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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

RE: More thoughts on the Winston-Salem Journal article and the Stokes County budget

Steve responds to Sandy McHugh:

I'm not doubting you Sandy, but I have a hard time understanding how we can have three conservatives on the board and not get to a revenue neutral budget. I suspect part of the problem is that you haven't managed to institute zero-based budgeting, but that's just a guess.

Try harder!

A Vote for History

From Daniel Ikenson, a trade policy analyst at the Cato Institute:

The greatest opportunity to promote economic integration and political stability within the hemisphere in over a decade will soon be before Congress. But the fate of the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement is uncertain. Currently, a majority of members are presumed to oppose the agreement, impervious to history, beholden to short-term political calculation, or incapable of thinking outside the mercantilist box.

More thoughts on the Winston-Salem Journal article and the Stokes County budget

Sandy McHugh adds:

The problem with news reports, as you know, is that they ask you a question and then print your answer without the question. She had asked me if I agreed with lowering the tax rate to 54 cents. My answer was to that question. The problem is that the schools are getting almost a million dollars more than last year and I can't get ANYONE to agree to cut ANY of it. The school increase, the cost of gas increase, mandated increases and inflation account for about all the increase in the county budget. I've made motions to cut a whole host of things. Some of them passed and some of them didn't. It's really easy to say I'll only vote for a budget that has a tax rate of X if you never say how you're going to get the budget to X. We went through all of their suggestions for cuts last night. They all passed and yet they didn't even get the tax rate down to 61 cents. The point is, getting the tax rate down is good if you do it with cuts to excess. If you just slash away with no regard to what you are doing, that isn't good. My biggest problem is that I'm not a politician and I'm no good at making political statements that make me sound good. I just tell the truth.

RE: Stokes struggles to balance needs, taxes in its budget

Stokes County Commissioner Sandy McHugh responds to the article:

I didn't say I wouldn't vote for a tax cut. I said I wouldn't vote for a
budget that lowered the tax rate but didn't spend the money in the budget
responsibly. I wouldn't vote for a budget that didn't lower the tax rate but
didn't spend the money in the budget responsibly. To be honest, I didn't
really say anything about the tax rate. I said I wouldn't vote for a budget
that wasn't responsible. I actually proposed a budget last night that lowered
the tax rate and funded some much needed equipment and such but cut some
things that I don't think are necessary.

Obama's Stale New Deal

From Will Wilkinson, a policy analyst for the Cato Institute:

Barack Obama's rousing oration at the August 2004 Democratic convention established America's favorite son of a goatherd as the shining hope of his desperate party. After humiliating the hapless Alan Keyes in November, he took his seat in Washington as the junior Senator from Illinois and set himself immediately to the thankless service of the workingman. On June 4, Obama appeared in Galesburg to deliver a commencement address at Knox College that has liberal scribes writing love poems and doodling hearts inscribed "Obama 2008."

Supreme Court eradicates Constitutional principles

From Christopher G. Adamo in today's The American Thinker:

Throughout the course of history, the overriding tendency of those in power is to manipulate that power to their own benefit. Regardless of any noble premises on which governments might be founded, over time they nonetheless degenerate into self-serving conclaves, whose ultimate purpose is the betterment of their own lot through the implementation of their own agenda.

One Pence

From John Samples in today's The American Spectator:

Make that a golden Pence. A valentine to a conscientious conservative.

Thou shalt not commit religion

From Ann Coulter:

To put the Supreme Court's recent ban on the Ten Commandments display in perspective, here is a small sampling of other speech that has been funded in whole or in part by taxpayers:

Thursday morning funnies

Funny stuff from David Letterman & Jay Leno... Thumbs Up

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

RE: Kookville???

Steve responds to yours truly:

I think I have probably made many of the same comments about Bill Clinton. I don't recall being called a kook then.

I have no patience for triangulation, political posturing, or statism. Bush is guilty on all three counts. He has abrogated every ounce of his leadership responsibility and has left the Republican Party, the federal government, and the country in a state of drift. He has embroiled our military in a pointless and seemingly never-ending ground conflict in Iraq while millions of illegals flood over the borders, essentially constituting a de facto invasion right here at home. He has thrown out a few bits and pieces of a domestic agenda and then largely abandoned it to the vagueries of a Congress that is not interested in doing anything but calling one another names. Republicans were told to swallow hard and elect this socialist because he would roll back the liberal judiciary. He can't even get his diplomatic nominees approved in the Senate. He is a classic lame duck less than a year into his second term and he doesn't seem to even care.

While he still has a long way to go to be a worse president than Jimmy Carter, he's heading there fast. The remark about Nero was appropos because Nero followed Caligula. Amazing parallel, no?

If that opinion falls into the realm of kookville, then so be it.

Bush Encouraged Illegal Aliens, 'Tried to Cover It Up,' Lawmaker Says

From CNS News:

The co-sponsor of legislation to make it more difficult for illegal aliens to find work in the United States said Tuesday that the Bush administration is encouraging the illegal entry by offering amnesty and is trying to cover up the proof of its actions.

RE: RE: Michael Moore and Me

Steve responds to Thomas J. Brown:

Does posting content-free comments on blogs make you happy?

Wait, why am I asking you? Who cares?


Hey Steve: I don't want anybody to speak from some type of talking points... I want people to speak their conscience, which I know you do.

My "kook" reference was in reference to your last sentence:

"Sorry, watching this detestable little Nero fiddle while Rome burns is more than I can stomach."
That sentence sounded like a "kook" statement in the Howard Dean/Michael Moore mold.

RE: Michael Moore and Me

Thomas J. Brown opines:

You know what's more fun than facts?

Wait, why am I asking you? It's clear you already know.

Michael Moore and Me

Just because I don't regurgitate the GOP lemming-speak doesn't make me a kook. And I sound nothing like Michael Moore. Moore is a communist. I don't think anyone would mistake me for a communist.

Bush is yet another liberal who has gotten us entangled in a mess overseas while things go to pot here at home. I still honestly can't understand why liberals hate him so much. He is one of their own. He has furthered their cause faster and better than any President since Roosevelt. Besides, this is all you need to know about the Bush clan:

RE: RE: It’s All About 9/11: The president links Iraq and al Qaeda — and the usual suspects moan.

Hey Steve: Chill out, my friend... When you talk about Iraq, you & Michael Moore sound the same. No need to sound like a kook... You're smarter than that. Camouflage

RE: It’s All About 9/11: The president links Iraq and al Qaeda — and the usual suspects moan.

Steve opines:

Sorry, Mr. McCarthy. Your spin cycle is broken. Those tired excuses are the ones Americans just aren't buying any more.

Regardless of all these ties to 9/11, some of them so tenuous as to be transparent, Americans want to know why we are still in Iraq. Conservatives want to know why we are expending time, money, and lives in Iraq to defend freedom while Bush oversees (or more accurately, ignores) the fastest decline and destruction of the fabric of federalism and republicanism in history right here at home. Many Americans want to know why they must send their sons and daughters over to die in the desert when we can't even secure our own borders.

Bush's speech last night was a non-event. I didn't watch it. I wasn't interested. If he had decided to speak on how he plans to reign in the judiciary, grow vertrebrates in Congress, drastically cut the size of the federal government, and return to the Republican ideas of lower taxes and less government, I would have listened. Instead, he decided we need to hear some more about George's excellent adventure in Iraq, wrapped up nicely in some patented Karl Rove spin.

Sorry, watching this detestable little Nero fiddle while Rome burns is more than I can stomach.

RE: Stokes struggles to balance needs, taxes in its budget

Steve Brenneis opines:

My, my, my. How far the mighty have fallen. This sounds like something we would have heard from Willis.

I also heard that the schools are only getting about 2/3 of what they asked for. Considering that the pinheads in the school administration usually ask for a gazillion dollars every year, 2/3 is probably still too much. I expect the schools could lop off a few guidance counselors in the interest of new ambulances. Or we could defund the Arts Council, from what I remember, that could buy quite a bit of equipment. I'll bet we could still squeeze a few more dollars out of Social Services and/or the Health Department as well.

Come on, Sandy. You can do better than this.

It’s All About 9/11: The president links Iraq and al Qaeda — and the usual suspects moan.

Liberals & the mainstream media are having hissy fits today that Dubya mentioned 9/11 a few times last night in his speech... For all of you who keep saying there was NO connection between Iraq, al Qaeda, & 9/11, please read this article...

Stokes struggles to balance needs, taxes in its budget

From today's Winston-Salem Journal:

But other commissioners say that lowering taxes would not be responsible in a year when Stokes County needs to replace aging equipment.

"I don't see anything in the budget that's excessive," Commissioner Sandy McHugh said. "Some years, you're going to have more growth than other years. The big problem right now is our county equipment hasn't been replaced in years. An ambulance with a patient in it last night broke down. Those are things that we are needing to fix. Naturally, there are going to be a couple of years like this. Once we're sitting on new equipment, it's just a matter of keeping things up."

