10 June 2005


Democrats are cute when they get mad. My little brother, Franz, who has countless issues related to being the youngest of four and unnaturally cute as a baby, acts like this sometimes. He'll simply refuse to talk about something he doesn't want to discuss. He's a smart kid, smarter than me probably, but he's 10, and he has an excuse.

The Democrats, not so much. From the social security story in the last post:
Democrats have said they won't work with Republicans on bipartisan legislation
until Bush and the GOP abandon their call for personal accounts paid from
payroll taxes.

Don't give us what we want, we'll shut down the Senate. Remember that? I think it was Byrd (the Kleagle) - but it might have been another dem - that once said something like "If I have to change the rules to do..." to do something or other, he was going to use the majority to change the Senate rules.

When Republicans want to change one rule which is borderline unconstitutional and certainly nothing but disruptive, suddenly we're tampering with tradition.

Franz gets annoyed when we call him a baby. Maybe if we keep saying it to the democrats, they'll all start acting like Howard Dean.


A Thought on Social Security

In case it hasn't smacked you in the face, my modus operandi is to look at the headlines (usually on Drudge) and come up with some sort of commentary on them. This post is no exception.

The Washington Post relayed an AP Story which relays that Republicans in the Senate are considering raising the social security retirement age.

And... it's about time. As much as I would love to retire at age 62 or 65, or whatever it is these days, with full social security benefits, it just isn't right. Yes, 40 years is a long time to work. But the point of social security is to take care of those who cannot take care of themselves, not create an entire caste of elderly citizens who live on the government dollar for, and this is pure wild speculation, probably a median of 15 years.

I've heard that when King Franklin I did his New Deal, a significantly smaller percentage of Americans lived to collect these benefits. The President has said that some years ago, 16 working Americans were working to support 1 social security recipient, and that currently every THREE working Americans support one recipient. It is expected that, certainly within my parents' lifetime, one working American will support one non-working recipient of social security.

Senator Hillary, big momma of the destructively socialist HillaryCare program, has said that something like "It's almost as if he's trying to undo the New Deal!" First of all, this is so whiny in its very nature that it's like a small child saying, "It's almost like they're taking away nap time!"

I thought it was apparent to 8th grade graduates (we've yet to see Hillary's elementary school records, so she may be excused from this qualification) that the New Deal was a colossal distractoin that basically put the citizenry to work on government sponsored labor... sort of like conscripted labor. FDR just threw out a hundred different organizations, created an ugly bureaucracy, and every President since has been trying to untangle the knot he made!

Social security should remain a system to ensure the security of a way of life for those who cannot secure it for themselves. It is not a government sponsored method for retiring well before your working years are behind you. This becomes apparent when you notice that certain disabilities merit collection of social security.

The people with whom FDR made the new deal worked until they were 55 and then dies. The ones who made it to 60 couldn't work anymore, and so the rest of us agreed to take care of them. At the start of my financial career, I willingly renew this agreement. I do not, however, consent to pay for perfectly able 65 year-old Americans who will be able to play tennis for the next 20 years but expect me to pay for their retirement.

If this sounds cold, go back to 1937 and ask a coal miner what he thinks of the deal. It's a fair deal, it's a good deal, it's an honest deal, and it requires older Americans to keep up their part.

No where in the founding principles of this nation does it say, "It shall be the right of the people to retire at an age determined by previous generations under different standards of longevity and different working conditions."

My parting thought: what if life expectancy doubles in the next 25 years (we vaccinated Marburg, don't doubt modern medicine)? Will we expect Americans age 18-70 to pay for Americans age 71-140?

08 June 2005

Here is one of the Things I Won't Read

I've never been the most masculine man. But Drudge recently reported something that offends even my virility, with this headline:

REPORT: The dawn of the 'hybrid man'; macho is endangered species...

Certain elements of mainstream society want you to THINK this is happening. Don't let them fool you.

