Friday, May 26, 2006

EVEN A BROKEN CLOCK IS RIGHT TWICE A DAY

Check out this quote regarding the FBI search of Congressman William Jefferson's office:
"It [the speech and debate clause in the Constitution] ought to be construed narrowly," said Barney Frank. "It should not in any way be interpreted as meaning that we, as members of Congress, have legal protections superior to those of the average citizen. So, I think it was a grave error to have criticized the FBI. I think, what they did, they ought to be able to do in any case where they can get a warrant from a judge."


http://www.voanews.com/english/2006-05-25-voa67.cfm

Thursday, May 25, 2006

SICK AND TIRED OF BEING SICK AND TIRED

I haven't had a good online rant in awhile, so I think I'm due. I'm sick to death of the following things:

"Objective" Journalism
The primary responsibility of a journalist is not to be "objective", "fair and balanced", or to "report both sides" of the story. Their primary responsibility is to be accurate. They need to get the details right, and let us worry about attaching meaning to them.

Jimmy Carter
I used to think he was a decent man who was just a lousy president. Now he just looks like a vain old man trying to salvage his place in history. Sorry Jimmy, but your place in history is assured, and there's nothing you can do to change it. Just go home and polish your Nobel prize before you do any more damage.

The GOP
I'm a firm believer in the two-party system, but we've been one party short for years. If the Republicans don't get their act together soon, we're liable to be two parties short.

Calling Illegal Aliens "Immigrants"
By definition, immigrants are those who immigrate, not those who sneak in. Calling the debate over what to do about the border and illegal aliens an "immigration" debate is just an artful way to change the subject.

The R-bomb
And speaking of the "immigration" debate, I'm sick of the left resorting to accusations of racism every time they can't come up with a cogent argument. The R-bomb is their doomsday machine, intended to end every argument as soon as it's detonated. The S-bomb (sexism) and the H-bomb (homophobia) are variants of the R-bomb.

Opinion Polls
The only polls that really count are taken at the ballot box. The rest is just filler for news droids that are too lazy (or lack the skills) to actually research or investigate a story.

Polling has gotten so ridiculous, I actually saw a poll on the MSN website about the outcome of the American Idol season finale, which is itself based on a poll. Yes, that's right, they did a poll about a poll.

American Idol
I don't care who won, I'm just glad it's over. For now, anyway. This is the most over-hyped show since Survivor. I hate that one too, by the way.

The da Vinci Code
The book. The movie. The controversy. Tom Hanks' hair. All of it. Enough already!

The Kennedys
Need I say more?

Courtroom Dramas as News
We have a new "trial of the century" every couple of months. Once the TV news trucks pull up outside the courthouse, justice (or anything like it) go right out the window. If it was up to me, it would be illegal to point a TV camera at a lawyer.



The above list isn't exhaustive, but it's what comes to mind at the moment. How about you? What are you sick of?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A NEW LOW?

Exactly how low can pop culture go? Well, someone actually made an animated movie called Lil Pimp. It's about a little boy who wants to be a pimp. I saw a refernce to it somewhere recently and I thought it was a joke. And a sick joke at that. Apparently it isn't. You just can't make this stuff up.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0291311/

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

UPDATE TO YESTERDAY'S POST

Yesterday evening, Drudge updated his site by saying that the DNC denies any interference in the New Orleans mayoral primary. Drudge basically said that he took them at their word on this. The story linked in my previous post was taken down. So, there you have it. Apparently, it was all just a dream.

Now, repeat after me: We are at war with Eurasia. We have always been at war with Eurasia. Eastasia is our ally. Eastasia has always been our ally...

Monday, May 22, 2006

THE GANG(S) THAT COULDN'T SHOOT STRAIGHT

Well, this little story posted over at the Drudge Report is interesting:
DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE WORKED TO DEFEAT
NAGIN

**Exclusive**

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) secretly
placed political operatives in the city of New
Orleans to work against the reelection efforts
of incumbent Democrat Mayor Ray Nagin, the
DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

DNC Chairman Howard Dean made the decision
himself to back mayoral candidate and sitting
Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu (D-LA),
sources reveal.

Dean came to the decision to back the white
challenger, over the African-American
incumbent Nagin, despite concerns amongst
senior black officials in the Party that
the DNC should stay neutral.

The DNC teams actively worked to defeat
Nagin under the auspice of the committee's
voting rights program.


So, the party machine that is going to retake the House and Senate in '06, and the White House in '08, couldn't beat Ray Nagin? The guy who played the blame game while his fleet of school buses drown in a parking lot, and they couldn't beat him? The most incompetent mayor in the country (and maybe the world), and they couldn't beat him? Funny, huh?

