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Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Wow. Odd. A couple hours after I sent some feed back to DemocratSpeak, the link to their feedback page disappeared, and a couple hours later, they'd moved completely, with no indication as to where. Hope it wasn't something I said. :)

Probably not, but still....

(This is part 2 of a 2-part post, split due to (apparent) Blogger size limitations. The first part appears below this post, as they're posted in reverse chronological order.)

The same could be said about Republicans vis-a-vis the Pat Robertson presidential bid some years back. The difference is, however, that views of the "religious right" happen to match up quite well with conservative values (protecting the life of the unborn, allowing people to keep more of the fruits of their labor, defending traditional marriage), whereas the views of the "religious left" (Jackson, Sharpton, et. al.), which seek to factionalize, don't mesh well at all with the people they supposedly admire (e.g. King, as in the "race is character" quote from Clinton). The "religious right" doesn't factionalize nearly as much as the "religious left" does. Both claim to come from a moral viewpoint, but the Robertsons and the Falwells mesh better within their chosen political party, even if they do have to be distanced on occasion.

That last point cannot be understated. When the Falwells and the Robertsons of the "religious right" start politicizing things that ought not to be, or make outlandish statements, no one is quicker to denounce them than conservatives. And that doesn't just apply to the specifically religious element of the party, either. David Duke is not viable in the Republican party, not because of Democrat opposition, but Republican. Senator Bill Frist owes his new position as Senate Majority Leader to Republican votes. Dennis Hastert is Speaker of the House instead of Bob Livingston because Livingston stepped down over moral issues, something Bill Clinton wouldn't do given worse offenses.

Both parties have internal disagreements. You can't get around that with such a diverse population split among two major parties. The problem for the Democrats is that they've relied on the dynamics of those factions to keep folks feeling victimized, voting for Democrats so they can keep getting favorable treatment of one form or another. This has worked for Democrats for far too long, and it probably got them more votes than showing themselves to be the party of socialized medicine, equal outcome instead of equal opportunity (i.e. socialized results), wealth redistribution (i.e. socialized economics) and moral relativism (i.e. socialized values).

However, it appears that folks might be getting wise to that (at least that's my optimistic view of the results of last November's elections). If so, factionalization may be on the wane, which means that unity just might be making a comeback.

Apparently, Blogger can't handle the following two posts as a single entry (might be too long). Unfortunately, splitting it up means (the way I have my blog configured) the second part is above the first. Hopefully, it won't be too confusing.

I find one of Karen's posts (from DemocratSpeak) interesting. She notices the problems facing liberal America, and says this:
This is a period of great pain and introspection for many of us who have been on the left most of our lives. Feeling caught between disparate pov's, having failed every attempt to pull said pov's together, one can only watch the left sink lower into a factionalized abyss.

I don't think she or most like her understand that the abyss is of the liberal's own making. Whether it's rich vs. poor, men vs. women, or white vs. anyone else, it's been the liberals who've endeavored to split the country into factions, insisting that we focus on the differences rather than what unites us. A classic example would be Hillary Clinton's speech recently where she first quoted Dr. Martin Luther King about wanting his children to be judged, not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character, and the turning it completely on its head by equating skin color with character. Dr. King's quote de-emphasized race, but Clinton and her party want to accentuate it.

Thus, in appealing to factions, they empower those who seek to gain by factionalizing (for instance Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, with regards to race factionalization) and draw them to their party. Then they wonder why their party is factionalized.

I did a little "vanity Googling" today to see if anyone else had picked up the UPI article on blogging, and I found two places:

Apparently Karen, of "DemocratSpeak" visited here as she made a small change to the article.
Doug Payton, a software engineer in Atlanta, has written a [right wing] "blog" called Considerettes since last April, using’s system.

Heh heh...apparently she had to make sure potential visitors were aware of what my leanings were, in case it wasn't obvious or they wanted to avoid it altogether.