McHugh said she wouldn't vote for a budget that lowers the tax rate but doesn't meet the needs of the county.

Your house could be a parking lot

From John Stossel:

Think your house is your castle? Our country's Founders thought so. They put three provisions into the Bill of Rights to protect it.

But last week, the Supreme Court said the government can take away your house just because it thinks someone else could make better use of your home or business than you can.

Thirty Minute Man

From John Tabin in today's The American Spectator:

Last night we saw the ingredients come together that, for this President, make a great prime-time appearance.

LIFE Magazine: Americans Are Losing the Victory in Europe (January 7, 1946)

I just wanted to show that people have underestimated the will of Americans in the past... They will never learn. Salute

The Impact of Kelo v. New London

From Carolina Beat:

Kelo v. New London, a recently decided U.S. Supreme Court case, affirmed that the seizure of private property by the government in the name of economic development is consistent with the “Public Use Clause” of the Fifth Amendment. The “Public Use Clause” states that “No person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process, of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” By acting under this Court-sanctioned justification, we are destroying the foundation, not only on which the Constitution was founded, but on which our success as a nation is built.

No One to Root For

As John Hood says, "Your government at work, ladies and gentlemen."

From John Hood's Daily Journal:

The NC House and Senate are working on a stopgap budget measure for 2005-06. They differ on which taxes to raise, and by how much. Whatever the outcome is, it'll be bad.

RE: Bush Didn't Side with the Property Thieves...

Steve Brenneis shares some info.:

The comment from Free Republic was inaccurate. The Solicitor General did not represent the City of New London. They were represented by Wesley W. Horton of Hartford, CT.

Ruling on Property Rights Could Create Housing Crisis, Group Warns

From CNS News:

A conservative group is warning that the Supreme Court's "abusive" ruling allowing government to seize private property for purposes of economic development could lead to an urban housing shortage for minorities, the poor and young families.

Outrage Lingers Over Property Rights Ruling

From CNS News:

Although the Supreme Court's Ten Commandments ruling dominated Monday's headlines, a property rights ruling handed down last week still has many Americans shaking their heads -- including some lawmakers, who plan to do something about it.

Defund PBS

From David Boaz, executive vice president of the Cato Institute:

Congressional Republicans have proposed to cut the funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funds public radio and television stations. After having their fun, they have agreed to restore most of the money and dropped their threat to eventually phase out all taxpayer funding. But they shouldn't back down. In fact, they should finish the job: End all taxpayer funding for government broadcasting stations, and let them compete in the marketplace like other broadcasters.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Is a ‘Frau Thatcher’ In Germany’s Future?

From John Gizzi, the political editor of Human Events:

“Schroder has ‘no chance’ in general election.”

This headline in the Financial Times on May 26 summarizes what pundits and pollsters are increasingly concluding about the German national elections in September. With unemployment at a post-war high of 5.2 million and its business-climate index dropping for the fourth consecutive month, Germany appears poised to turn out two-term Chancellor Gerhard Schroder.

Could a hotel be built on the land owned by Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter?

I see potential in this...

From Freestar Media:

Could a hotel be built on the land owned by Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter? A new ruling by the Supreme Court which was supported by Justice Souter himself itself might allow it. A private developer is seeking to use this very law to build a hotel on Souter's land.

RE: Clinton, Elder Bush Take Boat Ride

Ruth Anne Adams opines:

I wonder who's "Fredo" in that little boat ride.

A man’s home is Uncle Sam’s castle

Great article by Selwyn Duke in today's The American Thinker:

Possession may be nine-tenths of the law, but not when the law wants your possessions. This past Thursday was a dark day for freedom in America, as the Supreme Court once again proved that its contempt for the Constitution is only matched by its willingness to court communism. In a ruling that struck a blow for the powerful at the expense of the little guy, the Court ruled that states had the right to use the principle of eminent domain to seize private property for commercial development. In other words, if Donald Trump wants your land so he can erect another casino and knows which palms to grease, you can be kicked out of your home.

Bush Didn't Side with the Property Thieves...

According to The Future of Freedom Foundation, Bush didn't enter the case (Kelo v. New London) on the side of the city... Matter of fact, they stayed out of the case all together.

The First Right

From Timothy Birdnow in today's The American Thinker:

Property rights are the fundamental building blocks of Liberty. The freedoms we enjoy in these United States may be our heritage through Natural Law and given to us by the Creator, but the free exercise of those fundamental rights is dependent upon a devout view of the sacred right to property.

Choose Mitt?

From W. James Antle III in today's The American Spectator:

If the recent cover stories in National Review and the Weekly Standard are any indication, conservative opinion-mongers are taken with the idea of Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney running for president in 2008. But, given his record of triangulation on abortion, will pro-life voters be equally enthusiastic?

Clinton, Elder Bush Take Boat Ride

It appears Papa Bush has adopted a son: William Jefferson Blythe Clinton Bush.

RE: United Socialist States of America

Steve Brenneis opines:

This comment was made on Free Republic with regard to those waiting to hear from the GOP on this issue:

"The solicitor general, the President's representative before SCOTUS, argued in favor of the city.

In other words, the administration, and therefore the Republican National Committee, support the decision."

United Socialist States of America

You're right, Steve, it was a good article... With this ruling, what would stop the government to take private property against the owner's will and build strip malls, hotels, etc. This should destroy the myth that liberals are for the "little people"... Liberals are for government power ruled by the elites.

Hairsplitting at the Court

From George Will:

The Supreme Court on Monday rendered two more hairsplitting, migraine-inducing decisions about when religious displays on public property do and do not violate the First Amendment protection against ``establishment'' of religion. In a case from Texas, where a Ten Commandments monument stands outside the state Capitol, the court, splintered six ways from Sunday, said: We find no constitutional violation. The second case came from Kentucky, where the Commandments displayed in several courthouses are surrounded by historical symbols and documents -- e.g., copies of the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, the Star Spangled Banner -- to comply with the ``reindeer rule,'' more about which anon. On Monday the court recoiled from Kentucky's displays, saying, they are unconstitutionally motivated by a ``predominately religious purpose.'' Not enough reindeer?

A tactical play on Social Security

From Christopher Chantrill in today's The American Thinker:

For a moment last week it looked as though the Republicans were going to give away the store on Social Security reform. Britain’s Guardian reported rumors that the Republicans in Congress were going to draft a bill “stripped of President Bush’s proposed personal accounts financed with payroll taxes” and it would “avoid the difficult choices of curbs on benefits, higher taxes or changes in the retirement age needed to implement the president’s call for long-term financial stability.”

Holy Moses

From George Neumayr, the executive editor of The American Spectator:

Perhaps nothing illustrates this era of judicial lawlessness better than the Supreme Court's ruling yesterday that the Ten Commandments, unless they are somehow aesthetically muted and secularized, be chiseled off courthouses across the country. Lawless judges cannot abide the sight of fixed laws adorning courts.

Recovering Our Fiscal Balance

From John Hood's Daily Journal:

With counties across the state begging for relief from the burden of financing Medicaid and the state budget itself absorbing hundreds of millions of dollars in higher Medicaid costs just in the past couple of years, it would seem that North Carolina should be leading the way in pursuing fundamental changes in the program. State policymakers have adopted a few reforms, welcome ones, but none has represented the kind of structural adjustment that will generating big and lasting savings.

Canadian Scientists Dismiss Threat of Climate Change

From CNS News:

Some Canadian scientists have rejected the so-called "global warming" threat, insisting that climate change is normal and isn't even caused by humans.

The great leap backward

A good article by one of my favorites at WND, Vox Day. If George Bush is so intent on "exporting democracy," maybe he should try exporting a little in Washington, DC. He can start in the chambers of the Supreme Court.

Oil holds over $60, market tests demand

From the Washington Post:

Oil prices held firmly above $60 a barrel on Tuesday as speculators sought to test the resilience of strong U.S. demand and as Iran's presidential election sowed fresh geopolitical worries.

Space Ring Could Shade Earth and Stop Global Warming

From Live Science:

A wild idea to combat global warming suggests creating an artificial ring of small particles or spacecrafts around Earth to shade the tropics and moderate climate extremes.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Remembering the Gipper

"Already the hour is late. Government has laid its hand on health, housing, farming, industry, commerce, education, and to an ever-increasing degree interferes with the people's right to know. ... We approach the point of no return when government becomes so huge and entrenched that we fear the consequences of upheaval and just go along with it."

Ronald Reagan

Do we really own our homes?

From Bob Weir in today's The American Thinker:

In light of the recent Supreme Court Kelo decision that allows municipalities to force property owners from their homes to make way for businesses that pay more tax revenue, it’s appropriate to ask, do we ever really own anything?

