Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Someone thinks that reality has come to the New York Times . . .

But has it? Read this at Just One Minute and see if you agree. My neighbor, a smart guy-business professor, is convinced that the problem with media bias is derived mostly from marketing, and not necessarily from an overriding political philosophy. Liberal bias, therefore, manifests itself in papers serving broad and more liberal markets with their stories.

I tend to disagree, mainly because the NYT just keeps on keepin' on, spewing venom at conservatives and celebrating the UN, Bill Clinton, and Paul Krugman (who has lost his damn mind). Senator Durbin got no real press time at the NYT, while Karl Rove gets front-page billing for a speech heard by virtually no one. Why is that?

The smackdown for Durbin

Read this and ask yourself about Senator Durbin's comments from last week. Censure? No. Ridicule, scorn, and an end to a Senate career? Yes.
On the first of June, I was put in a cement box with a steel door, which sat out in the tropical summer sun. There, I was put in leg irons which were then wired to a small stool. In this position I could neither sit nor stand comfortably. Within 10 days, every muscle in my body was in pain (here began a shoulder injury which is now inoperable). The heat was almost beyond bearing. My feet had swollen, literally, to the size of footballs. I cannot describe the pain. When they took the leg irons off, they had to actually dig them out of the swollen flesh. It was five days before I could walk, because the weight of the leg irons on my Achilles tendons had paralyzed them and hamstrung me. I stayed in the box from June 1 until Nov. 10, 1969. While in the box, I lost at least 30 pounds. I would be curious to hear Mr. Durbin explain how this compares with having a female invade my private space, and whether a box in which the heat nearly killed me is the same as turning up the air conditioning.

More Kelo fallout--the truth is starting to hurt

From Wizbang, we read a little quiz. Only one of the outrageous fact-patterns is untrue. And guess what? It's the one that is funny.

If my house were in Lakewood, Ohio, it would be considered "blighted." Here's the nut of one of the sources from Wizbang:

Jim and Joanne Saleet are refusing to sell the home they've lived in for 38 years. They live in a quiet neighborhood of single-family houses in Lakewood, Ohio, just outside Cleveland.

The City of Lakewood is trying to use eminent domain to force the Saleets out to make way for more expensive condominiums. But the Saleets are telling the town, "Hell no! They won't go."

“The bottom line is this is morally wrong, what they're doing here. This is our home. And we're going to stay here. And I'm gonna fight them tooth and nail. I've just begun to fight,” says Jim Saleet.

“We talked about this when we were dating. I used to point to the houses and say, 'Joanne, one of these days we're going to have one of these houses.' And I meant it. And I worked hard.”

Jim Saleet worked in the pharmaceutical industry, paid off his house and then retired. Now, he and his wife plan to spend the rest of their days there, and pass their house on to their children.

But Lakewood's mayor, Madeleine Cain, has other plans. She wants to tear down the Saleets' home, plus 55 homes around it, along with four apartment buildings and more than a dozen businesses.

Why? So that private developers can build high-priced condos, and a high-end shopping mall, and thus raise Lakewood's property tax base.

The mayor told 60 Minutes that she sought out a developer for the project because Lakewood's aging tax base has been shrinking and the city simply needs more money.

Perhaps this is the best result from Kelo--the light of day has been shed on a shameful and oppressive practice. But remember, the New York Times says this is all fine--because it is benefitting from the practice.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Rational response to Kelo? Perhaps . . .

Who knows? At least the Virginia General Assembly is coming down on the right side of this issue. Remember, if the NYT says Kelo is good, then it must be bad. This is how federalism was intended to operate--the US Constitution sets the floor, and the states are free to act in their own best interests. Unfortunately, in too many fields (particularly criminal procedure), states have simply abandoned any stricter rules than those permitted by the US Constitution. Let's hope that's not the case now.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Kelo's driving everybody nuts. . .

But the NYT tells us there's nothing to worry about. Of course, the NYT would say that, because they have gotten NYC to condemn property for them near the Port Authority. "Trust me, it's a good thing that those pesky tenaments housing "those people" are gone!! We are going to have a Starbuck's in the lobby!!"

See opinions differing from the NYT all throughout the blogospere--start here.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

That pesky Constitution . . .

doesn't get in the way of the Supreme Court declaring that private property is now owned subject to the whim and caprice of your local government. Think about it this way: the US Constitution (and those of the states) permits the government to condemn or "take" private property for public purposes. Generally speaking, condemnations are about roads, schools, and other public uses that are necessary to meet the needs of the locality. Today, the Supreme Court has apparently held that local governments (and, I suppose, state and federal governments) can take private property for the sole purpose of conveying it to a private developer, against the will of the owner, in order develop the property in such a manner as to increase the local tax base. (Note: I haven't read the opinion yet, because I can't seem to find it on the Supreme Court's website or Lexis. When I find it, I will update this post). UPDATE: Here's the opinion.

