MrSpkr's random thoughts . . .
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Only the loony Left could . . .
propose a resolution specifically condemning religious persecution of Islam and, more specifically, "desecration" of the Koran. It is probably only a coincidence that Mr. Conyers' district, near Detroit, MI, has one of the highest concentrations of Muslims in the United States and contains portions of one Michigan city, Hamtramck, that actually passed an ordinance to specifically permit area mosques to issue traditional Muslim calls to prayer over loudspeakers.
Ironically, Rep. Conyers has also stated "If we quickly cast aside our constitutional form of government, then the enemy will not be the terrorists, it will be us."
It will indeed, Mr. Conyers, it will indeed.
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Looks like the EU constitution is going down in flames . . .
My prediction? France will defeat the resolution -- and I suspect the margin will be much closer to 60% than it will to 50%.
The French government has all but conceded the election at this point, which is going to seriously demoralize EU supporters and suppress their numbers at the polls. In addition, it will tend to inflate the "no" vote as fence straddlers decide to vote against the treaty.
The Netherlands will also reject the treaty, primarily because France has defeated it and because the Dutch have serious issues with certain aspects of the European constitution.
The net result will actually benefit Tony Blair more than anyone else. Blair has known that passage in Britain was iffy at best. Now, he can demand some changes to the Constitution (and be rejected, because many EU members think they have given Britain too much already), thus allowing Blair to walk away from the treaty without facing the wrath of his party's pro-constitution wing.
Monday, May 23, 2005
Why John McCain will never be President . . .
he cannot recognize important issues to his party's base.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
Things are not going well, dear friends. Four weeks after learning my job was being eliminated, I feel no closer to new employment.
I am now expanding my job search to the entire state. I have little choice.
We don't want to move. I have a daughter about to enter ninth grade, and my family and I love this area. We've lived here for over half our marriage. It is home.
I've been using recruiting firms to help my job search, but that is not working out so well. My grades were good my first two years of law school, but the birth of our youngest daughter (who has Downs syndrome) trashed them my third year. Unfortunately, most of the larger firms don't take such things into account -- they only look at the grades (never mind the fact I was on law review, published, won top honors in our first year writing contest and top honors in the first year oral boards.
Nope, those are meaningless. Only the bottom line grades matter, it would seem.
Amy is beginning to get stressed out. I found out she called her mother this evening in tears over our situation. If I don't find something soon, we very well may lose the house.
I haven't felt this helpless in years.
Tomorrow, I am going to hit about ten or eleven law firms in the Dallas area that practice the same kind of law I practice (construction and complex commercial litigation). We'll see what opens up.
In the meantime, pray for us dear friends.
And if you can spare about $100K a year, I'm available.
Why we love her so . . .
Senator Hutchison pines for her handgun, which D.C. law bans.
They all look alike, right?
AP News can't tell a white Texan supreme court justice from a black Californian supreme court justice.
The thrust of the story involves the debate over eliminating the filibuster for Bush's judicial nominees. The impetus for this debate is, of course, the nomination of Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owens to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The AP story contains this photo:
Umm, that's NOT Priscilla Owens. Priscilla Owens is white, not black. That is a picture of Janice Rogers Brown, a black California Supreme Court Justice Bush has nominated to the federal bench (and whom I strongly support for such an office). While race doesn't impact one's ability to serve as a judge, it certainly says volumes about the trustworthiness of the AP's 'news' reporting. Sure, it could be a simple error, but don't we rely upon the media to get such simple facts correct? I mean, as we saw with the Newsweek debacle, sometimes poor reporting can have a profound impact on the real world.
The AP's caption describes Owens, Rogers and the other Bush nominees as "like-minded judges". One wonders whether the AP thinks all those conservative judges look alike, too.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Pat Buchanan gets something right . . .
A desire to secure the nation's borders against an immigrant invasion has nothing to do with the "nativism" that critics ascribe to him, he says.
"I say, look, the kind of immigrants we want are people who want to come here and become part of the American family ... not just to work and then go back home."
He warns of long-term consequences.
"Look, you're going to have 100 million people of Hispanic, primarily Mexican, descent in the American Southwest by the middle of this century, and I think you are in danger of losing the American Southwest, de facto. I think this country is risking coming apart, like other countries in the world, over issues of language, culture and ethnicity."
Pat's right. If the melting pot is overloaded, it will boil over. We should return to our traditional way of assimilating immigrants or we will be overrun.
Don't believe me? Look at Holland. Their "immigration policy", if it can be called that, was to open the floodgates. They are now faced with a massive hostile minority group of North African muslims, and are seeing increased violence, political and otherwise, and direct challenges to the Dutch libertarian traditions. It could happen here, too.
