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New for 2005!
51 Things You Can Do To Annoy The Politically Correct
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Saturday, January 08, 2005
And the Unfortunate Choice of Words Award for 2005 goes to....
Yes, yes, I know. We're only a week into the year. Nevertheless, I think we can shut down nominations and give this year's prize to....
For the hilarious lack of self-awareness he demonstrated with this comment, directed to Attorney General nominee Alberto Gonzales:
"It certainly appears to me that water-boarding, with all its descriptions about drowning someone, would come awfully close to getting over the border...I certainly wouldn't have had a part of that as a human being."
(Thanks to Laura Ingraham's website for providing the exact quote.)
Really....what can I add to that one?
Environmentalist Creed: "Save the Mosquitos. Let the People Die."
So says Nicholas Kristof in this Op-Ed piece in today's New York Times. From what I've read, the defacto ban on DDT in most of the world qualifies as one of the most underreported scandals of the past several decades.
"If the U.S. wants to help people in tsunami-hit countries like Sri Lanka and Indonesia - not to mention other poor countries in Africa - there's one step that would cost us nothing and would save hundreds of thousands of lives.
It would be to allow DDT in malaria-ravaged countries....
In the 1950's, 60's and early 70's, DDT was used to reduce malaria around the world, even eliminating it in places like Taiwan. But then the growing recognition of the harm DDT can cause in the environment - threatening the extinction of the bald eagle, for example - led DDT to be banned in the West and stigmatized worldwide. Ever since, malaria has been on the rise.
The poor countries that were able to keep malaria in check tend to be the same few that continued to use DDT, like Ecuador. Similarly, in Mexico, malaria rose and fell with the use of DDT. South Africa brought back DDT in 2000, after a switch to other pesticides had led to a surge in malaria, and now the disease is under control again. The evidence is overwhelming: DDT saves lives."
But Western relief agencies, including those of the U.N. won't pay for malaria eradication programs that use DDT. Why? Other than what Kristof calls "bureaucratic caution and interia," the only reason offered is that there's "some research suggesting that (DDT) could lead to premature births."
As Kristof also points out, though, it's far better to be exposed to DDT than malaria! So you tell me. Why does this ban remain in effect?
Friday, January 07, 2005
This just in: Brits don't want to vacation in Dubai
If you're like me, you often find yourself wondering how the typical British subject views the prospect of vacationing in Dubai.
Well, we're both in luck because that question and others are answered in this London Telegraph survey of British attitudes toward the various nations of the world (found via John Ray).
Most of the findings are fairly unsurprising. Brits really like Australia, voting it both the country where they would most like to take a holiday, and the country with the friendliest people by fairly large margins.
The U.S. tends to rate on both extremes, finishing in the top five for example in both the "friendliest" and "least friendly" categories. Brits also regard the U.S. as the most unsafe country, ranking us just behind Israel.
And speaking of Israel: by far the most surprising and troubling finding was that the Brits have succumbed to their media's profoundly negative treatment of Israel. Incredibly, Israel was voted the "least beautiful country," the country where they would least like to take a holiday, the country least deserving of international respect, and the country where they would least like to live. And despite having a fully functioning democracy, Israel was voted the fourth "least democratic country," after only China, Russia, and Dubai.
There but for the grace of the alternative media go we.
You Can Shop at Staples Again!
Staples says it ISN'T punishing Sinclair after all!
"To clarify that Staples does not have a policy against advertising on Sinclair Broadcast Group news, Staples has the following statement:
Our media buying process with Sinclair Broadcast Group stations has recently been misrepresented by an organization with no affiliation to Staples. Staples regularly drops and adds specific programs from our media buying schedule, as we evaluate and adjust how to best reach our customers. We do not let political agendas drive our media buying decisions.
Staples does not support any political party. We advertise with a variety of media outlets, but do not necessarily share the same views of these organizations or what they report. As we have done for a number of years, Staples will continue to advertise on Sinclair Broadcast Group stations(emphasis mine)."
In case you are unaware, the "organization with no affiliation to Staples" to which they refer is MediaMatters, run by noted conservative-turned-homosexual David Brock. MediaMatters just ran this press release yesterday bragging about intimidating Staples into boycotting Sinclair.
First W gets officially elected. Then Joe Biden makes a fool of himself in the Gonzales confirmation hearing. Now this.
It's been a good day!
The Murdering Mother You HAVEN'T Heard About
By now you have probably heard that Andrea Yates' conviction for killing her five children has been overturned by the Texas 1st Court of Appeals.
It seems that some psychiatrist testified that Yates once watched a TV show that never really existed. So of course her conviction for five murders was overturned. Makes perfect sense to me.
I think the Texas 1st Court of Appeals might want to plead Insanity.
