = Assault

"The House passed a bill Wednesday that would make it illegal to dodge parental-consent laws by taking minors across state lines for abortions, the latest effort to chip away at abortion rights after Republican gains in the November elections," reports the Associated Press.

"Chip away at abortion rights"? That's editorializing, isn't it? Since a pregnant minor is, by definition, a victim of statutory rape, one could just as easily characterize this as an effort to prevent the destruction of criminal evidence.

Then there's this, from another AP dispatch on the same subject:
Four bills aimed at reducing the number of abortion [sic] have been enacted since Bush won the White House in 2001:

Last year, Congress made it a separate crime to harm a fetus during an assault on a pregnant woman. . . .
So according to the AP, assaulting a pregnant woman and harming her "fetus" constitutes abortion. Do "pro-choice" advocates want to keep violence against pregnant women safe and legal?

Where Was the Wisdom

...In the Terri Schiavo case?
Perhaps more painful than any other object lesson to emerge out of the life and death of Terri Schiavo is this recurring realization: Once end of life controversies are relegated to the courts, all the colorful subtleties that comprise meaningful life making it worth pursuing, are bleached white by the caustic chlorine of the ethic of radical individualism, and its derivative Contractual Model of decisionmaking upon which both the courts, and increasingly the medical profession, lean all too heavily. It has become obvious over the last 40 years in a succession of legal controversies over the so-called "end of life" issues that the god of personal autonomy has now bullied its way into medicine and has all but totally extinguished the ethics of care.

Zell Miller

Powerline has a great post about their favorite Democrat.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Spin City

From the Corner at NRO.

Arms Move to Syria 'Unlikely,' Report Says:
The Bush administration's senior weapons inspector said in a report that it was "unlikely" that Saddam Hussein's forces moved weapons to Syria.
- The New York Times April 26, 2005

CIA can't rule out WMD move to Syria:
“The CIA's chief weapons inspector said he cannot rule out the possibility that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction were secretly shipped to Syria before the March 2003 invasion, citing "sufficiently credible" evidence that WMDs may have been moved there.”
- The Washington Times, April 27, 2005

Glenn Reynolds catches the Times peddling another falsehood:
NOW THIS IS JUST OUT-AND-OUT DISHONESTY AT THE NEW YORK TIMES:
The only plausible reason for keeping American troops in Iraq is to protect the democratic transformation that President Bush seized upon as a rationale for the invasion after his claims about weapons of mass destruction turned out to be fictitious. If that transformation is now allowed to run off the rails, the new rationale could prove to be as hollow as the original one.
I've already provided a link-rich refutation of this revisionist history, and this claim that democratic transformation was some sort of new rationalization is, not to put too fine a point on it, an out-and-out lie, readily fact-checkable and in fact already fact-checked, that the Times should be ashamed of.

What's more, the Times editorial board should be very careful to confuse "wrong" with "fictitious," given its miserable performance on the war.

UPDATE: Reader Greg Wallace notes that The New York Times editorial board apparently doesn't even read its own earlier work. Like, say, this from February 27, 2003:
President Bush sketched an expansive vision last night of what he expects to accomplish by a war in Iraq. Instead of focusing on eliminating weapons of mass destruction, or reducing the threat of terror to the United States, Mr. Bush talked about establishing a ''free and peaceful Iraq''...
Sorry, but this is just a pathetic performance by the Times, and warrants a correction. And an apology.
Captain Ed also says that the Duelfer Report's language on WMD and Syria has been misrepresented.

Sinking Feeling


(Cartoon courtesy of Cox and Forkum.)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Filibuster on the Nuclear Option

One of the more prominent falsehoods circulating around lately is that the use of the nuclear option to eliminate the abuse of the filibuster in blocking judicial nominees would constitute some sort of breaching of time tested tradition. As this supposed logic goes, we shouldn't try and advance our own agenda now that we've won, because one day the Democrats will be in power and they will return the favor.

First of all, let's say we did ease up. Who's to say the favor would be returned once the tables were turned and our chance for actual change was gone? It certainly isn't demonstrated by historical precedent.

The fact of the matter is, long before this was ever a topic, back in 1995, the Democrats wanted to get rid of ALL filibusters:
That proposal would amend Senate rules to end all filibusters, not just those against judicial nominees. The proposal’s sponsor said that “the filibuster rules are unconstitutional” and was quoted as saying “the filibuster is nothing short of legislative piracy.” He announced his intent to end all filibusters with an unambiguous statement: “We cannot allow the filibuster to bring Congress to a grinding halt. So today I start a drive to do away with a dinosaur — the filibuster rule.”

Despite its support by several senior senators, you haven’t heard about this proposal in the MoveOn.org ads blasting Senate Republicans. And you probably haven’t heard about it from Senate Democrats who now give their full-throated support to filibusters against President Bush’s nominees. Why? Because the proposal wasn’t offered by Republicans; it was introduced in 1995 by senior Democrats, including Sens. Lieberman and Tom Harkin (D., Iowa). When it came to a vote, 19 Democrats, including leading blue-state senators such as Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, supported the measure.
Here's another chiming in:
When Republicans balked at some of President Clinton's nominees, Democrats spoke forcefully about the injustice of it all. "An up-or-down vote, that is all we ask," said Sen. Tom Daschle in 1999. "Our institutional integrity requires an up-or-down vote," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein the same year. "If our Republican colleagues don't like them, vote against them. But give them a vote," said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy in 1998.

It's not just partisan politicians who switch sides. The New York Times editorialized in 1995, "Now is the perfect moment...to get rid of an archaic rule that frustrates democracy and serves no useful purpose." Nine years later the Times discovered that useful purpose ...

Likewise, E. J. Dionne Jr. of the Washington Post and the Brookings Institution groused about the "anti-majoritarian filibuster rules" that were preventing needed action in 1998 but warned in 2005 that ending the filibuster would be "a radical departure" that "would be disastrous for minority rights."
The new boss is the same as the old boss. They wanted to do it before, so I don't see why they wouldn't again - and so whether or not we do anything or 'hold back', as it were, would seem to not matter in this regard.

More Nukes!


(Cartoon courtesy of Cox and Forkum.)

Amity Schlaes writes that the environmental movement, with its staunch anti-nuclear power phobia, has shot itself in the foot.
It takes four tons of coal to provide the power needs of one inhabitant of Chicago's Lake Shore Drive for a year. A few ounces of uranium could cover the same need.

