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Saturday, October 15, 2005

The Sox Win It Again!!!!

The Sox sweep for the second year in a row!!! Curt Schilling, Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz and Johnny Damon enjoy the crown of the champion once again as the Yankees watch from their estates througout the country!!!

Oh... It was the White Sox, not the Red Sox? Never mind.

While the ratings were very poor for this World Series with the usual suspuried our daughter long before her time.

I am the man who died alone in the hospital because they would not let my partner of twenty-seven years into the room.

I am the foster child who wakes up with nightmares of being taken away from the two fathers who are the only loving family I have ever had. I
wish they could adopt me.

I am one of the lucky ones, I guess. I survived the attack that left me in a coma for three weeks, and in another year I will probably be able to walk again.

I am not one of the lucky ones. I killed myself just weeks before graduating high school. It was simply too much to bear.

We are the couple who had the realtor hang up on us when she found out we wanted to rent a one-bedroom for two men.

I am the person who never knows which bathroom I should use if I want to avoid getting the management called on me.

I am the mother who is not allowed to even visit the children I bore, nursed, and raised. The court says I am an unfit mother because I now live with another woman.

I am the domestic-violence survivor who found the support system grow suddenly cold and distant when they found out my abusive partner is also a woman.

I am the domestic-violence survivor who has no support system to turn to because I am male.

I am the father who has never hugged his son because I grew up afraid to show affection to other men.

I am the home-economics teacher who always wanted to teach gym until someone told me that only lesbians do that.

I am the man who died when the paramedics stopped treating me as soon as they realized I was transsexual.

I am the person who feels guilty because I think I could be a much better person if I didn’t have to always deal with society hating me.

I am the man who stopped attending church, not because I don't believe, but because they closed their doors to my kind.

I am the person who has to hide what this world needs most, love.

repost this if you belive homophobia is wrong
d their doors to my kind.

I am the person who has to hide what this world needs most, love.

repost this if you belive homophobia is wrong

Friday, October 14, 2005

King of Saudi Arabia Talks To Baba Wawa

Barbara Walters interviewed King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Per ABC News:

[T]he king said he supports broader rights for women, is concerned about rising oil prices, and is a determined ally in the global war on terror.

Walters appeared confused by the last reference as she has assiduously followed the news reporting at ABC and had not heard of this "global war on terror". Aides eventually explained how it was the war Bush has been lying about for years.

The King claimed that if the Red Sox could win a World series, he could try to root out terrorists on his payroll.

Higher Payouts To The Kids Of The Greatest Generation

COLA increases to social security beneficiaries will result in taxpayers paying more next year. Per CNN Money:

The new wage level next year will be $94,200, up from $90,000 this year. That means the first $94,200 will be subject to the 12.4 percent Social Security tax, half of which is paid by workers and half by their employers. The self-employed pay the full 12.4 percent but may deduct half of that on their federal taxes.

It just keeps on going with only one end in sight-insolvency.

Thank, I think, to Bill Suda for that information.

Katrina Reconstruction Should Suspend The Red Tape

Mickey Kaus writes about how Bush's suspension of the Davis-Bacon Act for reconstruction of the destroyed Gulf will be a boon to minorities who will gain a foothold into the workforce. The Act (yes, I have actually read it) forces the provision of government mandated "prevailing wages" upon any company contracted to perform just about anything, including clean-up at work sites.

Econ 101 explains how this reconstruction will create a massive demand for labor and will drive up the market wages, even for the unskilled. Bureaucratic over-sight will slow down the work and likely hinder small companies, start-ups and even the Halliburtons from getting the job done. The smaller companies will not have contract departments able to timely and correctly fill out the massive forms required by the Act. Thus, the bigger companies can get approved more quickly.

Additionally, if unions are required, then incompetents cannot be weeded out for more efficient use of taxpayer money. Writes Kaus:

Since when is it the goal of liberalism to preserve the wage inequalities that the even the market doesn't support? Plus Davis-Bacon...operates to exclude minority contractors. ... Better to just create lots of jobs, as fast as possible, and force employers to compete for everyone, raising wage levels generally (as happened at the end of the '90s).

An e-mailer experienced in construction explained:

Enforcing and implementing Davis-Bacon adds days, weeks, months to processes. Bush cut it because it makes sense. We'd still be in the preliminary stages of setting up contracts for reconstruction if Davis Bacon was in place, but now we can just go ahead and use the normal acquisition regs for those contracts.In other words, to get the contractors to work fast, you need to suspend Davis-Bacon.

