October 31, 2005

News Source From Central Command

CENTCOMcoincropped.jpgThe logo to the immediate left is from Central Command, a Unified Combat Command covering Iraq, Afghanistan and the middle east. Clicking on the logo, which you will find now on my side bar (scroll down a bit) will take you to the Central Command website where you can get upto date news and information that you won't get from the MSM.

This link will take you to a sign up for a weekly electronic newsletter and monthly Coalition Bulletin.

Information is the enemy of those who are anti-democratic!

Posted by GM Roper at 07:33 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (2)

October 30, 2005

Global Warming: A Challenge, & Scare Tactics/Bad Science From The Left!

Not long ago, one Mark A York infested this neighborhood, this spot on the web that I call my blog. I banned said York following some rather vulger comments, and I deleted the most offensive of his verbage. I'm amazed at how trolls feel they have the right to come into your home (so to speak) and crap on your couch. At any rate, this isn't about York as much as it is about the assertion by York that Global Warming (GW) is readily accepted by the "vast majority" of scientists, and so well documented as to be incontrovertable. York "challenged" thusly:

That will a screaming good laugh at the expense of two blockhead amateurs who couldn't find their ass with both hands in this subject arena. Try me. I dare you.
"Try me. I dare you" Oh, the horror, the fear that this engenders. But, since I like a challenge, especially from a deranged lefty who imagines himself both a brain and a "scientist" ought to be fun.

The essense of many of York's arguments are 1). That GW is a proven fact without a doubt and 2.) The ice is melting and the lower laying areas of the world are about to be innundated.

Here at GM's Corner, both Woody and I have enjoyed posting on GW from a humorous point of view (here, and here). The "challenge was issued on that last post as apparantly York was incapable of understanding that the post itself was obviously a humorous post and not meant to be taken seriously by anyone, including York, but apparantly the humor was lost on York. In fact, humor is often lost on these types of people because they fall in the class of "True Believers." That is, those without a sense of whimsy, without in internal mechanism that allows them to appreciate humor or whimsy tend to take everything so seriously. But, I digress. York wants a therapist and an accountant to humor him in his challenge... Will do!

Let's take a couple of Yorks shiboleths and see if they can be looked at one at a time. First, aside from the two assertions above is that the vast majority, almost all, a heck of a big bunch, a terrific lot of and more than five (but less than 30 billion for sure) "scientists" (and here I would assume that he includes himself) agree that GW is fact. Let us look at that in it's historical context. While it is true that most scientists were wrong when they derided Pasteur and his theory of germs, they could not long overlook the evidence. It is equally true that most scientists derided Galileo for his solar centric assertions as well. Too, Hippocrates hypothesized that we (our personality and other traits) were essentially a combination of four humours: "SANGUINE, (blood);" "CHOLERIC (yellow bile);" "PHLEGMATIC (phlegm);" and "MELANCHOLIC (black bile)." This from the "Father of "MODERN" medicine. Interestingly enough, Hippocrates also is famous for what he didn't write (the Hippocratic Oath) and for being a Greek physician who laid the foundations of scientific medicine by freeing medical study from the constraints of philosophical speculation and superstition. And for close to a couple of thousand years, "the vast majority of scientists supported his assertions."

Well, that worked real well didn't it? But, the point of course is that wide acceptance is not the same as proof, any more than a high (positive or negative) correlation involves causality. If correlation was in fact the same as causality, my humorous assertion that the increasing temperature is a direct result of the decrease in the number of pirates in the world would be a major factor in the GW controversy (it is an example of a high negative correlation, as one data bit declines, the corresponding data bit rises). It's not, and correlation is not the same as causality. Anyone making even a D in elementary statistics should understand that, except perhaps for Mr. York.

So, let us look at the two issues, one at a time.


You know what? Just to make this a little more "fair" for York I will concede that GW is in fact, a fact. I also demand that he accept that Global Cooling (GC) is equally a fact and has accounted for numerous Ice Ages. But that of course begs the question. Are we in fact in a slight warming trend, a catastrophic warming trend where we will all turn into roasted homo sapiens (except those living in Alaska of course, they will become Baked Alaskans), or is this possibly a statistical anomaly? There seems to be a disagreement between these folk and these folk. At issue is a statistical interpretation of data that takes on the appearance of a Hockey Stick. Mann and his researchers first published their data in Nature in 1998. Essentially, Mann argued that because of human intervention temperatures gradually rose in a slight but not necessarily significant warming trend until the advent of the 20th Century. Then a sharply upward trend of increasing temperature produced a form called, the hockey stick because it has the shape of said stick.

hockeystick.bmpThis is the shape we are talking about. Following Mann, two "non-climatologists," one a Professor of Economics Ross McKitrickand another a mining exploration consultant Stephen McIntyre, began looking at the formulas/models and methodology of Mann for what was purely personal reasons. McIntyre because he said the hockey stick reminded him too much of the kind of graphic used to "sell" investors a stake in a mining operation. McIntyre also noted that the graphic was very much like the Dot.Com graphs and we all know where that one went.

In a lengthy article, note above and here, Marcel Crok, Natuurwetenschap & Techniek (Nature, Science & Technology) (Antwerp) Crok states (translation from the Dutch by Angela den Tex):

Few people dispute that the earth is getting warmer, but there are people – so-called “climate skeptics” – who question whether the change is historically unique and whether it is the result of human activity.These skeptics are generally outsiders, reviled by ”true” climate researchers.

On the one hand, Michael Mann, the first author of the two noted hockey stick papers (in Nature in 1998 and in Geophysical Research Letters in 1999), is the unofficial king of climate research. In 2002, Scientific American included him as one of the top 50 visionaries in science.On the other hand, the two Canadian skeptics are outsiders: Ross McKitrick is a Professor of Economics and Stephen McIntyre is a mineral exploration consultant – which Mann likes to call a conflict of interest.

Climate skeptics are most prolific on the internet, a platform for novices, the scatterbrained and the experienced alike. Not surprisingly, the climate researchers who we consulted (predominantly Dutch) presumed the work of the two Canadians to be unconvincing. Natuurwetenschap & Techniek was initially skeptical about these skeptics as well. However, McIntyre and McKitrick have recently had an article accepted by Geophysical Research Letters - the same journal that published Mann’s 1999 article.This, together with the positive responses of the referees to this article, quickly brought us around.

Full Disclosure: I'm one of those folk in the blogosphere, I'm not a climate scientist, but I can read, I can reason and I can put two and two together and consistently come up with four (we are of course, assuming a base 10 model). There is absolutely nothing inherent about being in any profession and being right all the time. Perhaps Mann hasn't learned that yet. Too bad.

Crok goes on to state:

The criticism by the Canadians is mostly technical in nature: they claim that Mann and his colleagues have misused an established statistical method – principal component analysis (PCA) – so that their calculations simply mined data for hockey stick shaped series and that Mann’s results are statistically meaningless.They have traced the problem to a simple error in a few lines of computer code.

The scientists that we consulted did not immediately recognize the implications of Mann’s eccentric method, suggesting the possibility he himself may not have been aware of the apparent mistake.However, in response to our inquiries, Mann denies any errors and rejects any criticism in strident terms.

The conclusion of McKitrick and McIntyre, after being engaged in nearly two years of heated discussions with Mann and other scientists, is alarming: there is something amiss in climate research.Have Mann and his fellow researchers committed fraud? McIntyre:“That is too strong a legal term.What we can say is that the IPCC and many paleoclimatologists have not provided their readers with ‘full, true and plain disclosure’ (to use another legal term), especially if it involves reporting results adverse to their claims.There is no excuse for anything less than complete disclosure of all data and methods and it is shocking that the authors of the major studies refuse to do so.We have found that peer review of paleoclimate journals is a very limited form of due diligence. If scientific studies are going to be used to justify policy decisions costing billions of dollars, a much more rigorous form of review is needed.”

The article referenced above is some 10 pages long and includes a mind numbing number of graphs and not a little technical jargon. But it is worth reading in it's entirety for a grasp of what McIntyre and McKitrick state are the problems inherent in Mann's methodolgy. Make the effort, the read is worthwhile!

Of course, I'm not about to predicate my arguments on single source material, no matter how complete that argument seems to be, there is also this, & this. These last two are by John Daly, a self professed climate sceptic who states that he is not a climitologist but that:

Originally from Britain, I came to live in Tasmania in 1980, settling near Launceston, and for the last 9 years have been one of the numerous `skeptics' speaking out publicly against the Global Warming scare, which makes exaggerated claims that the earth will warm by +1.5 to +6 deg. C. due to an enhanced Greenhouse Effect.

Climate and climate change has been a lifelong study of mine since my early days as a ship's officer in the British Merchant Navy. I have lived through and traced the progress of the `ice age' scare of the 1970's, the `nuclear winter' scare of the 1980s, and now the `global warming' scare of the present. All these scares have advanced the interests of what was a small academic discipline 30 years ago to become a mammoth global industry today. It is my view that this industry has, through the `politics of fear' which it has promoted, acted against the interests of the public.

Daly may not be a climatologist, but he is familiar enough with enquiry to gather materials and document his findings. But, I'm sure the climitologists will deride this saying "but he is an amateur." That's OK, it was amateurs that busted Dan Rather too.

No controversy would be worth it's salt unless the detractors had detractors. Here is the site that York has recommended, and I admit it's a good read. But, I'm not about to attempt to refute it "line by line" as York has asked, any more than he would attempt to refute Crok line by line. In Real Climate the author goes into little detail, but gives a couple of links, in particular this one in which the graph given certainly shows a hocky stick like increase. On the other hand, the compression of the graph right to left exaggerates this effect and doesn't give any real meaning as presented. The data may be correct, but the presentation seems lacking. See an example of this below:

This is chart one graphing temperature rise between 1900 and 1980 (This is false data, used for illustration purposes only)

Chart 1.png

This is chart two. The data is identical, the only difference is the compression/expansion of the size of the grid. I'm not saying the data referred to in the above link (this one) is wrong, I'm saying that it may not be presented in it's most accurate light.

chart 2.png

Moving on to the second issue

2.) The ice is melting (because of GW one presumes - and depending on one's political philosophy and the degree of paranoia that could stand for Global Warming or George W.) and the lower laying areas of the world are about to be innundated.

This one was a little harder to research, but, being fairly decent at finding things on google and other sites, I perservered and came up with a couple. The first reports on the average thickness of the ice at the artic (north pole for some of you (insert very big grin). Now, if in fact we are in a significant warming trend with a concurrent melting of ice, it would seem then that the polar ice cap in the arctic regions would get thinner, and so it was reported:
Arctic sea ice has a complex structure, consisting of different kinds of ice and different thicknesses, ranging from very thin new ice to pressure ridges up to 50 m thick. Observations of ice thickness on a basin-wide scale have been obtained from submarine-based upward looking sonars that measure sea ice draft which is a measure of the subsurface ice thickness (the total thickness also includes the above-surface freeboard). McLaren [1989] presented draft data from two cruises (1958 and 1970) showing more severe ice conditions with thicker ice in 1958. Wadhams [1990] calculated a decrease of about 15 % of the total ice volume when analyzing draft data from two years (1976 and 1987) north of Greenland.

McLaren et al. [1992] investigated six cruises from 1977 to 1990 and found a large interannual variability but little evidence of a thinning ice cover. Recently, Rothrock et al. [1999] analyzed the presently available Scientific Ice Expeditions (SCICEX) submarine cruises ('93, '96 and '97) and found that the mean ice thickness had decreased by 1.3 m when compared to similar data acquired during the 1958-1976 period. They further stated that the thinning has continued during the 1990s and estimated an overall mean decline of 0.1 m yr−1. The latter conclusion, which has been cited widely, is carefully analyzed here using the most comprehensive data set presently available to the research community.

The conclusion?

Draft data from the North Pole, the Beaufort Sea, and transects between the two areas over a 7-year period from 1991 to 1997 show no evidence of a thinning ice cover. The Beaufort Sea area shows larger variability, being closer to the marginal ice zone and sensitive to circulation type and the location of the Beaufort high. Using a more extensive data set (6 years compared to 3), the negative trend in ice thickness found by Rothrock et al. [1999] during the 1990s is not supported by the present investigation. Combining the mean drafts derived by McLaren et al. [1992] from 1986 to 1990 with those from the present study, I conclude that the thickness of the sea ice cover has remained on a nearconstant level at the North Pole during the 12-year period from 1986 to 1997. This result is also supported by Wadhams and Davis [2000] who concluded that a substantial part of the thinning between 1976 and 1996 probably took place during the
rst of those two decades.

And finally, a little logical deductioning (though it may be logical, it is not necessarily true). If in fact, there is a degree of global warming and the polar ices melts as well as the ice in mountains and glaciers, than a significant amount will be taken up in water vapor. Warm air holds more moisture than cold air does. That will also result in increased precipitation in lots of areas that currently don't get a lot of rain (the Gobi? Sahara?) and that could be a good thing. Unfortunately, the data from the Artic don't support a massive melt off, now, or in the forseeable future.

Case closed, challenge met, but the greater question is unanswered. Is there a global warming trend as a result of green house gasses, is it an artifact of man or is it a natural cyclic phenomina? I can't answer that question and neither can anyone else, I don't care what initials there are behind their names. We can make some guesses, we can find data to support both sides of the equation, but until we know, going off half cocked, spending billions and billions of dollars with the resulting economic disruption based on a guess is not good enough. The predicted improvement in greenhouse gasses is all but insignificant. Let's get some real answers first.

Update: go HERE and read it all, then come back and comment!

Linked at Mudville Gazette, TMH Baconbits

Posted by GM Roper at 07:00 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack (5)

IPSO-FACTO, New Cartoon Blog

IPSO Facto.gif
Cruisin just yesterday, I came across Ipso Facto, a Cartoon Blog by Mike Wallster. Mike used to dream of becoming a cartoonist, but for some reason gave it up some 20 or so years ago. Recently, he decided to start a cartoon blog and I'm glad he did. He's been picked up by LGF and by Michele Malkin, good starts in any book. Welcome to the Blogosphere Mike!

I hope everyone will bookmark Ipso Facto... I have and plan to check it out daily with my two other "cartoon" blogs, Day by Day and Cox and Forkum.

Posted by GM Roper at 06:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

October 29, 2005

Our Friends, Allies, Adversaries, The Saudis!

Once Upon A time, In A Land Far Away... A regional panjandrum by the improbable name of Muhammad bin Saud met a fellow panjandrum cum mystic, then a radical islamist, by the equally improbable name of Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab and decided together that the Arabian Peninsula had just too much freedom in the way Islam was practiced. Deciding that their fellow Islamic Arabs had just gotten too far off the beaten path to true salvation (can you see a cult beginning?) a plan to conquer everyone was put-together. The year? Around 1750 AD (the AD is Anno Domini, an Un PC designation meaning After Christ, for those raised in the PC version C.E. meaning Common Era). The TM's (Two Muhammads) put their plan into action and for the next 150 years, the family of Saud waxed and waned until the advent of another Saud, Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud who in that year captured Riyadh from the rival Al Rashid clan. Indeed, some of the worst trepidations visited on Muslims were visited at the hands of the Wahhabists Riyadh was the Al Saud ancestral capital, Saud was able to finalize his conquests by 1927, and the kingdom became Saudi Arabia.

The religious movement founded by Muhammad ibn abd al Wahhab is known today as the radical-islamofascistic sect Wahhabism, although the practitioners of that sect would disagree with that definition. They (and the Kingdom) prefer to call it Salafism and its members Salafists:

The term "Wahhab" (Wahhābīya) refers to the movement's founder Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab. It is rarely used by members of this group today, although the Saudis did use it in the past.

The Wahhabis claim to hold to the way of the "Salaf as-Salih", the 'rightly guided or pious predecessors' as earlier propagated mainly by Ibn Taymiyya, his students Ibn Al Qayyim and later by Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab and his followers.

The term is considered offensive by some members who prefer to call themselves al-Muwahhidun (the monotheists) or the movement Salafism.

