The Chapin Nation

Libya’s Fatal Blow to Axis of Evil

http://www.iranvajahan.net/cgi-bin/news.pl?l=en&y;=2003&m;=12&d;=21&a;=2

Quote:

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi took the decision to renounce all weapons of mass destruction (WMD) on Friday night, but while at first it was thought this only had implications for Libya it is now clear that his decision has scuppered a secret partnership between Libya, Iran and North Korea formed with the intention of developing an independent nuclear weapon.

Posted by Amber @ 6:45 PM

Good Grief!

Jonathan V Last of The Weekly Standard reports that there is a book out telling women Harvard Business School grads over 35 how to get a husband by learning what they did at Harvard Bus.

It’s hard to know where to start on this one because it is so pathetic and naive.

Does the author assume that a marriage is run on the same principles as a company?

Or even more bizarre, does she think that a company is run like a marriage?

The number of books and articles like this that are appearing suggests a profound, almost desperate, loneliness in women today.

Part of me frankly wants to gloat because of the way women have behaved over the past 35 years but I also try to be a decent human being.

And I don’t kick people when they are down, especially that far down.

Posted by Gus @ 4:41 PM

Feminists hate being women

This is an email I got. Notice her sterling standard of equality. These women hate being women.

“Dear Amber,

god, another student who has been “had” by Ayn Rand. boy you sound just

like I used to sound, before I figured out that Ayn Rand’s ideas, though

superficially rational-sounding, have very little practical application.

Take for instance your “Objectivist Sex” – you left out the very first part

of the equation which is that BEFORE women or men are women or men, they are

both human and of the same species. That is the a priori standard by which

they are both exactly the same. Whenever a being is separated from their

own humaness they are fodder for unjust discrimination.

(Witness the fact that slaves were not thought to be human. Nietzche and

Martin Luther also questioned whether women were actually human. This gave

them ammunition to treat women badly)

I think of myself as human first, woman second. Why do you think of people

as a gender before you think of them as human?

Human = Human

Human is Human

The sterling standard by which I judge gender justice and equality is, is

just ask any man if he would change places with a woman. No takers, baby!

Thus, based on YOUR rational, objectivist thinking one must deduce that men

and women are treated differently, therefore, not equally, based on a flawed

assumption that they are separate beings (by your definition) and not

equally human. Which is incorrect.

Check your premises. Please.

Posted by Amber @ 4:35 PM

A Woman’s Letter of Support.

[I blog this as it really is addressed to all of us]

I was a Scouting volunteer and have defended their decision to not accommodate gay leaders, I contribute regularly to the (CIW) Concerned Women for America and the NRA and among other activities I write local and national legislatures asking them to support conservative causes.

I believe there is hope for our country. And I thank MEN like you for your work

and I firmly believe more and more men and WOMEN are coming around and

making their voices heard. To see an example of something encouraging you should go out to the websites of conservative GOP groups on college campuses. One after another report an increasing amount of young people embracing conservative values to protect our boarders and preserve families – it brought

tears to my eyes.

I also came across your article on chivalry. I’ve worked with men for 18

years and have been a single mother for the last 7 years. It makes me

sad whenever I hear men vocalize similar views you expressed in your

article. For what it’s worth I can tell you I have never felt that an open

door or offer to change a flat tire,…etc,… is a put down. I’ve noticed

that fewer men put forth the effort and its sad. I’ve tried to instill those

gestures in my little boy and his father also does too. Yes,… I can say

his father is a good father to him and I openly admit that – my son

needs to hear his mother compliment his father.

[We thank you sincerely for your kind words–we could use them!]

Posted by Fire @ 7:16 AM

Biased Press Quotes of the Year.

Sure, there’s no leftist media. We just imagine it. Oh yeah, while Dan Rather solicits funds at Democratic Party gatherings in Texas.

This is a great link.

Thanks, Sandra in Costa Rica, for alerting me to its existence.

Here’s a sample:

Craig Kilborn: “Use the words compassionate and conservative in the same sentence while being neither ironic nor scornful.”

Actor/activist Tim Robbins: “That’s a tough one. Neither ironic nor scornful?”

Kilborn: “Yeah.”

Robbins: “Alright. F*** compassionate conservatives!”

Exchange in “5 Questions” segment on CBS’s Late Late Show, October 30. CBS bleeped the F-word.

Posted by Fire @ 7:01 AM

Daily Quiz: One Man in this Photo was GREAT–Can You Identify Him from the Clown on his Left?

Posted by Fire @ 7:29 PM

Speaking of Wasteful Government, here’s Mugged by the State.
It’s a new book out by Cato.
It’s a scandal–the misguided government policies and overzealous enforcement that have victimized ordinary Americans. That’s the story Randall Fitzgerald tells in Mugged by the State. Fitzgerald uncovers example after example of government harassment, including: a woman taken to jail for not wearing a seatbelt; a family diner seized under eminent domain laws; a couple who found army helicopters hovering over their land in a dispute over wetlands; and others.

Fitzgerald, a longtime reporter for Reader’s Digest, gives a voice to the countless Americans around the country whose freedoms are being violated by the very government that should be protecting them.

Posted by Fire @ 7:22 PM

Online Drugs–Conclusion, the Feds Just Suck.
The government is trying to ban online proscriptions.

I got it, why don’t these jerks just mind their own damn business? I know because they are the government and if they minded their own business then they’d have nothing to justify their existence. Give me the budget…so I can slash 3/4’s of it.

Posted by Fire @ 7:16 PM

Dick Morris Uber Alles.
Diamond Dick analysis as usual on the radicalization of the Democratic Party.

Hello Dean! Now go sit by McGovern and put the pointy head on top your head. The left is now chasing off all the moderates. Why? He quotes Yeats: the “worst are filled with a passionate intensity.” I see them everyday and they are.

Posted by Fire @ 7:10 PM

State targets school junk food

Schools have long tried to make up for revenue shortfalls by selling soda and junk food to students. Unfortunately, junkfood and playstations have made our kids into a bunch of fat asses. Fortunately, Illinois is tying to slimdown the little rolly pollies. Read the story here.

Posted by CommonSense @ 1:35 PM

Race and Schools

In Evanston, IL, a town on Chicago northern border where Volvo driving liberals live in the shadow of Northwestern Unversity, and which was the home of the prohibition movement, the school board is placing an importance on race not seen since Wallace ruled Alabama.

Next month the school board is going to vote on whether it should continue its policy of not allowing any school to have more than 60% of students coming from one racial group.

The concern orginated because black students don’t achieve at the same rate as white students. So some how, spending school board resources on busing is suppose to raise the level of black achievment. It’s unclear if school board officials considered spending busing resources on classroom resources instead. It’s also unclear if anyone bothered to figure out why black students achieve less. Maybe it’s because they are tired from their long commutes? Maybe it is a larger socialogical issue in that white parents place more of an emphasis on education than black parents? I’m not sure but I do now the emphasis on race seems to be grotesquely misplaced.

One thing is clear though. A five-month study by the district’s research department found that racial guidelines had no impact on achievement for pupils who are bused. If I were an Evanston tax payer I’d be asking “why are we spending money on this?”

