Tuesday, August 29, 2006


This is Poor Political Strategy

BREITBART.COM - Kerry Revives 2004 Election Allegations: " Sen John Kerry didn't contest the results at the time, but now that he's considering another run for the White House, he's alleging election improprieties by the Ohio Republican who oversaw the deciding vote in 2004.
An e-mail will be sent to 100,000 Democratic donors Tuesday asking them to support U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland for governor of Ohio. The bulk of the e-mail criticizes Strickland's opponent, GOP Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, for his dual role in 2004 as President Bush's honorary Ohio campaign co-chairman and the state's top election official.
'He used the power of his state office to try to intimidate Ohioans and suppress the Democratic vote,' said Kerry's e-mail.
Kerry, D-Mass., conceded the election when he lost Ohio and its 20 electoral votes. A recount requested by minor-party candidates showed Bush won by about 118,000 votes out of 5.5 million cast. But Kerry's e-mail says Blackwell 'used his office to abuse our democracy and threaten basic voting rights.'
Multiple lawsuits by outside groups were unsuccessful in challenging Ohio's 2004 election. One case filed by the League of Women Voters is still in U.S. District Court in Toledo. It claims Ohio's election system discriminates against minority voters."

I wonder who thinks that this will be successful with voters. Maybe this is what will push die-hards to the polls, but for undecideds, this is not an appealing quality. It sounds like whining. In leadership, when things don't go your way, you have to move on and win the next race. You can't continue to put out press releases complaining about your last loss. It is a bit embarassing. What this country really needs is two viable leaders running for the White House to spur the debate about the country's real problems. He is not that candidate for the Dems.

Monday, August 28, 2006


Good Emmy's But Very Insensitive

Hot Air � Blog Archive � Video: Emmy Parodies Planecrash Hours After Kentucky Accident: "On the other hand, if the Comair crash had happened on the Left Coast, would NBC have gone through with the skit?"

I think this question really sums it up, and I think it is clear that the skit would have been pulled. The 49 souls on that plane had reach far beyond fly-over country (a former Habitat for Humanity Humanitarian of the Year award winner, members of prominent families, and a Minor League baseball player). I found that from across country, I was uncomfortable with the skit. Also, we want those families to be able to watch the show and get their minds off of such things. It would have just shown good tastes and respect to change it. And let's face it, the skit wasn't funny.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


An Interesting Pattern

Storm's Escape Routes: One Forced, One Chosen - New York Times: "Atlanta's evacuees, more likely to have left New Orleans before the flooding, often express enthusiasm for starting over in a place where even dishwashers start at $7 an hour. It is not unusual to hear people here declare the hurricane a net positive in their lives. In Houston, a city that offers similar economic opportunity, the mood lies on the far side of resignation, closer to homesickness and despair."

This passage represents a pattern that I have seen in other situations. While we always loathe lay-offs and similar experiences, I have noticed that those very experiences tend to be a net positive over time. It forces a person into an uncomfortale change, but people often find a better way to live. It seems counter-intuitive, and we certainly would never wish a bad time for people, but when it does happen, it can be very positive in the end. The flip-side of that, represented by many of the evacuees in Houston, is a sad reflection (according to the article) of the number of people routed there, and their lack of means upon arrival. Maybe this article will help get the word out to prompt employers to extract evacuees from Houston to other cities for good jobs. That would be a blessing for both the city and the evacuees.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Tivo Bourdain in Beirut!

That may be some of the best television I have seen in awhile. I do realize that summer TV is bad, so the bar is low, but this really is good. This very spunky Chef goes around the world in search of food and booze and was eagerly awaiting the Beirut experience only to get caught in a war. It's not surprising that the bombs took the sarcasm right out of this guy, replacing it palpable fear. He hated the experience but for more reasons than you might expect. This dude has a soft side that his previous fun and drunk episodes could not have exposed. I could go on and on, but that is just delaying my readers from hitting the record button. This is the Travel Channel's version of "must-see TV".