A great line from last night's State of the Union address: After doing a rather lengthy yet only partial enumeration of weapons that Saddam has not accounted for (which would be "material breaches" all), W took aim directly at the anti-war-at-all-costs crowd and said
Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option. The dictator who is assembling the world's most dangerous weapons has already used them on whole villages, leaving thousands of his own citizens dead, blind or disfigured.

Those words could have come from Churchill speaking of Hitler and his campaign against Jews. The parallel will no doubt be lost on those to whom those words were directed.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Saddam continues to sabotage the inspection process. Today, the NY Post is reporting that death certificates with the names of (currently living) Iraqi scientists are being sent to their families as a reminder of what happens to those who cooperate with the UN.

The proof continues to mount....

Daniel Pipes has a thoughtful article that, while ultimately being a piece that describes why Europe is balking at the prospect of war, gives us a very good history of appeasement in the 20th century, and why sometimes it works and sometimes it's disastrous. And why this time it would be the latter.

Once again, a good lesson in history trumps Bush-as-Hitler protest signs.

And now, from the same world body that brought us a Libyan presiding over a human rights commission, we now have Iraq about to get its turn presiding over the UN's Conference on Disarmament. Apparently, the UN understands what a PR fiasco this is. According to WorldNetDaily, Kofi Annan has previously has been bolstering this conference as the place he hopes will ultimately deal with all major disarmament issues, but now UN spokesman Farhan Haq is downplaying the committee. "Since it's not exactly a body that has been meeting to deal with issues substantively for several years, the main worry is not about a procedural issue such as who is the chair; it's about what it can do," he said. That's PR, plain and simple; on one side investing great hope in a conference's work, while defending an oxymoron by suggesting it's a bureaucracy looking for a direction (after 25 years of existence).

This is a classic example of blind, liberal, value-free "fairness". Fairness for the sake of fairness, and without regard for suitability, and afraid of making judgements because it's afraid of setting standards. It appeals to (and appeases) the lowest common denominator, and thus that's exactly what it gets. And all this mushy policy is attached to a conference that doesn't know what to do. Thanks so much, "United" Nations.

Monday, January 27, 2003

James Taranto, on today's "Best of the Web Today" column, reminds us of recent history:
It's a misconception that the decision now facing America and the U.N. is whether to go to war with Iraq. The U.S. and the U.N. are already at war with Iraq, and they have been for 12 years. There was no surrender or peace treaty that ended the Gulf War; instead, the allies accepted a ceasefire predicated upon Iraq's compliance with a series of demands, embodied in various U.N. resolutions, concerning disarmament, human rights, sanctions, reparations to Kuwait, repatriation of war criminals, etc. These restrictions are supposed to be temporary: Baghdad's compliance was to restore both peace and Iraq's sovereignty.

This speaks directly to the smear by some anti-war pundits that Bush Jr. is trying to exact revenge on Hussein for thumbing his nose at Bush Sr.'s conditions. This is further pointed out each time there's an attack on coalition forces patrolling the no-fly zones. We're still at war, folks. And the only reason we are is that Hussein won't comply with the conditions of the ceasefire.

So, if you're anti-war, you're 12 years too late. Get out of the way and let the good guys enforce the peace the way it was agreed it would be done by the international community, even if the international community has forgotten what they decided last year (or last decade), and even if it has to be done by force. (And no, that's not an oxymoron. A peace or ceasefire treaty has to have teeth or it's not worth the paper it's written on.)

UN Weapons Inspections: Day 62: I heard a great observation on the Fox News Channel over the weekend. In typical Fox "fair and balanced" fashion, Rita Cosby had two guests on at the same time, one who believed that war should be an option and one that didn't. The fellow who supported the Bush administration said that weapons inspections, given the anti-war crowd's reasoning, were a catch-22. If weapons are not found, they'd say we shouldn't go in. If weapons were found, they'd say we should continue inspections. His point was similar to Condoleezza Rice's point last week; the method by which a country should disarm is very well established by many countries, notable those of the former Soviet Union, and Saddam Hussein is not following that pattern.

