Saturday, September 30, 2006

Georgia & Russia On Edge

The problem in Georgia has existed since the Soviet breakup: two areas separated -- Abkhazia and South Ossetia -- desired autonomy. They have this, somewhat, but have had Russian peacekeepers ever since.

Russian forces are scheduled to pull out of two bases in Georgia by 2008. However, this week, Georgia arrested some Russian military officers on espionage charges. The has caused Russian major concern. They are withdrawing personnel and troop withdrawal is now questioned. Georgia has accused Russia a series of explosions on its natural gas pipelines. Russia has banned imports of Georgian wine and mineral water.

Georgia wants control over all its land. From their perspective, these longstanding enclaves cannot continue under Russian control. Georgia desires ties with the west, less with Russia.

Georgia hosts an oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea, which continues through Turkey -- bypassing Russian and Iran. Georgia also border the Black Sea and is working with other nations; e.g., Kazakhstan, on oil and gas transportation.

The west, if not the world, needs a stable Georgia. Enclave nationalism and oil are key items in an unstable region. This area is going to get worse before it gets better.

$1T = Cost of Capping Greenhouse Gas Emissions

According to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the cost of curbing the emissions of harmful gases that are blamed for causing global warming has been estimated at $1 trillion. The volume of emissions of the problem gases will double by 2050 unless policy steps are to cut energy use.

With prosperity through the world, the increase in energy demand is a given. Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia and Turkey are the largest emerging economies and will significantly increase their energy consumption.

The report gives a wish list of measures that could deliver lower emissions than exist now:
-- energy efficiency improvements beyond the historic trend
-- road pricing where proceeds are not given back to motorists
-- investment in hydrogen-based technologies
-- a major switch from coal to nuclear and renewables, particularly in China and India
-- expanding carbon capture and storage - taking carbon at source and storing underground or undersea.

We all can do our part to reduce our personal use and associated costs of energy. We turn off lights and electronics, buy vehicles that get better mpg, factor in the cost of fuel for our trips -- weighing this as part of a go/not go decision.

The Bush administration claims it will focus a large amount of its last 2 years on renewable energy.

I am not a glom and doomer. But I do see that we all can be more prudent in taking practical steps in reducing energy and considering alternatives. I'd like to see people make the appropriate decisions regarding energy usage. I rarely like government mandates to the populace.

I consider the growing dependence on non-renewable energy and foreign energy like I view pollution. I don't like it. I'd like people to take control and not wait for government to write a law, impose fines and to create a new bureaucracy to address the problem. Let's do what is prudent and in the best interest of our country.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Fall Campaign Talking Points Established

President Bush has taken of the gloves. He is going directly at his Democratic critics. This is what its all about. This November's federal election will be based on terrorism, homeland security, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The electorate should have a clear understanding of what each party stands for and what they will or will not do.

"Five years after 9/11, the worst attack on the American homeland in our history, Democrats offer nothing but criticism and obstruction and endless second-guessing."

"The party of FDR and the party of Harry Truman has become the party of cut and run."

"The greatest danger is not that America's presence in the war in Iraq is drawing new recruits to the terrorist cause. The greatest danger is that an American withdrawal from Iraq would embolden the terrorists and help them find new recruits to carry out even more destructive attacks."

"Some in Washington, some decent people, patriotic people, feel like we should not be on the offensive in this war on terror. We will fight them wherever they make a stand."
Democrats rebuttals:
"On his watch, five years after 9/11, he not only has failed to capture Osama bin Laden, but as the National Intelligence Estimate indicates, his failed policies have made America less safe and spawned terrorism, not decreased it," said Karen Finney, spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee. "Democrats will be tough and smart, and will actually fight the terrorists, not leave them to plan future attacks." [Only and idiot would believe this.]

Rep. Jane Harman of California, top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said that because of the Iraq war "it may become more likely" that the U.S. will have to contend with terrorists on its own soil again, rather than less likely as the president argues.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the world would be better off without the Iraq war and if former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein were still in power.

And of course John Kerry was against the war after he was for it, before he stopped being against it, prior to supporting it.

Funeral Protests Are Just Bad form

I question the sanity, little own the consideration and professionalism of those anti-war protestors who focus their attention on soldier funerals with the goal of inflicting maximum psychological distress.

The protest group's modus operandi is to disrupt the funeral of fallen servicemen with protests proclaiming jubilation over the person's death and mockery of the mourners. The protestors routinely carry signs saying, "Thank God for dead soldiers," "God hates your tears," "Thank God for IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices)," "Thank God for September 11th."

Over the past six weeks, the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) has gotten involved in almost 20 cases involving the disruption of funerals of our military men and women.

The left is not the only annoying side of the funeral protests. Anti-gay activist have also been known to show up with their signs and slogans at soldier funerals.

There are arguments over how these protests violate First Amendment rights. Although I am not too sure about that, it takes a lowly person or group to resort to these types of tactics. I do not see how it furthers their political cause.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Living in North Utah County

I live in a unique part of the world. And I am glad. When I look at all of the crap that goes on in the world, the country and the state, I am grateful for my isolated part of the world.

The schools are great -- I have only heard of one girl (in ten years) that left school due to pregnancy. (I am sure there are more but hush-hus is the word.) Smoking is almost unheard of. Drinking about the same. I am sure there are many things going one "behind the scenes," but the outward view is pleasant.

Consider the week's police blotter for Alpine/Highland:

THEFT -- 19-year-old Jason Rosenlof of Pleasant Grove was arrested in Alpine on charge of theft after stealing two candy items from an Alpine convenience store.

Wow; wild place we live in. Moving here from Minnesota via St. Louis and Dallas and from my home in Ohio was the best decision we've ever made. The best place in the world, without exception, to raise children.

Kazakh President in Washington

Yevgeny A. Zhovtis of the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law, an organization that has received financing from the American Embassy and the National Endowment for Democracy said, "there are four enemies of human rights: oil, gas, the war on terror and geopolitical considerations; and we have all four."

President Bush will host the Kazakh President Nursultan A. Nazarbayev in a state dinner in Washington on Friday. Nazarbayev has a record of corruption, rigged elections and human rights violations, including the killings of two opposition leaders. He has been in power since the early 80s -- since the fall of the Soviet Union.

It is always the case in politics that administrations are willingness to sacrifice democracy if it conflicts with other foreign policy goals. Foreign policy must be flexible -- you have your goals but you should be able to divert from them if it helps you (us) reach your (our) overall goals.

I have been to Kazakhstan. We adopted a child from there. It was not my favorite place to visit (not an ideal vacation spot if you were interested). It is a third-world nation. It is a typical dictator nation -- the few haves and the most have-nots. The thing I remember most about the nation is the depressing expressions in the faces of the citizens and lack of opportunity or motivation.

Kazakhstan has huge opportunities. It has great resources. Its only real problem is its lack of an ocean port. Transportation of goods impose an extra burden, but they are addressing this. They will be investing now and reaping later.

They are strategically positioned between Russia and China and just above all of the other "stans". They have a bi-religious society -- Kazaks are Muslim and Russian are Christian -- that does not appear overzealous either way.

Kazakhstan is a country to keep your eye on.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

More TVs Per Home Than People

Nielsen Media Research reported that average American television viewing continues to increase in spite of growing competition from new media platforms and devices, such as video iPods, cell phones and streaming video.

-- The total average time a household watched television during the 2005-2006 television year was 8 hours and 14 minutes per day, a 3-minute increase from the 2004-2005 season and a record high.

-- The average amount of television watched by an individual viewer increased 3 minutes per day to 4 hours and 35 minutes, also a record.

