Tuesday, September 24, 2002

CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR SIGNS PAID FAMILY LEAVE BILL
I mentioned this story a few weeks ago. I find something a little confusing here, because the original story from the San Jose Mercury News said that the maximum yearly tax was $520 for workers making $65,000 and up. All of the news articles are now reporting that the maximum yearly tax is $70 for people earning more than $72,000. You can read the recent stories from Reuters, AP, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and San Jose Mercury News.

Republican gubernatorial nominee Bill Simon has called Governor Davis's labor policies bad for business. And the Chamber of Commerce is "profoundly disappointed" with the signing of the bill. Besides providing an incentive not to work, the numbers don't seem to add up.

The law allows for six weeks of paid leave at 55% of wages up to $728 per week. The average annual tax to support this law is $27 per year per worker. The maximum tax is $70 for workers earning over $72,000 per year. 13 million California workers would be forced to participate in the program.

1. At $728 per week for six weeks, someone on paid leave would earn $4,368. At $70 per year in tax contributions, it takes 62.4 years for the state to get the money back, not including interest or a change in taxes.
2. At $27 per year in taxes from the average worker, the state will raise $351 million per year. If the newspapers are misusing the term "average," the $351 million could be wrong.
3. The typical Californian making the median salary of $36,000 would receive approximately $380 per week in benefits. For six weeks, this is $2,285. At that cost, approximately 1.18% (153,637) of the 13 million eligible workers could take advantage of the program for six weeks every year.

Now I realize that not everyone would take advantage of the program, not everyone would take six weeks, and the law does say that employers can require the employee use up their paid vacation first, but I see a train wreck coming. With any government program, there's an economic incentive to use it. Far more people will use this program than estimated, if the numbers are based on people taking unpaid leave now under the federal law. I anticipate a lot of people having a "serious illness" in the family. I would bet on this program having a budget shortfall within the first two year, necessitating a tax increase.

Here's the governor's press release, and the actual text of the bill. Again, I'll be gone for two days and not posting, but I want to receive a lot of e-mails from my readers on this topic. I'll post additional comments as soon as I read the e-mails and see what others are writing on this subject.
A BUNCH OF LINKS
I'll be heading out town for two days early tomorrow morning, and I will not be posting during that time. Here's a bunch of interesting articles for you to read in the meantime. As always, you can use the username "sabertooth1" and password "sabertooth1" for any Los Angeles Times or New York Times article that is password protected, if you don't already have your free password.

L.A. TIMES JOURNALIST WRITES LIKE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT
The article is about the two U.S. pilots being prosecuted for killing four Canadian soldiers. The L.A. Times staff writer describes events like an adjective-happy high school student who has no clue about the military. Very funny stuff.

The article actually raises some interesting points about whether the pilots are scapegoats. Personally as a former infantryman, I think it's about time pilots receive the same scrutiny ground troops receive for battlefield errors. For too long, pilots have been using the impersonality of technology, speed, and distance as an excuse for trigger mistakes that would have sent an infantryman to the brig.

INDIANA CHILD ABUSE STORY
Al Barger at Culpepper Log writes how the media, in particular Fox News, overdid this non-story. It was sensational, so it's good for ratings. Never mind how destructive the video is to personal lives, including the victim now and in the future. By the way, I don't think the media should report the names of people until after they are convicted.

Anyways, I think the real story here that everyone is overlooking is how "child-protective services" are a gross injustice. Like dealing with the IRS, you are guilty until you prove your innocence when it comes to "child abuse." Power-hungry, over-zealous government social workers--with below average IQs--can come over to your home with a police escort and take your children. It's disgusting. The police announcement--before they found the woman--that all they care about is the "health of the child," is load of crap too. Score another one for the socialists of American who "care."

SANTA MONICA RESIDENTS FINALLY GETTING FED UP WITH HOMELESS PEOPLE
As a former Santa Monica resident, I will say that huge numbers of homeless people really do lower the quality life of Santa Monica residents. Of course I moved, but it's nice to see some of Santa Monica's socialist residents finally getting fed up too.

LOS ANGELES RESIDENTS DISINTERESTED IN SECESSION
The L.A. Times is reporting that residents don't seem to care about Valley and Hollywood secession on November's ballot. I still think the L.A. Times gives little or negative coverage to secession because secession would destroy its circulation.

NEW CALIFORNIA BILL ALLOWS CONSUMERS TO SHOP FOR BEST PRICE ON CONTACTS
California government officials are acting like they're doing residents of California a favor, but we should be asking why we need a bill like this. Why don't Californians naturally have the ability to take a prescription anywhere to get the best deal? Why would an eye doctor have the right to control a prescription for contacts? What has the California government done to create the situation where legislation is needed to rectify it? Here's the governor's press release on the bill.
AL GORE'S SPEECH
Al Gore is really getting hammered over the speech he made about the Bush Administration's policy on Iraq. Here's the start of my collection of some of the better comments.

Read the comments at VodkaPundit, Cut on the Bias, and Andrew Sullivan. I'll add more comments as I come across them.
REPEALING THE 17TH AMENDMENT
The Volokh Conspiracy mentions this CNN article by John Dean that argues for the repeal of the 17th Amendment--the constitutional amendment that calls for the direct election of U.S. senators. The 17th Amendment should be repealed because it is hugely responsible for the growth in the federal government and the trampling of states' rights. Dean makes another interesting point. He argues that the repeal of the 17th Amendment "would also have a dramatic and positive effect on campaign spending."
CAPITALISM BAD, CAPITALISM GOOD
The billboard for the PAX television show Just Cause on Santa Monica Blvd. at Westgate in West L.A. reads, "Cleaning up America...one crooked CEO at a time. Just Cause." It's nice to know that Hollywood is still doing its part to push the left-wing political agenda.

I seriously wonder how much content a television show can produce on crooked CEOs week after week. I think if they wanted to do a show about cleaning up corruption where there's no shortage of content or story ideas, they should be doing a show about unions or politicians.

On a positive note, the USA Today has this article on executives reading the capitalist's bible, Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. Sales of the book are way up as the media, politicians, and their left-wing friends attack Wall Street, corporations, CEOs, and capitalism in general. The article has two great comments on Bill Gates near the end.

Sunday, September 22, 2002

SUNDAY L.A. TIMES WRAP-UP
Here are comments from Sunday's Los Angeles Times. You can use the username "sabertooth1" and the password "sabertooth1," if you haven't already registered for a free password.

SAUDIS SAY THE U.S., NOT IRAQ, THREATENS STABILITY
This Times article doesn't mention why stability in undemocratic Middle East regimes is a good thing. There's a lot of good anti-American quotes in this article.

CALIFORNIA BANS PORNOGRAPHY IN PRISON
Pornography in California prisons was protected as a First Amendment right, but now that prisoners viewing pornography is "creating a hostile work environment" for female prison workers, the pornography has got to go. You really have to be a jackass to make the argument that prisoners have a First Amendment right to pornography. You have to be an even bigger jackass to claim prisoners had a First Amendment right to pornography until women prison workers started feeling uncomfortable.

The whole point of prison is to restrict the liberties of people convicted of crimes and sentenced to prison. So why don't prisoners have a Fourth Amendment right to not have their prison cells shaken down without a search warrant?

L.A. UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT AUCTIONS OFF UNNEEDED NEW ITEMS
The best quote from the story comes from a dealer who claims most items sold at the few-times-per-year LAUSD auctions don't need repair, "[The L.A. Times] should write how sad it is that sometimes [LAUSD] bring[s] brand-new stuff here, and they say it is obsolete." And we keep hearing public schools need more funding.

LOS ANGELES BUREAUCRACY DEBATES FATE OF FOUR OAK TREES
Here's the best line from the story: "Concerned that city engineers might not have tried hard enough to save the 14 oaks, Councilwoman Wendy Greuel put a two-week freeze on the project funds Sept. 10. She asked city engineers to detail what alternatives, such as using an adjacent right-of-way to bypass the trees, have been investigated."

