Thursday, November 15, 2007

TRIP worked for me!

The Department of Homeland Security Traveler Redress Inquiry Program worked for me! At least, I think (and hope so!).

Believe it or not, I think the federal government actually worked.

I knew I was paying taxes for a reason (not meant to imply I want to pay more, Uncle Sam).

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Fire vs. Revolution

Mr. White and the Chicago Fire face off tonight against the New England Revolution on ESPN2 at 6:30pm CST.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Octrotalk Rocked My World (in a bad way) **UPDATED**

After installing and successfully using Octrotalk on my Treo 700w, the program added duplicate contacts to my Gmail contacts list.

Now, in the standard view with chat enabled, Gmail is rendered useless after one click-through. Everything works hunky-dory with chat disabled in Gmail. With chat enable, no links work (minus the first one I click). Firefox says there is an unresponsive script. Same problem on 3 different machines with two browsers.


I even deleted Octro-related contacts from my contact list and the problem persists.

Not sure how a third-party vendor of chat software can affect Gmail's interface, but if hadn't happened, I wouldn't have believed it possible!


Removing legacy connections (i.e. MSN, Yahoo and AIM) and then removing the Octro contacts from my Gmail contact list eventually fixed the problem!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hope & Chance

In order to have a chance, the Colorado Rockies must win Game 2 at Fenway. My earliest memory of a Rockies is game is actually not at Coors Field. It's at Mile High Stadium where the crowd would chant "Go" and "Rockies" from opposite sides of the stadium.

Go Rockies!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Take that, Rush

VoteVets' Brian McGough lays it out:

Monday, September 24, 2007


"In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country. In Iran we do not have this phenomenon. I do not know who has told you we have it." - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
I was gonna give him the benefit of the doubt (not on the Holocaust or anything), but just the chance to explain himself. But he's certifiable.

Can you smell what The Rock is cookin'?

"I am only a professor who is also a university president, and today I feel the weight of all the civilized world yearning to express the revulsion at what you stand for," Bollinger told Ahmadinejad.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


How has this not gotten more coverage?

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is:

an intergovernmental mutual-security organization which was founded on June 15, 2001 by the leaders of the China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
The Time Magazine article says that Iran may be added to the mix and that some in the U.S. government consider the coalition to be
a retooled Warsaw Pact that could serve to balance NATO.
News? Anyone? Yeah, thought so.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Bad Except When They're Good

Victor Davis Hanson posting at The Corner on National Review Online makes an interesting remark while commenting on Iran and its nuclear implications.

He writes about the "moral equivalence" of Prof. John Mearsheimer at the YearlyKos convention, who surmised that Iran had the right

"to have a bomb since Israel has one too-as if an anti-American theocracy run according to Sharia Law is no more a nuclear threat than a pro-American liberal democracy."
So anti-American theocracy is the bad and pro-American liberal democracy is good. Catch that? Liberal is good, says the conservative.

Okay, just checking.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Biden Bye Bye

Going off my impression of Joe Biden yesterday at the AFL-CIO debate and his work on the bankruptcy bill, I have no respect for him. He is a blow-hard whose support for a morally bankrupt piece of legislation hurt more Americans than have been killed in Iraq.

On top of this, he was seemingly unable to show any type of mourning, sympathy or empathy for a woman whose husband was killed in the Sago mining accident in West Virginia a while ago.

I hope he doesn't have your vote.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Gingrich loses mind, speaks sense

Newt Gingrich has an epiphany:

"We have got to get beyond this political bologna. I'm not allowed to say anything positive about Hillary Clinton because then I'm not a loyal Republican, and she's not allowed to say anything positive about me because then she's not a loyal Democrat. What a stupid way to run a country."

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Pit bull culture examines the relationship between rural, white dogfighting and urban, hip-hop.

