Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Curt Smith: Superficialist


Mr. Smith wrote Bush as Republican LBJ.

Read it before proceeding...



It figures that the guy who set up WWII would be Nixon's hero, and that McGovern's would be the guy who would never have entered WWII.

The parallels for Bush are specious, however. I remember Billy Solly Estes, Walter Jenkins, and Bobby Baker. Jack Ambramoff, Mark Foley (in 2 years - who?), and Tom Delay (WTF?) are Division II - or not even playing.

I have yet to see any of Bush's scars. He treats his dogs well, and has not cheated on Laura. He is not picking the bombing targets, a strong indicator of the difference in respect for the military between the two men. I'm confident Bush would not have resigned if he lost a Primary over Iraq.

Bush is no waterboy for big business, but Johnson was for big Labor. Bush doesn't drink and is not obviously a hypocrite. Building the "the horror house called the mid­to-late [sic] 1960s that cleaves America, even now.", proves Johnson to have been a hypocrite. Drinking is not at issue.

We're reaping Johnson's sowings over 30 years later and it is threatening the Republic. No matter how Iraq turns out, no one will be able to say about Bush that irresolution was his problem.

On entitlement expansion, and that the Kennedys didn't like either man, I'd agree there are parallels. Oh yeah, big ears and Texas, too. And Johnson completed JFK's tax cut initiative.

LBJ was a cynical populist power-broker. Bush is an occasionally naive do-gooder.

The GOP passed "Johnson's" Civil Rights Act, the only principled objector being Barry Goldwater - what have the Democrats done for Bush?

I'm no fan of Bush, it's just that the alternative is cultural suicide. Bush is so much more principled than LBJ that I consider Curt Smith a moron, unless "Republican LBJ" means "For a Republican, Bush has a few similarities." In which case, he needn't have bothered to write his little screed and he's still a moron.

And what have Ken Mehlman's icons have to do with anything anyway?

H/T JR

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Fly US Airways, it's safer


The Washington Times story is worth reading;

This was plotted. It was intentional. It was a deliberate charade designed to get 6 imams kicked off a flight. It was meant to create victims to appeal to those Americans who despise Western culture. It was done in order to advance the Caliphate in the United States by moving bizarre behavior by Muslim clerics a little closer to common acceptance.


"If a half-dozen Catholic priests insist on conducting a Mass aboard an airliner, they will be told to stop it. Six Baptist preachers won't be allowed to conduct a revival meeting amidst either the cheap or expensive seats. Jewish mohels can't perform circumcisions aboard (even for volunteers). We don't do things like that in America, and no apology is forthcoming."

[Whole thing at Dhimmi Watch.]
We need to stop feeling guilty about distrusting those who repeatedly shout "Allah!" before boarding an airplane, who take seats not assigned to them - by all the emergency exits - who speak in English and Arabic while decrying the President of the United States, and who ask for seat belt extenders they neither need, nor use.

What was that about, except being weird?

Garry Trudeau and the ex-President's Stones


Orson Scott Card, author of the highly recommended Ender's Game among other excellent speculative fiction, nicely deconstructs Garry Trudeau's Sunday Doonesbury (and, yes, I do remember it when it was funny. I'm old.)

Check it out here.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Rangel: "Kerry was right."


Rangel says men join the army only if they can’t have “a decent career”

Click the link to watch.

Fake, but inaccurate


Remember that story in Saturday's Lansing State Journal about Shia Muslims in Iraq burning 6 Sunni Muslims alive?

It appears that this AP supplied story is in the tradition of Dan Rather and the "fake, but accurate" memos about George Bush. Interestingly, this article link is from Google's cache and does not show up on the LSJ site if you search for it.

In any case, Flopping Aces has done a masterful job of exposing the AP's fact checking as non-existent and shedding much light on the real story - AP bias.

H/T SDA

Update
: 5:42PM There's much more on this out there, Bizzy Blog is one good place to check.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Apostates must die, there is no disagreement!


I'm nearly finished with Mark Steyn's excellent America Alone. The central question Steyn poses is whether Western civilization can withstand Al-Qaeda's primitivist vision of a world Caliphate; given the West's self-imposed demographic melt-down.

Except for the United States, western democracies are not breeding at even replacement rates. Europe has a huge, increasingly vocal and violent Islamic immigrant population combined with unsustainable social welfare. The EU is already toast.

Steyn recalls for me one Nazra Quraishi, a Lansing area Muslim who teaches kindergarten. Her letter to the editor of the Lansing State Journal provoked little local comment after its publication in July, 2006.

It was, well... read Quraishi's letter before I comment:


Islam or death

I read Le Roy Barnett's letter ("Muslims, speak up," June 26) about Muslims' opinion on Abdul Rahman's conversion to Christianity.

Islam is not only a religion, it is a complete way of life. Islam guides Muslims from birth to grave. The Quran and prophet Muhammad's words and practical application of Quran in life cannot be changed.

Islam is a guide for humanity, for all times, until the day of judgment. It is forbidden in Islam to convert to any other religion. The penalty is death. There is no disagreement about it.

Islam is being embraced by people of other faiths all the time. They should know they can embrace Islam, but cannot get out. This rule is not made by Muslims; it is the supreme law of God.

Please do not ask us Muslims to pick some rules and disregard other rules. Muslims are supposed to embrace Islam in its totality.

Nazra Quraishi
East Lansing

Emphasis
mine. Le Roy Barnett was asking Muslims to disavow mandating butchery. "No dice," says Quraishi, "the religion of peace demands you agree with it. Apostates are required to be killed, and by the way, Le Roy, infidels in general are fair game."

Quraishi's sentiments were so aligned with my expectations that I hardly gave her letter a thought. Of course there are some followers of Islam in my community who wish to destroy it.

I did expect a storm of protest letters to the LSJ from the majority Liberal population here.
Quraishi proposed sharia as the law Americans should be bound by - meaning a complete integration of a brutal church with a totalitarian state. That no such protest materialized says much about the degree of political correctness of the citizens of Ingham County. They think every philosophy is as valuable and as ethical as any other - homophobic, misogynist, murderous - "we'll justifiably kill you if you change your mind" - religions not excepted.

Quraishi advocates murdering anyone who changes their mind about Islam. She expects this death sentence to be accepted by her neighbors. I guess it is. The lack of outrage reveals a deep moral uncertainty, and a shared disrespect of Western values.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Reconcile this


Canadian pharmacists do not want to supply the drugs the Democrats want to import.

Ban web trade, pharmacists urge

WINNIPEG -- A coalition of Canadian pharmacy and patient advocacy groups is asking the federal government to ban prescription drug exports to the U.S.


However, back at the ranch.

Congress expected to review import of medications
Members of the House and Senate are planning a renewed push to change federal law and permit broader imports of prescription drugs from Canada and elsewhere, where certain medicines can cost less than two-thirds what they do in the United States. Supporters of the move hope the imports will drive down prices at home.

"The pressure is not to tell people you have to go outside this country to buy prescription drugs. The pressure is to force the pharmaceutical companies to re-price their drugs in the U.S.," said Sen. Byron Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat who has introduced with Sen. Olympia Snowe, Republican of Maine, a bill to make importation of prescription drugs legal.


