Right Thinking From The Left Coast
I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have. - Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A Matter of Priorities
by Lee

Over at Reason, Radley Balko makes an absolutely brilliant point about the “Washington Madam” story.

I have little interest in who is and isn’t on the D.C. Madam’s list, though the rank hypocrisy of Randal Tobias paying for sexual massages after a hard day of requiring foreign governments to swear off prostitution before receiving foreign aid to fight AIDS is pretty rich.

What’s instructive about this mess is that it shows exactly what it takes to get booted from the Bush administration. Until now, the only thing that could get you axed from the White House payroll was disloyalty. Set the stage for and choreograph an ill-considered and horribly executed war resulting in the death of 3,300 U.S. troops? Get a soft landing as president of the World Bank, where the president says your admirable record fighting corruption in the developing world ought to offset the niggling truth that you yourself have some serious problems with corruption. Mislead the nation and the entire world about Saddam’s WND [sic] capabilities? Consider yourself Medal-of-Freedomed!

Ah, but hire an escort? Not in this no-porn, no-gambling, abstinence-happy administration. Have your resignation in hand by the end of the day.

Think about it.  He’s absolutely correct.  Compare hiring an escort with. say, the way Alberto Gonzales has been wiping his ass with the Constitution.  Guess who gets the boot, and guess who has the full support of the administration.  Just about any behavior, no matter how nefarious or illegal, is not only tolerated but rewarded.  But anything to do with icky sex and you’re out on your ass.

Posted by Lee on 05/03/07 at 09:08 AM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Hating Crime
by Lee

I criticize Bush a lot, primarily because he deserves it.  But one area where he and I have always been in agreement is over the stupidity of so-called “hate crimes” legislation.  He vetoed such legislation while governor of Texas (after which the NACP created a despicable, disgusting ad about him).  And now, with hate crimes legislation making its way through Congress, Bush has once again threatened to use the veto.

The Administration favors strong criminal penalties for violent crime, including crime based on personal characteristics, such as race, color, religion, or national origin. However, the Administration believes that H.R. 1592 is unnecessary and constitutionally questionable.  If H.R. 1592 were presented to the President, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.

… H.R. 1592 prohibits willfully causing or attempting to cause bodily injury to any person based upon the victim’s race, color, religion, or national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. The Administration notes that the bill would leave other classes (such as the elderly, members of the military, police officers, and victims of prior crimes) without similar special status. The Administration believes that all violent crimes are unacceptable, regardless of the victims, and should be punished firmly. 

Bush may get a lot wrong, but he’s been consistently right on this issue for years.

Update: If you aren’t familiar with the NAACP ad referenced above, here it is.  Absolutely despicable.

Posted by Lee on 05/03/07 at 08:54 AM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Adult Sudden Death Syndrome
by Lee

You know all those people (terrists) who have died while in US custody over the past few years?  Well, they weren’t tortured to death.  Torturing is something done by savage, barbaric nations.  We only use stress positions.  The men who died in our custody were victims of an unfortunate medical condition called—I’m not making this up—adult sudden death syndrome.

A CHINESE judge charged with corruption died in his cell from “adult sudden death syndrome”, Xinhua news agency said today.

Investigators said Li Chaoyang, 38, had been unco-operative while in detention in Xing’an county in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southwestern China.

“Cuts on his face and other injuries” had been caused by a fall during an escape attempt, they said.

What a shame that he tried to escape justice.  Perhaps if he wasn’t so clumsy he would still be alive.

Li, a judge with the local Pingle County Court, was detained on March 23, accused of taking bribes.

Shi Shaosen, head of the Guilin municipal law enforcement supervisory section and chief investigator in the case, said the prisoner had not been maltreated.

“Li Chaoyang’s sudden death conforms with adult sudden death syndrome,” said Mr Shi, citing a forensic report.

Li’s relatives had claimed there were wounds on his body, a gash across his lip and one of his front teeth was missing. They questioned the cause of his death and wrote about it on a blog.

Hmmmm.  He was accused of a crime, was in custody, suffered severe injuries, and then mysteriously died from “adult sudden death syndrome.” Sounds just like what happened at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo and the other facilities we’ve been operating around the world.

