Saturday, September 30, 2006

Fr. Massingale or Catholic Teaching? Take Your Choice

Evidently, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee is unable to find an editor for its newspaper who has the cojones necessary to simply reject crap.

So instead, readers of the rag (no, I don't subscribe, and have NOT for at least 20 years) get treated to this manure:

full-page op-ed by Fr. Bryan Massingale asserting that the possibility that the amendment might adversely effect health insurance coverage for unmarried couples raised issues under Church teaching justifying a "no" vote. [Quotation from The Provincial Emails]

We've pointed out that the clouds of smoke issued by the HomosexMarriage crowd are baseless, including the claim above.

It would seem that Fr Massingale has a serious problem with the concept of 'right order.' Let's get this straight: if Massingale is attempting to pull some sort of "comparative values" game here (proportionalism) then he's missing the point. Natural law (and the Bible's injunctions) trump "health insurance." His hysterics over health insurance for unmarried couples raises a question: is Fr. Massingale educated beyond his intelligence?

As we have pointed out, The Amendment would prevent companies (and the State, and its subsidiarities) from being forced to provide "partner" health benefits (which, by the way, are very expensive.) However, it would NOT prevent such entities from providing them voluntarily, or under the terms of a negotiated labor contract.

As for the rag itself, I agree with The Provincial Emails' opinion:

Why is Archbishop Dolan condemning Maguire when he's got Massingale on the payroll doing the same damage in the Archdiocesan newspaper?

Here's a suggestion for Abp. Dolan. Either find an editor who understands Catholicism in toto and runs the newspaper that way, or dump the silly rag into Lake Michigan.

These Yellowjackets Mean Business

Talk about "big, big, big, big..."

To the bafflement of insect experts, gigantic yellow jacket nests have started turning up in old barns, unoccupied houses, cars and underground cavities across the southern two-thirds of Alabama.

Specialists say it could be the result of a mild winter and drought conditions, or multiple queens forcing worker yellow jackets to enlarge their quarters so the queens will be in separate areas. But experts haven't determined exactly what's behind the surprisingly large nests.

Auburn University entomologists, who say they've never seen the nests so large, have been fielding calls about the huge nests from property owners from Dothan up to Sylacauga and over into west-central Alabama's Black Belt.

At one site in Barbour County, the nest was as large as a Volkswagen Beetle, said Andy McLean, an Orkin pesticide service manager in Dothan who helped remove it from an abandoned barn about a month ago.

HT: ClayCramer

Feingold: "NO" on the Fence

Not surprising at all--Feinie (D-AlQuaeda) was one of 19 who voted against the fence.

Surprising: Herb Kohl inveighed AGAINST the fence, and voted FOR it, as did BarbieBoxer, the Hildebeeste, and Schumer.

HT: Captain's Quarters

Keep Your Maps for 2011

Regrets to you Techno-Addictive Wonks, but those cute little GPS devices may fail a lot in 2011:

Navigation, power and communications systems that rely on GPS satellite navigation will be disrupted by violent solar activity in 2011, research shows.

A study reveals Global Positioning System receivers to be unexpectedly vulnerable to bursts of radio noise produced by solar flares, created by explosions in the Sun's atmosphere.

When solar activity peaks in 2011 and 2012, it could cause widespread disruption to aircraft navigation and emergency location systems that rely heavily on satellite navigation data.

This may be a problem for aircraft navigation. The FAA uses GPS receivers for air traffic control, which Kintner says "will certainly fail" during these intense solar flare radio bursts, which could cause signals to drop by up to 90%, for hours at a time. Although planes can fly without GPS, outages force the FAA to increase the distance between aircraft and slow take-offs and landings, delaying flights.

GPS is also used for emergency rescues and also to synchronise power grids and cellphone networks. One solution, says Kintner, would be to increase the strength of GPS signals. But this would mean redesigning GPS satellite hardware and software

Remedial Map-Reading courses will still be available.

"Catholic" Group Resurrects Bernardin Lie

Back a number of years ago, Cdl. Bernardin of Chicago pasted together something called the "Seamless Garment" theory, which justified voting for pro-abortion candidates. The Cardinal was wrong.

But his theory refuses to die. After all, it offers cover for such vermin as Dave Obey (D-WI) and John Kerry--and may even secure their continuing election.

The group perpetrating this moral fraud this time around is "Catholic in Alliance for the Common Good" (CACG) a group headed up by Alexia Kelley who in 2004 worked as a religion advisor to John Kerry in the closing weeks of his campaign.

An initial printing of one million copies of "Voting for the Common Good: A Practical Guide for Conscientious Catholics" will be distributed nationwide through on-the-ground organizers and partner networks in all 50 states, says CACG.

...The new voter guide has been described as "slick" by the Catholic League for its deceptive wording which falsely leads Catholics to consider abortion as just one of many important social justice issues to be taken into account when electing politicians.

"Slick" is the right term. "A Pack of Lies" would be another:

The Catholic Democrats' guide contradicts the guidance of Cardinal Ratzinger prior to his election to the papacy. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote a doctrinal note, approved by then-Pope John Paul II, which stated: "[A] well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual law which contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals." The doctrinal note added, "laws must defend the basic right to life from conception to natural death . . . Analogously, the family needs to be safeguarded and promoted based on monogamous marriage between a man and a woman."

As Bishop Rene Henry Gracida, of Corpus Christi Texas, explained in September 2004, it is not enough to make a mental reservation that a voter is not supporting a pro-abortion politician because of his stand on abortion. The reasons to support the politician must be objectively 'proportionate.' He further states that the usual reasons cited, a candidate's stand "on war, or taxes, or the death penalty, or immigration, or a national health plan, or Social Security, or AIDS, or homosexuality, or marriage," are not important enough. They are, he says, "simply lacking in proportionality."

Fortunately, the Wisconsin Bishops have already made perfectly clear their support of The Amendment (which would ban homosex-marriage in Wisconsin.) They have also made VERY clear their opposition to Embryonic Stem-Cell Research (albeit a couple of years ago.)

So should some long-haired, maggot-infested, good-time-Charlie rock'n'roll type attempt to jam one of those slick brochures into your hand in the parking lot after Mass, gently but firmly advise the creep to put the brochure where the sun doesn't shine.

Hire Illegals, Get Sued Under RICO

Here's an interesting little action:

A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that one of the world's largest carpet makers can be sued under racketeering laws over allegations of hiring thousands of illegal immigrants and depressing wages.

...Former and current workers at Dalton-based Mohawk Industries claim they received lower wages than workers at other companies in the Dalton area, which is known as the"Carpet Capital of the World"and home to carpet plants for Shaw Industries, Interface and other companies.

"Other companies in the area not hiring illegal workers pay significantly more,"Foster said.
Attorneys said they would pursue class-action status, which could include any worker employed by Mohawk between when the case was filed in January 2000 and the time the case goes to trial.

...The key question in this case, which has also been raised in others, is whether a corporation that contracts out a service can be part of an illegal"enterprise"under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1970. The _ commonly referred to as RICO _ is a federal law originally designed to fight organized crime. RICO.

In 1996, Congress expanded the anti-racketeering law's reach beyond organized crime to include violations of immigration law, such as the hiring of illegal workers.

The red highlight above is a little vague--did Mohawk use a contractor to obtain and maintain its labor force? What "contracting out a service" is involved here?

Friday, September 29, 2006

Red China: Escalating, Escalating...

As found in Neo-Con's blog:

China has secretly fired powerful laser weapons designed to disable American spy satellites by "blinding" their sensitive surveillance devices, it was reported yesterday.

The hitherto unreported attacks have been kept secret by the Bush administration for fear that it would damage attempts to co-opt China in diplomatic offensives against North Korea and Iran.

