Right Thinking From The Left Coast
No legacy is so rich as honesty - William Shakespeare

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Up Your Butt, Sotu
by Lee

Okay, I’m still at work.  Liveblog the SOTU in this post.  Boo yah!

Posted by Lee on 01/31/06 at 07:04 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Allah-Puncher
by Lee

I’m curious.  Every time I am critical of evangelicals or of organized religion I am accused of being a Christ-puncher, despite the fact that I’ve never actually had a bad word to say about religious belief in an of itself, only in the way some people manifest that belief in negative ways.  However, yesterday and today I’ve allowed people to create astonishingly derogatory images directly insulting Islam.  The reason I did this was as a form of protest, to show how stupid it is for people to get all up in arms simply because someone else happens to express a disagreement with their particular religious beliefs.

So, why is it a bad thing for Muslims to get pissed off when people cast aspersions on their religious beliefs, but perfectly acceptable for fundamentalist Christians to throw a fit and insult me for questioning the truth about the biblical account of creation?

Posted by Lee on 01/31/06 at 01:18 PM in Decline of Western Civilization  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Banging Away
by Lee

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you simply can’t make this shit up sometimes.

Liberal activists—among them graying leftovers from the Vietnam-era antiwar movement—plan to gather near the Capitol tonight, banging pots and pans to drown out President Bush’s State of the Union address.

Yesterday, opponents of the Iraq war kicked off their latest round of demonstrations with an “Impeachment Forum” held downtown in a private dining room at Busboys and Poets.

Featured speakers were 78-year-old former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark; longtime war protester Marcus Raskin, 71, who is head of the Institute for Policy Studies; and Cindy Sheehan, mother of an American soldier killed in Iraq.

Mrs. Sheehan—who became famous last year for staking out the president’s ranch in Crawford, Texas, and just returned from a visit with Venezuelan anti-American President Hugo Chavez—plans to speak tonight to protesters at the Capitol Reflecting Pool.

Last week, the group “World Can’t Wait—Drive Out the Bush Regime” was denied a permit to gather on the Mall for security reasons. The group won a federal lawsuit and has been given permission to bang away while Mr. Bush speaks to a joint session of Congress at 9 p.m.

The group’s Web site has gathered endorsements from left-leaning celebrities such as Susan Sarandon, Jane Fonda, Harry Belafonte and Sean Penn, but it’s unlikely that any stars will show up for tonight’s protest.

I mean, seriously, does this even need any further comment?  If you’ve ever wanted to see the true face of the American Left, ladies and gentlemen, here you go.  This is what the party of Truman and Kennedy has been reduced to.  Absolutely pathetic.

Posted by Lee on 01/31/06 at 10:54 AM in Left Wing Idiocy  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Here Come De Justice
by Lee

By now you have undoubtedly heard.

The Senate voted 58-42 on Tuesday to confirm Samuel Alito to the nation’s highest court, putting to bed the most partisan Supreme Court nomination battle in recent memory.

Only four Democrats joined 54 Republicans in support of Alito. Of the court’s present justices, only Clarence Thomas received a slimmer margin of victory, 52-48, but even then received the votes of 11 Democrats who broke party ranks.

“I’m concerned about his philosophy of the Constitution, his great effort of many years to expand presidential power at a time when there are real serious questions about the powers the president has,” said Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., who voted against Alito’s confirmation. Reed added that he feared Alito’s addition to the bench would mean more decisions restricting Congress’ power to legislate.

Alito replaces the court’s first woman justice, Sandra Day O’Connor, a moderate conservative and key swing vote on such high-profile issues as abortion, church-state separation and affirmative action. O’Connor has also in recent opinions demonstrated skepticism of President Bush’s executive power claims in prosecuting the War on Terror. Alito is widely expected to be friendlier to presidential power arguments.

The vast majority of Democrats, one Republican and the Senate’s lone Independent all protested Alito’s nomination for those very reasons. But a last-ditch effort to filibuster the nomination failed on Monday, when the Senate voted 72-25 to end debate and allow a simple majority vote.

