Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Mindless Blogging

Taking a break from all the serious stuff, I've decided to share what television shows I've found interesting lately. Now you have to understand that I've been out of the T.V. game for a long time, but recently I've returned to enjoy some truly mindless entertainment.

Reality shows: I have to admit, the other night the opener of "The Bachelor" was really good! I usually hate this show. I'm always so embarrassed for the women. Where is the self-respect? Well I'm over that. Best part of the show that is different this season, and IMHO makes the show much better, is that they're trying to depart from the usual format. This time around, rather than evening gowns and limos, the girls had 5 minutes notice to get up, get ready and get to the hotel ballroom before the doors would be locked. It was great. A lot of them had no make-up and were wearing PJs. The other great change: No rules. The claws have come out on this show like no other. The rose ceremonies look like they are going to be an all out free for all. Based on the first show, I highly recommend it.

The other show that I've been hooked on is "PowerGirls" on MTV. This one is about 5 (?) girls in Manhattan who work for a big time PR firm handling high profile club openings and celebrity parties. I like this one because they really have to work and get a job done.

Oh yeah, there's a lot of clawing in that one too.

So this is some of the mindless entertainment that I admit to watching. So what's your guilty pleasures?

MD Challenge

Code Blue Blog is putting the bucks on the line over the Schiavo case. You've heard all of these doctors involved in the case telling you what that infamous CT Scan shows - the problem is that none of them are radiologists. The challenge puts 100k to 125k up for grabs if these Schiavo "her brain is liquid" docs really know what they are talking about. Here's the challenge:
To prove my point I am offering $100,000 on a $25,000 wager for ANY neurologist (and $125,000 for any neurologist/bioethicist) involved in Terri Schiavo's case--including all the neurologists reviewed on television and in the newspapers who can accurately single out PVS patients from functioning patients with better than 60% accuracy on CT scans.

I will provide 100 single cuts from 100 different patient's brain CT's. All the neurologist has to do is say which ones represent patients with PVS and which do not.

If the neurologist can be right 6 out of 10 times he wins the $100,000.

Folks, he's being very generous at lowering the bar to 6/10 correct readings.

Do you think he'll have any takers? I bet not.

Hat tip to Michelle Malkin.

Rocco Goes Big Time

Friend and RI blogger Rocco DiPippo of AntiProtester Journal has hit the big time blogging for Moonbat Central at FrontPage Mag. He has his first post up today and takes the opportunity to talk about the fall-out following his FrontPage piece on Grover Furr.

Now you know what to do, right?

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

One of my very best friends left Ireland (his homeland) in the mid 1980's and immigrated to the United States in search of a job opportunity. Irish unemployment was 17% in the face of excessive taxation. As my friend said, the joke in Ireland was "last man out of Ireland; turn out the lights".

At Tech Central Station, Hans Labohm reports on a study conducted by Workforall ( an independent European think tank, based in Belgium ), that follows wealth-growth and government size in Belgium and Ireland between 1984 and 2002. The comparison provides dramatic evidence in support of "Reaganomics". In 1985, Ireland cut public spending by 20%, while Belgian government spending stayed the same. As a result, Ireland enjoyed an average of 5.6% annual growth from 1985 to 2002! This growth rate is 3 times the rate in Belgium over the same time period. Real growth in Ireland ( GNP per capita ) was 4 times that in Belgium. Of course, unemployment in Ireland fell dramatically. The investigators speculate that a 1% reduction in government spending will lead to an additional annual growth of 0.6%. Is anyone else in Europe paying attention?

American Colleges Shifting Left

As reported in Newsmax today, a conservative group ( The Randolph Foundation ), has found that seventy-two percent of university professors in the United States are self-identified liberals, while only fifteen percent are self-identified conservatives. The study involved 1643 full-time faculty at 183 four year schools. To conservatives this is certainly not surprising. What is shocking though, is revealed at the end of the Newsmax piece. Apparently the last major college faculty survey took place in 1984. That study was conducted by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The finding at that time was that only 39% identified themselves as liberals! Now, to be fair, we do not know whether comparable methods were used in each study, so we have to be careful not to over-interpret the data. However, a bounce from 39% to 72% is potentially a very disturbing sign. Remember, these are the teachers that will influence the leaders of tomorrow. God, save this good country!!

Monday, March 28, 2005

Furr Responds

To his students that is. Rocco has a letter that Grover Furr distributed to his students in response to this FrontPage column and this post that is much more detailed exposing Furr's pro-Stalin ideology. Since the column published the heat is on and Furr has found himself the subject of the college paper and editorials.

Here's a taste of Grover Furr's writings, Seeking Opposition to the War in Afghanistan, that draws parallels between the 9/11 terrorists and the US led war in against the Taliban:
In this criminal war, the US is already killing civilians. Remember the term "collateral damage"? Now the US killers don't know what to call the civilian casualties. Yes, US killers; if the suicide terrorists of 9/11 were killers, then the US government are killers too. Civilian deaths are the inevitable result of any bombing campaign against populated areas.

What we are seeing in Afghanistan is typical imperialist slaughter of people in a non-industrialized country for profit. It's murder on a grand scale, as only the largest and most technologically sophisticated military in the world --the US military--can do it. And it has just begun.

This story is growing and I recommend that you go check out AntiProtester Journal often to keep up with the latest. As you learn about this 'professor', remember that he is brought to you by tax-payer dollars. Yes, he takes his paycheck from the same government that he despises.

