Friday, October 03, 2003


So, now the Russians don't think that Kyoto is such a good idea either.

"Taken together with a succession of Russian scientists using this conference to cast doubt on the science of global warming, the event is proving something of a nightmare for supporters of worldwide action to combat climate change."

Sacrilege! How dare they question veracity of the holy treaty of the Green Religion!

Also notice the BBC distortion in the little factoid box - "US withdrew (from Kyoto) in 2001". Sorry boys but treaties in the United States have to be ratified in the senate and that one never was (and would never have been in light of the 95-0 vote against it before it was even submitted).

There it is, that stupid Constitution getting in the way again!

Now Limbaugh is claiming that this is about free speech:

"Who's next? You know, let me say one thing about this free speech business. We don't have it, folks. I mean, this is the point. I mean, it's enshrined, but we don't have it. There are people that lose their jobs over things they say. As a result of this, there are a lot of people who aren't saying what they really think - a lot of people who are afraid to say what they really think. And make no mistake about it, that's the objective. Those that are in charge of political correctness - and they're on the left, let's be honest about it, they're liberals. The supposed tolerant among us, the supposed open-minded: those who are not closed-minded and rigid thinkers.

I never thought I'd see the day that Limbaugh started to agree with people over at The Nation and also this idiot. At least he is being somewhat consistent given the fact that he supported Bill Maher when he got into hot water over the comments he made during a "Politically Incorrect" show.

Limbaugh is right and wrong. He is right in the sense that there are, and have always been limits upon our free speech rights. Those limits are both legal and societal. When the subject of censorship is discussed we are usually speaking about government efforts to limit freedom of expression in art, literature or politics. But the government had no hand in Limbaugh's forced resignation or Bill Maher's problems. What happened in each of those instances was that a television network made a decision that the on air remarks of one of their entertainers would have a negative impact on the financial performance of their product and therefore terminated the relationship with that entertainer.

So there was censorship these situations but not government censorship and not the censorhip of the individual's private speech. So what's the beef? No one ever said that there isn't a potential price to pay for voicing beliefs that are unpopular. The constitution doesn't guarantee a citizen's right to keep his job if he behaves in a manner which the employer expects will cause the company to lose revenue.

I think that too much was made of Limbaugh's comments - I disagreed with them but Allen Barra at Slate thinks they were spot on. Everybody needs to chill out a little bit and quit acting like 12 year-olds every time something is said on television that they disagree with. My personal nomination for a straightjacket is Jeffrey Lurie who thinks that Limbaugh's hiring was evidence of "institutional racism" at ESPN...puhhhhhhleeeeeeeez!

Why hasn't John Ashcroft been dragged into this? I mean he is behind all CRUSHING OF DISSENT in this country...isn't he?

Thursday, October 02, 2003


Rush Limbaugh (perhaps) unintentionally stirred up a small hornet's nest:

'I don't think he's been that good from the get-go,' Limbaugh said. 'I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team.'"

McNabb has been pretty damn good since he came into the league. I don't know why he is playing poorly this year - maybe he's just in a slump - but I don't think he's terribly overrated. Limbaugh is wrong, in my opinion, about that. I also think Limbaugh is wrong in his assertion that the media over-hyped McNabb because they wanted so badly for a black NFL quarterback to do well.

But the furor over his statement is not about whether or not it was an accurate analysis - the issue that has been made of it is that it was "racially insensitive" or just plain racist. Well, it is insensitive to people who can't accept any discussion about matters of race that contradict the official stance of the NAACP but it isn't racist. He didn't say "I think blacks can't play the quarterback position"...or "I don't think Donovan McNabb should play quarterback for Philadelphia because he is black" - he only stated that he thought McNabb was excessively fawned upon by the media because of a desire among them that a black quarterback become a star like, say, Joe Montana or Troy Aikman or Steve Young (that's the way I read his intention anyway).

