Wednesday, 30 April 2008
VOTER ID'S & NEW YORK TIMES RIDICULOSITY
Yesterday the New York Times may have set the all-time record for
Ridiculosity is a neologism - that is, a non-word that you would understand
the meaning of anyway. It is the state of being thoroughly ridiculous.
The Times' lead editorial yesterday
concerned the 6-3 U.S. Supreme Court decision which appears to affirm that it is legal
for states to require that voters identify themselves before casting ballots. That sounds pretty
reasonable, doesn't it?
Well, not to the editorial staff at the New York Times.
Here is their position on the Supreme Court ruling:
The Court Fumbles on Voting Rights
Democracy was the big loser in the Supreme Court
on Monday. The court upheld Indianas voter identification law, which solves a
nearly nonexistent problem by putting major barriers between voters
particularly minorities and the ballot box. Worse, the court set out a
standard that clears the way for other states to adopt rules that discourage
disadvantaged groups from voting. It is a sad reversal for a court that once saw
itself as a champion of voting rights.
In 2005, Indiana passed one of the nations
toughest voter ID laws. It requires voters to present government-issued photo ID
at the polls. Private college IDs, employee ID cards and utility bills are
unacceptable. For people without a drivers license who are disproportionately
poor and minority the burden is considerable. To get acceptable ID, many
people would be forced to pay fees for underlying documents, such as birth
This should not have been a hard case. The court
has long recognized that the right to vote is so fundamental that a state cannot
restrict it unless it can show that the harm it is seeking to prevent outweighs
the harm it imposes on voters.
The Indiana law does not meet this test. The harm
it imposes on voters, some of whom will no doubt be discouraged from casting
ballots, is considerable. The states interest in the law, on the other hand, is
minimal. It was supposedly passed to prevent people from impersonating others at
the polls, but there is no evidence that this has ever happened in Indiana. It
seems far more likely that the goal of the laws Republican sponsors was to
disenfranchise groups that lean Democratic.
Unfortunately, only three justices voted to hold
the law unconstitutional. The other six fell into two groups. Three Justices
John Paul Stevens and Anthony Kennedy and Chief Justice John Roberts signed a
lead opinion that set a disturbingly low bar for what sort of interference with
voting the Constitution permits. A second opinion, signed by Justices Antonin
Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, was worse. It argued for upholding all
but the most severe and unjustified burdens on voting. Richard Hasen, a Loyola
Law School professor, notes that if the court had taken this opinions approach
in 1966, it is not clear it would have overturned the poll tax.
Hovering over Mondays decision was a case that
was not mentioned: Bush v. Gore. In 2000, the Supreme Court took seriously the
claims of one individual George W. Bush that his equal protection rights
were being denied by a state election system, and the court had no hestitation
about telling the state what to do.
On 60 Minutes on Sunday, Justice Scalia yet
again told the public to get over that ruling. There are many good reasons to
remember Bush v. Gore, and Mondays ruling was a reminder of one of them. Seven
years after it invoked the Constitution to vindicate what it saw as Mr. Bushs
right to fair election procedures, we are still waiting for the court to extend
this guarantee with equal vigilance to every American.
If you're into ridiculosity, baby, there is a boatload
of it for you.
Let's try to follow what is supposed to pass as logic in Timesville:
-It is undemocratic to require that people who want to vote must identify
themselves. How's that for a start?
-The problem is virtually nonexistent. Well, if most states do not check
voter ID, how exactly would the Times or anyone else know how extensive the
-It puts a major barrier between minorities and the ballot.
How? What barrier does it place in the way of any minority person who is
legally able to vote, besides none at all?
-Same thing for "disadvantaged groups", whatever that means. How? If a person is
destitute, but legally able to vote, how does being ID'ed before going into
the voting booth prevent that person from doing so?
-The ruling diminishes voting rights. For WHO, other than people who can't
legally vote in the first place?
And that, folks is just from the FIRST PARAGRAPH!!!!
You can pick out the numerous other ridiculosities yourself...including the
breathtakingly non-sequiturish reference to Bush/Gore 2000 at the end.
Look, I don't claim to be able to know the Times' motives for sure.
That said, it is hard not to see this as a plaintive cry for a system in which
illegals are able to ignore our laws and vote in elections.
But regardless of the Times' motives, one thing seems certain: this is
Ridiculosity at its peak.
