"I wish they would only take me as I am" - Vincent Van Gogh               "How Can I believe in God when just last week I got my tounge caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?" - Woody Allen              "Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake" - Henry David Thoreau              "I took a speed reading course and read 'War and Peace' in twenty minutes. It involves Russia" - Woody Allen            "When promulgating esoteric cogitations, eschew platitudinous ponderosities" - Mark Rowan, my father            "Up, sluggard, and waste not life, for in the grave there will be sleep enough" - Benjamin Franklin             "What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world." - Albert Einstein            "Welfare's purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence" - Ronald Reagan            "It's odd that you can get so anesthetized by your own pain or your own problem that you don't quite fully share the hell of someone close to you." - Lady Bird Johnson              "I still want to be the candidate for guys with confederate flags in their pickup truck" - Howard Dean

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

NY Times Reports on Struggling Canadian Health Care System

Hat tip to The Only Republican in San Francisco, for originally commenting on this article from the NY Times. I've decided to add my own thoughts, as it is a very interesting article.

While the Canadian health care system has received a great deal of praise from Americans, the tremendous troubles that it has had, and continues to have, seem to be ignored. Hospital closures, long waits, and extreme shortages of doctors, nurses, and even ambulances, are all an unseen part of the taxpayer funded free hospitals in Canada. The Times reports that,
The median wait time between a referral by a family doctor and an appointment with a specialist has increased to 8.3 weeks last year from 3.7 weeks in 1993, according to a recent study by The Fraser Institute, a conservative research group. Meanwhile the median wait between appointment with a specialist and treatment has increased to 9.4 weeks from 5.6 weeks over the same period. Average wait times between referral by a family doctor and treatment range from 5.5 weeks for oncology to 40 weeks for orthopedic surgery, according to the study.
These are serious concerns for anyone considering such a system in the US (Such as Gavin Newsom, or Hillary Clinton). The introduction of exclusively government run health care has led to a bumbling, inefficient system, riddled with troubles. However, this is not surprising to me.

What I found most interesting about this article is the statement that "private insurance companies are about to find a gold mine." The Canadian system provides free insurance, so private insurance agencies were left out. They were unnecessary. So, it is somewhat backwards that they would now be poised to bring in huge profits. The development of private clinics, which were just recently allowed to be built, are becoming incredibly popular. Private clinics are able to provide vastly superior care, and are thus, very attractive to patients who don't want to wait nearly a year for their surgery. With the growth of private clinics (nearly one a week) in Canada, insurance agencies are poised to get their share of the market.

These private clinics, however, lead to another, unfortunate outcome. Because the government hospitals and clinics are taxpayer funded (and taxes are quite high in Canada), those who opt out of the free hospital are still paying their share for them. This means that they are paying extra for private treatment. Private treatment, thus, is not yet readily available for a great number of Canadians. Only those who can pay extra (after their taxes) have access. Thus, a tiered system has developed. Those who can afford it receive better health care, while the majority are forced to rely on the poorly-run government hospitals.

But, this tiered system will not continue for long. As more and more private clinics develop, they will become increasingly available to everyone. While the Canadian Socialized health care may be in its death rattle now, it will have to be completely eliminated before this tiered system will be minimized.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Hillary Clinton and Vouchers: a Study of Politcal Speaking


On Tuesday Hillary was espousing the dangers of school vouchers. I first heard about her comments from Malkin. It's not much of a surprise to see Hillary lobby against such a reform. Despite sending Chelsea to a private academy in DC, Clinton (Both Bill and Hillary) receive a great deal of support from teachers unions. Her speech was as follows:
CLINTON: Suppose that you were meeting today to decide who got the vouchers. First parent comes and says 'I want to send my daughter to St. Peter's Roman Catholic School' and you say 'Great, wonderful school, here's your voucher. Next parent who comes says, 'I want to send, you know, my child to the Jewish Day School. Great here's your voucher! Next parent who comes says, "I want to send my child to the private school that I've already dreamed of sending my child to.' Fine. Here's your voucher.

Next parent who comes says, 'I want to send my child to the school of the Church of the White Supremacist.' You say, 'Wait a minute. You can't send...we're not giving a voucher for that.' And the parent says, 'Well, the way that I read Genesis, Cain was marked, therefore I believe in white supremacy. And therefore, you gave it to a Catholic parent, you gave it to a Jewish parent, gave it to a secular private parent. Under the Constitution, you can't discriminate against me.'

Suppose the next parent comes and says 'I want to send my child to the School of...the Jihad.' Wait a minute! We're not going to send a child with taxpayers dollars to the School of Jihad. 'Well, you gave it to the Catholics, gave it to the Jews, gave it to the private secular people. You're gonna tell me I can't? I'm a taxpayer. Under the Constitution.'

