Thursday, July 28, 2005
At What Price Environmentalism?
Most regular readers know I'm a huge fan of America's Space Program. I stand in awe of men and women who boldly go into space for the sake of adventure and exploration. What they do is truly phenomenal.
In order to do what they do, they place their lives in the hands of the hundreds of thousands of people who design, build, and maintain the equipment that stands between the astronauts and the vacuum of space - not mentioning the tremendously dangerous journey there and back.
The milestones of space travel are marked with the graves of heroes. Apollo I. Challenger. Columbia.
Space travel is dangerous. Everyone involved knows that. One assumes that everything possible is done to prevent accidents. One assumes the very best equipment and material is used in the process.
Mike's Noise has an interesting take on the insulation used on the Shuttle's main fuel tank. While I don't understand all the technical aspects (which he has very thoroughly documented), I do understand that a change made to the insulation in 1997 drastically increased the amount of damage suffered by the heat shield tiles that protect the shuttle on re-entry.
Why, pray tell, was this change made? Environmental regulations - specifically those banning the use of CFCs.
Go read Mike's post. Then try and figure out the marginal value of CFC laden insulation vs. the seven lives of the crew of Columbia.
I echo the sentiment of Nobel Laureate Richard P. Feynman when he said
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.The best of intentions cannot repeal laws of nature.
Here endeth the lesson.
HT - Soxblog
Another Reason I Like John Roberts
If John Roberts' past margin comments are anything of a crystal ball as to how he'll write SCOTUS opinions, the next 30 some years should be filled with some true comic relief.
From the July 28th pages of the Old Gray Lady (AKA the New York Times:
There was also the time he offered a snide analysis, in an internal White House memorandum, of a proposal from a member of the House, Elliott H. Levitas. After the Supreme Court struck down efforts by Congress to veto actions taken by the executive branch, Mr. Levitas, a Democrat from Georgia, proposed that the White House and Congress convene a "conference on power-sharing" to codify the duties of each branch of government.Memo to NYT writers John Broder and Carolyn Marshall - Judge Roberts' analysis of Levitas' proposal was not snide, it was a blunt statement of facts obvious to anyone who has ever sat through a High School civics class. Perhaps you missed that class. You might want to find a school and audit the class before you write your column and look like mindless zombies.
Asked to comment on the congressman's proposal, Mr. Roberts mocked the idea, and him. "There already has, of course, been a 'Conference on Power Sharing,' " Mr. Roberts wrote in a memo to Mr. Fielding. "It took place in Philadelphia's Constitution Hall in 1787, and someone should tell Levitas about it and the 'report' it issued."
Hat Tip to the Powerline Boys.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
MSM Outs Roberts As "Reagan Supporter"
Today's Washington Post prints a stunning revelation about W's SCOTUS nominee, John G. Roberts, Jr.
While working in the White House during the early years of the Ronaldus Magnus Administration (that's Reagan for those of you unfamiliar with my nicknames) Roberts was a "significant backstage player". He stated his opinions strongly and forcefully, often running up against the conventional wisdom proffered by older colleagues.
I'm waiting for the terms "arrogant" and "abrasive" to be applied to Roberts. I don't think I'll have to wait too long. Perhaps the MSM is still sitting in stunned disbelief after learning that, while working for Reagan, Roberts actually did his job by working to further the goals of the Reagan Administration.
Stunning the MSM is not exceptionally difficult.
I won't go into detail on the information gleaned from some 75,000 pages of material released from the White House archives. I have no doubt MSM reporters are wasting time doing that right now.
I will but share one quote that gives Judge Roberts my instant admiration. When commenting on a colleague's interpretation on the constitutionality of certain pieces of legislation where the colleague (a supervisor) mentioned that opposing said legislation would "be perceived as a courageous and highly principled position, especially in the press" Roberts replied:
Real courage would be to read the Constitution as it should be read...Why is this considered to be such a surprising statement? Is it possible Judge Roberts doesn't look at the Constitution as an ever changing, malleable document? Does he believe the words written so many years ago actually still have meaning?
In the immortal words of Casablanca's bumbling police inspector, "I'm shocked. Shocked!"
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
From The Mouths Of Babes
Matt over at Blackfive pointed me to this posting on the blog Iraq War Today. I won't steal any of Brittany's thunder. She's eight years old and understands a lot more than most left wing politicans and pundits do.
Godspeed to the crew of the Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-114) - Return to Flight.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Scotty Enters The Final Frontier
James Doohan, most notable for his role as Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott in Star Trek (The Original Series) passed away on June 20, 2005 at the age of 85.
Fictionally, he could always be counted on to beam Captian Kirk out of an impossibly tight spot, or deliver Warp Speed at a critical moment. Scotty was the miracle worker. If Scotty couldn't fix it, you know you were truly screwed.
One thing I did not know about Doohan was his life prior to becoming the famous Scotty. The Canadian born Doohan was among those brave men who stormed the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944. You can read the complete account here.
I wish the MSM would report more about the true heroics of Hollywood's stars.
HT - Mudville
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Does Judge Roberts wear secret, multi-lensed glasses?
The title of this post makes reference to the recent film, "National Treasure". During a worldwide treasure hunt, the characters end up stealing the Declaration of Independence in order to obtain "hidden clues" regarding the whereabouts of an invaluable treasure.