Commission Commissars

From the Washington Prowler:

Republican staffers on such federal agencies as the Federal Communications Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission are concerned about a growing trend they fear is giving Democrats and far-left careerists information to be used for political gain.

No, not Gonzales!

From Robert Novak:

It was not merely a leak from the normally leak-proof Bush White House. For more than a week, a veritable torrent has tipped Attorney General Alberto Gonzales as President Bush's first nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. It has sent the conservative movement into spasms of fear and loathing.

An Open Letter to the President

From Herbert E. Meyer in today's The American Thinker:

I’ve no idea what your advisers are telling you, but based on my own experience in Washington I suspect they are talking more bluntly among themselves than they are to you. So I’m writing to deliver an unpleasant message you must hear, and hear now: We are in danger of losing the war in Iraq.

Supreme Court Rules on Ten Commandments

From Fox News:

The Supreme Court on Monday declared Ten Commandments displays in two Kentucky courthouses unconstitutional.

Partial Justice

From National Review Online:

If President Bush nominates Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to fill a Supreme Court vacancy, he won't be naming a new justice. He'll be naming something more like a new half-justice.


From The Funny Pages:

Seeking further rollbacks in the landmark piece of environmental legislation known as the Clean Air Act, President George W. Bush today proposed scrapping the law in its entirety and replacing it with a new set of regulations called the Dirty Air Act.

Oil Prices: Cause and Effect

From Alan Reynolds, a senior fellow with the Cato Institute:

Why is crude oil so expensive? Why does it matter?


From Jed Babbin in today's The American Spectator:

Hillary Clinton is neither the anti-Christ nor the smartest politician around. We know, from pretty much everything she has done in her adult life that she is dishonest, opportunistic, and someone we cannot possibly trust with the security of our nation. Forget all that for the moment. Focus on the fact that she, like Howard Dean, John Kerry and Dennis Kucinich, is a pure-as-Ivory-Soap liberal.

The Same Old, Boring Script

From John Hood's Daily Journal:

I was reminded last week of the importance of scripts in public life. Much of what passes for political discourse these days turns out, upon reflection, to be little more than dramatic (or comedic) set-pieces in which political actors dutifully mouth some familiar lines and lazily follow the stage directions of productions that closed years or decades ago. We watch it (or perform ourselves). We feel comfortable and validated. We clap. Then we leave the theater for a while to get refreshments or relieve ourselves before taking in another pointless, predictable show.

Bill, Hillary Clinton Use Billy Graham to Gain Political Ground

From the Dakota Voice:

National Clergy Council president Rev. Rob Schenck (pronounced SHANK) walked out on his role model Billy Graham after the evangelist surrendered his microphone to Bill Clinton on the third night of his New York City crusade, then gave a veiled endorsement to Senator Hillary Clinton who was sitting nearby on stage.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Focus is on sales tax: Temporary tax may be made permanent

Didn't some of us predict this way back in 2001???

A Party Without Ideas

From Charles Krauthammer:

What has happened to the Democrats over the past few decades is best captured by the phrase (coined by Kevin Phillips) "reactionary liberalism." Spent of new ideas, their only remaining idea is to hang on to the status quo at all costs.

Damaging 'Deference'

From George Will:

The country is bracing for a bruising battle over filling a Supreme Court vacancy, a battle in which conservatives will praise ``judicial restraint'' and ``deference'' to popularly elected branches of government and liberals will praise judicial activism in defense of individual rights. But consider what the court did Thursday.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Karl Rove's Remarks (In Context)

From RedState.org:

The Washington Post printed the Remarks of Karl Rove at the New York Conservative Party which has the blogosphere in such a buzz. I thought it might be instructive to look at what Rove actually said in its original context rather than one or two sentences.

Which "so called" allies would that be???

We used moderation & restraint in responding to terrorist attacks against America since the first World Trade Center bombing up until 9/11 and look what that got us... The liberal belief of "Peace through appeasement" doesn't work...

With regard to alienating our closest allies, who would that be... France??? Germany???


RE: Rove Was Right about MoveOn

Behethland opines:

It was a petition imploring the powers that be to 'use moderation and restraint in responding to the terrorist attacks against the United States.'

Yes, and I signed that petition. What's the problem? I agree completely with Pickering. The world was coming together over a horrific tragedy and somehow we've managed to alienate our closest allies. How did that happen?

Rove Was Right about MoveOn

From Byron York of National Review Online:

Some officials at the internet activist group MoveOn are denying charges made by top White House aide Karl Rove, who said in a speech to a conservative group in New York Wednesday that "In the wake of 9/11, conservatives believed it was time to unleash the might and power of the United States military against the Taliban; in the wake of 9/11 liberals believed it was time to submit a petition." Rove continued: "I am not joking. Submitting a petition is precisely what MoveOn.org did. It was a petition imploring the powers that be to 'use moderation and restraint in responding to the terrorist attacks against the United States.' "

DeMint’s Call

From Michael D. Tanner of the Cato Institute:

With Senate Democrats still unified in their opposition to any proposals to reform Social Security that include personal accounts, Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican, may have come up with a proposal that will put them on the spot.

Property rights, civil rights and Supreme Court nominations

From Clarice Feldman in today's The American Thinker:

One week before the end of its term, the Supreme Court has handed down a decision, Kelo v. City of New London, which greatly weakened the protection of property rights explicitly recognized in the Constitution. At issue is the power of governments to confiscate homes and other real estate, and set a price deemed “fair” – all without the owner’s consent. With one or more vacancies on the Court looming, and with the prospect of bitter confirmation battles looming, the public may start thinking about property rights as part of our civil rights, and alter the terms of the debate over the "judicial mainstream."

DeMint Makes Democrats Nervous

From David Hogberg in today's The American Spectator:

In recent weeks I had become increasingly glum about the prospects for Social Security reform this year (although I think in the long run the pro-reform movement will prevail). Thus, I couldn't get too excited by the release of Senator Jim DeMint's new plan. But I have to reconsider.

Cato Scholars Condemn Property Rights Decision: The Court this term is emerging as "The Government's Court"

From the Cato Institute:

In the landmark Takings Clause case, Kelo v. City of New London, the Supreme Court ruled today, 5-4, that the government has the right to condemn private property and transfer titles to others simply to encourage economic development and a larger tax base.

Supreme Court: A decision too far

From Dennis Sevakis in today's The American Thinker:

Yesterday’s five to four Kelo decision by the Supreme Court, upholding the taking by the state of the private property of one for the private use of another, smacks of irony both dramatic and tragic.

Kiss Your House Goodbye

From Christopher Orlet in today's The American Spectator:

Many Americans are perplexed that it was the liberals on the U.S. Supreme Court, and not the conservatives, who voted 5-4 to affirm Kelo v. City of New London. The decision allows local governments to seize homes and businesses and hand them over to private developers. It shouldn't surprise. Liberals, like their socialist friends, have never been too keen on private property rights. It has been Conservatives that have historically looked out for the rights of the property owner and the taxpayer.

The Politics of American Wars: Islamists have proved adept at winning liberal exemption from criticism

From Victor Davis Hanson on today's National Review Online:

For all the talk of imperial America, and our frequent "police actions," we are hardly militarists. Protected by two oceans, and founded on the principles of non-interference in Europe's bloody internecine wars, the United States has always been rightly circumspect about going to war abroad. The American people are highly individualistic, skeptical of war's utility, and traditionally distrustful of government — and wary of the need of their sacrifice for supposed global agendas.

RE: Should taxes pay for PBS???

Steve responds to Behethland:

"My tax dollars pay for lots of things I don't agree with."
Sure. Why not? We're already getting robbed by our own government at gunpoint. Why not let them have a few dollars more?

I guess if a burglar broke into your house and stole from you night after night, telling you it was for the greater good, you wouldn't complain.

"What's a few dollars in taxes..."
Trouble is, it's not a few dollars. It's actually millions and millions of dollars. All going to pay for something most of us don't want and in very many cases, don't approve of or agree with. That's the collectivist slippery slope. No thanks. I think I'll pass on that.

Should taxes pay for PBS???

Behethland responds to Steve:

My tax dollars pay for lots of things I don't agree with. What's a few dollars in taxes to help pay for educational programming for your children and hundreds of thousands of others? Seems like a small price to pay.


From George Neumayr, executive editor of The American Spectator:

Hell hath no fury like a PBS liberal scorned. I knew that by entering the coliseum of elite liberalism a toxic tidal wave of hate mail would be released upon me, and that it would only confirm my point that PBS is the privileged playhouse of a liberal nomenklatura that will claw any conservative who dares touch or even question it. How quickly the high-brow mask of PBS partisans drops to reveal the rancid face of liberal fascism.

RE: RE: Should the government be in the TV business???

