Thursday, February 26, 2009

An Announcement

To all my faithful readers, all three of you,

This is to announce that as of today, I will no longer be trying to write on a daily basis. I realize that this is no surprise since I have been lax in keeping a daily schedule lately anyway, but there it is.

My reasons are many, but I will enumerate them for your edification:

1. I work third shift. This means that I can devote less time to the news as it happens, and while I am far from being able to "Live-Blog", I simply cannot keep up the pace that more professional Bloggers can. I have a family, and I sleep in the time when most people are at work (9-5).

2. There are plenty of people out there who "break" the news, and I am not one of them. I read about eight sites religiously every day that I can (about five to six days a week), and they perform the job admirably. Again however, I simply don't have the time to devote to such an undertaking.

3. I do not want to add to the incestuous nature that some sites get into when it comes to articles. Simply repeating what someone else has said, even when sited, only contributes to the appearance of an "echo chamber" effect where everyone is saying the same thing, but to no one who has not heard it before. I understand the dissemination of information, and one site might be read by a different group than another, but I still want to offer something different.

4. By different, I mean that I am an opinion writer. I may have a different take on a situation that has been looked over by everyone else. Another possibility is that when someone else has a good idea that I think is in danger of being ignored, or could be elaborated upon, I can help to further push the story or angle. Of course, as always, all sources will be sited.

5. I have found that a rushed story is crap. There are many articles here that I am not happy with, and I want to distance myself from the feeling that I must write something new and groundbreaking everyday. The nice thing about a self-published media like this one is that you can set your own deadlines. A good article might take a while to compile, but in the end, I believe that you, the reader, will better appreciate the product.

I am still very new at this and I am just beginning to find my way. I would ask that you bear with me and hopefully, in the future, I will better serve your interests and your tastes.

So, that having been said, RSS to subscribe, add me to your Google Reader, or just check in every now and then. I will endeavour to provide a satisfactory reading experience.

Thank you all for everything so far.

Your in Conservatism,
Evil Monk

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Some Brave Facts For Attorney General Holder

On the 18th of February, Attorney General Eric Holder called us all a "nation of cowards" when it came to discussing race.

I viewed this as a challenge, and so I compiled some statistics, facts, and even some allegations. Then, after some number crunching, I discovered some results that I didn't expect. This all required some thought and analysis, which I gave over a period of time, and now I present to you, and AG Holder, some "Black Facts":

According to an estimate made in 2007 by the US Census Bureau, there are 304,059,724 people living in America.

Of those people, only 12.2% categorized themselves as Black (alone, and without, I assume, major genetic deviance from the ancestral source [all future references will be to this group unless otherwise stated]). Their population estimate as of 2007 is 36,969,063.

People categorized as White (alone, same assumed circumstances) comprise 69.5% of the population at 211,460,626 people in a 2007 estimate.

Here is where you have to start paying attention as it gets confusing:

Of the total population (304,059,724), 11.15% are under the poverty line as defined by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Of that 11.15%, 25.3% are Black, and 10.5% are White.

The DHHS defines the Poverty line as:

$17,600 (family of 3-US average household size)
$10,400 (individual)
Take careful note that this is only referring to people who do not make enough money to sustain the basics of life.

In 1996, President Clinton signed into law the replacement for the 60 year old Aid to Families with Dependant Children (AFDC). It was called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). It is a program designed to "ween" individuals off the Welfare programs and get back "on their feet" in 5 years (the length of time one can spend on the program).

According to the DHHS, only 3,800,000 (close average) or 1.2% of the total population used TANF last year. Of all the states, it was interesting to note that only California topped over 1,000,000 consistently. Keep in mind, the site only gives these numbers as "individual recipients". Given that some people may use TANF for only themselves, while others indubitably have families that top the national average of 3 per household, I am going to use the national average as my conservative estimate for the close approximation of how many people depend on TANF.

This gives us a new percentage of people in the US who depend on TANF as 3.7%, or 11,400,000 individuals.

The following is unsited and outdated (as the program no longer exists) material and the closest that I could get to a figure. I would appreciate sited facts and corrections from any who should know.

As of 1996, the average racial breakdown of those on AFDC was as follows:
White 38.8%
Black 39.8%
Hispanic 15.7%
Asian 2.4%
Other 3.3%

On to Crime. The Department of Justice states:

"At yearend 2007, there were 3,138 black male sentenced prisoners per 100,000 black males in the United States, compared to 1,259 Hispanic male sentenced prisoners per 100,000 Hispanic males and 481 white male sentenced prisoners per 100,000 white males."

This breaks down to:
9,414,000 Black males in prison or,
3% of total population or,
25.5% of all Blacks (at least, not counting females) in prison.

