Axis of Right

Three Native Rhode Islanders Commenting From the Right on Politics and Anything Else

Archive for June, 2007

Glasgow Airport Attacked

Posted by Mike on June 30, 2007

Only a day after the UK thwarted a terrorist attack in London, a flaming car was driven into Glasgow airport’s main terminal. Police have arrested two Asian men in connection with this apparent attack. Since this story is still developing, officials aren’t saying if this attack is related to yesterday’s foiled plot.

Taking no chances, the British Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre wisely raised the UK’s terror alert to “critical,” which is described as a threat level which anticipates an imminent attack. Our prayers are with our British friends.

UPDATE: Police have now officially confirmed what most of us thought. It was a terrorist attack and they are assuming it was related to yesterday’s plot.

UPDATE 2 (JULY 1):  I guess by “Asian” they meant well-off Muslim doctors.

Posted in War on Terror | 3 Comments »

Missing Tony Blair

Posted by Mike on June 30, 2007

Some American liberals sounded like this when Bill Clinton left office. And when Al Gore lost. And when John Kerry lost. They were adults though.

Hat Tip: The Spectator’s Coffee House

Posted in UK Politics | 1 Comment »

iPhone Mania!

Posted by Ryan on June 29, 2007

Alright, iGeeks and technophiles–roll up those sleeves, tape up those glasses and get ready to push in line!  Your new gadget is here:  the iPhone is on sale as of 6pm today!  As usual, the frenzy is to be the first one on the block to get the new toy.  Even the mayor of Philly was waiting like everyone else today (a Democrat, of course, who was probably being paid to hang out in line until 6pm)! 

They expect prices to drop by Christmas, but at $499-599 at present, I’d hope they’d drop.  The iPhone is bound to have a dozen kinks that need to be worked out, especially about compatibility with existing software, whether or not the gadgets still work properly in three weeks, and range and reception issues will likely make the new owners of this pricey item a little put-off. 

But hey, who am I too talk? I’m always there to see the newest blockbuster movie right on opening day/night or weekend because I need to see it first(ish)!  I’m no different in that regard, but that’s only $10 a ticket, not $600.  I may get an iPhone, but after enough people I know have it and have told me about the joys and/or pitfalls of such an investment.  But, it’s summertime and waiting in line for something new and exciting is a great part of our American capitalist system on display. Kudos to all who’re buy into the hype:  you’re making the wheels of our economy turn this weekend!

Top pic from the Sydney Morning Herald.  iPhone pic from Gizmoto.

Posted in Culture, Pop Culture | 1 Comment »

Imperius Curse Needs Improvement

Posted by Mike on June 29, 2007

According to a new Mason-Dixon poll, 52 percent of likely voters will not even consider voting for She Who Must Not Be Named in the upcoming election. Looks like someone needs to improve her imperius curse.

This comes as no surprise. SWMNBN is one of the least likable figures in American politics. Like her appearance, her policies are nothing short of frightening. She does not trust to people to run their own lives. She plans to confiscate more of our hard-earned tax dollars to fund more government programs that don’t work. She wants to nationalize the greatest health care system in the world. She wants abortion legalized at anytime for any reason. Her War on Terror outlook fluctuates with Barack Obama’s poll ratings. This socialist and shallow worldview is not something people are going to flock to.

Her policy positions are not marketable and her image is just as bad. She sounds like a banshee every other time she opens her mouth. She changes her accent from crowd to crowd. She tells whoppers regarding her biography. Over the years, SWMNBN has come across as an irritable phony and people are well aware of that.

Her problem at this point is that there isn’t much she can do to change people’s opinions of her. Although most people are afraid to speak her name, they know what her name is. More importantly, they know what she stands for. They know her history. They know her phoniness. Her unappealing public life is an open book and has been for years now. Because she has been known for so long, there isn’t much she can do to convince people to like her.

However, there is plenty of time for her to convince people that her opponent is somehow worse than she is. This will be difficult for her, especially now that her unfavorable rating is over 50 percent. It is still possible though. We Republicans need to be mindful of this as we select our nominee. She is in bad spot right now but she will not defeat herself. That is up to us.

This poll is encouraging news because Mason-Dixon is a reputable polling firm. Although they are primarily known for their excellence in polling at the state level, this nationeide poll is still valid. Their methodology appears to be sound. They sampled likely voters and their findings are not that different from Rasmussen who has an excellent track record at the national level.

Link via Lucianne

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 3 Comments »

UK Terror Plot Foiled!

Posted by Ryan on June 29, 2007

Word has come out from across that pond that a loaded car bomb was found near Picadilly Circus in the heart of London outside of a popular night club, and on Park Lane, at the edge of Hyde Park. 60 liters of petrol, propane gas and nails were found in an abandoned car near Haymarket. There was an estimated potential of 1,770 people near a Haymarket night club complex last night and had the bomb gone off, this would have meant horrendous carnage or “significant damage and loss of life” as British anti-terror chief Peter Clarke said. Britain is on high alert and they are checking the street cameras as I write.

But this is Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s second full day as PM, and the day after he replaced Blair’s entire cabinet. There is a transition going on at the moment and perhaps this plot was designed to inflict a chaotic blow to the new government, or to make a statement about Tony Blair’s new position as Mideast Envoy. Either way, this plot doesn’t seem random.

It’s not a new story. Remember the March 11 train bombings in Spain that led to a Socialist wuss-like government that pulled out of Iraq and flung its tail between its legs? Our enemies are not stupid and they understand our politics and the weaknesses of our system. There’s no evidence yet that this was al Qaeda or another well-organized group, but that doesn’t matter– it was still perpetrated by elements that do not respect the rule of law or freedom. Also, the US is not heightening alert levels just yet.

