Conservative Bastion
The only blog that can factually claim to shift the Bell Curve, along with the hearts & minds of America, to the right.
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Random Thoughts
This is old, but it is nice to remember important stories like this one.
While the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal is conservative, the newspaper's news pages are liberal, even more liberal than The New York Times. The Drudge Report may have a right-wing reputation, but it leans left. Coverage by public television and radio is conservative compared to the rest of the mainstream media. Meanwhile, almost all major media outlets tilt to the left.
I guess my two main sources of news are liberal leaning.

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Enlightenment from a Muslim babe...

The first Muslim to be crowned Miss England has warned that stereotyping members of her community is leading some towards extremism.

Even moderate Muslims are turning to terrorism to prove themselves. They think they might as well support it because they are stereotyped anyway.

This is something I have noticed over the last couple of months. When the pro-illegal immigration crowd called conservatives racist for simply wanting the laws of our country to be enforced, it made me very angry. That experience helps me understand how being called or labeled a terrorist would make Muslims angry. The difference is that many Muslim youth decide to go on suicide missions, and I take my anger out on my blog.

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Those French are so enlightened!

France's jobless rate fell below 9 percent for the first time in four years in July, according to data on Wednesday which should cheer Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin who made cutting unemployment his priority.

The unemployment rate of the euro zone's second biggest economy fell to 8.9 percent from 9.0 percent in June, down more than one percentage point in little more than a year.

The decline, which was in line with consensus forecasts, is the latest in a series of economic reports which show the French economy is firing on all cylinders and that job creation is starting to pick up.

I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL BUSH IS OUT OF OFFICE SO OUR ECONOMY CAN START "FIRING ON ALL CYLINDERS" TOO!

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Uh oh...Bush is blurring the lines between church and state again!!!

We believe that freedom is a gift from an almighty God, beyond any power on Earth to take away.

Dear God....will Bush stop at nothing to impose his religious will on the rest of the country.

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This is from the Boston Herald:

Despite exploding costs, most Americans got sizable life-extending bang for their medical bucks over recent decades, says one of the most sweeping studies ever of health-care value.
That might come as a surprise to anyone who has ever shuddered over a medical bill, and the report itself raises doubts over how quickly costs have escalated over the years.
However, the federally funded study calculated that Americans of all ages spent an average of $19,900 on medical care for each extra year of life expectancy gained over the last four decades of the 20th century. And that cost is worth it, the study authors say.

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Liberal tolerance at its best...

The Pierce County Sheriff's Department is searching for five people who allegedly attacked a uniformed National Guardsmen walking along 138th Street in Parkland Tuesday afternoon.

The soldier was walking to a convenience store when a sport utility vehicle pulled up alongside him and the driver asked if he was in the military and if he had been in any action.

The driver then got out of the vehicle, displayed a gun and shouted insults at the victim. Four other suspects exited the vehicle and knocked the soldier down, punching and kicking him.

“And during the assault the suspects called him a baby killer. At that point they got into the car and drove off and left him on the side of the road,” Detective Ed Troyer with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News.
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Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Rumsfeld Speech
The following is a speech by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. He was addressing the 88th Annual American Legion National Convention Salt Lake City, Utah on August 29, 2006.

Indeed, in the decades before World War II, a great many argued that the fascist threat was exaggerated or that it was someone else's problem. Some nations tried to negotiate a separate peace, even as the enemy made its deadly ambitions crystal clear. It was, as Winston Churchill observed, a bit like feeding a crocodile, hoping it would eat you last.

There was a strange innocence about the world. Someone recently recalled one U.S. senator's reaction in September of 1939 upon hearing that Hitler had invaded Poland to start World War II. He exclaimed:

“Lord, if only I had talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided!”

I recount that history because once again we face similar challenges in efforts to confront the rising threat of a new type of fascism. Today -- another enemy, a different kind of enemy -- has made clear its intentions with attacks in places like New York and Washington, D.C., Bali, London, Madrid, Moscow and so many other places. But some seem not to have learned history's lessons.

We need to consider the following questions, I would submit:
  • With the growing lethality and the increasing availability of weapons, can we truly afford to believe that somehow, some way, vicious extremists can be appeased?
  • Can folks really continue to think that free countries can negotiate a separate peace with terrorists?
  • Can we afford the luxury of pretending that the threats today are simply law enforcement problems, like robbing a bank or stealing a car; rather than threats of a fundamentally different nature requiring fundamentally different approaches?
  • And can we really afford to return to the destructive view that America, not the enemy, but America, is the source of the world's troubles?
These are central questions of our time, and we must face them and face them honestly.

We hear every day of new plans, new efforts to murder Americans and other free people. Indeed, the plot that was discovered in London that would have killed hundreds -- possibly thousands -- of innocent men, women and children on aircraft flying from London to the United States should remind us that this enemy is serious, lethal, and relentless.

But this is still not well recognized or fully understood. It seems that in some quarters there's more of a focus on dividing our country than acting with unity against the gathering threats.

It's a strange time:
  • When a database search of America's leading newspapers turns up literally 10 times as many mentions of one of the soldiers who has been punished for misconduct -- 10 times more -- than the mentions of Sergeant First Class Paul Ray Smith, the first recipient of the Medal of Honor in the Global War on Terror;
  • Or when a senior editor at Newsweek disparagingly refers to the brave volunteers in our armed forces -- the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines, the Coast Guard -- as a "mercenary army;"
  • When the former head of CNN accuses the American military of deliberately targeting journalists; and the once CNN Baghdad bureau chief finally admits that as bureau chief in Baghdad, he concealed reports of Saddam Hussein's crimes when he was in charge there so that CNN could keep on reporting selective news;
  • And it's a time when Amnesty International refers to the military facility at Guantanamo Bay -- which holds terrorists who have vowed to kill Americans and which is arguably the best run and most scrutinized detention facility in the history of warfare -- "the gulag of our times." It’s inexcusable. (Applause.)
Those who know the truth need to speak out against these kinds of myths and distortions that are being told about our troops and about our country. America is not what's wrong with the world. (Applause.)

