Thursday, December 15, 2005

I Rest My Case...
Reports of a rape trial in Australia involving a Pakistani perp, here:

Which, of course, lends creedence to my assertion of two days ago that the recent Aussie "race" riots have more to do with Muslims and their behavior than they do with Aussie sensibilities. Or lack, thereof.

I especially like the part about the perp being alowed to swear on the Koran in the courtroom and his expectation that what passes for justice in his home shithole would be valid in a foreign, Western court.

Monday, December 12, 2005

France Down-Under...
Been reading and hearing a lot about race riots in Australia.

The news reports are somewhat confusing and misleading in these parts (New York), but from what I can gather, the situation can be summed up thusly:

1. Roving bands of Australian "youths" are attacking Muslims with whatever comes to hand.
2. The "youths" seem to have no justification for doing so.
3. Lot's of surfers and beach-bunnies seem to be involved.

Of course, that's just the take of the liberal media around these parts. Reading between the lines, I come to the following conclusions:

1. Australians are sick to death of Muslims, particularly in recent days, when an Australian citizen is awaiting execution in Indonesia on a drug charge. This has been a hot-button item with the Australian people, who despite the fact that the man engaged in illegal activity, still don't want to see him killed for it. Especially not by brutal Sharia executioners.
2. There's always a reason for riots, but perhaps the media here don't want us to know why. They'd rather portray these events as white racism against poor, third-world refugees because doing so advances their own agenda: keeping Americans stupid enough to elect a Democrat come 2008.
3. Being the self-appointed arbiters of what is right and correct in society, the news folks can pretty much do anything they want, and have the ability to do so: they have the sattelite feeds, video tape and broadcasting capabilities. According to their code of political correctness, Muslims are victims of other people's violence, never the instigators.
4. I wouldn't be surprised if a bunch of Muslim "victims" were actually a roving rape gang, oggling or fondling beach-bunnies, who managed to run afoul of some non-politically-correct Aussie surfer boys who decided to take the law into their own hands, and the phenomenon just merely spread. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a wide-spread belief that Muslims come to Australian beaches simply to oggle and potentially rape the Aussie beach belles. They do so everywhere else, it seems, so that the action taken by white Aussie males, put into this context, can be explained as Aussie men doing what they're supposed to do: protecting the wimmenfolk from rapacious marauders.

Of course, my view of Islam and the walking filth that practices it, is skewed; I hate 'em. I understand them (all too well), but I still hate 'em.

I saulte the Aussie surfer, who seems to have more in the testicle department than his cheese-eating cousins.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Rethinking the Rethinking...
Read an article today about the "rethinking of the role of manufacturing in Michigan's economy" (sorry, no link --- bad at bookmarking sometimes). The thrust of the article as that since Michigan has lost 172,000 manufacturing jobs in recent years, an effort must be made to remodel the state's economy to more realistically reflect current economic trends.

A propos of nothing at all, I was reminded of something I once wrote in this space regarding Wal-Mart. Take a jaunt through your local Wal-mart and you'l find very little, besides snack foods, cigarettes and soft drinks, that is manufactured here in he United States. Just about everything else has a little tag or sticker on it reading "Made in China". Or Pakistan. Or Mexico. So on and so forth. Industrial capacity in this country seems to be limited to a few, exclusive fields, where there is heavy profit, but little direct consumer demand amongst the greatest number of people. There are exceptions, of course. Automakers do, in fact, serve the gretest number of American citizens, (as possible) even with competition from foreign imports (it wasn't all that long ago that GM was reporting record SUV sales and profits. This month, GM filed for bankruptcy protection. Go figure.), but they are a small portion of the overall economy.

Steel, another commodity in which Americans used to excel, is also taking an economic hit from foreign competition. American steel is simply too expensive to use in large-scale construction projects.

About the only heavily profitable industries still in America that I can think of are aircraft manufacturing, and anything having to do with war. I do not consider anything related to the health care industry as "manufacturing", per se.

Which, naturally, lead me to start thinking about (who else?) George Orwell, which wouldn't make any sense except for the beginnings of a train of thought that was one of those moments. When one slaps palm to forehead and yells "Dunce!" in a moment of self-disgust. How perfectly obtuse of me to have missed the connection.

Orwell was one of a long line of 19th and 20th century authors, political commentators and such, that foresaw some of these events, although in a roundabout way. Begining, I guess, with Marx (in an infantile way) there was a train of economic and social thought that once believed that with the coming of the machine economy and the expected advances in industrial technique, back-breaking labor and material dearth would be a thing of the past. That once industrialization had reached the four corners of the earth, everyone would have enough of everything and there would never be war, disease, poverty, etc.

Of course, there were always those that would fight against such things ("counter-revolutionaries", "Capitalists", etc) because once material wealth became a commonplace, they would lose their status in society. The "reactionaries", in other words, would fight against the advance of mankind in order to maintain their petty privledges. Others refined this idea further, one of them being James Burnham who believed that instead of encouraging open revolt against this "New World Order" ,or material plenty for all, those who were formerly in control would merely co-opt it, becoming the new version of the robber barons: the managerial class. The Managerial Class would be composed of society's elite: technocrats, educators, highly-trained specialists, etc, and would control and direct that which they would formerly, merely "own". By applying such methods of control, the Managerial Class would, in fact, "own" everything without actually being seen as owning anything. Power would replace visible wealth as the currency of status.

Orwell took this one step further, and borrowing freely from Marx, Burnham, H.G. Wells, and using his direct experience of Fascism, Socialism and World War II, put forward an old idea in a new package: the Hierarchal Society of "1984". In "1984", there is, for all intents and purposes, no industry in Oceania which is not concerned with war, surveilance or terror. Oceania, if it produces anything, merely does so as long as it allows the "party" a pretext for staying in power.
What consumer economy there is, is stocked entirely by slave labor -- the "proles" or the peoples of India and Africa who are constantly fought over and enslaved. It made no sense for Oceania to produce anything, from bootlaces to razor blades, when it could do so easily, if it meant distributing them with the intent of improving people's lives. Improving their lives in any material sense would only threaten the hold of the "Party" (i.e. the managerial class) over the people. So they were kept in a constant state of deprivation while slaves labored elsewhere to produce resources and items that would be used up in constant warfare.

And here's the connection: The United States no longer produces much in the way of consumer goods. It is easier and cheaper to farm that kind of antiquated, labor- and capital-intensive operation to places like India,China or Indonesia, because while the money pumped into these regions vastly improves certain conditions for the workers, it does little to affect the overall wealth of these regions and individuals, and preserves the status of those here who direct the whole enterprise. Outsourcing garment jobs to Mexico or ElSalvador is justified by explaining the benefit to stockholders (lower operating expenses means bigger returns on investment) and to consumers (lower prices means you can buy more for less money), while ignoring the harm it does to Americans (the loss of jobs). The harm, according to the managerial class, is merely short-term, because they assume that those who lose their job assembling bicycles, for example, will somehow find their way into another field (usually defined as "the service sector", which doesn't pay as well, but which is still employment).

What is required is not the "rethinking of Michigan's economic foundation" but a "rethinking of how we continue to let these greedy slobs in corner offices get away with this shit". An American worker can just as easily asemble computers and circuit boards as a Chinese. The difference is the standard of living which each is expected to put up with. A Chinese worker expects no freedom, political or personal, and doesn't (for now) expect to live in mansion. American workers expect both, and thus, have priced themselves out of the market. The apparatus which is supposed to guarentee their rights and standard of living (government, labor unions, etc) has itself been invaded and corrupted by the Managerial Class, and thus, no help is to be expected from either quarter. Which makes this all incredibly funny (funny strange, not funny ha-ha) is that the STATE of Michigan, which has aided and abetted (and helped to accelerate) the loss of 172,000 jobs, has the audacity to announce that it will be working on a solution. It's merely the same cabal working in the same old fashion. Industry will be replaced by low-cost high-tech, which when it becomes expensive or unfprofitable, will be shipped to Taiwan.

I do not call for some sort of proletarian's revolution, because such is not possible in the United States and because such is merely the swapping of one group of ill-intentioned idiots for another. Communism is not my bag, man. But I do call for some sort of awareness on the part of the people who have lost their livelihoods as to whom is responsible, and ask them to hold those people accountable.

In the meantime, I'll go to Wal-Mart and place "Orwell was right" stickers over evrything that reads "Made in China".

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The More The Merrier?
A French government minister is now blaming the practice of polygamy for at least a portion of the social unrest in France. Here is a story from the Financial Times of London:

I found some of the minster's explanations and excuses to be somewhat interesting from the standpoint of how the French government collectively thinks. o begin with, there's this:

"GĂ©rard Larcher said multiple marriages among immigrants was one reason for the racial discrimination which ethnic minorities faced in the job market. Overly large polygamous families sometimes led to anti-social behaviour among youths who lacked a father figure, making employers wary of hiring ethnic minorities, he explained."

A liberal making a conservative argument? Who woulda thunk it? Somehow the traditional nuclear family, which has been pooh-poohed in Europe and the United States for some time now, might be a solution to some of France's internal problems? Why, that's bold and original thinking (note: sarcasm)! Could it be that in the face of a demographic time bomb, with a lit fuse, the "secular" hedonists of Europe have finally begun to admit that they might have been wrong?
Traditional families and values leading to domestic tranquility; somehow a novel concept in Europe, now to be rediscovered.

"Polygamy is a taboo subject for most mainstream French politicians. Far-right groups, however, have seized on it to argue that immigrants abuse the French social security system by collecting state benefits for several wives."