He may be right but I don't think so. But why is everyone acting as if he had donned a white sheet and appeared on camera with a burning cross? Jeffrey Lurie, Eagles owner, claimed that Limbaugh's hiring demonstrates the "institutional racism" at ESPN. Yeah, right - last time I checked they were employing Michael Irvin who is not only black but also had, shall we say, a few brushes with the law in his past. How about Tom Jackson? Shannon Sharpe? Deon Sanders?

What would happen if people devoted all of the energy that they currently spend trying to sniff out RACISM! to something useful like reforming the damn educational system? Nah, not enough publicity in that!


Thief's Den has an incredibly damning post cataloging the statements of John Kerry, Henry Waxman, Hillary Clinton, Jay Rockerfeller, Bob Graham, Ted Kennedy, (the odious) Carl Levin, Madeline Albright, Nancy Pelosi, Sandy Berger, Bill Clinton and of course, Al Gore acknowledging their belief that Saddam had WMD. This was before it became official Democrat strategy to claim that they'd been "misled" by the president.

Hard to understand, though, how Al Gore, Bill Clinton or Hillary could have been mislead about the evidence since they had first-hand access to the intelligence information until January 2001. The fact is that ALL of these people knew what the evidence was and they know that Bush did nothing to deceive them.

Their current position is taken for short term political gain only - too bad if it hurts America's ability to rebuild a stable Iraq. Only Joe Lieberman is honest enough to cite his support for the war without offering an apology or claiming to have been lied to or ignorant of the facts.

This really is an issue that is too important to be turned into political football. Success in Iraq is absolutely critical to success in the war on terrorism. And contrary to the current whining of the Democrats it was always central to the struggle. We chose the timing of the battle in Iraq but it was going to happen eventually anyway.

Tuesday, September 30, 2003


Clifford May
reveals a couple of interesting facts about Joe Wilson:

"Mr. Wilson is now saying (on C-SPAN this morning, for example) that he opposed military action in Iraq because he didn't believe Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and he foresaw the possibility of a difficult occupation. In fact, prior to the U.S. invasion, Mr. Wilson told 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.'

Equally, important and also overlooked: Mr. Wilson had no apparent background or skill as an investigator. As Mr. Wilson himself acknowledged, his so-called investigation was nothing more than 'eight days drinking sweet mint tea and meeting with dozens of people' at the U.S. embassy in Niger. Based on those conversations, he concluded that 'it was highly doubtful that any [sale of uranium from Niger to Iraq] had ever taken place.'"

This illustrates the typical Democrat attack style - argue one side of the point (possible use of WMD) until that becomes ineffective or out of style and then argue the reverse (Saddam never had WMD). The national media never seems to catch on to these reversals until the blogosphere "outs" them. Why? We are checking sources that are open to everyone and many times reported in major national media stories.

Either journalists have gotten terribly lazy or they have a bias against the administration (my guess would be both are true).

Monday, September 29, 2003


I’m sitting here in my backyard enjoying one of the nicest days you’ll ever see. Not a cloud in the sky, a slight breeze and the temperature in the low 80’s. This is why I love Texas.

My great aunt died last week – she was 85. She had been in poor health for several years; the last couple of times I saw her she barely knew who I was. It was time for her to pass on but it was sad for her family that we won’t see her again for awhile.

She was one of six children (five sisters and one brother); two of the sisters are still alive. Margaret was particularly close to my grandmother and was like a second mother to my mom and a third grandmother to me and my brother. She and her husband, Albert, lived down the street from us from the time I was 12 until I moved away. There was always something good cooking down at their house and we were invited often to join them for dinner.

Margaret and Albert were also members of my church (or rather I should say I was a member of theirs since they were attending there before I was born. Albert was a deacon at this Baptist church; that’s where the service was held. He was a fine man, a veteran of World War II; she was buried with him last Friday at the Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery where he was laid to rest (he died seven or eight years ago). They were generous, kind, moral and hard-working people as were all of the McGuyer sisters and their husbands.