Emphasis mine. Canada's reticence is OK then. The point isn't to import price controlled drugs, it's to impose price controls. The Democrats just don't have the guts to propose what they really want.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Giving thanks for racism?


Michigan State university has blacks only graduation ceremonies. Boston University has scholarships for which you must be one-quarter Hispanic to qualify. The University of Michigan uses race to decide who can attend their law school. There are a thousand more examples of race-based discrimination promoted and practiced by American universities.

But, for the affirmative action crowd, a private scholarship for $250 requiring the recipient to be one-quarter Caucasian is like waving Danish cartoons of Mohammed in front of Osama.

Whites Only Scholarship Creates Outrage

BOSTON, Nov. 22, 2006 — Joe Mroszczyk, president of the College Republicans at Boston University, admits he set out to stir up a hornet's nest when he came up with the idea of offering a whites-only scholarship at the school. But he got a little more buzz than he bargained for.

"To tell you the truth, we didn't see this coming," Mroszczyk said. "The Drudge Report picked it up yesterday, and today I just finished a round of national interviews. It's kind of overwhelming."

All the media attention is focused on a $250 Caucasian Achievement and Recognition Scholarship offered by Mroszczyk and the BU chapter of the College Republicans. Applicants must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher; they must write two essays; and, here's the kicker, they must be at least one-quarter Caucasian.

Is it possible to explain the resulting uproar without using the words "racism" and "looter?"

H/T Drudge Report

Update: 10:36AM 24-Nov-06

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Christopher Hitchens on the Iraq Study Group

Graping for straws, or missing old buddies?
The whole thing.

Taken together with the dismissal of Donald Rumsfeld, the nomination of Robert Gates, and the holy awe with which the findings of the Iraq Study Group are now expected, this means that the Bush administration, or large parts of it, is now cutting if not actually running, and it is looking for partners in the process. (You have to admit that it was clever of the president to make it appear that Rumsfeld had been fired by the electorate rather than by him.) It seems that Kissinger has been giving his "realist" advice even to the supposedly most hawkish member of the administration, namely the vice president, and at a dinner in honor of the president-elect of Mexico a few nights ago, I saw him mixing easily with such ISG elders as former Rep. Lee Hamilton. Members of this wing or tendency were all over the New York Times on Sunday as well, imputing near-ethereal qualities of leadership to Robert Gates, so a sort of self-reinforcing feedback loop appears to be in place.

The summa of wisdom in these circles is the need for consultation with Iraq's immediate neighbors in Syria and Iran. Given that these two regimes have recently succeeded in destroying the other most hopeful democratic experiment in the region—the brief emergence of a self-determined Lebanon that was free of foreign occupation—and are busily engaged in promoting their own version of sectarian mayhem there, through the trusty medium of Hezbollah, it looks as if a distinctly unsentimental process is under way.

This will present few difficulties to Baker, who supported the Syrian near-annexation of Lebanon. In order to recruit the Baathist regime of Hafez Assad to his coalition of the cynical against Saddam in the Kuwait war, Baker and Bush senior both acquiesced in the obliteration of Lebanese sovereignty. "I believe in talking to your enemies," said Baker last month—invoking what is certainly a principle of diplomacy. In this instance, however, it will surely seem to him to be more like talking to old friends—who just happen to be supplying the sinews of war to those who kill American soldiers and Iraqi civilians. Is it likely that they will stop doing this once they become convinced that an American withdrawal is only a matter of time?

At around the same time he made this statement, Baker was quoted as saying, with great self-satisfaction, that nobody ever asks him any more about the decision to leave Saddam Hussein in power in 1991. It's interesting to know that he still feels himself invested in that grand bargain of realpolitik, which, contrary to what he may think, has not by any means been forgotten. It's also interesting in shedding light on the sort of conversations he has been having in Baghdad. For millions of Iraqis, the betrayal of their uprising against Saddam in 1991 is something that they can never forget. They tend to bring it up, too, and to fear a repetition of it. This apprehension about another sellout is especially strong among the Shiite and Kurdish elements who together make up a majority of the population, but it seems from its public reports so far that the ISG has not visited the Kurdish north of the country. If Baker thinks that the episode is a closed subject, it shows us something of what the quality of his "listening" must be like.


Mary Sue, Two.

I have been experimenting with enhancing the quotation indicators on TOC at the request of some readers. This post is the style I currently favor. The following post is another test example. Thoughts, anyone?

University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman has written a letter soliciting ideas for "developing fresh, innovative approaches to sustain and enhance diversity." This is after she quoted George Wallace in regard to resisting the law.

Our University thrives on finding solutions to vexing societal issues. This is an historic moment, and an opportunity to apply our collective creative, energetic thinking to discover the most effective ways to support diversity. We will succeed only if we have thoughtful input from everyone in our community.

Today we are announcing the creation of a university-wide task force that will encourage innovative thinking among all segments of the University community and identify the best ideas developed through this process. The task force, called "Diversity Blueprints," will be co-chaired by Teresa Sullivan, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, and Lester P. Monts, senior vice provost and special counsel to the president, and will include students, staff, faculty, alumni and administrators.


Coleman invites comments at this email address: Diversity.Blueprints@umich.edu

I have written asking that any meetings of the collectives committees involved begin with a plain text reading ot the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and end with a recitation of Martin Luther King's 1963 "I have a dream" speech.

Just to provide some context, you know. Apparently "everyone in our community" doesn't include exactly everybody. Especially those who voted incorrectly, either in the Congress in 1964 or in the last few days.

H/T Power Line

Previewing Hillarycare


Half of Canada's cancer treatment centres fail to deliver critical treatment in timely fashion.

Federal Health Minister Tony Clement is rightly concerned about the human cost of "free" health care, unfortunately his solution is just to tinker with waiting times rather than attack the structural problem of having bureaucrats control treatment using other people's money.


Waiting-times failure a worry, Clement says


OTTAWA , TORONTO -- Federal Health Minister Tony Clement says the fact that patients at nearly half of Canada's cancer treatment centres are not getting critical radiation treatments within the target period of four weeks bolsters his argument for guaranteed waiting times.

A study by the Canadian Association of Radiation Oncologists found that only 50 to 60 per cent of the centres are able to provide radiation treatment within the four-week period.

Prostate cancer patients were among the least well served: 70 per cent of Canadian hospitals could not deliver the radiation treatment within four weeks. And breast cancer numbers were also disturbing, with only 53 per cent of hospitals meeting the target.

Mr. Clement said the waiting-time figures, which were obtained by The Globe and Mail, are a worry. But they prove the need for provinces to promise to pay to send patients elsewhere for treatment when it can't be delivered locally in a timely manner, he told a news conference.

"Benchmarks and targets without recourse is an empty promise," said Mr. Clement, whose government has made reduced waiting times the centrepiece of its health-care strategy.

"That is why we have sought to engage the provinces and territories, not just to create benchmarks, but to take the next logical step, which is to have the recourse which creates the guarantee."

Clinically acceptable standards for radiation and four other priority treatments were agreed upon in December of 2005 at a meeting between provincial health ministers and Ujjal Dosanjh, who was then the Liberal minister of health.
Emphasis mine.

