"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, May 30, 2006

California undercuts electoral process

Cross Posted at

Last month I wrote about AR2948 (What Constitution?, also at California Conservative), a bill written by Sen. Tom Umberg (D-Santa Ana) in the California legislature that would undercut the Electoral process set forth in the constitution.
[AB2948] would ratify an interstate compact under which California's 55 Electoral College members would agree to support the winner of the national popular vote for President regardless of the outcome of the election in California" (San Francisco Examiner, 4/26/06)

What Umberg fails to understand (or chooses to ignore) is the very important role the electoral college plays in regards to balancing powers between states. Much the same way that the Federal Congress is composed of two Houses with very different numbers of members, the Electoral College plays a vital role ensuring that the interests and individuality of each state are not compromised. There was a distinct reason why the framers of our constitution did not call for a popular vote to determine the Presidency in the constitution
I did not expect the bill to pass, primarily because it so brazenly disregards the United states constitution, specifically Article I, Section 10 (h/t MikeZ), "No state shall ... enter into any agreement or compact with another state." Yet, despite the fact that the Bill presents an unconstitutional and unbalanced means of electing our President, on Tuesday the California Legislature still decided to approve it; the bill passed essentially along party lines, with Republicans opposing the bill.

Umberg, the author, says that the basic premise is understandable even to children. However, it appears as though the importance of state's rights and balance of national and local interests, as set forth in the constitution, are not understandable to Democratic Senators. Hopefully Gov. Schwarzenegger will have the foresight to Veto this legislation.

Unfortunately, attempts to undermine our election system is not isolated to California. It has spread to the national level, with Senators Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and John Kerry (D-MA), the two front-runners for the 2008 Democratic Presidential nomination, proposing legislation that would give felons the right to vote. Despite contradicting the classical social contract,
Since rights come from agreeing to the contract, those who simply choose not to fulfill their contractual obligations, such as by committing crimes, risk losing some of their rights, and the rest of society can be expected to protect itself against the actions of such outlaws. To be a member of society is to accept responsibility for following its rules, along with the threat of punishment for violating them,
this bill also contradicts current US election laws, which prohibit felons from voting. Kerry and Clinton see this as an opportunity for new voters, according to the Chron Watch:
"Whether they admit it or not, the Democrats need lawbreakers such as illegal aliens--who are being illegally registered as Democrats--and killers, rapists, and robbers in order to increase their base of far-left voters," says Mike Baker, political strategist and pollster
The prevailing wisdom behind these legislative efforts is 'if we can't win on the issues, we'll change the rules.' Many are still bitter over Bush' victory in 2000, claiming that Bush 'stole the election' (despite being ratified by the left-leaning Supreme Court). More Democrats are in shock over the poor showing in 2004, showing the mentality of "we were right, it must be the voters that are wrong." Whatever is the impetus behind these maneuvers, they should be rejected.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Political Parties

As anyone who reads my blog can easily figure out, I am a republican. I have been since the end of high school. My decision to join the GOP was based on a years of being taught about personal responsibility, and personal accountability by my father, as well as my belief in traditional conservative fiscal policy. I came to realize that the Republican party was in tune with my own values and beliefs, much more so than the Democrats.

That's not to say that I agree with everything my party stands for. For instance, I am opposed to my parties opposition to gay marriage. My party often takes the extreme position of adopting constitutional amendments. Perhaps it's the libertarian in me, but I see no point in legislating this. However, it remains that I disagree with Democrats far more than I disagree with Republicans.

However, it should be noted that I sincerely value Democrats. I say this because, though I often disagree with their positions, I have a strong faith in the American two-party system. The system provides an inherent platform for debate of issues, and allows common problems to be attacked from two opposing viewpoints. Hopefully, the danger of a single-party system should be obvious to everyone.

So, why make an entire post to say this? Well, often times in the blogospher, as well as on capitol hill, the newspapers, political rallies, and friendly discussion, the importance of the two parties gets lost, and the rhetoric turns to demonizing the other party. I'm guilty of it, too, at times. However, much I may disagree with the Dems, I do recognize their importance in the way our government functions.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Culture of Corruption? Republicans do the right thing.