There is also the damage to the environment. The central hypocrisy of the green movement in our era is that anti-nuclear policy has driven the U.S. to use the hydrocarbon fuels so much opposed by the anti-global warming movement. Or, as Huber puts it: "If we had simply built all the plants that were in the pipeline at the time of Three Mile Island, then we would have reduced current coal combustion sufficiently to satisfy the Kyoto treaty."
So, basically, really, global warming is caused by environmental activism.

Additionally, the hysteria over nuclear power is progressively less justified, as nuclear power technology advances. If you're worried about Chernobyl or "The China Syndrome", you can relax, and enjoy the brave new world of pebble-bed reactors, like the plans for modular PBNRs South Africa is implementing.

Hesitations

John Hawkins tackles some of the hesitations some fellow Republicans are having about the 'nuclear option'.

He also takes on the notion that the use of the filibuster to block 'yes or no' up and down votes on judicial nominees is something it has been traditionally used for. It has no such backing, and it's an abuse of the filibuster.

Catholics Like the Pope?

So despite all the media's moaning and groaning, the actual people that matter like the Pope after all.
An overwhelming majority of American Catholics approves of the selection of Pope Benedict XVI and predicts that he will defend the traditional policies and beliefs of the church, even though many members say that church is out of touch with their views, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The survey found that more than eight in 10 Catholics broadly supported the selection of former German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to replace Pope John Paul II.

Nearly as many, 73 percent, said they were “enthusiastic” about the new pontiff, although only one in four said they were strongly enthusiastic about the choice.
What a tragedy.

More at the Sundries Shack.

The Odd Couple

You'll never believe which two people hit it off so well.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Coalition of the Bribed

The Canadian sponsorship scandal just took an entirely new twist:
The Canadian company that Saddam Hussein invested a million dollars in belonged to the Prime Minister of Canada, canadafreepress.com has discovered.

Cordex Petroleum Inc., launched with Saddam's million by Prime Minister Paul Martin's mentor Maurice Strong's son Fred Strong, is listed among Martin's assets to the Federal Ethics committee on November 4, 2003. . . .

Yesterday, Strong admitted that Tongsun Park, the Korean man accused by U.S. federal authorities of illegally acting as an Iraqi agent, invested in Cordex, the company he owned with his son, in 1997.
Taking a stand right by France, Russia, and China, eh? This illuminates the motivations behind the Canadian Liberal Party's antipathy towards Operation Iraqi Freedom a bit, doesn't it? Then again, I guess when your ideal for governance and policy is Chirac's France, this kind of thing isn't all that surprising.

We've heard all that talk about a 'coalition of the bribed', but I don't think this is what they meant...

Friday, April 22, 2005

South Park Conservatives

Are you a 'South Park Conservative'? They're a new breed of conservatives in the upcoming generation of political activists.
"In my book", Anderson recently told me, "the term refers to a kind of irreverent post-liberal or anti-liberal attitude or sensibility, one very in tune with popular culture. But it's not a coherent, fully developed political philosophy. You do find this attitude among a lot of younger Americans, as I show in my concluding chapter, which is based on lots of interviews with right-of-center college kids."

Those right-of-center college students, for the most part, aren't Alex P. Keaton-clones, decked out in Ralph Lauren double-breasted navy blue blazers. They're more likely to look like every other college kid: jeans, sneakers, and T-shirts advertising their favorite rock groups. (On the other hand, as Anderson notes in his book, campus South Park conservatives usually smell better than their bathing-optional counterparts on the left). But there's one thing that South Park campus conservatives abhor: "Political correctness drives them nuts", Anderson says. "In interviewing students, for instance, it was clear how much the PC conformities of the campus Left turned them off."

Step Back!

Tim Blair receives an e-mail from John Kerry.

Impose Our Beliefs When It Suits Us? Sure!

The Sundries Shack examines the anti-Pope hysteria and finds rank hypocrisy.

Lileks is... NOT Catholic!

And neither am I. However, he gets what many American Catholics seem to be missing:
I have my doctrinal differences with the Catholic church as well; I understand the reasons for requiring priestly celibacy, but I don't agree with them. I don't agree with many Catholic positions on issues regarding sexuality. Growing up Lutheran, I was gently guided away from the clanging errancy of Maryolatry. Because I disagree with the Catholic Church on these and a few other matters, I am -- how do I put this? -- NOT CATHOLIC. Hence I am always amazed by people who want the church to accommodate their thoughts, their new beliefs, their precarious and ingenious rationales, instead of ripping themselves from the bosom and seeking a congregation that doesn't make them feel like a heretic banging thier head on Filarete's doors. To those who want profound change, consider an outsider's perspective: the Catholic Church is the National Review of religion. You may live long enough to see it become the Weekly Standard. In your dreams it might become the New Republic. But it's never going to be the Nation. And if ever it does, it will have roughly the same subscriber base.
Wizbang expresses similar sentiments.

Don't miss QandO's complete and utter disembowling of the anti-Pope arguments.

Adoption

I agree with John Hawkins and Right Thinking Girl. Transsexuals should not be allowed to adopt children. There's an ideal way to raise children and an ideal family for society, and they simply will not provide that stable and ideal environment.
That being said, transgendered people should not be anywhere near children. I don't necessarily believe that they're child molestors or even that they'd be bad parents. I do, however, believe that their lifestyle is not conductive to raising well-adjusted children. It's simply too confusing for children to have a "parent" who is "between genders". The politically correct pressure to accept such people is based on social engineering experiments and not on what is good for society, families, or children. The law probably should protect children from these people in the same way it attempts to protect them from parents who do drugs or otherwise endanger their children's well-being.

Something that I find interesting is how rarely it is mentioned that heterosexual foster homes (and adoptive homes) are so much more readily available than homosexual ones. The spin is that there's a surplus of loving homosexual homes and society's bigotry is keeping children from them. This is not true. If a child is a ward of the State, the State has an obligation to put children in homes most reflective of normal, healthy families. It's not bigotry that what is normal is heterosexual homes. The reframing of the issue to one of tolerance will not change the fundamental fact that children need one loving, stable father, and one loving, stable mother.
I am more ambivalent to allowing homosexual couples to adopt, but we should seek out the more ideal families first, before allowing others to step in.

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Howard Dean is making more of a spectacle of himself and the Democrats than ever.