PENSION FUNDS GUARANTEED BY CALIFORNIA TAXPAYERS
It doesn't matter that the pension funds of California government employees have fallen in value the past few years because of a weak market, because California taxpayers make up the difference needed to cover pension payouts. What a wonderful thing it is to be a government employee. Not only do government workers do half the work of a private-sector worker, government workers have a risk-free rate of return on their retirement.

CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR WILL SIGN STEM-CELL RESEARCH BILL
Gov. Gray Davis today will sign legislation that boosts stem-cell research. This bill challenges the Bush administration's efforts to restrict stem-cell research. I'm all for states' rights and federalism, but I don't think these are the reasons behind the bill.

CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR DEFENDS HIS FUNDRAISING
The Democratic governor had to call off a Friday night fundraiser at the home of one of his political appointees who heads the California High Speed Rail Authority, after newspapers reported that builders and other advocates of a high-speed bullet train had been invited. Davis signed a bill Thursday asking voters to approve a $9.9-billion bond to construct the bullet train.

PUFF PIECE ON WOMEN'S GROUP MAKES NO SENSE
The Times wrote a cheesy piece on the president of the Bakersfield chapter of the League of Women Voters. The article calls the organization a "nonpartisan group," but the group is clearly engaged in left-wing activities in the article.

L.A. TIMES ALLOWS PRO-SIMON OPINION PIECE
The L.A. Times actually published an opinion piece written by the California Republican Party Chairman. Even though it's an opinion piece, there's some pretty good factual information in the piece regarding the California governor's race.
NAACP PRESIDENT SAYS THAT ALL BLACKS DON'T THINK ALIKE
NAACP president Kweisi Mfume has said the unthinkable: that it's offensive and an insult to have a debate on "black issues." It seems Mfume thinks those kind of debates are counterproductive because they assume whites and blacks don't care about the same issues. Mfume only said these words because he was degrading a Republican, so he'll soon be called a hypocrite for having spoken them when he continues to promote racial preferences in college admissions and other social programs that are predicated on the concept that blacks think and act differently from whites. Read the two paragraph article at The Corner on NRO.
WELFARE IS POSSIBLE CAUSE OF TERRORISM
The original opinion piece appears in the Wall Street Journal. The article is password protected, but Mickey Kaus at Slate excerpts and comments on the original piece. Read the short comments from Kaus, but the crux of the argument says that Germany's welfare state allows Muslim extremists from the Middle East to live outside of German (and Western) society, because they never assimilate by entering the workforce.
HOW CAPITALISM AND THE PROFIT MOTIVE SAVE LIVES
Pharmaceutical firms are developing fewer anti-AIDS drugs now that AIDS activists and the media pressured them to cut their profits and give away billions in drugs to AIDS-stricken Africa. As you might expect, pharmaceutical firms have shifted research and development dollars to more profitable drugs.

You can read the entire news article here. For an explanation of this economic phenomenon, skim through the first few chapters of an Economics 101 textbook.

Both William Quick and Andrew Sullivan give their opinions on this story. You'll have to scroll down a little at both sites.
HOW TO GET AWAY WITH LIBERAL MEDIA BIAS 101
It isn't always easy to get your political message across in “news” pieces. With so many readers disgruntled and organizations looking for bias in the media, it's becoming harder to get away with political commentary in the news. To all of my politically and socially liberal readers who are interested in becoming journalists, there are still good ways to get your message across to unsuspecting readers.

Lynn Elber, the AP Television Writer, shows you how to include politically biased content in a “news" article on the upcoming Emmy Awards. Here’s the money section near the end of article:

"Before 2000, winners were selected by 'blue-ribbon' voting panels that gathered in a hotel for an isolated weekend of watching submitted episodes. It was onerous duty and drew a small group of volunteers.

Then the academy got smart and got modern, mailing videocassettes for at-home viewing. The number of voters jumped from about 1,000 to an estimated 6,000 this year, more than half the academy's 11,000 members.

'Sort of like Florida radicalized people to realize that their vote counted, the changes we made kind of radicalized our membership and told them your vote really counts, so pay attention,' [Chairman of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, which organizes the Emmys, Bryce] Zabel said."

Silly me. I didn't understand that the lesson of the 2000 presidential election in Florida was the realization that our votes counted. Thank you for pointing out the error in my thinking.

The important lessons to be learned by future liberal "reporters" here are the following:
1. Put politically biased content near the end of a "news" piece. People looking for media bias might miss it.
2. Sneak politically biased content in seemingly non-political "news" stories, such as "news" stories on television or the Emmy Awards.
3. Put politically biased content in quotes from someone you interview for a story. You can always blame the speaker of the offending words in case you, the writer, are accused of bias.
4. Try to put political messages in glib remarks from the person you interviewed. Readers may dismiss the political content as someone simply trying to be humorous.

So thank you, Lynn Elber. You are a master of your trade, and someone all liberals in the media aspire to emulate.

Thursday, September 19, 2002

CNN HEADLINE NEWS EDITORIAL?
A women's group is actively campaigning to change the fact that Augusta National Golf Club, where the Masters golf tournament is held every year, does not have any female members. Here's the latest article. When I watched a portion of CNN Headline News this evening, CNN said that Augusta had a "ban" on women members, while mentioning CBS was still planning on broadcasting the Masters next year.

This is the first time I have heard the world "ban" with this story. A ban typically infers an active or official policy. Not having any females does not necessarily constitute a "ban" on female members. This certainly sounded like biased editorializing while reporting the news. I encourage my readers to send me their opinion of this.
DVD'S SANITIZED FOR SEX, VIOLENCE, AND LANGUAGE
I actually believe the ability to play a G-rated version of a film on DVD is a great idea. Very simple programming in the DVD makes this an inexpensive value-added consumer option that can only increase sales. But as you might expert, Hollywood is balking, because many see it as an infringement on creative rights and copyrights. The studios even have some legitimate branding concerns. Read the New York Times article here.

You can use the username "sabertooth1" and the password "sabertooth1," if you don't have a free New York Times password yet.
HERSHEY FOODS AND GOVERNMENT RACKETEERING
I'm completely disgusted by the government nosiness in the proposed sale of Hershey Foods. Yesterday, the charitable trust that controls Hershey conceded the political and legal obstacles in selling its stock were too great, and took the firm off the auction block. The Pennsylvania Attorney General had even filed a lawsuit to stop the sale.

I want my readers to consider for a moment the idea of the government blocking the sale of their stock, home, automobile, or any other personal property. Hopefully my readers should be outraged at the idea. My principled readers should also be outraged at what happened to the charitable trust that tried to sell its property. You can read some excellent comments at The Intellectual Passivist here and here.

The days where an entire town's economy is dependent upon one large firm are probably numbered. Businesses are tired of being held hostage by the government racket not to close inefficient and unproductive plants in smaller towns. This might be the final nail in the coffin for big businesses being located outside of large metropolitan areas. Don't expect factories that support an entire local economy to be built anymore unless a business receives enough tax breaks and government subsidies to make it worthwhile to be held captive by the government when the plant is no longer efficient.
GERMANS BECOMING MORE LIKE FRENCH
The Germans are starting to look really bad. America used to be able to count on Germany for consistent pro-American sentiment, but the left-wing Chancellor is trying to win the upcoming election by criticizing America's policy on Iraq. Now Germany's justice minister has said, "Bush wants to divert attention from his domestic problems. It's a classic tactic. It's one that Hitler used." Wow, a German politician comparing an American president to Hitler. I think Germany has hit a new low. You can read the short article here.

I still think the Chancellor's conservative challenger, Edmund Stoiber, has a good chance of winning the election. Stoiber says that "one of his first jobs if he wins Sunday's German election will be to repair harm done to Germany's name abroad by Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's 'isolationism' on Iraq."

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

THE CONTINUING BATTLE FOR SCHOOL VOUCHERS
HERE'S A GOOD ARTICLE FROM SLATE on the brewing battle over "Blaine amendments" in the majority of U.S. state constitutions, which impose "seemingly ironclad prohibitions on state aid to sectarian schools." The original intent of these constitutional provisions was aimed at the rising Catholic immigration of the 1870's, but these provisions prevent any state funds going towards religious schools today. This is counter to the U.S. Supreme Court's doctrine, which was reaffirmed this summer when the Court ruled the Cleveland school voucher program to be constitutional, even though 90% of the voucher money was used towards religious school tuition.
WEALTHY ACTOR REQUESTING MORE TAX SPENDING
Ah, one of my favorite topics: wealthy Hollywood actors demanding I pay for their favorite socialist programs. Wealthy actor Tim Robbins is in Washington today to "support increased federal funding for women on welfare and rolling back some of the 1996 reforms signed into law by Bill Clinton." The article makes no mention of how much of Mr. Robbins' personal fortune will be spent on women on welfare.

