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April 29, 2005

Sgt. Akbar Sentenced to Death

Good. Details are here.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 11:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

And We Wonder Why No One Knows Anything!

Apparently the network television majority decided pop culture was more important than what's going on with our nation and the world.

Fox, NBC and CBS all cut away from President Bush's press conference last night before it ended. After all, the public's thirst for Paris Hilton, Donald Trump and the Survivor bunch must be appeased at all costs!

I myself, sadly, didn't see the press conference...but not because something better was on. With my long commute, I don't get home until after 7...then there's dinner and the kitchen to clean...and I had to help my youngest with her homework. So it was another "no TV night" for me last night. I'll be looking for a transcript online later.

To their credit, ABC and PBS stuck with the president to the end...and I would assume that the whole thing was shown on FOX News and CNN (correct me if I'm wrong).

Maybe if Bush would go around saying things like, "That's so hot," or, "You're fired!" or, "The tribal council has spoken," while dressed like a gangsta rapper, the other networks would think twice before cutting his press conference off at the pass.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 28, 2005

My Dear Mr. Ahmed

For those of you who have received e-mail from a guy in Sierra Leone who happens to have millions of dollars needing a home, read the perfect response by Two Dogs over at Mean Ol' Meany. Make sure you hit the bathroom before reading it, or you might have an accident.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 02:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Why the Left Really Hates (Some) Labels

This is a lengthy post...please bear with my long-windedness today!

Most leftists like certain kinds of labels: African American, Native American, Asian American, Arab American, Latin American and...white. It gives (almost) everyone a sense of specialness, a "I'm just as good as you are" kind of feeling.

Of course, if we all concentrated more on who the person is on the inside, we wouldn't need to make all of these distinctions. We could all be Americans without fear or guilt. References to skin color would only be important in describing a missing person or a fleeing criminal suspect (or the hottie you met at the club last night). But then, the left wouldn't be able to divide and conquer the different groups it constantly panders to by giving special preferences. In other words, saying certain groups of people need more "help" than others, implying they can't compete on their own merits. (For more on this with regard to politics, read this article by Larry Elder.) Note: I realize that there will always be someone in the crowd who makes distinctions (good or bad) based solely on skin color, ethnicity, physical impairment or whatever. Not everyone considers character first, unfortunately...

Why, though, do I bring up the question of labels? Well, it seems as though some on the left are upset that David Horowitz has begun a categorization of leftists on his Discover the Network website. An article by Lawrence Auster on Front Page Magazine today discusses this in length, for as regular visits to the site know, during forums on this topic many left guests have plenty to complain about.

Auster begins with the complaint:

In an exchange at FrontPage Magazine between David Horowitz and history professor Timothy Burke, the latter complains that Horowitz's Discover The Network data bank unfairly categorizes various people as leftists without sufficient definitions and evidence, ignoring the many differences among people whom the data bank places on the left. Horowitz retorts, first, that leftists don't hesitate to lump together all conservatives as right-wingers despite the many differences among conservatives; second, that it is perfectly reasonable to classify people politically according to their general associations and loyalties; and, third, that leftists simply can't stand being identified and exposed as what they are.
Auster continues by defining the very reason why he believes the left can't stand to be categorized (stay with me here):
If we belong to some naturally or socially defined category, as man or woman, or as Jew or Catholic, or as housewife or soldier, then, insofar as we belong to that category, our purpose, our telos, is to fulfill the potentiality and meaning of that category. While this limits our freedom, as already pointed out, it does something more. It creates a distance between ourselves as we are and ourselves as we ought to be. It establishes a standard, according to which we can be judged, and according to which we are not perfect. It even says that we are inherently imperfect and cannot be perfected, since our full nature, represented by the category or class to which we belong, represents an ideal, a set of potentialities, which as individuals we can never entirely realize but can only strive to approximate. To most normal people, this inherent human imperfection or inadequacy, this gap between the actual and the ideal, is simply a fact of life and does not represent any special problem. But to liberals and leftists it is deeply threatening, because they insist on human perfection (namely their own) and refuse to accept the idea that people are not readily perfectible. [emphasis added]

Auster really nails it here. By promoting a socialist or even Communist society, the left is saying that "we can all be equal, we can all be the same." But we can't all be equal or the same...not in the sense that the left would have us be. Every individual (hence the word individual) enters this world with different social backgrounds, different abilities, different personalities, different expectations. While it's one thing to expect equality in the sense that if you do the same work you should get the same pay, or that all citizens should be treated equally under the law, it's quite another to say "men and women are the same" because it simply isn't true. There are inherent biological and yes, social aspects to being a man or a woman, just as religion and upbringing come into play.

This isn't to say that if one is born into a family of blue-collar workers that one cannot aspire to become an executive, a scientist, or whatever. That's what America is all about. It does mean, however, that the utopia the left yearns for will never come to be. Human nature is too volatile, too unpredictable. We don't want to be worker drones...we want to do our own thing.

Auster goes on to point out that the left has no problem with labels when it comes to "collective guilt of white Americans," "Republicans are evil," or "American Indians or Arabs have some special mode of being and relationship that is closed to whites." This is how they are trying to rewrite the social fabric of our world with their standards, their ideals, their mores. Thousands of years of tradition and social conditioning have to be chucked into the garbage because the left deems it to be wrong.

The human race, especially Western culture, has made great strides since man first emerged from the cave. No one says it's perfect but as we continue to evolve, we can continue to perfect society to the best of our ability. There will always be kinks in the hose. However, the few trying to shove a fabricated structure on the whole won't fix things...it only creates more problems by dividing, rather than uniting, different groups.

When is the left going to get it?

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Posted by Pam Meister at 10:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 27, 2005

The New Airbus...The New Fwench Behemoth

Leave it to Fwance to come up with this monstrosity:
The 555 seat, double deck Airbus A380 is the most ambitious civil aircraft program yet. When it enters service in March 2006, the A380 will be the world's largest airliner, easily eclipsing Boeing's 747.

With fuel prices such as they are, how much will a ticket cost?

The plane made its maiden voyage today.

Click to see the cutaway diagram from Professor Shade!

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Posted by Pam Meister at 08:23 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Teddy Remembers...

Arthur Chrenkov writes about how Teddy Kennedy preferred not to mark the second anniversaries of the liberation of Iraq and liberation of Baghdad (March 19 and April 9, respectively), but instead chooses to mark the first "anniversary" of the discovery of the situation at Abu Ghraib:

On 26 April, Senator Kennedy finally chose to mark an anniversary:

"The sad anniversary of the Abu Ghraib torture scandal is now upon us. It's an appropriate time to reflect on how well we've responded as a nation."

In just over six months from now, the sad anniversary of the loss of the presidential election will be upon the Democrats. It will be an appropriate time to reflect on how well they've responded as a party. By the looks of it, the thinking hasn't started quite yet. (in case you were wondering, Senator Kennedy also kept silent last year.)

Chrenkov also offers this tidbit:

Ironically, Senator Kennedy himself drowned more people than American interrogators. As James Taranto would write, "Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment".
July 18 marks the 36th anniversary of Kopechne's untimely death at the hands of Kennedy...who, as we all know, managed to get off scot-free. Perhaps we, as a nation, should reflect on how we've responded.

Hat tip: Roger L. Simon

UPDATE: Teddy's website is now fully functional...too bad we can't say the same for the good senator. This little bit is a laff riot (taken from the "journal" section):

Youテ浜l be able to come behind the scenes of the campaign, and join in the fight against the Republican Party and their abuse of power in Congress and the White House.

The Senator has become a leading voice in the Democratic Party, and thatテ不 because of his long-standing commitment to the principles and values we believe in.

Values such as denying culpability in the death of a young woman? Hah!

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Posted by Pam Meister at 01:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

AirHEAD America Steps In It...

According to Matt Drudge, Air America thought it was funny to "shoot" the President on-air:

The red-hot rhetoric over Social Security on liberal talkradio network AIRAMERICA has caught the attention of the Secret Service, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

Government officials are reviewing a skit which aired on the network Monday evening -- a skit featuring an apparent gunshot warning to the president!

The announcer: "A spoiled child is telling us our Social Security isn't safe anymore, so he is going to fix it for us. Well, here's your answer, you ungrateful whelp: [audio sound of 4 gunshots being fired.] Just try it, you little bastard. [audio of gun being cocked]."

The audio production at the center of the controversy aired during opening minutes of The Randi Rhodes Show.

"What is with all the killing?" Rhodes said, laughing, after the clip aired.

"Even joking about shooting the president is a crime, let alone doing it on national radio... we are taking this very seriously," a government source explained.

A peek at the Air America site's "comedy page" doesn't bring up the bit...either they never posted it or took it off. I listened to some of their other comedy bits...and if that's what passes for comedy at Air America, it's no wonder their ratings are so abysmal.

Who's acting like a spoiled child???

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Posted by Pam Meister at 11:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Double Standards...Democrat Style

Erick at Confessions of a Political Junkie asks an important question:
Hereテ不 what I donテ付 understand. When women were coming out of the closet saying Bill Clinton sexually harassed them or worse, the Democrats said it was old news. When women start coming out of the closet yelling that 20 years ago John Bolton yelled at them, all of a sudden we must treat 20 year old accusations seriously. Why?

Why indeed?

The Dems also took seriously claims by Anita Hill that she was sexually harrassed by Clarence Thomas when he was being considered for the Supreme Court. They also have no problem trotting out "old chestnuts" such as George W. Bush's former drinking problem and Rush Limbaugh's pain-killer addiction, while giving a free pass to Bill Clinton who "didn't inhale" (yeah, right!) and Teddy Kennedy, whose alleged booze-filled antics are legendary.

They questioned W's service during Vietnam, while ignoring more credible claims that John Kerry wasn't quite the caliber of hero he claimed to be. They also criticized Dick Cheney for taking an educational deferment during that war, while expecting us to not question Bill Clinton for doing exactly the same thing.

The Dems call the Republican party the "party of and for the rich" while ignoring such million-and billionaires in their midst such as Teddy Kennedy, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Herb Kohl, John J. Rockefeller, Jon Corzine, Dianne Feinstein, John Edwards, Bob Graham, John Dingell, and supporters like George Soros, Ted Turner, and all of those wealthy Hollywooders.

This list could go on and on, so I'll pose one final question: Why are we expected to "MoveOn" when Dems and other leftists keep looking for character flaws of Republicans that they themselves fall prey to?

*NOTE: Justice is sweet...Melody Townsel, one of the chief accusers of "meanness" in the John Bolton affirmation hearings, has been "outed" as a plagiarist during her college days. It's something the Dems would have done themselves. Dirty tricks are just that...dirty...but if the Dems don't play fair, why should the Republicans? Click here to read her whining to Daily Kos about how "unfair" it is, and of course, how Kos defends her.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Innovators vs. Denigrators

You know, Walter Williams always makes so much sense:
You say, "Williams, it would take an idiot to deny the human progress Americans made during the 20th century. What's your point?" The productive people who made this progress possible are often painted as villains. I'm talking about the innovators and the risk-takers, in a word -- entrepreneurs. Today's heroes are often seen as the people who attack entrepreneurs -- among them lawyers, politicians, media people, leftist organizations, college professors and others who often contribute little or nothing to human progress. My colleague, Thomas Sowell, calls the entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors the "doers" and their attackers the "talkers."
Read the rest here.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 26, 2005

Another Viewpoint on British Politics

The other day in a post regarding the BBC planting hecklers at a Conservative political rally in Britain, I mentioned that if I were a British citizen I would probably prefer a conservative in office, even though I like Tony Blair.

