Friday, December 31, 2004

R.I.P., Jerry Orbach

I came to know him in Law & Order. The pairing of him and Chris Noth was the best pairing. I'll miss the wisecracks on the show. In a show designed to replace actors at will, he stayed a long time. And we'll miss him.

2 Fast 2 Furious

It's about drag racers who drag race through Miami and drive in a sting operation in order to clear their records. All the driving sequences are true to life for driving in Miami, except there weren't any cars going 30 mph next to the car going 140. Another inaccurasy: someone in Miami may have used a blinker in the movie.

Life Immitating Art

Right now, on digital cable, is a 1984 comedey starring Eddie Murphy and Dudley Moore. Iraq invades Kuwait in the film. Just one of those weird things.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Ratings of Monday Night Football At All-Time Low

Beyond the old answer of all the hundreds of channels we have now I have a couple of theories.

1) All the parody in the NFL (read "mediocrity") is killing Monday Night Football. When the schedule is made, they have no idea if any of the teams are going to be any good. The Eagles will probably be good. Same with the Patriots. But it is usually a crapshoot, since you can't give teams too many Monday night games. So you wind up with a ton of stinkers.

2) Do you like being married? I do. Three games on Sunday and one on Monday (and some on Thursday). If you're trying to be a good husband, you have to draw the line somewhere.

Tips to Avoid Drunk Drivers

Rush Limbaugh's guest host today is a former highway patrolman. His tip, which he says saved his own life, is to NOT drive in the fast lane at night unless you can see taillights ahead of you. Why?

Drunk drivers know they have problems, so they move over to the right lane. But when they are so drunk they go the wrong way on the highway the right lane is the fast lane going the opposite direction. And a head-on collision is incredibly deadly, obviously.

Scientist Thinks All Hominids Are All One Species

I am not equipped to say this guy is right or wrong. I have a suspicion that he is on to something, but he isn't right.

What he is on to is this: if the Elephant Man or a midget fossil was found some scientist who found it would say "this is a completely new species." A subgroup of one species could have a larger skull, etc.

As someone said, if one bone changes everything you know, you didn't know much to begin with.

2004 Trends in Beer

Craft beer continued to gain ground. Beyond that I see two major trends.

One, thanks to the work of Garrett Oliver, more and more people are realizing how incredibly well food goes with beer. Let's be honest. Beer is much better than wine with most types of food due to its versatility and carbonation. This is beginning to dawn on people. Once restaurants and gourmets start realizing this, craft beer will make serious inroads into the current wine-drinking community.

Secondly, a lot of brewers have been experimenting with aging their beers in bourbon barrels. I'm not sure how long this trend will last, but it was interesting. And it seems to have come of age in 2004.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

1975 Flashback: Global Cooling Worries

Unlike Michael Crichton, I'm not willing to dismiss global warming theories. However, I thought this would be interesting, as it was one of the thing he mentioned in his skepticism.

2004, the Year the Old Media Died

Ok, maybe it didn't die. But it was unmasked for all the world to see. In big stories and small stories, blogs and talk radio have exposed facts and distortions and unreported stories. The Swift Vets came from the blogs and talk radio. But even bigger than that, at least in terms of media, was the humiliation of Dan Rather.

Here Hugh Hewitt's take: A Unified Theor of the Old Media Collapse

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Socialism Isn't Moral and Isn't Compatible with Christian Thought

This author has said clearly what I've been struggling to say for a long time now. Simply put, just because I should help the poor does not mean it is moral to force me to help the poor. Do you force your neighbor your neighbor to help the poor? Probably not.

His most interesting point is that socialism has made us spiritual lazy. "That's not my responsibility. Why doesn't government do something about it?"
But the welfare state does not operate by the principle of moral generosity: it relies on a legalized form of theft (forcibly taking from some to give to others) and is driven by greed and envy. The welfare state breeds greed by offering wealth without work and generates envy by promoting class warfare.

The Christian principle of special consideration for the poor is a clarion call for the individual, not for the state. Jesus did not have the Good Samaritan in Luke's Gospel tell the injured man in the road to seek a government social worker. The Good Samaritan gave of what was his own willingly, not under the duress of the state. The welfare state actually encourages a spiritual laziness by implying that helping the poor is the responsibility of the state rather than a responsibility of the individual.

