Saturday, December 06, 2003


Right We Are has closed up shop? DAMMIT!
The Council has Spoken!

This weeks winning entries are President Bush Visits Iraq by AlphaPatriot, and A Letter From Tehran, by USS Clueless. You can find all the entries here.

I'm proud to say I came in second. Heh. When you're up against such great writers, second is pretty damn good.

Friday, December 05, 2003

I seem to be on a self-defense kick today. Probably for good reason, when I read things like this.

Your rabbi is beaten up by thugs on the sidewalk outside your synagogue.

You wake up one morning to discover that someone has spray-painted swastikas and the words "Jew vermin must die" on your house.

Your grandmother's headstone is kicked over and the vandal defecates on her grave before he and his gang move on to destroy the rest of the cemetary.

Your son comes home from college bruised and bloody, having been kicked by pro-Palenstinian demonstrators. When you protest to school administrators, you discover that Jews are becoming an unpopular minority on campuses all around the United States.

You download your e-mail and read a calm, rational-sounding news article that claims Jews, not Arabs, masterminded the horrors of September 11.

You click on a Web site and watch ghastly video footage of terrorists cutting off a Wall Street Journal reporter's head, just because the reporter is Jewish.

You turn on the nightly news, and words like these vomit out at you:

You are wicked deceivers of the American people. You have sucked their blood. ... You are the synagogue of Satan, and you have wrapped your tentacles around the U.S. government, and you are deceiving and sending this nation to hell.1

The Jews are the Jews. There never was among them a supporter of peace. They are all liars. They are terrorists. Therefore it is necessary to slaughter them and murder them, according to the words of Allah. Kill the Jews and those Americans that are like them.2

It is the right of any American to defend themselves. And as much as I don't want to sound alarmist, the level of anti-semitism that I see in Seattle alarms me. When I walk by a poster that equates Jews to Nazis, I rip it down and tear it up. But I can't rip down all the flyers, and I can't stop the person who's putting them up.

The writer of this piece, Aaron Zelman, feels the same way.

Wake up, my fellow Jews! These aren't the long-past, discredited words and deeds of Nazi Germany. These are your reality—now! Today! These examples are taken from the daily newspapers or the nightly news of our world, our era. They scream a warning of our danger—and of renewed danger to our religion, our heritage, our families, our traditions, our safety, and our very life.

Once again, I'll put out my offer. Anyone who wants to learn how to shoot can contact me. I'll bring my guns, we'll head to the range, and I'll instruct you to the best of my ability. Analog Kid from Random Nuclear Strikes will come as well. We are more than happy to teach people how to shoot. Kim du Toit will offer advice, tips, and what ever else he can. All you have to do is contact any one of us. Just click on my name at the end of this post to get my email address.

And sometimes, not having that barrel can cause you untold amounts of grief.

KIOWA, Colo. - It took an hour and 10 minutes for a sheriff's deputy to reach the farm where a man had called 911, pleading for help after three pit bulls attacked and killed his partner, authorities said Wednesday.

Horse trainer Jennifer Brooke, 40, was attacked as she cared for her horses early Sunday on the farm southeast of Denver. Her partner, Bjorn Osmunsen, 24, was attacked after he went to look for her.

He called Johnette Curtis, who rents a home on the farm, and warned her about the animals. After she arrived to help search for Brooke, the two drove inside the horse barn and shut the doors against the snarling, barking dogs.

At that point, Osmunsen called 911.

"Bjorn asked, 'Is there anybody coming?' " Curtis said late Tuesday. "Then I heard him say, 'You mean there's nobody coming?' "

The sheriff's office said the 911 call came at the same time the lone deputy on patrol was responding to a domestic violence call.

I have had co-workers ask me (when they find out that I'm a gun advocate) "What does a person need with a {fill in the blank here} kind of weapon?" My first response always is "What right does anyone have to disarm a law-abiding citizen?" My second response always is "When the nearest law enforcement is half an hour away, how is someone supposed to defend themselves?" I guarantee, if Ms. Brooke had been carrying my .38 Special, those dogs would be dead, and she would be alive. Sadly, it didn't work out that way. I can tell you that my girlfriend is never going to be put into that situation. She always has her pepper spray on her, and she knows how to use every gun in the house. Kim du Toit has an extra set of rules that people should follow:

1) Carry a gun.
2) If the law says you can't carry a gun to save your life, tell the law to take a hike.
3) If a politician or policeman tells you not to use a gun, but to call 911, tell them to take a hike.
4) If your life is threatened by anything or anyone, shoot until the threat is removed.

Curtis told Osmunsen to hang up, and she called her daughter and son-in-law, Kristi and Brian Van Etten, and told them to bring guns. A short time later, Osmunsen found Brooke's body, broken and bloodied in the horse arena next to the barn.

Sadly it was too late. But the dogs were eventually shot. Look people, the law enforcement officials cannot protect you. Only YOU can protect you. Make sure that you're able to do so.

A gun is like a fire extinguisher. You hope that you never has to use it. But if you need it, and don't have it, your life is over.

Hat tip to Kim du Toit.

UPDATE: One of Kim's readers from Colorado emailed him an update about the dogs. Apparently, people were questioning how one person managed to avoid getting mauled by the dogs. A reader mailed an article from the Denver Post to Kim. Here's the meat of it:

"It did take a long time for the police to get here," Baker said. "For me, it was mostly a blur. Thank God my son was here or who knows what would have happened."

Baker's son Cody, 16, wounded the dogs with a 12-gauge shotgun, allowing his father to escape. Deputies killed the dogs when they arrived.

On of my SGT's always told me, "Have faith in the spread pattern, my son." A 12 gauge tucked under your arm, loaded with buckshot, will stop more problems than you can imagine.

Steven den Beste has filed a response to a letter from Tehran.

