Tuesday, June 30, 2009
I feel compelled to turn anyone who hasn't found the Gateway Pundit to take a look. Check out this link. I wish that I had the time and talent to try to do the job as well.
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the newest member of the U.S. Senate . . . Al Franken. (Link to story here.) And the sixtieth member of the Senate's Democratic caucus. Sixty votes, of course, ends a filibuster and the only procedural weapon that the Republicans had.
Cap-and-trade anyone? Let's hope not. Dick Morris was on Jamie Allman's show this morning on 97.1 FM Talk touting his new book, Catastrophe. Morris identified Claire McCaskill as a Democrat who could be swayed to vote against the measure. Use this link to send her an e-mail voicing your opinion. Hopefully, Senator McCaskill will listen to her constituents' voices.
The Reuters story linked above did contain one hopeful factoid . . . "the last time either party had a filibuster-proof 60 senators was 1979 when Democrats held 61 and Democratic [sic] Jimmy Carter was president." Why is that hopeful? Just a year after the Democrats had their last super-majority, the American people rebelled against liberalism and Ronald Reagan was elected president.
Here's hoping for another rebellion against liberalism in the 2010 elections.
Monday, June 29, 2009
The United States Supreme Court today reversed a decision made by an appellate court panel that included Sonia Sotomayor, Barack Obama's choice to join the high court. (Link to story here.)
Sotomayor, with two other judges, had sided with the city of New Haven when it decided not to promote firefighters who scored the highest on promotion examinations because of their skin color. In its decision, the Supreme Court held that the City could not rely "on race to the detriment of individuals who passed the examinations and qualified for promotions."
Unfortunately, this decision was not unanimous. Instead the four liberals on the Court sided with New Haven's discrimination on the basis of race - probably because the discrimination was directed against white men. Thankfully, Sotomayor's presence on the Court would make no difference. She would replace on of the four liberal dissenters.
As long as Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, and Samuel Alito can hold on, Martin Luther King's dream that people would "not be judged by the color of their skin" is alive.
(For a local angle, check out this excellent story by Jeremy Kohler in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Kohler reminds us that when faced with the identical issues, St. Louis, eventually, did the right thing.)
What's the difference? (Other than the fact that one of these guys looks remarkably like Saddam Hussein.)
Yesterday, the democratically elected president of Honduras was overthrown in a coup d'etat.
Today, Barack Obama, as quoted in this story from Reuters, stated that "we believe the coup was not legal and President Zelaya remains the president of Honduras, the democratically elected president there." Though not poetic, this was certainly the right thing to say, though the issue itself is a bit more nuanced than black-and-white.
On June 12, 2009, Iran held a sham election where the incumbent president (it certainly seems) and his puppet-masters ignored the votes of their citizens and kept a democratically elected president from office.
But Obama said nothing about the Iranian elections until June 15 when he stated that "we respect Iranian sovereignty and want to avoid the United States being the issue inside of Iran." (Link to Wall Street Journal article here.)
What's the difference?
I have some ideas . . .
It could be that the Monroe Doctrine is alive and well. Maybe America has a stronger interest in Central America than in the Middle East.
It could be that Obama believes that the United States is still strong enough to take on Honduras but fears Iran.
Or, it could be that Obama has more affinity for leftists in Honduras than reformers in Iran. Smart money says that is certainly playing a role.
What do the readers think?
(In the interest of full disclosure, Obama has used tougher rhetoric since June 15. But his statements have been directed at the Iranian government's response to the mass protests in the streets rather than at the cause of those protests.)
Sunday, June 28, 2009
As regular readers of this blog know, posts have been fewer and farther between over the past week. I was away and though I did have web access, very little seemed important enough to take the time to write about.
But that doesn't mean nothing was happening . . . the Republican governor of South Carolina committed political suicide by libido. Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, and Ed McMahon, passed on. Missouri governor Jay Nixon agreed to national educational standards. And, once again, the Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives passed another major piece of legislation (which would "solve" a nonexistent problem by crippling our already hobbled economy) without reading it.
