July 09, 2003

Crash caused Lynch’s injuries

Not to take anything away from Jessica Lynch and what she endured during Operation Iraqi Freedom, but a new Army report shows that her injuries were sustained as a result of her Humvee being hit by an RPG and crashing, not from fighting off Iraqi soldiers. Her unit was trying to fight its way clear of the ambush, but it is not clear how Pfc. Lynch might have participated in any fighting.

Nevertheless, it is good to have the truth after months of speculation and rumor, and Retrophisch™ well-wishes to Jessica for continued recovery.

posted by retrophisch at 10:11 AM in liberty
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Time to turn off the Saudis

Yet more and more proof that Saudi Arabia is no friend of the U.S. continues to surface. This time, it’s in the form of billions given to Palestinian terror groups over the past five years.

For too many years, Presidents and Congresscritters of both parties and every political stripe have continued to turn a blind eye to the activities of the Saudis. Activities which include Christian persecution, numerous human-rights violations within their borders, aimed mostly at foreign national females working in the kingdom, as well as growing their own individual Muslim terrorists, some of whom participated in the September 11th attacks.

President Bush, please have the courage to take a stand and denounce these “allies.” Turn your attention to increasing oil production here in the States, including drilling in ANWR if necessary. Decrease our dependence on Saudi oil, and increase the pressure that this terror-funding “religion of peace” kingdom turn its eye to a republican form of government.

posted by retrophisch at 09:47 AM in liberty
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July 02, 2003

Libel protection for bloggers

The 9th Circuit actually gets it right this time, with an extension of libel protection to online self-publishers, like moi, and those who participate in online discussion lists.

posted by retrophisch at 03:44 PM in liberty , web/site , writing
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Journalist war illogic

Oh, this is rich:

“There was a disturbing attitude from the Pentagon toward unilaterals,” said Campagna, Mideast program coordinator for the nonprofit group. “They gave the perception that if you weren’t embedded, you covered the war at your own risk, and that U.S. troops were under no obligation to at least avoid endangering you.”

Um, yeah. It’s called war, you blockhead. Everyone is participating at their own peril. The military’s job is to accomplish the task handed to them by the politicians. More often than not, this means moving in, engaging and killing the enemy (while trying to avoid unnecessary civilian casualties; but hey, it’s war), then securing the area they now occupy. They do not have time to babysit reporters who don’t play by the rules. Those unilaterals wanted to be where they were. If you can’t stand the heat…

posted by retrophisch at 11:09 AM in liberty , rant
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Left illogic

California’s population growth is almost exclusively because of foreign nationals. A goodly portion—some would say almost all—of those foreign nationals are coming across the Mexican border. A goodly portion—some would say almost all—of those Mexicans are illegally entering the United States.

So while we can understand the desire to come in to the greatest nation on earth to live and work, their breaking the law to do so doesn’t excuse them. Or one would think.

Rather, the Demobrats in the People’s Republik of Kalifornia would grant driver’s licenses—legally identifying documents—to illegal aliens. Can someone please explain why this is a good idea? You’re legitimizing an illegal activity, and possibly affecting future national security. Who’s to say that the next terrorist attack comes not from Muslim terrorists of Arabic descent, but Hispanic, née Mexican, terrorists of a communist/socialist bent, on par with Shining Path in Peru?

Does Gil Cedillo and the other California Demobrats honestly believe that people who have already broken the law by entering the country illegally are going to tell you they’re here illegally by showing up to get a driver’s license? Stupid, stupid, stupid. Here’s an idea: when the illegals come in for their driver’s license, detain and deport them!

posted by retrophisch at 10:21 AM in liberty
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July 01, 2003

Yeah, big coincidence…

I guess when you’re an ineffectual Old World power, this kind of trite, childish behavior is the best you can do.

(Thanks, Ricky.)

posted by retrophisch at 03:48 PM in liberty
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June 27, 2003

Condemn it

Awwwww. The po’ wittle U.N. buildings are falling apart, and they don’t have no one to pay to fix them up…

Guess who they want to foot the bill?

Thanks, but no thanks, United-Against-America Nations. We already shell out more money for your hostile, ineffective, do-nothing, impotent organization than any other nation on the planet. Get out of our country and go set up shop in France.

posted by retrophisch at 11:36 PM in liberty
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June 19, 2003

That pesky double standard

Trever ed cartoon 061903

John Trever, Alburquerque, New Mexico, 19 June 2003

(Thanks, Rick)

posted by retrophisch at 03:18 PM in liberty
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June 18, 2003

Kerry mum on Cape wind farm

Presidential hopeful John Kerry is running around the country talking about renewable energy, like wind and solar power, proposing we get 20% of all our energy from renewable sources by 2020. He calls it “Twenty by ‘20,” or something to that effect. Yeah, I suppose that’s something I could get behind. Having seen the big wind farm at South Point on the Big Island of Hawai’i (the southernmost tip of the United States, and quite a windy locale), I think that if there’s a suitable windy location, yeah, put up a wind farm. It won’t provide all of the energy a population might need, but it would certainly help.

But will the Senator bow to the liberal elite on the proposed Camp Wind windmill farm on Horseshoe Shoal, seven miles off Nantucket Island? Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard residents are complaining that the wind farm will ruin their respective views. Awwww, po’ wittle ewitists. They whine and complain about getting away from fossil fuel consumption, but when offered the chance to do so in their own backyard, they don’t want it because it’s not aesthetically pleasing. Seems someone wants to have it both ways.

Myron Ebell, of the free-market environmental think tank, Competitive Enterprise Institute:

“People think if you live in the right area you don’t have to put up with anything. Well, where are they going to get their energy? From little squirrels in wheels?”

(Thanks, Rick)

posted by retrophisch at 03:43 PM in liberty
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June 11, 2003

Defend your family, go to jail

At least in New York, Brooklyn to be specific. Ronald Dixon discovers an intruder in his son’s room, going through drawers. Intruder rushes Mr. Dixon, screaming to go upstairs with him. Mr. Dixon fears there may be others in the house that intend to harm him, his wife, and his children. Mr. Dixon shoots intruder twice, wounding him.

Mr. Dixon legally obtained his 9mm pistol in Florida, before moving to New York. New York requires all firearms to be registered. (Why? To make it easier to trace them back to criminals, presumably. To make it easier to confiscate, at worst…) Mr. Dixon made an attempt to comply with the law and register said firearm, but was unsuccessful. Mr. Dixon was able to plead down to a charge of disorderly conduct, but he could still spend up to a year in jail; at least he won’t have a criminal record when he’s done.

An anonymous letter to the Brooklyn D.A. sums it up pretty well:

“If you were in the same position that Mr. Dixon was in, I would be willing to wager that you would also use whatever means you had on hand to defend your loved ones, as any of us would.

“By prosecuting Ronald Dixon on spurious charges, you are sending a very dangerous message to the residents in your jurisdiction: Defend your family, go to jail. You are also sending an equally dangerous message to the criminal element, who would realize that law-abiding citizens would now be hesitant to defend themselves for fear of criminal prosecution, and therefore make prime targets for violent crime.”

A naturalized citizen, Mr. Dixon immigrated from Jamaica, and served in the U.S. Navy for three years. He works two jobs seven days a week to provide for his family. And now his American dream has been crushed by an anti-gun, anti-personal protection, anti-liberty district attorney. Kudos, D.A. Hynes.

posted by retrophisch at 09:05 AM in firearms , liberty
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June 10, 2003

Rome’s iman supports suicide bombings

From the Religion-of-Peace department: the leader of Europe’s largest mosque stated support for suicide bombings against Israel in a recent sermon, as well as in an interview granted to an Italian daily.

It is so refreshing to see Muslim leaders extending the hands of brotherhood and tolerance, when so many around the world have done the same for them. I suppose the difference is that those Muslim hands hold detonators and knives…

posted by retrophisch at 12:12 PM in liberty
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More freedom of, not freedom from

D. James Kennedy reports on recent U.S. Department of Education guidelines “that require the Secretary of Education to issue guidance on constitutionally protected prayer in elementary and secondary schools. These guidelines clarify what it is that public school students are allowed to do on campus.”

He goes on to offer an outstanding layman’s overview of the whole “separation of church and state” issue, and why that is a complete fallacy.

posted by retrophisch at 12:06 PM in liberty
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June 03, 2003

Can you feel the love?

Barbra Streisand is suing a fellow environmentalist. Why? Because he took an aerial photograph of her Malibu coastline estate. Along with 12,000 other pictures of the California coastline, all as part of creating an aerial photographic survey of the coastline to document erosion over time.

Shhhhhh. Don’t anyone tell Barbrat about the Keyhole spy satellites the NSA could retask to sit over Malibu if it wanted…

posted by retrophisch at 05:15 PM in liberty
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May 28, 2003

Why am I not surprised?

“Congressman flies U.N. flag”

Sam Farr has done more in his six terms (about six too many) to undermine American sovereignty than former General Secretary President Klinton did in his eight years in office.

“If the U.N. didn’t exist, we’d be inventing it right now,” Farr told the San Francisco Chronicle, calling the U.N. “the only way to build up the infrastructure around the globe for the human rights, labor, environmental conditions that are fair and equitable.”

Gee, Representative Farr, just like the U.N. is doing in Iraq right now? Like it did so successfully in Vietnam? Somalia? Rwanda?

“We’ve got to do everything in our power to make the U.N. the leadership body it was intended to be. … This president has no respect for the United Nations.”

Nor should he. Representative Farr, name one conflict the United Nations has successfully mediated to a resolution that benefited all of the people involved. You have until the next election, and if you need more time, I’m sure we can give you all you need.

After toppling Saddam Hussein with the assistance of about 40 other countries who formed a “coalition of the willing,” the U.S. returned to the Security Council this month to resume international diplomacy over the issue of sanctions. On Thursday, the 15-member council appeared to smooth the rift over Iraq by passing a resolution that approved the U.S.-led administration of the country.

Yes, after the U.S. and its allies did all the dirty work, the U.N. decides it wants to play ball.

“Reform of the U.N. is impossible. The U.N. and its agencies are fatally flawed,” maintains Phyllis Kaminsky, a U.S. delegate to the Human Rights Commission and a Reagan administration official.

Indeed. The U.N. has demonstrated its ineptitude in handling the Iraq situation, including its mismanagement of the entire oil-for-food program, which did little to put food on the table of a majority of Iraqis, while continuing to line Hussein’s pockets.

Oh, and regarding your income-tax payments this year:

“Americans should take notice when pro-U.N. forces in Washington recently spent $600,000 of taxpayers’ money to renovate the kitchen of the ambassador’s Waldorf-Astoria apartment,” Snyder said. “I bet Julia Child’s kitchen didn’t cost 600 grand.”

posted by retrophisch at 09:04 AM in liberty
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May 27, 2003

You can always use that Ranger tab for TP…

Colonel David Hackworth (USA-Retired) reports on the sissifying of the elite Army Rangers.

While the rest of the U.S. Army has lowered its standards to the point where seasoned war vets find today’s combat training a joke and the crusty salts who fought at Anzio, Osan and Dak To refer to what passes for most training as “an invitation to get killed,” Rangers have fought lowering the training bar and have consistently turned out hardened studs whom commanders in the field would fight to get.

That is until Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, the guy who runs Fort Benning today, was told by a few recent Ranger graduates that they were turned off by Ranger School because some of their RIs were meanies and actually yelled and cursed at them and even made them do pushups when they goofed up. Others complained in writing that they’d been sleep-deprived and that the training was too difficult.

For the record, the RIs—hardened vets who know what it takes to win and walk away alive—were merely following the battle-tested Darby practices of creating maximum stress, teaching attention to detail and passing on the proven tactics and techniques that have worked so splendidly for our Rangers in a bunch of bad scraps.

Just for the record, applying for and attending Ranger School is strictly a volunteer activity, just like joining the Army itself. If you’re not being physically abused or racially slandered, what are you complaining about? The old rumination on heat and the kitchen comes to mind.

One can only hope that Eaton is retired—er, retires, soon, before he gets any of our boys killed due to ill preparation and training.

posted by retrophisch at 12:03 PM in liberty
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Giving back to those who gave all

Too often during Memorial Day ceremonies, we tend to overlook those who survive the men and women who sacrificed their all for our nation. Michelle Malkin takes a look at some of the different organizations that assist military survivors, along with contact information, should you wish to lend financial or other support.

posted by retrophisch at 09:58 AM in liberty
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May 26, 2003

Take time to remember

On this Memorial Day, please take some time out to remember those who have sacrificed all on behalf of our nation, as well as those they have left behind.

Freedom is not free.

Memorial Day remembrance

posted by retrophisch at 10:21 AM in liberty
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The real Threat Matrix

Despite ABC’s upcoming fall show of the same name, the real Threat Matrix is a document the President reads each morning.

The crux of their briefings is the document formally titled “Terrorist Threats to U.S. Interests Worldwide,” or more informally, the “Daily Threat Matrix.”

[…]

The document is “a list of every threat directed at the United States in the past 24 hours,” Mueller said.

Government officials familiar with the Matrix, who spoke on condition of anonymity, described it as a daily compendium of a few pages to 30 or more. Each threat is entered in tabular format, with those considered the most severe listed first.

posted by retrophisch at 10:10 AM in liberty
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May 25, 2003

How many times do we have to go through this?

Yet again, in light of all the whining coming from the Demobrats over the just-passed federal tax cut:

  • unconstitutional spending causes deficits
  • unconstitutional spending causes deficits
  • unconstitutional spending causes deficits

Did I happen to mention that unconstitutional spending causes deficits? Putting money back in to the pockets of those actually paying taxes, i.e., the top 50% of all those collecting a paycheck, does not constitute a deficit problem.

Speaking of those actually paying taxes, yes, these tax cuts favor “the rich,” if you consider a dual-income married couple with two kids bringing in around $125,00 a year “rich.” Those are the people actually paying taxes; a single-income married couple with two kids bringing in only $18,000 a year is paying very little, if any, income tax.

Stop your whining, your leftist sociocrats, and work toward cutting out those programs and departments that the federal government is unconstitutionally funding. And this goes for several members of the Republican party as well. Cut the pork, and the deficit will go down.

Speaking of bringing down the deficit, riddle me this: what was the Clinton administration doing to lead the country to better fiscal management? Clinton supporters have long pointed to how, during the Clinton administration, our federal government ran a “surplus.” Government should never have a surplus—it says either the government doesn’t have its fiscal priorities in order, or the citizenry is over-taxed, or both. Why wasn’t this surplus going toward paying down the national debt? That would have shown good financial sense.

posted by retrophisch at 12:07 PM in liberty
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May 19, 2003

Armey on Clinton/Lewinsky

Back on 15 September 1998, then-House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) held his weekly meeting with Capitol reporters. When a reporter provided him an opening by inquiring what he would do if he were in President Clinton’s shoes, the Los Angeles Times captured the conference’s atmosphere:

…the jam-packed room burst into raucous laughter as one reporter prefaced a question about the Lewinsky scandal by saying, “If you were in the president’s position…” Armey didn’t miss a beat. “If I were, I would be looking up from a pool of blood and hearing my wife say: ‘How do I reload this thing?’”

The situation would be similar in my household; except my wife knows how to reload!

(Thanks to Ricky and Snopes.)

posted by retrophisch at 11:05 AM in firearms , fun , liberty
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May 15, 2003

Taking the Times to task

So many blasting the New York Times, so little time…

Ann Coulter:

The Times has now willingly abandoned its mantle as the “newspaper of record,” leapfrogging its impending technological obsolescence. It was already up against the Internet and Lexis-Nexis as a research tool. All the Times had left was its reputation for accuracy.

As this episode shows, the Times is not even attempting to preserve a reliable record of events. Instead of being a record of history, the Times is merely a “record” of what liberals would like history to be — the Pentagon in crisis, the war going badly, global warming melting the North Pole, and protests roiling Augusta National Golf Club. Publisher Arthur “Pinch” Sulzberger has turned the paper into a sort of bulletin board for Manhattan liberals.

Jonah Goldberg:

The Times says that this episode marks a “a low-point in the 152-year history of the newspaper.” For Times worshippers, this was an admirable admission of wrongdoing. But we skeptics want to know if this blow to the Times’ reputation outranked, say, the newspaper’s deliberate downplaying of the Holocaust?

