Monday, August 30, 2004

Winners at the Olympics

So the Olympics are over (thankfully, did anyone even watch?), and the medal count has been tallied. So you add'em all up, and the country with the most medals is.........Europe???

EURO chief Romano Prodi last night hailed Britain’s haul of Olympic gold as a triumph — for the European Union.

And he warned our athletes will have to fly the EU flag as well as the Union Jack at Beijing in 2008.

That would mean 800m and 1500m champion Kelly Holmes and boxing sensation Amir Khan would be battling for Brussels as much as Britain.

Medal table
(As Brussels sees it)

Europe: 82 golds
USA: 35
China: 32
Russia: 27
Australia: 17
Great Britain: 0*

*See contribution to EU

Mr Prodi turned the Athens games into a political football, boasting that our bag of 30 medals helped the EU trounce America and China.

He said: “The Games were a huge success thanks to their unique spirit and smooth organisation but also because EU athletes did so well.

“In 2008 I hope to see the teams in Beijing carry the flag of the European Union alongside their own national flag as a symbol of our unity.

“The European Union’s sportsmen and women performed outstandingly at Athens, winning 82 gold medals and more than 280 medals in total.”

Mr Prodi a failed Italian politician, is about to step down after a dismal term as EU president.

Am I the only one that sees something wrong with this?

Feeling a Bit Lightheaded Today

Cuz I donated blood today. I know it's a good thing, and I'm glad I did it. But honestly, I can see why people don't donate more often. The needles hurt. Especially when they pricked my finger to check my blood type and iron level. That one was the worst. The other one they used to draw the blood out of my arm with only hurt for a second, but man let me tell you; it was freakin' huge!! But hey, it only took 20 mins or so all together, and I got a free t-shirt and a juice. Mmmmm, I love juice. So I feel good about myself today. If anyone's considered giving blood but was too afraid, go ahead and do it. The pain and discomfort is brief, and I would say more tolerable than watching a clip of one of Michael Moore's movies. And of course, you get that warm fuzzy feeling that can only come from helping out your fellow man. Nauseas yet? Good, go donate so I can quite talking like this...NOW!!

Finally Time....

For Socialism??

It's been a while since I've dropped in on our friends over at The D.U. to see what our counterparts on the left were doing. So I dropped in today, and looky what I found. Rhetoric that would make Stalin himself proud.

Krasnaya Lastochka (130 posts) Sun Aug-29-04 03:42 PM
Original message
Is it Time for Socialism?

We are in a stagnating swamp of mass consumption and class division. Capitalism, it seems to me, has outgrown its initial usefulness and has become self-destructive.
Karl Marx has said that every society must pass through certain stages of 'evolution': feudalism, monarchy, capitalism, socialism. It is nearly impossible to bypass one or more stages (hence the mess that the USSR made of communism--their economy hadn't yet been built up by capitalism!), and it is also destructive to try and stop the evolution in its tracks--as is happening in America. Thanks to the Cold War, "socialism" has become almost a dirty word, synonymous with "dictatorship" and "oppression." Well, it doesn't have to be that way (look at Scandinavia.). I say it's time for some socialist-democratic grass roots regime change in America. Anyone with me?

"I see how peaceful the stars are...I only wish that this peace could extend down to my country." --Ilan Ramon, Israeli astronaut

Time for a socialist regime change in America? Doesn't he mean Amerikkka? You know, one of my favorite things about reading DU posts are the silly little quotes/tid-bits at the bottom of their posts. If you want a few laughs (or you're looking for a good horror story) go read the rest of the thread.

Here's my personal favorite:

Freedom means freedom to fail, which is unacceptable. Our current system allows many millions of people to not meet the most basic of Maslow's needs.

Freedom ranks less important than basic needs.

If you accept the basic tenet that government exists to advance the welfare and happiness of the majority of its' people then I can't see how the current system is anything but a failure.

Hah! What a buncha tools!

This is How You Know

That your ship is up poo-poo creek without and ore (or a roll of tp for that matter). When a democrat send his daughters to speak at the MTV music awards; known for their liberal leanings, and get boo-ed off, you know your campaign is in trouble.

Sun Aug 29 2004 23:36:31 ET

MTV, ROLLING STONE and the rock and roll establishment -- past and present -- have cast their vote, and their man is John Kerry.

So on Sunday night when John Kerry's daughters were announced to speak at the annual MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS, the MTV youth were expected to welcome his daughter's as pop culture princesses.

Instead, in an era of the unexpected, the daughters of the Democratic candidate were met with a resounding wall of boos at the filming in Miami.

From the moment Alexandra and Vanessa started speaking, the boos outweighed anything close to cheers, and the reaction turned worse when the daughters asked the VIACOM youth to vote for their father. So shocked by the reaction, the taller of the two daughters tried to 'shhhhhh' her peers to no avail.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Slowly Stripping Away our Rights

Willis to Pay $21,000 for Violation

HAILEY, Idaho (AP) - Actor Bruce Willis will pay a $21,000 fine for violating federal wetlands protection laws by clearing a half-acre island in a pond at his central Idaho home.

How infuriating is this???

A man (never mind an actor the calliber of Bruce Willis) is fined $21k for making alterations to his own property!! If you can't do what you want with it, what the he!!'s the point of owning your own land?

I've said several times that one of the key goals of communism is to eliminate personal property. Now bear with me on this one folks. We all know the EPA is a liberal group within the govt with a liberal agenda, and we all know that liberalism is just commy-light (remember the equation now--liberalism-->socialism-->communism) it suddenly makes perfect sense why the EPA would want to strip away someone's property rights in the name of protecting the wetlands (i.e. the common good).

So should I call out the gecko's yet?

Friday, August 27, 2004

More Problems with Public Education

You all know my issues with public education. Well know it gets even worse. Of course you know they aren't aloud to play tag or dodgeball anymore (man, I loved dodgeball!). Now some teachers are changing the color of pens they use to grade papers. Instead of red, they'll be using purple, because purple isn't as "intimidating". Puuuhhhlease!! Give me a freakin' break. And then, to top it all off, in Columbia S.C., Benedict College is grading students on effort rather than performance!!

Is it just me, or are we turning into a country of liberal weenies?? What's gonna happen to these students when they get into the real world? I for one am raising my kids to accept the fact that when they don't do their best they don't succeed, and am trying to prepare them for the tough breaks life is going to throw at them. If these yoyo's had their way with my kids, they'd come crying home to momma the first time they got turned down for a job interview.

What a buncha' freakin' tools.

Commies for Kerry


This is just too good not to post!

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

More on Moore.....(hmmm, there's a message there somewhere)

JimK at Moore Watch has some more on how the boys over there feel about Moore. They think it may be a bit over the top....nah. It's just right me thinks;-)

Open Letter to John McCain

An Open Letter to Senator John McCain from a Vietnam Veteran

Senator McCain,

I begin this missive with an embrazo, as we call it here in Texas, for your service to our country, as a warrior, as a prisoner of war and as a United States Senator. You have served far better and endured far more in the service of America than most men will ever do. For that, this old sergeant salutes you.

