My Prediction Is Monday 03/03/03

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/25/2003 07:33:00 PM ----- BODY: ABC News - Butler predicts imminent action against Iraq
Former chief weapons inspector for the United Nations, has predicted the crisis over Iraq could come to a head within days.
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U.S. Military The Good Guys? The LA Times Isn't Buying It.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/25/2003 12:26:00 AM ----- BODY: Los Angeles Times: World mayhem as a Hollywood production
"Profiles From the Front Line," a six-part ABC series that makes war and warriors entertaining TV, while being so worshipful that it could have been created by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. In a sense it was, for ABC says this six-month look at the U.S. Special Operations Unit in Afghanistan was made with "full cooperation" from the Pentagon and Defense Department. Which may explain why the series creators, who include movie producer Jerry Bruckheimer, appear to have been granted greater access to U.S. military action in Afghanistan in 2002 than were the news media, whose pliability could not be assured. The show's producers say the government did not interfere. It didn't have to. Control is as implicit here as in "Cops," on which Bertram van Munster, another of the creators, was once a senior producer. The rule? Play nice with your "Cops"-style close-ups or no access.
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Another Present From Those Who Only Have The Interests Of The Public In Mind.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/24/2003 11:51:00 PM ----- BODY: Perverting the Legal System: The Lead-Paint Rip-Off
No victim of lead poisoning will get a dime in compensation from Rhode Island's pending lawsuit
Link from Jay Nordlinger's Impromptus on National Review Online -------- TITLE:

After Years Of Comfort, "Club Fed" Prisoners Really Go To Jail

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/24/2003 11:43:00 PM ----- BODY: NYPOST.COM Regional News: 'CLUB FED' CONS GET THE CLINK By SAM SMITH
The Big Apple's white-collar crooks are being booted from homey halfway houses and landing in prison thanks to a new federal crackdown, The Post has learned.
The action, introduced in December by Attorney General John Ashcroft, comes after years of complaints that a two-tier justice system was soft on white-collar miscreants.
I'm sure Bill Clinton and Janet Reno would have done this too. But they had too many friends in there. -------- TITLE:

Bill Whitttle...Wow!

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/24/2003 09:39:00 PM ----- BODY: CONFIDENCE -------- TITLE:

"Scientists" Questions Value Of NASA In Effort To Profit Off Columbia Disaster.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/24/2003 07:48:00 PM ----- BODY: Scientists Question the Value of Shuttle Flights
[I]n the aftermath of the Columbia disaster, many scientists outside the space agency have concluded that the scientific payoff, by itself, is nowhere near enough to justify the program's huge cost and risks
But I'll bet they think whatever they are working on, deserves more money. -------- TITLE:

Gotta Hand It To The New York Times.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/24/2003 02:34:00 AM ----- BODY: For sheer idiocy that is. Just as they had the bad luck (and the bad taste) to publish an interview with Bill Ayers, a wealthy, whitebread 60's terrorist, now teaching at Northwestern University, on the same day as the WTC was destroyed, they have now published an op-ed titled "The French Lesson" written by RÉGIS DeBRAY.
And who is Regis DeBray, you might ask? Why he is a fine fellow that used to hang around with those noble T-shirt icons, Castro and Guevara. He was arrested by the Bolivians when Che was hunted down and sentenced to 30 years. He was got off by the fearless French government.
I guess he is not finding it as easy to impress the youngsters in academia anymore and was given this gig for old times sake.
You don't expect me to believe that even the NYT thought that he was worth listening to. He needs to put on his old sweatshirt with the peace symbol, put his gray hair in a pony tail, grab his sign and go to one of the 60's reunion protests taking place around the country. I'm sure he'll find someone stupid enough to listen to him there.
Link from The Corner on National Review Online -------- TITLE:

Those Who Fail To Learn From History.....Blah, Blah, Blah

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/24/2003 12:51:00 AM ----- BODY: The world was weak in 1935 - and Mussolini had his way
If we're seeking lessons from the past to help us deal with Saddam Hussein, then the way we dealt with Mussolini's conquest of Abyssinia in 1935 is - as the Prime Minister understands - the place to look.
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The Most Underreported Story Of The Month!

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/24/2003 12:49:00 AM ----- BODY: Benevolent Bush Does Not Slaughter Protestors
"So will all the protest have any effect on your stance on Iraq?" asked a reporter. Bush rolled his eyes. "Yeah, Saddam can gas whomever he wants; the mangy hippies have spoken. I just wish there was a way America could save the world for all the serious people and leave the drooling scummy hippies still vulnerable to terrorists." "So you want the protestors dead?" Bush smiled. "Wouldn't that be cool. All of them in hippy hell, where there are no signs to carry, no tie-dye shirts to wear, everyone has to have short hair and be clean-shaven, everyone has to work a regular job, and no pot smoking. And I could make it happen too. Just one phone call I could have helicopters strafing these protesters, killing them by the thousands. And no idiotic slogan they could chant could stop a bullet." He continued to smile quietly for a moment, but then changed to a more serious expression. "But I don't, because I'm just that tolerant and kind. They do everything they can to make me want to slaughter them, but I leave them unkilled. Do they understand how much will that takes? Do they ever say, 'Hey, thanks for not having me killed, President Bush, even though I'm a filthy scummy worthless hippy deserving of a violent hippy death.’? No, they never give me any credit." Bush stewed in his anger for a few moments. "It makes me want to murder them!"
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One Of The Human Shields Has A Blog!

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/22/2003 07:19:00 PM ----- BODY: Operation Human Shield: Week 1
Link from The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler -------- TITLE:

Meet The Protesters

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/22/2003 07:09:00 PM ----- BODY: Devil's Advocate
You need broadband or DSL for this.
Link From The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler -------- TITLE:

Stupid Bono Tricks.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/22/2003 06:14:00 PM ----- BODY: The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences MusicCares dinner honored U2 singer.
...There was also a huge gathering of the most important people in the music business.
You mean...fans?
Bono told the crowd, among other things: "The war against terrorism is bound up in the war on poverty."
Has anyone told Bono that the "War On Poverty" was LBJ's porkbarrel scheme in 1965? He's about 38 years too late.
At one point he declared: "I don't want to die stupid."
You better do something quick, you're not getting any younger.
He also announced he was a "fan" of America and wasn't leaving anytime soon.
That's surely going to be a relief to people in other countries.
He said that Clinton was "more of a rock star than any in this room"
That shows what low standards entertainers have for themselves. -------- TITLE:

Governor's Plan To Help Economy; A New Bureaucracy!

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/22/2003 05:18:00 PM ----- BODY: Gov. Kulongoski stresses need to create more jobs
Kulongoski said he would use executive orders to create a state Office of Regulatory Streamlining and increase the amount of industrial land slated for development. The governor said the changes were long overdue and necessary to get Oregon growing again.
But he evidently forgot about the Environmental Lobby.
"I'm sure it's not his intention to shortchange environmental laws," said Bob Stacy, executive director of 1000 Friends of Oregon, a land use watchdog group. "Making sure we don't sprawl to get jobs will be important."
Translation: "We have the money that we got in California, we don't need no stinking jobs. You just better keep the development away from any area where we might see, hear or smell it on the way to or from our palatial country estates." -------- TITLE:

They Know The Numbers; Don't Confuse Them With Facts.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/21/2003 06:05:00 PM ----- BODY: Photos put peace marchers at 65,000
"Oh my word. Come on, that's ridiculous," said Bill Hackwell, spokesman for International ANSWER, one of the groups that organized Sunday's march and rally.
Link from InstaPundit.Com -------- TITLE:

Leftist Hero Defends Genocide.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/21/2003 05:23:00 PM ----- BODY: CNN.com - Pastor guilty of aiding genocide - Feb. 19, 2003
A Rwandan pastor and his son were found guilty of aiding and abetting genocide by a U.N. tribunal on Wednesday, and sentenced to 10 and 25 years respectively for helping to massacre ethnic Tutsis
Both suspects had pleaded not guilty. At the start of their trial in 2001, defence counsel and former U.S. attorney general Ramsay Clarke said the pastor had "always been involved in saving souls, just as Gerard...was involved in saving lives."
Slaughtering people is just fine if you're not American.
Link from OpinionJournal - Best of the Web Today -------- TITLE:

Why The Greens Are AntiCapitalist.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/21/2003 05:01:00 PM ----- BODY: Government says poor economy yields lower levels of greenhouse gases
The government says there's an upside to the poor economy and high electricity costs -- lower levels of greenhouse gases.
In 2001, emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases went down for the first time in a decade. The Energy Information Administration says pollution linked to climate change went down by more than one percent that year.
What do you know? Isn't that what those evil Republicans have been saying all along?
But there's many on the left that continue to assure us that complying with Kyoto would be painless. That no one would lose their job, at least no one they know. They know this because they believe. Sincerely believe. They can't seem to express why they believe, but believe they do. They have the kind of belief that children have in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, the primary difference being that when children discover that there is no Santa Claus, no one has been harmed.
And when the left learns that they were wrong, nothing happens either. To them. Others have lost their homes and families. Many have had their lives shattered by the twin demons that accompany unemployment, drugs and alcohol. This means very little to the left. It does give them an excuse to call for more taxes from those still working to as support the caring (and very well paid) workers that are provided to help "the poor" with their ailments, but other than that, nothing.
When it is shown that they have destroyed many people's live they blithely insist that it was the evil rich, not them, ignoring the fact that they started and supported the process.
It would be nice, although probably illegal to hold these people and groups responsible for the harm they cause. This about how satisfying it would be to have the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club pay damages to people that lose their jobs due to them advancing their cause. There could be others too, but it won't happen. In the 1970's the great hero of todays anti-war movement Noam Chomsky vigorously defended the Khmer Rouge, who were busily murdering their fellow Cambodians. Today, it is forgotten. He is now the hero of a new cause. One that is busy defending yet another bloody regime.
Somehow it seems that when the politically correct do harm, they just walk away and join another cause. -------- TITLE:

Israelis and Palestinians

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/21/2003 04:04:00 PM ----- BODY: Armed With Weapons and a Will, Palestinian Factions Plot Revenge
As Israelis hunt armed terrorists; Palestinians plot to kill unarmed women and children. -------- TITLE:

Willam O. Douglas Appears To Have Been More Legend Than Life.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/20/2003 07:15:00 PM ----- BODY: Wild Bill: The Legend and Life of William O. Douglas
Link from InstaPundit -------- TITLE:

Protesters Help Saddam.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/20/2003 07:07:00 PM ----- BODY: Inspectors Fault Iraqi Follow-Up (washingtonpost.com)
President Saddam Hussein's government, apparently emboldened by antiwar sentiment at the U.N. Security Council and in worldwide street protests, has not followed through on its promises of increased cooperation with U.N. arms inspectors, according to inspectors in Iraq.
I'm sure the protesters are pleased. -------- TITLE:

Is Bob Herbert Being Disingenuous? Or Just Stupid.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/20/2003 06:06:00 PM ----- BODY: A Strange Budget Cut
Say it ain't so, Mr. President. You might think that with the country gearing up for war this would be the wrong time — absolutely the worst time — to cut federal school aid for the children of men and women in the armed forces. Nobody would do that, right? Right?
Well, no one did.
Under Mr. Bush's budget proposal, Impact Aid would continue for youngsters whose parents live on a military base, but not for those whose families live off base.
Those families live in houses that pay property tax, they shop in stores that pay sales tax, and in many cases pay income tax to the state in which they are stationed.
This is a specious distinction that does not take into account the overall deficit in tax revenues and the special needs of military youngsters.
There is no "deficit" in tax structures, as I have noted. I guess Mr. Herbert considers children whose parents are in the military as belonging in "special" classes. Is that a slam at the kids or just Mr. Herbert showing his superiority? In my town the largest employers are metallurgical plants, paper plants and a Hewlett-Packard plant. None of those pay any special school aid for their employees children. Why should the military?
This is just another in a long line of complaints about Bush which can be boiled down to one main point. "Bush is a Poo-Poohead." It's kind of disconcerting to realize that is what is put forward in most of the attacks on him. -------- TITLE:

People Making Their Own Decisions. A Nightmare For Progressives.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/20/2003 05:45:00 PM ----- BODY: Shifting Responsibility for Funding Pensions
President Bush is proposing putting retirement saving decisions in the hands of individuals instead of businesses and bureaucrats. The NYT has a real problem with that. -------- TITLE:

Democrats Economic Plan: Pork, Payoffs, More Pork, Deficit Spending, and More Pork. For The Children.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/20/2003 05:13:00 PM ----- BODY:
As Introduced by Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR)
Title I: Assistance to the Unemployed Section 101. Provides an additional 13 weeks of Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation (TEUC) benefits. S. 23 which Congress passed and the President signed into law earlier this year, does not provide additional assistance for the long-term unemployed including the 18,000 Oregonians who, as of December 28, 2002, had already exhausted the TEUC. There are 21,000 Oregonians who are eligible for some remaining part of the 26 weeks of TEUC, but thousands of those individuals will soon exhaust their remaining benefits. Approximately one million individuals nationwide have already exhausted the TEUC benefits.
This will allow him to show how caring he is by handing out goodies to the peasants. This should be good for some sympathetic press and hopefully a few photo ops.
Extended Benefits (EB) under the Federal-State Extended Benefit Program are available for some who have exhausted their TEUC benefits. However, in Oregon, the Employment Department projects that 350 individuals per week will exhaust EB. Once an individual exhausts EB there are no other unemployment compensation benefits available to that individual.
We could, of course, get people off unemployment by reducing taxes, but that would benefit the "rich" who invest in private businesses. One of the tenants of Democratic Party politics is that "the rich" should not benefit in any way, even if it means people losing their jobs. This has the extra added benefit of keeping the economy weak which will give the Democrats a campaign issue to use against Bush in 2004.
The unemployment trust fund, which is funded by business tax contributions, has a healthy surplus that can cover the cost of the additional benefits and still maintain a surplus. We should use the funds for the intended purpose by providing assistance for the long-term unemployed.
"Business tax contributions"? So they're "contributions" now? Good, that must mean that they are voluntary, and if they're voluntary the businesses can refuse to "contribute." I don't know what steps DeFazio would want to take then. Judging by his Iraq position I guess that using the force of the government would not be an option. Maybe he would send some IRS auditors but only after numerous deadlines which could be safely ignored for years. By that time the economy will have either collapsed completely (as the Democrats hope) or it will be recovered and people will have jobs.
Title II: Payroll Tax Relief
Section 201. This section exempts the first $10,000 in wages from both the employer and employee share (6.2 percent each, respectively) of the Social Security payroll tax for one year. This will provide a $620 tax cut for each worker and their employer. Subsection (d) directs the Secretary of the Treasury to transfer from general revenue an amount sufficient to ensure that the Social Security trust funds are not reduced by the one- year payroll tax exemption. Subsection (e) ensures that for the purposes of determining an individual's earnings record, and therefore, future benefits, the Social Security Administrator will ignore the reduced contributions that will occur during the one-year payroll tax reduction.
Great call, Peter. Let's exempt poor people from paying Social Security. Aren't you the one that screams that President Bush is raping Social Security any time he proposes any spending that you don't approve of? Now during an economic downturn you propose raping the mythical Social Security Trust Fund? Because that's what you're proposing you know. I guess it's OK, 'cause you're a Democrat.
Oh, you say you're holding the trust fund harmless by transferring the money from the general fund. Let's look at that. You have the Social Security Trust Fund that takes money in every month from the payroll taxes. "Contributions", of course. Present benefits are paid out of this money and the "surplus' is put in the Trust Fund. This money is then transferred to the General Fund with those nifty little non-negotiable T-bills that are backed up by the taxing power of the U.S. Government. You with me so far? Now the "Trust Fund" is full of these IOU's from one branch of the Treasury to another. This is kind of like writing yourself a postdated check and pretending that it's savings.
Now along comes Peter DeFazio, he has an idea. We'll just tell people to reduce their "contributions" to Social Security and tell the other branch of the Treasury to pretend that we didn't. This will get money in the hands of the people he needs to vote for him while continuing the flow of tax dollars that he needs to dole out to his cronies and contributors. In a round about way what we have done is to borrow the money from future taxes. It's kind of sneaky, but hey, he's a Democrat. What do you expect? It may or may not do anything for the economy. I lean towards not. But, at least he did something and he may get a lot of press for doing it. Meanwhile, he and other loyal party members can work to prevent Bush from doing anything so they can complain about him not doing anything.
Title III: Fiscal Assistance for State and Local Governments
Section 301. Findings
Section 302. Authorizes $50 billion through Fiscal Year 2004 to be made available to state and local governments. Reserves at least one-third of the money for local governments.
How about just turning the funds back to the states on a per capita basis with no strings. No, that wouldn't give any opportunity to show the peasants how great he is. There has to be pictures. Lots of pictures. With children. It's For The Children.
Section 303. Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to establish a revenue sharing formula to determine state and local governmental allocations. The formula shall give priority weight to (1) the state unemployment rate in relation to the national unemployment rate; (2) the duration of the state unemployment rate above the national average; (3) median income; (4) population.
The condensed version is: "Make sure that there is lots of money available for me to funnel to my contributors and cronies. Gimme pork, lots of pork."
Section 304. Limits the purposes for which state and local government can use the federal funds to: (1) ordinary and necessary maintenance and operating expenses for
(A) primary, secondary, or higher education
Teachers Union pork. As loyal party members and large contributors they deserve to be remembered. They can set up photo opps with the children and bring them to "spontaneous" demonstrations. Good people to have in your pockets.
(B) worker retraining
Great! More Teacher Union Pork. We'll train people for jobs, but only Union jobs. Remember, more union dues means more contributions.
(C) public safety
Government Employees Union Pork
(D) public health
Still More Public Employees Union Pork. Plus they do a lot of PR for Government Health Care. (Stupid bastards have no idea how bad they're gonna get screwed on that.)
(E) social services for the poor or aged
read more social workers and bureaucrats. Public employee pork, plus we got to keep those poor people quiet. Give 'em money for beer, cigarettes, dope and lottery tickets and they'll settle down. They might burn up a neighborhood now and then but hell, it ain't like I live there.
Giving stuff to old people is good, lots of photo opps. Has the advantage that they're easy to scare. Hard to believe that these are the same people that won WWII.
(F) public transportation
Public employee pork and greenie payoff all rolled into one.
(G) environmental protection
More payoffs for greenie groups. Keeps them around in case a demonstration is needed somewhere. Make sure the money goes to the top people, the rank and file are idiots but they do do what they're told.
(H) libraries; and
We're not completely selfish we do support reading. (For those few that can do it after the teachers union gets through with them.) Besides it's a way to make sure that "Heather has Two Mommies" is available to everyone and "Huckleberry Finn" is not.
(2) ordinary and necessary capital expenditures authorized by law.
Anywhere else we decide to send the money.
Title IV: Transportation and Water Infrastructure Investment
Subtitle A - Rail Infrastructure Investment
Sections 401-417: Provides for the issuance of $15 billion in tax-credit bonds for high speed rail projects selected by the Secretary of Transportation
Rail Pork. This thrills the train riders in the Northeast but does nothing for anyone else.
Provides $3 billion for capital investment for Amtrak
More Rail Pork. Nothing like throwing good money after bad.
Provides $500 million in grants to provide the credit risk premium for $5 billion in loans and loan guarantees for the freight railroad infrastructure projects under the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing Program (RRIF).
Grants to pay insurance premiums on loans that bureaucrats have given to railroads. Nothing like a little corporate welfare is there, Peter?
Subtitle B - Environmental Infrastructure Investment
Sections 421-426: Provides $6.5 billion to construct, rehabilitate, and restore our nation's wastewater and drinking water infrastructure through existing State Revolving Fund programs.
Peter was in Millersburg just before the election and promised them some pork if they would vote for him. Who says he doesn't pay his debts?
Provides $1.5 billion for wet weather overflow grants for planning, design, and construction of treatment works to address sewer and sanitary overflows (authorized by P.L. 106-554).
Construction Union Pork with a little Environmentalist lobby payoff.
Subtitle C - Highway Infrastructure Investment
Sections 431-432: Provides $5 billion in additional authority for highway capital investments, distributed to states pursuant to the TEA 21 formula. Funds provided from the Highway Trust Fund.
Highway Pork. Hopefully this will be used to by a park or bicycle path in somewhere. Lots of photo opps. With the children of course.
Provides $2.5 billion of carryover authority for loans, loan guarantees, and lines of credit for highway, transit, intermodal, and high speed rail projects under the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation program, as authorized by TEA 21.
More Pork, more photo opps, more children
Subtitle D - Transit Infrastructure Investment Sections 441-443: Provides $3 billion in transit formula grants, distributed to states via the TEA 21 formula. Funds provided by the Highway Trust Fund Transit Accounts and the General Fund.
Still more Pork. You can never have too much pork to spread around.
Increases the maximum tax-free transit/vanpool fringe benefit for federal employees from $65 to $175 per month, equal to the current tax-free benefit for parking.
Why in the hell do federal employees have a "transit/vanpool fringe benefit" at all, much less a "parking benefit"? Regular people have to pay for their own damn parking why shouldn't they?
Subtitle E - Aviation Infrastructure Investment Sections 451-452: Provides $1 billion for Airport Improvement Grants, distributed to states and airport authorities pursuant to AIR 21 formula. Funds provided from the Aviation Trust Fund.
Airline pork.
Subtitle F - Maritime Infrastructure Investment
Section 461: Provides $100 million in Title XI loan guarantees to finance $2 billion of construction of U.S.-flagged ships used in the domestic commerce of the United States.
Seagoing Pork. Why not relax some of the more onerous regulations that make it too costly to operate a U.S. flagged ship?
Subtitle G - Economic Development Infrastructure Investment
Sections 471-473: Provides $1.3 billion in grants to economically distressed communities for economic development infrastructure projects through the Economic Development Administration, Delta Regional Authority, and the Appalachian Regional Commission.
Public Employee Union pork. Money given to local politicians to play with. They'll spend it on a Cultural Center or a waterslide or something like that. Something really needed. Good opportunity for press coverage and photo opps
Subtitle H - Water Resources Infrastructure Investment
Section 481: Provides $1.2 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers to carry out construction, operation, and maintenance activities for authorized civil functions as identified by the Secretary of the Army.
More Public Employee and Construction Union Pork.
Subtitle I - Public Buildings Infrastructure Investment
Sections 491-493: Provides $500 million to enhance the security of federal buildings and provide additional funds for the repair and alternation of federal buildings
I thought this was done starting back in 95? Looks like construction pork to get some bureaucrats some shiny new offices.
Subtitle J - General Provisions
Section 495-499: Provides priority consideration for projects designed to enhance security. Provides for a temporary waiver of the non-federal share of projects. Includes standard Davis-Bacon prevailing wage language as well as standard "Buy America" language.
Union pork.
(Note: The transportation infrastructure title is based on H.R. 3166 from the 107th Congress, which was introduced by Transportation Committee Democrats)
So what?
Title V: Elementary and Secondary Education Infrastructure
Section 501. Authorizes $5 billion in grants to states and local education agencies for urgent school renovations. The funds are to be distributed according to Part A, Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended.
It's For The Children, but it smells like pork to me.
State entity shall award local funds on a competitive basis that includes consideration of
Federal strings. Otherwise people will forget how important politicians are.
a) relative percentage of children from low-income families;
Define "low-income." Relative to what? It's For The Children.
b) need for school repairs and renovations;
When did this become a Federal problem?
c) fiscal capacity; and
Fiscal capacity? I thought the Feds were paying for all this?
d) plans to maintain the facilities repaired or renovated under the grant. (This section is modeled on Section 305 of the Senate version of the FY02 LHHS appropriations bill as introduced by Senator Harkin. See Senate Report 107-84).
Feds get to approve local projects. Section 502. Includes standard Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements for projects funded by this Title. Union pork. This drives up the cost for all projects resulting in less being done with more money.
Title VI: Revenue Offsets
Section 601. Freezes the top individual income tax marginal rate at its 2003 level of 38.6 percent.
Keeps "the rich" from benefiting. Sustains the amount of money available for "progressive" politicians to funnel to their donors. Insures that the economy does not recover before 2004 so Democrats can use it as a campaign issue.
Section 602. Reinstates the federal estate tax for estates over $5 million. Freezes the maximum estate tax rate at its 2003 level of 49 percent.
Insures that no one will be able to pass their property to their children without paying tax and "estate planning" lawyers who support Democrats. -------- TITLE:

Jesse Jackson Searches Franticly For Someone White Enough To Blame.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/20/2003 04:54:00 PM ----- BODY: Jesse Jackson, a Club Owner and Lasting Ties -------- TITLE:

Miracle At The New York Times

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/20/2003 04:50:00 PM ----- BODY: Final Calls Add to Anguish Over Korean Subway Fire
NYT reports on Korean tragedy without blaming Bush. -------- TITLE:

A New Democrat Fundraising Strategy

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/19/2003 04:56:00 PM ----- BODY: Unable to attract enough money from regular Americans, the Democratic Part is looking to attract money from corporation (?) and the entertainment industry elite.
Dems alter strategy for fundraising=TheHill.com=
Democratic congressional leaders are shifting unprecedented responsibility for party fundraising to rank-and-file lawmakers even as they aggressively pursue corporate contributions for their 2004 campaign.
As part of a multi-faceted effort to narrow what some party strategists view as a huge Republican fundraising advantage, they also plan to rely more heavily on celebrity allies in the entertainment industry to increase their party’s small donor base
As it is well known, everything the Democrats do is on a quid pro quo basis, it makes me wonder, what are they promising corporations. No "Labor" problems? Or maybe it's as simple as keeping Jesse Jackson and his shakedown artists away from them.
As far as the Hollywood millionaire elite go, it is simple. They are glad to donate to the Democrats. In a town with talent on every street corner, they are more than aware that they owe their income and position more to luck and connections than talent and will happily give money to anyone who pretends to reflect their own lofty opinions of themselves. -------- TITLE:

That's All For Tonight.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/18/2003 05:39:00 PM ----- BODY: Just got a call from work. They want me to come in early. No more posting tonight. -------- TITLE:

How About Full Disclosure For Politicians

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/18/2003 05:37:00 PM ----- BODY: DeFazio wants disclosure of drug company gifts
DeFazio, of course, wants to use this to make the drug companies look as bad as possible so that he and his cronies could install bureaucrats to control them.
I would not really oppose him on the disclosure issue if he introduced and promoted a companion bill which would require elected officials to report their schedule on a website. It could include things like, who he has met with, what issues were discussed, what connection they had with any organization that lobbies the government. i.e. insurance companies, environmentalist groups, "human rights" groups, etc. It should also contain any perks that were provided by any group, travel, lodging, meals, etc and what the market value (what Joe Sixpack would have to pay to get the same thing) of everything provided.
I don't expect that either of these proposals would go very far, but he has his agenda, (more bureaucrats) and I have mine. -------- TITLE:

Emperor Misha's Long Journey From The Dark Side

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/17/2003 10:53:00 PM ----- BODY: The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
Post comes with a generous serving of comments which must be read and appreciated. -------- TITLE:

Cannot find Weapons of Mass Destruction

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/17/2003 10:29:00 PM ----- BODY: Why the U.N Cannot find Weapons of Mass Destruction
Thanks to Clubbeaux -------- TITLE:

What Do Iraqis Think About The "Peace" Movement?

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/17/2003 08:38:00 PM ----- BODY: Iraqi Letters to PM Blair
Do not continue to punish the Iraqi people because you are "unhappy" with the amount of power the world is at fault for allowing America to wield. Do not use the Iraqi people as a pawn in your game for moral superiority - one loses that right when one allows a monster like Saddam to rule for 30 years without so much as protesting against his rule.
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Chirac To E. Europe; "Sit Down and Shut Up!"

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/17/2003 08:14:00 PM ----- BODY: Yahoo! News - Chirac Decries E. Europe's Stance on U.S.
French President Jacques Chirac launched a withering attack Monday on eastern European nations who signed letters backing the U.S. position on Iraq, warning it could jeopardize their chances of joining the European Union
"It is not really responsible behavior," he told a news conference. "It is not well brought-up behavior. They missed a good opportunity to keep quiet
I guess they didn't realize that after having spent decades taking orders from Moscow, they are now expected to take orders from Paris. -------- TITLE:

"Peaceblogger" Debuts.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/17/2003 08:11:00 PM ----- BODY: Following a mention on InstaPundit I went to the imaginatively named "Peaceblogger" which is actually named "PEACE IN OUR TIME", I guess to honor Neville Chamberlain's statement when he returned from Munich after having sold Czechoslovakia down the river.
I was looking for some intelligent discussion and proposals that would result in Iraq and North Korea disarming without going to war and having Iraqis, Koreans, and Americans killed. Unfortunately what I found was this:
1. If you were President of the United States, what would be your policy toward Iraq over the next year? What advantages and disadvantages do you see in your proposed policies versus the current path being pursued by the Bush administration?
If I were president instead of The Smirking Drunkard, I would just GET OVER MYSELF, okay? I hope I would have the brains (not destroyed by my years of being a frat boy drunkard) to realize that the only reason I'm there is because Daddy's lawyers bought it for me and hung the chads until they elected me. This would have the advantage of just getting the whole world to relax because, hello, they wouldn't be dealing with a smirking drunkard with his hand on the nukes, okay?
I guess the word that "Peaceblogger" is trying to get out is that the best way to achieve peace is to call President Bush names.
All this is is Leftist masturbation, it feels good for whoever is doing it, but accomplishes nothing. It also is less than impressive to most observers. -------- TITLE:

All Together Now. Awwwwww.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/17/2003 07:11:00 PM ----- BODY: Students at New York Private Colleges Share Pain of Aid Cuts
To increase her chances of graduating from college, Lisa Jean, a freshman at St. John's University, meets with a college counselor once a week. Sometimes they discuss her classes. Other times they talk about time management or social issues. Last Thursday, the subject was how she would be affected by Gov. George E. Pataki's proposal to slice New York State's spending on higher education.
College graduates earn far more than non-graduates, therefore they can better afford to pay back student loans.
I couldn't help my kids with college. My son lived at home and worked two jobs while in college and my daughter joined the Navy and ended up owing $30K by the time she got her Masters degree.
There's a saying in the military. You'll find "sympathy" in the dictionary between "shit" and "syphilis". Go look there. -------- TITLE:

Say It Ain't So! Democrats Paid Off In New York.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/17/2003 07:06:00 PM ----- BODY: Prison Company's Courtship Provokes New York's Scrutiny
They gave tens of thousands of dollars in political contributions to Democratic lawmakers from the city, and then, when it seemed that Gov. George E. Pataki might scale back the company's contracts because of a shrinking prison population, they turned their attention to him.
Expect quite a bit about Pataki's involvement but little about the Democrats involved. The NYT sees political hay to be made with a Republican, but Democrats taking payoffs is a dog-bites-man story. No surprise there. -------- TITLE:

Free Exchange Of Ideas? Not In The Nation.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/17/2003 03:00:00 PM ----- BODY: A Fox News Ad Roils Some Readers of The Nation
Many readers of The Nation, a magazine of the political left, seek shelter in its pages from what they consider the news media's conservative bias. So executives at the magazine anticipated some criticism when they accepted a full-page advertisement from the Fox News channel, one of those outlets considered to fall in the enemy camp.
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The NYT, WaPo, ABC, NBC, CBS, & CNN Are Not Enough

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/17/2003 02:55:00 PM ----- BODY: Liberal Radio Is Planned by Rich Group of Democrats
A group of wealthy Democratic donors is planning to start a liberal radio network to counterbalance the conservative tenor of radio programs like "The Rush Limbaugh Show."
What? Don't they realize that Children are starving?
They're going to spend money on radio propaganda instead?
Are they going to hire people off welfare?
Al Franken already has money. Why aren't you helping the poor instead?
Using money from "rich Democrats." If they're rich they must have stolen it from some poor people. Why aren't they giving their money to the government where it can be used properly to pay off Union bosses and hire bureaucrats...Oh, yeah, give a little to the poor so that some Liberal politician can get his picture in the paper showing how "caring" his is before he scurries back to his office to shower and disinfect.
Oh, yeah, All Franken and his book "Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat Idiot!".
What imaginative, telling commentary. Are people going to actually listen to someone just so they can listen to him call Bush and the Republicans names? They can already get that on any network news program. -------- TITLE:

I Thought Only The Rich Supported Republicans.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/17/2003 02:55:00 AM ----- BODY: Republicans Have Huge Edge in Campaign Cash
Republicans also have far more small-check donors, who give, on average, $20 more apiece than their Democratic counterparts. "Twenty dollars per gift, times 30,000 more donors -- pretty soon you're talking real money," Corrado said.
-------- TITLE:

Want To Show How School Choice Harms Public Schools?

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/17/2003 12:19:00 AM ----- BODY: It's Easy. Just Lie. -------- TITLE:

Why Hire Staff When You Got The NYT

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/17/2003 12:00:00 AM ----- BODY: washingtonpost.com: Oppo Man On the Attack
The Democratic National Committee also puts out oppo research -- such as an 80-page rebuttal to President Bush's State of the Union speech -- but does not regularly pepper journalists with such attacks. The Democratic group, which has no communications director or press secretary at the moment, operates on a smaller budget.
"I don't think that kind of widespread dissemination is terribly effective," says a DNC official who declined to be quoted by name. "We've found it's much more effective to work with individual reporters on stories."
And with most journalists being loyal party members, there is simply no reason to do oppo research or send attacks to journalists. The journalists will do the oppo research and write the attacks without any prompting. Look how fast the editorial pages of most large dailies line up with the Democratic Party line.
Thanks to Betsy's Page for the link. -------- TITLE:

Maybe It Is All About Oil.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/16/2003 03:56:00 PM ----- BODY: Iraq Country Analysis Brief
As of October 2002, Iraq reportedly had signed several multi-billion dollar deals with foreign oil companies mainly from China, France, and Russia.
Gee. Aren't those the same countries that are saying U.S. policy is all about oil? -------- TITLE:

Those Who Do Not Learn From History Are Doomed To Repeat It.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/15/2003 07:23:00 PM ----- BODY: Does This remind you of this. -------- TITLE:

Bill Whittle's Back!

