Please note: This is an archive page from the old Blogger version of Considerettes. Please click here to go to the new WordPress version. All old posts were imported into the new site. Thanks.

Conservative commentary served up in bite-sized bits.

" Considerettes"?

"Warning: first examination of Considerettes suggests an excess of rational thought goes into that blog."
- Clayton Cramer

Comments, questions, cookie recipes? E-mail me! (frodo at thepaytons dot org)

Considerettes in the news:
Hugh Hewitt

<< Return to
"Consider This!"

Did Bush lie? Google it!
Georgia Marriage Amendment Rally
Considerettes Radio:
2 /16/04
2 /23/04
3/ 5/04
3 /9/04
3 /10/04
3 /16/04
4 /1/04
4 /7/04
4 /21/04
5 /4/04
5 /6/04
6/ 1/04
6 /9/04
6 /16/04
7 /6/04 (1)
7 /6/04 (2)
7 /29/04
7 /30/04
8 /16/04
9 /1/04
9 /8/04
9 /13/04
9 /16/04
9 /24/04
1 0/6/04
1 1/9/04
1 2/9/04
1 /11/05
1 /31/05
2 /28/05
3 /14/05
3 /21/05
5 /16/05
5 /23/05
8 /1/05
8 /10/05
9 /6/05

Homespun Bloggers Radio 

Considerettes for your PDA


Web Rings
p ? Atlanta Blogs # n
< GAwebloggers ? >

My other blog
Considerable Quotes
Contributor to
Stones Cry Out

My diaries at

(Commenting available)

I'm a reporter for BNN:
The Bloggers News Network

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours? Listed on Blogwise
Search For Blogs, Submit 

Blogs, The Ultimate Blog Directory
Subscribe with Bloglines

Ye Olde Blogroll

Homespun Blogger

Join Fair Tax Fans

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

While I've been training clients here in Memphis, I've had the Fox News Channel on when I get back to the hotel. It's just been amazing to watch the events unfold over the course of this week and realize how devastating Katrina was to the states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Tonight, two days after the hurricane hit, 1/3 of all Mississippians will be without power. New Orleans is, in many senses, a ghost town; the dead will just have to wait while the living are rescued and cared for. President Bush's calling this the worst national disaster in our nation's history may not be hyperbole. It's difficult to understand how to feel now, and how to respond.

I booked my hotel room before the concerns about Katrina really hit, so I got a room, but if I'd waited I wouldn't have. All the available rooms were filled with folks escaping the hurricane. Even the waitress at the restaurant I had Sunday supper at left for Tulane early last week but returned last weekend and picked up her job while waiting for the storm to pass. I guess she'll be spending more time here than she planned.

Over at Stones Cry Out, where I'm one of the contributing bloggers, we'll be participating in what Glenn Reynolds is calling a "flood-aid blogburst" tomorrow. Check SCO then for information on the charity we'll be highlighting; The Salvation Army. There are a number of other good charities that NZ Bear has helpfully itemized, and lists the blogs that are highlighting one or more of them.

I'll be flying home tomorrow evening, so no blogging from me then, but I wanted to at least do my part to get the word out.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Is global warming to blame for the increase in number and strength of hurricanes? Nope, says an article in the journal Nature. It's a normal cycle.
Because hurricanes form over warm ocean water, it is easy to assume that the recent rise in their number and ferocity is because of global warming.

But that is not the case, scientists say. Instead, the severity of hurricane seasons changes with cycles of temperatures of several decades in the Atlantic Ocean. The recent onslaught "is very much natural," said William M. Gray, a professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University who issues forecasts for the hurricane season.

From 1970 to 1994, the Atlantic was relatively quiet, with no more than three major hurricanes in any year and none at all in three of those years. Cooler water in the North Atlantic strengthened wind shear, which tends to tear storms apart before they turn into hurricanes.

In 1995, hurricane patterns reverted to the active mode of the 1950's and 60's. From 1995 to 2003, 32 major hurricanes, with sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or greater, stormed across the Atlantic. It was chance, Dr. Gray said, that only three of them struck the United States at full strength.

Historically, the rate has been 1 in 3.

Then last year, three major hurricanes, half of the six that formed during the season, hit the United States. A fourth, Frances, weakened before striking Florida.

"We were very lucky in that eight-year period, and the luck just ran out," Dr. Gray said.

But shouldn't global warming have some effect on them?
Global warming may eventually intensify hurricanes somewhat, though different climate models disagree.

Global warming is only as much of a problem and as urgent an issue as your computer program says it is.

This big-picture view, however, is something that some folks would rather ignore, preferring the short-term myopic zeal
Seems like everything is President Bush's fault. One day after Katrina hammered the Gulf Coast, German commentators are laying into the US for its stubborn attitude to global warming and Kyoto.

Hurricane Katrina is big news for German commentators, whatever their ilk. For some, the powerful storm which slammed the Gulf Coast on Monday, is a symbol of the sort of environmental terrors awaiting the world thanks to global warming and proof positive that America needs to quickly reverse its policy of playing down climate change. For the more conservative, it is simply another regrettable natural catastrophe.

The key word being "natural".

(Cross-posted at Blogger News Network. Comments welcome.)

Monday, August 29, 2005

I'm on the road again for most of this week, so blogging will again be light.

Pray for the folks in New Orleans and the surrounding areas. My hotel in Tennessee is full of Katrina refugees, as was my waitress at supper.

Friday, August 26, 2005

The Sunnis in Iraq are upset with the proposed Iraqi constitution, calling it "fit only for the bin". The political process is stymied again. Why?
As night fell, the government's official spokesman, Laith Kubba, announced that a final version of the document had been decided and compromise reached on three issues, although he did not say which. Sunni leaders said that no consensus had been reached.

