He’ll be baaaccck ….

Go get ’em Arnold!  He’s promising to sue the feds over their recent refusal of the EPA to grant California a waiver, allowing them to set stricter standards for emissions than the federal government requires.  President Bush, again angering small government types like me, shows a lack of understanding of states rights stunning for a former governor …

“Is it more effective to let each state make a decision as to how to proceed in curbing greenhouse gases? Or is it more effective to have a national strategy?”

Of course, his answer ignores the fact that California wants STRICTER standards, that presumably would be more effective in cutting emissions, the supposed point of the feds recent bill.  It ignores the 10th Amendment too, but I think we can say we’re all used to that by now.  And in truth, it quite likely WOULD be MUCH more effective for each state to set their own standard.  A federal standard has to encompass not only smog-choked cities like Los Angeles, but also the largely rural areas like the Dakotas where emissions are not nearly as concerning.  With that idea in mind, you’d think the federal bill would end up being not nearly strict enough for LA, and overly strict for the Dakotas and how many other states.

Dang, this government has become the biggest of big governments, intruding on states rights on all kinds of issues.  From medical marijuana to assisted suicide to now emissions standards, the era of big brother is here.


The Armenian genocide

News today that Turkey is recalling it’s ambassador to the United States over a resolution in Congress labeling the killing of at LEAST 300,000 Armenians a “genocide”.

Turkey is one of our closest allies in the Middle East, and apparently their airspace has been a crucial component for us in the war on Iraq. Should we really threaten that relationship over something that happened 90 years ago!?

My leaning is yes, if it’s the right thing to do, if it’s truly a genocide, we should call it such and deal with the consequences. The problem, of course, is that I personally will bear little of the consequences of this action. In fact, the ones affected most are likely to be our troops that are already in harm’s way in Iraq. And while that is as good a reason there is to give us pause, I still feel we have to do the right thing. The words of Adolf Hitler, of all people, are quite enlightening on just why I feel that way…

Accordingly, I have placed my death-head formation in readiness — for the present only in the East — with orders to them to send to death mercilessly and without compassion, men, women, and children of Polish derivation and language. Only thus shall we gain the living space [Lebensraum] which we need. Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?

The gotcha era

There is plenty of blame to go around, but for my money, the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings were a seminal moment in our current political environment.  With his book coming out, and him giving his first interviews in years in support of it,  we’re hearing from both him and his accuser, who could not let talk of this go by without crawling out into the sun herself.   Thomas describes Hill as a mediocre employee who did not take slights well and only complained about not being promoted.  Hill described a man who made an offhand remark about pubic hair 10 years earlier, well before Thomas was even nominated.

Hill may or may not have told the truth, but it sure appeared she wasn’t.   Thomas described the accusations as a ‘high-tech lynching’, and, it had all the earmarks of being just that.  Even if she was telling the truth, which 15 years later I just can’t believe in the slightest, the real truth was that these hearings were clearly about abortion primarily and race secondarily.   He was replacing Thurgood Marshall and liberals were aghast that Thomas was both black and ‘conservative’, legally speaking.  They were even more upset that he was pro-life, and possibly a swing vote on issues of abortion.  The left was apoplectic that a black man could rise to the United States Supreme Court holding views of which these liberals did not approve.  My god, if he became a justice, who knows how many other African-Americans might start considering non-liberal points of view?  Not to mention there was a Republican president nominating an African-American, which made it harder for the left to paint all conservatives with the ‘racist’ label.  The sense of panic from the left during the summer of 1991 was palpable.   But they couldn’t attack him on these merits, so they drummed up ridiculous-sounding charges of sexual harassment in order to try and derail the nomination.   An activist for the National Organization for Women encapsulated this mania quite nicely, saying “We’re going to bork him. We’re going to kill him politically. . . . This little creep, where did he come from?”.   Liberals were clearly quite angry that a member of a minority group dared to oppose them, and much of their tone throughout the hearings were tinged with barely disguised racism.

Her own quote conjures memories of a successful liberal attack, this one four years earlier on Robert Bork.  But I believe the Thomas nomination  was a more important moment.  Despite it’s failure, it seemed to encourage politicians of both stripes about the effectiveness of personal attacks, even ones as full of crap as the one launched against Thomas.    Since then,we’ve seen conservatives turn the tables, going after Bill Clinton with just as much fury, and liberals later doing the same against George W. Bush.

Thomas has become a fairly stalwart conservative justice, with occasional libertarian leanings, as in Raich v. Gonzales, for instance.   His confirmation hearing may well have had a larger effect on the modern political era.  The left, with reprehensible behavior and the most tenous of allegations, nearly succeeded in preventing Thomas’ rise to the court.