Now, tell me how we're going to make those choices.
Despite disagreeing with Hillary on the issue in general, these statements were particularly idiotic, in my opinion. To me, it illustrates the importance of understanding what politicians say. I disagree with most of Hillary's issues (though I applaude the fact that she continues to be one of few senate democrats that show any support for President Bush in Iraq), but I recognize that she is an intelligent woman. She is shrewd, and very politically minded. She may have rode in on her husband's coattails, but that doesn't mean she doesn't know how to be a politician. So, I decided to analyze her comments for you, my reader.

First, White Supremacy Schools. Well, Hillary, you may have forgotten about a little thing called Brown v. Board of Education. That decision said that a school cannot discriminate based on race. Thus, such a school would be illegal, and could not opperate legally.

Secondly, a jihad school? Such a horrible thought, but Hillary does raise a good point. As long as the school did not discriminate, how could we prevent it from developing? It's a frightening thought. How could we prevent it from opening? By doing absolutely nothing. That's right, nothing. There is currently no law preventing such a school from being opened today, yet none has developed. It certainly isn't for lack of funding, considering Al Qaeda's deep pockets. Rather, it is likely due to such strong public opposition.

Clinton's slippery slope example is ridiculous. Looking at these possibilities for even a moment makes that clear. Yet, Clinton's statements serve to do something else, that is not so easy to see. While her comparisons are absolutely ridiculous, Hillary has related vouchers to racism and Islamofascism. She is playing to our emotions. Her statements somehow make school vouchers related to racism and terrorism. There is absolutely no reason why a voucher system would favor the creation of a racist or terrorist school anymore than the current system, yet her statement would seem to indicate otherwise. This is where her political savvy really shows through. Even though anyone with a few brain cells can tell that the comparison is ridiculous, it still serves to equate vouchers to such emotionally repugnant concepts as racism and terrorism.
For some great posts on Hillary's statements, check out the following:
  • Eugene Rant
  • Marooned in Marin
  • Michelle Malkin
  • Watch the Video
  • Thursday, February 23, 2006

    Let Harriet Miers run the ports

    Hooray! New Ann Coulter!

    While it is very likely that, if the ports are turned over to DP World, that no terrorist attack will come through these ports, we must not allow for even the slightest possibility. Ann points out the glaring falacy of President Bush' defense of the deal; there is a difference between a UAE company and a British Company. Namely, the fact that the UAE - aside from their numerous indirect ties to 9/11 - is composed primarily with members of the "religion of peace"...you know, the group that is murdering catholic priests, destroying french buildings, and burning American flags over DANISH CARTOONS!

    Opposition to the ports deal is coming from every group; Democrats (Clinton, Schumer, etc...), Republicans (King, Frist), and even pundits as varied as Ann Coulter and Michael Savage. This many people cannot be this wrong.

    Wednesday, February 22, 2006

    Gavin Newsom set to Socialize San Francisco Health Care. Part II - What if?

    Mayor Gavin Newsom is hoping to implement a socialized health care initiative, designed to provide free health care to the uninsured residents of San Francisco. I, for one, think this is a horrible idea. Socialized health care is a burden to hard-working citizens. My previous post was to show the ways that government can influence health care costs. This post's aim is to show the burden that the implementation of this plan would cause.

    If Mayor Newsom's plan were to be implemented, what would be the response of those who are insured? Consider someone who makes a moderate living, and is able to pay for their own coverage. With the passage of Newsom's plan, that person now sees their taxes increased; helping the poor has hurt the middle. Many of those who could previously afford health care would now be priced out of their situation due to the increase in their taxes. Yet, they could then turn to the city for their coverage, further raising taxes. Pricing out a portion of the middle class would have the net effect of increasing the number of uninsured.

    For anyone who has read the book Freakonomics (also check out the Freakonomics blog), the world is shaped by incentives. So, what incentive is there for an employer to provide health care, and what incentive is there for an employee to continue to pay for coverage? The answer to both is none. In fact, there is a clear financial incentive not to participate in an employer-provided health plan. Again I reference this article which claims that "companies that provide health care to their workers are at a competitive disadvantage with companies that don't". This is a backwards view (see my previous post), but with government provided health care this becomes a true statement. Employers who do provide health care are at a competitive disadvantage to those who don't.

    The implementation of this plan, aside from pricing out some people from paying for their own care, has another negative effect to those employed in mid-level positions. A position with a higher wage and better benefits naturally attracts more skilled, better qualified employees. These employees who have earned such a position are now at a disadvantage to those who have not. The value associated with their job has diminished, and their taxes have increased. The hard work that has resulted in them landing a better job has been negated.

    With these considerations in mind, does it seem like Mayor Newsom's plan will fix the problem of the uninsured? No. It would make it worse by removing the incentive for employers to provide it, and eliminating a person's incentive for paying for their own coverage, and eliminates much of the incentive to seek better employment. Furthermore, the bureaucracy of government involvement would likely further increase health care costs, exacerbating the initial problem. Socialized health care would be a nightmare - anyone with any experience at the DMV should understand this and expect it.

    Gavin Newsom set to Socialize San Francisco Health Care. Part I: What is the problem?