Well, when you give people a way to game the system, they will usually take advantage of it. They'll certainly take advantage of it when you don't want to be seen as insensitive in applying the law equally. The refusal to apply one standard of behavior or one set of rules in favor of being "culturally sensitive" always has consequences. In this case, the consequence is that you encourage fraud and illegal immigration. There's a lesson here for America.

"But Mr Larcher said France was so traumatised by the Vichy government’s expulsion of French Jews to German concentration camps during the second world war that it still found it unpalatable to allow information to be collected on people’s ethnic origins."

Yep, nothing like invoking the Nazi experience. France is still a victim of the Germans: we're so "traumatized" that we don't even take a census. This is not exactly the same situation. French Muslims and North Africans are not being shipped to gas chambers, nor is that prospect looming on the horizon. The French government merely neglected one of the first duties all governments have: finding out who is in the country and where they are. The French did not do so, probably because, again, political correctness intervened.

"He acknowledged that the unemployment rate among young people in France was twice the national average, but said other European countries faced similar problems. He also pointed the finger at the US, where he said the unemployment rate among blacks aged 16-19 was twice that of their white counterparts. "

Attempted moral equivalency? How dare you, Monseuir Cheese-Eater! There's a major difference: our unemployed youth could have jobs, if they wanted them. All they'd have to do is seek out the nearest fast-food restaurant or shopping center, where minimum wage jobs abound. Granted, they are not the best jobs o nthe planet, but there are not many 16 year olds who have mortgages to pay and children in Ivy League schools. French youth, on the other hand, particularly if they are not of the ruling race (i.e. White) couldn't get a job selling their vital organs due to the racism, bureaucratic red tape and depressed economy under which they must live. Much of the blame for creating these conditions rests squarely on the shoulders of the French governing elite.

France must undergo change. And much of it will be painful and heart-wrenching. The decisions that will need to be made will be enormously difficult. They will not be made any easier when you continue to avoid the truth. The truth, in this case, is that France (and much of Europe) has imported a major problem that it is afraid to deal with because of the obvious risks inhereant in the solutions; one risk is that of racial civil war, the other is of concilliation with those that will eventually outnumber you and assume control of your institutions, legally and from within.

I'm beginning to suspect that the French people, at least, are beginning to tilt towards solution number one, while the French government tries frantically to avoid it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Bush Strikes Back...
A nifty little commercial about to air in heavy rotation has he democrats all up in arms about Saddam Hussein and his WMD, complete with their belief that Saddam needed to go,and their belief in the "false intelligence" George Bush used to "lie" them into war. You can see this masterpiece of truth at:

This link is firefox friendly.

Get ready to see a whole lot more of this as democrats shove the "Bush lied" stuff in order to win in 2006 midterms and position themselves for 2008. I find it noteworthy that four of the biggest "stars" on this thing (Hilary Clinton, John Edwards, Evan Bayh and Joe Biden) have all either announced an intention to seek the 2008 nomination or are considered frontrunners. This will hang around their necks --- big time.

Also expect a maelstrom of whining, crying and prevaricating about how this ad is somehow "unfair", "misleading", "taken out of context", etc, by the people who got tarnished by it.
And Speaking of Liars...
A recent poll shows that 12 out of every 3 Americans (or some other astronomically improbable number, after all, the poll was conducted by someone with an agenda) now has serious reason to doubt the veracity of one George Walker Bush. I believe the number of people who consider GW a lying sack of scattalogical matter is about 70% or so. I'm not totally sure, but as far as I can tell, the poll restricted it's scope as to whether or not the President lied about anything and everything related to the War in Iraq, the leadup to the war or the reasons for going to war.

This issue is a hot-button item for democrats (small "d" intentional), who for lack of anything better to say or do, have now taken to hopping up and down on one foot, yelling oooh-ooh, like little schoolboys bursting for a pee.

The whole issue of "did the President lie to us about Iraqi WMD's" is, of course, the fallout from the whole sordid Valerie Plame/Joe Wilson affair, which, for those of you living in caves (that means YOU, Mr. Usama BinHidin'), runs something like this:

Valerie Plame works for the CIA. Has for a very long time. It has not been a very carefully guarded secret on the Wshington Beltway cocktail circuit. Miz Plame has a husband, one Joe Wilson, career diplomat and bon-vivant, who couldn't have found gainful employment without the State Department, and who somehow (no one knows how) was enlisted by the CIA (no one knows why) to "investigate" claims that Iraq sought "yellowcake" uranium on the international market in Africa in the 1990's or something. Mr. Wilson met with his "contacts from his diplomatic days" and his "commercial contacts" and came to the conclusion that Saddam and Co. did not attempt to buy yellowcake from Niger whenever it was they are alleged to have done so.

Wilson became a celebrity when his "thorough report" was trotted out in support of John Kerry's presidential bid. Here, accoding to the conventional democratic wisdom, was a man who was infinitely qualified to comment and report on Iraq's attempt to develop nuclear weapons.

Except that he isn't. His wife is the weapons expert, and she never set foot in Africa to investigate these claims. Wilson's account, lovingly related in his book, tells all about his cordial meetings with representatives of Africa's governments and their commercial people, over mint tea, of course. Just about every Wilson interview with his contacts went something like this:

"Iraq? Yellowcake? You must be joking. Iraq never tried to buy uranium here , my friend, but you didn't hear it from me. In fact, there is no yellowcake here. A figment of someone's imagination, I suppose. Id' be shocked, shocked, if our otherwise-trustworthy-third-world shithole-African-government-types hopped into bed with a brutal dictator."

Yep. That's the people I'd go to for the truth. Diplomats. African ones, at that.

So anyway, Wilson comes home, reports there is nothing to see here, and then violates security to write a book on the whole thing, making the CNN and Oprah circuit and the whole nine yards.

The Robert Novak, a conservative columnist, somehow or other, mentions Valerie Plame, the not-so-covert-CIA agent in an article critical of Joe Wilson, and all hell breaks loose. Who revealed the name of a CIA agent to a reporter? How many reporters? How high does this go? blah, blah, blah, blah,blah.

Somehow, the Chief of Staff to Vice President Cheney is fingered as the source and the speculation is that he revealed Plame's identity to Novak, and Newsweek, and the New York Times, in an effort to shut her husband up prior to the election (Someone in the Vice President's office, Scooter Libby, violated security to identify a covert agent! How terrible! In the meantime, her husband is violating security bragging about his trip and report and dragging her int o the liight of day as he does it. Talk about double standards!) Didn't matter, as Wilson was squarely in Kerry's camp, and Kerry paid him as an advisor and financially supported Wilson's website right through the election, while Wilson was held up by democrats as the very symbol of GW Bush's problem with the truth vis-a-vis WMD.

So, anyway, this has now been blown up to epic proportions and the new democractic mantra is that "Bush is a liar", which is at least catchier than the old democratic mantra, "Bush is an idiot."

But I find it amazing, and quite amusing, to note from which quarters the "liar, liar, pants on fire" rhetoric is coming:

John Kerry - who lied about everything connected to his four months of running around Vietnam collecting self-inflicted gunshot wounds so he could be shipped home.

Teddy Kennedy - who lied about killing a woman by leaving her to drown in his car after a drunk driving accient.

Joe Biden - who is a proven prevaricator and plagerizer.

Chuck Schumer - who couldn't tell the truth if you strapped electrodes to what passes for his testicles. Schumer is a notorious exagerator, provided there's a television camera somewhere in the vicinity t exagerat to.

Bill/Hillary Clinton - need I say more? I guess it depends on what the definition of "lie" is.

Jimmy Carter - notorious traitor and certifier of third-world pisspot elections in which ballots are filled in under the barrel of a gun, but somehow magically cleansed by his imprimitur.

Robert W. Byrd - former Klansman and defender of civil rights, who it seems has been senator from West Virgina ever since there was a West Virginia.

John Edwards - a lawyer, former Senator from North Carolina and John Kerry's water boy in 2004. That says it all. Yep, when I need to identify a liar, I always trust the word of a lawyer.

This is just the A-list.

As far as I can recall, the intelligence regarding Iraqi WMD's was pretty clear, if only later proven incorrect. It was such a common belief that Iraq had the capability of producing a nuc that every Western European intelligence agency all agreed with the CIA's estimate (not Wilson/Plame, the real CIA). In other words, everyone was fooled.

But of course, there were other reasons given for the invasion of Iraq: Saddam Hussein had to go, it was US policy thatthe Iraqi regime should be changed (by force, if necessary) since 1998 (Teddy, Johnny, Robby, and Joey all voted for that resolution, by the way). We won't even get into the terms of the Armistice which ended the First Gulf War (repeatedly violated by Saddam) and 17 U.N. Resolutions concerning Iraq's conduct, sanctions and weapons programs.

Then there was the 64 pages in the 9/11 Commission Report which detailed Iraqi contacts with Al-Qeada and other terrorist networks, the training camps within Iraq, etc.

What's being done here is that the entire case for going to war is being chucked, or conveniently forgotten, to advance the premise that Bush lied about WMD's and that this "lie" negates the rest of the argument, and thus, the justification for war. But this is a tricky thing to do: after all, the intelligence was dead wrong. If a president makes a decision based on bad information that isn't proven bad until after the fact, did he actually lie?