I refuse to click the link, but this is the same sort of insult the media levels at men with their "Queer Eye" attitude. Is it impossible for heterosexual men to be wine aficionados, or to groom themselves well? Are there not more straight male chefs in the world than gay male chefs?

I am happy that being a man does not mean eating raw meat and having to watch NASCAR. It doesn't even mean being agressive or 'rough'. But this is ridiculous... if the sole contention of that report is that men can wear goofy things and still be men, then they should go back about three thousand years and tell that to the Egyptians and Greeks.... or the French. Haha. *insert masculine grunt accompanying France is weak joke*

This goes right up there with the Vagina Monologues. I'd rather not be able to have an informed discussion about it: that gives the matter far too much dignity.

Grass's Follies

The story about the Cubans trying to get to America has it's funny side. Specifically the part about Senor Grass and his several attempts to turn automobiles into watermobiles.

But what isn't funny is that they are so desperate to escape their government - which, as some of you may have forgotten, is a communist despotism - that they would try to power across the channel in a bright blue taxi. I know liberals like to think of Fidel as some glorious revolutionary, but that was the problem with Saddam's special republican guard. They were duped.

Cuba has always been our nearest communist neighbor (unless you count Canada, who is coming close). We should not forget that communism, despite its promises in theory, is not a free system. No where in the world has communism allowed freedom, and Cuba is a glaring example of such a totalitarian state.

It's no wonder Cuban-Americans vote more Republican than other minority populations. The last democrat President seized a small child from the home of legal US citizens and shipped him back to his Castro-supporting father. Democrats support communism whenever they can get away with it. Freedom loving Cubans know that the only chance for the oppressed peoples of the world is strong Republican leadership of this great nation.

James Earl Carter! Get back in your room!

Is this the same Jimmy Carter who was eclipsed by Ronald Reagan? The same one who was dancing around in Cuba before, stirring up problems? The same one who was denied the Nobel Peace Prize? The same one who oversaw shaky elections in some underdeveloped nation recently?

He seems like a nice enough fellow.

But then there's this. In the AP story, the former president says, "The U.S. continues to suffer terrible embarrassment and a blow to our reputation ... because of reports concerning abuses of prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo." Apparently he thinks we should shut down the detention facility...

And send them to another one? What is he thinking? He had to deal with the media circus when he was president, don't you think he would appreciate the administration's position and not inflame already inflated reports - fed by media lies (Newsweek) and slander from 'human rights' groups (Amnesty).

Got some news for you Mr. Carter... we're treating them pretty well, considering we give them the very literature they use to incense violence and martyrdom against innocent Americans!

Ol' Jimmy was kind enough to give us this:

Despite his criticism of Guantanamo Bay, Carter said Amnesty International should not have called the prison "the gulag of our time" in a report last month. President Bush has termed the report by the human-rights group "absurd."

Gee, thanks.

Oh it keeps getting better

Now that the President has been gloriously re-elected, there have been some interesting developments.

John Kerry refused for a long time to release his military records despite his insistence that it would exonerate the SwiftBoat Veterans' claims. In some blundering statement he claimed the Department of Defense was releasing things that weren't pertinent to his service, but really, what was he worried about?

Senator Kerry also refused to release his transcripts from Yale.

We saw the venerable Dan Rather attempt to slander the President's record with falsified reports produced in Microsoft Word... in the 70s...

We were also privileged to secretly recorded conversations in which President Bush, in which he said nothing incriminating and seemed even to re-affirm himself as a bold politician and a strong Christian.

And now this story in the Boston Globe. This is the lead, and kudos to the Globe for publishing it:

During last year's presidential campaign, John F. Kerry was the candidate often portrayed as intellectual and complex, while George W. Bush was the populist who mangled his sentences.

These are the Kerry highlights:

The grade transcript, which Kerry has always declined to release...The transcript shows that Kerry's freshman-year average was 71...Kerry's weak grades came despite years of education at some of the world's most elite prep schools

And the blurb on Bush:

Bush went to Yale from 1964 to 1968; his highest grades were 88s in anthropology, history, and philosophy, according to The New Yorker article. He received one D in his four years, a 69 in astronomy. Bush has said he was a C student.