Steve responds to Behethland:

"My point is that PBS fills a void that commercial programming does not. I don't see the opera Carmen or the ballet Swan Lake being shown on NBC."
Apparently there is not enough demand for such programming, or some network would carry it. Public funding for this forces the majority of people who have no interest or desire for the programming to pay for it for the few who do. This is no different than if I got the government to force you to help pay my Direct TV bill every month.

One Case Ends, Another Begins

From John Hood's Daily Journal:

On the same day that the North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law filed its long-awaited lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state and local incentives given to Dell Computers last year, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a related case demonstrated the limits – and risks – of promoting economic freedom through legal action.


From The Funny Pages:

Looking for new ways to slash the mounting federal budget deficit, President George W. Bush today proposed charging Iran and North Korea annual dues for their membership in the Axis of Evil.

Kennedy, Union Execs Blast Wal-Mart on Health Benefits

From CNS News:

Union representatives, backed by congressional Democrats, Wednesday escalated their attack on the world's largest retailer. They accused Wal-Mart of being "morally bankrupt" and "un-American" for the way it handles employee health care benefits. A Wal-Mart executive at the event disputed those charges.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

RE: RE: Should the government be in the TV business???

Ruth Anne Adams responds to Behethland's post to Steve:

I do not watch Nickelodeon so I cannot respond to that. My children watch two shows on Playhouse Disney. They are Jo-Jos Circus [which teaches cooperation, counting, rudimentary movement] and Higglytown Heroes[which teaches respect for authority and describes the jobs of various residents of Higglytown, so kids know how to be a hero, too--you know, become a veterinarian or a trash collector, etc.]. I would say they are educational and they are not on PBS. I pay for them. I don't want to pay to see Kofi Annan talking to Elmo about the global community or some other tripe. I get innocent, sweet, respectful children depicted. In their book "Saving Childhood: Protecting Our Children from the National Assault on Innocence", Michael & Diane Medved describe how our children are being bombarded with too much TV. Recent studies show that even if the TV is good stuff, there's just too much being watched by too many children. If you wish to watch PBS, by all means, do it. But there are by no means the only source of educational programs.

RE: Should the government be in the TV business???

Behethland responds to Steve:

But you don't find this type of programming anywhere else. Nickelodean isn't educational; it's purely for entertainment and there's nothing wrong with that, but children need to learn too.

My point is that PBS fills a void that commercial programming does not. I don't see the opera Carmen or the ballet Swan Lake being shown on NBC.

Should the government be in the TV business???

Steve responds to Behethland's post to Ruth Anne Adams:

I think you're missing the point.

Is there a reason these programs need to be on public television?

You said before that PBS was the only venue for educational programs. What if PBS wasn't there? Don't you think these programs, if they are desirable, would show up somewhere else? If there is a demand for this type of programming, it will likely be carried on a commercial station. If not, why should we burden taxpayers for programming in which only a very few people, if any at all, are interested?

Firm and Patient Realism Needed in Iraq

From the Heritage Foundation:

Last week, two Republicans joined a pair of Democrats in sponsoring a bill calling for the Bush Administration to begin withdrawing U.S. troops by October 1, 2006. "Washington politics should not be allowed to drive the U.S. timetable in Iraq," cautions James Phillips. "A politically driven pullout would be a disaster."

A pullout, writes Phillips, "would send a dangerous signal of weakness to our allies and enemies." Insurgents would redouble their efforts against U.S. troops, and many Iraqis would have little choice but to support the insurgency, to protect themselves against reprisal.

Calls for an 'exit strategy' seem to have little to do with the situation in Iraq, and more to do with Washington politics. In Iraq, tension between insurgent factions is growing; tribal leaders are becoming more amenable to the political process and compromise; and the insurgents' political base is steadily eroding.

Building a stable Iraq "will be a long and costly enterprise," concludes Phillips. "But the potential costs of a premature exit are considerably greater."

Incentives Lawsuit Would Boost Economy

From the John Locke Foundation:

A lawsuit filed Thursday by the North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law offers the prospect of scaling back state incentive policies that hinder rather than hasten economic development, according to the head of the John Locke Foundation.

Biden playing politics

Joe Biden is a pompous jerk with bad hair plugs...

From Robert Novak:

The connection was obvious to senators of both parties, though nobody said so publicly. Four days before Sen. Joseph Biden declared he would seek the Democratic presidential nomination if he could find the financing, he held hostage an important, non-controversial Bush diplomatic appointee. His intent: to force President Bush to reappoint a billionaire backer of Biden to a government oversight board.

A half baked apology, a few tears… and he’s good to go?

From Dave St. John in today's The American Thinker:

Now, let me get this straight. Here is a senator, who by any standard has denigrated the reputation of our nation, disparaged those whose job it is to defend his right to speak those words, refused to apologize and then did apologize in one of the most despicable displays of wordsmithing I have recently witnessed and we, the American public, are asked to put it all behind us and move on? Is that roughly how it went down?

Is Democrat shamelessness a winning strategy?

From Christopher G. Adamo of The American Thinker:

It was only a few weeks ago that liberals on Capitol Hill and in the “mainstream” media were caterwauling about the raging corruption of House Majority Whip Tom Delay (R.-TX). Since then however, the subject completely changed to the plight of those poor, misunderstood “detainees” being held against their will at Guantanamo Bay.

Violent Cartoons

Behethland responds to Ruth Anne Adams:

No, I've never watched Arthur, or any of the newer shows but I am familiar with the character (I actually think he's an aardvark. Don't know why he doesn't have the long nose.)But the episode you just described doesn't sound any different than what Bug's Bunny cartoons used to do. They would take a movie or actor of the day and do a parody of it. I certainly didn't get all the humor until I was older, but it was no less entertaining to me as a child. I think these shows are created to entertain parents as well.

What about Blue's Clues? Isn't that on PBS? I have seen that one, and I thought it was great. I just know that you can't beat Sesame Street. Guess I'd better learn about these newer characters so I can watch with Starling!

Biden His Time

From R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. of The American Spectator:

A rainbow of happiness has just arched across this great capital. It is about time. For several weeks life here has been glum. The Democrats are very indignant. The Republicans are apparently stunned. This has been a dreary time to be in Washington.

Sell Airports — For the Children

Another good idea; too bad we probably won't see it in our lifetimes...

From John Hood's Daily Journal:

Let’s sell Charlotte Douglas, Piedmont Triad, and Raleigh-Durham International airports to private enterprise. Local governments would receive a huge cash windfall, which they can use for high-priority construction projects such as schools or roads, while passengers would receive better, cheaper service.

Guantanamo loses 5-star rating

From Ann Coulter:

If you still have any doubts about whether closing Guantanamo is the right thing to do, Jimmy Carter recently cleared that up by demanding that it be closed. With any luck, he'll try to effect another one of those daring "rescue" attempts. Here's a foolproof method for keeping America safe: Always do the exact 180-degree opposite of whatever Jimmy Carter says as quickly as possible. (Instead of Guantanamo, how about we close down the Carter Center?)

RE: PBS: The Hyperbole Channel???

Ruth Anne Adams responds to Behethland:

I, too, was a product of Sesame Street and Electric Company and ZOOM. But have you seen it lately? There are inappropriate messages and LOTS of social programming hidden in those shows now. For instance, I watched one of their cartoons called "Arthur" about a mouse named Arthur. In the first 5 minutes, they did a take-off on the Sopranos, and called it "The Altos" wherein they portrayed Italian-American mobsters. Ick! Not for my 3 year old! I like the America's Test Kitchens tremendously. But I would also watch that show if it were on, oh, say The Food Network.

A potential Social Security compromise

Steve opines:

So Bush is going to content himself with tinkering around with this socialist program that needs to be eliminated and continue to abrogate his responsibilities on every other front. So the circus that Congress has become will continue to lead the political dialog, such as it is.

Bush has become the lamest of all other lame ducks in recent memory. And he still has three and a half years left in his term.

A Worthy Compromise: A plan for Social Security reform that stops the bleeding and starts the healing

From Lawrence Hunter and Phil Kerpen in today's National Journal Online:

President George W. Bush redoubled his commitment to Social Security reform last week by delaying his tax-reform panel’s report until the fall. The message to Congress is clear — they can’t simply ignore the Social Security issue and run out the clock. However, even with a strong commitment from the White House, reform is still a tough sell. Seniors’ groups like the AARP are diametrically opposed to what Bush is proposing and are rallying their members around the slogan, “Don’t let the solution become worse than the problem.”

RE: RE: Rewarding Teachers

Steve responds to Behethland:

"When a child like that does poorly on end-of-year tests, is isn't because the teacher failed them."
There are anecdotal cases in every profession. However, a teacher who continues to turn out students who don't perform at or above grade level, year after year, is easily identifiable as a bad teacher.

PBS: The Hyperbole Channel???

Behethland responds to Ruth Anne Adams:

I'm sorry, but I don't understand why anyone would have a problem with PBS. I LOVED Sesame Street as a kid, as well as The Electric Company, 123-Contact, and Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. It is the only educational television for children, period.