Sources told the military affairs publication Defense News that there had been a fierce internal battle within Washington over whether to make the attacks public. In the end, the Pentagon's annual assessment of the growing Chinese military build-up barely mentioned the threat.

"After a contentious debate, the White House directed the Pentagon to limit its concern to one line," Defense News said.

What the story does NOT say is whether the Commies' attacks on our satellites were successful. I guess we'll find out someday, maybe, kinda...

For whatever reason, GWB's Boyzzz have been playing patty-cake with Red China for quite a while--allowing them to manipulate trade regulations and currency in their favor (eviscerating the industrial base of the USA in the process,) and pretending that Red China will be a really nice ally when everyone there becomes a rich capitalist.

Meanwhile, PRC's slavemasters/nomenklatura continue to traffic in human body-parts and slaughter or imprison "internal enemies" such as Roman Catholic priests and Falun Gong believers.

Tell us about "human rights" again, please...

Uniform? WHAT Uniform?

In the 'land of fast horses and pretty women,' (often referred to with reversed nouns) the National Guard evidently ran short of some stuff:

U.S. Army officials are taking a close look at whether women in a Kentucky National Guard unit posed nude for pictures with their M-16s and other military equipment, authorities said.

A local newspaper reported that it had a disc containing 232 of the photos, which they did not publish, and do not plan to publish, E&P has learned. Andrew Wolfson, who disclosed the existence of the disc in the Louisville Courier-Journal today, told E&P it came from an "anonymous" source.

"This is not the kind of activity condoned by the command leadership of the Kentucky National Guard," Lt. Col. Phil Miller, a spokesman for the Kentucky Guard, told the newspaper. The allegations were reported to the commander of the 410th Quartermaster unit a week or so before the company shipped out for Iraq on Aug. 26 from Camp Shelby, Miss.

The newspaper reported a compact disc contained 232 photographs of at least a half-dozen nude and seminude women in various poses with military rifles and covering their breasts with American flag decals. An e-mail said the women photographed were from the Kentucky Guard.

Used to be that weekend drills were, ah, utterly boring...

Another Reason to Vote YES on The Amendment--and to Elect JB VanHollen

A while ago, 6 lesbians sued the State of Wisconsin, demanding benefit coverage of their live-ins. The Legislature and several municipalities sought to intervene in the case, arguing that they had standing based on the fact that such benefits would have financial impact on the State and municipalities.

They also argued that "Keg" Lautenschlaeger would not vigorously defend the interests of the State and the municipalities.

Yesterday, an appeals court denied the request for intervention, meaning that the State Attorney General's office will be the only representation against this ludicrous suit.

The Amendment will prevent silliness like these claims for benefits from going forward. JB Van Hollen will certainly apply all the resources and legal expertise available to defend the State and its subsidiaries from this action.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Bill Buckley Gets SOME of the Answer

Bill Buckley has long been a dissenter from the Catholic Church in which he was raised (and still, IIRC, professes to belong.) Thus, it's rather ironic to see Bill Buckley pontificating--

The talk over the weekend concerning the pope's blunder had to do with his under-instruction in diplomacy. Several matters were cited, among them that he had, for lack of intelligent concern, dispatched his principal Arabist to Cairo on a trivial diplomatic mission. The assumption is that if His Holiness had had his ship in order, somebody would have told him that the little paragraph about Islam in his forthcoming speech at the University of Regensburg would bring on a major diplomatic foofaraw.

So far, so good. There were a lot of chipmunks in the media (and within the Church) who bemoaned the Pope's apparent lack of intellectual and political firepower. They were wrong, of course...but that's another topic.

...Substantially lost in the caterwauling was the pope's objective in his speech, which was to bemoan the dissipation of faith and efforts to separate it from reason. The paragraph quoting the Byzantine emperor's words about Islam was intended to remark historical accretions in religion that the pope was deploring as undesirable developments. He might also have remarked the crusading days of the Christian church as a regrettable historical development.

Here, Bill's half-right. The "crusading days" of the Roman Catholic church were not totally offensive actions; early on, they were justifiable, and defensive. But we quibble.

...The great unanswered question in modern political thought is: Who speaks for Muhammad?


...But who is to say, nowadays, what is the authentic voice of the Islamic exegesis? There is no Islamic Council that can speak with authority in these matters. And surely what the pope was attempting to say, or should have been attempting to say, was that behavior of certain kinds has no warrant to excuse itself simply by citing someone's interpretation of the Quran.

But to delve into that question becomes, ironically, more difficult rather than less since the pope's speech at Regensburg, and for this the pope could legitimately apologize.

False. The Pope put the question on the table for a very good reason having nothing to do with the "difficulty" of addressing it. He put it on the table because someone had to ask in order to get the (so far, very silent) majority of Muslims to do likewise--ask.

And, presumably, begin to find both courage AND voice to stifle the terrorists. This is part of a larger strategy: to tell the Muslim fanatics that they will not have a place at a civilized table and to, once again, reconcile reason with theology.

It's both theological and practical--things with which Benedict XVI is very good, indeed.

Darwin Award Nominees

From USAToday:

At least seven men in five states have been fatally electrocuted since July while hacking through power lines to steal wire made of copper, which has been commanding near-record prices, police say.

“It is a growing problem with the rise in the price of metals,” says Lt. Shea Smith of the Greenville County Sheriff's Office in South Carolina. Smith says one thief died Aug. 30 and another July 7. Both were found with wire cutters and other tools that suggested their intent. He says at least 30 more copper thefts have occurred in the county so far this year.

Nationwide, police report copper thieves stealing wires from air conditioning units, exposed pipes from underneath homes, vases from graveyards in Sumter, S.C., and bells from a church in Yonkers, N.Y.

...Thieves don't always take precautions.

“It's a Russian roulette kind of situation. If they cut the wrong wire, they're at risk,” says Stan Partlow, director of physical security for American Electric Power, a utility with 5 million customers in 11 states.

He says a rise in thefts from its power lines and substations has left the public and utility workers with power outages, loose wires or exposed equipment and has caused the deaths of two thieves in Boone County, W.Va., and Pike County, Ky.

I thought that only squirrels were stupid enough to carve up high-tension wires...

HT: Caveman

Dick Armey: AWOL Before, Wrong Now

Dick Armey was a Member of Congress from 1984-2002, and was an author of the Homeland Security Act. A Forbes-school political economist, he actively despises the "Fair Tax" proposal and promotes the "Flat Tax." He says a lot of funny things. And he was initially elected as a Democrat, undergoing a conversion later to the "R" label. It's fair to state that Armey was a Congressman from the Fortune 500.

Now he talks like a sausage.

Former House Republican leader Dick Armey recalled that President Ronald Reagan wanted to tear down walls, not build them.

"Political discourse many times is captured by -- what should I say -- the most primitive thought process," Armey said at a press conference. "This has been rallied up by a lot of people that are very visible and make a lot of noise, but have never been guilty of any deep thinking."

Armey added that he was "really surprised and disappointed in Jim Sensenbrenner."

Here's "deep thinking" Dick Armey's border-control plan, which he actively espoused in Congress:

(You're right. It's a blank space.)

The "Deep Thinking" Dick Armey attempted to hand off his seat to his son. Failed there, too, despite an overwhelming (R) voter-advantage in his district.

