Wednesday, June 30, 2004
"How much does the license cost?"
"It's only four dollars. Is your pet neutered?"
Disdainful look at me then a sideways glance at the other lady. "In that case, it'll be eight dollars." That's fine with me. I chose to leave the brown hound "intact" and if that means paying $4 extra, so be it.
The lady continues, "would you like to get him neutered?"
"No, but thanks for asking."
"No," she looks at her companion again obviously thinking that I am a horrible pet owner.
For some reason, I try to reason with them by saying, "he's such a handsome dog that I breed him."
At this the temperature in the room seemed to drop and the other lady finally chimes in, "you and about 9,000 other people."
I decided that I had better quit while I was ahead. I took my license and left. I try to temper my reaction to them because they work at the humane society and see hundreds of stray and abandoned pets. It irratates me that they assumed that I was irresponsible. How would their reaction had changed if I told them that I bred my dog and trained the puppies as companion animals or search and rescue dogs? I'll never know because I didn't think of that until about 2 hours after I left. Never fails.
Added to the Beltway Traffic Jam.
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Take, for example, Mark 1:4. The King James Version reads: "John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins."So did you notice the play on Peter's name? Pretty clever huh? Not!
The "Good as New" version?
"John, nicknamed 'The Dipper,' was 'The Voice.' He was in the desert, inviting people to be dipped, to show they were determined to change their ways and wanted to be forgiven."
The KJV translation of Matthew 26:69-70 reads: "Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, 'Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.' But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest."
The "Good as New" version?
"Meanwhile Rocky was still sitting in the courtyard. A woman came up to him and said: 'Haven't I seen you with Jesus, the hero from Galilee?" Rocky shook his head and said: 'I don't know what the hell you're talking about!'"
The first part of this post is here.
Best of the Web Today.
Why do liberals think it is a sin to do well in your life?
Monday, June 28, 2004
"A minor political note, if you're interested in such things. The other day a young girl came to the door to solicit my support for her presidential candidate. I asked her why I should vote for this man. She was very nice and earnest, but if you got her off the talking points she was utterly unprepared to argue anything, because she didn't know what she was talking about. She had bullet points, and she believed that any reasonable person would see the importance of these issues and naturally fall in line. But she could not support any of her assertions. Her final selling point: Kerry would roll back the tax cuts.
Then came the Parable of the Stairs, of course. My tiresome, shopworn, oft-told tale, a piece of unsupportable meaningless anecdotal drivel about how I turned my tax cut into a nice staircase that replaced a crumbling eyesore, hired a few people and injected money far and wide - from the guys who demolished the old stairs, the guys who built the new one, the family firm that sold the stone, the other firm that rented the Bobcats, the entrepreneur who fabricated the railings in his garage, and the guy who did the landscaping. Also the company that sold him the plants. And the light fixtures. It's called economic activity. What's more, home improvements added to the value of this pile, which mean that my assessment would increase, bumping up my property taxes. To say nothing of the general beautification of the neighborhood. Next year, if my taxes didn't shoot up, I had another project planned. Raise my taxes, and it won't happen - I won't hire anyone, and they won't hire anyone, rent anything, buy anything. You see?
"Well, it's a philosophical difference," she sniffed. She had pegged me as a form of life last seen clilcking the leash off a dog at Abu Ghraib. “I think the money should have gone straight to those people instead of trickling down.” Those last two words were said with an edge.
“But then I wouldn’t have hired them,” I said. “I wouldn’t have new steps. And they wouldn’t have done anything to get the money.”
“Well, what did you do?” she snapped.
“What do you mean?”
“Why should the government have given you the money in the first place?”
“They didn’t give it to me. They just took less of my money.”
That was the last straw. Now she was angry. And the truth came out:
“Well, why is it your money? I think it should be their money.”
Then she left.
And walked down the stairs. I let her go without charging a toll. It’s the philanthropist in me.
That is one of the biggest difference between liberals and conservatives. Liberals see tax cuts as government giving money away, usually to the "wrong" people. Conservatives know that tax cuts means the government is taking less of their money and leaving it in the pockets of those who earned it.
"The daylong proceedings Saturday comprised many of the theatrics not seen in mainstream political parties, including outright denunciations of the United States, literature praising Communist dictator Fidel Castro and even a ballot cast for the late Socialist Eugene Debs.
