Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Cindy Sheehan hates the environment!

I can't imagine the pain that Ms. Sheehan goes through on a daily basis. My heart, truly, goes out to her. Ms. Sheehan, as an American, has every right to protest our government, our President and his policies.

What she does not have the right to do is cause considerable damage to others.

From the Puffington Post:

Before we left Camp Casey 5, we let some mylar balloons go. We put a soldiers' name on each one and a little sticker that said to call the Crawford Peace House if the balloon was found. We got a call from Tennessee!! I told you the wind was blowing hard. I hope that Casey's balloon ended up on George Bush's porch.

From a quick google of the laws on balloon release:

Mass release of balloons is illegal in several states and cities, including Virginia. Jurisdictions that have laws in effect dealing with balloon releases include: Connecticut, Florida, Tennessee, New York, Texas, California and Virginia. Cities of Ocean City, Maryland; Louisville; Huntsville, Ala.; San Francisco; and Baltimore. Legislation is pending in other states including Massachusetts, Maryland, and New York.

There's a pretty good reason for the laws against the mass release of balloons...




Here's what happens to a bird when it encounters a "peace" balloon in the wild...


Monday, November 28, 2005

Borat fights back!

Borat fired back at his Web site, http://www.borat.kz/, with this statement:

"I like to state I have no connection with Mr. Cohen and fully support my government's decision to sue this Jew.

"Since the 2003 reforms, Kazakhstan is as civilized as any other country in the world. Women can now travel on inside of bus, homosexuals no longer have to wear blue hats and age of consent has been raised to 8 years old.

"Please, I invite you to come to Kazakhstan, where we have incredible natural resources, hard-working labor and some of the cleanest prostitutes in all of central Asia. Goodbye."

McCain watch 2008

Stephen Moore on John McCain:

I come away believing that if I'm ever in a knife fight or in a foxhole, there is no one I'd rather have next to me than John McCain. Whether he's someone who should be steering the rudders of the American economy is a different issue altogether.

RWD: Conservatives/Republicans spent all of last year defending President Bush by saying the President doesn't control the economy, the business cycle does. Now, we're back to the President's in charge? Over the next year, our side is going to have to choose which conservative issues are the most important...immigration, war on terror, abortion, economy, taxes, environment, etc. There isn't one candidate that will fit all of our issues. Rather than get divided on this, can't we just state for the record that no matter who the Republicans run, it will be better than Hillary?

As for Moore's comment, I, for one, believe that we're already IN a knife fight. And, if that's the case, McCain's the guy.

ahhh...the joys of family...

and I thought I had a rough family weekend...

MYAKKA CITY, Florida (AP) -- A 20-year-old man was arrested Sunday in the slayings of his parents, younger brother and elderly grandmother, whose bodies were found bludgeoned to death in the family home, authorities said.
Richard Edgar Henderson Jr. told detectives late Sunday that he had beaten his family to death with a pipe on Thanksgiving evening, Manatee County Sheriff Charlie Wells told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
He was being charged with four counts of murder and was jailed Sunday night without bond, authorities said. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Like the swallows coming back to Capistrano...

...protesters arrive in Crawford for Thanksgiving.

CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) - More than a dozen war protesters returned to a roadside near President Bush's ranch before dawn Wednesday, defying two new local bans on roadside camping and parking.
About an hour after the group pitched tents and huddled in sleeping bags and blankets, a McLennan County sheriff's deputy arrived and warned the group to leave or face arrest.
Protester and former U.S. diplomat Ann Wright told the deputy that most of the group would stay because they believed the bans restrict their free-speech rights. The deputy said the group would have two more warnings before he started making arrests.
Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan wasn't among the protesters Wednesday because of a family emergency in California, but she planned to arrive at the camp later in the week. The protest was set to coincide with Bush's Thanksgiving ranch visit.

Chris Matthews is a clown at times...

The other night, and I don't have transcripts so this is more or less a summary, Matthews was interviewing a news reporter who was a hostage of Shia terrorists in Iraq. His life was threatened daily and he was held in generally miserable conditions. Anyway, controversial cleric Moqtada Sadr arranged for his release.

Then, out of nowhere, Matthews says to the reporter, to paraphrase, "This reminds me of the movie "Return to Paradise".

For those of you who haven't seen the movie, "Return to Paradise" is about three friends who go to Malaysia and smoke a lot of hash. 2 of the 3 go home early. The 3rd friend gets caught with the drugs and is sentenced to die. If the other 2 go back, the sentence will be reduced and all three will go to jail for 3 years. If the friends stay in the US, then the guy in Malaysia dies. To spoil the end, the friend dies as his best buds stay safe and sound in the US.

Yes Chris, identical situations.

See the Media Blog on NRO for a great video tribute to Matthews and his movie fetish.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Sadly...Yes

I'd like to welcome all the sadlyno.com folks who are visiting tonight. I really don't know if I fall into the wingnut category, but I'll try...I'll try and try and try my best. What an honor!

What's round on the ends and high in the middle?

O...HI...O!

To anyone familiar with OSU Athletics, you know this cheer. Too bad rookie Congresswoman Jean Schmidt is just high...as in high on dope. If Republicans need more reasons to lose Ohio, here's a good one. It seems, from the latest reports, Congresswoman Schmidt mis-quoted her marine in her big speech the other day.

Karen Tabor, spokeswoman for the Ohio House GOP caucus, said Bubp, a Republican from West Union in southwest Ohio, never intended his remarks to be used against another serviceman."I don't think he ever made reference to Congressman Murtha with Congresswoman Schmidt," Tabor said.Bubp did not return calls to his office Tuesday seeking comment.Tabor said Bubp was concerned that the remarks attributed to him by Schmidt, whose district is east of Cincinnati, would be taken as an attack on Murtha and American veterans.

Bio-Fuels - Enemy of the Amazon

an interesting take...I'm not sure if it's true or not, but interesting nonetheless. Regardless of the magnitude of the damage done to the rainforrest by increased palm and soybean cultivation, it's important to understand the trade-offs of one fuel source over any other.

THE drive for "green energy" in the developed world is having the perverse effect of encouraging the destruction of tropical rainforests. From the orang-utan reserves of Borneo to the Brazilian Amazon, virgin forest is being razed to grow palm oil and soybeans to fuel cars and power stations in Europe and North America. And surging prices are likely to accelerate the destruction
The rush to make energy from vegetable oils is being driven in part by European Union laws requiring conventional fuels to be blended with biofuels, and by subsidies equivalent to 20 pence a litre. Last week, the British government announced a target for biofuels to make up 5 per cent of transport fuels by 2010. The aim is to help meet Kyoto protocol targets for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.
Rising demand for green energy has led to a surge in the international price of palm oil, with potentially damaging consequences. "The expansion of palm oil production is one of the leading causes of rainforest destruction in south-east Asia. It is one of the most environmentally damaging commodities on the planet," says Simon Counsell, director of the UK-based Rainforest Foundation. "Once again it appears we are trying to solve our environmental problems by dumping them in developing countries, where they have devastating effects on local people."
The main alternative to palm oil is soybean oil. But soya is the largest single cause of rainforest destruction in the Brazilian Amazon. Supporters of biofuels argue that they can be "carbon neutral" because the CO2 released from burning them is taken up again by the next crop. Interest is greatest for diesel engines, which can run unmodified on vegetable oil, and in Germany bio-diesel production has doubled since 2003. There are also plans for burning palm oil in power stations.

Bomb Al Jazeera!

A civil servant has been charged under Britain's Official Secrets Act for allegedly leaking a government memo that a newspaper said Tuesday suggested that Prime Minister Tony Blair persuaded President Bush not to bomb the Arab satellite station Al-Jazeera.

The Daily Mirror reported that Bush spoke of targeting Al-Jazeera's headquarters in Doha, Qatar, when he met Blair at the White House on April 16, 2004. The Bush administration has regularly accused Al-Jazeera of being nothing more than a mouthpiece for anti-American sentiments.
The Daily Mirror attributed its information to unidentified sources. One source, said to be in the government, was quoted as saying that the alleged threat was "humorous, not serious," but the newspaper quoted another source as saying that "Bush was deadly serious, as was Blair."

Blair's office declined to comment on the report, stressing it never discusses leaked documents.

In Qatar, Al-Jazeera said it was aware of the report, but did not wish to comment.

The White House said it wouldn't dignify what it called "something so outlandish" with a response.

Tony Blair going nuclear...

