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September 30, 2005

Arabs: Anti-American or Not?

(Cross-posted at Lifelike Pundits)

I read this extremely interesting commentary by Iraninan Amir Taheri, whose columns are featured regularly in the New York Post. Using Karen Hughes' current good will tour of the Middle East as a springboard, Taheri poses the question: "Are Arabs the most anti-American people on Earth?" What he discloses in order to answer the question is illuminating.

In addition to many American products and business outlets in Arab countries, one will find that:

More than 70 percent of what's broadcast on Arab TV stations (including those regarded as "obsessively anti-American") is U.S.-made; 80 percent of the films shown in Arab cinemas are made in Hollywood. There are more than two dozen English dailies, all using the American version of the language. Go through them, and you see that much of the content comes from U.S. agencies and syndication services.

The above paragraph will be important later. Here's more:

Only God and the U.S. immigration service would know how many Arabs hold green cards or even dual Arab-U.S. citizenship. With the possible exception of Libya, which has a weird regime, and Syria, whose leaders fear they may be targeted for "regime change," almost all Arab regimes are well-disposed toward the United States. Sixteen of the 21 member states of the Arab League host some U.S. military presence. The FBI maintains offices in at least 12 Arab capitals.

I imagine Iran is among the few whose government is anti-American, but this information isn't what one would expect to hear.

Remember the paragraph I said would be important? Here's why:

In Arab newspapers, the bulk of the material that could be classified as anti-Bush and/or anti-American is translated from U.S. sources. Stroll in the streets where books and video and audio tapes are on sale at the curbsides and you will see that 90 percent of the items vilifying America come from American, French and British authors.

Thanks, Noam Chomsky! You've found an audience after all.

At any given time, one can find a horde of American activists visiting the region to urge the natives to hate America:

* Two years ago, a group of Americans appeared in Arab capitals to stop people in the bazaars to "apologize for the Crusades," although the United States didn't even exist when those wars were fought between Europe and the Middle East.

They took a page out of Bill Clinton's book, who apologizes for--well, everything.

* One American professor recently published an op-ed in The New York Times relating his trip to Iran, where he was "disappointed" to see that students not only did not hate George W. Bush but, horror of horrors, also craved for an American-style democracy instead of an Islamist utopia.

If only this professor had those students in his classes, he could have shown them the "light."

* A friend, who happens to be a minister in an Arab state, was saddened this summer when, spending holidays with his family in the United States as he had always done since student days, he had to quarrel with an old American schoolmate. The point of the dispute was that the American insisted that the United States was an "evil empire," while the Arab believed that it could be a force for reform in the Middle East.

Read the article for more startling examples. Taheri's conclusion:

There are many issues on which the Arabs disagree with the United States. But most Arabs don't see that as a sign of anti-Arabism on the part of America. Hughes should not regard it as a sign of anti-Americanism on the part of Arabs.

It's nice to know that so many are doing their part to crumble the wall of misunderstanding between Arabs and Americans...not. Anti-Americanism exists in the Arab world, of that there is no doubt. If it didn't, 9/11 would never have happened. But is it as widespread as we think it is?

If not, some of our very own countrymen will do their best to encourage it.


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

Beating the Democrats is Not A Crime...Yet!

So says David Frum, as he fisks an article by E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post:

To put this into simpler terms. Suppose a corporation hired Dionne to give a speech at their next annual meeting. Dionne then turns around and gives his fee to Democratic candidates for the Texas legislature. Has any law been broken? Obviously not. The corporation does not intend to help Texas candidates: It does so only inadvertently and indirectly, as a consequence of Dionne's decisions.

That's what DeLay did, in a nutshell. But here's the kicker:

DeLay's real crime is to have rewritten the Texas congressional Democrats to beat Democrats. That's his unpardonable offense in the eyes of his accusers. [O]n that count, he is of course guilty as charged - only it so happens that beating Democrats is not a crime in this country. Not yet anyway.

File this under Sour Grapes 101.


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September 29, 2005

Heartwarming News from Iraq

It's too bad we don't hear more stories like this one:

TIKRIT, Iraq -- The little girl with the peach-colored dress and the Mickey Mouse flip-flops had run to the front gate of the Al Barudy Primary School before the first armored Humvee rolled to a stop.

By now, she knew what would be coming next: soldiers from the 50th Main Support Battalion carrying plastic bags stuffed with toys, and boxes overflowing with clothes and sneakers.

For members of the Teaneck-based New Jersey Army National Guard unit, the little girl's reaction this week was an indicator of the inroads they have made in just three visits to school they "adopted."

Read it all!

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Kofi Annan and Tom DeLay: A Study in Comparison

The ever-beleagured Kofi Annan has refused to step down as Secretary General of the U.N., even though he is knee-deep in scandal and surrounded by scammers--including his own son. In fact, when asked back in March if he would step down as a result of the report on the Oil-for-Food brouhaha, his reply was, "Hell, no."

Such bravado, such courage in the face of adversity. Dan Rather would be proud.

Some think Annan is the subject of a witch hunt by conservatives. It's always possible. Yet it's amazing that there are those who think Annan, who may only be guilty of negligence and not outright criminal activity, should stay on his U.N. pedestal while they clamor for the head of Senator Tom DeLay. It's said that the prosecutor who named DeLay in an indictment regarding illegal campaign contribution practices is known for witch hunts of his own. According to constitutionalist lawyer and talk show host Mark Levin, the indictment doesn't even name DeLay as specifically committing a criminal act--but the grand jury cleared the way for a trial anyway.

If Tom DeLay has even a whiff of illegal scandal attached to him, some on the right also think he should be asked to step down as Senate majority leader. After all, Trent Lott was pushed out for something much less serious. For the good of the Republican party, it may be best that DeLay step down from his post. He'll have enough to deal with as it is.

But why is it a witch hunt for Annan but a much-needed investigation for DeLay? (Mark Steyn has some choice words about Annan's situation.)

Kofi Annan and Tom DeLay have both been tarred with the ol' scandal brush. But Annan is given a pass while DeLay is raked over the coals.

Just another day in American politics...

UPDATE: "Chuck" points out that DeLay is a member of the House of Representatives. My goof...I obviously was not paying attention to what I was writing. I guess I'll crawl into a corner and die now.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 10:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Someone's Always Complaining

Apparently labor unions that represent flight attendants are angry that Jodie Foster's new movie Flightplan features a flight attendant (stewardess for us oldsters) as part of a terrorist plot.

C'mon, guys, it's a movie! Since when did movies represent reality?

I haven't seen it and probably won't, but to get all bunched up about this is a waste of time. If you really want to wonder about reality in the films, why not wonder why young Muslim men from the Middle East aren't being featured in terrorist plots?

Guess the wrath of CAIR is more fearful than that of flight attendants.

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September 28, 2005

Check out Lifelike Pundits...

to see my post regarding the "feminist reaction" to the first known female suicide bomber in Iraq.

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Camp Casey Ca$h

Not only has Casey Sheehan's death been used to propel his mother to martyrdom status and tons of coverage in the media, it's going to fund her as she continues spreading her "message."

By signing on with Speaking Matters LLC, Cindy Sheehan will now get paid for her appearances.

"This is a society where people make money doing what they do and I have to pay my bills, too," she told Cybercast News Service.


She said her contract with Speaking Matters, which has not yet disclosed how much a Sheehan appearance will cost, will help her "finally make some money ...'cause Casey's insurance money's going to run out pretty soon."

How much insurance did he carry, anyway? Did his father get any, or has Cindy claimed it all? The thought of living off of my child's insurance policy is revolting. If she was that concerned with his memory, perhaps a scholarship or other such fund in his name would have been more appropriate.

Of course, her followers don't seem to have a problem with this. This comment jumped out at me in particular:

Andrea's friend, Megan Hanford, said it makes sense that Sheehan would start charging for appearances. "She can't work while she's traveling the country," Hanford said, "and she's lost any income that her son might have brought her."

Does this Megan think that, had Casey lived, he would have supported his mother? What would she be doing if he were alive and well right now? Certainly not touring the country and making money doing it.

Get this one:

University of Maryland English professor Marilee Lindemann said she fully supports Sheehan making money from her speaking engagements. "She's given extraordinarily of herself, of her time," she said, "and I will point out that she sacrificed her child in service to this country."

Think about it: these anti-war, anti-American sentiments of Cindy's didn't sprout from nothing. They were there all the time. So, do you think if she had anything to say about it, Casey would have enlisted in the military not once, but twice? He made the decision as an adult. Yes, Cindy Sheehan lost her child (as did many other parents, including her estranged husband, who aren't seeking the limelight). But she did not sacrifice him. He made a choice, a choice he was willing to die for. And now, his mother is capitalizing on it.

Why is it different for Halliburton to make money as a result of this war than for Cindy to make money as a result of this war?


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September 27, 2005

Ode to Cindy

Sing this little ditty to the tune of that Beethoven classic, "Ode to Joy.

Cindy Sheehan leads the moonbats
As they march against the war
Seeking photo ops is tiring
But she always looks for more

Gets arrested
SheÕs being tested
Cameras flashing by the score

Her sonÕs death has been a goldmine
For this leftist media whore

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No English? No Problem!

Having problems learning English? You should live in L.A., where many immigrants are finding they don't need to bother with it. And it's not just Spanish:

In ethnically diverse Los Angeles, many immigrants find that learning Korean, Spanish or Mandarin is more important than English.

Manuel Aliga, a Peruvian immigrant, has spent years studying Korean. He runs a store that sells soccer supplies in Koreatown.


Martin Paik, a Seoul native who emigrated to Los Angeles by way of Argentina, does not speak English. He writes a column on conversational Spanish for the Korea Times.

In California, Spanish is more important than English, [said] Paik. "I haven't found any inconvenience because I don't speak English.

