Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Secretary of the Treasury Discusses Energy and Climate Change Policy? Seems Odd.

By Tom Doggett
WASHINGTON, March 4 (Reuters) - U.S. oil and natural gas producing companies should not receive federal subsidies in the form of tax breaks because their businesses contribute to global warming, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Congress on Wednesday.

It was one of the sharpest attacks yet on the oil and gas industry by a top Obama administration official, reinforcing the White House stance that new U.S. energy policy will focus on promoting renewable energy sources like wind and solar power and rely less on traditional fossil fuels like oil as America tackles climate change.

"We don't believe it makes sense to significantly subsidize the production and use of sources of energy (like oil and gas) that are dramatically going to add to our climate change (problem). We don't think that's good economic policy and we think changing those incentives is good for the country," Geithner told the Senate Finance Committee at a hearing on the White House's proposed budget for the 2010 spending year.

The Obama administration's budget would levy an excise tax on oil and natural gas produced in the Gulf of Mexico, raising $5.3 billion in revenue from 2011 to 2019.

This new 13 percent tax on all oil and gas production in the Gulf would only affect those companies enjoying a loophole that allows them to avoid paying royalties on the energy supplies they drill. Companies already paying royalties would get a tax credit.

Obama's budget would also place a $4 per acre annual fee on energy leases in the Gulf that are designated as nonproducing. The budget proposal projects the fee would generate $1.2 billion from 2010 to 2019

My Thoughts:
I am absolutely convinced that Obama intends to have oil prices back up to the levels of this past summer. Why? Tax revenues and tax on windfall profits from big oil. The funny thing is that during the campaign Obama constantly criticized big oil for their greed. Here we see the greedy one is sitting in the White House in Washington.

As unemployment levels stay stagant, as Washington keeps printing currency, and as energy prices increase only one thing will happen.....double digit inflation. A double whammy on the backs of the middle class, who have seen the devaluation of their assets by almost 50%, now will pay a second time as prices rise, stealing more money from our pocketbooks.

Is this what Obama wants? I have to think he does, why would he have the Secretary of the Treasury discussing energy and global warming policy? Doesn't Giethner have enough to worry about with nationalizing the banks?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Missle Defense Shield

On February 4th, Iranian officials announced that they launched their first satellite into orbit. There is no international agreement limiting countries from developing missiles for space launch vehicles (SLV), but even the UN admits that, "Aside from warhead-specific technology and re-entry vehicle technology, there is little difference from SLV and ballistic missile technology."

The Iranian SAFIR-2 rocket has a range of about 1500 miles and its design is not capable of carrying a warhead. However, considering the pace that Iran is developing a nuclear program and obtaining enriched uranium, isn’t it inconceivable to think that this hostile nation would try to develop rockets with the range to deliver a nuclear warhead to Israel or even the United States?

For thirty years Iran has been a model of a rouge state; deliberately refusing to live up to international agreements, financing and harboring terrorists and creating a state that is intolerant to dissent. Even if President Obama is successful with opening a diplomatic dialogue with Iran, it is doubtful that we will ever get to the point that we can "trust, but verify".

The international community has two options; go to war with Iran or develop technologies that would make the Iranian pursuit of weapons of mass destruction obsolete; this would be the Missile Defense Shield. President Obama’s reluctance to do either has put a cornerstone of his foreign policy (improving relations with Iran) at a great disadvantage and this country at risk.

Based on Obama’s statement against the Iraqi War, I cannot see him supporting a first strike against Iran. That leaves a Missile Defense Shield; during the campaign Obama was less than enthusiastic about the defense shield program, saying that he would evaluate the program based on the success of testing. The Defense Department has conducted 13 tests, of which 8 have been successful, most recently on December 6th, 2008. Despite the success, Obama seems to be more than willing to trade in this program to appease Vladimir Putin than to implement and protect his country.

What the Obama Administration should do is to convince Russia that the Missile Defense Shield can be used to protect Russians as well as Americans. Offer to share the technology and the development with Russia. This is nothing new, both Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush has made similar offers. Obama should show Russia that we are serious about this offer.

It’s this simple, without a first strike option or a strong missile defense diplomatic efforts with Iran will fail.

Obama: You know, I don't remember exactly what Joe was referring to, not surprisingly

This from the UK Telegraph.

Barack Obama throws Joe Biden under the bus
Posted By: Toby Harnden at Feb 10, 2009 at 02:30:33

Pity poor Joe Biden. His "there's still a 30 percent chance we're going to get it wrong" quote is put straight to President Barack Obama during the White House press conference just now and his boss seemed to want to say: "Vice-President Who?"

As reporters started giggling, Obama came close to conceding that Biden was indeed a joke. "You know, I don't remember exactly what Joe was referring to, not surprisingly."

The President went on to say that "I think what Joe may have been suggesting, although I wouldn't ascribe any numerical percentage to any of this, is that given the magnitude of the challenges that we have, any single thing that we do is going to be part of the solution, not all of the solution."

Of course, Biden wasn't saying anything of the sort - Obama knew that and all the rest of us did too.

Biden's exact quote, read out by Fox's Major Garrett at the presser was: "If we do everything right, if we do it with absolute certainty, if we stand up there and we really make the tough decisions, there's still a 30 percent chance we're going to get it wrong."

Clearly, Obama and his aides were unhappy about Biden's loose lips. On Friday, top Obama adviser David Axelrod said on CNN: "I don't know exactly about what that math was."

We're probably going to have to get used to Obama explaining "what Joe may have been suggesting". And Biden must be wondering if he's going to end up as a Dan Quayle figure.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Ms. Pelosi - It's All Yours

Politico reported this morning that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged Democrats in the House to dismiss the call for bipartisanship stating, " ..it is a process extraneous to passing a stimulus bill."


Yeah, we totally understand your arrogance Ms. Pelosi, you feel your party is running the show and if you exclude the minority voice who would care enough to stop you. That's why you ordered most house committee meetings to deny any motion by Republicans to move forward. I realized that long before yesterday that you had no intention for bipartisanship in your house. The only thing is Ms. Pelosi, the person calling for bipartisanship is the President of the United States. You should talk to him.

Every Republican out there understands that you have all the votes you need to pass any legislation that you want. No need for you to compromise, just do it. But understand that Republicans, like myself and over 58 million others, would we ever vote for an inexperienced senator as President of the United States, nor would we ever vote for someone with your values. So you better be sure you don't screw it up. If you do not have bipartisan support then this is your spending bill, your recession and your issue to be accountable for in the next election.

God speed Ms. Pelosi, 2010 is right around the corner.

Create or Save?

The great debate of the day is the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, aka - The Economic Stimulus Bill. The catch phrase from the left is that this bill with create or save 3 to 4 million jobs in the next 2 years, though President Obama has, on occasion, lowered his rhetoric to 2.5 million jobs.

It's not just President Obama that is saying create or save phrase. Every democrat on Capitol Hill is saying the same thing and not surprising the media is repeating the democratic talking points. Not one person is actually looking at the words being used and providing any type of analysis on what they are really saying. Just me.

