Sunday, March 27, 2005

Off the net fer a while

Going on a three week trip. Will blog as I am able. Have fun. Be safe. Don't let The Man get you down.

Oh. Sorry. Don't let the "gender neutral oppressive authority figure" get you down.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Why We Care

The sad drama of Terri Schiavo is drawing to a close. She is being starved and dehydrated out of a respect for her "rights." One man, a judge, passes sentence, and there is nothing anyone can do. The family cries out in frustration and anger, but their cries are drowned out by Michael Schiavo's grim insistence that Terri be left alone to die. Literally alone, as he bars family members from visiting.

But why do we care? Only a handful of people in this country knew Terri before this whole controversy began. Few if any cared that she lay in a hospice bed, fed with a tube, for the better part of 15 years. Why all of a sudden do we care what happens to her? What makes this one family, this one woman, of such sudden importance to us?

Because as far as this country may have slid morally, as relativistic as we've become, as much as the vocal minority would have us believe that life or death is a "choice" for each of us to make, deep down there is still that chivalrous core that motivates us to care for those who cannot care for themselves. There is still that sense of nobility and grace which leads us to defend the undefended, to nurture the forgotten, to rescue the forsaken.

Our national character has long been one of selfless sacrifice in the name of a higher cause. Men and women fight and die in our armed forces for an ideal of freedom seen in few other places in the world; but in an ever-growing number.

We risk our lives to rescue kittens from trees, and dogs trapped on icy ponds. Firefighters race into burning buildings in the often vain hopes of bringing those trapped and frightened souls back out alive.

And then we hear of a woman, mentally disabled, physically atrophied, who will be starved to death by a judicial order. Her husband locks out family and friends, and prevents any sort of therapy. There is only his undocumented assertion that she wouldn't want to live -- and more than a few smell a rat. Our sense of indignation rises to the surface. We see a helpless individual sentenced to death out of some misbegotten respect for a vauge and legally ephemeral "right to die."

The injustice of it offends us. The inhumanity of the methods infuritates us. The tragedy of it weighs heavily on our hearts. Why? Because we are human. Because we are still a good, and just, and noble people at our core, and we value life above all else.

We believe in the possibilites that one more day, one more medical miracle might bring. We cling to hope at times and in places where often it would seem no hope could survive. And as we cling to that last desparate hope of survival, even as the flames and smoke swirl around us, the fireman suddenly breaks through the door and carries us to safety. The police storm in and rescue the hostages. Our buddy shows up with another squad of Marines just as we fire our last round and expect to be overrun.

We are a people of hope, and we see that hope being denied, snuffed out for reasons no one can adequately explain or justify. We see the scar this decision will leave on our national psyche; and the damage to our national character will, we fear, be irreversible.

We care because we haven't yet forgotten how. Though now, perhaps as never before, that day looms near.

Good bye, Terri. Godspeed. We will miss you, if only for what you have shown us about ourselves.

Friday, March 25, 2005

We now interrupt Schiavo-gate for this public service announcement

Just a quick nod to one of my favorite sites - Mitchieville.

The Mayor of Michieville is a foul-mouthed, irreverant, morally twisted, and decidely mentally unbalanced individual who came to power through some highly suspect political skullduggery, under the table payola, and I suspect, some sort of sexual malfeasance perpetrated on the county clerk responsible for counting up the votes.

If that's your cup of tea, then his site is one I highly recommend.

He's also Canadian, but we won't hold that against him, will we?

I always feel a little guilty for visiting his site, and afterwards a little, well, dirty. But I can't seem to stop myself from going back. And I laugh my arse off the whole time. Give it a whirl, but don't say I didn't warn you...

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Stop him, before he kills again.

I would like to lead the way in a movement which calls for the good citizens of the state of Florida to...
Impeach Injustice Greer!

What are the
grounds for impeachment you ask? Well, among other things, "high crimes and misdemeanors" such as:

criminal negligence

"To meet the standard for criminal negligence, the act or omission must show a wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons"
malfeasance

"Misconduct or wrongdoing, especially by a public official."
negligent homocide

(1) . Negligent homicide is any unlawful homicide which is the result of simple negligence. An intent to kill or injure is not required. (2) Simple negligence. Simple negligence is the absence of due care, that is, an act or omission of a person who is under a duty to use due care which exhibits a lack of that degree of care of the safety of others which a reasonably careful person would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances.
...and manslaughter

Culpable negligence is a degree of carelessness greater than simple negligence. It is a negligent act or omission accompanied by a culpable disregard for the foresee-able consequences to others of that act or omission. Thus, the basis of a charge of involuntary manslaughter may be a negligent act or omission which, whe viewed in the light of human experience, might foreseeably result in the death of another, even though death would not necessarily be a natural and probable consequence of the act or omission.
are good for starters.! How about interfering with a federal subpeona, or

Deprival of due process?