The day Tom DeLay resigned was probably the greatest day Democrats had seen this year...or the past 5 1/2 years. It was the day that a powerful Republican lost his power. Furthermore, this Republican was embroiled in a scandal, and an indictment (albeit by a prosecutor who was clearly out to get him). The scandal was embraced by Democrats, who claimed that this was representative of all republicans, claiming it was 'a systematic culture of corruption.' His case was closed (and remains closed) by Democrats.

Not long after, a Republican congressman, Duke Cunningham, was found to have accepted vast amounts of bribes. Democrats rejoiced in his downfall.

Yet, now, it seems that the tables have turned. Democratic Representative William J. Jefferson is now being charged of bribery, with video evidence as well as being caught with $90,000 in his freezer. The evidence seems pretty clear, but now Democrats are demanding that noone dare claim he is guilty until after any sort of investigation and trial. Oh, the hypocrisy.

With these serious charges against Jefferson, are Republicans dancing in the streets? No, they are concerned about his rights being violated. They are concerned about the method in which the FBI searched Representative Jefferson's office. Bill Frist, the Senate Majority leader said he 'had concerns about the constitutionality of the search and was seeking a legal opinion.' This is quite a contrast to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's statements regarding Tom DeLay, "Mr. DeLay's departure from Congress is one piece of the changes needed to end the Republican culture of corruption."

I am so enthused by the mature response that is being made by Republicans. They have not jumped to any conclusions, and despite the slander that has been slung at them by many Democrats, they remain logical and concerned about real issues. They are taking the high road, and reaffirming my choice to be a member of the Grand Ole' Party.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Cynthia McKinney Hypocrisy

Cynthia McKinney, the moonbat who recently assaulted a Capitol Police officer, and then accused him of being a racist has now signed onto a House Resolution, HR756 that would formall recognize and express Gratitude for the Capitol Police. While this may seem like a strange twist, after examining the legislation, it appears that Rep. McKinney is acting with consistency.
A Resolution to Express Gratitude for the Capitol Police
Whereas Capitol Police officers are deemed with the arduous task of protecting those who do not appreciate their efforts, and maintain one of the most thankless jobs in Washinton, Be It Enacted by the people of the United States of America, this resolution which would explicitly express gratitude for said Capitol Police officers, through the use of physical.
Whereas Capitol Police officers must defend Senators, Representatives, Judges, and all those in supportive roles to the afore mentioned elected officials, and whereby these individuals represent all races, religions and creeds, Be It Enacted by the House of Representatives on behalf of the citizens of these United States that gratitude for their efforts will henceforth be in the form of baseless accusations of racism, accompanied by degradation of their character, and without any possibilty of apology for said slander.

Monday, May 15, 2006

A new Friendship Between Lybia and the West

Tonight President Bush delivered a ho-hum speech on the issue of illegal immigration. While this remains the issue du jour, I have personally tired of it. For me, the most interesting and pleasing news of the day was that the US and Britain have reached a peaceful agreement with Lybia, a country that has long harbored and supported terrorism.
The result, Mr. Bush and Blair said, was that Libya agreed to disclose all its weapons of mass destruction and related programs and to open the North African country to international weapons inspectors to oversee their elimination.

Libya's most significant acknowledgment was that it had a program intended to enrich uranium for use in nuclear weapons, a senior Bush administration official said.
Apparently, the extent of the Lybian nuclear program was more advanced than had previously been thought, and that Lybia was close to developing these weapons.

Furthermore, Muammar Qaddafi has vouched to take a stand against terrorism. This news represents just one of the successes that President Bush has had in the global war on terror. Under President Bush, countries that have previously harbored and/or supported terrorism - such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, and now Lybia - have made dramatic changes to shun terrorism. I remain optimistc that Iraq will soon follow.

In light of the recent tensions between the US and Iran, this news should be considered very beneficial. It should serve to provide an example to Iran that cooperation is in everyone's best interests. This is a sentiment President Bush expressed, saying
"I hope that other leaders will find an example in Libya's announcement today. When leaders make the wise and responsible choice ... they serve the interest of their own people and they add to the security of all nations.

