Visit this site for verifiably accurate opinions on all things political - in contradistinction to the INcorrect opinions you are likely to find elsewhere. I'm an American Libertarian Nationalist Republican. Ponder that one a while. Almost all are welcome, but at the request of management: no vegetarians or soccer fans, please. We have our reasons. Thank you and welcome to: Revealed Truth.
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Saturday, January 25, 2003
NR Goes PC
John Miller of National Review Online is offended by the fact that the Tampa Bay football team is called the "Buccaneers." Pirates, he breathlessly informs us, weren't very nice guys.
Must be a slow news week. However, it wasn't a total loss. I'm not quite sure why, but I did find this map of the locations and numbers of piracies in the year 2002 fairly interesting. What the heck is going on with Indonesia?
Right after graduating high school in Jamaica in the early '90's, Ronald Dixon came to America. Dixon served honorably in the U.S. Navy from 1994 to 1997, and now he works two computer-related jobs: during the week as an engineer at the Carnegie Center, and on the weekends at a financial firm. He does this so he can provide a decent life for his two children: a two-year-old boy and an eight-year-old girl. Just this past June, Dixon moved his family into a small brick house in a "quiet neighborhood" in Canarsie, New York.
Then in December, this happened to Ronald Dixon:
At 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday five weeks ago, Dixon was home in bed because he had called in sick. It was almost time for Kyle to wake up and run down the hall to his parents' room to watch his "Barney" video.
"I was supposed to be at work the night before, and would have gotten home about noon," Dixon recalled. "I was not totally asleep, and I heard a squeak in the floorboard. I opened my eyes and see a person snooping around, peeping around outside my bedroom."
"The only thing I could think of was my family. I didn't want to move, until he went to my son's room, and he went in."
Dixon said (girfriend Tricia) Best called 911, and he got his weapon from a closet and slowly crept up to the room. He said he saw Thompson rifling through dresser drawers.
"I went in ... I looked in his face, I didn't know this guy, I was so shocked ... In a nervous voice I said, 'What are you doing in my house?' and he ran toward me, yelling, 'Come upstairs!' like there were other people with him. I shot him 'cause I thought more people were in the house."
Dixon continued, "He ran to me, I shot him and he fell down the stairs. My daughter started screaming - she had thought I got shot. My son was not in his room, he had been sleeping in my daughter's bed."
It turns out that the intruder, one Ivan Thompson, has a 14 page "rap sheet" and a criminal record miles long. He's essentially a professional burglar.
The gun Dixon used was legally purchased, but not registered in New York. According to all accounts, the registration would have been a routine matter - so we're talking about what is essentially a paperwork matter here.
The Brooklyn District Attorney wants to send this law-abiding Naval veteran who works 80 hours a week to the Rikers Island prison for four weekends.
On behalf of freedom-loving Americans everywhere, I extend to Mr. Dixon a belated:
"Welcome to America, 2003."
Friday, January 24, 2003
The First Democratic Presidential Debate
For your edification, I hereby present a sneak peek at the first Democratic presidential debate featuring the 10 individuals who have either announced or announced that they might soon announce their candidacies: Dick Gephardt, Senators John Kerry, John Edwards, Joe Biden, Joe Lieberman, and Bob Graham, former Senators Carol Mosely Braun and Gary Hart, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, and Al Sharpton. The moderator, of course, is Bill Moyers.
Moyers: “Good evening. My name is Bill Moyers and I'm speaking to you from Boston University in Boston, Massachussets - the site of the 2004 Democratic National Convention. I’ll be the moderator of this evening’s debate among the 10 leading candidates for the Democratic party’s presidential nomination. Our format will be simple. I will ask each candidate to briefly explain why he or she would be the best person to undo a specific tragically misguided policy of the present occupant of the White House. Respondents who are insufficiently vitriolic will be asked a follow-up question so that they may have a chance for redemption.”
“The first question goes to Representative Dick Gephardt. Dick, please give provide us with some hyperbole concerning the Bush administration’s concerted exploitation of the public’s land, air and water. I’d particularly like you to mention arsenic in the water, global warming, the holes in the ozone layer and the ongoing SUV problem, and blame President Bush for as many real and imagined environmental calamities as possible.”