The analysis that the media provides always talk about job creation. Their assumption is that the ARRA is going create 3 million jobs, but this is not what Obama and his friends are saying. Look if Obama believed that his spending programs would create 3 million jobs he would simply say this bill creates 3 million jobs. Instead Obama adds these words "or save" to every one of his speeches. If we are going to spend $900 billion I want something qualifiable to measure against its success. How do you measure jobs saved? At the end of the day are we going to say that we spent over 2 trillion dollars to keep our unemployment rate at 7.6%? That's moronic.

Government spending does not buy us out of a recession. Sweden would be a world power if this was the case. If Government spending creates jobs then why has France’s unemployment rate been a steady 9% for thirty years?

Even if the $900 billion dollar spending bill is signed into law and it really does create 3 million jobs that means we spent $300,000 per new job. How does that make sense to anyone?

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Pam Davis - Hero

If you ever doubted that one person can make a difference then the story of Pam Davis, CEO of Edward Hospital, will change your mind.

Last week, for the third time, the Illinois Health Facility Planning Board rejected Edward Hospital proposed full-service facility in Plainfield. Even though Plainfield and Will County has one of the state's fastest growing population base and one of the lowest hospital beds to population ratio in the state. Despite this setback the planning board did approve a facility that will provide emergency care and for this we can thank the vigilance and courage of Pam Davis.

In 2003 Edward Hospital first proposed a full service facility to be built in Plainfield, IL. Davis was told that she would only gain approval for the new facility if she used a specific contractor. Instead of playing Illinois' favorite game, pay for play, Davis decided to go to the FBI. For eight months she wore a wire and the information gathered by the recorded conversations exposed corruption on the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board, leading to indictments of two of the four board members, Tony Rezko, and a corrupt governor.

In the state of Illinois, where turning your head and playing the game, is often easier than doing the right thing, Pam Davis shows us that when you stay true to your convictions change can happen. This is why ABC News named her Person of the Week and new Governor Pat Quinn appointed her to be on the Illinois Reform Commission. Thank you Pam Davis!

Here is the link to see the ABC News feature on Pam Davis.

http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=6615027

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Giethner Confirmed as Secretary of Treasury

By a 60-34 vote the US Senate confirmed Timothy Giethner as Secretary of the Treasury. The following Republican Senators voted to confirm the nomination:

  • Corker (R-TN), Yea
  • Cornyn (R-TX), Yea
  • Crapo (R-ID), Yea
  • Ensign (R-NV), Yea
  • Hatch (R-UT), Yea
  • Shelby (R-AL), Yea
  • Snowe (R-ME), Yea

As John McCain once said, "We will know their names! "

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Say No to the Freedom of Choice Act

During the campaign President Obama was asked what he would do to preserve reproductive rights of women, he response was "The first thing I'd do, as president, is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That's the first thing that I'd do."

As written, the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) is a shallow piece of legislation that was introduced by Sen. Barbara Boxer and co-sponsored by then Sen. Barak Obama. The stated policy of the act declares that every woman has the fundamental right to choose to bear a child, to terminate a pregnancy prior to fetal viability, or to terminate a pregnancy after fetal viability when necessary to protect the life or health of the woman.

A week following the November elections, the U.S Conference of Bishops, headed by Cardinal Francis George, released a statement that the Freedom of Choice Act “…was so sweeping and draconian that it would not only repeal every single state restriction on abortion, it would seriously jeopardize the right of Catholic hospitals and doctors to opt out of performing abortions.”

Supporters of FOCA state that a religious facility is protected by Federal Conscience Law and does not mean that simply because a they may receive public funding will it require them to perform abortions. This is true, but the FOCA contains a provision that states that any individual aggrieved by a violation of this act may obtain appropriate relief in a civil action. Meaning that it would allow one lawsuit after another against any facility refusing to perform abortions. If concerns for the religious facilities were genuine then specific language protecting them would be written in to this law. It is not and that speaks volumes.

FOCA states that the fetal viability is the stage of the pregnancy where there is reasonable likelihood of sustained survival of the fetus outside of the woman. This means the repeal of the ban of the partial birth abortion. Recent polls have shown that American support of banning partial birth abortions remain above the 70% mark. No one, except Barbara Boxer, can say that partial birth abortion procedure is not inhumane and a violent act against the unborn.

Recently, a 14 year old girl went to a Plan Parenthood facility in Cincinnati, OH, with her soccer coach, 21 year old John Haller. Haller had been engaging in sexual activity with the girl for more than a year. Instead of calling the girl’s parents (and the police), Plan Parenthood called Haller’s cell phone and failed to verify that they were talking to the girl’s parents. Plan Parenthood performed the abortion and sent the girl home with a bag of condoms. Laws protecting minors exist for a reason and this is one of them. FOCA would reverse any regulation restricting access of abortions to minors without parental notification. Currently 36 states has this law and would be subject to repeal these laws or face threat of civil action.

FOCA finds its justification for this congressional act from Congress’ authority over interstate commerce. The act finds since many facilities accept patients who have to cross state borders, employs doctors and nurses who cross state lines to go to work and buy equipment from out of state providers that this gives Congress the right to regulate these facilities based on the Interstate Commerce rules in the Constitution. This stretch of section 8 of Article 1 of the constitution allows the federal government to overturn any state law it might have restricting abortion, such as the 36 states that currently have parental notification laws. Even beyond abortion, this act sets a precident that allows the federal government to infridge on a wide ranging areas currently in the state's jurisdiction. Certainly, if this law is sign, expect a battle in the Supreme Court to rule on its constitutionality.

The Freedom of Choice Act may appeal to the Democratic Party's core constituency but hardly reflect the values of everyday Americans. FOCA is bad legislation and should not be supported. Please contact your representative in US House and Senate and urge them to vote against this act.

When Cats and Dogs Love Each Other

No one has ever excused me of being left of center however in the past couple of days I have supported a Kennedy (see post on Caroline Kennedy) and now the Washington Post editors are echoing the same sentiment I posted yesterday on the economic stimulus. Here is the link their editoral and a brief snippet of their comments.

"...some in Congress and the new administration apparently see the country's present recession as an opportunity to change the federal government's spending priorities more generally or simply to reward loyal political constituencies. This is understandable, given that the voters endorsed the Democratic Party and its priorities in November. But it's risky to make new, multiyear commitments in the middle of a crisis without debate over competing priorities -- and without paying for them through some means other than borrowing.

Helping hire, equip and pay police, a $4 billion item under the bill, might be a good idea, but writing checks to individual households for the same amount would do more to stimulate the economy. Ditto for $16 billion in Pell Grants for college students, $2.1 billion for Head Start and $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts. All of those ideas may have merit, but why do they belong in an emergency measure aimed to kick-start the economy?"

Washington Post, January 25, 2009

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/24/AR2009012401616.html

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Back to Parsing Words and what the Economic Stimulus Really Means

I think the day has come to define the difference between and emergency economic stimulus bill and pork barrel spending. During President Obama's weekly radio address he highlighted several key points to his plan:

  • Double within three years the amount of energy obtained from renewable resources.
  • Upgrade 10,000 schools and improve learning for about 5 million students
  • Save 2 billion dollars by making federal buildings more energy efficient
  • Triple the number of undergraduate and graduate fellowships in science
  • Tighten security at 90 major ports.

