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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.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Live and let spy

From Strother's favorite columnist, Ann Coulter: :-)

Apart from the day the New York Times goes out of business – and the stellar work Paul Krugman's column does twice a week helping people house-train their puppies – the newspaper has done the greatest thing it will ever do in its entire existence. (Calm down: No, the Times didn't hold an intervention for Frank Rich.)

Monday's Times carried a major expose on child molesters who use the Internet to lure their adolescent prey into performing sex acts for webcams. In the course of investigating the story, reporter Kurt Eichenwald broke open a massive network of pedophiles, rescued a young man who had been abused for years and led the Department of Justice to hundreds of child molesters.

I kept waiting for the catch, but apparently the Times does not yet believe pedophilia is covered by the "privacy right." They should stop covering politics and start covering more stories like this.

RE: Wilson faces 4 more charges after capture

This actually happened about three or four miles from my house. It all took place just down Oscar Frye Rd. from NC 268, for those who are familiar with the area. I know Wilson slightly. The best thing about the whole incident was seeing Juanita Gordy on channel 12 describing Wilson as "Rambo."

Burnout: To change careers or not change careers? That is the question



A year ago, Diana To was a senior product manager for a high-tech company. She had a big paycheck and a lucrative future.

But she felt that her work lacked meaning, so after several months of soul-searching, she quit.

She then spent six months living off savings and figuring out what to do next.

In 2006, To, 32, plans to pursue a career as a career coach, helping others to find their professional and personal paths. To's decision was inspired by her parents - a nurse and a teacher - and her faith, as well as professional career tests that gave her a sense of what types of jobs might suit her best.

Today's the day to get extra second of sleep



If life is often a matter of split seconds - the train door that closes in your face, the chance encounter with the love of your life, the near-collision with an oncoming SUV - then the universe is about to bestow upon us a generous gift: the leap second.

Reynolds, UST deal sits on back burner

Merger would make sense, analysts say, but not likely soon

By Brian Louis

Old ideas die hard.

Over the years, analysts have speculated over the possibility of Reynolds American Inc. and its publicly traded predecessor, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings Inc., buying smokeless-tobacco giant UST Inc.

This fall the speculation surfaced again. However, nothing has happened, and despite good reasons for a deal, some analysts say they think that the probability of a purchase is relatively low.

Although a purchase of UST is intriguing and could make financial sense for Reynolds American, analysts said that the company already has enough on its plate.

Wilson faces 4 more charges after capture

He was armed, and resisted when officers jumped him near his hide-out

By Sherry Youngquist


A Stokes County man accused of shooting a sheriff's deputy and prompting a manhunt by more than 100 law-enforcement officers Thursday was described yesterday as a loner who prefers to live outdoors and has a dislike for government.

Jerry W. Wilson, 48, faces four new charges stemming from Thursday's incident: attempted first-degree murder; assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill; obstruct and delay; and going armed to the terror of people. He was being held yesterday in the Stokes County Jail with bond set at $1 million.

Wilson was arrested about 10:15 p.m. Thursday in woods behind his home after a 10-hour manhunt.

A helicopter pilot with the N.C. Highway Patrol using a thermal-imaging system spotted heat coming from a wood stove inside Wilson's camp in the woods about 9 p.m. and notified officers on the ground.

Officers ambushed Wilson near the camp that was built with tin, plywood, plastic and camouflage netting.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Horse Sex Story Tops 'Seattle Times' Most Popular List for 2005 -- But Here's Why

By Greg Mitchell

After reviewing the number of hits top local stories at his newspaper's Web site got in 2005, Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat concludes today, "As I look back at the year in news, it's clear I should have focused more on people having sex with horses."

RE: Unintelligent designs

Of course you like Cal Thomas. He is only a conservative relative to the extreme, far left that you inhabit. In objective terms, Thomas is moderately right of center. He is and always has been a statist at heart, just like George Will. People like Will and Thomas are why conservatives are losing the written and spoken battle for the political landscape. The extreme left is allowed to establish the lexicon.

Substantively, Thomas has completely missed the boat on this issue. First, the government has no business, secular or otherwise, being involved in the education of anyone. And second, the Federal Bench has neither the jurisdiction nor the right to rule on anything decided by a local school district. The judge found some imaginary separation of church and state in the US Constitution which, even if it existed, would not apply to this case. Thomas is welcome to his cultural opinion, but he is all wet on his opinion of the jurisprudence (or actually lack thereof) in this case.

If Thomas was a real conservative, he would have left the cultural issue out of the article and addressed the blatant disregard of the US Constitution exhibited by the judge. When or if this case reaches the SCOTUS, hopefully that bench will be populated by originalists who will quite correctly rule that the US Courts have no jurisdiction in this case and toss the whole thing out on its ear.

RE: RE: Kwanzaa: A Holiday From the FBI

Ann is not a journalist and doesn't claim to be, so your criticism is specious and vacuous (as usual). She is a constitutional lawyer and a political pundit, and yes, her opinions are generally considered by liberals, such as yourself, to be on the far right. On the other hand, I know dozens of people who have taken her to task for waiting so long to go after the liberals who now control the GOP.

You call her a partisan stooge, but for what party does she stooge? Obviously she is not a Republican or Democrat Party stooge since she belabors Bush and the spineless Pubbie Congress about as often as she does the Dummycrats. I know, she must be a stooge for the not-Strother Party.

So do you plan to offer any substantive rebuttal of what she wrote or do you just plan to engage in your usual whining?

...maybe she's just an ass.

I'm sure the feeling would be quite mutual if she could be bothered to take the time to consider your opinion.

Unintelligent designs

I originally read this yesterday in the Winston-Salem Journal. It's an interesting column from a real journalist who happens to be conservative, as opposed to Ann Coulter, etc. While I don't agree with every point Mr. Thomas makes, I agree with most of them and acknowledge every point that he makes. And I'm not even a conservative! But like I said, Thomas is a real journalist.

By Cal Thomas:

The decision by U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III to bar the teaching of "intelligent design" in the Dover, Pennsylvania public school district on grounds it is a thinly veiled effort to introduce a religious view of the world's origins is welcome for at least two reasons.
First, it exposes the sham attempt to take through the back door what proponents have no chance of getting through the front door. Judge Jones rebuked advocates of "intelligent design," saying they repeatedly lied about their true intentions. He noted many of them had said publicly that their intent was to introduce into the schools a biblical account of creation. Judge Jones properly wondered how people who claim to have such strong religious convictions could lie, thus violating prohibitions in the Book they proclaim as their source of truth and standard for living.
Culture has long passed by advocates of intelligent design, school prayer and numerous other beliefs and practices that were once tolerated, even promoted, in public education. People who think they can reclaim the past have been watching too many repeats of "Leave it to Beaver" on cable television. Those days are not coming back anytime soon, if at all.

RE: Kwanzaa: A Holiday From the FBI

Another great example of why Coulter is about nothing but bad journalism. While the information about the founder of Kwanzaa could be interesting, Coulter simply can’t report facts (and her opinions of those facts) without writing a diatribe that shoots from her position among all the other far-right shouters, targeting only who her audience perceives 'the enemy' to be.

She’s not interested in being a real and reasoned conservative journalist — like, for instance, Cal Thomas, whose columns I enjoy reading. She’s only interested in being a partisan stooge for those who like to read about what they already think, which is the only reason she has a career to begin with. Or maybe she just knows what pays the bills.

Or maybe I’m just analyzing her motives too much — maybe she’s just an ass.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Kwanzaa: A Holiday From the FBI

By Ann Coulter

President Bush's 2005 Kwanzaa message began with the patently absurd statement: "African-Americans and people around the world reflect on African heritage during Kwanzaa."

I believe more African-Americans spent this season reflecting on the birth of Christ than some phony non-Christian holiday invented a few decades ago by an FBI stooge. Kwanzaa is a holiday for white liberals, not blacks.

Dingy Democrats

By R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.
The American Spectator

'Tis the end of 2005 and time to look back. In politics what do I see? Well, I see the Republican Party struggling against high seas. In the media the party is depicted as being in danger of losing to the Democrats in the off-year elections next fall. That probably will be the case, unless the Republicans have to run against the Democrats. Against the Democrats they could win with Warren Harding in the White House.

Foxx family helps ring in the day

Request for stock-exchange tour leads to a special offer

By Mary M. Shaffrey


A request that began as an anniversary present for her husband put Rep. Virginia Foxx in the spotlight yesterday.

With her grandchildren, Rana and Ke-nan Ozemir, standing alongside her, Foxx, R-5th, rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

Foxx had called the exchange last week to find out if they could tour the place while they were in New York on a family holiday.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Burr has active first year in Senate

He took on bioterrorism and a brief stint as leader

By Mary M. Shaffrey


Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., had an interesting freshman year.

His signature piece of legislation dealing with bioterrorism prevention measures was divided: Half of it was incorporated into a defense bill, and the other half was deferred to 2006.

Life is getting worse and other myths

By John Stossel

Looking back on 2005, I realize that much of what I heard -- and what the media said -- turned out to be myths. Newsweek reported that U.S. interrogators had flushed a Koran down a Guantanamo Bay toilet. After Hurricane Katrina, reporters said that sharks from Lake Pontchartrain were swimming through New Orleans, and roving bands of armed gang members were attacking the helpless. Myth after myth. So to celebrate the new year, I'd like to review my top 10 list of foolish myths.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Entitlement money gobbling up budget

Federal spending up 5 percent from 2003



Three growing entitlement programs consumed nearly half of all federal spending in 2004, and budget analysts expect them to make up an even bigger share in the future.

Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid accounted for more than $1 trillion in the 2004 bud-get year, according to the Consolidated Federal Funds Report being released today by the Census Bureau.

Overall federal spending was $2.2 trillion, an increase of 5 percent from 2003.

'Tis the Season

By Mark Tooley
The American Spectator

You will not find Religious Left leaders defending the doctrines of their churches as ardently as they defend the virtues of an unendingly growing federal welfare state. For them, the state is nothing less than messianic. Any compromises about its scope and power are "immoral." This political advocacy is supposed to be "good news for the poor." But these church officials, having exchanged the Gospel for liberal politics, are clueless that the true Good News is not based on events in Washington, D.C.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Bridge near its opening

Replacing Stokes' Seven Island Bridge took many years

By Sherry Youngquist


A new bridge that many doubted would ever be built is about to be opened in a remote section of northern Stokes County.

The new Seven Island Bridge - a state project that cost about $2.5 million and for years was stalled by historians, officials and endangered river mussels - will create the first two-lane crossing over the Dan River on Seven Island Road near Gentry Road, northwest of Danbury

Friday, December 23, 2005

Inside Move: Israel backs L.A. official

Israel now officially thinks Steven Spielberg "Munich" is "superficial" and "pretentious."

Earlier this week, Daily Variety asked for comment from the Israel Foreign Ministry on whether the public comments from its L.A. consul general, Enod Danoch, in which he criticized the director's portrayal of Israel's counterterrorism policy, were on behalf of the government or simply the personal views of the diplomat.

Gabriel Snyder

Actually, I just assumed that superficial and pretentious were synonyms for Spielberg. Eventually I suspect he will become another unintentional Hollywood self-satire. Originally I thought this was going to be about the Munich massacre itself and I thought that finally we would see some balance out of the lately Muslim-apologetic California movie machine. I should have known better.

I wonder why Hollyweird has declined to make a movie about Beslan? Oh wait, that would put the Islamo-fascist child-rapists in a bad light. Never mind.

Benjamin Franklin: Still relevant at 300

A scientific genius, inventor, postmaster, printer, statesman par excellence, and a man of wit and wisdom, Benjamin Franklin is arguably the most accessible Founding Father. More books have been written about him than nearly any other figure of the American Revolution.

On Jan. 17, we will celebrate the 300th anniversary of his birth, and The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino is marking the occasion with the display one of its greatest treasures - the original, handwritten manuscript of Franklin's renowned 'Autobiography.'

The White House and the Congressional Republicans would do well to remember another Franklin quote as they continue considering the so-called "Patriot Act:"

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

RE: A Little Man Takes on Wal-Mart

And speaking of getting paid by the unions, it’s probably not an entirely inexplicable omission that Krugman didn’t mention the recent Zogby poll that “found that 56 percent of American adults agreed with the statement — ‘Wal-Mart was bad for America.’” That’s possibly because Krugman didn’t want to deal with the fact that Zogby was paid by union-backed Wake Up Wal-Mart to do the poll (and John Zogby himself has been paid in the past to appear as an expert witness on behalf of plaintiffs suing Wal-Mart). The Pew Foundation, presumably not on the take from the unions, just found in a similar poll that 64 percent of Americans believe Wal-Mart is “Good … For the country.”

Someone posted this poll a while back on the BP. I mentioned at the time that Zogby's polls were garbage. I now rest my case. The war on Wal-Mart is a founded on phony premises, promoted emotionally by ignorant surrogates, and pursued in the shadows by evil and greedy unions who care only about power and wealth while claiming to work for "the common man."

Black inquiry draws in 2 officials from Triad

Jim Harrell, Libba Evans summoned to grand jury

By David Rice


Two figures from the Triad - Libba Evans, the N.C. secretary of cultural resources, and state Rep. Jim Harrell III, D-Surry - were summoned before a federal grand jury yesterday as part of a continuing investigation surrounding state House Speaker Jim Black.

A Little Man Takes on Wal-Mart

Krugman is paid to play his baseless leftist games.

By Donald Luskin
National Review Online

Who was it that said that the measure of a man is what he worries about? President Bush is a big man who worries about big things like protecting America from global terrorism. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman — Bush’s most vicious media opponent and America’s looniest liberal pundit — is a little man who worries about little things, such as whether conservative pundits are being paid too much by lobbyists, and whether retail workers are being paid too little by Wal-Mart.

Amendment 1 of the US Constitution

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Steve's remarks below is the reason why I posted this. Agreeing with Steve, there's nowhere in the Constitution that mentions "separation of church & state." This is a good example of the judiciary run amuck.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Racism is bad - so is self-delusion

Gotcha. White youths egged on by white supremacists. You can't make a racist omelette without egged whites. Cate Blanchett also subscribes to the Squires line and, no disrespect to our man down under, she does it rather more fetchingly. I'm goo-goo for Miss Blanchett in just about every movie she's made and I'd cut her an awful lot of slack.

But on Friday she toddled along to Dolphin Point on Coogee Beach wearing a white T-shirt showing the outline of Australia with the single word "THINK" inside and stood in front of a banner calling for "a wave of tolerance" to sweep the country (which sounds more like a tsunami of tolerance). And, even as I was still drooling like a schoolboy, I could feel myself starting to roll my eyes. At that point, Miss Blanchett unburdened herself of this great insight: "It's actually very clear and simple. Violence and racism are bad."

Thank God somebody had the courage to say it, eh? But isn't the problem, in Australia and elsewhere, that it's not quite that "clear and simple"?

Mark Steyn

RE: Science trumps faith in court

...violated the constitutional separation of church and state.

I wonder to which constitution the good judge was referring. Certainly it wasn't the US Constitution and I've only glanced at the PA Constitution a couple of times, but I don't recall any "separation of church and state" in it either.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

September 10 America

From the Editors of National Review Online:

How could an American citizen who chooses to call, or accept calls from, an al Qaeda operative overseas reasonably expect that those conversations would not be monitored by American or other authorities?

Science trumps faith in court

From today's Winston-Salem Journal:

HARRISBURG, PA — In one of the biggest courtroom clashes between faith and evolution since the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial, a federal judge barred a Pennsylvania public school district yesterday from teaching "intelligent design" in biology class, saying that the concept is creationism in disguise.
Judge John E. Jones of U.S. District Court delivered a stinging attack on the Dover Area School Board, saying that its decision in October 2004, the first in the nation, to insert intelligent design into the science curriculum violated the constitutional separation of church and state.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Vital Presidential Power

By William Kristol and Gary Schmitt
The Washington Post

This is not an argument for an unfettered executive prerogative. Under our system of separated powers, Congress has the right and the ability to judge whether President Bush has in fact used his executive discretion soundly, and to hold him responsible if he hasn't. But to engage in demagogic rhetoric about "imperial" presidents and "monarchic" pretensions, with no evidence that the president has abused his discretion, is foolish and irresponsible.

Strother Still Doesn't Get It

First, let me say that your response actually just boils down to "nanny-nanny-boo-boo," so whether it even merits a rebuttal is arguable at best. But I'm just a glutton for punishment...

But I do think the majority is always right as long as they agree with me.

This much has always been obvious. No need to belabor it here. You claim it's a joke, but truth has managed to squeak through. I'm sure your tune would have been very different if we were discussing this during a time when conservatives managed to beat back a couple of increases in the minimum wage and the whole country supported them.

But regarding 'I repaired the defect,' is Steve talking about raising kids or repairing robots?

Admit it Strother, you're just peeved because there are some people out there who were exposed to the Marxist indoctrination but it was negated by their parents. The only remaining question is whether you're upset because you don't like the idea of independent thinkers or whether you're just jealous.

Is he sure? Is he a mind reader?

Of course I'm sure. Once you defeat the Marxist mind-control effort, you don't have to wonder whether your kids are telling you what they actually believe or whether they're just regurgitating the party line.

Maybe there are a few 'downsized' middle management folks out there that don't realize typing, e-mailing, blogging, and sitting at a desk all day is a pretty easy gig, I don't know.

This might be one of the most idiotic things you've ever posted on here. I think I'll just leave it at that.

And I'm still waiting on my economics lesson - the tutorial on 'employment economics 101' seems to have been left out of Steve's post.

Inability to comprehend on your part does not constitute lack of clarity on my part. You haven't responded substantively to anything I posted, instead you chose to repeat your claims that the majority is always right and made juvenile comments about the non-salient portions of my post.

But in the interest of the vague possibility that some of this might slip through the muddled, Marxist concrete that has been poured into your skull, here's the employment economics lesson boiled down to a few sentences. Employment is a contract. Before the contract, the employee is entitled to nothing from the employer and vice-versa. After the contract, the employee is entitled to nothing more than the terms of the contract. A minimum wage represents government interference in the employment pricing system. It forces employers to hire fewer people and to lay off employees when the government inevitably raises it. "Fairness" is just another term for the mythological system of cosmic justice in which all liberals believe. The only thing resembling fairness in the employment contract is the fact that both sides of the contract receive something they want.

Oh, and by the way, of course I'm in the minority. I always have been. But to hang annoyance due to that fact on me is simple transference on your part. You see, it is you that founds his entire system of belief on the fact that the majority is always right as long as they agree with you. The fact that I find myself in the minority doesn't mean I take my fellowman to be stupid. That's just more transference. It's you and Tucker who believe humanity to be stupid, greedy, and evil, remember? Being in the minority means to me that I just have to work harder to get the word out.

Q&A: US domestic spying row

Good information to know.