Gephardt: “It’s funny you should mention that. I was talking with my good friend and noted anti-SUV activist Ariana Huffington about those things just the other day. Ariana used to be a Republican, you know, but only because she was married to one. You’ve probably also noticed Ariana’s hair color is very similar to mine. Anyway, ‘Ariana,’ I asked her, ‘What do you suppose made your ex-husband turn gay? You aren’t THAT ugly. Now your voice is certainly grating, I’ll give you that. But it hardly seems like something that should drive a man to homosexuality.’
“Ariana got very serious then. She does that when she’s talking about important subjects about which she knows very little. And do you know what Ariana said to me? I’ll never forget it. She said, ‘Dick. Do you think I sound like Lisa Douglas on Green Acres? I hear that all the time and it’s really starting to bother me.’”
“I think that pretty much says it all.”
Moyers: “Very moving. Our next question goes to former Senator Carol Mosely Braun. Ms. Braun, could you tell us what you hate most about Republicans? Is it their greed? The way they rape the environment? Their racism, sexism and homophobia? Why do YOU hate Republicans?”
Mosely Braun: “Bill, I’d like to use a lifeline. I’ll take the 50-50.”
Moyers: “Thank you. On to Gary Hart. Senator Hart, you are famous for your advocacy of ‘new ideas.’ This is, of course, in stark contrast to the stale, ineffective, regressive, mean-spirited ideas advocated by all Republicans except for John McCain. Don’t you agree?”
Hart: “Absolutely, Bill! We need new ideas. For specifics, I refer you to the position papers I issued during my 1988 presidential campaign.”
Moyers: “Poignant. On to Senator Bob Graham. Senator Graham, wouldn’t you say that warmongering is a very, very bad thing? And if so, isn’t it then fair to say that President Bush is just as bad as Adolf Hitler?”
Graham: “Before I answer that, Bill, I’d just like to thank you for the service you’ve given our country over your many decades as a journalist. You are an inspiration to reporters everywhere and have proven without a doubt that it is possible to be a fair, objective newsperson so long as you work for several years in the administrations of Democratic presidents.”
Moyers: “There’s really nothing more I can add to that. Let us move now to Senator John Edwards.....”
Mosely Braun: “NO. I take that back. I want to phone a friend....”
Moyers: “Ahem. Senator Edwards, we’ve talked a lot tonight about President Bush. But are we being fair? Isn’t Dick Cheney every bit as loathsome as Bush? And as a follow up, how do you respond to the charge that you once made a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate which did not accuse Republicans of wanting to starve children, despoil the environment, or eviscerate the constitution? I realize this is a tough question, but these charges are out there and I think they need to be answered.”
Edwards: “It is true that I am a moderate. You will notice if you listen carefully that I have a southern accent, which is no accident. Speaking of accidents: I’d like to take this opportunity to let your viewers at home know that if they’ve been injured at work, or in an automobile accident, they may be eligible for substantial litigation awards.......
Moyers: “We’re running a little short on time.....”
Mosely Braun: “Does anyone know the country dialing code for Nigeria?”
Moyers: “Our next question is for Howard Dean. Mr. Dean. Who, exactly, are you again?”
Dean: “I hate Republicans more than everyone else on this stage combined. I think that, combined with the fact that I was governor of the state of Vermont for 11 years makes me eminently qualified to be President. Don’t bother trying to find out what I did as governor, by the way. The records have been sealed.”
Moyers: “Well, you sound alright to me. Let’s go now to Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts. Senator, if you look to your right you will see Senator Joe Biden of Delaware. If you look to your left, you will see Al Sharpton. Based on what you know of the character and intellect of these two individuals, and based on what you know of their respective platforms, which of these two men would you say has the most ridiculous looking hair?
Kerry: “Bill, it isn’t a question of the ridiculousness or non-ridiculousness of any particular hair style. It’s a question of simple FAIRNESS. I, for example, being married to an extremely wealthy woman, can afford the beautiful hairstyle before you now. But our goal should be to build a society where EVERYONE can....”
Sharpton: “Blah blah blah. You jews are always talking about fairness. But you own all the newspapers and the jewelry stores, and....
Kerry: “I’M NOT JEWISH! Lieberman‘s the jew!”
Senator Joe Lieberman: “That’s right. I‘m the jew. And I‘d like to truly apologize to anyone that might offend. While my religious faith is very important to me, I try not to let it in any way influence my thinking, morality, actions, or...........”