Now go read that letter.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

March 27th and Easter

Easter has fallen on March 27th only 11 times in the past three centuries:
During the last three centuries, Easter Sunday has fallen on March 27 ten times: 1701, 1712, 1785, 1796, 1842, 1853, 1864, 1910, 1921 and 1932. Easter will next occur on March 27 in 2005.

I only have three months remaining in Rhode Island and I've declared war on my "RI Pounds" that I've picked up here. So to help me out with that, my hubby has invested in this to keep me entertained on the treadmill/boulevard. I have found a lot of excellent christian rock/worship music out there and it really helps motivate me to run. So much so, that I will go and run just to listen to the music.

So what's the big deal with March 27th and Easter? Easter is obviously the most important observance of the day, but well....let's just say that for some of us... March 27 holds another observance every year.

Compelled to Kill?

Mark Steyn weighs in on the Schiavo case:
This is not a criminal, not a murderer, not a person whose life should be in the gift of the state. So I find it repulsive, and indeed decadent, to have her continued existence framed in terms of ''plaintiffs'' and ''petitions'' and ''en banc review'' and ''de novo'' and all the other legalese. Mrs. Schiavo has been in her present condition for 15 years. Whoever she once was, this is who she is now -- and, after a decade and a half, there is no compelling reason to kill her. Any legal system with a decent respect for the status quo -- something too many American judges are increasingly disdainful of -- would recognize that her present life, in all its limitations, is now a well-established fact, and it is the most grotesque judicial overreaching for any court at this late stage to decide enough is enough. It would be one thing had a doctor decided to reach for the morphine and ''put her out of her misery'' after a week in her diminished state; after 15 years, for the courts to treat her like a Death Row killer who's exhausted her appeals is simply vile.


Here's a thought: Where do you go to get a living-will kit saying that in the event of a hideous accident I don't want to be put to death by a Florida judge or the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals? And, if you had such a living will, would any U.S. court recognize it?

You know that you should go and read every word that Mark Steyn writes, correct? It is all good.

Here, Not Here

The Anchoress has a moving post on death and dying, as she just recently in the past several months said a slow, patient good-bye to her brother. It is excellent.

An Easter Message For Life

As many of us are settling down for Easter Dinner, I wanted to share what our pastor read during the service this morning. He had discovered this column by John Podhoretz. It is a moving piece that should be read with thoughtful reflection.
THE looming death by starvation of Terri Schiavo has exposed yet again the key fault line in American culture. Those who have sided with her parents in seeking the reinsertion of her feeding tube have a view of life that is profoundly different from those who have sided with her husband's quest to have her die.

Those who want her to live tend to view life as a gift — a treasure beyond value that has been bestowed upon us and that we therefore have no right to squander. The giver of the gift cannot be seen by the human eye, and the essence of the gift cannot be seen either.

We usually call that essence the "soul." Our souls define us: They make us who we are in the deepest sense. And they transcend us as well: They are our connection to the divine, to all in the universe that is unseen and unknowable but is still there.

Most religious people share this set of beliefs, which is why those who have pushed hardest to save Schiavo are devout Christians.

Many of those who want her to die, by contrast, view life as a natural phenomenon — a collision of egg and sperm that gives rise 280 days later to a baby. That baby is the product of human interaction, deriving genetic information equally from mother and father and recombining it into a new human form. It's a wonder, but it's not a miracle. It's explicable within the laws of nature, and so there isn't anything necessarily transcendent about it.

In some sense, then, the human body has a mechanical quality to it. We are created by a rational process. We all look kind of similar (arms, legs, eyes, nose, mouth, shoulders all in the same place), and we all have an inborn capacity to communicate, to learn and to develop complex relationships with other people. We're created and grow in the same way. Our core desires are the same — food, shelter, sleep, love. In this way of thinking, we are the world's most marvelous, most spectacular machines.

This is the view of life shared by most secular people, who are uncomfortable with the idea of a divine spark within all of us and prefer to think that science is the best explanation for everything.

These are both valid views. Each has its profound strengths and equally profound weaknesses. And despite the opinions of fanatics on both sides, neither view has a monopoly on virtue.

You can believe in the transcendency of the soul and still molest your own child. And nobody was more convinced of the value of scientific rationalism than Dr. Josef Mengele.

What do people on both sides of this divide see when they look at Terri Schiavo?

The scientific rationalists see a vegetable in human form, a life only in the strictest sense of the word. They see a human machine that is broken and cannot be repaired.

And they see, in the application of the law over the course of 15 years, a totally rational series of decisions. Her husband is her guardian. He says she wouldn't have wanted to live in this condition, and because she cannot speak, he has the legal authority to speak for her.

Then there are those who look at Terri Schiavo and see something else. They see a helpless person, a trapped person, a tragic person. But they do not see a vegetable. They see a human being with a soul.

They see a mystery.

The rationalists say she will not suffer through her slow starvation because she no longer feels. The soul-believers say there is no way to know that — that science has limits and that it reaches its limits when it tries to define what it means to be human.

The rationalists, who center their universe on the brain, see brain damage as a horror beyond imagining from which death would be a relief. Their antagonists center their convictions on a belief in the soul, and they say: No soul is of lesser value than any other.

The soul-believers have lost this argument to the rationalists. They are used to losing. They have been losing the argument on abortion for more than 30 years now. This isn't about winning for them. It's about believing in things that cannot be seen.