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1883179,00.html

Tony Blair today indicated publicly for the first time that he will support building new nuclear power plants to meet Britain's future energy needs.
The Prime Minister told MPs that there was fresh impetus to build a new generation of reactors because "the facts have changed over the last couple of years".
Under questioning from the Commons liaison committee, Mr Blair accepted that Britain faced "difficult and controversial decisions" over climate change and energy supply.
He said that he would not flinch from doing what he believed was right for the long-term future of the country - a statement interpreted as meaning that he would back the use of nuclear power, highly unpopular with sections of his own party.

Random thoughts of the day...

The company that makes those little pop up thermometers for Turkeys does $100 million in revenues per year...

Eating fruits and vegetables causes more illnesses than raw chicken or eggs...

Energy prices are down 20% from their post Katrina highs...
from today's WSJ (sub. reqd.)...
A funny thing happened to gasoline prices at the pump over the weekend -- just in time for the trip to Grandma's on Thursday. The national average for Sunday was $2.24 a gallon, according to the AAA, and in many states Americans were paying $1.99 or less. That's a big drop from the highs of $4 in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when the Gulf region's refining capacity was temporarily knocked out. Oil prices have also tumbled from a high of $71 a barrel at the end of September to $57 a barrel now -- about a 20% decline.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

forget WMD...where are the SMDs?

That's right...forget about the search for the now infamous Weapons of Mass Destruction. The focus in the run up to the War in Iraq was always focused on the weapons themselves, and never on the real issue...the SMDs, "Scientists of Mass Destruction".

The SMDs...Thousands of well educated Iraqis with the knowledge to create the WMDs are, at least as far as I can tell with the MSM's fantastic reporting on the issue, not accounted for. If I were James Carville, the mantra would be, "it's the people, stupid!". The people who created the WMDs are the threat...and where are they now and what are they up to?

And that's the issue...where are the SMDs? When David Kay gave his "we were almost all wrong" speech to the Senate, the MSM jumped on this. No stockpiles of WMDs to be found. And the MSM reads this as no threat to the United States, and that's a big fat lie. There was a threat...let's take a look at David Kay's interim report to Congress on what he did find, something the MSM seems to ignore:

We have discovered dozens of WMD-related program activities and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the United Nations during the inspections that began in late 2002. The discovery of these deliberate concealment efforts have come about both through the admissions of Iraqi scientists and officials concerning information they deliberately withheld and through physical evidence of equipment and activities that ISG has discovered that should have been declared to the UN.

Let me just give you a few examples of these concealment efforts, some of which I will elaborate on later:

- A clandestine network of laboratories and safehouses within the Iraqi Intelligence Service that contained equipment subject to UN monitoring and suitable for continuing CBW research.
- A prison laboratory complex, possibly used in human testing of BW agents, that Iraqi officials working to prepare for UN inspections were explicitly ordered not to declare to the UN.
- Reference strains of biological organisms concealed in a scientist's home, one of which can be used to produce biological weapons.
- New research on BW-applicable agents, Brucella and Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), and continuing work on ricin and aflatoxin were not declared to the UN.
- Documents and equipment, hidden in scientists' homes, that would have been useful in resuming uranium enrichment by centrifuge and electromagnetic isotope separation (EMIS).
- A line of UAVs not fully declared at an undeclared production facility and an admission that they had tested one of their declared UAVs out to a range of 500 km, 350 km beyond the permissible limit.
- Continuing covert capability to manufacture fuel propellant useful only for prohibited SCUD variant missiles, a capability that was maintained at least until the end of 2001 and that cooperating Iraqi scientists have said they were told to conceal from the UN.
- Plans and advanced design work for new long-range missiles with ranges up to at least 1000 km - well beyond the 150 km range limit imposed by the UN. Missiles of a 1000 km range would have allowed Iraq to threaten targets through out the Middle East, including Ankara, Cairo, and Abu Dhabi.
- Clandestine attempts between late-1999 and 2002 to obtain from North Korea technology related to 1,300 km range ballistic missiles --probably the No Dong -- 300 km range anti-ship cruise missiles, and other prohibited military equipment.

In addition to the discovery of extensive concealment efforts, we have been faced with a systematic sanitization of documentary and computer evidence in a wide range of offices, laboratories, and companies suspected of WMD work.
The pattern of these efforts to erase evidence - hard drives destroyed, specific files burned, equipment cleaned of all traces of use - are ones of deliberate, rather than random, acts.

You can't have WMDs without the SMDs. With Syria, North Korea and Iran all in the market for some freelance expertise for their own WMD programs, why is there no reporting on the continued threat of Iraq's WMD program to the US?

There are a thousand different reasons why we were almost all wrong on threat posed by Iraq. I, for one, thought we'd find chemical and biological weapons by the truck load. But, in a post 9/11 America, what's the reasonable chance a President should take? If the CIA comes to the White House and says, like George Tenet did, "It's a slam dunk", You do what Bush did - invade. Tenet, a Clinton holdover, should have some reasonable amount of non-partisanship to him, but for some reason is not afforded this by the MSM or the Democrats. You'd think they'd buy what he had to say?

For argument's sake, let's say Tenet came to the White House and said what the Democrats and the foil hat left would have wanted him to say back then... "Mr. President, we just don't know. We see Hussein paying scientists for programs. We can trace the money reasonably well through the international banking system. We see the money being spent, but we're not sure on what. If I'd hazard a guess, I'd say the Scientists are siphoning money into their own pockets and lying to Hussein. There's a really good chance that Hussein, today (2002) is a lot like Hitler in the last days of Nazi Germany...sending long destroyed divisions to capture and hold territory long lost to the allies. I think Hussein's lost it and we're seeing the end of his regime. But, Mr. President, we can't know for sure." What if the President had relayed Tenet's cautionary tale to the nation? Guess what...we'd have troops in Baghdad today.

But, in either scenario, the fact is indisputable that Iraq had and has the educational capability to kill lots and lots of people in the nastiest of ways. Iraq was a threat in 2002 and I truly hope that we've done something about the SMD threat before it's too late.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

No place for an army...

It seems the Dutch think a war zone is no place for an army...it's just too dangerous.

BRITAIN could be forced to increase the number of troops it sends to Afghanistan next spring because Dutch MPs think it is “too dangerous” to deploy their own soldiers there.
The Netherlands, which already has about 625 troops in Afghanistan, was due to provide a further force of 1,000 to be based in Uruzgan province, which stretches from the centre towards the south of the country.
But a report by the Dutch military intelligence and security service has warned of the extreme danger of operating in the area, which sources close to the country’s cabinet said “can’t be ignored”.
A Dutch withdrawal would place more of the burden on the British, who are taking over command of Nato operations next May.

Friday, November 18, 2005

French riots, cont.

The French have called the "all clear"...it seems the riots have ended. Everything is back to normal. Normal, of course, is 98 carns burned last night.

http://www.japantoday.com/e/?content=news&cat=8&id=355757

The national police service said there was a "return to a normal situation everywhere in France" overnight, with just 98 vehicles torched nationwide.

Beware the mighty pumkin gun...

Giant guns...pumpkins...and beer...

from the Economist:

IF THE United Nations were to send weapons inspectors to Delaware, they would find a surprising number of superguns being assembled in backyards. If interrogated, the unshaven men tinkering with these enormous weapons would say they were building devices for hurling pumpkins great distances. The men from the UN would doubtless find this hard to believe.

Every year since 1986, near Millsboro, the Punkin Chunkin has been held. Last week, 100 teams vied to see whose machine could toss an 8-10lb (3.6-4.6kg) pumpkin farthest. There were various categories: air cannons, trebuchets, pedal-powered doohickeys. No explosives are allowed—a galling rule to some contestants. But the biggest air cannons, with barrels up to 150 feet (46 metres) long, can shoot their fruit projectiles most of a mile, making each one what one spectator called “one heck of a peashooter”.

Need one spell out that virtually all the competitors are male? Dorothy Blades, a member of a rare all-female team of chunkers called the Dragon Ladies, (whose cannon, hard hats and gloves were all a tastefully matching shade of pink), thinks men crave the sense of power that only blasting a pumpkin into orbit in front of a large crowd can provide. “Plus it's a drinkathon,” she adds.

Deep Throat II...

from today's WSJ...

The White House now must brace itself for the possibility that Mr. Fitzgerald's probe, far from winding down, may have just gotten a second wind. Prosecutors deposed Mr. Woodward in anticipation of presenting that evidence to a new grand jury, according to a person familiar with the situation. The one that indicted Mr. Libby expired on Oct. 28. That could require that Mr. Card and the unnamed official be called to testify about their conversations with Mr. Woodward. A White House spokeswoman declined to comment.

random questions of the day...