You can read more about Mr. Robbins and his conspiracy theories regarding the Bush administration in this WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE.
A NEW YORK TIMES OP-ED I CAN AGREE WITH
It's not often I agree with something in the New York Times, but I agree with the crux of this THIS OPINION PIECE. Thomas Friedman says the reasoning behind American military action in Iraq should not be on preventing the use of weapons of mass destruction, but on preventing future 9/11's. Friedman writes, "So I am for invading Iraq only if we think that doing so can bring about regime change and democratization."

I couldn't agree more. When there is democracy, the rule of law, and capitalism in the Middle East, Americans will no longer have to concern ourselves with Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism.

THE WSJ BEST OF THE WEB TODAY commented on the NYT's opinion piece before I could. The WSJ also points out that the LEAD EDITORIAL makes the opposite argument on the preceding page.

You can use the username "sabertooth1" and password "sabertooth1," if you don't have a free New York Times password.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

STUDY SHOWS LIBERAL BIAS IN NEWS MEDIA
This shouldn't come as a surprise, but it's in today's news. Interesting, the study also states the media ignores "far left" viewpoints. Liberal media watchdog groups have been making this point for a while, and it's their proof that the liberal media is a myth. I include a link to one of these left-wing media watchdogs, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) in my permanent links.
NANNY STATE NEWS
Here's more evidence that the nanny state is out of control. CNN REPORTS that a judge has ordered parents in a custody hearing not to smoke around their daughter.

The judge "cited in detail dozens of studies on the harms caused by secondhand smoke and concluded that the court was obligated to act in the child's best interests and limit her exposure to smoke." The judge also "ordered the girl's parents not to let anyone else smoke around her."
$5000 FINE FOR TRYING TO CUT DOWN FIRE HAZARD
A Santa Cruz, California couple was fined $5000 for trying to cut down a tree they deem to be a fire hazard on their own property. The couple was trying to cut down a blue gum eucalyptus tree, which has naturally oily foliage that easily ignites. The blue gum eucalyptus tree is cited as one of the causes of the devastating 1991 Oakland Hills fire.

Here's the best quote from the article from Celia Scott, an environmental lawyer and former Santa Cruz councilwoman. "A tree is a living being, and every one is valuable. I don't see any reason to discriminate or live in fear of them."

You can use the username "sabertooth1" and password "sabertooth1" to read the L.A. Times articles if you don't already have a free L.A. Times password.
LOGGING CAUSES FOREST FIRES
Here's another example of biased reporting from today's LOS ANGELES TIMES entitled, "Intense Logging Blamed for Wildfires." The title of the article is terribly biased in itself, but the writer didn't even come close to proving her case in this "news" piece. The writer doesn't quote anyone who disagrees with the writer's thesis until over halfway through the article. The proponents of the logging-causes-fires theory in the article are all scientists. The opponents of the theory in the article are all politicians, including "Agriculture Undersecretary Mark Rey, a former timber industry lobbyist and the architect of the administration proposal."

This theory may very well be true, but there are two fundamental problems with this article even if it is true. First, the article presented this theory as fact, when this is not a mainstream argument. At no point did the author inform the reader that overly-dense forests is the generally accepted cause of these massive forest fires. Second, whether or not logging causes or prevents fires, the article fails to point out the true problem: government ownership of forests leads to mismanagement and lack of accountability. I guarantee if a timber company owned forests, we wouldn't have these problems. A private entity understands that forests are renewable resources, fires destroy valuable assets, and they would be liable if a forest fire burned down people's homes. You get none of that when the government owns the land and government workers manage the land.
MEN BAD, WOMEN SMART
Here's a wonderful example of anti-male journalism in the LOS ANGELES TIMES entitled, "Former GE Chief Has 'Met His Match' in Divorce Court." Apparently, Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, is only a genius when it comes to dealing with other men in the male-dominated world of big business. But when it comes to his divorce, "Jane Beasley Welch has become the most formidable opponent the retired chief executive has encountered." Just imagine the success of General Electric the last 20 years, if Ms. Welch had been CEO. And yes, this biased reporting was written by a woman.
SPITTING BAN RACIALLY BIASED
The city of Troy, New York passed a law in July that makes it illegal to spit on the sidewalk. Five people have been cited for the violation so far. Because four of the five were black, the NAACP is calling the law racially biased.

Monday, September 16, 2002

BREAKING UP THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES
Here's a GOOD ARTICLE FROM THE L.A. DAILY NEWS that explains a lot of the issues involved with the San Fernando Valley and its over 1.3 million residents seceding from the city of Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Times doesn't report on secession because either it doesn't think this is news or it doesn't want to give any publicity to a movement that would destroy its circulation.
MORE EVIDENCE FOR THE COMPLETE SEPARATION OF EDUCATION AND STATE
Here's AN ARTICLE FROM THE LOS ANGELES TIMES that provides a lot of evidence for ending public support for education, because of the wasted money, huge bureaucracy, litigation, and shirking of responsible by parents. The article focuses on some changes in special education that parents don't like. Some of the highlights from the article include:
(1) The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has 86,000 special education students out of 736,000 total students. And remember, schools have a financial incentive to diagnose a student to be disabled, because it means more tax dollars for the school.
(2) The LAUSD now spends about $145 million a year on outside contractors and private schools for special education services that are unavailable in district schools, which is double what it spent in 1997.
(3) The LAUSD was reimbursing one family $18,000 a year in tuition money for the private school their son was attending. Yes, that's $18,000 for one child, being paid for by tax dollars.
(4) The district spends $1.2 billion on special education, or 13% of its overall budget of $9 billion
(5) Attorneys fees fighting parents who want more money spent on their "disabled" children is up to $2.7 million now.

You can use the username "sabertooth1" and password "sabertooth1" to read the article if you don't already have a free L.A. Times password.
JESSE JACKSON MAKES RACIST SPEECH TO EMPTY ARENA
It's nice to know even students at Michigan State University aren't taking Jesse Jackson seriously anymore. Only 600 people showed up at a venue that holds 15,000.

Comments on Jesse from other bloggers can be read at THE AGITATOR, COGNOCENTRIC, and SCAPPLEFACE.
THE MORALITY OF CAPITALISM AND THE PROFIT MOTIVE
Radley Balko uses the example of two different CEOs to make another convincing case for the morality of capitalism and the profit motive. Balko's OPINION PIECE WAS PUBLISHED ON TECH CENTRAL STATION. Balko also writes THE AGITATOR blog.

It's fascinating how the left and its media lackeys demonize CEOs and corporations for making decisions in the best interest of the firm's future. Making wasteful and inefficient decisions that lead to lack of productivity and bloated costs destroy businesses in the long run and put all of the employees out of work. If a business prides itself on "corporate citizenship," that's probably a good stock to short.

Sunday, September 15, 2002

THE SUPERIORITY OF THE AMERICAN CULTURE
For a long time now, the left has been arguing that other cultures are just "different," not inferior to American culture. This is the crux of "multiculturalism." It's really just another form of anti-Americanism. If you believe that unelected dictators, death to infidels, the subjugation of women, honor killings, genital mutilation, and the violent suppression of dissent are not inferior to the rule of law, democratic elections, due process, the protection of property rights, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of the press, then you are truly lacking in morals and human decency.

