Saturday, June 11, 2005

Senators Mentioned As Possible Justices

Yahoo News reported If there is a Supreme Court vacancy this summer, President Bush may look no farther than the Capitol for a member of Congress who can be confirmed quickly.

With the Dems being the ASSes that their mascot implies, I doubt that any nomination will be confirmed quickly, and I don't think they even remember what Senatorial Courtesy means.
Past presidents have done it, more than two dozen times. While admittedly long shots, GOP Sens. Jon Kyl of Arizona and John Cornyn of Texas are being talked up by some conservatives as possible nominees for the high court. Seen as most likely to step down is Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who at 80 is fighting cancer. Retirement also might be attractive option for Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, 75, and John Paul Stevens, 85. Kyl is a stalwart pro-business conservative and a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Cornyn is a former Texas Supreme Court justice and state attorney general. Both men have been at the forefront in fighting Democratic filibusters against Bush's federal appeals court nominees. Like all potential Supreme Court nominees — most lists of would-be candidates have at least 10 judges, lawyers or lawmakers — the senators played down their chances. "If I was on the president's short list, I think I would have heard about it by now," Kyl said with a laugh. Cornyn said, "It's flattering, but I like my current job and I'm not looking for another one." Twenty-six men who served in Congress — 10 only in the Senate, 12 only in the House and four in both chambers — later joined the Supreme Court. The revolving door has turned the other way only once: David Davis resigned from the court in 1877 to represent Illinois in the Senate as an independent. Bush has looked to Congress when filling federal court vacancies. He picked Rep. Christopher Cox, R-Calif., for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Cox withdrew after California's two Democratic senators opposed him. He is now awaiting confirmation to head the Securities and Exchange Commission. Outsiders agree that Kyl and Cornyn are less likely to be selected by Bush for a Supreme Court vacancy if Rehnquist is the first to retire. "I would be very surprised to see a Republican senator nominated to replace Rehnquist," said Sean Rushton of the conservative Committee for Justice. "It would make more sense to nominate a Republican senator like Cornyn to replace Sandra Day O'Connor or John Paul Stevens." The president would be expected to replace Rehnquist with a non-Washington conservative because senators know that pick will not change the court's ideological balance, Rushton said. But if O'Connor or Stevens leaves, Bush could swing the court further to the right by picking either Kyl or Cornyn. Both senators are considered more conservative than O'Connor and Stevens. They both also have the advantage of being members of "the club." The Senate has never rejected one of its own for the high court. Senators have just emerged from a partisan deadlock over Bush's picks for appeals courts. Choosing a conservative senator might be attractive because of "senatorial courtesy" — the idea that senators will not be overly harsh to one of their own during the confirmation process. The downside is that, for a time, the Republicans' 55-vote majority could shrink if Kyl is a nominee. Arizona's Democratic governor, Janet Napolitano, probably would appoint a Democrat to replace him until the 2006 election. Of course, senatorial courtesy is never a guarantee. Cornyn, for example, might find himself having to explain comments he made after several violent attacks on judges this year. He said he wondered whether frustration against perceived political decisions by judges "builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in violence, certainly without any justification." Critics said his comments could incite violence against judges and the remarks could come back to haunt Cornyn.

James Joyner blogged While I'm reasonably familiar with both men and find them quite reasonable, I do not know how they're viewed by their colleagues. Still, with obvious exceptions like John Tower and John Ashcroft, sitting senators tend to get deferential treatment.

Alexander K. McClure blogged Evidently, the Associated Press must think President Bush is so stupid that he would appoint a Republican Senator from a state with a Democratic Governor. It’s safe to say that Jon Kyl will not be nominated. John Cornyn? It’s possible. However, do Republicans really want two open Senate seats in Texas next year? If President Bush is to appoint any Senator to the High Court, it will be Orrin Hatch. Hatch comes from a reliably Republican state and is considered a reliable conservative. It would be hard for Democrats to filibuster one of the chamber’s longest serving members. However, it wouldn’t make much sense for President Bush to appoint him at this juncture. Hatch would be perfectly suited for a possible O’Connor or Stevens vacancy. It would put Senate Democrats in an impossible situation.



Ays at Iraq at a glance posted a good background on Wahhabis:

Wahhabis (members of the Wahhabism, a fundamental Islamic group founded by Muhammad abd AlWahhab 1703-1792) threatened Iraq since the eighteenth century and they think that Muslims (especially the Shia) do not obey Allah and Koran because they visit the shrines of Ali bin Abe Taleb (Prophet Muhammad’s cousin) and his descendants and regard them as their Imams, which is considered ‘Kufr’ or disbelieve in God or polytheism, according to the Wahhabism, ‘because Allah said in the Koran: and if my adorers asked you about me, I am nearby, respond to a call of the prayer if he invocates’ and ‘the Mosques belongs to Allah so do not invocate to anybody else’, so there’s no need to go to those shrines and beg them for help, you must ask for help directly from Allah. (Wahhabism has many other beliefs, but I just want to mention the history of it) (Also I want to say that this movement tried to appear five centuries prior to Muhammed Abd AlWahhab, but it failed.).

So Wahhabis named their movement ‘AlTawheed’ since 1730 which means the belief in Allah only, and the other things (such as the holy shrines) are considered like the idols, and the one who visits them is a ‘Kafir’ and must be killed. That’s why the Shiites are Kafirs according to the Wahhabis belief. Mohammad abd AlWahhab succeeded in his movement because he depended on the Bedouins in the desert of Arabia (now Saudi Arabia) and cooperated with their Emir (Bin Su’ood) those people do not care for the shrines or anything other than Allah, in addition to that, Mohammad abd AlWahhab stated ‘Aljihad’ for them to kill everyone who does not believe in their movement and that means they could raid on other tribes and places then kill their men, take their women and rob everything, such things were very effective especially when it comes with religion. Since that time the movement was called (AlTawheed wa AlJihad)..

Then in 1790 the danger of the Wahhabis began to be clear in Iraq because it was easy to reach to the southern areas of Iraq from the Arabia, the Wahhabis killed people and robbed many places in Iraq who was under the Ottoman Empire at that time. In 1802 the W. entered Karbal’a city when the people were visiting the shrine of Imam AlHussein in a day of the Shia called ‘AlGadeer day’, the Wahhabis used their swords to kill everyone there in one of the most ruthless massacres in the history of Iraq, they killed men, women and children in thousands, robbed the place and headed to AlNajaf but they could not enter because the residents of this city stood strongly against them so they ran away.

The two most holy sites in Islam are in Saudia Arabia, and that is where many Wahhabis come from. I wonder if they object to other Muslims that make a Hajj or Pilgrimage and visit the shrines in Makkah (Mecca).


Meth Mouth

NYT reported From the moment on Thursday when the young man sat down in Dr. Richard Stein's dental chair in southwestern Kansas and opened his mouth, Dr. Stein was certain he recognized the enemy. This had to be the work, he concluded, of methamphetamine, a drug that is leaving its mark, especially in the rural regions of the Midwest and the South, on families, crime rates, economies, legislatures - and teeth. Quite distinct from the oral damage done by other drugs, sugar and smoking, methamphetamine seems to be taking a unique, and horrific, toll inside its users' mouths. In short stretches of time, sometimes just months, a perfectly healthy set of teeth can turn a grayish-brown, twist and begin to fall out, and take on a peculiar texture less like that of hard enamel and more like that of a piece of ripened fruit.

The condition, known to some as meth mouth, has been studied little in dentistry's academic circles and is unknown to many dentists, whose patients are increasingly focused on cosmetic issues: the bleaching and perfect veneers of television's makeover shows. But other dentists, especially those in the open, empty swaths of land where methamphetamine is being manufactured in homemade laboratories, say they are seeing a growing number of such cases. These are the same towns, in some cases, that have wrestled in recent years with shortages of dentists. They are places where dentists have struggled to sell their practices as populations shrink; where new dentists have been reluctant to settle, out of fear that they will not get enough business to make ends meet; and where political leaders have offered financial incentives to lure young dentists to town. For good or ill, meth mouth is creating more business.

Just say NO!!!!!


How to shorten a conversation at work

Hat Tip to Lifehacker for this brilliant social hack from Tricks of the Trade:

Open up your cellphone, and approach [the person’s] cubicle. Say into the phone, “hold on one second.” Then tell your talkative friend exactly what you need to tell them. They feel important because you interrupted your other conversation, but then you can motion to the phone to disengage them from any further small talk. Walk away and continue talking to your dial tone.


Optical Illusions

If you want to see some interesting Optical Illusions and Visual Phenomena check out this site by Michael Bach


Web-based RSS reader for Firefox users

TechBlog blogged Firefox users get tired and frustrated running into sites that only work with Internet Explorer. FeedLounge is, for now, refreshing revenge.

It's a new, Web-based RSS reader that works only with Firefox. That's not necessarily by design -- FeedLounge is still being built and is in the alpha stage. When it moves to beta, according to a notice on the site, IE users will have access.

The screen shots make it look very cool. Microsoft's Robert Scoble rightly describes it as "like Bloglines on steroids."