Anyway, you probably HAVEN'T heard about an arguably much worse miscarriage of justice handed down on the same day in my home state of Illinois.
In June of 2003, 18 year-old Jenny Sotomayor gave birth to a baby girl. She had hidden the pregnancy from her family, though, so when the baby started to cry, she suffocated him....and flushed him down the toilet.
She was properly charged with first degree murder. This past November, though, for reasons I do not know, she was convicted only of involuntary manslaughter, which carries a prison sentence of up to 14 years.
Given the utterly vile and sociopathic nature of her act and the fact that the victim was a defenseless infant, 14 years seems like a pretty light sentence to me. But that's the harshest sentence she could have received.
She finally came up for sentencing yesterday. So, did she get the full 14 years? Did the judge cut her some slack for her youth and cut it back to 10 years? Did she get a particularly soft-hearted judge and escape with just 5 years?
No. Jenny Sotomayor - who suffocated her baby and flushed it down the toilet - was sentenced to "four years of intensive probation."
At least Yates will have to face a new trial. Sotomayor is off scot-free!
If you have a strong stomach, take a look at the article linked above. I don't know when I've been so disgusted. First there's Cook County Judge (and world-class dimwit) John Scotillo who handed down the "sentence." He opined that there are "two sides" to Ms. Sotomayor. Well, hell, there were "two sides" to John Wayne Gacy too! He was really a pretty good guy except for his unfortunate tendency to rape and murder young boys.
Judge Scatterbrain also offered this little pearl of wisdom:
"She doesn't appear to be a bad person. She just did some bad things."
You know....like when kids toilet-paper the neighbor's tree. They don't really mean to do anything WRONG. They're just kids being kids! A little misguided maybe, but good at heart.
The most disgusting part of the article, though, had to be Sotomayor herself saying that the mere fact that she killed her baby "did not mean I loved her any less than any parent."
She should have gotten 5 years tacked on to her sentence for that contemptible utterance alone.
Thursday, January 06, 2005
The (Doctor) Angell of Death
I don't think I've ever done a posting on Euthanasia, but this blog entry on Francis Poretto's Eternity Road absolutely floored me.
Listen to this quote from Certified Medical Bigwig Dr. Marcia Angell, concerning Oregon's assisted suicide law:
"I am concerned that too few people are requesting it. It seems to me that more would do it. The purpose of a law is to be used not to sit there on the books."
Poretto thinks the likes of Dr. Angell are prepping us for a grisly cost-benefit analysis whereby the huge expenses incurred in the last few weeks of life are avoided (by the government) in the name of "quality of life."
At least that's how I read him. Make sure to check out the entry.
Staples Has Buckled Under
Score one for the left. Office supply firm Staples has pulled its advertising from Sinclair-owned television stations. It did so under pressure from an alliance of far-left individuals and organizations calling itself "Media Matters for America."
"On December 14, Media Matters for America -- supported by MoveOn.org, MediaChannel, Working Assets, Robert Greenwald (director of the film Outfoxed), Campaign for America's Future, Free Press, and AlterNet -- launched the SinclairAction.com site as part of a nationwide campaign to expose the conservative slant of Sinclair's television news programming. The groups have focused their protest on Sinclair's airing of "The Point," a daily conservative news commentary read by Sinclair vice president Mark Hyman, while providing no opportunity for progressive counterpoints. The groups asked activists to contact advertisers on the 62 TV stations Sinclair owns or operates to enlist them in the campaign to get Sinclair to provide balance to "The Point."
On the heels of the www.SinclairAction.com nationwide campaign, the website has recorded more than 113,000 visitors and approximately 36,200 emails sent to advertisers.
Staples, Inc. recently replied via email to consumers who registered concerns about Sinclair newscasts, stating: 'As a result of Staples' ongoing review of its advertising media buy activity, Staples will no longer be airing advertising on any Sinclair station's local news programs as of Jan 10, 2005.'"
I just sent Staples an email myself assuring them that they will never get another penny from me. Thanks to John Ray for providing the email address you can write to to express your opinions on their decision.
HERE's the real scary part though. If you look on the bottom of the Sinclairactions web site these people put together for this little program, you'll see a Hit List. It's just like the one that anti-abortion group put together a few years ago. If you'll remember, when a doctor on the list got bumped off, they put a line through his name to indicate "mission accomplished."
There are six names on the Sinclairaction list: Kraft, Staples, Target, Geico, McDonald's, and Sprint. The Staples name is marked though to indicate their victory.
I have no doubt that this gaggle of fascists now feels emboldened to knock off the remaining advertisers on their list.
If we let them, that is.
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
Updated for 2005!