Music today was by Dave Lubben that was simply incredible. He is a young, enthusiastic christian minister. I highly recommend you check out his CD for some high quality worship music.

Happy Easter to all.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Mixed Agendas

Thomas Sowell:
Terri Schiavo is being killed because she is inconvenient to her husband and because she is inconvenient to those who do not want the idea of the sanctity of life to be strengthened and become an impediment to abortion. Nor do they want the supremacy of judges to be challenged, when judges are the liberals' last refuge.

A Libertarian Defends Life Over Death

Douglas Kern of Tech Central Station takes an interesting stand defending "life" over "death" in his essay today entitled "Which Terri Schiavo ?". I call the piece interesting for two reasons. First, because his take on Terri Schiavo's situation focuses on the changing attitudes we have as humans as we age and when confronted with situations we did not expect. His writing also is of interest as Doug is not a self-described conservative or liberal; whose position's on life issues are almost predictable; but is a libertarian- that funny in between cohort that is less predictable. I found his arguement to be very persuasive.

Fools Rush In

John O'Sullivan of the Chicago Sun Times answers the top arguments for killing Terri Schiavo. So for the "Kill Terri" crowd, this is for you:
1. This is decision is traditionally -- and rightly -- left to the spouse. Such a tradition is reasonable, but it is surely open to question when a spouse has something to gain, either financially or psychologically, from the death of someone. Mr. Schiavo's motives may be entirely decent, but his wife's death might well be an unconscious psychological relief for him more than her. Besides, his status as a spouse is surely itself open to question when he has been living with someone else for several years. Bringing other relatives into the decision is more than reasonable -- it is necessary in such dubious cases.

2. This is a matter for the states rather than the feds. The Florida judge seems to have ignored some relevant medical evidence that would have pointed toward feeding Ms. Schiavo. For instance, she has not been given an MRI, and some of the doctors consulted believe she has a chance of partial recovery. And if there is the slightest chance of her recovery, surely she should be given it. When southern juries failed to convict the plain murderers of black Americans and civil rights workers, the feds intervened to protect the civil rights of the deceased. How much more reasonable it is to protect the civil rights of the still-not deceased Terri Schiavo from the questionable decisions of the judge.

3. Republicans are exploiting this sad case for partisan reasons. If that is so, there is a ready solution which many Democrats have already grasped and acted upon: namely, to prevent such exploitation by supporting the legislation to grant Ms. Schiavo a stay of execution.

4. Congress has better and more urgent things to do such as tackling global warming, etc. This is perhaps the most repellent argument of all. What is better or more urgent than saving an innocent person from an unjust death inflicted by ourselves? We used to think it was one of the glories of the Anglo-American political and legal system that it would take time out from such things as global energy regulation to ensure "let right be done" in an individual case. In the Archer-Shee case in Edwardian Britain -- brilliantly dramatized by Terence Rattigan and faithfully filmed by David Mamet as "The Winslow Boy" -- Parliament spent precious time debating whether a boy had been wrongly expelled from a naval school for allegedly stealing a five shilling postal order. Congress' attempt to save Schiavo illustrates the same profoundly decent set of priorities in a much more important matter.

As for me: Ditto what he said.

As for Charles Krauthammer:
Let's be clear about her condition. She is not dead. If she were brain-dead, we would be talking about harvesting her organs. She is a living, breathing human being. Some people have called her a vegetable. Apart from the term being disgusting, how do they know? How can we be sure of the complete absence of any consciousness, any awareness, any anything "inside" this person?

The crucial issue in deciding whether one would want to intervene to keep her alive is whether there is, as one bioethicist put it to me, "anyone home." Her parents, who see her often, believe that there is. The husband maintains that there is no one home. (But then again he has another home, making his judgment somewhat suspect.) The husband has not allowed a lot of medical testing in the past few years. I have tried to find out what her neurological condition actually is. But the evidence is sketchy, old and conflicting. The Florida court found that most of her cerebral cortex is gone. But "most" does not mean all. There may be some cortex functioning. The severely retarded or brain-damaged can have some consciousness. And we do not go around euthanizing the minimally conscious in the back wards of mental hospitals on the grounds that their lives are not worth living. (emphasis mine)

Remember guys, that's how Hitler got started. Oh, what a slippery slope we are falling down.

(Both links via RCP)

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Gary Bauer Lectures At Roger Williams University

Last night, Gary Bauer, former Republican candidate for the President in 2000, spoke to a group of students and other interested citizens at Roger Williams University. Mr. Bauer was a former Under-Secretary of Education and Senior Domestic Policy Advisor for President Ronald Reagan. Mr. Bauer was introduced by Roy Nirschel Ph.D., the university president. Dr. Nirschel was emphatic in declaring a policy at Roger Williams that welcomes speakers representing both conservative and liberal philosophy for respectful debate. How about that!!!!

Gary Bauer, a Christian conservative, delivered a speech that focused on what he described as the two wars going on in America today.

The first , and most obvious, is our war against , as he describes it, Islamo-fascism. He was clear in separating Wahhabism from mainstream Islam. He,in fact, sees an internal struggle between a minority extremist Wahhabism and the majority of mainstream Muslims in defining the public face of their religion. Interestingly on September 11th, 2001, Mr. Bauer was in a traffic jam just 70 yards from the Pentagon, when the airliner plunged into our defense center. Ultimately, he sees no alternative for U.S. policy but to defeat the enemy both militarily and idealogically in order to preserve western values and under no circumstances should this policy depend on the opinion of France.

