Once More Into the Breach

Finding Nonsense and Beating it Sensible

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I used to watch TV news and yell at the box. Now I jump up from the couch, sit at the computer and begin to type laughing maniacally saying "Wait until they read this." It's more fun than squashing tadpoles

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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I'm Only Eating This Chocolate for Medicinal Purposes

Who says food that is good for you has to taste bad? Chocolate, or rather cocoa has been found to contain antioxidants and flavonols, compounds that help the body stay healthy. Unfortunately the more pure form of cocoa the better, so milk chocolate is only marginally good for you.

Men who consumed the most cocoa had a 50 percent lower risk of dying from disease compared with those who did not eat cocoa, researchers in the Netherlands said yesterday.

The new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine concluded that it was not lower blood pressure that corresponded to the lower overall risk of death -- although the biggest cocoa consumers did have lower blood pressure and fewer cases of fatal heart disease than non-cocoa eaters.

Instead, the report credited antioxidants and flavonols found in cocoa with boosting the functioning of cells that line blood vessels and for reducing the risks from cholesterol and other chemicals that can cause heart attacks, cancer and lung diseases.

The 15-year study of 470 men aged 65 to 84 in Zutphen, the Netherlands, found one-third did not eat any cocoa, while the median intake was 4.2 grams per day among the third who consumed the most cocoa -- including cocoa drinks, chocolate bars and chocolate pudding.

From 1985 to 2000, 314 of the men died, and the biggest cocoa eaters were at half the risk of dying compared with men who did not eat it.

Let's get out the recipe books and put together a menu of all the good tasting good for you foods.
They have cinnamon for lowering blood sugar, almonds and red wine for lowered bad cholesterol levels and now cocoa. Now all they need to do is find the health benefits of eating bacon cheese dogs.

Wine Lover's Chocolate Collection

Best Of Homespun Bloggers March 6th, 2006

Toyota Helps Guardsmen, Reservists Find Jobs

Toyota not only makes good automobiles, but stands behind the people who defend this nation. A program called Hire-a-Hero helps returning Vets and present employees who serve in the military to find or maintain employment and benefits.

The idea from Esmond, Toyota's senior vice president of automotive operations and a highly decorated Vietnam War veteran, turned into the Toyota and Lexus "Hire-a-Hero" program, launched in September 2004. Hire-a-Hero worked so well that Patrick Stluka, Toyota's national labor relations manager, nominated the company for the 2005 Secretary of Defense Freedom Award, which the company won.

"The Hire-a-Hero program is a tool to make members of the military aware of job opportunities available at independently owned Toyota and Lexus dealerships," explained Toyota spokeswoman Charlotte Lassos. "The company benefits by hiring a diverse group of individuals who have typically demonstrated commitment and responsibility and have attained skills and leadership abilities while on military duty."

When Toyota-employed guardsmen and reservists are called to active duty, they keep their health care benefits, including medical, dental and vision; their life insurance continues; and they can continue their 401K contributions or make a "catch-up" payment into the 401K when they return from active duty. They also can elect to keep their lease car or turn it in without early-return penalty, and Toyota has designated an ombudsman to assist Guard and Reserve employees and their families while the employees fulfill their military obligation.

Having manufactured in the US for twenty years Toyota is invested in America. Here's some statistics on their US operations:

By 2008, Toyota will have the annual capacity to build 1.81 million cars and trucks, 1.44 million engines, and 600,000 automatic transmissions in North America.

The company's direct employment in North America is more than 37,000 and direct investment is nearly $16.2 billion with annual purchasing of parts, materials, goods and services from North American suppliers totaling an additional $26 billion.

Full disclosure, My wife's family owns a Toyota dealership.

If a Class Name has 'Studies" in it. It Might Be Stupid

I thought that courses that teach this kind of nonsense were only found in higher education. It's no wonder that our high school graduates are deficient in substantive subjects such as Math Science, and History-Geography when they spend time on this gunk.

At Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Peace Studies is taught by Colman McCarthy, a former Washington Post reporter and founder and president of the Center for Teaching Peace. Though the course is taught at seven other Montgomery County high schools, some say B-CC's is perhaps the most personal and ideological of the offerings because McCarthy makes no effort to disguise his opposition to war, violence and animal testing

Students might spend one class period listening to a guest speaker who opposes the death penalty and another, if they choose, standing along East West Highway protesting the war.

...Although a staff teacher takes roll and issues grades, it is McCarthy as a volunteer, unpaid guest lecturer who does the bulk of the teaching. He does not work from lesson plans, although he does use a school system-approved textbook -- a collection of essays on peace that he edited.

I remember Colman McCarthy from his columnist days at the Post. He and Mary McGrory were a great source for amusement because they were both such moon bats, McCarty being the battiest. Now he's teaching a class using a book he edited. I can imagine the articles he chose for that tome.

Here are a few quotes:

What first came to mind when you realized that the Twin Towers had been deliberately crashed into?
Shock but not surprise. The depth of the horror was initially beyond imagination. But the attack itself was not a surprise. On April 4, 1967, Martin Luther King, Jr., said that "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today is my own government." He was right then and is right now. In only the past 20 years, the U.S. government has sent troops to kill or threaten to kill people in Lebanon, Grenada, Libya, Panama, Haiti, Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia and now Afghanistan again. All are poor nations and mostly people of color.

"Warmaking doesn't stop warmaking. If it did, our problems would have stopped millennia ago."
-- Colman McCarthy

"Everyone's a pacifist between wars. It's like being a vegetarian between meals."
-- Colman McCarthy

Or check this article he wrote about teaching peace in school.

Making Headway in Teaching Peace

January 23, 2004 | If it's true that all governments say they want peace and that all human hearts yearn for peace, a question arises: Should schools be teaching ways to create the peaceable and just society?

So here we are with a "studies" class in a high school being taught by a former columnist at the Post getting them out to protest the war and like learning about non violence and stuff. I know why this class is popular, it's an easy A.

Carnival of Liberal's Wrongs #6


Monday, February 27, 2006

Wincherster Model '94

Winchester Repeating Arms' New Haven Conn. manufacturing plant will close on March 31, 2006. Despite a community effort to find a buyer for the plant the prospects look bleak. The plant had been supported by tax credits and grants so it would remain in New haven, but labor costs and other concerns forced the issue. There is speculation that when the name Winchester is once again available in 2007 some company will pick it up and manufacture the Model 70 and Model 94 somewhere else.

In light of all this I took out the Model 94 that was given to me by my Father and took new pictures of it. It's chambered for .30-30 I added the '94 that I bought for my wife for Christmas '04 as a comparison.

The inlay work on my '94 was done by my Grandfather using piano keys. Note the saddle ring. This rifle was manufactured about 1927.

My wife's rifle is the Trapper model. It also has a saddle ring. Her's is chambered for .44 Mag

The Carnival of Cordite, 50th Edition

Torture-slaying of Jew in France Apparently by Islamic Gang

The violence that erupted in France last year has not abated. The situation is one of Islamic leaders fanning the flames to pressure Europe to open up separate legal systems for the Moslem citizens based on Sharia law. The pressure is having an effect. France is pushing the EU to give the Palestinian Authority $42 million in aid without Hamas recognizing Israel.

Ever since a 23-year-old Jew named Ilan Halimi was dumped -- stabbed, handcuffed, naked and dying -- near a railway line outside Paris on Feb. 13, many Jews say anti-Semitism is resurging in France.

"The Jewish community today is experiencing a time of fear," said Michel Serfaty, rabbi of the conservative Ris-Orangis synagogue. "Without doubt, this assassination will make some Jews conclude they have no reason to stay in France -- that they must leave, because France is Islamicizing."

After initially remaining silent about Halimi's religion, French authorities now admit he was kidnapped partly because he was Jewish. "Jews have money," said Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, explaining the thinking of the kidnappers, who first tried to extort money from Halimi's family.