Quoth the letter from Iran:
Though I often disagree with you, I enjoy your posts—they are thoughtful and provocative. But, sitting in my apartment in Tehran, I can’t help but oscillate between despondency and amusement these days. Do you not see what’s happening to you folks out in the yonder lands? Debating “final solution” are we? Mass murder in a cool, collected way? Killing over a billion, or is it perhaps just a few hundred million? Nuking a city or two, or is it only just the vicinity of a large metropolitan area? Issuing ultimatums to the world to take sides between mass murderers in ties or those with rags on their heads?
Respondeth den Beste:
If my nation was made up of the kind of monsters who "debate final solutions" and feel no qualms about "mass murder", you'd already be dead, because Tehran would have been converted to a glowing crater about 12 hours after the collapse of the WTC towers.
It's not a question of my nation making a decision whether people will die. Islamic militants made that decision. America's only decision now is who will die, and where and when. If we stand by idly and passively, then it will be Americans who die, whenever and wherever the Islamic extremists choose to kill them, probably in huge numbers.

We don't consider that acceptable. That's surrender. That's not going to happen.

Instead, we're attempting to take control of events, in hopes that we can minimize the total number of deaths caused by this war. That's why we've embarked on the highly risky and unprecedented strategy we're following. If we were only concerned with minimizing American casualties and if we didn't care about anyone else, then every major Muslim city on the planet would have been vaporized by September 15, 2001, and the war would have ended in a week.
Well, yeah. The whole thing is worth a read.

The only part of it that I find myself disagreeing with are the notions that a) Radical Islamists started this war, and b) the war began on 11 September 2001.

I believe it started on 5 September 1972. I think that is the day when foresightful people would have concluded that the Arab War against Israel has gone global (or at least pan-European). Since then both sides have doubtlessly made innumerable mistakes and oftentimes behaved quite badly.

But does it really matter now?

Personally, who started the war and when it started are immaterial to me, except in that hypothesizing about same deflects attention away from the key and core current issues:

= who is at war now? and,

= how is the fighting best ended?

Stating who started it and when is like waking up during the middle of the night and arguing with your wife about who left the stove on. It's immaterial and counterproductive, because it saps energy from the important issues.

Or - Pardon me whilst I chortle and pound my chest.

Our (non-)friends, the French, seem to be having a spot of trouble getting their brand new (eleven-year old) aircraft carrier up and running.

France is considering quietly retiring their new nuclear powered aircraft carrier and joining with Britain to buy a new carrier of British design. Actually, the French had planned to built a second nuclear powered carrier, but they are having so many problems with the first one that they are quite reluctant about building a second of the same design

Ya don't say! And just what problems may the french be having now? (Oh yeah, I'm listing them! Heh!)

The 40,000 ton ship has cost over four billion dollars so far and is slower than the diesel powered carrier it replaced. Flaws in the "de Gaulle" have led to the use of propellers from it predecessor, the "Foch," because the ones built for "de Gaulle" never worked right. Worse, the nuclear reactor installation was done poorly, exposing the engine crew to five times the allowable annual dose of radiation. There were also problems with the design of the deck, making it impossible to operate the E-2 radar aircraft that are essential to defending the ship and controlling offensive operations. Many other key components of the ship did not work correctly, and the carrier has been under constant repair and modification. The "de Gaulle" took eleven years to build (1988-99) and was not ready for service until late 2000. It's been downhill ever since

This is the country that wants to be the counter-balance to the United States of America, and they can't even build a working aircraft carrier. What's worse, the desiel carrier that the "de Gaulle" was supposed to replace is still sailing proudly... as the Sao Paulo, flag ship of the Brazillian Navy.

A leaky ship that can't sail, that can't launch aircraft, and that cooks it's engineering crew like a microwave oven... a total and utterly complete failure in every aspect.... and yet the french think they can be the worlds opposition to us? They can't even build a damn ship that we've been building for 40 years!

Don't miss what the Rott had to say on this subject. He's one of the few people who's disgust with the french match my own. And Jim, who's blog I just discovered today, had this to say on the subject:

But, should you ever see this ship bearing down upon you, glowing eerily, sheer off shaprly, indeed.

Two or three leauges ought to suffice. Upwind. But really, I don't know what's the greatest hazard.

Radiation, or the smell of microwaved Frenchmen

Yes, pardon me whilst I chortle!

Thursday, December 04, 2003

On Wednesday, Dave wrote:

Many of the immigrants from the USSR that I've talked to are amazed that some people in America believe in Communism and Socialism. They can't understand why someone would support an ideology that has ruined so many lives. I can't understand it either.
Interestingly, today my mom sent me an email that contained excerpts from this piece penned by Cornel Nistorescu, a Romanian writer, and published by Evenimentul Zilei on 24 September 2002.

Go'head and read it.

It's Show-and-Tell Time

Every now and then you have moments in your life where you can reach out and grab what you've been wanting. Sometimes you have to work harder for it, but that just makes the end result that much sweeter. My budget has been strained to the max lately. I've been pinching pennies so hard that I've re-invented copper wire. I've been stretching my dollars so thin that George Washington looks like he got a facelift. I've cut back on just about everything that I enjoy doing, from going to the range, to my scotch, (last bottle was on my birthday, and nuttin' since) to going out, you get the picture.

I've also been grabbing extra hours at work whenever I can. OT is a good thing. Time and a half is a good thing. I'll be working Christmas this year, something that I volunteered to do. One, I don't want my supervisor to get stuck with it. He's a good man, and he works way to frigging hard. But the cash is nice. Time and a half, plus holiday pay. I'll get roughly $355 for one day of work. And that money is pretty much already gone, used up to get that reward that I've been working for.

My entire life I've worked for the things I have. When you've paid for it in sweat, you understand the value of it. Well, this reward is no different.

I did say it was show and tell, didn't I?