All of these plans have merits on their own but none of these will stimulate our economy. Let me make my point clearer, tightening security at our ports might be a good thing, increasing science fellowships might be a good thing, investing in renewal energy might be a good thing, but none will provide an economic stimulus that is needed immediately.


Maybe we could use a little transparency on President Obama's intentions. These are projects that President Obama has wanted since the day he has started campaigning, but he is putting an "economic stimulus" cloak on them in the hopes that people would support this because we are in such serious economic trouble and no one would notice.


The Presidents claims that his infrastucture programs will alone create 600,000 new jobs. That should be comforting to the 5,000 employees Microsoft laid off yesterday. They may be able to get jobs paving streets.


Mr. President let me give you some ideas on what would have an immediate impact on our economy:

  • Reduce taxes on corporations by a third. That would still be nearly twice as much as corporations in Ireland pay.
  • Do a two year furlough on capital gains taxes. With the huge losses we have seen in the past few months no one is going to have capital gains anyhow.
  • Since the unemployment roles have nearly doubled in the past year do you think that maybe a time for an aggressive job training program? Duh.
  • Allow people to dip into to their 401k savings without penalty taxes to get caught up on their bills.
  • Repeal many of the SOX compliancy regulations that prevent companies from upgrading information systems.

President Obama ends his address by telling the American people "It's a plan that will save or create 3 to 4 million jobs over the next few years." Are we back to a time when we are going to parse every word that a President says? Save or create? What does that mean? We may have 10% unemployment but he can take credit for saving 4 million jobs that would have been lost had he not been there to help us?

Mr. President your plan is an $800 billion pork barrel!

Friday, January 23, 2009

President Obama and His Childish First Week

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics. We remain a young nation. But in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things.

President Barak Obama – January 20, 2009

The first week President Obama has held office isn’t over and one is left with wondering how much conviction Obama has in the very words that he wrote and spoke. In separate events today President Obama was at the least extremely arrogant and at worst downright insulting.

Early in the day Obama warned the Republicans in Congress they need to quit listening to Rush Limbaugh if they want to get along with Democrats and his administration. First off, if Republicans had listened to Rush Limbaugh, they wouldn’t have supported the government bailout in October and John McCain would not have won the party’s nomination. Second, Democrats control the House, the Senate and the White House, but you, Mr. President, are insisting that the new emergency stimulus has to have bi-partisan support. President Obama this is your spending bill, and with the strangle hold the Democrats have on Washington you can pass your spending bill without a single Republican supporting it. So if you want this bi-partisan support then it’s the Democrats responsibility to go out of their way to get along with Republicans.

Now if the new administration was concerned about transparency they would publish the White House Press Briefings transcripts on their web site, much like President Bush and President Clinton did. But President Obama has no plans on doing that. So please accept my apology if I don’t get the quote correct from today’s press briefing. Several reporters asked about Republican concerns about the so-call emergency stimulus bill. All the White House could say is that they heard the Republican leadership concerns but that there was not going to be any movement on the spending spree planed by the House Democrats.

Adding insult to injury the New York Post reports, “While discussing the stimulus package with top lawmakers in the White House's Roosevelt Room, President Obama shot down a critic with a simple message.

"I won," he said, according to aides who were briefed on the meeting. "I will trump you on that."
The response was to the objection by Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Arizona) to the president's proposal to increase benefits for low-income workers who don't owe federal income taxes.

Not that Obama was gloating. He was just explaining that he aims to get his way on the stimulus package and all other legislation, sources said, noting his unrivaled one-party control of both congressional chambers. “

Mr. Obama you are the one that wants bi-partisan support, but you don’t have to be genius to see that you only want that so you can have political backup. I can hear it right now, well the Republicans supported the bill too. Mr. Obama if you want Republican support then you are going to have to make concessions, if you choose not to then not one Republican should support this bill. Pass it yourself!

Guatanamo Bay Closing in 1 year

President Obama issued an executive order to shutdown the terrorist detention at Guantanamo Bay by the end of the year. The Obama Administration does not have a plan to do with detainees currently being held there, but expects to have one before the end of the year.

You have got to be kidding me. The man has been campaigning on this issue for nearly three years and he doesn’t have a plan? Good Lord, even if winning the election was surprise to Obama he has had since November to come up with a good idea to present to the American people. It's almost like he is winging it!

I Know J LO and Caroline Kennedy is no J LO

Yesterday, citing personal reasons, Caroline Kennedy informed Gov. David Paterson that she wanted her name withdrawn from consideration to fill Hillary Clinton vacant Senate seat. It’s not often (if ever) that I have empathy for a Kennedy, but in this case I do. I can’t help feeling that the elitist attitudes of Democratic Party and the media (New York Times in particular) did Caroline Kennedy in. Their opinions and actions have demonstrated they do not feel a citizen legislator is worthy of holding office. Shame on them, as they used the same tatics they perfected on Sarah Palin against Ms. Kennedy.

Understand, I would not agree with 99% of what a Senator Caroline Kennedy would advocate in the Senate, but I can say the same thing about any appointee coming from Gov. Patterson. This is not about ideology; it’s about the belief that the experience of being a productive citizen is just as valuable as one has enjoyed the ‘favors’ of office.

Caroline Kennedy has asked for none of the spotlight or the responsibilities her last name carries, none the less she has performed her duties with dignity and grace. Sure she is only famous because of her last name, causing Congressman Gary Ackermann to snipe “I don't know what Caroline Kennedy's qualifications are, except that she has name recognition, but so does J.Lo.”

Ackerman thinks he is being coy but in reality he is showing his ignorance! Part of what separates Caroline Kennedy from celeb-retards like J. LO, is that she has not craved for the headlines by exploiting the over indulgent media with one love affair after another. We don’t see unflattering mug shots of her like we have of Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohen and half of her Kennedy cousins. She simply goes about her life being a mother of three children, a wife of twenty years, a student of law at Columbia and Harvard, an author of several history and law books and a concern citizen who raised nearly 70 million dollars to improve NYC public schools. I’ll say it again, I do not agree with a whole host of issues that Caroline Kennedy supports but I cannot take away her qualifications that would make her a U.S. Senator from New York.

So why has the possibility of her becoming the next Senator Kennedy caused all this controversy. I don’t think it would surprise anyone that Gary Ackerman has been a staunch supporter of Hillary Clinton. This same support of Hillary Clinton can be said of several members of the NY Times Editorial Board, who just so happened to ask the most insulting questions and then decide to publish the transcripts of Kennedy’s interview with them with every “you know” in the transcription. Deliberately making her look bad. The Clintons may not have ordered this bashing of Caroline Kennedy but her supporters cannot get over the fact that the Kennedy endorsed Obama for President.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Biden Steps In It...... Again!

After only two days Joe Biden (and his wife) is responsible for the first two embarrassing moments for the new administration. The first was on the Oprah Show where Dr. Jill Biden states Obama offered Joe his choice of VP or Sec. of State, which I'm sure Hillary was happy to hear.

On Day 2 the Vice President was given the simple task of swearing in the new White House staff and it turned into an insult to Chief Justice Roberts. Make sure you check out the icy look on President Obama's face after the remark - priceless!

It's clear that Obama is going to have to do something to keep Biden from being seen. I hear that there is going to be vacancies at the Guantanamo Hilton.