From BBCNews.com:
President Bush has revealed he authorised a US intelligence agency to eavesdrop within the United States without court approval. The BBC News website considers some key questions:

1. What did the president order?
"In the weeks following the terrorist attacks on our nation, I authorised the National Security Agency, consistent with US law and the Constitution, to intercept the international communications of people with known links to al-Qaeda and related terrorist organisations," Mr Bush said on 17 December.
His announcement followed a New York Times report that the president had allowed US intelligence agencies to monitor phone calls and e-mail sent by US citizens without getting permission from the courts.

2. Is this legal?
It is difficult to say.
Civil liberties groups and some senators are concerned about a possible breach of the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution.
This protects the "right of people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures". Electronic surveillance did not exist in 1789 when this was written, but over the years the limits of the government's powers in relation to new technologies have become more clearly defined.

Remembering the Gipper

"Our coins bear the words 'In God We Trust.' We take the oath of office asking his help in keeping that oath. And we proclaim that we are a Nation under God when we pledge allegiance to the flag. But we can't mention his name in a public school or even sing religious hymns that are non-denominational. Christmas can be celebrated in the school room with pine trees, tinsel and reindeers but there must be no mention of the Man whose birthday is being celebrated. One wonders how a teacher would answer if a student asked why it was called Christmas."

Ronald Reagan

Monday, December 19, 2005

Bono, Gateses share Time cover

As reported by the Miami Herald:
Time magazine has named Bill and Melinda Gates and rock star Bono its ''Persons of the Year,'' citing their charitable work and activism aimed at reducing global poverty and improving world health, reports The Associated Press. ''For being shrewd about doing good, for rewiring politics and reengineering justice, for making mercy smarter and hope strategic and then daring the rest of us to follow, Bill and Melinda Gates and Bono are Time's Persons of the Year,'' the magazine said.
Time praised the Gateses for building the world's largest charity, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has a $29 billion endowment, and for ''giving more money away faster than anyone ever has'' this year.
Time said Bono's campaign to make rich countries address the debt of poorer ones has had an equally impressive impact on the world. This year, ''Bono charmed and bullied and morally blackmailed the leaders of the world's richest countries into forgiving $40 billion in debt owed by the poorest,'' the magazine said.

Censure or Impeach?

By The Prowler
The American Spectator


Sen. John Kerry is beginning to have the look of a haunted man a la former Vice President and Florida loser Al Gore. Last week, Kerry's campaign staff held a Holiday Reunion at a D.C. Irish bar. Kerry showed up and in typical fashion killed what was shaping up to be a decent holiday buzz for his young former volunteers and paid staff.

Bush defends phone-tapping policy

Or, 'Bush poll numbers to decrease again; Iraq War PR blitz is guaranteed':

From BBCNews:
US President George W. Bush has again defended his decision to allow eavesdropping on Americans in the wake of the 2001 terror attacks. Speaking at a press conference, Mr Bush also repeated that he would continue to authorise the secret monitoring.

And in an earlier BBC report — http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4534488.stm:
Questioned about the report, Condoleezza Rice said Mr Bush had never ordered anyone to do anything illegal. But some NSA officials familiar with the operation have questioned whether the surveillance of calls and e-mails has crossed constitutional limits on legal searches, according to the Times. American law usually requires a secret court, known as a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, to give permission before intelligence officers can conduct surveillance on US soil.
When asked about the programme on US TV, the secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, said: "The president acted lawfully in every step that he has taken. He takes absolutely seriously his constitutional responsibility both to defend Americans and to do it within the law," she said.
She declined to discuss details of the New York Times report.
...The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said eavesdropping in the US without a court order and without complying with the procedures of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was "both illegal and unconstitutional. The administration is claiming extraordinary presidential powers at the expense of civil liberties and is putting the president above the law," director Caroline Fredrickson said.

Re: Employment Economics 101 (?)

That whole "the majority is always right" thing...

I've never said that the majority is always right (case in point: the majority of Americans supported the invasion of Iraq early on). But I do think the majority is always right as long as they agree with me. Har, har — it's a joke, folks. But I'll venture to bet that's pretty much what Steve thinks.

...must be a North Stokes High School curriculum point. They tried to teach my kids that BS as well. Fortunately I repaired the defect.

And I don't know about 'that' being a 'North Stokes thing.' But regarding 'I repaired the defect,' is Steve talking about raising kids or repairing robots? Funny stuff: 'Repaired the defect.' Is he sure? Is he a mind reader?

But I have a counter-challenge for you. Go talk to someone who has been laid off because the government keeps creeping the minimum wage. You tell them that it's too low and I'll give you the same advice you gave me: duck.

I doubt that I'd come across nearly as many aggressors as you would per the terms of my challenge to you. Maybe there are a few 'downsized' middle management folks out there that don't realize typing, e-mailing, blogging, and sitting at a desk all day is a pretty easy gig, I don't know.

And I'm still waiting on my economics lesson — the tutorial on 'employment economics 101' seems to have been left out of Steve's post. Instead, he complains that the majority of Americans are wrong for being supportive of a fair minimum wage. So Steve, are the majority of Americans are stupid and gullible for thinking this way? If so, I think I've pinpointed the source of his unending political irritability: he is in the minority. As a result, he thinks that he's surrounded by morons! Elitism at its best! How hilarious.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Iraq vote leaves Dems looking like the losers

Well, that old Iraqi quagmire just keeps getting worse and worse, if only for the Democratic Party. What was the straw they were clutching at back in January? Oh, yeah, sure, gazillions of Kurds and Shiites might have gone to the polls, but where were the Sunni? As some of us said at the time, the Sunni'll come out tomorrow. And so they did. On Thursday, they voted in record numbers, leaving Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Democrats frantically scrambling for another disaffected Iraqi minority group they could use as proof that the whole crazy neocon war-for-oil scam was a bust.

Mark Steyn

N.C. to raise gas tax by 2.8 cents a gallon

It is largest increase in years, but tax is lowest adjusted for inflation



North Carolina is raising the motor-fuel tax by 2.8 cents a gallon, the largest increase in 16 years, but one that keeps the tax at one of the lowest levels in state history when adjusted for inflation.

Employment Economics 101 for Strother.

Since you're the one that likes playing the 'label' game so much, maybe you should engage a few average Americans in a conversation about the minimum wage and whether it's too low or not.

That whole "the majority is always right" thing must be a North Stokes High School curriculum point. They tried to teach my kids that BS as well. Fortunately I repaired the defect.

All you've shown is that your liberal pals are good salesmen. They have firmly ensconced the entitlement mentality in Joe Sixpack. That doesn't establish anything quantitative or qualitative about the minimum wage. You claim it's too low. Compared to what? Compared to a six-figure annual salary? No doubt. But what criteria establishes that unskilled labor warrants an artificially high salary? Of course, your answer is based on merit. You say people deserve a higher minimum wage.

But I have a counter-challenge for you. Go talk to someone who has been laid off because the government keeps creeping the minimum wage. You tell them that it's too low and I'll give you the same advice you gave me: duck.

But I have found that at your average pub or eatery in Europe and elsewhere offers less attentive and concerned wait staff than one here in the US.

You obviously visited a lower class of establishment in Europe than I did, then. Or maybe you only visited France. But you are probably mistaking as service the incessant iced tea refills and queries of "can I get you anything else?" In Europe, the wait staff generally consists of professionals. They don't scribble illegibly on a pad and then when the food arrives ask, "who had the cheeseburger?" They don't run by your table and throw a salad at you, disappearing back into the bowels of the kitchen. They don't regard you throughout the meal as something ugly they found growing on the bottom of their foot only to become your best friend upon presentation of the bill.

People are entitled to fair compensation. That's not an 'entitlement mentality.' That's just fair.

What?! Do you have trouble with English? People are entitled to nothing. Fair is an artificial construct of those who live on wishful thinking. You tell me of an entitlement mentality and then claim it isn't. Employment is a contract. It is subject to the laws of supply and demand like any other economic construct. To insist that an employer has some obligation to pay something other than what the employment is worth is an entitlement mentality.

The rest of your argument is just repetitious, so I'm not going to belabor it. There is no such thing as a "fair minimum wage." A government-mandated minimum wage is fair to neither employers nor employees. It is nothing more than largesse handed out to the adopted mascots of the liberal elite in order to enhance their own views of their self worth. Your straw-man argument about you and I keeping wait staff employed by the generosity of our tips is ridiculous and it belies your repeated claims of tipping for performance. As I said before, you are a liberal so you base reward on merit. Your entire response is an amazing bit of hypocrisy in which you deny that outlook while supporting it and reinforcing it.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

'Crossfire' co-host Novak exits CNN for Fox News

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Robert Novak, whose syndicated column sparked the CIA leak case and who stormed off a CNN set earlier this year, will join Fox News Channel as a contributor.

Late Night Funnies

From the Federalist Patriot:

David Letterman... "Top Signs You've Hired A Bad Department Store Santa": Fluffy white beard is heavily soiled with chaw stains; Lectures each child on the wonders of Scientology; There's always two or three elves on defibrillator duty; Tries to snort the fake snow; The suit is more orange and reads "Auburn Correctional Facility"; Every night he walks out with a sack full of Ipods; Instead of saying, "ho, ho, ho," keeps mumbling something about "Jihad"; Tells every kid climbing on his lap, "Careful of Santa's flask"; Because of earlier incident, can't go within 50 feet of Victoria's Secret salesgirl.