Great record, Dick. No wonder you sound embittered.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

URL's That Shouldn't Have Happened

From an email:

The top 10 unintentionally worst company URLs

Attn: Entrepreneurs

Everyone knows that if you are going to operate a business in today's world you need a domain name. It is advisable to look at the domain name selected as others see it and not just as you think it looks. Failure to do this may result in situations such as the following (legitimate) companies who deal in everyday humdrum products and services but clearly didn't give their domain names enough consideration:

1. A site called 'Who Represents' where you can find the name of the agent that represents a celebrity. Their domain name... wait for < >

2. Experts Exchange a knowledge base where programmers can exchange advice and views at < >

3. Looking for a pen? Look no further than Pen Island at < >

4. Need a therapist? Try Therapist Finder at< >

5. Then of course, there's the Italian Power Generator < >

6. And now, we have the Mole Station Native Nursery, based in New SouthWales: < >

7. If you're looking for computer software, there's always < >

8. Welcome to the First Cumming Methodist Church. Their website is < >

9. Then, of course, there's these brainless art designers, and their whacky website: < >

10.Want to holiday in Lake Tahoe? Try their brochure website at < >

This list is rated PG.

Republican by Marriage? UPDATED

Listening to Savage in the afternoon gives one the opportunity to learn something.

Here's an interesting little item:

When the Census Bureau released in October its first-ever state-by-state analysis of the links between marriage, fertility and other socioeconomic characteristics, it was hard not to notice the familiar red- and blue-state divisions. The top 11 states with most births per 1,000 women were carried by Republican President George W. Bush in 2004. Of the bottom 11 states, eight were won by Democratic Sen. John Kerry.

[That's not exactly news. But the following IS]:

In the Northeast, the Democratic Party's stronghold, men and women marry later, on average, than in any other region, and the Northeastern states feature some of the highest levels of unmarried-couple households in the nation.
Marriage rate data reveal similarly stark distinctions: Red states dominate the top of the chart while blue states are clustered at the low end.

These figures would be nothing more than curiosities if they weren't so portentous. Democratic strength is concentrated in states with low fertility and low marriage rates, which wouldn't be a problem if these places were attracting large numbers of new residents. But most are not, at least when compared with the fastest-growing states, and that will have consequences after the next decennial census when congressional seats (and thus electoral votes) are reallocated according to population. Based on 2004 population estimates, Poli-data of Lake Ridge, Va., a political data analysis firm, projects that nine states will lose House seats after the next census - all but two of them voted for Kerry. Seven will gain seats - all but one of them carried by Bush. In 2012, even if every state voted the same way it did in 2004, there would be a net gain of six electoral votes for the GOP ticket based on these projections.

Mapping out Census projections two decades from now, the picture gets even more stark: Eight of the top 10 population gainers ranked by projected percentage change between 2000 and 2030 were Bush states in 2004.

...the Census Bureau's marriage data should be more worrisome [for Democrats] than trends in population growth. For if it seems that the Democratic Party is struggling to speak to married people, it might be because it does not represent enough of them to truly understand how that demographic thinks...

Democrats are not only concentrated in low-marriage states but also in low-marriage congressional districts. Consider this: As of 2002, 55 of the top 60 congressional districts ranked by percentage of married people were represented by Republicans.

In other words if you are a Republican, make SURE that your District's residents are getting married. If you're a Democrat, work hard on easy-divorce legislation, or attempt to prevent your constituents from getting married in the first place.

UPDATE: HT GOP3, here's a link to the USAToday story on the same study. Seems Gwen Moore's District fits the general profile above.

Another observation can be made: seems like crime infests "non-married" Districts.

Don't Like Rape? Get a Gun

Worked in Liberia--so why not in, say, Milwaukee?

Now consider the contrasting experience with women in Liberia. Some were abused, and some were not. The reason some were not is most instructive.

The first report states: “U.N. peacekeepers sexually abused and exploited local women and girls in Liberia.” The allegations ranged from “the exchange of goods, money or services for sex to the sexual exploitation of minors.” Repeating a now-familiar refrain, the article noted: “Currently, U.N. troops and employees accused of wrongdoing are sent home to be dealt with by their own government but are often never punished.”....

Counter to the stories of exploitation by both locals and U.N. peacekeepers, a number of women in Liberia found that by arming themselves and uniting into combat units, they were able to protect their personal sovereignty during that country’s civil war:

“Black Diamond, 22, says she joined the rebel forces after being gang-raped by the notoriously ill-disciplined and unpaid forces loyal to former President Charles Taylor in the northern Lofa county in 1999.

...Not only are the women able to move about in relative security––considering this is a war zone––they were respected as fighters as well. Most importantly, they had the means to defend the honor of their fighting comrades as well as other female victims:

“Liberia's Health Minister Peter Coleman has met many women fighters during the 14 years of warfare and says they are prized by their senior commanders.

“ ‘They don’t get drunk and they take their mission very seriously,’ he said.

“ ‘I saw a woman shoot another officer because he raped a woman.’”

Joining a combat group gave the women access to rifles and pistols.

AMAZING how those little tools work!

HT: Of Arms and the Law

Milwaukee Aldermen Swallow Propaganda, Vote Wrong

You wonder if these guys can actually read.

The [Milwaukee] Common Council voted 14-1 to urge Congress to defeat the bill, HR 5005, which would prohibit federal authorities from releasing information that local police could use to trace guns used in crimes back to the dealers who sold them.

Of course, 5005 does nothing of the sort:

Under H.R. 5005, if information on a gun sold in New Jersey is relevant to investigating a crime in New York, there's no reason it couldn't be disclosed to a New York agency.

What is NOT allowed is fishing for information for a civil action (read: lawsuit.)

Milk-Carton Tommy and Bloomie of New York City are opposed because their agenda (as well as that of the anti-gun lobby) is to sue the gun industry out of business.

Sensenbrenner Is a Federalist

Understanding the principles of Federalism does not necessarily win popularity contests:

A bill to toughen penalties for cockfighting and dogfighting sponsored by Rep. Mark Green is being held up in the House Judiciary Committee by chairman and fellow Wisconsin Republican Jim Sensenbrenner

...In a statement, Sensenbrenner said, "Animal fighting is an abhorrent practice but is best handled by those already working to combat its practice - state and local officials."

He's right, of course. Just because it Feels Good doesn't make it a Federal issue.

Campaign Finance--the Doyle Slime-Way

This sounds kinda familiar, no?

The biggest beneficiaries have been Democrats, with Gov. Jim Doyle garnering the most of any candidate - about $926,000, including large sums from tribes funneled through Democratic Party committees in Washington.

Individual donations to Doyle accounted for only about $107,000 of the total. The rest flowed to national Democratic groups, who in turn have given to Doyle or the state party.

Tell me again why Green can't convert Federal campaign dollars to State campaign dollars.

There's a lotta money that goes to Washington (check) and then comes back into the State where it's used to support a particular candidate (check.)


Abercrombie & Fitch: Hefner's Successor?

A few years ago, Abercrombie & Fitch put out mailers/catalogs which were highly offensive--using teenaged models in compromising positions. It caused a stir.

Now they're back in the news:

Ashli Walker rifled through a rack of designer T-shirts one recent afternoon, pondering which one she should buy and wear the next day to Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Prince George's County. The big black one that read, "TRUST ME..I'M SINGLE"? Or the snug white T-shirt emblazoned with, "I KNOW WHAT BOYS WANT"?

They're blatantly sexual, occasionally clever and often loaded with double meanings, forcing school administrators and other students to read provocations stripped across the chest, such as "yes, but not with u!," "Your Boyfriend Is a Good Kisser" and "two boys for every girl." Such T-shirts also are emblematic of the kind of sleazy-chic culture some teenagers now inhabit, in which status can be defined by images of sexual promiscuity that previous generations might have considered unhip

...One popular merchant of suggestive shirts is Hollister Co., a chain owned by Abercrombie & Fitch. Its shirts say such things as "two boys for every girl" and "FLIRTING MY WAY TO THE TOP."

Asked about the messages his company markets to teenagers, Thomas D. Lennox, Abercrombie & Fitch's vice president of corporate communications, said, "Our T-shirts are sometimes controversial, which we're fine with." He declined to elaborate.