Unfortunately, it's a closed test -- you can't get past the bouncer at the door without an invitation. There's a spot on the site where you can petition for access.

While you wait patiently for entry, here's a review to read.

You can also get details from the creators, Alex King and Scott Sanders.

Regarding the review, note it is in three pieces: 1,   2,   3. Also be sure to note what Dwight said, it's a closed test. I followed the instructions on the page about "Add to My FeedLounge" and set up the javascript on my tool bar, and could not figure out why it did not work for me until I realized that.


Google tinkerers

CNN reports Tracking sexual predators in Florida. Guiding travelers to the cheapest gas nationwide. Pinpointing $1,500 studio apartments for rent in Manhattan.

Geeks, tinkerers and innovators are crashing the Google party, having discovered how to tinker with the search engine's mapping service to graphically illustrate vital information that might otherwise be ignored, overlooked or not perceived as clearly.

Google, for its part, is firing off some very gentle cease-and-desist letters to some people.


Disposable video cameras

CNN reported For years, disposable cameras have been a magnet for last-minute photographic whimsy, encouraging all manner of embarrassing pictures from weddings and other social events. Watch out: There's now a disposable video camera. The $29.99 pocket-sized digital video cameras are able to capture up to 20 minutes of video and sound. CVS Corp. stores, which has exclusive rights to sell them, will process the camera for $12.99 and return a DVD; users also can e-mail video and video greeting cards.

Pure Digital Technologies Inc. developed and designed the camera with just three buttons. One starts and stops recording, another is used to play back video and the third deletes recorded segments. Grant Pill, director of photography and imaging at CVS, said the camera is ideal for people who don't want to spend hundreds of dollars or fuss with too many controls. Available now in the Northeast and elsewhere by the end of the month, the video camera looks similar to a point-and-shoot disposable camera, except it's held vertically to film. The camcorder weighs 5.5 ounces, Pill said, and is about the size of an MP3 player. Users watch what they're filming through a rectangular, 1.4-inch wide color display. There are no zoom features. After filming a segment, the user can review what's been recorded and choose to delete the segment at any time during playback. Pill called the film good VHS quality, but acknowledged it isn't on par with that produced by some personal camcorders.

This is really becoming a disposable world

Hat tip to Gadgetopia

Marko commented I'd guess by next week or so, we'll see hacks available that will let users download the digital movies to PCs and then reuse the camera themselves. Might be fun attaching one to a kite or the like for some fun videos (and the price won't eat you up like dropping a multi-hundred dollar camera would).


The Greatest Americans Of All-Time

Right Wing News blogged The Discovery Channel is doing a show on the 100 greatest Americans and is allowing people to vote on their selections.

At this point, they've weened it down to 25 choices, and quite frankly, a lot of the selections are just godawful. I mean we're talking about a list that includes Oprah Winfrey, Bill Clinton, and Bob Hope (among other lousy choices), but not James Madison, Tom Paine, or Teddy Roosevelt. That tells you all you need to know about how well America's public schools teach history.

What's that? You say since I'm talking trash about the Discovery Channel list, I should put my own list out there? Sounds fair enough. Here is my unranked list of the 20 greatest Americans:

John Adams
Thomas Edison
Albert Einstein
Henry Ford
Ben Franklin
Alexander Hamilton
Andrew Jackson
Thomas Jefferson
Martin Luther King
Abe Lincoln
Douglas MacArthur
James Madison
Tom Paine
George S. Patton
Ronald Reagan
Teddy Roosevelt
Jonas Salk
William Tecumseh Sherman
George Washington
Orville And Wilbur Wright

Now, if that's enough for you, you can take a look who the blogosphere thought were the greatest Americans back in 2003, on the right & the left.

Furthermore, as an extra added bonus, if there are any bloggers out there who'd like to post their own lists, link back to this post, and then let me know about it in the comment section, via email, or via trackback, -- I'll link to your list.

Here is my list:
John Adams
Thomas Edison
Albert Einstein
Henry Ford
Ben Franklin
Alexander Hamilton
Andrew Jackson
Thomas Jefferson
Martin Luther King
Abe Lincoln
Douglas MacArthur
James Madison
George S. Patton
Ronald Reagan
Teddy Roosevelt
Jonas Salk
George Washington
Alexander Graham Bell
Dwight Eisenhower
George W Bush


Bolton Compromise

Captain's Quarters blogged How can you tell when a negotiating partner acts in bad faith? When their demands escalate every time you suggest a compromise. The Senate Democrats have done exactly that in their fight to extend the filibuster on the confirmation of John Bolton to the United Nations. After seeing Pat Roberts try to get the White House to confirm that Bolton had not used his access to check on a short list of names, Joe Biden and Chris Dodd countered by adding more names to the list. Of course, all this does nothing but provide a ruse for the Democrats to continue with their obstructionism. The two leaders of the Intelligence Committee, Roberts and Jay Rockefeller, have already reported to the Senate that Bolton did nothing wrong in his requests for information about the specific individuals. The Harry Reid-led radicalism of this Democratic caucus has decided to break out the filibuster (more on that below) to prove that the Democrats have some relevance, even though voters relegated them to minority status in both houses of Congress largely because of their obstructionism in the last session.

No one expects any Democrats who don't support Bolton to change their minds if the names don't match their ever-expanding list. Despite their reasonable rhetoric, this is nothing more than a fishing expedition and a stall tactic allowing them to continue obstructing Senate business. Unlike judicial confirmations, the UN ambassador's position isn't a lifetime appointment and is expected to explicitly represent the administration's policy. The administration should not budge from forcing them to vote on Bolton's nomination, and if necessary, leave the UN ambassadorship unfilled while pointing to Democratic stall tactics as the reason we have no top-level representation at Turtle Bay. After all, the Democrats have spent the last four years telling us we need to work more closely with the UN. Let them explain how to do that without an ambassador.

I disagree. I think the President should just announce he wants a vote NOW, and if the Senate adjournes without giving Bolton a vote, he will recess appoint him.


Group Creates Pro-Evolution Site

Wired News reports Seeking to quell a growing movement to teach creationism in U.S. schools, the National Academies has unveiled a new section of its website dedicated to teachers' resources on evolution. "The theory of evolution is one of science's most robust theories, and the National Academies has long supported the position that evolution be taught as a central element in any science education program," said a statement released by the organization Thursday. The site was designed "to confront advocates of intelligent design, which is not a science," according to National Academies spokesman Bill Kearney.

In other words, we want you to consider what we say as truth, and ignore other theories.
The site features academic papers supporting evolutionary theory and supplements for educators detailing how to teach evolution in the classroom. Between 2001 and 2003, religious activists convinced school boards and legislators in more than 40 states to consider downplaying evolution in favor of a theory known as intelligent design, according to the National Center for Science Education, a pro-evolution watchdog. Intelligent design is an updated form of creationism that claims life was created by an "intelligent designer."
They are related, but I don't think it is accurate to say Intelligent Design is an updated form of Creationism. Creationism says that the description in Genesis is literally true, i.e. it took 6 days, and on the 7th day God rested. Intelligent Design just says that there was a Creator controlling Creation; He may have used Evolution as a part of that Creation.
The National Academies and other scientific organizations have long said that intelligent design should not be taught in schools because it counters many scientific observations about biology and the origins of life.
Why is that the case? Intelligent Design just says there was an Intelligent Designer involved in creation. It does not say that He could not have used evolution or anything else to accomplish His task.
The National Academies is a collection of private, nonprofit organizations that provide science, technology and health policy advice under a congressional charter.


Michael Jackson Suicide Note

Web Pro News reports The latest trick on the "lets mess up people's computers" front is also an exercise in extraordinarily bad taste. On Thursday, British security firm, Sophos labs picked on Trojan horse packed into an email posing as a suicide note for the pop singer.

Subject: Re: Suicidal aattempt
Message text:
Last night, while in his Neverland Ranch, Michael Jackson has made a suicidal attempt.
They suggest this attempt follows the last claim was made against the king of pop. 46 years old Michael has left pre-suicid note which describes and interpretes some of his sins.

When one clicks on the link the email, it plugs some delightful code into one's computer and creates more than a few problems.

"If you click on the link the website displays a message saying it is too busy, which may not surprise people who think it might contain genuine breaking news about Michael Jackson," said Carole Theriault, security consultant at Sophos. "However, this is a diversionary tactic - because behind the scenes the website is downloading malware onto the user's computer without their knowledge."

During the download process, another trojan horse gets plugged into your terminal. It's a nifty little Troj/Borobt-Gen. Sophos commented on their website that this wasn't the first time people have used Jacko's name to cause problems. An email got circulated last fall claiming incriminating videos and it stuck a Hackarmy Trojan horse too.

No word yet on the Jackson verdict either.



The Anchoress blogged Varifrank and Beautiful Atrocities lay me out with laughter. Varifrank conducts interviews with people of various backgrounds, asking the question: Is Howard Fineman Worth It?. Beautiful Atrocities brings us a timeline on the Root Causes of Terrorism. (H/T) baldi. Also, while it is not MEANT to be funny, Bill O’ Reilly’s interview with Arianna Huffington is…well…it made milk come out my nose. Kim at Musing Minds has the transcript. Read. Put down the milk, first. Enjoy. The world needs a laugh today, I think.



