Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Gore’s home consumes 20x the energy of the average American family

I’ll let the article speak for itself on this one. But I want to add one thing. When confronted with this information, here is what a Gore spokesman said:
Scoffed a former Gore adviser in response: "I think what you're seeing here is the last gasp of the global warming skeptics. They've completely lost the debate on the issue so now they're just attacking their most effective opponent."

Now, this person didn’t dispute the facts that were presented. He just took issue with those who mentioned these facts because it looks like an attack – a criticism – of Gore. They have no response, no defense, except for ‘shame on you for calling him a hypocrite with facts that support your claim’. This is how Liberals think and act. If it’s viewed as an attack then your gripe is somehow illegitimate. Personally, I think Gore must answer the questions these facts bring up, namely: Why is it OK for him to be an energy glutton but not for us “little people” who aren’t as important?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Texas Governor taking heat for vaccine requirement

Gov. Rick Perry has recently made a surprise move that has generated quite a backlash among his most solid supporters. His mandate involves the newly released HPV vaccine, and it would require all sixth grade girls to get the vaccine in order to attend public school. Sounds harmless on the surface, but this blogger (along with MANY Texas voters and lawmakers) has a big problem with it.

First, a little background. I’m a family practice physician, so I know a thing or two about this. HPV is a virus – or rather a group of viruses – that have been connected to cervical cancer. It is acquired through sexual intercourse and condoms have not shown to be protective. Like many cancer causing agents, the risk of cancer increases with exposure. So the more sex someone has and the more partners they have, the higher chance they have of acquiring one of these viruses. There are literally dozens of these viruses, but about a half dozen specifically are responsible for causing upwards of 70% of all cervical cancer. It’s these half dozen that were targeted with the vaccine. So, in theory, this vaccine would protect someone from viruses that are responsible for 70% of cervical cancers. There is not 100% protection. Someone who gets the vaccine still needs to have their Pap smear done and still needs to understand the risk of promiscuity. So, this vaccine is good, but it’s not going to eradicate cervical cancer like we did with smallpox.

Cervical cancer is still a problem, but it’s not the major problem that it once was. We screen for it with pap smear exams and we’ve become very good at detecting early precancerous changes and treating them before they develop into cancer. Deaths from cervical cancer have become more rare over the decades. Those at risk today are mainly people who don’t get pap smears and people who have a lot of sex with a lot of different people. Sounds un-PC, but it’s true. Slutty behavior in women puts them at higher risk for cervical cancer.

The prudent arguments against Perry involve public health issues. Is HPV a public health problem? Remember, we’re not talking about measles or chicken pox, things that one can acquire simply from being coughed on. No, HPV requires a little effort to obtain. Sending kids to school un-immunized won’t exactly threaten the public with a crippling epidemic. So toss that concern out. Then there’s cost. It’s the most expensive vaccine right now, who will pick up the bill? Then there are questions around Perry’s involvement with Merck. They contributed to his campaign. Is this a political favor on his part? Then there are medical questions still unanswered. This vaccine is brand new. It has passed FDA standards but there is no long term data on its safety. So is it safe to mandate all sixth graders to have if there is no threat of a raging epidemic?

But the big problem here is privacy infringement. Making a vaccine (something foreign injected into the body) mandatory is a major decision. Mandatory vaccination should be reserved to control diseases that pose a major threat to public health, namely the threat of a widespread epidemic. HPV poses no such threat. In fact, one can minimize their risk of HPV simply by practicing more conservative sexual behavior or, in a word, abstinence. I know a lot of Liberals just cringed because that word is a big no-no in liberal land, but once again we find that abstinence is an effective policy at disease control. Thus we arrive at the true crux of the matter. What we want in our secular-progressive moral relativistic world is the ability to have more inconsequential sex – and lots of it. It’s right there next to the right to no-fault divorce and the right to flush an unwanted fetus. We keep pushing things into law that seem to minimize any risk that comes with slutty behavior. That’s why I think this issue will stick around a while. That’s why many people in Texas are upset about this. The conservative base, and many of Perry’s supporters, don’t plan on raising their girls to be slutty and thus don’t see a pressing need to immunize them against this virus with a vaccine that hasn’t proven to be safe long-term and may, in an indirect way, encourage the slutty behavior that we teach against. We feel we have the right to make that choice, and our child’s public education shouldn’t be a factor in that decision. This is a big-time privacy issue and Perry is just flat out wrong on this one. Luckily, the state legislature will likely put a stop to his insanity, but again I don’t think this issue will go away. Many states will be involved in similar battles.

If you want to immunize your kid then fine, but don’t force me to do the same without a damn good reason. Perry fails to provide that reason. My kid won’t get this vaccine because I don’t see HPV as a threat to her. She may put herself at risk, but as her father I will not encourage that risk. When she turns 18, then she can make her own decisions, and so it is in America. People have the right to choose for themselves so long as what they choose does not put others at significant risk. Choosing not to have an HPV shot doesn’t put others at risk, while engaging in risky sexual behavior does in many ways that aren’t just limited to HPV. Abstinence can prevent many more diseases than mandatory immunization. So why don’t we target the risky sexual behavior? Why not have children sign an abstinence pledge prior to entering high school? Try passing that into law and see what happens.