This bothers me for another reason, though. It is actually a fear I have for America once we have a new President next year. The bad guys will try something to hit America or American interests once we have a new administration, regardless of party affiliation. Look for Iran, China and Russia to exert force against us as well at that point. It’s just the nature of the beast and the world we live in.

AP photo.

UPDATE:  Apparently, the second potential car bomb is linked to the one found earlier today according to officials.

Posted in UK Politics, War on Terror | 2 Comments »

Democrat Debate Moderated by Tavis. Republicans Are Smiley.

Posted by Mike on June 28, 2007

The Democrats debated tonight on taxpayer-funded television and would have embarrassed themselves once again if anyone other myself had seen it. Normally after a debate I give you my opinion as to who won, who accomplished something and who stumbled. Tonight, I cannot say that any of the candidates won. They were equally pathetic.

The substance of this debate centered on what I think is a racist assumption. Each of the candidates seemed to believe that our nation is divided between a well-off white America and a black America in which people are unable to control their own destinies. Even the set behind them depicted this message of division. This condescension especially manifested itself when it came to the concept of personal responsibility. At one point, She Who Must Not Be Named bemoaned the lack of attention to the high occurrence of AIDS among black women. She even played the race card by claiming that Americans would be more willing to address the problem if it affected more white people. What she either failed to explain or did not understand is that with rare exceptions, HIV is only communicable as the result of conscious decisions made by those affected. The answer is not spending more of other people’s money as the candidates suggested. The answer is for people to take more personal responsibility for their own choices.

John Edwards choices this evening were no surprise. He pandered to racists in the crowd such as Cornell West, Al Sharpton, and Maxine Waters by arguing that “every vote should count” in future elections. Perpetuating the false claim that blacks were disenfranchised in 2000 and 2004 only serves to heighten racial tension. He also bought into the notions that the government could prevent AIDS and that people are where they are in life because of a “genetic lottery.” The fact that Edwards wants black people to believe the latter so they will depend on people like him does not make it so. Every human being is capable of accomplishing extraordinary things.

The foreign policy discussion was even more embarrassing. Neither terrorism nor alternative strategies in the Iraq front in the War on Terror were discussed at all. At one point, many of the candidates advocated the use of force in Darfur for humanitarian reasons, but failed to explain why such reasons are insufficient for the use of force in Iraq. Maybe they just didn’t have enough time. Unfortunately, foreign policy took a back seat to more important issues like a hurricane that made landfall in New Orleans two years ago.

The bright spot of the evening came when Barack Obama and SWMNBN referenced the racial progress made in the 20th century. Obama specifically commended the U.S. for overcoming slavery and Jim Crow. It would have been nice if he had taken his history lesson a step further by reminding those in the crowd which party supported those ideas in the first place though. (Hint: It’s the same party that supports discrimination today in the form of affirmative action).

Tonight, the Democrats demonstrated once again that none of their candidates are fit to be President of the United States. They did not even address the War on Terror. They ignored the role of personal responsibility as a precondition to success. They pandered to racists in the crowd. They took their two Americas nonsense to new heights. Count this debate as a Republican victory.

Reuters photo

UPDATE: LaShawn Barber live blogged this thing. Her real time reactions are worth a read.

UPDATE 2: Great poll spoof on Little Green Footballs.

Posted in Election 2008 | 2 Comments »

A Guide on How Not to Cover the Vatican

Posted by Mike on June 28, 2007

I’ve always argued the first thing people who want to learn more about religion, especially Catholicism, need to do is ignore anything reported in the mainstream media because it is usually wrong. Sometimes the stories are inaccurate because of bias. Sometimes the inaccuracies are merely the result of good-faith theological ignorance. Whatever the reason, good starting points for gaining theological knowledge and understanding are rarely found in the MSM.

Pope Benedict’s imminent decision to relax restrictions on the use of the old Tridentine rite is an excellent example. I couldn’t decide exactly which MSM article to link to, but luckily I discovered the Curt Jester’s template for MSM coverage of the Latin Mass issue. The Curt Jester knows the Pope’s decision is coming and that the MSM will get it wrong one way or another. In an effort to make their jobs a little easier, he created a template, complete with anti-Catholic misconceptions and biases frequently found in the MSM, for them to use in writing their articles. Reading the template is instructive because it highlights many common media misconceptions of Catholicism and how they use those misconceptions in their reporting. It’s definitely worth a look.

If you’re interested in this sort of thing, be sure to check out the rest of the site as well.

Posted in Media Bias, Religion | Leave a Comment »

Amnesty Bill Killed

Posted by Mike on June 28, 2007

The roof collapsed on the McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill today when failed 46-53. Last time this bill failed I predicted that it wasn’t dead. This time, I think it is dead as dead can be in politics. Bush can’t revive it as the 2008 election draws closer. The only way this comes back is if the Democrats take the White House. (McCain’s campaign is going nowhere).

The grass roots defeated this bill despite some questionable tactics and rhetoric. Michelle Malkin has a detailed roundup of this morning’s pro-amnesty shenanigans. My favorite tactic was when the fairness doctrine liberals didn’t even bother to apply equal time on the Senate floor. Although Ted Kennedy claiming amnesty opponents favored a gestapo was quite amusing too. I’m sure Elizabeth Edwards will take the Cape Cod Orca to task for that one.