1. Who poisoned Yushenko?

2. How come we don't hear about killer bees ravaging America anymore?

3. Will the NY Times Editorial Board speak out against Rep. John Murtha?

from the Times:

A precipitous withdrawal at this point would be counterproductive. And while a timetable is certainly an option, the people who need deadlines are the Iraqis. Their government must be put on notice that the United States expects Iraq to show speedy, measurable progress in taking control of its own security, and that it must demonstrate that it is not just stalling for time when it comes to guaranteeing democracy and human rights.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

More Tamiflu deaths...

...this panic over the flu has to end.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10085325/

WASHINGTON - Federal health advisers are looking into the deaths of 12 Japanese children who took Tamiflu, part of their annual safety review of the anti-flu medication and seven other drugs.
There are no reports of deaths in the United States or Europe associated with Tamiflu.
“Based on the information we have right now, we cannot say definitively there is a causal relation between the drug and the children’s death,” Dr. Murray Lumpkin, the deputy commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said Thursday.

Bush vs the Democrats

interesting news from the latest Harris Poll...

Bush's approval rating, according to Harris, is 34%. A boom for Democrats, correct? Not exactly...

One surprising finding is that the Democrats have not been able to capitalize on the decline of the president and other Republican leaders’ ratings. The positive rating of the Democrats in Congress has continued to fall and currently stands at only 25 percent, two points lower than the also declining rating for Republicans in Congress.

Bush is more popular than the Democrats in Congress by 9% points.

Treat us like Jews! We demand it!!!

It seems French Muslims are mad at the US and the international media for making this a Muslim uprising rather than an uprising caused by poverty.

And from the w.t.f. department, we now have French Muslims demanding the same treatment as French Jews...umm...be careful what you wish for...

Mohammad Bechari, head of the National Federation of French Muslims,...complained about what he called "a very strong rise in Islamophobia" and said xenophobic acts -- such as verbal and physical attacks on Muslims and their property were rising. "We just want to be treated like everyone else, like the Catholics or the Jews," he said.

jeez...what might cause a sudden rise in Islamophobia around the world?

Nobody was beheaded or killed...

A forceful defense of Iraq's Interior Ministry prison...and maybe the answer to "why there has been a lull in guys getting their heads chopped off?" is because the US and the Iraqi forces are killing or capturing the head-cutter-offers...



"Nobody was beheaded or killed," a defiant Bayan Jabr told a news conference Thursday, saying that only seven of 170 detainees showed marks of torture.

"Those detainees, those criminal killers inside the bunker were not Indians or Pakistanis or Iranians," he said, waving a stack of passports in the air. "Those are your Arab brothers that came here to kill your sons."


Wen Ho Lee-gate!

Walter Pincus is being held in contempt of court for refusing to reveal who his source was in an article investigating nucelar scientist Wen Ho Lee...Will Bill Clinton demand than anyone in his administration relieve Walter Pincus of his confidentiality pledge?

My money is that Bill Richardson is the source...

Here's the article from today's Washington Post.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

50 state strategy

we've been hearing a lot about the 50 state strategy. And Gov. Dean's been spending a lot to get it accomplished. Nov. 15th was the big kick off...

from Democrats.org...

Tonight, over 1000 Americans made the decision to invest the time necessary in beginning the process of creating a local infrastructure on-the-ground in each and every one of the fifty United States. By all accounts, the 50 State Strategy National Organizing Kick-Off is already a tremendous success.

1000 people? That's it? Howard Dean is going to take back America with 1000 people?

Here are some success stories...

from Rochester, NY...

Our Rochester meeting will welcome about 15 people. Some of them will be the activists left standing, so to speak, from hard-fought campaigns this fall.

and from Lubbock, TX...

I've had some experience with conference call house parties; they are a lot of fun and great for organizing. That's why I jumped at the chance to host a meeting tonight where we roll out the 50 State Strategy. This is a great program, a great event and I am very excited to participate...I expect to have 15 people, maybe more. I'll report back later with a picture.

and from Bozeman, Montana...

We hosted 30 eager activists, most of whom have been working since before last November on changing this country.

This last one really is the key...Dean didn't get anyone new in on this little conference call...this isn't a groundswell of excitement...it's the basest of the base showing up. And this picture really sums it up...not kidding here...this is Howard Dean, asleep, while the kickoff conference call is on. This is, literally, the picture the DNC put on their on website of their leader in action.


French riots, cont.

it's the polygamy, stupid...

http://news.independent.co.uk/europe/article327529.ece

Senior French politicians have been accused of "blatant racism" after linking the suburban riots to polygamy among African immigrant families.
The head of the ruling centre-right party in the national assembly and an employment minister both suggested unruly teenagers from large, polygamous families had helped to cause the four-weeks of violence in the country's poor suburbs.
Bernard Accoyer, leader of President Jacques Chirac's UMP party in the national assembly, said that polygamy was "certainly one of the causes" of France's worst urban violence for four decades.

Viagra...

...it really is a miracle drug...

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Sildenafil, better known as Viagra, is an effective treatment for the deadly lung condition called pulmonary arterial hypertension, according to a new international study.
As its name implies, pulmonary arterial hypertension consists of unusually high pressure in the blood vessels of the lungs, particularly the pulmonary artery. It can result from chronic disease of the heart or lungs, or it can be inherited.
Children with the condition usually die within a year without treatment.


...note to other Right Wing Dads...not that I'd "know" this for sure, but I've been told that it works to cure the "headaches" that afflict Right Wing Moms from time to time...

Random thought on Iraq...

...why don't people get their heads chopped off anymore in Iraq?

French Intifada, cont.

More from Newsweek, "Europe's Time Bomb"

Nov. 21, 2005 issue - The car-body count dropped dramatically in France toward the end of last week. So vast was the orgy of auto incineration—more than 1,000 vehicles burned night after night as gangs ambushed firefighters and police, raging against French government and society—that when "only" 15 cars were torched one night in the administrative department of Seine-St-Denis, where the violence began, the head of the National Police said that things there had returned to "normal."

In hundreds of French housing projects and ghettos populated by mostly Muslim Arab and African immigrants and their French children and grandchildren, "normal" has been for years a sort of chronic intifada, even if it was invisible to most of France and the rest of the world. According to research conducted by the government's domestic-intelligence network, the Renseignements Generaux, French police would not venture without major reinforcements into some 150 "no-go zones" around the country—and that was before the recent wave of riots began on Oct. 27. In France's "immigrant" neighborhoods, to borrow a phrase from the American military, it's "situation normal, all f—-ed up."

Normal? Normal is no longer even close to being good enough. Acutally, it's probably a good thing these riots happened now. Two years from now, we'd have seen hundreds of well trained terrorists waiting to strike in Paris. At least, now, France has had an expensive, yet relatively injury free wake up call.

Szrkozy has a 64% approval rating

http://www.liberation.fr/page.php?Article=338825

Sarkozy fait un tabac dans un sondage
Selon une enquête Ipsos-Le Point, 68% des Français jugent positive l'action du ministre de l'Intérieur depuis «le déclenchement des émeutes
dans les banlieues» • 64% lui font confiance pour apporter des «solutions durables».

free translation here: http://www.freetranslation.com/

Dr. Ferber...sleep Nazi...as*hole

this was originally designed as a blog to discuss not only politics, but dad stuff...and here's an item I saw this morning, from ABC News:

Infant sleep is a hot parenting topic, and theories abound on how best to help a baby fall asleep peacefully. Some parents practice the "Ferber Method" — named after Dr. Richard Ferber, a Boston pediatrician and author who believes that babies should be trained to fall asleep on their own, even if it means enduring lots of crying. There are also parents who follow the "co-sleeping" and "attachment parenting" methods, which both emphasize more physical contact than Ferber's.
But a recent Wall Street Journal article noted that Ferber and several other top parenting authors are softening their stances on infant sleep, saying parents themselves are probably the best ones at finding what works.


What an as*. How many hours have parents spent...how much guilt...how many kids have been put through all this crap because this "sleep expert" knew what he was talking about?

What a revelation..."parents are probably the best ones at finding what works".

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Shiite Happens...

...Suspected torture centre found in Iraq

More than 170 malnourished detainees found at an Interior Ministry detention centre in Baghdad appear to have been tortured, the Iraqi prime minister says.
The announcement by Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari on Tuesday came two days after US troops surrounded and took control of an Interior Ministry building in the Baghdad neighbourhood where the detainees were found.


US Troops are stopping the torture...only on RWD and al Jazeera...also from the article above...

Al-Jaafari, who is a Shia, said one of his deputies will be heading a committee that will include some ministers and will investigate what happened. The committee will finish its work within two weeks, al-Jaafari said.
"They should investigate how this happened and how it reached this point," al-Jaafari said.


Maybe if the Sunni terrorists would refrain from, you know, blowing up their fellow Iraqis, they'd get a little better treatment once they're caught.

