Sunday, September 30, 2007

U.S. Supreme Court to decide important cases this fall term

Every fall a list of cases to be decided by the United States Supreme Court in the fall to spring term is announced and those of us that want freedom and not government control of our lives wait for the list to see what will happen to us this time with eager, if not frightful, anticipation. This year is no exception.

To me the most important case to be decided is whether states have a right to require showing legitimate photo-IDs to vote. This would seem to be a ‘no-brainer’ but as might be expected the left objects to this as ‘suppression of the right to vote’ (as kids used to day – “gag me with a spoon”). Who do the left think will have there right to vote ‘suppressed’, illegal immigrants and those not having the right to vote anyway?

Unfortunately, with the Supreme Court divided as it is, Justice Kennedy will likely cast the swing vote, and his voting record in cases like this is not commendable. It astonishes me that on the rare occasions when Republicans control congress and the white house, high court selections like Souter, O’Conner and Kennedy are made. Just think, if we had real conservatives like Roberts, Alito, Scalia and Thomas in their place, what a difference our legal system would be today.

Another case of importance to the fundamental war of resistance to terrorism concerns whether detainees in Guantanamo have rights like US citizens. Again, it is the leftists that challenge our country’s effort to keep known terrorists from being freed so they can kill Americans again. Should terrorists apprehended on the battlefield have a right to challenge their detention in US courts, I think not. Bush and congress also agree with me but in our current domestic and foreign anti-American environment there are those that will support terrorists over common sense.

Of course there are other pending cases important at least to those involved but without the fervor of those previously mentioned. In one case some do-gooders are worried that crack cocaine pushers, who are mostly black for some reason, should or should not get longer sentences than those ‘merely selling cocaine’, who presumably are not mostly black.

Death row inmates claim that death by legal injection is unconstitutional because it is painful. We have abolished the electric chair and now legal injection is no good; Dr. Kevorkian where are you when you are needed? Let’s see; we have gone from hanging and firing squads to something else, perhaps we should let the Muslims decide.

In another inexplicable move by President Bush, the administration is taking the side of a Mexican national who is on death row and wants to set aside the Texas death penalty he received in this case because Bush says it conflicts with an international treaty. Can you imagine what will happen to the death penalty if Bush has his way and we enter into the Security and Prosperity Partnership agreement (‘SPP’), then all murderers from Mexico and Canada can escape the death penalty because Mexico and Canada don’t sentence murderers to death.

A Louisiana case is at the Supreme Court to decide if black murderers are entitled to have blacks on their juries. Apparently non-black jurors are not expected to be impartial and weigh evidence in black murder cases as well as black jurors can; O.J. Simpson is expected to testify for the black man appealing this decision.

However, one of the scariest cases that may come before the Supreme Court this year concerns the Washington D.C. hand gun ban (the court hasn’t decided yet if it will take this case). The lower court said the hand gun ban was unconstitutional (Second Amendment you know), but those that do not think we should have a right to defend ourselves if we face the possibility of injury by an assailant before the cops arrive, don’t want us to do so. I guess they want us to negotiate with the felon and hope for the best.

The framers of the Constitution had a good idea to divide power among three branches of government. Too bad they didn’t count on folks like Pelosi and the Democrat House Committee Chairmen, Reid, Schumer, Durbin, Souter, Breyer, Ginsburg and Stevens coming along to screw things up.

Friday, September 28, 2007

If we ratify LOST, we will ‘lose’ our sovereignty

President Bush continues to amaze me and not in a good way. After Bush was elected in 2004, he said he would spend his political capital to reform Social Security. What capital Bush had was wasted on this aborted effort. Then in the Bush second term he compromised with Democrats, approved excessive spending, was used as a punching bag for liberals in congress and the media without defending himself, advocated an immigration plan disapproved by the public, let the borders stay open and did not use allocated money to build a border wall. If all that wasn’t bad enough, Bush secretly assisted development of a North American Union. In short, Bush betrayed the conservatives who elected him.

Now President Bush wants to work with Democrat Senator Joe Biden, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to give up even more U.S. sovereignty by supporting the Law of the Sea Treaty, ironically referred to as “LOST”. President Ronald Reagan rejected LOST in 1982 because the treaty would subject the United States to bureaucratic United Nations control, but George Bush is no Ronald Reagan.

What is LOST? - It is the ‘one world globalist’ dream. The treaty would subject the United States to the authority of the United Nations and its affiliated organizations over the oceans of the world and would give the United Nations total control of the riches of the sea bottom to use to redistribute wealth to other countries. LOST has been approved by 155 countries and President Bush wants to add the United States to the list. The world’s most corrupt institution will have the ability to line the pockets of Third World dictators, and its own administrators, by use of American technology and investments to extract wealth from the oceans. Given its history of corruption, it makes no sense to endow the UN with such power over the United States and the wealth in the seabeds.

An International Seabed Authority (ISA) has been created by LOST. It has jurisdiction over all oceans and everything in them, including “solid, liquid or gaseous resources”. The treaty also gives the ISA authority to impose international taxes, euphemistically called “royalties and fees”. LOST would subject the United States military and business operations to “mandatory” dispute-resolution by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg, Germany, which will be unfriendly to America.

Since all LOST agencies are United Nation organizations, the UN Secretary General will essentially be involved in administering the treaty and this person will have enormous international authority.

President Bush says we need LOST to protect our interest in the oceans of the world and to assure the American Navy can sail wherever it needs to go, but the Navy can already go anywhere it wants and we must keep it that way. If we join LOST we will be bound by the decisions of international bureaucrats and not our own government.

Another argument made by supporters of LOST is that the treaty is necessary to protect us against claims by Russia to the oil under the North Pole, but if we sign onto LOST we would have to accept the decisions of a Tribunal created by 155 countries, most of whom are anti-American. Furthermore the Russian claim is nonsensical; a 13-year old boy in Finland exposed the Russian fraud by pointing out that the pictures shown on Russian television of a Russian submarine at the sea bottom of the North Pole were clips taken from the movie ‘Titanic’.

The best protection of American interests in the world’s oceans is the U.S. Navy. We should not and we must not subject the Navy to UN regulations, the ISA or the International Tribunal. Freedom of the seas for our Navy is our right; the U.S. Navy stands between us and our enemies - those in the world that envy our freedom and way of life.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Let’s count every California vote and check voter ID while we are at it

Ballot initiative would give Republican voters a chance to be counted

If you see folks in front of your local supermarket asking you to sign a petition, take a moment to stop and read it; hopefully you will also sign it.

An ‘Electoral Petition’ is being circulated to place on the ballot an initiative that will enable California Republican voters currently disenfranchised in presidential elections a voice in deciding the presidential election in 2008. On the current ‘winner take all’ basis, all 55 California electoral college votes are given to the Democrat candidate that gets the plurality of popular votes cast in the state. In the 2004 election all 55 electoral votes went to John Kerry even though he carried only 31 districts; 22 congressional voting districts voted for George Bush. There are 37 million people in California; it’s only fair to count all the votes and give each voter a meaningful role in selecting a new president, not just the Democrat majority that dominates state politics.

The proposed ballot initiative would allow each district to cast its vote independently of the others, with the two remaining state electoral votes going to the state popular vote winner. This method is in use in Main and Nebraska. Candidates for president who usually ignore California while campaigning would have to come to the state and compete for every vote and every California voter would be respected. Imagine presidential candidates having to become familiar with state issues to attract a California voter, what a concept.

To be on a ballot before the 2008 elections, supporters of the initiative have to get 434,000 signatures; therefore, don’t ignore those people with clip boards if you see them at your favorite shopping mall or supermarket, the vote you save may be your own.

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide if it’s OK to check ID of voters

Unbelievable as it may seem, there are people who believe it is improper to require voters to show a photo ID when someone wants to vote; naturally the ACLU is behind the challenge to local and state rules.

The specific law being challenged is in Indiana but the decision will affect the whole country. The ACLU says the law is unconstitutional but the Indiana law was upheld in an Indiana Federal District Court and by the Circuit Court of Appeals. The Federal judge in the case said for the majority of the court “The purpose of the Indiana law is to reduce voter fraud, and voting fraud impairs the right of legitimate voters to vote by diluting their votes.”

Not surprising, the ACLU is representing the state Democratic Party, a county Democratic Committee and two Democratic office holders, as well as organizations including the NAACP, who brought the suit. Donna Brazile who speaks for all Democrats says that the voter ID law is like a “modern-day poll tax… designed to disenfranchise black and poor voters”. Courts in Arizona, Michigan and Georgia have upheld laws like this but it was struck down in Missouri.

It is difficult to believe that in these days of rampant illegal immigration anyone would object to requiring proof of eligibility at voting booths. It’s also surprising that this suit is brought seemingly on behalf of black voters who can easily obtain legitimate photo IDs and not immigrants who may be actually unfamiliar with our voting requirements.