The struggle we are in -- the consequences are too severe -- the struggle too important to have the luxury of returning to that old mentality of "Blame America First."
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Tuesday, August 29, 2006
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Witch Trials
For those of you who didn't know, the Valarie Plame kerfuffle has essentially come to an end. If anyone actually thought this story was going anywhere, sorry, but you will have to impeach Bush on something else. The "leak" came from a member of the State Department that was against the Iraq War. Better luck next time.

Interestingly enough, Robert Novak said this about the investigation in an article he wrote last month:
For nearly the entire time of his investigation, Fitzgerald knew -- independent of me -- the identity of the sources I used in my column of July 14, 2003.
In other words, this whole investigation was useless. No charges were filed against Armitage, the true "leaker", because no crime was commited. It was a witch hunt all along, nothing else. Pathetic.


Richard Armitage a.k.a. leaker/traitor and Valrie Plame a.k.a. true American Hero
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Monday, August 28, 2006
Survivor, Rush, and Racism

Apparently, it is now racist to say one race is better at a particular sport than other races. This transcript is from Rush Limbaugh'’s radio show and comes from Media Matters. This exchange happened last week when Rush was discussing the new season of Survivor whose contestants are put in groups based on racial identity.
CALLER: You just made it something right here. When you said, right before your first break, right before your break, you said, "Who has the disadvantage for swimming?" You know, how can you say any team has a disadvantage for swimming? Which team do you think would be the better swimmers? Which team do you think would be the worst swimmers and why?
LIMBAUGH: The best swimmers?
CALLER: Go ahead and say it.
LIMBAUGH: Uh.
CALLER: Say the word.
LIMBAUGH: If you would just let me answer the question I'd be happy to tell you. OK, who's gonna be the best swimmers in this group. Ah, put those African-Americans, Asian-American tribe, Hispanic, uh. Well, no, I'm -- looking at the Olympics, you'd have to say the white tribe would be the best swimmers.
The first point is that Rush's show is a comedy show. If you were to read a quote from Jon Stewart's Daily Show, you would know not to take it seriously. Limbaugh'’s show is no different.

The second and more obvious point is that people say blacks are better at basketball all the time. Why should claiming that whites are better at swimming be treated any differently? Both statements are probably "racist", but they are both supported by some evidence. Most NBA players are black, and most professional swimmers are white. However, in both cases, there are too many variables to specifically say one race is better based on their genetics. The difference is, the people that say blacks are better at basketball would probably go one step farther and claim blacks are more athletic -– PERIOD. I could go on, but I rather not.
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Thursday, August 24, 2006
Will Plan B Make A Difference?
Everyone can celebrate today!

Women may buy the morning-after pill without a prescription - but only with proof they're 18 or older, federal health officials ruled Thursday, capping a contentious three-year effort to ease access to the emergency contraceptive.

There is something for everyone here. For liberals that love the idea of unrestrained sexuality, there is now one more barrier between you and a potential child liability. Ironically, there are even more reasons for conservatives to applaud this decision. One, there is a possibility that this drug could lower the amount of abortions in this country. Draconian Republicans like me don’t care about abortion though. We are more concerned about the effects of abortion on society: namely, the Roe Effect. It is the idea that abortion will only make America more conservative. Here is an explanation from James Taranto:

We base this on two assumptions. First, that liberal and Democratic women are more likely to have abortions. Second, that children's political views tend to reflect those of their parents--not exactly, of course, and not in every case, but on average. Thus abortion depletes the next generation of liberals and eventually makes the population more conservative. We call this the Roe effect, after Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court's 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to abortion.

Exterminating liberals aside, I’m not sure Plan B will live up to expectations.

The compromise decision is a partial victory for women's advocacy and medical groups that say eliminating sales restrictions could cut in half the nation's 3 million annual unplanned pregnancies.

Didn’t they say that about the pill when it first came out? Regardless of whether or not these claims pan out, I still don’t really care about this issue. I don’t care because I don’t think it will make a difference, and here is why.

Plan B can only be used by three types of people.

Type 1:

Porn star and childless, Jenna Jameson is a good example of of Type 1

Type A's are sexually active and use contraception religiously, but they decide not to have kids, and don't. Some people act as if this is almost impossible without Plan B.

If you go to the Plan B website, they talk about Plan B as if responsible people use it.

Things do not always go as planned. You might have forgotten to take your pill, or another birth control method you used might have failed, like your condom broke. Now you have a second chance to prevent pregnancy with Plan B®.

This makes it sound as if all unwanted pregnancies are a result of failed contraception. If this is true, then the liberal argument that we need to teach people about contraception has just been proven wrong. Of course, I do not think this is true. They act as if most unwanted pregnancies happen to responsible people that are practicing safe sex. Most unwanted pregnancies occur to people who are irresponsible. My point is, people who use contraception will not have to use Plan B. So type 1 will not be affected by newfound accessibility of Plan B.

Type 2:

These people may be cute, but there isn't a lot going on upstairs

Type 2's, essentially, are people with the decision making ability of a monkey. These are people who are unable to control sexual urges enough to stop to put on a condom. If they can’t wait 10 seconds to put on a condom, how will they be able to focus their attention enough to drive to the local pharmacy to pick up Plan B? The answer is, they won’t. These people will resort to abortions after waiting weeks on their ass and hoping to God that they aren’t pregnant, or they may just be too lazy to get an abortion at all, and will end up of the welfare payroll. These people will not be helped by the availability of Plan B. In fact, these are the types of people that hear that Plan B exists, and become more promiscuous because they feel safer, but will never bother to read about it or use it.

Type 3:

Somewhere between a monkey, and a responsible person, Type 3's are a hybrid of types 1 & 2. They are people that use contraception most of the time, but have forgetful minds. They are also the few individuals whose contraception actually fails. People like this can do one of many things.

Use Plan B

Abortion

Have the baby

Type 3's may use Plan B, or they may opt for other options. It is impossible to say.