McCain Watch and California...

interesting...can McCain carry California for the Republicans?

McCain also was seen recently dining with Warren Beatty in Beverly Hills, according to one Hollywood source. (The actor, who played an activist role opposing Schwarzenegger's initiatives in last week's special election, is coy about whether he'll support longtime friend McCain for president, noting that he is also close with Gore and Clinton. "They're all good people," he says.)

"Both Hillary and McCain are authentic," said "The Mummy" producer Sean Daniel, whose wife worked in the Clinton White House. "They each come across that way. Politically they are very different, but both capture people's radar out here about connecting with the audience."

Like Bush flying to Baghdad...

...Dominique de Villepin visits the slums of Paris...

French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin made a surprise visit on Tuesday to a Paris suburb hit by an unprecedented wave of rioting and presented parliament his plan to extend emergency powers.
Villepin traveled to Aulnay-sous-Bois northeast of Paris a day after President Jacques Chirac said in a national address that the worst civil unrest in almost 40 years pointed to a deep national malaise and identity crisis.


and from the same article,

police said on Tuesday only 215 vehicles had been destroyed, an "almost normal" level

that's good...France is almost at its acceptable level of arson fires.

Condi Rice

from CNN.com...

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel and the Palestinian Authority agreed Tuesday on a detailed arrangement for opening the borders of Gaza and to allow freer movement for Palestinians elsewhere.

It took all-night negotiations and a strong diplomatic shove from U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to get a deal whose basic elements had been in the works for weeks.

"I have to say as a football fan, sometimes the last yard is the hardest, and I think we experienced that today," Rice told a news conference where she announced the agreement.

hmmm...Borat....

after reading this, I have to wonder if Kazakhstan is correct in its suspicion of Borat.

According to the article, warmer weather brought on by global warming, will increase plague bacteria in Central Asia. Migratory birds will then spread the plague bacteria around the world. This theory, however, rests on Soviet era data from, you guessed it, Kazakhstan.

Borat must be a creation of the Anglo American Zionist conspiracy to warm the atmosphere and create more diseases, thus filling the coffers of major pharmaceutical companies who'll sell us the drugs to fight the diseases that they've helped create.

Borat...we're on to you...

Bush approval rating

Newsweek has this blockbuster of an article, "Autumn of Discontent", on Bush's falling poll numbers.

Only 36 percent of Americans approve of the job he is doing as president, and an astounding 68 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the direction of the country—the highest in Bush’s presidency. But that’s not the worst of it for the 43rd president of the United States, a leader who rode comfortably to reelection just a year ago. Half of all Americans now believe he’s not “honest and ethical.”

Wow. I don't think Bush will win a third term with numbers like these. He has no chance! He'll never make it out of the New Hampshire primary!

What's curious is why publications like Newsweek never mention other polls like this one that has Rudy or McCain beating Hillary in '08? Or this one that says the same thing?

Yes, things are bad for Bush. But, not as bad as the Newsweeks of the world would have us believe.

Monday, November 14, 2005

liberté, egalité, fraternité party

Yes, I've found a way to translate my French critic's comments on me. Not a really good translation, mind you, but I get the point.

One, I'm focusing too much on the Muslim aspect of it...silly me.

Two, I'm confusing the suburbs of Paris with Paris proper...again, silly me.

Three, French people are nutty.

So, Frenchy McFrench, enjoy your good old fashioned fraternité party fun and games.

Oh...and by the way...to all the Frenchies reading this...how came the rioters, who are supposed to hate America for what we've done in Iraq, are attacking only French targets? Viva le McDonalds! Vive le Taco Bell! Vive le Pepe le Pew!

Paris Riots cont....

Let's take a look what's causing the riots in Paris...

Is it unemployment? Nah.

Is it Islam? Nah.

Is it a lack of integration among the immigrants? Nah.

CNN/Reuters has the scoop...

"The government is not serious. They are not doing enough for us ... We don't have a proper cinema, nothing. Nothing is going to change," said a 16-year-old in Clichy-sous-Bois who gave his name only as Ali.

Ali sums it up...France needs better movies. Damn you Gérard Depardieu!

Man on Fire

Man on Fire was a great movie. For those of you who haven't seen it, it's about a former CIA agent (Denzel Washington) turned bodyguard. When the little girl he's protecting is kidnapped, Denzel's character goes absolutely nuts. Makes whatever happened at Abu Ghraib look like Animal House. There's even an insinuation in the movie that God blessed Denzel's tactics.

Anyway, on Netflix, Man on Fire is number 8.

The fact is the US condones torture...deep down inside we know its necessary at times...alone, at night, we dream that we'd individually have the courage to do what Denzel did if it was a member of our family that was taken from us...yes, the US condones torture...we just don't like to admit it.

McCain and Torture...

Here's the real problem with McCain's torture amendment, told in his own words in the latest issue of "Newsweek"...

Those who argue the necessity of some abuses raise an important dilemma as their most compelling rationale: the ticking-time-bomb scenario. What do we do if we capture a terrorist who we have sound reasons to believe possesses specific knowledge of an imminent terrorist attack?
In such an urgent and rare instance, an interrogator might well try extreme measures to extract information that could save lives. Should he do so, and thereby save an American city or prevent another 9/11, authorities and the public would surely take this into account when judging his actions and recognize the extremely dire situation which he confronted. But I don't believe this scenario requires us to write into law an exception to our treaty and moral obligations that would permit cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment. To carve out legal exemptions to this basic principle of human rights risks opening the door to abuse as a matter of course, rather than a standard violated truly in extremis.


But, see, that's the point. McCain, in this statement, just condoned what the whole amendment is trying to protect. Who makes the decision on when torture is necessary? McCain writes that it's up to the interrogator to decide. Quite frankly, this is stupid and impossible. Some CIA agent on the ground, in say Afghanistan, is only seeing one part of a much larger puzzle and will never have the ability to make that decision without guidance from superiors.

Here's the height of of lunacy in the argument. Does McCain actually believe this statement: "the public would surely take this into account when judging his actions and recognize the extremely dire situation which he confronted"? What if this fictional CIA agent is wrong? What if the CIA agent thinks what he's doing will save one million Americans, but, oops...wrong guy. Would he or wouldn't he be prosecuted? Who's the jury? According to McCain, it's public opinion. Would we use Zogby, Rasmussen or Harris to judge the CIA agent's guilt or innocence?

Either it's ok to torture a guy or it isn't. You can't have it both ways. And if you say there is a time whens it's acceptable to use any means necessary to get the information that you need, well, then I want the President in on the decision...not some poor field officer who will be forced to decide between potentially saving thousands of American lives and prosecution under the McCain amendment. If McCain wants this passed, he owes it to all of the men and woman who he's asking to carry out these orders to define exactly what is right and what is wrong and when it's ok to cross the McCain line.

Walk the plank...

The New Republic's blog, "The Plank" links to this WSJ/NBC poll in an effort to let us conservatives know how bad it is in red state land.

Yesterday a Democratic source on Capitol Hill wrote in feeling chipper about the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC poll. He noted that in addition to George Bush's pathetic 38 percent approval rating, and a strong voter preference for a Democratic-controlled Congress (48 percent to 37 percent for the Republicans), Democrats were excited about something else--a sharp drop in the number of voters who think their own Congressman "deserves to be re-elected": just 37 percent.

Wow...that's bad. And look at these number from the same poll...In a fictional race between John Kerry and John McCain, Kerry out-polls McCain 53%-35%! And Hillary out-polls McCain 44%-42%!

Oh...wait...my bad...silly dyslexia. McCain beats all comers. How can that be? The New Republic just told me how bad it is for my party?

Tamiflu 2, Person to Person transmission of Bird Flu, 0

let the Tamiflu lawsuits BEGIN!...

http://articles.news.aol.com/news/article.adp?id=20051111212209990004

TOKYO (Nov. 12) - Two teenage boys who took the antiviral drug Tamiflu exhibited abnormal behavior that lead to their deaths -- one jumped in front of an oncoming truck and the other apparently fell from a building, the Mainichi Shimbun reported Saturday.
Following the first incident, which took place last year, the prescription drug in Japan began carrying a warning that says possible side effects include "abnormal behavior" and "hallucinations," the major Japanese newspaper said.
This is the first time that deaths have been linked to the drug.
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is aware of one of the cases. "As a result of abnormal behavior, it could lead to an accidental death," a ministry official said.

Intifada, day 18

French Police continue to insist that the revolution is losing its punch...

Overnight, the number of car-torchings -- a barometer of the unrest -- dropped dramatically, with youths setting fire to 284 vehicles, compared to 374 the previous night, police said Monday.
"The lull is confirmed," national police spokesman Patrick Hamon said. A week ago, 1,400 cars were incinerated in a single night.


but, it's not over...

