Wednesday, August 31, 2005

More New York Times Hysteria

The Times editorial page really is a piece of work. With gas prices heading into the stratosphere and dire warnings about this winter's heating costs, what price levels really concern the Times editors? That would be the cost of phone calls from state prisons.

It seems the state of New York only allows collect calls from prison, then collects a commission from the phone company. And uses these commissions to pay for training and education programs for the inmates. Seems like a fair system to me. After all, the prisoners aren't compelled to call their mommies, or hang on the line for hours on end. But to the Times, this system is tantamount to torture:
In this context, the increasingly common practice of jacking up the costs of inmates' telephone calls to bankrupting levels, and then using the profits to pay for some prison activities, is self-defeating and inhumane.
Inhumane? INHUMANE?? Over-charging a convicted criminal for a collect phone rises to the level of inhumanity? Who could take such a contention seriously? The Times, apparently not content with simply "over the top" takes the rhetoric right down the other side.
Dunning the poor to run the prisons where so many of the poor wind up may have been acceptable in Dickens's time, but no longer.
Now "dunning" means ""making persistent demands for payment." It seems to me that demands for payment are only as persistent as the convicts demand for phone calls. And to call that system Dickensian is a silly perspective to say the least.

New York Times weighs in

The New York Times never misses an opportunity to take a snarky swipe at President Bush. This from today's editorial page:
But this seems like the wrong moment to dwell on fault-finding, or even to point out that it took what may become the worst natural disaster in American history to pry President Bush out of his vacation.
It may seem like the wrong moment, but the Times does it anyway. The use of the word "pry" is a nice touch, to, as if Bush was reluctant to really do anything. The Times then goes on to drag out the old warhorse cliche, "End of the World, Poor and Minorities Hardest Hit" routine:
People who think of that graceful city and the rest of the Mississippi Delta as tourist destinations must have been reminded, watching the rescue operations, that the real residents of this area are in the main poor and black.
In the end, the Times concludes that the whole country will have to help in the recovery. To which the whole country might respond with a collective, "Well, duh."

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Look at this picture of Cindy Sheehan and Al Sharpton. I count eight or nine protesters and and at least twenty media types in the frame. I especially like the makeup woman taking the time to touch-up the shine on Saint Cindy's forehead. What a sorry spectacle.

Rush was right

Yesterday, Rush Limbaugh predicted that the left would politicize Hurricane Katrina. And sure enough, we get this: "Maybe Katrina will kickstart the debate on how Bush is destroying the National Guard."

And this: "As more levees breach in New Orleans, the floodwaters are rising. Martial law has been declared.

One of the assets that the military brings to disaster relief is equipment that civilian governments don't usually keep on hand, things like amphibious vehicles. The problem is that President Bush, in his infinite wisdom, decided to send amphibious vehicles to... a desert."

And this: "Unless we see tens of thousands of troops activated to support this disaster recovery, the people who die over the next few days because there aren't enough troops are all on George Bush."

Don't these people have jobs?

Here's a call to actionfrom the Maine Veterans for Peace. It seems they're going to gather with fellow moonbats to hold a vigil against a performance by the Navy Blue Angels.
On Sat., Sept. 10th, Maine Veterans for Peace will be joined by other major peace and justice groups (see list of co-sponsors below) in a massive protest:

. to protest the false god idolatry of the Blue Angels Air Show, whose "ooh-&-aah" performances have one purpose: to promote badly-lagging military recruitment to protest the obscene waste of American tax dollars to stage these Blue Angels' multi-million dollar extravaganzas

. to protest Bush's immoral, monomaniacal Iraq war -- nearly 1,800 U.S. and 100,000 Iraqi civilians dead, at a cost of over $300 billion, and still counting

. to protest NASB's complicity with the war machine, providing surveillance aircraft to target ground forces, which in the end cause horrendous "collateral damage"

. to challenge NASB to convert to peaceful purposes, creating good-paying high-tech/industrial jobs, making products that improve lives, not end them
I am going to see the Blue Angels at NAS Oceana on September 17th. If there is a similar protest in Virginia Beach, I will be sure to post some pictures of the North American Moonbat in the wild.