-- During primetime, households tuned to an average of 1 hour and 54 minutes of primetime television per night, up 1 minute, and the average viewer watched 1 hour and 11 minutes, which was the same as last year.

-- Teens age 12-17 viewed 3% more traditional television during the full day than in the 2004-2005 television year. This increase was driven primarily by teenage girls, who increased their Total Day viewing by 6%.

-- Younger children age 2-11 also watched more television during 2005-2006, increasing their total day viewing levels by 4%. Viewing by children increased 3% during primetime, 5% during early morning and 6% during late night. African American children (aged 2 to 11) increased their viewing by a full 10% in the last year, while Hispanic children in the same age group spent a staggering 14% more time with the tube.

-- For the first time, the average American home now contains more television sets than people. The typical household accommodates only 2.55 people, but 2.73 televisions. An astonishing 50% of all homes boast three or more TV’s, and only 19% contain just one. In 1975, by contrast 57% of households owned only one television, and only 11% contained three or more.

Michael Medved concludes with the following:
Cutting down the number of TV’s that currently clutter our homes can improve our personal lives while helping to address a host of social and health problems. Best of all, we can redefine our homes from their status as captive territory “taken over” by television and see them once again as places where living – not just watching – regularly takes place.
I know I should watch less TV.

BATFE -- H.R. 5092 Passed!

The National Rifle Association (NRA)-backed "Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) Modernization and Reform Act of 2006," (H.R. 5092) introduced by Reps. Howard Coble (R-NC) and Bobby Scott (D-VA), passed the United States House of Representatives today with a bi-partisan vote of 277-131.

H.R. 5092 was drafted in large part to address recent, blatant BATFE abuses at Richmond, Virginia gun shows highlighted in hearings before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.

H.R. 5092, the "BATFE Modernization and Reform Act", establishes a more efficient system of administrative penalties for licensed dealers, manufacturers and importers of firearms. Prior to this bill, for most violations BATFE could only either give a federal firearms license (FFL) holder a warning or completely revoke their license.

Cleaning up weak legislation is always good, especially as it relates to our Second Amendment rights.

TO...Just Go Away

The Dallas Police Department say Terrell Owens attempted suicide last night by taking an overdose of prescription pain pills.

A companion told officers that Owens last week filled a prescription for 40 pain pills, but had only taken five of the pills up to yesterday. Owens told police that he had taken the balance of the pills last night.

Owens' posee disputes the police report. They say that it was in fact an allergic reaction to a combination of pain medication and nutritional supplements.

UPDATE: Owens blamed a combination of hydrocodone, a generic form of Vicodin, with all-natural supplements for making him ill.

Can anyone say Dennis Rodman? Sounds mighty similar. Therapy seem like the next logical step.

TO's been bad news everywhere he's been -- Cowboys, Eagles, 49ers. All the talent in the world but lacking the mental capacity and maturity to deal with his gifts and associated spotlight. If I actually liked him, I'd feel sorry.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Nancy, That Must Hurt

From the Congressional Quarterly mid-day report, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, taking a page from a playbook used by Senate Democrats last year, today tried but failed to force the House into closed session to review a National Intelligence Estimate on the worldwide terror threat in the wake of the war in Iraq.

The 171-217 vote against her motion came not long after President Bush said that he was ordering National Intelligence Director John D. Negroponte to declassify parts of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) that do not disclose methods or sources. The document, prepared in April, represents an authoritative assessment by the entire U.S. intelligence community. Portions of it were reported over the weekend by the New York Times and other media organizations.

Nothing is sacred during election run-ups.


On Monday night, ESPN went MSM on us -- focusing on the liberal politics of post Katrina New Orleans.

Instead of focusing on the ball game, they carried the pre-game show that included talking about the problems of New Orleans (from the MSM perspective) throughout the game and for a long time afterwards.

Whereas I realize getting the Superdome back and operational has been a great accomplishment and the fact that the NFL wants to promote its product through showing its concern, it got overboard.

Since when did movie maker Spike Lee become an expert on disaster recovery and government program operations? Bono and Green Day -- the spokesmen for the downcast of New Orleans? Mike Tirico, Joe Theismann, Tony Kornheiser, Stuart Scott (the worst of the worst), Chris Berman, Michael Irvin, Steve Young and Tom Jackson (the only one I really like) have crossed over from football to "Keith Oberman" loser.

We all know the MSM has blamed the federal government (specifically GW Bush) for the hurricane (global warming), the problems during the immediate aftermath, and the apparent lack of care, attention and funding of the destruction over a year afterwards. Now we have ESPN joining into the fray.

I could not watch this game for long because of all of the anti-federal government op-ed pieces. "Oh it is so sad." "It is great to see all the people come out and support their team." "We need you to come to New Orleans and spend your money so we can get on our feet again." "When you look at the destroyed areas, you wonder why we cannot do a better job of helping these people."

This had better be the first and last time they go to this extreme to promote the liberal agenda. I already find I am less interested in MNF now that it has moved to ESPN. This political dogma is not helping.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Lies, Damn Lies and Clinton

What an embarrassment. Clinton gets hit with opposing views on his efforts against terrorism and bin Laden or what he calls lies by the MSM (and Fox is MSM). He goes on the air wagging his finger (means he's lying), lecturing, shifting blame, and claiming his hands were tied. This is a former President. He behaves like a child caught red-handed but swears up and down it wasn't him or it was someone else.

Clinton is a despicable creature. How anyone can say they like Bill Clinton is beyond me. Politics aside, he is one the most deceitful and self-aggrandizing statesmen we have ever had.

Byron York does a good job dissecting Clinton's Sunday rampage:
The bottom line is that Bill Clinton, the commander-in-chief, could not find the will to order the military into action against al Qaeda, and Bill Clinton, the head of the executive branch, could not find the will to order the CIA and FBI to act. No matter what the former president says on Fox, or anywhere else, that is his legacy in the war on terror.

Russia Spending Increases Significantly

Oil prices have a direct impact on the budgets of nations. Our dependency on foreign oil provides a cash bonanza to the oil producer in the Middle East, Latin America and Russia.

The Russian State Duma gave preliminary approval to a 2007 budget that is expected to be 25% bigger than this year's. The hike comes on top of a 40% increase in 2006. The government is spending windfall revenues created by high world oil prices.

By a 343-94 vote with no abstentions, deputies passed the draft budget on first reading. Budget spending is to swell to 5.46 trillion rubles ($205 billion), or 17.5% of Russia's GDP. With expected revenues of 6.96 trillion rubles, the budget foresees a surplus of 1.5 trillion rubles, or 4.8% of GDP.

The projected surplus, however, will largely depend on the oil price, as the budget is based on an average price of $61 per barrel of Urals crude -- a far higher level than in previous years.

If global oil prices stay at their current levels -- supply and demand are constant -- then this is probably a safe bet. If they turn down, heads will roll in Russia.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Congrats Tervor Hoffman

Trevor Hoffman set down the Pirates in order in the bottom of the ninth on Sunday, in the final regular-season game of 2006 at PETCO Park converting the 479th save of his career.

This makes him the all-time save leader in Major League history, passing Lee Smith.

1. T Hoffman - 479
2. L Smith - 478
3. J Franco - 424
4. M Rivera - 413
5. D Eckersley - 390
6. J Reardon - 367
7. R Myers - 347
8. R Fingers - 341
9. J Wetteland - 330
10. R Hernandez - 326

Buggy Things In Sport

Here's a list of some recent bothersome things in my world of sport:

-- NFL and College Football replay reviews -- they take WAAAAY too long; and even then, it looks like they miss 25-25% of them.