In one scene, the Declaration is squirted with lemon juice while simultaneously being blasted with a hair dryer. A hidden message appears. In another scene, the characters don an antique pair of colored, multi-lensed glasses, and are thus able to read a message otherwise invisible to the naked eye.
This kind of fantasy is all fine and well for a fictional movie plot. However, when it comes to interpreting the Constitution of the United States of America, we don't need someone who "sees what others can't see".
To my knowledge, there are no hidden messages in the Constitution of the United States of America. Yet, many SCOTUS justices, both past and present, seem to be able to "see" hidden messages in the Constitution not apparent to anyone else. I'm not sure if they are wearing funny x-ray glasses, if they've had too much to drink at lunch, or if they are simply too blinded by partisan ideals to clearly interpret the Law of the Land.
I simply hope that President Bush has thoroughly examined Justice Roberts' spectacles, for the Constitution is our true national treasure.
With that I return to my adventures in capitalism.
SCOTUS UPDATE 1: Vacationing SOTR Honorary Legal Counsel "The Hedgehog" has prescribed a prerequisite reading assignment for the upcoming confirmation hearings.
SCOTUS UPDATE 2: The law blog of Goldstein and Howe has a selection of Judge Roberts' judicial record (hat tip to Sasha at Conservative Response).
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Read the Hitchens Smackdown
Slate's Christopher Hitchens has a smackdown piece on the whole Rove non-controversial controversy. I commend it for your reading.
HT to the Hedgehog.
Monday, July 18, 2005
It is with sadness that I take a moment today to announce the passing of my Grandpa Frank. He passed away yesterday in the home he has lived in for over 60 years, surrounded by his children and grandchildren. While the official cause of death will most likely be listed as kidney failure, Frank was 94 - or as he liked to insist - in his 95th year. His death, while not un-expected, leaves a void in the lives of those he touched that is unlikely to be filled.
All men die, but few men truly live. Frank was a man who truly lived.
Born in 1911 to Danish immigrants, he learned a strong work ethic early in life. He often said he came from good stock and made sure his children and grandchildren understood what it meant to work. He expected much from us, and I'd like to think we've done him proud.
He saw and witnessed much during his many years. When Frank was born, the only thing flying in the skies above him were the birds. During his life he read about the Wright Brother's slipping the surly bonds of earth. Man broke the sound barrier, journeyed to the moon, and made space travel a habit while Frank was with us. His descendants include Navy and Air Force pilots.
Frank was an avid Scouter. He encouraged all of his sons and grandsons to join and progress through the ranks of the Boy Scouts of America. While I cannot give a concrete number as to how many Eagles can be counted among his progeny, but I know of at least 12. Franks scouting awards include the Silver Beaver, Buffalo, and Fox. Last year, evidently upon learning Frank was still alive, the Boy Scouts saw fit to give him an award I have never seen before. Numerical year pins are (or at least were) given out for years of service. Some people have 10 year pins, fewer have 25 and 30 year pins. Frank has a pin for 85 years of service.
He met and married the woman I would come to know as Grandma LaRae while he attended Utah State University. They lived through the Great Depression and World War II early in their marriage. Frank was too old (even back then) to be drafted for military service. He never really spoke of what he did during those years. One day, as I was looking for something else at his house, I stumbled upon a signed certificate thanking Frank for service to his country. I asked him about it. Turns out Frank was one of the many thousands of people working on the Manhattan Project. For those of you unfamiliar with that historical reference, those are the people who created the Atomic bombs that ended World War II.
Frank was very unassuming about his role. He did what his country asked of him. They all did.
He and LaRae would go on to raise six children. He held many different jobs before finally becoming a safety inspector of sorts for a well known insurance company. In the years immediately following World War II they bought a small house in the Sugarhouse neighborhood of Salt Lake City. His job required him to inspect many a building in Salt Lake City, including the Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Many stories are told of the inspiration that went into that building. Frank got to witness the uncovering of many of them. Engineers were very concerned about the work required to install elevators in the Temple, as it is built out of granite. Frank tells many a story about their relief when they found shafts had been left in place - ready for the as yet un-invented elevators. The shafts were exactly the right size for the first elevators. When new elevators were to be installed - they were larger than the originals and left no room for the counter weights. It took several weeks to chisel a out a space for the counter weights. One can only imagine how long it would have taken to blast the shafts into place.
Of all the things Frank taught me, there are two that stand out most in my mind.
First, its important to be able to make a decision.
When my family moved to Colorado and purchased our first house, we decided to wall off a section of the downstairs basement to create another bedroom. In order to do this we had to create a door where a wall existed. Mother Cordeiro (Frank's daughter) was unsure of exactly where to put this door. After about an hour of her indecision, she went over to a point in the wall and said, "Maybe this would be a good spot for the door. But I'm not sure."
She then turned her back for a second, furrowing her brow. From behind her came a large CRACK! Frank had taken his hammer and punched a hole in the sheet rock. "The door goes here," he stated. Then he went to work.
Second, think for yourself.
I was in the middle of moving myself, and my family (which at that time consisted of the Ravishing Mrs. Cordeiro and the very young Corderinho) from Montana to California. Mother and Father Cordeiro had tried (and failed) to convince me that Utah would be as good a place to go to grad school as would be California. As was my custom any time I was in Salt Lake City, I passed by Frank's house. He was sitting in his usual spot - by the window overlooking the front porch - and we had the following exchange:
Frank: So you're moving to California.
Me: Yep, Grandpa. Got the truck loaded up and we're ready to go.
