August 23, 2006
Kids who were born in, gulp, 1988.
The year I graduated from high school!
Suddenly those stories that begin "when I was your age..." are coming to mind.
August 22, 2006
The midterm election looms, and once again efforts begin afresh to increase voter participation. It has become standard wisdom in American politics that voter turnout is synonymous with good citizenship, justifying just about any scheme to get people to the polls. Arizona is even considering a voter lottery, in which all voters are automatically registered for a $1 million giveaway. Polling places and liquor stores in Arizona will now have something in common.
Simply put, liberals have a big baby problem: They're not having enough of them, they haven't for a long time, and their pool of potential new voters is suffering as a result. According to the 2004 General Social Survey, if you picked 100 unrelated politically liberal adults at random, you would find that they had, between them, 147 children. If you picked 100 conservatives, you would find 208 kids. That's a "fertility gap" of 41%. Given that about 80% of people with an identifiable party preference grow up to vote the same way as their parents, this gap translates into lots more little Republicans than little Democrats to vote in future elections. Over the past 30 years this gap has not been below 20%--explaining, to a large extent, the current ineffectiveness of liberal youth voter campaigns today.
Puts a whole new spin on the "Vote or Die" campaign. Based on this data, what are the chances of liberals adding themselves to the endangered species list?
The fertility gap doesn't budge when we correct for factors like age, income, education, sex, race--or even religion. Indeed, if a conservative and a liberal are identical in all these ways, the liberal will still be 19 percentage points more likely to be childless than the conservative. Some believe the gap reflects an authentic cultural difference between left and right in America today. As one liberal columnist in a major paper graphically put it, "Maybe the scales are tipping to the neoconservative, homogenous right in our culture simply because they tend not to give much of a damn for the ramifications of wanton breeding and environmental destruction and pious sanctimony, whereas those on the left actually seem to give a whit for the health of the planet and the dire effects of overpopulation." It would appear liberals have been quite successful controlling overpopulation--in the Democratic Party.
Perhaps an altogether larger reason for the baby gap between conservatives and liberals can be found in the results of this STUDy. Obviously stronger, more enduring competition is only one part of the puzzle in understanding the fertility problems encountered by liberals. In a revealing photo journal entry, Zombie captures the essence of the fertility difference (as diminutive as it is) between liberals and conservatives. Taking into account this lacking in the liberal persona and the not so appetizing choices that populate the liberal dating pool, it is no surprise for me to read that liberal fertility rates are dwindling in the wake of stiff competition.
Stop the presses! I guess I take back any slander I might be responsible for in singling out Islam as the sole instigator of mucho violence in the world, today. Now we have militant Buddhist extremists on the war-path to beating the peace into ya:
An anti-violence demonstration in Colombo, Sri Lanka went Jerry Springer, Thursday, when hard-line monks stormed the stage of their pro-peace brethren. First the speaker and a hardliner went at it, punches were exchanged, and then it was on, with robes, fists, and monks flying across stage. The "peace protest" had been organized to find non-violent solutions to the 20 year civil war between Buddhists and Tamil Tiger rebels; and since today's brawl consisted mostly of Buddhist on Buddhist violence it sounds like they're moving in the right direction.Like Jonathan Livingwell, can someone tell me what in the devil a "hard-line monk" is?!
August 21, 2006
Iran's Day of Terror?
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has frustrated Western officials by refusing to reply to their offer of various incentives in exchange for IranÂ’s discarding its nuclear program until August 22. The Western governments had asked Ahmadinejad to reply by June 29; why would Tehran need two extra months?
Farid Ghadry, the president of the Reform Party of Syria, has offered a provocative explanation for this delay. He asserts that the Supreme National Security Council of Iran chose the August 22 date Â“for a very precise reason. August 21, 2006 (Rajab 27, 1427) is known in the Islamic calendar as the Night of the SiraÂ’a and MiiraÂ’aj, the night Prophet Mohammed (saas) ascended to heaven from the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on a Bourak (Half animal, half man), while a great light lit-up the night sky, and visited Heaven and Hell also Beit al-Saada and Beit al-Shaqaa (House of Happiness and House of Misery) and then descended back to Mecca.Â…Â”
So..is little hitler planning a recreation of the night the sky lit up over Jerusalem?
