April 30, 2005
Hollywood bows to theocrats
A radical "religious" group gives approval of a new Hollywood movie, but only after the director and one of the lead actors assured them that during the production all scenes even the tiny bit critical or less than flattering to the religion's membership were excised or rewritten, even if that meant falsifying the historical facts being portrayed.
The sheer power of such theocratic interference should raise eyebrows and engender column inches in the Mainstream Media over such an obvious scandal of art controlled by an outside religious group.
But don't hold your breath, because we are not talking about the Religious Right, or even Christians.
In yet another case of Hollywood's kneejerk dhimmitude, Ridley Scott has delivered a historical whitewash of moslems in Kingdom of Heaven. Jeff of Beautiful Atrocities presents a succinct roundup of the terrorist-linked, moslem-theocratic group, CAIR, which has given its stamp of approval to Scott's moslem love-letter. (via LGF)
What animates Scott and others like him ... those that so completely kowtow to moslem "sensitivities" that there has been not one, NOT ONE, major movie since 9/11 that actually reflects the reality that most of the worlds' terrorism is moslem perpetuated? Even Tom Clancy's Sum of All Fears had its antagonists changed from moslems to neo-Nazis in order to get it from book to film.
And where are the films about 9/11 that deal directly with the 19 moslem hijackers, rather then something like Great New Wonderful, ostensibly about 9/11, that never mentions the date, the event or anything about what actually happened, but has produced inane ramblings from one of its actresses that 9/11 was really the fault of America in the first place.
Is it fear? Does Scott (et al) think by refusing to address historical and contempory moslem atrocities they will avoid the fate of Rushdie or Theo Van Gogh?
Or is it such a deep self-hate that anyone that opposes Judeo-Christian culture gets their automatic enthusiasm?
This isn't laughable PC-ism anymore. Scott and his Riefenstahlish Kingdom will not be receiving any money from this family.
an open question for Hector de la Torre
As you recall, Hector was quoted in the LA Times as blasting as "vigilantism" the Minuteman project, which does nothing more than observe and report lawbreaking to the appropriate authorities. It is directly modeled after the Neighborhood Watch program.
Yet, on the City of South Gate directory they encourage and support the Neighborhood Watch program.
Hector, what are you doing about curbing the vigilantism rampant in your own district?
I've emailed this question to Hector. Think I'll get an answer?
April 29, 2005
The insanity of the So Cal housing market
...and hubby and I are about to embark on a journey into it.
Yes, dear reader, Heather has finally found a reliable roommate and is in the process of moving out (the local edition of Will and Grace). Siobhan will be leaving for the dorms in late August and with empty nesting looming on the horizon (and actually now having a downpayment saved), Eric and I have started the process of looking for our first house to purchase together.
And, damned, if we didn't get beat about the head and shoulders last weekend!
We knew it was bad, but not quite that bad. We decided to start with some preliminary footwork of an area we both remember fondly from our youth... the San Fernando Valley (he went to Cal State Northridge, I grew up in Granada Hills). We decided to trek through Woodland Hills and Tarzana and found out that even a shack couldn't be had for less than $500,000.
I kid you not.
Even the meaner streets of places like Reseda and Van Nuys, a 60 y/o unimproved house with a septic tank and a 1 car garage is going to make one cough up an offer of $450,000.
This is where I want to beat the crap out of my #$@!!#$# ex-husband who "punished" me by making me lose the house we owned for 14 years.
Another thing, is that I really got the emotional vibe from the SFV that is was a lot seedier and meaner than I remember. The streets are not in good repair, ditto curbs, sidewalks and public amenities.
And that's because the SFV is the Cinderella step-child of the city of Los Angeles. They suck the money from the Valley and refuse to return but a pittance for infrastructure. This has been an ongoing battle for years and the main reason the SFV has tried upon occasion to break away from LA. However, at each try, the usual city political pimps run to the downtown constituencies, screaming about all the "racists" in The Valley and turning out the vampire votes to keep The Valley enslaved to LA.
My heart hurts.
So, excuse me if my posting gets a bit light over the weekend. We're going to be hitting the pavement and trying not to faint when the realtor shows us what's on the market.
Illegal aliens - Is the 'tipping point' close at hand?
From the LA Times
The leader of a Mexican American group called the governor's comments "shameful" and "nothing short of base racism."Now what did Arnold actually say that has got actual racists like Nativo eagerly running to any reporter wiling to publish his "outrage"?
"I think we're seeing the real Arnold Schwarzenegger. The mask has now fallen," said Nativo V. Lopez, state national president of the Mexican American Political Assn. "Those of immigrant stock should have no illusions about what his real sentiments and feelings are toward them."
"I think they've done a terrific job," Schwarzenegger said of the "Minuteman" volunteers, who plan to expand to California in June. "They've cut down the crossing of illegal immigrants a huge percentage. So it just shows that it works when you go and make an effort and when you work hard. It's a doable thing."Shocking! Shameful! And let's hear from another CA elected official, someone allegedly sworn to UPHOLD THE LAW
Assemblyman Hector De La Torre, a Democrat from South Gate, blasted the governor's comments as "scapegoating and immigrant bashing."The chutzpah of Hector to wag his finger at Arnold about "upholding the law" when he deliberately refuses to consider that the migrants he's lauding are breaking the LAW. And, too, Hector is jumping on the "vigilante" bandwagon in trying to make out the Minuteman project as something more than what it is, a neighborhood watch type program along the border. All the histrionics from the "A"CLU and its anti-American ilk fellowtravelers that charge that Americans are the problem, not those that cross illegally have fallen flat in the face of almost a month of Minuteman operation in Arizona with little problem. Indeed, the operations have belied the anti-American claims that these are just a bunch of white racist yahoos out to beat/shoot/rape/pillage brown people.
"To support vigilantism is completely against the oath he took" to uphold the law, De La Torre said. "It goes way beyond normal law enforcement, normal border patrol jurisdiction. It's just off the charts. For him to say this puts him to the right of President Bush. This is completely out of the mainstream in California."
And Arnold also commented on the Los Angeles,
CA Mexico billboard:
In the same radio interview, the governor also asked a Spanish-language Los Angeles television station, KRCA-TV Channel 62, to remove a billboard it erected with the words "Los Angeles, Mexico." The governor said such sentiments — implying that Los Angeles was now part of Mexico — would encourage illegal immigration.This morning I was listening to Bill Handel on KFI/640 AM, Los Angeles, and he mused that the growing uproar over the billboard and the kneejerk comments about Arnold being "racist" merely because he believes that the United States has the right to A border and the duty to ENFORCE that border may be approaching a "tipping point" in California similar to the one that produced Proposition 13 (the 70's populous response to confiscatory property taxes). Politicians like Hector and racists like Nativo might want to review the history of Prop. 13 and realize that Californians still consider the state part of the United States and are increasingly annoyed by being labeled "racists" for just those views.
I certainly hope this is the case.
April 28, 2005
Jean was a high school senior
with short dark hair and laughing eyes. She sat at a booth at the regular teen hangout, her best friend, Bev, across from her. Her friend had specifically wanted to be here today because Bev had a guy she wanted Jean to meet. A college guy.
She recalls her first sight of him, "Dave was so handsome, standing there in his jacket with the suede patch elbows, his black wavy hair and the pipe clenched in his teeth."
Jean was brought up in a loving middle class family, Dave was a kid who had grown up dirt poor, working his first job at age 9 and then living on his own when he was 15. Regardless of their differing backgrounds, they immediately hit it off. Jean's parents were welcoming to the serious young man their daughter started dating.
Jean graduated high school and got her first job. Dave, using the GI bill, finished his four year degree in two years and graduated.
Then, one spring day a little more than a year after Jean first caught her breath at meeting Dave, candles were lit, friends and family gathered at the beautiful stone church on the hill and Jean married Dave.
April 28, 1951.
Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad. I love you and thank you for the life you gave me and the love you share.
Did we dodge a bullet, or what??
Each new time Gorezilla opens his trap I'm more convinced he'd have out-Nixoned Nixon in the paranoia department. His latest hatefest rant to a group of like-minded acolytes of the cult of the far-Left makes clear that as long as they are the face of the Democratic party, the Dems will be a minority party. They stand for nothing more than the irrational hate of those they disagree with. They have no argument except that their enemies are "evil" without ever articulating what constitutes that "evil." Every attempt to do so is nothing but rambling incoherencies of baseless accusations, lies and projection of their own moral bankruptcy.
From Dean the Screams "I hate Republicans" to Dem Ken Salazar's calling those that have pointed out his broken promise to support an up/down vote on judicial nominees "The AntiChrist" the veil has dropped vis a vis the outright religious bigotry of the Left.