It is presumptuous to say that US will cut pregnancies in half with Plan B as an over-the-counter drug. In order to believe that is possible, you have to assume that very irresponsible people are one day going to become very responsible. My faith in people is not that great, but for the sake of America, I hope it happens.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006
The Answer to Global Warming

As you all know, I believe don’t believe in global warming – at least not in the way it is usually presented. Is the earth warming? Probably. But if you ask me if I think I global warming is caused by humans, will lead to disaster, and that we should rank global warming as a top threat to human civilization…my answer would be a profound NO!!! There are many reasons that I tend to think global warming is bogus, and here is one.

Urban heat island effectOn hot summer days, urban air can be up to 10°F hotter than the surrounding countryside. Not to be confused with global climate change, scientists call this phenomenon the "heat island effect." Heat islands form as cities replace natural land cover with pavement, buildings, and other infrastructure. Increased urban temperatures can affect public health, the environment, and the amount of energy that consumers use for summertime cooling.

Assuming the heat island effect and all my other concerns regarding global warming are wrong, I still don’t think the answer is to limit CO2 emissions. Many liberals say we should not restrict our civil liberties because of a terrorist threats. I tend to agree, but I also believe that we should not restrict our economic liberties in order to combat global warming. So how should we deal with global warming? Assuming it is happening, this is the only good answer I’m aware of.

One way to curb global warming is to purposely shoot sulfur into the atmosphere, a scientist suggested today.

I'm listening...

Injecting sulfur into the second atmospheric layer closest to Earth would reflect more sunlight back to space and offset greenhouse gas warming, according to Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Germany and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego.

Crutzen suggests carrying sulfur into the atmosphere via balloons and using artillery guns to release it, where the particles would stay for up to two years. The results could be seen in six months.

This is the American answer. Lets use the military to solve global warming. Imagine, we could stop global warming without a need to conserve one kilowatt-hour of energy.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Random Thoughts
Pat Buchannan is one of those conservatives that I was taught to hate. I remember when he ran for president in 1996 and my mother told me he was a racist because of his stance on the border. Although I don’t agree with his stance on international trade, Pat Buchannan looks smarter everyday that George Bush is president.

The reason I bring him up is that Buchannan was on Hannity & Colmes tonight to talk about his new book, State of Emergency. I was impressed with what he had to say. He is right on Iraq and he is right on immigration. George Bush and other neo-cons would do well to listen to what Buchannan has to say on these subjects. I will raid my local Barnes & Noble and write a reaction to his book ASAP.

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It looks like I was at least semi-right about Iran. I guess that’s not saying much. Who really thought that Iran would comply with the UN resolution? They are doing their best to buy time, but I don’t think it is going to work. I have the feeling that the US will bomb Iranian nuclear facilities before the year ends.

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Global warming advocates were dealt two unwanted cards this week. Not only are the number of hurricanes below predictions for the year, but it turns out the glaciers in Greenland have been melting for 100 years.

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The least interesting news so far this week is that this fruit came forward to claim that he murdered JonBenet Ramsey. I think we should execute him either way.

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Monday, August 21, 2006
The Mid-East Powder Keg
It’s prediction time. Tomorrow, Iran will announce their intent regarding a UN resolution demanding that Iran stop its nuclear program. So what’s going to happen?

Iran will reject the resolution, putting the Bush administration in a precarious position. They were willing to invade Iraq because of their noncompliance regarding weapons of mass destruction, so there will be pressure for them to the same with Iran.

The problem for the Bush administration is that Iran and Iraq are different and yet the same. Iran is different in the sense that it is much larger in terms of population and land mass. The current Iranian regime also has more popular support than Saddam did in Iraq. In other words, it would take much more time and resources to invade a country like Iran. Not only are there more people, but there is a larger percentage of people there that would hate us from the start.

Iran and Iraq are similar in the sense that terrorist extremists live there and will fight us if we invade. If the US were to invade, the fighting would be similar to what we are seeing in Iraq. Iran also has a fragmented population, similar to that of Iraq. If we were to invade, there would be no guarantee of an easy plan for regime change.

These facts mean that only one course of action is possible: limited military incursions. This could mean limited air strikes, the use of special forces on specific targets, or funding local militants.

Whatever the administration decides to do, we can expect retaliation from Iran. Whether they hit us in Iraq, Afghanistan, or through some other means, it will happen and it could plunge the Middle East into a regional war.

This is a doomsday scenario may not happen in exactly as I predict, but it is hard to imagine the Bush administration allowing Iran to acquire weapons of mass destruction. That means military action will be necessary. If it does happen, let us hope that some of the Muslim countries restrain their populations. If not, we could see the Mid-East as the power keg it is.


This picture gives me some hope. This is a demonstration outside of the Iranian embassy in Indonesia. It is good to see some Muslims protest the warmongers within their own religion.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006
France Annoys Me
France has done it again. In short, France is reneging on the deal that they helped broker between Hezbollah and Israel. During the conflict, France was more than willing to criticize Israel for its action against Hezbollah and even pledged to send thousands of troops to Lebanon once a ceasefire was in place. Now that the ceasefire is in place, they are singing a different tune. Their latest stance is that they will send only 200 troops to the region to help maintain the peace.

In retaliation to this French betrayal of true peace, I will make a strong protest against the terrorist accommodating country.


This is the French flag.


This is the French flag upside down.

Yes, I just went there.
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Saturday, August 19, 2006
The Arizona Cardinals Stadium

This weekend, I had the privilege of attending the public grand opening of the Arizona Cardinals stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The tour itself was pretty much just a walkthrough. The “guides” had little to say that enhanced the experience and the tours did not include behind the scenes areas like locker rooms, the press box, the field, etc. The parts of the stadium that open for the tour were the same parts you would see if you were attending the game. In other words, it sucked. I’m not complaining though. I am headed back to college in a week and this was my only chance to see the stadium before I leave. Speaking of politics…

As a big Cardinals fan and a libertarian on fiscal issues, I have had to come to grips with the fact that this stadium was partially paid for with public money. I hate to endorse welfare of any sort, but at least the taxes used for this project will go to good use that will actually benefit the community. Politics aside, it is a great building that can (hopefully) turn the Cardinals from losers into winners. Here are some pictures that I took of the stadium during the visit.