In conversations in Ris-Orangis and elsewhere, Jews say they have notched up their habitual wariness. Men think twice before venturing outdoors wearing skullcaps and prayer shawls. Children are forbidden to take subways from train stations in rough neighborhoods.

Tiptoeing around the issue only emboldens the Islamists. France can't gain peace by waving the white flag no matter how enthusiastically they do it, but what more can we expect.

Pharaonic Sun Temple Found in Egypt

The rein of Ramses II of Egypt could have significant light added to it because of the discovery of a Sun Temple underneath a marketplace in Cairo. Ramses, along with his war with the Hittites and his massive building projects is also credited as being Pharaoh during the exodus when Moses led the Hebrews out of Egypt.

Statues weighing up to five tonnes and thought to be of one of ancient Egypt's greatest pharaohs, Ramses II, have been found northeast of Cairo, Egypt's Supreme Antiquities Council said in a statement on Sunday.

Ramses II ruled Egypt from 1304 to 1237 BC, and presided over an era of great military expansion, erecting statues and temples to himself all over Egypt. He is traditionally believed to be the pharaoh mentioned in the biblical story of Moses.

"Many parts of red granite statues were found, the most important of which had features close to Ramses II ... The statue needs some restoration and weighs between four and five tonnes," the statement quoted the Council's Zahi Hawass as saying.

A royal head weighing two to three tonnes and a seated 5.1 metre (16.7 foot) statue were also found, with cartouches, or royal name signs, of Ramses II on the side of the seated statue.

The discoveries were made at a sun temple northeast of Cairo in ancient Heliopolis, a region known in ancient times for sun worship and where the Council says a calendar based on the solar year was invented.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Project Hero

QandO has the next Silver Star recipient tribute up on their site.

Our hero this week is COL James Coffman, Jr, Distinguished Service Cross

The Distinguished Service Cross – second only to the Medal of Honor in military decorations – has been awarded to U.S. Army Col. James H. Coffman Jr. for his role in leading Iraqi Special Police Commandos through a 5 ½-hour battle against insurgents trying to overrun an Iraqi police station.

As the QRF approached the station, it was besieged with rocket-propelled grenades, small arms fire and mortar rounds. Coffman and the commandos fought the insurgents for four hours before help arrived. When the initial firefight killed or seriously wounded all but one of the commando officers, Coffman rallied the remaining commandos while trying to radio for assistance, according to his award citation.

“Under heavy fire, he moved from commando to commando, looking each in the eye and using hand and arm signals to demonstrate what he wanted done,” the citation said.

When an enemy round shattered his left shooting hand, damaging his M4 rifle in the process, Coffman bandaged it and continued fighting with AK-47 rifles he collected from commando casualties until each ran out of ammunition. He also passed out ammunition to the uninjured commandos with the help of the remaining commando officer; when all that remained were loose rounds, Coffman held magazines between his legs and loaded the rounds with his good hand.

When a second commando unit arrived four hours after the fight began, Coffman led them to his position and continued to fight, refusing to be evacuated for treatment until the battle was over. Not long after the commando reinforcements arrived, air support and a Stryker Brigade Quick Reaction Force were on hand to assist to assist in the battle.

Coffman supervised the evacuation of injured commandos and led another group of commandos to the police station to make contact with the Iraqi Police inside. Once the additional air and ground support elements began attacking buildings the enemy forces were hiding in, Coffman went back to his initial position to check on the injured commandos and then agreed to be evacuated for treatment. Twenty-five insurgents were killed and dozens injured.

“Col. Coffman, the blood you shed will never be forgotten,” said Jabr, the Interior Minister. “We, the forces of the (Ministry of Interior) and the (Ministry of Defense) will continue to fight until we defeat terrorism. Right will always defeat wrong.”

In remarks during the ceremony, Coffman praised the commandos for their service and commitment to defending freedom in Iraq. He also said he viewed the ceremony as a tribute to the Iraqi and Coalition forces that have fought, bled and died together.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Protests End Speech by Mexican Official at University of Arizona

What is it with Mexico? They seem to think we owe them the right to send their people here willy-nilly without a care. But I'm asking a rhetorical question. I know what they are thinking, they expect to get the Southwest of the USA back. So it's no wonder that a Mexican Official would come to Arizona to give a speech and do so in Spanish without an interpreter.

A high-ranking official with Mexico's National Human Rights Commission was forced to cancel a talk at the University of Arizona today after several Tucsonans who favor a crackdown on illegal immigration became disruptive because he was speaking in Spanish.

Mauricio Farah, a national inspector for the Mexican commission, walked out of a packed room at the University Services Annex after some audience members demanded an interpreter or that he discuss the scheduled topic, "Migration, Shared Responsibility," in English.

When their demands were not met, the group became loudly disruptive, accusing Farah and other Mexican officials of being disrespectful for speaking Spanish in a public meeting.

UA Police were called to the scene to restore order.

Now one thing I will give Mr. Farah, he complained that Mexico was hypocritical for expecting the US to not police its border while Mexico was even more tough on the illegal immigration at its southern border with Guatemala.

But officials of Mexico's federal Human Rights Commission acknowledged that Mexico already employs both tactics in its own territory.

"As a matter of fact, (Mexico's) population law does include prison terms for illegally entering the country … and this is something that has been the subject of constant complaints," said Mauricio Farah, a national inspector for the rights commission.

That's all well and good but it's beside the point. What is happening is a concerted effort to get Mexican nationals into the US to use the democratic process to cede the Southwest back to Mexico. One piece at a time if necessary.

The Maywood police dragnets enabled the city to impound the immigrant's vehicles and then auction them off after 30 days. Police Chief Leflar bragged that in one year his cops had confiscated over 1,800 vehicles and had made about $1, 000,000 dollars for the City of Maywood from their share of the vehicle auctions, fees and fines.

Maywood, a city with about 28,300 inhabitants, was founded in 1912 and up to about 1970 it was almost an exclusively "White Oakie" working class community. The demographics of the city started changing dramatically about twenty years ago and today its population is 96.3% Latino and only about 2.6% White. The 2.6% White population or about 739 people are mostly old folks who live in the city's rest homes.

Soon after the Los Angeles Times ran a story concerning the abuses of Maywood Police Chief Lefler, the Mexicano community started to organized politically and last November it elected three new councilmembers of Mexican descent. The new council wasted no time in making changes in how Maywood treated its immigrants. On Tuesday, the City Council voted unanimously to declare Maywood, an "Immigrant Sanctuary".

Felipe Aguirre, the newly elected Vice-Mayor of Maywood, said in Spanish, "Estamos creando un santuario para los inmigrantes, queremos que vengan. Si en otras partes los atacan, como en Costa Mesa y Cypress Park, queremos decirles que aquí pueden sentirse seguros". Vice-Mayor Aguirre also pronounced the city's unanimity against HR4437, federal legislation that seeks to criminalize undocumented immigrants.

It's about time that we recognize what is happening on the border and throughout the country with illegal immigration. Those who want to do our country harm make the spurious claim that we are against immigration and the people being targeted are immigrants, not illegal immigrants. There is a huge difference and they know it, otherwise they would not be so hard on illegal immigration at their own country's southern border.

The reaction at University of Arizona was entirely proper. This is still the United States so until the Mexican Government finishes annexing the Southwest they could at least communicate to us in English when they send officials here.

Friday, February 24, 2006


Time Saving Truth from Falsehood and Envy

What is truth? The age old question. In the post modern world it has become a great dilemma.

Few people believe in absolutes so a concept of relative truth has evolved. Yet there has been demonstrated by science that there are laws of physics. They are called laws because science has demonstrated that certain actions will result in predictable and repeatable reactions. The law of gravity basically says what goes up must come down. Simplified but true. There is no ambiguity here. When one understands the law and works within its parameters great things can be accomplished. To defy the law courts disaster. So an absolute exists.

