Precinct 333

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Company's Coming!

Bad weather is coming to Precinct 333! It looks like we have about a 38% chance of this one making landfall right here.

The low pressure remains of Hurricane Ivan that wandered in the Gulf of Mexico today swelled into a tropical storm that's expected to assault the Texas and Louisiana coasts Thursday.

The storm, with sustained winds of 40 mph at 8:30 p.m., likely will make landfall between western Louisiana and Houston late today or early Friday, said Tom Bradshaw, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's southern regional office in Fort Worth.

Surf is high down along Todville Road, the main coastal road here in Precinct 333. When we reach high tide, I expect to see the road flood in spots -- though that still leaves the Loyal Opposition (and the dog) a couple of ways out if it gets too bad.

But we've ridden a couple storms out in our home, and expect to do the same with this one. The fury was expended elsewhere.

Still, keep all of us in your thoughts and prayers.

And by the way -- since it died down to a low pressure center it may get a new name.
Bradshaw said the storm, which had been called called Tropical Depression Ivan earlier today, would likely be renamed Matthew once it reached tropical storm strength. The hurricane center had not changed the name by 9 p.m.


Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Burn In Hell In Flaming Pig Fat!

We've apparantly taken out the spiritual leader of Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi's Tawhid and Jihad, the group that has been cutting off heads of Americans in recent days. Sheik Abu Anas al-Shami was killed in a missle attack on September 17.

Good riddance.

Find the remains, coat with bacon grease, and return to the family as a warning to other terrorist scum.

You're next, al-Zarqwi!


Stupid Letter, Stupid Decision -- But Still Constitutionally Protected

Back on December 2, 2003, the Tucson Citizen printed a letter to the editor. The author suggested that going to a mosque and killing five Muslims for every soldier killed in Iraq.

Printing it was stupid.

There was outrage, and rightly so.

Muslim families kept their kids home from school out of fear of violence.

Apologies were made, and the author of the letter clarified that he meant mosques in Iraq, not those in the area.

And that should have been the end of it. Except for folks filing lawsuits in an attempt to gut the First Amendment. On January 13, two Muslims filed suit alleging assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress against Muslims.
You can express your opinion but not — especially with what's going on in the Middle East — if you put some people's lives at risk," said plaintiff Aly Elleithee, an accountant and immigrant from Egypt. "Somebody has to be accountable for what they did."

A trial judge dismissed the assault claim, but allowed the other claim to stand.
"Clearly, reasonable minds could differ in determining whether the publication of the letter rose to the level of extreme and outrageous conduct," Judge Miller wrote.

The Arizona Supreme Court is now deciding whether to overturn that decision.

It should be a no brainer. After all, no specific threat was made, nor did the publication of the letter put anyone's life or safety in immediate danger.
"If the trial court's ruling is allowed to stand, political speech that falls well short of advocating immediate violence may be subject to sanction in Arizona — making this state a uniquely risky jurisdiction in which to publish news and commentary," the Citizen's lawyers wrote in the appeal.

Without any immediate physical threat to anyone, publication of the letter is constitutionally protected, the newspaper's appeal said.

If this decision is allowed to stand as rendered by the Ninth Circuit wanna-be, then the First Amendment is trumped by the first person to say they are scared or their feelings have been hurt. And all it will take is one overly sensitive member of the minority to trump the freedom of speech of the majority.


Free Press And Open Courts -- What A Concept!

The ACLU, a great supporter of keeping the press free, public records public, and courts open, has been dealt a blow in a Nebraska case -- in which it attempted to have a judge gag media outlets that wanted to report the name of an individual suing to remove a Ten Commandments monument from a public building. The organization had worried that allowing the name of its client to be reported would lead to harassment and because of an earlier death threat.
ACLU attorney Amy Miller told Kopf that revealing the name in print would put the man's life in jeopardy.

"Lives are at stake," she said. "You might as well paint a target on the man's back."

Funny, I'm not aware of any actual attacks on anyone who has sued to have a cross or Ten Commandments monument removed from a public place. The old "Thou Shalt Not Kill" thing sort of prevents that kind of thing.

And besides, the newspaper is operating on principle here.
World-Herald attorney Michael Cox said sealed evidence presented to the court shows that "the cat is out of the bag."

"Everybody knows who it is," Cox said.

Cox said the paper had the right to publish his name and doing so would not put him at risk.

"He is not going to die because of what the World-Herald does," Cox said.

