|One Nation, Under God...||
"The real democratic American ideal is, not that every man shall be on a level with every other man, but |
that every man shall have liberty to be what God made him, without hindrance." --Henry Ward Beecher
Check this cat out:
Saturday, July 20, 2002
Posted 9:30 PM by WiN
as obsessed with Lance Armstrong and the tour de France as this guy is?
(Have a good vacation, Kehaar)
Friday, July 19, 2002
Posted 11:02 AM by WiN
Oh, now *that's* low
And I like it.
Posted 8:41 AM by WiN
Now where did I put the number of that guy with the red heifer....
Poll: 53% of Israelis want third temple. [via Frontpage magazine]
Posted 7:28 AM by WiN
Obesity is Rampant...
in Federal Government. I'm not talking about those cheeseburger-wolfing bureaucrats, I'm talking about the government itself.
I'm currently reading a book called "The Conservative Revolution". It is a fascinating book for someone like me who came to be interested in politics relatively recently (last 10 years or so). Of course it talks about some events that happened long before my time, like Robert Taft and his principled conservative stands and the Goldwater revolution. I'm up to the Reagan years now, but the thing that really stands out to me is how different this country could have been if the culmination of the conservative revolution (the election of a conservative president) could have happened before such gargantuan wastes of taxpayer money like the Great Society programs, the Education Department and the EPA came into being. From the days of Taft up through the Contract with America, conservatives stood foursquare for the principle that the Federal Government should be as small as practicality would allow and still fulfill its' constitutional obligations. The Republican takeover of congress was predicated on promises of smaller, less costly government and the reduction of government intervention (the 'nanny state'). But where have we come since then?
Contrary to what many of them promised, Republicans in the legislature were soon swept up in the porkbarrel politics that the previously Democrat-controlled House and Senate had honed to perfection through their many years in power. Promises of shuttering Federal Agencies (most famously the Dept. of Education) were soon forgotten, and huge new bureaucracies were formed. As Bob Kerry famously observed, Bill Clinton is "an unusually good liar", but perhaps the biggest whopper he ever told was in his 1995 State of the Union address when he said "the era of Big Government is over". How wrong he was.
Now we have a President that the liberals brand as "hard-right" and "ultra-conservative" and he has yet to meet an appropriation, no matter how massive, that he didn't like. Today Deroy Murdock does a pretty good summary of just how far from its' "limited government" principles the leader of the Republican party has come.
Thursday, July 18, 2002
Posted 6:39 PM by WiN
There is a God
A record 135 days between college football's first and last games this year. YESSSS!
Posted 3:16 PM by WiN
I'm a newbie to blogging, and I've discovered that it's pretty hard to keep up with the ol' links. So I'm trying a new tactic. That's why my blogroll has been shrinking (and no, that's not something my wife is complaining about). I'm going to try to re-sort them and use blogroll for most of my linking, we'll see how it goes. If I stick your site in a category you don't think it belongs in, let me know and we'll hash it out.
Posted 11:38 AM by WiN
Transportation Dept. Shakeup
Dave Kopel reports in The Corner that the clueless git whose justification for not arming pilots was that "the pilot needs to concentrate on flying the plane" has submitted his resignation. Katheryn Jean Lopez helpfully suggests that his boss should be next in line.
Posted 11:30 AM by WiN
Remind me again, exactly what do I press to continue?
Posted 11:10 AM by WiN
Honey, I neutered the kid
Notice how 'mom' is doing the pachyderm equivalent of spewing your beverage through your nose. Link from Silflay Hraka.
Wednesday, July 17, 2002
Posted 8:18 PM by WiN
Unsportslike doesn't even BEGIN to describe it
I've been getting a lot of hits on Google for 'unsportslike', but this takes the cake. Caution: not for the weak of constitution.
Posted 3:00 PM by WiN
The more I read about government regulation, the more I am convinced that the cure is almost always worse than the disease. Paul Craig Roberts makes some great points about unintended consequences in his column today about proposed new SEC regulations. Some exerpts:
What is needed are more accounting principles and less SEC rule-making. But the process is moving in the other direction. The SEC wants to shorten the time corporations have to release quarterly statements from 45 to 30 days.And of course, the 'accounting fraud' no one in congress seems to want to talk about (except for Ron Paul):
Everyone knows that the real accounting fraud is in the government. The smoke and mirrors of government accounting are legendary. The Government Accounting Office has criticized government departments time and again for keeping such atrocious records that the departments cannot even be audited. If misleading taxpayers were an offense and carried the same penalties as misleading shareholders, the entire U.S. government would be locked away in prison.Didn't someone once say something about removing the plank from your own eye first?