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Common Sense in Print

Are CEOs Really Overpaid? - Newsweek: International Editions - MSNBC.com: "A more effectively contrarian argument comes from a pair of, surprise, French academics in America. Xavier Gabaix of MIT and Augustin Landier of NYU say that since 1980 the pay of CEOs has risen in lock step with the market capitalization of their companies: both are up 500 percent. Using this logic, CEOs like Chevron's David O'Reilly (who collected some $25 million in 2005) aren't overpaid, because they are running ever bigger, riskier firms, making decisions that touch more and more people. 'The supply of CEOs for large companies is capped, because they need to have experience at other large companies,' says Landier. 'Meanwhile, the supply of skilled workers around the world has increased.' No amount of regulation or disclosure, say the pair, will change the fundamental trend of bigger paychecks at bigger companies. 'It's very much like pay for top actors or sports stars,' says Gabaix. 'If you have the talent to be among the best 500 in your field, you'll be rewarded accordingly."

This is just what makes sense. It is too easy to hate company executives, and considerably easier than becoming a successful one.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


Now Sharpton Sounds Like a Leader

: "Many black youths fall under a spell of 'gangster mentality,' preventing them from becoming leaders and making a positive impact in politics, the Rev. Al Sharpton said. The civil rights activist faulted Hollywood and the record industry for making 'gangsterism' seem cool and acceptable.
'We have got to get out of this gangster mentality, acting as if gangsterism and blackness are synonymous,' Sharpton said Thursday at the annual conference of the National Association of Black Journalists.
'I think we've allowed a whole generation of young people to feel that if they're focused, they're not black enough. If they speak well and act well, they're acting white, and there's nothing more racist than that.'
The key to leadership is taking the initiative to change things, said Sharpton. He said his National Action Network is just one group willing to help young black leaders get into politics.
'Nobody broke in my house in Brooklyn and dragged me out the projects and made me a leader, I wanted to do that. Clearly, we would work with young people who want to do the work,' he said."

Though I would say that some of these negative beliefs about intelligence, etc. are not all of Hollywood's fault and are perpetuated in the groups and friends in the neighborhood, I would also agree that there is plenty of potential in these people that have all but been cast aside. If he can get in there and make a difference in a few as models of what can become of kids in the worst of areas, then I will support this effort. Not all kids from bad areas should be lost causes and he seems to be saying the right things to give some of those kids opportunities. Let's hope so.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Obama's Staff Not Serving Best Interests, It Seems

DRUDGE REPORT FLASH 2006�: "Illinois Senator Barack Obama warns citizens at his 50th Town Hall meeting about gas guzzling, WPSD-TV reports.
It was among many points made to the standing room only audience at the Metropolis Community Center. Obama spoke on everything from DC politics to global warming.
He says part of the blame for the world's higher temperatures rests on gas guzzling vehicles. Obama says consumers can make the difference by switching to higher mileage hybrids.
Today the Senator said, 'It would save more energy, do more for the environment and create better world security than all the drilling we could do in Alaska.'
'After the meeting... Obama left in a GMC Envoy after admitting to favoring SUV's himself,' claimed local News Channel 6.
Tommy Vietor, Senator Obama's press secretary, explains: 'What Senator Obama has long advocated is the use of vehicles that are more fuel efficient, including but not exclusively hybrids.
'The vehicle senator obama travels in while in illinois is a Flexible Fuel Vehicle (FFV), which can run on e85, a blended fuel made of 85 percent ethanol.
'So he in fact was practicing what he preached at the town hall meeting in Metropolis yesterday when he said we must drive fewer gas-guzzling vehicles.'
But it does not appear that GMC's Envoy is E85 ready."

If this is as Drudge reports it, this press secretary has done his boss a disservice by the simplest of sins...lying. Why do it? Just say that this is not his personal vehicle and that a politician has a great number of handlers that have to be present. Everyone knows that. No one expects him to show up in a Prius. He also needs to tone down his rhetoric a bit until he can live his own advice. Getting stuck in this mess is of their own doing, but just a dumb mistake.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


You Know Why This is a Top Story?