Following the hearing, Cox said he did not know when or if a story would run revealing the man's name. He said a larger investigative piece related to the case was being pursued.

Larry King, executive editor of the World-Herald, said the man thrust himself into the public eye by bringing the lawsuit.

"This is not a case in which an individual, through no fault or action of his own, found himself in the middle of a dispute," King said. "This man is trying to force a city to make a controversial change it doesn't want to make. If you want to change public policy, it should not be a surprise that you could be publicly identified."

Sounds reasonable to me. If you want to raise a claim in court, you should have to identify yourself. He filed the suit because "he has to see the monument from a street passing by the park on his way to work every day and when he attends events in the park." Why shouldn't the public, which overwhelmingly supports the monument, be allowed to know who is suing the government to remove a monument that the public overwhelmingly supports? Isn't that a part of open government and open courts?


How Do Teachers Educate Their Kids?

The Washington Times notes today that about a quarter of teachers in large urban school districts send their kids to private schools. Why is that?
"Teachers, it is reasonable to assume, care about education, are reasonably expert about it and possess quite a lot of information about the schools in which they teach. We can assume that no one knows the condition and quality of public schools better than teachers who work in them every day."
"They know from personal experience that many of their colleagues make such a choice [for private vs. public schools], and do so for good and sufficient reasons."

Now some want to argue it is because public education is broken. While I'll concede that is true in some places, I don't think that is the answer.

As a public school teacher in an urban district, I may have some insight into the issue (though I have no kids). It is gained from working with a diverse group of colleagues who havemade a variety of choices. Some have students in our school. Others live outside the district and send the kids to the school closest to home. I know many who make the choice for a religious education (you would be surprised how many conservative Christian teachers there really are). I even know one who homeschools his daughter along with his wife. Each has made the choice to do what he or she sees as best for their own children.

And I think that is the key -- choice. So do the authors of the article.


Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Wow -- Thanks!

Since Saturday I have had almost 1000 pageloads on this blog -- most related to the Beslan entry.

Thanks to all who linked!


The People Kerry Betrayed -- And Why He Must Not Get The Chance To Do Worse

John Kerry's Senate testimony and the Winter Soldier Investigation painted a picture of American fighting men in Vietnam as monsters raping and ravaging their way across the countryside. That picture was and is false. Ask the Vietnamese people. Michael P. Tremoglie did, and what he found was very enlightening.
A few weeks ago, I did just that. I met with a group of Vietnamese refugees--past and present. Some were among the 1980s "Boat People," who fled the horror of Communist Vietnam on rafts, boats, and pieces of driftwood, risking their lives in the process. Others were more recent arrivals. All fled the purported utopia Vietnam was supposed to become according to Kerry and his anti-war colleagues.

Ask Quyen V. Ngo.
He was a boat person rescued by an American merchant ship after three nights at sea. Fifty-nine years old, Quyen was a schoolteacher in Vietnam and a Captain in the South Vietnamese army (ARVN).

. . .

I asked him if the Communists committed genocide after they obtained power. He said the Communists killed many people. Those who were not killed were placed in re-education camps. There they worked 12 hours a day and had little food.

Ngo never witnessed any atrocities by American soldiers, neither did he hear of any American atrocities. He said he did not believe a thing Kerry said about American troops, systematically committing war crimes. He thinks Kerry fabricated this.

He felt sorry for those who opposed the war because they did not see the truth about the war and the Communists. As far as he is concerned, they betrayed the American and Vietnamese soldiers. Testimony like Kerry's, Ngo believes, resulted in encouraging the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong Communists to kill more Vietnamese and American soldiers.

Or perhaps you could ask the survivors of the Montagnards.
Currently, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has cited several examples of atrocities by Vietnam's Communist rulers. One such was the Easter week massacre. Montagnards, protesting the lack of religious freedom, were killed. According to HRW ". . . sources in the Central Highlands confirm . . . hundreds of demonstrators were wounded and many were killed by security forces . . . ."

Remember, John Kerry is the man who said in his Senate testimony that all political groups would be represented in a Communist Vietnam. We now know that to be false, and those who believed that tragically wrong.

Do we really want to give Kerry the chance to make such a mistake again, when the fate of another people rides upon his clear thinking?


Sunday, September 19, 2004

Corrupt New Mexico Judge Urged To Resign.

When Democrats sued to get Ralph Nader off the ballot in New Mexico, state District Court Judge Wendy York obliged them by ruling that Nader could not appear on the ballot.