Posted by CommonSense @ 1:31 PM

The War on Terror Continues

Afghanistan – check

Iraq – check

Iran – you are in the cross hairs

Ex-FBI chief ties Tehran to bombing

Posted by CommonSense @ 1:11 PM

The Fallacy of Universal Healthcare

Tom Balanoff, President, Service Employees International Union, Illinois Council, writes in today’s Chicago Tribune that everyone should have access to health care through national and universal coverage. It makes sense that he would write that. After all, the SEIU is the largest health-care union in the country.

Balanoff also writes that reform is the most effective way to bring coverage to everyone. He couldn’t be more correct. Unfortunately, he sites the hospital provider tax, recently passed by the Illinois General Assembly, as one such reform. With this bill, the state’s hospitals will be taxed, these new funds will be matched by federal Medicaid dollars, bringing more money back to Illinois hospitals than they will pay out.

Apparently, Balanoff’s solution for paying for healthcare is to shift the burden to the Federal Government, which in turn has to return to the States to fund the initiative. That seems rather short sided to me.

What Balanoff fails to recognize, and what is central to the debate over national healthcare, is that is not the government’s responsibility to ensure citizens are healthy. The reason health care exists, is so employers have healthy employees. The burden of healthcare therefore falls on the employer.

But it wouldn’t be prudent for the government to force employers to provide healthcare. Employers would certainly circumvent the cost by hiring more temporary employees as is widely done now.

The reform that Balanoff fails to call for should be in the insurance and hospital industries as well as educating the public to preventive actions, such as, eating less junk food. For example, the insurance industry needs to start paying for women’s birth control which is far cheaper than paying for a childbirth – especially when the birth isn’t planned. In my own healthcare experiences, in January 2003, I dealt with 5 separate billing departments at Northwestern University’s hospital for one surgical procedure. That means there are at least 5 jobs performing the task of 1. What could be more inefficient?

Furthermore, drug costs are high because U.S. drug companies, and ultimately U.S. consumers, pay for the R&D; that goes into effectively keeping the world healthy. Foreign governments subsidize the cost of the drugs which shifts the burden onto U.S. citizens. To lower our drug costs, U.S. drug companies should charge more to foreign countries and pass the benefit onto us.

We need to stop talking about universal healthcare and the “Government” footing the bill. Too many people are duped by this appeal to emotion/pocketbook without realizing, WE WILL have to ultimately foot the bill. However, it is a testament to the PR machines of socialist leaning interests that favor universal healthcare in that they have been able to separate the people from their government.

Posted by CommonSense @ 1:09 PM

Internet Better For Bush than Dean.

As I said a million times, we own the internet. Now, we know it’s true regardless of what the press says about Bush’s grassroots. We have superior “folksie” organizations as

Hugh Hewitt documents here.

Below are some banners that they recommend downloading from

BlogsforBush.

If you’re interested you go there and pick up some for friends and family.

Posted by Fire @ 5:26 AM

Posted by Fire @ 1:17 AM

Nancy “I always wanted to Marry Angry Harry” Pelosi.

Posted by Fire @ 7:57 PM

Master Robert vs. Post-Modernism.

[Fight for us all while in Education school brother]

Richard Dawkins, a successor to Charles Darwin in the field of Evolution, writes in his new book

A Devils Chaplain

about the word ‘postmodernism’; “Never once have I heard anything that even remotely approaches a usable, or even faintly coherent, definition.” The word may be bizarre but most of us have an idea what it implies. It is commonly associated with political correctness, multi-culturalism,

diversity and other liberal and now even mainstream agendas. It has permeated all of the social sciences and it’s impact is perhaps greatest in academia. It has arisen out of our elite institutions like Harvard and found it’s way into virtually all of our cultural, political and economic institutions. Finally it has made it’s way into our public schools and has begun to indoctrinate our children with it’s message. What exactly is this message and how accurate is it? Conservatives might say that postmodernism is simply the systematic vilification of white, of European descent, male, heterosexuals and the victimization of everyone else. At it’s worst these arguments are made in the name of postmodernism and a satisfying worldview of good and evil, oppressor and oppressed, villain and victim comes into focus. Most postmodernists would, however, deny this overly simplistic view of the philosophy. Everything is socially constructed, they would argue, so humans can be molded into any shape we may desire. In addition, since we see the world through language and language is a social construction than everything we say is a product of society. At times the intellectualization tries so hard to impress that it really becomes incomprehensible, but at it’s base these simplistically banal themes are always in place. Racism, sexism, dominance, capitalism and oppression are bad. At the heart of this basic worldview is the essential belief that we are all ‘blank slates’, or as Rousseau wrote ‘noble savages’. Without this supposition, postmodernism collapses from within. In this sense any scientific research or study that demonstrates any sort of human nature is monumentally threatening and must be disparaged. Of course this is natural, as careers in all of the social sciences are at stake. If we aren’t ‘blank slates’, than the whole ‘socially constructed’ argument falls to pieces. It is for this reason that science, itself, is usually demonized by post modernists. The scientific method and expected rigor in developing a hypothesis is the greatest threat. It is an unctuous concept and often defies being nailed down. This, of course, is partially the point. To define it would be to understand it, and to understand it would put these ideas in the awkward position of having to be proved. Studies would have to be done; research embarked upon. Postmodernism is so artfully slippery that it’s purveyor’s are often forced into uncomfortable arguments such as feminists supporting female castration in parts of the world because ‘who are we to impose our values on other cultures?’, another fundamental tenet of postmodernism. Respect and revulsion are constantly put at odds by this bizarre view of the world. The inability to define postmodernism is simultaneously it’s greatest strength (can’t be disproved if we don’t know what it is) and it’s greatest weakness (leads to contradictory, illogical arguments). It can, however, be a viciously dogmatic, intolerant, and probably incorrect view of the world.

[Which it absolutely is!]

Posted by Fire @ 7:45 PM

The Genius of P.G. Wodehouse.

Yeah, I was thinking of

Enoch and Gus when I searched for this all-time favorite

. Why not? Is there a smarter man than Roger Kimball alive? I have not met him if there is. Here he discusses the English master, who comes off as everyman through Kimball’s New Criterion skill and style:

Oscar Wilde said that he put his genius into his life and only his talent into his work. Wodehouse upped the ante and put everything into his work. Everyone who knew Wodehouse described him as excessively shy. When his wife set out to get a flat in New York, Wodehouse asked her to be sure it was on the ground floor because he never knew what to say to the lift boy. In 1939, Oxford gave him an honorary degree; when at a dinner following the ceremony the crowd began to shout “We want Wodehouse,” he just barely managed to get to his feet and mumble “thank you.”

Posted by Fire @ 7:34 PM

Teen Takes Nuggets, Gets a Suspension

In a suburban Detroit school district, a child caught stealing chicken nuggets, has been given a suspension for his actions. The nuggets, which are not part of the free lunch program, were stolen in an apparent attempt to impress those who actually pay for lunch. Some want to cottle the thief because of the apparent low self-esteem experienced as a result of the hand out. But not, Roger Stollak, professor of psychology at Michigan State University. He says teens need to be able to deal with the fact that other kids can afford better lunches, better shoes or better cars and asks: “Are our children so fragile they can’t handle that?”

Read the story here

.

Posted by CommonSense @ 7:25 PM

Need Arguments Against the Irrational Left? How about the Index of Economic Freedom.