Bailout Banks Big Contributors to Obama's Inaugaration

Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley all beneficiaries of the government bailout show up on the largest contributor list to the Obama Inaugration.



Obama's Choice to run IRS did not pay taxes



Timothy Geithner has paid over $48,000 in back taxes and interest, including $26,000 just last November, right before his nomination papers went to the Senate. As secretary of the Treasury, his job includes oversight of the Internal Revenue Service.


Geithner reportedly has no explanation for his failure to pay the self-employment taxes even though he was notified by the International Monetary Fund where he worked at the time that he was responsible for them and had signed documents to that effect. Obama continues to back Geithner, who was head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York at the time of his nomination and has been heavily involved in high-level government discussions about economic rescue measures in recent months.


My Thoughts: This man didn't pay taxes for three years! This was not a simple oversight, it is an example of habitual criminal behaviour. Lets ask Wesley Snipes where Giethner should begin his term as Secretary of the Treasury!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Left Makes Me Laugh

I am a political junkie. The section of the paper I go to first is always the op-ed section. Nothing gets the mind stirring like the free exchange of ideas. It doesn't matter if the columnist is left wing or right wing, I enjoy reading it.

Admittedly I usually end up reading the liberal columnist because I find them entertaining. I mean if you can not laugh at Chicago Sun-Times columnist Lynn Sweet then you are devoid of any humor. Her schoolgirl crush with Barak Obama has started my day for the last 3 months. The is the columnist that wrote about wanting to go into the locker room with the Senator. If she ever looses her job with the Sun-Times I'm sure she could fill the pages of Penthouse Letters with her fantasies of the African-Indian-Irish-Muslim-Irish presidential candidate. For crying out loud, the main feature on her blog is Obama's public schedule. And here you thought Eleanor Cliff's infatuation with Bill Clinton was embarrassing, Lynn Sweet verges on being a stalker!

Not all liberal columnists are nut cases. One I have great respect for is Susan Estrich. The majority of the time I disagree with her, but her reasoning is downright challenging for a conservative like me. Sometimes I find myself actually agreeing with her. I am telling you if you don't have her web page bookmark you should. In fact her column this week defending Ken Burn's documentary from the censorship of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus is extraordinary! Ms. Estrich gets it right when she states:

"Hispanic Americans have real issues to worry about in America today, starting with immigration reform, equal employment opportunity, education, health care, etc. Ken Burns is the least of their problems. And people who call themselves leaders, much less take an oath to uphold the Constitution in the process, should be expected to recognize that.

The whole incident leaves you feeling sorry for Hispanics — not because they've been left out of a PBS film about what happened 50 years ago, but because their leaders today leave so much to be desired."

How can you not respect someone that is willing to talk straight to one of the key voting blocks in the nation?


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Lloyd's Joins Green Hysteria

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Lloyd's of London, the world's oldest insurer, offered a gloomy forecast of floods, droughts and disastrous storms over the next 50 years in a recently published report on impending climate changes.

"These things are fact, not hypothesis," said Wendy Baker, the president of Lloyd's America in an interview on Monday. "You don't have to be a believer in global warming to recognize the climate is changing. The industry has to get ready for the changes that are coming."

In a report on catastrophe trends Lloyd's is disseminating to the insurance industry, a bevy of British climate experts, including Sir David King, chief scientist to the British government, warn of increased flooding in coastal areas and a rapid rise in sea level as ice caps melt in Greenland and Antarctica.

Northern European coastal levels could rise more than a meter (3 feet) in a few decades, particularly if the Gulf Stream currents change, the report says.

Floods, which now account for about half of all deaths from natural disasters, could multiply and become more destructive, with annual flood damages in England and Wales reaching 10 times today's level, according to some studies.

At the same time, drought patterns that are already forming in some parts of the world are going to get worse, particularly in southern Africa.

Even the lush Amazon may dry up, and with less vegetation, more carbon dioxide will leak into the atmosphere, making the global warming problem even worse, the Lloyd's study says.

My Thoughts:

The way the story is written it gives the impression that the Ms. Baker is saying that her predictions of the catastrophic future are facts that are indisputable. Is Wendy Baker just plain stupid or is this story intentionally misleading? I'll give Ms. Baker the benefit of the doubt for no other reason than a track record of a national media that continues to push an agenda without any regard of what facts are.

A fact, by definition, is something processing the qualities of being actual. I agree drought patterns could worsen, the ice caps could melt and coastal levels could rise, but none of this constitute a fact. Only when it happens will it be a fact. I actually think that stories like this is a disservice to the "green" political agenda because when the global warming debate is framed in such a disingenuous way it diminishes any creditability the argument and the people who frame the argument might have.

The only fact we have is that the planet in the last hundred years has gotten warmer. Do we have to do something about global warming? I'm not sure we can. However, it might be a good idea to conserve as a means to preserve. Lets not let the propaganda get hotter than the planet.

Something's Wrong Here

2007 Tampa Bay Devil Rays Team Payroll $24,124,200

05/06/07: Yankees Sign Roger Clemens for $25,900,000

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Hero of the Week - Judge Michael Sauer

Judge Michael Sauer deserves a pat on the back. This man is responsible for locking up Paris Hilton for 45 days and he did it without a single camera on him. Unlike the Anna Nicole fiasco in Florida where the courts allow their judges to ham it up in front of lights of the national press corps, Judge Sauer took a low key approach and acted judiciously.

Judge Sauer stayed so far from the limelight that the only image I could find of the man was a court drawing with him in the background as Paris Hilton was embarrassing herself on the witness stand. I thought to myself, Paris Hilton doesn't deserve to be in the same frame as this honorable man and quite frankly, I am sick of seeing her. So on this website Paris Hilton has been photo-shopped!

Some may say Judge Sauer's decision was too harsh. Most of these people obviously don't know Hilton's driving record, which included a DUI, violations for driving without her lights on, driving a vehicle without license plates, failure to enroll in a court order alcohol-education program and several stops by the police reminding Paris that she was driving on a suspended license. Hilton has demonstrated time and time again that rules apply to everyone else but her.

Ms. Hilton stated (lied) on the witness stand that when she was pulled over on January 22 she was unaware that her license was suspended. Despite the fact she was pulled over by California Highway Patrolmen on January 15 and was forced to sign a statement that acknowledged that she was informed that her license was suspended. Note here that Ms. Hilton was not cited on January 15th as she should have been.

Nonetheless, Paris' mother, Kathy Hilton declared, "This is pathetic and disgusting, a waste of taxpayer money with all this nonsense. This is a joke." You are wrong Mrs. Hilton. What's a joke is that because of your poor parenting skills, disciplining your children is now a burden on the hard-working taxpayer.

Hilton's attorney Howard Weitzman went even further to express his displeasure with the sentence stating, ".....It was clear that she's been selectively targeted in my opinion to be prosecuted because of who she is." Funny, He doesn't mention all the publicity, special perks and privileges Paris Hilton has been awarded in her life has also been based on solely who she is.

The only mistake Judge Sauer made was that he didn't allow Century Regional Detention Facility to charge Paris Hilton the same nightly rate that the Beverly Hills Hilton charges their patrons.



