Friday, September 30, 2005

The Problems of the Poor....

The following is a great post courtesy of Hispanic Pundit, it is originally from Meagan McCreadle , deputy countries editor of She is known in the blogging community as the Jane Galt of Asymmetrical Information. Read on folks:

The poor really are different.

The post below is complicated, for some conservatives, by the fact that if the poor acted like the middle class, they wouldn’t have problems like no credit or savings.
If poor people did just four things, the poverty rate would be a fraction of what it currently is. Those four things are:

1) Finish high school
2) Get married before having children
3) Have no more than two children
4) Work full time

These are things that 99% of middle class people take as due course. In addition, there’s some pretty good evidence that many people who are poor have personality problems that substantially contribute to their poverty.
For example, people with a GED do not experience significant earnings improvement over people who have not graduated from high school. In this credential-mad world, this simply should not be. And it is true even though people with a GED are apparently substantially more intelligent than people without a GED.
How can this be? Even if the GED were totally worthless, available evidence seems to indicate that intelligence carries a premium in the labour market.
The best explanation seems to be that people with a GED (as a group) are smart people with poor impulse control. What intelligence giveth, a tendency to make bad decisions taketh away. Anyone who has spent any time mentoring or working with poor families is familar with the maddening sensation of watching someone you care about make a devastating decision that no middle class person in their right mind would ever assent to.
So I think that conservatives are right that many of the poor dig themselves in deeper. But conservatives tend to take a moralistic stance towards poverty that radically underestimates how much cultural context determines our ability to make good decisions.
Sure, I go to work every day, pay my bills on time, don’t run a credit card balance and don’t have kids out of wedlock because I am planning for my future. But I also do these things because my parents spent twenty or so years drumming a fear of debt, unemployment, and illegitimacy into my head. And if I announce to my friends that I’ve just decided not to go to work because it’s a drag, they will look at me funny–and if I do it repeatedly, they may well shun me as a loser. If I can’t get a house because I’ve screwed up my credit, middle class society will look upon me with pity, which is painful to endure. If I have a baby with no father in sight, my grandmother will cry, my mother will yell, and my colleagues will act a little odd at the sight of my swelling belly.
In other words, middle class culture is such that bad long-term decision making also has painful short-term consequences. This does not, obviously, stop many middle class people from becoming addicted to drugs, flagrantly screwing up at work, having children they can’t take care of, and so forth. But on the margin, it prevents a lot of people from taking steps that might lead to bankruptcy and deprivation. We like to think that it’s just us being the intrinsically worthy humans that we are, but honestly, how many of my nice middle class readers had the courage to drop out of high school and steal cars for a living?
I’m not really kidding. I mean, I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I was eighteen, if my peer group had taken up swallowing razor blades I would have been happily killed myself trying to set a world record. And if they had thought school was for losers and the cool thing to do was to hang out all day listening to music and running dime bags for the local narcotics emporium, I would have been right there with them. Lucky for me, my peer group thought that the most important thing in the entire world was to get an ivy league diploma, so I went to Penn and ended up shilling for drug companies on my blog.
Maybe you were different. But think back to the times–and you know there were times–when trying to win the approval of your peers convinced you to do things that were stupid, wrong, or both. Remember what it felt like to be sixteen and skinny and maybe not as charming and self confident as others around you, and ask yourself if you’d really be able to withstand their derision in order to go to college–especially if you didn’t even know anyone who’d ever been to college, or have any but the haziest idea of what one might do when one got out. Try to imagine deciding to get a BA when doing so means cutting yourself off from the only world you know and launching yourself into a scary new place where everyone’s wealthier, better educated, and more assured than you are.
Or take a minute right now and try to imagine how your friends would react if you announced that you’d decided to quit work, have a baby, and go on welfare. They’d make you feel like an outsider, wouldn’t they? And isn’t that at least part of the reason that you don’t step outside of any of the behavioural boundaries that the middle class has set for itself?
Bad peer groups, like good ones, create their own equilibrium. Doing things that prevent you from attaining material success outside the group can become an important sign off loyalty to the group, which of course just makes it harder to break out of a group, even if it is destined for prison and/or poverty. I think it is fine, even necessary, to recognize that these groups have value systems which make it very difficult for individual members to get a foothold on the economic ladder. But I think conservatives need to be a lot more humble about how easily they would break out of such groups if that is where they had happened to be born.
That leaves us in a rather awkward place, because while I don’t agree with conservatives that the poor are somehow worse people than we are, I also don’t agree with liberals that money is the answer. Money buys material goods, which are not really the biggest problem that most poor people in America have. And I don’t know how you go about providing the things they’re missing: the robust social networks, the educational and occupational opportunity, the ability to construct a long-term life instead of one that is lived day-to-day. I think that we should remove the barriers, like poor schools, that block achievement from without, but I don’t know what to do about the equally powerful barriers that block it from within.
But I also don’t think that the answer is to use those barriers as an excuse to wash our hands of the matter.
As someone who grew up in Compton, California, I have a hard time accepting the extremes on both sides of the political aisle. On one hand, I cannot accept the lefts philosophy that the primary problems affecting the poor are racism and materialistic needs, however, on the other hand, I can’t accept the rights philosophy that the poor ‘have only themselves to blame’, as if anybody else would have been drastically different had they grown up in the same neighborhood under the same circumstances.
In other words, yes the problem is not primarily racial, it is not primarily financially related, but at the same time nobody intentionally wants to be poor, cultural surroundings, parental upbringing, peer groups, and yes, economic circumstances all mixed in together create environments where even the best of people can get sucked into the circle of poverty.
Jane Galt is a rarity; she understands both, the economic tools necessary to create change, and the proper outlook that addresses the problem at its core (You can’t fix the problem if you don’t know what the problem is). A combination I rarely see in others, economists Thomas Sowell (
here and here), Roland G. Fryer Jr. (here and here) and Walter Williams (here and here), are other examples of those who also exhibit this rare combination.