In scattered attacks overnight Sunday-Monday, vandals in the southern city of Toulouse rammed a car into a primary school before setting the building on fire.
In northern France, arsonists set fire to a sports center in the suburb of Faches-Thumesnil and a school in the town of Halluin, the North regional government said.
A gas canister exploded inside a burning garbage can in the Alpine city of Grenoble, injuring two police officers, the national police said, adding that three other officers were injured elsewhere.


and why it will continue...look for "deportations" to be the new issue...

In the next few days, France is expected to start deporting foreigners implicated in the violence -- a plan by law-and-order Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy that has caused divisions in the government.

Karl Rove at Fox News?

Everyone on the right seems to be up in arms over the Fox News special, "The Heat Is On: The Case of Global Warming."

But why? Fox News is fair and balance, right? Come the '06 and '08 elections, Fox News can point to this special and correctly state, "We're fair and balanced!"

It looks like Karl Rove found a new job...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

YES! The French are mad at me!

http://insidetheusa.net/2005/11/04/emeutes-a-paris/

Oui, pour eux, ces événements s’inscrivent dans la droite ligne de l’intégrisme musulman qui doit être éliminé (Irak ?). Ce ne sont pas des jeunes, plutôt paumés dans une situation socio-économique inextricable, mais bel et bien des musulmans animés du but de mettre à fin à la civilisation occidentale. Evidemment, l’approximation géographique est trop tentante et c’est bien sûr Paris qui brûle. Région parisienne ? Banlieues ?

Quelques exemples, aux titres si évocateurs :
RightWingDad, 2nd French Revolution? :

We have a word for policeman who do this in America…they’re called, in Latin, “pussies”. Must be something about French trained policeman, as the Frenchy loving New Orleans police department isn’t much better.
Chirac should take a page from history to end this conflict. He needs to be bold. He needs to act now. President Chirac, do what France does best…SURRENDER. That’s right…the insurgents have won. The occupation of France by the French must end immediately!

Rahm Emanuel doesn't believe his own BS...

Rahm Emanuel in a letter to Democratic supporters on Novemeber 9th...

In the most significant test of the political environment since 2004, Americans yesterday resoundingly supported the new priorities of Democratic candidates over the status quo policies of President Bush and Republican leadership. With just less than a year until congressional elections in 2006, Democrats have gained momentum with a clear vision for progress and a national mood firmly united against the leadership of national Republicans.

Rahm Emanuel in today's NY Times...

"The map is not skewed for competitive races," said Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "On the other hand, you have voters who are sick and tired of the direction that the country is going. Which will outweigh? If anyone tells you a year out, they've never been in politics."

On the 17th day of Intifada-mas...

...my true love gave to me...

374 vehicles burned,
212 more people arrested,
a car rammed into a retiree center,
and 29 cars burned in Belgium.

What's normal for Paris since we're using the Dow Jones Burning Car Index as our guide?...

If the downward trend continues, "things could return to normal very quickly," National Police Chief Michel Gaudin said, noting that French youths burn about 100 cars on an average Saturday night.

Oh Chief Gauding...those quirky French teens and their Saturday night fun.

The Dean money machine

this is from today's Meet the Press...remember, as I posted earlier, the Democrats have roughly $7MM in the bank...

MR. RUSSERT: But if you're being outgunned 2-to1 in the 2006 elections, how can you possibly succeed?
DR. DEAN: We did last time. We were outgunned 3-to-1.
MR. RUSSERT: And so you don't...
DR. DEAN: This is an improvement in our position. You going to...
MR. RUSSERT: Some Democrats say it's troublesome, that there should be red sirens flashing.
DR. DEAN: Well, yeah, you know, you--I saw that article. I generally don't traffic in gossip and I try not to. The facts are, we've done much better than we have in the past. We're continuing to do better. We're making great progress. Terry pledged $5 million to Tim Kaine's campaign. We were able to deliver that and he was able to win. What counts is the wins and losses.


Aside from the obvious Howard Dean definition of success in 2004, look what we find out about the Tim Kaine campaign. The DNC gave $5MM to the Kaine campaign. That's almost 12% of all the money the DNC raised in 2005 for a LOCAL election that does nothing for the Democratic position running the country.

Why would the DNC do this? How important is the Virginia Governor's race? Something smells here...

Female Suicide Bombers

I was struck with this news item today in regard to the terrorist bombings in Jordan...

An Iraqi woman confessed on state television Sunday to trying to detonate explosives strapped around her waist while she was in one of three Amman hotels bombed by al-Qaida in Iraq.

First you let them drive and vote and the next thing you know they're taking all the good suicide bomber jobs away from the men! I wonder, however, if you can hire a female suicide bomber for less than a male suicide bomber? Arab women unite! Demand equal pay for equal terrorist acts! It's your right!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Howard Dean...suuuuuuper Genius

Howard Dean has a 50 state strategy. We've all heard it, but no one has questioned it. So, here we are, one year from the crucial midterm elections and lets take a look at how Dean and the DNC have done vs the GOP in terms of fundraising...

Jan. - Sept. '05: Democrats have raised $42MM and have $6.8MM in the bank. The GOP, over the same time period has raised $81.5MM and has $34MM in the bank. But, here's where the real difference is and it's not in the amount raised. How come the GOP only raised twice as much as the Democrats but has five times as much in the bank?

Here's the question for the Deaniacs...why is it more expensive to run the Democratic party than the Republican party?

The answer is that Dean wasted all of his money on the 50 state strategy. All he has to show for it is he didn't lose two races for Governor in states that had Democratic Governors. Dean's been flying around to cheapo events...things like $25 a plated chicken dinners in states like Mississippi and Kansas. Or how about this trip to Mexico City to meet with Democrats living abroad? What he doesn't realize is that it costs the same to throw a $25 a plate event as it does a $2500 a plate event. It costs the same to go to Ohio as it does to Mexico City. The same guy who spent $50MM on orange hats and empty school buses for his own failed bid at the White House is now bringing his cash management skills to the entire party.

If you do some simple math, the Democrats spent $35.2MM in 9 months, or $3.9MM per month. Over the same 9 months, they raised $42MM or $4.67MM per month. This means the Democrats are only adding $770,000 per month to their bank account. Take control of the Senate and House? No freaking way.

But, let's throw out something here...Here's my bet...Dean knows exactly what he's doing. Dean's real strategy is that he knows the DNC really can't compete in '06. He's using this money to throw one giant PR campaign. And who's the biggest beneficiary? Easy...Howard Dean. Look at all the allies and volunteers he is developing around the country. So, my prediction is Howard Dean is out after the '06 elections. He's fired for failing to pick up any ground in the House and Senate. But, don't cry for the good Dr...Howard Dean '08 begins the next day.

Paul Krugman weighs in on France...

...oh wait, I forgot..."always a Nobel bridesmaid" Krugman doesn't comment on situations that don't fit his model! silly me...

here, however are some quotes, in light of recent events in France, from Krugman's "French Family Values" column...

Paul Krugman: The French family, without question, has lower disposable income. This translates into lower personal consumption: a smaller car, a smaller house, less eating out.

RWD: well, the good thing is the French auto industry will have to build new cars. But, French will eat out less as there is a curfew in place. Or is the curfew just for Arabs?

PK: Because French schools are good across the country, the French family doesn't have to worry as much about getting its children into a good school district. Nor does the French family, with guaranteed access to excellent health care, have to worry about losing health insurance or being driven into bankruptcy by medical bills.

RWD: this is the actual French solution re. school choice as reported on CNN: In addition, he (de Villepin) said, training must be provided so that at age 14, children who no longer wish to continue in the school system can be trained to find jobs. Wow...what a commitment to education. It must be called "Leave as many kids behind as possible".

PK: Perhaps even more important, however, the members of that French family are compensated for their lower income with much more time together. Fully employed French workers average about seven weeks of paid vacation a year. In America, that figure is less than four.

RWD: For 20% of immigrants, there are no jobs and therefore 52 weeks of paid vacation. Why then, the riots Mr. Krugman?

PK: And they even offer some statistical evidence that working fewer hours makes Europeans happier, despite the loss of potential income.

RWD: Oh yes...France is happy happy happy!

PK: And whatever else you may say about French economic policies, they seem extremely supportive of the family as an institution. Senator Rick Santorum, are you reading this?

RWD: French economic policies are very supportive of the family...just not Arab families. And yes, Mr. Krugman...Rick Santorum is reading this...is that laughter I hear coming from Pennsylvania???

Amber Frey

Yes, that Amber Frey...from the Scott Peterson trial. The Amber Frey who tried to portray herself as another one of Scott's victims...well...she's in the news again...