IRAN BECOMES NUCLEAR, AS THE WORLD SITS AND WATCHES
Here is the latest news of Iran's progress towards nuclear weaponry.
That's right. Nuclear weaponry. The weaponry we're supposed to
pretend that Iran won't have for umpteen years.
Read it and worry, because you should:
Mofaz: Iran could
go nuclear in a year
Iran has taken command of its nuclear technology
and could have an atomic bomb in a year, Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz
was quoted as saying Wednesday, citing Israeli intelligence.
According to Channel 10, Mofaz made the comments
during talks with US officials in Washington where he leading an Israeli
delegation holding meetings within the framework of the Israel-US Strategic
In the past, the general consensus in the
intelligence community has been that Iran had hit some technical difficulties
with enrichment and that its attainment of nuclear capability was much further
Late Sunday night, as Mofaz headed to
Washington, he said that Iran must be prevented from attaining nuclear weapons
and that all the options were on the table in order to stop that from
"Teheran leads the axis of evil, poses a threat
to the entire world, is up to its neck in the Middle East and is even trying
to get a foothold in the West Bank," he said.
Meanwhile, as a second US aircraft carrier
steamed into the Persian Gulf, CBS reported Tuesday that the Pentagon had
ordered military commanders to develop new options for attacking Iran.
According to the report, the planning was being
driven by what one officer called the "increasingly hostile role" Iran is
playing in Iraq - smuggling weapons into Iraq for use against American troops.
Targets would include everything from the plants
where weapons are made to the headquarters of the organization known as the
Quds Force which directs operations in Iraq, CBS
Iran, you may recall, is the country headed by a fundamentalist lunatic (ahmadinejad) who believes in the 12th Imam. This is
the Imam who only comes when the entire world is immersed in total chaos, which
ahmadinejad could create with a nuclear capability.
ahmadinejad is also the one who has been telling us for years that he will wipe out Israel
-- which presumably will be his first (but maybe not only) target with the nuclear
capability he is being allowed to develop.
What happens if Iran gets anywhere near that point? Do you think Israel will sit around the
way the UN does and wait to be incinerated? Israel will attack the nuclear capability as
a matter of survival.
Then what happens? What countries with what current nuclear
capabilities are likely to get into the fray.
But the world sits and watches. "Let the UN do it's work" is the name
of the game.
And, of course, the UN is working dilligently. It
is dilligently keeping the fine restaurants of Manhattan filled with
This is nuts.
SORRY SORRY SORRY
To the readers of this blog: All day, at least
until about 15-20 minutes ago this URL was down. The web host says it was
some kind of glitch in his system (his company's
system that is, not his personally).
Sorry for the lack of availability.
REACTIONS TO OBAMA'S DENUNCIATION OF WRIGHT
It didn't take a genius to figure out that there would be a huge number of
commentaries this morning on Barack Obama's denunciation of jeremiah
Some of them are thoughtful and intelligent, like Maureen
Dowd's column in today's New York Times (I don't often get a chance to say
this about Ms. Dowd).
Some are ridiculous, like the
lead editorial in that same New York Times, which desperately tries to
"save" Obama by equating the significance of his relationship with wright to
John McCain's relationship with James Hagee - a blowhard dirtbag televangelist
in my opinion, but one who means nothing to McCain other than an
endorsement. McCain does not belong to Hagee's church, nor did Hagee marry
him or baptize his children, nor did McCain place Hagee on his campaign
But the gold ribbon for embarrassingly prejudiced and stupid
commentary has to go to Mary Mitchell of the Chicago Sun-Times. It
would take a blog about the size of the Oxford Dictionary to detail everything
that is wrong with Ms. Marin's "analysis", which is shown below:
Obama opens a can of worms
THE BLACK CHURCH | On the
verge of making history, Obama opens a can of worms
Well, it is likely that Sen. Barack Obama won't be
going back to Trinity United Church of Christ.
Not after this.
"When he states and then amplifies such ridiculous
proposition as the U.S. government somehow being involved in AIDS, when he
suggests that Minister Farrakhan somehow represents one of the greatest voices
in the 20th and 21st century, when he equates the United States wartime effort
with terrorism, then there are no excuses," Obama said during a press
"They offend me. They rightfully offend all
Americans and they should be denounced," Obama said.