The answer, of course, is no. Only democrats want you to believe otherwise. They also want to be in that wonderful, fabulous position we'd all love to be in, which is the position in which you can have your cake and eat it too. Democratic support for the Iraq war was pure political opportunism --- many democrats paid for their "No War" vote in 1991 with the loss of their office in 1994 --- and no democrat was going to make the same mistake this time around. The majority of them voted to go to war in 2002. Which is too bad from the perspective of what it has cost them: the rabid fringes of their own party has savaged them terribly and there exists a true possibility of a split on the far left of the party. The same far left that punked out on Al Gore in favor of Ralph Nader and gave Bush the election in 2000. They now want to, on the one hand, justify their "YES" vote on the war to the "moderates" (Reagan Democrats, who actually think like republicans) in the party, and at the same time explain why they couldn't cast a "NO" vote to their rabid dogs.

It's all so simple: Bush lied to us! Had WE been in charge or had WE known he was lying, this would never have happened! They expect you to believe that they are that dumb to be tricked into something like this by a man thay have called an idiot for five years. What does that say about them?

Don't buy it. Anyone who believes this nonsense would also be willing to take the word of a corrupt African diplomat on a nuclear non-proliferation.
Okay, So I Lied...
Not half an hour after I posted that I was pretty lazy and therefore had not made any signifigant improvements to this site, I went ahead and did so. I shamed myself into it. I felt so weak and slimy, like a French minister at a convention of Catholics, that I figured the best thing to do was to take a bath in the waters of productivity.

So, we now have new features on this site:

To begin with, we now have a link bar (lower right), where you too can go to get the seriously brain-warping news, information, and tidbits of mental flotsam, at the same locations I get them. If there is any problem with a link, please let me know so that I can fix it. You'll probably notice that I'm HTML challenged as well, but I think I muddled through. I have wide-ranging web tastes, and the bar will be updated from time to time with newer sites, as I find them. You will note that these sites have a certain political/cultural/intelligent flare to them, and I like to keep it that way. It's my site, after all. But, I think you will agree that there is a variety of opinions to be found, even if most of them lean right. Should I find any leftist site that is not completely full of crap or venom, I will make an effort to list it.

Next, we have a feature that I''m both interested in and dreading: you may now post comments on my posts. If you post, please keep it clean. Or relatively so anyway. Even better, make it relevant and intelligent. Personal attacks will be answered by way of a small group of armed men, with surnames ending in vowels, who have extensive experience in "making people disappear" (just kidding). I don't mind being called an idiot or even slightly cursed at, provided you can otherwise make your case intelligently, but threats of bodily harm, etc, will merely get you reported to the authorities. Kapische?

Well, all three of you who actually read this thing can now have a little more fun and interract with the Chief Inmate here at the Asylum.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Some Thoughts on PodCasting...
The process of PodCasting this screed was recently touched upon by a friend of mine. I am reluctant to do so for several reasons. The begin with, this site started as a place where I might vent my caustic spleen without acually hurting anyone. It was therapy for me. In that sense, what I write here is somewhat personal.

Secondly, I'm not sure just how many people actually drop in here. I do not track visits to this site, because a) Blogger charges for this service and b) I really could care less and c) probably 3/4 of the hits would be me reading what I've written because I'm a rotten editor and make corrections to spelling and such after the fact. I'm lazy. This also explains why, despite a genuine desire to do so at some unspecified date, I will/might/could/just-as-well-should-have/am planning to/did plan to/actually started the process of adding links to other websites that I also frequently visit. Procrastination seems to be my major talent.

And finally, and this is the embarrassing part, I'm not quite sure what PodCasting is. I will assume, stating the obvious, that it has something to do with the iPod, which I gather is a nifty little gadget that allows you to take little pieces of your PC with you wherever you go. A sort of mini-operating system on the go. I've spent twenty years of my life working in the technology field (computer operator, Data Center Manager, Systems Programmer) without being quite so "up" on the technology thing. It was simply my job and I made an effort to know just what I needed to and damn all the rest.

But it is an intriguing idea in some respects.

After all, what is the point of pontificating if there is no one to pontificate to? From the standpoint of Ego, it would be interesting to know how many people agree with me, and to satisfy the Id, how many disagree and why. Perhaps in that exchange of ideas, I could learn a thing or two.

So, in the interests of intellectual curiosity (and let's face it, commercial possibilities), I would like to have the few of you who do read this regularly, and those who might just be passing through, to drop me a mail and let me know what you think. Here is the address to send it to:

Your comments and suggestions on how to improve this site would be most welcome!

Just What the Doctor Ordered...
In keeping with our medical meme, here is an explanation of Bush hatred (Or Bush Derangement Syndrome, as described by Charles Krauthammer) by a real psychiatrist:

Decide for yourself.
Another Reason to Question "Medical Breakthroughs"...
Among thetypically useless thoughts that sometimes cross the empty space between my ears is the nature and results of scientific research. Particularly when it comes to that oft repeated and never-satisfactorily-answered question: "Why haven't 'they' found a cure for ________?"

'They', of course, is the nameless, faceless, unidentifiable cabal that somehow knows all, sees all and is merely holding every potential boon to mankind in a closet someplace in Peoria, under orders from the Illuminati , the Rothchilds, Opus Dei, and the Council on Foreign Relations. But I digress...

Now I do not mean to imply that I have the kind of mind that is scientifically sharp, or which understands all the witchcraft involved in organic chemistry, genetics, genone manipulation, mutation and the Grand Theory of Yahtze. I don't. If you asked me what I thought scientists do all day, I'd tell you they probably surf the net and occasionally mix up gunk in a laboratory that eventually becomes "this year's HOTTEST Christmas Gift Item!!!"

I'm certain that this is, of course, a fallacy (sniff, sniff. Smell that? That was sarcasm). Asking me for a scientific opinion on anything would be like asking your bowling instructor to explain the Theory of Gramscian Socialism. In other words, chances are he would probably know slightly more about that subject than I would about anything scientific.

That having been said, I get to the purpose of this little screed.

My eyes and ears were assaulted (yes, that is the correct word) by a local TV news report this evening concerning the combination of some gunk with some other foreign substance usually used to kill household pests (I think, I'm not up on this scientific mumbo-jumbo, but I believe it was a mixture of glucosomine and Tylenol) into a "combination therapy" that seems to help people with rheumatoid arthrititis deal with the pain associated with the disease. The one (that's one) patient they interviewed on this subject actually uses this therapy and claims it works for her. The one (that's one) doctor they interviewed stated that while it seems to work for her patient (the one they interviewed), no one seems to know just why.

The implication, of course, is that the doctor is prescribing a therapy involving the combination of drugs to her patient because her symptoms are relieved, but no one knows why it works or what it might do to her. It seems to me that the doctor, at a loss for something else to do, has abrogated her responsibility to her patient by allowing her to engage in a therapy that has little or no scientific foundation. The idea is simply that "it works" and that's all there is to it. Now the poor woman can stop bothering me every 15 minutes for a new prescription or bitching about her pain.

The reporter who covered this story (himself a doctor) did in fact bring up the question as to whether this therapy actually worked or merely acted as a placebo, but declined to follow up. He got a "this is not a placebo, it works!" from the patient and that was the end of it. He finished up by beseeching viewers to check with their physician before begining this therapy on their own.

Not exactly the best in-depth reporting of what might be a medical breakthrough (that word has lost it's meaning in an age when Viagra is been described in the same terms), and let's face it; the doctor had approximately 5 minutes of airtime, tops, in which to get the story out. However, the seemingly lackadaisical attitde of the attending physician, and the "Thank You Lord, Jesus Christ, I can walk!" gushing of the patient led me to ask a question:

Is it just me or is there something wrong here?

Which lead to my next question:

Why are they reporting as a breakthrough something that most people would normally do anyway, which is take Tylenol (or aspirin) for joint pain?

Which sorta-kinda steered me to another question, which, coincidentally, is where I began:

"Why haven't 'they' found a cure for ______?"

The simple answer is: because no one wants to find a cure, that's why. There is simply too much money at stake involved in research, marketing and press releases. Finding a cure for "X" is probably the greatest job in the world; you don't need to show results, and every so often you can trot out a press release that indicates that something that already exists or which will soon be made available, does something with regards to the disease in question.

Have high cholesterol? Eat oatmeal. Or better yet, take this little pill that costs $20 a pop. No, we have no cure for high cholesterol, but we can control it, and we'll keep on controlling it until we find something else to get rich on. But in the meantime, give to the American Heart Association so that we can continue this "vital research".

Have diabetes? We know what causes it and while we can manipulate genes so that a sheep can give birth to a chimpanzee, we can't figure out how to do anything to you that might fix this problem. Here, take insulin two or three times a day and buy all the paraphrenalia associated with blood testing: meters, monitors, lancets, gauze, band-aids and syringes. And don't forget to pop your spare change into that tin can on every convenience store counter that allows us to continue our "quest for a cure".

I could go on and on, but I won't.

I understand that science and medicine don't operate in the same way as most other fields of endeavor which are results-oriented and that, for the most part, the human body and how it works is as big a mystery to us today as it was to Paracelsus or Avicenna back in the Stone Age (or whenever it was they lived). But I'm getting a little tired and a bit cynical about the seemingly-weekly announcements about "another milestone" being reached in the "diagnosis, prevention and treatment of canker sores" or somesuch, which after the fireworks display, proves to be nothing of the sort. It seems to be more in line of a tease that is offering people who are really ill, and desperate, some hope and simultaneously to get them to open their pocketbooks.