Frank: Your mother probably thinks you have rocks in your head.
Me: That she does.
Frank (after a very long pause): Well, at least they're your own rocks.
I should mention here that Frank quelled Mother Cordeiro's fears about my marrying the young woman who would become the Ravishing Mrs. Cordeiro. He simply told his daughter "Cordeiro needs to marry this girl." That was the end of that.
As marriages go, Frank had a very discerning eye. Most, if not all, of his grandkids would bring their prospective mates by to meet him. Some passed his tests. Some were weighed in the balance and found to be wanting. None of those found to be wanting made the cut. Rumor has it they didn't bring chocolate.
Frank was preceded in death some 25 years ago by his beloved LaRae. Reunited after such a long separation, they are no doubt enjoying each other's company in the eternities.
There are many, many more parts of Frank's life I want to share, and perhaps someday I'll get around to writing them down before memory fades. For now, let me just say farewell, Frank. We'll miss your wit, your wisdom, and your company. You were surrounded by loved ones here on earth and are no doubt surrounded by them now.
Rest well, you've earned it many times over.
Detroit Imam's Hypocrisy
In my perusal of the RealClearPolitics commentary blog today, I came across a piece written by Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi, a muslim Imam in Detroit. The title of his article is It's time to eliminate causes of terror. I read the article, hoping that, for the first time in my memory, an Imam would finally denounce terrorism as a weapon of war. I was hoping he would state, for the record, terrorism is wrong - no matter what the venue or target.
To his limited credit, he did start off that way. That said, it only took him eight short paragraphs to pin the blame for terrorists and terrorism on W and Rummy.
I quote from his statement:
We still grieve the murder of Imam Ali in 661 A.D. while he was doing his morning prayer in Kufa, Iraq. Ali, the Prophet Mohammed's cousin, son-in-law and closest disciple, the first man to ever declare his faith in Islam, was killed by a religious extremist as an infidel.I'm sorry for your loss - of one man - (in 661), Imam. Myself, I'm still grieving for the 3,000 countrymen lost (in 2001) to the murdering hands of someone who professed membership in your religion.
We, the imams of the Michigan mosques, gathered in Dearborn last week to condemn the recent crime in London and to announce anything harmful to human society is forbidden in Islam. We want everybody to know that al-Qaida is not a spokesman for the 1.2 billion peace-loving Muslims of the world.Well, Imam, in case you haven't noticed, the loudest voices coming from the Muslim world are not those proclaiming peace and co-existence. The silence coming from the Middle Eastern Imams on the use of terrorism is deafening. While I appreciate you taking the time to write a 546 word essay in a Tier 2 newspaper that few people will ever see, I do not think I am alone when I state it is not enough and is far, far too late.
We are sick and tired of being called kafirs (infidels) by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and "us" and "them" by some of our Christian neighbors, while in Europe our mosques and innocent communities have become the targets of a blind backlash.Imam, we are sick and tired of people claiming your ideology blowing themselves up and killing innocents. Here's a question for you. Where do you believe the London assassins were indoctrinated into an ideology that compelled them to kill so many of their fellow Londoners? While it may have come from family, and some of them may have visited Muslim countries, I have no doubt the seed of hate and destruction was planted and nourished in a London mosque.Where is your denunciation of that practice, Imam? Where is it?
As long as Jews can immigrate to Israel by the tens of thousands each year while Palestinians stay hungry and homeless, I am afraid this will contribute to the violence in the Middle East and elsewhere.Finally, at the very tail end of your piece, when most everyone else has written you off as non-sensical, you get to the underlying cause of your hatred. Israel. Jews. Palestine. Tell me, Imam, where is the compassion of Islam toward your Palestinian brethren. Why is it, with all the wealth flowing in your Muslim nations, that no homeland or refuge has been established for this impoverished people? These people are starving and homeless because as long as they are kept in such a manner, you have a pulpit from which to spew your vile hatred.
You label W as the "best terrorist recruiting sergeant" al-Qaida ever had. You blame Rummy for inciting Islamic extremism with "some unthoughtful words and irresponsible statements", yet you say (and most likely do) nothing about the extremism that is most likely being taught and propagated in your own mosque. You do nothing to prevent the use of your mosques and religion as recruiting places and tools by which al-Qaida launches its attacks.
Imam, you had an opportunity to do some good and heal some rifts here. You failed in every way possible and for that I pity you.
Here endeth the lesson.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Islamofascist Murdering Thugs Attempt To Win Friends And Influence People
So, you are Zarqawi and you want to influence the tide and tone of public opinion in Baghdad. You ask yourself, "what's the best way to win people to my side of the argument?"
Answer: Kill 27 and would 70 others with a drive-by car bomb.
So, who were the targets of this attack? Glad you asked.
Included in the dead were 18 children and teenagers. Their crime? Gathering around a HUMVEE to get candy and toys from American soldiers. Twelve of the dead were aged 13 or younger. Six were 14-17. Also among the targets of the attack was newborn baby.
Really good targeting there, Mr. Zarqawi. You continually test the bottom limits of my sliding scale of humanity.
Your days are numbered. Unfortunately for you, but fortunate for defenders of freedom and civilization, said days are far fewer than you imagine.
Here endeth the lesson.
Red State Rant Goes Green
Up until now, my interaction with the boys over at Red State Rant consisted of using (with permission) their picture of Howie strangling a kitten.
