Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Jimmy Carter

Until very recently, I was a big fan of Jimmy Carter. I thought he was a bit of a misguided fool, but that he had a good heart and did the right thing when he could.

Then I found out about the fact that he espoused segregationist views, courted segregationist groups, and avoided courting the black vote to appeal to the racist vote.

I tend not to care as much as most if a person is a racist. I view it as a stupidity very similar to being a Democrat or Socialist. None of those views are very smart, they all can hurt people, and any critical analysis of the belief systems in question results in a complete refutation of any possible (hypothetical) value they may have. What this means is that I may know people that hold these beliefs, and as long as they keep these beliefs to themselves (or be ready for a protracted argument where I will mercilessly pick apart their arguments every time they're mentioned), I can talk to them (partly in the hope that I can change their minds). In Jimmy Carter's case, I could not be his friend, because his support of racism was done for opportunistic reasons and not out of genuine belief. He was willing to dance with the devil to further his political ends. So he wasn't being stupid - he was lying his butt off (regardless of his 'pride' that he never lied to the American people).

Jimmy Carter courted segregationist groups when running as a candidate for governor of Georgia in 1966:


"He attributed this loss to a lack of support from segregationist whites, who had turned out in large numbers to vote for his opponent, a nationally known segregationist named Lester Maddox. In a bid to win their vote in the 1970 governor’s race, Carter minimized appearances before African American groups, and even sought the endorsements of avowed segregationists..."


"He wanted to appeal to the large middle class, blue collar type, predominantly white, and most of these people are going to be segregationists," says historian E. Stanly Godbold. "Carter himself was not a segregationist in 1970. But he did say things that the segregationists wanted to hear."

After winning the election, he declared the era of segregation over. So what? Sorry Charlie, but that's wrong no matter what you wish to accomplish.

Sheesh! ...and the Democrats call Republicans racist. Try again. They're willing to say, do, or hurt anything to win the fight. They care about power, not what's right.


Monday, September 19, 2005

True Colors

America has many friends. Throughout the world, we've had people step up to the plate to help out in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Two countries very specifically stand out to me on this subject:

Kuwait and Qatar.

Kuwait gave $500,000,000 to help the victims of this disaster. What that says to me is that they are a true friend. Five hundred million dollars is no mere token of appreciation. That is a lot of money no matter who you are and how much you have.

Qatar gave $100,000,000. Again, this is not chump change. This is not some mere trifiling amount. This too is a lot of money, no matter who you are and how much you have.

I don't know if this money was requested by our government or not. I don't care if this money was requested by our government or not. What I see is a genuine outreach from two of our true allies.

To the people of Kuwait and Qatar, we of America thank you for your generous gifts and appreciate the spirit of brotherhood and genuine goodwill in which they were presented. As much as you remember your allies, we remember ours.

As my Muslim friends in college taught me to say...

Salam Alaikum,


Friday, September 16, 2005

I wonder why Israel demanded a buffer zone...

My brother sent me this link: http://famulus.msnbc.com/famulusintl/ap09-16-024206.asp?reg=mideast&vts=91620051118

It describes the kind and generous Palestinian people that were given at least some of what they've been demanding for a long time. Their response is to:

  • Smuggle arms
  • Smuggle guns
  • Deface the flag of Israel - while this should not be illegal it is rude.
  • Hold rallies to plan the destruction of Israel
  • Threaten the Palestinian Authority with violence if the try and disarm the militants

They also have people driving around in their cities with rocket and grenade launchers mounted on their vehicles, people firing guns into the air randomly, and other people deciding that the wait at a border checkpoint is too long and are simply pushing their way through.

The response of the Palestinian Authority is that Israel never informed them that they were pulling out. ...and? Don't ask for something and then gripe when you get it, Charlie. I think their point is being proven again and again by the behaviors of your glorious citizens.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Who really represents the common man?