Well, Mr. Lennox, you got your wish. Washington Post coverage. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Cheney's Memory Problem; Allbaugh's New Business

He's an engaging guy, punchy speaker, and ...well...maybe Alzheimer's?

Joan Didion has a few paragraphs on Dick Cheney:

If the case for war lacked a link between September 11 and Iraq, the Vice President would repeatedly cite the meeting that neither American nor Czech intelligence believed had taken place between Mohamed Atta and Iraqi intelligence in Prague: "It's been pretty well confirmed that [Atta] did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April, several months before the attacks," he would say on NBC in December 2001. "We discovered...the allegation that one of the lead hijackers, Mohamed Atta, had, in fact, met with Iraqi intelligence in Prague," he would say on NBC in March 2002. "We have reporting that places [Atta] in Prague with a senior Iraqi intelligence officer a few months before the attacks on the World Trade Center," he would say on NBC in September 2002. "The senator has got his facts wrong," he would then say while debating Senator John Edwards during the 2004 campaign. "I have not suggested there's a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

This was not a slip of memory in the heat of debate. This was dishonest, a repeated misrepresentation, in the interests of claiming power, so bald and so systematic that the only instinctive response (Did too!) was that of the schoolyard. By June 2004, before the debate with Edwards, Cheney had in fact begun edging away from the Prague story, not exactly disclaiming it but characterizing it as still unproven, as in, on a Cincinnati TV station, "That's true. We do not have proof that there was such a connection." It would be two years later, March 2006, before he found it prudent to issue a less equivocal, although still shifty, version. "We had one report early on from another intelligence service that suggested that the lead hijacker, Mohamed Atta, had met with Iraqi intelligence officials in Prague, Czechoslovakia," he told Tony Snow on Fox News. "And that reporting waxed and waned where the degree of confidence in it, and so forth, has been pretty well knocked down at this stage, that that meeting ever took place. So we've never made the case, or argued the case, that somehow [Saddam Hussein] was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming."

Get the impression that Cheney established Plausible Deniability no matter what?

Well, OK. Maybe Cheney didn't mean what he actually sort-of said.

But Joe Allbaugh's story will grow a new cynical hair or two on your head:

In February 2001, Joe Allbaugh, whose previous experience was running the governor's office for Bush in Texas, became head of FEMA, where he hired Michael D. ("Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job") Brown. In December 2002, Allbaugh announced that he was resigning from FEMA, leaving Brown in charge while he himself founded New Bridge Strategies, LLC, "a unique company," according to its Web site, "that was created specifically with the aim of assisting clients to evaluate and take advantage of business opportunities in the Middle East following the conclusion of the US-led war in Iraq."

Bad enough that he left FEMA to Michael Brown, noted horse-trader. But look again at the date of Allbaugh's departure AND the website's description of his new practice. As Dreher says:

Got that? Allbaugh left government service to cash in on his connections to profit from a war THAT HADN'T EVEN BEGUN YET!

Maybe Allbaugh is a visionary.

Wasserman: Some Good Stuff Here

Although the Milwaukee DA race is not directly my concern, there is a race.

As Wagner (via Jessica) points out, the hit-job done by the SpiceBoyzzz had all the elements of a Christofferson/Xoff campaign trick: ignore the issues, go for the personal attacks.

Here's an interesting excerpt from a Wasserman email:

Re drug "amnesty," I first want to say that unlike Chisholm I firmly believe that there is no such thing as a "non-violent drug dealer." All drug dealers (almost 100%) are members of some conspiracy to deal drugs, meaning that there are levels within the organization that are willing to use violence, and do use violence, to sustain the conspiracy. OK, maybe on this day this defendant doesn't use violence or possess a weapon, but he's still a member of a conspiracy to distribute drugs that always has as a component the use of gun violence. So no such thing as a "non-violent drug dealer." But we lost the battle 40 years ago over the use of small amounts of THC, and now it would seem cocaine.

Many offenders, in personal possession cases, should be assessed to see if they can be held accountable in the community, rather then while incarcerated. (Already, Chisholm has moved to the left of this position). Exceptions: where the drug use occurs in the home where there are kids. That ups the ante, and removal of the offender, and maybe the kids, through a chips action, is appropriate.

Wasserman makes an excellent point. The old 1960's "sex-drugs-rock'n'roll" Harmless Hippie dealer is mythology, or at least history. There is NO SUCH THING as a "Harmless Hippie" drug-dealer. Period.

RIP a Good Man Who Shot Straight

Via Grim, via Geek, we learn with sadness that Col. Jeff Cooper, founder of Gunsite, has died.

May he rest in peace.

Shari'a vs. Schoenberg and Heavy Metal

Actually, for some Western music, this is appropriate. Here's Shari'a on music:

...that he heard the Prophet saying, "From among my followers there will be some people who will consider illegal sexual intercourse, the wearing of silk, the drinking of alcoholic drinks and the use of musical instruments, as lawful. And there will be some people who will stay near the side of a mountain and in the evening their shepherd will come to them with their sheep and ask them for something, but they will say to him, 'Return to us tomorrow.' Allah will destroy them during the night and will let the mountain fall on them, and He will transform the rest of them into monkeys and pigs and they will remain so till the Day of Resurrection."

Where was Allah during the 'dodecaphonic' portion of Schoenberg's composing career? Where was Allah when 'heavy metal' was loosed upon the Earth?

HT: DhimmiWatch

Monday, September 25, 2006

New Papal Letterhead

It's rumored that THIS will be the new Papal letterhead for all correspondence with Middle Eastern folks:

HT: NeoConTastic

What's Wrong With American TV?

You have to see the post yourself to get the picture.

Caveman Rules!!!

New Green Campaign Poster


Like this? Feel free to copy/paste!!
HT: NeoConTastic

Vox: Right Proposals, Wrong Fundamentals

Vox Populi discusses Stupid Police Tricks (which are sometimes fatal to innocents, as well). He begins with a quote from Reason magazine:

...Last year Baltimore County police shot and killed Cheryl Lynn Noel, a churchgoing wife and mother, during a no-knock raid on her home after finding some marijuana seeds while sifting through the family’s trash.

There are dozens more examples. And a botched raid needn’t end in death to do harm. It’s hard to get a firm grip on just how often it happens—police tend to be reluctant to track their mistakes, and victims can be squeamish about coming forward—but a 20-year review of press accounts, court cases, and Kraska’s research suggests that each year there are at least dozens, perhaps hundreds, of “wrong door” raids. And even when everything goes right, it’s overkill to use what is essentially an urban warfare unit to apprehend a nonviolent drug suspect.

Criminal charges against police officers who accidentally kill innocent people in these raids are rare. Prosecutors almost always determine that the violent, confrontational nature of the raids and the split-second decisions made while conducting them demand that police be given a great deal of discretion. Yet it’s the policy of using volatile forced-entry raids to serve routine drug warrants that creates those circumstances in the first place.

Worse, prosecutors are much less inclined to take circumstances into account when it comes to pressing charges against civilians who make similar mistakes. When civilians who are innocent or who have no history of violence defend their homes during a mistaken raid, they have about a one in two chance of facing criminal charges if a policeman is killed or injured. When convicted, they’ve received sentences ranging from probation to life in prison to, in Maye’s case, the death penalty.

Then he makes a few common-sense proposals:

1. Any civilian defending an erroneously targeted home shall be immune to all criminal prosecution for all of his actions relating to the no-knock raid.

2. Any police officer guilty of injuring an innocent civilian will be suspended from the force for a year. Any police officer responsible for "accidentally" killing a civilian in a no-knock raid will be removed from the force, lose 50 percent of his pension and be charged with a crime ranging from manslaughter to murder one depending on the circumstances..