In fact, today we find out more details from Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz that Hussein is sabotaging the whole effort by buying off inspectors, and otherwise getting spies into the mix that tip off the Iraqis as to what the next site to be inspected will be. Additionally, Iraq is still playing a shell game with weapons, moving them constantly so that intelligence as to where they've been hidden has to be incredibly current to be of any use. (The link above goes to today's World Tribune story, but the full text of Wolfowitz's speech, given last Thursday to the Council on Foreign Relations is here.)

Hans Blix has also been knocking the Iraqis. "Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance, not even today, of the disarmament that was demanded of it, " he said today. Inspectors have not been told about the fate of biological weapons (like VX nerve gas and anthras), or been allowed to use a reconnaissance plane to better hut for weapons, or talked privately with scientists.

This, then, is the way out of the catch-22. In order for the results of weapons inspections to be of any use, the process must be trustworthy. If it isn't, due to manipulation by Hussein, that is a material breach of the UN resolution saying that inspections must be unhindered. Sabotage, shell-game strategies and stonewalling are hindrances.

The evidence continues to mount, but the anti-war crowd insists that we can't go in because Saddam has hidden his weapons so well.

Friday, January 24, 2003

Global Warming Update: Here in Georgia the temps were in the low single-digits last night, and as late as 9am it still hadn't broken 10 degrees where I am. Across the South, the story was the same; record lows being broken going as far back as 1940.

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Required reading: "Why We Know Iraq is Lying", by Condoleezza Rice. The "Reader's Digest" version of the smoking gun. Anti-war protestors and UN member states can no longer say that the Bush administration hasn't made the case. Key paragraph:
There is no mystery to voluntary disarmament. Countries that decide to disarm lead inspectors to weapons and production sites, answer questions before they are asked, state publicly and often the intention to disarm and urge their citizens to cooperate. The world knows from examples set by South Africa, Ukraine and Kazakhstan what it looks like when a government decides that it will cooperatively give up its weapons of mass destruction. The critical common elements of these efforts include a high-level political commitment to disarm, national initiatives to dismantle weapons programs, and full cooperation and transparency.

The article goes into specifics. Enjoy.

(The NY Times requires free registration in order to read their articles on-line.)

Here's another Ann Coulter piece that is very instructive. It's one of those "turnabout" arguments, where an attempt is made to show that the prevailing conventional wisdom on a particular topic is in fact completely upside-down. I recall a local Atlanta radio talk show host of the liberal persuasion try to make the case that political correctness came from the conservatives (ignoring, conveniently, that it began in liberal academia). That case couldn't be made, but in Coulter's piece, she has history and statistics on her side as she shows that it's more the Democrats that have been reluctant about removing racism. Further, all the liberal pundits that equate alumni or sports preferences in university admission with race preferences conveniently ignore how we fought a Civil War partially over race issues, or that the Supreme Court has said that the "equal protection" clause in the constitution does apply to race (not athletic ability or musical talent), or that a (Republican) president had to force a (Democrat) governor to allow integration in schools.

It's a great history review for those who've forgotten it.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

I wonder if those folks from "We The People" would be willing to defend against an onslaught that has killed over 42 million in this country alone (a whole lot more than Bush ever has or will)? I speak, of course, of abortion on this 30th anniversary of the rewriting of the Constitution that was Roe v. Wade. This "judicial legislation" has killed far, far more people than any dictator, fascist or communist you can name. And today Democrats and liberals in general are trotting out the same tired and misleading catch-phrases that their constituents just eat up.

From Rep. Dick Gephardt: "There is nothing moral in strong-arming a personal belief, and there is nothing moral to a presidency that imposes personal morality through acts of government power." Murder is not a "personal" morality. It most certainly involves at least two people, only one of whom gets a vote. That's the real imposition of moral values.