Saudi Arabia and its people are quite backwards in terms of social progress. They still practice beheading, amputation of feet and hands for theft, lashing, sometimes for months depending on the number of lashes prescribed by the "judge" who is really just a religious figure appointed by the King on the advice of the Supreme Judicial Council. All law is compatible with Shari'a (Islamic law) and is enforced by religious police ("mutaween" police) from the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. In fact, these animals (one hesitates to call them police) prevented a number of school children from escaping from a burning dormitory because the girls weren't clad in headscarves and black robes as prescribed by religious law. Nor would these animals allow men to approach the girls to rescue them from certain death because they were unclad. As a result, 15 children died in the fire.

In 1938, oil was discovered on the Arabian Peninsula and the power to grow Wahhabism as envisioned by the TM's was closer and closer to fruition. In 1945, one of our most sophisticated Presidents, Franklin D. Roosevelt deigned to meet with Saud following the allied conference at Yalta. Oil revenue made the Kingdom rich beyond belief and allowed the expansion via funding construction of mosques and Qur'an schools around the world. Including schools in all of the western countries.

This growing of Islam via building of mosques, and the establishment of madrassas an Islamic religious school. A simple GoogleTM search will yield over 10,900,000 internet sites mentioning "Islamic Schools."

What is taught in these schools is not the 3 Rs to be sure. The Islamic Schools League of America lists as it's vision:

The Islamic Schools' League of America envisions and works towards the day when Islamic schools will be the preferred centers for learning and leadership that nurture and encourage America's youth to develop their innate creativity and inquisitive nature in the pursuance of academic excellence while anchoring their hearts and souls in a moral framework of a God-centered life.
Really? Subjugating women, executing gays, cutting hands and feet off of thieves? That kind of "moral framework?" How about the dreaded religious police that allowed the 15 children to die? That kind of moral framework?

This is the problem with the Saudi's. I probably need not mention that the Saudi's have been the largest contingent by far of terrorists striking the WTC and Pentagon, of terrorists caught/killed in Iraq, and captured here in the United States as proponents of terrorism, money laundering in support of terrorism and the trashing of banking laws to support terrorists. Indeed, while the Kingdom purports to support the United States, and the WOT, the fact of the matter is that the scoundrels have actively supported the very institutions behind the terrorists. A survey last year showed that almost half of all Saudis support Osama Bin Laden

A good blog friend Joerg Wolf who writes for Atlantic Review has penned an excellent piece on the Saudis, their support of terrorism and how the United States is, one must assume through sheer stupidity and indifference, turning a blind eye to the practices of the Salifists. Joerg makes an excellent point:

According to the State Department, religious freedom is non-existent in Saudi Arabia. While Eritrea was punished for lack of religious freedom under the Religious Freedom of Information Act, Saudi Arabia got another waiver for half a year.
This cannot continue unless we are willing (and I for one am not) to submit to Islam in dhimmitude.

It is said that no one is as blind as those that will not see and this certainly applies to the apologists for the Saudi royal family and the practice of Wahhabism. It is an absolute fact that we are totally dependent, as a people and as an economy, on oil. Yet, we are more dependent on foreign oil (read Saudi and our non-friends the Venezuelans) than we were even in the long gas lines of the Carter years. Because the Saudi's own fully 25 percent of the known supplies of oil in the world, it is felt that we must cater to this socially, economically and politically backward government. Enough, perhaps, with a major drive towards energy independence, much as we did at Oak Ridge during WWII to develop nuclear power, we could wean ourselves from Saudi influence.

I also believe we should shut down every Islamic school in America (so should the English and the Europeans) as an absolute threat to western civilization, not because of the religious teachings of Islamic schools, but because Wahhbism preaches hate, overthrow of other forms of government and the establishment of the Wahhabi sect. It will be argued of course, that we are a free society with full freedom of religion. However, freedom of religion is not allowed in Saudi Arabia and 100 percent of the population is Islamic. Further, if you have so much as a stamp in your passport from Israel, you will not be allowed into Saudi Arabia. The belief in freedom of religion does not extend to making a suicide pact with ourselves. It is rapidly reaching a moral imperative that we do something about this pernicious sect, while we still can. I wonder if the The Islamic Schools' League of America envisions and works towards the day when Islamic schools will be the preferred centers for learning and leadership that nurture and encourage America's youth to develop their innate creativity and inquisitive nature in the pursuance of academic excellence includes their innate inquisitive nature when it comes to learning about God from a non-Wahhabi instructor? Somehow, I think not!

Other sites on a theme: Frank Gaffney, Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer all at Front Page Mag. Jason Pappas at Liberty and Culture, Elenor at 6th Column, Martin Walker writing in Walker's World, The American Congress for Truth (HT to Always On Watch with a great entry here) & others.

Linked at Euphoric Reality, at Mudville Gazette, at The Political Teen, Don Surber
Choose Life


Posted by GM Roper at 09:49 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (3)

October 28, 2005

The Worlds Shortest Fairy Tale!

Once upon a time, in a land far away a Prince asked A Princess the age old question: "Will you marry me?"

The Princess said, "NO WAY!"

And the Prince lived happily ever after. He went fishing, hunting, played golf, watched TV a lot and drank beer and belched loudly whenever he wanted.


Posted by GM Roper at 07:23 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

The "Earthquake" that is Germany - Not! Part XVII

I received an e-mail from David Kaspar, a good person, a friend and the author of David's Medienkritic that I thought would be good to share with my beloved readers:

Outgoing German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, in his last visit to an EU summit, delivered a passionate plea for the European social model: (...) "We are confronted with a fundamental conflict. Should we elevate the market and never-ending liberalisation at the heart of our political action, or do we Europeans stick to our basic beliefs?"(...)

In other news:

Germany considers raising pension age to 67 (...)

Germans may face higher taxes to close budget gap

End-of-Life Care Neglected in Germany (...)

Urging Germany to Speak Up on Human Rights (...)

Gerhard Schroeder is perfectly qualified to call on Europe to cling to the cherished European social model.

After all, it works so well in Germany.

As usual, David nails it to the floor!

NOTE: Keep an eye out for a future post (today or tomorrow) regarding our Friends, no, make that allies, no make that supporters of Democracy, no make that supporters of terrorism, wahabbisim, and islamofascism, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Posted by GM Roper at 07:02 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

October 27, 2005

Racism - Plain and Simple

Blogs come in all shapes, sizes, colors. All philosophies are represented, and in some blogs, no philosophy is postulated being blogs about food, cars, cats, dogs, birds, planets, UFO's etc., etc.

GM's Corner is, if you haven't guessed already, primarily a political blog, one with a decided conservative point of view. I do fairly well in terms of hits/visits, comments. Much better than some blogs, not nearly as successful (or as prolific) as other blogs. I calls 'em as I sees 'em, and so does my blogging partner Woody!

My beloved uncle disagrees with me about lot's of things, my beloved aunt agrees with me. My daughter mostly agrees with me. Most of my readers agree with me, some don't, and I cherish most of their views, contrarian or not, anyway.

However, I think that everyone will agree that the photo below this paragraph is totally and unequivically racist and shameful and obnoxious and tacky and unbelievable in that someone would actually put it up on the internet. The photograph is a doctored photo of Michael Steele, Lt. Governor of Maryland who recently announced his candidacy for the United States Senate as a Republican. The author of this "photo" calls himself a progressive and say's he "fights back" (presumably against conservatives). Well, this ain't fighting, this is racism plain and simple in the worst traditions of the old south, of the Klan and of a day gone, but not forgotten and for damn sure not mourned.

Here is the photo---you be the judge.


Posted by GM Roper at 06:01 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (1)

October 26, 2005

The Evil Condi Controversy: A RATHER GATE TYPE EXPOSE'

Michele Malkin, God Bless Her Soul, noticed a photograph (on the left here) of Condoleezza Rice that was published in USA today. The photo really looks evil with those eyes glaring out from under that classic forehead. Malkin, always alert, thought there was something fishy and went in search of perhaps a different photo and came up with this one:

realcondi unretouched.jpgAnd I'd say that this is a big difference (and no, I'm not referring to the size of the photo.)

As she blogged about the obvious "editing" of the photograph, the blogosphere picked up on the story and lo and behold USA withdrew the "doctored" photo and said:

Editor's note: The photo of Condoleezza Rice that originally accompanied this story was altered in a manner that did not meet USA TODAY's editorial standards. The photo has been replaced by a properly adjusted copy. Photos published online are routinely cropped for size and adjusted for brightness and sharpness to optimize their appearance. In this case, after sharpening the photo for clarity, the editor brightened a portion of Rice's face, giving her eyes an unnatural appearance. This resulted in a distortion of the original not in keeping with our editorial standards."
Brightness huh? Sharpness huh? Well, being the type of fellow I am, and enjoying working with Photoshop Elements 2.0 as I do (and I'm testing 4.0 for the fun of it who knows, I may even buy it) I decided to see if my meager skills with photoshop could "sharpen and brighten" Ms. Rice and get the same evil-eyed effect. Here is the second photo "brightened" with a technique called fillflash, what USA said they did.

realcondi.jpgIt does have them 'ole evil eyes don't it... NOT!!!! This photo was retouched using fill flash of about +10 on the scale of the fillflash technique. Much better than the original above, but still no evil eyes. So, now we have to try and "sharpen" the same photo with fillflash to produce them 'ole evil eyes.

condi sharp and fillflash.jpgWell, with the edges sharpened and a little fill flash, she looks a mite angrier, but she for sure doesn't look like the photo at the top.

pixelated.png This is my last submission, it looks MUCH more like the initial photo. It was done by changing the pixels in the photos at the eyes. I'm not really good at the skill needed for half tones, but given time, I'm pretty sure I could have almost exactly reproduced the very top photo, or one damn near like it.

I have no expectations that this will prove a "smoking gun" like they did with the non-memos of RatherGate but I think it does prove that the MSM is full of crap and they think they can get away with all kinds of things (and, before blogs, they could to be honest.) But, not this time folks, not this time.

Tip of the GM Chapeaux to Sissy Willis

UPDATE: Discussed this photo with a friend this morning (10/27/05) and he commented, "Hey George, and you are an amateur at photoshop." Yeah, I am, and if I could do this, a pro ought to be able to do much better. But the USAToday pro got caught because of us pajama-clad amateurs.

Posted by GM Roper at 10:24 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (2)

Wonderful Wacky Wednesday's Trackback Party

Got a great post you want to share with the whole wide world? Said something worth spreading around? Join today's Wonderful Wacky Wednesday's Trackback party. Just track back to this post with a link on bottom of your post with something like "Linked at GM's Corner" or "Spreading the Word at GM's Corner."

To get the trackback URL right click on the word trackback below and to the right and click on "Copy Shortcut" and there you go.

Gotta warn you though, we check trackbacks and those without the linkage to this post will be deleted. So, get 'em up, move 'em out!!!

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Jonathan Steele Has A Hissy Fit!

Jonathan Steele writing in The Guardian seems upset that the Iraqi people told him and all the other naysayers to shove it. Steele writes:

The result was delayed by more than a week after officials said preliminary results showed an "unusually high" number of yes votes but, after checking, the election commission said it was satisfied the constitution had passed."
Oh, I see, the fact that the vast majority of Iraqi's want their own government, not terror by a minority sect, not by Zarqawi or other "insurgents" causes one to think that the vote should only have barely carried, if at all.

Iraqi voters overwhelmingly passed the new Constitution by a substantial margin of 79% to 21% and in doing so, said business as usual won't cut it anymore. The legal wrangling for the constitution allowed for rejection of the Constitution if 65% of the voters in at least three provinces voted "No" on the issue. When the vote was counted, two provinces rejected the issue and one voted "No" by a margin of 55% to 45%, short of the 65% required. The two provinces rejecting the constitution were Sunni strongholds of Anbar and Salaheddin and a third (a near miss electoral wise) Nineveh, did not. Nineveh is the location of the city of Mosul where feelings have run high, but has a mixed religious base of both Sunni and Shia.

It is obvious that the minority Sunni's are angry and upset about loosing the power they held under Saddam and are worried about a couple of real issues under the new Constitution. One of those is sharing oil wealth based on where the oil is located. Most of the oil in Iraq is located in Shia and Kurdish dominated provinces and how they spend the money derived from sales is an issue, one that really must be looked at in the future for all Iraqi's, not just based on "who is in power."

Nevertheless, this is not a killer issue unless made so by the Sunni. It is precisely Sunni intransigence that allowed the current interim government to be established by boycotting the January elections. The Sunni realized the folly of that and overwhelmingly voted in the October election, but in insufficient numbers to defeat the draft constitution.

Naysayers, have long held that the Iraqi people are incapable of voting for themselves, that civil war is on the brink, that Iraq is "united" in wanting to throw out the Coalition troops, and that there is an "insurgency" going on. Nothing could be further from the truth. Michael Yon, on the ground with troops discusses the election in the recent Weekly Standard (and his site here)and lays out the issues, the vote and the results.

Jonathan Steele however will have none of it. Steele writes:

But many observers fear the constitution will undermine Iraq as a state. It minimizes the role of the army by devolving security to local militias, is obscure about who is in charge of taxation, leaves oil revenues to the provinces, and allows local religious authorities the final say on family matters. The state will only have control over "current" oil production; future development can be sold to foreign companies.

The Iraqi people have spoken, get used to it Jonathan!

A tip of the GM Chapeaux to Glenn Reynolds

Linked at TMHBaconbits and Euphoric Reality and Oblogatory Anecdotes

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October 25, 2005

Egypt Slaughters 10's Of Thousands French Ducklings.

CAIRO, Oct 23 (AFP) - Egypt's civil aviation authority slaughtered thousands of French ducklings on Sunday after it was ordered earlier this week to comply with a ban on imports of live birds and poultry products to keep out bird flu, an airport official said.

I just have one question. Were the FRENCH ducklings offered a chance to surrender first?

Linked at TMHBaconBits and at Cao's Blog

Posted by GM Roper at 06:44 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Staff Sgt. George T. Alexander Jr. Requiescat In Pace

Number 2000. To the left, the radicals at A.N.S.W.E.R. and to Al Frankin and all the idiots that can't think about the war except in terms of "Get Bush" Number 2000 is Staff Sgt. George T. Alexander Jr., 34, of Killeen, Texas, died Saturday in San Antonio of injuries sustained Oct. 17.

J.D. JOHANNES, author of Faces From The Front has said it with more feeling than I can muster:

I asked Marines all across Al Anbar province two questions:
1. If something goes bad and you die here. What would you think of people who used your death to protest the war.
2. After being here, and knowing what you know, would you still join the Marines/volunteer for this deployment?

The answers were invariably the same.

They did not want their death to be used as a prop and they would make the same decision all over again. These young Lance Corporals and Non-Commissioned Officers volunteered to join the Marines, many with the intent of coming to Iraq. And while few would say they like war, they all recognize the necessity of it.

The Marines and soldiers who fight in Iraq are not numbers, but the media and certain groups are treating them as if they were. Number 2,000 was a national treasure, just as number 1,435 was and number 2,038 will be. For what is the value of a man who will fight a war for others who despise him?

But for those who are willing to take action, there would be no wall at all hold back evil and those men and women on the wall deserve more than a number."

Thanks for saying that, because right now all I feel is anger. More anger at the news anchors and their oh-so-perfect teeth and hair, more anger at Cindy Sheehan and all the others who with smug condescension will decry the death of two thousand Americans, and not mean a damn word of it except to the extent that it can bash Bush or any of us that support the war of liberation.

God rest you Sgt. Alexander, you deserve better from those that will exploit your sacrifice.

Linked at Mudville Gazette Another terrific piece is at "Partisan Pundit"

Update: Jim Lynch writing at Bright and Early has a particularly moving post up.

Update: Cox and Forkum's Editorial Cartoon Says it pretty well too!

Cox and Forkum.gif

Posted by GM Roper at 06:04 PM | Comments (19) | TrackBack (1)

Local Sex Offenders! Sometimes ignorance FEELs like bliss, but it isn't!!!

Scrolling through one of my favorite sites (Wizbang) I came across this entry with a link to a map service that shows you where the sex offenders near you live. Now, like jay at Wizbang, I don't have kids (well, I do but she is grown up and on her own - and my absolute delight) but there are plenty of kids in my area. This is what I found:

sex offender locations.png

The blue pin is where I live. One of these creeps is only 5 blocks away. Sheesh!

