Texsanity

Saturday, July 12, 2003


WHO AM I? SOMETIMES I'M NOT SURE MYSELF! - AKA, JFK RAP

I'm a war hero.

I'm a peace activist.

I've said that Saddam Hussein is a menace who must be removed!

I think that the President misled the people regarding the threat from Iraq!

I'm for transgender rights!

I'm for gay unions!

I'm against gay marriage!

I hung out with big-time counterculture, anti-war rock stars.

My wife is a mega-millionaire who is buddies with Kenneth Lay.

I spend $75 dollars for a haircut and it still looks like shit.

I'm the candidate of the people - Running against the divisive, corporatist Republicans!

My name is John F. Kerry (that's right - JFK).

Oh, did I tell you I'm a war hero?


YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK
The Washington Times reports:

A $147,000 National Institutes of Health grant funded the research, which studied the effect of pornography on females to determine whether sexual arousal is as category specific for women as it is for men. That allocation prompted 20 Republican members of Congress, including Flake, to write to the director of the National Institutes of Health and ask him to explain the "bizarre spending decision."

"The amount of money spent on (my research) compared to others is tiny, a very small grant for (National Institutes of Health) standards," Bailey said.

Chivers said she was surprised at the controversy over funding for Bailey's research and the sexuality conference. Bailey said he thought politicians singled out his and Chivers' research because "it was easy for them to mischaracterize and make fun of."

    House Republicans are considering an effort to limit funding for projects such as a three-year study of sexual arousal that is set to receive more than $700,000 from the National Institutes of Health.

    Psychologist Erick Janssen has already received $237,000 from NIH for the first year of his study on how emotional mood affects "sexual risk taking," the latest federally funded sex-research project to draw criticism from Capitol Hill.

    "In a series of laboratory studies, mood and sexual arousal will be induced and their individual and combined effects on sexual risk taking will be examined," Mr. Janssen wrote in describing his project, which congressional staffers estimated would receive more than $711,000 in NIH funds through April 2005.

    
Sexual "risk taking"? What in hell is that? And why is it so fucking important that we need to spend seven hundred thousand dollars studying it? If we understand it better, how will humanity benefit? Would we better off spending it on something more pressing like curing athlete's foot?

Think about it. If you make $50,000 per year and you pay 20% in income tax (not counting social security so this assumption probably overestimates your tax contribution) that is $10,000 per year. If ALL of your tax dollars were spent on the "risk taking stud" you would have to work for 71 years to pay for it all. AND you would get no other government services (except social security). No freeway system, no expenditures on the military, no welfare - nothing. You couldn't pay for this study in YOUR ENTIRE WORKING LIFETIME.

And then there is this from The Daily Northwestern:

"They used our research to make their argument, but in fact I think our research is important and interesting, and scientists who know about the issues and what we're doing have found it really cool," he said.

The arousal study showed that while watching pornography men had a one-sided arousal pattern -- straight men were aroused by clips with women, gay men by those with men. But females in the study, straight or gay, were aroused by both male and female sex acts. The results could be published in "Psychological Science" by 2004, Chivers said.


Well, it may be "really cool" 'n all but I'd rather not have the federal government in the business of funding it. I think if the people of Illinois decide that this is a worthy cause then they ought to fund it out of state tax dollars.

I also heard tonight that the total NIH package that was being disputed was $1.5 million including the numbers metioned above. And also the research will include a study of transvestite native American Indians and a study of the habits of asian-american prostitutes in San Francisco.

Representative Barney Frank was on Hardball supporting the expenditures tonight. He repeatedly made statements to the effect that - prostitution is there whether you like it or not and the NIH has a legitimate reason to study it as a disease control issue. Barney also thought that "mental health" issues are "serious" and worthy of study - here I think talking about the study of transvestite American Indians.

Maybe we should listen to Barney, after all he should know a lot about prostitution and mental health. From The Washington Post, August 27, 1989:

Gobie's dream has come true. His accusation that Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) knew that Gobie had operated a prostitution service out of Frank's Capitol Hill apartment became national news after it was first reported Friday by the Washington Times.

Frank, one of two openly gay members of Congress, confirmed Friday that he paid Gobie for sex, hired him with personal funds as an aide and wrote letters on congressional stationery on his behalf to Virginia probation officials, but Frank said he fired Gobie when he learned that clients were visiting the apartment.

In late 1985, Gobie says, he began to use Frank's apartment and two other locations for prostitution. Frank knew about the prostitution all along, but it was never explicitly discussed, Gobie says.

"He knew exactly what I was doing," Gobie said. "It was pretty obvious. If he had to come home early {from work}, he would call home to be sure the coast was clear . . . . He was living vicariously through me. He said it was kind of a thrill, and if he had been 20 years younger he might be doing the same thing."


