Sunday, April 30, 2006

Mayday

Left-off Empires Fall tells us about tomorrow morning:
"In case you've had your head in a hole for the past two weeks, there are going to be massive protests on May 1 for immigrant rights.
I strongly suggest that you participate."

Having already bloviated about illegal immigration here and here, I feel I have adequately covered my feelings on the topic. That would perhaps explain why my eyes were attracted to one comment in particular:
"A May Day Celebration (or the "Take Your Sick Day" Day) smacks of socialism (or worse yet, a communist plot to overthrow our government)! I don't agree. I would encourage every unemployed worker to take a picture ID and Social Security card to a place of employment that is missing 90% of its workers on May 1st and apply for a job!"
- Plez

(I went over and visited plezWorld and he will soon be added to the blogroll here. He may be a Georgia Tech fan, but his 'ringing endorsement' of Rep. McKinney was well worth it.)

But back to May Day and our forthcoming massive protests, DADvocate has his own plan of action. Tomorrow may be a really big day, and it may alter the political landscape in America, this is a big issue and probably won't go away all that soon. We're sure to hear some hysteria in the news.

Then again - it could just turn out to be another Monday. I'll be chomping donuts and drinkin' coffee.

Etiquette Class in Public Schools

Lots of changes going on down here on the Coast. Now, our Superintendent, love him or hate him, is looking to bring etiquette classes into our public schools. They would be elective and for stuggling sixth graders. (On the other side of the river, they are mandatory at Island City private school Frederica Academy and last all year.)

I bring this up as a seperate post because it touches on something we deal with often on this blog, education, education, education, education, education, and the lack of education.

Let me go on record as saying I am a huge fan and think etiquette classes should be mandatory for all public schools for many age groups. I also think that these classes, or those of similar vein, should include driving lessons, checkbook balancing, how to do your taxes and basic computer skills. We'll call these the "More Important than Calculus to your Success In Life Criteria" classes.

Good Idea, Bad Idea?

Brunswick, Georgia is doing away with dilapidated structures within the city limits. There were over 100 homes that the City is going to be pushing towards demolition, and possibly 500 in need of 'serious repair' and risking teardown if that repair is not acheived soon enough, according to this article.

My question involves property rights and eminent domain vs. neighborhood rights and city rights. Some of these structures (I see them every day) are beyond repair. Often, no one lives in them, and the owner does not take care of the property. The City did a good thing, in my opinion, in reducing the time an owner can respond to a City complaint from 6 months (6 months!!??!!) to 90 days, especially because many owners would simply not respond, and the red tape allowed the Old City to disintegrate for years. I also don't think the properties are being siezed by the City, the stuctures are just being torn down; the owner now owns an empty corner lot in many cases.

I guess what I'm wonderin' is where we draw the lines? Where do property owners' rights end and become the concerns of the neighborhood and City?

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Wearing out Welcome

Ouch. (The following links are rated between PG-13 and R for good language.)

Picked this up today reading Humid City, Suspect Device and Third Battle of New Orleans.

Bay Buchannan, discussing how the Bush administration is politically affected by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, spake these words:

"I believe that Katrina has worn its welcome. We've heard about it, we've heard about it, the American people responded, the President suffered, it weakened [Bush's] poll numbers, but to suggest that somehow this is going to continue to play against him, I think the American people are getting a little tired of it, myself."

You can see the CNN video here if you don't believe me.

The American people are tired of hearing about Katrina? More specifically the way the Administration dropped the ball during the disaster? Do Gulf Coast residents not count as Americans anymore?

What makes me really angry is the bandwagon marketing technique she's using to spin this and the attitude she uses with it < valley*girl*voiceover >: 'Americans have moved on from the whole (quote fingers) Katrina thing (quote fingers),' 'oh, that Katrina thing was, like, sooo last year,' 'are you still talking about that Katrina thing, booorring.'

Well, I am one American person who cares a whole hell of a lot about the whole 'Katrina' issue, and my voice and my votes are going to reflect that.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Insert Witty Tagline Here

"The Bush administration had no immediate reaction."

You ain't kiddin'. I couldn't even choose an appropriate name for this link. I toyed with many ideas, and I just couldn't come up with one. I don't blame the Administration for being speechless on this matter - I was certainly caught off guard.

Bringing new meaning to the term "North American Free Trade Association," Mexico has de-criminalized small amounts of marijuana for personal use. Hoping pot wouldn't feel lonely, they extended the get out of jail free card to cocaine, heroin & ecstacy as well. I guess with the approval rating of the US Congress slipping, the France of the West decided to make some headlines and outshine our own legislature in an absolute race to the bottom of the 'what were ya thinkin' barrell.

However, this may give Mexico a true taste of the illegal immigration debate with the shoe on the other foot. While we get all their best labor, they're going to get all of our ravers, townies, hippies, trainspotters, freegans and yuppie coke-fiends. Come to think of it, this might not be such a bad thing after all.

And you thought spring breakers were bad before this! Somewhere Sammy Hagar is smiling.

A Dream Deferred (Restart)

So, I’m scanning my regular newswire and I came across Dr. Helen's latest post. It is an interview with Mike Lasalle, who runs a website called Mens News Daily. The parts of the interview I find interesting are about men’s run-ins with the legal system (especially regarding divorce) and the parts about male – female relationships as it relates to marriage and companionship. As a single guy, I enjoy reading about those things.

But then comes the part where I start rolling my eyes. This part always has to do with the ‘education gap’ between men and women. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that such a gap does not exist - I know it does and that gap is indeed a problem. But the reasons for it that are repeated over and over and over again on the right side of the blogosphere just smack of politicizing an issue that isn’t really political. It is like listening to conspiracy theories. “The feminists!!” “The Politically Correct!!” “The Echo Chamber!!” “The Lack of Academic Freedom!!” They exclaim.

Fewer men are going to college because the fast track to education is reserved for the 'disadvantaged' sex - women. Men are thus squeezed to fit the new agenda, thereby themselves becoming a disadvantaged underclass: college graduation rates for men are fast approaching a lopsided 40% compared to women. Title IX is a clear example of gender-conscious social engineering.”
(emphasis added by me -HR)


Isn’t that type of behavior supposed to be a ‘whiny liberal’ attitude? I thought conservatism meant standing up for yourself and not blaming others for setbacks. I thought conservatism was about doing it smarter and better than the other guy (or girl).

Many fellas I know who didn’t go or didn’t finish college have a higher earning income than I do. Right now, the guys I know who are in college are mostly going back to school or going to school for the first time years and years after graduating from high school. They all earn serious money, and many of them have families. They aren’t traditional students and they aren’t going to traditional schools. Unlike many high school grads, they actually appreciate the college education for its potential, and have a much better idea what they want their degree to be in. They have focus, they have drive, and the things that are more burdensome to them than the political philosophies of instructors are the redundant high school mentality of the ‘General Studies’ sections of their academic programs.