Get your own map here. Ignorance is not bliss, I can assure you.

Posted by GM Roper at 03:01 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

ACLU & ASSAD vs. Reality

John Stephenson writing at Stop The ACLU takes the ACLU to task for "incomplete" reporting and "cherry picking" in the story of the 21 Arabs supposedly "murdered" by Coalition forces over the last two years since the invasion. The ACLU, via "Freedom of Information" requests obtained reports on the deaths, while in custody, of some 44 individuals.

As reported by Fox News:

WASHINGTON — At least 21 detainees who died while being held in U.S. custody in Iraq and Afghanistan were killed, many during or after interrogations, according to an analysis of Defense Department data by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The analysis, released Monday, looked at 44 deaths described in records obtained by the ACLU. Of those, the group characterized 21 as homicides, and said at least eight resulted from abusive techniques by military or intelligence officers, such as strangulation or “blunt force injuries,” as noted in the autopsy reports.

In response, Stephenson writes:

Notice the leap to calling these deaths homicides. The ACLU bases these allegations on what? Their own word? They cherry picked 21 deaths from 44, and slapped them with the label of homicide. What I want to know is how this is any of the ACLU’s business anyway, and who is funding this attack on the military. We’ve all seen the photos at Abu Ghraib, and investigations were put into place.

War is ugly, and you can be sure the ACLU, who feel the need to stick its nose in foreign affairs of war, will not be going after any of the killers that sawed off the heads of American contractors, or burned them alive! No, these are the ones the ACLU have decided to defend. How American of them.

Further, the head of the ACLU (it has a head?... ed.) holds forth with:

There is no question that U.S. interrogations have resulted in deaths,” said Anthony D. Romero, ACLU’s executive director. “High-ranking officials who knew about the torture and sat on their hands and those who created and endorsed these policies must be held accountable.”

And, of course, Stephenson responds with:

Oh, now I see! The ACLU are not concerned with soldiers who go overboard. They are concerned about “high ranking officials.” They are concerned about our torture “policies.” You’ve got to be kidding ACLU!

Credible evidence missing:

1) An endorsed policy of torture. Can we please see this policy, or is the ACLU making this up out of whole cloth?

2) High ranking officials knowing about these things and sitting on their hands. Can we please see this evidence presented ACLU?

3) The 21 alleged instances of homicide, at least one of which is being openly disputed by the father of the alleged victim, somebody you wouldn’t exactly expect to be covering for the perpetrators.

In my opinion, the ACLU is full of allegations and empty on evidence.

I can't fault my friend John Stephenson. "So, Roper, what does this have to do with Assad?" you may ask! And well you should, since you are obviously, reading this blog thus you are obviously more intelligent than the average ACLU member. The difference is obvious.

Assad and company have been accused in the murder of former Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri last February. This has been duly reported in numerous publications, with a scathing indictment of the U.N. and Kofi Annan here by James Taranto of the WSJ. Taranto, writing in Best of the Web Today says:

According to the Times, "Mr Annan had pledged repeatedly through his chief spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, that he would not change a word of the report by Detlev Mehlis, a German prosecutor":

But computer tracking showed that the final edit began at about 11.38am on Thursday--a minute after Herr Mehlis began a meeting with Mr Annan to present his report. The names of Maher al-Assad, General Shawkat and the others were apparently removed at 11.55am, after the meeting ended.

Last week we noted an Associated Press report that Secretary-General Kofi Annan had said that "he is determined to keep an upcoming report into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri from fanning tensions between Syria and Lebanon." Thanks to Bill Gates, now we know how far Annan was willing to go to protect the Syrian dictatorship."

The Complete Mehlis Document (before being "butchered" by Annan and Company) is here

The connection between the ACLU and Assad should be obvious by now. We go to great lengths to investigate and where appropriate, punish malefactors in our military. The UN and Syria, go to great lengths to cover up, hide, obfusticate and deride truth seekers.

To this cabal of true terror, France states, despite the completion of the Mehlis Report, that it is "Too Soon To Sanction Syria." Uh, haven't we been here before? Can you say "Saddam?" How about "Oil For Food?" Can you Say "Give (ineffectual) Sanctions time to work in Iraq?" OK, can you say "Screw the French?" And the ACLU too!

Posted by GM Roper at 07:35 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

George Galloway on Food for Oil Scam: "Oh, you mean THAT $600,000."

Do you remember Iraqi war critic George Galloway testifying to a U.S. Senate committee on the U.N. / Saddam Hussein Food for Oil scheme and the huge hissy fit that he threw in the hearing when questioned about illegally profiting from it? Well, consider these new allegations of his lying as revealed in the Drudge Report.

Galloway lied over Iraqi oil payments, says Congress report
The Independent, October 25, 2005
By Rupert Cornwell in Washington

George Galloway, the British MP, was last night accused of lying by a US Congressional committee when he testified earlier this year that he had not received any United Nation food-for-oil allocations from the deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

In a report issued here, Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman and his colleagues on the Senate Subcommittee for Investigations claim to have evidence showing that Mr Galloway's political organisation and his wife received vouchers worth almost $600,000 (£338,000) from the then Iraqi government.

"We have what we call the smoking gun," said Mr Coleman, who will send the report to the US Department of Justice and the British authorities. The MP could face charges of perjury, making false statements and obstructing a Congressional investigation. Each charge carries a possible jail term of five years and a fine of $250,000.

Of course, Galloway denies it. Let's hope that he can clear his name before Christopher Hitchens finds out that the man who accused him of being dishonest in the war debates might just be dishonest himself. It might take a major snit from Galloway to get out of this one, or one day he could face the truth and the consequences. If Galloway's wife did get the money as accused, that might explain why he opposed the war in Iraq so vehemently--she got cut off from money to spend at the mall, so she cut him off.

Posted by GM Roper at 12:10 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (1)

October 24, 2005

Subject: democrat....republican or southern republican

Question: How do you tell the difference between Democrats, Republicans and Southern Republicans?

The answer can be found by posing the following question:

You're walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children.

Suddenly, an Islamic Terrorist with a huge knife comes around the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, praises Allah, raises the knife, and charges at you.

You are carrying a Glock cal .40, and you are an expert shot.

You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family.

What do you do?
Democrat's Answer:
Well, that's not enough information to answer the question!

Does the man look poor! Or oppressed?

Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack?

Could we run away?

What does my wife think?

What about the kids?

Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand?

What does the law say about this situation?

Does the Glock have appropriate safety built into it?

Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does this send to society and to my children?

Is it possible he'd be happy with just killing me?

Does he definitely want to kill me, or would he be content just to wound me?

If I were to grab his knees and hold on, could my family get away while he was stabbing me?

Should I call 9-1-1?

Why is this street so deserted?

Why isn't he happy playing nighttime basketball?

We need to raise taxes, have a paint and weed day and make this happier, healthier street that would discourage such behavior.

This is all so confusing! I need to debate this with some friends for few days and try to come to a consensus.

Can I call Howard Dean or John Kerry and see what they think I should do?
Republican's Answer:
Southern Republican's Answer:
BANG! click.....(sounds of reloading).

BANG! click

Daughter: "Nice grouping, Daddy! Were those the Winchester Silver Tips or Hollow Points?"

And a Tip Of The GM Chapeaux to Raven of And Rightly So

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October 23, 2005

Polls Schmolls But Miers Should Be Voted Down.

I am, or at least had been fairly neutral on the Miers nomination. On the other hand, as I read, watch and listen to others, trying to make an informed opinion, I've decided that I'm opposed to her being confirmed. N.Z.Bear has a tracking poll up on this and as of the last time I checked, opposing blogs were 70, Neutral were 10 and supporting blogs 15.

I suppose I owe my readers an explanation, so here it is. The President of the United States has the right and the obligation to nominate anyone he wishes to the United States Supreme Court. The Senate may, for good reasons or ill decline to give consent to that nomination. That is the way that it should be. But, we are not required to support this nomination and I chose not to based on her poor performance, so far, with questions from Senators, questions regarding what she did or did not give assurances for, her support of affirmative action and her history of being the counsel to the President. She would have to recuse herself from any questions coming before the court that impact advice she gave the President. This is enough for me to hope that the Senate will not vote her out of committee, or if they do, that she will not be confirmed by the Senate. Having said that, I also acknowledge that he may well do an exemplary job when questioned in committee. If so, I may change my mind again. I personally think that the President could have done much better by nominating Judge Brown or any number of others and if the Democrats are stupid enough to filibuster, we always have the "nuclear option."

But as it stands, "I oppose the Miers nomination."

Posted by GM Roper at 04:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

The Hungarian Uprising, October 23, 1956

Tuesday, October 23rd, 1956. Stuttgart, Germany. Morning, a school day for me, like any other day; up and at 'em. Breakfast, grab the lunch bag, kiss mom and dad, off to catch the bus for school. But it wasn't an ordinary day, slightly over 600 miles due East from where I played in the forest, from where on the weekends I wandered about in the little town of Vaihengen near 7th Army Headquarters, war was breaking out.

It was not much of a war as wars go, but it was a war fraught with danger for the world and for the next several weeks, a war of ideas, of freedom as much as a war of bullets, tanks and death. Imre Nagy had been ousted as Prime Minister of Hungry for being insufficiently Communist and too liberal and the people of Hungry in general and Budapest in particular were upset, angry and willing to say so. Demonstrations began in Budapest, soon numbering thousands and tens of thousands. They marched, chanted, and demanded the restoration of Nagy.

The demonstration began as a march of solidarity with Wladyslaw Gomulka the Polish leader ousted for being "too liberal" and ended as a call for freedom and removal of the Soviet's from Hungry. As the crowds grew, Erno Gerö, First Secretary of the Hungarian Communist Party, and someone known for his hard line stances, went on the radio to say that demands for separation from the Soviet Union were lies and rumors. But the people of Hungry said otherwise. As the crowds grew, the demands became louder and louder, and they marched on the radio station to force a retraction. A heavy truck was used to try to batter a way into the station. Police opened fire and skirmishes between the demonstrators and armed police took place throughout the city. According to the BBC:

A running battle began to clear the crowd away from the building, while clashes between demonstrators and armed police broke out elsewhere in the city.

When the crowds refused to disperse despite police opening fire on them, Mr. Gerö ordered Soviet tanks onto the streets.

The demonstrators, however, are showing no signs of giving up their protest, which is continuing into the night."

That night, the Communist Party of Hungry met in emergency session and reinstated Nagy as Prime Minister. But the fuse had been lit, and the count down to revolution had begun.

In less than 48 hours, the people continued their demands, and Gerö’s tanks stayed on the streets. As the confrontation increased, the tanks opened fire pointblank into the crowds.

With hundreds dead and dying, with many more hundreds wounded the Communists fired Gerö and installed Janos Kadar. The Soviets began pulling out of Budapest on October 30th but Krushchev, fearing a spread of the "will of the people" sent them back in on November 4th with orders to re-take the city and firmly establish Soviet control over Hungry. The people of Budapest reacted with Molotov Cocktails and bravery unseen in resistance to the Soviet's for some time. But they were no match for the Soviets and slowly but surely the Russians re-established control over the city and countryside.

Nagy took refuge in the Yugoslav Embassy but the Russians kidnapped him and put him in prison. Nagy was tried for treason in a secret trial and executed in 1958.

I remember seeing the photographs of the slaughter, I remember having our "bags" packed in case we went to war with the Soviet Union and had to be evacuated. I remember Eisenhower calling for calm and a de-escalation of tensions. But the shadow of fear remained for sometime afterwards.

hungarian revolution.jpgScenes such as the one to the left would be repeated over the years as peoples sought freedom from tyrany; in Prague in 1968, in Warsaw, in East Berlin in 1999, in Lebanon in 2005. In Beireut in 1983, American and French troops, trying to keep the peace in Lebanon were senselessly murdered by those that think freedom can be stifled. The bottom line is that the search for freedom and self determination can be stifled and smothered for a while, but it can't be killed. Freedom always wins in the end.

Linked at Cao's Blog, Random Numbers and Wizbang

UPDATE: The march to freedom continues ~ Michael J. Totten and at Michael Yon's article in the Weekly Standard

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October 22, 2005

55 Aye's 39 Nay's! The Aye's Have It.

I'm sick of Pork Spending, I've blogged about the stupidity of the congress critters here, here, here, and here. I'm sick of the waste. Fortunately, there is a real leader in the Senate, Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, who has presented a couple of amendments to the way spending is handled. The Coburn Amendment passed, and it passed handily but not the one that you are thinking about.

Tom Coburn (R-Ok) proposed an amendment [here, in PDF format] to remove funding from the Bridge to Nowhere, and use those already approved funds to repair bridging from Slidell, La. to New Orleans. Ted Stevens (Idiotarian R-Ak) naturally had a hissy fit and I'm surprised he didn't claim that it was one of Chuckieboy Schumer's (Idiotarian D-NY) "Dagger to the heart of Alaska" (for more of Schumer's Dagger hyperbole see here here (scroll down to the last entry) and here) Of course, the only dagger applied is the dagger to stupid spending.

Yet, in spite of the obvious benefit of not spending $223,000,000.00 for a bridge from Ketchikan, Ak to a little island only a 7 minute ferry rid away and that the island only has 50 or so residents. Salon notes:

A mess of thorny devil's club and salmonberries, along with an old chicken coop, surrounds the 40-year-old cabin where Mike Sallee grew up and still lives part time on southeast Alaska's Gravina Island. Sallee's cabin is the very definition of remote. Deer routinely visit his front porch, and black bears and wolves live in the woods out back. The 20-mile-long island, home to fewer than 50 people, has no stores, no restaurants and no paved roads. An airport on the island hosts fewer than 10 commercial flights a day."
This little-bitty island with it's little bitty population needs a quarter billion dollar bridge? To Ketchikan? Folks, I've been to Ketchikan, it is a beautiful little town of 8,000 people. Yes, that's right, 8,000 people. And Ted Stevens said, if his little pet didn't stay fully funded he would be carried from the Senate on a stretcher.

Patty Murry (Idiotarian D-Wa) on the other hand, didn't threaten to resign, get carried out on a stretcher or anything else, she only said that the various committee's would "look carefully" at any yo-yo willing to vote for the "Coburn Amendment." Threats like that didn't sit well with Senator Coburn of Course, you can see his thoughts here. Well, ole Stevens is safe and Patty Murry keeps her sculpture garden, the "Coburn Amendment" was defeated 82-15.

But 'ole Tom, why, he ain't a-skeered of them wiley folk from fancy places like Washington, Texas, Alaska, he's an Okie, an Okie's er-tuff!

Coburn, wasting no time and knowning that transparancy must be built into the practice of earmarking put forth another amendment. This one aimed at the heart of this pork practice. From Government Bytes:

The Coburn amendment requires that any limitation, directive, or earmarking be included in the bill’s conference report. Previous Senate procedures allowed the Senate to automatically approve earmarks or special projects included in the House version of an appropriations bill. Consequently, many earmarks that became law did not even come up for a vote in the Senate. This process was used to essentially hide millions of dollars of pork spending from public view.”
The final vote? 55 to 39 and the amendment carried. Here is a list of the 39 that voted IN FAVOR OF CONTINUING TO HIDE PORK FROM PUBLIC SCRUTINY:
Allard (R-CO), Baucus (D-MT), Bennett (R-UT), Bond (R-MO), Bunning (R-KY), Byrd (D-WV), Carper (D-DE), Chambliss (R-GA), Cochran (R-MS), Coleman (R-MN), Conrad (D-ND), DeWine (R-OH), Dole (R-NC), Dorgan (D-ND), Durbin (D-IL), Frist (R-TN), Grassley (R-IA), Gregg (R-NH), Hagel (R-NE), Harkin (D-IA), Hatch (R-UT), Hutchison (R-TX), Jeffords (I-VT), Johnson (D-SD), Kennedy (D-MA), Lautenberg (D-NJ), Leahy (D-VT), Lincoln (D-AR), Lott (R-MS), Murray (D-WA), Pryor (D-AR), Reed (D-RI), Reid (D-NV), Sarbanes (D-MD), Shelby (R-AL), Smith (R-OR), Stevens (R-AK), Thune (R-SD), Vitter (R-LA)."
The really SHAMEFUL aspect to this vote is that almost half (19 to be exact) were Republicans. I can only assume that now that Republicans hold the reins of power they like the pork spending.