    San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (aka "Major Nuisance") is in Sacramento garnering support for his idea of universal healthcare for San Francisco's uninsured. Newsom is yet to release any details of the plan. Nonetheless, without hearing the details of the plan I am almost assuredly against it. My disapproval isn't because I am a callous, heart-less bastard (which, I am). Rather, this type of "solution" doesn't address the real problem of the uninsured. Placing resources to provide health care is like treating the symptoms of a disease, not seeking a cure. It may feel good temporarily, but it fails to address the root of the problem.

    The first part of the problem is the question of "why are there so many people without adequate health care." According to the NCHC, 38% of people in America are employed by smaller businesses. Less than two-thirds of these businesses provide any health care, whereas on the national average, only one-third of companies do not provide health care. That means that small businesses are more than twice as likely to not provide health benefits to their employees. This is somewhat expected; small businesses often struggle to grow or just to stay afloat and can't afford to provide health care. Yet, aside from the simple nature of small businesses, government involvement can prevent them from providing coverage.

    Most states have minimum coverage requirements for health care, if health care is provided. For example, in Oregon if an employer wishes to provide health care for his or her employees, the coverage must also include treatment for chemical dependence (including alcoholism) and psychological care. While some employers may wish to at least be able to provide coverage should their employees need a cavity filled or some antibiotics, the company must, by state law, also treat them if they are a meth addict or a schizophrenic. These minimum coverage requirements raise the minimum cost of an insurance policy, resulting in fewer businesses being able to afford the policy. Instead of adequate health coverage, the employees receive none.

    These laws exist in virtually every state, so it is of no surprise that small businesses have such a low incidence of health care coverage for their employees. Yet, some people think health coverage minimums are a great idea, even comparing them to a minimum wage.
    "...without these mandates, companies that provide health care to their workers are at a competitive disadvantage with companies that don't. That creates a race to the bottom, allowing our economy to reward companies that shaft their workers. These mandates are pro-business because they erases that competitive disadvantage by forcing responsible business's competitors to also provide health care"
    While this seems like a great cause, it is incorrect. An employer that does not provide health care may save some costs, but it is at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to hiring employees (this is the origin of employer-provided health care). If the race to the bottom were applied to wages, low-paying employers would not be able to find employees. Eventually, the market would determine a fair price for the labor. This is why in San Francisco, New York, and other expensive cities, even working at McDonald's pays above the state minimum wage. Thus, I would argue that removing such minimums would increase the number of people with coverage from their employer.

    Government mandated minimum coverages are not the only reason for a rise in health care costs. The increasing incidence of lawsuits and the bureaucracy of health care have both contributed to inflating prices.

    Tort reform is a hot topic in politics these days. President Bush addressed the issue in Sen. Edwards' home state during the 2004 election campaign, and has continued to lobby for it. The issue stems from frivolous lawsuits against doctors. While a malpracticing doctor should be held to task, the fear of a lawsuit causes many doctors to take unnecessary steps. For example, a doctor fearful of being sued is likely to order unnecessary test simply to cover all bases and to cover his liability. These tests are forwarded on to the patient and/or the insurace agency, causing a rise in health care costs. Furthermore, a doctor must increase his rate simply to counterbalance his liability from lawsuits. Limiting liability for doctors means a decrease in health care costs, and more effective care.

    Tuesday, February 21, 2006

    Why is Mommy a Democrat?

    I found out about this book from Eugene Rant. It's a propaganda book designed to teach young kids about the evils of Republicans, and how wonderful and kind Democrats are. Touching. Really. As if children don't get enough of that from their school-teachers. Anyhow, click here to see the original sample pages. I've made the corrections below.

    This book does, actually, say something very important about parenting and politics. Much of my family is Democratic. Many of my friends are surprised that I am a Republican. But, the reason I am a Republican is specifically because of my Father (an independent). I grew up seeing his actions, and learning from his behavior. From this I learned invaluable lessons, like personal responsibility, personal accountability, self-reliance, the importance of education and educating yourself, striving for excellence, among other things. When my Dad made child-support payments, he paid extra - not as a handout, rather taking care of his children. Personal responsibility. Today, I am proud to be a member of the GOP precisely because it is testament to the lessons I learned from my Father.

    Jimmy Carter Back Ports Deal

    (from newsmax)
    The Bush administration's plan to turn over control of six major U.S. ports to a Dubai company suffered another blow on Monday, when former President Jimmy Carter endorsed the deal.

    "The overall threat to the United States and security, I don't think it's exists," Carter told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

    Wow. After the current bumbling President endorsed a contract to put the security of six of our major ports under the control of a United Arab Emirates company, a former, more bumbling President has come out to defend the sale. While 99% of Americans are avidly against this sale, this statment should drive the other 1% over the edge.

    About the sale, President carter also said "I've been to Dubai, and I've seen the remarkable port facilities they have there, perhaps the best in the world." Although this is, obviously, meant to be an endorsement of the Dubai company (Dubai Ports), I don't particularly respect President Carter's opinion. His opinion of North Korea was, well, seemingly backwards. He referred to the capitol, Pyongyang, as a "bustling city", and claimed that the way the 'citizens packed the department stores reminded him of Walmart back in Americus Georgia'.