-- Football games and the TV timeouts -- the flow of games is interrupted with commercials. It started with the NFL's Two Minute Warning. ("Oh no, two minutes are left; thanks for the notification; I might have missed that were it not for your courtesy." That's one reason I like watching soccer -- 45 minutes of uninterrupted play per half.

-- All the statistics put on the TV screen during the real action. Why do we need more than two places on the screen to tell us it is "3rd and 9?" Why do we need a constanly rolling ticker of other games results? The NFL is bad at this. ESPN2 ovedoes it.

-- Brett Farve and Ben Roethlisberger -- can't stand them and the commentators who worship them. [Probably exacerbated by the fact I hate Green Bay and Pittsburgh).

-- Notre Dame football and their head coach, Charlie Weis and the fact they schedule Army, Navy and Air force every year. I do like the Michigan, Purdue and Michigan State (choke, choke) games; local matches are always more compelling.

-- Athletes that engage in "me, me, me" celebrations after doing something they are "paid" to do; athletes who do not respect their opponents or show good sportsmanship.

-- Football commentators and PA announcers who say "that's another [team name here] first down."

-- Top tier professional soccer leagues (EPL, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga, etc.) that refuse to use instant reply on offside goals, red cards, and fouls and handballs in the penalty area.

-- Football referees who want to "control the game" by overabundant personal foul and pass interference calls. This is biggest downer for me as a football fan. Often, as the season wears on, I lose interests and don't watch when the refs dictate too much of the game.

-- Soccer players who fake injuries and take dives.

-- Mountain West conference lovers who think the rest of the nation is against them; that their level of play is on par with the Big Ten, SEC, Pac Ten and Big 12. It is really on par with the ACC (football) Sun Belt, Western Athletic and Conference USA.

-- The Chicago Cubs fans, year after year, put up with mediocrity. Why should an owner invest in a team if the fans continue to pay for over-priced seats game after game. The Baltimore Oriole fan have it right -- walk out in protest. Cubs fans are like people who regularly go to the movies -- Hollywood puts out maybe one decent movie worth watching each year. Cubs put product on the field a couple of time a year with watching.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Clinton Deflecting Blame

Clinton, with no positive legacy, is taking an aggressive stance against his portrayal as a do-nothing but talk a lot President. He has angrily defending his efforts to capture Osama bin Laden and accused the Bush administration of doing far less to stop the al Qaeda leader before the September 11 attacks.
"But at least I tried. That's the difference in me and some, including all of the right-wingers who are attacking me now," Clinton said when asked whether he had failed to fully anticipate bin Laden's danger. "They had eight months to try, they did not try. I tried. So I tried and failed."

"I authorized the CIA to get groups together to try to kill him," Clinton said. He added he had drawn up plans to go into Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban and launch an attack against bin Laden after the attack on the Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden.

"Now if you want to criticize me for one thing, you can criticize me for this: after the Cole, I had battle plans drawn to go into Afghanistan, overthrow the Taliban and launch a full-scale attack search for bin Laden. But we needed basing rights in Uzbekistan -- which we got after 9/11," Clinton said.
I would agree with him on his point that the Bush administration did nothing significant to capture Osama bin Laden, but trying to deflect his failures onto others is typical liberal "cry-babiness."

Just go away Bill. Move abroad where they love you because they do not know how phony you are. The more you talk, the more others realize what a poor President you were.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Careful What You Wish For

Back in the late 70s, I found myself at San Jose State University, not as a student but more like passing through. I recall a street protest via loudspeaker. I am not sure of the specific topic, had something to do with socialism and/or communism, but what I do remember was the anti-America / anti-government portion of the ranting. It was my first face-to-face experience with anti-Viet Nam-like protesters.

At the time, I did not have firm political positions. I was a young man, interested in hearing all opinions. I kept thinking to myself, if this guy hates America and its policies so much, why does he stay here. I thought there's gotta be a country that would be more akin to his thinking.

I also thought, isn't it great we live in a country that allows this open descent without any real threat of bodily harm, persecution, etc. But the very thing he was ranting about was what gave him his freedom; and he was complaining about it.

What I notice about today's liberal argument is really no different. They dislike the things that gives them their freedoms. Seems convoluted.

Today's anti-American / anti-government protester (average Joe and Jane and their elected reps) are against the GWOT. They think we should be a different kind of global citizen, think we should give terrorists their rights. They think terrorists and our concerns over safety would go away if we'd just get out of Iraq and Afganistan.

Islamofacists hate our guts and would either have us dead or submit to them and their "religious" interpretations. Those who advocate and live the immoral, liberated and happy-go-lucky lifestyle would be the first impacted (just like Hitler did in the 40s). The freedom to do what we what, when we want and with whomever we want, would be denied.

If we American's do not join together in the fight against the GWOT, the freedoms we take for granted will be stifled.

I treasure the freedoms we have and our ability to live our lives as we see fit. What I might see as a destructive or freedom-limiting lifestyle, might be perfectly fine to another. I can only pray that those on the far left will get over their "I hate Bush," Bush is stupid," "not for oil," and "let's use those tax dollar here at home for our favorite social programs." The GWOT is priority #1. All those favorite great society program are useless if we cannot operate in a safe country.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

President Bush Addresses United Nations General Assembly

We hear them all the time: "Bush is a nitwit" or "Bush is an idiot." The truth could not be further from the truth. I have witnessed GW improve his speaking skills.

His remarks at the UN yesterday were some of his best. Those remarks are not made by a nitwit or idiot.
Some of the changes in the Middle East have been dramatic, and we see the results in this chamber. Five years ago, Afghanistan was ruled by the brutal Taliban regime, and its seat in this body was contested. Now this seat is held by the freely elected government of Afghanistan, which is represented today by President Karzai. Five years ago, Iraq's seat in this body was held by a dictator who killed his citizens, invaded his neighbors, and showed his contempt for the world by defying more than a dozen U.N. Security Council resolutions. Now Iraq's seat is held by a democratic government that embodies the aspirations of the Iraq people, who's represented today by President Talabani. With these changes, more than 50 million people have been given a voice in this chamber for the first time in decades.

Some of the changes in the Middle East are happening gradually, but they are real. Algeria has held its first competitive presidential election, and the military remained neutral. The United Arab Emirates recently announced that half of the seats in its Federal National Council will be chosen by elections. Kuwait held elections in which women were allowed to vote and run for office for the first time. Citizens have voted in municipal elections in Saudi Arabia, in parliamentary elections in Jordan and Bahrain, and in multiparty presidential elections in Yemen and Egypt. These are important steps, and the governments should continue to move forward with other reforms that show they trust their people. Every nation that travels the road to freedom moves at a different pace, and the democracies they build will reflect their own culture and traditions. But the destination is the same: A free society where people live at peace with each other and at peace with the world.

Some have argued that the democratic changes we're seeing in the Middle East are destabilizing the region. This argument rests on a false assumption, that the Middle East was stable to begin with. The reality is that the stability we thought we saw in the Middle East was a mirage. For decades, millions of men and women in the region have been trapped in oppression and hopelessness. And these conditions left a generation disillusioned, and made this region a breeding ground for extremism.

My country desires peace. Extremists in your midst spread propaganda claiming that the West is engaged in a war against Islam. This propaganda is false, and its purpose is to confuse you and justify acts of terror. We respect Islam, but we will protect our people from those who pervert Islam to sow death and destruction. Our goal is to help you build a more tolerant and hopeful society that honors people of all faiths and promote the peace.

Freedom, by its nature, cannot be imposed -- it must be chosen. From Beirut to Baghdad, people are making the choice for freedom. And the nations gathered in this chamber must make a choice, as well: Will we support the moderates and reformers who are working for change across the Middle East -- or will we yield the future to the terrorists and extremists? America has made its choice: We will stand with the moderates and reformers.