Today, I read an article by Christopher Hitchens that has given me a few things to think about:

Meanwhile, most of the groaning and sniping about the missing WMDs comes from the hard right, which has a hold on the Tory party and more than a hold on the tabloid press. Anti-Americanism in Britain has long been a conservative rather than a radical trope, and dislike for George Bush is very common among the aristocratic remnant, as well as among those who are nostalgic for the British empire that America supplanted after the war. That especial form of British anti-Semitism ("You catch it on the edge of a remark," as Harold Abrahams puts it so well in Chariots of Fire) is beautifully ventriloquized in the way that certain BBC announcers pronounce the name "Wolfowitz."

And this:

Other considerations inflect the picture, altering the misleading liberal-vs.-conservative divide that our media have imposed on the argument. Blair's Britain is a sort of post-Keynesian full-employment and welfarist society. Its government makes at least the right noises about Kyoto, the U.N., Palestine, and the International Criminal Court. Thus there are fewer opportunities for anti-war voices to change the subject. And the anti-Bush/Blair "left" has, to its credit, been perfectly honest in identifying itself both with Saddam Hussein and with Islamic fundamentalism.
So perhaps I would prefer Tony Blair, if I had the vote. Interesting. He's not perfect (who is?), but it just goes to show that party lines don't mean everything. Read it and see what you think.

UPDATE: Mark over at Decision '08 has a few words to say on this subject as well.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 11:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

America Pushes the Panic Button

Dennis Prager discusses some of the ways America's character has declined and how it might affect us in the wake of another terrorist attack:

Many Americans have become so afraid of danger, not to mention dying, that they will panic rather than go on with life, which is the only effective response to terror...

Fear of dying has increased as many of America's citizens and elite institutions have become increasingly irreligious, even anti-religious. One major consequence of secularism is fear of dying. After all, with no God and no religion, this life is all there is. It is no wonder that the secular are far more attracted to pacifism than the religious and far more likely than religious Americans to believe that American troops who have died liberating Iraq have wasted their lives.

But Prager has hope. Read the entire article to find out why.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 25, 2005

Celebs Celebrate "Primitive" Lifestyles

[Drew] Barrymore, apparently enthralled by the lack of a modern sanitary facilities, gleefully bragged, "I took a poo in the woods hunched over like an animal. It was awesome."
No, her septic system in LA didn't break down. Barrymore, along with Cameron Diaz and other "eco-friendly" celebs are part of the new MTV series Trippin', where they travel to poor countries to admire how the other half lives.
The 32-year-old Diaz, who earns a reported $20-million a movie, boasted that the cow-dung slathered walls of a Nepalese village hut were "beautiful" and "inspiring," and she called the primitive practice of "pounding mud" with sticks to construct a building foundation "the coolest thing."

Diaz also criticized the lifestyles of many Americans after visiting an indigenous village in Chile. "It's kinda gotten out of hand how much convenience we think we need," she said. Despite the celebrities' praise for the primitive life, "Trippin'" shows them flying on multiple airplanes and chartering at least two helicopters and one boat to reach remote locations over the course of the first four episodes.

The series also showed the celebrities being chauffeured to the airport in a full-size Chevy SUV -- despite several on-screen, anti-SUV factoids noting how environmentally unfriendly SUVs are.

So I need people like Diaz, who earns multi-millions each year, to lecture me on how much I need to cut down on convenience? This while she takes a chartered jet and gets chauffered in a gas hog? It'd be laughable if it wasn't so damn annoying. Read the whole article to get the true flavor of how outrageous this is...especially when you discover that the show (not to mention its "stars") never mentions the poverty and death rates of these countries, including infant mortality rates.

I think the first convenience I'll cut down on is going to certain movies.

Hat tip: Pat at Brainster

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Posted by Pam Meister at 01:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Looking for a Few Good Patriots!

Travis Benning has a request:

This is a call to all bloggers, especially with cameras, to make a really big patriotic display on Memorial Day...

When you have your display set up, send me the pictures and I will host them here on Memorial Dayテ which means Iテ浜l be up all night reviewing and posting, hey someoneテ不 got to do it.

Check out his post for more information. What a great idea!

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Posted by Pam Meister at 12:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

David Horowitz on Dealing With the Campus Left

This latest article by David Horowitz is a must-read. It seems that leftwing professors can't even find it in their hearts to be civil:

Jamie and I left the outer office and walked about twenty feet to where the Political Science Department had reserved the room where the professors were to meet with me. On the wall outside the room and just to the left of the entry door there was a poster, which had a picture of me next to Joseph McCarthy. Very subtle. And very thoughtful of Hiller not to take it down.

I hardly need to add that the only professor who showed up for the reception was the lone conservative in the department whom I knew already and whom I had already met, and who as a woman and a minority had slipped through the conservative hiring screen.

Read it all. Will you be sending your children to college soon? It's a scary thought, I know.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 24, 2005

The New Pope...A Few Thoughts

Full disclosure here...I'm not a Catholic. So why the heck am I writing about the new Pope? Well, I'm kind of tired of hearing all of the whining that's going on about who was chosen and why.

First of all, let's remember that religion (any and all religion) is a matter of faith. Period. You either believe or you don't believe. That being said, the Catholic church has been the subject of much antagonism for the past couple of decades or so. Why?

Part of it, I would venture to say, is because the Catholic church stands for certain morals and values that have come to be seen as passナス in today's secular world. A non-recognition of homosexuals and forbidding the use of contraception are major issues for practicing Catholics. Now, I myself have issues with forbidding the use of contraception and non-recognition of homosexuals (although I'm not for any church-sanctioned gay marriage), but not being Catholic, I don't have to worry about it.

Of course there was the child-sexual-abuse scandal and church officials' roles in covering it up for so many years. That was wrong, and the church is now taking steps to rectify it. But is the church alone in trying to avert a public relation scandal in relation to sex abuse? Just look at the abuse scandal in the Congo under the UN's watch, and the recent events at an Ohio high school where the principal was fired because she failed to notify the police when a disabled girl was sexually assaulted (raped, really) by other students.

Many Catholics seem to be upset with these and other aspects of following the faith, and the fact that the new Pope is a strict traditionalist has gotten a lot of attention. Andrew Sullivan has been having hissy fits for the past week or so...and he is just the tip of the iceberg. What the heck is going on?

I'm thinking that if certain aspects of the Catholic faith are just too much, start shopping for another branch of Christianity...there's plenty to choose from. The Catholic church isn't here to appease secularists in their never-ending quest to apply their moral relativity and PC standards to each and every aspect of our lives. It's here to preach the word of Jesus Christ, and it has certain standards it expects its members to adhere to. (And for those who make mistakes along the way, as we all do, go to confession...isn't that what it's there for?)

As for the new Pope, he was elected by his peers because they felt he would do a good job in upholding the teachings of the church. That's why they have a Pope. Heading the church isn't a popularity contest, so keep his age and ethnicity out of the equation. If the cardinals had thought an African cardinal would make the best Pope at this time, he would have been the one voted in. Get over it already.

And for those who are not Catholic but who are complaining and criticizing, I say to them as well: get over it. Why get upset over the election of a religious head of state who doesn't preside over your religious persuasion? It's like moaning and groaning over the election of a president in a country you don't live in...oh wait, that happened in Europe when President Bush was re-elected.

Those are my two cents...for what it's worth.

Note: Two Dogs over at Mean Ol' Meany has a few words to say on the subject, as does Pat, one of the bloggers over at Lifelike Pundits.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 08:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Think the NYT Will Try This?

From the UK Telegraph:
The BBC was last night plunged into a damaging general election row after it admitted equipping three hecklers with microphones and sending them into a campaign meeting addressed by Michael Howard, the Conservative leader.
Of course, the BBC tried to deny it:
Last night, the BBC claimed that the exercise was part of a "completely legitimate programme about the history and art of political heckling" and said that other parties' meetings were being "observed". However, The Telegraph has established that none of Tony Blair's meetings was infiltrated or disrupted in similar fashion.
Guy Black, head of communications for the Conservative party, said in a letter to the BBC that, "I do not believe that the BBC should be in the business of creating news." Well said, Mr. Black.

Now I don't have much stake in the outcome of the British elections. I like what Tony Blair has done as far as his support in Iraq, but as for his policies at home...well, let's just say that I'd probably be happier with a Conservative as Prime Minister if I were a British citizen. But my opinions are irrelevant. (Why haven't there been any polls over here asking us who we'd vote for for PM if we could? There were plenty of European polls during our election...)

That aside, it'll be interesting to see who wins. And it'll be even more interesting to see how much fallout there'll be for the BBC after this little stunt.

It's a shame that the BBC has the monopoly on broadcast news in Britain. We have publicly-funded PBS over here (and it's leftwing bias is apparent to anyone with more than a two-cell structure), but at least we have other options. The other options might not always be great (CBS comes to mind), but fortunately there's talk radio and FOX News.

Britain is a friend, but there's nothing like living in America.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 23, 2005

The Pledge...Rewritten

Hat tip: Michelle Malkin

Middle schoolers in Colorado got an interesting taste of PC sensibilities in a place they didn't expect it...the morning Pledge. The Washington Times reports it:

The students in Vincent Pulciani's seventh-grade class were reciting the Pledge of Allegiance this week when they heard the voice over the intercom say something they'd never heard before, at least not during the Pledge. Instead of "one nation, under God," the voice said, "one nation, under your belief system."

The bewildered students at Everitt Middle School in Wheat Ridge never even got to "indivisible," according to Vincent's mother, Christina Pulciani-Johnson.

It turns out that guidance counselor Margo Lucero, who was filling in on the Pledge recitation for the absent principal, was apparently

spurred by the date, April 20, the sixth anniversary of the Columbine High School slayings. Both Columbine and Everitt are within the Jefferson County school district.

"The day was the sixth anniversary of Columbine, and she felt she should be all-inclusive, so she replaced the word 'God,'" he [Jefferson County School District spokesman Rick Kaufman] said.

School officials assert that Lucero acted on her own and that her actions weren't cleared beforehand. Of course, Lucero was not available for comment!

If kids don't want to say God while saying the Pledge, they aren't forced to. They can simply skip it. Lucero could have done the same thing and probably no one would have noticed. Or, if she found saying the Pledge "as is" so offensive, why didn't she beg off the assignment?

For fun, Billy Jones over at View From the Foothills, has rewritten the Pledge to conform to PC standards:

I pledge [allegiance] some occasional recognition

to the [Flag] symbols of oppression

of the [United States] diverse indigenous peoples of [America] the landmass referred to by oppressive European conquistadors as "America"

and to the [Republic] totalitarian theocracy for which it stands,

[one nation,] a Balkanized patchwork of cultures,

[under God,] under each individuals' personal belief system

[indivisible,] divided into innumerable unique communities of culture,

[with liberty and justice for all.] where some are more equal than others.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 22, 2005

PBS Worries About "Balance"

Boo hoo:
Some observers, including people inside the Public Broadcasting Service, see...recent developments as troubling. PBS, they say, is being forced to toe a more conservative line in its programming by the Republican-dominated agency that provides about $30 million in federal funds to the Alexandria-based service.
Sorry, but left-wing and uber-left wing views don't constitute balance.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 04:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish

Sergeant Hasan Akbar was found guilty yesterday of murdering fellow soldiers in a rifle and grenade attack as they awaited orders to invade Iraq in 2003. He could face the death penalty (keep your fingers crossed).

It's nice when justice is served. And even if he doesn't get the death penalty, I have a feeling his time in prison won't be a lot of fun.

Hat tip: Travis Benning

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Posted by Pam Meister at 01:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thoughts on Leftwing Lunacy

Today is Earth Day...and I'm not interested in the least. It's not that I don't "care about the Earth," but I do believe that environmentalists care less about saving nature than shoving their political ideals down our throats. And what better way than to start with our kids and their "Earth Day Celebrations" in school? Michael Berliner wrote an interesting article on the true intentions of environmentalists that appears on Front Page Magazine today.