3. The individual responsible for ordering the no-knock raid will be jailed for twenty years to life.

Unfortunately, Vox bases his thoughts on his belief that drugs should be legalized--just like Bill Buckley. They're both wrong on the premise, but the remedies apply regardless.

Fence It, Frist, You Gutless Wonder

Kaus thinks Frist, the feckless Majority Follower of the Senate, is backing out on the border fence.

Commenting on Feckless' appearance on Stephanopoulos' show:

But then, with a guilty, knowing grin,** he added: "Right now I got a feeling the Democrats may obstruct it."

The grin was the giveaway. It's easy to let the fence bill drop and blame Democrats. Wink, wink. But a forceful majority leader who actually wanted either a) a vote or b) a sharpened issue against the Dems wouldn't give up just like that. He'd call a press conference to demand that the Democrats allow a vote. Put a spotlight on the issue. Make Harry Reid come up with an equally well-publicized explanation for why the Democrats oppose this popular common-denominator measure. That would be hard for Reid to do without hurting Dem election chances, and he might not do it--resulting in a Democratic cave-in and a vote. And the fence Frist says he wants.

Why isn't Frist doing this? Is he as feckless as he seems? Makes a big deal of the border fence one day--drops it a few days later. Or did someone get to him--someone from the "pro-comprehensive" White House, perhaps, who doesn't want to pass the popular parts of reform this year for fear the unpopular semi-amnesty parts might not pass next year? Or maybe Sen. McCain, another GOP "comprehensive" champion, told him that if he went ahead with the fence, he'd never be McCain's running mate. (At the moment, such a VP slot looks like Frist's main hope of a continued career in elective politics.)

No question the White House is working against The Fence. As to "electoral possibilities," we ask: "WHAT 'electoral possiblities'"? His first mistake is thinking that McPain will actually get nominated by anyone besides McPain's own John-Andersonesque Personal Party...

HT: PowerLine

Benedict XVI Ups the Ante

While 'warmly greeting' emissaries from Moslem lands, Benedict XVI reminded them that "religious freedom" goes BOTH ways:

Pope Benedict XVI told Muslim diplomats Monday that ''our future'' depends on dialogue between Christians and Muslims, an attempt to ease relations strained by his recent remarks about Islam and violence.

The pontiff quoted from his predecessor, John Paul II, who had close relations with the Muslim world, when he described the need for ''reciprocity in all fields,'' including religious freedom. Benedict spoke in French to a roomful of diplomats from 21 countries and the Arab League in his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo in the Alban Hills near Rome.

As observed by the Captain, the Saudis and Egyptians regularly persecute Catholics (and other Christians)--and as reported almost continually, the US Government will not protect US citizens from religious persecution in Saudi Arabia.

HT: Captain's Quarters

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Free Elections and Free Speech

Wigderson, a giant among bloggers and a fearsome wit, has now posted his 9,000th blog-entry condemning the voters of Delafield for electing an individual who's moving there. This is called "Democracy," although Wigderson just doesn't like it.

It's hard to figure out what Wiggy's problem is with Newcomer. The guy ran a clean campaign, worked hard, and got elected by the residents of the District.

Nonetheless, Wigderson continues to harp on the topic. That's his right. It's called Free Speech. He can belittle the voters of that District all he wants.

James also sent a late-night letter to members of the blogosphere, and wrote a post containing similar language to that in his letter, calling for an email- and phone-call campaign against a speaking appearance by one Joe Sobran.

Wigderson maintains that Sobran is an "anti-Semite" and thinks that no Conservative should have any truck with such a person.

Some on the Right side of the blogosphere recall George Washington's admonition to 'keep out of foreign entanglements,' and Ike's similar warnings about 'the military-industrial complex'--which could easily be read as more focused, but similarly-directed admonition. We can choose to ignore these statements. And we do, regularly.

But when some columnist dares question US policy vis-a-vis the State of Israel on a regular basis, that columnist earns the soubriquet "anti-Semite." Thus, private organizations which ask him to speak are Roundly Condemned by the ....the... Those Who Speak For Conservatives.

That's it. "Those Who Speak For Conservatives."

The very same Those-Who-Speak who cannot abide the exercise of democracy in Delafield, WI. Curious. We are spending a LOT of money to emplant "democracy" in Iraq. Can't we have it here, James?

Sobran has never, ever, attacked the Jewish people. He has remarked, with raised eyebrow, on the State of Israel's ability to garner money and favorable policy from the USA. Perhaps Sobran should have mentioned that the USA spends a helluvalotta money on Egypt, too--but he didn't.
We also spend a helluvalotta money on Robert Byrd monuments. Sobran HAS mentioned them.
In fact, it's clear that Joe Sobran has a lot more respect for the Constitution than does Robert Byrd.

Joe Sobran's views on the Middle East deserve a hearing. One may conclude that he is wrong. But here's a warning: if one concludes that Joe Sobran is right, it will not take long for one to be called an "anti-Semite."

It's also possible to listen to Sobran and examine the "facts and circumstances" which are current--and reach NO conclusion. You can still be called an anti-Semite--as I was, on another forum.

Clinton Deceives Again--to Wallace, on Fox

About a half hour after watching tonight's NBC News, which replayed the Clinton/Wallace unpleasantness, I came across a direct contradiction of Clinton's finger-pointing, table-pounding assertion that 'I came within 2 hours of nailing Bin Laden--we missed him by 2 hours.'


It was fall 1998 and the National Security Council (NSC) and the “intelligence community” were tracking the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden, the shadowy mastermind of terrorist attacks on American targets overseas. “They’ve successfully triangulated his location,” yelled a “Sit Room” watch stander. “We’ve got him.”

...Berger ambled down the stairwell and entered the Sit Room. He picked up the phone at one of the busy controller consoles and called the president. Amazingly, President Clinton was not available. Berger tried again and again. Bin Laden was within striking distance. The window of opportunity was closing fast. The plan of attack was set and the Tomahawk crews were ready. For about an hour Berger couldn’t get the commander in chief on the line. Though the president was always accompanied by military aides and the Secret Service, he was somehow unavailable. Berger stalked the Sit Room, anxious and impatient.

Care to speculate where X42 may have been?

Finally, the president accepted Berger’s call. There was discussion, there were pauses—and no decision. The president wanted to talk with his secretaries of defense and state. He wanted to study the issue further. Berger was forced to wait. The clock was ticking. The president eventually called back. He was still indecisive. He wanted more discussion. Berger alternated between phone calls and watching the clock. The NSC watch officer was convinced we had the right target. The intelligence sources were conclusive. The president, however, wanted a guaranteed hit or nothing at all. This time, it was nothing at all. We didn’t pull the trigger. We “studied” the issue until it was too late—the window of opportunity closed. Al-Qaeda’s spiritual and organizational leader slipped through the noose.

("Buzz" Patterson, Dereliction of Duty, Regnery) Patterson was Clinton's "football" carrier.

Clinton was not referring to the above event when he attempted to deceive Wallace. He was referring to the failed missile attack of August 20, 1998--where Clinton famously ordered a number of Tomahawks to be fired at suspected camps in Afghanistan ('shoving missiles up camels' asses' is the phrase used...)

In the meantime, a number of dresses were cleaned.

Shari'a: What a Crock!

Benedict XVI addressed the very high-level problem with Muslim theology--that it disjoins faith from reason, leading to horrific results.

On a more practical plane, we are reminded that Mohamet wrote some other wacko "laws:"

For a rape trial to go ahead in Pakistan, [and Saudi Arabia, inter alia] four adult Muslim men, 'all of a pious and trustworthy nature', must have witnessed the attack and be willing to testify. Evidence from female and non-Muslim witnesses is considered worthless. A woman who can't produce those witnesses can be prosecuted for fornication and alleging a false crime, the penalties for which are stoning, lashings or prison.