Immigration is not a bad thing when those who are immigrating to your country want to join it for the great things they see inherent in it's values and traditions. It is a bad thing when the immigrants are only interested in personal economic enrichment and have no interest in or are actively hostile to the political, social and cultural traditions that made the attractive economic conditions possible.
Monday, May 16, 2005
'New York Times' fights back against bloggers . . .
by restricting access to it's site.
Apparently, the NYTimes thinks that people might pay $49.95 to access various services, including exclusive access to its columnists "including David Brooks, Maureen Dowd, Tom Friedman, Bob Herbert, Nicholas Kristof, Paul Krugman, Frank Rich, John Tierney, Dave Anderson, Peter Applebome, Harvey Araton, Dan Barry, Clyde Haberman, Gretchen Morgenson, Joe Nocera, Floyd Norris, Joyce Purnick, William Rhoden, Selena Roberts, George Vescey, Roger Cohen, and John Vinocur."
I suppose they hope that might dissuade some of the less serious in the blogosphere from taking easy shots at such "luminaries" as Maureen Dowd.
Me, I think it will hurt the NYTimes web hits more than it will help them.
It's not racist if a non-white American says it, right?
"There is no doubt that Mexicans, filled with dignity, willingness and ability to work are doing jobs that not even blacks want to do there in the United States." Mexican President Vicente Fox, May 13, 2005.
Had any white American politician (or black Republican) said that, the MSM would be swarming.
But hey, it's just Vicente Fox.
Sigh. Racism is always stupid, and always wrong -- when the heck will the double standard stop?
My maternal grandmother lived in a predominantly minority neighborhood -- largely black and hispanic. She taught me from an early age to judge people on their actions, not their skin color. I wish others would do the same.
UPDATE: It appears Vicente Fox is earning some well-deserved criticism for his stupidity.
Please oh Please say yes . . . .
I can dream, can't I?
Friday, May 13, 2005
We must be doing something right on immigration . . .
because Mexico is upset with us.
Hat tip, Drudge Report.
Vicente Fox is apparently peeved that Congress just passed a law barring illegal immigrants from getting driver's licenses and funding a wall in part of the U.S. -- Mexico border. He's going to lodge a diplomatic complaint and is threatening to take the issue to multinational bodies (presumably the UN or the World Court or the Organization of American States) if Mexico "could not resolve the problem bilaterally."
In other words, if the United States doesn't back down and allow Mexico to avoid serious social and economic reform by using illegal immigration to the United States to releive societal pressures rather than, say, REFORM, Mexico will pout.
Sorry, Vicente, but the problem lies with Mexico, not the United States.
The Mexican Interior Minister said "Building walls doesn't help anyone build a good neighborhood."
Let's talk about good neighborhoods. I live in one. It's a nice, middle-class neighborhood. We keep an eye on what's going on, we offer to help neighbors where we can, and enjoy socializing with each other.
If I ever found one of my neighbors in my kitchen grabbing a snack without my permission, I'd be irritated.
If it happened over and over, I'd get angry.
And if I found out the neighborhood association was supporting these trespassors, I'd be livid and would take what steps were necessary to stop the intrusions.
I don't see that the United States of America should behave any differently.
The 2008 elections will be a referendum on illegal immigration. Many parts of the Southwest have become inundated with illegal immigrants. True, illegal immigrants provide cheap labor -- but so what? They are still illegal immigrants.
If the United States wants to adopt new laws encouraging massive immigration at the current levels of illegals) in order to keep cheap labor, then the United States will pass such laws. Until that happens, Mexico needs to work on it's own problems -- you know, the ones that encourage the exodus of so many of it's citizens -- and stop worrying about whether the United States welcomes illegal Mexican immigrants with open arms.
Saddam adopts Western-style democracy . . .
for ballot box losers -- He's writing his memoirs.
Anyone wanta to bet he will portray himself as a victim?
I didn't think I'd get any takers.
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Fightin' words . . .
Nickeodeon will hear from me about this crap.
Monday, May 09, 2005
I can't top this headline: Arianna's Blog Blows
A few days back, I poked a little fund at conserv. . . err, libera . . .err, schizophrenic socialite Arianna Huffington's "Celebrity Blog" concept. Apparently, it's worse than even I could have imagined.
Her blog is such a bomb that it's the box-office equivalent of Gigli, Ishtar and Heaven's Gate rolled into one. In magazine terms, it's the disastrous clone of Tina Brown's Talk, JFK Jr.'s George or Maer Roshan's Radar.