By the way, when the ACLU wins a law suit they collect ‘attorney fees’ whether or not they engage outside lawyers; I will have more about this another time.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Musings of a frustrated 'global warming denier'

It’s very frustrating to continuously read about prominent political figures jumping on the ‘global warming’ train run amok despite clear evidence that, although warming of the planet is likely occurring, nothing humans do will affect the global climate one iota.

Recently two well known leaders have pronounced that we living breathing human beings are responsible for global warming; they say we must change our way of life by reducing carbon dioxide emissions or our planet is doomed. One of the men will affect our pocket book and the other is focusing on our souls.

California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vehemently subscribes to the ‘global warming is caused by humans’ theory and will make the state and residents poorer for his vision. Even Pope Benedict has jumped on the same bandwagon and proclaimed it is a "moral obligation" to alleviate global warming which he and the governor seem to believe civilized societies are causing; notwithstanding that it is the developing countries like China and India who are most responsible for air pollution, and air pollution is confused with contributing to the planet’s warming trend.

The results of our warming climate will eventually indeed be catastrophic; rising sea levels affecting coastal areas, climate shifts with loss of some living organisms, changing weather patterns causing drought, etc., but it is ridiculously naïve to believe that a planet that has historically passed through extraordinary warming and cooling periods due to external forces, such as changed solar conditions and meteor collisions with planet earth, all without human intervention, could now be affected by changing light bulbs, changing fuel for internal combustion engines and power plants, decreasing use of abundant coal resources in favor of as-yet-undeveloped technology and, basically, changing our way of life.

Governor Schwarzenegger has managed to have a law passed that at sometime in the future will prohibit California from purchasing electric power produced by plants using coal or oil produced from coal (e.g. Canada’s tar sands); imagine the enormous increase in electric power costs that Californians will sustain because of this restriction and how badly our economy will suffer; also imagine how this will greatly increase dependency on oil from unreliable enemies of our country in the Middle East.

Of course it is not just California that will be victimized by the global warming alarmists; the United Nations is mounting a world-wide effort to change the way people in civilized countries live so as to ‘protect the planet’. Since many of the UN member countries are not far from the Stone Age, why would they not want to see countries like the United States brought down a peg or two or a million pegs?

In my view claims that global warming is influenced by humans is a ploy to destroy countries like the United States; historical enemies of capitalist democracies like communists of old have resurfaced as fanatic environmentalists and have been joined and supported by the domestic and foreign anti-America news media and some in governments here and abroad. Say if you like this is the ranting of a ‘black helicopter’ conspiracist but how else can one explain the enormous pressure put on America to sign onto Kyoto-like treaties that would destroy our economy and our quality of life despite an absence of scientific proof of the need to do so?

Scientific evidence supporting the view earthly climate changes are not due to man is voluminous. More and more reputable actual scientists, not political scientists, are coming forward with reports explaining the ‘real world’ phenomena that cause planet climate changes such as are occurring now and have occurred before. These phenomena are responsible for both extreme cooling and warming cycles which the earth has been experiencing for eons. Only mind-clouded politicians with dubious agendas refuse to study this information because they cannot legitimately respond and for fear they will have to reverse their path to global governance or be made out to seem even more foolish than they are now.

There is also huge confusion between ‘air pollution’ and ‘global warming’. Air pollution is indeed harmful to health and can and should be addressed; but many erroneously believe air pollution causes global warming. Carbon dioxide is not a harmful pollutant; in fact, it is emitted by exhaling. Trees take in carbon dioxide and discharge oxygen which life forms breathe in. Excessive carbon dioxide may have some undesirable effect on the environment as a pollutant but warming the planet is not one of them. There are many other more damaging pollutants that should be controlled for health reasons, such as nitrogen compounds and particulate matter, but these also do not contribute to atmospheric warming.

The long and short of it is anything that man may do to the planet does not compare to what external forces have done; mother earth has survived them all and will survive us too.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Two attempts by the Democrat congress to expand government

Democrats’ S-CHIP begins the road to Socialized Medicine

Today the House of Representatives will vote to decide whether to reauthorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP). However, Democrats in Congress want to expand S-CHIP in grossly undesirable ways and incrementally push us toward socialized medicine. We must make sure our members of Congress understand what the proposed legislation does; unfortunately representatives don’t always read or understand laws they vote on.

Here are some facts:

This legislation will take away parental control of health care and will not reduce the number of uninsured.

This legislation would move thousands of children from private insurance to government-run health care (unnecessarily adding to tax payer expense), including children from households that can afford health insurance.

This legislation may allow states to cover low-income children who already qualify for coverage through other programs; and high-income children in families making as much as $84,000/year (roughly 4 x the ‘poverty level’).

Under this legislation, thousands of low-income children’s families would be considered rich on tax day – and be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax – but poor when it comes time to qualifying for welfare benefits.

This legislation defines “children” as persons “up to age 25” (are 25 year-olds ‘children’?).

Under this legislation illegal immigrants would be covered for health insurance; no citizenship check is required.

Although President Bush has allowed for states to provide protections to unborn children, the next president may decide to remove these protections. The current legislation would not codify the existing protections for the unborn into law.

Congress should focus on uninsured children in low-income families as the present S-CHIP law does. The new extension of S-CHIP being voted upon should not replace private health insurance. It may be that the government should provide tax relief to parents to enable them to buy health insurance for their children but Congress should not expand and change the current law which should be renewed ‘as is’ and without adding more incremental changes toward socialized medicine.

How you can help -

you can make a difference: discuss these facts with your friends, neighbors and elected representatives, and send a letter to your local newspaper.

Another proposed law to take our rights away

Also this week, the House Natural Resources committee will vote on a huge National Heritage Areas land grab bill that would empower and enrich anti-property rights special interest groups. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) plans to introduce the "Celebrating America's Heritage Act" which would create six new National Heritage Areas.

The special interest groups lobbying for this bill already received a one million dollar earmark to lobby for this land grab project. Now they will get another $15 million should this bill pass; money that can be used to further lobby for property rights restrictions.

Should Grijalva's bill become law (and it will be approved by the Democrat-dominated committee), anti-property rights interest groups and the National Park Service will have the power to force land use restrictions property owners across the nation. National Heritage Areas are preservation zones run by the National Park Service in "public/private" partnerships with environmental special interest groups. The groups get millions of tax dollars for the sole purpose of lobbying local governments to strip landowners of their property rights.

As Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) explains about Heritage Areas:

“Once] a federal line is drawn around property for a heritage area, the door for annual federal earmarks and grants are opened...When the federal government draws a federal line around private property, negative impacts on the private property owner will always result."

It’s amazing how vigilant the public needs to be at all times to prevent big government legislators from getting further into our lives; and proponents of this expansionism are devious enough to cloak proposed laws with innocuous sounding names.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Columbia University Makes Headlines

Perhaps that was the idea after all.

Iran’s thug-in-chief is visiting ‘Satan’ and will receive a civilized welcome which he doesn’t deserve. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad should get a reception in hell but is received as a head of state by the United Nations; if there is justice in God’s world, he will be welcomed by the real Satan someday and without 72 virgins.

Columbia University invited the Iranian president to speak at the university and has been criticized by many for providing a public forum for him to spew his venom but Columbia President Lee Bollinger says the purpose is to inspire debate among the students; but acknowledges "Such a debate could not take place on a university campus in Iran." Besides stating the obvious, Bollinger seems to think this is reason enough to invite the Iranian dictator despite Columbia’s history of selectively seeking to "inspire debate".

Columbia refused to allow ROTC on campus or any U.S. military representatives. They also refused to let John McCain speak and drove Minuteman founder Jim Gilchrist out of the building before he even had a chance to deliver his message. Yet they are eager to hear the words of Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, the leader of a country that supplies our enemies in Iraq with lethal weapons with which to kill American soldiers, treats its own citizens like controlled robots and its women worse. If all that is not enough to regurgitate yesterday’s food, Columbia University said it would welcome any notable figure visiting the United States — even Adolph Hitler himself — to speak to students and faculty at the Ivy League university. Can you imagine, a school of the prestige, though undeserved, of Columbia University says it’s appropriate to invite dictatorial scum like Ahmadi-Nejad and Hitler but not the likes of McCain and Gilchrist? The U.S Military ROTC is not acceptable but sworn killers of Americans are acceptable to Columbia because they "inspire debate". Unfortunately this is what American academia has become; and they are responsible for teaching young Americans.

Ironically, Columbia University defends their stand against the military because of the military’s "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy on gays. Yet they invite a dictator who executes homosexuals for being gay in his own country and says Hitler, who did the same thing in Germany, would have been also invited.

Columbia University’s agenda has less to do with gays or any other minority group than it has to do with promoting an anti-America agenda. Columbia would refuse to allow a visit by an American war hero, but welcomes a visit by the commander of the notorious Republican Guard in Iran. Columbia's actions will only serve to give more support to the enemy and too much of that kind of support is already being given by Democrats in Congress and the liberal media.

