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Thursday, September 30, 2004

Free Speech is what?

Campaign fiance reform, as it currently is, is now a federal speech code.

However we see monetary contributions idealistically, McCain-Feingold has restricted us in the wrong ways. Is thwarting dishonesty and confronting "access" worth losing basic freedoms?

"The law now circumscribes the most important of all civil rights: the right to criticize politicians."

The government controls how we criticize politicians? Jail terms of five years.

DMAT 240 - skyline

660000 index Chicago Skyline

CC0066 New York second2

FFCC66

Helm

Nautical Know-How -> H

A ship's wheel is called the ship's Helm
Post to Monitor Duty

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

template update

I added Powerline Blog to the Roll for the sake of Rathergate/Memogate.

Beldar's Blog was added because it is good.

And look at the really keen "recent posts" list.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Media Bias Against Guns from Imprimis September 2004

John R. Lott, Jr
Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

John R. Lott, Jr., a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California at Los Angeles.He has been a senior research scholar at the Yale University School of Law, a fellow at the University of Chicago School of Law, a visiting fellow at Cornell University Law School and a Hoover Institution fellow. He has taught at the University of Chicago, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, UCLA, Rice University and Texas A&M University. In 1988 and 1989, he was chief economist for the U.S. Sentencing Commission. He is the author of More Guns, Less Crime and The Bias Against Guns.

The following is adapted from a speech delivered on May 25, 2004, at a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar in Seattle, Washington.

People are very surprised to learn that survey data show that guns are used defensively by private citizens in the U.S. from 1.5 to 3.4 million times a year, at least three times more frequently than guns are used to commit crimes. A question I hear repeatedly is: "If defensive gun use occurs so often, why haven't I ever heard of even one story?"

Anecdotal stories published in newspapers obviously can't prove how numerous these events are, but they can at least answer the question of whether these events even occur. Here are a few examples of the 20 cases that I found reported in newspapers as occurring during the first two weeks of May 2004:

Lawrenceville, Georgia - At 3:00 a.m., an estranged former boyfriend kicked in a woman's front door. She had received a protective order against the ex-boyfriend because of "a history of drug addiction, violent behavior and threats." He was shot four times as he entered the apartment. Police said that the attacker, if he survived his injuries, would likely face charges of burglary and aggravated stalking.

Albuquerque, New Mexico - At just after 5:00 a.m., a homeowner called police saying that someone was trying to break into his home. Police reported that while waiting for help to arrive, the homeowner defended himself by shooting the intruder in the arm.

Louisville, Kentucky - As a robber tried to hold up a Shelby Food Mart, he was shot by a store clerk. The judge who heard the case said that the clerk had acted responsibly and that he "was viciously attacked by this animal."

Raceland, Louisiana - A man and his girlfriend offered two men a ride. One of the hitchhikers drew a gun and told the girlfriend to stop the car. The man then drew his own gun, fatally shooting the hitchhiker who was threatening them.

Toledo, Ohio - A store employee wounded one of two men who tried to rob a West Toledo carryout. The employee had received his concealed handgun permit just three days earlier. The employee's father said, "My son did what he had to do . . . . Money can be replaced; lives can't."

These life and death stories represent only a tiny fraction of defensive gun uses. A survey of 1,015 people I conducted during November 2002 indicates that about 2.3 million defensive gun uses occurred nationwide over the previous year. Larger surveys have found similar results. Guns do make it easier to commit bad deeds, but they also make it easier for people to defend themselves where few alternatives are available. That is why it is so important that people receive an accurate, balanced accounting of how guns are used. Unfortunately, the media are doing a very poor job of that today.
Though my survey indicates that simply brandishing a gun stops crimes 95 percent of the time, it is very rare to see a story of such an event reported in the media. A dead gunshot victim on the ground is highly newsworthy, while a criminal fleeing after a woman points a gun is often not considered news at all. That's not impossible to understand; after all, no shots were fired, no crime was committed, and no one is even sure what crime would have been committed had a weapon not been drawn.

Even though fewer than one out of 1,000 defensive gun uses result in the death of the attacker, the newsman's penchant for drama means that the bloodier cases are usually covered. Even in the rare cases in which guns are used to shoot someone, injuries are about six times more frequent than deaths. You wouldn't know this from the stories the media choose to report.