Now it appears there is a conflict of interest in the case. Wendy E. York of Albuquerque, New Mexico donated $1000 to the John Kerry campaign earlier this year. This appears to violate the state judicial ethics code, which says, in part, that
"A judge is disqualified and shall recuse himself or herself in a proceeding in which the judge's impartiality might reasonably be questioned, including but not limited to instances where: (1) the judge has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party or a party's lawyer ..."

Clearly a campaign donor to one candidate has a conflict of interest when they are given the power to knock an opposing candidate off the ballot at the request of their preferred candidate's party.

State Sen. Rod Adair, R-Roswell, has called on York to resign by Monday. If she fails to do so, he and a multi-partisan group of other political leaders from around the state will seek to have York sanctioned and removed from the bench.
Joining Adair in Saturday's complaint were Frank Clinard, a Libertarian; Steve Cabiedes, a Green Party candidate for Bernalillo County Clerk; Arville Sullins, a Democrat from Roswell; and Elizabeth Cook, president of Concerned Citizens of Albuquerque, according to a news release from Adair.

Seems like honest government requires getting this woman off the bench.


Kerry Lies Again!

Kerry likes to lie to the American public. Examples include his Vietnam record, his treasonous activites following the war, his Senate record, his vehicle ownership, his finances, his plans for his presidency, and a story he used to tell about a wonam losing her health insurance. Now the Manchester Union Leader has found another one.
At an August 27 event in Daly City, Calif., Kerry was introduced by a woman named Lori Guy. She said that after her employer cut her pay in 2000, she piled up huge credit card bills and was regularly charged late-payment fees. Kerry used her story to attack President Bush for not protecting the middle class. He then claimed he would prevent credit card companies from charging large fees.

Now I could point out that the pay cut came in 2000 during "the best economy in 50 years" (as touted by Democrats) during the early stages of the Clinton Recession that the Bush tax cuts in 2001 helped alleviate. But if I did, I would miss the even more important story, the one found when the San Jose Mercury News interviewed Ms. Guy.
She told the paper that she is still with the same company, and after several raises makes more money than ever before. Since all of this happened within the span of the last four years, her real story is that during the Bush administration she went from being heavily in debt to being in the best finanical shape of her life. Funny that John Kerry never mentioned that.

In other words, under the Democrats she suffered a pay cut and crushing debt. Under the Republicans she prospered. Its a pity that John Kerry had to lie again in his quest for the presidency. I guess those talks with Bill Clinton really helped.


Louisiana Voters Ban Gay Marriage, Civil Unions

By a 4/1 margin, Louisiana voters approved a state constitutional amendment to ban homosexual marriage and civil unions in the state. Louisiana is the second of eleven states to vote on the issue since the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court determined that John Adams and his fellow authors of the Massachusetts Constitution intended to allow homosexuals to marry one another.

Homosexual leaders announced their plan to challenge the ban, claiming that legislators and voters were too stupid to know what they were doing.
"The Christian Coalition did an excellent job of deceiving the legislature and the voters into believing that this amendment only dealt with the issue of marriage," said Randall Evans, an attorney for Forum For Equality, a statewide civil rights organization. "Now, 500,000 Louisianians will have to look to the courts for protection of their constitutional rights."

And the rest of the people of Louisiana will have to look to the courts to protect their right to have their vote count, and to be permitted o make social policy in their state. Folks such as Mr. Evans are Exhibit 1 in the case for a Federal Marriage Amendment.


Anyone Need A Talk Show Host?

As the lovely and multi-talented Michelle Malkin reports, KIRO-AM talk host Brian Maloney has been fired by the station over his criticism of Dan Rather and CBS News' handling of the forged memos smearing the president.
"On the talk show that I host, or hosted, I said I felt Rather should either retire or be forced out over this," said Brian Maloney, whose weekly "The Brian Maloney Show" aired for three years on KIRO-AM Radio, a CBS affiliate here.

Maloney says he made that statement on his Sept. 12 program. He was fired Friday, he said.

Apparently he missed the "Rally 'Round Rather" memo directing him to help the network stonewall any meaningful investigation of their fraud.

Why did he speak out against Rather?
"I really felt he was taking the network's credibility down with him," Maloney said in a telephone interview.

"Talk-show hosts have generally had a lot of independence in these kinds of issues," he said. "Nobody's ever said, 'You can't criticize CBS News.'"

So if you happen to have an open slot on your talk radio station, it seems that there is an honest man looking for a position. Give him a call.


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