In a time of a war waged by propaganda to elicit the most world opinion, patriotic common sense dictates that providing a forum for inflicting enemy propaganda on America's young is not in the best interests of our country and should not be encouraged and advanced by our universities. It's no wonder that Columbia University is the object of much criticism by many.

Nonetheless there are those that would excuse Columbia. Perhaps the most reasoned reaction to the Columbia Ahmadi-Nejad invitation was by Minuteman founder and President Jim Gilchrist who is an ardent supporter of the First Amendment. Gilchrist said he now actually backs the university's decision to host the Iranian president. "I'm defending his appearance," he said. "I think he should speak. To say no, he cannot speak, is to support exactly the same thing that happened to me." He believes Columbia's administrators are good about fostering free speech but give too much power to "radical" groups in determining who gets a forum on campus.

Is Gilchrist being too 'reasonable'? Perhaps, but he is a true American and respects the First Amendment. Unfortunately Columbia allows its radicals to decide who is entitled to First Amendment treatment.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Some things I think I think

I am amazed that the government is bailing out those that took advantage of low interest adjustable rate mortgages years ago when more prudent folks chose fixed mortgages at comparatively higher mortgage rates. This is known as ‘having your cake and eating it too’. It just goes to show you that if you make a dumb choice for immediate gratification someone will come along later and use the money of prudent people to rescue you from yourself.

Rhetorical questions on my mind are: Why does the world put up with Muslim threats to kill cartoonists that draw a Mohammad-like character in an unflattering condition? Isn’t a threat of violence illegal? Will we now go through life fearful of Muslims if we happen to do something these barbarians think is insulting? Why is it acceptable to profane or ridicule other religions but not Islam? Is it because those practicing other religions are civilized and Muslims are not?

There is an advantage to living life in a tundra; nearly all Alaskans will get $1,654 each from the state for being lucky enough to sit on a pool of oil.

We read all sorts of strange things but few stranger than a recent remark about the 9/11 murder of innocent Americans by nineteen Muslims. For example: who do you suppose said “The Arabs who were involved in 9/11 cooperated with the Zionists, actually … They gave them the perfect excuse to denounce all Arabs”? The last person I would have thought of saying such a thing would have been a U.S. Senator; but it was former Democrat U.S. Senator James Abourezk of South Dakota. For good measure the Senator denounced Israel on a Hezbollah-owned station and said “I marveled at Hezbollah resistance to Israel … It was a marvel of organization, of courage and bravery”.

Stupidity is not confined to Senators. Retired Army General John Abizaid said “there are ways” the world could live with a nuclear Iran … Iran is not a suicide nation”. I wonder what the effect of the musings of this high ranking Clinton-appointee has on the Iranian nut cases. Abizaid was the head of Central Command for four years; good thing Iran didn’t have nukes then.

I recently read a headline that as a typhoon approached the China mainland, 1.8 million people were evacuated. Can you imagine almost 2 million evacuated; and New Orleans couldn’t move few thousand people out of harms way? Maybe Chinese school buses were not ignored but were actually used for evacuation, unlike those in New Orleans.

Islamic murderers generally wear ski masks or the like when they do there dirty deeds. The only logical explanation is they do not want to be identified because they are ashamed of what they do; on the other hand, these cretins don’t have any morals so why would they be ashamed? In a province in Afghanistan recently Taliban fighters with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades used children as human shields; naturally American soldiers held their fire. Who says cowardice doesn’t pay?

For a long time I have thought the French were more than a bit strange, so it came as not much a shock when I learned what the late French President Mitterrand ate at his ‘last supper’ on New Years’ Eve eight days before he died. It seems there is very small bird, bite-sized you might say, called ‘ortolan’. Mitterrand downed two-ounce roasted ortolans, bones and all, at his 'last supper' according to Esquire magazine. By tradition, the French cover their head with a napkin to eat ortolan, (I wonder why). By the way, the teeny weeny bird is killed by drowning in Armagnac, then plucked and roasted with its yellow skin and skeleton intact – aren’t you glad you read this blog?

Lastly, under the heading ‘will wonders never cease’, a federal judge in San Francisco (yes, San Francisco), dismissed a law suit against six automakers initiated by former AG Bill Lockyer and continued by former governor moonbeam, (and now California’s Attorney General Jerry Brown), for contributing to ‘global warming’. Can you imagine, this judge said "this is not a matter for judges to deal with"?

My head is tired from all that thinking; come back Monday and I will have a regular story for you.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Oil Industry is Responsible for its Political Predicament

As the oil industry gets pilloried about high gasoline prices, it is interesting to examine how the higher prices come about.

Oil prices jump up and down, (actually, they don’t ’jump’ down so much as trickle down when they do drop), generally in response to events in the middle east, and elsewhere, or which affect the middle east or domestic oil suppliers. This is reasonable because such events cause buyers to panic and perceive that producers take advantage of the panic by raising prices. Obviously, if the raw material price goes up, the price of the products made from these raw materials will have to be increased to cover the higher costs. However, the timing of the increased ‘prices’ to consumers is the problem.

After hurricane ‘Katrina’ hit the south eastern coast of the United States, gasoline prices increased immediately, not after a week or two, immediately! It is likely that such a devastating storm would cause a great deal of damage to commercial structures as well as private homes, and it did. A good number of oil processing plants and refineries are located in the hurricane-affected area and gasoline output could be expected to be adversely affected. But why would oil prices increase immediately; surely gasoline in the system at the time did not cost as much?

In the mid east, Iran, an oil supplier, is constantly pounding its chest (her chest?) threatening everyone, especially the United States and Israel. Iraq oil, which should be significant on the world market, is also constantly disrupted by terrorists who, from time-to-time, take their attention away from murdering innocents to blowing up oil pipe lines. Russia once a reasonably dependable supplier of oil to western markets, is taking advantage of their superior position with gas and oil deposits by incorporating political objectives into their marketing practices. Similarly, Venezuela, once our friendly oil 'pumper', has waived its red banners in our face and adopts an Anti-American oil policy under its screwball President Chavez in order to damage America by reducing oil sales to the United States (to the great delight of their new customer, communist China). Each such incident, and others, causes a vacillation, usually upward, of oil prices.

Critics of oil companies for raising gasoline prices are only partially wrong. It is not likely there is any overt, concerted effort by oil companies to increase gasoline prices in unison (the FTC has indeed concluded there was no ‘price fixing’); however they all use a similar but independent approach to gasoline pricing that results in premature immediate elevation of the cost of gasoline at the pump for consumers.

Oil industry spokesman have admitted that the pump price of gasoline is related to increasing costs of oil at the source. In other words, as the price of oil is increased, the companies calculate the replacement cost of gasoline produced from the higher priced oil. The gasoline at the pump is then changed to reflect the higher replacement cost. Now this may make sense from an accounting standpoint, but it makes no sense to the consumer in the driver's seat of his or her car. This pricing practice revalues gasoline already in the gas station reservoir at a higher price than originally purchased by the gasoline station even though no higher cost of production was experienced by virtue of higher oil prices. Thus, the gas station automatically posts higher prices for the same gasoline at the station that was sold at a lower price the day before.

When you buy gasoline, you will encounter a price higher than you saw earlier that day, or yesterday, at the same gas station. This is infuriating; particularly when the price increase is great. The upward revaluation of the price of gasoline ‘already in the pipeline’, which was produced from the previous lower-priced oil, contributes significantly to the increased profits reported by the oil companies. To many of us, this pricing practice is unreasonable, and unfair. Sure, a seller has the right to set any price deemed business-appropriate, but by using the same pricing practice of revaluing the gasoline in inventory, and charging essentially the same price as calculated for ‘replacement’ gasoline, the oil industry, de facto, act in concert to offer uniformly higher gasoline prices to the public, and in the same time table.

The higher gasoline prices do not justify public panic or pandering by politicians, including the president, but the oil industry would be better served to take into account the public’s reaction to unnecessarily high, and premature, gasoline price increases. To do otherwise will cause the industry to be continually scrutinized and will encourage punitive governmental measures.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The sky is falling, the sky is falling ...

The sky is falling, the sky is falling; let’s pass a law to ban falling skies.

The number of laws passed in this country is beyond all imagination. Consider that federal laws and laws passed in the 50 states each year must number in the hundreds of thousands; and if all enacted laws over the past are added together, surely the number is in the millions. Just imagine, as American citizens, non-citizens, legal and illegal residents; we are subject to millions of laws in this country. Does anyone know all these laws and how they affect you? It is not likely that any person, including those that pass these laws, have any idea.

Why do we have so many laws? The answer is scarier than the vast number of existing laws. Every time there is a perceived offense to someone or thing, or anytime anyone can think of some aspect of human behavior they believe 'should be improved', or anytime someone thinks they ‘know’ how to improve the human condition, or anytime someone wants to share the wealth ‘with those less fortunate’ by taking from those that have (usually from those that worked hard to earn what they have) to give to those that need (often to those that chose not to work as hard); the answer is to ‘pass a law’.