A Case Study in Bias

But much more than a bias toward bad news and drama goes into the media's selective reporting on gun usage. Why, for instance, does the torrential coverage of public shooting sprees fail to acknowledge when such attacks are aborted by citizens with guns? In January 2002, a shooting left three dead at the Appalachian Law School in Virginia. The event made international headlines and produced more calls for gun control. Yet one critical fact was missing from virtually all the news coverage: The attack was stopped by two students who had guns in their cars.
The fast responses of Mikael Gross and Tracy Bridges undoubtedly saved many lives. Mikael was outside the law school returning from lunch when Peter Odighizuwa started shooting. Tracy was in a classroom waiting for class to start. When the shots rang out, chaos erupted. Mikael and Tracy were prepared to do something more constructive: Both immediately ran to their cars and got their guns, then approached the shooter from different sides. Thus confronted, the attacker threw his gun down.
Isn't it remarkable that out of 218 unique news stories (from a LexisNexis search) in the week after the event, just four mentioned that the students who stopped the shooter had guns? Here is a typical description of the event from the Washington Post: "Three students pounced on the gunman and held him until help arrived." New York's Newsday noted only that the attacker was "restrained by students." Many stories mentioned the law-enforcement or military backgrounds of these student heroes, but virtually all of the media, in discussing how the killer was stopped, failed to mention the students' guns.

A week and a half after the assault, I appeared on a radio program in Los Angeles along with Tracy Bridges, one of the Appalachian Law School heroes. Tracy related how he had carefully described to over 50 reporters what had happened, explaining how he had to point his gun at the attacker and yell at him to drop his gun. Yet the media had consistently reported that the incident had ended by the students "tackling" the killer. Tracy specifically mentioned that he had spent a considerable amount of time talking face-to-face with reporter Maria Glod of the Washington Post. He seemed stunned that this conversation had not resulted in a more accurate rendition of what had occurred.

After finishing the radio show, I telephoned the Post, and Ms. Glod confirmed that she had talked to both Tracy Bridges and Mikael Gross, and that both had told her the same story. She said that describing the students as pouncing, and failing to mention their guns, was not "intentional." It had been due to space constraints.

I later spoke with Mike Getler, the ombudsman for the Post. Getler was quoted in the Kansas City Star as saying that the reporters simply did not know that bystanders had gotten their guns. After I informed him that Glod had been told by the students about using their guns, Getler said, "She should have included it." But he said that he had no power to do anything about it. He noted that readers had sent in letters expressing concern about how the attack had been covered. But none of these letters was ever published.

It was not until February 28, 2004, after the preliminary hearing where testimony verified again what had happened, that the Washington Post published one brief sentence containing the truth: "[The killer] was subdued without incident by armed students."

The Kansas City Star printed a particularly telling interview with Jack Stokes, media relations manager at the Associated Press, who "dismissed accusations that news groups deliberately downplayed the role gun owners may have played in stopping" the shooting. But Stokes "did acknowledge being 'shocked' upon learning that students carrying guns had helped subdue the gunman. 'I thought, my God, they're putting into jeopardy even more people by bringing out these guns.'"

Selective reporting of crimes such as the Appalachian Law School incident isn't just poor journalism; it could actually endanger people's lives. By turning a case of defensive gun use into a situation where students merely "overpowered a gunman," the media give potential victims the wrong impression about what works when confronted with violence. Research consistently shows that having a gun (usually just brandishing it is enough) is the safest way to respond to any type of criminal assault.

Evidence of Unbalanced Coverage

I conducted searches of the nation's three largest newspapers - USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times - for the year 2001 and found that only the Times carried even a single news story on defensive gun use. (The instance involved a retired New York City Department of Corrections worker who shot a man attempting to hold up a gas station.) Broadening my search to the top ten newspapers in the country, I learned that the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and Chicago Tribune each managed to report three such stories in a year.

During 2001, the New York Times published 104 gun crime news articles - ranging from a short blurb about a bar fight to a front-page story on a school shooting - for a total of 50,745 words. In comparison, its single story about a gun used in self-defense amounted to all of 163 words. USA Today printed 5,660 words on crimes committed with guns, and not a single word on defensive gun use. The least lopsided coverage was provided by the Washington Post, with 46,884 words on crimes committed with guns and 953 words on defensive stories - again, not exactly a balanced treatment.

Moreover, the few defensive gun-use incidents that received coverage were almost all reported locally. Though articles about gun crimes are treated as both local and national stories, defensive uses of guns are given only local coverage in the rare instances they run at all. In the full sample of defensive gun-use stories I have collected, less than one percent ran outside the local coverage area. News about guns only seems to travel if it's bad.

This helps explain why residents of urban areas favor gun control. Most crime occurs in big cities, and urbanites are bombarded with tales of gun-facilitated crime. It happens that most defensive gun uses also occur in these same cities, but they simply aren't reported.