THE PATIO PUNDIT has similar comments.
REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT EQUALS MORE HOMELESS
Bernard Goldberg argued in his book BIAS that the media would magically make homelessness a problem again once a republican was back in the White House. THE LOS ANGELES TIMES does it part to fulfill its quota of homeless news reports. According to the L.A. Times, homelessness in Orange County, California is on the rise.
DENNY'S ACCUSED OF DISCRIMINATION AGAIN
Apparently, it's now a "right" in America to order a Grand Slam breakfast at 4:00 a.m. At least, that's what the Springfield, Illinois NAACP BELIEVES.
GLOBAL WARMING UPDATE
THIS ARTICLE FROM SPACEDAILY SAYS the temperatures over the south pole are much colder than previously believed. This fact represents a major flaw is the global warming theory of environmentalists. And remember, global warming theories are based on computer models, not actual data. This article says the computer models are flawed.
EUROPEAN JEALOUSY
TWO BLOWHARDS ARE ARGUING that Europeans (and others) hate America because they are jealous of America's beautiful women. I also believe the foundation of the current anti-Americanism in Europe is caused by jealousy, but jealousy of another kind.

Laziness and apathy have corrupted the European work ethic, so they have invented new standards of "success" not based on a very objective measure of wealth. Europeans attempt to cover their jealousy over Americans' success by calling Americans "uncultured", "cowboys", and "a slave to the almighty dollar." Europeans simply can't hack it being responsible for themselves. They are losers, and I pity them.
L.A. TIMES EDITORIAL IN THE NEWS SECTION
Here's an article on Colombia from the world news section of today's Los Angeles Times. The title of the article is "BLOOD SPILLS TO KEEP OIL WEALTH FLOWING.

Saturday, September 14, 2002

LEFT-WING PROPAGANDA
A reader send me this LINK to left-wing propaganda posters. There weren't really any comments in the e-mail, so I suppose he just wanted me to take a look at the type of message the left is putting out these days. I decided to investigate one step further and read more on the guy behind these dishonest posters.

It turns out this left-wing kook is a writer of children's cartoons. I've always suspected socialists of trying to brainwash America's children with left-wing ideology in cartoons, just like teachers do in public schools. A good example of this is HEY ARNOLD! THE MOVIE from this summer. The lead character in the cartoon saves his neighborhood from an evil industrialist with a Ronald Reagan-like voice who plans on building a mall. Never mind that the local residents would like the convenience of a nearby mall. Never mind that property values will go up from the desirability of a nearby mall. Never mind that a business was privately funding a mall without taxpayer dollars. The message of the movie is private investment for the purpose of making a profit is evil.

The other interesting thing about this guy behind these left-wing propaganda posters is he's promoting his military service in the Army Rangers, including taking part in the invasion of Panama. I love it when pissed-off veterans use their supposedly secret inside knowledge of the inner workings of the military to justify their left-wing politics. It's even funnier when left-wing hypocrites who loathe everything about the American military give these disgruntled veterans a place of honor in their circle, and parade these veterans out for mindless protests.
THE MOTIVATION OF LIBERALS
THIS ACADEMIC PAPER BY JOHN J. RAY was published in FrontPage Magazine. The paper is on the underlying psychology of the left wing. Mr. Ray argues that the left wing is "motivated by strong ego needs — needs for power, attention, praise and fame."

My hypothesis is similar. I've always believed that the left wing is motivated by elitism and arrogance, which really are ego problems. I really believe that American liberals in government and the media think they are superior to the common American. If they truly believed their message (and it's possible they don't), they believe that Americans are too stupid and incapable of making their own decisions and being responsible for their own lives. But thank God these great liberal elites were put on earth to protect us idiots from ourselves.

And let's not forgot how wealthy someone can become from being a left-wing proponent of wealth redistribution. America's Founding Fathers believed taxes could be kept in check as long as they applied to everyone, including elected representatives. But the Founding Fathers had no idea that over $1 trillion would flow in and out of Washington, D.C., which makes many not just powerful, but rich. When a representative leaves office, he can make millions as a Washington lawyer or lobbyist taking care of and getting business from his former colleagues. And this liberal will gladly pay 50% in taxes on those millions that he otherwise would never have. Bill and Hillary Clinton are also happy to pay high taxes on $20 million in book deals that they otherwise would not have. I guess it's okay for liberals to get rich, because they "care" about the rest of us.
THE LACK OF MORAL ARGUMENTS AGAINST WAR
I like THIS PIECE FROM TRUTH LAID BEAR on five "moral" arguments being used by those against war in the Middle East. The anti-war rhetoric is really just sad.
ALBERT GORE III ARRESTED ON DUI CHARGES
I just found out that former presidential candidate Al Gore's 19-year-old son was arrested last week and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving, and possession of alcohol by a minor. This was reported in the conservative WASHINGTON TIMES yesterday, and in today's NEW YORK POST and NEW YORK DAILY NEWS.

I have not heard anything about this on television news. I did a search of the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and Washington Post, and could not find this story in any of them. I'll be watching the media for this story throughout the next week to see if it receives the same type of coverage the Bush twins get for underage drinking. Yes, I realize this isn't exactly an apples-to-apples comparison. Al Gore III's father isn't the president, even though many on the left still claim Gore won. On the other hand, the Bush twins didn't commit the cardinal sin of alcohol offenses by getting behind the wheel of a car.

Friday, September 13, 2002

SODA VS. POP
Okay, I admit I'm fascinated by THIS STUDY on regional differences in what to call carbonated beverages. Both ABC and MSNBC have reported this story. Typically, the eastern U.S and California use the term "soda," while most of the Midwest uses the term "pop." Remarkably within the "pop" Midwest, the map shows pockets of "soda" usage centered on the cities of St. Louis and Milwaukee. Maybe it has something to do with beer or Germans.

Having grown up in Milwaukee and adopted the term "soda," I can recall a few conversation at the University of Wisconsin in Madison with students from dink northern Wisconsin towns who insisted on using the term "pop." It seemed strange, but probably no stranger than me using the Milwaukee regional term "bubbler" instead of "drinking fountain" for public drinking water dispensers.

As a professional marketer, the most fascinating part of this story is the use of the term "Coke" in the American south to describe all carbonated beverages. This is undesirable to Coca-Cola because it weakens the brand name. A business can lose its trademark protection if a brand name becomes common usage such as aspirin. Powerful brands such as Kleenex and Xerox go out of their way to include the generic product terms of "facial tissues" and "copiers" in their advertisements to protect their brands. In the past, Coca-Cola has actively threatened to sue restaurants and businesses that serve Pepsi when a customer ordered a "Coke." This is why when you order a "Coke" in a restaurant that serves PepsiCo products, the server is supposed to ask, "Is Pepsi okay?"

THE AGITATOR and CUT ON THE BIAS have also weighed in with opinions on this.
MORE MEDIA BIAS
This time THE WALL STREET JOURNAL has an excellent opinion piece on media bias in the Washington Post. The Washington Post published profiles of Clarence Thomas and Cornel West only a week apart, but the commentary was radically different.

Thursday, September 12, 2002

BLOGGING ARTICLE IN THE L.A. TIMES
I was going to make some comments on this L.A. TIMES ARTICLE ABOUT BLOGS, but TONY PIERCE TRASHED the article on his blog already. Tony says everything that needs to be said about the article.

UPDATE: MATT WELCH ALSO RIPPED the L.A. Times blogging article.
MEDIA BIAS AT THE L.A. TIMES
The Los Angeles Times continues to show its liberal slant. THE MEDIA RESEARCH CENTER HAS ALREADY DOCUMENTED the overuse of the term "far-right" by the media. The L.A. Times helps prove the point with an article titled, "FAR-RIGHT PARTY IN AUSTRIA AT A CROSSROADS." (You may need to register to read the article, but it's free and quick.)

The first paragraph from the article reads, "A squabble within the party of right-wing populist Joerg Haider has thrown Austrian politics into chaos, opening the possibility that a country widely criticized for bringing the far right into government two years ago will remove it in elections late this year." The writer was able to use "right-wing" and "far right" in the first sentence alone. In all, the short article uses "far right" four times.

But here's the best sentence: "In addition to the Freedom Party and Schuessel's center-right People's Party, Austria's main parties are the left-leaning Social Democrats and the Greens." The L.A. Times just called socialists and Greens "left-leaning." Not far-left or extreme-left, it's "left-leaning." Austria's Green Party WEBSITE IS IN GERMAN, but if you want to read more about the extreme left-wing policies of European Greens, check out the EUROPEAN FEDERATION OF GREEN PARTIES.

