Sunday, July 31, 2005

Sen. Santorum Stands Firm

On ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Senator Santorum was asked about his comment that linked a sick culture in Boston with the priest sex abuse scandals (Sen. Santorum, Should We Also Blame Boston For 9/11 Attacks?). In an overly loud and aggresive voice he stood behind his comments. This sounded very much like a George Bush "I never admit mistakes" defense. He did say, with about as much conviction as any politician can muster, that he will not run for the presidency in 2008. Actually I'm sorry. Republicans had their fun with Howard Dean and I was looking forward to opportunities to return the favor.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

NRA Is Too Powerful

Ask candidates for office if they take money from the NRA and if they do, don't vote for them.
Senator Frist has decided to table work on the defense appropriations bill and instead work on an unprecedented bill to limit liabilty for gun manufacturers and dealers. A limitation no other industry has.

Limiting liablity for manufacturers is a terrible idea. Limiting liability for dealers is even worse. While many dealers are honest business people, some find that selling guns to people who shouldn't have them is a profitable business. The gun dealer that sold the rifle used in the DC sniper attacks lost a civil suit by victims. This type of lawsuit would now be prevented. This dealer managed to lose 200 weapons. Weapons he purchased and now has no records of. He should go to jail for this, but he should also be liable for civil suits.

It is no secret that many gun manufactures have financial incentives for not watching their dealers too closely. Limitations on liability provides even less incentive for manufacturers to watch the dealers.

Here are four articles that give you more details:
A Half-Cocked Gun Bill
Sen. Frist Supports Gun Liability Reform Legislation
Senate takes up bill to protect gun industry
The Biggest Lie Yet: Hoping to Ram Bill Through Senate, NRA Supporters Use Phony Scare Tactics, Says Brady Campaign

I have no problem with hunters and sportsmen having rifles, shotguns and pistols. The problem is that zealots, like the NRA, are afraid of any law that seems to limit what they see as the rights of gun owners. The NRA takes the position that any limits on guns will lead to the eventual outlawing of all firearms. So as manufactures make bigger and more lethal firearms to satisfy consumer demand, the NRA fights every attempt to bring sanity to the situation. This is unfortunate since an organization with as much influence as the NRA could see that reasonable laws are passed. Laws that rationally limit some of the hazards associated with firearms while protecting the rights of people who want to hunt and shoot targets.

The NRA has so much clout because it invests a lot of money in political candidates. The only way we can turn gun issues into rational discussions is to temper the power of the NRA. We all need to ask candidates for office if they take money from the NRA and if they do, don't vote for them.

Ask candidates for office if they take money from the NRA and if they do, don't vote for them.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Seal The US/Canadian Border!

Canada just passed a law that legalizes same sex marriages throughout Canada. We can expect heterosexual marriages in Canada to start disintegrating any time now. The dissolution of marriages will leave children without a nurturing home which will lead the youth of Canada to become rebellious and lawless. This turmoil is bound to spread across the border. Raging gangs of juveniles will be charging to the US. Some to wreak havoc and some to seek a real family to join.

The Canadian moral depravity will spread like a virus and ruin the bedrock of US culture, heterosexual marriages. I for one am threatened and fearful. I’m depressed that my marriage of 24 years will be coming to an end. Please, seal the border before this plague comes to us! Save my marriage!

Friday, July 22, 2005

WTHWYT - Your Brain On Whipped Cream

In the St. Louis Post-Dispatch from The Associated Press:

"HARTFORD, Conn. - A prominent writer and lecturer on eating disorders who collapsed in a supermarket after allegedly inhaling propellant from whipped cream cans applied for a special form of probation Thursday.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, West Hartford police were called to a grocery May 29 and found Berzins lying on the floor and bleeding from her head. Berzins told police she did not know what happened. Investigators concluded that Berzins inhaled from three cans of whipped cream containing nitrous oxide, known as laughing gas, the affidavit said.

Berzins was charged with possession of a restricted substance, criminal mischief and creating a public disturbance." (full story here) (picture source)

I've got a few questions:

  1. Ms. Berzins, What The Hell Were You Thinking?

  2. Why didn't you just buy the cans and take them home? Is there some special ambiance in the super market? Has whipped cream been outlawed in your house?

  3. Since when did whipped cream become a restricted substance?

  4. Are super markets going to have to start selling whipped cream from behind a counter with cans that have warning labels and child-proof lids?

  5. Why wasn't she charged with theft?

  6. How did the police figure out what happened? Was there a pile of whipped cream next to her on the floor?

  7. Did she have a cherry up her nose?

  8. Is this the real reason people shoot whipped cream directly into the mouths? For the buzz?

  9. Will whipped cream now be sold in head shops?

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

I'll Trade You Roberts For Rove

I’ll trade you an associate justice for a presidential advisor.