I have been watching Democrats bitch and moan about the red states and the rednecks therein ever since the first election. They call the people in the red states stupid rednecks. They say the people in the red states don't know what they're doing. They say a lot of things...

What they fail to realize is that the people in the red states and red districts...they're the regular joes. The only places that you see any blue voting...it's in big cities...where the elite live.

Yet somehow, the Democrats can call the regular joes who voted Republican stupid jerks, and then say they represent the regular joes. Let's be clear here - the Democrats are high dollar, rich person, party of the elites. I'm sick of them trying to say otherwise.

What I'd really like to know though...why hasn't anyone else pointed this out?


Give me $20,000!

I have found a fine example of the welfare state and the sense of entitlement it has created. A man being interviewed in New Orleans described the buses as 'slave ships' and complained that he was only given $700 instead of the $2,000 he was expecting (from FEMA). His demand for what he thinks is fair?

$20,000 per person effected by the hurricane.

His reasoning?

"I would like for them to give us at least $20,000 apiece, so we can, you know, get our life together, you know. We didn’t ask to come on that that that bus slave…it’s like a slave ship, it’s like, you know, back in history, you know, they put us on a slave ship, they separated us from our family, they did it — You know, this is just modern day slavery, you know? Just give us what the fuck we deserve…"

Umm...let me see...hmm...how about...NO?!

This...this in particular illustrates what people think and why the welfare state is terrible. This man honestly believes that he deserves $20,000 without effort, without personal responsibility, and without anything other than he was effected by a disaster. Guess what Charlie...it doesn't work that way! If you want $20,000, I hope you have insurance...because if you don't, you're going to be really PO'd about what you're not going to get.

If this man was transported by bus, chances are fairly good that he didn't have a car. I imagine he'd say he couldn't afford one. Funny, but he was able to afford sunglasses that cost several hundred dollars. Also, since FEMA has been there, he has spent seven hundred dollars. Now, if my necessities were paid for, I'm having difficulty imagining how I'd spend seven hundred dollars in a few day's time when all I needed would be clothes and such. Could it be this person has a serious lack of impulse control? Could it be a lack of planning on his part that has him in a bad situation?

This goes full circle back to my original point. The only people I have sympathy for are the kids and the disabled who could not leave.

Hat tip: http://thepoliticalteen.net


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

How much do people read these days?

I recently got a challenge from my daughter's school. The challenge was to read three thousand pages worth of books during this school year. This shocked me, because I average about 200 pages per day (estimated...I read most of a book a day, give or take...until last night I thought it was 300/day, but I gave it more thought and it isn't). That means that every...say...fifteen days, I read what they consider to be a valuable amount for a school year's worth of reading for an adult.

Am I reading obsessively, or do others not read enough? I couldn't imagine reading less.

As a side note, the 200 pages per day is only fiction. It doesn't count blogs, news, essays, or opinion pieces I read during the day in short breaks from work. If that is added in, it's another 150/day or so.

So - how much does the average Joe read per year? Is it really so little?


Watcher's Council

As you may or may not already be aware, members of the Watcher's Council hold a vote every week on what they consider to be the most link-worthy pieces of writing around... per the Watcher's instructions, I am submitting one of my own posts for consideration in the upcoming nominations process.Here is the most recent winning council post, here is the most recent winning non-council post, here is the list of results for the latest vote, and here is the initial posting of all the nominees that were voted on.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


Today is a day that will forever live in infamy. This was a day that our entire way of life and our principles of living were challenged by an amorphous foe that actively hates our freedom, our individuality, our success, and our efforts to spread the same throughout the world.

This foe will never go away. Terror and sneak attacks are the way of the enemy. Their motives and beliefs are not poison...poison does not grow...they're a cancer, and they spread and infect other flesh, killing and infecting as they go. Only by excising this cancer can humanity continue as God intended us to, free and without restraint on our individual growth.