Perry has overstepped his bounds in a big way and this blog will be watching the state legislature. Those who vote in support of the Governor, and against your privacy rights, will be listed on this site.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Blair fears US action in Iran

I respect and admire Tony Blair. He has been a strong ally, as have the majority of the British people, and for this blogger that is very much appreciated. It seemed as though the Brits, along with the Aussies, got it. They knew the danger we faced. They knew what is at stake in this war. So that's why this story puzzles me. Blair has expressed concern about the US taking military action against Iran. He has stated this publicly while at the same time stating that military action should not be considered. Interestingly enough, this is also the same day the UN announces that Iran is actually stepping UP it's nuclear program despite all the international diplomatic pressure to do otherwise. What we have is a very dangerous and complicated situation.

So let me try and simplify it. Every law abiding freedom loving human on this planet surely has to agree that allowing Iran to obtain nuclear weapons is a bad idea. This includes France and Britain, both of which could be in reach of an Iranian long range missile capped with a nuclear warhead at the control of a schizomaniacal egotist. Anyone disagree? Okay. And I think we can all agree that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons aggressively, the UN has just announced this. You bozos who believe that this is about them getting power to run their dishwashers need to get off of it because schizomaniacal egotists have no interest in improving the quality of life of their people. Remember, this is the same guy who has openly called for Israel's anniliation, followed by America's. This is the same guy who believes he has been tasked by god to bring about armageddon. Again, letting him get nukes is a BAD IDEA.

So back to Blair's comments. I agree, along with every sane individual in this country and on this planet, that ALL diplomatic options should be pursued actively and exhausted before resorting to military action. That has always been the case. It was the case with Iraq, both times, with Vietnam and Korea, with Japan, with Spain, with Mexico, even with the Confederacy. Lincoln even promised NOT to end slavery in order to avoid war. This is the ultimate in diplomatic concessions. We have always pursued diplomatic solutions first. Nothing has changed, and it never will. The Left and Right can all agree on this, so stop arguing it, you're all right. But what we have to realize is that much of our bargaining power comes from the mere possibility of our military might. Once you say "take it off the table" then you've just flushed all possible hope of achieving a diplomatic solution. It's the proverbial "shoot yourself in the foot" scenario. Iran wants nukes, badly. They will not give in to diplomatic pressure unless that pressure is backed with the threat of military action. If we say give up your nukes or else something will happen but it won't be a military attack, then we'll be laughed out of Tehran. It was TR who said walk softly and carry a big stick. They won't listen to us if we put the stick down.

If Iraq helped with anything, it showed that we ARE willing to back up our demands with military action if needed. It showed that we may NOT be the paper tiger they think we are. If nothing else it gave us a little bargaining power to stop Iran and other lunatics from getting nukes, but now we don't even have that because every Democrat, many of Bush's staff and now even the Brits are saying the military option is not an option. Folks, we've already lost the negotiation. Now that we've taken the military option away we're doomed to an even worse eventual military conflict, only now it's more likely to start with a preemptive Iranian nuclear strike. If we want to avoid war, we have to at least appear to not fear it. THAT'S what helped bring down the Soviet Union. Even JFK knew this and applied it brilliantly during the Cuban Missile Crisis. If we look like we don't have the guts to back up what we say, then what we say instantly becomes meaningless. Stop me if I'm using a little too much common sense.

The Iraq War was brought about in large part because most of the UN was saying the military option is not an option. Hussein called their bluff, and now we're the ones labeled as war mongers. Now, Iran is repeating the exact same scenario and instead of telling Ahmadinejad that he will suffer the same fate as Hussein, we tell him that we aren't willing to go through with it. How insane is this? Do we just want to see what he'll do with the bomb? Hasn't he already told us what he'll do with it? This will likely be a moot point because I honestly believe we have already failed with Iran. We have ruined any chance we had at achieving a peaceful diplomatic solution to the problem. I honestly believe that Iran will acquire nuclear weapons. What I don't know, and what I fear, is what happens next? Does anyone have the guts to answer that?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Socialist Republic of France?

This link is to an article about one of the two leading nominees for the French Presidency, Ms Segolene, and her platform of obvious socialist policy. It appears she is gaining in the polls and poses a very real threat to win that election. Ever since the demise of the Soviet Union the French, along with much of Western Europe, has been gradually migrating to socialist policies, but if Segolene wins the election that migration will be complete. France will, even if unofficially, be a socialist nation (if they aren’t already). The sinking French economy seems to be bothering no one, so it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if they chose this path.

Here’s a quote from a recent speech: "The unfettered rein of financial profit is intolerable for the general interest," she said. "You told me simple truths. You told me you wanted fewer income inequalities. You told me you wanted to tax capital more than labor. We will do that reform."

The unfettered rein of financial profit is wanted fewer income inequalities…


We’ll keep an eye on this. It’s ironic that France survived two world wars, millions of lives lost, while defending their basic freedoms, and in the end will eventually willingly choose to relinquish the very freedoms they fought, along with many allies, to defend. What a shame.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Obama's book - A traditionalist's opinion

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to read (or actually hear) Senator Barak Obama's book The Audacity of Hope. I have included much of this opinion on the book on Amazon as a review. The purpose of reading the book was to simply know more about the man who may be our next President. So I pushed aside any preconceived notions I may have had and listened to Obama read to me as I traveled along I-49 en route to New Orleans with an open mind. This is what I learned.

First, Obama is a genuine person just as I suspected. He is a family man devoted to his wife and children. He loves his country. He is proud of his heritage and his accomplishments, but he is hardly boastful. He is honest. He has a lot of ideas for making America a better place. And, he has a realistic and accurate perception of the political atmosphere in Washington. There are too many trivial things keeping us from tackling very un-trivial issues. Obama knows that and he isn't afraid to point it out. That is perhaps what most appeals to conservatives about him. His ideas are what appeals most to progressives. And, politically speaking, he is very far left.