A woman from the United Kennel Club notes:

"It's important to understand that this isn't about race, but it is about culture."
Russell Simmons says, regarding the presence of pit bulls in hip-hop and rap culture:
"That's why we have poets, have always had poets and artists in society, to say things that sometimes people don't say otherwise."
In this case, I think it's a bit of the "poets" reflecting society and society trying to emulate said "poets" the same time.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Random Lookalike Contest

I am incapable of watching The Fifth Element without thinking of Fred Thompson. Right?

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Here or there?

I don't get it. We're supposed to be fighting over there, so we don't fight them over here. In an article on about the doctors/terrorists in the U.K., noted:

Terrorism analyst Marco Vicenzino, the director of the Global Strategy Project, says the world could be seeing a shift in jihadist tactics.

Confident after wounding the United States and its allies in Iraq, jihadists "are determined to take their combat experience directly to the superpower and its allies at home and around the world," Vicenzino said.
Fantastic. Not.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Copa America

Yahoo! soccer commentator Brian Homewood made an accurate yet stinging assessment of the USA-Argentina game, noting:

"The U.S., who like Mexico take part by invitation, proved very much to be the party poopers.

Not only did they bring a second-string line-up but, unlike any of the other 11 teams, they packed nine or ten players behind the ball and made no real attempt to win the game."

Unfortunately, true. The USA lost 4-1, but was tied 1-1 at the half.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

If you got the time

While randomly browsing the Wikipedia entry for Christopher Hitchens, I came across a link to a rebuttal posting by Wes Walls to Hitchens' stance on the war in Iraq and the circumstances leading up to it.

Very worth reading.

An excerpt:

Let [Hitchens] tell [the Iraqis] how, consequences be damned, he was right, because by his math a world minus a bad man is a better world, notwithstanding the subtraction of a few hundred thousand lives. Let him tell them that this is exactly what he means, as if one writer sticking to his imaginary guns were itself such an act of fortitude that it redeems any amount of actual destruction.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


The CONCACAF Gold Cup runs through the 24th of June, with the final and semifinals in Chicago.

If USA beats Panama, then most likely Canada, and Mexico beats Costa Rica and then most likely Honduras, it'll set up a USA-Mexico showdown at Soldier Field.

Cross your fingers.


USA vs. Canada is Thursday at 6pm CST, and Mexico vs. Guadeloupe (?!?) is at 9.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Dog fighting

Michael Vick is stupid.

A Sports Illustrated Special Report calls some attention to the Vick-dogfighting scandal and the "grisly pastime".

My take. if it's against the law it's bad, right...the law's the law, good or bad (someone said), we can't grant exceptions to the law, just because someone doesn't like it. *end sarcasm*

Independent of that, I think it's a pretty sick "sport" or "hobby" or whatever anyone calls it.

Regardless of what dogs were bred to do, doesn't mean it's okay now, I think (please note the reference to the "rape stand").

I think there's something missing in people who enjoy this. Like a soul.

Vick is/was my favorite NFL athlete to watch on the field.

If he gets suspended, maybe it puts some fear into the rest of the "hypercompetitive" overcompensating athletes to find another "hobby" or "sport" (maybe they could read to middle-schoolers once a week...oh wait, they can't read their own multi-million-dollar contracts).

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Protecting borders

An Examiner editorial cites a study "by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse affiliated with Syracuse University":

"...of more than 800,000 immigration court cases between 2004 and 2006, however, found only 12 involving illegal aliens that the government charged with terrorism. A mere 114 illegals were brought up on “national security” charges during the same period, according to TRAC. Only 31 of these people were actually deported."
I think these statistics do the opposite of bolstering the editorial's pithy "31 down and how many millions to go."