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments »

Supreme Court Rejects Discrimination

Posted by Ryan on June 28, 2007

One of the Roberts Court’s latest 5-4 decisions ends racial discrimination against children in local areas that force them to go to different schools based on the child’s race in order to promote “diversity.” While this doesn’t close the book on using race as a basis for school enrollment on the college level, as Justice Kennedy notes in the article, the Louisville, KY, and Seattle, WA, cases deal with local school districts that are afraid of “re-segregation,” but have no Constitutional basis for their actions since it violated the 14th Amendment’s “equal protection” clause. Louisville parents and

While an undersandable fear in certain parts of the country, as a teacher I can tell you that this has less to do with race, and more to do with inept school board officials and ineffective principals. At the time of the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, the basic ideas promoting the need for school integration had to do with the geography of the children in relation to their schools and the obvious inequality of the “separate but equal” nonsense of Plessy (1896) in the child’s education.

If in 2007 there is a need to bus children to another part of town to promote “diveristy” if the schools have had a noticeable achievement gap, this has nothing to do with “diversity” and more to do with highly paid people who don’t want to do their jobs for fear of looking unpopular for making tough decisions at the highest level of the school district’s administration. I see it all the time here in Central New Jersey– inept administrators blaming their demographics for decades of poor performance, looking for more hand-outs from the federal government, and being reelected on understanding the plight of the children and poor poor town. Cutting throughth he nonsense, the child should go to the closest school, and those in charge of the district and school should do whatever they can in order to make that school excel, be it a black or white or mixed-race school. It’s a little ridiculous to be having this argument in 2007. Maybe that’s my post-Civil Rights movement Gen-X attitude talking.

Either way, I’m please with this ruling, but it also reinforces the notion that a President’s judicial picks are so important– in 2003 a similar case lost on a 5-4 vote in relations to college admissions.

Posted in Culture, Judicial Watch, Politics | 3 Comments »

Big Brother Flashback: Dollygate

Posted by Mike on June 27, 2007

Last season CBS brought back the most memorable Big Brother houseguests from seasons past for an All-Star edition. Right out of the gate, the four members of the “Season Six Alliance” dominated the game. Along the way however, one member of that alliance, James, thought it would be a good idea to betray his ally, Janelle. The hiccup in this strategy was that Janelle is one of the best Big Brother players who never won the game and also the most popular houseguest in Big Brother history.

In this clip, eviction nominees James and Janelle participate in a veto competition in which the winner guarantees their safety for another week. James of course lost to Janelle and was evicted from the house. The embarrassing part of this episode was not the loss itself. Almost everyone in Big Brother loses to Janelle. What was embarrassing was James’ sore loser routine, which was reminiscent of Al Gore’s hissy fit in the year 2000. After Dollygate, Janelle came out smelling like roses and James was evicted from the house while losing his fan base.

What lesson should have been drawn from this incident? Simple. Don’t cry if a girl beats you in a contest involving a doll.

Meggie28 video

Posted in Reality Television | Leave a Comment »

“Fairness,” According to Kerry

Posted by Ryan on June 27, 2007

John F’in Kerry adds his name to the chorus of those who are now coming out for renewal of the “fairness” doctrine to destroy talk-radio and silence free speech because Americans are realizing that fundamentally and philosophically, Liberalism is not a better alternative.

How are we realizing this?  After forty-five years of Liberal pre-dominance of ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN, the “new” media, spearheaded by talk-radio and the Internet, is offering an alternative to the usual bias, and completing the sentences of many of the MSM’s own news stories.  Americans know how to get the whole picture and when they see it, the old-school liberal bastions don’t look so good anymore.  So, like DiFi, Barbara Boxer, and She Who Must Not Be Named, John F’in Kerry’s added his name to the list of those who see the only alternative to fighting in the arena of ideas and market forces is to restrict or even silence it.

Posted in Media Bias, Politics | 1 Comment »

Coulter-Edwards Catfight on Whiffleball

Posted by Mike on June 27, 2007

While flipping through the channels yesterday, I discovered that Hardball with Chrissy Matthews is still on the air. Who knew? Needless to say I was most pleasantly surprised to see none other than Ann Coulter as his guest. Midway through the interview, things got interesting. Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Democrat candidate John “Polly Prissy Pants” Edwards called in and implored Ann to cease using personal attacks.

Ann certainly handled herself well but my immediate thoughts focused on Elizabeth’s history of using questionable rhetoric. Chrissy however seemed to be suffering from amnesia. He made no mention of how Elizabeth Edwards once played the race card against President Bush on Matthews’ own show. He made no mention of Elizabeth’s defense of the now infamous “Hollywood is the heart and soul of America” pep rally. He made no mention of how John Edwards not only tolerated but hired an anti-Catholic bigot as his campaign’s official blogger. But he’s not liberal though. Just ask Andrea Mitchell.

I think John Hawkins at Right Wing News said it best:

If Elizabeth Edwards doesn’t like Ann Coulter and other conservative pundits taking shots at her husband, she should tell the Silky Pony to retire from politics. Politics is a nasty, rough, smash mouth game and quite frankly, people on her side of the aisle are primarily responsible for it being that way. When Elizabeth Edwards starts regularly chiding people on her side for calling George Bush Hitler or calling Republicans fascists or racists, then I’ll start paying attention to her complaints about Ann Coulter. Until then, cry me a river Elizabeth.

And he also mentioned something Ann brought up which bears repeating:

Also, isn’t it kind of pathetic that Elizabeth Edwards had speak up for her husband because what — he’s afraid of Ann Coulter? If the Breck Girl can’t stand up to Ann Coulter, what makes anyone think he can take on Al-Qaeda? Get out from behind your wife’s skirt and start fighting your own battles pretty boy.

I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that Elizabeth wears the pants in that family.