This is a sad day for Black America.
At a time when African Americans are on the cusp
of watching a barrier come crashing down, up jumps a divisive issue that is
being driven by those outside of the black community.
Obviously, Wright's timing for a press conference
about his sermons couldn't have been worse.
Still, when Obama says he is "offended" by
Wright's latest comments -- given in defense against an orchestrated assault on
his character and on his ministry -- he's opening up a can of worms.
There is no institution in the black community
more respected than the black church. And the notion that white pundits can
dictate what constitutes unacceptable speech in the black church is repulsive to
most black people.
Even so, after Wright's fiery speeches surfaced on
the Internet, most African Americans understood why Obama had to distance
himself from Wright.
Obama's cross-cultural appeal, which, by the way,
made some blacks suspicious of him early in his campaign, is largely because of
his ability to make white people feel comfortable with his blackness.
But Wright speaks to a different audience, and
that audience has been supportive throughout his ordeal.
On Monday, for instance, when Wright spoke at the
National Press Club, the predominantly black crowd cheered, clapped and
punctuated Wright's speech with shouts of "amen."
So, when Obama says America was "offended" by
Wright's harsh language, he isn't speaking for or to Black America. He is
speaking to White America.
As much as I want to see Obama make history by
becoming the first black man to be elected president, I don't want to see a
warrior like Wright denigrated to prove to white voters that Obama is not a
When Obama denounced Wright's angry words but
refused to disown him, it signaled that he understood the sensitive tightrope he
is being forced to walk.
His "outrage" over Wright's latest remarks signals
something quite different. With the gap narrowing, Obama advisers are obviously
scrambling for every white vote.
But really, what more should blacks have to
sacrifice? Their dignity?
Frankly, Obama and Wright risk becoming metaphors
for the ongoing struggle of blacks to unite politically.
Obama shouldn't have held a press conference to
deal with Wright.
He should have been able to pick up the
I feel like a flea in a dog pound. There's so much wrong here that I
don't even know where to begin:
-Obama opened a can of worms? OBAMA? Was it wright or Obama
ranting out the hatred and the baseless accusations?
Obama wasn't the guy making these statements. Obama was the
guy getting his butt handed to him because he was associated with
The worst thing Ms. Mitchell has to say about wright's deranged howling at
the moon is that it was "ill-timed".
-Then she calls it "a sad day for Black America": not because
jeremiah wright is such a supersedingly embarrassing example of what not to
be, but because Barack Obama - albeit belatedly and for political
purposes - said that he was. Ms. Mitchell is not at all embarrassed by
wright, only by Obama;
-Then Ms. Mitchell tells us that the Black church is the most
respected institution in the Black community, and Obama is letting White
pundits dictate what it can and can't say.
First of all, there is no one monolithic Black church. There are
thousands of Black pastors and - guess what, Ms. Mitchell - they don't all
think the same way and don't all preach the same way. There just might
even be one or two here and there who think jeremiah wright is as bad as
Barack Obama made him out to be yesterday.
Secondly, the person denouncing wright was Barack Obama, not one of those
White people you seem to have such disdain for;
-Because a predominantly Black crowd showed up to hear wright's rants
and was supportive of him does NOT mean that Blacks, as a group feel the same
way. Nor does it mean that Obama's comments about wright were nothing
more than sucking up to White people.
I could go on, but what's the point? This woman's head is so far in the
sand that she's lucky her hair hasn't been singed by lava from the core of
Barack Obama's problem was the epitome of choosing between a rock and a hard
-If he didn't drop wright like a hot potato, he would be irreparably
damaged every time wright opened that big mouth of his.
-If he did drop wright like a hot potato, he alienated the (not
insignificant number of ) Blacks - and left wing Whites - who consider
any bad word about the jeremiah wrights of the world an unforgivable
kiss-up to White America.
Granted, Obama brought this on himself through his long. close, even
loving association with jeremiah wright. But that was in the past.
This is the situation he is faced with now.
It will be more than a little interesting
to see how Obama's disassociation from wright plays out among voters.
Indiana and North Carolina, particularly North Carolina, may give us a good
If Black voters do not support Mr. Obama
in North Carolina the way they have supported him in other states, it could
mean that he has damaged his standing with them.
That would be terrible news for
Obama.....and great news for Hillary Clinton.