For sure, it's really a kind of denominational bigotry. The Justice Sunday rally in Kentucky was held at a Baptist Church where conservatives came to support the Constitution's requirement of majority vote to confirm judicial appointments, while the counter-rally at the Central Presbyterian Church exhorted its participants to consider such Constitutional conservatives as "UnAmerican." The Left has no problem using churches that have molded themselves into their own brand of politics to get their point across ... akin to King Henry VIII being peeved because the Catholic Church wouldn't give him a divorce so he merely created his own church ... or the Red Chinese who's idea of "freedom of religion" is people of faith are allowed to worship only in government run churches.
It is interesting to note that the Presbyterian Church that the "counter-rally" was held at is a member of the Presbyterian Church USA organization - a group that has notoriously pursued a leftist political agenda of anti-Israel action.
Like Kerry or Kennedy, ostensible Catholics, the Left dons a cloak of religiousity when it suits its political purpose, the values and tenets never slipping beneath the surface.
April 26, 2005
I'm almost speechless
Thanks to Eric. Read the whole article.
April 25, 2005
UPDATE Day of Silence and GSA
I know I promised you that my daughter would be posting an entry on the DoS at her high school which she participated in as a member of her campus's GSA.
It is coming later today. She needed some time to work on it because she needed some time to calm down and process what she went through.
I'll let her tell it, but the day was pretty much an unmitigated disaster, including obscene grafitti directed against gays, my daughter being harassed and shoved in the halls, and at least one criminal assault against another girl on the baseball field.
And you know why? Cause the school administration f**king fell down on the job.
Adults. Yet again the sh*t can be traced back to the decisions of the adults involved.
I'm SO glad she graduates in a couple of months.
Jew-hatred in England - front and center
via Charles Johnson comes this post from Melanie Phillips about the monstrous and evil boycott of Israeli academics by the British Association of University Teachers. It is breathtaking to consider that the AUT deliberately timed its vote for the start of the Jewish Sabbath and Passover as to wipe out any rebuttal or debate from Jews.
It passed a motion calling for a boycott of two Israeli universities, Haifa and Bar Ilan, which it accused of being complicit in the abuse of Palestinians in the occupied territories, and agreed to circulate a Palestinian call for a total university boycott.Make no mistake that this is about "Israeli policies, not Jews." As the Guardian reports:
The targeted Israeli institutions have denied the specific charges. They were given no opportunity to put their case; indeed, a request from Bar Ilan to send someone to do so at the conference was turned down. This was not surprising to anyone who has grasped what is going on here. For it was not these universities which were on trial, but Israel itself. And for the stupid and vicious people who now pass for our intelligentsia, Israel is a pariah nation — an ‘apartheid state’ — simply because the Arabs who are trying to exterminate it say that this is so.
The woman behind a divisive vote today to boycott Israeli universities has brushed aside criticism of the proposals, saying it is impossible to treat that country's academics as "normal citizens from a normal state".Israel, a tiny democratic state with a Jewish culture in a sea of hostile dictatorships publically commited to its destruction because Jews are "pigs and monkeys" -- and here British "academics" declare Israel an "illegitmate state."
Sue Blackwell, a Birmingham lecturer, who is launching her second attempt to secure a national boycott of Israeli academia, said that, if successful, the move would increase the pressure on the "illegitimate state of Israel".
I have not, and will not, accept the fiction that anti-Israel is not anti-Semitic. The Brit anti-Semites are dropping the figleaf quite publicly so let's not hear it again, shall we?
Same-sex marriage - more food for thought
Perhaps the most important argument against same-sex marriage is that once society honors same-sex sex as it does man-woman sex, there will inevitably be a major increase in same-sex sex. People do sexually (as in other areas) what society allows and especially what it honors.Read the interview. I'll comment later. I read Dennis' article and interview after last night reading GayPatriotWest's post and recommendation of Megan McArdle's scrupilously neutral analysis of several of the arguments surrounding same-sex marriage. Don't miss the comment section on GPW's site.
One excellent example illustrating this is an article recently written in the McGill University newspaper by McGill student Anna Montrose. In it, she wrote:
It's hard to go through four years of a Humanities B.A. reading Foucault and Butler and watching 'The L Word' and keep your rigid heterosexuality intact. I don't know when it happened exactly, but it seems I no longer have the easy certainty of pinning my sexual desire to one gender and never the other.
April 24, 2005
Yeehaw, life is getting frantic here again. It's almost May and that means PROM is looming for Siobhan as well as the buildup to graduation ceremonies. Dress shopping this weekend, plus her and her date are trying to convince enough friends to share in a limo. I made a hair appointment for her plus the same Saturday morning she takes her EPT/ELM (english placement test/entry level math) tests for SFSU. It's a sad commentary on high school education that our universities demand placement tests on incoming freshmen to see if they even can take college level english or math.
Ooo! Did I say "freshmen"? Is that pc?
Speaking of high school achievements... congrats to Sal! Read in the comments here. Hope y'all wow 'em at State!
Thanks to Saintknowitall for pointing me to the Fair Tax site. Yes, it does tax goods at the final consumption level (which really simplifies collection and tracking), but it doesn't make a distinction for goods produced domestically or those imported into this country. I want that distinction, even on goods produced by American countries abroad.
I always count on Jeff Goldstein to ask the really tough questions
I’m not saying people who eat their hot dogs with ketchup are evil, necessarily. Just that they’re likely a bit slow. And don’t have much class.I confess then, I've raised a pretty slow/evil family. It's not only ketchup, but Heinz, that is the topping of choice (along with sweet pickle relish and chopped red onions) on BBQ'd Hebrew National dogs. Of course, we don't stoop to the real evil of mayonnaise on french fries....
Redstate.org has launched Confirm Bolton.com with an impressive array of writers. Definitely worth checking out. And also at Redstate, Pejman Yousefzadeh makes the observation in regards to the Dems demanding a supermajority to pass judicial nominees
US v Ballin is a persuasive counterweight to the pernicious and patently silly notion put out by some that certain (or perhaps all, the standard changes constantly) judicial nominees are somehow so controversial that there exists precedent demanding that they should pass some kind of supermajority barrier before being confirmed. This claim is not true in the slightest. As Ballin makes clear, "The general rule of all parliamentary bodies is that, when a quorum is present, the act of a majority of the quorum is the act of the body. This has been the rule for all time, except so far as in any given case the terms of the organic act under which the body is assembled have prescribed specific limitations." No such "specific limitations" are prescribed for some or any individuals nominated by the President to fill certain positions in the Executive or Judicial branches of government.Y'all know, of course, never in the history of this country has the filibuster been used against appellate court nominees?
In another case of the MSM not reporting but manufacturing the "news" comes this story of the BBC planting hecklers at Conservative party campaign meeting. Makes one wonder if they, too, have some staff dedicated to forging memos. Maybe "Lucy Ramirez" hails from London? (hattip Michelle Malkin)
Jeff Harrell makes an excellent point when contemporary leaders make "apologies" for the sins of their nations past. Apologies are different from acknowledgment. I have no problems looking at the cruel and evil things that America has engaged in, from slavery to Jim Crow. But I don't know why I should find it necessary .. morally, ethically or emotionally, to apologize for it. Apologies are the province of those responsible for the acts. I've never found hairshirts particularly admirable. I recall slowly burning with anger as a junior in high school when I sat in a US History class and listened to a teacher harangue all the non-hispanic kids in class as "thieves" and "posessers of stolen property" because of our presence in Southern California which was "stolen" from Mexico. He was quite serious and even when I challenged him on his rant, he sneered and attempted to humiliate me. Of course, this was the early 70's, the time of radical ethnic identity and "the personal is the political." I bought that "rationale" as much then as I do now.
And, to conclude this waltz around topics, let's return to the l'affaire d'Bolton where I'll let the irrepressible James Lileks have the last word:
I’m starting to suspect that the entire Senate should be abolished. Purge the lot of ‘em. Their drivel may be no less meretricious than their House counterparts, but it’s usually slathered with sanctimony about the Noble Nature of their particular chamber, how they’re the saucer into which passions are poured to cool. ... the Senate, as currently composed, seems to attract people who have that potent & fatal combination of dimness and self-regard, and when you elevate those sorts to the Great National Saucer, you get idiocies like the Bolton hearing. On one side, a charmless babbler like Joe Biden, whose instinct upon finding a bad metaphor is to attenuate it until it is three microns wide; on the other side, George Voinovich, who finally showed up for a hearing and pronounced himself Disturbed by the allegations. This is like a guy skipping class on the origins WW2 for a month then raising his hand to ask why they haven’t covered how this Hitler fellow came to power. ...Amen.