Posted 1:08 PM by WiN
"When did you stop beating your wife?"
Big Media loves to ask Republicans those kind of questions. It's a slow news month, so let's invent a little scandal to liven things up a bit. You say W was involved in an SEC investigation? Too perfect....
All I can say is, I'm glad Brent Bozell has the stomach to keep a close enough eye on the media to expose their duplicity, because I sure don't.
Posted 12:57 PM by WiN
Thomas Explains it All
Thomas Sowell is one of my very favorite columnists. I am in awe of his ability to present concepts of economics in a way that is easy to understand and accessible to the layman (like myself).
After my little diatribe yesterday on third world kleptocracies and their unfortunate subjects, his column today was very interesting.
Posted 10:09 AM by WiN
'School Boucher' Program
For those of you who remain blissfully unaware, the U.S. state department makes it ridiculously easy for Saudi citizens to obtain an entrance visa. As you are probably aware, 15 of the 19 Sept. 11 highjackers were Saudis. National Review's Joel Mowbray spilled the beans on the easy visa program, dubbed "Visa Express", in this article. Naturally, this embarrassed the heck out of the state department. So, did they tighten security on the visa program? No, they just renamed it.
It would be laughable, except that Mowbray was 'detained' following a press briefing last Friday, presumably because he had used the contents of a leaked confidential memo to support his claim that the program had not ended but had simply been renamed - contrary to what State Bureau of Public Affairs Secretary Richard Boucher had told the press (and congress) following Mowbray's original article. For a good synopsis of the situation, read this. Be prepared to be miffed. These two senators seem to be.
Tuesday, July 16, 2002
Posted 3:01 PM by WiN
Posted 2:33 PM by WiN
Forty-six years, 6 months (and counting)....
I can't resist a few comments, however:
Matthew Spencer, a spokesman for Greenpeace, said: 'There will have to be concessions from the richer nations to the poorer ones or there will be fireworks.'Concessions? How about 'ransom money'. The industrialized world, the U.S. in particular, has poured billions into the third world with what could charitably be described as 'mixed results'. As Green points out, the real threat to the environment, such as it is, comes from these same third world countries - most of which have not improved one whit for all the handouts they have been given. Why? Because they continue to be run by corrupt, greedy thugocracies with long-discredited economic central planning schemes. If these WWF greenies really wanted to save the planet, they'd be sending their Birkenstock-shod minions to these economic hell-holes to show them how to run a market economy within a framework of private ownership, the rule of law and functioning democratic governments. African and South American countries with vast natural resource reserves could begin to foster privately-held industry to exploit those resources, providing jobs and government income to their citizens. Micro-loan programs could foster entrepreneurship within the general populace, and private land-ownership would encourage maximum efficiency in land usage. But they'd rather spend millions holding their conferences, pointing accusing fingers at prosperous economies while extorting them for more handouts.
And this whole notion of comparing consumption is ludicrous. Of course someone in America, with beaucoup disposable income and Mega-Wal-Marts in every podunk village and town is going to consume more than the family in Ethiopia who will be lucky to eat tonight because the kleptocracy has destroyed all viable forms of self-sufficient agriculture. And the whole 'inhabiting other planets' thing is just a bald-faced publicity stunt. For one one-thousandth of the money it would take to send the first manned craft to another planet, we could turn around the infant mortality rate in dozens of third-world countries, thereby drastically reducing the birthrate (see The Planned Miracle by June Goodfield). Don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen, either.
Posted 11:41 AM by WiN
Remind me again why we don't want the NEA educating our kids
Here's a depressing (to me, at least) post on one of them.
I'd love to set national education policy (a scary thought to some, I'm sure). Of course we'd instill in the little beggars a love for reading at an early age, along with the appropriate tools (can you say "Phonics"? Not if you think it sounds like "phone -icks"). Get them started figgerin in their head, too. Mathematical proofs tend to focus the mind, so lets expose them to some early on. But by all means, children growing up in and educated in the good ol U S of A need to learn some serious U.S. history and civics. Why, exactly, is this little 225-year-old experiment in (little r) republican government so darn successful? Why did America become the Place Where Everyone Wants to Come? Who were the Founders and how were they different from the ruling class of any previous era? And, for God's sake, what are the differences among capitalism, communism, socialism, fascism, monarchy and dictatorships. Be sure to point out, and make it perfectly clear, that communist governments have murdered a far greater number of their citizenry than any other form of government in the history of the world. I'd also be sure to explain, in terms of simple economics, how preventing people from enjoying the fruits of their labors and taking from the industrious to provide handouts to the lazy and incompetent leads to economic disaster. What have I missed?