Thank God we have the Communist Chinese to provide us with the legitimate legal excuse to justify our behavior.  Here I was thinking all this time that we were torturing people and they were dying because of our mistreatment, but it was nothing more than plain old garden variety adult sudden death syndrome.  Why, it could happen to any one of us at any minute.

Especially if we’re being tortured.  I mean, interrogated using a stress position.  Just think, if it wasn’t for the Chinese Communists providing us with this valuable medical information people might get the mistaken impression that we were torturing people to death.  Luckily, though, neither Communist China or the Bush Administration would ever authorize such a vile activity.

Posted by Lee on 05/02/07 at 06:50 PM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Marxo Bell
by Lee

I swear to God, every time I read something like this it just makes me wish for a speedy, painful death to the Republican Party.

Utah County Republicans ended their convention on Saturday by debating Satan’s influence on illegal immigrants.  … Don Larsen, chairman of legislative District 65 for the Utah County Republican Party, had submitted a resolution warning that Satan’s minions want to eliminate national borders and do away with sovereignty.
In a speech at the convention, Larsen told those gathered that illegal immigrants “hate American people” and “are determined to destroy this country, and there is nothing they won’t do.”

Illegal aliens are in control of the media, and working in tandem with Democrats, are trying to “destroy Christian America” and replace it with “a godless new world order—and that is not extremism, that is fact,” Larsen said.

At the end of his speech, Larsen began to cry, saying illegal immigrants were trying to bring about the destruction of the U.S. “by self invasion.”

Republican officials then allowed speakers to defend and refute the resolution. One speaker, who was identified as “Joe,” said illegal immigrants were Marxist and under the influence of the devil. Another, who declined to give her name to the Daily Herald, said illegal immigrants should not be allowed because “they are not going to become Republicans and stop flying the flag upside down. ... If they want to be Americans, they should learn to speak English and fly their flag like we do.”

That’s right, folks.  They’re not poor people looking to come to where the jobs are so they can send money to their impoverished families.  No, they’re Marxist Satanists who hate America and want to destroy it.

Seriously, this sounds like a fucking comedy routine.  I can’t vote for any party whose members are actually this ignorant.  The Republican Party can’t die fast enough.

Posted by Lee on 05/02/07 at 06:25 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

The Decider, or The Destroyer?
by Lee

Real Clear Politics has a clip of überleftie and America-hating pinko commie subversive George Will talking about the future of the GOP.

Stephanopoulos: If this now declared deadline of Gen. Petraeus of September, if the political goals haven’t been met by then, do you see large scale Republican defections at that point?

Will: Absolutely. They do not want to have, as they had in 2006, another election on Iraq. George, it took 30, 40 years for the Republican Party to get out from under Herbert Hoover. People would say, “Are you going to vote for Nixon in ‘60?” “No, I don’t like Hoover.” The Depression haunted the Republican Party. This could be a foreign policy equivalent of the Depression, forfeiting the Republican advantage they’ve had since the ‘68 convention of the Democratic Party and the nomination of [George] McGovern. The advantage Republicans have had on national security matters may be forfeited.

Commenting on this in concert with the column I linked to the other day by Bill Buckley, another Bush hater and left-wing propagandist, RCP has the following comment.

Even though both Buckley and Will are careful to hedge slightly on their predictions, essentially two of the most respected and smartest minds in conservative politics just declared that the Republican Party will not only suffer greatly in 2008, but that it is in danger of becoming a minority party for generations.

The Bush Legacy™, ladies and gentlemen.  The destruction of America’s credibility, the destruction of the Republican Party, the destruction of our military readiness, the destruction of the concept of limited government, the erosion of Constitutional protections on individual liberty… Christ almighty, Stalin couldn’t have done a better job at fucking up everything I believe in.

Comments about how “It’s the fault of the media and the Democrats” in 3… 2… 1…

Posted by Lee on 05/02/07 at 01:29 PM in Election 2008  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Thus Spake the Fry
by Lee

Chickenfry went home from hospital yesterday, and caught up on all her blog reading.  She asked me to pass along this message.

Just wanted to drop everyone a note and say THANK YOU for all your well wishes and good thoughts.  Lee was great also. These past two weeks have reaffirmed that fact that he is the best person I know!!!

