Saturday, July 16

Lessons from the London Bombing--Say no to Multiculturalism

Here are some great posts on the unlearning of multiculturalism in Europe. It would serve us all a lesson well learned if we paid closer attention to the lessons of the London bombing, and all the other consequences of European progressiveness. Jeff Jarvis:
When it turned out that the London bombings were carried out by four young Muslim men born in England, it seemed to give a lie to Tom Friedman's theory that Muslim terrorism sprouts from the anger of young men in Arab nations who have no hope of economic prosperity and freedom.

Here were young men who may not have been born into Windsor Castle, but they were living in a land of freedom and opportunity. So how can they be portrayed as anything other than what they are: murderers?

As Jeff points out, leave it to the New York Times to provide justification for the London Bombers--they where just 4 angry young men. You can't blame them, can you?
"I don't approve of what he did, but I understand it. You get driven to something like this, it doesn't just happen."

To the boys from Cross Flats Park, Mr. Tanweer, 22, who blew himself up on a subway train in London last week, was devout, thoughtful and generous. If they understood his actions, it was because they lived in Mr. Tanweer's world, too.

They did not agree with what Mr. Tanweer had done, but made clear they shared the same sense of otherness, the same sense of siege, the same sense that their community, and Muslims in general, were in their view helpless before the whims of greater powers. Ultimately, they understood his anger.

The news that four British-born Muslim men from neighborhoods around Leeds were suspected of carrying out the bombings in London has made the shared dissatisfaction of boys like these and the creeping militancy of some young British Muslims an urgent issue in Britain.

The bombers are an exception among Britain's 1.6 million Muslims. But their actions have highlighted a lingering question: why are second-generation British Muslims who should seemingly be farther up the road of assimilation rejecting the country in which they were born and raised?

You can thank strong conservatives, intellectuals with a backbone and enough intelligence to know better when it comes to multiculturalism. That is why I say, I am an American first, a Hispanic by heritage, but a US citizen and proud patriot always!

Multiculturalism is of another era and should be scrapped. That conclusion, expressed last year by Trevor Phillips, caused a sensation. The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), which he chairs, was founded to promote multiculturalism and governments of both parties pursued that policy since the 1960s. Phillips went further: “We need to assert there is a core of Britishness.” He lamented the “loss” of Shakespeare. “That sort of thing is bad for immigrants,” he said, who come here not just for jobs but because of Britain’s tolerance and parliamentary democracy.

Despite the CRE’s retreat, immediately after the London bombings the prime minister referred to Britain as tolerant, multi-ethnic and multicultural. It’s clear from the way he spoke that he regarded those three words as interchangeable. One reason why we in Britain have enjoyed a broad consensus on multiculturalism is that we have been so imprecise about what it means. Given that Britain has attracted waves of immigrants who in their new home still celebrate Passover, Ramadan or Diwali, to many it seemed to be just a statement of the obvious.

In the 1960s Enoch Powell foresaw immigration leading to rivers foaming with blood and was sacked from the Conservative party’s front bench for saying so. In 1990 Norman Tebbit talked of a cricket test, meaning that you doubted whether people were integrated into this country if they supported Pakistan or India when those teams played England. Those remarks embarrassed the Tories, too.

With those exceptions the respectable British right has left multiculturalism unchallenged out of fear that it would be accused of racism. Phillips’s remark indicates that multiculturalism has passed its high water mark. But that occurred because the left got cold feet, not because the right won the argument.

The American right has not been so passive. For example, the Ayn Rand Institute (which bears the name of the author of The Fountainhead, the bible of individualism) claims that: “Multiculturalism is the view that all cultures, from the spirits worshipping tribe to that of an advanced industrial civilisation, are equal in value.” It continues: “A culture that values freedom, progress, reason and science is good; one that values oppression, mysticism and ignorance is not.”

The institute has battled against such terms as “black American” on the grounds that they invite us to categorise a person according to his ancestry rather than his qualities as an individual. The voters of California rejected the use of teaching in Spanish, which had become standard practice in state schools. Victory went to those who argued that American children who could not speak English would founder in later life.

Read the rest of this piece by Michael Portillo in The Sunday Times of London. Hopefully, we don't have to wait for something like this to happen on our soil from home-grown terrorist for more people to wake up.

United States of America--Welfare State for the World?

Why is it that the left feels we have a constitutional obligation of some sort to provide welfare and healthcare for free to the world? This is ridiculous! The victims are the children, who are not at fault. Secure the borders governor. The majority of the nation is behind you.
As was widely reported not long ago, Arnold invited the "Minutemen" from Arizona to come to California to guard our borders this summer because the federal government, as many Californians see it, won't do the job. This issue is one of those occasional, unique circumstances that can, and may, so suck all the air out of the other political discourse in California that budgets, education and infrastructure may simply fade to the back pages while withering intensity goes into the front-page "stop the ilegals" debate.

If this scenario takes traction, as it appears it will, the issue will be the only one that drives the next statewide election. I can, of course, see Arnold winning in a landslide in that intellectually impoverished event. Paralyzed legislative Democrats in Sacramento will have no one to blame but themselves once again. Yet while the result may be great for Republicans, California will still be a state where nothing gets done to balance the budget, control spending, plan water policy and fix K-12 education.

My question is who's fault is it that nothing gets done? Who's fault is it that the budget is not balanced, and that spending is over the roof? Who's fault is it that K-12 education in the BLUE state of California is broken? It is not the governors. It is the parade of extremely left leaning politicians that insist on playing social experimentations and apply socialist, liberal ideologies in how they run the state. In the process, they have bankrupted the state, cheated hard working people out of their money, and caused a social breakdown at all levels.

Maybe now the voters can get smart, and start electing some real leadership with backbone, so things can get done. Cut the spending. Promote choice in the school system by enacting vouchers and encouraging charter schools and home schooling. Privatize or deregulate whatever has to do with water policy. How about hearing about real solutions for a change. Oh, and one more things. Stop trying so hard to appear progressive and PC by spending money on stem cell research and other stupid projects the government should have nothing to do with.

London Bombers--Lessons for a More Secure America

ABC is reporting ties between the London bombers and the US. This presents scary possibilities. What if some of these calls where sleeper cell activations?

"Whilst we are watching the ports and the airports trying to prevent people from coming in," said M.J. Gohel, a terrorism analyst at the Asia-Pacific Foundation, "al Qaeda and its global jihadi friends are a step ahead. They have already penetrated into the West and are recruiting Western born Muslims to join terrorism."

The lesson here for us regarding our own security.

1. Don't take cultural assimilation lightly. We are an open nation, welcoming to those that want a better life, but there must be a price--you must swear allegiance to the flag, and the Republic for which it stands. London has these eclaves of Muslims that fosters division in the nation, and leaves an open weakness for British nationals who fall prey to muslim's extremist indoctrination.

2. Where does free speech stop? There must be a limit. Freedom is not open and infinite. It must and should have boundaries. Will we allow MECHA student groups to advocate independence, and secession?Will we allow our own Muslim communities to have Imans that call out for violence, recruit for the violent causes, and raise funds?

When these two things are taken more seriously, and realistically, only then can we start having serious mature conversations on how to integrate the influx of immigrants, and how to foster a secure, diverse, and unified nation.

Friday, July 15

Venezuela doctors in Cuba Protest, No More Cubanisation

BBC is reporting on protests by Venezuelan doctors, who are being left unemployed by the oil-for-doctors barter deal between Castro and Chavez. This basically amounts to slave labor by Castro. The Cuban doctors have little choice of their assignments, and do not get to earn fare wages. Castro gets his oil he would otherwise not afford, Chavez rallies the underclass, and the people are the victims.
Hundreds of Venezuelan doctors have marched through the country's capital, Caracas, demanding the expulsion of Cuban doctors.