Moyer: “Please, please! Let’s keep religion out of this. Religion has no place on this stage. Or anywhere else.”
All: “Here, here!!”
Moyer: “Senator Biden, we have just one minute left. Is there anything you would like to say on behalf of your candidacy?”
Biden: “That’s perfect, Bill. Yes, I would like to say a few words. I stayed up late last night composing a brief message I would like to convey to the American people, and it goes like this.
“When in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation. I therefore say ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. God Bless America.”
Moyers: “I might just cry. Thank you all for your inspiring words. That concludes our debate. Good night. And remember to vote Democratic!”
Mosely Braun: “Can somebody give me a ride home?”
Kerry: “I came here with Teddy Kennedy. I'm sure he'll be happy to drop you off at your hotel.”
Mosely Braun: "Ummmm. Come to think of it, it's a nice evening for a walk."
Sharpton: “Damned jews.”
Thursday, January 23, 2003
John Ray notes with understandable and merited pride that the Aussies have commited troops to join the effort against Iraq. He goes on to wonder how the New York Times would headline the story. "Troops depart amid controversy," he suggested.
He's half right. Here's how the Great Gray Lady would really headline the story:
"Troops depart amid controversy: women and minorities hardest hit"
Looks like Snow White now has three spare dwarfs. GARY FREAKING HART is talking about making a presidential run!
Wednesday, January 22, 2003
One small step for sanity.....
That lawsuit against McDonalds for making people fat has been thrown out.
It's going down to -2 degrees F tonight in Chicago.
But as of this writing it's only 16 days, 23 hours, 31 minutes, and 30 seconds until pitchers and catchers report for spring training. I feel warmer already.
Ahhh. This is good news. The Senate has already scheduled a confirmation hearing for appelate court nominee Miguel Estrada.
"Estrada would be the first Hispanic judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, considered a stepping stone to the Supreme Court. However, his record does not give any clear indication of just how conservative he is, which is a vexing concern for Democrats."
The Democrats will delay and obfuscate as much as possible, of course. The rules of the senate will allow for a bit of success in that regard, and we already know they're putting together a plan to do just that. At the very least, there will plenty of the predictable bleating and braying from the predictable quarters.
Nevertheless, this is a good sign. Bill Frist is off to a good start.
It's politically adept in two ways. First, being hispanic, Estrada's nomination is a difficult one for the Democrats to demagogue too vociferously - particularly given his limited "paper trail." Plus, they'll have to pick their battles carefully lest they wind up looking like shallow political opportunists to those poor deluded elements of their constituency who haven't yet realized that that's just what they are. Pickering's coming up soon, after all, and they'll want to roll out their big guns for him.
This should be fun.
Tuesday, January 21, 2003
Here is the most provocative and interesting stuff I've seen on the web in quite some time. It's the Anti-Inclusiveness FAQ by Jim Kalb, and while I'm still taking it all in, it has much to consider. The writing style is a little heavy - I'd call it academic - but it can be plod through. It's worth the effort.
Want to know why Tom Dashle is one of the few Democrat U.S. senators NOT running for President? Slate has a theory. It seem his wife Linda is a lobbyist for the airlines, among others.
So what? Ordinarily I would agree. So what? But there's more. Listen to this, from the Slate article.
"Her most conspicuous achievement was to shoehorn into the Transportation Department budget a requirement that the FAA purchase at least half its baggage scanners from L-3 International, which is one of her clients. The L-3 scanner turned out to be a lemon. A month after the Sept. 11 attacks, the Transportation Department's inspector general explained to Congress why nine L-3s that were supposed to be installed at specific airline terminals around the country weren't there:
'The nine L-3 machines remain in the warehouse because there have been operational problems with these machines. For example, the L-3 machine at the Dallas Ft. Worth airport (DFW) had operational problems from the day it was installed in the spring 2000. Between July 2000 and July 2001, the L-3 machine at DFW experienced a mean time between failures requiring a service call of 84 hours, and a mean time to repair of almost 6 hours. This means that if the machine broke at the start of the day, it would be out of service for most of that day's screening operation. FAA is in the process of conducting its own demonstration of two L-3 machines at its Technical Center in New Jersey. FAA operated the machines for a total of 900 hours during the first run of its demonstration to derive valid, independent operational data on reliability and availability. This first run resulted in high failure rates, mostly requiring software resets.'"