Hussein al-Falluji, a Sunni member of the drafting panel, said: "If this constitution continues to include federalism, it should be put in the bin and done again."

It's the concept of "federalism" that the Sunnis have an issue with; the power-sharing between "a central authority and constituent political units". Those who are against federalism would be folks who:
  • Want more and more central control over all aspects of governing (national speed limits, health care, abortion law, etc.)
  • Approve of federal judges legislating from the bench rather than giving state/provinces more say in how they're governed

And of course, some anti-federalists seek to redefine the term "federalism" to fit their objectives. (Full comparison between the two Executive Orders referred to can be found here.) George Orwell would have been proud.

So essentially what we're seeing in Iraq is that the possibility of civil war is increasing all because of...liberal values. A stronger and stronger central government is what liberals need to get their agenda through, and federalism is a key element blocking that here. America's Founding Fathers knew the trouble that a strong central government would bring, and instituted a distributed form of government. (Oh, and how did they make their case to the people? Via a set of articles called "The Federalist Papers".)

What I find ironic is that anti-war folks--mostly liberals themselves--have been predicting (after all their previous predictions have failed to materialize) that we'd cause a civil war in Iraq with our invasion, and yet, should that happen, it is the very values they espouse that would, in fact, be a main cause of it.

A thanks to Erik Larson for pointing out this latest breakthrough in stem cell research.
A Harvard University advance in generating embryonic stem cells may have the unintended consequence of hindering congressional efforts to lift research restrictions imposed by President Bush four years ago, leaders on both sides of the issue said yesterday as details of the discovery traveled through the scientific and political communities.

The news that Harvard scientists have successfully converted human skin cells into embryonic stem cells -- without using a human egg or new embryo -- is likely to muddle the already complex debate over federal stem cell research policy.

Muddle? How in the world could finding a way to avoid all the ethical complications of embryonic stem cell research be considered muddling? On the contrary, this could help clear up the whole debate once and for all; researches get their embryonic stem cells without killing unborn life. Everybody wins, if this turns out to be a viable option. This is called "muddling"?

This research is still just getting going, but if we concentrated on this rather than something with ethical pitfalls galore, we'd come sooner to the place where all points of view would be satisfied. Isn't that the best solution?

(Cross-posted at Stones Cry Out. Comments welcome.)

You simply must read Michael Yon's "Gates of Fire" post from Iraq. It's a long read, but it shows how honorable our soldiers are, and how bad policy can literally kill people. The closing paragraphs will help you understand one of the many ways we are significantly different from the terrorists. An amazing read.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Whilst commenting on in a thread dealing with the reporting on the pending Iraqi constitution, "streiff" responds to a poster who says that the new Iraqi government doesn't look like it will be better than the previous one, by the poster's definition of "better".
This is just another instance of the dynamic moving of goalposts.

First, we couldn't handle the heat of an Iraqi summer.

Then, Baghdad was Stalingrad on the Euphrates.

Then, civil war was imminent.

Then, no one would participate in the January election.

Then, no constitution would ever be drafted.

Now, the constitution isn't good enough.

Coming soon, no one will vote in the October electin [sic]; no one will vote in the December elections.

Eventually they'll move the goalposts far enough that they can declare we've been defeated and hopefully go home and leave the rest of us alone.

Good point. Virtually every prediction by the Left on the war in Iraq has been proven wrong, and as each one topples they've quickly built another one further downfield.

The topic that generated this thread noted that the NY Times praised the Afghan constitution but has deplored an almost identical one coming out of Iraq, so the "objectivity" of the Times comes into question here as well. Given virtually identical situations, they praise one and condemn the other. Why? Pure politics. "Good" is only good if we wanted it that way. They didn't object to the Afghanistan war, so the outcome is good. They did oppose the Iraq war, so the identical outcome is bad.

Politics appears to be the sole informer of their opinions. If they didn't agree politically with the conditions that brought it about, then they say the outcome is bad. How childish! Then they couch that opinion in language to suggest that the outcome itself is inherently bad, so as to cover up their real motivation. And they're betting on the short attention span of liberals.

Unfortunately, there are those with a little longer memories. Welcome to the Age of Blogs.

If you still had any shred of respect for the NY Times editorial page, I do hope you'll seriously reconsider.

(Cross-posted at Stones Cry Out. Comments welcome.)

Environmentalists, rejoice over the war in Iraq!
Iraq's southern marshlands -- nearly ruined under the Saddam Hussein regime -- have been making a "phenomenal" recovery, a U.N. agency said Wednesday

The U.N. Environmental Program said the wetlands, which had been regarded as "a key natural habitat for people, wildlife and fisheries," have bounced back to about 40 percent of the area they covered in the 1970s.

The region had been "damaged significantly since the 1970s, due to upstream dam construction and drainage operations" by the former regime, according to the U.N. Environmental Program.

But after the toppling of the Saddam regime, officials embarked on restoration and people "began opening floodgates and breaching embankments in order to bring water back into the marshlands."

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Today's Odd "Considerettes" Search Phrase - how to fix a overamplified wav recording [#12 on Google]

If you were about to be part of an assault that would make D-Day look like a walk in the park, and your life would very likely end on that day, as well as the lives of 500,000 of your countrymen, how would you feel about a weapon that would kill fewer people, but stop the war?

Read what someone who was there thought; Sgt. Jim Baxter, USMC.

And remember, the bomb also killed fewer Japanese than a land assault would have.

(By the way, I love the blog name, "The View from 1776".)

Via one of the comments at comes word of an al Qaeda / Iraq connection. The Toronto Star had the information back in 2003.

"2003?", you may ask. "But...but...the media and the Democrats have been saying for years that there was no connection between the two." Well yes, that is true. That ought to tell you why I often consider the phrase "the media and the Democrats" a redundant one. It should also tell you why you shouldn't believe them.