President Hugo Chavez says he invited the medical staff into the country to provide free health care for the poor.

But Venezuela's doctors, who are also asking for better wages, say the Cubans are taking their jobs.

They say the government is trading its oil revenues to pay for some 20,000 Cuban doctors and dentists.

Dressed in white medical gowns and bearing national flags, some 400 doctors and medical staff carried banners reading 'No More Cubanisation!' as they marched.

Mark Levin--Everyone in the Dark Regarding the Next Supreme Court Justice

Great article at Family News in Focus on the wrangling by the Democrats to try to position themselves at an advantage in the upcoming confirmation battle for the Supreme Court. It really seems like it doesn't matter what the administration does to reach out, the Democrats want war and will have war regardless. If the President is smart, he will nominate a conservative originalist who will stick to the Constitution. That is the only thing that will be acceptable to me. Otherwise, the President will have war on both sides! I did not elect the President so he could go out and play politics and capitulate to the winds political correctness for the sake of his legacy, or peace with the Democrats.
"The talks seemed to go well for all the participants involved--—both Democrats and Republicans," according to Focus on the Family Action Judicial Analyst Bruce Hausknecht.

"I have noticed since then," he said, "that some of the Democratic senators are now saying that any consultation that does not involve the president running a list of his nominees past Democratic leadership is 'insufficient consultation.' "

That's out of line, Hausknecht said.

"I think the Democrats want to know who they have to gear up for," he said. "Right now they are in the dark along with the rest of America as to who's on the president's short list."

Mark Levin, president of Landmark Legal Foundation and author of "Men in Black," a book about the Supreme Court, told CitizenLink that Bush is bending over backwards to consult with Senate Democrats, when they haven't earned the right to be trusted.

"The president is free to call whomever he wishes, of course," Levin said, "but these are the same people who have been stabbing him in the back since he became president in order to undermine his ability to appoint individuals to the appeals courts who reflect his judicial philosophy."
I'm just hoping with Levin.
"In the end, they will filibuster. In the end, the filibuster will be broken," he said. "All we have to hope for is that the president nominates the right people—and that at least 50 Republican senators out of 55 have enough common sense to confirm them, because the vice president can cast the 51st vote if necessary."

No Pot at Wal-Mart

From Jonathan over at WorldMagBlog:

Wal-Mart won its latest bout with trashy lyrics and drug-related album covers. While anti-censorship groups have criticized Wal-Mart for pulling albums marked with a Parental Advisory sticker off its shelves, the Universal Music Group changed one of its products to accommodate the Wal-Mart standard.

E! Online News reported yesterday:

"The cover art of Countryman, released Tuesday, features green marijuana leaves over a red and yellow background and looks similar to a large pack of rolling papers. However, for those looking to snap up the CD at Wal-Mart's famously rolled back prices, the cover features a palm tree in place of the offending leaves, a change made by Universal Music Group Nashville out of deference to the retailing giant's strict guidelines with regards to lyrics and packaging."

Posted by Jonathan at July 15, 2005 07:57 AM
They have a great discussion on the re-definition of censorship, and the rights of a retailer to choose what to sell.

Hillary Clinton, abortion a "sad, even tragic choice"?

So, is Clinton really shifting her views, or is she only playing the game? The New York Times has a revealing article, biased of course, that attempts to paint Clinton a someone who has truly moved to the Center.
As she gears up her re-election campaign for the United States Senate, Hillary Rodham Clinton is presenting a side of herself that might have given some of her supporters great pause just a few years ago. Nothing captures this new face of Hillary Clinton better than the Web site her campaign started this week: It portrays her robust stand on national defense and her desire to reduce the number of abortions, among other positions.

In fact, in the last few months, Mrs. Clinton has repeatedly confounded the expectations of people who judged her from her White House years. She has appeared publicly with Newt Gingrich, her onetime political foe. She has called abortion a "sad, even tragic choice." She has stood fast in defense of her vote authorizing President Bush to go to war in Iraq. Over the last few weeks, she has found defenders among prominent conservative commentators who feel she was maligned in a new unauthorized biography.
But, the article says it best. What she is doing is exploiting the perceived ignorance and stupidity of voters. I truly do hope that the exreemism of the left ends up hampering her efforts.
If Mrs. Clinton's critics and her supporters agree on one thing, it is that she has proved to be a nimble political operator since coming to the Senate. In many ways, her approach is reminiscent of what her husband once called "the third way," the path that exploited the political center.
She must never be President of this nation. She cannot be believed--lies mean nothing to her and will come out in bundance! She is probably as bad, if not worst, than her husband. Let us all just hope that she gets caught in her own web of deceit and manipulations, before the media joins her in an attempted national deception.
She called abortion a "sad, even tragic choice" and reached out to opponents perhaps more unequivocally than ever before, judging from a review of several of her speeches and remarks on abortion over time.

"I, for one, respect those who believe with all their hearts and conscience that there are no circumstances under which any abortion should ever be available," she said in January.

Toward the end of the same speech, she even described a possible future where "the choice guaranteed under our Constitution either does not ever have to be exercised or only in very rare circumstances."

It was a measure of her power, however, that women's groups were reluctant to criticize that speech despite any private misgivings.

Laura Ingraham--Judge Robert Bork Interview

Listen to this interview between Judge Robert Bork and Laura Ingraham. I wish this man was a Supreme Court Justice. He is a living testament to the partisanship and extremism of the left.

Are you an Originalist? How to Interpret the Constitution

Edward Whelan writes does a great job defining what an originalist is, in regards to constitutional interpretation. It's sad that there is even a need to define what this means, and how it relates to the constitution.
It is significant that the term "originalism" appears to be of relatively recent vintage. The reason for this is not that there is anything novel about originalism. Precisely the opposite. Until recent years, originalism had been so unchallenged as constitutional orthodoxy that there was no reason to develop a term that would distinguish it from any rival. As Justice Scalia has put it, "in the past, nonoriginalist opinions have almost always had the decency to lie, or at least to dissemble, about what they were doing." But the rise of the "living Constitution" — the Orwellian euphemism that liberal activists have used to pretend that the Constitution has somehow "grown" to entrench forever their own policy preferences — made necessary a label for what everyone had previously recognized as elementary.
Take the test yourself and figure it out.
Are you an originalist?

Lie of the Day, NAACP Julian Bond

I liked the lie of the day over at LauraIngraham.com.
"In the NAACP we have always been non-partisan", claimed Julian Bond, at the NAACP's annual convention.

THE TRUTH:
If so, then why do we never hear the likes of Julian Bond slamming Democrats for failing to support reparations and other NAACP favorite ideas?

Justice Gonzales--Recusal Problems

M. Edward Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center was quoted on the LA Times saying that, "Gonzales may well be required to recuse himself from the three most important cases already on the court's docket for next term." He has been arguing the point on the weblog of the conservative magazine National Review.

According to Federal law, justices are required to recuse themselves from "any proceeding in which [their] impartiality might reasonably be questioned." That includes Gonzales, who "served in governmental employment and in such capacity participated as counsel, advisor or material witness concerning the proceeding or expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case in controversy."

The LA Times concludes:
In recent days, Concerned Women for America, another conservative advocacy group, has circulated a memo listing six cases on which it fears Gonzales would have to recuse himself were he named to the Supreme Court.

"It's nothing personal, and we haven't expressed a position on him," said Jan LaRue, the organization's chief counsel, who wrote the memo. "My point has been all along that I don't really expect the president to nominate [Gonzales] because of the issues described in the memo."

The cases listed by LaRue included Gonzales vs. Oregon, a physician-assisted suicide dispute, and Gonzales vs. O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal, a religious freedom case involving the use in religious ceremonies of a hallucinogenic drug prohibited under the Controlled Substances Act.