Sunday, April 29, 2007

Muppet Humor

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Walmart Husband!

A friend sent me this. I liked so I thought I would post for all to read.

Mr. and Mrs. Fenton are retired. Mrs. Fenton insists that he go with her to Walmart. He gets bored with all the shopping. He prefers to get in and get out, but Mrs. Fenton loves to browse. Here's a letter sent to her from the store.

Dear Mrs. Fenton,
Over the past six months, your husband has been causing quite a commotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behavior and may ban both of you from our stores. We have documented all incidents on our video surveillance equipment.

All complaints against Mr. Fenton are listed below.

Things Mr. Bill Fenton has done while his spouse was shopping in Walmart:

1. June 15: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in people's carts when they weren't looking.

2. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.

3. July 7: Made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the restrooms.

4. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official tone, 'Code 3' in housewares..and watched what happened.

5. Aug 4: Went to the Service Desk and asked to put a bag of M&M's on layaway.

6. Sept 14: Moved a 'CAUTION - WET FLOOR' sign to a carpeted area.

7. Sept 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told other shoppers he'd invite them in if they'll bring pillows from the bedding department.

8. Sept 23: When a clerk asks if they can help him him, he begins to cry and asks, 'Why can't you people just leave me alone?'

9. Oct 4: Looked right into the security camera; used it as a mirror, and picked his nose.

10. Nov 10: While handling guns in the hunting department, asked the clerk if he knows where to find the antidepressants.

11. Dec 3: Darted around the store suspiciously loudly humming the "Mission Impossible" theme .

12. Dec 6: In the auto department, practiced his "Madonna look" using different size funnels.

13. Dec 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browse through, yelled "PICK ME!" "PICK ME!"

14. Dec 21: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumes the fetal position and screams "NO! NO! It's those voices again!!!!"

And last, but not least...
15. Dec 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door waited awhile, then yelled very loudly, "There is no toilet paper in here!"

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Iraqis: Life is getting better

This report from the Sunday Times Web Page

MOST Iraqis believe life is better for them now than it was under Saddam Hussein, according to a British opinion poll published today.

The survey of more than 5,000 Iraqis found the majority optimistic despite their suffering in sectarian violence since the American-led invasion four years ago this week.

One in four Iraqis has had a family member murdered, says the poll by Opinion Research Business. In Baghdad, the capital, one in four has had a relative kidnapped and one in three said members of their family had fled abroad. But when asked whether they preferred life under Saddam, the dictator who was executed last December, or under Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister, most replied that things were better for them today.

Only 27% think there is a civil war in Iraq, compared with 61% who do not, according to the survey carried out last month.

By a majority of two to one, Iraqis believe military operations now under way will disarm all militias. More than half say security will improve after a withdrawal of multinational forces.

Margaret Beckett, the foreign secretary, said the findings pointed to progress. “There is no widespread violence in the four southern provinces and the fact that the picture is more complex than the stereotype usually portrayed is reflected in today’s poll,” she said.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Poem of No Rhyme or Reason

This past Saturday, Cincinnati, Ohio opened its new Fountain Square with a grand ceremony. But that turned sour when the former Cincinnatian poet/activist Nikki Giovanni recited her poem that turned the event from a display of civic pride to one better fitted for a political rally for the Democratic candidate Ted Strickland.

Giovanni's poem (if you want to call it that) created a fire-storm when she spoke the following lines:


I have watched policemen
Shoot young black men in the back
And have watched my community respond, a people who once saved this city
. . .
I am the Cincinnati Western and Southern Tennis Championships, though I am played in Mason
. . .
I am not a son of a bitch like Kenny Blackwell
...
I will not use the color of my skin to cover the hatred in my heart
I am not a political whore jumping from bed to bed to see who will stroke my need


The organizers of the event insist that the poem that Giovanni provided before the event did not contain the controversial remarks. Though the poet claims that it was made clear that what was being submitted was a "work in progress" (I can only guess that it is completed now) and added that she would never submit a poem for prior approval.

In an interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer Giovanni claims, "All I have is my voice, I don't want it silenced. We were on (Fountain Square) where the Klan gathered to speak. I'm not sure as many people called to complain about what the Klan had to say as what I said."

First off, I was in Cincinnati during the time of the Klan rally. Jerry Springer was Mayor and refused to sign the permit allowing the Klan to use Fountain Square for their sick, hate filled message. The case went all the way to the US Supreme Court who ruled that the Klan had a Constitutional right to assemble. This made national headlines, so stop playing the victim Ms. Giovanni.

Second, Giovanni failed to mention the black on black crimes that are tearing her community apart. Despite what she may think, members of the police force put their lives on the line to protect and serve the law abiding public. Isn't ironic only two days after her rant on the Square, Christopher Smith, a 21 year old black man, plead guilty to attempted murder after he admitted that he shot at Cincinnati Policemen. Where is Giovanni's outrage over this?

And lastly, the sole intent of Giovanni's poem was to silence those that disagree with her opinions. Furthermore, I can not help but believe she was targeting members of the African American community who support a conservative agenda. Giovanni was questioning the "blackness" of anyone that doesn't walk in step with her left wing agenda. With this form of public intimidation she is attempting to stifle the free speech and thoughts of others. Shame on her.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Illegal Immigrants Tell Tales of Police Brutality in Mexico

Newsweek reported the following in June:

As tough as the United States can be for workers who slip in from south of the border, Mexico is in a poor position to criticize. The problem goes far beyond the predatory gantlet of thugs and crooked cops facing defenseless transients like Mois├ęs. There's ample precedent in Mexico for just about everything the United States is—or isn't—doing. Calling out the military? Mexicans may hate the new U.S. plan to deploy 6,000 National Guard troops on the border, but five years ago they cheered President Vicente Fox for sending thousands of Mexican soldiers to crack down on their southern frontier. Tougher laws? Hispanic-rights groups are enraged over U.S. efforts to criminalize undocumented aliens—yet since 1974, sneaking into Mexico has been punishable by up to two years in prison. Foot-dragging on amnesty? Fox has spent the past five years urging the United States to upgrade the status of millions of illegals from Mexico. Meanwhile, his own government has given legal status to only 15,000 foreigners without papers.

Some of the worst abuses take place on the coffee plantations of Chiapas state, where some 40,000 Guatemalan field hands endure backbreaking jobs and squalid living conditions to earn roughly $3.50 a day. Some growers even deduct the cost of room and board from that amount. "If you ask them, 'Why are you bringing in Guatemalans to work?' they say, 'You can't depend on Mexicans. They don't work hard; they're irresponsible'," says George Grayson, a political scientist specializing in Mexico at the College of William & Mary. "The truth is, you can pay [the guest workers] a pittance. And if they cause the slightest disturbance, you can send them back to Guatemala."

Help Wanted: How to Avoid Hiring Illegal Immigrants in the UK

Recuriter Magazine pubished a self help guide for UK employers in October's issue:

It is a criminal offence for an employer to employ an individual who does not have the right to live and work in the UK.

Not only could the business itself be liable, but senior management could also be personally liable. Such liability can be avoided if the business checks and copies certain original documents belonging to the employee.