From Sen. John Edwards: "The right to choose is an essential ingredient to realize the full equality of America." Of course, he means that the right to kill one's child is sacrosanct while other rights to choose, like where to educate one's child, must not be given to the parents. Isn't it obvious from his statement? Of course not, because admitting that would show the hypocracy inherent in those two positions.

From Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women: "...we will not be the generation that both won and lost reproductive rights in our lifetime." Again, we're seeing a very general phrase being used to mean something very specific, and hoping no one notices. "Reproductive rights" is her codephrase for "abortion", but those rights begin at a point much earlier than Ms. Gandy recognizes. If you don't want to get pregnant, there's still a 100% effective means of insuring that. (And of course, that's another choice liberals don't want presented either.)

Being pro-abortion is a postion that cannot be honestly defended, and that tradition is being carried on faithfully. Consider that.

See also: My essay, "Just One Question About Abortion".

Wanna volunteer for the Iraqi defense force? A number of folks are with a group called "We The People". They, a hundred or so communists from the Romanian Workers Party and an eclectic mix of other countries are shipping out to become Saddam's human shields. They bristle, of course, at the suggestion that they're essentially working for Hussein. Still, the Baghdad government is welcoming them with open arms, since it beats having to kidnap Westerners or getting off a lucky shot and taking down a British air force pilot. Saves time and money for Saddam, while boosting his PR campaign. And somehow this isn't working for him?

Well, the head of "We The People", Ken Nichols, says that, no, he's not working for Saddam because we gave him his biological weapons in the first place. Now there's a non-sequiter if there ever was one. If we gave him those weapons, that doesn't negate the treaty he signed to get rid of them. That has nothing at all to do with people going overseas with the intention of giving their lives for a murderous dictator. Regardless of the origin of his weapons, going there to promote his cause is "working for him". This is a pro-Saddam move, plain and simple.

It's also demonstrably an anti-American move as well. Nichols goes on to say that George W. Bush is the biggest threat to world security at this time, not Hussein. I guess I'd really like to know what his definition of "world security" is. Sounds like a new war joke in the making. "Hey, what's the difference between Bush and Hussein? One kills his own people, ignores treaties he's signed, shoots at UN-sanctioned patrols, won't explain where all his VX nerve gas went and cavorts with Al-Qaeda terrorists...and the other is a threat to world security."

But wait, there's more! Nichols started this group partially in "penance" for his participation in the Gulf War. He's so sorry and beside himself over having liberated a country and returning stability to the region, that he's going to make up for it by protecting the dictator that overran Kuwait in an attempt to gain more power for himself by controlling more oil fields (Saddam being the actual "Blood for Oil" guy). Perhaps Nichols ought to take his alleged "penance" all the way, and fight in the Iraqi Republican Guard to retake Kuwait, since he's so sorry for kicking Saddam out of there.

This is not just blindly anti-war, it's overtly anti-American, plainly pro-Saddam, and completely unjustifiable.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Would you vote to have a member of the Taliban government head a international group on reducing terrorism? Or how about making a Lybian head of a human rights comission? Preposterous? Well, the first one might be, but the second one has happened, courtesy of that bulwark of sanity, the United Nations. Of course, it's not all that strange given that Cuba, the Sudan and Syria have seats on the commission as well.

And still there are those that think this body should speak for the world.

The UPI web site finally caught up with UPI stories, and now the blogging article is finally available. You can't look it up on the Sci/Tech desk since it insta-scrolled off that page.

But my thanks anyway to Mr. Huffman for including me in that.

Sunday, January 19, 2003

Well, my guess was correct. Just did a search on Google News for "blog" and found where the Washington Times has picked up the story.

My 15 minutes of fame begins now. :)

UPI update: I'm guessing that, even if the aforementioned blogging article isn't up on the UPI site yet, it has been picked up by some newspapers via other distribution channels that UPI has. The reason I suspect this is that some folks are finding this site by doing a Google search on the word "Considerettes". That's not a typical search phrase :) so I'm betting they (or you, if you happen to be one of them) are picking that up from a local paper carrying the story.