You know what I find so entertaining about this whole thing?  This weak-ass argument that we hear from the left that Alito will change the ideological makeup of the court.  Well, DUH!  Of course he will, so what?  The last time I checked there was no constitutional requirement that the president appoint only people who have the identical ideological makeup of their predecessor.  I mean, oppose Alito on ideological grounds all you like, but to argue that he’ll vote differently than O’Connor is just an astonishingly ignorant and useless argument to make.

If the Democrats don’t like the makeup of the court under Republican administrations then the answer is very simple: win a few elections.

Posted by Lee on 01/31/06 at 10:47 AM in Politics  • (2) TrackbacksPermalink

Nuklear Deutschland
by Lee

Oh yeah, when we’re dealing with preventing Iran from getting a nuke, this is exactly what we need to be dealing with right now.

Germany may need to build its own nuclear weapons to counter the threat of nuclear bombs falling into the hands of a terrorist state, a former German defence minister said Thursday.

“We need a serious discussion over how we can react to a nuclear threat by a terrorist state in an appropriate manner - and in extreme cases with our own nuclear weapons,” said Rupert Scholz who served as defence minister from 1988 to 1989.

Germany does not have nuclear weapons and Scholz admitted in a Bild newspaper interview that his remarks were breaking what is widely seen as a national taboo.

Scholz - who is a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) - said Berlin should first try to get binding guarantees from the NATO alliance that it would protect Germany in case nuclear threats were directed at the country.

But he insisted if such guarantees were not spelled out in a formal NATO doctrine, then Germany needed to ponder building its own nuclear deterrence system.

Such a move would clearly violate the 2+4 Treaty which paved the way for Germany’s 1990 reunification by formally ending post-World War II occupation rights in the country for the US, the former USSR, Britain and France.

Under article three of the Treaty, Germany renounces “the manufacture and possession of and control over nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.”

Rainer Stinner, a member of the opposition Free Democrats (FDP) in parliament, sharply criticized calls for German nuclear weapons.

“If we start questioning international treaties, what right do we have to demand that others adhere to them?” said Stinner, adding, “Germany’s security would be reduced - not increased - through the possession of nuclear weapons.”

Exactly right.  It’s pretty hard to go to Iran and say “You can’t have nukes” at the same time that the fucking Germans are saying, “Well, fuck this treaty, we need nukes.” And these are our allies?  Listen, Germany, none of us are going to sit back and let anything happen to you.  You just leave the big guns with the people who know how to use them responsibly, okay?

Posted by Lee on 01/31/06 at 09:24 AM in Europe and the UK  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

More Pictures
by Lee

If you sent me a picture and don’t see it here, it means I didn’t receive it.  (Send it to me .) Overnight I got about five more, and I’ll put those up in a little while.

Posted by Lee on 01/31/06 at 09:11 AM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Somebody Bring Me Some Fatwa
by Lee

I got some great cartoons, which are a clear indication of the total lack of any discernible artistic skill among the denizens of this blog.  Anyhow, here’s my contribution.

image

In case you’re curious, the text on the pig’s body is “Allah” in Arabic.  Here are the other submissions. 

Update: These are definitely not safe for work, school, or any other place where you might get your tit in the wringer over stuff being offensive.  (Thanks, Jabba!)

Update 2: Here are links to Part II and Part III.

Posted by Lee on 01/31/06 at 01:01 AM in The Religion of Peace™  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Monday, January 30, 2006

Gente de Osama
by Lee

I am a big believer in border security.  When we next get hit by terrorists, and make no mistake we will be hit again, it will be perpetrated by agents who entered this country through our porous southern border.  Every time closing the border is proposed due to national security reasons, the whining maggots always point out that none of the 9/11 hijackers came in through Mexico.  Well, just because it didn’t happen in the past doesn’t mean it can’t happen in the future.  (Nobody had flown planes into buildings before 9/11, had they?) If we can imagine it, the terrorists can imagine it.  And, if this report is any indication, their operations are already underway.

