Monday, October 31, 2005 

Concerned Anti-gun Chick Protects Sick and Injured Children From Free Medical Care

I learned an interesting thing yesterday (or horrifying depending on your perspective). If you've been following my blog you know that I joined the Masons last year. So, yesterday, for the first time in my life, I participated in a charity fundraiser. Our beneficiary is the Scottish Rite Children's Hospital of Dallas, which I'm told prides itself on not having a billing department because they don't charge for their services. Sounds laudable enough. Apparently for some people that isn't relevant however.

We're raising our funds with a raffle like you might expect. The prizes that were provided for us to raffle this year happen to be hunting gear, hunting rifles and shotguns to be specific. A couple of Saturdays back, two of the Brothers from my lodge were giving up their day off to raise money for the hospital. They were working in front of a local Wal-Mart as we have frequently done.

These two fine fellow were confronted by a woman who was outraged that they were offering weapons as prizes. When harassing our guys wasn't fruitful she went inside and demanded to see the manager and berated said person until our fundraisers were kicked off the property and told not to come back. For your added dose of irony--Wal-Mart sells guns, rifles, and ammunition

So, on behalf of the children who would have been helped by the funds that would have been raised, I thank you for you civic-mindedness and willingness to use your vastly superior intellect and moral sense to protect us from ourselves.

Yesterday I had the privilege of meeting some of the people that the hospital helps. I meet a five-year-old girl who hobbled by on crutches. We took a donation from a man who limped up to our table and told us that he had been run over by an 18-wheeler semi-truck when he was 9-years-old and was put back together at the Scottish Rite Hospital. I'm sure they will thank you for protecting them from legally owned guns and rifles. I only hope that someday I will achieve the moral heights where you dwell.

Friday, October 28, 2005 

China


It's just my humble opinion, but I think the biggest (literally) monster (figuratively) hiding in the national closet is an ascendent China. They've been something of a backwater for a while and were overshadowed by the threat of the Soviet Union, but times are a-changing. We're talking about an underutilized population of 1.3+ Billion. Thats more that four times our population and they have double digit economic growth. Economists here do handsprings over 4 to 5%.

Everybody seems determined to forget that they are still a communist country, despite free-market reforms, which they could take away at any time. Last I heard, the Red Army owns substantial chunks of the civilian economy. A situation that would never be tolerated here. The opening of the Chinese economy is happening because it serves the government's purposes. I have no doubt that if that ceases to be the case the government will cheerfully (and brutally if necessary) loot the populace.

For a while this issue was getting some ink and airtime in the media, but other developments have knocked it back out of the national conscience. I think we do this at our own peril. Even if we might not be in any physical danger, we are still in fiscal danger. I think it is important to bear in mind that this is the government that has no qualms about imposing a compulsory one child policy to solve a problem. It is also the culture that frequently solves the problem of their one child being female by abandonment and female infanticide. I don't know about you, but that bothers me.

 

Mugger

Thank God! It's settled. In the never-ending debate about nature vs. nurture, it appears that nature is the clear winner. Sonograms in the 2nd trimester showed that the future felon was packing a 9mm Glock. It was reported that the infant robbed the obstetrician before completely emerging from the birth canal. Rumors are circulating that the child has already been tapped as Domestic Policy Advisor for any future Clinton Administrations.

Thursday, October 27, 2005 

Is Knowledge a Conflict of Interest for Journalists?

As an avowed learning junkie and a recovering science teacher I was very intrigued by an article on Tech Central Station by Robert McHenry. He noted a few interesting facts about the content of a university education, cheating and faking academic credentials, general background knowledge for professionals, and (of all things) Wikipedia.

To start, he quotes a piece by a University of Iowa student who complains about having to take general education courses. I think all of us who've been to college have heard some version of this before:

"[M]ost students aren't going to be mathematicians, historians, or chemists. So why do we have to take these classes?...