This was my best far off shot of the stadium. I had some problems trying to get a good one because the building is so big. This was from a moving vehicle, which explains why there is a light pole in the way.


Look at that mean bird.


If you are wondering what this is, the stadium has a retractable field so that other events can take place inside the stadium without messing up the grass.


This was taken from inside the stadium. As you can see, there isn't a lot around this area.


Don't expect it to stay that way though. Phoenix is the fastest growing big city and this place will be fully developed in 5 years.


A little love for Pat Tillman.


My garage...ok there was some manly convention taking place in the stadium this weekend.


You can see the manly convention where the grass would normally be.


More manliness from a different angle. You can also see the manly retractable roof in this picture. Retractable roofs are important in Arizona sports facilities.


The VIP section.


Oh yeah, the Cardinals stadium is a Republican. REPRESENTING G-DUB!!!
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Friday, August 18, 2006
Please Sir, Can I Have Some More...Torture

With a tip from the Best of the Web Today, I came across an article that appeared in the Guardian, a left-wing British newspaper. According to the article, the terrorist plot that was broken up last week in Britain was made possible by torture.
Reports from Pakistan suggest that much of the intelligence that led to the raids came from that country and that some of it may have been obtained in ways entirely unacceptable here. In particular Rashid Rauf, a British citizen said to be a prime source of information leading to last week's arrests, has been held without access to full consular or legal assistance. Disturbing reports in Pakistani papers that he had "broken" under interrogation have been echoed by local human rights bodies. The Guardian has quoted one, Asma Jehangir, of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, who has no doubt about the meaning of broken. "I don't deduce, I know - torture," she said. "There is simply no doubt about that, no doubt at all."
This story tells me two things.

1. Torture does work and should be used under certain circumstances.
2. Pakistan is our ally.

We don’t know what exactly took place, but I don’t think it is unreasonable to use coerced interrogation (the nice way of saying torture) if its effects are not permanent. For instance, sleep depravation, water torture, and even withholding meals should be used to extract information from terrorists. Other methods like electrocution, mutilation, and rape are always unacceptable.

I always hear people complain about how Bush let Osama get away and how he cares more about Iraq than fighting terrorism…blablabla. Osama is in Pakistan, and Musharraf (the President of Pakistan) can not simply order his army to capture him. Musharraf knows that if he cozies up too closely with the Americans, it will spell doom for him and his government. Pakistan’s current government is as pro-American as it is going to get. The situation is very delicate and we have to respect his wishes lest Musharraf gets overthrown and a fundamentalist government seizes power.

For the time being, fighting the War on Terrorism means supporting President Musharraf in order to keep Pakistan marginally pro-American. It also means giving up the search for Osama. Our only alternative is to sacrifice our relationship with a very key Muslim country for only the possibility of catching one man.
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Thursday, August 17, 2006
Justin Timberlake Becomes Foreign Policy Expert
I normally try to not quote the Backstreet Boys whilst making a political point, but I can’t help it this time.


So what bit of news deserves this response? Here it is:

A federal judge on Thursday struck down President Bush's warrantless surveillance program, saying it violated the rights to free speech and privacy, as well as the separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution.

I don’t think I really need to argue against the government using warrantless wiretaps. It isn’t even debatable in my opinion. At the same time, I don’t think the president deserves impeachment for it. We’ve seen much worse.

P.S. I know JT wasn't a Backstreet Boy.
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Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Cheney Singled Out for Outrageous Comments


Dick Cheney had some rather controversial comments on the outcome of the Lamont victory in the Connecticut Democratic primary last week. I couldn't find a complete transcript, but i found an article about it on the MOST TRUSTED NAME IN NEWS.

Cheney suggested Wednesday that Lamont's victory might encourage "the al Qaeda types" who want to "break the will of the American people in terms of our ability to stay in the fight and complete the task."

Outrageous right? I guess it depends on how you look at it.

Ned Lamont will stand strong for the people of Connecticut, and put tough and smart foreign policies ahead of the politics of fear and more "stay the course" failures. Republicans will stop at nothing to make sure that the November elections are not a referendum on their misguided policy in Iraq or on the way they have run our country for the past six years. Unfortunately, this time the facts are getting in their way.

The American people are ready to change an administration that let Osama bin Laden escape. They are ready to change a Congress that let precious years go by without demanding the implementation of the recommendations of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission to keep us safe.

-Ted Kennedy


"Americans aren't buying the same, old, tired, Republican line that being strong on national security means being wrong on Iraq. It's a ridiculous assertion and the sort of divisive politics that the American people reject. The truth is this White House and Republican Congress have made America less safe by stubbornly staying the course in Iraq in the face of mistake after mistake. With our troops in the middle of an Iraqi civil war, a crisis brewing in the Middle East, and threats to our safety like North Korea and Iran on the rise, the American people understand something the Bush White House does not—we need a new direction in Iraq to keep our country safe."

-Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid


"I believe this administration, in its policies, is actually encouraging the recruitment of terrorists," Kerry told CNN's "American Morning."

-John Kerry


That is just a sample of some Democratic rhetoric regarding the War on Terrorism. Anyone who watches the news constantly hears that the US is less safe because of Iraq and that Bush’s policies help recruit new terrorists. There is no difference between that and what Cheney said last week.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Peace Agreement in Lebanon?

We finally have peace (for now) in the Middle East…and when I say the Middle East, I mean between Israel and Hezbollah…and when I say peace, that is despite Hezbollah launching 10 Katyusha rockets at the Israeli forces in southern Lebanon (yes they are still there for now). You get the idea. The peace we have now is of the Mid-East variety, but it is better than the alternative. Normally this is where I would come in with some witty or semi-witty commentary, but I decided to outsource this analysis to someone a little closer to the problem.

This is from The Lebanese Bloggers, a blog that I have been checking out since the beginning of the war.

On that note, I have a message I wish to convey to Nasrallah (and I think I speak for the majority of Lebanese when I say this): ENOUGH!