"The Fourteenth Amendment requires due process of law for the deprival of "liberty," just as for deprival of "life," and there cannot constitutionally be a difference in the quality of the process based merely upon a supposed difference in the sanction involved.
Any way you slice it, this guy has disgraced his oath of office, and the public trust. If ever there was a legit candidate for impeachment, this guy is top of the list.

UPDATE:

More food for thought:
Schiavo Judge Greer Turned Blind Eye To Domestic Abuse In Past

Schiavo judge's other 'right-to-die' case

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Affirmative Action In Action

As an update to my post on Ann Coulter's article, I'd like to share an experience I had yesterday. I'm currently serving overseas, on a military base. They are conducting an anti-terrorism exercise here. As such, they've got hard-chargin' Marines manning the gates in pairs, with riot shotguns (presumably unloaded, as this IS just an exercise).

Anyway, as I'm heading out the gate yesterday, I look over, and one of the guards responsible for stopping runaway car-bombs or angry mobs with sticks and clubs is a grizzled, semi-tough-looking female...who is maybe 5'5", and probably a good 125 pounds max WITH her gear on. I can just imagine her throwing that shotgun into her shoulder and capping off a few rounds...in between having to stand back up after the recoil knocks her flat on her ass.

I've served with many fine and capable female Marines, some of whom I'd willingly take into combat; but putting a featherweight female behind the business end of an automatic shotgun at one of your main points of access just doesn't seem like the most rational of choices. And yet, as a member of that security force, she cannot be discriminated against, and so gets put on the duty roster with everyone else; regardless of the impact on combat effectiveness.

Another victory for feminism.

Thought for the nanosecond...

One has to wonder if Michael Schiavo's "new" wife/girlfriend/thang has considered filling out HER living will, as well as demanding a fairly ironclad prenup in the event of any tragic and untimely, uh, "accidental brain damage?"

One would, for her sake, certainly hope so.

I also wonder what it's like to be known as "the other woman" in this case? "Hey, aren't you Mike Schiavo's next victim fiance'? Be careful you don't 'slip and fall' in the shower. {{heh heh, wink, wink, nudge, nudge}}"

UPDATE:

The Therapist has once again plagiarized me echoed my sentiments in a scathingly humorous post, and takes it to the next level of delightful absurdity.

This just in...

Fox News had this headline today: Over 20 Dead in Mosul Violence. As you read the article, though, you discover that almost all of the 20 were bad guys.

Late Monday, attackers in Mosul, 225 miles northwest of Baghdad, ambushed a convoy carrying security forces officials, including top police chief Brig. Gen. Abu Al-Waled, sparking a gunbattle in front of a main mosque. Police killed 17 militants and captured 14, said Col. Wathiq Ali, deputy police commander.
My personal take on these kinds of stories is that it would be more intellectually honest to include such facts in the headline. For example, "17 Enemy Insurgents killed in Mosul " instead of just saying "20 killed in Mosul," which makes it sound like total chaos, with 20 poor Mosulians killed, bodies strewn in the street. While this may or may not be the case, in reality, it was 17 misguided martyrs dashing themselves on the bulwarks of an ever more robust and capable defense force.

I love the fact that being an "insurgent" in Iraq now probably makes you ineligible for life insurance due to your "high risk occupation." Mortality rates for insurgents attacking convoys is approaching better than 95%. Yee frickin' haw!

And then of course, there is the ready militia, local free Iraqis with zero tolerance for brigands:
Gunbattles broke out Tuesday in the streets of the southern Baghdad neighborhood of Dora, where militants riding in three cars opened fire on people shopping along a main thoroughfare, Interior Ministry officials said. Shopkeepers and residents returned fire, killing three assailants.
Git 'er duuuuuun! THAT'S what I'm talking about! I wonder how many drive-bys would happen here if more people fired back?

Monday, March 21, 2005

Now you know!

A great expostulation on commonly used blogslang, based on the the pretentious ostentation of Ltittle Green Footballs in claiming origination. If you've always wondered where those bizarre' words like "moonbat" came from, now you'll know!