I don’t have to like Bolton, and I certainly don’t approve of his moustache, but I want someone who will stand up to the UN. And by “stand up” I don’t mean the cut-rate back-alley hooker method of leaning against a brick wall and hiking up the skirts. I mean, someone who doesn’t give the Syrian ambassador the old collegial nod in the break room or say “How’s it goin’” to the Zimbabwe attaché when you’re standing at adjoining urinals, and consider it a promising diplomatic overture.
April 22, 2005
Some thoughts vis a vis taxes
Every spring talk turns to income taxes and how the majority of us hate 'em. Some politicians will actually talk "reform" and some have tiptoed into the "scrap it and start from scratch arena." From Flat Tax to Fair Tax to replacing it completely with VAT or consumption taxes, there is one thing I have not heard on the subject.
Duties and tariffs.
Under section 8 of the Constitution, the Congress has the power to levy duties and tariffs and long before the income tax, that was how the Federal government raised the money for itself.
Not only do I believe that duties and tariffs be uniformly enforced against all foreign goods imported into this nation from foreign business entities, now is the time to impose it across the board against all goods imported into this country, even if the company is American. In other words, when Home Depot is having nailboards manufactured in China, each one of them should have a duty levied against it before it ends up on the shelf in Los Angeles.
Ditto foriegn service-call centers.
April 21, 2005
Eric at Classical Values runs down the latest handwringing about scientists gathering and analyzing genetic information in the quest to understand humankind's very migratory past. It was his update on the faux Indian Churchill that caught my attention. Seems the hate-filled crackpots at Aztlan.net are claiming they have a confidential DNA report that proves Churchill is Creek and Cherokee.
I read the Aztlan hatesite article and it really makes no sense.
The laboratory that performed the tests on Professor Churchill's genetic material specializes on American Indian "Gene Genealogy" and has one of the most extensive Native American mtDNA and y-chromosome databases. The human race consists of approximately 30 major maternal lineages (haplogroups) and Native Americans belong to one of five major maternal lineages (haplogroups). Also, the human population consists of approximately 18 major paternal lineages (haplogroups) and Native Americans belong to one of two major paternal lineages (haplogroups).From general groupings Churcill is specifically Creek and Cherokee?
The genetic test results of Professor Ward Churchill show that he is a descendant of Creeks through his father and of Cherokees through his mother. A copy of the test results was forwarded to La Voz de Aztlan under conditions of confidentiality. Because of credible death threats to an east coast college where Professor Churchill was scheduled to speak, it was requested that the name of the genetic laboratory not be released.
Yeah, right ... no wonder the report and lab are "unknown" due to "security concerns"?
Even this site (which is in the business of charging people to "trace" their ancestory via DNA testing) says
By comparing your results to our databases - the largest of its kind in the world - we could tell you if those clues indicate Native American ancestry.
Indicative of NA ancestry doesn't quite translate into Creek/Cheroke/Blackfoot/Navajo/et al.
Some of the haplotypes attributed to Native Americans are also found in people from other parts of the world. A, B, C, and D are found in North Asia, and X is found in southern Europe and Turkey. In fact, haplotype B, also called the “Asian 9 base pair deletion,” is found in some Japanese and almost all Samoans. Can a person who has haplotype B in her mtDNA claim to be Native American based on that information if almost all Samoans also have haplotype B? These tests cannot even establish with certainty that someone’s mother’s mother’s mother was Native American; they can at best establish a certain probability that this was the case. ...Churchill is as American Indian as Prince Charles.
Another issue is the widespread belief that genetics can help determine specific tribal affinities of either living or ancient people. This is quite simply false. Neighboring tribes have long-standing, complex relationships involving intermarriage, raiding, adoption, splitting, and joining. These social-historical forces insure that there cannot be any clear-cut genetic variants differentiating all the members of one tribe from those of nearby tribes. At most, slight differences in the proportions of certain genetic variations are identifiable in each group, but those do not permit specific individuals to be assigned to particular groups.
One thought on the Bolton 'hearings'
I'm having a "pubic hair on a coke can" deja vu moment.
The semantics of illegal immigration
Read almost any story on illegal aliens and the MSM almost without fail refers to illegal aliens as "migrants" or "undocumented workers." The supporters and advocates of open borders engage in the war of words in an effort to reduce the public awareness that illegal aliens are breaking the law. The recent coverage of the Minuteman Project is a prime example of how semantics is used in attempts to give sympathy to criminals and criminalize law-abiding citizens.
In another example of this kind of mealy-mouthed sophistry is a fight over the wording on a billboard targeting McCain over illegal immigration and amnesty.
A national organization that campaigns against illegal immigration wants to post a billboard in Phoenix to object to Sen. John McCain's stance, but the owner of the board has rejected the message as "bashing" the Arizona Republican.The McCain camp is not going to get into semantics?? But they are there right now! McCain has shown he is the master of semantics ... when campaign financing "reform" is anything but ... when he refuses to support a legal change to end judicial filibusters by making some mendacious allusion to 200 years of tradition and ignoring the requirements of the US Constitution.
A national organization that campaigns against illegal immigration wants to post a billboard in Phoenix to object to Sen. John McCain's stance, but the owner of the board has rejected the message as "bashing" the Arizona Republican. ...
The most recent example was McCain's support for the so-called AgJobs bill, which died Tuesday in the Senate. The bill would have made an estimated 500,000 undocumented agricultural workers eligible for legal standing. ...
The group defines amnesty as "any policy that would release a class of illegal aliens from whatever the penalty is for violating U.S. immigration laws." In contrast, recent immigration-reform bills and their supporters generally refer to such forgiveness as "earned legalization," "earned adjustment" or "rehabilitation to legal status."
Nelsen said his group would pay to submit the definitional question to a certified board of mediators if McCain would agree to abide by the result.
But before the offer was even made, McMenamin said, "We're not going to get into semantics."
I'm embarrassed to say I was a McCain supporter back in 2000. I have no idea what animates him, but it isn't interest in the rights of individual American citizens.
UPDATE on a related note on the semantic struggle, Digger's Realm reports that people opposed to a illegal alien hotline are accusing it of encouraging a "vigilante mentality." Hmmmm... I guess it's only vigilantes that call 911, or neighborhood watch, or drug-tips hotlines to report crimes in process, eh?
April 20, 2005
'Is the Pope Catholic?'
I used to think that question was rhetorical, but after listening and reading about the shock, shock I tell you of so many people that the Cardinals actually chose a Catholic Pope I see the line a bit differently.
Good discussion on this shocking news at Jeff Harrell's Shape of Days (be sure to read the comments).
Jeff Goldstein makes an excellent point concerning the handwringing about the new Catholic Pope:
The problem with the kind of boutique multiculturalism advocated by both Kondracke and Sullivan is that it pretends to celebrate diversity and “open conversation”; what it really does, however, is refute the “Other” at precisely the point where it matters most, the point at which beliefs genuinely diverge.JG nails what the new Pope referred to as "the authoritarianism of relativism." Self-proclaimed "progressives" can be just as "intolerant" as any "fundamentalist" they rail against.
Indeed, it struck me yesterday in listening (or attempting to) the bile launched at Bill Frist over "Justice Sunday" that these same spewers had very little to say about John Kerry's (or Bill Clinton's) high profile stumping through churches during campaigning, or their discussion of their own religious beliefs. Could it be because they suspect that Kerry really doesn't believe it? That it was just a nudge nudge wink wink "the things I gotta do to get votes" on the level of kissing babies and eating local food?
Yet the minute someone has "deeply held", genuine religious beliefs, then OMIGOD! Suddenly such people are really nothing but a bunch of fascists in search of theocracy. The latest rambling screeching from Maureen Dowd demonstrates these deliberate efforts to view religion only from the POV of "progressivism"
The white smoke yesterday signaled that the Vatican thinks what it needs to bring it into modernity is the oldest pope since the 18th century: Joseph Ratzinger, a 78-year-old hidebound archconservative who ran the office that used to be called the Inquisition and who once belonged to Hitler Youth. For American Catholics - especially women and Democratic pro-choice Catholic pols - the cafeteria is officially closed. After all, Cardinal Ratzinger, nicknamed "God's Rottweiler" and "the Enforcer," helped deny Communion rights to John Kerry and other Catholic politicians in the 2004 election."Is the Pope Catholic?" Yes, and because he still is, it really knots the knickers of the "We want the Catholic Church to listen to OUR obviously superior modern wisdom" crowd.