Here’s the summary: the

USA is top dog

. Proud to be a part of this number as Jim Morrison might say. Here we are, at number 6 in the world, and thanks to Bush, the stats about our tax rates is dated information. It’s even better than depicted here (for now). Anyway, tax rates are the only element that appear unfavorable.

Compare ourselves to the villianous

Norwegians

with their extortionist tax rates and ruinous “welfare for all” outlook. And what of the soon-to-be Islamic Republic of France?

Check this out

–France has a 48.6% rate of government expenditure. Their new nickname is “toast.” F— them, let’s hold hands and look forward to their impending third world status. Farewell to all that.

Posted by Fire @ 7:21 PM

What’s the Superbowl?

If you’re like me, you think the Duff Bowl is more exciting than the Superbowl. Besides, I’m not about to miss my regular Sunday night hockey game for a football game. But now, I may even miss my hockey game thanks to the geniuses in the Playboy Marketing Dept. who have come up with the Lingerie Bowl. And while I would never advocate buying an American car, especially one as fuel ineffecient as a pick-up truck, I may advocate supporting Dodge if they decide to sponsor the event after all.

Posted by CommonSense @ 7:16 PM

Tolkien Final Word.
Here’s Lew Rockwell’s total package on the great, visionary author.

If there are any other middle earth geeks like me out there you’ll appreciate it. If not, sorry.

Posted by Fire @ 6:10 PM

Pigs Get Fat, Hogs Get Slaughtered

In 1994, while former Illinois Governor George Ryan was still the Secretary of State, a 42 pound tail light assembly fell off a truck outside of Milwaukee on I-94. The assembly bounced off the highway and punctured the gas tank of a van behind it, resulting in the death of 6 children. The driver of the truck spoke little or no English yet was some how driving with what appeared to be a valid Illinois drivers license.

The question was raised, how does someone who doesn’t speak English have a valid license?

That accident opened up an investigation known as Operation Safe Road that has resulted in 66 individuals being charged and 59 convictions of former Governor Ryan confidants and employees. Now, if things go correctly, there will be a 60th conviction. Governor Ryan himself has been indicted in a license for bribe scandal that led to a much wider investigation of state corruption.

Essentially, the Ryan political machine pressured low level State employees to raise campaign funds for their boss that equaled or exceeded at least half their pay. To do this, Secretary of State employees offered drivers licenses for a price. Some of the money was pocketed to supplement the state wage, but much of it found its way into Ryan’s $21.4 million war chest.

Over the years, it is estimated that more than 2000 Illinois drivers licenses were obtained illegally. At least two have been linked to fatal crashes outside of the state. Illinois officials have notified 26 states that 600 drivers might have illegal licenses.

Like all good political fund raising machines, the Ryan camp was not content with raising money through the license bureau of the Secretary of State’s office. Officials also accepted bribes for coveted low numbered license plates, state computer contracts, the leasing of state office space, and of all things, producing the vehicle registration stickers that every car must have. Ryan also accepted or gave illegal private loans connected to state business, as also received illegal cash payments, gifts, vacations, and personal services.

Unfortunately, Ryan is not the first Illinois official to take advantage of the public’s trust. Illinois has a long and colorful history of corruption. Prior to Ryan, 4 governors in the last 100 years have been indicted. Two were convicted and served time in prison. One governor may have avoided prison time by tampering with the jury at his trial. After the trial, some jury members wound up on the State payroll. In the 1850s, one escaped being charged with defrauding the state even though he pleaded no contest to the charges.

Corruption in Illinois is by no means limited to the State House. The Chicago City Council recently marked a minor milestone – 4 years without any indictments or convictions. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the City government. In 2000 the City Treasurer was the second person in a row hold that office and to be convicted of mishandling City funds. Cook County, in which Chicago resides, has seen it’s share of scandals with Treasurer being busted having a ghost payroll in 1998. Two suburban mayors in the last five years have lost their jobs because of Mob ties and a third has allegedly the same ties. And we cannot forget about the esteem Dan Rostenkowsi who was convicted of mail fraud as a U.S. Representative in 1996. Bill Clinton pardoned Rosty in 2000 who has yet to take responsibility for any of his actions.

Unfortunately, all the corruption in Illinois is far from being uncovered and not limited to one political party. Ryan spread a $12 billion public works project across the State. I’m pretty sure those contracts weren’t awarded on the merits of the bids. Illinois’ current governor is the son-in-law of the Chicago’s most powerful alderman, who does Da Mayor’s bidding, which means the Da Mayor has the Governor’s ear like never before. And the State’s Attorney General is the daughter of the leader of the State House Democrats, who happen to control the lower house.

But Ryan’s indictment does send a signal – that government corruption can go too far. And we have two heros to thank. Tammy Raynor and Tony Berlin, loyal Republican patronage workers, seethed at the corruption they saw in the Secretary of State’s office. It took 6 years for them to find their way around a web of crooked superiors who told them to look the other way before federal prosecutors listened to them. Fortunately, their perseverance paid off.

Thank you Tammy Raynor and Tony Berlin. We need more people like you to stand up and make sure those who are given the public’s trust, do not abuse that trust.

Posted by CommonSense @ 2:09 PM

Not in a rush to see Return of the King

I almost heaved when the advertisement showed Aragorn telling Galdolf “What does your heart tell you?”

Deja vu?

This was the same line from

The Phantom Menace

and it was cheesy then. (Another great line from TPM: “She was the best partner a man could have.”) Was this sentimentalist tripe necessary to make the film marketable? I honestly don’t think so. The coke-snorting Beverly Hills producers basically hijacked Tolkien’s book because they ran out of ideas for blockbuster films with heroes running away from explosions (although I won’t be surprised if I don’t see Frodo and Sam running away from such a scene at the end of RofK.)

Comparisons between LotR and moral battles we face today fall a little flat because the challenges faced today by most men lie in the ordinary. Frodo and Sam couldn’t deny they were in Mordor could they? Not with all those fumes rising from the pits. But many men and women have lived in denial because of the “boiling frog” syndrome: Gradually warming up a pot of water until the frog is boiled alive. Most people tolerate and even accept leftist principles provided they aren’t made too uncomfortable. If they get to watch, for example, films such as LotR after commuting an hour home each day from their comfortable office job then they aren’t giong to make too many waves.

Then again, if I want to make a cheesy comparsion, I could say that many of us here are similar to Frodo in that we didn’t choose the journey but it chose us. We saw the handwriting on the wall and couldn’t live in denial anymore. We decided that we were better off going to Mordor than waiting for it to come home to us. Wormtongues live in our universities, courtrooms, and nearly half of our elected officials. It’s not Saruman or Sauron we must beware, but him. He’s the true “terrorist” who scares people by threatening seniors that they will starve to death, or young people that “evil” corporations are out to enslave them, or women that all men are wife beaters and they must earn at least $100K per year if they are survive, or young white men with “white guilt”. That’s terrorism and it has been working just dandy for 40 years, hasn’t it? (If you want to see a funny Wormtongue film, check out “Bowling for Columbine.”)

Posted by PolishKnight @ 8:37 AM

John Rhys-Davies

Posted by Fire @ 10:48 PM

Goofy Fire’s Day #1 Collection of The Return of the King Media Reviews!