Posted in Election 2008, Media Bias, Politics | 6 Comments »

Tony Blair Leaves Number 10

Posted by Mike on June 27, 2007

Tony Blair stepped down as British Prime Minister today, ending his decade-long stay at 10 Downing Street. His term in office will go down as one of the most significant in modern history. As Prime Minister, he transformed the face of the Labour Party and strengthened the already sturdy special relationship between Britain and America. Conservatives on this side of the Atlantic have soft spot for the former Prime Minister, although it didn’t always seem like this would be the case.

When Tony Blair was elected in 1997, he seemed a little too similar to Bill Clinton for our liking. Like Clinton, Blair was a slick politician enamoured with big government, high taxes, and nonstop political spin. In fact, the similarities between the two leaders were so compelling that the American MSM often referred to Blair as a “Clinton clone,” although they meant it as a compliment.

Not only were Blair’s policies similar to Clinton’s but so were his political skills. As was the case with Clinton in the U.S., Blair gave his political opposition fits. No matter how hard the Tories tried to unify their party and call out the Prime Minister on his stealth taxes and spin, Blair always managed to run political circles around them. As leader of the Labour party, Blair won three general elections, retiring four Conservative party leaders in the process. For admirers of Margaret Thatcher, Blair’s departure couldn’t come soon enough.

But something happened after the murderous events of September 11, 2001. With the civilized world needing resolve more than ever, Tony Blair stood firmly with the United States. He supported our efforts against terrorist-sponsoring regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq despite being surrounded by a Labour party whose backbenchers would be more at home in a lunatic asylum than in the House of Commons. It would have taken enormous courage for a Conservative Prime Minister to stand with an unpopular American President. The fact that Blair stood with America under such circumstances solidified his hero status on the American right.

Although we American conservatives would prefer a Conservative Prime Minster (even if it is David Cameron), we will always look back fondly on the decade of Tony Blair. Like Conservatives Churchill and Thatcher before him, Blair obviously valued the special relationship between Britain and America, often risking his own political capital to nurture it. For that, we will always be grateful.

Reuters photo

UPDATE:  BBC cuts off Blair’s farewell remarks to the House of Commons.  That’s pretty classless, even for them.

Posted in UK Politics | 1 Comment »

The People’s House

Posted by Sal on June 26, 2007

What may now be a foregone conclusion in the Senate is decidedly less so in the House of Representatives.  The Republican Conference in the House tonight voted 114-23 to express strong dissaproval of the Sentate immigration bill.   While the move is symbolic, it has deeper implications.  Speaker Pelosi has stated that she needs 70 Republican votes to pass the Senate bill.  If only 23 Republicans support the Amnesty bill, it is a far cry from the 70 that Pelosi says she needs.  With many of the Democrat Freshman Class having campaigned as anti-Amnesty and strong on border enforcement, and with all members standing for election in a year, the House may be the salvation of our nation’s immigration policy. 

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment »

Bush Actually Called it Amnesty!

Posted by Ryan on June 26, 2007

I knew it!  Dubya apparently belted out a major Freudian slip when he actually called the Senate’s immigration bill “amnesty” this morning.  I mean, it is Dubya, he really could have meant anything, but it’s just kind of funny.  I’m gonna miss him when he’s gone!

He said today that the status quo needs to change.  So, leave it up to the Washington bureaucrats to think that to solve a problem caused by an unenforced bureaucratic nightmare, we need a bigger, more encompassing unenforceable bureaucratic nightmare! 

Today or tomorrow they may try a cloture vote to end debate on this nightmare.  I’ve called my Senators, have you?  I gave New Jersey Senators Lautenberg and Menendez’s office a piece of my mind when I related this bill to new guns laws:  we don’t need a new law, everything we already need is already on the books, just enforce it!  But, my Senators are both Democrats so while futile, I made my voice heard!

Here’s a list of the Senate office phone numbers and addresses.  If you’re in a state with RINOs, nail them on this!  Below are some Senators local to my area:

New Jersey:  Frank Lautenberg (D) Bob Menendez (D)

New York:  Chucky Schmucky (D) She Who Must Not Be Named (Evil)

Rhode Island:  Sheldon Whitehouse (D) Jack Reed (D)

Massachusetts:  John F’in Kerry (D) Ted “Fins” Kennedy (D)

Pennsylvania:  Arlen Spector (RINO) Robert Casey (D)

Satirical picture aimed at the RNC linked from Free Republic user posts.

Posted in Politics | Leave a Comment »

It’s Not Going to Work

Posted by Mike on June 25, 2007

Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and in today’s political climate there is no brighter light than the conservative blogosphere. With Republican politicians torn between support from their base and contributions from Wall Street Journal types, some may try to vote for cloture and against final passage on the amnesty bill. The reasoning goes that they can claim to have opposed the bill when campaigning for re-election while guaranteeing that the bill passes over their “opposition,” thereby keeping their donors happy.

However, this strategy will not work. Too many conservative media outlets have made it well-known that a vote for cloture is a vote for amnesty. National Review’s warning is just one of many.

The fate of the bipartisan immigration deal now rests with a handful of senators who say that they are against it, but are inclined to vote to let the Senate take it up again. Do not be fooled. Any senator who votes to bring this legislation back to the Senate floor tomorrow is supporting it, and any contrary vote he casts later will be a scam designed to fool gullible voters.

Except the gullible voters have computers now. Voting for cloture is political suicide. The question is, do the Republicans know that? Over the last few years, we have seen plenty of evidence that they are not aware of what thoughts lie outside thebeltway. I guess we’ll know soon enough.