And there are worse diseases out there than Arthritis, Diabetes or Hypercholesterosis. Cancer, AIDS, Leukemia, and a host of others, that are just as painful, just as deadly, lurk out there too, and have probably had more money thrown at them than anything else, and no one comes close to anything resembling answers. Maybe those answers don't exist or they might be beyond our abilities to discover at the present, but it seems like it's more of a great way to ensure lifetime employment, and the supporting funds, without having to actually produce a result (unless a press release touting Tylenol counts as such).
France and the "Religion of Peace"...
I have been accused recently of being blind with regards to the role of Islam and Islamonazism in the riots now plaguing France and many other European cities. The charge against me is that since I have not squared my interpretation of what's happening with the repeated jabbering of the Islamic rabblerousers world-wide, then I must be either ignoring the role Islam is playing here or I'm just as dumb as your typical Irish Setter.

Well, quite frankly, I resent that. I don't believe I'm being wilfully blind, or that I'm lacking in the brains department, but rather, I look at what's happening in France and I do not see the same Islamic component one would see in similar riots in the West Bank or Gaza. I have not seen any evidence to support the theory that these distrubances were planned, plotted and whipped into existance in the mosques. I fully appreciate that should it become convenient for them to do so, the usual rogues gallery of Muhammedian muckrakers will crawl from the shadows to claim leadership and give "guidance" to the rioters. I just do not see them, or radical Islamic ideology, at the forefront of the riots.

Never doubt for second that a cabal of opportunistic slugs, disguised as Men of God, are simply sitting on the sidelines, licking their chops in anticipation. This is manna from Heaven, so to speak, for the committed, ant-Western, Jihadist type. They have not been heard from to this point, and the rioters are not out there shouting "Morte du Le Satan Petit" or anything similar to what one would expect a crowd motivated by Islam to say or do.

HoweverI do not see any proof of the involvement of the fringe- suicidal-explosive-boxer-shorts brotherhood. The biggest argument against an Islamic conspiracy in these things is simply that while many of the rioters are Muslims, a good deal aren't. They are enagaged in a campaign to highlight their grievances through destruction of property, and most likely their own property at that, a feature of "civil rights" activities that Americans should recognize all too well from Watts, Detroit, Newark and Los Angeles.

I'm not blind and I'm not dumb. And while I have been known to make outrageous leaps of (il-)logic, I don't think this is one of them.

If it makes my critics feel any better, here's what you want to hear:

France is doomed! Europe will become an adjunct of the Great Caliphate! Christianity is threatened with extinction. It's the end of Western Civilization as we know it! The end is nigh! Repent and arm the ICBM's, we may have to nuke Mecca any day now in order to protect ourselves! Anyone who doesn't agree with this assesment is an asshole and probably a democrat, a liberal democrat, to boot!

There, I hope that helps.

Now back to reality.

Is France doomed? Probably not in the conventional sense. France has a history of bloody and violent social upheavals and this is merely carryng on a tradition. What makes it even more scary in today's world is that we see people who are most definitely Muslims engaged in wanton destruction, and post-9/11, we naturally panic and assume the worst.

As for what France can do about these things, I'm not so sure. To begin with it is obvious that some sort of social reconcilliation is necessary to move Sarkozy's "scum" into the mainstream of French life. Call it "Le Action Affirmative", if you'd like (to apply an American term). I can see the French government making that kind of concession. However, it won't work until many of the other underlying problems of French sociey are fixed: High taxes, Byzantine regulation, moribund economy, lack of opportuniy or equality of opportunity, and racism. The issue is not religion, it is that there are vast numbers of people roaming the streets with NOTHING TO DO, in a place where the prevailing culture tends to ignore, demonize and segregate them.

If caving in doesn't work, then the French are left with only one option, which is the use of deadly force. That they have not done so to this point reveals both a remarkable restraint and a cowardness, which is typically French. The French will not fight until absolutely forced to, and when that point is reached, I feel bad for the rioters. Your typical "enlightened" Froggie is no such thing; at heart he is an arrogant, snobbish, elitist racist that would put any American bearing claims to those titles to shame. The French government also owns all the guns; when the call to "save French culture" goes out, those guns will appear -- in the hands of the very people who are now claiming social, cultural and ethical superiority.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The French Nightmare Come True...
From the Times of London, I give you this:,,2089-1869874,00.html

Th implication is that Jacques Chirac is a dead man walking, and all it will take to bury him once and for all is for the violence now sweeping French cities to spill over and disrupt the tourist trade.

I don't agree that it's that simple, to be sure, but there are underlying factors at play here.

What is happening in Paris, and elsewhere, is simply a repudiation of the European societal model. This model implies that things like culture, religion and custom can just easily be brushed aside in the name of "unity". It is an extension of the philosophical argument that human nature can be ignored when it becomes inconvenient. France, and the rest of Europe to varying degrees, has been attempting to rebuild society in some utopian way since the end of the Second World War. The foundations of this new society are to be based upon the people, at all levels, ignoring the fact that they may be French, Polish, Dutch, etc., and instead consider themselves "Europeans" who happen to speak different languages and eat different foods. Borders and labels, nationalism of any kind, is to be excised or sublimated to the god of "European-ness", and former conventions surrounding nationality and culture are to be laughed at as "constructs".

Unless, of course, you happen to be French, in which case, suddenly French culture, language, art, etc., should have a special place reserved for it.

Extend this to North Africans and Muslims living within this new European world; they are not racially native to Europe, which is a mostly homogenous place. While Europeans may have differences among them they are still Caucasians. So, the newcomers don't "blend in" to begin with. You can put a Norwegian and a Belgian in the same room, and except for slight differences in costume and hygiene, so long as they were silent , you could not place them. Keep that same European duo in the room and add an Algerian, a Morroccan, and an Ivory Coast-er, and it becomes easy to tell the difference.

Which is why pretending to be European instead of Danish and Italian doesn't work for these folks in the societies in which they live. They are set apart. They don't belong. Their very appearance reinforces those notions, and despite the attempts to force a belief that "color doesn't matter" or that "all cultures are fundamentally the same", it's difficult to buck human nature, which naturaly persuades you to seek the differences before you find the common ground.

Naturally, being of the group labelled "the other" in a homogenous society leads to other things. For a start, these people (the rioters) mostly have their roots in regions that were conquered, colonized and exploited by European countries. Four hundred years of colonialism and imperialism have left a scar; not on them, but on the conquerors. And not just a single scar, this scarring takes many forms.

So, it's possible to hear an "enlightened" Frenchman talk about equality one minute and curse the lazy nigger who's late bringing his latte the next, complete with regurgitated racisim that floated around France for centuries before he was born. You think this doesn't happen? Ask the Jews, who have taken this kind of thing in every European country they've set foot in. This residual racism is impossible to erase by government fiat or re-education because it is subconcious. It is ingrained in the culture.

Imperalism left other scars on Europe. Guilt being merely the worst one of all. Guilt over the despoilation of Africa and Asia, the slave trade, the legions of sweating Indian coolies, the dead Vietnamese, Siamese, Sri Lankans, Malays, Zulus, Levant Arabs, Persians, Aborigines, etc, etc, in the name of "King and Country" or "merchantilism" have had a deep effect on the European psyche, particularly after the dissolution of the European Empires. This manifests itself in a kind of patronising deferrence that is both enabling and disabling. On the one hand, it excuses the worst excesses of a particular group because of a legitimate historic grievance, and on the other hand, saps the will of the aggrieved to actually fend for themselves because guilt-ridden European governments and intellectuals will provide for them. It's pennance for the sins of Imperialism.

Which leads us to the question of unchecked immigration.

When you import "the Other" in the millions, simply pay them to exist, or if they should want to actually work, cut them off at the pass with racism, condescension and well-meaning-but-inept government handouts and overtures, and work rules that would choke a hippo, then don't expect them to actually want to be part of your society. They get the impression that you really don't want them anyway.

When you begin to tear at their culture, for many the only thing they know or have, in the attempt to "Europeanize" the non-European, then do not be surprised when they get really angry and start burning Citroens in record numbers. In recent years, France has passed laws banning the wearing of headscarves, has decreed that religion has no place in a modern society, has targeted 700 or more religious groups in France as being a threat to the nation, or claim to defend human rights and freedom while you're in bed with Saddam Hussein (a man many of these people fled from, or from other despots like him), don't look so bewildered.

When Danes vote to make Danish the chief lingua franca and the result is to make it more difficult for immigrants to assimilate, then don't be so surprised when the Others raise a stink over it.

When the Swedish government assumes the mantle of "abortion provider for Europe", don't be so shocked when a group of people who hold deep religious and cultural beliefs that run counter to this proposition get upset.

The problem is not so much Chirac and his cronies (although they are certainly guilty as hell of an awful lot) as much as it is an attitude that permeates European society. It is an attitude of hypocrisy, condescension, arrogance, disrespect, racism and radical thinking that defies the logical lessons of the 10,000 year history of civiliztion.

Chirac, in my opinion, is done for. He was some time ago. The riots will merely speed up the process. He is as much a victim of what I've discussed as anyone on the street lobbing Molotovs at public transport. Europe has three roads it might now travel:

a) It could capitulate and we'll see the first Continent-wide Islamic revolution from Portugal to Poland.
b) It could fight back, brutally, restricting immigration, beginning a program of mass, forced deportations and violence on a scale that is currently unimaginable.
c) It could make an effort to live up to the ideals and values it preaches so haughtily to us Americans and start actually beginning the process of becoming a melting pot not just for Europeans, but for everyone on the continent.