It is on this day that I stand back and remember that we once had two shining symbols of American ingenuity and love. Two towers that used to stand tall, showing everyone that each person can grow to be as tall as they...that in America, anyone can be rich...anyone can be President...anyone can be anything they like.

We no longer have those towers. A group of evil men decided that without our symbols we are nothing. They were wrong. That which is America is not contained in a building. It is not contained within our flag, our founding documents, or our monuments. It is contained within the hearts of all right thinking people. That which is fundamentally America is not even confined to people in America. Those exceedingly brave people who voted in Iraq and Afghanistan, the people who work tirelessly to rebuild countries torn by war, and the people who stand up to be counted as against the dictators of this world...all of them possess the fires in their hearts that Americans do. No words that I have can honor the people who stand up in such a manner.

That aside, regardless of their geographic location, I name them American. I say this not as a compliment, but as a simple statement of fact.

I think that we should declare a national holiday to honor all people who stand up against dictators and other evil. We lost nearly 3,000 people in a wake-up call that let us know that evil remains, and that some will never let good know peace. More lives have been lost letting evil know that we will never let it know peace.

In the end, what I wish is not that the people who oppose us would die, but that they would be convinced. That they would realize the error of their ways...that would be wealth beyond measure. I realize that this is not likely, but a man can dream.

Until then, I extend the olive branch of love and respect to all who stand against evil.

Honor those who went before us.

I believe I will end this with a quote from Kipling:

"Yes, making mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep" - Rudyard Kipling


Thursday, September 08, 2005

Welfare State

I just got done reading a genius article on the welfare state (linked in the title), and I'd like to elaborate on the theory presented therein.

If you work hard to achieve, struggle to get what you want, and finally save and earn until your desires are satisfied, you take care of what it is that you've worked for. Phrased differently; when you have worked your ass off for something, you don't want it to go to shit.

When someone gives you something for free, and you know that more will be forthcoming regardless of your behavior, you don't give a rat's ass about it. It's not yours, you didn't have to earn it, and if you destroy it you will be given a new one.

This is why the welfare state is as terrible as it is. People are given goods, services, and money for absolutely nothing. Rather than tell them to get off their hineys and work for a change we encourage their lazy and destructive ways. We subsidize their housing (thereby artificially increasing the price of housing as well as encouraging their sloth), we subsidize their substance abuse problems (welfare), we glorify their asinine lifestyle on television, and we then act surprised when they act like children.

Morality doesn't come from threat of prison - especially when the cretins think incarceration is cool. It comes from self reliance, responsibility for ones own actions, and consequences for stupid behavior. The welfare state provides for none of these, and instead rewards the idiots who have unprotected sex at a young age and reproduce. I say CUT THEM OFF! Make them sink or swim on their own merits!


Liberal Mindset

I have watched events in New Orleans unfold with an ever increasing morbid fascination. Looting, murder, rape, and other violent crimes openly took place in the streets without intervention from police officials. Governmental response was pathetic, disaster plans were not followed, secondary (governmental) intervention after the fact was slow and ineffective, and refugees remain stranded.

After all that, what is the solution proposed by liberals? More reliance on governmental intervention.

How does that work?

If an organization fails me when I need them most, I don't increase my reliance on them...I *FIRE* them! I get a new provider for my goods and services!

What is it about liberals that they always see a government solution to a problem?

My advice for people who live in flood plains, hurricane zones, hailstone alley, tornado alley, or any other place prone to natural disasters is to BUY INSURANCE! If you cannot afford insurance, I suggest you move somewhere less disaster prone! There are people that act surprised every single time their house is destroyed by the flood that happens every six to ten years. I bet they're the same people that as children touched a hot stove more than once.