Now he's making fun of Rush Limbaugh's drug problems.

The irony here is that if it was anybody else, liberals would be jumping to his defense, proclaiming that we should not judge, or that society played some part, and the same old claptrap.

In any case, that doesn't mean Rush's own mistakes are excusable, but it is unbecoming of a national political leader to act in this manner. Apparently, he also thinks he is Jesus. Then again, it's Howard Dean. Is anybody really surprised?

More Hate

...from the Left. And now it's just getting weird. This, too.

Schiavo Post Mortem

Polipundit notes the release of court papers pertaining to the Terri Schiavo case, and provides a succinct summary of them, so we don't have to leaf through the volumes of information.

A Defense of Supply Side Economics

Here's a rather large post defending supply side economics against attacks from Leftists. I doubt that tax cuts will ever get any slack, though.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

France Backs Pre-Emptive War

So long as it's by a major customer, anyway:
During a state visit to China, French Premier Raffarin threw support behind a law allowing China to attack Taiwan and continued to push for a lift of the EU arms embargo.

At the outset of a three-day visit to China, French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said he supported Beijing's "anti-secession" law on Taiwan, and vowed to keep pushing for an end to an EU arms embargo that could open the door for Paris to sell weapons to the Asian giant.

Raffarin also signed or finalized major business deals with Beijing valued at around $3.2 billion (2.4 billion euros).
We should've just bribed Chirac and his motley crew. It's clearly the way these things are done.

Here's more.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Go Figure

Chrenkoff notes some good news from Iraq, which once again slips through the fingers of the mainstream media.

Bang Bang

Found this at Ace of Spades. And it's awesome. Crazy and awesome. Ted Nugent: Get Hardcore
HOUSTON (AP) - With an assault weapon in each hand, rocker and gun rights advocate Ted Nugent urged National Rifle Association members to be "hardcore, radical extremists demanding the right to self defense."

...

"Remember the Alamo! Shoot 'em!" he screamed to applause. "To show you how radical I am, I want carjackers dead. I want rapists dead. I want burglars dead. I want child molesters dead. I want the bad guys dead. No court case. No parole. No early release. I want 'em dead. Get a gun and when they attack you, shoot 'em."
That should be framed and hung on the wall.

A grandmother, who must apparently be a fan of 'The Nuge', took his advice to heart.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A man accused of bursting into a convenience store demanding money was in the hospital Friday - shot, authorities said, by the great-great-grandmother working behind the counter.

Janet Grammer was filling in for the regular clerk Thursday afternoon when a man entered the store waving a gun and fired two shot at the back wall.

"I think he thought I was an old woman and would just give him the money," Grammer, 64, said Friday. "My life was at stake. I thought he was going to kill me."

So she pulled a pistol out from under the cash register and fired once, hitting the man in the chest. He fell to the ground, dropped his gun and then fled, leaving a trail of blood. Grammer fired two more shots as he was running away.

...

Grammer, who has 10 children, 32 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren, said she worried she had killed the man. "All I could think about was his poor parents," Grammer said.
Didn't kill him, though. But she couldn't have protected herself without it - the great equalizer!

Not Fonda Jane

While on a tour hawking her new book, our old friend Jane Fonda got spit on. With tobacco juice, no less:
Fonda, 67, spoke at Unity Temple, in The Plaza shopping district, about her new best-selling book, "My Life So Far," and her new movie with Jennifer Lopez called "Monster-In-Law."

At about 9 p.m., police said 54-year-old Michael A. Smith, who had been waiting in line for about 90 minutes, passed a book to Fonda and then spit a large amount of tobacco juice into her face.
This is a woman who has undoubtedly done much to deserve criticism, and is an outright traitor if not perpetrator of treasonous actions. Aside from her extremist antics, it is her visit to the Hanoi Hilton which will forever mark her as despicable. Upon coming to the Vietcong's infamous torture chambers, she gained the trust of American prisoners who managed to collaborate amongst each other, secretly via their prison cells, and pass on notes to her so she could hopefully carry them and reveal their plight to the rest of the world, and give their families and loved ones a 'sign of life'. Instead, she took their risk of life and limb, and turned the notes directly over to the American soldiers' captors, whom proceeded to once again torture and beat these POWs more fiercely than ever. Her actions directly endangered, harmed, and led to the torture of already beaten POWs.

So there is plenty of room for anger, and I can understand that anger. It shouldn't have been expressed by spitting at her, though, which is the same manner in which she and her communist loving comrades greeted our soldiers. I can't say I feel sorry for her, though.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

More on Bush & Kerry IQ

I noted a while back that despite all the ragging on Bush for his verbal gaffes, he has a higher IQ than Kerry. Here's some more notes about it. Of course, his detractors claim that IQ is important until it's pointed out that he has the higher one, in which case IQ doesn't matter at all.

Ratzinger Is In


Or should I say, Pope Benedict XVI. Here's a roundup by PunditGuy.

I think he's a good choice. Pope John Paul II was a master theologian who articulated a grand vision and worldview, but there existed administrative problems which ended up hurting the Church, as well, such as the pedophilia cases amongst some priests.

Ratzinger has had a history of being the 'police chief' equivalent to Church doctrine (the BBC calls him 'The Enforcer'), which guarantees a certain kind of conservatism as one cannot afford to be 'laid back' in that position. Hopefully, and presumably, he will move to fix these problems within the administration of the Church. He's expected to adhere closely to Pope John Paul II's policies and approach, which he was closely associated.

UPDATE: Meanwhile, on the left, the vile Pope bashing has begun. Armageddon Project spots a smear from Reuters.

The "That Didn't Take Very Long" Update: The conspiracy theorists over at Democratic Underground have begun to spin their theories:
I dont know much or anything about him BUT that he was a Nazi or a member of the Nazi party. How does he stand on issues and how far back will he turn the church.
It continues on from there.

By the way, look out for words like "lost opportunity." As in, "The Catholic church had a great opportunity to open itself up to a broader base. They could have supported premarital sex, adultery and abortion on demand but they lost that opportunity when they selected someone who actually believed in the teachings of their own religion."

POPE-NAZI UPDATE: Here's the Ratzinger Fan Club (heh) addressing the Nazi allegations being hurled around, as does the Jerusalem Post (registration required).

From our friends at the ultra liberal Kos: It's a great day to be a Nazi!
The best thing we can hope for is that this will be the "worse" in "it's gotta get worse before it gets better."