She also cited two abortion-related cases: Ayotte vs. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, a parental-notification case, and Scheidler vs. NOW, which concerns the application of federal racketeering and extortion laws to punish aggressive antiabortion protesters.

In addition, Gonzales was active in drafting the administration's policy on holding terrorism suspects at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Challenges to those detentions are winding their way through the court system.
Truth of the matter is I am not sure this is of ultimate importance to the question of Gonzales' nomination. Regardless of the candidate, the true questions should be:

1. Does this individual have a proven track record of upholding the constitution according to it's original intent, without expanding its definitions or "creating" new law through judicial interpretation?
2. Is this person professionally experienced and qualified, both as a lawyer, and as a judge?

That's it. Nothing more, nothing less. No race. No gender. And PLEASE!!--No politics!

NYT--Novak Told Rove About Plame

Captain Ed has comments on tomorrow's New York Times article that reveals that Karl Rove spoke with Robert Novak before he released his column.
The New York Times now has a source within the grand jury proceedings in the Robert Fitzgerald investigation into the alleged leak of Valerie Plame's status as a CIA operative. The new article for tomorrow's edition by David Johnston and Richard Stevenson reveals that Karl Rove spoke with Robert Novak before he released his column -- but that Novak told Rove about Plame, including her name, and not the other way around:
From the New York Times:
Karl Rove witch huntKarl Rove, the White House senior adviser, spoke with the columnist Robert D. Novak as he was preparing an article in July 2003 that identified a C.I.A. officer who was undercover, someone who has been officially briefed on the matter said.

Mr. Rove has told investigators that he learned from the columnist the name of the C.I.A. officer, who was referred to by her maiden name, Valerie Plame, and the circumstances in which her husband, former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, traveled to Africa to investigate possible uranium sales to Iraq, the person said.

After hearing Mr. Novak's account, the person who has been briefed on the matter said, Mr. Rove told the columnist: "I heard that, too."

The previously undisclosed telephone conversation, which took place on July 8, 2003, was initiated by Mr. Novak, the person who has been briefed on the matter said.

Read the rest of the Captain's comments.

Thursday, July 14

Latino Issues Quoted on Slate--Supreme Court Vacany and Gonzales

Megan O'Connor from Slate has quoted my words. She quotes me on my reaction to Fred Barnes' story on the Weekly Standard regarding Gonzalez and the Supreme Court Justice vacancy. Read the full post here.
Liberals have mixed feelings about Gonzales: Peer Review's Blogger X says, "Democrats are very smart to publicly endorse a Gonzales nomination "… Nominating Gonzales would be the worst thing Bush could do going into the midterm elections." Phil Gallagher, a liberal neocon, urges conservatives to give Gonzales a chance, asserting that he is a "man of integrity, capability, and faith and conscience." HelluvABurden's Paul Loeb, on the other hand, declares, "As right-wing religious leaders attack Alberto Gonzales for being insufficiently doctrinaire, it's tempting to accept him as the best we can get for the Supreme Court."… But when someone exhibits as much contempt for due process as Gonzales does, we have to challenge him, in every way we can."

Some conservatives are dead-set against him: Josue Sierra of A Latino Conservative Blog, writes, "My hope is that Bush will not make a decision based on neither race nor gender, but qualifications and commitment to uphold the constitution in its original intent."
So, my lovely wife has advised me to avoid the whole double negative, so I will be trying to pay closer attention to this sort of grammatical error in the future. But hey, glad to see Slate saw my comments fit to print.

Pro-life Groups Object--RU-486 Categorized "Medicine."

The WHO is out to harm impovrished women world wide once again. Since when does being pregnant consitute an illness? To make it worst, the evidence is there that RU-486 has serious side effects that can cause even death! Why doesn't the WHO focus on educating women on the importance of making the right choice? Oh, right, there is no such thing as right or wrong!
The World Health Organization (WHO) has added RU-486, also known as the abortion pill, to its "essential medicines list," because it said the drug "satisfies the priority health care needs of the population."

The listing includes the warning that the drugs "require close medical supervision." Pia de Solenni, director of life and women's issues at the Family Research Council, called that an understatement.

"This is another way to make another abortion element part of the standard routine," she said. "That's what they've done by getting it put on this essential drug list. Then we start calling it a medical treatment or medicine as something that suggests it provides health or that it promotes health when the contrary is true."

The International Planned Parenthood Federation lobbied hard to have the abortion drug added to the list. And now is launching a campaign to remove the warnings.
Getting the medication out there, and pushing their anti-choice agenda--no women should have the knowledge or choice of not having an abortion (sarcasm)--is simply not enough. They must eliminate the one warning that could save the life of thousands of poor, unsuspecting women deceived into taking a pill that could kill them, and that will kill their unborn child.

Venezuela and Chavez--Government's Human Rights Record Poor

The following is from a Country Reports on Human Rights Practices released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor this past February 28, 2005. The White House, I'm sure, is keeping a close eye on the worstening situation in Venezuela.

The Government's human rights record remained poor; despite attempts at improvement in a few areas, its performance deteriorated in other areas, particularly regarding politicization of the judiciary and restrictions on electronic media, and serious problems remained. The police and military committed unlawful killings of criminal suspects. The police reportedly had links to vigilante groups that killed suspected criminals. Investigations into unlawful killings by the security forces of criminal suspects remained extremely slow.

Torture and abuse of detainees persisted, and the Government failed to punish police and security officers guilty of abuses. Prison conditions remained harsh; violence and severe overcrowding constituted inhuman and degrading treatment. Arbitrary arrests and detentions continued. Impunity was one of the country's most serious human rights problems. Crimes involving human rights abuses did not proceed to trial due to judicial and administrative delays.

Corruption, lengthy pretrial detention, and severe inefficiency in the judicial and law enforcement systems also were problems. A law enacted in May increased the number of Supreme Court judges and the power of the executive branch, the legislature, and the citizen power over the judiciary. Some judges were summarily dismissed or forced to retire. Prosecutors selectively investigated several opposition leaders and brought charges against some.

The Government conducted illegal wiretapping of private citizens and intimidated political opponents. President Chavez, officials in his administration, and members of his political party consistently attacked the independent media, the political opposition, labor unions, the courts, the Church, and human rights groups. Many government supporters interpreted these remarks as tacit approval of violence; they then threatened, intimidated, and physically harmed at least dozens of individuals opposed to Chavez during the year.

The International Association of Broadcasters complained that the Government abused its legal power to order that all television and radio stations air material of national interest by requiring the transmission of speeches by President Chavez and other government officials and of other political programming favorable to the Government.

A press law enacted in December places restrictions on broadcast content that threaten press freedom. Violence and discrimination against women, abuse of children, discrimination against persons with disabilities, and inadequate protection of the rights of indigenous people remained problems. Trafficking in persons was a problem. The Government's confrontation with the Venezuelan Workers Confederation (CTV) and fired petroleum sector employees continued, and child labor increased.
Ahhh...the wonderfull effects of socialism in full bloom. Sounds to me like another "paradise" in the making. Read the rest for yourself.

War of the Worlds

Christopher Lyon from Plugged-In magazine has an interesting review on War of the Worlds. It's funny how everyone is looking to read into movies to see how it puts the Bush administration down. I wouldn't doubt that Hollywood has tried to get the message out there, but sometimes, there are more important things to focus on--like the core value-message of a movie, and whether the story is compelling and interesting. With all the news about Cruise, scientology, and his marriage and recent crazy statements, most of the news on this movie has been about anything but the story line.
War of the Worlds is darker and scarier than most of Spielberg's work, especially his sci-fi work. The brilliantly paced action sequences, hair-raising effects and detailed set pieces bring to mind his Jurassic Park, Minority Report or other classic adventures. But the tone of the film comes closer to the gritty, near-hopeless feelings deep inside Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan. Don't expect the congenial diplomacy of Close Encounters or the good times and chest-thumping found in alien invasion flicks like Independence Day.