GREEN PARTY UPDATE: Disgraced racist Georgia Democratic congresswoman CYNTHIA MCKINNEY IS BEING URGED BY GREEN PARTY OFFICIALS to run for president in 2004.
L.A. MEDIA ALERT
I've mentioned before that when a celebrity is arrested in Los Angeles, the arrest will be the top story on local television news. ACTOR NICK NOLTE WAS ARRESTED in Malibu for suspicion of driving under the influence. And yes, this was the lead story this morning.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

TODAY'S POSTINGS
I won't be posting today beyond this small message. There are many great comments, analyses, and tributes being written by bloggers. I encourage my readers to visit INSTAPUNDIT today for an on-going collection of links to worthy comments by bloggers.

I have but one unoriginal and brief comment for today: "Carthage must be destroyed."

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

THE CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR'S MILITARY SERVICE
Speaking of commenting on the military, I read Democratic California Governor Gray Davis's biography on his campaign website. One page is dedicated to his military service. READ THE TWO PARAGRAPHS HERE for yourself.

The page doesn't make it clear what Davis was doing or where he was. Based on the first paragraph that ends by mentioning law school, it's a reasonable assumption that he was a military lawyer. He was promoted to captain within a year or two of military service, which also backs up my assumptions he was a lawyer because the military generally counts law and medical school towards time in service for promotion.

I sent an e-mail to the Gray Davis campaign asking for a clarification. I was referred to a senior campaign aid in Los Angeles, Andre Lewis, who tried to answer my questions after spending two minutes quizzing me to make sure I didn't work for the Republican Bill Simon's campaign. Mr. Lewis didn't seem too sure of the answers, but he thought Davis was in the Signal Corps and would "grab his rifle and helmet" and "fly in Hueys" to the front where he fixed radio transmitters. Mr. Lewis referred me to Governor Davis's Sacramento staff, if I needed further information. I sent an e-mail to the governor's office yesterday, and I have not received a response yet.

So why would I care? Well, the website says Davis "earned the Bronze Star for meritorious service." Davis is promoting that he received a high military decoration for above-average service, and not for battlefield valor for which the award is normally given. And again, the website gives the impression he received the award while a lawyer, probably far away from the battlelines.

I mentioned this to a friend who is a veteran of the Special Forces in Vietnam and he was not pleased. I mentioned this to my father who spent all of 1967 as a Marine infantryman at Da Nang and Khe Sanh. He didn't seem perturbed like my friend and even thought it was reasonable for a politician to mention. However, my father agreed that most highly-decorated veterans are modest about their awards, probably wouldn't mention receiving a high decoration for meritorious service, and the governor opened himself up to scrutiny for promoting his medal.

I'm still waiting for a response from the governor's office, but even if the answer comes back that Davis was not a lawyer in the rear, the content of the website is questionable. The website is poorly written, probably purposely vague, and it makes the governor look bad for promoting a decoration many would keep private.
THE CHICKENHAWK ACCUSERS
For the past few months, many on the left opposed to war have developed a "CHICKENHAWK" SMEAR CAMPAIGN for civilian military leaders who support a war against Iraq and other Middle East dictators and did not serve in the military. SOME BLOGGERS and MAINSTREAM PRESS have already addressed this issue, and most are questioning the basis of the chickenhawk argument.

I see something else in the chickenhawk smear campaign: another hypocritical left-wing argument. These are the same people who have written about, protested, and demanded change in American military policy, particularly in regards to social policy, for the past 12 years. Homosexuals, women, and minorities in the military--the left-wing and its media friends all had an opinion, but they never served in the military. They accused others of "ignorance," yet they never understood the dynamics and culture of the military. The left wing thinks its opinion should count in military matters, but now it accuses others of being unqualified to make military decisions.

I don't fault many from the Vietnam generation for making a very rational choice to delay, to make easier, or to avoid military service during the Vietnam War, where the chance of death or horrible injury was high. But since the early 1980's, serving in the American military is a completely different world. Every American under 40 who meets the qualifications has had the opportunity to serve in a professional, well-equipped military, without interfering with school or career plans and without a realistic fear of being killed in a protracted war. But still the left wing refused to serve.

I spent six years in the Marine Corps Reserve in the 90's as an infantry rifleman. I mostly decided to join because this was an opportunity for adventures and experiences I knew I would never have. I also decided to join because I had always been interested in the military growing up and knew I would be interested in discussing military affairs as an adult, but I didn't want to be a hypocrite for passing up my opportunity to serve. I never saw combat and I could have done more, but I think serving in the Marine Reserve infantry meets the minimum requirement, especially considering every Marine Reserve infantry unit was called to active duty for the Gulf War--with two-thirds actually going to the Persian Gulf. I never anticipated commenting on the military specifically in a web log, but here I am commenting.

Few things have given me as much pleasure as the hypocritical defense of Bill Clinton by women's groups. These women's groups have shown how devoid of principles they really are, and I enjoy bringing this up at every appropriate occasion. In the very near future, I'm certain I will have the pleasure of pointing out the hypocritical nature of left-wing anti-war politicos and journalists who question every single military policy and belittle others for not serving, when they refused to serve even in peacetime. The left continues to show that their arguments are not based on principles, but are based on a hatred of the military and a hatred of America itself.

Monday, September 09, 2002

VATICAN FOREIGN MINISTER MAKES ODD STATEMENTS ON WAR WITH IRAQ
The Vatican's foreign minister said it was okay to attack Iraq if the United Nations approves the use of force. The pope and the Vatican have acknowledged the right of defense against terrorists, and have made it clear that any "just war" needs to avoid harming innocent people.

But here's where it gets odd. The foreign minister said, "We can't impose the law of the jungle," and "Obviously we can't fight evil with evil." The article doesn't make it clear, but I think he is referring to the United States acting without U.N. approval. I don't understand how these statements apply, if America does not ask for and is granted U.N. "approval."

Saddam Hussein has shown a willingness to use weapons of mass destruction on his own people and to invade his neighbors. Saddam Hussein also has shown an unyielding desire to produce more weapons of mass destruction. This is a genuine threat to America. Period. Any preemptive strike on Iraq is a legitimate defensive attack, since America is already being threatened. I don't understand the connection between acting in defense and "evil," and I don't understand how U.N. approval somehow makes everything "good."

The foreign minister also warned of the consequences on both the Iraqi population and stability in the region. Let's remember reality for a moment here. Saddam Hussein has been starving and killing his people for three decades. If an American military attack kills 2000 Iraqi civilians, relatively speaking that would be a good month for the people of Iraq. Plus, when the attack is complete, Iraqis will stop dying by the thousands. As for "stability in the region," I should probably expect the Vatican to defend the undemocratic status quo in the Middle East. Again, someone please explain to me how tyrants who fund terrorists and Islamic extremism are good for stability.
MORE FLEECING OF AMERICAN TAXPAYERS
I know most people don't want to make this type of comment, now that New York City firefighters, police officers, and emergency personnel have become "heroes," but HUNDREDS OF FIREFIGHTERS involved in the World Trade Center's rescue and recovery are now on medical leave or light duty. I knew this would happen even as I heard interviews with rescue personnel last September stating, "There's no place I'd rather be," and "I'll work at this site until all of the bodies are recovered or until I drop dead." "Stress-related" disorders among New York's firefighters have increased 17-fold since the attacks.

HUNDRED OF NEW YORK CITY FIREFIGHTERS HAVE RETIRED in the past year to take advantage of higher pension benefits from working overtime after the WTC attacks. Pensions are determined by income earned in the previous 12 months. New York City police officers did the same thing.
PAYING FOR STORIES COMPROMISES MEDIA SAYS EXPERT
A WORLD TRADE CENTER SURVIVOR IS CHARGING $911 per two hours for interviews. Twelve media outlets have agreed to pay his fee, but a journalism ethics expert says, "Paying for stories, especially stories that have such historic importance, is setting a bad precedent. The American media is rooted in its accuracy and authority. Paying would compromise that." HAHAHAHAHAHA! Since American media's accuracy and authority have already been compromised, I don't see what the problem is.
END OF AN EXPERIMENT
I've been struggling to come up with a regular format, so I can develop expectations in my readers. After this morning, I'm going to dump the morning news links. It's too time consuming, and it takes away time from writing original thoughts, which is the point.

