January 2005 Archives

January 31, 2005

Pro-Choicers Also Oppose 'Roe v. Wade'

I recently had a chance to attend the official Presidential Inauguration - an exciting opportunity that just arose a week in advance, and for which some of us CRs had to scramble to make plans for. Despite the difficulties that we had to overcome in order to make this one-in-a-lifetime experience a reality, we were able to make the most of this opportunity, and we had a great time in D.C., watching history being made.

» Continue reading "Pro-Choicers Also Oppose 'Roe v. Wade'"

Posted by Aakash at 11:38 PM

Degrading America

As a Republican, and a supporter of the President, it is not lightly that I move almost immediately to take the focus off a very successful election in Iraq. However, the administration's decisive victory over its violent opponents abroad could - and should - be completely negated by its shaming in front of supporters at home if allegations reported in this AP story are true.

» Continue reading "Degrading America"

Posted by Chops at 11:06 AM

January 29, 2005

It's Never Too Late to Scuttle a Bad Idea

Staining voters' fingers with blue ink may be a great symbol in Australia, but it's begging for catastrophe in the Sunni triangle, if not elsewhere in Iraq. How better to keep people home on polling day than to give them a difficult-to-remove indicator that shows they voted. Why don't we just paint targets on their backs that say "terrorists aim here"? It strikes me that minor voting fraud is going to be a smaller problem in this election than the murder of voters. It's not too late to stop it, though: put the ink back in storage, and get the word out that you can vote without marking yourself as a target.

Posted by Chops at 12:09 PM

A man's gotta know his limitations

I have to say goodbye to you all. I anticipate having to do a lot more work at my "day job", which can require my full attention, and won't have time to write on this blog. It has become a bit of an addiction for me. I have never been able to cut down on anything. I either give up all the way or not. So I have to give up. I have enjoyed talking with all the regulars, even the radical Democrats. I learned a lot from you. I hope to come back from time to time when I have some vacation or slow periods at work.

So long, farewell,
Z powazaniem


Posted by Jack at 1:22 AM

January 28, 2005

Time for a new Party

If ever there were a time in our history for a new Political Party to emerge ...
Right now there is a great opportunity for a new party. Will those involved realize this and make their move?

» Continue reading "Time for a new Party"

Posted by Dawn at 9:23 AM

Frustrations With the Social Security Debate

I have a few deep frustrations about how the Social Security debate typically plays out. 

1.  Is it a pension program or a safety net program?  It seems that whenever I have the debate, the Social Security advocate will adopt whichever position is orthoganal to what I'm talking about--often flipping back and forth in the same conversation.  It I talk about how bad a return Social Security is on investment its I'm accused of wanting to throw old people out on the street.  If I talk about how stupid it is to pay $10-15 billion per year to rich and upper-middle class people its status as a universal pension system. 

» Continue reading "Frustrations With the Social Security Debate"

January 27, 2005

Heroic Iraqis

Today's evening news included stories of brave Iraqis who are running for office or planning to vote in the upcoming elections in spite of death threats and murders, bombings and intimidation already carried out by the enemies of democracy. One of the candidates featured was a former member of Sadr's militia.

» Continue reading "Heroic Iraqis"

Posted by Jack at 10:28 PM

January 26, 2005

And Which Ones Would Have Complied With the Gun Ban?

If private possession of firearms were banned, which of the two pairs in this story , would have been likely to comply -- the near-victims or the late criminals? "[She] tried to open the register, but one of the men told her she wasn't moving fast enough and tried to shoot her husband.... At that point, Bobby Doster pulled out a .380-caliber handgun and shot one of the suspects."

» Continue reading "And Which Ones Would Have Complied With the Gun Ban?"

Posted by Matthew Hogan at 8:40 PM

January 24, 2005

Why We Fight

Zarqawi vows war on democracy

"We have declared a fierce war on this evil principle of democracy and those who follow this wrong ideology," said the speaker, who identified himself as Zarqawi. "Anyone who tries to help set up this system is part of it."

