A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Out With The Trash

Tim McNabb from Five Hundred Words has an essay which pretty much covers my views on recycling. Read the entire piece by clicking the header.

He`s dead right; the enviromentalists want recycling as a type of Sacrament. They want everyone to ``get involved`` in what is, primarily, a symbolic ritual. (Most recycling trucks drive straight to the city dump and mix this carefully seperated garbage with the rest of the waste.)

I`m all for recycling, provided it has any real merit. Aluminum recyclers pay real money for people to pick up cans (or at least they used to.) Why? Because there was a profit to be made! Why doesn`t the trash company pay you for your plastic and paper? Because it is worthless, and they are picking it up seperately for political reasons only. P.C. is the operative phrase here; there is no real merit to seperating your trash.

The Simple Life

This also from the Federalist Patriot:

"As a bridge to the next century, we need a reliable source of energy that is capable of serving millions of people and doesn't emit fossil fuels." --Duke University Environmental Science Professor Rob Jackson.

We have that energy source, professor. It`s called nuclear. You guys seem to hate it worse than CO2 emissions. If you hadn`t fought tooth and nail against a nuclear economy we would have developed much better ways of dealing with the waste, and would no longer be pumping that dastardly CO2 into the atmosphere. People would be driving hydrogen cars, and the energy needed to make the hydrogen would come from the clean fissioning of U238. (Look Ma, no greenhouse gases!) The Mid-East would have returned to a sleepy backwater, we would not have had 911 and the subsequent wars, and Big Oil would not be a consideration. You fools had it all if you hadn`t been so pig-headed!

What people like Prof. Jackson really want is a low-energy lifestyle for most Americans (excluding themselves and the other beautiful people). They want a decentralized system using windmills and solar cells, measuring our energy output in Watts instead of Megawatts. They want us to be kind to Mother Earth. They want us to live a simple, clean, primitive lifestyle where we wash our clothes on rocks at the river, spin our own wool for clothes (which we will need since we won`t have central heat) and grow our own food. They want to return us to a mythical pastoral paradise where we can be one with nature. That such a paradise never existed is immaterial; they want it, and that`s that!

I recently had the pleasure of enjoying a root canal at my local dentist. Although it was not much fun, I have to admit it was reasonably painless. It was painless because of the blessings of modern technology; the high tech painkillers, the state-of-the-art drills and equipment, the new materials used to fill the nerve-cavity, etc. One hundred and fifty years ago they would have yanked that tooth out. Seventy five years ago they would have drilled with a foot-pumped drill and poor pain medication, then filled it with Mercury (which is poisonous). Today I can keep my tooth, and can do it by spending under 2 hours in a dentist chair, with only minor discomfort. If professor Jackson wants to go back to yank-`em dentistry and a simpler, more miserable life, he is welcome to it!

The Proof is in the Putin

"First and foremost, it is worth acknowledging that the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century." --Russian President Vladimir Putin

This statement speaks volumes about Prince Putin. (Vladimir is Russian for prince, by the way.) I have always said his KGB background made him suspect; he is nothing more than a made-over Soviet. Why has President Bush put such faith in him? (Go to Ultima Thule and ask Aussiegirl, if you don`t believe me!)


In case there is anyone out there who still holds the delusion that there are statesmen in the Democrat party:

"What [Republicans are] trying to do is distract. They're choosing to pass legislation that is bipartisan." --Jennifer Crider, spokeswoman for Nancy Pelosi, on why so many Democrats vote with Republicans.

The fiends!

Thanks to the Federalist Patriot.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Anti-Polk and Reannexation

(Click the Header)

Our friend Gindy sends along this little gem from World Net Daily. It is very revealing.

One wonders about Mexico`s motives with all this illegal immigration; aside from the financial benefits derived by sending their poor working class abroad, could Mexico have something further in mind? Could Mexico perhaps resent having lost California, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona to the United States? Perhaps they would like to reaquire their former territories? This picture suggests that the notion may well be in the minds of at least some of the immigrants.

James Polk is one of my favorite presidents, mainly because he fulfilled all of his campaign promises. The cornerstone of his Presidency was the annexation of the southwest territories. Mexico had done little to settle these areas, and the local population was much more interested in joining the United States than remaining Mexican citizens. Thanks to Polk, the United States now spreads from sea to shining sea! President Bush, however, can be viewed as an anti-Polk. Thanks to his ``let `em all in`` policies Mexico is driving out the local Anglo people and thoroughly Latinizing these areas. How long before they can make a legitimate claim on the Southwest? Would we have the right to dispute their claim, since our claim on these areas was based on our settment of these hitherto unpopulated regions?

President Bush is dead wrong on this issue, and is driving this nation the wrong way down the 21st century superhighway. There are grave consequences when one drives the wrong way down the highway.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

A Knocking of Knees

Once again, our strong-as-wet-kleenex heroes in the Republican Party have begun the caving process, fleeing like scared rabbits before the fearsome visage of Harry Reid and company. In an article in Newsmax we learn that the Republicans are cool to Tom Delay`s call for accountability from the Judiciary. Bill Frist states "When we think judicial decisions are outside mainstream American values, we will say so. But we must also be clear that the balance of power among all three branches requires respect - not retaliation," which pretty clearly indicates that Frist is afraid to assert Congressional oversight rights on the courts, and he undoubtedly represents a majority of Republicans. Mr. Frist,and so many of the other Neville Chamberlain Republicans, doesn`t seem to understand that Congress not only has the right, but the duty, to reign in an out-of-control Judiciary; that was the whole point of separation of Powers in the Constitution. For decades the Courts have wielded far more power than they were intended to possess, and they came to this power simply by asserting their right to make these decisions i.e. they usurped this authority. When the Democrats controlled Congress this usurpation was encouraged since Congress didn`t want to have to answer to the voting public. Many of the crazy liberal policies in place today would have caused a political Armageddon, so the Democrats empowered the unelected courts to take the heat for what they themselves really wanted to do. The Democrats, however, haven`t controlled Congress for a decade now, plus they no longer control the Presidency. (I would like to point out that Bill Clinton appointed one quarter of the Federal Judiciary.) The Republicans are solidly in control; it`s time they act like it! They have the power to restore the balance of power in government; indeed, they should want to do so! Their cowardice is appalling!

Likewise, the Republicans are starting to cave on the so-called ``nuclear option``. It appears that Frist has been negotiating with Ironman Harry a compromise that would allow some of the judicial nominees to come for a floor vote. Frist shows himself to be a particularly inept general; why does he think the Democrats are offering a compromise now? They know their goose is cooked, and they are trying to pull victory from the jaws of defeat. This should be obvious to anyone. If the Republicans make this deal, they will have set a precedent which allows the Democrats to block any judges they don`t like. It is unprecedented; the minority party being given this power freely by the party which controls both houses of Congress and the Presidency! If the Republicans give in to Reid on this, they will never get a Supreme Court Nominee through. They simply have to understand this; this is a matter of life or death to the Democrats, and they will fight to the death to win this. There can be no gentleman's agreement here.