My thoughts on adding news links in the morning was so there was always new content, even when I didn't have time to write something original. The reality is that I can write two or three quick original posts in the same amount of time it takes me to find and link to 8 to 12 stories in the morning.

I'd still like to find a niche, so readers would look for my opinions on particular topics. I'm particularly interested in free-market solutions to America's problems and hassles, capitalism, free trade, the privatization of education, political correctness and political indoctrination in education, union corruption, government waste, and The Bill of Rights. And like most bloggers, I'm disgusted with lazy and biased reporting. As a resident of Los Angeles, I can focus on these issues in L.A., California, and the West Coast. If you have an opinion, let me know by sending an e-mail.
THE FUTURE OF FLORIDA BOYS FOUND GUILTY OF MURDER
I believe people's names and faces should not be in the news until after they are convicted, so I usually don't follow crime stories and trials while they are in the news. Last night, I watched a portion of a television news segment about the boys just found guilty of murdering their father in the Florida, while a 40-year-old family friend was acquitted of the same offense.

Most of the debate and analysis on this case is focusing on whether children this young should be charged as adults, but something else struck me when I listened to the 13-year-old describe in court his sexual relationship with the 40-year-old man and how the kid thought he was in love with the man. This kid will very soon be in a world of pain. When his fellow inmates learn his story, he'll be the sexual slave of 16- and 17-year-olds in juvenile detention, and he will continue this lifestyle when he is tranfered to prison as an adult. After 20 years of complete degradation, no self-respect, and rage, he'll be released back into the real world. What do you think the chances are of him committing a violent crime when he gets out of prison?

Those unfamiliar with the story can read about it HERE.
MONDAY MORNING NEWS AND COMMENTARY LINKS
LOS ANGELES COUNTY HAS MAPPED the homes of registered sex offenders on THIS WEBSITE.

A STRANGE GOOGLE MIRROR SITE can beat the Chinese government's blocking of access to the Google search engine.

THE EUROPEAN UNION IS A THREAT to Switzerland's financial and banking system.

CNN IS REPORTING THERE IS HIDDEN DATA on your driver's license. Machines can store the information it reads for driver's licences.

THE FBI WILL BEGIN DATA MINING commercial databases.

This shouldn't be a surprise, but HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTS RAISING TAXES on the wealthiest Americans to pay for war with Iraq.

While bird droppings destroy a neighborhood, BOULDER, COLORADO IS CONSIDERING making the city a bird sanctuary.

ATTORNEY GENERAL ASHCROFT'S APPOINTMENTS to a domestic-violence advisory committee are being assailed. BRIAN CARNELL ASKS if a Colorado County's fast-track domestic violence program is constitutional.

Sunday, September 08, 2002

WEEKEND WRAP-UP NEWS AND COMMENTARY LINKS
The following links are to news and commentary from this weekend and earlier in the week that I didn't get a chance to post.

SECRETARY OF STATE POWELL SAYS the world should be "outraged" at Saddam Hussein. Unfortunately, most of the world leaders lack morals and courage. MIDDLE EAST DICTATORS still oppose an American attack on Iraq, because it puts their jobs and lives in jeopardy. MARY ROBINSON, HEAD U.N HUMAN RIGHTS KOOK and enemy of the fundamental freedoms of capitalism, property rights, and free trade, is accusing governments of using the war of terrorism to trample on civil liberties. THE POPE SAYS the international community must eliminate the injustices that feed terrorism. If the pope is talking about the injustices of unelected leaders, a failure to protect property rights, government corruption, the undermining of the rule of law and due process, the greed of the welfare state, and the restraint of trade, I could not agree with him more.

MUSLIM EXTREMISTS WILL MEET IN LONDON to celebrate the anniversary of September 11. MEANWHILE, SAUDI ARABIAN SCHOOLS still brainwash their children to hate America. These Islamic schools ACTUALLY EXIST IN AMERICA, TOO.

It turns out that America was not alone in wanting an International Criminal Court exemption. FRANCE NEGOTIATED A SECRET EXEMPTION for its own peacekeepers back in 1998.

SIX FEDERAL AGENCIES WASTED $19 BILLION by making erroreous payments last year.

CHUCK MORSE NAMES the 59 socialists in Congress.

CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR DAVIS SIGNED the state budget bill, which amazingly was 2% smaller than the last budget. Even with the budget cut, California is running a huge deficit.

AN ALASKAN MAN IS SUING THE POLICE for selling his property after a drug arrest. This is more evidence on how drug seizure laws are abused and clearly violate the intent of the Fifth Amendment.

THE PRIVATIZATION OF THE PHILADELPHIA SCHOOL SYSTEM has begun. Private companies and outside entities are now running 45 of 264 Philadelphia schools. SCHOOL-CHOICE ADVOCATES ELSEWHERE IN PENNSYLVANIA are preparing to make a new push for vouchers. SAMUEL BLUMENFELD EXPLAINS HOW public schools destroy the minds of American children. Meanwhile in France, FRENCH STUDENTS CAN NOW GET TIME IN JAIL for insulting their teachers.

THE L.A. TIMES MISNAMES this article on slave reparations by putting "heal wounds" in the title. Slave reparations would do just the opposite.

MATT WELCH WRITES A REFUTATION of the "death of dissent" myth in the National Post.

And finally, I have two interesting commentaries from InstaPundit. THIS FIRST COMMENTARY ON SWEDEN continues the recent discussions on how socialism has zapped the wealth of Sweden. THIS SECOND COMMENTARY ON THE MEDIA is a collection of thoughts on why the public rightly loathes the established media.

Friday, September 06, 2002

THE SABERTOOTH DOCTRINE
This story isn't new, but it got me thinking about developing my own foreign-policy and war-fighting doctrine. A FRENCH SEPTEMBER 11 FILM playing at the Venice Film Festival has many anti-American elements, but THE FILM STILL RECEIVED ENTHUSIASTIC APPLAUSE to its most anti-American segments.

The money line from the film says, "The U.S. and Israel are democracies. Their governments are elected by their people -- thus it is legitimate to attack their people." In response, I have developed the Sabertooth Doctrine: "A nation's people too cowardly to rise up against the unelected government who oppresses them are fair game when America is in the process of overthrowing that government."
HARVARD-QUALITY RACISM
Here's another popular article being discussed on the web. A HARVARD PROFESSOR TELLS AMERICA that he wants to abolish the white race in the latest issue of Harvard Magazine.
REMEMBERING 9/11
This article is being posted on many blogs. It's a good reminder why America must not let up against terrorists and those who fund them. THE USA TODAY IS REPORTING that at least 200 people chose to jump to their deaths when they could not escape after airplanes struck the World Trade Center.
FRIDAY MORNING NEWS AND COMMENTARY LINKS
THE U.S. GOVERNMENT HAS LICENSED the first commercial mission to the moon.

A SWEDISH POLITICIAN RUNNING FOR PARLIAMENT called for porn to be broadcast on television all day every Saturday in order to help boost the population and thereby the economy.

A WOMEN CLAIMS AN INDIANAPOLIS POLICE OFFICER tried to coerce her into having sex with the officer after a traffic stop. The women caught part of the conversation on a tape recorder, which is interesting considering the story I reported two weeks ago about a Massachusetts man being convicted of wiretapping for tape recording his traffic stop.

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-BERKELEY has reversed its anti-patriotic policy for September 11th.

THE USA TODAY REPORTS new gas engines can be nearly pollution-free. CBS IS REPORTING the same story.

A NEW STUDY DEBUNKS the doomsday prophecy of environmentalists.

THE U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT is hosting a conference on why there is so much anti-American sentiment in the world. The results from this conference could lead to a worldwide marketing and public relations campaign to improve America's image around the world.

SCHOOLS COULD BE SUED for teaching about homosexuality.

THE HOOVER INSTITUTION SAYS the increased power of the teachers unions has led to the decreased performance of teachers. THE CATO INSTITUTE ADDRESSES rolling back the power of the teachers unions.