Maybe I’m just an idealist, but BIO 1101 + Lab seems a little more important than “oh, my instructor voted for Kerry.”

These men are working on their educations later because they had other priorities back in the day that had nothing to do with the political agendas of the academic class – they just didn’t have the cash or the inclination to take 4 years off from earning real money. I call this a ‘deferred reward’ that college promises, and I think it is a much bigger problem than feminism ever could be.

The basis of the 'Deferred Reward' philosophy is the two options men face when they complete high school 1) Get paid for the work you do, or 2) pay other people to complain about the work you do. I think the disparity in those two options is the thing keeping men from going to college. I do not think men are choosing not to go to college based on the political philosophies of their professors, as some conservative pundits would suggest.


(Note: This is a slightly edited version of an earlier post. It has been edited so some readers can read the point behind the whole thing: "conservatives think you are the problem, liberals, and you aren't defending yourselves intelligently." Thank you for reading, HR)

A Dream Deferred

So, I’m scanning my regular newswire and I came across Dr. Helen's latest post. It is an interview with Mike Lasalle, who runs a website called Mens News Daily. The parts of the interview I find interesting are about men’s run-ins with the legal system (especially regarding divorce) and the parts about male – female relationships as it relates to marriage and companionship. As a single guy, I enjoy reading about those things.

But then comes the part where I start rolling my eyes. This part always has to do with the ‘education gap’ between men and women. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that such a gap does not exist - I know it does and that gap is indeed a problem. But the reasons for it that are repeated over and over and over again on the right side of the blogosphere just smack of politicizing an issue that isn’t really political. It is like listening to conspiracy theories. “The feminists!!” “The Politically Correct!!” “The Echo Chamber!!” “The Lack of Academic Freedom!!” They exclaim.

“Fewer men are going to college because the fast track to education is reserved for the 'disadvantaged' sex - women. Men are thus squeezed to fit the new agenda, thereby themselves becoming a disadvantaged underclass: college graduation rates for men are fast approaching a lopsided 40% compared to women. Title IX is a clear example of gender-conscious social engineering.”


Isn’t that type of behavior supposed to be a ‘whiny liberal’ attitude? I thought conservatism meant standing up for yourself and not blaming others for setbacks. I thought conservatism was about doing it smarter and better than the other guy (or girl).

Many fellas I know who didn’t go or didn’t finish college have a higher earning income than I do. Right now, the guys I know who are in college are mostly going back to school or going to school for the first time years and years after graduating from high school. They all earn serious money, and many of them have families. They aren’t traditional students and they aren’t going to traditional schools. Unlike many high school grads, they actually appreciate the college education for its potential, and have a much better idea what they want their degree to be in. They have focus, they have drive, and the things that are more burdensome to them than the political philosophies of instructors are the redundant high school mentality of the ‘General Studies’ sections of their academic programs.

Maybe I’m just an idealist, but BIO 1101 + Lab seems a little more important than “oh, my instructor voted for Kerry.”

These men are working on their educations later because they had other priorities back in the day that had nothing to do with the political agendas of the academic class – they just didn’t have the cash or the inclination to take 4 years off from earning real money. I call this a ‘deferred reward’ that college promises, and I think it is a much bigger problem than feminism ever could be.

The idea is simple: I just got out of high school, my options are 1) go to college or 2) work for a living.

Option 1) College: I either lucked out significantly and Daddy can pay for me to have me go to a really expensive summer camp for four years, at the end of which I will still have my head up my ass, know nothing about the real world and have little self earned respect. OR: I can take out loans and indebt myself beyond 5 years of earning potential, meaning I’m going to be in the financial hole for at least 9 years, with no real guarantee that my major will be in an employable field. Either way, I will work at a restaurant and learn about real earning potential and work ethic, or I can work in a coffee shop and become part of the liberal echo chamber.

Option 2) Work for a living: I can use the contacts I’ve made and my competency in my high school job to work for a few years right now, live on my own, pay my own bills and have a great deal of self earned respect. I can party for a little while, maybe get into a community college (I do, after all, want to better myself someday) but I’m learning a trade and earning valuable experience right now. Then, when the time is right, I can move over to the nearest college town for two years, get a degree in something that interests me or directly helps me advance my career. Barring that, I can work while the wife goes to school to increase her earning potential and therefore the earning potential of my family.

Wow. What a bargain that first choice sounds like!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Face the Music

Some of y'all might have missed it (I did), but Blender put out a Top 50 Worst Things Ever to Happen to Music. (Hat tip to MSNBC's Clicked for this link.) I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes.

(Long read, work suitable.)

My Top 8 & Kind of a Spoiler (- but you got to go see the photos...& #1.)

50. St. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band: Has any record's influence upon music proved so malignant? Concept albums, progressive rock, Brian Wilson's nervous breakdown, baby boomers yammering away about the Summer of Love, musicians taking themselves more seriously than cancer surgeons -- all the Beatles' fault.

42. Scott Stapp

38. AIDS: Although it was responsible for many deaths (Freddie Mercury and Eazy-E among them) and inspired one of the most insipid hits of the past three decades ('That's What Friends Are For'), the most significant musical damage done by the AIDS virus came with the subsequent demonization of sex and drugs, two ingredients without which rock & roll becomes practically pointless -- if not impossible.

30. Braided goatees.

21. Nearly Every Hip Hop Video: We get it. Your ride is pimped, your crib is a castle and at the drop of an ice-encrusted hat, you can have tons of scantily clad ho's pouring bottles of Cristal down your gullet while you kick it in the hot tub. Congratulations to a generation of hip-hop video directors for making decadence seem so … boring.

14. Florida

11. "You Really Have to See Them Live": First heard muttered by a proselytizing GRATEFUL DEAD fan sometime around minute 13 of the studio version of 'Terrapin Station, Pt. 1,' this reflexive, defensive cry has long been used as an excuse for the existence of reams of irretrievably dull PHISH, WIDESPREAD PANIC and MOE. records. If your studio albums feel limp compared with your live show, don't put them out.

7. Finding God: Silly rock stars -- you're supposed to be the ones being slavishly worshipped!

None of the Above

So, the roommate and I were ranting about politics last night (he the conservative Atheist, me the liberal Catholic) and he came up with an idea that is so funny and brilliant and inplausible I just had to bring it up here. Hell, I bet someone's come up with it before, but this is the first I really thought about it.

You see, he and I (despite our differences) agree on a great many things. One of those things is that the sheer jackassery of the far left and the far right need to be ratcheted down significantly, because none of that really helps Average Joe Taxpayer in his day to day life.

Our big disagreement comes in with what to do about it.

I think the price of non-engagement leads us to where we are today. I think that the country would be well served if reasonable folks started showing up at local Party meetings.