So let me welcome you who are visiting me for the first time to my humble blog. I hope you find it useful and worthy of some consideration.

Saturday, January 18, 2003

Well as of right now, the UPI site does not have the blogging article on it's site. Ah well, it's a bit of a consolation that there's only been one story from any section posted today, and that was sometime after 4am, while there are many on there from yesterday. So perhaps they've been having trouble updating their web site today. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

Friday, January 17, 2003

Thomas Jipping has a good piece on the stark inconsistancy in supporting abortion but opposing the death penalty, especially as it relates to the mass commutation of sentences done by former Illinois Gov. George Ryan for all death row inmates. Best paragraph:
And the jarring contrast between this blanket reprieve for guilty killers and next week's anniversary of the Supreme Court's blanket revocation of the right to life is stomach-churning. Ryan said all murderers must avoid their rightful punishment because one innocent person might be killed. Yet we know, to a moral certainty, down to an individual person, that every single child killed by abortion was innocent.

Starting from that fact, you just can't reconcile the two positions.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Mark Steyn of Canada's National Post has a devastating response the Boston Globe's (and others') treatment of the Mary Jo Kopechne incident vis-a-vis Senator Ted Kennedy; minimizing the former to canonize the latter. He notes (with examples) how the left will excuse anything as long as your (liberal) ideology is pure.

My favorite paragraph explain that not only are the left's actions out of line with their words, but that it's only the words that really matter at all to them.

If we right-wing madmen do indeed spend every waking minute dreaming up ways to kill as many children as possible, we're not very good at it. By contrast, the left does a wonderful job of sacrificing the little people in the name of its own corporate interests. In America, generations of black children have drowned in the swamp of inner-city public schools because the Democratic Party subordinates their interests to those of the teachers' unions. Overseas, the hypothetical body-count of an Anglo-American war with Iraq exercises Bill Blaikie far more than the actual slaughter Saddam has already visited on his people. But then one of the curious qualities of the ideological left is its increasing imperviousness to reality. The uselessness of Canada's billion-dollar gun registry is not the point: Just having one, no matter how expensive, no matter how irrelevant, "sends the right message."

Scathing, and full of examples. It's nothing we don't already know, frankly, but it's all in the presentation.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

UN Weapons Inspections: Day 49: The media pounced upon Hans Blix's pronouncement that after 6 weeks they hadn't found a smoking gun. Today we hear the rest of the story: Hans thinks Iraq is still playing cat-and-mouse, citing cases of illegal weapons smuggling and incomplete disclosure in Iraq's weapons declaration. I do hope this gets as much press as before.

(Speaking of a "smoking gun", it appears that Tony Blair is convinced there is one.)

Hussein is considering exile, which would be an OK solution except that it means (according to terms he'd agree to) he'd live out his live in luxury in an Arab capital free of any repurcussions from his actions. I don't see that as a reasonable solution.

I spent about half an hour on the phone last night with Mark Huffman, a UPI writer, who will be doing a story on blogs. It'll be posted on the UPI Science and Technology desk this Saturday the 18th, in time for papers to pick it up for their Sunday editions if they wish. The web site address may (or may not) appear, so I'm bracing for possibly my biggest traffic day ever sometime this weekend, or perhaps on Monday. :)

Mr. Huffman found my blog by going to and noticing on the 10 most recently posted-to blogs. Given that Blogger just registered its 1 millionth user, that list is constantly changing. Having him looking for a blog on that panel at the same moment I posted is akin to...well, let's just say I'm keeping an eye out for Ed McMahon and the Prize Patrol.

Well, there's my 15 minutes of fame. Now serving 2,147,483,648!