In the interest of space, I will address just a few key issues he mentions. He is pro-immigration. He points this out by discussing an encounter with a Latino family on the campaign trail. It was touching and sweet, but the issue of illegal immigration and the national security threat it poses (and the accompanying economic drain) was left open. I don't know what he would do to secure our borders. He believes in the threat of global warming and wants to eliminate our addiction to foreign oil. Sounds great. But there wasn't much detail about how he would do it and how it would affect us, the voters, except by saying that he would stop government subsidies to oil companies and spend more on researching alternative fuels. He believes in government sponsored health care and described how he wanted all Americans to have health insurance. Again, it sounded wonderful, until he described how he would pay for it. It sounded incredibly familiar - by "rolling back" the Bush tax cuts on the top 1% of wealthy Americans. That's when he officially lost my vote. Either he is lying, or he simply doesn't understand just how expensive this sort of plan would truly be. The average Australian pays 49% income tax for their government health care. Hillary Clinton's plan in the 90s would have called for at least that much. I don't believe Obama is a liar, so I'll chalk it up to a simple inexperienced underestimate. Either way, I feel Barak Obama would raise my taxes significantly. There wasn't much about the war on terror and the global threat of Islamofascism. The omission was quite troubling.

All in all I'm glad I read the book. I've read many books on Hillary Clinton and, compared to her, Obama is a far better choice. I disagree with him politically on just about every issue, but I share his concern for America's future and his genuine love of family and country. He is a decent person with true intent. I wouldn't have a problem trusting him, unlike most other Democrats in the race, but I do have a problem with his ideas. As much as I respect him, I simply don't think his plans are the best course for America.
Australian PM critical of Obama

Prime Minister John Howard of Australia, a strong ally of the Bush administration’s war on terror, has openly criticized Barak Obama’s "plan" to retreat from Iraq (retreat is my word, not Howard’s or Obama’s). He says that such a policy would amount to defeat of the US in Iraq, which would be contrary to Australia’s national interest. It’s a good point, and fortunately Howard has not backed away from it, stating that he refuses to retract what he firmly believes. Good for him. A politician with backbone – something truly rare. Perhaps our political leaders could learn a thing or two from the Aussies.

Naturally, Obama takes exception to this. I’m not sure why. Obama has made it clear that he does plan to withdraw troops immediately should he win the election. And how can he argue the fact that such a withdrawal amounts to defeat for the US? And how could he argue that defeat for the US is not a good thing for Australia, or any other Western civilization? Yet, he seems to resent the implication that he is a defeatist. Well, get used to it Mr. Obama, because that’s what you are. I don’t have a problem with any politician stating their plan clearly, but they should be prepared for fair criticism and prepared to defend their plan - and it seems that Obama has trouble accepting such criticism. So I’m wondering exactly what it is about Howard’s comments that bug Obama? Has Howard stated anything untrue?

What really bothers me about Obama’s response is his below-the-belt shot at Australia’s contribution to the war. Australia is one of the few countries who has stood by us in this conflict. They are one of the few who recognize the importance of victory in Iraq and the vital strategic importance that nation holds in the middle east. They have 1400 troops helping us out. Yes, we have 140,000 – or one hundred times their commitment. But, Australia is a nation of 20 million compared to our 300 million. So, percentage-wise, the troop commitment is comparable. Yet, Obama seems to use the "money where your mouth is" argument and suggests that Howard should commit another 20,000 troops if he believes in the cause so much. I know what he’s saying, and I’m not going to spin the guy’s words around him. However, his comment was in poor taste and I’m sure the people of Australia don’t appreciate it.

It’s just funny how Bush has been harshly criticized for alienating our allies, yet Obama can get away with stuff like this. Maybe in the eyes of the Left "ally" means only those nations that support THEIR policy and oppose Bush’s.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Arizona teens feeling crunch of minimum wage increase.

Last month, the state of Arizona passed an increase in minimum wage from 5.15 and our to 6.75. Obviously, this is a significant increase and the same thing that Congress has called for. The idea - help the poor, help those at entry level positions who can’t afford the necessities of life. The reality – teenage workers are being laid off, getting hours cut back, and business owners are passing whatever increased costs they see to the consumer. Now, the person who wined that they couldn’t even afford to buy school supplies for their kid may get more money for making pizzas, but will end up paying more for those school supplies. At best, it’s a wash. But the true impact is seen in the job market, where unemployment will surely start to rise. So are we doing any good here?

Now is when I get on my soap box and sound cold and insensitive. First, for the person who claims they can’t buy school supplies – I’d like to take a quick tour through their house just to see what kind of luxuries they’ve chosen to purchase instead of school supplies. When statistics show that the average person "below the poverty line" can still afford cable TV, it makes me a little skeptical. I wonder if this person smokes. I wonder what kind of vehicle this person drives. What kind of clothes they wear. I’m not denying that poverty exists in America, of course it does. But the truth is that most Americans have no idea what true poverty really is. School supplies? Please, I can go to the dollar store and get enough of the basics for about ten bucks. Any working American can find a way to squeeze ten bucks out of their budget. So what people really mean when they say they can’t afford these things is that they want someone else, ie The Government, to pay for them. Call me mean, cold, heartless, blah blah blah – but I’ve seen way too many people abuse their government entitlements in the name of "just trying to get by and doing the best I can." In the end, we all pay the price.