Both Exinia and Nunez eventually pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy charges, including moving more than a quarter-ton of cocaine from Mexico through the Rio Grande Valley and on to New York City. But court documents filed in Exinia’s case contain details of a December 2004 incident where he allegedly tried to secure transportation for 20 Middle Eastern men waiting to enter the U.S. from Puebla, Monterrey and Chiapas in Mexico.

As the Herald reported, “Recorded conversations authorized under the U.S. Patriot Act and a court order captured the (suspect) referring to the 20 men as ‘gente de Osama,’ or ‘Osama’s people.’ “ During a Jan. 5, 2005, conversation, Exinia described the men as “Iraqis,” ages 25 to 33, who were willing to pay $8,000 for transportation past Border Patrol checkpoints in South Texas and into the U.S. interior.

Could they have been terrorists? Coast Guard Adm. James Loy, who was acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security before the swearing-in of Michael Chertoff, told the Senate Intelligence Committee last year: “Several al-Qaida leaders believe operatives can pay their way through Mexico and also believe illegal entry is more advantageous than legal entry for operational security reasons.” Recent information, he added, showed “al-Qaida has considered using the Southwest border to infiltrate the United States.”

Gee, you’d think this would have, ya know, made the front page of every newspaper in America, huh.

In August 2004, as Leo W. Banks reported in the Tucson Weekly, Arizona rancher William Kolbe, brother of Republican Rep. Jim Kolbe, in whose district he lives, was chasing some wild animals off his property when he found a backpack hooked to the barbed wire fence behind their house.
In the backpack was a diary largely written in Arabic. Looking through the book, Mrs. Kolbe noticed two names and two numbers — one listing in Canada, the other in Iran — with the beginning numbers being the international calling codes for those two countries.

Rep. Solomon Ortiz, a Democrat from Corpus Christi and former sheriff of Nuences County, said the information found in court documents underscores the U.S.-Mexico border’s vulnerability to terrorist infiltration. “We know there are terrorist cells in the United States,” he told the Herald. “These guys are coming through the back door.”

Ortiz reports that local ranchers have found clothing native to the Middle East and items such as Sudanese money in the South Texas brush and that al-Qaida is trying to use the MS-13 gang (Mara Salvatruchas) “to move high value al-Qaida operatives across the border for a large sum of money.”

This is why I am a big supporter of the idea of guest workers.  I am enough of a pragmatist to realize that, from an economic standpoint, our country needs unskilled workers who are willing to do shit jobs for dirt cheap.  But I am enough of a realist to understand that we can’t just keep letting them sneak in here.  We need to close the border to illegal traffic, but make it so that those who wish to come to this country and work can do so, provided we know who they are first.  Guest workers are an excellent idea.

Posted by Lee on 01/30/06 at 07:41 PM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (15) TrackbacksPermalink

Cartoons for Allah
by Lee

The Religion of Peace™ shows, once again, that its first course of action is always violence.

The controversy over Danish caricatures of Prophet Muhammad escalated Monday as gunmen seized an EU office in Gaza and Muslims appealed for a trade boycott of Danish products. Denmark called for its citizens in the Middle East to exercise vigilance.

Denmark-based Arla Foods, which has been the target of a widespread boycott in the Middle East, reported that two of its employees in Saudi Arabia were beaten by angry customers. Aid groups, meanwhile, pulled workers out of Gaza, citing the threat of hostilities.

The 12 drawings — published in a Danish paper in September and in a Norwegian paper this month — included an image of the prophet wearing a turban shaped as a bomb with a burning fuse. Islamic tradition bars any depiction of the prophet, even respectful ones, out of concern that such images could lead to idolatry.