Thursday, January 09, 2003

Sometimes I add entries to Considerettes so that I can find the link again later if I need it. If you find them helpful as well, then bully for you. :)

Ann Coulter's commentary "The Axis of Stupidity" is a great history lesson on the life and times of the North Korean weapons program, who said what in terms of actually believing that Clinton & Carter had pulled a foreign policy win, and why they were wrong. (Main reason: They believed what a dictator said.)

UN Weapons Inspections: Day 44: Hans Blix says that after being in Iraq for some 2 months (well, not quite Hans) they haven't found a smoking gun. Yup, Saddam had 8 or 9 years to hide the stuff, and Hans is pleased that nothing's been found in a little over 6 weeks. Golly, they must have covered the whole country by now, eh?

No, not nearly. Frankly I'm quite confident there are things going on in Iraq that violate the UN resolutions, but we may have a real tough time finding them, giving Hussein's headstart. He kicked out weapons inspectors in violation of the terms of his surrender. Why? Because he had nothing to hide? Doubt it. Seriously. And in the interim neither the UN nor Bill Clinton had the guts to call him on it. And now Bush is having to clean up the mess they left, while the man responsible for the mess has had plenty of time to find out-of-the-way carpets to sweep that mess under.

And somehow Bush is to blame in all of this? Not hardly.

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Five years after a "total ban" on guns, how's Britian doing in the way of murders? Pathetically, notes Mark Steyn of the London Telegraph.

"Now, in the wake of Birmingham's New Year bloodbath, there are calls for the total ban to be made even more total: if the gangs refuse to obey the existing laws, we'll just pass more laws for them not to obey. According to a UN survey from last month, England and Wales now have the highest crime rate of the world's 20 leading nations. One can query the methodology of the survey while still recognizing the peculiar genius by which British crime policy has wound up with every indicator going haywire - draconian gun control plus vastly increased gun violence plus stratospheric property crime."

Banning guns has not made Britian more civil. It has made it a bigger target. This article is a stunning repudiation of everything the gun-controllers say should happen in theory when guns are restricted. Problem is, it's only a theory, and it's not working.

(Note: The London Telegraph requires you to register with them, for free, to read their articles.)

I've seen so many political cartoons trying to compare Bush's response to North Korea to his response to Iraq, and it just goes to prove how little those guys understand the issues, or how willing they are to ignore facts to show their views in the best possible light.

I frequent Daryl Cagel's Political Cartoon list because I've always enjoyed that art form, whether or not I agreed with the viewpoint expressed. It's interesting to see the imagery cartoonists will use to get their point across. Today, many of the liberal-leaning cartoons (which is the vast majority of them on Cagle's site) portrayed Bush as overreacting to Iraq via war while simply going through diplomatic channels for North Korea. The overt message is that they both might have nuke programs (and N. Korea has even admitted it), but there's a disparity in the reaction. The subtext is either simply anti-war or that Bush is blundering through a foreign policy crisis.

What they're completely missing is that Iraq had already made promises over a decade ago to dismantle and halt production of weapons of mass destruction, and spent the intervening years obstructing anyone from verifying whether or not they had kept to the contract. North Korea, on the other hand, was not known until just a couple months ago to have a nuke program. (Thank you Nobel laureate Jimmy Carter for assuring us that we could trust the word of a dictator while at the same time buying him off. That Nobel committee really show Dubya, eh?) Iraq is reaping the consequences of ignoring UN resolutions. Those consequences were clearly stated, and now the anti-war crowd is complaining that we're enforcing the very UN resolutions they insisted had to be passed in the first place. I don't know the terms of our agreement with North Korea, but hey, it's just an agreement between two countries. The anti-war crowd only considers UN resolutions as carrying any real weight. (Until, of course, the hard choices have to be made about enforcing them.)

Two vastly different situations that liberals are trying to apply overly-simplistic rules to, and doing that would be the real foreign policy blunder.