Well, today, I commend for your reading the story of Jarhead's re-entry into the United States Marine Corps. For the record, Jarhead, we of the SOTR are damn proud of you and thank you for your service.
Godspeed, Semper Fi, and be safe.
The Joe Wilson Show Starring Chuck Schumer
Joe Wilson made a very important decision today. He chose to stand beside the Junior Senator from the State of New York, Chuck Schumer, at a press conference to be held this afternoon.
Why is this an important decision? Most of Washington knows standing between Schumer and a microphone could be a health risk.
Wilson is doing his best to extend his 15 minutes of fame, which has already been up for some time. His one claim to fame - that he was sent to Niger on an errand from Big Time, has been so thoroughly discredited the only people paying attention to it work for the MSM.
In this press conference, Wilson, and no doubt Schumer, will call on W to fire Karl Rove, have him drawn, quartered, and dragged through the streets of Washington and his head placed on a pike to be raised above the DNC headquarters.
Maybe I exaggerate a tad.
Memo to Joe: Your 15 minutes are up. Pound Sand.
Here endeth the lesson.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Karl Rove and Deep Throat
With all the dust up on what exactly Karl Rove said to whom about what, I find myself pondering a few questions.
Principal among these questions is "Where is the MSM's respect for the widely used and often quoted but never revealed (on pain of death or - even worse - ostracization) Anonymous High Level Administration Sources?"
Oh, I forgot, we're talking about Karl Rove, who in the eyes of the media is the modern day equivalent of a Sith Lord. I digress.
For historical reference, I present SOTR Exhibit 1 - Mark Felt. Felt was the #2 man at the FBI during Watergate. In his spare time, which he evidently had a lot of, he fed inside (classified, secret, and otherwise official) information to the Washington Post's Dynamic Duo of Woodward and Bernstein. Yes, for those of you who missed the great revelation, Mark Felt was Deep Throat.
Now let's be blunt here. Mark Felt violated his sworn oath of office and committed so many crimes in passing whatever information he passed to W & B that I can't list them all here for fear of developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Felt was little more than a disgruntled employee (having been passed over for the #1 FBI job) with an ax to grind.
Never the less, Mr. Felt is considered by the elites in the MSM (especially Woodward and Bernstein) to be a National Hero equal to any of those who stormed the beaches of Normandy or Iwo Jima. Why is this so? Because Felt's actions contributed in large part to the downfall of Richard Nixon. And Nixon was then, as Rove is now, the personification of Evil Incarnate.
Somehow Felt being Deep Throat is laudable and praise worthy, but Rove being a background source for Time Magazine's Mark Cooper is worthy of summary execution.
I'm not going to get into too many details of what Karl Rove may or may not have done. From what I'm able to filter out from the MSM blowtorch is Rove spoke on "double secret deep background" to Cooper about Joe Wilson's claims his Niger mission had been authorized by Big Time and George Tenet.
(For the record, Wilson's authorization claims, in addition to most if not all of his claims regarding his Niger mission have been proven to be unfounded and outright fabrications.)
During this conversation, Rove told Cooper that Wilson's mission had been authorized by the CIA - evidently at the urging of Wilson's wife who works at Langley.
Now remember, this whole thing erupted because of a column written by Robert Novak. Novak eluded to Wilson's wife and her covert status. Said covert status was evidently known to just about everyone in Washington anyway. Novak didn't think he was telling anyone anything they didn't already know.
Enter Senator Slow Joe Biden, who claims Rove's conversation with Cooper was the real outing of Wilson's wife. He states Rove, while not mentioning Wilson's wife's name but revealing who she worked for is a "distinction without a difference". I wonder who he plagarized that phrase from. Biden hasn't had an original thought in nearly 30 years.
The MSM has a problem here. They can whine all they want about Rove's parsing of words and terminology, but remember, this is the same MSM who stood stalwartly by Bill "der Schliekmeister" Clinton as he attempted to redefine the meaning of "is".
In the mean time, I guess the MSM's respect for anonymous sources depends on who, and more importantly, which party is the subject of the witch hunt.
Here endeth the lesson.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Confused Senate Democrats
MSNBC reports that Democrats put forth Supreme Court names.
According to the report, Senators Pat "Leaky Leahy (D-VT), ranking minority member on the Senate Judiciary Committee and Dusty Harry (D-Circus Circus Casino), Senate Minority Leader recently met with W, Big Time, and Senators Arlen Specter (r-PA) and Bill Frist (R-TN) - the Senate Majority Leader.
In this meeting, Leaky and Dusty Harry put forth some names for consideration to fill the vacancy on the SCOTUS.
This action by these two Senators - of the Minority Party - shows there utter lack of comprehension of the way government works.
The job of the Senate, according to a strict interpretation of the "Advise and Consent" clause, is to confirm or reject Judicial (or any other) nominees by an up or down simple majority vote. In no place, clause, or ammendment to the Constitution will you find anything granting the Senate the power to appoint, or suggest the appointment, of any nominee.
The job of nomination is placed squarely and soley within the Executive Branch of Governement. For those of you, like Leaky Leahy and Dusty Harry, who skipped or slept through High School civics, the Executive Branch of Goverment is headed by the President of the United States, referred to in the Constitution as the Chief Executive.
Memo to Leaky Leahy and Dusty Harry: You are not, collectively or individually, the Chief Executive.