    The sale of the ports is a very critical issue in terms of national security. The sale of these ports would put the US in grave danger. The UAE was woven in with the Hijackers of 9/11; some were residents, some had bank accounts in Dubai. President Bush is failing on the borders, another source of potential terrorist threat, I sincerely hope that he takes this issue more seriously.

    Monday, February 20, 2006

    Where did the WMD's go?

    In January, a top member of the Saddam Iraqi Air Force claimed that prior to the 2003 Coalitino invasion of Iraq, the WMD's were transported into Syria. This received very little coverage by the MSM. Now, right on the heals of that accusation by General Sada, comes two major stories this week, which have both been ignored by the MSM.

    First, last weekend came tapes that Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, had an ongoing Nuclear program as recently as 2000. Personally, this was not a shock considering that US Forces had found 1.8 tons of partially enriched Uranium (enough to produce 30-48 Nuclear Weapons), and 500 tons of yellowcake Uranium. Furthermore, Dr. Mahdi Obeidi, the physicist who had lead the Iraqi nuclear program until 1997, revealed to US forces upon his capture that he had plans and equipment for Uranium-enrichment buried at his home. According to Dr. Obeidi, these were being hidden until a nuclear program could be reinstated.

    What startles me more, however, is the accusations that Russia was implicit in the transportation of WMD's from Iraq to both Syria and Lebanon. These accusations were made in 2004 by John A. Shaw, former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense, saying that
    They were moved by Russian Spetsnaz (special forces) units out of uniform, that were specifically sent to Iraq to move the weaponry and eradicate any evidence of its existence
    Why would Russia be involved in the movement of Iraqi WMD's? These were weapons that were prohibited under 17 UN Resolutions, so why would Russia be involved in hiding them? Because most of the weapons are of Russian origin.
    [Shaw] estimated that Saddam had amassed 100 million tons of munitions - roughly 60 percent of the entire U.S. arsenal. "The origins of these weapons were Russian, Chinese and French in declining order of magnitude, with the Russians holding the lion's share and the Chinese just edging out the French for second place."
    The Russians had a very strong motive in order to hide their involvement in arming Iraq against UN rules. Russia, along with France and China (the other two nations helping to illegally arm Iraq) had all disputed the need for force (UN Security council resolution 1441)if weapons were found. These three nations, despite their oil interests, also had interests in keeping their roles in arming Iraq secretive, with Russia having the greatest interest in keeping this hidden.

    While the fact that Russia was involved in the transport of these weapons is serious news, what is more serious is that these weapons still have not been found. Falling into the hands of nations like Syria and Lebanon is serious business. The seemingly endless supply of munitions by the insurgency is of little surprise, considering the potential location of these munitions.

    UPDATE: I am currently watching Lou Dobbs Tonight, tonights show focusing on the selling of our ports to a UAE security company (which I disagree with, and I hope President Bush blocks). Lou just said something that caught my attention, 'WMD's which never existed'. This is a common theme among the media, that we these weapons, because they were never found, never existed. I hadn't considered it during the original posting, but the media ignores these important revelations, while still pushing the postulate that these "slam dunk" weapons never existed.

    Saturday, February 18, 2006

    No Need for More Investigation into shooting

    According to an AP Poll, 66% of Americans feel there is no need for a further investigation into the shooting accident that took place last weekend. This poll came following the public announcementby Mr. Wittington that this was an accident. "We all assume certain risks in whatever we do. Whatever activities we pursue and regardless of how experienced, careful and dedicated we are, accidents do and will happen." So, now that we have the public's opinion about this private event, we can now move on. Democrats can now continue coming with great ideas...like killing the Patriot act and whining about whatever else Bush does.

    Yet, I'm a little upset by the figures from this poll. According to the poll, 34% of Americans think that there should be a further investigation. A further investigation into what even the victim has called an accident, saying that he felt sorry for Vice President Cheney. Is 34% of the country so over-the-top, far-out left that they really think a further investigation should be carried out?

    Thursday, February 16, 2006

    The Second Mexican War

    Excerpt from FrontPage magazine, by Lawrence Auster
    The Mexican invasion of the United States began decades ago as a spontaneous migration of ordinary Mexicans into the U.S. seeking economic opportunities. It has morphed into a campaign to occupy and gain power over our country—a project encouraged, abetted, and organized by the Mexican state and supported by the leading elements of Mexican society.

    Thus, in orchestrating this war on America, the Mexican state is representing the desires of the Mexican people as a whole.

    What are these desires?