Left Hypocrisy

Congressman Joseph Rangel (D-NY), Congresswoman (D-CA)Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), etc. waited their token 24 hours, and came out against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his remarks at the U.N.

Yesterday I wrote "not in our house." I'd like to add something: fair criticism backed by intellectual debate are core to our society. However, traitorous remarks that give intelligence and comfort to the enemy do not fit therein.

Chavez was saying the same things that most of the left-wing talking heads have been saying for years. They have paved the way for foreigners to mimic them in their critique. We have now moved into hypocrisy.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Not In Our House

We are all familiar with the extremely heated, insulative family argument. An outside steps in, taking one side or the other. Those family member involved get defensive and attack the outsider. I can insult my brother or sister but you have better stay clear.

We see this happening this week at the UN. First we see Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (calling Bush a killer and denying them peaceful nuclear power) and then Hugo Chavez (calling Bush a devil).

They feel perfectly at home here in the U.S., insulting our elected leader. The MSM says nothing. In fact, they encourage this opposing speech.

Those who dislike President Bush share a closer ideology with Ahmadinejad and Chavez than they do with Bush.

For as long as I can remember, I have been opposed to the UN, especially being located in America. For me, it started during the Cold War and continues this day. There is no benefit of the UN to America. What benefit is there to us by hosting a group of people that hate what we stand for but are glad to partake in the benefits of our freedoms?

A country should do what is in its best interest first. The UN is in the best interest of the terrorist, dictators and panhandling nations.

All the Left can say: "I am shocked Bush spoke on the same stage as Ahmadinejad and Chavez." This is as traitorous as it gets.

We can argue and disagree amongst ourselves, but we should not let the scum of the Earth get involved in our fights.

Auzzies Lose $18.8B/Yr Gambling

Australians lost a record $18.8 billion gambling last financial year, the equivalent of almost 2% of the national economy.

Households spent more per head on gambling each week ($17.60) than on fuel and maintenance for cars ($17), and almost as much as they spent on clothing ($18.50), unpublished Bureau of Statistics figures analysed by Commsec show.

I am so glad the gambling vice never grabbed my attention.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

"Unsatisfied" Republicans

John Warner, R-VA., John McCain, R-AZ., and Lindsey Graham, R-SC, from the Senate Armed Services Committee, are not satisfied with White House alterations to legislation that would govern trials of detainees accused of terrorism. Counter offers are certainly forthncoming.

All I can say is that those Republicans and Democrats that are fighting against the White House on this topic had better hope we do not get hit by terrorists anytime in the next couple of years. If we do, they will hang politically for their disloyalty and/or terrorist appeasing postures.

Chaos In Thailand

Having spent a week in Thailand on business a few years back, I was interested in the recent political developments in Thailand leading up to today's declaration of a state of emergency by the Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The following timeline of events leads us to the current state of affairs (based either on corrupt elections or sore losers):

February 6, 2005: Thaksin Shinawatra’s Thai Rak Thai (Thais Love Thais) Party wins a second landslide election victory, taking 377 of the 500 seats in parliament.

September 9: State-run television takes a current affairs show hosted by Sondhi Limthongkul, Thaksin’s former business associate, off the air, citing repetition of "unfair" criticism of various parties.

January 23, 2006: Thaksin’s relatives sell their controlling stake in Shin Corp, the telecoms empire he founded, to Temasek, the Singapore state investment firm. The tax-free $1.9 billion sale angers Bangkok’s middle classes and adds momentum to Sondhi’s campaign.

February 24: Thaksin calls a snap election on April 2, three years early and two days before a big anti-government rally.

February 27: Three main opposition parties announce an election boycott after Thaksin rejects their demand for a neutral body to reform the constitution.

April 2: Election is held despite opposition boycott.

April 4: After a strong protest vote, Thaksin meets revered King Bhumibhol Adulyadej, before announcing on national television that he will step down as soon as the next parliament meets.

April 5: Thaksin hands day-to-day power to his Deputy Prime Minister, Chidchai Vanasatidya.

April 26: The three main opposition parties say that they will stand in a new election if April 2 poll is annulled.

May 8: Constitutional Court rules that the election is unconstitutional and a new poll should be held.

May 23: Thaksin takes back reins of power, saying it was time to get back work on economic and security issues.

May 30: Government sets election re-run for October 15. King of Thailand approves the re-run in late July saying he wants a swift end to the crisis.

July 20: Thai army chief unexpectedly re-assigns more than 100 middle-ranking officers thought to be supporters of Thaksin, adding to rumours about divided army and possible coup.

September 19: Mr Thaksin declares a state of emergency after tanks surround Government House.

Bugapest Protest Over Do-Nothing Government

Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany has warned he will crack down on any repeat of Monday night's violent protests in Budapest. The violence erupted at the state TV building following a largely peaceful rally calling on Gyurcsany to quit.

The PM was caught on tape candidly admitted his government had ccomplished "nothing" and had been lying for "the last year and a half to two years". "We lied morning, noon and night," he said in a speech punctuated by obscenities.

I will be surprised if this dies a peaceful death.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Nuclear Iran Talking Points

Iran has been identified as the world’s leading state sponsor of international terrorism, funding Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, and Hamas, as well as Shiite insurgent groups. Iran is even recruiting its youth and students across the Middle East for suicide operations against Western targets.

Religious extremism, particularly Islamic fundamentalism, is one of the key dangers in the world today. The Iranian President is a religious extremist who believes that it is his destiny to trigger a period of chaos, war and bloodshed in order for Islam to dominate the world.

Nuclear proliferation is one of the greatest dangers to world peace. We must act to stop Iran before it can develop nuclear technology, because the Iranian President has said that he would share nuclear technology with other Muslims.

The President of Iran believes that he is creating an Islamic “superpower,” which will bring down the West, including the United States. He says that he will have hundreds of millions of Muslim “holy raiders” eager to become martyrs.

The Iranian President does not believe the Holocaust happened and has called for the destruction of Israel. If we do not act, we run the risk of placating an extremist and making the same mistake we made with Hitler, which led to World War II and the deaths of millions.

The Pope and the Islamofacists

A medieval reference in an academic lecture by Pope Benedict XVI unleashed a wave of denunciations, outrage and frustration across the Muslim world last Friday, with officials in Turkey and Pakistan condemning the pontiff, Islamic activist groups organizing protests and a leading religious figure in Lebanon demanding that he personally apologize.

The quote key quote is: "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." It was taken out of context and attributed to the wrong person. This "enraging verbage" was made by the Byzantine emporer, not the Pope.

Pope Benedict XVI sought Sunday to extinguish days of anger and protest among Muslims by issuing an extraordinary personal apology for remarks he made referring to Islam as "evil and inhuman." "I am deeply sorry for the reactions in some countries to a few passages of my address," the 79-year-old pope told pilgrims at the summer papal palace, Castel Gandolfo, under increased security, "which were considered offensive."

"These were in fact quotations from a medieval text, which do not in any way express my personal thought," he said in Italian, according to the official English translation. "The true meaning of my address in its totality was and is an invitation to frank and sincere dialogue, with great mutual respect."

An al-Qaida-linked extremist group warned Pope Benedict XVI on Monday that he and the West were "doomed," as protesters raged across the Muslim world to demand more of an apology from the pontiff for his remarks about Islam and violence. The Mujahedeen Shura Council, an umbrella organization of Sunni Arab extremist groups that includes al-Qaida in Iraq, issued a statement on a Web forum vowing to continue its holy war against the West.

So we hear ancient text about Mohammed's "command" to spread by the sword the faith he preached and "jihad" in which that violence in the name of religion was contrary to God's nature and to reason. What is the Muslim reations? violence, burning the Pope in effigy, shooting a nun, burning churches, reissued calls for the destruction of the West. Same old song and dance.

