Tuesday, October 23, 2007

It's Law School Made Easy!

As some of you (more correctly speaking, BOTH of you) may know, I am currently looking for an institution of higher education from which I may purchase a law degree. I don't want to spend more time in a classroom, I don't want to take more tests, I never, EVER want to litigate. Heck, I don't even want to take the bar! I just want the J.D. after my name so I can command a better salary in my field. (Wow, clearly I'm so shallow you could fly fish in me, but hey...)

Anyhoo, I just went to PBS.org and found a great little game called Talking About My Constitution. I urge each of you (and again, by "each" I mean "both") to go to the PBS Website (http://www.pbs.org/wnet/supremecourt/capitalism/constitution.html) and take the quiz. Be sure to come back and tell me how you did.

I scored highest in First Amendment Rights, but only got half the Civil Rights questions correct. Hmmm...maybe I should study more before I continue in my quest to purchase a law degree. Better yet, anyone know a scalper?

Monday, October 22, 2007

We live in a Diet Coke world

I vigorously urge everyone to read Mark Steyn's piece "General Stark's War" from the NY Sun yesterday. (http://www.nysun.com/article/65002 ) In it Steyn addresses Rep. Pete Stark's (D-CA) House floor speech last week in which he lobbed nonsensical, biting, personal attacks at Pres. Bush in an attempt to garner votes to override the SCHIP veto. (Really, can somebody PLEASE put a fork in this thing? It's DONE already!)

For those of you who don't have time to read the article in its entirety, I have taken the liberty of cutting and pasting two of the most relevant parts.

It all started when Rep. Stark adroitly (puh!) mumbled the following in his floor speech: "The Republicans are worried that they can't pay for insuring an additional 10 million children. They sure don't care about finding $200 billion to fight the illegal war in Iraq. Where are you going to get that money? Are you going to tell us lies like you're telling us today? Is that how you're going to fund the war? You don't have money to fund the war on children, but you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people? If he can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the President's amusement."

Okay, first of all, what the hell does that even mean? Was he sauced? Isn't being lit up during a Congressional debate against the law, Ted Kennedy notwithstanding?

Referencing the good congressman's slurred utterance, Mark Steyn noted: "Congressman Stark hit all the buzz words – "children", "illegal war", "$200 billion", "lies", etc – and these days they're pretty much like modular furniture: you can say 'em in any order and you'll still get a cheer from the crowd."

Aaaahahahahahaha!!! Modular furniture? 'Scuse me while I wet my pants! He then goes on to point out:

"A couple of weeks ago, the Democrats put up a 12-year old S-CHIP beneficiary from Baltimore called Graeme Frost to deliver their official response to the President's Saturday-morning radio address. And immediately afterwards Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin and I jumped the sick kid in a dark alley and beat him to a pulp. Or so you'd have thought from the press coverage: The Washington Post called us "meanies". Well, no doubt it's true we hard-hearted conservatives can't muster the civilized level of discourse of Pete Stark. But we were trying to make a point – not about the kid, but about the family, and their relevance as a poster child for expanded government healthcare. Mr and Mrs Frost say their income's about $45,000 a year – she works "part-time" as a medical receptionist and he works "intermittently" as a self-employed woodworker. They have a 3,000 square foot home plus a second commercial property with a combined value of over $400,000, and three vehicles – a new Suburban, a Volvo SUV, and a Ford F250 pick-up....How they make that arithmetic add up is between them and their accountant. But here's the point: The Frosts are not emblematic of the health care needs of America so much as they are of the delusion of the broader western world. They expect to be able to work "part-time" and "intermittently" but own two properties and three premium vehicles and have the state pick up healthcare costs."

Exactly! Who are these people? How are they disadvantaged in any sense of the word? How many of us wish we could work "intermittently" and still be able to afford a Volvo SUV? As it is, most of us work full-time and we are perfectly grateful for the ability and opportunity to pay off our 2000 Nissan sedan! The Dems could have paraded around any number of children, but they chose THIS kid to be their poster boy, THIS kid to be the face of America's poor.

Steyn is right--we want all of the pleasure, and none of the guilt. We want all the benefits, but wish to bear none of the cost. In short, we are a society of expectations. We live in a Diet Coke world.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pucker up, Sioux City!

As seen recently on YahooNews:

“SIOUX CITY, Iowa - City leaders have scrapped plans to do away with the Sioux Gateway Airport's unflattering three-letter identifier — SUX — and instead have made it the centerpiece of the airport's new marketing campaign. The code, used by pilots and airports worldwide and printed on tickets and luggage tags, will be used on T-shirts and caps sporting the airport's new slogan, "FLY SUX." It also forms the address of the airport's redesigned Web site — http://www.flysux.com.”

Bravo, Sioux City, Iowa! I mean, who hasn’t been faced with a similar dilemma? Let’s face it, we live in a fallen world and sometimes life just deals you a crappy hand. As I see it, at that point you have two choices: You can either sit around and gripe and moan and paint yourself as a victim—insisting the world understand and acknowledge you’ve been short shrifted OR you can enthusiastically embrace your circumstance, own it—I mean, hell, go ahead and put it on t-shirts, ball caps and luggage tags, right?! Why not?