There's not millions of terrorists in the country. Almost every single illegal immigrant is here to work, not terrorize. Just because white Americans think they're being terrorized by the help (that they need) doesn't mean that's actually happening.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Catching flak

Hotline's On Call has carried the story of a war of words between Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain. After McCain criticized Sens. Hillary Clinton and Obama about their vote for the Iraq war funding supplemental, Obama responded:

“And if there ever was a reflection of that it's the fact that Senator McCain required a flack jacket, ten armored Humvees, two Apache attack helicopters, and 100 soldiers with rifles by his side to stroll through a market in Baghdad just a few weeks ago."
McCain jumped on the apparent misspelling in subsequent the press release, noting that:
"By the way, Senator Obama, it's a 'flak' jacket, not a 'flack' jacket."
FWIW, spell check in Microsoft Word for the sentences, "I am wearing a flack jacket" and "I am wearing a flak jacket" both escape without need for correction.

Interestingly, the word "flak" is an acronym from German. If Obama deems the criticism worth responding to in the future, I hope it's just as smarmy.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

True believers

The Rev. Al Sharpton has gotten himself into some hot water for saying:

"And as for the one Mormon running for office, those that really believe in God will defeat him anyway. So don't worry about that. That's a temporary, that's a temporary situation."
His statement came during a debate with Christopher Hitchens, the author of the recent book, God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.

NewsBusters notes that:
"...Sharpton and [Paula] Zahn discussed the fact that until 1965 [according to CNN], or 1978, according to Sharpton, the Mormon church did not accord blacks full status. That engendered the following exchange:

SHARPTON: ...prior to '65, '78, whenever it was, they did not see blacks as equal, I do not believe that as real worshippers of God, because I do not believe that God distinguishes between people."
Considering that the founders of this country and several generations of its people afterwards put into place and accepted laws that "did not see blacks as equal" this is a curious statement. Sharpton is supposed to be clergy, hence the "Reverend" (licensed and ordained a minister at age 9, says Wikipedia).

Sharpton was ordained by someone who was ordained by someone who was ordained by someone who was ordained by someone who was white. And that person's religion (Christianity) had members who did not view blacks as equal.

I am so thrown, I cannot elucidate my point.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Fit & Smoke

BusinessWeek lists Phillip Morris USA as No. 29 on its "Best Places to Launch a Career" list. The accompanying graphic shows a stylized shot of a Marlboro advertisment, presumably outside a gas station.

I wonder if enterprising new-hires of Phillip Morris would even smoke. For that matter, I wonder if middle-management with mortgages and families smoke. My guess is no. At least, not the ones inclined to be healthy. I make the assumption that Phillip Morris USA has health-inclined employees and even caters to them because, ironically, BusinessWeek notes that the nation's largest tobacco company:

"...offers on-site fitness facilities at some locations--and even concierge services."
Are the employees on the stair-stepper with Marlboro in hand? Right. That's what I thought.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

What we really are

From Wikipedia:

Amerigo Vespucci used a Latinised form of his name, Americus Vespucius, in his Latin writings, which Waldseemüller used as a base for the new name, taking the feminine form America.

Amerigo itself is an Italian form of the medieval Latin Emericus, which through the German form Heinrich (in English, Henry) derived from the Germanic name Haimrich.
So...we are the United States of Henry.

Monday, April 30, 2007


I wonder how much research and development dollars collectively are being spent on the new Viagra or Propecia or other boutique drug compared to the money being spent on researching alternative fuels. In other words:

"Great, you get an erection at the snap of a finger for exactly one hour! However, a terrorist just blew up your apartment building with money you spent in Saudi Arabia for that unleaded that filled your SUV take your date to the restaurant."

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Quote of the Day

InstaPundit called it the "Comment of the Day" found on Huffington Post:

"September 11 will forever live in our consciousness, but let us not forget those that perished at the hands of Americans."

Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia Tech

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

BattleCry on Nightline

"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Evil thoughts

"My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, "Have a seat here, please," while to the one who is poor you say, "Stand there," or, "Sit at my feet," have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?"

- James 2:1-4

Monday, March 26, 2007


A commenter on RedState notes that:

"The right defines the left by quoting Cindy Sheehan. The left defines the right by quoting Pat Robertson."