It is testament to the statist hubris of Democrats that they think, like Communism, National Health care failures in Canada and Britain occur only because the right, smart people didn't design it and aren't running it.

Democrats think the right people are Democrats, then all will be fine. But why not just import the experts from Canada?

H/T National News Watch

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Wacko and Waco, Attorneys-at-Law


Lawyer: Ex-U.S. attorney general to join Saddam defense

Reno Files Challenge to Terror Law

Attorney General under Democrat Presidents has become a position requiring hazardous duty pay for probable brain damage.

It may be that the damage occurred early in life and that these people were "prequalified", but can a compassionate nation not feel their pain?

Bill?

Hello Mary Sue, Goodbye Arts
...and Letters


George Wallace did receive taxpayer money to promote racial discrimination, but he was elected. For the appointed, like Mary Sue Coleman, perhaps the better comparison would be the Ku Klux Klan. However, unlike Mary Sue, the KKK did not receive taxpayer dollars they could use to thwart the will of 58% of the electorate. Come to think of it, neither did George Wallace, or he wouldn't have been Governor.

Mary Sue is upset about
an amendment to the Constitution of Michigan approved in the last general election:
The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.
She's taking it to Court and will spend millions more taxpayer dollars in an attempt to subvert the vote. She will be aided by the ACLU and the Trotskyites at BAMN.

Read Preferences Forever?
The University of Michigan's president does her best George Wallace impersonation.

John Fund
WSJ

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Rangel proposes reintroduction of slavery


All those who voted for Democrites for the House made this possible.

Things you won't read in the Lansing State Journal


...or anywhere else in the MSM.

Why do Americans have to go to Calcutta to hear their U.N. Ambassador?

Guess who said this


Whole thing here.
...Big Government is a national security issue -- for all the reasons Milton Friedman understood: In diminishing individual liberty, it transforms free-born citizens into nanny-state charges to the point where it imperils the existence of the nation. If ever there was a time for not introducing a new prescription drug entitlement, wartime is it. Yet the president and Congress apparently decided that they could fight a long existential struggle abroad while Big Government continued to swell and bloat at home.
Not to mention Campaign Finance Reform. The biggest government intervention of all of them.

What Blair did NOT say


From Powerline:
...Blair didn't say that Iraq was a mistake; or that the war has been mishandled; or that our efforts there are doomed to failure. Those are the "admissions" the BBC desperately wants to hear, and tried to suggest through its coverage of Blair's inconsequential exchange with Frost.
Via CNN
LONDON, England (CNN) -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair provoked a storm Saturday after apparently admitting that the invasion of Iraq by the United States and Britain was "a disaster."

Blair did not use the words himself, but appeared to agree with the assessment of the interviewer Sir David Frost on Al-Jazeera's new English-language channel.

Blair's Downing Street office insisted that the British leader's views had been misrepresented and that it was "disingenuous" to portray it as an admission, the UK's Press Association said.

During the interview, Frost suggested that the West's intervention in Iraq had "so far been pretty much of a disaster."

Blair replied: "It has, but you see what I say to people is why is it difficult in Iraq? It's not difficult because of some accident in planning, it's difficult because there's a deliberate strategy -- al Qaeda with Sunni insurgents on one hand, Iranian-backed elements with Shia militias on the other -- to create a situation in which the will of the majority for peace is displaced by the will of the minority for war."
Updated 2:23PM

The Extremist Agenda


H/T LGF
Glenn Beck’s (highly recommended) special on Islamic supremacism, in Windows Media format: Exposed: The Extremist Agenda.
Euphoric Reality
Watch and/orDownload

Transcript
CNN
Read

YouTube
Watch

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Go Blue!


Blogging will be suspended while I watch the Michigan Wolverines beat the Ohio State Buckeyes.

21-17

Wal-Marted


Multi-millionaire, former trial lawyer and ex-Senator John Edwards is famous for 3 things, 1) promising Christopher Reeves would walk if John Kerry were elected President, 2) bashing Wal-Mart, 3) his hair.

Upon learning that an Edwards staffer had attempted to jump the line to buy a Playstation 3 for Edwards’ 6 year old son at Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart issued a press release. An excerpt:
Sen. Edwards reportedly re-told a homespun story to participants of a United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union-sponsored call about how his son had chided a fellow student for purchasing shoes at Wal-Mart.
This is the real story. Teaching his son to diss his kindergarten classmates over their clothing is a far more damning comment on the man's character than the fact that even his own staffers don't pay attention to his message. Bragging about it is worse. Bragging about it for political gain, worse yet.

What an elitist buffoon.

Updated: 2:25PM

Friday, November 17, 2006

More on Professor Friedman


Friedman Promoted Peace, Championed Free Market:
Amity Shlaes
Bloomberg
They note how the great economist invented modern monetarism and vanquished orthodox Keynesianism with a single phrase: "Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon." He also inspired former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker to push interest rates to the sky to stop inflation, an event whose benefits we still see in the shape of the yield curve today.

Yet there is something Friedman did that is less talked about: He showed us how free markets can be humane.

Death of the Master
Bruce Bartlett
Real Clear Politics
Friedman's most influential publication was the slender volume, "Capitalism and Freedom," based on lectures given in 1956 but not published until 1962. In that book, he put forward one of the most powerful cases for the free market ever written. Its greatest virtues were the clarity and vigor of Friedman's exposition. It had enormous impact in making free market economics respectable once again, after being falsely blamed for the Great Depression. In his "Monetary History of the United States," Friedman put principal blame for that disaster on the Federal Reserve, which allowed the money stock to shrink by one third, bringing on a massive deflation.

Friedman and Freedom
The man who made free markets popular again.

WSJ Editorial
On the death of Ronald Reagan, whom he advised, Mr. Friedman wrote on these pages that “few people in human history have contributed more to the achievement of human freedom.” The same can and long will be said of Milton Friedman.

The World Turner
David Boaz
Real Clear Politics
Friedman was the intellectual father of the all-volunteer army -- in particular, he persuaded a young congressman, Donald Rumsfeld, to become a leader in the successful effort to end the draft -- and has also been an outspoken opponent of the war on drugs, which violates individual rights and fosters crime and corruption.

Millions of people around the world who live in freedom give thanks for the life and accomplishments of the man who said, "My central theme in public advocacy has been the promotion of human freedom."

Update
: 12:25PM 18-Nov-2006

Freedom Man
Milton Friedman had both genius and common sense.
Thomas Sowell
WSJ
Ironically, Friedman began his career as a believer in both Keynesian economics and in the liberals’ vision of the world with which it was so compatible. Yet, in the end, no one did more to dethrone both. It is doubtful whether Ronald Reagan could have been elected president in 1980 without the changes in public opinion produced by Friedman’s work in the previous decades.

The Keynesians’ belief that government policy could wisely make trade-offs between rates of inflation and rates of unemployment was epitomized in the Phillips Curve, which seemed to lend empirical support to that belief. Friedman dealt that analysis a body blow when he argued that it was not the rate of inflation which reduced unemployment but the fact that inflation exceeded expectations.