Some have suggested Spielberg and writer David Koepp are also working a political angle, following H.G. Wells' path in writing the original 1898 book as an allegory about the British empire overreaching its grasp. Said Koepp to USA Weekend while speculating about possible subtexts, "It could be about how U.S. military interventionism abroad is doomed by insurgency, just the way an alien invasion might be."

ore obvious is the film's wrestling with issues of parenthood. Tom Cruise gives a convincing performance as the less-than-noble Ray. His relationships with his resentful teen son and innocent daughter (the always-amazing young actress Dakota Fanning) are the film's heart. If any lessons are learned, Ray comes to understand that he should have started investing himself in his children long before he was forced to do so by this outside crisis. His family would have been stronger when the devastation hit.

In promoting the film, Spielberg and his team talked repeatedly about their attempts to keep the human side of things "real" within the fantasy of this alien invasion, mentioning specifically the emotions raised by 9/11. That commitment to reality leaves little room for comic relief and traditional adventure "thrills" in the wake of so much violence, terror and loss of life. Yes, the story consists of a series of near misses and escapes. But the John Williams score doesn't swell victoriously when Ray and his family survive another close call; it just warns us to brace ourselves for more of the onslaught. War of the Worlds is expertly crafted and effectively scary, but it's hard to call this summer blockbuster "fun."
While Lyon doesn't think this one is fun (he is thinking of kids I think), it sounds like a good movie to me. But, I don't know since I have not seen it. What do you all think? Anyone out there seen it? I would like to hear comments on the script, and the plot line.

U.N. Official--Key to Ending Poverty is Abortion

Kim Trobee from Family News in Focus writes about the Millennium Development Goals project that attributed "China's remarkable achievements in development at least partly to its lower birth rate" according to a report in the Chinese People's Daily.

When it comes to defeating poverty and hunger around the globe, Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University appears to have it all figured out. His tools: Access to abortion and family planning.

Gary Kreep, executive director of the U.S. Justice Foundation, said that kind of thinking is counterproductive.

"We're denying ourselves the human resources that could help solve these problems," he said. "The U.N. has embarked upon a course of believing that the only way to develop a sustainable economic model is to promote abortion."

The U.N. believes population control simply means fewer poor people. That requires convincing or coercing people in certain countries.

Joseph D'Agostino, vice president for communications at the Population Research Institute, said coercion is often the method chosen.

"When you go to government officials in these countries and you tell them to reduce the number of children being born, they tend to employ whatever it takes," he said.

This is another example of how plain useless and brainless the UN can be. This kind of mass social experimentation will always have serious negative social and economic repercussions.

I support a non-profit that works at placing orphan Chinese girls in adoptive homes. It is said the stories I have heard of abandoned and neglected precious little girls. This is genocide of a whole different kind, committed by a coerced population under the rule of a communist regime. But no one is willing to call it what it is.

Rove/Plame: Where do We Stand? Thirteen Burning Questions

Leon H. at RedState.org has provided a good round UP on the whole Rove/Plame story, with thirteen questions he feels are still left unanswered. Since I am not a lawyer, and as Leon himself said, this story has gotten a lot of people by surprise, since it only became a story once Rove's name came to play.
...now that the hysteria has calmed a bit and the facts have been sorted out, the question remains, where do we stand? What are the issues left to be resolved? I humbly submit that this story boils down to 13 essential questions of fact, which I have enumerated below the fold. I also have attempted to answer these questions with the best information that I can find.

Items marked SETTLED are those on which moonbats and wingnuts agree in happy harmony. Items marked SOLID are those items for which significant evidence exists to dismiss the shrieking dissent of a few. Items marked SHAKY are those which are still up in the air, despite evidence on both sides. Items marked BURNING QUESTION are those about which virtually no evidence yet exists.
Here are the question he poses. Go to RedState.org to read his response, and the discussion thread.
1. What was the genesis of the trip? (SHAKY)
2. Did Iraq seek to purchase yellowcake from Niger? (SHAKY)

3. Did Wilson violate the law by leaking to Pincus and Kristof? (SHAKY)

4. Were Wilson's claims about his trip to Niger truthful? (SOLID)

5. Did Wilson claim that Dick Cheney sent him on the trip to Niger? (SOLID)

6. Did Valerie Plame "authorize" the trip? (SETTLED)

7. Is Wilson a partisan? (SOLID)

8. Did Karl Rove intend to out Valerie Plame? (SHAKY)

9. Was Valerie Plame's identity a secret? (SHAKY)

10. Where did Rove learn of Plame's identity? (BURNING QUESTION)

11. Did Karl Rove break the law? (SOLID)

12. Did Karl Rove release Miller and Cooper in Jan/Dec? (SOLID)

13. Did President Bush promise to fire anyone involved in the leak? (SOLID)

Tancredo Not Running for President - Yet

Great post at RedState.org about Colorado's Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo, who has said he is not running for president. The Washington Post writes;
Despite his four trips to early primary and caucus states this year, Rep. Tom Tancredo is not running for president -- yet.
But unless he can force what he called "the top-tier candidates, the guys with all the money, all the stature" in the Republican primary to take a strong position on cracking down on illegal immigration and lowering legal immigration, that is exactly what Mr. Tancredo told several audiences in Iowa this past weekend he will do.
"My task is to get one of them to take this on," Mr. Tancredo told about 50 members of the Christian Coalition of Iowa who gathered in a community center in Cedar Falls on Friday night. "If they don't do that, if I cannot find someone to do that, if they just give lip service to it and not the heart, yeah, I will run. I will do that."
While I am glad Tancredo is working to bring the issue to the forefront, it is to simple to talk about cracking down on illegal immigration. Something has to be done to fix the root of the problem: 1, economic breakdown of Central American countries produced by corrupt and inefficient governments that are stealing or wasting the money that the world bank and other do-gooders lend them and 2, Our immigration process, system and enforcement which are utterly useless and broken. Let's get our candidates to start talking about the whole picture.

I agree with one of RedState.org's readers
Lowering Legal Immigration ? By: Oz
While I am completely behind Tancredo on cracking down on illegal immigration, I think we should INCREASE legal immigration. This would allow for a larger pool of unskilled workers to fill the labor gap created by cracking down on the illegals.
There are some other comments I do necessarily agree with, but goes to demonstrate the complexity of the issue and the confusion in the discussion. American's want comfort, we want cheap products, we want good food, nice lawns, and cheap housing and construction--but no one is willing to get lower wages to get it done. Fact is, we are a nation of consumerism, and in order to consume, we mostly require the highest possible wage. You see it every few years--the libs come out in force to increase the minimum wage, hampering and knocking down small businesses. Fact is that immigrant workers are not stealing anyone's jobs. Illegals are--they bring the wages down because employers know they can pay lower wages to these laborers that have no access to legal protection. But, if you crack down on illegal immigration, secure our borders, and get rid of or largely increase the migrant worker visas (and student visas, and visas for families already here legally, etc). Stick to that which is legal, but welcome "your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

I want to point out, there is a golden door, and its lit by a lamp--not symbolism for illegals running in the dark across the desert to enter our nation without our knowledge and consent.

Read the RedState.org thread. It is interesting to say the least.

What is Patriotism?

Great comments by devildoc8406:
I wonder what has happened to the patriotism that America had after the 9/11 attacks. Why is that most people only raise their flags on designated holidays or when something tragic happens. Why have we taken the Pledge of Alliegence out of schools. I remember when I was growing up how great I felt after reciting that every morning. Let's show everyone that america stands behind its soldiers. You may not be proud of our governments actions but at least be proud of the men and women who fight over here so that it may never happen over there. I want to thank those of you who never stop supporting the men and women of the armed forces.

