Friday, December 31, 2004


THE MOST GENEROUS NATION ON EARTH! "Bush Increases Tsunami Aid to $350 Million"

Thursday, December 30, 2004


Poor David Feels 'Empty'

MSNBC -: "I appreciate that the 35 million our government is sending to Southeast Asia is just the beginning. And I'm confident the public and private contributions from the U.S. over the next few months will end up being a hundred times that.
But, the initial American government response to this disaster feels awfully empty. "

David Shuster wrote the above on HardBlogger. Interesting that this should feel so empty to him as an anti-war guy. How many millions of people did we just liberate while you found fault at every single move. Maybe, David, this feels empty because you have little grasp on what this country has done for freedom around the world over the last two years. Maybe this feels empty because you foster an inherent distrust of this Administration even as reason and practicality tells you not to. Maybe getting all of the facts first about the generosity of this nation, regardless of its president, would serve you well. Then you might not feel so 'empty'.


Ramsey Clark to Defend Saddam...Good. - U.S. & World - Saddam Gets VIP Defense: "The fiercely anti-war Clark has met with Saddam several times over the past 15 years and was considered a friend of Iraq when it was hit by sanctions in 1990 for invading Kuwait."

Ramsey and other anti-Bush crusaders are the best people to take on this case. There is little way that the rest of the international community (read anti-American community) can reject the results of the court. First, it will be adjudicated by Iraqi's. The jury will also be Iraqi's. With the addition of a fervent anti Bush/anti-war defense team, what could anyone possibly complain about? Plus, given their long friendship, Ramsey obviously adores the ruthless dictator. Have at it!


400,000 Just in Indonesia?

DRUDGE REPORT FLASH 2004�: "Indonesia Needs Help, Death Toll Expected To Exceed 400,000"

I thought 20,000 lives was more than I could fathom. Now, we could eventually see over half a million as a reasonable estimate in the next few days for all of the affected areas. If you pray...

Wednesday, December 29, 2004


Sheila Something or Other

Miss Sheila, who was just on Fox News, talked about how there was election fraud. Her statement was that the election was rigged. Ingeniously, however, she followed that up by saying that they weren't conspiracy theorists. Hello, rigging is conspiracy by its very definition. Desperation has taken over. It's ashame, because they are causing normal everyday, non-politically minded people to think that there was some mass conspiracy where there clearly wasn't. The people doing this are the very same people who never recovered from 2000. In fact, they were so used to this obsession that I think they were just unwilling to give it up. Please, please, please give it up!!


Our Hearts Go Out - Foxlife - 'Law & Order' Star Jerry Orbach Dies: "'Law & Order' star Jerry Orbach (search) has died of prostate cancer at age 69, a representative of the show said."

As a fan of the show, and him in particular, I extend our condolences.


Captured By An Obituary

Ardent Author, Activist, Critic Dies at 71: "'I read it through almost at a run,' she said. 'After finishing the last page, I was so reluctant to be separated from the book that I started back at the beginning and, to hold myself to the pace the book merited, reread it aloud, a chapter each night.'"

Admittedly, Susan Sontag is no one I would normally have much feeling for given her politics. Her obituary reminded me though that intellect such as she was blessed with is rare and should be recognized. I should give deserved kudos to whoever wrote this obit, as it captures more than what she was known for, and may just capture the essence of a woman who clearly had a long and outspoken life.
In my deep obsession with intellect, I read in this passage above what has always been a hint at a person's true intellect. In much the way my Mother, Father and even Jackie Kennedy's love of books implies a certain intellectual curiosity, her description of the letdown of ending a great book speaks volumes to me. As a kid, I always desired that kind of love for books, and even now wish I had it. I found myself jealous of kids who could sit quietly in the corner with no need to be social, reading as if no one were in the room. I always saw those kids and knew that if they followed the right path, they would do amazing things. I look for those qualities in people now.
Intellect makes me passionate and emotional. Yesterday, when trying to describe one of my clients to another, I got choked up while imparting that this company has been so blessed as to be able to assemble such an amazing group of people. They have the child prodigy-turned amazing engineer, the world-renowned CEO, and the rest of the collection of people that make a company culture of brilliance and vision. I suppose vision is what sets a child prodigy apart from just any MENSA.
A few years ago, early on in my career, a very kind CEO agreed to have lunch with me. As we sat eating sushi, he tried to explain in as elementary a way as he could what his company was doing. It had already registered by this time that many of the tech companies that I was targetting were led by engineers who were so enthralled by coding, such that very little of what they spent their time on had any to do with the future. I asked him about his 'vision'. He explained in a calmly impassioned way that he had very detailed five and ten year plans, that he could see just how this product could be used and improved, and most importantly wanted to use it for great things. Similarly, the aforementioned child prodigy mentioned in our meeting that with their product, he wanted to change the world. One of his co-workers tried to blunt that by saying that they were just trying to develop a good product to which he replied, "No, we are trying to change the world.". I am supposed to be jaded to such talk, but I could feel his excitement wrap me like a fur coat, and from then on I have worked furiously for that company in hopes, maybe only, to just impress them half as much as they impressed me. A great mind is little without vision and these folks had it.
Part of my fascination is jealousy. As a kid, I was runner-up for advanced learning in elementary school. I am certain that the kids that beat me out are all doing fabulously in their chosen fields. In high school, I took some advanced placement, but was kicked out of AP English for having too low a grade. In college, I was kicked out of business school, but now run a relatively successful business (so take that, University of Cincinnati). I guess I have always been just out of reach of the kind of intellect that my father, mother, brothers, uncles, and grandparents have. Both of my parents with Master's degrees, both brothers with two degrees, grandfather with a JD, and a grandmother who does not have degrees, but could eat most people's lunch intellectually. These models have given me a sense of how important intellect is, and I just thrive on it.
So again, while Sontag might not have been the kind of woman I could calmly talk politics with (as I may have had to call her crazy), her deep intellectual prowess tells me I would have admired her intensely.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004


Backpeddling to Beat All

My Way News:UN Official Backs Down: Rich Nations Not 'Stingy' -"The United States, the world's largest economy, contributes about 0.13 a year of its GDP to development aid. But that figure excludes aid to Iraq and Afghanistan as well as food aid, where the United States is the world's largest donor."

And we are generous to those in need within our borders as well. Seems Jan had to adjust his 'stingy' comments. Smart move.


In Bad Taste

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Sri Lanka rejects Israel rescuers: "The delegation - including 60 soldiers - had been due to set off on Tuesday to help after Sunday's tsunami disaster.
Instead, a smaller team will escort a convoy carrying emergency supplies, Israeli officials said.
Sri Lanka restored diplomatic ties with Israel in 2000, despite objections from the island's Muslim minority.
Neither side has officially explained the change of plan, although some reports say the objection came from Sri Lanka's military.
Sri Lanka Ambassador Diffa Digeratna is quoted by Jerusalem Post as saying that the change was due to the 'the lack of accommodations in Colombo'. "

If the decision to disallow their assistance had anything to do with religion or politics, it is in very bad taste. I would think with the sheer devastation that issues like these could be put aside in order to help those that need it. If I were there homeless and hungry, the last thing I would be thinking of is religious hatred and political argument. It would seem petty in the face of the need that is apparent. They should gracefully accept any help they can get from any kind-hearted sole that is extending a hand.