And now, 14 years later, Representative Frank(enfurter) is still in the House having been reelected by the proles in Massachusettes at least six times. And he gets to vote (in a really tight vote) for keeping the funding where it was. Almost as disgusting as the fact that they keep reelecting Ted Kennedy.


Friday, July 11, 2003


THE KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR

The intrepid Howard Dean is the FIRST to demand resignations over URANIUMGATE! His mother must be so proud.

Dr. Dean-0 actually told an interviewer today that apparently some of his challengers for the Democratic nomination were obviously "mislead" because they voted for the authorizing the use of force last October (Kerry, Lieberman, Gephardt). Pretty interesting, a dig at both his born-again pacifist opponents and the administration at the same time. Also, sickening pablum.

The Great Hero of the PRV (People's Republic of Vermont) was also heard saying that the revelations about the SOTU address were begining to smell like "Watergate".

Just like Governor Assnugget, Phd. to make the comparison: factually correct (but as yet uncorroborated) statement in SOTU = felony breaking and entering/illegal domestic surveillance by the White House/elaborate obstruction of justice scheme coordinated by the President. You got sum MAD SKILLZ, GUV!

To put this little teapot tempest in perspective, a poll today showed that 66% of Dimmocrat voters can't identify a single candidate for president from their own party. These yokels only have two more months before the traditional Labor Day kick-off (although they've all been running FOREVER). Kerry and Dr. Demento had the highest name recogition at 7% each.

No wonder they make such a big deal about nothing. They HAVE nothing. No ideas; no issues - NADA.


THOUGHTS ON THIS YEAR'S WATERGATE

I just saw an interview on CNN with Frank Gaffney and some asshat whose name I didn't catch (I tuned in during the middle). Mr. Asshat trotted out the "it depends on what the meaning of is is" slander an ended his argument with the stupefying assertion that Bush's reference to Iraqi attempts to purchase uranium in Africa during his 2003 SOTU address might "bring down the administration".

The Democrats are really jumping on this and it is going to backfire on them big-time.

First, what did Bush actually say? "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." The British government, as recently as yesterday reasserted that their intellegence on this matter is correct and had nothing to do with the discredited evidence suggesting that Hussein had bought "yellow cake" from Niger. Also notice that Bush doesn't mention Niger in the speech.

Second, as Clifford May points out today at NRO, one of the primary critics and leaders of the disinformation campaign against Bush is hardly the non-partisan "CIA expert" he would have you believe:

It also would have been useful for the New York Times and others seeking Wilson's words of wisdom to have provided a little background on him. For example:

He was an outspoken opponent of U.S. military intervention in Iraq.

He's an "adjunct scholar" at the Middle East Institute — which advocates for Saudi interests. The March 1, 2002 issue of the Saudi government-weekly Ain-Al Yaqeen lists the MEI as an "Islamic research institutes supported by the Kingdom."

He's a vehement opponent of the Bush administration which, he wrote in the March 3, 2003 edition of the left-wing Nation magazine, has "imperial ambitions." Under President Bush, he added, the world worries that "America has entered one of it periods of historical madness."

He also wrote that "neoconservatives" have "a stranglehold on the foreign policy of the Republican Party." He said that "the new imperialists will not rest until governments that ape our world view are implanted throughout the region, a breathtakingly ambitious undertaking, smacking of hubris in the extreme."

He was recently the keynote speaker for the Education for Peace in Iraq Center, a far-left group that opposed not only the U.S. military intervention in Iraq but also the sanctions — and even the no-fly zones that protected hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Kurds and Shias from being slaughtered by Saddam.

And consider this: Prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Wilson did believe that Saddam had biological weapons of mass destruction. But he raised that possibility only to argue against toppling Saddam, warning ABC's Dave Marash that if American troops were sent into Iraq, Saddam might "use a biological weapon in a battle that we might have. For example, if we're taking Baghdad or we're trying to take, in ground-to-ground, hand-to-hand combat." He added that Saddam also might attempt to take revenge by unleashing "some sort of a biological assault on an American city, not unlike the anthrax, attacks that we had last year."


Let's also recall that the Congress voted overwhelmingly to authorize the use of force in October of 2002. Dick Gephardt and Tom Daschle both voted in favor with Daschle saying, "I believe it is important for America to speak with one voice. It is neither a Democratic resolution nor a Republican resolution. It is now a statement of American resolve and values."

This piece of information, which again the British Government still stands behind, was hardly central to the case - Colin Powell didn't even mention it at his presentation to the UN in early February. He did however lay out an impressive array of information supporting, in great detail, the American position that Hussein was not cooperating with Resolution 1441.

Condoleezza Rice today said that the CIA cleared the speech. They apparently had "some specifics about the amount and place" taken out. But they did not ask that the reference to Iraqi attempts to purchase uranium be removed.