Fifty-ONE Things You Can Do To Annoy The Politically Correct
My most popular posting ever was the original "Fifty Things You Can Do To Annoy The Politically Correct," published in 2002. Presented for your enjoyment is the new and improved version for 2005.
1) At your next house party, serve a big pot of Endangered Species Stew.
2) Give out candy cigarettes on Halloween.
3) Give out REAL cigarettes on Halloween.
4) Keep a framed photo of John Ashcroft on your desk at work.
5) Complain that the poor don't pay their fair share of the tax burden.
6) Call a homeless person a “bum.”
7) Wear Nike gym shoes.
8) Drive a gas-guzzling SUV (preferably a Hummer)....
9) ....with a “Pave the Rainforests” bumper sticker....
10) ........and a Jesus Fish on the trunk.
11) Advocate a nuclear first strike against Canada.
12) As justification, offer the fact that Canada has Socialized Medicine.
13) Consume Conspicuously.
14) Tell this joke:
“John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and Al Sharpton are in a life raft, but there are only enough provisions for one person. Who gets saved?”
Answer: “The country”
15) Cross a picket line.
16) Express wonderment that Ann Coulter has never been nominated for a Nobel Prize.
17) Throw a party to celebrate the execution of a notorious murderer.
18) When they flip the switch, lead the crowd in a chorus of: “na-na-na-na, hey-hey, good-bye”
19) Give The Passion of the Christ DVD to friends on their birthdays.
20) Wear a Washington Redskins jersey....
21) ....accessorized by your Cleveland Indians baseball cap....
22) ........to a NASCAR race.
23) Drain a wetland.
24) Harm animals in the making of your movie.
25) Harm left-wing actors in the making of your movie.
26) Buy a gun....
27) ....as a present for your 10 year old...
28) ........to celebrate his Junior NRA Membership.
29) Wear a Confederate Flag pin on your lapel.
30) Start a petition drive to add Ronald Reagan's visage to Mount Rushmore
31) Smoke a big, smelly cigar....
32) ....in the no smoking section....
33) ........on the day of The Great American Smokeout.
34) Wear fur.
35) Eat meat - especially veal.
36) Say that while you believe it should be matter of personal choice, you are
“personally opposed” to vegetarianism.
37) Walk around your office sipping from an "I Love Halliburton" coffee mug.
38) Refer to an adult woman as a “girl.”
39) Brag about how much money you saved due to the Bush tax cuts.
40) Then say that you contributed your savings to the Tom Delay Campaign.
41) Drink Coors beer.
42) Recommend deportation to Cuba as a solution to The Homeless Problem.
43) Say you were just kidding. Then recommend work camps instead.
45) ....for doves.
46) Watch Fox News.
47) When Janet Reno’s name is mentioned say: “Janet is sure a funny name for a guy.”
48) Attend George W. Bush's second inauguration.
49) Tape it and distribute copies widely.
50) Recount the story of your trip over and over. And when you're done....
51) Weep tears of joy!
Tuesday, January 04, 2005|
Good News on the U.S. Manufacturing Sector
Rumors of the death of manufacturing in the U.S. are greatly exaggerated. According to this article:
"US manufacturing activity accelerated in December as the falling dollar continued to help exporters and domestic demand strengthened, according to figures released on Monday....
Export orders were particularly strong, with the index rising from 54.7 to 60. Analysts said there were signs that the weaker dollar was providing a boost to exports. Nearly 40 per cent of respondents said that domestic orders grew faster in December, with just 16 per cent reporting slower growth.
The new orders component of the index jumped 5.9 per cent."
Then there's this. The U.S-Australia Free Trade Agreement went into effect January 1st. Doubly good news for U.S. manufacturers since, per the article, 99% of all U.S. manufactured goods will now be duty-free in Australia (acccounting for 93% of total U.S. exports into Australia).
The concluding paragraph contains some interesting factoids:
"Australia is a large and growing trade and investment partner of the United States. Two-way annual goods and services trade is nearly $29 billion, a 53-percent increase since 1994. Australia purchases more goods from the United States than from any other country, and the United States enjoys a bilateral goods and services trade surplus of $9 billion."
A $9 billion surplus!
What we have here is clearly a case of evil Austrlian multinational corporations exploting American slave labor at the expense of native Aussies.
Monday, January 03, 2005
The Wrong Sort of Hiker
This story comes to us courtesy of the London Telegraph. And it's a doozy.
"The Lake District National Park is to axe the free guided walks carried out by over 100 volunteer rangers because they attract only 'middle-aged, middle-class white people'.
The scenic walks, which introduce thousands of tourists to the fells each year, are being scrapped as part of a three-year plan to bring more ethnic minorities, inner-city children and the disabled to the area."