Kudos to the NYT for Being So Openly Pro-Democracy

The New York Times > Opinion > Editorial: President Viktor Yushchenko: "For his part, Mr. Putin disgraced himself by meddling in the internal affairs of Ukraine - which he clearly considers one of his territories. He even summoned Ukrainian authorities to a Moscow airport to demand that the first compromised election results stand. Now Russia has lost face. Mr. Putin may well have been playing solely to Kremlin hard-liners opposed to the West, but in so doing, he alienated the eventual winner of the Ukrainian balloting.
Initial reports suggest that Mr. Yushchenko is so far proving to be the bigger man. Last week he said that his first trip after the election would be to Moscow. It would certainly now behoove Mr. Putin to paste a smile on his face and put a spring in his step as he welcomes the new Ukrainian president."

This editorial may be more anti-Putin than pro-Democracy, but at this point, they all seem to be synonyms. I actually wanted to follow the President's lead and support Putin, but he is obviously desirous of a Russian dictatorship where pictures of him adorn buildings. It would seem he would see how countries like that have fallen as of late, but he must believe he can do it better. In the worldwide pro-democracy environment we live in, it will inevitably be his downfall. My only hope is that the Russian people do not suffer while this struggle plays out.


Democracy in Orange

An orange Christmas in Ukraine - The Washington Times: Editorials/OP-ED - December 28, 2004: "The people of Ukraine have been blessed this Christmas and New Year's season with one of the most precious gifts of all: democracy. On Sunday, the day after Christmas, Ukraine held again a presidential election that was notably freer and fairer than the presidential run-off of Nov. 21.
The results of the election are dramatically different than the past vote which was deemed illegitimate by Ukraine's Supreme Court. With 99.5 percent of the vote counted, Viktor Yushchenko won about 52 percent of the vote, and his challenger, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who was said to win the previous tainted vote, lost with about 44 percent of the vote."

I just get giddy on this topic. I am lazy and despise the cold, but these devoted citizens braved the cold for days to let the powers there know that it would be messy if they did not arrange for a clean election. Remember that it was peaceful, probably more so than a normal Friday night on Times Square. They stood and sang, chanted, and showed that their mere presence there was enough to change their country's history. We glorify the sixties for such sights, but this deserves a much grander kudo. They literally sat-in for Democracy. They sat-in so they wouldn't lose freedom. Americans can do something now to support these brilliant. strong people. They can give them the gift of tourism. We have seen, in one of the best uses of the color orange (that's jus funny to me), their intent on being free. We need to show our support by being there, spending money, and helping them make a success of that freedom. Thank goodness that our freedom is secure, because I can't imagine having to sit out in the cold of Los Angeles in the winter to fight for my freedoms. :)


Our Generosity and Tax System are Way Above This Idiot's Pay Grade

U.N. official slams U.S. as 'stingy' over aid - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics - December 28, 2004: " But U.N. Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland suggested that the United States and other Western nations were being 'stingy' with relief funds, saying there would be more available if taxes were raised.
'It is beyond me why are we so stingy, really,' the Norwegian-born U.N. official told reporters. 'Christmastime should remind many Western countries at least, [of] how rich we have become.'
'There are several donors who are less generous than before in a growing world economy,' he said, adding that politicians in the United States and Europe 'believe that they are really burdening the taxpayers too much, and the taxpayers want to give less. It's not true. They want to give more.' "

Jan, in a Democracy, the people of the country voice those types of concerns, not a grunt at a sleazy international institution. Clean your own house first, and then you may be respected for being so brazen. We consider ourselves (and are) the most generous nation on the planet. In fact, that is how the UN Oil for Food Scandal came about. The US did not want the Iraqi people to starve just because they happened to live under a repressive regime. As it turned out, Jan and his gang made sure that that money did not actually serve the humanitarian purpose for which it was intended. So again I say, Jan, clean up your own house before calling out the country who always gives a great deal in times of need, and never comment on raising our taxes for your own sleazy and stupid purposes.

Monday, December 27, 2004


Now That's Democracy - News - Yushchenko Claims Victory In Ukraine Runoff: "Still, with more than 98 percent of the vote counted, he's celebrating an apparently decisive triumph and thanking his supporters, who protested for weeks in the capital's frigid streets."

I could not be more pleased!


22,000 and Rising

MSNBC - Quake, tsunami toll tops 22,000 in south Asia

I cannot even imagine that number of people. I had difficulty imagining the number on 9/11, but this is absolutely colossal in scale. Terrorists have nothing on the fury of nature. On behalf of CB and its friends, our deepest heartfelt condolences go out to those survivors and families who have lost all around the world. Those of us who were not directly affected will hug our loved ones a little tighter and ever more genuinely tell them that we love them. You are in our thoughts.


Troops Know Best - Poll shows troops in support of war: "Sixty-three percent of respondents approve of the way President Bush is handling the war, and 60% remain convinced it is a war worth fighting. Support for the war is even greater among those who have served longest in the combat zone: Two-thirds of combat vets say the war is worth fighting.
But the men and women in uniform are under no illusions about how long they will be fighting in Iraq; nearly half say they expect to be there more than five years.
In addition, 87%% say they're satisfied with their jobs and, if given the choice today, only 25% say they'd leave the service.
Compared with last year, the percentages for support for the war and job satisfaction remain essentially unchanged.
A year ago, 77% said they thought the military was stretched too thin to be effective. This year, that number shrank to 66%.
The findings are part of the annual Military Times Poll, which this year included 1,423 active-duty subscribers to Air Force Times, Army Times, Navy Times and Marine Corps Times.
The subscribers were randomly surveyed by mail in late November and early December. The poll has a margin of error of +/-2.6%.
Among the poll's other findings:
-75% oppose a military draft.
-60% blame Congress for the shortage of body armor in the combat zone.
-12% say civilian Pentagon policymakers should be held accountable for abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq."

This is a great sense of how the people who are doing the hard work feel. We should feel proud that they have such overt faith in the righteousness of the cause. maybe it is because tey see it everyday.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004


Chalabi's Take - The Future Iraq Deserves: "Despite the lack of security in Iraq today, a democratic, pluralistic Iraq is the only acceptable outcome. Iraq's unity can be best secured through the involvement of all groups in the political process. The concerns being voiced by many in the international community, of the fear of Sunni marginalization and Shiite domination, were the same concerns that allowed Saddam to last as long as he did. Those arguments are reappearing today, to close the door of hope and opportunity for the Iraqi people. But Saddamism without Saddam is simply not an option."