Certainly a nuclear attack on Jerusalem or even an all-out conventional assault against Israel by Iran would be consistent with AhmadinejadÂ’s oft-repeated denials of IsraelÂ’s right to exist and recent predictions that its demise was at hand. He hinted at the use of nuclear weapons in his phrasing when he said that Israel Â“pushed the button of its own destructionÂ” by finally retaliating against HizballahÂ’s relentless rocket barrage from south Lebanon.
Something tells me that little hitler is more froth than substance. I suspect come daybreak, August 23rd, Jerusalem will still be in the hands of it's rightful owners - the Israelis. Who would bet against that prophecy?
I have no words. Just check out the link:
P.S. This great article can also be found in The Conservative Voice.
(Also posted at Fiddle Dee Dee)
August 19, 2006
We often speak of "going on with our daily lives and not living in fear" as the best way to show the terrorists that they have not won. But the reality is, they have changed our way of life, and we have no choice but to do so, in order to protect ourselves from the reality of terrorism.
News must be reported; but everytime a terrorist act is broadcast, it is another victory for the terrorist. Because it means getting their message of violence out into the public consciousness. I sometimes wonder what if we never allowed any terrorist activity any airtime at all. Would it continue? After all, part of the motivation is to garner as much media attention as possible. They want the spotlight; they want the media to be complicit in their propaganda of terror.
If we only showed more resolve and a harder stance, it would minimize the impact terrorists see that they have on us. But when we broadcast our grief, our fears, our internal political bickering and dissention, they know that terrorism is effective..and that it works.
Thomas Sowell wrote another great peace...er, piece...during the month-long Hezbollah-Israel war. The whole thing should be read, but here I give you what I found to be the relevant excerpts. On second thought, it's difficult to cut out anything. So I'll just highlight what I found to be exceptional:
One of the many failings of our educational system is that it sends out into the world people who cannot tell rhetoric from reality. They have learned no systematic way to analyze ideas, derive their implications and test those implications against hard facts.
"Peace" movements are among those who take advantage of this widespread inability to see beyond rhetoric to realities. Few people even seem interested in the actual track record of so-called "peace" movements Â— that is, whether such movements actually produce peace or war.
Take the Middle East. People are calling for a cease-fire in the interests of peace. But there have been more cease-fires in the Middle East than anywhere else. If cease-fires actually promoted peace, the Middle East would be the most peaceful region on the face of the earth instead of the most violent.
Was World War II ended by cease-fires or by annihilating much of Germany and Japan? Make no mistake about it, innocent civilians died in the process. Indeed, American prisoners of war died when we bombed Germany.
There is a reason why General Sherman said "war is hell" more than a century ago. But he helped end the Civil War with his devastating march through Georgia Â— not by cease fires or bowing to "world opinion" and there were no corrupt busybodies like the United Nations to demand replacing military force with diplomacy.
There was a time when it would have been suicidal to threaten, much less attack, a nation with much stronger military power because one of the dangers to the attacker would be the prospect of being annihilated.
"World opinion," the U.N. and "peace movements" have eliminated that deterrent. An aggressor today knows that if his aggression fails, he will still be protected from the full retaliatory power and fury of those he attacked because there will be hand-wringers demanding a cease fire, negotiations and concessions.
That has been a formula for never-ending attacks on Israel in the Middle East. The disastrous track record of that approach extends to other times and places Â— but who looks at track records?
Remember the Falkland Islands war, when Argentina sent troops into the Falklands to capture this little British colony in the South Atlantic?
Argentina had been claiming to be the rightful owner of those islands for more than a century. Why didn't it attack these little islands before? At no time did the British have enough troops there to defend them.
Before there were "peace" movements and the U.N., sending troops into those islands could easily have meant finding British troops or bombs in Buenos Aires. Now "world opinion" condemned the British just for sending armed forces into the South Atlantic to take back their islands.