My personal hope is that the paper with the suggessted nominees be filed in the circular file cabinet under W's desk.
Here endeth the lesson.
The Right Stuff
Sometime tomorrow, barring any delays, glitches, or other unforeseen circumstances America will return to space on the wings of the Space Shuttle Discovery. It has been a long, tough, and painful return since the destruction of Columbia.
It's about time.
There is something uniquely American about space flight. Yes, I know the Europeans have something akin to a space program. I know the Russians launch rockets every now and then. China even managed to get some guy into a few low-earth orbits.
China thought that was a big deal. Americans (and Russians) yawned. After all, Yuri Gagarin and Alan Shepherd did that some 40 years ago.
They did it in an age where computers were considered phenomenal if they could fit in a single room. Neil Armstrong landed on the moon using technology that today would be considered unsafe and dangerous. My PDA has more processing power than the entire NASA Apollo program used to fling men to the moon and back.
And, just to be a little America-centric, the only flag planted on extraterrestrial soil is Old Glory. Memo to Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee - that flag is on the moon, not Mars. We haven't landed astronauts there - yet.
Critics will decry the money spent on space exploration and whine that said funds are more desperately needed here on earth rather than being spent chasing the stars. Perhaps.
The urge to explore is innately human. Space truly represents the Final Frontier, and despite the critics, man (and woman) will continue to push the barriers of human endurance and experience to go where no one has gone before.
Such exploration is inherently dangerous. Apollo I, Challenger, and Columbia are very stark reminders of that painful reality. Yet we continue - fully aware of the perils and dangers inherent in our endeavors. Why we do so can never be fully explained to someone who does not understand the driving factors behind exploration.
There are some 2 million parts (all built - as Armageddon's Rockhound so eloquently stated - by the lowest bidder) to a Space Shuttle, and thus 2 million things that can go wrong. Somehow we still get seven of the best and brightest to strap themselves on a towering pillar of rocket fuel to be flung into space. Some people think they're crazy.
Well, add me to the list. Memo to NASA: If anyone of your astronauts wants off this mission (or any other for that matter) give me a call.
Godspeed to the crew of Return to Flight - STS-114.
Monday, July 11, 2005
The Special Operations community of the United States Armed Forces suffered a tragic loss over the past few weeks. All told, 19 SEALs, Army Special Forces, and other support personnel were killed in action in the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan.
Some rumors report the special ops personnel might have been getting close to Binny Laden.
Froggy Ruminations has information on memorial services for the fallen.
Memo to the Taliban thugs: Of all the people you could have pissed off, SEALs are the most vindictive. Make your peace with Allah.
Pictures from the Punchbowl Memorial for the fallen SEALs.
Hat Tip to the Blogfather.
We all need some comic relief every now and then - especially on a Monday. Turn up the volume and enjoy.
*Hat Tip to the Blogfather
Arlen Specter - O'Connor for Chief Justice
Evidently Senator Arlen Specter (r-Pa) either didn't recieve or didn't understand the letter former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor sent to W a few weeks ago.
Former Justice O'Connor retired from the SCOTUS. That means she hung up her robe and has headed home. Maybe she'll teach a law class. Maybe she'll take up gardening. What she won't do is make rulings from the bench. That's what retirement means.
Senator Specter eluded to how nice it would be to have her as Chief Justice for a year, perhaps.
Somebody please check this guy's hearing aid.
Wasting Away in Managerville
Perhaps Bill Coleman of Salary.com reads SOTR?
I'm also guessing that in government circles the figure is much higher than 2 hours. That's just a hunch, though.
My question is, where are these employees' managers? I had an employee who wasted a considerable amount of time online, and consumed considerable electronic resources in online activities. Note I said "had", the past tense of "have". I can understand that there are slow times and down times, but if people are consistently wasting 2 hours a day, then I say fire their managers and hire someone who knows how to keep people working.
Time is money.
And speaking of time, money, and work, I now return to my adventures in capitalism.
Friday, July 08, 2005
Churchill vs. Chamberlin
Yesterday's terrorist attacks in London set a renewed stage for the debate in how to respond to these acts perpetrated by murdering islamofascist thugs. When the smoke clears, the two sides boil down to two distinct philosophies.
First you have the Neville "Peace In Our Time" Chamberlin philosophy. For those of you who slept through High School history, pay attention this time. Chamberlin was Prime Minister of England in the years leading up to World War II. Believing he could save the world from war, he flew to Hitler's Germany to negotiate (appease) a murdering thug. Diplomacy, in Chamberlin's mind, would win over the bayonet. The only picture most anyone sees of Chamberlin is him standing on the tarmac in London, waving a piece of paper and declaring there would be "Peace In Our Time".
Millions of innocent lives later, he was proven wrong.
On the other side, you have the Winston "Never Give Up, Never Surrender" Churchill. Churchill's philosophy, and what he is remembered most for, was to fight the enemy wherever there was an enemy to fight. Churchill's leadership in time of war, along with a good helping of British blood, sweat, and tears is the reason why most of Europe does not speak German today.
In the coming days much will be heard from Sir Robin's Run Away Chorus. You will hear them whine "See, we told you this would happen. You shouldn't have invaded Iraq or Afghanistan. It only makes them angry. When they get angry, they attack. If we just leave them alone, they'll go away and we can sip our lattes in peace."