There’s a name for a system that demands all citizens chip in and pay for the common good so that all citizens can become more equal financially – it’s called socialism. Let me remind you of a little secret – Socialism doesn’t work. How many socialist governments have to implode before we, as human beings, acknowledge that it’s a failed system and should never be tried again? Look how long it’s taken Russia’s economy to recover from their prior socialist background. Are we wanting to go through that? Let’s face it, raising the minimum is a socialist policy, an attempt to equalize wages through government manipulation that leads to higher prices in consumer goods and higher unemployment rates. How much longer are we going to continue on this path to "equality" before we finally admit that it may not be the best idea?

Personally, I resent the fact that I have to pay more for a pizza because someone else doesn’t want to make the proper sacrifice to buy their kid school supplies. I resent that some teenager may steal my bike out of my garage because they have nothing better to do since getting laid off at the same pizza parlor that now charges me more for pizza. I resent the fact that the Democrats will be using the inevitable rise in unemployment to claim that the economy is bad and thus rationalize a tax increase to "stimulate" the same bad economy they created, thus leading to less consumer spending, lower consumer profits and thus more job cuts – a cycle that will continue until the GOP regains power and cuts taxes again. I’m a little tired of going through the same 2 decade economic song and dance that we’ve gone through since the 70s. Enough is enough. Lower taxes and lower minimum is better for the economy and thus better for ALL Americans, wherever they may land on the employment ladder. After all, a low paying job is better than no job at all. Pointing this out doesn’t make me mean or insensitive, it makes me a realist.

Monday, February 12, 2007

So I was watching the recent Grammy awards show, off and on while doing some other things, when I felt an overwhelming urge to double check the listings and make sure this wasn’t a rerun of a Democratic national convention. What, exactly, was going on with this awards show?

First, there’s Ludacris, a talented and extremely crude rap artist who has come under scrutiny from Bill O’Reilly about his lyrics. I’ve heard what these guys say in their music. Inappropriate doesn’t even begin to describe it, especially when you consider that the market for this stuff is black teens. Ludacris isn’t any different than any other gangster rapper, except that he had a major corporate sponsorship in Pepsi. O’Reilly pointed out to the Pepsi people what kind of music this guy makes, and Pepsi pulled their sponsorship. That’s the background. So, after being nominated multiple times in the past, finally Ludacris wins a Grammy – and he affectionately thanks Bill O’Reilly in his acceptance speech.

Then, there are the Dixie Chicks. They released their first album since their comments about the President Bush in 2003 that drew a lot of criticism. The album sales failed to meet expectations, and concert ticket sales were anemic – many dates were cancelled. It seems their country music fan base have exercised their freedom of commerce and decided to no longer support the Dixie Chicks. And so the music industry rewards their anti-Bushism with 5 Grammy awards and shows all those silly hick country music fans just how dumb they are for rejecting the Dixie Chicks. Now, I ask, is this because their album was that much better than the competition, or because of politics? Remember, they can’t win awards at the country music awards show (were they even nominated at the CMAs?), but the Grammy folks think this album is extraordinary(and,yes, I realize the CMAs may be political as well). What’s going on in this country? Can’t we have a simple awards show without politics getting involved? I’ve heard their song "Not Ready to Make Nice" which is basically a jab at their critics and it aint that good. Not to say the Dixie Chicks aren’t talented, they very much are, but 5 Grammy Awards? Come on. The timing is a little suspect. After the first 3 awards, it became obvious that the voters were making a statement – even the Chicks said so themselves. Great. And so our deep political division has now invaded the pinnacle of the music industry, and the credibility of the Grammy’s has now plummeted. I was waiting for a new category "The Greatest Album Ever Recorded or Sung or Played or Heard in all Mankind’s Eternity and History of the Universe Forever and Ever and Ever and Ever Infinity". And the winner is? The Dixie Chicks!

But who got the loudest ovation of the night? Was it Smokey Robinson? Lionel Richie? Don Henley? No. It was Al Gore. That’s right, crazy Al makes an appearance and gets more applause than anyone else even though he has absolutely nothing to do with the music industry and probably sings about as well as a German Sheppard getting neutered. That pretty much sealed the deal for me. This was not an awards show as much as it was a progressive "feel-good" convention. I’m surprised Carrie Underwood’s "Jesus Take the Wheel" wasn’t edited for inappropriate content. If this is any indication of things to come, then I won’t be watching the Oscars. They’ll probably perch Gore atop a golden throne and bow down to him with chants of worship as the god of global warming. No thanks.

Here’s an award for you: The Lamest Music Awards Show. Nominees anyone?

Friday, February 09, 2007

Pelosi feels Congress should pass emissions restrictions

Will Pelosi include those restrictions on her own personal Air Force jet? However, I have to give her some credit, at least she is now stating that increasing nuclear power should be an option on the table. I guess it’s a start.

Boston Globe reporter compares global warming deniers to holocaust deniers.

This is incredible. I can’t accurately describe the harshness of the language in Ellen Goodman’s piece, so it’s best for you to read yourself. Basically, because I question the "now certain fact" that humans are changing the earth’s climate I am likened to someone who denies the holocaust. This is a fascinating mindset. The "believers" are so convinced of the reality of human induced climate change that they perceive it as something that has already happened, like the holocaust.

Let me be clear for Ms Goodman and her stooges. The Holocaust was real because it happened. Human induced climate change is a theory, a theory with a good amount of conflicting evidence. If it had already happened, there wouldn’t be much debate about it right? This comparison is way off base. But then she reveals her true intentions by ripping into Bush and his "science be damned" administration. So, there it is, this is all about politics after all. And she has the gall to say that the "deniers" are in it for political gain.