Consider the example of a small community of a few people to sharpen the moral clarity of this issue. Four men are stranded on a deserted tropical island. Two work hard to gather more pineapples and coconuts than they need. A third is unable to work because he has a broken leg, and a fourth is too lazy to work. While the working men have a moral obligation to share with the injured man, neither of the two who did not work have a right to take by force what is not theirs.

To claim otherwise is to deny all right to property and to make the two working men slaves of the other two. The commandments "thou shalt not steal" and "thou shalt not covet" establish a right to ownership of property. If we can't own property, giving of ourselves becomes impossible - as does real almsgiving.

Back on the island, if the lazy man steals pineapples from the two working men by force, then he commits a crime and violates the commandment "thou shalt not steal." Socialism is the theft and redistribution of wealth through force, whether it's done for a society of four people or one containing millions. That's why all totalitarians, from Lenin to Hitler, adopt broad socialist policies in order to enslave society. The liberals are misleading people into believing that forcibly redistributing wealth, something that would be a crime if one individual did it to another, is a moral good and a foundation of "democracy."

Leftists Use the Occasion of a Tsunami to Bash America
After deriding Western philanthropy (an odd way to solicit donations), Egeland urged the West to exacerbate worldwide income redistribution. Western governments, he vouchsafed, mistakenly “believe that they are really burdening the taxpayers too much, and the taxpayers want to give less. It's not true. They want to give more.” He added, “Christmastime should remind many Western countries at least, [of] how rich we have become.” His words echoed comments Jesse Jackson made to MSNBC’s Campbell Brown on domestic welfare spending last Thursday:

In the last [Bush] budget, we cut housing again, and that was Jesus’ dilemma. In Bethlehem, his family ended up homeless…We're the richest nation on earth. Our percentage of income to the poor is rock bottom…The great fault of Rome was a wealthy country left Jesus and Mary Joseph, in a sense, homeless, and He was born an at-risk baby. You measure character by how you invest in the poor and today we are celebrating the wealthy and the war, not the poor and peace.

Jesse’s Christmas message: Republicans – and the nation they govern – hate baby Jesus. Leave it to Jesse to turn the nativity of the Son of God into a crass political weapon.

For the record, Jesus’ family became homeless when the Roman government herded together every soul ever born in the “little town of Bethlehem” in order to extract maximum taxation from its populace: precisely Jackson's and Egeland's prescription.

I would also add that private donations probably aren't counted. Explaining to a leftist that solutions do not have to be via a government reminds me when you first explain to a person that Jews can and do believe in Jesus and remain Jewish. It so goes against how they've been trained to think that it just doesn't get through. Believe me, America has severe spiritual problems. Materialism is a big part of that. And I include myself under that condemnation, but Americans also tend to be generous.

World Vision Accepting Donations for Asain Tsunami Relief

I have given money to this Christian organization since late '96 and I believe they do good work. They already have a presence in the area effected. Please consider giving money.

Monday, December 27, 2004

British Torries Trying to Restore Self-Defense Rights of Homeowners

Today, in Britain, you can face serious jail time if you defend yourself against an intruder.

Liberal Law Professor Discovers Affirmative Action Hurts African-Americans

Very fascinating article. The author is losing friends, but his son is bi-racial so he has a stake in the truth.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Live By Google, Die By Google

My work about Avodat Yisrael used to be highly ranked by Google when you searched on "Avodat Yisrael". The page got a decent amount of traffic via Google, primarily. Around December 19th, that all changed. And traffic has dried up.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Associated Press Photographers in Iraq In League With Terrorists

Friday, December 24, 2004

Christmas and Transcendence

During Christmas-time we mere mortals get a taste of transcendant. Having a season set aside each time of year makes it in some sense holy, which primarily means "other."

Each year we enter this set-apart time. In a way, we connect to all those Christmases of years past through annual traditions. And in that way, we can sense the transcendant if only for a brief season.

Christmas and Humility
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men (Philippians 2:3-7).