Now, if only I could get her to write more on poverty, and how to address it…

ACLU wins Abu Ghraib ruling....

Prepare for another bash-America festival - today the ACLU, the worst organization in the U.S., won a court case concerning the release of more Abu Ghraib photos.
U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerston ordered the release of 74 still pictures and three videotapes that might show U.S. soldiers abusing prisoners in Iraq.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

A bit more on Tom Delay....

Lawyer and blogger extraordinaire,

  • John Hinderaker over at Power Line
  • has a great take on the Tom Delay's to Ronnie Earle falling flat on his face.

    More on the Professional Griever...

    You almost get the feeling that Cindy Sheehan's son dying was probably the best thing to happen to her. She is lovin' it! Cindy, what do you think your son you mention so much would say about your behavior?Good thing that Cindy latched on to Al and Jesse. Now she has "credibility".

    Larry Elder writes:

    Anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan attempted to get Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., to lead the charge for the immediate withdrawal of troops. Sen. Clinton refused, calling the Iraq War a "complicated situation." For Sen. Clinton, no fool, knows about Sheehan's irresponsible statements, including:

    "I don't understand" the "Gold Star Moms who still support [Bush] and his war," and "I . . . pray for these 'continue the murder and mayhem' moms to see the light." [From her online diary, Aug. 27, 2005]
    Saddam Hussein and Donald Rumsfeld are "kindred spirits." [Online diary, Aug. 24, 2005]
    Her son "was killed for lies and for a . . . Neo-Con agenda to benefit Israel." [From an e-mail to "Nightline," March 15, 2005]
    The president and "his destructive Neo-con cabal" are "the biggest terrorist outfit in the world." [From her essay, June 6, 2005]
    "We are waging a nuclear war in Iraq right now. That country is contaminated. It will be contaminated for practically eternity now." [San Francisco State University speech, April 27, 2005]
    The Bush administration is "a bunch of f---ing hypocrites." [San Francisco State University speech, April 27, 2005]
    "If George Bush believes his rhetoric and his bulls--t, that this is a war for freedom and democracy, that he is spreading freedom and democracy, does he think every person he kills makes Iraq more free?" [San Francisco State University speech, April 27, 2005]
    Bush "needs to sign up his two little party-animal girls. They need to go to this war." [San Francisco State University speech, April 27, 2005]
    " . . . [W]e have to impeach everybody from George Bush down to the person who picks up dog s--t in Washington. . . . " [San Francisco State University speech, April 27, 2005]
    For a different perspective, consider the letter recently I received from a father who lost his own son in Iraq:

    I was a philosophy professor; I am a former Marine; I am a conservative; and I am absolutely furious at Cindy Sheehan.
    Why is this woman receiving the attention she is getting? Why is the media giving this woman the opportunity to profligately disseminate an obviously radical left-wing platform when there are those of us who are experiencing the same loss of a child killed in Iraq, and yet we don't get the opportunity to appear before thousands of people to share our thoughts and platforms? Is it because they support her and yet can't express the same views without losing credibility?
    I didn't vote for the president in the 2000 election. I didn't trust his politics. When he was elected in 2004, he was my choice only as a protest vote. . . . Yet after 9/11 (I am a former New Yorker), I thought he demonstrated that he was a leader. When he decided to fight terrorism abroad, I was encouraged. My son then decided to enlist in the Army. As a former Marine, I couldn't oppose him, yet I wanted him to wait until the heat of the conflict passed. He refused; he was resolute; he wanted to go.
    My understanding is that Mrs. Sheehan's son volunteered three times, including the mission that finally took his life. My son didn't volunteer for the mission that took his life. Her son was killed in the line of duty and should receive all honors that go with that sacrifice. My son was killed (28 Jan 05) protecting the Iraqi people during the preparation leading up to the elections in Iraq. My son died four days shy of his 21st birthday, and he was killed by friendly fire.
    Now let me ask you, who has more of a right to go barnstorming around the country vilifying the president than I? Friendly fire, Larry. How dare she insult and degrade the memory of her son, my son and all the men and women killed there by her shameless politicking! I understand better than most the depth, breadth, width and length of her grief at the loss of a child. I am reminded every day of his loss; I miss him more than words could ever express. I, however, would never dishonor him or others by a selfish, self-serving display of radical politics wrapped in false pain.
    I carry a unit pin from the 25th infantry division with me constantly, as a reminder of my son's service. I wear his dog tags along with mine as reminder of his sacrifice. Every time I see Mrs. Sheehan I cry out of anger, rage, disappointment and frustration at the dishonor she has levied on those who have fallen.
    My son Stephen (pronounced Steven) Castellano, and dare I say all others who have died providing for the freedom of Iraq people, deserves better. . . .
    By the way, I supported the president in his decision -- and still do.

    Sincerely, Paul A. Castellano

    Mr. Castellano, thank you for your family's sacrifice -- a sacrifice that ensures our freedom, including that of Cindy Sheehan.

    Wednesday, September 28, 2005

    Time to get focused..........

    Fred Barnes' analysis over at the
  • Weekly Standard
  • should get the ball rolling for the GOP to focus on their 2008 candidate for President. Who's it going to be?

    A few months back, I went to go see Michael Medved speak at the Mesa Convention Center in Mesa, AZ, his theory is that Dick Cheney will step down, citing health reasons and that Pres. Bush will appoint either George Allen, Bill Frist or Rudy Guliani (my vote is Sen. Allen). He says this because if Cheney chooses not to run (and he's says he does not want to), this will be the first time in over 50 years that the incumbent party will not have a candidate running for President. If you thought the 2004 election was intense, wait until 2008.