Their adult programming is just as entertaining!! They aired a special last month called, "The Appalachians" and it was spectacular!! I sat and cried thinking about my family's history in this area. Antique's Roadshow is also one of my favorites, along with "This Old House" and the painting shows on Saturday morning. I especially like the dude with the afro.

I'm proud to say that I've already given my annual donation!

RE: Rewarding Teachers

Behethland opines:

I don't think anyone would argue that good teachers should be rewarded. The problem is in how you determine who's good and who's bad. We're talking about a job where the fruits of your efforts may not be realized until years later, when the student takes what you say and teach to heart. Test scores can't do that. And teachers in lower-income or special needs schools aren't going to get the caliber of student that a suburban school gets. I can remember some really sad cases when I was in elementary school. Children who couldn't stay awake during the day because their parents kept them up all night fighting. When a child like that does poorly on end-of-year tests, is isn't because the teacher failed them.

RE: Supreme Court Rules Cities May Seize Homes

I'll admit, this decision has knocked me for a loop... I can't believe that local governments can now seize private property and use that for private development... Where is the outrage??? To my liberal friends, it was the court's 4 liberals & 1 moderate/liberal justice who said local governments can seize private property for commercial purposes... And liberals say that conservatives only look out for the wealthy???

Gitmo Commission Gambit

From the editors of National Review Online:

The flap over Sen. Dick Durbin’s vile comments behind them, Democrats are moving on to their next Guantanamo Bay gambit of pushing for an independent commission to investigate practices there. A common thread runs through Durbin’s comparisons and this call for a commission: an urge for national self-flagellation.

Supreme Court Rules Cities May Seize Homes

Here is the beginning of the end of private property in the United States. In another time, the citizenry would have risen up in armed revolt against this kind of tyranny. It appears, however, that we are all asleep. I never thought I would live to see totalitarianism in the United States, but with the quickening pace of judgments such as this, I predict the rise of complete government control of every single aspect of our lives, a la the Soviet Union, within the next fifteen to twenty years.

Spending Problem, Still

From Michael J. New, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Alabama and an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute:

Last Monday Governor Schwarzenegger announced that California will hold a special election this fall on several high-profile initiatives.

While Schwarzenegger's willingness to use the initiative to circumvent the legislature is admirable — going straight to the voters — the content of these initiatives is in many respects disappointing.

Democrats Introduce Bill Targeting Wal-Mart

From CNS News:

Liberal Democrats are taking aim at "large, profitable companies" accused of shifting their health care costs onto taxpayers. Their bill is part of a union-inspired anti-Wal-Mart campaign.

Rewarding Teachers

What a novel idea: Paying good teachers more than bad teachers. Too bad the teacher's unions don't see it that way... Teacher

From David Asman of Fox News:

As a former teacher, I’m all for giving more money to hard-working teachers. But here’s a news flash: Good teachers deserve higher salaries than bad teachers.

RE: RE: The Hyperbole Channel

Steve responds to Ruth Anne Adams:

I guess I don't have too much of a problem with local governments choosing to fund public broadcasting, although I would vote against it if I was in office. The federal government has no constitutional authority to put money into public broadcasting, though, and it needs to stop it.

I would have less issue with PBS if it reflected the values of the people who pay for it. However, it is a wasteland of radical leftism. As long as it continues to attempt mainstreaming of wild-eyed loonies like Bill Moyers and re-broadcasts the pornography that passes for television on the BBC, it will inhabit the fringe and should not receive a dime of public money.

Come Back, Cowboy

This is all true.

The sooner Bush and his political entourage stop catering to the weenies on the left, the sooner we can get on with it, finish this thing up, and bring our kids home. Bombing Syria into the stone age has many attractive aspects that benefit more than just our effort in Iraq. It would take immense pressure off Israel and would tend to further expose the wink-and-a-nod attitude taken by the Saudis toward terrorist organizations.

Let's get to it!

RE: RE: The left's "word deficit"

Steve responds to Behethland:

Care to be more specific? I can't find much of anything wrong with what he wrote.

Prophet of Decline

Excellent article. Wake up America! It may be too late for Europe. The United States must watch and learn.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

RE: The Hyperbole Channel

Ruth Anne Adams opines:

I am sooooo opposed to public money paying for "art" or PBS; however, PBS does their beg-a-thon almost every quarter on Carolina public television....it's almost worth the tax money to shut that up! Btw...I won't let my children watch anything on that channel except Thomas the Tank Engine and Bob the Builder...both imports from England which we discovered via DVDs. I much prefer the Playhouse Disney and I don't mind that my son knows who Ronald McDonald is. He's can't go to "Old MacDonald's" as he calls it, unless we take him.

RE: What Could Be Worse Than Gitmo?

Ruth Anne Adams opines:

For those of us who endured US Army Airborne School, I concur!

LEAK: Durbin Apology Draft Differs from Final Version

From Scrapple Face:

An aide to Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, D-IL, inadvertently emailed to reporters the first draft of a speech that he delivered on the Senate floor yesterday.

The Senator apparently edited the final version before delivering the tearful apology over his recent comparison of U.S. personnel at Guantanamo Bay to the people who ran death camps and gulags.

RE: The left's "word deficit"

Behethland opines:

How insulting!! This guy has it all wrong.

Poverty That Defies Aid

From Marian L. Tupy of the Cato Institute:

Tony Blair arrived recently in Washington to ask President George Bush to increase substantially U.S. aid to Africa. His visit came a few months after Columbia University Professor Jeffrey Sachs unveiled his own plan to end extreme poverty around the world by 2025. "In The End of Poverty," Mr. Sachs argues rich countries should commit themselves to transferring some $1.5 trillion over the next decade to the poorest nations -- primarily in Africa. But, in truth, foreign aid is unlikely to succeed, because most of Africa's problems are internal.

The Magical Means to Keep the Kingdom Clean

From the Free Market Minute:

Streets clean enough to eat off of? Not quite, but close. Trashcans are strategically placed, but no more so than in an ordinary city. Hundreds of thousands of people travel the streets of Disney World, generating tons of trash daily. No signs that threaten tickets, fines, or dollar penalties for littering in this city; surprisingly, no cute pleas to be a "responsible citizen," either. In fact, the mailbox-looking trash bins are unobtrusive in olive or other colors that blend into the scenery.

The Caribou Con: In Search of ANWR Truth

This is for people who are losing sleep over the caribou...

From the Center for Individual Freedom:

As Congress once again contemplates the wisdom, necessity and consequences of oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), one of the most persistent arguments against it has been the alleged potential threat to the Porcupine Caribou herd, so-named after the Porcupine River, which is within the herd’s range. The most popular voice for that argument has come from the Gwich’in tribe, approximately 7,000 Indians who live in 15 remote villages near the Arctic Circle.

Gassy senators

Senators full of gas; what a shock!!!

From Rich Lowry:

The U.S. Senate can barely agree to hold up-or-down votes to confirm judges, but no worries — it is about to save the planet. At least that's the conceit of Republican senators proposing to institute caps on emissions of greenhouse gases.

RE: The wage gap, give me a break

Behethland B. Clark opines:

Right on the money!! Speaking for myself, I'd MUCH rather spend my time with my family than at work. I accept the fact that I will never be in the upper-income bracket because my job is not my top priority. Quality of life is worth more than a higher-paying job.

The wage gap, give me a break

Great article by John Stossel... I'm surprised he's still employed by ABC.

The left's "word deficit"

From Rick Moran in today's The American Thinker:

There’s something pathetically childlike about the Bush-hating, anti-war left these days. It’s not just Dick Durbin’s big mouth or John Conyers’ grandstanding about the Downing Street Minutes. The left has been galvanized by poll numbers showing the American people exhibiting war weariness. They’ve been positively giddy about the continued success of the terrorists in killing scores of Iraqis and dozens of our soldiers. Even the autopsy report on Terri Schiavo gave them cause to dance a jig in celebration, gloating over the fact that the poor woman was indeed in a persistent vegetative state, thus allowing them to stick it the “fundies” who they hate almost as much as Bush.

Apology not accepted

From Matthew May in today's The American Thinker:

Sen. Richard Durbin took to the floor of the United States Senate late Tuesday afternoon to ostensibly apologize for his offensive, stupid and seditious remarks comparing an American military base to the murderous regimes of the most notorious despots the world has ever seen. Sen. Durbin apologized - but did not retract.

What Became of Federalism?

From John Yoo in yesterday's LA Times:

The recent Supreme Court decision invalidating California's medical marijuana law has come under fire — correctly — from both the left and the right for undermining federalism. But observers have missed the real culprit in the court's flagging interest in balancing federal and state powers: the Bush administration.