If we're lucky, Pope Ratfucker will be even more reactionary, orthodox, and fascist than he has been in the past.
And you wonder why people say Democrats are hostile to people of faith.

Common Sense

VDH, in a column, wondering whether it is time for the UN to make a radical change:
Well, here we are in 2005 with nearly 60 years of the U.N.—and more people have been lost in wars since 1945 than during World War II itself. Americans now distrust the U.N.'s record as much as they might applaud its idealism in theory. Why?

A half-century of Soviet bloc politics poisoned the body. Dictatorships that had killed millions of their own won an equal say to many Western democracies. Third-World countries were silent about the 80 million butchered by Stalin and Mao—and the millions more lost in tribal and religious wars in Africa and Asia.

Instead, over 400 U.N. resolutions gratuitously targeted tiny democratic Israel—without equal condemnation of its autocratic neighbors or commensurate concern for China's annexation of Tibet or Russia's absorption of the disputed Sakhalin Islands.

The terrorist Yasser Arafat addressed the General Assembly with a holster—to applause. Autocratic Cuba, Iran, Libya and Syria sat on or even chaired the U.N. Commission on Human Rights. U.N. blue helmets could not do anything to save innocent millions in Cambodia, Rwanda, the Balkans and Darfur.

Elected governments replaced autocrats in Panama, Nicaragua, Serbia, Afghanistan and Iraq only because of American action—not U.N. resolutions. The multibillion-dollar Oil-for-Food disgrace dwarfs the Enron mess but shares the same symptoms of influence peddling, shredded documents and funny insider accounting.

Any council is only as good as its membership; thus allowing a Sudan, Cuba, Iran or North Korea into the General Assembly de facto gave them as much legitimacy as a democratic Brazil, Holland or South Africa.

If the United States nearly 150 years ago fought a war to end slavery, why does the U.N. still welcome in a country like Sudan that will not? Many delegates vote only when they come to the U.N. They would never offer their own people the same rights that their spokesmen take for granted in New York.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Speaking of Geniuses...

While Howard Dean may be gleefully using Terri Schiavo as a way to bash the Republicans, the Republicans have brought it on themselves, to a degree, as that memo is a similar act of exploitation. Or at least, Mel Martinez has, who issued the so called authoritative GOP memo written by his moronic aide. So on the issue of whether or not it was real, there was a misfire.

The writing of the memo by his aide was bad, but it hadn't been given out at that point; did Mel really have to go and give it to the Democrats? None of the Republicans knew what was going on. Martinez shifted the blame to his aide, but he was the one who handed it out.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

The Genius Speaks

The media freaked out over the crude political talking points drawn up by Mel Martinez's idiotic aide. Do you think they'll similarly be offended by Howard Dean's latest statement about how he intends to exploit Terri's death and use her as a political weapon?
"'We're going to use Terri Schiavo later on,' Dean said of the brain-damaged Floridian who died last month after her feeding tube was removed amid a swarm of political controversy.

"Dean, who has called congressional intervention in the Schiavo case 'political grandstanding,' singled out House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) for his leading role in the matter.

"This is going to be an issue in 2006, and it's going to be an issue in 2008," Dean told about 200 people at a gay rights group's breakfast in West Hollywood, "because we're going to have an ad with a picture of Tom DeLay saying, 'Do you want this guy to decide whether you die or not? Or is that
going to be up to your loved ones?'"

...

The former presidential candidate said he had purposely avoided emphasizing the Schiavo case in recent weeks because Democrats needed "message discipline."
What stunning hypocrisy. Somehow I doubt the media will be highlighting it or display any semblance of offense similar in magnitude to the aforementioned talking points memo.

In any case, we're all going to have some fun over the next several years.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Justice Denied


Sandy Burger (Or should I say burglar?) committed borderline treason and got off with a light slap on the wrist. It's ridiculous. This man walked right into the National Archive and stole top secret, classified documents regarding Clinton's handling of terrorism during his term, and then 'accidentally' destroyed them. Please. Whatever was in those documents apparently had something damaging in it, but we'll never know now. These were documents that were "among the most sensitive materials anywhere in government." And these were documents that we could've used in our deliberations in how to best protect our country from future terrorist attacks.

Yesterday, a Washington Times editorial highlighted the double standard demonstrated by this scandal.
It's hard to underestimate the effect a case like this has on national-security professionals. For cynics, it shows that big players get off easy when they commit the crimes smaller fry lose their careers over. Meanwhile, spies, policy-makers and other handlers of secrets are effectively being told their efforts aren't taken seriously. It's a classic Washington double standard.

Demonstrating Their Compassion

Gay baiting is wrong, except when a Democrat does it.

Hey, did anybody know that Dick Cheney's daughter is a lesbian?

Diving Headlong into Defeat

Terrorism Unveiled has an excellent analysis of the shift in terrorist tactics with the recent attack on the Abu Ghraib prison. It had no tactical significance, as it injured more of their captured brethren and failed as an assault on the American troops. In their increasing desperation they will continue to launch attacks that will seek to garner headlines, but so long as they stay with this shift, of attacking our military, rather than civilians, they will lose. The slaughter of the civilian population has turned the bystanders against them and so now they have no other recourse.

Unhinged

The Bush hating far left has driven themselves off a cliff. These people are advocating the political assassination of a sitting President. And they have the gall to say that Bush is the one who will ruin the democratic process. Nevermind that the vitriole which has plagued the political landscape for the past year has mainly been injected by them.

I wonder how many liberals will step up and denounce this kind of reckless, dangerous, and loathsome rhetoric and promotion? Moore has long embraced the cause of the terrorists, yet he remains in good standing.

Terri Schiavo Post Roundup

Here's a list of all the posts I made regarding the Schiavo case. I'll add links to posts at other blogs which I find noteworthy, as well.

Terri 'Expert' Doctor Badly Misdiagnosed in 1980 - Court appointed expert apparently isn't much of an expert.

Schiavo Neurologist - There's more here than meets the eye.

PVS doesn't mean brain death - It used to, years ago, but our technology has advanced beyond that point, and the gap between life and death - the conditions one can have and be relieved of today, but were lost causes years ago - has increased.

Judges and the Courts - Has the judicial process been trustworthy? Is it a perfect machine when it comes to the death penalty? If not, then why here?