From Thomas, Original Views

Charles Krauthammer writes in WaPo Justice Thomas: "Dope is cool."   Justice Scalia: "Let the cancer patients suffer."

If the headline writers characterized Supreme Court decisions the way many senators and most activists and lobbying groups do, that is how they would have characterized the Supreme Court decision this week on the use of medical marijuana in California. It was ruled illegal because the federal law prohibiting it supersedes the state law permitting it. Scalia agreed with the decision. Thomas dissented. In our current, corrupted debates about the judges, you hear only about results. Priscilla Owen, we were told (by the Alliance for Justice), "routinely backs corporations against worker and consumer protections." Well, in what circumstances? In adjudicating what claims? Under what constitutional doctrine? The real question is never what judges decide but how they decide it. The Scalia-Thomas argument was not about concern for cancer patients, the utility of medical marijuana or the latitude individuals should have regarding what they ingest.

It was about what the Constitution's commerce clause permits and, even more abstractly, who decides what the commerce clause permits. To simplify only slightly, Antonin Scalia says: Supreme Court precedent. Clarence Thomas says: the Founders, as best we can interpret their original intent. The Scalia opinion (concurring with the majority opinion) appeals to dozens of precedents over the past 70 years under which the commerce clause was vastly expanded to allow the federal government to regulate what had, by the time of the New Deal, become a highly industrialized country with a highly nationalized economy. Thomas's dissent refuses to bow to such 20th-century innovations. While Scalia's opinion is studded with precedents, Thomas pulls out founding-era dictionaries (plus Madison's notes from the Constitutional Convention, the Federalist Papers and the ratification debates) to understand what the word commerce meant then. And it meant only "trade or exchange" (as distinct from manufacture) and not, as we use the term today, economic activity in general. By this understanding, the federal government had no business whatsoever regulating privately and medicinally grown marijuana.

This is constitutional "originalism" in pure form. Its attractiveness is that it imposes discipline on the courts. It gives them a clear and empirically verifiable understanding of constitutional text -- a finite boundary beyond which even judges with airs must not go. And if conditions change and parts of the originalist Constitution become obsolete, amend it. Democratically. We have added 17 amendments since the Bill of Rights. Amending is not a job for judges.

I agree completely.
The position represented by Scalia's argument in this case is less "conservative." It recognizes that decades of precedent (which might have, at first, taken constitutional liberties) become so ingrained in the life of the country, and so accepted as part of the understanding of the modern Constitution, that it is simply too revolutionary, too legally and societally disruptive, to return to an original understanding long abandoned.

And there is yet another view. With Thomas's originalism at one end of the spectrum and Scalia's originalism tempered by precedent -- rolling originalism, as it were -- in the middle, there is a third notion, championed most explicitly by Justice Stephen Breyer, that the Constitution is a living document and that the role of the court is to interpret and reinterpret it continually in the light of new ideas and new norms. This is what our debate about judges should be about.
I agree completely
Instead, it constantly degenerates into arguments about results. Two years ago, Thomas (and Scalia and William Rehnquist) dissented from the court's decision to invalidate a Texas law that criminalized sodomy. Thomas explicitly wrote, "If I were a member of the Texas Legislature, I would vote to repeal it." However, since he is a judge and not a legislator, he could find no principled way to use a Constitution that is silent on this issue to strike down the law. No matter. If Thomas were nominated tomorrow for chief justice you can be sure that some liberal activists would immediately issue a news release citing Thomas's "hostility to homosexual rights." And they will undoubtedly cite previous commerce clause cases -- Thomas joining the majority of the court in striking down the Gun Free School Zones Act and parts of the Violence Against Women Act -- to show Thomas's "hostility to women's rights and gun-free schools."

I hope President Bush nominates Thomas to succeed Rehnquist as chief justice, not just because honoring an originalist would be an important counterweight to the irresistible modern impulse to legislate from the bench but, perhaps more importantly, to expose the idiocy of the attacks on Thomas that will inevitably be results-oriented: hostile toward women, opposed to gun-free schools . . . and pro-marijuana?
I also wish he would nominate Thomas, both because he is an originalist, and also because he is younger, and would be more likely to last longer on the court, but he will name Scalia. He likes both of them, as do I, but the Dems are still upset at a black being a conservative that they would definitely oppose Thomas, while they might not fight too hard on Scalia.
Betsy Newmark blogged Charles Krauthammer puts his finger on what we should be really debating when we debate these judicial nominations: how they think and decide. Instead their opinions are over-simplified and then given code-words to make them sound so terrible. Since few people are going to actually read what these judges have written, we end up debating caricatures instead of reality. The dishonest thing is that most of these politicians who are hurling accusations at these judges are lawyers. They know better. But they are willing to take a small part of a decision out of context and then accuse a judge they don't like of extreme views "out of the mainstream." Such dishonesty is disheartening, but not unprecedented in our nation's history. If we truly had a disinterested press, it would be their job to throw some light on what these judges have actually written instead of just pasting in opposing quotes like the debate was some tennis match with no way of finding out the essence of what these judges have argued.

Confirm Them blogged Betsy Newmark points to Charles Krauthammer’s article about what should really be at issue in the battle over judges (not what they have decided, but how it was decided) and makes an excellent point about how miserably journalists have been reporting this story

McQ blogged Today, Charles Krauthammer has a great article making precisely the same point I made as he discusses Justice Thomas's dissent as opposed to Scalia's majority opinion. If you don't like the way the Constitution works, amend it. That is how you keep it a living document. What you don't do is willfully misinterpret it to make laws which expand the power and reach of the federal government in the face of a document specifically written to limit that reach and power. One has to wonder why the case of medical marijuana was different for Scalia this time? As for Thomas, he continues to be the most consistent Constitutionalist on the court. Unfortunately, given the climate in the Senate today, he hasn't a chance in hell of being named as chief justice when Rehnquist retires. All the pity for those of us like me who'd like to see a smaller and less intrusive federal government through strict application of Constitutional principles. Instead we'll probably see a broader application of precedent built in the New Deal era "interpretation" of the commerce clause and based on an "activist" reading of "Constitutional principles" which, in terms of original intent, have never existed.

John Cole blogged And while we are at it, it dovetails nicely with this George Will piece and this great piece from In the Agora, which is so good it deserves a post of its own.


Women should embrace the blogosphere

Lorie Byrd wrote in Townhall No discussion of women bloggers would be complete without some gross generalizations and politically incorrect observations -- both of which I plan to include here.

The first time I read one of the many posts that have been written on various blogs about a shortage of female political bloggers, my first thought was to ask, “What shortage?” Many of the bloggers I read daily, including Michelle Malkin, Betsy Newmark, La Shawn Barber and the Anchoress are women.

And I regularly read. and quote, all three. I had not been reading Lorie before, but now that I have a couple of blogs she blogs at that have trackbacks, I will probably be quoting her in the future (I usually don't quote a blogger that does not have Trackback, unless I can't find another blogger that makes the same point).
A look at blog rankings, however, shows the top spots are held primarily by men.

There are, no doubt, multiple factors that have contributed to the numbers being what they are for women bloggers, and more than a few male bloggers have attempted to provide explanations.

Kevin Drum once suggested the “geek” factor might contribute to the small number of female political bloggers.
Although its geeky Usenet roots were (and are) testosterone laden affairs, there are still no formal barriers to entry here, no old boys club in the usual meaning of the word. Yet if you take a look at the Blogosphere Ecosystem, which for all its faults is probably the closest thing we have to a consensus measure of popularity for political blogs, you will find exactly two women in the top 30: Michelle Malkin and La Shawn Barber.
John Hawkins at Right Wing News has written on this topic at least three times and has offered his explanation for a shortage of “A-List” female bloggers.
Women on the whole are less interested in politics than men, therefore less women create blogs, thus the female talent pool in the blogosphere is smaller than the male pool, which leads to the dearth of "A-List" female bloggers.

In other words, there aren't as many really successful female bloggers because percentage wise, there aren't as many women who are interested in doing political blogging. It's just that simple...
Whatever the reason for the small percentage of female political bloggers, I definitely do not buy the “Woe is me, I can’t succeed in the blogosphere because I am a woman” excuse. For those who do buy it, anonymity is an available option. A blogger’s gender can quite easily be kept a mystery.
This is definitely true. I maintain the News area for the Media Bloggers Association, and I once posted an item for a blogger that had been quoted in the press, and referred to as "he", when her own blog showed that she was a Marine's wife and an Air Force veteran
Like many southern women, instead of complaining that my gender is limiting me in any area, I choose to look at the ways my gender can be used to my advantage. While I don’t go as far as my mother, who once faked tears when pulled over for speeding, to avoid getting a ticket, I am tickled to death to accept any good will that may come my way as a result of being a woman.

Lorie Byrd blogged Check out my article at about women and the blogosphere. Of course, any woman reading Polipundit has already embraced the blogosphere in the best way possible.

Betsy Newmark blogged Lorie Byrd of Polipundit has an inaugural column today at Townhall explaining why women should not be afraid of blogging and should "embrace the blogosphere." She gives some examples of how a stay-at-home mom can find time for blogging that you might not think about. stay-at-home mom like Lorie, a middle-aged high school teacher such as myself ever have anyone other than our friends and family pay any attention to what we have to say? How would we have contact with people across the country to share ideas and discuss topics of interest? What a wonderful thing all this interconnectivity is. And I'm sure that there are other communities of bloggers interested in cats, children, sports, whatever who are finding blog-buddies across the country.

I also reject the idea that women aren't as likely to make good bloggers or to take to blogging. I find that I don't even register whether or not a blogger is a male or female. The blogosphere is close to being a meritocracy although there is a definite advantage for those who started earlier. People starting now might find it hard to break through, but that is true in any industry. However, I have found an incredible generosity among established bloggers to link to new bloggers, including myself, if a post is original and interesting. And gender doesn't enter into it at all.

TheAnchoress blogged Not only is she blogging at mulitple sites (she clearly can multi-task), but she’s moving beyond blogs and into the wide-read world of opinion-column readership, for the second time in as many months, this time with a guest column at where she is as lucid and forthright as ever. Her column is generously filled with female link-y goodness, btw. (Thanks, Lorie!) You’ll want to read it all!

La Shawn Barber blogged Blogger Lorie Byrd has written a great article for Check it out.


Saturday, June 11

This Day In History

  • 1509   England's King Henry VIII married Catherine of Aragon.
  • 1776   The Continental Congress formed a committee to draft a Declaration of Independence from Britain.
  • 1919   Sir Barton won the Belmont Stakes, becoming horse racing's first Triple Crown winner.
  • 1936   The Presbyterian Church of America was formed in Philadelphia, PA.
  • 1963   Gov. George Wallace confronted federal troops at the University of Alabama in an effort to defy a federal court order to allow two blacks to enroll at the school.
  • 1963   Buddhist monk Quang Duc immolated himself on a Saigon street to protest the government of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem.
  • 1977   Seattle Slew won the Belmont Stakes, capturing the Triple Crown.
  • 1979   Actor John Wayne died at age 72.
  • 1982   The movie "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" opened.
  • 1985   Karen Ann Quinlan, the comatose patient whose case prompted a historic right-to-die court decision, died in Morris Plains, N.J., at age 31.
  • 1986   A divided Supreme Court struck down a Pennsylvania abortion law while reaffirming its 1973 decision establishing a constitutional right to abortion.
  • 1987   Margaret Thatcher became the first British prime minister in 160 years to win a third consecutive term in office.
  • 1990   The Supreme Court struck down a federal law prohibiting desecration of the American flag.
  • 1992   The Supreme Court ruled that people who commit hate crimes may be sentenced to extra punishment.
  • 1996   Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., left the Senate to concentrate on his campaign for the presidency.
  • 2001   Timothy McVeigh was executed by injection for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people.
  • 2002   Rock star Paul McCartney married Heather Mills in a remote Irish castle.
Happy Birthday To
  • 1880   Jeannette Rankin (U.S. Congresswoman: 1st woman to be elected to this position
  • 1910   Jacques-Yves Cousteau (marine explorer: PBS-TV producer; co-inventor of Aqua-Lung; died June 25, 1997)
  • 1913   Vince Lombardi (Pro Football Hall of Famer: coach: Green Bay Packers: Super Bowl I, II; “Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.”; died Sep 3, 1970)
  • 1945   Adrienne Barbeau (actress: Swamp Thing, Maude, Cannonball Run, Silk Degrees, Double-Crossed, Two Evil Eyes)
  • 1956   Joe Montana (football: San Francisco 49ers quarterback:


Friday, June 10, 2005

September 11th Memorial

Jacob Laksin writes in FrontPage Imagine the following scenario. A gaggle of leftist ideologues, most of them vocally hostile to the U.S.-led War on Terror and some of them inclined to believe that the U.S. itself poses the greatest threat to world peace, is tasked with creating a memorial to the victims of 9-11 terrorism and a tribute to freedom. This, in essence, is what has happened with International Freedom Center in New York.

Created specifically for the World Trade Center Site, the new center is being billed as an “educational complement” to the World Trade Center Memorial, slated for completion in 2009. But a curious thing about the center is how little attention it devotes to the tragedy that birthed it. Rather than focusing on America’s response to the terrorist attacks—whether in the form of the firefighter in Lower Manhattan or the Marine in Northern Iraq—the center has taken upon itself the mission of showcasing “humanity’s response to September 11.”

To this end, the four-story center, which will be housed in the World Trade Center Memorial Cultural Complex erected on the site of the former Twin Towers, will feature museum-like galleries furnished with multimedia exhibits cataloguing the abuses of freedom throughout history. Photographs of everyone from the fabled leftwinger and union organizer Mother Jones to a voter in Ukraine are being considered for the ceiling. As well, the center, which is expected to host up to 2 million visitors annually, will reportedly include presentations on everything from the depredations visited upon Native Americans to the struggles of dissidents in Soviet gulags, all giving a faddishly universal gloss to a uniquely American tragedy. There will even be an “engagement” program, which will encourage visitors to take up activism “on behalf of freedom” but not necessarily freedom as America has defined and developed it and been attacked for advancing it.

All of this comes into sharper focus when one considers that the “creative team” charged with designing the memorial center is led by Peter W. Kunhardt, who founded the center with Tom Bernstein, president of New York’s Chelsea Piers sports complex. He is also the president of Kunhardt Productions, a film company that specializes in historical documentaries. Among its recent productions is a 2003 series of half-hour programs for PBS called “Freedom: A History of US.” Although it featured a host of Hollywood celebrity narrators, the series, breaking with standard PBS procedure of using a panel of experts, relied on a single historian to supply the relevant historical background. That historian was anti-war activist and veteran leftwinger Eric Foner, professor of history at Columbia University.

When it comes to the International Freedom Center’s memorial project, however, Kunhardt has been quick to waive aside suggestions that he might have a political agenda. As he recently told the New York Times, he wants only to “explore freedom in accurate and meaningful and exciting ways.” Moreover, he insisted, "We tried to be above politics as we did our research.”

Being above politics means offending conservatives and doing whatever their little liberal hearts desire.
They didn’t try very hard. For ideas about the direction and content of the planned memorial, the International Freedom Center has, in its own words, “reached out to an extraordinary roster of scholars,” with the intention of fostering “conversations on freedom.” But a survey of the scholars solicited by the center beginning with Foner suggests that the more likely result will be a leftist propaganda assault on the United States and its foreign policy.

Making Foner’s association with a September 11 memorial project all the more strange is the fact the professor evinced little sympathy for his country in the wake of the terrorist attacks. Writing just days after the attacks in the London Review of Books, Foner opined: “I’m not sure which is more frightening: the horror that engulfed New York City or the apocalyptic rhetoric emanating daily from the [Bush] White House.”
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me. Also planes crashing into buildings can kill 3,000.
Foner further urged “[American] allies to impose some restraint on the White House.” That the root cause of the terrorist attacks was American foreign policy toward the Middle East Foner had no doubt: In a September 2004 article for the History News Network, Foner explained, “It is based primarily on American policies -- toward Israel, the Palestinians, oil supplies, the region’s corrupt and authoritarian regimes, and, most recently, Iraq.”
The 9/11 attack was caused by the war in Iraq, several years later? Did the guys in the airplanes have a time machine?
In remarks posted on the International Freedom Center’s website, Foner explains that the memorial will require a “critical eye,” and stresses that, “There have been many points in our history where freedom has been restricted, and has gone backwards.” What relevance this has to a September 11 memorial is unclear, but it does suggest that leftists like Foner intend to use the memorial to project their view of American history as an unabated stretch of oppression and intolerance.

Michelle Malkin blogged The New York Times remains silent, but the New York Post weighs in. Tim Sumner has much more. Take back the memorial.

sisu blogged "Where's the outrage?" Brian Kilmeade is asking Debra Burlingame on FOX&Friends this morning re that attempted coup by anti-America interests -- blogged here and here -- to place what Michelle Malkin aptly calls "A Blame America Monument" at the heart of Ground Zero....

Angry in the Great White North blogged At least in the United States, the plans are in the open, and there is a movement to take back the memorial site from the "Blame America" crowd. Good luck to them.