I have sympathy for people caught in this situation, and I've given to the cause of trying to make things better for these people, but I have limited patience for my hard earned dollars being extorted from me (i.e. taxed) and then redirected to the rescue of people who are in trouble because they were stupid. I have even less patience for my money being spent on (adult) people who are stranded when they were ordered to evacuate, but did not do so. Don't tell me you can't afford to evacuate - I don't buy it. I've been poor, and had my town been under threat of natural disaster, we'd have called friends, relatives, or neighbors for help and gotten the hell out of Dodge.

If I have little to no sympthy for the idiots that refused to evacuate and that intentionally lived in a coastal city that is below sea level, who do I have sympathy for? Where do my sympathies lie? They lie with the kids. The kids whose parents were too stupid to evacuate. The kids whose parents were too stupid to make arrangements for some method of egress. The kids whose parents chose not to make good decisions. The kids that have to live with the crappy decisions others made. I saw a picture of a kid who was wearing rubber bands and cardboard boxes for shoes - I sat wishing there was some way his parents could be jailed for it. I heard of the seven year old that was raped and murdered in the superdome. I blame not only the rapist, but her parents. Would you like to know why?


So - who was at fault for most of this disaster? I'd call the government a peripheral problem. In all reality, it is the idiots who STAYED that are at fault.


Tuesday, September 06, 2005

True Heroism

This is in the news everywhere - Deamonte Love, a six year old boy, took care of and led six smaller children out of the chaos that is New Orleans. This brave little boy was separated from his family with six other children when the evacuation helicopter that came to help could not carry any more people and their parents decided to let the children ride to safety.

I am unsure how these brave kids left the custody of responsible adults, but they were found walking down Causeway Boulevard holding hands, with Deamonte looking out for them all.

In the middle of chaos and destruction, this young man kept his cool, made good decisions, and went amazingly far and above the call of duty for a six year old. In the middle of everything that was happening, he made sure the babies were cared for.

Would that all adults knew the sense of responsibility this boy has. Does anyone know how to set up a 503c fund to help pay for this kid to go to college? If he stepped up to the plate like this at age six, the mind boggles at what he'll be capable of when he's twenty or thirty.

A kid like this could grow up to be president.


Monday, September 05, 2005

The Changing of the Guard

An American hero has passed, and I am deeply saddened by his passing. William Rehnquist was a fine man who honored the court with his presence. I can only hope that we can find someone big enough to fill his shoes.

I think Clarence Thomas would be a fine fit for those shoes.

Scalia is the obvious choice, but he's not quite as clear on Constitutional jurisprudence as Thomas. Scalia has, from time to time, exhibited an ability to legislate from the bench. To my knowledge, Thomas has not. Giving Thomas that responsibility would honor his intellect, his knowledge, and his commitment to strict constructionism.

The new nominee for the Supreme Court should be as close to Clarence Thomas as possible. Calm, cool, collected, and a voice for what is good and right.



The governments of New Orleans and Louisiana have taken the Bush administration to task for not responding quickly enough to the emergency they are facing. While I am no sing-song Bush follower, I think that this position is absolute balderdash and needs to be examined.

These idiots completely failed to plan for a disaster that was local to them and bound to happen. They were the ones who knew the lay of the land. They were the ones who knew where the population centers were. They were the ones who knew which buildings could stand up to the storm. They were the ones who knew which roads were high enough to avoid the flooding. They were the ones with the local resources necessary to effect an evacuation (school and city buses, state vehicles, emergency crews). They were the ones who chose not to root out corruption that extends its roots from the topmost levels of the state and local governments down to the local police officer working the streets.

They were the ones who failed.

Bush cannot administer every level of every function of every state and municipality of the country. There comes a point when the local administrative personnel become responsible, and the levees were one example of this. FEMA had identified the problem on the state's behalf. The state requested that the levees be built/modified to fit a greater level of preparedness. If this issue was of such obviously critical and pressing importance, the state should have taken immediate steps to correct the situation themselves once their federal request was refused.

Think of it this way: A person sees child in danger, and they yell for help. When no help is forthcoming, do they stop yelling and sit and watch? No! They make significant effort to alleviate the danger themselves. They don't assume that it's not their problem because they already asked for help.