There are so many examples; it is almost impossible to choose a few. But anyone that wants the mental exercise can easily identify them as well. Nonetheless, there are some that readily come to mind. Of course, those that advocate passing laws to cure the world’s ills will disagree, and many will justify ‘passing laws’ (but without admitting it), as necessary because they know what’s better (or best) for us than we do.

Laws to protect ‘species’, such as lizards, insects and rodents, are rampant; notwithstanding that nature has had her own plan for species creation and extinction for eons, and no matter that the affect of such laws on humans and rights of property owners can be devastating.

Taking precautions for one’s safety is common sense but there will always be some people that are not sensible. To deal with those that choose ‘the low road’ of dangerous behavior, for their sake we mandate wearing seat belts in cars and helmets at other times. Smoking tobacco is a terrible personal choice; so we try to discourage it by with laws imposing nearly confiscatory taxes on its purchase. Lately some people are concerned that talking on a cell phone while driving is more distracting than screaming children in cars, drinking coffee or the like, applying make-up, talking to passengers, changing the radio station, looking at a map, noticing a pretty girl, etc.; so law makers feel obliged to ‘pass a law’ to single out and make such deviant behavior illegal. You may be someone that thinks these examples of human behavior that ‘needs’ to be addressed are trivial, but no law is trivial to those that are deemed to be in violation.

Will there ever be an end to ‘passing laws’ for any purpose some legislator or special interest group believes to be in their best interest; I don’t think so, passing laws is the modern equivalent the King demonstrating rule over his subjects, and mother saying eat your spinach, it’s good for you. The King passes new laws because he can.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Too bad Iraq War Critics are blinded by hatred of Bush

I’m not a supporter of President Bush as he performs today, but Bush critics of the Iraq war cannot go unanswered; unfortunately too many people believe a revisionist history.

Saudi Arabia is a theocratic dictatorship but unfortunately those living there are comfortable with a Wahabi Islamic country that is the bane of western democracies. However, Saudi supplies America with a major portion of needed oil and in return depends on America for its defense; such are the geopolitical realities in the world today. Should we discontinue ties to Saudi Arabia, which is like cutting off our nose to spite our face? This is a close call; but we may not be able to do anything else but support them until we achieve oil independence, something not likely in the foreseeable future thanks to environmentalists.

The ‘Bush lied’ mantra is popular among Democrats and anti-government liberals. However the facts show that the Clinton administration and Democrats at the time all believed Saddam Hussein and Iraq were threats to the United States and to world peace (a simple Google search will bear this out). Furthermore, literally all intelligence agencies around the world believed Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and was seeking to develop nuclear arms at the time a decision was made to go to war against Saddam. Saddam had indeed used chemical weapons against his own people; why should we not have believed he still had such weapons? Conveniently, Bush critics forget the Clinton years and indeed what they said publicly at the time.

We should also remember that with the same information available to Bush, Congress passed a resolution authorizing military action against Iraq. Most Democrats, including those prominent Democrats who seek their party’s presidential nomination and criticize the war now, voted for the resolution. If as Democrats now say, “they were misled”, then everyone, not only the administration, but the world’s intelligence agencies, were also “misled” by the popular wisdom at the time. Can war critics say ‘Monday morning quarterback’?

Another nonsensical criticism by Democrats is that ‘”Bush failed to arm and protect US soldiers” sent to Iraq. However, our military were armed with the best materiel available at the time. The enemy keeps changing its war strategy and weapons so the US military must also. The fact that we constantly make revisions to armaments, like adding more armor to Humvies, should be looked at with praise not condemnation. Moreover, Bush does not personally select the Military equipment; how can the condition of the military be regarded as a ‘Bush failing’, which of course was not a failing on any level.

War is expensive, not just in dollars but human lives; would critics like to add up the cost to our country of a single event – the destruction of the twin towers in New York, the Pentagon, etc. -, and balance that cost and possible future costs against the cost being sustained now? If we don’t deal with Islam abroad, we will have to deal, and suffer, Islam at home. Don’t be misled by your passion against Bush, this is a real world wide war against Islamic terror.

If Democrats and other war critics were not so blinded by their hatred of George Bush, they might be able to see the truth.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Hillary, not so “pretty in pink” as she tries to evade the Law

Joseph Birkenstock is a former counsel for the Democrat National Committee so we can believe he speaks the current party line, especially for Senator Hillary Clinton in her campaign for the party’s nomination. Birkenstock, like many others in the Hillary camp, is concerned that the Norman Hsu illegal campaign donations scandal will roost on Hillary’s shoulders.

In an attempt to ‘save’ Hillary from the fate she deserves, Birkenstock is reported to have said “… it would be unfair to link her presidential campaign to 12-year old instances of money laundering and Lincoln Bedroom sleepovers for Major Democratic campaign donors”. [This is actually quite an admission about Bill Clinton’s terms of office which, of course, the news media did not pick up on.]

Birkenstock and Hillary supporters, in the words Hillary uttered when questioning General Petraeus, seem to ask us to “suspend disbelief” when we hear the Hillary campaign spin asking us to not paint Hillary with the same brush of unethical conduct justly used on her husband, former president Bill Clinton. In this instance the known illegal contribution by Hsu to Hillary Clinton was $850,000 (Hsu used straw donors to contribute to Hillary's campaign, after which Hsu reimbursed them in violation of federal law); who knows how much more illegal money Hillary received that still has not surfaced.

Norman Hsu has a history of coming to the aid of the Democrat party; so with this background and Hillary’s history as a political micro-manager, it is inconceivable that she did not know that political donations by Hsu and others like him were illegal. After pledging to return $850,000 contributed by fugitive fundraiser Norman Hsu, Senator Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign vowed "to do more rigorous background checks of big donors". However, some law enforcement officials say the former first lady should have known about Hsu, in view of the routine background checks conducted by the U.S. Secret Service on protected persons like Hillary.

"I would absolutely be shocked if the protective intelligence division of the Secret Service was not fully aware of Mr. Hsu's background”, said Carl Rowan, a federal agent with both the FBI and the U.S. Marshals for a decade. In an interview Rowan also said "It is standard operating procedure to run the names and Social Security numbers of anyone who will be close to the protectee”; and further, "Besides the safety concerns, the Secret Service works hard to avoid embarrassing situations for the protectee."

Hsu was a member of the board for the New School University in New York, where he worked with Bernard L. Schwartz. Schwartz has been a major donor to the Clintons. Schwartz was also chief executive officer of Loral Space and Communications, the defense contractor involved in technology transfers to the People's Republic of China that accelerated China’s development of space-age weapons, (congressional report released in 1999). Hsu was also co-chairman of an event honoring the late Robert F. Kennedy last October; at which Bill Clinton thanked the Democrat benefactors, “especially our friend Norman Hsu”.

Is Norman Hsu guilty of illegally contributing to Hillary Clinton; what do you think? Why did Hsu skip out on a $1 million bond if not to avoid testifying or prosecution?

The arrogance of Hillary Clinton and her crowd is staggering. The American public is supposed to accept the most inane comments and explanations of facts that reveal Hillary and Bill for the charlatans and liars they really are. Unfortunately, too many people buy into this nonsense; we can only hope voters will come to their senses in voting booths.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Some things I think I think

Footbaths are not my thing though I could probably enjoy them with the right company but Muslims attending University of Michigan can enjoy the baths, gratis of state taxpayers. Maybe Christians should add footbaths to their religious perks also; I think I will ask the Pope about this next time I talk with him.

Democrat Senators and ‘Congresspersons’ (which I think is the right PC term), have showed us that being a politician is just something they do when they are not following their true calling of being military experts and generals. How else can you explain why they know better than General Petraeus how the Iraq war should be conducted?

The well known military expert, Senator Barbara boxer, whose expertise evidently exceeds her stature, pronounced her disbelief of the report by General Petraeus concerning the Iraq war; said Senator Boxer to General Petraeus – “I ask you to take off your rosy glasses”. It seems in addition to military prowess, Boxer is also an expert optometrist.

I couldn’t remember so I looked it up. The government spent $127 billion in resources and tax relief for the New Orleans region affected by hurricane ‘Katrina’, and much, much more money was provided by the public. For the Marshall Plan following WW II the United States provided $107.6 billion inflation adjusted dollars to 16 countries in Europe between 1947 and 1951. I wonder why 16 countries recovered better with less money than did New Orleans.

It looks like about 1,000 employees of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) criminal investigations have been reassigned to exclusively do customs work. This reduces the personnel available for removal and detention of illegal aliens by 20%. Recently ICE was active in enforcing laws against hiring of illegal aliens and received much criticism for doing their job. I wonder why the crackdown on illegal aliens in the workplace is itself being ‘crack-downed’.

So much to puzzle about; I just learned that everything from purchases at the supermarket to songs bought for I Pods is being registered in a “global data mine” which, according to the International Spy Museum in Washington (I didn’t even know it existed), is “a mother lode of information that is used in various political, social and economic contexts”. ‘Big brother’ is hard at work.