    If you haven't taken the
  • Patrick Ruffini poll
  • yet, go check it out.

    This one could sting........

  • Ankle Biting Pundits
  • doesn't really paint a pretty picture of the Tom Delay indictment.........would have to agree:

    Look folks, there's not good way to try an spin this. Tom DeLay, as expected, has been indicted for campaign finance violations. There's an old saying that "a ham sandwich can be indicted", and by no means is it evidence of guilt. However, in politics, perception is reality, and even if DeLay is cleared eventually the media and the Democrats are going to have a field day. Of course, if DeLay did break the law he should pay the price. And let's not forget the DA who indicted him is a political hack who pulled a similar stunt on Kay Bailey Hutchinson, which was exposed as a partisan witch hunt.
    But politically, this is trouble for the GOP...
    ...Plus, like it or not any GOP candidate who received money from his PAC (and there are many) is going to painted as a crook.
    Buckle up people, it's going to be a rough ride for a while, and there's going to be more valleys than peaks in the short term. What this will mean long term is unclear pending the outcome of DeLay's case.

    DeLay has issued the following statement:

    These charges have no basis in the facts or the law. This is just another example of Ronnie Earle misusing his office for partisan vendettas. Despite the clearly political agenda of this prosecutor, Congressman DeLay has cooperated with officials throughout the entire process. Even in the last two weeks, Ronnie Earle himself had acknowledged publicly that Mr. DeLay was not a target of his investigation. However, as with many of Ronnie Earle's previous partisan investigations, Ronnie Earle refused to let the facts or the law get in the way of his partisan desire to indict a political foe.
    This purely political investigation has been marked by illegal grand jury leaks, a fundraising speech by Ronnie Earle for Texas Democrats that inappropriately focused on the investigation, misuse of his office for partisan purposes, and extortion of money for Earle's pet projects from corporations in exchange for dismissing indictments he brought against them. Ronnie Earle's previous misuse of his office has resulted in failed prosecutions and we trust his partisan grandstanding will strike out again, as it should.
    Ronnie Earle's 1994 indictment against Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison was quickly dismissed and his charges in the 1980s against former Attorney General Jim Mattox-another political foe of Earle-fell apart at trial.
    We regret the people of Texas will once again have their taxpayer dollars wasted on Ronnie Earle's pursuit of headlines and political paybacks. Ronnie Earle began this investigation in 2002, after the Democrat Party lost the Texas state legislature to Republicans. For three years and through numerous grand juries, Ronnie Earle has tried to manufacture charges against Republicans involved in winning those elections using arcane statutes never before utilized in a case in the state. This indictment is nothing more than prosecutorial retribution by a partisan Democrat.

    Well put. DeLay has also announced that he will temporarily step aside as Majority Leader, pursuant to the House Republican rules.

    Tuesday, September 27, 2005

    A Message from the President of Iraq

    ....the power of the blogosphere is alive and well, this was forwarded to me by a fellow blogger and directed me to

  • Hispanic Pundit
  • , here's the article.......

    The President of Iraq writes:

    We Need American TroopsThank you for liberating my country. Please don’t leave before the job is done.


    Wednesday, September 21, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT

    There is no more important international issue today than the need to defeat the curse of terrorism. And as the first democratically elected president of Iraq, I have a responsibility to ensure that the world’s youngest democracy survives the inherently difficult transition from totalitarianism to pluralism. A transformation of the Iraqi state and Iraqi society is impossible without a sustained commitment of soldiers from the United States and other democracies.
    To understand why, let us recall how we reached this juncture in history. How is it that Iraq today has a democratically elected head of state, government and Parliament? How it is that members of the most repressed ethnic groups now hold the highest offices of state? All these welcome developments are a result of the courage and vision of President Bush and his allies, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Australian Prime Minister John Howard, leaders whose commitment of troops to enforce U.N. Security Council resolutions liberated Iraq.
    Without foreign intervention, the transition in Iraq would have been from Saddam’s bloodstained hands to his psychopathic offspring. Instead, thanks to American leadership, Iraqis have been given an opportunity of peaceful, participatory politics. Contrary to the new conventional wisdom, Iraq and the history of 20th-century Europe demonstrate that force of arms can implant democracy in the most arid soil.
    The rapidity of the democratization and reform of Iraq is staggering. There was no German state for four years after the Second World War. By contrast, Iraq has moved from a centralized, one-man dictatorship to a decentralized, federal republic in half that time.
    Inevitably, there have been stresses and strains. In Iraq these have been amplified by the terrorism of the remnants of the fascist Baathist dictatorship and our interfering neighbors. To contain these tensions, and to defend our young democracy, requires the support of American and other troops. Foreign forces are needed to train and equip the new Iraqi armed forces and to give Iraq its own counterterrorism capability. Only the United States and its closest allies are able to provide such assistance.
    Creating these Iraqi forces has not been easy, but Iraqis have been undaunted by the difficulties. Every terrorist attack on Iraqi forces leads to a surge in military recruitment–the opposite of the appeasers’ myth that resisting terrorism causes more terrorism. For all the short-term problems, the soundness of the long-term strategy of building up Iraqi forces was demonstrated in recent days when Iraqis took over sole control of security in the holy city of Najaf.
    As Iraqi forces gain in confidence and capability, so the need for foreign troops will diminish. The number of foreign troops will be determined in consultations between the Iraqi government and its foreign allies on the basis of operational requirements.
    American forces are in Iraq at the invitation of the democratically elected government of Iraq, and with the backing of a United Nations Security Council resolution. Your soldiers are in my country because of your commitment to democracy. Moreover, during my visit to Washington, Mr. Bush reaffirmed the United States’ complete support for the Iraqi political process toward sustainable democracy, and for the fight to defeat fascist and jihadist terrorism in Iraq.
    That commitment to liberty has shaped our opposition to any timetable for withdrawal. There are also two practical, policy reasons to avoid such a scheduled reduction in foreign troop numbers. First, a timetable will aid the terrorists and tell them that all they have to do is wait. Second, military plans must be flexible. We should have the suppleness to respond to the often-changing level of terrorist threat. Indeed, we will require ongoing security assistance in many forms for many years to come.
    If we keep progressing at the present rate, Iraqis may be able to take over many security functions from foreign forces by the end of 2006. That is not a deadline, but it is reasonable aspiration. During my visit to the United States, I was fortunate to meet relatives of some of the brave troops serving in Iraq. They were staunch, and I want their loved ones to have to serve in Iraq not a moment longer than is necessary.
    Americans should be proud of what its soldiers have achieved. The presence of foreign forces has prevented a renewed civil war in Iraq–renewed because there has already been a civil war in Iraq. For 35 years, Saddam and his Baath Party made war on the Iraqi people. The liberation of Iraq ended that civil war.
    Above all, American forces provide Iraq with a much-needed deterrence capability. In the past, Iraq sought an illusory security through the follies of aggression, terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. Today, our external security comes from our alliance with the United States. Our neighbors can thereby be assured that we will settle all of our differences with them peacefully.
    Sadly, some of our neighbors have chosen not to understand this. They seem either unwilling or unable to shut off the pipeline of terrorists crossing into Iraq. And in addition to what is at least passive support for the terrorists, some of them are providing financial and material support to them, too. They must desist from this behavior now.
    While the problem of some of our neighbors supporting terrorism is bad enough, we can only imagine what our neighbors might have done if American troops had not been present. Most likely, Iraq would have been transformed into a regional battlefield with disastrous consequences for Middle Eastern and global security.
    Without American forces, the vision of American leadership and the quiet fortitude of the American people, Iraqis would be almost alone in the world. With its allies, the United States has provided Iraqis with an unprecedented opportunity. Iraqis have responded by enthusiastically embracing democracy and volunteering to fight for their country. By giving us the tools, your troops help us to defend Iraqi democracy and to finish the job of uprooting Baathist fascism.