Much as I would love to take the time to exhaust all of these issues in this space, I must admit to feeling a bit of the blahs about all of this news . . . blah, blah, blah . . . the country is controlled by liberals and so is the state. Conservatives keep shooting themselves in the feet. And the public seems more interested in spectacle and celebrity than in issues.
So I won't look back. On to bigger and newer news. Billy Mays is gone. It's not been a good week for A, B, or C-list celebrities. May they all rest in peace.
I look forward to getting back in the saddle this week.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
SLC is on vacation this week. We picked this week - in June - because we expected cooler weather than the available weeks in July or August. But, nooooo. Wow, it's hot out there. Welcome to summer folks.
But don't get overly excited Al Gore . . . personal experience does not a global trend make. If it did, I'd be a fashion model because my wife thinks I'm handsome.
I must admit that my first response to this story was negative. Barack Obama is coming to St. Louis for the All-Star Game and will throw out the first pitch at Busch Stadium on July 14.
St. Louis is my home and, frankly, I'd rather this particular president stay as far away as possible. But, you know what, we need to rise above partisanship, whether Democrats do or not. When the president comes to town to do his ceremonial duties, everyone in town should respect the office . . . if not the man who holds it.
So, welcome Mr. President. Throw your pitch and then don't let the Arch hit you in the backside on the way out of town.
(By the way, 2004 was the last time a president threw out the first pitch in St. Louis. George W. Bush came to town and the Cardinals won the N.L. pennant that year. Will Obama's appearance bring the same [or better] karma? Stay tuned.)
Monday, June 22, 2009
Iran is in turmoil. Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets in protest of a sham election. They're wanting their voices to be heard. They're longing for freedom . . . something like democracy. But their oppressors have vowed to "crush further protest." (Link to story here.)
The United States was once the shining city on a hill, a beacon of light in a dark world, and hope for people who longed for freedom from around the world. Is it still?
The Iranian people need our support . . . they need America . . . they need Barack Obama to speak out and apply pressure on their behalf. The time has come. Light the lamp of freedom for Iran.
6/23 Update: Did anybody see Obama's press conference? (Link to story here.) Did Obama read SLC? Maybe, that's the positive spin. Or, is this the best that the president and his teleprompter can do? That's the negative spin.
Because, guess what Al Gore, it's not. In fact, this month Arizona has experienced its longest stretch of June "high" temperatures below 100 since 1913. (Link to story here.)
Barack Obama criticized George W. Bush for "secretly" meeting with oil company executives and claiming presidential privilege when folks like Obama wanted to know who was present.
Now, Obama is meeting "secretly" meeting with coal company executives and claiming presidential privilege when other folks want to know who was present. (Link to story here.)
Again I ask . . . has there ever been a bigger hypocrite than Barack Obama?
And now I ask . . . has there ever been a bigger liar? Remember, this is the guy who promised a "new era" of openness in government.
Obama is definitely a liar but he's not the biggest liar in history. But give him time. Remember he's only been in office about five months.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Former president George W. Bush delivered a speech in Pennsylvania today defending his administration's interrogation policies, "declaring the private sector - not government - will fix the economy and rejecting the nationalization of health care." (Link to story here.)
W. was not my favorite president, far from it. But compared to the current occupant of the White House, he was George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Ronald Reagan rolled into one.
Barack Obama (or his people) have fired two inspectors general in the past week, both of whom "had investigated sensitive subjects at the time of their firings." (Link to story here.)
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Tom Daschle lost his chance to head the Department of Health and Human Services back in February because he got caught cheating on his taxes. (Link to story here.)
But, apparently, cheating on your taxes doesn't disqualify you from choice appointments to prestigious White House boards . . . today Daschle was appointed to the President's Commission on White House Fellowships. (Link to White House press release here.)
President Obama praised his choices for this board, including Daschle, as "diverse (ha!), non-partisan (ha, ha!), and committed to mentoring our next generation of public servants (God forbid!)." The president said that he was "confident that they will select a class of White House Fellows that demonstrate [sic] extraordinary leadership, strong character, and a deep commitment to serving their country." In other words, folks not very much like Tom Daschle.
