Thursday, March 31, 2005


In all professions, especially those where practiced skills are important for success, you have to rely on results to determine when it's time to hang it up.

In this particular case, my guess is this guy has got the message -- get a real job!

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


In a strage parallel with the Terri Schiavo case, I note that the Pope is being fed through a feeding tube.

(The Pope made a public appeal, to no avail, some time ago to keep Terri alive.)


Yesterday, on the way to the airport in Tampa, I drove within a few blocks of the hospice where Terri Schiavo is a patient -- but is that the right word? Since the definition of "patient" is One who receives medical attention, care, or treatment, I'm guessing that word wouldn't apply since she is not receiving anything.

Anyway, I wasn't close enough to see or hear Rev. Jesse Jackson, but all of us have been close enough to hear more than most of us would like to hear about this case.

I only have three questions:

1. Florida has passed living will legislation for the expressed purpose of allowing any adult to determine whether heroic measures should be used to extend their lives. Terri Schiavo does not have a living will. How can they presume what she wanted?

2. Terri Schiavo's husband, with a second common law wife and two kids, has obvious conflicts of interest in acting as her guardian. Why is he still her guardian? Why has there been no guardian ad litem appointed? Previous attempts to do so resulted in the guardian being dismissed by the courts when it was alleged by her husband's attorney that the guardian ad litem was biased. Why had there been no further attempt to find an "unbiased" guardian ad litem?

3. Though it doesn't seem to be a priority right now, there did seem to be some question about whether Terri Schiavo's husband denied her recommended rehabilitation therapies early on (within a year of her collapse), moving her to a nursing home and ensuring she was just "maintained". Why was there no proper investigation of this case then? Denying medical treatment is (I'm guessing here) probably at least a misdemeanor.

Another couple of days of the courts doing nothing will render any decision moot. The only thing left after that is an autopsy, which will probably show the degree of her brain damage, but will never show what she thought just before she died.

Friday, March 18, 2005


Haven't taken a "fun" vacation for more than a year, so decided it was time. Will be off to the far reaches of the Gulf Coast of Florida for the next ten days.

Might have time to blog, might not.

Until about the 30th of March, color me gone.

Ciao. Adios. Bye - bye.


Sometimes executives and even ordinary employees steal money from their companies. Sometimes executives hide a company's true financial picture, often trying to make debt either disappear or actually look like an investment on the company's balance sheet.

As we've seen with Enron, WorldCom and others, this sort of behavior will land you in jail.

When it comes to our Social Security system, however, Congress has been doing pretty much the same thing for almost 40 years. It's proven to be an addictive drug, but we now have everyone in agreement that this addiction will begin to kill us within the next 12 or so years.

So why is it that the Democrats absolutely refuse to discuss anything that has anything to do with re-thinking Social Security? Is is that they have a plan that will cure our addiction? Or do they just see this as another opportunity to try to make it look like Bush is the bad guy?

Like the Democratic strategy of running in 2004 on a non-issue campaign, whose only plank was "anti-Bush", and the stonewalling of the confirmation of Federal judges, they seem to be employing the same strategy vis-a-vis Social Security. Their strategy is still, simply, anti-Bush.

Thursday, March 17, 2005


Here's a test . . . true or false:

On his way to the dedication of a Holocaust museum in Israel, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan laid a wreath at the grave of Yassir Arafat.

Answer: True

Not just an idiot; a f***ing idiot. He's supposed to be a diplomat??


I'm sure most Georgians were frightened last week when the "rapist" was on the loose.

My first reaction was how could this guy have: 1) overpowered his guards, 2) got one of their guns, and 3) escaped from the building before they even knew there was a problem?

When I heard that he was being "escorted" by one officer about half his size (and female), my second reaction was "what the hell were they thinking?" After all, here's a 6 foot 200+ pound former linebacker. Where were the "big guys?"

Then I realized I was being politically incorrect, but when public safety is at risk, why did something like this happen??