Quote of the Day - Where's the ACLU on this one?

Hentoff on Schiavo case - This isn't a left versus right issue. It's a humanity issue.

Orwellian Language - This isn't just a case of one family and a husband fighting over the fate of a disabled woman. It's the focal point of many larger forces, such as the pro-euthanasia activists, who found a pet case to try and set a favorable precedent.

Channeling Edwards - Well, I'm not quite sure what to say.

Even This, Denied - Michael Schiavo displays a lack of class... To say the least.

Protecting the Weak - The protection of our weakest individuals has always been the primary calling of civilization. Are we going to turn this on it's head?

Schiavo FAQ - Everything and anything to know about the Schiavo case.

Two Different Medical Opinions - There is hardly a scientific consensus in the medical community over Terri's health and her mental state. In fact, there is active dispute coming from all sides, and these two only serve to highlight that disagreement. But Dr. Cranford, the court appointed doctor who says she is PVS, only studied Terri once, for a measly 45 minutes, whereas the Dr. who was not appointed by the court and believes she can recover, at least a little, has studied her for over 10 hours. Why is so much relevant information slipping through the legal process? Shouldn't this be considered when making a life and death decision?

On Terri Schiavo - A logical proposal.

Daniel Bonevac over at Right Reason has a post weighing in on the Schiavo case.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

What the World is Saying about Bolton

Some excellent endorsements, courtesy of TKS:
The North Koreans called him “human scum.”

The Palestine Chronicle features an op-ed by Larry Birns, director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs declaring Bolton “pathological… His nomination reflects nothing less than an affront to the American people, the diplomatic community and people of goodwill everywhere… no one has been more notorious for their right-wing ideology and no one has more consistently disgraced this country's good name than Bolton, with his rants, inventions, outright lies and bumptious formulations. As a result, he has been a repeated embarrassment to this nation's international reputation.”

The German magazine Der Spiegel: “President Bush certainly knows how to get a bit of attention with his choice of nominees for top jobs. Whether it be Wolfowitz for World Bank, or John Bolton as Ambassador for the UN, you can't help but wonder if Bush is almost doing it on purpose. Who next? Rumsfeld as judge in the Court of Human Rights?”

(Hey, didn’t Wolfowitz end up getting the job?)

The BBC runs three messages from American readers – two negative, one positive.

Oh, yes, and John Kerry: “Mr. Bolton's nomination carries with it baggage we cannot afford. This is just about the most inexplicable appointment the President could make to represent the United States to the world community.”

Nothing from the Turks so far.

Ironically, Beltway Buzz says Kofi Annan told Bolton in a recent phone call to “get yourself confirmed quickly.”

Talk like that is going to blow all his conservative U.N.-skeptic street cred.

The Moral Authority of the UN

No, I'm not joking. Well, I don't have to, really. It becomes too easy after a while.

Peter Dennis, a student at NYU Law School, worked for the Foundation for International Dignity in the refugee camps surrounding Kenema, Sierra Leone, in '03. What he saw there, while disturbing and shocking, is unfortunately, rather unsurprising. We all know about the reports of sexual abuse, but Dennis writes that it's only the beginning.
In fact, abuse at these camps went beyond sexual violations: Injustices of one sort or another were perpetrated by U.N. missions or their affiliated nongovernmental organizations every day in the camps I visited. Corruption was the norm, in particular the embezzlement of food and funds by NGO officials, which often left camp resources dangerously inadequate. Utterly arbitrary judicial systems in the camps subjected refugees to violent physical punishment or months in prison for trivial offenses—all at the whim of officials and in the absence of any sort of hearing.
Well, that's the UN for you. God help you if you receive their "help".
The risk to these staff members is low in U.N. refugee camps, because peacekeepers engaged in criminal acts are immune from local prosecution. Therefore, local parties seeking justice must travel to the peacekeeper's home country. U.N. workers from countries with unresponsive legal systems, or those committing unspectacular crimes, can sleep easy. At the same time, local NGO employees who are contracted by the United Nations to work in the camps are covered by a de facto implied immunity. That is, if these individuals are identified as being connected with U.N. operations, they will probably never face charges for their actions by local authorities.
Wait, but who watches the UN? What's that you say, the UN does? Oh. Apparently they haven't been doing a very good job of it.
Yet the recent stonewalling over a series of scandals from the United Nations—from oil-for-food to a sexual harassment imbroglio involving a high U.N. official—are typical of a bureaucracy dedicated to self-preservation. This code of behavior travels rapidly down the organizational chart. The message is: Cover your tracks and the United Nations will obstruct your prosecution.

After the 2002 report documented sexual abuse, Annan's steely resolve led to exactly zero criminal prosecutions of U.N. officials for sexual abuse. I expect little difference now that refugee camp conditions have returned to the headlines. As before, Annan has delivered vague statements but prosecuted no one. It appears that the status quo reigns and that those perpetrating all sorts of abuses in refugee camps may continue undisturbed.
Are we supposed to believe that this is the organization which holds the banner for moral authority in international affairs?

- mAc Chaos

Kerry's Secret Sources

John Kerry, the haughty, French-looking Massachusetts Democrat, who by the way served in Vietnam*, showed up yesterday at a Boston event, where he was "using crutches as he recovers from knee surgery," reports the Associated Press. He was also using emotional crutches as he recovers from last year's election.
"Last year too many people were denied their right to vote, too many who tried to vote were intimidated," the Massachusetts senator said at an event sponsored by the state League of Women Voters. . . .

Kerry also cited examples Sunday of how people were duped into not voting.

"Leaflets are handed out saying Democrats vote on Wednesday, Republicans vote on Tuesday. People are told in telephone calls that if you've ever had a parking ticket, you're not allowed to vote," he said.
Ah, but we've heard this already, haven't we? But there's a twist: Where did Kerry come up with the idea about leaflets saying "Democrats vote Wednesday"? Probably from this story, which appeared a week before the election:
With the knowledge that the minority vote will be crucial in the upcoming presidential election, Republican Party officials are urging blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities to make their presence felt at the polls on Wednesday, Nov. 3. . . .

"You can't walk through a black neighborhood here in Miami without seeing our 'Don't Forget Big Wednesday!' message up on a billboard, tacked to a phone booth, or taped to a bus shelter," Monreal added. "The Republican Party has spared no expense in this endeavor."
Before the esteemed Senator embarasses himself further, somebody should take him aside and explain to him that the Onion is a satirical publication, as is Scrappleface, which originally came up with the idea.

