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Showing posts from June, 2005

Stalker tools

ZabaSearch is a new (to me at least), free stalker tool to find anyone.

I used to use Switchboard, but ZabaSearch is much more comprehensive.

HT: AlarmingNews.

Chinese taking over

IPFreely sends a note about this WSJ article (subscription required) on China's Cnooc Ltd.'s bid for Unocal, and rival bidder Chevron's lobbying to stop it.

The battle for Unocal Corp. is shifting to Capitol Hill, where Chevron Corp. is working to derail a rival bid for the energy company by China's Cnooc Ltd.

Chevron, which saw its $16.59 billion cash-and-stock bid for Unocal topped byan $18.5 billion cash offer from the Chinese state-owned company last week, has played a direct role in drafting and circulating letters from members of Congress asking the Bush administration to examine and potentially block the Cnooc bid, according to several people familiar with Chevron's activities in Washington.

In a sign of congressional concern, House Republican leaders are planning tobring to the floor today a resolution urging the administration to give the Cnooc bid close scrutiny. In addition, the House may vote as early as today on a budget amendment that seeks to bar the T…

Times requests interview with moron, gets something else altogether

I've posted on the foreign media's distorted view of the U.S. and President Bush before. The foreign press has an extreme case of groupthink, and they have all accepted and propagated the image of President Bush as an idiot, cowboy, and warmonger.

Now the Times of London actually interviews Bush, and realizes the monolithic and simplistic foreign view is inaccurate:

In person Mr Bush is so far removed from the caricature of the dim, war-mongering Texas cowboy of global popular repute that it shakes one’s faith in the reliability of the modern media. Congratulations to the Times for breaking ranks with the rest of the moronically unanimous Bush-hating European papers. The whole article is worth reading.

HT: PoliPundit.

Iran elects terrorist

According to this AP photo, the new president of Iran is a terrorist involved in taking the American hostages in 1979.

HT: Polipundit.

Eminent domain debacle

The Supreme Court's eminent domain ruling is one of the most unbelievable rulings I have seen. Cities can now take your property whenever they want just because some developer wants to put up a strip mall or a strip joint that will bring the city more tax revenues.

Voting for this idiocy were Souter, Ginsburg, Stevens, Kennedy, and Breyer. It's a bit surprising that all of the liberal advocates of the poor and downtrodden voted for it. Eminent domain assaults the poor far more often than the rich, as their property is economically more attractive, and they lack the legal and financial resources to defend themselves.

This debacle goes to show why President Bush shouldn't be bullied away from putting Constitutionalist judges on the Court. President Reagan nominated Robert Bork and Douglas Ginsburg to the Court, neither of whom would have allowed this outrage. Neither were confirmed, Ginsburg because he had smoked marijuana and Bork because he understood the Constitution. They …

Back in black

I'm back from an extended absence, and things really went to hell in a bucket while I was gone. Iran elected a hard-core conservative, Iraq is now popularly considered a quagmire, and the Supreme Court outlawed freedom.

The first two are serious but temporary setbacks. But when the Supreme Court starts making very un-Constitutional rulings that become a new pseudo-Constitution, it's more or less permanent. The eminent domain ruling is a massive and permanent blow to private property rights in America.

No posts for you

No (or very few) posts for the next week as I'm traveling.

Frogstorm

Maybe Magnolia isn't the dumbest movie of all time.

Frogstorms happen.

HT: HT.

Universal healthcare is neat

...or maybe it isn't.

The head of the Canadian Medical Association wants Ottawa to carefully examine the prospect of expanding private health care in this country.

"When it comes to health care in Canada, private health is not some bogey man to be trotted during an election campaign,'' Dr. Albert Schumacher told a meeting
Saturday of the B.C. Medical Association in Vancouver.

"We need a real debate on the role it has played, the role it continues to play and will play in our system to advance the health of all Canadians.''

Schumacher was speaking in the wake of a Supreme Court of Canada ruling on Thursday that narrowly struck down a Quebec law which banned private insurance for services deemed medically necessary.

...