April 19, 2005
New Pope ... let the bashing begin!
I knew the minute I found out at work that Cardinal Ratzinger was chosen as the 265th Pope that the carping and histrionics would start before I could even come home from lunch and check the news.
Paul at Wizbang highlights some of the more interesting and amusing of the first comments from people who are shocked, shocked I tell you that Catholic Cardinals would select a Catholic (who was John Paul's righthand man) as Pope!
I'm still trying to figure out why people who are not members of the Catholic Church feel it is encumbent upon the Church to accede to their "reform" demands.
Ten years? Already?
Michelle Malkin points out that today is the 10th anniversary of the OK bombing. She's gathered some relevant links well worth your time to read.
In 1995 my girls were 7, 12, 13 and 16. Seeing the images of the destroyed building, the bodies especially of the children struck me hard. I found it difficult to believe that someone's basic empathy with innocent human beings could be so totally burned out by the flames of fanaticism. It's not like fanatics haven't operated within the borders of the US before, either foreign or domestic. Certainly the assassinations of Lincoln and McKinnley by political fanatics demonstrate the mindset of individuals who believe they cannot compete in the arena of ideas so they must resort to terror.
We have tended to believe stuff like this happens elsewheres while we tend to thrash out our differences in the political arena. For the most part we do, but we have, in the past, also tended to poo-poo the lurch to fanaticism by groups and ignored the rhetoric they produce. Thankfully, post-OK, survellience of domestic groups that give rise to people like McVeigh stepped up. Unfortunately, post 9/11 there are still those that want to thwart similar efforts towards domestic groups that succor and encourage Atta wannabes.
April 18, 2005
This is just weird ...
Out of Illinois
SPRINGFIELD -- Pro-abortion forces won a victory in the Illinois House Wednesday as State Rep. Rosemary Mulligan (R-Park Ridge) successfully passed HB 2492 which would make it a criminal offense for an ultrasound to be administered without a doctor's order.Now, excuse me if having PP, who earns a lions' share of the non-profit profit being an abortion provider, sponsoring this bill raises just a few red flags with me. Is this really about protecting unborn babies? Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune has an article that starts out with a good and pointed analysis of the two sides, then gets sidetracked in his own biases. He lays out three reasons for ultrasounds: Diagnosis, Entertainment and Propaganda and then only covers what he deems "propaganda" coming exclusively from the pro-life side of the argument
Mulligan said that Planned Parenthood and the Illinois State Medical Society encouraged her to sponsor the legislation because there was a concern about long exposure of fetuses to ultrasound waves.
Since 2002, anti-abortion-rights activists have been raising money to buy ultrasound equipment for hundreds of "pregnancy resource centers" out of a conviction, buttressed by statistics they have collected, that if you show a woman who is considering an abortion an ultrasound image of her fetus, it increases the chances that she'll decide not to have the abortion.Geez, Eric, and maintaining to women/girls who come in for abortions that it isn't really a baby but not more than a mass of tissue like a cyst or ingrown toenail is not propaganda?
I best put my disclaimer in yet again. I'm a reluctant pro-choicer. I think that within the first trimester women need to be legally free to choose abortion. But I don't pretend that the fetus is anything other than a nascent human life. While convenience abortions (90% or more of abortions) are legal it doesn't make 'em moral.
PP doesn't want pregant women contemplating abortion to have full knowledge of what they are contemplating because the reality of what they are doing makes some say "no."
Sad. So very sad.
The labor of 'performance art' ...
BERLIN (Reuters) - A Berlin couple plan to have their first baby at an art gallery, the gallery owner said on Saturday, confirming a newspaper report.If it were a "once in a lifetime thing" none of us would be here.
"It's a gift to humanity, a once in a lifetime thing," Bild newspaper quoted Winfried Witt, partner of mother-to-be Ramune Gele, as saying.
Johann Novak, manager of the DNA-Galerie in central Berlin, said the artistic couple wanted to challenge conventional norms.What is more conventional than giving birth?
"It's a bit of test to see if society can cope," he said in a telephone interview.Society seems to cope with birth quite nicely ... from babyshowers, to businesses that cater to parents-to-be, to birthing centers and labor coaches. What's this "cope" schtick?
Yes, PT Barnum is alive and well.
More Saddam graves (shhh, don't tell the Left)...
...this time of Kuwaitis missing since the first Gulf war:
BAGHDAD, Iraq - The bodies of 41 Kuwaitis believed killed during the first Gulf War have been unearthed in southern Iraq, one of 295 mass graves containing thousands of Saddam Hussein's victims uncovered in the two years since U.S.-led forces invaded and ousted the dictator, an Iraqi official said Saturday.But, whatever, the Left has more important things to think about than Saddam's mass murdering...stuff like marketing Bush is Evil stuff.
The discovery in the city of Amarah, 180 miles southeast of Baghdad, was another step in documenting what happened to 605 Kuwaitis who have been missing since the 1991 Gulf War. The bodies of only 190 other Kuwaitis have been identified.
Around the country, Iraq's human rights minister, Bakhtiar Amin, said some mass graves contained the remains of dozens of people, while other had thousands, with victims including Kuwaitis and minority Kurds, who were systematically killed during Saddam's rule.
"Iraq is a land of mass graves due to the genocide policy of Saddam Hussein," he said. "We have hundreds of thousands of people missing."
Back from a break ...
I was both under the weather and we had the twins for the weekend. I love the boys but it's clear why one really should have kids when you're in your 20's. I would love to bottle some of the energy! We went to the park, played with water in the backyard (some very nice warm weather) and chased around. Basically I stayed away from the 'puter and news the last few days.
So, wtf is going on with the Senate Dems? Since when is it Consitutional to demand a super majority to appoint judges?
And I thought religious tests for nominees was also unConstitutional?
Deja vu of Kleagle Byrd filibustering Civil Rights legislation (which came about through the involvement and pressure of people of faith).
April 14, 2005
Connecticut gets it right
As many students yesterday spent the day in silence as a demonstration that hateful behavior directed towards gays AS gays is unacceptable, the legislature of Connecticut passed reasonable legislation on gay civil unions
HARTFORD, Conn., April 13 -- Connecticut's House of Representatives passed legislation Wednesday that would make the state the second to establish civil unions for same-sex couples, and the first to do so without being directed by a court.And in a sure sign that this is just the right legislation at just the right time:
The state Senate overwhelmingly approved a civil-unions bill last week, and lawmakers said they expect to endorse the House version as early as next week. Gov. M. Jodi Rell (R) said Wednesday that she will sign it. ...
It would provide same-sex couples who form civil unions with state and municipal tax benefits now granted only to married couples, as well as hospital visitation rights and a host of other benefits, including family-leave privileges.
In the end, the most ardent advocates on both sides of the issue said they were disappointed.Let me make MY position clear. I support, and believe, that sometime in the future same-sex couples will be included in marriage statutes. But I will never ever support such a move that originates in the judiciary because the public institution of marriage (as opposed to private relationships) is the singular province of The People. The People, through its representatives, have the right and power to define public institutions.
You'd think that the decades long intercine cultural warfare on abortion via the travesty of Roe v Wade would have taught the "marriage is a right" advocates the folly of trying to legislate through the judiciary.
April 13, 2005
'Day of Silence' update
After my last post, I dropped my daughter off at school then went onto work. I've asked her to guest blog her about the DoS at her high school later this evening. I'm not sure when it will be as there's a lot going on today at her school...with the DoS, some counter demonstrators and the students and staff still reeling after coming back after Spring Break on Monday and finding out a popular teacher died last week in a freak auto accident. The teacher was my daughter's Honors English teacher in 10th grade and there is a memorial service for her after school today.
But if Boo doesn't post today, it will be within the next day or so.
Maybe the adults should bow out ...
Michele at ASV writes a review of a couple of today's activities that will be taking place at many high schools across the nation. Today you'll find on one hand those participating in Day of Silence, as a witnessing demonstration for "making anti-LGBT bias unacceptable in schools", and on the other hand, a counter Day of Truth with its own t-shirts and cards demonstrating "unwillingness to condone detrimental personal and social behavior."
First, I have a real problem with the headline on the Day of Truth link
Conservatives counter gay eventI do realize I'm dealing with AP, so this kind of dissembling is expected even as I'm frustrated with it. Let's get this clear, CONSERATIVE does not translate as ANTI-GAY. I'm conservative, my daughters are conservative and my youngest daughter, along with her gay friends is a founding member of her school's GSA. I'm very proud of her for that. I'm proud she'll be participating in Day of Silence demonstration and I feel it is a valuable one. I'm just getting very tired of the kind of identity politics that says one's political stance and moral values are dictated by one's race/gender/orientation. This was easily demonstrated by Billy Jeff when he ratcheted up the definition of "self-loathing" gay to include merely opposing Hillary in her re-election. Yeah, that's a good campaign sign ... "Only Authentic Gays Vote for Hillary."