Needless to say, rape is a commonplace in Sharia-lands.

Clinton: It Was All the NEOCONS' Fault! (Shoulda Said LAWYERS.)

From the transcript of the FoxNews/Clinton interview:

WALLACE: …but the question is why didn’t you do more, connect the dots and put them out of business?

CLINTON: OK, let’s talk about it. I will answer all of those things on the merits but I want to talk about the context of which this…arises. I’m being asked this on the FOX network…ABC just had a right wing conservative on the Path to 9/11 falsely claim that it was based on the 911 commission report with three things asserted against me that are directly contradicted by the 9/11 commission report. I think it’s very interesting that all the conservative Republicans who now say that I didn’t do enough, claimed that I was obsessed with Bin Laden. All of President Bush’s neocons claimed that I was too obsessed with finding Bin Laden when they didn’t have a single meeting about Bin Laden for the nine months after I left office. All the right wingers who now say that I didn’t do enough said that I did too much. Same people.

X42, former Liar-in-Chief, was obviously having a hard time spinning his way out of the question.

Clinton's worldview began and ended with "civil law." He, his Rasputin (Hildebeeste) and their gaggle of slimebucket-advisers were by and large attorneys. Thus, rather than understanding that the country was at war, they understood that there were some "vandalism problems."

Even Les Aspin understood differently--Aspin wanted desperately to bring in the troops and equipment necessary to win in Mogadishu/Somalia.

But the "lawyers," including the Commander-in-Chief, said no.

The same cockamamie lawyer-mentality, now pushed principally by (D) lawyers and judges, is making Bush's life difficult in prosecuting the war effectively and efficiently. Application of ordinary "civil rights" to illegal combatants and terrorists is simply suicidal.

I suppose that's the neocons' fault, too...

Another Really Good Shooter

The guy deserves his props:

Puente, a 13-year [Milwaukee PD] veteran, won first place in the U.S. Practical Shooting Association competition in Oregon, where he outshot a fellow firearms teacher from New Jersey. He holds the title of grand master limited.

Puente shot three weapons used by Milwaukee police: a .40-caliber Glock handgun, an AR-15 rifle and a Benelli .12-gauge shotgun. He fired at stationary and moving targets from between 3 feet and 400 yards away, changing weapons depending on the target. He used an iron sight on the weapons but no optical scope.

(Clearly, the JS writer has no idea what's going on in shooting...)

Obviously, Officer Puente is not a "spray and pray" shooter. We should have more like him.

Mike Ellis Was Wrong

The JSOnline makes its dutiful hit on Republicans to show that it is "fair."

The article questions the Assembly leadership's blocking of an "ethics reform" bill written by the eccentric and somewhat wacky Mike Ellis--who has the resources, like Herb Kohl, to be "nobody's senator".

Ellis' proposal would have established another layer of "elections oversight" which had powers to both investigate AND prosecute election-law violations. Sorry, Mike. That simply doesn't play. We don't need any more prosecutors than we have already.

An online-accessible, weekly, standardized-format reporting system which clearly identifies all contributors to a political campaign (and which requires identification of all officers and Directors of groups making contributions) would be a giant step.

(The "standardized format" system would eliminate another of Diamond Jim's little tricks--sending his reports in 'gibberish' format to frustrate news organizations AND opponents.)

Doyle: Still in the 1960's on Energy

As one might have suspected, Diamond Jim doesn't want efficient and clean energy:

Doyle, who has supported construction of coal-fired power plants and worked with Republicans in the Legislature to push construction of wind turbines and other forms of renewable energy, supports the ban.

"There hasn't been a nuclear plant built anywhere in the country in the past three decades, and Wisconsin certainly isn't going to be the first state to break that trend," he said.

Whereas Green wants our State to have electricity in the future:

"I believe the key to meeting our future energy needs is through a diverse mix of energy sources, including renewable fuels and nuclear power," said Green, who wants the ban [on new nukes] lifted.

And an opportunist speaks up:

Earlier this month, however, the head of the nation's leading operator of nuclear plants came to Madison. John Rowe of Chicago-based Exelon Corp. said he expects to see three or four new plants announced in the next several years.

Rowe said Wisconsin regulators made the right call more than a generation ago to block construction of nuclear plants at a time when the cost to build the plants was soaring.

But Rowe, who grew up on a dairy farm not far from Madison, added, "I would be very pleased if my home state, which was among the first to question continued nuclear investment in the '70s and '80s, now became among the first to revisit the issue in a post 9-11, post-climate-change world."

Doyle's Luddite inanity is a sop to the wackos. Green understands the future. Rowe's "they were too expensive" comment is a gloss on history which is merely self-serving.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Phelonious Assault? Nope. Just Common Sense

The Confidentials brings us some VERY good news from Dallas:

About a dozen residents of a Dallas neighborhood beat a man after reports that he had been showing pornographic pictures to children on a playground, police said.

Brandon Scott Burke, 20, showed up Wednesday at an Oak Cliff apartment complex and was alleged to have shown a magazine with pictures of naked women to some of the children playing there, police said.

When one of the mothers saw him and asked Burke what he was doing, he tried to run and the woman started screaming, said Elizabeth Williams, the mother of another child. According to a police report, Burke said about 15 men "jumped him and hit him repeatedly on the face with their fists." He suffered minor injuries, police said.

At least four children saw the nude pictures, police said. Burke was arrested on suspicion of harmful display to a minor.

Phelony, who is Confidential, speculates that some of the residents will be prosecuted for assault/battery.

Frankly, I doubt it.

Jessica Finds Another Target

This IS interesting, no?

In one of his emails to an Elections Board member about the Green money transfer, Doyle campaign attorney Mike Maistelman, made this intriguing reference:

I have also been told that the Gov's campaign and the Dem party and others will give you cover on this in the media - not like what happened on HAVA same day registration.

She then raises an interesting question:

I'd love to see the emails flying back and forth then. Were they rigging the process to allow more Democratic votes in November? Was it orchestrated and then the Elections Board was left hanging to take the heat?

Maybe that "hard-line Rightist" Milwaukee JS will dispatch a reporter to FOIA the SEB's email accounts prior to that decision--if the US Attorney doesn't already have them...


Kill the F*&^'n MESSENGER!

In a rant directed at the "conservative" MilwaukeeJS, Folkbum gives away the game in his first paragraph.

A couple of years back, during the 2004 election season, I got an email from a reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel who could not believe, as he called it, the "hard right in its political coverage this fall. [. . .] Every day gets sadder. The only way its going to stop is if someone calls the editors on it, and that's not something that's going to happen from inside the paper."

So the anonymous reporter establishes credibility by referring to the "hard right" political coverage? Umnnnnhhh...yah.

Maybe newspaper reporters should simply serve as Doylie/WEAC/AFSCME stenographers?

Or begin each news story with a favorable reference to the ACLU?


Why the 2nd Amendment? More Good Thoughts

Following on the post below, here are some other thoughts about the 2A's raison d'etre:

If it should be decided to reject a standing army for the military branch of the government of the United States, as possessing too fierce an aspect, and being hostile to the principles of liberty, it will follow that a well constituted militia ought to be established (George Washington)

In that passage, Washington favored a militia rather than a standing army. Why?

President Washington wrote that in 1790, arguing that a standing army was "hostile to the principles of liberty" and the militia was the only safe alternative. Why? Because Whig political philosophy taught that standing armies followed the orders of the government, not necessarily of the people; militias were the people, and were therefore safer than a standing army. The militia's primary function was external defense--but the alternative, a professional standing army, was dangerous, and the purpose of the militia was to keep the government afraid of the people. (Think about Jim Doyle...)