Did this “journalistic fraud” exceed the Pulitzer-winning deception of Walter Duranty, the Times correspondent who explicitly lied about Stalin’s purges and forced famines? How about correspondent Herbert Matthews, who promised the world that the rebel-leader Fidel Castro wasn’t a communist, even as Castro slaughtered innocents and struck deals with the Soviets?

There’s nothing wrong with admitting that this Blair fiasco is a big deal, but no one died because of anything Blair wrote. It seems the egos of a few execs are on par with the deaths of millions.

Marvin Olasky:

Venerable Times columnist William Safire defended his employer and suggested that the Blair affair is allowing conservative critics to practice schadenfreude, what Germans call “the guilty pleasure one secretly takes in another’s suffering.” That’s clever and it might be true, except that the influence of the Times is such that when it fails, millions of innocent people suffer.

In the early 1930s, for example, Times Moscow correspondent Walter Duranty helped Joseph Stalin cover up a Soviet extermination campaign that claimed millions of lives, mostly in the Ukraine — and when other reporters told the truth, Duranty libeled them. In the late 1960s, the Times beat the pro-abortion drum so loudly that the Supreme Court began to listen, and the cost was many more millions of lives.

Blair’s misconduct was spectacular, but no one died because of it, so the Times has certainly had many lower points in the 152 years since Henry Raymond, a conservative Christian, founded it.

(Raymond would be turning over in his grave, as the saying goes.)

Thomas Sowell:

That is why this was not just an isolated scandal but a sign of moral dry rot in the leadership of the New York Times.

Again, the paper’s own account is the most damning. Far from not knowing what was going on, the Times acknowledges that “various editors and reporters expressed misgivings about Mr. Blair’s reporting skills, maturity and behavior during his five-year journey from raw intern to reporter on national news events. Their warnings centered mostly on errors in his articles.”

More than a year ago, one of the Times’s own editors wrote a memo that said plainly: “We have got to stop Jayson from writing for the Times. Right Now.” Instead, Blair was promoted to national news coverage.

And on it goes…

posted by retrophisch at 03:06 PM in liberty
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May 08, 2003

Is it or isn’t it? (Hint: It is…)

Brian has a good analysis and links of the infamous 9th Circuit Court’s refusal for a full court hearing on California’s “assault” weapons ban.

By definition, an “assault” weapon is one capable of fully automatic fire; full-auto firearms are illegal to own anywhere in the U.S. unless you have a Class III Federal Firearms License. The fact that a firearm may look like an “assault” weapon doesn’t make it one, despite how the news media continues to call semi-automatic (one squeeze of the trigger, one shot) firearms “assault” weapons.

I hope and pray that the Supreme Court does hear this case, and rules it as the individual Constitutional right it is. Yes, the fact is that the Second Amendment is an individual right. Read your Federalist Papers; all of the Founding Fathers believed this to be so.

Why would they place a state right within nine other individual rights? And place it so highly in status? The Second is for individuals, not the states, and not for the state.

posted by retrophisch at 11:41 AM in firearms , liberty
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May 06, 2003

Freedom of, not freedom from

Jon Dougherty has an outstanding piece on the Supreme Court’s recent unconstitutional ruling of the Ten Commandments display case in Kentucky.

posted by retrophisch at 04:47 PM in liberty
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May 02, 2003

Freedom is not free: a reminder

Retired USAF Major Brian Shul delivered an address at March AFB on Veteran’s Day 2001. Powerful stuff:

Yes, I believe God has blessed this nation in many ways, although sometimes we forget just how fortunate we really are…and now, after a horrific attack on our homeland, we find ourselves embattled in a war once again. And yet, there are many who seem unsure of the response we should take. Today, we honor so many who have given their lives, in defense of this country…row upon row of tombstones, silent vigils to their ultimate sacrifice. If the dead could speak today, they would tell you that all it takes for evil to succeed in the world if for good people to stand by and do nothing. They would emphatically declare to you that you negotiate with the enemy with your knee in his chest and your knife at his throat. And they would remind you that those who forget their history, are condemned to repeat it.

We are a nation guilty of forgetting these lessons. Had we learned them better, our cemeteries would be less full.

We fought a Cold War for so long, that perhaps we became weary and complacent, and when we won that war, we became soft. We indulged ourselves in the notion that the world was all-safe, and we thought a booming economy was ample substitute for a strong military. Did we really think electing self-serving politicians would make us stronger as a nation? Somehow we came to accept the notion that freedom was free. It never has been. The price of freedom has always been eternal vigilance. We need to understand that there are those in the world who would destroy us because our way of life threatens their quest for world domination.

posted by retrophisch at 01:04 PM in liberty
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The Political Quiz Show

Brian pointed me to this political quiz, established in 1994 by Democratic consultant Victor Kamber and his Republican counterpart, Bradley S. O’Leary.

I’m a Bob Dole conservative, with a score of 35 out of 40.

Big surprise.

Take the test and leave your score in the comments.

posted by retrophisch at 12:48 PM in liberty
permalink | comments (2)

May 01, 2003

Unexpected resistance

Ann skewers the leftists once again over the U.S. victory in Iraq:

They said chemical weapons would be used against our troops. That didn’t happen. They predicted huge civilian casualties. That didn’t happen. They said Americans would turn against the war as our troops came home in body bags. That didn’t happen. They warned of a mammoth terrorist attack in America if we invaded Iraq. That didn’t happen. Just two weeks ago, they claimed American troops were caught in another Vietnam quagmire. That didn’t happen.

Now the biggest mishap liberals can seize on is that some figurines from an Iraqi museum were broken – a relief to college students everywhere who have ever been forced to gaze upon Mesopotamian pottery. We’re not talking about Rodins here. So the Iraqis looted. Oh well. Wars are messy. Liberalism is part of a religious disorder that demands a belief that life is controllable.

posted by retrophisch at 07:03 PM in liberty
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April 30, 2003

France provided intel to Saddam?

“The London Guardian found documents showing Paris fed intelligence to Baghdad before the war. Iraq got diplomatic secrets and military guidance from France. Who else could have taught the Iraqis how to lose their entire country in two weeks?” —Argus Hamilton

posted by retrophisch at 04:05 PM in liberty , quote
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April 29, 2003

S.W.A.T.

Another trailer, this time for the Sam Jackson-Colin Farrell-LL Cool J-Michelle Rodriguez vehicle, S.W.A.T. Loosely based on the 1970s television show of the same name (apparently the only similarity is an updated theme song), it looks pretty good. This was one of my favorite shows when I was about four or five years old.

For the uninitiated, S.W.A.T. stands for Special Weapons And Tactics. The first S.W.A.T. team in the United States was fielded by the Los Angeles Police Department, and next to the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team (HRT), they are considered the elite such force in the nation. (Of non-military units, that is. The Army’s Delta Force and SEAL Team Six are also antiterrorist units, but are used for overseas operations.)

All of the above units are modeled on the antiterrorist division of the British SAS (Special Air Service), which remained secret until Operation Nimrod, the 1980 Iranian Embassy hostage siege in London, which was broadcast worldwide.

posted by retrophisch at 10:31 AM in firearms , fun , liberty
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April 28, 2003

Maher Admits Naivete, Shocks Conservatives Everywhere

The notorious Bill Maher admitted on his April 25th show that he was incorrect in his belief that there is a right to privacy in the Constitution. Yes, that’s right, you constitutionally-ignorant plebeians on the Left: there is no guaranteed right to privacy in the Constitution of the United States of America. Yes, that means that despite what the Supreme Court says, Roe v Wade is constitutionally invalid.

Not that U.S. citizens shouldn’t expect a reasonable degree of privacy in some matters. But the fact is that the government already mandates what we can or cannot do with our bodies on many levels.

We are told we cannot put illegal drugs into our bodies. We are told we cannot put alcohol above a certain level in to our bodies, then get behind the wheel of an automobile. We are told that if our vision is not up to par, we cannot get behind that same wheel. Some states insist that those riding motorcycles wear helmets (since some are obviously too stupid to wear one without being told to do so). In many locales, it is illegal to commit suicide (though you can only be prosecuted if you fail). Legally, you cannot smoke until the age of 18, or drink until the age of 21. You have to wear a seat belt while driving in an automobile in every state in the Union (if there is one where you don’t, I am simply ignorant of that fact, and, unlike most in the Left, am welcome to enlightenment).

The fact of the matter is that the “right to privacy” was made up by the Supreme Court, beginning in 1965, and cemented in 1973 with Roe v Wade. And for those of you who may bally-hoo me on this issue, if the federal government was in its Constitutionally-limited role in the first place, we wouldn’t have to worry about it encroaching on our individual privacy.

(Thanks to Brian for the link.)

posted by retrophisch at 11:26 AM in liberty
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April 27, 2003

Still more Saddam/al-Qaida ties

Yes, Virginia, there are still people who believe that there were no ties between bin Laden’s al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein. I wonder what they’ll say about the Iraqi secret police documents just discovered that refute that claim, that show Saddam actually met with an al-Qaida operative and sought out a meeting with bin Laden himself?

posted by retrophisch at 09:05 AM in liberty
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April 18, 2003

The Bush Regime Change Tour

First it was Afghanistan, where the U.S. military accomplished in less than three months what the former Soviet Union failed to do in a decade. In the process, we ousted a terrorism-supporting regime and installed a democratic form of government.

Then it was Iraq, where the greatest military force in the world took over a country the size of California in under three weeks, liberating its people from an oppressive dictator bent on supplying terrorists with weapons of mass destruction.

Tomorrow, Syria? North Korea? Iran? France?

Whatever terrorism-supporting regime we take down next, be sure to nab your official Bush Regime Change Tour merchandise!

Brought to you by the new United Nations: Inefficient. Ineffectual. Irrelevant.

(Major thanks and kudos to Rick for the idea!)

posted by retrophisch at 09:35 AM in fun , liberty
permalink | comments (1)

April 16, 2003

Preschool Pacifism

“Welcome to the new preschool curriculum: play dough, finger painting and pacifism 101.”

posted by retrophisch at 09:55 AM in liberty
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Aw, no more Saddam money for Palestinian terrorism

Saddam Hussein was providing about US $1.5 million a month to various Palestinian agents and supporters, and now that money channel is cut off. And none too soon.

Let’s get this straight:

1. The PLO began as a terrorist organization, and continues to be a terrorist organization, directly or indirectly threatening the security of the state of Israel.

2. Israel is not “occupying” any piece of land it did not rightfully gain as the result of the wars launched against it since the modern Israeli state came in to existence in 1948. Wars Israel did not provoke, did not seek out, but wars Israel won nonetheless. If you have a problem with the fact that Israel owns the Gaza Strip and other areas, then point your questions to Jordan, Syria, Egypt, the PLO, Hamas, et al.

I’m not saying the Israelis are blameless in all of this, and their overall treatment of the Palestinians could be better. But the fact you have to remember is that the Palestinians, as well as most other Arab nations, are not interested in an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel. They have wanted, since 1948, and to this day, the utter annihilation of the state of Israel and the Jewish people. That’s their idea of peace in the Middle East.

posted by retrophisch at 09:08 AM in liberty
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Still no Saddam/terrorism ties, right?

It may have taken 18 years, but the U.S. has captured Abu Abbas, the mastermind of the 1985 Achille Lauro cruise ship hijacking. Abbas is wanted for the murder of wheelchair-bound Leon Klinghoffer, who was dumped overboard still in his chair.

U.S. troops and the intelligence community are also seeking out Abdul Rahman Yasin, wanted for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Yasin is yet one more terrorist known to have gained “asylum” in Saddam’s Iraq.

posted by retrophisch at 08:50 AM in liberty
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April 14, 2003

No multiple flag flying in Peoria, AZ

“In the midst of the War in Iraq, the City of Peoria, Arizona, has declared war on the First Amendment by ordering one of its citizens to cease flying his American Flags.”

This is so incredibly sad. So as Brian says, it’s ok to burn a hundred flags, but not to fly them?

posted by retrophisch at 04:19 PM in liberty
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April 10, 2003

We told you so?

U.S. Marines have uncovered what is believed to be weapons-grade plutonium.

U.S. Marines have located a complex of tunnels underneath an Iraqi nuclear complex — apparently missed by U.N. weapons inspectors — discovering a vast array of warehouses and bombproof offices that could contain the “smoking gun” sought by intelligence agencies, reported the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

[…]

Chief Warrant Officer Darrin Flick, the battalion’s nuclear, biological and chemical warfare specialist, said radiation levels were particularly high at a place near the complex where local residents say the “missile water” is stored in mammoth caverns.

“It’s amazing,” Flick said. “I went to the off-site storage buildings, and the rad detector went off the charts. Then I opened the steel door, and there were all these drums, many, many drums, of highly radioactive material.”

More proof of an increasingly incompetent and irrelevant U.N.? Or perfectly innocent?

This underground discovery could still test to be perfectly legitimate and offer no proof of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. The CIA encouraged international inspectors in the fall of 2002 to probe Al Tuwaitha for weapons of mass destruction, and the inspectors came away empty-handed.

Time will tell as the materials are tested.

posted by retrophisch at 09:09 PM in liberty
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April 09, 2003

Liberation

Iraq is free from Saddam’s tyranny.

Dayna has the play by play. WND has a summary.

But of course the Iraqi people didn’t wish to be freed from torture and tyranny, or they would have done it themselves, right?

posted by retrophisch at 10:38 AM in liberty
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April 08, 2003

War Zone Entertainment

It never ceases to amaze me how people can find ways to amuse themselves, even during times of danger, blood, and death.

posted by retrophisch at 11:56 AM in fun , liberty
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April 07, 2003

Embedded PowerBook

Thanks to Mark for the pointer to this photo gallery of USA Today photography Jack Gruber, who is using his PowerBook G4 12” to send pictures to the main office.

I still want one!

posted by retrophisch at 02:49 PM in liberty , mac , tech
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For those who confuse prime time TV with reality:

posted by retrophisch at 02:12 PM in liberty
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Saddam has left the capital…

Now that U.S. forces own the Iraqi capital, the Hindustan Times believes the dictator has already fled Baghdad.

posted by retrophisch at 12:02 PM in liberty
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Smoking gun, any one?

Reuters notes that NPR is reporting U.S. Marines have discovered 20 BM-21 missiles loaded with sarin and mustard gas. The Marines were working, alongside members of the 101st Airborne, a mop-up operation behind Army units that had taken the Baghdad International Airport.

Let’s see: Operation Iraqi Freedom began a little over two weeks ago. Coalition forces have discovered numerous weapons caches wherein NBC suits and antitoxin vaccines were stored, over the weekend coalition forces discovered canisters which may contain chemical WMDs (still being tested), and now the Marines have come across the BM-21s.

United Nations weapons inspectors, on the other hand, were in Iraq for eight years, and discovered nothing?

“This regime change brought to you by the new United Nations: Ineffective. Inadequate. Irrelevant.”

(Thanks, Ricky!)

UPDATE: WorldNetDaily is reporting that the presence of sarin has been detected and soldiers and civilians are being decontaminated. (11:53 A.M.)

posted by retrophisch at 10:37 AM in liberty
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April 03, 2003

History

Wow.

(Mucho grande gracias to Ricky.)

posted by retrophisch at 09:35 AM in liberty
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April 02, 2003

Copywrong

Zeldman calls it. Disney is not your friend.

posted by retrophisch at 09:48 PM in liberty , web/site , writing
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March 27, 2003

Earthquakes rocking France

WBAP is reporting this morning:

Earthquakes are being reported in France in over 10 different major areas. These earthquakes are measuring in at over 10 on the Richter Scale.

The source of the earthquakes is being reported as the 56,681 dead Americans buried in France have rolled over in their graves.

  • 26,255 American soldiers from WWI are buried in 4 different cemeteries in France.
  • 30,426 American soldiers from WWII are buried in 10 different cemeteries in France.
  • Total: 56,681 American soldiers (most were under the age of 21) died while liberating France from their oppressors in two different World Wars.

(Thanks, Brian)

Is it too much to ask, then, that France return the favor in liberating Iraq?

posted by retrophisch at 10:19 AM in liberty
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LSU alumni in Afghanistan

Speaking of the Fighting Tigers, several of the 500 members of the Louisiana Army National Guard’s 769th Engineer Battalion are LSU students and alumni. The 769th was deployed to Afghanistan over the summer and fall of 2002.