"But at least Hussein wasn't planning attacks on America...right?", you may ask. Do American embassies count? An Iraqi soldier (currently residing at Club Gitmo) had also been a "trusted agent" of bin Laden and worked with the Taliban to plot chemical attacks ("WMDs?", you may ask) at embassies in Pakistan. (See this article for more detailed evidence.)

Just a reminder, is all. Some folks need it every so often.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

I often wish the Left would distance itself from its loonies the way the Right does.
The Bush administration swiftly and unequivocally distanced itself Tuesday from a suggestion by religious broadcaster Pat Robertson that American agents assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a frequent target of U.S. foreign policy.

Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, appearing at a Pentagon news conference, said when asked: "Our department doesn't do that kind of thing. It's against the law. He's a private citizen. Private citizens say all kinds of things all the time."

Acknowledging differences with the Caracas government, and saying it should be promoting democracy in the Western Hemisphere, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack called Robertson's remarks "inappropriate."

"This is not the policy of the United States government. We do not share his views," McCormack said in a flat refutation of Robertson's suggestion that the United States "take out" Chavez to stop Venezuela from becoming a "launching pad for communist influence and Muslim extremism."

Remember, it was right-side blogs that were just as, if not more, vocal about Trent Lott's Strom Thurmond remarks. But when Howard Dean, far more a spokesman for the Left than Robertson is for the Right, talk about how he thinks Bush knew about 9/11 before it happened or say he "hates" Republicans, or when Cynthia McKinney (when she was still an elected Democrat) was willing to take money on the condition that America be blamed first, far too many on the Left just cheer.

Today's Odd "Considerettes" Search Phrase - Kia Spectra Air Flow Meter code [#21 on Google]

Sic transit Robertson.
Pat Robertson, a former GOP presidential candidate and host of the "700 Club" daily Christian TV show, yesterday called for the assassination of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.

"There was a popular coup that overthrew him," Robertson said. "And what did the United States State Department do about it? Virtually nothing. And as a result, within about 48 hours that coup was broken. Chavez was back in power. But we had a chance to move in. He has destroyed the Venezuelan economy, and he's going to make that a launching pad for Communist infiltration and Muslim extremism all over the continent."

About the Fidel Castro ally, Robertson said: "You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination. But if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it."

"It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war ... and I don't think any oil shipments will stop," Robertson added. "But this man is a terrific danger and the United ... this is in our sphere of influence, so we can't let this happen."

Why, oh why, does the MSM go to he and Falwell when they want the "Christian viewpoint"? Well actually, the above quote answers that question; they're hoping for a scoop about something outrageous that they've said. Never mind your view of Chavez (and I have a very poor view of him), this is uncalled for.

Pat? Jerry? Please leave politics alone? Please?

(Jim at Stones Cry Out beat me to a post on this subject by 20 minutes. His remarks are good as well.)

When the Army doesn't meet its recruiting goals, the MSM shouts it from the rooftop. That was then, this is now.
Remember last spring, when the Army's recruitment efforts fell short for a few months? The media's glee would have made you confuse the New York Times and Air America.

When the Army attempted to explain that enlistments are cyclical and numbers dip at certain times of the year, the media ignored it. All that mattered was the wonderful news that the Army couldn't find enough soldiers. We were warned, in oh-so-solemn tones, that our military was headed for a train wreck.

Now, as the fiscal year nears an end, the Army's numbers look great. Especially in combat units and Iraq, soldiers are re-enlisting at record levels. And you don't hear a whisper about it from the "mainstream media."

That liberal media. Read the whole thing for the numbers.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Democrats turn up heat on US pump prices

As we'll see, this just means they're yelling louder.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Democrats turned up the heat on the White House on Friday to act in the face of record-high U.S gasoline pump prices.

The same day, the Senate Energy Committee set a September 8 hearing on what's behind the prices, which hit a record $2.55 a gallon this week.

Those prices could come down were we not so dependent on OPEC for oil. There's that relatively small area in ANWR that would help.
Lawmakers admit there is no short-term fix to pain at the pump, but are nervous about political fall-out. Gasoline prices are sure to be a hot topic when Congress returns from its recess next month.

Well, if we'd started drilling in ANWR when it was first suggested, we'd be well on our way to easing things.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid on Friday said the Bush administration should require U.S. oil companies to disclose their fuel pricing policies and production costs.

In a letter to the White House, Reid also said the Federal Trade Commission should investigate instances where a state's retail prices rise 20 percent in any given week "to determine if the price of gasoline is being artificially manipulated."

There ya' go! Produce a government report, and prices should drop. But seriously, I wonder if Senator Reid has been watching the price of oil or not. And I wonder if Senator Reid has been paying attention to his own government.
Past FTC probes into U.S. oil company pricing policies have found no sign of abuse.

"This one has already being done," White House spokesman Trent Duffy said. "The FTC and the Justice Department have been keenly watching for this type of activity for the past two years."

Duffy also said that Democrats' attempts to prevent oil drilling in the Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or ANWR, have kept supplies tight.

"Commonsense steps we've tried to take, like increasing domestic oil production by allowing drilling in a small portion of ANWR, have been blocked by Democrats for years," Duffy said.

Precisely! However, the Democrats have their own solution; "artificially manipulate" the price.
Separately, Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida said the White House should ask oil companies for a voluntary, temporarily freeze on prices that they charge gasoline distributors.

Duffy said that price controls in any form are "terribly toxic to the economy" but added he had not seen the specific proposal.

Sen. Nelson, your minority leader would be proud. Anyone with a knowledge of economics, however, might have something else to say about that.