When Adolph Hitler sent his troops into the Sudatenland, he ran an enormous bluff; he believed the French would be too weak to fight, but he gave orders to his troops to pull back if the French offered any resistance. His bold gamble paid handsomely, and the entire world was pulled into war because the French were too chicken to fight. The Republicans need to learn the lessons of history.

Monday, April 25, 2005

The Prophecies of St. Malachy

Since the Papacy has been in the news lately, and everyone seemed to enjoy my
exorcism post, I decided to carry on in this vein by writing about the Prophecy
of St. Malachy O`Morgair. St. Malachy was born in 1095 and died in 1148
(in the arms of St. Bernard, his biographer) and is famous for his prophecies
in which he enumerated every Pope until the end. I found this interesting site
about two years ago, and forgot all about it until yesterday. I decided to check
the accuracy of St. Malachy`s prediction regarding the new Pope; it was shocking,
to say the least!

Considering the name chosen by Cardinal Ratzinger, I find the second to last entry
very disturbing.

This same website has
a number of interesting prophecies by other Saints and Popes; you should check it out!
It`s always fun to compare these prophecies to reality.

Here is another interesting
website concerning prophecies by Saints, as well as prophecies by the Blessed Virgin at various apparitions. Also, here is a website devoted to Medjugorje which is well worth a look.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

True Colors

From the Daily Times:

This may be a bit extreme, but I think this man is showing the true nature of militant Islam. Women and children are property, and you have the right to do with them as you wish. American liberals take note!

Man sacrifices wife, 4 children on Eid Milad in Karachi

KARACHI: A schoolteacher, Nadeem Ahmed, who was arrested for allegedly killing his wife and four children said on Friday that he sacrificed them to mark the birth anniversary of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).

The man was caught hiding in the bathroom of his house in Karachi, where police found the bodies of his family with their throats slashed. Those killed included his 36-year-old wife Shah Jehan and his four children 12-year-old Hasib, 11-year-old Fasih, 8-year-old Hamza and one-year old-Fawad. The wife of the accused was also a teacher at a government school.

Police said they suspected he killed his family because he thought his wife was “having illicit relations with a lover,” said local police officer Khalid Bashir. Police said he bought knife from a store a day before the incident. But the accused told reporters from a police detention cell that he sacrificed his family members in the name of Allah to mark the Prophet’s birthday.

“I had no complaints or suspicion against my wife. I loved her and my children. It’s a gift on this great day. I also wanted to kill myself. I will soon join my family,” he said. “He seems to be a psychologically disturbed person,” police officer, Amjad Rashid said. agencies

Friday, April 22, 2005


Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, ``Go and procure lambs for your families, and slaughter them as Passover victims. Then take a bunch of hyssop, and dipping it in the blood that is in the basin, sprinkle the lintel and two doorposts with this blood. But none of you shall go outdoors until morning. For the LORD will go by, striking down the Egyptians. Seeing the blood on the lintel and two doorposts, the LORD will pass over that door and not let the destroyer come into that house and strike you down.
``You shall observe this as a perpetual ordinance for yourselves and your descendents. Thus you must also observe this rite when you have entered the land which the LORD will give you as promised. When your children ask you ``what does this rite of yours mean?`` you shall reply ``this is the Passover Sacrifice of the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt; when He struck down the Egyptians He spared our houses.``
Then the people bowed down in worship, and the people went and did as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron.

At midnight the LORD slew every firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharoah on the throne to the firstborn of prisoners in the dungeon, as well as all the firstborn of the animals...


Wishing all those of Jewish faith a blessed Passover.

An Expensive Hobby

Here`s a good article from Tech Central Station analyzing the tradeoffs between economic costs and CO2 output reduction based on the National Commission on Energy Policy recommendations. The AP has been blathering that we can afford CO2 reduction to fight global warming based on this report, but author Joel Schwarz says otherwise:

Why Diamonds are Like Greenhouse Gases

By Joel Schwartz Published 04/19/2005

"Energy study finds greenhouse gas limits affordable" according to an Associated Press story on a new Energy Information Administration report.[1] The EIA analysis, performed at the request of Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), assessed several greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction scenarios based on recommendations of the National Commission on Energy Policy. William K. Reilly, an NCEP co-chair and former EPA Administrator, lauded the EIA findings calling them "a reassuring set of conclusions." But by any reasonable measure the EIA report implies just the opposite. EIA's analysis shows that even attempting to slow the growth rate of GHG emissions would cost Americans hundreds of billions of dollars over the next 20 years. Attempting to freeze GHG emissions at current levels would likely cost trillions.

EIA modeled a number of different scenarios for future energy usage. The major scenarios include: (1) a "business-as-usual" baseline that assumes no change in current GHG policies; (2) a cap-and-trade GHG reduction program; and (3) the full suite of NCEP recommendations, including the cap-and-trade program, a 36 percent increase in average automobile fuel economy, and various incentives and subsidies to cap energy prices and encourage energy efficiency and alternative fuels. The GHG reduction scenarios assume implementation in 2010 and EIA projects results out to 2025.

Relative to business-as-usual, EIA projects the cap-and-trade program would reduce GHG emissions by 3.7 percent in 2015 and 7.1 percent in 2025.[2] The corresponding reductions for the NCEP scenario are 5.2 and 11 percent. Compared to today, GHG emissions would still rise substantially under either scenario. EIA predicts a baseline 38 percent increase in U.S. GHG emissions between 2005 and 2025. GHG emissions would increase by 29 percent under cap-and-trade, and 24 percent if all of the NCEP policy recommendations were implemented.

EIA estimates the cap-and-trade program alone would cost about $320 billion between 2010 and 2025, or a bit more than a 0.1 percent reduction in Gross National Product (GNP).[3] The full suite of NCEP recommendations would cost about $620 billion, or an average reduction in GNP of about 0.2 percent, though the reduction increases over time, to 0.4 percent by 2025. Annual costs rise with time, as implied by the GNP decrease. For example, in the NCEP scenario, costs rise from $10 billion in 2011 to $78 billion in 2025.

EIA thus concluded that if we do nothing, U.S. GHG emissions will rise 38 percent between now and 2025. We could spend $320 billion and emissions would grow by 29 percent. Or we could spend $620 billion and emissions would grow by 23 percent. AP claims the EIA report shows GHG reductions are "affordable." In fact, the report shows just the opposite. Even a modest reduction in the growth rate of GHG emissions will cost tens of billions of dollars per year. EIA's estimates imply that attempting to freeze GHG emissions at current levels by 2025 would cost well in excess of $125 billion per year, or trillions of dollars in total.[4] Diamonds are affordable -- if you buy only a tenth of a carat. Greenhouse gas reductions are affordable too -- but only if you buy a similarly useless amount.