Chickenfry OUT!

Once again, from both of us, thanks to all of you.

Posted by Lee on 05/02/07 at 11:44 AM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Veto Deuce
by Lee

As expected, yesterday vetoed the Iraq funding bill.

President Bush vetoed a $124 billion war spending bill on Tuesday, setting up a second round in his long battle with Congressional Democrats who are determined to use the financing measure to force the White House to shift course in Iraq.

The veto was only the second of Mr. Bush’s presidency. In a six-minute televised speech from the White House, the president called the measure a “prescription for chaos and confusion,” and said, as he has for weeks, that he could not sign it because it contained timetables for troop withdrawal.

“Setting a deadline for withdrawal is setting a date for failure, and that would be irresponsible,” Mr. Bush said. He said the measure would “impose impossible conditions on our commanders in combat” by forcing them to “take fighting directions from politicians 6,000 miles away in Washington, D.C.”

So, here’s the way I see it.  Bush has to have these funds.  The Democrats don’t have the votes to override the veto and they know it.  This is an act of pure partisan politics—gritty, dirty, in your face, just the way politics should be.  The drawback to this is that since Bush absolutely has to have the funds, and the Democrats don’t want to be known as the party which denied funds to troops engaged in hostilities in a war zone, there’s going to have to be some kind of compromise bill.  And that scares the shit out of me.  Compromise bills usually end up being the worst ideas of both parties thrown together into one disastrous foul-tasting stew.  Time will tell what the administration and the Congress manage to cook up, but I doubt it’s going to be anything that we’re really going to like.

I will say this, though.  Bush stuck to his guns on this one, and for that he is to be commended.  Also to be commended:  the NY Times, for printing a picture of Bush where he actually looks presidential.

image

All too often the major media act like the tabloids when it comes to Bush and Cheney.  Pictures of Bush are chosen when his mouth is in an “O” shape, giving him the chimp-like appearance that the lefties find so appealing.  And Cheney’s photos are always shown with that trademark snarl.  This picture makes Bush look presidential and not a buffoon, and I think this is so uncommon in the major media that it’s worth pointing out.

Update: Take a look at the flag on the right side of the Bush image.  Doesn’t it look like some kind of demonic Raggedy Ann doll?

Posted by Lee on 05/02/07 at 09:51 AM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Israel vs. Amurka
by Lee

He got into an ill-colceived, badly prepared, botched war.  And people are pissed off about it.  No, not Bush.

Telling his rivals to “slow down,” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called an emergency meeting of his Cabinet Wednesday in a feverish attempt to hold on to power following a scathing report on his handling of last year’s war in Lebanon.

This week’s report has set off a growing chorus of calls for Olmert’s resignation, including from members of his coalition government. A top lawmaker in Olmert’s Kadima Party became the highest-ranking official to urge Olmert to step down, and party officials said Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, a party heavyweight, would follow suit later in the day.

The 34-day war against the Islamic group Hezbollah has been widely perceived as a failure. Monday’s report said Olmert bore ultimate responsibility, accusing him of poor judgment, hasty decision making and lack of vision.

But wait, there’s more!

Two new polls published in Israeli newspapers Wednesday said some two-thirds of Israelis want Olmert to resign immediately. The surveys indicated that the hawkish former prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu of the opposition Likud Party, would likely win handily if new elections were held.

Now, compare this to America.  “Killing terrists is hard.  It’s hard work.  Defending Amurka is hard work.  And we gotta say the course.  I’ve come up with another plan, and this one is gonna work, which will kill terrists and protect Amurka.  But we gotta stay the course.  That’s important, staying the course.  It’s what’s best for Amurka, and it’s the best way to kill terrists.  Cause the terrists wanna kill us, and they want to destroy Amurka.  Killing terrists and defending Amurka is hard work, and we gotta stay the course, so we can bring them terrists in dead or alive.  Bring it on, terrists, cause we’re staying the course with a plan to kill you and protect Amurka.”

This is one area where the parliamentary system is superior to ours.  All it takes is a vote of no confidence and the PM is out on his ass.  We’re stuck with “terrists” and “Amurka” for almost two more years.

