Friday, April 29, 2005

Another Notice

Well, we survived (and enjoyed) the visit from my dad, but my schedule for next month could not have turned out worse. I'm flying horrible trips, over the weekends; they've scheduled me for recurrent on short notice; and because of recurrent, I'll miss the one chance at going on our summer family vacation.

This is all a long-winded way of saying: For the short-term, posting will be light.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Guns-in-bars bill vetoed

I'm taking this title directly from the Arizona Republic article on the issue of allowing people to carry guns into businesses that serve liquor.

I am not at all surprised that Gov. Napolitano has vetoed this bill. Like every other gun-grabber, she claims to support Second Amendment rights, but--other than these empty words--has very little to show for this support. I'm not so sure she'll even pay much of a political price for this veto, in that those who understand the Second Amendment are probably not that likely to vote for her under any circumstances. She's a crafty politician--sort of a merging of the political attributes of Bill Clinton (although not nearly as engaging), with the personal and professional pedigree of Janet Reno. Without agreeing with her an very much, I do admire the way she found enough Democratic votes to win her election in a fairly Republican state.

I do hope--and will write my state legislators with this hope--that this issue re-emerges next year. That I cannot take my carry-gun into a restaurant where my wife might enjoy a glass of wine is not right.

As is typical of the left, they confuse the issues. Towards the end of the article, a representative of the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police, Eric Edwards, said, "Guns don't mix with booze any better than driving has." The issue has never been about mixing guns and booze. Question for Mr. Edwards: If guns and booze shouldn't mix in the same way as booze and driving shouldn't mix, how does anybody get their beer home from the liquor store? No one has ever claimed that one ought to drink and carry, anymore than anyone says that drinking and driving is OK. But it ought to be OK to carry in the presence of someone drinking, just as it is OK to drive in the presence of alcohol.

As I said, I will support this issue again when it is resurrected.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


Much to do around the house. Cleaning, projects, stuff that needs attention. I've got a couple of things in mind for further posting, and will put something up as I can.

Friday, April 15, 2005

The Nutty Left

In preface, I've been somewhat busy this week. I'm trying to catch up on some spring-cleaning kinds of things around the house--plant my vegetable garden, weed the poolside landscaping, clean out the pool filters, wash the windows, defrost the freezer. Couple all that with the regular household stuff--laundry, mowing the yard, running here and there--and a need to get my truck in for servicing (desperately overdue), and preparing for my Dad's visit next week, and I haven't put in as much time here as I might otherwise.

However, I did come across a couple of articles which struck me as iconic of the Nutty Left--and perhaps especially relevant as coming right after my post regarding Kos. Today's Arizona Republic has an item discussing the lefty war protesters who are not filing their tax returns to prevent the military from getting anything from their labor. The gist of their belief is that if more money was spent on social programs (foreign and domestic, I presume), then the military would would not be necessary. So they withhold their taxes and take whatever consequences come their way.

Question: If I believed the antithesis of their position--that more military, not less was a good thing, and that what was damaging our economy and society in general was the plethora of social programs--would I too be justified in withholding my financial contribution to our government?

The other item this morning was something I saw on Instapundit. Matthew Yglesias has a post on the "Inheritance/Death Tax" (chose your own descriptor). In this post, Matthew argues in regard to a concern of the effect of the Inheritance Tax on small businessmen--"fuck the small businessman". Nice, Matthew. Nice.

But here's a question for Matthew: If I were a lefty running a socially-conscious small business--perhaps a coffee shop--at what point would my socially aware behavior (profit-sharing, donations to the community, etc) run up against my success as a businessman (business profits)? When do my employees go from appreciating what I'm doing for them and the community, and transition to stealing from me because I've become "The Man"? IOW, where is the line between lefty love, and simply being fucked?

Monday, April 11, 2005

Daily Kos

As I got into the hotel room on the same layover mentioned earlier, I somehow stopped again on CSPAN. I used to watch CSPAN quite regularly--especially during the Impeachment Months. I've always enjoyed and often marvel at the balance they present.

Brian Lamb has to be the best at this. There are probably none better at asking fair questions. His questions are not so probing as to betray evidence of some agenda he might have, but just deep enough to elicit some information the audience might otherwise not know. Last night I saw his interview of Markos Moultisas (whom I will call "Kos" here) of Daily Kos.

First, some attribution. I am a libertarian-leaning conservative (or is it a conservative-leaning libertarian--I don't know). I don't often get over to Daily Kos, or any other lefty site. I have checked in occassionally to Democratic Underground, and find that they're generally off-the-deep-end nutty. I expected as much from him on this show.

And I was somewhat pleasantly surprised.

Here's some of what I learned about Kos...

  • I had always assumed that "Kos" was prounounced as in the first syllable of "Cosby". It more closely rhymes with "close", with a 'hard O'.
  • Kos is a veteran, family man, and quite well-spoken.
  • He is a very principled liberal. Not at all likely to spout "Chimpy McHitlerHalliburton".
  • He supports our effort in Afghanistan, but not Iraq. [Perhaps had I been more familiar with his site and his views, this might not be such a surprise to me, but it was.] I do wish he was more upfront about this, but again, that may be me, not him.
  • I first became aware of Kos after the uproar regarding his comments after the 4 Blackwater "operators" were killed and their bodies desecrated in Fallujah. He did expand on his comments, and while the explanation offered some missing context to his comments, he still ought to have more compassion for these dead Americans.