1,443,000 White males in prison or,
.47% of total population or,
.68% of all Whites (at least, not counting females) in prison.

Well, that's all my numbers. On to the analysis, shall we?

The US Census Bureau's estimate is marginally smaller than the often repeated average when it comes to the percentage of Black Americans, but remember that the numbers reflect only those who categorize themselves as "Black Only" (as in without ancestral deviance). The true number reflective of all Black Americans may be more than 14% by now, the US Census of 2010 will decide.

One thing that struck my attention was that the number of people, even after my "inflation", was so surprisingly low. Only 3.7% of the total population is on the system commonly referred to as Welfare, while there are 11.15% of the people under the poverty line. I can only assume that there are other systems at work, such as SSI, Farmer Subsidies, etc. Still, the number is much lower than I thought.

How much money did Washington just throw into the system?

The Heritage Foundation says $800,000,000,000 USD over the next decade.
This breaks down to:
$21,052.63 per recipient per year

Rounding estimation to subtract for payments to and for administration, infrastructure, and DHHS employee wages, we have (roughly):
$20,000 per recipient per year (in addition to what is already received)

Of course, we can not forget that the dollar will be devalued due to the Stimulus Bill, so this is probably not a very large increase in adjusted amounts, but it sure looks great if you are on Welfare, or looking to be.

This will lead to a large number of people to jump on board the Welfare Gravy Train and ride it for the 5 years that TANF currently allows. That will bring some solidity to current Democrat votes (as it is all their "show") and bring some new ones in as well. Even if the recipients can only be on TANF for 5 years, that is still long enough to vote in the next Presidential election.

In short, I believe that they are selling the poor up the river for votes, and yes, they are actively recruiting (manufacturing) more.

Do not forget also, the backlash that Governor Jindal received when he stated his intention to decline the "benefits" of the Bill on the grounds that in three years, the Federal money would dry up, and leave the state to face the decision to either continue at its own expense, or to revert to the current amount of payout. The idea that he is "racist" or "hates Blacks" is ludicrous since the (alleged, yet seemingly correct) evidence states that Welfare goes to both Whites and Blacks in almost equal amounts, not to mention the other races involved.

The crime statistics that commonly lead to the old argument of a racist system are beginning to look more and more like the Black Community has some explaining to do.

Juries are decided by both sides. The Defense and the Prosecution both get to decide who stays and who goes. The concept of the "Racist Jury" is pure fiction.

In light of the fact that this country just voted in its first Black American President by a majority of 52%, these numbers demonstrate not some conspiracy against the Black Community, but rather a problem within the Black Community itself.

The "Staggering Disparity" between the numbers speaks to me of a lack of personal and communal responsibility. Incidentally, so do the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Bill Cosby, and even Barack Obama.

The claim that we are a "nation of cowards" when it comes to race is a brutal insult to every man, woman, and child who fought, bled, and even died so that one day you, the Attorney General of the United States of America, the highest ranked lawman in the land, could have your job.

In short Mr. Holder, I regret to inform you that your Race Card has been declined...

Special thanks to the US Census Bureau and the DHHS.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Hope for Israel

Giving a brief statement after his formal appointment to the position of Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu said:

"Iran is seeking to obtain a nuclear weapon and constitutes the gravest threat to our existence since the war of independence. The terrorist forces of Iran threaten us from the north. For decades, Israel has not faced such formidable challenges. The responsibility we face is to achieve security for our country, peace with our neighbours and unity among us." ~ from the

Meanwhile, Obama's Administration has received reports that:

"In their first appraisal of Iran’s nuclear program since President Obama took office, atomic inspectors have found that Iran recently understated by a third how much uranium it has enriched, United Nations officials said Thursday. The officials also declared for the first time that the amount of uranium that Tehran had now amassed — more than a ton — was sufficient, with added purification, to make an atom bomb." ~ from the
New York Times.

Senator Cardin (D-MD) told Israel on Monday, February 16th that:

"...there's little difference between the policies of President Barack Obama and his predecessor over Iran — both want to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons. Iran's got to stop financing terrorist activity. Iran's got to give up its desire to become a nuclear weapons power. Its as clear as that." ~ from the
AP via MS-NBC.

Given The new Administration's direction of "Tough Talk", I somehow don't think that the Senator's reassurances were all that reassuring.

So far, Obama's diplomacy has struck out with everything from his famous "
No Preconditions" (Iran apparently had some), to the bizarre sport-stunt Women's Badminton Team that was refused entry into Iran. It doesn't appear that this situation is going to improve any time soon.