Your basic facts:
Susette Kelo and several other homeowners in a working-class neighborhood in New London, Connecticut, filed suit after city officials announced plans to raze their homes for a riverfront hotel, health club and offices.

New London officials countered that the private development plans served a public purpose of boosting economic growth that outweighed the homeowners' property rights, even if the area wasn't blighted.

Can you believe this? There is no blight, no nuisance, nothing wrong with the property at all. Your local government can now take your property because some developer comes along and proposes a plan that will "boost economic growth," and that consideration alone outweighs your interest in maintaining your property. Remember, a hotel, health club, and offices are worth a lot more than your house ever will be. You now own property subject to your local government's notion of a boost to economic growth. There's a name for this, and we thought we defeated it in World War II.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Guantanamo = Hitler = Hussein?

People are losing their damn minds over this Guantanamo thing, and it appears that some bloggers are out to give everybody a reality check. Check this out (warning, graphic photos of actual victims of torture under Saddam).

Also, check out the Dick Durbin roundup here--just keep on scrollin' because it's got the good stuff.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Durbin is getting his . . .

. . . and it's about time. Now, the Anti-defamation League is jumping into Durbin's grill.

And check out this and this from Mark Steyn. Read them both. A taste:
Throughout the last campaign season, senior Democrats had a standard line in their speeches, usually delivered with righteous anger, about how "nobody has a right to question my patriotism!" Given that nobody was questioning their patriotism, it seemed an odd thing to harp on about. But, aware of their touchiness on the subject, I hasten to add that in what follows I am not questioning Dick Durbin's patriotism, at least not for the first couple of paragraphs. Instead, I'll begin by questioning his sanity.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Check out Ralph Nader

Mind your manners, Ralph.
Speaking Wednesday night at a Washington fund-raiser to retire the debt from his 2004 presidential campaign, Nader complained that Democratic Party powerbrokers had kept him off the ballot in such Southern states as Georgia and Virginia - which reminded him of the oppressive Jim Crow laws that denied African-Americans equal rights.

"I felt like a [n-word]," remarked the 70-year-old white multimillionaire graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School.

Why does Rev. Al Sharpton get to decide which white guys can get off with a "wrist slap" and which ones get a full-blown Sharpton-led protest? Anyone know?

Dick Durbin (D-Ill) has lost him damn mind. . .

and the Democrats do nothing about it. This is truly remarkable, and it appears that he can just spew this nonsense and still be taken seriously. I have been to Buchenwald, and I have been to Auschwitz/Birkinau. If you think Guantanamo is comparable, then you don't know your arse from a hole in the ground.

I'm gonna git you, sucka!

This is the best.

Friday, June 17, 2005

You are not educated unless you read Victor Davis Hanson on the Middle East

You need to read this piece, and see if you agree.
Free-thinking Arabs refute all the premises of Western Leftists who claim that colonialism, racism, and exploitation have created terrorists, hold back Arab development, and are the backdrops to this war.

Indeed, it is far worse than that: Our own fundamentalist Left is in lockstep with Wahhabist reductionism — in its similar instinctive distrust of Western culture. Both blame the United States and excuse culpability on the part of Islamists. The more left-wing the Westerner, the more tolerant he is of right-wing Islamic extremism; the more liberal the Arab, the more likely he is to agree with conservative Westerners about the real source of Middle Eastern pathology.

The constant? A global distrust of Western-style liberalism and preference for deductive absolutism. So burn down a mosque in Zimbabwe, murder innocent Palestinians in Bethlehem in 2002, arrest Christians in Saudi Arabia, or slaughter Africans in Dafur, and both the Western Left and the Middle East's hard Right won't say a word. No such violence resonates with America's diverse critics as much as a false story of a flushed Koran — precisely because the gripe is not about the lives of real people, but the psychological hurts, angst, and warped ideology of those who in their various ways don't like the United States.

Read the whole thing, you lazy animal food-trough wiper!

Monday, June 13, 2005

"The Gulag of our time" . . .

. . . is really not Guantanamo, and Amnesty International needs to calm down. The always-entertaining Mark Steyn:

And would caving in to those negative perceptions lead to any better press? Nobody got killed in Gitmo, so instead America's being flayed as the planet's No. 1 torturer for being insufficiently respectful to the holy book of its prisoners, even though the Americans themselves supplied their prisoners with the holy book, even though Americans who fall into the hands of the other side get their heads hacked off, even though the prisoners' co-religionists themselves blow up more mosques and Qurans than the Pentagon ever does, even though the preferred holy book of most Americans is banned in the home country of many of the prisoners, where respect for other faiths is summed up in the headline, "Seven Christians Released In Saudi Arabia On Condition They Renounce Private Religious Practice."

Read the whole thing.