That said, as a Vietnam ground combat veteran, I must take issue with you on the situation of John Kerry and the Swift Boat Veterans. You have labeled these men “dishonest and dishonorable,” and that, Sir, is nothing more than your opinion based on no direct knowledge of the events they dispute. For you to so condemn these men publicly, without any firsthand knowledge of John Kerry’s performance in their midst and under their professional observation, is unfair to them and all veterans who share their view that John Kerry is unfit to command. Who was best qualified to evaluate you as a naval aviator, those senior officers who flew with you or the enlisted men who serviced your aircraft? Who had the experience, training and knowledge to make a professional military judgment of your performance in the air, the trained naval aviators on your wing or the enlisted flight crew back on the carrier? Certainly the enlisted men were vital in performing the mission but observing and rating your performance was not their role.

It is my understanding that you originally shared our animosity towards John Kerry, but during your senatorial service, you came to know John Kerry more personally and chose to forgive him for his labeling you a war criminal. That you are able to forgive a man even though he had denounced you and your fellow aviators as you languished in North Vietnamese prisons, with your captors using his testimony to try to break your will, is truly commendable. I admire you for your ability to turn the other cheek. However, I must point out that your forgiveness of John Kerry is purely personal and imposes not one iota of obligation to forgive him on those of us who still consider him contemptible.

You carry no mandate to speak for us. Your personal feelings are yours and yours alone; but, emphatically, you do not speak for us. You spoke up to defend your friend and your friend has turned your words into talking points. It is truly reprehensible how the Kerry campaign and the mainstream media are hiding so cynically behind your condemnation of the Swiftvets, using your statement as an excuse to dismiss their claims as baseless, smear politics. Honestly, Senator, did you really intend to provide this kind of cover for those who are so desperate to prevent the truth from coming out?

With all do respect, since you weren’t there to observe John Kerry first hand as were these Swiftvets, may I humbly suggest that the honorable thing for you to do, is to stay out of this fight and allow them and us to have our voice. Moreover, there is one thing you could do to level the playing field: acknowledge that you have no true knowledge of events the Swiftvets describe and that your immediate condemnation of these men was premature. Call on the mainstream media to investigate all parties fairly and determine whose version of events is true. I understand John Kerry is your friend, but that places him neither beyond accountability nor above the truth. You have a unique ability at this moment in America’s history to make a difference. You have long been a dutiful warrior and servant of the people.

Please, do your duty now.

Russ Vaughn

2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment

101st Airborne Division

Vietnam 65-66

If you agree with Russ, as I do, then copy this page and go here and send it to John McCain himself.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

"Nipplegate" Was a Ruse

It seems the Jackson's have reached a new height in self importance. Janet Jackson is now claiming that the hoopla surrounding her "boob shot" during the Super Bowl was caused by the Bush administration to distract the country away from the war in Iraq. Can you say bloated ego and distorted view of her own significance? Me thinks this sounds like a cry for attention from someone who's career is in the toilet. Sorry Janet, but if they wanted to use a breast to distract the world, they would have used someone else. We saw your breast, and I for one wasn't all that impressed.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Greatest Threat to America......the Boy Scouts???

The ACLU seems to think so.

ACLU files suit to force Scouts out of San Diego park
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a suit Monday in an effort to force the city of San Diego to oust the city’s Boy Scouts of America chapters from their Balboa Park headquarters, the Los Angeles Times reports. The ACLU says the Scouts should not be allowed to use public land because they discriminate against gay people and atheists. “On this land the Scouts camp, hike, and swim,” said Linda Hills, executive director of the ACLU’s San Diego chapter. “They also teach and practice homophobia and religious intolerance.”

Not surprisingly, I haven't been able to find more on this story. If anyone else happens across something/anything relating to this story, email it to me.

More War Pics

Some pics from David Horowitz' blog. I especially like the third one down, although the first one is good also.

Pre-emptive Strikes...Against Us??

The Iranian defense minister is threatening a pre-emptive strike against U.S. forces in the ME. My question is, is he out of his ever-loving mind?

DOHA (AFP) - Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani warned that Iran might launch a preemptive strike against US forces in the region to prevent an attack on its nuclear facilities.

Again, I ask: Is he out of his ever-loving mind?

"We will not sit (with arms folded) to wait for what others will do to us. Some military commanders in Iran are convinced that preventive operations which the Americans talk about are not their monopoly," Shamkhani told Al-Jazeera TV when asked if Iran would respond to an American attack on its nuclear facilities.

As Glenn Reynolds would say.."Indeed". I cordially invite you with open arms to bring your terrorist supporting arses right to us. Saves us the trouble of coming to you. And while we're kicking your bumms all over the place in Iraq, the thousands upon thousands of unhappy Iranian citizens will begin kicking around what's left of your forces back home. Indeed. Please, bring it.

"America is not the only one present in the region. We are also present, from Khost to Kandahar in Afghanistan; we are present in the Gulf and we can be present in Iraq (news - web sites)," said Shamkhani, speaking in Farsi to the Arabic-language news channel through an interpreter.

Again, by all means. Please, shut up and bring it.

"The US military presence (in Iraq) will not become an element of strength (for Washington) at our expense. The opposite is true, because their forces would turn into a hostage" in Iranian hands in the event of an attack, he said.

You know all about taking hostages, don't you jack-a$$.

Shamkhani, who was asked about the possibility of an American or Israeli strike against Iran's atomic power plant in Bushehr, added: "We will consider any strike against our nuclear installations as an attack on Iran as a whole, and we will retaliate with all our strength.

"Where Israel is concerned, we have no doubt that it is an evil entity, and it will not be able to launch any military operation without an American green light. You cannot separate the two."

Hmm, I would argue that the U.S. has done nothing but tie Israel's hands behind their backs. That aside though, I dare you to take on Israel, they have a long history of kicking the snott out of Arab nations.

A commander of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards was quoted in the Iranian press earlier Wednesday as saying that Tehran would strike the Israeli reactor at Dimona if Israel attacks the Islamic republic's own burgeoning nuclear facilities.

"If Israel fires one missile at Bushehr atomic power plant, it should permanently forget about Dimona nuclear center, where it produces and keeps its nuclear weapons, and Israel would be responsible for the terrifying consequence of this move," General Mohammad Baqer Zolqadr warned.

Me thinks the only thing Israel would be responsible for should they strike is helping to keep the world a little more secure and a terrorist sponsoring nation on their knees.

Iran's controversial bid to generate nuclear power at its plant being built at Bushehr is seen by arch-enemies Israel and the United States as a cover for nuclear weapons development.

The latest comments mark an escalation in an exchange of threats between Israel and Iran in recent weeks, leading to speculation that there may be a repeat of Israel's strike against Iraqi nuclear facilities at Osirak in 1981.

Yes, one can only hope.

Iran insists that its nuclear intentions are peaceful,

But of course they are.
while pointing at its enemy's alleged nuclear arsenal, which Israel neither confirms nor denies possessing.

Shamkhani told Al-Jazeera it was not possible "from a practical standpoint" to destroy Iran's nuclear programs because they are the product of national skills "which cannot be eliminated by military means."

Hmm, tell that to Iraq's former dictator. Oh wait, you can't. Hehe.

He also warned that Iran would consider itself no longer bound by its commitments to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the event of an attack.

Something tells me they already don't consider themselves bound by the IAEA.

"The execution of such threats (to attack Iran's nuclear installations) would mean that our cooperation with the IAEA led to feeding information about our nuclear facilities to the attacking side, which (in turn) means that we would no longer be bound by any of our obligations" to the nuclear watchdog, he said.

Diplomats said in Vienna Tuesday that the IAEA would not say in a report next month whether Iran's nuclear activities are of a military nature, nor will it recommend bringing the case before the UN Security Council.