As I said in a previous post:

When will Members of Congress quit worrying about bringing home the bacon, and really vote what is best for America and then stand up to their constituents and say "I voted in America's Best Interests." Are you brave enough to do that, or is your elected job more important than what is right for America?"

UPDATE: And for those that really don't think Pork is a problem, read this

Posted by GM Roper at 10:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Pi To the Millionth Decimal Place


That is Pi to the first thousand decimal places. For the other 999,000 decimal places (yes, for Patty Murry that equals a million) go here

And a tip of the GM Chapeaux to Double Plus Good Infotainment

Posted by GM Roper at 09:30 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

October 21, 2005

The MSM Lies Continue

Remember not too long ago when John Martinkus reported that US troops desicrated muslim bodies for Psy-Ops purposes? The stink that followed as all "reality based" lefties raised a ruckus about the no good rotten US forces? Turns out that it was a total fabrication, with proof and with cooberation from a lefty journalist no less. Jason Coleman has the whole story... read it all and follow all the links.

UPDATE: Euphoric Reality has Information on Muslims burning people ALIVE. Disgusting.

Posted by GM Roper at 03:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (3)

Grand Theft Earmark

J'accuse! The United States Senate has lost its collective mind. And the Unites States House of Representatives isn't far behind. It seems as though a certain Democrat from Washington State, I won't mention her name, but her initials are Patty Murry got her dander up regarding the quite sensible motions by one Oklahoma Republican by the name of Tom Coburn. She threatend any Senator who goes after the tradition of "earmarks" with retaliation. Tom Coburn stood up to the unmitigated theft. In taking the floor, not once but twice yesterday, Coburn, in the words of the Wall Street Journal:

...dared to use the "p" word ("Priorities") and suggested that taxpayers might be better served if hurricane relief was offset by deleting earmarks for a sculpture garden in Washington state, an art museum in Nebraska, and a Rhode Island animal shelter, among other national necessities (emphasis added).
Powerline blogged the issue here and here as well as here. From the last:
...Patty Murray is now speaking against the Coburn Amendment, and has just issued a threat against any Senators who vote for the amendment: we on the Appropriations Committee will take a "long, hard look" at any projects in your state. Can anyone say, "culture of corruption"?

So, Ms. Murry, I have a question for you, and for any other congress-critter:

When will Members of Congress quit worrying about bringing home the bacon, and really vote what is best for America and then stand up to their constituents and say "I voted in America's Best Interests." Are you brave enough to do that, or is your elected job more important than what is right for America?
Unfortunately, given Ms. Murry's staunch defense of a sculpture garden (Oh, that'll help the victims of Katrina for sure... ed.) it is pretty clear that earmarks are much more sacred than doing what is right.

Damn these people!

Linked at Stop The ACLU

Posted by GM Roper at 07:33 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

October 20, 2005


Welcome to our FIRST "CAPTION THIS" Contest. There are only two rules. No cussing, and the big dog is Hillary C. and the little dog is Mother Sheehan. The winner will get a Richard Simmons "Sweating To The Oldies" tape from Woody! GM has spoken!

Uh no sir.jpg

Posted by GM Roper at 12:09 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack (1)

October 19, 2005

Touch Me, I'm Human Too.

Read The Abortion Debate No One Wants To Have

Posted by GM Roper at 08:58 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

October 18, 2005

The Lunatics Have Taken Control Of The Asylum!

From Breitbart.com:

Noam Chomsky, the American linguistics expert and US foreign policy critic, was named the world's top public intellectual, according to a new British magazine poll released.

Best known for his loud and consistent criticism of the Vietnam War and US foreign policy over the last 40 years, Chomsky, 76, decisively beat Italian novelist and academic Umberto Eco and third-placed Oxford University professor Richard Dawkins to top the poll."

Chomsky stated:

I don't pay a lot of attention to [the polls]," adding that "it was probably padded by some friends of mine."

I think I'm gonna be ill.

Posted by GM Roper at 07:09 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Texas Justice for Tom Delay: Here Comes da' Judge [UPDATED]

Those Democratic prosecutors sure know how to pick them....

DeLay judge supports MoveOn.org

When Rep. Tom DeLay is booked this Friday on charges of money laundering, the presiding judge will be a Democrat Party activist who has contributed money to the presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic National Committee and the George Soros-backed MoveOn.org.

So, what's the problem? He's a judge isn't he? He's supposed to decide cases based on the law and not his political affiliations. Right? Right!?

Posted by GM Roper at 03:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

But...Who's Going to do Our Work?

Well, there goes next year's harvest.

US security chief strives to expel all illegal immigrants

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said his department aims without exception to expel all those who enter the United States illegally.

"Our goal at DHS (Homeland Security) is to completely eliminate the 'catch and release' enforcement problem, and return every single illegal entrant, no exceptions.

"It should be possible to achieve significant and measurable progress to this end in less than a year," Chertoff told a Senate hearing.

Haven't we heard this before?

Posted by GM Roper at 02:50 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

Congress Completes Design

Yesterday the Agriculture, Environmental and Interior Committee's of both the House of Representatives and the Senate completed work on a completely new design for animal husbandry. Congress, not known for it's bi-partisan works of late, has labored over this design for decades.

Started under the Johnson Administration as part of the War on Poverty, Congress was set the task of finding a food source that could easily be used in either the food stamps program via commercial grocery stores or distributed under its commodities programs.

Though both Democrats and Republicans initially took on the task with glee and a determination to get it right, soon partisan bickering made it obvious that various committee members had their own ideas regarding what was necessary. Finally however Congress has seemingly gotten their collective act together and completed work on a task set before them on January 27, 1964. And though it has taken almost 42 years to complete, the results are stunning to say the least.

Continue reading "Congress Completes Design"
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And They Say The MSM Isn't Biased


Kinda speaks for it'self doesn't it?

With a tip of the GM Chapeaux to No Pasaran

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October 17, 2005

Global Warming Provides Christmas Fun! - Courtesy of the Left (Who Else?)

You HAVE to see this--another loony creation of the left, which comes in the form of a global warming game! And, it's just in time for Christmas! The kids will not let you rest until you get it, and the game is sure to be fun for the whole liberal family. Here's more about this exciting game, as reported in "Nature."

Cool game gives lessons on a warming world.

The temperature is rising fast, hurricanes have wiped out the US economy, and the OPEC countries are going bankrupt. Just when things look as if they cannot get any worse, disease strikes Libya's livestock. But then world leaders pull together a research fund for clean technologies in the developing world, prompting the US president (a woman, for once) to sigh and say: "We're really turning things around here".

Sound like a news report from 2050? It's actually a scenario that emerged when six science reporters got together to play an eerily prescient board game called Keep Cool: Gambling with the Climate! It kept us entertained for hours, even as the climate collapsed and nations went bankrupt around us.

The rules of Keep Cool are similar to those of the board game Risk. Six regional entities, from the former Soviet Union to the 'Tiger countries' of Asia, compete to build power stations. A dirty station is cheaper than a clean one, but it makes the temperature climb. As the world warms, natural disasters increase in likelihood and severity, driving players to buy protection against them.

The aim is to fulfill one's economic and political goals, which might involve appeasing environmentalists with a certain number of clean power plants or getting a minimum number of stations on the board.

But if players are too ruthless, the climate spins out of control. Investing in dirty industry hits home with remarkable force as monsoons fail, permafrost melts, and global biodiversity dives, each disaster costing the players more money as the world warms.

A few wild cards make for a more challenging game: on each turn, for example, the Soviet Union can ask anyone for money.

What parent wouldn't search all the malls and shops within 100 miles to put this under the tree for his kids?

family fun.jpg You can imagine the thrills and screams of joy as one child melts the North Pole and floods New York while another one creates hurricanes to destroy Miami! Uh oh, watch out for Daddy pretending to be Russia and taking the kids' allowances. But, leave it up to Mom to play the female president and save the day! Hurray!

The reviewer of this game said, "I, for one, wholeheartedly recommend it." Why were she and the magazine so enthusiatic over something that many others would ignore? Well, I think that I understand their mindset better after reading the "Nature" article from the day before, titled "Marijuana may make your brain grow." Maybe they took that testing a little too far. The next time you read a review like theirs, you might first ask what they were smoking. Hey, maybe that can be a new game, too!

On the other hand, I might just buy my kid a BB gun.

Posted by GM Roper at 10:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Media "Scrapes Bottom" - A Flood of Bias, Not Water

I would say that the media has sunk to a new low, but it's hard to sink when the reporter sits in a canoe in only inches of water--trying to hype a "deep" flood, caused by Bush and global warming no doubt. However, the illusion was spoiled by two people walking into her story.

The Today Show Stages Flood Report in New Jersey

Media Staging.jpg

On the Today show this morning, Katie Couric was promoting a segment that would talk about the apparent staged inteview with soldiers in Iraq. A few moments later the show went to correspondent Michelle Kosinski, reporting on location about the floods in New Jersey. Kosinski was canoeing in what looked to be in deep water. However as the segment begin two men walked in front of her in what looked to be a few inches of water.

Federal agencies obviously failed to come to her rescue, and it's only a matter of time before the left claims that it's because President Bush wants reporters to die. Be sure to go to the link in the title above the picture and watch their video of the reporter moving the canoe by pushing her paddle into the ground. It's great!

Are you surprised that the network was going to slam a "staged event" by the military, even though it got caught in its own staging? Maybe they will end up in deep water, after all. Isn't the hypocrisy of the media wonderful?

Posted by GM Roper at 02:20 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (1)

Man Bites Dog - Kennedy in Water Rescue

Well, at least Kennedy tried, even if he repeated his history of giving up.

Sen. Edward Kennedy Helps Rescue Fishermen (AP Monday, October 17, 2005)

HYANNIS, Mass. -- U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy attempted to rescue six men who had become trapped by high tide on a jetty off Hyannisport on Sunday. The Massachusetts Democrat eventually left the rescue to Hyannis firefighters, The Cape Cod Times reported Monday.

It's amazing what you can do if you're not drunk. It's too bad that he didn't try to get help in 1969. At least he's learning.

Posted by GM Roper at 09:50 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (1)

October 16, 2005

Under Pressure Indeed ... The U.S. Military vs. The MSM

In the opinion section of my local paper is a "commentary" by one Rick Mercier, a writer and editor for The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va. The title of the commentary is "Under Pressure" with a subheading of "Army recruiters are having trouble making quotas. You can help them by nominating a war supporter."

Mr. Mercier is, of course, completely full of himself and imagines himself to be a champion of the get out of Iraq clique popular among newsfolk. "Roper, can you sustain that charge," you ask "or are you just blowing smoke." I suspect that I can sustain it. Mercier is essentially making the "chicken hawk" argument when he suggests that you should refer war supporters to the Army Recruiters. I have debunked the argument here before and I urge you, the reader to go to that entry, read it all including the links and including the comments.


Ok, having read that let us look at the rest of Mercier's argument. He makes a big deal of the U.S.Army only reaching some 90% of it's recruitment goal. He fails to mention that the Marines, the Air Force and the Navy met and exceeded their goals. And, since the Marines have a seemingly higher casuality rate, his argument that the Army didn't because of Iraq is ludicrous. Here's his explanation:

The four-letter explanation, of course, is Iraq. And many would say that other I words — such as ill-advised and incompetent — come to mind when they contemplate the Bush administration’s military adventure in the Middle East."
What utter nonsense. If this were true, than those who have actually served would have a lower "re-up" rate than the initial recruitment goal. Yet, such is not the case: Of course, this was BEFORE the Army announced that June's quotas were more than met or that re-inlistment quotas of those ACTIVELY serving in the Middle East often reach 150% of needs. In fact, according to Black Five:
(the Armys)...3rd Infantry Division in Iraq surpassed it's re-enlistment goal by 250%...that should tell you what the men and women that are actively engaged in the fight think of the mission in Iraq."

Further, there was an upsurge in recruitment in the last two month's of the quarter. In fact, things are going very well in Iraq and that story is slowly getting out, no thanks to the obstructionism of the MSM. Winds of Change has a great article on improvements in the Iraqi countryside here and I've contributed a bit myself here.

Mercier states:

These days, that fry-cook job at McDonald’s is looking a lot more enticing to potential young recruits than it did just a few years ago. And parents across the land have come up with an alternate take on an old cheer, crying out "Go away, Army" to beleaguered recruiters.

The numbers tell the story. The Army just wrapped up one of its worst recruiting years since it became an all-volunteer service more than three decades ago. For the fiscal year that just ended, the Army missed its annual recruitment target by 7,000 enlistees — the largest such deficit since 1979."

Ok, overall the services missed recruiting goals by only a few percentage points (the Marines, Navy and Air Force making up some of the force deficits) but that doesn't even mean anything. Unless Mr. Mercier is totally dishonest (posh, he couldn't be could he?) he will acknowledge that people opt for all kinds of jobs in the military. From cook to telephone linemen, from drivers to payroll clerks, from front line infantry to helicopter repairmen. There is no indication whatsoever that COMBAT forces are suffering. Indeed, and since I served in the Army in the early '70's, the army will retrain it's potato peelers into infantry if it needs to, and hire civilian's to do the non-combat support. Let me repeat, a decrease in recruitment does not mean a decrease in combat effectiveness. However if that was part of the story, Mr. Mercier wouldn't be able to make the snide comments that he has made like:
You probably know some of these pro-war types. Maybe you’ve had to endure the guy next door or the guy in church talking up the war. Well, why not log on to goarmy.com and sign him up for an info pack? Old Earl can slap that flag magnet on the Hummer he’ll be driving through Sadr City.

And high school students, how about "volunteering" the teachers and administrators who’ve welcomed recruiters and JROTC programs into your schools? With any luck, school will be out for quite a while for Mr. Crabtree.

As for me, I’ve got my eye on a few scribes who’ve bellowed for this war and branded those who opposed it as America-haters and friends of terrorists. I know where some of you live, keyboard warriors, and I’ve got some phone numbers, too. The recruiters will be in touch."

I guess that Mercier doesn't realize that this is a free country and one not be an active member of the military in order to support the effort in Iraq. Mr. Mercier isn't a research scientist, but I'd be willing to bet that he supports cancer research. Of course, my favorite argument regarding those that make the chicken hawk argument comes from Donald Sensing (writing at One Hand Clapping) responding to a tirade by Duncan Black (Atrios):

My son is a lance corporal in the US Marine Corps. He will deploy to Iraq in two months. I myself am a retired US Army artillery officer.

Do you, Mr. Black, agree that you are kept free and safe only because my son and others like him are risking their lives on your behalf?

Why have you never served in the armed forces?

What gives you the justification to speak against the war?

What are your credentials that make you someone I or our nation’s leaders should listen to regarding national security?

Why should non-serving supporters be silent while non-serving critics be heard?

Do you agree that no one except veterans and presently-serving military members should ever decide when the nation shall go to war, and why?

I am a veteran and my son is now serving. By your lights these amounts to a “double credit” for me to speak about the war. Also by your lights, you yourserf suffer from a double deficit, since you have never served and have no immediate family member serving. Therefore, your logic would inexorably find that my opinion is of magnitudes greater value than yours.

Do you agree? If not, why not?

I support a vigorous prosecution of the war in Iraq and have written several times (i.e., here) that it is the actual focal point of the war against Islamist terrorism.

Do you now, therefore, consider yourself well instructed and will you, therefore, bow to my experience and insights (which by your own standards are far superior to yours) and now fully support prosecuting the Iraq war until victory is achieved? If not, why not?

Finally, on what basis can you persuade me that you, personally, are not simply a coward of the most craven kind who hides behind anti-war cliches merely to keep intact your own precious skin?

Just substitute Mr. Mercier's name for Mr. Black's name and the argument should hold up just fine.

Oh, and Mr. Mercier, go ahead and write to the Army, give them my name and phone number and address if you have them. I was in Berlin on 9/11 and as soon as I got home I called to offer my services. "Sorry Mr. Roper," I was told, "you're to old." But if you do call them, I'll thank them for all their efforts to keep folk like you free to write the snide garbage that you write.