How can one deal with one who revolts over bogus information. There are no rationalizing or peace talks that will ever appease the zealots. These responses are the norm from irrational people.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Constitution Day

Each year since 2004, on 17 Sept., we commemorate the 1787 signing of the U.S. Constitution by 39 American statesmen. The legislation creating Constitution Day was fathered by Sen. Robert Byrd and requires federal agencies and federally funded schools, including universities, to have some kind of educational program on the Constitution.

Until I read Walter Williams' essay, I had never heard of it. Robert "KKK" Byrd? Government funding to Constitution education?
Today, at least two-thirds of a $2.5 trillion federal budget is spent on "objects of benevolence." That includes Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, aid to higher education, farm and business subsidies, welfare, etc., ad nauseam. [There is no constitutional authority for such appropriations, yet we do them anyway.]

Constitutionally ignorant people might argue that the Constitution's "general welfare" clause justifies today's actions by Congress. Here's what James Madison said: "If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions." Thomas Jefferson echoed, in a letter to Pennsylvania Rep. Albert Gallatin, "Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated."

James Madison explained the constitutional limits on federal power in Federalist Paper No. 45: "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined ... [to] be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce."

Here are Walter Williams' questions: Has our Constitution been amended to authorize federal spending on "objects of benevolence"? Or, is it plain and simple constitutional contempt by Congress, the president, the courts and, worst of all, the American people? Or, am I being overly pessimistic and it's simply a matter of constitutional ignorance?

Friday, September 15, 2006

Most & Least Favorable Religions

A Gallup Poll released 7 September 2006 asked respondents how they felt about ten different religious groups, ranging from Fundamentalist Christians to Atheists. By every measure, Jews drew the most favorable reaction, with the highest positive rating (58%) and the lowest negative rating (only 4%). By contrast, Americans expressed decidedly mixed feelings about Mormons (with a net negative rating, 29% to 28%) and Muslims (30% to 26%). The least popular religious groups in the survey proved to be Atheists (an overwhelmingly negative 44% to 15% rating) and, most especially, Scientologists (a stunning 53% negative, to just 11% positive).

Jews are all over the place on political issues. Everyone -- liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat -- can claim (with some justification) that Judaism agrees with his or her point of view. The Jewish community, small as it is, remains bitterly divided on a host of political and religious issues. On the other hand, Mormons, Muslims, Fundamentalist Christians and Scientologists are more uniform. You pretty much know what you are getting with each -- you either can relate to them or you don't.

Jews offer no threat to other religions. It is downright tough to become a Jew and they are not actively seeking new members through the conversion process. Mormons, Muslims, Fundamentalist Christians and Scientologists are active proselytizers. Many find this bothersome.

If the interviewees are Mormons, Muslims, Fundamentalist Christians and Scientologists, they probably voted against one another. If they were not part of these groups, I'd guess they either were of those religions who are diminishing in popularity (losing membership) or secularists (which is a form of religion but their deity is materialism, the environment, the NFL or some other cause).

Gas Prices Decline Except in Utah

Gas prices have declined through out the country, except in Utah. Prices for a gallon in Iowa were under $2 in some locations; Ohio's average price is the lowest in the country, at $2.31 a gallon.

In Utah, they have stayed at the $2.85 - $3.05 range (85 octane) for the past few months. Utah was quick to raise it prices along with everyone else but when prices fall, they have not fallen accordingly.

Utah's prices are the fifth-highest among all the states," said Rolayne Fairclough, spokeswoman for AAA Utah. Only California, Hawaii, Idaho and Nevada are higher on average.

They say it is tied to higher demand and local refinery capacities. I still feel it is tied to whatever they think the market will bear, like any other business who sets its prices. It is hard to understand how Utah could be paying 50 cents to 60 cents a gallon more than elsewhere in the country, when we were told we had more local refining capacities than other state.

LA Times "Refuses" to Cut Budget

Newspapers are in business to make a profit for its owners. Scott Smith of Tribune Publishing who owns The Los Angeles Times has asked Dean Baquet, Times editor for budget cuts. Baquet is saying he was defying the paper’s corporate parent in Chicago and would not make the cuts it requested. Publisher, Jeffrey Johnson, said he agreed with Baquet, that “newspapers can’t cut their way into the future.”

Who is going to pay your salaries and benefits and cover your production, distribution costs and marketing costs, IF NO ONE IS BUYING YOUR PRODUCT?

This is another characteristic of liberalism: blame others for their misfortunes. Rather than look at how they can create a better product or service, they blame the stupid people for not seeing how great their product is and buying and advertising more. Or it is management's fault for not being more philanthropic.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Rosie O'Donnell: What a Spokesperson!

"Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America where we have separation of church and state."

--Rosie O'Donnell, ABC's "The View"


The Hashshashins (also Hashishin, Hashashiyyin or Assassins) had a militant basis as a religious sect of Ismaili Muslims. Founded in the 8th century, this secret society specialized in terrorizing the Abbasid elite with fearlessly executed, politically motivated assassinations. The word "assassin" is derived from their name.

Under the leadership of Persian Hassan-i Sabbah, and later Rashid al-Din Sinan, established a reputation for being able to infiltrate an organization, sometimes over years, waiting for the ideal opportunity to assassinate their target(s). Alliances existed with other secret societies -- legends include the Knights Templar -- in conspiracies to destroy their enemies while sharing the spoils.

They often used men's vices -- drugs, food, women -- to help convert their recruits. By fulfilling their mission -- their assigned assassination -- they would receive event more in paradise.

Supposedly ending in the 13th century with the destruction of their stonghold of Alamut by the Mongols under Hulagu Khan, they appear to be alive and well.

The Hashshashins, as a formal group, may not exist in its 8th-13th century form, but their principles are still in widespread us. Today, they go by different names -- al-Qa'ida, Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, Jemaah Islamiya.

These secret societies have one major goal: power and control through killing, torture, whoredoms and lasciviousness. They have one thing at their root: Lucifer. Terrorist are truly the axis of evil. They have evil intentions at their core using one of Satan's biggest tools -- deception -- as their propaganda machine.

Random Drug Tests for Scottish Teens

Many believe that Scottish schoolchildren should be subject to random drug tests under government-approved pilot schemes. They believe the time had come to consider widespread drug-testing in Scottish schools in an attempt to challenge the "culture of acceptance" of drug abuse among young people.

This is socialism at its finest. Testing is going to solve the drug problem for teenagers? It is more government, more expense and no proof that it would actually work. Treating the symptoms and not the causes -- bad government at its finest.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Success in Deep Drilling

The news is that Chevron has discovered oil 5.3 miles below the Gulf of Mexico that may lead to 750,000 barrels of new daily U.S. crude-oil production within six years. This bolsters prospects that petroleum companies will be able to tap giant reserves that lie far beneath the Earth's crust.

The spin MSM spin is: production is years away, it won't reverse the nation's growing reliance on imports, it will not have any meaningful effect at the gasoline pump, requires gas prices to remain high to justify the investment, is a drop in the bucket, and it only exacerbates our evil oil-based economy.

It certainly isn't energy independence but it is one positive in a world of negatives.

Terrorist Attack at U.S. Embassy in Damascus

Four men shouting Islamic slogans tried to blow up the U.S. Embassy in Damascus on Tuesday morning, but their car bomb failed to explode and Syrian guards killed three of them in a shootout. The fourth attacker survived and was being interrogated. Eleven Syrians were injured and one of Syria's anti-terrorism forces was killed in the attack.