"Not only did the gen-ed classes waste my time and money, but they also hurt my GPA. Statistics and astronomy bored me, so I opted not to attend class and neglected to study for them. As it turned out, my GPA was below 3.0 after my first year. I had to take summer classes to raise it. I cannot imagine what I would have done if I were not admitted [to my chosen professional course]. I would have had to change my major.

"How is this fair?"
My heart bleeds for her.

I'll put it to her the same way one of my college professors did. It's because you're attending a university, not a technical school. If you wanted to go to a technical school, you should have done so. A university isn't just about learning a profession, it is (or at least it's supposed to be) about becoming a well-rounded citizen. There was a time when a college education was virtually all "general education" courses (or what we would came depth or breadth classes today). Personally I found my General Education courses to be so easy as to be a joke. Even so, I found myself enjoying them more than my major (Biochemistry). I enjoyed them so much that I seriously considered changing my major to History or Philosophy. There is nothing shameful about going to a technical school. The average plumber makes something like 3 times as much money as I do, so I guess the joke is on me.

Yet, even with things being dumbed down as much as they are, some people won't even put out that much effort. McHenry points out the case of a member of the Wal-Mart clan who had to give up her degree from USC when it was discovered that she had paid a classmate $20,000 to do her work for her. I don't know about you, but if I could have afforded a $20K bribe my GPA would have been higher because I could have quit my work-study job and spent more time studying.

Then there is the case of a journalist who invokes an event from history but creates an anachronism by attributing it to a man who had been dead a hundred years or so at the time he said it happened. Fact checking seems irrelevant as usual. Then McHenry springs his shocker on us. All 3 of these folks were journalism or communications majors. One would assume that people who intend to make a living telling us what's what and what's not would be a little more studious and thorough.

Sadly, McHenry then begans slamming the Wikipedia project. I love Wikipedia, but I decided to hear him out. I was a little puzzled by his hostility to the project at first, but soon I knew the cause. In the biographical information at the end of the article as the former editor-in-chief of the Encyclopædia Britannica. So I think there's more than a tad of elitism going on there. If you haven't even used Wikipedia, check it out. It's free, it's current, and it's remarkably accurate. You might find incorrect or biased information on it, but it usually last for long.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005 

Us vs. Them


Just read an awesome Thomas Sowell column entitled "Us or Them" concerning what motivates the Left and why we Right-wingers have historically had such a hard time understanding their motivations. He starts with a tale of some poor man who loses his girlfriend due to his position on drilling for Alaskan oil. He felt a little baffled because he felt that he had done a fairly good job of showing how that would be the least of the various evils. I can relate. I once lost a girlfriend when she found out that I had voted for Reagan. One dates Lefties at his or her own emotional peril.

Limbaugh says that Liberalism is a religion; Savage says it's a mental disorder. I say they're both a little right (no pun intended). The stated goals of the multitudinous Leftist insanities are almost irrelevant. If they weren't, then wouldn't those same Lefties be more willing to abandon failed policies and adopt others? Apparently not. Sowell writes of one of a series of conclusions I had come to independently several years back.

While more conservative folk think of means and ends, the Leftist crowd pretty much stops at means. Which is not to say they won't give the ends a tip of the hat in order to have a rationalization for the means. These means of course being the very quintessence of high morality, they are sufficient within themselves, and those of us that question their efficacy are rapacious villains. In short, it's an identity issue. To expand on that topic, I've heard on occasion that many Leftists seem to be suffering from a case of arrested development and are trapped in some kind of endless adolescence. I believe that's true, and I'll only ask you to remember that at that age "it" is all about impressing your friends.

Friday, October 14, 2005 

Kicking Harriet Miers While She's Down

I never thought I would say this, especially after my paean to her just recently, but lighten up Ann Coulter. I've always enjoyed a good Coulter brutalizing of the left. Both because it is true and because it's probably the only way to get through to them. But as far as Miers is concerned I think it's a little excessive. To her credit, Ann has said and written a few things that collectively amount to "nothing personal Harriet". She also claims that there is no elitism involved. Unfortunately, I do see elitism.