The main justification for spending money on GHG reductions is that such reductions might improve future human health and welfare by slowing global warming. But even if we allow that the U.S. government should spend an additional $620 billion or more over the next 20 years to improve humanity's lot, greenhouse gas reductions would have to be near the bottom of the priority list. The EIA report and similar analyses show it would cost hundreds of billions and perhaps trillions of dollars per year worldwide to achieve the substantial reductions in GHG emissions necessary to stabilize or reduce atmospheric GHG levels. Yet it is not clear these stupendous expenditures would improve anyone's health and safety, first because harms from climate change might not materialize, and second because the costs of GHG reductions will impose harms of their own.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

A Warm Welcome

John Tabin sends a warm welcome to Pope Benedict XVI today on his blog. I`m very encouraged to see that many Jewish folks are happy with the selection of Ratzinger as Pope. As a Catholic, I may be too close to the situation to give a proper evaluation, and so I`m glad to hear people of other faiths taking an honest, hard look and liking what they see. As John points out, Church teaching on some issues may not apply to him, but there are many issues which the Church will be dealing with that do. We all profit from a Godly Pope, and we all suffer from a bad one; our world really is interconnected. From what I know about Pope Benedict XVI, I suspect we all (conservatives of all faiths, that is) will be pleased with the new pontiff. (I hope and pray that the liberals won`t be nearly as pleased as we will be!)

For those of you who haven`t read anything by John Tabin, you are missing out! John is a freelance writer and frequent American Spectator contributor, and is one of the brightest people I`ve had the privelege to read! You should read back through his archives-it will reward you handsomely!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Watching The Smoke Rise

We now have a Pope; Cardinal Ratzinger of Germany is now Pope Benedict XVI. This is great news for the Church, and for peoples everywhere. Benedict has shown himself to be a strong, principled man and conservative leader, and is the candidate I was rooting for to become Il Papa. We Catholics believe the Cardinals are led by the Holy Spirit in their selections, and the conclave chose Ratzinger with unusual dispatch! I had fears; the Bible makes it clear that God sends us the leaders we deserve, and I feared God may send His judgement on us by sending us a weak, liberal Pontiff. This does not, mind you concern just Catholics, nor even just Christians. People of Faith everywhere, and even non-believers of good will are affected by the success or failure of righteousness, and history has shown that the Pope wields enormous power (Yes, Mr. Stalin, the Pope has many divisions, and they are more powerful than you could possibly imagine!) The Pope is the Spiritual leader of all Catholics, and a moral leader for the Entire World. He is admired and respected by Jews, Hindus, Moslems, and Buddhists. He is a serious force to be reckoned with; which is why the Left wanted desperately to see a ``modernist`` Pope elected. The Holy Spirit had other plans, and we have been blessed with a man of courage and faith!

Check out The Paragraph Farmer for some analysis and quotes by the new Pope. Also, a series of interesting posts by the gang at Potomac Gadfly delve into a number of issues relating to the new Pontiff. Finally, our good friend Aussiegirl has a nice post over at Ultima Thule. Be sure to check them all out!

Border Patrol Union Supports Minutemen

Thanks to our friend Bob at Sweet Spirits of Ammonia for coming across this underreported gem and posting it up on his site!


Border Patrol union
supports Minutemen
Says it has had no complaints about monitors, blasts Bush over amnesty

Posted: April 18, 2005
5:00 p.m. Eastern

© 2005

The largest local union of Border Patrol agents in the country has declared its support for the Minuteman Project in Arizona, while at the same time slamming both the American Civil Liberties Union and President Bush.

According to its website, the U.S. Border Patrol Local 2544, which covers the Tucson sector of the agency, the volunteers involved in the border-monitoring Minuteman Project have been nothing but supportive.

"We want to make it clear – because we've had a lot of questions about this – we have not had one single complaint from a rank-and-file agent in this sector about the Minutemen," says a statement on the site. "Every report we've received indicates these people are very supportive of the rank-and-file agents; they're courteous. Many of them are retired firefighters, cops, and other professionals, and they're not causing us any problems whatsoever."

The group blames the ACLU for setting off ground sensors in the area of the Minutemen activities:

"Reports of [Minutemen] causing 'ground sensors' to go off are exaggerated because most of those are being set off by the ACLU sneaking around trying to find the Minutemen doing something wrong."

As WorldNetDaily reported, the ACLU has sent representatives to the 23-mile Arizona border area to monitor the Minutemen and report any civil-liberties abuses to authorities. Instead, said Minuteman Project spokesman Grey Deacon, the law group's people are flashing lights, sounding horns and warning off illegals and their "coyote" human smugglers from entering territory patrolled by the volunteers. Deacon claims such activity amounts to aiding and abetting illegal aliens.

The Minuteman Project has attracted hundreds of volunteers, many legally carrying guns and waving flags, from across the country. They plan to keep watch around the clock until the end of the month, intimidating illegal aliens with their presence and alerting the Border Patrol via cell phones or radios when they see people crossing.

The Border Patrol local emphasizes the Minuteman Project is "shifting the bulk of the illegal-alien traffic out of the Naco corridor."

The statement then takes the president to task for his immigration proposal.

"If only President Bush were so supportive of the rank-and-file agents," the site states. "While President Bush hangs out thousands of miles away in the White House, these people are willing to give up their time and energy to actually do something. While President Bush entices millions of illegal aliens to keep coming with his amnesty proposals and his demoralizing statements that he doesn't want Border Patrol agents chasing 'good-hearted people just coming here to take jobs Americans won't do,' the Minutemen are trying to get our laws enforced.

"The Minutemen have made it very clear that they fully support rank-and-file Border Patrol agents. If only we had such support from the politicians we have to work for (aren't we really supposed to be working for the citizens of this country anyway?)"


This also from the Federalist Patriot:

There is no way to check the veracity of this letter to the editor, but I thought it worth putting up anyway. I have never believed for one minute that Saddam did not have those WMD`s, and I believe our top people know exactly what happened to them, but are afraid to tell us. The worst case scenario occured, in my opinion! I don`t believe the entire world`s intelligence was that wrong! Everybody said there was huge stockpiles of weapons, and then they weren`t there? I have a hard time believing that! Anyway, here it is:

"I keep reading that there are no WMD's in Iraq -- but that claim is patently false. My unit has found many WMD's -- silk-worm missiles with sarin gas, for example. Soldiers have been killed trying to disarm these weapons. We find the weapons in small numbers -- 2 or 3 at a time, here and there, which does not constitute 'stockpiles,' but WMD ARE here." --USA, Iraq

Concord Hymn

In honor of the anniversary of the Battle of Lexington and Concord, I thought I would post this poem by Emerson which I came across in the Federalist Patriot. We hear very little in the MSM about the Revolution these days; largely, I think, because what our founders fought and died for is anathema to them, and because they don`t want the citizenry to compare conditions under the British with conditions today. We pay higher taxes, accept a greater governmental yoke today, and we, the stupid and bigoted colonials, may begin thinking...