Friday, June 10

This Day In History

  • 1801   The North African state of Tripoli declared war on the United States in a dispute over safe passage of merchant vessels through the Mediterranean.
  • 1854   The U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD graduated its first class on this day.
  • 1922   Singer-actress Judy Garland was born Frances Gumm in Grand Rapids, Minn.
  • 1935   Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in Akron, Ohio, by William G. Wilson and Dr. Robert Smith.
  • 1940   Italy declared war on France and Britain; Canada declared war on Italy.
  • 1942   The Gestapo massacred 173 male residents of Lidice, Czechoslovakia, in retaliation for the killing of a Nazi official.
  • 1946   Italy replaced its abolished monarchy with a republic.
  • 1964   The U.S. Senate voted to limit further debate on a proposed civil rights bill, shutting off a filibuster by Southern lawmakers.
  • 1977   James Earl Ray, the convicted assassin of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., escaped from Brushy Mountain State Prison in Tennessee with six others; he was recaptured three days later.
  • 1978   Affirmed won horse racing's Triple Crown by taking the Belmont Stakes.
  • 1985   Socialite Claus von Bulow was acquitted by a jury in Providence, R.I., on charges he'd tried to murder his heiress wife, Martha ''Sunny'' von Bulow.
  • 1999   Yugoslav troops departed Kosovo, prompting NATO to suspend its punishing 78-day air war.
  • 2000   Syrian President Hafez Assad died at age 69.
  • 2002   Organized crime figure John Gotti died at a prison hospital in Missouri at age 61.
Happy Birthday To
  • 1922   Judy Garland
  • 1933   F. (Francis) Lee Bailey (defense attorney: O.J. Simpson, Patty Hearst)


Thursday, June 09, 2005

CNET Blogs

CNET now has 28 blogs: Apple, Broadband, Cellular, Cisco, Coop's Corner, Dell, Enterprise software, Gadgets, Gaming, Google, IBM, Media, Microsoft, Missing links, Music, Open source and standards, Oracle, PCs, Politics, Processors, RFID, Search, Security, Sun Microsystems, VoIP, Windows, Workplace, and Yahoo blog, and since it can be hard to find something worthwhile to post everyday, they have one uberblog that pulls together the posts from every blog.

Hat Tip to eastwikkers and Blogspotting


Senate confirms Brown

CNN reports The Senate on Wednesday confirmed California judge Janice Rogers Brown for the federal appeals court, ending a two-year battle filled with accusations of racism and sexism.... The Senate voted 56-43 to confirm Brown to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia,

Nelson of Nebraska was the only Democratic vote in favor
and 67-32 to end the filibuster of Pryor's nomination to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Senate will confirm on Thursday Michigan nominees David McKeague and Richard Griffin, nominated to the 6th Circuit in Cincinnati,
One of the first "deals" the Dems offerred was to allow these two to go through, now they went through even though they were not a part of the "Deal of the 14"
said Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tennessee.


Religious hatred bill

BBC NEWS reported Controversial plans to make incitement to religious hatred illegal have been unveiled by the [British] government. The new offence gives equal protection to all faiths. Jews and Sikhs are already covered by race hate laws. Critics say the reintroduced plans - which cover words or behaviour intended or likely to stir up religious hatred - will stifle free speech. Ministers insist the new law would not affect "criticism, commentary or ridicule of faiths". The Racial and Religious Bill would create a new offence of incitement to religious hatred and would apply to comments made in public or in the media, as well as through written material.

If we had something like this in the US, would it mean that the ACLU would not be allowed to attack every vistage of Christianity, and would we finally be able to celebrate Christmas on December 25, rather than Winter Holiday, or Holiday Season?
The aim is to protect people from incitement to hatred against them because of their faith. But ministers insists it will not ban people - including artists and performers - from offending, criticising or ridiculing faiths.

Marc blogged Here we go again, pandering to Muslims.


U.N. Dues

Guardian reported Ignoring the Bush administration's pleas, a GOP-controlled House committee approved a bill Wednesday that would withhold one-half of U.S. dues to the United Nations unless it made specific changes. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., was approved 25-22. An alternative from Democrats on the House International Relations Committee was rejected 24-23. The big difference between the two bills was whether dues cuts should be mandatory, as recommended by Hyde, or left to the discretion of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The administration wants to retain the flexibility of deciding whether U.S. dues should be held back. "You can't have reform unless you withhold dues," Hyde said. The committee chairman expressed doubt that Rice would order cuts in U.S. payments to the world body.

Why don't we compromise? If the UN does not adopt the specific reform measures let the 50% of the dues be withheld automatically, and let Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice decide whether to withhold the other 50%?
Under the Democratic version, introduced by Rep. Tom Lantos of California, Rice would have the authority to withhold up to 50 percent of U.S. dues. The amount would depend on her assessment of U.N. reform over the next two years. Skepticism in Congress, especially among Republicans, abounds about the international organization. Some lawmakers question whether the United Nations promotes U.S. interests. Recent U.N. scandals have included the apparent mismanagement and possible corruption involving the $64 billion oil-for-food program for Iraq. At the House hearing, committee members took turns decrying the U.N.'s performance on a variety of fronts, including accusations of the sexual abuse of women by U.N. peacekeepers deployed in poor countries. The United Nations itself has cited the need for overhauls. Mark Malloch Brown, a top aide to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, told members of Congress two weeks ago that the United Nations was moving ``full-steam'' on carrying out reform.


Thursday, June 9

This Day In History

  • 1870   Author Charles Dickens died at age 58.
  • 1934   Donald Duck made his first appearance (as a bit player) on film
  • 1940   Norway surrendered to the Nazis during World War II.
  • 1943   The U.S. Congress authorized legislation giving the green light to a withholding tax on payrolls -- the pay-it-as-you-make-it income tax.
  • 1969   The Senate confirmed Warren Burger to be chief justice of the United States, succeeding Earl Warren.
  • 1973   Secretariat became horse racing's first Triple Crown winner in 25 years by winning the Belmont Stakes.
  • 1978   Leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints struck down a 148-year-old policy of excluding black men from the Mormon priesthood.
  • 1980   Comedian Richard Pryor suffered near-fatal burns at his home when a mixture of ''free-base'' cocaine exploded.
  • 1985   American educator Thomas Sutherland was kidnapped in Lebanon.
  • 1986   The Rogers Commission released its report on the Challenger disaster, criticizing NASA and rocket-builder Morton Thiokol for management problems leading to the explosion that claimed the lives of seven astronauts.
  • 1993   Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito married commoner Masako Owada.
  • 1997   Air Force Gen. Joseph Ralston, who had admitted that he'd had an adulterous affair years earlier, gave up his fight to become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Happy Birthday To
  • 1672   Peter the Great (Piotr Alekseevich Romanov)
  • 1891   Cole (Albert) Porter (composer & lyricist)
  • 1916   Robert McNamara (U.S. Secretary of Defense in the Kennedy & Johnson administrations; president of World Bank)
  • 1961   Michael J. Fox
  • 1963   Johnny Depp


Wednesday, June 08, 2005

A blogger I respect

La Shawn Barber is a blogger I respect. On June 3 she posted a provocative entry If I See One More Koran “Mishandling” Story… and I posted Koran “Mishandling” Story in support.

Today she posted this which indicated Many bloggers linked to it, left and right. A couple of bloggers I respected on the right criticized some of the statements I made. Their ire was raised because I’ve spoke out against Islam in general. Tell me, how many people disparage Christianity every day, several times a day?

Not just individuals, but organizations like the ACLU, and stupid Judges
Do these same bloggers come to my defense the way they’ve jumped to the offense? Hardly. In fact, one of them mocked my faith in a post that may or may not have been parody. I shrugged it off as an aberration at the time.

I was angry when I wrote that Koran post, but I stand behind every word. Although I used “Muslims” as a general term, my focus was and is on Islamofascists, Muslims who believe they’re commanded by their god to conquer and kill unbelievers: Christians, Jews, and whoever else doesn’t believe in Allah.
These people call themselves Muslims, but I don't believe the are. After all, in their Holy Book Surat al-Baqara, 136 (Qur'an 2:136) it says Say ye: "We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them We are all "People of the Book" (or ahl al Kitâb) as it says in their Holy Book Surat Al 'Imran, 64 (Qur'an 3:64) "O People of the Book! Let us rally to a common formula to be binding on both us and you: That we worship none but God; that we associate no partners with Him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than God."
If saying so marks me as a religious bigot, then I’ll add the label to my collection, along with “sell out,” “race traitor,” and “House Negro.” And it won’t keep me up at night.

What makes me sick enough to vomit are not just their over-the-top tirades; it’s the way Islamofascists get a pass!
What upsets me is that the same people that demand we provide absolute respect for the Islamofacist's faith provide absolutely no respect for the Christian faith that LaShawn and I and about 80% of Americans share.
Our way of life is under attack and terrorist cells exist right here on our own soil! Yet I, mere blogger, am the dangerous one. Something similar happened when I blogged about Chris Rock’s buffoonish comedy routine at the Oscars. Black libs were all over me. Rock played to the worst stereotypes. Yet I, mere blogger, was the shameful one.

I suppose that being harshly and unfairly criticized by the left and the right is some sort of perverse compliment. They obviously find me dangerous enough or misinformed enough or ignorant enough or evil enough or interesting enough to spend time blogging about my blog. I’m being intentionally vague because, as I said, I refuse to flame. Go to Technorati and look up my URL to find posts if you’re compelled.

This is how I work: If a blogger I like writes something I don’t, you won’t find any disparaging remarks about him/her or the post on this site. If it’s something I think is seriously inappropriate, I’d e-mail them. I wouldn’t dream of publicly going off. I don’t even do that to bloggers I don’t like. But that’s my style.
LaShawn is certainly a woman of style. I personally believe in debate, so if she says something I disagree with I will post my opinion, and trackback to her so that she will know I said what I said, in case she wants to defend her opinion, but I will do so respectfully. LaShawn deserves respect.
There’s a lesson in everything, and nothing is wasted. No matter what others write about me, they won’t deter me from standing up for what I believe is right. This I know for certain: one day we’ll all know what’s right.