Just in case you wanted to peruse anything on the film as I read them avidly at the gym a couple of hours ago.

This one by John Miller is more a rave than a review.

I hope he’s right!

Posted by Fire @ 10:41 PM

Review#2: What Would Tolkein Have Thought of the Films?
Joseph Pearce, a J.R.R. expert, thinks not much due to his relentless perfectionism.

The faults he finds are worth examining:

Galadriel was modeled, says Tolkien, on his Catholic devotional reverence for the Blessed Virgin; Jackson transforms her into a disturbed and disturbing witch, or an electrifying and electrocuted wench. Faramir serves as an antidote to Boromir’s folly, a veritable saint and model of heroic virtue; Jackson turns him into an ignorant rogue and kidnapper. Treebeard embodies the power and wisdom of living tradition, both etymologically and ecclesiologically; Jackson makes him a buffoon who is hoodwinked by the hobbits.

Posted by Fire @ 10:36 PM

Review#3: Only Love from Jonah.

Diversity rules here at the Chapination as

Jonah Goldberg thinks this is the best installment of them all.

I wonder if his dog, Cosmo, whelped during the ending? He thinks if we’re not familiar with these films we should chain ourselves back up to the radiator. I agree, but mine, as a Lord of the Rings Geek, is a pretty biased opinion.

Posted by Fire @ 10:33 PM

Review#4: The Best One and Pride of the Ring.
This is sensational due to the superlative quotes from Gimli the Dwarf, aka John Rhys-Davies,

at a press junket last night. I don’t care if he is British, let’s force him to run for office here:

“I think that Tolkien says that some generations will be challenged. And if they do not rise to meet that challenge, they will lose their civilization. That does have a real resonance with me…You do realize that in this town [Hollywood], what I’ve been saying is rather like, sort of — oh well, I can’t find a comparable blasphemy … but we’ve got to get a bit serious…I am for dead white male culture.”

God Bless You My Welsh Brother!

Posted by Fire @ 10:25 PM

Review #5: Serious LTR Criticism.
Jon Last at the Standard really bashes the film.

Fittingly, he titles his views, “The End of the Ring.” I, of course, have no opinion since I probably won’t see it until the 30th.

Here’s a sampling of his displeasure:

Then there’s Frodo and Sam. There is a school of Tolkien readers that delights in imagining a homoerotic subtext between Frodo and his faithful servant. This interpretation is bunk, of course, and was mercifully absent from the first two episodes, but in “Return of the King” there are several occasions when it appears that Sam and Frodo are about to kiss, full on the mouth. On the last one, Frodo does kiss Sam, albeit on the forehead. Go figure.

Nowadays, anything that’s noble they try to sabotage. How sad.

Posted by Fire @ 10:19 PM

Review #6: To Mordor and Back.
Here’s Slate on the film.

I hate this website but it’s one heck of an ecstatic screed. This guy’s optimism is contagious.

Posted by Fire @ 10:13 PM

Toe to Toe with the Feministas.

Here’s Ray Blumhorst, regular Joe if there ever was one with his 29.5 years in the Californian Public Fools, with an

article asking the radical feminists to share their ill-gotten gains with the rest of us.

A good perspective if you ask me, even if the unreasonable can only be forced into accepting reason by force.

Posted by Fire @ 9:54 PM

Enoch Soames.

They say some of the greatest creativity produced today is generated by blogs like ours within the huge frontier of the internet.

For that reason, I’d like to mention Enoch Soames’ The Charlock’s Shade.

Other than the fact that he’s a profoundly educated man and works in the library of the British Museum, Mr. Soames does not seem much different from us in his intensity and zeal for life. Here’s how he describes himself:

Let us start at the beginning, my infancy. When I was but a babe, my eldest sister was bribed with a shilling an hour by my nurse to keep an eye on me, and see that I did not raise Cain. At the end of the first day she struck for one-and-six, and got it. We now pass to my boyhood. At an early age, I was sent to Eton, everybody predicting a bright career for me. But, it was not to be. At school, apart from general malevolence and particular cruelty, we were not vicious.

I should mention that Enoch would be proud to read that I just finished my first P.G. Wodehouse novel in May, and yes, it did concern Jeeves and Bertie. I enjoyed it quite a bit and discovered Wodehouse from our mutual hero, Roger Kimball. Thanks, Enoch.

Posted by Fire @ 3:41 PM

Senate Carpool “Forgets” To Pick Up Feingold Again

WASHINGTON, DC—U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) was forced to find an alternate means of transportation to work Monday, because his Senate carpool once again “forgot” to pick him up.

“Did we forget Feingold again?” Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) asked. “Gee, I don’t know how that happened. I guess we were running late and just flaked on it. Hmm, same thing happened last week.”

Feingold and Murkowski, along with senators Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Dick Durbin (D-IL), comprise the ride-sharing carpool formed three years ago to split the costs of commuting and reduce fuel waste and air pollution.

Monday marks the fourth time this month that the Wisconsin senator has been left behind. Feingold’s wife Mary had to drive him to the Capitol, where he arrived with just enough time to make roll call. Feingold said it was “not the way I like to start a morning.”

“Did we leave old Rusty behind?” asked Hagel, unable to suppress a giggle. “That’s a shame. Tell Rusty we’re sorry about that. It won’t happen again, on my word as a U.S. senator. Tell Rusty that, too.”

According to Feingold, last Thursday after work, Hagel pulled away without him. Feingold ran after the car for almost a block before the loss of a shoe forced him to stop.

For some reason, Feingold has never been left behind on a payday, when carpool members each chip in $53 for their shared spot in the Senate reserved parking lot.

“Look, none of us are out to get Rusty,” Nelson said. “That’s just silly. We get out on the road, we’re going, we’re doing our thing, and it feels like everyone’s in the car. The next thing we know, someone says, ‘Oopsie, where’s Feingold? Did we forget him again?'”

According to Feingold, other carpool members get out of the car when they reach his house, tacitly forcing him to sit in the middle of the backseat, rather than simply letting him slide in. Feingold also said he rarely gets to choose the radio station for the morning drive, despite having politely voiced his dislike for Fred Grandy and Andy Parks’ WMAL Morning Show several months ago. In addition, rather than allowing Feingold to wait inside his house, the group insists that he wait outside on the sidewalk in the morning, in order to save time.

“I don’t think Russ minds getting some fresh air in the morning,” Durbin said. “He’s certainly never said anything about it, if he does.”

Feingold said he found the group’s habit of excluding him from breakfast get-togethers to be the most personally hurtful of the slights.

“They always stop for something before they pick me up, even though there are a bunch of places between my house and work,” Feingold said. “When I ask them if they went somewhere together, they always say no, but one time they were all holding identical to-go cups from Krispy Kreme.”

According to Feingold, the carpool has excluded him from after-work get-togethers, as well. In November, just as the group was dropping Feingold off one evening, Durbin “suddenly remembered” that he needed to pick up a prescription at the drugstore near the Capitol, and the group headed off in that direction. The next day, Feingold said his carpool members appeared to be hungover and kept talking about the music at the Chi-Cha Lounge.

Although the other senators characterized him as “overly sensitive,” Feingold said he has “just about had it.”