Ralph Waldo Emerson

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set to-day a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, are sons are gone.

Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.

Thanks to the Federalist Patriot.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

George Will: Challenged By Modernity

I don`t normally care for George Will. He is too eager to please his liberal benefactors, too eager to make friends and get along. He is what had been wrong with Conservativism for far too long; no backbone. Still, if I may paraphrase Lucy from Peanuts, he may be a blockhead, but he did write a nice column. (Hat tip to Gary at Both Worlds.

Read it here at Townhall.

More Deathheads Fallout

I found this, and thought everyone would enjoy reading it. It seems our enlightened liberal friends really got their backs up over my Brave New World article. You will notice that the writer does a lot of name calling and makes sweeping accusations, but he is never able to back anything up-in typical liberal fashion. Once again, I have to say I find these people very puzzling; why is this guy reading The American Thinker? How can he not expect to be offended?

Saturday, April 16, 2005

I`d Rather Be In Philadelphia

The late, great comedian W.C.Fields hated Philadelphia. In his view, Philadelphia was barely a step above the `tarnal flames, and he used the city as a metaphor for damnation. Nonetheless, at the bitter end he recanted, and his tombstone reads ``I`d rather be in Philadelphia``. Which brings me to the point of the story; the April 15 tax filing deadline has now passed, and I can now cancel my reservations to the City of Brotherly Love!

Should my sojourn in this life end in tragedy, and I find myself not on the escalator to that great Starbucks in the sky but instead riding the coal chute for the sub-basement, I know what horror awaits me. I needn`t fear fire, or demons with whips, or even Pauly Shore movie marathons; these are but light afflictions. My punishment will be far more diabolical. I will be escorted into a modern, well lit office with a great urn of really old coffee and no windows. The room will smell of toner and pencil shavings, and an enormous clock will hang on the wall ticking loudly while a fax machine will receive continuous copy in one corner. In the middle of the room will be an enormous wraparound desk piled to the ceiling with tax forms and other government worksheets which, to my everlasting suffering, I will be required to fill out for all eternity. Perhaps they will slip vacation forms into the piles, or request for assistance sheets, or the forms needed to eliminate the paperwork altogether, but I will have to find them and assemble the proper copies, then submit in triplicate. Of course, there is a submission deadline, and I`ll have to find the proper form to file for an extension...

I simply can`t understand how anyone would voluntarily work as an accountant. The mind-numbing,endless series of lines, the unintelligible language used, the mathematical conundrums should conspire to drive sanity out of anyone`s noggin. Don`t get me wrong; I am grateful that I can hire someone to perform this horrible chore for me, but there has to be a better way.

The Revolutionary War was fought over tariffs imposed by Britain to help pay for the cost of stationing British troops to defend against the French. Americans became angry over a few pennies of taxation which was collected at the docks. The average citizen had to do nothing, yet they were willing to fight, and die, to overturn this ``tyranny``. The Civil War was partially fought over tariffs; the northern states had been pushing for high manufacturing tariffs to protect their fledgling industries, while the southern states wanted low tariffs to give them access to cheaper, better made goods. This disagreement was a large part of the original bone of contention between the states, and it eventually led to one of the most destructive conflicts in history.

What has happened to the American people? How could a people willing to fight and die for lower, easier taxes become so cowed by their own government that they are willing to fill out all of these forms, or pay someone to fill them out for them, then stand in line at the post office for the privilege of paying usurious taxes to a government which then uses the money to run roughshod over their beliefs? Why is government so out of control? Because of the income tax. The idea of an income tax came straight out of Karl Marx! Marx fathered this abomination, and the U.S. government adopted it as a rider on another bill! It was intended to be a temporary measure to help pay the costs of the First World War. We have never been free of it since, and it is the engine which has allowed our government to become the Leviathan we now wrestle with. Without the gargantuan amounts of money generated by the IRS the gorilla of government would shrink to a field-mouse. Conservatives would have everything they seek if the IRS were to be defunded.

Unfortunately, we aren`t the men our fathers were, and so we accept the shackles of slavery imposed on us by our abusive Uncle Sam. Every year we scramble about, trying to fill out form 1099 and supplemental form 2061 or 1087 or whatever while being sure to have it all in triplicate!

I`d rather be in Philadelphia!

Friday, April 15, 2005

Dirty Oil

(Click the Header)

Who`s to blame for this? Why isn`t the government being sued? The government demanded that the oil industry create these non-polluting additives, then they leave industry to it`s fate for using what big brother demanded. Notice the slap in the article at Tom Delay; he is from Texas don`t you know! He is so evil, he wants to pollute the water so children die!

This is nauseating!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Mohole Madness

Look what those pesky Moholes have caused now!

Iranian Bull

Iran sits on one of the largest pools of oil on Earth. They really believe we will fall for this bull about needing nuclear reactors for electricity? Riiiight!

We need to get serious about Iran, and soon.

Iran denies secretly shifting processed uranium

13 April 2005

TEHERAN - Iran denied on Wednesday reports that it had secretly shifted processed uranium from one of its nuclear facilities in a bid to go on with enrichment activities it has agreed to suspend.

“Iran is seeking to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, so it makes no sense to smuggle uranium and enrich it in the country,” foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said.

“This is propaganda by some Western countries. (Such reports) have happened before and proven unfounded later,” he was quoted as saying by the ISNA student news agency.

Asefi was reacting to reports that Iran has been spiriting an unspecified quantity of processed uranium out of a facility in Isfahan, which is monitored by the UN watchdog, to an unknown location.

Iran has agreed to suspend the enrichment of uranium as it negotiates with Britain, France and Germany to win trade, security and technology rewards in return for giving guarantees that it is not trying to develop nuclear weapons.

The United States accuses Iran of using its nuclear programme as cover for a plan to develop arms, a charge vehemently denied by Tehran which says it needs nuclear power as an alternative energy source.

Iran agreed in November to suspend enrichment activities as a goodwill gesture for a maximum of six months, but the Europeans want the suspension to become permanent, a demand the Iranians have termed “absurd”.

Negotations are due to resume on April 19.

Tehran says it has the right to enrich uranium to low levels to produce atomic fuel for civilian power stations, but highly enriched uranium can provide the core for an atomic bomb.

Iran has processed in Isfahan 37 tonnes of raw “yellowcake” uranium into uranium tetrafluoride (UF4), which could be processed further to enriched uranium.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Adscam and the Great Northern Authoritarian

John Tabin has a piece in the American Spectator Online about Adscam, which is a scandal in Canada where the government hired a bunch of ad agencies who did little or no work and received very generous payments. What had John upset was the fact that the Canadian government banned bloggers from linking to Captain`s Quarters who reported the results of a commission investigation of the scandal. The Canadian government was threatening to prosecute anyone who linked to Captain`s Quarters, despite the fact that Canada has the right to freedom of Speech and the Press. John sent out a call for U.S. bloggers to help in the cause, and I`m more than happy to oblige!