And what better way to celebrate Earth Day than to embrace Freeganism? Being a Freegan means you don't buy anything you can avoid buying, looking instead to get it for free (scrounging through restaurant garbage and dumpster diving for a new living room set are a couple of ideas espoused by the group) as a way of protesting our consumer culture. Of course, if we as a society stopped manufacturing anything mass chaos would ensue...but what care the Freegans? I'd be interested to know the average age of a Freegan, and whether or not they tend to live at home with mom and dad...and hey, they have a website...isn't that a part of the evil consumer culture?

For Earth Day last year, the idea of diaperless babies got headlines. Rather than using those evil disposable diapers or wasting detergent and water to clean cloth ones, why not let Junior run around without anything on? Just like in Third World countries? Don't mind the mess and the germs...it's for the environment! "In my mind, diapers became the symbol of the Evil Empire of Western Parenting in which babies must suffer to accommodate the needs of their parents' broken-continuum culture: a controlled, sterile, odorless, wall-to-wall carpeted fortress in which to live with the illusion of dominion over nature," wrote [Scott] Noelle, on the website livingharmony.com. Of course, being a man, I wonder how much Scott has to do with the everyday mess of child rearing? And if he hates the sterile feeling he obviously gets from houses, why the heck doesn't he just live in a cave, grow flax and weave his own clothes, and live off the land? I notice he's writing for a website, so he can't be all that averse to modern technology. Oh, the hypocrisy...

Finally, Cookie Monster no longer gobbles cookies! Sesame Street is looking to tone down Cookie Monster's overindulgence in cookies in order to better instruct children on healthy food choices. What the heck? Why call him Cookie Monster? Why not just call him Health Food Monster? And does this mean Oscar the Grouch will begin sensitivity training? After all, his grouchiness doesn't set a great example for kids either. What's that? We aren't supposed to take Oscar seriously? Oh...sorry, I got caught up in the moment.

UPDATE: Tom over at hamstermotor has posted a speech given by Michael Crichton gave to the Commonwealth Club in September of 2003 regarding environmentalism. It's lengthy, but worth the time.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 10:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 20, 2005

On the Politics of Churlishness

I'm a little late in finding this article on the Jewish World Review website, but I'm glad I did. Martin Peretz fantasizes on what George W. Bush would have to face if he found a cure for cancer:
If George W. Bush were to discover a cure for cancer, his critics would denounce him for having done it unilaterally, without adequate consultation, with a crude disregard for the sensibilities of others. He pursued his goal obstinately, they would say, without filtering his thoughts through the medical research establishment. And he didn't share his research with competing labs and thus caused resentment among other scientists who didn't have the resources or the bold テ perhaps even somewhat reckless テ instincts to pursue the task as he did. And he completely ignored the World Health Organization, showing his contempt for international institutions. Anyway, a cure for cancer is all fine and nice, but what about AIDS?
It's so true. And W has faced exactly this sort of criticism and scrutiny for his successes in the Middle East. Granted he isn't responsible for each and every victory...Afghanis and Iraqis were critical to their own evolution from totalitarian regimes to burgeoning democracies.

However, Bush was in the right place at the right time...and he did something about it. He didn't just sit back and say, "Gosh, if not everyone is behind me 100%, then I shouldn't do anything here." He has convictions and he followed them. Certainly mistakes were made (as they are in any military endeavor), and they can be hashed out by future historians.

But are those on the left happy? Hardly:

Most American liberals, alas, enjoy no similar gladness. They are not exactly pleased by the positive results of Bush's campaign in the Middle East. They deny and resent and begrudge and snipe. They are trapped in the politics of churlishness. [emphasis mine]

You'd think these "champions" of human and civil rights would be pleased at the ouster of both the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, regimes that crushed and terrorized their respective populaces. But Afghani and Iraqi freedom began with a Republican president dedicated to their cause...and not just any Republican, but a...cowboy! How gauche! How embarrassing! What will our champagne-sipping elite friends in Europe think? How will we ever live this down?

And it's not over yet. Lebanon is throwing off the yoke that was Syria after decades of puppet rule. Election improvements have been made in both Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Iranian students are clamoring for an end to theocracy of the mullahs. All of this was made possible because Bush had the courage to hold to his convictions.

Were his motives selfless? No. No country ever helps another out of pure humanitarianism. Usually there's an underlying reason, such as self-protection. Sometimes money is a factor, and many of Bush's critics claim his greed for oil was the main reason for our going into Iraq. That's baloney, pure and simple. Saddam Hussein constantly flouted UN resolutions and was known to help terrorists. WMDs notwithstanding, the man had to be gotten rid of for the sake of stability in the region. And look at the results!

And what about our safety here at home? Al-Quaeda hasn't made it back here since 9/11. Numerous plots have been uncovered before they came to fruition. Many are complaining about Bush's homeland security policies...to wit, his reluctance to clamp down on border violations between Mexico and the U.S. It's not so much the illegals who come over and overburden our social programs (that's another issue altogether), but the chance that al-Quaeda operatives or other terrorists could slip in undetected. It's definitely something the Bush administration needs to address.

The significant fact is that Bush's obsession with the democratization of the region is working. Have Democrats begun to wonder how it came to pass that this noble cause became the work of Republicans? They should wonder if they care to regain power. They should recall that Clinton (and the sanctimonious Jimmy Carter even more so) had absolutely no interest in trying to modify the harsh political character of the Arab world. What they aspired to do was to mollify the dictators テ to prefer the furthering of the peace process to the furthering of the conditions that make peace possible.
We hear so much from the left about our "invasion" of Iraq, the "killing of babies" and so on. This is just a distraction. The peacemongers on the left have no solutions. They only seem to have complaints. "Peace, not war!" Sorry, but sometimes peace can only be achieved by force. People of Saddam Hussein's ilk aren't interested in sitting down and discussing issues with the hope of resolution. People like him only understand one thing: force and power. Human nature hasn't changed as much as we'd like to think it has.
It has been heartening, in recent months, to watch some Democratic senators searching for ways out of the politics of churlishness. Some liberals appear to have understood that history is moving swiftly and in a good direction, and that history has no time for their old and mistaken suspicion of American power in the service of American values. One does not have to admire a lot about George W. Bush to admire what he has so far wrought. One need only be a thoughtful American with an interest in proliferating liberalism around the world. And, if liberals are unwilling to proliferate liberalism, then conservatives will. Rarely has there been a sweeter irony.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 08:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A Definition of Rights

Tom over at hamstermotor has a great post today defining what rights are and the dangers of "creating" new rights:
To "create" new rights, is synonymous with going above the requirement for human survival that they be free from the use of force, rejecting the fundamental nature of man, and accepting a claim on some people's rights and so violate their rights.

He also touches on government's role in protecting those rights. Check it out!

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Posted by Pam Meister at 08:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

"Responsible" Wealth

I discovered a website today called Responsible Wealth. The mission of Responsible Wealth is:

We are leaders in business, community, government, philanthropy, academia and finance. We are among the wealthiest 5% of Americans, the primary beneficiaries of the robust growth of the American economy. We are united by our common concern that despite a booming economy, many are not sharing in the prosperity.

Wow, that sounds great! Responsible wealthy people are concerned with the rest of us poor slobs and want us to do better. How do they plan to achieve such wonders? Will they be giving away money right and left? Will they stop living in their mansions, start driving economy cars and shopping at K-Mart, and take their vacations in the Poconos rather than go skiing in Switzerland?

No...they plan to do it the old fashioned way...by raising taxes on the rich.

That sounds good too...kind of. If you buy into the hype these responsible wealthy people are promoting, you believe that

Tax cuts for the wealthy are hurting our country. You can help stop them.

Tax cuts are draining our nation of capacity to preserve vital services, invest in research and infrastructure, build a strong and sustainable economy, and assure fairness and opportunity. Now, more than ever, itテ不 crucial for wealthy people to take a public stand against them.

Of course, they don't mention that the more corporate America is taxed, the less they want to spend in expanding business...which means hiring more workers and being able to pay them more. Statistics show that the American economy boomed during the Kennedy and Reagan years as a result of tax reform.

Not to mention, the more Americans are taxed, the faster Congress will find ways to spend the money. Our founding fathers originally had a very limited government in mind when they set about organizing our federal government. David Limbaugh said,

Under the Articles of Confederation the federal government had no power to tax and no power to raise an army. Congress could not force states or individuals to comply with its decisions.

We've come a long way, baby.

It seems strange that some of these responsible wealthy people are for higher taxes. It makes me wonder why? And then it comes to me...why should they worry about higher taxes when they can afford to hire accountants whose job it is to find as many loopholes and tax shelters they can? That means many of these wealthy people end up paying less taxes than the average middle class citizen. Teresa Heinz (conveniently Kerry during the last presidential campaign) illustrated this point nicely when she released her 2003 tax return. Her overall income was $5.07 million, but she was able to shelter $2.78 million from being taxed. And her husband was promising higher taxes for the rich if he was elected! Wouldn't you think she'd be first in line to pay her "fair share" of taxes? And what about all of those other responsible wealthy people? Do you think they'll share their tax returns so we can see how much they enjoy paying taxes?

What about charity, you ask? According to the American Association of Fundraising Counsel, Americans gave $241 billion in charitable contributions in 2003, a jump of 2.8 percent since 2000. I wouldn't blame you for thinking that's a good thing. But it's not. Here's why, according to William Gates, Sr. (father of software billionaire Bill Gates):

Let's be honest: People give money to charity for many reasons -- altruism, a belief in a particular cause. But when they know that they are directing that money to a cause they believe in rather than to the IRS, they give more to charity.
In other words, people can't be trusted to give money on their own. They might choose to give to a cause that people like Gates, Sr. doesn't believe in. Only the government can be trusted to "distribute wealth" fairly and with equality.

That's the point. These people aren't interested in so-called fairness...they're looking for a socialist "utopia," which is one step away from communism. Socialism isn't working in Europe. Look at the unemployment rates in Germany and France! Communism didn't work in the former Soviet Union, it's not working in Cuba, it's not working in North Korea, and it is at odds with the growing capitalism in China. For example, everyday Cubans live in poverty while their leader Fidel Castro lives in opulence (something he denies, of course).

No matter what the system, someone is going to end up on top. I'd rather have a capitalist system where I have the opportunity to make something of myself, no matter what the pitfalls, than live in a country where everyone is supposedly "equal," but some are more equal than others because they either know the right people or were in the right place at the right time. And let me tell you that the responsible wealthy people who are a part of the Responsible Wealth movement are going to be among those who want to call all of the shots. Fair? Only if you like long lines to buy toilet paper.

Those who expand their business empires, thus creating more jobs and investing in their communities are the only responsible wealthy people I can think of. It's time we all realize it.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 10:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 19, 2005


Yes folks, that's right. Senator Ted Kennedy is entering the 21st century and has come out with his own website.


There's nothing on there right now except a petition you can sign to show your displeasure with President Bush's latest judicial nominee, William Myers. However I'm sure there will soon be more...perhaps a thoughtful dedication to the memory of Mary Jo Kopechne? A plaintive letter asking why, even though he survived them all, Teddy is the least favorite Kennedy brother? A rundown of the best bars in Boston, Cape Cod and Washington D.C.?

Okay, not nice, I know. But Teddy does that to me. Why the people of Massachusetts keep voting him into office is beyond me. In fact, Teddy is the poster boy for congressional term limits. However, until my state of Connecticut gets Christopher Dodd out of the Senate, I suppose I can't really say anything about Massachusetts and Kennedy.

Keep your eye on the site in the coming weeks and months. I'm sure we'll find something to amuse us shortly!