You are not my leader. You have just been handed your "epic battle" with the Israelis and you could not have wished for a better outcome. Of course, the price WE ALL had to pay for that "victory" of yours was astronomical. Your insistence on keeping your weapons and stubbornly tagging the Syrian-Iranian foreign policy line has brought our country to the brink of oblivion. ENOUGH, Nasrallah. ENOUGH.

The Israelis are now taking their Prime Minister to task for his folly. It would be a BIG shame if the Lebanese (including your own constituents, Mr. Nasrallah) do not take you to task. Did you really pose a deterrence to Israel? Could they have inflicted any more damage to the country? Were you the one who prevented them from doing so? Were your arms worth the price all of us paid? Can Lebanon continue like this? Will Lebanon be able to get back on its feet if you do not alter your own course? And finaly, can you and your organization, Mr. Nasrallah, really survive without Lebanon?

Nuff said.

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Monday, August 14, 2006
Mike Wallace Interview with Iranian President

I just watched the interview of the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, by Mike Wallace in its entirety. In short, I thought the whole thing was a joke. It is obvious to me that this guy is a master of propaganda and that nothing he says can be trusted. Wallace asked many specific and pointed questions, and Ahmadinejad spinned all his answers to attack President Bush or America in general.

However, a disturbing amount of the viewers that called in with their reaction fell for his tricks. It was pretty outrageous to watch. Caller after caller spoke of how Mike Wallace was rude and condescending rather than how Ahmadinejad dodged every single question he was asked. A lot of them agreed with Ahmadinejad when he said George Bush should use talk and reason rather than bombs. I thought it should be obvious to every American what the Iranian President is trying to do. He knows what people in America say to attack the President, and he repeats it with his own twist. It is ok to disagree with President Bush, but don't believe that Ahmadinejad actually believes what he is saying. The purpose of the Wallace interview was to use him to demoralize America, nothing else. I would think that people who are educated enough to watch CSPAN would know that.

Many callers wanted Mike Wallace to be less confrontational so that Ahmadinejad could express himself fully and so that we could fully understand his way of thinking.

*NEWS FLASH*

EVERYTHING HE SAYS IS PROPOGANDA. HE DOES NOT WANT TO BE UNDERSTOOD. IF THE US WERE TO UNDERSTAND THE JIHADIST MENTALITY, WE WOULD WIPE HIM OFF THE MAP.

I think much less of CSPAN viewers after the reactions that I heard. It seemed that several of the callers trusted Ahmadinejad more than they trusted Bush.

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Terrorists or Entrepreneurs

Another terrorist plot was broken up this past week.

Three men of Middle Eastern descent were arrested Friday and were being held on terrorism charges after they purchased 80 prepaid cell phones from a Wal-Mart store, police said.

The men, who are from the Dallas area, were being held on charges of soliciting or providing material support for terrorism and obtaining information of a vulnerable target for the purposes of terrorism, Caro police Sgt. Dale Stevenson said. They were being held in Tuscola County Jail and were scheduled to be arraigned today.

So far, doesn't sound too incriminating...but wait, there's more.

When police pulled the men over, they found about 1,000 phones in the van. Many were separated from their battery packs and the chargers were discarded. Michigan State Police Trooper Patrick Sharkey says, “We didn't know exactly what was going on. You hear on the news about these phones being used to detonate IED's."

Tuscola County Prosecutor Mark Reene says, “There were a thousand cell phones that were inside one motor vehicle. There's a laptop computer. There's a camera and there are things that are still being investigated at this point in time. Based on information received from a variety of agencies, we're developing how the actual headphones were sold, revenue was passed from one location to the next. Obviously, it's fairly complex." He thinks the men had a complex plan to attack the Mackinac Bridge.

Ok, so they had a camera and took pictures of a bridge. They have a pretty good defense though.

However, the men, who are from Texas, say they simply purchase the cell phones, and resell them for more money. Louai Othman's wife Lina Odeh says he was simply trying to support her and their two-month old daughter. Odeh says, “Their goal in Michigan was to buy as many phones as they could so they could make a profit over here."

The men allegedly traveled to several states to buy pre-paid cell phones, despite policies at many stores limiting purchases to two or three phones at a time. Police in Wisconsin say these three men also bought phones in their state. A clerk who helped them says she suspected something fishy. Barb Bessert, a clerk at a Dollar General store, says, “When they buy more than a couple. Because they are 20 dollars apiece. So, that's like 80 bucks. But, they don't buy the minutes for it. Just the phone."

But, Othman's wife says this is a common business, and her husband is only being targeted because of his nationality. Odeh says, “There's nothing wrong with it. I don't know why they're making a big deal out of it. Are ya'll making a big deal out of this because all the Arabs are doing it?"

So basically these guys were caught with 1000 cell phones and pictures of a bridge. This sounds more like a complete misunderstanding than a devious terrorist plot. I have a feeling the FBI is going to be pretty embarrassed with his is over.

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Sunday, August 13, 2006
The Nixon Library
Last weekend, I went to the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, CA. Here are the pictures

This is the house that Nixon was born in. His father built it himself. Nixon, like Clinton, is a great example of an American rags to riches story.


This is the bed he was born in.


This is the piano he learned to play on.


His violin.


Broze statue...


Piece of the Berlin Wall...or the erlin Wall.


It is a nice place. Lots of weddings.


RIP
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Friday, August 11, 2006
Why Racial Profiling Doesn’t Work
Amid the foiled terror plot in Britain and the resulting stepped-up flight restrictions, are new calls for racial profiling regarding flight screening. The argument is that for practical, convenience, and probability purposes, airport security should focus more on Muslim-looking men, rather than thoroughly screening everyone. There is a list of problems in this reasoning.

The most obvious reason racial profiling will not work is because, like Christianity, Islam is a worldwide religion with followers from every region and race. Therefore, there is nothing specific to look for regarding race and Islamic terrorists. Most people believe that Muslims come predominately from the Middle East. This is not true. Indonesia is country with the most Muslims, and the area between India and Pakistan is the region with the largest Muslim population. In fact, of the ten countries with the largest Muslim populations, only four are in the Middle East (and that’s if you count Egypt). The point is there are plenty of Asians, Africans, and Middle Eastern people that are Muslim.

