Friday, November 01, 2002

Well, Isn't That Nice

So, lets talk about our friend and savior, former veep, Mondale. I'm in a pissy mood.

Where Am I, Who Am I

For a second there I thought I woke up in another universe.
Palestinians who launch suicide attacks against Israeli civilians are guilty of "crimes against humanity," and Yasser Arafat has not done enough to deter them, [Human Rights Watch] said Friday.
This has been going on for decades. But lets give HRW the benefit of the doubt, they have been busy gathering evidence. 170 pages worth.
The report, titled "Erased in a Moment: Suicide Bombing Attacks against Israeli Civilians," was the first of its kind by Human Rights Watch.
Human Rights Watch examined bombings by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Those militant groups have most often claimed responsibility for attacks.
And somebody should be held accountable
Israeli military occupation of Palestinian areas was the root cause of the violence.
No, not the Israeli's, even though they are the "root cause".
The group said Hamas' spiritual leader, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, and Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Abdullah Shallah should face criminal investigation for their roles in the attacks.
How do you like that logic? HRW must be lost in the deep dark "Relativism Forest" and trying to find the "Moral Superiority Mountain". So according to their calculation the root of the problem is the "Israeli occupation", but the mullah should be prosecuted. So its the "occupation", Huh? I never thought of that. See I thought it might have something to do with the several wars between the Semites, or the constant propaganda ("kill the Jew", "kill the Jew", "kill America", etc), or the pathetic existence of ordinary Palestinians while Yasser and Co are using interest payments to buy Semtex, or the lack of any law and order courtesy of the mob (aka PLO). Well I am glad that HRW has cleared that up for me.

Thursday, October 31, 2002

The Election Cometh

The infamous NJ senate election is coming. Here is my take on the issues, those being "civil rights",gun laws, defense, social security, abortion, and trial law.

Civil Rights
Nobody is going to say they hate whites, blacks, women, or gays; especially at the national level. These days the candidates differentiate themselves by either being in favor of racial preferences or enforcing equality. Lautenberg fits into the racial preferences column. He has consistently voted in favor of the government discriminating in favor of one group or another. He has voted for giving money to minorities and women business.

Having been a principal in a small business in NY state, where they have the these asinine laws, I can personally attest that these laws are gamed all the time. Special programs for blacks, women or homosexuals is discrimination pure and simple. I have met lots of successful, so-called, minorities, and I have never met one that benefited by getting a state job. People should succeed based on their efforts. Some people seem to think that women, blacks, gays, and Martians are incapable of excellence, and therefore, the taxpayers should fund some sort of jobs program for idiots. Obviously, this is bull. So affirmative action must go. The best and only thing the government should do is treat everybody the same. End of story.

Guns
I have not grown up with guns, but after seeing 3,000 people die I have learned a thing or two. The simple fact is the government cannot save you from danger, seems obvious but a lot of people have never been told this. Even the police, God bless them, mostly solve crimes after they have been committed, they cannot prevent crimes before they happen.

Restrictive gun laws do not, never have and never will, prevent criminals from striking. Look at the crime problem in England. Look at the crime rate in Australia, a country with a frontier ethic like the US. After enacting gun laws their crime rate has gone up during a booming economy, a time that crime should be going down. The gun laws in NJ are such that I can not carry a gun in my car or on my person without breaking the law. All I can do is hope the criminal/lunatic will have the same scruples.

The people in favor of gun control are making my life more dangerous. I used to ignore this issue, but not anymore. Lautenberg's stance on guns is totally unacceptable to me. On top of that Lautenberg has these stupid commercials attacking Forrester for saying "he does not care if his neighbor has assault rifles". Guess what, I don't care if my neighbor has assault rifle either. In fact I would rather that my neighbor has a rifle so he can help protect my ass.

Defense
When it comes to defense issues Lautenberg voted in favor of defense cuts and against attacking Iraq. I don't agree with either of these two votes, but hind-sight is 20/20. Lots of people were voting in favor of defense cuts after the Soviet Union fell.

Social Security
Lautenberg has said Forrester favors privatizing social security, Forrester responded that he favors no such thing. This whole Soc Sec is ridiculous. Soc Sec is a not a pension fund. It is a "ponzi scheme" pure and simple, it works fine when you have lots of youngsters (baby-boomers) paying for the older folks, but when those baby-boomers are ready to retire and there is no wave of youngsters paying for them what is going to happen? Where is the money going to come from? And I don't hear Lautenberg with any idea other than raising taxes.

On top of that Lautenberg has supported taxes on soc sec payments, which is such a scam. Basically, money that was taxed from other people is given to the soc sec recipient and taxed again. This is like the IRS full employment act. I doubt Forrester's plan is perfect or even if he has a plan, but it is definitely preferable to Lautenberg's head-in-the-sand or tax increase idea.

Abortion
Lautenberg has voted against banning partial birth abortion and against maintaining a ban on military abortions. Forrester has no voting record. Forrester's stated position is to keep abortion legal, but against government funding for it. Abortion is a difficult personal issue, the government should not be interfering in personal issues, period. So Forresters stance is acceptable to me.

