Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Fred is Out

It's official. Read it and weep.

"Rise child, a great man is passing by."

Monday, January 21, 2008

Why there will never be a Clinton/Obama ticket

The Most Powerful Law in the Universe

The New York Times has an interesting article about the unintended consequences of otherwise desirable laws. The authors show how the Americans with Disability Act and the Endangered Species Act created a reaction that totally nullifies their respective intended results.
Primarily, these adverse effects come about to prove the ingenuity of the human mind. Like the tax code, it is a stimulus to become creative. And meanwhile, the proponents of the legislation are left scratching their heads.
From the article:
So does this mean that every law designed to help endangered animals, poor people and the disabled is bound to fail? Of course not. But with a government that is regularly begged for relief — these days, from mortgage woes, health-care costs and tax burdens — and with every presidential hopeful making daily promises to address these woes, it might be worth encouraging the winning candidate to think twice (or even 8 or 10 times) before rushing off to do good. Because if there is any law more powerful than the ones constructed in a place like Washington, it is the law of unintended consequences.
Have you ever noticed that the ones who propose laws or regulations are never as creative as those who find a way around them? I am reminded of this effect whenever anyone starts talking about using the government to solve the health insurance "Crisis."
I blame it on the impetuosity of youth that actually thinks that government regulation can always make a difference. Luckily, they almost always grow up, unless they stay Democrats.

Sometimes, You Just Have to Laugh

I think that I know where Mark Tokarski gets his fabulist notions about the supposed suppression of voters. The funny thing is, that it isn't mentioned at all when the Democrats do it to each other. One of the best lines is at the end:
Either voter suppression is real, threatens democracy, and ought to be investigated at every turn, or it is just a made up issue that progressives whine about whenever it suits them politically. At least now we know what TPM really believes.

Fun Little Game

I had earlier posted my feelings about how the Left views soldiers. In the comments, Mark T. and Krim used examples of news stories that reinforced my point of the soldier as victim being their main meme. Whether the Nation's article on 50 soldiers, or the idea that soldiers are either dupes of Bushitler, Cheney Haliburton, uniformed torturers, sadistic guards at Abu Ghraib or modern day Nazis, who are "Chust Following Orders."
So here is the game: Find a story that details the bravery of soldiers in Iraq, or one that shows their humanity and benevolence in the generally accepted Main Stream Media. But, you can't use Mudville Gazette or any of the other Milbloggers.
The absence of such stories in the general media implies one of two things. Either they never happen, or they are being ignored. Why would anyone want to ignore stories of heroism and bravery? Because if the soldiers are victims, they can't be brave can they?
And if you are going to keep the soldiers as victims, in order to feel good about your own lack of service, you don't want any contradicting information.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Small Victory for Justice

You may remember Dave's Biggest Asshole of the Year Award, the lawyer who keyed a Marine's car because it had Marine license plates. The lawyer, a self described "Radical Liberal" got lucky, and through a plea bargain, knocked it down from a felony to a misdemeanor.
The sentence would have been appropriate except for one thing: He's a lawyer for Pete's sake. He is supposed to uphold the law, not ignore it. Now there may be differing interpretations of the law, but I see no way to construe his act of vandalism as anything but childish, petty and self absorbed. Because he is given certain authority over others, i.e. the right to subpoena, to depose under oath, he has a greater responsibility than normal people.
Atticus Finch would not be proud.

Is Fred Done?

Mike at the Last Best Place thinks that it is time for Thompson to gracefully exit from the Presidential race after his third place showing in South Carolina. He has some very good points, such as:
Can we perhaps now all agree to give up on the illusion of a viable Fred Thompson candidacy? Yes, he gives a great speech and under other circumstances, at a different time in history, probably would have made one hell of a president. However, that time is now past.
So, be content and comforted with the fact that Fred Thompson has more class on a bad day than Edwards will ever possess, and will withdraw from the race sooner rather than later with his dignity intact. Small comfort for some, no doubt, but at least he'll exit in a gallant manner...which is more than we can say for some.