Truth to be truth in its absolute sense must be independent of opinion. The laws of science remain regardless of what anyone thinks about them. They exist outside the objects they govern. But what about moral truth?

Here is where to debate about truth centers. The post modern mind says what is true or right for an individual depends on his experience and viewpoint. Though a widely held view its reliance on the capricious nature of the individual makes any attempt to define morality impossible. The great majority of individuals will agree that theft is immoral. Along comes a pure communist who believes that ownership of personal property is immoral. How can one condemn his actions when he takes the property of other? Is he not acting according to his own moral understanding? for moral truth to exist it must exist outside the persons it governs. Where does such a source come from?

A document such as the Constitution of the United States could be drafted and every one could agree to abide by its tenets. When there is a dispute the document can be referred to as the standard for behavior. But this is still an inadequate source for absolute truth. At any time a gathering of individuals can by agreement alter the document. Though that may not happen for generations, it still makes it impossible to always predict a cause and effect relationship as in the laws of physics.

When I purchase a new car I receive a manual. This manual lays out the details of how the car can and must be used to preserve the warranties made by the manufacturer. The manufacturer by virtue of having produced the car and offered the warranty as a condition of the sale has every right to ask me to abide by the rules in the manual if I expect the warranties to be honored. This is the "moral truth" governing my behavior as it pertains to my ownership of the car. It exists outside of my opinion and has predictable results according to my actions.

For moral truth to exist it must emanate from the source of our existence. This is the essence of the struggle between the Atheist and the Theist. The Theist finds a moral truth from the direction of a creator God, the Atheist looks within himself and or others. The Theist finds order established as agreement with the creator is made, the Atheist must compromise with the capricious nature of humanity to find a consensus which must be redefined as necessity dictates. For the Theist there will always be moral truth, for the Atheist there can never be moral truth.

GOD or NOT Carnival
carnival #9

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Gun Rights Bills Move Forward in Va.

In December of 2005 in Richmond 24-year-old De'Nora Hill was shot to death by her bipolar boyfriend who went off his medication. She had been stalked for several months while her ex-boyfriend became more violent. The authorities offered her a cell phone, told her to move and her employer had her escorted to her car after work. It was while she was being escorted that she was shot. The escort was unarmed. The fear of guns seems to be unreasonable when compared to the inability of the authorities to stop a determined killer. In light of this two bills are moving through the legislature.

If Miss Hill had armed herself with her own weapon and the knowledge and skill to use it against her attacker, we would have one less dead person in Richmond.

The parking lot bill, part of a nationwide push by the National Rifle Association, would require businesses, including restaurants, to allow employees and customers to keep guns in their cars on company property. Many U.S. businesses have enacted rules banning guns in cars in response to workplace shootings.

Another bill would prohibit the governor from restricting gun rights during any kind of state emergency. Its sponsor said he was disturbed by reports from New Orleans that suggested that law enforcement officers were confiscating weapons from law-abiding citizens in response to violence following Hurricane Katrina

I found it to be unfathomable that the government would disarm people after a disaster such as Katrina. The reaction often seems to be to do something just to look like something is being done even if what is being done is counter to solving the problem. Disarming homeowners when the manpower to round up the real criminals is insuficiant falls under such a category.

Carnival of Cordite #49 At Resistance is futile!

What about the Ports

I had some fun at Jimmy Carter's expense over the port management issue, but now I feel it's time to start a round up of what I know.

Most issues are fairly easy to comprehend. There is some underlying principle that guides to the correct understanding. The twists and shadows of foreign police can obscure the principles because there is often incomplete or unavailable details. This is when I rely on the actions of politicians to decipher the truth. Not that I think politicians have an excess of virtue by which they gain access to the truth. No way, but they do have more information than most people on these kinds of issues, and they tend to demagogue them in a consistent manner. It's a matter of seeing how the usual suspects line up to get a picture of what might be going on behind the scene.

The ports issue has confounded this method because the adherents and dissidents are all mixed together from their usual ranks. Bush and Carter agreeing and Limbaugh and Hannity on opposite sides are the most stark examples. All the jabbering has been productive. There is now some useful information coming to light. The UAE as all the Arab states seems to have been paying off the terrorist elements in hopes that they would be spared while they pursued a coarse of modernizing. Saudi Arabia was notorious for that very duplicitous action.

The unfolding situation since 9-11 has demonstrated that this coarse could not continue to yield results. Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey and Saudi have all suffered a resurgence of fundamentalism or even attack from the Islamists. They are beginning to recognize that hope now rests with the west, that the squandering of resources and lack of economic development are going to be their doom. Can they succeed? They must if that is their intent and if they are to survive.

Choosing up sides will be tricky because the Moslem world is now engaged in settling the Sunni Shiite question. It won't be cordial. WW III started when the Iranians took our embassy November 4, 1979. There are several contenders for immortality there can only be one.

Intern Fired for Sharing Faith

Universities, those bastions of the free exchange of ideas and expression have a peculiar concept of religious belief. In addition to separation of church and state they want to enforce a separation of believer and belief.

A former graduate student who lost an internship for discussing her Christian faith with co-workers has filed a federal lawsuit.

Jacqueline Escobar was completing a master's degree in social work at California State University Long Beach when she interned with the Department of Children and Family Services, or DCFS.

A straight-A student, Escobar was complimented regularly by the DCFS for her work. But she came under scrutiny for sharing her faith with co-workers during lunch breaks and after-hours, and for changing into a shirt with a religious message – "Found" – after signing out for the day, according to the Pacific Justice Institute, which is representing her.

Escobar was directed to stop sharing her faith, even during breaks and after work hours.

Also, the university ordered her to sign a document admitting she had "an inability to separate her religious beliefs from her role" as an intern.

She refused to sign the document, arguing she couldn't agree to such a sweeping prohibition that included her religious practice during non-working hours.

I'd like to hear the rational for shielding children from people who believe in God. Do they have an equal aversion to exposing children to people who have no belief in God? Judging from the requirements asked of Ms. Escobar they must feel the best type of person to expose children to would be a schizophrenic.

Christian Carnival CXI

Liberal Student yells 'Remember Chappaquiddick!'

Once in a while an honest liberal pops up. Honest in that he is consistent in application of his philosophy. What makes this remarkable is the reaction by his fellow libs. Typical of the left they spare no time in attacking conservatives for any perceived offense yet the most egregious crimes are brushed aside when one of their own is involved. Criticism of their icons, even by a fellow leftist is treated as heresy.

Along comes the chief icon of liberalism Ted Kennedy. The usual bologna is delivered as an introduction and it pushes Mr. Trost over the edge.

A community college student in Massachusetts faces possible disciplinary action for shouting "Remember Chappaquiddick!" during an on-campus speech by Democrat Sen. Edward Kennedy.

Paul Trost, 20, a student at Massasoit Community College in Brockton, Mass., says he was upset by an introduction of Kennedy given by Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., in which the congressman noted how the long-time senator overcame hardship in life on his way to success.

"Lynch said Kennedy had overcome such adversity to get to the place he was, and that's a bunch of bull," Trost said of the introduction, which occurred in the school's student center Tuesday morning.

Just as Kennedy began speaking, Trost was walking out of the room when he shouted, "Remember Chappaquiddick!"

"Most of the crowd gasped," Trost said. "Then I walked out of the student center."

The crowd's gasp was only the first clue of the seriousness of Mr. Trost's transgression. Before he can leave the building the Flower of Liberalism descends on him to begin the purge of his apostasy.

The student says a campus police officer went outside and stopped him. He also saw some state troopers go outside, the type who accompany Kennedy around the state to provide security.