What Chalabi seems to be saying here is that the arguments of those around the world against the Bush Administration are the same arguments that Saddamists used to keep power. I have been concerned for a long time that the anti-war folks seem to have a kinship of rhetoric with our enemy, and here Chalabi warns against it, and further states that, from his experience in Iraq, that the will of the people is democracy. If that is so, then let's stand behind the founders of this new nation.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004


Kyl Gets it Right - In Defense of Rumsfeld: "Much of the current criticism of Secretary Rumsfeld is centered on troop levels and armor for the troops. Sen. John McCain, for example, has long believed that the Iraq conflict required more troops from the outset, and he may be right. Reasonable people can disagree on this point. Secretary Rumsfeld made a decision to defer to what his commanders on the ground told him. That, too, is a perfectly logical decision. It should also be noted that troop levels were recently increased by 12,000, an increase Secretary Rumsfeld and his commanders agreed upon.
Now, Secretary Rumsfeld is being criticized for his honest response to a soldier in a town-hall meeting in Iraq regarding the shortage of armor for our troops in the field. The secretary responded that you go to war with what you've got, not what you hope to have in the future. But he added that you also adjust to circumstances; and he said he was informed by his generals that the up-armoring was occurring as fast as possible. That may not have been totally correct, because it appears the up-armoring of vehicles now has been speeded up. The question is whether it is fair to heap all the blame on Secretary Rumsfeld for what is, after all, a procurement responsibility of the services. Ironically, another criticism of Secretary Rumsfeld is that he micromanages too much. Critics can't have it both ways."

Oh boy! I love this column! Kyl reminds people that while it is okay to disagree on issue related to the Secretary, it is another to call for his resignation. This is especially true given the full measure of his work there. I would like to see the people who so publicly disagree with him try to lead an organization of 3.5 million people. Most people don't have the capacity to have one employee, and this guy has taken on the task of, not just leading this department, but to turn it around, make it more nimble and appropriate for the times. While there is no doubt that I am a supporter of Rummy's, it is not because of the way he combs his hair. This is a truly brilliant man who has given his life to serve the country. In a time that we are so good to recognize people for that, let's cheer him as well. He is also a man who did not just step into this job from off of the street. He has worked his way up, and has earned his place. The disagreements on how to conduct the war should continue in earnest, but calls for Rummy's resignation should cease.


Thank Goodness

MSNBC - Bush holds first meeting with NAACP leader: "President Bush met Tuesday at the White House with the outgoing head of the NAACP, the first meeting of his presidency with the nation's oldest civil rights organization.
"It was a very frank and a very open dialogue," NAACP President Kweisi Mfume told reporters afterward. "We both have real differences.""

I am pleased that they were able to sit down. Of the leaders of the civil rights groups, even given Mfume's past rhetoric, this is the one I would have chosen as well. He has shown himself, as of late, to be a practical and straightforward guy. Please don't make me eat those words, Kweisi. It may be a new beginnning to getting a dialogue between civil rights leaders and Bush.


Liberal Media Consolidation

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Washington Post buys Slate online magazine: "Washington Post buys Slate online magazine"

Notice that they didn't buy the National Review.


This is About Economics, Not Race

MSNBC - Blacks dying for lack of health care: "Blacks dying for lack of health care
Disparities cost 886,000 lives in the U.S. in '90s
'Access to care is a big factor,' said former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, pictured in June 2001, who co-authored a study on race-related disparities in health care for the December issue of the American Journal of Public Health.
By January W. Payne

More than 886,000 deaths could have been prevented from 1991 to 2000 if African Americans had received the same care as whites, according to an analysis in the December issue of the American Journal of Public Health. The study estimates that technological improvements in medicine -- including better drugs, devices and procedures -- averted only 176,633 deaths during the same period.

That means 'five times as many lives can be saved by correcting the disparities [in care between whites and blacks] than in developing new treatments,' Steven H. Woolf, lead author and director of research at Virginia Commonwealth University's Department of Family Medicine, said in a telephone interview. "

There are poor of all races. It is almost as if this man is asking for some kind of special treatment, instead of expecting those in his race, who want to be healthy, to do what we all have to do: work hard and earn our keep. there are plenty of uninsured, unhealthy white people. Why isn't he just directing the study to the poor? Affluent blacks aren't having the difficulty he speaks of. This just upsets me. Let's talk about healthcare for all or for economic groups and leave race out of the discussion.

Sunday, December 19, 2004


Popey Being Dopey

Pope condemns Christmas materialism - Yahoo! UK & Ireland News: "Pope John Paul has warned against rampant materialism which he says suffocates the spirit of Christmas."

Has it just now occurred to him that this holiday may be a material girl's wet dream? Come on. It is kind of like warning people that air has oxygen in it.

Saturday, December 18, 2004


MSNBC - No. 9 Kentucky steals one from Louisville

MSNBC - No. 9 Kentucky steals one from Louisville: "LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Patrick Sparks sank three free throws with less than a second left to cap his 25-point performance and complete ninth-ranked Kentucky's big comeback for a 60-58 win over No. 13 Louisville and Rick Pitino on Saturday.

The Wildcats (7-1) trailed 32-16 at halftime and were down 58-57 after Larry O'Bannon hit two free throws for Louisville with 15.2 seconds to go.
Kentucky coach Tubby Smith called timeout with 4.8 seconds left to set up the decisive play. Sparks inbounded the ball, then received a pass in the corner. He pump-faked, then jumped into airborne Louisville forward Ellis Myles to draw a whistle from referee J.B. Caldwell.
The buzzer sounded an instant later. But after Caldwell and referee Gerald Boudreaux checked a TV replay, Sparks stepped to the free-throw line with 0.6 seconds on the clock.

Sparks, a 71 percent career shooter from the line, cooly swished all three shots. O'Bannon's desperation heave from half-court wasn't close, and the Wildcats snapped a two-game losing streak to their archrivals and former coach Pitino.
Pitino coached Kentucky from 1989-97, winning the 1996 NCAA championship. After a stint with the NBA's Boston Celtics, he took over at Louisville in 2001."


Good Day for Kentucky!!!

The sun is shing. The sky is blue, and Kentucky beat Louisville. What more could a person ask for? Being Governor of Kentucky is a good gig, because you can be assured of good seats for this timeless rivalry. Maybe I should run...