Jerz thinks both political parties have failed. He'll never vote Democrat, but he can't stand being "'W'ith-Stupid.' He wants every eligible voter to vote for themselves, just to show folks how unhappy people are. Then he hit on it, an idea of sheer brilliance:

The None of the Above Vote.

Every election should have a "None of the Above" tab that every voter can vote for instead of the lesser of two evils who make it through the primaries. If "None of the Above" wins the election, neither candidate can run for office again for two years, and the election cycle starts over until we have someone that a real majority of people vote for.

Yes, that's kind of a glamour idea - just like the "No sitting Senator can run for President" proposal (which I think is a phenomenal idea). But the simplicity behind it coupled with my vivid imagination to see an America where we could just hit the "restart" button on every election....

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Gimme fuel, gimmie fire, gimmie that which I desire...

...ooh, yeauh!

Gasoline prices thread! What do we do about it, if anything? Republicans want to ease environmental regulations, and Democrats want to give us a gas tax holiday. Even though the taxes pay for us to have the world's envy of infrastructure, and environmental regulations keep us breathing oxygen with our air.

High gas prices kick my butt, and they do some damage to the Island City economy because we are a driving destination.

But, this is what happens in a free market: high demand + low supply = rising prices. I'm for reasonable regulation and taxation and rule of law, less for big oil company subsidies and corporate welfare (especially when the oil companies are making billions upon billions upon billions in profit). Despite the high prices, we still pay for the gas.

I guess what I'm asking is: shouldn't we let the consumers decide how much gas they buy and at what price they pay? At what point do we accept that gas prices are up, and they are up to stay, and people can either pay or change their behavior?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

All About Lawmakers

This is a good blog. It rounds up the good, the bad and the ugly of people in National and State governments who run their own blogs. Check it out and see if this doesn't convince you of the access power of the Internet.

Currently, the two best blogs by sitting representatives are those of Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA). (Jack has finally opened up his blog to comments from readers. I've already made two, and the access of the principled opposition to our officials is going to be something I plan to take full advantage of...)

(Mirror post at Coastal Empire DFA)

Runoff

Well, since my predictions were as wide right as a Florida State field goal, I figure we'd turn to a Crescent City blog for the runoff point spread.

My gamblin' boat money (iffin' I was a bettin' man) says Nagin beats the spread but still loses (50-48).

Sidebar Edits: Features

As you can see off to the right, we've added a few features to the sidebar. This started back when we started this blog when we added The Sports Page. (I'm still interested in kicking up a music & arts section and toying with an idea of an "R" rated section)

After that, one feature I added was the "Journal of New Orleans" (to which I was supposed to have other contributors...cough, cough...).

Now, in the spirit of the election year, and the fact that SAWB has joined the chorus, I have the "Dream Conservative/Republican Platform" section and the "Dream Democratic Platform" sections. Notice, if you will, the C/R has an actual platform, but no detailed planks (plans), and the D has planks (plans), but no overall platform. I'm sure that will change shortly (but I think just that observation is both funny and telling). Submissions encouraged, y'all and debate is what we're here for.

I wonder if this will (help) jumpstart the Democrats....

Must....focus....message. This guy has the right idea. I'm glad we've got some folks working on it.

"Vote for us, we're not Republicans" is not a message. It never is, it never will be. No, not even this year.

We've got to enunciate clearly what we hope to accomplish, propose realistic ways to accomplish those things, and deliver when and where we already can.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I wonder if this will jumpstart the administration...

At the same time, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop, and have the immigration-rights crowd start trespassing on private land to tear the fences down. Ought to be an enjoyable shooting match...

The Dream Conservative/Republican platform.

Taking a cue from paT, I shall now present you with my 'dream' platform for the Republican party, that also happens to jibe with my own personal wants. Ready? Here goes.

Social Flexibility. Fiscal Conservancy. Protection of Sovreignity.

That's it. Seven words, that, if followed, would gurarantee a healthy Conservative majority til the end of time.

You want me to flesh it out? Ok. We'll start with social flexibility. It's time for the Republican party to have a bloody, messy, public, and very final, divorce from the Conservative Christian lunatic fringe. Just dump em. We don't need em. Dump the bible jumpers, and announce to the world that we don't particularly care what you do in your free time, so long as it doesn't interfere with the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of any non-consenting adult. Want to be a retarted dope-head? Go for it. Kill somebody while driving and high? Prepare yourself for a long stint in PMITA prison.

See how easy that is? Do it on your own time, and don't hurt anybody else, and we don't care. Cause mayhem and destruction, go directly to jail.

Next up, Fiscal Conservancy. Cut the pork, cut taxes, balance the budget, get it freaking done. Spend Federal funds on Federal programs. When the feds are done with the cash, send the rest back to the states. I'd mention Fair Tax, among other things here, but i'm trying to keep this brief.

Protect the Sovreignity. This is easy. Defend the country, from foreign invaders, near and far. Keep the US as the shining example of freedom in the world, and intervene when necessary to protect our sovreignity, as well as the sovreignity of our allies.

That's it kids. Seven words, easy to follow, easy to understand.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Rebel Flag Thread

So, my boys Publius and DoubleDawgDareYa over at Athens Politics are back from blog vacation, and the first thing that happens is I get in a tiff with an anonymous commentor about the dern Rebel Flag.

So I thought we'd just go ahead and have a Rebel Flag thread here. Anyone?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

America's Craziest Mayoral Election

Last night I tuned in to the national broadcast of the New Orleans Mayoral debates. I only watched for a few moments (it reminded me of being in high school), and it told me exactly what I already knew: Ray Nagin is in waay over his head, but he might still win this one. Why? Because George W. Bush won the Presidency. Twice. (Almost as a tribute to this fact, Mayor Nagin has a Bush – Nagin photo-op on his Website, and White House quotes as to his effectiveness – heckuvajob, guys.) You can almost see this by sizing up his opponents, and keeping in mind that not a single media outlet has endorsed him to keep his job. Besides the infamous ‘Chocolate City’ backlash, last night, when asked if he wanted the ‘pimps and murderers and criminals’ to come back to New Orleans, His Incumbency declared “Well, I want everyone to come back to New Orleans!” I’d put some gamblin’ money on the table that says his communication director went home to whiskey last night.

Landrieu apparently has a “I invented the internet”-esqe statement on his record re: tourism in New Orleans. He is also very ambitious, and will undoubtedly use the national stage that is New Orleans to vy for higher political office eventually (Governor or President? Perhaps a brother-sister team in the Senate? I can only imagine what Thanksgiving at that house looks like over the Turducken).

Forman looks French like Kerry, though he has stayed away from the Oompa Loompa tan fiasco, from what I can tell. (I also can’t get the “Abe Froman” scene from Farris Bueller’s Day Off outta my head when I think about this guy.) That may not affect him at all, being as this is New Orleans.