Ten acres of undeveloped land, just south-east of Whorley, Idaho. I just recieved confirmation today that it's in my name. Ten acres that I can do anything on. I can walk around nekkid, sucking down scotch and burping, and nobody will give a damn because it's MY LAND. Well, that and the fact that the trees obscure the neighbor's view. Once this is fully paid off, I'll start buying the lots around me. Hopefully I'll end up with a nice parcel of trees, creeks, and peace. There are deer all over that area, and rabbit... and the predators, the cougars, bear, and coyotes. It's all there, and in time, I'll be there as well. But for now, I can pack up the truck, head to the hills, and spend a weekend on MY LAND.

You have to work for what you want. And I did. And it is worth it.

Soon to be released in China is a rap album honoring Chairman Mao. Check out this proposed CD art.

I glommed a bit off the fame of these fellas so gotta toss a plug at 'em today and perhaps for many more days. Go Read The World Wide Rant! Go Read The World Wide Rant! Go Read The World Wide Rant!

I believe I have seen maybe two or three bloggers who, where writing is concerned, are as talented as Steven den Beste. Check out this piece regarding the obstacles China would face if they undertook an Invasion of Taiwan.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Y'all know Michael Crichton, right? The author? He's got a few words to say.

I have been asked to talk about what I consider the most important challenge facing mankind, and I have a fundamental answer. The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.

Mmm Hmmmmm, OK, I cringe...

As an example of this challenge, I want to talk today about environmentalism

Eeeep! Finger hovering over the delete button, and if this man hadn't written "Eaters of the Dead" and "The Andromeda Strain" it would be off my screen by now....

Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism. Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it's a religion? Well, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.


But the reason I don't want to talk anybody out of these beliefs is that I know that I can't talk anybody out of them. These are not facts that can be argued. These are issues of faith.

And so it is, sadly, with environmentalism. Increasingly it seems facts aren't necessary, because the tenets of environmentalism are all about belief. It's about whether you are going to be a sinner, or saved. Whether you are going to be one of the people on the side of salvation, or on the side of doom. Whether you are going to be one of us, or one of them.

Finger OFF the delete button. Read Mode on. Active Information Dissemination.

The truth is, almost nobody wants to experience real nature. What people want is to spend a week or two in a cabin in the woods, with screens on the windows. They want a simplified life for a while, without all their stuff. Or a nice river rafting trip for a few days, with somebody else doing the cooking. Nobody wants to go back to nature in any real way, and nobody does. It's all talk-and as the years go on, and the world population grows increasingly urban, it's uninformed talk. Farmers know what they're talking about. City people don't. It's all fantasy.

I'm expecting the PC Police to come screeching up at any moment, with their Non-Nature-Disturbing alarms going full tilt.

So I can tell you some facts. I know you haven't read any of what I am about to tell you in the newspaper, because newspapers literally don't report them. I can tell you that DDT is not a carcinogen and did not cause birds to die and should never have been banned. I can tell you that the people who banned it knew that it wasn't carcinogenic and banned it anyway. I can tell you that the DDT ban has caused the deaths of tens of millions of poor people, mostly children, whose deaths are directly attributable to a callous, technologically advanced western society that promoted the new cause of environmentalism by pushing a fantasy about a pesticide, and thus irrevocably harmed the third world. Banning DDT is one of the most disgraceful episodes in the twentieth century history of America. We knew better, and we did it anyway, and we let people around the world die and didn't give a damn.

I can tell you that second hand smoke is not a health hazard to anyone and never was, and the EPA has always known it. I can tell you that the evidence for global warming is far weaker than its proponents would ever admit. I can tell you the percentage the US land area that is taken by urbanization, including cities and roads, is 5%. I can tell you that the Sahara desert is shrinking, and the total ice of Antarctica is increasing. I can tell you that a blue-ribbon panel in Science magazine concluded that there is no known technology that will enable us to halt the rise of carbon dioxide in the 21st century. Not wind, not solar, not even nuclear. The panel concluded a totally new technology-like nuclear fusion-was necessary, otherwise nothing could be done and in the meantime all efforts would be a waste of time. They said that when the UN IPCC reports stated alternative technologies existed that could control greenhouse gases, the UN was wrong.

I can, with a lot of time, give you the factual basis for these views, and I can cite the appropriate journal articles not in whacko magazines, but in the most prestigeous science journals, such as Science and Nature. But such references probably won't impact more than a handful of you, because the beliefs of a religion are not dependant on facts, but rather are matters of faith. Unshakeable belief.

Ho-Lee-SHIT! Thank you Kevin, for bringing this to my attention. I'm saving this bad boy, and printing out copies of it to leave around Seattle.

This is just for Dave: Google Image Result for

Have you ever had those moments in your life where you wonder what would have happened if you had taken a different path years ago? I've often wondered where I would be if I had gone to college first, instead of joining the Army. I honestly think I came out better with the Army. I didn't know what I wanted to do as an 18 year old kid. I had no direction, and not much discipline, either. The experience I got in the Army has served me better than any of the college courses I've taken.

And when I read articles like this, I thank my lucky stars that I made the choice I did.

Imagine the astonishment of a person who, after fighting the KGB and being a refusenik, finally comes so close to her dream of receiving a real education instead of indoctrination, only to find herself, once again, in the middle of a socialist brainwashing machine -- but this time in San Francisco.

Many of the immigrants from the USSR that I've talked to are amazed that some people in America believe in Communism and Socialism. They can't understand why someone would support an ideology that has ruined so many lives. I can't understand it either.

This pointed out the major difference between my education in the Soviet Union and my education at SFSU. When I wanted to transfer credits from my Leningrad University degree to SFSU, I was told by the International Admissions Office that it couldn't be done, because as a professor of Marxist-Leninist philosophy, I had only gone through "indoctrination." I find this fascinating, because the difference between Leningrad University and SFSU is that my professors in Leningrad were forced to teach socialist propaganda for fear of brutal punishment; here a bunch of aged hippies, who put students through forced indoctrination instead of academic work, were materially rewarded for their radical activism.