BTW, abortion causes emotional and health problems (especially late term abortions). While a person has the right to do what they want with their body, why is the gov subsidizing this? From a health policy perspective, adoption is something that is healthier and moral. I rather the gov not get involved at all, but if they are going to be funding something, I would rather see the gov funding adoptions over abortions.

It is the height of hypocrisy to be whining about pigs being eaten (mmmmm bacon), but having no problem with killing a developing human being. Personally, I am all for killing pigs. Neither candidate is against abortion, its just that Lautenberg is very militant on this issue.

Trial Law
What really makes me happy is when I hear about some poor cancer ridden slob being awarded $28 million, or billion, by a jury of his peers. No matter that nobody had him chained up in a cell with nothing to breath but car exhaust (pre catalitic converter). Everytime you here another story about some jackass suing the tobacco company, thank Frank for making it possible. Of course, Frank did not make him sue the company. But the trial lawyer association, whose members make bilions suing tobacco, McDonalds, NYC, etc., asked Frank really nicely to vote against restrictions on their fees and punitive damages. Frank has voted against limiting punitive damages, which is a horrible feature of our judicial system. It allows lawyers to get millions of dollars above and beyond medical or economic damages. In some states these damages are forcing doctors to move their practices to other states. I have not heard Forrester make an issue of this, but Bush has started addressing this. Lautenberg will oppose these types of changes.

The other thing that annoys me about Lautenberg is his constant class-warfare language - this rich guy Forrester is running and because he is rich he will not look after your interests. First of all Lautenberg is a multi-millionaire who made his money with a computer services firm. I want my senator to be smart and driven, I am not going to vote for some jackass because he is poor. Why he uses this rhetoric to attack Forrester is beyond me and unbecoming of Lautenberg.

When I look at the two candidates I am largely in agreement with Forrester. Lautenberg has the handicap of a voting record, so you basically know how he will vote. I don't want Lautenberg's votes. The problem with Forrester is he has not spent enough effort explaining his ideas. If I was him my answer to Lautenberg's gun attack adds would be "Hell yes, I respect the US Constitution, don't you? And a US citizen should never be forced to hope the cavalry will arrive before the criminal/terrorist decides he is tired of waiting". Forrester is another data point that proves Republicans are the "stupid party".

OK, so lets review. Dems are socialists, anti-freedom and evil. Reps are lost and often stupid. Libertarians are on target, and if the socialists were not so close to winning I would vote for the Libertarian.

Now We're Talking

Chechen Terrorists to be Buried in Pigskin (via Israpundit) .
Russian security forces have decided to bury the terrorists from last's week's hostage siege wrapped in pig's skin.
For the record, Val had come up with this idea after Sept 11, 2001. Apparently, Val is a Colonel. "Retired" of course.

Correlation is Not Causation

Correlation is not causation but... The Justice Dept is cracking down on voter fraud and Democrats tout voter-turnout plan.

YES. I am insinuating. How can you not see what a power hungry and corrupt party the Dems have become after that display in Minnesota. OR, is this a consipracy by the Bush Administration?

BTW, why is Mondale still using those Wellstone posters. Can't he send somebody to Staples to have his own signs made up. Or get some of his old signs out of the garage.

Very Interesting

Check out this shockwave piece. You need to have your speakers turned up because the music is very faint.

What The...

Jam Master Jay was shot and killed in Queens yesterday. What is this world coming to? You have to wonder. Buildings being blownup by lunatics, Sugar Hill records burning down, socialists in government, and now this. I just don't know what to do, I'm at wits end. The end of my rope. This is the last straw. Have to get back into the bunker or move to Switzerland.

It Must Be the Genes

Mr Powell (son of the Powell) gave a speech in Colorado about reorganizing how the FCC treats spectrum. From this WSJ article (or this Mercury news article) it sounds encouraging. He points out that allocating spectrum to prevent interference is outdated. Current radio (ie cellular) technology is designed to work in a "noisy" environment, so the current FCC regime creates a "shortage" which can easily be remedied. This "shortage" has also pushed the price of spectrum far higher than it needs to be. So if the FCC does away with the spectrum allocation you can expect more clever people with clever ways of using the airwaves. My favorite idea is to implement teleportation, it would greatly improve my commute and quality of life.

But the current phone companies will scream bloody murder, they borrowed billions of USD to "buy" this stuff. The first critique from the phone companies came via the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association: "There is a legitimate role for government in preventing spectrum anarchy where the absence of rules increases interference and degrades the consumer experience." Now lets not panic, no hyperbole, we don't want SPECTRUM ANARCHY. Apparently, the phone companies cannot provide a "consumer experience" without the government's regulation. HA!!!. The phone companies will likely bitterly resist any rule changes. I can't blame them, they have invested a lot of time and effort based on the rules the government mandated and now the gov is changing the rules. The old rules were stupid, and should be changed. But not all phone companies will be equally impacted. For starters companies like Sprint have spent less on spectrum than Verizon. So changes in the rules and value of the spectrum may leave Sprint with more options.