Posted by GM Roper at 06:34 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

October 15, 2005

The PORK BUSTER Response From The 15th District of Texas

As many of you know, I wrote an article (here) regarding the prolifigate spending by congress and the need to cut spending in order to be able to afford the cost of reconstruction following Katrina (and since, Rita). My letter to the Honorable Ruben Hinojosa is below:

Dear Congressman. As you are aware, President Bush has called for massive spending in the wake of the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina. Too, it appears that Hurricane Rita may be headed for our own coast and may cause further destruction on a grand scale.

I am very concerned that the amounts proposed, while greatly needed are also budget busters of the first magnitude. I know that there is plenty of so called pork in the federal budget that can be cut for the betterment of society as a whole, and not for a particular congressional district. For example, the Transportation bill recently signed by President Bush contains millions of dollars for a bridge from Ketchikan, Alaska to an island of only 1500 persons. Sir, I've been to Ketchikan, the good people there almost brag about how difficult it is to get there, boat or plane, that is it. And yet, it is a thriving town, and quite beautiful as well. This bridge is a boondoggle of the worst sort.

I'm hoping you can identify and lead the charge to eliminate this and other pork spending so that as a unified country we will be in fact able to afford those things that need to be done vis-a-vis natural disasters.

I am a blogger, yes, one of those dreaded "pajama clad" folk who put their opinions out for everyone to see. But I am also a patriot and a citizen of a great congressional district, a great state and a magnificent country. I will be willing to put your answer on my blog as an update to a current post and as a singular post as you so desire.

Sir, we have much to do and not much time to do it. Won't you please take the lead and begin the process, get other Democrats and Republicans behind the effort to reform the budget, realign our priorities and get our house in order?

George Roper
GM's Corner (http://gmroper.com)"

That was sent on or about September 19, 2005 and I followed it with this comment about Mr. Hinojosa:
Ruben Hinojosa (D, 15th Congressional District) is a good man. His family has built H&H meats from a small business to a good sized operation with many, many employees. He, like many Democrats tend to spend too much, but he is also a patriot. Let's see what his response is. His only Republican opponent was in 1996 and '98 and though I am nominally a Republican, I've always supported Mr. Hinojosa. I've voted for Mr. Hinojsa each time he ran, let's see how his response is to this urgent matter."

Well, either Mr. Hinojosa has slipped, or he has hired incompetents to answer his mail~but ultimately, he is responsible for every piece of official mail that comes out of his office. Here is his response:

Dear Mr. Roper: Thank you for sharing your views on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. As we continue to aid residents from the floodwaters and devastation of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama it is crucial that they get the aid and assistance they so desperately need. The generosity of the American spirit is once again shining strong.

In Texas, shelters were constructed, citizens offered refuge in their extra bedrooms, school districts accepted students, people contributed money, corporations offered funds, and in many cases temporary employment. I applaud the generosity of so many Americans and urge them to continue offering assistance however they can. Our mission as a nation must be to help the least among us; the poor and disenfranchised that have been dramatically affected by Hurricane Katrina. This could have happened just as easily in Texas as in any other state, and before it happens again, we clearly need to investigate the response to this disaster.

Now is the time for Congress to focus on the relief and recovery efforts taking place in the Gulf Region and to do everything possible to help the victims. The federal response to this Disaster was far from adequate. We should appoint an independent commission to learn from the mistakes that were made and to guarantee that those mistakes never happen again. We owe this to the survivors and evacuees and to every American. Again, thank you for sharing your views with me. Please continue to inform me on maters of importance to you.

Ruben Hinojosa
Member of Congress

Needless to say, I am more than disappointed in the response from my congressman. Not only are the points in my letter to him completely ignored, he takes off on a tangent asking for an "investigation" of the federal efforts. Did he not care about federal efforts when they were highly successful? Did he not care when Rita, only a few days later was handled quite well?

What the hell is going on here? Hackneyed letters in response to letters from a constituent on matters of national scope? Congressman Hinojosa, I'm going to have to think very hard before I vote for you again. Very hard!

Welcome Instapundit readers. Write your congressman and let's all work on getting rid of some pork.

Posted by GM Roper at 07:55 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

The Vote, The Voters, The Constitution and Zarqawi's Al Qaeda

In darkness now, Baghdad and all of Iraq prepares for the night after a long day, a day in which the vast majority of those elegible to vote on an Iraqi constitution did just that. They braved threats and intimidation from Zarqawi and his band of thugs, they went out into the streets and they voted. They voted in numbers that puts the majority of the democracies to shame. It appears that something approaching, or perhaps over, 70% of the registered voters exercised their franchise. A great victory for the forces of freedom in Iraq and for the Iraqi people.

From NPR just a few hours ago:

Polls close in Iraq after millions of people cast their ballots in a vote on whether to approve their new constitution. Voting got off to a slow start in Baghdad as Iraqis waited to see if the insurgent-promised attacks would emerge. But for the most part, the day was quiet, with only scattered reports of minor attacks."
Of course, just the other day, NPR was of a different mindset:
A suicide car bomb in Basra kills two people. The attack comes amid increased fighting among rival Shiite militias. Violence is spiraling in the southern city, and British and American authorities say Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah may be supplying Shiite groups in Iraq."

Indeed, Zarqawi comes out of this looking like someone not in control of all his faculties. Didn't he promise total disruption, didn't he promise to defeat the vote? Bill Roggio writing in The Fourth Rail says it as well as I've seen it anywhere:

Al Qaeda and their insurgent allies still tried to disrupt the election with violence. The following list of attacks is the extent of the terrorist's reach. Behold the might of al Qaeda and its fearsome Ramadan Offensive:

- Gunmen fired on two polling stations in Baghdad. No injuries.
- Office of the Iraqi Islamic Party is torched in Fallujah. No injuries.- Office of the Iraqi Islamic Party is struck by a roadside bomb in Baghdad. No injuries.
- Office of the Iraqi Islamic Party is destroyed in an attack in Baiji. No injuries.
- Terrorists blow up the home of the local Iraqi Islamic Party chief in Ramadi. No injuries.
- Five security guards wounded in a car bombing near a mosque in Kirkuk.
- Four civilians wounded in a roadside bombing targeting a U.S. patrol in Baghdad.
- Fifteen insurgents arrested as they prepared to attack polling centers in Mosul. No injuries.
- Power cut in 70% of Baghdad after power lines are sabotaged north of the city.
- Two police wounded in roadside bombing while patrolling near a polling station in Baghdad.
- Civilian killed by sniper fire near polling station in Baghdad.
- Three insurgents attacked an empty polling station South of Basra, and are captured. No Injuries.
- One policeman is wounded after a roadside bomb exploded near a polling station in western Baghdad.
- Fighting reported between a small band of insurgents and U.S. troops on patrol in Ramadi. No casualties reported. (NOTE: Emphasis added)

Seth at Hard Astarboard has an excellent piece (with several links well worth reading as well) on the current state of Iraq and that we and the Iraqi people are indeed "winning" though perhaps not in the eyes of the MSM. I've blogged about the "lies of omission" from the MSM before. Yet, the Iraqi people remind me of the aeronautical engineers who said that from a design standpoint, the lowly bumblebee could not fly. Someone forgot to tell the bumblebee. Likewise, those that said Arabs in the Middle East would never "take to democracy" forgot to tell the Iraqi's

Hooray for Iraq, hooray for the Iraqi people, hooray for Democracy!

Linked to Iraqi Freedom at Right On The Right and Stop the ACLU's Freedom Party & The Political Teen, as well as the Mudville Gazette

Posted by GM Roper at 07:34 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)

Global Warming Update!

Causes of so called global warming have run rampant. Some claim that it is because of human intervention. This is easy to disprove in-as-much as we can prove that the Polar Ice Cap from the last Ice Age has been shrinking long before mankind (womankind? personskind? peoplekind? -- come on you PC'ers, what term should we use?) came on the scene in numbers enough to affect the ice. Proof of that is here and here and here as supplied by our intrepid Woody (He made me use that word, I would have just called him our diligently scientific Woody...gmr).

Yet, despite Woody's attempts to get to the bottom of the urban legend of global warming, the philistines persist. The ballyhoo continues. So, it is a fact that temperatures have been rising since around the early 1800's, and it is also a fact that the occupation of Piracy has significantly declined since that time. Perhaps there is a connection. After all, with all the interests in "piracy" these days, from movies to blogs to language (and even more language) the connection between a decrease in the number of pirate's and the increase in temperature can no longer be ignored by the scientific community.

In the early 1800's (1820 to be scientifically accurate according to our accumulated evidence) the number of active pirates was around 35,000. By the end of the twenty century that number had decreased substantially to around 17, give or take a couple of hundred. Coupled with that knowledge, it is obvious that mean global temperatures had also changed from around 14.25 degrees Centigrade to around 15.9 degrees Centigrade. The following graph supplied (albeit unknowingly) by the fine blog Mish Mash by Ryan Shea Cannot be denied.


As Ryan says, "Draw Your Own Conclusions." Furthermore, as William Teach says, "Arrrrgggghhhh," ignore the evidence at your own peril.

A tip of the GM Chapeaux to Hatless in Hattiesburg

Posted by GM Roper at 08:52 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack (1)

October 14, 2005

A Pox On All Their Houses!

I have been a conservative for the most part of my 59 years on this earth. I would like to think also that I am a person of principle and that I vote for the man rather than the party. In fact, I usually shock both my Republican and Democrat friends when I tell them I have voted for a lot of conservative Democrats over the last 38 years of voting (you had to be 21 to vote when I started voting).

However, I am about ready to start a new political movement, not one that I think has any chance of winning a dogcatcher’s job, the mayor ship of my city, a House Seat, Senate Seat or even the Presidency. Not one with a national "Committee" of fat cats such as the DNC or the RNC. Not one with certified wackos such as Lyndon La'Rouche. Nope, that is not for me. My movement will be called "The National Vote The Bastards Out Movement" Or NVBOM for short.

The central idea for the NVBOM is simple. If you live in a district with a Republican representative or Republican senator, vote for the Democrat. If you live in a district with a Democratic representative or Democratic senator, vote Republican. This will result in a Democrat Majority in the Senate and the House. Now, knowing exactly how people think, this will cause the current minority party (the Democrats) to think "America has come home to good governance.” In the following election however, vote the other way around. If you voted for a Democrat and elected him, now vote for a Republican and elect him. (editors note: being sick of PC, the author uses him and he as the universals and are inclusive of both sexes as they were intended to be.)

This will result in a complete turnover in the house (Republican to Democrat to Republican) and a 2/3 turnover in the Senate in two short election cycles. The end result? Maybe the elected representatives and senators will get the idea that they work for us, not the other way around and maybe they will start governing and not legislating for their personal re-election and to hell with the rest of the country.

"OK GM," you may think, "you've finally lost your mind." You could well be right, but think a little further. Over the last 50 years or so, the Democratic Party (rightly or wrongly - but more rightly it seems) has become known as the "Tax and Spend" party. In part, because of this and because of the moral trepidations and wishy-washiness of the Clinton Administration, to say nothing of the Contract with America the Republicans became ascendant in the House and Senate and with only an exception have "ruled" ever since.

However, the Republicans have lost their way, they have become a new Tax and Spend party with a slight difference, and that is doing the right thing (tax cuts) but also not caring how the federal government is run by spending far more than any self respecting Republican, let alone any conservative should do.

And all this while, George Walker Bush, 43rd President of the United States of America has wielded his veto pen exactly ZERO times. This is not what America thought it was getting. It is not what America deserves.

This is not to say that some things have not gone right. We are engaged in a global war on islamofascist terrorists. We responded to natural Disasters in Southeast Asia, in Pakistan and in our own Gulf Coast. We are learning to quit caring what others think of us and start doing what is right in the world. Is that enough? Of course not, but they are all individually and collectively movements in the right direction.

Europe in general and France and Germany in particular have been stumbling blocks, both because of some inherent anti-Americanism, and because of short term corruption (and some long term corruption) in the UN and the "Oil for Food" programs which were really "bribes for votes and obstructionism" programs. America is waking up to the idea that you can't run a government based on polls of what other countries think, nor can you govern within based on popularity polls. (Note: Democrats are dancing in the street with Bush's low poll numbers... but guess what America? Bush is not running again. He doesn't really care about polls anyway.) Be that as it may, much of America is concerned about spending, the direction we are heading, and the attendant consequences on very real problems in this country.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not calling for, nor would I be in favor of, a return to the Clinton way of doing things. Clinton was worried about only one or two things, his legacy, and his personal pleasures/predilections. Louis Freeh has laid it all out in his book on his years as head of the FBI. I tend to believe LF over BC anyway, LF never stood in front of a national audience and said "I did not have sex with that woman, Miss Lewenski." and he didn't ask the Saudi's for a donation to his library instead of pressuring them to cooperate in apprehending the culprits and prosecuting them for the Khobar Towers bombing. Nor did Freeh promise to apprehend the perpetrators of the bombing of the USS Cole but do nothing of merit or substance. At least Bush gives the impression of, and a history of doing pretty much what he said he would do (except for that tax and spend thing.)

Nor am I calling for continued programs as they are. When the Senate and House can vote for a huge chunk of change for a "Bridge to Nowhere" it's time to get serious about governance. Pork spending must be eliminated. Perhaps we need a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting "ear marked funds" and spending not related to the bill at hand. Boondoggles such as our current spending plans ought to be anathema to all America. But they aren't!

Reasons for this go back probably into antiquity. It has been said that democracy will survive only until the "public" realizes it can vote its self largesse from public coffers. Isn't that what is happening now? When ninety plus percent of the incumbents are re-elected often on the basis of what they can "bring home" to the district/state rather what they can do for the country as a whole representing the wisdom of their district/state one has to wonder if the Republic is doomed in the very near future.

That is a pessimistic point of view I know. My blogging bud Woody thinks that the idea of a NVBOP will backfire. He opines that Republicans would do so, but democrats would lie about it and vote Democratic producing a Democratic control of the House and Senate. But that is the idea, then in the very next election take it away from the Democrats and vote in Republicans. By the second go round, the various representatives may realize that they only hold office because of our forbearance. Then, we do away with the ridiculous retirement plans, the failure to utilize Social Security for Federal Workers, pork-barrel spending, and the perks that make wanting to be a full time politician all the time the job rather than doing a job for the American people.

John F. Kennedy in his Inaugural Address stated "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." Yet we seem to have forgotten this. We have become a country of “What's in it for me?" not a country of "How can I help."

Maybe its not time to vote the bastards out, maybe there is a way to send a message to all of our governing bodies, where-ever they may hold office that we, as a people, are fed up with special interests, with out of control spending, with unsafe borders, with politics as usual and indeed with politics as local (despite what Tip O'Neil said) maybe we need a new paradigm of what this country really is all about. Not the failed policies and works of the left, not the pie in the sky promises of the pseudo-conservatives, but a real honest look at what are laws are and where they are going. It is said that the Lord's Prayer contains only 69 words and the laws on the prices of milk runs thousands of words over hundreds of pages and there has to be something wrong with that.

It's time for a change, a big change, a change that involves self reliance, responsibility, honesty in dealing with each other, and movement away from special interests and into the very real need of the public interest. (End Rant)

Linked at STACLU and Cafe Oregano and Outside The Beltway and The Political Teen

Posted by GM Roper at 07:00 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

October 13, 2005

Nobel Prizes Take the Prize - Bush a Longshot

Is there a pattern in the awarding of the various Nobel Prizes--maybe a political pattern? Read about the latest Nobel Prize winner and see if you can find a clue.

Pinter wins Nobel literary prize

Pinter, 75, whose plays include The Birthday Party and Betrayal, was announced as the winner of the $1.3m (£723,000) cash prize on Thursday.

The Nobel academy said Pinter's work "uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression's closed rooms".

The playwright is known for speaking out on issues like the war on Iraq.

Pinter, widely regarded as the UK's greatest living playwright, is well-known for his left-wing political views.

A critic of US and UK foreign policy, he has voiced opposition on a number of issues including the bombing of Afghanistan in 2001.

Nah, I can't figure it out, either. No pattern with this and other prizes. Let's look further.