And how much does that $2.50 gallon of gas cost the oil companies?
The American Petroleum Institute, the biggest industry lobbyist, said U.S. oil companies are not benefiting unduly from high energy prices, and said that global crude oil shortages and oil prices near $70 a barrel are to blame.

It costs about $2 a gallon for U.S. refiners to turn crude oil into gasoline before transportation and distribution costs are added, said John Felmy, an API economist.

That's $2 plus distribution plus state & federal taxes charged at the pump. Remember that when news organizations cry about the profits being made by oil companies. If you make a 10% profit on your product, and if the price goes up, your 10% markup now brings in more actual dollars, but it's still only 10% greater than your costs. Should I use the government to force you to lower your margin at higher prices?

Or let's ask the question a different way; is a 10% profit fair? If you think it is, then what if I told you that oil companies generally run a 7% profit margin? And yet Democrats and the press (redundancy, I know) only tell the public about the actual dollar amounts. If they reported the margin percentage just as often, they'd of course lose that as a propaganda tool against the "evil" oil companies. I have my own arguments with oil companies (rising costs seem to be reflected in the final price much faster than dropping costs do), but their overall profits aren't the place to look for relief from high gas prices.

The answers are conservation (I'm working from home today) and reducing our dependence on foreign oil. Deal with economic problems in an economic way, not artificially.

Why, if the economic indicators show a smokin' economy, do folks tell pollsters that they're not sure the economy is doing well? Could be the power of suggestion.
The paradox of the year is why so many Americans tell pollsters they feel bad about an economy that's been so good, with solid job growth and corporate profits, rising wages and home prices, and a huge decline in the budget deficit. Perhaps one reason is because the media keep saying the economy stinks.

That's the conclusion of a study to be released today by the Media Research Center, which finds that so far this year 62% of the news stories on the Big Three TV networks have portrayed the U.S. economy in negative fashion. The "negative full length TV news stories on the economy outnumbered positive stories by an overwhelming ratio of 4 to 1," the MRC reports.

To cite just one example, a CBS Evening News story on July 22 said that the economy is "very tenuous. It could fall apart at any moment. One piece of bad news, one additional terrorist attack, one negative corporate earnings, and it goes right down again." Contrast that funeral dirge with what Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told Congress that same day: "The outlook is one of sustained economic growth." And this was after Dan Rather had departed Planet CBS.

Media coverage of President Bush's tax cuts has been particularly slanted. During the 2003 tax-cut debate, three of every four major TV network news stories were negative. The favorite criticisms were liberal echoes that it would bust the budget and favor the rich. Earlier this year, a news story on National Public Radio announced that "as everyone knows, the primary cause of the budget deficit was the Bush tax cuts." No word yet on whom NPR is crediting with this year's revenue surge of $262 billion. Robert Rubin?

How about the Bush administration, who predicted just such a surge after the tax cuts? We certainly can't credit Robert Kuttner, who dissed the cuts before their effect was felt, and even called them "damaging". Tell that to the folks who now have jobs who didn't before, and those who have more of their own money in their pocket.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Today's Odd "Considerettes" Search Phrase - what are two possible action the government can take to placate angry citizens? [#9 on Yahoo! Search]

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Homespun Bloggers Radio, Program #8, released!

It's time for another edition of Homespun Bloggers Radio. Listen in to hear three of our Homespun Bloggers make their voices heard.
  • Bob James, of the blog CrosSwords, suggests that a little perspective is in order for folks who are criticizing the delay in creating a new Iraqi Constitution.
  • Yours truly hits the talk radio show circuit (i.e. I call in to a couple of shows and have the audio).
  • Andrew Ian Dodge of Dodgeblogium notes that Tony Blair is deporting jihadists and taking names, and British bloggers are holding folks' feet to the fire.

Click here to listen or on the "Homespun Bloggers Radio" button to the left. The current audio feed is a loop of shows #7 & #8. Also, you can click here to download a high-quality version of the show. The 3 previous shows can also be heard by clicking here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

This just in: Kofi Annan is shocked--SHOCKED--to discover corruption at the UN.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan ordered a massive investigation of the entire U.N. procurement division yesterday amid growing concerns about corruption and irregularities in the awarding of U.N. contracts.

In yet another major organizational shake-up in response to the Iraq oil-for-food scandal, the embattled Annan placed the procurement office under the authority of U.N. Controller Warren Sachs, pending the outcome of a probe into the agency, which awards contracts worth billions of dollars.

The United Nations said in a statement that Annan ordered the probe "due to the seriousness of the situation" raised by last week's announcement that former U.N. procurement officer Alexander Yakovlev pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to taking bribes from companies seeking U.N. business.

This sounds a lot like Dan Rather when he said he'd "like to break that story" about the fake memo that he presented as news, long after bloggers had already done just that.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

I'll be holding training classes this week for clients, so blogging will be light (I'll probably do some evening writing). In the meantime, keep an eye on:


Friday, August 12, 2005

This just in from the New York Times: Air America financial scandal!
The state attorney general's office and the city's Department of Investigation are looking into whether a boys and girls club serving poor children and ailing elderly people in the Bronx had improper financial dealings, including loans to the Air America radio network, state and city officials said yesterday.

Thanks to Leon at for the link. Guess the Grey Lady isn't moving as sprightly as she used to. It took her 2 weeks to catch up with (as Leon notes), "the Arizona Republic, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, The Oregonian, the Washington Times, the Sun, the Post, the Daily News, the Opinion Journal, Investors Business Daily and about a zillion blogs (with no editors!) on this story that almost exclusively happened within the confines of New York."

Leon also properly points to Michelle Malkin, who's been one of the blogs leading the way on this story. Michelle tries looking for the story on the Times web site.
But you need a magnifying glass to find it. Go the the homepage. Nothing there. Click over the National section. Nothing there. Find your way to the NY/Region section. Scroll way down past the featured stories.