» Continue reading "Why We Fight"

Posted by Jack at 3:58 PM

January 22, 2005

President Bush's Second Inaugural Address

President Bush's second inaugural address was a masterpiece laying out the strategy for winning the war against terrorism.

This is another in the series of excellent and important speeches in which President has set forth an ambitious vision of the post 9-11 world. Think back for a moment to the days immediately following the 9-11 terror attacks on the U.S. Remember the country's desire for an answer to the question of why it happened; "why do they hate us?"

» Continue reading "President Bush's Second Inaugural Address"

Posted by Dan Spencer at 9:44 PM

January 20, 2005

Conservative Dissent On Democratic Crusaderism

Chris Roach, a "paleoconservative" who is pro-Administration on Iraq and many other areas, gives an interesting genuinely conservative critique of the President's inaugural address. Those uncomfortable with the rhetoric of democratic crusaderism because of conservative fears of big government and humanitarian interventionism will find it compelling; those who support that tendency may find it thought-provoking, nonetheless. The President's speech contained profound declarations about freedom that reverberate, at least with me, but the idea of global interventionism as a response to 9/11 should require a high, high, high burden of proof. "There is more to good policy," Chris Roach writes, "than good intentions and a contempt for [tyranny]."

Posted by Matthew Hogan at 9:40 PM

The Second Inaugural Address

In honor of the second inauguration of a Republican president, I beg your attention to the greatest such speech ever. President Lincoln, presiding over a nation in its bloodiest hour, had brought forth the new Republican Party and with it a new ideology of freedom.

» Continue reading "The Second Inaugural Address"

Posted by Chops at 1:27 PM

January 19, 2005

The NYT and Dangerous Reporting

Some days you are just going along fairly well and then something really sets you off.  I was having a good day until Powerlineblog directed my attention to this NYT article on IraqTheModel.  IraqTheModel is a generally, though not reflexively pro-American weblog run by three Iraqis.  Last month, as the authors met with the President, there was a kerfuffle when Juan Cole repeated some rumors from anonymous web sources that the authors of the blog were CIA spies.  This was pretty well put to rest as mere mean-spirited speculation at the time. 

So, enter the New York Times:

» Continue reading "The NYT and Dangerous Reporting"

January 18, 2005

Speaking of scientific inquiry . . .

On the liberal side
"I felt I was going to be sick," said Nancy Hopkins, a biology professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, She walked out in what she described as a physical sense of disgust.

On the conservative side
What he said "is controversial and should be debated," said David Goldston, chief of staff of the House Science Committee. "But there ought to be some place in America where you can have a thoughtful, non-ideological private discussion."

» Continue reading "Speaking of scientific inquiry . . ."

Posted by Jack at 10:45 PM

A New New Deal

The economic fascism of the thirties has been proven to be a failure over and over again yet we continue to cherish programs that are more indicative of Mussolini than George Washington. In 1996 Bill Clinton proclaimed the era of big government over, yet our government is bigger now than it has ever been. A complete overhaul of Social Security would be a step in the right direction and is long long over due.

» Continue reading "A New New Deal"

Posted by Eric Simonson at 2:58 PM

January 14, 2005

Politics and Science Revisited

There has been recent discussion here at WatchBlog about how government policy should be shaped by scientific findings. Everything from genetically modified food to stem cells to global warming trends has been addressed, but there's one glaring omission from the discussion so far.

» Continue reading "Politics and Science Revisited"

Posted by Andrew Parker at 6:16 PM

Hatespeak -

Has speaking with hate and anger become the 'norm' in the Political Arena? It doesn't seem to matter what the issue is, there is always someone who hates and is determined to let everyone else know about it.

» Continue reading "Hatespeak -"

Posted by Dawn at 2:00 PM

CBS and Bias

The coalescing opinion on the more liberal side of the blogosphere (among the few willing to talk about it at least) seems to be that the CBS problem in appropriately dealing with almost certainly fraudulant documents while reporting was caused mostly by a competitive rush to publish a sensational story instead of political bias.  See for example here, here, and the comments on ObsidianWings.