Well, that's what the state and local governments of Louisiana and New Orleans did...and now it's somehow someone else's fault.


As far as I know, every other state that is subject to disaster has a disaster recovery plan. California plans for quakes. Florida plans for hurricanes. Other states plan for tornados, hail, or other disastrous conditions as is appropriate.

Why didn't Louisiana?


Colin calls Bush to task...

Colin said:

It's one thing to put city tasks in the hands of cities and another entirely to cut the Army Corps of Engineers budget down to 20% specifically for building these levees when the city requested them. FEMA had identified a hurricane in New Orleans as one of the top three worst disasters likely to happen this decade. The whole country suffers with New Orleans thanks to our global economy. I don't pin this on Bush nearly so much as the whole anti-government, pro-privatization crowd he and his ilk have brought into power.

This argument has several basic problems.

It is not under the federal jurisdiction to provide for local disaster prevention. That is up to the cities and states. The Army Corps of Engineers budget for this should have been cut down to 0% and not 20%. The 20% was overgenerous.

FEMA compiled data that called this a threat. Your response is to blame the feds instead of the state. I think it was awfully nice for the feds to pay for a threat assessment for nothing for Lousiana.

Also...at what point is the state responsible? At what point is the city responsible? At what point do they become responsible for having a disaster plan? From what I understand, New Orleans is a city of about 500,000 people. Cities of that size dot the California landscape...should it be up to the feds to provide a distinct disaster plan for each of them? Each city is different and will have different needs...there's no way that the feds would be as good at monitoring what those cities need as they or their state counterparts would (they could perhaps provide advisory information on what sorts and quanties of emergency supplies to have on hand).

Following your argument to its logical conclusion, what you're proposing is that the federal government be held responsible for virtually every facet of governmental intervention in American life. This is completely antiethical to what we're about. Power is reserved to the states, and then given to the federal government only within the scope of specific powers granted to it by the Constitution. Beyond that scope, the federal government cannot legally act. Such is the case with the levees in New Orleans. They can no more legally build (or upgrade or repair) a levee system for New Orleans than they can forcibly take my land for use by a private land devel...err...than a state can pass a law taxing goods from another state. It's outside the bounds of their jurisdiction.

Privatization is not inherently bad and in many cases is most excellent. For example, I remember a story on the history channel about a nuclear reactor that went bad and irradiated a HUGE area. The army was called in, but eventually it took General Electric to come in and fix it. Most private organizations don't have the idiotic and insane bureaucracies that government organizations have. This slims down costs and helps prevent the enormous cost overruns that are typically displayed by government organizations. In addition to the above reasons for privatization, there is again the issue of jurisdiction creep. In every endeavor that the government takes, their first question should be, 'Is this directly within the scope of my jurisdiction?' If the answer is 'no', then they should stop dead in their tracks.

Last but not least, the city asking for the levees does not mean that the federal government is supposed to supply them. I don't care if New Orleans needed the levees - they asked the wrong organization for them. This is like asking your plumber to replace your breaker box and getting mad when he doesn't and your house has an electrical fire as a result. It's not his job or his function to manage breaker boxes. There are others that hold that job, and they are the ones who should have taken the initiative to make sure that was taken care of.

Ultimately, the existence of a problem is not indicative of the need and jurisdiction for a governmental solution to it.


Friday, September 02, 2005

A cretin speaks

A friend of mine directed me to this blog. This man is a cretin, through and through.

I quote:

It is reported that black hurricane victims in New Orleans have begun eating corpses to survive. Four days after the storm, thousands of blacks in New Orleans are dying like dogs. No-one has come to help them.

Let me see if I understand this. After four days, people have decided to eat other people. This is somehow the fault of those who have not come to help them.

Oh, wait...nobody has come to help them?

