March 2005 Archives

March 31, 2005

Down with the Punitive Tax System!

The deadline looms for all of our taxes to be in, and what better time than this to debate reforming our current (and definately) punitive tax system?

» Continue reading "Down with the Punitive Tax System!"

Posted by Lisa Zeimetz at 9:11 PM

Peace and Social Justice?

The lesson of history is that the lessons of history matter little to those enthralled with the idea of complete equality.

Chavez's Venezuela: A Fighting Chance for an Egalitarian Society?

No it's not Ward Churchil, but it shouldn't surprise anyone that the writer is an 'Associate professor of Latin American History and Women's Studies at the University of Rhode Island'.

» Continue reading "Peace and Social Justice?"

Posted by Eric Simonson at 3:02 PM

No right turns on campus - yet

A couple of stories of academia caught my attention today. The University of Colorado is firing a professor for what he said.

» Continue reading "No right turns on campus - yet"

Posted by Jack at 1:06 PM

March 28, 2005

Pro-life ought to mean it

[Missing link added, with apologies] "Much as I deplore the G.O.P.'s willingness to throw federalism and enumerated powers out of the window," CATO's Gene Healy writes in a post I wish I had written, "there is something admirable about a political movement that can agonize this much about a solitary human life." He decries an inconsistent overlap between pro-life conservatism and glib pro-Iraq war conservatism. "If . . . you'd move heaven, earth, and the federal courts to save [Terri Schiavo], then you ought to feel more than a twinge about a little girl covered in the blood of her dead mother and father, killed by Americans who were understandably frightened and didn't sign up for this. A twinge for her and for them and for countless others."

Posted by Matthew Hogan at 6:07 PM

Affirmative Action: A New Application

With October comes the World Series and with the World Series comes the inevitable debate about large market teams versus small market teams, teams that try to buy championships and those that cannot afford to buy championships. Unfortunately that is the reality of professional sports, but I have found a way to make it more equal: apply affirmative action to baseball.

» Continue reading "Affirmative Action: A New Application"

Posted by Nathan Melton at 10:17 AM

March 27, 2005

Condi Rice: Superstar

Condi Rice has been doing a great job and getting rave reviews around the world. Barbara Boxer and her ilk were wrong. Take a look at the policy she advocates and let's talk.

» Continue reading "Condi Rice: Superstar"

Posted by Jack at 10:32 PM

Easter Bunny Assaulted

To those who celebrate - Happy Easter. To those who don't - Happy Mall Day.

» Continue reading "Easter Bunny Assaulted"

Posted by Dawn at 2:03 PM

March 25, 2005

Consider the source. . . please!

Of interest: A key think-tank of a decidedly pro-Administration bent, and very close White House ties, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) has issued a drug policy report that enlivens one's "inner libertarian". Or terrfies one's "inner traditional conservative": "Domestic enforcement should be directed toward reducing drug-related problems. . . rather than locking up large numbers of low-level dealers. . . . Eradication of drug crops in source countries . . . is very unlikely to reduce America's drug problem. . . . Criminal punishment of marijuana use does not appear to be justified." Hat tip, Julian Sanchez.

Posted by Matthew Hogan at 3:00 PM

March 24, 2005

Err on the Side of Life

I think that George Bush's recent signing of the bill concerning Terri Schiavo and his comments that we should "err on the side of life" are both accurate representations of what government should be doing. Going back to John Locke, the father of classical liberalism, which in many respects is the same as modern conservatism, government's job was to protect life, liberty, and property. These were the only functions of government. It is therefore appropriate that the government chose to intervene in this instance.

» Continue reading "Err on the Side of Life"

Posted by Nathan Melton at 10:22 PM

Internet: We can't plead ignorance

The monotone of the evening news has been replaced by the cacophony of a million web voices. No longer can the network anchorman wrap up the news and expect it to stay wrapped. The education of Dan Rather by bloggers is best recent example. My father used to yell at the television screen to no effect. Today people don't trust news if they can't talk back and be heard. A free market of ideas is replacing centralized control. Everyone has the power to ask questions and to speak truth to power. We all have the power now, although not everyone knows how to use it.

» Continue reading "Internet: We can't plead ignorance"

Posted by Jack at 5:44 PM

March 23, 2005

Arms Embargo Against China

What is the EU doing? Why are they planning to lift this embargo?

» Continue reading "Arms Embargo Against China"

Posted by Dawn at 11:55 AM

A life worth living

Who should decide the fate of Terri Schiavo? Her husband? Her parents? Herself? None of the above is the right reply. Congress stumbled onto the correct answer, although for the wrong reason. They understand that this question must be decided ultimately by us - we the people. Technology permits human bodies to endure long after any reasonable quality of life has abandoned them. It is wrong.