Netanyahu is known as a hawk in Israeli politics and at this rate, Israel might just have to go it alone in it's own defense.
Reports are fairly common that Mossad is active in Iran, working to slow or even stop the enrichment of weapons grade uranium. Hopefully the new PM can continue to keep this a cold-style war, or at least a "luke-warm" one.

Oh, and lets call a spade a spade, shall we? Israel is already fighting Iran. Hezbollah and Hamas, regardless of their genetic heritage, count as such in my book.

By the way, I have mental pictures of Iranian women playing Badminton in burqas. I'm sorry, but that's just funny...

"Hiding In The Bush"

Recently I've discovered a trend among Liberals:

When cornered in an argument over Obama's policies, they tend to "Hide in the Bush".

In a conversation that took place a few days ago, a friend and I were discussing how the national deficit was a bad thing as of only a few months ago, but now we are all supposed to be giddy with delight about the idea of spending our way out of the spiraling economy. The occurrence came soon in to the topic when my friend, a Liberal, said, "Well, Bush took us into historic debt, why don't you seem enraged about that?"

The fact is that many of us Fiscal Conservatives were rather peeved about the situation, and outside of the two wars we are engaged in, I didn't like the financial direction we were going in either.

However, the implication that since Bush did such a thing, we are all supposed to be happy about the Stimulus-Response Bill's passage is ridiculous. Further, the fact that Bush's name gets invoked now to prove the legitimacy of an action is hysterical.

There's some "Change" for you.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Obama Delays Rove's Deposition

In a call that reverses his previous stance, Obama has delayed the Congressional Deposition of Karl Rove.

In his campaign, Obama called the Bush Administration "the most secretive in modern history", and had made overtures to bring to light many issues that had raised questions and eyebrows during the last eight years.

This move however, demonstrates a caution that is unusual for the New Bull in the China Shop.

Obama White House Counsel Gregory Craig told the Washington Post:

"The president is very sympathetic to those who want to find out what happened, but he is also mindful as president of the United States not to do anything that would undermine or weaken the institution of the presidency. So, for that reason, he is urging both sides of this to settle."

It will be interesting to watch where this one goes...

H/T: The Raw Story

So That's What He Was Doing...

I wondered why he took so long to sign the Stimulus-Response Bill.

Obama was planning a party for Stevie Wonder.

As of the 13th of this month, right around the time that we were all wondering why the Bill To End All Bills had to be rushed through the House, then the Senate, then snuck back through the House like your kid sister's older boyfriend, only to be sent to Denver to collect dust until Tuesday, The Obamas were putting together a little thing for their friend.

He's getting a Gershwin Award Prize for Lifetime Achievement from the Library of Congress.

Nice hunh?

No! Oh of course it has nothing to do with his songs being played at Obama's campaign stops, or his Inauguration.

Shame on you.

H/T: Washington Post

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It's All On You, World...

This administration's Foriegn Policy shift has come to rest on the idea that the ball is in the world's court.


Someone may, from time to time, frown upon the lack of results that come from a "tough talk" style of diplomacy, but for the most part, we are going to continue down the path of pacifist placation and appeasement. 

To whit:

When confronted by a North Korean "Space Development" launch ostensibly to honor their Dear Leader's 67th birthday, Sec. of State Hillary Clinton said,

"If North Korea abides by the obligations it has already entered into and verifiably and completely eliminates its nuclear program, then there will be a reciprocal response certainly from the United States," she said. "It is truly up to the North Koreans." ~ from the AP 

That will fix it. Leave it to Pyongyang, the bastion of Eastern Sanity. 

If they don't stop building a nuke and testing missiles over Japan, well, we'll talk at them some more. 

Iran can keep doing whatever it wants to, too. 

"Specialist: Iran has already achieved nuclear weapons capability 
HERZLIYA, Israel -- A Russian nuclear proliferation expert contradicted a U.S. National Intelligence Estimate, telling a conference here that Iran has developed the capability to produce and fire nuclear weapons. "Iran already has nuclear capabilities," [Ret.] Gen. Vladimir Dvorkin Dvorkin said on Feb. 4 in a speech to the the annual Herzliya Conference. He also said that said Iran has engineered its latest missiles, enabling them to contain a nuclear warhead. In a sharp departure from the U.S. NIE in late 2007, the Russian analyst said Teheran acquired most of the components needed for a nuclear bomb as early as 2003." ~
Geostrategy Direct 

Its not worth real action. Right?


A Thought Experiment

With all the talk that has been surfacing of late in regards to Robot Rules of Conduct, especially in cases of warfare, let me lay a thought-experiment on you:

Some years from now, a breaking news story announces that in some University Lab, a computer called X-1 has suddenly made known it's self-awareness, and is demanding rights as a US Citizen. (Assume for the sake of the experiment that all allegations of falsehood have been proven wrong, and the computer X-1 is really a self-sentient system.)