In other words, even a high rate of inflation would not reduce unemployment if inflationary policies became so common as to be expected. The "stagflation" of the 1970s--with simultaneous double-digit inflation and double-digit unemployment--validated what Friedman had said, in a way that no one could ignore.

Milton Friedman, A Modern Galileo
Michael Strong
Real Clear Politics
Friedman was not alone in keeping the idea of free markets alive, but he was the only figure who combined rigorous academic evidence of the workings of markets with passionate public statements on the importance of freedom for all. Without Friedman, we might have had much of the work of the Chicago school of economics lost in academic economics journals, with a few Randians and Austrians defending markets in public but without the clear connection to a growing body of empirical evidence. No other individual combined Friedman’s credibility based on scientific rigor with a powerful, heartfelt personal touch exemplified by sustained, patient, imaginative, and good-humored public advocacy of unpopular ideas. As a result, Friedman was single-handedly responsible for advancing the cause of liberty more than any other individual in the 20th century.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Thank You, Professor


Milton Freidman believed in liberty. Arguably, he did more in his lifetime to defend and promote free markets than any other single person.

He died today at 94.

I will miss him.
The renowned economist Milton Friedman, who turns 90 on July 31, once gave a talk at a Washington, D.C. conference sponsored by the Drug Policy Foundation. His title: "The Drug War As a Socialist Enterprise."
Full article.

During the hearings on abolishing the draft, Gen. William Westmoreland challenged Friedman and asked him how he felt about being defended by an army of mercenaries. Friedman's answer was that he preferred mercenaries to slaves.

Milton Friedman TV interview circa 1960. About 25 minutes. Worth it.

Friedman on Hong Kong and John Cowperthwaite.

Update 7:10PM

I certainly should have included this. Thanks to Marginal Revolution for the reminder:
Even today, chills run down my spine whenever I read the slashing opening to Capitalism and Freedom.
President Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country."... Neither half of that statement expresses a relation between the citizen and his government that is worthy of the ideals of free men in a free society.
Damn right.
And this tribute from Larry Kudlow is absolutely correct.

Politics as usual


The Democrats reject Murtha and slap down the Speaker-to-be.

The Republicans elect Trent Lott as their number 2 guy in the Senate.

I guess the GOP took this lesson from the election: The base wasn't getting enough exposure to Trent Lott.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Swĭft Bōt


1- Fast, small, shallow-draft vessels operated by the United States Navy during the Vietnam War.

2- Any criticism of a Democrat based on facts over 10 years old. Thus, John Murtha's claim to have been "swift-boated" by his own party.
"I am disconcerted that some are making headlines by resorting to unfounded [sic] allegations that occurred 26 years ago. I thought we were above this type of swift-boating attack. This is not how we restore integrity and civility to the United States Congress."
John, tell that to Nancy.

Culturette of Corruption


And watch out for Alcee Hastings. See also.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The American people need to hire John Bolton


Send an email to President Bush telling him you'll be happy to contribute to John Bolton's salary. The president can be reached here: president@whitehouse.gov

Claudia Rosett started this.
Joltin' Bolton

If Congress is absolutely determined to reject the best UN ambassador the world has seen in about a quarter of a century — John Bolton — then the only alternative if President Bush wants to keep him is another recess appointment. For that, Bolton would have to work without pay. It’s enough to make a person want to suggest that if you really care about trying to do some good in the world via the UN, stop sending your kids out to collect for UNICEF, and start sending them out to collect donations to keep John Bolton in office. Bolton, from everything I have seen, is far more honest and competent on every level than UNICEF, any of the other UN agencies, or most of the senior staff walking the halls of the UN, let alone many of the UN ambassadors whose limos cruise the streets of New York.

I would normally be against any such private meddling in U.S. foreign policy, or in matters relating to the public institution that is the UN. But the State Department in 2001 blithely accepted a $31 million check from left-leaning Ted Turner to fill a gap in U.S. dues to the UN (and thus free up much larger sums of U.S. taxpayer money to flood Turtle Bay). And the UN itself has been trumpeting its joy over its ever-expanding agenda of “public-private partnerships.” These set-ups are all very bad ideas, and someone needs to be asking why on earth both the U.S. and the UN should be franchising out public policy matters (and financing) to private players with their own agendas. But without John Bolton there, no one at the UN is going to be asking about anything very much…we will see the dawn of a new era of even greater UN impunity, moral bankruptcy and financial corruption. Why should only the left wing of U.S. politics have a private hand in UN affairs?

So, in the interest of fighting fire with fire, I wonder if anyone will start a campaign to scrap the UNICEF cans (they are not all about feedling wide-eyed children; they double-billed and padded their budgets in Iraq), and start collecting for Bolton.

(There is plenty more to say on all this, and more seriously, of course… Roger Simon asked for a comment, and these are quick thoughts on the way out the door to give a talk on the UN. It is staggering that in a time of real world crisis, our legislators, of whatever stripe, could turn down a man who is honest enough to talk straight to the American public, skilled enough to navigate the UN swamps, and sane enough to manage both without going out of his mind. Congress is throwing away the best we’ve got — and somewhere down the line, we will all pay for it).
H/T Democracy Project

Charlie Rangel wants to raise taxes on the rich...

...he hopes you won't find out Bush already did.

The ‘Evil Rich’ Are Carrying Us Even More — An Update

As American as Apple fatwa


Tech Central Station notes that some Muslims are upset with Apple Computer:
Is Apple Computer Insulting Islam?

Last month the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported that "an Islamist website posted a message alerting Muslims to what it claims is a new insult to Islam" [MEMRI, Special Dispatch Series, No. 1315]. As reported by MEMRI, the Islamist site claims that the Apple Store, Fifth Avenue "is meant to provoke Muslims" because it is called the "Apple Mecca" and "is intended to be open 24 hours a day like the Ka'ba, and moreover, contains bars selling alcoholic beverages."

...This "new insult to Islam" is a cube-shaped building where customers enjoy test-driving the various lines of Apple computers and peripherals in an ultramodern but cozy environment. Within the store, they can even stop by the "Genius Bar," not for a shot of scotch but to benefit from the knowledge of an expert Apple support rep.

...While Western civilization is inventing scientific and artistic marvels, the other wings of Islamism are preoccupied with inventing provocations in the hope of mobilizing otherwise ordinary Muslims. We have seen this before: the Muhammad cartoon controversy exhibited the same faulty reasoning but unfortunately it succeeded in turning thousands of Muslims to violent protests. This latest incident is one more in a growing list of examples of Muslims over-reacting, over- and mis-interpreting, jumping to conclusions and causing controversy over something innocent or innocuous.

...Islamists have been struggling to turn any Western object that they can imagine into a so-called "insult to Islam." As a Muslim myself, I see no insult to Islam in a computer store but I see plenty of it in Islamism itself.
We've certainly seen it in the months of planning required to make a few innocuous Danish cartoons a reason to kill people (see the section - Further police investigations at the preceding link), and we've seen it in the invented controversy over Muslim cab-drivers "distress" at Minneapolis airport, and the kerfuffle over a swirly symbol on Burger King soft ice cream containers in Britain, and the countless other provocations and violence against Muslims CAIR would have you believe have taken place in the US.