Not only am I as amazed as Alice in the Socialist Wonderland of San Francisco State University, but I feel as though I need to attend a third university to receive a real education. At SFSU, I've merely had my second Marxist indoctrination.

I'll take a person with real-life experience before a person who's only been to college any day of the week. Nuff said.

Hat tip to King of Fools.

How did we miss this report about WMDs in Texas?
Behold, the Ultimate in LINKY LOVE!

Yep. Carnival of the Vanities!

Is it just me, or does anyone else hear Bart Simpson's voice.... "Don't worry Mom, it's Carnivale!"

Today I twice encountered a name I had never previously seen: Michael O'Leary. Mr. O'Leary is the CEO of discount European airline Ryanair.

The second place I saw O'Leary's name today was in a Washington Times article regarding an award Donald Rumsfeld won in Europe. I found that article via InstaPundit, who had linked to The World Wide Rant, who linked to the Times.

Maltese Prime Minister Eddie Fenech Adami won the "European of the year" prize at the Brussels event organized by the European Voice newspaper. Diplomat of the year went to EU policy chief Javier Solana and businessman of 2003 to Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary [EMPHASIS MINE].
After a quick head scratch, I recalled where I had seen Michael O'Leary's name before. It was in this article, where it is revealed that Ryanair's jets have gotten implants, in a manner of speaking, at the urging of O'Leary (errr, according to The Sun).

The chap orders boob jobs for his airline's flying angel logo, then he wins a European Businessman of the Year award.

They don't teach that at either Harvard or Stanford, I guarandamntee you.

I kinda like the Electoral College. Remember how humorous it was in 2000 to watch American Leftist pundits speculate about how maybe a few rogue Electors would "vote their conscience" and cast their ballots for Gore despite election results in their respective States?

Here is an oldie but goodie regarding an email campaign to get electors to change their votes. Here are the organizers (presumably more than one).

Funny stuff. Poor dumb bastards.

Man starts software business.
Man sees business grow.
Man needs to hire people.
Man looks at American IT salaries.
Man looks at IT salaries in India.
Man is tempted.
Man has epiphany.
Man offers IT jobs to Americans at Indian prices.

Hiring ensues.

State Tax Rates on Cigarettes

Why I haven't been driving to Delaware to buy smokes I have no idea, except that around these parts there's been lots of Buy Two Packs Get One Free offers.

Errr, maybe they have them in Delaware, too.
Linky Love!

Acidman has three posts that perfectly describe the failure of prohibition. Just so people can get it into their heads....


The health nazis in Washington State instituted a 150% tax on tobacco products a couple of years ago. They all nodded to themselves about how smart they were, and the tax money was supposed to go to low-income health care (yeah, right!). So they play their little games, and then smirk as tobacco sales decline drastically. They then draft up a study to show how much smarter they are, (Look at what we did! We told you the little people would dance to our tune!) and what they found out was that 40% of the tobacco being smoked in Washington was smuggled in from other states.


It's a hop, skip, and a jump to either Oregon or Idaho. There's a truckstop in Post Falls, ID that I stop at when I visit my parents in Coeur d' Alene. They have a booming business. $24 a carton for Camels, vs. $40 a carton in Washington. People just drive across the state line and buy their smokes. Hell, I load up on cigars when I'm over there, and normally I buy two or three cartons of smokes for my buddy. If the communists in Olympia want to jack up taxes, then the people will find a way to get around them. Same with gas. Washington has one of the highest gas taxes in the country. I believe it's around 34-38 cents per gallon. The gas stations on the state border saw their business drop once it was cheaper to drive a few miles to get gas. I know one man who has a 500 gallon gas tank in the bed of his truck. He drives 20 miles, fills it up, and drives home, where he can pump gas into all his vehicles. He told me it saves him about $100 per fill-up. (that's 20 cents difference in price X 500 gallons)

When are people going to learn? Prohibition, either by legislation or taxation, DOESN'T WORK!
Civics 101


Kim du Toit has a post up that should be required reading for the moonbats still bleating about the 2000 election. While it's informative to say the least, what really pissed me off is the fact that the kid who wrote to ask Kim a question couldn't get the answer at school. Here's the email, with my emphasis added:

I was wondering, what is so bad about doing away with the electoral college? I admit, I don't much about why it was created, the only explanation from a history teacher of mine being because the Founding Fathers "didn't trust the peple." which I feel pretty confident in just ignoring that as Left wing crappola.

But a democracy is supposed to represent everyone, who why not make it popular voting so more people's votes count?

I. Am. Stunned.

What kind of a GOD-DAMNED HISTORY TEACHER CAN'T EXPLAIN THE FUCKING ELECTORAL COLLEGE???? Is it any wonder that we have generations of kids who can't even figure out how the hell our government is supposed to work? I want to know why that slack-jawed fuckwit is still drawing a paycheck if they CAN'T TEACH OUR KIDS WHAT THEY NEED TO KNOW! How can we expect our high-school students to be able to participate in our government if they don't even know how it operates?

This is just another reason why the public school system should be demolished like the festering pile of racid shit that it truly is. Tear it down and start over, folks. Because if I should ever have any kids, they are NOT going to any god-damned public school, where the fucking teachers can't even be bothered to explain the GOD-DAMN SUBJECTS THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO TEACH!


Go read Kim's answer. It's worth printing out and force-feeding to any asshat to bleats about the 2000 election ever again.
The Decline of France

This is a must read for all of the fellow wackos out there. Actually, it's a really damn good read for just anyone. Gives you a good idea of what our country would look like if Howard Dean or Ralph Nader got elected.