Amber Frey in Court Over Daughter's Paternity

Amber Frey was in a North Valley courtroom Monday morning in a battle over her daughter's paternity.
It turns out the man who thought he was the father of Frey's oldest child is not.
Anthony Flores was in a Madera County court on Monday to stop child support payments to Frey. A judge agreed.
The ruling comes after a recent DNA test shows Flores is not the father of Frey's child.
"They are going to be stopping all collection proceedings for child support that have been going on for the last few years and lifting the stay on his driver's license which has hindered his work," said Flores' attorney, Glenn R. Wilson.
"That's four years of my life thinking I was the father of Ayainna ... and Amber made it very difficult during the whole time to have any kind of relationship or visitation," said Flores.
Amber Frey refused comment.


RWD: What a bitch! First she lies to this guy that he's the father of her kid...then she refuses to let him see his "daughter"...all the while collecting his cash.

My prediction on this...Scott Peterson gets a new trial. Stay tuned...

Day 16

the intifada continues...

The number of cars torched overnight in France climbed slightly over the previous night to 502 in a 16th night of unrest that took its heaviest toll on the French provinces, police said Saturday.
Security was boosted in the capital with some 3,000 police officers fanning out around strategic points to counter feared weekend attacks targeting Paris. Gatherings were banned from Saturday morning until Sunday morning.
"We returned to an almost normal situation in Ile de France," said national police chief Michel Gaudin, referring to the Paris region. Arson attacks were counted in 163 towns around France, he said. The count of those detained overnight stood at 206, bringing to 2,440 the number of suspects picked up in just over two weeks of unrest.
Two Molotov cocktails were tossed at a mosque Friday evening in the southern town of Carpentras, but it was not immediately clear whether the attack was linked to the unrest that has wracked the poor suburbs and small towns of France since Oct. 27. President Jacques Chirac demanded that investigators quickly find out who was behind the attack.

Friday, November 11, 2005

France bans lawful assembly...

or, that's at least what we'd call it here in the United States. I'm all for the French taking control of their insurgents, but, this just doens't fly.

France bans weekend meetings in Paris

French police imposed a short-term ban on public meetings in Paris, amid fears that suburban rioters might be planning to bring violence into the capital over a holiday weekend.
Police said the ban was decided as a precaution in response to a series of Internet and text messages calling for violent action in the capital.
The measure, to run from Saturday at 10:00 am (0900 GMT) to Sunday at 8:00 am (0700 GMT), applies to "all meetings likely to start or fuel disorder" in a public place and was imposed under emergency powers approved this week.

Hey Italy...Go Scratch!!!

Italy prosecutors seek extradition of CIA agents

Prosecutors have requested Italy seek the extradition of 22 suspected CIA agents over the kidnapping of a terrorism suspect, grabbed off a street in 2003 and taken abroad, a judicial source in Italy said on Friday.
The request was delivered to Justice Minister Roberto Castelli.
The minister just returned from Washington, where he discussed the issue with U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, a U.S. justice department official in Washington D.C. said.
Castelli's office declined comment. He must now decide whether to make a formal request to the United States to pursue the case, said the Italian source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Hilarious...from today's NY Post...

Dick Morris...

...love him or hate him, Morris does make sense some days.

Yesterday he had some advice for Republicans...

1. Bush should champion energy indenpendence and
2. Bush should push for a fence on the Mexican border and a guest worker/amnesty program

...and when you think of it, if Bush puts those two issues as Morris suggests in the next State of the Union, doesn't that change the entire foucs going into the '06 midterms? I think it does. This is typical Morris...steal what the other party is talking about and hit them over the head with it.

Robertson issues a Fatwa...

If the right isn't careful, Intelligent Design is going to become our "same sex marriage". Meaning, the left pushed the same sex marriage issue in places where, right or wrong, the population just wasn't ready. When Oregon rejected same sex marriage, you know there are problems.

Anyway, when the very community that is at the forefront of the entire Intelligent Design debate votes out of office every member of the school board pusing Intelligent Design, you know there are problems.

Beware the backlash...especially when Pat Robertson condemns the town...not helpful Pat, not helpful...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

"Burn in hell, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi!"

from CNN...

Jordanians flooded Amman blaring car horns and waving the nation's flag to protest the suicide attacks at three hotels with Western connections.

The Associated Press reported that hundreds of angry Jordanians rallied shouting, "Burn in hell, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi!" after the terrorist group he leads claimed responsibility for the blasts.

I guess al-Zarqawi doesn't remember that the Jordanian monarchy is pretty good at dealing with threats to its rule...

France raises its terror alert...

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

France...going with what's worked in the past...

It's a Swamp...

on why the floodwalls failed in New Orleans...

"Before we completed the wall, it began to lean and sink also," Zollars said. "The pilings were inadequate. The corps corrected that by installing some additional reinforcing steel in the concrete, but the wall still is leaning."
The top of one section of the 10-foot concrete wall is more than a foot off the vertical, he said. AquaTerra is seeking $5 million it says the corps owes it for the extra work on the $11.1 million contract. Corps officials won't comment on the case because of the dispute.
The company's problems illustrate one of the basic obstacles to building reliable levees -- or any heavy structure -- in south Louisiana: It's a swamp.

Cool...

JAKARTA, Indonesia - One of Asia's most wanted terrorists, accused of plotting a series of deadly bombings in Bali, is believed to have blown himself up Wednesday to escape capture by a U.S.-trained elite police unit who attacked his Indonesian hideout, the national police chief said. Two other suspected militants also died in the blast.

greetings from KOSovo...

The Daily Kos is pretty hyped about yesterday's election. One thing of interest is his take on Tim Kaine. It seems that Democrats think the Tim Kaine/Mark Warner model to appeal to the electorate might be the path to follow going forward. With that said, can you guess the right wing nut that said the following...

I have a faith-based opposition to abortion. I will work in good faith to reduce abortions by:
- Enforcing the current restrictions on abortion and passing an enforceable ban on partial birth abortion that protects the life and health of the mother;

- Fighting teen pregnancy through abstinence-focused education;
- Ensuring women's access to health care (including legal contraception) and economic opportunity; and
- Promoting adoption as an alternative for women facing unwanted pregnancies.

Answer: Tim Kaine

Republicans...come in off the ledge...

Before we let the Democrats spin us to "the ash heap of history", let's take a look at Ohio. Ohio was where the Democrats thought they'd pick up the most ground. Ohio is the state where the Republican party is at its worst. Democrats, riding the wave of momentum and the Paul Hackett campaign will take back the state! Democrats, start your engines!!!

But, let's look at what happened yesterday...

From the Columbus Dispatch (subs. reqd.)...

Ohio voters yesterday resoundingly rejected four amendments to the state constitution, rendering a stinging defeat to would-be reformers who said the issues were necessary to end a "culture of corruption" in state government.
Meanwhile, Issue 1, a $2 billion bond package that Gov. Bob Taft and others promised will bring high-tech jobs to an economically struggling state, was headed for passage.
In an off-year election, voters turned thumbs down on a confusing menu of amendments that would have changed Ohio government at its core. Issues 2-5 were losing statewide by a 2-to-1 ratio and as much as 4-to-1 in Republican-dominated rural and exurban counties.
The defeat of the four issues championed by Reform Ohio Now, a coalition of Democratic-leaning groups, was attributed to their complicated and confusing ballot language and unified opposition by powerful Republican forces under the umbrella of Ohio First.


So, when a Republican led initiative is voted down, like in California, the voters are smart but when a Democratic led initiative is voted down, the voters are too stupid to figure it out?
The Democrats are off to a good start in Ohio for 2006 and 2008...The great people of Ohio are just too damn dumb to know what's best.

Depressing? Not so fast...

First the Depressing...

One, my wife was out of town on a business trip so I was SingleRightWingDad for the night. Which, of course, means no bourbon on election night which has become somewhat of a tradition.

Two, this is the first election since Bush won in 2000 that the Republicans didn't advance.

Three, the Arnold backlash seems to be in full swing. Let's face it...the guy's a clown. How many months can you take his act? He might have some decent ideas, but he's annoying.

Four, this will be spun that the White House is in free fall and that will certainly embolden Democrats going into the '06 elections.

Now, the no so depressing...

One, Republicans didn't lose any ground. Warner was a very popular Governor and Kaine is a continuation of those policies. Warner ran more as a Republican than a Democrat. Kaine is a devout Roman Catholic who is opposed to the death penalty on moral grounds. I say this as a positive because there aren't many smart Democrats who will take a stand like Kaine. If you want the Christian right to vote for you, you need to do what Kaine did and in most states, Democrats can't do that.