Tom Daschle was discredited because of his dishonesty but that doesn't seem to matter much. Corrupt politicians are like bad pennies stuck to Washington and the public trough.
The internet is a lot of things. It is good and bad. It is important and frivolous. It is the last bastion of truly free speech in a politically correct and increasingly controlled word and it is forum for fools to rant and rave. It is a tool for legal purposes and a tool for criminal enterprise. It is all of these things, and more.
But the internet is certainly a vibrant and necessary venue for public debate on issues. Not only blogs but media sites like stltoday.com and the Las Vegas Review-Journal's website invite reader comments. And everywhere I've seen, such comments can be left anonymously or under a pseudonym. Because of that anonymity, people are free to say what they really think, without fear of reprisal from anyone else, and without disclosing their opinions to whomever might be curious . . . family, friends, employers, government, etc. And freedom makes the debate much more relevant and interesting.
The U.S. Attorney for Nevada, however, is attaching that freedom and, consequently, attacking freedom of speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. (Link to story here.) A federal grand jury subpoena has been issued to the Las Vegas Review-Journal seeking the real names, physical addresses, IP addresses, telephone numbers, genders, dates of birth and, get this, credit card numbers, and other information of people who posted comments on the newspaper's website in response to a story about an investigation underway. The prosecutors want this information because "some comments hinted at acts of violence" toward grand jurors.
But the subpoena is not limited to seeing information about posters who "hinted" at violence. It is, apparently, going after everyone's information.
The newspaper is fighting the subpoena. Good. Its editor indicated a willingness to cooperate if "specific crimes or real threats" were presented. Also good. But until that point, the constitutionally protected freedom to speak anonymously must be protected.
As you might all know, this issue is personal for me. I run this blog anonymously. Why? Am I afraid of letting people know what I think? In general, the answer is a definite no. But, on the other hand, I wouldn't want deranged liberals looking me up in the white pages and then calling me at home or showing up at my house to express their thoughts or feelings. It is also none of my employer's business what my personal political views are. My employer's views might be (in fact, probably are) different than mine and, frankly, I don't want to open even a potential can of worms.
Anonymity begets free speech on the internet. It must be protected or many voices, including mine, will be silenced.
The Drudge Report today is showing proof that Obamas can work miracles posting these two photos side-by-side. The first was taken on March 20 when Michelle planted her garden and the second yesterday when she harvested.
Miracle growth or another miracle of movie magic?
Kudos to Matt Drudge for piecing these two items together.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Rush Limbaugh has taken to calling the mainstream media in America "state-run" lately. And, I must admit to finding the monicker amusing.
But, it turns out to be much more than a joke. Check out what Matt Drudge is reporting here.
It seems that ABC News has thrown in the final towel on journalistic integrity. Next Wednesday, they'll be broadcasting live, all evening, starting with the nightly "news"cast and continuing with a prime-time special on President Obama's healthcare plan, shutting out opposing views.
I wish I was surprised.
Monday, June 15, 2009
What would America think if the United Kingdom, a nation that we consider a friend and ally, decided to take a few terrorists from a prison that its new leader decided to close and transfer them to Puerto Rico without telling us?
We'd be furious, of course, to put it mildly. And rightly so.
But, guess what, the U.S. has transported four terrorists from Guantanamo Bay to Bermuda . . . a British territory. And, guess what, nobody bothered to let the Brits know in advance. (Link to story here.)
In the interest of being completely fair to the administration, they did consult with Bermudan officials but, as Toby Hamden writes in the article linked above, "the UK's responsibility for the security of Bermuda is well known to U.S. diplomats."
Well, it should be. If it is, this is a slap to an ally's face. If it isn't, this is another sign that our current administration is not ready for the big leagues.
Here's another story that won't get much play in Big Media . . . but the United States is a conservative country! Forty percent of Americans in a Gallup Poll identify themselves as conservative. Forty percent! (Link here.)
While that's not a majority, it is a plurality. There are more self-identified conservatives than moderates, who make up just 35% of the population and far more conservatives than liberals. Just 21% of Americans call themselves liberals.