    (1) Political revanchism—to regain control of the territories Mexico lost to the U.S. in 1848, thus avenging themselves for the humiliations they feel they have suffered at our hands for the last century and a half;

    (2) Cultural imperialism—to expand the Mexican culture and the Spanish language into North America; and especially

    (3) Economic parasitism—to maintain and increase the flow of billions of dollars that Mexicans in the U.S. send back to their relatives at home every year, a major factor keeping the chronically troubled Mexican economy afloat and the corrupt Mexican political system cocooned in its status quo.


    These are some scathing remarks, to say that the Mexican government is aiding and abetting illegal immigrants; some sort of Mexican conspiracy. Such bold accusations require strong evidence. Is there such evidence? Evidence that the Mexican government is somehow aiding immigrants, legal and illegal? Is there evidence of cultural imperialism? You better believe it.

    (1) The sighting of Mexican troops up to three miles inside our border seems clear enough evidence that the Mexican government doesn't respect the border. Yet, there is more, slightly more subtle evidence. The fact that the Mexican government lobbied heavily to defeat a Utah state bill that would require proof of legal presence (HB109). In Oregon, my former home state, as well as in Utah, anyone can obtain a state Driver's license simply by showing a Matricula Consular, a card issued by the Mexican government. Since legal immigrants would have a green-card or visa, to use this alternate ID implies illegal presence. Oregon frequently hosts carousels of information, events designed to provide information on labor-laws, assistance in getting driver's licenses, etc... These carousels are put on by the State of Oregon with help from the Mexican consulate.
    Auster states in his article some interesting poll numbers. Zogby finds that a majority of Mexicans believe that the US Southwest belongs to Mexico, and that they have the right to cross the border. Furthermore, at a recent rally against the illegal activities of the carousels of information in Eugene, OR (chronicled very well by Daniel) supporters of the illegal immigration and the Carousel were heard chanting "We were here first", and holding sings claiming "For La Raza to do. Fuera de La Raza nada," (For The Race, all. Outside the race, nothing).

    (2) These chants strongly support the concept of cultural-imperialism. The growth of the Spanish language in the US is also testament. The language has grown, undoubtedly, simply due to the migration of those who speak Spanish as a primary language. Yet, the push to make services (such as driver's license tests), commercials and advertisements, and other public materials available in Spanish, I think, shows that many of those seeking to come to our country are not interested in integrating into our culture. Certainly those who have come here illegally don't respect our laws.

    (3) With money sent back to Mexico from America being the nation's greatest source of income, I think it is obvious that parasitism is rampant. The country of Mexico has great stake in not only maintaining the flood of immigrants, but facilitating them. This would explain their lobbying against things like HB109, and their involvement in the Oregon carousels of information.

    Unfortunately, tales of illegal immigrants obtaining work in place of legal residents are a dime a dozen. This is strange since these are 'jobs that Americans won't do'. Like construction, hotel work, driving trucks, agriculture, waitressing etc... The parasitism certainly bears a heavy toll on our country.

    Unfortunately, too many Republicans seem to support the immigration. The Bush guest-worker program is a clear example. The plan would essentially grant amnesty to those who have illegally crossed our border. Aside from legitimizing taking 'jobs Americans won't do', it will only encourage more people from Mexico and elsewhere to cross our borders. I think it is vitally important to support candidates and elected officials who take this serious issue seriously, like Jason Atkinson, or Sen. Tom Tancredo.

    Wednesday, February 15, 2006

    Confusion

    As new photos of Abu Graib prisoners were released today, displayed on CNN and in the Washington Post, it seems as though the media is all too eager to publish these pictures. Just days ago, the media was eager to jump all over some British soldiers who beat up several insurgents who had thrown a grenade at them, and began throwing stones at them.

    Now, I am not surprised that the media is so eager to publish these sort of images. I am not confused about their intentions. What I am confused about, is why they pounce to show these images and cast them as anti-military, yet they refuse to show the Mohammed cartoons. Is this a consistent policy? It does not seem so to me.

    Sunday, February 12, 2006

    Great article on "the day after pill"

    Wonderful article! Abortive Chemotherapy.

    RU-486 is essentially a poison. That is how it functions to abort a pregnancy.

    Chemotherapy, the cancer treatment, is also poison. Cancer cells grow much more rapidly than non-cancerous cells, and this fact is exploited in the treatment. The poison from chemotherapy harms the growing cancer cells to a greater degree than normal tissue, causing them to die while most healthy cells survive.

    BLOGREVIEW: Daniel's Political Musings

    I love this site, as do many conservative Oregonians who are concerned with the problems caused by illegal immigration. The site tracks news, rallies, politicians etc.. that facilitate or otherwise condone illegal immigrants and illegal immigration.

    I began to realize the problem of illegal immigration last summer, when countless unrelated news stories reported cases of child-rape, kidnapping, and meth importation. Daniel's site was a great resource for me as I began to realize that illegal immigration is not a cultural issue, it is one of crime, terror, and economy. While I support legal immigration, and personally think that more legal immigrants should be allowed to enter, the problem of illegal immigration is very serious.