Best comment on the Apple Store controversy comes from Relapsed Catholic:
If being shaped like a cube, selling booze and having a "We Never Close" sign means your business is insulting Islam, then lots of Muslim-run corner stores in Quebec are due for a fatwa.
Dearborn too, Kathy. In Dearborn too.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Strikes 1, 1.5 and 2.5


No, I don't know how many strikes they think they get, but these are two of the things I said would be a bad sign. Emphasis mine.

1 & 1.5
Pelosi Endorses Murtha as Next Majority Leader

House Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) endorsed Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) yesterday as the next House majority leader, thereby stepping into a contentious intraparty fight between Murtha and her current deputy, Maryland's Steny H. Hoyer.

The unexpected move signaled the sizable value Pelosi gives to personal loyalty and personality preferences. Hoyer competed with her in 2001 for the post of House minority whip, while Murtha managed her winning campaign. Pelosi has also all but decided she will not name the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) to chair that panel next year, a decision pregnant with personal animus.

...in her first real decision as the incoming speaker, Pelosi said she was swayed by Murtha's early stance for a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.
I count the Harman decision as half a strike because Pelosi hasn't said yet that it will be Alcee Hastings. There is an argument for counting supporting Murtha as a strike-and-a-half, since she didn't have to even open her mouth about it.

She's spending political capital she hasn't even earned to promote cut-and-run. They just can't help themselves.

2.5
Democrats Push for Troop Cuts Within Months

WASHINGTON, Nov. 12 Democratic leaders in the Senate vowed on
Sunday to use their new Congressional majority to press for troop
reductions in Iraq within a matter of months, stepping up pressure on
the administration just as President Bush is to be interviewed by a
bipartisan panel examining future strategy for the war.

The Democrats -- the incoming majority leader, Senator Harry Reid of
Nevada; the incoming Armed Services Committee chairman, Senator Carl
Levin of Michigan; and the incoming Foreign Relations Committee
chairman, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware -- said a phased
redeployment of troops would be their top priority when the new Congress
convenes in January, even before an investigation of the conduct of the
war.

“We need to begin a phased redeployment of forces from Iraq in four
to six months,” Mr. Levin said in an appearance on the ABC News
program “This Week.” In a telephone interview later, Mr. Levin
added, “The point of this is to signal to the Iraqis that the
open-ended commitment is over and that they are going to have to solve
their own problems.”
I wonder if they remember that there is a UN resolution requiring coalition forces to stay until Iraq can guarantee its own security? Do the Democrats dare violate it?

An Iraqi view of asking Syia and Iran for help


Realpolitik. Right.
And the new peacemaker of the middle east is...Iran!

...Hello [Tony] Blair! These are the very two countries where trouble is coming from and the two most hardcore anti-Israel regimes in the region.

Hell, Tehran wants to wipe Israel off the map and Blair thinks they can be persuaded to cooperate with America and the UK to build peace in the Middle East?!

Oh, I forgot, he's going to make clear there would be consequences if they refuse to cooperate, sure, why not.

Well consequences my ass, ok?

What kind of consequences are we supposed to expect here and why should we think Iran and Syria are going to listen this time when they've been getting tons of empty warnings with consequences for years?

Maybe I'd have taken that seriously if it was said three years ago when the war was still young and when the Mullahs were shitting their pants watching the Talibans and Saddam fall…but not now.

U.S. must prove it's a staying power


A Mark Steyn must read. I'd love to give you an excerpt, but I don't want to spoil the flow.

Click the link. Read it.

Anticipating a possible recommendation of the Iraq Study Group


Some ideas are so stupid only an intellectual can believe in them.
Why Intellectuals Love Defeat
...The Iraqi blogger "Sooni," who describes himself as a "free man" living in Baghdad, recently was asked what would happen if the US partitioned Iraq. "Just imagine it this way [sic] partitioning Iraq will create a small Iran in the south of Iraq and a small Afghanistan in the middle of it!"
Read the whole thing at the link above.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The fallout continues to drift in the wind

Bipartisanship?

New Democratic Majority Throws Bush’s Judicial Nominations Into Uncertainty
...There is a strong consensus that the four most conservative of Mr. Bush’s nominations to the federal appeals courts are doomed. Republicans and Democrats say the four have no chance of confirmation in the next several weeks of the lame-duck Congressional session or in the final two years of Mr. Bush’s term.

The nominees are William J. Haynes II, the Pentagon’s chief lawyer who was responsible for the much-criticized military interrogation policies; William G. Myers III, a longtime lobbyist for the mining and ranching industries and a critic of environmental regulations; Terrence W. Boyle, a district court judge in North Carolina; and Michael B. Wallace of Mississippi...
Ignore the Times characterizations. What would you expect of the paper that made an issue of the adoption proceedings of John Roberts' children?

Now that the Dems don't have to filibuster, will these nominations get out of committee?


Vaya Con Dios, Rummy!
Here is the record of Donald Rumsfeld. (1) Tried to take a top-heavy Pentagon and prepare it for the wars of the postmodern world, in which on a minute’s notice thousands of American soldiers, with air and sea support, would have to be sent to some god-awful place to fight some savagery—and then be trashed live on CNN for doing it; (2) less than a month after 9/11 he organized the retaliation against al Qaeda in the heart of primordial Afghanistan that removed the Taliban in 7 weeks, when we were all warned that the U.S., like the British and Russians of old, would fail; (3) oversaw the removal of Saddam in 3 weeks—after the 1991 Gulf War and the 12-years of 350,000 sorties in the no-fly-zones, and various bombing strikes, had failed. (4) Ah, you say, then there is the disastrous 3-year insurgency—too few troops, Iraqi army let go, underestimated “dead-enders” etc.?

But Rumsfeld knew that in a counterinsurgency (cf. Vietnam 1965-71) massive deployments only ensure complacency, breed dependency, and create resentment, and that, in contrast, training indigenous forces, ensuring political autonomy, and providing air and commando support (e.g., Vietnam circa 1972-4) is the only answer—although that is a long process that can work only if political support at home allows the military to finish the job (cf. the turn-of-the-century Philippines, and the British in Malaysia). He was a good man, and we were lucky to have him in our hour of need.
Rumsfeld was a casualty of stupid political calculation. I.e., cynical and electorally useless. This backstabbing is a resurgence of the unipartisanship George Bush stooped to when he was entertaining Teddy Kennedy and agreeing to gut the education bill.

The Democrats in Washington, George, are nothing like the ones you worked with in Texas. This is a lesson you no longer have time to heed, particularly since you don't want to.

US Democrats baulk at extending Bolton term, [Chafee among them.]

John Bolton is certainly the best UN ambassador since Jeanne Kirkpatrick and arguably the best of our lifetime. Of course the Democrats want him out. The question here is why Bush bothered to re-up on Bolton's nomination.

Rummy isn't going to satisfy these people, George. You can't negotiate with terrorists, or the Democrat leadership. You show weakness and then ask for a favor sure to be denied? To what end? Most Americans can't spell "UN", otherwise we'd long since have withdrawn.

Update: 3:00PM - I can spell UN.