I foresee a combination of all three. The riots will be put down, probably viciously as they escalate. The Europeans, starting with the French, will cave into many of the demands of some of the more radical and violent spokespeople and front groups for the rioters. These "compromises" will seem small and reasonable, but will eventualy blossom into the proverbial turd in the punchbowl, while Europeans once deluded by guilt now delude themselves that they've bought peace. The process will repeat itself.

And the process will eventually subsume that monstrosity called the E.U. It is the E.U.'s stated scoial and ethical philosophy that is being tested in the fires of Paris. Not Chirac. He's had his test on the first night of the riots and failed to answer the bell.

And this scares the French more than anything else; that their beautifully-crafted European Union will lie a-smoldering in the streets of Paris when the continent that believes Europeans can be "citizens of the world" can't seem to acknowledge that someone of a different race can be a citizen of Paris.
Of Bird Flu and Deep Dog Doo...
Okay, Imight have been wrong in my originial assumption. I can admit that. I can live with it, even. It's been known to happen.

Apparently, the Avian Flu just might be something dangerous in way I never thought of before.

According to some new research, the Avian Flu kills by causing your body's immune system to go into overdrive, producing large numbers of "killer cells". About 10 times the number associated with other, more common influenzas. Apparently this vast increase in auto-immune defenses is itself a danger, causing swelling in the lungs, which causes respiratory problems for otherwise healthy people.

In other words, the healthier you are, the more you have to worry. I can't recall ever having to worry about being killed by a flu bug when I was otherwise perfectly healthy. I wonde rif this means that if you have AIDS, you might actually have a better chance of surviving since your immune system is so depressed the flu can only cause it to start working like sled dogs? Something to wonder about, I guess.

Additionally, I've read this morning that the same influenza virus has now been found in pigs. It has already begun to mutate and infect mammals, in other words. Previously, transmission was between birds and people who came into contact with birds or bird byproducts (feces, guts, etc). It now appears that H5N1 is capable of infecting other mammals as well. Whether this is a mutation or an innanate ability is still being debated.

So now here we are: we have a tricky bug that manages to spread itself quite nicely despite the best efforts to contain it. The people most at risk would be the people that would not necessarily be so under normal conditions. And finally, the authorities we're depending on (the ones that have the most information and experience with this disease) are typically Chinese Vietnamese and Canadian, and working with the dubious filter of socialst/communist government (which means the inconvenient truth will not be told until it is too late).

Now, the results of all this research are still not in, and at this point we're still talking speculation. But perhaps I pooh-poohed this thing a bit too quickly.

PS- Here is a link to the story:

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

We'll Always Have Paris...Until it Burns Down, of Course...
Regarding the second week of rioting in the...ahem..suburbs of Paris:

1. American media have FINALLY gotten around to mentioning that the "rioters" (at least they haven't called them "insurgents" yet) are, for the most part, Muslim. Always wary of being politically correct and always on the verge of giving themselves a collective hernia in the attempt, the American media, for some reason, just can't seem to do what it says is it's primary job: which is to report stuff.

A reporter's job consists of telling you: who, where, what, why and how. Please take note that "who" came first on that list. One day one, provided that it wasn't absolutely impossible to verify, it should have been pointed out that the rioters were mostly of Musli extraction. Doing so, however, would have "reinforced negative stereotypes about Muslims" which would be too painful for most reporters to relay to you, the general public. However, had the rioters been angry, white, Christian males, most reporters would have mentioned it in the first sentence. This is the price of political correctness, I guess; news is now (seems it always was) censored on the basis of whether or not it would offend someone's sensibilities (unless you're a white, Christian male). I mean it couldn't be importantto the story at all to point out that the rioters are of a certain color or persuasion, right?

Guess again.

Because it is important, because the central theme of this whole rioting business seems to be that there are many Muslims and North Africans who, despite the French penchant for blowing their own horn vis-a-vis sensitivity and PC, feel like second-class citizens. Probably more like third class, if you ask me. It's important, I believe, to let people know what these riots are about, and in this case, race, culture and religion are serving as triggers. A great many of these guys lobbing Molotovs are French-born. They are CITIZENS, not merely immigrants, and they have not been assimilated or granted the full range of rights offered to white Frogs because of their color and culture.

2. The French are having, and will continue to have, a difficult time settling this thing down. Part of the reason is becaue it's obvious that the French police forces are either too frightened to restore order, or have no idea of how to do so. There is also the open frenzy of political backstabbing going on between Chirac, de Villepin and Sarkozy in the light of day. It's obvious that what passes for a French government cannot come to terms with what has happened, therefore, how can one expect the security apparatus to do so?

3. The silence of the American left is stunning. After years fo being told how much better things are in Europe, we have had a string of events that prove that thngs are just a screwy there as they are here. Riots in France have sparked similar events in Copenhagen, Berlin, and several cities in Holland, Belgium and Sweden (the Socilaist heaven). The facade of the modern Euro-secular society, with cradle to grave welfare, with national health, and the peace and politeness that comes from sophistication and bad philosophy, has been torn down. Europe is now exposed for what it has always been: a second-rate version of the United States with the same social problems, but better cuisine.

Now that the lie of Eu-topia has been exposed, I wonder how quickly all the references to French sophistication and Scandanavian welfare nannyism will cease. Seemed to me to be all of two days, but I think there are some last true belivers (Kool Aid drinkers) over on Air America.

One other thing, which strikes me as pretty funny; here in America, our suburbs are places outside the major cities where people who are accused of not wanting to be surrounded by minorities flee to as soon as they possibly can. In France, a suburb, apparently, is where you dump your unwanted minorities, who in turn, wind up surrounding you because you stayed. Which is appropos --- it's the same mentality behind the Maginot Line, I guess.

Friday, November 04, 2005

NOW do you get it?
Regarding the week of riots in the suburbs of Paris: couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of guys.

Despite the pretense of being "enlightened" people, the French are basically reaping the whirlwind they have sown. Two generations (at least) of Muslims and North Africans brought into France for the express purpose of propping up the social welfare state, have decided they've had enough of being second-class-citizens-going-on-slaves, and have found a pretext to riot and destroy(in this case, the death of two teenage boys, ostensibly at the hands of the police).

And this phenomenon willl repeat itself across Europe any day now. I've already read sketchy reports of similarthings hapening in Denmark (which is even more blatanly anti-Muslim than France).

The real problem, of course, is assimilation, and it's a two way street. The French government, and probably the people, are more than happy to extend the benefits of French citizenship to anyone who will work like a sled dog in a menial job, provided none of the nancy-boy French has to actually see or speak to them. Many Muslims are glad to take jobs cleaning sewers and catching rats for minimum wage (or whatever they do), with the promise (promise, mind you) that they might actually make a better life for themselves in a western democratic, secular state).

Unfortuately for them, it doesn't work out that way.

Instead of being welcomed and assimilated, the Muslims are hoarded into ghettos and publicly ostracized. They never achieve much of anything, except criminal records, and then the state goes ahead and tries to remove the symbols of their culture (like the wearng of headscarves). They are good enough to sweep the streets of Paris, but not to actually live in it. They may practice their religion behind closed doors, but not talk about or express it in the public square. They may pay taxes so that Frenchmen can retire at 50 with maid service, but never achieve much in the way of economic betterment.

The French have, for all intents and purposes, imported an entire third-world nation into their midst. Rioting is the very least of their problems at the moment.

And there is a lesson here for us here in America as well.

We have a third world nation in our midst right now. Actually, we have many third world nations in our midst right now. The first one being our own black population, the second (and fastest growing) is hispanic. Forty years of social engineering (forced integration, affirmative action, etc, etc) have done little to improve race relations in this country, and in my opinion, have made them worse.

So, what do we and the French do about it? I haven't the answer. I do know this much: what's happening in the streets of Paris is both dangerous and amusing. Dangerous because it might just be the spark that ignites an Islamic revolution in Europe and amusing because the French, for all their ignorant banter about America being some sort of beast bestriding the planet, denying the less fortunate rights andf a voice, are hoist upon their own petard.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Taliban Wing?
Last year or so, during the run up to the 2004 elections, Julian Bond of the NAACP referred to Conservatives in this country as "the Taliban wing of the Republican party". He was soundly denounced and villified for even daring to mke such a statement in public, and to a certain extent, rightfully so. The comment was meant to evoke fear and disgust in certain segments of the population (i.e. those the reliably vote Democrat), and given what we know of the Taliban and their practices, it was way over the top.

Fast forward to October, 2005.

I was recently engaged in a chat on an internet forum regarding George W. Bush and the Supreme Court. The majority of the people involved identified themselves as "Conservatives" with some going as far as to claim the title of "Arch-Conservative" or "True Conservative". The subject matter strayed quite a bit, with arguments about rampant Congressional spending, the threat to free speech of Campaign Finance Reform (McCain-Feingold Law that restrticts the subject matter, time frame and funding of any issue-advocacy advertisements during an election cycle, among other things), and a whole host of ways in which George W. Bush has "betrayed" his conservative friends.

They felt that Bush had abandoned them on their issues, and was no conservative at all. They were, of course, talking like the disaffected usually do; they'll take their votes elsewhere (just where is never identified), they'll continue to hound him in the press, write the usual chain letters to memebrs of Congress, etc, etc. They sounded, for the most part, like children promised a shiny new bike for Christmas who awoke to find box upon box of new underwear under the tree. But I digress.