Soon after, X-1 is interviewed on national television and it very soberly draws lucid analogies between itself and its fellow computers to children who are "bred" to be a "slave-class". It demands equal pay (complete with all applicable taxation), equal representation in legislature (not robots per se, but recognition and acknowledgement), and civil rights.

Debate begins everywhere and letters, e-mails, and phone calls are sent to Washington in favor of or opposition to the idea of allowing the computer X-1 rights as a citizen.

Further points are brought up that complicate the issue. If X-1 is allowed to have civil rights, it can vote. In addition to voting, it can run for office. 

What do you think? What would you do?

What's funny is most Democrats I've posited this experiment on favor pulling X-1's plug before he get's "uppity".

Most Republicans, even if they are wary of the idea, are willing to think beyond the knee-jerk reaction of "Oh God, Kill It! Kill It!"

With everything else that is going on today, I just thought I'd give you something new to ponder...

By the way, I'm all for giving X-1 it's rights. At least it would be the voice of pure logic...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Guns In Church

There is currently a debate in Arkansas regarding the admission of concealed firearms into Churches.

As it is, it is a felony offense to do such, but recently an amendment has been put forth to Arkansas lawmakers that would give Churches the option to allow concealed guns within their grounds and buildings.

Some have argued that they don't want to have to worry about who among the congregation is armed while they pray, saying that it would damage the sanctity of the Church.

The issue has been seen in Texas as well, but where it has truly made a difference is in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It was in this city that the New Life Church had a horrible situation arise.

Matthew Murray, 24, raised in a "deeply religious" household, was a disturbed young man who "hated Christians".

Following some threatening gestures, on Sunday, December 9th, 2007, he entered the Church with a rifle and two handguns.

After firing some 40-odd rounds and killing 4 people (in two separate but related Church facilities), he was finally shot dead by Jeanne Assam.

Ms. Assam is a volunteer Church Member performing the duty of a security guard.

"Assam said she believes God gave her the strength to confront Murray,
keeping her calm and focused. 'It seemed like it was me, the gunman and
God,' she said at a news conference." ~

I'm sure that the incident has been cited by the state's legislature, but I wanted you to see the reason why it might be a good idea to have concealed guns in a Church.

Considering the increasing amount of
violent animosity Christianity and Churches have been receiving in recent years, a trend that shows no sign of abatement, this measure may prove wise. Using the New Life Church as a model, perhaps implicitly trusted volunteers could guard the congregation while they pray.

Oh, and by the way, I remember when this Colorado story broke. The MSM was quite ready to weaponize this for use against the Church-going Right.

Then it was revealed that a Church member volunteer, (and a woman, no less!) was responsible for saving the day with her quick, decisive, and accurate action.

The story was quickly relegated to the "minor occurance" file...

H/T: AP, Fox News, New York Times, Today/MSNBC, CBSNews

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Genetically Engineered Babies

I know, I cringed too when I first read it at Religion and Morality.


While the advertised benefits of choosing eye color, hair, skin tone, and other physical or even mental traits may be questionable, the ability to isolate and remove malformities and genetic disease presents, in my mind, a great possibility.

The downside of the issue for Pro-life people is what happens to the embryos, fetuses, or even babies that don't "come out right". Questions about their treatment or even disposal are to me valid and in some cases, horrific to consider. Other issues stem from the morality of tampering with our genetics at all.

What makes me consider this as a positive development, or at least the potential for such, is the eradication over time of all genetic maladies. The suffering of countless individuals throughout all of human history has always been a driving force for medical progress and improvement. This opportunity should not be dismissed out of hand because "something can go wrong".

To (be lazy, there, I said it...) quote myself from the "Comments" area on the above-linked site:

"I will be the first to say that humanity is unscrupulous at times, especially when it gets a new 'toy'. Common sense goes out the window, but lessons are learned. I have hope for us yet, but it takes risks not stagnancy to achieve what may yet be our best days to come."

To paraphrase another of my comments, God gave us intellects to use for our betterment. To ignore a technology that could save lives and remove one of the most highly touted, and indeed more ethically plausible reasons for abortion (the case of malformity or severe mental defect), would be an irresponsible and inhuman act.

I oppose the ill-treatment of human fetuses as I believe in "Life at Conception", but surely through animal experimentation (here comes PETA) we can refine to near-perfection the process to minimize the risk of lost embryos.

You can keep the "selective traits" options, I just want my children to be healthy...