    Mr. Talabani is president of Iraq.

    New Straw Poll....2008 Presidential Race

  • Patrick Ruffini has a new poll
  • that already has become much talked about among political junkies, and this month's edition has some new features. It's pretty cool, it is a poll where you can "tag" your vote, this gives a pretty concise picture of who is voting. You can see who voted from what tag, state, red/blue state and region. Click above and take it!

    The Forgotten War...

    Driving home yesterday, as usual I tuned into
  • Hugh Hewitt's radio program
  • and his show was about the living recipients of the nation's highest honor, The Congressional Medal of Honor. He had on guests/heroes of "The Forgotten War"...The Korean War. I obtained a transcript of the show from
  • Radio Blogger and it was about one of the recipients of The Congressional Medal of Honor. Radio Blogger is Hugh Hewitt's producer........
  • here's the transcript
  • , it is a riveting account of a battle that Korean War veteran, Ronald Rosser was involved it, it is amazing!

    Monday, September 26, 2005

    When will Arizona get a NFL team?

    Man, I was SO looking forward to the NFL this year, there was quite a buzz that the AZ Cardinals would win the division this year. In the back of my mind though, the Bidwell curse was always there, but I figured, hell, we've got Denny at the helm, his no "BS" approach is going to take us to the next level. What we're finding out is we've got an egomaniac leading the team.
  • Dan Bickley's column today
  • in the Arizona Republic pretty much sums up the situation

    Saturday's Sheehanapalooza

    Read Michelle Malkin's post today and check out the photos

    Thursday, September 22, 2005

    Hillary Clinton Trails Badly in Left-wing Poll

    I find this hard to believe but this just came in from NewsMax.........and Wesley Clark leads the way

    Diane Feinstein......what a dopey broad.....

    Senator Diane Feinstein voted "no" on Judge Roberts, no surprise. Feinstein likes to remind everyone that she is the only female on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Perhaps the "weight" of this status induced her to adopt a cartoonishly stereotypical reason for her vote -- that Roberts didn't talk enough about what kind of father and husband he is. Or maybe she reverted to this justification because, as became apparent during her questioning of the judge, she is clueless when it comes to law.

    This may be the most bone-headed statement of the year. Wouldn't you like to go back to the Ruth Ginsburg confirmation hearing and find where the Republican Senators asked her what kind of a mother she is. The feminists would have loved that!

    Intestinal Fortitude, who's got it, who doesn't.........

    I wanted to comment on this about a week ago, but never got around to it, anyway…… I was watching the goings on in New Orleans on a Spanish television network with my wife over a week ago and man did we get a different viewpoint.

    We did not see the Hispanic community complain about needing help, asking for handouts, and ripping on the White House administration, what we saw was something actually positive. We saw how the Hispanic community came together, helping each other out, and actually cleaning up the debris and NOT waiting for “the calvary” to come to the rescue. There was/is much work to be done and they were eager to do the “dirty jobs” that many others balk at. I wonder if these images will sink in with the anti-immigrant crowd that imagines that Mexicans come to the United States looking for a handout.

    You know what they did? They did what immigrant always do: They relied on informal networks of family, friends and fellow countrymen, and pooled their resources to get out while they could. Fear of being deported was no doubt a big motivator for some not to stick around, but the loss of work probably played an even bigger role in their decision. Like so many others devastated by the storm, however, many of these Hispanics have lost everything. But for those who are illegally in the U.S., no federal help will be forthcoming. Illegal aliens are ineligible for the $2,000-per-family emergency cash, food stamps, job placement, and other federal assistance offered to Katrina's victims — rightly so.