Monday, August 29, 2005

I said before my sympathy for Cindy Sheehan extended as far as the loss of her son. But no more. Because Cindy can't muster any sympathy for other mothers that lost their children. Here's her latest sorry rant:
"How can these moms who still support George Bush and his insane war in Iraq want more innocent blood shed just because their sons or daughters have been killed? I don't understand it," Sheehan stated. "I am starting to lose a little compassion for them. I know they have been as brainwashed as the rest of America, but they know the pain and heartache and they should not wish it on another. However, I still feel their pain so acutely and pray for these 'continue the murder and mayhem' moms to see the light."
So Saint Cindy feels their pain, but only she is enlightened enough to know what to do about it.

Check this out

Via A Constrained Vision comes this new utility. You will find on the sidebar, just below the email link, a new link to our "Guest Map." One click, and you can see the geographic location of our recent visitors. How cool is that?
Ceci Connolly has a column in today's Washington Post entitled "Access to Abortion Pared at State Level." Here's the first paragraph:
This year's state legislative season draws to a close having produced a near-record number of laws imposing new restrictions on a woman's access to abortion or contraception.
So, what are some of these laws? It's enlightening to see which laws are considered "restrictions" on abortion or contraception.

  • West Virginia and Florida approved legislation recognizing a pre-viable fetus, or embryo, as an independent victim of homicide

  • Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) has signed legislation that makes a "viable fetus" a distinct victim of a crime such as murder or manslaughter

  • And these laws restrict abortion how?

  • Missouri, for example, has set aside $1 million to encourage low-income pregnant women to carry a pregnancy to full term and potentially give the infant up for adoption

  • Again, how does helping women who don't want abortions put restrictions on those who do?

  • Oklahoma, Democratic Gov. Brad Henry signed a law in May that requires parental notification for minors, deems a fetus a "victim" under assault laws and mandates that abortion providers give specific counseling relating to the developmental stage of a fetus and a list of groups that support women who choose to carry a pregnancy to full term.

  • These all seem like reasonable policies to me. Certainly, it is not too much to ask women to know something about a fetus before she decides to have it removed surgically. No other medical procedure is performed without extensively educating the patient about what to expect. Why is abortion different? Why shouldn't women have all the facts prior to making her choice? And finally, how mean-spirited would you have to be to demand that a list of support groups for women whose choice in not to have an abortion shouldn't be afforded to them.

    It seems to me that people opposing these measures are pro-choice only as long as that choice is abortion every time.

    Hurricane Post #1

    According to reports, Hurricane Katrina has torn two holes in the Superdome roof, each about 4 feet by 15 feet. Ya gotta love Harald Johnson's take on the situation: "I could have stayed at home and watched my roof blow off. Instead, I came down here and watched the Superdome roof blow off. It's no big deal; getting wet is not like dying."

    At least he's keeping his sense of humor through it all.

    Friday, August 26, 2005

    The Washington Post has found it. The smoking gun that will end John roberts nomination to the Supreme Court once and for all. While writing an article for his boss, Ronald Reagan, Roberts committed the following unpardonable crime:
    A fastidious editor of other people's copy as well as his own, Roberts began with the words "Until about the time of the Civil War." Then, the Indiana native scratched out the words "Civil War" and replaced them with "War Between the States."
    Horrors! That's what a southerner would call the Civil War. Ergo, John Roberts is in favor of slavery and opposed to civil rights!! Nonsense, you say? The Post has found an expert to prove you wrong.
    "Many people who are sympathetic to the Confederate position are more comfortable with the idea of a 'War Between the States,' " McSeveney explained. "People opposed to the civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s would undoubtedly be more comfortable with the words he chose."
    Fortunately for America, we are assured that this reckless, racist phraseology was caught before Reagan submitted his article.
    But in the end, someone must have had second thoughts about using it with this more national audience. When the article was published in August 1984 under Reagan's name, it employed the more generally accepted "Civil War" terminology.
    Obviously, Roberts is a Confederate sympathiser, and must be stopped. The Washington Post has proved it.

    Thursday, August 25, 2005

    I received this in an email found this at the Bennelli Brothers, so I thought I would pass it along shamelessly ripped it off.