Today, Ann Coulter asks (and answers) the same question.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


Yes, that's right. I admit it. I'm an American Idol fan.

No, I won't be posting on it each week, but I think it's a fun show and if you like music and entertainment, it's about the only show on every week where you can see live music performed. Some of it is downright entertaining, some is painful, but it works for me. I also watch Nashville Star, too, but it's missing one necessary ingredient -- sarcastic judges.

What makes it interesting to me is they really find people who've had little experience performing as paid professionals. Their track record is decent. A handful of folks, including a few who weren't winners, have been successful.

This year, I was disappointed to see Mario Vasquez leave, but he may get a record deal before the winner, if you believe the press accounts that he left to sign a record deal now and didn't want to be obligated to the American Idol producers.

Anyway, it's my confession of the week. Next week, I'll talk about The Contender . . . not!!!

Who do I think will win this year? Right now, it's a toss-up -- Bo Bice, Anwar Robinson or Carrie Underwood, with Nadia Turner as an outside shot.


Brendar Miniter makes the compelling case today that the Social Security system is in need of an overhaul. His argument uses his own personal case as the rationale -- e.g., while financial planners suggest that all workers begin to plan and save for retirement the moment they begin working, Social Security ignores your income for the first 10 or so years of your economic "life", basing benefits on your highest 35 years. Normally, this would be your last 35 years.

He makes the effective argument that personal accounts should be allowed so that all workers can begin to save from day one, not day 3,650.


Politically speaking, of course . . .

Don't know? Click here and take the quiz to find out.

Me? I'm just southwest of Drew Carey.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


Probably not, but if Malcolm Bricklin (who brought you the Bricklin, Subaru and Yugo) and his Chinese automobile venture is successful at producing a quality automobile, everybody's in for a rude awakening.

How about an under $20,000 car with the same qualities as a top-end BMW?

Got your attention?? And these guys are the eighth largest Chinese auto manufacturer. When was the last time there were eight active automobile manufacturers in the US?

If you've driven a Hyundai in the past year, you've seen that they can produce a high-quality car for not a lot of money. If the Chinese can do the same, it will become very, very interesting.


Speaking of John Kerry (see post below), no one can take as much credit for John Kerry's defeat and the exposure of the bias in the mainstream media as the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and their fearless leader, John O'Neill.


John who? you might say.

I remember those photos of Al Gore a few months after he realized the American public rejected him -- overweight, scraggly beard, ill-fitting sweats. Kerry is doing better. Still looks "presidential" in a Hollywood sort of way.

Most importantly, though, he still has a political voice and you should pay attention to what he says, especially when he begins to suggest that a free press may not be such a wonderful idea. This piece by P.J. O'Rourke highlights Sen. Kerry's possible new mantra -- "bring back the Fairness Doctrine."


Here's a great post. It's a wonderful rant sent to Nancy Pelosi and her response. Can the Democrats be more out of touch? I don't think they realize just how disaffected many "former" Democrats are at their singular approach of nothing constructive, only anti-Bush rhetoric.

Monday, March 14, 2005


What has this world come to?

It appears that the mainstream media was actually biased against President Bush during last year's campaign.

No, this isn't a statement by Bush or any of his supporters.

It's a statement from a media watchdog (the Project for Excellence in Journalism) affiliated with the Columbia University School of Journalism (hardly a left-wing outfit).

Must have been painful for them to acknowledge. But, of course, their rationalization is probably that there was a bias against the President because he was wrong on Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. We all now (with the benefit of hindsight) the answer to that question.


(With apologies to friends and family in Canada.)

Canadian politicians seem to be drifting into a zone even further to the left than the French.


Four years of undergraduate study: $100,000

Three years of law school: $90,000

Becoming a class-action lawyer: Disgusting

Accidentally suing yourself: Priceless


And in the case of the United Auto Workers, even if you're a US Marine, you can't park in their parking lot if you drive a "foreign" car have Bush sticker on your bumper.