You may think I'm being sarcastic. I wish I was. As proof of this absurd argument, I cite the infamous Prisoner (of what I'm still not quite sure) - a frequent commenter here at the SOTR:
Let me end with this: the feud must end. As history has proven, there are only two ways to end one. Destroy the enemy or come to an agreement that both sides can accept. Neither Al Queda and associated Muslim fundamentals nor America and its coalition partners seem willing to build any kind of peace. Both sides claim there is no negotiating with the other. The barbed-wire has been laid out and any side that steps into no-man's land will breathe their last.While he makes some valid points, his thought process ends up at the wrong destination. You cannot make peace with a murdering ideology bent on the destruction of your civilization. Islamofascist terrorists are not interested in negotiating a settlement. They hate the United States specifically and western ideology in general.
So, thus New York, Madrid and London are only the beginning. That is if we ignore Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's resolve in evacuating the Gaza Strip. It can't be easy, though many claim the way of peace is that of a coward or traitor. But there needs to be more world leaders who are willing to take the harder path of peace rather than the slow descent into war.
The Islamofascist Thugs have been waging this war for nearly 30 years. They saw Carter's inept handling of the Iran Hostage Crisis, Reagan's withdrawal of the Marines from Lebanon, Clinton's retreat from Somalia, his failure to respond to the USS Cole bombing and the two embassy attacks as American weakness. Their largest attack took place on American soil, but they've followed up in Bali and now in London. This is a war of ideology, not of territory or conquest.
Peace will not occur until victory is won. This victory will be won by the destruction of the enemy, his will to fight, and those who sustain him. It must be fought ruthlessly wherever the enemy may be found. Peace will not be negotiated. You don't negotiate with people who fly planes into buildings, bomb subways, and decapitate hostages with dull butcher knives. You shoot, bomb, eviscerate, incinerate or otherwise kill them. Period. That, dear Prisoner, is the path to peace.
Personally, I believe the Islamofascist terrorist thugs have done little more than embolden the resolve of the United States and the United Kingdom to win the Global War on Terror. History often repeats itself, and Churchill beats Chamberlin every time.
Here endeth the lesson.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Another Blip on the Mitt Radar
The July 2, 2005 issue of "The Economist" features another article about Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and his presidential aspirations.
Mr. Romney's advisors admit that he is testing the waters. He has a chance. Republicans like governors, and Romney is also a self-made squillionaire with executive-style hair and no apparent vices. He drinks nothing stronger than fruit juice, and his idea of strong language is "h-e-double-hockey-sticks".One must admit, John Edwards' hair doesn't hold a candle to Mitt Romney's.
We Are All Britons Today
Following the example of the infamous Captain Ed, We join with him in stating for the record, today we are all Britons. July 7, 2005 will be much the same as September 11, 2001. We at the SOTR stand with our British brethren in their hour of mourning. More importantly, we stand with them in the struggle agains the murdering terrorist thugs who inflict violence on people whose only crime is going to work in the morning.
You are not alone.
Blair Holding Firm
"It's important, however, that those engaged in terrorism realize that our determination to defend our values and our way of life is greater than their determination to cause death and destruction to innocent people in a desire to impose extremism on the world.
"Whatever they do, it is our determination that they will never succeed in destroying what we hold dear in this country and in other civilized nations throughout the world...
"We shall prevail and they shall not." - Tony Blair, July 7, 2005
It could have just as easily happened here.
No, I'm not talking about the Olympics.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Drudge Exclusive: SOTR "ANNIVERSARY BASH" GUEST LIST OBTAINED
XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX WED JULY 6, 2005 15:29:25 ET XXXXX
SOTR "ANNIVERSARY BASH" GUEST LIST OBTAINED
Sons of the Republic.com plans a star-studded anniversary celebration following one year of conservative blogging, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.
A top SOTR confidant offered few details regarding the gala. Early reports suggested it would be held at Cordeiro Manor, but that now appears unlikely. Sources would not confirm RSVPs, but did reveal some A-names on the invite list:
- First Lady Laura Bush and Lynne Cheney (and spouses)
- Cabinet members Rice, Rumsfeld and Leavitt
- Ann Coulter (though sources wouldn't indicate which SOTR invited Coulter)
- Hugh "The Blogfather" Hewitt
- Radio personalities Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity
- Bloggers "The Hedgehog", "AbbaGav", and "ChainikHocker"
- Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney
- Senators Orrin Hatch, Bill Frist, Robert Bennett, Gordon Smith and George Allen
- Supreme Court justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia
- Former Utah State Surpreme Court justice Dallin H. Oaks
- An invitation sent to blogger "The Prisoner" appears to have been "lost in the mail".
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton turned furious and considered legal action after learning that the evening's entertainment would consist of joke appearances from Dan Rather and Senator "Dusty" Harry Reid, calling the proposed entertainment "an insult to minority-ruled democracy."
"Outrage" was the result in the offices of Ted "Scotch" Kennedy, when the senior senator from Massachusetts learned that he had not been invited.
"It's because of my hard work that those coat-tail riding neocons got the top spot on Google," said a semi-coherent Kennedy Tuesday evening. In recent months, the SOTR have held the top Google result for "Drunk Scotch Kennedy".
Filed By Matt Drudge
Reports are moved when circumstances warrant
http://www.drudgereport.com for updates
(c)DRUDGE REPORT 2005
Not for reproduction without permission of the author
The message the media has missed
The Dutch government is sending three F-16's to Aruba for recon over the ocean, in a continuing search effort to locate Natalee Holloway. I'm sure you will agree that at it's minimum sustained flying speed, an F-16 could fly over a "Girls Gone Wild" beach party and never even see it.