    1) Ziploc Bags are Male, because they hold everything in, but you can see right through them.
    2) Copiers are Female, because once turned off; it takes a while to warm them up again. It's an effective reproductive device if the right buttons are pushed, but can wreak havoc if the wrong buttons are pushed.
    3) A Tire is Male, because it goes bald and it's often over-inflated.
    4) A Hot Air Balloon is Male, because, to get it to go anywhere, you have to light a fire under it, and of course, there's the hot air part.
    5) Sponges are Female, because they're soft, squeezable and retain water.
    6) A Web Page is Female, because it's always getting hit on.
    7) A Subway is Male, because it uses the same old lines to pick people up.
    8) An Hourglass is Female, because over time, the weight shifts to the bottom.
    9) A Hammer is Male, because it hasn't changed much over the last 5,000 years, but it's handy to have around.
    10) And a Remote Control is Female, becuase it gives a man pleasure, he'd be lost without it, and while he doesn't always know the right buttons to push, he keeps trying.

    Wednesday, August 24, 2005

    What Liberal Media?

    The New York Times is publishing results of a study of Earth-shattering significance, one affecting peoples health, the sciences, nay even the nation as a whole: Study Finds 29-Week Fetuses Probably Feel No Pain and Need No Abortion Anesthesia - New York Times

    How do we know the Times attaches such import to this report? Because the front page of their website contains three separate links to it, ensuring this revelation slips past nobody. Check out the screenshot below. The Times has linked the study under National news, Health news, and Science news.

    More evidence of the ongoing obsession that liberals have attached to abortion.

    Update: I finally got around to looking at the article, which begins thusly:
    a team of doctors has concluded that fetuses probably cannot feel pain in the first six months
    Concluded probably? That doesn't sound like a conclusion to me. Later on we find this gem:
    "From the available biological evidence, it seems very unlikely that a fetus experiences what we think of as pain before 29 weeks of gestation," Dr. Rosen said
    Well that's a strong statement. From what he's seen, Dr. Rosen is pretty sure that a fetus feels no pain. At least not like we think about it.
    John Hinderaker at Power Line has some interesting perspective on the media and public opinion concerning Iraq:
    News reporting on the war consists almost entirely of itemizing casualties. Headlines say: "Two Marines killed by roadside bomb." Rarely do the accompanying stories--let alone the headlines that are all that most people read - explain where the Marines were going, or why; what strategic objective they and their comrades were pursuing, and how successful they were in achieving it; or how many terrorists were also killed. For Americans who do not seek out alternative news sources like this one, the war in Iraq is little but a succession of American casualties. The wonder is that so many Americans do, nevertheless, support it.


    The media's breathless tabulation of casualties in Iraq--now, over 1,800 deaths--is generally devoid of context. Here's some context: between 1983 and 1996, 18,006 American military personnel died accidentally in the service of their country. That death rate of 1,286 per year exceeds the rate of combat deaths in Iraq by a ratio of nearly two to one.

    That's right: all through the years when hardly anyone was paying attention, soldiers, sailors and Marines were dying in accidents, training and otherwise, at nearly twice the rate of combat deaths in Iraq from the start of the war in 2003 to the present. Somehow, though, when there was no political hay to be made, I don't recall any great outcry, or gleeful reporting, or erecting of crosses in the President's home town. In fact, I'll offer a free six-pack to the first person who can find evidence that any liberal expressed concern--any concern--about the 18,006 American service members who died accidentally in service of their country from 1983 to 1996.
    There's plenty more - a worthwhile read.

    Tuesday, August 23, 2005

    Mom asks me what "libertarian" refers to in the blog header. In the interest of keeping our reader informed, here's an excerpt from a CATO Institute article, The Coming Libertarian Age.
    Libertarianism is the view that each person has the right to live his life in any way he chooses so long as he respects the equal rights of others. Libertarians defend each person's right to life, liberty, and property--rights that people possess naturally, before governments are created. In the libertarian view, all human relationships should be voluntary; the only actions that should be forbidden by law are those that involve the initiation of force against those who have not themselves used force--actions like murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping, and fraud.

    Most people believe in and try to live by that code of ethics. Libertarians believe it should be applied to actions by governments as well as by individuals. Governments should exist only to protect rights, to protect us from others who might use force against us. When governments use force against people who have not violated the rights of others, governments themselves become rights violators. Thus libertarians condemn such government actions as censorship, the draft, confiscation of property, and regulation of our personal and economic lives.
    That's it in an admittedly very small nutshell. Anyone interested in learning more should start out at Cato's website. I don't agree with them on everything, but they certainly come a lot closer than either the Democrats or the Republicans.
    George Will points out why we should just stop whining about the cost of gasoline:
    Since the oil shocks of the 1970s, when the price of oil went from $1.80 a barrel in January 1970 ($9.80 in today's dollars) to $28.91 in December 1979 ($71.88 in today's dollars), the economy has become much more energy-efficient. Total energy consumption per dollar of gross domestic product has been cut almost in half since 1973.