LSU alumni in Afghanistan

Thanks to the members of the 769th for their service, and Geaux Tigers!

posted by retrophisch at 10:06 AM in liberty
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March 26, 2003

The Great California Gray-Out underway

Doubtful that it will actually happen, but the California Secretary of State has cleared the way for a recall of Governor Gray Davis. Best of luck to the recall advocates.

(via Molly)

posted by retrophisch at 01:34 PM in liberty
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Moore Lies

So, by the Academy’s own definition, Bowling for Colombine isn’t a documentary. Yet it is nominated, and wins, an Academy Award. Ok, fine, the “documentary” supposedly supports a political opinion of a majority of Academy members, so we’ll just overlook that.

And while frustrating, if that was the only problem, it wouldn’t be that big a deal. Unfortunately, the film is a complete falsehood that distorts the truth, fabricates material, and outright lies to the audience.

What is mildly amusing is that while many anti-gun groups are congratulating Moore on his Oscar win, the conclusion of the film determines that the problem isn’t with guns, but people. Gee, you think?

posted by retrophisch at 10:02 AM in liberty
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March 25, 2003

Anarchists and Traitors, Unite!

I believe these pictures, provided by the ultra-left-leaning, obviously anti-law enforcement, SF Indymedia branch, are sufficient to show that the anti-war protesters are interested in anything but peace.

Your right to protest stops at advocating murder/desertion/treason. And if you truly believed in what you were out advocating, why are you hiding behind masks and bandanas?

Cowards.

posted by retrophisch at 04:48 PM in liberty
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One more on Jury Duty

Something I forgot to note in the previous jury duty posts, but I thought worth mentioning: the judge overseeing the case we sat for, Joe Briggs, sent a handwritten thank-you note to each juror. I’m not sure if that’s Denton County policy, or simply Judge Briggs’s, but I thought it a nice touch.

posted by retrophisch at 11:32 AM in liberty
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March 24, 2003

Jury Duty V

Just to wrap up the “Jury Duty” saga: we concluded the trial this past Thursday, deliberating for about 10 minutes, and we found the defendant not guilty.

Essentially, it sounds like a case of road rage that could have gone just as much to the “victim” as the defendant. All of us on the jury suspect there is more to both sides of the story than what we were told via testimony. The behavior of the defendant described by the “victim” was not in line with the defendant’s demeanor when he was stopped and questioned by police officers, two of whom testified at trial. The defendant was also not arrested at the time of said stop, which goes a long way toward his not being the immediate threat the “victim” made him out to be. He was actually called a day later by a detective and was asked to turn himself in, which he did.

For us, the state didn’t provide enough evidence to remove reasonable doubt, and thus, we had to acquit. It was one man’s word against another, with no other evidence to support the charge. I feel justice prevailed.

posted by retrophisch at 11:23 AM in liberty
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March 21, 2003

Say Thanks

Whether or not you are in favor of the war with the Hussein regime, at least say thank you to the troops who are there in your place: Defend America Thank You.

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” —Thomas Paine
posted by retrophisch at 12:00 PM in liberty
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The American Flag

“This flag…the symbol of the hopes of man. This cloth of dreams for freedom, justice and opportunity. Its stars like beacons guiding us through shoals of adversity. Its red stripes like wounds of struggle.

“The good in it cannot be had for nothing…like any garden, it must be tended…like any loved one it must be held. Hold high this flag and keep its promise bright, for in it lies the best of hope for all of us.” —Mort Walker, Beetle Bailey creator

(Thanks, Carrie.)

posted by retrophisch at 08:59 AM in liberty , quote
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March 19, 2003

It has begun

Bombs over Baghdad tonight (tomorrow morning in Iraq). Apparently, intelligence on targets of opportunity was such that cruise missiles and F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighters were launched at limited targets of Iraqi leadership.

Apparently, the U.S. military has jammed and co-opted Iraqi State Radio, and is now making statements in Arabic to the people of Iraq.

posted by retrophisch at 09:30 PM in liberty
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First firefight of the Iraq War?

London’s Evening Standard is reporting on a firefight that broke out between Iraqi forces in Basra and members of the British Special Boat Service (think SEALs) and U.S. Marines.

Thanks to Dan for the link.

posted by retrophisch at 04:34 PM in liberty
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March 18, 2003

Jury Duty IV

Trial was going pretty good this morning. Got through 4 witnesses, then the defendant had some kind of seizure (I think maybe diabetic/blood sugar), and court was recessed until 9 AM Thursday. So I get to “enjoy” a day at work tomorrow!

posted by retrophisch at 05:36 PM in liberty
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Jury Duty III

I made the cut; I’m one of the six jurors for this misdemeanor trial starting later this morning. The defendant is charged with Deadly Conduct. From what I gathered during voir dire, it sounds like he was either waving around or pointing a handgun at another man. Should be interesting.

posted by retrophisch at 07:29 AM in liberty
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March 17, 2003

Jury Duty II

So I reported for jury duty this morning, fully expecting to sit around all day while they waded through the list. This based on horror stories of jury duty from friends, neighbors, and coworkers.

Denton County, thankfully, does things a little differently than our Dallas brethren. About 250 prospective jurors showed up this morning. After being sworn in by one of the judges and being given a rundown on qualifications and exemptions, the district clerk informed us that the courts needed 232 jurors to fill all of its panels today. That meant 18 lucky folks were walking out of there. I was not one of those 18.

The first case was a felony, and they needed 42 people from the panel, of which the attorneys on either side would whittle down to 12. These first 42 totally lucked out, since as the clerk was getting ready to call their names, she received word the trial had been cancelled/postponed. The next 2 sets of jurors were also for felonies, 42 each. Then came a set of 24 for a misdemeanor trial. Then a set of 20 for another misdemeanor. The room was thinning out; were the odds of getting called getting better or worse? (Didn’t really matter; computer system had kicked out the various lists, completely at random, minutes before, after all jurors had reported in.)

On the 3d misdemeanor trial, my name was called. The good news was that I didn’t have to report to the courtroom until 1pm. Not enough time to go in to the office for a bit, too much time to hang around the courthouse. So I came home for a while. I’ll head back about noon, 1 out of 24, and they’ll take 6 of us.

I don’t really mind one way or the other. Thankfully, my employer pays me if I’m at work or jury duty, and I donated my $6/$10 a day ($10 if you actually sit on a jury, otherwise $6 for reporting for service) to the Boys & Girls Club of Denton County. It’s a misdemeanor trial, which means it shouldn’t go more than a day or two. Should be interesting to see what happens later this afternoon.

posted by retrophisch at 11:07 AM in liberty
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Jury Duty

So later this morning I’ll be heading out to report for jury duty. Like most folks, it’s not something I’m looking forward to, but it’s one of our duties as citizens, and one I take seriously. So much so that I test drove the route earlier tonight, to ensure that I would arrive on time. Hey, if I were a defendant awaiting trial, I’d want people who took it seriously in the jury pool, too, even if they didn’t really want to be there.

posted by retrophisch at 12:07 AM in liberty
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March 13, 2003

Even the French aren’t this bad

This is just disgraceful. Utterly disgraceful.

Get it through your neanderthal-thick skulls, slugheads: men and women in uniform do not decide whether to go to war or not. They follow orders given by civilian commanders to do so. Focus your anger where it belongs, and respect those who serve in your place.

posted by retrophisch at 02:49 PM in liberty
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March 12, 2003

Walk away!

Charles Krauthammer delivers good advice to President Bush:

Walk away, Mr. President. Walk away from the U.N. Security Council. It will not authorize the coming war. You can stand on your head and it won’t change the outcome. You can convert to Islam in a Parisian mosque and it won’t prevent a French veto.

[…]

If you must have a second resolution, it should consist of a single sentence: “The Security Council finds Iraq in violation of Resolution 1441, which demanded ‘full and immediate compliance by Iraq without conditions or restrictions.’ “

[…]

If the one-line resolution passes, the violation triggers 1441, which triggers the original resolutions ending the Gulf War. If it fails, you’ve exposed the United Nations for what it is: the League of Nations, empty, cynical and mendacious. Mr. President: Call the vote and walk away.

Like Krauthammer says, no more dithering. Actions speak louder than words, and the UN isn’t delivering anything but empty pronouncements.

(Thanks, Rick.)

posted by retrophisch at 04:31 PM in liberty
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Done right, indeed

Coming in under the radar Monday was this report that the United Nations has redesigned its logo and has a new motto.

(Thanks, Michael)

posted by retrophisch at 08:33 AM in liberty
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March 11, 2003

Freedom Fries: It’s Official

Even members of Congress are beginning to call them “freedom fries,” and even “freedom toast.” (Yes, I know French fries aren’t really French.)

Thanks, Rick!

posted by retrophisch at 01:24 PM in liberty
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Robinson: NYT op-ed “stupid”

You can always count on programmers to be logical. (Well, good ones, anway.) Gary Robinson sallies forth:

Saddam is today in a position where he is very, very likely to be attacked, and he is still not giving inspectors the facts. If he is not doing so now, the trivial added circumstance of the U.S. having the Security Council’s permission is obviously not going to make a significant difference to Iraq’s choices.

(via Michael)

posted by retrophisch at 12:16 PM in liberty
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March 10, 2003

Iraqi soldiers already surrendering

Sent to me by Michael and noted by Jon, the UK’s Sunday Mirror is reporting that Iraqi soldiers have already begun to surrender:

Terrified Iraqi soldiers have crossed the Kuwait border and tried to surrender to British forces — because they thought the war had already started.
[…]
The stunned Paras from 16 Air Assault Brigade were forced to tell the Iraqis they were not firing at them, and ordered them back to their home country telling them it was too early to surrender.

It’s both funny and sad. I hope these guys do the sensible thing when the shooting really does start; Saddam’s not worth dying for.

posted by retrophisch at 11:39 AM in liberty
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March 09, 2003

Tax Cuts Lessons II

Twenty thousand people go to a baseball game, but the game was rained out. A refund was then due. The team was about to mail refunds when the Congressional Democrats stopped them and suggested that they send out refund amounts based on the Democrat National Committee’s interpretation of fairness. After all, if the refunds were made based on the price each person paid for the tickets, most of the money would go to the wealthiest ticket holders. That would be unconscionable. The DNC Plan says:

1. People in the $10 seats will get back $15, because they have less money to spend. Call it an “Earned Income Ticket Credit.” Persons “earn” it by demonstrating little ambition, few skills and poor work habits, thus keeping them at entry-level wages.

2. People in the $25 seats will get back $25, because that’s only fair.

3. People in the $50 seats will get back $1, because they already make a lot of money and don’t need a refund. If they afford a $50 ticket, then they must not be paying enough taxes.

4. People in the $75 luxury seats will have to pay another $50, because they have way to much to spend.

5. The people driving by the stadium who couldn’t afford to watch the game will get $10 each, even though they didn’t pay anything in, because they need the most help.

Now do you understand? If not, contact Representative Nancy Pelosi or Senator Tom Daschle for assistance.

posted by retrophisch at 04:35 PM in liberty
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March 07, 2003

Quote of the moment

“Whatever enables us to go to war, secures our peace.” —Thomas Jefferson

posted by retrophisch at 01:55 PM in liberty , quote
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March 06, 2003

Re: Tonight’s Presidential press conference

I thought President Bush raised two very important points during the press conference regarding Saddam and the United Nations.

One, the Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1441 calling for Saddam’s immediate and total disarmament. Has Saddam committed to this? The answer is no, end of story.

Two, the Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1441. Why now are four members of the Security Council refusing to enforce disarmament of the Hussein regime? Can they honestly say that Saddam Hussein has abided by Resolution 1441? Can anyone?

Don’t think of starting with “look at the missiles he’s destroyed so far.” Nineteen missiles. Nineteen, out of of one hundred. Destruction which is nothing more than a delaying tactic. Destruction that would not be happening without the quarter of a million troops stationed around the borders of Iraq. Can you honestly tell me that the destruction of nineteen missiles is the result solely because of the presence of weapons inspectors? Puh-leeze.

posted by retrophisch at 08:22 PM in liberty
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For the millionth time…

You do not have a constitutional right to a job or free/cheap health care, and it is not the job of the federal, state, or local government to provide you with either.

So students protesting against the war may continue to do so, but please don’t make the above cases. The first and foremost duty of the federal government is the protection of our nation from enemies foreign and domestic. Taking out Saddam falls into this category.

Government doesn’t “create jobs,” a phrase I’m sick of hearing from the mouths of politicians, including our President (whom I support, in case you haven’t guessed). The only thing government can do is affect the economy in such a way that it is stimulated to the point that the private sector grows, leading to higher employment. One good way to do this is by lowering and eliminating taxes.

Lower tax revenue inevitably means government will have to look at the things it funds and make hard choices. Defense of our nation is not a hard choice; it is a vital responsibility and should be funded accordingly (Dan’s comment re: un-needed weapons systems notwithstanding). Things like Social Security, Medicare — including the President’s proposed prescription drug aid, the Dept. of Education, funding to the United Nations, the IMF, et al, should and could be eliminated.

None of the above programs has benefited the American citizenry in the long term. They have made us more dependent, individually, upon the federal government, and restricted our sovereignty as a nation. Our country will be better after we cast off these oppressive, and unconstitutional, items.

And for crying out loud, tax cuts do not cause deficits! Spending causes deficits!

posted by retrophisch at 08:02 PM in liberty
permalink | comments (2)

March 05, 2003

Monopoly money coming to our shores

Yes, Virginia, beginning this fall, you can have your own wallet of rainbow-colored twenties

The new bills will be introduced on 27 March, and enter circulation in the fall.

(props to Jim)

posted by retrophisch at 05:02 PM in liberty
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Zero intelligence

A six-year-old boy has been suspended for having a plastic knife in his bookbag at school. A plastic knife he obtained in the school cafeteria. As the WSJ’s OpinionJournal states, “No doubt the Struthers [Elementary School] lunch lady will soon be indicted for arms trafficking.”

The six-year-old student wanted to take the plastic knife home to show his mom that he could butter his toast.

Donna Long, the boy’s mother, states that while she was essentially forced to sign a form that Kevin was “showing other students in class [the knife],” the principal never stated that this was the case. Ms. Long also wonders, if her first-grade son was such a threat, why the police weren’t notified.

School administrations need to wake up and smell the reality that not every student is a Colombine waiting to happen.

posted by retrophisch at 04:56 PM in liberty
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Required Reading

Asked by Andrew Cuomo to pen an essay for a book on the future of the Democratic Party, Peggy Noonan, former Democrat, has delivered in spades.

This essay is utterly brilliant. I honestly hope the Demos take heed. Really.

I believe we need the Democratic Party to be better than it is, to spur the Republican Party to be better than it is, and vice versa. Kind of like how the computer industry needs Apple to be at the top of its game to push the rest of the industry forward.

Unfortunately, if the Demos are true to form, Noonan will be attacked by leftist whackos who are not interested in honest, constructive criticism.

(major kudos to Rick)

posted by retrophisch at 02:21 PM in liberty
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Yeah, we’re “rushing”

"The rush to war" editorial cartoon

(thanks, Brian)

posted by retrophisch at 10:25 AM in liberty
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Tax Cuts - A Simple Lesson in Economics

It’s been floating around the ether for a while, but it bears repeating:

Let’s put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand. Suppose that every day, ten men go out for dinner. The bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh $7.
The eighth $12.
The ninth $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that’s what they decided to do. The ten men ate dinner in the restaurant every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. “Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20.”

So now dinner for the ten only cost $80. The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still eat for free. But what about the other six, the paying customers? How could they divvy up the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his “fair share?”

The six men realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being “paid” to eat their meal. So the restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay. And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings).
The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to eat for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. “I only got a dollar out of the $20,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth. “But he got $10!”

“Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar, too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than me!”

“That’s true!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!”

“Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison. “We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!” The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up at the table anymore.

(with thanks to Ricky for the email)

posted by retrophisch at 09:38 AM in liberty
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March 03, 2003

Delta guinea airline for new security

There aren’t many things that the ACLU and I agree on, but this is one of them. (via Xeni)

posted by retrophisch at 02:42 PM in liberty
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February 28, 2003

Kill the Department of Education

As if we needed more reasons to eliminate a bureacratic sinkhole in the federal government. From the Washington Times, 2/19/03:

“More than a billion dollars a year of federal aid for after-school programs in 7,500 public schools nationwide has not helped most children academically, a federally funded study concluded. Children who attend after-school activities at public elementary and middle schools are more likely to encounter bullies, vandals, thieves and drug users than those who do not, said the study, conducted for the U.S. Education Department.”