Canada has become increasingly autocratic in recent years. Political Correctness has trumped basic freedoms with regularity in Canada. The Canadians are starting to rebel against this usurpation of their freedom, and the Canadian government is reacting as authoritarians do by ordering restrictions on constitutionally guaranteed rights. It`s good to see Canadian bloggers fighting back, and I am more than willing to help the cause!

Those of you from Canada, welcome! Together, we can fight for freedom both in Canada, and here!

Intelligence Failure

Herb Meyer was a top CIA analyst during the Reagan Administration, and he predicted the fall of the Soviet Union before anyone else. (He was laughed at for his troubles, but history bore him out!) He has a piece in the National Review Online today in which he talks about the way the Agency works, and why 911 could have been prevented with the proper people.

Mr. Meyer is a good friend of Thomas Lifson, editor of the American Thinker. I spoke briefly with him on Monday about his article. He is in St. Louis giving a seminar, and we were going to try to get together, but it looks like our scheduals won`t permit it. I`m greatly disappointed; Mr. Meyer sounds like a fascinating individual who has done precisely what I wanted to do in life! I began college in 1983 and studied History and Russian. What I wanted to do was work for one of the security agencies as an analyst, but History had other plans for me! By the time I graduated in 1987 the demise of the Soviet Union was around the corner, and the government wasn`t hiring people from midwestern colleges with bachelors degrees. (I did speak with someone from the supersecret National Security Agency, but never heard back from them.) I had hoped to continue on for a masters, but was out of money and out of patience. (It really is too bad; I think I would have been a great asset at the CIA or other security agency!) Oh well, property management isn`t so bad (keep repeating, keep repeating!)

Anyway, enough about me! Herb Meyer has a great analysis of the problems in the intel field, and a man of his caliber should be taken very seriously! He explains the way intel works, and shows why the failures which led to 911 occured. It is a terrific read, and hopefully will help explain a great deal.

The Pot Calling The Kettle Black

Iran is accusing the United States of interfering in their internal affairs, and is threatening to take the U.S. to court (I suppose the Worthless, er, World Court). I find that hillarious; Iran complaining about our interference! This is the country which exports terrorism like Latin American countries export bananas. They interfere constantly in other nation`s affairs! Where have all the Jihadists come from in Iraq? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

It does my heart good; perhaps we are doing more about Iran than it appears to the naked eye. I have always said Iran requires a Contra solution; send money, advisors, arms, etc. to Iran to foment a counter-revolution. It appears we are at least sending help to the dissident groups. We have been far too slow to react to Iran. We need to be far more assertive!

This from

TEHRAN - Iran said Monday it plans to take legal action against the United States government for funding the Islamic republic's opposition forces.

"The American government has been allocating funds for interference in Iran's domestic affairs for years," government spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh told reporters.

"Our country and the regime are stable enough not to be disturbed by such measures. However, such acts are against international norms and law. The foreign ministry will take necessary legal action" against Washington, he said.

Ramezanzadeh did not specify what sort of action.

According to the American press, three million dollars are to be allocated to "educational institutions, humanitarian groups, non-governmental organizations and individuals inside Iran to support the advancement of democracy and human rights".

Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, Mohammad Javad Zarif, on Sunday described the US plan as "a clear violation of the Algiers accords", which ended a hostage crisis at the American embassy in Tehran in 1980-1981.

The United States had agreed "not to intervene directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran's internal affairs".

Hell Freezes Over

They banned Freon because of the hole in the ozone layer (which can be easily explained by the fact that the Earth`s magnetic field touches down in the Arctic and Antarctic, and by the fact that the Sun is in a more active phase, hence is putting out more charged particles) now they want to ban the successors to Freon. Why? Global Warming, they say! CFC`s are a greenhouse gas! (I guess a hotter Sun has nothing to do with it!) Call me paranoid, but cooling units tend to use a great deal of power, and I suspect the environmentalists have them in their sights because they want to reduce power consumption around the World. If you get to the nuts and bolts of environmentalism, it is about returning us to the early Nineteenth century where we lived simply and were kind to the Earth. (Actually, I suspect they would like to go back to the 12th century.) These people believe life was better when, in fact, it was much worse. Life is poor, hard, brutish and (mercifully) short in a society without technology, and high energy usage. The environmentalists have this crazy dream of Eden, and believe (like all liberals) that Man is the great despoiler who destroyed paradise merely by existing. They have a twisted vision of Genesis; there is no God and Man is the closest thing but Man is the destroyer of paradise, and if we can cut back on the number of people we can bring paradise back. We can reduce the number of people by reducing consumption, forcing everyone to cut back on their wealth which means reducing family size until we usher in the great Gaian Kingdom of natural paradise and a few humans living a simple, homespun life. Then we can all put flowers in our hair and sing folk songs while strolling barefoot in the meadow!

Anyway, Junk Science had this article which I thought may interest all.

Mon Apr 11, 9:01 AM ET Science - AFP

GENEVA (AFP) - International scientists have called for more cuts in the chemicals used in refrigerators, air conditioning units and plastic foams, and better recycling in an attempt to reduce their harmful impact on climate.

The recommendation by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on Monday came in a report which aims to address conflicting efforts to restore the ozone layer agreed 18 years ago and more recent measures to cut pollution by greenhouse gas emissions.

Chemicals used to replace substances harmful to the earth's protective ozone layer in products like refrigerators under the 1987 Montreal Protocol -- as well as the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) they substituted -- are greenhouse gases that cause global warming.

Many of them are regarded as far more powerful than carbon dioxide, whose emissions are the focus of cuts under the Kyoto Protocol climate change treaty, which came into force in February, the report underlined.

"There can be no trade-offs between saving the ozone layer and minimising climate change," said Klaus Toepfer, executive director of the UN's Environment Programme (UNEP).

The Montreal Protocol was implemented after holes in the ozone layer, which shields the earth from ultraviolet radiation from the sun, were discovered in the 1980s, raising the threat of more skin cancers and crop damage.

The panel of scientists admitted after a meeting in Ethiopia that its recommendations could only mitigate the impact of CFCs and their ozone-friendly replacements on climate change, and would be costly.

The measures include increasing the use of alternatives with "zero global warming potential", such as ammonia, reducing the amounts of chemicals needed in equipment, more end-of life recovery or recycling, and better containment of the chemicals to prevent leaks and evaporation.

The report also recommended more use of alternative technologies, such as mineral wool instead of plastic insulating foams, or stick deodorants instead of aerosol canisters.

UNEP estimated that the replacement of ozone-friendly chemicals could add 30 dollars to the cost of a household refrigerator, just years after the replacement of the original harmful CFCs raised industry's concern about costs.