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Nomination options

Training in St. Charles has delayed any updates, but here we go.

RealClearPolitics shows a composite graphic displaying the results of at least 7 different recent polls for the Republican nomination. Rudy Giuliani leads John McCain with anywhere from 4 to 24 points.

Newt Gingrich is polling better than Mitt Romney. What if the GOP nominees for President and Vice president were Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich?

What if the Democratic nominees were Barack Obama and Bill Richardson. If that's the case, I see a Republican victory in 2008.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Gays in the military

Ignoring the fact that gay American blood spilt in defense of America and Americans is just as red as straight American blood spilt in defense of America and Americans, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Peter Pace said:

"...the military should not 'condone' immoral behavior by allowing gay soldiers to serve openly."
Apparently 10k service members have been dismissed as a result of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Shockingly:
"Among those discharged were more than 322 linguists, including 54 Arabic specialists..."
Fifty-four gay Arab linguists? That seems like an awfully high number. Gay Arabs are probably a small number alone. Gay Arab linguists even smaller. Gay Arab linguists willing to serve in the U.S. military? Wow.

Count 'em: 54. And we got rid of them. Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign rightly pointed out:
"The real question is: what is moral about discharging qualified linguists during a time of war simply for being gay or lesbian?"

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Second Amendment

"If I were writing the Bill of Rights now there wouldn't be any such thing as the Second Amendment... This has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word 'fraud', on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime. The real purpose of the Second Amendment was to ensure that state armies - the militia - would be maintained for the defense of the state. The very language of the Second Amendment refutes any argument that it was intended to guarantee every citizen an unfettered right to any kink of weapon he or she desires."
- Warren Burger, former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice, Parade Magazine, 1/14/90

And this from Robert Bork, failed Reagan Supreme Court nominee:

"[The] National Rifle Association is always arguing that the Second Amendment determines the right to bear arms. But I think it really is the people's right to bear arms in a militia. The NRA thinks it protects their right to have Teflon-coated bullets. But that's not the original understanding.
Robert H. Bork, former Federal Appeals Court Judge (Distinguished Lecture Series, UC Irvine, 3/14/89)

H/T to Free Republic

Friday, March 09, 2007

Of all the nerve

Of all the lowdown, weaselly, least he admitted it.

"Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich acknowledged he was having an extramarital affair even as he led the charge against President Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky affair"
How he tries to do this, I do not understand.
"Gingrich argued in the interview, however, that he should not be viewed as a hypocrite for pursuing Clinton's infidelity."
Emphasis mine.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Dilemma paradigms and the liberal/conservative spectra. The observations are knee-jerk and obviously not fully thought out weighing all possible examples or strains of idealogy.
Individual vs. Community
I would say liberals place a higher value on the community over individuals.
Truth vs. Loyalty
I think in general that liberals value the truth over partisan or idealogical lines.
Responsibility in the Short-term vs. the Long-term
I think in general that liberals seek out goals for long-term benefit than the short-term.
Justice vs. Mercy
In this case, I think that liberals are almost mixed. Equal parts justice and mercy. I couldn't come up with an inkblot response.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Eerie observation

Will Femia of MSNBC's Clicked makes an observation:

For so many people, the computer is still that beige thing in the distant extra room/home office with the knot of wires in the back and the laundry draped over the chair.
'Twas funny reading that with my laundry draped over the back of my chair.

Press conference question

A freebie for Democratic presidential primary reporters who can't come up with good material:

"Senator Obama, you sided with the senior senator from Illinois, Dick Durbin, on voting against the Iraq War authorization, but voted to confirm Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, unlike Sen. Durbin. What circumstances caused you to agree and disagree with him on those occasions, and how should 2008 Democratic primary voters weigh those votes against your current position and future plans for the Iraq War?"

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Too much of a good thing

What about Hil-bam-ward-son?