I have something for everyone out there to read. I am abig John Wayne fan. Many years ago he recorded a record "America, Why I love Her". CindyMitchum, The daughter of John Mitchum, aquired the rights to this record and has made a CD of it. My mom had bought this CD when I came home on leave one time. I would be a liar if I said I didn't at least start to shed a tear a couple of times throughout the CD. It's a real tear jerker!!! This is one of the recordings from the CD. Read this and see if you don't get a lump in your throat, a tear in your eye, or feeling of some kind of patriotism in your heart.
Read the rest of his post.

Wednesday, July 13

Karl Rove Feeding Frenzy

Great comments on Karl Rove on the Hedgehog Report.

For you people who think I am ignoring Karl Rove, here is my take in a nutshell. If Rove broke the law, he should be fired immediately. If he didn’t break the law, then Bush has to make the calculation politically and morally whether what Rove did warrants him keeping his job. All this other noise from Democrats and the media is just that, noise. In fact, the feeding frenzy by the media in the hopes of “taking down Bush” reminds me quite
a bit of the feeding frenzy over “Bush Did cocaine”…”Harken Energy”…”Alabama National Guard”…”Bush Knew Before 9/11″….well, you get the picture….

Feeding frenzy it is...

Cuba Rejects Hurricane “Aid” from US and Europe

This man is insane! Cuba is the model and living example of the failure of socialims and communism. Now, if Fidel would only die; The Cuban people could get on with living.

Cuba will accept hurricane relief assistance only from friendly nations, said Cuba’s Fidel Castro, who rejected an offer of $50,000 in US aid in the wake of hurricane Dennis. The storm, which hit the island this past weekend, caused 16 deaths and material damages estimated at $1.4 billion.

Reacting to the news of Cuba’s response, US State Department spokesman Tom Casey uttered a sole sentence saying, “Unfortunately Castro’s Government declined the offer.”

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Humphrey Terminal evacuated

Captain's Quarter has been following the news on a possible bomb threat in the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Humphrey Terminal.
UPDATE: The story has been updated. Now it appears that two dogs sniffed something suspicious in two vending machines. The machines were separated within the terminal, one being roughly in the center and the other located at the south end. Air traffic continues to get processed at the larger Lindbergh terminal, but Humphrey has been shut down until further notice.

Hispanics--The New Republicans

And here I was thinking that I was just a regular, good old fashioned republican, but Rev. Joseph Evans, a pastor at the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Northwest Washington, says I am a New Republican. Joking aside, this was a good article. The Rev. gives some ideas on The Rev. Evans points out that you can't take conservative minority for granted, nor can we be ignored. If they left chooses to stereotype, and ignore our traditional conservative roots, then they are going to continue experiencing the fruits of electoral defeat.

What I do not agree with the Reverend is using race as a reason to make a Supreme Court decision. Rev. Evans suggests that in order to sustain this new emerging class of new Republicans, the president should nominate Clarence Thomas as the successor to Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Again, race is an unacceptable parameter for the naming of the next Justice. May the best man win. Let's just leave it at that. I don't think anyone is putting into doubt the President's commitment to minorities. Why must we create racial interest groups pressuring every decision our government makes? It is foolish and does no good to anyone.
Journalists are creating public awareness of an emerging class of people called New Republicans. No longer operating under the proverbial radar screen, they are people who value family, limited government, self-help and responsibility, and an entrepreneurial spirit.

Partly, journalists may be interested in their enlarging presence because they are noticing an obvious sociopolitical paradigm shift occurring in our country. Another reason may be that the New Republicans are African Americans and Hispanics.

From a conservative perspective, African Americans and Hispanics conspicuously are asserting themselves in the public square by engaging in politics, commerce and the judiciary. President Bush may nominate appeals court Judge Emilio Garza to replace the venerable Sandra Day O'Connor, who recently announced her retirement. This appointment would reflect a changing reality within the Republican Party.

Alberto Gonzales Unlikely

Fred Barnes is reporting on the Weekly Standard that Gonzales is probably no longer a contender for the court, absent a change-of-mind. This, of course, is good news to me (a Hispanic), but they way Supreme Court predictions have been going lately, I would not trust it until its all over. My hope is that Bush will not make a decision based on neither race nor gender, but qualifications and commitment to uphold the constitution in its original intent.
THOUGH HE DEFENDED Attorney General Alberto Gonzales against conservative critics, President Bush now appears highly unlikely to nominate Gonzales to replace retiring Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Nor is Gonzales expected to be chosen to fill a second vacancy on the high court should Chief Justice William Rehnquist or another justice steps down in the near future.
UPDATE: Thanks to Slate Intern Megan O'Connor for the link and quote. To Slate readers, welcome. I hope you will take a look around, and bookmark the home page. Feel free to comment and/or email me. I always enjoy hearing from readers.

NARAL--Screw Freedom of Choice when it comes to Sex

Here is another example of the absurdity of the left's claims of defense of freedom of choice. They don't want you to be free to choose! They would much rather keep you ignorant, deceived and stupid in order for them to sell more condoms, and make more money of abortions.

They don't care that having an abortion increases your risk of breast cancer, that even so-called "protected" sex still leaves you exposed and at risk of countless of STD's, and they don't care of the emotional scarring that occurs from wasting away the gift of sexuality with no regard to it's true design. You where made for more! Make the right choice.

With the unblushing Lady Liberty looking on from the corner of the page, NARAL Pro-Choice America declares, "Throw your hands up and say it loud: Screw Abstinence!!"

This is the press release I have sitting on my desk. What a confusing message. On one hand, Lady Liberty is sitting as the American symbol of freedom and protection while the people in Washington state are being jolted with a Howard Dean-ish scream to "screw abstinence." What does one have to do with the other? Perhaps only that everyone is free to make choices regarding their sexual health. True, but are all choices good?

This event-from-another-planet is being marketed as the "Screw Abstinence Party." The invitation tells the invitee to, "Let them know you keep it real when it comes to your sexual health and decision making." It goes on to feature specific aspects including, "Toys in Babeland: Seattle's sleaze-free, sex positive purveyors of adult toys offer tips on sexy safer sex." It's clearly billed as an event for 21-and-over, but is also designed to support comprehensive sex education in public schools -- for high school students and younger.

Karl Rove, Karl Rove, Karl Rove, Karl Rove!!

What is it with the left? Even I am getting tired of this non-story. The left is so determined to find something to bring Bush down, it has blinded them from reality, and made them forget their training from first-year journalism school. Google news has as laundry list of sites carrying stories on Karl Rove--did he leak, did he wistleblow, fire him, do something! It's sickening. Why won't the lib's just give it up? Hugh Hewitt had this link to Polipundit.com on the briefing yesterday.
"I don’t even know how to describe the journalists’ questions in the briefing. I guess I could say they were disrespectful and disgraceful, but that does not quite do it justice. When I was watching, I just could not even get terribly angry about it because I was laughing too hard. Here are these blow-dried reporters who have spent years focusing their reports on whatever points the Democrat leaders tell them are important, rather than correctly framing and reporting the stories they cover, getting all nasty and going off on Scott McClellan over Karl Rove."
Make sure to check out the transcript of Hugh Hewitt's interview with Wonkette.
Hugh and Wonkette square off on the Karl Rove non-scandal. I liked this from radioblogger.com
Day by day, with the Karl Rove non-story continuing to not develop the kinds of revelations the liberals in Washington so long for, that hasn't stopped the fabled White House Press Corps, many of whom ought to reside at Bellevue instead of major media networks, from engaging in a verbal form of a foodfight, all aimed at Scott McClellan, the White House Press Secretary.