I wish to address the issues that the media has repeatedly missed in the case of the missing Alabama teenager. First, my disclaimer: I'm tired of this story. That's why I'm writing about it. If the missing individual were a 49 year old man with a chronic back pain, I doubt we would have ever heard his name.
Allow me to begin with an example. If a person hid his or her life savings under a mattress, and it turned up missing, most people would not give much sympathy to the victim. The individual made a foolish choice by putting something of great value in a place where it was at a very high risk. Obviously, contrary to the laws of the land, someone stole the money, but that would have been nearly impossible had the money been safely stored in a locked safe, or even better, a bank.
I must say that I cannot begin to imagine the desperate feelings of hopelessness and loss that Natalee Holloway's family must be experiencing. If I were responsible for the disappearance of my own child, I would be very upset as well.
Let's review some facts. Natalee was drunk, she's by herself with three complete male strangers in their car, on their turf, at 1:00 AM. She's making out with one of the strangers in the backseat.
And then she goes missing. Is anyone actually surprised? I'd have been more surprised if she came home unharmed.
Don't get me wrong; the individual(s) who carried out the evil acts resulting in Natalee's disappearance are absolutely to blame. But there are many people, including Natalee, who made a series of poor choices, and all share responsibility for what ultimately happened to Ms. Holloway.
I have yet to hear the media share some points which I heretofore thought were common sense. For example, when in a foreign country (like Aruba, or Alabama), don't go off alone with people you don't know--even if you "think" you know who they are. In addition, if you're 18, you must realize there is a wide disparity between what you "think" and the way things really are. And if you are naive enough to get into a car with three men who you don't know, certainly don't get yourself liquored up beforehand. This would be an excellent opportunity to teach other naive blond bombshells from small towns about what they should and shouldn't do when they find themselves away from home and the watchful eyes of mommy and daddy.
Individuals can make decisions which will increase or decrease their likelihood of becoming a crime victim. You either make decisions for yourself which increase your likelihood of remaining in control, or someone else will make such decisions for you.
Natalee's careless actions are certainly not a justification for any person to take advantage of her. By the time Natalee got into a car with three strangers, she could have been wearing a bulky Christmas sweater hand knitted by her granny. It was too late. She had made her last decision, even if she didn't foresee the consequences. Natalee recklessly put herself in a dangerous situation.
Natalee's parents were reckless for deliberately putting Natalee in a risky situation. If I had a pretty, 18-year old daughter, I can safely say that paying for her to spend a week drinking and partying with other hormone charged youth would not be high on my list of priorities. Any parent who sends a teenager (minor or otherwise) into such a situation should be prepared for the brutal realities of "consequence".
So while Natalee's mother blames the Aruban government, and accuses three young men who are quite possibly involved, she should also be reminded that a series of myopic decisions led to the disappearance of her daughter. It started with Mom and Dad, the parents who paid for and authorized the travel. It continued with the 7 chaperones who were responsible for 130 hormone-crazed teenagers, unleashed in a new culture with very different laws regulating drugs and alcohol. It extends to the young, pretty girl who made some terrible choices in trusting three complete strangers with her life. And it ends with the person or persons who know what happened to this young woman.
This is indeed a sad story. What is truly sad, however, is how this could have all been avoided with an ounce of common sense on the part of any number of people.
I now return to my adventures in capitalism.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Chi-Coms - No Government Meddling In Business
This is what happens when you believe your own press.
China is a communist country. That means the government controls everything you see, read, hear, or are otherwise exposed to. At least the government believes that.
Well, now it looks like China's Foreign Ministry thinks everyone else in the world operates under the same rules. They have "demanded" the United States Government cease meddling in China's largest energy corporation's (CNOOC Ltd) attempt to buy UnoCal. They say this:
We demand that the U.S. Congress correct its mistaken ways of politicizing economic and trade issues and stop interfering in the normal commercial exchanges between enterprises of the two countries. CNOOC's bid to take over the U.S. Unocal company is a normal commercial activity between enterprises and should not fall victim to political interference. The development of economic and trade cooperation between China and the United States conforms to the interests of both sides.Seems like the Chi-Coms don't understand the hesitation of the US government to endorse the takeover of a large domestic energy producer by a company wholly owned by a communist government.
My take on this is very simple. The demand for the US Government to butt out of a domestic energy issue by a nation whose government dictates all aspects of its own economy is laughable. The CNOOC bid is not a "normal commercial activity between enterprises". CNOOC is an agent of the Chinese government and should be treated as such. If CNOOC wants Unocal's capabilities, it should build them itself.
The short answer to the CNOOC bid is simple - No Dice. Go buy someone else.
Here endeth the lesson.
Let The Games Begin
Yes, I've been otherwise occupied for the past week or so and thus unable to post on the news of the day. I've got some catching up to do, and I might as well start with the search for a new Supreme.
For those of you living on Pluto, in Death Valley, or some other region that has yet to get cable news, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor retired from the SCOTUS last Friday. Politicians, pundits, bloggers, and even some skid row drunks rushed to microphones, cameras, keyboards, and barstools all across the country.
In an effort to warn the Blogosphere about impending liberal whinings, the SOTR Department of Blogosphere Sanity raised the Blogosphere Liberal Alert System to its highest level (RED/SCREECH) for the first time.