Jay Leno... The President of Pakistan has announced that they have killed a top al-Qa'ida leader. On the news they said that this leader ranked somewhere between the number three and the number five man. I'm going out on a limb here—wouldn't that make him the number four guy? ... The White House announced they sent out 1.4 million Christmas cards this year. When Bill Clinton was president, he sent out twice that number of cards. Of course, that was for Valentine's Day. ... Howard Dean said that we can't win in Iraq. And if anybody knows about not winning, it's the Democrats. ... Saddam was in court and he said he was not afraid to die. Which is why we found him hiding in a spider hole. ... Al Sharpton is getting his own show on CBS. I believe it's called "The Amazing Race Card." ... The big controversy this year is about calling Christmas trees holiday trees and trying to take religion out of the holidays. I was watching one of these cable news shows about this and they had on an atheist who said they were against "organized" religion. And while they were talking, they had on the screen the name of the atheist organization. So they were against organized religion but organized atheism is apparently ok... Remember when you used to tie the Christmas tree to the top of your car and drive home? Now our SUV's are so big, the trees fit inside. The new Cadillac Escalade actually has a Christmas tree holder on the dash.

Re: Strother: Still dodging That "Liberal" Moniker

It is an absolute fact that only a die-hard liberal would support a government mandated minimum wage or base any argument on the assumption that it is too low.

Really? Only 'die-hard liberals?' Since you're the one that likes playing the 'label' game so much, maybe you should engage a few average Americans in a conversation about the minimum wage and whether it's too low or not. When they disagree with you, call them a 'die-hard liberal.' You better duck, though; some of them may try to hurt you.

In general, Americans' standards for restaurant service are pathetically low. In the South, in particular, what passes for good service would not muster a mediocre to poor rating in most of Europe and Asia.

Let's make sure we're comparing apples to apples here. You're not comparing a visit to the Golden Corral to a splurge while on vacation in Italy, I hope. In my experience, great restaurants provide great service anywhere, but more than likely, compensation — whether it is from wages, tips, or a balanced combination of both — ensures that is the case. But I have found that at your average pub or eatery in Europe and elsewhere offers less attentive and concerned wait staff than one here in the US.

Service in restaurants is poor precisely because of the entitlement mentality of the staff.

People are entitled to fair compensation. That's not an 'entitlement mentality.' That's just fair.

In the universe the rest of us live in, it has been bumped to 15% because liberals bark and whine about how much more the wait staff deserves a bigger tip. It's because liberals like you base rewards on merit and not on performance. It's because you and all your liberal ilk refuse to live in the real world with the rest of us.

As I mentioned before, I tip on performance. With a few differences in detail, we have agreed on that.

'The rest of us?' I think that if you looked behind you, you wouldn't see as many allies in your anti-minimum wage fight as you'd like. And by the way, 'the real world' is where all of us — even those waiters who are in an industry that, as you so eloquently explain, turns over employees like the 'crack whore business' — live and work for fair compensation. I'm paid fairly for my performance. I'm sure you are too. And we're both probably fine with that. I'm just saying that the restaurant owner should be in charge of keeping his staff coming to work each day, not you and me. A fair minimum wage requires restaurant owners to reach further down into their pockets, which is fair because they're the ones profiting from our patronage and their employees' good service practices.

But, hell — since they’re serving it to us, let them eat cake, right?

Friday, December 16, 2005

Strother: Still dodging That "Liberal" Moniker, And Not Succeeding

It is an absolute fact that the minimum wage for American waiters and waitresses is low.

It is an absolute fact that the minimum wage is responsible for more unemployment in America than any other factor. It is an absolute fact that a government mandated minimum wage is Marxism. It is an absolute fact that only a die-hard liberal would support a government mandated minimum wage or base any argument on the assumption that it is too low.

The high standards Americans have for restaurant service require waiters to perform well — and if they don’t, they won’t work at a successful, money-making restaurant for very long.

Sell it to someone gullible enough to believe it. In general, Americans' standards for restaurant service are pathetically low. In the South, in particular, what passes for good service would not muster a mediocre to poor rating in most of Europe and Asia. Service in restaurants is poor precisely because of the entitlement mentality of the staff. The minimum wage plays a large part in that attitude.

Like most people, I regret that I — not restaurant owners — must pay employee raises to insure that good workers stay in their business and that I keep getting good service.

Please tell me you don't really believe that. I thought you were smarter than that. You need to talk to a restaurant owner some time about the trials and tribulations of getting and keeping decent wait staff. I know several. Here's a clue for you: It has nothing to do with wages. Employment turnover in food service is only exceeded by that in the crack whore business. No one in America aspires to be wait staff. Its just something temporary until a better job comes along. I know of several restaurant owners who pay well above minimum wage and still can't keep decent staff.

That's why the standard used to be 10% and now it has been bumped to 15-20%. We the public are paying the necessary raises to insure good service and its continued association with American restaurants.

Maybe in Strotherville. In the universe the rest of us live in, it has been bumped to 15% because liberals bark and whine about how much more the wait staff deserves a bigger tip. It's because liberals like you base rewards on merit and not on performance. It's because you and all your liberal ilk refuse to live in the real world with the rest of us.

Steve: Seeking 'Conservative vs. Liberal' In Everything

Me: I will say that 10% may be okay if the minimum wage for waitresses wasn't so low.

Steve: Sheesh. And you keep claiming you're not a liberal.

It is an absolute fact that the minimum wage for American waiters and waitresses is low. The high standards Americans have for restaurant service require waiters to perform well — and if they don’t, they won’t work at a successful, money-making restaurant for very long. Like most people, I regret that I — not restaurant owners — must pay employee raises to insure that good workers stay in their business and that I keep getting good service.

But that’s how it is. That's why the standard used to be 10% and now it has been bumped to 15-20%. We the public are paying the necessary raises to insure good service and its continued association with American restaurants.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

O come, all ye faithless

Peter Watson, the author of a new book called Ideas: a History of Thought and Invention, from Fire to Freud, was interviewed by the New York Times the other day, and was asked to name ‘the single worst idea in history’. He replied:

‘Without question, ethical monotheism. The idea of one true god. The idea that our life and ethical conduct on Earth determines how we will go into the next world. This has been responsible for most of the wars and bigotry in history.’

And a Merry Christmas to you, too. For a big-ideas guy, Watson is missing the bigger question: something has to be ‘responsible for most of the wars and bigotry’, and if it wasn’t religion, it would surely be something else. In fact, in the 20th century, it was. Europe’s post-Christian pathogens of communism and Nazism unleashed horrors on a scale inconceivable even to the most ambitious Pope. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot: you’d look in vain for any of them in the pews each Sunday. Marx has a lot more blood on his hands than Christ — other people’s blood, I mean — but the hyper-rationalists are noticeably less keen to stick him with the tab for the party.

Mark Steyn

RE: BP Poll Question

I generally tip around 15% of the total bill for good service. If the service is excellent, I will go as high as 18%. I have left a 20% tip maybe twice. Overtipping is in bad taste. If the service is only average, I usually drop down to around 10% and if the service really sucks I leave nothing and I usually don't go back. I will give a place a couple of chances in general, but two episodes of bad service will mean I will never darken their doors again. I have also left a penny on a couple of occasions. I never tip based on the quality of the meal. The tip is for the service, not for the food.

I will say that 10% may be okay if the minimum wage for waitresses wasn't so low.

Sheesh. And you keep claiming you're not a liberal.


Pre-tax total, huh? Makes sense to me, I guess.

At restaurants, I generally tip 20% is the service is satisfactory, less if below satisfactory. I'm pretty easy-going, so I'm easily pleased most of the time.

The more a waiter acts like my presence is a burden, the lower I go. I have — only a couple of times, though — left just a penny in order to send a clear message that their service absolutely sucked. I feel that if you leave nothing in a situation like that, the restaurant and waiter may think you just forgot to leave a tip at all. I also believe that stiffing someone because your food is bad generally only hurts the wait staff. If anything, the management shouldn't charge you for it, which is how a customer should be compensated for eating lousy food. After all, the wait staff didn't cook it, and the cooks usually don't get a piece of the tip anyway. In such a situation, I would generally just tell my waiter that the food wasn't very good and that something needs to be done if I'm going to come back again.

Personally, I believe we should go back to 10% on the post-tax total... If 10% is good enough for God, then 10% should be good enough for a waiter or waitress. :-)

Interesting theory, but to me, 15% to 20% is more than reasonable. My wife was a waitress throughout college, and I had the opportunity to see how hard she worked. She definitely earned a 20% tip (or more), even when she didn't get it. Plus, since God doesn't have to buy groceries or pay rent and utilities, he'd probably get by just fine on 10% from all churchgoers, and would probably appreciate it! But that's if all people actually tithed, and that's another subject altogether.

I will say that 10% may be okay if the minimum wage for waitresses wasn't so low. Also, tipping solely based on the price of a meal is an imperfect method anyway, but it's really the only option. I've seen waitresses at the Waffle House work much harder than many who work for slower-paced and far pricier eating establishments!


According to this article, the standard tip at a restaurant is 15% - 20% on the pre-tax total. I always tipped based on the post-tax total. Personally, I believe we should go back to 10% on the post-tax total... If 10% is good enough for God, then 10% should be good enough for a waiter or waitress. :-)

Not Right, but Legal

Winston-Salem Journal

It may not seem right that former Rep. Michael Decker was able to pocket a $4,000 campaign contribution from House Speaker Jim Black. But it was legal.

It was also legal that Decker, before he was defeated for renomination in 2004, used campaign contributions to buy himself a new car and a plane ticket to go and get that new car. Or that he regularly used his campaign contributions to pay other personal expenses.

Don't point the finger only at Decker. What he did is common practice at the Legislative Building: Campaign contributions that go unused at the end of a politician's career can legally go into the politician's pocket and often do.

Black admits he made mistakes

He also swears off lobbyists' gifts

By David Rice


House Speaker Jim Black admitted making mistakes yesterday by appointing lottery operative Kevin Geddings to the N.C. Lottery Commission and making lobbyist Meredith Norris his political director.