While President Bush' speech on immigration may be leading cable news and covering the headlines, this much more important story is going somewhat unnoticed.

Cross Posted at 123beta

Saturday, May 13, 2006

SB840: Bringing the Failures of Canada to the Golden State, Part IV

Cross Posted at
There are certain issues in the world that often cause people to become single-issue voters. Often these issues cloud voters from looking at other issues; consider the many Liberals and feminists who would vote in Hitler if he promised to protect abortion rights. However, I believe that SB840 should be such an issue for every Californian who is concerned about the state, because it will exacerbate the present problems within the health care system, and bankrupt the state in the process.

Previously, I have posted about SB840, a bill in the State Legislature that would socialize medical care in California under a "single payer" (Government paid) program. The bill is slowly gaining support, despite its many shortcomings. Today, I attended a propaganda session under the guise of an "informational meeting", sponsored by Health Care For All, and held on the UCSF Medical school campus. The meeting featured various Democrats running for various positions in the state Senate and Assembly, all of whom support the bill that will raise taxes , damage the economy(Part I), and disrupt and damage health care delivery (Part II). Among the speakers were Mike Nevin, Leland Yee, Janet Reilly, and Mark Leno (who supports child pornography). Each was their to campaign, but each also provided some "insight" into the proposed bill.

For example, Leland Yee said that illegal immigrants would also be covered, stating "we're not in the business of identifying who should and should not be here." Perhaps this is why Assemblyman Yee publishes his website en espanol. This appears to be in disregard to the very text of the bill which makes specific residency requirements, and would create immense problems for the state. Providing free health care would undoubtedly attract not only illegal immigrants, but the homeless, and and poor from neighboring states. This influx of poor would increae costs of other social programs like welfare. Essentially, we would be importing the financial problems of other states and even Mexico!

Assemblyman Yee also discussed how the 'nefarious Republican mantra' of no new taxes, and that Republicans will fight the bill on that issue. Damn right we will.

In addition to seeing Democratic candidates endorsing this dangerous plan, the audience in attendance (roughly 40 people) also adamantly supported the bill. One woman in the audience (I believe one of the coordinators of the event) was wearing a "Single Payer Now" pin right next to her "Impeach Bush" pin, and at one point stated that Paul Wellstone was murdered. At another point, someone in the audience said that it is impossible to work with the "Republican gestapo, which is...is..which is essentially a group of fascists." While this is certainly a statement that highlights why a Republican may choose not to deal with him, Assemblyman Leland Yee agreed with him.

As you can see, because SB840 will have such broad reaching implications, including promoting illegal immigration and likely increaseing welfare liability, it should be of great concern to the residents of California. I will not be voting for ANY candidate who supports the bill (They can be found here. I will be posting again on this subject next weekend, so check back on Saturday.

Previous posts:
Part I
Part I
Part III
Huffington Post supports SB840

Friday, May 12, 2006

Enriched Uranium Found in Iran

Hat Tip Bretibart.com and Newsmax
The UN Atomic agency seems to have found weapons-grade Uranium in Iran. Furthermore, the site where the Uranium was found is linked to the Defense ministry. While Uranium only needs to be slightly enriched for energy production, weapons-grade Uranium must be enriched to contain very high (90%) of the heavier isotope of Uranium. This large disparity between weapons-grade and energy-grade Uranium should make it clear that this is not meant for civilian use.

These findings are in sharp contradiction to the rhetoric that tyrant President Ahmedinejad has been spouting. " The Islamic republic denies accusations it wants to make nuclear arms and says it is only interested in uranium to generate power." While Ahmedinejad has consistently publicly claimed that the country has no interest in developing a Nuclear Weapons, these actions indicate quite the opposite. The presence of such highly enriched Uranium, which invalidates the majority of what Ahmedinejad has been saying, should send up red-flags to the world community.

It is certainly too early to be calling for pre-emptive strikes on Iran, however, those that have already written of such strikes should be taking a close look at the escalating situation. While the White House has continued to stick with diplomacy, allowing countries like Russia to pander to the rogue nation, the fact that pre-emptive strikes are still an option for President Bush provides a small level of comfort to an otherwise disquieting revelation. Without knowing the rate at which Iran is able to enrich Uranium, and thus how quickly they could produce a viable nuclear weapon, we do not have any timetable. However, as this story develops, countries like the US and Israel will have to monitor such possibilities as when Iran will be armed, and how heavily it will be equipped.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Will a Democratic Congress ban all contributions from lobbyists? Pelosi Could

This weekend on Meet The Press, Tim Russert interviewed House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Most of the media is focused on Rep. Pelosi's statements seeming to imply that Democrats would seek impeachment if they win the house. While potential impeachment is a big story, it is nothing new from the Democrats. However, what has gone largely unnoticed were Rep. Pelosi's remarks about lobbyists and how campaigns are funded. The following exchange Demonstrates the Minority Leader's intentions:
MR. RUSSERT: Will you bar all lobbyist contributions?
REP. PELOSI: I’m for, I’m for what we call clean campaigns. That is [p]ublic funding of campaigns. I think we have to break the link completely. I think we have to break the link completely.
MR. RUSSERT: Who’s going to pay for that? You think the American taxpayer will want to pay for campaigns?
REP. PELOSI: Well, you can—it can be an add-on. Or the American people can decide...
MR. RUSSERT: What do you mean, add-on to what?
REP. PELOSI: They can add-on to their—in other words, you’re paying your considerable taxes...and you can add on to that to, to get a...
MR. RUSSERT: But voluntary—it doesn’t pay for the presidential system, barely. How, how...
REP. PELOSI: Well, well that’s a decision the country has to make. But you’re asking me would I ban, I’m answering back what I would do. But what we do...
MR. RUSSERT: But will, will a Democratic Congress ban all contributions from lobbyists?
REP. PELOSI: We could do that.
MR. RUSSERT: You will?
REP. PELOSI: We could do that.
(full transcript)
These ideas, though not as incendiary as talk of impeachment, represent far more extreme and dangerous stances. First of all, they serve to show the willingness of Democratic leaders to raise taxes, whatever the cause. The all-too-common thought appears to be "if there's a problem, raising taxes will fix it". Remember that these statements came the very same week that the Dow Jones was approaching record levels, with recent unemployment numbers showing more improvement, and in an economy that hat been growing faster than any other industrialized nation; three products from President Bush' highly criticized tax cuts (for the sake of full disclosure, I was initially against the cuts but have come to realize that they have stimulated the economy). Raising taxes now would be a horrible decision.

Secondly, Rep. Pelosi does not realize the importance that privately funded campaigns play. It is a simple argument of incentives. Candidates with a more appealing message are able to obtain proportionally greater levels of financial support. Those with less popular ideas receive less money. The incentive to donate money is that you are giving it to a candidate whom you agree with. In that way, financial support is a reflection of candidate support. Strictly publicly funded campaigns (i.e. if hard-money and soft-money lobbying were banned) would eliminate this concept, preventing those with more appealing messages - be it more appealing to businesses, religious groups, civil rights groups, individuals, educational groups etc. - from obtaining a financial advantage. Related to this is the fact that people are hesitant to provide an "add-on" to their taxes when the money may go to support candidates whom they strongly disagree with. In this way her "plan" is completely nonsensical, and should be recognized as such.

Thirdly, corruption obviously exists on capitol hill, but placing a "ban" on lobbying is not only unconstitutional, it doesn't address the issue. Bribery can occur whether or not someone is labeled a lobbyist. If Jack Abramoff's official job title were not "lobbyist", would his actions be less despicable? Of course not! Bannying lobbying will prevent bribery to the same extent that banning murder lowers the homicide rate. In fact, one could argue that the recent scandals on both sides of the political divide represents a success; that those who perpetrate these corrupt acts are being caught.