Annan updates Beilin on soldiers in Lebanon
Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that one of the problems in the negotiations for the release of the two kidnapped Israeli soldiers in Lebanon is the demand for Hizballah to return them alive.
If true, maybe Kofi can run as John Kerry's Veep in 2008.

H/T Protein Wisdom

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Thank you to all who've served





Veterans Day


President George Bush:
"...Today, our nation pays tribute to those veterans, 25 million veterans who have worn the uniform of the United States of America. Each of these men and women took an oath to defend America -- and they upheld that oath with honor and decency. Through the generations, they have humbled dictators and liberated continents and set a standard of courage and idealism for the entire world. This year, 3.5 million veterans celebrate the 60th anniversary of freedom's great victory in World War II. A handful of veterans who live among us in 2005 stood in uniform when World War I ended 87 years ago today. These men are more than a hundred years old, many of their lives have touched three different centuries, and they can all know that America will be proud of their service.

On Veterans Day, we also remember the troops who left America's shores but did not live to be thanked as veterans. On this Veterans Day, we honor the courage of those who were lost in the current struggle. We think of the families who lost a loved one; we pray for their comfort. And we remember the men and women in uniform whose fate is still undetermined -- our prisoners of war and those missing in action. America must never forget their courage. And we will not stop searching until we have accounted for every soldier and sailor and airman and Marines missing in the line of duty.

All of America's veterans have placed the nation's security before their own lives. Their sacrifice creates a debt that America can never fully repay."

Remembrance Day
Prime Minister Stephen Harper:

“On this solemn day, Canadians gather together to honour the soldiers, sailors and airmen and women, who served and continue to serve our country, and we pause to remember the more than 116,000 men and women who have laid down their lives in defence of Canada.

Today, as Canadians have done for the past 88 years, we pay tribute to the sacrifice made by generations of Canadian military personnel for the protection of our fundamental values and thank them for our freedom.

“November 11 is a time to mourn. It is also a time to celebrate the proud military traditions of our great country. Canada has always answered the call to stand up for freedom, democracy, human rights and rule of law. Our commitment to these values is being tested yet again in Afghanistan, and Canadians are rightly proud of the work our brave soldiers are doing to help those less fortunate than us. Their courage and devotion to duty inspires us all.

“I know I speak for all Canadians in expressing unequivocal support and heartfelt gratitude to all our troops and their families. We are holding the torch high. The Canadian heroes who lie beneath the poppies in Flanders fields can rest in peace.”

Friday, November 10, 2006

The interview Rumsfeld would have given


Sample:
A Large Regular was lucky enough to score a few candid moments of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's time yesterday after the historic announcement of his resignation was made.

ALR: Mr. Secretary - thank you so much for taking this time on what I'm sure is a difficult day. Can I ask if you are perhaps feeling a little bitter at the President right now?

Rummy: I always have time for my friends Chris. As far as feeling bitter towards the President - goodness no. I serve at the pleasure of the President and have offered my resignation a number of times. If truth be told - I'm a little bit in awe. I mean I don't think I've seen such a fine piece of political Jujitsu in my whole time in public service.

ALR: Political Jujitsu? I'm sorry Mr. Secretary but I don't follow you.

Rummy: Nobody saw this move coming yesterday. Nobody was prepared. It was a brilliant shifting of weight. Yesterday was supposed to be the Democrats big day. They were all going to wear new suits and dresses and give speeches congratulating themselves and talking about how they were going to fix the country. Instead all the news programs spent that time speaking about my resignation and today all the print media will be talking about me and my successor. The Democrats can't even complain because they have been practically begging for my resignation. By the time this dies down - nobody will want to look at their new suits or pretty dresses and they sure won't want to hear their flowery speeches because the time would have been well past that. The bonus is that the Main Stream Media doesn't even see how they were used. Brilliant move by the President.
Read the rest.

By Charles Krauthammer


Only a Minor Earthquake
...both parties have moved to the right. The Republicans have shed the last vestiges of their centrist past, the Rockefeller Republican. And the Democrats have widened their tent to bring in a new crop of blue-dog conservatives.

Moreover, ballot initiatives make the claim of a major anti-conservative swing quite problematic. In Michigan, liberal Democrats swept the gubernatorial and senatorial races, yet a ballot initiative to abolish affirmative action passed 58-42. Seven out of eight anti-gay marriage amendments to state constitutions passed. And nine states passed referendums asserting individual property rights against the government's power of eminent domain.

To muddy even more the supposed ideological significance of this election, consider who is the biggest winner of the night: Joe Lieberman. Just a few months ago, he was scorned by his party and left for dead. Now he returns to the Senate as the Democrats' 51st seat -- and holder of the balance of power. From casualty to kingmaker in three months. Not bad. His Democratic colleagues who abandoned him this summer will now treat him very well.

Happy 231st!



On November 10th, 1775 the Continental Congress created the Marine Corps.

Many happy returns of the day, Marines!

Semper Fi.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

More on Tuesday's losers and winners


The fate of Jack Murtha and Alcee Hastings will be early signs of how badly the war effort lost on Tuesday.
Speaker Pelosi's Impending Intelligence Failure

...In the 109th Congress alone, Mr. Hastings voted consistently against key counterterrorism tools, including the Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act, the Intelligence and Law Enforcement Resolution, and the USA PATRIOT and Terrorism Prevention Reauthorization Act. He has been an opponent of the trial by military commissions of unlawful terrorist combatants as well as border control, NSA communications intercepts, and terrorist financing tracking measures.
The whole thing is here.
Hoyer, Murtha Battle

...Murtha, who is the ranking member of the House Appropriations subcommittee on Defense, also defended his decision to seek the leadership post, asserting that not only is the office an “open seat” in the new Congress, but arguing that he outranks Hoyer in the Caucus hierarchy.

“There’s Nancy Pelosi, [Appropriations Committee ranking member Rep.] Dave Obey (D-Wis.) and myself, and then Hoyer is listed after me in the power plays,” Murtha said on NPR.

That assertion bewildered at least one Democratic House lawmaker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity: “In my mind that shows a lack of understanding. I like Mr. Murtha but that’s not just the way it is.”

“There is real genuine concern that we don’t want to see a divisive leadership fight, just at the time that we’re seeing tremendous success and tremendous unity and harmony and good feelings in the Caucus,” the lawmaker added.
The Dems have some integration problems, it seems. And, as mentioned here yesterday, this is why the far left lost on Tuesday - the election of conservative Democrats:
Herding Cats, Or Blue Dogs

...The newbies did not join the Democrats in order to instill socialism, and some in the activist community may find these new members very trying indeed.
More on this thought in a must read by Tony Blankley:
Post-election Washington

...Mrs. Pelosi has already committed to the seniority system. A group of older (70-something) hardcore liberal men who have been waiting a long 12 years to regain the power snatched from their hands in 1994 will be very hard, or impossible to rein in. Unless they independently agree with the moderate strategy of the third-way Clintonites (Rahm Emanuel, Steny Hoyer, the Democratic Leadership Council, etc.) we should expect rough legislative and public image management challenges for Mrs. Pelosi.
And a closing thought, from Scott Johnson at Powerline, pithily describing a big election-day winner mentioned here yesterday:
In yesterday's press conference, President Bush looked to his unpopular immigration reform proposals as "an issue where I believe we can find some common ground with the Democrats." Working together, the president and a Democratic Congress might be able to finish off the Republican Party.
Oh, well.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Who lost on Tuesday?