Second, the pissing match between the adults is evident in the sniping between the spokespeople on just who is more "legitimate" or "comes from the students." I guess this is just too juicy a political event for the adults NOT to get involved, from both sides.
May I suggest they bow out and let the kids handle this.
Of course, there's a lot of bias between students on campus'. It might be nice for students to rally to reduce the friction one finds between jocks and geeks, or making unacceptable the cruelty aimed at the fat kids or those with bad acne.
But I guess those aren't headline-catching political issues yet that adults are itching to direct.
Naw, this can't right ...
... I'm absolutely sure this is a typo of some kind:
Nope, I don't buy it. I hear all the time about Britain's ban on citizens owning guns, how wonderful it is. Not gun control but a ban! There are no guns in Britain.
Nicola Horlick, who became known as superwoman for juggling a high-flying career in the city with looking after five children, was attacked outside her home in the posh neighbourhood of south Kensington on Monday night, police said on Tuesday.
Two men drove up to the 43-year-old on a scooter, one jumped off and threatened her with a handgun, demanding she hand over her possessions.
Horlick refused and threw a diamond ring -- the only thing she had of any value -- into a nearby bush to prevent them from grabbing it.
She was then struck across the head with a pistol and knocked to the ground, but thanks to Horlick's quick thinking her attackers fled empty handed.
I bet they attacked her with a casaba and the writer was just trying to sexup the report. Nothing more embarrassing than a melon attack.
Wrong answer to right question?
Excuse me if I'm a
little lot skeptical of CA's legislature to craft an assisted-suicide bill with the kind of safe-guards necessary to prevent it becoming a tool of euthanasia. That would include the cultural shift to subtly pressure terminally-ill people to "not be a burden" to their families rather than fighting the good fight.
April 12, 2005
Hating Women -- are we are own biggest problem?
One of the nice side benefits of the recent road trip we took with Siobhan is actually being in a car and then a hotel room for 3 days. She brought her favorite CDs and Eric and I got a chance to sample much of the music she likes.
Friday night, Eric had already fallen asleep and Siobhan and I were watching Comedy Central and chatting. The show broke for commercials and the ad was for "Girls Gone Wild" .... part 12 or 30, I don't remember. But suddenly I'm sitting there with my teenaged daughter watching clips of girls not much older than her waving their [blurred out] boobs at the camera under the rather salacious narrative of a guy who sounds like he's a barker infront of a Nevada brothel. These girls aren't actresses or models or anything other than college students who somehow feel it necessary flop 'em out. And that's the most "innocent" of the clips that move on to girl-on-girl soft porn.
Siobhan and I looked at each other and she rolled her eyes and sighed, "Well, some of them were probably drunk, but most of them probably just hate themselves."
That came back to me Monday as I was listening to Dennis Prager's show and his conversation with Shmuley Boteach. Shmuley has a new book out, "Hating Women: America's Hostile Campaign Against the Fairer Sex", and they were talking about the book in the context of feminism, and male and female sexual natures. Shmuley pointed out the "death" of feminism with the dearth of female self-respect that results in increasing numbers of women willing to accept what can be only described as misogynist behavior directed at them. Dennis made the point that it isn't the death of feminism, per se, but the logical result of the dominant branch of feminism that went beyond equal opportunity to stating that there are no differences between men and women. Thus, women, presented with the male as template and a philosophy that she should be exactly like him, have become men in some of their own basest sexual nature - exhibitionist, predatory, promiscuous.
And they are enjoying it less.
To pick up on another Shmuley example: for those of us who came of age during the height of the "Woman's Movement," one of the archetypes that women fought against was the distant husband/lover. He was the guy who went to work, patted her on the head then put most of his emotional investment in bonding with "the boys." Cards, bowling, guys' night out, football weekends, etc., the "boys" would get their emotional intimacy from each other..oogling magazines, complaining about women. And what do we find today? Women who have turned that stereotype on its head. Women who are married, who are sexually attracted to men, but whose intimate emotional fulfillment comes from their girlfriends.
The "Sexual Revolution" I lived through was about empowering women to make decisions about themselves and their relationships. It was about male/female relationships moving into one of a mutual partnership with emotional intimacy. It was not about becoming female lotharios or whores.
What have we, as women, gained in the 'hooking up' culture? Is it that much of a honor that we can prove ourselves the "equal" of men in anonymous sex, STD's, vulgarity, manipulation and treating lovers badly?
We are told to "Say no!" to any "religious freak" who might express misgivings about abortion as birthcontrol, but we can't say "no" to sexual encounters that are degrading?
Personally, I'd like to interview some of those girls on the video along with the girls who told the guy filming the boobfest "No."
I think the level of self-respect between the two groups would be quite evident.
April 11, 2005
Everytime I listen to an audio of Babs Boxer
... the song "We want to Welcome You to Munchkinland" starts looping in my head.
Malaise? Naw ... I say mayonnaise.
Michele makes some interesting points even as I shy away from a word I've always come to associate with Jhimmi Carter.
I like writing, I love blogging but that doesn't mean I don't find it frustrating at times, or that the boys in the basement decide to take a few days off now and then and I sit and look at the monitor, jaw slack wondering if the drool will drop off my chin onto the keyboard before I write something, goddammit. And there are the natural cycles -- finding something to write about passionately. Like great sex it heats, warms, gets all nerves singing in harmony and the pressure and pleasure build on each other. And the feedback from other writing in response continue the climb, breathless, heady ... heck, feverishly sweaty! Then the release, a great post, a newscycle that hits the peak, and the inevitable let down. Or it can be compared to a going to a restaurant you've only heard about - the expectation, the excitement, tasting a dish you hope will delight you, but at the end of the meal you push back from the table maybe satisfied but ready to pack it in and go home to collapse in front of the tv and vow not to go out to eat in the near future.
So are we really talking malaise or just an expected reaction? Add to that is the frustration one has got to feel if presented with a glutton's delight of choices and not being able to sample even a few. Then, even if you write about something you want to write about your muse is nagging you like a fishwife in the background about all those other things you didn't write about.
Screw it. I say it's nothing more than mayonnaise ... a rich condiment that's fine in small doses but a real inducer of queasiness if laid on too thick.
I know my time to blog is limited. I can't do it from work and I have a family I love and take care of. I know there have been a half dozen or more things I've wanted to write about in the last week or so that I haven't done more than left a couple scribbled lines of notes about while writing on other things I deemed more important. I've taken a lot of heat for my Schiavo and Magouirk posts, both here and in other forums ...everything from being called a "howler monkey" to "retarded" to being tied to the odious, evil Terry Randell. And as I said in a previous post I'm tired of the flaming, mean-spirited, over-the-top rhetoric on both sides of the issue. But I don't feel malaise over the issue. Frustration, yes; because it's too serious a subject to allow to deginerate into food fights.
And I don't feel malaise over blogging, even if I have to step away from it personally now and then. The community of bloggers is just barely scratching the surface of their potential. That gladdens me. Some bloggers will be pointmen and the rest of us will take turns on the field or play checkers in the stands. I know I want to get back to other subjects and I will, but not because of a overdose of mayonnaise, but because the buffet table is rich in its different offerings.
Some other blogs writing on the mayo ... all quite from different POV's
April 10, 2005
The Royal's must be having financial problems
Or maybe it's just the extended family.
How else to explain Zara Phillips attending the Prince Charles/Camilla wedding dressed in a 60's outfit from a secondhand clothing store?
hattip Kevin at Wizbang
April 09, 2005
Shut up, shut the * up!
Stop with the brickbats on the Mae case. Stop the screaming across the aisle and the histrionics. Stop long enough to start considering what we are really debating outside of the turf warfare of "ooo! s/he called me Hitler!" or "ooo! s/he called me a religious fascist!" and LISTEN to the people who are trying to gain a voice, because this debate affects them
Since 1983, many people with disabilities have opposed the assisted suicide and euthanasia movement. Though often described as compassionate, legalized medical killing is really about a deadly double standard for people with severe disabilities, including both conditions that are labeled terminal and those that are not.I followed their top link and came to this testimony by Rud Turnbull given on April 6, 2005, in front of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions:
You need to understand that people with intellectual and associated disabilities have always been subjected to discrimination. Often, they have been put to death or allowed to die when they might have been kept alive. The discrimination that they have experienced in education, employment, and housing are matters that you have addressed by various laws. More to the point today is the discrimination in health care that they have experienced.Powerful stuff, right? And if you know my own arguments on this blog, first in the Schiavo case then in the Mae Magouirk, the following should ring loud, clear and very familiar.