I can't think of a better reason to "buy foreign" than to seal the doom of the UAW. I've written before about the incompetency of the management of American automobile manufacturers. You can thank them for the creation of this monster.

Of course I liked the comment of the no-doubt crusty commander of the unit who said: I don't know what a foreign car is today anyway. BMWs are made in South Carolina now.



Wonderful. Phillip Bennett, Managing Editor of the Washington Post was interviewed by the Chinese People's Daily.

When asked: In such sense, do you think America should be the leader of the world?

He responded: No, I don't think US should be the leader of the world. My job is helping my readers trying to understand what is happening now. What is happening now is very difficult to understand. The world is very complex. There are various complex forces occurring in it. I don't think you can imagine a world where one country or one group of people could lead everybody else. I can't imagine that could happen. I also think it is unhealthy to have one country as the leader of the world. People in other countries don't want to be led by foreign countries. They may want to have good relations with it or they may want to share with what is good in that country.

Friday, March 11, 2005


Especially conservative blondes.


Finally, it appears there are Muslims who are willing stand up and say that bin Laden is not a true Muslim, but a terrorist. And others are saying suicide bombing is against the teachings of Islam.

It's about time . . .


Victor Davis Hanson, as he usually does, delivers an excellent lecture today about Prof. Ward Churchill and why Churchill isn't the problem. The problem is:

Ward Churchill’s plight gives us a glimpse into the strange world of the contemporary postmodern university of tenured ideologues, where professed identity politics, ethnic or gender chauvinism, and a disbelief in empiricism allow a con man to bully his way to guaranteed lifetime employment, and a handsome salary, and the right to say anything at all, no matter how inflammatory.


That's the challege for the "Hillary in 2008" movement. As it is now, she is so despised by Republicans (more so than potential Republican candidates are despised by Democrats) that she could do no better than a statistical tie against Giuliani or McCain.

So, the challenge is, how can they make her less polarizing?

Thursday, March 10, 2005


Blogger is f%@*#ed up today, so not much ability to post.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


The love?

The acknowledgement by left-liberals that freeing Iraqis (even if there were no WMDs) was a good thing? Daniel Schorr has joined the chorus.


Remember the Kevin Costner movie, No Way Out? It was a very clever, very watchable end-of-Cold-War spy flick. Costner played a character named Yuri who was a Soviet sleeper, inserted into the US at a very early age, who later became a naval intelligence officer who had access to top level intelligence in the Pentagon.

It seems there may be a number of middle eastern "Yuris" already here who are trying the same thing.

Not good. Sooner or later, they'll get in the front door.


It's interesting that the left-liberal watchdogs have given so much credit to "right wing" blogs for the undoing of John Kerry, Dan Rather, et. al. They make it sound like conservatives are the only ones who own a computer with an Internet connection.

Not true. Turns out Kerry supporters are more "wired."


I cringed when I heard the story about the Italian journalist and the Italian intelligence officer being shot and killed, respectively, by American troops. I knew there would be massive negative press in the Euro-zone and they didn't disappoint.

But now, some additional information is coming out. She claimed they were fired upon for a few minutes -- that hundreds of rounds were fired. If that were true then, based on these photos, our guys can't hit the broad side of a barn. Looks more like there was limited fire directed at the driver. One hole in the windshield and the driver's window is gone -- good shooting.

And as for the politics of the "journalist", read this. Almost makes you want to believe her "kidnappers" were really people she sympathized with, who then turned on her. If you're really cynical, you might believe it was a setup, but I think she's just a naive twit who made the mistake of sticking her hand into the lion's cage.

Of course, the danger is that this turns into Colombia, where kidnap for ransom is a primary means of financing FARC's terrorist activity.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


When I read this headline, I thought the article was going to be about Hillary!


Here's another wonderful example of a misapplied law.

You've got a college kid who is barely escaping going to jail for having "illegal" copies of movies on his computer's hard drive.