Well. The honesty and frankness speaks for itself. The slogan "Don't blame me I voted for Kerry" should be replaced with "Don't give me any credit..." you get the idea.

And I have to say it. Just look at the pictures!

07 June 2005

The Media is High

First of all, this is still very strange to me. I am no legal scholar - only an aspiring one - but I am very uncomfortable with a law being enacted by the legislature and reiterated by the high court, while enforcement authorities seem to have no intention of enforcing it. Matt Drudge summed it up best with his headline: the attitude of the law towards smoking marijuana seems to be "whatever".

What is more annoying is having to read things like this, in the above story:

The ruling could be an early test of the compassion Attorney General Alberto Gonzales promised to bring to the Justice Department following the tenure of John Ashcroft.

Now, I'm no journalistic scholar - and hardly even aspiring to that - but that doesn't strike me as proper reporting, or news at all. It also could be a case of foot-in-mouth disease by the Washington Post. Can I write that in my newspaper? In fact, the whole marijuana thing could be indicative of a degradation of the moral fabric of society. It could be the result of subversion attempts by al-qaeda [possible sic]

Or it could just be a tension between one end of the spectrum of the war on drugs and the other: weakening marijuana laws undermines the fight against fatally adictive and violent crime inducing heroine and cocaine.

Ever think of writing that, Mark Sherman of the Associated Press?

Dr. Dean at it again

If this guy isn't a Karl Rove plant, then God really must be on our side.

Another nail in their coffin.

After his shouting stunts, his "we're going to Arizona and we're going to Arkansas and we're going to Washington DC TO TAKE BACK THE WHITE HOUSE!" (paraphrased) and after he, a licensed physician, went on the record to ridicule a patient who had become addicted to pain medication, he pulls something like this.

It's no wonder the ambulance chaser former Vice Presidential hopeful didn't want him speaking for the party. Honestly, if they're going to say Dobson's a little too far right, they need to reign this guy in first.


I still remember being struck by the idea of something being "decriminalized" but not legalized. Despite the fact that it is a violation of federal law to purchase or use marijuana, the states are still allowing it to a degree by simply not enforcing their restrictions on it, and apparently only leaving the Federal government discretion to bring the charges as they see fit.

I wonder how this really fits within a coherent constitutional republic...

05 June 2005

Growing up with a healthcare professional - my mother is a nurse practitioner - this is of great interest to me:

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Canadian and U.S. scientists have developed vaccines that protect monkeys from the deadly Marburg and Ebola viruses and show promise for humans, a study published in Nature Medicine magazine said on Sunday.

It's about as close as we can hope for a full scale cure, given the conditions:

The data would suggest that instead of 100 percent chance of dying, they would have an 80 percent chance of survival," [Canadian researcher Steven]Jones told reporters.

Score one for us.

The Media as Usual


From the US Army's website vs. Winner of a Pulitzer

As an Army guardsman and an officer cadet, I ask you all to read GaijinBiker's analysis of the pulitzer winners. See his collection of photos from the Army's website showing some positive aspects of the war, as well.

US Army Photo was displayed on army.mil

AP Photo: Fallujah - A U.S. Marine leads an Iraqi prisoner during fighting in the center of the city. (Photo by Anja Niedringhaus, November 12, 2004.)

European Commonsense

The Telegraph has posted a replacement for the European Union. Section III is very American states' rights - a nice touch to be sure. My addition (this is more conceptual, so it belongs more at the beginning):

Section X: Member states shall be free to determine their own relationships with and attitudes toward the United States. It is the intention of this endeavor to ensure a spirit of constructive competition, both in terms of a free market and a free society, wherein two great civilizations [ancient and venerable Europe and powerful, industrious, responsible America] might bring humanity to a new height of flourish.