Two, with Corzine elevated to Trenton, this opens a Senate seat that will be very competitive for the Republicans. The fact is that Democrats are going to have to spend big $ to keep that seat. Right now, acting Gov. Codey is the frontrunner, but there will be primary challenges.

Three, GOP candidates are still better than DNC candidates. McCain, for example, love him or hate him, has a power over the MSM that other candidates don't have. Whether it's on Hardball or the Daily Show, he's able to keep focus on why the war in Iraq and the war on terror are important. Republicans are going to have to list what's important and pick the guy who's best on that issue. If international/war stuff is the most important, it's looking like McCain's the guy.

Four, Republicans have an entire year to fix this problem.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Bird Flu

For years, chicken soup has been touted as the cure all for everything. The irony that the very bird we've come to depend on is now trying to kill us. Damn you, chickens, damn you all to hell!

Senator Dick Codey?

If Corzine wins in NJ, he gets to name a replacement. This article suggests that Dick Codey is the only Democrats who might have a shot against Tom Kean, Jr. (9/11 Commission/fomer NJ Governor Tom Kean's son)...

A source close to Codey, who is intimately aware of the behind-the scenes maneuvering to bring him to Washington, said New York Sen. Hillary Clinton has already talked casually to Codey about moving to the U.S. Senate. Two other Democratic strategists, with ties to the national and state party organizations, say plans have already been made for such Democratic luminaries as former President Clinton to speak with Codey about moving to the Senate as soon as Tuesday's election is over.

What makes Democrats energized and fearful is the looming Senate candidacy of a Republican with a magical name in New Jersey - Tom Kean Jr.
The 37-year-old state senator from Westfield and son of the former governor and 9/11 commission chairman has already told party activists he plans to run for the U.S. Senate in 2006. Secret polling by Democrats indicates that Kean would easily beat every Democratic candidate, except one - Dick Codey.

French Military recalled to Paris!

Buffet still bets against the $

hmmm...what does the Oracale think about the upcoming French Civil War?

November 8, 2005 -- Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. reduced a bet against the U.S. dollar after losing more than $900 million from foreign-currency investments this year.

Buffett, who has said the U.S. trade deficit would weaken the dollar, cut his foreign-currency forward contracts to $16.5 billion in September from $21.5 billion in June, Berkshire said in a Nov. 4 statement. The dollar in July reached a 13-month high against a basket of six major currencies.


Buffett, 75, who called his bet against the dollar a "very long-term" position as recently as June, may have changed Berkshire's mix of currency investments as he reduced the bet.

Uhh...Warren...what's a very long term position? I'll make a bet, although not with billions of dollars...the US trade deficit will improve faster than the European economy/political situation.

France takes action!

Dateline, Paris: The new French Police Chief...


Monday, November 07, 2005

Affirmative Action...is that the answer?

What's odd about the intifada in France, a liberal country, is that it is kind of some bizarro world insurrection. It's happening in France, a country with socialized medicine and free education for all (supposedly). But, unlike America, France really doesn't have any affirmative action policies. It seems the French figured that healthcare and welfare were enough.

But in the United States, we kind of have the opposite. We have affirmative action, but healthcare and education are, more or less, left to the capitalist system. We have a safety net of course...but France has more of a down feather mattress to land on.

Why haven't we had these riots in the US? Well, for one, our immigrant population is too tired to riot. Too tired because they're working their asses off. They're not sitting in housing complexes of green lawns and neat flower beds (those are the words of the NY Times, not me).

That's really the difference between the US and France. We have affirmative action with a minimal safety net and France has no jobs with a big safety net.

An interesting question...here we are, as conservatives, talking about the success of immigrants in America and it could very well be that the mass insurrection we are witnessing in France has been avoided here at home because of an idea that conservative hate most...

Election day predictions

Kilgore pulls it out in VA...but, since Va Tech got their clocks cleaned on Saturday, nobody in VA really cares.

Bloomberg by about 20 pts. in NYC...By Wednesday, the cigarette tax will be raised to $100 a pack, bars will close at midnight and Al Sharpton will be arrested for his perverse salsa dance.

Forrester/Corzine a dead heat...election officials find more fraudulent ballots cast than real ballots. New Jersey's charter as a state is revoked and it's merged with Delaware. New York is split into North New York and South New York so a new US flag won't have to be created. Governor of South New York Rudy Giuliani become the instant front runner in '08.

Schwarzenegger misses on parental notification, but wins the redistricting measure. He immediately steps down and accepts a new job as Chief of Police in France.

I love this game!

The rioters in France, it seems, are big fans of the NBA...

http://www.breitbart.com/news/2005/11/07/D8DNR5GG6.html

"You wear these clothes, with this color skin and you're automatically a target for police," said Ahmed, 18, pointing to his mates in Izod polo shirts, Nike sneakers and San Antonio Spurs T-shirts.

France imposes curfew

wow...that only took 12 days...by the way, what's a gendarme? is it kind of like a musketeer? do they still carry swords?

http://news.yahoo.com/fc/world/france

French to Impose Curfews, Deploy Forces

PARIS - Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said Monday that curfews would be imposed wherever they are needed and 9,500 police officers and gendarmes are being deployed to stop rioting that has spread across France. The announcement came as rioters in the southern city of Toulouse attacked an empty bus and pelted police with firebombs and rocks Monday evening.

Run Forrest-er Run!

the latest poll data on Forrester/Corzine...

http://slerp.rutgers.edu/retrieve.php?id=157-2

To summarize, Corzine's up 43-37 with 9% undecided (10% refused to answer...I guess Fugghetaboutit was one of the choices). Forrester, however is making gains. Independents now favor Forrester 38-37 and Corzine's lead among women has been cut from a 17 point lead to 8 today.

Bush: We Do not torture!

President Bush declares today, "We do not torture!"

For some reason, when I read this, I can't help but think of the very funny Chris Rock bit...it goes something like this...

Chris Rock: I'll never hit a woman. You never ever hit a woman. But I'll shake the sh*t out of her.


60% approval rating

60% of Americans are in favor of building a wall between Mexico and the United States.

26% of Americans don't want a fence.

49% of Americans want to end birthright citizenship.

from: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/2005/Immigration%20November%207.htm

alas...I'm a fathead as well...

Belgium and Germany, come on down...

...you're the next contestant on the Intifada is Right!...

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20051107/D8DNLIF06.html

As urban unrest spread to neighboring Belgium and possibly Germany, the French government faced growing criticism for its inability to stop the violence, despite massive police deployment and continued calls for calm.

France vs USA on the riots

There is a structural difference between the French and the United States which, at its heart, is the key to understanding why the French won't be able to control its riot/intifada.

In the US, there is a long, and sometimes ugly, tradition of using National Guard or Army forces to assist local law enforcement when problems, like we're seeing in France, occur. Many of the issues with the Katrina response are tied directly to this history. State and Federal laws are in place to make it illegal to send troops in willy nilly. But, the US does it when it needs to. We have experience at it and we're good at it...most of the time.

Now, in France, we have a culture that doesn't just tolerate riots, it celebrates them to some extent. It's taken over a week for Chirac to even respond. Year after year strikes shut down the entire country. Two years ago, 15, ooo French died during a heatwave with no national response.

Chirac promises to release his plan today on how to deal with the uprising. It might be too late. The question is now, when will this burn itself out...

French Police

Not looking good...

Jean-Christophe Carne, president of a police trade union, told The Washington Times before last night's outbreak that police officers were increasingly pessimistic that civic order would be restored anytime soon. "Most of these kids are being coached by professional petty criminals and gang leaders in the suburbs," said Mr. Carne, president of Action Police CFTC. "In the past, when we have cracked down on these criminals in their homes, we found drugs, grenades and heavy weapons such as guns. While they haven't started using these arms yet, there's also no reason to think they wouldn't."

Mr. Carne said three policewomen assaulted in the Normandy town of Evreux on Saturday night were likely targeted because they were outnumbered by attackers, adding that it took two hours before additional officers were able to reach the scene.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

French Policemen shot

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/06/international/europe/06cnd-paris.html?hp

PARIS, Monday, Nov. 7 — Rioters fired shotguns at police in a working-class suburb of Paris Sunday, wounding 10 officers as the country’s fast-spreading urban unrest escalated dangerously just hours after President Jacques Chirac called an emergency meeting of top security officials and promised increased police pressure to confront the violence.

But the violence, which has become one of the most serious challenges to government authority here in nearly 40 years, showed no sign of abating, and Sunday was the first time policemen had been wounded by gunfire in the unrest. More than 3,300 vehicles have been destroyed along with dozens of public buildings and private businesses since the trouble began Oct. 27.

The West Wing live debate...