It is too bad that mainstream media paints conservatism as extremism and as the minority viewpoint. It simply isn't. Just because liberals run the press, the most popular opinions in the country are silenced and tiny minority opinions are represented as the norm. (See for example, the abortion debate.)
Trust your instincts conservatives. Hold firm to your positions and ideas. There is popular support out here. I hope (and am beginning to suspect) that we might see some significant signs of that support in November of 2010.
Friday, June 12, 2009
SLC observed a vehicle with today with several bumper stickers. Two of them caught my eye. They're noteworthy because of their proximity on the same car.
The first one read . . . "Don't Steal . . . Government hates competition."
The second one read . . . "Hillary Clinton 2008."
How can someone who believes that the government is stealing the people's money support one of the biggest proponents of such crime?
I'm reminded again of the essential truth of life . . . people are stupid!
Thursday, June 11, 2009
This afternoon Washington University law professor Thomas Schweich announced that he will not run for Senate in 2010. (Link to Tony Messenger's report at Political Fix here.)
Schweich stated his belief that Republicans "should unite behind Rep. [Roy] Blunt." He concluded after meeting with party members around Missouri (and possibly reading certain blogs?) that his "entering the race would be divisive and probably lower the chances of keeping Sen. [Kit] Bond's seat in Republican hands."
Thanks for coming around Professor Schweich.
Unite and win. Blunt in 2010!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Before you answer that question, consider on the one hand this story where Obama says out of one side of his mouth that he supports "pay-as-you-go" legislation, which would require that every new dollar spent or tax cut given* would be accounted for by a corresponding spending cut elsewhere in the budget.
And then consider, on the other hand, this story pointing out that Obama actually has already carved out 2.5 trillion (that's trillion with a T) dollars in exceptions to the "pay-as-you-go" rule for his spending priorities.
Now, feel free, to answer the question posed.
*Note . . . SLC does recognize that tax cuts actually generate more tax dollars collected by stimulating the economy. Unfortunately, no Democrat since John F. Kennedy seems to recognize that fact.
Not a day goes by without Barack Obama or someone from his administration touting the number of jobs that their programs have "saved or created." And the media reports the claims with a smile and sometimes a bow.
But, trouble is, Obama's numbers are "pure fiction." There is no way to calculate "jobs saved" so the administration is simply making things up. And the vaunted Fourth Estate is doing nothing about it . . . save possibly this piece from the Wall Street Journal.
Why are newspapers in trouble? Why is television news in trouble? Because nobody reports anymore. The media simply serves as a massive public relations arm for liberal causes.
Media has always leaned left but it seems more open and obvious since George W. Bush was first elected and has reached new highs (or lows) since the coronation of President Obama.
Enough is enough.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
As my friends (and even sorta-friends) know, I'm not fond of "slippery slope" arguments. But this situation can't be ignored . . . a test to determine the gender of unborn children as soon as eight weeks after conception is on the market, over-the-counter, in Australia. (Link to story here.) For $125.00 parents can buy a urine test to determine if their baby is a boy or a girl. Some parents may just be curious or need to get a head start on painting their nurseries pink or blue but I doubt it. Can't wait for the ultrasound? Come on.
The real reason to test for gender so early in a pregnancy is to abort before anyone knows that a woman is pregnant - or before she might change her mind and grow fond of the child - and then try again if life's lottery* didn't provide the wanted boy or girl. This test is going to lead to abortion for gender selection. There is no doubt.
Technology, research, scientific advancement . . . I'm all for it. But just because humanity has discovered "how" to do something, that doesn't mean that we "should" do it.
Hopefully, this cancerous new technology can be contained in Australia. But the slope seems awfully slippery.
*As an aside . . . I know that "life's lottery" doesn't really exist. God chooses a baby's gender. Every boy and every girl is a gift. But, I can't imagine that most of the people who will buy this gender test even believe in God. If they did, how could they consider destroying His creation?
Thursday, June 4, 2009
At a time when newspapers across the country are losing readership, scaling back, and running a serious risk of going belly-up, our town's St. Louis Post-Dispatch has gotten its act together. The folks down at the Post know what will sell papers in St. Louis and, heck, this great idea might catch on nationally and save the entire industry.