Update: I just told my Dad of my plan to run for Governor, and he assured me that they would give me good seats to the game to keep me from running. :)


Oh Great Irony

The New York Times > National > A.C.L.U.'s Search for Data on Donors Stirs Privacy Fears: "Some board members say the extensive data collection makes a mockery of the organization's frequent criticism of banks, corporations and government agencies for their practice of accumulating data on people for marketing and other purposes. "

Friday, December 17, 2004


"Have a Cool Yule"

-Christopher Hitchens replied to Pat Buchanan after Pat wished him a Merry Christmas. Seeing Hitchens is always a great dessert, but tonight he was absolutely on fire. He debated the place of Christmas and christian themes in public schools. Everyone knows where Pat Buchanan stands on this and other religious issues and he had some woman backing him up who couldn't come close to keeping up with Hitchens. Hitchens point was that he does not think that it is necessary to have religion in schools. Why do we need it there, he seemed to say. Of course, Pat feels we should have religion everywhere we can get it, schools, stores, etc. I understand that he wants to convert people, but he seems rather incapable of just admitting that. Hitchens merely wants as much respect for not being religious as for those that are. What about the children who do not believe in Christ? Wouldn't they then be outcasts? Why are we doing that to them? I respect both beliefs on this topic, but then it went further. Pat wanted to try to "expose" Hitchens' disdain for Mother Teresa. Hitchens didn't hide on it. He took him on. He has, for quite a long time, been very public about his feelings about her, but it seemed an odd, but possibly effective, way of trying to discount Hitchens to the average viewer who had no clue how truely brilliant he is. Another interesting point was that Pat used a patronizing tone early on in the interview, and Christopher popped back and reminded Pat that he was a guest. Pat handled the moment well, but I love that Hitchens doesn't take any guff. All in all, a good few minutes, but I hope that producers of shows like this don't try to pair Hitchens up anymore. He needs his own segment, as he makes most other guests look stupid.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


Not so Charming, Chevy

DRUDGE REPORT FLASH 2004�: "He deployed the four-letter word that got Vice President Dick Cheney in hot water, using it as a noun. Chase called the prez a 'dumb (expletive).' He also used it as an adjective, assuring the audience, 'I'm no (expletive) clown either. ... This guy started a jihad.'
Chase also said: 'This guy in office is an uneducated, real lying schmuck ... and we still couldn't beat him with a bore like Kerry.' "

How quickly our attitudes change? Wasn't Chevy one of the many Hollywoody's who supported the 'bore'? While he has every right, not just to have the opinion, but express it, I wish he hadn't. It does nothing for political conversation to exclaim that the President 'started a jihad'. Make movies, and leave the politcal commentary to the pols.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


Gender - Family - Study Concludes Men Want Subordinate Women: "'Our results also provide further explanation for why males might attend to dominance-linked characteristics of women such as relative age or income, and why adult males typically prefer partners who are younger and make less money,' she said."

This is another study that I am glad to see, but did not need to in order to understand the desire for men to marry women who have the capacity for child rearing. This should be okay. This study may also legitimize women who are called "gold-diggers", as merely looking for men who may actually like them.
From a practical standpoint, it only makes sense that men want women who can have children and raise them. Similarly, women want men who can support them and the children. While many progessives think this is cro-magnon thought, it is partly just natural.
There are an awful lot of accomplished women out there who need to look at men who are just slightly more accomplished, instead of trying to force a relationship with someone who doesn't have the confidence to handle the relationship. Women, then need to understand a man's desire to have and rear children, and make conscious decisions on how or whether that fits into their vision of the future. There is nothing worse than hearing a woman mourn the loss of her identity, because she never got the time in her twenties, before her husband and children, to really define herself. Similarly, it seems, men should be more open to not having or rearing children if they find a woman who really wants a career.
Because we seem to be in a new era, with some new rules, we need to be aware of what the new rules are and how nature keeps some of the old rules around despite us.


Addictions and OCD Go Hand in Hand

MSNBC - Alcoholism, overeating chemically linked: "The same brain chemical thought to increase our desire to overeat also appears to increase alcoholic tendencies, according to research released Tuesday.

A new study examined the behavior of drunken rats, but has implications for humans, researchers say. Scientists injected tiny amounts of the neuropeptide galanin, which has been shown to trigger excessive eating, into rats' brains and monitored their eating and drinking behaviors. Their water consumption did not change, but they drank far more alcohol after being injected with the appetite-increasing chemical.
Previously, the researchers found that drinking alcohol increased the amount of galanin in the brain. They described this effect as a 'positive feedback loop' between alcohol and the chemical, which also appears to prompt cravings for fatty foods. Foods high in fat have also been shown to trigger a similar feedback loop involving galanin.
'We definitely think there's a linkage there,' said Michael Lewis, a Princeton University psychology researcher and one of the study's authors."

While I am glad they have found proof of it, I think it is somewhat obvious that the same reward centers in the brain are triggered when overeating as when drinking, having sex, or doing other pleasurable things. People who have a tendency toward alcoholism tend to have other obsessive habits, maybe not to the level of a person fully diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but notable tendencies. In fact, it is more than just buzz issue pleasures that these people tend to get obsessed over, such as hobbies, religion, work, child-rearing, etc. Since so many different things can spur a reaction from these reward centers, there is the capacity to go overboard with things perceived as less harmful. When that happens, it tends to go under the person's family's radar as just not knowing when to quit, etc.


Speaking Publicly was a Fool's Errand

MENAFN - Middle East North Africa . Financial Network: " The son of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Kojo, calls the inquiries into Iraq's oil-for-food program a U.S. Republican 'witchhunt,' CNN said Tuesday.
In a written statement to the network, the 31-year-old said: 'I have never participated directly or indirectly in any business related to the United Nations.'"

While this whole mess worries me greatly, I felt Kojo was playing it right to not comment. It would be difficult for him to say anything that would be helpful or shed light on the issue. I quietly applauded his PR people.
Now, here he is calling this a "Republican witchhunt". He went on to say that he never participated in any business directly or indirectly related to the UN. What in the world would he call his salary from Cotecna? Is he saying that those payments were never made? It seems Kofi has admitted publicly to as much. While this may take more elaboration for little old me to understand, it looks particularly easy to discount his word now.

Sunday, December 12, 2004


Tap All of Their Phones

IAEA Leader's Phone Tapped ( "Although eavesdropping, even on allies, is considered a well-worn tool of national security and diplomacy, the efforts against ElBaradei demonstrate the lengths some within the administration are willing to go to replace a top international diplomat who questioned U.S. intelligence on Iraq and is now taking a cautious approach on Iran. "

I suppose we are to read this and be aghast at our nosey intelligence agencies. I'm not. I'm proud that we were on top of this man and others to make sure they were working in the world's interest and not their own as other departments in the U.N. seem to have. Another prudent point to remember would be that this man seems ever anti-american. Not just his antagonism over Iraq, but just his overall reluctance to side with the U.S. on much of anything.


Scary - U.S. & World - Putin Ends Election of Governors in Russia: "President Vladimir Putin (search) signed a bill Sunday to end the election of governors by popular vote, while more than 1,000 opposition activists converged on Constitution Day to denounce what they called his increasingly authoritarian rule. "

While I am sure the powers that be have their eyes trained to this mess, our press seems to have little interest. As Scott Peterson gets hours and hours of air time for killing his wife, Putin is flying under the collective journalists' radar as he slowly and methodically changes Russia back to the USSR. Thank goodness we have a russian expert in Condi at the White House to help shape policy on this matter. Otherwise, I fear it could be much worse.


Aim to Kill or Maim?