The federal government has only one duty when it comes to the education of our children, and that is to ensure that none are discriminated against for their race, religion, or creed. You know, one of those things the federal government is Constitutionally supposed to do.

Funds sent to the Education Department black hole via taxes would be better spent in the states and municipalities from whence they come. This, in turn, would help weaken the horrendous National Educational Association, which seems to be interested in everything except actually teaching our kids:

“Public schools are run by the National Educational Association. They are not run by people you can hold accountable, such as teachers, superintendents and school boards. The NEA opposes merit pay, charter schools, and any decision by any school administrator that has not been determined in advance by collective bargaining. Simply put, the NEA opposes everything except its own power.

“…Meanwhile, kids aren’t learning. The vocabulary of the average American 14-year-old has dropped from 25,000 words to 10,000. San Francisco Examiner reporter Emily Gurnon asked teenagers to identify the country from which America won its independence. Among the answers: ‘Japan or something, China. Somewhere out there on the other side of the world.’ ‘It wouldn’t be Canada, would it?’ ‘I don’t know; I don’t even, like, have a clue.’ ‘I want to say Korea. I’m tripping.’

“…The problem, says (author Peter) Brimelow, is that the NEA is the backbone of the Democratic Party and public education is a government monopoly. . . . If the NEA is to be undone, its undoing will come from parents and teachers deserting the schools. Homeschoolers, without benefit of fancy facilities, science labs, and huge expenditures of money, outscore public school students.” — Paul Craig Roberts

posted by retrophisch at 02:31 PM in liberty
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Sound advice from across the Pond

“Supposing I came along in August 2001 and said…that there was an al-Qaeda terrorist network; no one would have heard of it. Suppose I said that we would have to invade Afghanistan in order to deal with it; no one would have believed that that was necessary. Yet, my goodness, a few weeks later, thousands of people were killed on the streets of New York. . . . The threat (from Iraq) is real, and if we do not deal with it the consequences of our weakness will haunt future generations.” — British Prime Minister Tony Blair

posted by retrophisch at 01:09 PM in liberty , quote
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On government spending

“Frankly, when my family’s income goes down, so does our spending as we tighten our belts. Why is it that government believes its spending of our money should always go up, in good times and in bad? Why shouldn’t government have to go on a diet just like the rest of us when hit with a reduction in income?” —Chuck Muth

posted by retrophisch at 11:58 AM in liberty , quote
permalink | comments (1)

February 27, 2003

Let the Hollywonk backlash begin!

“Americans objecting to the anti-war rhetoric of Hollywood celebrities are no longer remaining silent, but are starting to fight back with their own grass-roots offensive.”

Take note of the AOL poll mentioned: over 400,000 respondents. That’s a poll; you can be sure there is a wide demographic represented, unlike most CNN/USA Today/NBC/ABC/Wall Street Journal, et al, polls that are lucky to count 1,000 persons.

Be sure to check out Hollywood Halfwits.

Finally, I can’t wait to see Fred Thompson’s pro-war rebuttal to “Left Wing” Martin Sheen this weekend…

posted by retrophisch at 05:04 PM in liberty
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For or against, just tell us the truth

Ann nails the Demos yet again on their two-faced approach to war with Saddam:

“After voting in favor of the war with Iraq right before the November elections, Sen. Hillary Clinton never had another kind word to say for the war. Just a few weeks ago, Sen. Clinton gave an interview on Irish TV in which she said she opposed precipitous action against Iraq. She said Bush should give the U.N. weapons inspectors more time.

“Hillary did not object to precipitous action against Iraq when her husband bombed it on the day of his scheduled impeachment. President Clinton attacked Saddam Hussein without first asking approval from the United Nations, the U.S. Congress or even France. But now we have a president who wants to attack Iraq for purposes of national security rather than his own personal interests, and Hillary thinks he’s being rash. President Bush has gotten a war resolution from Congress, yet another U.N. Security Council resolution, and we’ve been talking about this war for 14 months. But he’s being precipitous.

“When Clinton bombed Iraq to delay his impeachment, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle was ablaze with war fever. Daschle said: ‘This is a time to send Saddam Hussein as clear a message as we know how to send that we will not tolerate the broken promises and the tremendous acceleration of development of weapons that we’ve seen time and time again in Iraq.’ Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said of the impeachment bombing: ‘Month after month, we have given Iraq chance after chance to move from confrontation to cooperation, and we have explored and exhausted every diplomatic action. We will see now whether force can persuade Iraq’s misguided leaders to reverse course and to accept at long last the need to abide by the rule of law and the will of the world.’

“Now here we are, more than four years later, Saddam still hasn’t complied with U.N. resolutions, and America has been attacked by Islamic crazies — and these same Democrats think Bush is acting impulsively. Democrats are always hawks in the off-season. They’re all for war, provided it has nothing to do with America’s security.”

posted by retrophisch at 04:26 PM in liberty , quote
permalink | comments (1)

This is just wrong

You know, go ahead and protest potential war with Saddam Hussein’s regime. But when you take it out on little kids just because their parents are in the National Guard, you’re stepping over the line. Further comment withheld due to incensed author.

posted by retrophisch at 03:05 PM in liberty
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February 20, 2003

Liberal radio talk show hosts?

Ann cracks me up:

“If liberals cared about ideas or knew any facts, they would cease being liberals. Even the audience for the left’s government-supported radio network, National Public Radio, has more conservative listeners than liberal listeners. According to a Pew Research Center study released last summer, conservatives consume far more news than liberals — including listening to NPR and watching PBS more than liberals. (As Mickey Kaus said, ‘No wonder conservatives are so pissed off.’)

“Liberalism thrives on ignorance. Their media are ‘Lifetime: TV for Women,’ NBC’s ‘The West Wing’ and 4 billion ‘Law and Order’ episodes in which the perp turns out to be a Christian, white male who recites the Second Amendment before disemboweling a poor minority child.

“Liberal persuasion consists of the highbrow sneer from self-satisfied snobs ladled out for people with a 40 IQ. This is not an ideology that can withstand several hours a day of caller scrutiny where their goofball notions can be shot down by any truck driver with a cell phone.”

I don’t know why my wife watches “Law & Order,” “NYPD Blue,” et al, when she spends half the episode complaining how the cops twist citizens’ rights to gather evidence and/or get a confession. No, she’s not a criminal attorney, but yes, she is a lawyer and remembers all of this good constitutional stuff from law school.

(Thanks, Rick!)

posted by retrophisch at 02:42 PM in liberty , quote
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Doing the right thing, rather than the “popular” thing

Doing the right thing is oftentimes not the easy thing to do. With regard to Saddam Hussein, President Bush’s course of action is the right thing to do, though it certainly isn’t easy. This is counter to the Clinton model of executive leadership, always putting a finger to the wind to test popular opinion. What amazing foresight Winston Churchill had:

“Nothing is more dangerous in wartime than to live in the temperamental atmosphere of a Gallup Poll, always feeling one’s pulse and taking one’s temperature.”

This is why President Bush is also not listening to the “news” media and the peace protestors (whom with, again, I have no problem regarding exercising their right to protest, rather with their reasons). Despite what the “news” media would have you believe, the current peace movement does not reflect the popular will of the American people. Even if it did, that still wouldn’t make it right.

“The Founders understood that democracy was important, but if you didn’t filter it through a republican system you’d be just as likely to end up with a tyranny of the majority as you would with a healthy society. Don’t worry, I won’t quote the Federalist Papers, but trust me, it’s in there.” —Jonah Goldberg

The “news” media and peace protestors would be wise to hearken this advice, as well:

“We do need to remind everybody that tyrants don’t respond to any kind of appeasement. Tyrants don’t respond to negotiation. Tyrants respond to toughness. And that was true in the 1930s and 1940s when we failed to respond to tyranny, and it is true today.” —Condoleezza Rice, U.S. National Security Advisor, over this past weekend

Tyrants don’t respond to peace protests and sycophant “news” media in other nations as well. At least not in any way that would make them less of a tyrant.

posted by retrophisch at 11:20 AM in liberty
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Hypocrisy, anyone?

Riddle me this: why was it okay for President Clinton to go into the Balkans without approval of the U.N. Security Council, but it’s not okay for President Bush to go into Iraq — where there is a WMD threat — without the approval of the U.N. Security Council?

posted by retrophisch at 10:28 AM in liberty
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February 19, 2003

Marijuana DOES lead to harder drug use

A study by Washington University (of St. Louis, MO), published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, of 311 Australian twin pairs, concludes that teenage pot users are five times more likely to use or abuse cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, sedatives, or alcohol. The study was undertaken to prove the opposite.

Sorry, NORML. Keep trying to spin the positive aspects of marijuana. I’m sure Woody Harrelson needs something to do with all of his copious spare time.

posted by retrophisch at 10:23 PM in liberty
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California Patriot

You have to admire and respect a conservative startup at one of the bastions of leftist thinking. They give away the 4,000 copies they print to Berkeley students, and have no advertising, relying on donations.

posted by retrophisch at 10:04 PM in liberty
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Freedom fries

Some times, real life is just too much fun to have to make up fiction.

(Yes, I know I’m paraphrasing; sue me. Thanks, Jim.)

posted by retrophisch at 03:25 PM in liberty
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February 18, 2003

This is compliance?

Riddle me this: what good is it to have U-2 flights over Iraq, in the hope of locating production and storage facilities for weapons of mass destruction, if we’re going to tell the Iraqis when the plane flies and where it goes?!?!?

(thanks, Brian)

posted by retrophisch at 02:26 PM in liberty
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February 16, 2003

Please get a clue

What is it with the “news” media and the hippie-throwback peaceniks out there? Oh, Saddam and the Iraqi government are making all of these concessions; we certainly can’t go to war now. We must give the inspectors more time. We must extend the time for inspections to continue. Why?

I have yet to hear one good reason why. Let’s see: Hans Blix, in his report Friday, called for more inspections. Gee, that couldn’t possibly be because he is a weapons inspector, could it? There’s great job security in being a U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq; they’ve been working there off and on for more than 10 years. You find myriad violations of 1441 and earlier resolutions, passed by the very body you work for, yet your answer is not to punish the offending government, but rather to push for inspections to continue. How idiotic and foolish is this?

The U.N. itself, vis-a-vis Secretary-General Kofi Annan, is calling for yet another resolution to be passed before military force can be used against the Hussein regime. Why? Resolution 1441 already accounts for the need to use military force in the event of a material breech. I would say the illegal importation of 350 SA-2 rockets is a material breech. Saddam’s regime has declared only 8,500 liters of anthrax, while the U.N. inspection teams believe there are 25,000 liters. So we’re missing something on the order of 16,500 liters, with no proof of their destruction. Sounds like material breech. With each passing day, the United Nations shows how irrelevant is has become in international relations.

Pop quiz: name one conflict in the world the United Nations has successfully resolved without the use of some kind of military force since its inception. Good luck.

I’m still waiting for a President with the guts to not only pull the United States out of the now irrelevant United Nations, but NATO as well, and to stop the subsidization of an increasingly hostile-to-America U.N., giving them the boot from our soil. Let them go set up in France, Belgium, or Germany.

The “news” media and peaceniks are all running around congratulating Saddam on his joke of a presidential decree, as if such a promise from a known liar is worth the paper it’s printed on.

Speaking of all of the peace-love-and-happiness anti-war protestors, please allow me to congratulate you. You have managed to ingratiate yourselves with a mass murderer, with a man known for invading his neighbors and gassing his own citizens. I hope this makes you happy.

Oh, and that “smoking gun” you all keep whining about?

“[President Bush’s] critics demand a smoking gun [before attacking Iraq], but the problem with waiting till one is found is that a smoking gun has just been fired. It will be too late.” —Paul Greenberg

Please, get a clue.

This is not a war about oil. If America had oil-based imperalist aspirations in the Middle East, then we would have driven all the way to Baghdad in 1991, and stayed in Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia when we had the chance. And if it weren’t for the environmental extremists, many of whom are the same people “marching for peace,” the United States would be happily drilling all of the oil it needs itself.

Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction; he has used them in the past, both in the war with Iran and against his own citizens. No evidence has been provided by Hussein that he has ceased production of said weapons, nor has any evidence been provided that he has complied with international resolutions calling for those weapons’ destruction. Let us be perfectly clear: the burden of proof regarding destruction of any WMDs rests with Saddam Hussein, not the United Nations inspections teams or any other government. He has failed to provide this proof.

It has been proven that there is a link between the Hussein regime and al-Qaeda, the latter of which has sworn to do all it can to attack and harm the United States and its allies.

If you think that Hussein is not willing to supply WMDs to al-Qaeda or other terrorist organizations willing to attack mutually perceived enemies, you are foolish and naive.

posted by retrophisch at 04:29 PM in liberty
permalink | comments (4)

February 14, 2003

Debating the war on terror

This is from an email sent to me, presumably posted by some radio personality, to show an illustration of the ongoing debate on how we should handle those who would terrorize and kill us:

Question: You’re walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children. Suddenly, a dangerous looking man with a huge knife comes around the corner and is running at you while screaming obscenities. In your hand is a Glock .40 and you are an expert shot. You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family. What do you do?

Liberal Answer:

Well, that’s not enough information to answer the question! Does the man look poor or oppressed? Have I ever done anything to him that is inspiring him to attack? Could we run away? What does my wife think? What about the kids? Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand? What does the law say about this situation? Is it possible he’d be happy with just killing me? Does he definitely want to kill me or would he just be content to wound me? If I were to grab his knees and hold on, could my family get away while he was stabbing me? This is all so confusing! I need to debate this with some friends for a few days to try to come to a conclusion.

Conservative Answer:

BANG!

Texan’s Answer:

BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! click… (sounds of magazine being ejected and fresh magazine installed)

Wife: “Sweetheart, he looks like he’s still moving, what do you kids think?”

Son: “Mom’s right Dad, I saw it too…”

BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!

Daughter: “Nice grouping Daddy!”

posted by retrophisch at 11:19 AM in firearms , liberty
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February 13, 2003

The Left’s brain trust

On the February 12th “The View,” the ABC show created by Barbara Walters, former Good Morning America staffer and WABC Radio talk show host Joy Behar suggested some sort of nefarious doings by Bush operatives: “This is incredible timing. Really. I mean, here we are trying to find the link between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda, in comes the tape that exact day. The timing is better than Hugh Hefner finding Viagra at 78. You know what I’m saying? Here’s a man all his life, did whatever he wanted, and now that he’s old he has Viagra. Same idea.”

Former NBC News reporter Star Jones chimed in: “Really wagging the dog this time.”

Then Queen Latifah, who was nominated on Tuesday for an Academy Award for “Best Supporting Actress” for her role in the movie Chicago, wondered: “Don’t you want to know what’s real and what’s not? I remember when I was a kid, you know, this whole Cold War thing. They had us scared of the Russians. ‘The Russians, the Russians, the Russians.’ So it’s almost like what’s real and what’s not?”

Like anyone rational would trust her to know.

So, because we won the “Cold War thing” there never was a threat, millions didn’t die because of communism and no one was enslaved by Soviet expansionism?

—from the Media Research Center

And my wife wonders why I have no respect for any of these Hollywonks.

posted by retrophisch at 03:04 PM in liberty
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Going to war without the French is like…

To wrap up Federalist coverage for today, I’d like to offer up my favorite results from their latest “Two Cents” reader feedback, wherein readers were asked to finish the sentence, “Going to war without the French is like…”

  • Going to war without the French is like…well…World War II.
  • Going to war without the French is like…. deja-vous!
  • Going to war without the French is like…going to war WITH the French
  • Going to war without the French is like…planning the Normandy Invasion without Yves San Laurent
  • Going to war without the French is like…going on your honeymoon without your mother-in-law
  • Going to war without the French is like…a 9-11 benefit concert without Hillary Clinton
  • Going to war without the French is like…Texas barbeque without a croissant
  • Going to war without the French is like…I’m sorry, war without whom?
  • Going to war without the French is like…going to Marine boot camp without a “Best of Liza Minnelli” album
  • Going to war without the French is like…going to a Mensa convention without James Carville
  • Going to war without the French is like…going to war without Fonda, Streisand and Sarandon, et al
  • And last, but certainly not least, Going to war without the French is like…well, VICTORY!!!