Let the free market handle what government only botches up. Didn't red tape and poor bureaucratic (from top to bottom) decision-making help create the pre and post-Katrina debacle?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Stars Were Warned To Stay Off The Subways

The NY Daily News reports that celebrities and wealthy NYers were tipped off about the subway terror threat 3 days prior to Mayor Mike's public announcements last week. People with inside information from Homeland Security, through relatives or friends, sent e-mails to the rich and famous on 10/3/05.

One e-mail was sent out prior to Mayor Mike's own briefing. But then, he is rich, so he may have already known prior to the briefing.

Celebrities are more important as human beings than us regular people so it is reassuring to know they were warned prior to us. This way they can avoid riding the J train out to Queens or the 4 train up to the Bronx over the weekend. We need them alive so they can get on TV to denounce the President because of his lies about domestic terrorist threats. Thank you, anonymous e-mailers!

The Boston Boys Stick Together

It gets better. Teddy Kennedy will support John Kerry over Hillary Clinton as the Democrat presidential candidate in 2008. Prediction: Kerry will not mention Vietnam once during the campaign. (Technicality: he'll mention it more than once).

Skip March adds:

"The World According To Teddy "Bare" Kennedy

The insightful Senator first tells us that the terrorists are winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people as they stream to the polls to elect their first interim representative government and that we are losing the war on terrorism. Now Bin Laden's #2 man confirms that they (Al Queda) is in fact losing the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people and losing in the war on terrorism. Further, the ever blustering Senator recently has suggested that the President's belligerence only makes the enemy angrier.....what part of 9/11 doesn't the liberal lion of the Senate understand? Or for that matter the first bombing of the World Trade Center, bombing of US embassies and a US warship???? Can't you see the people of Great Britain asking Churchill to tone it down so Hitler doesn't get madder at them. And Senator Bubble Head wanted to be Commander and Chief and leader of the free world. I wonder if Hillary asked him not to endorse her.......I wonder why John "Global Test" Kerry wants his endorsement for '08......oh I forgot he's more liberal than Teddy.

Now how about those national health care and wage and price control ideas...........

Skip

Janjaweed Is No Party

They go by the name Janjaweed which sounds so Marley-cool. But they are an Arab killing machine in the Sudan that is doing the government's bidding. Nat Hentoff reports that besides their killing of "rebels", the Janjaweed are killing innocent citizens and relief workers. Those citizens are black Africans. CNN reports:

More than 180,000 people have died in Darfur and another 2 million people have been displaced since residents of African ethnic origin rebelled against the government, accusing it of neglect and discrimination.

BTW, Sudan is a member of the UN Comission on Human Rights. Did you know that?

Did He Call Bennett's Critics "Idiots"? Yes, He Did!

I guess I lack Walter Williams clarity and honesty. On the Bill Bennett issue, I provide a fairly long quote from Dr. Williams (please do not miss the final sentence that I will put in bold):

If a 100 square-mile meteor strikes the Earth, millions of people will be killed. If a person falls off the Empire State Building, he will die. Here's another: If a person goes 30 days without water, he will die. All of these statements, as well as that made by Bennett, are what are known as conditional statements. A conditional statement is an "if-then" statement of the form: "if P, then Q." P is the antecedent, the "if" part of the statement, and "Q" is the consequent, the "then" part of the statement. Going back to my first example, "If a 100 square-mile meteor strikes the Earth," is the antecedent; "billions of people will be killed" is the consequent.

To test the truth of a conditional statement, one need only examine the evidence. That is, will going without water for 30 days or falling off the Empire State Building cause death? Is making a conditional statement advocacy? In other words, do you interpret my conditional statements as calling for a 100 square-mile meteor to strike the Earth, or calling for people to fall off the Empire State Building or go 30 days without water? One would have to be an idiot to make such an interpretation.

That is what I have been trying to say about the people who have responded to Bennett's comments by claiming he is a racist.

Again going to Dr. Williams (for those of you who fall into the "idiot" category as defined above, you can move to another blog as this quote part has numbers and they can get quite confusing):

Let's examine Bill Bennett's conditional "if black babies were aborted the crime rate would go down." According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Uniform Crime Reports for 2003 (http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius_03/pdf/03sec4.pdf), blacks, who are 13 percent of the population, were 49 percent of murder arrests, 33 percent of arrests for rape, and 54 percent of arrests for robberies. That means Bennett's statement was true.

Idiots do not accept truths outside of their own personal paradigm's---oops, worlds.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Can You Say Yabba Dabba Doo?

Et Tu's Think Tank has been invited by member Allen Gorin to meet in lovely Boise, Idaho. Contributor Bill Suda provides this link to cheaper accomodations in Idaho that may fit our budget better. These accomodations have no room service, no swimming pool, no microwave oven, no coffee machine, no television, no electricity but do go for only $5 per night or $25 per week. Maybe we can finally schedule our first Think Tank event. I bet we can get Ann Coulter or Bill Bennett as a guest speaker.