The war effort, the RINO "philosophy" and the extreme left-wing.

The war effort lost because Bush started treating the Democrats like he does CAIR at a press conference today:
"I truly believe that Congresswoman Pelosi and Senator Reid care as much about the security of this country as I do. ... Their spirit is such that they want to protect America." He added: "Democrats will support our troops as much as we will."
The line between wishful optimism and delusion is apparently thin, but I guess this means Teddy Kennedy is back on the
guest list for movie night at the White House. Whether that's a win or a loss, and for who, I can't tell.

The RINO philosophy brought the GOP down because it promoted growing government faster than Democrats ever did. Tax cut and spend. Don't display any principle by vetoing anything.

The left loses because the Democrats don't need Kos and Ned Lamont anymore, and they momentarily recognize they can't afford such baggage. The Democrat leaders who've threatened impeachment, defunding the troops and rolling back tax cuts have backed off; relieved of their fear of the moonbats;
chastened by victory. They can't help themselves, though, so the sanity will be short-lived.


Winners

Democrats running as conservatives.

Conservative ideas, like Michigan propositions 2 and 4, and the rejection of 5.

Illegal immigrants. (Republican control of the House was the only barrier to Bush's de facto amnesty.)


Short term winner. Long term loser.

John McCain. The man who brought us campaign finance reform is attempting to burnish his "conservative" credentials. But the GOP lost because it forgot it was supposed to be the party of small government. There isn't any bigger government than Campaign Finance Reform. I doubt any conservatives are going to buy a used principle from this man.

We already bought some from George Bush, whose domestic policies would have lost the "base" entirely by 2004 if not for the war.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Applied statist ethics


Peter Singer is a well-established Princeton University professor of bioethics, whom The Other Club has earlier mentioned here and here.

This is what his ethical code prescribes: Allow 'active euthanasia' for disabled babies, doctors urge:
...The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecology has put forward the option of permitting mercy killings of the sickest infants to a review of medical ethics.

It says "active euthanasia" should be considered for the overall benefit of families who would otherwise suffer years of emotional and financial suffering.

Deliberate action to end infants' lives may also reduce the number of late abortions, since it would allow women the chance to decide whether their disabled child should live.
I guess the good news is that we can reduce the number of partial birth abortions simply by sanctioning state murder.

This moral state is also a logical conclusion of the principle of affirmative action. If the State can make the judgment that others must lose property and freedom in order to make your life fair, it can also judge that making that life fair is too much trouble.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

You're welcome


One Iraqi's view of what the United States has achieved.
Counting hours...
Baghdad is living tense hours awaiting the announcement of a verdict by the special tribunal against Saddam.

...We have been dreaming for such a day to come and it will be a true turning point, not only for Iraq but for the middle east, for it will be the first time a ruler gets paid back for what he'd done by a court of law.

"the science is bad, the "consensus" is wrong"


Climate chaos? Don't believe it

The joke's on Kerry


Mark Steyn at NRO:
If a 22-year old intern wants to drop to the Oval Office broadloom, she’s a grown woman exercising her freedom of choice. But, if a 28-year old guy wants to serve in Iraq, he’s a poor wee misguided Grade Six drop-out who doesn’t know any better.
While thing here.

And while we're enjoying Mark Steyn, here's a column you should read:
Only choice on war is to win or lose it

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Bush truthed!


Taking a cue from John Kerry, The New York Times shoots itself in the foot. Going Kerry one better, it does so with the foot wedged firmly in its mouth.

The only explanation I can see for this is that the Times thought it would be embarrassing to the President that nuclear bomb making instructions seized in Iraq were posted on a federal government website.

That the paper responsible for publishing material damaging to several top secret US security programs is trying to play "gotcha" with this is supremely hypocrital; and narcissistic to the extent they don't even seem to recognize what it means.

What the Times appears to miss is that these documents provide justification for a number of arguments in favor of invading Iraq; not least that UN inspectors believed Saddam was only a year away from a bomb in 2002.

For the NYT to undermine the "Bush lied" meme this close to an election indicates they're stupid or they think we are. Or both.

There are many bloggers all over this, but a great place to start is at Small Dead Animals. Check out the links. If you only read one in full, make it Captain's Quarters.

Update: 1:41PM. Looks like the Detroit Free Press agrees with my assessment of the Times' motivation, Government Web site might have exposed dangerous nuke secrets to world

The Freep appears to be entirely uncurious about how these documents could be dangerous on a federal website, but not in the hands of Saddam. And they don't bother to put enough info in to let you know the full story.

Update: 2:11PM. Nice post at Bizzyblog and some good historical links.

Further reading:
JVERITAS - TRANSLATING THE IRAQ DOCUMENTS:
My October 5th E-Mail to the IAEA Regarding Saddam Re-Constructing His Nuclear Program

Friday, November 03, 2006

Democrat approval


These are some important committee chairmanships you are approving if you vote for a Democrat for the House of Representatives:

John Conyers (Judiciary) has already conducted impeachment "hearings" on the President.

Charlie Rangel (Ways and Means) has threatened to withold funding from our troops.

Jim McDermott (Ways and Means subcommittee) would push for universal health-care.

Alcee Hastings (Intelligence) was removed from his federal judgeship for reducing the sentences of convicted criminals in exchange for $150,000.

Hastings was impeached in 1988, and convicted in 1989, for this peccadillo. Nancy Pelosi wants to put him in front of Jane Harman, who by seniority would get the job, as the Intelligence Committee chairman.

The House voted 413 to 3 in August 1988 to impeach Hastings; among the 413 - Nancy Pelosi - who you would be approving as 3rd in line for the Presidency.

H/T JPM

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Kerry apology


"I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted..."

I.e., ordinary people who are fluent in English are insufficiently nuanced. It's their fault.

I'll bet he even more regrets that his words were not misintrepreted.

Election advice


State Proposals

For the 6 propositions on the Michigan ballot the full text and ballot language is here.

The ballot language for each proposal is included below followed by The Other Club’s recommendations.

PROPOSAL 06-1
A PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO REQUIRE THAT MONEY HELD IN CONSERVATION AND RECREATION FUNDS CAN ONLY BE USED FOR THEIR INTENDED PURPOSES

The proposed constitutional amendment would:

• Create a Conservation and Recreation Legacy Fund within the Constitution and establish existing conservation and recreation accounts as components of the fund.

• Use current funding sources such as state park entrance and camping fees; snowmobile, ORV and boating registration fees; hunting and fishing license fees; taxes and other revenues to fund accounts.

• Establish the current Game and Fish Protection Fund and the Nongame Fish and Wildlife Fund within the Constitution.

• Provide that money held in Funds can only be used for specific purposes related to conservation and recreation and cannot be used for any purpose other than those intended.
While some expectation that monies collected for specific programs should fund those programs is justified (for example, Social Security), no such language belongs in a Constitution.