Danish government officials have expressed regret over the furor but have refused to get involved, citing freedom of expression. The Jyllands-Posten newspaper has refused to apologize for publishing the drawings and has said it did not mean to insult Islam.

Okay, it’s time for action.  Everyone break out your favorite drawing program.  Draw me the most offensive picture of Muhammad you can think of and email it to me.  It doesn’t have to be a good picture, it just has to clearly show Muhammad in the most degrading, insulting situation you can think of.  Send it to me, and I’ll post all of them.  I’m at work right now, I’ll get mine up later tonight.

If Muslims want to get pissed off, let’s give them something to be pissed off about.

Update: I had originally written “Allah” instead of “Muhammad.” My mistake.  Who the hell can keep track of all these different names?  Just be offensive.

Posted by Lee on 01/30/06 at 03:43 PM in The Religion of Peace™  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Lots of Gas
by Lee

Tony Blair is going kookoo for global warming.

The threat posed by climate change may be greater than previously thought, and global warming is advancing at an unsustainable rate, Prime Minister Tony Blair said in a report published Monday.

The government-commissioned report collates evidence presented at a conference on climate change hosted by Britain’s Meteorological Office last year. It says scientists now have ``greater clarity and reduced uncertainty’’ about the impacts of climate change.

In a foreword, Blair said it was clear that ``the risks of climate change may well be greater than we thought.’’

``It is now plain that the emission of greenhouse gases, associated with industrialization and economic growth from a world population that has increased six-fold in 200 years, is causing global warming at a rate that is unsustainable,’’ he wrote.

Over the next century, global warming is expected to raise ocean levels, intensify storms, spread disease to new areas and shift climate zones, possibly making farmlands drier and deserts wetter.

Wow!  The world is about to come to an end!  We really need to follow Britain’s lead and do something about this impending menace!

He was unable to overcome the Bush administration’s antipathy to the Kyoto climate-change accord rejected by the U.S. government on the grounds it would damage the economy. British ministers also have acknowledged that Britain is unlikely to meet its own target of cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent by 2010.

Why, it’s almost like Britain isn’t willing to roll back its standard of living by 100 years just to meet emissions targets.  Funny how that works, isn’t it.

Posted by Lee on 01/30/06 at 01:32 PM in Science and Technology  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Limited Limited Government
by Lee

It looks like Fristy learned his lesson.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who took a leading role in the Terri Schiavo case, said Sunday it taught him that Americans do not want the government involved in such end-of-life decisions.

Frist, considered a presidential hopeful for 2008, defended his call for further examinations of the brain-damaged Florida woman during the last days of a bitter family feud over her treatment. Schiavo was in a persistent vegetative state.

The case became a rallying point for right-to-life advocates, an important segment of the Republican Party. It also drew interest from those supporting the right to refuse life-sustaining medical treatment and led to charges that the GOP was using a family tragedy for political gain.

Asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” if he had any regrets regarding the Schiavo case, Frist said: “Well, I’ll tell you what I learned from it, which is obvious. The American people don’t want you involved in these decisions.”

Anyone remember the good old days, when the Republicans were the party which believed that the role of government should be as limited as possible?  Here we are, not more than ten years later, and we’ve gone from the party of limited government and personal responsibility to the party of, “Gee, I was surprised to learn that the people don’t want government deciding whether or not someone should be kept on life support.”

Posted by Lee on 01/30/06 at 09:09 AM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Law & Order: Pet Police
by Lee

And once again Britain demonstrates that there is no aspect of life anywhere under any circumstances that doesn’t warrant oversight from Big Brother.

CATS, dogs and other family pets are to have five statutory “freedoms” enshrined in law — and owners who flout the regulations could face jail or a fine of up to £5,000 after a visit from the “pet police”.

The Times has learnt that Margaret Beckett, the Environment Secretary, is to produce detailed codes of conduct telling pet owners how to feed their animals and where they should go to the toilet, along with ways of providing “mental stimulation”. Owners of “sociable” pets should provide them with playmates, the codes will say.