Aha! There it is:

Bronx Boys Club's Finances Investigated

The story is essentially buried, which is different than the big coverage Air America gets when there's marginally good news. But that's not all. Brian Maloney of "The Radio Equalizer" has also been a pit bull on this story. His commentary today notes, among a bunch of other problems, the cleansing of quotes from Al Franken and spokesman Jim Grossman for use in the story.

The "Paper of Record" slips further and further into irrelevancy.

(Cross-posted at Stones Cry Out. Comments welcome.)

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Over at Stones Cry Out, I'm having a discussion with a commenter "s9" who tried to come to the defense of the NARAL ad against John Roberts. He's doing this by making assertions about (alleged) mistakes by on their smack-down of this ad. Much of what this commenter said was false on its face or condemns all defense attorneys as supporters of those they defend.

It's amazing how contorted the left will twist itself to try and defend the indefensible. Even Kevin Drum, whom "s9" links to, while being slightly more reasonable, still can't face the truth. Given the timeline falsehood in the ad, Drum, unable or unwilling to admit it's false, says it should have just been framed differently. And while he admits "defending the principle doesn't mean you're defending a particular person or group", he still paints Roberts as one who excuses (and thus supports or defends) abortion clinic bombers.

Can't face the facts. Can't be intellectually honest. How do you debate or discuss with these guys?

UPDATE: NARAL is pulling the ad, saying, "unfortunately, the debate over that advertisement has become a distraction from the serious discussion we hoped to have with the American public". But Mike Young, vice president and general manager of WABI-TV in Bangor, Maine said it best; "After careful thoughtful analysis, we determined the ad was at worst false, and at best misleading." You can't possibly start a serious discussion from a false premise. NARAL has only itself to blame for this "distraction".

This also gets CNN off the hook for an extremely poor judgement call.

Would slashing the annual budget deficit by one-fourth be "shout it from the rooftop" headlines? The Dems like to crow about the budget surpluses that the Republican Congress gave us (Dems, though like to credit Clinton, of course). Well if that was good, this would certainly be a huge move in the right direction no?

So is it true? Polipundit says Yes and has the data to prove it. So why haven't you head about it yet?

(Hint: That liberal media.)

Yesterday on "Considerettes Radio", I talked with Carol Plat Liebau and Peter Robinson who are filling for Hugh Hewitt while he's on vacation. The topic was the recent NARAL ad portraying John Roberts as supporting abortion-clinic bombers. According to the web site, this portrayal is false. However, CNN is still going to run the ad.

Why would CNN run an ad that says is false? Maybe they don't put much credence in what says. Well, except that during the 2004 election campaign, they went repeatedly to that web site to find information for debunking some of the candidates' claims. And now all of a sudden, when there's a concerted liberal effort to discredit a conservative Supreme Court nominee, they ignore it? Sounds like a rather convenient a change of heart.

Listen to "Considerettes Radio"! [This recording from The Hugh Hewitt Show (WGKA, Atlanta, GA) on 8/10/2005 6:35pm EST (277K).]

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

First he was called a "black tyrant" by Harry Belafonte. Now he's been called a "white boy" by black activist Dick Gregory.
The exchange took place during the "Hannity & Colmes" program on the Fox News Channel. Gregory and Cybercast News Service Senior Staff Writer Marc Morano discussed comments Gregory made during an Aug. 6 march in Atlanta commemorating the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act.

Reading from Morano's article, co-host Sean Hannity asked Gregory to confirm whether he had made a number of controversial remarks during the event.

The activist readily acknowledged that he had referred to Republicans as "white racist thugs" and called the United States "the most dishonest, ungodly, unspiritual nation that ever existed in the history of the planet."

But, when Gregory hesitated in his responses, Hannity turned to Morano for confirmation.

"You don't have to confirm what I said," Gregory charged. "I've already said it. So I don't need no white boy to come on and say yes, he said it."

Surprised by Gregory's reply, Hannity repeated, "No white boy? No white boy?" and asked Gregory if he wanted to apologize to Morano for calling him a racially charged term.

"Yes, I apologize for it," Gregory replied.

"Well, I was already called a black tyrant by [Harry] Belafonte yesterday, so I welcome whatever Mr. Gregory wants to call me," Morano said in response.

If Gregory were Republican, this would be hate speech.

Could there be a scientist who has accepted Intelligent Design as being on par with evolution? Dr. Roy W. Spencer says, "I came to the realization that intelligent design, as a theory of origins, is no more religious, and no less scientific, than evolutionism."
You might wonder how scientists who are taught to apply disciplined observation and experimentation and to search for natural explanations for what is observed in nature can come to such a conclusion? For those of you who consider themselves open-minded, I will try to explain.

Read the whole thing to discover how much evolution and the physics of the origin of the universe depend heavily on faith (and about how parts of modern explanations of evolution depend on the lack of hard evidence).

(Via JunkYardBlog.)

(Cross-posted at Stones Cry Out. Comments welcome.)

Today's Odd "Considerettes" Search Phrase - tiny tim-over the rainbow [#10 on Startpagina]

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

It was so good to hear that those 7 Russian men trapped in the mini-sub were safely rescued. But now, the rest of the story.
The telephone rang at Radio 3, where [Guzel] Latypova is news director, about 24 hours after the AS-28 mini-sub became trapped 190 meters (625 feet) under the Pacific.

"A woman called in tears. She was saying that a mini-sub had got stuck with seven men aboard in the Bay of Berezovaya," Latypova, 32, recounted to AFP. The mystery caller said she had got the news from "someone" in the military.

"She saved these lads. A monument should be raised to her. If she had not called it would have remained a secret, I'm sure."