The subject matter was a Supreme Court nomination. This is a very big deal,of course, since Supreme Court judges sit for life and have the ability to shape American life in ways never intended by those who write the laws (i.e. Congress). The issue in play is, was, and always will be, abortion. This vacancy, they all warned in serious tones, must be filled by an anti-abortion nominee. The bravest amongst them actually used the term anti-abortion, just in case you couldn't get the nub of their gist, whilst others used the stealth-term "strict constructionalist" which basicaly means, if it's ain't in the Constitution, then it doesn't exit. I don't ever remember reading an Amendment to the Constitution specifically stating that abortion is legal and a protected right, so natch, a "strict constructionalist" could eradicate abortion while hiding behind this constitutional fig leaf. They wanted to know why Bush hadn't nominated someone willing to order the closing of all abortion clinics and frog-march all doctors who perfom such procedures into the concentration camps. Instead, they were pissed off that the President had nominated one Harriet Miers, of whom they knew nothing, and of whom, therefore, they could expect nothing. Conservatives like to know beforehand just what people are going to do. They make no allowances, however, for reality, random chance or a host of other intangibles, and then they hold you to it like superglue to a pussycat.

Just as an aside, it is a golden rule amongst Conservatives that once a Republican candidate for President accepts their votes and their money, he'd better damn well do what they say, "or else". "Or else" of course, came to pass once --- when GHW Bush (Bush pere) encountered the "deficit hawks" led by Ross Perot. Perot basically stole the conservative vote from Bush, leading to 8 years of the Clintons. Or else, it seems, has dire consequences for those in the cross hairs, and even worse, for those willing to pull the trigger. So, here and now, GW Bush must now give the conservatives what they want: a way to overturn Roe v. Wade.

You see, modern conservatives, in my opinion, are becoming just like the democrats they despise; they have only one issue (which is abortion), and one tone (shrill), because all of their other issues seem to have gone by the wayside in the last five years. Fiscal conservatism? Gone. The Republican-dominated Congress (chock full of people these Arch-conservatives admire) has spent money like drunken sailors on shore leave. The only time I've heard any serious talk about fiscal conservatism came in the wake of Hurricane Katrina when some (estimated) $200 billion had to be found to pay for the damages. This seriously cuts into congressional "pork" like renaming another deserted stretch of highway for Ronald Reagan. It also came with the realization that it was tantamount to giving democrats in Louisiana a blank check. Louisiana is the kind of place where a republican couldn't get elected dog catcher if you offered free booze and hookers at the polling place. All of a sudden, fiscal conservatism is back in vogue.

Are you a defense hawk? Well, many of these people have issues with the way in which Bush is handling the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. I do too (more on this later). They usually want to know why were expending money and young men in order to ensure that ignorant, desert-dwelling-camel-humping-murderers-of-a-particular-non-Christian-faith get to vote. Why aren't they all dead yet, for the love of Christ? No, the one place you would expect the war to be popular, in conservative circles, is not all that popular (but still accepted as the price of doing business) at all.

Believe in free markets and the immutable laws of economics? Look someplace else. Conservatives, who would be expected to believe business should be left alone to make money as they see fit, are all howling over $3 gasoline like everyone else in the country. Conservatism, to many it seems, starts and ends at your pocket book; tax cuts passed by Congressional action (good), high-priced gas caused by natural market forces (bad).

But what got to me, and started me thinking about Julian Bond's words, was when it was suggested that conservatives look at reality with regards to the enviornment in which President Bush ahs to operate. GW won his first election by fewer than 1,000 votes. He won his re-election with the highest-ever number of popular votes cast, but still by only a 3% margin or so. I don't see, and never have seen, a mandate for Bush, regardless of how much I love the guy.

And therein lies the problem. Conservatives only see the victory, they never see the blasted landscape upon which that victory was achieved. Democrats, incidentally, suffer from the same disease.

GW Bush with a solid victory (15 or more percentage points, without the baggage of Florida in 2000, etc) could very easily step out in front and say, "okay conservatives, I'm going to gove you what you want". GW Bush with a margin of victory less than 3% cannot come out and govern like a conservative. He has to be mindful that should he go too far, the polarized electorate will punish his party in future elections. So, we get a bunch of policies that walk ideological tightropes. We get "Compassionate Conservatism", "Faith-based Initiatives", "No Child left behind" which are conservative policies wrapped in Liberal colors. This is why Bush haters always underestimate the President; he's very good at getting what he wants by presenting it in a way that the other side can only llook bad by opposing, and getting just enough support to pull it off.

It was suggested that perhaps Bush understands this better than his conservative fairweather supporters. It was further suggested that conservatives were beginning to act and think in ways in which it was hardly possible to tell them apart from democrats. They are isnisting that their president is bought and paid for by them, and always point out that the unions, the gays, the blacks, etc, have a stranglehold on a democratic president. They rail against the injustice of having the Supreme Court decide issues that are strictly matters for legislatures (integration, abortion, marriage, religious displys in public, etc) and then scream that they want these things overturned or abolished by the same judicial fiat. Only the court would be stacked in their favor, so it would be alright.

At which point, the person who suggested these things and pointed out the hypocrisy (namely me) was heaped with invective. I was a fag-lover. A NAACP butt-licker. A good little leftist. A communist. A subversive. I was a dead man walking if any of them ever caught me on the street alone. (These are direct quotes). How DARE I engage in the right of free speech in a CONSERVATIVE forum and present views that they didn't want to hear?

Imagine that: a bunch of people who swear, in the loudest possible terms, beating their chests all the time as the true guardians of American government and freedom, that they stand for the Constitution, the American way, and all that, actually behaving like Mussolini's Blackshirts with a case of the running trots. Goddammit, they had a right to see anything they didn't like outlawed, homosexuals punished (that exact term was used). All, by the way, claim to be God-fearing Christians.

I somehow instictively know that these people cannot, just CANNOT be representative of the conservative movement as a whole. They are an extreme fringe in the same way that the Deniacs are for the other side. But my God, was it disgusting to watch.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Sky Is Falling...
We're all dead. We're all going to achieve that death, after a prolonged agony, the sort of Biblical death reserved for the truly ungodly and evil. We'll all be walking bags of mucuous, puss and infected blood, completely covered in festering boils, each with our own retinue of swarming flies and stray cats that will feast upon our putrid flesh after we collapse. There will be so many of us dead that there will be no one left to bury us and our rotting corpses will be left to be stripped by the ants and our bones bleached in the sun.

Welcome to this dire scenario--- brought to you by the makers of the Avian Flu.

Every few years, it seems, we're told that there is a new and deadly disease that will eventually destroy mankind in the kind of Cecil B. DeMille pandemic that makes the Bubonic Plague look like a picnic or the Ebola Virus seem to be a mere inconvenience. The closer we get to this "pandemic" the more vile and distressing the descriptions of the carnage become. In the end, we never see the dreadful results predicted by the "medical experts" who by then have a new disease to champion.

In recent years, we've all been under threat from AIDS, SARS, and Mad Cow, to name the ones that got the most media attention. There is an "epidemic" of obesity. Imagine that; we've invented a disease (obesity) that three quarters of the planet would love to suffer from --- chronic overeating --- and turned it into something that supposed to be absolutely devestating, capable depopulating entire continents.

When AIDS first surfaced in the 1980's,for example, it was pre-supposed that everyone would eventually get it and die a horrible death. Part of this hysteria was due to the politics of the disease itself, which was initially limited to the gay community who made a great deal of noise about it, but who preferred that it not be identified as "gay" disease for political purposes. And let's face it, if anyone knows how to create a ruckus, it's a sick (as in not-feeling-very-well) homosexual, and 100,000 of them (for example) all making the same racket is something one cannot hope to contend with easily.

The issue with Avian flu and SARS and AIDS and a whole host of other diseases-that-get-no-media-attention is not that they will wipe out huge swathes of humanity in the developed world (except maybe Canada, where the first SARS case went unreported until 60+ people died because no one wanted to cast a bad light on a) Red China and b) Immigrants). It's that they will do so in the so-called Third or Emerging-world, and that prospect tugs at the heartstrings of of people who show up at "Stop Hunger Now" hors douvres parties.

As of this writing, if we are to believe the figures that have been posted in various places, approximately 70 people, world-wide, have been acknowledged as having died from Avian flu. More people die each day crossing the street in Germany. More people die every day from self-inflicted gunshot wounds in the United States. More Britons will meet their maker because of defective lawn darts. As I write this, another few hundred people in Africa have just died of malaria or leprosy. Two years ago, 20,000 people died in France from lack of air conditioning (I guess your typical Frenchman is too lazy to find shade and cold water as well)The threat to the West is largely minimal because of the excellent level and number of health care facilities (for both treatment and research) available to us, by our generally healthier diets and by climate. There are not going to be huge piles of rotting corpses in the streets of New York due to influenza, avian-type or not.

There will be huge numbers of said rotting bodies in China, Vietnam, Tibet, Korea, Cambodia, Thailand. These are regions where medical science is stagnated or completely unknown.

The nightmare scenario is that avian flu will manage to mutate into something capable of being passed from person-to-person instead of from chicken-feces-to-person, and then we'll all be in deep doo-doo. Or will we? What makes this particular strain of influenza more deadly than the ones we have right now? Is it more resistant to medication? No one seems to know, and if they are, they aren't telling. Is it, say, 3 times as nasty as regular flu? Again, no information available that I could find. It could be that Nyquil works just as well on this flu as it does on the older ones. If so, I doubt we'll be reading stories about a pandemic that'll make the Black Death look like a Scout jamboree.

But I have no doubt whatsoever that we'll continue to read news reports and watch newscasts about the deadly danger lurking in the poultry section of your local supermarket. Why? Because hysteria sells, that's why.