The roots of that discrimination are ancient. They originate in the debates of the Greek philosophers, Hippocrates, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.
Hippocrates posed the question, “Which children should be raised?”
Plato answered by writing that a state’s “medical and judicial provision” will “leave the unhealthy to die, and those whose psychological constitution is incurably corrupt, it will put to death.” He added, “… we must look at our offspring from every angle to make sure we are not taken in by a lifeless phantom not worth the rearing.”
Aristotle agreed: “With regard to the choice between abandoning or rearing an infant, let there be a law that no crippled child be raised.”
And the pre-Christian Romans’ Twelve Tables, their equivalent of our federal constitution, admonished the head of the family to “kill quickly…a dreadfully deformed child.”
One would have thought our more enlightened age would have settled the question about which individuals should be treated so that they will live.
Yet, even nowadays the debate rages: what are the indispensable elements of being, the sine qua non of human-ness. Those debates frighten me, and they should alarm you, too. The slippery slope is slick and awaits us all.
Among the many questions before you nowadays is this simple one: What role, if any, does Congress have in responding to –
• theories that people with disabilities are not human enough to have rights, and, if they pass some test of being human, still have no rights, much less the right to live,
• a sense among the some Americans that “I would not want to live like THAT!”, that a person with a disability “suffers” from the disability when, often, it is not the disability that causes the suffering but our social and legal refusal to support the person,
• a sense among some in the public and media that living as a person with a disability is such an undesirable condition that death itself is preferable to life,
• public perceptions that people with disabilities are useless consumers of public and private resources,
• cost-containment pressures and rationing criteria within the health-care and insurance industries, and
• public opinion that too often is not ashamed to say that, when it comes to protecting and allotting health-care resources to people with disabilities, they should, in the words of former Governor Lamm of Colorado, “Just roll over and die.”
We made it home from Frisco in under 7 hours. Yea! And that was taking into account the heavy traffic in Pasadena on the 210 at 4:30 pm on a Saturday. Where the hell did all the people come from on a Saturday? Don't you people stay home and mow the lawn and play catch with the kids??
A few random thoughts while decompressing ...
I had a real pang on Friday night at 10 pm. No new Battlestar Galactica to watch!
Frisco is an interesting town, driving is a nightmare, the weather is quirky, the views are spectacular, my daughter's college gave me a warm fuzzy and I've come to the conclusion she is NOT having a car while she's there. She really won't need it. Frisco, like San Diego, is an easy city to navigate via mass transit (I went to SDSU and became quite the wiz at negotiating the town without a car). Now I'm just turning grey worrying about the $$$$ of college. Hey, please feel free to hit the tip jar!
I wrote this below, but I'll repeat it... looks like grandma Mae has been airlifted to a real hospital. That's a very happy move.
April 08, 2005
'One swallow does not make a summer' ...
The quote by Aristotle is a succinct warning about looking for patterns or "slippery slopes" in any singular event. However, sometimes that singular event brings attention to things that may be happening just under the radar of attention.
I came to the Terri Schiavo case troubled by the rhetoric from both sides of the issue and tried to scrape it away to get to what I thought was the core issue: how should the Law approach a dispute over the care of a non-terminal but profoundly disabled person when said person's own wishes were in dispute? My contention was that the Law should always err on the side of continued life. My worry is, and always has been, the mischief created when the Law tries to engage in the determination of "quality of life" decisions. The argument is like trying to nail jello to the wall.
At the conclusion of the Schiavo case I felt that a line had been crossed. A faint one, and one that I hoped in the future would get full societal hearing and repudiation -- that some people are just plain inconvenient and even if their wishes were in dispute, the fact they were inconvenient to others was most important to the law than such a person's own right to life be protected by default. It spoke directly to the gooey "quality of life" argument -- the more profoundly disabled one was, the more one lost their rights under the Constitution.
Now, Schiavo's case was not the first swallow of summer. Certainly Robert Wendland's brush with attempted legal euthanasia might qualify. But certainly the new case of Mae Magouirk [please see update below] has got to give one pause as yet another swallow winging into sight. Since I do not wish to be accused of quoting out of context, I urge you to read the whole article at the link.
The most salient part of the whole article is that Mae had a living will her granddaughter ignored.
How many more swallows until we have a serious discussion about how we want our culture to treat the weakest among us? Are their rights to be contingent upon their convenience to the rest of us? Are even their expressed wishes to be sacrificed upon the Secular Altar of "Quality of Life?"
It's not quite the summer I had in mind to leave to my children. You?
hattip Paul at Wizbang
UPDATE It seems my link to the local paper, The LaGrange News no longer shows Mae's story AND their is no cache of the front page as they seem to be a PAID ONLY subscriber newspaper. So I've removed the link and offer here some of the other links to the story WND - they broke the story, plus WXIA-TV in Georgia, and Empire Journal.
UPDATE II Looks as if Mae Magouirk has been airlifted out of the hospice to a hospital, though the hospital is unable to confirm or deny the information due to HIPA regulations.
'..can you feel the love' Update
Geez, it's not only toxic emails but the usual "dismiss the female with sexist labels" rhetoric on comment threads that Michelle Malkin has to contend with. As usual for the Left cult, one is not an authentic woman if you are an apostate and disagree with their dogma. Nevermind the facts of what you are attacking, if it isn't Left, it isn't legit.
Do read, too, Joe Gandelman's balanced assessment of the whole affair.
UPDATE and in another reality vs left spin
In writing about the memo, we doubted its authenticity, we doubted its status as a "GOP talking points memo" distributed by party leaders, and we observed that no Republican senator had been identified as a recipient. In response to the questions we and others raised, Allen himself backtracked from the allegation that the memo represented Republican party leaders' talking points: "We simply reported that the sheet of paper was distributed to Republican senators and told our readers explicitly that the document was unsigned, making clear it was unofficial," according to Allen. We have established that Allen's March 19 wire service story is inconsistent with that statement as well.So, Kosskiddies, [please see update]*, Drum, et al, please keep calling Malkin a "c**t" and any non-left infidel any number of vile ad homenims, it really makes you look so classy (but it will get you the accolates of the far left Deaniacs).
My suspicion that the memo itself was an inauthentic document has proved wrong; I made a mistake in concluding that it was. But the memo was not a "GOP talking points memo" prepared by party leaders or distributed only to Republican senators; it was not what Allen and others described it to be. The difference between what the memo is and what Allen (and others) reported it to be appears to be large and consequential. Who owes whom an apology?
Power to the [authentic] people!
UPDATE 4/10/05 3:09 pm PDT In my list above I included blogger, Pennywit, when I shouldn't have. I should, at this point, know better than to rely on a comment not in Penny's own blog but on another forum especially when I failed to bookmark it and vet it. (I've just spent sometime trying to find where it was I saw the remarks and have failed). Having been a victim myself of namejacking, I wish at this time to offer a full apology to Pennywit and I promise to be more diligent in the future.
April 07, 2005
Wow, can you feel the love! ...
My last post before I hit the light switch and get some sleep as we have a campus to tour tomorrow.
I asked a question about the "GOP" talking points memo. The original "gotcha" histrionics from ABC and Mike Allen from Wapo, whose original newswire was repeated all over that "In a memo distributed only to Republican senators, the Schiavo case was characterized as "a great political issue"... were so over the top as to create reasonable suspicion about the "memo."
Guess it hasn't been enough that since it was revealed by freshman Senator Martinez himself that the "memo" was created by a staffer who has been summarily terminated and that many of the blogs that were reporting on the issue have posted these updates (ie Powerline here and here and LGF) ... the usual suspects are sending out vicious emails to Powerline and Michelle Malkin. I highly recommend you read Michelle's post because she writes a spectacular summary of the whole affair that is not over yet. Several questions remain, especially of why Mike Allen wrote the way he did and why Democrat Tom Harkin, who is the only "Senate leader" to see the memo, didn't say anything at the time but waited two and a half weeks ... or did he?
As Mickey Kraus says Non-fake but inaccurate!
I'm now in San Francisco
We drove up here today and will be touring Siobhan's college tomorrow plus letting her get a feel for the area. Saturday SFSU has a "sneak preview" open house for incoming freshmen.
Nice, but long drive. And I'm still amazed at the lush green hills on the way.
More later, we're about to leave the hotel and head out to some "touristy" places as a start to orient Boo.
Sometimes, there are few words ...