With a track record like this, I would say that the only thing standing in the way of a Republican victory in November is the Republicans themselves. Not much of a morale booster, is it?

http://www.drudgereport.com/flash5no.htm

Thursday, May 18, 2006

WORD FROM ON HIGH

OK, I know that many on the left don't celebrate Christmas. Some celebrate Hannukah. Others celebrate Kwanzaa. Still others celebrate the winter solstice, or somesuch pagan holiday. Just the same, I think that the members of the American left, especially the extreme atheist secualr left, should make it a point to send Pat Robertson a Christmas card this December. After all, they owe him so much. If Robertson didn't exist, they'd have to invent him.

Preacher: God told him about storms, tsunami

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

THE NSA AND YOUR PHONE RECORDS

From a column posted on Military.com by former Intelligence Officer/DoD offical Peter Brookes:

General Michael Hayden is going to get an early
Memorial Day BBQ-ing on Thursday. The CIA
director-nominee will appear before the Senate
Select Committee on Intelligence, and the senators
are sure to go ballistic over the National
Security Agency's telephone-calling-record
database.

Yet, despite the nonsense that the politically
motivated mainstream media and the left have
been spouting on the NSA program, this critical
counterterrorism effort isn't intrusive,
illegal -- or unnecessary.

In all honesty, we still don't know the details of the program, just what's being reported by the lamestream media. Hell, two of the phone companies named in the USA Today story claim that they've not turned over any records to the NSA. The newspaper is standing by their story. But then again, Mary Mapes still stands by her Air National Guard documents story too. So take it with a grain (or ten) of salt. But based on what's been reported so far, Brookes has done a reasoned analysis of the issue. Something we haven't seen much of from the "Fourth Estate" (and how unsurprising is that?).

http://www.military.com/opinion/0,15202,97439,00.html

Sunday, May 14, 2006

INVASION OF PRIVACY

So, do the news media and the Democrats (are they even separate entities?) have you terrified about losing your privacy to the evil Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld Axis of Evil yet? After all, a recent USA Today story contained the revelation that the NSA was obtaining phone records from several telecom companies. Does that knowledge make you long for the good old pre-Bush days, when your personal information was private? If so, I have some news for you. The era you long for is further back in history than you may think.

As someone who has spent a chunk of his professional life working as an investigator -- an occupation that is devoted to the gathering of information -- I can tell you for a fact that you don't have as much privacy as you thought you did. In their eternal quest for the almighty dollar, private companies may have surpassed the government in gathering information on you. Let's take a look at a few of them. First, here are some of the better-known commercial databases:

LexisNexis

Mortgage and Real Estate Tax Info

- The property you own
- The address of the property
- Square footage of the property
- Square footage of building(s) on the property
- Number of rooms
- Who you purchased it from/who purchased it from you
- How much was paid for it
- Lien holder on the property

Voter Registration Info

- Your name
- Your address
- Party affiliation
- Which of the last few elections you've voted in

Bankruptcy Info

- Every bankruptcy you have filed for
- The court it was filed in
- The current status of the bankruptcy

Court Cases -- Decisions and Settlements

Ever filed a lawsuit or an appeal? Ever been sued? It's all here. Many of the decisions listed carry background info about the case and reference the evidence put presented.

Motor Vehicle Registrations

- Car, boat, and RV registrations from most states
- License numbers
- Year, model, make, and color of vehicle
- Information includes the names/addresses of registered owners

Individual Search

- Name
- Address
- Previous addresses
- The people known to have lived with you at the various addresses
- Phone numbers associated with each address (including unlisted numbers)
- Vehicles associated with each address
- Neighbors at each address (and their addresses and phone numbers)

News Sources

Archived stories from thousands of newspapers and magazines

Corporate and Business Info

- Names and addresses of incorporated entities (including incorporated small businesses)
- The names and addresses of corporation owners/CEO's

ISO Claimsearch

A database on insurance claims filed nationwide. Includes
- The name(s) of the claimant(s)
- The name(s) of insured individual(s)/entities
- Information on claimants and insured (including addresses, date of birth, and social security numbers)
- Type of claim
- Location and date of claim
- Injuries claimed

Experian

Credit reporting service. Information avaliable on:
- Name
- Addresses
- Spouse
- Previous addresses
- Employer
- Previous employers
- Credit reports (running a credit report without the subject's permission is illegal)

And where do these companies get their information? Public records, mortgage companies, banks, insurance companies, credit card companies, and others who have information on you. I learned about a most unusual data source at a training session I attended that was offered by one of the big database companies. The company trainer referred to it as the "pizza database." You know those pizza places that have caller ID? Once you've ordered from them, they store your name, address, and phone number for the next time you call. Makes it easier for them to process your order and deliver your pizza. And, according to the database company trainer, some of them are selling the information. Yes, you read that right. Your local pizza shop may be spying on you.


OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER

Do you have one of those check cashing/discount cards for your local supermarket? If you do, every time you use it, your shopping habits are being tracked. And possibly sold.

And speaking of shopping, most large stores have some sort of closed-circuit video system in operation in order to catch/deter shoplifters. They're also watching their employees.

Is your employer watching you? It's easy if they care to. Miniature cameras can be disguised as smoke detectors, alarm clocks, motion detectors, wall clocks, paintings, speakers, and even Teddy bears. I've used such cameras before. They're very hard to detect.

And speaking of video, many cities and state highway departments have put video cameras in place to aid in criminal investigation, crime prevention, and traffic management.

Electronic toll collection systems like E-Z Pass can record your comings and goings on toll roads.

Do you surf the net? If so, your internet service provider has a record of all the sites you've visited. And the sites you visit can track the IP addresses of the people who visit them. And search engines have a record of your IP address and what you've searched for.

Do you use a cell phone? Cell records were being sold long before USA Today raised the alarm about the NSA getting the records. At least they weren't charging the government for them.

Here's a new one. I bought some Sudafed at Walmart this weekend. They no longer stock it on the shelf, so I had to get it from the pharmacy. They needed to see my drivers license before they'd give it to me. My license number and phone number were entered into their computer. This is done to prevent meth-lab proprietors from stocking up on the stuff for the manufacture of illegal drugs. Now I'm in another database, all because I had a stuffy nose.


There it is, folks. No reason to get all worked up about the arrival of some new Orwellian era. It's too late for outrage. We're already there. We have been for years. Invasion of privacy? What privacy?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM--HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

Jamie Glazov of Front Page Magazine recently interviewed historian Joshua London, author of the book Victory in Tripoli: How America's War with the Barbary Pirates Established the U.S. Navy and Shaped a Nation. London's study of the US war with the Barbary Pirates contains a number of lessons we should keep in mind in our current war. Such as:
There are some very basic historical lessons, the validity of which has been verified in conflict after conflict down through the ages, that hold equally true in this context. Such lessons are easily reduced to truisms or even clich├ęd slogans. For example, “Wars are best fought by Generals in the field, not Politicians at home,” “Unilateral Action is better than Multilateral Inaction,” “If you desire peace, you must prepare for war,” and the always popular, “there is no substitute for victory.” These are all quite true and substantively so, and easily emerge from the history if the Barbary conflict. There are several other, no less weighty, lessons of this sort that can be readily learned from this historical experience.

To strike a broader note, however, I’d say that first, and perhaps most importantly, we need to be honest about the enemy we face before we can seriously try and understand what they are really doing and trying to accomplish. It handicaps our efforts to presume that our enemy is like us, or shares our world-view and our cultural understandings, or, for that matter, to presume that most of the world wants “peace” and will rationally side with us, or even aid and abet us, given the chance.

The Barbary pirates were engaged in jihad first and foremost, and moneymaking only secondarily. The powerful nations of the world were content to endure this Barbary terrorism for reasons of national self-interest and out of a mercantilist understanding of the world. It was thought to be much simpler for them to bribe the pirates to stave off unwanted commercial competition than to actually neutralize the threat.

In contemporary terms, for example, was it really all that surprising that the French, Germans, and Russians stymied our efforts to go after Iraq at the United Nations? Is it really in our best interests to tread this sort of path with Iran?

You can read the rest of the interview here. So read it. Then get someone else to read it. Too many people in this country are seriously lacking a clue about the people we are fighting. And we need one. Desperately.

NEWS OF THE RIDICULOUS

I saw this totally ridiculous story linked on The Drudge Report this morning.
Mother Charged With Lacing Cookies With Ex-Lax

A woman from New Portland is charged with helping
her daughter and two other teenagers bake cookies
laced with a laxative.

SKOWHEGAN, Maine (AP) -- The cookies were left
on the teacher's desk on April tenth.

Julie Hunt, who's 43, was arrested Friday after
an investigation into the prank that sickened
four seventh- and eighth-grade children at
Carrabec Community School in Anson.

A police affidavit filed in court indicates
Hunt told three girls how to crush the laxative
pills and mix them in with the cookie batter.

http://www.wlbz2.com/newscenter/article.asp?id=35053

Note to Ms. Hunt: Your daughter needs a mother, not another "friend." Being a mother is a job for an adult, not a 43 year old adolescent. We have too many "cool" moms in this country, and not enough good ones. So grow the hell up already.