If Minority Leader Pelosi really wants to fight corruption, she should do so in a way that does not stifle our political system, and that provides meaningful changes and oversight. Extreme talk of raising taxes and publicly funded elections only show how out of touch she is with logic.

Senator Feinstein Supports Michael Hayden

While many senators, on both sides of the aisle, were condemning the nomination Air Force General Michael V. Hayden, even before President Bush nominated him, Senator Feinstein, among others, has come out in support. "We need a respected, competent intelligence professional who can command respect and manage this growing agency. Based on what I know so far, General Michael Hayden appears to fit that bill," Feinstein is quoted as saying.

Michael V. Hayden is the nominee to replace outgoing CIA head Porter Goss, who left under mysterious circumstances, yet his nomination has come under fire from those who believe his career in the military should preclude him from serving in the CIA, and others who admonish the National Security Administration (NSA) surveillance program, which he was an integral part of. The former concern is almost laughable, claiming that a 'military man' in charge of the CIA is dangerous. In reality, intelligence is a vital aspect of military operations; one in the lead in gathering intelligence should understand the military needs. However, the controversial NSA surveillance program will likely be a more contentious issue.

With that in mind, Feinstein's statements are somewhat of a surprise. Senate democrats have been quite vocal about the NSA terrorist surveillance program, a program Hayden has been intimately involved in during his stint at the NSA. Other prominent senate democrats are already on the front-lines, decrying the horrors of the program. "General Hayden directed and subsequently defended the president's illegal wiretapping program," said Russ Feingold who also said he "might" (read "definitely will") vote against Hayden.

I suspect that if concerns over the NSA program is the only major concern about General Hayden's appointment, he will easily be confirmed. Opposition to the program, though it has continued despite public support for the program and highly-favorable testimony by FISA judges, is not strong enough to oppose such a well qualified candidate.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Heart-wrenching news from Italy

On Monday, the Washington Post reported a story about three Italian soldiers who were killed in a roadside bomb in Iraq. The article claims that Iran was not only involved in the attack, but complicit in planning and orchestrating it.
Iranian agents were accused yesterday of masterminding a bomb attack that killed three Italian soldiers in Iraq last week and intensified political pressure for the incoming government to speed up its withdrawal of troops from that country.
But what would otherwise be merely a tragic story is shaping up to be a disturbing tale of deception and underhanded politics.

Gateway Pundit has new details on the story out of Italy that makes me sick. According to GP, Italian intelligence officials claim that Italian citizens (members of the Italian communist party) helped Iranian terrorists with the attack in hopes that the news of the soldiers' deaths would help pressure an Italian withdrawal of troops. They appear to be successful on both counts.
An article on L’Opinione reports (in Italian) that anti-globalization and communist groups based in Italy, among which is the infamous “anti-imperialist camp” (that collecting “Euros for the Iraqi resistance”) coordinated with Islamic terrorists in Iraq to attack our troops in Nassiryiah. The Italian intelligence heard phone conversations in which the red fundamentalists instructed the Islamists about how and when to kill our soldiers. It seems that the attack was organized in order to pressure Mr. Prodi to speed the pullout from Iraq.
(From Publius Pundit)
Notice the similarity between the "anti-imperialist camp" collecting Euros for the Iraqi resistance and Code Pink, which gave $600,000 to a group sympathetic with Iraqi insurgents. However disturbing Code Pink's actions have been, the allegation that these Italians not only actively aided in a plot to kill their own soldiers, but did so in order to force a withdrawal of troops is disturbing.

For now, the story appears to be only speculation, however I will continue to monitor any developments.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Get your flak jackets: Battle over judicial nominees set to resume

The Senate Judiciary committee has reconvened, set to tackle the difficult process of confirming judicial nominees. As per usual, Senate democrats are threatening to Filibuster, the Senate's equivalent of throwing a temper-tantrum. This time, Democrats are threatening the filibuster over two particular nominees, Terrence W. Boyle and Brett Kavanaugh. According to the Washington Post, "Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters yesterday. If GOP leaders insist on a confirmation vote, he said, Democrats "without question" will launch a filibuster." The 'honorable' Senator is telling us that Democrats will not stand for a vote, and will resort to tricks to block the appointment.