Don’t think that white people are off the hook. Eastern Europe is full of white Muslims. Albania, Chechnya, Kazakhstan, Russia, Bosnia, and others all have large white Muslim populations. Not to mention the fact that many Muslims are light enough to pass as Europeans – Palestinians for example (see below).

This also overlooks the fact that not every terrorist threat is a radical Muslim. Timothy McVeigh was not a Muslim, but he hated the US government and delivered the second most devastating terrorist attack on US soil.

Then there is the female factor. Believe it or not, female terrorists exist. Admittedly, the probability of a female suicide bomber is small, but if we change our tactics to focus only on men, the terrorists will adapt. You may remember the terrorist Aafia Siddiqui. She was one of the terrorists John Ashcroft talked about in his May '04 press conference. Then there was that case of Muriel Degauque in Iraq (read more). Women suicide bomber will become more frequent if we decide to focus purely on male perpetrators.

Many say that old people should be excluded from random checks because they are the least likely to be terrorists. Although I believe this is true, there is also the possibility of a terrorist using a senile old person to smuggle dangerous liquids on board a plane.

We can’t forget that the War on Terrorism is real war. If we narrow our strategy to targeting certain types of people, the terrorists will adapt. They can easily find women and white people to do their work. Do you honestly think they will keep the same strategy if they keep failing? They won’t. If we focus on stopping young brown men from terrorist attacks, we may succeed, but only at stopping young brown men. The terrorists will move on.

As Americans, this brings up a more interesting issue. Those in favor of racial profiling on planes are actually making a bold political statement. Essentially, their right to carry water on a plane is more important that someone’s right to not be treated differently because of the color of their skin. In other words, they believe their personal convenience trumps the 14th amendment of the constitution (the right to be treated equally under the law). Ironically, there is no constitutional amendment that allows for the right to carry water bottles on planes.

Most importantly, Islam is a philosophy. It is a way of thinking. It is not a skin color, a shape of a nose, or an age. You cannot tell someone’s intentions by looking at them. You cannot look at someone and know their way of thinking. It is absurd, and it is racist.

---------

For those of you that didn't see Paradise Now, it is a case in point argument against racial profiling. It is the story of two Palestinians (played by Palestinian actors) who dress up like Westerners in order to carry out suicide attacks.

Here they are as ugly and mean terrorists.

And this is them as cleaned up hotshot Westerners.

I know that those bent on racial profiling will say they can tell they are Middle Eastern, and I know that you are lying. You don’t have to admit it to me, but just between you and God, admit that you wouldn’t be able to profile these guys as terrorists.

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Thursday, August 10, 2006
Michael Moore is a Big Fat Idiot
As you all know, a major terrorist plot was foiled today.

Does everyone remember a certain obese film maker who made ludicrous comments regarding terrorism a couple years back?

There is no terrorist threat.

Great analysis Michael.

As I mentioned in a recent post, I like Michael Moore…in the sense that he is constantly making fun of himself on accident. The best way to describe him is as a walking glob of unintentional satire.

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Iranians Found Fighting in Lebanon

It still seems that peace is an afterthought for both sides in the current conflict in Lebanon. There are rumors that an Israeli ground invasion could be coming soon...

There was one interesting, but not surprising, bit of news that came out of the Israeli/Hezbollah conflict today. This is according to Reuters:
Members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard have been found among Hizbollah guerrillas slain by Israeli forces in southern Lebanon, Israel's Channel 10 television reported on Wednesday citing diplomatic sources.

It said the Iranians were identified by documents found on their bodies, but gave no further details on how many were discovered or when. Neither the Israeli military nor Hizbollah representatives in Beirut had immediate comment on the report.

Iran, like fellow Hizbollah patron Syria, insists its support for the Shi'ite guerrilla group is purely moral.

Israel says many of the rockets being fired against its civilian and military targets are Iranian made, and that Hizbollah fighters taking on its forces trained in Iran. Washington also accuses Tehran of actively funding Hizbollah.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards are traditionally very close to fellow Shi'ite Muslims in Hizbollah and were deployed in south Lebanon in the 1980s.
According to the book One Bullet Away, the same exact thing happened in Iraq. You can read more about it at the BBC website.

What’s interesting to me is that the jihadists see no difference in fighting in Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, or wherever they may be. It is all part of the world war that we find ourselves in now. Republicans understand this too. That is why President Bush invaded Iraq. Don’t give me this crap about Bush invading because of WMD. The mission was called Operation Iraqi Freedom. It was called that because President Bush believes (right or wrong) that democracy is possible in the Middle East, and that it is the best way to defeat terrorism.

Liberals in America and around the world do not understand this. I don’t think it’s because they are unable to understand, I think it is selective reasoning. The president is just someone they love to hate. He stole the 2000 election and a golden opportunity for Democrats to build a dynasty at the White House. As a result, we get to hear crazy arguments about wars for oil, conspiracy theories about Cheney's hunting accident, and even accusations of involvement in the 9/11 attacks.

The fact is that the Middle East is littered with terrorists and terrorist sympathizers. The US could have invaded any country in that region and made a decent argument for doing so after 9/11. We see that now with so-called "moderate" Lebanon. Why was Iraq chosen you ask? It will be a future blog...
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Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Global Warming Causes Severe Drop in Number of Hurricanes

Last year global warming triggered an unusually high amount of hurricanes. This year, however, is so hot that hurricanes are slowly being killed off and are nearing endangered status. This from the Associated Press:

The 2006 Atlantic hurricane season should be slightly less active than originally predicted, federal forecasters said Tuesday.


Forecasters now expect there to be 12 to 15 named storms and seven to nine hurricanes, the National Hurricane Center and other National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration agencies said.


Three or four could be major hurricanes with sustained winds of at least 111 mph, forecasters said.