    What I didn’t know and thought was great is that The Red Cross, Catholic Charities and other groups weren’t checking green cards before dispensing aid, they were there to help anyone displaced by the hurricane. Even Mexico chipped in, sending some Mexican military vehicles in with supplies, food, doctors, engineers to help out.

    With the cleanup just underway, there will be plenty of jobs to go around, and, as always, immigrants will be among the first lining up to do them. They will be there to work and help, not complain and ask for handouts.

    Hillary to meet with The Professional Griever.....

    .....and that professional griever would be Cindy Sheehan. It's hard to imagine that Hillary will risk her carefully cultivated centrist image, one that includes mild support for the war in Iraq (yes, she did sign the declaration). Sure, that's probably cynical and disingenuous political maneuvering, but it's been successful. If Hillary meets with Cindy, allowing her to be Micheal Moore to her Jimmy Carter, she will undo a good chunk of that. So, here's go girl.....err.....hag.

    Wednesday, September 21, 2005

    "Stuck on Stupid"...

    You've got to like General Honore over in New Orleans...

    "Don't get stuck on stupid, reporters." General Honore rebuked the press corps in New Orleans this afternoon, and he was speaking for the vast majority of Americans sick of grandstanding reporters intent not on reporting news and relaying instructions but on making reputations for themselevs.
    Bravo General. More of the same please.

    And bravo to Powerline's Scott Johnson, for his takedown of a Washington Post Book Review that slammed Chuck Colson.

    Tuesday, September 20, 2005

    Daddy's little girl.......

    ....... the wife's too, but since I have only one daughter (and 2 boys) she's got that title.

    This photo of Daniella was taken on top of the mountain in Tequila, Jalisco in Mexico this past summer. Posted by Picasa

    Monday, September 19, 2005

    Something to Ponder......


    That’s the current death toll in Louisiana from the hurricane and catastrophic flooding. Terrible for the victims, their family, their friends.
    But also much less than the 10,000 widely predicted.
    And, BTW, much less than the more than 35,000 killed by a heat wave in Europe two summers ago.
    You recall the debate that set off about European heartlessness, racism and discrimination? No, neither do I.

    PS - ever go to IKEA? What a wrong turn and you're trapped inside for a spell. Whoever designed that place was/is brilliant........ a marketing genius.

    Rock 'n Roll Ain't Dead.......

    The Band.....Jet......truly rocks. I went and saw them last night with Oasis, these 4 boys from Australia are the real deal....lead guitar, rythym guitar, bass guitar, drums and a vocalist who can shred like Roger Daltrey and croon like McCartney, proves that the 21st century is in good hands when it comes to rock ' roll. Check 'em out!

    Friday, September 16, 2005

    A Salute to our Neighbors just to the South

    Today is México's Independence Day....since it is Friday, let's all have a sip of tequila in their honor! I'll pull out the Chinaco Reposado for my toast!


    Here's a brief refresher on the history of México:

    The Next Big One? Disaster that is......the Avian Bird Flu...

    I know this topic was on Dateline last night (I didn't see it though), but we really have to pay attention to this potential disaster, it's serious stuff folks.

    Even as work accelerates along the Gulf, the dangers from terrorism remain, and a new threat continues to approach: avian bird flu. Given that everyone who follows the subject sees the threat of an epidemic as a real possibility, the Adminsitration simply has to have a plan and it has to work. Today's Wall Street Journal's report on vaccine production is thus not comforting. (Subscription required..don't worry, it's free.) Key infromation: The Department of Homeland Security gave Sanofi-Aventis Group a $100 million contract to produce a supply of the vaccine to thwart the killer flu. Other, smaller contracts have been let as well, but the gap between promised supply and obvious need is huge:

    The purchases are part of the agency's plans to buy enough vaccine for 20 million people and antivirals for another 20 million. The supplies will be placed in the nation's Strategic National Stockpile to prepare for an influenza pandemic. The government has purchased another antiviral treatment, Roche Holdings AG's Tamiflu, with additional purchases expected.
    Jeffrey Levi, senior policy adviser at the Trust for America's Health, an advocacy group, said 20 million people represented only half the number recommended for coverage by a prominent vaccine advisory committee, and added that HHS hasn't asked for additional funding for further purchases for the next fiscal year.
    "It's a step in the right direction, but a fraction of the investments the country is going to need to make to be fully prepared for a pandemic," he said. "The problem is that the administration has to ask for more money."
    Look. This is a right now issue, with
    Indonesia reporting its fifth case just hours ago. The UN's chief health official is ramping up his warnings, and although the president emphasized the threat at his UN speech, the American public is not aware of the magnitude of the threat, and a plan to produce vaccine for 20 million people in a nation of 300 million when the disease may have as much as a 50% kill rate just isn't "preparedness."
    A whole lot of money is about to gush out of the Congress, and while the recovery effort on the Gulf deserves its priority status, the Congress should appropriate whatever it needs to in order to get the supplies of the necessary drugs up and running. A couple of well-publicized hearings on this matter would also be useful.
    The buck will again stop on the president's desk, though, and he knows it. I hope he has communicated to all involved that he wants a plan on his desk on the hour by hour response once ABF reaches the US.
    Read this. There are plenty of threats in the world (including this terrorist plot that almost got started in Los Angeles, and very few of them can be thwarted just by spending more money. ABF is, however, one of those threats which can be boxed in with planning and budget as it is a question of having and distributing the vaccines and treatments that work

    2006 Governor Race..... Ohio is the most important race for Governor in the country next year. Check out the link from NewsMax by Steve Forbes:

    Thursday, September 15, 2005

    A Ticking Time Bomb......