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Bill Conlin Clearly Articulates Why General Manager Ed Wade Needs to Go

I hate to say that about a decent man, but this article is devastating.

Type of Tackle Which Injured Owens Injured Another Player

By the same person, Roy Williams, too. This type of tackle should be banned in the offseason.

The best comment in the article. He may have not been trying to injure the players. But he was NOT not trying to injure the players.

Good news! Thousands Are Turning to Christ in Iran

How to Make Things Safer? Remove Warnings

Counter-intuitive, but it makes sense.
Wired magazine ran an interesting featurette last month about a fellow called Hans Monderman, who’s been a highway engineer in northern Holland for the last three decades. A year or two back, he had an epiphany. As Wired’s Tom McNichol puts it, ‘Build roads that seem dangerous, and they’ll be safer.’

In other words, all the junk on the streets — signs for everything every five yards, yellow lines, pedestrian crossings, stop lights, crash barriers, bike lanes — by giving the illusion of security actually makes driving more dangerous. The town of Christianfield in Denmark embraced the Monderman philosophy, removed all the traffic signs and signals from its most dangerous intersection, and thereby cut the number of serious accidents down to zero. These days, when you tootle towards the junction, there are no instructions from the transport department to tell you what to do; you have to figure it out for yourself, so you approach it cautiously and with an eye on what the other chaps in the vicinity are up to.

Cloned Cat Going for 50K

Makes for a perfect stocking stuffer.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Festivus Is a Real Holiday

Apparently, the Seinfeld holiday was based on the background of one of its writers. The real holiday turned fictional.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The Secret to a Merry Christmas: Swivel Straight

Early childhood memories of putting up the Christmas Tree revolve around a lot of profanity. Well no more!

Three years ago my wife and I obtained a Swivel Straight Christmas Tree stand. For a stand, it isn't cheap. But it's worth every penny.

The base of a tree goes into a container with spikes which secure the tree. The container connects to the stands base, securing it. You can then swivel the tree perfectly straight. Sometimes you have to cut off a branch or two so the tree is firmly on the base on the container.

All in all, it takes about 20 minutes. But the amount of stress it releaves is priceless. If this existed when I was younger, I would know a lot less curse words.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Australian Judges Become Islamic Scholars

And religious freedom in Australia suffers.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Jonah Goldberg on Social Security

Reiterates previous points about conservatives being the unconservative group of experimentation.

A Movie Recommendation for the Holidays: The Hebrew Hammer

He saves Chanukkah! What more can you want from a movie?

A Blog Defense of the Historicity of the Nativity Accounts

Every year you get a retread on the History Channel, Time, Newsweek, or some other mainstream publication of liberal (in this context it means "unbelief" and has nothing to do with politics) scholarship. The first time you hear this, esp. as a new Christian you are bothered. If you are like me, you look into the underlying issues.

Many times these objections amount to "I don't believe in the supernatural or I don't want to believe in Christianity." I once read a nice article about how the grammar and style of the book of Daniel point to a 6th century B.C origin. In other words, around the time of Daniel. Why is it considered to be written around the 2nd century B.C. or later? Because that would mean Daniel prophecied future events before they actually happened. The anti-supernatural bias of many scholars influences their conclusions.

You see this with the New Testament as well. More and more evidence of an early date for the writing of the Gospels is piling up. But the earliest I see liberal scholars go is A.D. 80. Why do I think that is so? That would mean that Jesus' prophecies regarding the destruction of the Temple would have been made before the event. And, again, someone with an anti-supernatural bias doesn't entertain that in his head.

As this applies to the annual liberally skewed Christmas and Easter articles, most of this come down to the same bias. I can't prove every detail of the Biblical account with outside sources. We can't go back and do a paternity test. Nor can we corroborate the appearance of Gabriel, the wise men, etc. But I can show its general reliability. And I have no reason to doubt its account and good reasons, like those mentioned above, for accepting those accounts. But those who come to Scripture with a jaundiced eye aren't going to be accepting of those details which come down to us via Scripture. That makes sense. They're wrong, but it makes sense.

Insider Recap of How the Swift Vets Were Really Handled by the Media

I think a few things are clear. These people really didn't like Kerry and it doesn't seem like a huge master-plot by Karl Rove.