The 1999 special issue of Newsweek entitled "America Under the Gun" provided over 15,000 words and numerous graphics on the topic of gun ownership, but not one mention of self-defense with a firearm. Under the heading "America's Weapons of Choice," the table captions were: "Top firearms traced to crimes, 1998"; "Firearm deaths per 100,000 people"; and "Percent of homicides using firearms." There was nothing at all on "Top firearms used in self-defense" or "Rapes, homicides, and other crimes averted with firearms." The magazine's graphic, gut-wrenching pictures all showed people who had been wounded by guns. No images were offered of people who had used guns to save lives or prevent injuries.

To investigate television coverage, I collected stories reported during 2001 on the evening news broadcasts and morning news shows of ABC, CBS and NBC. Several segments focused on the increase in gun sales after September 11, and a few of these shows actually went so far as to list the desire for self-defense as a reason for that increase. But despite over 190,000 words of coverage on gun crimes, a mere 580 words, on a single news broadcast, were devoted to the use of a gun to prevent crime - a story about an off-duty police officer who helped stop a school shooting.

Another sign of bias is in the choice of authorities quoted. An analysis of New York Times news articles over a two-year period shows that Times reporters overwhelmingly cite pro-gun control academics in their articles. From February 2000 to February 2002, the Times cited nine strongly pro-control academics a total of 20 times; one neutral academic once; and no academic who was skeptical that gun control reduces crime.

It's not that anti-control academics are non-existent. In 1999, 294 academics from institutions as diverse as Harvard, Stanford, Northwestern, the University of Pennsylvania and UCLA released an open letter to Congress stating that the new gun laws being proposed at that time were "ill-advised." None of these academics was quoted in New York Times reports on guns over a two-year period.

Misleading Polls

While polls can provide us with important insights about people's views, they can also mislead in subtle ways. In the case of weapons, poll questions are almost always phrased with the assumption that gun control is either a good thing or, at worst, merely ineffective. The possibility that it could increase crime is never acknowledged. Consider these questions from some well-known national polls:

* Do you think that stricter gun control laws would reduce the amount of violent crime in this country a lot, a little, or not at all? (Pew Research Center/Newsweek)
* Do you think stricter gun control laws would reduce the amount of violent crime in this country, or not? (ABC News/Washington Post)
* Do you think stricter gun control laws would, or would not, reduce violent crime? (CBS News)


I reviewed 17 national and seven state surveys and found that not one offered respondents a chance to consider whether gun control might increase crime. This omission of a "would increase crime" option creates a bias in two different ways. First, there is an "anchoring" effect. We know that the range of options people are offered in a poll affects how they answer, because many respondents instinctively choose the "middle ground." By only providing the choices that gun control reduces crime somewhere between "a lot" to "not at all," the middle ground becomes "a little." Second, when the possibility that gun control could increase crime is removed from polls, this affects the terms of the national debate. When people who hold this view never even hear their opinions mentioned in polls and news stories, they begin to think no one else shares their view.

There are other subtle biases in the construction of these surveys. When a survey questions whether gun control will be "very important" for the respondent at the voting booth, the media often hear a "yes" answer as evidence that the person wants more gun control. Rarely do they consider that someone might regard a politician's position on gun control as important because he or she opposes it. This blurring of opposite positions in one question causes gun control to be ranked more highly as an election issue than it should be.

Debunking the Myth of Accidental Shootings

A final area strongly affected by the media's anti-gun bias is that of accidental shootings. When it comes to this topic, reporters are eager to write about guns. Many of us have seen the public service ads showing the voices or pictures of children between the ages of four and eight, which imply that there is an epidemic of accidental deaths of these young children.

Data I have collected show that accidental shooters overwhelmingly are adults with long histories of arrests for violent crimes, alcoholism, suspended or revoked driver's licenses and involvement in car crashes. Meanwhile, the annual number of accidental gun deaths involving children under ten - most of these being cases where someone older shoots the child - is consistently a single digit number. It is a kind of media archetype story to report on "naturally curious" children shooting themselves or other children - though in the five years from 1997 to 2001 the entire United States averaged only ten cases a year where a child under ten accidentally shot himself or another child.

In contrast, in 2001 bicycles were much more likely to result in accidental deaths than guns. Fully 93 children under the age of ten drowned accidentally in bathtubs. Thirty-six children under five drowned in buckets in 1998. Yet few reporters crusade against buckets or bathtubs.