Of course they wouldn't. Not that it would do any good anyway. The ultimate uselessness of the UN, IAEA, and other "international organizations" is the reason pre-emptive strikes must be taken in the first place.

The IAEA board is due to deliver the report on Iran's nuclear activities during a meeting at the organization's headquarters in Vienna from September 13 after the last of a group of IAEA inspectors returned from Iran last week.

The UN's nuclear agency is conducting a major probe into Iran's bid to generate electricity through nuclear power.

The Islamic republic has agreed to temporarily suspend uranium enrichment pending the completion of the IAEA probe, but is working on other parts of the fuel cycle and has recently resumed making centrifuges used for enrichment.

Is it just me, or does this entire story reek of U.N. corruption? It never ceases to amaze me how here in the U.S., the left cries and whines because someone wants to use nuclear power to generate electricity, but when some terrorist sponsoring nation wants to develop nuclear power for what are obviously less than honorable intentions, it's A-OK. My God the hypocrisy of the left seems to know no bounds.

I would also like to add that in this bloggers not so humble opinion, it's a tad late for a pre-emptive strike. Iran's nuclear program is most likely in full swing right now. Me thinks that pretty soon we (U.S. and Israel) may be going from considering a pre-emptive strike to organizing a reactionary strike. That scares the crap out of me. It should scare you too.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Suing About War

Found from Drudge's web page:

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A California Army National Guard sergeant filed a lawsuit on Tuesday asserting that the government can not prevent reservists from leaving the military when their enlistment periods end.

The suit against Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other military officials names the plaintiff only as John Doe. It says he served with distinction in the Marine Corps and Army for nine years on active duty and three years as a reservist.

This is a tough one to me. I've always believed in a strictly volunteer military. But on the other hand, if he was aware of the stop-loss policy before enlisting, you have to say he was aware of the potential circumstances before hand. Read the rest, and then tell me what you think.

Librarians for Terror

So it now seems the ALA is now officially endorsing splodey-dopes. From Front Page Mag:

At one time American libraries stood at the heart of community education, forming in a positive way the minds and character of our youth, changing lives for the better. But sadly, the traditional mission of these august institutions of learning for generations of Americans is disappearing as they gradually turn into indoctrination centers against the United States and Israel.

One of the main reasons for this tragic and disturbing turn of events is the American Library Association, where a clique of leftists has taken over, dedicating itself to padding libraries across America with anti-Israel books, videos and other materials, excluding both sides in the Israel/Palestine dispute.

If you've got the stomach for it, go read the rest. This is why I don't go to public libraries anymore. I recommend shopping here instead. More intelligent reading;-)

Finally, the NFL is BACK!!

And looking like the team that won the Super Bowl 2 years ago, my home team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers thumped the Cincinnati Bengals 20-6. Of course, it's only pre-season. But it was fun watching all the back ups and what they were capable of. So who knows really, looks like a promising season though, no?

Monday, August 16, 2004

Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, and Freedom

I covered this some time ago, but it has once again become worth doing. Most notably so because of the debate going on at Liberty's fine weblog. The debate centers around Hitler and why some (most notably on the left) like to refer to him as "right wing". I'm not going to go into that again here, partly because I posted on this already; and partly because I don't want to take anything away from the debate going on here over at Liberty's place.

why is it that even some historians call hitler right wing? Where does this idea come from? I am trying to untangle it. His party had "socialist" in the title. He was for "equality" in assets, government control over business... some say he allowed property rights in name, making him socialist not communist, some say even to the right of socialist (but still the left of US & UK).. but there are still those who say he is so far right as to be tyrannical, rather than left of us, but why?

Aren't these the domain of the left:
"And this policy manifesto:

9. All citizens of the State shall be equal as regards rights and duties.

10. The first duty of every citizen must be to work mentally or physically. The activities of the individual may not clash with the interests of the whole, but must proceed within the frame of the community and be for the general good.

Therefore we demand:

11. That all unearned income, and all income that does not arise from work, be abolished.

12. Since every war imposes on the people fearful sacrifices in life and property, all personal profit arising from the war must be regarded as a crime against the people. We therefore demand the total confiscation of all war profits whether in assets or material.

13. We demand the nationalization of businesses which have been organized into cartels.

14. We demand that all the profits from wholesale trade shall be shared out.

15. We demand extensive development of provision for old age.

16. We demand the creation and maintenance of a healthy middle-class, the immediate communalization of department stores which will be rented cheaply to small businessmen, and that preference shall be given to small businessmen for provision of supplies needed by the State, the provinces and municipalities.

17. We demand a land reform in accordance with our national requirements, and the enactment of a law to confiscate from the owners without compensation any land needed for the common purpose. The abolition of ground rents, and the prohibition of all speculation in land."

It's an interesting debate and one I look forward to joining in myself when I have time this week. Here are a few tidbits on the subject I've managed to pick up. This one involves communism and the 45 declared goals of the communist party in America. This page lists the Ten Planks of the Communist Manifesto. Now, the debate centers mostly around socialism; and though closely related, communism is by far more extreme than socialism. None the less, here's a diddy, (some of this is on Liberty's debate page) about the socialists' agenda. Here's another little something the socialists' wouldn't minde seeing in the near future. Hmmm, a one world order...wasn't that what Hitler wanted?

That's all for now from me. If you want more, go over to Liberty's debate forum and slosh in the mud for yourself a bit. I promise, once you try it, you're gonna like it;-)

Friday, August 13, 2004

Kerry Says "I Wouldn't Respond"

One of Kerry's main themes in his campaign has been his record in Vietnam and how he "fought to defend his country". Yet, as Lt. Governer to Michael Dukaka (ok, ok, Dukakis), Kerry proudly admitted that in the event of a nuclear attack on this country, he would do nothing.

Kerry: I Wouldn't Respond to Nuclear Attack

John Kerry told Democrats gathered in Boston two weeks ago that he defended his country as a young soldier in Vietnam and he would defend it again as president.

But as Michael Dukakis' Lieutenant Governor, Kerry authored an executive order that said the state of Massachussetts would refuse to take part in any civil defense efforts in response to a nuclear attack on America.

The presidential candidate was an ardent proponent of the nuclear freeze at the time, and viewed Cold War civil defense preparations as an attempt to delude the American people into thinking a nuclear exchange was survivable.
Lt. Gov. Kerry's executive order on behalf of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts read in part:

"Whereas the existing and potential strength of nuclear weapons is such that nuclear war can neither be won nor survived, it can only be prevented; and Whereas the only effective defense against the horrors of nuclear weapons lies in their elimination and in the prevention of nuclear war or attacks, [the Commonwealth of Massachusetts] shall seek to ensure the safety of its citizens by pursuit of policies reflecting a serious commitment to prevention of nuclear war."

"Such policies," the Kerry directive continued, "shall include education of citizens concerning the real nature of nuclear war and efforts to influence national policy towards negotiation of an end to the nuclear-arms race."

The Kerry order stated emphatically, however: "No funds shall be expended by the Commonwealth for crisis relocation planning for nuclear war."

Monica Conyngham, Lt. Gov. Kerry's spokeswoman at the time, defended the controversial document, telling reporters, ''We believe that [evacuation] plans are absolutely futile and that there are no safehavens from nuclear war.''

Gov. Dukakis signed Kerry's "no nuclear defense" executive order into law on June 28, 1984.

And people actually want this treasonous douche bag as our Commander in Chief??? What a tool.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

To My Peeps in Tampa

In case anyone hasn't heard (poke your head out from under the rock once in a while), .Florida's come under some pretty rough weather lately. Not unusual for this time of year. But it has been a while since a real hurricane made landfall in Florida. I just wanna make sure everyone stays safe and doesn't get any wild hairs up their bumm and throw some sort of hurricane party. In case you didn't know (duh!!), they tend to end badly. Thoughts and prayers are with you guys, take care!

Update: It's getting worse. Charlie has evolved into a catagory 4 hurricane. Please be careful down there folks.

Speaking of Lord Spatula....

This humerous little diddy comes to us from the undoubtedly lovely Mrs. Spatula.

What am I missing?

Lemme see, have I got this straight?

Clinton awards Halliburton no-bid contract in Yugoslavia - good...
Bush awards Halliburton no-bid contract in Iraq - bad...

Clinton spends 77 billion on war in Serbia - good...
Bush spends 87 billion in Iraq - bad...

Clinton imposes regime change in Serbia - good...
Bush imposes regime change in Iraq - bad...

Clinton bombs Christian Serbs on behalf of Muslim Albanian terrorists - good...
Bush liberates 25 million from a genocidal dictator - bad...

Clinton bombs Chinese embassy - good....
Bush bombs terrorist camps - bad....

Clinton commits felonies while in office - good...
Bush lands on aircraft carrier in jumpsuit - bad...

Clinton says mass graves in Serbia - good...
Entire world says WMD in Iraq - bad...

Stock market crashes in 2000 under Clinton - good...
Recession under Bush - bad...

Clinton refuses to take custody of Bin Laden - good...
World Trade Centers fall under Bush - Bad...

Clinton calls for regime change in Iraq - good...
Bush imposes regime change in Iraq - bad...

Terrorist training in Afghanistan under Clinton - good...
Bush destroys training camps in Afghanistan - bad...

No mass graves found in Serbia - good...
No WMD found Iraq - bad...

Milosevic not yet convicted - good...
Saddam in custody - bad...

What am I missing here?????

Well said I'd say. Lord Spatula obviously has himself a women of impeccable intellect, much like The Lovely Mrs. Rohde;-)

(No, no sucking up here folks, nothing to see...move along now)

She's Done it Again

Yup, once again the most beautiful woman in the media is ripping the left a new one. More specifically, Presidential candidate John Kerry. From World Net Daily:

Democrats haven't been this upset about an American engaging in free speech since Juanita Broaddrick opened her yap.

Two hundred fifty-four Swift Boat Veterans have signed a letter saying John Kerry is not fit to be commander in chief, a point developed in some detail in the blockbuster new book by John O'Neill, aptly titled "Unfit for Command." At the 2003 reunion of Swift Boat Veterans, about 300 men showed up: 85 percent of them think Kerry is unfit to be president. (On the bright side, Kerry was voted, in absentia, "Most Likely to Run for President on His Phony War Record.") Fewer than 10 percent of all Swift Boat Veterans contacted refused to sign the letter.

The rest of the article only gets better. I suggest you read it for yourself.

Hat tip to Lord Spatula.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

T'was the Night Before Christmas

This lovely tale comes to us via Blackfive:

Twas the night before Christmas and we were afloat
Somewhere in Cambodia in our little boat.
While the river was lightened by rockets red glare
No one but the President knew we were there.

The crew was all nestled deep down in their bunks,
While the Spook and I watched the sampans and junks.
Our mission was secret, so secret in fact,
No one else would remember it when we got back.

When out on the water there arose such a clatter
I leaped down from the bridge to see what was the matter.
The incoming friendly was starting to flash
And I knew that the ARVN's were having a bash.

The snap of friendly fire on the warm tropic air
Convinced me for sure no one knew we were there,
On a clandestine mission so secret it's true
That I'm still convinced only Tricky Dick knew.

While I huddled for safety in the tub on the bow,
I thought of a title, "Apocalypse Now."
To give to the films I was I making each day
To show all the voters when I made my big play.

As I sat there sweating in my lucky flight jacket,
Spook said, "Merry Christmas!" and tossed me a packet.
And what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a new lucky cap, which I still have right here.

I keep it tucked here, in this leather brief case,
Just sharing with the press its secretive place
As I regale them again with my senate refrain,
That Christmas in Cambodia is seared into my brain.

Don't bother to quibble with history my friend,
By pointing out Johnson was President then.
Don't listen to Swiftees who try to explain,
For I tell you that night is seared into my brain.

Down Hibbard, down Lonsdale, and you too O'Neill,
So you don't remember? Well it's something I feel.
I don't need all you Swiftvets to support my campaign,
Cause Christmas in Cambodia is seared into my brain,

Into my brain, into my brain, into my brain...

Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66

If you enjoyed this work by the Paratrooper of Love, you can check out more of his stuff at Blackfive.

Monday, August 09, 2004

The Cost of Public Education

It's that time of year again! Bookbags, backpacks, pencils and paper. Yup, that's right. It's the first day of school. There are a great many arguments these days about education. More specifically, public education; failing schools, the No Child Left Behind Act, and of course those eeevvviiilll school voucher programs. We hear constantly about how much we are, or aren't, spending on education each as a country. And the No Child Left Behind Act is a liberals dream in terms of the spending and "control" it offers. But what the cost to Joe Schmo? What does our "free public education" cost us?

Well, the bad news is I don't really know. I can however tell you what it's costing me. And it ain't pretty. Let's start with the initial source of funding for public schools, taxes. Here in Montgomery County AL, we have a sales tax rate of 10% (ouch). Now let's say for the sake of argument that I spend....say....$15,000 a year on taxable goods/services. It's probably a little more but that's a nice easy number to work with. Now with a tax rate of 10%, with that 15k, I'm also spending 1500/year in sales tax. Now let's set that aside for a moment. Let's go into Alabama's state income tax (oh how I miss Florida!). I pay about $45 every paycheck in state income tax (with claiming 4 dependents), which translates into about $1000/year. Now take into account that I have to buy their school supplies and workbooks, and in some schools parents have to buy their kids school uniforms (yes in public schools), and you start to get a pretty expensive "free education". Then of course to save money they "consolidate" the bus trips, so my kids make stops at 3 other schools on their way to and from school, making for a total one way trip of roughly an hour to an hour and a half. How much were those private schools again?

Most people are under the impression that private schools are only for the rich, costing sometimes in excess of $10k per year. While this is true for the elite schools, the Department of Education shows that average tuition for private elementary schools in America is around $2500/year, and average tuition for all private schools in America is under $3500/year. Still sounds like a lot of money eh? That my friends, is where the school vouchers come in. For most states, government funding for public schools is around $6500 to $7000 per student per year. Imaging if the state took just half of what it would spend on your kid(s) in public school ($3000) and instead of sending to the school that your child would go to, sent it to you as a voucher to send your child to whatever private school you choose. Imagine that, a choice in your child's education. Seems like a simple enough concept, so why isn't it put into practice more often? There are a varying amount of reasons. The leftists' desire for socialism over privatization, teacher's unions screaming foul. Mostly though, IMNSHO, it's because the government simply does not want to give up control over your what your child assimilates in school.

Nazism anyone?

Saturday, August 07, 2004

A Rare Occurrence

It's a rere thing for me to support a democrat over a republican candidate, simply because of the values that I hold. And normally, I am a firm believe in voting for someone, rather than against someone. However, in this case, even though I don't live in Tennesee, I will be rooting for the democrat candidate for State Representative. Go Tanner!!:

Unabashed Racist Wins GOP Primary in Tennessee Wires
Friday, Aug. 6, 2004
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – An unabashed racist will represent the Republican Party in the November election for a congressional seat after a write-in candidate failed to derail his effort.

With 86 percent of the primary vote counted Thursday, write-in candidate Dennis Bertrand had just 1,554 votes compared to 7,671, or 83 percent, for James L. Hart, a believer in the discredited, phony science of eugenics.
Story Continues Below

In November, the GOP candidate will oppose Rep. John Tanner, a Democrat who has represented the northwest Tennessee district for 15 years.
Hart, 60, vows if elected to work toward keeping "less favored races" from reproducing or immigrating to the United States. In campaign literature, Hart contends that "poverty genes" threaten to turn the United States into "one big Detroit."

"I didn't expect to win," Hart said. "I thought their network would beat my ideas."

He has run for the 8th District seat before and drawn little attention. But people began to notice this time because he was the only Republican on the ballot.

Since the deadline for getting on the ballot had passed, Bertrand, also a Republican, began a write-in campaign, saying he wanted to protect the party's honor.

"I think his beliefs are not beliefs of any party that I know of," Bertrand said Thursday night. "I knew it was going to be a really long shot, but in good conscience, I had to at least give it an attempt."

Bertrand, a financial analyst and former military officer, was on active duty with the National Guard when the deadline to get on the primary ballot passed.

Hart said he would have lots of time to campaign for the general election since he was forced Wednesday to resign from his job as a real estate salesman because of the attention he drew during the primary.

"They didn't say 'You're fired' in exactly those words, but it was pretty clear what they wanted," Hart said.

While campaigning, Hart sometimes wears a protective vest and carries a .40-caliber pistol, but he said he had run into no trouble.

"When I knock on a door and say white children deserve the same rights as everybody else, the enthusiastic response is truly amazing," he said.

If a black person opens the door, he says he simply drops off campaign literature and leaves.

© 2004 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

I have no problem attacking one of my own party when his views are this retarded. Treasonous freakin' douch-bag. What a tard. If you live in Tenn., vote for the democrat, Tanner. I know, it kinda sucks. But I'd rather have a lefty than a racist. So should you.

The Political Compass

I've never really been one to label myself. Conservatives, libertarians, objectivists, whatever. All I really know is that I'n not a sissy girly man liberal. But I got to thinking, if I did "label" myself, what would I be, really? So I started nosing around the internet, around other blogs; and finally came across The Zoo. And via the zoo, I was able to link through to this nifty little tool. The Political Compass. It's a series of simple questions designed to get a general idea of your combined view of economics and sociology; otherwise known as politics. It gives you a set of "coordinates" and with those you find where you are on the political graph/compass. It's by no means complete or even very scientific, but none-the-less actually gives a decend idea of what your "label" would be. So go check it out, and if you feel so inclined leave your score and "label" in the comments section. In the interest of full disclosure, I scored way to the right and slightly up. In fact, I was so far to the right, where most of my right thinking colleagues were scoring around a 3-5 on the left/right scale, I scored just over an 8. I was kinda surprised to be alone in that area, with a couple of exceptions; most notably two old friends of mine who have since retired from blogging.

By the way, if you're a blogger, and feel so inclined; you can give Sanor your score and he'll include you in his political compass project.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Call to Arms

Alright, not exactly a call to arms..but this does require your attention...NOW!! Jayme, at Behind Enemy Lines (no, not the movie you retard) has just announced, out of the blue, that he's decided to call it quits. Now, honestly, given Jayme's propensity for smart-allecky humor and the suddenness of this makes me wonder if it isn't a gag. A shameless act of self promotion if you will (not that there' anything wrong with that mind you). However, in case he's serious, I need everyone to go there RIGHT NOW and offer up some encouragement. It really is quite a fine blog, and if you have any doubts, just check out his archives. SO GO NOW!! You click! you help! you do as I say...NOW!!

This Week's WTF?

Holy crap, this guy's life must really suck!! Or at least it does now. Any man who doesn't cringe from reading this needs to have his testosterone levels checked.....

I Knew It, He's Evil

HA!! I always knew Frank was evil, and now I I have proof!! Hah, that Frank thought he was sooo funny, and that Glenn and Hawkins too!! They all thought they were sooo clever. Serves them all right for not blogrolling me. HA!!

Seriously though, Atrios is a tool, isn't he? But none-the-less, I've found him worthy of linkage (down on my list of enemies), so check him out if you've got the stomach.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

The Real John Kerry

One of Kerry's biggest campaign boosts has always been his service in Vietnam. Until now. Of all the men that served with Kerry in Vietnam, only one is now supporting him. In fact, a group of men that served with Kerry, have formed a group known as Swift Vets for Truth, and have a new ad about how they really feel about John Kerry. This, is probably gonna hurt, really, really, bad.

Socialized Health Care

Universal health care has been a political talking point for some time. These days, with the election right around the corner, it's once again heating up. Kerry, and much of the left are proclaiming that socialized medicine is now the only recourse for the current problems with America's health care system. Those on the far left have gone so far as to even call it a crisis. I wasn't going to do much on this honestly, but I was inspired by a conversation with an individual posting at the Christian Conservative,specifically, this post. It started with Mike simply disussing his new bumber sticker (very good BTW), and ended with a slightly heated argument that started here.

There are many problems with socialized healthcare, almost too many to mention. But I'll give it the old college try, just for my loyal readers. Actually, to perfectly honest, I'm gonna let others do the work for me. I'm just lazy like that;-) Let's start with this article from 1994 on healthcare in the former Soviet Union, regarding their "cradle to grave" healthcare system.

Socialized Health-Care Nightmare
Published in The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty - November 1994
by Yuri N. Maltsev and Louise Omdahl

Dr. Maltsev gained his insight as an adviser to the last Soviet government on issues of social policy, including health care, and as a patient in the system. He teaches at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Louise Omdahl, a nursing educator and manager, is actively involved in humanitarian assistance through nursing contacts in Russia and has visited numerous Russian health-care facilities.

In 1918, the Soviet Union’ s universal “cradle-to-grave” health-care coverage, to be accomplished through the complete socialization of medicine, was introduced by the Communist government of Vladimir Lenin. “Right to health” was introduced as one of the “constitutional rights” of Soviet citizens. Other socioeconomic “rights” on the “mass-enticing” socialist menu included the right to vacation, free dental care, housing, and a clean and safe environment. As in other fields, the provision of health care was planned and delivered through a special ministry. The Ministry of Health, through its regional Directorates of Health, would pool and distribute centrally provided resources for delivery of medical and sanitary services to the entire population.

The “official” vision of socialists was clean, clear, and simple: all needed care would be provided on an equal basis to the entire population by the state-owned and state-managed health industry. The entire cost of medical services was socialized through the central budget. The advantages of this system were proclaimed to be that a fully socialized health-care system elimi nates “waste” that stems to “unnecessary duplication and parallelism” (i.e., competition) while providing full coverage of all health-care problems from birth until death.

But as we have learned from our own separate experiences, the Russian health care system is neither modern nor efficient.

In contrast to the impression created by the liberal American media, health-care institutions in Russia were at least fifty years behind the average U.S. level. Moreover, the filth, odors, cats roaming the halls, and absence of soap and cleaning supplies added to an overall impression of hopelessness and frustration which paralyzed the system. The part of Russia’s GNP destined for medical needs is negligible[1] and, according to our estimates; is less than 2.5 percent (compared to 14 percent in the United States, 11 percent in Canada, 8 percent in the U.K., etc.).

Polyclinics and hospitals in big cities have extremely large numbers of beds allotted for patients reflecting typical megalomania of bureaucratic planning. The number of beds in big cities would usually range from 800 to 5,000 beds. Despite the difference in average length of stay, less than one-half were utilized. In the United States hospital stays for surgery are three to seven days; in Russia stays average three weeks. American mothers typically leave the hospital a day or two after giving birth. New mothers in Russia remain for at least a week. It was explained that the length of stay was necessary due to unavailability of follow-up care after hospitalization. A physician was reluctant to discharge a patient before the majority of healing had occurred. In addition, there was no financial incentive for early discharge, as reimbursement was directly related to number of “patient-days,” not the necessity for those days.

Scarce Supplies, Inadequate Personnel

Supplies are painstakingly scarce—surgeries at a major trauma-emergency center in Moscow that we observed had no oxygen supply for an entire floor of operating rooms. Monitoring equipment consisted of a manual blood pressure cuff, no airway, and no central monitoring of the heart rate. Intravenous tubing was in such poor condition that it had clearly been reused many times. The surgeon’s gloves were also reused and were so stretched that they slid partially off during the surgery. Needles for suturing were so dull that it was difficult to penetrate the skin. All of this took place in 95 degree F temperature with unscreened windows open; though the hospital was built less than twenty years ago, there was no air conditioning.

Utilization of medical/nursing personnel was very different from our model. The ratio of nurses to patients in the ordinary hospitals was 1 to 30, compared to 1 to 5 in the United States. Duties of the nurse ranged from housekeeping to following medical orders. When asked for her “best nurse,” a head nurse in Moscow helped a young woman up from scrubbing the floor. Five minutes later she was practicing intravenous insertions with equipment donated by us. Both of these functions were in her “job description,” however unofficial that may be. Nurses are unlicensed and are not considered an independent profession in Russia. As a result, all their duties are delegated, with assessment and most documentation completed by physicians. The education of nurses occurs at an age comparable to the last two to three years of American high school.[2] Nurses are educated by physicians, not other nurses. A separate body of scientific knowledge in nursing does not exist.

The role of a patient advocate, heavily assumed by nurses in the United States was distinctly lacking in Russia. Nurses were subjugated to medical bureaucracy. Patients’ rights and patients’ privacy were all but ignored. There is no legal mechanism to protect patients from malpractice. To our amazement we were asked to photograph freely in patient-care settings without seeking patient consent. Patient education and informed consent were dismissed by the socialized system as an unnecessary increase in time and the cost of care. If the society does not respect individual rights in general, it would not do it in hospitals. The Russian medical oath protects the “good of the people,” not necessarily the “good of the person.”[3]

Apathy and Irresponsibility

Widespread apathy and low quality of work paralyzed the health-care system in the same way as all other sectors of Russian economy. Irresponsibility, expressed by a popular Russian saying (“They pretend they are paying us and we pretend we are working.”) resulted in the appalling quality of the “free” services, widespread corruption, and loss of life. According to official Russian estimates, 78 percent of all AIDS victims in Russia contracted the virus through dirty needles or HIV-tainted blood in the state-run hospitals. To receive minimal attention by doctors and nursing personnel the patient was supposed to pay bribes. Dr. Maltsev witnessed a case when a “non-paying” patient died trying to reach a lavatory at the end of the long corridor after brain surgery. Anesthesia usually would “not be available” for abortions or minor ear, nose, throat, and skin surgeries, and was used as a means of extortion by unscrupulous medical bureaucrats. Being a People’s Deputy in the Moscow region in 1987-89, Dr. Maltsev received many complaints about criminal negligence, bribes taken by medical apparatchiks, drunken ambulance crews, and food poisoning in hospitals and child-care facilities.

Not surprisingly, government bureaucrats and Communist party officials as early as 1921 (two years after Lenin’s socialization of medicine) realized that the egalitarian system of health care is good only for their personal interest as providers, managers, and rationers, but not as private users of the system. So, in all countries with socialized medicine we observe a two-tier system—one for the “gray masses,” and the other, with a completely different level of service for the bureaucrats and their intellectual servants. In the USSR it was often the case that while workers and peasants would be dying in the state hospitals, the medicines and equipment which could save their lives were sitting unused in the nomenklatura system.[4]

A “Privileged Class”?

Western admirers of socialism would praise Russia for its concern with the planned” scientific” approach to childbearing and care of children. “There is only one privileged class in Russia—children,” proclaimed Clementine Churchill on her visit to a showcase Stalinist kindergarten in Moscow in 1947. The real “privileged class”-Stalin’s nomenklatura—were so pleased with the wife of the “chief imperialist” Winston Churchill that they awarded her with an “Order of the Red Banner.” Facts, however, testify to the opposite of Mrs. Churchill’s opinion. The official infant mortality rate in Russia is more than 2.5 times as large as in the United States and more than five times that of Japan. The rate of 24.5 deaths per 1,000 live births was questioned recently by several deputies to the Russian Parliament who claim that it is seven times higher than in the United States. This would make the Russian death rate 55 compared to the U.S. rate of 8.1 percent per 1,000 live births. In the rural regions of Sakha, Kalmykia, and Ingushetia, the infant mortality rate is close to 100 per 1,000 births, putting these regions in the same category as Angola, Chad, and Bangladesh. Tens of thousands of infants fall victim to influenza every year, and the proportion of children dying from pneumonia is on the increase. Rickets, caused by a lack of vitamin D and unknown in the rest of the modern world, is killing many young people.[5] Uterine damage is widespread, thanks to the 7.3 abortions the average Russian woman undergoes during childbearing years.

After seventy years of socialist economizing, 57 percent of all Russian hospitals do not have running hot water, while 36 percent of hospitals located in rural areas of Russia do not have water or sewage. Isn’t it amazing that socialist governments, while developing sophisticated systems of weapons and space exploration would completely ignore basic human needs of their citizens?”It was no secret that on many occasions in the past 70 years, workers’ health had been sacrificed to the needs of the economy—although the cost of treating the resulting diseases had eventually outweighed the supposed gains,”[6] stated Russian State Public Health Inspector E. Belyaev.

Man-made ecological disasters like catastrophes at nuclear power stations near Chelyabinsk and then Chernobyl, the literal liquidation of the Aral Sea, serious contamination of the Volga River, Azov Sea and great Siberian rivers, have made unbearable the quality of life both in the major cities and the countryside. According to Alexei Yablokov, the Minister for Health and Environment of the Russian Federation, 20 percent of the people live in “ecological disaster zones,” and an additional 35-40 percent in “ecologically unfavorable conditions.”[7] As a sad legacy of the socialist experiment, we observe a marked decline in the population of Russia and experts predict a continuation of this trend through the end of the century. From Russian State Statistical Office data, it appears that in 1993 there were 1.4 million births and 2.2 million deaths. Because of inward migration of Russians from the “near abroad”—former “republics” of the Soviet empire, the net fall in population was limited to 500,000. The dramatic rise in mortality and significant decline in fertility is attributed primarily to the appalling quality of health services, and the deteriorating environment. The head of the Department of Human Resources reckons that the fertility index will remain at around 1.5 until the end of the century, whereas an index of 2.11 would be necessary to maintain the present population.[8] But, “the only lesson of history is that it does not teach us anything” says a popular Russian aphorism. Despite the obvious collapse of socialist medicine in Russia, and its bankruptcy everywhere else, it is still alive and growing in the United States. It possesses a mortal danger to freedom, health, and the quality of life for us and generations to come.