Shamefully, our own government was one of those that opposed the British use of force. But fortunately British prime minister Margaret Thatcher ignored "world opinion" and took back the Falklands.
The most catastrophic result of "peace" movements was World War II. While Hitler was arming Germany to the teeth, "peace" movements in Britain were advocating that their own country disarm "as an example to others."
British Labor Party Members of Parliament voted consistently against military spending and British college students publicly pledged never to fight for their country. If "peace" movements brought peace, there would never have been World War II.
Not only did that war lead to tens of millions of deaths, it came dangerously close to a crushing victory for the Nazis in Europe and the Japanese empire in Asia. And we now know that the United States was on Hitler's timetable after that.
For the first two years of that war, the Western democracies lost virtually every battle, all over the world, because pre-war "peace" movements had left them with inadequate military equipment and much of it obsolete. The Nazis and the Japanese knew that. That is why they launched the war.
"Peace" movements don't bring peace but war.
August 18, 2006
For this week's BSG installment, I thought I'd share a favorite BSG music video featuring the song "Someone To Watch Over Me" by the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald.
**SIGH** Can anyone deny that Lee and Kara's respective relationships with Dee and Anders simply pale in comparison to the chemistry of Lee and Kara?
August 17, 2006
Carter, of course, brings up the usual canards of how President Bush has cut taxes to benefit the rich while the poor suffer and how Bush is breaking down that wall between church and state. He doesn't give specifics, however, telling readers that the details are in his latest book...the fact that most Germans won't bother to read the book and will be getting their information from this publicity stunt disguised as an interview notwithstanding. Of course, the Germans wouldn't find out from the book either that the administration is cutting taxes for those who pay the most of them. And a personal belief in God by the president is obviously a serious disintegration of the separation between church and state. Now you know!
Here's one of the more nauseating passages of the interview:
SPIEGEL: What makes you personally so optimistic about the effectiveness of diplomacy? You are, so to speak, the father of Camp David negotiations.
Carter: When I became president we had had four terrible wars between the Arabs and Israelis (behind us). And I under great difficulty, particularly because Menachim Begin was elected, decided to try negotiation and it worked and we have a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt for 27 years that has never been violated. You never can be certain in advance that negotiations on difficult circumstances will be successful, but you can be certain in advance if you don't negotiate that your problem is going to continue and maybe even get worse.
SPIEGEL: But negotiations failed to prevent the burning of Beirut and bombardment of Haifa.
Carter: I'm distressed. But I think that the proposals that have been made in the last few days by the (Lebanese) Prime Minister (Fuoad) Siniora are quite reasonable. And I think they should declare an immediate cease-fire on both sides, Hezbollah said they would comply, I hope Israel will comply, and then do the long, slow, tedious negotiation that is necessary to stabilize the northern border of Israel completely. There has to be some exchange of prisoners. There have been successful exchanges of prisoners between Israel and the Palestinians in the past and that's something that can be done right now.
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Carter blames Israel earlier in the interview (of course!) and thinks that if we all sit down for a cuppa and a nice long chat, we can sort out the differences. What he fails to address, however, is that Hezbollah and the Palestinians don't really want peace: what they want is the total annhialation of Israel. Nothing else will suffice. But his one success (bolstered by the fact that Israel and Egypt at the time were ready for negotiation no matter who brokered it) makes him an expert on every situation in the Middle East.
SPIEGEL: Should there be an international peacekeeping force along the Lebanese-Israeli border?
SPIEGEL: And can you imagine Germans soldiers taking part?
Carter: Yes, I can imagine Germans taking part.
SPIEGEL: ... even with their history?
Carter: Yes. That would be certainly satisfactory to me personally, and I think most people believe that enough time has passed so that historical facts can be ignored.
Because international "peace keeping" forces have been so successful in the past. And the Germans wouldn't take part anyway. They're too busy acting as though they're above the fray. (Here's an interesting bit of German and Muslim history that doesn't get talked about much these days.)