Legislation passed by the Socialist government in 1998--amidst a great deal of continental philosophizing about "the end of work"--produced a statutory work week of 35 hours. Baverez keenly notes that in the 1930s, France's left-wing Popular Front passed a similar réduction du temps de travail. Indeed, its association with the Popular Front gave a powerful boost to the 35-hour work week during the debates five years ago. (The otherwise admirable tendency of the French to root for underdogs has led them to look at the Popular Front's defeat at the hands of domestic--and later foreign--fascism as evidence of its superior morality, not of its inferior strength.)

The short week was meant to spread limited jobs around; it wound up doing the opposite, serving as what Baverez calls a "weapon of mass destruction for industrial production and employment." Today France has the highest youth unemployment in Europe, at 26 percent; only 37 percent of its over-55 population works, a world low. Its employment rate of 58 percent is at the bottom of the developed world. (The figure is 62 percent in the European Union and 75 percent in the United States.) And this grim employment picture is worsened--some would even say caused--by a political inequity. Over the past decade, public-sector employees have been able to enrich themselves in ways that private-sector ones cannot. Government employees can retire after 37.5 years on the job, versus 40 for private workers; they get 75 percent of their salary as a pension, versus 62 percent in the private sector; and the salary in this calculation is based on the best-paid six months for government workers, versus an average of their last 25 years for workers in private industry. So the latter wind up subsidizing the former.

I know at least a few young folks who love the idea of a mandatory 35-hour workweek. Lots of America's youth still romanticizes Socialism. It's kind of frightening. Chalk it up to the unchallenged stranglehold that the Left has on academia.

Instant Karma strikes Salvation Army donation thief.

Fark asked that PhotoShoppers depict their favorite Superhero in the kind of job they'd have if they weren't superheroes. This one is pretty clever.

Ryanair jets get implants.

News from North Dakota:

Authorities searched the home and car of a convicted rapist arrested in the disappearance of North Dakota college student Dru Sjodin, and also released a photo of the vehicle, hoping someone might remember details that could lead them to the missing woman.

The University of North Dakota student was last heard from Nov. 22 when her cell phone conversation cut off as she was leaving work at a Grand Forks mall. On Monday, Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., a 50-year-old convicted rapist just released from prison in May, was arrested in connection with her disappearance.
If this is true, I hope Ms. Sjodin's misfortune sparks a reassessment of sentencing for rape in this country. For the life of me I cannot understand how men convicted of rape, a crime just short of murder in my opinion, wind up back on the streets. I'd like to see degrees of rape, where First Degree Rape is premeditated and Second Degree Rape is rape committed with a deadly weapon and / or violence (I am seeking to separate these from the more fuzzy "date rape" instances). First or Second Degree Rape should carry a life sentence, in my opinion, with no chance of parole.

How any jury or parole board or judge could advocate that someone who commits rape should ever walk amongst free people again is fist-clenching to me.

If you click this link and read all its attendant links, you'll be sobered, enlightened, and maybe even alarmed.

Got 45 minutes? Click it.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

As a follow-up to Tim's Post

Asphyxia, cocaine cited in death at Sea-Tac airport

This is a case that has had the local NAACP in an uproar. Cries of racism, police-brutality, and other various accusations have been flying thick. Then the autopsy comes in.

An autopsy revealed that Desseria B. Whitmore, 52, suffocated while trying to swallow a plastic bag of cocaine and ingested a lethal dose of the drug, a spokesman for the examiner's office said.

Now, by all accounts, this woman was a wonderful person. The paper lists this about her:

She had worked in banking for 27 years and had been honored for her volunteer work with the YMCA of Greater Seattle's Black Achievers program. She was the daughter of a Baptist minister and had no criminal record.

From the preliminary reports I saw, she occupied a very high position at the bank she worked for. Still, there is no excuse for using cocaine, and even less excuse for trying to bring it on a flight. The woman obviously had a drug addiction, and it indirectly (and directly, obviously) killed her in the end. And yet, the police who were doing their job were labeled everything but the kitchen sink when this occurred.

People in general need to take a long, hard look before they sling these kinds of accusations around. Because use of words like "Racist" start to lose their meaning if they are used without basis. It's the Boy Who Cried Wolf syndrome. If some group labels all of their opponents racists, even though there's no factual evidence of any such thing, the next time they call someone racist, nobody will listen. I find myself to that point in my life already. Cop arrests a black kid? "The cop's a racist!" I guess the bag of crank, stolen handgun, and wad of $20 bills found on the kid doesn't mean anything? "The cop's a racist!" Sure buddy, whatever you say.

At some point last year, a Seattle cop was interviewed by the Seattle Times. The cop wouldn't give his name for obvious reasons, but I can paraphrase his quote.

"We have a choice. We can enforce the law and be brought up on charges, reviewed by I.A., the Feds, put through a board of Inquiry, and run up a flagpole, or we can sit under a tree and do the crossword puzzle in the paper. I'm doing the crossword puzzle." The sad part is, the cop was black. He'd had people spit on his cruiser as he drove past. He'd been labled an Uncle Tom more than he could count. Hell, one of my old SGTs from Korea was accused of racism. The charges lasted as long as it took for my SGT to whip out his wedding picture. His wife was black. But that didn't stop a black SFC from accusing him of racism, just because my SGT was doing his job.

Maybe people will see things like this and re-think their actions. But in Seattle, I really doubt it.

A woman went to her priest with a problem.

"Father," she told him, "I have two female parrots rescued from a house of ill-repute. But the only thing they ever say is: 'Wanna have some fun?'"

"That's terrible!" exclaims the priest. "But I think I can help. Bring your parrots over to my house, and I will put them in with two male parrots whom I have taught to pray every day. My parrots will teach your parrots to stop saying that terrible phrase."

The next day the woman brought her female parrots to the priest's house. His two male parrots were holding rosary beads and quietly praying in their cage. The two female parrots were put in the cage with them.