(h/t to Betsy's Page for the link)

I hate when that happens.

D'oh!

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Still want to retire to Florida?

Well, the Powers That Be in that great state of Florida have decided that Terri Schiavo should be starved to death because, well, her (ex)husband wants her to.

The Therapist draws a darkly humorous parallel between Scott Peterson and Michael Schiavo, which rings disturbingly true. Why does one husband kill his wife and get The Chair, while another kils his wife, and gets a lump sum?

Florida has traditionally been a haven for retirees. The long standing Joke is that Palm Springs and the Florida Panhandle are the two most popular destinations for the Grey Brigade who want to wile away the final years of their lives in warm, sunny, retirement communities twittling away their childrens' inheritance.

Suddenly, Florida may not be safe for the geriatric set. Heaven forbid you have a stroke on the back nine of the Sunny Acres Golf course, and end up in the hospital with partial paralysis and slurred speech. Your wife jumps at the chance to cash in your life insurance, and gets Circuit Court Judge George Greer to declare you a burden on society, cutting off your food and water 'til you die of thirst and starvation.

I'm thinking the Senior Citizens' discount at the local multiplex won't make up for the risk that you'll slip in the shower, break a hip, and the Florida courts will swoop in and put a crimp in your oxygen hose.

Retire means to take out of circulation, not cut OFF the circulation.

Soon, Florida will no longer be know as the place people go to retire. It's where they will go to expire. Maybe Jack Kevorkian should "retire" there as well. I bet he'd make a killing.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Ann Coulter Hits another homer.

Freeze! I just had my nails done! by Ann Coulter

Ann goes off like a well-aimed rifle shot on the affirmative action crowd responsible for putting an underweight, female rent-a-cop with a hulking homocidal felon.

I love Ann's stuff, mostly because she's willing to say all those intolerant things like, well, the TRUTH.
I think I have an idea that would save money and lives: Have large men escort violent criminals. Admittedly, this approach would risk another wave of nausea and vomiting by female professors at Harvard. But there are also advantages to not pretending women are as strong as men, such as fewer dead people. Even a female math professor at Harvard should be able to run the numbers on this one.
Git 'em, girl. Once again, it becomes necessary to state the blindingly obvious in the hope of helping the blindingly clueless to, well, get a clue.

Acknowledging reality wouldn't be all bad for women. For one thing, they won't have to confront violent felons on methamphetamine. So that's good. Also, while a sane world would not employ 5-foot-tall grandmothers as law enforcement officers, a sane world would also not give full body-cavity searches to 5-foot-tall grandmothers at airports.
Whirred, sistah.

Yowza

Who knew? Freedom is a beautiful thing.

McCain-Feingold and the FEC - SCARRRRRRY!

Patterico's Pontifications is running a great series of blarticles on the McCain-Feingold, the FEC and political blogging. If this stuff doesn't water yer bowels, then you clearly don't understand what's coming down the tracks, or you could care less about freedom of speech.

The dude's a lawyer, so he has some credibility when it comes to the impacts and constitutionality of the law. You owe it to yourself to check it out.

Bloggin' for Dummies

Brainster's Blog has a great piece highlighting some of the finer points of blogging and getting quality traffic. Definitely worth a read for the serious blogosophizer.

He also has a great series of indepth articles on the Sinn Fein terrorists...er, activists visiting the US for "fundraising." Due to the outcry of folks like the Brain man, these losers are going away empty handed. Huzzah!

Git er DONE, Pat!

I'm from the Government, I'm here to endorse you.

Did anyone notice at what point the Liberal Loonies stopped using the phrase "a government establishment of religion" and switched to the watered down version of "a government endorsement of religion?" Perhaps this was the result of the fact that, after a while, even the wackiest moonbat had to sheepishly admit, if only to hisorher self, how utterly preposterous it was to suggest that a prayer before a football game or a religious icon on a government building equated to the establishment of a national religion, mandated by federal law.

On the other hand, this shift in terminology is perhaps even more insidious, because you can stuff a whole lot more stuff under the "endorsement" umbrella than you could the "establishment" umbrella.

Lost in the shuffle of all this terminological inexactitude, there is a very subtle and bizarre misapplication of a twisted, backhand logic. Let me break it down for you, Barney-style.

If allowing a display of Christian symbolism equates to a government endorsement of religion (a phrase with no historical reference), according to the Agnosticators, this is verrrrrbotten.

So, since the government cannot endorse relgion, and any link between govenment and religious displays, terms, or iconology (regardless of how tenuous or ridiculously farfetched) constitutes an endorsement or promotion of that religion's beliefs, it is therefore not allowed.

So then, doesn't it stand to reason that, by this logic, only those things that the government endorses are allowed? The government (rather than the public) determines what is or isn't okay to display on "public" ground, which by the way, was paid for with public tax dollars.

Apparently then, anything that the government, or its appointed representatives, cannot or does not endorse is impermissible.

In other words, I am only allowed to display those images, or engage in those activities that the ruling powers permit, and thus directly or indirectly endorse. More to the point, I have to ask my government if it's okay, and they, through judicial fiat, can allow or prevent any class of speech, activity or form expression as unacceptable.

And this is traditional American freedom how?

In fact, the Consitution clearly states that the government, with its ELECTED officials and DELEGATED powers, cannot, in any way, shape or form, impede the practice or free expression of religious beliefs. Why no one on the Loony Left can see this self-evident truth is beyond me.

However, under this Liberal Logic (an oxymoron, I know), our government is endorsing homosexuality, abortion, profane art, flag burning and body piercing...because it permits those.

Let's take this one step further into the realm of the Diversity wonks.

So, apparently it is morally wrong to be intolerant. It is also morally wrong to impose a moral judgement, or suggest that something is immoral. Uh, wait...yeah, anyway, moving on.

Okay, so it is wrong to suggest something is wrong. It is intolerant to suggest that promoting homosexuality to teens and preteens may actually harm their sexual development, rather than enhance it. Okay, got it.

So, in the name of diversity, I can only make statements, oral or written, which conform to a generally accepted median moral standard. In other words, only those statements (thoughts, idea, beliefs) which conform to the "permitted" viewpoint are allowed.

In other words, I must adhere to the party line. I must conform to a uniform standard. Any deviation from this is considered intolerant, and bears with it immediate and severe consequences.

So how is this diversity, when only one viewpoint is acceptable or allowed? Is not the inherent illogic of this position clearly evident to every rational person?

So this, then, is the liberal socialist Utopian vision. Only those things which the government expressely endorses are permitted. Only those viewpoints which adhere to the common standard are allowed. Violations of the aforementioned mandates will result in censure, loss of employment, lawsuits and fines. Even jail time under "hate crimes" legislation.

Hmmmm. Pop-quiz. What country does that sound like? Nazi Germany? Stalinist Russia? Communist China? North Korea?

We are headed there in a hurry folks, if we let the Loony Left have their way.

*** Welcome to visitors from Brainster! Thanks for stopping by. Coffee is on me. Donuts are a quarter.***

Monday, March 14, 2005

The Therapist - Just what the doctor ordered!

I love this site. The Doc has a scathing, dare I say caustic wit, and a unique talent for poking fun at the ridiculous and just plain stupid. Highly Recommended.

Check out his latest in the "Blame It On Society" category.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

"Sizing up blogs"

Deacon over at PowerLine has a great post on the rising role of blogging and media. Check it out.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Loony Leftist Wackos...er...Commentators...Ya gotta love 'em!

Maralyn Lois Polak - a name that just screams for some deeply politically incorrect gerrymandering. She's the columnist you "enjoy" reading in much the same way those wacked gothic druid wannabees "enjoy" hanging themselves from the basement ceiling by meathooks.

It's a pain so intense it gives you a headrush; and it feels so good when it's finally over.

A clearly paranoid, painfully far to the Left pseudo-editorialist who can ramble on for 14 column-inches and not actualy say anything, her missives tend to be arbitrary indictments of anything conservative, Republican, or, okay, I'll say it, rational.

Her latest dispeptic ramblings have something, I think {scrathes head in bemusement} to do with a jack-booted thugette (read: rather petite Federal Marshall) hammering on her door to dig up "some dirt" on a federal employee applying for a job.

Much ado is made about this a) blatant invasion of her fanatically held privacy, and b) some vague sense of disquiet that U.S. Marshalls are wasting their time and taxpayer's dollars, and I quote:
"...going door-to-door collecting gossip and trivia about job candidates when they could be, you should pardon the expression, pursuing more important issues like, um, the so-called War on Terror our country is, um, waging. "
Okay sweets, lemme clue you in on something: that is precisely what the aforementioned Marshall was doing.