George Tenet made a lengthy statement today which corroborates Rice's recollection:

Portions of the State of the Union speech draft came to the CIA for comment shortly before the speech was given. Various parts were shared with cognizant elements of the Agency for review. Although the documents related to the alleged Niger-Iraqi uranium deal had not yet been determined to be forgeries, officials who were reviewing the draft remarks on uranium raised several concerns about the fragmentary nature of the intelligence with National Security Council colleagues. Some of the language was changed. From what we know now, Agency officials in the end concurred that the text in the speech was factually correct – i.e. that the British government report said that Iraq sought uranium from Africa. This should not have been the test for clearing a Presidential address. This did not rise to the level of certainty which should be required for Presidential speeches, and CIA should have ensured that it was removed.

So let's review.

The CIA reviewed the SOTU draft. At the time of the review, the Niger-Iraq uranium deal intelligence had not yet been determined to be a forgery, although there was some skepticism at CIA. British intelligence, even after being informed of CIA's concerns about the it's own sources, was at the time and remains to this day confident about the veracity of the British information. Congress was not swayed by the information, because it had voted overwhelmingly to authorize the use of force three months before the SOTU. The UN was not swayed in any case, because the French indicated that they would veto any resolution authorizing force regardless of what evidence was presented.

Since the end of the war, very little chemical and biological weapons equipment has been found. But we have found a good deal of nuclear waste material and some uranium gasseous diffusion equipment buried in the backyard of and Iraqi scientist at the direction of the former regime. We know that the Iraqi's had a nuclear weapons program that was dangerously close to a deliverable bomb (perhaps two to five years) before the first Gulf War. And we also know that they managed to hide a continuing nuclear program after the inspectors were in the country until the defections of Hussein Kamel and Kadhir Hamza in 1995.

Even without the evidence of continued pursuit of new uranium supplies, no one on either side of the aisle doubted that Hussein would continue his nuclear program if left uncheckd. In fact, Hillary Clinton was quite explicit in her statement at the time of the October 2002 vote:

In 1998, the United States also changed its underlying policy toward Iraq from containment to regime change and began to examine options to effect such a change, including support for Iraqi opposition leaders within the country and abroad.

In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001.

It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security.

Now this much is undisputed. The open questions are: what should we do about it? How, when, and with whom?


So she clearly believed, three months before the SOTU, that Hussein would continue his nuclear weapons program if left "unchecked". Her husband also believed this which is why the policy of the United States changed to "regime change" in 1998 during his administration.

All of this brouhaha has been stirred up over sixteen words in a State of the Union Address. Sixteen words that, regardless of hysterical protestatons of desperate Democrats aside, HAVE NOT BEEN PROVEN FALSE. Sixteen words that the Prime Minister of Britain and his intellegence services still maintain were correct. It is important to remember that only the US documents relating to the Iraq-Niger negotiations were deemed to be forgeries - that doesn't mean that it didn't happen, it only means that we can't prove it. Sixteen words that all parties acknowledge are "factually correct".

The only thing that this "scandal" is going to bring down are the Democratic presidential candidates who try to use it to score points. They are like lemmings following the dangerously moronic Dr. Howie over the cliff to the next "Watergate". They're wrong about "Watergate" but right about at least one similarity to 1972 - their rampant charge into the arms of the pacificst left will doom them to a replay of George McGovern's disasterous campaign.



Thursday, July 10, 2003


I SHIT YOU NOT

Den Beste's illness has finally gotten the best of him. How else to explain a post that launches with the origin of the word shit?

Perhaps it is homage to Merde in France?


THEY EAT THEIR OWN

The American Spectator reports on the mud collecting at Kerry HQ:

Kerry's folks have begun intensive opposition research on Dean, sending staff to Vermont to pull together whatever dirt they can find out about not only Dean but also his wife, who continues to work as a physician in the state.

"It's early, but not too early to start taking him down a notch," says a Kerry staffer. "We've gone head to head with Dean in debates, we've tried to shout them down and shut them up, and they are still hanging around. We're going on the offensive."
From the beginning, perhaps because Kerry was a fellow Northeastern Democrat, Dean seemed to focus his attacks on the senator from Massachusetts. The two candidates have gone at each other throats in debates and candidate forums around the country, and Dean has jabbed at Kerry from the podium. Now Dean has apparently outraised Kerry and his huge fundraising operation in the second quarter of this fiscal year.

Kerry's oppo staff appears to be focusing on Dean's career as a practicing physician, which the candidate has spoken about on the stump. Dean has claimed that he assisted underaged women who were pregnant, but has declined to say whether he provided them with abortions. Dean has also attempted to side-step his deferment from the military during the Vietnam War. Dean claims it was for a congenital back problem. But after receiving his free pass out of service, he spent several months skiing in Colorado, and has bragged about it.