“They think I’m oblivious to the fact that they don’t like me,” Feingold said. “Well, guess what? I don’t like them, either. I think they’re all stupid. If I weren’t so committed to conserving energy, I’d tell them all to take a flying leap.”

One Beltway insider noted that Feingold’s current carpool is the senator’s third in the past five years.

“I was carpooling with Russ in ’98,” Ron Wyden (D-OR) said. “Everyone else wanted to have a nice relaxing ride in, but Feingold would start up on campaign finance reform the second his seatbelt clicked. That guy would not shut up for a second.”

Posted by CommonSense @ 11:42 AM

How Can I Use Feminism To My Advantage?

Knowledge is power. In this competitive, male-dominated world, a woman must take advantage of all the resources at her disposal. Luckily, I found a way to take the idea that men and women should be socially, politically, and economically equal, and make it work for me. Now I’m subverting the dominant paradigm—and raking in the benefits!

I learned about feminism at least 10 years ago, but at that point, I still didn’t know how valuable it was. Of course, I believed that every woman had a right to an education, proper healthcare, political representation, and equal career opportunities, but I never saw the point in spending my valuable time working for the empowerment of all women.

All that changed when I started school at Macalester College and met Erica. Everyone in the dorm was afraid of Erica, because she attacked the racist and sexist welcome-week party. By the fourth day of classes, Erica was a dorm-wide celebrity. I heard girls talking about her in the bathroom, boys talking about her in the dining hall. Nobody even knew I existed.

What was the difference between Erica and me? You guessed it: feminism. Well, not for long, sister.

Once we became closer, Erica told me that she didn’t care about the stupid luau anyway. She had bigger things to worry about, like defending women against the so-called Right’s war against reproductive liberties. Her work at the Campus Coalition For Women sounded thrilling. I wanted to cash in on the centuries-long subjugation of my gender, too!

Many modern women are afraid to call themselves feminists. I often remind these weak, confused women of the words of Gloria Steinem: “In my heart, I think a woman has two choices: Either she’s a feminist or a masochist.” When I first read Steinem, she awoke ambitions I never knew I had. I wanted to be just like her—powerful, famous, and financially well off.

Since my awakening, I’ve memorized quotations from feminists of all stripes, from Betty Friedan to Susan Faludi. Decades of activists have left persuasive arguments in support of my campus group’s private study lounge in the student union. Hey, whatever works. Take that, International Students Club! Have fun studying in the library, with all the other losers who don’t have a dedicated study lounge.

Not all feminists have this attitude, and I’m relieved. If they did, feminism wouldn’t work half as well as it does. Most of the women in the network are fully committed to eradicating harmful gender stereotypes and redefining sexual archetypes. I am, too, whenever it places me in a favorable social position.

In high school, I was the head cheerleader, but when I got to college, that didn’t count anymore. Thank God I met Erica! She and her friends have taught me the fundament of feminist dialoguing: Nobody wants to be labeled a misogynist. Fewer still want to engage in a heated debate about whether The Matrix Revolutions’ Trinity subverts her meanings to those of the authorized males Morpheus and Nemo—but that didn’t stop me from doing so, loudly, while waiting in line to see Sylvia. And was Erica impressed! The more I educate my peers about the origins of sexist no(men)clature, the higher my position rises.

I’m a real leader in the women’s-studies program and have assumed authority over many women who actually care about universal contraceptive access and gender bias in textbooks. Case in point: I landed a coveted work-study position at the Women’s Health Action & Mobilization office. Meanwhile, my old high-school cheerleading teammate Kelly is working at the deli in the student union, where she’s forced to wear a hairnet. Kelly and I have nothing in common anymore. Can you believe that she’s actually in a sorority? I don’t even talk to her, except for that time I asked her how it feels to be a member of the campus date-rape club. She didn’t have an answer for that. She just handed me my pita sandwich, dumbstruck.

I’m dating Dylan, a woman who volunteers at the Coalition For Gay, Lesbian And Bi Rights For The Homeless. Sure, I’m not really a lesbian, but showing up at Take Back The Night with Dylan captured a lot of attention. When I was in the bathroom stall the other day, I heard two girls I didn’t even know talking about me. See, this feminism stuff works.

The thing that really surprised me, given the fundament of feminist dialoguing, is how easy it is to use feminism against fellow feminists. Last night at the student council meeting, I accused Angie Hopilite of being an “enemy of all women.” She said creating a lighted safe-walk on Campus Drive was a bad idea, because of the traffic. She said the funds should go to displaced, battered women at—surprise, surprise—the shelter where she volunteers. To gain the upper hand, I had to use a little bit of jargon. I accused Angie of supporting the coercionary practices of establishment feminism and noted that Jung said attempting social engineering through politics only results in reality being driven into the unconscious. The vote came down 11 to 1 in my favor. Take that, Angie. We’ll see who gets to take the all-expenses-paid trip to the WHAM national conference in D.C. this year.

Posted by CommonSense @ 11:16 AM

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Posted by Fire @ 6:00 AM

Woman Faces Charge for Selling Sex Toys

In Texas, a woman has been charged with obscenity, a misdemeanor, for selling sex toys at a private, “tupperware party” like gathering.

My question is, why is there even a law like this to begin with? Doesn’t the legislature have anything better to do? Are there not better ways to spend the states resources – to spend the TAXPAYERS money? People should be outraged that the government is wasting monies in this manner.

Posted by CommonSense @ 1:09 AM

No prescription for morning-after pill, panel urges
If it stops pregnancies, it will stop abortions. Think about it people.

December 16, 2003

BY LAURAN NEERGAARD ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON– Emergency contraception– the morning-after pill– should be available without a prescription, on pharmacy shelves next to the aspirin and cough medicine, government advisers said Tuesday.

The nation’s largest gynecologists group had urged the move, saying it would greatly increase women’s ability to get the pills in time to prevent pregnancy: within 72 hours of rape, contraceptive failure or just not using birth control.

Used widely, emergency contraception could cut in half the nation’s 3 million unintended pregnancies each year, and in turn prevent hundreds of thousands of abortions, proponents told scientific advisers to the Food and Drug Administration.

“There is a public health imperative to increase access to emergency contraception,” said Dr. Vivian Dickerson, president-elect of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

The FDA’s advisers agreed, on a 27-4 vote, that the Plan B morning-after pill should be sold over the counter. A key consideration, they cautioned, would be clearer wording on the package so that women understand:

Use it as soon as possible after unprotected sex. Although it’s highly effective for 72 hours– cutting a woman’s chance of getting pregnant by up to 89 percent– it works best in the first 24 hours.

Like other hormonal contraceptives, it does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.

It is a back-up contraceptive, and should not be used instead of routine birth control.

Posted by CommonSense @ 12:40 AM

It’s Tax Time!

The Cook County Board is currently in a fight with its president, John Stroger on the issue of raising taxes. Stroger is an old style Chicago politician. He likes to tax and spend and repeat. Fortunately, there are some reform minded board members, Democrats and the ever rare Republicans in this jack-ass controlled county, that have said enough is enough.

Our taxes are too high and Board spending is out of control. But Stroger doesn’t want to lose control. So while Board members are saying “get your house in order,” Stroger is trying to find a revenue source that will enable him to maintain the status quo. And he may have found his revenue source by proposing an 82 cent per pack increasefor cigarettes. Hey, it’s either that or a property tax increase so who’s going to disagree?