Hat tip: Michelle Malkin

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Posted by Pam Meister at 10:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A Canadian Columnist Answers His Critics

Klaus Rohrich over at Canada Free Press is an unabashed conservative (as are most at CFP). He wrote an op-ed piece last week about the values of the average Canadian, a taste of which appears below:
It appears that Canadians, particularly those living in the Greater Toronto Area, enjoy being robbed and lied to by their elected officials, which is either indicative of a serious guilt and self-loathing problem or a terminally compromised moral compass.
Apparently the proverbial "beef stew" hit the fan, and Rohrich was deluged with comments from outraged readers as he relates this week. However, see where many of the comments came from:
An unusual number of individuals wrote to me with University of Toronto e-mail addresses. I am assuming that they were students, albeit one canテ付 be sure as there may have been a professor or teaching assistant in the woodwork.
Hmm...as usual, many students simply don't get it. Here are some of the highlights that Rohrich shares with us:
Another writer indicated that included in basic human rights were the right to food, shelter and health care. I guess they are if you are agitating for a soviet style big brother government. Truth is, I couldnテ付 find those "rights" anywhere in the Charter of Rights after reading it carefully numerous times. Neither could I find the right for people of the same sex to be married...
Frank, from Ottawa, questioned my use of the term Canadian culture and wanted to know what traditional culture I was talking about. Frank, itテ不 clear that you are a product of the current politically correct educational system of Ontario, if you donテ付 even know about the history and traditions of Canada. Believe me when I tell you that Canada existed long before you were born and I, for one would like to see it exist long after all of us are gone. Yes, the movement of the worldテ不 people over the last 30 years has created a multicultural environment in the west. But trust me, Frank, this has achieved basically two things. First, it has made it easier to find a delicious and interesting variety of ethnic foods in our large cities and second, it has created a series of ethnic ghettos where people who have immigrated to this country live out their lives in alienation. Maybe Quebec isnテ付 so far off the mark with its language bill when you consider that there are entire neighbourhoods in places like Toronto where no one, but members of whatever ethnic group happens to inhabiting that particular neighbourhood can read any of the signs on the store fronts.

If you read the whole thing and just replace Canada/Canadian with America/American, you'll feel right at home.

Who says our neighbors to the north are so different from us?

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Posted by Pam Meister at 01:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

It's the 10th Anniversary

...of the Oklahoma City bombing. It's hard to believe it's been 10 years...the shock still seems so recent. Most especially, I'm sure, by those who were there.

Read more about it on Lifelike Pundits here.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin also weighs in on the anniversary.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 10:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

It's the Environment, Stupid!

In his most recent article for Town Hall, Thomas Sowell takes on (once again) "progressive" thinkers...this time on the San Francisco peninsula. According to Sowell, home owners in San Mateo county saw the value of their homes rise by about $2,000 a day last month because
...most of the county is off-limits to building. These bans on building are known by the more politically appealing name of "open space" laws.

These housing bans are the reason for rising home prices.

Sowell claims that these bans are more hurtful than helpful because, for one reason, young people with families (or who want to start families) cannot afford to live there, thus leaving aging parents in a community without support. How did it come about? Sowell has an answer.

None of this just happened. Nor is it a result of market forces. What has happened essentially is that those already inside the castle have pulled up the drawbridge, so that outsiders can't get in. Politically, this selfishness poses as idealism.
Zing! Sowell hits the nail on the head, as usual. People with lots of money who want to make a "difference" in the world get laws passed for what they consider a good cause. And, as Sowell points out, it makes them feel "important" in the process.
Much of this exclusionary agenda is pushed by people who inherited great wealth and are using it to buy a sense of importance as deep thinkers and moral leaders protecting the environment. The foundations and movements they spearhead are driving working people out of areas dominated by limousine liberals, who are constantly proclaiming their concern for the poor, the children and minorities.
Am I saying we should be building willy nilly on every piece of wetland (formerly known as swamps) or fragile landscape? Of course not, and I'm sure Sowell doesn't advocate it either. But for housing prices in San Mateo County to rise so steeply because no one else is allowed to build surely points out the flaws in their policies.

It makes me think of the Hollywood elites like David Geffen in Malibu trying to keep the hoi polloi off of a very public beach because he felt it infringed on his privacy. Geffen lost his bid...and good riddance.

California dreamin' seems to have turned to California lunacy. Where will it end?

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 18, 2005

What's a South Park Conservative?

The words "South Park" and "conservative" seem to be strange bedfellows indeed. Yet if you look into the subject, they have more in common than meets the eye.

Thus a new book by Brian C. Anderson, South Park Conservatives, contends. In this article on Tech Central Station, we find out that

Those right-of-center college students, for the most part, aren't Alex P. Keaton-clones, decked out in Ralph Lauren double-breasted navy blue blazers. They're more likely to look like every other college kid: jeans, sneakers, and T-shirts advertising their favorite rock groups. (On the other hand, as Anderson notes in his book, campus South Park conservatives usually smell better than their bathing-optional counterparts on the left). But there's one thing that South Park campus conservatives abhor: "Political correctness drives them nuts", Anderson says. "In interviewing students, for instance, it was clear how much the PC conformities of the campus Left turned them off."

If Anderson is to be believed, it would seem that PC sensibilities are having the opposite effect than they're intended to on many young college students today. For anyone who has watched South Park, you'll agree that the creators, Matt Parker and Trey Stone, have no patience with political correctness. Anyone and everyone is fair game on the show: from blacks to gays to hippies to rednecks, South Park takes no prisoners.

Anderson also contends that while there is much new media (the Internet, for example) to compete with legacy media (also known as mainstream media, or MSM),

...the legacy media still has one big advantage: its manpower. "The elite media", Anderson says, "have the power to send out squadrons of reporters to investigate, say, Tom Delay but not Kofi Annan and UN corruption, and that can still shape the public's perception of what's newsworthy, still can provide a narrative to the flux of events and issues." The ability to choose what to investigate and what to report remains a powerful form of information control for big media.
This is most definitely true. However, while the MSM might still hold an advantage, it's not necessarily a trump card. Many people now take what they learn from the MSM with the proverbial grain of salt.
As proof, [Anderson] cites a Pew Research poll last year, which found "that just 21 percent of its respondents viewed the New York Times as a trustworthy news source -- a figure below that of Fox News, it's worth noting," Anderson says.
Those are powerful statistics.

Does this mean that conservatism will some day dominate college campuses? Probably not...but it does mean that perhaps students are finally starting to think for themselves, rather than just accept without question what their leftwing professors have been preaching as gospel from the lecturn. And isn't that how things should be?

And you thought South Park was just a juvenile, potty-mouthed cartoon!

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Posted by Pam Meister at 04:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

J-Lo a Politico?

First of all, I hate the nickname J-Lo, but it worked with this headline.

Now, the big news you've all been waiting for: Jennifer Lopez is considering becoming involved in politics.

It seems that having worked with Jane Fonda (everyone's favorite Vietnam protester) on the movie Monster-in-Law has given Lopez some food for thought.

Jane's been politically involved her whole life but I never have. As you get older and you become more mature you become more aware of the world around you. I remember asking Jane if I wanted to do something what would you say.

Why the sudden wish to get political? Could it be because Lopez's recent films have been flops? Or maybe because since she and Marc Anthony seem to be making a go of it, there hasn't been as much hoopla about her in the press. Of course she could do what Britney Spears is doing and have a baby...but babies are bad for one's figure and one's beauty sleep. Any publicity is good publicity (so the story goes), so why not politics?

She [Fonda] told me: 'There's a time to do things and a way to do things. When you're ready call me and I'll tell you what's right and what's wrong, so you won't get yourself in any trouble.' She was cool about that.
With Fonda's track record, perhaps she's not the best one to be asking. Although, her antics in Vietnam didn't exactly kill her career...she went on to create an fitness empire, still acts in the occasional film, and at age 67 is now hawking her life story. She also married and divorced loopy cable broadcast billionaire Ted Turner (divorcing him was probably one of the smartest things Fonda ever did).

Back to the question as to why Lopez is suddenly interested in politics. Perhaps she really wants to involve herself in something more meaningful than lukewarm musical performances, half-baked acting, and "designing" skimpy clothing. Maybe fame and oodles of money really aren't enough for "Jenny on the Block."

Which direction will she take? Will she consider running for office someday like her former flame Ben Affleck? Does she even vote? Ben Affleck can't always be bothered. Will she shill for a "credentialed" candidate (also like Affleck)? How about taking a shot at commentating on Air America radio like fellow celebs Janeane Garofalo and Al Franken? (I only mention the leftie radio network because I somehow doubt Lopez will ally herself with conservatives...after all, she still has to make movies and records to earn her opulent living, and if anyone got wind of any conservative leanings, she'd be history in Hollywood.)

You know, I just don't think I can take this seriously. Maybe working with a "legend" like Jane Fonda turned Lopez's head for a few moments, and the prospect of becoming a political activist seemed more glamorous than posing for Vogue at the moment.

Until we see some real action, I'd have to say Lopez's latest comments were mainly to cause a publicity stir connected with her movie. Pass the popcorn.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 03:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 17, 2005

Get Out of Jail Free Card

Convicts in Indiana prisons get a bonus if they decide to complete their degrees: they get out of jail earlier.

According to FOX News,

A bachelor's degree cuts two years off a sentence, an associate's degree is worth one year and a vocational class deducts three months. The rules have been in effect since a state law was passed in 1993.

Not only are these degrees taxpayer funded, but those convicted of rape, assault, and a host of other charges can get out early to boot?

According to the story, it's cheaper to give these guys free degrees and let them out early. Now while I realize the bottom line can be important, why isn't serving full punishment more important?

Diane Wheatley, who was raped ten years ago, was surprised to find out her attacker is out of prison four years early. She said earning two bachelor's and an associate's degree behind bars does not prove rehabilitation.

"You can get educated but does that mean you're changed as a person, does that mean he's not going to rape somebody else?" asked Wheatley.

Exactly. While serving the whole sentence doesn't "prove" rehabilitation either, letting folks out early sure doesn't seem fair, especially to the victims. What's the point of having sentencing guidelines when they can be sidestepped by things like good behavior and hitting the books?

"This money is being used to enhance our condition so when we do re-enter society we could be more productive," said inmate Kenneth Brewer.
I'd like some government money (state or federal, I'm not picky) to enhance my condition as well. I'd like to get another degree, but gosh, I work full time...and I'm already paying off a student loan from my last stint in higher education. I would love to have gotten educated for free. I guess I should have considered armed robbery in the state of Indiana!

Does prison really rehabilitate someone? I don't know, and I don't think the experts know either. Some people are probably "scared straight" after spending time in jail, realizing they don't want to go back and therefore stay on the right side of the law upon their release.

So often, though, we hear about criminals who, upon their arrest, already have a rap sheet a mile long. Apparently they weren't rehabilitated the first, second, or third time around. What do we do in those cases?

Aside from keeping them in prison for life (which is usually only done in extreme cases in states where there is no death penalty), the only option we have is to keep them in prison for the duration of their sentences. California has the three strikes law, which I think is a good thing. Obviously if states like Indiana think a college education will keep felons from re-offending when they are back in society, then they'll keep on educating with that hope.

But don't let them out early. Keep them in for as long as they've been sentenced. That's the point of punishment...and for once, it would be nice if the victims' point of view was considered before that of the offender.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 08:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Why Modern Liberalism Ain't

Joe-Sixpack over at Geosciblog has a little series going about why modern "liberalism" isn't true liberalism. His latest commentary discusses the slew of "kill Bush" items we've been seeing (t-shirts, etc.), and the importance of responsibility:
With every freedom comes responsibility. The modern Lib/Leftists love to holler about the first part (freedom), but seem to forget the "checks and balances" aspects of responsibility.
Please be sure to read the whole thing.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 08:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 16, 2005

Canadian Hijinks

With all of the scandal swirling about Canadian prime minister Paul Martin and his Liberal Party (the Adscam kickbacks), one Canadian blogger has a great way for Canadians to register their disapproval. Read about it here.

Love it!

(Hat Tip: Angry in the Great White North)

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A Truly Sickening Spectacle

Phil C. over at LimeyPundit has fisked this article that he found on Captain's Quarters (via Iain Murray) regarding the public rape of a disabled (handicapped, whatever label you prefer) girl by four of her male classmates at a high school in Ohio.