Posted 9:49 AM by WiN
Yes, I'm blogchalking. Cool or lame? You decide.
Posted 8:41 AM by WiN
As I mentioned a few days back, N.Z. Bear of The Truth Laid Bear graciously agreed to add me his link-tracking experiment he calls the Blogosphere Ecosystem. Now in the Ecosystem, if no one else links to you you are classified as an 'Insignificant Microbe' Hurrumph. Actually, I don't contest the designation, as I am quite new in blogosphere terms and have, like, zero traffic. But, like anyone else, I'd love to have folks read my stuff (and even post comments). So I love this suggestion by a fellow microbe (who needs to be told about the little 'republish archives' trick (caffeinspiration via den Beste) - here's her top-level link). I will be scanning the microbe list and adding links as appropriate. Then we will all email bomb the Bear to get him to update the Ecosystem in order to show our new, higher status (j/k! really!)
Posted 6:55 AM by WiN
You can go NEXST
I think I'll just stick to Boeing products, thank you. One question: how do passengers board a vertical aircraft? Will the jetways look like the elevators that carry astronauts to the top of their rockets? Now that would be cool.
Monday, July 15, 2002
Posted 10:53 AM by WiN
Rangers Sign New DB
Um, the U.S. Rangers, that is. Pat Tillman has joined the Army. I remember seeing a story about this guy when he was in college, how he used to climb on top of the stadium lightpole so he could have some space. I thought, "This guy's a real fruitcake." Football's answer to Mark Fidrych. Well, if he follows through with his enlistment, which I don't doubt that he will, he has earned my undying admiration and respect. Osama, you are sooo toast. (Go here for some more stories on this topic. He apparently signed in late May.)
Posted 10:22 AM by WiN
Daschle-Gephardt Dems aka The Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight
Will the Harken "scandal" hurt Bush? nope
Posted 9:51 AM by WiN
A while back, I posted a link to a Kathleen Parker column calling for a more appropriate name for the September 11th terrorist attacks. For those who missed it (like me), here is her follow-up column on the subject. And no, none of my suggestions made the cut for column mention :P
Posted 8:33 AM by WiN
There is hope
There is so much demagogueing on race in the public arena these days, it's truly refreshing to see this article about a family that has the courage to think for themselves and make their own decisions on how they will personally deal with history.
The race pimps of today (Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakan, etc.) have built their kingdoms on the presumption of ongoing systematic racial animus that simply no longer exists in America today. They long ago reached the point where their tactics and bloviation serve only to sustain their fiefdoms, to the detriment of those whom they profess to serve.
Does racism still exist in America? Sure it does, in the hearts of millions of individuals of every race. But do systemic racial policies prevent minorities, especially blacks, from achieving their personal economic, social and spiritual goals? In my personal experience, they do not. I would argue that the number one most detrimental barrier to achieving those goals today is victim mentality, which is nurtured and reinforced by the Sharptons and Kweisi Mfume's who need America's black populous to continue to see themselves as the oppressed, and white authority figures as the oppressors. Those who encourage blacks to escape this mentality do them a far greater service than any 'affirmative action' program ever implemented.
William Holland and his family have my respect for assessing the facts for themselves, searching their own hearts and making the decisions that are right for them regardless of what the race-baiters say. I love this quote from Holland in response to one of them:
For many blacks, the notion of joining a group honoring the Confederacy that enslaved their ancestors is incomprehensible.First, the idea that we should just forget about the Confederacy and the Civil War is ludicrous. Yes, the south in general was pro-slavery, but there were other important philosophical issues involved, perhaps foremost among them the right of states to voluntarily secede from a union that they had voluntarily joined with the explicit understanding that secession was a viable option. Now that question has been resolved historically, but philosophically it is still a valid question IMHO. But the very best part is what Holland says "...you can't always sweep things under the carpet. At some point, you just have to sit down and talk about it. That's the best way you can resolve issues, period." A big 'amen' to that, brother. His brothers seem equally independent-minded (and correct). "I felt honored (when asked to join)," said John Holland, 47. "It's a good education to be able to get along with people from all walks of life. And history is history, so you go back in time and learn things." "A lot of people don't want to learn about it," said Ben Holland, a maintenance supervisor for the American Red Cross in Roanoke. "But you've got to relive history. How are you going to outline your future if you don't know about your past?" Everyone in this country, no matter what their race or beliefs, could learn from this courageous family. I wish them all the best and hope they will continue to speak out for what they believe.