Posted by Lee on 05/02/07 at 09:25 AM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Thirty Fucking Seven
by Lee

Happy Birthday to Me
Happy Birthday to Me
Happy Birthday you Crusty Old Bastard
Happy Birthday to me

Posted by Lee on 05/02/07 at 02:12 AM in Decline of Western Civilization  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Gun-Free Free Zones
by Lee

Of course this idea would come from Texas.

Gov. Rick Perry, mulling ways to stop the kind of murderous rampages that recently left 33 dead on a college campus in Virginia, said Monday there’s one sure-fire solution he likes: allow Texans to take their concealed handguns anywhere.

Period.

Perry said he opposes any concealed gun-toting restrictions at all — whether it’s in a hospital, a public school, a beer joint or even the local courthouse.

“The last time I checked, putting a sign up that says ‘Don’t bring your weapons in here,’ someone who has ill intent on their mind — they could care less,” Perry told reporters. “I think it makes sense for Texans to be able to protect themselves from deranged individuals, whether they’re in church or whether on a college campus or wherever.”

In general terms I agree with him.  But this is also a good point.

State Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, called Perry’s proposal “a terrible idea.”

“Anybody has a right to tell somebody that they can’t bring their handgun into their place of business,” Burnam said. “I think the governor is just overreaching in a counterproductive way and it’s kind of typical (of the) governor — shoot from the hip, literally and figuratively.”

I view guns just like I do smoking.  It should be up to each establishment whether they wish to permit people to carry, and it should be a crime to carry a weapon inside a store of building or church or other place which chooses to institute a no-weapons policy.  I also have some reservations about allowing people to carry weapons in bars, but I haven’t really fleshed that through.  There was, however, one fascinating little statistic at the end of the article.

About 260,000 Texans, who have undergone mandatory background check and training, are licensed to carry a concealed weapon, records show. In the last fiscal year, 180 licenses were revoked and 493 were suspended for unknown reasons, records show.

So there’s a quarter million private citizens carrying firearms.  Let’s be generous and say that 1,000 were revoked for some reason.  That’s 1/260th or 0.00384615385% of permits which have been revoked.

If we go by typical left-wing anti-gun hysteria, the streets of Texas should be running with blood from all these cowboy yahoo rednecks packing weapons, having shootouts over traffic infractions and arguments with store clerks.  To borrow a line from 300, the bullets should be blotting out the sun.

Interesting, isn’t it, that this hasn’t happened.

Posted by Lee on 05/01/07 at 07:21 PM in 2nd Amendment  • (8) TrackbacksPermalink

Can the Consensus be Wrong?
by Lee

I used to live in Marin County, just north of San Francisco.  It’s one of the most affluent areas in the state.  And, for some reason, it has some of the highest rates of breast cancer in the country.  Nobody’s been able to figure out why.  But this seems as likely a culprit as any other theory I’ve heard so far.

For decades, researchers have puzzled over why rich northern countries have cancer rates many times higher than those in developing countries — and many have laid the blame on dangerous pollutants spewed out by industry.

But research into vitamin D is suggesting both a plausible answer to this medical puzzle and a heretical notion: that cancers and other disorders in rich countries aren’t caused mainly by pollutants but by a vitamin deficiency known to be less acute or even non-existent in poor nations.

Those trying to brand contaminants as the key factor behind cancer in the West are “looking for a bogeyman that doesn’t exist,” argues Reinhold Vieth, professor at the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto and one of the world’s top vitamin D experts. Instead, he says, the critical factor “is more likely a lack of vitamin D.”

What’s more, researchers are linking low vitamin D status to a host of other serious ailments, including multiple sclerosis, juvenile diabetes, influenza, osteoporosis and bone fractures among the elderly.

Now, for years it has been common for doctors to tell you to stay out of the sun.  You could say that “an overwhelming consensus” of doctors would tell you to stay out of the sun, and when you do go outside to wear heavy sunscreen cream.  You could say that there was “a mountain of data” suggesting that the responsible course of action was to protect yourselves from the sun’s harmful rays.  You could even say that anyone who decided to go against this overwhelming scientific consensus, backed up by a mountain of data, was being irresponsible.