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/15/2003 07:12:00 PM ----- BODY: Eject! Eject! Eject!
Terrorists worry me, but they don’t frighten me. The worse thing they can do is kill me, and despite my best efforts to the contrary, that’s going to happen regardless of what they may scheme and fantasize about.
Terrorism can never, never destroy this nation. They may kill thousands of us, perhaps even take one of our cities – cities they could never build, filled with people they can never be. Perhaps it will be my city. Perhaps it will be me. But if they do, life will go on. Some things are bigger and more important than our own lives. America can survive the loss of a city. America can survive the loss of all her cities. Because our image and idea of America lives in our hearts, and as long as there are Americans alive in the world, America will survive.
But there are people that do scare me – people that scare me very badly indeed, because these people have the power to kill this idea we call America.
We have turned our children’s minds over to certain people who are so bitter and angry, so hateful of the country that gave them birth and safety, that their poison now fills our college campuses and has overrun entire communities. These are not loyal dissenters who rightfully question the policies of our nation, but small and diseased people who cannot understand why their fantasy ideologies are never in vogue, who can see nothing noble or magnificent on their foggy and dim and very close inner horizons. People whose anger and envy have driven them to turn all virtue into an ironic smirk, people who react to strength and morality with the revulsion born of a lifetime of failure and dark plans for revenge on the happy, the confident and the self-reliant.
I fear these people. I hate them. I hate them because they can kill our confidence, corrode our will, poison our history and make us believe we are the base, savage and dismal society they see through their cataracts of failure. These people can kill America. And they are determined to do it if we let them. And the one thing they mock and spit on, the one trait they despise above all others, is the physical and moral courage that they have never known, and that is the leaden nugget of their self-hatred.
There are people – Americans – who would turn this into the Land of the Guilty and the Home of the Terrified. We cannot let them do this. We simply can not.
-------- TITLE:

This Changes Everything!

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/15/2003 06:46:00 PM ----- BODY: Belgium Doesn't Exist!
The existence of the supposed European country of Belgium has been taken as gospel for years by members of the Liberati. It has long been held up as a shining example of Liberal philosophies in action. However, now is the time the truth be known. Belgium doesn't exist.
Link from Alisa In Wonderland -------- TITLE:

Earth Calling Bianca

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/15/2003 06:10:00 PM ----- BODY: Bianca Jagger at the "Anti-War" protests in London
No matter how terrible a nation is, the UN charter forbids just overthrowing the regime. The war against Iraq is unjustified.
I guess that means no more War Crimes tribunal for Milosivic and the reinstatement of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Has anyone been investigated for interfereing with the Rwanda massacres?
Robert Mugabe, call your travel agent. All is forgiven.
By Golly, it's good to be rich and famous for...something. -------- TITLE:

Oh, I Like This

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/15/2003 05:53:00 PM ----- BODY: The Axis of Weasels - France, Belgium, and Germany -------- TITLE:

Demonstrating The Inanity Of The (insert cause here) Movement

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/14/2003 07:48:00 PM ----- BODY: Asymmetrical Information
Nothing says "Stop the Madness of Western Imperialism" like a white college student from Winnetka opening a can of whup-ass on some Korean vegetable stand!
-------- TITLE:

Shouldn't Environmentalists Be Happy About This?

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/13/2003 06:00:00 PM ----- BODY: Albany Democrat-Herald
Gasoline prices jumped as much as 13 cents per gallon overnight at some Albany stations, a spot survey of stations showed.
-------- TITLE:

Alterman In Esquire

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/12/2003 08:05:00 PM ----- BODY: Yeah, I know, this is all over the blogosphere but I just want to put in my two cents.
Here's a quote from Eric Alterman in the current Esquire: "The lack of civility he [Limbaugh] demonstrates toward liberal politicians is really dangerous to our political public. I hate to say it, but I wish the guy would have gone deaf. I shouldn't say that, but on behalf of the country, it would be better without Limbaugh and his 20 million listeners."
Oh, how tolerant. This is what a self-professed "Liberal" with a capital L wants, elimination of the views of 20 million people. To him, their ideas and desires are not only unimportant, they must be suppressed. What a guy! "We must have reasoned discourse in this country, but not if it means listening to someone I disagree with."
We already have the situation where leftist ideologues are given free access to campuses but anyone who might disagree with them is kept from appearing. We also have leftists who make their living out of being "concerned" complaining that they are somehow denied their first amendment rights because somebody publicly disagrees with them.
This plays into a pet peeve of mine and many other conservatives, it would appear that "tolerance" is only due to those who agree with you. First there is the statement, "I can tolerate anything but intolerance". On closer examination, intolerance is then considered to be any attitudes or belief that does not agree with mine. What a deal! You can show your superiority by being tolerant while denying any legitimacy to your opponents by labeling them "Intolerant". This also excuses you from addressing any of their points because "They're intolerant. We will not stoop to debating them."
In this way, Alterman is able to advocate that 20 million people (and probably more) be excluded from public discourse. What a guy! -------- TITLE:

Michele Eavesdrops On Antiwar Protesters At Hunter College

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/11/2003 07:19:00 PM ----- BODY: a small victory:the gentle art of making enemies
Yesterday, the great thinkers of the movement took over the office of the President of Hunter College.
They have a list of demands. One of them is that the college president herself publicly denounce the war on Iraq.
Is it just me or does everyone else see the folly behind this? Forcing someone to make a statement does not force them to believe that statement.
My secret moles have come through for me yet again and I have a tape recording of what took place after the students took over the college president's office.
Student 1: Raise the flag! We have occupied this territory!
Student 2: What flag? We don't have a flag.
Student 1: Well, just wave your shirt around.
Student 3: Ok, now we have to write a list of our demands.
Student 2: I'll write it. Here's an old brown paper bag we can write on.
All: Reduce! Resuse! Recycle!
They all sit on the floor as Student 2 writes down their demands.
Student 4: Make her denounce the war. And she has to say it like she really means it.
Student 2: How do you spell denounce?
Student 1: D-E-N ummm...
Student 5: How about "say no to the war?"
Student 2: That's better. Let's stick to small words. I haven't really been to a class in years. My spelling is rusty.
Student 4: Ok, next demand.
Student 3: Lower tuition.
Student 5: Free tuition!
Student 2: Free lunches!
Student 3: Free Mumia!
They stop for a round of high-fives.
Student 1: Should we write a statement for her against the war?
Student 2: You know, we could make her say anything we want if she wants to get us out of her office.
Student 3: Heh, I didn't use deodorant today. Her office is gonna smell really bad if she doesn't meet our demands right away.
Student 5: Ok, so first demand is make her say "no war."
Student 3: Umm..make her say that she thinks I'm cute.
Student 1: Stop being such an idiot. This is serious. This is about war and resistence. We must conquer the minds of capitalist pigs and arrogant Americans who do nothing but spend money foolishly and take over countries for oil! We will occupy this office for as long as necessary!
Student 5: I gotta pee.
Student 2: I'm hungry.
Student 4: Hey, let's go to Starbucks!
Student 1: No! NOOO! Dont' go! Vive le Resistance! Fight the Power! Flick your light switch for peace!!
Student 1 lies on the floor, weeping at the loss of her comrades.
Student 3: Can we send out for pizza?
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Does This Sound Like Cooperation To You?

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/11/2003 06:19:00 PM ----- BODY: ABCNEWS.com : Iraqi Scientists Intimidated Into Not Cooperating
"Iraqi scientists and researchers are under a lot of pressure and influence by the Iraqi authorities," the Iraqi defector told ABCNEWS. "They were scared and threatened in different ways, including threatening to go after their families if they leave Iraq to meet with inspectors and going after their relatives if their families go with them and going after them even if they were in exile.
Oh, yeah. I forgot the "Truth is the first casualty of war." rule. All the evidence is faked and the witnesses are lying. Unless they support your views, of course. -------- TITLE:

Not A Rent Increase, A Reduction In Subsidy

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/11/2003 05:39:00 PM ----- BODY: Renters Receiving U.S. Aid to Pay More Under Budget Proposal
The Bush administration is proposing to increase rents charged to thousands of poor people who receive federal housing aid.
From taking an informal survey in the local area (+-50%), I have found that "poor" people have not problem in paying for beer, cigarettes, lottery tickets, meth, marijuana and hot rods. Reducing this subsidy might result in them having to choose between rent and those other items. I have perfect faith in their ability to choose wrong. -------- TITLE:

OK, Enough Is Enough, Withdraw The Troops.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/11/2003 05:23:00 PM ----- BODY: Reversals in U.S.-South Korea Links, and Some Jagged Fault Lines
[A] senior South Korean envoy said that if it had to choose, the incoming government would prefer that North Korea had nuclear weapons to seeing it collapse.
-------- TITLE:

Do You Think It Was A Left Wing Plot?