This poor kid was the first in the nation to be convicted under a law that was designed to combat piracy of movies and songs. Arresting and convicting this kid is like arresting and convicting some poor weedhead for smoking a joint, congratulating yourself that you're winning the war on drugs.

What about going after the guys who actually sell pirated property.


Actually, an excellent article about the Laffer Curve in action in India.


The Bush Doctrine keeps getting positive ink in left-wing media. Shouldn't we be suspicious?


Damn, it must suck for everyone you've worked with, especially a guy that could have been your mentor, to disrespect you.


Ms. Boxer, your reality check is ready.


Here's why.

To me, the one thing that most people are ignorant of is the burgeoning demand of India and particularly China in the global demand for energy. And for the environmentalists, neither country seems to be all that interested in controlling vehicular pollution to the same extent we in the US and Europe do so.

Monday, March 07, 2005


The President of the University of Colorado announced her resignation today. Fine, but what about that idiot Ward Churchill? There has been discussion that the University may have to spend huge sums of money to either buy him out of his contract or spend huge sums of money to sue his sorry ass. All the while, his "15 minutes" stretches to "15 hours."

ON A ROLL . . .

Here's another positive take on the World events of the past few weeks and the continued success of the Bush doctrine.


Maybe it's not a fair statement anymore, but when I lived in Chicago while Richard Daley was Mayor, voting was hardly by the book. You heard all sorts of stories about dead people and street people voting, sometimes more than once.

In virtually all states, convicted felons are prohibited from voting.

Guess who wants to change that, and a whole lot more?


Like to read first-person accounts of the War in Iraq?

Here's a good one.


Gee, it's "Dan Rather's leaving week."


Friday, March 04, 2005


We've all heard random news stories that few of the terrorists killed in Iraq are actually Iraqis. We know they come from Syria, Iran, Lebanon and Palestine. Right?

Well, maybe not. Read this.

Again, I'll ask the same question: With friends like the Saudis, who needs enemies?


The liberal left has spent much time, effort and political capital to ensure that prisoners in US jails and prisons enjoy many freedoms -- cable TV, libraries (espcially law libraries), telephone and mail privileges, workout facilities, etc.

NBC News recently reported in a two part story how these "freedoms" may have cost us dearly.


We've all heard too much from and about Ward Churchill, the fake Native American professor.

Here's an article from a real Native American point of view.


No, the following isn't a joke. It's real.

There are towns in America where you can get free land to build your house on. There are others that will give you the free land and subsidize the building of your house. There are others that will do all the above, plus reduce your real estate taxes for many years.

What's the catch?

You gotta move there permanently.

How bad could it be?

If you're an isolationist, I'd opt for North Dakota. Otherwise, the two towns in Kansas are better choices -- good weather, not that far from a decent-sized city, etc.

Let me know if you decide this is for you.


(If economics doesn't curl your toes, skip this one.)

Arnold Kling continues to be my favorite economist. This week he published an article at Tech Central Station that, if you enjoy the study of economics, you must read.

It is also a wonderful "up yours" to most of academia.


I include in its entirety and article about Zimbabwe's futile attempt to "reclaim" land owed by whites:

White land grab policy has failed, Mugabe confesses
By David Blair in Johannesburg
(Filed: 03/03/2005)

President Robert Mugabe confessed yesterday that millions of acres of prime land seized from Zimbabwe's white farmers are now lying empty and idle. After years spent trumpeting the "success" of the land grab, Mr Mugabe, 81, admitted that most of the farms transferred to black owners have never been used.

All but a handful of Zimbabwe's 4,000 white farmers lost their homes and livelihoods when armed gangs of Mugabe supporters began invading their property in 2000. In the first 18 months of the campaign, eight white landowners and 39 of their black workers were murdered, court orders defied and Zimbabwe's economy plunged into crisis. Mr Mugabe said this was the price that Zimbabwe would have to pay to redress the wrongs of the British colonial era, which left much of the best land in white hands. He claimed that the seizures would boost production and benefit millions of blacks.