As I said, I was more than surprised at how reasonable he came off. He makes no apologies for what he believes, but he did make a couple of points that betray him.

  • He doesn't feel the need to check in on conservative sites, or explore conservative thought. He happily operates a liberal echo chamber, which he believes will serve as a place for liberals to organize themselves to better battle the conservatives. While I too don't check in often with the opposing schools of thought, were I (even occassionally) employed as a political consultant--and especially as a consultant to a party which is losing much more than they win--I think I'd spend some time wondering why my opponents were winning and I wasn't.
  • A couple of times Kos made the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy point. He pointed to the conservative views seen in the WSJ, Fox News, much of the blogosphere, and talk radio were dominating the media to the point where liberals just couldn't get their message out. He is correct that these media organs do lean conservative. And it is also true that these media are enjoying increasing influence in framing today's viewpoints [Again, he ought to wonder why this is.]. What he misses completely is that the NYT, LA Times, network TV, CNN and MSNBC all lean considerably to the left. Personally, I think the cumulative media message does provide balance.
  • I appreciated hearing his advice on how to blog. I am aware of the limitations of Blogger, and should I stay with this, I may move elsewhere. My blog's name may be too cumbersome (and certainly it is when you add the ".blogger" to the URL). I am beginning to consider whether I should play with my template (I like the background, but links showing up as purple against the blue background don't jump out as much as I would like.) I also need to make the site look more interesting, but again, I'm just learning all this, and it may change as I learn more.

Anyway, all told, I enjoyed Lamb's interview of Kos. I don't have many political agreements with him, but it was interesting none-the-less.

Seperated at Birth?

So, I was flipping through the channels today, and I stopped briefly on the CSPAN coverage of Army Chief of Staff Peter Schoomaker at the American Enterprise Institute where he was discussing the Future of the Army. His comments were interesting, if fairly predictable.

However, my first thought was to wonder: Does he have an Evil Twin?

[The link to Schoomaker's image above doesn't quite make my point as well as I might like, but I hope you get the idea.]

Friday, April 01, 2005

Did Anybody in that Administration Have Any Ethics?

It appears that Sandy Berger has had his hand slapped. (h/t instapundit, powerline and drudge)

Let's do a little fiskin'...
Samuel R. Berger, a national security adviser to President Bill Clinton...
Mr. Berger was a senior policy adviser to Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts
Now--Why would anyone begin to question the ethics of someone who cavorts with these two? Hmmmmmm? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

[Berger] was often mentioned as a possible secretary of state in a Kerry presidency.
Oh, that would have been just friggin' great now, wouldn't it. A guy at the top who spent decades telling us that he went on some Apocalypse Now mission that never happened being represented by a guy who Five-Finger-Discounts "was just too tired and wasn't able to focus enough with" highly classified documents. Who'd they have in mind for Secretary of Defense? Madeline Albright? Nevermind. Don't answer that. And what about that snake trial lawyer Edwards? Well--nevermind again. However, I digress....

When the issue surfaced last year, Mr. Berger insisted that he had removed the classified material inadvertently.
Right, Sandy. Those classified papers ended up in your socks accidentally. Sure. Happens to me all the time.

But look, not just in the same paragraph, but in the very next sentence, we get...
But in the plea agreement reached with prosecutors, he is expected to admit that he intentionally removed copies of five classified documents, destroyed three and misled staff members at the National Archives when confronted about it...[emphasis added]

Mr. Berger, 59, was unavailable for comment Thursday. In a statement, his lawyer, Lanny Breuer...
Lanny Breuer. Lanny Breuer. Where do I know that name? Oh, yeah. Now I remember. He spent some time in the Clinton White House, where Clinton "repeatedly and unlawfully invoked the Executive Privilege to conceal evidence of his personal misconduct from the grand jury". This attempt at Executive Privilege included shielding Lanny Breuer from testifying before the grand jury. Question: Do all Democrats caught in a scandal hire some snake trial lawyer to defend them? Again. Nevermind.
...the plea agreement requires him to give up his secret security clearance for three years...
He lost his security clearance for Three Friggin' Years? Is that all? He admitted that he intentionally took classified documents and then DESTROYED them. The least that he ought to get is the chance to make small rocks out of big rocks for Three Years.
But some political analysts said the case against him...may have made him unemployable in government in the short term.
Oh. Do ya Think? If the world is fair at all, Sandy's "short term" will last quite some time.
[Berger] is currently chairman of a global business strategy firm.
Note to those who might hire Berger's firm for whatever "business strategy" advice they might need: Drop him like a bad habit. Do it now.

And they wonder why the public has a cynical eye for politicians. Geesh.

UPDATE: Powerline has a good synopsis of the likely course of events here.