What really sticks out in this interview is how many times Carter refers to how things affect him: he's distressed, he'd be personally gratified, when he was president, blah blah blah.
Reading the whole thing is a great idea if you're dieting...it'll help to keep your appetite at bay.
Burnishing his reputation...
one interview at a time
Crossposted to Blogmeister USA
August 16, 2006
Moriarty has recently announced his intention to run for President of the United States in 2008. He's also a frequent contributor of numerous political columns to the ESR (Enter Stage Right) online Journal of Conservatism.
More on Michael Moriarty here.
I should have known that something was going on, as a couple of people walked by my booth with placards. I tried to catch up to them, to find out what their signs said, but it was crowded and I had to return back to my booth. I suspect there must have been a San Francisco equivalent going on by city hall, which is only blocks away from Little Tokyo.
I did manage to get a couple of photos of Japanese-American war veterans in the parade:
Instead of republishing some of the vile photographs of the leftie-lunatics this time around, I'll just provide you with the link. Although, this one seriously made me chuckle:
I wonder if the sign-holder is aware?
As Laura Ingraham said on her radio program yesterday morning, political ads should be made of these fringe-fanatics, come election time. Showing them off to middle America, and knowing which political party these nutters are more closely aligned to, can only be good for the Republican Party.
The pro-Israel counter-protestors, however, is a thing of beauty, and I have no problem, viewing and publishing these:
As AirForceWife put it, in a previous comment thread, in order for there to be peace, both sides have to want it. Israel has ached for peace...so much so, that with the help of President Clinton, 97% of the West Bank and 3% of Israeli land was brokered on behalf of peace. But Palestinians and the Arab world have not wanted peace with Israel: they have ached for Israel's destruction.
Tell me of an instance when Israelis have marched and chanted, "Death to Palestinians!" , "Death to Muslims!". Yet in the Islamic States, we have heard it so often from those practitioners of "the religion of peace", that we have grown desensitized to it. And the pro-Palestinian/anti-Israel Left excuse their behavior. Instead of recognizing the hatred of radical-Islamists (which infects even mainstream Muslims) as a source of the world's woes, they'd rather blame the U.S. and Israel for the evil conduct of others. After all, they can do this with the security of knowing we won't behead them for it. Criticizing Islamists, however, might get you killed. God forbid, we should be "creating more terrorists" by standing up to terrorism.
Born Again Redneck had also blogged the photos.
August 15, 2006
I look forward to reading this book.
Thanks a bunch, Joe!
"As part of the first wave in the War on Terror, First Lieutenant Mike Scotti (awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat "V") served on the front lines during the 21 day advance to Baghdad. His experiences in Afghanistan as well as Iraq put him face to face with the sobering realities of war on a daily basis. Severe Clear offers an personal unflinching look at life on the battlefield through the eyes of someone who was there."
(Also posted at Code Red* Women for the Troops)
Olmert's bad judgment (and the fallacy of a cease fire being effective) aside, the UN has proven its weakness once again. Trying to make peace with a terrorist organization? The only reason for Hezbollah's being is to wipe out Israel. It has no interest in peace. But then, the UN doesn't exactly have its priorities in the right place. This is an agency whose main responsibility seems to be to provide high profile, high paying jobs for people who would never make it in real-world employment. Let's look at the UN's successes, shall we?
We do have, however, the Oil-for-Food scandal, the kiddie sex scandal in the Congo, Libya being chosen to chair the Human Rights Commission, and the spectacular failure to forestall genocide in Rwanda -- just to name a few.
When corruption scandals break in the corporate world (i.e. Enron and MCI Worldcom), mighty heads roll. The public demands justice. When corruption scandals break in the UN, a collective yawn is heard throughout the world, and business as usual commences. The public couldn't care less.
Why we are allowing this corrupt, broken-down institution have anything to do with world affairs is beyond me. Putting the UN in charge of peace in the Middle East is akin to putting the hens in charge of the foxes. It simply doesn't work.
The UN began as a noble idea and ended up being an albatross around our necks that we can no longer afford to hang on to. The only ones who benefit from the UN's existence are teapot dictators like Fidel "Is He Still Alive" Castro and frauds like Kofi Annan.
