Right Thinking From The Left Coast
Freedom of Press is limited to those who own one - H.L. Mencken

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Smack That Ass
by Lee

Not only does Nanny know what you should put in your bodies, or what kind of fat should be in your food, but they now know how to raise your children.

The emotional debate over spanking reignited in California when Assembly Speaker Pro Tem Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View, said she plans to introduce a bill this week outlawing anyone from swatting children age 3 and younger. Violators could face up to a year in jail or a $1,000 fine.

Because that’s what young children need, their parents broke and in jail.  But I suppose that will add to the welfare rolls, which is how liberals demonstrate how compassionate they are, so I suppose it’s a win/win.

Posted by Lee on 01/31/07 at 06:18 PM in Cullyforneah  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Rock for Warriors
by Lee

As most of you know, our resident Marine and Iraq War veteran Rick F. is about to head back to Iraq for his third (yes, third) tour.  He’s part of the surge.  He mentioned to me the other day that he’d like to take some CDs over there to give everyone something new to listen to, and I came up with an idea.

If you have an iTunes account, and would like to donate money to let Rick download music, you can send him a gift certificate.  Follow these steps.

1) Launch iTunes.  On the main screen, look in the top right corner in the Quick Links section.  In there you will see Buy iTunes Gifts.  Click it.

2) On the page that comes up are your options.  Scroll down a little and you will see Email Gift Certificates.  Click Buy Now.

3) The next page you see is the form.  Fill it out with your name, the amount you wish to send, and a message if you choose.  Where it asks for Recipient’s Email use the following address:

rstfehr6@juno.com

That’s all there is to it.  Rick will get an email gift certificate in his mailbox.  Now, if you don’t have an iTunes account and still wish to donate, you can send me the money through PayPal and I will buy the gift certificate for you.  I’ll make sure to put your name and contact info in the message so he knows who it came from.  You can donate through the site’s standard PayPal or Amazon.com addresses by clicking on this link.

Remember, Rick is also going to have to buy CDs to burn all this stuff on to, so a few of these PayPal donations will go to buying supplies rather than music. 

This is 100% legit.  Rick has been posting here for years, and you guys know damn well I’m not going anywhere.  These Marines are going to one of the world’s biggest shitholes to do one of the worst jobs imaginable.  Some new music will hopefully make the assignment a little bit easier.

A CD full of music generally costs $9.99 on iTunes, so a $20 donation will get two CDs.  We often times don’t get an opportunity to show that we care, but this is one of them.  Take advantage of it.

Note:  I know there are other ways of doing this than iTunes.  Let’s just standardize on this one way of doing it.  It’s simple, convenient, and you can burn the CDs from right within iTunes.  Rick can download stuff, kick off a CD burning session, and he’s good to go.  Please, let’s not turn this into some lame-ass discussion about Apple’s DRM or anything like that.

Questions?  Leave them in the comments.  Let’s do this thing.

Posted by Lee on 01/31/07 at 01:48 PM in Etcetera  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Fat Bastards
by Lee

First everyone was happy about trans fats.  Yaay!  Now trans fats are bad.  Boo!  Cities and states enact bans on trans fats.  Yaay!  Consumers now respond positively to packaging which claims the product to be trans fat free.  Yaay!  Industry goes looking for a replacement for trans fats.  And, surprise surprise

Cholesterol-raising trans fats may be disappearing from supermarket shelves and restaurants, but one type of fat taking their place may be no healthier, new research suggests.

… However, one of those replacement fats—so-called interesterified fats—may carry their own health threats, according to a study published in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism.

The interesterified oils may not only lower HDL levels but also cause a significant rise in blood sugar, researchers found.

The findings are concerning, study co-author Dr. K. C. Hayes told Reuters Health, in part because the study volunteers used the interesterified fats for only four weeks. “Blood glucose went up quite precipitously,” said Hayes, a professor of biology at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Wow.  It’s almost like government meddling causes more problems than it solves.  20 years from now we’ll ban these fats as well, then we’ll ban something else, and on and on.  It never ends.