The Home Office and police have wide-ranging powers of enforcement under UK immigration law. They may enter premises and seize documents, and employers will be familiar with the concept of the 'dawn raid' even if they have not experienced one themselves.

The onus is on the employer, so the agency may still be liable in respect of temporary employees on its books.

These temps may well be seen in employment law terms to be employees of the agency rather than of the client, so ultimately you could still be liable and responsible in respect of compliance with immigration law. Even if the agency is providing permanent staff, it is still good practice to ensure that the individual has the right to work in the UK. By doing this you can be sure that, if the individual is later found to be an employee of the agency, the relevant checks have already been carried out.

The Great Fence of China

This from today's AP wire:


In a sign of Beijing's wariness about refugees, construction of a massive concrete and barbed wire fence along parts of its 880-mile border with the North has picked up in recent days. Scores of soldiers have arrived in communities along the banks of the Yalu River, up from Dandong, over the past week to erect the barrier, farmers and visitors to the area said.

"The move is mainly aimed at North Korean defectors," said Professor Kim Woo-jun at the Institute of East and West Studies in Seoul, South Korea. "As the U.N. sanctions are enforced ... the number of defectors are likely to increase as the regime can't take care of its people."

Saturday, October 14, 2006

For Sale: The State of Illinois

The latest craze in Illinois politics seems to be leasing municipality’s assets to private corporations. This all started in 2004 when the City of Chicago announced the 99 year lease of the Chicago Skyway to Spanish corporation Cintra-Macquaire for a 1.8 billion dollars upfront payment. Since then Mayor Daley and Gov. Blagojevich has proposed to lease everything from Midway Airport to State Tollway system to the State Lottery. Yesterday, Mayor Daley added the city run parking garages to the list.

The City of Chicago will be paid $550 million dollars for a 26 year lease of the parking garages under Grant and Millennium Parks. Mayor Daley plans to use half of that to payoff the remaining debt occurred in construction of the Park. The other half will be used to fund "nieghborhood projects" and improve the city's infrustructure. Mayor Daley explains, "Government isn't in the business of parking garages."

I couldn't agree with the Mayor more, government should govern and businessmen should run businesses. The problem I have is the way our government is governed! It was Daley's mismanagement of the building of Millennium Park that caused 4 years of delays and a $300 million dollar cost overrun. Now the city is hard pressed to be able to payoff the bondholder debt that remains. Leasing the garage will save Daley from that headache, but it will also give him another $250 million to fund other pet projects.

Can we trust Daley with a $250 million coffer? I think not. Already the revenue reserves that were made from the selling of the Skyway went to pay the City of Chicago's 2005 budget shortfall of $220 million dollars. At this rate, in less than 3 years, Daley would have spent what should have been 99 years of revenue. When Daley is gone what is the city going to do when it faces a revenue crisis? With all the city assets gone and all the money spent, the only recourse the future mayor will have is to raise taxes. Is it any wonder why people don’t want to run for elective office?

The same can be said about Gov. Blagojevich. After he has raided the state's employee and teacher's pension fund to make up his budget shortfalls, the only option he has in an election year is to propose the selling of the state's assets or (heaven forbid) cut spending growth. With these two running the show I can't see spending cuts happening. Luckily, Blago has to answer to the 50% of the state who live outside Cook County and the only reason why the Tollway hasn't been sold off already.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Blame Bush Crowd Gets It Wrong Again!

On Sen. Harry Reids web page I found the following quote:

North Korea Has Dramatically Increased Its Weapons Material Stockpile under the Bush Administration. When President Bush took office in 2000, Pyongyang had enough fissile material to manufacture 1-2 nuclear weapons. Today, experts believe that North Korea possesses material sufficient to build between 4 and 13 nuclear weapons and, unless an agreement is reached to stop the country’s program, it is estimated that Pyongyang will have enough material to manufacture between 8 and 17 nuclear weapons by 2008.

You have got to be kidding me, Harry Reid blames President Bush for this? Who does he think gave North Korea the technology to build nuclear power plants (the source of the enriched uranium used to build the Korean nuclear warhead)? I'll give him a hint. It wasn't our current President.

Who, after visiting North Korea, flew directly to Japan and South Korea and convinced them to give to give humanitarian aid that went directly to the North Korean Army instead of the people it was supposed to help? Once again, it wasn't our current President!



Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Special Counsel's Act of Treason

Earlier in the year this blog praised the appointment of Patrick Fitzgerald as US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. Fitzgerald targeted government corruption and demonstrated his ability to be independent of political bias. His office prosecuted former Republican Governor George Ryan, sent top advisors in Mayor Daley's administration to jail and is leading the charge to get to the bottom of the "pay for hire" scandal tied to the current Governor. With every headline in Chicago's newspapers Fitzgerald brought back respect the US Attorney's Office has lacked. Which is why I can't help but being disappointed in his handling of the investigation into the alleged unauthorized disclosure of a CIA's employee's identity (Valerie Plame, in the event you have been living under a rock for the past 3 years).

In December 2003, Patrick Fitzgerald was named Special Counsel; everything that he did from that point on can only be labeled a political witch-hunt. When Fitzgerald took this position, the Justice Department already knew the leak came from the State Department. Instead of focusing there, Fitzgerald took direct aim at Vice President Cheney and Karl Rove. Fitzgerald could have shut down the investigation within one month, he knew Richard Armitage was the leak, but the Special Counsel kept this secret so he could trap Cheney, Rove and Scooter Libby with a game of perjury and obstruction of justice. Washington insiders knew the truth, Clinton's hatchet man Sydney Blumenthal said in an unapologetic interview, "I had known that Armitage was that source for a long time, many months, and it has been fairly well known among some people in Washington."

Fitzgerald's prosecutorial abuse was merely a vain attempt to discredit the White House. For 18 months this sham of an investigation was allowed to continue (it continues to this day) with the sole beneficiary being the Democratic Party, adding firepower to arm their endless attacks on the Bush Administration. Is it any wonder why people think that the Democratic Party is unpatriotic? Couldn't someone in that party think that the time the White House spent defending themselves against false charges could have been better spent fighting the War against Terror? Maybe unpatriotic is the wrong word....how about treasonous!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Chicago's Most Famous Cop!

Happy 75th Birthday Dick Tracy!
Here's to the man that gave us the two-way wrist radio!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Foley Follies

As the Foley Follies continues I would like to clear up some misinformation reported in the mainstream media.

  • The E-mail that Foley sent to the page were not sexually explicit, but a little weird that a 50+ yo man would be interested in a 16 yo boy. Click here to view copies of the emails.
  • E-mails have digital signatures that can be traced back to the sender. AIM chat transcripts are text files that can be altered. The only way that you could validate these IM chat transcripts is to check the timestamp when the file has been created. This is not a 100% accurate, if the file has been saved to another directory, renamed or moved another computer this time stamp will change.
  • Hassert heard about the Emails in late 2005 but did not see the Chat Transmissions until last Friday. There is a clear distinction between the content of the emails and the Chat Logs that ABC news is publishing.
  • ABC News refuses to release how they are verifying the newly obtained chat transcripts. I called Brian Ross' office and spoke to a woman who would only identify herself as his producer; she said that they verified that the chat transmissions were sent to ABC News by people who could be confirmed as a Congressional Page. She refused to comment if any other steps were taken to confirm that these AIM chat transcripts were authentic.
  • I called AOL to see if they had logs of chat activities. I was told by an AOL representative that they do not. I am sure that AOL has logs that will show when a user account was logged in. Some of these chat transcripts have signed out timestamps. I am sure AOL would never release this information to a news agency, it would have to be a court ordered thing.