Until then, we blog.

I believe the proper expression here is "You Go Girl". LaShawn is correct. One day we will meet Him, and then we will all know what's right and what is not right. And until then, we will both blog what we think is right.


Wednesday, June 8

This Day In History

  • 632   The prophet Mohammed died.
  • 1786   Commercial ice cream was manufactured for the first time -- in New York City.
  • 1845   Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, died in Nashville, Tenn., at age 78.
  • 1861   Tennessee seceded from the Union.
  • 1872   A little-remembered piece of history happened on this day: The U.S. Congress authorized the penny postal card.
  • 1915   Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan resigned in a disagreement over U.S. handling of the sinking of the Lusitania.
  • 1948   The ''Texaco Star Theater'' made its debut on NBC-TV with Milton Berle as guest host.
  • 1953   The Supreme Court ruled that restaurants in the District of Columbia could not refuse to serve blacks.
  • 1967   Israeli forces raided the Liberty, a U.S. Navy ship stationed in the Mediterranean, killing 34. Israel called the attack a tragic mistake.
  • 1969   The New York Yankees retired Mickey Mantle's uniform No. 7 during ''Mickey Mantle Day'' at Yankee Stadium.
  • 1978   A jury in Clark County, Nev., ruled the so-called ''Mormon will,'' purportedly written by the late billionaire Howard Hughes, was a forgery.
  • 1982   in the first speech by an American president to a joint session of the British Parliament, President Reagan predicted that Marxism-Leninism would wind up "on the ash heap of history."
  • 1987   Fawn Hall, secretary to national security aide Oliver L. North, testified at the Iran-Contra hearings, saying she had helped to shred some documents.
  • 1995   U.S. Marines rescued Capt. Scott O'Grady, whose F16-C fighter jet had been shot down by Bosnian Serbs on June 2.
  • 1998   The National Rifle Association elected actor Charlton Heston its president.
  • 2001   A knife-wielding man killed eight children at a Japanese elementary school.
  • 2001   British Prime Minister Tony Blair was elected to a second term in a landslide.
Happy Birthday To
  • May 26, 1907)
  • 1867   Frank Lloyd Wright (architect
  • 1918   Robert Preston (Meservey)
  • 1925   Barbara Bush (Pierce) (First Lady: wife of 41st President of the U.S., George Bush)
  • 1933   Joan Rivers (Joan Alexandra Molinsky) (comedienne)
  • 1940   Nancy Sinatra
  • 1944   Don Grady (Agrati) (actor: My Three Sons, Mickey Mouse Club)


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Janice Rogers Brown

La Shawn Barber blogged Do you ever wonder why someone like Justice Janice Rogers Brown puts up with the ridicule, rudeness and downright hatred of people who don’t even know her? I’m in awe of her dedication to the rule of law in the face of withering criticism by people who believe she’s unfit to serve the people of California, although 76 percent of the voters elected the “extreme right winger” to the California Supreme Court. I don’t wonder why Justice Brown subjects herself to harsh criticism and scorn. It’s not complicated. She believes in ideals that transcend herself.

On a much smaller scale, I get the same treatment. Since I’ve been blogging, I’ve discovered just how overtly bigoted white liberals can be, while paying lip service to “equality” and “diversity.” Because they hear what black liberals say about me, they suddenly feel bold enough cross the line as far as race is concerned.

Both black and white liberals just can't understand why a black woman might be a conservative, whether that black woman is LaShawn Barber or Janice Rogers Brown.
The first time it happened, I was shocked, believe it or not. I’m sure Justice Brown felt the same way when it first happened to her. I haven’t let it stop me from saying what needs to be said, and neither has she. I’m less surprised by what other blacks say and write about me.
I don't understand why either black or white liberals have the right to belittle black conservatives. The Democratic party has taken black voters for granted for far too long; I can't understand why many of them seem so wedded to the Democratic party.
As a member of the sub-culture, I understand why they’re angry and bitter and want me to go away. Facing the truth is often painful, and hearing it from one of your own doesn’t make it easier. I’m not always right, and neither are they. But it’s important that we respect each other enough to at least consider the other side, not to necessarily be persuaded by other ideas. As someone with the good fortune to be born in America, I feel it’s my duty to exercise the fought-and-died-for freedom to speak my mind. Justice Rogers takes the duty much further, serving as arbiter of justice and adherent to the rule of law. The people of liberal California obviously thinks she performs her duties well. I recommend this surprisingly even-handed story feature story about her in the Los Angeles Times (reg. req), and Peter Kirsanow’s article in National Review Online, The Dems’ Post-Nuclear Nightmare.

Upon meeting me, white liberals take one look at my skin and presume I’m a left-leaning, Congressional Black Caucus-supporting, racial preference-loving, pro-infanticide crony. They condescendingly offer opinions about “diversity and multicultural” this or “Democratic fundraiser” that. I usually excuse such transgressions because it’s natural to quickly size up people based on information readily available. When I rebut these presumptions and share my deeply held conservative beliefs, however, I get open-mouthed stares. With 90 percent of the black vote locked down tight, Democrats don’t quite know what to do with the other 10 percent, so they pull the old plantation routine by turning blacks against each other. While the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) shamelessly attacks California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown, a black conservative nominated by President George W. Bush for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, white liberals sit back and gaze upon their handiwork. It’s life as usual on the old plantation. Chains of physical bondage have been broken, but mental bondage still exists. Sometimes slave-owners recruited loyal blacks to be the overseers who crushed the will of other slaves longing to be free. Justice Brown — unlike the CBC — is not a slave to liberal dogma, and she is mercilessly berated as a result by the CBC and their white colleagues. Slave-owners have always exploited human weakness to control slaves with fear, distrust, envy and lies, and the exploitation continues. You see, conservative blacks are the plantation system’s greatest threat. We’re the runaway slaves who followed the Underground Railroad to freedom. We’re the “uppity Negroes” of the Jim Crow era who wouldn’t stay in our place. Modern-day plantation owners — white liberals — manipulate paranoid blacks into attacking each other in ways that would make a blackface performer blush. A black liberal web site (to remain unnamed) recently posted a shameful caricature that depicted Justice Brown as Clarence Thomas in drag. Without hesitation or reservation, blacks take the bait thrown out by white Democrats and viciously turn on one another. All the master has to do is sit back and watch. And laugh.
I will admit that I never would have felt it proper to write the above analogies that LaShawn indicated, but on reflection I believe she has a very good point.
In an attempt to malign Justice Brown’s character, the acerbic Rep. Maxine Waters called her a “poster woman for the far right wing,” and said that her “legal record and her views on civil rights and constitutional issues place her so far outside the legal mainstream.” Right. So far outside the legal mainstream is Justice Brown that 76 percent of liberal Californians voted for her in 1998. Non-voting D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton added that Justice Brown was “cut from the same cloth as Clarence Thomas.” Why?
I actually believe they were cut from the same cloth, and that LaShawn was also cut from that cloth, and I respect all three.
Here are a few reasons why Democrats consider Justice Brown unqualified to sit on the D.C. Circuit:
  • She dissented in a California Supreme Court opinion that upheld the right of a child to have her unborn baby killed without her parents’ consent. Right-wing nut!
    All blacks are expected to owe totally loyalty to the Democratic Party (why, I am not sure, becaues the Dems sponsored welfare programs designed to keep them from aspiring to anything better, and with total loyalty to the Democratic Party they are expected to support the Abortion Industry that finances the Democratic Party.
  • She wrote the opinion that upheld Proposition 209, a voter-approved measure outlawing the use of race in public university admissions and hiring in California, a direct threat to the professional grievance lobby. A race traitor!
    Upholding a proposition supported by a majority of the voters; doesn't she know that Judges are expected to enact liberal positions that the voters and the legislature that has to answer to the voters, will not pass.
  • In order to forward their far-left agenda, liberals know they must circumvent the U.S. Constitution and the will of the people, which Justice Brown vowed to honor. She wrote: “When fundamentally moral and philosophical issues are involved and the questions are fairly debatable, the judgment call belongs to the Legislature.” This, in the words of legislator Sen. Edward Kennedy, is “despicable”!
    In my opinion, it is Senator Kennedy that is despicable.
Justice Brown — and all independent thinkers — are a menace to plantation society.