Terri's 'Expert' Doctor Badly Misdiagnosed in 1980

Found this at Ace of Spades.

Apparently our court appointed expert Dr. Cranford wasn't all he was cracked up to be:
A neurologist hired by Michael Schiavo to confirm that his wife Terri was in a persistent vegetative state said he was "105 percent sure" of that diagnosis, but Dr. Ronald Cranford expressed similar certainty about a patient he examined in 1980 who later regained both consciousness and the ability to communicate.

Three days before Terri Schiavo's death, Cranford appeared on the MSNBC talk program, "Scarborough Country," to discuss her condition. Cranford was interviewed by reporter Lisa Daniels.

DANIELS: Are you 100 percent correct in your opinion that Terri Schiavo is in a persistent vegetative state? Do you agree with that?

CRANFORD: I am 105 percent sure she is in a vegetative state. And the autopsy will show severe irreversible brain damage to the higher centers, yes.

DANIELS: Why are you so sure, doctor?

CRANFORD: Because I examined her ...

Cranford - who is assistant chief in neurology at the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minn., professor of neurology at the University of Minnesota Medical School and a faculty associate at the university's Center for Bioethics - went on to call another neurologist who disagreed with his diagnosis "a charlatan" and accused Daniels of being "stupid."
Some more:
Host and former U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough interrupted to defend Daniels, touching off a clash with Cranford, which included the doctor admonishing Scarborough with: "You've got to get your facts straight."

Cranford also certain, but wrong about 1980 diagnosis

Cranford expressed similar certainty about another patient he declared to be in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) in 1980, former Minneapolis Police Sgt. David Mack.

''Sergeant Mack will never regain cognitive, sapient functioning,'' Cranford said six months after Mack was shot while serving a search warrant on Dec. 13, 1979. ''He will never be aware of his condition nor resume any degree of meaningful voluntary conscious interaction with his family or friends.''

Based on Cranford's unequivocal diagnosis of Mack, the officer's relatives removed him from a respirator in August 1980 "because his family felt he should be allowed to die rather than exist in such a state," according to published reports.

But Mack did not die.

On Oct. 22, 1981, 18 months after Cranford declared Mack's case hopeless, doctors at the advanced care facility where Mack was being treated noticed that he was awake. The Associated Press described Mack's recovery.

"A policeman considered 'vegetative' after being shot in the head in 1979 has come out of his coma and, although doctors caution he may never recover fully, he is spelling out some of his desires: 'TALK. WALK. SKI. DOG,'" the news report stated, explaining that someone would point to letters displayed in alphabetical order on a board while Mack nodded "yes" or "no" until the correct letter was reached.

Asked how he felt about his recovery, Mack smiled and spelled out "SPEECHLESS!"

"Doctors say Mack has recovered about 95 percent of his intellectual capabilities," the news account continued, "and can understand everything said to him."
To quote Ace:
The really cool thing about Dr. Cranford's line of work is that if you play your cards right, and get yourself a sympathetic judge and an ex-husband hellbent on pulling a feeding tube, most of your misdiagnoses will never come to light.

Pretty sweet, eh? Beats OB/GYN to hell and back and that score.

Monday, April 11, 2005

There's Hope for Canada Yet

Canada used to be a fairly conservative country, similar in many respects to the United States. However, over the last two decades it began a slow drift to the Left, embracing the European socialist welfare state and mucking up it's healthcare treatment with the heavy hand of government intervention and bureaucratic overload. To a degree, those healthcare problems serve as a representation of the problems which plague the government as a whole.

However, the Liberal Party in Canada has very recently been exposed as the progenitor of a massive scandal, funneling hard earned taxpayer dollars into their own coffers and to promote their own re-elections, effectively short circuiting the entire electoral process. This could explain to some degree the uphill battle many other parties faced. But now, as the news of this scandal grows, the backlash may be strong enough to collapse the Liberal party governance. In fact, the lead which the Liberals had maintained thus far has collapsed. Whether or not it will be enough to prompt Canadians to launch a shake up of corruption within the government remains to be seen.

UPDATE 6:41 PM: On the other hand, there's this:
Since 1945, there has been a pattern of Canadian reluctance to share the burden of defending freedom. If their shameful lack of responsibility were not bad enough, our neighbor to the north appears, at times, to take delight in subverting America’s attempt to deal with terrorism. ...

The armed forces have so long been neglected that they are little more than a parade ground police force that is more suited to protecting food shipments than engaging in real battle. The refusal of the government to live up to its obligations shifts more of the burden to allies like England who are willing to take part in the struggle to preserve democracy around the world.

I suppose it's natural to leave the fighting to others if you can, but what is particularly galling is the Canadian’s incessant criticism. Americans are used to having to fight everyone else's battles, but if we’re sending our young men and women to die in the place of Canadians, the least they could do is not subvert our efforts. ...

What is most baffling of all is that hundreds of Canadians were killed in the 9/11 attacks, and Canada was perfectly content to hold a few memorial services for their murdered countrymen and then quietly get back to life as usual. How can a nation be so devoid of emotion that they are incapable of getting angry enough to at least try to fight back? Apparently, sending a couple hundred soldiers to Afghanistan is enough to assuage their guilt over the lack of a backbone.

One can imagine the humiliation of Canadian World War 11 veterans who recall an earlier day when their country could be counted on to stand in the breach against the depredations of tyrants in Germany and Japan.

There was a time when Canadians were people you could depend on to cover your back. Whatever happened to that proud nation?

The Stupid Party

Unfortunately, it looks like the GOP is regressing back to it's natural state.

Saddam Must Die!

John Hawkins has it exactly right.

Yet Another AP Blunder

Dale Franks over at QandO Blog has noticed that the AP has apparently gained psychic powers, filing news reports before the actual events have taken place. Professionalism at work.

SF 180

It's been 71 days since Kerry promised on national TV to sign form SF-180 and release his military record to the public, like President Bush has.

While we're young, Senator.

Kerry Rides Whines Again

Never let it be said that Kerry ever let reality get in the way of his delusional conspiracy-mongering:
BOSTON (AP) - Many voters in last year's presidential election were denied access to the polls through trickery and intimidation, former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry told a voters' group Sunday.