Special incinerators for elimination of the substances would cost several thousand of dollars each, it added.

The Kyoto Protocol sets legally binding targets for most developed countries to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide caused by oil and coal, and other gases blamed for global warming.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Moholes In Their Heads

The Earth`s crust is composed of a series of discrete plates, which float on top of the liquid Mantle. These plates touch each-other at fault lines, where potential energy builds up as the plates press against each-other. Earthquakes occur when one plate shifts and this built-up potential energy is suddenly released, shaking both plates violently. It`s not always clear what causes these sudden shifts in the plates, and scientists really know very little about the Earth`s mantle and core.

Recently, they have been drilling deep well-shafts in an attempt to break through the crust to the mantle. (These are called Moholes because they are trying to reach the Moho, or Mohorovicic Discontinuity, which is the dividing line between the Earth`s crust and mantle.) The idea is to drill a shaft then drop a probe down into it, or drop a bomb and study the seismic wave which follows. Now,I am all for research and science, but I wonder if this is such a good idea. We really don`t know what opening holes to the hidden inner depths of the Earth will do. The fact that this is being done in the Ocean also presents unknowable dangers; we could trigger an earthquake, which in turn could trigger a tsunami. We could open an undersea volcanic vent, which could affect the marine ecology in unknown ways. Further, there are radioactive elements inside the Earth which could begin spewing out of this vent. Again, I am a man who believes in the benefits of science and research. However, scientists in this modern era seem entirely too comfortable playing around with fundamental forces without proper understanding of what it is they are doing. Consider the genetic research going on in the modern era; geneticists are looking no farther than their next experiment. They advance their knowledge without considering the mortal peril their research could present to the fate of Mankind. Like necromancers, we are playing with dark forces which we barely understand. Consider the sorcerers apprentice. Had the sorcerer not returned the half-trained apprentice was doomed by his foolishness.

What would happen if, say, terrorists seized control of a Mohole? Someone who WANTS to kill people in possession of a hole in the Earth`s crust could theoretically do great damage. An atomic weapon detonated in such a hole could potentially do far more damage than one detonated in a city, and i`m sure there is far less security for this hole than around New York.

An even crazier scheme has been proposed to drill a tunnel to the core of the Earth using atom bombs. Even though care will be used to avoid triggering fault lines, it still suggests a very careless disregard for the safety of Mankind to be blasting away with nukes without a decent understanding of the Earth`s inner structure. I`m all for doing something like this on the Moon or Mars, but it strikes me as crazy to experiment with such schemes on the only home of we have. Environmentalists are worried about CO2 in the air? I`d worry more about cracking the Earth open with nukes!

I am not saying we necessarily shouldn`t conduct these experiments; I am simply trying to express a note of caution. Once done, it cannot be undone. Granted, we do need to learn more about the Earth, and a greater understanding of the Earth could potentially have great benefits (imagine if we could have predicted the recent Tsunami in time to evacuate the coast!) but we must be prudent. We need to remember that we are men, not gods. As was told to conquering Roman generals, ``remember, thou art mortal!``

Saturday, April 09, 2005

The Trouble With Africa

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Publius Pundit has a post about the the rigging of the Zimbabwean elections, and about the president of South Africa`s less than concerned attitude towards vote fraud. As I pointed out in the comments section, this is at the root of the troubles in sub-Saharan Africa; lack of an honest, effective electoral system leads to civil wars which are at the root of all of the poverty and suffering throughout the Continent. That President Mbeki dismisses a stolen election by Mugabe as unimportant shows that he is a huge part of the problem, and that the problems are not going away anytime soon. Rhodesia was the breadbasket of Africa, but now as Zimbabwe it has become one more corrupt, impoverished hellhole. Considering South Africa`s President`s views, how far behind Zimbabwe can they be?

Barbarian Invasion

Rush Limbaugh stirred up a hornets nest the other day with his discussion about illegal immigration. His points touched on the lack of enculturation by the illegals, but he failed to follow up on that adequately. I would like to make a few points about this issue.

First, let`s get the economic arguments out of the way. I am rather dubious about the argument that floods of immigration are necessarily good for the economy. Heavy, sustained immigration was critical to the growth and expansion of the United States while we had a frontier, when we had negative unemployment and vast tracks of agricultural land needing to be developed. Likewise, industrialization required uneducated people ready to work hard and long, and immigrants provided the necessary manpower. I doubt that a great influx of immigrants into a post-industrial economy has serious benefit; few will be well educated or trained for the jobs an information-age economy supports, many of the less skilled jobs are being outsourced to India ,and the Ebeneazor Scrooge wages paid for grunt labor will require the immigrants to utilize a considerable amount of government largess, which will require higher taxes and will strain the social services. Rush touched on this in his discussion. Further, they take jobs away from the bottom rung of the economic ladder. The working poor become the unemployed because they are being replaced by illegals at lower wages (who also take advantage of the social safety net). Bear in mind, I`m not talking about legal immigrants; the illegals are here to make money to send to their families in Mexico and elsewhere. They are taking money OUT of the economy. Also, I would like to point out that in a nation which is settled and has essentially full employment, illegals are artificially depressing the market when they break the law and enter the workforce for less than the market will bear.

Having said all that, I really don`t care about the economics of this at all! My problem is one of culture. This is not akin to Italians or Russian Jews coming into the United States in the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries. Those groups came in legally, in relatively small numbers, and came to become Americans. What is occuring along the Mexican border is not immigration-it`s an INVASION! Estimates for the numbers of illegals entering this country are as high as a million people per year! Think about that; the population of the United States is, what? 290 million. That means that in 29 years one tenth of the population of the United States will be illegal immigrants! How can our nation sustain this? We supposedly already have ten million illegals living here. All of these immigrants will have children (Mexicans tend to have large families) and so their numbers will actually rise much faster. If left unchecked, the exponential growth of these illegals will have a profound impact on the demographics, politics, and culture of the United States.

Already we see the signs of the latinization of America; signs in Spanish, product labels in both English and Spanish, a Spanish voice mail menu. This will become more and more prominent in years to come. If the current invasion rate continues, English will appear with continually diminishing frequency (particularly in the southwest and California)until it is mostly gone. I don`t want that! I believe in America, I believe we have the right to maintain our distinct culture and our island of English in a Latin sea. (Consider, there are only three nations on the Continental North America which speak English, and just one in South America! We have a few English speaking islands in the Carribean as well as the Falklands-that`s it! The rest speak either Spanish, Portuguese, French, or, in the case of Surinam, Dutch.) An invasion of culturally indigestible peoples will destroy us.