Similar is true of Kavanaugh. Despite unanimous "well-qualified" or "qualified" endorsements from the American Bar Association, Democrats plan to bitterly oppose him. In fact, Harry Reid (D-NV) is opposing him, claiming that he has too many "qualified" endorsements and not enough "well-qualified"! However, even overwhelming "well-qualified" endorsements are not enough, as was the case with Samuel Alito.

While Democrats attempted to portray recent Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito as a bigot and a sexist, the slander-du-jour is corruption. Democrats will - and have already begun to - try to label Kavanaugh as corrupt. Even while investigations surrounding Jack Abramoff have come to include the 'honorable' Harry Reid, Senate Democrats are making accusations that
Kavanaugh may be somehow involved in the scandal. Though no evidence could be produced, the fact that Kavanaugh was nominated by President Bush, who is a Republican, like Tom-Delay, who was two-degrees away from Abramoff is enough to raise these claims (incidentally, Kevin Bacon is not yet a part of the Abramoff investigation).

The opposition to Doyle and Kavanaugh is not based on genuine concerns, just like the continuing opposition since President Bush' first term has not been based on genuine concerns of the candidate's qualifications. It is, and has continued to be partisan, with Democrats fiercly opposing nominees on the grounds that they were nominated by a Conservative. Edward Whelan at National Review says,
This country has a long tradition of recognizing that judging is distinct from politics and of trusting that persons of integrity who have been successful in public life—even on behalf of partisan figures or causes—can don the judicial robes and serve justice. This tradition has been prominently reflected in several of the most recent Democratic appointees to the D.C. Circuit.

For instance, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, undoubtedly a very partisan lawyer during her private career, was confirmed with a 96-3 vote! Republicans certainly opposed her ideals, but were able to recognize that she was qualified for the position. This rational way of thinking led to only a small handful of Clinton's nominees being opposed by Republicans. Unfortunately, under President Bush, Senate Democrats fail to follow the same standard of qualification, and instead partake in unproductive partisan games.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

More of the Same from Mayor Nagin

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin today announced the details of his new disaster-preparedness plan. After hearing of it and reading it, I can only say that it is laughable. According to CNN.com "'Read my lips: This is a plan for getting people out of the city. There is no shelter of last resort.'" This should come as no comfort to any thinking individual who has decided to take up residence in New Orleans. Evacuation was the plan pre-Hurricane. The problem was not with the plan, but with the implementation.

An evacuation would be ordered at least 30 hours before landfall of any hurricane of Category 2 strength or higher, with a curfew imposed after the evacuation, Nagin said.

The 30 hour figure is only slightly less than the amount of time between when President Bush declared a state of emergency and when Katrina made landfall. However, previously Mayor Nagin failed to take the threat seriously and did not issue a mandatory evacuation until it was far too late, resulting in the over-crowded Highways which we all saw on the news. Thus, this appears to be a step in the right direction...but it is not. According to Nagin, noone will be forced to leave their home. Thus, the evacuation is again only a suggestion, not a mandate.

People would be encouraged to take responsibility for their own evacuation plan, with only about 10,000 residents expected to need help from the city, Nagin said.

Amtrak trains, public transit and school buses would be used to evacuate people who can't drive themselves out of the city, he said.

Because the population of the city has declined so dramatically since Katrina, there are far fewer residents who require assistance in evacuating. Hopefully that translates into making it easier for Mayor Nagin to pick up the phone and initiate the school-bus evacuation. After all, utilizing the city's school buses to evacuate the needy was the plan heading into Katrina, but again failed due to implementation.

All-in-all, the plan seems very similar, almost identical to the plan that "failed" last year. However, it should be recognized that the plan did not fail, but rather it was a failure of the Mayor to implement the plan that led to the catastrophic situations following the storm. In fact, that the plan hasn't been changed should be testament to it's validity, and thus testament to Mayor Nagin's invalidity. It's more of the same, and I don't know why the residents of the city are standing for it.