The attack on the day after Patriot Day reminds us of the on-going effort to fight the GWOT. We cannot fall back on our laurels one minute. Fighting this war at home and abroad is a given. Appeasement is not an option.

What is appeasement? Harvard allowing ex-Iranina President Mohammed Khatami to speak on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. That's like having Joseph Goebbels speak at Harvard in 1939 on advances in medical science.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

"The Path to 9/11" Aftermath

I watched ABC Entertainment's two-part miniseries/docudrama "The Path to 9/11" about the events leading up to Sept. 11, 2001. There are a few things I found interesting:

1) America is much more interesting in NFL football than any news programming.
2) Democratic protests over inaccurate, incomplete or misleading video content.

On Sunday night, there were around 13M Path viewers vs 20M viewers of Manning Bowl #1 -- Colts v Giants (big brother Payton's Colts were victorious over Eli's Giants) on NBC. I must admit, I switched back and forth, based on lulls in The Path or when it looked like one team was closing in on the end zone. (The gap probably narrowed on Monday with Monday night Football now being on cable's ESPN.)

Regarding the protests, I found them interesting. The protests seem to come down to two issues: a) the communication and info sharing wall between federal agencies was wrongly portrayed and b) Clinton administration's refusal to give the order to take bin Laden out when they had him in their sites.

I do not doubt there were some inaccuracies but I really doubt there were conspiracies by the writers, producers and director to paint a conservative slant.

It is a given that the MSM provides shallow coverage and is dominated by liberal reporters more concerned about alleged threats to our civil liberties than threats against the lives of the American people. So when the past liberal administration is shown as not doing all it could to stop the attack by its policies, the media becomes a right wing agenda pusher.

Neither the Clinton administration nor the Bush administration, pre-9/11, were overly concerned with fighting terrorism. We clearly know GW's legacy, which arguably will be much more positive than negative. And we clearly know Clinton's, dispite his obsession over creating a positive legacy. Unfortunately for him and those associated with him, he will be remember by his perjury and subsequent impeachment over something as silly as his immoral behavior and his happy-go-lucky Presidency that did not accomplish anything meaningful. (He was there for the power, the parties and the girls, which might be normal for a rock star but not so good for the nation and its leader.)

Although not even close in comparison of facts, the Left considers Fahrenheit 911 a great movie and The Path to 9/11 right wing conspiracy. Both are there to make money; the verdict is out on the political motivation behind The Path to 9/11; we already know about Fahrenheit 911.

Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11 - Fifth Anniversary

Today is the fifth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and the crash of hijacked United Flight 93 in Pennsylvania, which took 3,000 innocent lives.

Although most have moved on, we all surely realize that life has changed since that terrible day. We all should realize that there are those that truly hate us and want us dead. Thankfully, most of us have refused to give into the jihadists and their goal of a frightened acquiescence.

This battle against militant Islam will be long and hard. The unfortunate thing is that many do not understand the enemy. It seems that many are fighting Christian here at home, as if we are the enemy. Our secular elites are either downplaying the threat or are making comparisons between Islamist radicals and politically active Christians.

On a day like this, we ought not only remember what happened but why it happened, recognizing Islamo-fascism for what it is: a deadly and dangerous enemy that wants to destroy us and our way of life.

Bush and Every Imaginable Insult

Six years into the Bush administration, the smearing by the left (or fill in a more appropriate word if you disagree with the labeling) includes just about every imaginable insult.

--called a segregationist who yearns to revive Jim Crow.
--compared ad nauseam to Adolf Hitler.
--accused him of being financially entwined with Osama bin Laden.
--presiding over an American gulag.
--being a latter-day Mussolini.
--Howard Dean has proffered the "interesting theory" that the Saudis tipped off Bush in advance about 9/11.
--Ted Kennedy has called the war in Iraq a "fraud" that Bush "cooked up in Texas" for political gain.
--Jim Jeffords has charged him with planning a war in Iran as a strategy to put his brother in the White House.
--Cindy Sheehan has called him a "lying bastard," a "filth spewer," an "evil maniac," a "fuehrer," and a "terrorist" guilty of "blatant genocide".
--Air America Radio, talk show host Randi Rhodes recommended doing to Bush what Michael Corleone, in "The Godfather, Part II," does to his brother. "Like Fredo," she said, "somebody ought to take him out fishing and phuw!"
--In the UK's Guardian, columnist Charlie Brooker issued a plea: "John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr. -- where are you now that we need you?"
--"Checkpoint," a novel by Nicholson Baker in which two characters discuss the wisdom of shooting the 43rd president. "I'm going to kill that bastard," one character fumes.
--At Chicago's Columbia College, a curated exhibit included a sheet of mock postage stamps bearing the words "Patriot Act" and depicting President Bush with a gun to his head.
--Bush-assassination fashion statements, such as the "KILL BUSH" T-shirts that were on offer last year at CafePress.
--"Death of a President," a new movie about the assassination of George W. Bush.

Liberrals, despite the things you think are worthy of your political posture, have a tough road to walk, given your spokespeople. We can agree to disagree -- that's just politics -- but you will never succeed with the your current leadership and spokespeople.

I think we are all grateful for our Constitution -- that it limits the Presidency to four years and two terms, Senators to six years, and House Reps to two years. Patience is a virture, one those quoted above seem to lack or not understand.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

"The Path to 9/11"

ABC continues to face pressure about its planned miniseries on the buildup to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Former Clinton administration officials, historians and a Democratic petition with nearly 200,000 signatures urged the network to scrap the five-hour drama.

The argument is over the blame that apparently is in The Path to 9/11. The Democrats and the Clintons say it gives them too much blame and not enough on the Bush administration.

It is ironic to see this come home to roost considering that most Hollywood and network material is slanted to the left. I guess when the falsifications are pointed at them, the outrage is warranted.

The miniseries appears to be based on the "9/11 Commissioners Report", which by definition was a stacked group, with no real aspirations of discovering root causes. (The Report never even mentioned Able Danger.) Consider some of the members -- Richard Ben-Veniste and Jamie Gorelick. The later was a key Clinton appointee who was key to setting up the inter-agency communications barriers.

I wonder how much of the uproar is over the facts versus the errors? If 1% is inaccurate, should it be scrapped? 5%?

Friday, September 08, 2006

Anthropogenic Global-Warming ... Not

We've been Al Gored, environmental-wackoed and MSMed to death over global warming. Man bad, very bad.

They talk about the melting of the Larsen B ice shelf in Antarctica, the Matterhorn is falling apart, the Greenland ice sheet disappearing, man-caused greenhouse effect, frequency and intensity of hurricanes, the potential for coastal flooding as ice cap melts, the possibility that an influx of cold, fresh water might shut down the ocean currents of the Gulf Stream, the desertification of the Amazon, and that global warming causes wars over scarce water and agricultural.

According to the MSM, a consensus exists among some scientists that global warming is real, that it is of human origin, and that it poses an unprecedented threat. However, many climate scientists disagree with the anthropogenic global-warming hypothesis.

Is it warmer now, as is alleged, than ever before in human history? According to an article in the New American:
The "hockey stick" graph from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) June 06 report says it is. In fact, it is not at all clear that it is warmer now than ever before. The Earth has been warming, more or less, since the beginning of the current Holocene Epoch, when the planet shook off the cold of the last ice age. The overall increase in temperatures has been punctuated by periodic short-term changes. The Medieval Warm Period, a time of temperatures warmer than average beginning in about 800 A.D. and lasting until about 1300 A.D., was followed by the Little Ice Age, a period of several centuries of colder-than-normal temperatures.

The diversity of opinions on issues related to global warming points to one unassailable fact: we simply do not know enough about the geophysical processes of the planet to make useful predictions about climate change. In fact, new climate surprises spring up all the time. The most recent concerns the temperature of the oceans.