WAKE COUNTY, NC SCHOOLS WILL begin testing students for illegal drugs.

REASON DISCUSSES THE NEW BASEBALL collective-bargaining agreement and how problems could get worse.

Thursday, September 05, 2002

CNN REPORTS THAT A TURKISH COUPLE living in Germany have been refused permission to name their child Osama bin Laden. Names registered in Germany must meet certain criteria. German officials refused the registration because the name would not be allowed in Turkey. German law states that the names of non-Germans must meet the standards of their home country.

I found the last sentence of this short article to be the most interesting. The last sentence reads, "The United States blames al Qaeda and its leader, Saudi-born bin Laden, for the September 11 attacks." Is CNN trying to be objective, or is CNN making an editorial comment here? Does America simply blame al-Qaeda and bin Laden or is it a fact that they committed the September 11 attacks? We have admissions on tape and ample public evidence that proves they did it. There's really no need to use watery language to protect against libel, so what is CNN really saying here?
THE CALIFORNIA PATRIOT, the University of California-Berkeley's conservative newspaper, is reporting that the school-sponsored day-long tribute to 9/11 will "exclude patriotic symbols and religious references." One of the organizers of the event called the American flag, "a symbol of U.S. aggression towards other countries. It seems hostile." White ribbons will be passed out instead of the originally-planned red, white, and blue ribbons, which were considered too political and divisive.

Your tax dollars are probably paying for this event.

UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web Today picked up this story in Thursday's edition.
THURSDAY MORNING NEWS AND COMMENTARY LINKS
Here are interesting stories and commentary from today. I'll try to write this feature in the morning from now on, so my readers can read this at work.

DAVE KOPEL SAYS THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN is not inclined to celebrate diversity or remember its own history. THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN ORIGINALLY FORBID the West Virginia mascot from bringing its musket to the football stadium. One day the University of Wisconsin will figure out why I don't give money to my alma mater. In related commentary, WES VERNON SAYS THE HARD LEFT dominates college campuses. This isn't really news, but the commentary was written today.

ANDREW SULLIVAN SAYS THE NEW YORK TIMES is passing off editorials as news stories again. (Scroll down to third entry, "Back from Vacation.")

THE MEDIA RESEARCH CENTER GIVES a summary of celebrity views on the War on Terrorism.

THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR REPORTS on a major test of gay rights in Miami.

DEMOCRATS ARE RALLYING TO PROTECT UNIONS in a federal government agency. Government workers protected by labor unions is one of the biggest threats to liberty in America. In a related story, ANOTHER UNION IS STEALING UNION DUES to pay for politics.

THE WASHINGTON TIMES IS REPORTING that the United States accomplished most of its goals at the World Summit in Johannesburg. SOME PARTICIPANTS AT THE WORLD SUMMIT are calling its failure a good thing for developing nations.

LISA SNELL SAYS SCHOOLS' OBSESSION WITH FEELINGS are teaching kids the wrong lessons about 9/11.

CNN REPORTS IT IS GETTING EASY to be spied on, while almost HALF OF AMERICANS anticipate giving up some freedoms for security.

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

WEDNESDAY NEWS LINKS OF INTEREST
Here are interesting stories and commentary from today.

THE COST OF COMPLYING WITH FEDERAL REGULATIONS was $854 billion in 2001.

I have a few articles regarding the World Summit in Johannesburg. SECRETARY OF STATE COLIN POWELL was actually jeered when accusing the racist Mugabe's Zimbabwean government of causing famine with "mismanagement," which is putting it nicely. MUGABE IS BLAMING BRITAIN and other rich nations for his racist policies. THE UNITED STATES AND DEVELOPING NATIONS were able to score a victory by rejected targets for renewable energy like wind and solar power. REASON EXPLAINS why properties rights are environmental rights.

A WEALTHY WORKING ELDERLY ACTRESS testifies before Congress that ageism plagues Hollywood. There is no word whether she will use her own money to fund entertainment projects that hire other older actresses.

MEDIA MINDED, A MEDIA BLOG, writes that a Philadelphia newspaper is apologizing for reporting facts and including pictures of at-large murder suspects--who happened to be black. HERE'S THE APOLOGY from the newspaper. AND HERE'S THE STORY about the group calling for the resignations of the editors.

A MAJORITY OF EUROPEANS say America is partly to blame for 9/11. This survey shows how devoid of morals the Euro-Jackasses are. JANE GALT TOOK HER OWN SURVEY and found out Europeans were entirely to blame for many atrocities of the 20th century.

THE ANGRY CLAM IS REPORTING that the UC-Berkeley administration finds the Star Spangled Banner "divisive" and red, white, and blue ribbons "offensive."

CONGRESS IS CONSIDERING CUTTING the federal excise tax on alcohol.

THE HAWAII REPORTER SAYS federal mandates ensure children are left behind.

AN IGNORANT PARENT WANTS A TEACHER FIRED for teaching vocabulary that included the word "niggardly." In similar stories from the past, A UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN STUDENT accused her professor of racism for using "niggardly," and A WASHINGTON, D.C. OFFICIAL was forced to resign for using the word in a private staff meeting.

THE MAYOR OF LONDON admits to feeling safer in New York City. In 1996, the United Kingdom banned handguns, and naturally GUN CRIME SKYROCKETED.

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

TUESDAY NIGHT WRAP-UP
Here are interesting stories and commentary from today.

CANCER PATIENTS MUST WAIT 18 WEEKS for their first appointment with a specialist in socialized-medicine New Zealand.

FRENCH PRESIDENT JACQUES CHIRAC will urge world leaders to launch talks on a new international tax to fight world poverty.

THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE asks if President Bush has infringed the constitution.

A LAWSUIT IN OHIO hopes to overture the state's five-keg rule that requires a signed affidavit allowing police to search the site of the place where the beer is being served.

THE TRANSPORTION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION is overwhelmed, which is putting it nicely.

CNN WRITES on a surveillance society in America.

THE DENVER POST SAYS bearing arms is our birthright contrary to what teachers tell children.

THE UK'S GUARDIAN REPORTS that an 11-year-old girl received a microchip tracker implant.

iFeminists comments on MALE BASHING and GLASS CELLARS IN THE WORKFORCE.

CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY IS NOW CALLING for educational vouchers for school choice.

THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR POLICY ANALYSIS SAYS the United States lags behind the rest of the world on social security reform.

TECH CENTRAL STATION can't believe President Mugabe of Zimbabwe was allowed to address the World Summit in Johannesburg.

MCDONALD'S IS CUTTING trans-fatty acids in its french fries.

GERMAN POLITICAL PARTIES are using saucy ads to appeal to young voters.

THE NORWEGIAN BLOGGER COMMENTS on patriotic American Muslims.

THE DAILY SUMMIT wraps up the World Summit in Johannesburg.

ANDREW SULLIVAN COMMENTS on how the Bush-hating New York Times has replaced the Democrats as The Opposition.

AN UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATION REVEALS abortion clinic workers don't report statutory rape.
SPORTS BETTING SCANDAL IN VEGAS?
The lights went out with 7:41 remaining in the WISCONSIN-UNLV COLLEGE FOOTBALL GAME on Saturday. When the lights couldn’t be restored quickly, the game was called and Wisconsin was declared the winner. According to the governing rules of Nevada Sports Books, a college or NFL football game that ends before 55 minutes of play isn't considered official, so all money is refunded.

I saw conspiracy theorists on the news today claiming the casino sports books might be behind this blackout. They obviously don’t know how Vegas sports books make their money.

A point spread is established in hopes of getting equal amounts of money bet on each side. If too much money is bet on one team, the point spread will move to encourage more money to be bet on the other team. In Vegas, a bettor bets $11 (or multiple of $11) to win $10 (or a multiple of $10). The loser obviously loses his $11, while the winner receives back his original $11, plus the $10 in winnings. The sports book keeps $1. If the sports books were able to get bettors to place equal amounts of money on each team, the sports books’ profit will be 4.5% of the money bet. The sports books don’t make any money when they have to refund money from games not declared official.
LAZINESS AT THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
THE LOS ANGELES TIMES PUBLISHED THIS EDITORIAL yesterday. I realize the point of the editorial was to poke fun at the sometimes lack of serious news in summer, but the editorial makes a flippant remark that illustrates ignorance and laziness by the editorial staff.