ABC News: Yushchenko Aide Alleges 'KGB' Plot: "'I actually talked to [Yushchenko] in late July when getting messages from both Ukrainian and Russian ex-secret service agents saying there was a plot and poisoning is number one,' he said.
Rybachuk said the agents told Yushchenko the goal would not be to kill him but to make him an 'invalid' in order to knock him out of the campaign.
'We couldn't believe they would dare, but they did,' said Rybachuk. "

I just had the thought last night that people don't use poison to teach people a lesson, but rather to kill them. Seems I may have been wrong. This story suggests that they never meant to kill him, but just render him unable to run for office. If that is true, wouldn't they worry that he might get the sympathy vote? Maybe it never occurred to them that a re-vote would be ordered.

Saturday, December 11, 2004


Kentucky Beats Indiana

For Kentuckians, this is sweet. It is not like it was back in the Knight days, but it still feels good. Mike Davis is a man that has a life story that everyone should respect, but not enough to care about him losing to Kentucky. The boys really played Tubby ball today, and should be proud of themselves. Go cats!!!!


We Still Poison People in 2004?

Yahoo! News - Doctor: Yushchenko Poisoned With Dioxin: "Dioxin poisoning caused the mysterious illness of Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko, a doctor said Saturday, adding that the poison could have been put in his soup. "

First, this is so seventeenth century. Second, this only goes to further prove what people will do to stifle democracy. Thank goodness he lived through it, so that people will know what happened, and vote against the types that would have this done. It reminds us again why it is so good to live in America. For all of the headlines about how the '04 election was the dirtiest one in our history, we still don't try to literally poison our enemies. It could be much, much worse.

Friday, December 10, 2004


Drudge is the Master of Headlines


On Kerik...


Still Recruiting For DHS Secretary

My Way News: "Former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, President Bush's choice to be homeland security secretary, has withdrawn his name from consideration, the White House announced late Friday."

I certainly hope that it is for reasons other than the attention his business dealings have gotten. It will be interesting to see what reasons surface.


LA Times Giving Ink to Idiots

Why Academia Shuns Republicans: "The main causes of the partisan disparity on campus have little to do with anything so nefarious as discrimination. First, Republicans don't particularly want to be professors. To go into academia � a highly competitive field that does not offer great riches � you have to believe that living the life of the mind is more valuable than making a Wall Street salary. On most issues that offer a choice between having more money in your pocket and having something else � a cleaner environment, universal health insurance, etc. � conservatives tend to prefer the money and liberals tend to prefer the something else. It's not so surprising that the same thinking would extend to career choices.
Second, professors don't particularly want to be Republicans. In recent years, and especially under George W. Bush, Republicans have cultivated anti-intellectualism. Remember how Bush in 2000 ridiculed Al Gore for using all them big numbers?"

Jonathan Chait wants us all to think that because professors are well educated and liberal that they must be smarter than all of those stupid Republicans. I keep trying to remind my liberal friends that snobbery like that is part of the reason their party is going to be writing about policy and not developing it.
Jonathan is, however, on to something very important as he dicusses the reasons people choose professions. As Larry Kudlow would say, this is a topic I know a little something about. People that choose professions like education, journalism, sociology, psychology, and others, choose those professions because they were brought up to believe that they had the ability to change the world. If they tried real hard, column by column or student by student, they could make a difference. Conservatives, on the other hand, were raised to be practical. Their parents told them to pick a practical profession, not art or acting, but rather one where they could make a good living and provide for their families. They, likely, like my family, went on evening rides through nice neighborhoods coveting the big, beautiful houses.
Good educations and success in business are not things to be taken lightly, just as the choice to educate or entertain should not. The fallacy, it seems to me, is that the choice to educate or be a nurse, etc. is somehow selfless. While the person who chooses this path may not make as much money, they choose it for similarly selfish reasons. Candidly, they choose it because it makes them feel good, and often feel superior. It is the same fallacy I see in much philanthropy. People do not choose to donate time and money for no reason. There is always a level of self-love (as Adam Smith would say) to these kinds of actions. I often joke that the only philanthropy I will be involved in when I am wealthy enough, are the events that feed you. As a teenager, I worked at country clubs and watched rich folk eat and drink until they burst. That's the life.
Chait also wants people to believe that conservatives do not value intellect. It couldn't be further from the truth. We enjoy both straight talking Americans and intellectuals, especially when the two come in one package. The idea that the majority of the Republican party feels it has compromised on intellect is really silly. Jimmy Carter was no MENSA and he is a huge liberal hero. Michael Moore can't find his way out of a paper bag, and yet Senators were lining up at the opening of his movie. Hollywood is full of idiots, but they are paraded on political talk shows as if they have something brilliant to add on current foreign policy. So, "living the life of the mind" is done by thinkers of both parties.

Thursday, December 09, 2004


Can You Hear Me Now?

FCC to consider in-flight use of cell phones - Dec. 9, 2004: "Federal regulators are set to begin discussions later this month on allowing the use of cell phones on commercial airline flights. "

So, as the hilarious comic once said, a twenty dollar piece of plastic from Radio Shack won't actually take the plane down? Huh!


MoveOn "Owns" the Democrats

Yahoo! News - MoveOn to Democratic Party: 'We Own It': "'In the last year, grass-roots contributors like us gave more than $300 million to the Kerry campaign and the DNC, and proved that the party doesn't need corporate cash to be competitive,' the message continued. 'Now it's our party: we bought it, we own it, and we're going to take it back.' "

Watch this. It should be interesting. This is our first taste, it seems to me, of a grassroots group becoming powerful. In no time flat, they will be the lobbyists they so enjoy denigrating now. It is the natural progression of things. They were cute and cuddly as a little grassroots organization that could, but they may become ordinary, everyday power brokers. Just what the Democrats say they fight against.


Editor Doing Himself No Favors With This One

Editor Backs Embed in Rumsfeld Incident, but Criticizes Aftermath: "'He is there to write stories, not make news himself,' Griscom said of Pitts. The editor added that the recipient of the e-mail, whom he would not identify, should not have passed it along. "

The editor does not seem to be mad that he set the questioner up to ask the question, complete with working it out behind the scenes with people who picked the curious Guardsmen, but is upset that it was broadcast via email. The email is how the news got out, but he made news himself by setting it up so that Rumsfeld would be caught off guard. I firmly believe that these soldiers should have every protection possible, but I also believe that Rumsfeld and others at the top are working hard to make that happen. Rumsfeld is no politician. He is a Defense Secretary, and to think he willy nilly puts people in his charge out to war is ludicrous. People who do not trust this Administration are going to distrust his loyalty to these troops regardless, but they do it at their own peril. I see it as wasted exasperation.


Smells Like Sexism - U.S. & World - College's Decision to Allow Men Irks Women: "But many of the young women at the Aurora, N.Y., school say allowing men to attend would compromise the tight-knit community."

When the military and military schools said that, it was considered sexism. Why should we regard this cry of community upheaval any differently?