    But in America, every pleasure quickly becomes an entitlement, so Americans regard as a civil-rights outrage the fact that today's relatively low price of a gallon of gasoline—relative to prices in other years—is 67.5 cents higher than last year's very low price. Americans relish the pleasure of self-pity, so only a spoilsport will mention that since 1980 the share of consumer spending that goes for energy has declined from 9 percent to 6 percent.

    Friday, August 19, 2005

    Cousin Don feels sorry for Cindy Sheehan, but it's kind of like feeling sorry for the Menendez Brothers because they're orphans. My sympathies for Mrs. Sheehan extend as far as her losing her son. Everything after that she has brought on herself. By her own admission.

    Yet another POV on Cindy

    Although I think my cousin is technically accurate in describing Cindy Sheehan as a "nutjob," I think she has good reason to be that way. This woman's life is a mess. And I feel a lot of heartfelt compassion for her despite the fact that everytime she talks it sounds like nails on a chalkboard to me.

    According to various reports, we all know that Cindy's son died in Iraq, her husband is divorcing her, her other grown children feel like she's abandoned them. The media is using and abusing her. So are various left wing groups etc...

    This woman thrust herself into the national spotlight, but I honestly believe it was because of the mess her life has become not some calculated intent for this to become the three ring circus the cable networks have turned it into.

    Just my opinion.

    Thursday, August 18, 2005

    Leftist nutjob Cindy Sheehan isn't just attracting her fellow socialists to her camp outside President Bush's ranch. Ben Shapiro notes that she has second contingent of support: neo-nazis. And what is it about Cindy that has attracted the David Dukes of the world? Good old fashioned Jew-hating:
    Iraq wasn't going to attack America or nuke America. But Iraq was a threat – to Israel. That was the real threat and had been for 15 years. But for the U.S. government, this was the threat that couldn't speak its name. Europe doesn't care much about that threat. And the U.S. government didn't think they should lean too much on it, because going to war to protect Israel wouldn't be popular.
    Yep, the ever-popular leftist "the Jews made us do it" meme. Here's a sample of her support from the "White Nationalist" movement:
    I've known Cindy for over a year now, and no, she wouldn't spit in anyone's face for what they said....while she's not a WN, she’s a decent person who resents deeply what Bush has done with his lies in creating this war, and using the US for Israel's interests. I feel like she does about these Neo Con/Israel created wars.
    Ah, with friends like that . . .

    Wednesday, August 17, 2005

    A New (London) Low

    We all remember Kelo V New London, in which New London, Connecticut took control of private homes by eminent domain and turned the property over to a private developer. The home owners sued, eventually losing their case in an outrageous Supreme Court ruling.

    Now, from the Fairfield County Weekly comes this little tidbit of government thuggery:
    New London is claiming that the affected homeowners were living on city land for the duration of the lawsuit and owe back rent. It's a new definition of chutzpah: Confiscate land and charge back rent for the years the owners fought confiscation.

    In some cases, their debt could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Moreover, the homeowners are being offered buyouts based on the market rate as it was in 2000.
    Via Hit and Run

    Monday, August 15, 2005

    Eco-Friendly Burial Sites

    They say you can't take it with you. Unless, of course, "it" is environmental lunacy. That you can take.
    When he died in a traffic accident last year, Mr. Odom, 41, became the first of 40 people at Fernwood cemetery to move on to greener pastures - literally. He was buried un-embalmed in a biodegradable pine coffin painted with daisies and rainbows, his soul marked by prairie grasses instead of a granite colossus.
    What the heck is "biodegradable pine?" Isn't all wood biodegradable? Heck, even preservative treated wood rots eventually. And by the way, when thay biodegradable pine biodegrades, you know what you're going to be left with? A coffin-sized sinkhole in the middle of your precious meadow.