Monday, May 08, 2006

READING ASSIGNMENT

Do you like conspiracy theories? Personally, I love 'em. They provide a window into the minds of the insane, the paranoid delusional. I'm not talking about the crazy people in mental hospitals. We refer to them as mentally ill. I'm talking about the whackos who walk the streets among us. The ones teaching and studying at our institutions of higher learning (or is it indoctrination?). The ones who (unfortunately) vote in our elections. If you too have an interest in these folks and what they believe, drop whatever you're doing and read the latest column by Mike Adams posted at Townhall.com. It's funny. And scary.

http://www.townhall.com/opinion/columns/mikeadams/2006/05/08/196479.html

Thursday, May 04, 2006

OPEN BORDERS TALKING POINTS

Since the big "Day Without (Illegal) Immigrants," I've been giving some thought to some of the arguments put forth by the open borders crowd.

"We are a nation of immigrants."

Not exactly. For this to be technically accurate, the majority of the country's population would have to have been born somewhere else. In reality (anybody remember reality?), this is not the case. Most of us are descended from immigrants. Hell, all of us really are. Even the ancestors of American Indians came here from somewhere else, probably Asia. The fact of the matter is this: we are a nation of laws. Some of those laws specify the procedures one must go through to come to this country. If you choose to bypass these procedures, then you have broken the law. You are then, by definition, a criminal. An illegal alien, to be more specific. Stop trying to change the subject.

"This country was built by immigrants."

This one probably originated in the same place as the previous quote. Immigrants and their descendants did play a major role in building ths country, but they were legal immigrants.

"It is immigrant labor that drives our economy."

If abundant cheap labor was the driving factor in building a world-class economy, Mexico would be a superpower, rather than a corrupt third world country.

"We didn't cross the border, the border crossed us."

As a result of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, the U.S. did wind up with territory that previously belonged to Mexico. So, if you did live in this territory when the treaty was signed, then technically, this statement is true. And you are at least 156 years old. Congratulations on your longevity.

"Part of the southwestern U.S. rightfully belongs to Mexico."

Should we give it back? What difference would that make in the long run. California has a higher standard of living than Mexico because it is in the U.S., not because of its geographic location. Mexico's lower standard of living is due to corrupt and incompetent government. Extending that government to California would not raise up Mexico, it would just serve to lower the standard of living in California. The solution is to clean up your own yard, rather than extending your mess into your neighbor's yard. As to the "rightful owner" of the southwestern U.S., the war ended 156 years ago. We won. Get over it already.

"(Illegal) Immigrants do the jobs that Americans won't do."

And why won't they do them? Because they pay substandard wages, that's why. This whole argument is just politically correct code for "we need these people here so we can exploit them." I can hardly believe that so many members of the "we need to raise the minimum wage" crowd sign on to ths argument. Further proof that leftism=hypocrisy.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

THIS EXPLAINS A LOT

If I've had one complaint about the way we have waged the Global War on Terror, it's that we've been hesitant to apply the necessary force to win. My philosophy on war is best summed up in this quote by the late General Curtis E. Lemay.
"If you are going to use military force,
then you ought to use overwhelming military
force. Use too much and deliberately use too
much... You'll save lives, not only your own,
but the enemy's too."

Like every firearms instructor I've ever trained with told me, when you shoot, shoot to kill. Forget this shoot-to-wound crap. If you have a legitimate reason to use deadly force, use it. Don't half step. If you can't justify it, don't pull the trigger.

So why are there so many Americans who don't get this concept? Even after 9/11, we seem to want to pussy foot around with these terrorists and the people who support them. "By all means, get the terrorists. But don't make a mess in doing it."

Hoover Institution researcher Shelby Steele takes a look at why this is so in a column entitled "White Guilt and the Western Past. Why is America so delicate with the enemy?" Rush Limbaugh read the entire piece on his radio show today. Good stuff. Highly recommended.

Link

Monday, May 01, 2006

BOYCOTT THE BOYCOTT

Well, today is the day. The illegal aliens and their sympathizers are refusing to work or buy anything all day. This is intended to show us that life itself is impossible without them. I'm wondering whether my job will get done today. All this time I thought that I was doing it. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe there is some illegal alien actually doing the work behind the scenes, and I'm just getting the credit for it. I guess now I'll finally find out. I do know that the immigrant gal (a legal immigrant) that works for building maintenance is working today. She just stopped by to pick up the recyclables. I guess she's too busy making a living to make a political statement. What do you expect from someone who was actually foolish enough to go through the immigration process? Sucker.

As for me, I'm going to work hard today and spend money on something I wouldn't have otherwise. And I'm going to make it a point to use the term "illegal alien" in conversation at least five times today. How are you going to celebrate "the day without (illegal) immigrants?"

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter