Friday, November 30, 2007

Who says that we are fat?

The Times reports that the rate of growth in obesity in America seems to have peaked. Apparently the rate of obesity had been accelerating over the last 25 years.

So, why bring it up, since I seem to be attracted to gravity at an increasing rate every year? Think about the last 25 years and diet recommendations. We have spent a significant portion of our GDP on diet aids, weight loss gimmicks, gyms, personal trainers, etc. but have nothing to show for it.

My thinking on the matter is that our weight problems accelerated from the 1970s when lawyers who were staffers for Sen. McGovern originally designed the food pyramid. Some may remember it as the pyramid which divided up the various food groups in a size relation to what you were supposed to eat. Notice that it was done by lawyers. I am sure that it is perfectly logical, but it doesn't seem to have done a darned thing but increase the rate of weight gain.

This is symptomatic of so many things that the government does. War on Drugs? It really isn't that hard to find whatever drug you wanted. War on poverty? Still haven't changed the numbers that much. In fact, the only thing that I can think that the government has done well is the Rural Electrification Act. But measure the successes of the government versus doing it completely balls ass backward, and tell me why anyone thinks that it would be a good idea for them to run health care.

Our Future Leaders Speak

And it ought to scare the heck out of you. In a particularly poorly reasoned opinion piece, the editorial staff of the Harvard Crimson have called for a repeal of the 2nd Amendment, (The right to keep and bear arms). Well, using their reasoning, since more Americans die of heart disease than are murdered by hand guns, why don't we repeal the right to be free from unreasonable intrusion of our homes, papers and effects, so that the health police can bust in the door - "Drop that cigarette Buster, or I'll blow your f'ing head off!"
Maybe we should all just open our homes for inspection by the government. After all, it's just for our own good.

Me, I figure the Constitution means what it says. When the health police come to my house, I plan to reintroduce them to the 2nd Amendment.

What is Tester doing?

Western Word has a post about our junior Senator's "fact finding mission" to Iraq. The Missoulian article included a statement from a Montana soldier that if we were to leave in a hurry “the country would collapse.”
Undeterred from his day long in depth research, Sen. Tester is still pushing for a pull out. The question is why? He says that the Iraqis are using US forces as a "crutch" and that he wants to pull that crutch away from a fledgling democracy. So much for compassion.
But let's face it, he hasn't changed his mind since he was elected, in spite of the change on the ground as a result of the "surge." This is all being driven by his MoveOn masters who do not want facts to interfere with making Bush look bad.
Luckily, there are enough responsible people in the Senate who will prevent a precipitous withdrawal ala Tester/MoveOn want which would invalidate the sacrifices already made.
We get the government that we deserve, damnit.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Kerry Has Answered!!

Previously, I had mentioned that T. Boone Pickens had offered $1 million to anyone who could prove any part of the SwiftBoat Vets for Truth ads as being false. Well, lo and Behold! The less than distinguished junior Senator from Mass. has responded with where he wants the reward money to be deposited.

Just one little problem though. He hasn't shown where any of the accusations are false.

Now, this either the height of chutzpa, or he is absolutely delusional, and really does believe his fabrications. Couple this with his pronouncement that he was going to fully and completely release his military records, which he has not done, and you really have to wonder about the candidate the Democrats picked for 2004.

Let this be a lesson for both parties: Don't hold your nose and pick the person you think is "Electable." Go with your own honest gut feelings and pick the candidate you want, not the one that you think the general population will want. You will be happier win or lose. As it is, can you imagine a President Kerry right now? My bet is that he would be announcing that Teresa has decided that he would not run for re-election.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

How to find your candidate

I never would have thought that I would be matched up with Romney. Take the test for yourself.


I have pulled this poll because it seems to be overly representing Mitt, and alternatively Kucinich, which makes me think that it is a manipulated poll.

I apologize, but that is the beauty of the Internet isn't it? Put something out there and quickly find out that you were wrong.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Krugman is an Idiot Pt. Oh, Hell, does it really matter?