    Daniel's site is great because it not only addresses the issues at hand in ways that "the dead fish wrapper" (Lars Larson's term for the Oregonian) won't touch. Daniel always remains courteous and respectful. His is clearly not an issue of race, despite many of the comments and counterprotests displayed on his site. I think this is very important, because it highlights that the issue is only about race in-so-far as the pro-illegal crowd makes it. The real issue for Daniel, myself, and many of his readers is the danger to our society that illegal immigrants pose (drugs, crime, terror, etc...). Furthermore, Daniel and his friends frequently peacefully protest government agencies that promote illegal immigration. He puts his money where his mouth is.

    My only real criticism of Daniel's site is that he does not fully promote any upcoming events. While he clearly posts the pictures and happenings of the rallies, there is very little in terms of future rallies (i.e. locations, times, etc...).

    Friday, February 10, 2006

    SPYWARE INFECTION

    Recently I had a particularly nasty spyware/trojan horse. It replaced my desktop with a blue background with a box that said

    SPYWARE INFECTION
    Your system is infected with spyware. Windows recommends you to use a spyware removal tool to prevent loss of important data and increase system performance. Using this PC before having it cleaned from spyware threats is highly discouraged."

    I ran several utilities to try and remove it, including adaware, with no luck. So, the next step was google groups. As usual, I found a solution within minutes. The solution said to download SmitFraud (if you are reading this, trying to fix the same problem, click here, then, once downloaded and unzipped, run c:\mcafee\clean.bat). The scan took about two-hours, which wasn't too bad considering that I have three hard-drives that all needed to be scanned. Once the scan was complete, my computer was back to normal (at least so far).

    Long story short, I love google groups.

    Thursday, February 09, 2006

    Congratulations John Bolton

    Today President Bush announced that the Government had foiled a plot by terrorists to fly a plane into a skyscraper in LA. While this may (and probably is) politically timed - although the same thing would have been said no matter when this was announced - there is greater current news to support President Bush' success against terror.

    John Bolton was recently nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Yes, this is the same Bolton that Democrats (and some Republicans) stonewalled because of his disdain for multilateralism. This is the same Bolton that was given a recess appointment by President Bush, which sparked some outrage (duh!) from the left. Yet, after the appointment there has been little to no comment on his qualifications or his shortcomings by the left. Yet, this week he was nominated for his role in uncovering Iran's nuclear program. Undoubtedly this makes the world (particularly Israel) a much safer place, having detected the cancer early enough to treat before it metastasizes throughout the middle-eastern lymph.

    I think Bush coming out in support and recognition of the nomination, something the mainstream media has ignored, would have served a greater purpose than reporting on 4-year old news.

    Either way, congrats Bolton.

    My favorite quote

    I have lots of "favorite" quotes, but I've been fond of this one for awhile, so it get's my "lifetime achievement" award.
    War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
    - John Stuart Mill

    Wednesday, February 08, 2006

    God Bless Barry Manilow

    I love Barry Manilow. I have since I was in middle school. So, I was excited to hear that he is coming out with a new CD, singing classics from the 50's. Today I was ecstatic to find out that his CD has topped the charts.

    Coretta and Katrina

    There were several comments made during Coretta Scott King's funeral on Tuesday that made reference to the racial divide in this country, as "demonstrated" by the response to Hurricane Katrina. President Carter said that
    "We only have to recall the color of the faces of those in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi who are most devastated by Katrina to know that there are not yet equal opportunities for all Americans,"
    Carter, one of the worst Presidents of the past century, failed to equate the slow response to that after hurricane Andrew, while (impeached) President Clinton was in office. I agree that responses could be made faster, but to make claims that the slow response is somehow racially motivated is simply pandering. There were many things that went wrong in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The biggest, as I see it, was not FEMA's slow response or bumbling director. Rather, it was the local governments failure to do ANYTHING for themselves and their people. Nagin failed to implement the evacuation, Blanco refused help from the red cross and national guard. Whatever the errors may be, I don't see why any of them should be considered racially motivated; after all, whites died at a higher rate than blacks.

    In my personal opinion, the reason that so many people in the area were poverty stricken was not because America has refused them the opportunity. It is a result of years of handouts, and continued legislation that encourages this. Some of those who support these handouts are the same that made the crude remarks at the funeral. They support 'more for the poor', which is precisely what has kept them poor - a welfare state.

    To be fair, I think that the billions in relief promised by President Bush (despite the criticism that Lowery laid) will perpetuate a system that rewards those on welfare, and discourages ambition. Without handouts, private enterprise (the greatest source of opportunity) would create jobs, and Nawlins would flourish. Yet these handouts of trailers, etc.. will lead to precisely the welfare state we had before.

    With all the hype about Lowery and Carter, it should be noted that former Presidents Clinton and Bush delivered great eulogies, and President Bush (43) and first lady Laura Bush showed great class while being unduly villified by those hypocrites before them.

