Tuesday, June 30, 2009

72 Hours

The most open, transparent, and ethical government in the history of the universe talks a good game, but really isn't delivering on the promise that the American people (and, incidentally, members of Congress) ought to have enough time to read legislation before it's voted on.

LetFreedomRing is promoting a pledge for MOC's on any future health insurance bill, asking (1) That the member read the bill, and (2) that the bill be available for 72 hours before voting.

It's a pretty simple pledge. I don't know how long it's been up, but as of right now there are only three legislators who have agreed.

But this goes way beyond a health insurance scheme, or the stimulus, or the cap & trade bill. And though Democrats have been particularly egregious offenders as of late, it goes beyond party and administration.


All bills should be out for 72 hours before voting. The only reason to avoid doing so is obfuscation and deceit.

Is it not a member's Constitutional duty to know what exactly it is he's voting on?

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Enduring Tragedy of Michael Jackson - The Kids

This piece is a little bit out of my comfort zone as somebody who is neither a celebrity-watcher nor a Catholic. Here, I cite the Vatican against Michael Jackson and ex-wife Debbie Rowe. Consider yourself warned.

I found myself disgusted with one-time Michael Jackson wife Debbie Rowe after reading the News of the World interview (since removed from the website, summary here) in which she stated her complete disregard for the children she bore. According to the NOTW interview, Rowe claims Jackson wasn’t the biological father of her children, that she was artificially inseminated through an anonymous donor, that their marriage was a loveless, sexless facade, and that the children were “gifts” to Michael Jackson.

The AceShowBiz blog, citing NOTW:
"Michael was divorced, lonely and wanted children. I was the one who said to him, 'I will have your babies'," she testifies. "I offered him my womb - it was a gift. It was something I did to keep him happy." Debbie opens up further, "I was just the vessel. It wasn't Michael's sperm. I got paid for it, and I've moved on. I know I will never see my children again."

"But after the second birth had so many problems, he knew I couldn't have kids any more. He didn't want anything to do with me. He took the kids," she goes on revealing. "The settlement was written up, and he just wanted me to be quiet."

Rowe further stated, “I know I will never see them again. I was never cut out to be a mother - I was no good. I don't want these children in my life.”

Now, regardless of one’s view of the Catholic church or any specific teaching of the Vatican, the Church has established the grounds for debate on any number of theological and moral issues. It is simply impossible to discuss certain topics without bumping into arguments established by the Catholic framework.

And so I find myself reading Humanae Vitae (regarding contraception), and then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s Instruction on Respect for Human Life, in which in vitro fertilization and artificial insemination are argued against.

Humanae Vitae, Section 17:
Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.

“...a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires...” - Though in a clearly different context, this is exactly what Rowe was for Jackson. And certainly without any “care and affection”.

In his Instruction, Ratzinger laid out a number of situational categories of fertility treatments for analysis. Though he ultimately bars any IVF, he is not unaware of the noble desire of loving, “conjugal” married couples to have children. Nevertheless, the prohibition is absolute.

Ratzinger (Section II-4(c)):
Only respect for the link between the meanings of the conjugal act and respect for the unity of the human being make possible procreation in conformity with the dignity of the person. In his unique and irrepeatable origin, the child must be respected and recognized as equal in personal dignity to those who give him life. The human person must be accepted in his parents' act of union and love; the generation of a child must therefore be the fruit of that mutual giving (45) which is realized in the conjugal act wherein the spouses cooperate as servants and not as masters in the work of the Creator who is Love. In reality, the origin of a human person is the result of an act of giving. The one conceived must be the fruit of his parents' love. He cannot be desired or conceived as the product of an intervention of medical or biological techniques; that would be equivalent to reducing him to an object of scientific technology. No one may subject the coming of a child into the world to conditions of technical efficiency which are to be evaluated according to standards of control and dominion. The moral relevance of the link between the meanings of the conjugal act and between the goods of marriage, as well as the unity of the human being and the dignity of his origin, demand that the procreation of a human person be brought about as the fruit of the conjugal act specific to the love between spouses... [italics in original]

As stated before, I’m not Catholic. I’m not even necessarily opposed to IVF or artificial insemination. But I do find the Church’s moral framework to be informative, if perhaps not definitive.

As a recently disgraced Governor has learned, “God’s law is indeed there to protect you from yourself, and there are consequences if you breach that.” Cavalier relativists often say rules are meant to be broken. For those of us trying to live somewhere between absolutism and chaos, I prefer the maxim “know why you are breaking the rule.”