When crimes are committed with guns, there is a somewhat natural inclination toward eliminating all guns. While understandable, this reaction actually endangers people's lives because it ignores how important guns are in protecting people from harm. Unbalanced media coverage exaggerates this, leaving most Americans with a glaringly incomplete picture of the dangers and benefits of firearms. This is how the media bias against guns hurts society and costs lives.

Reprinted by permission from IMPRIMIS, the monthly journal of Hillsdale College (www.hillsdale.edu).

Moore's Hatred is Condemned by a Man Raised Muslim

MOORE'S 'HATE-RIOTISM' demonstrated a new American, a Turkish Persian of internesting nurtur, speaking quickly of an American left-wing demagogue. It's vintage.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

The Different "Church"es and their Respective Meanings

In some older entries I below I mention the "Church" with two entirely and vastly different meanings. The difference between the two meanngs is great.

"The Church" as I referred to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is as I referred to it... as the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), an organization of men inspired by God for the purpose and sake of His will and the Great Commission. As men they fail but they are charged with doing God's works. The "Church" in that case is an abreviated mention of the institution and organization of Christians who follow the Presbyterian traditions and are led by specific men as respective governing entities. They make mistakes as do all men. Even pastors, priests, ministers, elders, and other men of God lead the flock in wrong directions. I also used this as a reference to the Catholic Church as an intitution, with leaders within its own clergy; they are all servants of God and as men they sometimes fail. The Presbyterians are a sect of the larger Church, as I describe below.

I actually used this form to refer to the Catholic Church as "the Church" in a similar manner and I was not wrong to do so. It is also a sect of the larger Church. albeit one of the largest if not the largest Christian sect, if I use correctly.

"The Church," in its other meaning, was in regards to the whole body of Christ as Paul described it in 1 Corinthians 12:12-26. When a church as a smaller institution does something it may affect the rest of the body. Traditions aside, denominations and sects are not seperate bodies. There is only one body. The actions, or thehttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif fulfillment of demands/notions from the governing entity of one specific sect would have the effect of harming the Body.

Faith as a Source of Tolerance

An article on Europe's battle with anti-Semitism notes the strong role that the European Christian church has played on both sides. It would be wrong to attribute NAZIism to Christians or the Church but there is a long history.
It was "Christian Europe" that had institutionalized expulsions, forced conversions, and persecution of Jews. Though it's a slander to draw a straight line from Christian-Jewish antagonism to the Holocaust — Nazism was explicitly and violently anti-Christian — it's also true that many religious leaders failed to help those fleeing Hitler's death camps. Indeed, the Germans couldn't have been as efficient in their roundup of Jews without significant local "help," including the passivity and occasional collaboration of priests and ministers. Earlier this year, in fact, Pope John Paul II officially apologized for the behavior of the Catholic Church during the Holocaust.

Prejudice and sectarianism are indeed part of the history of the Christian church, but Europe's leaders see these failings as its defining features, and as a rationale for marginalizing religion from public life... No incident during the Second World War, however, illustrates more powerfully the moral vigor of Christian ideals than what occurred at Le Chambon. Led by Protestant minister Andre Trocme and his wife, Magda, a poor mountain hamlet became the most effective Jewish-rescue operation in France under the Nazis. During four desperate and destitute years, 1940 to 1944, the entire village opened its homes, farms, and cellars to Jews on the run.
Regardless of human failings within Christ-based institutions there is still love taught and held.
It wasn't secularism that turned an occupied people into a stubborn remnant of non-violent resistance and rescue. It wasn't the rational values of the Enlightenment that made them, as one villager put it, "toujours prete a servir" — always ready to help. It was the Christian ideal of love of neighbor, taught from the pulpit and lived out in family and community life. As Hallie tells it, the believers from this Huguenot village considered the Bible a book of absolute truths and commandments — not mere opinion and suggestion — to be obeyed no matter what the cost.
Let's recall that freedom of religion and freedom of politics inspires the best in both.

Another note is that even Jacque Chirac, a being I personally villify, opposes anti-semitism but he credits blank, faceless, abstract humanist principles as the inspriation for mercy in the face of hatred. History, at least in the scope of the sanctuary he cites, shows him to be wrong.

Presbyterian Politics and Israeli Regard

A very short time I ago I commented on how perhaps the Church should be even more political. What I meant was that perhaps the body of Christ and especially its individual organs should translate what they believe (as they claim) into their choices as they vote. If you believe in the Bible you believe abortion is wrong and if you beleive abortion is wrong that should affect how you vote. More immediately learned believers and leaders within a Church should and can take a public stand with these ideas.