Though I must confess, I do like a good croissant. Just not with my barbeque.

posted by retrophisch at 02:35 PM in liberty
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Yet another reason to dump the SSA

“An internal review at the Social Security Administration found that the agency has paid accused felons between $76 million and $283 million in SSI benefits since 1996, the year Congress banned felony fugitives from receiving them. Auditors also estimate that other Social Security programs, in which payments to fugitives aren’t banned, could be granting fugitives up to $179 million each year.” —The Federalist, 03-06 Digest

For crying out loud. Pick a year, grandfather in every citizen born before in or before that year, and let’s work toward paying their retirement benefits and getting rid of the SSA so that future generations do not have to watch their income be siphoned off, never to be see it return at the same rate it was taken.

And how sad is it that it took Congress 40 years to determine that felons should not be receiving Social Security benefits?!?

Update (2:10pm): from Carl Brueckner in the same Federalist issue:

  • Q: Which party took Social Security from an independent fund and put it in the general fund so that Congress could spend it?
    A: It was Lyndon Johnson and the Democrat-controlled House and Senate.
  • Q: Which party put a tax on Social Security?
    A: The Democrat Party.
  • Q: Which party increased the tax on Social Security?
    A: The Democrat Party with Al Gore casting the deciding vote.
  • Q: Which party decided to give money to immigrants?
    A: That’s right, immigrants moved into this country at 65 and got SSI Social Security. The Democrat Party gave that to them although they never paid a dime into it.
  • Then, after doing all this, the Democrats turn around and tell you: the Republicans want to take your Social Security.

I say good riddance.

posted by retrophisch at 01:48 PM in liberty
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Worthy of our honor

The following appeared in the 03-06 Digest of The Federalist:

By now you know that five of the seven astronauts who died aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia were U.S. military officers. The mission commander was Air Force Col. Rick D. Husband. Navy Cmdr. William C. McCool was the pilot of the Columbia. Also on board were Air Force Lt. Col. Michael P. Anderson, Navy Capt. (Dr.) David M. Brown and Navy Cmdr. (Dr.) Laurel B. Clark. The death of all seven crew members was tragic, though given the indelible images of planeloads of civilians being flown into WTC1, WTC2 and the Pentagon, the shock of those horrible images of STS-107 falling from the sky was, somehow, benumbing.

One month ago, seven Marines were killed when their KC-130 fell from the sky in western Pakistan. Their names were not published by any media outlet. No network operating on a 24-hour news cycle had dramatic graphics and music to accompany endless special reports. No flags were flown at half mast, and many are scrambling to set up trust funds for their spouses and college funds for their children. Just two days before the STS-107 breakup, an Army UH-60 broke up in flight 12 clicks east of Bagram, Afghanistan, killing four servicemen aboard. Their names were never in print.

Our point, of course, is not to take away from the honor due and afforded the Columbia crew, but that same honor is no less due every one of our countrymen whose life is given in defense of our liberty. We grieve the loss of each and every one of these courageous Patriots, and our prayers go with their families.

I heartily second this assessment. Remember, respect, and honor our servicemen and women. Freedom is not free.

posted by retrophisch at 12:28 PM in liberty
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February 12, 2003

Don’t forget from where your power stems, pols

“Anyone who has ever been in a government office sees people sitting around doing little if any work. Yet these people are never the first target of government spending cuts. It is the front line police, firemen, teachers, etc.

[…]

“Yet there is never talk of eliminating some of the less essential elements of government in response to shortfalls in revenue. The politicians seem to go out of their way to make sure that any proposed cuts in government spending are going to be painful. This amounts to punishment of voters for opposing the will of the politicians.

“Unfortunately this is totally backwards. Government is elected to serve the people. Our Constitution was carefully written to avoid just this type of thing. Monarchs (believe that they) rule by divine right and the people are subservient to their rules. Communist dictators, military dictators, Islamic dictators all believe that power starts with them and only flows to the people in the quantities that they allow. Our system is supposed to be the opposite.

[…]

“The politicians need to please the voters not the other way around. If we allow politicians to threaten or punish voters who displease them we are walking straight into the arms of tyranny.” —Philip Safran

posted by retrophisch at 11:57 PM in liberty , quote
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French voting

“Tony Blair said he and President Bush prefer another UN resolution before a war in Iraq. Their problem is the Security Council. France might command more respect if the French Ambassador didn’t always vote against war with both hands in the air.” —Argus Hamilton

posted by retrophisch at 03:26 PM in liberty , quote
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Happy Birthday, Mr. President II

Today is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. The Great Emancipator was fond of saying that God created all men as equal, and proved as such with the Emancipation Proclamation, and laying the foundation for what would become the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

An evil Republican, Lincoln did more for the black American than any Democrat of his time. They were too busy seceding from the Union and keeping the black American chained in slavery. Lincoln also signed in to law the act of Congress which placed the motto “In God We Trust” on our national currency. Lincoln didn’t have a problem with this because he was educated enough to know that there is no such thing as the separation of church and state, since he was familiar with the principles upon which our nation was founded.

Happy Birthday, Mr. President. May we not squander the legacy you left us, so “that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”

posted by retrophisch at 03:23 PM in liberty
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So are we at war, or aren’t we?

You have to love the Left. When it comes to liberating the Iraqi people, ousting a sociopathic dictator in possession of weapons of mass destruction, hunting down and exterminating terrorists bent on the destruction of the United States, and Western civilization in general, we are “not at war.” They claim it’s not a “real war,” since Congress has not declared such. Right. Like Congress can declare war on a relatively faceless entity with no geographic boundaries (al-Qaeda). Or if we go to war in Iraq, President Bush doesn’t have the authority because Congress hasn’t declared war on Iraq. Gee, just like Kennedy and Johnson in Vietnam, right Demos?

Oh, but let the conversation turn to money, and specifically taxes, and the Left suddenly reverses course:

“If Bush is a serious war President he would increase taxes. This is a time for sacrifices. This is a real war and we need money to pay for it.” —Evan Thomas

So evidently we are at war, so long as half of the citizens of this country are forced to carry a larger tax burden while the other half contributes nothing.

I have an idea for Mr. Thomas (Assistant Managing Editor of Newsweek, by the way): how about the federal government end funding of unconstitutional social programs and departments like midnight basketball leagues, the Department of Education, the Social Security Administration, foreign aid to “allies” like France and Germany, and our subsidization of the “United” Nations. Then the government of the United States would have the money to pursue its primary constitutional duty, the defense of our nation “against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

posted by retrophisch at 02:02 PM in liberty
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French peacenik pervasiveness

“Meanwhile, the peacenik predisposition of the other Continentals is a useful cover for French ambition. Last year Paavo Lipponen, the Finnish Prime Minister, declared that ‘the EU must not develop into a military superpower but must become a great power that will not take up arms at any occasion in order to defend its own interests.’ This sounds insane. But, to France, it has a compelling logic. You can’t beat the Americans on the battlefield, but you can tie them down limb by limb in the UN and other supranational bodies.

“In other words, this is the war, this is the real battlefield, not the sands of Mesopotamia. And, on this terrain, Americans always lose. Either they win but get no credit, as in Afghanistan. Or they win a temporary constrained victory to be subverted by subsequent French machinations, as in the last Gulf War. This time round, who knows? But through it all France is admirably upfront in its unilateralism: It reserves the right to treat French Africa as its colonies, Middle Eastern dictators as its clients, the European Union as a Greater France and the UN as a kind of global condom to prevent the spread of Americanization. All this it does shamelessly and relatively effectively.” —Mark Steyn

posted by retrophisch at 01:42 PM in liberty , quote
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Evidence for the French

“How many folks saw Colin Powell at the UN? I thought he was pretty persuasive, but a lot of folks are still demanding more evidence, you know, before they actually consider Iraq a threat. For example, France. France wants more evidence, they demand more evidence. And I’m thinking, the last time France wanted more evidence it rolled right through Paris with a German flag.” — David Letterman

posted by retrophisch at 10:39 AM in liberty , quote
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February 11, 2003

Silver kicks butt and takes names

“Not all Hollywood celebrities are ungrateful, anti-American lefties.” The MRC reports on an interview on Fox News Channel with actor Ron Silver, who offers a few choice bits:

“But at that dinner, the EU had a dinner that night about the ‘new Europe,’ and they were being very self-congratulatory about their values, and implicitly they were suggesting that America was an imperial country, trying to impose their values on the rest of the world, which I don’t think is a bad idea by the way, I kind of think our values are fairy universal and might be helpful.”
[…]
“I kind of link Rumsfeld’s ‘old Europe versus the new Europe,’ and we saw it in the last two weeks, with France and Germany, who were not with us on June 6, 1944, I don’t know why we expect them to be with us today.”
[…]
“My opinion is that the entertainment community along with other advocates — human rights organizations, religious organizations, are always on the front lines to protest repression, but they’re always usually the first ones to oppose any use of force to take care of these horrors that they catalogue repeatedly, and I find that inconsistent as well.”

Kudos to Silver for standing against the Hollywonk culture. It is a testament to his acting skill that he can play such a leftie on The West Wing.

posted by retrophisch at 02:07 PM in liberty , quote
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Mr. Marx, Mr. Turner. Mr. Turner, Mr. Marx

Yet another instance where I am ashamed to share a surname with this moronic windbag:

Monday morning on Today, however, Turner maintained that Iraq is “too small to pose a threat” to the U.S. and kept up the usual liberal mantra about how poverty fuels terrorism as he told Matt Lauer that “trying to make it a better world is my top priority. A more equitable world, that’s really the best way to combat terrorism is to, is to build a world where nobody’s angry enough to want to be a terrorist.”

You can read the full analysis here. I’d like to see poverty erased from this planet as much as the next person, but you don’t go about it in a way that smacks of communism. We have seen that experiment fail in our lifetime, yet people still think it is the answer.

posted by retrophisch at 01:55 PM in liberty
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February 10, 2003

Exercising rights

“Americans are a people who have realized a dream of freedom, who have taken it from an abstract hope and turned it into a living reality. What made this possible was a founding generation that understood the essential principles of liberty, and acknowledged from the very beginning that the basis for human justice, human dignity and human rights is no more — nor less — than the will and authority of our Creator, God.

“The importance of this principle is definitive, because it allows us to understand that since we claim our rights by virtue of the authority of God, we must exercise our rights with respect for the authority of God.

“This truth becomes a sound foundation for discipline in our use of our freedoms. It becomes a bulwark against the abuse of our powers. It becomes also the ground for our confidence that, when we claim those rights, and when we exercise them, we do not have to fear the consequences, because we are a people who exercise our rights in the fear of God.

“This means that as American citizens, we can have confidence in our capacity, ability and character to take care of our own families. We can trust ourselves to raise our own children, to direct our own schools, to run our own communities and states, to do honest business together, and to generally take care of the things that need to be done for our nation and its people.” —Alan Keyes

posted by retrophisch at 04:50 PM in god , liberty , quote
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Tax food for thought

Jim shared via email:

“As income tax time approaches, did you ever notice that when you put the two words ‘The’ and ‘IRS’ together it spells ‘THEIRS?’”

posted by retrophisch at 10:29 AM in liberty
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February 06, 2003

Happy Birthday, Mr. President

Former President Ronald Reagan is 92 today. Major retrophisch well wishes to President and Mrs. Reagan.

posted by retrophisch at 08:33 PM in liberty
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February 05, 2003

Sounds like a smoking Gatling gun to me

conceal
“hiding”
evacuated
noncompliance
“mobile biological weapons labs”
nerve agents
“some followers of a senior associate of Osama bin Laden are currently in the Iraqi capital, with the approval of Saddam”

To paraphrase Secretary Powell, not once has Hussein proven that any WMD he is known to possess has been destroyed. For the hard-of-understanding among you (read: “liberals”), just because a known liar says he has destroyed a weapon of mass destruction, and you find no evidence of said weapon of mass destruction, doesn’t mean said liar has destroyed said weapon of mass destruction. It just means it isn’t where it used to be.

posted by retrophisch at 09:23 PM in liberty
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On discrimination

I have pondered authoring an essay on how it is the Democrats, in fact, who have long favored racial discrimination, and not Republicans, but why go through all the trouble when someone has already done it for me?

posted by retrophisch at 11:39 AM in liberty
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February 01, 2003

Rest in Peace, Columbia

We’ve been getting calls pretty steady all morning from friends and family, making sure we’re ok since all the reports have the Columbia breaking up over north Texas.

The shuttle broke up south of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, and local stations are using weather radar to track the debris field, which is now south and east of the D/FW metroplex, beginning around Nagodoches and moving slightly south and east through Rusk, TX, into western Louisiana.

I had heard on the news last night that the shuttle would be visible this morning, but forgot to mention it to my wife so we could set the alarms earlier than normal. A friend in Boston woke us up with a phone call to make sure we were ok, and that was the first we heard of it.

I recall a science demonstration at our high school in the mid-to-late 1980s where a guy had a blowtorch going on a space shuttle tile throughout his entire program. At the end, he had a student come up, removed the blowtorch, and dared the student to touch the tile. Trent (I remember his name!) was a little hesitant, but did touch it, and he reported it was completely cool.

Major Texas connections on this Columbia flight: Commander Rick Husband was from Amarillo, Pilot William McCool was from Lubbock, and mission specialist Kalpana Chawla was the 2d graduate of the University of Texas-Arlington to go into space.

Like many, I have now witnessed Columbia’s first flight into space, and it’s last return. Certainly, this is not the type of return anyone would have wanted. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the seven souls lost on the Columbia.

UPDATE (12:15pm CST): Lee has more thoughts and info.

posted by retrophisch at 11:14 AM in liberty
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January 31, 2003

Demos take note

“National defense is one of the cardinal duties of a statesman.” —John Adams

posted by retrophisch at 03:21 PM in liberty , quote
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Demo SOTU Response

The volunteer researchers at The Federalist simply rock. Let’s follow along as they break down the Democrat response to President Bush’s State of the Union address, delivered by Gary Locke, Governor of Washington State:

“Osama bin-Laden is still at large. As we rise to the many challenges around the globe, let us never lose sight of who attacked our people here at home.”

  • And what does this really mean? In other words, Demos deny the President’s claim of a connection between Islamic terrorists and Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi regime.

“Today, the economy is limping along. Some say it’s a recovery, but there’s no recovery in our states and cities. There’s no recovery in our rural communities. There’s no recovery for working Americans and for those searching for jobs to feed and clothe their families. … President Bush has a very different [economic recovery] plan. We think it’s upside down economics: it does too little to stimulate the economy now and does too much to weaken our economic future. It will create huge, permanent deficits that will raise interest rates, stifle growth, hinder homeownership and cut off the avenues of opportunity that have let so many work themselves up from poverty.”
  • And what does the President’s tax cut plan actually do? “This tax relief is for everyone who pays income taxes — and it will help our economy immediately. Ninety-two million Americans will keep — this year — an average of almost $1,100 more of their own money. A family of four with an income of $40,000 would see their federal income taxes fall from $1,178 to $45 per year. And our plan will improve the bottom line for more than 23 million small businesses.”

“Last year Congress authorized $2.5 billion in vital new resources to protect our citizens — for equipment for firefighters and police, to protect ports, to guard against bioterrorism, to secure nuclear power plants, and more. It’s hard to believe, but President Bush actually refused to release the money.”
  • And why did the President refuse to release the money? Because Democrats tacked on billions in spending unrelated to homeland security, and at the same time refused to give the President the authority he needs to combat terrorism by insisting on excessive union prerogatives for homeland security employees — union prerogatives that could potentially undermine national security.

“Our parents shouldn’t be forced to give up their doctor or join an HMO to get the medicine they need. … And it would put too many seniors at too much risk — just when they need the security of Medicare.”
  • And what did the President actually say? “These problems will not be solved with a nationalized health care system that dictates coverage and rations care. Instead, we must work toward a system in which all Americans have a good insurance policy…choose their own doctors…and seniors and low-income Americans receive the help they need. Instead of bureaucrats, and trial lawyers, and HMOs, we must put doctors, and nurses, and patients back in charge of American medicine. Health care reform must begin with Medicare, because Medicare is the binding commitment of a caring society. We must renew that commitment by giving seniors access to the preventive medicine and new drugs that are transforming health care in America. Seniors happy with the current Medicare system should be able to keep their coverage just the way it is.”