A bit too flowery, as most things I write. But this is the general attitude we need to adapt. If a United Europe and a United States have a competing market, competing arts, competing sciences, the world will rise to new heights. It seems the United States takes some stewardship of developing South America, Europe has a vested interest in Asia, and the whole lot of us takes care of Africa to a certain - although inadequate - degree.

I've always dreamed of a Federation of Allied States. The United Kingdom and The United States are two very powerful and very influential nations, and I'd like to have seen Prime Minister Blair and President Bush capitalize more on their strong relationship. Perhaps in the next 4 years we'll see some encouraging developments.

Until then: heu, vae victis.

Drudge Headline

It's hard to believe this is going on in America. I have a feeling we'll see a lot more of the same as the federal crackdown continues.

I wish Amnesty would be a little more constructive in trouble making. From Reuters via Drudge.

Despite highly publicized charges of U.S. mistreatment of prisoners at Guantanamo, the head of the Amnesty International USA said on Sunday the group doesn't "know for sure" that the military is running a "gulag."

No kidding, jackass.

04 June 2005

Tip of the Hat to John Leo

John Leo is probably my favorite columnist.

Read his latest work of genius, about the way democrats are subverting democracy. Coming from someone like him, once an editor at US News and an eminently reasonable commentator, the left should probably take heed.

Condi 2008?

Thanks to one of my readers (perhaps my only one) for this look ahead about the 2008 race. Some wonderful speculation.

Unfortunately, we may have to let the Dems run Hillary while we run a strong male candidate... it's not as though the Dems need many more nails in their coffins. Dr. Rice and Guliani would both make excellent Presidents of this great nation, although Condi hasn't been elected to any major office in the past. Rudy should get in the Senate, Condi should run as VP alongside a good republican WASP (Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney?), and the Condi/Guiliani ticket could take the White House by storm in 2012.

But all this is wishful thinking. Of course, I'd still like to see Arnold do a tour in the Senate and maybe hold a cabinet position.

Take a look at the Looking Ahead post and let me know what you think of these candidates. Perhaps we'll hold a pre-election rally here at the Aspiring Scholar. Champagne will be on us, of course.

A Request for the New York Times

Dear Sir or Madame,

I am sure your newspaper has already taken note of the following bit of information, but I would like you to use it in the same way you and your colleagues use information that is embarassing to our President of defaming to our country. If you could also please ask Newsweek to run the same thing as a cover piece, I will be very grateful.

[Brigadier General Jay] Hood [commanding general of the Gitmo detention area] also said his investigation found 15 cases of detainees mishandling their own Qurans. “These included using a Quran as a pillow, ripping pages out of the Quran, attempting to flush a Quran down the toilet and urinating on the Quran,” Hood’s report said. It offered no possible explanation for those alleged abuses.
In the most recent of those 15 cases, a detainee on Feb. 18, 2005, allegedly ripped up his Quran and handed it to a guard, stating that he had given up on being a Muslim. Several of the guards witnessed this, Hood reported.

Much love,

The Aspiring Scholar

Then we go find those demonstrators and make them do their angry little hate dance against terrorists. We should use this incident to prove to the world once and for all that it isn't our actions they hate, it's just us. For no reason. They claim to be upset because we descrated the Koran, but they won't lift a finger or say one word against their own kind when they do it.

These are the kind of irrational fools with whom we are forced to deal. People need to open their eyes to this babyish behavior from these adult militants.

Austin Bay has this to say:

I would like to know something about the men who had these Korans. I’d like to know their prison record– are they rude? Do they spew anti-American, anti-Semitic, and/or anti-Christian epithets? What were these men doing when they were captured? Did they beat women in Afghanistan who failed to meet the Taliban dress code? Did they break the heads of men whose beards were too short? (That was another Taliban abuse that Newsweek seemed to have forgotten.) Were any of these characters involved in the destruction of the Buddas of Bamiyan? Did they steal food from World Food Program aid convoys? And if they did, how many times did they commit these crimes against the Afghan people? Yes, call Amnesty International. The investigation seems to be glaringly incomplete.