... Dr. Chantal Ducasse, a doctor in private practice said: "In the public system, I had to see 50 patients in six hours. It's not human. We don't do that with animals. We shouldn't be doing that with human beings."
HT: Alarmin…

SF-180 update

Editor & Publisher covers the story of the still unreleased-to-the-public Kerry files:

The Boston Globe and The Los Angeles Times initially refused to confirm or deny that they had a copy, or had even seen a copy, of the Standard Form 180 (SF-180) by which Sen. John Kerry’s “complete” military records were released over the past several days. This threw serious doubt on whether either newspaper took sufficient reasonable care in evaluating the chain of transmission by which they received the Kerry documents.In response to my story in the Chicago Sun-Times on Thursday, the Managing Editor of the Boston Globe, Mary Jane Wilkinson, has now told Sun-Times editors that the Globe does indeed have a copy of Kerry’s Standard Form 180 used in delivering the documents to the Globe. That is reassuring, but it remains to be seen whether the Globe will release copies of the SF-180 in their possession, and that is important.According to MarkSullivan, a former Navy JAG officer who worked directly…

7-11 to criminals: Please rob us!

7-11 is putting out a notice to criminals: "Please rob us! Our employees aren't allowed to stop you."

David Kopel:

In Feliciano v. 7-Eleven, a masked woman with a gun attempted to rob the 7-Eleven where Feliciano worked. While the robber was distracted by another employee, Feliciano grabbed her gun, and held her captive until the police arrived. "Following this incident, 7-Eleven terminated Feliciano, who was an at will employee, for
failure to comply with its company policy which prohibits employees from subduing or otherwise interfering with a store robbery."
The West Virginia Supreme Court ruled that employees can't be fired for defending themselves. But how stupid for 7-11 to have a public policy telling robbers they won't be stopped.

HT: Say Anything via Ace.

What's worse, the grades or the picture?

Image
So what was John Kerry hiding all this time? Which would have been more damaging to the candidacy? His dumber-than-Bush grades at Yale, or this picture?





HT: Samizdata (via Alarming News), in an excellent post about the fact that Kerry apparently still has not released all of his records, and those he has released were released only to his friendly hometown paper. Neither Kerry nor the Globe will release even the partial records to the public.

Bush = Hitler, and other things you should know

OpinionJournal on the Party who cried Hitler:

Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League is outraged over a comment Rep. Charles Rangel made the other day, the New York Daily News's Lloyd Grove reports: The Iraq war "is the biggest fraud ever committed on the people of this country. . . . This is just as bad as the 6 million Jews being killed," the 74-year-old Harlem Democrat insisted during a Monday radio appearance on the WWRL-AM morning show with Steve Malzberg and Karen Hunter. "The whole world knew and they were quiet about it because it wasn't their ox being gored.

When interviewer Malzberg challenged Rangel's analogy, the congressman replied: "I am saying that people's silence when they know things terrible are happening is the same thing as the Holocaust." . . .

Foxman retorted: "It is so outrageous that I think he owes an apology not only to the families of the victims of the Shoah, but he also owes an apology to the soldiers who are f…

Kerry-bashing

It's still so fun!

Amnesty International goes off the deep end

There goes my respect for a once-noble organization. Amnesty International says that foreign governments have a legal obligation to capture and try President Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzalez and others.

Foreign governments that are party to the Geneva Conventions and/or the Convention against Torture—and that is some 190 countries—and countries that have national legislation that authorizes prosecution—and that is at least 125 countries—have a legally binding obligation to exercise what is known as universal jurisdiction over people accused of grave breaches of the Conventions. Governments are required to investigate suspects and, if warranted, to prosecute them or to extradite them to a country that will. Crimes such as torture are so serious that they amount to an offense against all of humanity and require governments to investigate and prosecute people responsible for those crimes—no matter where the crime was committed.Amnesty International’s list of those who may be consid…

How to make national health care affordable

Make the service so bad that anyone with the means will opt out for private care.

The two-tier system: it seems to work in Australia, Britain, and now Canada.

Come to think of it, we have a two-tier system in the U.S.: private insurance and Medicaid. The only difference is the gap in the middle: those not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid, but who can't afford or don't qualify for private insurance.

Obvious solution: take the Canadian route. Make Medicaid available to everyone, but make the service so bad that people will want to buy private insurance.