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/11/2003 05:21:00 PM ----- BODY: NASA Says It Has Electronic Parts and Piece of Wing
NASA officials said today that they had identified a two-foot-long piece of wreckage from the space shuttle Columbia as a piece of the left wing, where evidence suggests the doomed craft's troubles began.
Hmm, this raises the possibility that Jack was right. It foretells a great tragedy brought on by the left wing. What does this tell us about the future plans of the Democrats and other members of the left wing. -------- TITLE:

Did You Ever Wonder About Movie Reviews?

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/11/2003 02:24:00 AM ----- BODY: Joedoc at Attaboy reports that he likes to visit movie review sites.
One site I enjoy visiting is the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops - Movie Reviews page. Seeing the ratings placed on the films brings back memories of my youth when I would curiously read the movie reviews in the Long Island Catholic, wondering why a certain movie was rated the way it was. (Boy, that "O" rating must mean that picture is really bad...).
I've got another one for him
MIM's Maoist Movie reviews
How to write a Maoist Internationalist Movement (MIM) movie, music or book review: MIM's approach to the superstructure
by Web Minister December, 2002
MIM's movie reviews receive heavy readership relative to other parts of the web page. There is a lot of talk about how MIM comes up with these reviews including the occasional humor involved. In one word, "materialism" is our philosophy guiding production of MIM reviews.
We also receive more than a few letters misunderstanding practices in Stalin's Soviet Union and Mao's China in these matters. Recently I received two letters based on a misunderstanding of some mainstream journalist anti-communist propaganda both alleging there were a total of 8 approved works of literature in all of Mao's China.* That brings us to the question of "control" and state repression of the arts.
Of the two, I find MIM's, Um...stranger. Do people really think and write like this in 2003? I guess the answer is yes. -------- TITLE:

A Great Way To Be Heard, And Use OPM.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/11/2003 12:27:00 AM ----- BODY: The Buck Stops Here
The People for the American Way website is prominently featuring a campaign to support a proposed Democratic filibuster of Bush's nominee to the D.C. Circuit, Miguel Estrada. They even have the option of faxing a number of Senators directly from the website, complete with a pre-scripted message in support of the filibuster.
But they allow the option of changing the text, which means the fax function can actually be put to good purposes.
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Feminist Concerns Revealed

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/11/2003 12:05:00 AM ----- BODY: The Corner on National Review Online reveals that in an upcoming issue of The New Yorker magazine, Peter Boyer finds out what Martha Burk actually has against Augusta National.
The difference, she explained, has to do with the conditioned behavior of men and women. "Here's the difference. And it's interesting that you should ask this, and it¹s just now come to me, pretty clearly. It is because, when men get together, denigrating women is often a part of the social interaction. When women get together, denigrating men is rarely done. It's just not even on the radar screen. Even among the so-called strident feminists of the women's movement. We don't have anything to hide in that way, and men seem to."
You see? It is because male members spend their time talking about women. She's right about women not talking about men when they get together, they mostly talk about other women. Usually whoever is not there. -------- TITLE:

Clooney Apoligizes For Career.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/10/2003 09:43:00 PM ----- BODY: Clooney Slams 'Dumbing Down' of U.S. Television (washingtonpost.com)
Clooney said he was concerned about current trends among U.S. television networks. "People's misery becoming entertainment, that's what's dangerous. And that seems to be the place we're going. I worry about television,"
That's right. You have shows like ER that are taking advantage of sick people for entertainment purposes. In every episode there are people, many of them poor or elderly, who are going through the worst time of their life. This is used as mere window dressing by stars like Clooney so they can add to their bloated bank accounts.
Clooney should apologize for dumbing TV down. He has been a leading beneficiary of that practice.
Link from Daimnation! -------- TITLE:

Scott Forbes Has Uncovered The Next UNSC Resolution.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/10/2003 08:11:00 PM ----- BODY: Resolution 1465 (Proposed):
Link from InstaPundit -------- TITLE:

More Awards

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/10/2003 07:39:00 PM ----- BODY: The 2002 'Tarnished Halo' Awards
The Center for Consumer Freedom has announced the winners of its 2002 "Tarnished Halo" Awards. CCF awards prizes annually to America's most notorious animal-rights zealots, environmental scaremongers, celebrity busybodies, self-anointed "public interest" advocates, trial lawyers, and other food & beverage activists who claim to "know what's best for you."
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A Little Local Fisking

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/10/2003 06:43:00 PM ----- BODY: These letters appear daily in my local newspaper. I will give them this, they do appear to have been written by the people themselves rather than the product of some groups somewhere that sends them out for supporters to mail. They do though belabor the same points over and over. I wish someone would came up with something original or at least something that recognizes human nature and the fact that the U.S. cannot stand aloof and ignore what is happening in the rest of the world Invariably we're going to be in conflict with someone. What you have to ask yourself is what is the cost of acting and what is the price of doing nothing. Does anyone really think that if we just pulled our troops out of the Middle East and refused to give any more aid to anyone that things there would improve?
Attack in Iraq likely will make it worse Monday, February 10, 2003
Will we help or hurt the war on terrorism by inflaming one billion Muslims around the world? That's what Nancy Pelosi is worried about. Why aren't you?
No. What Nancy Pelosi is worried about is how to get the Democrats back in power. One Billion Muslims mean nothing unless they can be used against the current President.
Our charge against Saddam that he is defying U.N. resolutions carries no weight with the Muslim world because they have watched us, over the years, back Israel in repeated and still ongoing defiance of U.N. resolutions.
I guess the writer doesn’t know the difference between Security Council resolution and General Assembly resolutions. Here’s a hint, The US has the same amount of votes in the General Assembly as Syria, and no Veto power. There is as much difference between a General Assembly resolution and a Security Council Resolution as there is between a press release by PETA and a law passed by Congress.
We continue to help Israel to the tune of $3 billion a year as it continues to destroy Palestinian homes, villages, infrastructure and killing innocent civilians with impunity. The Muslim world understands very well that Sharon is a mass-murderer, not a "man of peace" that Bush has lionized and defended. That description enrages them.
The Palestinians again. The people who have been expelled by their fellow Arabs and used for political purposes by every opportunist from Yasser Arafat to Jacques Chirac. In case the writer hasn’t noticed, Israel was formed by the U.N. in 1948. Is that one of the U.N. resolutions you support?
As for Sharon being a man of peace, I guess defending your people against suicide bombers and gunmen that slaughter children in their beds is not something that is done in civilized circles. Notice too, that Israel allows Arab residents to vote and in fact, there are Israeli opponents in the Knesset. Palestinians, on the other hand, do not allow voting at all, except under very controlled circumstances, and instead of being allowed to protest, Palestinian opponents are tortured and summarily executed. Peaceful guy, that Arafat.
So we'll destroy much of Iraq while removing Saddam. Will we then rebuild it? Will the world be safer? How? Will we then go on to Iran and N. Korea, both of which are closer to nuclear weapons than Saddam.
Oh, now he’s a military expert. For him, nothing has changed since the firebombing of Dresden. There have been no advances in military technology and those kids that joined the military 6 months ago have been transformed from the kid down the street into a slavering, racists with the desire to kill anyone they can see. Those kids get out of the military too. Aren’t you afraid to live someplace which allows Veterans to walk the street with impunity?
What will regime change in Iraq mean to the radical Muslims in Pakistan, who already hate the U.S. and side with Osama? They make up the majority in Pakistan, and have made repeated attempts on the life of their pro-U.S. dictator.
I wasn’t aware that Mr. Goodwin had gone to Pakistan and took a poll. I guess he may be right, but I fail to see how appeasing them makes us any safer. If we don’t attack Iraq does that mean that they will drop their support for Osama? As for making attempts on Musharaff’s life, isn’t it more the case of him not sharing their radical agenda to form a Caliphate and bring the entire Muslim world under one all powerful dictatorship of the Mullahs and in opposition to, guess who?
He is afraid to go to Karachi, their biggest city, for that reason. Will he be overthrown in backlash for our attack on Iraq, as many international observers fear? Will Pakistan's nukes then become available for our enemies? We are opening Pandora's box, with no inkling of the consequences for years to come. There is an old saying: Whom the Gods destroy, they first make crazy. We're close.
. Let me see if I got this straight. Hmm…we should allow Saddam, our enemy, to have nukes because if we don’t, then our enemies might get nukes.
The gods may have made us crazy, but they didn’t make us stupid.
This letter appeared in The Albany, OR Democrat-Herald and was signed, so I’m including his name as it appeared in the paper.
John Goodwin, Lebanon.
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Catching Up On Some Reading