A section of the editorial reads, “October and November have always been very bad months to be a deer in Wisconsin. This year, add August. State, uh, experts--creating a cure without a recovery--ordered the extraordinary slaughter of 25,000 deer because some might have contagious chronic wasting disease. Feel better?”

Contrary to what the editorial staff wrote, this is a serious issue in Wisconsin. Chronic wasting disease in deer is similar to mad cow disease. The entire deer population in the state is at risk of becoming infected. If the Times staff had bothered to do even a tiny bit of research on the subject, they would see how serious this is and how much information is readily available. THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL HAS OVER 100 ARTICLES available to the public on its website.

The editorial ends with the quip, “But after today, we can no longer talk about such things.” Maybe after today, the Los Angeles Times will start taking its writing and research seriously, too.

Monday, September 02, 2002

ENVIRONMENTALISTS FAIL TO PUT THEIR MONEY WHERE THEIR MOUTHS ARE
FORD MOTOR COMPANY IS CLOSING DOWN its Think electric vehicle division because of poor customer demand. Once again, environmentalists have shown they are hypocrites for not supporting the products they lobby government to mandate. The next time you see Hollywood stars pushing these ideas on television, you can be sure they are driving home in a sports car or SUV.
JOHANNESBURG UPDATE
Rich Galen at MULLINGS has a collection of funny facts about the environmental summit taking place now in Johannesburg, South Africa.
DISAGREEING WITH EUGENE VOLOKH
UCLA law professor EUGENE VOLOKH has posted some comments regarding home schooling, and his belief that government-mandated testing of home-schoolers is a reasonable government requirement. Some have already tackled this topic like DARYL COBRANCHI, and SKIP OLIVA, who completely broke down Eugene’s argument. Because I was one of Eugene’s readers who accused him of not being very libertarian in his argument, I wanted to make a few comments here.

First, I don’t understand why the government would hold home-schoolers and their parents to a higher standard than the government holds itself. Eugene is arguing that home-schoolers should be required to “get good results on periodic tests,” but there is no requirement that public school children “get good results on periodic tests.” Eugene continues by stating, “failing to make sure that one's kids are adequately educated seems to me to be a form of child abuse, and I think the government is morally entitled to protect kids against this.” So will we also consider charging inept public-school teachers and administrators with child abuse when their students can't read or write? The government cannot meet these standards, so it is hypocritical of the government to force private individuals to meet government-invented standards.

Second, Eugene invented the idea that government granted parents “dictatorial control” over their children. The government never granted this power of parental responsibility to parents; it existed in nature. Since the government didn’t grant these powers, it doesn’t follow that the government can set reasonable limits on this parental power--in this case, testing and verifying the effectiveness of home schooling. A parent has a contractual obligation to care for a child until majority, and is financially and legally liable for many of the child’s actions. So it rightly follows that parents can use the coercive power of the government--power Eugene doesn't find very libertarian for a parent to use--to enforce this parental contract and protect against financial and legal liabilities.

And third, Eugene is really making the lowest-common-denominator argument here. Because a few are incapable, the rest of us should be made to suffer. Phrased another way: “What about those who can’t take care of themselves?” This is basically the foundation and justification of socialism in America. This argument is arrogant and elitist, especially considering how few people there really are who truly can’t take care of themselves. The lowest-common-denominator doctrine is why public schools have been dumbed down to the point of uselessness, which is why so many parents are home-schooling their children in the first place!
LOCAL NEWS IN LOS ANGELES
I don’t usually watch the local news on television in Los Angeles, because it’s like watching Court TV meets Entertainment Tonight. There are a few minutes of celebrity fluff each newscast, and I guarantee a celebrity arrest will be the lead story. So when important local news occurs, sometimes I miss it.

It took me five days to find out, but there was a TRIPLE MURDER a few blocks from my home. You’re thinking, “So what? It’s L.A.” Not so fast. Los Angeles isn’t as crime-ridden as you think. Before this, there had only been two murders this year in LAPD’s West Los Angeles Division, which has approximately 215,000 residents. And yes, these murders took place on the very same world-famous Bundy Drive, approximately a half mile south from two murders in 1994. I hear O.J. is still looking for the killers in that incident.

Find out more about what the LAPD is up to in West Los Angeles in THE LAPD WEST L.A. NEWSLETTER. Now if I could only get the LAPD to care that homeless people are using the neighborhood's carports for their bathrooms, I'd be a satisfied citizen.

In other local news, it’s really hot around here. It hit 101 in Downtown L.A. yesterday, and it was definitely into the 90’s in West L.A., much closer to the beach. Most of us on Westside don’t have air conditioning, so sweat is dripping down my face as I write this.

Sunday, September 01, 2002

MBA CERTIFICATION EXAM
A friend and former classmate of mine in the University of Minnesota MBA program wanted my opinion on THIS MBA CERTIFICATION STORY IN THE USA TODAY. It seems a major testing company is launching a certification exam for MBAs in April. This 300-question exam will take five hours and cost $450. No regulatory body requires this exam. Medical, law, and CPA certifications are regulated by the state, and are required to practice.

This test will fail for four reasons:
1. The top schools are against it. They feel their selection process has picked the highest performers.
2. The cost of the test is expensive compared to some state schools' tuition prices.
3. Testing would take place after the recruiting season. The article doesn't make it clear, but it sounds like the testing would take place in April, and I suppose scores would be available soon after if computers administer this. MBA recruitment usually takes place in autumn. Employers will not wait for the test results to make job offers to students for fear of losing top candidates to other employers who don't care about the test.
4. Regulation doesn't require this test. Passing the medical boards, the bar, or the CPA exam are required by the state, and a condition of employment. The idea that government would require competency testing in business and management is a bit absurd, considering business isn't a hard science and there aren't a lot of rules to memorize. If the government got involved in certifying MBA degrees, they would have to require competency in every degree program in the nation. And once government employees start telling the rest of us Americans whether or not we are competent, America will be in a world of shit.

Saturday, August 31, 2002

END-OF-WEEK WRAP-UP, PART II
Here are more news articles and commentary from the last week or so that I won't get a chance to comment on, but wanted to share. Monday is usually a big news and commentary day, so I'll probably start sharing links to articles at the beginning of the week, as well as the end of the week.

Both NEWSMAX and FOXNEWS have recent articles on DDT. It's estimated that 30 to 60 million preventable deaths to malaria have occurred since DDT was banned. Read about it HERE, HERE, and HERE.

California PASSED a bill that requires "sensitivity" training for foster parents on homosexuality, bisexuality and trans-sexuality. In another story on California, Patrick Mallon SAYS California's lack of identification requirements when voting is the Democratic Party's way of inventing voters.

I have a few education stories. Former teacher B.K. Eakman WRITES how schools brainwash children. David Kirkpatrick SAYS public schools cherry pick the best students all the time, so it's hypocritical to make this case against private schools under school-choice programs. The USA Today WRITES that school systems turn away the best candidates by making them take "useless education courses." The teaching system is designed to hire the low achievers who are the only ones willing to put up with this nonsense. CNSnews REPORTS that a new poll on school choice is being challenged for misleading language. And my favorite education story, Joanne Jacobs COMMENTS on how unqualified socialist teachers who hate capitalism purposely mis-teach economics in high schools as part of their efforts to brainwash the public school children of America.

Ilana Turner SAYS that government spending and growth impoverishes America, because huge amounts of money are wasted on unproductive people.

FOXNews REPORTS that beginning October 1, all government agencies will be subject to the "Data Quality Act," which allows any group to look at the data used to justify regulations and to conduct its own study to challenge the data's accuracy.

Glenn Sacks COMMENTS on how domestic violence laws that require mandatory arrests presume men are guilty in domestic disputes.

Here are two similar stories on using phony goods to disrupt a market. The Washington Post REPORTS that record labels are uploading damaged music files on music sharing services to fight piracy. And the Thai government is CONSIDERING MANUFACTURING fake speed pills that cause headaches and vomiting to combat drug use.