The FCC will have more concrete recommendations in the coming weeks. In December they will start the public comment phase of their rule-making process.

Monday, October 28, 2002

The Third Party

The Daily Telegraph is making too much of the coming Democrat defeat in NY's race for governor. For those who don't care about what happens in NY state politics (which is very much a machine operation), currently, the polls show Pataki(Republican), Golisano(Independence) and McCall(Democratic) in that order. So the "big" news is that McCall may finish third.

NY state is divided between NYC and everything else. NYC is very,very,very liberal and upstate is where the more rational people live (Ed- I have lived in both places so therefore I am an authority). NY state tends to vote Democratic, so when a candidate like McCall fails to put up a fight it is an embarrassment. McCall was the Comptroller for NY for a long time (lots of experience in Albany) and is black (this makes Democrats automatically love him). But, snide comments aside, McCall is a good candidate, maybe even better than Pataki (I don't see how he could be worse). The problem for McCall is that Pataki has outmaneuvered him by doling out the pork. Pataki has lined up support from almost every union in the state, by negotiating benefit increases for many of the state's unions. How will Pataki pay for this? He won't, the citizens of NY state will. But poor Carl was left out in the cold. The usual Democrat constituency of unions and ambulance chasers were not there for him.

The Telegraph points to the McCall loss as evidence that the state is not a safe Democratic haven and is an embarrassment to Hillary Clinton. If Pataki was not sliding to socialism than I would agree with them. It seems the problem is that the Democrats were not prepared for how "red" Pataki has become. In the next election you can expect the parties move further left, given the success Pataki has had this year with that strategy.

The Telegraph's criticism of Hillary Clinton's potential vulnerability has some merit. But not for the reason they describe (ie, failure to help the Democratic party win in NY). She is in danger because many people don't like and do not trust her, outside her loyal constituency of Manhattanites. Last election she won against a pathetically weak opponent. Unless she demonstrates something incredible I don't see her having an easy time next election. BTW, I still hear folks refer to her as "Billary".

Vietnam Remembered

Small observation. Whether you think escalating the war with Iraq is a good idea, all the reminiscence about Vietnam seems to indicate the anti-war left is scraping the bottom of the barrel. Since they have not been able to get any traction from rational arguments they fall back on "pop" (aka heavily edited) versions of history.

Monday morning

A clerk in a Queens Deli thwarts a robbery via a handgun. Good job.

Cable Nitwit Network will stop its 24 hour "sniper coverage", they will be scaling back to 4 hours per day. The remaining 20 hours will be filled with Wellstone tributes, pithy observations about the money spent during the election, what Wellstone thought about other people spending money on the election, and a special on Walter Mondale. The Walter Mondale piece will try to steer clear of anything pertinent like Mondale's role in former US President, and Nobel Laureate, Jimmy Carter's wildly popular and successful term in office.

Lula became First Among Equals President of Brazil.

A USAID official was assassinated in Amman, Jordan. Probably by President Arrafat or President Hussein (as per Debka).

Carl McCall (Democrat candidate for governor of NY) is quickly approaching snowball status in his personal hell. Rumors are floating that George Pataki (Rebulican governor of NY) will switch parties. The popular Republican governor may change his party affiliation to the Socialist Party. With Pataki's strong support from unions he plans to save the citizen's of NY by mandating lower prices for all goods, starting with medicine.

CNN and ABC might still merge. In an unprecedent effort to produce more inconcequential and inaccurate "news" reports and to minimize shareholder value, CNN and ABC may yet combine their faltering and increasingly unimportant news divisions. (Ed- Anything that costs Ted Turner money can't be all bad)

Richard Harris died. Not only does his inconsiderate death throw a wrench in the works for Warner Bros, but it upsets me personally. I really liked Camelot, and still feel very sorry for King Arthur (played by Richard Harris).

At the APEC summit leaders were trying to coax the North Korean delegation to "give up their nukes". Japanese PM Koizumi offered the North Korean leader "500,000 Acura CL automobiles", South Korean president offered "500,000 tons of steel", and Bill Gates offered free lifetime Windows upgrades for all Communist Party members. The North Korean response was "we will accept all your offers in return for not killing you and your people with our nuclear weapons".

Yours truly, had the pleasure of being counted in a political poll (for whom, by whom, God knows) regarding the NJ Senate rate. To the best of my recollection I answered
- I had a favourable opinion of "gun nut" Forrester and an unfavourable opinion of "class-warrior" Lautenberg.
- I was 100% very likely to vote.
- I am a liberal. What ever that means.
- I support the NRA.
- I support a woman's right to choose an abortion. (Ed- mainly because until I can figure out when is a fetus close enough to being human, I'll err on the side of freedom. Neither candidate is opposed to abortion, so I don't know why they asked me this question).