The Kerry staffer says that Dean's recent appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" gave them pause. "He was avoiding having to talk about anything substantive from his background. There has to be stuff there. We're looking. If he's going to be around for the long haul, we might as well be ready."


Opps. A little tarnish on Dr. Dean-0's shining armor. Heh, heh.


IS IT SOMETHING IN THE WATER?

...that makes Democrats (especially Massachusetts Dems) go insane?

This story from The Boston Herald via John Hawkins:

WOLFEBORO, N.H. - As Gov. Mitt Romney basked yesterday in newfound hero status over his role in rescuing a family whose boat sank in Lake Winnipesaukee, irked Democrats tried to torpedo his big splash with partisan politics.

After the Herald reported the GOP governor's rescue effort, Romney found himself in a media frenzy, including national TV headlines.

But some Democrats complained that Romney was vacationing while lawmakers debate vetoes he imposed cutting dozens of human service programs.

``There are lots of people drowning in the commonwealth right now who would certainly welcome a rescue,'' said Rep. Jay R. Kaufman (D-Lexington).


It seems that Citizen Jay is one of those commonweath memebers in need of assistance. Someone please direct him back to the sanitarium before he hurts himself.

But Rep. Paul Kujawski (D-Webster) said other governors would have been ``condemned for leaving the state,'' while Romney ``seems to have privileges other governors haven't.''

``Mitt Romney only chooses to run for office from Massachusetts - he doesn't vacation here,'' said Democratic Party spokeswoman Jane Lane.


Romney and two of his sons leapt onto Jet Skis and plucked six members of a New Jersey family and their dog out of dangerous waters Saturday night.


Apparently, before Romney's election, Massachusetts governors were not allowed to leave the state. Perhaps impeachment is indicated?

Can't these idiots just say "nice job Mr. Governor, now let's get back to business"? Why is it impossible for Democratic operatives to believe that a Republican could do a nice thing for someone? It appears that they have begun to believe their own propaganda.

You'd think they'd at least have the common sense to stifle their partisan urges and shut up for a few moments. Sure beats making an ass out of yourself in print.


As Instapundit is asking this morning - where is the coverage of the Iranian student protests and the threats and kidnapping against their leaders by the Mullahs?

Dallas Morning News front page headlines:

Economy slows N. Texas growth

Labels to expose another bad fat

Iraq costing billions

Mexico faces its own border problems

Bush: U.S. will help in Liberia, to a point

Missing-player puzzle wears on loved ones


NOWHERE in the front section of the DMN is there any mention of Iran. Unbelievable.

Are our newspapers serious about covering world events anymore?


Wednesday, July 09, 2003


IDIOTARIAN GONE WILD

In the pantheon of self-important, deranged hysterics - which would include notables such as Robert Fisk, John Pilger, Michael Moore and Norman Mailer - Ted Rall may very well occupy the primary position.

I question whether Ted Rall is an actual human being. Is he a straw-man constructed as an elaborate joke? A cartoon of a cartoonist? Unfortunately he appears to be real if not inhabiting the reality that you and I know.

From the incredible AUTHORITARIANS GONE WILD (hat tip to the incomparable Charles Johnson):

He has canceled elections in Iraq (news - web sites). He will probably cancel them in Afghanistan (news - web sites). Will George W. Bush put the kibosh on elections in the United States next year?

In his third sentence, Rall announces that he is not to be taken seriously. His reasoning leaps from alleged cancelled elections in third world countries who haven't seen democratically elected leaders in their entire histories (when exactly have elections been promised that were cancelled - Rall's links don't point us to this) to speculating that the President of the United States would, in unprecedented fashion, cancel elections at home.

Frightened by Bush's rapidly accruing personal power and the Democrats' inability and/or unwillingness to stand up to him, panicked lefties worry that he might use the "war on terrorism" as an excuse to declare a state of emergency, suspend civil liberties and jail political opponents.

People who have spoken out against Bush are talking exit strategy--not Alec Baldwin style, just to make a statement, but fleeing the U.S. in order to save their skins. "Do you or your spouse have a European-born parent?" is a query making the rounds. (If you do, you can obtain dual nationality and a European Union (news - web sites) passport that would allow you to work in any EU member nation.) Those whose lineage is 100 percent American are hoping that nations like Canada and France will admit American political refugees in the event of a Bushite clampdown.


Perhaps Ted picked up this vibe at a group therapy session - you know how those paranoid personalities will talk!

What actions has Bush taken that leads one to believe that he has a "clampdown" in mind (even if that were within his power - which it ISN'T)? Teddy doesn't specify - perhaps he is too busy sucking his thumb to type out the words.

I have a word for you Teddy. Can you say, imbecile?

To these people, whether or not the 2004 elections actually take place as scheduled is the ultimate test for American democracy.