    I posted earlier that the pullout of the Jews in the Gaza Strip would be a bad idea and that this was a sign of giving in to the Palestinians, here's an article in the Washington Post that backs that up.

    Wednesday, September 14, 2005

    Here comes......J-J-J-Jesse!

    There is so much going on in the world these days, I don't know where to start, so I'll start off with a rift on one of the biggest jackasses around, Jesse Jackson.

    The demonic "reverand" now wants over $60 Billion to be paid out to the victims of Katrina. Funny how his little radical organization never called for a fund for the 4 hurricanes that hit Florida last year. My question is this: Why in the world do the victims of a natural disaster feel they are entitled to that much tax-payer money? The 9/11 victims received only $7 Billion. That was a terrorist attack..very different. $60 billion..? The guy has to be out of his mind. Oh but I forgot most of the victims (and we pray for them all) are black. You can't question their demands...only give into them--otherwise you'll be considered a RACIST....This man reeks of hypocrisy and has no conscience whatsover... He fits the characterization of a true wolf in sheeps clothing.

    Tuesday, September 13, 2005

    I've got some great quotes....

    I've compiled a few quotes that are, for the most part, quite revealing.................

    You literally cannot continue to exist unless we blue-staters give you money. The situation is that simple. You have been leeching off of us for years, and now you depend on our charity for your very lives. So if you Jesusmaniac simpletons really want that cash, you will just sit there and SHUT UP and not say ONE D@MN WORD in your defense. BUSH CAUSED THIS DISASTER. YOU CAUSED THIS DISASTER BY VOTING FOR BUSH. You don't like that message? Then don't take our money! If I read ONE MORE article in which a science-hating red state pundit attacks progressives, I'm going to take the money I was going to donate to disaster relief and spend it on a nice Thai meal. And I'm going to suggest that all other progressives do likewise. I'm going to say "DROWN AND DIE, YOU ARROGANT HILLBILLY SOUTHERN-FRIED LEECHES!!" -- Joseph Cannon from Cannonfire explains his views on disaster relief

    You know, some people are stealing and they're making a big deal out of it. Oh, they're stealing 20 pair of jeans or they're stealing television sets. Who cares? They're not going to go too far with it. Maybe those people are so poor, some of the people who do that they're so poor they've never touched anything in their lives. Let them touch those things for once." -- Celine Dion

    "New Orleans is the first of the cities going to tumble down... unless America changes its course. It is the wickedness of the people of America and the government of America that is bringing the wrath of God down." -- Louis Farrakhan explains what happened in New Orleans was divine punishment for America

    "Mayor Nagin and most mayors in this country have a hard time getting their people to work on a sunny day, let alone getting them out of the city in front of a hurricane." -- Part of Sen. Mary Landrieu's explanation for why New Orleans didn't use city buses to evacuate

    "This President is never gonna do the right thing. I think somewhere deep down inside him he takes a lot of joy about losing people, if he thinks they vote Democrat or if he thinks they're poor, or if he thinks they're in a blue state, whatever his reasons are not to rescue those people..." -- Air America's Randi Rhodes

    "George Bush doesn't care about black people...They're giving the Army permission to go down and shoot us." -- Kayne West

    Monday, September 12, 2005

    Today in History.....Sept. 12

    On this day in …

    * 1609, English explorer Henry Hudson sailed into the river that now bears his name
    * 1943, German paratroopers took Benito Mussolini from the hotel where he was being held by the Italian government
    * 1944, during World War II, U.S. Army troops entered Germany for the first time, near Trier
    * 1960, Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy addressed the issue of his Roman Catholicism, telling a Protestant group in Houston, "I do not speak for my church on public matters, and the church does not speak for me."
    * 1986, Joseph Cicippio, the acting comptroller at the American University in Beirut, was kidnapped by practitioners of that "religion of peace"; he was released in December 1991
    * 1995, the Belarussian military shot down a hydrogen balloon during an international race, killing its two American pilots, John Stuart-Jervis and Alan Fraenckel

    4 years later......

    ......but we'll never forget, especially these guys, articles are linked:

    Todd Beamer. Pat Tillman. J.P. Becksmith.

    Rick Rescorla. Jack Punches. James E. Suh. Michael Kelly.

    Friday, September 09, 2005

    Read this.....

    Charles Krauthammer has a great article, read the whole thing:

    Assigning Blame.

    Today in History....Sept. 9

    On this day in …

    * 1776, the Second Continental Congress made the term "United States" official, replacing "United Colonies."
    * 1830, Charles Durant flew a balloon from New York City across the Hudson River to Perth Amboy, N.J.
    * 1943, Allied forces landed at Salerno and Taranto during World War II
    * 1948, the People's Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea) was created
    * 1957, President Eisenhower signed into law the first civil rights bill to pass Congress since Reconstruction
    * 1971, prisoners seized control of the maximum-security Attica Correctional Facility near Buffalo, N.Y., beginning a siege that ended up claiming 43 lives
    * 1993, PLO leaders and Israel agreed to recognize each other, clearing the way for a "piece accord"
    * 1995, Amtrak's Broadway Limited service between New York and Chicago made its final run
    * 1997, Sinn Fein, the IRA's political ally, formally renounced violence as it took its place in talks on Northern Ireland's future

    Thursday, September 08, 2005

    Report: Yasser Arafat Died of AIDS?.........aahhh too bad.....

    Today Haaretz reports: "Yasser Arafat died of AIDS or poisoning."