Checked out Crescent City Cyberspace for some additional insight:
The BATTURE endorses Forman, TAG endorses Landrieu over at GulfSails, and The Third Battle of New Orleans has a short roundup of MSM endorsements, which are overwhelmingly for Landrieu (they also recommend the League of Women Voters of New Orleans' handy who’s-who election guide).

I’ve even got family involved as my Uncle’s brother Greg Rigamer’s consulting company released some pretty interesting numbers regarding the election. From an interview with the Pulitzer winning Times-Picayune (on the web through NOLA.com):
“Rigamer's company found that about 80 percent of the city's 297,053 registered voters either have not filed a change of address form or have listed a new address within the metro New Orleans area…The actual percentage of voters living locally is not that high -- not everyone who has moved informed the post office -- but the data strongly indicates that a majority of voters remain nearby, Rigamer said.”
In addressing other controversial concerns: “Further, the data shows the proportion of white voters to black voters living in the metro area -- although not necessarily in Orleans Parish -- remains almost the same as before the flood, about 32 percent white and 62 percent black.”

(If you want to see some of the controversy caused by these findings, Google or Technorati "Greg Rigamer" & "New Orleans")

So, I look into the crystal ball of the future and I forsee a runoff between Forman vs Nagin in an Uptown vs Downtown election. Landrieu misses the cut by less than 1000 votes. Nagin wins the general. Upset possibility if I'm totally wrong: Landrieu wins convincingly, no runoff necessary, becomes Democratic Presidential Dark Horse for 2012.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Dream Democratic Platform (2)

In this era of fantasy sports leagues and mock drafts and stuff, I have decided to apply a similar theory to politics. Henceforth, I will begin designing the planks I would be proposing if I were one of the big national players in the Democratic Party. It may not be just like an actual party platform, but y’all will get the point. I’ll try and keep it organized and coherent. Comments and criticisms are, as always, welcome.

Immigration

1. This country was built from immigrants in a very, very messy past.

2. I don’t blame illegals for coming here. It is a better life than they have at home.

3. I don’t blame businesses for hiring illegals, everybody else is doing it, why can’t we?

4. I don’t blame charities and religious organizations for taking care of the needy.

5. I do blame the IRS, Departments of Labor, Departments of Education, and State Governments for NOT enforcing the laws of the land upon the businesses who hire folks illegally and bureaucracies that give drivers licenses to folks who shouldn’t have them. Business is good for America, and affordable goods help us all. But businesses are NOT above the law. I also blame the people that complain about illegals on one hand, and hire them to work on the other.

6. Illegals are protesting in the streets of Los Angeles for the right to be paid slave wages, with no benefits, with no rights for ‘jobs Americans don’t want (to be paid $2 an hour for).’

7. The only people who truly benefit from illegal immigration are bosses who hire folks for slave wages, and who get to undercut US Labor Laws. They get to pay next to nothing for hard work, and the legal taxpayers front most of the cash to send the worker’s kids to school and to the hospital.

8. Billions of dollars in revenue that could offset some of those school and hospital costs are never collected because many businesses do not claim illegals on payroll. Millions of those dollars leave the United States and end up in the coffers of corrupt regimes in Central and South America.

9. Mexico will allow the current system to continue indefinitely, as it props up their corrupt government and supports their autocrats. The money illegals make here almost certainly does not go towards growing the Mexican economy.

10. This situation has been going on for a long, long, long, long time, with no acceptable answers coming out of Washington or the Several States.

11. Most Americans’ concerns about illegal immigration are based on security and economic concerns, not racism or xenophobia.
12. We don’t have the capability to round up 11 million + folks, detain them and give them plane tickets home. The resulting riots and damage would outweigh even the cost of the illegals being here.

This situation is like a junkie needing to kick a bad habit. The United States has benefited (if it can be called that) from the sociological, economic and demographic disaster that is illegal immigration. We have effectively allowed within our borders our generation’s version of indentured servitude or sharecropping. It is a mess of our own making, and like every junkie, we will only get better when we tighten our belts and make the right decisions no matter how hard it is to quit.

We must also recognize the time honored American tradition of ex post facto, meaning that, because we did not enforce things before, we cannot simply fix the thing overnight.

I do think the solution to this problem is relatively simple, and it must start now:

Enforcement:

1. Streamline the immigration paperwork, especially for work visas. Provide forms in English and in Spanish. Fingerprinting must accompany these forms. The most important stuff is who they are, where they live, who they work for and their fingerprints. Get these forms to every agency that may possibly run across an illegal immigrant (based on projected volume: Maine should get less than Texas). Give Kinko’s tax breaks to make these things, if we have to.


2. If you find some folks illegally crossing the border, with that their only crime: they are caught, fingerprinted. Databases are not tough to manage, if you know what you are doing. Check the fingerprints against the big dog databases. Border Patrol is DHS and should have access. State border agencies should be plugged in. Any money they do have on them is ours. Non-criminals sent home, real criminals caught and detained.

3. If we find some folks here illegally, but already working in American businesses, with their kids in American schools and going to American hospitals, we sit them down with the new paperwork, fingerprint them, and make them apply for a work visa right there. If they have families here illegally, all of them too. Every single illegal that is encountered by a government agency must do this, everywhere. Because the agents may not have enforcement capability at their location, these illegals are not detained (but it isn’t amnesty – more on that in a moment).


4. American businesses have ONE YEAR to come clean and declare all the workers who are working for them. They may request as many copies of the streamlined paperwork as necessary. They must all begin paying at least minimum wage, adhering to worker’s comp and US labor laws, deducting payroll, Social Security, and Medicare taxes from what is paid this ‘new worker.’ The business who does this must start doing it as soon as the worker fills out the streamlined paperwork.

5. Illegal workers have ONE YEAR to come clean and declare that they are here illegally and voluntarily give themselves up; filling out the streamlined paperwork for a work visa; working with someone to make sure they are paying their taxes. If they have family, they give them up too.
If someone is here illegally, but pays taxes, owns businesses, homes, etc etc: they fill out the paperwork too.


Implementation:

This is going to be tricky, because 11 million + people is a paperwork end-of-times scenario. Luckily, we have access to this organization called the IRS, who process, for better or for worse, millions upon millions of those claims a year. We also have access to a giant number of political science, law & pre law, criminal justice, social work, Spanish, sociology, public affairs, computer science, education and business students in American colleges. Our nation is also exceptional in the ‘stepping up to the plate’ field, so some experienced hands may just join the team out of retirement. College campuses become our paperwork processing centers for the work visa applications. CJ students process the fingerprints and check the criminal databases for any illicit activity. Spanish students and business students and education students get a Texas, Arizona, California, Florida or Georgia vacation (y’all get the picture) and actually go to the areas where illegals are filling out the paperwork to become legals and filling out their taxes for the first time, and help them do this.

The compensation for these students? Semester hours from ACE towards their chosen major field. A good amount of semester hours. Maybe some room and board and travel, and maybe even a little beer drinkin money. Oh yeah. The compensation for the other volunteers? Gotta kick them some cash too.

