MrSpkr's random thoughts . . .
Saturday, December 31, 2005
Town Relocates Johnny Cash's Train Depot
If Johnny Cash were still alive, he might write a song about the plight of the old train depot he bought more than 25 years ago.Sigh.
I miss Johnny.
Friday, December 30, 2005
Texas fans spend thousands for Rose Bowl Tickets
I am going to laugh my head off at these Texans if UT loses.
I suspect they will. Vince Young and crew are talented, but this year USC is playing on a whole 'nother level.
Plus, I think Vince Young is a fair-weather kind of guy. Anyone else see him nearly cry when he came in second in Heisman voting?
So to the Davidsons, who just dropped nearly $3,000 on tickets and are going to travel half-way across the country only to watch their team lose -- ha!
Couldn't happen to a nicer group of fans.
Are my Sooner colors showing through yet?
Thursday, December 29, 2005
I was going to ignore this guy.
Really. I wasn't going to say a word. Honest.
But I just can't resist.
This guy would be a candidate for Mirsky's Worst of the Web, were Mirsky still in business.
Meet John WorldPeace.
Yes, that is his real name. Apparently, he had it changed back in 1988 to "to strike fear into the hearts of those who feel they are nothing without their family name."
John considers himself a "maverick."
He was licensed to practice law in 1986.
He's an artist.
He ran for Texas governor as a Democrat in 2002.
He lost, but got a decent press article out of the deal. Then he switched parties because the Democrats wouldn't let him share the stage with actual, viable candidates who were, well, electable.
He ran for Mayor of Houston in 2003. He tried to run as a Republican, but the Republican party refused to list him on the ballot (showing that Houston Republicans have at least a smattering of intelligence).
He ran for President in 2004 (as a write-in candidate).
He sued a former client for payment.
He lost, and lost his license to practice law in 2004. And lost his appeal last month.
He thinks that Ariel Sharon = Hitler.
He thinks the FBI and CIA are monitoring him.
He thinks the Attorney Discipline system is against him. Apparently, neglecting clients is okay, but getting disbarred for doing so is not.
He has warm thoughts about his mom's Presbyterian church.
Of course, he thinks anyone who might laugh at his views is "ignorant".
And now, he's running for Governor as a Republican.
Wow. I'm floored.
What's the point of all this? Maybe its to show the kind of fringe ideologue I was talking about in this post.
Maybe I just thought you guys needed a laugh.
Or maybe I just thought this guy made a good frame of reference for people who wonder whether they are "normal" or not.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Betrayals in the Global War on Islamic Fascism
When I was a kid, I spent many hours at my grandmother's house. Grandma loved history, and loved to talk about it with me. She had an old set of American Heritage books about American history. I spent many hours reading about the battles of the Civil War, the industrialization of American industry, the First and Second World Wars, and the 1968 journey to the Moon. I was so enamored with these tales of yesteryear I decided to major in History in college. Now, while I am a practicing attorney, anyone who knows me knows that my true love is still history.
In my studies, I have read of the occasional period in American history (such as the Copperhead movement in the Civil War; the loyalists in the Revolutionary War; and the various factions during the Vietnam War) in which political opposition to a governing party has been used to justify undermining national security or aiding and abetting America's enemies in the manner undertaken today by many on the Left and in the mainstream media. Perhaps it is a cyclical happening; perhaps we are overdue for such lunacy.
It does not seem to be a particularly wise choice, however, given the historical political results (Copperhead Democrats were out of power for a generation; Loyalists had no power or influence after the Revolutionary War; and the various factions of the Vietnam Era anti-war crowd have all but guaranteed their political opposition the Presidency for the past thirty years). So why do some continue down this path in light of such poor historical outcomes?
These questions came to mind as I reviewed the various MSM leaks regarding intelligence programs and methods we are using against our current enemies. I've refrained from commenting on these leaks until more information developed. It seems, however, that many in the MSM (and on the Left) believe the Constitution is a suicide pact and that the Executive Branch is the weaker sister in our system of government, rather than an equal to the Legislature and Judiciary.
The President's powers in times of war are quite broad -- a series of Supreme Court decisions dating back to the mid-1800's confirms the broad reach of Executive authority in times of war. Unfortunately, many on the Left either (a) truly believe that civil liberties deserve primacy over all other aspects of law and governance, and the costs be damned; or (b) are willing to undertake any measure to undermine U.S. interests in the war against Islamic fascism if doing so will provide political advantage, however temporary.
Shrinkwrapped has a great post comparing the recent string of MSM leaks regarding government actions in the global war against Islamic fascism to self-destructive behavior by other closed minded fanatics. In short, he agrees with my historical observations: those who refuse to compromise their extremist positions end up undermining their own cause.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Automation pioneer John Diebold dies at 79
John Diebold, a computer pioneer and, more recently, developer of the controversial "touch screen voting machines" has died.
Last year, many Democrats made much of a Diebold confidant's statement that he was committed to seeing that Ohio went for Bush in 2004.