The three wolves in the press corps forest, John Roberts from CBS, David Gregory from NBC, and Terry Moran of ABC, along with many other ferrets, weasels, badgers, and other mid-sized mammals in the rodent family, have spent a cumulative hour and a half, over the last three days, trying desperately to get the White House to serve up Karl Rove's head on a plate. It ain't gonna happen. The Republicans tried about eight years ago to scandal their opponent out of their lives forever. And in that case, it was pretty easy to understand. Having your pants down in the Oval Office, engaging in oral sex with a White House intern, still is a scandal, unless you happen to be Larry Flynt. But Clinton rode it out, and finished out his term.

In this case, we are talking about a White House staffer correcting information about a story, on background, and according to most thinking people on both sides, doesn't come close to the threshold of breaking the law. But that doesn't seem to stop the White House Press Corps from strip mining the Press Room, looking for a chunk of fool's gold. Here's the highlights from today's briefing.

Well, I think this is enough on Karl Rove, and his whole non-story. I hope the rest of the media world would do the same.

London Suicide bomber profile: A Teenager

Is it safe to assume that these sort of individuals are living among us? I think so! A friend told me the story of a large group of Muslims celebrating and dancing openly in the student lounge at Florida International University in Miami. How many of our future bombers have we educated? How many have we welcomed among us? Again, we have to assume that there are others, like the London suicide bombers, that are living among us now.

There are two kinds of dangers. The first, is the Muslim terrorist that gets through the Mexican border and comes into our country undetected. We know there must be many of those already here. Then, there is the sleeper cells. This is why we need to keep the Patriot Act.

If we do not actively fight the enemy, they will do harm again on our soil.

Which Comes First--The Family or the Village?

AP news has a story today being commented on at WorldMagBlog on Santorum's book, "It Takes a Family," aimed at countering Clinton's message and asserting liberal politics have weakened the American family.

According to the AP, Clinton had not commented on Santorum's book, but this Tuesday, the article tells of an exchange
...when the two senators passed each other in the basement of the Capitol.

"It takes a village, Rick, don't forget that," Clinton called out.

"It takes a family," he countered.

"Of course, a family is part of a village!" she replied.

The two continued on in opposite directions.

The 449-page book by Santorum tackles domestic issues ranging from home schooling to welfare reform, and promotes family over what he describes as the big government, or village, in Clinton's 1996 book.
I liked some of the comments on the blog discussion in response.

Hillary ruined the perfectly valid concept of a community being involved in the rearing of children, under the authority of the parents, by co-opting it to mean that the government and the community should rear the children without necessarily deferring to the authority of the parents.

Posted by Jane D. at July 13, 2005 10:15 AM

>>>"It takes the village to raise everyone with the right societal values as determined by the government. Not as determined by the village."

Spoken like a true Stalinist. Sorry dude, the government doesn't tell me what the right societal values are-- WE tell the government what the right societal values are. And we Christians are informed by the Bible, while you atheists invent it out of whole cloth.

Posted by Carlos at July 13, 2005 10:19 AM
Perhaps the question is which comes first? The family or the village? While it is true that there is value in seeking parenting advice from a counselor or a church pastor or a relative, I have to affirm the thought that the family is the foundation for the village. Without one, you don't have the other. Without families, we would be a anarchist society. So, yes Mr. Santorum. It takes a family to raise a child, build a village, and strengthen a government. It takes a family.

The Christian Way to Deal with Terrorism

A WorldMagBlog reader posted a good question I would like to respond to. He said,

We all know most Muslims are not terrorists but most terrorists are Muslims. So where do we go from there? With an eternal perspective we can't go around smoking all of them even if we could. But I don't see a lot of thought being put into finding a Christian way to deal with this. Where is it?

Posted by wiley at July 13, 2005 09:27 AM
I liked Joel Mark's response,"God ordained governing authorities to deal with (read; "wield the sword") against evil-doers."

I would like to ad to his comment with some thoughts on individuals responsabilities--yes, even Christians. God ordained many sacred institutions, including work, the family, the church, and yes, even government and authorities.

While the institution where ordained by God, being that we are all flawed, it is evident that all institutions are imperfect. Nevertheless, as Christians, we are called to serve our own individual role in these institutions. Some are called to be Pastors, some are called to be business men, and some are called to be in politics. But, we are all called to serve and honor God--and we do so by affirming that which God has ordained.

This means that it is our responsibility to vote for responsible political leadership. It may also mean we are responsible to run and lead when it is evident we can make a difference.

How can a Christian say he/she supports our troops, but then say he/she is against this war? That is a contradiction. I dislike war, and what it does. It is horrible. But, I support our troops, and the ideals for which they fight. I support the freedom they give me, and those in the middle east.

A morally weak individual will form a weak family. A morally weak family creates a weak society. A morally weak society cannot possibly produce a strong government. A weak government only feeds the hunger of those that would murder our children, and destroy the freedom and values we enjoy.

So, it starts with the moral individual who lives by the judeo-christian value system (its the only one that actually has proven through out history to work). But, we are not marbles in a bag--we are all related, playing different roles that affect and support and interrelate with each other.

Support our troops! Fight Terrorism. Vote!

Opinion of Wal-Mart--Part II

Quaerens Sapientiam made some comments on my post about Wal-Mart, and wrote more about his thoughts on the subject on his blog. I thought it was well balanced and thought out. Since I have only been blogging for a short time, I have to say that his post made me realize I am not yet sure where the boundaries of my personal ideas on capitalism.
The free market inherently supports companies that scrounge for every last cent of profit regardless of all other considerations, like Wal-Mart. Companies that care for their employees, and sell the products that best balance quality and cost, will only survive if employees value working for caring employers and buyers realize the true cost of savings. The education and the entertainment-advertising systems are largely to blame for society's current ignorance in these matters. In the name of savings, Americans shop at big-box stores, and some of us defend it by arguing that we are supporting capitalism.

Though I generally support a free market, I am not a capitalist. A classical liberal believes in few restrictions on free enterprise. A pure capitalist it seems, believes that money is the ultimate measure of good. I am far more concerned about quality of life than I am about money.

In a free market, I can choose to not support businesses I dislike. This includes businesses that care more about profit than the well-being of their employees and their community/ies. In a free market, that's the only way to control rogue businesses such as Wal-Mart.

Tuesday, July 12

Telecom Providers Focus on Ethnic Marketing

Telecommunications companies will drastically increase their focus on the Hispanic market this year, according to a new report released by research company In-Stat.

Among recent telecom initiatives following this trend are Qwest’s low-cost long-distance calling plan to Mexico and a nationwide mobile service geared to Hispanics from Movida Communications, which is allied with Sprint PCS.

The report, Culture Shock: Trends in Ethnic Marketing, predicts that there will be a decrease in revenue from all ethnic subscribers, but Hispanics and Pacific Islanders will experience the smallest decrease because of their steady population growth.

In-Stat, which is owned by Reed Business Information, the parent company of Hispanic TV Update, also predicted that although 40.4 million white customers will subscribe to broadband by 2009, the growth rate of Hispanics and Pacific Islander subscribers will be much greater.

"In-Stat has also found that some ethnic groups react better to specific types of advertising and marketing and are influenced by different sources," Amy Cravens, In-Stat analyst said in a statement. "In better understanding these differences, providers may be able to more fully realize the potential subscribership of what may be under-subscribing ethnic groups."

Some MSOs and phone companies are already thinking along those lines. For example, Cox is trying to lure Hispanic customers with free long-distance minutes to select countries, such as Mexico.

Similarly, Cablevision ramped up its telephony offerings by cutting a wireless deal with Sprint PCS and offering unlimited calls to Puerto Rico as part of its VoIP product.

Cristina Saralegui Elected Into Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame

Cristina Saralegui, host of Univision Television Network’s El Show de Cristina, has been elected to Broadcasting & Cable’s Hall of Fame in recognition of her 15 years of contributions to the electronic arts. She joins a long list of television industry luminaries that includes her Univision colleague Mario "Don Francisco" Kreutzberger from Sabado Gigante (Giant Saturday). The 15th annual Hall of Fame ceremony is taking place on Oct. 24 in New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

Check out the press release here
.