I believe Kerry didn't respond right away because the Mainstream Media (MSM) was pretty much in his pocket. They weren't going to report on it. So there was no reason for him to make it an issue.

What the MSM did not expect was that alternative media (talk radio and blogs) would wip this up into a frenzy. So not only did they do an awful job, their credibility took a hit.

The people who really deserve the blame are the Democratic candidates who refused to go after Kerry's anti-war record. The primaries were essentially over too early to make the Swift Vets an issue (April). But Edwards could have at least brought up his anti-war record. But he appeared more interested in running for Vice-President.

NY Times Praises Firefox, Rips Microsoft

Microsoft comes off looking really, really bad in this article.

If anyone is still using Internet Explorer on their own computers, they should not stop. Immediately.

Church in D.C. Making Its Own Brew

I guess this article is perfect for my blog.

World Magazine Blog Takes on Handel's Messiah and Secularizing of the Sacred
When the Charlotte Symphony performed Handel’s Messiah earlier this week, here’s how the group’s printed program summed up the masterpiece: “Composed in 1741, Messiah stands alone as a majestic monument to the human spirit and the aspirations of man.” Anyone listening to the actual words of the oratorio – which are exclusively passages of Scripture – might get a different idea. But humanistic interpretations of the work aren’t new. Pastor and famous hymn-writer John Newton railed against the secular popularity of Handel’s Messiah just 40 years after its premiere, lamenting that the oratorio’s performance had become a fashionable social event that focused on the greatness of Handel, instead of the Messiah Himself. Newton acknowledged the genius of the oratorio, but told his congregation that if the “professed lovers of sacred music” truly appreciated the Messiah, “the nation would soon wear a new face.”

I would say that the benefit of Handel's Messiah secular appeal is that it keeps Scripture and the Messiah before the general public. Although viewing it as a "monument to the human spirit" when it is God-focused is incredibly sad.

Source of Criticism of Rumsfeld Becoming Clear

When people complain that Rumsfeld isn't listening to "senior officers", replace "senior officers" with "senators". It's all about ego. From Bob Novak's latest column:
An embattled Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld cannot expect support from Sen. John Warner, the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman who normally supports the Bush administration on military matters.

"I've had it with him," Warner told a Senate colleague recently, referring to Rumsfeld. The 77-year-old Warner, a five-term senator and former secretary of the Navy who is a veteran of both the Navy and Marine Corps, complained about Rumsfeld's neglect of senators during a Senate Republican caucus two years ago. Nothing has changed since then, in Warner's opinion.

Republican senators who have publicly joined criticism of Rumsfeld include John McCain, Chuck Hagel, Trent Lott and Susan Collins. The defense secretary has little support in the Senate and is particularly unpopular with junior GOP senators.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Was Oil-for-Food Used for Money Laundering?

Half Of Americans Support Restricting the Rights of Muslims

I'm not sure what the internals of the polls are or how the questions are phrased, but that's a bad idea.

Infiltrating mosques and other Muslim organizations in order to keep tabs on what's going on? That's a tremendous idea. It's just common sense. Not all Muslims are terrorists. But all the terrorists we care about are Muslims.

Tariq Aziz Squeling
U.S. officials say Aziz already has implicated the French and others, claiming payoffs were made with the understanding that recipients would support Iraq on key matters before the U.N.

"He pointed to specific individuals in Russia and France, in the United States — that received favorable treatment," says David Kay.

Open Letter to Newsweek: How Newsweek Can Turn Their Unbalanced Nativity Article to Their Advantage

Insurgency Directed From Syria

It is time for everyone to face facts. The insurgency is not derived from within Iraq. It is coming from Iran and Syria, because democracy would be a disaster for them. And that would be a great thing for us.


Friday, December 17, 2004

Some Original Thinking About Social Security: Kill It
In my view, there is only one honest approach to Social Security: fulfill obligations to pay benefits to those who have already paid in and allow the rest of us as quick and expeditious an exit out as possible. Then shut the doors forever.