Everybody knows health care is better in Canada--

Except the Canadians, who think it's crap. Make sure to try to read Krugman's piece (I haven't gotten it yet because I won't pay the NYT online subscription fe). Keep in mind he's a "noted economist" and he's a lot smarter than you and, gosh, his work is impressive. Who you gonna believe--me, or your lyin' eyes?

"Access to a waiting list is not access to health care," wrote Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin for the 4-3 Court last week. Canadians wait an average of 17.9 weeks for surgery and other therapeutic treatments, according the Vancouver-based Fraser Institute. The waits would be even longer if Canadians didn't have access to the U.S. as a medical-care safety valve. Or, in the case of fortunate elites such as Prime Minister Paul Martin, if they didn't have access to a small private market in some non-core medical services. Mr. Martin's use of a private clinic for his annual checkup set off a political firestorm last year.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Go watch Man on Fire

Denzel Washington is the real deal. Even if he were opposed to the war, he is doing worthwhile things with his money. Shouldn't we all?

Good God--"never again" means absolutely nothing at all

9/11 memorial becomes a bizarre testament to American shortcomings. Christ.

UPDATE: Go here and check out the links. Again, I say, have we forgotten that morning? Have we lost our minds?

Learn, damn you, learn!

Our friends at Stone show us this bit of really good advice: Blind date?
This means small talk like, "after 6 hits while locked in my room meditating, I basically blew a fuse," is not exactly the combination to the master vault at U.S. Pussy Savings & Loan.

A bear in your house is not a good thing.


JFK--the best looking man in show biz.

Posted by Hello

Quite a smile, don't you think?
Turns out that I got better grades at Yale than the thoughtful, dour intellectual of the Democratic Party. Well, to be fair, I got better grades than President Bush, too.

Monday, June 06, 2005

61 years ago today--

Remember that it's D-Day + 61 years today. Read this and remember that the world owes a generation of Americans a great debt.

The "gulag of our time?" We said so, but we aren't really sure, so don't worry so much about it, because we are right.

Amnesty International, doing more to prove itself completely unhinged than we thought before, now says that its charge that America, and more particularly, Donald Rumsfeld, is running a "gulag" at Guantanamo is based on, well, read for yourself:

Despite highly publicized charges of U.S. mistreatment of prisoners at Guantanamo, the head of the Amnesty International USA said on Sunday the group doesn't "know for sure" that the military is running a "gulag."

Executive Director William Schulz said Amnesty, often cited worldwide for documenting human rights abuses, also did not know whether Secretary Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved severe torture methods such as beatings and starvation.

Schulz recently dubbed Rumsfeld an "apparent high-level architect of torture" in asserting he approved interrogation methods that violated international law.

"It would be fascinating to find out. I have no idea," Schulz told "Fox News Sunday."

Remember, if you told your whole town that your neighbor was running a whorehouse, and then defended their indignation and denials with "It would be fascinating to find out," then you would be laughed out of town.

"My neighbor traffics in young girls in his basement!"
"Really--what do you base that on?"
"I have no idea."


Friday, June 03, 2005

More moose news

Moose on the golf course. Check it out.

Making friends and influencing people

Once again, Howard Dean shows his true colors (and his ass)--if this is reaching out to the other side, what would a negative campaign look like?

Speaking to the Campaign for America's Future, Mr. Dean called for easier rules for voting, saying it is difficult for working parents to make it to the polls on time and wait to vote.
"Well, Republicans, I guess, can do that, because a lot of them have never made an honest living in their lives," Mr. Dean said. "But for ordinary working people, who have to work eight hours a day, they have kids, they got to get home to those kids, the idea of making them stand for eight hours to cast their ballot for democracy is wrong."

The point: Republicans can afford to stand around to exercise their right to vote because they don't have to work, the rich cheatin' bastards!

I swear, I think these folks have lost their minds--ask yourself, how many republicans do you know? Don't they work? And don't they do all kinds of different and valuable jobs? Are there no republican teachers, cops, firefighters, millworkers, lawyers, doctors, etc.? Howard needs therapy, and a smackdown from Miss Manners.

And here's the kicker:
Mr. Dean received the most enthusiastic response at the conference at the Washington Hilton yesterday, where the audience repeatedly interrupted his remarks with applause and cheering.


UPDATE: Powerline reveals that Dr. Dean said a whole lot more, most of which was complete gibberish, utterly devoid of substance. I think I am going to start paying more attention to the good doctor, because he might single-handedly ruin the democratic party forever.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Mind you, moose bites can be pretty nasty . . .

In Sweden, you can hunt the excess moose.

Big news in Jeffererson's Virginia

Some dude in KY wants to name his horse after Sally Hemings, and the Jockey Club won't let him. This will cause quite a stir around here--the area goes through spasms of "she was Jefferson's slave mistress" and "No she wasn't" every couple of years. The local experts will be out in force, no doubt.

Did you know --

That June 3 is National Doughnut Day? Go get some free Krispy Kreme!!