RE: Corporate Cowardice Backfires

A former employee of Wachovia opines:

Interesting article. . I think it was silly of Wachovia to apologize for something that was probably very common-place at the time. Any company that has been around that long probably also is guilty of other things that we now consider to be illegal – such as employment discrimination based on race, religion, or sex, or making lending decisions based on the same criteria. From that standpoint, I agree with the article that they should have just kept their mouth shut.

What Could Be Worse Than Gitmo?

From George H. Wittman, who enlisted in the Army in December 1950 (#RA12312266), is a member of the Committee on the Present Danger and was the founding chairman of the National Institute for Public Policy:

For those of us -- and there are millions -- who have gone through U.S. Army basic training or Marine Corps boot camp the complaints of Senator Richard Durbin regarding the treatment of the prisoners at Camp Delta in Guantanamo are laughable.

RE: Corporate Cowardice Backfires

Steve Brenneis opines:

Once again, we see the inevitable result of giving in to blackmail. The shareholders of Wachovia should fire the CEO and all the directors, if for no other reason than that they are just plain stupid.

Talk About “Sicko”

This is more proof of Michael Savage's claim that liberalism is a mental disorder. They just keep trying the same failed ideas over and over again, expecting a different result each time.

Oh, and Steyn is brilliant, as usual.

Follow the Government Money

From The American Spectator:

Too often the media portrays environmental groups as selfless do-gooders and their opponents as greedy corporate polluters and the Bush Administration. But the press rarely mentions that moneyed interests are also behind environmental groups. Just take a look at who's funding the environmental groups that are trying to attach global warming regulations to the energy bill now before Congress.

Corporate Cowardice Backfires

From The American Spectator:

Wachovia Corporation's ridiculous apology for its alleged ties to slavery has backfired.


From Dick Morris:

I am no defender of Hillary Rodham Clinton's, to put it mildly. But the recent charges in Ed Klein's book to the effect that she is a closet homosexual or that Bill raped her and that this act triggered Chelsea's conception are as crazy as the list that was circulating around of the 20 or so people the Clintons allegedly had killed.

Waiting list isn't free health care

This is for all the socialized health care lovers out there...

From The Daily News in Jacksonville, NC:

The fantasy that a single-payer system of nationalized health care, like the one in Canada, would provide a possible solution to the many problems afflicting our mixed-bag system should have suffered a serious blow earlier this month. The Canadian Supreme Court struck down a Quebec law that had banned the use of private health insurance for services covered under Canada's socialized health system.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

RE: American Terrorism

Steve responds to Behethland:

That's where you and the other person probably parted company. To say that there is a history of terrorist activity in the United States is plainly accurate. It goes all the way back to pre-Revolutionary days. Indians terrorized white settlers, European military terrorized the Indians and each other. The Boston massacre was an act of terrorism.

However, to say that the United States has a history of terrorism is a form of rhetoric that implies co-equality with terrorist states like Iran and Syria. It is the rhetoric used by MoveOn, Not In Our Name, and other radical leftist groups to further an argument that somehow we in the United States deserved what happened to us on 9/11 (and before).

And, as always in the fine art of rhetoric, words and the way they are used have meaning.

American Terrorism

Behethland responds to Steve:

And I see your point, as well. But I didn't mean a government-supported terrorist organization, necessarily. I was referring to the Klan and other white supremacists. Cross burnings are certainly a form of terrorism. The Oklahoma City Bombing is classified as an act of terrorism. Certainly, the Aryan Nation is a terrorist group and quite active. Gangs are terrorists. To say that the US doesn't have terrorist activity is to have a very narrow view of what terrorism is.

RE: The Klan & American Terrorism

Steve responds to Behethland:

I'm going to have to say I agree. I'm not sure how the civil rights movement could be connected to terrorism. Certainly the riots associated with that time were not, strictly speaking, acts of terror.

There is a difference between organized terrorism and random acts of intimidation by individuals in the fringe elements. As such, the United States, as a political entity, doesn't have a history of terrorism. Individuals have committed acts of terrorism, but that is a far different animal than the organized efforts of groups like Al Qaida or Hamas. Certainly the Klan was a terrorist organization, but it was never sanctioned or supported by any legitimate government entity.

The Hyperbole Channel

Why are we still funding PBS???

From National Review Online:

Color me shocked that the House Republicans are proposing big cuts in funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. After all, in our trillion-plus-dollar federal budget, what comparably puny $100 million cut is most likely to make the front page of the Washington Post? Which agency cannot be mentioned by liberal reporters without the words "Sesame Street" or "Clifford the Big Red Dog" seeping into the first paragraph?

The Klan & American Terrorism

Behethland responds to Steve:


I wasn't aware of the rape and lynching of adulterers and "loose" women. I do know that the Klan is not fond of Jews.

I had a "discussion" with someone this weekend who was claiming that America doesn't have a history of terrorism. I asked him if he'd forgotten about the Civil Rights movement. I'm not sure what his point was, but he didn't seem to think that fit into the "terrorist" category.

RE: RE: Mom, child burnt to death

Steve Brenneis responds to Behethland:

One thing not remembered by many is that the Klan didn't always just concern itself with race. The race issue was just the one that made for flashy headlines.

The Klan used to grab women who they decided were "loose" and commit horrific atrocities upon them, including rape, beating, and lynching. They also lynched accused adulterers, both male and female. I wonder, does that give them the moral high ground over Islamofacists? At least they didn't just single out women.

Blacks were not the only racial group to suffer the indignities of the Klan, either. Numerous men and women were beaten or lynched who were in "mixed" marriages of Jew and Christian.

Let's hope we don't ever revert to those days.

Surrender Monkeys in the Senate

From National Review Online:

When British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced to the world that he was going to make global warming a focus of his G8 chairmanship, few would have expected that the likely result would be agreement with President Bush. Yet staunch and principled diplomacy from the president and his team, combined with Blair's willingness to listen, have resulted in the draft declaration on the subject, as widely reported, endorsing the president's policies rather than any of the economy-destroying Kyoto-like policies embraced by Jacques Chirac and his cronies for decades. Unfortunately, at the very last minute it is possible that Republicans in the U.S. Senate could stab the president in the back by endorsing the Chirac stance for trivial reasons. The president and the American economy deserve better treatment from our most senior elected representatives.

Durbin Decries Saddam's 'Junk-Food Jailers'

From Scrapple Face:

Sen. Dick Durbin, who recently compared U.S. personnel at the Guantánamo Bay terrorist-detention facility to Nazis, took the Senate floor today to slam U.S. troops in Iraq for their "progressive poisoning" of the imprisoned Saddam Hussein with snack foods.

A Serendipitous Flaw: Could Bad Brakes Lead to Fundamental Reform of Amtrak?

From the Heritage Foundation:

When President Bush proposed to end Amtrak's billion dollar annual subsidies and force it to reorganize in bankruptcy, critics charged his plan would derail most passenger service for good.

Nobody guessed that Amtrak's own ineptitude, along with an unexpected equipment failure, would cause the plan to gather steam. Since the railroad stopped its Acela service due to faulty brakes, its losses have mounted. Amtrak could be insolvent as soon as mid-August.

This an unprecendented opportunity to improve rail in America, writes Ronald Utt. But there is still "the risk that Congress will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and attempt a bailout before the end of the fiscal year."

As things now stand, Amtrak loses $80 million per year selling food and drinks--more than its revenues on those sales. With this sort of chronic mismanagement, concludes Utt, giving Amtrak more money is a mistake.

A Better Idea Than Censure?

From Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard:

CONSERVATIVES (and, one trusts, many liberals) have been appalled by Sen. Durbin's comparison last Tuesday, on the Senate floor, between "what Americans had done to prisoners in their control" at Guantanamo and what was done by Nazis, Soviets, and Pol Pot. Conservatives (and, one trusts, many liberals) have also been appalled by Sen. Durbin's non-apology last Friday: "I have learned from my statement that historical parallels can be misused and misunderstood." In other words, Sen. Durbin apparently still believes there could be a proper use and understanding of an "historical parallel" between American soldiers and Nazis.

Tobacco judge pushes for deal

From the Winston-Salem Journal:

The judge overseeing the federal trial against cigarette-makers urged both sides in a closed-door meeting yesterday to consider settling the case.

The rise of the disdainful Democrats

This is a good article about the state of today's Democrat Party...

From The American Thinker:

It may be a bit of a stretch, but the Democratic Party leadership looks more like the House of Lords and the Republican Party looks more like the House of Commons. Judging by its leadership, one of our political parties can legitimately claim the be the party of the common man and woman. And it isn't the Democrats.

RE: Mom, child burnt to death

Behethland B. Clark opines:

You are right. Eerily similar to the Emmett Till incident where the young man was beaten, shot and dumped in the river for whistling at a white woman. It is impossible to understand such hate.