How the women in that family could cook! When I was a child we always got together for Christmas and in the summer for a family reunion. One of my great aunts moved to Louisiana and we always looked forward to some great Cajun food. It was impossible not to overeat – there was just too much great food.

They all helped each other. My mother told me that several of her aunts lived with my grandmother and grandfather when they were growing up to help them get started. My mother and my aunt slept in the dining room of the two bedroom house while relatives stayed there. That is what families are for (or at least they used to be).

Margaret and Albert had two children. When their kids were grown they sponsored a Phillipino girl and took her into their home, raising her like another daughter. That’s how they were – they didn’t just believe in Christian charity, they lived it. Their “second daughter”, Josie, helped take care of my great aunt these last few years and was with her when she died.

Although it was a sad occasion, it was great to see all of the aunts and uncles and cousins that I grew up with once again. It reminded me how lucky I was to be born into such a family. The McGuyer sisters all married good strong men. My grandfather was a truck driver making long hauls of fruit from California – not a better man ever lived. Albert became a postman after the war – he lived in constant pain from a metal plate in his head that he got after he was the victim of a shrapnel hit during the Normandy invasion (I never heard him say a word about it – Margaret told me). Uncle Pete was a pilot, the first in the US to ever regain his license after open-heart surgery. Uncle Kramer was a petroleum engineer who used to torture me by taking a huge hunk of flesh (he called himself “the old Pincho”) and endlessly asking me “do you still play third base on the football team?” every time we met. Uncle Frank was a car dealer, I believe, who still has one of the best senses of humor I’ve ever known (I think he’s said to me “I’m so glad you got to see me.” every time I’ve ever seen him). They’ve all stayed married to their wives until death (or in Frank and Lela’s case until now – they are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year).

There was a lot of love and good times in that family. They helped make me who I am today and I’m damn proud to share the same blood as these people.

And why do I post this? Because this is an example of what is so good about this country – its people. Hard-working people. Family-oriented people. Patriotic people. Religious people.

Over at John Hawkin’s blog, Right Wing News, there was a discussion going on today about patriotism – love of country. Well, my family taught me to love my country; that was done well before I got to school. But you know what, school reinforced that love. We didn’t study the “oppressive structure of capitalism” or any other anit-American propaganda (see the Oakland public schools). Children need to have a base to grow from and that base should include strong morality (Christianity does a great job on that), a loving family and a pride in one’s country and culture.

There is time later in life to question authority, develop alternative views, etc. Why do people think it’s a good idea to teach young children that their country is a negative force in the world? What happens to our country if this becomes the norm? Do you think that Pakistanis or Saudis or Chinese or Koreans are taught that their country is evil? How can a nation survive without having it’s citizens at least united in their love of country?

There are a lot of people on the political left today that sneer at good Baptist people like my family – how unsophisticated we are to believe in God and Country. Don’t we know that concepts like “good” and “evil” are outmoded? They can’t see that what people like Margaret and Albert and her sisters and their families provided for us is a good, moral (largely Christian), generous, kind land. THEY built it. THEY loved it. And THEY have given it to us to take care of.

What does it say about this country now when people think it’s sinister and/or moronic for the President to openly talk about his faith in Christ? That some are more worried about an Attorney General because he has prayer meetings every morning than his predecessor who used US Army tanks against private citizens in Waco and sent SWAT teams to Florida to take a baby away from the family its mother had died in order to deliver it to and send that baby back to Cuba?

I’m not apologetic about being a Christian or a Baptist. I’m proud of it. It is a gift that was passed down from my great-grandparents, through their children and finally through my parents to me and I’m grateful for it.

The pastor said at the funeral that Margaret’s work on this earth is done and it reminded me that, while her work was done, mine is not. So many of us take for granted what we have been given and worry too much about what we don’t have. We Americans are the most fortunate people on earth and among Americans I am one of the most fortunate. Not because of wealth but because of family. I have to do more with the time I have left so that when God calls me to rest I can honestly say that I’ve given as much to others as my family gave to me.

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