The speaker - who is embroiled in speculation about a federal investigation into influence by the video-poker and lottery industries - also announced that he will no longer accept gifts from lobbyists.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Amish Man Lost Thousands in Sex Scam

From Foxnews.com:

CHARDON, Ohio — A 75-year-old Amish widower, afraid his church community would find out about him seeking sex from a prostitute, was scammed out of more than $67,000 from the prostitute and her boyfriend, a prosecutor says.

Democrats sending Iraq discouraging message

From the San Antonio Express-News:

The U.S. commitment in Iraq cannot be open-ended. It's the timing, not the incertitude, of this clamor for withdrawal that is the most troubling. As Iraqis bravely go to the polls once again and demonstrate their will to build a new, democratic society, Lieberman must occasionally wonder: Which side, the 27 million or the 10,000, do some of his colleagues want to see prevail?

Romney to announce he won't seek re-election

Governor is expected to seek GOP presidential nomination in 2008

By Frank Phillips
Boston Globe

Governor Mitt Romney will announce at 6 p.m. that he will not seek re-election to a second term, setting the stage for an expected campaign for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, a senior aide to the governor said today.

Bono dines with Jesse Helms

CHARLOTTE (AP) — Bono and Jesse Helms?

Not only are they friends, but the Irish rocker and archconservative former North Carolina senator also share a common cause: fighting AIDS in Africa.

Before U2 opened to a raucous crowd of 17,000 at the city's new downtown arena, Bono had dinner with Helms.

Bush can settle CIA leak riddle, Novak says

From newsobserver.com:

Newspaper columnist Robert Novak is still not naming his source in the Valerie Plame affair, but he says he is pretty sure the name is no mystery to President Bush.

"I'm confident the president knows who the source is," Novak told a luncheon audience at the John Locke Foundation in Raleigh on Tuesday. "I'd be amazed if he doesn't."

"So I say, 'Don't bug me. Don't bug Bob Woodward. Bug the president as to whether he should reveal who the source is.' "

Sliding Down the Polls

By Lisa Fabrizio
The American Spectator

Armed with their latest polling statistics, liberal Democrats frequently take to the talk shows and editorial pages to proclaim this or that anti-Bushism with steely confidence. In an effort to discredit them, many on the right then try to point out the questionable methodology used in producing such polls.

But rather than list the various ways pollsters frame their questions and over-sample Democrats to produce the results desired by those who hire them, the surest proof of the charge that mainstream media polls are phony is to watch the actions of Democrats, who often run away from their conclusions.

Capital Punishment

Was that regarding the victims in this case?

Yes, it was regarding the young man who Williams shot after robbing the store in which he worked. His mother is the one quoted in the AP article.

If so, when and to whom was the statement made?

The statement was made to a fellow inmate who subsequently testified to it. I don't recall when it was made.

Whether or not many people actually write any of their own books is arguable at best. Your point?

I thought that was obvious. One of the reasons Williams' supporters gave for clemency was his authorship of the children's books. It is arguable (some say doubtful) that Williams wrote them or even really had a lot to do with them. There is evidence to suggest that the books were a prison-yard scam designed to gain sympathy for his case.

...I do find it quite contradictory that someone can be 100% 'pro-life' and 'pro-death penalty.'

I'm not sure if you are referring to me, but I have never indicated that I am 100% pro-death penalty. If I sat on a jury, the only way I could hand out the death penalty was to be sure that the perpetrator would never again be able to harm another person. The irony of capital punishment is that it has become ever more necessary as our judicial and prison systems have become revolving doors. The liberalism of the 1960's has left us in a situation in which it is necessary to kill these people just to defend ourselves. If we operated a punishment system in which "life in prison" actually meant something, I expect a reasonable argument against capital punishment could be made. Unfortunately, we now find ourselves living with a system in which degenerates are not punished but instead adopted as mascots by the liberal elite.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

US state signs Cuban trade deal

From BBCNews.com:
The governor of the US state of Maine, John Baldacci, has signed a multi-million dollar trade deal with Cuba's state-run food agency Alimport. Under the deal, Alimport will buy Maine products worth $20m (£11.3m) by July 2007, including seed potatoes, fish and dairy cattle. Mr Baldacci is due to meet Cuban President Fidel Castro later on Monday.
Food sales on a cash basis to Cuba are legal under a federal law from 2000 - an exception to the US trade embargo. In 2001, Maine was the first US state to pass a resolution calling for a complete end to the trade and travel ban against the Caribbean nation.

Re: Executed gang leader's supporters...

Williams was overheard joking at one time about the noises one of his victims made while he was in his death throes.

Was that regarding the victims in this case? If so, when and to whom was the statement made? Just curious.

Whether or not Williams actually wrote any of the children's books is arguable at best.

Whether or not many people actually write any of their own books is arguable at best. Your point?

Don't get me wrong about this — I'm torn on the issue of the death penalty. But murder is murder, even when murder is instigated by the state. While I generally respect most all opinions on this issue, I do find it quite contradictory that someone can be 100% 'pro-life' and 'pro-death penalty.' I know more than a few pro-lifers that are also 100% against the death penalty; I fully respect that position.

What is going on at the NRSC?

By Tim Chapman

The National Republican Senatorial Committee, led by North Carolina Senator Elizabeth Dole, continues to meddle in the Rhode Island GOP primary at the expense of conservative challenger Steve Laffey.

Hispanic Influx Hits Schools Hardest

Immigrants transforming services, says county commissioner report

By Karen Welsh
Carolina Journal

A massive influx of immigrants, both legal and illegal, into North Carolina has thrust thousands of non-English speaking students into the public school system, leaving local teachers and administrators with a daunting task in their efforts to educate this expanding population.

Executed gang leader's supporters say he deserves a statesman's funeral

The argument over whether convicted killer Stanley Tookie Williams was a man of peace or a death-row con artist raged on after his execution Tuesday, with supporters announcing they would give him a funeral "befitting a statesman."

The 51-year-old founder of the bloody Crips gang died by injection at San Quentin Prison just after midnight for the murders of four people in two 1979 holdups, professing his innocence to the very end, even when an admission of guilt might have helped save his life.

In the media's haste to canonize this person of questionable humanity, they always seem to neglect mentioning the more salient facts of the case. Williams was overheard joking at one time about the noises one of his victims made while he was in his death throes. Whether or not Williams actually wrote any of the children's books is arguable at best. And then there is the very reasonable point made by Schwartzenegger.

I do not rejoice in the death of this man, but I shed no tears either. He will never hurt anyone ever again. No family will ever have to suffer the anguish of the loss of a loved one in a senseless act of random violence by this man.

Remembering the Gipper

"[Democrats] are the same people who rediscover poverty every election and promise to cure it. They've cured it so often that they've now made a profession of it. They thrive on failures, on righting wrongs, aiding victims, and so forth. It must be understood that success in those tasks would put them out of business. No matter how many programs are set up and operating, their proponents never claim success for them. To do so would be to say the problems have been solved, meaning the programs are no longer needed. And the programs, not the problems, are their very reason for being."

Ronald Reagan


From John Turpin, chairman of the Stokes County Board of Commissioners:

Andy, please post the following. Here is the scoop you will be days
ahead of the newspaper.

At the regular board meeting on Dec. 12, 2005,
Mr Rick Morris asked the board to accept his resignation as Stokes
County Manager. The reason provided by Mr. Morris for his resignation was
to pursue an employment opportunity in the private sector. Mr Morris
thanked the Board for the opportunity to serve as County Manager and
wished them success in acquiring a new manager. Mr Morris also thanked
the Department Heads and other County Employees for their support and
professionalism during his tenure as County Manager. Mr. Morris requested
an effective date of January 3, 2006 for his resignation, which
provides for the required three weeks notice to the board.
The board accepted his resignation. Now We have to start to the


Monday, December 12, 2005

San Francisco Democrats again

From the Washington Times:

There appears to be an even larger body of Democrats who understand that, whatever their true feelings about President Bush and pulling the plug on the Iraqi people, politicians who associate themselves with the Pelosi-Dean position may be courting political disaster. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Rahm Emanuel has said privately that Mrs. Pelosi's stance could backfire on the Democrats. The Washington Post on Wednesday quoted a Democratic strategist as stating that the party's antiwar stance is jeopardizing the party's efforts to regain control of the house. "Plenty of Democrats are cringing" at Mrs. Pelosi's high-profile advocacy of a withdrawal because she is backing a position that most Americans do not support, the paper reported.

In the coming weeks, the administration needs to remind people of the political chasm that separates the Nancy Pelosi/Howard Dean wing of the party from the Joe Lieberman/Steny Hoyer Democrats.

Lieberman at the Bridge

Democrats assail one of their own for backing the war.

Opinion Journal

The debate over Iraq is getting nastier, if that's possible, and the new target of antiwar Democrats isn't even President Bush. It's Joe Lieberman, the Democrat from Connecticut and 2000 running mate of Al Gore, who has dared to suggest we must and will win the war.

"I have just returned from my fourth trip to Iraq in the past 17 months and can report real progress there," Senator Lieberman wrote on these pages November 29. "What a colossal mistake it would be for America's bipartisan political leadership to choose this moment in history to lose its will [in Iraq]."

When that policy substance was ignored in Washington, the Senator repeated his case last week in the political language the Beltway press corps could finally comprehend: "It is time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be Commander in Chief for three more critical years, and that in matters of war we undermine Presidential credibility at our nation's peril." The media, and his fellow Democrats, seemed agog.