I’m going to disagree.

Cigarette taxes, and other “sin” taxes have been used across our country to pay for everything from sports stadiums to, well, the graft associated with Cook County. Studies have shown that sin taxes do what they are in many cases designed to do; that is reduce smoking while increasing revenue.

But what are we supposed to do when there are no smokers left which is the ultimate aim of the tax?

We’ll have to return to raising property taxes – the very thing that local governments dread doing.

It doesn’t make sense, on one hand the government is saying, smoke, we need the revenue. On the other hand the government is saying, don’t smoke, it’s financially burdensome to do so.

Are we to smoke or not smoke? That is the question.

There is also the very valid economic theory that smoking is actually beneficial to society because people die at earlier ages and therefore reduce medicaid and medicare spending. So why not lower the sin tax and puff away?

The bottom line is, whether a sin tax or a property tax, the government shouldn’t be increasing taxes. The government should learn to operate on a fixed revenue stream just like the citizens that give it legitimacy. And the government should stop telling us too opposing things.

Posted by CommonSense @ 12:35 AM

EPA plan would give power plants 15 years to reduce mercury
It’s a start. . .

The Bush administration on Monday proposed giving power plants up to 15 years to install new technology aimed solely at reducing mercury pollution.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s first-ever proposed controls on mercury pollution from power plants would require immediate action in some cases once they took effect by the end of 2004, senior EPA officials say. But they would be less than the limits envisioned by the Clinton administration, letting owners in some cases delay meeting requirements until 2018.

They would let industry meet the first six years’ goals by using pollution controls already installed to stem smog and acid rain.

“These actions represent the largest air reductions of any kind not specifically mandated by Congress,” said Mike Leavitt, the new EPA administrator.

EPA also proposed a measure for power plants to cut smog- and soot-forming chemicals from their smokestacks. Together, the programs are estimated to cost $5 billion or more for industry to implement.

The Bush administration mercury plan differs greatly from the Clinton administration approach.

Posted by CommonSense @ 11:52 PM

Jay Dog Pondering.
Here’s Nordlinger, with his always essential “Impromptus.”

They only come out a couple times a week but are always invaluable.

I was awfully glad that the White House has continued to call its tree the National Christmas Tree (whereas Congress calls its tree the Capitol Holiday Tree), and I congratulated George W. Bush for saying “Christmas” with something like reckless abandon — poor cultural ignoramus, he doesn’t know it’s just not done anymore.

Amen!

Posted by Fire @ 9:24 PM

Utopia’s Omnipresent Gulags.
Strong review here of three books that tell the squalid tale of the utopian, dehumanizing left.

What could be more indicative of the strivings for perfection than death and slavery? Think Treblinka, think Kolyma, and then shower the socialist left with what they truly deserve–well, don’t, there’s no point in your doing time.

Posted by Fire @ 9:18 PM

Wimps and Barbarians: The Sons of Murphy Brown.

The only conservative book review, The Claremont Review of Books, is back again this quarter.

Here’s as good an essay as you’ll find, and, luckily, it’s not about us.
It appears to them that, except for a few lucky members of their sex, most women today must choose between males who are whiny, incapable of making decisions, and in general of “acting like men,” or those who treat women roughly and are unreliable, unmannerly, and usually stupid.

Posted by Fire @ 9:02 PM

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Posted by Fire @ 8:25 PM

Fakhravar Badly Beaten Up

This is reason #4173 to turn our attention to Iran next and get rid of this ugly regime.

—–

Amir Abbas (Siavash) Fakhravar, jailed Iranian student and the subject of the recent Channel 4 documentary, Iran Uncovered, has been badly beaten up by other

criminal inmates. The prison authorities have refused to provide him medical treatment.

Fakhravar is kept in a cell with 25 other common criminals at the Qasr prison. All are dangerous prisoners jailed for serious offences. There are still 3000 prisoners kept at Qasr prison while the other 5000 have been moved to another prison.

It is a customary practice by Islamic Republic to keep political prisoners with common criminals and use these thugs to beat up political prisoners.

Fakhravar was visited by Shirin Ebadi before she left for Oslo to collect her Nobel peace prize. Fakhravar begged her to mention the plight of jailed Iranian

students, but Shirin Ebadi refused saying the speech was already written and sent off for translation. Fakhravar then reminded her that she could mention

the atrocities in her press interviews but again Shirin Ebadi refused saying she does not want to meddle in Iranian politics. Fakhravar then reminded Ebadi

that if she does not want to meddle in politics then she should not ask the Iranian people to participate in the next Islamic elections either which are due to be held in February where candidates are pre-selected and approved by the unelected Guardian Council before and after the “elections”.

Posted by Amber @ 6:10 PM

The Vatican Berates U.S. for Showing Brutal Dictator’s Pie Hole

My head is going to explode. Some jerkwad Cardinal is whining about the photos we showed of the Butcher of Baghdad. (Apparently, the photos made this idiot Cardinal feel ‘sorry’ for the mass murderer). When the Church can’t identify evil, it’s time to get a new church. The scandal and absolute disregard for Christlike behavior within that organization is enough to make even the most devout Catholic walk out of mass. Don’t get me wrong, Catholics are great people who deserve better. It’s their leaders that need a whipping. With pedophilia running rampant through the ranks, and obfuscating and deception following it, I am not in any mind to listen to a lecture from the perpetrators on treating people with respect and dignity. I wonder if the victims of priest abuse will ever be able to look at themselves with dignity and respect. SHUT UP AND CLEAN OUT YOUR CLOSETS BEFORE POINTING AT US you sad, sad excuse for moral leadership! Read the whole report here.

Visit me at The Absurd Report

Posted by Little @ 2:54 PM

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Posted by Fire @ 4:46 AM

Political News:
This short reporting the Spectator excels at.

Always interesting; always timely. Nader, Gore, Dean, what could be uglier?

Posted by Fire @ 4:39 AM

Democrat Says “Some of Us Really Are Unpatriotic.”
This one’s from the Journal

.

Instead, their platforms range from Howard Dean’s “Bush is the devil” to everybody else’s “I’ll make you rich, and Bush is quite similar to the devil.” Since President Bush is quite plainly not the devil, one wonders why anyone in the Democratic Party thinks this ploy will play with the general public.

I hope they don’t listen to this guy.

Posted by Fire @ 4:31 AM

Democrats + Socialists=Reality.
Here’s the spunky and skilled Lowell Ponte with some words to live by.

He appears once a week at frontpagemag.com and always writes thorough, intelligent, and entertaining reads. In this one we see what the CPUSA really thinks of the Democrats:

Beginning that year, it had such fear that a division among Leftist voters would re-elect Republican Ronald Reagan that the CPUSA simply told its members to vote for the Democratic Party candidate. It has done so ever since, acting not like its own political party but as a special interest group auxiliary of the Democratic Party.

Posted by Fire @ 4:25 AM

Looking at Pictures of Hotchicks Keeps You Young!