Yet in his home province yesterday, Mr Mugabe chided the new landowners for growing crops on less than half of their land. "President Mugabe expressed disappointment with the land use, saying only 44 per cent of the land distributed is being fully utilised," state television reported. "He warned the farmers that the government will not hesitate to redistribute land that is not being utilised." Some 10.4 million acres were seized under a scheme designed to create a new class of black commercial farmer. By Mr Mugabe's figures, 5.8 million acres are lying fallow.

Last year, Mr Mugabe boasted of a bumper harvest and said that Zimbabwe no longer needed help "foisted" on it from the United Nations World Food Programme. His land grab had made Zimbabwe "self sufficient", Mr Mugabe repeatedly claimed, and the national maize crop was a record 2.4 million tonnes.

The Commercial Farmers' Union said that Zimbabwe grew only 850,000 tonnes of maize last year, not enough to meet domestic demand. In 1999, the last year before the land grab began, Zimbabwe grew 1.5 million tonnes. Then, Zimbabwe also earned about £263 million from tobacco exports. Last year, production had fallen by more than 70 per cent and earnings were down to £77 million.

Critics said Mr Mugabe's admission exposed the land grab's "failure". "It has been a phenomenal and absolute failure on every level," said Tendai Biti, secretary for economic affairs of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. "It has failed both in terms of production of crops and in terms of the occupation of the land."

The new farmers are unable to raise bank loans because their properties are formally owned by the government and they have no individual title deeds. Without loans, they cannot buy seed, fertiliser or farming equipment and the regime has broken a pledge to supply them with tools.
Some farmers have resorted to using horse-drawn ploughs. Many have given up trying to produce anything at all.

Zimbabwe will hold parliamentary elections on March 31 and, for the first time in 10 years, Mr Mugabe is no longer holding out the offer of white-owned land as a vote-winner. Instead, his speeches are dominated by attacks on Tony Blair, who he claims is plotting to recolonise Zimbabwe.

About 400 white farmers remain in Zimbabwe, with about one third of this year's tobacco crop of 89,000 tonnes coming from only 250 white landowners.

(Registration required)


You know, Jerry Brown . . . Governor Moonbeam?

Jerry Brown was Governor of California when I was a grad student at USC many years ago and (though he was a Democrat) I supported him. He always displayed a streak of "good old-fashioned, blue-collar, I'm here to work my ass off for you" political appeal. For those who remember, he was considered a strong favorite to become President, but his star faded because it was easy to paint him as a little nuts.

He quietly disappeared from national politics but, after his mid-life crisis, became the mayor of Oakland, California, and is doing his darndest to make it work, almost in the same style and fashion as Rudy Giuliani did in New York.

A few weeks ago, he decided to start publishing his own blog. A couple of days ago, he posted about a protest that, well, you have to read it. It's funny and it points out how Jerry has matured as a politician and seasoned as a leader.


Here's another "breakthrough" article about the Bush Doctrine, this time from The Times.

My favorite quote:

“All right, all right. But apart from liberating 50 million people in Iraq and Afghanistan, undermining dictatorships throughout the Arab world, spreading freedom and self-determination in the broader Middle East and moving the Palestinians and the Israelis towards a real chance of ending their centuries-long war, what have the Americans ever done for us?”

Thursday, March 03, 2005


Why don't they just say "bomb us now?"


Howard Dean is not reformed. And here is the proof:

And concluding his backyard speech with a litany of Democratic values, he added: "This is a struggle of good and evil. And we're the good."

But wait, there's more. One of those who heard his speech said this:

"I feel like he could have gone even stronger with his language," said Katherine Dessert, a student and preschool teacher. "I feel like he was a little bit too conservative. It didn't move me.

Nice thought from a preschool teacher.


Here's a blog interview with Victor Davis Hanson that you won't want to miss.