The next war going on in the U.S., according to Mr. Bauer, is a domestic war of competing values. He touched on subjects like redefining marriage, judicial tyranny and God in the public square. An interesting anecdote he shared concerning God's role in the formation of our nation began with the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life,Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

His contention is that this sentence in the Declaration defines our being as a nation. In this context, he related that during his campaign for the Presidency in 2000, he had visited over 100 high schools across the U.S. At each high school he offered any student a $10 bill if he/she could quote this specific sentence from the Declaration of Independence. He even started the sentence by offering the first couple of words. Sadly, he passed out only 3 ten-dollar bills in total! He then transitioned to the deocratic protests at Tiananmen Square, China in 1989. The irony, as he described the scene, was that many of the protesting Chinese students were waving copies of our Declaration of Independence in an attempt to secure similar freedom in their grossly oppressive country.

In all, I left with the impression that the United States would be greatly served if their were more Gary Bauer's participating in our federal government.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The CT Scan

The Schiavo case is the entire focus of the country today and I pray a huge mistake is not occurring. I don't know from what I've read if Terri is in a persistant vegetative state or not. I do know that I've read enough not to trust her husband or his motives. So I'm suspicious. Actually I'm very, very suspicious of him. But I hold no first hand knowledge of the case.

One issue though that has been discussed and argued over is the fact that her brain has atrophied and is beyond hope based on a CT Scan. Well that scan and an expert analysis can be found here. This expert feels that a tremendous mistake is being made. Go read the entire post, and DO NOT skip the comment section either.

Then pray for Terri and her parents. God help them all.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Fool Me Twice, Shame On Me

Robert Genetski of Capitalism Magazine has done an interesting cost-benefit analysis ( retrospective in nature ) of the missed opportunity in 1982 of shifting Social Security, in the U.S., to personal accounts. The data compiled, based on fair and reasonable assumptions, is quite compelling. Focus, for example, on his data concerning low-wage workers. The study covers a 22-year span. Consider, if you will, a 40 year old , low-wage earner , who had invested in a mixed bond-S&P500 index fund since graduating high school. His Social Security account would now have a value of about $ 70,000 to $75,000!! With 25 years ahead of him before reaching retirement at 65 years old, this individual stands to have quite a nest egg in Social Security alone. In fact, in the March issue of The American Enterprise Magazine, Grover Norquist predicted ( using assumptions similar to those used by Mr. Genetski ) that the average American worker would accumulate about $950,000 during his work history.

Mr. Genetski also factors in the cost of the U.S. government borrowing to make good on past promises of traditional social security pay-outs. After subtracting costs from benefits, he arrives at a net gain of $ 10 trillion in benefits over 22 years. For those concerned with the additional benefits in our traditional Social Security system ( death benefits, disability etc.), certainly enough money exists within this $10 trillion dollar gain to take what is necessary to cover the truly needy. The best way to yield money to help those in dire need is to maximize the productivity and efficiency of our economy. Afterall, it is the dynamic nature of capitalism that enables the American people to be by far the most charitable people in the world.

Lastly, as you peruse Mr. Genetski's findings, note his point that the benefits are probably underestimated in that the creation of personal accounts in 1982 would have poured huge dollars into business ventures thereby increasing productivity in our nation. Consequently higher investment returns would have resulted.

One must wonder why the U.S. , whose example is greatest in affirming the liberating power of capitalism, sits on the side line with an old socialist sytem for retirement , while 20 other nations worldwide ( including Russia!!!!!) have adopted pro-growth, personal accounts. Let's hope we don't drop the ball again.

Socialism 101

On Saturday I was at a rally that freely expressed support for Socialism. How many times have you heard a person, some of them business owners, make socialist supporting statements? They don't call them that, but it pretty much fits the bill. A frequent example: "They [professional athletes] should not be allowed to make that kind of money. Look at how many poor people there are. It's just ridiculous." Sure, I find it true that salaries of celebrities and athletes are ridiculous, but there is a reason for it. It is what the market will bear and it would not be possible if the society did not support it. I would never change it and don't even think the people saying these things realize they are supporting a socialist concept...or maybe they do?

The NY Post takes a look at how disinformation continues to resurrect the socialist cause around the world, even in the face of its disastrous history leading to a few hundred million murders and generations of poverty:
If people knew the real history of all the socialist experiments and its flawed theory, very few (other than the delusional or mean-spirited) would be socialists. People do not know the history of socialist disasters because the educational establishment and much of the news media have engaged in a massive cover-up. The large majority of teachers throughout the world are government employees or depend on government grants. All too many are thus understandably hostile to the idea government enterprises do not work as advertised and, hence, reluctant to both teach and allow materials in the classroom that show the socialist model neither works in practice or theory. Surveys in the U.S. and elsewhere show the overwhelming majority of professors and public school teachers are on the left side of the political spectrum, so one should not be shocked they hesitate to teach history and theory that show their self-interested ideology is a failure.

Much of the electronic media in the world are either owned or controlled by governments. In the U.S., National Public Radio (NPR) provides a steady diet of the alleged failures of those in the private sector, with scant mention of the endless failures of socialist undertakings, let alone the reasons. Many NPR stations are now airing the BBC in part to further propagandize Americans in the socialist way of thinking. (Most Americans do not realize the government-owned BBC is increasingly monopolizing the broadcast media in Britain and, particularly, news to the benefit of the left.)

You must read the whole thing. Your brain will be bigger for it and you'll recognize the lies a little easier.