Nooooo! I still believe. Okay, I might be aware that it isn't going to happen, but I see very little that would inspire me the same way in the candidates who remain.
Huckabee? The man who wants to change the Constitution to conform with God's word, at least as interpreted by Baptist preachers? Aren't these the same Baptists who don't have sex standing up because they don't want anyone to think that they are dancing?
Romney? The very definition of plastic. Malleable in all circumstances, fixed in none.
McCain? Two words: McCain-Feingold.
The range of virtues of the current field stretches from A to B, and not much in between either. The only thing that will save the Republicans will be the Great Uniter: Hillary.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Holding Their Manhood Cheap

Ralph Peters eviscerates the New York Times report showing that all the returning vets are psychopathic murderers. Carol noticed this type of reporting, with the Independent's article on why anyone would join the military during an unpopular war.
This recurring theme was curious to me, but I think I may have finally come onto an explanation: The Left hates soldiers because they represent all that they are not. Is a soldier an innocent dupe, or an economic refugee? If you look at them that way, you can feel better about your own lack of service, because you are too smart, and you have a job that means that you don't have to enlist.
But the problem for the Left is if they actually encounter a real soldier, that is, not one as portrayed in the movies, they don't fit their nice, neat preconceived notions. The real soldiers are more likely to stand up straight, and look you in the eye. They are inherently polite, while at the same time exhibiting a certain disdain for those who are not one of them. Sure, they are a little rough around the edges, more likely to swear, smoke, and have a wicked sense of humor than their supposed betters, which can be really infuriating since they refuse to be victims.
Soldiers also remind the Left of how little importance they really are. I remember a bumper sticker that said "Some people wonder if they will make a difference. Marines don't have that problem." If you are ever asked "What have you done for your country?" How would you answer?
Could you say "I marched and picketed and protested the war." Great, that must be really tough. Stand around on a street corner with a bunch of like minded dolts, annoying people, then retire to the after rally party, and hope to get laid. Yeah, that's significant. Or maybe you wrote letters to the editor, or made comments on blogs. Well, there you go. Everyone should recognize how smart and caring you are.
But measure that against the person who does what is ordered, even while scared, and works to protect the innocent, while eliminating those who run actual torture chambers.

Shakespeare had it right, when he wrote:
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

If I am upset with the New York Times, or the Independent's style of reportage, it is because those soldiers are my brothers and sisters. Although at my age, they are more my little brothers and sisters. And those who would criticize them for their service may think themselves the "gentlemen in England now a-bed," but they know, just as the soldiers know, that their manhood is quite cheap.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Nevada Developments

This is interesting. Seems as though the judge has thrown out the lawsuit brought by Hilary supporters to keep down the participation of Obama supporters.
Throw in denying Michigan and Florida any reps, and it makes you wonder.
Is it rank hypocrisy trying to deny a vote that doesn't go their way, ala military absentee ballots in Florida 2000, or simply inept heavy handed approach to control votes?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Rational Self Interest

The campaign season is in full swing, and the Presidential contenders are all trying to buy my and your votes. Hillary is planning $170 billion plus another $70 billion for her stimulus package, and Obama is no slouch either by promising over $180 billion in spending. And the Republicans (except Thompson) are trying their best to match their generosity with our money. Romney wants to get Michigan back into the lead in automobile production. All the while ignoring that its not the lack of interest or ability to make automobiles in this country, but the problem is in Michigan itself. Not to mention Huckabee's national no smoking policy, the New Nanny State will be arriving with the Beaujolais Nouveau next January.
So, how are we going to pay for this largess? One solution touted by the Democrats is the repeal of the Bush tax cuts. Except that is already programmed in. Not to mention that the withdrawal of those cuts means that the economy is going to tank in 2010, the additional taxes are going to drive the economy further into a hole.
Thus the question: What should a rational, self interested voter do? I am beginning to think that the rational self interested person should just quit their jobs and live off of public support. Think about it, no more striving to better yourself, no seeking greater responsibility, it will be great. There is obviously nothing wrong with mediocrity, after all the government seems to be encouraging it.
So what if we have to give up our own personal choices or liberties. We can trust the government to take care of us right? We can then sit at home and watch TV, thereby getting rid of all of that stress to succeed. With a new motto replacing "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs" our future presidents seem to be saying "From the rich to the rest of us." So why on earth would anyone want to be more than lower middle class?
It seems clear to me that the answer is to just give up. Let everyone else provide for your needs. They will be richer than us so it has to be alright.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Hillary's Economic Solution