» Continue reading "CBS and Bias"

Changing Our Diet

Wednesday, the government released new dietary guidelines which emphasize weight loss in addition to dietary health. There's been a lot written about the US's poor eating habits, but what I find most interesting is average meat consumption in the US. At 8.2 ounces per person per day, even more when you consider that nearly 3% of american adults claim to be vegetarian, we well outpace the recommended 5.5 ounces per day.

» Continue reading "Changing Our Diet"

Posted by Andrew Parker at 12:17 AM

January 13, 2005

Stupid anti-Americanism kills Muslim children, others

That should be the headline of this article from AP. We also hear reports of despotic governments turning away U.S. food aid or limiting U.S. relief efforts in disaster situations. The old saying that prejudice can hurt the possessor more than the object is on display here. Unfortunately, the consequences of the stupidity of despots, bigoted clerics and deranged academics tend to fall on the innocent people around them. Excerpts below.

» Continue reading "Stupid anti-Americanism kills Muslim children, others"

Posted by Jack at 8:18 AM

January 12, 2005


Torture. I'm not for torture.  The term has gotten tossed around a lot lately, and I fear that it is going the way of the term 'war crime'--if it includes just about every treatment we are somewhat uncomfortable with, it isn't useful. The International Red Cross seems to want to ban any "system devised to break the will of the prisoners [and] make them wholly dependent on their interrogators.

» Continue reading "Torture"

Supply and Demand

More than a few Team-Blue-regulars have commented on their surprise that someone on 'Team Red' would give express outrage like this. In thinking about it, isn't that the way it should be? Shouldn't the calls for accountability come from within the party? Obviously that hasn't been happening, and it's resulted in both sides pointing fingers every time scandal breaks.

» Continue reading "Supply and Demand"

Posted by Andrew Parker at 1:12 AM

January 11, 2005

Where's the Outrage?

Seriously, where's the outrage from everyone? Friday's report of the Department of Education's $240k payout to Armstrong Wiliams is just the most recent in a pattern of questionable 'advertising' judgements by the White House.

» Continue reading "Where's the Outrage?"

Posted by Andrew Parker at 3:40 PM

Oh - I forgot to have children

No matter what else you say about Social Security, it is a type of pyramid scheme, an intergenerational chain letter. Unless we manage to stockpile a prodigious amount of canned food and live off our cache in some secluded valley, all our retirement plans depend on the kindness and responsibility of subsequent generations. The problem is that many of us have forgotten to have kids, or didn't have enough of them.

» Continue reading "Oh - I forgot to have children"

Posted by Jack at 2:17 PM

Preserving Democracy

A man made the case to me, in a recent conversation, that those who are conservative are so because they have fallen under the sway of corporate owned conservative media. FOX News was singled out in particular for 'regulation' because of its 'egregious' conservative bias.

» Continue reading "Preserving Democracy"

Posted by Eric Simonson at 4:08 AM

January 10, 2005

Diversity of ideas is what really counts

Diversity on campus is low and decreasing. We are doing a better job of mixing and matching colors, but a worse job of encouraging diversity that is more than skin deep. A recent study has brought some statistical proof to something anyone who has recently been on a college campus knows.

» Continue reading "Diversity of ideas is what really counts"

Posted by Jack at 12:11 PM

January 9, 2005

Where's the Outrage?

Another politician caught up in Campaign finance scandals. I'm not surprised that a big outcry hasn't began - even on WatchBlog - she's a Democrat.

» Continue reading "Where's the Outrage?"

Posted by Dawn at 12:29 PM

January 7, 2005

The Stinginess of Islam?

In the previous post, Maximus Swift alleges that Islam has caused Arab nations to be stingy in their response to the tsunami crises. I did some research, and the data paints a much different picture.

» Continue reading "The Stinginess of Islam?"

Posted by Chops at 12:27 PM

January 6, 2005

The Stinginess of Islam

Arab countries are rating at the bottom of the list out of those donating towards tsunami relief in Southeast Asia. While Saudi Arabia pledged $30 million towards the relief effort, it pales in comparison to the $155 million they raised to support the families of Palestinian terrorists in Israel. One of the reasons given for the appalling display of "stinginess" is apparently because the Islamic leaders of these nations had been arguing against sending more aid, "fearing the money will fall into the hands of infidels."