Fighting Pinatas

Cox and Forkum provides this hilarious follow-up for my previous anti-war protest rally post:


I love it!

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Year Two: Anti-War Rally in Providence, RI

Today anti-war protesters were out in force across the country. My good friend and blogger colleague, Rocco DiPippo of Antiprotester, and I attended the rally in Providence, RI. I have absolutely never been to one of these things, and Rocco is an old pro. My own estimates of the crowd numbers would be about 300. I never felt threatened at anytime, however, I did feel like I needed a long, hot, scalding shower after being there after a few minutes. After a short while I felt comfortable enough to move out on my own and snap many photos. Some protesters covered their faces, but most did not care.

To stand among the vile, misguided signs, I felt incredibly ‘out of place’ to be so close to people who whole heartedly believed what was printed on their signs. Soon after we arrived a car stopped next to the rally and a young man rolled his window and yelled at the crowd: “The only reason you can say and do these things are because people have fought for you. Hoorah!” The crowd booed him. I wanted to desperately catch his eye to shoot a wink and smile over at him so he would know that I was not ‘with’ the protesters. He looked like he was a soldier.

We arrived a few minutes into the more ‘organized’ portion of the rally and this is what greeted us:

Looking at her sign you can almost hear Michael Moore’s pronouncement that “there is no terrorist threat in this country”. Tell that to the 10,000 orphans that came to be on 9/11.

The usual signage was all around:
This banner’s message is so typical of the left refusing to recognize the fact that humankind must be defended from people who aggressively want to destroy it.

Another sample:


Soon afterward the costumes came out:

Rocco pointed out how balance was lacking to the visual. No one thought to show up in an orange jumpsuit having someone simulate a beheading.

And here is the lead banner of the march:
Lead Socialist banner

Pretty predictable, huh?

I have 2 links for you to follow to get the full ‘flavor’ of the day. Watch the signs closely to see the wide range of messages. Also notice the background. It was a gorgeous day and Providence is a beautiful, historic city. I will miss it after we leave.

This first link is a series of pictures that I took when we first arrived at the rally. Click ‘slideshow’ for the best quality. Some of them you’ve seen here on the site, but there are many more. Here is the slideshow of the march.

Rocco kept saying: “These are true believers.” True and sad.

The money quote from the day occurred when a reporter for a local talk radio station walked up to a group of teenage girls holding signs and asked them, "Can anyone here tell me why they are here?" Silence. He repeated, "Can anyone here tell me why you are protesting?" One of them finally started talking. Too funny.

My thoughts on this second anniversary: We have all been watching the seeds of democracy grow throughout the middle east and it would never have happened without the invasion of Iraq. Brave Iraqis voting in the face of most severe threats have inspired the world. These are incredible times in which we all live and I am proud to say that I supported the liberation of Iraq from the very beginning. Yes, there have been horrible bumps in the road along the way, but we have overcome them and have remained true to the Iraqi people. Hearts and Minds are changing, which is the only way we're going to win against terrorism.

And to our wonderful troops: Hooh Rah!! We love you and pray every night for you guys. You are changing the world.

And I will leave you with some Anarchist Love!
anarchist love
Ain't it sweet?

UPDATE: Check out Powerline's review of Bush's case for the Iraqi War.

UPDATE II: Go on over to Wizbang to read about the 'numbers of the war'.

UPDATE III: Rocco now has his post up at AntiProtester Journal. He has a short video clip of the protest as well as many other great photos. Go check it out!!

Welcome Instapundit readers!! Take a look around and please come back again.

Friday, March 18, 2005

This Is My Blog, And I'll Blog However I Want To!

Patterico poses a question to all fellow bloggers:
I think it’s time to put the question to you directly. Who out there will make this pledge:

If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules.
I posted on the FEC issue the other day. I did sign the petition. Though, I do agree with Patterico when he expressed his opposition to the petition based on First Amendment principles.

My answer to Patterico: I'll keep writing what I want just to piss them off. The appearance of mass prosecutions of citizen pundits by the FEC would be hilarious. They'd be laughed out of the courthouse. I personally can't wait for my arrest warrant.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Panoramic Freedom Thirsty

All I can say is that I blame Bush.

Link via Instapundit.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Stalin's Student

Fellow Rhode Island blogger Rocco DiPippo of Anti-Protester has a column up today at FrontPage Magazine you'll want to read called A Scholar for Stalin. The column introduces you to a New Jersey professor named Grover Furr who amazingly doesn't believe Stalin was all that bad. Here's a taste:
For twenty years, Grover Furr has been an English professor at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey, where he educates students in his peculiar worldview, which is an updated Stalinism and in which America is the world’s biggest oppressor and greatest terrorist state. While his academic expertise is English literature, he presents himself as an expert on communism, and scours academic forums like the Historians of American Communism net, defending Joseph Stalin and calling America’s role in bringing down the Soviet Empire a moral outrage. “Was there something morally wrong in trying to bring down the Soviet Union? I think the only honest answer possible is: Yes, it was wrong,” says Furr.
This is the ideology being forced upon his students in his English classes right there in beautiful New Jersey. Rocco has many more details at his site - Go check it out.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Corner Action

This is waaaaay cool.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Our Freedoms

Recently, many of us bloggers and readers have cheered the push for democracy and individual freedoms in the middle east and the Ukraine. However, our own freedom of speech is being threatened by the FEC and that sad, sad election reform bill that proved to be a complete disaster during the past election season. Blogs of all types and sizes have been threatened by the FEC and a desire by some to regulate, if not outright end, blogs such as this one. There is a petition at On-Line Coalition that all should go and sign to remind the powers in Washington that we not sit still for such nonsense. This is a non-partisan issue and the entire spectrum of the blogosphere is coming together on this. I encourage all fellow bloggers and concerned readers to follow the link and sign this important petition.