» Continue reading "A life worth living"

Posted by Jack at 11:40 AM

March 22, 2005

GOP SCHIAVO MEMO NEITHER OUTRAGEOUS NOR CYNICAL

Contra Radley Balko and others, I do not find this memo especially outrageous, cynical, or disgusting. The fact that a political party saw a political advantage in intervening in the Schiavo case is not inherently bad, they are supposed to pick their battles strategically for effect. It would be outrageous and "cynical" if the memo had said the case actually involved a meaningless issue. Instead, rather, it calls the Schiavo issue an important moral one.

» Continue reading "GOP SCHIAVO MEMO NEITHER OUTRAGEOUS NOR CYNICAL"

Posted by Matthew Hogan at 2:12 PM

March 19, 2005

George Bush and a World Transformed

George Bush is transforming the United States and the world. His team suffers setbacks and there is a lot of shouting, but the juggernaut moves inexorably forward. People should get used to the fact that the President says what he means and does what he says.

» Continue reading "George Bush and a World Transformed"

Posted by Jack at 10:29 AM

Proletarian revolution?

The Western press has not been telling of incidents of this type. "Sweatshop" workers have been rioting in China [originally reported erroneously as in Taiwan] intermittently. The reason via Radley Balko from the mainstream Asian Labour News "was the limitation on working hours at the factory. The shorter hours have been requested by US companies so as to avoid criticism by various groups. . . . However, the mainly migrant workforce want to work longer hours." So they threw a riot. One of many incidents like this, but unheard about here. Deeper meaning, if any? (No tundra reported hurt, btw, nor caribou, thank God).

Posted by Matthew Hogan at 12:02 AM

March 18, 2005

Rowland Sentenced To One Year

The Associated Press reports that John Rowland, Connecticut's former Governor, was sentenced today to a year in prison.

» Continue reading "Rowland Sentenced To One Year"

Posted by Dan Spencer at 4:56 PM

March 17, 2005

Save the Wails: Tundra & Lightening -- More ANWR

(Apologies for multiple title puns, but if puns were outlawed only outlaws would have puns.) It looks like the drilling of oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) may proceed, despite bizarre wailing against it. In all my days, I don’t think I recall a public issue so black and white clear as this one. The drilling actually sounds like an answer to an environment-oriented prayer; in fact as I was praying the other day, something happened.....come along....

» Continue reading "Save the Wails: Tundra & Lightening -- More ANWR"

Posted by Matthew Hogan at 11:01 PM

Europe: The UN-America

What does it mean to be European? The answer seems simple until you try to formulate it. The sad truth is that the current most important component of European identity is NOT being American. Like 7-UP was advertised as the un-cola, Europe is the un-America and this irritates U.S.-European relations.

» Continue reading "Europe: The UN-America"

Posted by Jack at 8:32 PM

The Ravens of ANWR

Not only do we have to worry about the drilling effecting the wildlife, the Ravens are taking over.
There are people on both sides of this issue that have strong opinions for and against drilling in ANWR.
As long as strict rules are implemented that protect the area why is there a problem?

» Continue reading "The Ravens of ANWR"

Posted by Dawn at 11:01 AM

March 16, 2005

A Proposal for the Future of Social Security

In the political atmosphere surrounding Social Security, the best thing that can be done at this time is brainstorming. There simply aren't enough options on the table yet, and it's obvious that no one position has the support of the citizens or their representatives. The President's proposal doesn't make actuarial and financial sense, nor does the Democrats' assertion that it is not yet time to act on Social Security hold water.

So what do we need? Ideas. Lots of ideas.

» Continue reading "A Proposal for the Future of Social Security"

Posted by Chops at 1:19 PM

March 12, 2005

The 'Purple Party'

A new Political Party is emerging. It is called the Moderate Party. At the risk? of helping a new party gain ground ... we at Watchblog should take a look and debate the Pledge, Philosophy, and Platform of this new party.

» Continue reading "The 'Purple Party'"

Posted by Dawn at 10:52 AM

March 11, 2005

Born that way

I have been watching the debates on both sides of this blog. One concerns homosexuality the other transgender. The assumption in all cases is that the behavior is not voluntary. It is innate, hardwired. Homosexuality is no lifestyle choice. If it is not strictly speaking inborn, it is largely determined before adulthood. If a woman is trapped in a man's body, s/he has to change the plumbing of that body; she can't just change her mind.