How long will it be before not only will you have to choose between English and Spanish on those annoying touch-tone phone menus, but other languages as well?

This recent article laments that only 9% of Americans are fluent in a language other than English, as compared to more than 50% of Europeans knowing a language other than their native one. Frankly, it makes more sense for Europeans to be bilingual, as it's easier (and therefore more common) for them to travel to other countries where a different language is spoken. This is not to say learning a foreign language isn't beneficial to Americans. However, we should be more concerned about those here in America (let's not count the illegals for the moment) who don't speak English.

When people come to America from other countries to settle, what do they have in common with their new neighbors? Other than a desire to live a better life than they could in their native land, often not much. Learning English helps immigrants create a bond with their adopted land much more quickly than they might otherwise. And, regardless of what some people in L.A. seem to think, knowing English makes living here a heck of a lot easier. We have the multicultural crowd to thank for this, as they don't seem to think American culture is good enough anymore. (In fact, I committed a gaffe in this post by saying "foreign" language instead of "world" language, as it is now termed in schools. Who stays up late at night thinking this stuff up?)

America has no "official language." It's time we did.

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September 26, 2005

Eve Ensler: Violence Against Women Can Be Blamed on W

For those who would quibble with my headline, just read this excerpt from an interview in the Connecticut Post (in the "Woman Wise" section, where else?):

"My life is devoted to ending violence against women," she said.

The task is a difficult one because, she said, "we're living in a very, very, very violent society with a very violent president, who is [espousing] a very violent agenda: occupation, domination and invasion. Those are words of rape, those are words of assault.

"That's a military paradigm, that's a machismo paradigm, that's a patriarchal paradigm that then gets repeated and mirrored on the local family level," Ensler said. "You can't tell young boys, 'Don't go and take a women's body against her will,' when we are dropping bombs and occupying people's nations without their permission. It's the same mentality," she said.

No, it's not. In case she hasn't noticed, the majority of Iraqis appreciate what we have done for them. Their former "president," Saddam Hussein, had a history of violence against women, and he encouraged his sons in that mindset. I suppose the rape rooms of Uday and Qusay just slipped Ensler's mind, seeing as she's so busy looking for "vagina warriors."

She goes around encouraging women who have experienced violence to shout out "vagina" (and other words I won't print here) as though it was a cure-all. Is she a licensed therapist? Would she appreciate men going around shouting out the various names for their genitalia in the name of empowerment? Somehow I don't think so.

Ensler is concerned that our military is desensitizing men to the needs of women. I find it laughable that she doesn't have to think twice about saying the ridiculous things she does because our military (and some of them are women!) fight and die for her to have the right to say them. What the hell, they're just a bunch of rapists and bullies, right?

Was Ensler worried about the violence against the women in the World Trade Center on 9/11? What about the women who were on the planes that crashed into the buildings, as well as those on Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania on that fateful day? (I'm not mentioning the violence against the men that day, since Ensler doesn't seem to think men merit any positive attention whatsoever.)

Why isn't she worried about the gangsta rapper/hip hop culture that has become enormously popular? Violence against women (that's ho's and bitches to you) in rap songs is the norm.

Why isn't she worried about the growing acceptance of women as sex objects? Not only are we seeing more and more scantily clad women in the media and on the street, but we're seeing Paris Hilton's star rise because her videotaped sex session with an ex-boyfriend hit the Internet. And what about the girls who take it all off for those "Girls Gone Wild" videos? Brent Bozell has much more on the topic of porn chic here. As I like to say, if you dress like a skank, men will treat you like a skank. Why should they respect you if you let it all hang out like a display in the butcher's window?

Wanting to end rape and other violence against women is a noble cause. But using that cause to bash a president whose policies she doesn't agree with is not only shabby, but deceitful.

*You can read more about Ensler's Vagina Monologues here.*

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Muslims Urging Congress to Pass Ramadan Resolution

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is urging Congress to issue a resolution regarding the beginning of Ramadan, which begins next week.

The resolution they want Congress to adopt reads (emphases mine):

"(1) during this time of conflict, in order to demonstrate solidarity with and support for members of the community of Islam in the United States and throughout the world, the House of Representatives recognizes the Islamic faith as one of the great religions of the world; and

"(2) in observance of and out of respect for the commencement of Ramadan...the House of Representatives acknowledges the onset of Ramadan and expresses its deepest respect to Muslims in the United States and throughout the world on this significant occasion."

Wonder how they'd feel if Congress were being urged to make such a resolution regarding Christianity or Judaism? No doubt they'd be shouting about the division of state and church. And check this next bit out:

CAIR said it is asking mosques and Islamic centers nationwide to host a "Sharing Ramadan" Iftar, or fast-breaking meal, to enhance understanding of Islam and to encourage Americans of all faiths meet their Muslims neighbors.

I wonder if CAIR would encourage Muslims to attend similar events if they were hosted by Christians and Jews in order for Muslims to meet their neighbors of other faiths?

Sorry, hell hasn't frozen over yet.

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Good News in Poland!

Captain Ed has a post regarding the conservative sweep in Poland's parliamentary elections over the weekend. He has a pertinent question, too:

One has to wonder what the EU will make of the new Polish government. They will have to deal with Warsaw's new commitment to tax cuts and free-market economics at a time when its central states (France and Germany) both turn away from such painful but necessary adjustments. While they may welcome Polish prosperity, the EU nations may have a lot of explaining to do if the Poles successfully transform their economy with their free-market approach. Brussels might have to take a hard look at whether the nanny-state can sustain itself for much longer, or whether Western Europe faces an economic calamity from the Ponzi schemes that comprise their social systems.

Time alone will tell.

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Warren Beatty's Bleatings: Not Everyone Left Buys It

It seems that LA Weekly reporter Nikki Finke isn't easily snowed by the likes of Warren Beatty. In fact, she's less than impressed about Warren Beatty's latest in a long series of, "If I was governor of California I'd be doing a better job than Arnold," ad nauseum.

In fact, Finke is quite huffy about it. First thing to note, however, is that she gives Schwarzenegger no quarter:

DonÕt get me wrong: Anyone who has anything bad to say about our illegitimate governor is a friend of mine. This special-interest-beholden greedmeister, girlie-man-calling machomeister and sexually-harassing fibmeister needs to go down, and go down big come re-election time.

That kind of surprises me, considering most celebrities can be classified as special-interest-beholden greedmeisters. But I digress. Her real beef in this piece is whether Warren Beatty is the one to take Schwarzenegger down in 2006--and Beatty doesn't make the cut. (I couldn't help but add a few digs in the following excerpt.)

Yes, it sounds overly melodramatic, but there is a war on, figuratively and literally. The Hollywood antiÐIraq invasion group, Artists United To Win Without War, spoke up against the pre-emptive strike (and they continue to work and make big bucks--cry me a river), yet Beatty never joined. The Republican Party has long been out-fund-raising the Democratic Party, but Beatty gave his earliest political donations to Ralph Nader. The Supreme Court is ruling on abortion rights (is Roe v. Wade the only issue facing our nation today?), but Beatty is suing to make another Dick Tracy movie. Michael Moore is reinventing the political documentary (into the fake-umentary), but Beatty is making mindless fluff. The power-mad Rove-Frist-DeLay axis of evil is destroying the Constitution and our system of checks and balances (yes, they're the ones inserting things like "abortion" that don't exist and ignoring real content like the Second Amendment), but Beatty has spent hours on the telephone with right-wing blowhard Bill OÕReilly, and weekends in the company of Republican presidential hopeful John McCain. Hollywood liberals are up a creek without a paddle (since when?), but Beatty is basking in his own glory on the beach with a sun reflector.

I may disagree with Finke on ideology, but I agree with her on Beatty. Yet I'm not surprised. The thing is, most of these folks have no real political ambition save for a penchant for making pretty speeches, waving placards and giving interviews that bash America as often as possible. Becoming a politician means exchanging one kind of celebrity for another. Political fame has the potential not only to be harsher than the bright lights of Hollywood, but it can be much more fleeting as well. After all, no one's tracking the movements of John Kerry very closely these days, no matter how hard he tries to remain relevant. At least for celebs, they have the reruns of their movies and television shows to shore them up in slow times.

Like his politics or not, Arnold Schwarzenegger had the guts to act on his principles. He could have gone down in flames--heck, he may still--but he had the chutzpah to follow through. Beatty probably won't. Nor will many others in the Hollywood flock. Politics is simply just so much more PR for them.

Thanks goodness for small favors.

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September 25, 2005

Same Picture, Same Message, Same Crap: Different Year

Michelle Malkin braved the "blame America first" crowd during yesterday's anti-war (or as I like to call it, anti-American) rally in Washington D.C. She took lots of photos that she posted on her Flickr.com site.

It seems the "peace" crowd doesn't know how to update its message. They're depending on what they consider to be "tried and true" tactics to scare the rest of us into falling into line. Take the following examples:

  • This picture is one that Michelle took at yesterday's gathering.
  • This picture is one that was printed in my husband's 1982 high school yearbook (I've included the caption) in its end-of-year recap of world events
Isn't the "progressive" crowd supposed to be artistic and creative?

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September 24, 2005


Hugh Hewitt is holding a contest to name the scandal surrounding Chuckie Schmuckie Schumer's hacks illegally obtaining the credit report of Maryland's Republican lieutenant governor. The submissions are now closed--apparently he had hundreds of entries. Mine was Schumer's Discredit Bureau, but it didn't make the cut. Oh well, I tried.

Now you can vote on the finalists over at Radioblogger. Head on over...there are some really good ones. My favorite (and currently in the lead) is Charlie and the Document Factory.

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September 23, 2005

Cindy Sheehan and Lew Rockwell: Birds of a Feather

For those of you who haven't gotten enough of Cindy Sheehan's pearls of wisdom, you have yet another opportunity to worship at her feet of clay.