Thanks to Wizbang for the heads up.

Pro-Democracy Protests

Chan'ad Bahraini has a terrific post reporting of a demonstration in Bahrain for the release of 3 bloggers that have been recently imprisoned.
It is emotional for me to see these pictures and read these accounts, for the people in prison are there for doing exactly what I'm doing right now, blogging. Go see this remarkable demonstration and witness this brave baby-step in the middle east for democracy and individual freedoms. Keep those 3 bloggers in your prayers - May they be released soon - unharmed.

Link Via Or Does it Explode via The Instapundit.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Malarial Nightmare - For PC Sake

[Ed. Note: Look at that - two straight titles using the word "Nightmare". Not a usual thing]

When's the last time you heard of someone in the States dying of Malaria? Probably never, right? We used DDT to control mosquitos and therefore have made malaria a rare occurrence. Why then is it killing a couple of million people a year in Africa? DDT has been demonized and outlawed in many countries that need it desperately. It works and yes, it is very safe. Here's a little perspective on the new numbers of deaths that came out today:
Previous figures put annual deaths from malaria at between a million and 2.7 million. But the new study says malaria's higher prevalence could put the toll far higher than the 3 million killed every year by AIDS.

The new study found 2.2 billion people or more than a third of the world's population are at risk of contracting malaria. The results are published in Thursday's edition of journal Nature.

More than 3 million deaths a year. Think about it many died in the recent Tsunami that brought the entire world to dig deep in their pockets? The Tsunami can't even compete with malaria.

If you want to learn the entire history of DDT and how the enviro-PC crowd has demonized and, ultimately, has restricted it to a large portion of the world, go to Junk Science. The link is referenced and extremely informative. Read it to learn all you need to know about the discovery and demonization of DDT. Here's one shocking quote:
Population control advocates blamed DDT for increasing third world population. In the 1960s, World Health Organization authorities believed there was no alternative to the overpopulation problem but to assure than up to 40 percent of the children in poor nations would die of malaria. As an official of the Agency for International Development stated, "Rather dead than alive and riotously reproducing."

[Desowitz, RS. 1992. Malaria Capers, W.W. Norton & Company]
That's right boys and girls - Population control. Disgusting.

Don't miss this Malaria Clock.

And here's a link that details how Nixon is guilty in this tragedy.

Entropy as an Oppositional Force to Dictatorship

Wretchard at Belmont Club offers an interesting philosophical analysis of the topsy-turvy events in Lebanon these days. His premise is that dictators require consistant, widespread control and order throughout their domain and find themselves in a constant struggle against the forces of entropy; (the intrinsic force pushing in a direction toward disorder). I agree with him. Democracy, on the other hand, seems to coexist well with the forces of entropy in that it's design can accommodate change in a peaceful way. Cool blogging at Belmont Club! Check it out.

Nightmare on Dem Street

What is probably the one thing that Democrats fear the worst? Without a doubt, the continued hemorrhaging of the African-American vote from their party. These graphs put it in perspective:
Polls show 60 percent of African-Americans support school choice vouchers to get their kids out of failing public schools. Mr. Bush's emphasis on small-business ownership also resonates very strongly among upwardly mobile blacks, as does the chance to build a bigger retirement nest egg in Social Security personal investment accounts.

Mr. Mehlman's offensive has the potential to make significant inroads into the Democrats' once largely monolithic black vote, Miss Brazile says. "The GOP is preaching a new gospel to black voters yearning for answers" to age-old problems that still afflict their community. "Once they start listening to Republicans, some may even like what they hear." (Emphasis Mine)

And that is the key difference in the two political parties that is swaying voters. One has an inclusive, progressive message and the other - as evidenced by the past election - is hung up on old ideas and a lot of hatred. Guess who's winning?

Hat tip to PoliPundit via the regular commenter Jeannette.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Food as a Religion

If you have to defend your overly organic-based grocery store with this line:
“We're not a religion. We're not a cult,” Mackey says. “We don't think you'll go to hell if you don't shop at Whole Foods.”
...then you're probably off the wall somewhere out there in "Disney Food Land".

If you want to continue laughing at the entire Whole Foods cult thing you have to read this post and comments from Beautiful Atrocities.

Now I'm gonna go have some marshmellows.

Conservatives and Sin

This is good! It's not long, so go and read the whole thing on conservatives and hypocrisy at The Corner. Trust me - you'll like it!

Martyr for Freedom

I've been asked in my comment section in the past weeks about how I would feel if I were in Iraq being bombed. Of course this is a trolling statement from persons who do not hold a fundamental conviction in fighting for freedom or individual human rights, however, it does provide a good platform for thought.

Thankfully I live in a time of history where my country has already fought for her independence, but we should all have reflection on what we would've done ourselves had we lived during the American Revolutionary Days. If I would've been alive back then, I believe my actions and thoughts would've been with the fight for freedom and against oppression. Thousands of Americans have paid the ultimate price for our present day freedoms and for something better for our children. I believe that capacity exists in most of us. As we've witnessed in the current wave of protests for democracy in the middle east, it is an innate human need to want these things and to stand up for them.