It has happened many times, to many peoples throughout history. The Roman Empire fell not because of military invasions but because they lost the will to control their borders and allowed far too many non-Roman peoples to immigrate illegally. These Germanic peoples never adopted Roman culture or Roman ways, and they eventually tore the Empire to shreds. In modern times, Lebanon allowed Palestinians to enter as an act of mercy, and the Palestinians began to breed prodigiously. Lebanon went from being a predominantly Christian nation to predominantly Palestinian and Muslim-and Lebanon was destroyed by the civil war which followed. It is entirely possible for a people to lose their Nation by being too soft on illegal immigration. Are we destined to follow?

I have one final thought; a religious and moral musing. Upon their entry to the Promised Land, God warned the ancient Israelites that he was going to remove the indiginous peoples from the land of Canaan because of their immorality. He warned the Children of Israel that He would do likewise to them if they turned away from Him and behaved like the Canaanites. He did exactly as He warned; not once but twice! God blesses a righteous, obedient Nation, and destroys an evil one. Considering the apalling morality we have witnessed in recent years, and the profane disobedient spirit of America (Terri Schiavo and the Deathheads), perhaps God is going to remove US from this land, and give it to another he deems more worthy.

The Exorcists

Carol Iannone, writing in the National Review Online, discusses the actual story behind the exorcism of a young boy in St. Louis which Peter Blatty would adapt into the groundbreaking film The Exorcist. The case is the only documented example of demonic possession in America, and the exorcism was conducted at St. Louis University by Jesuit priests. I thought this would be an interesting piece to blog about since I knew Father Halloran, who was then a young noviciate assisting with the exorcism, and because I attended SLU and picked up a number of interesting stories (which may or may not be true) about what happened.

The exorcism was performed in 1949 by a team of 4 priests and two noviciates led by Fr. William Bowdern (who was something of a legend at SLU for other reasons) and performed at Firman Desloge Hospital (owned by Saint Louis University) on the South Campus, and later moved to Jesuit Hall next to Francis Xavier (College) Church. The exorcism lasted weeks (exorcisms have been known to last years!) and was terribly draining to the participants. Many of the scenes from the Exorcist movie were said to have occured; the boy`s body floating off the bed, projectile vomiting, supernatural physical power, etc. Fr. Halloran had his nose broken by the boy while trying to restrain him. Messages appeared on the boy`s chest and stomach. The most difficult aspect, however, was the psychological attack made by the demon on the exorcists. The demon knew everyone`s weakness and tailored his attacks to demoralize the team.

Father Walter Halloran was at St. Louis University High School when I attended, and I had him for a class in philosophy. (SLUH is a college-prep boys school loosely associated with Saint Louis University and my alma mater.) I didn`t know until much later that he had participated in the exorcism. He always struck me as grumpy and hard-headed, and I now understand why he was grumpy and hard-headed; fighting a physical and spiritual battle with the minions of Hell tends to do that to a man! Much like soldiers who witness horrible things in battle, he (nor any of the others involved in the case) never discussed the exorcism, and I suspect no one would care to bring those bad memories back. I`m sure he had nightmares for the rest of his life.

For those of you who don`t know, exorcism is a specific ritual which can only be performed on orders from high authority in the Catholic Church, and only those specifically authorized are allowed to perform the ritual. A lengthy investigation is conducted to determine if there are any grounds for an exorcism. Most investigations turn up naturalistic causes for the apparent demonic possession, and so the Church does not authorize the ritual. The Church requires documentation of miracles performed by the demon, documentable evidence of supernatural knowledge, etc. The ritual must be performed over and over, and usually requires a team of exorcists who may work months, or even years to drive the devil out. Often it kills the possessed individual, and often it injures or even kills the exorcists themselves. No one in their right mind wants to be part of an exorcism.

Like all exorcisms, this one was gruelling and almost killed the child. Because of the violent nature of the demon and the horrible, evil sounds coming out of the room, the exorcism was moved into Jesuit Hall from the Hospital. Witnesses remarked that the most horrifying noises were heard coming from the room where the boy was housed. A number of people witnessed a vision of the Archangel Michael in the sky at the final moment, and the bells at College Church began ringing of their own accord. The boy, having been freed of the devil, remembered nothing.

The room where the exorcism was held was on the top floor of Jesuit Hall, and the entire floor was supposedly closed after the ritual. It is said that an elderly priest became possessed at this time, and they were unable to drive the demon out so he was locked up by himself until he died. These stories may be urban legends, although I have heard them from some fairly credible sources. None of the Jesuits I know would confirm or deny them.

The passing of Fr. Halloran prompted Carol Iannone to write about the exorcism in National Review, and so I decided I would throw in my two cents worth. (I really wish this had appeared around Holloween.) The point to bear in mind about all of this is that the priests involved were sinners and were weak, but their faith made them fearless and with Christ they were victorious! As Carol points out, these men were true priests willing to sacrifice EVERYTHING to defend an innocent child. They stood firm against the gates of Hell literally, and they did not back down! The world definitely needs more like them!

Friday, April 08, 2005

More Technical Difficulties

Sorry to one and all; I haven`t been able to post due to technical difficulties with e-blogger. Please check back.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Pull The Plug!

"On the bright side, after two weeks of TV coverage of the Terri Schiavo case, I think we have almost all liberals in America on record saying we can pull the plug on them. Of course, if my only means of entertainment were Air America radio, Barbra Streisand albums and reruns of 'The West Wing,' I too would be asking: 'What kind of quality of life is this?'" --Ann Coulter

Ann has got that right; the Democrat Party would be decimated if sentience were to be used as the criterion for life.

Thanks to the Federalist Chronicles.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Hunter Baker on John Paul II

Hunter Baker makes some great points about Pope John Paul II and the reasons for his success in The American Spectator Online today. He addresses social, historical, and cultural trends and explains how John Paul understood these and dealt with them. It`s a great piece.

Monday, April 04, 2005

The Truth Will Out

Throughout the Terri Schiavo affair we were told by the Mainstream Media that the public supported her murder. They conducted polls intimating that she was as good as dead but being kept alive artificially by her crazed religious zealot parents. Now John Zogby conducted a poll with correct information; the results are astounding!

Thanks to Mattias Caro at Potomac Gadfly.

A Light is Extinguished

Sometimes we are priveledged to cohabitate the Earth with greatness. We were fortunate to witness in our lives the collapse of one of the most evil systems ever devised by men, and to see the dawning of freedom throughout the World. Why did communism fail? Because several good men stood against this evil, and, by refusing to back down showed the World just how weak and corrupt it was. Pope John Paul II was one of the principles in the final destruction of the Communist system. Before his courage, his moral authority, and his righteousness the tyrant and the oppressor simply crumbled. We owe John Paul II an enormous debt of gratitude. He was a man history will place among the greatest of Heroes. We were blessed and honored to walk the Earth with such as John Paul II. He was a giant among men. A great light has been extinguished.

I thought it appropriate to reprint the text of the President`s statement and proclamation honoring the Pope:


The Cross Hall

THE PRESIDENT: Laura and I join people across the Earth in mourning the passing of Pope John Paul II. The Catholic Church has lost its shepherd, the world has lost a champion of human freedom, and a good and faithful servant of God has been called home.