Sheehan will be a featured speaker at Gold, Freedom and War, a conference in November to benefit LewRockwell.com. Here are some of the topics on tap:

  • The warmongering schemes for perpetual war for perpetual statism.
  • The Camp Casey revolution and the tipping point for peace.
  • Has the regime been fatally wounded?
  • The real reasons the neocons hate LRC.
  • How hurricanes and the "War on Terror" embolden the US police state.

Who is Lew Rockwell? Before stumbling across this conference on the Internet, I'd never heard of him. According to his website, he's a libertarian who "is an opponent of the central state, its wars and its socialism." The being against socialism is something I can agree with, but being an opponent of a central state and war? That smacks of anarchy to me. War, while not something to wish for, is a necessary evil when you're being attacked--and please remember that America was attacked on 9/11. And, some kind of government is necessary if humanity is to have any kind of stability and civility. Some governments are more preferable than others.

When I think of libertarians, I think of guys like Neil Boortz. Reading what Rockwell stands for and reading some of the posts on his blog (written by various minions), he doesn't sound like much of a libertarian to me--he sounds more like a crackpot with visions of grandeur. A little Web research shows that someone with more credibility than I have agrees with me.

Back in 2001, Jonah Goldberg wrote about LewRockwell.com for the National Review. Here's a little of what he had to say:

It's a site for angry libertarians. Kick-the-cat, yell-at-the-TV, demand-a-refund, take-your-marbles-and-go-home libertarians. They want their government smaller Ñ a lot smaller Ñ and they're willing to march into the kitchen and make a big stinking scene if they don't get things their way: Now!

Ouch! Goldberg wrote a followup to that column, click here to read it.

Here are a few things Rockwell himself had to say about the war in Iraq (and Afghanistan) back in 2003 on Bill Moyers' now-defunct PBS show (all emphases mine):

So you have all kinds of money taken out of productive private savings and investment to build bombs and missiles that it's economically dangerous. And then it of course like every single war in our history it empowers the government to suppress dissent, to abolish civil liberties, to grow. That's one of the reasons governments love a war. Because it does enable them to grow and to brand anybody who disagrees with them as unpatriotic.

So all of the dissent we've been exposed to in the past couple of years has been officially oppressed by the government? What have we been seeing then, reality TV on the streets?

I'm sure Saddam Hussein is not a good guy, after all he's a politician. But it is the most liberal regime in the Arab world in many senses. You can get a drink in Baghdad. Unlike in Saudi Arabia. Women don't have to wear any particular kind of clothing. Christianity is tolerated.

Gee, according to Rockwell, Hussein got a bad rap. Click here to read the whole interview.

So we really shouldn't be surprised that Rockwell and Sheehan have gotten together. Maybe we should wonder why it took so long. And for $200 plus travel, food and lodging expenses, you can get two for the price of one!

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Also posted on Lifelike Pundits

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Posted by Pam Meister at 02:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Stupid Remarks at the Airport = Police Involvement

Saying something like this can get you arrested:

"What if there was a bomb in my bag?"

That's exactly what 68-year-old Mahmoud Abouelleil said, and he did get arrested. Apparently his bag was loaded onto a plane bound for Minneapolis from Bradley International Airport in Hartford. He was most likely upset, as he had missed the boarding call and the plane was on its way up the runway for takeoff. They had to turn it around and search the plane.

Abouelleil was arrested, charged with falsely reporting an incident, and allowed out on $1,000 bail.

File this under DUH!

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September 22, 2005

No Magic Bullet Yet!

If weight loss really came in a pill, do you think there would be so many overweight people waddling around?

The latest "magic bullet" to take a fall is CortiSlim, whose creators settled a lawsuit with the FTC that they would not market the pill as a weight loss pill. The settlement included their CortiStress pill, which they cannot market as a disease prevention pill either.

They also have to fork over $4.5 million in various fines. That's a lot of suckers who paid the $40 or so per bottle of something that does squat!

Consumers should stick to the tried and true: eat less, exercise more. (That includes me!)

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Connecticut Townspeople Balk at Katrina Donation

New Milford residents aren't happy that their town council decided to donate $30,000 in taxpayer money to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, and the council is now rethinking their decision.

"I greatly resent the fact that the town is deciding where my tax dollars are donated," resident J. Brian Keene wrote on a local Web site, noting that he and other town citizens have made their own donations.

Aid from towns and cities in cases such as Katrina usually involve police officers and firefighters donating their time.

I would probably be unhappy if my town decided to donate tax dollars too. After all, while it's a noble gesture, that tax money was collected specifically for spending on town needs such as schools, police, road repairs, and so on. How does New Milford plan on replacing that $30,000?

What do you think? Leave your ideas in the comments section.

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Another One Gets Off...

As you might have heard, John Gotti, heir to the Dapper Don's Gambino crime family, was acquitted on a securities charge and a mistrial was declared on the other charges--one of which included a plot to kidnap Guardian Angel founder Curtis Sliwa.

This cartoon in the New York Post says it all.

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September 21, 2005

Muslims Attack Christians--No News at 11

This article by Daniel Pipes was posted on Jewish World Review on 9/13/05--a week ago--but I only just came across it. It describes how, because a West Bank Muslim woman had a love affair with her Christian boss, Muslims stormed the Christian village of Taybeh in which the boss lived.

The woman, 23-year-old Hiyam Ajaj, was killed, of course--one of those lovely "honor killings" we hear so much about. (Her preganancy gave her away.) Apparently, though, this wasn' t enough to satisfy the so-called breach of honor.

The Ajajs and their friends broke into houses and stole furniture, jewelry, and electrical appliances. They threw Molotov cocktails at some buildings and poured kerosene on others, then torched them. The damage included at least 16 houses, some stores, a farm, and a gas station. The assailants vandalized cars, looted extensively, and destroyed a statue of the Virgin Mary.

Isn't that nice? While Muslims who live in countries like Britain are calling "jihad" on Burger King for creating an ice cream logo that is coincidentally similar to an Islamic symbol, Muslims on the West Bank are killing women who dare to fall in love with Christian men and then attacking the village where the Christians live--stealing and destroying property, as well as Christian symbols.

Where's the outrage? Frankly, no one seems to give a darn. More from Pipes:

One factor that could help...would be for mainline Protestant churches to speak out against Palestinian Muslims for tormenting and expelling Palestinian Christians. To date, unfortunately, the Episcopalian, Evangelical Lutheran, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches, as well as the United Church of Christ, have ignored the problem.

Instead, they pursue the self-indulgent path of venting moral outrage against the Israeli bystander and even withdrawing their investment funds from it. As they obsess with Israel but stay silent about Christianity dying in its birthplace one wonders what it will take to awaken them.

As usual, radical Islam gets a pass--even from Christians, who are being persecuted by them. But I guess since it's "over there" and not "over here," it's easy to "overlook."

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Headline Quickies

NY Times Cutting 500 Jobs, 4 Percent Of Work Force: I thought the cerebral Times was above such petty details as money. It's sooo capitalistic!

Top Democrat Says He'll Vote No on Roberts: Why, it's Harry Reid. And we're surprised why?

Government: Man Wanted Bush Assassinated: Democrats suggest giving him the Congressional Medal of Honor.

New Orleans Mayor Orders Evacuation: Nearly four weeks after Katrina. Hey, he finally gets it!

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September 20, 2005

The MSM's Countdown to 2,000 Dead

The MSM is at the abacus again. I've written about it on Lifelike Pundits.

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Tuesday Afternoon Roundup

I took today off to see the podiatrist...I have a condition called "plantar fasciitis," a tearing of the ligament that connects the heel to the ball of the foot, on my left foot. I've been dealing with it for a couple of months and finally couldn't take it any more. Ouch!

Anyhoo, I've been browsing some of my favorite blogs and here are some posts you should check out for yourself:

  • Sandy says what extremists like Louis Farrakhan say is not okay.
  • Ex-Donkey Blog proprieter Gary tells Dan Rather not to worry about what he calls the "atmosphere of fear" in the newsroom: Don't worry, Dan. The leadership and the "journalists" of the MSM are still in cahoots.
  • Pat at Brainster's Blog tells us what's cooking in the Air America "loan" scandal.
  • Looking for some groan-inducing political jokes? The Man has just what you want.
  • The Right Place posts some heartening editorials regarding the nomination of John Roberts to SCOTUS.
  • Did you hear how John Kerry decided to slum it at a NASCAR race this past weekend? Lucky Dawg News has the scoop. (Scroll down until you get to the hilarious picture of Kerry.)
  • The arrest of terrorists in Virginia has sadly gotten little notice. Check out the links over at Mein Blogo Vault for the story.
  • Find out about Cindy Sheehan's rally in NYC over at Moonbattery. (Van Helsing also has an interesting photo of Sheehan for your viewing pleasure.)
  • Jeff at The Bernoulli Effect is worried about the return of "Arabism" at the State Department. Click here to find out why.
  • Mean Ol' Meany. Need I say more?
  • Finally, don't forget to head on over to Lifelike Pundits to see what my co-bloggers Aaron, Kitty, Pat and David are saying about current affairs.

There's much more, of course...I couldn't list them all. Check out the other blogs on my blogroll for much more in the world of news and views.

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September 19, 2005

Germany's Election: What Next?

With neither party receiving a rousing majority, it's difficult to see what direction Germany's government will take in the near future.

Conservative Angela Merkel, whose Christian Democrats were slightly ahead of incumbent Chancellor Gerhard Schršder's Social Democrats (35.2% to 34.3%), both are making plans to work with potential coalition members in order to make the phoenix of German's government rise out of the ashes. Mark Steyn says there's more to it than simple party politics:

If you want the state of Europe in a nutshell, skip the German election coverage and consider this news item from the south of France: a fellow in Marseilles is being charged with fraud because he lived with the dead body of his mother for five years in order to continue receiving her pension of 700 euros a month.