If this seems radical, I'll ask one question. If Social Security did not exist, and we attempted to enact today a system like we currently have, would it pass? The answer is unquestionably no. There is no way that any working American would agree to turn over to the government 12.4 percent of his or her paycheck in exchange for a benefit that has no guarantee, on which ownership has been relinquished and that is less than what could be obtained by buying risk-free government bonds. No way. Zero chance.

Inuit Indians Suing the U.S. Over Global Warming, But Can't Handle Testing

The reporter asked a series of questions which were difficult. This is the summary: the rise in temperatures from 1970 to today in the Artic are similar to rises between 1900 and 1940. If the Inuits were fine earlier in the century, why are they suing now?

Also, it was warmer in the Middle Ages. So why the lawsuit?

Liberals Are the New Conservatives (small 'c')
Why the migration of old-fashioned, status-quo conservatism from right to left? It is partly a function of the current political dynamic. Republicans are on the offensive, so Democrats must play defense. It is also a hangover from recent political history. Conservatives, for decades, have told themselves that "ideas have consequences," and have set about through think tanks, books and magazines to find the best ones. During the period of richest conservative policy ferment, in the 1970s and 1980s, liberals could content themselves with relying on what was an increasingly sclerotic congressional majority. Liberalism was dependent on the fumes of the New Deal and Great Society, which were powerful, but bound to dissipate.

That Intelligence Bill

I just saw a report on CNN which was saying there are issues with the recently passed bill. A week ago it was incredibly urgent to pass this thing. Now? Whining about flaws. I've been following politics as long as I can remember, and even I cannot remember something as stupid as this.

Pedro Martinez Says Francona Given No Say
He said Red Sox manager Terry Francona played a small role in managing the team, taking his cues from the team's front office.

"Francona is subject to what they decide," Martinez said. "Francona had no say, like he didn't have any say in managing the team. He was manipulated from upstairs."

Many of us in Philadelphia never thought much of Francona. Nice man, but we didn't think he was a good manager.

Moneyball-types want a manager to just toe the statistical line and not foul up that which they know little about. So this makes sense. I would assume they hired someone who would be thankful for the job and not mind the lack of decision-making.

Good News!!! Baby Found Alive!

The baby of the slain woman, who was cut out of the mother, has been found.

Someone Cut 8-Month Old Baby Out of Mother, Killing Her

This is f'ed up.

Surf Is Way Up in Hawaii

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Ukrainian Leader Has 6000 Times Above Normal for Poison

This doesn't bode well for the Kremlin.

Has the Bill of Rights Stripped Us of Our Freedoms?

This has to be one of the most interesting articles I have ever read, but I am a jurisprudence nerd.

The writer's central thesis is that the we had, or at least were considered to have, more rights at the founding of our country. By enumerating rights in the Bill of Rights, all other rights not mentioned, despite the 9th and 10th amendments, are in jeopardy.

James Wilson, delegate from Pennsylvania:
In a government consisting of enumerated powers, such as is proposed for the United States, a bill of rights would not only be unnecessary, but, in my humble judgment, highly imprudent. In all societies, there are many powers and rights, which cannot be particularly enumerated. A bill of rights annexed to a constitution, is an enumeration of the powers reserved. If we attempt an enumeration, every thing that is not enumerated, is presumed to be given. The consequence is, that an imperfect enumeration would throw all implied power into the scale of the government; and the rights of the people would be rendered incomplete.

School District Sued For Teaching Intelligent Design Theory

The great irony is that last week a famous atheist, Anthony Flew, attributed his move to theism due to the scientific evidence which the Intelligent Design movement highlights. Big Bang cosmology and how the universe is finely tuned to allow for life.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Something About the Scott Peterson Jurors Bothers Me Greatly

I think he's guilty. Let's be upfront with that.

But there were too many "a person in such and such situation shouldn't be reacting like that."

I've watched one too many Dateline NBC specials. There are always jurors who wrongly think that if you are innocent you should be reacting differently for the entire nine-month trial. "That mother smiled once, so she must have killed her kid." Maybe. Maybe not.

People react emotionally in ways you cannot possibly understand. Laugh when your nervous. Not cry at funerals. Et cetera.

Don't convict a person based on how they react or do not react emotionally. Convict based on evidence.