Univision Bests ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC

For the first time, Univision ranked as the top-rated network in prime time in the 18- to 34-year-old demo for an entire week. From June 27 to July 3, the network averaged 1,175,000 viewers in the demo (up 26% over the same period last year) besting the top-ranked English-language networks — ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC — according to Univision. The network reports that those networks have seen their viewers in the demo drop by 16% over the same period last year.

One in 10 births in the United States in 2002 were to women born in Mexico

The Washington Post reports that nearly 23% of all people born in the U.S. in 2002 had a foreign-born mother. The article cites a report by the Center for Immigration Studies, which says the country has not seen as large a share of its children born to immigrants since 1910. According to the study released last week, nearly one in 10 births in the United States in 2002 were to women born in Mexico. Hispanics, as a whole, accounted for 59% of all births by immigrants.

Read the story here. Registration required

Discussion--Why Lefties hate Walmart

I posted the following in the WorldMagBlog open thread. Interesting thoughts:

The poorer, less educated, and older consumers are, the more they believe in the goodness of Wal-Mart. Adults with a high school diploma and adults age 65+ gave Wal-Mart nearly as high a grade for "good corporate citizenship" as for "lowest prices."
AMERICAN DEMOGRAPHICS PERCEPTION STUDY, ADVERTISING AGE 6.6.05

What do you all make of it? I posted my reaction on my blog, but now I am thinking I need to hear other people out? Why is it that Wal-Mart is so hated? Is this just good ol' Political correcness run amock? I am sure there are some legitimate concerns regarding how WalMart does business, but tend to think those can be addressed without vilifying the company.

Any comments?

Josue Sierra
http://latinoissues.blogspot.com/

Posted by Josue Sierra at July 12, 2005 03:46 PM

***

Lefties hate Walmart because they aren't unionized and socialist but ignore the fact they employ more people of less means than any other company and without Walmart's low prices the poor, really poor lefties will have no place to shop they can afford - especially with unions involved. walmat breaks no laws and is a great American success story.

Forget socialist Social Security. It's not social nor is it secure. Put $5,000 into your kids S&P 500 mutual fund one time when they are born or teach hem to put $75 week into it every week until they are 65 from their hard earned weekly pay starting at 18 years old. Both methods make them multi millionaires in future money and millionaires in today's money that will make them rich, sociable and secure in their old age without question - unless the USA fails along the way. But their investing in their and USA's future will make sure it doesn't fail - at least financially.

Posted by Llama at July 12, 2005 04:03 PM

***

One legitimate criticism is that Wal-Mart drives everyone else out of business, including the smaller local stores and regional chains. People have also criticized them for the lower quality of the good they sell, which is what you would expect of a bargain store. There is also something of what I can only call a "snob" factor, in that a store that specializes in lower prices will necessarily attract persons of lower socioeconomic strata, to the chagrin of persons who see themselves as better.

Posted by Ken Abbott at July 12, 2005 04:04 PM

***

I am a retired Railroader, and although our pension system is very similar to SSA, (better) when I retired in 1988 there were 3 drawing for every 1 paying in. They revamped it so that a portion was invested in the market. Since that time the retirement age has lowered to 60, widow benefits have been increased etc etc.

Draw your own conclusions.

Posted by Gil Helvie at July 12, 2005 04:39 PM

***
Glad to know I'm not the only one to see the benefit of Wal-Mart.

Americans are losing the right not to support certain behaviors

World Magazine reported that Wal-Mart is taking heat from pro-abortion groups because it refuses to sell the morning-after pill in its pharmacies. Wal-Mart has said it doesn't stock the pills for "business reasons," but Planned Parenthood and NARAL are responding with classic political tactics: letter-writing and picketing campaigns.
NARAL spokesman Ted Miller calls Wal-Mart's stand "disconcerting" because "for many rural women, Wal-Mart is their only pharmacy." In cases across the country, however, others are finding it disconcerting that they are being forced not only to tolerate but to actively promote abortion and homosexuality. (see "One choice fits all")
They have a full article here:

I Must be Uneducated, Poor, or Just Real Old

I just read this quote from an IconCulture email in the Market Facts column. It says:
The poorer, less educated, and older consumers are, the more they believe in the goodness of Wal-Mart. Adults with a high school diploma and adults age 65+ gave Wal-Mart nearly as high a grade for "good corporate citizenship" as for "lowest prices."
AMERICAN DEMOGRAPHICS PERCEPTION STUDY, ADVERTISING AGE 6.6.05
I don't tell you I believe in the goodness of Wal-Mart, but I don't follow the hype and lib-mantra about low-wages, and such. No one forces anyone to work at Wal-Mart. No one forces anyone to buy stuff at Wal-Mart. Why do they? Because it evidently must be to their benefit. People demand lower prices, and Wal-Mart knows how to be competitive and provide quality service at the same time. So, yes, I do shop at Wal-Mart nearly every week. Am I poor? I don't think so. But I am frugal, and cautious in how I spend my money. I have goals for the future, and a wife that knows how to pinch a penny.

I would grade them as great corporate citizenship. They provide work for individuals with disabilities, including people with mental disabilities that would otherwise not be able to work elsewhere. They provide jobs for teens needing a starting experience, or mid-life single mothers who need the flexible schedule, or senior citizens who want continue contributing to our society, earn some extra income and meet people.

Most importantly, they stimulate the economy. They keep people spending when money is tight. So, you don't like how they play the game? Get out of the game. And stop reading and believing everything you find on the Internet!

HILLARY TO ADDRESS 2005 LA RAZA CONFERENCE

U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), and Puerto Rico Governor Aníbal Acevedo-Vilá are scheduled to address participants at a luncheon during the 2005 National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Annual Conference in Philadelphia. NCLR says that more than 2,000 people are expected to attend.

Bush Listens to Senators on Court Vacancy

Let's hope the Senate doesn't start expecting this from now on. The problem with this sort of courtesy gestures by the white house is that they get distorted through history, and it sets bad precedent that threatens to tip the balance of powers between the legislative and executive branch of our Federal government system.

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush and his top advisers listened to suggestions from Democrats and Republicans on Tuesday about candidates for filling a vacancy on the Supreme Court, but did not tip his hand about his favorites.

"He didn't give us any names," Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada told reporters after the breakfast meeting.

Besides Reid, Bush met with Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee; Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the ranking Democrat on the committee; and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn. Also in the room was Vice President Dick Cheney and White House Chief of Staff Andy Card.

The Senate participants did offer up some names, and the whole group discussed them but it was not a substantial discussion, Senate aides said.

ESPN Spanish Sports Channel--Real Madrid vs. Chivas Rayadas

ESPN Deportes to Showcase Exclusive Telecast of Real Madrid vs. Chivas Rayadas De Guadalajara;

New York, NY--July 12, 2005--ESPN Deportes, the 24-hour Spanish-language sports network, will showcase what is said to be one of the most anticipated soccer matches to take place in the U.S. The match featuring well-known Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid vs. Club Deportivo Guadalajara will air on Saturday, July 16, at 5:30 p.m. CT / 6:30 p.m. ET.

Real Madrid is the nine-time European club champions, and will face Mexican power Club Deportivo Guadalajara at Chicago's Soldier Field. The match will be the second game of a doubleheader that will also feature an MLS regular season game between the Chicago Fire and the Columbus Crew. Real Madrid, winner of 29 Spanish league titles, is widely recognized as one of the world's most popular soccer clubs. The team features several of the world's greatest players, including David Beckham, Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, Michael Owen, Roberto Carlos and team captain Raul.