She seems to think, along with all the other believers, that the UN’s conclusion should have ended the debate, that the "deniers" should be satisfied with the "truth" because the UN now says it’s real. Baloney. To echo Dennis Miller, the fact that the UN says it’s true makes me less likely to believe it. So maybe this is more about trust in the UN than the environment? Who knows? But Ms Goodman and the Boston Globe need to be careful with the language they use. Just because I don’t blindly accept questionable science, doesn’t mean I’m anything like a Holocaust denier.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Not much time today, here's a few morsels

More from Pelosi's quest for a jet

"Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., the Pelosi ally who chairs the House military appropriations subcommittee, said he has spoken to Pentagon officials about the need to provide Pelosi with a bigger plane that can fly passengers coast to coast in comfort.

But he denied pressuring the Pentagon. "I don't need to pressure them. I just tell them what they need to do,'' Murtha said

Murtha said he is convinced the Pentagon has been leaking information about the possibility that Pelosi would use large military planes to make her look bad. But he said, "They're making a mistake when they leak it because she decides on allocations for them,'' referring to the Pentagon budget."

NY Times in trouble

First Air Amerika folds. Now, the NY Times is posting some pretty big losses. I know there are some other factors involved, but one can’t help but wonder how much of this is related to their blatant Leftward bias and one-sided commentary.

Economy grows more than expected.

Speaking of slanted news reports - The economy increased a surprising 3.5% in the last quarter of ’06, surpassing expectations, and yet 55% of Americans disapprove of the President’s handling of the economy. Does this make sense to anyone? Isn’t it obvious that people in this country are simply misinformed? They’re reading the slanted news reports, and hearing on CNN how bad the economy is, when in fact it’s actually pretty strong. It’s a shame that people tend to accept whatever they see and hear as fact without even knowing the facts.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Pelosi demands large Air Force plane for personal use

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continues to buck the trend in a huge way. Not too long ago, she pushed to have American Samoa exempt from the proposed minimum wage increase, mainly because of the lobby of StarKist Tuna – a contributor from her home district. Now, she is asking for an Air Force military plane to act as her own private shuttle from Washington to San Francisco.

Prior speaker, Denny Hastert, had this to some extent, although his plane was much smaller and less costly than what Pelosi wants, and the Pentagon stated that it was necessary for security reasons. Before him, members of Congress used commercial flights for travel. Pelosi wants the bigger plane so her family and whatever friends she chooses can fly with her, and John Murtha is backing her 100% - demanding that the Pentagon give her "whatever she wants". Someone needs to tell Pelosi that she is NOT the President.

It’s not necessary for me to talk about how abusive this is of her power. I think anyone of sound mind can clearly see that. It was wrong for Hastert to do it, regardless of what the Pentagon thought, and it’s wrong for Pelosi to do it. The military has NO constitutional obligation to provide for members of Congress – NONE. Remember, it’s all part of the balance of power in Washington. Congress controls military funding, so any special treatment members of Congress get from the military should be eliminated. There’s a plain and simple conflict of interest. Where are the Lefties now? Why aren’t they chanting "abuse of power" here? The politics in this country have reached new, ever more nauseating levels.

Pelosi is NOT entitled to a private Air Force plane. She is not entitled to expect the US taxpayer to foot that bill. That’s nowhere in her list of Congressional perks, and the very idea that she requests this should raise some SERIOUS questions about who exactly she’s looking out for in this country. This is sickening to say the least. She should fly commercial, coach, like the rest of us, damn her sense of entitlement. This is a slap in the face of the citizens who put her in office in hopes of curbing government waste and eliminating the corruption in Washington that we were so fed up with from the Republicans.

This blog will be quick to bring this up every time she starts squawking about "looking out for the little guy" or "saving the planet from global warming" or "reducing wasteful government spending". I guess when she and Al Gore recommend Americans reduce their energy use and carbon "footprint" who they're really addressing is Americans less important than them. This elitist attitude has gotten old, and neither party is innocent. But I thought Pelosi was supposed to "drain the swamp" in Washington. Her hypocrisy is somewhere in the stratosphere, right next to her ego. Remember this. This is the real Nancy Pelosi. This is the real Democratic Congress.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A note from the Constitution Party

Thought Police Strike Again Newest 'Hate Crime' Bill Violates Constitution: Attempts End-Run Around Free Speech

Lancaster, PA: The Constitution Party, the country's third largest political party in terms of voter registration, warns Americans that the latest federal 'hate-crime' bill introduced in the House of Representatives is a dangerous threat to Constitutionally protected rights.

H.R. 254, introduced by Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, D-Texas, is another version of proposed legislation passed by the House in 2005 and the Senate in 2004. Only strong public outcry and a Republican controlled Congress kept this type of legislation from becoming law. Now that Democrats are in charge there's a tough fight ahead to keep this dangerous bill from passing.

H.R. 254 would make certain types of speech a federal offense. So-called 'hate crimes' legislation is dangerous for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the blatant unconstitutionality of such laws. 'Hate crime' laws would allow federal "thought police" to interfere in the law enforcement authority of states and localities - something our founders were clear was NOT to be allowed.

H.R. 254 would require every state to pass and enforce 'anti-hate' laws. It would outlaw stating a "bias" against certain 'federally protected' groups such as homosexuals. Constitution Party National Chairman Jim Clymer warned "So-called 'hate crime' laws could mean the Bible would be considered 'hate literature' and preaching from it would be 'hate speech' because of references to religious teachings on homosexuality or other behaviors. The Orwellian implications of these types of laws mean Bible-believing Christians could become criminals simply because they spoke out about their beliefs."