    I intended to add a little analysis of the article, but it is too much. Paragraph after paragraph of moonbat lunacy. Competing theories of just what constitutes "true" eco-friendly burial, burial shrouds made of anti-Bush t-shirts and hemp, recycled newspaper sarcophagi and "little boutique cemeteries with a social justice component." Was this stuff covered at Kyoto?

    Smoking gun ignored - The Boston Globe

    Eileen McNamara has written a column for the Boston Globe advocating that smoking be banned nationwide. Apparently, the source of her outrage is that a bad habit has had a disproportionate effect on her family, so we all just need to knock it off.
    Lung disease took Uncle Vincent, too, as it had taken his brother, Daniel, my father, and a score of other McNamaras, including my mother, Frances. Most of them, like most Americans who die of lung disease, had been smokers.


    Why then do we still sanction the sale of tobacco products? Why are our anemic public health efforts aimed at eliminating smoking in public places or restricting tobacco sales to those over age 18? Why do we talk about tobacco control instead of tobacco elimination?
    My answer to these questions is twofold: firstly, tobacco prohibition simply won't work. It didn't work with alcohol, it's not working with marijuana or cocaine, and it won't work with tobacco. If you think "Big Tobacco" is bad, wait until sale and distribution of cigarettes is taken over by the criminal drug cartels.

    Secondly, where would we be if we set out to ban all risky behaviors? Scuba diving, sky diving, swimming, rock climbing, automobiles, or even fatty foods could have just as easily claimed Ms. McNamara's kinfolk Should all be outlawed? What then to do about alcohol, football, boxing, stairs, and bathtubs? You can't legislate risk out of life, and you shouldn't try.

    It's a big bad world out there...

    Saturday, August 13, 2005

    Intelligent Design Debate

    From the I couldn't agree more and definitely couldn't have said it better myself category, comes this eloquent and well-thought out statement on Evolution vs. Intelligent Design from Francis Collins, director of the human genome project:

    "I see no conflict in what the Bible tells me about God and what science tells me about nature. Like St. Augustine in A.D. 400, I do not find the wording of Genesis 1 and 2 to suggest a scientific textbook but a powerful and poetic description of God's intentions in creating the universe. The mechanism of creation is left unspecified. If God, who is all powerful and who is not limited by space and time, chose to use the mechanism of evolution to create you and me, who are we to say that wasn't an absolutely elegant plan? And if God has now given us the intelligence and the opportunity to discover his methods, that is something to celebrate."

    Read the whole statement along with four other folk's opinions at Time magazine's website.

    Friday, August 12, 2005

    From Spokane, Washington:
    A committee charged with laying the blueprint for a proposed gay business district in Spokane has identified possible locations for the district and hopes to meet with the city council by the end of the year to solidify plans.
    A gay business district? Can you imagine the outcry if someone were to suggest a straight business district? There would be howls of homophobia, calls for diversity, and the ACLU would file a lawsuit. Then would come the apologies from the promoters, who would be obliged to fake tears in order to appease the activists demanding "tolerance."
    Reguindin said the purpose of creating a gay business district, or "hate-free zone," is to provide a supportive place where people will be comfortable being gay.
    "It can look like those districts that are already established," he said. "It would just be more gay."
    What the heck is a "more gay" business district? One in which gays will be free to grope each other in public without fear of someone thinking "That just ain't right." Because what other gay behavior offends people? It's 2005, and people over the age of seventeen no longer make fun of mincing men. They're here, they're queer, we're used to it.

    It's instructive to remember what happens when Disney World gets more gay: "Not only did we see men kissing men, but these shirtless homosexuals were twisting the nipples of each other and fondling the butts and groins of their 'lovers.' And all this occurred right out in the open at a Disney theme park.".
    Said committee co-coordinator Bonnie Aspen, "We need to have a place where we can hold hands and have it be OK."
    Does anyone really believe the point of this thing to create a business district for hand-holding?

    As long as Cousin Don is turning this blog into a cosmology forum, we might as well have pretty pictures to look at. This is the Orion Nebula, which can be found near Orion's belt in the winter months. A nice view can be had with a set of binoculars, but for a real treat track down a large aperture telescope.

    Thursday, August 11, 2005

    More problems with the big bang...

    OK, some more physics dork stuff to follow up on my last post with some more recent issues with the big bang.

    In addition to vacuum or dark energy, which are different from dark matter, it now seems that measurements of cool or "flat" spots in the cosmic background microwave radiation don't seem to be jiving with the big bang theory.