At any rate, there’s a lesson to be learned here. There is something to be said for making the best of a bad situation and it is this: When the FAA gives you lemons, why not SUX?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

From David Letterman

“Top Messages on Al Gore’s Answering Machine”:
-- Hi, Mandy from The Cheesecake Factory. You left your credit card
-- George W. Bush here. Congratulations on your Latin Grammy
-- It’s Larry from Toyota. This global warming paranoia is great for business
-- Put on Letterman. Some idiot is going to jump over interns
-- This is Hillary. If you run for President, I’ll snap your neck
-- I’m calling from the EPA. Turns out there is no global warming
-- You’re just sweating because you’re getting fat;
-- This is Jimmy Carter. Want to use our medals to score some babes?

“Top Questions President Bush Asked the Dalai Lama”:
-- What is that, some kind of Halloween get up?
-- I got one for you—why do we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway?
-- Where’s Mrs. Lama?
-- Are you that Japanese guy my dad threw up on?
-- How’s business in Dollywood?
--I know your cousin Barack O’Lama.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"The People Is A Great Beast!"

Okay, that settles it--people are morons! Did anyone else see this article in yesterday’s USA Today?


The lead statement reads: “A majority of Americans trust Democrats to handle the issue of children's health insurance more than President Bush, but they agree with the president that government aid should be targeted to low-income families, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows. Two days before the Democratic-controlled House attempts to override Bush's veto of a five-year, $35 billion expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, the poll shows that opinions on the issue are mixed.”
Okay, fair enough, polls are split. No surprise there. But the way USA Today characterizes the results of the poll kinda burns my butt! No, make that it REALLY burns my butt! From the article:

“Fifty-two percent of respondents say they have more confidence in Democrats to deal with the issue, compared with 32% for Bush. Slim majorities back two positions at the core of the president's opposition to the expansion:

--52% agree with Bush that most benefits should go to children in families earning less than 200% of the federal poverty level — about $41,000 for a family of four. Only 40% say benefits should go to such families earning up to $62,000, as the bill written by Democrats and some Republicans would allow.

--55% are very or somewhat concerned that the program would create an incentive for families to drop private insurance. Bush and Republican opponents have called that a step toward government-run health care.

Taken together, the results show that while Bush may be losing the political battle with Democrats, he may be doing better on policy.”
How come when 52% say they have more confidence in Democrats, it's simply reported as a figure? But when 52% and/or 55% AGREE with Bush's central points of contention, it's reported as "slim majorities" backing his position???? Couldn't they have just as easily said "A recent Gallup poll indicates the number of people who agree with Bush is equal to or greater than the number of people who trust Democrats with health care?”

So what should we glean from this story? The majority of public sentiment toward President Bush on the SCHIP battle tends to vacillate somewhere between distrust (at best) and hatred (at worst.) At the same time, the majority of public sentiment toward Bush’s core SCHIP policies tends to lie somewhere between hearty agreement (at best) and mere acceptance (at worst.) And why the obvious dichotomy? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say the vigorous and unrelenting public trashing of Bush by an obvious (and don’t forget admittedly) left-leaning media for the last seven or so years has taken its toll. And the people being “a great beast” (a characterization most often attributed to Alexander Hamilton) lumber about, subjecting themselves to all manner of drivel, never challenging the pied pipers of media, refusing to engage in spirited discourse based in logic and intellectualism; instead, they passively accept, and then embrace, what is so eagerly spoon fed to them…and thus, tragically, they become unrecognizable, even to themselves.

Warning from the Emergency Weather Service: Global Warming Rant Ahead

This will come as no surprise, but recently I was infuriated beyond belief. It all started when I read an article in the NY Times about global warming. I'll just say it--I think the unconditional belief in global warming is to many Americans what African kids are to Hollywood celebs--an accessory you just gotta have.

Please see the following article before you continue reading:


This New York Times story quotes scientists who note that “Arctic Ocean ice shrank far more than usual this summer, and global warming, due to the buildup of greenhouse gases, likely played a role.” Okay, fine. However, the last paragraph of the story notes “Sea ice around Antarctica has seen usual winter expansions recently, and this week is near a record high.” Period. Nothing more.

Hold the phone there, Gomer! So global warming is causing ice to melt more rapidly than usual in the Arctic, but what is causing ice to expand and thicken more rapidly than usual in the Antarctic?

And why didn’t the press pursue THAT part of the story? Can we please just concede there is still a lot we don’t know about the earth’s climate past OR future? Why are we trying to explain the ice reduction by citing global warming but not even bothering to attempt to address the ice expansion?

The Times story goes on to note: “Still, he and other scientists acknowledged that both poles were extraordinarily complicated systems of ice, water, and land and that the mix of human and natural influences was not easy to clarify.” To this profound declaration I had to respond, “Really, Al Roker? You don’t say.”

Is THIS the level to which science has been reduced??? Of course, those of us who question findings (aka drivel) such as these are accused of being anti-science. I believe in reality it is just the opposite--I revere quality scientific study, robust with meaning and integrity—this stuff doesn't qualify. Frankly, I'm offended for and in behalf of real science.

Just to set the record straight—do I believe we are undergoing a climate change? Sure, why not? However,
1) by their own admission we don't have enough data over time to make any firm conclusions. When you consider the long history of the earth, 70 or 80 years worth of data can hardly be considered a reasonable or significant sample, so why are we attempting to craft national and global policy based on such fleeting, insufficient data? And,
2) we know from geological, anthropological, and ecological study that the earth used to be much wetter than it currently is, after all, Lebanon and Israel were densely forested areas and much of France and India were under water, so I guess my question is:


Am I the only one who feels this way? Do I live in a world full of mindless sheep who, in spite of possessing perfectly good frontal lobes, refuse to ask critical questions?

Thoughts??? Questions?? Comments?? Emotional outbursts??