"One of my teachers called me ignorant and told me this was an embarrassment to the school," Trost told WND. "She said to me, 'Can't you forgive him after all these years?' And I said, 'No, he killed somebody.'

Trost said he was satisfied to know that students on campus were talking about the Chappaquiddick incident later in the day – some of whom, in fact, were not familiar with it.

The student senate of Washington University can't bring themselves to honor Medal of Honor alumnus Pappy Boyington with a memorial because "he killed people", but everyone is supposed to forgive and forget that Ted Kennedy left a woman to drown thinking only of his political career. A huge gulf separates the killing of the enemies of the United States in wartime and the negligent homicide of a young woman by a US senator, yet Boyington is treated with disdain while Kennedy is elevated to a pedestal. Mr. Trost was merely applying his prejudice against those who kill evenly unfortunately for him laying bare the hypocrisy of the left.

David Horowitz, former leftist, being quite familiar with such treatment from these sort of folk details his experience and understanding of the rigid orthodoxy of the left in his book Left Illusions Mr. Trost may want to start his own memoir.

Update: 24 Feb, 2006:
The college where a student shouted 'Remember Chappaquiddick!' as Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., began a speech will not discipline the 20-year-old – even though campus police had warned the man of possible consequences of his action.

They must have seen someone starting up the fan ready with some smelly stuff to throw into it.

The Carnival of Liberal's Wrong's #5

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Mandatory Abortion Proposed in Holland

Marianne van den Anker

A Dutch official lamenting the high risk that children of certain people face suggests they're future children would be better off dead.

A health official in the Netherlands has called for a debate on the idea of forced abortion and contraception to deal with what she sees as a crisis of unwanted children.

Alderman Marianne van den Anker of the Leefbaar Rotterdam Party wants specifically to target communities of Antilleans and Arubans where she sees the biggest problems of unwanted children.

In an interview in a newspaper Saturday, she said she had tried everything to prevent child abuse.

"I fail, I fail," she told the interviewer as she outlined her controversial idea for a debate on compulsory abortion and contraception.

The target groups for her program are Antillean teenage mothers; drug addicts and people with mental handicaps, she said, according to a report in Expatica.

According to the report, Van den Anker said children from these groups run an "unacceptable risk" of growing up without love and with "violence, neglect, mistreatment and sexual abuse."
emphesis mine

It seems Alderman Marianne van den Anker feels that certain people just can't get with the program. Maybe they're just too stupid or uncivilized. Maybe they're just untermenschen.

Having tried everything and failed just doesn't seem to logically lead to killing the ones who one can't help. One also wonders what "everything" entails. Holland is a socialist country. Child care is paid for by the state and employers. Income is supplemented, medical care is provided for. One thing that may not have been tried is not subsidizing having children and unemployed adults.

A simple rule that socialists ignore is you get what you pay for. You pay people to have children you get more children. You pay for people not to work, you get more unemployed. Having doled out all the benefits and attracted immigrants with the largess the state can't now complain that they have to care for all the problems that came with it. The state made itself the parent so the parents have transferred their reasonability to the raising of their children to it. Now the state is overwhelmed by the problems and one of its officials suggests it's time to seek a final solution.

Open Trackback at Rigth Wing nation and Stop the ACLU

Air Force's New Rules on Religion Called Unconstitutional

As the Navy and the Army are being petitioned to allow their chaplains to pray as the chaplain's religious order teaches, the Air Force which does not restrict their chaplains is being sued for allowing them to do so.

The Air Force submitted new guidelines on religion as part of its fight against a lawsuit by an Air Force Academy graduate who purports that the school's officers and cadets illegally impose Christianity on others.

The Justice Department has asked a U.S. District judge to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that the Air Force has no official policy of proselytizing.

But attorney Sam Bregman, who sued the Air Force on behalf of Mikey Weinstein of Albuquerque, said yesterday that dismissing the lawsuit would be "ridiculous in light of what the new guidelines say."

"They completely, thoroughly violate the Constitution of the United States," he said.

How the practice of allowing free expression of standard religious practices on the part of personnel hired for that purpose violates the Constitution is curious. If generic religion was all we could experience in public then we would have a state religion indeed.


The guidelines, labeled as interim, say superiors must be sensitive to the potential that personal expressions of faith might appear to be official or have undue influence on subordinates.

But what an evangelical officer may feel is a reasonably sensitive discussion, an enlisted atheist may feel is completely unreasonable, Mr. Weinstein and Mr. Bregman contend.

The guidelines also say the Air Force respects "the right of chaplains to adhere to the tenets of their religious faiths" by not requiring them to participate in religious activities, including prayer, inconsistent with their faith.

Mr. Weinstein said that "gigantic exception" would, for example, allow evangelical Christians to pray in the name of Jesus Christ at mandatory formations and other official events.

Mr. Weinstein is complaining that the officers of a particular religion are free to practice their religion. Allowing others to freely execute their belief does not constitute denying others to also do so with the exception of an overt act such as Jihad. Mr. Weinstein's reaction is not very far removed from the reactions of Radical Moslems to even the slightest hint of blasphemy by the most strenuous of actions.

We cannot take citizens from their home and family to defend our nation and expect them to leave their religion at home also. That is why the services have chaplains. There are chaplains for all faiths and service members are free to seek the help and advice of chaplains or choose not to. There are times when public gatherings feature a prayer or some other religious practice. Simply being exposed to one that the individual does not adhere to would not have undue influence on that individual unless it began to make sense. Otherwise his own convictions seemingly would be sufficient for him to view it in respectful silence

Deciphering Seaport Operations Deal

There are few clear lines that separate those who favor from those who are against the company from United Arab Emirates purchasing the company that operates any ports on the Atlantic coast. Both sides of the isle are mixed in their opinion while the Governors are mostly skeptical. Finally a benchmark has emerged to clarify what side of the issue is the correct one to take.

President Bush is taking a battering from fellow Republicans, even the governors of New York and Maryland, over the administration's support for a decision that gives an Arab company control of some commercial operations at six major seaports -- including Miami-Dade's.

But he got a boost Monday from an unlikely source, frequent critic and former president Jimmy Carter, who downplayed fears that the deal poses a risk.

''The overall threat to the United States and security, I don't think it exists,'' Carter said on CNN's The Situation Room. ``I'm sure the president's done a good job with his subordinates to make sure this is not a threat.''

That's right, Jimmy Carter has determined that there is nothing to be concerned about. The very former president who has lost the ability to speak out loud without embarrassing himself.

Hillary came out against the deal but that is only an indication that a clear majority of Americans are against it. She can only be dependable as a gage of pubic opinion rather that any measure of the merits of an issue. Carter however has achieved the position of a weather vane of nitwittery. Whichever way he's pointing is the way of goofiness. So those of you who wish to know how to assess the harbor management deal can with confidence oppose it vigorously.

Jimmy Carter's Son: Chasing Father's Legacy

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Jimmy Carter has lost the ability to speak out loud without embarrassing himself. His son, Jack Carter is taking up the mantle in his effort to gain elective office in Nevada. Having a dualist position on a moral issue reveals either an ignorance of the moral question or an effort to be deceptive about one's actual opinion.

Jack Carter, 58, the eldest son of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has announced he is seeking the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate to represent Nevada. At his launch, Carter spoke with reporters revealing his schizophrenic stand on abortion - a stand similar to that of his father.

Speaking with the Associated Press' Kathleen Hennessey, Carter described his abortion views saying, ""I'm a personal freedoms person. I don't want the government to come in and tell my child or whoever it is that they can't have an abortion. I'm pro-choice as far as a woman choosing, but I'm against abortion."

Being a personal liberties person and discounting the personal liberty of the child yet to be born is just such dualism. Personal liberty for one person at the expense of another's is not liberty but tyranny. To subvert one's position on a question of morality to the opinion of those of a particular demographic betrays a moral relativity which is no moral foundation at all.