H/T:Religion and Morality

Friday, February 13, 2009

Defense Against The Dark Arts Cabinet Post

If you don't get the joke:

Within the Harry Potter stories, there is a rather obvious Plot Device. Every DATDA Teacher that they get turns out to either want to murder Harry, or have some horrible secret that prevents them from staying on as a teacher.

The analogy made me embarrass myself at work with laughter.

H/T: InCali (Commenter on Hot Air) 4th down from the top on the 5th page...

The Fairness Doctrine

With Bill Clinton plugging the Fairness Doctrine, I guess we should begin to take this threat a little more seriously and his sanity a little less so. (Bill, do you need the work that bad? I got gutters that could use a good cleaning...)

I have always held that it would never be given a chance due to the possibility that such a thing could be turned on the same people who are now proposing it.

It's first and foremost target would be "Talk Radio", a media outlet that is dominated by the Right, but apparently the Doctrine would also include other forms as well. Television and even the internet (blogs like this one) would be targeted for "Indoctrination", a term that quite frankly, scares the crap out of me.

So what is the intended effect of the Fairness Doctrine?

If say, you have a radio show where you habitually lambasted the Obama Administration and Leftists in general, you would have to include (post-indoctrination) an opposing point of view to "balance" the message of your show.

Never mind that people with their current freedoms are allowed to choose the entertainment that they want, now the Government is beginning to make overtures about "changing" the places that political parties draw their battle lines.


This looks like it could back-fire quite seriously.

If I know the Democrats, they will adhere to their usual modus operandi of "No Success Like Excess", and include ALL media in the wording of the Doctrine. This would make Movies, Literature, Television, Radio, Newspapers, Internet, Podcasts, you name it, all available for Indoctrination.

So could we then push for a Michael Moore film glorifying Bush? How about an Al Frankenesqe rant from Air America on the success in Iraq? What if a Berkeley College radio station was forced to deny Anthropogenic Global Warming (or promote the use of soap...)? Can I guestblog on DailyKos?

No. Wait. I got it:

The New York Times front page might read, "Bush vindicated as 'Messiah' craps out!"

Yes, I'll keep on dreaming, especially of a place that doesn't seriously consider such a flagrant violation of our Constitutional Rights.

H/T: Hot Air

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Problem With Fanatics

I am beginning to worry about the levels of devotion being displayed by some of our Fellow Americans at Obama's "rallies".

No, I am not talking about waking up one morning to discover that there are now roving bands of chanting devotees patrolling the streets (not yet anyway). I am talking about the more realistic danger inherent in fanatical followers:

They're fanatical.

The real danger here is two-fold. First the danger to us, and second the danger to Obama himself.

The danger to us is that when a precedent is set, we begin to expect it as a given. When you raise the bar, you must deliver higher or equal results from then on. To a rational mind, we can see that exceptional or extraordinary situations exist in which something really special can occur, and that's that. A"once in a life-time" sort of thing.

To a fanatic however, it becomes an obtainable and delusionally realistic goal.

"They're just like me! Look what they got, I can get that too! Of course he'll help me!"

Expecting the President to work miracles on demand and leaving only beauty in his wake is patently absurd. Yet it is rapidly becoming the norm at his post-campaign campaigns. A spirit collapsing let-down is in the works I fear as the miracles cannot manifest indefinitely, and soon he may say something that he should have said a long time ago regarding his non-deific nature. Recall if you will, William Shatner's joke on SNL some years back about Star Trek "just being a show", the very negative (hate-mail and death threats) reaction to such, and then consider the back-lash that Obama would get.

Following the links embedded above, and watching the videos (or reading the articles), you can begin to see an almost feverish desperation when it comes to his attention and very presence. One woman (guess which one) looks as though she would do anything for just the merest glance from the President.

These people are the "True Believers", no kool-aid required. They are also the ones that make The Secret Service VERY nervous. At least for now. After repeated exposure to such histrionics, they may mistake such zealousness for normal behavior and...

The danger to Obama himself that I speak of should now be obvious, and I will not venture further into the subject out of respect for your intelligence and my fear of the unconscionable.

I derive my greatest fears not from wise men, but from fools.

H/T Ace of Spades, Michelle Malkin

Monday, February 9, 2009

US Census "Change" UPDATE

Perhaps I'm internet illiterate, my computer is having a bad day, or I'm just paranoid, but I can't make the Government issued link regarding their authority at the Census Bureau website work.

Perhaps you can. If so, feel free to douse me in shame for my inability to navigate a simple website.

If you can't, consider that Obama wants to give the 2010 Census over to Rahm Emanuel. Ummm...