The females immediately began their routine: "Hi, wanna have some some fun?"

One male parrot looked at the other male parrot and said: "Put those beads away, our prayers have been answered."

You know that 400 pound guy who died after being subdued by Cincinnati? Turns out he had cocaine and PCP in his system. The NAACP doesn't care.

Maybe they didn't get him after all: Yahoo! News Full Coverage - World - U.S. Denies Reports Top Saddam Aide Captured

Do you like free speech? Do you like the internet?

Would you like to see both of them go away?

A global summit scheduled in December may result in a proposal to put the Internet under United Nations control — an idea that has met solid resistance from the United States.

The same United Nations with members such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, China, Sudan, and Cuba? Yeah, we know just how much THEY love free speech, don't we?

"There are some countries that have been very adamant to get their governments to play a bigger role in Internet management," said Ambassador David Gross, the State Department's coordinator for international communications and information policy. He is leading the U.S. delegation to the World Summit on the Information Society, scheduled to meet Dec. 10-12 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Yeah, because some countries can't stand allowing people to say what they want to.

The WSIS, sponsored by the International Telecommunications Union (search), the United Nations' key agency on telecommunications, will bring together more than 50 heads of state, along with an expected 5,000 to 6,000 government, business and non-profit representatives from across the globe to discuss in part the yawning telecommunications gap between emerging economies and the developed world.

Putting the net under UN control won't get communications to anyone. If the UN can't even get food to many parts of Africa, how the hell are they supposed to get phone lines to them?

The effort for global control of the Internet is reportedly led by China, which allows its own citizens online access, but it is tightly controlled by a giant firewall and monitored by government surveillance.

China has so far been joined in its efforts by representatives of Syria, Egypt, Vietnam and South Africa, said Ronald Koven, European representative for the World Press Freedom Committee, an international media watchdog based in the United States.

Other reports indicate that Russia, India, Saudi Arabia and Brazil may be on board, too.

I don't think much more has to be said about those countries, do you? These countries want to strangle much of the content on the net, but they can't control it, so they can't kill it. Giving the internet to countries like China would effectively kill our right to free speech.

Lets get this straight right now: The USA is one of the few, if not the ONLY country that recognizes the right of free speech. Try saying a christian or jewish prayer in downtown Riyahd and see what happens. Walk around China and say "Down with the Communists" and see how long it takes for you to lose your head. These countries are furious that we, as Americans, can put up websites on whatever we want, saying whatever we want, and they're even MORE pissed off that their citizens can get online and see what we're saying. They want it stopped.

Should China ever get control of the net, sites like this one, or DU for that matter, are history. Gone. Good bye, thanks for playing, but it's all shut down now. France brings authors up on "hate speech" charges if they write a book that isn't politically correct enough. Cuba regularly jails dissidents. North Korea simply kills anyone that doesn't agree with "Dear Leader" Kimmy Dimmy Ding Dong. Do you really want those people in control of the internet?

Nope, neither do I. If they try to implement this, the USA should tell the UN to take a hike.

Hat tip to Kim du Toit, who has already offered to help pay for moving vans should the UN decided to move out of the USA. I'll chip in a few bucks myself, Kim.

Izzat Ibrahim, right-hand man to Saddam Hussein
and the next most wanted Iraqi leader, has
been killed or captured in a U.S. raid near the
city of Kirkuk, Iraqi Governing Council sources
said on Tuesday.

"There was a major action against a highly suspicious
objective last night in Kirkuk and it is very possible
that Izzat Ibrahim has been captured or killed,"
said one member of the Council, Mowaffaq al-Rubaie,
adding he had been in contact with U.S. forces.

Another high-level source in the U.S.-appointed
Council said he had been informed that Ibrahim had
been captured in the raid.

Local government officials in Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles)
north of Baghdad, said the town was abuzz with talk
that Ibrahim had been captured. Local police said he
had been found in a raid in the town of Hawija, west of Kirkuk.

U.S. Forces Kill or Seize Top Saddam Aide

From InstaPundit:

Restrictive firearm legislation has failed to reduce gun violence in Australia, Canada, or Great Britain. The policy of confiscating guns has been an expensive failure, according to a new paper The Failed Experiment: Gun Control and Public Safety in Canada, Australia, England and Wales, released today by The Fraser Institute. . . .

Disarming the public has not reduced criminal violence in any country examined in this study. In all these cases, disarming the public has been ineffective, expensive, and often counter productive. In all cases, the effort meant setting up expensive bureaucracies that produce no noticeable improvement to public safety or have made the situation worse.
Gun laws don't reduce crime

Monday, December 01, 2003

Social Security Isn't

Well, it seems like the next big thing for President Bush is taking on Social Security. This has been the "third rail" of politics for as long as I can remember. No one wanted to touch it. Well, that's about to change.

Granted, with Bush's financial record, I'm a bit worried about what he'll do with this program. But I know what I want done with it. Drop it. Kill it. Squish it. And banish it like the ponzi scheme that it is.

It's really simple. When Social Security was started, there were 42 workers for every retired person. That ratio had been cut down to 5 to 1 in 1960, and now sits at around 3 to 1. When the baby boomers start to retire, look for that ratio to flip. We haven't even touched the problem yet, and an entire generation who were told that they would be taken care of in their old age is about to pile on.

Now go look at your paycheck. Social Security taxes are currently at 12.4%, half paid by you and half paid by your employer. What's more, the return that we get from all of that money is less than 1%! And yet I'm FORCED to pay into this ponzi scheme, or I go to jail!

Andrew Biggs, a Social Security analyst at the Cato Institute put out an article two years ago that made me look rather sharply at Social Security. In it he proposed the following scenario:

Imagine you were offered the following deal: You could invest part of your Social Security taxes in a personal retirement account, as President Bush and many others favor. However, your account could only hold stocks, with no bonds or other stable investments as you aged. Making matters worse, you would retire during the biggest bear market since the Great Depression, with the S&P 500 stock index falling from 1500 in April 2000 to around 900 today.