Big? Oh yeah. Expensive? Yup. But it is more expensive in the long run to let this problem go on, isn’t it? The cost of comprehensive border security and having folks paying into the schools and hospitals they use instead of lining Vicente Fox’s pockets? Priceless.

But this sounds just like amnesty, doesn’t it? I said I’d address this later, and I think this is the big dog seller:

Retribution:

Every one of the work visas I mentioned above must include, if the immigrant (now legal) so desires, is an eventual path to citizenship. For folks who dot the i’s and cross the t’s from the word get, that’s usually a hectic five to seven year process. For folks who came here illegally (children notwithstanding), that process is now 10 years, minimum and requires 8th grade understanding of English. And every one of those ten years, they will pay more in taxes. Not so much that they can’t get ahead, but a penalty nonetheless – a penalty that does not stop until they become citizens or go home. (Those folks who paid taxes while here illegally would not have to worry about this, but would still have to back that up with records).

Sign the guestbook and pay in. 90% of the problem is solved. Not amnesty, not criminality, a second chance at a cost and a better America morally and economically and demographically. Illegals go from being a threat to having a stake, and stop weighing down the system. Every government agent, every business, every immigrant with illegal family, even charitable organizations now all become part of the same solution: they all become enforcers of the law, and the law is one where the penalties aren’t so severe you’ve got folks who will turn the other way out of moral obligations. Everyone comes on board and gets righteous again.

Then we only have to figure out what to do with businesses and illegals who don’t declare. And we have to deal with Mexico, the France of the west.

(This is also the 300th Post on Hurricane Radio, thanks for reading for this long, y'all)

Fact checking? What's that...

So, it would appear that it's not just the New York Times that can't get their facts straight in a story. I present to you, assuming you can get in to read it, the story of one Dan-el Padilla. Now, the tale of Dan-el is both heart-wrenching and thought-provoking, as it pertains to the subject of illegal immigration, and how some illegal immigrant children strive to make a better life for themselves. But that's not what I'm here for. What I'm here for today is a line in the 4th paragraph of this story that has made me especially cranky.

While his case is exceptional, Mr. Padilla's predicament reflects the cacophony of messages a conflicted nation sends to illegal immigrants. This spring, at least 65,000 undocumented immigrant students, many of whom have been in this country most of their lives, will graduate from high school. The Constitution guarantees a public-school K-12 education for every child in the U.S.


The bold is my emphasis. Now, read that again, and then go look up the text of the US Constitution, and amendments, and please, gentle reader, tell me where it says anything about that.

This is what burns me about the media, especially the giants such as the WSJ, NYT, and others, because of the scope of their audience. When you have access to as many potential readers/viewers as the giant media outlets do, then you have the potential to warp absolute fiction into what will be believed to be fact with the mere stroke of the pen.

Thoughts? Angry corrections? Clever songs? Post away...

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Dream Democratic Platform

In this era of fantasy sports leagues and mock drafts and stuff, I have decided to apply a similar theory to politics. Henceforth, I will begin designing the planks I would be proposing if I were one of the big national players in the Democratic Party. It may not be just like an actual party platform, but y’all will get the point. I’ll try and keep it organized and coherent. Comments and criticisms are, as always, welcome.

The War in Iraq.

1. Americans want to win the War in Iraq.
2. Americans want our boys and girls in the military to come home safely.
3. Right now, we are making significant gains at an astronomical price in blood and treasure.
4. If we stay the current course, we will be facing years of continued insurgency and our troops’ efforts to rebuild the country will continue to be successful but hindered.
5. If we leave right now, we loose the War in Iraq.


This is a damned if we do, damned if we don’t situation. Neither Party is offering a comprehensive solution. Non-constructive criticism is not a plan. Keeping with a cumbersome strategy is not a plan. Non-constructive criticism only serves the cumbersome strategy, but is more distasteful politically.

The first thing to do is to realize that, right now, Democrats need to remove themselves as being part of the problem and start being part of the solution. The reasons for going to war are now irrelevant to getting us out of the war. Thousands of our boys and girls have bled themselves dry in that desert, and thousands upon thousands more are there, right now, fighting.

We need to move beyond the “But, Bush lied, etc etc” brand of thinking, and start figuring out ways to win this thing as soon as possible. We will need to bludgeon this Administration to get those things done, in my opinion.

We need to immediately and publicly state that our position is to win this war with the absolute victory that our military has fought so valiantly towards for so long. We need to say that the only way towards peace is to win as decisively and as unconditionally as possible. We must make it clear that sometimes liberty at home and abroad must be defended and fought for by men and women with guns, and by statesmen with guts.

We need to remind President Bush that he has a bully pulpit and that he is responsible for bringing us the good news that goals have been achieved; not the media. He sets the tone for punditry, he alone can call a weekly primetime press conference that millions of Americans will watch and hear. Henceforth, when I discuss the term ‘weekly updates’ I am not talking about a 9:30am EDT press briefing that no one remembers at 9:45am, I am talking about an 8pm Primetime Live feed of the President giving the American people this information.

We need to demand and set clear political goals from Washington. If the other side does not want to do this, we must step up to the plate. I have some suggestions for these political goals:

1. 500,000 Iraqi men signing up to be a part of the Iraqi army or Iraqi police. We must also demand that the President give us weekly updates on how close to this goal we are. We must demand to hear this every week until we have attained that goal, so that every American knows how close we are to achieving it.

2. 150,000 Iraqi women signing up to be a part of the Iraqi army or Iraqi police (Because nothing ratchets down male dominated Sharia jackassery than 150,000 screaming, pissed off women with AK-47’s.), and another 50,000 Iraqi women signing up for medical training. We must also demand that the President give us weekly updates on how close to this goal we are. We must demand to hear this every week until we have attained that goal, so that every American knows how close we are to achieving it.

3. We must demand the President give us weekly updates on how many of this 700,000 have completed basic training under the supervision of American drill sergeants, weekly updates on how many of this 650,000 have completed their primary MOS training, weekly updates on how many have been issued AK-47’s, BAR’s, grenade launchers and side-arms. For the medics, we must demand to know how many are out of training and into field hospitals. I also want to know that all of those individuals swore an oath of loyalty to Iraq, regardless of religion.

4. We must demand weekly updates on how much of Iraq is covered in electricity; how much of Iraq has indoor plumbing and running water; how many hospitals have been rebuilt; how much road has been rebuilt, and how their economy can grow in the face of an insurgency. These are things we need to know.

5. We must demand that the President rebirth a Coalition to finally pacify the insurgency. We must go to NATO and the United Nations again. We must go to our Arab League allies and secure monies and troops (if possible). If nothing else, get those troops to ring Iraq so no new Insurgents can get in. If nothing else, pour those international troops into Afganistan to close the Afgan-Pakistan border, and free up some of our manpower there.