"Last year too many people were denied their right to vote, too many who tried to vote were intimidated," the Massachusetts senator said at an event sponsored by the state League of Women Voters.
Interestingly, he cites absolutely no evidence whatsoever to back up his bold claim. He goes on to mention people being told to vote on Nov. 1 or so instead of Nov. 2. Even if we generously granted that it were true - and that would a big if - whoever fell for such a ploy is probably too dumb to be voting anyway. The Conservative Voice has more.

He still can't believe he lost.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Schiavo Neurologist

The Canada Free Press is reporting:
Years before he categorized Terri Schindler Schiavo in the persistent vegetative state, which led to her death by dehydration, neurologist Dr. Ronald Cranford was building the case for removing feeding tubes from society’s vulnerable.
But read on:
The United States has thousands or tens of thousands of patients in vegetative states; nobody knows for sure exactly how many," Cranford wrote in a 1997 Minneapolis Star Tribune opinion piece titled: When a feeding tube borders on the barbaric. (WorldNetDaily. Com, March 23, 2005). "But before long, this country will have several million patients with Alzheimer's dementia. The challenges and costs of maintaining vegetative state patients will pale in comparison to the problems presented by Alzheimer's disease.

"The answer, he suggested, was physician-assisted suicide."
A little more:
Could it be no-food-no-water, white-coated doctors, propelled by right-to-die activism, that is shaking the public's confidence in today's medical profession?

Alleged to have participated in states like California without courtesy of a legal license, Cranford openly applauds European values that embrace euthanasia. Countries like Belgium, where experts believe that 10 percent of all deaths now result from euthanasia or by drugs administered by doctors to hasten death.

The neurologist, who is a member of the board of directors of the Choice in Dying Society, worries how modern medicine offers a great potential for prolonging a dehumanizing existence for the patient.

Guess the Hippocratic oath was lost on him.

He blames "right-to-lifers" and "disability groups" for discouraging families from making the choice for euthanasia.

Cranford, right-to-die attorney George Felos and Florida circuit Judge George Greer are the three amigos, whose successful mission to deprive Terri Schiavo of food and water, ended in her death.

If Cranford views several million Alzheimer patients as grounds for physician-assisted "suicide", which group will he nominate next?
I suppose it's just a coincidence that the humane, compassionate Michael Schiavo picked Cranford and Felos as his experts, so to speak.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Tribute to the Pope Triggers Anger on the Left

I hope this feeling is not shared by those here in America who otherwise identify with the French Left: French flag tribute to Pope sparks left-wing anger.
Politicians in secular France squabbled over whether the government had been right to order flags lowered on public buildings in a sign of respect for Pope John Paul.

Socialist senator Jean-Luc Melenchon and Yves Contassot, a senior Green party member on the Paris City Council, said the government had abused its powers on Monday by ordering the official tribute to the Pope, who died on Saturday.

The Unsa union said the government was guilty of double standards having ordered schools to take part in the tribute to a religious leader after banning Muslim headscarves in state schools in a drive to keep them firmly secular.

"Let the Christians pay tribute to the head of their church, it's a private matter," Contassot told France Inter radio.

"Today, we have a government and a head of state who, clearly, for political reasons, are trying to take advantage of an issue that is a private matter," he said.

Lowering of flags on all state buildings was "totally out of place and at the limit of legality."
The original French sounded more like, "Le whaaa, le whaaaa, le pew...."

On another point, when did the ACLU open an office in Paris?

- mAc Chaos

"Why I Call Myself Conservative"

William F. Vallicella has written a great article over at The Conservative Philosopher about conservatism. Check it out, it's definitely worth the read.

- mAc Chaos

Fairy Tales

Mark Steyn doesn't buy the notion of a 'conservative crack-up' being pushed by certain people. I agree.

- mAc Chaos

UNSCAM UPDATE


More information keeps coming out about Kofi's involvement in the Oil for Food scam. He seems ignorant of this reality.
In his interim report on corruption in the United Nations' oil-for-food program, Paul Volcker found there wasn't enough evidence to prove U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan steered contracts to a Swiss firm that employed his son. That was enough for Annan to declare Volcker "has cleared me of any wrongdoing."

That view isn't universally shared.

"We did not exonerate Kofi Annan," Swiss organized crime expert Mark Pieth, one of Volcker's three investigators, told The Associated Press.

The Scotsman newspaper noted that Volcker faulted Annan for an "inadequate" inquiry when the oil-for-food scandal first broke.

"Under Mr. Annan, the U.N. allowed the food-for-oil program to degenerate into a corrupt empire in which Saddam Hussein bribed numerous U.N. and other diplomats to turn their backs while he looted his country and starved its people," the Scotsman said in an editorial.

In an editorial headlined: "Report Spells the End of Kofi Annan," the Montreal Gazette noted that Annan's then executive assistant destroyed three years worth of files on Oil for Food the day after the Security Council passed a resolution authorizing Volcker's inquiry.

"Just connect the dots," the newspaper said. "What a damning picture it is. Its reputation already in tatters, the U.N. stands today weaker than it ever was. Only major governance reforms can save the world body now, and the first order of reform business needs to be finding a credible replacement for Annan."

Volcker did his level best not to connect the dots.
Of course, with Volcker's many conflicts of interest, funding using Oil for Food money, and the UN's endless stonewalling, it's to be expected.

- mAc Chaos

Sunday, April 03, 2005

A Prestigious Community


Typically, the UN specializes in mucking up normally sound procedures with their bureaucratic ineptitude, much to the glee of the malign despots of the world. The Washington Post reports that over a quarter of the control of the UN Human Right's Commission lies in the hands of dictatorial states, champions of tyranny and genocide in an organization purportedly devoted to the protection of the helpless.
The world's most repressive countries hold more than a quarter of the seats in the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Commission and their presence has subverted the panel's mandate, a respected watchdog group reported yesterday.

In its annual report on the world's biggest human-rights abusers, Freedom House lists 18 countries as the "worst of the worst regimes" and notes that six of them -- China, Cuba, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Zimbabwe -- are members of the commission.

"Repressive governments enjoying [U.N. Human Rights Commission] membership work in concert and have successfully subverted the commission's mandate," Freedom House Executive Director Jennifer Windsor said.