Gore May Come Back

WaPo reports Al Gore stating he has not ruled out public office in his future. Did anyone read his incoherent speech at a media conference on Wednesday in New York? It was too long and sloppy to waste time fisking.

Please go for it again, Al.

After We've Seen Paree! What?

Tech Central ran 2 articles highlighting the likely failure inherent in the economies of Germany and France. Socialism that has infected the populace in both countries shows they would rather sink together than survive in a competitive environment.

Jeremy Slater discusses how the vote of Merkel in Germany does not show us a citizenry seeking capitalist solutions to their economic malaise. The real winners in the election, he writes:

were the new Left party, made up of SPD dissenters and remnants of the former East Germany's communist party. Its main campaign platform was to vigorously defend a decaying social model that makes growth in Germany nearly impossible. That result had a spillover effect in France, where various factions welcomed the success of Germany's hard left. Indeed, failure of the CDU to win a mandate for economic reform has boosted the standing of all Europeans who did not want to push through similar policies. It makes the task for economic reformers throughout the European Union much harder.

Meanwhile in Frace, Nidra Poller describes the hysteria resulting from Hewlett Pakard's announcement that they will reduce their French workforce by 1,240 workers. French officials marched to HP headquarters to voice their anger but the computer giant is not changing its plans. Interesting, HP is cutting only 15% of its other Euro workers while cutting 26% of its French workers. Production costs and taxes a bit too high in France? French a little too slow?

Poller writes:

The HP imbroglio is a perfect illustration of the pitfalls of the French economic model. In a rigid micromanaged economy, jobs are hoarded in a locked cupboard à la père Goriot, while the dynamics of job creation are stifled and the French street erupts in anger.

Unionism, protected employees, regulations, taxes and an unproductive culture are the causes of their own demise. Yet the Europeans vote for more of the same.

Competition in the marketplace, with out-sourcing and importing where needed, makes the US economy flexible. Alan Greenspan says this flexibility is the reason the US economy can handle high energy prices, Katrina hurricanes and financial market corrections. Per Greenspan, in a speech to the National Italian American Foundation:

"The impressive performance of the U.S. economy over the past couple of decades, despite shocks that in the past would have produced marked economic contractions, offers the clearest evidence of the benefits of increased market flexibility."

Contrast this with outgoing Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's farewell message extolling the virtues of government involvement in the market-place and people's lives

"People do not want the state in their faces, but they want it by their side."

And socialists here in the US view France and Germany as models! Hah!

Protecting Businesses From Internet Competition

John Stossel describes how the internet has removed middle-men from the marketplace and consumers love it. But those losing business, like realtors and auto dealers, are lobbying the legislature to outlaw this competition in the name of protecting consumers. As usual, businessmen are the last people who want free market capitalism. Like all unions, it is not the consumer who benefits from protectionism. Stossel quotes Adam Smith who got this 230 years ago:

"People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices."

There are reasons consumers may want to pay extra for the services of a realtor or the protections that a local dealer may provide. There are reasons that people shop at Nordstrom's or Target rather than on-line. It is the comsumers choice that should be protected, not anyone's monopoly. Competition drives down costs and creates new job opportunities. And governments should never play favorites in the market. That is not liberty.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Conservative Commentators Sounding Like Their Liberal Counterparts........

Skip March on Republican critics of Miers:

The recent assault by some conservative commentators on President Bush's nominee to replace Sandra Day O'Connor is sounding all too familiar. After criticizing liberal commentators and Senators during the recent Robert's confirmation for being elitist, presumptuous, pandering to their constituencies and using social policy litmus tests, they are doing and being the same. The hearings haven't even started and 27 Republican Senators are already saying they have serious concerns about Ms Miers. Serious concerns about what??? They haven't heard her out yet. Rather than spoiling for a fight and shooting themselves in the foot in the process, they would do well to keep their mouths shut and let liberal Democrats shoot themselves in the foot which they are very adept at doing.

Mark Steyn says the nominee may be good enough. The Bush way is to take over by increments. He writes:

For what it's worth, my sense is that Harriet Miers will be, case by case, a more reliable vote against leftist judicial activism than her mercurial predecessor, Sandra Day O'Connor. Why do I say this? Well, she's a strong supporter of the right to bear arms. The great Second Amendment expert Dave Kopel says you have to go back to Louis Brandeis 90 years ago to find a Supreme Court justice whose pre-nomination writings extol gun rights as fulsomely as Miers. According to an old boyfriend, Judge Nathan Hecht of the Texas Supreme Court, she packs heat -- a Smith & Wesson .45 -- which I can say with certainty the other lady justice, the far-left Ruth Bader Ginsburg, never has. She also's personally very opposed to abortion.