Looks pretty grim, right? No bonds, no stability, and the market at it's lowest in years. Would you do it? Would you take that risk?

Even in a bear market seemingly tailor-made for opponents of reform, workers would reap substantial gains from personal accounts. Not just in dollars, but in control, ownership and personal security.
Stocks typically return 7 percent after inflation. A worker retiring in today's bear market would have received about 6 percent average returns, far above the 2.5 percent return an average couple can expect from Social Security (even after including all survivors and disability benefits)

So even after EVERYTHING has been factored in to the equasion, Social Security only gives you a return of 2.5 PERCENT! I get a better return than that by just letting my money sit in a low risk mutual fund, for criminy's sake! The Cato Institute has a Social Security calculator that can give you an estimate of what return you might get. It's not a pretty picture.

So why are people not being allowed to control their own future? Why can't I take the money currently being drained by the government and put it in an IRA, or a mutual fund? What's the harm in letting me put that money where I want it, instead of where the government wants it? After all, it IS my money that they're taking.

Another point is this: You've been paying hundreds of dollars a month into Social Security. You die before you reach retirement age. Who gets the money? Not you. Not your kids. Not anyone in your family. The government keeps it. That's right, all that money that's been taken away from you is now gone for good. You want to leave some to your family? As it stands right now you'd better do that on your own, because the money stolen by Uncle Sam is as good as gone. Even if it's hundreds of thousands of dollars. It's been swallowed by the world's largest pyramid scheme.

And then of course, there's the argument of what should be done with the people on Social Security right now, or those about to retire. Also, there are various questions about SSDI, or Disability Insurance. As one lady (from the page that I found the calculator on) puts it:

Where exactly do they (people on SSDI) go to invest? And what, exactly, are they to invest with? People who think they know all about the SSA always manage to ignore the "disability insurance" piece of the puzzle -- like these folks just don't exist in the SS system. Most of the knotheads I talk with -- those who believe everything would be so hunky, dorry if we could just plop our money into private investment-retirement accounts -- haven't even the foggiest notion about the amount of money (and the number of beneficiaries) within SS who are D_I_S_A_B_L_E_D -- and this includes MANY elderly (e.g., retirement age) people.

So, before you design your grand new libertarian, free-market, private capital country, keep in mind that lots of folks don't have the same options you (or I) do. And believe me well, I know from experience: I wouldn't be writing you this email today were it not for SSDI, the help of many federal and local agencies -- which saved my life, not to mention my a time I most needed it.

There are real faces and names to such folks, Greg. Keep them in mind as you develop your plans to wipe out the system we have, because THESE are the people who are most hurt by such schemes".

My question to that is why haven't those people on SSDI invested already? What were they doing with their life? I'm hardly in the "rich" category (less than 30,000 a year) but if the shit hit the fan tomorrow, I could liquidate my assets to approximately $10,000 cash. I'm under thirty, and haven't made much money in my lifetime, but I at least figured out that I had to have a safety net, so I made one! Why haven't others done the same? I live in an area with astronomical costs of living, making less money than the national average, and yet I somehow had the foresight to ensure that an emergency wouldn't bankrupt me. I've never been on unemployment in my life. When I got laid off, I hit the street and pounded on office doors until I got another job. It took me a month. That was over two years ago now.

So the question remains, one which I have never heard answered: What right does that woman have to demand money from me or anyone else? What right does she have to demand other people's money in order to solve her problems? Can someone show me a Constitutional Amendment that states "People have the right to use tax dollars in order to fix their lives"? More to the point, what right does the government have to take away MY HARD EARNED DOLLARS and say "Oh, we'll give it back to you later." Or "Oh, someone else needs it more than you".

Forced charity at gunpoint isn't charity at all. It's theft. That woman above is stealing from me, from my parents, and from everybody with a job. While I can't speak for this woman specifically, I can state that many of the people on SSDI that I have worked with are on it due to lack of planning, poor lifestyle choices, and failure to heed the warnings around them. "Oh, I'm on my third bypass and I can't work!" Really? Maybe that three-pack-a-day habit that the doctor told you to quit contributed to that, eh? "Oh, my back and my knees went out!" Surely not from exercise, since your 400 pound body indicates that you only have a passing knowledge of what a treadmill is. "Oh, I can't work because of this or that." But you have no problem going out every night and partying to your heart's content!

I will invariably hear the argument "But don't you want so-and-so to get well and be a productive member of society?" Yes, I do, but I don't want the government to do it. The other big scream is "But you can't just let them sit/lay/die there!" Yes I can, and so should everyone else. I have no problem helping out people who hit a streak of bad luck. I have a huge problem subsidizing people who can't be responsible for their own choices. Drinking is a choice. Smoking is a choice. Drug use is a choice. And when your body finally says "OK, enough of this crap, I'm done" due to YOUR CHOICES, invariably it's the taxpayer who foots the bill for it. That needs to stop. Maybe if we stopped protecting people from the consequences of their actions, they would shape up and stop wasting our time and theirs.

If we were to keep some sort of system in place for those already retired or about to retire, and start cutting away much of the waste in the Social Security program, we could allow private individuals to fund their own retirement accounts. Our first goal should be keeping a promise to all those who paid into the system their entire life, with the understanding that their money would be there when they retired. The second goal is to unshackle those of us who are able to make our own way, plan our own lives, and invest our own money.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that America is quietly moving toward a flat tax.

Huh. Go figure.

You are naturally born with a gift, whether it be
poetry, writing or song. You love beauty and
creativity, and usually are highly intelligent.
Others view you as mysterious and dreamy, yet
also bold since you hold firm in your beliefs.