Now I am starting to get pissed off. I know I shouldn't - my parents taught me to shrug off mindless taunts directed my way from ignorant assholes....but, he is accusing me - YES, by association ME, as one of "these people" - of supporting the cancellation of the 2004 election in order to somehow preserve American democracy. I'd like for Rall to make this point to my face - and NO, punching him in the mouth would not be crushing dissent, it would be what he deserved for being so fantastically ignorant.

At Guantnamo Bay the United States is converting a concentration camp into a death camp where inmates will be executed without due process or legal representation. Never before in history has a U.S. president contemplated the denaturalization of native-born citizens-thus far even people executed for treason have died as Americans--but Bush has drafted legislation that would allow him to strip anyone he calls an "enemy combatant" of their citizenship and have them deported. By any objective standard he has already gone way too far, but for many it would take the cancellation or delay of the elections to confirm that we are trading in our wounded democracy for a fascist state.

How long were Nazis held after capture in World War II? Until the end of the war, no? So a few (hundred) people captured (mostly in AFGHANISTAN) for fighting against US troops have been held for a year or so in Cuba. How many lives did their detention and interrogation save? Rall would rather you didn't think about that. But if they are really living in a "concentration camp", why are they gaining weight?

Where are the Americans stripped of their rights and awaiting death row? Name one person executed for complicity in the 9/11 attack or for treason by America. No, you can't Rall because there haven't been ANY. Only "chicken-little" cries from you and the paranoid far-left about imaginary, jack-booted Ashcroft brigades.

Lincoln considered suspending the 1864 election because of the Civil War, but ultimately tabled the idea. To date nothing has ever prevented an American presidential election from being held on time.

Exactly. The bombings of New York and Washington by Saudi and Egyptian nationals on September 11, 2001 didn't stop the election of November 2002. And there aren't any plans to suspend the 2004 election.

It's easy to come up with a scenario in which canceling the 2004 election could be made to appear reasonable. Imagine that, a few weeks before Election Day, "dirty bombs" detonate simultaneously in New York and Washington. Government, media and political institutions and personnel lie ruined in smoking rubble and ash; hundreds of thousands of people have been murdered. The economy, already teetering on the precipice, is shoved into depression. How could we conduct elections under such conditions?

If 10 to 20 million people suddenly became homeless and the country was thrown into an overnight depression by war just weeks before an election then, you're right, it might be prudent to postpone until order is restored and the survivors are settled and able to cast their votes. But that's not what you are suggesting is it? The only way your idiotic little scenario supports your theory is if Bush is behind the attacks on his own country. But really Rall, your grip on politics is sloppy. If Bush had New York and D.C. nuked, he'd want to have the election before they recovered - think how many liberal votes would be wiped out.

Republicans have already floated the don't-change-horses-in-midstream argument. After Democratic presidential Sen. John Kerry criticized Bush recently, GOP National Committee Chairman Mark Racicot took him to task not for his specific remarks, but rather for "daring to suggest the replacement of America's commander-in-chief at a time when America is at war." The White House website's "frequently asked questions" section indicates that the "war" is expected to continue well beyond 2004: "There is no silver bullet, no single event or action that is going to suddenly make the threat of terrorism disappear. This broad-based and sustained effort will continue until terrorism is rooted out. The situation is similar to the Cold War, when continuous pressure from many nations caused communism to collapse from within. We will press the fight as long as it takes."

The Cold War lasted 46 years; does Bush intend to remain in office that long?


What should the White House say, Genius? Should they put out a press release that says, "We are committed to fighting terrorism until our time runs out in office! That may be in two years or, if we're lucky, it could be six years. But after that we can't guarantee American resolve because we will be out of office. Take heart Terrorist! Rall may be elected!".

Our boy president has plenty of reason to worry about his election chances. A new CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll says that only 50 percent of Americans would vote for Bush over a generic unnamed Democrat--the lowest number since 9/11. Two-thirds say that Bush lied about or exaggerated the threat from Iraq's WMDs, and a steady flow of body bags from Afghanistan and Iraq has made 53 percent aware that the occupations are going poorly. Pollsters report that most people trust Democrats to rescue the sinking economy--and few believe that Bush's tax cuts will help them.

Don't let the facts get in your way, asshole. A "steady flow of body bags"? About two hundred since the start of the war in Iraq. Much less than you hoped for I'm sure. Do you ever tire of imitating a piece of shit?


Bush may be the kind of guy who sees 99 percent odds as 2 percent short of a sure thing, but I bet he'll look at his $200 million campaign war chest and decide to let the people decide. He'll surely want to win legitimately in 2004--albeit for the first time. Though they're capable of anything, Bush's people probably know that Americans wouldn't stand for two putsches in four years. Still, you have to hand it to him: The fact that Democrats are terrified of ending up imprisoned by an American Reich is the ultimate tribute to Bush's artful bullying--and sad confirmation of the impotence of his would-be, should-be opponents.