Every domesticated animal will have a code of conduct tailored to their species, each of which is expected to run into dozens of pages. This will form part of the Animal Welfare Bill, expected to clear Parliament in the next few months.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will inform the owners of Britain’s ten million cats, eight million dogs and one million rabbits of their new obligations in a series of pamphlets distributed to vets, pet shops, kennels and over the internet.

The first code of conduct, produced for cat owners, has been obtained by The Times. The 18-page A4 document, drafted for MPs scrutinising the Bill, warns cat owners of the dangers of dogs. It reads: “Dogs should be introduced to cats very carefully. The dog should be on a lead at first so that it cannot chase the cat.”

Although any breach of these codes is not an offence in itself, failure to observe elements of the code will count against defendants in court.

The five freedoms laid down by the Animal Welfare Bill are: appropriate diet, suitable living conditions, companionship or solitude as appropriate, monitoring for abnormal behaviour and protection from pain, suffering, injury and disease. The law will be enforced by “pet police”; council employees with powers to enter property and seize animals.

That’s right, folks.  If you don’t raise your pet exactly the way that Big Brother tells you, the pet police can enter your property, seize your animals, and arrest you.  Note that this isn’t just about animal cruelty, this is about the manner in which you care for your pets.

Scary, isn’t it?  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the UK is literally a police state.

Posted by Lee on 01/30/06 at 09:04 AM in Europe and the UK  • (8) TrackbacksPermalink

Brokeback
by Lee

Man, I don’t know what the hell I did last night, but I must have slept in some really weird position.  The center of my back is killing me, like I slept on a rock or something. 

Posted by Lee on 01/30/06 at 09:00 AM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Where Mah Money?
by Lee

Oh this is exactly what we don’t need.

Iraqi money gambled away in the Philippines. Thousands spent on a swimming pool that was never used. An elevator repaired so poorly that it crashed, killing people.
A U.S. government audit found American-led occupation authorities squandered tens of millions of dollars that were supposed to be used to rebuild Iraq through undocumented spending and outright fraud.

In some cases, auditors recommend criminal charges be filed against the perpetrators. In others, it asks the U.S. ambassador to Iraq to recoup the money.

Dryly written audit reports describe the Coalition Provisional Authority’s offices in the south-central city of Hillah being awash in bricks of $100 bills taken from a central vault without documentation.

It describes one agent who kept almost $700,000 in cash in an unlocked footlocker and mentions a U.S. soldier who gambled away as much as $60,000 in reconstruction funds in the Philippines.

“Tens of millions of dollars in cash had gone in and out of the South-Central Region vault without any tracking of who deposited or withdrew the money, and why it was taken out,” says a report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, which is in the midst of a series of audits for the Pentagon and State Department.

If I was Bush I’d come out first thing tomorrow, call a press conference, and head this off at the pass by announcing a high-level public investigation into these charges.  Because the Democrats in Congress are sure as hell going to do it.  He won’t do this, of course.  He’ll wait until it’s snowballed into a major election issue, then make some kind of weak-ass two sentence response like he always does.

Posted by Lee on 01/29/06 at 11:25 PM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

No FAGs At SAGs
by Lee

The FAGs were out in full FAG force tonight for the Film Actor’s Guild Awards.

Reese Witherspoon as singer June Carter in “Walk the Line” and Philip Seymour Hoffman as author Truman Capote in “Capote” won lead-acting awards Sunday from the Screen Actors Guild, while the ensemble drama “Crash” pulled off an upset win over “Brokeback Mountain” for the overall cast award.

Rachel Weisz of the murder-thriller “The Constant Gardener” and Paul Giamatti of the boxing drama “Cinderella Man” received supporting-acting honors.

Those of you who subscribe to the idea that Brokeback Mountain is some kind of gay Hollywood conspiracy might want to reconsider that viewpoint.

Posted by Lee on 01/29/06 at 10:56 PM in Celebrity Idiots  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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