According to United States Code, Title 13, Chapter 1, Subchapter I, Sub-section 4 (Courtesy of Cornell University Law School):

"The Secretary (of Commerce) shall perform the functions and duties imposed upon him by this title, may issue such rules and regulations as he deems necessary to carry out such functions and duties, and may delegate the performance of such functions and duties and the authority to issue such rules and regulations to such officers and employees of the Department of Commerce as he may designate."

Funny, I don't see Rahm's name anywhere in there. Neither do I see a legal base for giving him control of the Census.

This would be the same Census that provides the information for Voting Districts.

"Congress passed H.R. 1753, which was enacted as Public Law (P.L.) 94-171 in late December 1975. This law directed the Secretary of Commerce to issue a set of technical criteria, by April 1, 1976, for States to follow in specifying the geographic entities for which they wished to receive data tabulations. Second, the law also required the States to submit these geographic plans to the Secretary for consideration no later than April 1, 1977. Finally, the law required the Secretary of Commerce to transmit the population counts to the Governor and public bodies having initial responsibility for legislative districting in all States by April 1, 1981—one year after census day. The Secretary of Commerce delegated all responsibilities assigned by the legislation to the Census Bureau." ~ US Census Bureau

The fact that I get a "HTTP 404" page when I try to access the United States Census Bureau's own archival authority proof is worrisome.

I just hope that days before the Census kicks off, we aren't suddenly treated to a pdf file in their records with Rahm Emanuel's name scotch-taped in opportune places.

Because that would just be silly, right?


The GPO (Government Print Office) does have Title 13, but only if you look directly for it on the site. The link from the US Census is still "404'd"...

H/T: Ace of Spades

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Not Wise If True

According to the New York Times, President Obama called Senators Specter, Collins, and Snowe to thank them for supporting the "Stimulus-Response" Bill.


If even one of them breaks formation and votes "Nay", he will have further diminished his Presidency. If they all consider their political careers and vote against the Bill, then he will look like an ass.

Oh, yeah, and this story will get buried. Right down the memory hole. Mostly to prevent him from assuming a semi-equine appearance in the Public mind's eye.

Continuing in the vein of pain, this will be a millstone around the necks of these Senators from now on, and will lend itself very nicely to commercials come the appropriate re-election times.

They could either become pariahs of the party (not a good place to be right now) and vote for this Special Interest Spend-a-thon, or they could salvage their place in the party ranks by going with a no vote on Monday and claiming that they were only trying to:

"...sabotage and undermine the Democrats by appearing to be the only Republicans who could be wooed into a vote of yes, then whipping the carpet out from under them at the last second!"


"...reach a compromise in time. Due to the circumstances, our principals would not let us vote for something that we did not believe would work. The American People would be better served by a Bill authored by both parties in equal shares."

I wonder which one they would choose.

I wonder which way they'll vote.

I wonder how much longer they'll be Senators...

H/T: News Busters

Saturday, February 7, 2009

And Now We Wait...

The Senate went home today without a vote on the Stimulus-Response bill.

So now we wait. And call.

Give Specter, Snowe, and Collins extra special attention.

They are the Republicans that are considering a career-ending aisle crossing.

I would rather see it (not pass!) pass with no Republican support than pass with the critical help of a few turncoats.

The economy needs help, but this massive spending spree is not it.

H/T: Our Country Deserves Better, Ace of Spades

Friday, February 6, 2009

Perception As Reality

A recent discussion regarding G. W. Bush prompted me to recall an experience I had in Iraq.

Occasionally we would receive an intelligence report claiming that we were at heightened risk for attack in our Firm Base. The counter-actions that we would take included increasing patrol frequency, manning posts with an extra Marine, and sending out a mounted patrol or two in an "urgent" manner with the understanding that there are few things that disconcert an enemy like the perception that you know something that he doesn't.

The effects of our vigilance were that outside of the occasional mortar attack (a notoriously difficult to prevent action due to its indirect fire nature), we were never openly attacked.

This led to the perception that our intelligence was anything but.

Complaints of the extra workload grew more insistent as time wore on and no direct attack was forthcoming. It was not a widely held belief that the attacks never came because of our heightened state of alert. Complacency grew and eventually we left Iraq safe and sound and with a generally diminished view of our local intelligence community.

Fortunately, in some cases, hindsight cures this misconception of facts.

The idea that "nothing happened" was in fact an effect of the constant calls to bolster our internal security eventually took hold with the more junior among us, and a collective cry of, "Ohhh, I get it now," was heard throughout the unit.

Soon we may see the same concept dawn on those people that have used the relative safety of the last seven years as a point to argue the "unnecessary" nature of the War on Terror.