A gruesome but effective comparison. And, he says Germany needs more than just a cosmetic makeover by whomever wrests control from the other:

Germany is dying, demographically and economically. Pick any of the usual indicators of a healthy advanced industrial democracy: Unemployment? The highest for 70 years. House prices? Down. New car registration? Nearly 15 per cent lower than in 1999. General nuttiness? A third of Germans under 30 think the United States government was responsible for the terrorist attacks of September 11.

While the unemployment, real estate and car sales may be reversible, that last number suggests the German electorate isn't necessarily the group you'd want to pitch a rational argument to. In the run-up to the election campaign, there were endless references to "necessary reforms" and "painful change". And, in the end, the voters decided they weren't in the mood for change, especially the painful kind.

The German stock market is down, as is the euro. The atmosphere isn't exactly brimming with sunshine and gumdrops. Apparently, though, Germans aren't quite ready for anything better than they have. Steyn has more on the subject:

In other words, things are going to have to get a lot worse before German voters will seriously consider radical change. And the question then is whether the Christian Democrats will be the radical change they consider: as Sunday's results in east Germany indicate, it's as likely if not more so to be ex-Commies or neo-Nazis or some other opportunist fringe party. The longer European countries postpone the "painful" reforms, the more painful they're going to be.

Let's ignore the problem and it'll go away! Better yet, let's do the same thing we did in the 1930s, when we as a people became dissatisfied with the status quo, and formerly fringe Nazis came to power--using Jews and other "social misfits" as convenient scapegoats for our problems. Hooray!

Steyn makes a sober prediction:

...by 2050, there will be more and wealthier Americans, and fewer and poorer Europeans. In the 14th century, it took the Black Death to wipe out a third of Europe's population. In the course of the 21st century, Germany's population will fall by over 50 per cent to some 38 million or lower - killed not by disease or war but by the Eutopia to which Mr Schršder and his electorate are wedded.

It's like a burning car wreck--we can't do anything about it but stare as those involved suffer until the fire truck arrives. Will the fire truck arrive in time?

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Offensive Ice Cream

What, you say? Ice cream, one of the most benign concoctions on the planet (unless you're lactose intolerant) offensive? Check out my post at Lifelike Pundits to see what the hoo ha is all about.

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Jobless Numbers MUST be Skewed!

Seriously, when people have time to do things like this, you have to wonder if they are gainfully employed:

People in polar bear suits will be among those gathering in Washington on Tuesday to protest the Bush administration's plan to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Congress is about to vote on a bill that might open the Alaskan refuge to oil drilling, and the Tuesday's protest, organized by a coalition of environmental groups, is aimed at pressuring lawmakers to oppose the plan.

Robert Kennedy, Jr., is one of the featured speakers at the event, which will take place outside the U.S. Capitol.A press release said "busloads of citizen lobbyists from across the U.S. and Canada" plan to join the protest, which will include a drum procession by Native Americans and "large crowds of citizens with signs."

Of course, Kennedy can afford to head down for a day or two. But I always wonder about the others...

Not to mention all of the GASOLINE that will be used up in this endeavor. Those buses sure use up a lot of fuel. Fuel that they don't want us to pump from ANWR, but they don't mind wasting in order to protest.

File this under DUH!

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September 18, 2005

It Was Only a Matter of Time...

before Bubba turned on W.

Bill Clinton has decided to turn his back on the unspoken policy of former presidents refraining from criticizing the current president (which, to his credit, he has observed up until now).

As a way of segueing into discussion about the government's performance in the wake of Katrina, Clinton said the Bush administration had decided to invade Iraq "virtually alone and before UN inspections were completed, with no real urgency, no evidence that there were weapons of mass destruction."

Whatta guy. I guess groveling and apologizing to the world about everything is a better way to govern. Maybe then everyone wouldn't hate us! (Sorry, got carried away...)

Methinks I smell the next presidential election in the air...one that has Hillary Clinton 2008 written all over it. Too bad a nice big can of Lysol can't take care of it.

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September 16, 2005

From the Sour Grapes File of John Kerry

Regarding President Bush's speech last night:

Bush repeated a hotline number, 1-877-568-3317, for people to call to help reunite family members separated during the hurricane. Moments later, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., criticized Bush, saying "Leadership isn't a speech or a toll-free number."

Did we have the election already? It sounds like Kerry is still on the campaign trail...

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September 15, 2005

Ward Churchill: Still Clucking

John over at Marathon Pundit found this juicy little tidbit regarding everyone's favorite cigar store Indian, Ward Churchill:

Activist, Author and Scholar, Ward Churchill will be speaking at DePaul University. Famous for his involvemet in the American Indian Movement and his books like "Pacifism as Pathology" and the essay that ignited a firestorm of controversy last Spring "On the Justice of Roosting Chickens", Churchill will speak on human rights for people of color. This event is free and open to the public. Already the DePaul Campus republicans are talking about protesting the event. Boy, will they be outnumbered.

October 20th 5:30 pm Student Center room 314a (Student center located on sheffield and belden, one block south of the Fullerton El Stop)

Don't you dig the leftover hippie look? Tres chic!

Let's clear up a few things, shall we? Churchill may be an author, but he is no scholar. He's being investigated for plagiarism, and he can't even seem to create original "American Indian" artwork. He claims to be an American Indian himself, but that claim has come under fire by real Indians.

Pretty much the only truthful thing in the above paragraph is that he is an activist--an activist for those who despise America and all she stands for. Comparing the innocent victims of the 9/11 attacks to "little Eichmanns" (one of Hitler's henchmen) certainly made him a darling of the left. He must be making a lot more in speaker's fees than he earns as a professor at Colorado University, where he is still fighting to keep the job that pays him $96,000 per year. That's quite a nice chunk of cash for someone who despises capitalism...

(Did he ever get fired? His profile is still up on the university website, so it doesn't look like it.)

Ward Churchill is a third-rate hack posing as an American Indian posing as a university professor. He's not the only one of his kind, though...he just got a lot of publicity. There are plenty like him in academia--spouting their special brand of "blame America first" propaganda.

What's sad is that so many people want to hear it.

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Don't Expect Us To Want To Pay To See Your Latest Film...

It seems Gwyneth Paltrow doesn't want to live in America...poor lass, what a terrible decision it must have been for her, especially knowing how her hubby feels about the place.

Check out these quotes from an interview with HRH Gwynnie in The Globe:

"Yes, well, I went to Spain in an exchange program at 15, and I've always been drawn to Europe. America is such a young country, with an adolescent swagger about it. (is she channeling Johnny Depp?--ed.) But I feel that I have a more European sensibility, a greater respect for the multicultural nature of the globe. And it's a strange time to be an American now (except when it comes to promoting my latest film--ed.)."

"...I feel like we're really in trouble. I just had a baby and thought, 'I don't want to live there.' (good, that makes two of us--ed.) Bush's anti-environment, pro-war policies are a dis. . . ." (and so are you--ed.)

Bye bye, Gwynnie. Don't let the door hit your precious ass on the way out.

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Headline Should Read: Reuters Photographer Needs to Get a Life

Click here for one of the most obnoxious photos ever.

This huge meeting of world leaders is happening at one of the world's most corrupt organizations, and all this guy can think of to publish is Bush's need for a potty break? Nothing like trying to humiliate him as much as they possibly can.

As Michelle Malkin said:

If only these people had a fraction of the same outrage about the U.N. Oil for Food scandal as they do over the Bush administration's U.N. bathroom breaks...


The Man over at GOP and the City thinks it's a fake. There's a good chance it is...which makes its publication even cheesier than if it's real.

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Michael Brown, FEMA & Katrina: The Interview

Michael Brown, the disgraced former director of FEMA, sat down with the New York Times to tell his version of what went wrong and why. John Hawkins has an excellent analysis over at Right Wing News.

Click here for part one, which discusses the part about how local officials fell down on the job. Click here for part two, which discusses why, in spite of what we know now, that Bush is still being blamed for everything.

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September 14, 2005

Katrina: A Historical Perspective

John over at Anthropogene (a link button can also be found in my sidebar) offers some historic perspective to Katrina.

Some thoughts on Hurricane. Katrina, definitely one of the greatest natural disasters in American history. One would think from the shrill, hysterical and myopic tone adopted by our news media, that it was the GREATEST disaster ever.


During the months of July and August in 1931 along the course of the Yangtze River, the greatest natural disaster in recorded human history occurred. 3.7 million people perished in a massive flood. Entire cities vanished. Disease and starvation affected over one quarter of the entire population of China in it's aftermath.

John was unable to find a link about this, but I did. Click here and here for more information.

Once that benchmark is used, all of a sudden things start looking better (this is not to diminish the human tragedy, instead I seek to put it in perspective.)

It's not the first time, nor will it be the last, that nature unleashes her wrath upon us.

This quote from the London Times, included in John's article, sums things up quite succinctly:

"The surprising thing about New Orleans is not that the city should have been engulfed, but that it took so long for it to happen. Cities do not last. Those built in precarious places collapse. The rest are doomed to decay or suffer humanly induced destruction. It is only our historical myopia, which prevents most of us from seeing much of the past at once, that makes us think our cities are solid or enduring."

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September 13, 2005

You Know You're A Moonbat If...

