Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Withdrawal By 12/2006 Is Good Idea

I think the Bush administration took us into Iraq under false pretenses, but I also believe that we created a mess that we have to clean up before we leave. Having said that, I think Senator Feingold's suggestion of a withdrawal date of December 2006 is a great idea. This date should be coupled with some benchmarks that must be met for this date is honored.

  • Insurgency violence must decrease significantly.
  • The Iraqi army and police must be ready to take over security.
  • Infrastructure projects must be completed or on a timeline to be completed. Clean water and electricity must be available at all hours.
  • Iraqi citizens must enact a constitution that creates a democracy where the rights of women, ethnic and religious minorities are protected.
  • A stable, elected government must be in place.
  • The oil industry is producing revenue to help support the country.

All of these tasks should be able to be accomplished in the next 15 months if there were no insurgency. The prospect of our departure would give the insurgents an incentive to backoff. If the Bush administration is correct and the insurgents will just wait until we leave, that would be OK as long as the violence decreases significantly in the mean time and we achieve our other goals. If the insurgents want to keep fighting, we are no worse than we are today. We would need to make it clear that we don't intend to leave until these tasks are complete.

These benchmarks should be coupled with checkpoints and dates so that everyone knows if progress is being made or not. If progress is not being made, the spector of a delayed withdrawal will motivate extra effort. As progress is made towards these goals, we would decrease the troop levels as has already been suggested.

This allows us to give a date which is the incentive to meet the goals. It also provides benchmarks we can use to prevent the Bush administration from cutting and running as next year's US elections draw near.

If the checkpoints and benchmarks are met, we can leave with a clear conscience knowing the next steps will be up to the Iraqis themselves.

Saturday, August 20, 2005


"Power exercised in secret, especially under the cloak of national security, is doubly dangerous."
William Proxmire

Win Millions, Identify Intelligent Designer

I propose we offer a prize to the first person who can prove the identity of the intelligent designer. Read the details of my proposal on my blog TUD, The Theory of Unintelligent Design.

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Monday, August 15, 2005

NRA Stalls Iraqi Constitution

EverybodyHasOne, in an exclusive report, has learned that the creation of a new Iraqi constitution was actually stalled by the NRA. It seems the NRA wanted the following clause added to the constitution:
No laws may be created that infringe upon the right of any Iraqi citizen (except women) to own and bear arms (defined here as any device containing explosive materials, such as hand guns, assault weapons, machine guns, rocket propelled grenades, mortars, etc.).

When Iraqi representatives balked at including this clause and when no compromise could be reached (i.e. the NRA didn't get it's way), the NRA halted the entire constitution drafting process which required a time extension.

One Iraqi delegate pointed out that such a broad definition of arms prevented the outlawing of IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices). NRA spokesman, Wayne LaPierre reportedly responded, "IEDs don't kill people. People kill people."

There was an attempt to keep the process moving with a promise to consider the clause as an amendment. Wayne LaPierre, again speaking for the NRA reportedly said, "Bearing arms is a god given right and deserves to be in the constitution, not in some stinking amendment! Been there, done that. "

Political insiders say that the Bush administration is in a quandary. It wants an Iraqi constitution soon, but it can't afford to offend the NRA. An unnamed source claims that Karl Rove has pictures of all of the Iraqi constitutional convention members in lurid, homosexual encounters and promises to make them public if any member continues to oppose the amendment.

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

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Ideal U.S. Population?

Should we wait until all the US is this crowded?
The United States Census Bureau estimates the current population of the United Status to be about 290 million. While the number of people in the US may stabilize at some point in the future, there are economic pressures to have an ever growing population. Depending on the assumptions made, the US Census Bureau estimates that the US population in 2100 will range from 571 million with a moderate growth rate to 1.1 billion with a high growth rate.

Imagine this country with four times the number of people it has now. As you drive to work or walk through the mall, imagine three other people standing or sitting next to each person you see. Image cross country interstate highways with eight lanes in each direction. Imagine having to make reservations at national tourist attractions years in advance.