ENERGY: COSTS AND POLICIES
J. B. Williams of www.canadafreepress.com has
written an angry column about the USA's dependency on foreign
While I am not in agreement with everything Mr. Williams talks
about, I share his exasperation regarding a) the fact that we do not
exploit our vast domestic energy resources and b) the reasons we do not do
I have posted almost all of Mr. Williams' piece below. See how
much of it you agree with:
Cost of Energy
When Gasoline Reaches $5.00 per Gallon Thank
By JB Williams Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Financial Times reports OPEC says oil could hit
$200, up from the record $120 a barrel today. If and when that happens,
predicted to be this summer, the $3.50 to $4.00 prices you see at the pumps
today will top $5.00 per gallon and you can thank liberal environmentalists for
When Bill Clinton took office in January 1993, the
average retail price of gasoline was $1.06 per gallon. By the time Clinton ran
for re-election in 1996, that average per gallon price had become $1.25 per
gallon, a 17.9% increase in less than four years.
By the time
George W. Bush took office in January 2001, the price of a gallon of gas had
become $1.45 a 36.8% increase in gasoline prices during the first Clinton era.
Yet Hillary Clinton says she can solve this problem and I hope she can, but
lets consider the facts.
During the first six Bush years, gasoline
prices rose to $2.22 per gallon, a 53.1% increase over six years, during which
time the flow of Iraqi oil had stopped after 9/11. Hillary Clinton was a leading
US Senator. Can we find any of her senate initiatives to increase domestic
exploration, production or refining, which would result in lower prices at the
pumps and reduce Americas dependence on foreign crude?
Americans blamed Bush and elected Democrats
to turn the tide and from January 2006 to March 2008, the price of gas shot up
to $3.25 per gallon, a price now dwarfed by the $3.49 per gallon a month later,
in April 2008.
In the 14 months since Democrats took control of
congress, the price of gasoline has shot up a whopping $1.26 per gallon, marking
a record 56.8% increase in just 14 months. So much for turning that rising tide
Liberal Ideas at Work in the European
Democrats have no original thoughts of their
own, so they simply adopt the liberal ideas of their friends over in the
European Union. However, the European Union is the one place on earth in worse
shape than America in terms of energy.
European Gas Prices
If we want what they
have, we simply need to follow their lead and institute the same insane levels
of government regulation and taxation that these countries have. Thats exactly
the prescription being offered by American leftists who are far better aligned
with EU thinking than American ideals.
Exploration, Production and
A steady flow of production is required to
meet a rising demand for energy. At present, the United States consumes a
reported 25.9% of the worlds oil production. But we only produce 10.7% of the
worlds oil supply. As a result, we are dependent upon foreign energy
productivity, consuming approximately twice the oil we are allowed by law to
produce and therefore importing the energy we need to keep the lights on.
Environmentalists have all but shut down domestic oil exploration
and production for almost 40 years now. They have also outlawed the expansion of
refining capacity for the same period, ever since Jimmy Carter was president.
Our refineries are running at 98% capacity at all times. Even if
we could buy crude at a lower rate, we do not have the refining capacity to meet
demand for refined products and deliver a cheaper retail prices at the pumps.
Despite cutting off Americas ability to explore, produce and
refine oil products for 40 years, our current $3.49 price per gallon is still
well below that of any member of the European Union. But it wont be for much
longer because the liberal environmentalist energy policies of
the last 40 years are coming home to roost.
With old elitist arrogance, but an entirely new level of hypocrisy,
the answer to the following question really sets the stage for why America is
energy dependent as a result of its own gross ignorance
QUESTION: Guess which house belongs to the Nobel Prize winning global leader of
the secular socialist environmental whacko movement?
HOUSE # 1:
20-room mansion (not including 8 bathrooms) heated by natural gas. Add on
a pool (and a pool house) and a separate guest house all heated by gas. In ONE
MONTH ALONE this mansion consumes more energy than the average American
household in an ENTIRE YEAR. The average bill for electricity and natural gas
runs over $2,400.00 per month. In natural
gas alone (which last time we checked
was a fossil fuel), this property consumes more than 20 times the national
average for an American home. This house is not in a northern or
Midwestern snow belt, either. Its in the South.