    The Jerusalem Post (here) and the New York Times (here) also carry articles with original reporting on the subject. Israel Insider summarizes the background and intrigue regarding the cause of Arafat's death: "Arafat's physician: French found AIDS; cover-up alleged on cause of death." (Thanks to Jim Brown and Menorah Blog.)

    Ol' Howard.......quacks...

    He's at it again. Howard Dean told the annual meeting of a black church group that racism was to blame for the deaths that resulted from Hurricane Katrina:

    Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean has told one of the nation's largest black church groups that racism was a factor in the rising death toll from Hurricane Katrina.
    Dean told the annual meeting of the National Baptist Convention of America in Miami that the nation must "come to terms with the ugly truth that skin color, age and economics played a deadly role in who survived and who did not."
    He also said the funds that now support the Iraq war could be used to rebuild New Orleans or to aid the poor and elderly.

    Note how Dean seamlessly merges age, income and race. Age could have been correlated, to some degree, with the death toll, in that elderly people might have had more trouble obeying the mandatory evacuation order, and the local authorities failed to provide buses or other means of transportation to escape the city before the hurricane struck. Likewise, perhaps, with income. But race? There isn't a scrap of evidence that race had anything to do with it. What is Dean trying to imply? That the Louisiana authorities kicked black people off buses? Barricaded the streets and stopped black people from driving out of town? Is he saying that National Guard helicopters flew over black people on rooftops and rescued white people or Hispanics or Asians instead?

    I think the nation needs to "come to terms with the ugly truth" that the Democrats are a bunch of race hustlers whose political self-interest always--always--overcomes any regard for truth or fairness.

    Why We must Stay in Iraq....

    Been really busy, but here's a great article by Victor Davis Hanson from a few days back..

    Today in History...Sept. 8

    On this day in …

    * 1664, the Dutch surrendered New Amsterdam to the British, who renamed it New York
    * 1930, the comic strip "Blondie," created by Chic Young, was first published. ALSO: Scotch cellophane tape made its debut as a sample of the tape, invented by Richard Drew of 3M, was shipped to a Chicago firm which specialized in wrapping bakery goods in cellophane
    * 1935, Senator Huey P. Long, "The Kingfish" of Louisiana politics, was shot and mortally wounded; he died two days later.
    * 1945, Bess Myerson of New York was crowned "Miss America" in Atlantic City, New Jersey, becoming the first Jewish contestant to win the title
    * 1951, a peace treaty with Japan was signed by 48 other nations in San Francisco
    * 1974, President Ford granted an unconditional pardon to former President Nixon
    * 1975, Boston's public schools began their court-ordered citywide busing program amid scattered incidents of violence
    * 1995, Bosnia's warring sides reached a compromise in Geneva, agreeing to divide the nation into two states: one for the rebel Serbs and another for the Muslims and Croats
    * 2000, World leaders ended the United Nations Millennium Summit with a pledge to solve humankind's problems, including poverty, war, AIDS, pollution and human rights abuses
    * 2004, CBS' "60 Minutes Wednesday" aired a report questioning President Bush's National Guard service; however, CBS News ended up apologizing for a "mistake in judgment" after memos featured in the report were challenged as forgeries

    Tuesday, September 06, 2005

    IT'S OFFICIAL!!!! The American Left now believe that George W. Bush IS GOD!!!

    You think I'm kidding???? Well....I ain't.

    Leftists such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Cindy Sheehan have blamed Hurricane Katrina – something insurance companies classify as an act of God, on Pres. Bush's killing policies. Former Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal also wrote an article in The Guardian chalking up the flood to the Bush administration’s having cut one item in the Army Corps of Engineers’ annual budget. Meanwhile, DNC Chairman Howard Dean weighed in by demeaning Bush’s trip to the disaster area, calling it “just another callous political move crafted by Karl Rove.”

    What about Global warming? You guessed it, that was/is W's fault. Anyway, I could go on, but I've had an ass-full of the left's BS.

    One more thing.......wouldn't you think that the city and state government's would have some sort of disaster plan in place and the not the federal gov't? I bet if the New Orleans Mayor were white, he'd be taking a brunt of the blame for the hurricane relief efforts, but since this cat is black, he's off limits.

    More later........

    The more Bill Clinton changes, the more he stays the same.

    Look, I know how we're supposed to react. George W. Bush is turning the other cheek to his critics, and is doing everything in his power to comfort people on a personal level, and at the same time, make sure the federal government gets the upper hand on a devastating crisis.

    I read Hugh Hewitt's post about taking the high road. I understand the message. And then I read Bill Sammon from this morning's Washington Times, and my blood pressure spiked. He was reporting on interviews of both Presidents Bush and Clinton regarding the crisis and the criticism. Here is what Bill Clinton had to say:

    Mr. Clinton suggested he had been more attentive to the dangers of flooding in New Orleans than his successor.

    "We had some people killed in the flood toward the end of my first term in the New Orleans area," he said. "And there was a study done for strengthening the levee system.
    "And I believe that we began to do that along toward the end of my second term when the study was completed and the funding," Mr. Clinton added. "What happened to it, I don't know."

    I shouldn't be surprised. Bill Clinton has never, ever in his life missed a chance to claim that he cured one of the world's problems somewhere by the end of his second term, but he's not responsible for what happened afterwards. How big of a creepy narcissist can you be? This crisis is affecting hundreds of thousands of people, and it's affecting them in a big way. I can promise you that there's one person that this crisis isn't about. It isn't about Bill Clinton. And it is just slimy to make that kind of a statement.
    Did the "study" he believes he had happen while he was being impeached and invading an aspirin factory in the Sudan and managing Kosovo and pardoning Marc Rich and stopping global warming and keeping Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden in control and solving the Israeli/Palestinian conflict?
    Boy, if I believed I had done all that single-handed and created the world's greatest double-wide presidential library and still had time to write a best-seller, I'd be pretty mad at George Bush for screwing everything up, too.
    Real helpful, Bill. I believe I had a study that fixed that levee problem, but I don't know what happened to it after I left. I sure hope we don't have a big earthquake out here. I'd hate to hear Bubba visit the damage and say it's too bad the current occupants didn't implement his fault line restabilization program that he had ready to go late in his second term.
    Okay, I promise not to counter-attack for a least until the next high-profile Democrat tries to verbally attack the people that are actually doing stuff, instead of the previous occupants, who merely talked about stuff.