The convention hall stage didn't even have an actual American flag.
Instead, in the usual place of honor for Old Glory, was displayed a flag with the picture of the Earth. On the other side was an altered American flag with a peace sign where the stars would be."
They also told Nader to pack sand and nominated David Cobb to be their presidential candidate. Look for tin foil hats with "Cobb for President" at your local "tobacco accessories" store soon.
Friday, June 25, 2004
"Many will recall with pain what we went through in the Reagan administration in 1983, when the Marine barracks were bombed in Beirut-241 Marines and Navy corpsmen were killed. We immediately got an intercept from NSA [National Security Agency], a total smoking gun from the foreign ministry of Iran, ordering the murder of our Marines. Nothing was done to retaliate.
"Instead, we did exactly what the terrorists wanted us to do, which was to withdraw. Osama bin Laden has cited this as one of his dawning moments. The vaunted United States is a paper tiger; Americans are afraid of casualties; they run like cowards when attacked; and they don't even bother to take their dead with them. This was a seminal moment for Osama.
"After that, we had our CIA station chief kidnapped and tortured to death. Nothing was done. Then, we had our Marine Colonel [William R.] Higgins kidnapped and publicly hanged. Nothing was done. We fuelled and made these people aware of the tremendous effectiveness of terrorism as a tool of jihad. It worked. They chased us out of one place after another, because we would not retaliate."
Hat Tip; A Collection of Thoughts
Added to the Beltway Traffic Jam on Outside the Beltway.
Thursday, June 24, 2004
Another view from the Crystal Ball
By Larry J. Sabato
Director, UVa Center for Politics
June 24, 2004
Back on June 10, we issued an analysis that suggested just how similar the election of 1980--Carter v. Reagan v. Anderson--was to the election of 2004--Bush v. Kerry v. Nader. (http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/updates_04-06-10.htm) Remarkably, just in the last week or so, we have heard our words used, almost verbatim (and in the news business tradition, without attribution), by quite a number of news analysts and commentators. So be it, as imitation is the highest form of flattery!
But the contrarian in us is rebelling, now that our thinking has become the dreaded conventional wisdom, embraced by the noxious Beltway pundit class.
Is there another way of looking at the same two election years? Is the Pope Catholic? Here with a few differences, to balance the similarities to 1980 we offered earlier:
- Jimmy Carter would have given his right leg and left foot for the kind of sterling economy George W. Bush is presenting to the American public. A recession that likely began at the end of the Clinton administration, aggravated by the 9/11 attacks, has given way to a low-inflation, low-interest rates, job-creating, income-producing machine that is easily the equal of the one Bill Clinton claimed credit for in his reelection bid of 1996. By contrast, Carter had to defend an economic basket case of double-digit inflation, sky-high interest rates, and an ongoing recession. The American public's sour mood on the economy should begin to lift as the positive fiscal statistics continue to mount (assuming the news media gives even half the credit to Bush that they gave to Clinton under similar circumstances in 1996.) Advantage: Bush
- Iraq and our foreign policy generally are not current pluses for Bush, but there are genuine rays of sunlight. The June 30 handover appears to be going better than expected so far, the United Nations is joining the action once again, and our most critical allies are lightening up and even helping the United States. By contrast, Carter had an intractable mess in Iran, and little hope of resolving it before the election. Advantage: Bush
- President Bush's popularity has stabilized in the mid-to-upper 40s, after a dangerous period of flirting with the below-40 mark--which signals almost certain electoral doom. Bush is not yet in safe territory (above 50), but he is far from the 30s dungeon frequented by President Carter in 1980 and his own father in 1992. Advantage: Bush
- John Anderson of Illinois, the former Republican congressman, actually rated in the mid-20s in most public opinion polls in the spring and summer of 1980, before declining, as most third party presidential candidates do in the fall, and finishing at 7 percent on Election Day. By contrast, Ralph Nader, on average, is around 5 percent or 6 percent now, and we believe he is headed for a finish below his 2.7 percent in 2000. There is no question that Nader's relative weakness in 2004 aids John Kerry, yet the focus this year is more clearly on a straight choice of Bush or Kerry. A strong historical argument can be made that when a third-party candidate is on the rise and faring well, it signals intense dissatisfaction with the incumbent White House and the likely downfall of the incumbent president in November (Bull Moose Teddy Roosevelt in 1912, George Wallace in 1968, John Anderson in 1980, Ross Perot in 1992, Ralph Nader in 2000). As always, the twentieth century exception was the ultimate presidential comeback kid, Harry Truman in 1948, who survived strong third-party bids by Strom Thurmond on the right and Henry Wallace on the left. (See our discussion of Bush as Truman at http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/updates_04-05-20.htm) So, to conclude, the decline of a strong third-party alternative in 2004 could actually be read as a good sign for Bush. Advantage: Bush