James Taranto of Best of the Web is amazing in his ability to help Krugman look like a fool. Or maybe Krugman is amazing in his ability to look like a fool. Not sure.
But scroll down to Krugman's Excuse, and you will have many a moment of glee at the expense of the Former Enron Advisor. But my favorite line: We think Groucho Marx's version is more fitting: "Those are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others."
And they are all for sale at a reasonable price, say, Secretary of the Treasury in a Democratic administration?

The Viceroy has Moved

Please reset your pointers for the Viceroy's Fuguestate. I have been too busy to check on him regularly this week, and missed it until now. He is both amusing and entertaining. Although, to the Sinestra I would advise avoiding him, since he may make your head explode, and I do not want that responsibility.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Further Evidence

That John Kerry is an idiot. T. Boone Pickens offered up $1 Million if Kerry is able to prove any of the SwiftBoat Veterans for Truth allegations wrong. Kerry says that he accepts the challenge and is looking forward to proving them wrong. Of course, this is the same guy who said that he would release all of his service records, and still hasn't done so.
At the article linked above, the best line has to be:
Senator Kerry, prove them wrong. I dare you. I don’t have a million dollars to pay you but your honor, if you have any left, ought to be worth that.
If he had any honor that is. The fact that he has to be enticed with a monetary reward says more than anything else about his character, or lack thereof.
The Democrats have been using Swiftboating as a verb to allege false accusations. Maybe they ought to rethink that.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Football Playoff Season

Blogging has been light lately, partly due to the lack of interest in anything, but mostly due to the Griz being in the playoffs again after beating the Cats last weekend. We in Montana are really lucky to have such a quality program that is the envy of the nation. The team is doing really well, especially late in the season, and they could have a fantastic run through the playoffs.
Football can be enjoyed on many levels. My wife (the Good Democrat) first started going with me to the games about 6 years ago. Initially, she was only interested in the tailgating and the cheerleaders, but she is now totally into the game. That is because you have 22 different people (plus 7 refs) who are interacting in a dynamic environment, where if any one of them fails to execute, the result could be a disaster.
I had a German girlfriend years ago who thought that soccer was much more exciting than football, because the ball was always in motion. But there really only two guys playing soccer at any time: The guy with the ball, and the guy who is trying to take the ball away, or waiting for a pass. With American football, you have misdirection, coupled with speed and brute force. It's wonderful.
If you are in Missoula this weekend, come get a ticket and go to the game. It is an experience that you will never forget, and make you want to be involved for the rest of your life.
If you want, you can check out some of the message boards, which seem so much more interesting than politics at the moment. There is e-griz and Any Given Saturday that I spend most of my time on. You might enjoy them as well.

See you at the game.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Some Advice From a Public Defender

I have only been a full time public defender for less than a year and a half. But the link that Instapundit posted to a Bay Area PD is just too funny because it's so true.
Some of my favorite lines:
You have the right to remain silent. So SHUT THE FUCK UP. Those cops are completely serious when they say your statements can and will be used against you. There’s just no need to babble on like it’s a drink and dial session. They are just pretending to like you and be interested in you., and I’m a lawyer, not your fairy godmother. I probably won’t find a loophole or technicality for you, so don’t be pissed off. I didn’t beat up your girlfriend, steal that car, rob that liquor store, sell that crystal meth, or rape that 13 year old. By the time we meet, much of your fate has been sealed, so don’t be too surprised by your limited options and that I’m the one telling you about them.

The two types of clients that are the biggest pains are the "virgins" those who have never been arrested before, and intend to rely on the defense that they are really a good person, so they shouldn't be prosecuted, and those who I have been able to beat the charges for two or three times, and they still keep getting arrested. But they are all interesting nonetheless.
I made a promise to myself that I would always treat my PD clients in the same way that I treated my paying clients, and I think that I have kept it for the most part. Except for those one or two that I absolutely loathe and can't fire like I did in private practice. But I like to think that I am professional enough to represent their legal interests to the best of my ability, even if I do hate them.
But for the majority of my clients, I sympathize that there but for the Grace of God go I. That they are confused, scared, and at the mercy of a very well funded and powerful institution that really doesn't care about them as a person, but simply see them as "the Defendant."
There is a poster at the office which says (if I can remember it correctly): As Public Defenders, we are forced to deal with some of the most vile, disgusting, immoral people in the world, who will lie, cheat and steal to get what they want. It is our sworn duty to protect our clients from those people.