Here's a case of protestors just not getting it. Last year, an intramural basketball team at the University of Northern Colorado decided to protest mascots referring to American Indians. They decided to call their team the Fightin' Whites to protest those names in general and the Fightin' Reds of Eaton High School in Colorado in particular. The intent was to show how insensitive it must be to have a team mascot that allegedly makes fun of your race.

Well, back in March the AP reported that the "protest" wasn't having the desired effect. When they decided to sell T-shirts of the "Fightin' Whites" sales were surprisingly brisk. A member of the team, Jeff Vanlwarden, remarked, "It's obvious some of the people are taking it the way it's not supposed to be taken. They think it's cool and we're honoring the white man."

Apparently Mr. Vanlwarden and most of his compatriots, as well as the whole crowd who walk with furrowed brows while pondering the Cleveland Indians, Washington Redskins and Atlanta Braves, still have not realized what's going on. See folks, it's a mascot! It's just a mascot. There's no disrespect in it, and in fact there's an honor that goes with it when a team wants to be identified with something or someone strong and picks you. Getting all bent out of shape about it is the epitome of hypersensitivity. There is no outrage over the Fightin' Whites because it's just a mascot.

And that's why it's intellectually dishonest to credit them with playing a part in the mascot changings that occured last year, as yesterday's Washington Times article does. Liberal hypersensitivity has been sweeping academia, so the 20 high schools and 1 college that changed from American Indian mascots would have done so anyway. The momentum is already there. The Fightin' Whites could only take credit for swaying people who had no problem with American Indian mascots before, but changed their minds because they thought the White's mascot was demeaning. That does not appear to be very many at all.

Y'know, "Whites" is actually too generic a term to work up a really good outrage over. If they'd picked something more specific like the "Fighting Irish" or the "Fighting Scots", then you'd rally folks to your cause, eh?

No, the problem is not a matter of images and symbols. It's more a case of majoring in the minors at the University of Nothern Colorado, and getting worked up over nothing. There is no outcry over having the Whites mascot changed, and the Time article notes that other schools are considering a similar mascot in "protest". The lack of outrage over that should be instructive.

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

Sean Penn's taking a break from the rigours of playing Saddam's patsy, and he doesn't seem to understand that he's been played that way. People are making fun of him by asking "How's Iraq?", but he doesn't seem to get the joke.

Would someone tell this guy that stumping for a dictator is Bad Press(tm)? (At least among the clear-headed.)

Monday, January 06, 2003

Alternet Update: As of today, still no mention of the propaganda bonanza Hussein picked up from Sean Penn's visit. And as I read more of their "news" articles, it seems crystal clear that all that section is is a place to expound liberal opinion under the guise of news reporting. (Not that it was ever really unclear that it was all just liberal propaganda, but I'd not done any follow-up before.) This, of course, makes it pretty durn easy to ignore from here on out.

Happy 2003! Had a nice, long vacation, and now Considerettes is back.

So consider this: During my vacation, on Dec. 29, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) suggested that the draft should be started up again. Because we need to ramp up for war? No, in fact his reasoning, if you want to call it that, had nothing to do with numbers. He merely wanted to manipulate public opinion. He feels that war with Iraq would be wrong, and he's willing to toy with the military to get his way.

We all know that the tax system in this country is more and more used for social and behavorial manipulation and not just revenue raising. Now it seems Rep. Rangel would like to use actual human beings as capital to trade in order to tug at the nation's heartstrings. This points out a number of things.

  • Rangel would rather endanger lives (i.e. water-down the all-volunteer army with conscripts) than make Saddam play by the rules he agreed to.

  • He believes that members of Congress determine matters of national security solely on the basis of whether their kids will be involved.

  • He apparently can't appeal to our brains, so he has to resort to emotional manipulation.

  • He thinks his ends justify those means.

Rep. Rangel doesn't seem to be able to trust Americans to act or think on their own, and they must be manipulated by whatever means necessary. And he's not alone. As I read other blogs, it appears that sentiment is shared.