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/10/2003 02:10:00 AM ----- BODY: I've been busy this week and haven't had much time to peruse other blogs. This is one of my favorites. He has some timely advise too.
Kim du Toit - Daily Rant
"Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without an accordion."
-------- TITLE:

Watch Out George! You Done Pissed Off The Emperor.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/10/2003 01:24:00 AM ----- BODY: Emperor Misha at The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler is getting a trifle miffed with George W. over the Iraq situation. Better shape up George. Schroeder, Chirac and Saddam may not bother you; you may not blink at thousands of Anti-War numbnuts, but this is the Emperor here. Pay Attention!
Shape the FUCK up, Dubya, you limp-wristed linguini-spined fucknugget, or ship the Hell OUT, because you sure as Hell ain't doing anything to uphold your oath with all of this meaningless waffling! What's worse, you're placing 280 million of us in mortal danger with every second you wait and I will hold you PERSONALLY responsible for every American civilian that gets murdered as a result!
-------- TITLE:

Just Upgraded To XP

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/10/2003 12:08:00 AM ----- BODY: I know, everyone else upgraded over a year ago. I did too. But I had compatibility problems with my scanner so I changed back to Win 98. The scanner just went Tits Up and I decided to change back to XP. What a pain!. I've been working on it since about 6PM and it's just after midnight now. Of course I did waste a little time, like about 2 hours, before I figured out that my router wasn't working and that was why the installation was just sitting, trying to download files. I got it now
I liked many things about XP before but traded them off for a scanner that didn't work as well as I thought it would. Oh, well, live and learn. -------- TITLE: Fred On Everything AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/09/2003 06:55:00 PM ----- BODY: De-minding Our Young
Reflections On A Confederate Education -------- TITLE:

The "Rush" To War

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/08/2003 07:36:00 PM ----- BODY: Clubbeaux provides a rundown of the UN's "Rush To War" with Iraq since 1990. -------- TITLE:

The Poets vs. The First Lady

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/08/2003 05:35:00 PM ----- BODY: This just shows how hopelessly naive Laura Bush is. This would have never happened in the Clinton White House. They knew that it is of utmost importance that anyone coming to the White House be vetted for political reliability. They would never have let anyone that would be likely to disagree with their politics come to an event with the First Lady.
They still practice that today with none of the Democratic political elite allowed to come into contact with anyone that might disagree with them.
Laura Bush must realize that events that she sponsors cannot be for their own sake, they are inherently political. Everything is political and must be used for political purposes.
Hillary knew that and continues to this day.
Link from InstaPundit -------- TITLE:

A Gun Lawsuit's Smoking Gun?

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/08/2003 05:10:00 PM ----- BODY: A Gun Lawsuit's Smoking Gun
Cities suing the gun industry for its role in promoting violence got a powerful new weapon of their own this week. A onetime industry leader has come forward to say that his former colleagues have long been aware that some of the dealers they supply turn around and sell guns to criminals. The new testimony provides an important link between gun makers and criminal activity, and should make courts more willing to find the industry liable for damages.
The affidavit from Robert Ricker, former head of the American Shooting Sports Council, the gun industry's leading trade group, comes in a potential landmark California lawsuit. Twelve California cities and counties, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, have charged gun makers, wholesalers and retail dealers with violating state law by distributing guns in a way that allows many to be bought by criminals and underage users.
Although at first glance this looks like a setback, I wonder how far this is likely to go. I'm not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV,so under the rules proposed by the Bar Association I could be sued for expressing an opinion that runs counter to those of a real lawyer, but what the hey.
If this finding is to be considered meaningful I think it would have to go further than just the lawsuits against gun manufacturers. I can see application in other cases many which would not be so highly thought of by the biased antigun fanatics on the New York Times staff.
The NYT story is no more than a couple of paragraphs so it doesn't go into what remedy is expected. Since the goal of the suit is not finding ways to prevent criminals from getting guns, but finding ways to prevent ANYONE from having guns, I can only guess. One expected remedy could be that the gun manufacturers be required to develop a method of distribution that prevents any firearms from reaching criminals or underage buyers or pay damages that would put them out of business, the real aim of the lawsuits. (Other that enriching some trial lawyers)
In the area of welfare and public housing, officials know that some of their aid goes to criminals that victimize other poor people. I guess under the theory advanced in this case, that knowledge that a product was being misused for criminal activity by a segment of the population receiving it, is evidence of link between the agencies providing the aid and the criminals misusing it.
This could open some intriguing possibilities. As noted above, public assistance is given to numerous people who either use it for criminal activity or allow it to be diverted for criminal activity. Could those agencies be forced to find a method of distributing the aid that precludes any supporting criminals? How would they do that? If they were not successful could they be required to pay damages or take other steps to alleviate the situation? This, of course, ignores the government’s hole card, that of Sovereign Immunity that keeps them from being sued without their permission.
There is also the case of the eminently disreputable species known as the Criminal Defense Lawyer. Your opinion of him depends upon whether or not you are the crime victim or the defendant. But let's set that aside for a while.
If a Criminal Defense Lawyer defends a known criminal, with an extensive record, gets him off and the criminal then goes back out and commits another crime, would the attorney then be liable for damages? He knows the defendant is a criminal, he know that if freed he is likely to commit more crimes. Under this theory that the gun companies are somehow responsible for damages because they know that some of their product is being diverted to criminals would not the attorney be also liable? After all, he know, with reasonable certainty that the defendant was going to commit more crimes if allowed to go back into the community.
How about your local supermarket or landlord? In this area, the drug of choice is methamphetamine. This is cooked up using many ingredients obtained from local supermarkets in labs constructed in homes that are usually rentals. Are supermarkets and landlords somehow liable because products that are legally obtained from them are used in criminal activities?
I could go on and on, but I think I have made the point. I do not think this so-called "smoking gun" of gun control fanatics is in any way persuasive. I think it will be used in gun control literature while preaching to the choir but I certainly hope that it would not prevail in court.
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No War Unless US Deaths Guaranteed.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/06/2003 06:55:00 PM ----- BODY: I live in a small town in rural Oregon, but even here we get the influence of the so-called "anti-war" crowd. I guess our proximity to Oregon State University in Corvallis might have something to do with it. That city is filled with students who are attending the University in order to lessen their ignorance. When you have that much ignorance in a confined space it tends to feed upon itself causing an ignorance overload that sometime spills into the surrounding area.
Anyhow, on with the show.
Albany, OR Democrat-Herald
A new group has been formed to protest the potential war in Iraq.
Hey, here's a chance to get in the newspapers. Maybe even on TV.
"War is sometimes necessary, but this is not one of those times," said group member Jim Lawrence, 63, of Albany.
This quote seems to come up whenever someone interviews an antiwar protester, but no one ever asks any followup questions. Like, when was our last necessary war? Of course by the stated objections to this war, there have been no necessary wars, with the possible exception of the Civil War, since the founding of the Republic.
Lawrence has many questions about why the United States is seriously considering war with Iraq. He wonders:
Why the nation would go to war with Iraq, but not with North Korea, which has acknowledged the existence of its nuclear weapons program?
Hmm, let's see, Lawrence. Maybe because the Norks already have nuclear weapons and Iraq doesn't? I'm not sure what this question is supposed to mean. Does it mean that we shouldn't go to war with someone until they have sufficient means to cause horrific casualties amongst US troops? Or does it mean that we should drop plans to go to war with Iraq and attack North Korea instead? Or does it mean that because we can't prevail everywhere, then we should not make the effort to prevail anywhere.
What gives the nation the right to go to war against a perceived threat when that nation has not taken direct action against us?
What gives the community the right to lock someone up just because they stated that they are going to kill someone and have taken steps to be able to do so? This one is actually a close relative to the first. I guess in the protesters eyes, Iraq cannot be attacked until enough Americans have died. Not only that, but if they should die, Saddam would have to go on TV, in english, on a US network and confess that he has not only developed nuclear weapons, but he has made them available to terrorist groups. Otherwise we would not be justified in attacking him at all.
What example might this set for other countries who perceive their neighbor to be a threat?
Whoo Boy, the "set the example" argument. This is one that will get you in more trouble that any other. We have to set the example because we are Americans. How do you expect the lesser people of the world to act if they see us looking after our own selfish interests.
Remember standing on the high moral ground is often seen as a sign of weakness, not strength.
Recall that Bin Laden saw the rapid pullout of American troops from Somalia after the "Blackhawk Down" incident as proof that the US was weak and would not engage in any conflict where casualities were taken. That "good example" led directly to Sept 11.
Our "good example" of bombing Serbia for the rumored ethnic cleansing of Kosovo has resulted in the ethnic cleansing of Serbians from what was a providance of Serbia.
All that "good example" is going to do is leave us gazing at our navels chanting "Oooommmmmm" until our enemies can gather enough strength to do us massive harm. Then all the good citizens will be howling and wanting to know why it was not prevented. -------- TITLE:

Finally, Something I Can Thank The Green Party For.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/05/2003 07:21:00 PM ----- BODY: For years I have regarded the Green Party as an almost complete waste of time and office space. I say almost only because it is always good to keep these nutcases together in one place so as to have an always available source of amusement. Now they have actually done something that I can commend them for. In Minneapolis, they have put forth a local City Councilwoman (man, person?) to answer President Bush's State of the Union address. This honor goes to Councilwoman Natalie Johnson Lee of the 5th Ward. Councilwoman Lee does not make any earthshaking revelation about Bush, but she does accomplish the admirable feat of inspiring James Lileks to pen a column in response to her efforts.
an excerpt:
Tonight the President promised America a policy of war. War on Iraq. War on minorities. War on the poor. War on regular working people.
See, here’s the problem, right here: you sit down, ready to hear a series of carefully constructed arguments, and you get a big sloshy pail of lukewarm nonsense thrown in your face. (Chemical analysis shows it is actually the spittle of college newspaper editorial writers.) While the speech had a lot to do with confronting Iraq, the idea that it declared war on minorities, war on the poor, war on regular working people is a humid fantasy that only plays well with people who think that a reduction in the rate of budgetary growth is tantamount to genocide. (Racist genocide!) It suggests that Ms. Johnson Lee turned down the volume on Bush's speech and had an aide shout passage from "The Turner Diaries" while the president spoke. She's welcome to believe that the speech was a declaration of war on the parties named above; she’s welcome to believe that you could use individual letters from the speech to spell out the phrase “Someone put the wood to Mumia, ORC STYLE!” Whatever. But when a speech about hydrogen cars, Medicare reform, tort reform and lowering the Federal tax burden for a family of four making 40K to forty-five dollars becomes a declaration of WAR on anyone in the sub-plutocrat class, well, she’s just shot every arrow in her rhetorical quiver.
Everything is a war except, well, war. In the face of real war, she alerts us to the danger of a metaphorical one.
I was once told, with some justification, that if nothing else I could serve as a bad example. Ms Lee may not fulfill a role as anything else, but she does serve a useful function in that her blathering have elicited this response from James. -------- TITLE:

Frank's Rumsfeld Is Better Than Real Life.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/04/2003 07:35:00 PM ----- BODY: Rumsfeld Finds Call to War Not Nearly Loud Enough -------- TITLE:

Jack Bogdanski's Columbia Omens

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/03/2003 11:47:00 PM ----- BODY: Jack Bog's Blog
So if you're like me, and you have a tendency to behave like a fool and talk about signs, what does this one mean? Does it mean the war will be a spectacular American failure? That there will be seven years of war before America succeeds in its mission? That six times as many Americans will die as will Israelis? Or is it a trick sent by an enemy god, trying to make us feel vulnerable, weak, and uncertain of our chances for success when what we need to do is press ahead?
While I'm in the lunatic mode, I'm also noting all the 16's in the story. Launched on the 16th, 16 days in space, 16 minutes from touchdown. I spent last week at a law school academic competition in Florida, where the shuttle was supposed to land. The winning team on that Saturday afternoon? The Florida team. Number 16, of course.
Jack is, if I read his Blog correctly, a law professor in Portland. He teaches people about how many different meanings of the word "is" there is (if that's one of the meanings) and judging from the decisions of the Ninth Circuit, how "equal" means different and "the people" means the government. So it is not surprising that he would find meanings and portents in the Columbia tragedy that would not be obvious to us lesser mortals. It not only may be telling that all the signs point to what Jack writes about, but also the fact that the shuttle was headed east instead of south could mean that the problems facing us are in the east or the fact that the shuttle apparently started its breakup over California could be indicative of the way that state seems to screw up things for everybody else. (As everyone in Oregon knows.) There could also be divine retribution for mixing men and women or I guess it could be for allowing women to be educated to extent that they were able to participate in the space mission. The possibilities are endless, it could be the Wrath Of God, or just an accident that no human being could have foretold. Routine accidents don't sell newspapers, so be watching for the coverage of the Wrath Of God on your nightly news program.
Jack, neat post. Could you work in one where the shuttle exploded because of Vera Katz? I'm sure she is to blame for a lot more suffering that most people realize. -------- TITLE:

Lawyer Profit Protection Proposal Opposed By Government

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/03/2003 02:52:00 AM ----- BODY: U.S. Opposes Proposal to Limit Who May Give Legal Advice
proposal by the American Bar Association that would prohibit anyone but lawyers from giving advice about the law is drawing opposition from the federal government, which says it is intended to stifle competition and could subject real estate agents, income tax preparers, credit counselors and other laypeople to civil and criminal penalties.
This is so blatant a grab for a monopoly that it is breathtaking. Leave it to the Lawyers to tell the rest of us that we MUST go to them for anything and everything. What a bunch of greedy bastards.
The only way I could get behind something like this is for the U.S. Government to set strict regulations for the Lawyers establishing that they could not refuse service due to inability to pay and setting limits on fees and other charges. Then they could also make the Lawyers liable for giving bad advice. I think some proposals like that would give them something to think about.
I'm sure they're going to trot out the Widows and Orphans, who will benefit from their proposal. But notice that whenever the subject of 'loser pays' comes up, the first thing they do is threaten not to represent those same Widows and Orphans if they are denied their fees.
Tell 'em to go back to their conference and if they growl, smack 'em in the nose with a rolled up Tort Reform proposal. -------- TITLE:


AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/03/2003 02:28:00 AM ----- BODY: Iraq: U.S. Will Forge Evidence for U.N.
Iraq charged that Secretary of State Colin Powell will present "fabricated" photos to prove that Baghdad is hiding banned weapons when he appears before the U.N. Security Council this week.
Isn't this always the case? First they demand proof. But when it is forthcoming they charge that the evidence is forged and the witnesses are lying.
They must have learned this from the American Left. That is their standard response to everything. -------- TITLE:

The Finger Pointing Starts.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/02/2003 11:51:00 PM ----- BODY: So it begins, first in the Wanker, then I'm sure it will be picked up by other agencies. Now, on top of various committees and agencies and panels looking into the "intelligence failures" of Sept 11 we will have additional committees, agencies and panels looking into 'disastrous mismanagement' and 'erosion of safety concerns' by NASA.
NASA chiefs 'repeatedly ignored' safety warnings
Fears of a catastrophic shuttle accident were raised last summer with the White House by a former NASA engineer who pleaded for a presidential order to halt all further shuttle flights until safety issues had been addressed.
To make it juicier, it involves a plea to the PRESIDENT who turned down the request for a moratorium on shuttle flights until these concerns were dealt with.
The problem with that is that the 'concerns' are never dealt with to the satisfaction of those raising them. For all practical purposes, this moratorium would be a shutdown of the shuttle program. For a practical example of 'meeting the concerns' of critics, look at the Northwest Forests. For years the government under Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush again have tried to deal with the concerns of the critics without completely shutting down the forests. Nothing is ever good enough except the total and complete shutdown and never will be.
So it would be with space. The safety Nazis are never satisfied, no device is infallible, no procedure can be developed that cannot be ignored, no organization can be formed which does not fall victim to human frailty or just plain bad luck. A 'moratorium' would be just death for the program.
It would be the death of the thousand safety inspectors. -------- TITLE:

Florida Election Fiasco.

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/02/2003 10:29:00 PM ----- BODY: The saga of Miriam Oliphant
For all the wailing and gnashing of teeth over Florida elections and the search for villains who cheated people out of their god-given right to vote, this story from Broward Co does not seem to be getting much attention.
Oliphant is a Democrat and she is black. Could that have anything to do with it?
Thanks to Clubbeaux -------- TITLE:

Lileks Has The Answer

AUTHOR: Just Some Poor Scmuck DATE: 2/02/2003 10:03:00 PM ----- BODY: For those who think the manned space programs is a waste of time and money
LILEKS (James) The Bleat
On a day when seven brave people died while fulfilling their brightest ambitions, this was the wrong day to suggest we all stay tethered to the dirt until the sun grows cold.