God, I love my job.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Democrats Inability to Win

The Democrats in Washington are an amazing group. Their myopia of anything other than what MoveOn and George Soros tells them, prevents them from dealing with reality, much less being able to take advantage of it. At the present time, remarkable progress is being made in Iraq. The Anbar Awakening is being followed by still more tribes recognizing that the fastest way to get the Americans out is to quit trying to kill them. Not to mention all of the free money that is being handed out to the tribal sheiks, not directly to buy their support, even if that is the real result. Since tribal government has such a large impact on life there, that is really the source of the solutions of the political problems, not the Green Zone Government.
The best strategy for the Democrats would be to continue the operations as they are. Think about it. Since progress is being made on the ground, they could take advantage of it by claiming credit. On the other hand, if they actually try to cut off funding and everything goes to hell, like some claim they will be given the blame.
Every place you go you hear about no progress being made in Iraq," said Senate Democratic majority leader Harry Reid.
Maybe Harry needs to go to some other places.
But the reality is, that success in Iraq is not going to be a positive for the Republicans. People are tired of the war. With out short attention span, not to mention the reportage which focuses on failure and ignores success, Americans are ready to wash their hands of it. Even as we are making significant progress.
The bottom line is that we are doing the right thing, and for the right reasons. Who gets the credit or the blame matters little to me. What matters is that the first steps to changing the dysfunctional Middle East are happening. And that is a very good thing.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Good Read

The New York Times does a really good piece on the last surviving American veteran of WWI. I'm not sure that I would ever want to be in his shoes. I can still find people who have been places that I have been, and done things that I did. I can talk to them in a way that I can't talk to someone who didn't do those things.
It must be lonely being the last, but I am sure that he will be answering roll call with his fellow soldiers soon. And that is not a bad thing.

Jay Stevens gets it Wrong and Wronger

At Left in the West, Jay Stevens examines the roots of terrorism. Now, I have to give him credit that he acknowledges that poverty is not the root of terrorism, as he had previously thought. But then, in a stunning display of muddle headed thinking, he goes on to proclaim that the root of terrorism is our occupation of Iraq. Excuse me? If we didn't invade Iraq until 2003, how were the terrorists so prescient that they attacked us on 9-11, the USS Cole, the African Embassy bombings, and Khobar towers before we invaded? Could it be that Jay is trying to shoehorn the root cause of terrorism into his preconceived notions?
Jay cites to Alan Kruger who has this special observation:
One set of factors that I examined did consis­tently raise the likelihood that people from a given country will participate in terrorism-namely, the suppression of civil liberties and political rights, including freedom of the press, the freedom to assemble, and democratic rights. Using data from the Freedom House Index, for example, I found that countries with low levels of civil liberties are more likely to be the countries of origin of the perpetra­tors of terrorist attacks. In addition, terrorists tend to attack nearby targets. Even international terror­ism tends to be motivated by local concerns.

So, this explains the rapid rise in homegrown Islamic terrorists in that repressive, civil rights violating, lack of freedom country of Great Britain? Don't suppose that there might be another answer do you?
Well, in the spirit of Jay, here is as good a half baked answer as any of his: Terrorism, especially of the Islamic version, is the direct result of high self esteem accompanied by low rates of real achievement. If your entire region published less books than Greece, and you haven't had any scientific development since the end of the 12th Century, you know that it just has to be the result of Satanic forces, since Allah loves Moslems. It must be Allah's will that they should be ruling the world, not apostates or infidels. And anything that prevents their ruling the world is in opposition to Allah, and therefore legitimate to exterminate.
I have been toying with the thought for awhile, that about 1200 years after a religion is founded, it goes crazy. Think of the Spanish Inquisition, and look at Islam today after the same amount of time. As a Christian, there is nothing to be proud of what was done in our religions name.
I can only hope that Moslems will feel the same way about their excesses, and hope that they don't take as long as we did.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

An Iraqi Complaint

This is my favorite part:
I know those who are wedded to the idea of a failed Iraq are calling me a deluded idiot and worse. But things are improving slowly. My relatives in Baghdad say there's no comparison; things are much better than they were six months ago. They can visit friends in different areas and walk about the neighbourhood in the evening.

Frankly, I don't understand why so many mock us for wanting a future for Iraq. Is your hatred for George Bush so great that you prefer to see millions of civilians suffer just to prove him wrong?

It really comes down to this: you are determined to see Iraq become a permanent hellhole because you hate Bush. And we are determined to see Iraq become a success, because we want to live.

Read the whole thing.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Why I Like Fred Thompson

The Daily Telegraph has a piece out today which shows that Fred Thompson does not have the fire in his belly of the other candidates for the highest office in the land. I admire that. Why don't we have people who are less than enthusiastic about wanting to take on the responsibilities of being the leader of the Free World. As Thomas Jefferson once said: "Any man who would actively seek political office is not worthy of it." And this from a man who desperately wanted to be President.
Another hit on Thompson is that he is lazy. Fine with me, hyper energetic lawmakers are more of a problem than a blessing. As Count von Moltke, the guy credited with developing the Prussian General Staff used to do, dividing up people into four different areas of abilities can reveal a lot, and make it easier to pick the best person for the job.
Moltke used Hard Working/Lazy, and Stupid/Smart as his categories. Naturally, the Hard Working Smart guys were put into position as the Chief of Staff of each of their units. Interestingly, the Smart but Lazy ones usually became the commanders of those units. The reason according to Moltke, was that they would always make the best decisions with the least amount of effort, and could rely on their Smart and Hard Working Chief of Staffs to solve all of the problems.
Stupid and Lazy was not necessarily a bad thing, since they were not likely to do anything, good or bad. Which of course leaves us with Stupid and Hard Working. These are the people who energetically endeavor to screw things up. Think Jimmy Carter. Sure Jimmy had to be smart to pass through the Navy's nuclear engineering school, but that doesn't mean that he knew what he was doing as President. Remember, this is the President who personally managed who got to use the White House tennis courts, but couldn't figure out what to do when US sovereign territory was attacked.

That's why I am going with the guy who probably doesn't want the job. He is my kind of politician.

Monday, November 05, 2007

You Can't Make this Stuff Up.

Okay, Krugman can, but this is too funny to pass by. As Taranto notes in the Best of the Web:

Where Credit Is Due
Further evidence of Philip Klein's observation that the Angry Left really, really hates Rudy Giuliani: Former Enron adviser Paul Krugman devoted his column last Friday to attacking the former New York mayor. Claims Krugman:

Mr. Giuliani has a habit of saying things, on issues that range from health care to national security, that are demonstrably untrue.

Hmm, where have we heard that before? Oh yeah, it was from the New York Times's then-ombudsman, Daniel Okrent:

Paul Krugman has the disturbing habit of shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers in a fashion that pleases his acolytes but leaves him open to substantive assaults.

OK, it's not word-for-word identical, but the idea is pretty much the same. Krugman really should have credited his source.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Rest of the World is Going to Hate Us Even More

The Volokh Conspiracy has a post about Fred Thompson rejecting the UN determination that there is no right to self defense.
I am sure that the many cowboys in this country are just going to ignore our betters in the United Nations, and continue their otherwise uncivilized ways by refusing to die quietly when asked to.

Mike the Machine

Mike at The Last Best Place has another edition of Look Right up, and I thank him for including me.
I haven't been really inspired of late, mostly because the muse tends to move me better when there is something amusing, ironic or just plain stupid. But Mike is able to compile a review of all of the Dextrasphere into a quick and easy tool to review anything that you might have missed.

Good On Ya Mike.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

On Racism in Montana

I have been thinking about racism for quite a while. I suppose it was inspired by the Missoula YWCA ad on racism. The guy starts out by saying "I lived my whole life in Montana. Growing up I remember hanging out with the Native American kids in my schools and neighborhoods. I miss those friendships. Am I missing out on others?" Maybe you have heard the commercial. If I remember right, that ad won some sort of award.
But if you think about it, isn't the ad racist? Imagine you go to a party where some guy introduces you to a Native American and says: This is Joe, he is my Native American friend, and because of him, my life is complete. No mention of what Joe thinks of this pretentious asshole. Having a friend of a different race solely for filling your own need is not progressive or thoughtful. It is blatantly racist in that you only seem to have sought him out as a friend because of his race.
Racism is traditionally thought of as putting someone down because of their ethnicity. But it is just as racist to raise them up based on nothing but their ethnicity.
Within the Politically Correct world, it sometimes rears its ugly head when it determines that all whites regardless of their class or status are racists. Now, I ask you, isn't that racist? Blaming an entire group based solely on their skin color would seem to be the very epitome of racism. But these accusations are coming from some of our centers of advanced learning. How smart are they really?
Most of the time, living in our lily white world here in Montana, we don't see many overt displays of racism. But every once in a while, you see something that you just can't believe that someone said.
Down in the comments, we have this exchange:
# Mark T Says:
October 31st, 2007 at 5:42 pm

Sorry Mike - haven’t really been paying attention to your alter-homeland lately. But I do know, as you do, as we all do, that anyone who criticizes Israel is either demented or self-hating. I don’t know where HRW fits on that continuum.

Other than that, your comment is laced with deep anger. Reminds me of me after a Forest Service meeting. Anyway, I do trust that Matt and the boys are appreciating their prize and attempting to overthrow capitalism and make everyone use fluorescent light bulbs. They’re tools.

# Mike Says:
October 31st, 2007 at 8:38 pm

My “alter-homeland?” Playing the dual-loyalty card or just referencing my ability to live somewhere outside the US for a few weeks a year? If my name were Jabeiri and I went to Mecca a few weeks every year would that be my “alter-homeland” also? Just askin’.

But I do know, as you do, as we all do, that anyone who criticizes Israel is either demented or self-hating.

Do we? There must be something in the water in Bozeman providing at least two of you with the divine ability to “know” what others are thinking. Kind of makes the blogging thing superfluous, no? Drink a bottle of Bozeman-Juice and just stay at home projecting your swine-fucking fetish onto others.
I believe that Mark is a reasonable person, and since the comments were originally started toward the question of whether or not Forward Montana should reveal their finances, I have to think that Mark was either very tired, or under the influence of something that wasn't making him think clearly. I mention this comment only because it had nothing to do with the original train of thought that started the post.
But Mark's comments are not that far out of the mainstream. Fifty years ago, it was the Blueblood Country Club Republicans who didn't want Jews to sully their existence. This seems to have been turned around today by the Progressive movement, who now believe like the Mullahs in Iran, that Israel is the "Little Satan." How many protests have we seen of Israel that have ANSWER wearing Palestinian badges and holding their flags aloft while they protest against "Israeli aggression?" If Al-Qaeda in Lebanon continuously shells civilian villages, or raids a home killing all but a mother and her baby, who the mother smothers, in order to keep it from crying and revealing their location to the terrorists, why no protests?
How about the 250,000 to 1 million dead Iraqis, (depending on who is counting) since we invaded Iraq? How do we square that with the fact that Saddam killed 3 million of his countrymen? Or why no protests when Al-Qaeda in Iraq murders whole families or blows up markets which have no military value at all? My theory is that in current progressive thinking, people of color are not to be held to the same standards of decency that we hold people of pallor.
And that kids, is racism.