Now… not so much.

So, the next time some liberal lunatic tells you that there is “an overwhelming consensus” among climate scientists about the “dangers” of global warming, and that anyone who dares hold a contrary view is some kind of “irresponsible” madman, tell them to shit the fuck up, go out in the sun, and have a nice, steaming cup of Vitamin D.

Posted by Lee on 05/01/07 at 05:59 PM in Science and Technology  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Big Brother is Reading You
by Lee

Jesus H. Christ, this just keeps getting worse and worse.  Not only does the British government have cameras watching your every move, they’re now about to be able to read your lips.

“Read my lips....” used to be a figurative saying. Now the British government is considering taking it literally by adding lip reading technology to some of the four million or so surveillance cameras in order identify terrorists and criminals by watching what everyone says.

Electronic Design is reporting that the Home Office is interested in a project being pursued by a senior lecturer in computer vision at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England:

Computer-based lip-reading technology would help video surveillance systems spot people planning a crime or terror attack by literally watching suspects’ lips for clues. Once it finds someone speaking certain key words or sentences, the system would automatically send an alert message to a central console, mobile phone, or other communications device. Police or security agents could then be dispatched to the scene to question the individual.

Of course as with all these Big Brother surveillance moves it cannot be selectively applied and everyone will be subjected to it.

In other words, in the UK the only place you can have any privacy is inside your apartment, alone in a closet, under a blanket, with all the lights out.  At least for now.  I’m sure within a year or two they’ll have cameras in everyone’s closet with infra-red blanket-piercing technology.

But, thank God, the UK still won’t have any guns.  Whew!

Posted by Lee on 05/01/07 at 05:46 PM in Europe and the UK  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Swamp Thing
by Lee

Light blogging today, I am SWAMPED at work.  Keep yourselves occupied, kids.

Posted by Lee on 05/01/07 at 12:11 PM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Sound Bleg
by Lee

For a project I’m working on I need a sound clip of George W. Bush, at the 9/20/2000 address to Congress, where he says the following.

Our nation, this generation, will lift the dark threat of violence from our people and our future. We will rally the world to this cause by our efforts, by our courage. We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.

Canyahelpaniggaout?  Post yo’ links in da commentizzle.

Posted by Lee on 05/01/07 at 03:47 AM in Blegging  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Warming to McCain
by Lee

A few people today in the John McCain post took issue with his statement that he “would announce that climate change is a big issue.” Let’s put this one to bed once and for all.

I think you’d have to be crazy to think that climate change is not real and that mankind is not contributing to it.  It is, and we are.  If you’re looking for skeptics, look no further than Ronald Bailey, who is Reason Magazine’s science editor.  He’s as free-market, pro-capitalist a man as you’ll ever meet, but he also respects the science, and he’s come to the conclusion that global warming/climate change is real.  That doesn’t mean that he buys into the hype.  Here’s his review of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.”

On balance Gore gets it more right than wrong on the science (we’ll leave the policy stuff to another time), but he undercuts his message by becoming the opposite of a global warming denier. He’s a global warming exaggerator.

And this is the core issue.  I freely admit the following.

1) Global warming is taking place.
2) Mankind is contributing to it to one degree or another.
3) Something should be done about it.

Admitting these three things does NOT in any way make you some left wing environmentalist wacko.  Just because global warming is taking place does not mean you have to support policies like Kyoto.  Just because you think something should be done doesn’t mean that you have to abandon pro-growth, pro-capitalist, pro-market policies.  For McCain to say that “climate change is a big issue” doesn’t make him some kind of crypto-socialist who is trying to suck up to the environmentalist lunatics, it makes him a rational human being who can clearly see that science is telling us that the world is getting warmer and that bad things might result from this.

For me, at least, the solution to global warming is in technological innovation.  It’s the only thing in the history of mankind that’s ever really solved any social problem.  Governmental regulation and programs don’t do a damn thing, and if McCain or any other candidate starts supporting this socialist drivel then you can criticize them for that position.  But criticizing him for what is clearly factual is nothing more than dogmatism, the free market cousin of the hysteria promoted by Al Gore.

Posted by Lee on 05/01/07 at 12:06 AM in Science and Technology  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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