IMDb has changed the format for actors and programs. Might take a while to get used to since I liked the way it was for last 4 years.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Space-Time Continuum

It's possible to drive from Illinois to Tennessee in about an hour. The distance is less than 50 miles.

Distance is an illusion.

** UPDATE **

Little geography lesson: Tennessee borders at least 8 states.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Quote of the Week

"For some reason, the military seems more afraid of gay people than they are against terrorists. They're very brave with the terrorists, and if the terrorists ever got a hold of this information, they get a platoon of lesbians to chase us out of Baghdad."
- Rep. Gary Ackerman, regarding the U.S. military's resistance to letting homosexuals serve openly.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


"Christianity -- this a subject that I am actually qualified to discuss"
- Tucker Carlson
Carlson attended a liberal arts college in Connecticut graduating with a B.A. in History. Nowhere did I see any mention of a seminary or a theological curriculum.


"I don't have a lot of African-American friends, and I think part of it is because I'm afraid that I would be in an open conversation, and I would say something that somebody would take wrong, and then it would be a nightmare. Am I alone in feeling that?"
- Glenn Beck
I wonder if the reason Beck doesn't have African-American friends is because he doesn't want them to find out he's actually racist.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

It's f*@!ing cold! reports that the low "feels like" temperature at 9am on February 5th in Chicago will be -24°F.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Why aren't we them...

A friend compared the Global War on Terror to the Cold War, saying:
"We will have times where it will wax and wane in the severity and attention but will take a long time to break them."
My view is that Communist Russia and fundamentalist Islam are connected in their authoritarian worldview. However, Communist Russians were not willing to die for their cause. This is evident by the rampant corruption in those failed states. Those in power weren't willing to be poor like their countrymen and so the system and the idealogy died for the most part. China is Communist is name only now, and Cuba, well, it's Cuba.

However, Islamists ARE willing to die for their cause (see New York City, Washington, DC on 9/11, as well as Madrid and London bombings). This distinguishing characteristic separates the GWoT from the Cold War.

The difference between "radical" Christians and Islamists is that "radical" Christians don't kill themselves. However, what "radical" Christians and Islamists do want is a governmental system that operates with the Bible as its Constitution and Sharia law, respectively. The only thing stopping "radical" Christians from overrunning America, or the South or making a criminal justice system with Christian values is...our Constitution and liberals.

This brings up an interesting point: What is preventing Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson from taking over the country? Are we being saved by our...sinfulness?

That's a thought that's going to fester.


Blogger Kevin Barnes wrote a FAQ about living in India as an American.

Find his answers to questions like these, among many others:

How much do jobs pay in India?

How can you live with yourself for helping to move American jobs to India?

What’s it like raising your kids in India?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Costs of Wars

According to a paper titled "The Economics of the [American] Civil War" by Roger L. Ransom of the University of California, Riverside:

"The Civil War has often been called the first "modern" war. In part this reflects the enormous effort expended by both sides to conduct the war. What was the cost of this conflict? The most comprehensive effort to answer this question is the work of Claudia Goldin and Frank Lewis (1978; 1975). The Goldin and Lewis estimates of the costs of the war are presented in Table 3. The costs are divided into two groups: the direct costs which include the expenditures of state and local governments plus the loss from destruction of property and the loss of human capital from the casualties; and what Goldin and Lewis term the indirect costs of the war which include the subsequent implications of the war after 1865. Goldin and Lewis estimate that the combined outlays of both governments -- in 1860 dollars -- totaled $3.3 billion. To this they add $1.8 billion to account for the discounted economic value of casualties in the war, and they add $1.5 billion to account for the destruction of the war in the South. This gives a total of $6.6 billion in direct costs -- with each region incurring roughly half the total."
A historical inflation conversion chart from Oregon State University show that 1 dollar in 1860 would equal to $23.25 in 2006. (Take 1 dollar and divide by 0.043)

Given a cost of $6.6 billion in 1860 dollars multiplied by $23.25 value, the 2006 cost of the Civil War equals: $139.5 billion.