Will the Republicans we elected please stand up

From The American Thinker:

I voted for our current president twice for one fundamental reason: he exhibited the unique, personal leadership characteristics, I believed our country needed the first time he ran and continues to need today. He looked at a situation, sized it up, made a decision, told you what he was going to do and then…he did it.

His propensity to deliver on promises made some inside the beltway very uncomfortable, I am sure.

Who's Minding DeMint?

From the Washington Prowler:

"The White House may not know it, but Social Security reform, at least the kind that they want to do, is DOA," says a House Ways and Means staffer. "We're taking it out of their hands and going to make the best of a bad situation."

Terri Schiavo Buried; Family Offended by Grave Marker

From CNS News:

The words on Terri Schiavo's Clearwater, Fla., grave are another insult to her parents.~ Press reports said Michael Schiavo inscribed the phrase, "I kept my promise," on her grave marker -- a reference to his supposed promise that he would not keep her alive artificially. Although Terri died on March 31, 2005, her grave marker says she "Departed this Earth" on Feb. 25, 1990 --- the day she collapsed, suffering severe brain damage. Schiavo's cremated remains were buried Monday, and Terri's parents said they were not told about the burial until after it happened.

Mom, child burnt to death

I've had this feeling that Islamic "honor killings" reminded me of something. After reading this story, it came to me in a flash. These resemble very closely the activities of the Ku Klux Klan throughout the South during the 1920's through the 1950's. It took us thirty years to dis-assimilate that hateful culture. How about if we pass on assimilating yet another hateful culture? Thirty years is a long time and doubtless covers an awful lot of raped, humiliated, tortured, and murdered women and children.

A Revealing Set of Numbers

From John Hood's Daily Journal:

If you want to understand why so many citizens are up in arms about the direction of North Carolina government – and why a group of them are planning to convene Wednesday at the state capitol for an early-evening rally – you might start by grasping the import of the following set of numbers.

Lifting Payroll Tax Cap Won't Save Social Security

From Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute:

It was former President Bill Clinton who several years ago set out the limited options for Social Security reform: cut benefits, invest privately, or raise taxes.

Now, opponents of President Bush’s proposals for Social security reform have ruled out changes in benefits or private investment through personal accounts, their alternative is starting to emerge. It is the largest tax increase in American history.

Global Warming Heats Up in Senate

From Steven Milloy:

Global warming is a hot issue in Congress right now, but not just because of pressure from the usual suspects in the radical eco-activist movement. Instead, a few businesses are leading the charge — which happens to be calculated to fill their coffers at the public's expense.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Remembering the Gipper

"We need true tax reform that will at least make a start toward restoring for our children the American dream that wealth is denied to no one, that each individual has the right to fly as high as his strength and ability will take him."

Ronald Reagan

Political Wheel Keeps Turning

From John Hood's Syndicated Weekly Column:

State elections in North Carolina are a long way off – or so it seems. In reality, Election Day is merely the culmination of a years-long process of sorting, recruiting, promoting, and funding candidates. As soon as one campaign is over, the next one begins.

Durbin slanders his own country

Here is the Mark Steyn article referenced in The American Thinker article. And yes, Steyn is a genius.

The Bolton charade

From Robert Novak:

"We are not on some fishing expedition here at all to derail the Bolton nomination," Sen. Christopher Dodd, with his customary half-smile in place, told the Senate Thursday afternoon. But that is exactly what the crafty Democrat is doing --with success so far. He has maneuvered John R. Bolton's confirmation to be U.S. ambassador into desperate straits.

Dick Durbin and our post-patriotic elite

From The American Thinker:

How wrong can you be? No, we are not talking about the analogical genius, Senator Dick Durbin (D. al-Inois). We are talking about the great Mark Steyn, a genuine genius columnist who calls Dick Durbin unpatriotic. Come now, Mr. Steyn. Dick Durbin isn’t unpatriotic. He is post-patriotic.

The Democrats sign up with the anti-Semites

From The American Thinker:

It is important that support for Israel in the US Congress is bipartisan. Israel, the only functioning democracy in the Middle East, has no real friend in the world other than America. The stability of that friendship, demonstrated by support in the Congress (and among the American people) over many decades, has been vitally important to help Israel withstand over 50 years of attacks by terrorists or Arab nations. Israel's foes ultimately do not want compromise with it, they have the goal of destroying the nation militarily, or de-legitimizing it politically (such as at the UN and various international courts and bodies, or in academia and among the "intelligentsia").


From the Drudge Report:

Following the announcement that former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein will soon be brought to trial on multiple charges, GQ magazine sheds new light on the man and his life since being captured and imprisoned. Hussein longs for the days when Ronald Reagan was president, says that he never dealt with Osama bin Laden, and is absolutely certain that he will return to power, according to an account of his captivity detailed for the first time in the July issue of GQ magazine.

Downing Street Downers

From the Washington Prowler:

Even if his mouth isn't open, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean finds a way to stick his foot in it. Last week, it was his contribution to a hugely embarrassing moment for the Democratic Party. which saw him involve the party in an anti-Operation Iraqi Freedom hearing on Capitol Hill and allow several individuals into party headquarters during that hearing who passed out anti-Semitic and anti-Israel propaganda.

The Truth About Hillary: An author tells his story.

Q&A by Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review Online:

The Clintons will always make headlines — for both their larger-than-life aspects and the simple facts of presidential history (and future presidential history?). The prospect of the former First Lady and current junior-but-star senator Hillary Clinton running for and (sit down) possibly becoming president has in part meant a little bit of a publishing bonanza of Hillary books. Among the most talked about — if not the most talked about — is one coming out this Tuesday: The Truth About Hillary: What She Knew, When She Knew It, and How Far She'll Got to Become President by Edward Klein, published by Penguin's conservative imprint, Sentinel.

Durbin’s Slander

From the National Review Editors:

Richard Durbin, the Democratic senator from Illinois, cries that “right-wing media” have wrenched his recent jeremiad against interrogation techniques at U.S. detention centers from its proper context. Let us pause, then, to consider in detail what he said, and to ask what, exactly, he could have been thinking.

Biden to Seek Presidential Nomination

From the Washington Post:

Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) said yesterday he plans to seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 unless he decides later this year that he has little chance of winning.

Friday, June 17, 2005


From John Podhoretz:

FOR years, Democratic politicians have reacted with spitting, consuming rage at the accusation that they are reflexively anti-military. That anger has, at times, been justified, as the charge has been thrown around too cavalierly. But Democratic anger has also been an effective tool because it puts Republicans on the spot, and usually Republicans back off when confronted.

Senator Dick Durbin Slams His Own Country

From Bill O'Reilly:

Senator Dick Durbin slams his own country. I think it's safe to say that most Americans see the war on terror in a far different way than many in the rest of the world. And before we analyze the incredible remarks by Senator Durbin, it's important to understand exactly what the majority of nations inside the UN are willing to accept.

Tobacco deal upsets groups

From today's Winston-Salem Journal:

Congressional Democrats are voicing opposition to the terms of a likely Bush administration lawsuit settlement with the tobacco industry, contending that cigarette-makers would get off too easily.


This is a MUST READ... Mr. Peters knocked this out of the park... The only way to win this War on Terror is by practicing Peace Through Strength, not by practicing Peace Through Appeasement...

From Ralph Peters:

THE demands to shut down our Guantanamo lock-up for terrorists have nothing to do with human rights. They're about punishing America for our power and success.

Just the Facts: Debunking Some Myths About DR-CAFTA

From The Heritage Foundation:

With CAFTA working its way through Congress, myths about the trade agreement are running rampant. In a new paper, trade expert Daniella Markheim lays out the facts on CAFTA--and debunks the biggest myths.

Will CAFTA cost the U.S. jobs? No way, CAFTA will actually encourage job creation by opening Central America to U.S. goods, explains Markheim.

Will CAFTA encourage illegal immigration? Far from it--increased prosperity in Central American should actually help stem the tide.

And what about labor standards? CAFTA actually requires enforcement of labor regulations, but in a way that won't cause economic damage, either.

The facts are clear, concludes Markheim. "CAFTA will improve U.S. economic performance, support American jobs, and promote economic freedom and prosperity."

Blind, Deaf, and Dumb

From George Neumayr, the executive editor of The American Spectator:

If Terri Schiavo had been dehydrated to death at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, Dick Durbin would be reading her autopsy report from the Senate floor. It would be an occasion for great moral anguish. How did the U.S. sink so low as to adopt such Nazi-like callousness toward disabled prisoners of war? one could imagine him saying. Instead, Democrats -- even as they spent part of the week crassly celebrating, with news of Schiavo's autopsy report in hand, the human rights abuse of euthanasia against the disabled -- are in a moral lather over the paucity of proper air conditioning terrorists receive at Guantanamo Bay.

Terrorism for Everyman: Is America losing the will to fight?

From Daniel Henninger of The Wall Street Journal:

As far as I can tell, this is the recent news out of Iraq:

Yesterday: "Six U.S. Servicemen Die in Iraq Violence."

Wednesday: "Surge of Violence Leaves 52 Dead in Iraq."

Monday: "Iraq-Bombing Update: Additional Bombings, Death Toll 10."

How to turn your government into a cash cow

From Paul Chesser, an associate editor for the John Locke Foundation:

Perhaps the favorite impression that most politicians like to leave with their constituents these days is that they "create jobs."

When businesses hint that they may relocate or expand operations in another state, elected officials there are quick to offer companies money and assets that they have taken from taxpayers. They call such gifts "incentives." Politicians love incentives so much that they sometimes will create a specific law and maybe even call for a special session of their state legislature just to award an individual company the fruits of their stolen generosity.

Refresher Course in Mind & Market

From John Hood's Daily Journal:

Use it or lose it. That’s the prevalent rule of thumb in life, unfortunately, more so than the old adage about never forgetting how to ride a bicycle. Yes, you can peddle if you haven’t been on a bike since banana seats and baseball cards in the spokes. But you’ll be lucky to make through the neighborhood unless you’ve kept in shape. We don’t ride bikes to demonstrate our ability to balance ourselves on two wheels, an ability that may well survive a lengthy period of disuse. We ride bikes to get places or enjoy ourselves, and there’s no question that these abilities grow with practice.

In poverty fight, Edwards must risk ticking off the left

From The Des Moines Register:

John Edwards will soon face a dilemma.

The former North Carolina senator and Democratic vice-presidential candidate has started an anti-poverty center and think tank. He's also running for president again in 2008.

The dilemma facing him is this: Can he stand up to Democratic constituency groups and tell them things they may not want to hear about fighting poverty while still courting them in another bid for the White House?


From the New York Post:

REPUBLICANS may finally be wising up to the fact that it's dumb to turn Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton into a victim by always attacking her and trumpeting every possible scurrilous claim about her.

RE: Losing their heads over Gitmo

Steve Brenneis opines:

"Maybe Sen. Arlen Specter, the liberal Republican Bush backed instead of conservative Pat Toomey, which still didn't help Bush in Pennsylvania, will step forward to defend the Bush administration. That Karl Rove is a genius."

St. Ann has finally seen the light! I guess you can only defend the indefensible for so long. Welcome home, Ann.

Mrs. Reagan Likely to Push Stem Cell Bill

From Fox News:

Nancy Reagan is poised for a quiet entrance into the Senate's embryonic stem cell debate in much the same role she played during the fierce fight in the House, calling up wavering lawmakers to help win passage of legislation in the shadow of President Bush's veto threat.

The Folly of Our Age: The Space Shuttle

From National Review Online:

Like the monster in some ghastly horror movie rising from the dead for the umpteenth time, the space shuttle is back on the launch pad. This grotesque, lethal white elephant — 14 deaths in 113 flights — is the grandest, grossest technological folly of our age. If the shuttle has any reason for existing, it is as an exceptionally clear symbol of our corrupt, sentimental, and dysfunctional political system. Its flights accomplish nothing and cost half a billion per. That, at least, is what a flight costs when the vehicle survives. If a shuttle blows up — which, depending on whether or not you think that 35 human lives (five original launchworthy Shuttles at seven astronauts each) would be too high a price to pay for ridding the nation of an embarrassing and expensive monstrosity, is either too often or not often enough** — then the cost, what with lost inventory, insurance payouts, and the endless subsequent investigations, is seven or eight times that.


From The Borowitz Report:

Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein startled the international legal community today by requesting that the jury in the Michael Jackson child molestation trial be empanelled to sit in judgment of him when his trial gets underway in Baghdad.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Can a Mormon be elected president of the United States?

From Robert Novak:

Any real doubt that Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will run for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination should have been resolved by his performance Monday in suburban Oakland County, Mich. He did not merely drop into his native state for a political fund-raising speech. He spent a 12-hour candidate's day working a key presidential primary state.

Losing their heads over Gitmo

From Ann Coulter:

I guess Bush should have backed Katherine Harris, after all. Sen. Mel Martinez, the Senate candidate Bush backed instead of Harris, has become the first Republican to call for shutting down Guantanamo. Martinez hasn't said where the 500 or so suspected al-Qaida operatives currently at Gitmo should be transferred to, but I understand the Neverland Ranch might soon be available.

What's a bigger national embarrassment - Gitmo or Durbin?

From The American Thinker:

After his most recent display of malignant partisanship and disregard for our country’s security, people in the rest of the country are no doubt wondering, as one writer here speculated yesterday, whether Illinois Senator Dick Durbin has lost his mind.

Index Social Security for Life Expectancy?

From The Limbaugh Institute:

"Key Senate Republicans are considering gradually raising the Social Security retirement age to as high as 69 over several years, as they struggle to jump-start legislation that President Bush has placed atop his second-term agenda. Under current law, the retirement age for full Social Security bits is 65 1/2 and is scheduled to reach 76 for those born in 1960 or later. The possible increase to 69 over two decades or more was among the suggestions made by Senator Charles Grassley, chairman of the Senate finance committee, and he presented these to fellow Republicans on his committee last week as part of an attempt to give the program greater financial solvency. Grassley also suggested steps to hold down benefits for the upper wage earners in the future. He spoke only on condition of anonymity saying the discussions were confidential."

RE: Realities

Steve Brenneis opines:

Don just seems to get stranger and more obtuse with every passing day. Senility, maybe?

In Don's bizarre little world, the government has first right to the fruits of your labors and government-run schools are the holy grail. According to Don, utopia is right around the corner if we will just let the government get its paws on a little more of our money.

I wonder if Don's so-called "realities of running a government" include all the nest-feathering being done by Eastern Democrats. I wonder if Don recalls the recent flap, quickly buried by our local leftist media over the majority of the funds intended for storm damage relief in the Western part of the state somehow mysteriously ending up in Eastern counties.

Right, Don. Those Eastern Democrats sure are wonderful.

Wish You Were Here!!!


This is in today's Letters to the Editor in the Winston-Salem Journal. This was submitted by one of Stokes County's well known socialists, Don Elliott. BP contributor Steve Brenneis defeated Don's wife, Reba, for Stokes County commissioner in 1996 when Reba ran for re-election.

The Democrats in the General Assembly seem determined to extend the sales tax and raise the tax on cigarettes. A number of these Democrats come from eastern North Carolina, where Democrats remember their heritage and do the right thing. Democrats want to provides funds for our university system and public schools and improve our roads.

Republican representatives from the Northwest thumb their political beads and mutter, "tax and spend."

Republicans would rather talk about gay marriage. Apparently there's such an outbreak of gay marriages in Davidson County a local preacher there wants a constitutional amendment banning them. Too bad he isn't for better schools and roads. He would be talking about how to pay for them instead of going on about gay marriage.

Eastern Democrats face the realities of running a government. Maybe they should tax gay marriage in Davidson County. At even $5 a marriage, think of the revenue.


House passes $17.1 billion budget that avoids some of Senate's cuts

From David Rice of the Winston-Salem Journal:

Cigarettes, movies and car registrations would all cost more in the $17.1 billion budget that the N.C. House began debating last night.

The U.N.'s Tipping Point: The real reformer is John Bolton, not Kofi Annan.

From The Wall Street Journal Editorial Writers:

Today--maybe, possibly, fingers crossed, and if Jupiter is in the Seventh House--the Senate will vote for cloture in the debate over John Bolton's nomination to be U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, meaning he will at last get the up-or-down vote he has been denied for months. And barring further surprises--no ruling those out, either--Mr. Bolton will be confirmed, meaning he may finally get down to the serious work that confronts the United States at the U.N, particularly in the matter of organizational reform.

Lie Of The Day

From Laura Ingraham's Lie of the Day:

"To criticize the rest of the world for using torture and to turn a blind eye to what we are doing in this war is just wrong and it's not American," claimed Dick Durbin.
We do more to investigate and punish our own wrong-doers than any country on the face of the earth. Culturally appropriate meals, health-care, Korans, and calls to prayer don't amount to a policy of torture. And Durbin knows this--he should be ashamed of himself. Americans expect us to be tough in our questioning of detainees who we believe are dangerous and who have invaluable information.

Getting Better, But Not for Taxpayers

It's hard to believe North Carolina is considered a "conservative" state when we keep sending people to Raleigh so they can raise our taxes during good times & bad...

From John Hood's Daily Journal:

State revenues are coming in above expectations, we are told, so obviously the proper response is to raise taxes again. Hey, wait a minute. . .

Indian rape victim ordered to marry father-in-law

The decision by village elders represents a pretty standard one in the realm of Sharia. Worth noting is that Canada and several European countries have been advocating separate Sharia courts for Muslims in their countries. Insanity reigns. Tell me again why any woman in her right mind would be a Muslim?