So there you have it. The Demos still have nothing of substance to offer the American people, and all they can do is attack those who do.

posted by retrophisch at 03:18 PM in liberty
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Notable Quotables

MRC’s latest Notable Quotables is available. They pick out the best biased lines from the news talkingheads to show you how skewed broadcast news coverage really is. You can also download a PDF.

posted by retrophisch at 09:55 AM in liberty
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January 30, 2003

Miller on the ACLU

My friends know that in general I detest Dennis Miller, but he made an excellent point regarding the ACLU on the Tonight Show this week:

“The ACLU spent this entire holiday season protesting public displays of the nativity scene. Yeah, that’s the problem with America right now: Public displays of Christ’s birth, that’s the problem. It’s unbelievable to me. The ACLU will no longer fight for your right to put up a nativity scene, but they’ll fight for the right of the local freak who wants to stumble onto the scene and have sex with one of the sheep.”

Hmmm. Maybe I’ve misunderstood Dennis throughout the ‘90s, but I always got the feeling he never took a stand on either side of the political aisle.

posted by retrophisch at 04:41 PM in liberty , quote , rant
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Knowing Who Your Friends Are

I know several folks out there, even some I call acquaintances and friends, believe that the United States, and specifically President Bush, is acting as a bully against Saddam and that world opinion is not with us. Sorry to say, but France, Russia, China, and far-left peace protestors do not constitute world opinon, no matter what their apologists in the mass media would have you think.

My friend Michael reports that on MSNBC just a while ago, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi stated, “When I see the American flag, I don’t just see a symbol of the United States, I see a symbol of freedom and democracy.”

Berlusconi gets it; our fight with Saddam isn’t purely about weapons of mass destruction, though that is the most significant reason. It’s not about controlling Iraqi oil reserves, either, despite what some conspiracy-minded leftists would have you believe. Beyond Saddam’s WMD threat, our fight with Saddam is about the freedom from oppression of the Iraqi people.

And if you think I’m wrong, then you need to check out the open letter sent to The Wall Street Journal, the Times of London and other newspapers today, by, respectively, the prime ministers of Spain, Portugal, Italy and Britain, the president of the Czech Republic and the prime ministers of Hungary, Poland and Denmark.

They get it. Each of these countries was touched in some way by oppression in the 20th century, namely Nazism and communism, and they note this. As nations, they speak from experience. As nations, they know what the Iraqi people are suffering; and they are willing to assist in the regime change necessary for Iraqi liberation. They get it. Why do so many Americans not?

Jordan’s King Hussein has apparently stated the U.S. can use his country as a staging area. At a press conference, Spain announced unconditional support for the United States with regard to handling Saddam. Other nations are rallying to America’s call to end Saddam’s tyrannical and threatening regime. I wonder how Jennings, Rather, and Brokaw will spin these developments in “world opinion.”

posted by retrophisch at 02:18 PM in liberty , rant
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January 28, 2003

Sounds like material breech to me

Hans Blix:

“Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance — not even today — of the disarmament which is demanded of it and which it needs to carry out to the confidence of the world and to live in peace.”

From the Washington Post:

Blix sharply criticized Iraq for failing to make scientists available for private interviews; blocking U-2 aerial overflights and refusing to provide a complete declaration of its weapons of mass destruction. “It is not enough to open doors,” Blix told the council. “Inspection is not a game of “catch as catch can,” he said. “It is a process of verification for the purpose of creating confidence. It is not built on the premise of trust. Rather, it is designed to lead to trust.”

Of course, the French and Russians would have us “give the inspectors more time,” so much more time, in fact, that military action against Saddam’s regime would be that much harder than it is now. I wonder what kind of per-barrel deals Hussein is working out with Chirac and Putin.

John D. Negroponte, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to the U.N. Security Council:

“There is little time left for the council to face its responsibilities. We see no evidence to indicate that Saddam is voluntarily disarming his nations of its biological, chemical weapons, nuclear capabilities and ballistic missiles.”

So ruck up, U.S. servicemen and women. Your CIC will no doubt be calling upon you soon. Kick butt, make us proud, and may God protect you and yours.

posted by retrophisch at 04:10 PM in liberty
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January 27, 2003

What’s fair

Once upon a time, there was a young woman who was about to finish her last year of college. She considered herself a very liberal Democrat, and her father was a rather staunch conservative. One day, she was challenging her father on his beliefs, and his opposition to programs like welfare. He stopped her and asked how she was doing in school.

She answered she had a 4.0 GPA, but it was really tough. She had to study all the time, never had time to go out and party, and often went sleepless because of all of the studying. She didn’t have time for a boyfriend, and didn’t really have many college friends because of all her studying.

He then asked how her friend Mary, who was attending the same college, was doing. She replied that Mary was barely getting by. Mary had a 2.0 GPA, never studied, was very popular on campus, and was at parties all the time. She often wouldn’t show up for classes because she was hung over.

He then asked his daughter why didn’t she go to the Dean’s Office and ask if she could take 1.0 off her 4.0 and give it to her friend that only had a 2.0. That way, they would both have a 3.0 GPA.

She fired back, “That wouldn’t be fair, I worked really hard for mine and my friend has done nothing.” After a moment of silence, she replied, “I guess I will never vote Democrat again.”

(Thanks, FranX!)

posted by retrophisch at 09:29 PM in liberty
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‘9/11 will seem like a picnic’

From Uday Hussein, Saddam’s son, according to a Reuters article: “It is better for the Americans to keep themselves away from us. Because if they come then September 11 - which they are crying over and see as a big thing - will be a real picnic for them, God willing. They will be hurt and pay a price they will never imagine.”

Gee, Uday, give us yet more reasons through your posturing to cap your sorry butt.

And I love how the Husseins run around invoking the name of God, or in their case, Allah. Saddam’s Ba’ath party has always been a secular party, and Saddam is well known for gassing Shi’ite Muslims within Iraq’s borders, not to mention the Muslim Kurds in his nation’s northern territories.

posted by retrophisch at 09:05 AM in liberty
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January 23, 2003

SIGARMS Academy

One of the reasons why SIG is my favorite firearms manufacturer is the SIGARMS Academy. Located in New Hampshire, the Academy provides all types of firearms training to law enforcement personnel as well as to civilians.

Two upcoming courses I would love to send my wife and myself to:

Women Only Weekend: a Rape Prevention Seminar, Self Defense Keychain Course, and a full day of Handgun Orientation for Women.

Civilian Armorer Course: get the same kind of basic armorer’s course normally reserved only for law enforcement personnel.

The Academy’s ongoing education mission reflects the SIG philosophy of a right to self-defense coupled with personal responsibility.

posted by retrophisch at 09:59 AM in firearms , liberty
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Common sense prevails

A federal judge has thrown out the class-action lawsuit against McDonald’s which claimed the chain’s food was the reason for “obesity, diabetes and other health problems in children.”

I worked at McDonald’s in high school, and there was a regular supply of nutritional information pamphlets stocked at one end of the counter. I recall giving out several. The info is there, it tells you how bad the food is nutrition-wise, and yes, if you eat it every day, you’re going to get huge.

Take a little personal responsibility, people.

posted by retrophisch at 09:06 AM in liberty
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January 20, 2003

Jacoby on capital punishment

Speaking of Jeff Jacoby, he offers this point on the recently-revived capital punishment debate:

“This week the Justice Department released ‘Capital Punishment 2001,’ its latest annual survey of death penalty statistics. … It is striking that a controversy so large revolves around numbers so small. The death penalty is available in 38 states and the federal system, yet only 66 convicted killers were executed in the United States last year. That was fewer than the 85 executed in 2000, which in turn was fewer than the 98 executed in 1999.

“… But whatever else might be said about these numbers, they are eclipsed by a far larger and more heartbreaking number, one not mentioned in the Justice Department’s report: the number of murder victims. In 2001, 15,980 Americans lost their lives to murder — a death toll hundreds of times greater than the small body count of executed murderers. Year after year, the number of inmates put to death by the state — usually painlessly and after years of due process — adds up to a minuscule fraction of the number of Americans purposely shot, beaten, strangled, knifed, poisoned, burned, drowned, hanged, and tortured to death by murderers.”

posted by retrophisch at 01:26 PM in liberty , quote
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Jacoby’s musings

Jeff Jacoby’s latest column notes a wide array of topics, including the fact that the war between the enlightened West and militant Islam has been raging a lot longer than most of us think.

posted by retrophisch at 01:13 PM in liberty
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Lies my protesting newsperson told me

Now I could lay in to the various news agencies for their highly-skewed slant on the various anti-war protests over the weekend, but the Media Research Center has already done an oustanding analysis of the various stories.

I would like to note that the protestors in Damascus, Syria, that ABC News pointed out in its commentary were anything but peaceful, shouting, “Our beloved Saddam, strike Tel Aviv.”

I would also like to note that the group responsible for organizing the protests this past weekend is a radically leftist organization far more interested in seeing our national security forces dismantled than in seeing a corrupt, homicidal dictator rendered militarily impotent for the safety of the world.

Please do not construe any of this to mean that I am opposed to the protestors or the protesting in general. That is their right in this country, hope they had fun with all of their whining, misguided though a lot of it may be.

What I have a problem with is the irresponsible reporting that cast some sort of legitimacy on these pro-communist hippie throwbacks, purporting a “significant” portion of mainstream America is now beginning to throw its weight behind their antiwar movement. And don’t comment me with, “What about polls?” Polls are about worthless unless you start getting numbers and demographics really representative of the population. (Hint: this generally means a sample size of more than 3,000 people, and you don’t call all 3,000 within the New York or Los Angeles metro areas.)

posted by retrophisch at 11:39 AM in liberty
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January 17, 2003

On affirmative action

Riddle me this: minority blowhards and their liberal cronies are quick to point out when said minority is being discriminated against with cries of “Racism!” Yet when such discrimination favors them in some manner, such as being admitted to college and possibly receiving a scholarship, as in the University of Michigan case, then it becomes “affirmative action.”

This, from today’s Federalist (03-03 Digest), sums up my, and I believe many Americans’, of all colors, feelings:

“Ever the opportunist, NAACP Chairman Julian Bond protested: ‘Coming on the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., this is a sad, sad gift and a poor way to honor his memory.’ And what would any race-card frenzy be without a few words from Je$$e Ja˘k$on, who took a few minutes off the ‘reparations trail’ to blurt, ‘[This is] the most anti-civil rights president in 50 years.’

“And, of course, the Senate race-baiters chummed the waters: ‘Once again today, the administration has said as clearly by their actions as anyone can, they will continue to side with those opposed to civil rights,’ proclaimed Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle. ‘The Bush administration continues a disturbing pattern of using the rhetoric of diversity as a substitute for real progress on a civil rights agenda,’ parroted Sen. John Kerry. ‘[President Bush] sided with the right wing of his party, and sent a signal that equal opportunity in higher education is a low priority for his administration,’ parroted Sen. Joseph Lieberman. It is worth noting that all these Demo complainants are White Guys.

“Apparently Bond, Jackson and their Demo yackity-clack all think the University of Michigan is somewhere south of Selma. Haven’t we all been told that racism is a deep-South phenomena? There have never been any slaves in Michigan, or 37 other states for that matter. Could it be that the real post-civil rights culprit holding black folks down is the divisive Great Society cadre led by Bond, Jackson and their Demo-gogues?

“Memo to the CBC, NAACP and the Senate drama club, see if you can grasp this novel concept in time for all the MLK Day celebrations on Monday: ‘I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.’ —Martin Luther King, Jr.” [emphasis added]

posted by retrophisch at 01:30 PM in liberty , quote
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Addendum to definition of a liberal

“A liberal is one who opposes racial profiling in matters of national security, but believes it is a useful standard in matters of higher education.”

—your humble host

posted by retrophisch at 01:03 PM in liberty , quote
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Americans

“Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations.” —George Washington


“There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad.

“But a hyphenated American is not an American at all. This is just as true of the man who puts “native” before the hyphen as of the man who puts German or Irish or English or French before the hyphen. Americanism is a matter of the spirit and of the soul.

“Our allegiance must be purely to the United States. We must unsparingly condemn any man who holds any other allegiance. But if he is heartily and singly loyal to this Republic, then no matter where he was born, he is just as good an American as any one else.

“The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic.

“…The man who calls himself an American citizen and who yet shows by his actions that he is primarily the citizen of a foreign land, plays a thoroughly mischievous part in the life of our body politic. He has no place here; and the sooner he returns to the land to which he feels his real heart-allegiance, the better it will be for every good American.

“… For an American citizen to vote as a German-American, an Irish-American, or an English-American, is to be a traitor to American institutions; and those hyphenated Americans who terrorize American politicians by threats of the foreign vote are engaged in treason to the American Republic. ” —Theodore Roosevelt, 1915

So, too, would I include those would refer to themselves as: African-American, Hispanic-American, Arab-American, Asian-American, et al. We are one people of many ethnicities, but one unique culture: American. If you feel you cannot refer to yourself as such without hyphenation, then do as Roosevelt suggested and leave. (Thanks to Rick for the link.)

posted by retrophisch at 12:00 PM in liberty , quote
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Open Secrets

Now you may be wondering, “How did the MRC find out those economists were Democrat contributors?” It’s called OpenSecrets.org, and you can search for campaign contributors.

posted by retrophisch at 10:34 AM in liberty
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Busted

Gee, what possible agenda could ABC, NBC, and CBS have for trotting out financial experts and accountants who poo-poo on the President’s tax plan, when those experts and accountants are heavy Democrat contributors?

posted by retrophisch at 10:25 AM in liberty
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January 15, 2003

This week’s “Leftmedia Busters” Award

“In the 1979-80 season, 75% of all TV sets that were turned on in the early evening were tuned to the network news programs on CBS, NBC or ABC. By 2001, that share of the audience had dropped to 43%. …Any business that lost nearly a third of its customers would be out of business or close to it. Those running it would seriously restructure their product or the way they provide their service. This has not happened at CBS, NBC and ABC. The arrogance of liberals makes it impossible for them to conceive that they are doing something wrong.” —Alan Caruba, via The Federalist

I know one can make the argument that in 1979-80 many American homes did not have cable, and the CBS/NBC/ABC ratings drop could be attributed to more people tuning in to cable news stations, such as CNN. That’s extremely valid, except within the past few years, CNN’s viewership has been dropping as well. Caruba’s point still stands.

posted by retrophisch at 02:20 PM in liberty
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January 14, 2003

How true

“It is almost pathetic to see the emerging lineup of Democratic presidential hopefuls slobbering all over themselves in search of a defining issue — anything — to justify their pursuit of the land’s highest office. When you watch these guys explaining their decisions to run you can’t help but get the impression they are trying to convince themselves they have a legitimate reason to displace an exceedingly popular president during wartime.

“…Unless things go way south with the war and the economy, Democrats will be in trouble because they have no constructive solutions. So they’ll fall back on their tired strategy of demonizing Republicans and scaring and dividing voters, along economic, race, gender and religious lines. The more bereft they are of ideas, the nastier they will get. Which means it’s not going to be pretty.” —David Limbaugh

posted by retrophisch at 08:38 AM in liberty , quote
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Sharing the sacrifice

“The first thing to keep in mind is that it is almost impossible to cut any tax without making the people who pay that tax richer. And, rich people pay a lot more taxes than poor people do.

“According to the Tax Foundation, more than five out of every six dollars collected by the federal government were paid by the top 25 percent of taxpayers. You need a gross adjusted income of $55,225 to qualify as a member of the top quarter. Now, if all these people qualify as ‘rich,’ so be it. If cutting their taxes makes them richer, so be that, too.

“The top 1 percent, by the way, pay 37 percent of the total income taxes collected by the federal government. Democrats keep talking about how little poor people will get from an income tax cut. That’s true — because poor people pay so little in income taxes.

“How about creating a tax system in this country that makes everybody feel like they’re paying their fair share? I don’t want to raise taxes on anybody — I want to cut them for everybody. But having a system where vast segments of the working population are clients of the government and a small number are funders of it is not only institutionalized class warfare, it’s the exact opposite of shared sacrifice.” —Jonah Goldberg [emphasis added]

posted by retrophisch at 08:31 AM in liberty , quote
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January 13, 2003

Bulls-eye!