I watched Hillary on Meet the Press this morning, where she outlined her stimulus package for when she becomes President (God Forbid). Among her items was to put a 90 day moratorium on foreclosures. Sounds good right, means that you get to live in your house for another 90 days while you catch up on your arrears. Except it won't work that way.
If she got the moratorium, what is going to happen to the debtor? Are they going to somehow magically come up with the money that they didn't have before? Or are they going to be saying that we got 90 days free rent babe!
And what about the mortgage holders? Do they get to suck up the 90 days loss of principle or interest just to be patriotic? What about their shareholders? Which probably won't be an issue, because as soon as it starts looking like this is what is going to happen, they will be bailing on any stocks that have financials in them. Which will reduce the amount of liquidity, which will reduce the amount of loans that they can make, which will reduce the new buyers who aren't reckless from being able to buy a house at a reasonable price. But at least she will be doing something! Right? Even though it will be made much worse.
One area that I predict that will increase in value will be companies like Best Buy and Wal-Mart. Watching Hillary on TV made me want to look for a large heavy object to cast in her electronically reproduced image. If she is elected, I don't think that I will be able to afford the number of tvs that I would have to buy.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Democrat's Dilemna

A leading paper in South Carolina analyzes some of the flare up between the Clinton and Obama camps at the above link. If the analysis is carried farther, I think that the Democrats could be in a real pickle come November.
So much of the Democratic Party seems to be based on identity politics. Whether its John Edwards saying that a multimillionaire trial lawyer is just one of the working stiffs, or Hillary being all things to all women or Barak being all things to people of color.
It seems that a good portion of the electorate that carried Hillary to victory in New Hampshire were single and older women. Barak seems to have turned around attitudes in the African American community that a black man actually can garner votes from white Americans, thus making it realistically possible that a black man actually could become President. With both groups saying their time is near, there is just one problem - Only one could get the prize.
My earlier prediction that Hillary will get the Democratic nomination is still possible, probably due more to the Clinton machine's ability to get out the vote for their candidate. But you have to give Barak his due, that he is inspiring a whole bunch of young people to actually vote, which is something they haven't done much in the past.
So, let's look at the three potentials: 1. That Hillary wins the nomination,; and 2. that Barak wins,; and 3. That both enter the convention without the necessary lock.
If Hillary wins going away, I think that black politicians will coalesce behind her. I am not so sure that if Barak wins that the Clinton machine will reciprocate because whether or not he is elected, she could still run in 2012.
Now, this is where it gets interesting. Both candidates enter Denver with less than the necessary delegates to grab the nomination. At that point, the "Superdelegates" come into play. They comprise roughly one third of the votes necessary for the nomination, and have traditionally gone with the winner. However, with no clear cut winner, I predict that there will be a lot of arm twisting on the Clinton's behalf to put her over the top. The best argument in her favor is that African Americans are reliably Democratic and don't have any option but that party. While Hillary seems to have some pretty strong appeal with women. Just based on pure numbers, if all of the women and all of the African American vote went to Hillary, she would win in a landslide.
If that did happen, I think that the crashing of hope that America would elect a black man will cause the majority of the black vote to just stay at home come election day. Without black support, and with her high negatives, which will only go higher the more people have to listen to her, I think that Hillary would lose to any Republican other than Huckabee.
One way to counter the disappointment might be to put Obama on the ballot as the VP. I just don't think that Clinton can get past her calculating nature and do that. A black man or a white woman are probably going to have to put a safe white male on as the VP. Although I think that Hillary and Barak could run together and be effective, it would go counter to the perceived wisdom, and so is unlikely.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Sometimes, ya just go Aw Sh*t