Now as a libertarian, I should state for the record that I don't much care for this sort of government program in the first instance. Having said, that; if you're going to have one, and if it is as popular as this one seems to be from the article (about 30,000 people a year use the program), the racial composition of the participants isn't any reason to axe it.
"Mick Casey, a spokesman for the authority, said 30,000 people used the events programme and 4,500 took part in the walks each year.
'Our research shows that the majority who do the walks are white middle-class, middle-aged people.'
'The Government is encouraging national parks to appeal to young people, to ethnic minorities and to people with disabilities.'
'It is saying we ought to focus our activities on these kinds of groups.'
I have seen the future and it is named Mick Casey.
Suzanne Fields' new article on Townhall.com is pretty interesting. She discusses the haughty attitudes largely still held by Democrat elites, despite mounting evidence that they have nothing to be haughty about.
"Sneering that George W. is dumb no doubt makes the Democratic elites feel good, but if George W. is dumb, anyone who votes for him is by definition 'dumber.' An odd tribute to the voters they must persuade."
But the part I found most interesting was a little factoid I hadn't heard before. According to Fields, surveys taken at the two conventions "revealed that 14 percent of the Democrats had once been Republicans - and 28 percent of the Republicans had once been Democrats."
THAT, if true, is indeed fascinating. Over a quarter of the Republicans were converts from the Dark Side. If I were a Democrat power broker ("there but for the grace of God...."), I'd be awfully worried about that. That sort of descrepancy in conversion levels bespeaks a dramatic contrast in the relative vitality of the two parties.
So of course, the Democrats will elect Howard Dean their party chairman and convince themselves that the reason they lost is that they weren't far enough left.
So I leave you with this thought as expressed by Voltaire in a letter he wrote in 1767. The sentiment might well have been expressed by George W. Bush as well in the past few weeks:
"In my life, I have prayed but one prayer: 'Oh Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it."
Sunday, January 02, 2005
"After viewing a portion of the first episode included on a DVD in Entertainment Weekly, officials from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) expressed dismay at the depiction of a Muslim family."
'At first I was shocked,' organization spokeswoman Rabiah Ahmed told the New York Daily News.' In this particular case, they show an American-Muslim family and they portray them as terrorists.'..."
Muslim terrorists? Admittedly that IS a bit far-fetched.
Particularly since the networks never runs shows with story lines about wacko pro-lifers killing abortion doctors.
Or demonstrate any hostility to organized christianity.
Muslims as terrorists? Hmmmmm.
Anything's possible, I suppose.
They've got the exact quote of the soldier who asked Rumsfeld why the word wasn't getting out about all the good work that's being done in Iraq.
"Sir, how do we win the war in the media? It seems like that is the place where we're getting beat up more than anybody else? I've been here - this is my third tour over here and we've done some amazing things. And it seems like the enemy's Web sites and everything else, they're all over the media and they love it. But the thing is everything we did good, no matter if it's helping a little kid or building a new school, the public affairs sends out the message, but the media doesn't pick up on it. How do we win the propaganda war?"
I refered to this in a posting on 12/28, but didn't have the exact quote.
In that posting, I offered this observation: "I'll be interested in seeing if this new query is repeated from coast to coast ad neaseum."
Point made. Case closed.
Europe Rethinking Bush?
On the one hand, I'm reluctant to post this on the grounds that I don't much care WHAT European governments think about Bush. On the other hand, it is an interesting article.
Found via Instapundit, this article by two writers for the Economist speculates that the EU states may be warming up (just a bit, mind you) to W for three reasons:
1) Common ground on the Israel/Palestinian issue accentuated by the death of Yassar Arafat;
2) "Europe's growing worries about Islamic terrorism" (duh); and
3) The reemergence of the prospect of a hostile Russia.
Most interesting, though, are the authors' concluding paragraphs:
"There is a personal edge to all this. Just as the snooty continentals eventually came to admire the gormless Hollywood actor, there is a grudging willingness to rethink some prejudices about the inarticulate Texan.
Many European leaders once swallowed the Michael Moore version of history: that Bush was an ignorant interloper who stole the White House. His thumping re-election, however, shows that he represents a large body of conservative American opinion.
In short, Europeans are getting used to the idea that it is not Bush who is the exception, but the U.S. itself that is exceptional — and that if they want to deal with this exceptional superpower they need to humor it rather than rile it. Strangely enough, this has been Tony Blair's strategy all along; it is rapidly becoming the Continent's strategy, too."
Interesting article and as an added bonus a Word of the Day: "gormless ."
Main Entry: gorm·less Pronunciation: 'gorm-l&sFunction: adjectiveEtymology: alteration of English dialect gaumless, from gaum attention, understanding (from Middle English gome, from Old Norse gaum, gaumr) + -lesschiefly British : lacking intelligence : STUPID