    To Catch a Predator III

    I had never seen a "To Catch a Predator" special from Dateline before, but I won't dare miss another one. The concept of the show is simple. They meet men online by posing as minors. When these men get more and more interested, they often want to arrange meetings with the children, but when they arrive they are in for a surprise. Instead of a 13-year old waiting for them (they chose 13 for the fake profile because it is a felony if the child is 13, a misdemeanor if they are 14), it was Chris Hansen and the Dateline Cameras. However, unlike their previous specials, this time they also had local sheriffs waiting.

    I saw it on Friday, 2/3/06, and was amazed. We all know that there are sexual predators online, but I was amazed at how many they were able to catch (50 over a three day period!) It's a disturbing trend, but I am really glad that a news magazine is taking on the issue, instead of the usual benign issues.

    Tuesday, February 07, 2006

    OK!Cupid...Congratulations, captain obvious.

    So, here are my results from the OK!Cupid politics test. Not much of a surprise here for me, but it's fun to do anyway. More than anything, it is nice to see "where you stand" in relation not only to Rep/Dem lines, but the "full" spectrum of political ideas.
    You are a

    Social Moderate
    (43% permissive)

    and an...

    Economic Conservative
    (83% permissive)

    You are best described as a:

    Capitalist






    I noticed upon completion of this test that 71% of those who took the test are pro-choice, and that 26% are against the war in Iraq. Since these numbers are respectively higher and lower than the national averages, I assume that the majority of those taking the test are more liberal than the median-american. While I believe that the test is not weighted, it is interesting to note.

    More Iran Rhetoric? No.

    As if Iran wasn't abrasive enough, and as if the Muslim riots over the recent cartoon depicting Mohammed with a bomb in his turban (do these riots strike you as incredibly ironic, considering the statement of the cartoon?) had any merit, Iran's largest newspaper has now decided to put forth a contest for Holocaust cartoons. I will concede that the Mohammed cartoon can easily be construed as offensive (despite the truth in it), the idea to issue holocaust cartoons are...well, stupid. Unlike the Muslims who are so consumed with rage...I mean peace... as they murder and pillage, the rest of the civilized world recognizes the value of free speech, and understands that while this speech may, at times, be offensive - just like cartoons about the holocaust may be - it is rarely something to go up in arms about. Furthermore, this act only strengthens the rest of the worlds understanding of the threat that Iran poses to the world, with Israel in particular.

    Iran's President has already stated both that Israel should be destroyed, and also that he doesn't believe the Holocause ever happened. As his country continues to get bolder and more aggressive in their anti-semitic stance, I hope the rest of the world (including Iran's oil-purchasing countries) take the threat seriously. I am certainly not an expert in foreign relations or Islamic studies...but it does not take one to recognize that this is not merely rhetoric. Iran is a real threat, and should be seen that way.

    RIP: Coretta Scott King

    I'm watching the funeral of Coretta Scott King, and I'm watching a eulogy right now, in which the speaker, Rev. Joe Lawry said "we know there were no WMD's over there" followed by a great round of applause, the camera panning over Hillary Clinton et. al. Then, the speaker said "But there are Weapons of of MisDirection over here", again followed by applause.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and the speaker is, of course, allowed to say or think what he will. But I find it upsetting that he has chosen this time to voice his opinions. He has chosen this moment to make statements about the War in Iraq. He has chosen to use the time allotted to him to remember a great civil rights leader in order to make an irrelevent statement. This comes in the wake of Mayor Nagin and Hillary Clinton making racially charged statements pandering to blacks on MLK Jr. Day. I find this trend upsetting. I hope everyone remembers Mrs. King, for what she did...not for what Joe Lawry said.

    Sunday, February 05, 2006

    How do you play Democrat Poker?

    With a Race up your sleeve. Democrats are known for playing the race card. It's what they do best, but I expect it to not only be a strategic move in the midterm elections this year, I think it will practically become part of the Democratic platform. Considering the head of the Dems is none-other than professional crazy-person, Howard Dean, it seems unavoidable that Democrats will continue to attempt to portray Republicans as racists. Let the hypocrisy begin.

    Howard Dean, as the leader of the Democratic party, has made a multitude of statements about the Republican Party, despite being a racist himself. Here's a sample:
    "I hate Republicans and everything they stand for."
    Well, Mr. Dean I disagree. The Republican Party was started in opposition to slavery. They led the charge to end slavery in the south, and preserve our great country. I stand for that. President Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, initiated the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII.
    "You know, the Republicans are not very friendly to different kinds of people. They're a pretty monolithic party. Pretty much, they all behave the same, and they all look the same...It's pretty much a white Christian party."
    Vermont, the state that Dean was Governor of, is 97% white. President Bush has 9 white members of his 15 member cabinet, 60% white. President Clinton had 11 white members of his 14 member cabinet at the end of his Presidency - 79%.

    "A lot of [Republicans] have never made an honest living in their lives."