Funny, but the Red Cross and countless other charities have been funnelling money, food, blankets, and other supplies into Louisiana and the other impacted areas as fast as they can. There are huge land trains of trucks, buses, and vans that are bringing supplies and help. Canada sent emergency management personnel, who promptly left because they were being shot at by the looters!

Further - this man's concern is not for the people in New Orleans. It's for the blacks. I'm worried about the babies and little kids stuck there. I'm not worried about any particular race of kids or babies...I'm just worried about kids and babies. I'm worried about people being shot for the food they legally acquired. I'm worried about cholera. I'm worried about death. I'm worried about hunger.

What I'm not worried about is race. From what I can see about this man's (I use the term loosely - real men don't act like this...child) perspective, all he sees is race. The book he mentions on his blog is entitled: The Debt –What America Owes to Blacks. While I disagree that America owes anything to blacks, I'm astounded that this guy somehow found merit in an idea that the disaster that is New Orleans is about racism!

Here's another interesting point:

Who is it that the people blame about New Orleans (and the other stricken areas)?

Do they blame the french (I refuse to capitalize that word), for building a coastal city that is 20' below sea level? Do they blame the local government, for not utilizing the school buses that were freely available to transport these people out of the city? Do they blame the state government, for not properly planning ahead and leaving their own backyard exposed? No, they blame George Bush. Bush, who does not sit around studying the individual needs of every city in the USA, but rather evaluates the needs of the entire country.

A message to liberals:


I am not uncompassionate. I've sent what money I can, but cannot go and help them myself. I do what I can, where I can, when I can. What I don't do is attach race to everything I see in life. I wish to hades others would stop doing so as well. Sometimes...usually...a disaster is just as disaster, and it's not about race.


Thursday, September 01, 2005

Time to dig deep...

September 11 is a day that will forever live in infamy in the American mind. Let's make September 1 be a day of beauty, giving, and help.

A hurricane has devastated a city of five hundred thousand people. In response, the world has responded with support, well wishes, and relief effort. If the world can help us, surely we can help ourselves. It's time to dig deep my friends.

There are many outlets to donate money to help in this endeavor. Dig deep my friends, If you wish to donate money to the cause, the Red Cross has created a special website dedicated to the relief effort here.

In the spirit of many other bloggers (hat tip: Dolphin), I will donate a dollar per commenter that has also donated up to $50.00 (that's all I can afford after my initial donation). If you've donated money, please post a comment, and I will add a dollar to my next donation. If I've already surpassed my stated maximum, please post anyway for solidarity to others.

Please people - donate anything...anything at all. Time, food, clothing, blankets, bottled water, money, and batteries are good starting points. Diapers, baby wipes, baby bottles, bottle liners, baby food, air mattresses, children's books, books for adults, waterproof ziplock bags (large), water purification tablets, and if you're close enough, a hug and a hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate would be good things as well.

If it'll help you justify the expense, here is a link to a webcam that is maintained by a hosting company that is still functional in New Orleans. It'll show you the state of the city. It'll show you the people. It'll show you the devastation and the misery. It'll show you...the collapse.

Pay up my friends. There is a cost to living in a society full of wonderful and loving people - that cost is the voluntary giving of onesself to help those who are in dire straits. There is no legal requirement that you give - there is simply an internal compass that guides us all, and we all have to look ourselves in the mirror every morning.

To those who call this God's punishment against a wicked and sinful city, society, or country...think again. He said He would not do that again; His heart has softened to us and His way is mercy and love. Rather than take this time to hate, instead take this time to love and help. I cannot help but think that Jesus would not be taking this time to point fingers; His hand would be put to use as a helping hand, rather than a harming one.

Psalms 23:
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me;
Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
Thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.


Luke 3:11: He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.

This is the time to show your mettle America. The readers of this blog may not all be Christians, but I think the message holds true for all religions...so maybe the bearer of that message isn't terribly applicable to you, I think that the message should be.