Citing a 2004 case in Philadelphia, where 11 Christians were charged under a'hate-crimes' statute for peacefully protesting at a gay rights rally, Mr. Clymer, a practicing attorney, said "Law-abiding Americans became criminals because they exercised a right our forebears fought and died for"."By introducing the Anti-Defamation League's (ADL) federal 'hate crime' bill into Congress for the second time, Rep. Jackson-Lee shows she's bound and determined to stifle your First Amendment Rights no matter how many times she has to make a run at it", noted Constitution Party Communication Director Mary Starrett who added: "The Constitution Party condemns H.R. 254 as an affront to our liberty. Today, ADL-inspired 'thought crime' laws are stripping nations of free speech."

In Canada and many European countries, it is a crime to use the internet to criticize 'federally protected' groups, such as homosexuals and Muslims. In England, two men who called Islam 'wicked' were indicted under Britain's 'hate crime' law and now face seven years in prison. Those horrors do not belong in America!"Referring to the group behind this bill, Clymer noted: "Congresswoman Jackson-Lee's H.R. 254 is being pushed by the same group, ADL, responsible for the British law that says truth cannot be used as a defense in court. only the complaints by members of specially protected groups who say their feelings have been hurt are being allowed. The reality of what these types of laws are doing and have done to people across the world should be a chilling reminder to Americans to oppose these laws while we still can" warned Clymer.

I'm with the Constitution Party all the way on this one. Outlawing speech because it could be offensive is about as unconstitutional as it gets and represents a very dangerous slippery slope. We'll be watching this one closely. While no one would support condone "hate speech", there is a major problem in legislating it, mainly because hate speech is loosely defined. Basically, anything that offends someone would be considered hate speech. This is dangerous, folks, right up there with the push to require equal time on all radio/TV broadcasts. Our government is overstepping its bounds in a huge way. I tip my hat to the Constitution Party.

Monday, February 05, 2007

William Arkin is a man with a rich extreme Left history, so it's no surprise that he has come out with a recent column that is not very supportive of the US military. What is surprising is the language that he used. He took issue with a recent NBC story from Iraq in which many of the troops their expressed frustration with the lack of support from the American public for their duty. Arkin feels this is way out of line, even to the point of referring to American troops as mercenaries. He alluded to the days of Vietnam in the sense that today's troops don't have it nearly as bad as when American troops were being spat upon and called baby killers. America's soldiers are given "decent wages" and an "obscene amount of amenities" in fighting this war, so their criticism of America's public is uncalled for.

Since then, he has issued a shallow, wormy apology, no doubt because he came under fire for his comments (and not because he is actually sorry for making them, this is my opinion based on his military-hating past). But I think these comments say a lot. It's a message we should ALL listen to, especially those who "support" the troops while openly protesting and speaking out against the cause they're dying for.

The fact is that if Arkin were in a dictatorial society, he would be executed for speaking out against the military. I don't think even he would argue against that. So, it's the essence of irony that the very troops he openly criticizes are the ones who are dying to protect the right he abuses in that criticism. But I think we've been down this road before.

I am willing to give Arkin a little more slack than most folks, but only if he is willing to learn from his mistake. You see Arkin, like most other anti-war folks, never served in the military, so they don't really understand the idea behind a "cause". But Arkin did serve in Greenpeace, so let's use that as a metaphor. Suppose I say on this site that I support William Arkin and everyone else who dedicates their time and energy, sacrificing for Greenpeace. Then, I go out with some of my friends, holding pickets and calling for the end of Greenpeace's actions, saying all this "save the baby seals" and "save the whales" is a lost cause, can never be won, will only result in more problems and must come to an end now. Doesn't that send mixed messages? No doubt Mr Arkin wouldn't be feeling supported, right? And, the truth is, if I did this then I'm not supporting those in Greenpeace. The point is, you can't support someone while calling their cause evil and futile. The two simply don't mix. So either you support the troops, and the cause they fight for, or you don't.

The troops don't have a problem with people opposing their cause, they have a problem with them opposing the cause under false pretenses. These people think that saying "I support the troops" gets them off the hook and allows them to protest while still looking patriotic. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. So when 70% of America says they oppose the war, then that's 70% of our population who DOES NOT support our military, and that's about as plain as I can state it. Ask ANY soldier in the field and they will tell you the same. You may take offense at the idea of giving up your "right" to protest, so be it. Giving up that right just may make things that much easier for America's fighters, just may make their cause that much winnable. Consider it a part of the sacrifice we all need to make in order to emerge victorious. And then when the war is over and the troops are back home safe, then the debate can begin - and so can the protests. So, you're not actually giving up your right to protest, you're just postponing it for the sake of those whose lives are on the line. But if that's too much to ask, then fine, go on protesting - but don't for a second say you support the troops.

As a soldier myself, I want to say that we don't want people to bow down to us, kiss our boots, tell us thank you, throw parades for us, etc. What we want is a little respect and understanding. Understand what the soldiers go through, and respect them for doing it. Feeding us this "I support you but not what you do" crap is NOT gonna fly. Protest all you want, but don't dare say that you do it out of support. We know better. Just because you hate Bush doesn't mean its right to aid America's enemies in an attempt to make him look bad - and that's all your "support" is doing.