Read it all for yourself...frankly, there's nothing more I could add. Except, of course, that I'm disgusted beyond all belief.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 02:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Slick Kofi

Hmm...now this isn't fake. Apparently the U.N. posterboy for inefficiency Kofi Annan is placing the blame for Saddam's skimming cash from the Oil for Food program at the doorsteps of the United States and Britain (quotes from the Washington Times):
According to Mr. Annan's latest account, most of the money pocketed by Saddam "came out of smuggling outside the oil-for-food program, and it was on the American and British watch."

"Possibly, they were the ones who knew exactly what was going on and that the countries themselves decided to close their eyes to smuggling to Turkey and Jordan, because they were allies."

Nice try, Kofi! (Isn't he buddies with Bill Clinton, a.k.a. Slick Willie?)

The U.S. and the U.K. aren't taking this lying down, however:

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said Britain was "consistently in the lead in seeking to enforce sanctions against Iraq" but the actual enforcement "was the responsibility of Iraq, all other U.N. member-states and the U.N. administration."

U.S. officials said they were somewhat puzzled by Mr. Annan's comments, given his own son's involvement in the corruption scandal, as well as the embarrassment suffered by Mr. Annan and the United Nations itself. [emphasis mine]

Frankly, there's nothing puzzling about it. It seems to me that Kofi is more concerned with saving his own hide than truly finding out what happened so that such a thing doesn't occur again. By using the usual whipping boy (the U.S.) and her staunchest ally in Iraq (the U.K.), Kofi hopes to transfer any blame from himself. It's not a surprising tactic...isn't most of the world eager to find fault with the U.S. for something? Especially something to do with Iraq?

It's similar in some ways to what's going on in the Senate these days, with top Democrats pointing their fingers at Tom DeLay for engaging in activities (hiring family members, going on prepaid junkets) most senators (from both parties) participate in: jump to blame the other guy while ignoring your own inconsistencies.

In the corporate world, a CEO caught with his hand in the cookie jar (Enron, MCI Worldcom) is thrown to the wolves. Kofi Annan might not have directly participated in this fraud, but it happened on his watch, under his policies. It's time he was held accountable.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 01:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

I Got Zinged!


Guess I 'm a big dummy who fell for the fake blog thing by Matthew Perry. It seems the "Vidiots" over at TeeVee pad posted a bunch of phony blogs by Perry and pals, and I'm one of the idiots who fell for it.

Thanks to Steve-O for providing me with the link I should have found myself:

TeeVee Parody

I had just finished reading Hollywood Interrupted, and was ready to believe anything inane involving celebs.

Do you think I'm foolhardy? Steve-O does...

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Posted by Pam Meister at 01:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 15, 2005

More Blogs Than You Can Shake a Stick At!

I've come across a handful of interesting blogs, and pass them along for your enjoyment:

Travis Benning is a thoughtful college student in the Midwest with a well-written, well-reasoned take on his views.

The Wilson Fu Weblog has quirky takes on conservatism...and he doesn't always toe the party line!

Two Dogs over at Mean Ol' Meany is downright hilarious! His in-your-face, take-no-prisoners attitude doesn't sit well with some of his readers, but that's all the more reason to check him out.

Ain't the blogosphere wonderful???

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Still Trying to Silence Horowitz

Read my post on Lifelike Pundits regarding the latest attempt to shut David Horowitz up as he tours colleges around the nation regarding the Academic Bill of Rights:

Horowitz Disrupted Again

It ain't gonna work, folks.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 01:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tom DeLay...Crook or Typical Senator?

There's been a lot of brouhaha lately about Senate Majority Leader Tom DeLay and what's being called his "unethical behavior." Democrats are on the warpath, demanding that DeLay step down because of having family on the campaign payroll and going on junkets (trips to exotic or exciting locales on someone else's dime).

The question is, of course, did Tom DeLay do anything that is against Senate rules? And as the question is discussed, will DeLay get the chance to defend his actions, or will he be found guilty without a "trial?"

Two prominent conservative pundits take on this very serious question. David Limbaugh looks at it from the viewpoint that DeLay is guilty simply by "virtue of his ideology:"

In their [Democrats'] view, conservatives -- especially ones who believe in their principles with every fiber of their being and, worse, are effective at advancing the right-wing policy agenda -- are already evil. To discover ethical or legal infractions by such people is merely confirmation of what is already true in nature -- conservatives are guilty: of religious zealotry, favoring the rich, exploiting the poor, racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia. (And DeLay is even worse than most evil conservatives, because he is arrogant, meaning he is not intimidated by their liberal "Highnesses.")
Indeed, it's easy to find fault with someone whose very existence is the proverbial thorn in your side. For example, teachers will often blame misdeeds on the class cutup, even if they didn't actually see him do it, for they feel he's the most likely culprit because of how they've come to view him.

Limbaugh doesn't believe that we should just close our eyes to the possibility, however:

If he has done something that warrants his expulsion, he should resign -- regardless of whether the whole lot of his detractors are guilty as sin.

In other words, it's not okay if he engaged in unethical behavior "because all the other guys are doing it too." The problem here, however, stems from Democrats (Charlie Rangel, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, to name a few) being a bit too eager to nail DeLay to the wall because by doing so, they'll take out one of their most powerful opponents.

Michael Reagan also takes on the DeLay question, but looks at it with regard to hypocrisy and double standards:

House Democrats have mounted an attack on Majority Leader Tom DeLay, accusing him of having his wife and daughter on his campaign payroll. They donテ付 bother to tell you that Sen. Joe Liebermanテ不 son Matthew received about $34,000 and daughter Rebecca about $36,000 for working on his 2004 presidential campaign, or that California Democrat Rep. Fortney "Pete" Starkテ不 wife Deborah earns $2,400 a month for serving as campaign consultant, or that Rep. Bart Stupakテ不 wife Laurie earned about $36,000 annually the past two years as the finance director for her husband's campaign.

They attack DeLay for going on junkets, but remain mum when it comes to Democrats. Take liberal Democrat Maurice Hinchey, who according to the New York Daily News took 27 trips costing private groups $157,000 over the past five years. He traveled in style; luxuriating at resorts like the Four Seasons in Punta Mita and other sumptuous retreats in Morocco, Madrid, Budapest, Helsinki, Tunisia, Cancun, Italy, Vancouver, Shanghai and Grand Cayman Island.

Perhaps the thinking is that the American public will only look at the information they're providing and not do any further digging. Or perhaps because DeLay is the majority leader he is more accountable than the others in the Senate? These are just a few of the examples Reagan offers.

Limbaugh clinches the argument with the following:

He [DeLay] can hardly be crucified for paying family members from campaign funds for legitimate work they performed when House rules expressly authorize he practice -- because it is permitted by congressional regulations. He can hardly be cashiered for a trip to Moscow paid for by the National Center for Public Policy Research, not Russian companies. He can hardly be faulted for a trip to South Korea funded by an organization that had only very recently registered as a foreign agent, unbeknownst to DeLay. And he can't be removed because a liberal, politically charged prosecutor indicted three of his former associates, especially when DeLay himself hasn't been implicated in the case.

But no matter. Democrats will just keep throwing charges against the wall until something sticks, because this is ultimately about power and thwarting the conservative agenda.

Buh-dee-buh-dee-buh-dee-buh-dee-buh, th-that's all, folks!

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Posted by Pam Meister at 11:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Today is April 15...

and you know what that means: file your tax return if you haven't already done so!

My tax refund has already been spent, but I will be mailing in my state taxes today. I owe Connecticut some money because I work in New York and I figure, why should I give them my money early?

If you hate the whole tax thing as much as I do, read what Mona Charen has to say about replacing the income tax with a consumption tax.

I think it's a great idea!

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 14, 2005

Soylent Green...Could It Happen?

Who could forget the movie Soylent Green? Charlton Heston in a futuristic drama about overpopulation and food shortages...and Heston's character's horrifying discovery that the remarkable food substance "soylent green" is made up of the dearly departed.

Well, now we have the Cannibal Flesh Donor Program. I kid you not! There is a movement to get people to donate their flesh upon their death to this, er, program, and the food would then be donated to stores, fast food restaurants, and so on.

Unfortunately, we cannot presently offer official donor status. This is due to the fact that the program is currently in its infancy, and we have no one signed on to take our donated flesh at the present time. At the moment, our main goals are establishing a solid basis of support for the program and acquiring legal recognition as a non-profit environmental organization, which could open doors for funding. Once the program has enough support, we will begin lobbying for the legalization of human meat and petitioning restaurants/fast food chains/grocery stores to accept our donations.
Yuck! Do they really think people would eat other people? Matt Stata, a 23-year-old vegan from Canada who is behind the program, thinks it's a great way to stop the "species holocaust" that is happening with today's meat eaters.

As for the objection that legalizing the consumption of human flesh would cause an upswing of serial murderers, the Website has this pithy rejoinder:

Actually, we maintain that this program will have the opposite result. A utilitarian approach to cannibalism such as the one we propose would effectively remove the taboo and fetishism from the act of eating another human, and eventually, make the consumption of human flesh as commonplace as eating animal flesh is now. Presumably, this objection is more concerned with the crime of murder than with the act of consuming another human being. If human meat is readily available, then the need to kill another person for a meal no longer exists.
Um, hate to break it to you guys, but most serial killers kill for the sake of killing...not eating. There aren't many Jeffrey Dahmers out there, thank goodness.

If nothing else, you can join the mailing list for further developments in this noble quest...that is, as soon as the mailing list materializes. Remember, this program is "in its infancy," and the backers are looking for caring people like YOU to make it happen.

Oh, and don't forget the salt!

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Jay Nordlinger Talks About...

estate taxes, fighting in Iraq was premised on the lie of "imminent threat," Charlie Rangel and Social Security, and much more. Read his thoughts today on the National Review website.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 02:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Rehab "Courage" in Hollywood

On MSN today, we get a heartwarming story about Joaquin Phoenix's entry into rehab:

Joaquin Phoenix has checked into a rehabilitation facility to deal with alcohol abuse problems. "He was uncomfortable with the way that he was living his life and found the courage [emphasis mine] to deal with his disease," publicist Susan Patricola said in a statement Tuesday.

Brave Joquin. He can now join the ranks of such notables as Martin Sheen and others who have "found the courage" to deal with his "disease."

Why is it when an actor/actress/singer/comedian/Hollywood blowhard enters rehab for some sort of addiction we all call it "brave" and "courageous?" These people continue to get work and to be praised by their peers for their struggles. Robert Downey, Jr. is a perfect example. (Heck, even child rapist Roman Polanski can get an Oscar for his artistic contributions to Hollywood, even though he can't step foot in the U.S. for fear of immediate arrest.)

Yet during the election (both of them), George W. Bush's past as an alcoholic was dragged through the mud over and over...not just by the Democrats (who have Teddy Kennedy in their midst), but by such Hollywood hypocrites as...Martin Sheen, who had the gall to call Bush a "white knuckle drunk" because Bush didn't receive the kind of treatment Sheen considers to be proper. First Martin Sheen figures he knows all about being the president because he plays one on television...now he knows all about rehab options for everyone because he was in one? What's next for Sheen, being an expert on medicine if he happens to land a role as a doctor?

The H in Hollywood stands for hypocrisy. It's getting more nauseating by the day.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 12:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Hillary '08? Don't Be Caught Unawares

Gary Aldrich relates his concerns about a run for the Presidency in 2008 by none other than Hillary Clinton on Town Hall today.

Hillary for president? Of course. Why do you think she's been presenting such a "moderate" face of late? Reaching out to abortion opponents and being a hawk on the war in Iraq are simply her way of "relating" to those voters who reside in red states, also known to East and West coast snobs as "flyover country."