I wonder how long it will be before the same conspiracy kooks at places like the Democratic Underground think Diebold was offed by the Bush administration to keep him quiet?
UPDATE: Not long, it seems.
MORE UPDATES: Silly me -- it seems John Diebold is not related to Diebold, Inc., the ones who made the voting machines.
Sunday, December 25, 2005
A good use of taxpayer dollars . . .
honoring those who served our country in time of war.
Rest well, good and valiant soldiers. Thank you for fighting to preserve our freedom.
h/t Stop the ACLU
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
I'm wondering how they plan to do it.
The Mexican government, angered by a U.S. proposal to extend a wall along the border to keep out migrants, pledged Tuesday to block the plan and organize an international campaign against it.But how do they really feel?
"Mexico is not going to bear, it is not going to permit, and it will not allow a stupid thing like this wall," [Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto] Derbez said.But how?
The government is scrambling to fight on two fronts. On Monday, it announced it had hired Allyn & Company, a Dallas-based public relations company to help improve Mexico's image and stem the immigration backlash.
. . .
Mexico has also said it is recruiting U.S. church, community and business groups to oppose the proposal.
And the government has stepped up its defense of migrants, airing a series of radio spots here aimed at migrants returning home for the holidays.
"Had a labor accident in the United States? You have rights ... Call," reads the ad, sponsored by Mexico's Foreign Relations Department, which has helped migrants bring compensation suits in the United States.
Oh -- I see -- they are going to use American advertising firms to try and convince us that there is no immigration problem, then they are going to approach the usual Leftist groups who are opposed to the measure anyway, and finally, they are going to call up the reserves: Plaintiff's Trial Lawyer Battalion 809.
Sigh. If Mexico would bother with adopting some economic reform measures, widening some civil liberties, and deregulating their decrepit economy, Mexican citizens wouldn't feel compelled to travel illegally to the United States. They could support their families by staying at home.
It appears the Mexican government, however, is happier with the status quo, and would rather focus its energies on having its consulates issue identification to illegal immigrants already in the United States and handing out free comic books [warning -- *.pdf file] providing illegal immigrants a step-by-step guide to entering the United States illegally.
In the end, however, I think the Mexican government's efforts will fail. There is a popular backlash rising against the illegal immigrants. It has been building for over twenty years. An ad campaign will likely fail, and could even make things worse.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
The New York Times rediscovers journalism . . .
in a great way.
Kurt Eichenwald, a Times reporter, takes us through the looking glass into the sordid world of online, underage pornography. Through his investigative journalism, Eichenwald not only persuaded the primary subject of the investigative report, a 19 year old California man named Justin, to turn from participating in online pornography (Justin started participating through his web-cam at age 13), he also helped Justin gain immunity from the FBI in return for his cooperation in identifying and prosecuting hundreds of men who patronized his site (thereby illegally trafficking in child pornography) and the many men who molested him through online enticements that lead to face-to-face meetings.
A good read -- and a good example of the art of journalism by a newspaper whose work in that field has suffered lately.
Under the Bush Doctrine, doesn't this . . .
constitute a casus belli?
Jane's Defence Weekly, a well-respected publication on such subjects, reports
The sensitive chapter in the accord includes Syria's commitment to allow Iran to safely store weapons, sensitive equipment or even hazardous materials on Syrian soil should Iran need such help in a time of crisis," Jane's said.So Syria has just signed a pledge to help Iran avoid UN sanctions and has sworn to continue funding, arming, and supplying Hizbullah, a known terrorist group.
The accord also obligated Syria to continue to supply the Iranian-sponsored Hizbullah with weapons, ammunition and communications. Iran has been the leading weapons supplier to Hizbullah, with about 15,000 missiles and rockets along the Israeli-Lebanese border.
Roll the tanks. Faster, please.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Mean Mr. Mustard is back!
and running. One of my favorite old blogs, Russell took a break last year to go to law school. Apparently, he had this crazy idea that you actually had to study in law school at times other than the two week period before finals.
He gave that idea up after his first year, and is now a 2L in California.
Check him out!
Friday, December 16, 2005
Military Heroes of the Democratic Party
Lt. Col. Alexis Fecteau, a pilot with 500 combat hours in the first Persian Gulf war and the Balkans, is charged with criminal mischief for allegedly using paint stripper to write a profanity about Bush in 18-inch-high letters on cars at Denver International Airport.Sigh. Look for this guy to sit at the right hand of Mother Sheehan in her next book tour.
The cars had bumper stickers supporting President Bush and conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh.
And if wishes and buts were candy and nuts . . .
then Democrats would all be fat.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Moonbat-CA) gave an interesting press conference yesterday. Pelosi claimed
Democrats should not seek a unified position on an exit strategy in Iraq, calling the war a matter of individual conscience and saying differing positions within the caucus are a source of strength for the party.Really? That's an interesting interpretation of the past three elections, to say the least.
But the money quote was this:
[Pelosi] said that [ethics issues and the] ethical climate in the country point to Democratic gains next year, and noted that if the elections were held today, Democrats would take control of the House.Same story, different verse.