Scrappleface reported that Ted "Scotch" Kennedy had already slammed an "Unnamed Supreme Court Nominee as a "brutal, Bible-thumping, right-wing ideologue who hates minorities, women and cocker spaniels." Proving that illustrating absurdity by being absurd is often not far from the truth, today's Washington Post carries an editorial approved by Scotch Kennedy.
I say "approved" and not "written" because I do not believe, even for a moment, that Scotch writes his own editorials. I personally believe his staffers had to interrupt Scotch's 4th of July liquor-fest (which no doubt started sometime on June 30th) in order to get him to sign the copy. That said, here are a few excerpts from Kennedy's editorial:
If both the president and the Senate must agree on an appointment, there is a strong incentive to select people who can obtain a consensus in the nation and in the Senate. It means picking from a list of mainstream lawyers and judges who have demonstrated that they are dedicated to the Constitution and the rights it guarantees. It means avoiding candidates who would come to the court with personal, partisan or ideological agendas. It means ignoring the advice of those who prefer that the president pick fights with the Senate instead of picking judges with the Senate."What Kennedy is attempting to do here is redefine the "Advise and Consent" clause of the Constitution. The President appoints who he wants to appoint. The Senate then has the right to confirm or reject said appointee (by a simple majority vote). The Senate has no role in the process of choosing, vetting, or otherwise nominating the appointee. The Senate has no seat at that table. Its an Executive Decision, not a Legislative one.
Memo to Kennedy staff - you might want to retake that High School Civics class you slept (or were otherwise indisposed) through.
Not to be out done, "Slow" Joe Biden, Senator from Delaware penned his editorial in the San Diego Union Tribune. Am I the only person who sees the irony in a Delaware senator pontificating in a Southern California newspaper? I don't believe "Slow" Joe wrote this himself, either. He has, after all, a documented history of plagiarism. That said, some "Slow" Joe "wisdom":
But we don't have to have a confirmation process characterized by confrontation and division. The Senate's level of scrutiny of a nominee is, in large part, determined by the president's own actions. When a president selects nominees to the court primarily on the basis of detachment and statesmanship, with a sensitivity to the balance of the court and to the concerns of the country as a whole and, the Senate should be inclined to respond in kind. That's what happened when President Nixon appointed Justice Powell (89-1), when President Ford appointed Justice Stevens (98-0), and when President Clinton appointed Justices Ginsburg (96-3) and Breyer (87-9)."Slow" Joe actually makes an important point. You'll notice the confirmation vote for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 96-3. Ginsburg is so far to the left of the judicial, political, and any other spectrum, she's in danger of falling off the edge. Yet she was confirmed by a Republican controlled Senate.
No delaying tactics.
No 30 year old accusations of inappropriate throwing of telephones, chasing co-workers through hotel lobbies.
Ginsburg is a liberal justice appointed by a liberal president. She was confirmed by a Senate led by people who understood that a president appoints, and the Senate - unless evidence proving unfitness for the bench is provided - exercises its constitutional duty and consents to the confirmation of the nominee.
Will the liberals in the Jackass Caucus of the US Senate consent to the confirmation of a conservative nominee put forth by a conservative president?
Don't hold your breath.
Here endeth the lesson.
Monday, July 04, 2005
229 Years and Counting
** This post was written on and for July 4, 2005. However, I accidentally posted it twice to my personal blog, instead of once on each blog. Perhaps I got too much sun at the town parade.
Today we will celebrate the "birthday" of our great nation. We'll see parades. We'll eat burgers and hot dogs at barbecues. We'll enjoy the company of friends and relatives. We'll watch fireworks exploding over our cities.
229 years ago, 50 some odd men pledged everything they had to the great cause of creating a nation, as Lincoln would say many years later, "conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."
All too often we take this for granted. We take for granted the blood that has been shed on our behalf. The sacrifices made by earlier generations over the course of the last 200+ years. The freedoms that we have, which are still not enjoyed by all too many on this earth.
My ancestors came to this great nation about 102 years ago. I know very little about their decision to come here. I'm sure they came hoping for a better life for themselves, and a better future for their children. I'm sure there was much uncertainty about their decision. They crossed an ocean, they left behind all that they knew, and began a new life, in a new world. My great grandparents settled in Camden, New Jersey, near Philadelphia, PA.
They were looked down upon. They were discriminated against. They had to work, and they had to work hard. Their children learned to speak English, as that was the only way they would survive in the New World. As my father was raised, his parents insisted he not even learn to speak their "native" tongue. He was an American, and Americans speak English, he was told. If you spoke another language, even in addition to English, you were looked down upon.
In just over 100 years, the family has grown and spread. Each generation has become more successful and prosperous than the previous.
I look at the sacrifices made by my ancestors, and I look ahead to the future. I hope to live my life in such a way that they would be proud of my accomplishments, and approve of what I have done with the opportunities they have afforded me through their sacrifice and hard work.
I look at my children, and am grateful that they could be born in a great nation such as the United States of America. They will see and do things of which my generation can now only dream.
So on this 4th of July, as I do every year, I thank those who pledged their "Lives, [their] Fortunes and [their] sacred Honor," and those who continue to defend the cause of liberty throughout the world on my behalf.
A more worthy cause one will seldom find.
We're Not Dead
Overtaken By Events.
Have no fear, the SOTR will be back to our regularly scheduled banter shortly.