Five ways to save the Democratic Party

From Bob Shrum* at Huffington's Toast:

As the orchestrator of nearly a dozen major campaigns which tanked against
overwhelming odds, I’d like to add my two cents RE Democratic Party
strategy.1. Why aren’t we talking more about Wicca? Everyone loves Harry Potter, right? If the GOP wants to be the Christian party, we’ll be the party of worshiping trees and lesbian goddesses. Not that this would be a big move from where we are right now.2. Instead of campaign buttons with Hillary’s picture on them, why not box-cutters? We could put a cute slogan on them. “HIJACK THE VOTE!” Just a thought.3. I’m loving what Howard is doing for us, but how about some celebrities to help carry the load? Let’s start with Michael Jackson. He’s sexually ambiguous, he used to be a minority, he has an alcohol problem, he’s being prosecuted for a sexual offense…what Democrat can’t relate to that? If he’s convicted, even better. We need an advocate for victims’ rights. Of course, I mean victims of our criminal ju…

And furthermore...

While I'm catching up on old news, the Supreme Court's ruling on medical marijuana is a travesty... for civil liberties, for states' rights, and for common sense.

Enough said.

UPDATE: OpinionJournal, an unlikely source, backs me up! And Clarence Thomas sided with dope-smokers over Scalia! HT: Instapundit.

Kerry post

John from Blogenlust asks,

What, no thoughts on Kerry's records release?Although, I noticed you took the counter down. It's really quite strange that he didn't release them
sooner, what with all the discrediting of the Swift Boat shit
included...Maybe it was his bad grades...
I've been traveling and haven't kept up with the story. I'll have to read up more on the alleged discrediting of the Swifties.

However, I would tend to agree with Kaus's thoughts from a few months ago: the record better be damning or Kerry's an idiot for withholding it during the campaign.

Kaus:Kerry's military records, when fully opened, better show something at least mildly embarrassing! If they're completely innocuous, why couldn't Kerry have signed Form 180 a year agoand cleared up many of the rumors that helped sink his candidacy (and his party)?"

Before we celebrate the exoneration, however, PoliPundit and others (Powerline) ask whether this is a full release of the…

That's all, folks

Put a fork in it. This turkey's done.

Tony Blair is putting an end to Jacques Chirac's fantasy that a miraculous massive change of opinion in Britain would revive the EU Constitution.

As if we didn't see that coming.

Why would Tony Blair sacrifice his own already precarious career to do a favor for the vile Chirac by creating a Union of European Socialist Republics? Answer: he wouldn't!

But he put his hands on his hips!

OpinionJournal tells why John Bolton is the right man for the job:


On Thursday, Samir Kassir, a prominent Lebanese newspaper columnist and long-time critic of Syria, was murdered in Beirut when a bomb exploded under the hood of his car. The following day, we learned that Syria had test-fired three missiles the previous week--one Scud B, with a range of 190 miles, and two Scud Ds, with ranges of 400 miles. The missiles, of North Korean design, are configured to carry chemical warheads, according to Israeli security sources; they can hit any target in Israel along with U.S. military installations in Turkey, Iraq and elsewhere in the region.

There are several lessons here, but one of them is this: John Bolton was right.

President Bush's nominee to be Ambassador to the U.N. has been assailed because he pushed U.S. intelligence services for evidence of Syrian work on weapons of mass destruction. As Senator Chris Dodd put it, Mr. Bolton "was trying to convince people that there are we…

The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post: because if there's one thing the world needs more of, it's opinions from C-list celebrities.

Shocker: bias from the New York Times

Defenders of the media try to debunk bias claims by showing that Republican and Democratic candidates are treated roughly equally. I won't concede that point, but it's a side issue.

The most insidious media bias is in the way they portray issues, not candidates. By distorting the facts, they manipulate public opinion.

Ankle Biting Pundits catches the New York Times in a typical example of this type of bias. The Times has a graphic that makes the tiresome case that the rich get a disproportionate amount of the benefit.

Why do high income earners benefit if income taxes are cut? Because high income earners pay all the income taxes! Well, DUH! Will the next New York Times analysis show us that if cigarette taxes are cut, smokers will benefit disproportionately?

ABP also points to this great IRS data that show how the rich are carrying our sorry asses. The top 5% pay 53% of all income tax as of 2001, up from 43% in 1991. Why don't we see graphs of this in the New York times?

Europe: the Democrats' vison for America

I've postedrecently about the economic disaster that is continental Western Europe. An obvious point, but not one raised often enough, is that Europe is a model for where the Democrats would like to take America. The policies in place in Europe are exactly the policies advocated by the American left. Europe provides a good laboratory so we can see what the policies do without having to try them ourselves.

AJ Strata gives us a peek at David Brooks' subscription-only column* (this is legitimate "Fair Use," so don't hassle me!) on the topic.