Government scientists made their first prediction in May, saying the season could produce 13 to 16 named storms, and eight to 10 hurricanes, four to six of which could become major.

Ok I’ll be serious. This is a perfect example of what is wrong with the global warming theory. Scientists are unable to predict weather months in advance, so how can we believe that they can predict climate decades in advance. Anyways, here is a good graph of hurricane activity regarding the US.



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Alaska Pipeline Shuts Down

This is a great example of why the US needs to drill for more oil.

BP said Monday it would replace 16 miles of pipeline carrying oil from the Prudhoe Bay field -- the nation's largest crude supply -- to the main Alaskan supply route. The company discovered massive corrosion in the transit lines after the U.S. Transportation Department ordered an inspection following a spill of 270,000 gallons in March.

The pipeline produced 400,000 gallons of oil a day, or 8 percent of U.S. production.

The news spooked investors and inspired speculators, who drove up oil prices Monday by more than $2 a barrel. Crude closed at $76.98 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gasoline futures also rose, indicating the market expects pump prices to skyrocket.

Environmentalists say that if we drill more, it would just make us more dependent on oil.

*NEWS FLASH*

DRILLING LESS DOESN'T MAKE THE UNITED STATES LESS DEPENDENT, IT JUST RAISES PRICES!
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America's Bolshevik Revolution?

I am secretly hoping for a Lieberman loss. I am sick of all this talk of Republicans being taken over by the right-wing. It's not true. Bush is a moderate with one very controversial issue: Iraq. If Lieberman loses today, we will see which party is controlled by extremists.

Even if Lieberman does lose the primary today, he will still be re-elected to the senate as an independent. So none of this really matters in the long term.
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Monday, August 07, 2006
US Space Program

In case you needed a reminder, two bits of news came out last week reminding us all of how ridiculous the US space program embarrassment is.

This news is from Russia.:

The Russian space agency is looking for a few volunteers to take a trip into “space.” The space agency wants to send five people on a mock trip to Mars and back to test how a real mission would affect the crew’s health, All Headline News online daily reports.

This is from Japan:

Japan has planned an ambitious lunar base project, which it plans to build by 2030.

Junichiro Kawaguchi, the head of Japan’s lunar and planetary exploration programme, said at a lunar exploration symposium in Tokyo this week that a deadline of 2020 had been set for sending astronauts to the moon and 2030 for constructing the base.

Meanwhile, this is what NASA is up to:

NASA scientists have joined the search for the elusive ivory-billed woodpecker, long thought to be extinct but possibly sighted recently in Arkansas.

NASA used a laser-equipped research aircraft to fly over the Big Woods area of the Mississippi Delta to learn more about the big woodpecker's potential habitat, the U.S. space agency said Thursday.

Keep up the good work guys.

The most pathetic aspect of these three stories is that Japan and Russia are now planning to compete with the US dominance, and NASA can barely even get astronauts into space.

In all honesty, NASA does have some good accomplishments under its belt. NASA is good when it comes to orbiters, Mars rovers, and space telescopes. Their problem is manned space exploration. It has been 45 years since the US sent its first astronaut into space, and look at the state of space travel today. There are a number of accomplishments that should have been completed years ago that are still years away from achieving. A simple list:

  1. A spaceship that doesn’t look like it was designed in the 70’s
  2. Tourist trips to the moon, Mars, and/or space
  3. Permanent colony/base on the moon
  4. Manned flight and landing on Mars
  5. Military space craft
  6. Moon farming
  7. Giant laser on the moon

Don’t laugh. Even if some of my suggestions seem outrageous, the fact is that we are far behind where we should be.

There are a couple of ways to address the NASA achievement deficit:

Increase Government Spending

Anyone that knows me knows I hate government spending more than I hate Satan. However, some projects have legitimate arguments for large amounts of government spending. Space flight is the prime example in my opinion. For the time being, space flight is no profitable. As a result, businesses are reluctant to invest in space travel and exploration. The federal government should increase spending either through government grants (I can’t believe I just said that) or through tax cuts/credits.

Privatize Space Flight

In conjunction with increased spending, deregulating space flight would do a great deal to spur innovation. God knows what type of loopholes exist for entrepreneurs trying to get into space. The government should do its best to stop holding back ambitious people, because as usual they are just getting in the way.

The biggest benefit of deregulation would be to increase competition in a field that is currently a monopoly. In fact, the space monopoly by the US government is a prime example of why monopolies are bad. Think back to when the US was in a race with the Soviets to get to space and the moon. That was when the NASA program was at its prime. Now all we have are a bunch of crappy scientists that postpone launches and a shuttle that has serious problems every time it is launched.

To my knowledge, only one private craft has been launched into space. For a fraction of the NASA’s $15 billion budget, Mike Melvill was able to fly to space and return safely. You can read about it here, but the point is that if there were more competition, money would be used more wisely.

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Sunday, August 06, 2006
The Politics of LOST: Detainee Treatment/Torture

This is the second segment of the “Politics of LOST” series. Today’s subject: torture, and detainee treatment. *SPOILER WARNING* If you have not watched the show, this post will probably not make any sense to you. Also, if you haven't watched the show yet, but plan on doing so in the future, you should probably stop reading now.

Torture and detainee treatment have become hot-button issues as of late. No, I’m not talking about Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo Bay. This is more important. I am talking about LOST. Yes, LOST has bestowed much wisdom on its viewership without anyone even knowing. How? I’m glad you asked.

Back in the first season, Shannon needs her inhaler for her asthma. Jack, Boone, and Sayid, all believe that Sawyer has her inhaler. Sawyer won’t tell them anything, one thing leads to another, and soon Sayid is torturing Sawyer to get the information out of him regarding the whereabouts of her inhaler. Jack and company eventually find out that Sawyer never had the inhaler to begin with.

There are several political messages in this sequence of events, some are overt, and some are more subtle.

First, it teaches us that good intelligence is paramount. The goal of the torture was a righteous one, but bad intelligence led the authority figures down the wrong path. Despite “common knowledge”, Sawyer did not have the medicine. In the end, wasting time and resources were all the castaways accomplished. Sounds like the liberal talking point for the Iraq War, especially if you substitute “the inhaler/medicine” for “WMD”.