One of the lead plaintiffs in the appeal to the Supreme Court on the voter ID case is apparently registered to vote in both Florida and Indiana. And apparently, they didn't find out about it until today.
So, the problem isn't that she has difficulty voting, just voting somewhere that she isn't supposed to. I could see where some people would want to protect the age old Butte and Chicago tradition of voting early and often. Certainly does double the Democratic vote count don't you think?
Makes me start to wonder if Al Gore really did receive more votes than Bush.

John McCain

The Comeback Coot?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Ron Paul a Racist?

I heard about this first showing up at TNR, but I couldn't get to the web site because apparently everyone else was at the same time. But Ann Althouse seems to have collected some of the more vile pieces and posted a blog article here.
I understand that Ron Paul is saying that when he was in his private medical practice that a magazine carrying these disgusting articles was published in his name, but that he had no oversight. Okay, no oversight of something that carries your name? How in the heck is anyone supposed to believe that?
For a professional, especially one in private practice, your business rises or falls based on your reputation. To think that anyone would let their name be used fails the credibility test.

Read the Whole Thing.

I knew that this was going to happen

Jay Stevens of Left in the West thinks that he is vindicated by the Missoulian article about the Justice Department probe of Burns had been "chilled." When I saw the headline, I thought, could it be that I was wrong? But then I read the article and realized that it was the usual low quality of analysis that passes for "professional journalism" these days. The ruling that the article mentions relates to Rep. William Jefferson, D-LA who objected to the taking of documents from his office and home by the FBI. The Appeals Court ruled that under the Speech and Debate clause, those are protected and could not be seized.
Now, how does this apply in Conrad's case? IT DOESN'T! Conrad voluntarily turned over the documents, they were not seized. This is analygous to the police entering your home without a warrant, or being invited in. Police are trained to come to the door and say "May we come in and talk to you for a minute?" Because it would be rude to refuse, you let them in. Once that happens, you have surrendered your expectation of privacy.

I didn't blog on this when it came out partly because I read the whole article and not just the headline, but I was waiting to see if anyone would pounce on this.
Thank you Jay for confirming your consistency, if not your accuracy.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Fred Coming?

Okay, this might not be reliable, but worth putting out nonetheless. Fred Thompson may be coming to Montana in advance of the Republican Caucus on Feb. 5th.

Update: Source may not be credible. Stay tuned.

Good Description of Ron Paul

No, I am not doing this just to generate hits. But Viceroy's Fuguestate has the best description of anyone about Ron Paul:
Have you joined the Ron Paul Revlovelution yet? I personally don't see what's so goddamned exciting about the guy. He's Ross Perot, Rosie O' Donnell and Pat Buchanon all rolled into one quivering mass.

Well done, and well said.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Republican Debate

Since there weren't any good games on TV, I ended up watching the Republican debate, and I must say that I was impressed with the format that Fox News came up with. No audience, the candidates being able to interact with each other, it was certainly more interesting than anything else I have seen. Good job Chris Wallace!
One of the things that would have made it better though, is if Chris would have jumped in at times and asked the questions that the other candidates wouldn't. For instance, for McCain, if you are going to get Osama bin Laden, why do you think that you would do better than what is presently being done? Are you saying that there is a deliberate indifference, or is this just a catchy idea that you came up with?
For Huckabee, your evasiveness on raising taxes is annoying. Either answer the darned question, or say that you refuse to on the grounds that you know the answer will kill you politically.
Giuliani: You talk fast, but do you really say anything intelligent? You say that you are the only one that has to deal with the results of an Islamofascism attack. True, but wasn't the 9-11 attacks the second such attack on the World Trade Center? What did you do to prevent the second after the first?
Romney: Do you really want to rely on the fact that your being a governor is a good basis for dealing with foreign policy? Do you remember Jimmy Carter?
Thompson: You have obviously written off New Hampshire, why aren't you in South Carolina then?

Sorry, just a little bit cranky, but I still like Thompson the best of all of them. And anybody other than Huckabee more than Hillary.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

False Dichotomies

I have already explained below why Conrad is actually innocent. But that is not good enough for Mark T. of Piece of Mind or one of his commenters. Rebecca brings up the tired canard about John Kerry and the SwiftBoat Veterans for Truth, and makes their accusations the same as what Tester and the Democratic Party did to Burns.
Once again, it is just so wrong, but nonetheless, requires clarification. Although I have little hope that clarification will change their rigid mind set. So, with that understanding, let's take a look at the two, and see if they are comparable.

First, Conrad is tarred with the accusation that he profited from Abramoff. This has since been disproved by the dropping of the investigation. Burns did receive campaign contributions from Abramoff and his lobbying firm, but so did Sen. Harry Reid, in spite of his denials. Conrad hired a lawyer after the election when the investigation began, but he also turned over all of his records and computers to the Feds. As a direct result, they found - exactly nothing.

Now, let's look at Kerry. Democrats seem to feel he should have been given a pass because he was their war hero. But they forget that it was Kerry himself who made an issue of his being a war hero, when at the convention, he saluted and announced that he was "Reporting for Duty." Because Kerry made the assertion, it became fair game to be investigated. To cry foul because it was investigated is disingenuous. But there is another difference. Kerry could easily disprove the SwiftBoat vets if he wanted by simply releasing his records. Something that three and a half years later, he still hasn't done. I wonder why that is? Could it be that he has something to hide? He certainly has a financial interest in proving them wrong.

Selective moral outrage is never a pretty thing. But accusing others of it when they are not guilty has to be worse.

Levels of Proof

One of the many legal fictions in the justice system (which in itself is an oxymoron) is that people are presumed innocent. Sure, we all pay lip service when we are called for jury duty, but you know that everyone is already thinking "What did he do?" before the charges are even read. The unfortunate effect of this, is that the burden has shifted from the State proving a case, to the Defendant having to disprove it.
I bring this up, because so many on the Left have decided that Conrad is probably still guilty, even though the investigation into his ties with Abramoff has been dismissed. So, in the interests of educating the public, a short primer on the levels of proof required by our legal system.
Particularized Suspicion
This is more than a hunch, but enough for law enforcement to stop you and ask your identification, and what you are doing. The foot in the door by the State to begin the investigation.
Probable Cause
Slightly more proof is required in order to charge you with a crime. This is nothing more than "it could have happened." This gets you into court to answer the charges. But remember, you are still innocent until the case is presented to the fact finder.
Preponderance of the Evidence
To win a civil suit and get a court to order that you are entitled to money, this is the standard. Medical Malpractice, trespass, all sorts of torts are covered by this level of proof. It is nothing more than 50%+.
Clear and Convincing
If you are an unfit parent, the State has to present Clear and Convincing evidence to take your kids from you. So, take your money, just over half, take your kids takes quite a bit more.
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
The highest level of proof. Not beyond any doubt, but such that if it could reasonably have an alternative answer, the only result must be Not Guilty.

So, take your money - just over half, take your kids - quite a bit more, but to take your freedom, well, that is the highest level and for good reason.

The fact that the investigation was closed against Conrad means that he is still "innocent" in the eyes of the law. He may not be innocent to partisans who are more than willing to believe the worst of anyone who is not a Democrat, but he is still considered to be legally innocent.

There have been some false comparisons with OJ Simpson in Conrad's case. This just betrays their lack of understanding. OJ went to trial, where the only verdicts are Guilty or Not Guilty. That doesn't mean that OJ was innocent. Since Conrad hasn't been charged, the only determination is that he is innocent.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Did You Hear?

Colby Natale has decided that even though the investigation against Conrad Burns is dismissed that he feels: "it is also quite possible that he is guilty but there is insufficient evidence to prove it. That is the bitch about these things; you never can know for sure." He then goes on to close with:
While I am willing to admit I could be wrong about him, I flat out refuse to apologize for what I believe, and I don’t think any of us should (short of perhaps anyone who declared that an indictment was guaranteed).

So, in the spirit of guilty until proven innocent, let's play around with this one a little bit, shall we? For instance, did you know that Sen. Baucus is a founding member of NAMBLA? Now, it might not be true, but until he proves that he is not, I am just going to believe what I want to.
Or how about Gov. Schweizer? I heard someone say that he has been evading taxes even though he is rich, by using the same accountant who came up with the amount of money to be given back to taxpayers from the surplus. I have also heard from some people who should know, that this accountant is really in the Mafia, and is blackmailing the governor, and that he is using state funds to pay the blackmail.
Might not be true, but you never know until he disproves it.

Right, Colby?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Conrad Exonerated

Western Word is reporting that the AP says that the investigation of former Senator Conrad Burns and his relationship with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff has been dismissed. Not acquitted, because that would require a trial, but dismissed because there was a lack of evidence.
I apologize to Conrad for my succumbing to being manipulated by the politics of the damned thing that caused a good man to be slimed. I am sure that Matt, Shane, and others will be posting an apology as well soon.
If not, then may their victory be as hollow as their integrity.

Fred Surge?

According to NRO, Zogby is showing a sudden uptick in support for Thompson in the Iowa caucuses. I have liked Fred more than any of the others, except on occasion McCain, although I still have a tough time forgiving him for his assault on free speech with McCain-Feingold.
This new information seems to be in line with some anecdotal observations that my friends in Dextra are adding his widget to their sites, just as I did.

Fred's video to Iowa is here:

What's going on with those wacky Republicans?

According to the American Thinker, Rasmussen has self identified Republicans rising to 34.2% as compared to self identified Democrats who are at 36.3%. How can this be you ask? Surely these people recognize the ultimate tide has turned and the country is returning to a Left vision of how we are supposed to live our lives.
Hmm, maybe not, and if you couple this with the Lee newspaper survey that shows Montana is still a majority Republican state, you have to wonder. Could it be that Democrats overplayed their hand?

I have always used the line that Democrats promise that if they are elected, they will make you taller, smarter, better looking, and get rid of the crab grass in your lawn, while Republicans say that government doesn't work, and when elected they prove it. Gotta give cred points to the Republicans for being honest about it.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Be Very Afraid

When I read the article at the above link, I thought that it must be some sort of parody. Did I once again, accidentally stumble onto the Onion? But then I started looking into it, and H.R. 1955 actually does what the writer warns us of. Soon, it will not be hard to tie any objections or complaints of almost any American Institution into grounds for investigation. The legislation as proposed covers almost anything under the Act that "aims to identify and stigmatize persons and groups who hold thoughts the government decrees correlate with homegrown terrorism, for example, opposition to the Patriot Act or the suspension of the Great Writ of habeas corpus."
The Act calls for the creation of a commission to investigate all such connections to any supposedly "home grown terrorism." If you don't think that such a tool is not going to be used to persecute political enemies, you aren't paying attention, and can go back to your TV shows now.
How in the hell did this happen? The Act passed the House in October, and we are just finding out about it now?
And for the record, I love all things American, and everything that our beneficient government does, is just hunky dory with me.