'Political element' to Pinter prize

...his outspoken criticism of US foreign policy and opposition to the war in Iraq undoubtedly make him one of the more controversial figures to be awarded this prestigious honour.

Indeed, the Nobel academy's decision could be read in some quarters as a selection with an inescapably political element.

"There is the view that the Nobel literature prize often goes to someone whose political stance is found to be sympathetic at a given moment," said Alan Jenkins, deputy editor of the Times Literary Supplement.

(Michael Attenborough, director of the Almeida Theatre in Islington, north London) says he would be "amazed" if the prize was in recognition of its recipient's anti-war stance.

Oh, man! I thought I had it figured until I read that last sentence. There goes my theory that the awarding of Nobel prizes is directly related to the recipients' criticisms of President Bush and the United States. However, I wouldn't be surprised if Barbra Streisand and George Soros win one day.

Posted by GM Roper at 09:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

October 12, 2005

Celebrating Bravery - Part II

Today is the 5th Anniversary of the attack on the USS Cole. Remember the fallen in your prayers and remember also the heroes that saved the USS Cole from further harm by their quick actions. Brave men and women all.

The USS COLE Memorial dedication ceremony was conducted at Naval Station Norfolk Virginia on 12 Oct 01, commemorating the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attack in Aden, Yemen. The Memorial honors the 17 sailors who lost their lives and the crew for their heroic actions to save the ship.

The Memorial was made possible because of contributions to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society from thousands of private individuals and businesses across the country. The Memorial design began as a vision of USS COLE crewmembers. The ship then joined forces with Navy architects and the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society to bring to life their vision. The memorial is a gift of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society to the Navy. This Memorial will fulfills an important objective of the Memorial Fund for USS COLE set up by the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society and the Navy.

On behalf of the USS COLE family, we would like to express our heartfelt appreciation for all of your support and prayers. Without your assistance, the USS COLE Memorial would not have been possible. Thank you.

UPDATE: Those murdered by islamofascist are - Kenneth E. Clodfelter - Richard Costelow - Lakeina M. Francis - Timothy L. Gauna -Cherone L. Gunn - James R. McDaniels - Marc I. Nieto - Ronald S. Owens - Lakiba N. Palmer - Joshua L. Parlett - Patrick H. Roy - Kevin S. Rux - Ronchester M. Santiago - Timothy L. Saunders -Gary G. Swenchonis Jr. - Andrew Triplett and Craig B. Wibberley.

Posted by GM Roper at 08:09 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (2)

Celebrating Bravery

K9 Photo 2.jpgIn the annals of military history, we celebrate heroes. Men such as Audie Murphy, John Paul Jones, Douglas McArthur, Robert O'Malley and James Ward. Moreover, deserving they are. But there are other heroes as well, none with the Congressional Medal of Honor, few beyond the rank of Corporal, yet heroes for sure. These are the K-9's, our four footed troops.

The history of the "K-9 Corps" in the United States goes back as far as the 2nd Seminole War in which 33 Bloodhounds were trained as both guard and attack dogs. Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders in the Spanish American War trained dogs as Point Scouts. Marines used the K-9's in the so-called "Banana Wars" and subsequently included them in their training for the island hopping campaign against the Japanese in World War II.

By the time of the Vietnam war, K-9 troops were an established part of the U.S. Military, indeed, of military services around the world. And stalwart troops they are. Tales of K-9 heroism abound in military annals, such as the story of Chips:

One of the first dogs to be shipped overseas was Chips, the son of a part-shepherd, part-collie father and a northern sled-dog mother. Chips was donated by Edward J. Wren of Pleasantville, New York, and was trained at Front Royal, Virginia in 1942.

Chips first served in General Patton's brutal Africa campaign, then waded ashore with the 3rd Division of Patton's Seventh Army as it was swept into battle in Sicily. Chips was very popular with his buddies. Affectionate and with particularly keen senses of smell and hearing, he was also a nonconformist who would break rules when he felt danger, oblivious to what every soldier knows: breaking rules for any reason does not endear one to field commanders and high-ranking brass. Chips would later discover this and while he wouldn't care, his comrades would.

Shortly after Chips and the men had made their way ashore and established a beachhead on Sicily, the soldiers, thinking they were momentarily out of danger, slowly inched their way to an abandoned pillbox where they decided to take a short rest. Tired and weary, Chips, however, could not relax. His senses told him there was danger nearby and suddenly he broke away from his handler - violating a sacred rule - dashed across a stretch of No Man's Land. A bullet pierced his body, but he ignored the pain and threw himself into an enemy machine gun nest. The firing stopped. There was deadly silence, and for a moment Chips was not seen or heard. When his comrades got to the scene, they saw Chips holding onto the throat of the enemy gunner, and five other terrified men with their arms raised in surrender.

On October 21, 2005, K-9s such as Chips and many other unsung heroes will be honored with a War Dog Memorial on Long Island, New York. The Memorial (pictured above) was sculpted by Doug Roper (GM's younger Brother.)

The War Dog Memorial is a fitting tribute to these gallant animals who have often given their lives in the service of the United States.

UPDATE... The date of the Monument Dedication is 10/21/05 at 11:00 AM, not the 22nd as originaly posted. The ceremony will be at the H.Lee Dennison Building, 100 Veterans Memorial Highway, Hauppauge, New York (Long Island - Suffolk County) If you are anywhere near the vicinity, please feel free to attend.. If you talk with the sculptor, Doug Roper, tell him his big brother said Hi.

Linked at Stop the ACLU

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October 11, 2005

The Hack That Was Krugman

Noting that Paul Krugman did NOT win a Nobel Prize in Economics, and that his antithesis Thomas C. Schelling did, Donald Luskin tells about it and pointedly points out:

KRUGMAN IGNOBEL ONCE AGAIN Once again Paul Krugman has failed to win the Nobel Prize in economics. This year's winners are Robert J. Aumann and Thomas C. Schelling, "for having enhanced our understanding of conflict and cooperation through game-theory analysis." Why them, and not Krugman? One clue is Aumann's academic affiliation. He is with the Center for Rationality at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Krugman isn't at the center of anything. And he has nothing to do with rationality."

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More On Miers

I don't know much about Harriet Miers, and not many that are either pro Miers or anti-Miers do either. That doesn't seem to stop many of the pundits from both the left and right from pontificating. I choose, given what we know so far, and what I know of President Bush, to support his nomination for the USSC. But, don't take my word for it, here is an EXCELLENT post from Jay at Stop The ACLU complete with plenty of support from the right.

Posted by GM Roper at 05:22 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

October 10, 2005

The Left Attacks Columbus: Fantasy World vs. New World

I hope that everyone had a special Columbus Day holiday with parades, festivities, and knowing that honoring Columbus infuriates liberals. That last part always makes it better for me. Columbus Day brings out the "hate everything about America" crowd, who blame Christopher Columbus personally and the rest of America by inference, for displacing indigenous people on our continent. But, it's more than a fight over claimed wrongs--it's a battle in the war of the left against Western Civilization.

Brief History Lesson:

As a brief and interesting historical review, you may want to pick through a well researched study of Columbus and the "discovery of the new world," found at this site titled Examining the History, Navigation, and Landfall of Christopher Columbus by Keith A. Pickering. It has excellent information, including the map below. The map alone tells me that Columbus had to have a lot of know-how and nerves of steel to sail into the unknown and be able to return to Europe with his discovery.

Also, of special interest is the section titled Columbus and the Destruction of Native peoples. This addresses the surface complaint against Columbus of genocide by essentially saying that the causes of war go beyond the control of an individual and that most societies, including Native Americans, "view killing in wartime as acceptable; few would claim that it is morally equivalent to murder, much less genocide."

(After you complete your history lesson, you may continue with the rest of this entry. You have fifteen minutes.)

"In fourteen hundred and ninety two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue."

Who Hates Columbus and Why?

Okay, welcome back. When I did quick research on Columbus Day, I found numerous postings by individuals and organizations who have made it their "cause" to discredit Columbus and the civilization brought from Europe.

Here's an example in a post titled The Great Columbus Day Farce.

...why do we celebrate a man who was no more than a murderer?' Columbus sparked many a great western ideal. Capitalism, science as a religion, the establishment of a global monoculture, the enslavement of other races, the destruction of the environment, the eradication and abuse of life, and the genocide of America’s indigenous people are just a few of those ideals. If these are the ideals that he sparked, then why should we celebrate a power-hungry man, no better than Hitler?

Wow! I bet you didn't know that Columbus is responsible for the terrible crimes of capitalism (horrors), environmental ruin, and genocide--and that he is just like Hitler. I wonder if the author admires Stalin who was against capitalism and fought Hitler. Yeah!

Another site titled Transform Columbus Day has a fun quiz! In the quiz titled "How Does Columbus Compare to some of the most oppressive, criminal regimes in history?," they mention horrible crimes against man and nature, and you are supposed to match the crime with the person. Fun, huh!? Hold on, though. It's a trick. While the choices include Mussolini, Hitler, Pol Pot, Caligula, Josef Stalin, Saddam Hussein, Nero, Jefferson Davis, Genghis Khan--and, Christopher Columbus: all of the "crimes" in the quiz were really committed by Columbus! I hate trick questions like that. (As an aside, how did Jefferson Davis get into this group? Also, I'm sure that Saddam Hussein was an error.)

Other examples are summarized in Looks Are Deceiving: the Portraits of Christopher Columbus originally published in a 1993 "Visual Anthropology."

But by the 500th anniversary, revisionist authors were charging that Columbus was simply a fortune hunter who left a legacy of exploitation and genocide. The National Council of Churches resolved that the anniversary should be a "time of penitence rather than jubilation." After much heated debate within the chambers of the United Nations, it was decided that the organization would not sponsor any celebrations to mark the event. Native American groups began planning protests of local festivities for Columbus, charging that they honor a man who "makes Hitler look like a juvenile delinquent." As John Noble Wilford, science writer for the New York Times, aptly concluded, "Another Columbus for another age."

Well, I can't think of a better way to form an opinion about Columbus than to find that he was attacked by The National Council of Churches, The United Nations, radical Indian groups, and a New York Times writer.

Will you get to the point!?

Okay, I'm almost there. Why do these individuals and organizations oppose honoring Columbus? It has less to do with what he did than it has to do with them having a focal point to attack Western Civilization. This attack is often led with calls for multiculturalism.

Here's an analysis at First Things: "The Crimes of Christopher Columbus" by Dinesh D'Souza. (I know little about this site, but I'm sure that the liberals will say that it is radical right wing--which means that it is okay.) The entire article is somewhat long, but worth reading in its entirety. Here are excerpts:

At its deepest level, multiculturalism represents a denial of all Western claims to truth. Yet both in the world and in the traditional curriculum, all cultures are not on the same footing. Consequently multiculturalism in practice is distinguished by an effort to establish cultural parity by attacking the historical and contemporary hegemony of Western civilization.

Multiculturalism is based on the relativist assumption that since all cultures are inherently equal, differences of power, wealth, and achievement between them are most likely due to oppression.

In order to see the multicultural paradigm at work, we would do well to consider the passionate debate that has raged in the academy over the legacy of Christopher Columbus. ...Yet it is not Columbus the man who is being indicted but what he represents: the first tentative step toward the European settlement of the Americas. Consequently, the debate over Columbus is a debate over whether Western civilization was a good idea and whether it should continue to shape the United States. Many critics argue the negative:

-"Columbus makes Hitler look like a juvenile delinquent"....
-Columbus (was) "a murderer, a rapist, the architect of a policy of genocide that continues today."
-"Could it be that the human calamity caused by the arrival of Columbus was a sort of dress rehearsal of what is to come as the ozone becomes more depleted, the earth warms, and the rain forests are destroyed?"

Let us examine the consistent portrait that emerges in multicultural literature about the legacy of Columbus.

It is true that Columbus harbored strong prejudices about the peaceful islanders whom he misnamed "Indians"-he was prejudiced in their favor. He praised the generosity and lack of guile among the Tainos, contrasting their virtues with Spanish vices. So why did European attitudes toward the Indian, initially so favorable, subsequently change? ...the reason given by the explorers themselves is that Columbus and those who followed him came into sudden, unexpected, and gruesome contact with the customary practices of some other Indian tribes.

In the next item of the multiculturalists' indictment, Columbus-and by extension the West-is accused of perpetrating a campaign of genocidal extermination, a holocaust against native Americans. The charge of genocide is largely sustained by figures showing the precipitous decline of the Indian population. ...the vast majority of Indian casualties occurred...because of contagious diseases that the Europeans transmitted to the Indians. From the Indians the Europeans contracted syphilis.

Columbus has metamorphosed from a grand crusader into a genocidal maniac and a precursor to Hitler. American Indians are now beyond reproach, canonized as moral and ecological saints.

...multiculturalism (insists) that we should understand cultural differences without applying (inherently biased) standards of critical evaluation, it forbids at the outset the possibility that one culture may be in crucial respects superior to another.

An authentic multiculturalism would expose students to "the best that has been thought and said" not simply in the West but in other cultures as well.

That last statement, to me, explains Western Civilization the best and explains why Western Civilization has been so successful. Western culture examines all ideas and accomplishments and adopts those which are good and make society better and more successful. The multiculturalists want everyone to "be equal," so they go the other way. They don't adopt or approve of the methods that made Western Civilization successful. They would rather tear it down, even to the detriment of their own people, just to feel good or to gain political influence. That, to me, is just one more reason to study and appreciate the predominate culture in the U.S., which itself is attacked by attacks on Columbus Day, which is where this started.

Can you end this with a really stupid conclusion?:

Well, having made my point, sure.

If we need to cast blame for Columbus coming to the "new world," I think that it might be found in For Teachers: Columbus's "Enterprise of the Indies" and its impact on African peoples

Europeans of Columbus's time were eager to find a route to the source of this trade, in order to avoid the Arab middlemen who drove the prices up and controlled the routes to India that passed through the Mediterranean. Therefore, they needed to find another way to reach the Far East and abundant riches there.

There you have it! Nothing changes. The consumers in the West were having its transportation costs driven up by the Arabs, so they looked for a way around them. Because the Arabs raised prices so much, Columbus was forced to find another route by sailing west. What happened when he got there and the problems that brings today can be blamed on one group--the Arabs who were gouging everyone. And now, you know the rest of the story.


Except for that last part, consider the attacks on Columbus and the day that we honor him and see them for what they are. The attackers are pitiful people who can only feel better by bringing others down. That doesn't make them successful. They would rather feel equal in worth than to get ahead. They spread false doctrine, and their efforts should be recognized and resisted. Give Columbus, with his day, and Western Civilization its due and appreciate and honor the accomplishments of both.

Posted by GM Roper at 10:20 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Differing Definitions

Always On Watch has a great post up on how Islam is looked at. Read the whole thing.

Posted by GM Roper at 08:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Colorado Blogging

I'm recovering from a week in Colorado, though it took me a full 48 hours to warm up again. We were 9600 feet up in a cabin overlooking a beautiful valley about an hour and a half's drive from Ft. Collins.

The winding highway to the mountains showed vistas not to be believed.

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The cabin we stayed in while we hammered out programs for the drug and alcohol dependent adolescents we work with was absolutely georgeous and thanks to our host, Greg, for putting us up while we worked. His cabin, as stated is stupendous.

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The second morning there, I and a co-worker walked down the road a bit, surely not more than 50 yards and came across a mule deer foraging.

Continue reading "Colorado Blogging"
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October 08, 2005

Tin Foil Hats Are Obsolete

Given the frequency of Democratic conspiracy theories regarding the Evil Karl Rove, the Dastardly President George Bush and the All Powerful Global Conglerate Halliburton, the suggestion that they all get out their tin foil hats has been made time and time again in the blogosphere. Perhaps the origin of the tinfoil protectors was here, perhaps from the "Thought Screens" of E.E."Doc" Smith's Lensman Series.

Regardless of the origins, here is the real poop, the lowdown, the real McCoy, the cat's meow, the ........ Well, go and find out for yourself. Read all the links and after you stop laughing, send a generous contribution to your favorite mental health charity.

A tip of the GM Chapeaux to Just Barking Mad!

Posted by GM Roper at 06:57 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (2)

In Sadness!