I believe that that should have limitations; political power in the hands of certain Popes led to the Crusades.

The reason for limitations is most relevent in light of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s new movement against Israel. I believe that they are crossing lines. Rather than casting votes or affecting policy based on deep beliefs

The difference is that the Church and the Church body as defined in the Bible, or as seen through God's eyes is not divided into denominations based on differences in belief of various minutia. They are not meant to represent political blocs and under no circumstances was Simon Peter (arguably the first Pope, appointed leader of the early church by Christ) empowered to lead Christians in violent revolt to re-shape the policies of government.

The Church, as it is today, is divided into more than just the first Church, the Universal Church (which is the Catholic Church, not to be confused with the United Church or the Unitarians), and Protestant miscellany. It is still is one body under Christ but the administrative functions are... empowered in certain ways.

I believe that Christians should make a difference in this world and defend what is right because it is right. That is why our votes should be guided by our beliefs there and that our political beliefs should be stated if we truly wish to make a difference.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) isn't influencing politics the ways other moralistic movements do and isn't working so much as a Chritian should when he fulfills his democratic duties. The Church, in reference to the organization, is wielding power like a club over a matter of taste. Rather than stating spiritual and Biblically-based moral beliefs in a verbal manner or through voting they take an offensive against Israel, the birthplace of Christianity and basically the only place in the middle east where Christians can worship unmolested, because of a difference in belief regarding a military and national security manner within Israell. So members, not neccessarily as Christians, are asked to economically punish Israel? It's counterproductive and it's not exactly how Christians should act as Christians.

As citizens or people it's apropriate. To do so in the name of the Church is a miscommunication. I believe the Church as a body as its mission firmly planted in evangelism. I believe the Church, as each seperate institution as a Church, is the method through which we fulfill this mission. As Christians we may unite and stand against injustice.

As Christians I don't believe it's our place to unite as a group and to punish nations for differences of strategy. I believe what the Presbyterian Church is doing for Christians (and really against Christians) is akin to stabbing to stabbing oneself in the foot because you took a wrong turn.

John Kerry "really does throw like a girl"

A new 527 group exists, dedicated to proving how and where Senator Kerry is lying as a so-called "sports fan".

I'll be honest, I don't throw a football very well either. To have screwed up on such great details after professing to be a fan of your very own home-team is next unforgiveable in this realm.

It's not a spoof group but it's funnier than a spoof group could be.

it's Alf! he's back! in Pog form!

Actually, it's in comic form. This is old school liscensed stuff. Alf outsold X-Men and the cover is funny.

Alf is Alf. Take from that what you will.

the "Iron Age" of Superman

You ever noticed that part of Superman history... the era/period of and in his comics were he turnd into an almost impotent creature and rather than just try to come up with threats to confound the most powerful of men.... the writers made Superman more confoundable to the level of the most mediocre of men. Just the same, he was still more powerful than a locomotive but he was more prone to whining and straining at the same time.

I have. The best quick study or illustration of this time period was done by "Superman Through The Ages!" I don't agree with all their examples or even what conclusion or feeling they draw from each one that they used. But they are correct; in attempts to create drama for Superman (which is the best goal for a dramatic comic book character) they surgically removed the sense of wonder.

Monday, September 20, 2004

The so-called "Jackson Family" attends Michael Jackson's trial in a "show of support".

Frankly I don't see the resemblance.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Abortion versus Catholicism?

There is an apparent gap between politics and religion. It is suggested that in a single instance that gap be closed.

It's reasonable to assume that if one believes that abortion is immoral and that if the Church holds that abortion is wrong then the Church take a stand of a sort.

dark statistics

People were shredded on Sept. 11, 2001; for over three years people are still dealing with this tragedy as the remains are sorted and counted.
For now, a mostly unremarked memorial sits in the city's midst, three years later. 19,915. 9,429. 10,486.

the John Kerry School of Economics

Class starts late when the teacher won't focus on curricula... "though the editorial itself implied a discussion of his economic policy, six out of the first seven paragraphs attacked the Bush administration for past economic circumstances."

Tom Nugest takes a bite out of John Kerry's WSJ economic prescription. My favorites...

Common sense and mathematical ability elude Kerry and trump his words:
“Under my plan,” Kerry wrote, “the tax cuts would be extended and made permanent for 98% of Americans.”

Question: I read in the Wall Street Journal that 50 percent of Americans don’t pay taxes. So how is Kerry going to cut taxes for 98 percent of Americans?
Outsourcing:
Here’s some more from Kerry: “My plan … to end every single incentive that encourages companies to outsource … would take the entire $12 billion we save from closing these loopholes each year and use it to cut corporate tax rates by 5%.”