... that can capture the depth of love and grief one can experience when one loses a trusted companion. Take a moment to visit Jeff Harrell and find out how much he is able to find just the right words.
And bring a box of kleenex. Really.
April 06, 2005
Governor of Illinois has a hissy fit
I was quite suspicious of the kerfluffle being whipped up by Planned Parenthood, et al, about a "crisis" of pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions for birth control pills due to conscience. I don't doubt it has happened, I just doubt that this is a "crisis" that is any more than a new political axe to grind in the quest of some to beat back The Drooling Theocrats of The Religious Right [cue the sound of screaming horses]
2004 Pharmacist Conscience ClauseAs long as a PHARMACY institutes a system to insure that their customers are reasonably served, individual pharmacists have the right under Federal law and professional ethics to have their beliefs reasonably accomodated. There are already laws and ethics in place by which two competing needs can be balanced.
1998 1. APhA recognizes the individual pharmacist's right to exercise conscientious refusal and supports the establishment of systems to ensure patient's access to legally prescribed therapy without compromising the pharmacist's right of conscientious refusal.
2. APhA shall appoint a council on an as needed basis to serve as a resource for the profession in addressing and understanding ethical issues. (JAPhA 38(4): 417. July/August 1998)
Now enter Illinois Gov Rod Blagojevich (D) into the fray and demonstrating his own brand of bigotry.
on Friday issued an emergency rule requiring pharmacies to accept and fill prescriptions for contraceptives "without delay" and established a toll-free number for state residents to report refusals, ...So I guess it's true, some people really ARE more equal than others.
Our regulation says that if a woman goes to a pharmacy with a prescription for birth control, the pharmacy or the pharmacists is not allowed to discriminate or to choose who he sells it to or who he doesn't sell it to," Blagojevich said, adding, "No delays, no hassles. No lectures"
Millions of Americans will be required to show passports when they reenter the United States from Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean by 2008 under new rules announced yesterday by the State and Homeland Security departments.Cue Vincinte Fox and Gil Cedillo SOP whining and attacking America's (so far) puny efforts to protect the borders. My only problem is that it wasn't policy within six months of 9/11 or even by the end of this year. Why the delay, guys?
The new policy, designed to thwart terrorists from exploiting the relative ease of travel in North America, means that Americans who lack U.S. passports will have to obtain them to travel between the United States and neighboring nations. It also will require Mexicans and Canadians to present either passports or another official document to enter this country, with details to be determined.
Currently, U.S. citizens in most cases need to show only driver's licenses to reenter this country from Mexico and Canada, though officials said that since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, some officials at border crossings at times have asked for additional documents.
April 05, 2005
'A classic updated'? Spare me.
Yesterday Jeff posted about a VW ad running in the UK but not in the US. As Jeff correctly points out, with the internet such a restriction is almost moot. The VW ad features Gene Kelly's classic scene from Singing in the Rain which starts running when suddenly the music starts hiccuping and Gene engages in weird contortions and lame moonwalking.
I ranted about it yesterday at Jeff's and then decided to withhold further comment until after sleeping on it last night hoping to get some perspective.
Nope. I still hate it. Hate it, hate it, HATE IT.
Ok, it is a clever bit of technology, seamless and quite a sight to behold especially if one is familiar with the original bit. But that's my problem, I am familiar with the original bit and I find this "update" as clever and original as slapping DaVinci's Last Supper on a cereal box and adding a sound chip that will have Jesus singing his words to his disciples in hip-hop fashion. Big C and his Galilee Homeboys.
There are just some things that are better in the original than any "update" can offer. Did anyone ever like Ted Turner's "colorizing" of black and white films? Is there any remake of a classic movie that exceeds the original?
My main objection is that Gene Kelly was a particularly singular dancer. His style was all his own, truly American, and not one person has been able to match, let alone exceed, his style. (Same for Fred Astaire) Morphing Kelly into breaking/popping moves that are so ubiquitous from thousands of other hip-hop dancers is to dismiss Kelly and his cultural contribution.
Of course, I may be a lone voice in this regard. I ran across this blog who's commenters almost universally love the VW ad.
- Da advert is raw and live. They updated a classic making it present. "Mint Royale" done well remixing da tune and well done to VW 4 ever thinginh of it. This is da DOPEST advert out there!!
Wow. Erudite statements like that inspires so much confidence in the future success of the younger generation.
April 04, 2005
Curious observation ...
As I listen to all the talk surrounding Pope John Paul II's death, funeral and who may be picked as successor, I'm struck by what I'm hearing from some of those left of center.
There's an increasing chatter on how John Paul failed in certain social arenas and now the Church should seize the moment to elect a more "liberal" Pope.
Uh, correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't these the same people who get their knickers in a knot anytime the Catholic Church makes any pronouncement concerning public policy?
Free speech or treason?
This story from WaPo:
Islamic spiritual leader Ali Al-Timimi's pen is mightier than his sword, prosecutors contend. It's not so much his actions but his words that make him so dangerous, they say.Timimi is charged with ten counts including "attempting to contribute services to the Taliban and soliciting or inducing others to commit a variety of crimes, such as conspiring to levy war on the United States, using firearms and carrying explosives." However, Timimi's supporters are framing this exclusively as a First Amendment issue. They've set up a pretty vanilla website posting links to news articles and soliciting donations. It also contains "support letters" and they make for some interesting reading. Here's some quotes:
Less than a week after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Timimi told a group of Northern Virginia Muslims that it should train for violent jihad abroad and wage war on the United States, prosecutors say. In 2003, he celebrated the crash of the space shuttle Columbia in a message that prosecutors say reflected his view that the United States itself should be destroyed.
- There are orientalist and other quote unquote intellectualist ... Please do not be deceived into thinking that there is not a war again Islaam. There is and it is an ideological and actual taking up of arms.
- The only reason he is being attacked by the government is because he is calling to a pure form of Islam, and they will continue to twist words and come up with lies to try to prove a useless case.
- met him personally when he came to the United Kingdom where he did a series of lectures 2 years ago in defence of the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) whom the american media and all its evangelical cronies had begun to deride out of pure prejudice.
I'm a great supporter of the First Amendment. I think the government needs to be constrained to strict requirements when approaching a case that involves primarily speech. Current legal precedence derives from 1969's Brandenburg v. Ohio which holds the standard that even if the speaker is advocating violence, they cannot be prosecuted unless the speaker intends for his listeners to act or the words are likely to produce "imminent lawlessness." A pretty high standard.
Certainly, one only has to go to far leftist sites, like democraticunderground, to find anti-American sentiments and the call for the downfall of the government. The speech is ugly in the extreme but not illegal. However, I'm old enough to remember the Charles Manson case, and while he did not physically commit the murders himself, he did direct his "followers" to commit murder to further his ends. If the prosecutors have the evidence to show that Timimi acted more like a Manson and less like the demented of DU, then they should be able to get a conviction.
Of course, the understatement of the day belongs to Timimi himself
Timimi said that he never has advocated violence and that "many of my best qualities are simply because I am an American." He acknowledged that he "has opinions that go counter to the mainstream of American society."
April 03, 2005
Somehow, I predict Fox, 'A'CLU and Aztlan
will be disappointed
PHOENIX - Volunteers for an effort to patrol the Mexican border reported their first sighting of suspected illegal immigrants, resulting in 18 arrests, authorities said Sunday.What? You mean there are really, truly illegals coming over the border?
Participants in the Minuteman Project spotted the migrants Saturday near Naco as the volunteers were surveying the border to familiarize themselves with area. When agents arrived, they apprehended 18 people, Border Patrol spokesman Andy Adame said.Wait a minute. I thought these "vigilantes" were there to harass or beat these "migrants." I mean, that's what Vicente Fox has been ranting about. Can you believe it, the Minuteman volunteers are actually doing what they said they would?
"You observe them, report them and get out of the way," said Mike McGarry, a spokesman for the project, which begins Monday and is to continue for a month.
The volunteers reported another illegal immigrant after he wandered onto the campus of a Bible college near the community of Palominas, where about 100 Minuteman participants were staying.OMIGOD! They helped him! But but but...aren't they nothing but despicable racists? Latinophobes? Shouldn't they be kicking this man instead of feeding him?
The man walked in and said he needed food and water. Volunteers helped him and notified federal agents, who picked him up, McGarry said.
Law enforcement officials said the volunteers were keeping the peace, despite concerns they might become confrontational with immigrants. ...I'm sure there will be quite a few Lefties crying in their light Caramel Mocha Frappuccinos tonight.
"Everything seems to be going well," said Carol Capas, a spokeswoman for the Cochise County Sheriff's Office.