Putshe! Bush=Hitler! So subtle is the GREAT RALL! Notice the SUPERIOR INTELLECT! MENSA is surely jealous!

I don't see the Democrats shying away from criticizing Bush. Carl Levin is on the TV every night stumbling over his dick to make a bogus point against him. John Kerry is working 24/7 to cover up the fact that he SUPPORTED the war. Howard Dean is running at the windmill from the left. And Al Sharpton zig-zags through the debate taking the opposite position from the President even when he agrees with him.

No Rall, if there is any real danger to the country it is from hate-filled, anti-intellectualls like you. You find yourself losing the debate, so you resort to paranoid rants. No facts, no rational argument - just play to the emotions of children.

You are a fool.


Checking the Site Meter stats, I just passed the 4,000 hit mark today.

Not exactly Instapundit but a few people are visiting my (not so) humble polemic.

I got a hit from someone searching "discredit michael moore" today. Glad I could help in that worthy cause.


MORE MUSIC

I've been so into listening to The Spinanes'Arches and Aisles and Interpol's Turn on the Bright Lights that I'd forgotten the third album puchased in that batch - Britta Phillips and Dean Wareham's (half of Luna) L'Avventura.

Quite a treat to insert it into the DVD player and take it for a spin tonight. Very dreamy and very good.

Britta does her best Hope Sandoval imitation on the lovely "Out Walking" and "Your Baby". I think I'm in lust with Britta (as were a number of -uggh- women at the last Luna concert I attended). Not to downplay her musical talent, which is considerable, but she is a babe.

Aventura is not exactly my favorite word right now. Andy and Stephen, you know why but the rest of the half-dozen readers of this site will have to stay in the dark until the situation is resolved. Ask me about "McQuality".

Then again, Aventura is also a town in Florida where I soon hope to have a new project - GO BO. So, the A-word is not all bad.

But, I would rather have just known it for the album and the city.


DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ

From capitolhillblue.com via Instapundit:

On Tuesday, we ran a story headlined "White House admits Bush wrong about Iraqi nukes." For the first time, Wilkinson said he was willing to go on the record and told a story about being present, as a CIA contract consultant, at two briefings with Bush. He said he was retired now and was fed up and wanted to go public.

"He (Bush) said that if the current operatives working for the CIA couldn't prove the story was true, then the agency had better find some who could," Wilkinson said in our story. "He said he knew the story was true and so would the world after American troops secured the country."

After the story ran, we received a number of emails or phone calls that (1) either claimed Wilkinson was lying or (2) doubted his existence. I quickly dismissed the claims. After all, I had known this guy for 20+ years and had no doubt about his credibility. Some people wanted to talk to him, so I forwarded those requests on to him via email. He didn't answer my emails, which I found odd. I should have listened to a bell that should have been going off in my ear.

Today, a White House source I know and trust said visitor logs don't have any record of anyone named Terrance J. Wilkinson ever being present at a meeting with the President. Then a CIA source I trust said the agency had no record of a contract consultant with that name. "Nobody, and I mean nobody, has ever heard of this guy," my source said.

I tried calling Terry's phone number. I got a recorded message from a wireless phone provider saying the number was no longer in service. I tried a second phone number I had for him. Same result.

Then a friend from the Hill called.

"You've been had," she said. "I know about this guy. He's been around for years, claiming to have been in Special Forces, with the CIA, with NSA. He hasn't worked for any of them and his name is not Terrance Wilkinson."

Both of his phone numbers have Los Angeles area codes but an identity check through Know-X today revealed no record of anyone named Terrance J. Wilkinson ever having lived in LA or surrounding communities.

His email address turns out to be a blind forward to a free email service where anyone can sign up and get an email account. Because it was not one of the usual "free" services like Hotmail, Yahoo or such, I did not recognize it as one (although you'd think that someone like me would have known better).

The bottom line is that someone has been running a con on me for 20 some years and I fell for it like a little old lady in a pigeon drop scheme. I've spent the last two hours going through the database of Capitol Hill Blue stories and removing any that were based on information from Wilkinson (or whoever he is). I've also removed his name, quotes and claims from Tuesday's story about the White House and the uranium claims.


Doubtful that this will get wide coverage on BBC World, eh?


Tuesday, July 08, 2003


Reg Weaver's keynote address to the 2003 NEA convention was what I caught on CSPAN last night:


NEA, the moral of this story is: the next time that you hear about someone facing a problem, and you think that it does not affect you, remember, when there is a mousetrap in the house, the whole barnyard is at risk!

When another state establishes a tuition voucher program . . . we are all at risk!

When ESP members are faced with the threat of their jobs being contracted out to nonunion companies that pay the minimum wage and hire and fire employees at will . . . we are all at risk!