I seem to recall similar claims made in 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2004. Why will this time be any different?
The problem with the Democrats is that the party lacks any core unifying beliefs and issues that resonate with the majority of Americans. Until Democrats decide what they stand for, they will continue to decline in power and influence.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus . . .
unless, of course, you live in Richardson, Texas.
Kathy Petree is a music teacher at Richland Elementary School in Richardson, Texas. She is the only female music teacher at this school.
On Monday, a female music teacher, presumably Ms. Petree, told her first grade students that Santa Claus isn't real.
That's right. She told them that Santa Claus wasn't real and that the children's Christmas presents come from their parents.
She has since apologized and told the kids she had talked to Santa Claus and that he was alive and well. The school district has said no disciplinary action will be taken. The school district has refused to confirm the identity of the female music teacher who made the decision, but, as I indicated, there is only one female music teacher at Richland Elementary School. You figure it out.
I'm glad that she apologized and recanted, but I wonder about an elementary school teacher who would exercise such poor judgment.
For the record, I don't think the teacher should lose her job. I don't even think she should be suspended, fined, or anything of a similar nature.
I believe it would be entirely appropriate, however, to formally reprimand her for her poor judgment in making such a statement to such young children (keep in mind -- first graders are only six or seven years old). She should have realized that such a statement was likely to unnecessarily disturb or upset her students.
But, she apologized. That's the end of it.
Never mind whether it was any of her business as to what cultural beliefs the parents wanted for their children. Never mind whether her statement had anything to do with teaching music to kids. Never mind whether she exercised poor judgment in making such a statement to a large group of very young children (many of whom were reduced to tears).
She apologized, and that's the end of it. I guess any children upset by her statements are just gonna have to grow up and deal with it.
Its a tough world, kids.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
If the cause of the fire is unknown . . .
why does Sky News state that terrorists aren't involved?
The cause of the explosions is not yet known but no third party - a plane or a terrorist - was involved.That seems like a pretty quick conclusion on somebody's part.
Honestly, I don't know if terrorists are involved. I rather suspect they are not.
But it does seem a bit premature to conclusively state they are not involved, doesn't it?
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Sami al-Arian acquitted of many charges . . .
jury deadlocked on the rest. al-Arian is the Univ. of South Florida professor accused of involvement with overseas terror groups.
Apparently, the jurors just didn't see the proof they needed.
Prosecutors now have to decide whether to re-try al Arian on the remaingin charges of providing aid to terrorist groups.
Frankly, I hope that they do. The prosecution had to overcome significant obstacles, including the inability to reach key witnesses located overseas, to bring this case. If the jury deadlocked, that means at least a portion of the jury believed the prosecution had made its case as to al Arian supporting terrorists overseas.
UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has the full story.
Multiculturalism is where all cultures are equal . . .
unless they are based upon Christianity, or were developed by Northern Europeans, in which case they are markedly inferior.
UK: GIRL SENT HOME FROM SCHOOL FOR WEARING A CRUCIFIXIn other words, the little Christian kid can't where a crucifix (which, in the Catholic tradition, is used in daily prayers), but the Sikh, the Muslim, the Hindu are allowed to wear theirs.
Mon Dec 05 2005 19:45:41 ET
A school today defended its decision to exclude a pupil after she refused to take off her crucifix necklace.
Sam Morris, 16, was told to remove her cross and chain on Thursday by deputy head teacher Howard Jones at Sinfin Community School in Derby.
When the year-11 student refused she was told not to return until today and without the item of jewellery.
The 1,070-student comprehensive has a strict policy which bans most jewellery being worn.
Items can be worn out of view or if they are part of religious beliefs, such as the Kara, a bracelet worn by Sikh males.
But the policy has been described as "unfair" by Sam's mother, Debra Saunders.
Sinfin Community School deputy head teacher Howard Jones said her daughter's one-day exclusion had been a "last resort" after a 30-minute conversation failed to persuade her to take it off.
He said: "There was a long period of persuasion with her and she was given time. It was only at the end of that that I reluctantly had to exclude her for a day.
"I met with her mother today and readmitted her daughter."
Mr Jones said the strict jewellery policy, which bans large earrings or items worn on the outside of clothing - was to avoid accidents and to remove temptation from thieves.
However, Sikh male pupils are allowed to wear the Kara, one of five physical symbols worn by followers of the faith.
Mr Jones said: "As a Christian I don't have to wear a crucifix but Sikhs don't have that option and we have to be understanding. We live in a multi-faith society."
Mrs Saunders, of Thackeray Street, Sinfin, told the Derby Evening Telegraph: "Sam has worn this necklace for more than three years and it is of great sentimental value to her.
"No-one has told her to take it off before and she doesn't want to.
"She thinks it is very unfair when other people are allowed to wear religious symbols and it just ends up creating a divide between the pupils when everyone is told they should be living in unity."
Because, of course, their religion is entitled to more latitude in such matters than is a mere Christian's.
Sometimes, I think I agree with Oriana Fallaci. "I do not believe the West will win."