In all likelihood, the honorable Mr. Sepulvada mentioned in your article was applying for a job requiring a Top Secret security clearance. Having had to apply for one myself, be assured that the application form has you spilling intimate personal details about yourself your mother probably doesn't even know.

And yes, oh paranoid one, as part of the background investigation, they do in fact interview family members, friends, work associates and neighbors, the names of whom you have provided as character refs.

Why? To ensure that you aren't a member of an at risk demographic for the potential compromise of classified information, you shrill harridan.

I encourage you to read her article in detail, if, that is, you're into semi-coherent blathering about the contents of her mail, the location of her office, and the ever-popular:
"wintry cabbage stew strewn with succulent chunks of something suspiciously resembling smoky meat. "
Really cuts to the crux of the matter, doesn't it?

Her parting comment? "Welcome to Police State, USA?" Well, if you call safeguarding our national security against high-risk individuals, well then yeah, I guess we have a police state. And have for the better part of 75 years.

Twit.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Stupid Stupid Stupid

White land grab policy has failed, Mugabe confesses
President Robert Mugabe confessed yesterday that millions of acres of prime land seized from Zimbabwe's white farmers are now lying empty and idle.
Apparently, old Land-grab Mugabe has just about run his country into the ground. His oh-so-enlightened policy of taking established and productive white farmers' lands at gunpoint, and giving it to inexperienced black non-farmers with no investment capital, has turned out -- lo and behold -- to be a really, really bad idea.
Mr Mugabe said this was the price that Zimbabwe would have to pay to redress the wrongs of the British colonial era, which left much of the best land in white hands. He claimed that the seizures would boost production and benefit millions of blacks.
And so how's that working out so far?
The Commercial Farmers' Union said that Zimbabwe grew only 850,000 tonnes of maize last year, not enough to meet domestic demand. In 1999, the last year before the land grab began, Zimbabwe grew 1.5 million tonnes. Then, Zimbabwe also earned about £263 million from tobacco exports. Last year, production had fallen by more than 70 per cent and earnings were down to £77 million.
Ah, the blistering clarity of hindsight.
The new farmers are unable to raise bank loans because their properties are formally owned by the government and they have no individual title deeds. Without loans, they cannot buy seed, fertiliser or farming equipment and the regime has broken a pledge to supply them with tools.
Well no shit, sherlock. I think it would be uniquely valuable for a broad slice of American socialist liberals to take a good long gander at the way Marxism has panned out in Zimbabwe. Collective farming under centralized government lien-holding and the "equitable distribution of wealth" without regard for ability or desire to actually USE THE LAND FOR FARMING. Everyone is equal now...equally between a rock and a hard place.

Another clarion example of how idealism has trumped common sense, to the detriment of the entire nation. Out of some nobly misguided and suitably vague desire to "redress the wrongs of the British colonial era, which left much of the best land in white hands" (what we here in the States would call reparations), Mugrabe sent out his thugs to basically dismantle a healthy economy. Action without thought, but hey, it "felt" like the right thing to do.

And as the liberals will tell you, it's all about how you feel -- facts and consequences be damned.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Your Papers, Please!

Grounded: Millionaire John Gilmore stays close to home while making a point about privacy
He's unable to travel because he refuses to present a government-approved ID

Gilmore is asking just how much citizens are giving up when they hand their driver's licenses to a third party, in this case an airline, where it is put into a database they cannot see, to meet a law that, as it turns out, they are not allowed to read.

When Congress passes a law, it is as often as not up to some agency to decide what that law means and how to enforce it. Usually, those regulations are available for people to examine, even challenge if they conflict with the Constitution.

This wasn't the case when Congress passed the Air Transportation Security Act of 1974. The Department of Transportation was instructed to hold close information that would "constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy" or "reveal trade secrets" or "be detrimental to the safety of persons traveling in air transportation."

When the responsibility for air travel safety was transferred to the newly created Transportation Safety Administration, which was in turn made a branch of the new Department of Homeland Security, the oversight for Sensitive Security Information went with it. The language in the Homeland Security Act was broadened, subtly but unmistakably, where SSI was concerned.

It could not be divulged if it would "be detrimental to the security of
transportation." "By removing any reference to persons or passengers, Congress has significantly broadened the scope of SSI authority," wrote Todd B. Tatelman, an attorney for the Congressional Research Office. Tatelman was asked by Congress last year to look at the implications of Gilmore's case.

Scary but true. Try to rent a hotel room without a credit card and driver's license. No more signing Mr & Mrs. John Smith in the hotel register.