Incentives Matter

The chief reason for the dire state of the Russian health-care system is the incentive structure based on the absence of property rights. The current lack of goods and education within health care has caused Russians to look to the United States for assistance and guidance. In 1991 Yeltsin signed into law a Proposal for Insurance Medicine.[9] The intent is to privatize the health- care system in the long run and decentralize medical control. “The private ownership of hospitals and other units is seen as a critical determining factor of the new system of ‘insurance’ medicine.”[10] It is moving to the direction the United States is leaving—less government control over health care. While national licensing and accreditation within health-care professions and institutions are still lacking in Russia, they are needed for self-governance as opposed to central government control.

Decay and the appalling quality of services is characteristic of not only “barbarous” Russia and other Eastern European nations, it is a direct result of the government monopoly on health care. In “civilized” England, for example, the waiting list for surgery is nearly 800,000 out of a population of 55 million. State of the art equipment is non-existent in most British hospitals. In England only 10 percent of the health-care spending is derived from private sources. Britain pioneered in developing kidney dialysis technology, and yet the country has one of the lowest dialysis rates in the world. The Brookings Institution (hardly a supporter of free markets) found 7,000 Britons in need of hip replacement, between 4,000 and 20,000 in need of coronary bypass surgery, and some 10,000 to 15,000 in need of cancer chemotherapy are denied medical attention in Britain each year.[11] Age discrimination is particularly apparent in all government-run or heavily regulated systems of health care. In Russia patients over 60 years are considered worthless parasites and those over 70 years are often denied even elementary forms of the health care. In the U.K., in the treatment of chronic kidney failure, those who were 55 years old were refused treatment at 35 percent of dialysis centers. At age 65, 45 percent at the centers were denied treatment, while patients 75 or older rarely received any medical attention at these centers. In Canada, the population is divided into three age groups—below 45; 45-65; and over 65, in terms of their access to health care. Needless to say, the first group, who could be called the “active taxpayers,” enjoy priority treatment.

Socialized medicine creates massive government bureaucracies, imposes costly job-destroying mandates on employers to provide the coverage, imposes price-controls which will inevitably lead to shortages and poor quality of service. It could lead to non-price rationing (i.e., based on political considerations, corruption, and nepotism) of health care by government bureaucrats. Socialized medical systems have not served to raise general health or living standards anywhere. There is no analytical reason or empirical evidence that would lead us to expect it to do so. And in fact both analytical reasoning and empirical evidence point to the opposite conclusion. But the failure of socialized medicine to raise health and longevity has not affected its appeal for politicians, administrators, and intellectuals, that is, for actual or potential seekers of power.

Got a headache yet? Well, pop you some aspirin, cuz there's more. Want some commentary a little more current? Go to the town hall and see what Walter E. Williams says about it. If you don't want to read the whole thing, here's a short paraphrase that pretty much sums it all up:

Some patients avoided long waits for medical services by paying for private treatment. In 2003, the government of British Columbia enacted Bill 82, an "Amendment to Strengthen Legislation and Protect Patients." On its face, Bill 82 is to "protect patients from inadvertent billing errors." That's on its face. But according to a January 2004 article written by Nadeem Esmail for the Fraser Institute's Forum and titled "Oh to Be a Prisoner," Bill 82 would disallow anyone from paying the clinical fees for private surgery, where previously only the patients themselves were forbidden from doing so. The bill also gives the government the power to levy fines of up to $20,000 on physicians who accept these fees or allow such a practice to occur. That means it is now against Canadian law to opt out of the Canadian health-care system and pay for your own surgery.

But for a more complete look at the matter, go over to Angel Fire and take a look around the links posted up. There you can find links to healthcare statistics in Canada, Great Britian, and other European countries. Among the main talking points:

1) Destroys patient incentives to find the best possible prices for the best possible services/products available.
I have worked in the healthcare field for the past ten years and I see a majority of patients who currently receive "free" (read: taxpayer-funded) healthcare continually seek care for the most minor afflictions. Why wouldn't they? It's "free" to them so they visit the doctor's office several times a month. "Free" prescriptions for over-the-counter medication such as Tylenol are very common. Patients who refuse to wait for an appointment make their way to the ER for things such as headaches and aches.

The current U.S. half socialism/half free-market healthcare system also decreases incentives to "shop around" for people who are not receiving direct taxpayer-funded care. If you are paying a set amount per month and your copay is ten dollars per office visit no matter where you go, why bother to look for a better price? Government imposed wage controls during the 1940's carry a large part of the blame for this current state of affairs. Unable to offer competitive salaries, companies started to offer healthcare benefits as a way to lure prospective employees into jobs.

2) Destroys physician incentives to provide competitive care and destroys drug companies' incentives to provide new drugs and treatments.
With no competition and with a constant assurance of taxpayer money, providers and companies become unresponsive to peoples' needs and wants. Think of the U.S. Post Office or the U.S. Department of Transportation.

3) Steals from your wallet to pay for my health care.
Yes, you do have a right to healthcare, just as you have a right to food, shelter and property. However, you have no "right" to force others to provide these things for you - All "free" medical care is paid for through taxes stolen from other people. I know of one seemingly healthy individual who went to his physician's office 51 times in 26 months. He receives "free" health care from the State, so his trips did not cost him a dime. Who pays for his medications? Who pays for the physicians', nurses' and office staff wages during his visits?

4) The quality of "free" health care will deteriorate and the average citizen will get sicker.
As the poor and middle-class wait in agony for simple procedures, those with resources can travel to other countries for treatment. But hey, your moral arrogance and justification of coercion makes you feel good, doesn't it?

5) Destroys your privacy.
Suddenly your problems are mine and mine are yours. If you are eating unhealthy foods or go skydiving, I have a direct interest in your business - you are going to see a doctor on my paycheck. Your neighbors might support government bans on smoking, "unsafe" sex or other "risky" behaviors to reduce costs.

6) Destroys your liberty.
When you blindly support a system that gives politicians and bureaucrats the power to force others to follow a plan, those politicians and bureaucrats will receive their orders from those with the most money - and you can guarantee this will not be you, your friends or your family. The power of government will be used against you as you are forced to use medicines or accept treatments from well-connected health care companies.

A quick search shows that the pharmaceutical companies gave $29,370,351 to political campaigns in 2002. Who do you think has the ear of those elected politicians? You?

On the other hand, if government power is eliminated (e.g., abolish the FDA - whose restrictions benefit the most powerful companies by eliminating most competition), those same companies would have to use their funds and resources to sell their drugs to the most people in the least expensive, most reliable and safest way. They would need to outperform their competitors to get your money - otherwise they lose business.

Myself, I could go on and on about how bad a "universal healthcare" system would be, but the information above pretty much covers it. Not to mention everything I've posted should keep you all busy for the better part of an afternoon.

So Ellbur, if you happen to come over and read this, this one's for you sir. As always, enjoy and live free!

Our Friends at the ACLU

If anyone loves a good fisking, Heaven knows it's me. And if anyone deserves to a good fisking, it's the ACLU. And Heather Mac Donald, from National Review Online, does a nice job of putting those terrorist loving jack-a$$es in their place.