    Today in History.......Sept. 6

    On this day in …
    * 1901, President McKinley was shot and mortally wounded by anarchist Leon Czolgosz at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, N.Y. McKinley died eight days later; he was succeeded by Theodore Roosevelt
    * 1909, American explorer Robert Peary sent word that he had reached the North Pole five months earlier
    * 1939, South Africa declared war on Germany
    * 1941, Jews over age 6 in German-occupied areas were ordered to wear yellow Stars of David
    * 1970, practitioners of that "religion of peace" -- "Palestinians"
    -- seized control of three jetliners which were later blown up on the ground in Jordan after the passengers and crews were evacuated
    * 1995, Los Angeles police detective Mark Fuhrman invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination as he was called back to the witness stand at the O.J. Simpson trial
    * 1997, Britain bade farewell to Princess Diana with a funeral service at Westminster Abbey. ALSO: Weeping masses gathered in Calcutta, India, to pay homage to Mother Teresa, who had died the day before at age 87
    * 2000, the Millennium Summit, the largest gathering of world leaders in history, convened at the United Nations

    Friday, September 02, 2005

    You knew it was coming......let's blame Bush...

    The blame game continues, with most attention being focused not on the local and state officials who have responsibility for disaster preparedness, but on the federal government. Even at the federal level, I've not seen any informed criticism of FEMA or any other relevant federal agency, or any detailed analysis of the formidable logistical problems that make the relief effort painfully difficult. No, the critics aren't interested in such targets or such details. What they want is to bash President Bush, and we'll hear more and more of it as the days go by.
    So far, though, the left has had a hard time finding a theory. Michelle Malkin has a breakdown of the "underfunded levee construction" theory, which yesterday seemed like the left's most promising line of attack. The Army Corps of Engineers says the "underfunding" theory is bogus:
    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Thursday that a lack of funding for hurricane-protection projects around New Orleans did not contribute to the disastrous flooding that followed Hurricane Katrina.
    In a telephone interview with reporters, corps officials said that although portions of the flood-protection levees remain incomplete, the levees near Lake Pontchartrain that gave way--inundating much of the city--were completed and in good condition before the hurricane.
    However, they noted that the levees were designed for a Category 3 hurricane and couldn't handle the ferocious winds and raging waters from Hurricane Katrina, which was a Category 4 storm when it hit the coastline. The decision to build levees for a Category 3 hurricane was made decades ago based on a cost-benefit analysis.
    Maybe the left will have to go back to global warming.

    Today in History.......

    On this day in …

    * 1666, the Great Fire of London broke out, claiming thousands of homes, but only a few lives
    * 1789, the United States Treasury Department was established
    * 1864, during the Civil War, Union Gen. William T. Sherman's forces occupied Atlanta
    * 1901, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt offered the advice, "Speak softly and carry a big stick" in a speech at the Minnesota State Fair
    * 1930, the first non-stop airplane flight from Europe to the United States was completed in 37 hours as Capt. Dieudonne Costes and Maurice Bellonte of France arrived in Valley Stream, N.Y, aboard The Question Mark
    * 1945, Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnam an independent republic. ALSO:
    Japan formally surrendered in ceremonies aboard the USS Missouri, ending World War II
    * 1969, North Vietnamese president Ho Chi Minh died
    * 1985, it was announced that a U.S.-French expedition had located the wreckage of the Titanic about 560 miles off Newfoundland

    Thursday, September 01, 2005

    What happened to the National Guard?!?!.......whatever man......

    I'm frankly left speechless at efforts by various liberals and media personalities--like Diane Sawyer in her interview with President Bush this morning--to blame the Bush administration for the fact that conditions are tough in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. It's hard for me to believe that many people would take this kind of cheap shot seriously; but, then, there are a lot of things going on in our politics these days that are hard for me to believe.

    In any event, Streiff at Red State, who actually knows something about the Louisiana National Guard, takes a two-by-four to the theory that everything would have been okay if only the La. National Guard hadn't been deployed in Iraq.

    The left will continue trying out theories like this one until they find something they think they can sell.

    New Daily item......Today in History....

    I will attempt to post a new daily segment, titled "Today in History", here's the first one:

    On this day in …
    * 1807, former Vice President Aaron Burr was found innocent of treason
    * 1878, Emma M. Nutt became the first female telephone operator in the United States, for the Telephone Despatch Co. of Boston
    * 1939, World War II began as Nazi Germany invaded Poland
    * 1945, Americans received word of Japan's formal surrender that ended World War II. (Because of the time difference, it was September 2 in Tokyo Bay, where the ceremony took place.)
    * 1951, the United States, Australia and New Zealand signed a mutual defense pact, the ANZUS treaty
    * 1961, the Soviet Union ended a moratorium on atomic testing with an above-ground nuclear explosion in central Asia
    * 2004, more than 1,000 people were taken hostage by heavily armed practitioners of that "religion of peace" at an elementary school in Beslan in southern Russia; more than 330, mostly children, were eventually killed in the three-day ordeal. According to The New York Times, when the terrorists took over the building, they shouted "Allahu akbar" ("Allah is the greatest").