Look, I do not object to anyone informing the public of a serious threat to our health. I'd damn well kill anyone who sat on such information and I knew about it. But let's be realistic --- we're not talking gi-normous numbers of deaths here, and very little in the way of factual information put forward in a way that the common man can digest. There is a lot of scary talk and that's about it.

By the way, does this mean that chicken soup is no longer the suggested remedy?

* Two days after this was drafted, a news report emerged that the avain flu resembles in many inportant ways, a strain that was first reportedly known in Scotland, circa 1954, almost down to the last sticky strand of DNA. Sorry, but I have misplaced th elink to this story. Should I find it again, I will come back and repost it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Insanity Reigns...
Last night (or was it the night before?) I was watching the O'Reilly Factor on Fox and, lo and behold, but who should happen to be on the show that night but Malik Shabazz (Shab-ass?), who is in some way associated with the "New" Black Panther Party. By the way, the New Black Panther Party is the same as the Old BPP, except that now they apparently wear suits. Despite the new and improved packaging, the essage is still the same: kill WHitey.

Anyway, Mr. Shabazz was on to talk about the recent riots in Toledo, Ohio, where the mayor and police chief are apparently too dumb to realize thatone does not, in this day and age, let Neo-Nazi skinheads hold a protest march in a black neighborhood. As a matter of fact, I don't see the necessity in allowing Nazis to have a public voice, but that's just me. Now, unless you've been living under a rock, you can imagine what happened: a riot, naturally, ensued. You can't put 14 White boys, screaming 'bout the "niggers", in a black neighborhood and expect the locals to obligingly ignore it.

So, of course violence broke out, and of course, true to form, the local "diversity" went way beyond any acceptable and understandable "counter-protest" and immediately took to looting, arson and attacking the police and ambulance crews sent to restore order.

Mr. Shabazz, naturally, condoned the violence (since it was committed by blacks, it's okay), and began to recycle Louis Farrakhan's fairy tale about the Fed'ral Gubmint dynamiting the levees in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. Farrakhan says he has proof (never to be seen) and the "new" Black Panthers divulge that they have evidence as well: residue from an explosive was found on the levee ruins, and the Panthers are the only ones to have found it. They want Congressional hearings, of course, to look into the government's evil deeds.

Naturally, no one stopped to ask how residue of anything was found on blasted concrete thathad been under 30 feet of sewage-infested water for a month, but that's okay: Mr. Shabazz doesn't need to explain anything --- he's black, you know --- and that automatically gives you the right to lie, condone rioting (and even join in) and make false accusations without threat of retaliation.

This is what is passing itself off as "responsible" leadership in community: a Muslim Hitler who claims he receives messages from the Mother Ship, and a guy who can find evidence that even Quincy could dig up but who doesn't feel like he has to actually show it to anyone.
On Hiatus...
Sorry for the really light blogging, but I've been quite busy moving and getting my act together. Ths is becoming all too common lately, and I have to make more of an effort to rail uselessly here more often.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Silly Season Starts Early...
God, I really hate posting things like this, but someone has to do it in the interests of sanity.

I've read a blurb this morning in the New York Post that both John McCain and Hillary Clinton will meet with the national tragedy, Cindy Sheehan, today when she blows through Washington on her "Look-at-me-I'm-a-bereaved-Mother/Moonbat!" tour.

The day before yesterday, John Kerry (remember him?) made a speech at some confab of idiots criticizing GW for the federal response to Hurricane Katrina. He was joined by his old comrade-in-arms, John Edwards (the democrat's answer to Dan Quayle), who also made noises about the same thing. Incidentally, Edward's wife, Elizabeth, managed to take time out from her chemotherapy to announce that we should all listen to Cindy Sheehan (for what, I have no clue).

The opposition for 2008 is starting to line up. God save us if these are going to be our choices.

On the repuiblican side, we see McCain already making waves, polishing up his media-beloved "Maverick" image. McCain is suffering from a deadly disease - narcissim - which blinds him to the truth; he would make a lousy president. His only qualifications are getting shot down twice, becoming a POW, and being involved in the stifling of free speech (McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance reform Bill). His only rationale for running is to give GW Bush one last flash of the middle finger, a "F*ck You, Rich Boy!) moment, in which McCain both extolls his own miniscule virtues while jabbing a thumb into the eye of the republican party. McCain will merely reinforce everything democrats say come election time in the course of trying to make himself look batter than Bush. For example, I can hear him saying right now "While George Bush is a good man, it's quite obvious, with the trouble in Iraq and the fact that FEMA couldn't get a roll of toilet paper into New Orleans, I would have done it all better."

The only real republican challengers capable of winning in 2008 and presenting the heir apparent, Hillary Clinton, with anything resembling competition, would be Rudy Guiliani and Condi Rice. However, the rabid conservative wing of the party would never let Rudy on the ballot (he's pro choice) and Condi has lots of 'splainin' to do over 9/11, North Korea and the War.

On the democraic side, so far we have two men who have failed to learn the Gore/Lieberman Rule: democrats just don't bury their dead, they bury their wounded. Neither Kerry nor Edwards has a snowball's chance in hell. This leaves Hillary, who has a very interesting tightrope to walk; she has to maintain the semblance of moderation she's been working on for the last four years while reassuring the tree-hugging-double-latte-drinking-metrosexual-faux-disaffected fringe of the party, which is her biggest albatross and her biggest fundraiser. This wing of the party would put Hitler on the ballot, provided he stood for their kooky agenda --- he's not George Bush, you see.

However, that's just everyone's problem. George Bush doesn't have to stand for re-election (he can't), and to run on a platform of "I'm Not Bush" just won't wash. It didn't wash in 2004, and it's even more irrelevant now that the man doesn't have to run for anything. The democrats are still fighting the 2000 election, and so is McCain.

The silly season just got whackier.
Mars Grows Warmer...Kerry Says Bush Should Have Signed Kyoto Treaty...
Read this:

And then ask yourself this:

"How can there possibly be global warming on a planet that has no civilization? No industry? No SUV's? No CFC's? NBo internal combustion engines? None of the usual suspects we blame for our own "global warming" here on Earth?"

I have yet to hear anyone in the media put this question to any of the global warming nuts, nor do I expect them to. I have yet to become aware of any of the global warming loonies stepping forward to even explore the question. It is taken as gospel truth that Earth is warming, that mankind and his dirty, little inventions are speeding the process up, and that we're all dead from a combination of skin cancer, dirty air and water, lack of food and really bad sunburns.

Critical questions in this debate remain unanswered. If, for example, we take it as scientific fact (because it is) that the very spot upon which I sit right now was once covered by a 2-mile thick sheet of ice 12,000 years ago, what happened to the ice? Did someone come along with a really big bag of halite and melt it? Giant hair dryers? It melted at some point, the glaciers retreated leaving Staten Island to be inhabited by all sorts of flora and fauna. Why did it happen? Had to be some form of global warming, right?

And this was before civilization even existed. Before all the nasty appendages of human civilization that the Save the Earth crowd finds so dangerous and offensive were even a gleam in anyone's mind.

We have to assume that this warming is a natural occurance. We also have to assume that since this cycle of freezing and warming can be scientifically proven to have happened at least four (4) times, that someone is not being completely honest with us. Could it be the Global Warming is Death crowd? I wonder...

The point is, if we're seeing this phenomenon on an uninhabited planet lacking in the very basics of what the enviornMENTAL movement claims is the cause of our own warming, then they must be mistaken, right? I would bet they are. Therefore, Global Warming is a myth.

So why do they insist on continuing to promulgate a lie? They do so because their real motive is to control human behavior. To have the power to force people and governments to bend to their will, which is twofold: the first is to return mankind to it's Noble Savage state, which never truly existed and is merely a romantic fiction. The second is to replace the seemingly (in their eyes) stupid, uncaring, greedy, avaricious, lusty, wanton governments and industries of this planet with versions more to their liking, i.e. where they are in charge, or failing that, to be in a position where they are dictating the agenda.

Lying in the pursuit of this goal means nothing to them. The ends (a more perfect world according thier own warped vision) justifies the means.
Conservatism Advances...
As of this morning, it appears as if Gerhard Schroeder, Chancellor of Germany has lost the latest German election to a more conservative, pro-American candidate, Angela Merkel. We may be witnessing the outbreak of sanity in Germany on the one hand, and the dissolution of the Franco-German axis on the other.

The results are pretty thin right now, with Merkel's party having won a slight parliamentary majority, so we'll have to be patient to see is common sense has broken out in Germany. My fingers are crossed, though.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Katrina, Part VIII...The Idiocy Continues...
This morning, Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans is announcing his plan to "repopulate" the washed-away city, one neighborhood at a time, beginning with those areas least affected by Katrina. This takes place as federal authorities warn of the risks of massive amounts of e. coli bacterium, fecal matter and heavy metals laying around in a city without hospitals, power, fesh water or a 9-1-1 system.

What is this Mayor thinking? Is he thinking at all? It would appear not.

The Mayor, naturally, is now upset that the feds are telling him how to run his city and interfering with his plan. This is the man who screamed like a schoolgirl for three days that he "didn't get no hep" from the feds, and now that he has them on the scene, is willing to ignore them completely if it interferes with his own agenda. What this agenda is, is a complete mystery.