Who could have possibly predicted this?  Pretty much anyone who isn’t a health nazi.

Posted by Lee on 01/31/07 at 09:58 AM in Science and Technology  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Farm Fresh Cuts
by Lee

My God!  Could this be the first cracks in the farm subsidy program?

Trying to tighten the federal budget, the Bush administration on Wednesday proposed to reduce farm payments $18 billion over the next five years.

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns is not seeking major changes in the nation’s farm subsidy program, which major farm groups and lawmakers in Congress want to retain.

However, the administration is seeking to eliminate farm payments for wealthy producers and to limit subsidies to those who make less than $200,000 in adjusted gross income annually. The current income cap is $2.5 million

I’d like to see the whole program ended, so this is a good start.  However, the real clincher in this story is this.

Lawmakers are anticipating having fewer dollars for farm programs when Congress writes a new farm bill this year. President Bush has promised to balance the budget within five years, and the Democratic-run Congress is insisting on budget cuts to pay for new spending. [Emphasis added]

There you have it.  A Republican president has presided over the largest explosion of federal spending in 60 years, and the newly-elected Democrat Congress wants to finance new spending with budget cuts.  We officially live in the Bizarro World. 

Posted by Lee on 01/31/07 at 09:41 AM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Bad Lieutenant
by Lee

And now, let’s go to Baghdad for some on-the-spot reporting from Captain Obvious.

Training the police is as important to stabilizing Iraq as building an effective army there, but the United States has botched the job by assigning the wrong agencies to the task, two members of the Iraq Study Group said Wednesday.

“The police training system has not gone well,” said former Rep. Lee Hamilton, who co-chaired the bipartisan commission.

… According to the report, co-authored by Hamilton and former Attorney General Edwin Meese, the U.S. erred by first assigning the task of shaping the judicial system in a largely lawless country to the State Department and private contractors who “did not have the expertise or the manpower to get the job done.”

In 2004, the mission was assigned to the Defense Department, which devoted more money to the task. But department officials also were insufficiently trained for the job, Hamilton and Meese said.

As a result, Iraq has little if any on-the-street law enforcement personnel or a functioning judicial system free of corruption, they said.

Justice Department officials, they said, should lead the work of transforming the system. Police executives and supervisors should replace the military police personnel now assigned.

And the FBI should expand its investigative and forensic training in Iraq, Hamilton and Meese told the panel.

Gee, it’s almost like they went into Iraq without any real plan for what to do when they got there.  I have no doubt, however, that Bush defenders will continue to believe that the war is going badly because of the media.

Posted by Lee on 01/31/07 at 09:31 AM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Yardstick of Compassion
by Lee

The minimum wage discussion has been going on today at work as well.  Of course the liberals are going apoplectic that Wal-Mart and other discount stores are undercutting the mom and pop businesses.  Here’s one of my comments to a coworker.

See, what you have to understand is that a poor family being able to feed itself on what it makes isn’t a good thing.  Why?  Because the welfare state is, as I’ve said countless times, primarily a means by which liberals feel good about themselves.  If a poor family is able to stretch its dollars further by shopping at Wal-Mart, it decreases their need to suckle at the government teat.  And, without the suckling, liberals have no standard by which to demonstrate how compassionate they are.

It’s sad but true.  Wal-Mart sells products that the poor can afford to buy, and does so conveniently.  Liberals can’t let this happen because it negates the need for the nanny state.

Posted by Lee on 01/30/07 at 07:44 PM in Left Wing Idiocy  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Minimum Game
by Lee

Jim Sinegal, CEO of Costco, has joined a group of “business leaders” calling for an increase in the minimum wage.  He’s obviously a caring individual, deeply concerned with the welfare of working Americans.  He couches his support in the verbiage of the working man, how raising the minimum wage will benefit families, and so on.  But, as so often happens, he’s doing nothing more than gaming the system.