Prediction: Corporations will find other loopholes. The loss of foreign sources of manufacturing will also undermine the ability of companies to keep inflation low in this country. By raising the cost of imports and the cost of manufacturing, prices will rise. (emphasis mine)
My only question about these multi-billion-dollar savings is who the "we" is. Was Kerry talking about "we" the State or was it "we" the Government? What our governing body, the political/institutional controlling entity brings in on tax revenues certainly doesn't count as a income for the State. So who is saving what?

Finisher - Cutting the deficit means attacking people like this:
I grew up in a lower-middle-class household. I studied hard and put myself through a good college. Ten years ago, I started my own company and for the past four years my income has exceeded $200,000 a year. Last year, I paid 40% of my income for self-employment, state and federal income taxes. From the remaining, I support five people, pay for health insurance and save for retirement. Teresa Kerry, with assets exceeding $500 million, pays less than 2% (includes her foundation income). Instead of raising the taxes on the person flying around the world on the Gulfstream G5, John Kerry wants to put a bigger tax burden on the one driving the ’97 Intrepid with more than 100,000 miles on it. While his rhetoric attacks the wealthy, his policies attack the middle class.
I'm not an economicist, would "hard-working Americans get the raw end of the deal through increased inflation, higher interest rates, and less free-choice"?
power responsibility benefit obligation credit

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

template update

If the editing worked I deleted Steve Duane's dead blog URL from the list; he was on there in the first place because of his status as an MSU graduate and because he used to do the State News Blues. That blog is dead, too.

Basically Steveduane.com will get you nothing... it's not even a genuine dead site; there's nothing there.

I added the Comic Treadmill because I should have done so along time ago.

I adjusted the Panoramically Challenged title in the list as Chris Hunter finally stabilized the name, as I knew he would.

I edited the template to change the style of the blog entry titles to contrast even more from the normal text. I wonder if it worked. I wonder, aesthetically, if it works.

Friday, September 10, 2004

recognition for the selfish class

Typically these people whose activities seem like an affront to a lot of people's "values" actually have their own values and among these are the notion that recognition and legitimization of what they do, regardless of how offensive they could be, are some very important values. Liberals cater to the values or declared self-interest of a somewhat new class: I almost call them the "Deviant" class. That's not fair; they are more of a selfish class regardless of their own actual health (unless anyone thinks scraping a cervix with a sharp intrument is healthy for its own sake).

Liberal "self-interest" - to answer Jonah's "question"

The reason that liberals and Democrats as a party represent these views regarding homosexuals and abortionists and others is not just merely justice but the percieved self-interest of some of their most powerful and loyal political allies.

MapQuest Wastes

Supposedly a "print" format on a webpage is one the most free of clutter and spare html artifacts. It makes the printed version of the article or piece in question easier to read and it uses less ink. That's the theory. Mapquest, however, still thought to slap a nice, blue Howard Johnson ad right in the corner, thus absorbing more precious ink. It negates the purpose of having a "print format" option of sorts if an advertisement still take up space... and resources such as time and ink and even patience.

(I'm sure the ad is subject to a rotative change; it probably won't be Howard Johnson on next viewing).

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Is It Liberal To Have (a Specific) Class?

Jonah Goldberg confronts whether voting Democrat is related to specific class interest:
what an enormous crock it is to say that Democrats or liberals only believe in voting their economic interests. A great many environmental issues hurt working-class voters. For example, the Arctic Wildlife Refuge would be open for drilling if working-class interests were the sine qua non of liberalism. Indeed, why do most liberals oppose the death penalty? Or favor gay marriage? They would cite justice more than self-interest. Unless, that is, I missed the news that most liberals are murderous homosexuals eager to tie the knot before they get the electric chair.
There's a Simpsons reference, too.

Kevin Melrose Took Me Off His BlogRoll

Apologies Demanded was taken off of the Blog Roll of Thought Balloons. Is it because I haven't posted a comic book themed post since August 19? Or is it because I recently called Grotesque Anatomy a stenchy corpse?

Likely this blog smells too much of politics. Either way, I'm sorry to see Mister Melrose abandon me; I got a good deal of hits from that guy's blog.

Anyone who cares to spread the Demand for Apologies go forth and spread my words. Also feel free to Blog Roll me.

More importantly... I gotta calm down and be more productive.