I'll take a court that's packin over packin the courts.

Monday, October 10, 2005

An Indian Honors Columbus

Comanche (and by the way classical musician, composer and professor) David Yeagley writes on Columbus from a particular Indian view. He writes that columbus should be honored:

As a Comanche, I see Columbus as a daring, triumphant man. My people had a great penchant for exploring. Considering the circumstances in which he lived, the socio-economic elements, the political environment, the international issues, it is a wonderful thing that a man would be willing to strike out and determine the truth for himself the way he did. The Columbus venture is a statement about the grand courage of an individual man.

Ignore Howard Zinn's victimology review. Writes Yeagley:

Columbus did no evil. Columbus did what all brave men do. He went where no man had gone before—at least as far as he knew, on the route he took...Columbus is entirely innocent of what developed after him. None of that drove him. Aftermath can be attributed to him only in the most artificial, generalized, “academic” theory, the kind for which our modern universities have become lately infamous.

The Left disdains personal heroics. The Left disdains personal interests. Maybe Columbus' "aftermath" was worthy of disdain but we have greater instances of immorality and butchery from Leftists' pursuit of communal interests over the personal. Concludes Yeagley:

Columbus Day should honor Columbus. It’s not about European Civilization.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

NYT Has No Answer Why

The Sunday NYT provided us two instances of its bias that allowed it to miss key explanations of developments in big issues. One article assessed Mike Bloomberg’s claim that his administration’s exceptional stewardship of the NYC economy has led to its healthy position. Another article discussed the remarkably improved legal position of defendants in silicosis lawsuits. In both articles, reporters could not explain the cause of these marked changes. I have the answer to both. The answers are obvious but are missed by the writers either intentionally or unintentionally.

In “Taking Credit for Rebound That Remade City Economy” by JENNIFER STEINHAUER, we learn about NYC’s rebounding economy since 9-11. Employment is up, businesses have actually moved into NYC, real estate development is booming and tourism is increased. Naturally, “Mayor Mike” an ultra-wealthy businessman is credited for applying his acumen to the City’s needs that included using business contacts to analyze issues and lobby their contacts for NYC growth opportunities.,

Steinhauer explains how critics argue that Bloomberg should not have raised taxes as he did, but rather should have cut discretionary budget items. Steinhauer never explains higher local taxes could have improved the City’s fiscal position without any reduction in growth as would be predicted by supply-side economists.

The answer is that the tax cuts by the federal government placed so much more money into the capital markets and high earner NYC dwellers that relatively moderate local tax increases did not hurt the economy. Remove George Bush's federal tax cuts on personal income, capital gains and dividends and the financial markets would still be in a slump, the national economy would be stagnant and unemployment would be like Germany. And Mike Bloomberg would not be running for reelection now.

Then, in the Business section, Jonathan D. Glater analyzed the changing tide in silicosis tort litigation that has made plaintiff’s actually have to prove they have the disease before recovering a settlement.

In “The Tort Wars, at a Turning Point”, Glater reviews the new strategy employed by defendants in these mass tort claims. Historically, defense attorneys, as instructed often by their insurance company clients, have chosen to pay off the claims in order to avoid giant verdicts. In addition, as was discussed in this blog a few months ago, Judge Janis Jack, a former nurse, smelled the fraudulent activities of lawyers colluding with dishonest doctors in framing these claims.

Glater asks why were defense lawyers “not more successful in challenging the validity of claims in the past. While lawyers point to the cost of investigating and challenging claims, it is also true that defense and bankruptcy lawyers have earned a lot of money handling claims the way they have been handled, paying off plaintiffs through years of Chapter 11 proceedings.”

While there is always the incentive for the defense bar to allow matters to move slowly towards settlement to exact the most billable hours as possible (and still avoid facing a jury), the truth is the desire not to fight back on these cases is created by the overwhelming slant of the courts in favor of plaintiffs. And more than courts favoring plaintiffs, they favor plaintiff attorneys.

Judges are often former plaintiff attorneys themselves. In many states, judges run for elections. Per public information as compiled by opensecrets.org, attorneys in 2004 contributed $181 million to political candidates. Of that, $135 million went to Democratic candidates. In 2002 of the $95 million on attorney contributions, $70 million went to Democratic candidates. This trend has been consistent since 1992 with larger contributions given each election.

Someone is getting something for their money. The plaintiff’s bar makes major contributions to lawmakers and the judiciary. Thus, while juries grant the awards, the judges pave the way procedurally throughout pre-trial litigation decisions and then shape the trial at the end. Settling cases becomes the more prudent option for the defendants and their insurers.

We see the NYT writers grappling with the why’s of their essays. They never scratched below the surface for their answers. We all know the reason why.

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