Dumb Ruling - U.S. & World - Court Prohibits Parents From Eavesdropping: "In a victory for rebellious teenagers, the Washington Supreme Court (search) ruled Thursday that state law prohibits parents from eavesdropping on a child's phone conversations. "

Of all of the dumb parents are legally disallowed eavesdropping as a tool to make sure their kids are on the straight and narrow. Where does this slippery slope take us?


Using Kerik's Popularity and Success Against Him

MSNBC - Kerik made millions from agency contractor: "Taser International was one of many companies that received consulting advice from Kerik after he left his job as New York City police commissioner in 2001, when he was earning $150,500 a year. Kerik remains on Taser's board of directors, although the company and the White House said he planned to sever the relationship.
Partnering with former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and also operating independently, Kerik has had business arrangements with manufacturers of prescription drugs, computer software and bulletproof materials, as well as companies selling nuclear power, telephone service, insurance and security advice for Americans working abroad."

Presenting this with a tone of smug gotcha does not make what he was doing improper. In fact, what company would not want his expertise in getting government contracts? Or are they just trying to soil his name by saying that he made millions? To many, that is enough. The hatred of success runs deep in many circles. If he really does have a sleazy past, run a story on it, but do not try to slime him with his own success.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004


Another Good Rummy Moment

My Way News: "Disgruntled Troops Complain to Rumsfeld"

While he may not have answered as they would have liked, he listened more than anyone ever thought a Secretary would.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


Mandatory Madness

Mandatory Madness ( "If the court forces Congress to construct a new federal sentencing scheme, it will present the legislature with an opportunity to rectify an unfair and senseless disgrace that it should have confronted years ago: mandatory minimum sentences. These are the harsh, often draconian sentences that federal judges must impose for certain crimes -- guidelines or no guidelines. Mandatory minimums are exactly that: fixed terms of 5, 10, 25 years or more, imposed without parole, and without regard to the defendant's background or to mitigating facts in the case. "

A friend of mine brought this up recently as a topic to keep an eye on. His contention, similar to the author of this editorial, is that sentencing should have the benefit of checks and balances, not merely just guidelines and the prosecutor, who may have lofty political goals in his or her sights. Allowing a judge some discretion in sentencing would, in their opinions, possibly bring common sense to the practice. Another interesting thought to chew on...


Worth a Read - Be Careful What You Wish For: "By mostly removing the issue from the democratic process, Roe created the current polarization over abortion, in which both parties are officially committed to extreme positions. The Republican platform calls for a Human Life Amendment, which would presumably ban all or most abortions, while the Democratic platform backs 'a woman's right to choose . . . regardless of her ability to pay' -- meaning abortion on demand, at taxpayer expense.
Opinion polls consistently show that only a small proportion of Americans favor either of these extremes. But because Roe v. Wade and subsequent decisions take off the table any restriction that imposes an 'undue burden' on a woman seeking to abort her pregnancy, Republicans are an extreme antiabortion party only in theory. When it comes to actual legislation, the GOP favors only modest -- and popular -- regulations. The Democrats, on the other hand, must defend such unpopular practices as partial-birth abortion, taxpayer-subsidized abortion, and abortions for 13-year-olds without their parents' knowledge."

Still chewing on it, but recommend it as a good read.


No Surprise Here

The New York Times > New York Region > Seeing a State in Crisis, Spitzer Announces Run for Governor: "Seeing a State in Crisis, Spitzer Announces Run for Governor"

This was on everyone's radar. So much so that it isn't even on Drudge. Don't be fooled. He is not running, because the state is in crisis. He is running, because he has been dreaming of being Governor for a very long time.

Monday, December 06, 2004


Mfume Should've Been Empowered

HUMAN EVENTS ONLINE :: NAACP Head Mfume Didn't Retire, He Was Booted Out by Armstrong Williams: "The two began feuding after Mfume nominated National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice for his 2003 NAACP Image Award. Furious that Mfume was reaching out to the Bush administration, Bond responded by nominating 'Boondocks' cartoonist Aaron McGruder for his Image Award. McGruder had ridiculed Rice in his comic strip and later caller her �murderer� for her role in the war in Iraq.

The rift grew as Mfume continued to reach out to the Republican Party. Mfume realized that by reflexively voting Democrat in every election, the black voting populace has given away most of their political bartering power. After all, what incentive is there for either party to go out on a limb for blacks, if it is taken for granted that blacks will automatically vote Democrat? In effect, the black voting populace has created conditions that make it very easy for both parties to take them for granted. Mfume rightly reasoned that by reaching out to the Republican Party on issues that they already agree with -- like empowering faith based charities, supporting school vouchers, etc. -- the black voting populace can send the message that they�re no longer willing to blindly support the Democrats. Faced with the prospect of fleeing voters, the Democrats would be forced to make new overtures. This competition, in turn, would instill both parties with a sense of urgency for addressing those issues that black Americans routinely rate as their chief concerns. This competitive pressure would provide the black voting populace with increased political options -- and increased bartering power. Somehow this point was lost on Bond, who dug in his heels with mind numbing intransigence. Over the next year and a half, the rift became unmendable."

It turns out that Mfume understood the value of competition in politics and also understood that by keeping traditional enemies close, you may actually gain power. Maybe he can begin a mainstream, practical and less fringe civil rights organization that we can all support.


An LA Times Headline I Love

Underfunding is a myth, but the squandering is real: "Underfunding is a myth, but the squandering is real"

This is a story about the King/Drew Medical Center that has been an absolute embarassment for the Los Angeles area. The more important reason why this headline was attractive to me was that it could be applied to much of our government, but the LA Times would not likely investigate it.

Sunday, December 05, 2004


Need to Better Define "Support Our Troops" - News - Ex-NFLer Tillman Died Unnecessarily In Combat, Newspaper Reports: "The paper's report claims that the information proves Tillman died unnecessarily after botched communications, a mistaken decision to split his platoon despite the objections of its leader, and negligent shooting by some Rangers.
The newspaper also reports that the army knew this shortly after Tillman's death, but didn't make it public.
It says Tillman fought bravely and honorably until his last breath, and Tillman's superiors exaggerated his actions to burnish is legend in public, and suppressed details that might tarnish his commanders."

What possible purpose could this story serve? While it is certainly unfortunate that he died by friendly fire (which we know is common in war), it seems mean to publicize this. His family should get to know the truth, on one hand, but may not want to know this truth. I suppose my reaction would be more approving if I knew that they were glad to have all of the facts, but it just feels like WaPo is exploiting his death to continue their pattern of smearing this President and our military. Remember, these journalists are the ones that say, "we don't support the war, but support the troops". This is one disgusting way to show your support.

Saturday, December 04, 2004


Need a Parent's Signature to be Gay? - U.S. & World - Gays Need Permission for School Dances: "A principal who wants gay couples to get permission slips from their parents before they can attend school dances promised to re-evaluate the policy after protesters held four days of protests.
Copper Hills High School Principal Tom Worlton (search) issued the policy last month but agreed to revisit it Friday. He said he saw the policy as a way to alert the parents to the dangers their children might face."