UPDATE:  Hot Air is counting votes.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments »

Speech Restriction Aborted

Posted by Mike on June 25, 2007

Dog bit man at the Supreme Court today when the Court actually applied the First Amendment, holding that restrictions preventing a pro-life group from running issue ads prior to an election are unconstitutional, even if the ad in question references a candidate. The ruling was obviously 5-4, with the five justices who have actually read the Constitution applying the document’s First Amendment while the other four were lost somewhere in the shadow of a penumbra. Thanks to the arrival of Justice Alito, it now looks like the Constitution is making a comeback.

There was a division in the majority that deserves mention however because it highlights how Justices can have good faith disagreements while honestly applying the Constitution in cases where important values of Constitutional interpretation clash. In striking down the restriction in question, Justices Thomas, Scalia, and Kennedy all voted to overturn the provision of McCain-Feingold barring ads prior to an election. Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito however, limited their holding to the statute as applied to this particular type of case. Although these different approaches did not affect the case’s holding, both advanced principles necessary to Constitutional governance.

In today’s ruling, Justices Thomas, Scalia, and Kennedy upheld the principle that the courts cannot apply statutes contrary to the U.S. Constitution. The statute in question, McCain-Feingold, prohibits issue and political advertisements prior to an election despite the clear Constitutional requirement that

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, . . . (emphasis added)

The provision in question directly violated the Constitution because it was passed by Congress (McCain-Feingold) and abridged the right to freedom of speech by restricting said speech during campaign season. By straightforwardly applying the Constitution as written, Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy ensured that the document will continue to have meaning. Since the Constitution is the document which protects our God-given liberties, ensuring its meaning is a good thing.

Another important principle in Constitutional law is that the court must limit itself to the case or controversy before it. For decades now, liberal judicial activists have used their power to issue rulings that greatly exceeded the scope of the cases before them. Since they couldn’t advance their socialist agenda via the ballot box, this was the next best thing. Unfortunately for our nation, the Constitution grew more and more meaningless with every ruling.

Today, Roberts and Alito signaled their intent to reverse this activism by limiting their ruling today to striking down the restriction as applied. If the Court maintains this new commitment to restraint, it will be far more difficult to use the court as another policy-making branch and there will be fewer invented rights, which upon closer inspection are often not rights at all. Just ask the unborn.

Although both wings of the Constitutionalist majority restored two important principles today, the Scalia-Thomas-Kennedy approach was more appropriate. The restriction in question only came about because of an unconstitutional statutory provision. It was that provision that those who would abridge free speech (John McCain) rely upon. Striking down that provision entirely would have been appropriate because it would have advanced both the principle that the Constitution is supreme and that the court must limit itself to cases and controversies before it.

I know this seems like hair splitting, but the distinction between the good-faith approaches is important. President Bush did his country a tremendous service by nominating John Roberts and Samuel Alito. It is clear that both are committed to supporting the Constitution. However, their approach to doing so thus far tell me that neither Roberts nor Alito are in the same league as Scalia and Thomas. Thankfully though, they are not in the same universe as Breyer, Souter, Stevens and Ruth Biddy. In the end, that is what is really important.

Posted in Judicial Watch | 2 Comments »

The “Un” Fairness Doctrine

Posted by Ryan on June 25, 2007

Rush Limbaugh is back from a week of playing golf and my summer vacation just started.  Both of us converged on the first hour on his talk-radio show today when Rush took a swipe at DiFi’s (Senator Diane Feistein, socialist, CA) attempt to bring back the “Fariness Doctrine” to the media… but only to the radio.  She all but said she’d spearhead the effort on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace yesterday, when she was on with the useless Trent Lott (Senator, spinless wimp, MS). 

WALLACE: So would you revive the fairness doctrine?

FEINSTEIN: Well, I’m looking at it, as a matter of fact, Chris, because I think there ought to be an opportunity to present the other side. And unfortunately, talk radio is overwhelmingly one way.

WALLACE: But the argument would be it’s the marketplace, and if liberals want to put on their own talk radio, they can put it on. At this point, they don’t seem to be able to find much of a market.

FEINSTEIN: Well, apparently, there have been problems. It is growing. But I do believe in fairness. I remember when there was a fairness doctrine, and I think there was much more serious correct reporting to people.

Of course, the power of talk-radio and the unpopularity of the immigration bill are reasons why DiFi and other Dems want to silence the speech of those that oppose them.

For those of you who don’t know, the “fairness doctrine” was established in 1934, but clarified by the FCC back in 1949 to “afford reasonable opportunity for the discussion of conflicting views of public importance.”  In 1987, after a few decades of Supreme Court brutalizing it for obvious reasons, the FCC dropped the “fairness doctrine” because it simply silences and/or regulates speech in a patently anti-First Amendment way and according to studies actually depresses talk about controversial issues since it may mean government dictated competition or a pressured loss of license.  It is about as anti-free speech and anti-competition as you can get. 

So, DiFi, Barbara Boxer (Senator, wacko, CA) and She Who Must Not Be Named have been mulling this over since the Republican surge after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and how talk-radio is about the only place one can hear the other side of the Iraq War.  Politically squashing the freedom of speech for political purposes is pretty twisted and I hope people are paying attention to this.  The Left tried, with “Air America”, and they lost in the arena of ideas and the free market.  Now we have to use government power to mute our speech for openly political purposes?  Of course, the renewed “fariness doctrine” is only targeted at ruining talk-radio and not the newspapers, the Internet, the three big broadcast stations, and cable news–in other words, the media dominated by like-minded Libs. 