When teachers and school nurses and social workers are laid off . . . we are all at risk!

When higher education faculty members are forced to teach more for less pay . . . we are all at risk!

When retired educators and their spouses are denied Social Security benefits . . . we are all at risk!

We are all in this together, my friends, and if one of us is under attack . . . we all are under attack!


I had to go on their website and find out what ESP members are. That stands for Education Support Professionals which, it turns out, are not necessarily professionals at all - unless you consider janitors, teacher's aids, cafeteria staff, secretaries and the guys who cut the grass as "professionals".

My question to Reg is why shouldn't we try to save money on support services in order to spend every penny possible in the classroom? Apparently he believes that school districts should pay employees more for than they could earn for performing exactly the same service in the private sector. Why the public should waste its money this way he doesn't bother to explain.

Recently I had lunch with my father and a couple of other people who work at a public school. After we left, my dad told he told me that he was amazed at the amount of support staff that this particular district employed. Much more than when he was an administrator in the same school district a decade ago.

When I was in college I worked for the school maintenance department. Sometimes it was hard work, but there was a lot of sitting around in the shade smoking cigarettes (not me - I don't smoke). Occassionally some new guy would come in and the older, full time employees would have to pull him aside and tell him not to work so hard. They didn't want to get through with any task too fast because someone might get the bright idea that maybe the job didn't require so many people. And this was before these workers were unionized.

Reg goes on:

Yes, you will be labeled as a person working in a school that is also labeled as "persistently dangerous," or "in need of improvement," or "failing."  Now you tell me, which one of those schools would you like to work in-or send your children to?  Then, do we truly believe that parents will want their children to attend these schools-or, that children will want to go to these schools?  Do you believe that they are going to want to be taught by us when we wear such labels as "unqualified"?

Here he is talking about evaluating schools. No, parents don't want to send their kids to failing schools with "unqualified" teachers. The problem is that whether or not you rank or label the schools doesn't change the facts. Until we identify failing schools we can't fix them. And until the NEA comes to grips with the fact that "unqualified" teachers need to be removed, not promoted, the failing schools won't improve.

In a perfect world the teachers and administrators would work together with the community to solve these problems. But in our world, the NEA mobilizes its membership for the purposes of increasing member compensation and protecting member jobs while increasing its power over the process.

In this regard unions function much as an agent does for a professional athlete - the agent has one goal, get as much money and security for the player as possible. If in the process of getting his client the best deal the team is financially crippled and can't spend money on other players to field a winning club it doesn't matter to the agent - he's done his job.

At least in the private sector there is a mechanism to cap greed - competition. If your competetors beat you because they field a more talented team of players at a less expensive price then you lose fans and revenue. This forces the owners to let the higher priced players go if their value, in terms of winning and drawing fans, is not equal to their cost. Where a public sector monopoly like a school district is concerned the only governing factor is how willing the public is to spend more money on education. The union pressures legislators for pay raises not linked to merit and lobbies against evaluations based on school performance.

The system is so bad that almost no one I know will send their children to public schools in Dallas. These aren't rich people either. They really have to scrape to make enough money to pay for a private school education while they pay taxes to the local school district for an educational system that is so poor that it can't be used.

The NEA's membership has proven that it can't fix the problem. They don't want any part of a solution that subjects them to private competition. Who can blame them; they are just doing what's best for their membership. But who is looking out for the interests of the children that get stuck in the failing schools? Certainly not Reg Weaver.


Monday, July 07, 2003


I just lost about twenty minutes of posting because Blogger SUCKS, but it's important enough that I'm going to recreate it.

Reg Weaver is the president of the National Education Association. This should automatically qualify him as an enourmous asswipe - but I decided to listen to his speech on CSPAN 2 before permanently branding him. First impressions are almost always correct.

I caught him starting a little story about mice and moustraps and how when there is "a moustrap in the house" every animal in the barnyard shoud be concerned. In Reg's little story, the woman of the house gets bitten by a poisonous snake that is caught by the moustrap instead of the mouse. The woman becomes ill and her husband must first kill the chicken, to provide chicken soup and then kill the pig and the cow to feed vistors and then funeral attendees.

The moral to this incredibly lame-assed story was that you should be careful because if school vouchers were introduced into another state, it not only affected that state but it threatened you too!

Not once, in the ten minutes that I listened to him, did he mention concern for the QUALITY of the education that children were to receive. Only threats to the teacher's union.

This kind of shit is why my father always refused to join NEA and always has had verbal skirmishes with fellow teachers who became members.

Reg Weaver thinks that the kind of innovative ideas that continually challenge and refocus private businesses are not good for public education. Anything that threatens the stranglehold of the unions over the public education dollar is a threat. The LAST THING the NEA really cares about is the actual learning opportunity for the student.