» Continue reading "The Stinginess of Islam"

Posted by Maximus Swift at 7:41 PM

The Guys Who Are Undecided

James Taranto in his Bloggie Award-winning "Best of the Web" feature yesterday mocked liberal writer Anne Applebaum for her inference that supporting the torture of radical Muslims would turn moderates against us. Taranto assumes that moderates will always be for us, just as radicals always oppose us. However, both of them are operating from the fundamental misunderstanding that two monolithic, static groups comprise Arab Muslim society.

» Continue reading "The Guys Who Are Undecided"

Posted by Chops at 3:17 PM

Slavery did not end in the last century

As if the recent tsunami disaster wasn't enough, we soon had reports of man's inhumanity to man in the form of trafficking in human beings. Some despicable characters were taking advantage of the destruction and breakup of families to scoop up young women and children for use for labor and illegal sex. Unfortunately, this is not the only time and place this is happening.

» Continue reading "Slavery did not end in the last century"

Posted by Jack at 2:53 PM

The Other Side of the Coin

With over 150,000 dead as a result of the tsunamis, it is really something to see the active response by the American public. We are beginning to understand the scope of this massive tragedy playing out in our world. Now consider it being repeated every six weeks for the entire year.

» Continue reading "The Other Side of the Coin"

Posted by Andrew Parker at 2:27 PM

challenging decision

An epidemic is afflicting tens and possibly hundreds of Americans today. Fortunately there is a cure. Members of congress can recover from Bush Derangement Syndrome. Of course, the first step is to admit you have a problem.

In a scene that could be reminiscent of the end of the bitter 2000 presidential race, several members of the House of Representatives plan to challenge Ohio's election results today when Congress meets to confirm President Bush's reelection. sfgate.com
» Continue reading "challenging decision"

Posted by Eric Simonson at 1:36 PM

Food and Drug Administration

While I'm talking about changes to cherished institutions, let's talk about the FDA.  There needs to be some control regarding drug distribution and claims about drugs, but I'm far from convinced that the FDA's current approach is anything near the optimal approach.  Mark A.R. Kleiman (a liberal I respect but often disagree with) is apparently thinking along the same lines.  In a thought provoking post  he suggests a number of changes to the structure of the FDA.  » Continue reading "Food and Drug Administration"

January 5, 2005

Social Security, A Slightly Different Take

There has been quite a bit of wrangling lately about whether or not there is a Social Security crisis and if there is, exactly when it becomes a crisis. Instead of wading in to that again, I'm going to talk about how Social Security has changed, and how it could change again. (If you are interested in a good take on 'crisis' I suggest this post by Jane Galt.)

» Continue reading "Social Security, A Slightly Different Take"

January 4, 2005

The political uses of disaster

By using the tsunami disaster as a partisan public relations weapon, the left has committed the obscenity of exploiting the deaths of over 100,000 people for partisan political gain. It just highlights the bankruptcy and hypocrisy of modern liberalism, both domestically and internationally.

» Continue reading "The political uses of disaster"

Posted by Eric Simonson at 1:44 PM

Sacrificial Honesty

Bloggers are not the only ones who can speak truth to power.

Rep. Joel Hefley (R-Colorado), a staunch conservative and chair of the House Ethics Committee, has built a reputation as someone who will do his job. If current rumors are true, however, he won't be doing his job much longer: Majority Leader Tom "The Hammer" DeLay (R-Texas) is considering shunting Hefley out of the way.

» Continue reading "Sacrificial Honesty"

Posted by Chops at 1:10 PM

January 1, 2005

Despite all our progress, half of all Americans earn below average incomes

Our English word sinister comes from the Latin word meaning left. Sinister means evil, macabre or unlucky. That etymology seems particularly appropriate these days because the left sees something sinister in every piece of good news. Let us count the ways in recent news reports.

» Continue reading "Despite all our progress, half of all Americans earn below average incomes"

Posted by Jack at 10:56 PM