I suggest the Democrats keep their focus on an issue they can win, unseat Karl Rove, and concede Judge Roberts’ confirmation. We suspect that President Bush rushed his decision on a new Supreme Court justice to take the media heat off of Rove. This will probably work if the Democrats take the bait. But let’s face it, all indications are that Judge Roberts is a highly qualified jurist. He doesn’t seem so far to the right that the country will accept his ideology as a reason to keep him off the court. Also, the Republicans have the votes to confirm him unless the Democrats try to filibuster him. If the Democrats filibuster, the Republicans would use the nuclear option and the country would not blame them. In a losing battle, the heats off of Rove and he stays in the White House. The Pubs win 2-0.

Let the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee give Judge Roberts a thorough review. Ask tough questions about his judicial philosophy. Anyone who stops to think about it realizes that an "activist judge" is one that makes decisions you don’t like. Show how Judge Roberts is or would be an activist judge. That won’t stop his confirmation, but a tough and fair confirmation process might build a case for Bush nominating a moderate next time. If a majority of Democrats vote to confirm Judge Roberts, they will neuter the "Democrats will oppose any Bush nominee" argument. A fair and reasonable confirmation process will strengthen their hand if they need to fight the next nominee.

If the confirmation process does turn up a good reason for Judge Roberts to not be confirmed, then the Democrats will have performed their constitutional duty.

Anna Quindlen has an excellent column in the current Newsweek. She points out that Supreme Court justices often evolve after they join the court. According to Quindlen:

"Rights don't contract in a democracy, they expand. The liberal actions of the Supreme Court of the'60s—the right to an attorney and the exclusion of illegally obtained evidence among them—are taken for granted today. And history is filled with justices who started as titular conservatives only to end as liberals."

There must be examples of jurists who became more conservative after they were appointed to the Supreme Court, but recent history suggests they move the other way. On today's closely divided court, seven of the nine justices were nominated by a Republican president. If Judge Roberts is as intelligent and responsible as he is reported to be, the intellectual challenges of confronting the toughest legal issues may moderate his views. I truly believe our constitution is a "progressive" document. Our constitution and history put the winds of law, history and society at the backs of progressives. We won’t win every battle, but over time, law and society move in our direction.

Let the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee review Judge Roberts and other Democrats keep the media spotlight and heat on Rove. Republicans have been quick to scream that the attacks on Rove are all political. They are political, but not entirely. At this point, the facts indicate that Rove was irresponsible when he mentioned "Wilson’s wife". That is reason enough to go after him.

But are the political attacks on Rove fair? Absolutely. Karl Rove is a master of political machinations. Remember how he got into this trouble. He used his position in the White House to try to discredit a man who was pointing out that President Bush was "fixing" the intelligence on Iraq. A fact reinforced by the "Downing Street Memos". In his zeal to punish a political opponent he put the welfare of CIA operatives and the United States at risk. It may have been an innocent mistake, but it shows Karl Rove cares more about George Bush than he does about the country. He needs to go.

So my suggestion is, be fair with Judge Roberts and give Karl rove the boot.
Dems 1, Pubs 1.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Kudos to Columbus, Ohio, City Council

The NRA has announced that it is canceling plans to hold its 2007 national convention in Columbus, Ohio. They did this because the Columbus City Council recently passed legislation banning assault weapons (click here to view their reasoning). The federal ban on assault weapons expired in September, 2004, and they felt their city was safer with the ban in place. While the loss of the convention will have a significant economic impact on the city (estimated to be more than 20 million dollars), the city council explained that they put the welfare of their citizens ahead of economic interests.

Kudos to the Columbus City Council. The NRA has significant political power and doesn’t hesitate to use it to intimidate anyone who disagrees with their often extreme views. You can support private gun ownership without forcefully and unreasonably advocating for private ownership of assault rifles whose only purpose is to kill people.

Concerned citizens should ask every candidate for public office if they take money from the NRA and then not vote for any candidate that does.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Spin and Dry

I watched Ken Mehlman (RNC Chairman) on Meet the Press yesterday. Republicans keep trying to say that the Rove leak is no big deal, but it is clear that the White House and the Republicans are terrified. Democrats can smell the blood in the water. The Brain is going down. He has to. There are already too many facts and public statements that make it clear he has to go, even if he isn't indicted. (Although I’ve got to admit, it is fun watching Republicans try to find creative ways to save him.)

In an attempt to keep from digging a deeper hole, the White House will say nothing. Better to send out people like Mehlman to obfuscate and spin. And can he ever spin! When Russert tried to get him to answer a tough question, he resorted to the usual repertoire of defenses. Blame the Democrats. Answer a different question. Distort the truth. Give the party line; Karl Rove is a good man who is being unfairly defamed by the Democrats for political gain before the facts are in and the special prosecutor has determined if a crime was actually committed. That's not just a run on sentence, that is the breathless way Mehlman answered most questions. The facts that are already in the record show that Rove was using classified information that hurt national security to extract revenge on a political foe. He had no business even acknowledging that "Wilson’s wife" worked at the CIA. Spin it any way you like. Those are the facts.

The Republicans see Rove as a master political strategist who is key to recent Republican successes. The Democrats see him the same way and, therefore, are working hard to bring him down. Politics has become a blood sport and Rove is a surgeon. I could have said butcher, but give the man credit. He knows how to make his man look good and the opposition look bad. But he also doesn't mind playing dirty. What goes around comes around, Karl. The spin won't work so you are about be hung out to dry. It's time for you to leave the government and make a bundle as a consultant.