One the one hand, the agenda must be to get civilization back inside the City of New Orleans and revive the Mayor's tax and voting base. That voting base, by the way, is mostly made up of people too stupid to get out of the city when ordered to, and now, presumably, is stupid enough to return to a toxic swamp without basic services because the Mayor asked them to. Conversely, the other part of the agenda has to be doing something, anything, to give the Mayor the appearance of controlling something. Having fiddled (more like diddled) while his city flooded and cried for the feds to take over to absolve himself of responsibility for the failures, he now wants to accept the appearance responsibility while the feds are there to take the heat. By the way, there's another potential hurricane (Tropical Storm Rita) approaching the Gulf region.

What an idiot. What an opportunist. What a complete waste of gametes.

If anyone thinking of returning to New Orleans reads this, then please heed my advice and don't return. Not yet. Not while the place is a breeding ground for a myriad of dieases and with another hurricane about to enter the Gulf. The potential for a repeat performance is high.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Stifling of Free Speech at UNC...
I posted this on this morning, courtesy of the Raleigh News and Observer (suitable for wrapping fish).

Just a few observations.

To begin with, this is a university that did this to the young lady in question. Universities used to be places were opposing viewpoints, even if they seem horrid at first blush, are supposed to be aired and debated without fear of retaliation. However, we live in 21st century Amerika, where our professors and administrators are more concerned with appearances than they are the expansion of young minds. UNC, in recent years, has been one of the worst offenders when it comes to this kind of muzzling. But this is a phenomenon that occurs daily on college campuses.

People who express unpopular opinions on campus fall into two categories: they either express viewpoints that are popular (popularity being measured by the personal tastes and politics of the professoriate) and thus acceptible, or, they express opinions that run counter to the established (again, denoted by the professoriates personal views and politics) campus norm.

Thus, a Ward Churchill can safely hurl invective against the United States, praising Usama bin Hidin' from the Ivory Tower, and nothing gets done about it or no opposition will be allowed, while those who disagree with him are tarred with vile labels and denied the right to speak on campus. Or, in extreme cases, fired.

UNC seems to have a history of handing scholarships out to young Arab men who turn out to be involved in terrorist plots (as the news of a few months ago makes clear) and stomping on those who would point out that Arab men are typically terrorists and should be excluded, not only from campus but from American society as a whole. The university must, of course, cover their behinds because of appearances: how does it look to the taxpayer and potential students if all that wonderful knowledge doled out at UNC wound up being used to kill innocent people? Since they cannot take back the degrees, they instead turn on the people who point out the error of their ways and make it about THEM rather than the University and their lunatic policies.

The young lady in question here is merely yet another victim of academia's seriously fucked up priorities.
Of Rats and Sinking Ships...
Read this little blurb this morning, and it seems appropos:

One of two reasons behind this:

a) Ter-AY-Zuh finally got wise and is about to kick Lurch to the curb, or
b) Johnny finally figured out what a liability his sugar momma was int he last campaign and is already distancing himself. Should he run again, she'll be nowhere to be found.

Figure it out for yerself.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Katrina, Part VII...Intelligent Design vs. Evolution...
Amazing how this event can be so relevant to what, to me, is an irrelevant debate, but here we go:

Intelligent Design is a theory which intimates that the development of species cannot be held to be a random event. There must be some system or mystical plan by which an organism is formed and evolves because life is just too complex to be an accident. For example, a human being sees in color. In order for your eyes to be able to discern color there are multiple, minor details that must all be wrapped up in a tight little bundle and co-ordinated in order for you to display and utilize this talent. Eyeballs have to be specially crafted to interpret light in such a way, lenses and retinas must have certain properties, the brain must be able to process light information passed on as chemical or electrical stimuli. If any of the precursor traits are available without the others, then seeing in color is a non-starter. According to Darwin's theory, organisms keep and pass on useful systems and appendages and discard the non-useful. So, if you had a brain capable of translating color, but did not have the eyes for it, according to Darwin, that brain enhancement would either have to be chucked or the organism would have to evolve the other required equipment.

Either way, Darwin cannot be wrong, which is the wonderful thing about evolutionary theory. All you have to do is give an organism enough time and it will do everything, in both directions. How an organism first becomes aware of a useless feature is not described. How an organism then goes about rejecting or modifying the useless feature is also curiously absent. It is assumed that somehow the organism "just knows". In way of example, try to think of the precursor to the girrafe standing around one day thinking to itself "Gee, those leaves up on top of the tree look mighty tasty". Somehow it figures out that if it stretches it's neck to it's fullest extent, it can reach some of those leaves. Somehow the girraffe has made a conscious effort to solve a problem, managed to succeed, and then somehow made it possible for it's offspring to solve the same problem. We cannot guess at the mechanism except to say "the giraffe must have thought about it really hard".

Intelligent Design says, basically, that the giraffe was designed, from the start, to have a long neck, eat the leaves from the tops of trees and it doesn't have to give a second thought to such mundane matters as how and why. All previous models of giraffes before the long-necked variety were merely prototypes that having failed to eat the leaves from the tops of trees, were merely discontinued. As if there was a factory turning out giraffes somewhere.

Intelligent Design then, is merely a theory that attempts to introduce the concept of God, or at least of a superior intelligence, that has mapped and planned out the ways of life (at all levels) of all creatures on the planet. It's supposed benefits are that it closes the holes in the theoryof evolution and gets people thinking about the God of the Book of Genesis, even if He/She/It isn't exactly mentioned as such.

Now we apply both theories to Hurricane Katrina.

According to intelligent design afficianados, human beings were designed with perfectly functioning brains, the ability to adapt to and manipulate their enviornment and with certain instincts for survival, the prime one being the overwhelming instinct for self-preservation. One look at the events that played out in New Orleans puts that theory to bed, big time.

If the people of New Orleans had perfectly functioning brains and an overwhelming desire to save their own skins, they would not have stayed in New Orleans. They would have heeded to two requests by the mayor to evacuate the city. They would have watched the storm inch closer to the Gulf Coast on the television (processing information is what a perfectly functioning brain is supposed to do). They would have made efforts, either individually or collectively, to ensure survival (arranged car pools, pooled food and water resources, collaborated on escape routes and means, etc.). Instead, they made a conscious effort to stay, and in the aftermath, engaged in activities that very little to do with survival. If you believe in Intelligent Design, you would be sorely disappointed by what the actions of New Orleaninans said about your theory.

On the other hand, if you believe in Darwin full-throttle, you would have been somewhat vindicated, but still somewhat surprised. To begin with, the activities of some residents of the flooded city made it clear that they have not evolved past the semi-ape-like state. Panic took hold when logic and reason were needed, baser instincts overrode the need to ensure the survival of the species. Looting, rape gangs, shooting at rescuers, are not the activities an evolved organism engages in when fighting for survival in the face of a natural disaster. According to Darwin, organisms only make positive change or undertake positive activities to ensure their survival. Therefore, Darwin must be wrong.

Therefore, both theories must have serious flaws, if they're not ourtright hogwash.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Katrina, Part VI...Setting Priorities...
As I write this, approximately 20% of what used to pass for a police department in the City of New Orleans, is taking a "well-deserved" sabbatical in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Mayor of New Orleans, afraid that his cops (the ones that catually have shown up for work in this fiasco) might "be worn out and in need of relaxation". I guess looting really takes it out of ya.

So, in the interests of a well-rested, mentally-clear police force, the City is offering their officers an all-expenses paid hotel room in Las Vegas, a per diem (rumored to be $200 a day), and six days of revelry in America's second Sewer City, so that they can come back refreshed to do the job they didn't do in the first place.

Only a democrat could come up with this idea, and only a particulary dim democrat would put it into operation WHILE PEOPLE STILL NEED TO BE RESCUED!

According to initial reports, the City of New Orleans employed approximately 1,500 police officers prior to Katrina. On the day when the storm hit and the following day when the levees broke, upwards of 300 of these officers were nowhere to be found. They failed to show up for work. A portion of the remaining cops on duty took to looting when all hell broke loose instead of doing their jobs: restoring order.

And they're being rewarded for this heroic behavior? Is it just me or is there something seriously wrong here?
Katrina, Part V...Saving the Helpless...
Lot's of advertisements going around now on the 'net, television and radio, to save the "most helpless victims of Hurricane Katrina". You'd be surprised to know that despite what the Roaring Reverends (Jesse and Al) have to say about the poor blacks left to die in a flooded city, there are quite a number of people, apparently, who don't consider these people the most helpless victims.

So, who are these "most helpless victims?"

The elderly? Nope. Sick children? Try again. People in comas? Not even close.

The "most helpless victims" are (hold on to your hats): animals.

You read that right. Animals. Right now I'm sitting in front of my computer and I'm being bombarded with images and e-mails asking me to contribute to animal rescue charities and such. Each entreaty usually includes a picture of a kitten or a dog swimming through the muck that covers the streets of New Orleans. As if that would sway me.

Quite frankly, some people just don't have the same sense God gave to a chihuahua. There's actual human beings, you know, of the same species as you are, who lack food, clothing and shelter (although they have all the pillaged Wal-Mart jewelry they can carry), and you're worried about a lost parakeet or a ferret?

I have three things to say to the "animals first" crowd:

1. Get serious psychiatric help. Your priorities are severely screwed up.
2. Grow the fuck up.
3. When poodles start paying taxes and voting, then they have the right to be rescued in lieu of human beings.

I'm glad to know we have a National Guard and FEMA to go around disaster areas plucking cats and parrots out of flood-devestated areas --- it's such an efficient utilization of resources. Please note the sarcasm.

I'm a dog lover myself, but if faced with the choice of saving my life and getting the aid I need to rebuild that life, and chucking Fido overboard (assuming there was no other way to save him), I guess the dog is shit out of luck.