Having one Carter gallivanting about uttering nonsense is entertaining enough, but to have two at the same time may supply us with crazy quotes at such a rapid rate that we may suffer overload.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Windfall Profits Tax.

As oil company profits increase with the price of fuel, the call for a windfall profits tax resurfaces. The last time we had such a tax yielded unsatisfactory results which is why it did not last. There is no reason to believe anything has changed in that respect. To understand the gas price situation there are aspects that have a great effect on the price at the pump that have nothing to do with the oil companies. In fact the very entity that wants to punish oil companies is more culpable for high pump prices that the companies they vilify.

First let's look at how much of the price of gas is oil company profit.

Oil company profits are huge because the companies are huge, the product of oil firm mergers in the last few years to be more competitive globally, he said. Exxon Mobil's profit, including $10.7 billion in the fourth quarter, was on average slightly more than 10 cents on a dollar of gas, he said, while other oil companies that have reported end-of-year profits already were closer to 9 cents.

Now look at what the federal and state government's profit is on a gallon of gas.

The U.S. federal gasoline tax as of 2005 was 18.4¢/gal (4.86¢/L), and the gasoline taxes in the various states range from 10 cents to 33 cents, with an average about 22 cents per U.S. gallon (5.8¢/L).

according to a study paid for by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. State gasoline taxes range from 7.5 cents per gallon in Georgia to 45.7 cents in New York. Only Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Carolina and West Virginia have gasoline taxes that vary with the price of fuel or inflation. Wisconsin will no longer index its gas tax after this year's annual adjustment

emphasis mine

So who has the ability to adjust the price of gasoline down? The profits that oil companies make are taxable income so on top of the tax government charges at the pump it also gets a piece of the action from the oil companies. Still politicians are calling for more tax on the oil companies. in the face of all this many of the states are carrying a budget surplus.

Just a few are listed below FYI.

It's an election year, and Maryland is running a budget surplus of more than $1 billion.

a projected surplus of $1.6 billion in the current fiscal cycle ending June 30, 2007.

Connecticut's state budget surplus projection increased sharply to $511.8 million from $327 million in the past month, Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced Friday.

of the estimated $2.5 billion in surplus revenue.

Wisconsin will reap about $93 million more than expected in tax revenue this budget cycle, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau just announced.

the Old Dominion is enjoying a billion-dollar "surplus" even as some in the General Assembly urge higher taxes.

Looking at these numbers one has to wonder, "Who has the windfall here?" The politicians rant over the evil oil companies yet are not willing to give relief to the consumer by lowering the tax they take on fuel. Even worse some states such as Virginia want to increase the tax. Envy is a poor foundation for public policy. The politicians are duplicitous at best to demagogue an issue in which they are part of the problem.


Sunday, February 19, 2006

Jerusalem Fund Urges Continued U.S. Aid to Palestinians

Now that Hamas has taken control of the Palestinian Authority The Western Nations has moved to stop financing aid to the PA. The bone of contention is the unwillingness of Hamas to recognize Israel's right to exist. This presents a huge problem for the PA since the economy of Gaza and the West Bank is a basket case. Wide spread corruption of the PA and a singular dedication to the destruction of Israel are directly to blame for this situation.

The Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development thinks the West should continue to finance the PA.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Planning (MOP) figures, $991,933,421 in grants were committed by the U.S. to Palestinians from 1994-2005. Of that amount, $928,982,988 was disbursed. During the same period, the EC disbursed $1.2 billion of the $1.48 billion it pledged.

To overcome the damage that occurred during the intifada and generate the levels of growth necessary to bring down unemployment rapidly, the World Bank estimates that Palestinians need about $400-$450 per person per year, or another $500 million per year from the donor community, for a total of approximately $1.5 billion per annum.

In order to bring about economic recovery and vitality, a key ingredient for the stability of the region, the Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development urges the United States and the international community to continue the humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people.

As with our efforts to free Afghanistan from the Soviet invasion, the intervention in Bosnia and Albania, we have received only condemnation from the Moslem world. For the US and EU to blindly support the PA in light of all the calls for our destruction would be nothing less that putting the gun to our own heads. It's time for the Arab world to take responsibility for the Palestinian people who they have used as surrogates in their own effort to destroy Israel. Let them contribute to the maintenance of the PA themselves, maybe they can reform the corruption and bring economic development to Gaza and the West bank rather than the misery of constant warfare that has been their most recent contribution.

Paternity Fraud Rampant in U.S.

Just one of the problems with the tort law system in the US is judges and juries are willing to award victims settlements against companies that have no responsibility for the injury other than they have the ability to pay. An example: Stella Liebeck. In 1992, Stella, then 79, spilled a cup of McDonald's coffee onto her lap, burning herself. A New Mexico jury awarded her $2.9 million in damages. The same thing is happening with child support.

What is more insidious with the child support cases is the government is participating in the fraud. Nonpayment of child support is a big problem that state welfare agencies often must make up for. So in the interest of securing funds to offset the expense the court has abandoned the presumption of innocence on the part of the accused father for the expediency of getting financial support for the child.

More than three years ago, a Maine district court judge ruled that Geoffrey Fisher no longer had to pay child support for a child that wasn't his.

But that didn't stop the state from revoking Fisher's driver's license and coming after him for thousands of dollars it says he owes in back payments.

Last year, Maine sent Fisher, 35, a letter seeking $11,450 in child support, even though officials know that DNA tests proved he isn't the father of the child in question.

In the summer of 2001, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services took him to court because of delinquent payments. The court ordered him to pay up, and the state had his license suspended under the "deadbeat dad" law.

That fall the girl, then 3, was placed in foster care. When Fisher pushed for custody, the state ordered a paternity test, which proved he wasn't the father.

At that point, one branch of the human services department told him he could no longer see the girl because he wasn't the father, while another said he owed $10,000 and couldn't have a driver's license because he was the father.

As the nation experiences an unprecedented increase in unwed motherhood, more men are finding themselves named as "fathers," for purposes of child support, simply because of their ability to pay, say several recent studies.
It has been found that as many as 30% of men paying child support are doing so for a child that is not theirs. The tests that are used by some states are so unreliable that men who never knew the woman have shown positive for paternity. Other tests are more reliable but in some cases the accused was precluded from using them.

If we value justice and the rule of law than such cannot continue. The tragedy of single motherhood will not be solved by letting fraud continue. The reasonability of both parents needs to be addressed. By letting one go while the other puts an innocent on the hook only reinforces irresponsible behavior, something our court system should not be complicit with.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Project Hero

QandO has the next Silver Star recipient tribute up on their site.

Our hero this week is PFC Joseph Perez, Navy Cross

Pfc. Joseph B. Perez, 23, a Houston native, received the Navy Cross for "extraordinary heroism" while serving as a rifleman with Company I, 3/5, on April 4, 2003.

First Platoon came under "intense" enemy fire near Route 6 during the advance into Baghdad, Perez's award citation read.

Perez, the point man for the lead squad — and therefore the most exposed member of the platoon — faced the brunt of the enemy fire, he citation read.

But he didn't back down.

He continually fired his M16A4 rifle to destroy the enemy while calmly directing accurate fires for his squad, the citation said.

He led the charge down an enemy trench and — amid "tremendous" enemy fire — threw a grenade into the trench, the citation said.

But the enemy wasn't done — and neither was Perez.

With a "heavy volume of fire" still directed toward the Marines, Perez fired an AT-4 rocket into a machine-gun bunker, completely destroying it and killing four enemy personnel, the citation said.

His actions enabled the squad to maneuver safely to the enemy position and seize it, the citation read.

But the job wasn't finished.

Attempting to link up with 3rd Platoon on his platoon's left flank, Perez continued to destroy enemy combatants with his rifle. As he worked his way to the left, he was hit by enemy fire, sustaining gunshot wounds to his torso and shoulder.