Posted 7:43 AM by WiN
More on Pledge Case
As mentioned in some articles I linked to earlier, the girl whose father sued to prevent her from having to hear the Pledge of Allegiance at school because it was an unconstitutional endorsement of religion is actually a practicing Christian who doesn't mind saying the pledge. Last Thursday, her mother released a statement clarifying her daughter's position on the pledge, saying
"I was concerned that the American public would be led to believe that my daughter is an atheist or that she has been harmed by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, including the words 'one nation under God'.....We are practicing Christians and are active in our church."This article clarifies the mother's relationship with the father, who filed the suit, stating that they were never in fact married and that the mother has full custody. It also appears that the whole case may be entirely baseless given that the girl has no objections to saying the pledge.
Some legal experts said the mother's revelation that the girl herself willingly recites the pledge in class could cast doubts on the legitimacy of the case.
My Bloginality is INFP
AN OPEN LETTER IN SUPPORT OF THE PEOPLE OF IRAN FROM THE WEBLOGGING COMMUNITY
We are not politicians, nor are we generals. We hold no power to dispatch diplomats to negotiate; we can send no troops to defend those who choose to risk their lives in the cause of freedom.
What power we have is in our words, and in our thoughts. And it is that strength which we offer to the people of Iran on this day.
Across the diverse and often contentious world of weblogs, each of us has chosen to put aside our differences and come together today to declare our unanimity on the following simple principles:
- That the people of Iran are allies of free men and women everywhere in the world, and deserve to live under a government of their own choosing, which respects their own personal liberties
- That the current Iranian regime has failed to create a free and prosperous society, and attempts to mask its own failures by repression and tyranny
We do not presume to know what is best for the people of Iran; but we are firm in our conviction that the policies of the current government stand in the way of the Iranians ability to make those choices for themselves.
And so we urge our own governments to turn their attention to Iran. The leaders and diplomats of the world's democracies must be clear in their opposition to the repressive actions of the current Iranian regime, but even more importantly, must be clear in their support for the aspirations of the Iranian people.
And to the people of Iran, we say: You are not alone. We see your demonstrations in the streets; we hear of your newspapers falling to censorship; and we watch with anticipation as you join the community of the Internet in greater and greater numbers. Our hopes are with you in your struggle for freedom. We cannot and will not presume to tell you the correct path to freedom; that is for you to choose. But we look forward to the day when we can welcome your nation into the community of free societies of the world, for we know with deepest certainty that such a day will come
A personal note: I have only had one Iranian acquaintance in my life, but I definitely considered him a friend. While I was in college (second time round) I had a part-time job as a self-serve gas station attendant. The senior employee was an engineering student named Rahim. The school I attended had (and probably still has) a significant middle-eastern student population, a lot of them in engineering. This was also during a period (mid-eighties) when Iran was not a popular place to be from (Iatolla Khomeini era). Since he was obviously middle-eastern, people would sometimes ask him, "Where are you from?" to which he would reply, with a sly grin "Persia".
He was not very political, so the topic of Iranian politics rarely came up. Occasionally he would show me some propaganda sheet he had picked up on campus, written in Farsi, and translate some of it for me. He also delighted in the ridiculous political cartoons showing Uncle Sam in various uncomplimentary poses. He seemed to regard the whole thing as humorous, but he got very serious when he spoke on rare occasion about the danger his relations back home faced from the oppressive regime. He had married an American and intended to stay here, at least until things got better back home.
I can't count the number of times he helped me out with work-related situations like swapping shifts and taking over for me in emergency situations. I gladly did the same for him. He was especially enamored with a nice "fuzzbuster" I had that I used for my many trips to Dallas. He borrowed it for a couple of trips he had to make to El Paso, where a former professor was holding a term paper of his "hostage" and he was negotiating to have the paper approved in order to get credit for the course, which was holding up his degree. He returned from his trips singing the praises of the magical device.
I lost track of him, of course, after I quit the job but to this day he is the face of Iran to me - friendly, helpful and a little mischievous, with a heart of gold. I wish him and all the people of Iran good will and the blessings of freedom.