What Type of Soul Do You Have ?
brought to you by Quizilla

I'm not sure the picture suits me, though. No facial hair.

That's fine, nobody wants to look at my ugly mug anyways!


U.S. factories charged ahead in November at their quickest pace since 1983, far exceeding economists' forecasts and putting to rest any lingering doubts that a manufacturing recovery will prove sustainable.
Yahoo! News - Factory Activity Strongest in 20 Years

Is it time to start feeling sorry for the Dems yet?

I check InstaPundit early and often, every day.

Ole Glenn has two neat things calling to Americans this morning.

The first is a link to a story about a weapons deal between Iraq and North Korea. And to think this morning that I watched CNN and just about the only thing they featured about Iraq was Hillary running her yap about troop mix and so forth. Soledad O'Brien asked her: "If they need more troops, why aren't commanders in the field asking for more? Secretary Rumsfeld said he'd send more if asked, but they're not asking." Hillary said they're not asking because, basically, they don't know they need more and they are cowed by the White House.


Also at InstaPundit, Ossholus Minimus (D - Vermont) has a large chunk of [his] records as governor locked in a remote state warehouse. Doctor Dean doesn't want no one poring through his stuff. Hey, who can blame the neoSoviet rat?

Dean waxes Welstonian from the Bilely Pulpit

I went over to a friend's house and saw "The Ring" for the first time last night. Wow. That was one of the scariest movies I've seen in a long time. And it was all without the typical gore and blood you see in modern horror flicks.

The last time I jumped out of my seat like that was "Event Horizon".

Sunday, November 30, 2003

I had never seen this before today. Interesting.

It would be nice for us veterans of the Clinton Administration if we could simply blame mismanagement by President George W Bush's economic team for this seemingly sudden turnaround in the economy, which coincided so closely with its taking charge. But although there has been mismanagement, and it has made matters worse, the economy was slipping into recession even before Bush took office, and the corporate scandals that are rocking America began much earlier.

The history of the 1990s needs to be rewritten. How are we to assess that decade in light of what we are seeing today? - Joseph E. Stiglitz Unmatched - Page 1 of 2

Have Presidents in the Past Attended the Funerals of Dead Soldiers?

Neat quick story from One Hand Clapping.

This story about Left Wing Bloggers artificially inflating their site hits is so very amusing.

Ditto this piece about Lefties worldwide PINING for bad retail performance during America's Christmas shopping season.

"The basic principle of the new education is to be that dunces and idlers must not be made to feel inferior to intelligent and industrious pupils. That would be "undemocratic." These differences between pupils--for they are obviously and nakedly individual differences-- must be disguised. This can be done at various levels. At universities, examinations must be framed so that nearly all the students get good marks. Entrance examinations must be framed so that all, or nearly all, citizens can go to universities, whether they have any power (or wish) to profit by higher education or not. At schools, the children who are too stupid or lazy to learn languages and mathematics and elementary science can be set to doing things that children used to do in their spare time. Let, them, for example, make mud pies and call it modeling. But all the time there must be no faintest hint that they are inferior to the children who are at work. Whatever nonsense they are engaged in must have--I believe the English already use the phrase--"parity of esteem." An even more drastic scheme is now possible. Children who are fit to proceed to a higher class may be artificially kept back, because the others would get a trauma -- Beelzebub, what a useful word!--by being left behind. The bright pupil thus remains democratically fettered to his own age group throughout his school career, and a boy who would be capable of tackling Aeschylus or Dante sits listening to his coeval's attempts to spell out A CAT SAT ON A MAT."

Modern day critic? No, not really. It's an excerpt from the Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis, in 1959. I'm not suprised that he wrote it, but I'm sad that it's come true.

Hat tip to Sharp Knife

They're beautiful. They're competant. They're armed.

Since 2000, the percentage of gun-carry permits issued in the state to women has risen steadily from about 10% to almost 20% of those issued so far this year.

Good. More guns in private hands means less "control" for the gun-grabbers.

To McCurry the reason was simply personal.

It was late in the afternoon about three weeks ago when McCurry and her sister pulled up to their townhouse apartment in Antioch. Three men rushed up, brandishing an assortment of weapons, including a handgun, a crowbar and a baseball bat.

Startled, the two women felt ambushed but managed to make it into their apartment unharmed. McCurry thinks it was only because the men realized they had made a mistake and backed off to find their intended targets.

People need to understand this: Criminals love it when you don't fight back. They want you unarmed, vunerable, and weak. Because THAT'S HOW THEY GET AWAY WITH COMMITING CRIMES. Passive non-resistance only ensures that you will be a victim.

Linda Compton got her permit about four years ago after there was an armed robbery at her family's grocery story, Compton's Foodland, on Smith Springs Road. ''I feel much more comfortable with it,'' said Compton, 60. '' I take it almost everywhere. Things have just gotten meaner out there.''

The majority of women cannot match up physically to men. A 150 pound female in most cases cannot defend herself from a 250 pound male. In many cases, the woman is giving up around 100 pounds, and several inches.

Most men cannot match up to a 150 grain bullet traveling at 950 feet per second, fired from a .38 Special revolver.

Middle Tennessee gun sellers and gun safety instructors say they have noticed more women becoming interested in acquiring guns during the past two to three years. No one seems to know exactly why because violent crime generally is down in Nashville.

Gee, ya think? Maybe it's because the victims of the criminals have decided to stop being victims! When criminals know that a large chunk of the population is armed, they go somewhere else to commit crime. Their pool of victims has now been filled with sharks, and they don't want to go swimming.

Once again, any people, male or female, who live in the Seattle area and want to learn how to shoot, can contact either myself or Analog Kid from Random Nuclear Strikes. We'll take you to the range, buy the ammo, lend you our guns, and teach you how to shoot.

Hat tip to InstaPundit.