Although seriously injured, Perez directed the squad to take cover and gave accurate fire direction that enabled the squad to reorganize and destroy the enemy, the citation said.

"It is unreal. It is not what I expected. It is unbelievable," Perez said about receiving the award.

"This is real weird for me, because, I am not big on special events."

Dog Days

Out playing in the snow with the dogs when my wife shot this picture. I don't know what Derrick has spied on my behind, but he does'nt like it.

Mickey's Musings has the latest Carnival of the Dogs

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Bryant Gumble’s Closing Monologue Not Funny

Read about this at NewsBusters this morning. Haven't heard much about it in the MSM, not surprised.

Does Bryant Gumbel on HBO's Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel. have an editor, proof reading staff, or has he hired Joel Stein to write his humor bits? In his closing monologue he uttered one of the more offensive bits of trash that has been passed as humor.

" Like, try not to be incredulous when someone attempts to link these games to those of the ancient Greeks who never heard of skating or skiing. So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world's greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention."

In Mr. Gumbel's mind it seems that the determinate for athletic greatness is the color of a person's skin. I wish I hadn't already canceled my HBO subscription so I could do it now, but it's no wonder I canceled it. I realized I hadn't looked at it for a long time, Bryant Gumbel's commentary is just an indication of why I left.

Jimmy the Greek and Rush Limbaugh were fired for much less offensive statements than this. Bryant Gumbel has said some nasty stuff in the past and they've kept him around so I don't expect HBO to get all weepy over this. I wonder if the press is holding the stop watch on his apology like they did for Dick Cheney.

At the site I linked for the transcript there is already a defense of Mr. Gumbel's comments that are just as stereotypical as Mr Gumbel's. He says

"I don't think he's saying any of this, and all of these misinterpretations seem to belie Gumbel's main point. As one commentator to this article pointed out, the issue here is about access to these sports, both in a societal and economic context."

Basically he's saying black people are all just too poor to do winter sports. It just drives me nuts to hear such condescension. People like this just view black people as a permanent lower class, they ignore the accomplishments of so many people to suit their bias. They think a black person can't get anywhere unless white people let them. And that's why they think black people will always vote Democrat.

Virginia Gas-tax proposal blasted

Never short of goofy ideas, it is not remarkable that the Virginia legislature had this come up for discussion

House Speaker William J. Howell, R-Stafford, dismissed as "a Rube Goldberg mechanism" a Senate proposal to allow refunds on any gasoline-tax increases.

Virginians would send their gas receipts to the Department of Motor Vehicles, which would refund any new boost above the state's retail 17.5-cents-a-gallon tax on motor fuels.

As part of its plan to create a dedicated pool of money for transit improvements, the Senate has proposed a 5 percent tax on the wholesale price of fuel. It is expected that such a tax would likely be passed on to consumers at the pump.

Only an elected official could have come up with this plan. Suspecting that this tax may increase the retail price of gas (which it would), someone put a provision in that would reimburse the retail purchaser the additional tax. This would have to cancel any credit for recognizing that the tax would increase the cost at the pump. They want to collect the money at the wholesale level then return the money post retail. they have to pay people to keep track of the money as it passes from one hand to the other making this a revenue negative process. Brilliant!

The purpose is to send money into a transpiration trust fund. Why not just designate a portion of the gas tax to that fund and save everyone the trouble and expense? Too simple, too common sense. How do we elect such people to office?

Update 17 Feb, 2006: 34 to 6 The Virginia Senate passes this bill. There is no shortage of nonsense in Richond. There may even be a surplus.

Colt 1903 Hamerless and 1903 Hammer

These two guns came to me from my father. He was an avid collector of Browning design pistols. I've not fired the '03 hammerless, but the "03 hammer became my favorite pistol from the first tie I fired it. I've since picked up a 1911 as my main pistol because I don't want to shoot the '03 hammer except on special occasions.

Browning M.1903 (Browning No.2)
Type: Single Action, Semi-automatic pistol
Chamber: 9x20mm SR Browning Long, 7.65x17mm SR Browning (.32ACP)
Weight unloaded: 930 g
Length: 205 mm
Barrel length: 127 mm
Capacity: 7 rounds (9mm) or 8 rounds (7.65mm)

The M1903 was the second production blowback-operated pistol, designed by famous American arms designer John Browning by 1902 and patented in 1903. Also known as the Browning No.2 pistol, this design was a serious improvement over the older No.1 (FN - Browning M1900) pistol. At the same time Browning developed the recoil-operated M1900 for Colt. This design also was manufactured by the Colt Firearms Co of USA as the Colt M1903 pocket pistol, chambered in .32ACP (7.65mm). Both FN and Colt produced this design until 1930s. In Europe, The FN M1903 became a favorite police pistol, and also was adopted by several armies, included Belgian, Dutch, Turkish and Swedish ones, as well as by Imperial Russian police

I believe the '03 Hammerless was manufactured in 1916.
The '03 Hammer was probably manufactured in 1909

The size is significantly different which is why I prefer the '03 hammer best. It fits my hand better than any pistol I've fired except for the 1911.

Carnival of Cordite #48

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Short Sharp Blows

Just when I thought the Washington Press corp could not get any more petty along comes Dick Cheney and his shotgun. They're all mad because he gave the story to the yokels down in Texas instead of them.

The cartoon rioters have gone from violent riots to general unrest so an Australian TV news station broadcasts new unreleased photographs and videos from Abu Ghraib prison yesterday. Hey we still have embassies that haven't burned yet.

Bishop Gene Robinson, the guy who left his wife for another man then got ordained as an Episcopal Bishop, has just checked in for alcohol rehab. Those wacky bishops, just a fun bunch of guys.

Scalia Dismisses 'Living Constitution'

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia couldn't say it more clearly. The Constitution is a legal document so was written to be unambiguous.

In a speech Monday sponsored by the conservative Federalist Society, Scalia defended his long-held belief in sticking to the plain text of the Constitution "as it was originally written and intended."

According to his judicial philosophy, he said, there can be no room for personal, political or religious beliefs.

Scalia criticized those who believe in what he called the "living Constitution."

"That's the argument of flexibility and it goes something like this: The Constitution is over 200 years old and societies change. It has to change with society, like a living organism, or it will become brittle and break."

"But you would have to be an idiot to believe that," Scalia said. "The Constitution is not a living organism, it is a legal document. It says something and doesn't say other things."

The living document people would squawk quite loud if their contract at work were considered a living document. In that understanding the boss could arbitrarily change the employee's compensation saying "The situation is different from when this contract was signed." , but that is what they advocate with the contract that we have with our government.

A strong constructionist view of the Constitution is essential to guarding us from the capricious nature of man. This is the foundation of the rule of law concept . By making the written word the criteria for deciding disputes we protect ourselves from the temptation of human nature to make emotional decisions.

The written word ensures a reliable and predictable justice. The written word is inconvenient for those who cannot transform society by consensus. This is why the living document nonsense came about. Social reformers were failing to get the laws passed that would favor the structure of society they envisioned. They went to the courts and found judges who shared their views and who were willing to use the twisted logic of a living constitution to make law from the bench.

This is the source of he great anxiety over the latest appointments to the Supreme Court. They know that a plain reading of the text will negate mush that they hold dear. Not because of the relative merits of their issues, but because the document does not allow it without amendment or repeal. To end privet ownership of firearms would require the repeal of the second amendment. Unlimited abortion should have required an amendment. Both processes are cumbersome and time consuming for a reason, social change should be thoroughly debated and examined before it is codified, otherwise upheaval such as experienced in Eastern Europe, The USSR, and China during the communist era will result.

I disagree with Justice Scalia in his assessment that "...you would have to be an idiot to believe that." You merely have to be an impatient social reformer who believes the ends justify the means.