Here's a wonderful look at the sort of people who took part in last weekend's "anti-war rallies." I'm not sure which sign I like best: the one with the photo of Bush morphed into Hitler, or the one that reads "The only difference between Bush and Saddam is that Saddam was elected."
Found via Right Wing News, which also pointed me to this very witty parody of an Ari Fleischer press conference on a blog entitled IMAO. Here's a sample:
"I think the president welcomes the fact that we are a democracy and people in the United States, unlike Iraq, are free to yadda yadda yadda," Fleischer responded, now staring at the Gameboy quite intensely, apparently fighting a boss monster in the game Metroid Fusion that he was playing.
"You’re not even paying attention to us!" shouted another reporter.
Fleischer then angrily chucked his Gameboy at the reporter, striking him in the head. "There, I paid you some attention."
"Ow! That hurt!" cried the reporter.
"Ow! That hurt!" Fleischer repeated in a high-pitch, mocking voice.
"You’re the meanest press secretary ever!" the man yelled before running out of the press conference crying.
"Anyone else want to waste my time with one of your idiotic questions?" Fleischer asked angrily.
Helen Thomas then stood up.
"Merciful God, please kill me now," Fleischer was heard muttering.
Monday, January 20, 2003
Well how did I miss this one? Apparently Senator Bob Graham is also going to run for the Democratic Presidential nomination. That makes nine, if you actually count Carol Measley Brain. Which I certainly do, because the prospect makes me laugh every time I think about it and I enjoy a good laugh immensely.
Back to reality, though. I think it would be a lot more efficient if just the Democratic senators who AREN'T running for President would hold press conferences to make their announcements.
The bad hair quotient is about to soar even further in the Democratic Presidential field. Senator Joe Biden is apparently going to announce his candidacy.
Let's see. We've got: Carol Measley Brain, Joe "hair-plugs" Biden, Dick "Opie" Gephardt, Senator John "Lerch" Kerry, Al "Get the Jew!" Sharpton, Vermont Governor Howard "who?" Dean, Senator Joe "Ichabod" Lieberman, and Senator John "Clinton Lite" Edwards who have either announced or are expected to announce their candidacies. So far. I think I've got them all.
If you're counting, that's eight. Three of whom (Biden, Sharpton and Kerry) have extremely bad hair and can therefore be immediately dismissed, if you're handicapping. What I don't understand is why people who have no chance whatsoever of winning the nomination put themselves through the embarrassment of an inevitable trouncing.
Isn't just being a Democrat embarrassing enough?
Here's an excellent column on Nationalpost.com about race preferences in school admissions. I hadn't heard about the San Francisco high school case the author (Deroy Murdock) cites. Positively unconscionable and - if I may use so politically incorrect a term - unamerican.
Here's a sample:
"This is academic racial profiling. If -- as civil rights activists scream until they swoon -- it is wrong for cops to see a black man and assume he is a criminal, why is it right for Michigan to see someone and assume he needs special help simply for applying while black?....
"Michigan's system should go the way of the recently rejected entrance exam at San Francisco's Lowell Academy. This selective government high school's admissions test had a perfect score of 69 points. Students of Chinese descent needed at least 62 points to pass. Whites and "other Asians" required 58 points for admission while blacks and Hispanics could gain entrance with just 53 points.
Talk about degrading. Who were San Francisco's educrats to deem blacks and Hispanics intellectually inferior to other students? And were all these Chinese kids brilliant? Surely a few of them were dim bulbs...."
According to MSNBC, Scott Ritter, the smarmy, officious former weapons inspector who has been one of Saddam Hussein's biggest allies in his effort to avoid the wrath of the U.S. military, was arrested in 2001 "on charges he tried to lure a 16-year-old girl he met on the Internet to a Burger King in Menands." More graphic detail is provided in the story linked above.
Sunday, January 19, 2003
The REAL Symbolism of the Confederate Flag
“It’s a symbol of slavery!”
“It’s symbol of our heritage!”
“It’s a symbol of oppression!”
“It’s a symbol of pride!”
It all reminds me of that Saturday Night Live commercial parody. Remember? A couple in its kitchen, arguing. “New Shimmer is a floor wax!” “No. New Shimmer is a desert topping!”