Club Deportivo Guadalajara, known as Chivas Rayadas de Guadalajara, will be coming off a historic run in the prestigious Copa Libertadores, the regional championship for clubs from South America and Mexico. One of Mexico's most popular clubs with a long-standing policy of fielding only Mexican players, Chivas features a selection of players from Mexico's national team, including goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez and forward Adolfo "Bofo" Bautista. With 10 League championships and seven CONCACAF championships, Chivas is one of Mexico's most storied teams.

This should be an exciting soccer game that is not to be missed.

Explosions in Spain's northern Basque country

More violence in Spain.
MADRID (Reuters) - Explosions near a power station in Spain's northern Basque country on Tuesday followed a call to a newspaper by Basque separatist guerrillas ETA warning of four bombs, police said.

The four small blasts caused no injuries and the plant at Amorebieta was undamaged, Basque officials said.

Police had cleared the area after the warning, which came about half an hour before the explosions, evacuating more than 100 staff from the plant.

FEC Hears Bloggers' Bid to Share Media Exemption

This is a serious concern. The Washington Post is reporting on the FEC hearings on the issue of media exemptions, but it doesn't seem they have extended this to independent bloggers.

I do believe that bloggers need to provide for some sort of self-regulation, and we need to protect ourselves from profiteering bloggers that would take money from a corporation or PAC. The ones that will ultimately suffer are the little guys--the independent blogger. The 2006 and 2008 election are going to be paramount, and without the accountability that the blogs provide, it would be a mess and a disaster!

I personally do not take any money from anyone for my blogging. If that changes in the future, I will post it here and let my readers know.
The FEC appears to have settled on about half a dozen issues, the most contentious of which is known as the "media exemption." It refers to provisions that exempt the news media from campaign finance laws, including a nearly 100-year-old law barring corporate contributions to political candidates.

That exemption allows journalists working for corporations such as The Washington Post, Fox News and WTOP to go about their daily business without having to worry about running afoul of the law. Those protections, designed to protect the freedom of the press, allow newspapers, for example, to endorse political candidates without having those writings be considered contributions to the campaigns.

The FEC is now considering whether rules should apply to publications on the Internet. It announced earlier this year that it is inclined to formally extend the exemption to the Web sites of traditional news operations, along with such sites as Slate, Salon and the Drudge Report that exist only online. The panel did not take a position on granting the protection to bloggers, some of whom have incorporated for liability purposes. Instead, the agency asked the public for comments on the issue and held two days of hearings, much of which focused on the exemption question.

Just Say No to Race-Based Public Policies

Just read on Captains Quarter about the Hawaiian activists that want race-based public policy. The New York times writes about a bill being introduced that could go before the Senate for a vote as soon as next week. The bill;
...would allow native Hawaiians - defined, in part, as anyone with indigenous ancestors living in the islands before the kingdom fell - to elect a governing body that would negotiate with the federal government over land and other natural resources and assets. There is a lot of money and property at stake, including nearly two million acres of "ceded lands," once owned by the monarchy; hundreds of thousands of acres set aside long ago for Hawaiian homesteaders; and hundreds of millions of dollars in entitlement programs.
M.E.C.H.A. or whatever, entertaining these kind of separatist ideas can only divide our nation, and may even one day take us to another civil war. We pray to God this not be the case, but enough is enough--stop the political correctness. I'll let CQ's concluding words say it all.
Let's quit accommodating those who want to live in the warm cocoon of the slights in the past. Separatist movements have no place in the United States. Given the track record of the reservation systems for maintaining viability for the Native Americans, we should avoid duplicating that system at all costs. As long as we keep creating new race-based public policies, we will never achieve true reconciliation or equality for Americans of all backgrounds and ethnicities.
Latinos. African Americans. Native Americans. Asians. United we stand, divided we fall.

The Victimization of African Americans

Power Line has some great comments on the NAACP and their efforts to extort money from corporations. As I said before, all this does is create a victim mentality among the African American community, and further hinder their struggles to gain economic success. Good thing there are thousands of African Americans that do NOT follow or listen to the voice of the NAACP. Here is the Power Line post:

The NAACP resorts to extortion

The NAACP, a once-great civil rights organization, will now devote itself to extorting money from corporations whose predecessors it thinks can be tied, in some fashion, to slavery. The extortion tactics are described by the Washington Times.

The money will come from shareholders who had nothing to do with the "peculiar institution," and whose ancestors probably didn't either. In many cases, the ancestors weren't even in this country during the time of slavery, and themselves suffered from various forms of discrimination when they arrived here.

Read the Washington Times article. These guys are pathetic!

The Attempted Victimization of Hispanics

What is it with all this talk I hear about improving black and Latino relations? I found this article on AlterNet about how Vicente Fox snubbed the NAACP!! Give me a freaking break! The Lefty Libs at NAACP just have no clue! This is what I think is going on.

The lefty NAACP leadership is trying to make their candle shine a little bit brighter by snuffing out the latino's candle. The fact is there is one major difference between latinos and African Americans as minorities--we don't feel we have been victimized. I will admit, African Americans where victims of some horrible things through out history, but the truth is that today, all in all, we are in a much more civil, free, and equal-opportunity society. While racism still exists, it is not a population wide problem the way some in the modern so-called civil rights movement would have you believe.

In my case, as a Hispanic, I have never been called a 'spic', I have never had a job refused because of my dark hair, brown eyes or brown skin, and I have never been profiled by a police and stopped on the street (I was stopped for blowing off a stop sign,...but that's a different story all together). Here is my message to the NAACP. Stop trying to turn us (latinos) into equal opportunity victims. We are not like you. We are sorry for the suffering you have had, but we have had our own suffering, and our own trials. We also have been exiled from our home countries, either by hunger, corruption, murderous dictators, and lack of work opportunities. But we have chosen a different path. For the most part, with the exception of wacky La Raza or MECHA groups, Hispanics are not complainers. Go and talk to any of the day laborers who stand in street corners hoping to get picked up for some construction work for a days pay, and you will hear about the challenges, and the hardships, but you will also hear about the opportunities, about the blessings, about how things could be worst--thank God they are not.

So, no--Fox has no reason to go to an NAACP annual convention. It wouldn't have been a bad idea to be there, but to refuse means nothing!! The man had a full schedule. Take it as it is. Don't even get me started on the Memin stamp! That was the biggest bunch of hogwash I have ever heard coming from...I don't even know who it was that was protesting it. Fools! What do they know about Memin, its significance, and the message it gives to the Latino community? Here is a real sharp post on AlterNet on that subject. This is one smart individual--more than I can say for our beloved African American civil rights leaders.

Mexican Stamp
Posted by: ZylogZ80 on Jul 12, 2005 7:02 AM [Report this comment]
I did some reading up on the cartoon they were putting on that stamp that caused such an uproar (I can't recall the character's name at the moment). Though the little cartoon guy looked racist to Americans (myself included) when we see it out of context. Actually, after reading up on the character, he's a pretty positive little guy. He has a group of friends, who are of different races, and they story runs in a sort of serial continuing story format. The group encounter problems and they overcome them through their different talents. The character on the stamp often over comes his problems, according to what I read, using ingenuity and hope. I know the likeness causes us discomfort, but the image is out of cultural context. When a Mexican sees that character he is entwined with their knowledge of his attributes and traits, that endear him to the people. One of the biggest fears we have on the left is the specter of racism, from the outside world, from within our ranks, and even in ourselves. I think we have to look at the whole picture before we judge, as that's what we ask of others.

Well, here is the full piece on Fox's snub. Read it.
To African Americans, I ask you, "Are you victims today?" Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it. That is true for you, for us latinos, for the white, Asians and Muslims that live and struggle in this country. We all have our struggles. We all have our enemies. Life goes on. Stop whinnying! And that goes for everyone else too!