Costco, of Issaquah, Wash., would suffer no direct impact from a higher minimum wage because its lowest-paid employees now make about $11 an hour, Sinegal said, adding that the average worker in the company’s 504 stores in the United States makes $17 an hour.

So, in other words, he’s using the minimum wage to drive out low-end competition, who can’t afford to raise the wages of their employees. Note that the CEO of Wal-Mart also supports hiking the minimum wage.

But, remember, it’s all about “fairness.”

Posted by Lee on 01/30/07 at 02:43 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Assigning the Blame
by Lee

The president’s brother has been speaking out on what is wrong with conservatism in America.

At a time when the conservative movement is looking bereft, humbled by midterm-election defeats and hungering for a presidential candidate to rally around, Jeb Bush delivered yesterday in Washington a resounding endorsement of conservative principles, bringing his audience repeatedly to its feet.

In his lunchtime remarks to the Conservative Summit, Bush struck every conservative chord, blaming Republicans’ defeat in November on the party’s abandonment of tenets including limited government and fiscal restraint.

“Don’t take offense personally if I get mad at Congress,” the Republican former Florida governor began. “It’s important for us to realize we lost, and there are significant reasons that happened, but it isn’t because conservatives were rejected. But it’s because we rejected the conservative philosophy in this country.”

He added, “If the promise of pork and more programs is the way Republicans think they’ll regain the majority, then they’ve got a problem.”

Bush’s speech prompted three standing ovations from the audience of hundreds at the National Review Institute’s conference at the JW Marriott Hotel, reflecting the widespread concern among conservatives that exorbitant government spending led to the loss of majorities in the House and Senate and concern about whether Republicans would again embrace the traditional principles.

Sounds good, right?  Except for the inconvenient fact that it is his brother, the president, who is responsible for all this.  The Cato @ Liberty folks nail it.

But who’s he kidding? President Bush sponsored most of those “more programs,” and in six years he hasn’t vetoed a single piece of pork or a bloated entitlement bill or a new spending program. And if Jeb thinks “we lost…because we rejected the conservative philosophy in this country,” he must realize that his brother has set the agenda for Republicans over the past six years almost as firmly as Putin has set Russia’s agenda. If Republicans turned their back on limited-government conservatism, it’s because the White House told them to. Not that congressional leaders were blameless — and on Social Security reform, they did decide to resist Bush’s one good idea — but it was President Bush and his White House staff who inspired, enticed, threatened, bullied, and bully-pulpited Republicans into passing the No Child Left Behind Act, the biggest expansion of entitlements in 40 years, and other big-government schemes.

Here’s the cold, hard fact.  If the GOP wants to have the slightest chance in 2008 their candidate is going to have to completely repudiate the Bush legacy.  And, frankly, I don’t think they have the balls to do it. 

Posted by Lee on 01/30/07 at 12:47 PM in Election 2008  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Free the Guilty Two!
by Lee

A number of people have written to me over the past few months wanting to know why I haven’t written anything about the two heroic border patrol agents who are currently in jail for killing a suspect.  They’re being portrayed by many as the poster boys for the anti-immigration movement.  The reason I didn’t take up the mantle of this cause is simply that I always figured there would be more to the story.  And there is, as detailed in that noted left-wing rag National Review.

Here’s the dirty little secret the agents’ partisans never tell in their relentless media rounds. You want to be mad about a miscreant like Aldrete-Davila getting away with importing scads of marijuana into Estados Unidos? Then be mad at … the “heroes.”

The rogue duo had two easy opportunities to arrest Aldrete-Davila: First, when he attempted to surrender and Compean decided it would be better to smash him with the butt of a shotgun than to put cuffs on him, as it was his duty to do; and then, when the “heroes,” having felled the unarmed, fleeing suspect with a bullet fired into his buttocks, decided to leave him there so they could tend to the more important business of covering up the shooting.