The use of flashbacks to Sayid’s life in Iraq also helps make a point against torture. The flashbacks reveal the reluctance of Sayid to use torture and how he is affected by it once he gives into the pressure of his commanding officers. On top of that, he must torture a childhood friend/love interest. Seeing a likeable and courageous character tortured makes the point effectively. Not to mention, the idea of a woman being tortured is just creepy.

The overall message of this chain of events is that torture is bad and often useless. The characters learn nothing, they waste time, and they make enemies in the process.

Don’t go thinking that LOST is just liberal propaganda though. In season 2 the castaways catch one of the “others” and are not certain of his true identity. As a result, Jack and Locke imprison him with no due process and with no long-term plan with what to do with him. Here is an excerpt of the debate:

LOCKE: We can't hide him down here forever. Changing shifts around is going to get people asking questions. I just want to know what the long term plan is.

JACK: Well, John, let me ask you this: we don't have a long term plan for the button but we keep pushing it, don't we? Look, until we know who he is -- whether or not he's telling the truth -- we have to keep doing what we're doing. If you've got a better idea let's hear it.

It is important to note that Sayid physically and verbally abused the prisoner, and yet the overall consensus was that this form of abuse was valid. This is in sharp contrast to the previous forms of torture seen in show that were all portrayed as having crossed the line. These statements made by LOST appear to be contradictory, but it is not hard to reconcile the differences. Let me sum it up for you.

On one hand, LOST is against hardcore torture (mutilation, rape, etc.), but on the other hand, it seems in favor of torture-lite and does not mind the fudging of due process with enemy combatants. I concur.

Part I of the LOST series can be read here...
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Friday, August 04, 2006
When Liberals Attack

Drudge posted a link to an interesting article regarding a new movie called "Jesus Camp". The best part is, Michael Moore is involved (I'll explain that in a future blog).

Ignoring a request to remove the documentary "Jesus Camp" from its lineup, Michael Moore's Traverse City (Mich.) Film Festival plans two screenings of the film, one Friday and one Saturday.

The documentary, directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, looks at a summer camp for born-again Christian children, and has won top jury awards at this year's Tribeca Film Festival and AFI SilverDocs Film Festival.

It sounds simple and uncontroversial, but (big surprise), it’s not. Here is a reaction to the movie that I was able to find.

This movie is the "Mein Kampf" of the Neoconservative party. You simply cannot afford to ignore it. 2 May 2006

If you have a liberal bone in your body, you "NEED" this, if you are a conservative, you already "KNOW" this.

I saw this haunting documentary at its Tribeca Film Festival screening and I must say, "Bravo Ladies! Bravo!" (Directed by Heidi Ewing Rachel Grady) Thank you for pulling the curtain back on the conservative movement.

All things start with the planting of seed. For humans, that means the children. This film takes us into the inner workings of the Christian conservative movement and their near militant beliefs. The Children in the film are of course very likable, but the film rather cleverly and without commentary showcases the manipulation of their innocence by their church, their parents, and the surrounding community to create a new army of believers and "world changers".

All of which serves as an eerie reminder of just how easily the human mind is broken, than molded into whatever it is a preacher, government or president wishes to do with.

I beg all liberals to watch this film when it comes to a screen near you.

A GREAT EXAMPLE OF LIBERAL TOLERANCE!

This situation reminds me of another I encountered a few years back. In 2001, ABC News reporter John Stossel did a special on the indoctrination of children into the environmental movement. The difference between the indoctrination taking place at Jesus Camp and that of the environmentalists is that one takes place in a privately funded camp, and the other takes place in…brace yourself…PUBLIC SCHOOLS!

This is from the Free Republic:

The kids Stossel interviewed were found at an Earth Day fair held for schoolchildren in Los Angeles. I attended that event, and what I saw was an exercise in manipulation so cynical that it must be exposed. If Stossel won't be allowed to expose it, I will.

The children, ranging in age from 6 to 15, were bused in by the hundreds. It was an official school field trip, supported by the park service and the City Council. The students were told that Earth Day was like Mother's Day, that we celebrate Earth Day to show that we "love our mother." What would you think of someone telling your 8-year-old that if he doesn't accept a certain political agenda, that means he doesn't love his mommy?

The children were asked to sing along with the "Please Conserve" song, with lyrics like, "They want to drill our parks for oil/That will pollute their sea and soil." I'm not sure which is worse: children at a school-sponsored event being drafted to take sides on a current political controversy — or the presentation of these serious issues, which ought to be debated by thoughtful adults, in the form of a simple-minded children's song.

Nuff said.

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Toyota Price Gouging in Time of War
This just in:

Toyota reported a 39 percent jump in profit in its fiscal first quarter, with strong vehicle sales around the world keeping the company on a pace to possibly overtake General Motors as the world's No. 1 automaker in coming years.

Toyota's reputation for fuel-efficient cars was proving a boon at a time when drivers are balking at soaring gas prices, analysts said. Toyota Motor Corp., the world's second biggest automaker, is among a clutch of Japanese vehicle companies reporting robust results lately in contrast to the plight of the U.S. automakers.

The way people logic through the oil companies profiting nearly kills me. What is the difference between these numbers for Toyota and the numbers we read about for oil companies? THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE. People say we need oil to fuel our economy, therefore, making money off it is…and who knows what the argument is. Whatever it is, it makes no sense. If oil is so important (and it is) people should be able to make lots of money off of it. When companies are allowed to profit off of oil, it encourages more exploration, innovation, and drilling. In other words, companies will try to provide more oil so that they can make money. THIS MEANS THERE WILL BE LOTS OF OIL AVALIBLE. THAT IS GOOD.

Not to mention, we need cars too. So why should Toyota be treated any differently than the oil companies? They are profiting off of high oil prices. In fact, they probably have the most to gain from high oil prices. I think we should investigate Toyota and then tax their windfall profits…in the spirit of fairness.

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