Personally, I dislike the "moonbat" moniker, but it's out there and in use. In any case, I know there have been other lists like this from time to time in the blogosphere, but here's my own contribution to the cause. You know you're a moonbat if...
  1. 1. Your main debating points with the opposing side include the claim that your First Amendment rights are being violated; you call the other person's intellectual faculties into question and you constantly cry that your patriotism is being questioned.
  2. When it comes to drug use or alcoholism it's a personal matter that deserves sensitivity during the struggle and praise in the case of recovery--except when conservatives like Rush Limbaugh or George W. Bush are being discussed.
  3. You think corporations are bad (except the one you work for).
  4. Wealthy conservatives are to be despised for gaining their riches by grinding the faces of the poor, but wealthy liberals are to be commended for rising above the difficult circumstances of their youth. In the case of inherited wealth, conservatives who inherit are again to be despised for having been born with the proverbial silver spoon, while liberals who inherit are simply regular people who happen to have trust funds.
  5. You think the rights of the criminal are more important than those of the victim.
  6. Our soldiers should be used exclusively for humanitarian aid missions, not to defend the country.
  7. You think military funding is a no-no unless it's funding for veterans' programs due to their high PR value.
  8. You think religion has no place in modern public life unless it's a trendy or PC-approved one such as Scientology, Kabbalah, Buddhism and Islam.
  9. You think government programs automatically trump hard work and self-reliance.
  10. You wish the U.N. was in charge of the U.S.
  11. You believe the courts make law, rather than uphold the laws that Congress makes.
  12. You never met a tax you didn't like.
  13. You care more about the opinion of Europe than the opinion of your neighbor down the street.
  14. Calling those who don't agree with your world view "brainwashed" is a common occurrence.
  15. You think "celebrating our differences" is more important than "celebrating our similarities." Strength through diversity, not strength through common interest, is your mantra.

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Katrina Telethon a Ratings Bomb

From Breitbart.com:

While Americans are donating generously to Hurricane Katrina relief funds, they're apparently running out of patience for stars telling them to give.

Friday's benefit, "Shelter From the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast," was seen by fewer than 24 million viewers despite being shown on 29 networks.

Maybe the stars would do better to dig into their own pockets, rather than preen on television while asking us to dig into our considerably shallower ones.

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A Travel Tax to Aid World Poor?

Socialist utopia France is solidly behind the idea:

Under Chirac's proposal, different tax rates would be applied to various destinations and airline seats, but all airlines leaving a country's airports, regardless of nationality, would have to impose the levy.

The goal, he says, is to help meet the U.N. Millennium Development Goals to halve world poverty levels by 2015.

More handouts. But not everyone is thrilled:

Many other countries in Europe, particularly those with strong tourist industries such as Greece, are opposed to the air travel tax. The Austrian government announced it would also not take part.

That includes Germany and Spain--at least as how it pertains to the legislation's current form.

Here's the best quote from the article:

In the U.S., the Freedom Alliance views Chirac's plan as a step towards a "global tax" long campaigned for by internationalists.

"Here in the United States, our Constitution says only the American government can impose taxes on the American people," said the group's president, Tom Kilgannon, in an earlier statement. "They cannot be imposed by the United Nations or Jacques Chirac."


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Al Gore: A Little Help For His Friends???

Al Gore looked in his crystal ball and had this to say about the Bush administration and Katrina:

ÒWhat happened was not only knowable, it was known in advance, in great and painstaking detail, said Gore. ÔThey (the Bush administration) did tabletop planning exercises. They identified exactly what the scientific evidence showed what would take place.Ó

It's too bad Gore isn't in the White House. He surely could have stopped everything in its tracks.

The article on Canada Free Press (where this quote is mentioned) has some interesting information, however, about the possibility of insurance fraud in connection wiht Katrina:

Then thereÕs the French connection in Louisiana. According to census reports, of the 668,271 Acadian/ Cajuns living in the United States, 61 percent are Louisiana residents, making the 262,000 French speakers in the state the largest in the U.S.A.

Organizations such as La Francophonie, which claims to represent the French-speaking nations of the world and the French American Foundation (FAF) are active in the state.
Founded in 1976, FAF is Òthe only organization dedicated specifically and solely to strengthening the bilateral relationship across the full range of French American relationsÓ.

Guess who shares FAF membership with Groupe AXA, among the worldÕs largest insurance giants and BNP Paribas, the bank at the heart of the UN oil-for-food scandal? (*See full FAF membership list at end of story).

Al GoreÕs friends Bill and Hillary Clinton, thatÕs who.

I'll bet you won't read about that in Time, Newsweek or the New York Times. Click here to read the whole article.

It may all be innocent. However, people are already screaming about Haliburton, rebuilding in Louisiana, and the Bush/Cheney connection to Haliburton...not to mention how Bush "wants black people to die" and other such nonsense. The mere fact that the Clintons are connected to this situation and nothing much is being said about it speaks volumes.

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September 12, 2005

What White Do-Gooders Did for Black America--They Gutted It

In this excellent analysis by John McWhorter of the Manhattan Institute, he takes American white liberals to task on the current state of black Americans, using the aftermath of Katrina as a reference point.

...[W}hite America does remain morally culpable Ñ but because white leftists in the late 1960s, in the name of enlightenment and benevolence, encouraged the worst in human nature among blacks and even fostered it in legislation. The hordes of poor blacks stuck in the Superdome last week wound up there not because the White Man barred them from doing better, but because certain tragically influential White Men destroyed the fragile but lasting survival skills poor black communities had maintained since the end of slavery.

Indeed. This is an argument I made to several people over the weekend. The media showed us pictures of hundreds of people--mainly black--standing around, waiting for help that was slow as molasses in arriving. But why did they wait around? Why didn't they take more initiative, like the young man who stole a school bus and picked up survivors on his way to Houston? Because they were used to their basic needs being met by the government. The welfare system taught them that "someone else" would take care of them. When the caretakers dropped the ball, people suffered because their survival skills were either inadequate or nonexistent.

McWhorter explains the welfare phenomenon in depth:

There was a new sense that the disadvantages of being black gave one a pass on civility Ñ or even achievement: this was when black teens started teasing black nerds for Òacting whiteÓ.

Behaviour that most of a black community would have condemned as counterproductive started to seem normal. Through the late 1960s blacks burnt down their own neighbourhoods as gestures of being Òfed upÓ. But blacks had been Òfed upÓ for centuries: why were these the first riots initiated by blacks rather than white thugs Ñ when the economy was flush and employment opportunities were opening up as never before? Because the culture had changed, in ways that hindered too many blacks from taking advantage of the civil rights revolution. Meanwhile, the most grievous result of the new consensus was black American historyÕs most under-reported event, the expansion of welfare. Until now, welfare had been a pittance intended for widows, unavailable as long as the father of oneÕs children was able-bodied and accounted for, and granted for as little time as possible.

So no longer were blacks expected to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, as the old saying goes, but were handed a living. We all like to point to people like Paris Hilton, who cashes in on her family name while spending the family cash, and criticize them for getting what they have from the fruits of someone else's labor. Why should chronic welfare recipients be any different?

The poor black America that welfare expansion created in 1966 is still with us. Poor young blacks have never known anything else. People as old as 50 have only vague memories of life before it. For 30 years this was a world within a world, as is made clear from how often the Katrina refugees mention it is the first time they have ever left New Orleans.

When Barbara Bush said of the Katrina refugees who poured into Houston,"...so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them," she was raked over the coals in the press. However, she was right. These people were disadvantaged--disadvantaged as a result of, not in spite of, the very programs that were supposed to "help" them.

...[W]hat we should all remember from Katrina is a tragic close-up of a group of people staggering after, first, a hideous natural disaster but, ultimately, an equally hideous sociological disaster of 40 years ago.

These are wise words from McWhorton. Will those who need to hear them listen?

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*Also posted on Lifelike Pundits*

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Mary Landrieau Flubs It

Head on over to Right Wing News...John Hawkins has posted a transcript of an interview between Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieau and Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday.

What it boils down to is, she won't answer a specific question:

WALLACE: Senator Landrieu, I want to ask you -- and I'll ask you both, but let me start with you -- about the local response.

Was it incompetent and insulting for Mayor Ray Nagin to order a mandatory evacuation, but then to leave buses -- and we have a picture of them -- hundreds of buses idle, so that they could be flooded, instead of using them to get people out.

Read it to see how she "answers" the question.

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Christopher Walken 2008

Is this for real? It seems to be.

Christopher Walken 2008

Some platform snippets:

"We are committed to Iraq now, and nothing can undo that. As President, I will not abandon our troops or the Iraqi people, both of whom have made great sacrifices in the name of peace and freedom. I will seek the aid of the world community to form a special peacekeeping coalition to assist with the consolidation of power in Iraq. My top priority will be to stabilize Iraq under this international force and end our occupation."

"I believe that campaign finance is a very tough issue, with good points on both sides; but I feel, as a wealthy American, that I should have no more say than even the least fortunate American citizen. Free speech in politics is about the voices of all those who support you, not who supports you with the biggest voice."

"I believe in the American family. I believe that every child deserves a loving home with parents who can afford to raise and care for them. Every woman has the right to have a child when she is ready, and I believe her government has no right to force a child upon her when she is not."

Why does he want to run for prez?

Now, more active than ever, Christopher Walken has realized that the state of his country is in disarray, and the politicians in charge care less for the citizens they serve and more about fattening their resumes and campaign chests. Having residences both in rural Connecticut and upper-west Manhattan, he sees that all walks of life are becoming disgruntled and apathetic towards the American government, and feels a duty, as a child of the American public, to restore the peace, prosperity, and greatness of the United States.

Nothing about any experience that would make him a good candidate, other than a desire to "do good."

Will the American people bite?

UPDATE: It's a joke, folks. Whew!

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Solar Flares and Growing Volcanoes--Proof of Bush's Environmental Folly

Scientists say the sun is in the midst of experiencing major solar flares, which may disrupt communications on Earth. Those "poor coverage" areas have now been explained.

And, in Oregon, a volcano is actually growing. While experts say there is nothing to worry about at the moment, they will continue to monitor the bulge--which could be filled with either magma or water.

President Bush's refusal to sign the Kyoto Protocol is obviously affecting more than just the warmer weather we're experiencing. Remember, according to bipartisan expert Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Hurricane Katrina was also directly caused by Bush's policies. His selfishness in keeping his oil buddies awash in cash are causing the Earth and the sun to fall apart at the seams. What's next? The disappearance of a major species?

It's time George W. Bush is held accountable for his actions.

*This public service message is brought to you by Michael Moore, MoveOn.org, Code Pink, Cindy Sheehan, and Kanye West.*

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September 10, 2005

5 Days with Katrina: A Study in Photographs

Click here to see an amazing photographic timeline of Katrina in New Orleans, from just before the storm hit to afterward. It's the work of an extraordinary individual who took the photos on his own...no news agency driving his slant, no disaster-hungry public slobbering for the latest horrors. Just matter-of-fact photos with honest commentary for each one.

Watch the slideshow. It's unbelievable.

Thanks to John for bringing it to my attention!

*I've also posted this over at Lifelike Pundits, which has other pertinent post-Katrina information.*

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September 09, 2005

Kanye Be? They Don't Agree

Kanye West faced some public backlash regarding his recent outburst accusing President Bush of not caring about black people.

His appearance on last night's NFL kickoff show prompted loud boos from the crowd that lasted for most of his performance.

Like most celebrities with a reality meter the size of a gnat, West remains undaunted. On the Ellen DeGeneres show today, he continued his tirade, saying Bush and other politicians pushed the possibility of hurricane disaster, as well as the poverty of blacks in New Orleans, "under the kitchen sink."

And, like most celebrities, he figures that throwing wads of government cash at a problem will make it go away. (The publicity garnered from his Bush-bashing sure doesn't hurt, either. It's the gift that keeps on giving!)

West's biggest worry to date has been his music:

"ItÕs hard when people are depending on you to have an album thatÕs not just good, but inspired," continues West. "I mean, my music isnÕt just music Ð itÕs medicine. I want my songs to touch people, to give them what they need. Every time I make an album, IÕm trying to make a cure for cancer, musically. That stresses me out!"

An opiate for the masses. Pass the Mylanta.

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MoveOn.org: Anything But

Stuck in a perpetual time warp, MoveOn.org is the latest group of leftwing harpies to officially blame President Bush for Katrina's aftermath:

Tom Matzzie, Washington director of MoveOn.org Political Action, also focused his criticism on the Bush administration, calling the federal response to Hurricane Katrina "a national disgrace."

Hmm, I think I have another candidate for that position.

Mattzie also blasted President Bush for comments suggesting that state and local officials share in the responsibility of preparing for and responding to natural disasters.

"He and his team don't want an effective government that can protect people who work hard and pay taxes," Matzzie continued. "Instead, they want to give huge tax breaks to wealthy Americans. The result is that there is no effort left, or there is no ability left for the government to respond to the needs of its citizens, especially in times of crisis."

Unless Mattzie is proposing that all of our laws be rewritten, it's clear that local and state governments are supposed to be first in line when it comes to disaster preparation and response. Governor Kathleen Blanco and Mayor Nagin dropped the ball, and now the feds are scrambling to fix the problem. If Mattzie really thinks this is the federal government's province, he should be lobbying Congress to enact such legislation, not grandstanding in front of the White House and sucking up to the all-to-eager-to-bash-Bush press.

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

September 08, 2005

Anne Rice: America Failed New Orleans

Not content with writing thrillers such as "Interview with a Vampire," Anne Rice has become a social critic in the aftermath of Katrina. This article was penned on September 4, and is not only an attack on the federal government, but the American population as a whole. The New York Times published it, natch.

After sharing a brief history of the city (and it has quite a history), Rice cuts to the chase. Regarding the questions many have asked as to why many didn't leave when they could, she says:

Well, here's an answer. Thousands didn't leave New Orleans because they couldn't leave. They didn't have the money. They didn't have the vehicles. They didn't have any place to go. They are the poor, black and white, who dwell in any city in great numbers; and they did what they felt they could do - they huddled together in the strongest houses they could find. There was no way to up and leave and check into the nearest Ramada Inn.

Okay. I can see that. But what of the local government? Are there any harsh words for them? After all, local government is supposed to be first in response in any disaster or emergency. We've all seen photos of the school buses sitting in flooded parking lots and heard the stories of the Super Dome that should have had emergency provisions but didn't. However, Rice has nothing but sympathy for Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagin:

And where was everyone else during all this? Oh, help is coming, New Orleans was told. We are a rich country. Congress is acting. Someone will come to stop the looting and care for the refugees.

And it's true: eventually, help did come. But how many times did Gov. Kathleen Blanco have to say that the situation was desperate? How many times did Mayor Ray Nagin have to call for aid? Why did America ask a city cherished by millions and excoriated by some, but ignored by no one, to fight for its own life for so long? That's my question.

My question, Ms. Rice, is why didn't Nagin and Blanco follow emergency protocols that were clearly spelled out? Why did Blanco fail to issue a state of emergency, after being urged to do so by President Bush (who had no legal grounds to overstep her leadership in this matter)? And Congress did not act, by the way, staying home until the end of their August recess. Bush cut his vacation short (not enough by the standards of some), yet Congress gets a pass as usual.

Here's the kicker:

But to my country I want to say this: During this crisis you failed us. You looked down on us; you dismissed our victims; you dismissed us. You want our Jazz Fest, you want our Mardi Gras, you want our cooking and our music. Then when you saw us in real trouble, when you saw a tiny minority preying on the weak among us, you called us "Sin City," and turned your backs.

Really? You mean all of that money pouring out of American pockets was a failure? People in Houston opening their hearts, their wallets and their homes is a failure? People like the husband of my coworker, a prison guard who is volunteering to head down to quell the violence, are failures? Where is your criticism of the media? They are the ones spreading more stories about looting and shooting than helping hands and heroes.

Mistakes were made, to be sure--on all levels, from city government on up the line. But, Ms. Rice, Americans didn't "turn our backs" on New Orleans. Nor did we turn our backs on the Gulf Coast in Mississippi or the areas of Alabama and Florida that were affected. New Orleans is a priority, but so are these other areas who aren't getting nearly as much press.

If all of this is abject failure, I want my money back.

*Cross-posted on Lifelike Pundits*

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Posted by Pam Meister at 01:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Cindy Sheehan Saga: Counter-Protests in Illinois

Some people don't know when their 15 minutes are up. Marathon Pundit has the story here.

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

September 07, 2005

"Seriously Overwritten Sickness"

That's the description of my blog at Civil Discourse Bustard Blog, a subsidiary of Bustard Blog, that has links to conservative sites. Apparently I've made the big time! Here's the description of the site:

I am the civil discourse bustard. Please visit these sites and change some minds. Be Civil. Have Discourse. Please pick your first site by picking one whose name begins with the same first letter as yours. We can't all hit all of the "A's" at once. Thanks for your help. E-mail us or make comments on the main page: bustardblog. All ranting belongs on the main page - not at these linked sites.

Well, let's give him points for the civil discourse part. Some of the descriptions of the blogs he lists are pretty nasty, but what else to expect?

Am I overwriting again? My apologies. Click on the above link to see if your blog is lucky enough to have a place on the honor roll.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Republicans Want Black People to Die

That sad thought seems to be what many are thinking in the wake of Katrina. John Hawkins over at Right Wing News has some thoughts on the subject:

How come no one is asking if Democrats want black people to die?

Of course they don't either, but look at New Orleans, which is a city run by Democrats from top to bottom, in a state which has been run by Democrats from top to bottom to bottom, and you'll see a picture of total incompetence emerge. We see poor black Americans, without cars, who were openly told ""you'll be on your own"" if there's a storm. Then the police stood by while thugs and criminals victimized these people. 40,000 mostly black Americans were shoved into the Superdome after the hurricane and the local government in New Orleans didn't even have food, water, cots, or medicine for them. It's the worst performance by a local government after in a natural disaster in modern memory and the most of the Americans who were adversely [a]ffected by it were black.

Read it all here.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 10:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

What's New With Cindy Sheehan?

Yep, she's still hanging around, like that clueless dinner guest who can't figure out that the party ended hours ago and his hosts are trying to close up house and go to bed.

Van Helsing over at Moonbattery tells us what's next on "Mother" Sheehan's agenda: showing up at a rally on September 24 in Washington D.C. VH also gives us some information on the group that's backing Cindy...International ANSWER:

International ANSWER (the acronym stands for Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) is a front group for the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party. It was founded in the wake of 9/11 to oppose the War on Terror. For its members, the anti-war movement is not just an opportunity to be a stone in America's shoe Ñ they use it as a fund-raising and recruitment vehicle to advance their cause: the destruction of democracy and its replacement with totalitarian, Soviet-style communism.

Doesn't that sound cozy? It's just the sort of group every caring mother should be a part of. The trouble is, Cindy doesn't realize that no one really cares about her and her agenda anymore. The news cycle has moved on without her.


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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Well, Well, Well: The BBC Comes Around

Sort of. In this article, the BBC admits that perhaps there is plenty of blame to go around in the Katrina aftermath mess:

What, one wonders, was Fema/the mayor's office/the governor's office doing while all that was played out on live TV?

One lesson agencies might want to learn is that someone senior should do nothing but monitor TV.


The president's defenders point out that it was he who urged an evacuation of New Orleans (he has no legal power to order one) and that he did acknowledge the "unacceptable" pace of the relief effort. Further, they say that aid is now flowing and reconstruction will take place.


And an Army Corps of Engineers spokeswoman, Connie Gillette, said there had never been any plans or funds to improve those floodwalls which had failed.

Update: a reader has pointed out a quote in the New York Times indicating that the failed floodwalls had in fact previously been strengthened.

This is certainly the most honest report I've seen to date. They should really do this kind of balanced reporting more often.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 06:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 06, 2005

Unofficial Poll...Subject: Europe

Lately weÕve been hearing a lot from the American Left regarding the Òinept handlingÓ of Hurricane KatrinaÕs aftermath by the Bush administration. ItÕs unfortunate, but true, the latest in a long string of petty attacks on the current occupant of the White House.