- It almost goes without saying that John Kerry is no Ronald Reagan. Of course, George Bush isn't either. We have often called "W" the most inarticulate president of our lifetime. But one could argue that it takes the special skill of a Great Communicator like Reagan (or Bill Clinton in 1992) to oust an incumbent president, given all the inherent advantages that accrue to the occupant of the White House. While Kerry partisans will no doubt insist that their man is "good in small groups" and all the rest, his presence on the big stage is, well, lacking. His face appears to crack when he smiles, and the Democrat is often a cross between a funeral director and Lurch of The Addams Family. Advantage: Bush
There, we feel much better now. The Crystal Ball's role, at least on occasion, is to contradict conventional wisdom, not add weight to it. Also, we've now come down squarely on both sides of the fence, guaranteeing that we will be right (and wrong) come Nov. 2!
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
In Corinthians, Paul says, "It is well for a man not to touch a woman. But because of the temptation to immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband." Well, that's just too old-fashioned for today's enlightened generation. Now the words being put in St Paul's mouth are, "Some of you think the best way to cope with sex is for men and women to keep right away from each other. That is more likely to lead to sexual offences. My advice is for everyone to have a regular partner."
Why is society so desperate to distance itself from individual responsibility? Now we are seeing a form of Christianity in which sin does not exist. It does exist, there is a hell and satan is not some guy in red with a pitchfork.
Many of us just shrug and think that it is just a fad that will pass and continue on with our lives. It's not a fad, we have to be sure in our faith and not be afraid to express them. We must make sure that the Church does not become some quaint thing that we used to believe in.
Added to the Beltway Traffic Jam on Outside the Beltway.
A few days went by with no sign of a verdict from the principal. Actually, it was a nice break from the chaos and it gave me time to reflect over all that was happening. I have to admit being called a racist, a bastard, and being threatened hurt. I had seen first-hand just how angry and blind the left could be. The school year's end was fast approaching and I began to doubt I would be allowed to repost the signs - perhaps freedom of speech would not prevail over political correctness at my school.
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Debra Burlingame, whose brother was the pilot of Flight 77, writes on the 9/11 Commission.
Today, the great hopes I had for an independent, bipartisan investigation into the events of 9/11 have given way to great sadness. After the Senate and House Joint Inquiry into intelligence activities leading up to 9/11 was published in 2002, I had a different perspective about who was responsible for the attacks. It was everyone, and no one. It was the systemic and institutional problems in the information-gathering, analysis and reporting structures of our dozen or more intelligence agencies. It was the legal barriers that prevented law enforcement and intelligence services from talking to each other. It was Cold War modalities that no longer applied to very evil men with apocalyptic delusions operating in adaptive networks with cell phones and laptops, and supported by millions and millions of dollars. It was our own fat complacency, refusing to see what was happening around us as American soldiers, sailors and civilians were being blown up abroad. It was the airline lobbyists who looked after their well-heeled clients as we fashioned airline security measures that called upon ACLU lawyers rather than law enforcement experts for advice about passenger screening.
Added to the Beltway Traffic Jam on Outside the Beltway.
Coast Guard Reflects on 60th Anniversary of D-Day Participation
WASHINGTON – “Going into the beach it looked like the beach was covered with driftwood—when we got close we realized the beach was covered with bodies,” noted U.S. Coast Guard Radioman 3rd Class Leroy C. Bowen, Jr., crewman aboard LCI 83 that landed Allied forces and extracted wounded from French beaches 60 years ago Sunday.