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Marines Not 'Sort of Person UW Wanted to Produce'

The student senate at University of Washington's little brains of mush have lost sight of the source of their liberty. That is if they ever had sight of it at all.

The University of Washington's student senate rejected a memorial for alumnus Gregory "Pappy" Boyington of "Black Sheep Squadron" fame amid concerns a military hero who shot down enemy planes was not the right kind of person to represent the school.

Student senator Jill Edwards, according to minutes of the student government's meeting last week, said she "didn't believe a member of the Marine Corps was an example of the sort of person UW wanted to produce."

The kind of person such as Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, who volunteered to help China fight the invading Japanese?

The resolution points out Boyington, a student at the UW from 1930-34, served as a combat pilot in the 1st Squadron, American Volunteer Group – the "Flying Tigers of China" – and later as a Marine Corps combat pilot in charge of Marine Fighting Squadron 214, "The Black Sheep Squadron."

Along with the Navy Cross, Boyington was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Franklin D. Roosevelt for his heroism. He was shot down and spent 20 months in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp.

Or maybe Captain Christopher J. Bronz USMC serving in Iraq.

While isolated and outnumbered, Captain Christopher J. Bronzi directed his Marines in a deadly assault from a rooftop, which contributed to the elimination of 250 insurgents... awarded the Silver Star Dec. 13 -- the nation's third highest award for combat heroism.

Hopefully the day will come when the nonsense their professors stuffed into their heads will begin to fade and they may appreciate those who went before them to preserve their right to be idiots.

Nicholas Provenzo from The Center for the Advancement of Capitolism tracked with Marine veterans appalled by University of Washington attempt to spin Boyington controversy

Carnival of the Clueless #33 at Right Wing Nuthouse

Happy Valentine's Day

To my wife Mary

Nanny Nanny Boo Boo I have the best wife in the world

Va. Senate Passes Indoor Smoking Ban

I never smoked. I don't like smoking at all, it literally makes me sick. When I was single I avoided dating women who smoked. My children are grown adults and they do not smoke when I'm around because they know how I feel about it. I am absolutely against banning smoking in public places.

Senate Bill 648, sponsored by a Republican from Roanoke, would make smoking illegal in all public workplaces with the exception of certain tobacco stores and offices. The prohibition would extend to bars, restaurants and bowling alleys.

The Virginia ban would include banks, bars, educational facilities, health care facilities, hotel and motel lobbies, laundromats, public transportation, reception areas, retail food production and marketing establishments, retail services establishments, retail stores, shopping malls, sports arenas, theaters and waiting rooms. Hotels could also set aside no more than 25 percent of their rooms for smokers.

House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) promised to oppose the bill. Kevin Hall, spokesman for Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), said the governor also opposes a statewide ban. But, he said, "it's a little soon for a veto threat."

I live in Virginia. I do not support this law because I believe that this decision should be left to the individual businesses. A provision should be made that a public service business such as a restaurant, bar or hotel should be given the option to be smoking, nonsmoking or a mixture of both at its own discretion. I am perfectly capable to take a decision as to the desirability of patronizing a business whether it is nonsmoking or not. If it allows smoking I should not have some "right" to force that business to accommodate me.

With such an option over time a suitable situation could arise that would be satisfying to most people. The marketplace has a remarkable capacity for finding and adopting trends. If only the politicians could resist the temptation to exploit popular opinion codifying fashion in such a way as to stifle innovation.

Army Silences Chaplain After Prayer Criticism

The Army, whose soldiers are offering their lives to protect our freedoms are restricting the freedom of the chaplains who minister to those troops.

An evangelical chaplain serving in Iraq has been forbidden to preach at chapel services after his comments about military intolerance toward certain Christian expressions got him into hot water with the Army.

The chaplain criticized one of his supervisors, Lt. Col. Phillip Wright of Fort Drum in New York, by name and gave details about how chaplains of all faiths were being pressured to offer up only nonsectarian prayers.

In the interview in The Times that provoked the Army's wrath, Capt. Stertzbach cited a Dec. 17 memorial service for a soldier at which he was asked to pray.

When he told one chaplain he intended to pray in the name of Jesus Christ, he was stricken from the service program. A senior officer had to intervene to allow Capt. Stertzbach a time in the service to pray as he wished.

Even that prayer had to be prefaced with "in Thy name we pray" before the chaplain could add, "And in Jesus' name, I pray."

Why is it that evangelical Christians must take the back seat to everyone else when it comes to freedom of expression? Christians sent to fight for Moslem freedom must endure their own religious freedoms curtailed at a time when the need of God's assurance is most keen.

The name of Jesus is central to the Christian religion. Believers are taught in scripture that "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12 and again "and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." Luke 24:47. For the Army to restrict the ministers of the Christian faith from using the name of Jesus is to try to separate their ministry from the source of its focus.

If there is an example of the state establishing a religion this would come close. The state wishes to define how a minister of the Christian Religion can pray by mandating how he declares the deity he serves. Tip toeing around Islam while trampling Christianity seems an odd way of preserving freedom of religion.

Christian Carnival CVIIII

Monday, February 13, 2006

Serial Rapist is Lone Resident of New Home for Sex Offenders

The issue of what to do with sexual predators continues to become as twisted as the people at the center of the problem. On one side are the law enforcement interests, the people who have to investigate, apprehend and incarcerate these monsters. On the other is the Psychology industry who think that the right therapy is all we need and the world will be shiny and new again. Finally there is the public that wants the predators caged and out of the way, but are paying for both the other two until a solution is found. In Washington State they are really being fleeced.

Since last September, a million-dollar, state-of-the-art residence for sex offenders in Seattle has sat vacant, open for business but empty, while officials dickered over who should move in.

Meanwhile, the state was spending about $62,000 to rent the converted warehouse, and another $385,400 to pay staff -- all in preparation for today, when Joseph Aqui, a convicted serial rapist, becomes the first resident.

Last Thursday, Aqui sat politely before King County Superior Court Judge Paris Kallas, saying he understood the conditions of his confinement -- a ban on pornography, prohibitions against social contact with women and children and several dozen additional rules. He thanked the system for giving him another chance.

Because a judge feels he has all knowledge on this issue he has commanded from the bench that sex offenders are and should be reintroduced into society. So the state has built a monument to nonsense, opening its doors to one Joseph Aqui, the first and only resident of the high security halfway house for integrating sexual predators back into the quiet neighborhoods of Washington. The place has sat empty waiting for a client since this seems to be voluntary and Aqui is the only one to step up.

The Seattle home, built after a federal court ordered the state to reintegrate sex offenders into society and the subject of much community debate over location, has a stark, institutional feel, the Pierce County sex offenders have said. Also, they say, it is too much in the public eye.

The state plans to spend $3.7 million to operate the secure community-treatment facility over the two years. With 1,800-pound magnetic door locks, 24-hour video cameras, solar lighting tubes and a high-tech command center, it cost $1.7 million to build.

A team of 17 staffers will be deployed in shifts to watch Aqui around the clock as the facility's sole resident does his own laundry, cooks his own food in the suburban-style kitchen and looks for work. At least once a week, he'll travel to Bellevue, under supervision, for sex offender treatment and during down time walk through the "garden," a fenced-in, plantless patch of cement beneath the highway.

Very impressive considering there is room for only six sex offenders to live there. That works out to just $308.000 per person. For all that you might expect that a close eye would be on them.

"We don't have a block on particular channels, but individuals know what they can and cannot watch," said Allen Ziegler, who manages community sex offender facilities at the Department of Social and Health Services. "It's like anyone -- you know what your limitations are and you shouldn't go beyond that boundary."

What would make a man who's job it is to rehabilitate sex offenders think that this type of person has any self control? It just might be he hasn't a clue. Mr. Aqui seems to know that nobody in charge has one either.