Going by these figures ($6.6 billion for the Civil War 1860 and $2 trillion for the Iraq War in 2006), the American Civil War cost 1/14 the pricetag of the second Iraq War.

Free-market solutions

A while ago I was listening to a story on NPR regarding the safety testing of infant car seats. Kim Klemen, an editor from Consumer Reports was interviewed and called for federal regulations on the seats to ensure safety.

I remember thinking that Klemen was basically advocating for "bigger government".

The free-market solution to a situation, in which tests on infant car seats shows that one or more are dangerous, would be that consumers would just not by the dangerous ones. Obvious. However, when the company that produces a "faulty" infant car seat slashes the price by 25 or 50 percent, it's a much more viable option for families who may already be on a tight budget.

There is nothing to deter parents from picking a car seat that appears sturdy and indistinguishable from other car seats on the market. The determining factor is the price. They would have to seek out the research on product in say, Consumer Reports, and purchase the ideal seat. How many people do that?

I believe that most "free-market solutions" depend on highly informed consumers making educated choices. However, most consumers don't refer to product reviews. Their purchasing decision in a consumer society are based mostly on price. The free-market solution would assume that the manufacturers of unsafe infant car seats would eventually go out of business because no one would buy their products with the knowledge they were unsafe. Obviously, that isn't true.

The flip side is people like Klemen arguing for more (or better) regulation. These have their own downsides (additional government responsibility, bureuacracy, etc). Assuming the car seats are made in the U.S., providing Americans with jobs and sustaining a market, higher compliance costs can affect the ability to pay labor, off-shoring, etc.

In the end, the highly localized and extreme choices are possibly dozens of injured infants or possible economic downturn.

We must pick and the price is steep. The brings me to a Ben Franklin quote via The Moderate Voice:

“Friends,” says he, “and neighbors, the taxes are indeed very heavy, and if those laid on by the government were the only ones we had to pay, we might more easily discharge them; but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us. We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly; and from these taxes the commissioners cannot ease or deliver us by allowing an abatement.”

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

What defines a "vast majority"

Hugh Hewitt said of the 700-mile fence at the U.S.-Mexico border:

"...the vast majority of people believe the 700 miles of fencing will in fact be effective..."
A Quinnipac University poll taken in mid-November asked:
As you may know Congress has passed and President Bush has signed legislation that would build a 700 mile fence and increase security along the Mexican-U.S. border. Do you think additional measures are needed from Congress to deal with illegal immigrants entering the country or do you think this is enough for now?"
Only 24 percent said that the fence was "Enough for Now". If it's so effective, how come it's not enough?

Blow the system

Commenters on The Moderate Voice, discuss a Robert Novak column:

"The [...] question is how successful the Republicans will be at pulling the blame game off, and how the Democrats will respond to the game ([which] will play into how successful, or unsuccessful the Republicans are).

[The] sense also is that the reason everyone is afraid to “pull the plug” (and they all are), is that no one knows how to without “blowing out the entire power system”. We are truly between a very large rock, and a very very hard place. Whatever [we] do is going to result in bad repercussion."

Most importantly:

" war can last longer than public support for it."

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Newt's ideas

Below are ideas proposed by Gingrich. I gotta say, I like them. It's interesting to note that, his ideas are not all conservative ideas (which nixes the notion that all good ideas of liberals are conservative ideas, but that's another story).

Newt's problem is that when he tries to talk about these ideas in the face of criticism or skeptics, he gets very partisan. At that point, he can't see past being a Republican. As far as the presidency, we will have had a guy like that for 8 years and voters may be tired of the partisanship. That's probably the biggest thing holding him back.

Well, that and his name reminds people of a lizard and a Dr. Seuss character.