And it's true that in modern, polarized Washington, such bipartisan sentiments are unusual. But as Mr. Lieberman also noted last week, they have a historic parallel from the early days of the Cold War. Then a Democratic President, Harry Truman, was trying to build alliances to resist Communism amid ferocious criticism from many Republicans, including their Senate leader, Ohio's Robert Taft. But a GOP Senator from Michigan, Arthur Vandenberg, stepped forward to support Truman, and the bipartisan "containment" strategy was born. Forty years later it would result in victory under Ronald Reagan.

We're now in the early stages of what might be another long, twilight struggle, this time against Islamist terrorism, and now the partisan tables are turned. While a Republican President is trying to win a campaign in Iraq that is part of a larger war, most Democrats are assailing his policy and predicting disaster, and even the party's senior Members have begun a Vietnam-like chant to "come home, America."

What is a crime? It's a matter of opinion

All over the United Kingdom, right now, real crimes are being committed: mobiles are being nicked, front doors are being kicked in, bollards are being lobbed through bus shelters - just to name some of the lighter activities that add so much to the gaiety of the nation. None of these is a "priority crime", as you'll know if you've ever endured the bureaucratic time-waster of reporting a burglary.

So what is a "priority crime"? Well, the other day, the author Lynette Burrows went on a BBC Five Live show to talk about the government's new "civil partnerships" and expressed her opinion - politely, no intemperate words - that the adoption of children by homosexuals was "a risk". The following day, Fulham police contacted her to discuss the "homophobic incident".

Mark Steyn

The Baffling Gene McCarthy

Enigmatic politician Eugene J. McCarthy died on Saturday. He was 89.

By Martin F. Nolan for the Boston Globe:

An early snowfall covered Washington on Nov. 30, 1967. In the Senate caucus room, Senator Eugene J. McCarthy stood up, took a risk, and changed American politics forever. He announced his intention to run against President Lyndon B. Johnson in Democratic primaries. ''The administration seems to have set no limits on the price that it will pay for military victory," the Minnesota senator said in a short statement. ''I am hopeful that a challenge may alleviate the sense of political helplessness and restore to many people a belief in the process of American politics."
''Don't you believe we should stop communism?" a reporter asked. ''Yes, I do," McCarthy replied, ''And South Vietnam is the worst possible place to try."
McCarthy, who died Saturday at 89 in Washington, outlived all the political giants of that tumultuous year of 1968. He fascinated Republicans Richard Nixon, Nelson Rockefeller, and George Romney. He infuriated Democrats Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, and Robert Kennedy.
On March 12, 1968, voters in New Hampshire gave McCarthy 42 percent of the vote in the Democratic presidential primary against Johnson's 49 percent. By the end of the month, LBJ had withdrawn from politics. In that year's primaries, Kennedy and McCarthy won almost 70 percent of the popular voter. Humphrey won only 2 percent, but was nominated at the Chicago convention. That would never happen again because McCarthy fumigated the smoke-filled rooms and evicted the bosses.
He could be ambitious and diffident, mystical and malicious. Gene McCarthy baffled everybody. ''Why does a man pursue the job, a grueling job, of the presidency? . . . Why does somebody want that?" Johnny Carson asked him on NBC's ''Tonight Show." McCarthy answered: ''I have never said that I wanted it, really. I have gone so far as to say that I would be willing to take it."

Wikipedia tightens online rules

I knew that something like this would eventually happen. I do enjoy using Wiki — and in most cases it's cool — but I have found that it regularly offers less-than-accurate information. Such issues will continue to arise in today's free-for-all 'news' environment of the Internet.

From BBCNews.com:

Online encyclopaedia Wikipedia has tightened its submission rules following a complaint. Prominent journalist John Seigenthaler described as "false and malicious" an entry on Wikipedia implicating him in the Kennedy assassinations. When he phoned Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia's founder, he was told there was no way of finding out who wrote the entry. Wikipedia has since removed the entry and now requires users to register before they can create articles. But visitors to the site will still be able to edit content already posted without having to register. The case has highlighted once again the problem of publishing information online.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

None Dare Call It Conspiracy

We've been hearing variations on "BUSH LIED!!!!" for at least 60 years.

Opinion Journal

History's lesson is this: in modern America, the path to war is beset with actions that rest on uncertain or arguable justification. The political/ideological fringes will craft theories of conspiracy with scant regard for fact or probability. And the opposition will make what it can of this material, within the limits of political prudence.

But seriously folks, this clown is dangerous

So let's see: We have a Holocaust denier who wants to relocate an entire nation to another continent, and he happens to be head of the world's newest nuclear state. (They're not 100 percent fully-fledged operational, but happily for them they can drag out the pseudo-negotiations with the European Union until they are. And Washington certainly won't do anything, because after all if we're not 100 percent certain they've got WMD -- which we won't be until there's a big smoking crater live on CNN one afternoon -- it would be just another Bushitlerburton lie to get us into another war for oil, right?)

Mark Steyn

Board favors landfill zoning

Opponents living near proposed site are upset

By Michael Hewlett

Commissioners in both Forsyth and Stokes counties may soon hear from hundreds of people who don't want to live near a proposed construction and demolition landfill.
Yours truly opines: For some reason, Fox 8 News and the radio station out of Stuart, VA are reporting that both the Forsyth & Stokes County planning boards have approved this request; that isn't so. Since I'm on the Stokes County Planning Board, I know for a FACT that we haven't heard this request.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Democratic Implosion

Can the party of the people be saved from itself?

by Victor Davis Hanson
National Review Online

Dean, Kerry, and Murtha are bright and good men who rightly worry that more Americans will die in a far-off place for a cause that they think is now hopeless. But to follow their apparently popular advice would lead to an abject national disaster as well as calamity for their own party. In short, they have become metaphors of why even Democrats are uneasy about voting for Democrats.

More importantly, the Democrats spent the last quarter century, following Vietnam and Jimmy Carter, trying to reestablish their lost fides on national defense (which were once unquestionable in the age of FDR, Truman, JFK, and senator Henry Jackson). If Joe Lieberman cannot save mainstream Democrats from themselves, perhaps the Iraqis who vote on December 15 can.

Thatcher 'cannot remember start of sentence'


Former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher's short-term memory has faded to the extent that she cannot remember the start of a sentence by the end, her daughter Carol has revealed. The "Iron Lady", 80, who has suffered a series of minor strokes, can still vividly recall events in the distant past but no longer reads much because it is "pointless", Carol Thatcher said, describing her mother as "very frail".

Friday, December 09, 2005

Late Night Funnies

David Letterman... "Top New President Bush Strategies for Victory in Iraq": Make an even larger "Mission Accomplished" sign; Encourage Iraqis to settle their feud like Dave and Oprah; Put that go-getter Michael Brown in charge; Launch slogan, "It's not Iraq, it's Weraq"; A little more vacation time at the ranch to clear his head; Boost morale by doing his hilarious "Locked Door" gag; Place Saddam back in power and tell him, "It's your problem now, dude."

Jay Leno... Saddam Hussien was back in court. They said that Hussein remained defiant and acted as if he was still in power. Kind of like the Democrats here. ... Only in America—even though [California Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham] stole $2.4 million he has agreed to pay back $1.8 million to make it right. So let that be a lesson to all you other Congressmen out there. If you get caught stealing you may have to pay back a small fraction of what you took. ... President Bush was at the Mexican border recently. Apparently his poll numbers are so low, he was thinking of making a run for it. ... Right after he finished the speech the rebuttal was given by the Democrat leader—Barbra Streisand. ... Actually, the rebuttal was given by John Kerry. Then Kerry asked for more time to give a rebuttal to his own rebuttal. ... The U.S. Postal Service says they expect to handle twenty billion pieces of mail for the holidays. They'll only deliver about ten billion, but they'll handle twenty billion.

RE: Saddam Belongs in a Glass Booth

I think what Charles (and many other neo-cons) are really upset about is the fact that Bush has lost interest in the war in Iraq. History is written by the victorious, but if you get bored and wander away, victory isn't going to be the result. I think most of the neo-cons overestimated the attention span of the clueless frat-boy from Texas.

For Bush, the war ended right around the time he flew onto the deck of that aircraft carrier and said, "Mission Accomplished." The war for Bush was an event, not a fact. It was a few extra lines to throw into a campaign speech. His wish for his legacy was to be able to proclaim that he ousted both the Taliban and the Baathists and got some juicy payback on Saddam's Arab heiney. Unfortunately for him, the actual prosecution of the war turned out to be longer than a photo-op. We quit fighting this war properly over a year ago. The Bush Administration has tried to ignore the actual fact of the war and the outcome is now anything but certain.

Most of the neo-cons are afraid their agenda will look bad if Iraq ends like Viet Nam. The stakes are much, much higher than that. If we leave Iraq swinging in the wind, the crazies in Iran, Syria, and North Korea will no longer have any reason to pause in their planned annihilation of their respective enemies. After all, there is nothing to fear from a paper tiger.

Saddam Belongs in a Glass Booth

By Charles Krauthammer
Real Clear Politics

Of all the mistakes that the Bush administration has committed in Iraq, none is as gratuitous and self-inflicted as the bungling of the trial of Saddam Hussein.

The Democrats' Deadly Surrender Chorus

By Paul Beston
The American Spectator

IS well known: to rally enthusiasm and funding, they must appeal to their hard left flank; to rally votes in a national election, they must appeal to the center. Their challenge comes down to how to undermine the mission in Iraq while at the same time seeming to support it.

But it is very difficult to so systematically obstruct a war effort -- distorting its causes; condemning its conduct; slandering its leaders; doubting its success; declaring that even if it succeeds it will fail -- without giving people a pretty good idea of what you are doing.

The worst part is wondering how much more successfully the war might be going if the country had the benefit of two parties, whatever their differences, equally committed to winning it.

Individual health insurance to the rescue

By Nancy Winter
The News & Observer

Public policy can help drive additional innovation in individual, portable health plans as well as cash-for-service medical practices. The latter can save significant dollars in administrative costs that can be passed along to patients as lower prices. Changes in tax policy to broaden health savings accounts and equalize the tax treatment of group and individual health plans would be welcome. Moving toward increased government control of this market would not be.

Fixing Up NC School Construction

By John Hood
Carolina Journal

NC school districts project school-construction needs in the many billions of dollars over the next decade. Here are six simple tools for reducing the cost to taxpayers.

All About 'Duke' Cunningham

Read all about Randy 'Duke' Cunningham, the Republican US representative who recently admitting receiving at least $2.4 million in bribes. Much of the 'compensation' came courtesy of Mitchell Wade, founder of the defense contracting firm MZM Inc.

Interesting stuff!

It all reminds me of the old saying about cockroaches: If you see one on the floor, there are ten more crawling behind the walls.

RE: RE: Distrust of politicians grows, poll says

If we could find a way to teach voters that politicians who seek to grow the size of the government and make it more intrusive will also be the ones who succumb to corruption, I think the situation would improve. The problem is not with an inherently bad system or with inherently bad people. The problem is with those who seek to turn government into a parent. Just eliminating all forms of redistributionism alone would remove half or more of the flow of cash into and out of the government and, therefore, the temptations and opportunities for corruption.

Sounds like an easy solution, Steve. But would that keep folks like Randy 'Duke' Cunningham out of elected office? Judging from his talking points, I'm not sure. Maybe all political debates should include lie detector tests.

RE: Distrust of politicians grows, poll says

Good. Maybe this realization will prompt Americans to think clearly about the self-serving types we've become so adept at electing.

If we could find a way to teach voters that politicians who seek to grow the size of the government and make it more intrusive will also be the ones who succumb to corruption, I think the situation would improve. The problem is not with an inherently bad system or with inherently bad people. The problem is with those who seek to turn government into a parent. Just eliminating all forms of redistributionism alone would remove half or more of the flow of cash into and out of the government and, therefore, the temptations and opportunities for corruption.

Underused Washington Should Rent Itself Out

By Dale McFeatters from Scripps Howard News Service:

We have here in Washington, D.C., a perfectly good but badly underutilized capital city.
Do you ever get the feeling that no one is in charge, that no one has his hands on the levers of power? You're right. It's like most of the time there's no one here.
...this week there was another sinister omen. Washington had a rush-hour snowstorm, for us a real blizzard — of 4 inches, drifting up to 6 inches. And there was no traffic jam! This is unheard of, and it suggests that not only the leaders are slipping out of town, so are the bureaucrats.
It's all very scary.

Distrust of politicians grows, poll says

Good. Maybe this realization will prompt Americans to think clearly about the self-serving types we've become so adept at electing.

From the AP in today's Winston-Salem Journal:

Indictments, investigations and a congressman's guilty plea for taking millions in bribes have left most Americans convinced that political corruption is a deeply rooted problem, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll. Missteps and misconduct that have reached into all levels of government have helped drive 88 percent of those surveyed to say that the problem is a serious one. Sixty-five percent of respondents disapproved of legislators' work in Washington, and 31 percent approved, the worst numbers since AP-Ipsos began asking the question in January.

Several of those interviewed said that corruption was endemic to a political system awash in colossal amounts of lobbying money and beset by an insatiable demand for campaign cash. "It's kind of the nature of politics, working with money and finance, things happen every day that are questionable," David Innerebner, a conservative-leaning missionary from Hayward, Wis., said.

In 2004, federal lobbyists spent $2.1 billion - the equivalent of the gross domestic product of the Republic of Congo or the amount that the U.S. government spends a year on energy assistance for low-income Americans. In that same year, candidates pursuing the presidency and seats in Congress spent more than $3 billion.

"It seems like everything seems to be corrupted," Sylvia Kind, a dietitian from Akron, Ohio, said."

Thursday, December 08, 2005

RE: Changing Picture: Some residents worry about sprawl

I find it ironic that some of the people who have contributed to the sprawl are now worrying about it.

The biggest thing Stokes County could do to clamp down on King's growth is to stop letting them assume their ETJ grows automatically. It doesn't. King long ago consumed the original ETJ that was established by the county (the legality of how it was established is questionable at best, but that's another story). King just assumes that every time they annex into the ETJ, it automatically grows. That is not the case. The reason the county has let King get away with this is because the county planning department didn't want to take on the additional work with all the housing developments that Buster and his coven kept rubber-stamping. Now that the county is behaving in a sane fashion with regard to housing growth, it should reassert itself with regard to the King ETJ. If King wants to develop into an area, let them fight the battle of annexation. Forsyth COunty does not let King automatically expand their ETJ. I believe King has no ETJ in Forsyth. That may have changed recently.

There, I could have saved the county $25,000.

Mind-changing books

The book that permanently made me a sadder and wiser man was Edward Gibbons' The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. To follow one of the greatest civilizations of all time as it degenerated and fractured, even before being torn apart by its enemies, was especially painful in view of the parallels to what is happening in America in our own times.

Thomas Sowell

Changing Picture: Some residents worry about sprawl

As number of residents in King swells, questions about how to fill needs arise

By Sherry Youngquist

There used to be a time that Jack Warren, the mayor of King, knew just about everyone in this small city that straddles Stokes and Forsyth counties.

Not anymore.

Between 1990 and 2004, King's population grew by nearly 2,200 - to 6,256. And the pace shows no sign of slowing.

Across North Carolina, many small cities within easy driving distance of urban centers are swelling. Growth brings convenience, money and energy into such places as King. But it also can generate friction between towns and county governments.

King is no exception.

Former SC Gov. Carroll Campbell, R.I.P.

The Charlotte Observer

Former Gov. Carroll Campbell, a master politician who played a key role in Ronald Reagan's becoming president and who later helped make the Republican Party the majority in South Carolina, died Wednesday of a heart attack. He was 65.

Judge's letter sparks debate in Flair case

The Charlotte Observer

The judge handling Ric Flair's divorce case sure got people talking when she laid the smackdown on the wrestler and his wife for their lavish spending.

Democrats Fear Backlash at Polls for Antiwar Remarks

By Jim VandeHei and Shalaigh Murray
The Washington Post

Strong antiwar comments in recent days by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean have opened anew a party rift over Iraq, with some lawmakers warning that the leaders' rhetorical blasts could harm efforts to win control of Congress next year.

Reality over Appearance

The wealthy pay more in taxes when tax rates fall. Period.

By Bruce Barlett
National Review Online

A few weeks ago, the Internal Revenue Service released data on tax year 2003. The data show that the top 1 percent of taxpayers, ranked by adjusted gross income, paid 34.3 percent of all federal income taxes that year. The top 5 percent paid 54.4 percent, the top 10 percent paid 65.8 percent, and the top 25 percent paid 83.9 percent...

At some point, those on the left must decide what really matters to them — the appearance of soaking the rich by imposing high statutory tax rates that may cause actual tax payments by the wealthy to fall, or lower rates that may bring in more revenue that can pay for government programs to aid the poor. Sadly, the Left nearly always votes for appearances over reality, favoring high rates that bring in little revenue even when lower rates would bring in more.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Debate Amongst Yourselves

Liberals have been suffering from conservative envy for several years now. Oh, they don't envy us our evil ways, our penchant for extreme cruelty or the fact that we smell like cabbage. They envy us our toys and success.

The liberal Center for American Progress was founded explicitly to be the Left's answer to the conservative Heritage Foundation. The lefty radio network, "Air America," was launched to copy the success of Rush Limbaugh & Co. Today, deep-pocketed liberals are scrambling to copy conservative foundations, even though liberal foundations have always had more money.

Jonah Goldberg

One Last Time with Ricky-boy (Ahem!)

Well it's been nice playing with you Tuck...er...ah...Rick, but as always, I'm not interested in your game of topical dodgeball.

One note:

And so you know, i'm an equal opportunity racist: I think all humans in general are inherently stupid and greedy!

Man, all that hate and self-loathing must be hard to live with. It must really suck to be you.

The All About Strother Show

Yeah, I knew that you'd ignore the fact that both the Vatican and an arguably conservative Pope Benedict approved the show...

Here, let me help you with your wording: "...both the Vatican and an arguably conservative Pope Benedict approved of the show..." Important difference, especially to Catholics. And I didn't ignore it, it wasn't germane so I answered it obliquely with the comment on my informal poll of Catholics (which you conveniently ignored).

But it's still 'Hollyweird' distortion and filth, right?

If you say so. I didn't call it filth. I didn't even directly call it distortion, the term I used was "twisted vision." Maybe it was a good movie, maybe it wasn't. Maybe it was faithful, maybe it wasn't, none of this is the point (which you are still dodging, but more on that later).

...the science of pop culture...

That's a hoot. My oxymoron detector just went into overload.

But back on subject, it's pretty clear that far more Americans do little more during their evenings at home besides watch TV.

This is semantic nonsense. More Americans than what? Nielsen's own numbers indicate continuously falling viewership for the broadcast networks. DVD rentals are up. Video game sales are up. Internet use is up. Network television viewing habits aren't even remotely an indicator of the cultural outlook of the country any more.

Well, not to make this all about me (you did already), but I hardly watch TV compared to most, and knowing about pop culture is part of my job.

No, actually you are making this all about you. All I said was that you and Behethland were wrong in your assumptions that the TV show flop meant anything significant. I just said that you assume everyone gets their cultural marching orders from the tube.

Besides, if you've got a problem with the 'cultural wasteland' of television, you can thank your fellow Americans.

I never implied otherwise. I just don't know who is worse, the niche that consumes this garbage or the scavengers who pander to them. And before you do the inevitable liberal thing and assume that means I want someone to do something about it, let me disabuse you of that notion. There is very litte I could or would do about people making the choice to rot in front of the TV every night. Maybe if a few of them read the BP every now and again, they will discover there is a life outside the electron glow.

And you haven't addressed my challenge to provide evidence of your claim that the bad showing by the TV movie means anything significant about American morality. The reasonable assumption is that you can't and, therefore, the original posts by you and Behethland were mere hyperbole.

Gift from Canada?

by Patrick Basham
Cato Institute

Why does President Bush hope Christmas comes a little late this year? Because on Jan. 23, Canada may elect the most pro-American leader in the Western world. Free-market economist Stephen Harper, leader of the opposition Conservative Party, is pro-free trade, pro-Iraq war, anti-Kyoto, and socially conservative. Move over Tony Blair: If elected, Mr. Harper will quickly become Mr. Bush's new best friend internationally and the poster boy for his ideal foreign leader.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Remembering the Gipper

"Where, I have at times asked myself, where do you all [U.S. Armed Forces] come from? How have you managed to cohere into the crack, disciplined, patriotic band of brothers I see before me this morning? Well, the answer's simple. You come from the southwest and the northeast, from the Rockies and the Adirondacks, from the inner cities and the most remote of farms. You come from America, and you are America's pride. And on behalf of all America, I thank you and pray God that He may bless you now and forever."

Ronald Reagan

Panthers Yank Public Service Announcement Featuring Flair

From the News & Observer:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charges that pro wrestler Ric Flair assaulted a fellow motorist caused the NFL's Carolina Panthers to yank his public service message off the scoreboard at Sunday's home game.

'Cultural Wasteland'

Strother said:
"Besides, if you've got a problem with the 'cultural wasteland' of television, you can thank your fellow Americans."
Strother's right in that what's on the tube is "supply and demand." If people want to watch trash, the media companies will show trash. Besides, there's so many channels now that everybody should be able to find something to watch. Now, I didn't watch that movie on Pope John Paul II because I don't like movies like that; I would much rather see something on the Pope on the History Channel with archival footage & such, not with some actor playing him.

Dubya & his "oil business buddies"

Strother said:
"And you're sure that his legacy does not include taking really good care of his oil business buddies and other Bush team cronies? Okay..."
The country of Iraq owns their oil, not Exxon/Mobil or Chevron/Texaco, etc. Iraq will drill and produce its own oil to sell on the worldwide market. Some people believe that these American oil companies are setting up shop in Iraq and drilling away; that isn't so.

Christmas carols banned, but Hanukkah songs OK

District bans 'dogmatic religious statements,' but suggesting Jewish themes more cultural

© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com

Religious-liberty attorneys have contacted a Wisconsin school district that consistently forbids Christian Christmas carols from being sung in music programs but finds nothing wrong with Hanukkah songs.

It’s Not Miller Time for Sinsheimer

By John Hood
Carolina Journal

Democratic activist Joe Sinsheimer has launched a savvy effort to force the resignation of House Speaker Jim Black. He says the alternative would help the GOP — and he’s probably right.

Fear and Loathing Wal-Mart

The high cost of progress.

By Rich Lowry
National Journal Online

A new documentary, Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price trashes the much-maligned discount retailer. What the company’s executives are now encountering is the high cost of progress. The political reaction against Wal-Mart is the latest iteration of the fear and loathing that greets any major innovation in American retailing.

Men Warm Globe, Women Feel the Heat, Group Claims

By Marc Morano

Montreal (CNSNews.com) -
The debate over climate change evolved into a battle of the sexes Monday at the 11th annual United Nations Climate Change Conference in Montreal. The spokesman for a feminist-based environmental group accused men of being the biggest contributors to human-caused "global warming" and lamented that women are bearing the brunt of the negative climate consequences created by men.

What planet are the eco-cultists on?

As to what planet Mr Bush is on, he's not on Pluto but on planet Goofy, a strange lost world where it's perfectly normal for apparently sane people to walk around protesting about global warming in sub-zero temperatures. Or, as the Canadian Press reported: "Montreal - tens of thousands of people ignored frigid temperatures Saturday to lead a worldwide day of protest against global warming."

Unfortunately, no one had supplied an updated weather forecast to the fellow who writes the protesters' chants. So, to the accompaniment of the obligatory pseudo-ethnic drummers, the shivering eco-warriors sang: "It's hot in here! There's too much carbon in the atmosphere!" Is this the first sign of the "New Ice Age" the media warned us about last week?

Mark Steyn

Bush, Oil, and Liberals

And you're sure that his legacy does not include taking really good care of his oil business buddies and other Bush team cronies?

I'm going to ask this again, even though I know I won't get an answer. Can you provide even the slightest bit of evidence that the Iraq War or any aspect of the War on Terror has benefited Bush's "oil business buddies" one iota? Can you provide even the most miniscule shred of proof that Bush has embarked our military on this mission with the intent of providing benefit to said buddies?

Furthermore, why is it you guys on the left never take Bush to task for providing benefit to his "agriculture business buddies" via the obscene increase in farm subsidy funding or for providing benefit to his "pharmaceutical business buddies" via the outrageous and immoral Medicare drug benefit funding? I can answer that. It's because those windfalls are the result of government largesse which nominally is supposed to benefit some class of people that leftists have adopted as mascots. You people have been so indoctrinated into the belief that government programs are intrinsically flawless that you are willing to ignore the unmerited favor generated for some sector of the economy that regularly takes advantage of said largesse.

Ricky's Back For More

Nice try, but way off the mark.

I think not. Bull's eye is a better evaluation.

For example, oh i don't know, maybe the slave trade.

There's that history thing again. Your arguments will work better if they are based on what really happened versus what some liberal history professor (or high school teacher) told you. The Chinese had a centuries old history of slavery before the first white European ever thought of buying or selling people. As for the African slave trade, the vast majority of black Africans were sold into slavery by other black Africans. It wasn't a matter of the white Europeans introducing a new idea, it was more like the white Europeans were just new customers. And I'm not sure how you can paste slavery on white imperialism, or any other flavor of imperialism for that matter. Imperialism is the subjugation of sovereign nations under a single, usually foreign rule. Slavery is no more or less inherent in imperialism than any other geo-political system. Indeed, your precious Chinese communists practice economic slavery today.

How about the financing of both sides of the Iran/Iraq war so they would decimate each other: making it much easier for us to get OUR oil and gas from under THEIR land.

Are you complaining about white imperialism or about Machiavellianism? Once again, that kind of strategy is not limited to whites. In fact, it is a time-honored military strategy that was practiced before white Europeans had ever forged their first bronze weapons. And you make it sound like we stole oil from the Arabs. Last I knew, we pay them pretty handsomely for it. Saddam didn't exactly build Uday's palace from the proceeds of sheep sales.

I merely said that they could have (& probably still could) if they wanted to. BUt they don't because they don't seem to be as ignorant, arrogant, and/or short-sighted as most white cultures are.

You're confusing motive with opportunity, Ricky-boy. Also the motives you ascribe to the Chinese are pure speculation on your part. In fact, actual history (once again) puts lie to your claim. The Chinese lived in a feudal system until the late nineteenth century. No purely feudal system has ever been able to practice any sort of imperialism simply because it lacks an imperator. The Chinese had a nominal emperor, but the warlords were free to remove him at any time, despite his professed deity. That's not much of an imperial system. The Chinese were so weak and degenerate that they were eventually conquered utterly by the armies of a tiny island off their coast, also known as Japan. No, the reason the Chinese never conquered to world was not because they chose the high moral ground, it was because they couldn't even conquer themselves.

...i don't think whites are inherently evil....just inherently ignorant and greedy.

Guess what, Ricky-boy? That makes you a racist. That makes you ethno-centrist. Yet, somehow, you will still insist that Mark Steyn and I are racists, even though neither of us ascribes any inherent attributes to any race or ethinicity.

...i'm sure they'll be willing to keep throwing you (& me) their table scraps!

Well if these are table scraps, I'll have some more, please. Sounds like you're bitter, Ricky. What happened? Didn't that career in underwater basket weaving or social work or conservative baiting turn out to be one that supports you in the manner you would like?

RE: RE: Bush: 'Fool,' yes, 'Well-Meaning,' not quite

You contradicted yourself. First you say imperialism isn't good for anyone,

No, I never said that.

then you say it's good for "us" and not "them."

Yes, I did say that much, or something close to it.

Western civilization, along with all the benefits you and I reap from it, are products of imperialism. If you want to decry imperialism from the standpoint of its obvious detriments to freedom, that's fine and I'm right there with you.

Wow, I think we agree on something.

Why do you assume that an American success in Iraq makes our original complaint against the action invalid?

Well, I don't. I can't speak for others, but I just think that Iraq will never be self-sufficient in the political environment of the Middle East without us staying there indefinitely to protect them from their neighbors. Yeah, we broke it and subsequently, we bought it. But does that mean that I must be delusional about the possibility of long-term democratic success in Iraq without a constant US presence and involvement in their government? Sorry, but no.

The Bush Doctrine is all wrapped up in that legacy thing.

And you’re sure that his legacy does not include taking really good care of his oil business buddies and other Bush team cronies? Okay…

On the bright side, someday we’ll all be able to examine the same historical facts regarding the Iraq War. However, I wonder if we’ll ever learn anything from it?