None of this is relevent to whether or not I'm on Thought Balloons' list anymore... I still write for Monitor Duty and I'm on the Comics Weblog Update list.
Rather, I am dying. I have been born. I have lived before. In theory I shall live again. After I die I shall live with Christ.

As I waste my life, contributing to no one and to no one's growth, I die. I exist, continue, but I'm merely spending time. I'm burning myself away.
Once you are born you are dying.
Atheism and zen require vast expanses of the imagination to grasp the concept that nothing's there. That's too hard. It requires too much belief for me.
I know little of the ninja and somewhat more about objectivism.

Morality throughout secularism. Right-wing hard stance. The flipside of Christianity.

A moral base without a divine figure. Absolutism throughout a continuum inhabited by relative beings.

An idea of absolute principles held among the existence of creatures who can only percieve in relative terms.

We see abstraction because man can be told of absolute invisibles and he can imagine them but he cannot see them. Morality is absolute and thus it has to be abstract to be percieved at a level of thought, synthesis, and imagination.

The difference between religion and philosophy is a regular practice for your belief.

Anyone else see the differences between Denny O'Neil's The Question and Steve Ditko's creation?

Mrs Parker

Very nice, smooth, and shiny.

Good artwork.

the President's National Guard Service historical data

Byron York summarized a good deal of the more crucial facts regarding GW Bush's service as a National Guardsman.

He did indeed serve and being part of a so-called "Champagne Unity" doesn't mean he did less work than you average National Guardsman. Being an active flyer in the Air National Guard means you do more work.

It's also worth it to point out that while he may be accused of not dedicating so much time to Guard in Alabama he dedicated an excruciating amount of time serving in Texas.
The future is pong.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

They've Gone Too Far

Imagine the girls of Dead or Alive 3 sitting on your lap vibrating.

It's being done for you.

the President versus Job Loss

Every time I see a Democratic commercial implying that the President caused all these massive job losses and horrific amounts of unemployment, not only have I asked myself and everybody when the POTUS recieved the power to fire all these people, but I have a hard time believing that the Dems are not fudging the numbers somehow.

Spinsanity confirms my suspicions.

General Yo-Yo

I saw the ad where retired Air Force General Merrill McPeak endorses John Kerry. We're supposed to like him because he supposedly is a great warrior with a history of command in the Persian Gulf War.

1) He was an advisor to the original anti-war candidate Howard Dean.

2) He apparently, paid, works for the Kerry campaign. That's no surprise, and bribery aside no sin.

3) The guy is a Yo-Yo. Apparently his biggest career moves served more to screw up the United States Air Force than to serve the country and defend it.

NY @$$

We are reminded why we should hate the New York Yankees.

"Hurricane Frances killed at least 10 people in Florida, knocked out power to six million, dumped 12 inches of rain throughout the state and forced the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people from their homes." The Tampa Bay Devil Rays missed their game with the Yanks and NY requested and recieved a forfeit on the grounds that they played while Friends was on.

1) Baseball players are not mailmen. They don't have obligations to defy weather.
2) The game was rained out; they couldn't play on account of rain.
Student Bookstore by MSU

TC 201
course pack, new REQUIRED $85.82

TC 240

TC 375
COMPUTER MEDIATED COMMUNICATION,
THURLOW
REQUIRED New. $39.95 Used. $29.95
TC 375 COURSE PACKET, new REQUIRED $33.71


Price date from/for Spartan Bookstore and the College Store apparently can't be got online, despite the apparent search boxes and the links and the "cart" comments I just can't get past the term "FALL 2004" and that really pisses me off.

Sign In, Log In, Register

I hate that the Washington Post makes me sign in whatever combination of e-mail address and/or password that I may or may not remember. If I can't remember then it won't let me read the worthless articles?

Screw them. The articles may or may not be worthless but it's a waste of my time and it's too complicated, especially if I cannot remember which password I decided to use. There are worse places with far more worthless information that demand the same amount of information. This knowledge can be far better articulated by a person far more skilled than I.

Reality Interdictions

Glenn Reynolds promotes The Sims and apparently The Sims 2. Apparently there is enough lessons being taught and ideas excercised about growth based on merit and competition spurring on evolution. Nothing is easy and earning leads to being capable of surviving down the road. In short, The Sims is apparently realistic (in the harshest of senses).

I'm updating No Left Turn. You'll see it soon. Right now we all get my John Kerry flame page.... it's mostly links. You get it tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

There's Something About A Gun (John Kerry style)....