Oh, somewhere in this favoured land the sun is shining bright,

The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light;

And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout,

But there is no joy at GM's Corner— The mighty

RED SOX have struck out.

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Suicide Bomber In Norman, Oklahoma?

Jeff Blanco has a terrific post up titled: Move along, there's nothing to see here." and asks why the MSM isn't reporting this as an act of terror.

Read the Whole Thing.

Posted by GM Roper at 01:17 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

The Death Of The Democratic Party - "As We Know It"

In the Washington Post yesterday was an article hidden on page A-07. The Title? "Report Warns Democrats Not to Tilt Too Far Left" and it underscores the "quagmire" the Democrats find themselves in. And a real quagmire it is too as opposed to what Democrats call the Iraq war or any other conflict that they didn't start (wonder how many of the supporters of Clintons Bosnia intervention are calling that a quagmire?).

Since 1994 when the Republicans in general, and Newt Gingrich in particular pushed the "Contract With America" the Democrats have been a shrinking minority with a couple of very tiny exceptions that didn't last any longer than a snowball in a blast furnace so to speak. The Republicans have taken the US House of Representatives, The US Senate, The White House, The vast majority of governorships and an increasing influence in state legislatures. In fact, the so called redstate/bluestate division only underscores the increasing Republican majority.

None of this is occurring in a vacuum. The Democratic Party is now made up of two parts. The "base" and everyone else in the party. The so-called base is inhabited by folk that are typically regulars of The Daily Kos, MoveOn.org, the Democratic Underground and the fans of George Soros and others of a similar mindset. This has caused a profound effect on the Democratic Party, that the party hasn't yet come to grips with; namely that in order to get a presidential nomination from the party, the potential candidate has to run to the left, precisely what the above mentioned article warns against.

In fact, running to the left to secure the nomination then to the right for elect-ability is precisely the problem for the democrats. What is remembered by the electorate is how far to the left the party was and the "excitement" caused by the vying candidates. Remember Dr. Dean? He "excited" the base with his anti-war rhetoric, they climbed aboard but they couldn't sustain the momentum against a party determined to nominate someone "elect-able." In their collective wisdom that meant ABD (Anyone But Dean). But they also went with John F. ("Do You Know Who I am?") Kerry who proved to be a worse candidate than Al Gore (hard to believe at the time). Kerry's attempt was probably doomed to failure from the start because his handlers had no real winning strategy other than "keep him away from the press" and the proof of that will be the upcoming film "Inside The Bubble." Said Steve Rosenbaum, director of the film

I'm a lifelong Democrat and I supported Kerry. I think people will see the film as fair, and maybe searing."
Yep, seared, as was the trip to Cambodia in the Winter of '68.

Democrats have a long and proud history of leadership (Kennedy, Truman, Roosevelt) and governance. But the far left was never a significant part of that until recent decades. Since "The Great Society" and "A national Malaise”, the left has misread and misled the American People. The exception to that was the triangulation tactics of Bill Clinton who famously signed the death warrant for a "so called mentally retarded man, Ricky Ray Rector" and having a Sista Soulja moment. Clinton was elected twice (perhaps America had a brain burp?) via the same triangulation tactics... Talking left to Democrats but talking right to the electorate and adopting Republican programs. (hence the "As We Know It" part of the title of this post)

Is this really the pending death of the Democratic Party? Probably not, but when mainstream media begin publishing (even if they did try to hide it on page A-7) "physicians" warnings, can the death certificate be far behind?

I sincerely hope not. I'd love to see the left shown the door by the Democrats. Surely they (the Democrats) have to know that the left, as currently constituted, has run out of ideas. The anger and hostility that the left spews in the above mentioned internet sites is vexing to read, but it has to be more vexing to live.

According to the article:

Democrats must "admit that they cannot simply grow themselves out of their electoral dilemmas," wrote William A. Galston and Elaine C. Kamarck, in a report released yesterday. "The groups that were supposed to constitute the new Democratic majority in 2004 simply failed to materialize in sufficient number to overcome the right-center coalition of the Republican Party."

Since Kerry's defeat, some Democrats have urged that the party adopt a political strategy more like one pursued by Bush and his senior adviser, Karl Rove -- which emphasized robust turnout of the party base rather than relentless, Clinton-style tending to "swing voters."

But Galston and Kamarck, both of whom served in the Clinton White House, said there are simply not enough left-leaning voters to make this a workable strategy. In one of their more potentially controversial findings, the authors argue that the rising numbers and influence of well-educated, socially liberal voters in the Democratic Party are pulling the party further from most Americans.

On defense and social issues, "liberals espouse views diverging not only from those of other Democrats, but from Americans as a whole. To the extent that liberals now constitute both the largest bloc within the Democratic coalition and the public face of the party, Democratic candidates for national office will be running uphill."

Surely the Democrats realize this; surely! But I doubt that they do. Listening to the left, the progressives, the radical democrats we can be sure of only a few things: Bush is evil, Karl Rove is going to be frog-marched out of the White House, DeLay is headed for prison, and all the rich got huge tax breaks while taxes were heaped on the poor and the lower middle class. The only problem is that this is all leftish fantasy.

Posted by GM Roper at 11:16 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

October 07, 2005

Democrats Give Me Gas - Just Not the Kind My Car Needs

This is smart....

Democrats Attack Bill to Boost Refineries

A new Republican-crafted energy bill, prompted by the hurricane devastation and high fuel prices, came under sharp attack Friday from Democrats who called it a sop to rich oil companies that would do little to curb gasoline or natural gas costs, while hurting the environment.

"The bill weakens state and federal environmental standards ... and gives a break to wealthy oil companies while doing little or nothing to affect oil prices," Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, R-N.Y., said in a letter Thursday to colleagues. With prices soaring, "oil companies now have all the profits and incentives they need to build new refineries" without government help, he maintained.

In 1981, the United States had 325 refineries capable of producing 18.6 million barrels a day. Today there are fewer than half that number, producing 16.9 million barrels daily. Still, refining capacity has been increasing, though not dramatically, for the last decade. Imports have made up the difference as demand has continued to increase.

Pardon me, but right now I'm more concerned about having gasoline to get to work than I am in minor environmental concerns that have more to do with politics of socialists than with improving life. Also, I'm ready to start drilling up all of Alaska if it takes that to get us independent of foreign sources of oil and to reduce conflicts in the mideast. Alaskans would appreciate the jobs and money, too.

If the Democrats continue to block realistic energy efforts and force two more years of no increases in our domestic oil and energy production, then expect long gas lines and even more expensive gas. The Democrats would love that, because they would blame Bush (they always do) hoping that would help them win back the White House--at a tremendous price to the public. So, if you find us running out of gasoline or having to pay up to $5 a gallon, then thank a Democrat; and, if you are a Democrat, rip those "Hillary for President" stickers off of your car bumper.

For once, the Democrats should put the nation ahead of their own misguided political interests.

Posted by GM Roper at 09:00 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

And, to Think that This Man Was Almost President

- Text of Al Gore Speech at Media Conference in NY, Oct 06, 2005

Excerpted with Emphasis Added:

I came here today because I believe that American democracy is in grave danger. It is no longer possible to ignore the strangeness of our public discourse. I know that I am not the only one who feels that something has gone basically and badly wrong in the way America's fabled "marketplace of ideas" now functions.

How many of you, I wonder, have heard a friend or a family member in the last few years remark that it's almost as if America has entered "an alternate universe"?

(Ramblings at this point, primarily attacking television to set up his pitch for the Al Gore network.)

And here is my point: it is the destruction of that marketplace of ideas that accounts for the "strangeness" that now continually haunts our efforts to reason together about the choices we must make as a nation.

...in 1987, ...Rush Limbaugh and other hate-mongers began to fill the airwaves.

As recently stated by Dan Rather - who was, of course, forced out of his anchor job after angering the White House - television news has been "dumbed down and tarted up."

...it is television delivered over cable and satellite that will continue for the remainder of this decade and probably the next to be the dominant medium of communication in America's democracy. And so long as that is the case, I truly believe that America's democracy is at grave risk.

You got that? Makes you want to go, "hmmmmmmmmmmmmm." You should have heard the audio of this. Weird. This man is from another planet and makes me feel as if I'm in an "alternate universe."

Posted by GM Roper at 08:00 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

ACLU Doesn't Give a F%#& About Civil Speech

- Woman Booted Off Flight For Offensive Shirt

The original headline of the article said that the woman was booted for an "Anti-Bush" shirt. Media distortion or a mistake?

A Washington state woman was bounced from a Southwest Airlines flight in Reno for wearing a T-shirt with the pictures of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney and the F-word. The shirt was a play on words taken from the movie "Meet the Fockers."

Southwest officials said other passengers complained about her shirt, and that rules prohibit offensive clothing. But the American Civil Liberties Union said Heasley's T-shirt is "protected" free speech under the Constitution.

Hey! It's not like she was wearing a shirt with a picture of Jesus.

Posted by GM Roper at 07:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Nobel Peace Prize Eludes Bono for Not Cursing Bush

- Nobel Peace Prize Goes to...Chief U.N. Nuclear Inspector!

I wanted Bono of U2 to win the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in fighting global poverty. It's too bad that he didn't curse Bush and insult the U.S. That's a requirement to win. Bono could have given the winner a real "run for the money."

Mohamed ElBaradei and his International Atomic Energy agency won the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize Friday, leaving the chief U.N. nuclear inspector strengthened in a job he nearly lost because of a dispute with the United States over Iran and Iraq.

ElBaradei (pronounced ehl-BEHR'-uh-day)and the IAEA locked horns with Washington in the run-up to the 2003 Iraq war by challenging U.S. claims that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. More recently, ElBaradei's refusal to back U.S. assertions that Iran has a covert nuclear weapons program hardened opposition to him within the Bush administration.

Nobel Committee chairman Ole Danbolt Mjoes also denied the award was meant as a slap at the United States.

Among the dozens of foreign leaders congratulating ElBaradei was German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder — a strong critic of the U.S. invasion that toppled Saddam. He praised ElBaradei's "courageous stand for an objective view of the situation in the run-up to the Iraq war."

Last month, the IAEA board put Iran on notice that it faces referral to the U.N. Security Council unless it dispels international concerns about it nuclear aims — despite ElBaradei's private preference for a less confrontational approach.

The Nobel committee received a record 199 nominations for the peace prize, which includes $1.3 million, a gold medal and a diploma. ElBaradei and the IAEA will share the award when they receive it Dec. 10 in the Norwegian capital of Oslo.

One final note. Did you catch the next to last paragraph in which "the IAEA board put Iran on notice that it faces referral to the U.N. Security Council...despite ElBaradei's private preference for a less confrontational approach." Oooooooh. That's a real threat. "Iran, give up your nuclear weapons program or the U.N. Security Council will pass resolutions against you which it doesn't intend to enforce!" Fortunately, this year's prize winner wants cooler heads to prevail. Appeasement really works on terrorists and thugs.

Sorry, Bono. At least you didn't have to share the stage with Jimmy Carter.

Posted by GM Roper at 07:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Braves Win - Taunt Fans with Hope

-Braves 7, Astros 1

The Rocket got rocked. Smoltz became winningest postseason pitcher with fifteen. Series tied and moves to Houston.

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Braves Win!

Photo by David Tulis, Atlanta J-C

Sorry, G.M. This just in...the Red Sox will watch the rest of the playoffs from home. The White Sox have won their first postseason series since Shoeless Joe Jackson's team won it all way back in 1917. Still, the Red Sox fans have a lot to be proud about their team. You can continue to pull against the Yankees, and you're invited to support the Braves for the remaining games.

Posted by GM Roper at 06:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


As Woody noted, I'm back from my sojourn to the mountains of Colorado. Beautiful, Cold and High is all I can say. We stayed in a Cabin at 9950 feet above sea level and worked on treatment programs for adolescents with substance abuse problems but some time was left for photographs. Here are a few, more later this afternoon. Woody, you did a great job and I appreciate it. Consider your salary to be quadrupled effective yesterday.

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Posted by GM Roper at 07:50 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

October 06, 2005

Louis Freeh: "Bill Clinton Did Not Stain Me"

Louis Freeh, appointed as FBI Director by President Clinton, is releasing his new book next week titled "My FBI : Bringing Down the Mafia, Investigating Bill Clinton, and Fighting the War on Terror." According to information from the Drudge Report, Freeh didn't have a good relationship with Clinton. Here's what part of that report says:

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh says publicly for the first time that his relationship with President Bill Clinton – the man who appointed him – was a terrible one because Clinton’s scandals made him a constant target of FBI investigations.

In another revelation, Freeh says the former president let down the American people and the families of victims of the Khobar Towers terror attack in Saudi Arabia. After promising to bring to justice those responsible for the bombing that killed 19 and injured hundreds, Freeh says Clinton refused to personally ask Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah to allow the FBI to question bombing suspects the kingdom had in custody – the only way the bureau could secure the interviews, according to Freeh. Freeh writes in the book, “Bill Clinton raised the subject only to tell the crown prince that he understood the Saudis’ reluctance to cooperate and then he hit Abdullah up for a contribution to the Clinton Presidential Library.” Says Freeh, “That’s a fact that I am reporting.”

Freeh says he was determined to stay on as FBI director until President Clinton left office so that Clinton could not appoint his successor. “I was concerned about who he would put in there as FBI director because he had expressed antipathy for the FBI, for the director,” he tells (Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes). “[So] I was going to stay there and make sure he couldn’t replace me,” Freeh tells Wallace.

This revelation is not really a surprise. However, the book and discussions about it should be interesting.

Clinton's "fight" against terror is upsetting. It makes one wonder how many other people died so that he could get money for his library. Also, I wonder if this will have any impact on the campaign of the next Democratic presidential nominee, who is still rumored to be married to the former president.

Maybe Bush can be blamed.

Posted by GM Roper at 04:30 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Don't Play Golf with Ronnie Earle

If you're playing golf with someone and he hits his first drive far left and out-of-bounds, he might take a mulligan or another shot without counting the first. That's what Ronnie Earle did when his first indictment of Tom Delay turned out to be so flawed that it would not even go to trial. Mulligans are not allowed in serious golf, but Earle is an amateur. But, Earle claimed that, after two years, he didn't have all the information and this shouldn't count.

His second shot was a complete miss--over which Earle lost his temper. In addition, Earle didn't record this on his scorecard at the time, because no one was looking.

Then, he took a third shot that he liked and wants to play that ball. Are we going to have to go through this on every hole?

Mr. Earle won the initial indictment on the last day of the first grand jury, failed to win the second indictment on the last day of the second grand jury, then won two more indictments on the first day of the third grand jury.

Now, there's even more. It's about the foreman of the grand jury that indicted Delay (think of him as a course official who interprets the rules.) The foreman, or rules official, admitted that he didn't vote to indict Delay based on any evidence presented but he did so because he didn't like Delay's campaign ads. I kid you not. This is from the foreman!

Enough is enough from Ronnie Earle. This guy cheats, he tries to improve his lies, he takes strokes that he doesn't record, he throws his golf clubs if he doesn't get his ruling, he uses officials who have never read the rules book, and he's plays from the white tees when the others play from the blue ones. Don't play golf with him.

Since Ronnie Earle is from Texas, he should know something about "Texas Rules." Those familiar with golf will know that "Texas Rules" state that if your drive fails to get past the red tees, then you're supposed to (how to delicately put this) "pull out" for the rest of the hole. His first drive went no where, he completely missed with the second one, and his third one was so weak that it barely rolled off the tee and is short of the red tees--and, he may pick that one up, yet. In fairness, Mr. Earle, maybe you should "pull out."

Posted by GM Roper at 02:00 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)

Bottom of the Ninth: Bush Signals for Rookie Over Experienced Closers

The Supreme Team needs a strong closer to seal a victory over activists who use the bench to legislate. We've gone through eight with mixed results, and this is the ninth position in the decisive inning. In this situation, would you pick someone who can slam the door on the opponent or bring in someone whom no one has seen outside of the minors? How does political analyst and baseball expert George Will call this?

If 100 such people had been asked to list 100 individuals who have given evidence of the reflectiveness and excellence requisite in a justice, Miers's name probably would not have appeared in any of the 10,000 places on those lists.