This being the conclusion of the “Friends of Yakov Bok” 2003 study at Princeton. You see, our man Yakov is 32 and looks 24 a phenomenon which has resulted in serious academic research. The study found that Yakov’s healthy interest in female depicted visual art has kept him a spry 24 y.o. in appearance. I asked if they’d study me too and the scholars were like, “No thanks. You stick with the Lord of the Rings stuff, oldster.” Go figure.

Posted by Fire @ 4:19 AM

Brooksie: Bush vs. Dean.

Guess who comes out the brightest in this comparison? Yep, Bush.

It’s David Brooks with reflections on Dean’s words after the capture of Saddam.
Dean is not a modern-day Woodrow Wilson. He is not a mushy idealist who dreams of a world government. Instead, he spoke of international institutions as if they were big versions of the National Governors Association, as places where pragmatic leaders can go to leverage their own resources and solve problems.

Thanks David!

Posted by Fire @ 4:14 AM

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Posted by Fire @ 4:10 AM

Review of “Return of the King.”
This is from the NYT

and I’m not making fun of it either. It’s a good review–except where they say the book was a recreation of the crusades. That’s not true, in my opinion.

Posted by Fire @ 4:09 AM

Wonderland…

The Media Research Council reports that Lesley Stahl in her interview with Donald Rumsfeld expressed great concern that Saddam Hussein would be treated decently and not tortured.

Secretary Rumsfeld, a gentleman, said that Saddam would be treated humanely.

A couple of thoughts about this episode.

One is that 400,000 bodies have been found so far in Iraq. It is a good bet that Saddam Hussein had something to do with this.

To express anything beyond miniscule concern for Saddam Hussein’s welfare right now is bizarre.

Not to be utterly outraged at what this man has done is almost inhuman in itself.

We have lost our capacity for human outrage in a specious kind of compassion that is supposed to be extended towards all, regardless of their actions.

The only thing Saddam Hussein deserves is justice.

Further I suggest that Mme Stahl be assigned stories about cooking asparagus or the problems of decorating homes in Malibu.

If memory serves right, it was Mme Stahl who was the reporter who provoked Colin Powell during the lull before Baghdad was carved up to say that she was talking, “Nonsense!” She said that there were too few troops in Iraq, the rear was vulnerable plus a danger of over-extended supply lines.

It is also interesting that people who express the noble concern for grotesque people never have to deal with them.

A convenient nobility.

Posted by Gus @ 8:55 PM

The Return of the King.

This week I anxiously await the film release of “The Return of the King,” which is the last installment in J.R.R. Tolkien’s majestic trilogy, The Lord of the Rings. The films, and the books upon which they are based, are a source of magnificent entertainment, but they are also analogous to the condition in which modern conservatives find themselves.

Several themes emerge that are invaluable in the present day. Foremost perhaps, is that evil is all around us. The source of evil is inexplicable. In the books, the characters cannot spend time worrying about the root cause or derivation of this evil. They have no time for philosophical meandering. They must accept its eternal existence and that evil is a force in need of destruction as opposed to negotiation.

The soon-to-be king, Aragorn, tells his men before the battle of Helm’s Deep that they should give no mercy to the enemy as none will be given to them. This is something that conservatives would do well to remember in the new millennium.

The acknowledgement that evil is innate and not “socially constructed” is something that separates conservatives from liberals. We know that a perfect world is not an achievable one. Therefore, we waste no energy battling for radical changes that will undoubtedly only make things worse. Unlike the utopians, we are sensible and satisfied with our lot in life.

Similar to the hobbits in the story, most conservatives did not ask to be placed in the midst of a culture war. The average conservative would like nothing better than to stay warm and comfortable within their hobbit hole and pay no attention to what goes on miles away. Yet, this is no longer possible. As Pippen learns in “The Two Towers,” the fires of destruction will come eventually to even the most innocuous creatures- whether you want them to or not.

One morning, many years ago, we conservatives awoke from our stable, meritocratic dreams to discover that our children were being “educated” to disdain us. We found out that our skin color is now the basis for our denigration and that our ancestors have been branded with the “O” of oppressor.

Surely we did not desire such treatment but feeling sorry for ourselves is counter -productive. In the same spirit of the Tolkien books, we must fight or die. The Riders of Rohan fought with their spears and swords; we must fight with our minds, voices, and pens.

The fact that we are reluctant warriors is undeniable. Most of us just want to be left alone, but we are gradually finding out that being left alone is not an option. The state now has a formal opinion on almost everything we do. The personal is being regulated through hate crimes legislation and speech codes so that what was once deemed private is now considered public.

No, there is nowhere to hide. Like it or not, we must man the barricades or be crushed under by the weight of those who despise us. The first step is not to passively accept your own demise. Argue and resist when others slander your race or sex or religion. Defend yourself and strike back. They’re not expecting it. Conservatives must realize that if we don’t protect ourselves no one else will.

The character of Gandalf tells Frodo that he did not chose the time of his birth and all that has been left to him is to make the best of his circumstances. The same is true with us. The old days are gone forever. Nothing we can do will reverse the damage that’s been done to our society. All we can do is stop the bleeding, which is a heck of a start.

Frodo is no different from any of us. There’s nothing special about him. He was given a challenge and he chose to meet it. The biggest and the strongest were incapable of accomplishing what Frodo did. His is an example from which we all can learn.

Treasuring who we are is an important first step on the way to victory. In “The Fellowship of the Ring,” the characters ride in boats down a river below huge stone statues of warriors from a past civilization. Just as their party is awed by the grandeur of the sculptures, so should we be by the historical giants that preceded us.

Western civilization boasts guardians every bit as intimidating and wondrous as the huge rock sentries in the film. James Joyce alone is worth more than all the new prattle celebrated in multicultural curriculums around the country put together. We would do well to recall his might when our children are lied to “that all cultures are similar.” They are not. Ours is superior. Only the west had James Joyce or Homer or Goethe or Shakespeare, and it is a sin to forget it.

In the middle of this week the “Return of the King” will be released but we also await the return of our own king in our own time. These are not ordinary days. Much is expected of us, whether or not we believe it. Pleasure is not the reason for existence. A life of cakes and ale is not why we are on this earth. Today, conservatives must not only defend our history and people, but G-d himself.

Outside the chapel where I pray there is a sign reading: “Ask for the Lord’s blessing but don’t expect him to do your work.” What could ring more true? He will not do our work. We have, like the characters in this film, been given a mission. If we choose not to accept it then our King will never return and it’ll be our own fault.

Posted by Fire @ 4:10 PM

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Posted by Fire @ 4:41 AM

Political Ramifications of Saddam in a Box.
Here’s Fred Barnes take on what the political fallout will be from Karl Marx, er-I mean Saddam’s, capture yesterday.

Will it hurt Dean? As much as Dow 10,000 or Nasdaq 2000 if not more. In this article we observe the utter vapidity of Dean’s attempts at leadership and foreign policy. What a ghost ship our country will turn into if he ever gets the keys to the car. Vote W in 2004–please.

Posted by Fire @ 4:38 AM

I, Walter Mondale, Traitorous Dog.

What a piece of…well, you know.

Here’s some of what he said to some college kids (of course):
“Former Vice President Walter Mondale accused President Bush on Friday of forcing democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan ‘at bayonet point’ — an approach creating more enemies for the United States than friends and doing little to prevent terrorism.” Mondale appears to have absorbed much of the wisdom of President Carter during his service as vice president.