According to the standard global-warming model, trapping extra heat via greenhouse gases should cause the oceans to warm. In 2000, the agency reported: "Scientists at NOAA have discovered that the world ocean has warmed significantly during the past 40 years. The largest warming has occurred in the upper 300 meters of the world ocean on average by 0.56 degrees Fahrenheit. The water in the upper 3000 meters of the world ocean warmed on average by 0.11 degrees Fahrenheit."

In a study to be published by Geophysical Research Letters, researchers John M. Lyman, Josh K. Willis, and Gregory C. Johnson report: "The cooling ... is distributed over the water column with most depths experiencing some cooling. A small amount of cooling is observed at the surface, although much less than the cooling at depth." The lost heat, they write, does not appear to have been retained anywhere on the planet. "These findings suggest that the observed decrease in upper ocean heat content from 2003 to 2005 could be the result of a net loss of heat from the Earth to space." This seems an unlikely result if greenhouse gases were causing the planet to retain increasing amounts of energy in the form of heat.

William Gray of the University of Colorado, a scientist widely acknowledged to be the world's leading expert on hurricanes, explained that if global warming is causing climate change, "it is causing such a small part that it is negligible. I'm not disputing that there has been global warming. There was a lot of global warming in the 1930s and '40s, and then there was a slight global cooling from the middle '40s to the early '70s. And there has been warming since the middle '70s, especially in the last 10 years. But this is natural, due to ocean circulation changes and other factors. It is not human induced."

Meteorologist Richard Lindzen of MIT observed "that there is no consensus, unanimous or otherwise, about long-term climate trends and what causes them. Climate change is a complex issue where simplification tends to lead to confusion, and where understanding requires thought and effort." The broad range of conflicting information on the subject of global warming demonstrates that, collectively, the issue of climate change still requires a lot more thought and effort.

Which begs the question: should we, as Al Gore and others suggest, undertake draconian measures like the Kyoto Accords or other, similar efforts to curb a phantom menace that may not exist, especially when such efforts would prove to have disastrous economic consequences? With the science of climate change still uncertain, the answer is "no."

Terrorist Battle on Multiple Fronts

Fighting the terrorists who hide in the shadows are tough enough to seek out and destroy. It is even harder when the liberals throughout the world side with them in the name of protecting their liberties.

With a formal acknowledgement of "secret CIA prisons" in Europe, the European public wants to know where they are. We now see U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan getting involved: "I cannot believe that there can be a trade between the effective fight against terrorism and protection of civil liberties. If as individuals we are asked to give up our freedom, our liberties, our human rights, as protection against terrorism, do we in the end have protection?"

Why must the U.S. justify these in the name of terrorism and frightening people?

This battle between good and evil will continue for as long as life itself. There will be those in government and society you want on your side and there will be those you don't.

Liberals, regardless of their borders are still liberals -- they think their high and might ways are so superior to the rest. They think negotiation, treating terrorists with the up-most dignity is the only way to address this problem. That we are creating more terrorists because we have secret prisons.

They a) do not believe there is a GWOT and that b) no war is necessary. There is a GWOT and we must take the fight to them. War is hell, always has and always will be. Sometime the tactics are harsh but they are effective.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Sudden Passing of a Relative

My extended family, especially on my mother's side, is fairly tight. Although I live quite far from most of them, we are still close and aware of what each other are doing.

Growing up, I knew my cousins, aunts and uncles very well. And I actually like all of them. Most of us spent a week together in North Myrtle Beach in June of 2005.

This past week, my cousin Karen died. She was around 45. She has three children -- a grown son, a twelve year old son and a five year old daughter.

Just a week prior to her passing, she began to feel ill. She went to the emergency room and was diagnosed with Hepatitis B. Her liver was shot. She went into a coma a couple of days later, never woke up, passing on Monday afternoon.

It is a very sad and sudden thing for her immediate and extended family. She was employed by the State of Ohio. She was a fun gal. She will be missed by all, including me. I especially feel for her mother, a brother she was very close to, and her three children. (The one good thing that may come out of this, if possible, is that an estranged brother spoke with his mother whom he has not spoken with for nearly twenty years.)

Are You Ready for Some Football?

Yes, I am ready for another football season. College ball started last week and the NFL starts tonight.

Football is appealing for a number of reasons. Key ones are the fact that games happen only once a week and the season lasts only 4 months (add an extra month for the NFL playoffs), it makes for a more viewer friendly sport. I love baseball and soccer but the seasons last forever. This is why football has become our favorite. And it is 100% American.

My college teams: Ohio State Buckeyes and Utah Utes (in that order).
My NFL teams: Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings and Denver Broncos (in that order).

Germany 13 - 0 San Marino

UEFA Euro 2008 is well underway. There were a few upsets: Northern Ireland over Spain, France beat Italy in a WC06 rematch, and Finland and Portugal tied. But the Germany-San Marino match...was a joke. Why would a team actually try to score 13 goals? This was the worst defeat in UEFA Euro history. After a 6-0 halftime lead, you'd think they could go into cruise mode. It is a given that San Marino, like most small nations, never really have a chance. Germany is good on the pitch but apparently not all that good in the sportsmanship category.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Bush Discusses Terrorism, Intelligence & Commissions

President Bush gave a great speech today on current government policies on terrorism and intelligence gathering. He spoke on Guantanamo Bay and how vital that location has been, including specifics on terrorists like Abu Zubaydah, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ramzi bin al Shibh, Hambali, Majid Khan, Yazid, as well as gaining a better understanding of al Qaeda's and Jemaah Islamiah's structure, financing, communications and logistics. We are getting vital information necessary to protect the American people and its allies. Some key elements of the speech:
Gitmo Facts: Of the thousands of terrorists captured across the world, only about 770 have ever been sent to Guantanamo. Of these, about 315 have been returned to other countries so far -- and about 455 remain in our custody. They are provided the same quality of medical care as the American service members who guard them. The International Committee of the Red Cross has the opportunity to meet privately with all who are held there. The facility has been visited by government officials from more than 30 countries, and delegations from international organizations, as well. After the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe came to visit, one of its delegation members called Guantanamo "a model prison" where people are treated better than in prisons in his own country. Our troops can take great pride in the work they do at Guantanamo Bay -- and so can the American people.

Why These Disclosures Now? First, we have largely completed our questioning of the men -- and to start the process for bringing them to trial, we must bring them into the open. Second, the Supreme Court's recent decision has impaired our ability to prosecute terrorists through military commissions, and has put in question the future of the CIA program. In its ruling on military commissions, the Court determined that a provision of the Geneva Conventions known as "Common Article Three" applies to our war with al Qaeda. This article includes provisions that prohibit "outrages upon personal dignity" and "humiliating and degrading treatment." The problem is that these and other provisions of Common Article Three are vague and undefined, and each could be interpreted in different ways by American or foreign judges. And some believe our military and intelligence personnel involved in capturing and questioning terrorists could now be at risk of prosecution under the War Crimes Act -- simply for doing their jobs in a thorough and professional way.

This is unacceptable. Our military and intelligence personnel go face to face with the world's most dangerous men every day. They have risked their lives to capture some of the most brutal terrorists on Earth. And they have worked day and night to find out what the terrorists know so we can stop new attacks. America owes our brave men and women some things in return. We owe them their thanks for saving lives and keeping America safe. And we owe them clear rules, so they can continue to do their jobs and protect our people.