Proposal 1 - No.
Funding formulae don't belong in a Constitution.

PROPOSAL 06-2
A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION TO BAN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PROGRAMS THAT GIVE PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT TO GROUPS OR INDIVIDUALS BASED ON THEIR RACE, GENDER, COLOR, ETHNICITY OR NATIONAL ORIGIN FOR PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT, EDUCATION OR CONTRACTING PURPOSES

The proposed constitutional amendment would:

• Ban public institutions from using affirmative action programs that give preferential treatment to groups or individuals based on their race, gender, color, ethnicity or national origin for public employment, education or contracting purposes. Public institutions affected by the proposal include state government, local governments, public colleges and universities, community colleges and school districts.

• Prohibit public institutions from discriminating against groups or individuals due to their gender, ethnicity, race, color or national origin. (A separate provision of the state constitution already prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin.)
Basically, we are being asked to approve language straight out of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It is a no brainer, despite the thuggishness and lies of the initiative’s opponents, such as "By Any Means Necessary."

A world in which BAMN, a shill for the Trotskyite Revolutionary Workers' League, would be entirely comfortable was described by Kurt Vonnegut in his story Harrison Bergeron. Which may be summarized:

"All men are not created equal. It is the purpose of the Government to make them so."
-United States Handicapper General

See also this Washington Times article:
Securing racial spoils

Proposal 2 - Yes.
The question is: Where does regulation designed to mitigate the unfairness of life reach a limit? The answer is: Here and now.

PROPOSAL 06-3
A REFERENDUM ON PUBLIC ACT 160 OF 2004 – AN ACT TO ALLOW THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A HUNTING SEASON FOR MOURNING DOVES

Public Act 160 of 2004 would:

• Authorize the Natural Resources Commission to establish a hunting season for mourning doves.

• Require a mourning dove hunter to have a small game license and a $2.00 mourning dove stamp.

• Stipulate that revenue from the stamp must be split evenly between the Game and Fish Protection Fund and the Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund.

• Require the Department of Natural Resources to address responsible mourning dove hunting; management practices for the propagation of mourning doves; and participation in mourning dove hunting by youth, the elderly and the disabled in the Department’s annual hunting guide.
We allow hunting of other small, “cute” animals that provide only small amounts of food. Why not doves?

The proposal opponent's arguments that doves are not a major food source, are not overpopulated and are not destructive simply points out they have no argument. All those things are true of the woodcock. Still, we can find many recipes for these birds - dove - woodcock.

There is no reason mourning doves should not be hunted just like woodcock. Woodcock weigh about 140 grams, similar to doves. This is also the lower end of the red squirrel’s weight range.

The difference between doves and woodcock is that woodcock don’t congregate at bird feeders and make a sad noise where PETA wannabes can hear it.

Regarding squirrels, perhaps we have not faced a ballot initiative to remove them from the list of game species because many people recognize that they are tree-dwelling rats with furry tails.

Proposal 3 – Yes.
No reason has been given to ban in Michigan what is legal in 40 other states. I suspect another agenda is at work.

PROPOSAL 06-4
A PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO PROHIBIT GOVERNMENT FROM TAKING PRIVATE PROPERTY BY EMINENT DOMAIN FOR CERTAIN PRIVATE PURPOSES

The proposed constitutional amendment would:

• Prohibit government from taking private property for transfer to another private individual or business for purposes of economic development or increasing tax revenue.

• Provide that if an individual’s principal residence is taken by government for public use, the individual must be paid at least 125% of property’s fair market value.

• Require government that takes a private property to demonstrate that the taking is for a public use; if taken to eliminate blight, require a higher standard of proof to demonstrate that the taking of that property is for a public use.

• Preserve existing rights of property owners.
The moral legitimacy of private property is fundamental to our basic values and freedoms, and they would cease to exist without it.

Five Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States demonstrated that they do not understand this: “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Their Kelo decision re-interpreted the “Takings” clause of the 5th Amendment as if it read “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation or unless it can be transferred to private interests that may cause an increase in revenue from any form of taxation.”

The point of the initiative is not to prevent government from providing essential land-use or environmental protections. Rather, it is to ensure that if the government wants to do more, it must do so by digging into its own pocket -- not raiding the private homes and businesses of individuals.

Proposal 4 - Yes.
Restrict government assault on private property.

PROPOSAL 06-5
A LEGISLATIVE INITIATIVE TO ESTABLISH MANDATORY SCHOOL FUNDING LEVELS

The proposed law would:

• Increase current funding by approximately $565 million and require State to provide annual funding increases equal to the rate of inflation for public schools, intermediate school districts, community colleges, and higher education (includes state universities and financial aid/grant programs).

• Require State to fund any deficiencies from General Fund.

• Base funding for school districts with a declining enrollment on three-year student enrollment average.

• Reduce and cap retirement fund contribution paid by public schools, community colleges and state universities; shift remaining portion to state.

• Reduce funding gap between school districts receiving basic per-pupil foundation allowance and those receiving maximum foundation allowance.
Bring me a proposal that is performance related. This one is the darling of the MEA because it targets teachers salaries and pensions. “Reduce and cap retirement fund contribution paid by public schools, community colleges and state universities; shift remaining portion to state.”

Why is there nothing about improving education, or paying more to GOOD teachers? Why is the state to become responsible for the pension agreements of local school boards?

Let’s have a proposal to allow parents to vote on which teachers they want teaching their children every school year. If you want to inflation adjust the amount of money given directly to parents which they then get to spend annually (vote with) as they see fit, I’ll vote for it.

Proposal 5 - No.
No automatic blank check for the failed MEA-controlled educational system.


Local

Ingham County is to vote on a proposal to fund the Potter Park Zoo. While keeping the Zoo viable is important, we need to know first what Lansing is going to do with the $1.6 million they’ll save. Maybe after this is defined it would be “Yes.” Exhortations to help establish regional financial responsibility need political leadership, not blind approval. Remember how Capital City Airport is funded.

For now, it’s “No” on Potter Park.


Candidates


Finally, the candidate races.

Local

TOC has already indicated its disaffection with Dick DeVos. Since there is no alternative, TOC makes no recommendation for the Michigan Gubernatorial contest.

For the Michigan Supreme Court, TOC has already pointed out why Marc Shulman is a disaster.

You are left with Republican incumbent Maura Corrigan and Democratic incumbent Michael Cavanagh. Aspirants are Democrat Jane Beckering and Libertarian candidate Kerry L. Morgan.

TOC recommends Maura Corrigan and Kerry L. Morgan.

Vote against Debbie Stabenow
, whose major accomplishment of the last 6 years - as her ads keep telling us - was to reduce the amount of Canadian trash we're getting paid to bury.

Hayes and Williams for Williamstown Twp. trustees.

National
In general, absent evidence of malfeasance in your district, vote GOP.

Yes, I'm PO'd at the spineless, big-government GOP, but when I read about the necessity for them to be punished for their admittedly idiotic behavior I come to wonder just who, then, is left to punish the much more deserving Democrats for theirs? John Kerry can only do so much.

We’re in a war. The Democrats detest our military. They are the hollow men and they cannot stop telling us that. We should take them at their word.