… The preponderance of the evidence established that Aldrete-Davila was unarmed. Besides Compean and Ramos, there were several other agents on the scene. None of them believed Aldrete-Davila posed a threat to their safety; none, other than the two defendants drew their weapons; and Compean and Ramos neither took cover nor alerted their fellow agents to do so.

More to the point, Compean admitted to investigators early on that the smuggler had raised his hands, palms open, in an attempt to surrender. This jibed not only with Aldrete-Davila’s account but with that of another Border Patrol agent. Compean opted not to take surrender, not to place the smuggler under arrest so he could be prosecuted.

… Compean and Ramos are bad guys. Once Aldrete-Davila was down from Ramos’s shot to the backside, they decided, for a second time, not to grab him so he could face justice for his crimes. As they well knew, an arrest at that point — after 15 shots at a fleeing, unarmed man who had tried to surrender — would have shone a spotlight on their performance. So instead, they exacerbated the already shameful display.

Instead of arresting the wounded smuggler, they put their guns away and left him behind. But not before trying to conceal the improper discharge of their firearms. Compean picked up and hid his shell-casings rather than leaving the scene intact for investigators. Both agents filed false reports, failing to record the firing of their weapons though they were well aware of regulations requiring that they do so. Because the “heroes” put covering their tracks ahead of doing their duty, Aldrete-Davila was eventually able to limp off to a waiting car and escape into Mexico.

Read the whole thing, it’s brutal.  These two guys are exactly where they belong.

Posted by Lee on 01/30/07 at 09:54 AM in Politics  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Running Numbers
by Lee

Ah, the Continentals.  They really have their priorities right.

Patrick Dewael, the Belgian minister of the Interior, has forbidden the wearing of football shirts displaying the numbers 18 and 88. According to the Liberal minister the number 18 stands for “Adolf Hitler” and the number 88 for “Heil Hitler.” A is the 1st letter of the alphabet, H the 8th.

The numbers 37 (Che Guevara) or 13 (Mao) are not forbidden. Neither are the popular T-shirts with Che Guevara’s portrait.

One reader in a Brussels paper wondered whether citizens living in houses with the numbers 18 and 88 will be blacklisted as Nazis by the authorities. Young people born in 1988, who have email addresses containing their year of birth, are worried too.

Interestingly, the player who wears number 88 on the Belgian national team is named “Rahowa Jewkiller.”

Posted by Lee on 01/30/07 at 09:43 AM in Europe and the UK  • (9) TrackbacksPermalink

Start Me Up
by Lee

My God, how things have changed from 1995.

Retailers around the world stayed open through the wee hours of Tuesday morning to sell the long-awaited Windows Vista operating system, even though most knew customers wouldn’t be lining up out the door.

At a CompUSA store in Raleigh, only about a dozen people gathered to be among the first consumers to get Vista. The low turnout wasn’t surprising; even Microsoft Corp. chairman Bill Gates said the company wasn’t pushing the midnight sales events for first major Windows update since 2001.

CompUSA manager Damon Didier said the midnight sales met his expectations, especially given the late hour with temperatures in the upper 20s.

“I think we’ll see sales pick up throughout the rest of the week, especially on Friday and over the weekend when people have more time,” Didier said.

While I’m sure the cold weather has something to do with it, the real dynamic here is cold enthusiasm.  I’ve been using Vista for a couple of months now.  Allow me to give you a one word review.

“Meh.”

And you can quote me on that.  It’s got some nice interface changes, and it’s ripped off a lot of stuff from OS X, but in general there’s no difference to the XP system you’re using now.  so, unlike 1995, when people lined up around the block to replace Windows 3.1 with Window 95, now there’s just nothing to get excited about.  Unless, of course, you own a Mac.

Posted by Lee on 01/30/07 at 09:30 AM in Science and Technology  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Monday, January 29, 2007

Allah-U-Akbomb
by Lee

Wanna have some fun the next time you fly on a plane?  Wait until the middle of the flight.  Pull out your laptop, then hit this site.