The best part is these jerks saying “America’s foreign policy has failed” with what happened yesterday. F— you!

Posted by Fire @ 4:33 AM

The Ruins of Detroit: A Photo Essay.

I meant to email this to old Common Sense two weeks ago but forgot so I’ll blog it this morning.

What a stunning work! This is highly recommended.

When I lived there I thought abandoned buildings were intrinsic to all cities. It’s 13 web pages long and the NYC and Chicago pictures later on are wrong as those cities are full of life and future. But the Detroit stuff is unbelievable. Make sure you see the old Slavic Church and the Continental Motors plant. Wow!

Posted by Fire @ 4:28 AM

The Anti-Feminist Army Is Back.

Ian’s got clothing available with “AFA” on it as well as a soldier firing a gun. One of the logos is too hardcore to wear and not recommended in general but it’s quite industrious of him considering the brutal way he was taken off the net.

Posted by Fire @ 4:24 AM

I wonder what is Arabic for “Nuremburg Trials?”

Posted by CommonSense @ 12:23 AM

We nailed the bastard!

Yes, the situation is more complicated than that but for one sentence I am going to give vent to my visceral emotions.

One of the most poignant interviews before the Iraq war was done by John Burns of the New York Times on PBS.

He was interviewing a middle-aged Iraqi man whose “babies” (his word) had been taken from him and killed which was to be blamed on the Americans.

The interview, done in shadowy light and in soft voices concluded with the Iraqi man asking, “Where are the Americans?”

Now he knows.

And so does Saddam Hussein.

The tragedy is that we were too late to save his children and the hundreds of thousands of other victims of a true “mad man”.

At least he is now “out of business”.

Posted by Gus @ 7:39 PM

It’s a good day to be an American. G-d bless the U.S. troops that did the dirty work.

I’m curious what the “Bring the Troops Home Now” crowd has to say. The probably will sound like Porky Pig as the back peddle on their position.

Posted by CommonSense @ 4:33 PM

Saddam as Karl Marx.

Am I alone or did you too look at that picture of Saddam from his immediate capture and think “THAT’s MARX.” Take a look for yourself. Boy, I’d love to be there and go “Hello Rabbi!”

Posted by Fire @ 9:16 AM

Saddam Hussein Captured! Howard Dean Scared.

Well, not officially but he will be soon.

Congratulations to Bush and Blair and the people of the world.

Posted by Fire @ 9:09 AM

Pete Mayer Reveals More About Al-Qaedafornia.

Kalifornia DMV, Kangaroo courts, Polygraph lies, and DWO.
A while ago my mom – who lives in northern Cal – went through a little tangle with Johnny Law, and subsequently had to run an unconstitutional gauntlet of closed room trials and polygraph brow beating. She was pulled over the summer before last for running the red. It was hot that day, around 91F, and my mom’s old. I only have her side of the story but even if she is exaggerating (she is not prone to this type of behavior) her story is disturbing. She insists the light was still yellow… yeah sure mom. But that’s beside the point. After pulling her over and asking her to wait in her car, the police officer sat in his car, with the engine and A/C running, filling out paperwork. My mom had to wait in her car, in the heat – she didn’t dare restart her motor. When he finally approached her to hand her the ticket he decided to give her a little lecture. My mom asked him to spare the lecture and just give her the ticket since it was hot and she’s on med’s. Wrong move mom. The officer asked her if she – get this – needs an ambulance. No! I just need you to shut up and give me my damned ticket! She didn’t actually say that, that’s what I would have said… mom is very polite. He issued the ticket and everyone parted. Later she received a letter from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) – only then did she realize she was charged with DWO – Driving While Old. This type of legislation was originally (hell) spawned in Florida, and has spread like a cancer to our state. Admittedly, we have all experienced the “blue hair” getting on the freeway doing 30 mph – I always say that these types don’t get into many accidents, but they do cause a lot of ‘em. But look at reality: Bad drivers come in many flavors. Perhaps the practice of defensive driving gets in the way of our busy lives.

This type of legislation is a witch hunt complete with the inevitable witch trial. You see, anyone can anonymously accuse any geezer of being a threat to society and put them through the DMV’s proverbial wringer. You get to testify (read: “get grilled” here) by an employee of the DMV, not an elected or even appointed judge — just some guy. The whole trial (sic) gets taped and they eventually mail you the results. No facing your accuser, no jury of your peers – oh no – just a sentence of the following: a mandatory driving test, a written test, and – Bonus! – A Polygraph test. Since when does strapping an 80 year old grandmother to the quack devise known as the Polygraph (AKA “Lie Detector”) have anything, whatsoever, to do with her ability to proficiently drive a motor vehicle?

I hope you all know by now of the lie of the so-called lie detector. It allows traitors to go undetected, and condemns the innocent. Oh but Pete, it’s science! It’s crap and it’s been proven to be crap… at best it is a carnival side show, at worst a form of psychological torture.

Riddle me this: what gives this arm of the government the authority to conduct trials, and dispense punishment, with internally appointed employees posing as judges? “Driving is a privilege not a right” reads the CA driver’s hand book. Gee, that’s great. Forget the fact that the infrastructure, or lack there of, has no mass transit to really speak of down here (SF Bay area has ok mass-trans). While your at it, what kind of questions were asked? Mom has forgotten (or repressed) specifics by now. It seems we go to unbounded lengths to keep our streets and highways safe from the killer grandmas and grandpas that go tooling about – willy-nilly.

Happily, this story has a happy ending: My mum, on my advice, went to driving school. It raised her skills and confidence so that the driving test went swimmingly (the young tester put my mom at ease and complimented her driving, for this I am grateful). With the help of a CA drivers handbook that I marked up for her to study, she passed the written test easily. She also passed the polygraph since the man who conducted the test was “so nice” according to mom. I often wonder if the folks that have to implement the – to use the vernacular of the industry – “wet work” don’t realize the difficulty this all creates and take it a little easy. Mom is once again allowed to drive the two miles to my dad’s nursing home. Warm fuzzies all around.

As for the evil DMV? ‘Tis truly a unique example of a lowly state government department that was – and continues to be – left unrestrained. The thought of our tax dollars and registration fees funding this unconstitutional leviathan is truly a sickening one. Unrestrained, this beast that was originally intended to be a service for the people has been allowed to grow mutant limbs of legislative and judicial power that come in the form of punitive laws, and kangaroo courtrooms that have no place in a free/fair society. All by its own li’l-ol’ self and nobody seems to have a problem with that.…. So what would work here? Perhaps a wood stake or a crucifix?

On a final optimistic note, the Governor stopped the trebling of auto registration fees. Hizzoner (is that for gov’s or just mayors?) also stopped the legislation that would have entitled illegal aliens to drivers license access (read: virtual citizenship). In case you didn’t know, the license application form comes complete with a handy little register-to-vote tear-away at the bottom. The talking head from the DMZ said he could (would?) do nothing to verify the box marked US citizen. Arnold also, I just heard, played the trump card of “the people” – a la Reagan, during a palaver with state representatives (one-on-one at times) to bring them into line. I don’t necessarily agree with his borrowing money to get out of debt strategy, but 2 outa 3 ain’t bad.

Posted by Fire @ 9:05 AM