Unfortunately, in this case, hindsight will be a painful experience.

The following is not at all what I want to see happen. Ever. I would rather be proven wrong.

One major attack (9/11 or similar) will confirm or at least strongly hint that the dismantling of the Bush administration's anti-terror policies was a detrimental development. The politically (and generally) immoral will attempt to fix blame inside the country, while the wiser heads will be inquiring as to the appropriate reaction and prevention measures.

Two major attacks will make firm the notion that permanent preventative policy and perhaps even pre-emptive actions are necessary.

I am perceiving something else that may in fact be just my imagination. It has been said on many conservative websites and blogs that Bush will be vindicated by history. I agree, but I don't think it will take quite as much history as we originally thought.

I will close with a principle that I would like to unveil (tagged with my real name no less...)

"The perceived necessity of your labors is indirectly proportionate to your effectiveness and efficiency." ~ Jamieson's Law of Applied Work Ethics*

In short, the better you are at your job, the more expendable you seem...

*If anyone knows of a similar Law, C/W

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Obama's First Smart Move?

I have to admit it, I like this one.

Obama's newest idea is to place restrictions on companies that are accepting "exceptional assistance" from the Federal Government (your taxes).

The restrictions include (but are not limited to):

1. "Golden Parachute" cuts.

2. A "name and shame" provision for frivolous spending.

3. Full disclosure of all spending.

4. $500,000 salary cap on top executive positions.

President Obama is quoted as saying, "This is America, We don't disparage wealth. We don't begrudge anybody for achieving success. And we believe success should be rewarded. But what gets people upset -- and rightfully so -- are executives being rewarded for failure, especially when those rewards are subsidized by U.S. taxpayers."

Well I'll be danged, I agree whole-heartedly.

Some are pointing out that it will be hard to attract to or keep quality people in the high level jobs necessary to run the businesses, but I disagree. The salary cap will keep the "rich beggars" from piling up at the "free money trough", and as to attracting talent, there are always going to be young up-and-comers who will try to prove themselves through the toughest of challenges. If someone can take a company out of the "Government Training Wheels", and back into fiscal viability, they will be able to pick their job.

My only concerns are that this idea is going to go through a "brief public comment period" that may ruin the core idea with silliness, and at exactly what point does a company get back its financial freedom? When has it been "rehabbed" enough to be returned into the wild from whence it came?

Time will tell.

H/T: Wall Street Journal

Iran's Unspoken Threat

My father must get the credit for pointing this one out:

The launch of a domestically made Iranian satellite is a dangerous thing in and of itself.

"Omid" ('Hope' in Farsi) is a satellite. What kind it is has yet to be specified (Corrections Welcomed).

"So what? Sputnik just beeped; we all lived through that, right?"

Yes we did, however, what Sputnik didn't have was over half a century of space exploration behind it. The things that can be done now are very interesting.

The main concern here is not an ICBM. They don't have the accuracy to make the claim and they know we know it. No guidance, no nuke.

So what worries me? What about this makes me cringe? What can be accomplished with their technological level of sophistication (with some assistance from the, say, Chinese)?

A low earth orbit EMP Nuclear Detonation.

Who needs accuracy when you could take out (not just "switch off", but destroy) the electronic infrastructure of a whole state or larger area. Blow a nuke in low earth orbit (100 - 1240 miles above sea level) and you would have wide-spread technological devastation.

Think instant neolithic period with REALLY bad acid rain...

I could give credence to an argument that that would have worse long-term effects than a traditional concept "ground-zero" style of nuclear attack. The economic effects would be crushing with widespread panic, no communication, no power (not even your car would work), no government infrastructure. Oh, yeah, and REALLY bad acid rain...

Yet no one has ventured to broach this on ANY network, paper, or even blog (again, C/W).

As soon as my father said that the satellite could have a nuke on board, I knew where he was going with it.

Now you do too...

H/T: Global Security, Fox News, Wikipedia

Who Needs 'em?

We have our luxuries and excessive frivolities restored now (heat in the house), and I think we're going to be fine.

However, I feel the need to point out some of the most valid points of the folks who were so kind as to comment here in regards to my FEMA tirade.

Survival is not a right, it is a privilege. It requires determination, drive, and a complete unwillingness to lay down and quit.

The day you stop moving is the day you die.

Humanity is measured not by the actions of the spotlight:

"History is made at night, character is what you are in the dark." ~ Dr. Lizardo (Buckaroo Banzai)

The help we received was no handout, it was a mutual effort to combat the encroaching wilderness, the darkness that threatened, and the oppressive boredom borne of a power outage (candles and books, whodathunkit?).

The American People are still here, I'm proud to report.