I wonder why Democrats are gunning for Ted Olson if he is appointed Attorney General to replace Albert Gonzales. Senate stalwarts Chris Dodd and Chuck Schumer (who seems to oppose everything Bush does), may be leading the critics. Is this constitutional ‘advice and consent’?

It was a close call but the British and Irish can still get a ‘pint’ of beer. The European Union has given special consideration to allow them to ignore the metric system for the time being. I’m happy we don’t need to use the metric system; can you imagine the confusion here otherwise?

I am worried that our young people may not be very patriotic. Almost 75% of men and 66% of women in their twenties say the have never been married (a strange statistic in itself, I wonder who the 11% of women are marrying?). If this is what is contributing to our stagnant population growth, we must rely on illegal aliens to maintain our population growth above the rate needed to replace ourselves. Europe is facing a calamity of declining population growth which is being filled by Muslims. However, Russians are adopting a different approach to encourage population growth. Mother Russia has told their children to procreate and rewards those that perform their civic duty. In Russia, if you want to have a quickie, and don’t use birth control, you can get time off work for your sex break.

Speaking of Russia, with much fanfare Russia has announced the development and testing of the “daddy of all bombs” which is larger than the American ‘mother of all bombs’. This causes me to wonder what Russia will do with their ‘daddy bomb’. If not for home consumption, will they just be selling it to our enemies?

I understand Chelsea Clinton may be converting to Judaism. That may be a good thing because then she can tell mommy and daddy the definition of ‘chutzpah’. This is already in her parents DNA but Chelsea will be able to give them a word to describe it. Hillary has mastered Bill Clintons’ fund raising technique and donor Hsu is a good example of her passing grade for this course. Of course, Hillary says ‘she had no idea’ about Hsu’s contributions and their sources; nor did Hillary know where her billing records were until they showed up in her living room, or how she turned $5,000 into $100,000 on futures trading, other than by reading the Wall Street Journal. Come to think of it, maybe ‘chutzpah’ is not the right term, perhaps the word should be ‘criminal’?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Public Opinion – "… a tale told by an idiot, filled with sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Public opinion, including world public opinion, has never won a war; but it has caused the loss of many wars. From the Korean ‘police action’ (which to the injured and dead soldiers seemed like a ‘war’), to the mislabeled ‘Vietnam War’ and the recent Israeli attempt to prevent further killing of its people, designated by many also as a ‘war’, public opinion won and the civilized world lost.

To sane, thinking people wars should be avoided as much as possible, not at all costs as some believe. Is it sensible to anti-war advocates that civilization as we know it, and civilized people, should accept destruction as a price of avoiding war? As incredible as it may seem it is likely many in the anti-war movement would probably make such a sacrifice ‘for the greater good’. This is insane and most of us do not accept this idea, but what is also unacceptable is that those we expect to know better also succumb to the ‘peace at any price’ mentality, which world history has clearly demonstrated to be a fatal illusion.

It looks like President Bush was willing to take the heat of that foe of reason; i.e. public opinion, in order to give Israelis a chance to solve the Hezbollah problem, but the Israeli government was not willing or able to make the hard survival choices. Had another government been in place at this critical time, it is likely that the opportunity given Israel by events would not have been lost. Now Israel can only look forward to further efforts to eliminate their country by those openly calling for its destruction without condemnation by ‘public opinion’, not that the Islamo-fascists would be thwarted by criticism in any case. But, the next time matters come to a head Israel will be faced with a more difficult battle of survival in this high-tech weapon world and the prospect of nuclear arms and armies of suicidal Muslims arraigned against Israel.

This latest struggle by a numerically small combatant fighting for survival against a tyrannical force is reminiscent of the nationalists struggle against the Nazi-supported foes of democracy in the 1930’s. The Spanish civil war is thought by many to have been a Nazi rehearsal for a future broader war and an opportunity to test ‘modern’ weaponry and tactics of that time. Islamic fascist fanatics around the world have learned a lot by the war in Lebanon and are now emboldened to believe that a modern country with superior weaponry can be defeated by a determined suicidal population and, this is crucial, properly manipulated ‘world public opinion’. What these fanatic people now know is that whereas they are free to kill as many people as they can in any way they can, the ‘civilized’ world will not do that because they will be condemned by ‘public opinion’. How little has been learned from earlier world war successes by civilized people against brutal enemies!

So here we are at a time the United States is in World War III. Our country has a political two-party system. The Republican Party is currently represented by President Bush who has shown from time-to-time some understanding of what is at stake in this war. But the Party is divided and there is a minority of Republicans in public office that join with Democrats in either failing to, or unwilling to, accept the obvious threat we face as a country from Islamic terror and fanatics. Unfortunately, even President Bush and many Republican office holders are affected by world opinion and seem unable to act together with sufficient resolve to strive to win this third world war. Nonetheless, they are our best hope.

Opposing attempts by President Bush and most Republicans to protect Americans are liberals, the liberal news media and the Democrat Party, all of whom personify world public opinion in the criticism of the United States at every opportunity. All efforts by our government to detect and observe possible terrorists to prevent attacks on our citizens are rebuffed, criticized and in many case prevented by Democrats in government, not only in Congress but also in other departments such as the CIA, the State Department and elsewhere. Our legal system is also abused, deliberately or unintentionally, by many courts and so-called ‘public interest’ groups such as the ACLU as they undermine our safety and prevent those that would protect us from being able do so.

There is a possibility that the next government in the United States, beginning with the coming presidential and congressional elections, will be led by people like those in the present Israeli government that failed to take all necessary action to assure its survival; people that do not recognize the seriousness of the Islamic fascist threat we face as a civilization and as a country. If that happens we will have only ourselves to blame for our destruction; we have to ignore world public opinion and think about what we must do to win and survive World War III, just as Israel must do.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

There Should be a Good Reason

Public discussions about stem cells are only a little better than discussions about global warming; everyone has an opinion but it is not possible to know if there is a ‘correct’ answer because no one knows anything for sure, not even the ‘scientists’. When there is no clear ‘evidence’ to support one opinion or another, then all opinions are equally valid or invalid.

We all have a hope that the worst of human afflictions can be repaired or ‘cured’ and that’s why stem cell research is so popular and many people want to spend as much money as possible on these programs. However, although the goal of curing every ill is tempting, there is no real evidence that stem cell usage will accomplish such results. Nonetheless, even the prospect of curing disease and repairing bodies is certainly is something we can all appreciate, what price are we willing to pay for this hope?

Stem cells are obtainable in different ways and it is not known if one source of stem cells is better than another. We are told that umbilical cords are a source of stem cells and there are ‘adult stem cells’ which are undifferentiated cells found in a tissue or organ that can renew itself to yield the major specialized cell types of the tissue or organ and, of course, stem cells are also available from human embryos.

Embryonic stem cells are derived from embryos that develop from human eggs that have been fertilized. Supporters of embryo cell research point out that these human embryos are obtained from human eggs that have been fertilized in vitro and are not derived from eggs fertilized in a woman's body. Although for them this method of ‘harvesting’ human embryo eggs may be seen as merely a scientific experiment, the reality is that a fertilized human egg, i.e. an embryo, is prospectively a human being. In fact, a well recognized procedure for giving women otherwise unable to conceive a chance to bear children is to implant just such a ‘fertilized egg’ into her womb.

Opponents of using human embryos for scientific research may do so largely on moral grounds, but the fact is that however the process may be ‘spun’, researchers will be manipulating and destroying human life. In virtually all other contexts, excepting capital punishment, destruction of human life is considered evil by all civilized people. Yet, because of the prospective goal of ‘curing’ disease and affliction, many are willing to accept this ‘evil’ without regard of the sanctity of life.

Many things in life are a trade-off; accepting correctness of the death penalty is one such example for those that deplore taking human life in any form. However, it is reasonable to require a higher standard of justification for taking human life, even if it is ‘only’ an embryo. Without evidence that stem cells obtained from sources other than human embryos successfully cure ailments or repair body afflictions, and that embryo cells are able to do something stem cells from other sources can’t do, there is no justification for using human embryos.

This is not only a moral imperative, it is common sense.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

God, Please Save Our Country from Ourselves

Nuclear weapons possessed by Iran would threaten the world; seemingly, everyone agrees. The other rogue nation, North Korea, has nuclear weapons but does not pose a direct threat to the world because China would not permit North Korea to use them. Nonetheless, North Korea is a serious problem because of its ability to transfer technology and materiel to terrorists, something that an unrestrained nuclear Iran would not be reluctant to do.

Iran with nuclear weapons is a direct threat. Their leaders have stated unequivocally intentions to destroy Israel and to cooperate with other terrorists that want to destroy western countries and institutions. Moreover, Iran is uniquely positioned geopolitically to inflict great damage and hardship to the economies of other countries by interfering with the free flow of oil from the mid-east, and by supporting terrorists in both Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as in the Hamas-led Palestine.