Mr Arkin can wail against America's soldiers all he wants. He can hate them and print nasty things about them, calling them mercenaries (as though the money is worth it). But, they'll keep dying to protect his freedom of speech, his right to criticize them. Thank God for that.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

So it's decided, right?

UN report: human activity very likely causes global warming.

No surprise here. The UN has been on board with the global warming hysteria for a while. My position is that there is too much evidence disputing this claim to make drastic changes that would adversely affect the economy. I guess that makes me a denier. Whatever.

Much of my suspicion is the fact that the global warming hysteria has targeted America. It seems everyone points a finger at us and says we’re killing the earth. But the evidence shows China and India are responsible for more carbon output than us, so why aren’t they being attacked as well? The US is taking action on this arena. We are making efforts to reduce carbon emissions, but that doesn’t seem to be enough. Is that because part of the motivation of the global warming alarmists is to bring us down a notch? Basically, until the UN focuses the majority of its pressure on China and India to reduce carbon emissions, I will consider their true motives questionable at best and will have a very hard time accepting human-induced climate change. If the key to this problem was simply reducing carbon emissions than it makes sense to pressure those most responsible.

On the same level at home, converting to nuclear power would go a long way in reducing our own carbon emissions. Wind power, solar power and hydro power simply can’t meet the demand of the consumer. Nuclear power can. It’s clean and it’s safe, and in some degrees it’s actually healthy. But the alarmists won’t go for that. Which again leads me to question their motives. Seems to me they’re more interested in societal and scientific regression than actually saving the earth. Their resistance to nuclear power and demands that we “change our ways” in regards to our lifestyle is again simply unrealistic. Thus the standoff we now face.

And what about the conflicting evidence? Did this report address that? From what I see, No. It seems like the UN basically is saying "those people are wrong" without offering an explanation as to why they are wrong. Folks, there is some significant scientific evidence out there that directly conflicts with what the UN is saying about climate change. Shouldn't that be explained? If we debunk that evidence, shouldn't we explain why we debunk it? There are some questions out there the scientific community has not answered. For instance, if this has been ongoing for 50 years, why haven't the sea levels risen already? In study after study, there is zero evidence of increasing sea levels. And even though surface temps have increased (which could be explained by urbanization), the temps in the troposphere (which is a major player in earth's climate) have not. These are just 2 questions worth addressing, and the UNs report doesn't seem to have done that.

So that’s part of the reason, aside from the conflicting evidence, why I don’t buy human-induced climate change as a reality. There are obvious ways to solve the problem without harming our economy – ways that we could ALL agree on without much resistance, but the alarmists aren’t agreeable to those. With that in mind, how much of a problem can this really be? The only reason I see for the alarmists resistance to nuclear power is the likely presence of other motives. If we were really on the verge of disaster, wouldn’t it be wise to do whatever we could to avert that disaster, even if that means agreeing to more nuclear power? That’s just applying simple logic to a complex problem.
New intelligence warns that Iraq is on the brink of chaos

The annual National Intelligence Estimate warns that Iraq is in danger of further polarization and any more destabilization could result in an all-out civil war, painting a picture of a country hanging in the balance. They said that stabilization in the next 12-18 months will be difficult and that Bush’s new plan for troop increases “could” tilt the struggle in our favor. This is a report put together from America’s 16 spy agencies and has shown to be fairly accurate in the past.

From what I read, basically, we are at a key moment in the Middle East. What happens in the next few months may determine the future of that part of the world for decades to come. There aren’t many options here. An all-out withdrawal would be catastrophic. Keeping with the status-quo would accomplish little as well. So what do we do?

This is obviously the decision Bush was facing a few months back, and I don’t envy the guy one bit for having to decide here. This war is very unpopular on the home front, and his approval rating has plummeted despite a booming economy and no terror attacks here since 2001. Without Iraq, Bush would have pretty good approval numbers, it would be hard to argue that. The easy thing, politically, would be to pull out. We have 2 years until the next presidential election and pulling out could give his party a fighting chance there. But, it’s simply the wrong thing to do. Again, I don’t envy his position.

So if I were him, I’d sit down with my top military and intelligence advisors and get their take. I’d ask how the situation could be salvaged. I believe that’s exactly what Bush did, and this NIE report is consistent with that. There may not be hope of salvaging the situation, but if it’s going to work then the only way to make it work is to increase troop strength in Baghdad to secure the city. If Baghdad is secured, then victory could be achieved. Basically, this is our only (and final) shot.

Regardless how anyone feels about why we went into Iraq, or whether we should have done it to begin with, the facts are that we DID go in. That can’t be changed, so arguing about it now is pointless. And regardless what side of the political spectrum you’re on, you simply can’t deny that achieving victory in Iraq is in ALL of our best interests. America will be safer and more secure when Iraq is stable, democratic, and NOT a safe haven for terrorism. I honestly don’t think anyone can dispute those points. Now, I may hear “what is victory” or “the situation is hopeless” but this is simply argumentative. Let’s at least agree that victory in Iraq would be a GOOD thing. So I don’t want to hear opinions on the merits of the war, it’s simply a waste of time to debate that at this point and it doesn’t do anything to improve the situation there. We’re there, we need to get out soon but in a way that doesn’t put this country in danger. Bush’s plan, according to those who KNOW what’s going on in Iraq is the only way to achieve that, even if it is a long-shot.

With that in mind, can we please put the politics aside? It frustrates me to see how much this war has been politicized, and how much more danger our troops face because of politics back home. There is no excuse for it. Voting on non-binding protest resolutions does absolutely no good – and the commanding General in Iraq has said on record that such a vote would damage troop morale. That alone should have killed this discussion. So why go through with it? Politics. It’s sickening.