Has the Post decided to do more hard news and less fluff? No.
Has the Post decided to do more of its own original reporting rather than continue to rely on news services? Nope.
Has the Post decided to give more space to sports? Not that either.
Has the Post decided to report news instead of advocating its editors' liberal point of view? Ha.
No, the Post decided to bring back "Our Own Oddities," a comic feature that ran from 1940-1990, when it was canceled because, frankly, it was stupid.
How I missed this story of the resurrected saviour of the newspaper last month, I'll never know. But, I'll make it up to you . . . here's a link to stltoday's photo gallery showing "Oddities" from the past.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Jim Thomas reports in today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Blues' owner Dave Checketts' group of investors needs one very rich person to pony up about $255 million to make his bid to purchase the St. Louis Rams realistic. (Link here.) Thomas also cites NFL sources as saying that "Checketts has a line on a viable lead investor."
Just who could that investor be? August Busch and Andy Taylor have been mentioned but was anybody else watching the Cardinals game on Fox Sports Midwest last night? If you were, and were paying attention, you would have heard Dan McLaughlin and Al Hrabosky mention that the billionaire's billionaire, Warren Buffett, was in attendance last night.
Tony Messenger wrote this piece about Missouri legislators, from both parties, complaining that the state's term limits of eight years in the House of Representatives and eight years in the Senate is too short.
Too short? Give me a break.
Eight years is only too short for folks who want to make careers out of politics. And we shouldn't be catering to career-minded politicians.
Term limits were passed to get Missouri closer to the ideal of a citizen legislature. Men and women with their feet, their careers, their livelihoods, and their futures still in the real world are likely to be the best men and women to represent the interests of their constituents in Jefferson City.
Barack Obama, apparently. He told a French television reporter that the United States is "one of the largest Muslim countries in the world." (Link here.)
To be fair to Obama, he was probably trying to talk about numbers, not values or cultures. But in that, he's flat out wrong. (Facts here.)
But I don't really care (at least not enough to post) that Obama's either lying or mistaken about population numbers. Lies from this politician are expected and mistakes the norm. What I care about is a president claiming that our country is Muslim in any way.
If anything, America would be a Christian nation, based on our founding and populace . . . but it isn't. It isn't Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, or any other religion either. It is a nation where church and state are separate.
Shouldn't it be completely foreign for any American of note to describe our country as a Muslim nation? Wouldn't such a verbal stumble - if it was one - be followed by an immediate correction?
America is a secular state. We have a large population of religious people, many of whom are Muslim. Why didn't the president say something like that instead?
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
In case you hadn't heard, GM is selling its Hummer division to the Chinese. (Link to story here.)
Magnanimously (sarcasm intended), the new owners (if you believe GM) have agreed to continue manufacturing Hummers in the United States "through at least 2010."
If you work at the Hummer plant in Louisiana, that's got to make you feel good about your future, doesn't it. Assuming, that is, that you've got enough money in what's left of your 401(k) to retire at the end of next year.
Have the folks who voted for Barack Obama woken up yet?
Monday, June 1, 2009
Yesterday, a Wichita man was gunned down in his church. (Link to story here.) The murder, as all murders are, was a horrible act.
The fact that Dr. George Tiller was an abortion provider makes no difference in this tragedy. This murder took away a person's right to life. That is the same right that we in the Pro-Life movement stand to protect for every - yes, every - human being. No matter who they are or what they do.
There is no justification, none, that could excuse yesterday's acts by a cowardly criminal.
I truly hope that Dr. Tiller is resting in peace and that God's grace has been shown to him. The fact that I believe he acted wrongly in his lifetime does nothing to diminish my concern for his immortal soul.
Abortion must end. But we who oppose it must never abandon morality to achieve that end.
I'm just asking because you (and I) as taxpayers ponied up over $75,000.00 in airplane costs alone, not to mention security costs) so that Barack Obama could take his wife on a very public "date" to New York to see a play. (Link to story here.)
So, I ask again, did you enjoy the show?