Here here!

Annoying Cache of Lawyers United

Drudge reports:

American Civil Liberties Union has been shredding documents over repeated objections of its records manager and in conflict with longstanding policies on preservation, disposal of records... Developing...

I thought they were infallible...

To tell you the truth, the most annoying thing about this group is that they do everything under this righteous guise of "defending civil liberties". Somehow, their defense of athiests, pedophiles, and nazi civil liberties seems to bump up against the rights of Christians, little boys, and European Jews.

Is this a rare of case of a conservative being too sensitive? Liberals flew into a frenzy of SpongeBob SquarePants being called gay (don't get me wrong, the show isn't bad, but the little sponge does act fruity), and have a conniption when one of our congressmen seems to have taken a trip without telling everyone who paid for it. Let's compare causes... taking an undisclosed-finance trip vs. raping one woman and molesting others; calling a cartoon character gay vs. accusing the Lord of Creation of being responsible for violence, or accusing those who invoke his name as part of their personal religion as a violation of civil liberties.

In fact, SpongeBob means so little to us that liberals can have him as long as they just go away for real.

02 June 2005

Amnesty International?

Granted, I have not done much reading on the group. Morton Winston, one of my professors, is heavily involved with the group (Former Chair, Standing Committee on Organization and Development, Amnesty International; Former Honorary Chair, Board of Directors, Amnesty International USA). He is very liberal - he griped about "Jesus Land" the day after the president won re-election - but is a generally amiable and reasonable individual. But this just raises more questions, and I digress.

First, what's with the name? Amnesty basically equates to mass pardons. Is that what they want? Large hordes of criminals excused by authority of the state?

No, their website tells us they want "internationally recognized human rights". An admirable goal, to be sure. Other than basic rights to food and water, and a most minimal rights to psychological stability, I don't know three philosophers who will agree, let alone a whole world full of politicians and activists.

The Washington Post always does me favors with their articles. This one, about Amnesty's recent comments about Guantanamo, has these two quotes, both written with the same matter-of-fact and unpretending voice:

A verbal feud between Amnesty International and Washington has escalated since Amnesty last week compared the prison at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the brutal Soviet system of forced labor camps where millions of prisoners died.

The United States holds about 520 men at Guantanamo, where they are denied rights accorded under international law to prisoners of war.

Now, there might be one or two rational folks over at Amnesty other than Dr. Winston, but their voices aren't being heard. Need we remind their enterprise that WE GAVE THEM KORANS! We didn't have to do that. Frankly, it wouldn't be surprising if other nations simply refused to take prisoners and killed their enemies in battle. The United States is indeed held to a higher standard, what with our role as the leaders of the world, but does that mean we have to treat these terrorists like American citizens? We already accomodate their religion, the same religion they use to incense violence against our women and children.

"Secret" memos (the Bybee memo sent to White House counsel Alberto Gonzales) have been "exposed" and have demonstrated the evils of the Bush administration. Frankly. the White House was only doing what Amnesty ought to have done. They were trying to define torture so it could be AVOIDED. The very fact that they were trying identify something they felt was morally wrong should speak volumes for the kind of leadership we are dealing with in the White House.

[Amnesty International Secretary General Irene Zubaida] Khan rejected a suggestion that Amnesty's use of the emotive term "gulag" had turned the debate into one over semantics, and distracted attention from the situation in the detention centers.

For Amnesty to dare liken the United States to Stalinist USSR is a discredit to their organization. Stalin once said something along the lines of "one death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic". I've also heard that he was responsible for as many as twice the deaths as Adolf Hitler. So yes, Khan, we do take exception to your remark.

I have two requests for Amnesty: First, change your name. Amnesty is probably a bad thing most of the time. Second, stop promoting the American liberal agenda if you want the American people's support.

Michelle Malkin