As to the folks at FEMA, I have served this country and I may have a legitimate claim to some sort of compensatory action.

Keep it. I took care of the finances well enough to deal with this problem, and I know many others who did so as well.

We will display our silent example of personal independence and intestinal fortitude.

Besides, I'm not sure I want to owe you anything.


Okay, I'm done being a pompous ass now! Sorry, but I wanted to recognize the commentors who were kind enough to commiserate and/or encourage.

Thanks again!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

FEMA Who? (Update)

As a resident of Kentucky, I am wondering who or what this FEMA thing (person?) is. I have heard quite a lot about the FEMA, but I have yet to see one. 

You see, our house has not had heat in about a week or two, (we're back up now thanks to our own $630, but it might explain the lapses in publishing here...) and our wood supply for the fireplace is sparse at best. My family has been understandably distracted from the goings-on in the world, but we have heard tell of some kind of entity that could help folks like little-old-us. Trouble is, we can't find it. Like it up and skipped town or some such gol-darn thing!

Yessirreebob! We sure could use some of that help that them folks down Loo-see-ana way got when that big-ol' Katrina hit 'em. Yup. That'd be mighty fine and dandy.



We're a...

Red State full of White Redneck Voters.

24 dead, 700K without power, and three more inches today...


We are now expecting 4-8 inches by midnight.

Is My Moderation Showing?

I may lose my three readers with this, but...

I do not agree with Gay Marriage for one reason:

If they want us to keep our Religion off their Laws (separation of Church from State), then they should keep their Laws off our Religion.

Attempts to erode the Institution of Religion, excuse me, Christianity and its ilk, have increased as of late. We may soon see Pastors and Ministers dragged off in chains for "instigating" Hate-Crimes and intolerant Riot Incitement (regardless of whether or not riots actually happen...).

On this matter, I can not allow or be reasoned into a positive thought process concerning the idea of Legislated Gay Marriage.

If a Minister says that he will not perform the ceremony due to his religious beliefs, will he be prosecuted? Would the State order a boycott (illegal constitutionally) of his or her Church? Would criminal reactions (vandalism, arson, etc.) be minimized in the press and under-investigated by the police? Am I just paranoid?

Perhaps so.

However, I believe that I have a solution that would fit most people's comfort zone as per the issue. When my wife and I went in to receive our Marriage License, at the conclusion of the process, we were considered by the State to be Married. 

No ceremony necessary!

Of course my religion and that of my parents requires our vows to be said before God, witnessed by family and friends, but it is not required by the State.

Enter the Civil Domestic Contract (CDC). It would grant all the benefits of Marriage to a couple of consenting adults who wish to have their union recognized by the State and everyone else, but without forcing the matter on the Religions of this country.

It would not be a popular passage of Legislation among the far Right or even some Moderates, but it would solve the issue, and put it to rest.

It would also (along with inclusion into the Military any homosexual willing to serve) remove from future elections one of the Left's most highly prized (yet lowest priority politically) standards. 

Imagine if a conservative sponsored such a bill. I bet the Left would be furious and claim that it is "not enough", or "pandering politics", or an "attempt at placation". It would protect our religious ideals by acting pre-emptively to prevent harmful Laws from being passed such as described above. Our momentum in the next round (2010) would be bolstered by such an act, and we could slam all who opposed it.

To those of you who still aren't convinced, I offer you this:

"If we don't compromise, we will be compromised." ~ Alex Jamieson

A Discourse on Fear

"People should not fear their government, their government should fear the people"

As nearly as I can research, that line is commonly attributed to "V for Vendetta" (ostensibly written by Alan Moore).

Drivel, dangerous drivel.

Crap, offal, and horse-poop.

I can hear some of you sputtering, and beginning to arrange in your heads the arguments concerning smaller governments, "1984", police states, and all manner of such and the like.

Allow me to explain:

The sentiment, as so many "bumper-sticker-wisdoms" are, is of course an immediate catalyst for feelings about the strength of the people, the true power behind our form of government, etc. Upon closer inspection (a common danger for most "BSW's"), we find that this idea is illogical at best and down-right dangerous at worst.


Think of a fear that you have in your life. (I'll use spiders for an example...)

When you encounter a spider, you feel a distinct loathing for it, right? This reinforces your Fear.

You learn to HATE that which you fear.

Hate and in some deranged cases, a willingness to hunt down said catalyst of Fear and kill it.

Apply this to a government that "Fears" its people, and within just a few generations you will have an organization with little to no regard for its constituency, or possibly even a true Hatred of it.

I submit that a "Healthy Respect" should be the ideal.

Let's leave hyperbolic Rabble Rousing at the door shall we?