Forgive me for making a blunt and obvious point, but events in Western Europe are slowly discrediting large swaths of American liberalism. Most of the policy ideas advocated by American liberals have already been enacted in Europe: generous welfare measures, ample labor protections, highly progressive tax rates, single-payer health care systems, zoning restrictions to limit big retailers, and cradle-to-grave middle-class subsidies…

1984 comes 21 years late

The British government wants to monitor the movement of every car in Britain by GPS.
Alistair Darling, the Secretary of State for Transport, revealed that pilot areas will be selected in just 24 months' time as he made clear his determination to press ahead with a national road pricing scheme.

Each of Britain's 24 million vehicles would be tracked by satellite if a variable "pay-as-you-drive" charge replaces the current road tax.

The purported reason for this gross invasion of privacy is to make a road tax proportional to the amount of driving people do. But a gas tax accomplishes the same thing, with the additional benefit of encouraging fuel-efficient cars. Another use would be to charge additional fees for driving in congested central city areas during peak hours, but this can be managed (and already is in some places) with toll booths and electronic tags.

Similar horrible ideas have been proposed in California, where the insane left-wing legislators' lust for mor…

AlJazeera.com: Kerry to push for impeachment of Bush

I don't know why this isn't getting more coverage from U.S. papers, and I'm not entirely sure Al Jazeera can be trusted, but they are claiming that John Kerry will press for the impeachment of President Bush.

Failed presidential candidate Kerry advised that he will begin the presentation of his case for President Bush's impeachment to Congress, on Monday.

Kerry said of the ["Downing Street Memo"]: "When I go back [to Washington] on Monday, I am going to raise the issue. I think it's a stunning, unbelievably simple and understandable statement of the truth and a profoundly important document that raises stunning issues here at home. And it's amazing to me the way it escaped major media discussion. It's not being missed on the Internet, I can tell you that."

Thoughts:

1) Why is this not news for the mainstream U.S. media? The once and wanna-be future king of the Democrats wants to impeach the President!
2) How will Moveon.org handle this? Their…

The trouble with Europe

Victor Davis Hanson on the problem with Europe:

The E.U. constitution — and its promise of a new Europe — supposedly offered a corrective to the Anglo-American strain of Western civilization. More government, higher taxes, richer entitlements, pacifism, statism and atheism would make a more humane and powerful new continent of over 400 million to outpace a retrograde United States.

Instead, Europe faces a declining population, unassimilated minorities, low growth, high unemployment and an inability to defend itself, either militarily or morally. Somehow the directorate of the European Union has figured out how to have too few citizens while having too many of them out of work.


HT: Ace.

Milton Friedman and Peter Tosh

Q. What do a geriatric midget and a dead Jamaican have in common?

A. Legalize it!

Milton Friedman, who never had an opinion I didn't agree with,
leads a list of more than 500 economists from around the U.S. who today will publicly endorse a Harvard University economist's report on the costs of marijuana prohibition and the potential revenue gains from the U.S. government instead legalizing it and taxing its sale. Ending prohibition enforcement would save $7.7 billion in combined state and federal spending, the report says, while taxation would yield up to $6.2 billion a year.
Full report here. I've been trying to make this argument, often without much documentation, for years. I'm glad to have this research at hand now.

But Friedman goes further:
"There is no logical basis for the prohibition of marijuana," the economist says, "$7.7 billion is a lot of money, but that is one of the lesser evils. Our failure to successfully enforce these laws is responsible fo…

Ted Turner: real American hero

Ronald Reagan? Ha!

It was Ted Turner who ended the cold war. At least in Ted's opinion.

We have honored Ted here before, for his $1 billion... "uh, I might have to reduce that a little"... "uh, would you take a rain check on that?"... gift to the United Nations Foundation, a group whose mission is to produce propaganda

Telling the Story
In cooperation with the Foundation's sister organization, the Better World Fund, sponsoring or conducting outreach efforts aimed at educating the public about the UN's unique role in addressing global issues and forging international
cooperation.

to make people believe the U.N. is doing good things rather than taking bribes, protecting murderous dictators, and raping the natives. But we apparently neglected to mention his greatest achievement: ending the cold war.

In this same article, Turner complains about CNN doing too much coverage of "perverts," and that he doesn't want rapes and murders to be emphasized. I g…

Ben Stein on Deep Throat

Meow!

HT: Ace.

UPDATE: Peggy Noonan with a more balanced view.