Similarly, the Europeans have been quick to jump on the Òcriticize Bush and AmericaÓ bandwagon, but this is nothing new either. ItÕs just another excuse for them to talk about how awful Bush is (and Americans in general), and they put an imaginary feather in their caps for being (in their view) more civilized than the brutish American colonialsÉfor indeed, I believe that is still how they view us, even after nearly 300 years of independence.

Earlier this year, NY Times reporter Thomas L. Friedman created a documentary entitled, ÒDoes Europe Hate Us?Ó that aired on the Discovery-Times Channel. He spoke with people all over France, Germany and England, and many of them said they either hated George W. Bush, the American people, or both. Here are quotes from two of his subjects: "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.

I have two questions that I am hoping you will take the time to truthfully answer. They are yes/no questions, but feel free to add any commentary you desire. I would request also that you not answer in the comments field, but e-mail me at blogmeisterusa@gmail.com. I promise to update on the poll frequently, and will close the poll on 9/17. Please forward the poll questions to anyone you think would be interested in responding, as IÕd like to get as many answers as possible.

Here are the questions:

*Are you surprised at the level of animosity directed at the US from Europeans and others around the world?

*Do you have a positive view of Europeans in general?

Thanks. IÕm looking forward to what you have to say.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 03:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

And You Thought eBay Was Just About Merchandise!

Nope...it's also the latest forum for Bush bashing in the wake of Katrina.

A friend of mine who trades on eBay sent me this link to an eBay thread. As of this writing, the link is still active. Everyone seems to be blaming Bush and his administration for the disastrous effort that has been called humanitarian aid. However, as my friend points out, there is one voice of reason on the thread. I am printing it in its entirety:

"Rarely have I seen so much ignorance displayed in a single thread. sgh, there was plenty of time to leave BEFORE the storm. There was even time to leave AFTER the storm. There was even a way for those poor people to have gotten out, if their mayor had actually FOLLOWED THE CITY'S OWN STATED EVACUATION PLAN.

Take a look at this photo: (not avail--ed.)

Those little yellow dashes are New Orleans city schoolbuses. Here's another look: (not avail--ed.)

They are less than ONE MILE from the Superdome. They were on DRY LAND before the hurricane. They were on dry land AFTER the hurricane.

It would've taken them just TWO TRIPS to evacuate everybody from the Superdome to Houston in less than 24 hours. (And yes, you could indeed get out of NOLa after the storm before the levees went, because WE PERSONALLY KNOW PEOPLE WHO DID.)

But Mayor Nagin did not use those buses to evacuate his citizens before the storm. He did not use them to evacuate his citizens AFTER the storm, while the city was still dry before the levees gave way. More here.

Nor did he use the city's regular bus system.

Oh, and as far as the NOPD not being able to communicate? They got $5M in Federal money back in 2003 to set up a disaster-proof communications system. Money's gone - but the system was never installed.

This is the way Louisiana works, folks.

Incidentally, 60% of NOLa's police force never showed up for duty during the storm. They just bailed. Or they hung around to join in the looting.

And for those of you who, like Dana (who is perpetually clueless about American law), think "the President shoulda DONE sumpin!", read this from a Washington Post story:

Shortly before midnight Friday [before the storm], the Bush administration sent [Democrat Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco] a proposed legal memorandum asking her to request a federal takeover of the evacuation of New Orleans, a source within the stateÕs emergency operations center said Saturday.

The administration sought unified control over all local police and state National Guard units reporting to the governor. Louisiana officials rejected the request...Louisiana did not reach out to a multi-state mutual aid compact for assistance until Wednesday, three state and federal officials said. As of Saturday, Blanco still had not declared a state of emergency, the senior Bush official said.

That's right. The President ASKED THE GOVERNOR (as he's legally required to do) to give him the power to have the US military take over the evacuation. AND SHE REFUSED. And she didn't declare a state of emergency (which kicks in all sorts of Federal assistance) until YESTERDAY.

Read it all here.

Meanwhile, who was sitting around on vacation, who didn't come back until the end of this week? CONGRESS. Congress could have met BEFORE THE STORM to authorize a waiver of the Posse Comitatus Act, and allowed Bush to override the Governor and Mayor. But they didn't. As one blogger put it, "Why did it take Congress five days to take action? They knew this storm went to a category 5 last week before it made landfall. No matter where it hit, it had a 100% chance of doing catastrophic damage somewhere, and by Friday it had New Orleans squarely in its sights. Congress should have been back in DC by Monday to get this bill passed and hand it to President Bush, not five days later. They couldn't be bothered to come back from their August vacation more than a couple of days early."

I suggest you folks actually try to educate yourselves with more than headlines before you go pontificating about a place, a culture and a political situation about which you quite obviously know NOTHING."

Like that? I thought you might. As I said to my friend in an e-mail reply,

I received your e-mail about the eBay thread. Yes indeed, how little people know about the situationÉand itÕs because they are listening to the MSM and ill-informed celebrities like Celine Dion and Sean Penn. Any reason they can grab to blame Bush for something, they will, and logic doesnÕt enter into the equation whatsoever. The blogosphere is all over the flooded buses, NOÕs failure to enact its own evacuation plan, and the governorÕs refusal to either declare a state of emergency or let the feds take over ahead of time, but the network bigs and all of the major newspapers are either ignoring those facts or burying them because discrediting Bush and his administration is more important than anything else.

'Nuff said.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 05, 2005

Dear Miss Mimi

Miss Mimi is a world-renowned advice columnist, and has agreed to do a special column for BlogMeister USA. Here, she gives spot-on advice to those who are worried that they're next on the hit list of the vast right-wing conspiracy. Dear Miss Mimi,

I'm writing on behalf of myself and a colleague. I am the governor of a Southern state and he's the mayor of one of its biggest and most well-known cities. Just last week, a terrible hurricane ripped through our state. While many in the area were affected, his city flooded terribly because it's eight feet below sea level in some places, and situated right between the Mississippi River and a large lake.

Many people were caught unawares, including us, because five-to-seven days' warning just isn't enough time. Some people are actually trying to blame us for much of the chaos that's happening now, when it's clear that it's the President's fault. First he tried to convince me to give mandatory evacuation orders, and then he had the gall to offer for the federal government to take over evacuation efforts for my state. Did you ever? I mean, it's my state, and I should be able to make that kind of decision. Then, after the storm passed, he tried to make things all better by declaring a state of emergency--oh wait, he did that before the hurricane.

Well anyway, the reason help has been so slow in coming is because we're both Democrats and the President is a Republican. We also think there's a connection between him being white and many of the residents of our stricken city being black. Then there's the fact that he made budget cuts that affected the ability of the Army Corps of Engineers to keep the levees from breaking. Not to mention, if he had signed the Kyoto treaty, the hurricane would have never happened in the first place!

Could you let us know how we should deal with this situation? We don't like being blamed for something when it's clearly someone else's fault, and we're worried about how this will affect us in the polls.

Sink or Swim

Dear Sink or Swim,

I truly feel for your plight. First of all, let me tell you how sorry I am that so many people are suffering because of the hurricane. It's amazing what terrible things nature can dish out. Of course, hurricanes have been around since well before our global warming concerns, but that doesn't help you with your problem.

While it's true you ignored the President's suggestion of mandatory evacuation and federal handling of such a situation, who can blame you? I know I wouldn't want "big brother" coming in and telling me what to do in my state. And the cutting of funds to the Army Corps of Engineers is serious indeed. Bill Clinton did something similar while he was in office, but since he's not in office now, he can't be held accountable.

Fear not, however. All of these details are meaningless because of one key detail: the mainstream media thinks it's all the President's fault too, and therefore will do all they can to make sure that this is the message that gets out. You have the biggest PR machine working overtime for you, asking questions like, "Why didn't he sign the Kyoto treaty?" and "Why doesn't he care about the little people?" All you have to do is smile for the camera and grumble about the President giving you the shaft, and the press will do the rest.

Thank you for writing. Keep on smiling.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 04:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

We Want Rosie for Supreme Court!

With the recent death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist, President Bush will have another Supreme Court slot to fill.

Blue Flypaper has an inspired nominee: Rosie O'Donnell. Why? Here are several of True Blue's excellent reasons:

  • She'd be a great conduit to getting celebrity involvement with the Supreme Court (she's got people like Ben Afflect on speed dial).
  • She has good interviewing skills--important when asking questions from the bench.
  • She is open-minded yet as liberal as they come.

Click here to read the rest, and to get on the Rosie for Supreme Court bandwagon!

Technorati tags:

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Posted by Pam Meister at 02:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Rising Price of Gas: Having Our Cake and Eating It Too

As we all know, gas prices have literally jumped within the past week due to Katrina. In my town, the cheapest price for regular unleaded is currently at $3.29, up about 30 cents from last week.

A few days ago, I was forwarded a petition to President Bush to lower gas and diesel prices in the U.S. I won't sign it, and here are the reasons I passed on to the person who sent it to me:

-As they industrialize, China and India are using more gasoline, therefore putting more of a strain on the existing supply--the old supply and demand thing. OPEC isn't going to look a
gift horse in the mouth!

-More recently, the damage to oil rigs and refineries after the hurricane means reduced immediate supply in the U.S., again affecting supply and demand. I believe there is some gouging going on, but it's not pandemic. The more "reasonable" increases were inevitable in the aftermat of Katrina.

-We could be drilling up in ANWR country, but as you know, certain folks won't have any of it. Because we continue to depend so much on Middle Eastern oil while ignoring our own supplies, how can we complain about the prices? (Let's leave the "alternate fuel supply" argument aside for now.)