The Enquirer - Associated Press: "SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) -- A Roman Catholic bishop apologized Saturday for waiting several days to notify authorities about sexual abuse allegations against a priest, a delay that may have allowed the priest to flee to Mexico.
Bishop Daniel Walsh of the Santa Rosa diocese said in a one-page statement to parishioners that he put 'caution' before 'doing the right thing' in handling the allegations against The Rev. Xavier Ochoa.
Church officials say Ochoa admitted April 28 to sexually abusing a 12-year-old altar boy, but the allegations were not reported to Child Protective Services until May 1, and Ochoa disappeared the next day."

Because so few of the Catholic Church upper echelon have apologized for any of these types of failings. He apologized for waiting a few days. What about Ratzinger who aided keeping these types of secrets for years, even decades? No I'm sorry's from our Dear Pope.


Panel Suggests Using Inmates in Drug Trials - New York Times

Panel Suggests Using Inmates in Drug Trials - New York Times: "Until the early 1970's, about 90 percent of all pharmaceutical products were tested on prison inmates, federal officials say. But such research diminished sharply in 1974 after revelations of abuse at prisons like Holmesburg here, where inmates were paid hundreds of dollars a month to test items as varied as dandruff treatments and dioxin, and where they were exposed to radioactive, hallucinogenic and carcinogenic chemicals.
In addition to addressing the abuses at Holmesburg, the regulations were a reaction to revelations in 1972 surrounding what the government called the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male, which was begun in the 1930's and lasted 40 years. In it, several hundred mostly illiterate men with syphilis in rural Alabama were left untreated, even after a cure was discovered, so that researchers could study the disease.
"What happened at Holmesburg was just as gruesome as Tuskegee, but at Holmesburg it happened smack dab in the middle of a major city, not in some backwoods in Alabama," said Allen M. Hornblum, an urban studies professor at Temple University and the author of Acres of Skin, a 1998 book about the Holmesburg research. "It just goes to show how prisons are truly distinct institutions where the walls don't just serve to keep inmates in, they also serve to keep public eyes out.""

I have to side with the opponents here. Coercion and abuses are too obviously a risk for the prisoners. When we see someone who has done something heinous, we know that they are likely to experience really bad things when they go to prison. In fact, we occasionally root for it. To think that this kind of research could actually be reviewed appropriately when the minimum of oversight can't be assured is sophomoric. I am not a prison rights type, but I don't want people to be used just because we can.


Six Years In and We Are Just Now Finding Out?

Is Bush a Conservationist or Eco Disaster? - Newsweek Technology - MSNBC.com: "Before moving into the White House, George W. Bush built the kind of vacation home that Al Gore might have designed. His Texas ranch captures rain and wastewater for landscaping. Solar panels line the roof and an underground geothermal system provides heating and air conditioning. There's even a protected forest that is home to the rare golden-cheeked warbler."

It is interesting what the Administration brags about and what it doesn't. The house doesn't prove the President is an ardent conservationist, but it does suggest an awareness that has not been talked about before. If someone had described the house and asked who I thought had it, the President would have never been uttered. Doesn't he have a model for behavior for others of his wealth? Shouldn't we be holding this up as an example? They quite possibly are. I really hope so.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


It is Only Fair

Police Arrest "Johns" In Reverse Prostitution Sting: "A couple of dozen men picked the wrong night to solicit prostitutes in Cincinnati.
Police in both Over-the-Rhine and Avondale conducted a 'reverse' prostitution sting Tuesday night.
Undercover female officers posed as prostitutes and the 'johns' they attracted were then arrested.
Under a new civil fine program, the men's cars were also towed and they will have to pay a $500 fine to get them back."

It always stuns me when I watch "Cops" and see the prostitutes arrested and the men let go. Uhhh. In some places, it is not against the law to solicit, rather only to be a prostitute. That is dopey on all counts. It is clear that men who have frequented these professionals made these laws. Notice that this is a new civil fine program in Cincinnati. Notice also that they call it a "reverse sting". If it is illegal for one side, it should obviously be illegal for the other. Why this hasn't been obvious all along baffles me.

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