On January 30th, 8 million Iraqis did what many of us knew to be true to the human spirit. I must admit, the sight of parents bringing their small children to vote with them was remarkable. If I were an Iraqi at that moment, I know I would've voted, but not so sure on bringing my children with me. What bravery!!

Today, there is this story from the Seattle Times about a young man who did not have to go to Iraq and fight for his homeland but he chose to - and died doing it.
Gamal's experiences in his ancestral land had changed his political views completely. He witnessed the results of Saddam's brutality firsthand and became convinced that the United States had been right to liberate Iraq. Whereas America wanted Iraq to be free, Gamal thought that Germany, France and Russia wanted status quo ante bellum to maintain their economic interests in Saddam's regime.

After the immense success of the recent Iraqi election, Gamal's family, their friends and associates celebrated with a party, not because they had done especially well in the election, but simply because they finally had a real voice in shaping the future of their country. Despite continuing terrorist attacks against Gamal's family, it was without doubt a jubilant occasion.

Days before the election, when I asked Mithal al-Alusi about the dangers to his family, Gamal answered instead, "It is true that we are in danger, but if this is the price for democracy and peace, it is a very low price."

Only days after the election, Gamal and his family paid that price, and it was not "low."

While traveling by car in Baghdad, their vehicle was ambushed by terrorist gunmen. Mithal al-Alusi survived the attack, but Gamal died along with his older brother Ayman and a bodyguard, all from gunshot wounds. He was only 22.
Now read what the surviving father had to say:
Today, as they mourn the deaths of their sons, Mithal al-Alusi and what is left of his family continue their work to transform Iraq into a nation of laws. Terrorists persist on attacking, but Mithal and his family remain resolute.

In an interview with Radio Free Iraq, he said, "My children, three people — one of my bodyguards and two of my children — died as heroes, no differently from other people who find their heroic deaths. But we will not, by God, hand Iraq over to murderers and terrorists."

So to all of my anti-war trolls, I would pray that you do believe there are some ideals worth fighting and dying for because these very things transcend us! It is always heartening to read about people who understand that completely. May God bless them all for their admirable courage and fighting the good fight!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Yay Charles!!

Charles Krauthammer in Time is an absolute must read as he gives 3 cheers for the Bush Doctrine. My favorite:
What really changed in the Middle East? The Iraqi elections vindicated the two central propositions of the Bush doctrine. First, that the will to freedom is indeed universal and not the private preserve of Westerners. And second, that American intentions were sincere. Contrary to the cynics, Arab and European and American, the U.S. did not go into Iraq for oil or hegemony, after all, but for liberation--a truth that on Jan. 31 even al-Jazeera had to televise.

This was the critical event because Arabs have had good reason to doubt American sincerity: six decades of U.S. support for Arab dictators, a cynical "realism" that began with F.D.R.'s deal with Ibn Saud and reached its apogee with the 1991 betrayal of the anti-Saddam uprising that Bush 41 had encouraged in Iraq. Today, however, they see a different Bush and a different doctrine. What changed the climate in the Middle East was not just the U.S. invasion and show of arms. It was U.S. determination and staying power, and the refusal of its people last November to turn out a President who rejected an "exit strategy" but pledged instead to remain until Iraqi self-governance was secure.

It took this marriage of power, will and principle to produce the astonishing developments in the Middle East today. This is not to say that this spring cannot be extinguished. Of course it can. The dictators can still strike back, and we may flinch in defense of those they strike. History has yet to yield a verdict on the final outcome. But it has yielded one unmistakable verdict thus far: the idea that Arabs are not fit for or inclined toward freedom--the underlying assumption of those who denounced, ridiculed and otherwise opposed the democracy project--is wrong. Embarrassingly, scandalously, blessedly wrong. (Empasis is mine, mine, mine, mine, mine!!!)

Charles is always a treat, but this one is way up there for him. Go and get it all....your brain will be bigger for it.

Movement in Iran

GateWayPundit has a great round-up post detailing recent student demonstrations in Iran. Go check it out to get the chill bumbs going this morning.

(Link via InstaPundit)

Recognizing Wolfowitz

David Brooks in the NYTs takes a moment to give Paul Wolfowitz a pat on the back. Here are a few of the money graphs:
Let us look again at the man who's been vilified by Michael Moore and the rest of the infantile left, who's been condescended to by the people who consider themselves foreign policy grown-ups, and who has become the focus of much anti-Semitism in the world today - the center of a zillion Zionist conspiracy theories, and a hundred zillion clever-Jew-behind-the-scenes calumnies.

It's not necessary to absolve Wolfowitz of all sin or to neglect the postwar screw-ups in Iraq. Historians will figure out who was responsible for what, and Wolfowitz will probably come in for his share of the blame. But with political earthquakes now shaking the Arab world, it's time to step back and observe that over the course of his long career - in the Philippines, in Indonesia, in Central and Eastern Europe, and now in the Middle East - Wolfowitz has always been an ardent champion of freedom. And he has usually played a useful supporting role in making sure that pragmatic, democracy-promoting policies were put in place.
And I loved this part too:
To praise Wolfowitz is not triumphalism. The difficulties ahead are obvious. It's simple justice. It's a recognition that amid all the legitimate criticism, this guy has been the subject of a vicious piling-on campaign by people who know less than nothing about what is actually going on in the government, while he, in the core belief that has energized his work, may turn out to be right.
It's really not a hard stretch of the imagination to think that all people want the opportunity to grow and express themselves in an open and free society. That their children will have a better life and greater opportunities. To think otherwise is one of the worse forms of condescending bigotry I can think of.