What I’d like to see is for Congress and indeed America to come together for once and agree that yes, there have been some mistakes, our reasons for going in bring up some serious questions, the situation is deteriorating and may not be winnable, but we need to give Iraq every chance possible to come through this. If the commanders feel this plan may work, then isn’t it worth trying? If the NIE says that a pull-out would be disastrous, shouldn’t we exhaust all other options? If our “leaders” would just do this, then I think the people, in general, would follow suit – and they’d earn my respect. Politics doesn’t belong here, and victory gets further away the more we bicker about it here at home.

I understand why some say this war is wrong. I get it. But why can’t that debate take place after the situation in Iraq has been resolved? Either we succeed there or we don’t. Time will soon reveal that. The point is, protesting and arguing and playing partisan politics, or acting in a way that better ensures your reelection only contributes to the chaos. How hard would it be for Senator Obama to say “I am opposed to this war to begin with, but victory is in America’s best interest, so the President has my support, and when this war is concluded there will be some serious questions to answer.” Done. Easy. Obama (or any other Senator) immediately would become a political hero in the eyes of both conservatives and progressives, and again would earn a great deal of respect. What would be wrong with this? And my gut tells me that all of these people KNOW that would be the right thing to do, but politics simply prevents them from doing it. It’s a shame.

If Bush’s plan fails, then I think we pull out, as well we probably should. The Iraqi people would have been given their shot, and they would have rejected it. We pull the troops into Kuwait, Saudi and the northern Kurdish areas and let whatever happen in central Iraq. It will be brutal. There will be mass killings – genocide on a Khmer Rouge scale. It will be hard for us as Americans to watch. So, if and when that happens, we need to be able to say “we did what we could”. That’s when the political debate should resume, when our troops are finished doing their job, no sooner. Can we at least agree on that? I certainly hope so.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Protest, or the twilight zone?

So I’m flipping through the channels when I come across news coverage of the anti-war protest (at least that's what I thought it was) that was held at the Capitol over the weekend, boy that was an interesting mix of people wasn’t it? Pot-smoking college students looking for a reason to cut class and washed up hippies who’ve been looking for something to protest for the past 40 years. It was strange. There was a guy with a guitar, wearing John Lennon sunglasses and a tie-dyed T-shirt, singing some folkish anti-Bush, they-shot-people-at-Kent State song. At any moment I was waiting for the obligatory "Give Peace a Chance" to breakout, and I’m sure it did at some point. All that was missing was Yoko, John Kerry, burning bras and a few dozen mud people and they would have had an all-star cast of lemming kool-aid drinkers.

Tim Robbins was there, and he said something like "America is the problem in Iraq." Susan Sarandon was there holding his leash, of course (I thought I saw her give him a treat after that comment), and I seem to remember her saying that "we gave nuclear power to India for a box of mangos". What?

I swear if Bush had walked out at that moment, someone would have jumped up and yelled (with an Old English accent) "SORCERER!". It's a good thing the Secret Service kept him away or he may have been the first president ever burned at the stake.

Of course, Sean Penn was there: "I was in Iraq, man. I was there. I know those people." Yeah, we remember, Sean. Before the first American troops moved in you were hanging out with Saddam’s cronies - I guess for moral support. No need to remind me of that one.

Speaking of traitors, Comrade Jane Fonda was there. Of course she was. North Vietnam’s favorite daughter wouldn’t dream of missing an opportunity to bash the United States. There she was, all wrinkled and old, reminded me instantly of the Rolling Stones and how they just refuse to give it up. What is with this Baby Boomer Generation? What, did you guys not screw things up enough in the ‘60s that you have to keep it up into the 21st century? We’re gonna be cleaning up your mess for the next 50 years, enough already. Come on, get over it. Yes, your parents saved the world from the Nazis with incredible personal sacrifice. Yes, they were model American patriots. No, you can’t live up to that. But it’s O-K-A-Y. You don’t have to compensate with belligerence and hate for your country. You don’t have to take it out on America and the rest of us because you feel inadequate. You’ll never reach their level, deal with it.

So I’m watching Comrade Jane walking from the protest, and a reporter from Bill O’Reilly’s show is there shoving a microphone in her face. She’s spewing the usual "we’re evil, we’re mean, we should be punished, Bush is the devil" crap, when he asks about Cambodia, and how 3 million people died there after the US vacated Indochina and if she was concerned the same would happen in Iraq. No answer. Actually, she put her finger to her mouth and said "shhhhh…I’m trying to listen." I guess she was looking for guidance from Tom Cruise. He repeated the question several dozen more times and still no answer – reiterating my prior point that those who oppose the war should provide a plan for dealing with the aftermath, namely the mass genocide that would follow our retreat. Comrade Jane clearly doesn’t have the answer.

For that matter, neither did Penn, Robbins or Sarandon. They didn’t have an answer for the situation in Iran either. So I’m wondering, what do these people want? They just want us to leave Iraq? Then what? They don’t know, they’ll just shrug their shoulders and go looking for something to ease their munchies and wait for the next war or the next anti-American cause du jour. They’ll probably make a few really bad movies in the interim. It’s really quite pathetic.

What’s interesting is that for a split second, I swear I saw Osama Bin Laden there. He was wearing a tie-dyed turban and a hemp necklace, eating a granola bar and chanting "2-4-6-8 who do we incarcerate – Bush!" before breaking into song with "War, huh, what is it good for." Really weird.