For 30 years his pattern has been to gain the trust of supervisors, then deceive them. Discussing Aqui's case before Judge Kallas in 2003, prosecutor David Hackett quoted an exasperated therapist at Western State Hospital as saying, "It is obvious that we were completely fooled by this very charming, clever and utterly unscrupulous individual."

Nevertheless, last week Hackett appeared relieved at the latest resolution to what he termed "a long and bumpy road with Mr. Aqui."

"I think this is a good solution," he said. "It gives both the community and Mr. Aqui a chance for success."

The only chance for success that's going to be realized in this situation is the successful picking of the taxpayer pocket for another expensive and useless experiment in solving the world's problems through therapy. One of the latest renditions of this is called Restorative Justice. The now famous Judge Cashman from Vermont subscribes to this bit of nonsense. It was his reason for giving a child rapist 60 days for a conviction for four years of abuse.

Hard to imagine how long the taxpayers will suffer the judges that pick their pockets for the latest rehabilitation craze, but when it's the welfare of their children that's at stake they may be ready to go for the torch light parade.

U.S. Gives Mexico Millions for Security

In the real world, meaning that which exists outside the Beltway, expenses are reviewed to determine how effective the expenditure has been in bringing about the desired results. For at least the last ten years the US has sent Millions to the government of Mexico for improving their efforts at border and drug control.

The U.S. government has sent more than $376 million to Mexico in the past decade for that country's military and police to help stop alien and drug smugglers, guard against terrorists and protect America's southern border, including $50 million due this year.

The money, quietly authorized through State and Defense department programs, has been used to train and equip the Mexican military and police, drawing disagreement on whether those institutions are part of the solution for U.S. border security, or are part of the problem.

It would seem the time has come to spend this money on our own border patrol. The Mexicans have not demonstrated any capacity to manage the corruption in their military and police, nor does their President hold a favorable view on helping us with illegal aliens coming from his country. Now the Arizona Legislature has a bill ready to allocate $10 million to bring the National Guard to the border. The Governor wants to wait for the Fed to pay for it but the legislature has decided that action now is necessary.

Unwilling to wait for federal help like the governor, a House panel voted unanimously Monday to use state tax dollars to deploy the National Guard along the state's southern border.

HB 2579, would put $10 million into the budget for Gov. Janet Napolitano to mobilize at least some of the state's 4,000 Guard troops.

The bipartisan move comes a month after the governor offered to have Guard troops along the border - but only if the Department of Defense picks up the cost. But nothing has been done because Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has yet to respond to her request.

$50 million would go a long way to relieving the states from the burden of dealing with what should be a federal responsibility.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Farmer Reveals Biggest Ancient Greek Tomb

This is exciting news for students of classical history. Although the tomb appears to have been looted of its most valuable items, the clear writing on the tombstones and painted the sculpture are of particular interest for the insight they provide into the life and events of the people of that time.

A farmer in northern Greece has stumbled across a 2,300-year-old chiseled cave with eight chambers and measuring some 63 square meters — the biggest ever discovered in this country — it was revealed yesterday.

The cave was found near the ancient city of Pella, which was the capital of the Macedonian kingdom. Archaeologists are studying the cave and believe it was probably used as a tomb by a wealthy Macedonian family between the second and third centuries BC, the Athens News Agency reported.

Two gold earrings, several bronze coins, three marble funerary stelae and a number of ceramic vessels were found inside the cave.

Previously, the largest chiseled cave found in Greece had three chambers. The cave near Pella has partly retained its original wall coloring of red, sky blue and gold.

Hopefully there will be photos released soon.


Church's Stand on Gays Strained by 'Marriage'

One of the essentials of the Christian faith is the authority of scripture. Simply stated, the Word of God is the standard of what we believe, the foundation of our understanding of God's will. When an organization discounts the authority of the Word is when difficulties and divisions arise. This abandonment of the scripture as the authority by which the church operates is the source of the dispute over the ordination and marriage of homosexuals.

The United Church of Christ's endorsement of homosexual "marriage" -- a lone stance among the largest Christian denominations -- has stirred debate and divided dozens of its churches. Some have stopped sending money to the church's national office; others have left the denomination.

A prime example occurred last month at Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Toledo, Ohio, where, after the last votes were counted, some members applauded the decision to end their 45-year affiliation with the denomination. Others wiped away tears and walked out in protest.

"It has caused people to really think hard about their faith," said the Rev. Stephen Camp, administrator of the UCC's Southern Conference, which includes eastern Virginia.

"I think we're on the right side of history," said Mr. Camp, who backs the denomination's position. "We're seeking to be faithful to what Jesus Christ is saying, that we should all be one."

When history or society become the standard and not the written word of God by which the church determines right and wrong it ceases to be the church. The purpose of the church is to serve the will of God not the whim of man. Having the written word protects us from our own capricious nature. God's commands should not be subject to a vote.

Some conservatives, however, were angered by a UCC campaign that started about a year ago to reach out to homosexuals. Some of those same conservatives say leaders of the church crossed the line this time by supporting homosexual "marriage."

The "marriage" of homosexual couples "isn't what we preach, it isn't what we teach, it isn't what we believe," said the Rev. Lawrence Cameron, the pastor at Pilgrim UCC.

It is not that homosexuals should not be accepted as any other sinner is, but that no exception should be made to accommodate a sin rather than condemn it. In scripture the list of sins that includes homosexuality includes many others that all of us may be guilty of at least one. Help for the sinner starts with the acknowledgment that what he is doing is wrong. The church should be a light to reveal right and wrong and a place of help and healing so others may see and seek that help.

Arizona Plans to Tackle Illegal Aliens

Our constitution Clearly lays out the limited functions of the federal government. They are basically foreign policy, interstate commerce, administering justice, regulating the financial institutions and protecting the borders. The problem we have today is the temptation to legislate bread and butter issues to buy votes has allowed the federal government to expand well beyond its constitutional boundaries. When this happens the normal areas of the federal jurisdiction suffer neglect.

State government can react in three ways. It can petition the courts to force the federal government to return to its constitutional boundaries, accept the expanding role of the fed and become its agent or step into the gap to fulfill the duty neglected by the fed until the situation can be addressed properly.

The courts has aided the federal expansion so that is an unlikely choice. New Orleans' government's response to Katrina is an example of a state and local government becoming nothing more than an agent of the fed. Arizona is taking the proactive approach to deal with the illegal immigration problem on the southern border. They have little choice since the fed in not interested.

Arizona has long been one of the busiest gateways for aliens trying to sneak into the country, and some lawmakers believe it's time to dispatch state police squads to catch those who slip past border agents.

A state lawmaker has proposed a plan that includes $20 million for the Arizona Department of Public Safety to mount a 100-member squad to operate surveillance equipment, construct border barriers, target drug and immigrant smugglers and perhaps patrol the border.

A different plan by Gov. Janet Napolitano, a Democrat, would have two state police squads focus on alien smuggling cases. Both plans offer millions of dollars to communities to thwart illegal entries, and money for combating gang-related border crime.

"If the federal government isn't going to do the job and Arizona is footing billions of dollars a year for illegal aliens, it makes sense for the state to get involved," said Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which favors limits on immigration.

Opponents say racial profiling could increase if officers unfamiliar with immigration law were to try and enforce it. They also say it could make investigating crime harder in immigrant communities, because fewer aliens would cooperate with police for fear of being sent home. Local officers also lack understanding of complex immigration law, they say.

All along the border states are taking up the slack left by federal neglect. Even the interior states are beginning to use state resources to address the illegal immigration problem. It should be clear that immigration has been and will be one of the main sources of our national strength, but the rule of law is the foundation of that continued strength. We should welcome with open arms those who wish to share in the promise of America so long as they do so according to our laws. We can make changes to who we let into our country and how new immigrants can do so, but we must enforce those laws we have now first.