Bold Solutions for Immigration, Citizenship and Accurate Honest Voting

* Border control for national security with sufficient intensity and accuracy to ensure that no terrorist and no drug dealer can cross the border.
* Make English the language of government while respecting the language background of all Americans and encouraging younger Americans to learn foreign languages.
* Make passing a test on American history in English and giving up the right to vote in any other country key requirements of U.S. citizenship.
* Since becoming a citizen requires knowing English, have all election ballots in English.
* To insure that only legal citizens vote, require every voter to have a photo ID card.
* Cut off all federal aid to any city or county that declares itself a “sanctuary” and refuses to enforce legal immigration requirements.
* Enforce the laws requiring employers to know that their employees are legal.
* Outsource to Visa, Mastercard or American Express (or a consortium of the three) to have an accurate, real-time computerized system for identifying those participating in a worker visa program and for instantly notifying any employer that the person they are about to hire is illegal.
* Create a systematic worker visa program with a biometric card run by the computer card companies to avoid fraud, a background check to eliminate any criminals and a signed contract to obey the law and pay taxes or else be removed from the U.S. within 48 hours for failure to comply.

Bold Solutions for Energy to Help National Security, the Economy and the Environment

* Create a series of incentives and prizes to develop a hydrogen economy and return the Middle Eastern oil supply to being a petrochemical feedstock. A hydrogen economy would be better for America and our allies. A hydrogen economy would be better for the environment (no carbon loading of the atmosphere). A hydrogen economy would be better for the American economy because it would keep at home all the cash we are currently sending to Venezuela and the Middle East.
* While working to develop a hydrogen economy, there should also be an interim strategy to include incentives for conservation and for renewable fuels, including wind, solar and biofuels. It is better to send the money to American farmers than to send it to foreign dictators.
* Create a $1-billion prize for the first affordable car to get 500 miles per gallon of gasoline and be manufacturable at a price of $30,000 or less per car with reliability and performance comparable to a gasoline powered car. This car would probably combine an e-85 ethanol fuel with a hybrid motor using electricity (and allowing a plug-in to absorb the 40% of electricity production currently unused at night) with a composite construction modeled off the Boeing Dreamliners very light and very strong (much stronger than steel) composite.
* A second $2-billion prize should be offered for a car getting 1,000 miles to the gallon of gasoline.

Bold Solutions for the Cost of Higher Education

As higher education costs soar out of sight, liberals focus on subsidizing student loans and larger Pell grants but no one asks why costs keep rising so rapidly:

* Why are textbooks so expensive when printing costs are dropping and specialized publishing on demand is very cheap? There should be a project to produce textbooks at market costs not monopoly costs.
* How much have higher education bureaucracies expanded since 1960 and how much has that added to the unnecessary increase in the cost of education? A new model of flattening the hierarchy and shrinking the bureaucracy should be aimed at lowering the cost of higher education dramatically.
* How much can be saved by encouraging students to learn as rapidly as possible and graduate as quickly as possible? How much do current curriculums both in K-12 and in higher education actually slow students down, waste their time and waste taxpayer money?

Bold Solutions for Permanent Space-based Research and Exploration

NASA has become a slow and paper-dominated bureaucracy. It is proposing to spend billions very slowly and very bureaucratically. It will both waste the taxpayers’ money and actually slow the speed of getting into space. A bold alternative solution would be to:

* Focus the NASA bureaucracy on science projects and inexpensive unmanned space exploration.
* Set aside the money currently allocated for manned space exploration for getting to the moon and Mars and turn it into prizes with bigger rewards for earlier achievements and smaller prizes for later achievements. Entrepreneurial startups and bold adventurers will get into space much faster and more excitingly than a government bureaucracy.
* Change the FAA and NASA rules to make it easy for entrepreneurs and explorers to get into space at a much higher risk than we would tolerate for government programs. Establish an equivalency with mountain climbing as an acceptable risk informed adults could take in space launches.


Before anybody steals my idea, I'm putting it in print.

I'm supporting the U.S. Senator from Illinois, Brock O'Baumaugh for President.