“The central question in this debate is not whether government should decide how much money it will allow us to keep. Rather, it is how much of our money we will allow the government to spend.” —Cal Thomas

A return to the constitutionally-granted powers of the federal government would go a long way toward bringing down the tax burden on all Americans.

posted by retrophisch at 10:43 AM in liberty , quote
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Will on stimulus package

“Today’s ‘stimulus package’ is psychotherapy for a nation that very recently has become too fixated on the stock market, which has declined three consecutive years for the first time since 1939-41. But the stock market and the economy are not identical, and indeed they have diverged — the market slump has been more severe than the recent recession, the mildest since 1945.” —George Will

I wholeheartedly agree; we have been way too focused, and continue to be so, on the stock market as our primary economic indicator. It is an important indicator, I’ll grant you, but if we learn anything from the dot-com bust, it is that no matter how hard we would like to become a paperless, information-based economy, real money is still to be made in industrial and service sectors of the economy. This recession that we’ve found ourselves in is merely the economy, and the stock market, correcting itself after the overvaluation and overinflation of the stock market during the dot-com boom.

posted by retrophisch at 10:41 AM in liberty
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Tax vernacular

Friday’s Federalist opined on President Bush’s proposed economic policy, and this gem on tax cut vernacular:

“And Sociocrats depend on one tactical tool — control the debate using their army of sycophants in the Leftmedia. Together, the political and chattering tribes conspire to control the debate by manipulating the vernacular: government spending becomes ‘investment,’ tax cuts ‘cost’ the government, letting you keep your money become ‘a rebate,’ and they ask questions like can government ‘afford the tax cuts’ and suggest that reducing taxes causes deficits when anyone with half a wit knows that spending causes deficits.”

posted by retrophisch at 09:41 AM in liberty , quote
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January 10, 2003

You, too, can hack the RIAA

Eric shared this tidbit with the ATPM staff on the ongoing hacks of the Recording Industry Association of America’s web site.

posted by retrophisch at 02:43 PM in liberty
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Piracy-Free Peek at History

British Pathe is putting old newsreels online, and they’re doing so without any high-tech, high-minded copy protection. Their old newsreel business is booming. Take heed, AOL Time Warner, Fox, MPAA, et al.

(Thanks, Lee)

posted by retrophisch at 02:37 PM in liberty
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January 08, 2003

Why the West is best

Western values are superior to all others. Why? The indispensable achievement of the West was the concept of individual rights. It’s the idea that individuals have certain inalienable rights and individuals do not exist to serve government but governments exist to protect these inalienable rights. It took until the 17th century for that idea to arrive on the scene and mostly through the works of English philosophers such as John Locke and David Hume.

“While Western values are superior to all others, one need not be a Westerner to hold Western values. A person can be Chinese, Japanese, Jewish, African or Arab and hold Western values. It’s no accident that Western values of reason and individual rights have produced unprecedented health, life expectancy, wealth and comfort for the ordinary person. There’s an indisputable positive relationship between liberty and standards of living.

“Western values are by no means secure. They’re under ruthless attack by the academic elite on college campuses across America. These people want to replace personal liberty with government control; they want to replace equality with entitlement; they want to halt progress in the name of protecting the environment. As such, they pose a much greater threat to our way of life than any terrorist or rogue nation. Multiculturalism and diversity are a cancer on our society, and, ironically, with our tax dollars and charitable donations, we’re feeding it.” —Walter Williams

posted by retrophisch at 01:01 PM in liberty , quote
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Freedom without faith?

“It is vitally important that we recognize that there is a law higher than that of the state or the will of the majority. There is a higher law than that which springs from the fallible minds of men. This law, insofar as it has been revealed to us and can be ascertained through reason, is the basis of our natural rights. While many people look at the long and horrific history of religious wars and the lethal violence of religious fanaticism, so woefully evident in our own age, and see religion as a threat to liberty, the Founders of our republic understood that God was the ultimate source of our liberty.

“…By the standards of those who file lawsuits to remove Christmas displays from government buildings — or to remove the phrase ‘under God’ from the Pledge of Allegiance — the very people who framed and ratified the First Amendment they appeal to were guilty of creating some kind of theocracy. Of course, the constitutional republic of our Founders was nothing of the sort. A system based on God-given rights does not inherently deny the rights of an unbeliever anymore than we deny the rights of a socialist to own private property or profit from the free-market economy.

“The acknowledgement that human beings and the institutions they create are imperfect acknowledges the imperfections of professing Christians and members of other religious traditions. The idea that government powers should be limited, defined and divided acts as a check against all potential tyrants and offers protection to all potential victims. Forgetting the link between faith and freedom leaves all our liberty less secure.” —W. James Antle III

posted by retrophisch at 12:20 PM in liberty , quote
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I couldn’t agree more

“We were hoping for a big and bold tax cut from President Bush and, by George, we got one. Yesterday Mr. Bush drew a bead on the twin shibboleths of bad tax policy — the fear of budget deficits and of benefiting middle- and upper-income workers — and pulled the trigger.”

[…]

“The President deserves credit for ignoring all of the Beltway trimmers and risking the political capital he won in November in pursuit of a large policy ambition. His proposal is one worth fighting for.”

[…]

“Mr. Bush’s proposal would reduce tax revenue over the next decade, though far less if the growth effects are figured in. And the possibility has already brought out the flock of self-styled ‘deficit hawks.’ Pay no attention. Currently the budget deficit is 1.5% of GDP and projections for the next year or so are around 2%. These figures amount to a whole lot of nothing both in historical terms and when compared with the potential growth of the economy.”

[…]

“The notion put forward by the deficit hawks that this will send interest rates to the sky and the economy six feet under is deeply silly. Deficits are the result of weak or negative economic growth, not the other way around. The best way to close a deficit is through strong economic growth.”

[…]

“Mr. Bush is offering, on balance, an excellent program to prevent the economy from weakening amid the short-term uncertainties of war and expensive oil. And by wringing out some of the tax barriers to economic efficiency, he is also creating the conditions for better long-term growth. A bull’s-eye, for sure.” — The Wall Street Journal

posted by retrophisch at 11:45 AM in liberty , quote
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Let’s be honest with Saddam

“There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men.” —Edmund Burke

posted by retrophisch at 11:35 AM in liberty , quote
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January 06, 2003

Copyright Call to Arms

Lawrence Lessig delivered “Free Culture” in July 2002 at the Open Source Convention. If you read nothing else that I post here about copyright and your constitutionally-ordained fair-use rights, read this.

And if you don’t want to actually read this transcript, think on this, from Lessig:

  • Creativity and innovation always builds on the past.
  • The past always tries to control the creativity that builds upon it.
  • Free societies enable the future by limiting this power of the past.
  • Ours is less and less a free society.

posted by retrophisch at 02:47 PM in liberty
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January 03, 2003

Tax cut lies

Thursday night, ABC, CBS, NBC and CNBC all decided to subtly berate President Bush’s upcoming economic stimulus package, which will include tax cuts. From the Media Research Center:

ABC anchor Elizabeth Vargas worried: “President Bush will roll out more tax cuts, but will they benefit everyone?” On CBS, Bill Plante noted how President Bush “brushed aside the debate over whether his tax policy favors the rich” and that Bush’s tax cut package set to be unveiled on Tuesday will “very likely” include “the very top tax rate despite the criticism that that will disproportionately benefit the wealthiest taxpayers.” CNBC anchor Forrest Sawyer intoned that it’s “a package that critics are already saying is not enough and helps the wrong people.” NBC’s David Gregory noted how Bush insists his tax cuts “are not simply a giveaway to the rich.” NBC’s Tom Brokaw stated that President Bush insisted his “plan to fix a struggling economy” will “help all Americans — not just the wealthy.”

To the blowhard talkingheads and other tax-and-spend leftists: it’s very hard to give tax breaks to people who are paying very little, if any, taxes. What the talkingheads fail to mention is that from the IRS’s own records, we learn that in 2000, the bottom 50 percent of wage-earning Americans, those earning less than $27,682 annually, paid under 4 percent of the taxes. They paid 3.91 percent of the federal tax burden, to be exact. These are the people that need a tax break?

Contrast that with the top 5 percent of wage earners ($128,336), which paid 56.47 percent! And the top 50 percent of wage earners in the country paid the 96.09 percent that the bottom 50 didn’t, and still doesn’t, have to come up with.

To the point, half of the wage earners in this country pay nearly all the federal taxes, while the other half pays next to nothing.

So the economic lesson for today, boys and girls, is that if you’re poor in America, you’re paying very little, if any, federal taxes, and any proposed tax cuts are not going to impact you negatively. Therefore, leftist talkingheads need to stop instigating class warfare and shut their traps.

posted by retrophisch at 02:17 PM in liberty
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December 26, 2002

All along the watchtower

“But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.” —John Adams

“A group of people may have rights, but it is their responsibility, and theirs alone, to defend or safeguard such rights.” —Murray N. Rothbard

posted by retrophisch at 12:12 PM in liberty , quote
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December 24, 2002

Protect Fair Use

A new site has appeared, protectfairuse.org. I encourage you to check it out. They make it easy for you to email and print letters to send to your Congresscritters regarding protection of your fair use rights.

posted by retrophisch at 09:18 AM in liberty
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December 23, 2002

Safer in Afghanistan than in Montgomery

Exercising the Second Amendment right he defends every day through his service, Marine Sergeant James Lowery shot and killed a would-be carjacker last Thursday, after being wounded himself. Sergeant Lowery is in fair condition, and will rejoin his unit, an aerial tanker squardon, upon his release from the hospital.

posted by retrophisch at 11:51 AM in liberty
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About those poor Iraqi civilians. . .

A lot has been said and written in the past few months regarding the fate of the Iraqi civilian population in the event of a U.S.-led attack on Saddam Hussein. Many charges have been laid at the foot of the Bush administration that the White House doesn’t care about the Iraqi people, or what they think. Many of these “journalists” have argued that the Iraqi people are fine with the current regime, and are utterly opposed to a U.S.-led invasion. Oh, really?

The Brussels-based International Crisis Group has released a white paper on the results of anonymous, on-the-street interviews conducted with Iraqi citizens in Baghdad, Mosul and Najaf. And I, quite happily, quote:

“A significant number of those Iraqis interviewed, with surprising candour, expressed their view that, if such a change required an American-led attack, they would support it.”

and

“Few Iraqis opposed an invasion for patriotic reasons or fear that an attack would lead to heavy civilian casualties.”

Granted, and understandably so: “It should not be assumed from this that such support as might exist for a U.S. operation is unconditional. It appears to be premised on the belief both that any such military action would be quick and clean and that it would be followed by a robust international reconstruction effort. Should either of these prove untrue — if the war proved to be bloody and protracted or if Iraq lacked sufficient assistance afterwards — the support in question may well not be very long sustained.”

Now, everybody sing! “All the world over, so easy to see; people everywhere, just want to be free. . .”

posted by retrophisch at 11:16 AM in liberty
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December 19, 2002

More of the real Clinton legacy

ABC News has conducted an exclusive interview with two FBI agents, who said they were repeatedly warned off of the cases they were working on. Beginning in the mid-1990s, “the two Chicago-based agents were assigned to track a connection to Chicago, a suspected terrorist cell that would later lead them to a link with Osama bin Laden. Wright says that when he pressed for authorization to open a criminal investigation into the money trail, his supervisor stopped him.”

They were ordered to stop investigations into the suspected terror cell linked to al Qaeda, which would eventually perpetuate the Sept. 11 attacks. One of the individuals they were tracking was “a powerful Saudi Arabian businessman, Yassin al-Kadi. Al-Kadi is one of 12 Saudi businessmen suspected of funneling millions of dollars to al Qaeda…” After September 11th, Al-Kadi was confirmed as one of bin Laden’s financiers.

Way to go, Bill.

posted by retrophisch at 05:33 PM in liberty
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December 18, 2002

Truth hurts, eh Yasser?

“The expectations in the reformed-terrorist category are not high — Jomo Kenyatta, Robert Mugabe — but [Yasser] Arafat has failed to make even this minimal grade. His Palestinian Authority is a swamp of corruption and organized crime presided over by trigger-happy goon squads from the Chairman’s dozen competing state security agencies. If you gave this guy Switzerland to run, he’d turn it into a sewer.

“…Today, the only tattered remnant of the pan-Arab cause is Palestinian nationalism, and very helpful it is, too. Why, only the other day a wealthy Saudi assisted by Egyptian lieutenants and Iraqi intelligence blew a hole in the middle of New York and the world rushed forward to insist that this proved the need for a Palestinian state.” —Mark Steyn

posted by retrophisch at 10:38 AM in liberty , quote
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Liberty History

In case you missed it, and I know you did since I did, too, Sunday, 15 December, marked the 211th anniversary of the adoption of our Bill of Rights, the first Ten Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

“Many of the Founders objected to listing the Bill of Rights as ‘amendments’ because it might be construed that such rights were subject to change. The Bill of Rights is both an affirmation of innate individual rights and an explication of constraints upon the central government.” —The Federalist, 02-51 Brief

Monday, the 16th, marked the 229th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party.

posted by retrophisch at 10:07 AM in liberty
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December 17, 2002

How to Ruin American Enterprise

All I can say is, Ben Stein FREAKING rocks!

Thanks, Dan!

posted by retrophisch at 02:14 PM in liberty
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O’Reilly on Online Distribution

Michael links to Tim O’Reilly’s treatment of piracy and online distribution. This is in the vein of fair use and copyright noted yesterday with Dan Knight’s article. As an author, content provider, and publisher, Tim’s views reflect the concerns of all sides, and offers common-sense solutions for the music industry in particular, and other content providers/publishers in general.

posted by retrophisch at 10:16 AM in liberty
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December 16, 2002

Common Sense, Copyright, and Fair Use

So I’m a little behind in my LEM reading, but Dan Knight published an outstanding article on copyright and fair use. If you ever needed a simple overview of the issue, this is it. Dan also offers some common sense changes to current copyright law that would continue to benefit copyright holders as well as the public good.

My only suggestion would be that Dan’s recommendations for length of the copyright is too long, even with the suggested registration fees. As a copyright holder myself, and an aspiring author, this is an area of great interest to me. I am, however, a consumer as well, and therefore would like to see less restrictive copyright lengths. My own proposal would be an initial copyright of 25 years, with a maximum renewal of another 25.

Think of this; with that kind of copyright time length, Clancy’s The Hunt for Red October, and Red Storm Rising, considered seminal fiction works of the Cold War, would enter the public domain in 2034 and 2036, respectively. Clancy will have more than made enough money off of those two tomes (which seem to get republished every time he releases another book) to pass on to his progeny. He would be 87 when the copyright on Red October would run out.

If I published a book right now, I would be 82 when the copyright, under my proposed rules, runs out in 2052. I think that’s long enough for me to make some dough off my work, don’t you?

posted by retrophisch at 03:10 PM in liberty
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December 11, 2002

Ah, men after my own heart

“A liberal is a man who will give away everything he doesn’t own.” —Frank Dane

“Every day you meet a delegation going to some convention to try and change the way of somebody else’s life.” —Will Rogers

posted by retrophisch at 04:36 PM in liberty , quote
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Macrovision moving in to audio

Digital “rights” management company Macrovision has completed its acquisition of Israeli-based Midbar Technologies, and will now take its copy-protection experience into the audio space. For those of you who may not have paid attention to any DRM stuff to this point, this is a bad thing. Fellow ATPM staffer Eric Blair, during a staff discussion, summed up my sentiments perfectly:

“The music industry continually finds new and interesting (or, in this case, warmed over and old hat) ways to shoot itself in the foot. It just kills me to watch the record companies take steps that actively push people towards piracy.

“…If the record companies actually look at the source of their problems, they’d see that costs are too high and most of the crap out there is, well, crap.

“…Honestly, I think the only solution is to embrace the Internet. Make the CDs reasonably priced. Make singles available for download at a small cost. Accept the fact that some people are never going to pay for what you’re selling if they don’t have to, but the majority of people will if you’re not actively trying to hose them.”

(Thanks, Lee)

posted by retrophisch at 11:43 AM in liberty
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Amazing foresight

For all of you bleeding-heart lefties who think the federal government doesn’t focus enough on domestic issues:

“[T]he States can best govern our home concerns and the general government our foreign ones. I wish, therefore…never to see all offices transferred to Washington, where, further withdrawn from the eyes of the people, they may more secretly be bought and sold at market.” —Thomas Jefferson

posted by retrophisch at 09:45 AM in liberty , quote
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December 09, 2002

If they went any more left, they’d drown

Proving once again that they don’t get it and do not deserve the benches they sit upon, a three-judge panel of the left-leaning Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the 2d Amendment is not an individual right, but a state right.