I am proud to be able to say that I believed in the cause from day one and kudos to Wolfowitz for his perseverance, lord knows, there were/are a lot of people in the world who fought like mad to enable Saddam to maintain his power. Shame on them.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Blogger's Milestone

I wanted to take a moment tonight to recognize the fact that my Unique Hit counter from Amazing Counters hit 10,000 today. I started blogging on September 16th, 2004 and did not set up the counter until October 7th of 04. Just wanted to mark the occasion. Slower than some, faster than some... but a lot of work nonetheless.

Happy 10K to me!!! Thanks to all of my readers for sticking around as well - It's been a lot of fun so here's to another 10K.

Catch the Wave

The effects of the Wave of Democracy in the middle east is detailed here along with ideas for the future on a country-by-country basis. Go get educated on a complicated region.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

My Life Update

Sorry for the non-posting days...lots going on. We are now deep into the planning stages for our near cross country move...OK, OK - north to south move. House hunting via the internet is a lot better than what I've had in the past, but still not the same as being there of course. We've owned 2 prior homes and have always had to buy on the fly with about one week to pick out a house. I was hoping to move into my final home with this move, which proves to be much more difficult this time around. Long distance again, and a relatively narrow selection. We're hoping that as March passes the market will get more active.

As a side-note: If you live in a beautiful older home in a historic district and it hasn't been updated since 1976, *ahem*, go ahead and pull that yellow wallpaper down and invest in some paint. I can't tell you how many beautiful "from the outside" homes I've looked at and will not buy because the thought of updating EACH AND EVERY room is just overwhelming. I'm just saying is all...

Needless to say, HGTV has become my passion. If anyone can tell me how to get on Kenneth Brown's new show, let me know. Him and Candice Olson are two of the most amazing designers I've ever seen and well, they've made house hunting quite difficult. I want my new house to look like they decorated it!

Today is March fifth and Spring is officially here in 15 days! It can not get here fast enough for us. I know that it will still be cold after the 20th, but I've gotta have something to look forward to. My hubby is as fed up with the snow as I am, then tonight on his way back to the hospital he slipped on a sheet of ice and split opened the skin above his eye. He went in and had his intern throw a few stiches in it but unfortunately, he looks like someone clocked him a good one.

Oh, and did I mention that I've been applying for my own position as well? Life is busy, busy, and to be honest, I'm probably a little burned out as well.

I'm sure I will be getting my groove back soon!!

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Jon Stewart's Hilarious Act of Contrition

I ordinarily cannot stomach "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," because of his constant anti-Bush, anti-Republican bashing. Last night, however, I caught the very beginning of Stewart's interview with Nancy Soderberg, a former Clinto aide, and immediately sensed something repentent in his tone. James Taranto, of Opinion Journal, has a piece today that captures most of the text of the interview along with great analysis. Stewart's quotes are precious as he confesses, with horror, that President Bush's policies may now be leading to a wave of democracy in the Middle East. The ultimate irony is that Soderberg was on the show pushing her new book entitled; get this; " The Superpower Myth:The Use and Misuse of American Might". Great timing Nancy!!!!

Kelli Adds: You may view the video here. Enjoy!!

Who Needs a Lawyer?

After reading this story I got chill bumps. A mother feels her son has been turned down for admission into a public magnet school because of their admissions policy of racial quotas. She does not get a lawyer, but sues the school district, initially loses and appeals to the 5th circuit court. She argues the case herself and wins!!
Taking the suit pro se -- Latin for "for himself" -- the Cavaliers appealed the case to the 5th Circuit. There, Julie Ann Cavalier said, she had wanted the court to make a decision based on written briefs.

But the court requested an oral argument on the case, and on May 3, Julie Ann Cavalier made her points before the court.

"I had to present it in front of the 5th Circuit court myself. Any other situation like that, and I'd have been a nervous wreck," she said. "But I had a lot of people praying for me. It was a good experience."

Shortly after the oral arguments, the school system offered Hunter admission into Caddo Middle Magnet. The Cavaliers turned down the offer. In response, the School Board filed a motion to dismiss the appeal. The Cavaliers continued to press the case -- and the court agreed -- contending that the admissions policy is wrong.
Now THAT'S Mommy Power!! I sit here in awe!

Reading Between the Lines

Ralph Peters has translated UBL's latest communication with Zarqawi:
Osama's real message to Zarqawi isn't Hit America instead. It's Stop what you're doing, brother.

Our homeland will be hit again. By someone. Sooner or later, the bad guy lands a punch. Meanwhile, we should take heart from the latest evidence — delivered by Osama himself — that the cause of freedom is even more powerful than we thought, that democracy is contagious.

Osama's message to Zarqawi was one of despair — and a tribute to the millions of Arabs who are turning against his kind. (emphasis in original)
We are winning. It has been hard won with sacrifices, but do not doubt....We are winning.

Needless to say, Go read the whole thing. Peters explains how these 2 animals are different strategically and tactically.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Bush's Plan For Iran - Two Steps Ahead of Europe

Despite Putin's decision to sell Iran nuclear fuel rods and to complete the Bushehr reactor's core by the end of 2005, something tells me President Bush is not going to let this Islamic theocracy have a nuclear weapon. Check out today's Debka analysis concerning a possible Bush strategy for Iran.