Jeff Jacoby put it succinctly:
The UN is a corrupt institution, one that long ago squandered whatever moral legitimacy it had. The UN's founding documents venerate justice and human rights, but for the past 40 years, the organization has been dominated by a bloc of states -- essentially the Afro-Asian Third World -- most of whose governments routinely pervert justice and violate human rights.
Inside the United Nations, there is no difference between a dictatorship or a democracy: Each gets exactly one vote in the General Assembly. The reason the UN indulges vicious regimes like those in North Korea, Syria, and Cuba is that they are members in good standing, and most other governments lack the courage to cross them. The UN cannot be fixed unless that changes -- and that isn't going to change.
The UN has to go -- the sooner the better.
August 14, 2006
"Perhaps one Pennsylvania judge only drinks imported beer. Berks County Judge Jeffrey K. Sprecher threw out a Pennsylvania man accused of buying beer for minors, saying the prosecution failed to prove Miller Genuine Draft is actually beer. A superior court quickly overturned the judge's decision."
Palestinian gunmen ambushed a car carrying a Fox News crew in Gaza City on Monday and kidnapped two of the journalists inside, according to witnesses and Fox. "We can confirm that two of our people were taken against their will in Gaza," Fox News said in a statement.
A Fox employee in Gaza, who declined to give his name because he was not authorized to release information about the incident, said the two kidnapped people were reporter Steve Centanni, a U.S. citizen, and a cameraman from New Zealand.
The men, along with a bodyguard, were parked near the headquarters of the Palestinian security services when two trucks filled with gunmen pulled up and boxed them in, according to the employee. The gunmen took the two out of their sports utility vehicle, which was marked "TV," and drove away, he said.
Major militant groups in Gaza denied having any connection to the abduction, and there was no immediate word of any demands made.
Security officials put police across Gaza on alert to find the gunmen and free the journalists, said Interior Ministry spokesman Khaled Abu Hilal.
"This is not acceptable at all," he said.
Several foreigners have been kidnapped in Gaza in recent months with their abductors demanding jobs from the Palestinian Authority or the release of people being held in Palestinian jails. All those kidnapped have been released within hours without harm.
My prayers go out for the safe return of these highly qualified journalists. Michelle Malkin has more information regarding the two journalists. Flopping Aces seems to be experiencing yet another bout of 'techical difficulties'.
Unerringly, the unwashed posters as DU responding reacting to the news of this kidnapping had comments like this:
...do we have to pay to get the Palestinians to keep them?
Would not Hamas be entirely justified in regarding FOX employees as "enemy combatants", using the same pathetic, arbitrary criteria we used to send people to Gitmo?
These DU posters constitute the mainstream ideology of today's Democratic Party. A scary picture,indeed, but one that can be rectified in the 06 and 08 election cycles.
August 13, 2006
ecently the discovery of doctored images shot in South Beirut and the hollywood-esque production of images and video from the hezbollah-occupied village of Qana have sparked a spirited debate in the blogosphere and main stream media over the veracity of the information being released into the MSM.
Kathleen Parker, in her essay at LJWorld.com, reminds us:
Every historic moment has its iconic image. Vietnam had Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a Viet Cong on the street; the Oklahoma City bombing had a fireman holding a dying child in his arms; Abu Ghraib had the hooded torture victim standing on a box.
And today, the Israeli-Hezbollah war has Qana Â— the Lebanese village where Israeli rockets killed civilians, including 16 children (down from the initially reported 27)
Or did they?
Makes one wonder about other images that have been seared into our cultural consciousness. As troubling as is to realize the media has reported as fact blatantly manipulated images, it is not a modern phenomenon. As soon as photography was used to capture moments of cultural significance, the manipulation of said images began.
During the American Civil War, a pioneering individual by the name of Matthew Brady organized corps of traveling photographers to document this conflict. One famous photo taken in the aftermath of Gettysburgh shows a the corpse of a Confederate sharpshooter who had fallen at Devils Den.