And ultimately I think the Scott Peterson jurors did do that.

The Case Against Trying Pinochet

Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet is going on trial. There are two reasons not to do this.

1) However bad Pinochet was, I would surmise that the socialists he overthrew would have been much, much worse. It doesn't justify what he did, but, overall, the country is better off.

Honestly speaking, why are human rights activists upset at Pinochet and not Castro? Could it be because they have a soft spot for communists? That is the only logical explanation.

2) Pinochet gave up power peacefully in the early 90's. If he knew he would be put on trial, would he have? If memory serves, amnesty was part of the deal. This behavior should be rewarded.

In the future, only Communist despots will be able to give up power peacefully without fear of reprisal from human rights activists.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Bill Moyers Is Retiring

Bill Moyers has lived quite the liberal life. He helped craft the Great Society. Instead of apologizing profusely until the day he dies for all the unintended harm he has caused, Moyers has gone down the path of badmouthing capitalism. If it wasn't so sad, it would be funny.

Marc Rich Is In the Middle of Oil-For-Food Scandal

He got a pardon in 2000. You would think a person would learn to stay out of trouble.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Ex-CIA Agent Says Koran Is Basis of Islamic Terror

I agree. So would bin Laden.

Iran, the Insurgency, and Rep. Curt Weldon

Pennsylvania congressman Curt Weldon was on Michael Smerconish's radio show this morning. Rep. Weldon is shopping a book around among four publishers. According to Weldon, the insurgency is pretty much the work of Iran. This makes a lot of sense since a free Iraq, with its large Shi'ite population, would not be a good thing for despots in Iran. The population of Iraq is not behind the insurgency.

Weldon's more troubling comments, which he did not elaborate on, was that he gave this information to the CIA and that they fell down on the job. One of those he gave the information to was a higher up that resigned with the arrival of Goss.

The book will be worth reading.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Lack of Church Discipline the Cause of Anglican Problems

I could have told you that. Even in conservative elements in mainline denominations, there is only a willingness to exercise discipline with pastors. But discipline should be much more than that. And the lack of it leads to disaster, slowly over time sometimes, but surely. (See I Cor. 5)

Anthony Flew Is Now a Deist

Most people reading this blog have no idea who Anthony Flew is. He is (ummm, was) a famous atheist philosopher. He defended atheism frequently and in many formats.

He is not now an orthodox Christian, but this is huge news. At least to philosphers and apologists.
At age 81, after decades of insisting belief is a mistake, Antony Flew has concluded that some sort of intelligence or first cause must have created the universe. A super-intelligence is the only good explanation for the origin of life and the complexity of nature, Flew said in a telephone interview from England.

The testimony of nature and science overwhelmed his atheism.

Informal Poll, What are the Worst Christmas Songs

1. Wonderful Christmas by Paul McCartney. If Satan was personified in a song it would be the "ding-dong" chorus of this song. Plus it is catchy. A bad combo.

2. This Christmas by George Michael. I normally don't care too much about lyrics. But these lyrics are atrocious.

I'm looking for other entries. Please comment.

Bonds Through the Years

When people tell you that steroids don't improve hand-eye coordination so what's the big deal, ask them one question. If they don't do anything, why do the players take them? Obviously, ten feet in distance is the difference between a fly ball and a home run.

Also, being big allows players to stand inside (sometimes with body armor) and not worry about being hit by a pitch. Hence, they can hit pitches better.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

My Least Favorite Christmas Ads

Those Lexus commercials. Thank you for the $40,000 luxury car! What a wonderful Christmas present!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The Difference Between the Ukrain and Venezuela

The Ukraine isn't being helped by Jimmy Carter. That bodes well for the Ukraine.

Ukrainian PM Candidate Was poisoned

If I may quote Hang 'Em High. If you are going to kill a man, you better make sure he's dead.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

For Pearl Harbor Day: I Was a Prisoner of Japan

A story of POW who, transformed by Christ, began to love his captors.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

The Joys of Socialized Medicine in Great Britian

They want to train nurses to perform surgery so the waiting time will be no longer than 18 weeks.