This article in The New Republic makes an interesting recommendation to the Democrats in Congress:

On the other hand, it's not clear that Democrats benefit directly from killing privatization so quickly. They could accuse the GOP of wanting to cut benefits on the campaign trail next year. But, in the absence of an actual proposal, it's not clear that this claim has any more resonance than it would in an election cycle where the GOP didn't try to privatize Social Security. That's obviously not nothing--campaigning to protect Social Security always has some resonance. But it's not Republicans-are-cutting-your-benefits-40-percent resonant. (The truly Machiavellian thing to do here would be to pretend to be open to compromise with the GOP, force them to propose a detailed plan, then balk at the last minute and attack the plan in 2006. I'm not sure Democrats are that devious, though.)


The network of Ted Turner keeps sliding down the porcelain. In a medium they invented (cable news), CNN has become a joke. Not to mention CNBC and MSNBC. They are all being thrashed by Fox.

And to show that they aren't one trick ponies, Fox also trashed CBS, NBC and ABC in overall ratings.


Here's the "local" reporting on a debate between Victor Davis Hanson and a Dartmouth history professor. I liked this next to last paragraph:

At a question-and-answer session at the end of the debate, this view of human nature was the subject of much disdain by many members of the audience. One fellow questioned whether “you and Homer and Thucydides two-thousand years ago” were cut out for modernity. Another asked Hanson when the war in Iraq would come to end—“when will we reap the benefits of preemptive war?”—and wondered whether “Pericles would have any advice for defeating suicide bombers in an urban environment.” Actually, Hanson retorted, the juxtaposition was poorly-chosen, as Peloponnesian War lasted for “twenty-seven and a half years.”

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


Democrats still seem to be rumbling about a national healthcare system. The Brits have a lot of history on this one, so maybe we should look to them for advice. Or maybe we should just stop talking about it.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


The Supreme Court announced their decision in Roper v. Simmons this morning. In this case, they decided that the Constitution bars the execution of convicted murderers if the murder was committed prior to the murderer's 18th birthday. It was a 5-4 decision, and in the Court's findings, they say:

The Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and un-usual punishments must be interpreted according to its text, by considering history, tradition, and precedent, and with due regard for its purpose and function in the constitutional design. To implement this framework this Court has established the propriety and affirmed the necessity of referring to the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society to determine which punishments are so disproportionate as to be cruel and unusual.

OK, fine, but before you say this is a good decision read this:

At the age of 17, when he was still a junior in high school, Christopher Simmons, the respondent here, committed murder. About nine months later, after he had turned 18, he was tried and sentenced to death. There is little doubt that Simmons was the instigator of the crime. Before its commission Simmons said he wanted to murder someone. In chilling, callous terms he talked about his plan, discussing it for the most part with two friends, Charles Benjamin and John Tessmer, then aged 15 and 16 respectively. Simmons proposed to commit burglary and murder by breaking and entering, tying up a victim, and throwing the victim off a bridge. Simmons assured his friends they could get away with it because they were minors.

The three met at about 2 a.m. on the night of the murder, but Tessmer left before the other two set out. (The State later charged Tessmer with conspiracy, but dropped the charge in exchange for his testimony against Simmons.) Simmons and Benjamin entered the home of the victim, Shirley Crook, after reaching through an open window and unlocking the back door. Simmons turned on a hallway light. Awakened, Mrs. Crook called out, who's there?? In response Simmons entered Mrs. Crook's bedroom, where he recognized her from a previous car accident involving them both. Simmons later admitted this confirmed his resolve to murder her.

Using duct tape to cover her eyes and mouth and bind her hands, the two perpetrators put Mrs. Crook in her minivan and drove to a state park. They reinforced the bindings, covered her head with a towel, and walked her to a railroad trestle spanning the Meramec River. There they tied her hands and feet together with electrical wire, wrapped her whole face in duct tape and threw her from the bridge, drowning her in the waters below.


And it's not April 1st, it's March 1st.

So how can I explain this NYTimes editorial that acknowledges the Bush Doctrine is working?

I can just see the Democrats having an aneurysm when they read this one.