    This radiation is supposed to be the left over noise signature from the big bang. But it seems the better our measuring tools get the more we learn we're not as smart as we thought we were.

    And I'm still struggling with the speed of light not being constant.

    Tuesday, August 09, 2005

    Rapid Expansion

    Contrary to my cousin's recent claim in his post on the NY Times and blogging, there are two things that expand at a seemingly ever increasing rate:

    1. The universe:

    Recently evidence is mounting that the universe is expanding still at an increasing rate due to something scientists are calling "vacuum energy." The scientists called it vacuum energy because no one would take them seriously if they called it "What The F-ck Energy" which is what they were all thinking.

    2. My beer gut:

    Since nearing 35 my continuing consumption of hops beverages has resulted in ever increasing girth with no signs of slowing.

    Jason at Countercolumntakes down the New York Times. And hard.
    The reason we see so few positive stories in your paper is, quite frankly, because you have failed. You have failed your readership, and you have failed your community. You have failed because you are so immersed in the dysfunction of reflexive urban liberalism that, like the drunken, lampshade-wearing man who embarrasses himself and everyone around him at the company Christmas party, your shortcomings have become patently obvious to everyone around you except yourself and your enablers.

    How Low Can They Go - II

    News Report:
    NARAL Pro-Choice America, a pro-abortion advocacy group, has launched a nationwide television ad campaign linking Supreme Court nominee John Roberts with "anti-choice extremists who use bombings and other forms of intimidation against women, doctors, and nurses at women's health clinics."


    "In the four years before John Roberts argued Bray vs. Alexandria Women's Health Clinic in front of the Supreme Court, anti-choice radicals were responsible for at least 48 bombings and arsons in 24 states, along with 57 acid attacks, more than 4,000 disruptive acts such as bomb threats, harassing calls and hate mail," said Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, at a press conference on Monday.
    Yesterday, Republicans were "Nazi tyrants." Today, they are intimidating bombers. This is what passes for political debate from self-described "progressives."

    Friday, August 05, 2005

    Measuring the Blogosphere - New York Times

    The Times has posted an editorial on blogging. Typically, it contains lots of impressive words while saying very little.
    If the blogosphere continues to expand at this rate, every person who has Internet access will be a blogger before long, if not an actual reader of blogs.
    Anything growing rapidly will eventually fill its universe if it doesn't slow down; that's why nothing ever continues to expand rapidly. The Times has told us nothing with this observation.
    The conventional media - this very newspaper, for instance - have often discussed the growing impact of blogging on the coverage of news.
    Strangely, we never get to read the substance of these discussions, which would be more interesting than simply knowing that they occurred.
    But blogs are often just a way of making oneself appear on the Internet. It's like a closed-circuit video camera that catches a glimpse of you walking by an electronics store window filled with televisions. There you are in all your glory, suddenly, if not forever, mediated.
    Yeah, it's just like that. Except that you use a computer, you have to type stuff, and other people get to read it. Other than that it's just like standing in front of a store looking in. And just for the record, "mediated" does not mean to be seen on a medium as the Times uses it. These wordsmiths go on to finish with a flurry:
    It's natural enough to think of the growth of the blogosphere as a merely technical phenomenon. But it's also a profoundly human phenomenon, a way of expanding and, in some sense, reifying the ephemeral daily conversation that humans engage in. Every day the blogosphere captures a little more of the strange immediacy of the life that is passing before us. Think of it as the global thought bubble of a single voluble species. Emphasis added
    Huh? Did anyone get that? I'm no New Yorker, but I'm no idiot either. If one accepts that one's writing represents one's thoughts, there is some murky thinking indeed at The Times.

    The Latest "Human Right"

    So new research supports circumcision:
    An international AIDS conference in Brazil last week was told that researchers tracking 3,000 young African men in a randomized controlled trial found the number of HIV infections among those who had been circumcised to be three times lower than among those who had not.
    Now I have no opinion on this matter. For all I know the circumcised men in this study were all very religious, and hence less likely to be promiscuous as a matter of faith. But proving that there isn't any aspect of peoples lives they don't want to leave unlegislated, the moonbats see a grave unjustice in the making.
    "Circumcision of children is genital mutilation ... and the U.N. needs to take action now to ensure that male circumcision is performed only on fully informed consenting adults," he said.