Straight kids face a good many dangers by going to prom too. After one of my proms, a classmate got alcohol poisoning. Just how many young woman get pregnant on that night? As far as what happens at the actual dance, couldn't a young lady dance with a boy who is physically abusive? In fact, isn't that becoming more common: youth domestic violence? This is merely just a principal who neither understands nor accepts homosexuality, and has made a poor decision because of his lack of understanding.


Sad Story, Stupid Parent - Health - Father: Zoloft Drove My Son to Kill: "Father: Zoloft Drove My Son to Kill"

No, mental illness led your son to kill, not the medicine. The medicine probably kept him from killing sooner. Double murder isn't a side effect of medicine. It is an act. Couple that with the fact that he killed his grandparents in cold blood while they slept and then set the house on fire says that he had thought this nasty act out. He should be ashamed of himself, incarcerated for life, and his father should not blame anyone or anything but his son.


This is Just Ignorant

Kentucky Winery Gets USDA Grant To Market To Minorities: "Equus Run Vineyards near Midway has been awarded a $147,000 grant from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to do a better job of marketing to those ethnic groups in Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. "

This is quite possibly the dumbest use of tax dollars. We are supporting the explicit marketing of alcohol to minorities and flaunting it. Don't we already have a big enough addiction issue in our minority communities? Do we really want the government to help market these kinds of goods to anyone? It's not like we don't have quite a few white drunks too. No matter which way you look at this story, it is disgusting.


Bet on Bunning

The Kentucky Post: "Bunning: Count me in for 2010 run "

Thank goodness. I hope Bunning is in the Senate until he keels over. I am so glad that he is representing us. This article is poorly done as it ends with a quote from the head of the local Democratic party. Sour grapes?


Leave Rudy Alone - Banking With Rudy: "But we hope Mr. Giuliani has also calculated the potential legal risks of such a high-profile financial venture. New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has positioned himself to be the Giuliani of this era by making capitalists a special target. The folks who want to see Mr. Giuliani run for President in four years don't want his bid spoiled by another ambitious prosecutor."

The WSJ seems to have forgotten that Rudy is one of the most popular, and more importantly, trusted men in America. I can assure doubters that all has been forgotten about the early prosecutorial days. When I hear his name, I envision him walking down the dusty street, telling people to put their masks on. It was the worst photo-op in history, and he was a genuinely good leader, the country's big brother in many ways. If Rudy decided to be a race car driver, a lobbyist, a Senator, we would root for him. He has earned the right with the vast majority of the public to do whatever he pleases.


Even the NYT Gets It On The Ukraine

The New York Times > Opinion > Editorial: Saying No to Vladimir Putin: "One of the most heartening aspects of the court's decision was that a Ukrainian institution was deciding the future of Ukraine. That was especially notable after a crude attempt by Mr. Putin a day earlier to lean on the court by summoning Mr. Kuchma to a quick but extensively publicized meeting at a Moscow airport. Mr. Putin might have thought that these demeaning theatrics would intimidate or impress the judges. In the end it made his political failure only more obvious. "

This is an impressively practical NYT op-ed on Ukraine.


Yahoo Just Getting Dumber and Dumber

Yahoo! News - Bush Not Alarmed by Thompson's Comments: "Bush Not Alarmed by Thompson's Comments "

Hello? He's the President. He might've heard about all of that before.

Friday, December 03, 2004


Can We Please Define "News"?

MSNBC - All apologies, or not, online: "Zetlen's Web site gathers the expressions, foreign and domestic, of those who opposed the re-election of President Bush, people offering apologies for his victory."

Why is this, of all things, considered news? It is 12/5/04, over a month since the election, and in a strange, vain attempt at mud-slinging, this story is being revived. It was news the week after the election when we all had a number of these emails in our inboxes, but no longer. Is it expected to be such a slow news day as to deserve such ridiculously old news?


Alternate Routes to Everlasting Life

My Way News: "Dogs with paralyzed hind legs regained the ability to walk after getting a shot of a chemical cousin of antifreeze that helped repair nerve cells in their damaged spinal cords, scientists reported."

While I don't think it is an accident that we are hearing about alternate studies/discoveries to the oft-argued stem cell research, I am glad to see it. I don't know enough to have an educated opinion, but it did bother me that people acted like stem cells were the only way to keep humankind going, even though just a few years ago, Clinton wouldn't touch the issue or allow lines for study. The simplest and most practical answer to much of this is to be open to as much study as can get done by private monies, and allow Washington to play its political game with what they dole out. If stem cell research really is what will save us all from certain death, then rich folk all around the world will start pitching in. I am just sure of it.


Stop Rooting Against America!

Why Jan. 30 Won't Work: "But, and here is where disaster lurks, this is virtually certain not to occur. Sunni leaders have told their people not to vote in order to protest the Fallouja offensive, and insurgents will intimidate many others. Sunni Arab turnout, then, might well be as low as a quarter of their total number, compared with likely Kurd and Shiite voters reaching three-quarters of their totals, or more. In 1992, more than 90% of Kurds voted in free elections in the north.

If this were to happen, Sunni Arabs could end up holding only 5% of the assembly seats while constituting 20% of Iraq's population. Shiites could amass 65% of the seats with only 55% of the population, while the Kurds would have 25% of the seats with less than 20% of the population. Thus, Shiites and Kurds would dominate the elected assembly overwhelmingly, while Sunni Arabs effectively would be marginalized.

Such results would not only be unfair, but they could light a stick of ethnic, religious and policy dynamite. With a commanding majority in the assembly, the Shiites would understandably expect to govern Iraq. But the reality is that Sunni Arabs will not accept rule by the very people they bossed and victimized for most of the last century. National elections will make Iraq's Sunni center less governable, not more. "

This particular grab of the political "Oh Sh**" handle is silly, silly, silly. They are suggesting that there will actually be large blocks of citizenry not to vote in this election to oppose democracy. If we learned anything in Afghanistan, it was that people who have never had the right to vote will risk their lives to do so. We also learned that the 'sky is falling' liberal warnings were ridiculous then just as they are now.
This election needs to happen. It will be another victory for the Iraqi people against those that do not want peace and stability. Having a democratically elected government is the terrorist's cryptonite. The sooner we serve it, the better. To be in favor of election delay is to do the terrorist's bidding.


Yushchenko's WSJ Appeal for American Support - Our Ukraine: "For months, Ukraine's democratic forces warned officials in Kiev and other European capitals that our autumn presidential election would be neither free nor fair. Two of the main reasons for this conclusion were the incumbent government's unprecedented interference in the pre-election campaign and its censorship of the mass media."

First, it says something about this man that he chose the WSJ and not the NYT. Second, I find it interesting that he is trying to impact global PR in this way. I don't know a lot about him, and have no idea whether I should support him, but this gives me cause to think I should.