6. We must demand a War-Bond drive to help raise money for all of this. We will need to find other ways to raise money, and we must publicly call for a tightening of belts until the war is won. To do so, we will need to put some of our pork on the table and re-earmark that money specifically for the war effort.

7. We must demand the Iraqis form a government. If this requires our diplomats to sit down with opinion makers like Al-Sadr and Ayatolla Sistani, or even with the government in Iran, we do it.

8. Our victory conditions must be stated that victory comes when Iraq has a working government and that government is the civilian control of a 650,000 person armed and trained military & police force, and 50,000 trained and supplied medical force. We must publicly state that it is our position that the United States (or any other nation) will not keep a significant military presence in Iraq after the insurgency has been quelled. We should not have significant Rammstien-style bases in Iraq at the end of this. A West Point extension campus should be considered, and a Quantico type training facility for Iraqi officers and police should be encouraged.

9. In the interim, we must state publicly that we will shut down all nominations and government business if any General is fired because his estimations are not politically expedient to the President or any government bureaucrat. The only way we can win is if we are getting real numbers and figures from our Generals in the field, regardless of politics – our own included. We must loudly and clearly state that the civilian control needs to know the facts upon the ground, and no one should have to fear telling the truth.

10. When the President and the Administration come back at this and say “we’re already doing all of that,” we say “good, we’re with you on all this. Now, start calling those weekly press conferences and giving updates to the American people. Tonight at 8pm will be fine.” Then we demand to know the numbers to all of these things listed above, and the amount of pork the Republicans will be putting on the table to assist the war effort.

11. When the President and the Administration come back at that and say “well, we can’t give all the information because that may help the enemy,” we need to remind them that strategic secrecy is different from tactical secrecy and operational secrecy. Strategic goals must be clear to both allies and enemies. Strategic secrecy only aids an enemy whose greatest weapon is fear and whose most effective tactic is misinformation.

Friday, April 14, 2006

JimmyJen

Two friends are doing the Appalacian Trail this summer, and I will be able to keep up with them through their websites. They have a blogger site (the headline link) as well as a MySpace profile and a Flickr page.

While I thought hiking the Appalachians was to get away from this stuff, I am glad that a city boy like me can keep up with their journey.

Godspeed, y'all.

Dr. Sultan

OK. Watched the interview. I must regretfully inform everyone that I am equally displeased with the interview as I was with the transcript. Dr. Wafa Sultan may be a very smart woman, but I can't stand it when academics and intellectuals try to validate good points by using incorrect facts. This kind of thing is why people don't trust academia and why the other side can destroy good arguments (because supporting information is incorrect). I think by giving her the microphone, someone has only gone to validate the worldview of militant Islamofascim.

A rundown...

Sultan said: "The Muslims are the ones who began using this expression [a clash of civilizations]." Wrong. That expression has been used to justify almost every war since the dawning of time. Greeks went after the Persians and called it 'civilization vs barbarians' ditto ancient China, Rome, Egypt, India etc, etc, etc.

Sultan said: "When the Muslims divided the people into Muslims and non-Muslims, and called to fight the others until they believe in what they themselves believe, they started this clash, and began this war." So that whole Jews vs. Gentiles, Christian vs Heretic & Heathen, Cowboy vs Indian, South vs North stuff is all just a figment of my imagination?

Sultan asked: "What civilization on the face of this earth allows him to call other people by names that they did not choose for themselves?" Every. Single. One.

Sultan said: "Humanity owes most of the discoveries and science of the 19th and 20th centuries to Jewish scientists." Really? I didn't know that. I'm willing to give a high percentage, but most? I don't know about that one. I don't even know where to find facts to back that kind of a claim up.

Sultan said: "We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant." Since at least 1945. Uprising, anyone, anyone? Bueller?

Sultan said: "We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people." Loud, emphatic WRONG! And Yitzak Rabin's unfinished business on this planet is due to a Jewish hand holding a gun.

Sultan said: "The Muslims have turned three Buddha statues into rubble." Wrong again. The Buddhas of Bamiyan were destroyed by the Taliban who are Muslims the same way members of the Klan are Christians.

Sultan said: "We have not seen a single Buddhist burn down a Mosque, kill a Muslim, or burn down an embassy." Wrong. Please see the history of the Mongolian Empires.

Sultan said: "Only the Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches, killing people, and destroying embassies." This is so incorrect, as a historian, I balk at the person saying it and change the channel.

Thank you Dr. Sultan. You may be lauded in the west as someone of Arab descent who really sticks it to Muslims. You get a "Boo Yeah" and a high five. But you are only reinforcing a sterotype, keeping with a narrative, revising history and adding fuel to the fire of the clash of civilizations that we are currently engaged in.

Your good points, that Muslim scholars should reexamine their curricula and Islamic books (the way many Islamic religious scholars have called for for centuries), fall on deaf ears because your arguments supporting your position hold so very little truth. You also ignore and do not expound on your most important point, the internalization of religion. It has taken Chrisendom over 500 years to begin internalizing our religion, allowing us to participate in the dualistic pursuits of civics and religion, tolerance in the face of our own personal beliefs. We still don't have it all down pat.

Right now, the Islamic world is facing civil war across all borders. It is a war between Wahabbist Sunnis and the rest of the Islamic world. Painting all Muslims with the brush of Wahabbism only drives more Muslims to Wahabbism. That is the straight up definition of pouring gasoline on a fire to extinguish it.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The "No Ninja" List

Cracking down on tailgating, drug abuse or drinking problems? Not UGA. Our problem? Ninjas!

In the post 9/11 world, we can never be too careful, as we saw the other day at the University of Georgia. The braniacs currently attending my alma mater apparently thought it was still OK to dress up and run around on campus. Oops. For the uninformed, ATF agents ran down a 'suspicious individual' who was lurking around the dining hall area dressed in black garb with red bandanas. He was coming from a student event called "Ninja's Vs Pirates" or some such theme. Story. (These 'theme nights' happen all the time at UGA) Anyhow, another student with a camera phone took the picture of the agents with the kid on the ground in cuffs, and it made the AP newswire (Jmac has a small roundup). It is tearing up the blogosphere,too.

What is it with law enforcement and red bandanas?

The most important question is yet to be asked: what do we name the Tarantino Kung-Fu/college/big brother is watching-movie (or Athens indie-rock bands) that results from this incident?


Tags: University of Georgia, ATF, Ninjas, red bandanas.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

That No Fly List

Catches a Marine. On his way home. From Iraq. In uniform. With his unit.

Un. Be. Lieve. Able.

Note that the rest of the unit waited for him at their destination. Thanks for doing what you did, boys, both over there and at home.