Bowen’s landing craft was one of many Coast Guard-manned ships that participated in the D-Day landings June 6, 1944—a day that would prove to be one of the bloodiest in the Coast Guard’s long history. According to Coast Guard Historian Scott Price, of the 99 Coast Guard-manned warships that participated during D-Day missions, six were lost and many others seriously damaged; 18 Coast Guardsmen died and 38 others wounded.
VADM James D. Hull, the Coast Guard’s Atlantic Area Commander represented the service during D-Day commemorations in Normandy. Elsewhere, Coast Guard units around the world took a moment to reflect on this significant moment in its service’s history before returning its focus on securing the nation against terrorist attacks.
Coast Guardsmen manned transport ships that carried soldiers from England to French shores; manned landing craft that delivered soldiers to French beaches and extracted wounded under heavy German small arms and artillery fire; and manned patrol craft that escorted U.S. and British landing craft to and from beach landings and plucked wounded sailors and soldiers from the churning, bloody surf.
Many heroes cemented their legacy in U.S. History that fateful day and among them were several Coast Guardsmen. To view the list of decorated Coast Guard D-Day heroes, visit http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g%2Dcp/history/Normandy_Heroes.html.
As for Radioman 3rd Class Bowen, his landing craft, LCI-83, contacted a mine that blew out a portion of the bottom and forward part of number one troop compartment. He and his shipmates abandoned their ship and raced to the beach with their just-landed infantry passengers where they waited until low tide. While under heavy enemy fire, Bowen and his shipmates returned to LCI-83 and patched the hull well enough to rush back to England for repairs.
For more background into the U.S. Coast Guard’s vital role during the D-Day invasion to liberate France, visit http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-cp/history/Normandy_Index.html or call the Coast Guard Historian in Washington, DC at (202) 267-2596.
For Coast Guard World War II information, visit http://www.uscg.mil/news/WWII/WWII.htm.
For more Coast Guard news and information, visit http://www.uscg.mil/news/cgnews.shtm.
A few excerpts;
To describe this film as dishonest and demagogic would almost be to promote those terms to the level of respectability. To describe this film as a piece of crap would be to run the risk of a discourse that would never again rise above the excremental. To describe it as an exercise in facile crowd-pleasing would be too obvious. Fahrenheit 9/11 is a sinister exercise in moral frivolity, crudely disguised as an exercise in seriousness. It is also a spectacle of abject political cowardice masking itself as a demonstration of "dissenting" bravery.
A film that bases itself on a big lie and a big misrepresentation can only sustain itself by a dizzying succession of smaller falsehoods, beefed up by wilder and (if possible) yet more-contradictory claims. President Bush is accused of taking too many lazy vacations. (What is that about, by the way? Isn't he supposed to be an unceasing planner for future aggressive wars?) But the shot of him "relaxing at Camp David" shows him side by side with Tony Blair. I say "shows," even though this photograph is on-screen so briefly that if you sneeze or blink, you won't recognize the other figure. A meeting with the prime minister of the United Kingdom, or at least with this prime minister, is not a goof-off.
Indeed, Moore's affected and ostentatious concern for black America is one of the most suspect ingredients of his pitch package. In a recent interview, he yelled that if the hijacked civilians of 9/11 had been black, they would have fought back, unlike the stupid and presumably cowardly white men and women (and children). Never mind for now how many black passengers were on those planes—we happen to know what Moore does not care to mention: that Todd Beamer and a few of his co-passengers, shouting "Let's roll," rammed the hijackers with a trolley, fought them tooth and nail, and helped bring down a United Airlines plane, in Pennsylvania, that was speeding toward either the White House or the Capitol. There are no words for real, impromptu bravery like that, which helped save our republic from worse than actually befell. The Pennsylvania drama also reminds one of the self-evident fact that this war is not fought only "overseas" or in uniform, but is being brought to our cities. Yet Moore is a silly and shady man who does not recognize courage of any sort even when he sees it because he cannot summon it in himself. To him, easy applause, in front of credulous audiences, is everything.
That is a very small sampling of the article. I highly recommend reading the entire column.
Michael Moore is a perfect example of if you keep telling a lie, no matter how big, over and over again, people will eventually take it as the truth. That is what Moore is doing. He is parroting, "Bush lied!" The truth is, "Moore Lied."
Hat tip Southern Appeal.