Why then is the world so divided regarding how to confront this threat from Iran?

There are many reasons for the lack of agreement. France does not have the quality of character to do or support anything meaningful and will ‘soon’ (actually, in the not-to-distant future) be itself a Muslim state; Germany, unlike in the ‘30’s has no national character to advance; and Russia seems to think it can outwit the Islamic radicals by playing with a double-edged sword. Italy has changed governments; electing a liberal sort who will probably think Italy ‘just has to understand’ the terrorists, be kind to them, ignore Israel, and everything will be all right. China, for the most part, could care less; it knows no one will mess with China. China has a masterful way to deal with Islamic radicals they think might impact their system, they simply kill them and there is nobody around to complain or bring a law suit. The only short-sightedness of the China policy toward radical Islam is that after Islam wins, there will be no civilized society left in the world for China to play with. So that leaves the United States.

At the present time, but not indefinitely, our country is the only force that can affect, or halt, the world’s head-long rush to destruction that would likely result from a nuclear, radical Islamic state – Iran. Will the United States act to preserve itself? The answer is not clear.

A nation divided in itself; politically, militarily or philosophically, cannot prevail in any conflict. Today there are forces at work in the United States that, intentionally or unintentionally, undermine our national resolve to protect itself against adversity and destruction. We see this in many aspects of our nation’s challenges. Efforts to protect our borders are attacked and disparaged; no matter that all other countries have the right and national will to do so. Our president and the government he leads are constantly bombarded by the opposition and the liberal news media with acts of senseless criticism the critics attempt to portray as ‘patriotism’. Incredibly, the most corrupt and banal leadership in the nation’s history that President Bush replaced is lauded here and the world over while the present United States government and its leaders are ridiculed. Every act of heroism by our country’s fighting men and women are ignored by the press and media while every opportunity to criticize, no matter how absurd, is seized. How then can the United States take any unilateral action to combat Islamic Fascism and the prospect of an Iran with nuclear weapons?

The Democrat propaganda machine will do everything in its power to deny America of its ability to defend itself, not for philosophical reasons, but to acquire the power it so desperately craves after losing several elections. Despicable though this may be, the unfortunate truth is that perfidy may succeed, and the United States may lose.

We need another Ronald Magnus or, at least, an uncorrupt Spiro Agnew to put the ‘nattering nabobs’ in their place. George Bush sometimes shows a glimmer of Toledo steel but too often it is overshadowed by his own confused warriors. It is ironic indeed that there is no doubt what our leaders of yesteryear would do, and with full support of all Americans. That seems not possible in today’s "advanced" politically correct society.

Let us all pray to God we will somehow be saved – so we may save the world.

Monday, September 10, 2007

George Bush thinks he is Still in Texas and the Country Suffers for it

When George Bush was a Republican Governor of Texas, by all accounts he worked and played well with a Democrat state legislature. Bush spoke the same language as his ‘opponents’ and together they apparently achieved what was regarded as laudable legislative objectives. This experience in Texas has led George Bush to think he can work well with Democrats at all levels of government and that he can overcome political obstacles by the force of his personality, ‘steadfast’ resolve and powers of persuasion. Unfortunately for him and more importantly for us, Bush is wrong because he is now playing in a different playground.

Working with conservative Democrats in Texas is very different than working with a House and Senate led by liberal lawmakers like Pelosi and Reid. Democrats on the national stage are not Texas ‘gentlemen’; they lie, cheat and are willing to do anything to win, whether or not it’s good for the country. Also, they have the power of the national news media on their side to echo their lies, cover up their cheating and assist them in winning at all costs. George Bush, the straight shooter, is putty in their hands. President Bush does not realize they hate him with all their substantial might.

Of course, Bush himself is not blameless in this idiocy. George Bush forgot he is president and has the power to see that bad legislation does not become law. Thus, we have the McCain-Feingold usurpation of the First Amendment, incredible amounts of unnecessary government spending, shackles placed on our interrogators of terrorists, numerous good judicial prospects languishing in Senate-approval no man’s land, Mexican trucks able to traverse all of America with who knows what cargo and worst of all, a great likelihood that our Southern border will continue to be a sieve for illegal immigrants. Bush continues to believe that illegal immigrants already here should get amnesty and US citizenship as he works with the Democrat majorities in the Senate and House to this end.

On the world stage, the diminishing of President Bush by congressional Democrats has excited our committed enemies and those that should have been by our side against terror and Islamic Fascism. What does it say when our enemies praise and repeat the Democrat criticism of Bush and the Iraq war? Syrian Information Minister Dr. Moshe Bilal said in an interview with al-Jazeera, after noting that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opposes the war in Iraq, "this lady has made the word of the American people audible, he added, "and this is very comfortable." Recently even that icon of the 'Religion of Peace', Osama bin Laden, was expressing Democrat talking points to the world. Can the Democrats be proud they have friends in all the wrong places?

The United States is the worse for the Iraq war-bashing by Democrats. Perhaps if George Bush had realized he is no longer in Texas and fought the good conservative fight instead of trying to mollify his political and news media critics for the last six-plus years, we would still have a government of which conservatives could be proud and which our enemies feared.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Some things I think I think, revisited

Sometime ago I wrote columns under this title with various thoughts about different things that I tried to share with others. Back by popular demand (meaning, I would like to try this again now that I have my very own blog outlet), I will intersperse some of these columns among my regular articles that appear on this page. As always, I welcome your comments whether you agree with me or not. So, here is my first one for Vincent’s blog.

Some things I think I think

It’s difficult to imagine, but Human Rights Watch, that beacon of impartiality, has condemned Israel for conducting the war against Hezbollah in Lebanon (which Hezbollah provoked) “with reckless indifference to the fate of Lebanese civilians and violated the laws of war”. I guess I missed that course in law school so I didn’t know there is a ‘law of war’; stupid me, I thought the object of war was to win, not to avoid getting a police citation.

I am confused about how public schools are run. We can’t have children pray, we can’t have Boy Scouts use school facilities, but we can have a public Arabic school to teach Arabic and Arab culture in New York City?

There are so many things to be confused about; Senator Larry Craig, a possible bisexual, had to resign his elected office because he went to public toilet frequented by homosexuals, but Representative Barney Frank housed a homosexual prostitute and is made chairman of an important committee in Congress. Tom Delay, reviled by congressional Democrats, has to leave office because he is indicted by a Democrat hack District Attorney (but not convicted), but William Jefferson, Democrat from Louisiana, is found with unexplained ‘cold’ cash in his freezer, and he is still in office.

Being afflicted with ‘DRS’ (Don’t Remember Stuff), I forget where I put things from time-to-time. However, forgetting where you put Cruise missiles with nuclear warheads is really special. It’s too bad that Air Force officers are not screened for DRS.

I had some dogs and cats (and horses) that I really cared for a lot but not enough to leave them any money, let alone $12 million if I had it. Leona Helmsley loved her Maltese so much, she did just that. Her brother declined to take care of the pooch even though it is endowed with a fortune. I wonder how I can apply for the job.

Friends of friends of jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff are still facing criminal investigation or worse. Yet foreign nationals that give money to Billy and Hilly or Algore, which is against the law, escape any legal retribution, and what is worse, Billy, Hilly and Algore, the recipients of illegal largesse, are not only not investigated, they do not receive any criminal or political penalties. The latest donation scandal involving a political donor to Hilly, a Chinese man named Hsu, skipped out on a $2 million bond to avoid having to explain. I understand Nevada bookies are taking bets as to whether Hsu is still alive. Perhaps if Hsu lives, George Bush can ask his Chinese hosts about him when George visits during the 2008 Olympics.

I wonder if there are no people in the United States that are better qualified to be president than those seeking the nomination by the Democrat and Republican parties. Except for Ronald Reagan, I can’t remember when I was able to vote for a candidate, rather than against someone.

Another sleep-depriving thought I have often is whether Israel can survive the Olmert administration. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that politicians in Israel are no different than Democrats in the United States that want to stay in office and retain political power even if the country suffers for this vanity.

Well that’s it for now; I will keep on thinking about things I think I think and will let you know when I have some to share.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

“Guest Workers’, an Idea who’s Time Has Come (but without citizenship)

Can someone please explain why ‘guest workers’ need to have access to citizenship? Every proposal to address the illegal immigration problem includes some mechanism for guest workers to obtain American citizenship.

Every 20-years or so, congress wakes up to the illegal immigration problem and proposes a ‘cure’. The last time congressional slumber was aroused, laws were passed to give ‘amnesty’ to millions of illegal immigrants here at that time. This ‘cure’ did not halt the tide of illegal immigration, in fact, it increased. Also increased were the cost of welfare and other entitlements, burdens on local communities around the country, especially in the southwest, and burdens and cost of healthcare. Hospital emergency rooms continue to function as general medical practitioners, straining resources and sometimes making it difficult for ‘emergency rooms’ to be available for actual medical emergencies. Although illegal immigrants are certainly not the only source of crime, crime increases unnecessarily with the added criminal pool.