I can hear the laughter now!  Good times, good times…

Posted by Lee on 01/29/07 at 10:39 PM in Fun and Humor  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Who Dares Wins
by Lee

A few days ago I told you the story of some Royal Marines who risked their lives to bring back the body of one of their fallen comrades.  Here’s the video.

Posted by Lee on 01/29/07 at 09:15 PM in Europe and the UK  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Schneiden Sie Meine Penis, Bitte
by Lee

Since this is a hot story that everyone is talking about, allow me to add in my $0.02. 

A 12-year-old German boy who insisted he was a girl trapped in a boy’s body convinced his parents that something had to be done, so they agreed to allow him to receive a series of hormone injections, making him the youngest sex-change patient in the world, according to published reports Monday.

Now 14, the boy, who went by the name Tim, has now become Kim – a blue-eyed blonde with a growing bust line who is allowed to wear make-up at weekends.

Kim has no boyfriends at present but her parents say she is interested in what, now, is the opposite sex.

Her treatment, which has cost more than $40,000, is being funded by German taxpayers.

Psychiatrists treating her say she was an ‘exceptional case – a person clearly in the wrong body’, even though the decision to grant her wishes when she was so young is still the subject of intense debate.

I don’t have any problem with this at all.  I’m often astounded by the degree of vitriol that so many people treat sexual disorders.  I mean, think of the number of weird things that we see in people:  born with extra limbs or nipples, hands that are backwards, missing faces, and so on.  If you can think of some kind of weird freakish abomination, the chances are that at some point in recent history someone has been afflicted with that ailment.

Given the cornucopia of possible medical aberrations, why is it such a big deal to think that a person could be born with the sexual identity of a woman and the sexual organs of a man?

If this kid had been born with the sexual identity of a girl, but had the sexual organs of both a man and a woman (a hermaphrodite, in other words), would any of you think it was weird that the child would have corrective surgery to fix the problem and turn her into a girl?  Of course not.  So what is the problem here?  Perhaps the sexual organs were correct and the sexual identity was wrong, but you can’t change someone’s sexual identity.  You can, however, change their physical sex.

There are legitimate areas of concern, of course, given the child’s age.  But having a sex change is not something you just walk in off the street and get, you have to go through years of psychological evaluation.  Given that this child’s dysfunction has been diagnosed and documented for years, I don’t see why anyone would get freaked out by this. 

It is far better that this problem be solved now, before puberty, than afterwards.  This is the way it should be done.

Posted by Lee on 01/29/07 at 08:42 PM in Science and Technology  • (2) TrackbacksPermalink

Here Come De Muslim
by Lee

Here’s reason 245,381 why Israel is better than her Arab neighbors.

Israel’s first Muslim cabinet minister was sworn in by parliament on Monday after a weeks-long battle over his nomination that drew fire from far-right parties as well as Arab lawmakers.

The parliamentary confirmation was expected after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s cabinet voted on Sunday to make Galeb Magadla of Israel’s Labour party a minister without portfolio.

“I am certain that minister Galeb Magadla will be a place to turn to help deal with the gaps between the Arab and Jewish sectors,” said Defense Minister and Labour party leader Amir Peretz.

Arabs make up about 20 percent of Israel’s population and have long complained of being treated like second-class citizens and about a paucity of government funds for their towns and villages.

“The first step has been taken and this has given Israeli Arabs a feeling of belonging,” Magadla told Army Radio on Sunday.

But several Muslim lawmakers spoke out against his nomination, saying Magadla would only represent his party’s ideology and not the entire Arab population.

Meanwhile, in pretty much every Arab country in the world, they won’t let you in the country if you have an Israeli visa in your passport, and being a Jew is an instant death sentence.  And, as expected, this development won’t stop the world’s lefties from decrying Israel as one of the world’s most oppressive fascist nations.

Posted by Lee on 01/29/07 at 08:36 PM in The Religion of Peace™  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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