Republicans in 1798 saw the standing army as an instrument of political oppression.

Representative Albert Gallatin observed that proponents of this enlarged standing army "speak not only of the danger of an invasion, but of the danger of a revolution—-of an oversetting of the Government...” Gallatin suggested that the enlarged standing army would be used in response to "fictitious conspiracies, pop-gun plots, and every other party artifice which has been practiced in England." Representative Joseph McDowell argued that the army proposed would "answer the like purposes to which a similar force had been raised in England and Ireland. And what have they been used for there but to suppress political opinion? The military force is there riding over the people, and dragging husbands and fathers from their wives and children to prison, merely because they have taken the liberty to think."

Hmmmmmm.......I rather like this stuff, as you can see from this post, wherein we discussed the P-Mac v From Where I Sit kerfuffle.

(Use the same link as provided below to access the article.)

New Hampshire's Model Amendment

This is pretty good stuff:

[Art.] 10. [Right of Revolution.] Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance ag ainst arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.

Kinda makes you think those old NewHampshire-ites got the drift, eh?

HT: ClayCramer

The REAL Location of "Mental Illness"

Some student at UW-M takes exception to the Pedophile Roundups of John Mercure at Channel 4. She objects to Mercure's language in referring to these cretins as "disgusting" and "perverted."

In order to defend her position, she cites the American Psychiatric Association's diagnosis that pedophiles are "mentally ill."

Pooooooooorrrrrr babies!!

I would suggest that the APA is 'mentally ill,' and that pedophiles are disgusting perverts. That's what we call 'calling a spade a spade.'

HT: BadgerBlogger

Bend Over, Waukesha County...Lucy's Moving the Football

Dan Vrakas, a protege of Scott Jensen, didn't really mean all that stuff about "reducing taxes."

That's the only way to read his comments and those of other Waukesha County Board members in yesterday's paper.

In recent weeks, Vrakas and his top staffers have signaled that the 2007 budget proposal would include a property tax increase around 2%, which would amount to $1.8 million.

[Tax-increase opponent] Lufter pointed out that the county executive campaigned last year by promising to "reduce your tax burden" and enact "real property tax relief" - phrases that were featured in his campaign literature and still appear on his Web site.

"No matter how he wants to slice and dice that after the election, he campaigned on freezing taxes," she said. "He needs to come forward with a zero- increase budget."

Vrakas, of course, sees it differently:

Under criticism from some who felt betrayed, the 50-year-old county executive turned to his sports analogy, saying he would move the county toward tax relief slowly rather than attempt one dramatic maneuver known in football as a "hail Mary pass."

So, at some undefined point in the future, Waukesha County's tax-take will stop increasing, maybe, kinda, sorta.

I have a sports analogy, too:

Charlie Brown's difficulty with Lucy's hold.

"Safe Spinach"--But What About Beans?

The FDA advises that spinach grown anywhere but the Salinas Valley is probably OK to eat.


What the FDA did not tell us, however, is what else is grown in the Salinas.

Beans? Lettuce? Mangoes? Garlic? Onions?

Homosex "Marriage" STILL Not Legal in Massachusetts

This is an interesting situation.

The Massachusetts Supreme Clowns Court ruled a while back that refusing to issue marriage licenses to homosex couples was contrary to the Mass. Constitution. The Court directed the Mass. legislature to "fix" the law.

The Legislature did not do so. Rather, Mitt Romney, (now running for the (RINO) nomination for President) issued an executive order directing municipal clerks to issue licenses to homosex couples instead.

Now a group of lawyers claim that such issuance is illegal.

“No argument for the legality of homosexual marriage in Massachusetts can survive an examination either of the state constitution or of the Supreme Judicial Court’s own case law,” said lawyers in a statement to the head of the Washington D.C.-based Family Research Council, Mr. Tony Perkins.

“The Massachusetts Constitution emphatically denies the judiciary the power to strike down laws or to suspend their enforcement or to assume any of the policy-making responsibilities of the elected branches,” the lawyers stated.

“[A]nyone asserting that the [Supreme Judicial Court] decision ‘legalized’ homosexual marriage in Massachusetts is fundamentally wrong about one of the clearest and most forceful parts of the state constitution.”

In fact, the lawyers said, the Supreme Court ruling acknowledged the limitation of judicial power and left it to the legislature to strike down the original marriage statute which excluded homosexual marriage. “Only a constitutional amendment by the people would be allowed to change the constitutional meaning of the term marriage.”

“How did Mitt Romney get the authority to strike down a law that he had sworn to uphold and that the court said would remain in force until the Legislature repealed it?” the lawyers said. “Is Mitt Romney a one-man legislature? The Executive has no legal authority to enforce laws that do not exist.”

This also creates a defense to the "full faith-and-credit" clause of the US Constitution. Since the Mass. "permits" are legally invalid according to these attorneys, there is no Federal Constitutional requirement to recognize these "marriages" in other States.

And the Romniacs in the (R) party will have a small problem, too...

Friday, September 22, 2006

ZING!!! Maistelman Takes Another Hit

From Random 10 comes the aphorism of the week, discussing the career of Maistelmen:

"Pay to play and paid to say are clearly quite compatible."

From Henry V: "First thing, let's kill all the lawyers."

How About that 6.8mm Round?

There's been discussion about the efficacy of the 5.56mm Nato (.223) cartridge--specifically, whether it's fatal enough in dealing with today's warfare environment.

In brief, the 5.56 Nato was designed for 200-300 yard encounters (the Cold War/Euro-battle environment) whereas today's engagements are often at greater distances (300-500+ yards--think Afghanistan, or non-urban Iraq.)

Plenty of noise has been made by the folks who want to return to the 7.62mm (.30 cal), (M-1, M-14 cartridge) but the Army and Marines just don't like the idea.

NOW we find noises being made about the 6.8mm (.270), which may be an interesting compromise. The most recent edition of Guns and Ammo (my wife's subscription, wink-wink) has a long article about the virtues of the .270 as a hunting cartridge--and one of the virtues includes relatively long-distance (400 yard) accuracy and hitting-power.


More here, HT Arms and the Law

I am among those who maintain that the .30 (whether 30-06 or .308) is the single most potent and flexible round available. But you need a lot of rifle-weight to counter the kick from the '-06, which has an effect on ground-pounders.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Argumentation by Forgetting Reality

Folkbum, a proponent of gay "marriage" and the WEAC/MTEA Party Line on everything, quotes somebody:

The real solutions to creating strong schools and strong communities are providing adequate funding for our schools, implementing research-based reforms like small class sizes and early education opportunities, and providing professional development to help teachers improve their practice." attempting to discredit Mark Green's education proposals.

Curious, no?

See, Folkbum, when he's rational and NOT spewing the Party Line, will be happy to admit that watchful and interested PARENTS are "the real solution to creating strong schools and strong communities."

Which we all knew, anyway.

Convict Picture Here. Says He's "Progressive"

Here's a nice picture of a convict.

He calls himself a "Progressive."

He was Chuck Chvala's Right-Hand-Slimeball.

HT: York

"Big, Big, Big, Big." And Now Dead

Talk about Toys for Boys:

When a mining shovel named Silver Spade was built in South Milwaukee in the early 1960s, it took 250 railroad cars to send the behemoth to a coal field in Ohio.

Weighing 14 million pounds, Silver Spade was shipped in pieces. Its bucket could lift 300,000 pounds of dirt in a single scoop. Its boom stood 20 stories tall.

Silver Spade was built by Bucyrus International Inc., then called Bucyrus-Erie. It took about 38,000 engineering hours just to design the mining shovel at the company's South Milwaukee headquarters.