I was ready to vomit. Weaver is the kind of moron that we propose sending billions of taxpayer dollars to in order to fix a problem which he doesn't think exists.

I wan't to sleep now. More on the NEA scammers, tomorrow.


Sunday, July 06, 2003


SPINNING

Heavy rotation this holiday weekend:

The Spinanes, Arches and Aisles
Interpol, Turn on the Bright Lights
Tift Merritt, Bramble Rose
Liz Phair, Whitechocolatespacegg

The Spinanes are only fabulous.

In other music news, Neil Young is appears to finally be releasing four of the infamous "Missing Six" albums on CD. On the Beach, American Stars n Bars, Hawks and Doves, and Re-ac-tor are due to be released on July 15 according to Amazon.com.

YES.


A LATE BIRTHDAY MESSAGE

I've been reading Hayek's The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism and came across this passage, on page 74, which ties into yesterday's subject of freedom vs. fairness:

The fruitless attempt to render a situation just whose outcome, by its nature, cannot be determined by what anyone does or can know, only damages the functioning of the process itself.

Such demands fro justice are simply inappropriate to a naturalistic evolutionary process - inappropriate not just to what has happened in the past, but to what is going on at present. For of course this evolutionary process is still at work. Civilisation is not only a product of evolution - it is process; by establishing a framework of general rules and individual freedom it allows itself to continue to evolve. This evolution cannot be guided by and often will not produce what men demand. Men may find some previously unfulfilled wishes satisfied, but only at the price of disappointing many others. Though by moral conduct an individual may increase his opportunities, the resulting evolution will not gratify all his moral desires. Evolution cannot be just.

Indeed, to insist that all future change be just would be to demand that evolution come to a halt. Evolution leads us ahead precisely in bringing about much that we could not intend or forsee, let alone prejudge for its moral properties. One only need ask...what would have been the effect if, at some earlier date, som magic force had been granted the power to enforce, say, some egalitarian or meritocratic creed. One soon recognizes that such an event would have made the evolution of civilisation impossible. ...(B)y repressing differentiation due to luck, it would have scotched most discoveries of new possibilities. In such a world we would be deprived of those signals that alone tell each what, as a result of thousands of changes in the conditions in which we live, we must now do in order to keep the stream of production flowing and, if possible, increasing.

Intellectuals may of course claim to have invented new and better "social" morals that will accomplish just this, but these "new" rules represent a recidivism to the morals of the primitive micro-order, and can hardly maintain the life and health of the billions supported by the macro-order.


Thus we could say that America's relative economic and military strength in the world is due in large part to the accelerated evolution made possible by free market capitalism. We make advances at a faster pace than other countries precisely because our system allows millions of individuals to separately evaluate market conditions and formulate their work and investment strategies based on their own conclusions and desires with a minimum of governmental interference. And our citizens have an incentive to act, at the risk of wasting their time or losing their investment, because our system allows them to keep a greater percentage of their gain than in competing systems.

The great temptation is to make everyone more equal in outcome; to redistribute the wealth of the country more "fairly". This seems wonderful on the surface - "from each according to his ability; to each according to his need", but this has been proven, both in theory and in practice, to produce greater poverty, lower the rate of positive change and invention, and to shift the wealth from the producers and investors to the bureacrats.

Why did the Soviet Union fail? If a planned economy could produce better than a free market one, the United States should have been the country to succumb. But while the state directed economy could make great short term gains on existing technology, the overall rate of discovery and invention was limited by the imaginations of the bureacrats who ran it. With the price for failure often being prison or death (how else can the state ultimately compel its citizens to participate in ventures not of their chosing) would you go out on a limb to explore a new idea or would you do what your bosses told you even if you thought it was wasteful?

What a dreadful place this would be if we had government bureaucrats scrutinizing our every move, directing our decisions about work, limiting our choices of what we can buy.

I like Neil Young's music but a lot of people don't. I like chocolate ice cream and some like vanilla. Because of our freedom, Neil Young makes his music and so does Britney Spears (kind of ), Breyer's makes chocolate ice cream and BlueBell makes lots of different flavors too. And we get to chose what we want or if we want ice cream at all.

No government body can possibly evaluate the needs, wants and dreams of 300 million citizens and come up with a 5 year plan that is "fair" to all of them. It is much more "fair" to let the sum of an individual's hard work (or lack thereof), education, planning, determination and luck determine his or her lot in life than to hobble the most talented and creative people to make everyone more "equal".

It is disappointing that, having defeated the greatest communist menace of the twentieth century, we are still having to fight this ideological battle against the European and American leftists and agaist the "professional victims" of the world.

So be it. If it requires that we keep arguing the point, then argue it we shall. And thank God we have the greatest nation in the history of civilization, the United States of America, from which to spread the good word.

Happy 227th birthday to us!




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