Back to Mehlman. Would I buy a used car from him? Not a chance. But a washing machine? You bet.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Sen. Santorum, Should We Also Blame Boston For 9/11 Attacks?

Statements made by Senator Santorum, Republican from Pennsylvania, back in 2002 are just now coming to light. In reference to the priest sex scandals that were making news at the time, Senator Santorum said,

''When the culture is sick, every element in it becomes infected. While it is no excuse for this scandal, it is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political, and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm."


Using your logic, Senator Santorum, I suppose it is no surprise that the 9/11 planes took off from Logan Airport in Boston. It is also no surprise that two of the planes crashed into New York city, another place a little too blue for red blooded Americans. And, I'm sure you would agree, it is not a surprise that the one airliner that was prevented from hitting its target was forced to crash in Pennsylvania. I'm sure it has something to do with the patriotic conservatives that live in your home state.

Senator Santorum, is your goal to be president of the United States of America or president of the Conservative States of America?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Does Anyone Know Turd Blossom's Real Name?

Karl Rove, aka Turd Blossom
So Karl, your defense is that legally you didn't out a CIA agent because you never used her name. I think "Wilson's wife" is close enough. If I said "Turd Blossom is an ass!", do you think anyone would know who I'm talking about?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Pet I Never Wished I Had

OK, my poetry didn't bring the masses to my blog. So I'm going to try pets. Many sites have nauseating pictures of their pets. Give me a break folks. There are billions of dogs and cats in the world and one pretty much looks like the other. Nobody cares about your pet except you! Since I'm obviously not a pet person, I had to borrow a cat. The guy who owns this cat says it isn't dead. I suspect he is just trying to throw PETA off his trail.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Tell Me If You Like My Poetry

I started this blog with the hope of generating some reasoned discussions. I've come to realize that most blogs are egocentric whining which no one, except your friends, will respond to. I guess I don't even have friends.

I tried some humorous, or so I thought, posts, but that didn't work. So I've decided to copy some of the tactics used by other bloggers to generate responses (note the plea for sympathy at the end of the last paragraph). Over the next few blogs I'm going to try several different approaches to see which one gets me the most responses.

Today, poetry. The truth is I don't understand poetry. Most of the time it is so obscure I just wish the poet had used simple sentences to say what they meant. Ogden Nash is my kind of poet.

Here goes.
When I started this blog
it was my intention
to enlighten the world
and get some attention.

Instead I'm ignored
like some teenager quibbling
or even worse
like some old fart driveling.
OK, what do you think? Be honest. I can take it.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Cow Farts Threaten National Security

Although the US Defense Department has listed global warming as one of the most serious threats facing this country (see article), the Bush administration has not yet accepted scientist's warnings and created plans and programs to reduce greenhous gases. Without adequate funding, research into solutions is limited. I have a suggestion that can drastically reduce methane emissions (a greenhouse gas) immediately.

D. Adam, in the article How Much Brown Cow, notes that an average cow in a barn produce 542 liters of methane a day, and 600 liters when out in a field. That means the approximately 200 million cattle in the US produce enough methane to fill 600 Hindenberg airships a day!

One suggestion proposed to reduce methane produced by cattle was to require all US citizens to become vegetarians. This would cut the demand for beef and significantly reduce the number of cattle in the US. This idea was scrapped when it was pointed out that this approach probably wouldn't reduce the amount of methane produced, just change the source.

While scientists, with inadequate funding, are working on ways to reduce cow ass emissions (see Global warming: why we can't afford to be sheepish about cow farts. ), we already have a proven solution. BEANO! As they say, "Take beano before and there'll be no gas". All we have to do is have the Department of Agriculture require that beano be added to all cattle feed!

This approach will appeal to the Bush administration since it will pump money into private enterprise instead of giving it to pointy headed scientists who think they know everything. It also allows the President to do something about global warming without having to admit that the scientists were correct. He can say he just doesn't like the smell.

Next week, Can Feeding Cattle Thorazine Prevent Mad Cow Disease?

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Cow Farts Threaten National Security

Seventy Virgins

Middle East terrorists are convinced that when they die they will be met in heaven by seventy virgins. Sounds pretty silly to most of us. Do evangelical Christians who believe in the rapture, the belief that true believers will all be delivered to heaven at some point in the future and the rest of us will be left to rot in hell, realize this sounds just as silly?

What if they are both right and the seventy virgins are all evangelical Christians?

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Media Has A Liberal Bias?

The media doesn't have a liberal bias. It only looks that way to people who are leaning about ninety degrees to the right. This is the same group that really believes Fox is "Fair and Balanced" and Rush Limbaugh represents "Excellence In Broadcasting".

Monday, July 04, 2005

The Devil Is The Hero Of The Old Testament

The devil is the hero of the Old Testament. Without him we'd still be walking around naked wondering what apples taste like.

Thanks Jim.