The New York Times Defends the United Nations in the Massive Oil-For-Food Scandal

The enemy (the corrupt United Nations) of my enemy (Bush) is my friend.


Should the U.S. Attack Airbus Subsidies on Behalf of Boeing?

If Europe won't allow for a level playing field, I say yes. There are a lot of jobs on the line here.

Time For a Kofi Break

The best thing about Kofi Annan? He weakens the U.N.

Something also mentioned in the article. Did anyone know that some U.N. peacekeepers were involved in rape and pedophilia? I, for one, did not.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Who Is At Fault With the Intelligence Bill?

The congressmen have very legitimate concerns with the intelligence bill. People are wringing their hands and lamenting the lack of a bill. They tell us how necessary it is.

So why don't they give in to the congressmen?

Maybe there are things people disagree on. That does not mean that those opposed to some portions of the bill are at fault. If they are at fault, aren't those complaining about them equally at fault?

This gets to the art of spinning I guess.

Oh... the issues? One congressman has concerns about illegal immigration (i.e., controls about who actually gets in our country). The other has concerns about the structure of the intelligence beauracracy.

I've noticed that legislation which is rushed is usually poor. Secondly, I'm concerned that people are following the 9/11 Commission blindly. They didn't have a meeting with God at Sinai.

Tucker Carlson Makes Fun of Canda, and It Is Pretty Funny

Canada needs the United States for trade and a lot of reasons. Without the U.S., Canada is Honduras, but colder and much less interesting....

Friday, December 03, 2004

Yankees May Null and Void Giambi's Contract

Excellent article btw.

Natalie Portman and Pedophilia Chic

I liked the Professional. I didn't know the movie gave us Britney Spears and many other oversexualized teens.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Giambi Admits to Steroid Use to Grand Jury

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Jonah Goldberg's Excellent Article on How the Party of Order Wins Elections

This article is incredibly hard to sum up. Let me just say that Goldberg has some of the best political insight I have read for quite some time. There is a lot in here to digest for both conservatives and liberals.

Here is the best example which highlights the unsettling but necessary aspect of capitalism:
Indeed, one of the reasons Gingrich was such a useful foil for Clinton is the inherent contradiction within the conservative movement. Conservatives are the chief defenders of a capitalist, free-market system, and the capitalist, free-market system is perhaps the most profoundly unconservative social force in human history. Markets topple established customs, they raze settled communities and erase whole ways of life. Conservatives defend this system not out of greed, but out of principle. Freedom without economic freedom is a farce. And economic security provided by government planners has, historically, been the security of guaranteed impoverishment. But that doesn't negate the fact that as much as I like libertarian economic policies, they can be a real handicap at the polls. Nearly 80 years of bribing the public with entitlements has made the idea of yanking entitlements a politically risky proposition.

Federalism As the Solution For Blue State-Red State Mess
That's right. All of a sudden, liberals have discovered federalism and states' rights. I discovered this while listening to a recent episode of NPR's "Talk of the Nation," in which host Neal Conan and various callers discussed the idea as if some lab had just invented it. In that respect, it was a pretty depressing conversation. A listener called in and explained that, as a liberal, she doesn't feel "welcome" in America any more. For her, this whole wacky "states' rights" thing was her last hope before moving to Canada.

The problem with the last half-century of public policy is that liberals have abused the moral stature of the civil rights struggle to use the federal government to impose their worldview - not just on racial issues but on any old issue they pleased. But now, all of a sudden, because they can't have their way at the federal level anymore, the incandescently brilliant logic of federalism has become apparent: Liberals in blue states can live . like liberals! Wahoo! (Whereas, according to liberals, conservatives could never have been sincere when they talked about states' rights; surely, they meant only to "restore Jim Crow" or some such.)

The bad news, alas, is that conservative support for federalism has waned at exactly the moment they could have enshrined the ideal in policy. Just this week, the Bush administration argued against California's medical marijuana law. Bush is also moving ahead toward a constitutional prohibition on gay marriage. After decades of arguments that Washington should stay out of education, Bush has made it his signature domestic issue.

What Do College Tuition, Health Care, and Housing Have in Common?

Their costs are increasing and the costs are subsidized by government. This author argues for the correlation.

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