Latypova, who also works for the Kamchatka Peninsula region's STS television and the Russian news agency Interfax, was not sure at first what to make of the sensational tip-off.

"That day there was hardly any news. I called my colleague at Ria Novosti news agency, Oksana Guseva, and we tried to verify the report through our own sources."

Guseva managed to get through to Rear Admiral Viktor Gavrikov, commander in chief of the armed forces for the northeast of Russia. "Immediately his voice changed. He said 'no comment' and put the phone down. That convinced us it was serious," Latypova said.

It's sad that there's still so much face-saving that is required in the Russian military, or even in the Russian government itself.
But in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the military port at the centre of the desperate, three-day rescue operation, local military authorities did not say a word about the drama until Tuesday -- two days after the incident was over.

Media pressure may have played a role in President Vladimir Putin's decision to dispatch Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov to the scene, and -- crucially -- in the military's painful acknowledgement of the need for foreign help.

This may be a deep-seated cultural thing, but when face-saving is more important that saving lives, the culture needs a shot in the arm. What form that would take is beyond me, but perhaps this incident will be one step in the right direction.

Observer as Harry Belafonte drops off the deep end.
Celebrity activist Harry Belafonte referred to prominent African-American officials in the Bush administration as "black tyrants" at a weekend march, and he also compared the administration to Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany.

Belafonte, a featured speaker at Saturday's march in Atlanta commemorating the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act, previously ignited a political controversy in 2002 when he likened then-Secretary of State Colin Powell to a "house slave."


Belafonte used a Hitler analogy when asked about what impact prominent blacks such as former Secretary of State Powell and current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had on the Bush administration's relations with minorities.

"Hitler had a lot of Jews high up in the hierarchy of the Third Reich. Color does not necessarily denote quality, content or value," Belafonte said in an exclusive interview with Cybercast News Service.

"[If] a black is a tyrant, he is first and foremost a tyrant, then he incidentally is black. Bush is a tyrant and if he gathers around him black tyrants, they all have to be treated as they are being treated," he added.

That is to say, if you're conservative, you're a tyrant. And if you're a black person who's gone off what Belefonte considers the reservation, you've become a tyrant first and a black person second. Of course, Harry's not prejudice; he hates all conservatives equally regardless of color. Witness the following exchange:
When asked specifically who was a "black tyrant" in the Bush administration, Belafonte responded to this reporter, "You." When this reporter noted that he was a Caucasian and attempted to ask another question, Belafonte abruptly ended the interview by saying, "That's it."

There ya' go. Even I am a "black tyrant".

One isolated voice? Nope, there's more from the event.
Civil rights activist Dick Gregory mocked the existence of African-American conservatives in America.

"They (black conservatives) have a right to exist, but why would I want to walk around with a swastika on my shirt after the way Hitler done messed it (the swastika symbol) up?" Gregory said in an interview with Cybercast News Service. (The swastika was an ancient symbol generally regarded an emblem of strength and luck before the Nazi Party adopted it in 1920.)

"So why would I want to call myself a conservative after the way them white racists thugs have used that word to hide behind? They call themselves new Republicans," Gregory said.

While this particular instance of a Nazi reference isn't directly linked to black conservatives, he's still using the imagery to make his point. Haven't these guys figured out that such references, from either side of the aisle, are just so over the top as to be pointless?

Paging Mike Godwin!

Ever luvin'. A superhero out there to protect the right to kill your baby?
An online animated video sponsored by Planned Parenthood's San Francisco-area branch features a superhero character drowning an abstinence promoter in a trash can and blasting into oblivion several pro-life picketers protesting in front of one of the organization's facilities.

The eight-minute "A Superhero for Choice," posted on the Planned Parenthood Golden Gate website, has a bespectacled black woman in San Francisco morphing into a red-suited flying enforcer, bent on making the world safe for the organization's values.

The heroine also puts a giant condom on the Washington Monument, confronts a senator who has "misinformed conservatism", and flys off for an appointment with "Jerry Falwell - that schmuck".

So much for a reasoned discourse. This is pure propaganda. Interestingly, while there is a mention of this video on their website ("Meet PPGG's Superhero for CHOICE"), it doesn't actually have a link, while all other items in the same column have one. I wonder if they've realized (or been made to realize) that this is way beyond the pale.

And they say conservatives hold the monopoly on mean-spiritedness.

(Cross-posted at Stones Cry Out. Comments welcome.)

I said "Whew" when the shuttle Discovery successfully left the launch pad recently, since it appeared that nothing banged into anything else that might cause trouble on re-entry. Now that it's back, that calls for a double-"whew".
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — The Space Shuttle Discovery touched down safely in California Tuesday after spending two weeks in space, making it the first successful shuttle landing since Columbia broke apart over two-and-a-half years ago.

"Congratulations on a truly spectacular test flight," Mission Control said once Discovery came to a stop. "Welcome home, friends."

"We're happy to be back and we congratulate the whole team for a job well done," replied shuttle Commander Eileen Collins, who manned a picture-perfect landing.

The shuttle landed at 8:11 a.m. EDT, one minute early.

Leaves on time, lands a minute early. Let's get our airlines doing that. >grin<

Heh heh. Touche.
The search engine [Google] is now giving the silent treatment to CNET News, after an article featured facts about company CEO Eric Schmidt, facts that were gleaned from using Google.

Seems just a tad bit of an overreaction. Hey, the rest of us have to live with much of our personal information Google-able. Seems funny to be saying this to Schmidt, but "welcome to the Internet era".