Gee, I guess that the framers of the Constitution, oh so concerned with individual rights, would have made 9 of the 10 amendments listed in the Bill of Rights specific individual rights, but mark down number 2 as a state right? Please.

And as for Mr. Lockyer’s statement, the 2d Amendment has never been about hunting or target shooting. It has been from its publication about defense; of one’s person and property, and of one’s country. Do your homework, Mr. Lockyer, Mr. Nosanchuk, 9th Circuit judges. See what the Founding Fathers each had to say about firearms and the government beyond what they wrote in the Constitution. Not once do they mention hunting. Not once do they mention “sports shooting.” Defense, defense, defense. Of one’s person, of one’s property, of one’s nation.

And just because something looks like one thing, doesn’t make it that thing. In other words, just because a firearm looks like the same kind of firearm used by the military or police does not make it the same firearm used by the military or police. Get over it. (Thanks, Top!)

posted by retrophisch at 09:38 AM in liberty
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December 04, 2002

Ouch

“Inasmuch as liberals are demanding that Americans ritualistically proclaim, ‘Islam is a religion of peace,’ Muslims might do their part by not killing people all the time.” —Ann Coulter

posted by retrophisch at 08:09 PM in liberty , quote
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This is a problem because. . . ?

This week’s “Keen Sense of the Obvious” Award: “The Bush administration often seems to be completely engrossed with the campaign against terrorism.” —Peter Jennings, ABC News (from The Federalist)

Ummmm. . .yeah. Could it be, Peter, because the primary responsibility of the federal government as set forth in the Constitution of the United States of America is defense of the nation from enemies foreign and domestic? That’s right, contrary to what the Left would have you believe, the federal government’s primary duty is not to provide free or discounted health care, prescription drug benefits, prop up the stock market, or finance late-night urban basketball leagues. Your tax dollars should be spent building the strongest military and finest intelligence services in the world. And can we please stop listening to whiny, leftist Canadians? (With apologies to the non-whiny, non-leftist Canadians I call friends. If only there were more of you.)

posted by retrophisch at 04:01 PM in liberty
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November 25, 2002

Thank God!

Hey, Dan! Good thing complete opposites can still be friends, huh? :)



What kind of Commie are you?


this quiz was made by Mod

posted by retrophisch at 11:56 AM in liberty
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November 11, 2002

Thank you for your service

And on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the Great War ended with an armistice. November 11th was officially honored as Armistice Day from 1926 to 1954 in the United States. In 1954, the holiday was changed to Veterans Day, and we honor all of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who have served and sacrificed.

A special thank-you to my dad and my uncle for their service in the Navy and Army, respectively, during the Vietnam Conflict. Thankfully, neither had to serve in the Southeast Asia theater of operations.

So if you live next door to, work with, go to church with, or simply just know of, a veteran, take a moment today to shake their hand and thank them for serving their country.

“Greater love has no man than this, than to lay down his life for his friends.” —John 15:13

posted by retrophisch at 09:59 AM in liberty
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November 08, 2002

National Military Appreciation Month

“To be prepared for war, is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.” —George Washington, First Annual Address, January 8, 1790

Veterans Day is Monday, November 11th, and this is National Military Appreciation Month. The Department of Defense has set up a web site where you can go and digitally sign a big thank-you to our men and women in uniform. The message, with names, will be distributed at the end of the month. These soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines are at the forefront of preserving our national security and defending our liberty. Let them know you appreciate it. (Thanks, Dad!)

posted by retrophisch at 04:03 PM in liberty
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November 05, 2002

Multiple choice

For our friends in the ACLU and other leftists opposed to profiling in our current war on terrorism:

1. In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, Israeli athletes were kidnapped and massacred by:

a. Olga Korbut
b. Sitting Bull
c. Arnold Schwarzenegger
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40


2. In 1979, the U.S. embassy in Iran was taken over by:

a. Lost Norwegians
b. Elvis
c. A tour bus full of 80-year-old women
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40


3. During the 1980s a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by:

a. John Dillinger
b. The King of Sweden
c. The Boy Scouts
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40


4. In 1983, the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by:

a. A pizza delivery boy
b. Pee Wee Herman
c. Geraldo Rivera
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40


5. In 1985 the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked, and a 70-year-old
American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard by:

a. The Smurfs
b. Davy Jones
c. The Little Mermaid
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40


6. In 1985 TWA Flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, and a U.S. Navy diver was
murdered by:

a. Captain Kid
b. Charles Lindberg
c. Mother Teresa
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40


7. In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by:

a. Scooby Doo
b. The Tooth Fairy
c. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40


8. In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by:

a. Richard Simmons
b. Grandma Moses
c. Michael Jordan
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40


9. In 1998, the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by:

a. Mr. Rogers
b. Hillary, to distract attention from Wild Bill’s women problems
c. The World Wrestling Federation
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40


10. On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked and destroyed and thousands of
people were killed by:

a. Bugs Bunny, Wiley E. Coyote, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd
b. The Supreme Court of Florida
c. Mr. Bean
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40


11. In 2002 the United States fought a war in Afghanistan against:

a. Enron
b. The Lutheran Church
c. The NFL
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40


12. In 2002 reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by:

a. Bonnie and Clyde
b. Captain Kangaroo
c. Billy Graham
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40


So can we get this through the thick skulls out there? Only one segment of world society has shown, since World War II, the propensity for terrorism and violence shown above: Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

Mothers with small children, 80-year-old grandmothers, pilots with the proper credentials, artificial-implant patients, and Medal of Honor winners are not boarding planes with the intent of hijacking them. Let’s stop harrassing millions of perfectly innocent people who are simply trying to get from point A to point B, and search the folks who actually fit the profile of terrorists.

You do not have a right to not be offended. If you look like, and have a name similar to, Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40, you should expect to be searched at the airport. Repeatedly.

You can bet your behind that if the IRA had pulled off what a bunch of Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40 did on 9/11/01, then every white male in America would be getting stopped at the airport, especially those named Patrick, Kelly, et al. The terrorists with a grudge against the United States have a profile, yes. It’s about time we started using it. (Thanks to Kelly for the quiz via email.)

posted by retrophisch at 10:50 AM in liberty
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October 24, 2002

Hypocrisy as a way of life?

Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle appeared on Fox News Sunday this past week. During the interview, hypocrite Daschle remarked: “Well, it’s not necessarily the position in that legislative approach that I think is the concern. It’s the attitude. It’s the way that we have gone about foreign policy, especially, Tony, this unilateral approach to foreign policy, dictating on a unilateral basis what the United States’ position is going to be and expecting, really, all these countries in a very autocratic or very authoritarian way to comply.”

What hypocrite Daschle fails to remark on is why he’s voted in favor of all the U.S. policies he discounts as “dictatorial” and “unilateral.” It couldn’t possibly be because it’s an election year, could it?

posted by retrophisch at 01:58 PM in liberty
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This week’s “Keen Sense of the Obvious” Award

“Saddam won a 100 percent victory in an uncontested election Tuesday to remain the nation’s leader for another seven years.” —CNN

followed by:

This week’s “Leftmedia Buster” Award

“Iraq is holding a sham election today, in which citizens ‘vote’ on whether Saddam Hussein should serve another seven years as president. Under the watchful eye of Saddam’s thugs, these ‘voters’ must sign their names to the ‘ballots,’ and any who dare vote ‘no’ can expect to be executed. It’s a mystery why Western news organizations insist on portraying this as if it were an actual election.” —James Taranto (from The Federalist)

posted by retrophisch at 01:28 PM in liberty , quote
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October 22, 2002

Justifiable violence

“Are liberals incapable of the kind of practical moral reasoning that foreign policy requires? It seems that they are. Most liberals are content with slogans that cannot survive the slightest scrutiny. ‘Violence never solves problems.’ This is manifestly not true.

“Violence helped to end the regimes of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. The atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, however controversial their use, did solve the big problem of an unyielding Japan. Violence proved equally effective against the Taliban. ‘But you can’t impose democracy at the point of a bayonet.’ This is another liberal shibboleth.

“In reality, at the end of World War II, America imposed democracy at the point of a bayonet on Japan and Germany, and it has proved a resounding success in both countries. The problem with liberals is that they never give bayonets a chance.” —Dinesh D’Souza

posted by retrophisch at 11:33 AM in liberty , quote
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Learn some history, people

“The Congress of the United States has now given President George W. Bush the authority to enter into preemptive war against Saddam Hussein, which Mr. Bush says is justified. Others have argued strenuously that preemptive war is unjustified and even un-American.

“… It might surprise some that justification for preemptive war is found in the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration, got his ideas on preemptive war from John Locke’s ‘Second Treatise on Civil Government’ and used them in the Declaration to justify the American Revolution. … In his work, Locke argued against despotic power or ‘Absolute, Arbitrary Power’ because being absolute and arbitrary it can be used to ‘take away’ the lives of those subject to it. This makes despotic power opposed to self-preservation or ‘the preservation of Mankind,’ which Locke maintained was ‘the fundamental Law of Nature.’ Because this Law was the ‘will of God,’ Locke argued that each human being was duty ‘bound to preserve himself, and not to quit his Station willfully.’

“… Therefore everyone has the obligation to avoid subjecting themselves to despotic or ‘Absolute, Arbitrary Power’ since it renders their own limited individual power to preserve themselves ineffective. … Some argue that even if there is a preemptive war against Saddam, it should not be used to install an American-type democracy. Locke and Jefferson would have disagreed, because American democracy does not allow despotic power or the ‘Absolute, Arbitrary Power’ that Saddam enjoys, which makes him a threat to world security. He can do anything he wants.

“Not so with George W. Bush. His executive power is severely limited by the Constitution, under which power is shared with the two other co-equal branches of government — Congress and the Supreme Court. … Therefore, it is time to place Saddam, or his successor, under the same political power limitations in Iraq as Mr. Bush is under in the United States. This will provide greater security for mankind in this era of weapons of mass destruction — provided it happens before Saddam gets the bomb.” —Allen Jayne

posted by retrophisch at 11:20 AM in liberty , quote
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Call’em like we see’em

“The House of Representatives packed up and went home for elections, and we can’t say we’re sorry to see the Members go. Senators are lingering for a while longer, but it’d be better if they left too and didn’t return until they’re at least prepared to fulfill constitutional duties, like confirming judges. The best that can be said about the 107th Congress is that it managed to do less damage than usual.” —The Wall Street Journal

posted by retrophisch at 10:43 AM in liberty , quote
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October 21, 2002

Speaking of slaps to the face. . .

“Of course, it’s a tragedy that the peace prize was awarded to Carter and not Reagan. I mean, who did more for world peace? Who did a great deal to end the Cold War? Who did a great deal to disarm and dismantle the Soviet Union, that mortal threat to world peace? Who removed the shadow of global annihilation from us, if only temporarily? Who envisioned a shield, not a sword?

“National Review once opined, many years ago, that, every year, the Nobel peace prize should go to the U.S. secretary of defense: The American military is the number-one guarantor of peace in the world. But maybe something like a Nobel freedom prize would be a more appropriate award for Reagan than a peace prize.” —Jay Nordlinger

posted by retrophisch at 03:16 PM in liberty , quote
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American “force”

There has been a lot of gnashing of teeth over Bush admininstration foreign policy, that the United States is “forcing” its will on the rest of the world, and rather we should just go along with what other countries have to say and just forget about our sovereignty and national security (read: Daschle). After all, what has America accomplished with force that successful negotiation could not top?

“Name, in the past hundred years, a single important triumph for peace and for liberal democracy that was purchased by the jaw-jawing the Nobellians so admire. No rush, take your time. Now, look at what American war-war (and the threat of American war-war) won: the defeat of the fascist attempt to rule the world; the defeat of the Communist attempt to rule the world; the consequent rebuilding of a Europe protected by American arms into a democratic and peaceful continent for the first time in history; the rebuilding of an American-protected Japan into a democratic and peaceful nation for the first time in history; the emergence of a world in which, for the first time in history, the peaceful values of liberal democracy are the ascendant norm. No, no, it remains unthinkable. To imagine American force was a force for good, one would have to imagine America was a force for good. And this, the Bourbons of Oslo will never, never do.” —Michael Kelly

posted by retrophisch at 03:12 PM in liberty , quote
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Why it’s freedom of religion, not freedom from

“Certainly we do not want men to allow their Christianity to flow over into their political life, for the establishment of anything like a really just society would be a major disaster.” —C.S. Lewis (translating the Devil’s words), The Screwtape Letters

posted by retrophisch at 03:00 PM in god , liberty , quote
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Blast from the past

Well, not that far past. October 2001, to be exact, but rather timely since there is new gun regulation being discussed in the wake of the DC metro serial sniper attacks:

“There are so many laws concerning the purchase and use of guns, including background checks, that it is hard to understand why any more are needed. Guns will always fall into the wrong hands, and criminals are not going to be governed by any of the gun laws. The gun laws have but one purpose: to discourage honest citizens from purchasing and owning firearms. No amount of laws will ever prevent someone intent on getting a gun from doing so.” — Dick Boland, nationally syndicated columnist

posted by retrophisch at 02:01 AM in liberty , quote
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October 16, 2002

Yes, Virginia, lie detectors are fallible

“After 19 months of study, experts convened by the National Research Council, an arm of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, concluded that ‘national security is too important to be left to such a blunt instrument,’ and noted pointedly that ‘no spy has ever been caught [by] using the polygraph.’”

You can read more in William Safire’s outstanding editorial. (free registration required)

posted by retrophisch at 09:21 AM in liberty
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October 14, 2002

English, the de facto official language

“If I were Hispanic, I would be ashamed that so many American institutions take it for granted that people like me can’t understand English. I would notice that there were never any telephone prompts or hyperlinks for Italian or Hindi or Japanese. I would realize that no one assumes that German-, Arab-, or Vietnamese-Americans are unable to communicate in English.

“I don’t know which would depress me more: the knowledge that my fellow citizens feel obliged to condescend to Hispanics or my sense that so many Hispanics prefer it that way…. I am the son of a Jewish refugee from Czechoslovakia who immigrated to America in 1948. … My father was forced to learn English; it was the prerequisite to American life…. Not learning English was not an option. My father had to acquire the common American tongue. His life has been better for it.” —Jeff Jacob

Living in Texas, where too much of this sort of thing goes on, I have to say amen, and amen! Lefty multiculturalists love to remind us that the United States is a melting pot of different cultures and that we should respect all for our diversity. What these historically-ignorant windbags fail to grasp, however, is that for us to be Americans, we have to have a common identity. That identity incorporates the diversity we all bring to the pot, yet is distinct from them all.

Part of that distinction is our language. Like it or not, English has been the dominant language throughout the United States since the mid 1800s. It is the de facto official language of this country, even if there is no law stating as such (and there should be).

By all means, speak Spanish, German, Russian, whatever, amongst yourselves and in your homes. Hold on to and cherish your heritage, but integrate your heritage with that of America itself. Be prepared to interact with the rest of us in English, the tongue of Americans.

posted by retrophisch at 04:31 PM in liberty
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Congresscritters, it wasn’t supposed to be a career!

“Nothing so strongly impels a man to regard the interest of his constituents, as the certainty of returning to the general mass of the people, from whence he was taken, where he must participate in their burdens.” —George Mason

posted by retrophisch at 04:13 PM in liberty , quote
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PGP 8.0 Public Beta

Earlier this year, the email encryption system known as Pretty Good Privacy was rescued from the nincompoops at Network Associates, and will soon be available from the PGP corporation.

The best news is that we will finally have an OS X-native version. You can try it out now through PGP’s public beta program. Highlights include: Full support for Mac OS X 10.2; full PGP Disk interoperability with PGP Disks created by all prior PGP Disk products for Mac OS, as well as with PGP Disks created with PGP Disk for Windows 7.0 and later; AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) support in PGP Disk; significantly expanded Unicode support; built-in support for Apple Mail and Microsoft Entourage X; PGP encryption and digital signature features are accessible as a Mac OS X service from Cocoa applications and Carbon applications that support services; PGP features are also accessible from the PGP’s Dock menu, providing a second ubiquitous method for accessing PGP.

This may actually get me back into the crypto game. You may very well have to finger me for my public key soon!

posted by retrophisch at 09:30 AM in liberty
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