Would the United States with a population of somewhere between 571 million and 1.1 billion be the same country we love today? How would the quality of life be affected by such a large number of people? What would be the impact on the environment with so many people needing food, water and other resources?

Most of us consider an expanding population to be part of the natural order, but common sense tells us that at some point the population of the US will stabilize. Whether that will happen before or after we’ve done irreparable damage to the environment is up to us.

What is the ideal population for the United States? 1 Billion? 500 million? 300 million? 200 million? We can just wait and see what happens, but wouldn't it make sense to start a national discussion and build a consensus on an ideal population for the US? We could then talk about how we reach and stabilize at that level.

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Saturday, August 13, 2005

Citizens Must Speak English

The American Dream is more than economic opportunity. As a country we strive to value people for what they contribute to our society, not by their ethnicity, race or religion. This is not a trait that seems to come easily. We are working to counter the natural tendency of people to associate with people like themselves and view with suspicion people who are different. If we allow groups to be isolated by language, not only do we have another marker to divide us; we lose an important tool that allows us to counter the inevitable social, cultural and religious frictions.

All naturalized citizens and guest workers should be required to read, write and speak English. This is not a barrier to keep people out. Without English, new immigrants cannot fully participate in or contribute to the American Dream.

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Citizens Must Speak English

Monday, August 08, 2005

Limbaugh - The Entertainer

Rush Limbaugh as the Entertainer
I think Rush Limbaugh is correct when he characterizes himself as an entertainer. Like Jay Leno he uses satire, out of context quotes, hyperbole and mischaracterization to make fun of politicians and captivate his audience. Unfortunately, Limbaugh poisons public discourse by claiming his one sided show represents truth, fact and excellence in broadcasting. And, sadly, his uncritical listeners believe him.

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Sunday, August 07, 2005

"This Week" Is Worth Watching

On ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos this morning there was a segment with family members of two of the Ohio Marines killed last week. It was very moving and interesting.

While I have watched and like Meet the Press with Tim Russert for years, I really like the format of This Week. Their guests are great and Stephanopoulos is an excellent interviewer. I'm also always impressed with their panel discussion in the last segment of the show. George Will is a regular. Fareed Zakaria is often on. Of course, both are first rate. This morning had Cokie Roberts and Sam Donaldson who are both great. If you can only watch one Sunday morning show, This Week is a great choice. On weekday evenings, you can't go wrong with the NewsHour.

By the way, both This Week and PBS's The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer end with lists (and on the NewsHour pictures) of men and women killed in Iraq. It is done tastefully and I don't take it as antiwar. I always read the names and it is the custom in our house that anyone who is watching stops all activity and watches the names. No matter what you think about the war, we never want to forget the sacrifices the men and women in our armed forces are making.

NRA - Not In My Backyard!

Ask candidates for office if they take money from the NRA and if they do, don't vote for them.
I wrote a post a few weeks ago congratulating the Columbus, Ohio, City Council for passing regulations banning assault rifles. Because of these new regulations, the NRA cancelled plans to have their 2007 convention in Columbus. I guess they were planning on bringing their assault rifles.

How depressing. The NRA has decided to come to St. Louis instead. I live in St. Louis. The NRA is correct; they won't have to worry about the elected representatives of Missouri passing any inconvenient laws. As a matter of fact, Missouri legislaters passed a concealed carry law last year even though the people in a referendum voted the idea down.

I guess I'll have to get myself a bullet-proof vest. Oh heck, that won't work. The NRA stopped the banning of cop killer bullets. I guess they can bring their assault rifles and bullet-proof vest piercing bullets. What the hell do people in the NRA do that requires assault rifles and cop killer bullets? I'll bet this is one super civil convention. You don't dare say anything that might piss someone off cause everybody's packin' heat. One cross word could start WW III in the hotel lobby.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Straight From The Cow's Mouth

There has been some controversy over a previously published post here at EverybodyHasOne, Some people have commented that something about the post "Cow Farts Threaten National Security" doesn't smell right.

In order to set the record straight, EverybodyHasOne has, at great expense, travelled to rural Illinois to get the story direct from the horses mouth, so to speak.