Pope John Paul II left the throne of St. Peter in the same way he ascended to it -- as a witness to the dignity of human life. In his native Poland, that witness launched a democratic revolution that swept Eastern Europe and changed the course of history. Throughout the West, John Paul's witness reminded us of our obligation to build a culture of life in which the strong protect the weak. And during the Pope's final years, his witness was made even more powerful by his daily courage in the face of illness and great suffering.

All Popes belong to the world, but Americans had special reason to love the man from Krakow. In his visits to our country, the Pope spoke of our "providential" Constitution, the self-evident truths about human dignity in our Declaration, and the "blessings of liberty" that follow from them. It is these truths, he said, that have led people all over the world to look to America with hope and respect.

Pope John Paul II was, himself, an inspiration to millions of Americans, and to so many more throughout the world. We will always remember the humble, wise and fearless priest who became one of history's great moral leaders. We're grateful to God for sending such a man, a son of Poland, who became the Bishop of Rome, and a hero for the ages




As a mark of respect for His Holiness Pope John Paul II, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and on all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset on the day of his interment. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same period at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this second day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-ninth.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Some Good Blogs

I just wanted to let my readers know about a couple of new blogs I`ve added to the blogroll. Village Fool is an insightful and interesting spot, and well worth checking out. Rerum Novarum is a solid, intellectual blog which deals with philosophy and religions as well as politics. Everyone should look them over; it will repay you handsomely!

Rise of India

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There is an old adage which says ``be careful what you wish for, you might get it``. According to the Daily Standard, the Bush administration is apparently trying to turn India into a superpower. India has always been a tentative ally at best, and has opposed us frequently. The Indians come from a very different social and religious tradition, and may or may not make good allies. (Certainly, Islam is a major religions in India, and one never knows what the future may hold in that regard.) India is essentially a single-party state, which doesn`t exactly place it in the Western camp. I think we should be very careful who we promote to world power. Hinduism recognizes three entities as parts of God (they are pantheists-meaning they think everything and everyone is part of God.) There is Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the preserver, and Shiva the destroyer. Which one will an Indian superpower be?

Thanks, Village Fool!

European Liberals Beat Their Children

I thought violence against women and children came from right-wing wacko extremists! Can this be true? Can progressive, enlightened, liberal Europe have a problem with child abuse? I thought liberals were so much kinder and more compassionate. I thought liberal social organization would remove this barbarity through it`s beneficience and wisdom. Say it ain`t so!

UN agencies launch European campaign to combat deadly family child abuse

16 March 2005 – With family violence killing four children under the age of 14 each day in Europe, and many thousands more enduring years of abuse for every child who dies, the United Nations has launched a continent-wide campaign against the scourge, declaring that “Home sweet home” is a myth for many children.

“For the survivors, the impact lasts a lifetime,” World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Europe, Marc Danzon, said at yesterday’s launch. “Data confirm that abused children pay a long-term price as they are more likely to take dangerous risks in their own lives. This adds to the price our whole society pays with suicides, depression, drug and alcohol abuse, delinquency and domestic violence.”

The campaign is a prelude to the “Stop Violence Against Children. Act Now” regional consultation for Europe and Central Asia, to be held from 5 to 7 July in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The meeting, hosted by the Slovenian Government will tap into the expertise of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), WHO and the Council of Europe as well as input from civil society, including children themselves.

The meeting will also feed into next year’s study on violence against children, led by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, which will look at the different settings in which children suffer violence, including the home. The place where they spend up to 90 per cent of their time – the place where they should be safest – is for too many the most dangerous of all. A UNICEF youth poll in 2001 found that 60 per cent of children in Europe and Central Asia say they face violent or aggressive behaviour at home from parents and caregivers.

“The cosy assumption that children are always safe and protected in their own homes is called into question by the evidence,” said Maria Calivis, UNICEF Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Baltic States. “The study on violence against children challenges us to get a true picture of the scale of the problem but it also presents us with a powerful opportunity to address it. How can we support families in stress and prevent violence in the first place? And how can society create an environment that protects children? These are questions we want to answer,” she added.

Drug and alcohol abuse are among the most common and serious family problems contributing to violence against children in the home. Estimates from industrialized countries suggest that between 40 per cent and 70 per cent of men who use physical violence against their partners also use violence against their children, and that about half of the women who are physically abused also abuse their children.

The good news is that child deaths from maltreatment appear to be declining in the great majority of industrialized countries.

The study will recall that all countries must enact or repeal legislation as needed to prohibit all forms of violence, however slight, within the family. The different patterns of family abuse must be addressed. Concrete interventions must also be made for different groups of children according to their age, their vulnerability, and their evolving capacities as subjects of human rights.

The WHO world report on violence and health outlines some effective solutions, including training in parenting, providing parents with information about child development and teaching them to use consistent child-rearing methods and to manage family conflict. It also proposes home visiting programmes involving regular visits from a nurse or other health professional to families in special need of support with childcare or where there is an identified risk of child maltreatment.

The Right to Catch V.D.

It is now the law of the land in Illinois that pharmacists must give teens birth control. They will go to jail if they sell them cigarettes, but they have to sell them the Pill-and allow them to catch every venereal disease known to man. (You die a lot faster from AIDS then from smoking.) Heck, you can at least let the kids have a smoke after sex! Wires
Saturday, April 2, 2005
CHICAGO -- Gov. Rod Blagojevich approved an emergency rule Friday requiring pharmacies to fill birth control prescriptions quickly after a Chicago pharmacist refused to fill an order because of moral opposition to the drug.

The emergency rule takes effect immediately for 150 days while the administration seeks a permanent rule.
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"Our regulation says that if a woman goes to a pharmacy with a prescription for birth control, the pharmacy or the pharmacist is not allowed to discriminate or to choose who he sells it to," Blagojevich said. "No delays. No hassles. No lectures."
Under the new rule, if a pharmacist does not fill the prescription because of a moral objection, another pharmacist must be available to fill it without delay.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has also filed a formal complaint against the Chicago Osco pharmacy for the Feb. 23 incident.

The pharmacy was cited for "failing to provide appropriate pharmaceutical care to a patient." Penalties could include a fine, reprimand or revocation of the pharmacy's license.

An Osco spokeswoman did not immediately return a call Friday.

Steve Trombley, CEO for Planned Parenthood in Chicago, praised the state's efforts.

"When medical professionals write prescriptions for their patients, they are acting in their patients' best interests," Trombley said. "A pharmacist's personal views cannot intrude on the relationship between a woman and her doctor."

The Chicago pharmacist was not the first to attract attention for refusing to fill a birth control prescription.

In February, a judge recommended that a Roman Catholic pharmacist in Wisconsin be reprimanded and required to attend ethics classes after the pharmacist blocked a woman's attempt to fill a prescription for birth control pills in 2002.

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