Tuesday, June 7

This Day In History

  • 1654   Louis XIV was crowned king of France in Rheims.
  • 1776   Richard Henry Lee of Virginia proposed to the Continental Congress a resolution calling for a Declaration of Independence.
  • 1848   French postimpressionist painter Paul Gauguin was born in Paris.
  • 1864   Abraham Lincoln was nominated for a second term as president at the Republican Party convention in Baltimore.
  • 1892   The first pinch-hitter in baseball was used in a game.
  • 1892   Homer Plessy was arrested when he refused to move from a seat reserved for whites on a train in New Orleans. The case led to the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ''separate but equal'' decision in Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896.
  • 1939   King George VI and his wife, Queen Elizabeth, arrived at Niagara Falls, N.Y., from Canada on the first visit to the United States by a reigning British monarch.
  • 1948   The Communists completed their takeover of Czechoslovakia with the resignation of President Eduard Benes.
  • 1967   Author-critic Dorothy Parker, famed for her caustic wit, died in New York at age 73.
  • 1976   "The NBC Nightly News", with John Chancellor and David Brinkley, aired for the first time.
  • 1981   Israeli military planes destroyed a nuclear power plant in Iraq, a facility the Israelis charged could have been used to make nuclear weapons
  • 1996   The Clinton White House acknowledged it had obtained the FBI files of prominent Republicans, calling it ''an innocent bureaucratic mistake.''
  • 1998   James Byrd Jr., a 49-year-old black man, was chained to a pickup truck and dragged to his death in Jasper, Texas.
  • 2000   U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ordered the breakup of Microsoft Corp.
  • 2002   A yearlong hostage crisis in the Philippines involving three Americans came to a bloody end as Filipino commandos managed to save only one of the captives.
  • 2002   Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel was convicted in Norwalk, Conn., of beating Greenwich neighbor Martha Moxley to death when both were 15 years old in 1975.
Happy Birthday To
  • 1917   Dean Martin (Dino Crocetti) (straight man of comedy-team: Martin and Lewis)
  • 1943   Ken Osmond (actor: Leave It to Beaver, High School U.S.A.)


Monday, June 06, 2005

Laptops Outsell Desktops for First Time

WaPO reported In a sure sign that the era of mobile computing has arrived, notebooks have for the first time outsold desktops in the United States in a calendar month, the research firm Current Analysis says. After tracking sales from a sampling of electronics retailers, Current Analysis says notebook sales accounted for 53 percent of the total personal computer market last month, up from 46 percent during the same period last year. San Diego-based Current Analysis does not follow worldwide personal computer sales. Spurring demand for notebooks is their overall price drop as quality has improved, says Sam Bhavnani, senior analyst for Current Analysis. "Just a few years ago, the performance of notebooks was nowhere near where it is today," he said. Notebook prices fell 17 percent during the past year while desktop prices dipped only 4 percent. Some of the features common in most notebooks are longer-lasting batteries, CD burners and wireless capability. The computing crowd is increasingly requiring mobility.

Hat tip to TechSmores


Stem Cell Advances

WaPo reports If only human embryonic stem cells could sprout anew from something other than a human embryo. Researchers could harvest them and perhaps harness their great biomedical potential without destroying what some consider to be a budding human life. But like a low-calorie banana split or the proverbial free lunch, there is no such thing as an embryo-free embryonic stem cell. Or is there? In recent months, a number of researchers have begun to assemble intriguing evidence that it is possible to generate embryonic stem cells without having to create or destroy new human embryos. The research is still young and largely unpublished, and in some cases it is limited to animal cells. Scientists doing the work also emphasize their desire to have continued access to human embryos for now. It is largely by analyzing how nature makes stem cells, deep inside days-old embryos, that these researchers are learning how to make the cells themselves. Yet the gathering consensus among biologists is that embryonic stem cells are made, not born -- and that embryos are not an essential ingredient.

It would be nice if advances in medicine could be made without destroying life, but I am a little concerned that the scientists are planning on playing God, i.e. Creating Life, and that they will just say "until we can do that, let us go ahead and destroy life"
That means that today's heated debates over embryo rights could fade in the aftermath of technical advances allowing scientists to convert ordinary cells into embryonic stem cells. "That would really get around all the moral and ethical concerns," said James F. Battey, chief of the stem cell task force at the National Institutes of Health. The techniques under study qualify for federal grant support because embryos are not harmed, he noted. And eventually the work could boost the number of stem cell colonies, or lines, available for study by taxpayer-supported researchers. The transformation of ordinary body cells into extraordinary stem cells is not a matter of alchemy but molecular biology. All human cells, be they stem or otherwise, have the same basic complement of genes. What is different about stem cells -- and what gives them their remarkable capacity to proliferate and morph into whatever kind of cell the body may need -- is the specific pattern of activity of their genes. It is all about which genes are working and which are dormant. As cells mature during embryonic and fetal development, certain genes in those cells are switched either on or off. Depending on the new pattern of activity, each cell becomes skin, heart muscle, nerve or some other kind of specialized cell.

Pejman Yousefzadeh blogged Finally, someone understand that the best way to go forward on this issue is to take the moral qualms out of the equation. I hope this isn't overly optimistic. If the report is true, then perhaps we will finally be able to go about the business of saving lives without being encumbered by yet another round of political arguments. I will add though that those who raise ethical and moral concerns--and I count myself as one of them--should not have those concerns so easily and casually dismissed.

James Joyner blogged Scientists are apparently quite close to creating research quality stem cells without having to harvest them from human embryoes. This would be an ideal outcome. Being able to explore the touted possibilities from stem cell research without having to first destroy human life would indeed untie that particular Gordian knot.


Clerics strip Omar

Telegraph reported A crowd of 600 Afghan clerics gathered in front of an historic mosque yesterday to strip the fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar of his claim to religious authority, in a ceremony that provided a significant boost to the presidency of Hamid Karzai. The declaration, signed by 1,000 clerics from across the country, is an endorsement of the US-backed programme of reconciliation with more moderate elements of the Taliban movement that Karzai has been pursuing ahead of the country's first parliamentary elections, due in September. Symbolically, the ulema shura, or council of clerics, was held at the Blue Mosque in the southern city of Kandahar, the spiritual home of the Taliban movement. As afternoon prayers approached yesterday, some 600 clerics, heavily bearded and wearing substantial turbans and flowing robes, from 20 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces, entered the blue-domed mosque's main courtyard, flanked by heavily armed guards. With the assembled clerics seated on the marble floor before him, the head of shura, Maulvi Abdullah Fayaz, said: "Karzai is elected through free and fair election and religiously we have to obey his orders. None of the orders of the previous Emirs, including Mullah Omar, is accepted." He said that following the Taliban, "accepting their orders and through their orders killing people and destabilising the country", was "against sharia law". A list of 13 proclamations was read out during the three-hour ceremony.

Captain Ed: blogged In the Muslim world, as opposed to Catholocism and some Protestant sects, the lack of a central authority for reference and authentication has made it difficult to declare clerics as radical or extreme. Clerics attract their own followings, and have the authority to make their own proclamations, and even the opposition of a number of other clerics doesn't necessarily negate the actions of the single cleric. However, when hundreds of clerics band together to make a declaration, it does carry some weight. That's exactly what has happened in Afghanistan, where 600 Muslim clerics announced that Mullah Omar has been stripped of all spiritual authority, with another 400 signatories from other regions.

Michael Isikoff might want to stay out of Kabul as well. One of the proclamations specifically called for the arrest of all the Newsweek staff responsible for the false report of Gitmo guards desecrating the Qu'ran. Apparently the media push to circle the wagons around Isikoff and Newsweek by screeching about Guantanamo hasn't even fooled the Afghanis.

Arthur Chrenkoff has a LOT of good information about the spread of Democracy in Afganistan

James Joyner blogged As big a breathrough as stripping Omar is, the second part of the declaration is arguably more important. The recognition that secular authority, not the religious hierarchy, is the legitimate source of worldly law is the first giant step toward modernity. It was this crucial move, following the Thirty Years War, that began the transformation of the West into the epicenter of scientific, economic, and and political dominance.

Pejman Yousefzadeh blogged And while we have mere symbolism here, it does show the degree to which the Afghan people are disgusted with the Taliban--and the degree to which they are willing to help American forces get rid of them. I imagine that the same degree of hostility exists against al Qaeda itself.

This is good news, particularly the additional items Arthur Chrenkoff provided.


Tearing the E.U. Apart

WaPo reported Move from austere Paris to this anarchic city as I have done this summer, and it's hard to escape the conclusion that the idea of integrating Turkey into the European Union is and always has been ludicrous. Turkey is not Europe, and it is certainly not France... I say this because every Turk to whom I've spoken wants nothing more than the chance to become part of the predicted flood of cheap, unskilled labor that would almost certainly destabilize the economies and social orders of the Northern European welfare states if Europe and its periphery were to be glued together and all the borders thrown open....Deep down, the ordinary Frenchman doesn't believe that Turks, or Eastern Europeans for that matter, cherish the values he holds most dear.

And he would be right. Turks and Eastern Europeans want to be able to improve their own lot; Frenchmen want the socialist state to improve their lot
Nor do the French much trust that the Germans and the British have French interests at heart.
And Germans and British realize that France does not care about German or British interests.
Given European history -- and given what I see around me -- I can't say I blame them. Over the past few weeks, the pro-Europe talking heads on French television have been busy poking fun at French fears of the "proverbial Polish plumber" who is ready to steal jobs from the locals. But how the pundits can argue that he is only proverbial is beyond me. If you want to test the theory, try living in a Paris apartment that needs repainting, as mine did a few weeks ago. Get estimates. French workmen will propose to do the job for 10,000 euros. The Polish painter? He can do it for 800 euros. Tomorrow. He doesn't ask for health insurance or social security, either. And this in a country where there is already 10 percent unemployment. If I were a French house painter or plumber, I would have voted non, too.
And this is exactly why the current Euro Constitution does not have a chance. This one might have a chance, because it allows each state to remain in control of what happens in their state.
Paul @PowerLine blogged Claire Berlinski in the Washington Post provides a more general and, I think, useful perspective on what the vote was about -- the unwillingness of French and Dutch voters "to cede any more of their national identity to the fantasy of a unified Europe." I agree. As much as I would like to see market reforms in France, if French voters want socialism they are entitled to have it. But let it be "socialism in one country," not a more liberal form of statism imposed top-down on an imaginary state, essentially all of Europe, including the nations of the "new Europe."