"Rather than serving as the proper international forum for identifying and publicly censuring the world's most egregious human rights violators, the [commission] instead protects abusers, enabling them to sit in judgment of democratic states that honor and respect the rule of law," she said.
This should come as no surprise to anybody who has been following the UN's track record of these last few years. It goes directly to the heart of why it has so many problems, as it is an organization meant to undermine those who run it. And we wonder why Bush always gets a cold reception at the UN - when he speaks of liberating nations from tyrants, he's talking about half the audience!

- mAc Chaos

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Been Caught Spinnin'

You'd think with Pope John Paul II's death, some of his critics would give him a break. Or even demonstrate some even handedness in their treatment of the man.

The New York Times got caught doing what they do best (worst?) by the Power Line guys. Specifically, they had anti-Pope quotes ready to go but not only didn't bother to find anybody pro-Pope, but they published the story with “place quote here” markers intact.

Oops.

- mAc Chaos

Persistent Vegetative State Doesn't Mean Brain Death

There seems to be quite a common misconception bandied about during this entire Schiavo affair. Apparently there's a perception that to be in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) is equivalent to suffering brain death. "She's not there anymore!", people say, "Let her be free!". While that statement alone contains enough inconsistencies that would make one's head spin, let's just focus on her quality of health.

If a patient is in a PVS, she is most assuredly not brain dead. Somebody who is brain dead in this day and age is literally dead - as in, a corpse - there's nothing left, and they'll be buring you shortly as your body decays and has no life left in it whatsoever. A person with brain death will not even have enough life left in their brain to command the heart to circulate blood through the body.

This is actually a common misconception, and it isn't the fault of most people for thinking this way, and that reason is precisely why so many do. When the term PVS was first popularized, in the 80s, our technology was not at the level it is today. Back then, if you became PVS, then you were effectively brain dead. Gone, nothing to do be done about it, just let the old fellow drift away, and what have you. But just like the common cold used to be at one time, long ago, considered a grave ailment to have, the PVS no longer falls so closely to brain death. Why? It's because our technology has advanced, and conditions which were previously serious are not nearly as bad, just like the common cold today is a joke when it used to a serious problem. However, medicine and science often are only publicized when an initial breakthrough is made, so the gradual advancements are often left outside the public's view, which would explain why it is so commonly associated with brain death, which it used to be a few years ago.

So if you're in a persistent vegetative state today, it doesn't have the same meaning it did a few years ago. You're in a bad condition, then, but not that bad; you're assumed to have an amount of consciousness, no matter how minimal it is. The person is still there, though their awareness may be a retarded one or that of a one year old.

That means there's always hope, and people have recovered from such states.

Furthermore, the diagnoses are often not rendered in concrete, in that the person's condition is subject to change during the time of their care, and while we can test for external activity, there is no way to test whether or not something is aware or sentient, and because a person still maintains some degree of consciousness, we cannot tell or be sure how much it is. There's always a chance, sometimes a high one, that the person is aware of what is going on, or can feel pain.

Allow me to refer you to the accounting of Wesley J. Smith, who kept track of the case of Kate Adamson, a woman who, like Terri, was diagnosed as being forever doomed to reside in a persistent vegetative state. Like Terri, she had her feeding tube removed.

Except, it turns out, she had been retaining consciousness. Miraculously, she lived, and can tell us exactly what being dehydrated to death feels like.

She appeared on the O'Reilly Factor relatively recently, and this is what she had to say about her ordeal:
O'REILLY: When they took the feeding tube out, what went through your mind?

ADAMSON: When the feeding tube was turned off for eight days, I thought I was going insane. I was screaming out in my mind, "Don't you know I need to eat?" And even up until that point, I had been having a bagful of Ensure as my nourishment that was going through the feeding tube. At that point, it sounded pretty good. I just wanted something. The fact that I had nothing, the hunger pains overrode every thought I had.

O'REILLY: So you were feeling pain when they removed your tube?

ADAMSON: Yes. Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. To say that--especially when Michael [Schiavo] on national TV mentioned last week that it's a pretty painless thing to have the feeding tube removed--it is the exact opposite. It was sheer torture, Bill.

O'REILLY: It's just amazing.

ADAMSON: Sheer torture . . .

- mAc Chaos

Friday, April 01, 2005

Judges and the Courts

The problem with the process of the Schiavo case:
With all the ambiguity in diagnosing a brain-damaged person's state of mind, the law is unlikely to arrive at something we can call truth. The winner in court is usually the one with the most convincing medical witnesses, who speak with the greatest confidence and authority. One expert's opinion is pitted against another's, and the judge has to figure out which to believe.

This is not medicine's way. Consultants are not there to fight with one another but to collegially explain their differences. A reasonable approach is to get an independently named panel of physicians with no allegiance to either side and no discernible agendas. By itself, the adversarial approach offers little hope of bringing families to common ground. Indeed, back in 2002, the four dueling doctors chosen separately by Terri Schiavo's husband and her parents to offer the court evidence voted along party lines. That led of course to a split jury, not good enough when life--and death--are on the line.

- mAc Chaos

Quote of the Day

This was too good to pass up:
Eleanor Smith of Decatur, Georgia, sat on Tuesday in a motorized wheelchair in front of the hospice, baking in the sun, with a sign on her lap reading, "This agnostic liberal says 'Feed Terri."'

Her background was a far cry from the evangelical right wing more generally seen as the lobbying force behind the U.S. Congress' scramble over the weekend to draw up a special law to try to prolong Schiavo's life, and President Bush's decision to cut short a Texas vacation to sign it.

Smith, 65, had polio as a child and described herself as a lesbian and a liberal who had demonstrated before in support of the disabled and causes supported by the conservative establishment's archfoe, the American Civil Liberties Union.

"What drew me here is the horror of the idea of starving someone to death who's vulnerable and who has not asked that to happen," Smith said.

She said she thought that people who left written instructions to withhold medical treatment should have those wishes honored but that withholding water and nutrition from Terri Schiavo, who left no such written instructions, was tantamount to murder.

"At this point I would rather have a right-wing Christian decide my fate than an ACLU member," Smith said.

- mAc Chaos

Hentoff on Schiavo Case

There have been many on the left who have found deep moral and ethical problems with the Schiavo case. Among them, Tom Harkin, Jesse Jackson, and Ralph Nader, whom I never thought I would be agreeing with. Now, Nat Hentoff, who is a prominent liberal columnist at the ultra liberal Village Voice has written a very good column regarding the facts of the Schiavo death sentence, in his words.

- mAc Chaos