Immigration vs. Breakin’ the Law


So the country’s gone a little nuts in recent weeks. Activist groups are turning out the masses to protest a lot of different things regarding immigration and/or breakin’ the law. The Republican controlled Congress doesn't know what it wants to do, and Democrats aren’t really helping matters either. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has declared itself defiant of U.S law, joining the City of San Francisco in the current rebellion. Why is it so hard to get some coherency out of this mess (despite the usual reasons)? Well, on the political side, many immigrants who get here illegally are family with immigrants who are here legally. That means cracking down on the law-breaking variety = making the voting variety angry. On the religious side there is the Christian call to charity (which I’m all about), but it also helps when those warm bodies fill pews and collection plates on Sunday morning. Then of course, you have the left-left (this country was built from immigrants, people who oppose immigrants of any variety are racists, & we should give California back to Mexico et al) and the right-right (these people work for slave wages, undercut minimum wage and labor laws, won’t sue for sexual harassment or workers comp & do jobs that ‘Americans won’t do’) on the same-same side: let everybody in.

I guess that leaves us down here in the land of really-real to figure it out, hunh?

Glenn Reynolds, has been all over this issue. He brings us letters from legal immigrants to America (and most of them are none too happy with the illegal variety). He also makes a modest proposal that the United States go ahead and annex Mexico (or at least force them to reform their government to grow their economy). Today, he interviewed US Rep Harold Ford Jr. (D-TN) and wrote a very good article about how neither Party has consensus on the illegal immigration issue. (Your own humble blogsite, hurricane_radio, did an article on Rep Ford Jr. here.)

One of my favorite commentators, Fareed Zakaria, talks about his own (legal) immigration story, and how Europe’s guest worker program and failure to assimilate immigrants led to discord in Europe.

Athens Politics has a rather long point by point on the issue of immigration, and Safe As Houses tackles some of the issue’s complexities.

DADvocate goes after the issue here and takes on Senator Ted Kennedy’s (D-Mass) rhetoric.


My take on the situation?

1. There is a difference between being anti-immigrant and anti-law breaker. I am all for immigration. I don’t like many law-breakers.

2. I am all for Christian & charitable organizations helping the poor, no matter if they are law breakers or not. That’s what the big guy asked us to do, and if feeding the hungry is aiding and abetting, we’re in trouble.

3. This country was built from immigrants in a very, very messy past.
Most of the concern from Americans about immigrants has very little to do with race. There are some exceptions, but for the most part we are worried about the law & national security. Economy comes in second.

4. If we gave California et al back to Mexico, we’ll be dealing with this same problem in 20 years in Oklahoma and Kansas (-Glenn Reynolds). If all these illegal workers are such hard workers, why isn’t Mexico a world economic power? (-Bill Maher) Oh yeah, because the Mexican government and ruling classes can get away with it. Why don’t these folks in the streets go down and protest in Mexico City instead of Los Angeles?

5. Instead, people are protesting in the streets of Los Angeles for the right to be paid slave wages, with no benefits, with no rights for ‘jobs Americans don’t want (to be paid $2 an hour for).’ Boy, that will help them out in the long run.

6. The only people who truly benefit from illegal immigration are bosses who hire folks for slave wages, and who get to undercut US Labor Laws. They get to pay next to nothing for hard work, and the legal taxpayers front most of the cash to send the worker’s kids to school and to the hospital.

7. I don’t blame illegals for coming here. It is a better life than they have at home.

8. I don’t blame businesses for hiring illegals, everybody else is doing it, why can’t we?

9. I do blame the IRS and Departments of Labor for NOT enforcing the laws of the land upon the businesses who hire folks illegally. Businesses are NOT above the law.

We should give ever business six months to prove that all their workers are legally here and submitting payroll taxes appropriately. After that, these folks who break the law by hiring illegals should be thrown in jail. We have to force Mexico to reform the way their country is run. We should invest in South American nations so their economy isn’t based off oil and cocaine. We also need to streamline the legal procedures for immigration, and open the immigration quotas. All of these things can be done, and all will work more positively to solve this problem than any half – assed guest worker program or amnesty.

My $0.02

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

On the "Clash of Civilizations"

If you want to see a very smart person knock one out of the park,
watch this.

This woman, Wafa Sultan, is one of the most impressive speakers I've ever seen. The interview linked above has turned her into an international sensation. Al Jazeera brought her on as the Con viewpoint, and boy did they get one. Just to give you some context, she is a Syrian, raised Muslim, now living in California as a naturalized US citizen.

Although she does say that only Muslims burn down churches, which is patently false, she's right on the money for a lot of it. If you can't watch the video for some reason, there is a transcript, but it is a poor substitute.

Wafa Sultan

SAWB EDIT - shrunk the picture to not break the template

As usual, I went to the wrong school...

This is just beyond all comprehensible belief. I can't wait for more details of this to come out...

Republican Universal Health Care?

So Massachusetts recently passed universal health care through its state legislature. This is quite interesting because a Republican (well, as Republican as you can be in Ted Kennedy's and John Kerry's home state) governor spear-headed the effort. Since he's taken quite a bit of flack for this from Republicans and conservatives outside the state, he's written a piece for the Wall Street Journal defending his position. It's an interesting read.

The basic plan is that if you don't qualify for Medicaid, you have to purchase some sort of health insurance. If you can't find a plan you can afford, the state has some high-deductible plans you can choose from. If you can't afford the state plan, they'll subsidize you for part to all of the expense on a need-based sliding scale. Oh and on top of that, hospitals and doctors offices now have an Internet portal available through the state that can determine if a patient is eligible for Medicaid and sign them up if they are eligible but not registered.

I have two fundamental problems with this method. One is that their old program has about $1 billion sitting in the bank at their disposal. If this plan were implemented somewhere where there wasn't a $1 billion cushion, there might a significant raise in taxes, especially at first. (There might still be one anyways if this doesn't pan out the way they think it will.) The second thing I see is that 20% of the uninsured residents of Massachusetts qualify for Medicaid but do not have it. If part of your cost reduction is giving the debt to the federal government by way of signing more people up for Medicaid, then you're not really saving money there at all. You're getting money from where it should be gotten from and that is a good thing, but somebody is still paying that. Going out there and saying that this new plan won't raise taxes is a bit disingenuous in light of this.

But in summary, the governor of Massachusetts claims he has a universal health care system in place in his state that won't raise taxes* or broaden government control of health care. Another goal of his was to have no employer mandate. A "$295 per-person fee charged to employers that do not contribute toward insurance premiums for any of their employees" was tacked onto the bill but the governor maintains that it would not effect the success or failure of the plan. I'll be interested to see how this turns out 5 to 10 years from now.

* except for the aforementioned raise in taxes caused by an increased enrollment in Medicaid.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Left Coast Lunacy

You know, throughout the course of my life, I've often found it useful to not openly, and actively defy, or announce my defiance, of federal mandates. Not so, Mr. Gavin Newsom, Mayor of San Francisco.

It seems Mr. Newsom is a might perturbed at the idea that the US Government might want to enforce the immigration laws, and perhaps curb the overwhelming tide of illegal immigrants that are showing up these days.