Legislative Requests: First, I'm asking Congress to list the specific, recognizable offenses that would be considered crimes under the War Crimes Act -- so our personnel can know clearly what is prohibited in the handling of terrorist enemies. Second, I'm asking that Congress make explicit that by following the standards of the Detainee Treatment Act our personnel are fulfilling America's obligations under Common Article Three of the Geneva Conventions. Third, I'm asking that Congress make it clear that captured terrorists cannot use the Geneva Conventions as a basis to sue our personnel in courts -- in U.S. courts. The men and women who protect us should not have to fear lawsuits filed by terrorists because they're doing their jobs.

Only Idiots Care - Part 2

The CBS Evening News is now read by Katie Couric.

Who actually gets their news from TV? Older people, who have been doing it for years and cannot figure out the Internet and idiots -- the same idiots that watch Oprah and the network a.m. news programs.

I say idiots because one with a high IQ cannot find this product as informative and interesting. The target market is those with low IQ -- define them otherwise but that's the bottomline.

She and her news reading colleagues are nothing more than talking heads -- they read the news and show pictures. This is the ultimate job for journalists? Wow! Its no wonder that the journalism industry is loaded with women and the men are leaving in hoards.

Last time I watched any network news was with my father-in-law or mother, because, that's what they do at that point of the day. Cable news is no better. I gave up on that a couple of years ago also -- they report what I already know.

Only Idiots Care - Part 1

Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise talk about and show off their new daughter Suri.

There are people out there, apparently lots of them, that actually pay money and go to the movies. There's probably a greater number who actually rent them -- the DVDs -- and watch them in their homes.

I can count on one hand the number of movies I have paid to see in the last 20 years. I have watched a number on DVD. I regrets them all -- all were a waste of time and money. Those films that have good special effects, are terrible stories. Great stories are cheapened on the big screen. There are exceptions, but they are so few in numbers.

The Hollywood product is so poor that it really is not an entertainment option, for me. As a society, we are drowning in a sea of entertainment pollution.

The fact that Vanity Fair pays millions for some pictures of a newborn is just the tip of the iceberg.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Immigration Reform Gone for a Season

Isn't in funny, if not shameful, to see a topic as hot as immigration reform and border control go to a rarely mentioned, back page topic by the MSM. This lack of focus has happened on both sides of Congress. They both wanted to do something about but apparently neither has the motivation or desire. Today, we read in the NY Times it is the Republicans who don't want to focus on immigration, and would rather focus their attention on national security issues, namely Iraq.

Last time I checked, national security and border control were very tightly coupled. In fact, much more important than controlling toothpaste and hand lotion getting on board our commercial airliners. However, like most liberals, they see them as different topics.

We do have National Guard personnel down on the border. We certainly have the Minutemen -- and don't underestimate their value. And it appears to be working. As we should expect, we are seeing a decrease in the number of border crossings.

So the Republicans should reemphasize the border. They did not pass border control reform -- they actually did not need to, all they needed to do was enforce the current laws -- but the administration's policies are making an impact and should be touted.

The Democrats can care less about border control. They want more people here that will be dependent on government programs -- their vision of what's best for America.

This fall's election will see a few more Democrats in elected positions than we currently have. It is not because they have better plans, it is because most of the Republicans we have in office are not doing their jobs. Its that "vote them bums out of office" mentalty.

America will be worse off with Democratic leadership. They stand for one thing and one thing only -- bigger government, making more people slaves to government programs through higher taxes and less freedoms. In short, they'd prefer something more along the lines of Islamic states just without the religion and moral code. I think this is what we call socialism, if not communism.

Immigration reform may have taken a back seat but it is still on the forefront for many. Some Republicans will suffer as a result. I think 2006 will be a slight step back for Republicans, but 2008 will be a step forward. This weeding out process is hard and painful but we need to get the right people that share the lazzie-faire political, social and economic mind set.

We need smaller government, fewer taxes, and stronger defense (including border control). That's all I ask of our federal government.

Monday, September 04, 2006

San Rafael Swell

Lost somewhere in nowhere is the somewhere I prefer.

My youngest son and I spent the Labor Day weekend in the San Rafael Swell. From the Upper Black Box of the San Rafael River, to The Chute of the Muddy River, and many buttes, pinnacles, mesas, arches, deep canyons, old cabins and abandoned mines, it is a great area to spend a weekend. Sleeping under the stars, small fires, perfect temperature.

I really enjoyed the time I could spend with my son. He is a great son and great camper, hiker and biker.

We'll Sure Miss Steve Irwin

Australian naturalist Steve Irwin, aka, the Crocodile Hunter, died today after a stingray barb pierced his chest while he was diving. It is sad to hear about a man die at such a young age (44), leaving young children without their father.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Pentagon Security Assessment in Iraq

The NY Times has reported on a recent assessment of security from the Pentagon -- "Measuring Security and Stability in Iraq."
During the period from the establishment of the new Iraqi government on May 20 until Aug. 11, the average number of weekly attacks jumped to almost 800. That was a substantial increase from earlier this year and almost double the number of the first part of 2004.

As a consequence, Iraqi casualties increased 51% over the last reporting period. The document notes that, based on initial reports, Iraqi casualties among civilians and security forces reached nearly 120 a day, up from about 80 a day in the previous reporting period from mid-February to mid-May. About two years ago they were running about 30 a day.

"Although the overall number of attacks increased in all categories, the proportion of those attacks directed against civilians increased substantially," the Pentagon noted. "Death squads and terrorists are locked in mutually reinforcing cycles of sectarian strife, with Sunni and Shia extremists each portraying themselves as the defenders of their respective sectarian groups."
The premise behind the article is "we are failing in Iraq and we need to get out."

The top U.S. commander in Iraq, General George Casey, has said he sees Iraqi forces having control of their own security in the next 12-18 months.

So the message the Left believes in is cut and run -- give up because it's not going as good as we'd like and we really don't like to do hard things. Our military leaders are saying that despite set-backs, we are moving in the right direction, and giving up is not an option.

EU -- Too Early For Iranian Sanctions

The European Union has said that it is too early to impose sanctions on Iran despite Tehran's having defied a UN deadline to halt uranium enrichment.

Diplomacy is always the preferred course of action -- PROVIDED YOU HAVE A WILLING PARTNER TO NEGOTIATE WITH!

Just what is it the Europeans think the Iranians are going to do over a strong cup of coffee? Iran has the world by the cahonees -- no one is willing to make hard decisions and do the hard things.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Iran Defiant -- Shocking

Iran needs nuclear energy like Hawaii needs salt water.
A defiant Iran faced the prospect of economic sanctions after U.N. inspectors reported that the country ignored yesterday's deadline to halt its nuclear program and has been hindering efforts to determine whether it seeks to secretly develop nuclear weapons.

President Bush, invoking the same language that he used to describe Iraq before the March 2003 invasion, called Iran a "grave threat" and said "there must be consequences" for Tehran's actions. "It is time for Iran to make a choice," Bush said in a speech to the American Legion's national convention in Salt Lake City.
A nuclear-armed Iran is not only dangerous for the Middle East but for the entire world. Dictators, like kings, cannot be trusted. They are accountable to no one. They act with impunity. For every good dictator or king, there are a hundred bad ones.

Beslan School -- 2 Years Later

Chechen terrorists seized the Beslan school Sept. 1, 2004, taking more than 1,100 hostages. The seizure ended Sept. 3, 2004, when a shootout engulfed a gymnasium packed with hostages. The attack left 332 people, more than half of them children, dead.

The second anniversary of the tragedy continues to stoke fears about school safety. Russian authorities are promising better security at the nation's education facilities.

"In every region, work is being done to prepare schools for the upcoming classes," said Viktor Bolotov, head of the Federal Service for Inspection of Education and Science. "This work is taking place practically around the clock. About 1% of the country's schools [will] not open their doors Friday because concerns about fire safety linger."

This is a terrorist action we should never forget.