    "We must...come to terms with the ugly truth that skin color, age and economics played a deadly role in who survived and who did not,"

    Here, Mr. Dean is correct. Race did play a role in the deaths from Katrina. Whites died at a rate twice that of blacks. But this fact is useless to Democrats who want to politicize the event. One of those was racist Mayor Ray Nagin. Nagin also claimed that the slow federal response was racially motivated. Forget that Mayor Nagin did not execute the already formulated emergency plan, the reason why so many were trapped at the Superdome in the first place. Forget that the federal response was no slower than that after Hurricane Andrew. Forget the fact that Louisiana has received more federal money for the Army corps of engineers than any other state under President Bush. Forget these facts, because they only serve to hide the claim that the Bush administration is racist. Michael Moore certainly doesn't hesitate to play the race card over Katrina.

    Katrina was not the only event that some Democrats chose to exploit. Some democrats also chose to turn Martin Luther King Jr day into a chance to make racism claims. As per usual, Ray Nagin again tasted foot, telling a predominantly black crowd that 'New Orleans should be a chocolate city'. Hillary Clinton also decided to denigrate the memory of Dr. King by exploiting fears of racism, comparing the Bush administration to a plantation. Perhaps the life-long Yankees fan was confusing this administration with Democrats. I've already mentioned the disparate racial diversity between Presidential cabinets. Clinton may have thought Sen. Robert Byrd, the only ex-Klansmen in congress and an avid racist, or Rep. Dick Gephardt were Republicans. She obviously forgot about Andrew Cuomo, her husband's housing secretary who was caught on tape with some racially insensitive rhetoric. I think it is painfully obvious whom democrats are pandering (and lying) to. They are attempting to persuade blacks that republicans hate them.

    With no issues of their own, Democrats are forced to make accusations. Although I recognize that there are racially insensitive members of every party, I think it is unwholesome to attempt to portray decent people as racist, as Dean, Clinton, Nagin, Moore, and others have done...and will continue to do.

    Super Sunday

    Today is Super Bowl Sunday, and the Seattle Seahawks are taking on the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 40th super bowl. I do not watch the NFL. In fact, I cannot name a single player for either team. However, Super Bowl Sunday does mean something to me. Today I am reminded of Pat Tillman, the defensive back for the Arizona Cardinals who put his football career on hold in order to serve our country. Tillman truly was an American hero. So, as old glory flies over detroit today, and as we cover our hearts and listen to the national anthem, let us remember Pat Tillman, and thank him for his ultimate sacrifice.

    Sheevez....no, Chahan


    Did you see the videos of Cindy Sheehan cozying up with Venezuelan President, and political oppressionist Hugo Chavez this week? Wasn't that a sight. And she is the "face of the anti-war movement?" Anyone and everyone who is against the war should be holding a vigil outside her home in Berkeley to shut her up.

    Thursday, February 02, 2006

    Who is Rep. Lynn Woolsey?

    Cindy Sheehan's most recent tantrum has been in the media spotlight recently, after she was asked to leave the House Chambers preceeding the State of the Union address and arrested for refusing to leave (Although the Capitol police have now apologized to both Sheehan and the wife of republican Representative Bill Young, Beverly Young, an apology I don't think is deserved). Anyhow, the woman who continually urinates on her son's legacy was given a ticket to the event by Representative Lynn Woolsey, who represents my neck of the woods in the bay area. I'm new to the area, so I decided to find out exactly who is this Lynn Woolsey, anyhow. Here's who she is.

    The author that article is absolutely spot-on! There exists a certain double standard agains caucasian males, which seems to often, in reverse, protect women, minorities, etc.. of heinous actions like this.

    Wednesday, February 01, 2006

    Political Oscars

    Found this on Anderson Cooper's Blog. I think it's great, even though it has a little bit of left-bias. My favorite awards are Best Supporting Actress and Best Comedy.

    Nerd Test

    I am nerdier than 88% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!
    I totally beat Zach, by the way.

    Insomnia

    It's almost 2:00 am PST and I am awake. Not by choice, no, rather due to insomnia. Though I went to bed an hour ago, feeling somewhat tired, I merely lay in bed, thinking about useless things, preventing myself from getting that sleep that I oh so need. It really is interesting, the sort of crap you think about when you can't sleep. Tonight, as I lay there, I thought about trigonometric identities, among other things. I was up until 4:00 am two nights ago, 3:30 am one night last week. It's not that I am not tired. Although I feel wide awake right now, I was tired an hour ago. Two nights ago I was tired at 10:00 pm, but simply couldn't manage to fall asleep until six hours had gone by.

    I had insomnia in High School, too. It was worse then, much worse. There were stretches of months during High School where I didn't sleep a single Friday night. Though I would try, I was doomed to spend the entire night on the couch, laying and watching MTV2. I remember seeing the world premiere of "Falling Up" by the Black-Eyed Peas and thinking "these guys are good." For the new millenium, MTV2 played their entire video library alphabetically. There are some shitty videos out there.

    For now, there is not much I can do except wait it out. Perhaps I'll watch CNN, perhaps I'll read some blogs online before devolving into playing "Alchemy" on Yahoo! games. Perhaps I'll go back to bed and try and remember all of the laws of cosines.