It's hard for me to find fault with Speaker Hassert for his lack of action. Hassert explains his side of the story:

Hastert told FOX News on Monday that he wish he had done more with the limited information he had, but he would not resign. Hastert said Foley had been confronted in the fall of 2005 about his communications with one male page, and was told to "immediately cease any communication" with him and any other pages.

Hastert said his aides and Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-La., heeded the wishes of the parents of the former House page, who wanted such questionable e-mails to stop but didn't want the matter pursued. The e-mail had not been shown to Hastert's staff or Shimkus, the speaker said.

Speaking to Sean Hannity on his radio show late Tuesday, Hastert said that no one knew how graphic the IM exchanges were with the boy, and would not have put up with it if it were known.

"If I would have known ... Foley would have been out of Congress" and an investigation would have begun immediately, Hastert said. But Hastert said the e-mails which he had read did not suggest anything more than his being overly friendly.

Anybody who held onto the information "even for one day put kids in peril," Hastert added, a veiled reference to members of the media who may have had the IM exchanges, but didn't report them sooner.

In my opinion the only thing that proved that Foley did anything inappropriate is that he resigned and checked himself into a rehab clinic. Most times when you act like you are hiding something you usually are.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Knee Deep in the Middle of the Rio Grande

One issue that I have avoided discussing on this blog is that of illegal immigration. Quite frankly I just don't know what to think about this issue. Everything is turned upside down. I look at every side of this issue and have come to the conclusion that the entire debate disgusts me. Everything is right and everything is wrong. I usually hate those that stand in the "whishy-washy" middle but that's exactly where I find myself today. The radical extremes, which are driving this issue, are so far apart and so wacky, that there is no other place to be for any rational thinking person.

It makes me sick to hear Patrick Buchanan's claim that there is some great Mexican plan to take back the American southwest. That's just plain stupid. Somehow he expects us to believe that the Mexican government, who isn't competent enough to pick up the garbage off the streets in their capital, has come up with a grand scheme to win back Texas.

Every bit as ridiculous is Rep. Luis Gutierrez, who seems to be advocating that illegal immigrants have unfettered access to our legal and social welfare state without regard to our economy and national security. At the height of Gutierrez's idiocy was his fight for clemency for the imprisoned members FALN, the Puerto Rican terrorist group who staged over 130 bombings in the hopes to gain Puerto Rican independence.

With extremists in the mold of Gutierrez and Buchanan leading the debate for and against illegal immigration I have no hope that the problem will be resolved anytime soon. What we need is someone sensible enough and with a large enough following to frame the debate in the following manner:

  • Keeping an open boarder that allows people to cross unchecked is a national security issue that must end.
  • Since it is a national security issue to allow illegal immigrants to come into this country, it seems obvious that we have to find out who is already here. So we need to find some way to account for those people.
  • The illegal immigrants are not creating the jobs they are filling, the employers are. If they weren't being hired no one would be coming over. It is imperative that the laws we have on the books against hiring illegals are enforced.
  • There is a demand and a need for unskilled laborers in our workplace. As more baby boomers retire and as the average size of the American family gets smaller we simply do not have the workforce to fill all our jobs.

These are the talking points that need to be accepted before we can expect a satisfactory resolution to our national dilemma. Building a fence along the boarder and using the race card as a reason not to enforce our laws serves no one except those that are playing on the extremes of the political spectrum.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Stretching the Truth.....

In yesterday's Chicago Sun-Times there was a story about a Dr. Sheldon Burman. At age 80, the state of Illinois revoked his license to practice because in the past ten years he had been named in 45 malpractice suits. What makes it worse is that Dr. Burman specialty is Penis Enlargement.

Ouch.

The article goes into detail how Dr. Burman's procedure worked, or in 45 cases how it didn't work. I'll spare you all that. What I thought was bizarre was that Dr. Burman was once a respected heart surgeon until a car accident in 1981 left him with limited mobility (read in "he got the shakes"). Now I respect the Doctor's decision to shutdown his cardiology practice, but wouldn't you think that he would have realized that one mistake down there could be just as life-altering?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Affirmative Actionless Oprah?

Oprah Winfrey, along with her gal-pal Gayle (who I love, if only Oprah was more like her. She's just fun), kicked off her $55 million network with a conversation, not so surprisingly, that centered on Oprah, and how successful she is (and she really is). This report from TMZ .com :

Oprah talked about her humble beginnings in Mississippi, and particularly about how her mother's highest aspiration for her was that she might end up cleaning white people's houses, because "they give away nice clothes." And then Oprah pointed out that now that she's Oprah, she has "all these white people" working for her, and that in fact there's only one black person on the staff.

What was that?

Oprah pointed out that now that she's Oprah, she has "all these white people" working for her, and that in fact there's only one black person on the staff.

Oh, OK.

I just want to point out to Oprah that the population of Chicago (home of Harpo Studios) is 30% African American. This community of a million strong has a 13% unemployment rate - nearly 3 times greater than the national average. Yet Oprah has a staff of all white people. Well if it makes Oprah feel better about herself I guess its ok with me.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Clinton's Conspiracy

Bill Clinton has been making a lot of headlines lately, from my perspective they have not been the most flattering. First Clinton threatens ABC in a vain attempt to stop the airing of their 9/11 drama and now he goes ballistic when Chris Wallace ask the former President if he done enough to capture Bin Laden. President Clinton, always a master protector of his image, has completely lost it with his finger-pointing response to Wallace:

“But at least I tried. That’s the difference in me and some, including the right-wingers attacking me now, they had eight months to try, they did not try. I tried. So I tried and failed.”

When Clinton pulls out the vast right wing conspiracy excuse it rings hollow because we remember the last time it was used and realize that Clinton lied when he said “I did not have sex with that woman.” Clinton uses the same tactics now as he did then. You have to ask what would make us think that he isn't lying now? So already there is a credibility problem with Clinton’s tirade.

The same can be said about Albright's and Clinton's protest of the Path to 9/11. The main beef wasn’t so much that what was portrayed by the controversial scenes didn’t reflect the Clinton’s foreign policy, but that the actual meeting never took place. So what we have is a parsing of words again. Ok, maybe conversations took place over the course of several meetings but not at one meeting like the movie made it out to be. Therefore the entire movie should be discounted. Sounds like “depends what you mean ‘is’ is” all over again.

We know that after the ’93 WTC bombing nothing was done to get Bin Laden. We know that when our troops were killed in Somalia, we did nothing. We know when our embassy in Kenya was bombed we did nothing. We know that when the USS Cole was bombed we did nothing. We know that Bin Laden was responsible for all of these attacks, we did nothing. We know when the Sudan offered to turn Bin Laden over us, we did nothing. We know that when the CIA had Bin Laden targeted we did nothing but inform Pakistan that the Tomahawk missiles were on the way, thus giving Bin Laden the warning needed to defy death. We know that Clinton was President when we did nothing.