It might also be worth noting that, whatever the French voters had in mind, the defeat they inflicted on the old political order could hasten the rise of younger leaders who are more comfortable with free markets. Indeed, immediately after the election, Chirac shuffled his ministers to the benefit of Nicolas Sarkozy who has been sympathetic to lower taxes, flexible labor markets, and more freedom for innovation and enterprise. Similarly, in Germany recent local elections have boosted the prospects of German opposition leader Angela Merkel, a proponent of market reform.

Europe is in sharp and perhaps irreversible decline. Last week's votes won't change this dynamic much, but the willingness of French and Dutch voters to say "no" to the political elites who have so poorly served them is a positive sign.


Singing 'Like a Canary'

Newsweek reports Some of Saddam Hussein's most notorious former lieutenants have been dishing dirt. Senate investigators looking into prewar U.N. Oil-for-Food deals have named Saddam's former personal secretary and security chief, Abid Hamid Mahmoud al-Tikriti, former vice president Taha Yassin Ramadan and former foreign minister Tariq Aziz as key witnesses who have provided inside info about Saddam's regime. Senate staffers traveled to Baghdad earlier this year to interview Iraqi officials, and their reports are among the first official accounts of what captured Iraqi leaders are saying. "In interview after interview, the officials were generally forthcoming and quite proud—even boastful—of their creativity in undermining U.N. sanctions," says Sen. Norm Coleman, who leads one of several congressional probes into Saddam-era oil deals. According to Senate documents, Ramadan is one of the most talkative captives, supplying pithy quotes about how Saddam allegedly manipulated the prewar oil program to buy support from influential foreigners. Senate investigators quote Ramadan saying that Saddam's regime gave foreigners oil allocations—which could be cashed in for lucrative brokerage fees—as "compensation for support"... Kay says that Aziz "sang like a canary" about Saddam's effort to use oil deals to buy friendship among French, Russian and U.K. politicos. Kay says that Aziz once told him that if the U.S. government released him from prison, he would tour the United States, telling journalists and the public about the evil deeds of the former Iraqi regime, about Saddam's corruption and about the former dictator's "demented" mental state. Kay says that when he asked Aziz how the United States could be sure Aziz would keep this bargain, Aziz told him: "Mr. David, because you now own me."

Sing away, but don't plan on going on a tour.


Monday, June 6

This Day In History

  • 1799   American orator Patrick Henry died in Charlotte County, Va.
  • 1844   The Young Men's Christian Association was founded in London.
  • 1904   The National Tuberculosis Association was formed in Atlantic City, NJ.
  • 1925   Walter Percy Chrysler founded the Chrysler Corp.
  • 1932   The first U.S. federal tax on gasoline was enacted. The rate was a penny per gallon.
  • 1933   The first drive-in movie theater opened, in Camden, N.J.
  • 1934   The Securities and Exchange Commission was established.
  • 1942   Japanese forces retreated in the World War II Battle of Midway.
  • 1944   This was D-Day, the day thousands of Allied troops invaded the beaches of Normandy, France.
  • 1966   Black activist James Meredith was shot and wounded as he walked along a Mississippi highway to encourage black voter registration.
  • 1968   Sen. Robert F. Kennedy died at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, a day after he was shot by Sirhan Bishara Sirhan.
  • 1978   California voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 13, a primary ballot initiative calling for major cuts in property taxes.
  • 1982   Israeli forces invaded Lebanon to drive Palestine Liberation Organization fighters out of the country.
  • 1985   Authorities in Brazil exhumed a body later identified as the remains of Dr. Josef Mengele, the ''Angel of Death'' of the Nazi Holocaust.
  • 1989   Burial services were held for Iran's spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
  • 1990   A federal judge in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., ruled that the 2 Live Crew album ''As Nasty As They Wanna Be'' was obscene. The decision was overturned on appeal.
  • 2001   Democrats assumed control of the U.S. Senate when Sen. James Jeffords of Vermont left the Republican Party to become an independent.
Happy Birthday To
  • 1755   Nathan Hale (American patriot & Revolutionary War military officer: “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”)
  • 1955   Sandra Bernhard (comedienne, actress)
  • 1956   Bjorn Borg (tennis champ: French Open [1974-1975, 1978-1981], Wimbledon [1976-1980])


Sunday, June 05, 2005


SFGate reports San Francisco seems an unlikely home for the man who in 1962 first proposed the privatization of Social Security. Asked why he dwells in liberalism's den, Milton Friedman, 92, the Nobel laureate economist and father of modern conservatism, didn't skip a beat. "Not much competition here," he quipped... Friedman is considered perhaps the most influential economist since John Maynard Keynes. Keynes, the British economist whose ideas propelled the New Deal, was to Republicans what Friedman, son of poor Jewish Brooklyn immigrants from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is to Democrats: a font of heresy. It was Friedman who in 1962, with the publication of "Capitalism and Freedom," first proposed the abolition of Social Security, not because it was going bankrupt, but because he considered it immoral. "We may wish to help poor people," he wrote. "Is there any justification for helping people whether they are poor or not because they happen to be a certain age?"

Not as far as I am concerned.
President Bush's proposal to incorporate private accounts in the giant retirement program is easily traced to Friedman. "He's the originator of it and all the discussion can be traced back to him," said the Cato Institute's Michael Tanner, a leading advocate of partial privatization. "I've always been opposed to Social Security," Friedman said in a recent interview at his home in San Francisco. "I think it's a very unethical program"...
You are absolutely right

Friedman calls Social Security, created by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1935, a Ponzi game. Charles Ponzi was the 1920s Boston swindler who collected money from "investors" to whom he paid out large "profits" from the proceeds of later investors. The scheme inevitably collapses when there are not enough new entrants to pay earlier ones. That Social Security operates on a similar basis is not really in dispute. Paul Samuelson, who won his Nobel Prize in economics six years before Friedman and shared a Newsweek column with him in the 1960s, called Social Security "a Ponzi scheme that works." "The beauty about social insurance is that it is actuarially unsound," Samuelson wrote in an oft-quoted 1967 column. "Everyone who reaches retirement age is given benefit privileges that far exceed anything he has paid in ... A growing nation is the greatest Ponzi game ever contrived."
But like all Ponzi schemes, it will eventually collapse
"Everybody goes around talking about the problems created by the declining number of workers per retiree," he said. "How come life insurance companies aren't in any problem?" The question is quintessential Friedman: simple, accessible and formidable. Life insurance companies take premium payments and invest them in factories and buildings and other income-producing assets, Friedman said. These accumulate in a growing fund that can then pay benefits. Social Security, by contrast, operates pay-as-you-go, collecting payroll taxes from workers that immediately go to pay retirees.
And that is why the baby boom is going to sink Social Security.
The biggest misconception about the program, he argues, is that workers believe it works like insurance, with the government depositing taxes in a trust fund. "I've always thought it disgraceful that the government should be essentially lying about what it was doing," he said. "How did you ever get the Democrats, who supposedly were in favor of progressive taxation, to pass a tax that is biased against low-income people - - which is on income up to a maximum and no more?" he asked, referring to the $90,000 ceiling on which Social Security taxes are levied. "Only by clothing it in this idea that it's not really a tax, it's an insurance payment."
But now they want to raise that insurance payment on the rich
Asked why, if Social Security is so terrible, it is the most popular government program in American history, Friedman replied, "Well, because why does a Ponzi game work? It's easy to understand why it's popular. So far, on the average, retirees have gotten more out of the system than they put into it. " What about the fact that Social Security has reduced poverty among the elderly? "Well," he replied, "what it has done is transfer a lot of income from the young to the old. It is certainly true it has made the old people of the United States the best treated old people in the world." But why is that a bad thing? "Oh," he replied. "It's not a bad thing for them, but what about the young?"
What about the young is the exact problem. There is no way that when it takes 2 workers to pay for each retiree, people are going to be willing to keep it going, so when the young retire there will be nothing for them.
Betsy Newmark blogged The San Francisco Chronicle visits the 92-year old Milton Friedman who sounds as sharp as ever. He asks a pointed question about Social Security.
"Everybody goes around talking about the problems created by the declining number of workers per retiree," he said. "How come life insurance companies aren't in any problem?" The question is quintessential Friedman: simple, accessible and formidable. Life insurance companies take premium payments and invest them in factories and buildings and other income-producing assets, Friedman said. These accumulate in a growing fund that can then pay benefits. Social Security, by contrast, operates pay-as-you-go, collecting payroll taxes from workers that immediately go to pay retirees.

Pejman Yousefzadeh blogged This is an excellent profile