-Finally, many people continue to insist on driving gas-hogging SUVs, trucks and minivans. And I haven't seen much of a drop in the traffic in my area this past week. Yeah they're nice cars, but they are really hard on the wallet. It's a free country, drive what you want--but don't complain to me when you can't afford to fill up. As it is, my little Geo Prizm (10 years old and over 113,00 miles on it) is now costing me over $30 to fill, up about $10 from last week!

Frankly, all of the petitions in the world aren't going to stop gas prices from rising. I'm not an economist, and don't pretend to have all of the answers. If you want an expert opinion, I suggest you read this and this by economist Thomas Sowell.

In the meantime, I do have a few suggestions. Cut down on your drive time if at all possible by combining errands, carpooling with friends for your kids' activities, etc. How about purchasing a car that gets better gas milage? How much offroading do you do with your SUV anyway? Walk or ride your bike as much as you can--the exercise will do you good too. If you can't or don't want to do any of these things, then I suggest you make your budget cuts elsewhere and suck it up.

I don't usually like to compare us with Europe, but they've been dealing for high gas prices for a lot longer than we have, and they still seem to enjoy life. For once, we might consider following their example.

*Cross-posted on Lifelike Pundits*

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Posted by Pam Meister at 01:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 03, 2005

Check Out This Headline!

Camille Paglia has written an interesting op-ed piece in the Independent (UK) regarding the aftermath of Katrina. Here is the headline the Independent used:

Camille Paglia: Hurricane Katrina has demolished this administration's mask of confidence

Indeed, this is a line from the piece. However, I find it interesting that they chose to use this rather than a line that actually reflects the majority of the piece's theme. Here's what I think is a more accurate headline:

Camille Paglia: [T]o ask for powers of scientific or sociological analysis from the preening parrots currently infesting American media is a pointless exercise

Or this:

Camille Paglia: Hurricane Katrina is simply the latest chapter in the epic of American nature. It is a subject that Europeans rarely show understanding of in their often dismissive comments on US culture

All of these are lines from the piece. Go ahead and read it. I guess it's no surprise which way the wind blows over at the Independent.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 08:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 02, 2005

Wow! They Really Do Like Us!

  • "I am absolutely disgusted. After the tsunami our people, even the ones who lost everything, wanted to help the others who were suffering," said Sajeewa Chinthaka, 36, as he watched a cricket match in Colombo, Sri Lanka. "Not a single tourist caught in the tsunami was mugged. Now with all this happening in the U.S. we can easily see where the civilized part of the world's population is."
  • "A modern metropolis sinking in water and into anarchy -- it is a really cruel spectacle for a champion of security like Bush," France's left-leaning Liberation newspaper said.
  • A female employee at a multinational firm in South Korea said it may have been no accident the U.S. was hit. "Maybe it was punishment for what it did to Iraq, which has a man-made disaster, not a natural disaster," said the woman, who did not want to be named as she has an American manager.

That's so comforting. Of course, the fact that Americans are human beings with flaws that we all have doesn't seem to matter.

Thanks to all for your kind words. It's nice to know you all care so very, very much.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 05:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Feeling Guilty: Another Effect of Katrina

Kitty over at Kitty Litter has posted on her feelings of guilt because she is safe and sound in upstate New York:

If I had ever entertained thoughts of cutting back on cable movie channels, I dismiss them now and bless their prescence, instead. Anything to block out the news of a situation over which I have no control. To block out the utter helplessness I feel. To stop myself from thinking what if? .. I feel guilty, too. Guilty because I'm trying to avoid hearing about their suffering. Terribly sorry, old girl, if our misery intrudes upon you. We'll try to suffer and starve and die more quietly. But I can't escape; there's always something there to remind me.

It's kind of like those "Feed the Children" commercials. Because we can't save everyone, we find ways of blocking it out.

Don't worry, Kitty, you are in good company.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 12:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Unemployment Down, Bush at Fault: News at 11

As the nation struggles to cope with the disaster known as Katrina, we get this bit of what should be welcome news:

The nation's unemployment rate dipped to a four-year low of 4.9 percent in August as companies added 169,000 jobs, a sign that (AP) - the labor market continued to gain traction before Hurricane Katrina struck.

Of course, these numbers do not take into account all those who lost employment due to the hurricane.

And because the numbers will rise again, it'll be Bush's fault--because the hurricane is his fault. (Despite the lack of hard evidence, global warming--which is Bush's fault--causes hurricanes, even though they were around since before the Industrial Revolution.) Even how he reacted is his fault--because he acted in a calm, rational manner, people on the left think he doesn't care. Because he flew over the devastated area instead of rushing in against the advice of officials on the ground, he doesn't care. Since when do we like our leaders to act like chickens with their heads cut off when a crisis hits? Do these people expect him to be down there tossing sandbags on the levees instead of making important decisions about aid?


*Gary over at Ex-Donkey Blog shares his thoughts on the subject.*

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:22 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

September 01, 2005

Just Shut It, Howard!

This sort of comment is counterproductive:

Asked in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America" if U.S. oil companies should forfeit profits during the crisis, [President] Bush said instead American corporations should contribute cash to hurricane relief funds.

Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, seized on that comment. He said that while Bush was "asking ordinary Americans to do more, he ought to show some real leadership, and call on his friends in Big Oil to join in the sacrifice and stop gouging American families at the gas pump."

Can't this man keep his mouth shut for one moment? Please?

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Posted by Pam Meister at 11:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Today's the Day: Blogging for Relief--Hurricane Katrina

*This post will remain at the top of my blog for the entire day. Please scroll down for new material.*

As I write this, thousands of people are suffering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Some are saying is the biggest natural disaster in the history of America. Citizens of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida are without electricity, fresh water and a steady food supply. Many have lost their homes--and still others have lost their lives. The death toll continues to mount, and it may be weeks before there is a final count. It may be weeks, even months, before all of the water recedes and the financial toll can be accounted for. It's a mess down there.

Just as many of us dug into our pockets for the survivors of the tsunami last year, I'm asking that we do the same for our fellow citizens in the South. In addition to contributing to my company (which is matching my donation dollar for dollar), I am contributing to Lutheran World Relief. Here is a little bit about them and their mission:

Every day in 50 countries, Lutheran World Relief works to combat the causes of poverty and the dignity it robs from peopleÕs lives. We advocate for fair trade that helps farming families earn a better income. We teach people to better care for themselves their communities and the environment. We teach people how to be less vulnerable to natural disasters. We advocate with and for them for policy change that more fairly represents them. We counsel them after manmade and natural disasters, and help them recover with material aid. We do all of this exclusively with partners from the communities we serve. Our partners help us remain incredibly efficient and effective. Our partners let us help people help themselvesÉfor a day when they wonÕt need us at all.

Every little bit counts. You don't have to give until it hurts--just give what you can. Our fellow Americans need us--let's not disappoint them.

*Click here to see Instapundit's list of other charities, and the list over at TTLB is here.*

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Posted by Pam Meister at 06:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Dems: Fraying at the Edges

Town Hall columnist Emmet Tyrell discusses the current state of the Democratic Party, and from where he stands, it doesn't look good.

Hillary Clinton, easily the Democrats' most popular leader, is in dutch with the "progressive" left. Why?

...late last month she was the object of obloquy from what is being called her party's angry left. All that she had said, aside from her usual denunciations of the Republicans and of the diabolical George W. Bush, was that "It's high time for a ceasefire. It's time for all Democrats to work together É let's start by uniting against the hard-right ideology."

Reading that statement, one might wonder what they're complaining about. After all, talking about "uniting against the hard-right ideology" sounds like it's right up their alley. But here's what the hissy fit is all about:

The next day the angry blogs and activist groups were at her neck. She had been speaking at a meeting of the moderately liberal Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). Her plea for a "ceasefire" enraged Democrats further to the left.

Moderation obviously isn't on the far left's agenda. It's because of that that Howard Dean got as far as he did, before imploding when all of the Democrats had a stab at choosing their presidential candidate. This split within the party is becoming more like the Grand Canyon rather than just a difference of opinion. Tyrell sums up the problem with the split between the moderates and the hard left:

The problem for the Democrats is that their so-called liberals have been for decades living in a fantasy of self-congratulations. They see themselves as responsible for all that is good in America and the hated Republicans for all that is bad. Anything that the Republicans have done right the liberals see as bad, for instance, cutting taxes and thus encouraging the economic growth that has revived the country since the mid-1980s. They are smug and ignorant and now they are at each other's throats. What in terms of policy does the angry left offer, beyond abominating Republicans and the DLC? Well, they hate Halliburton and Wal-Mart. They love the environment and would improve the lives of whooping cranes and rare grasses in Nebraska.

Real life is not like pencil and paper. Simply erasing what you think is wrong achieves nothing if you have nothing to write in the blank spot. And that's why the Democrats are, as Tyrell says, "fragmented and in disarray."

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Posted by Pam Meister at 05:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Katrina: Let the Finger Pointing Begin

Former Clinton adviser Sidney Blumenthal:

In 2001, FEMA warned that a hurricane striking New Orleans was one of the three most likely disasters in the U.S. But the Bush administration cut New Orleans flood control funding by 44 percent to pay for the Iraq war.

Apparently the gloves are already off in some quarters.

UPDATE: Eu Rota points out that the Clinton administration wasn't exactly tops when it came to flood control projects in New Orleans. What we have to keep in mind is this: no administration does these things on purpose! And the area that was hit (New Orleans and the surrounding cities, including Biloxi and Mobile) is simply in a bad spot. As scientists have been saying all along, this was bound to happen sooner or later. Now we have to worry about cleaning up and helping those in need. It will be a long, drawn-out process--one that will be hampered if people keep sniping and backbiting. All of the looking down of political noses will not help those citizens whose homes have been lost, whose livelihoods are in tatters, who have lost loved ones. In a word: get over it and do something. Now.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 05:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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