Posted in Media Bias, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Putin or Pravda

Posted by Ryan on June 25, 2007

Vladimir Putin is trying to whitewash Soviet History in a way reminiscent of the old Soviet propaganda newspaper, Pravda, which used clever language and bold-faced lies to advance the Bolshevik’s totalitarian agenda.  As an historian, this kind of thing really bugs me and is often a harbinger of reactionary and revisionist politics, which Putin is steeped in lately.

Among the things Putin blabs about is how “bleak” American History looks when compared to the old Soviet Union!  I laughed out loud!  Twice!!  The article notes, though, that he passively mentions Stalin and that Russia’s past is not perfect.  That was nice of him.  Yes, America is the only country (to date) who had nuked civilians (by the way Hiroshima and Nagasaki were both chosen because they were industrial sites).  Yes, we dropped more TNT on Vietnam than in World War II.  Yes, we also dropped tons of chemicals to defoilate those Southeast Asian jungles too.  And I’ll even add America’s violent, genocidal history against the Amerindians led to the deaths of countless thousands over the course of 250 years. 

But to equivocate the murder of 20-30 million internal political dissodents, innocents, and peasants though enciting famine and filling gulags for one’s own twisted ideology, all while actively trying to export this horrid ideology at the expense of human rights and the will of the people with anything America’s ever done is revisionist at best and ridiculous at its heart.  I believe it was Stalin (not George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, FDR, Ronald Reagan or even Dubya) that gave us the infamous quote: “One death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.” I, too, would be weary of such a legacy if I were President of Russia– by the way, an office that would not have existed without the United States.

Link via Drudge. Pic from Eurasia Daily Monitor.

Posted in Russia | 2 Comments »

Chemical Ali is Going to Hang!

Posted by Ryan on June 24, 2007

Ali Hassan al-Majid, also known as the notorious “Chemical Ali” was sentenced to death by hanging in Iraq’s highest court today for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.  Using mustard gas and nerve agents on the Kurds were his specialty, which earned him that morbid nickname.  Nearly 180,000 Kurds were killed in Saddam’s security crackdown to quell real and potential Kurdish violence during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), especially in 1988s infamous “Operation Anfal”, of which Ali was integral.  In the next few weeks, trials of those who maraudingly cut down thousands of Shiites in 1991 are to be heard.  Justice served–more justice coming.

Stories like these, of a heinous mass-murderer linked to an oppressive regime we overthrew being tried in a court that would not have existed but for American intervention, reinforce some of the good that’s come out of Iraq since Saddam’s toppling back in April 2003.  It also reinforces our moral objective for fighting in Iraq in a less etherial way than President Bush has done lately.

Card from Times of India. Map from Obsidian Wings Blog.

Posted in The Iraq Front | 2 Comments »

One Smart Kid in Britain

Posted by Ryan on June 23, 2007

This Daily Mail article linked on Drudge addresses the brilliance of a 2-year-old British girl named Matilda with a 152 IQ, and the youngest female member of Mensa, a society for those in the top 2 percent IQ range.  Although she’s very bright for her age, she’ll advance further, earlier in school than most, being alienated from her peers.  She may end up perfectly fine and well-adjusted once she copes with her brain-power.  However, she may end up socially stunted or bitter for everyone making such a big deal about her.  Unfortunately, British society and her parents may treat her much like little beauty queens are treated in America: all dolled up for public consumption, where some of us go “aw, how cute!” as the rest of us think “that’s a little weird.”  Matlida’s not a puppet, she’s potentially a brillant contributor to all of humanity.

Back in 1986, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons wrote a politically charged graphic novel (or in this case an R-rated comic book) called The Watchmen.  Oddly, it was a lot like The Incredibles (which was a lot like the Fantastic Four now that I think about it, but I digress) in the way a bunch of former superheroes were getting killed, while a few rogue survivors must track down their friend’s killers before they are wiped out.  In it a character named Adrian Veidt (former superhero, Ozymandias) was far-and-away the world smartest man living at the time of the Cold War.  His solution to solving the Cold War crisis was absolutely shocking and very unexpected.  Here’s a spoiler warning since the movie is being made for a 2008 release: (Highlight to read)  he teleports a genetically engineered alien-like thing to New York City sending a psychic-shockwave that kills half the city and makes the other half insane in order to demonstrate to each side of the Cold War how ridiculous they are being. (END)  But his brain was very big and his ambitions were even larger.  He looked down on the rest of us like we were all just silly and needed to be shown the way since we couldn’t figure it out ourselves.  Typical “power corrupts” argument.  Actually, a lot of Libs and some of my old college professors act the same way about the “stupid public” to use a popular phrase back in my undergrad days. 

Long story short, I just hope some Lib interest group doesn’t pay off the family and turn her into some hyper-intelligent global warming snob or Stewie from Family Guy.  I do hope she grows up as normally as possible for someone in her position.

Pic from About.com Fox Galleries.

Posted in Anything Else, Culture | Leave a Comment »

Some Conservative Talk on the Immigration Debate

Posted by Ryan on June 22, 2007

Conservatives have long been opposed to the Administration’s position over the last 18 months on the illegal alien debate.  Echoes of Newt Gingrich ripple through this ABCNews online editorial by Rick Tyler, a former Newt Press Secretary, about the Senate’s resurrected immigration bill.  While a very thorough article, I’d like to address its point about talk-radio’s fierce reaction to this horrible immigration bill as “outright revolt” when compared to talk-radio’s loyal support of Bush over the last six years.  In truth, nationally successful talk-radio is by-and-large independent of Bush and is generally more conservative than Republican.  However, Trent Lott’s demagogery that “talk-radio is running America” is deceptive, misguided, and fails to address a major complaint on talk-radio about Bush, Lott, and their ilk that the article echoes:

“The administration has decided that it is easier to defend failure than to replace the government structures that don’t work.”