HOUSE # 2:
Designed by an architecture professor
at a leading national university, this house incorporates every green feature
current home construction can provide. The house contains only 4,000 square feet
(4 bedrooms) and is nestled on arid high prairie in the American southwest. A
closet in the house holds geothermal heat pumps drawing ground water
through pipes sunk 300 feet into the ground. The water (usually 67 degrees F.)
heats the house in winter and cools it in summer. The system uses no fossil
fuels such as oil or natural gas, and it consumes 25% of the electricity
required for a conventional heating/cooling system. Rainwater from the roof is
collected and funneled into a 25,000 gallon underground cistern. Wastewater from
showers, sinks and toilets goes into underground purifying tanks and then into
the cistern. The collected water then irrigates the land surrounding the house.
Flowers and shrubs native to the area blend the property into the surrounding
HOUSE # 1 - (20 room energy guzzling mansion) is
outside of Nashville, Tennessee. It is the abode of that renowned
environmentalist (and filmmaker) Al Gore.
HOUSE # 2 - (model
eco-friendly house) is on a ranch
near Crawford, Texas. Also known as the Texas White House, it is the private
residence of the President of the United States, George W. Bush.
Wackos in the Hen House!
Guess who doesnt like wind energy
because birds fly into the windmills and die?
Guess who doesnt
like ethanol because its burning food supplies while the world is headed
towards a food crisis resulting from high energy costs?
doesnt like hydro-energy because it disturbs the fish and frogs?
Guess who doesnt like the cleanest, cheapest energy known to
mankind, nuclear energy, because its dangerous, which can be said of
all energy sources?
Right! - The exact same wackos who have spent
the last 40 years blocking U.S. oil exploration, production and refining,
forcing America to its knees and leaving the nation completely dependent upon
foreign energy sources
Now, - guess who America is dependent
upon for the energy needs it cannot fill on its own?
He with the Gold Makes the
Meet the top ten oil producers in the
world (excluding #2 America)
United Arab Emirates
These are the nations with
the power to hold America hostage over an oil barrel. And you ask why we play
ball with such anti-American regimes Because we have to!
Blame the rich and greedy Oil
According to leftist press reports stumping
for liberal political campaigns, yes. Its the rich and greedy oil companies
who are responsible for these prices and they are getting even richer on the
backs of poor Americans who will soon be riding their bicycles to work!
BP and Shell just reported a combined $17 Billion in 1st Quarter
profits. It must be their fault!
Of course, no liberal member of
the press was reporting the billions in losses oil companies were reporting a
couple years ago. Over extended operating periods, it takes a lot of profits to
cover up the red ink of the past and invest in the future.
most importantly, the left does NOT want you to know how the price of every
gallon of gas breaks down But Ill tell you!
Based upon our
current $3.49 per gallon national average
68% or $2.37 per
gallon belongs to the crude producing company (most of them foreign)
or $.45 per gallon goes to TAXES
11% or $.38 per gallon pays for the cost
of distribution and delivery
8% or $.28 per gallon pays the cost of
refining (for those greedy U.S. oil companies)
gasoline is usually a loss leader for the retailer that prays you will walk
into their market and buy something at a profit while your gas tank is filling,
and the vast majority of oil consumed in this nation is not produced in this
nation, American oil companies make most of their earnings from refining.
$.28 cents per gallon is not how much they make refining. It
represents the TOTAL attributed to the cost of refining, which means, their
billions in profits are only a portion of that $.28 per gallon.
Since U.S. oil companies, which are owned by U.S. citizens hoping to
retire via their 401k and stock
investments someday, are taking the smallest cut from the price of a gallon of
gasoline, how in the world can it be their fault that the price of gasoline is
higher than we like?
If they charged nothing at all for refining
and therefore, went out of business by making nothing at all, it would only
reduce the price at the pump by $.28 per gallon, at least until we ran out of
refined product altogether.
The ONLY Solution
Balance domestic supply with domestic
demand. Explore, produce and refine more domestically while lifting the wacko
environmentalist blocks against all other alternative energy sources and
encouraging investment in all the above.
Talk to your neighborhood environmental wacko about that soon,
Meanwhile, Barack Obama says eliminating the $.45 per
gallon in taxes wont help you. Send this freshman to Europe to study the
problem more closely!
Now that's angry. But does Mr. Williams make valid points? And, if
so, how do they impact on our energy crisis?
Think about it.