.... if you don't know what to do with it. The event of the day is that Senator Kerry waved around a gift he recieved at one of this stump-stops. The hypocrisy is that the gun he was grateful for and apparently proud to hold was one of the models that he tried to ban. Another thing that people have focused on is that apparently John Kerry threatened to kill the President, or that he regrets not being able to kill him outright. Glenn Reynolds covers the relevent issues.

Some wonder whether the President would have gottten the same leeway from the media if he spoke in the same manner of offing his opponent.

Vladimir Putin Won't Talk To Child-Killers

I'll admit that to some extent Vladimir Putin gives me the creeps. He's ex-KGB for goodness' sake. He's made people disapear. It's pretty logical to not regard the current Russian president as not entirely a good guy. On the other hand, he draws the line with a certain brand of villainy. Without question an atrocity was committed this past week with the terrorists invading that school and murdering children. When those question Putin on his hardline stance against these "bastards" (as he calls them) he doesn't respond calmly. People apparently want him to enter into talks.
"No-one has a moral right to tell us to talk to child killers," Mr Putin was quoted as saying by Britain's Guardian and Independent newspapers.

He added: "Why don't you meet Osama Bin Laden, invite him to Brussels or to the White House and engage in talks, ask him what he wants and give it to him so he leaves you in peace?

"You find it possible to set some limitations in your dealings with these bastards, so why should we talk to people who are child-killers?"
Why should we or anyone bow down and scrape the ground for these bastards and monsters? They murder children why should we treat them as equals and morally fine people with just grievances?

John Kerry Versus the American Economy

John Kerry has a "secret plan" on how to deal with Iraq. We'll deal with that later. The other immediate thing is that John Kerry has a "secret plan" regarding government spending, taxes, and just how much money our government can and will absorb. A cursory examination of news and even recent history will show that our economy is in trouble and has been for some time. I'm not quite satisfied with how much the current President has been spending money; a monologue written in the seventies by Andy Rooney noted a number of apparently useless organizations and sections of government bureacracy; President Reagan spoke that "Government which governs best governs least"; John Stossel noted that each Presidential administration has spent more than the one before; the Democratic Party line reflects the words of Hillary Clinton: "We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good." John Kerry is a Democrat. Why is this plan a secret?
I don’t think you can make proposals to try to dig out of this hole until you’ve gotten elected and until you’ve organized effectively across both parties and both houses. If you start to put out proposals now, they would be vigorously attacked, and they would in effect become tainted so they couldn’t be used.
That reasoning is nonsense for two reasons. John Kerry is elected; he is the junior Senator from Massachusetts. Being President while making a tremendouse bid for increased government does not stop plans from being vigorously attacked, as Bill Clinton discovered while trying to implement his massive healthcare plan. The actual reason that Kerry's notions for tax reform are being kept under wraps is that they likely deserve to be attacked; it's hard to imagine that what Kerry would plan to do as President would merely be an extension of what he has been voting for ninety-eight times. He wants to raise taxes. The question is how wisely he would spend the money.

Republicans may have a hypocritical predilection for raising taxes and possessing fiscal irresponsibility for which only Democrats have officially made a tendency. Government as caretaker is a situation which Democrats traditionally push for and I've long thought it foolish to further empower an organization, that being the United States government, which does not use the power it has effectively and efficiently (that power being MONEY). Republicans are hypocrites because they're humans. So government must have the balance between what it brings in and what it spends. Kerry's checkbook doesn't work right.
According to the nonpartisan National Taxpayers Union, John Kerry has proposed spending cuts that would save $300 billion over ten years. While that may look impressive at first glance, it represents a mere 1 percent reduction in projected federal outlays over that period. And let’s not forget that Kerry has also proposed spending increases totaling $2.56 trillion — that is roughly $8.50 in spending increases for every dollar of spending cuts. On net, Kerry’s spending proposals would boost federal spending $2.26 trillion over the decade. The era of “big government” may be over, but Kerry stands ready to usher in an era of “huge government.”
We give money to those who spend it worst. You wouldn't give twenty dollars to a child repeatedly when what he buys is magic beans and porn and the government has greater potential to misuse resources.

Geez. This is preachy. Anyway, J. Edward Carter assures us that Kerry's plan will create a massive deficit. My question remains why are we giving a federal government money to waste when they can't spend what they have properly? We're deprived of earnings so it can be spent on stuff we probably don't need purchased.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Student Bookstore at MSU

There are plenty of "Student Bookstores" across the United States but the URL for the site for the store by Michigan State University (recall that this is the store by along Grand River and in close proximity to the orange "Habitrails" parking structure) takes you here.

http://sbsmsu.edu

Thursday, September 02, 2004