» Continue reading "Born that way"

Posted by Jack at 5:20 PM

Who is Chuck Hagel?

Short answer: Charles Timothy Hagel, the senior U.S. Senator from Nebraska, currently in his second term. He's a decorated 'Nam vet and an experienced executive in the public and private sectors.

» Continue reading "Who is Chuck Hagel?"

Posted by Chops at 1:44 PM

Eliminating Sexual Diversity

Two weeks ago, I submitted an article to The New Hampshire, UNH's only student newspaper with a significant reader base, about the school's recent creation of "gender neutral" bathrooms. Or are they "transgender" bathrooms? The liberals can't seem to make up their minds (as you can tell from a careful reading of the above source). The newspaper has thus far declined to publish my article, although it has since published several articles supporting the new bathrooms and attacking the sole columnist who spoke out against them.

» Continue reading "Eliminating Sexual Diversity"

Posted by Gandhi at 11:35 AM

Fatwa on Bin Laden

The 'good' Muslim leaders of Spain, Morocco, and Lybia are finally speaking out against Bin Laden and his followers.
Why has it taken so long and why aren't their more of them doing this around the world?

» Continue reading "Fatwa on Bin Laden"

Posted by Dawn at 9:12 AM

March 10, 2005

Race in Hiring and Firing Decisions

I am not one of the subset of conservatives who denies that there are still race problems in the US. I disagree with affirmative action in most cases because the small plus factors which are argued for often become much larger in practice, and because I think such programs can actually cause or deepen racial resentment and suspicion.  Even so, such effects tend to be subtle and therefore difficult to prove. That is not the case in the recent goings-on at the District Attorney's office in New Orleans:

» Continue reading "Race in Hiring and Firing Decisions"

March 9, 2005

The coward dies a thousand deaths

We worry too much.

» Continue reading "The coward dies a thousand deaths"

Posted by Jack at 9:32 AM

March 8, 2005

The Right side of history

They say it can't, and shouldn't be done.

Kuwaitis demonstrate for women's suffrage

» Continue reading "The Right side of history"

Posted by Eric Simonson at 2:41 AM

March 6, 2005

I have a simple four-word answer: save Social Security first

Democrats are so far succeeding in thwarting the President's attempt to get the public interested in Social Security reform. I suppose that they are savoring one of the few victories they have scored against George Bush, but their partisan pleasure comes at a cost to all Americans.

» Continue reading "I have a simple four-word answer: save Social Security first"

Posted by Jack at 12:15 AM

March 5, 2005

Blogging 4 Bucks

Could it? Would it? Did it? happen here? Editors on this site are fair game to those with an agenda and virtually unlimited funds. How would we know if any of us have been approached to promote an agenda? How do we know it hasn't happened already?

» Continue reading "Blogging 4 Bucks"

Posted by Dawn at 8:52 AM

March 4, 2005

Why Free Market Democracy is Better than all the others

Democracy, freedom, rule of law and free markets. They complement each other and work best when all four are abundantly present. But why are they good? Most of the world's great philosophers would restraint all four and probably dispense with one or two of them all together. Plato favored the rule of law but distained the other three traits, at least in the forms we know them, and the rule of any rule of law besides God's law was anathema to theologians through the ages.

» Continue reading "Why Free Market Democracy is Better than all the others"

Posted by Jack at 11:59 AM

The Ugly

At the risk of being a pedant, allow me to respond in full length to a blurb in David's center-column post News: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. I do not fault David for citing the BBC; nor do I blame the Beeb for citing UNICEF. The way that UNICEF presented its data, however, is an irresponsible, value-laden way of sticking its worldly fingers in America's eye.

» Continue reading "The Ugly"

Posted by Chops at 10:17 AM

March 2, 2005

Of Dominoes and Democracy

"Lebanon's youth electrifies hope for a new beginning"
"US and France demand Syria leave Lebanon"
"Russia on Tuesday called for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Lebanon"
"Rice Offers Lebanon U.S. Election Help"


What's going on over there?! Lebanese demanding self government and democracy? Freedom might be dirty word on the left but many of the world's unfree yearn for a taste of it.

» Continue reading "Of Dominoes and Democracy"

Posted by Eric Simonson at 4:56 PM

Be judgmental. Tolerate less

A recent touch of the flu reacquainted me with daytime TV. The picture it paints of American society ain't pretty. Largely gone are the inane game shows and soap operas face a more formidable competition from "confrontation shows."

» Continue reading "Be judgmental. Tolerate less"

Posted by Jack at 2:04 PM