Stop it! For pity's sake STOP IT!
When a foreign national crosses illegally into the US, they are not a "migrant", they are an Illegal Alien. I'm so tired of reading stuff like this
Mexican nationals protest Minuteman ProjectNo no NO. This is insane beyond words. Mexican nationals protesting Americans who want our border and sovereignty protected? Or, consider this
Just 30 minutes from Tombstone, Mexican protestors took to the streets in Naco and closed the port of entry for about a half an hour.
They came from Mexicali, Hermosillo, San Luis, Rio Colorado and Tijuana. They're here to show support for fellow migrant workers.
One of the protestors says, "To fight racisits, mobilization against those that have built our country, the Mexican migrant."
Luis Martinez, a Latino resident of Tombstone, was nearly in tears as he criticized the Minuteman Project for the problems it created for the city. ...Please note they are screeching about "The Race"... So, who are the bigots here? Let's recall that such people employing such racist language as "Viva la Raza" are part and parcel of the odious Aztlan movement that declares the Southwest as the "stolen land" of Mexico and aggitates for its "ethnic cleansing" of non-Mexicans. They are also rabidly anti-Semitic.
Shortly after, a loud metallic banging filled the air as Aztec dancers and pot-bangers gathered in front of city hall and launched an anti-Minuteman protest of their own.
The Aztec dancers chanted and danced to a pounding drum beat with an occasional dancer exclaiming 'Viva la Raza.'
And where is Vicente Fox in trying to solve this problem of his own lawbreaking citizens?
"We totally reject the idea of these migrant-hunting groups," Fox said. "We will use the law, international law and even U.S. law to make sure that these types of groups, which are a minority ... will not have any opportunity to progress." ...So, what's next Fox? Going to sue locksmiths for helping people "isolate" themselves from thieves by locking their frontdoor?
Fox, who will be in Texas next week to meet with President Bush and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, also criticized recent U.S. legislative efforts to fund construction of border fences.
"We are convinced that walls don't work. They should be torn down," he told reporters. "No country that is proud of itself should build walls. No one can isolate himself these days."
Stop it, you anti-American bigot(s). Just STOP IT.
April 02, 2005
Pope John Paul II
O let us talk of quiet that we know,
that we can know, the deep and lovely quiet
of a strong heart at peace!
Another example of TOTBAL*
*There Ought To Be A Law
if you prefer, just another example of the instincts of some elected legislators to State Nannism
HONOLULU -- A state lawmaker has suggested Hawaii's public schoolteachers be forced to weigh in as part of the fight against obesity in students.So, when Mrs. Parker, algebra teacher, age 55, weighs in 10 pounds over her "ideal" weight ... what? Fine? Suspension?
A resolution in the state house would create an obesity database among teachers. The idea isn't being well received by the teachers union. ...
The resolution calls for all public schoolteachers to weigh in every six months.
Yeah...that'll really attract people to the teaching profession. Eat a Snickers, get a pink slip.
hattip So. Cal Lawblog
In honor of International Children's Book Day Michele offers up her fave kid reads and is happy to take suggestions in the comments. I am loving reading the lists because sometimes I remember the stories I've read while having a tough time recalling the titles!
My mainsqueeze as a grade schooler was The Black Stallion by Walter Farley. Like a lot of young girls, I absolutely was nutz over horses and I must have read that book dozens of times. Never did get a horse as much as I pestered my parents. :::sigh:::
I also loved Nancy Drew and then spent my 50 cent a week allowance on The Man from U.N.C.L.E. paperbacks (which are packed away in the garage somewhere... god, I loved those books).
The pic at the top of this post I just took -- the cupboard just outside my daughters' bedrooms and where they stashed just a small portion of their childhood reads. I don't know if any of you recall the so-called "controversy" over RL Stine's Goosebumps series, but it preceeded the same sort of sniffing and handwringing that accompanies the Harry Potter series.
I've always wanted to sneak up behind some of these blue-nose types and give 'em a turbocharged wedgie....but I don't think they'd notice.
So the pic shows my ::ahem:: concern over my girls' reading habits as kids...that line of Goosebumps you see? That only the first layer. Siobhan has 'em all catalogued somewhere and there are over 200 of the Goosebumps alone. We also have all the Fear Street series, many books by Christopher Pike, the Narnia books, Harry Potter series, Babysitter Club series and I have a collection of hard-cover Bobsey Twin books from the 1930's.
All in all, I think my kids reading habits were well served by Goosebumps as they engendered a love of reading that continues right through today.
April 01, 2005
Battlestar Galactica -- stunning indeed
Tonight saw the close of BSG's maiden season and I have to say regardless of some unevenness, each episode has built upon the other and tonight's season ending managed to even shock me upright at the very end.
Jeff Harrell has been excellent in previewing each of the episodes prior to airing without spoiling any of the twists and turns. He covered the two-part finale, Kobol's Last Gleaming, #1 here and #2 here.
I come to this post less of a reviewer at this point than as viewer. I have looked with great anticipation to the series since the pilot mini-series aired in 2003. It's been a while since I've really enjoyed a television sci-fi series. The Star Trek franchises left me cold after a handful of episodes and the delightfully scene-chewing Babylon 5 has faded into memory. I used to wonder if I was just getting curmudgeony and picky as I grew older when I found I wanted more than shiney ships, weird aliens and things that go "boom." And as much as I still love the original Star Trek series, as I do many an old Hollywood movie of the 30's and 40's, I found I just could not bring myself to invest my time in watching a series where whatever "significant" premise each story might propose, all the characters and settings would be status quo at the end of 60 minutes.
The new BSG is definitely sci-fi for adults. Like Babylon 5, there are multiple story threads, some arcing an espisode or two long, some arcing over the full season and some continuing into next season. And like some of the better dramas to be found on television, BSG is giving me characters I want to spend time with.
Themes? BSG is full of 'em. The temptation of power, betrayal, the dynamics of parent/child relationships, what people do for love, what people do when they believe their survival is at stake. Shakespeare would sigh in delight.
Just off stage, just behind a gossamer curtain, BSG is almost shameless in the teasing and tantalizing concerning the nature of the Cylons. Everytime I think I may get a handle on what they are, BSG dances away in a swirl of colored veils making me stop and question my first (second and third) premise. While many times the Cylons seem to be almost a mirror by which we can gauge human behavior and motivations, then they are protrayed with an agenda of their own that seems unfathomable. I find myself, too, also wondering if the Cylons are at their own crisis because the shows are so carefully balanced as to make me wonder if some of the Cylon are "going native" in their contacts with humans.
To quote Winston Churchill (who was referring to Russians)... the Cylons are "a mystery wrapped in a riddle wrapped in an enigma."
The humans have been wonderfully cast and my thrill with both Edward James Olmos' Adama and Mary McDonnell's Roslin has been previously chronicled on this blog. They've circled each other with sometimes grudging respect but always with suspicion the whole season and with this episode their even tentative relationship imploded. I've been delighted to see others change as well -- Lee has grown (IMHO I hope more so next season), Starbuck is less cartoony, Sharon/Boomer more complicated. And Baltar? As much as he is a slimely bastard, I enjoy watching him posture and squirm.
And last, but not least, the production values have been stellar (excuse the pun).
I'm enjoying the ride and may it continue with this level of writing, acting and execution.
PS ... I was very impressed with the use of classical music in both parts of Kobol's Last Gleaming.
'Ah, the roses! Surely, Sean, you recall the roses?'
Do click on the image to get a grand closeup of one of my rosebushes I just took only a few minutes ago. Spring is definitely here, starting with the butterflies last Saturday, and now my roses are bursting out all over. Michele inspired my rose-blogging with her crocus dance'o'spring. Hey, if Glenn Reynolds can do cat-blogging, I'm happy to do a rose post or two!
Today the weather is warm and bright. The rose is a Betty Boop. Eric surprised me with it for my birthday a few years ago. I keep her in a terracotta pot on the patio, spoil her with attention and she rewards me with lots of roses. Not a lot of fragrance but a showy gal who is covered in buds and ready to make a spectacular entrance.
I have a couple of climbing roses, Don Juans, that are blood red and a few in a vase will scent a whole room! MMMMmmm. I'd enjoy my gardening more if I actually had the time to spend on it! I know, gratuitous whine.
And house envy. We lease the house we live in right now, and I'm just not inspired to put a lot of extra gardening in for the benefit of the landlord. We are looking to make a home purchase this summer and THAT will be an adventure I'll share.
So can I live this spring gardening season through y'all? Tell me what your gardening plans are! Please?
*title of entry is a movie quote ... can you guess which one?