Uh, oh. Bush picked the rookie--a suspect righty, even though there were strong closers warmed up. The other side has a line up of heavy hitters who bat from the left. We might be overmatched. And, to think that Bush used to be a managing partner of the Texas Rangers ball club.

Posted by GM Roper at 01:50 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Bono to Tour with Jimmy Carter?

Nothing takes the prize like sharing the stage with Jimmy Carter.

U2 frontman Bono and singer/activist Bob Geldof are among the favorites to win the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize. ...The two musicians are nominated for their work to relieve poverty and hunger in Africa, including the organization of this year's massive series of Live 8 concerts.

Good luck to these musicians. Because of their efforts, hunger and poverty in Africa have been eliminated for all time. Does this mean that Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF funds can be kept in the U.S. to help Katrina victims?

Posted by GM Roper at 01:40 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

U.N. Wants Control of Internet: You Think AOL Is Bad

This is some appreciation for you. Al Gore, an American (he claims) invents the internet, and now countries of the world want to take control of the internet away from the U.S.

A number of countries represented in Geneva, including Brazil, China, Cuba, Iran and several African states, insisted the US give up control, but it refused. The meeting "was going nowhere", Hendon says, and so the EU took a bold step and proposed two stark changes: a new forum that would decide public policy, and a "cooperation model" comprising governments that would be in overall charge.

(N)ow the world's governments are expected to agree a deal to award themselves ultimate control. It will be officially raised at a UN summit of world leaders next month and, faced with international consensus, there is little the US government can do but acquiesce.

If you think that the U.N. does a good job in most everything, is efficient, won't find a way to tax the internet, and won't allow China to censor it--then you'll be happy with this news. For those of us who like the U.S running it the way it is, this could be bad news.

Posted by GM Roper at 01:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

G.M. Will Return Tomorrow -- None Too Soon

There is good news on the horizon. G.M. will return from his conference on Friday and will resume his postings--putting a stop to this nonsense and saving the reputation of this site. Thanks for putting up with me this week and don't blame G.M. for anything that you read.

Posted by GM Roper at 01:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Yesterday Was a Bad Day



Yesterday posting was light because I had something very important to attend. However, the day didn't go so well.

First, to the guy in the white truck going down the Perimeter at less than 50 MPH in the left lane... Thanks a lot for backing up traffic. I know it must be hard to notice everyone stacked up behind you and then passing you on the right at much greater speeds. Don't worry that all of us had somewhere to go.

To the lady at the bank... It shouldn't take ten minutes to process each transaction. But, it was nice of the bank to hire you after the tag office fired you for slowness--which was a first. Next time I'll be more careful not to make your work complicated by asking for cash back.

To the police directing traffic at the ball game... I have great respect for your position and authority. I wish that you did. Next time that you are asked to direct traffic, please ask for another assignment. When there are three directions that drivers can go and one of them is the absolute worst, don't force every one to go that way.

To the residents of the subdivision where all of us had to make U-turns because the police misrouted us... I'm sorry. But, I wasn't the one that ran over the curb and over your flowers. Send the bill to city hall.

To the Atlanta Braves, and this is the reason for my attitude... Why, why, why do you do this to your fans every year? We buy the tickets, attend the games, and root for you. You have a good year and win the division (fourteen in a row), and then in post season you fall apart and proceed to play like a farm club instead of a major league team. One World Series championship in fourteen post-seasons, and that was ten years ago. The only bright spot in your getting eliminated early is that we get our ticket refunds just in time for Christmas. Last night our starter hit an Astros batter. It couldn't have been on purpose, because if the pitcher was aiming at him then he would have missed him. Smoltz goes against Clemens tonight. I don't know if I can watch. One good thing from this. If FEMA needs to evacuate 30,000 people rapidly, put the Braves in charge. They emptied the stadium in ten minutes after giving up five runs in the eighth. Think what they could have done for New Orleans.

My condolences also go to G.M. for the poor play of the Boston Red Sox. (At least the Yankees got beat.) This will end badly for us or be among the greatest comebacks ever.


Posted by GM Roper at 11:00 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

October 05, 2005

Who Is This Man and Should We Be Worried?


"My fellow Americans. I come to you with a heavy heart."

Brings back bad memories for some of us who remember the 1960's.

In the last post I made reference to the similarities between two Texans who became president and whose budget skills seem similar. Now, I have found this recent picture of President Bush, which shows that he might be metamorphosing into LBJ--unless we can do something about it. Maybe if you believe in Republicans and everyone claps his hands really loud, the President will come to life again as the conservative that we knew him to be. On the other hand, if you don't believe in fairies and fairy tales, then let the Republican Party know of your concern to help hold the party together.

Original Source for Credit Unknown
Found at Whisky Bar

Posted by GM Roper at 01:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

"Lyndon Baines" Bush Upsets Conservatives and Threatens Party Prospects

I have potential bad news. Conservatives and Republicans are beginning to act like liberals and Democrats. No, they're not smoking dope and fixing elections. Rather, philosophical differences could divide the Republican Party, like differences of the left divided the Democrats and cost them political influence.

Many conservative Republicans who donated their time and money to elect President Bush are not pleased at his departures from typical conservative goals. Conservatives in general like smaller government and less government spending. Conservatives tend to be pro-life and want to know that Supreme Court nominees have expressed clear support for that issue. Yet, President Bush continues to disappoint them. In addition, many compare Bush to LBJ, who turned up the treasury printing press for "guns and butter"--in his case, the Viet Nam war and the Great Society. If there is any valid comparison of the war in Iraq with Viet Nam, it may be on this point of thinking we can have it all. But, I don't want a return of inflation and increasing government debt that can result. Essentially, what we've seen is that President Bush ran on a conservative platform but only pays it lip service, and this has been causing cracks in his party since he was re-elected.

This, of course, will likely have the result of dampening enthusiasm of conservatives, who would give up on their efforts to re-elect Republicans and just go back to working, raising kids, and other things for which there are greater rewards and less frustration. The party would be divided and become the minority party again. That's a real and serious danger.

For several days I was thinking about an article in The Economist, which first addresses the Delay indictments, but goes on to explain the tensions and realignments of conservatives, which is the point of this entry. After the latest Supreme Court nomination, the divisions reported by this article become more real.

This is something that conservatives and the Republicans really need to address to avoid a similar fate of the Democrats, where those in the mainstream were replaced by the Move-On radicals. Here are some excerpts from that article, but you need to read the entire story for more explanation of each point.

Today the conservative movement is in turmoil. Different types of conservatives are at each other’s throats. Everybody is hurling opprobrium at the president. David Brooks, a conservative columnist on the New York Times, recently declared that he sometimes wonders whether Mr Bush is a Manchurian candidate—sent to discredit conservatism.

The loudest howls are coming from small-government conservatives who are furious with Mr Bush’s loose spending. But business conservatives are furious about his love-affair with the religious right and traditional conservatives are furious about his commitment of blood and treasure to the Iraq war.

These rows are particularly dangerous because they reflect long-standing tensions within the conservative movement:
• Small-government conservatives v big-government conservatives.
• Conservatives of faith v conservatives of doubt.
• Insurgent conservatives v establishment conservatives.
• Business conservatives v religious conservatives.
• Neo-conservatives v traditional conservatives.

Predictions of the demise of American conservatism are almost as old as the movement. It survived both Watergate and Bill Clinton. Emmett Tyrell, the editor of the American Spectator, published “The Conservative Crack-up” in 1992. So much of the right’s power lies outside the administration and Congress—in its domination of the intellectual agenda for instance—that it is seldom down for long.

The Democrats show few signs that they have the wind in their sails. Their handling of John Roberts’s nomination to the Supreme Court has been dismal. Neither Harry Reid, the minority leader in the Senate, nor Nancy Pelosi, the minority leader in the House, is likely to set the world on fire. Moveon.org types want to drag the party to the left; Clintonistas want to pull it to the centre. America has two dysfunctional parties.

But Mr Bush’s recent problems do raise one important possibility: that of a realignment on the right. The fact that the Bush machine is running out of steam makes it much less likely that he will be able to determine his successor. This creates opportunities for very different sorts of conservatives who are waiting in the wings.

Will Bush continue on his path of appeasing the left and ignoring his conservative base, and what effect will that have in the next election? Why is he doing this? I don't know if he lacks commitment or doesn't have the fight in him to stand up for his base. But, if something isn't done to mend the cracks within the party, look for the Democrats to regain control of Congress and, possibly, the presidency. It may not matter, though, because with the White House over-spending and increasing the size of government, there doesn't seem to be a lot of difference between the parties. Who, if anyone, will step up to save the party and its movement?

Posted by GM Roper at 12:20 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

October 04, 2005

Take the Citizenship Test - Are You a Model Citizen?

I'm not one to turn down taking a quiz, and I was anxious to take a sample U.S. Citizenship Test to prove to myself that I'm a good citizen--as least as far as knowing about our country including our laws and our history. I took multiple tests until I answered all the questions correctly--on the third try. However, things fell apart when I expanded the exercise and took the test to find out if I was a good global citizen.

Here is my first test.

You Passed the US Citizenship Test

Congratulations - you got 9 out of 10 correct!

Could You Pass the US Citizenship Test?

They didn't tell me what I missed, so I moved on to another one with higher hopes. Here is my second try using a different test but with the same result.

U.S. Citizenship Test: Could You Pass?
Way to Go! You got 10/11 correct.

Not being a quitter, I took an even different test and passed with 100% correct. As it states, I am a model citizen!

PBS Citizenship Test
Your Score: 10 out of 10 — Congratulations! You're a model citizen.

See! "I am the very model of a modern major-citizen!"

Getting confident, I took the next step and took a quiz to find if I was a model global citizen, too! How could I miss? I'm a model citizen for the greatest country on Earth, so that makes me a shoe-in for the world. But, it didn't go so well.

Global Citizenship Quiz
Quiz Completed: You answered 3 questions correctly out of 10.

What! Well, what I found was that I didn't understand the formula for answering questions. That's not fair, because I didn't know that to be a model global citizen that I had to answer questions in a way so as to put down the U.S., and that answers for world problems were the highest numbers--like the number of people afflicted with disease or the dollars spent on weapons instead of peace. I could have gotten those had I subscribed to and could read French newspapers. I'm not going to embarrass myself and tell you how I did on the "Peace Quiz."

Anyway, you may want to try one of the quizzes and find out if you're a model U.S. citizen, like me. (As a hint, before you start, be sure that you know the year the Constitution was adopted.) If you are curious or you've just slipped past the border patrol and want to become a U.S. citizen, here's the official government site for a self-test.

Now, I'm going to try the Environmental Quiz. I hope they have something on global warming, because I know everything about that from two posts earlier. I'm sure to be a Model Environmentalist!

Posted by GM Roper at 12:10 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

October 03, 2005

If Humor = Intelligence and Left = Laughs, then why is the left so dumb?

A Russian physicist discovered a formula for laughter and concluded that "a sense of humor is a strong male quality, a sign of good intellect."

"A sense of humor is a strong male quality. It is a sign of good intellect. Evolution stakes precisely on the intellect since a smart fellow has more chances of survival. That is why a sense of humor can be a much bigger sign of masculinity than the pumped-up muscles. Needless to say, I'm talking about the subconscious level of perception."

Well, I don't know if this proves that the left is intelligent, but they sure do make me laugh a lot.

Hey, do you know why the chicken crossed the road?
To show the possum that it could be done.

Okay, maybe I need to work on my muscles instead.

Posted by GM Roper at 11:00 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Cool Off on Global Warming: Separate Science and Politics

Every day we hear some politician, some activist, and some so-called scientist claiming that the Earth is warming because of human activity and that we better do something about it fast--like blame the U.S. and destroy its economy. Now, I enjoy science and I enjoy politics, but they are better enjoyed separately than together, because politics has a way of tainting real science. This is the case of combining global warming studies with the Kyoto Protocol and with government grants. Isn't it better to understand Earth's climate changes and cycles than to jump to false conclusions and waste billions of dollars and destroy jobs?

I'm not going to take the space to address both sides of the argument. There is plenty of information on the internet if you want to research it. However, I will suggest that everyone who wants the truth about global warming and its causes should be skeptical of alarmists and of scientists with an agenda and who depend upon government grants. They might be right, but they might not be. If they're not, the costs are very, very high.

Hang with me, but let's have a brief science lesson. Consider that the Earth has had four major ice ages and within those ice ages we have cycles of cooling and warming every 40,000 to 100,000 years. Ice ages are affected by atmospheric composition, changes in the Earth's orbit around the Sun, and the arrangement of the continents. Short-term changes can be influenced by cycles of the Sun.

The last glacial period, where a major ice sheet covered northern North American and most of Europe, was 11,000 years ago. In addition, there was "The Little Ice Age" from the 14th to 19th centuries, which was characterized by very cold winters, cool summers, severe storms, and crop failures. In fact, in 1780 New York Harbor froze and you could walk from Manhattan to Staten Island. So, where are we going?

Well, it appears to me that the warming and cooling of the planet are influenced by greater factors than just man, and that what we're experiencing in climate changes can be explained by laws of nature more than misdeeds of mankind. The following map of North America shows the extent of the last glacial age and the retreat of the ice sheet over the last 11,000 years. If it wasn't for that retreat, then the Chicago Bulls would have to play in Mississippi. But, seriously, study the map and determine how man affected this climate change. Could he have?

N.A. Ice Sheet Shrinks.gif

Retreat of North American Ice Sheet

Source: Illinois State Museum

In addition to this small map above, you may want to view a larger animated map of the glacial retreat at this site of The University of Oregon. It is interesting to pay additional attention to the changes in the coastlines and lakes as the ice sheet melted.

Bottom line. It takes a giant leap of faith or a giant political agenda to ignore that warming trends are part of the normal cycles that the Earth has experienced for millenniums. So, before you jump on the Kyoto bandwagon, consider all the evidence and consider the consequences of a bad decision--either way. We need government leaders to continue to oppose dragging the U.S. into a bad treaty, and the rest of the world should wake up. The money being wasted to insignificantly affect Earth's temperatures can be better used in ways to really help the Earth and mankind.

Posted by GM Roper at 12:10 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (1)

October 02, 2005

Visitor Appreciation Week - 50,000 Visitors Reached [WE HAVE A WINNER!]

GM started "GM's Corner" last November to great fanfare and about ten congratulating visitors that day. The site picked up a few more readers since then, and in June after seven months we reached the 10,000 visitor milestone. Now, we admit that larger sites get that much in an hour, but that was big news for us, and we appreciate every single visitor. Now, after just three more months, the site has reached 50,000 visitors. There's not enough that we can say to everyone who comes here and shares the site with us. All of you have taught us, inspired us, made us laugh, some made us roll our eyes (and your know who you are), but all have become part of our family. Thank you for participating with us and for coming back.

Now, G.M. is gone until Friday and has left it up to me to manage the site, and I want to make this week special. He didn't say that I was on a budget, but if I used 100% of what I've been paid, then that still comes to zero. Despite that, I am proclaiming this "Visitor Appreciation Week" and will be cleaning out my desk and closet for valuable prizes--if I can think up some contests on which to use them.

Maybe as a simple start, can you guess how many entries have been posted by G.M. and me up to and including this one? The first one with the correct answer or whoever gets closest will winnnnn...let me see what's in this drawer...okay!--an authentic Atlanta Braves foam tomahawk suitable for cheering the team or as a pin cushion if you like the Mets.

Tomahawk Chop.gif

Here's a hint. The answer approximates 100 visitors per entry. If we do well with this one, we'll try some more.

Thanks for visiting and for all you do to make GM's Corner what it is! Oh yeah, and Go Braves!

UPDATE: The answer, as also posted in the comment section, was 543 entries. Congratulations to the winner and thanks to the others for participating.

Posted by GM Roper at 12:20 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

October 01, 2005

The Truth, But Not The Whole Truth!

Remember this photograph so prominently displayed by the San Francisco Chronicle but picked up by other organizations?


Click on the picture to get the WHOLE story sans any attempt at lying by telling a partial truth.

Now, tell me again how the MSM isn't biased?

A Tip of the GM Chapeaux to Polipundit

Posted by GM Roper at 11:46 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack (1)

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