In walks Chevy Chase, exclaiming, in his best affected TV-announcer voice: “Now, now kids - New Shimmer is a floor wax....AND a desert topping!” I particularly liked the tag line: “New Shimmer. The best shine you’ve ever tasted.”
Like the couple in the SNL skit, both sides are right about the confederate flag. And while the issue is in many ways of less import than the Great Shimmer Debate, it looks like it’s about to be resurrected yet again. Dick Gephardt is trying to score points in his presidential bid by pressuring the governor of Missouri to remove the flag from two historic sites in the state. And the NAACP is getting all revved up again.
I’m not a southerner. The nearest claim I can make to the status of Johnny Rebel is that I used to spend a week every Summer visiting my grandparents in Oklahoma - which isn‘t really The South. I enjoyed it too. Other than that, since age 9, with the exception of spending four years attending Kansas University, I’ve spent my whole life in the Chicago area.
My Yankeehood notwithstanding, I stand in strong solidarity with pro-flag folks. In fact, I’d really like to fly one in my front yard. Alas, having no southern roots, and living hundreds of miles north of the Mason-Dixon line, I fear the only statement that would really make is that I am not a geographer and quite possibly a very confused person.
Why am I pro-flag? Not for the reasons cited by flag supporters. History doesn’t evaporate because a flag isn’t flown in a particular location, and “heritage” isn’t something that can be taken away from you by the mere confiscation of symbols. But then, I don’t think these people are really pro-flag for the reasons they cite. Nor are they pro-flag for the reasons their opponents offer; namely that they pine for slavery, segregation and secession.
No, it’s a question of symbolism, alright; but not of the type either side articulates. To understand the TRUE symbolism of the Confederate Flag issue, circa 2003, you need to examine the motivations not of flag supporters - who are, after all, only simply reacting to anti-flag activists - but of the anti-Stars-and-Bars crowd. Why do they (pretend to) care so much? Are we really expected to believe that these blowhards are cut to the quick by the sight of this particular piece of cloth? That blacks eight generations removed from slavery are caused grievous psychic pain by its mere sight?
Call me insensitive, but I say an emphatic “balderdash!” No, really. Call me insensitive. Please. Our country can use a lot more insensitivity. Our pathetic national sensitivity on matters of race has become a weapon in the hands of the most despicable frauds and hucksters on the political landscape. And I don’t mean just John McCain. There’s a subspecies of leftist whose ultimate psychic gratification - indeed whose entire reason for being - lies in coercing apologies, guilt and interminable self-immolation from targeted segments of American society. These people are nothing more than psychological blackmailers of the highest order, preying on guilt that too many have been falsely convinced they should feel.
So what is the proper way to respond to a blackmailer? Well, with a financial blackmailer you can always just pay the money and hope he doesn’t come back for more. This, in effect, is the strategy many flag defenders have chosen up to this point. “We’ll take it down here, if you just let us have it on some monuments....OF COURSE we understand the pain it causes. We’re so sorry about that. Just let us put the flag in some real out-of-the-way places and we promise we won’t ask for any more.”
Ayn Rand had a name for this: “The sanction of the victim.”
The other option, of course, is not to submit to blackmail. This is the moral - but not the easy - choice. Particularly with the confederate flag, when all of “polite society” seems to be on one side. How much easier to compromise, even to surrender, than to fight for a cause when the fight only results in scorn and ridicule.
And THIS is why I support the flag. I’m really supporting the flag supporters, who are making the courageous moral decision not to submit to the psychological blackmail of the national media, NAACP and morally bankrupt dullards like John McCain, eager to affix themselves to any cause that will bring upon them the warm embrace of the national press.
I am in many respects indifferent to their cause, but by refusing to bow to intimidation, the confederate flag stalwarts are acting in the finest American tradition. And given what I know of the type seeking their submission, I say “Fight on!.” Given what I know about the flag’s opponents and their motivations, I am left with only one sentiment on the subject.
The Confederate Flag. Long may she wave.
As a symbol. Not of the Confederacy, but of an idea. The flagmailers believe they can make resistors to their agenda submit on any issue given enough time, persistence and media support. The flag supporters should turn their beloved flag into a symbol of an idea important to our present-day polity and crucial to the survival of any meaningful form of liberty.
“No you can’t.”