I believe this to be the heart of the problem.  Conservatives do not trust the government’s ability to solve all of our problems– that’s a basic principle of conservatism.  Here’s a quote from the late great Ronald Reagan in his 1984 RNC Speech when he clearly compared the world view of Liberals to Conservatives:

“Isn’t our choice really not one of left or right, but of up or down?  Down through the welfare state to statism, to more government largess, accompanied always by more government authority, less individual liberty and ultimately totalitarianism, always advanced for our own good.  The alternative is the dream conceived by our Founding Fathers, up to the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with an orderly society.”

(Pause to think of flags waving, inspiring landscapes throughout our great country, America strong and confident, and reflect upon the bullet we dodged in Walter Mondale… Phew!) 

I digress.

But by not fixing border security, every other point President Bush and McCain-Kennedy make is moot in the eyes of conservatives; they simply don’t trust that the government can do that simple yet seemingly elusive thing called “real border security” along with everything else this bill promises to do!  Our government’s had 21 years since the 1986 amnesty and six years since 9/11 to solve this problem.  In my opinion, there is no way talk-radio or any conservative-at-heart can or will support any bill that does not use real border security benchmarks as a trigger to move on to the next step in the debate. 

But, as the Tyler editorial indicates, the problem is a systemic one and real change needs to take place at the borders.  This will require a philoshophical change in Washington:  It is not cruel to obey or enforce American law.  It is not racist to demand that those caught crossing the border illegally be prosecuted and sent back.  However, it has been and continues to be harmful to keep the current system in place, not demand business accountability, not register and ID the illegals, and not deport the criminal or gang-types immediately.  All these things can be handled secondly after a promise and action within our system to stop the bleeding at the border before addressing all these other ills.  That’s all the conservative opposition asks.  Yet sadly, Bush, Lott and their crew don’t seem to get it, as their poll numbers continue to plummet.

H/T Drudge.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment »

Liberal Media Bias Abounds!

Posted by Ryan on June 21, 2007

Drudge posted a MSDNC report on political contributors who work for the media and the story is worth repeating!  There was nearly a 9 to1 margin in favor of Democrats.  Since this is roughly the same percentage of those that admitted to voting for Bill Clinton in 1992, I was not shocked.  However, some of the Democratic contributors were from Fox News, strangely, and one of the Republican contributors wrote for the Newark Star-Ledger, an obviously liberal-leaning newspaper with an obligatory centrist story just to throw the bloodhounds off the trail once in a while. 

I know that every news bureau has a mix of libs and conservatives, but in truth it certainly seems left-leaning overall (not shock to those of us who’ve followed politics most of our lives).  It’s their prerogative and I don’t have any problems with that.  My issue is that they pretend to be unbiased, when stories like these reinforce the conventional wisdom that many media sources are pushing a leftist agenda rather than just reporting the straight facts about what happened.  They always seem to have to explain to us what really happened as if we’re sheep, rather than just give us the facts that we can digest ourselves.  This is why they get lumped together as the MSM (Main Stream Media) in more open-minded circles like this one.  They have their own conventional wisdom which begins every issue with a premise that starts from a leftist point of view, therefore every conclusion is either leftist or centrist (when they know that they’re really wrong), in my opinion. 

Posted in Media Bias, Politics | 2 Comments »

Big Brother Flashback: Dumbest Move Ever

Posted by Mike on June 21, 2007

Let’s return to Season 3 for what can only be described as the dumbest decision in reality television history. Thankfully it was a decision made by Marcellas, one of the least likeable contestants in reality television history. This video is also worth watching because of the ending, and Lisa.

Livewire Joe video

Posted in Reality Television | 1 Comment »

Disrespect for Life at All Stages

Posted by Mike on June 21, 2007

President Bush stood up for human life yesterday, causing She Who Must Not Be Named to deliver a predictable yet hysterical overreaction. According to the candidate, President Bush vetoed legislation which would have funded embryonic stem cell research because he values politics and ideology over science and progress. She did not mention the sanctity of human life. She did not mention medical ethics. She did not even mention the free market.

This statement is just the latest example of how radical SWMNBN really is. There are many pro-choice politicians out there but at least they have the decency to pretend to have respect for the pro-life position. Even John Kerry paid lip service in his speeches to respecting pro-lifers before articulating his desire for abortion on demand. Not SWMNBN though. Nope. Those who value life apparently do so for no reason whatsoever.

Is SWMNBN sincere or does she value politics over innocent human life? Or does she value politics over ethics? Perhaps she values politics over science? Or maybe she just doesn’t know that most of the scientific breakthroughs in this area are coming from adult stem cell research, not embryonic. Science tells us this is so. The free market also tells us this is so. If the field of embryonic stem cell research had any potential, there would be no need for federal funding because the free market would adequately fund such research. But she doesn’t value the free market either so never mind.

It comes as no surprise that She Who Must Not Be Named supports federally funding the destruction of human life in the embryonic stage. After all, she supports legalized abortion at any stage of pregnancy for any reason while opposing all common sense restrictions such as parental notification. She even supports legalizing partial birth abortion.

What is it about little children that fails to warm her cold black heart? Is she sincere? Or is she the one who values politics above all else?

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 1 Comment »

Mayor Mike Takes a Hike

Posted by Ryan on June 20, 2007

Liberal New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg has finally left the Republican Party (he was a Democrat just before being elected to mayor anyway).  Of course, he says that he “intends” to serve out the rest of his term as Mayor as an Independent and not run for President in 2008.  Don’t take this seriously.  Liberal NY counterpart, She Who Must Not Be Named, also said that she wouldn’t run for President if reelected New York’s junior Senator.  But, she is a Clinton, so we expect them to lie! 