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Leon at has a good article about the silence of the media on the Air America financial scandal. One of the comments is also notes a disconnect.
As I recall, CBS claimed that the fault of the Rathergate scandal was not bias, but a rush to be the first with the story. How often has the NYT committed errors that are attributed to haste? They could create an addtional [sic] section called corrections of the day.
So now I'm supposed to believe that the MSM won't report a story until every last fact is known and proven to be true? I can assume this new standard has only been in effect for about...... 8 days.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Via Dean Esmay comes a link to Manual Miranda's column "Judging While Catholic". Miranda seeks to educate journalists on what the "religious test" prohibition in the Constitution really means.
In Wednesday's Washington Post ("Why It's Right to Ask About Roberts's Faith"), columnist E.J. Dionne asks: "Is it wrong to question Judge John Roberts on how his Catholic faith might affect his decisions as a Supreme Court justice? Or is it wrong not to? . . . Why is it wrong to ask him to share his reflections with the public?" It would be helpful, Mr. Dionne concludes, "if Roberts gave an account of how (and whether) his religious convictions would affect his decisions as a justice."

Mr. Dionne's error is found is his own words: "Yes, any inquiry related to a nominee's religion risks being seen as a form of bigotry, and of course there should be no 'religious tests.' " Indeed. And that is the problem, again.

Journalists believe that the religious test clause guards against simple discrimination against Catholics or Jews or any other particular denominations. It does not. It prohibits a probe of what the potential officeholder believes derived of his religious convictions. It is not about what he lists on a questionnaire under religion, as if it were like race or sex. That is why the liberal press has mocked the concern raised by conservatives that the abortion litmus test and other lines of inquiry are a constitutionally prohibited religious test.

(Read the whole thing for more examples and further historical evidence of Miranda's reading of the "religious test".)

One of the commenters at Dean's World seems to have this same misconception. So consider this: Suppose this "religious test" was really a "duck test", such that you could not require a test to see if the potential office holder was a duck. And then imagine a Senator being interviewed after the vote saying, "I voted against this nominee because he looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and thinks like a duck. Now, I didn't vote against him because he is a duck, but because he had those qualities."

That wouldn't pass either the "duck test" nor the "smell test". And questions about John Roberts' religious views won't pass the "religious test".

(Cross-posted at Stones Cry Out. Comments welcome.)

Ho hum...another great economic indicator.
U.S. employers added 207,000 workers in July, more than forecast, suggesting companies are gaining confidence as the economy picks up steam in the second half. The jobless rate held at 5 percent, matching an almost four-year low.

The increase in payrolls exceeded the median estimate of a 180,000 rise and reflected more jobs at retailers, auto dealers and financial services firms. Employment rose by 166,000 jobs in June, more than previously reported, the Labor Department said today in Washington.

U.S. Treasury securities fell after the report suggested Federal Reserve policy makers will extend their series of interest rate increases to forestall an acceleration of inflation. Hourly earnings rose 0.4 percent last month, the most in a year, which economists said will support spending and the economy even as higher gasoline prices take a bigger chunk out of workers' paychecks.

Predictably, Atrios was pessimistic.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Clayton Cramer has come up with an idea for a source of hundreds of thousands of embryonic stem cells every year, without the ethical issues.
There are several sources of embryonic stem cells, however, that provide no ethical problems: non-elective abortions; miscarriages; and deaths of pregnant women. Ectopic pregnancies are one example of a non-elective abortion, and even the Catholic Church recognizes that this is legitimate. Since there are about 100,000 ectopic pregnancies a year, this is a vast number of sources of embryonic stem cells.

Miscarriages also produce embryonic tissue--and since a miscarriage is not an intentional act of killing the embryo, there is no ethical problem is using this tissue for research. I couldn't find a figure for the number of miscarriages annually, but I would be surprised if it isn't in the hundreds of thousands.

At any given time, there are hundreds of thousands of American women who are pregnant. Unsurprisingly, there are on any day hundreds of pregnant women who are killed in car accidents, murders, falls from ladders, or other circumstances where the embryo or fetus can't be saved. These are also legitimate sources of embryonic stem cells.

The third item is a little morbid, but no less a viable source. As much as I've come out against embryonic stem cell research as "human experimentation", I have to admit that these ideas do have merit. As opposed to IVF embryos or abortions, there is no actual choice involved; nature has already taken its course. I consider all these cases a loss of life, but not one where any blame or culpability can typically be assigned. We do have a big source of embryonic stem cells. Is the scientific community willing to work with it?

Clayton does end his post with a reasonable caution.
I can see why some might be concerned about where embryonic stem cell research might take us. For example, imagine that the scientists doing this research find a way to fulfill all the promises that Al Gore and John Edwards made last year: a cure of paralysis; for cancer; for Alzheimer's--in short, the miracle cure. Would this lead to an increase in demand for embryonic stem cells? It certainly would, and I could see a serious debate about whether to use aborted embryos and fetuses in making this miracle cure. I would come down against this--but that isn't the question before us right now. We do have an ethical source for embryonic stem cells for research purposes.

(Cross-posted at Stones Cry Out. Comments welcome.)

Snippets from blogs on Bush's "Intelligent Design should be taught in school" remark. Spot the repeating thread.

Protein Wisdom - "Similarly, I have no problem with Intelligent Design being taught alongside evolution in the context of questions concerning the origin of life-which, whether the President meant to do so or not, is in fact the context into which he placed the question. The origin of life-or first cause-is properly asked within the realm of philosophy or religious studies."

Ballon Juice - "I have no problem with a brief fifteen minute discussion of intelligent design as part of a religious/philosophy class, provided schools offer those courses."

DrivelBlog - In short, let science classes be science classes, and leave theoretical arguments for other classes such as philosophy."

Two Babes and a Brain - "How is this science? How by proving order and adherence to "rules" does this indicate an Intelligent" Design? ... Here is the thing: this theory is taught in philosophy or religion class--not science."