Ann has denounced leftist elitism as much as any conservative pundit, which has endeared her to me and many other people. However, when she rips into a school like Southern Methodist University as a second or third tier school she charges rights past stepping on toes to stomping on them. I'm currently in college as I have been for all but 10 years of my adult life. Obviously, I'm quite the education junkie. I'm an intelligent man, 99th percentile if the tests are to be believed. But despite all of that a "laughable" school like SMU is way beyond my reach. My GPA isn't good enough at 3.3 and I couldn't afford their tuition and fees even if they gave me a 50% discount. So if Harriet is a "dummy" for being an SMU alum, what does that make me Ann? To me and most people I know an Ivy League university is so far from day to day reality as to seem almost mythological. Ouch.

Am I going to turn against Ann? No. At least, not yet. But the bloom is off the rose as they say. I'll still listen and read and enjoy, but I'll listen a little more critically and parse her articles a little more thoroughly from now on.

Saturday, October 08, 2005 

Deep Thoughts

You know what I love the most about autumn in North Texas? It finally gets cool enough to wear my summer clothes. Ahhhhh.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005 

Natural Allies

Something sparked my memory recently and I found myself thinking about that old Rebecca DeMornay movie, "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle." I remember it as being decent, though I only watched it the one time when it first came out 10 or 15 years ago. The only thing I remember about the movie in particular though, was a supposedly old saying that I had never heard before. It was a good one: "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world."

I'm pretty sure that's even truer than the most cynical of men would care to admit. I've had my share of differences with my mother, but still, may God help you if you ever cross her.

So, I found myself thinking about this in the context of world events, particularly the ongoing strife in the Middle East. One of the things you're always seeing when some brainwashed nutjob blows himself and a bevy of innocent people to hell and back is video of Muslim mothers screeching and sobbing and wailing like there is no tomorrow. Maybe for them, there isn't. I'm reasonably sure that, except for a few psychobitches, even Muslim mothers don't go through the pain of childbirth just have their sons dismembered in the name of some psychopathic zealot.

I've been paying a lot of attention to the plight of Muslim women recently and I've blogged on it a few times. It makes one wonder if American feminists should be required to spend a year in Saudi Arabia before joining N.O.W. Sort of like when Cordwainer Smith's dad packed the boy off to the Soviet Union when the lad announced that he was a Communist.

I've always believed that everywhere there is a tyrant there is somebody face down on the ground with that tyrant's boot on the back of his neck. I also believe that group is the most logical place to look for allies. In Iraq this led us to the Kurds and, to a lesser extent, the Shi'a. No other group, however, has had it worse than women in those cultures. Even in the most open of the Muslim societies the oppression is inexcusable. This provides us with a grand opportunity to do the right thing, and to help ourselves. These poor women can use any help that we can give them and would likely reciprocate. They could make great clandestine allies, even with the restrictions on their movements.

I know some might object and say that women in Iraq and Afghanistan are achieving greater rights, and I applaud that. I suspect, however, that if we pull out of the region too soon those new rights would evaporate overnight.

 

File Under: "I Thought They Were Doing This Already" Department

The preferred alphabet of your enemy.



Just read an interesting article at the Weekly Standard online site concerning the study of foreign languages in America, particularly Arabic, Turkish,and Persian. These being three important languages to know while prosecuting the global War of Terror. Almost immediately after the 9-11 debacle, no small part of the blame was placed on the dearth of linguists skilled in Middle Eastern languages. It was said valuable intelligence laid untranslated due to the shortage, and that a crash effort was necessary to make up the shortfall.

So you can imagine my surprise when I'm reading this article by Peter Berkowitz and learn that this crash effort has yet to take place. In 2002, for instance, the entire nation managed to award just 6 undergraduate degrees in Arabic. I don't know about you, but I don't think that number is going to put much of a dent in the stacks of untranslated intel sitting around the various intelligence agencies.

The idea is not unprecedented. Berkowitz reminds us that when the Cold War began such an initiative was begun for Russian and Eastern European languages and cultures. Condoleeza Rice herself participated in that program and is fluently multilingual, which will serve her in good stead in her capacity as Secretary of State. It seems to me that since the present war is a "hot" one it might be even wiser to have such a program now.