Recently we had congress members stepping all over themselves to produce the latest ‘cure’ for illegal immigration, unfortunately led by the president himself. Many proposals were in the mix, but all envisioned some sort of ‘guest worker’ program. Such a program is deemed necessary by business that covets low cost labor, and Democrats that see an expanded dependency class that will vote for them, if everyone will agree to another amnesty provision, or citizenship for guest workers, that will add to voter rolls. However, since ‘amnesty’ has become a dirty word for many, sort of like the word ‘liberal’, supporters have to lie and say their proposals are not ‘amnesty’; the proposals only permit citizenship after those here illegally ‘pay’ a price. The payment may be an amount of money, and/or a requirement to work here at sub par wages for some period of time. Thus, this is not considered ‘amnesty’ because the illegal immigrant will have earned their right to citizenship. But citizenship in the United States should not be achieved as a reward, directly or indirectly, for violating our country’s laws. Only immigrants who comply with U. S. laws should qualify for citizenship.

Putting aside the issue of what to do with the millions of illegal immigrants already here, we have been faced with proposals to allow non citizens to enter the United States for the purpose of seeking employment at sub par wages to satisfy, what we are told, is a great demand for such workers by American business. (For example, New York City Mayor Bloomberg worries what will happen to golf courses if we do not have illegal immigrants.) Mexicans have come across the border illegally to earn money in jobs seemingly not available in their country. No matter what laws are passed by our government, the laws will not be strictly enforced and will not prevent the continuing invasion of illegal immigrants. Therefore, in the minds of many, it is best to have some sort of orderly process for allowing non citizens to enter our country legally and fill the jobs that ‘Americans wont do’, at the wages employers are willing to pay.

For these and other reasons, a ‘guest worker’ program is a reasonable solution to this portion of the illegal immigration problem. But there is no reason that a guest worker program should include gaining American citizenship. A real guest worker program need not result in granting citizenship opportunity to non citizens coming to the United States “to get a job and earn money for themselves and their families”, and “who are willing to take a job Americans will not do”. It is not necessary to also offer a carrot of citizenship; after all, we are told that is not the motivation of illegal immigrants anyway. Citizenship in the United States should be a prize to be awarded only to immigrants who comply with U. S. immigration laws, as it has been for decades.

Guest workers should be able to acquire lawful temporary work status and be able to remain in the United States, unlike the illegal immigrants already here that do not seek guest worker status. A procedure can be established whereby a non-citizen who wishes to work in the United States may complete a simple application form, providing name and other data to enable a criminal background check (the non-citizen applicant need not only be from Mexico). After a suitable, but short, period of time during which the background check will be completed, the applicant may get a time-limited (‘temporary’), distinguishable, guest worker entry card which may be used to gain entry and employment and as a residence permit, or is refused because of failure to be approved in the background check. Families of guest workers should not be encompassed by a guest worker card for lawful entry into the United States, and residence.

All the goals and benefits for non citizens and American businesses can be achieved through a temporary guest worker program without extending the rights and privileges of U. S. citizenship, which are best reserved for legal immigrants that have gone though the lawful immigration process.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

“Don’t Tread On Me”

Few things rile liberals more than the word “guns”. It’s not clear why this is, but perhaps it is because of the liberal’s belief that ‘people don’t kill people, guns do’. In their utopian liberal world we must all live in harmony, even if it kills us, and guns prevent us ‘from all getting along’.

If liberals had their way, all guns would be eliminated, including guns used by the military. Certainly, no one in this country should have a gun, nor should anyone be able to buy one. In fact, the city of San Francisco recently passed an ordinance that would do just that; upon entering the City there could easily be the sign - ‘no guns allowed’.

Unfortunately for liberals, the United States Constitution doesn’t help their cause. It inconveniently states, in the language of the time, that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. So, what to do; the answer is simple to a liberal, just interpret the wording in the Constitution to change the intended meaning. To a liberal, the Constitution doesn’t mean what it says, it means whatever they want it to say because “it is a living document”, and times have changed since the country was formed.

However, the meaning of the right of citizens to own guns as expressed in the Constitution is entirely clear when viewed in the light of the historical time the country was founded. You see, early Americans had a spirit not recognizable in most citizens today, (who among us would fight a battle with bare feet and little clothing in a cold, snowy New Jersey?). The only place this spirit still exists, thank God, is in the military. The country’s young men and women in the armed services still have and exhibit the patriotic fervor that was common to most all Americans, not just the military, in 18th century America.

Few things express this American spirit better than the “Gadsen Flag’, a banner with a coiled snake and the words “Don’t Tread On Me”. Colonel Christopher Gadsen was an American patriot if there ever was one. He led the Sons of Liberty and later was an officer in the Continental Army. Gadsen was one of three members of a ‘Marine Committee’ that decided to outfit an early American vessel, the Alfred. He thought the ship’s commodore should have an appropriate banner and designed and offered him the “Don’t Tread On Me” flag. It was first presented to Congress as a standard to be used by the Commander in Chief of the American Navy. To this day it is used as the ‘Navy Jack’ and flies on the USS Kitty Hawk.

Why is this important and what does this have to do with guns? Well, the American spirit embodied by the Navy Jack was imbued in all the founders of our country that met to create the Constitution. They possessed the early American character of independence and self reliance, and no one or country was ever again going to take away their freedom. The only way this right to freedom could be assured was to mandate that Americans would always have the ability to defend themselves by being able to own and possess arms. As James Madison said:

"[The Constitution preserves] the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation... (Where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." --James Madison, The Federalist Papers, No. 46

A desire to be and remain free was paramount and possession of arms was necessary to this end.

"What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms." -- Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, 1787. ME 6:373, Papers 12:356

"No Free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."-- Thomas Jefferson, Proposal Virginia Constitution, 1 T. Jefferson Papers, 334, [C.J. Boyd, Ed., 1950]

Samuel Adams made quite clear the meaning and intent of the Constitution:

"That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms ... " -- Samuel Adams, Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, at 86-87 (Pierce & Hale, eds., Boston, 1850)

Liberals choose to ignore what those responsible for the Constitution of our country had to say about what was written; this simply doesn’t fit with their desire to make us “safe” by taking away ‘arms’, i.e. guns, from all of us. It never occurs to them that disarming Americans doesn’t make anyone safe because it denies the right of self protection. Trite though it may be, it is nonetheless true that if peaceful citizens don’t have guns, only criminals will.

Early Americans were self reliant, and patriotic; many of their present day counterparts are neither. What do you suppose the likes of Madison, Jefferson and Adams would think about what Americans today assume is their birthright, “the government will take care of me”, therefore I don’t need a gun”? That’s fine if you liberals want to believe that, but I don’t. I want to do as the early great Americans did, and provide for my own defense.

If you want to see how much liberals have deteriorated over the years, here is what a one-time liberal icon had to say about the subject about 50 years ago:

“Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of citizens to keep and bear arms ... The right of citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard, against the tyranny which now appears remote in America but which historically has proven to be always possible."-- Hubert H. Humphrey, Senator, Vice President, 22 October 1959

Current day liberals are not the first to think gun ownership by the citizenry is bad. They have this in common with one of history’s notables:

"The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing."-- Adolph Hitler, Hitler's Secret Conversations 403 (Norman Cameron and R.H. Stevens trans., 1961)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Are children born of illegal immigrant’s citizens?

A common misconception is that the Constitution through the 14th Amendment confers citizenship upon everyone born in the United States whether or not they were born to an illegal alien. Actually, the Constitution itself does not provide citizenship to those born of illegal parents; the Supreme Court only said it did in an 1898 decision known as ‘U.S. v. Wong Ark Can’, and it is politically correct to accept this Supreme Court decision while ignoring others.

The problem is that the court majority in the Wong Ark Can case, as is so often today, ‘made law’ according to their personal beliefs and not according to what those that wrote the Constitution (or in this case, the 14th Amendment) actually intended at the time it was written. Justice Horace Gray, who wrote the majority decision in the Wong Ark Can case, reveals exactly what the majority was up to by avoiding discussion about the intention of the clause by the two Senators whom are most responsible for the language of the 14th Amendment, Senators Jacob M. Howard and Lyman Trumbull.

It is clear the court majority in this case recognized the only reasonable way to come to the conclusion they wanted was to ignore the recorded legislative history left behind by the writers of the amendment. Justice Gray acknowledged this when he wrote: "Doubtless, the intention of the congress which framed, and of the states which adopted, this amendment of the constitution, must be sought in the words of the amendment, and (sic)[but] the debates in congress are not admissible as evidence to control the meaning of those words."

Justice John Paul Stevens disagreed with this attempt by the Wong Ark Can majority to rewrite the Constitution: "A refusal to consider reliable evidence of original intent in the Constitution is no more excusable than a judge's refusal to consider legislative intent."