MovieBob - "Matters of faith, spirituality and the supernatural are philosophy, and Intelligent Design belongs in a philosophy class."

Louisiana Libertarian - "Intelligent design is not a serious scientific theory. It is the belief that some "intelligent designer" (ie. God or some space aliens) designed DNA to evolve in a programmed manner. That's not science, that's philosophy. It should be discussed in a religion or philosophy class, not taught as an alternative to evolution."

All these are wonderful suggestions as a potential place to put ID. But of course they're disingenuous because...well, let's let another blogger snippet say it:

L's Simple Observations - "It is a sad day when we are teaching philosophy in our Science classrooms. Maybe we should create an elective in High Schools that simply covers religion and philosophy...oh wait...there's no religion in public schools, but there can be Intelligent Design????"

So thus we have a whole host of people giving a reasonable-sounding suggestion yet which has an absolute zero chance of happening. Religion class? Forget it. Philosophy class? Perhaps as a low-attendance elective.

Any other suggestions? I mean, ones that have a snowball's chance in Havana of actually happening.

My main point here (and I'll admit, it's a little opaque) is that if you don't think ID has any place in school, just say so. That's a debate worth having. But if we're just going to get suggestions that could never happen in today's educational climate, that's not really a debate.

A fair result could be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts on both sides of each question. Oh, that idea isn't original with me. It's a quote from Charles Darwin in the Introduction to "The Origin of Species".

(Cross-posted at Stones Cry Out. Comments welcome.)

Today's Odd "Considerettes" Search Phrase - "losing perspective in ames illusion room" [#5 on Quick]

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Are there more Christians in China than Communists? Looks like it.
China's rulers are said to be ambiguous about Christianity's growth. Some see its emphasis on personal morality as a force for stability. House churches which go along with the authority and theology of the official organisations are often left alone.

But many reject the party's control over Christian practice and doctrine, and these are seen as a threat. After all, 80 million members would mean there are now more Christians than Communists in China.

Few believe that many of the party's 70 million members keep the faith burning any more.

This year the Politburo made it easier for churches to register, but at the same time launched a wave of persecution of those which refused.

But will this make Christians the new "Falun Gong"?

(Cross-posted at Stones Cry Out. Comments welcome.)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Must be a slow day at the DNC.
"President Bush's has dropped the ball when it comes to fully funding physical education in public schools and women's athletic programs at the college level," said Democratic National Committee spokesman Josh Earnest. "His personal habits indicate that physical fitness is not just fun and games for him. Don't our kids deserve the same opportunities to be physically fit? President Bush should stop running from his responsibility and make sure that all American children have access to physical fitness programs."

When all you have to harp on is the President's exercise regime, and indeed you do harp on it, you must not have much else you can talk about.

By the way, here's a question that should really stump Democrats: How in the world can the President be in such good shape if he doesn't have government money and government programs making him exercise? Could it be...personal initiative? Naaah.

The (latest) Air America scandal (besides their ratings) has been simmering for a week or so. Captain Ed has the latest, as well as links to other bloggers and news sites that are covering it.

In the MSM, the story's been relegated to the smaller papers; the NY Sun started with it, and the NY Post has started picking up on it. But consider this: How fast did the MSM pick up on the Rush Limbaugh pain pill story? Pretty quickly. How fast did they swarm over Enron? Pretty quickly. This has elements of both (premier liberal talk show network, and misappropriation of funds, or at least an incredibly sweetheart loan), and yet not a peep from the big boys.

That liberal media.

Monday, August 01, 2005

To those of you upset over the appointment of John Bolton as ambassador the the UN, I have just 3 words for you: Bill Lann Lee.

On "Considerettes Radio" today, the topic was (among other things) China. When I last talked to Bill Bennett on this topic, I said that there were people on both sides of the China debate ("engagement" vs. "isolation") that I respected, and I had a tough time deciding which way I thought we should go. This morning, Bill talked to Arthur Waldron, VP of the International Assessment & Strategy Center who said, among other things, that the human rights situation in China is as bad as it's ever been. It appears that our policy of engagement there hasn't reaped many benefits, so I said that this is making me lean the other direction; a direction Mr. Bennett is leaning as well.

However, I'm including in this clip the first bit from the next caller, who does make a good point that things may be shifting in China. My question would be, "but are they moving as fast as they could be?"

Listen to "Considerettes Radio"! [This recording from Bill Bennett's Morning in America (WGKA, Atlanta, GA on 8/1/2005 8:37am EST (226K).]

Thomas over at has a very impassioned post about why embryonic stem cell research is wrong. He's equally certain that we're going to lose this issue, at least in the short term. An excerpt:
Our Priesthood has declared that embryonic stem cell research is vital. When The Scientific Community tells us that we need something to put off death, we embrace it wholeheartedly. Scientists are no different from other human beings: They want to do Big Things, they want their work to Make a Difference, and they are, as are we all, selfish, flawed creatures. I'm not quite sure when or why we decided to elevate them to the level of a secular priesthood, but we did so, and they are now solemnly assuring us that they need to be able to take people apart for spare parts. Like a good group of Faithful, we will bow to our betters and give them what they demand, for they will reward us with the divine gift of an extra month in the actuarial tables for our fidelity and obedience.

It is precisely that simple. The folks to whom we've delegated far too much of our moral decision-making -- and thank God we held those reins fifty years ago -- are telling us that what the conscience should know is depraved is licit, and more than that, is necessary. They want to play with their toys without moral supervision. They're offering us one heck of a potential payoff. You'd better believe we're going to snap it up.

Read the whole thing. He's not suggesting giving up, but he's letting folks know how he sees the debate going.

(Cross-posted at Stones Cry Out. Comments welcome.)