Monday, June 21, 2004
"Don't blame the media for jumping on the politically charged Zelikow report. Blame the commission's leaders for ducking responsibility for its interim findings. Kean and Hamilton have allowed themselves to be jerked around by a manipulative staff.
I hate how this commissionhas become so political. But it was totally inevitable. The only purpose I see it having is to gather up primary sources of information that historians will explore in years to come. Hopefully, they'll be a little more objective in their finding.
If there was to be a congressional commission, it should have been formed in a non-election year.
Sunday, June 20, 2004
Saturday, June 19, 2004
Friday, June 18, 2004
Of course the vast majority of the bishops in the Anglican Communion are opposed to what the Episcopal Church is doing. Has anyone else noticed that when a few countries oppose our actions in Iraq, the liberals are up in arms about us "alienating" the enitre world but when quite a substantial number of dioceses around the world oppose the election of a homosexual bishop, there's no mention of "world opinion."
The Bishop of Vermont Thomas Ely is quoted as saying, ''The commitment we are asking of persons who are entering into holy unions is of the same nature as the commitment we are asking of couples who are entering holy matrimony." He is actually calling these Holy Unions! What an affront to the explicit teachings of the Bible.
It seems to be a movement in the United States that people are no longer responsible for their actions. The line of thought goes that if you say someone is wrong, then you are making a judgement. That isn't right since it is intolerant. Therefore, there can be no sin since that is saying that someone is wrong.
There is good and evil in this world and we better start realizing it soon.
Tracked back to Outside the Beltway
The war was the right thing to do then, and in hindsight it was still the right thing to do. We can’t overthrow every murderous tyrant in the world, but when we can, we should. Take it from someone who was there, and who stood to lose everything. We must, and will, stay the course. We owe it to the Iraqis, and to the world.
Thursday, June 17, 2004
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
The similarities to 2004 are many:
- Foreign policy seemed a mess, with the United States bogged down in a protracted crisis in the Middle East (Iran in 1980, Iraq in 2004).
- Americans were unhappy about the economy, and gloomy about their financial futures.
- Our primary international enemy appeared to be on the march and achieving major goals (the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in 1980, al Qaeda and terrorism in 2004).
- As a consequence of all this, a sizeable majority said the country was seriously off on the wrong track.
- Many voters, approaching or exceeding a majority, questioned whether the incumbent President and his team were competent enough to handle the myriad challenges before them.
- An independent candidate for President added to the confusion of the election (John Anderson in 1980, Ralph Nader in 2004).
- The country as a whole was uncertain what to do, and torn between keeping the devil they knew--Carter, Bush--or turning to an untested and ideologically 'extreme' alternative--Reagan on the right, Kerry on the left.
Amazing, isn't it? And remember how unreliable the polls were for much of 1980. In the Gallup survey, for instance, Carter led Reagan substantially early in the year, but gradually the race became a seesaw statistical dead heat, with one or the other candidate ahead by just a few points all the way to late October.
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Monday, June 14, 2004
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals - the same court that ruled "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional - now has declared unconstitutional a large white cross in the Mojave Desert, and for the same reason.
The cross - a war memorial erected by the Veterans of Foreign Wars - stands in the Mojave National Preserve. The ACLU sued the Park Service three years ago, claiming it violates the separation of church and state. The Ninth Circuit agreed.
"This case is really quite simple," said an ACLU lawyer. "Using a sectarian religious symbol is not permissible on federal land. Sometimes you just have to hit them over the head three, four, or five times . . . .If we want to have a war memorial on federal land, the government certainly knows how to do that without using a divisive sectarian religious symbol."
. . . Actually, "you just have to hit them over the head" a few hundred thousand times, if not more. Headstones at Arlington National Cemetery have crosses engraved on them. So do headstones at the scores of other national cemeteries across the country.
Perhaps the ACLU thinks all those headstones should be replaced. We'd suggest letting the dead rest in peace.
UPDATE Outside the Beltway's daily Beltway Traffic Jam is now up. Enjoy!
I plan to talk about current events, especially politics. I'll try to drop a few other random posts on other subjects as well. Some things I imagine I'll talk about are books that I'm reading, recipes that I tried (and liked) and maybe some stuff about my dog. We'll see how it goes.
Thank you for taking the time to check me out.