I have a tendency to assume that people will come to the same conclusions that I do. So I have a nasty tendency to be surprised by things such as this. I had assumed we were some 4 years into a crash program to crank out crack linguists in Middle Eastern Languages. It reminds me of when the car companies announced the were going to start offering anti-lock brakes as an option. I was stunned. I had assumed they had been standard for at least a decade. I suppose that's what happens when you read mostly science and technology magazines,

 

Harriet Miers? WTF?

What the hell has Dubya been smoking? Did I read all that material on potential picks for nothing? I think our boy George has been breathing the rarified air in the Beltway Bubble so long that he is suffering from judicial anoxia. I'm sure she's a nice lady, but she's a gamble and we're in a position now where we weren't supposed to need to gamble. As I heard Bill Bennett say about a more reliable strict constructionist pick, "If not now, when?"

She may turn out to be everything the president says she is, but she's still an unnecessary gamble. At a time when we should be celebrating we are watching the roulette wheel turn with our stomachs tied in knots, not knowing where the ball will drop.

I've heard folks on TV telling us not to worry, that the president won't let us down because he's never let us down before. To which I reply, "Are you friggin' high?" Seems to me we're 5 years into a presidency which has a southern border that exists as little more than an abstract concept hemoraging illegal aliens and potential terrorists into the interior of the country. A presidency where Norweigan grandmothers are shaken down and US Senators body-cavity searched at airports while non-racially profiled Muslims strut into the terminals unmolested. A presidency that is slinging taxpayer money at boondoggles like it was manna from heaven. A presidency that heavily taxes the military's resources while blithely allowing it to remain a shadow of it's former Reagan-era self. I'm sure I can find others if I think about it for a while.

I'm sure the president is justifiably concentrating on the War on Terror. But even then he isn't prosecuting it as well as he could. Some of the recent offensives in Western Iraq smack of Vietnam-era fight, win, cut, and run tactics. No, the president owed us a reasonably assured appointment and hasn't delivered. If she is confirmed I'll have to, like the rest of the country, hope that she turns out to be a Thomas or Scalia instead of a Souter.

Update: Harry Reid is positively orgasmic over Miers nomination. Since Reid is a minion of hell, this bodes not well.

 

Ann Coulter: God's Gift to the Right

I love Ann Coulter--not in the romantic sense, but rather in the sense of a kindred spirit, even though we will likely never meet. Technically, I shouldn't be that enthused because she's just not my type. I'm not a blonde kind of guy. I'm definitely a redhead and brunette sort. Furthermore, Ann is Exhibit "A" in the case against the idea that you can never be too thin. I prefer more voluptuous figures. But physical attributes aren't why I love Ann. I'm smitten by that razor sharp tongue driven by a razor sharp mind.

It is just so refreshing to see someone who can sling rhetoric with the best of them, but still says what she really thinks. It just so happens that very often it's also what I think. It's an eye opening experience for both sides. I've read a fair amount about her and I still can't figure out how she can come through an NYC/Northeastern US upbringing and an Ivy League education and wind up like she did.

I love to see the Coulter vs. Generic Liberal match ups on TV, such as on Hannity & Colmes. It's like watching the political equivalent of "Bambi vs. Godzilla". Within a matter of minutes the metaphorical liberal flesh is flying around the studio. This is a refreshing breath of fresh air in a world where everyone just assumed that we as a nation are supposed to bow and scrape and apologize to every third world vermin factory on the planet. It reminds me of an episode of "Married With Children" that I've seen. In it, Ed O'Neill's character, Al Bundy laments that as a US citizen he's expected to introduce himself thus, "I'm an American. I'm sorry." Ann is the antithesis of that.

I recently came across a video clip of Ann from last year. In it she expresses her displeasure at Canada's being a less than ideal neighbor. Ironically, the clip is intended as a slam against Ann, but it should just make us love her all the more. There's also some bonus Tucker Carlson at the end as well. Enjoy.

P.S. If the link gets broken, let me know and I'll host the video myself.

About me

  • I'm dostrick
  • From Texas, United States
  • The All Seeing Eye. A symbol of the Enlightenment and I like to think one day it will be a symbol of me. *** Middle-aged juvenile delinquent. *** Meyers-Briggs INTP if you follow that. *** My primary interests are in history, philosophy, languages, and literature. All the things that guarantee you'll never get a well-paying job.
My profile

Blogroll

Factists

Quotes

You can't run as a phony patriot and then claim your victory is a mandate for surrender.

--Ann Coulter--


If you kill them, they’re martyrs. If you lock them up, they’re martyrs. So kill them.

--Allahpundit--


The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow.

--Ayn Rand--


There is not a truth existing which I fear or would wish unknown to the whole world.

--Thomas Jefferson--


For everyone but America the free world is mostly a free ride.

--Mark Steyn--


The fact is that political stupidity is a special kind of stupidity, not well correlated with intelligence, or with other varieties of stupidity. At the higher levels of the intelligentsia, the correlation may actually be inverse: the more brilliant you are, the stupider your politics. Albert Einstein seems to have thought well of Stalin; Hitlerism got its start in the universities.

--John Derbyshire--


One man's theology is another man's belly laugh.

--Robert A. Heinlein--


An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile--hoping it will eat him last.

--Winston Churchill--


One day, our grandchildren may ask us what we did when Islamic fascism threatened the free world. Some of us will say we were preoccupied with fighting that threat wherever possible; others will be able to say they fought carbon dioxide emissions. One of us will look bad.

--Dennis Prager--


Nothing could be more jolting and discordant with the vision of today's intellectuals than the fact that it was businessmen, devout religious leaders and Western imperialists who together destroyed slavery around the world. And if it doesn't fit their vision, it is the same to them as if it never happened.

--Thomas Sowell--


It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones.

--Calvin Coolidge--


It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.

--Samuel Adams--


The flames kindled on the 4th of July 1776, have spread over too much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism; on the contrary, they will consume these engines and all who work them.

--Thomas Jefferson--


All government is an ugly necessity.

--G. K. Chesterton--


America learned the hard way: it's the world of September 10th that's really crazy.

--Mark Steyn


Public schools are forbidden from mentioning religion not because of the Constitution, but because public schools are the Left's madrassas.

--Ann Coulter--


We expect nothing from the MSM. It never disappoints us.

--Joe Guzzardi--


The world will not greet you with open arms, but with a clenched fist.

--Barry Goldwater--


Patriotism is as much a virtue as justice, and is as necessary for the support of societies as natural affection is for the support of families.

--Benjamin Rush--


Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like a fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.

--George Washington--


It should be the highest ambition of every American...to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn.

--George Washington--


"We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.

--C. S. Lewis--


Diplomacy is the art of saying "Nice doggy" until you can find a rock.

--Unknown--


"They must cast off the European skin, never to resume it. They must look forward to their posterity rather than backward to their ancestors."

--John Quincy Adams--


I am for doing good to the poor, but...I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.

-€”Benjamin Franklin--


There is nothing a nonconformist hates more than another nonconformist who doesn't conform to the existing standards of nonconformity.

--Unknown--


Male White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (W.A.S.P.) oppression must end.

--ER--


[I]n Her Majesty's northern Dominion the public health system is such an article of faith that no private hospitals are permitted: Canada’s private health care system is called 'America'.

--Mark Steyn--


When I sell out, this is where the blogads will go. Please remember, it's not for me. It's for the children.

--ER--


Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.

--Theodore Roosevelt--


It's never too late to have a happy childhood.

--Unknown--


Tolerance is the virtue of a man without convictions.

-- G. K. Chesterton--


"A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel."

--Robert Frost--


A formula that makes religion and politics easy to understand: (Islam - Allah = Communism)

--Unknown--


It seems amazing that no Continental politician is willing to get to grips with the real crisis facing Europe in the 21st century: the lack of Europeans.

--Mark Steyn--

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