Justice Gray and the court majority refused to consider both the original intent and legislative history behind the words because they knew it would be fatal to their pre-determined intent of reversing what Congress had inserted into the US Constitution by the 14th Amendment so they avoided what senators Howard and Trumbull wrote and said.

Why did Justice Gray avoid the legislative history and the original intent of those writing the 14th Amendment?

Well the first major hurdle Senator Howard presented to the court majority in this case is that he specifically declared the clause to be by "virtue of natural law and national law" which only recognized citizenship by birth to those who were not subject to some other foreign power. The Senator also stated when he introduced the Amendment: “The clause [the citizenship clause section 1*] specifically excludes all persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, and persons who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons." (Emphasis added). It seems clear that the amendment only applies to American citizens (natural law), regardless of their race - which is exactly what was intended.

The court majority had an even bigger problem to impose their will on American citizens because Senator Howard also said in May, 1868 that the "Constitution as now amended, forever withholds the right of citizenship in the case of accidental birth of a child belonging to foreign parents within the limits of the country." (Emphasis added)

Senator Trumbull, the co-author, additionally presents a problem for the court majority by declaring: "The provision is, that ‘all persons born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens.’ That means 'subject to the complete jurisdiction thereof.' What do we mean by 'complete jurisdiction thereof?' Not owing allegiance to anybody else. That is what it means." Sen. Howard followed that up by stating that: "The word 'jurisdiction,' as here employed, ought to be construed so as to imply a full and complete jurisdiction on the part of the United States, whether exercised by Congress, by the executive, or by the judicial department; that is to say, the same jurisdiction in extent and quality as applies to every citizen of the United States now." (Emphasis added)

Illegal aliens and visitors do not enjoy the same "quality of jurisdiction" as a citizen of the United States. Can an alien be tried for Treason against the United States? Senator Howard clearly intended that the phrase "subject to the jurisdiction" does not apply to anyone other than American citizens.

Senator John A. Bingham, the writer of the 14th amendment’s first section, considered the proposed national law on citizenship as "simply declaratory of what is written in the Constitution, that every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen..."

Ironically, the Supreme Court had already decided the meaning of the 14th amendment's citizenship clause before the Wong Kim Ark case, and unlike the majority in the Wong Kim Ark court, did consider the intent and meaning of the phrase “subject to the jurisdiction”.

In the 'Slaughterhouse cases' [Butchers' Benevolent Association of New Orleans v. The Crescent City Livestock Landing and Slaughterhouse Co. (1873)] the court noted that "[t]he phrase, 'subject to its jurisdiction' was intended to exclude from its operation children of ministers, consuls, and citizens or subjects of foreign States born within the United States." Even the dissenting minority in the Slaughterhouse cases affirmed that the citizenship clause was designed to ensure that all persons born within the United States were both citizens of the United States and the state in which they resided, provided they were not at the time subjects of any foreign power.

Another Supreme Court decision [Elk v. Wilkins (1884)] correctly determined that "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States required "not merely subject in some respect or degree to the jurisdiction of the United States, but completely subject to their political jurisdiction, and owing them direct and immediate allegiance."

America's own naturalization laws from the very beginning never recognized children born to aliens to be anything other than aliens if the parents had not declared their allegiance to the United State - a sure sign that the framers intended children under national law followed the citizenship of their father until he had become naturalized.

Also of interest, Justice Fuller, chief justice of the court in the Wong Kim Ark case, said, “The words 'subject to the jurisdiction thereof,' in the amendment, were used as synonymous with the words 'and not subject to any foreign power.”; and he was absolutely correct.

Considering both the legislative and language history behind the citizenship clause (14th Amendment, Section 1) – and the courts own stated objective in reaching the conclusion they did while also taking into account two prior Supreme Court holdings - leaves the Wong Kim Ark ruling completely worthless. The decisions in the Slaughterhouse and Elk cases are still the only controlling case law that is fully supported by the history and language behind the citizenship clause as found in the first section of the 14th Amendment, and it should be so today.

*14th Amendment
“Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Monday, September 3, 2007

Labor Unions – Reflections on Labor Day

I am not against labor unions, I was a union member myself once and come from a union family. [My father, a shoe maker by trade, was an officer of the International Shoe Workers of America union, my mother, a factory dress maker, was active in the International Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) and my sister was an officer of ‘Local 1199’, representing nursing and hospital workers, until her death of Leukemia in 2004.] But labor unions today are not what they once were. Today labor unions are political tools with peculiar agendas, not the crusaders for workers rights they started out to be.

Few know that the ‘father’ of the labor union was Samuel Gompers (who incidentally, like my father, was also was a shoemaker). Gompers founded the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and held the position as president of the organization for all but one year from 1886 until his death in 1924. He promoted harmony among the different craft unions that comprised the AFL. Labor leader Gompers focused on higher wages and job security, he fought against both socialism and the Socialist Party. Gompers would surely feel out of place with labor unions of today that promote a socialist Democrat agenda. For clinchers, Gompers opposed Eugene V. Debs and other leftists who were opposed to America’s entry into World War I. It is not likely Gompers would align himself and the union workers he fought for with the Union leadership elitists of today that scramble for more political power and do not always represent their members’ political interests or views.

Gompers once said:

“.. . One of the main objects of the organization," is the elevation of the lowest paid worker to the standard of the highest, and in time we may secure for every person in the trade an existence worthy of human beings." [Mandel, Bernard. Samuel Gompers: A Biography (1963) p. 22].

His philosophy of labor unions centered on economic ends for workers, such as higher wages, benefits, and job security. His goal was to achieve these without political action. Gompers was against political affiliation and radicalism in the AFL. Like most labor leaders at the time, Gompers opposed unrestricted immigration from Europe because it lowered wages and opposed any immigration at all from Asia for the same reason and also because "it brought an alien culture". The AFL was instrumental in passing immigration restriction laws from the 1890s to the 1920s, such as the 1921 Emergency Quota Act and the Immigration Act of 1924, and seeing that they were strictly enforced. The link then between the AFL and the Democrat Party at the time was in large part based on immigration issues; the owners of large corporations wanted more immigration (as they do now) and thus supported the Republican party [Greene, Julie, Pure and Simple Politics: The American Federation of Labor and Political Activism, 1881-1917 (1998)]. Big business may still nominally favor the Republican Party but certainly there is support for the majority of Democrats today calling for open borders and, unfortunately, misguided ‘Rhinos’ and the Bush administration as well.

Recent examples that unions have strayed from the earlier AFL tenets of seeking better wages and working conditions are the law suit by union leadership (with ACLU help) to stop the Social Security Administration (SSA) from noticing employers that they have illegal aliens in their employ and union efforts to deprive workers of a secret ballot when deciding if they want union representation.

The Social Security Administration currently sends what are called “no match” letters to workers and employers when there are discrepancies between names and social security numbers but the information is not shared with other government agencies. Under the new SSA rules employers who do not make a determination of citizenship status after receipt of a ‘no match’ letter could incur hefty fines and criminal prosecution because employers are prohibited by law from hiring illegal workers. The plan to crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants is opposed by labor unions because “it will violate workers’ rights”. However, if anything, reducing the pool of illegal labor would seem to benefit workers because their services would be in greater demand and their wages would likely increase, but union leadership opposes the enforcement of worker-benefiting laws anyway.

The secret ballot has been a basic right of Americans seemingly forever but labor unions oppose maintaining this right when it comes to a worker deciding if they want to join the union. Right now there is a bill on California governor Schwarzenegger’s desk to remove a present requirement that there be state-supervised secret ballots when employees vote as to whether or not they want to be represented by a union. The change in these labor rules obviously opens up worker voting to union intimidation, a practice not foreign to labor unions in the past.

In both of these cases labor unions are acting more in the interests of union leadership rather than in worker interests. How far have unions strayed from the original intentions of labor union founders like Samuel Gompers?

With union leadership promoting self interest rather than worker interests and worker fairness, it is easy to see why union membership has decreased over the years. In 1950 union membership in the United States was estimated at 35%; in 1983 20.1% of workers were members of a union and according to current statistics fewer than 12% of the wage-earning work force belongs to a union. Government work force union membership is of course growing because government workers union spend a lot of money for organizing and there is little fiscal accountability; government union recruiting efforts are five times that in the private sector. Moreover, the government as an employer has no interest in responding to union organization efforts.

Presently, 21 states have ‘right to work’ laws that do not allow unions to force employees to join a union; that means in 29 states workers are not protected against pressure to join a union. If the secret ballot is eliminated, what can be expected to happen to workers’ free choice?

Unions are currently a major source of funding for the Democrat Party. Not only do Democrats oppose legislation that might interfere with political donations from unions, they also oppose informing union members how their dues are spent; let’s not forget that a significant proportion of union members are Republicans but their dues money is spent against their political views. Maintaining a secret ballot is the only way workers can decide on their own without responding to union pressure.