** UPDATE **

Merchandise available here.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Homophobes AND Arsonists

I was a Boy Scout (and before that a Cub Scout) until the 8th grade. I got as far as earning a Star Badge.

Along with having a policy that excludes gay troop leaders, they are now burning down forests!

The federal government argued that Boy Scouts playing with fire caused a 14,200-acre wildfire and wants a judge to hold them responsible, allowing officials to seek damages.
In the eastern world that's called Karma.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Cost-Benefit and Short-sightedness

The Institute for Analysis of Global Security says:

including the loss in stock market wealth -- the market's own estimate arising from expectations of lower corporate profits and higher discount rates for economic volatility -- the price tag [of 9/11] approaches $2 trillion.
Back in March 2006, the price tag of the Iraq War was predicted to reach $1 trillion or more.

Let's set aside the fact we're talking "trillions" with a "t" here and do a cost-benefit analysis. If we get attacked it costs us two bucks. To attack them costs maybe a buck twenty. Based on that extremely simplified conclusion, we should just nuke them (at a cost of 1 cent) and be done with it. Obviously the big differentiating factor in the analysis is the loss of life.

Should we unleash nuclear weapons on a Third World country because it's cheaper than getting troops killed? Should we send more of our soldiers to get killed over there rather than innocents die here? At least the soldiers were volunteers. Thankfully, I will never be in a position to make that call.

I think Sen. Kennedy's proposal reflects the sentiment: "This guy has already f----d up HUGE, are we going to let him f--k up MORE?".

The proposal is a little short-sighted in that it begs the question: "For which decisions does the President not have ask Congress for permission?" It's kind of like Brutus and Cassius, and the rest of the conspirators who didn't like Caesar and his influence, decided to gut-check his power (rather than assassinate him). But they don't take into account that they too can be gut-checked when they get power.

Related to this, Republicans were just assuming they would be in the majority eternally and never have to worry about having to filibuster something they didn't like.

As far as a surge, I think that word is just for PR purposes. It's meant to give the illusion that something is changing. Even McCain has said he would only support a "surge" if it was sustained and lasting. I personally believe that is not the definition of a surge; it's an escalation.

President Bush would rather stay away from the word "escalation" because it's too closely associated with the Vietnam War. While our troops are in Iraq trying to help they freely admit they are also targets. We're basically giving them more targets.

The Taliban is making a comeback and we're sending more troops to Iraq not Afghanistan, where that guy is...what's his's on the tip of my tongue...

Monday, January 08, 2007

Under the bus

Former President Gerald Ford gave an interview embargoed until his death in which he opposed the War in Iraq. Ford's former press secretary, Ron Nessen, decided to be the true conservative and threw Ford under the bus by implying the president was senile. And his own mother.

"When Ford talked to Woodward, he was 91 years old, or 92 years old. My mother is 95. You know, I'm not sure I'd like to see some of her quotes published on the front page of The Post because I don't think she has the same mental acuteness she had when she was younger."

Friday, January 05, 2007

The Minimum Wage is Racist?

One of the priorities of Democrats in the 110th Congress is to raise the federal minimum wage to $7.25 over the course of two years. In 1995, the Joint Economic Committee in Congress (made up of a majority of Republicans) published talking points against a raise in the minimum wage. One point stated:

The minimum wage hurts blacks generally.
Other detractors said:
The economic case against minimum wage laws is simple. Employers pay a wage no higher than the value of an additional hour's work. Raising minimum wages forces employers to dismiss low productivity workers. This policy has the largest affect on those with the least education, job experience, and maturity. Consequently, we should expect minimum wage laws to affect teenagers and those with less education.
"Low productivity" workers are those with the "least education, job experience and maturity". It's easy to connect the dots that opponents are saying that those with less education, less job experience and "maturity" are blacks.

Their simple conclusion is that a raise in the minimum wage is racist because of this. Nevermind themselves.

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