From 1965 until this spring, Silver Spade dug 607 million cubic yards of earth at Ohio strip mines. By comparison, the Panama Canal required 405 million cubic yards of excavation.

I'd post a picture, but it won't fit into Blogger.

CPA Auditors Miss about, oh, $1.2 MILLION


How the hell does THIS happen? accounting firm has agreed to pay the Oconomowoc Area School District a settlement totaling $290,476 for inaccurately reporting the district's deficit in a fall 2003 audit at $188,000 when it actually was $1.3 million.

Yah, I know: transposition error.

Lawyer Lies!!! Maistelman Exposed

See, Jim Doyle hires an attorney (Maistelman) to give the Elections Board their marching orders.

A lawyer for Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle's campaign repeatedly lobbied three Democratic members of the State Elections Board before they voted with the majority to order Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Green to divest $467,844 in donations from out-of-state political action committees, records show.

That's perfectly legal.

So WHY does the JSOnline run the story using the term "lobbied", which is accurate, but a pejorative?

Because Maistelman lied to the JS reporters.

Maistelman was present on Aug. 30 when the Elections Board took its action against Green's campaign and talked to some board members before the vote. The same day, he denied that he was there working for the Doyle campaign.

It's noteworthy that the Green campaign attorney did NOT lobby the Commission.

By the way, Counselor: now you HAVE the "publicity" you sought. Happy??

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Don't Like Spinach Disease? Try Irradiation

This stuff works:

Treating raw meat and poultry with irradiation at the slaughter plant could eliminate bacteria commonly found on raw meat and raw poultry, such as E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, and Campylobacter. These organisms currently cause millions of infections and thousands of hospitalizations in the United States every year. Irradiating prepared ready-to-eat meats like hot dogs and deli meats, could eliminate the risk of Listeria from such foods. Irradiation could also eliminate parasites like Cyclospora and bacteria like Shigella and Salmonella from fresh produce. The potential benefit is also great for those dry foods that might be stored for long times and transported over great distances, such as spices and grains. Animal feeds are often contaminated with bacteria like Salmonella. Irradiation of animal feeds could prevent the spread of Salmonella and other pathogens to livestock through feeds.

Of course, the LeftyLoons hear the word "irradiation" and go all wacko...figuring their food may grow arms and legs or something...

But it works.

George Weigel: An Intelligent Commentary

Weigel (unlike the Jebby below) actually understands what's going on with B-16's talk:

The pope's first point was that all the great questions of life, including social and political questions, are ultimately theological. How we think (or don't think) about God has much to do with how we judge what is good and what is wicked, and with how we think about the appropriate methods for advancing the truth in a world in which there are profound disagreements about the truth of things.

...The pope's second point, which flows from the first, was that irrational violence aimed at innocent men, women and children "is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the [human] soul." If adherents of certain currents of thought in contemporary Islam insist that the suicide bombing of innocents is an act pleasing to God, then they must be told that they are mistaken: about God, about God's purposes and about the nature of moral obligation.

The pope's third point — which has been almost entirely ignored — was directed to the West. If the West's high culture keeps playing in the sandbox of postmodern irrationalism — in which there is "your truth" and "my truth" but nothing such as "the truth" — the West will be unable to defend itself. Why? Because the West won't be able to give reasons why its commitments to civility, tolerance, human rights and the rule of law are worth defending. A Western world stripped of convictions about the truths that make Western civilization possible cannot make a useful contribution to a genuine dialogue of civilizations, for any such dialogue must be based on a shared understanding that human beings can, however imperfectly, come to know the truth of things.

Weigel will be appearing in Milwaukee in November at a benefit dinner. Good food will be served. If you want tix, indicate so in the comments.

Twit Jebby Tom Michel Has the Answers for B-16

Some Jesuit who lost his Vatican job gives us the "woulda/coulda/shoulda" answer:

Jesuit Father Tom Michel, who served on the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue from 1981 to 1994 as the Vatican's top expert on Islam, writing in the Turkish political journal Yeni Asya this week said "the deeper question is, why did the pope say what he did in Regensburg?"

...One of his "most useful tasks" while serving on the pontifical council, he said, "was to look over the late Pope John Paul II's speeches to Muslims to see if there was anything that might be considered offensive in them, and if there was something of that nature, to propose changes for the Pope."

...Father Michel also pointed out that John Paul II "had trained scholars in Islamic studies on his staff," citing Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald as well as himself. Archbishop Fitzgerald was president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue until Pope Benedict reassigned him earlier this year as nuncio to Egypt and the Arab League.

(Duhhh...THAT was a hint to Abp. Fitzgerald, twit...)

Some observers say "the Pope did not intend to offend Muslims," Father Michel noted. He too believes this, but it is "beside the point," he said.

"Most of the time when we offend others, we do not intend to do so," he explained. "Rather, we do so because of ignorance or lack of sensitivity. In such cases, an apology is required." For this reason, "it is also proper for the Pope to ask forgiveness for his offensive remarks, even though, as I believe, he did not intend to offend."

(Gee, THANKS!!!, Father)

As our most Protestant blogger Owen said yesterday--(I paraphrase) 'now and then you expect the Pope to call a spade a spade. That's his job.'

Not Fr. Michel's job, we note....

HT: Amy

No Crisis Here

From today's News Briefs:

A Milwaukee man was shot and killed in the backyard of his home during an armed robbery Tuesday morning, Milwaukee police said.

The homicide occurred in the 11100 block of W. Langlade St. about 2:30 a.m.

Mayor Tommy "Milk-Carton" issued a statement from a conference in Washington DC, stating that this is all Sensenbrenner's fault.

GMC's Taylor: NOT a Candidate for CPA Exam

Julia Taylor's history at the YWCA wasn't real inspiring--so she's taken her "spend it all" theory to the GMC, and now seems to be endorsing utter stupidity.

The Alliance to Protect the Public Good suggests a [Milwaukee County] pension fund payment of $40 million instead of the $59 million that actuaries for the pension fund have said is needed.

The alliance - consisting of county unions, faith-based organizations, social service agencies and civic groups - is convening a rally tonight at the county-operated Mitchell Park Domes to outline its prescription for avoiding major program cuts and job losses.

Among the scheduled speakers at the event is Julia Taylor, president of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, a leading civic organization that issued its own county financial plan last week.

Well, Julia & Co., exactly when should Milwaukee County meet its legally-binding obligations for the pension plan? And exactly how?

Will AFSCME members voluntarily give up say, 30% of their pensions?

I know. Pigs fly.

School Administrators' Alliance--Another Bloodsucker Bunch?

Who are these people and why does their leader lie?

"It seems to me that the sum total of the Green agenda is a dramatic reduction in the resources devoted to educating Wisconsin public school children," said John Forester, director of government relations for the School Administrators Alliance. Green has been reluctant to commit to the state's continued payment of two-thirds of school costs, which amounted to $5.6 billion last year, while promising property tax relief, Forester said.

WHAT "two-thirds" Mr. Forester? DiamondJim didn't deliver "2/3rds" in the current budget and has NOT promised to do so (if he's in office) on the next one.

Who are you trying to kid, Forester? What "dramatic reduction"?

Green also kicked around the possibility of incentive pay for good teachers. Stan Johnson, a reliable source of inanity, had a comment:

Stan Johnson, president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the state's largest teachers union, called teacher merit pay plans unproven and expensive.

"If you're going to have to have a complete plan . . . you're going to have to fund it as though everybody could get it," said Johnson, whose organization has endorsed Doyle. "And that's always a problem."

Say what? How do you KNOW that it has to be 'funded as though everyone could get it'? And how do you know the plan is "expensive" if it is "unproven"?

Just keep throwing the stuff at the wall, boys. SOMETHING'S gotta stick.