Let’s just suppose he does run in 2008.  A liberal friend of mine bought the popular MSM wisdom that it would hurt Republicans.  There are a million things that could hurt the Republicans next year, but I had a simple question: 

Could someone tell me in this coming election, which Republicans are going to vote for a closet socialist party-jumper, charging people $18 a day to drive into the city, who saw crime increase in NYC under his watch, who wants to bribe kids with tax-payer cash to study and go to school, who wanted to ban cell phones on the streets, who supports abortion and gay marriage, raised property taxes, just to name a few very un-Republican things he’s done? 

I’m happy he’s gone and think that moderate Democrats, cagey Perot Indepedents and a few disgruntled Republican/Non-Republicans would be his base.  I think, on balance, that this hurts the Dems more than the Republicans, since SWMNBN is so polarizing and in this race where she has nearly 100% name recognition, she can only pull less than 40% of her party’s support.  Plus, what dude is going to be shamed into voting for SWMNBN anyway?  Exactly.  They’ll want an alternative (let’s not discount Ralph Nader while we’re at it!).

Posted in Election 2008, Media Bias, Politics | 2 Comments »

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Update

Posted by Mike on June 19, 2007

We’ve had an uptick in our Harry Potter traffic lately. Unfortunately our previous post on this topic only mentioned the fact that there would be a Harry Potter theme park. At the time, there was very little information on the park itself and that is still the case. However, Universal Studios is starting to say a little bit more.

They have now opened an official Wizarding World of Harry Potter website which addresses several questions many of you have had. Still no word on the butterbeer though. Be sure to check that site for updates as they occur. I will do the same and post any news of well-mannered frivolity I find interesting.

Artist’s impression of future theme park via the Daily Mail.

Posted in Anything Else, Pop Culture | Leave a Comment »

Fred Fever Grows

Posted by Ryan on June 19, 2007

Election 2008 update:  according to the latest round of Rasmussen polls, Fred Thompson is on top of Rudy by a point, 28% to 27%.  I know that this means nothing statistically, except that Fred is suddenly very very close to being a full-fledged leader in the Republican race, and the first person to lead Giuliani in the Rasmussen polls.

Posted in Election 2008 | 2 Comments »

Better Late Than Never

Posted by Mike on June 18, 2007

President Bush has threatened to veto Democrat spending bills which exceed his own exorbitant budget proposals. Although the President should have exhibited this kind of fiscal restraint about six years ago, the veto threat is nevertheless welcome.

When Governor Bush ran for President in 2000, he warned that his opponent would increase government spending more than Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis combined. That was probably true, but it was still no excuse for President Bush to accept proposals which spent tax dollars at a pace that would have embarrassed Bill Clinton.

Admittedly some of those increases were on defense spending and that is completely justified, especially during war time. However, Bush’s spending spree has not been limited to defense. Despite a political climate which accepts reducing the role of government, Bush has expanded government and increased spending at a rate not seen since at least the late 1970s. He created a new entitlement program in the form of a prescription drug benefit, and signed spending bill after spending bill containing hundreds of pork projects.

So now he changes his tune by promising to actually demonstrate fiscal restraint rather than just talking about it. I’ll take it, but it is still too little too late. Conservatives sent a message in 2000 by electing a conservative to the Presidency. Its a shame that it took a Democrat Congress to actually deliver one.

Thankfully Republican voters seem to be scrutinizing the Presidential candidates much more closely this time.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment »

Sir Salman Rushdie

Posted by Ryan on June 18, 2007

In another outburst of Muslim peacefulness and tolerance, effigies of the Queen and Salman Rushdie burned as the Pakistani parliament approved a measure today condemning the knighting of Salman Rushdie and calling for Britain to renounce the act and apologize.  Then, Pakistan’s “religious” affairs minister, Mohammed Ijaz ul-Haq, said:

“If someone exploded a bomb on his body he would be right to do so, unless the British government apologises and withdraws the ‘sir’ title.”

Yet, another tidbit from our allies in the War on Terror that make your spine tingle!  To our Western minds, well-versed in much pop-psychology, these kinds of reactions paint not a picture of piety and devotion, but of severe and dangerous insecurity and fear on behalf of the reactionaries.  People need to die if they don’t agree with your point of view.  It’s all very reminiscent of the totalitarians of the early and mid 20th Century.  Like Hitler and Tojo, conversion is not an option to these nuts.  Like Hitler and Tojo, we’re going to get real with them one day, especially if stories like this from ABC are true–dozens of suicide bombers are flocking here as we speak (probably right through our porous borders) and also to Canada, Britain and Germany. 

If you don’t recall, Rushdie drew anger from the Muslim world when his 1988 work, The Satanic Verses, was published.  Singapore and India banned the book.  In Pakistan, six people were killed and one hundred injured over protests involving the book.  Dozens of other countries banned it.  The Ayatollah even called for his immediate execution for the sake of Islam back in 1989.  That fatwa still stands, along with a roughly $160,000 bounty for his murder. 

All of which, by the way, for a work of fiction where, illustrated through dream sequences, Mohammed fictionally changes his mind about something relating to worshiping dieties.  This leads to a subsequent and subtle misinterpretation of the Qu’ran, which is something of an insecurity in the Muslim world since Mohammed never wrote anything down before his death.  Oh yeah, and he took a swipe at the Ayatollah.

Link via Drudge.  Pic from the UK Daily Mail link.

Posted in Europe, UK Politics, War on Terror | 3 Comments »