Aldrich's concern is that too many people will have forgotten about Hillary's true politics in what will be the eight years since Bill left office in 2000:

For members of the テVast Right Wing Conspiracyテ as Hillary described anybody in 1998 who offered spirited opposition to the Clinton Administrationテ不 dysfunctional antics, itテ不 perfectly clear why Hillary should not be president. The eight years of Bill and Hill are burned into the memories of those who then called for Clintonテ不 removal from office...

Other reasons why Gore was defeated included the Clinton Administrationテ不 handling of the Elian Gonzales matter in Florida. Cuban refugees, who fled Fidel Castro, did not appreciate that a five year-old little boy was being covered by an automatic weapon wielded by a hyper-ventilating federal agent. This agent and his heavily armed paramilitary strike team were sent there by Janet Reno to collect Elian and send him back to his puppet-daddy in Havana, where fathers have no rights.

This dangerous federal government overreaction テ reminiscent of the horrible tragedy at Waco, Texas where 20 babies and their mothers died for following a religious fanatic reminded citizens why the "right to bear armsテ might still be important. National Rifle Association president Wayne LaPierre was later credited with helping to defeat Gore, by reminding voters that Bill, Hillary, Al Gore and their political allies were among the nationテ不 most active gun control proponents.

As Aldrich also mentions in his article, George W. Bush takes too civilized an approach to campaigning. He's more concerned about getting his message out about what he feels is right for the country (democracy, capitalism, etc.) than trashing the name of the other candidate(s). And it's because of this approach that

The Republican Party hierarchy would do well to remember what so many citizens in this country will have forgotten by 2008 テ that Hillaryテ不 politics and conduct will not have changed. She is still the dedicated hard-lefty she was when she tried to force national health care down our throats, and take away our guns. Attempts to showcase her liberal voting record since she has become a Senator will fall flat, just as Senator John Kerryテ不 horribly liberal record was ignored by the national media. It was the Swift Boat Veterans who altered the course テ not boring political statistics.
Aldrich is correct. Hillary has begun her "transformation" from a hard-lefty to a moderate, middle-of-the-road candidate, even though she has yet to "admit" her burning ambition to be a candidate for president in 2008. If (Heaven forbid) she should be elected, that moderate shell will fall away to show her true colors.

For Hillary to be defeated, the word needs to get out. This is where grass roots campaigning can make the difference in the next election in the same way it made the difference in 2004 (the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth).

So, who's up for it?

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 11, 2005

A Brief Hiatus...

and I mean brief. I am flying out to what Hollywood elitists and New York snobs refer to as "flyover country" on a business trip. I won't have access to a computer while I'm gone and so won't be posting again until Thursday, April 14.

Maybe I'll post some photos...then again, probably not...most people aren't interested in how a printing plant operates! :-)

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Why Fahrenheit 9/11 Wasn't the Blockbuster You Think

Numbers are a funny thing...they don't lie.

Michael Moore, everyone's favorite Leftwing hack, claimed that his film was the "number-one movie in every single red state in America." Of course, looking at raw data, one might think Moore was correct...or maybe close to correct.

But Byron York over at National Review looked closer at the data, and it doesn't shine a very flattering light on Moore's claims.

To make a comparison: Which film had a better opening weekend, Fahrenheit 9/11 or Barbershop 2: Back in Business? The correct answer is Barbershop. In terms of opening receipts, Mean Girls also beat Fahrenheit 9/11, as did Starsky & Hutch, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, Alien vs. Predator, 50 First Dates, and several others. The yearテ不 big hits, like Shrek 2, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Spiderman 2 all had openings between four and five times the size of Fahrenheit 9/11テ不. In the end, Fahrenheit 9/11 had the 32nd-best opening weekend of 2004, taking in $23,920,637 in its first days.
There's more (I've edited due to the length of his comments; the entire article is available here):

Overall, Fahrenheit 9/11 did extremely well in North Americaテ不 top eight markets, according to the numbers compiled by Nielsen EDI...

In all, two things stand out from those numbers. One is that the picture overperformed only in blue states, and even then only in the most urban parts of those blue states. And the second is that it did very well in Canada. Fahrenheit 9/11 consistently overperformed in Canadian cities; without that boffo business, the filmテ不 gross would have been significantly smaller than it was...

Thatテ不 the upside of the story. The downside revealed by the Nielsen EDI numbers is that Fahrenheit 9/11, far from being the runaway nationwide hit that Moore claimed, underperformed in dozens of markets throughout red states and, most important テ as far as the presidential election was concerned テ swing states.

Be sure to read it yourself to get a clearer picture.

There's another aspect to the "popularity" of Moore's movie...being awarded with the People's Choice Favorite Movie award.

To hear Moore play it, his win was significant. On his Website, Moore gushes:

21 million people [emphasis mine] voted in the People's Choice Awards. They chose our film over "Shrek 2," "Spiderman 2" and "The Incredibles." If we can beat that many superheroes, surely we cansurvive the next four years...

It was an historic moment as no documentary had ever won the People's Choice Award for Best Picture. And I thank each and every one of you who voted and made that happen.

However, all of the votes this year were collected via the Internet, a fact that didn't go unnoticed (all emphasis mine):

Some critics have contended that the change in procedure has led to a less scientific determination of the people's favorites, as overzealous fans could vote for their personal preferences more than once...

However, it's unclear just how "amazed" Moore could have really been. In addition to the fact that he was allegedly tipped off to his victory, the outspoken documentarian campaigned for votes for his film on his Website, contending that a vote for Fahrenheit 9/11 was a vote against President Bush.

"He may have been (barely) the people's choice on Nov. 2, but now the people get to vote again, this time for a movie," Moore wrote on his site. He did not mention his call for votes in his acceptance speech.

The moral here, kiddies, is not to believe everything you hear. Especially when it comes from charlatans like Michael Moore.

Hat tip: Confessions of a Political Junkie

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Posted by Pam Meister at 03:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Matthew Perry Joins the Blogosphere

I kid you not...the former Friend has purchased TeeVeePad and has his very own blog on it. It's called The One With The Blog, and he uses it to discuss his career...or rather, lack of one these days.

His blog entries include the following:

Could I Need Any More Work?

Could I Be Any More Excited?

Could David Arquette Be Any Weirder?

Could I be any more bored?

You know, I almost wish he'd spout off about Leftwing politics...at least he'd be thinking of something other than himself.

I know that blogs are a very personal thing, and people write about whatever the heck they want, readership be darned. I guess I thought he might actually be writing about something quasi-interesting, like juicy Hollywood gossip.

Oh well...maybe his posts will improve with time.

UPDATE: 1:44 PM You have to be FAMOUS, or semi-famous, to post comments...or just willing to cough up cold, hard cash. Check this out (then get out your barf bag):

Because it hit me just as I was handing a plain manila envelope stuffed with Polaroids to a sweaty, fat computer geek -- if a TV star like myself had the desire to be on the cutting edge of Weblog technology, then surely, other TV stars must have the same desire. So I put the call out to my TV pals to see if they wanted in on the ground floor of this Weblog thing. And boy, did they ever! George Wendt! Dan Rather! RenaSofer! Some guy who may or may not have starred on Ed -- it's like a virtual galaxy of TV stars gathered at one Web site. And they're sharing their innermost thoughts with you!

Or at least, they will be sharing their innermost thoughts with you if you decided to purchase a special VIP membership to TeeVeePad. For the next few days, we're offering a sneak preview of the first and only collection of celebrity weblogs. Go ahead -- poke around our site. Find out what's eating John Stamos. Learn all about Marg Helgenberger's special vichyssoise recipe. Say, what does Mischa Barton think about President Bush's plan to overhaul Social Security? It's all here at TeeVeePad, and it's all yours... if you act now and pay our $100 annual membership fee.

Hey... we didn't get to be celebrities by giving it away for free.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 01:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Rednecks Are Proud Americans

A friend sent me the following this morning. It's one of those kinda corny "pass it along e-mails" that has its origins from who knows where, but the sentiments are worth sharing:

You might be a redneck if. . . -It never occurred to you to be offended by the phrase, "One nation, under God. . " -You've never protested about seeing the Ten Commandments posted in public places. -You still say "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays." -You bow your head when someone prays. -You stand and place your hand over your heart when they play the National Anthem. -You treat Vietnam vets with great respect, and always have. -You've never burned an American flag. -You know what you believe and you aren't afraid to say so, no matter who is listening. -You respect your elders and expect your kids to do the same. -You'd give your last dollar to a friend. God bless the USA.

Yep...I guess I'm a redneck too.

Pass it on!

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 10, 2005

Does Europe Hate Us?

A documentary bearing this name by Thomas L. Friedman is set to air Monday night (April 11 at 9pm ET) on the Discovery Times Channel (it aired last Thursday on the regular version of the Discovery Channel). While I haven't seen the program, I did see a snippet on the New York Times website.

I might watch the program, I might not. It all depends on how my evening goes (I have to get ready for a business trip the next day). But reading the capsule review by David Kronke of the Los Angeles Daily News doesn't give me a lot of hope as to the outcome:

Think: The New York Times' Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign-affairs columnist speaks to ordinary citizens in France, Germany and England about their attitudes toward America or, more specifically, President Bush. He discovers Americans abroad are shocked at the current level of animosity; one even goes to Iran to get a temporary respite from European anti-Americanism.

Don't think: Love the B-roll footage of Friedman play-acting at rolling his luggage through Parisian streets or nodding thoughtfully during interviews.

In a nutshell: "We miss the America that made us dream," opines a young French woman. "We have to wait four years for someone else to give us back the country we knew and liked," says a German man. Sobering portrait of a world that four short years ago rallied around America and now largely has fear and loathing for us.

"In a nutshell" says it all. A German man wants the America he "knew and liked" back? Why? He doesn't live here. How many Americans does he know? Does he know the average American's hopes and dreams?

Why is there all of this focus on whether Europe hates us or not? Bill Clinton cared more for world opinion than what was right for America and look what happened. His "do nothing" approach to the first bombing of the World Trade Center, the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen and the like only emboldened the Islamofascist terrorists, making 9/11 possible. I don't "blame" Clinton in the true sense of the word. I truly believe he didn't know what was coming. But his attitude of being a pal first and leader second made all of the difference in the events of that horrendous day, and all of the days afterward.

You know, I'm not a big fan of Jacques Chirac. I think he's a pompous ass who is ignoring a huge firestorm that's been brewing in France for years (the tension between Muslim immigrants and "traditional" French citizens). But I don't think he's evil; simply misguided. Stupid too. But not evil.

In fact, why is America considered to be "evil" by many simply for doing what is right for us? Do they stop to think of us when making big decisions? Maybe, if only to think how much they can thumb their noses at us. Otherwise, they do what they think is right for them at the time. And, that is exactly what they should be doing.

They say they hate George W. Bush. Fine, great, just dandy. But until Europeans are allowed to vote in our elections, they can just suck it up. As I stated earlier, I don't think Chirac is all that great a leader. But then, I don't have to live with his so-called leadership. Let France wake up and smell the coffee on their own.

The press is a big factor, of course. And not just the European press, but the American press as well. When all you hear about us is jaded and critical, what else are you supposed to believe? I'm sure there's a bit of jealousy there as well. Those upstart Americans, former colonists, how dare they become so successful? We've been here for thousands of years; we're much more sophisticated and nuanced. They're still wet behind the ears. They should be coming to us for guidance, not making such rash decisions on their own.

It also doesn't help that our very own celebrities, the Hollywood elitists who are the least typical of any American you will ever meet, have nothing good to say abroad about the country that gives them their glamorous careers and high-flying lifestyles. The Dixie Chicks saying they're "embarrassed" that W is from Texas. Jessica Lange stating she's "embarrassed to be an American." Alec Baldwin and Robert Redford claiming they'll leave America if Bush is re-elected (statements vociferously denied later). I could go on and on...the examples are endless. I understand that they have to keep their European audiences happy. But at our expense? It's galling to say the least. These idjits, most of whom have not gone much further than high school, who got lucky in La La Land doing something that many other people are capable of doing, have more nerve than a cat in a dog pound to be criticizing America, when the perceptions held by other nations have so much to do with the filth that emanates from Hollywood on a daily basis.

In short, I don't care about what Europe thinks of us. I really don't. Most people here don't. If we did, John Kerry would be president today. If I had the time and the money, I'd travel across America to do a documentary called "Do Americans Hate Europeans?"

Maybe I will, when I win the lottery.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 01:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 09, 2005

Fisking Robert Jensen

Mark over at Decision '08 has a great post today regarding a vile piece of work in defense of Ward Churchill written by Robert Jensen, a professor at the University of Texas. (A professor? How surprising!) For most (not all) of the article he breaks it down, bit by bit, analyzing each section.

I'm not even going to post an excerpt...it deserves a full read. Be sure to check it out!

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Posted by Pam Meister at 06:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Olympic Bomber Pleads Guilty

Eric Rudolph, the man who set off a bomb at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta has pleaded guilty to all charges against him...the guilty plea came during his trial for bombing an abortion clinic.

His guilty plea was to avoid the death penalty. At least two people were killed as a result of his bombings, and scores were injured.

See, I have a problem with this. Rudolph thinks abortion is wrong. Fine...I have my issues with it as well. But bombing clinics and killing others certainly isn't the way to go about it. Unless abortion becomes illegal again, then clinics and those who go to them have every right to daily activity without fear of retribution. Peaceful protests, fine. Violence, not fine.

And why did he bomb the Olympics? There were no abortions there that I know of! Maybe he didn't believe in Americans fraternizing with citizens from other countries or something. Who knows?

I believe Rudolph deserves the death penalty. He is a right wing nut job and should fry like any other convicted killer. Unfortunately, prosecutors were probably anxious to get some sort of conviction, and offered the option of life in prison if he confessed.

Well, I suppose we should be satisfied that he's getting some sort of punishment for the death and mayhem he is responsible for. Still, it's not as satisfying a punishment as the death penalty. Justice? Not enough.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 08, 2005

The Real Cuba

This site is an eye opener, even for those of us who aren't blinded to the reality that is Castro's Cuba.

The Real Cuba documents what's really going on, both in prose and in pictures. With web page names such as Cuba B.C., The Firing Squad, Castro's Gulag and The Millionaire Castro, you know you aren't in the Cuban paradise that Robert Redford, Stephen Spielberg and other Hollywood idjits have come to know and love.

Be sure to visit the Feedback page...you'll get an earful from the typical yahoo who believes in the Castro myth, but you'll love the response by the site editor. We don't know who the editor is...I'm sure he stays anonymous out of fear of retribution from Castro's bully boys.

And while we're on the subject of Cuba, read Barry Farber's review of the new book out by Humberto Fontova called Fidel: Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant. A snippet:

Inside "Fidel" you'll meet ordinary Cubans suddenly converted into martyrs, who died against the wall yelling "Christ is King" and "Long Live Free Cuba!" before the bullets hit. You'll meet the Cuban patriots who landed at the Bay of Pigs in April 1961 and outfought the overwhelming numbers of Soviet-supplied communist troops even though they'd been cowardly abandoned by an American administration that suddenly chickened out and, in effect, said to the Cubans on the beach, "We may have brought you here, but we don't know you."
One of my co-workers came over from Cuba with her family when she was a child (she is now in her early 40s). I asked her once how she felt about the people in this country who revere Castro. She said, "People here have no idea what it's really like down there." If it's so great, why are so many Cubans risking their lives (both on the water and if they get sent back) to escape "paradise"?

Read the review, read the book (I'm going to), and definitely check out the website!

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Dick Morris on Sandy's Perfidy

perfidy n.:
  1. Deliberate breach of faith; calculated violation of trust; treachery: テ稚he fink, whose perfidy was equaled only by his gallテ (Gilbert Millstein).
  2. The act or an instance of treachery.
Dick Morris weighs in on the theft of National Archive documents by Sandy Berger. Don't tell me Berger wasn't trying to save his bacon and that of the Clintons. Like the faithful servant Igor to Dr. Frankenstein, it seems Berger does his master's bidding without question.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 01:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Protection of the Left by the Left

Drat Blogger...I created a post twice about this topic, only to have it disappear when I went to publish. All that time down the drain! Anyway, you can now read about it on Lifelike Pundits here.

I hope that does it with Blogger issues for a while!

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Posted by Pam Meister at 12:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 07, 2005

Leftwing Students Ride Roughshod Over Job Fair

Ugh...this sort of thing is just repulsive.
UC Santa Cruz junior Jonathan Perez dressed in a suit and tie Tuesday, hoping to impress company recruiters at the campus job fair.

But more than 200 student anti-war protesters got there first, storming the Stevenson Event Center, shouting and banging on windows and demanding that military recruiters in the corner of the room leave.

The noisy sit-in ended after an hour of chaos and tension when military representatives vacated their posts. Student protesters hugged each other happily after administrators allowed them to hand out information on alternatives to military careers and agreed to a meeting to discuss future job fairs.

So, the protestors "won," but at what cost?

Ironically, this career fair had 60 employers, more than the year before, with companies such as Broadcom, Infineon and American Express looking for engineering and finance graduates.
Will those employers want to attend University of California Santa Cruz job fairs in the future?
"It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, that has given us the freedom to demonstrate," said Adiofel Mark Mendoza, a sophomore from San Diego who came in his ROTC cadet uniform.
I also wonder if the students who were so disruptive will be disciplined? Ha...who am I kidding?

UPDATE: Take a look at what LimeyPundit has to say from across the pond. 2:09 pm

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Posted by Pam Meister at 12:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Attacking the Messenger to Distract From the Message

Please go to geosciblog today...Joe-6-pack has an excellent essay discussing how the Left uses personal attack as a way of turning attention away from the issue.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 10:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Racism by Any Other Name

Be sure to read my post on Lifelike Pundits today regarding racism. You may be surprised at the who, what, when, where and why of this very disturbing incident.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 10:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Florida Considers "Open Fire" Law

Governor Jeb Bush is planning on signing a bill the Florida legislature has passed allowing citizens to shoot anyone they think is a threat in public.

Current law allows residents to fire on intuders on their property, but says they must try to "flee" a threatening situation in a public place.

Opponents, of course, think the law will make Florida streets a shoot-out free-for-all, while supporters think criminals will think twice about attacking a potentially armed victim.

My question is, when will the Supreme Court step in? And how many will decry the infringement upon state rights? After all, state rights was one of the talking points of those who supported the starving of Terri Schiavo and opposed special legislation by Congress that was signed by President Bush.

I have a feeling, though, that those who thought federal government had no business in the Schiavo case will think federal courts should step in and hijack Florida's gun legislation..."for the good of the people," of course. Just like abortion advocates approved of the Supreme Court making abortion legal in all states, no matter what each state's particular laws were.

Don't you love the hypocrisy?

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 06, 2005

A Fresh Look at Republicans and Science

Paul Krugman, vaunted columnist for the New York Times, has recently written a piece describing his spin on why there are fewer conservatives (Republicans) in the sciences, and therefore fewer as tenured faculty in academia: Republicans hate science.

It's not the "hating science when you're in high school because dissecting frogs was icky" kind of hate, but a mistrustful hate, if you are to believe Krugman.

Today's Republican Party - increasingly dominated by people who believe truth should be determined by revelation, not research - doesn't respect science, or scholarship in general. It shouldn't be surprising that scholars have returned the favor by losing respect for the Republican Party.
So the hatred isn't just science, but all forms of scholarship as well. Pictures of preppy jocks in letterman sweaters making fun of the science geeks are beginning to float around in my head.

But does the Right really have a burning hatred of all things scientific and scholarly? I don't think so, and neither does James D. Miller, who writes for Tech Central Station on the subject. In fact, Miller has a different opinion of academian politics altogether...and he should know something about it, as he is an associate professor of economics at Smith College. Miller makes the case that it's the academic Left that has it in for science.

Larry Summers hinted that women on average might not be as qualified as men to be science professors. Paul Krugman wrote that Republicans en masse are categorically not as qualified as everyone else to be professors. Larry Summers was almost universally condemned by academia for his comments, not because theywere necessarily wrong, but because it was considered wrong for him to make negative generalizations about an under-represented group. In academia, Republicans are far more under-represented than women are. So if Paul Krugman is not widely condemned by academics it will constitute pretty strong evidence that academia is biased against Republicans.

Many college leftists want more women but fewer Republicans in their ranks. They cite diversity as the reason for desiring more women, but this creates a problem since this diversity rationale would seem to indicate that they should also seek to hire more Republicans. Krugman, therefore, is aiding the intolerant college left by claiming that Republicans are so anti-science that colleges would suffer by having more of them around. Fortunately for Republicans, much of the college left is so hostile to science that even few college professors will accept Krugman's arguments.

Much of the left in humanities departments doesn't believe in science. They feel that it's wrong to privilege scientific over other types of knowledge. Leftists have been known to use literary theory to demonstrate flaws in science. Such anti-scientific silliness lead to the Social Text hoax.

This is probably why we hear more about people like Ward Churchill, who spends his time making up theories rather than looking for credible evidence to support existing theories. The so-called social sciences are a lot splashier and gain a lot more attention than chemistry and mathematics.
Krugman correctly points out that self-selection is part of the reason there are so few Republicans in academia. But much of this self-selection is because of leftist bias. For example, consider the academic field of Women's Studies. True, few Republicans will self-select to become Women Studies professors, but only because this field is totally defined in left-wing terms. Similarly, the fields of African-American Studies, History, English and Sociology are increasingly devoted to left-wing topics. A smart undergraduate who tells her academic advisor that she wants to get a Ph.D. focusing on military history will likely be told to go to law school instead because few colleges will consider hiring a military historian. In contrast, if this same undergraduate announced her desire to study how capitalism has promoted environmental racism she would be told of the rich academic job market that will await her after she completes her Ph.D.

Bias against Republicans in academia is an intensely personal issue for me. Smith College recently tried to fire me by denying me tenure. I believe that I was denied tenure for being a conservative. Fortunately, Smith's five person faculty Grievance Committee found that my academic freedom had been violated during my tenure review. As a result I came up for tenure again and this time succeeded. (My story is well told here.) Based on my experience and knowledge of academia, however, I have advised other Republicans to be wary of academic careers.

My previous post today, in fact, is about the trials and tribulations of a conservative European faculty member at a pretigious university.

Why would a conservative want to pursue an academic career if, instead of being judged on academic merit, he is judged on his political views?

Perhaps Krugman should hang out in the faculty lounges and offices of Harvard, Yale, Cornell and other ivory towers to see what it's really like. Would he report honestly? Or is he too enamored of the same views held by Leftist faculty members to be fair and balanced?

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Posted by Pam Meister at 03:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A Conservative European in American Academia

Oh, this is a must-read for anyone who cares about freedom of speech as well as academic freedom. A European who is now teaching at an "elite Liberal Arts college" was shocked to discover how biased the faculty at American universities can be:
Despite my European background I found myself deeply surprised by the political bias on college campuses here in America. Left-wing bias is almost undetectable among European college faculty compared to Americaテ不 academic institutions. The bias that I have encountered has so many facets that I am still encountering new ones.
But wait, there's more:
In fact, their uncritically positive image of Europe astonished me so much that I began trying to convince them that they were wrong. (In the name of free speech and an educated academic conversation テ things that you would expect to find on a college campus.) This turned out to be a bad idea: my colleagues slowly but steadily changed their attitude toward me. I refused to acknowledge that the politics in Europe was as superior as European wine, cars or cuisine. (In fact, I prefer California wine, I drive a Chevrolet and I love pumpkin pie!)

The most feverishly liberal among my colleagues now began looking at me as a traitor. One told me to stop expressing my political views when other faculty was around. Why? Because, he said, テ棚 do not want to have to defend why we have a conservative hereテ at our department.

The writer of this article on Front Page Magazine is anonymous, and who can blame him? If word got out to his colleagues that he dared to write about the fascist goings-on, he'd lose his job in a nanosecond.

It seems as though on college campuses across America, the only individuals guaranteed free speech are those like Ward Churchill, Jane T. Christensen and those who follow them blindly like lemmings off the cliff.

Please click on the link below and read the entire piece. It's like going into Alice's looking glass, but scarier.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Jane Fonda Takes Us for a Ride

In her latest column, Michelle Malkin talks about Jane Fonda's new book about her life and the media blitz surrounding it. She also talks about Fonda's big "apology" regarding her antics in Vietnam:

I will go to my grave regretting that. The image of Jane Fonda, 'Barbarella,' Henry Fonda's daughter, just a woman sitting on an enemy aircraft gun was a betrayal. It was like I was thumbing my nose at the military and at the country that gave me privilege.

Malkin has this to say about that statement:

"Like" she was thumbing her nose? The woman delivered numerous broadcasts on Radio Hanoi claiming tortured POWs were in "good health," calling her own president a "new-type Hitler" on enemy airwaves, and accusing American pilots of being "war criminals."
Read it! Read it!

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Posted by Pam Meister at 08:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 05, 2005

Adscam and Some Interesting Canadian Blogs

Read my post on Canada's Adscam on Lifelike Pundits.

Then, be sure to check out a couple of blogs I came across in my research: Angry in the Great White North and I AM(also) CANADIAN.

It seems not all Canadians are flaming Leftists...their MSM just wants us to think so.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Illegal Immigration: An Up Close and Personal View

Canyonmike over at the new blog, Desert Views, lives in Tucson and has an interesting perspective on the flow of illegal immigrants from Mexico (and the lack of a government response):
Before 9-11, I was sending Emails to my Governor, Congressional delegation, and the White House. I never received a response. Not one. No one cared then, and I don't see much change now. And, with the exception of Lou Dobbs on CNN, the mainstream media is a as blind to this problem as they are to the problems of outsourcing and our Federal budget deficit. Was I prescient in Spring 2001, when my Email begged for border enforcement, in the least, because of its terrorist potential? I don't think so. I stated then that it was really a no-brainer for note-taking terrorists to view the US-Mexico border as an obvious track for importing manpower and materials into the US. Let's look at it this way: If the US Government can't enforce the border against an "estimated" 4 million illegals and 50,000 tons of mind-rotting drugs per year (just how do they estimate this without knowing the truth???), then isn't it child's play to bring in people and goods intended for really sinister purposes?
Please read the whole thing here. I have to say that, while I am a supporter of this administration, I am underwhelmed by its response (make that lack of) to our porous border problem.

I hope to hear more from Canyonmike!

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Posted by Pam Meister at 04:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Blog Change

Pooklekufr: the Kafir Constitutionalist is now blogging at hamstermotor. Please adjust your bookmarks accordingly!

He has a link about Noam Chomsky here that deserves a read.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 03:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Robert Redford's Priorities

I posted a piece on Lifelike Pundits today regarding Robert Redford's hypocrisy and skewed agenda regarding his views on oil drilling in Alaska and Fidel Castro.

Read it and let me know what you think!

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Posted by Pam Meister at 01:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Principles Vs. Attitude

When it comes to Leftists, one size fits all. Thomas Sowell has a great piece today regarding
Liberals may think of themselves as people who believe in certain principles but, if you observe their actual behavior, you are likely to discover that most liberals have a certain set of attitudes, rather than principles.
Read the entire essay...it's a gem!

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Posted by Pam Meister at 11:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 04, 2005

Campus Follies With David Horowitz

David Horowitz, the former Communist radical-turned conservative activist, writes today on Front Page Magazine regarding his latest speech at a college campus and how his appearances at schools often "invites" abuse from not just students, but Leftist faculty members. (Where do you think the students get their ideas from, Wal-Mart?) The following is how Horowitz responded to such interruptions during his speech:

Once the interruptions began, causing me to lose my train of thought as I responded, I realized that reflective intellectual discourse was going to be impossible and turned to polemic. Addressing the tenured radicals in the audience, I reminded them that schools had once been the ladders of opportunity for the poor. My own grandfather had come to this country with nothing, and earned $3 a week as a tailor, remaining poor his entire life. But the family had sent my father to public school and on to City College, a free school as well, and he had become a teacher enabling our family to enter the middle class.

But all that had changed. The tuition at Bowling Green -- $15,000 a year テ薪enied working class youngsters in the Toledo area the opportunity to get a shot at the American dream. テ脱ighty percent of the school budget is salaries,テ I said. テ炭ou make between $60,000 and $100,000 a year. You teach on average two courses and spend six hours a week in class. You work eight months out of the year and have four months paid vacation. And every seven years you get ten months paid vacation. If you are really as concerned about the working class as you pretend, why donテ付 you volunteer to teach four courses and twelve hours a week and lower the tuition costs for these kids?テ

That challenge went unheeded...big surprise.

Amazing...and it wasn't over, not by a long shot. Horowitz had to endure rants by Revolutionary Communists during the question and answer period, and some whining by a professor as he left the auditorium who wailed he "was maligning her and her professor husband by saying that they only worked eight months out of the year and had a four month paid vacation at her studentsテ expense."

Well, isn't that the case?

Fortunately, some students seemed to realize the extent of the horrendous behavior engaged in by students and professors, and wrote an editorial about it in the BG News.

Parents need to know that the big bucks they're spending to send Timmy and Sally to college isn't teaching them how to think for themselves, but to be indoctrinated into the rank and file of the Left. And they sure aren't teaching them manners, either, according to Amanda Hooper, writer of the BG News editorial: "As part of the privileged sector of society who is able to attend a University, we showed Wednesday evening that many students here don't have the manners of a 5-year-old. "

So much for "higher education."

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Posted by Pam Meister at 03:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Bill Clinton's Legacy

According to a recent survey, 20% of teens surveyed (with a mean age of 14 1/2) are having oral sex, while 14% said they were having "sexual relations." In addition, many of them don't consider oral sex to be "true sex," and don't consider it to be as risky as intercourse when it comes to the transmission of disease.

There's more to the survey, but I've had about enough already. You can find more about it here.

Who said Bill Clinton wouldn't leave a lasting legacy in America?

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Posted by Pam Meister at 12:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 02, 2005

What's On My Reading List These Days?

Michael Moore is a Big Fat Stupid White Man. I just read it, and the authors really nail the Big White Whale to the wall. They dissect his movies AND his books, and pinpoint not only how he misleads his audience but outright fabricates many of his sequences. They also dedicate an entire chapter to the definition of narcicism and how Moore-on fits the definition to a tee!

Next up is Hollywood Interrupted: Insanity Chic in Babylon - The Case Against Celebrity. I'm especially looking forward to Part V: The Left Wing.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 01, 2005

Is Modesty No Longer a Virtue?

An erotic festival that usually finds success in London closed early due to lack of interest in the northern English city of Manchester.

An event spokesman told Reuters that, テ淡e thought Manchester was an open minded city but maybe we were wrong...People flock to our show in London but it seems that up here, the traditional northern male still calls the shots.テ According to the report, organizers aren't going to try again.

So what? Not everyone wants to go to a "show" that features sex toys, kinky clothing and footwear (what the...?). Why is it when some people don't feel comfortable flaunting sex they are considered to be repressive and backward? What's wrong with keeping sex in the bedroom?

Apparently, northern England isn't "progressive."

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Posted by Pam Meister at 03:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

More On Ward Churchill's Hypocrisy

Front Page Magazine has an article today by Mary Grabar regarding Ward Churchill and it ain't pretty.

For a man who seems bent on bringing down "America's global empire," he sure doesn't seem to be hurting for cash. According to Grabar,

With only a masterテ不 degree in communications from a now-defunct college that was liberal in its grading policies, he [Churchill] was promoted to department head over several faculty members with Ph.D.テ不.

He was earning over $100,000 in salary and over $3,000 per speaking engagement.

He has generous health and retirement benefits.

He enjoys the typically light course load awarded to tenured faculty at flagship universities, with time not only to pen the original essay attacking American
citizens but to expand it into a book titled On the Justice of Roosting Chickens. For this, like-minded colleagues rewarded him with his third honorable mention for a human rights award from the well-connected and well-funded Gustavus Myers Center in Boston.

Given the extraordinary working conditions of Professor Churchill, his complaints about a テ痴ystemテ that purportedly rewards an insular elite and exploits marginalized workers is a sore test of patienceテ粗specially for someone like me, whose circumstances make for an illuminating comparison.

I hold a Ph.D., but labor as an adjunct at a small public college in Georgia.

My salary stands at less than one-fifth of what Churchill makes, $2100 per class.

I have no benefits, perks, or job security.

The adjunct teacher forms a crucial base in the higher education system. To sustain the hours and privileges of the elite professors, we handle the influx of entering students by teaching the large, labor-intensive classes like freshman composition and surveys, without pension or medical benefitsテ双r, one might add, academic freedom.

Grabar then asks, "Where is Churchillテ不 anger over the exploitation in his own back yard?"

That's a wonderful question, but I don't think Grabar will be getting an answer anytime soon.

The irony of the situation, of course, would be lost on Churchill and his ilk even if they took a nanosecond to look into it. Far from working hard, tenured faculty like Churchill have plenty of time to indulge in their main passion, which is undermining the infrastructure of our country. (Think of how much time they have for this when they are on summer break and those lovely leaves-of-absence called "sabbatical" that come around every few years!)

In fact, throughout history, many of our "radicals" have come from privileged backgrounds. While the everyday man spends most of his time making a living, these "revolutionaries" have plenty of time to "build Utopia" via socialism, Marxism and the like because their basic needs are taken care of...and then some.

So the next time you hear one of Churchill's radical speeches about corporate bigwigs grinding the faces of the workers in the name of money and greed, just look at who is doing all of the talking.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 11:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sandy "Hamburglar" Pleads Guilty to Taking Documents

Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger, national security advisor to former President Bill Clinton, has pleaded guilty to removing documents from the National Archive without permission last year. The documents "involved a classified assessment of terrorist threats in 2000, which Mr. Berger was reviewing in his role as the Clinton administration's point man in providing material to the independent commission investigating the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001," according to the New York Times.

The Times says the guilty plea "capp[ed] an embarrassing episode that reverberated in last year's presidential campaign."

Reverbated? It hardly made a blip on the MSM radar.

A quick Google (yes, I know Google is under fire for its Leftwing tendencies) search for the term "Sandy Berger documents" brought up 97,100 hits. That seems like a respectable number...until you punch in the term "George W. Bush Air National Guard." That brought up 749,000 hits. Now I know this wasn't a scientitic study, but doesn't it seem strange that the MSM was more interested in W's Air National Guard service in Vietnam (a rehash from the 2000 election) than in Bill Clinton's former security advisor taking documents that were related to a (then) current investigation that resulted in the 9/11 commission report? When the Left was dying to prove Bush had culpability in the terrorist attacks?

Berger took the documents on September 2, 2004. Dan Rather's Memogate disaster aired September 8.

Don't forget, at the time he took the documents, Berger was a senior policy advisor to John Kerry in his presidential campaign. I don't recall John Kerry coming under fire under the "guilt by association" label (although Berger quickly stepped down from his advisorial post).

Also what, if any, was Bill Clinton's role in any of this? That question has never been asked by the MSM, defenders of truth and liberty.

This story should have been huge, but wasn't. In fact, today's news of his guilty plea isn't even on the front page, but buried in the "Washington" section of the Times (the online version).

What media bias? It's staring you right in the face.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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