Putin's PR Offensive

Yahoo! News - Russia's Putin Calls U.S. Policy 'Dictatorial': "Russia's Putin Calls U.S. Policy 'Dictatorial'"

That's one way of playing PR offense, calling the US dictatorial when he knows that dictatorial was exactly how we were privately describing his actions with the Ukraine.

"Unilateralism increased risks that weapons of mass destruction might fall into the hands of terrorists, and would stoke regional conflicts, Putin said in a hard-hitting speech to an invited audience."

Gee, Vlad, isn't your country's old, unguarded stockpiles one of the world's greatest threats? While I would not suggest just dramatically calling Putin an enemy of democracy, thus the West, I would however, say that he is edging further and further away from western common values. The further he goes, the closer he gets to a new cold war. The U.S. cannot and will not accept a new communist rule in that part of the world after all that has been done to fight it over the last fifty years.
In fact, there was a comment made by someone accusing the CIA of being behind the Ukrainian protests. I thought to myself that the spooks really earned their money if they did get that together. It would renew my faith in that organization to know that they were pro-democracy and working purely in the interests of the United States. Recently, that agency has just seemed so distant from my definition of patriotism and values that I truly enjoyed the thought of them handling this crisis.
Anyway, the question now is, who is going to reign Putin in?

Thursday, December 02, 2004


Another Super Dumb Yahoo Headline

Yahoo! News - DNC Reports Cash Edge Over Republicans: "DNC Reports Cash Edge Over Republicans "

Are you kidding me? Who looks at this headline and thinks, "I am so glad someone is covering this!" What's next? Democrats Collected More Aluminum Cans than Republicans


What a Great Article

Jonah Goldberg on Religion on National Review Online: "Meanwhile, I have little reluctance mentioning my depth of religious activities. Religion strikes me as public, belief private. Indeed, when I recently admitted � not for the first time � to being 'not very religious' (perhaps I should have said 'not very observant') I was inundated with e-mail from folks wanting to quiz me on my most private theological beliefs. Since I brought up the matter of religion, they saw no reason for me to get coy about God. "

He covers so many great points. First, he says that people forget how private religion is, and that people are ridiculously nosey about it. I admit that I am nosey about that too. I have now been warned. He brilliantly reminds all of us, that while we may be a bit squeamish about broad public displays of religion, we certainly wouldn't want a religion-less society. He also calls out the upper-crust obsession with "spirituality", which is most liberals way of getting out of church, while still seeming like they prescribe to a normal set of values/morals. It's practical and smart. Read it.


Kerik, It Is

MSNBC - Bush to tap Kerik for security chief: "After leaving his position, Kerik joined Giuliani Partners, the former mayor�s consulting firm, which sent him to rebuild the civilian police force in Iraq, where he put together a force of 40,000 officers in Baghdad alone.
During the presidential election, Kerik was one of Bush�s most visible supporters, speaking graphically about conditions in Iraq under former President Saddam Hussein."

Bernie Kerik was of the handful of heroes I took with me after 9/11. He is tough, no-nonsense, yet practical about vulnerability, seemingly both on personal and professional levels. He has supported the war effort in a very hands-on way, more than I am capable of doing, and we can all appreciate that. Lastly, and least importantly, he is loyal, both to Rudy and to the President. He got this opportunity because he is uniquely qualified for it, but I recognize and appreciate his loyalty.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004


Republicans Next Big Hurdle: Beat Corzine

Yahoo! News - Corzine Says He'll Run for N.J. Governor: "Corzine Says He'll Run for N.J. Governor "

This is no real surprise given the way he ran for the camera and lights after the McGreevy story broke. He nearly broke a leg and ran over an old lady merely to make a comment on the affair. While he is popular and has a distinguished background, I certainly hope that New Jersy can round up a similarly popular Republican to help clean up that mess. The message that it would send to the corrupt polticians of that state would be good too. Not that all corrupt politicians are liberal, but just that New Jersey's most recent scandal was from a liberal who put a foreign lover in the Homeland Security post. High taxes and absurd levels of idiocy call for a common sense approach to a badly needed clean up.


More on Mo

Another of the topics from the Mo talk that has stuck with me through today was Mo’s discussion of embedded reporters. He mentioned that he liked the idea of embedded reporters, but wished that these reporters had more willingness to speak out against the troops and their decisions while traveling with them.
Given the life-or-death relationship that they, by nature, would form, doesn’t speaking out against the troops that are protecting your life defy nature and logic? I understand that he wants the reporters to speak ill of the war and of the troops, because that assists his philosophy, but the reporters are not there to provide fodder for our enemy, ala Kevin Sites/MSNBC/Mosque shooting. The reporters are there to shed a sliver of light on what we really do there, what war is really like, and to provide a response to our enemy’s distorted version of events. It would be ideal, under Mo’s theory, to have our reporters filing reports that Al Jazeera would like to run every five minutes. Thankfully, there just aren’t a lot of those types of stories to file. Again, I enjoyed listening to Mo, but he was just misguided on some of his beliefs.


Oust Annan - Kofi Annan Must Go: "To make matters worse, the actions of Mr. Annan's own son have been called into question. Specifically, the U.N. recently admitted that Kojo Annan received more money than previously disclosed from a Swiss company named Cotecna, which was hired by the U.N. to monitor Iraq's imports under Oil-for-Food. Recently, there are growing, albeit unproven, allegations that Kofi Annan himself not only understands his son's role in this scandal -- but that he has been less than forthcoming in what he knew, and when he knew it."

Not just Senators, but real people too, need to call for Annan to step down. The fact that it has taken this long may, in itself, say something about the kind of power that this position holds. We do not need to exit the U.N. all together, but we certainly need to assist it in cleaning up. In a company, we would expect nearly all of the leadership to step down and a new team to make public all of the ugliness in order to get the organization publically through and then past that phase. By Annan staying on, he is not allowing the organization to heal, which it badly needs to do. If he has committed crimes, he needs to stand up and take it like a man at this point. If these weren't crimes, allowing a dictator to misuse food allotments for his starving people, then it should be. Furthermore, Annan should be ashamed of himself. I realize that often when bad people do bad things, they have become so accustomed to this behavior that it no longer occurs to them how bad it is, but this is bad on a massive scale. His coarse disregard for the Iraqi people makes my stomach turn. Again, shame, shame.


Global AIDS Education

My Way News: "Botswana President Festus Mogae told the BBC 37 percent of Botswanans were infected with HIV. 'We don't seem to be getting on top of it,' he said bleakly. 'We have to say things like 'abstain or die'.' "

The simple fact is that they do have to say those things. In fact, parents and schools telling children to abstain may not keep all of them out of back seats, but it does impact some to wait. In these villages where it is socially approved for men to cheat on their wives and bring disease home, there needs to be a social paradigm shift where that is actually viewed as "killing your innocent wife". When you have millions of AIDS orphans, it is time to remove the stigma of sex and AIDS and open a dialogue that can save lives.

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