Another take on Bill O’Reillys foot to mouth insertion

“It was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense of people were sitting there, and they were ordering and having fun,” he said. “And there wasn’t any kind of craziness at all.”

I think the interesting thing about his quote about eating at an African-American restaurant with Al Sharpton is the nature of the quote itself. He noticed something I wish today’s anti-immigration ilk (O’Reilly being a primary player there himself) would recognize and understand more clearly. People ASSIMILATE. Society demands it of those who want to prosper, as does the free market. This hysteria that somehow, in 50 years America will be North Mexico are, well, way out of whack. A 20 year old Mexican who comes here and works for 50 years will, for all intents and purposes, be a 70 year old American whose children may have never even visited Mexico and has just finished a half century contributing to American productivity through his work and American economic health through his consumption. O’Reilly just realized that, although he doesn’t seem to know it.

He’s getting very close to realizing, it, though:

His radio commentary, he said, “was an attempt to tell the radio audience, black or white, that we’re all Americans [and] the stereotypes you see on TV are not true.”

Ron Paul grills Ben Bernanke on lowering interest rates

Among my many weaknesses, understanding the Federal Reserve and what it does has always been quite high on my list! But this article on Minyanville detailing Ron Paul’s questioning of Ben Bernanke yesterday, the video is posted above, really illuminates to me how the Reserve’s actions may effect our everyday lives, and not just when we’re trying to buy a house, etc. Paul asks Bernanke what moral justification is for putting the middle class and poor thru a cycle of increasing prices and a weakening dollar for the benefit of Wall Street, through the Federal Reserve’s continous lowering of interest rates and injection of currency into the system. Paul argues that this artificial lowering of interest rates create an artificial rise in ‘overinvestment and malinvestment’. Meanwhile, the constant injection of new currency lowers the value of the dollar, leading to an increase in prices and the cost of living.

It makes a lot of sense to me, and I think it was telling that Bernanke’s answer was pretty muted, only saying that the Fed considers inflation very important and not addressing not only Paul’s question of the moral justification, but not even addressing the Paul’s argument that the lowering of interest rates and injection of money into the system leads to increased prices, a lower dollar, etc. Now I know Bernanke has to be, as part of his job description, one of the most muted men in America. If Alan Greenspan sneezed, it seemed the market would drop a percent. But it does seem telling that he disputed very little of what Paul said.

Knowing as little as I do about the Fed, I don’t know if Paul is right on or perhaps missing something. But he sure sounds spot on, his arguments are very common sense, and I find it disconcerting that he seems to be just about the only candidate talking about this issue, considering the major effect it sounds like it can have on all of our lives.

Males under siege

From Jeff Zaslow’s column on the Wall Street Journal Online

These days, if Rian Romoli accidentally bumps into a child, he quickly raises his hands above his shoulders. “I don’t want to give even the slightest indication that any inadvertent touching occurred,” says Mr. Romoli, an economist in La Cañada Flintridge, Calif.

Ted Wallis, a doctor in Austin, Texas, recently came upon a lost child in tears in a mall. His first instinct was to help, but he feared people might consider him a predator. He walked away. “Being male,” he explains, “I am guilty until proven innocent.”

In San Diego, retiree Ralph Castro says he won’t allow himself to be alone with a child — even in an elevator.

Sounds like a bunch of paranoid over reacters, at least until you read further on …

The result of all this hyper-carefulness, however, is that men often feel like untouchables. In Cochranville, Pa., Ray Simpson, a bus driver, says that he used to have 30 kids stop at his house on Halloween. But after his divorce, with people knowing he was a man living alone, he had zero visitors. “I felt like crying at the end of the evening,” he says.

At Houston Intercontinental Airport, businessman Mitch Reifel was having a meal with his 5-year-old daughter when a policeman showed up to question him. A passerby had reported his interactions with the child seemed “suspicious.”

In Skokie, Ill., Steve Frederick says the director of his son’s day-care center called him in to reprimand him for “inappropriately touching the children.” “I was shocked,” he says. “Whatever did she mean?” She was referring to him reading stories with his son and other kids on his lap. A parent had panicked when her child mentioned sitting on a man’s lap.

As disturbing as this article is, none of these stories are really all that surprising. A society scared witless by a profit-driven media and exploitive shows like Dateline : Predator, combined with a withering, decades long assault on all things male by the inaccurately labeled ‘feminist movement’, including it’s assault on ‘boys being boys’, have combined to create a climate of fear for both men and children that will only do major harm to both groups.

In the end, though, the masses are as much to blame as anyone, for buying the crap the media and, yes, the feminists, have fed them, usually without a second thought.