Despite my best hopes for easy comedic material, it appears most celebrities have little to no interest in posting on Arianna's blog. And they're a bit upset she used their names.
And nary a Big Media heavyweight like Tom Freston, Barry Diller or David Geffen in sight. The latter's supposed involvement especially intrigued Matt Drudge, who asked the L.A. Weekly, "Am I going to have to cancel my subscriptions to the trades? Is Geffen going to announce DreamWorks news on her blog?" I can report that, despite the blog's pre-launch hype that he would be a charter member, Geffen never had any intention of blogging on Arianna's site. Moreover, sources tell me that Geffen's people had to quietly tell Huffington to stop using his name as bait in her less-than-successful effort to fund the blog with Hollywood money.
Sunday, May 08, 2005
Newsday.com: David Hackworth, Vietnam vet and military analyst, dies at 74
Semper fi, Colonel Hackworth. May you rest in peace.
Germans better than Brits, according to . . .
the German ambassador to England.
Apparently, he's miffed that most Brits remember/think of Germany in terms of, well, their role in WWII.
He says this "obsession" is to blame for the two countries' drifting apart.
I'd guess that a bigger reason is that Germany has tried to be France lite, and want to force the EU constitution down the rest of Europe's throats. Most Brits are against the EU constitution, don't like th eFrench policies (particularly with regards to economic policy), and don't want Germany dictating British laws.
But it is much easier to blame it on other things, like the fact a lot of Britons lost grandfathers and great-grandfathers to wars with Germany.
Thursday, May 05, 2005
Blair wins, but loses power because he isn't liberal enough . . .
or at least that is the spin.
Tony Blair looked on course to win a historic third term as British prime minister in Thursday's election but with a hugely reduced parliamentary majority as voters punished him over Iraq.
Well, that's one interpretation.
But, if Tony Blair is being punished for not being liberal enough, why haven't the Liberal Democrats picked up more seats? They are projected to win only two additional seats -- and the Conservatives (Tories) are projected to pick up 44 additional seats.
Now, I'm no expert on British politics -- though I do know the Tories are much closer to the United States' Democrat Party in terms of political philosophy -- but it would seem to me that if the British public was truly seeking to send Tony Blair a message by voting for other leftist parties, then the Conservatives would not be picking up the seats they are picking up.
Interesting. In any event, it appears that Tony Blair will emerge as a weakened leader, which could have profound international ramifications. It could lead to his being removed as Prime Minister (i.e., his party could vote him out of that office). It could easily lead to withdrawal of British troops from Iraq. Most importantly, it could make it impossible for Blair to get Britain to ratify the EU constitution next year.
Fascinating stuff for a politics geek like me.
Genocide in Darfur . . .
as seen by children.
If we can go into Iraq, we can darn well act here. Islamic fundamentalists are engaging in genocide against civilians in Darfur, Sudan.
Our nation's relative silence and inactivity in the face of these events is, quite frankly, intolerable.
Pat Buchanan is insane . . .
Okay, so that isn't necessarily news to anyone. But now he is advocating a total withdrawal of all US forces from Korea in the face of nuclear threats from Pyongyang.
That's nuts. Withdrawing American troops makes it more likely that the North would invade South Korea. We WOULD get sucked in, or we would lose credibility throughout the world for effectively abandoning an ally to a madman.
Buchanan seems to believe that China would get involved to stop Pyongyang. That analysis, however, lacks credibility. China is not interested in solving Western security issues; China is interested in becoming a regional leader. What better way to do that than by expanding the power of a client state like North Korea?
Sigh. Isolationism was a poor choice back in the 1930's, when it took days to cross the ocean or the continent. It is an even poorer choice now when it takes mere hours to travel halfway around the world.
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
She was a victim . . .
What ever happened to standing up and taking responsibility for one's own actions?
Defense lawyers sought leniency for Pfc. Lynndie England at a hearing Tuesday to determine her punishment in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, with a psychologist testifying that the reservist was oxygen-deprived at birth, speech impaired and had trouble learning to read.
West Virginia school psychologist Dr. Thomas Denne - the first defense witness - said England's learning disabilities were identified when she was a kindergartner - and though she made progress in school, she continued needing special help.
"I knew I was going to know Lynndie England for the rest of my life," West Virginia school psychologist Dr. Thomas Denne said.
You were stupid, lady, and you did some really stupid stuff. Suck it up, apologize, and accept the consequences.
You'll do time (perhaps even more than you would otherwise do), but you will still have one thing: your self respect.