But that doesn't matter to Mr. Newsom, champion of the down-trodden, savior of the weak, the weary, and the vote-casting political groups that keep him in the employ of the city.

“San Francisco stands foursquare in strong opposition to the rhetoric coming out of Washington, D.C.,” Newsom said. “If people think we were defiant on the gay marriage issue, they haven’t seen defiance.”


Stay tuned, kids. I've got a feeling that this one will make for some rather interesting reading, and hopefully viewing, in the near future.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Monkeys? Not the *bleep*ing Monkeys!

A nice volley of praise to whoever can spot what movie the title blurb came from first.

Apparently, squirrel monkeys in the London Zoo have been placed in a "no barrier" encolsure. No barrier enclosures are all the rage nowadays at zoos. They allow the visitors to practically walk right up to the animals (and as a result require me to constantly chase down my daughter with her Elmira-from-Tiny-Toons tendencies with animals). Well it appears that visitors attempting to talk on their phones or take pictures with their phones are having their phones stolen from them by said monkeys. The problem was so bad that the zoo had to train the monkeys not to steal the phones (through some good old-fashioned negative reinforcement).

Too bad movie theaters and universities don't employ squirrel monkeys.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Classic City Cyberspace

So I check out the Flagpole online almost every week to kinda keep up with some of the news from the Classic City. One thing I have (apparently) been missing is Mr. Waddell's column, "A Million Monkeys." It is a column about the Internet, and he starts off with a statement like "the Internet is like a karaoke bar..." and todays edition starts out "the internet is like ametuer poetry".

I did a search and checked out some of Mr. Waddell's archives for the column. I didn't see a thing in there about the actual Classic City Cyberspace. Nothing on Publius & DoubleDawg, Hillary, JMac, GP, Lefty & Co at A La Gauche, the fellas at QKS, or anything I could see about anyone else who attaches to the blogosphere in Flagpole's geographic vicinity - nothing.

Maybe I just didn't go far enough back in the archives to see it. If that's the case, I'd love to link to that particular article. But it would seem to me (as a former contributor) that the Flagpole, as grassrootsy as they are, would be more than interested to hear from their fellow hometown journalists. With all the links they provide for local bands and organizations, I can't think of a real reason they wouldn't want to add something about their local blogosphere.

That's my question, anyways...

The War on Punk Rock

A man was held off a flight in London for singing Clash lyrics. He was released after questioning. Why can't they just round up the Good Charlotte fans? I think it is a clear cut case discrimination. But the guy seems to be a good sport about it.

Reminds me of the time I was questioned by the police (3 times in 24 hours!!) during Island City's G8 weekend for wearing a red bandana. (Repectfulness kept me out of any unplesant situations, though. Maybe I should give etiquette lessons to unruly Congresswomen...)

I guess that's just the price to pay for a life of rock & roll.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

About that Plan....

SAWB,

Somone may have already beaten us to the punch.

Thanks to Instapundit for the tip.

Victory Laps

and why we shouldn't be taking them.

Guys and gals on the left, the news this morning is good: Tom DeLay is done. Feeling the prosecution's case tightening around his neck as his house of cards empire of corruption begins to fall, he has decided to resign his Congressional seat and will not seek re-election. Other reasons quoted include how badly he was polling in his very conservative district against his Democratic challenger.

This is all good news, but winning because the other team gives up isn't a real win. We would do well to remember that.

This resignation (and DeLay's subsequent plans to move to Virginia) are also strategically placed. With DeLay out of the picture, Congressional Republicans now have less of a scandal shadow over them at the same time Cynthia McKinney's scandal shadow arrives on the scene. Yes, this resignation will dominate the press cycle for the rest of the week, but it is a long time until November.

The move to Virginia suggests DeLay is going to move to a place where his insider status can still work with a disgraced public official. Anyone remember Oliver North? Now he's a well read pundit and journalist, helping shape right wing message. Expect a similar career path for DeLay, he can still be in the public eye, but without an electorate to keep him in check.

Just remember that if he does parlay his retirement into something more dangerous.

So raise your glasses and toast the end of an era, the Hammer has fallen. Then look at the game clock, remember that we aren't even at halftime yet, and get your heads back in the game. Tom DeLay is not our goal. Congress is.

Monday, April 03, 2006

The Unashamed Liberal Media

I can't wait to get back to big posts, but for now, you can view my latest projects here. I await critique from my conservo-pundits re: things I got wrong.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Oh, Cynthia, How I've Waited for this Day...

It finally happened.

It's taken 20 some-odd years, and who knows how many rude gestures at the sign announcing her 'parkway' in Avondale, but it's finally happened.

She finally snapped.

I don't know about you, but PUNCHING A COP is not generally all that high on my list of things to check off in life.

What made her snap, might you ask? The Capitol Police officer failed to recognize her when she went around the security check-in, which, like being able to trade stock on inside tips, is yet another perk afforded our illustrious representatives.

The officer might have failed to recognize Jihad Cindy, since she's gone from the braided hairstyle she's worn forever and ever to something out of the Dionne Warwick collection.

Oh, and, apparrently, this all has to do with race, as it always has, with Cindy. But don't worry. Nancy Pelosi says to not make a big deal of this.

Really, Nancy? So, a member of Congress assaults a Capitol Police officer, and, according to you, it's not a big deal? Fantastic.

This just plays into the grand plan that paT and I have concocted to get rid of Cindy once and for all. But we can't detail that just yet...give us til 2008 or so...

EDIT: - I didn't want to believe that this could get any better, but, as it usually does, it has gotten even better. Now, Cynthia, with a cadre of schoolchildren behind her, is claiming that the officer assaulted her, and that her sex, race, and 'progressiveness' were at the root of the assault.

Quoth, the shrill one's legal counsel:
Myart further called the incident racial profiling and said there was "no excuse" for Capitol Police not recognizing his client, and Raffauf said she was stopped solely because of her race, gender and politics.

"It is the job of the Capitol Police to protect members of Congress. As a part of that job, they are to know who those members are," he said. "Whenever you put a police officer out on the street, he is supposed to know his job."

Members of Congress are allowed to bypass the metal detectors and security checkpoint. They are supposed to wear a lapel pin that identifies them as lawmakers. McKinney acknowledges she wasn't wearing one when she was stopped, but concurred with Myart that police should know who she is.

"The pin is not the issue," the six-time congresswoman said. "The issue is face recognition."


You mean to tell me, that had she been wearing her Congressional Lapel Pin, she could have come in sprayed up like a cast member of Black.White, and no one would have batted an eye, yet, since she chose to not wear said pin, the officer on duty, not recognizing the High Sea-Hag of District 4, DID HIS JOB, and is therefore the purveyor of the assault?

Do yourself a favor, Cindy. Resign. Do it now while you still have a little face to save.