Unreality Activists
For the ACLU, Bush and Ashcroft have created a climate of fear, not terrorists.

By Heather Mac Donald

It's official: The Left doesn't believe that Islamic terrorism exists. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, terror watch lists are nothing more than the product of John Ashcroft's paranoid imagination, and should play no more role in government policy than a compendium of his favorite anthems.

The ACLU's dismissal of terror information is just the latest manifestation of the Left's blindness to national-security reality. The only remaining question is why such posturers continue to influence national defense.

The ACLU's diatribe against terrorist watch lists comes as it is caught out in rank hypocrisy and deceit. This self-described fighter for freedom has been misappropriating hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in federal money, contributed by federal employees through a philanthropic payroll-deduction program. To participate in the program, a charity must certify that it does not employ or fund suspected terrorists included on government watch lists. (The necessity for this precaution was demonstrated just last week by the arrests of executives from the Holy Land Foundation, a Virginia-based Muslim charity, for funneling $12 million in charitable donations to Hamas killers.)

The ACLU eagerly signed the pledge (we will leave aside the ludicrous designation of the ACLU as a "charity") and opened up the federal money spigot. But it turns out that it had its fingers crossed behind its back. In the view of committed civil libertarians, you see, a terror watch list is nothing more than government totalitarianism in disguise. But doesn't it contain extremely dangerous people, you ask? We don't know and don't care, reply the civil libertarians. And so upon learning of the ACLU's promise not to fund terrorists, several board members accused it of "McCarthyism," tantamount to accusing George W. Bush of multilateralism.

Gee, ya think? There's more (lot more) to this article. Go check it out. It's a long read, but worth the time, I promise.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Today's Funny: blah, blah, blah

The Funny for Today once again comes to you via the Christian Conservative blog. The audible is a little scratchy, but it's still creative and well done; so once again-click, watch, laugh.

Usual disclaimer does apply.

Turner's Beef with Big Media

So old Ted Turner is getting on his soapbox complaining about big media.

My Beef With Big Media
How government protects big media--and shuts out upstarts like me.

By Ted Turner

In the late 1960s, when Turner Communications was a business of billboards and radio stations and I was spending much of my energy ocean racing, a UHF-TV station came up for sale in Atlanta. It was losing $50,000 a month and its programs were viewed by fewer than 5 percent of the market.
I acquired it.

When I moved to buy a second station in Charlotte--this one worse than the first--my accountant quit in protest, and the company's board vetoed the deal. So I mortgaged my house and bought it myself. The Atlanta purchase turned into the Superstation; the Charlotte purchase--when I sold it 10 years later--gave me the capital to launch CNN.

Both purchases played a role in revolutionizing television. Both required a streak of independence and a taste for risk. And neither could happen today. In the current climate of consolidation, independent broadcasters simply don't survive for long. That's why we haven't seen a new generation of people like me or even Rupert Murdoch--independent television upstarts who challenge the big boys and force the whole industry to compete and change.

Got news for ya ole' Teddy, YOU ARE BIG MEDIA. Freakin' tool.

Go read the rest, if you can do so without your eyes gushing blood.


It's about time someone had a pair big enough to seriously propose something like this. Not only would you eliminate the problem of 5% of the population paying 90% of the taxes, you would essentially eliminate any chance of anyone committing tax evasion. This would in turn generate MORE income towards the govt (an unfortunate side effect, but hopefully it would be put towards defense) and would quickly eliminate any so called "deficit". Major kudos to Denny Hastert and those rallying around him for this cause.

Call to Arms

My friends, The Chief is once again in need of reinforcements. Click, read, help.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

The Stuff of Heroes

John has an excellent post on the nature of heroes. He uses this story as an example:

LEADERSHIP: Medal of Honor Awarded for Iraq Action
October 23, 2003: In today's world, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that one man can make a difference. Paul Ray Smith is on the way to becoming the first serviceman to receive the Medal of Honor since MSG Gary Gordon and SFC Randall Shughart fought their last battle in Mogadishu on October 3, 1993.

During Operation Iraqi Freedom, SFC (Sergeant First Class) Smith was a platoon sergeant/acting platoon leader in the 1st Brigade's B Company, 11th Engineer Battalion attached to the 2-7 Task Force. Bravo Company was in contact with Saddam's forces nearly every day during the second phase of the campaign. After a pause below As Samawah and Karbala, the drive on Baghdad from the south carried the 2-7th into Saddam International Airport.

On the morning of April 4, the Task Force was inside of the airport and several enemy soldiers had been captured, so a containment pen had be to quickly built. There was a wall 10 ft tall paralleling the north side of the highway, on the battalion's flank just behind the front lines. Smith (whose callsign was 'Sapper 7') decided to punch a hole in it, so that the inside walls would form two sides of a triangular enclosure and the open third side could be closed off with rolls of concertina wire.

Smith used an armored combat earthmover to punch through the wall and, while wire was being laid across the corner, one of the squad's two M113s moved toward a gate on the far side of the courtyard. The driver pushed open the gate to open a field of fire, revealing between 50 and 100 enemy soldiers massed to attack. The only way out was the hole the engineers had put in the wall and the gate where the hardcore Iraqis were firing.

What happened next was equal to Audie Murphy's legendary World War II heroism. Iraqi soldiers perched in trees and a nearby tower let loose with a barrage of RPGs and there were snipers on the roof. A mortar round hit the engineers' M-113, seriously wounding three soldiers inside. Smith helped evacuate them to an aid station, which was threatened by the attack as well.

Smith promptly organized the engineers' defense, since the only thing that stood between the Iraqis and the Task Force's headquarters were about 15 to 20 engineers, mortarmen and medics. A second M113 was hit by an RPG, but was still operational. Dozens of Iraqi soldiers were charging from the gate or scaling a section of the wall, jumping into the courtyard.

Smith took over the second APC's .50-caliber machine gun and got the vehicle into a position where he could stop the Iraqis. First Sergeant Tim Campbell realized that they had to knock out the Iraqi position in the tower and after consulting with Smith, led two soldiers to take the tower. Armed only with a light machine-gun, a rifle and a pistol with one magazine, the trio advanced behind the smoke of tall grass that had caught fire from exploding ammunition.

Smith yelled for more ammunition three times during the fight, going through 400 rounds before he was hit in the head. Shortly before taking the tower and gunning down the Iraqis inside, Campbell noticed that the sound of Smith's .50-caliber had also stopped. Campbell figured Smith was just reloading again.

The medics worked on SFC Smith for 30 minutes, but he was dead.

According to the citation, his actions killed 20 to 50 Iraqis, allowing the American wounded to be evacuated, saving the aid station and headquarters (as well as possibly 100 American lives). Fellow soldiers credit Smith with thwarting the advance of well-trained, well-equipped soldiers from the Special Republican Guard, which was headed straight for the 2-7 Task Force's headquarters (Tactical Operations Center), less than a half-mile away. The battle captains, commanders and journalists huddled at the operations center were trying to protect themselves against tank fire and snipers in the nearby woods They had no idea about the possible onslaught of Republican Guard from the nearby complex.

Smith, a veteran of the 1991 Persian Gulf War, was a 33 year old from Tampa, Florida. He left behind a wife, a son and a daughter.

Like what you see so far? Thought so. Now, right now, go over to the Castle and read the rest of his most excellent post.