    ... [snip] ...

    The group is currently looking for a legislative sponsor in Congress for the Male Genital Mutilation Bill, which seeks to make it an offense to circumcise, or help or facilitate circumcision, of a child or a "nonconsenting" adult, punishable by a maximum 14-year prison term. It would also prohibit Americans from arranging circumcisions abroad.
    A 14-year prison term. For practicing Judaism, or Islam for that matter. The incredible hubris of these "human rights" advocates boggles the mind.

    Thursday, August 04, 2005

    How Low Can You Go?

    The New York Times is proving that there is no rock too slimy for them to throw according to Drudge:
    The NEW YORK TIMES is looking into the adoption records of the children of Supreme Court Nominee John G. Roberts, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

    The TIMES has investigative reporter Glen Justice hot on the case to investigate the status of adoption records of Judge Roberts’ two young children, Josie age 5 and Jack age 4, a top source reveals.
    My reaction is identical the unnamed top Republican official: "This can't possibly be true."

    Update: James Taranto at his Best of the Web Today column adds this: "And it's very important to investigate every aspect of a prospective Supreme Court justice's life. After all, he may threaten the right to privacy!"

    Wednesday, August 03, 2005

    Rush Limbaugh facetiously calls it "Club Gitmo." Now some more congressmen have returned from a tour, and it sounds like our prison in Guantanamo might really be "your tropical retreat from the stress of jihad." Representative Jon Porter, quoted in the Las Vegas Review Journal:
    Porter, R-Nev., said the military-run camp compares favorably to Nevada prisons, and that many of the captives "are happy to be there," where they can get medical and dental care.

    "I would only wish that my loved ones or anyone's loved ones could be treated as well if they were captured by (Osama) bin Laden," Porter said.
    Proving that there is no pleasing some people, Amnesty International isn't impressed, and they have adopted the Quantum Prison Observation Theory that the act of inspecting a prison alters its reality:
    Mona Cadena, a field organizer for Amnesty International in San Francisco, said Tuesday she was not certain the congressional visitors got a complete picture of Guantanamo. The organization has called for the Bush administration to charge the prisoners under U.S. law or to release them.

    "I think it is hard in one day to see the full story," Cadena said. "I think Amnesty knows that whenever anyone is invited to a prison, either on U.S. soil or around the world, that things are prettied up."
    Sounds like Amnesty International needs to invest in an SR-71 Blackbird so they can conduct a proper prison inspection, since they obviously don't trust their own eyes.

    Proper Pampering for Prof Participation

    I just sat through a WebEx presentation called Using Housing as a Nexus for First Year Student Success and Retention.

    The program was directed at College and University housing adminstrators, with a focus on creating living and learning communities in residence halls and facilities, as opposed to simply "wharehousing" the students. Of particular interest to me was the presenters' take on dealing with faculty. Apparently, it ain't easy. Here's some of the advice they had:

  • Faculty will not be interested without tangible rewards and recognition. It's not enough to help the students anymore. Medals and presentation ceremonies recognizing faculty participation are strongly encouraged.

  • Develop a thick skin and try to understand the faculty. The presenters feel that academics are specifically trained to attack others ideas while simultaneously defending their own with "extreme vigor." They are apparently often suspicious of any idea that is not their own.

  • Get over yourself. Well they didn't say it in so many words, but they did say that housing staffers should "be comfortable in the role of a subordinate." Because the faculty won't have it any other way, no matter how many degrees you have.

  • One "trick" used at the University of South Carolina to make their programs work is called "Out to Lunch." Students are given vouchers good for a free meal anywhere in the University dining system, and they can use to take a favorite faculty member to lunch. Apparently, breaking bread with the little people is oh so much more tolerable if it's free.

    To be sure, not all college and university faculty fit into these categories; I had many good professors that would have gone to any lengths to be helpful to their students. Still, the fact that these housing experts felt the need to make it such a prominent part of their presentation is sure telling.

    Tuesday, August 02, 2005

    Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, on John Bolton's recess appointment:
    (E)ven while the president preaches democracy around the world, he bends the rules and circumvents the will of Congress."
    We have a majority ready to vote in favor of Bolton, but a minority of Senators band together and refuse to permit a vote. Yet, to Lautenberg, it is Bush that is circumventing the will of Congress.