EverybodyHasOne went to the dairy farm of Mr. McInthedell. When asked if it was true that cows produce prodigious amounts of gas, McInthedell replied, "As a member of management I don't think it is in the farm's best interest to make statements that might bring stress to the barn. It hurts milk production." He refused to answer anymore questions, but did make this comment as he walked away, "Off the record, there is a reason we bottle milk here and not perfume".

Readers may be wondering why EverybodyHasOne printed McInthedell's comment since it was off the record. Until the courts rule whether or not bloggers are real journalists, be careful what you say.

EverybodyHasOne then went directly to a cow for her comments. The cow, who said her name was Bessie (a source who wished to remain anonymous said her real name is Bossie), was only too eager to talk.

"Most cows would like you to believe that only the bulls 'honk the horn', as we like to call it. But that is a dairy barn over there and they don't milk bulls. You walk in there and tell me cows don't toot. They do--and a lot."

She went on, "I could name names, but she's a favorite of old farmer cold hands. If I say anything bad about her I'll be the first cow milked all winter."

So there you have it, the unbiased truth straight from the cow's mouth.

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Straight From The Cow's Mouth

Thursday, August 04, 2005

TUD Has Moved

Due to the large number of people reading The Theory of Unintelligent Design posts (TUD), they have moved to their own blog TUD - The Theory Of Unintelligent Design.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

TUD - Theory of Unintelligent Design

President Bush recently endorsed the teaching of intelligent design along with the theory of evolution (see post WTHWYT - Unintelligent Endorsement). Enough is enough. I've been reading this nonsense about intelligent design for too long. Christians can believe this if they want and teach it in Sunday School, but it should stay out of public education.

Proponents of intelligent design claim that life is so complex that it couldn't have just occured accidentally and therefore proves the existence of an intelligent designer. I'd like to start the Theory of Unintelligent Design, hereafter known as TUD. I prefer to pronounce TUD like dud, but there is small group that prefers something closer to duuuude. We'll take a poll later. TUD will be a list of examples of things in the universe that don't seem to be designed intelligently.

For example, why shouldn't you be able to see farts? If you could see them, you could run before you have to smell them and you'd know who to blame.

Why are there 50 million breeds of cats? Wasn't it an immense waste of time to design so many? One would have been more than enough. The intelligent designer could have spent more time on humans and found a way to decrease the number of idiots. No matter which side of the debate you are on, ID or TUD, you've got to agree there are way too many people on the lower end of the IQ scale.

What about the appendix? Why would you put in the appendix and have it do nothing? Whoa, I just realized maybe it's there to give surgeons some extra income when they remove it. OK, scratch the appendix from the list.

Well, you get the idea. I'm sure some of advocates of TUD can come up with more ideas. Leave me some comments, but please don't call me any names. That would be so unChristian.

Due to unprecedented demand, this discussion has been moved to its own blog TUD - The Theory Of Unintelligent Design.

WTHWYT - Unintelligent Endorsement

According to a Knight Ridder Newspapers article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch this morning, President Bush has endorsed the teaching of intelligent design along with evolution. According to the article, the President said schools should teach both theories on the creation and complexity of life.

OK, I can understand that he feels he has to pay back the Christian right with judges, but this is even worse. Judge Roberts may be on the bench for 30 years, but how long will the effects of dumbing down America last?

I realize that the proponents of intelligent design can't understand the difference between the scientific theory of evolution and their theory. It's probably because their scientific education was sub-standard.

We all know that intelligent design is just creationism repackaged to disassociate the concept from Christianity and make it more generally acceptable. But I seriously doubt that any of the proponents would ever truly consider the thought that the intelligent designer might be Buddha or Waheguru or Satan or Papa Smurf.

President Bush is welcome to believe anything he wants, but why would the man who created "No Child Left Behind" to enhance the education of our children do something so unintelligent as to endorse the teaching of intelligent design? What The Hell Were You Thinking? I hope we find he was just misquoted.

Photo by Eric Draper