The photographer, Alexander Gardner, wrote a narrative to go along with the photo which describes the Confederate soldier's lonely, and painful death as rebel sniper. A gripping photograph, perhaps. A staged tableau? Absolutely. The body of the soldier did not fall there, it appears to have been moved from a slope leading up to Devil's Den. Other photographs in this series reveal a suspiciously similar looking corpse lying close by this 'sharpshooters den'. The rifle pictured next to the body is not a snipers rifle, also this rifle has appeared in several other photographs by Gardner, perhaps like some sort of prop.
Years roll by and the technology of photography improves - even women are getting into the act! During the Depression and Dust Bowl of the 1930's, many families migrated to California in search of work. These migrants often lived in harsh conditions as did a widow, Florence Owen, with six of her children. Dorothea Lange, employed by the Farm Security Administration was charged with photographing the plight of the migrant worker. Note: These were American workers doing the jobs that Sen. McCain claimed Americans won't do.
The above photograph is world renown for its encapsulation of the plight and resilience of the migrant worker. Even this image was manipulated in part. Dorothea Owen is pictured with only three of her seven children who were present when this photograph was taken. The staging of the photo was to show that this poor woman would be able to lead her modest flock out of poverty and into prosperity if given the opportunity.
Vietnam: Who can forget the image of the little boy crying as his village lies in burning ruins behind him? No mention of the fact the photographer stepped on the child's foot to get him to start crying in this picture. Perhaps this was the inspiration for Jill Greenbergs exposition "End Times"?
Flash forward 2003: Front page image printed by the LA Times:
This all too perfect image from Basra, Iraq was a compilation of two digital pictures taken by Brian Walski. When asked about the ethics of this, he replied that he really wasn't debating the ethics of when he did this, he just wanted a better picture. How about worrying about the truth of the story instead of creating a picture that meets your preconceived views?
Manipulating an image to influence public opinion is not a modern day phenomenon. The difference today is the with public's ability to challenge the veracity of the information being fed to them through traditional media outlets. The difference is in the truth behind the image is revealed in hours, NOT years.
The real, undoctored Beirut photograph reveals intervention by the Federation flag ship:
EU Referendum is on top of this conspiratorial cover up by Reuters.
August 12, 2006
On the five year anniversary of the tragic events at the Pentagon, the twin towers in New York City, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the America Supports You Freedom Walk begins a new national tradition to reflect on the lives lost on September 11, renew our commitment to freedom and the values of our country and honor our veterans, past and present.
Freedom Walks are being held in cities across the United States, if you don't see your city listed - go ahead and host one in your city!
I've registered for the DC Freedom Walk. The Walk begins at the Washington Monument, proceeds over the Arlington Memorial Bridge and continues toward the Pentagon. The Walk concludes adjacent to the crash site in the Pentagon South Parking Lot. A concert at the Pentagon parking lot will follow after the Walk concludes.
Come walk with me on September 10, 2006.
Ah! The chickenhawk argument!
This past Tuesday, I finally "came out of the closet" and told a very liberal client of mine that I was....*gasp*...a CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN and a strong supporter of President Bush. I love this gal, and to my relief, like a true, sane liberal, she still accepted and loved me for who I am. She had a bumpersticker that said "No blood for oil". I think she now owns a hybrid.
These last two are examples of liberal moonbatmobile. I found the first one above parked alongside the road, around the block from where I live. Why would one deface one's personal property like this? Click it to enlarge. Notice the one that says "I'm moving to Canada"? I wish I had a post-it response to tag the vehicle with, "then why are you still here?".
I posted this video before, under my old YouTube account. I won't do that again; but through Livedigital, I bring you back this clip from Malcolm in the Middle. What made it hilarious for me, was the bumpersticker, "War is not the Answer". I can actually see the liberals who are deranged Bush-haters, resorting to violence to get their message of peace across.
Enjoy the weekend video, and drive safe. If you see any Kerry/Edwards bumperstickers out on the road, don't roll your eyes and fret; we won! Just point, honk, and laugh as you drive by.
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