...is unwatchable. As a matter of fact, it makes President Bush's performance in the debates look positively brilliant.

But what's great is watching these two Hollywood leftys, who I'm sure are quick to call the President an idiot, look like fools.

Update: I'm still watching off and on...the sheer arrogance of Hollywood to think 1. this would be entertaining and 2. Alan Alda and Jimmy Smits are somehow qualified to engage in this type of discourse.

Intifada continued...

From nytimes.com...

"This is just the beginning," Moussa Diallo, 22, said this afternoon in Clichy-sous-Bois, a low-income suburb, where the protests began after two teenagers of Mauritanian and Tunisian background died while fleeing the police in what officials said was an accident.

"It's not going to end until there are two policeman dead," said Mr. Diallo, whose parents came to France from Mali. Mr. Diallo did not admit to taking part in any violence himself.

Kennedy on Meet the Press...

From today's MTP...

On Alito, 15 years ago...

"Well, I just join in the commendation. You have obviously had a very distinguished record, and I certainly commend you for long service in the public interest. I think it is a very commendable career and I am sure you will have a successful one as a judge. ...We are glad to have you here and we will look forward to supporting you and voting for you."

On the Role of the Senate...

MR. RUSSERT: It's interesting, Senator, though, the way the Senate has changed and I think maybe you have changed in the way you approach Supreme Court nominees. When you first came to the Senate, you said this. "I want to state that it is our responsibility as members of the committee ...in advising and consenting, that we are challenged to ascertain the qualifications and the training and the experience and the judgment of a nominee, and that it is not our responsibility to test out the nominee's particular philosophy; whether we agree or disagree ..."

And a great exchange where Kennedy thinks Bush made a statement actually uttered by John Kerry...

MR. RUSSERT: You talked about Iraq. There's a big debate now about whether or not the data, the intelligence data, was misleading and manipulated in order to encourage public opinion support for the war. Let me give you a statement that was talked about during the war. "We know [Iraq is] developing unmanned vehicles capable of delivering chemical and biological warfare agents...all U.S. intelligence experts agree they are seek nuclear weapons. There's little question that Saddam Hussein wants to develop them. ... In the wake of September 11th, who among us can say with any certainty to anybody that those weapons might not be used against our troops, against allies in the region? Who can say that this master of miscalculation will not develop a weapon of mass destruction even greater--a nuclear weapon. ..."

Are those the statements that you're concerned about?

SEN. KENNEDY: Well, I am concerned about it, and that's why I believe that the actions that were taken by Harry Reid in the Senate last week when effectively he said that we are going to get to the bottom of this investigation, this had been kicked along by the Intelligence Committee, by Pat Roberts for over two years. And Harry Reid did more in two hours than that Intelligence Committee has done in two years. And the American people are going get this information. And it's important that they get this information about how intelligence was misused because of the current situation. It's important to know where we've been, but it's important to know where we are today, because we're facing serious challenges over in Iran. We're facing serious challenges in North Korea. And we cannot have a government which is going to manipulate intelligence information. We've got to get to the bottom of it, and that is what the Democrats stood for on the floor of the United States Senate last week. That was a bold stroke, one that has the overwhelming support of the American people. It's about time they get the facts on it. They haven't got the facts to date. They deserve them, and they'll get them.

MR. RUSSERT: But, Senator, what the Democrats stood for on the floor of the Senate in 2002--let me show you who said what I just read: John Kerry, your candidate for president. He was talking about a nuclear threat from Saddam Hussein. Hillary Clinton voted for the war. John Edwards, Joe Lieberman, John Kerry. Democrats said the same things about Saddam Hussein. You, yourself, said, "Saddam is dangerous. He's got dangerous weapons." It wasn't just the Bush White House.

NY Times...clueless again

from today's paper, France Has an Underclass, but Its Roots Are Still Shallow

For one thing, the physical conditions in these neighborhoods have not begun to rival poor urban areas in the United States. Even in the worst government housing developments, green lawns and neat flower beds break the monotony of the gray concrete.

sounds beautiful...

The despair in these housing projects (called cités here) has been mitigated by better schools than those that serve poor, minority districts in the United States (education is financed nationally in France, rather than through local tax rolls) and by extensive welfare programs.

but if everything is free and great, why the anger...

There is crime, but not nearly at the level of random violence feared in poor neighborhoods in American cities.

How many cars were burned yesterday in NYC?

Who's running France?

In the midst of the riot/civil war/Intifada gripping France, a question from an outsider...who's running France?

Chirac, from all accounts, is still recovering from his stroke. Not knowing much about French politics (or caring much), I wonder if Chirac is still on the throne, so to speak, simply as a matter of political expediency for whatever party he represents?

The French government right now is making the FEMA/DHS/Blanco/Nagin/Bush rift look trivial. Who's looking like the third world country now?

Bush 2, Democrats 0

Yes, Bush's poularity is in the toilet. It's so bad for the President, he'll never win a third term. And as Democrats wave goodbye forever to GW in 2008, they can sit back and savor their judicial victories...good job, you mighty warriors of the Senate. Harry Reid, Ted Kennedy, Chuck Schumer, you've fought well. Wait a minute...what am I saying? Oh man, I forgot. I was thinking that "The West Wing" was real. The Democrats aren't winning this fight...they're getting creamed! Cue music, "Nah Nah Nah Nah...Nah Nah Nah Nah...Hey Hey Hey...Goodbye...Nah Nah Nah Nah..."

Biden: Alito Filibuster Seems Unlikely

WASHINGTON - A Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Sunday he believes Samuel Alito will get an up-or-down vote on his Supreme Court bid. "We should commit," said Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., minimizing prospects of a Senate filibuster that would prevent final action on President Bush's choice to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

2006

Stuck in the bluest of blue states as I am, I hear a lot from my lefty friends on the 2006 bloodbath in store for the "Repugs". I, of course, argue the opposite and mention to them the simple fact that they've been promising a Democratic sweep of the House and Senate since 2000.

Anyway, from today's Washington Post...

One bright spot for the Republicans is the low regard in which many Americans hold the Democrats. The public sees the Democrats as disorganized, lacking in clear ideas or a positive alternative to the GOP agenda, and bereft of appealing leaders. In the Post-ABC News poll, voters gave Washington low grades without favor: Just 35 percent said they approved of the job Republicans in Congress were doing, while only 41 percent gave a positive rating to the Democrats.

and this...

Adding to the Democrats' challenge is the fact that there are only 18 Republican-held seats in districts that voted for Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) in last year's presidential race, compared with 41 districts held by Democrats that were carried by Bush.

and this...

"The fact that Democrats have to knock off five Republican incumbents to get the Senate back makes it hard," said Charlie Cook, who produces a leading independent political forecast.

and this one I love...

Ask people to name attractive Democratic leaders and they hesitate, pause or come up empty. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York enjoys clear support, but even several who said positive things about her questioned whether she could win the presidency, given the controversy that attaches to her history and name.

And this last quote pulled from the Post is the real key. Come 2006, the Republicans have an A list of Presidential candidates who'll be looking to build up a reservoir of favors. Rudy, McCain, Allen, and Romney will be flying around the country looking to help Republicans win in competitive districts. The Democrats don't have this. Look at the NYC mayor's race. Kerry, both Clintons and Howard Dean can't do a thing to help Fernando Ferrer. Additionally, Democratic heavyweights aren't doing anything for Corzine.

Not saying 2006 is going to be a walk in the park, but, it ain't as bad as the MSM wants us to believe.

de Gaulle on the future of France...

I have tried to lift France out of the mud. But she will return to her errors and vomitings. I cannot prevent the French from being French.
--Charles de Gaulle

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Don't mess with Texas...

Teen Accidentally Shoots Self With Homemade Shotgun

a description of the device...

Officer Eric Poteet describes the item as a fairly sophisticated, yet crude, projectile launcher that when ignited it discharged backwards.

sophisticated...

Photos of the device show it appears to be made of PVC pipe, parts from a gas grill and model rockets, bound together with tape.

if there ever was an argument against Intelligent Design...

Doug Forrester

I just caught the end of the debate between Senator Corzine and Doug Forrester. Corzine better hope nobody in NJ was watching, because he got his clock cleaned.

Hmmm...A Republican win in NJ? A Republican win in New York City? Can Kilgore pull out the hat trick in VA?

If all three happen, I guess the Dems will need a new playbook. The Republican party isn't the cancer they're hoping for.

Al Jazeera on Paris

From Al Jazeera's English site...

So far, though, there has been no religious dimension given to the riots. Those taking part have spoken more of protesting against the misery of their lives in the fringe towns, where unemployment of more than 20% is the norm.

No religious dimension?!? None at all?

Technorati blog directory