Let’s make this clear, there was one man responsible for 9/11 and that man was Osama Bin Laden. Not Bill Clinton or George Bush. As Americans we need to keep that in mind. However, it does not serve anyone to make claims of a right wing conspiracy as a means to ignore the mistakes of history. You would think that someone of Clinton’s stature would know when to keep his mouth shut. By making comments on the ABC movie and screaming at Chris Wallace, Clinton has started a new debate of his role in 9-11, forcing people to do a retrospection of his 8 year presidency and proving what a partisan hack he has always been. It would have been nice to hear Clinton just say that I tried to get Bin Laden but failed, but this would have required a bit of humility, a virtue that Clinton has always lacked.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I Hate the Steelers

I hate the Pittsburg Steelers more than life itself. This is the dirtiest franchise in the history of the NFL. A team that has put the "Cheap Shot" as a legitimate play in their playbook. The latest cheap hit was against Carson Palmer in last year's playoffs. Some would argue that Kimo Van Oelhoffen's hit on Palmer was caused when he was pushed into Palmer. That's BULLSHIT! Look at the pics, no one can tell me that Kimo didn't intentionally wrap his hands around Palmer's keee.



































If this was the first time that the Squeelers did such a thing that would be one thing, but taking out opposing players from a game has been their M.O. for decades; from Kenny Anderson to Bernie Kosar to Eddie George and now, Carson Palmer.

My hate is so intense that I asked if I was alone with these feelings? Am I the only person on this planet that the mere thought of black and gold makes me want to vomit? I searched the web for an answer and sure enough my emotions were validated. Hundreds of web matches with the phrase "I hate the Steelers"! Here are some of the best:

The Steelers Suck - This page created by Charlie Frye's Fans with great pictures supporting his feelings.
The Sports Column Blog - Great posting where he gives 5 reasons why he hates the Stoolers and their fans. The best being No. 4 - No cheerleaders. He even gets a swipe at Sharon Stone which is priceless!
The Furnier Files - I debated to put this link in the posting, but thought what the heck, Brown's fans are almost people too.
What Really Grinds my Gears Blog - A fellow blogger who shares in my hatred. One of his posting had a reply from a Steeler fan who called him a douche bag, classy people those Squeeler fans.
http://www.lookatmeshirts.com/ - A web retailer where one it's best selling t-shirt says "Even God hates the Steelers".
Angry Ken.com - Ken gives us one of his typical rants against the Steelers after Carson Palmer's SI interview. Needless to say - he's angry.

God knows I could go on and on, hating the East Coast Raiders is a universal feeling.

Is it tomorrow yet? Who Dey!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Return of Vichy France

President Jacques Chirac has broken ranks with the US and Britain by calling for the suspension of UN Security Council action against Iran during negotiations over its nuclear programme.

In a radio interview yesterday before flying to New York for the UN General Assembly, the French President provoked a diplomatic storm by backing Iran's demand that the Security Council should halt its involvement in the nuclear dossier.

The demand is spelt out in Iran's confidential 20-page response to a Western offer of technological and economic co-operation in return for a freeze on nuclear activities which could lead to production of a nuclear weapon. The Independent has obtained a copy of the document.

M. Chirac suggested that the group of six nations involved in talks with Iran - Britain, the US, France, Germany, Russia and China - should "set an agenda, then start negotiations".

"We must, on the one hand, together, Iran and the six countries, meet and set an agenda, then start negotiations. Then, during these negotiations, I suggest that the six renounce referring [Iran to] the UN Security Council and that Iran renounce uranium enrichment during negotiations," M. Chirac said.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

An American Hero

This week on HBO's Inside the NFL the subject of Pat Tillman's death was featured. For those unfamiliar, Pat Tillman decided to walk away from the NFL during the prime of his career to join the Marines and defend his country in the aftermath of 9/11. Literally Pat Tillman gave up millions for the opportunity to bring Osama Bin Laden home. Tragically on April 22, 2004 in Afghanistan, Pat Tillman was killed in action. The Pentagon stated that Tillman was killed in a heroic charge protecting his fellow Marines during an ambush from enemy combatants. These initial reports proved to be untrue as it became clear that Tillman was taken down as a result of friendly fire. Unfortunately friendly fire is something that happens during the course of any war, but even though the military knew that the initial reports to the media were untrue they did nothing to correct the misinformation. A month after Tillman’s funeral the Pentagon changed its story stating that Tillman’s death was due to friendly fire aggravated by the intensity of the firefight. It was later learned that no hostile forces were involved and that two allied groups fired on in confusion over an exploded mine. It becomes obvious that the Pentagon, whether to avoid embarrassment or to exploit Tillman’s death, was less than forthright to the Tillman Family.

As a result the Tillman family is unable to bring closure in dealing with their son's death. It is unfortunate in every aspect. To Pat Tillman’s family and friends it is important that they know the truth, and I hope they can get that when the Pentagon's investigation concludes at the end of the month. To the general public it's more important to focus on how Pat Tillman led his life, not his death. Regardless of the circumstances, Pat Tillman’s story is one of a man who demonstrated self sacrifice and courage. I, for one, will always keep that in perspective. Pat Tillman remains my hero.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Some Things Never Change

You may have notice that for awhile there I stopped making postings, but I can't help but think that some things just never change. Back in March the story of the day was the Muslim protests of editorial cartoons, today the story is that the same people are protesting the remarks of Pope Benedict XIV.

What amazes me that the lazy mainstream media has allowed the Muslim world to characterize the Pope's remarks, rather than informing the public what he actually said. I have read news report after news report to find out exactly what words the Pope used. Not one story quoted the Pope directly nor has any major news agency try to accurately represent the Pope’s intent. I personally think that it is important to try to understand the Pope in the proper context. Therefore, the following is an exerpt from the Pope's speech:

"In the seventh conversation (*4V8,>4H - controversy) edited by Professor Khoury, the emperor touches on the theme of the holy war. The emperor must have known that surah 2, 256 reads: "There is no compulsion in religion". According to the experts, this is one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat. But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Qur'an, concerning holy war. Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the "Book" and the "infidels", he addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached". The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. "God", he says, "is not pleased by blood - and not acting reasonably (F×< 8`(T) is contrary to God's nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats... To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death...". The decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this: not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God's nature. The editor, Theodore Khoury, observes: For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy, this statement is self-evident. But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality. Here Khoury quotes a work of the noted French Islamist R. Arnaldez, who points out that Ibn Hazn went so far as to state that God is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it God's will, we would even have to practise idolatry.At this point, as far as understanding of God and thus the concrete practice of religion is concerned, we are faced with an unavoidable dilemma. Is the conviction that acting unreasonably contradicts God's nature merely a Greek idea, or is it always and intrinsically true?...."

Pope is merely stating that spreading faith through violence is an unreasonable thought and counter to the nature of God. The Pope's message is squarely targeted to the Islamic radicals calling for a jihad. The only thing offensive about these words is that they came out of the mouth of the leader of the Roman Catholic Church and not from a Mullah in Mecca. When will the message that there is nothing holy or reasonable about waging a violent jihad come from the Muslim leadership? Let me make this clear - the Pope is not criticizing Muslims in general, but I am!