In analyzing the Jackson-Rowe union, it seems they broke all the rules for all the wrong reasons. We are confronted with the fact that their relationship was neither loving nor conjugal. It had no apparent redeeming moral value. Both Jackson and Rowe blithely violated Kant’s categorical imperative against using other people as mere means. They each used each other, and they used Rowe’s children. And indeed, there are consequences for that.

Rowe has no interest in her own children. Words cannot express my disgust, but there should be little wonder about how everything turned out so wrong.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Quote of the Day: New York

From the NY Post's "I can't believe I'm sitting next to a Republican!: How to survive as a conservative in New York City":
My own little town, Hastings-on-Hudson, is in most ways as attractive as the name suggests, a leafy suburban enclave for the most part populated with kind-hearted and generous souls. But a word of warning: Don't get into politics. To say Hastings is liberal is like saying Saudi Arabia is Muslim.

Friday, June 26, 2009

We are the transparency we've been waiting for

The most ethical, transparent government in the history of the universe dropped a 310 page amendment to the Cap&Trade bill at 1:34am today (Friday), the day it is intended to be voted on. (PDF)

This sort of thing has been done in Washington for years, but on a monster job-killing bill like this, this is a very dangerous intersection of arrogance and abuse of power.

I saw an administration lackey on the boob-tube this morning and she claimed she "didn't understand" the objections to the bill. Yeah, I can see how it would be hard to understand how taxing virtually every good and service in the nation might lead to some economic concerns. Good Lord, we're screwed.

Is this what the American people voted for?

EDIT - Apparently there wasn't even an official physical copy of the bill in the House chamber, and the bill itself had a placeholder in it. It was literally impossible to know what they were voting on because it was going to change after passage.

EDIT 2 - I find it interesting that the high volume of "no" calls actually crashed the House's phone system, yet they still passed it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

I'm not a father, but I did get a gift of sorts today.

My grandfather has advanced Alzheimer's disease and is barely verbal. Ask him a question and you'll likely get a "yes". Did you like that ice cream? Yeah. Would you like to stick a cockroach in your nose? Yeah. There was a time when it seemed like he recognized me, but those times seem to be gone now.

Dad and I went to visit him today, and I got a whole sentence out of him. He grabbed my hand, looked at me, smiled, and asked "How ya doin', old buddy?"

Awesome Father's Day.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Round-up: #CNNFail edition

a.k.a. stuff I saw on the internet today

(1) Is Charlie Dent squishy on the supplemental? RedState thinks he might be.

(2) #CnnFail - Didja notice the utter lack of coverage this weekend about the Iranian election? (I guess that should be "election".) Twitter has finally found an honest-to-goodness use in propagating information on Iran. Find out how to get more timely info here and read about the pros and cons of Twitter as a news source on the HotAir blog.

(3) DDOS is evil. "Don't" DDOS any of the Iranian establishment websites.

(4) I'm pretty sure this is a sign of the apocalypse, the "anti-stab" knife goes on sale in Britain. (H/t to Eddie at DPUD) Good grief.

(5) The Northeastern sub-species of Republican may not be dead after all, or so says some poli-sci prof.

(6) Tea party organizer launches Senate bid in Arkansas.

Quote of the Day: The Godfather

Robert "The Other" McCain gives us this insightful and amusing Godfather-inspired look at the Crist/Rubio NRSC dust-up:
The desire of leading Republicans to recover their power -- their influence, their prestige in Washington -- is perfectly understandable. Like Fredo, however, the Beltway GOP leadership is weak, stupid and cowardly, seeking to curry favor with an implacable enemy by disrespecting their own family.

(h/t Nate Benefield)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Katharine Zaleski is reprehensible

Katharine Zaleski is a Senior Editor at the Huffington Post, and a very evil and deranged person.

She and Amanda Carpenter of the Washington Times were on MSNBC to discuss the Palin/Letterman imbroglio when Zaleski went full-moonbat crazy.

This garbage about Palin and other conservatives inciting the von Brunn shooting at the Holocaust museum goes way beyond any lines of decency. This is over and above Letterman's ill-considered jokes.

Zaleski isn't the only one to blindly insinuate von Brunn was a "right wing" extremist -- an idea that is totally absurd given Brunn's background as a 9/11 Truther, Christian-hating, anti-Semitic, anti-Bush, anti-neo-conservative, neo-Nazi who may have been gunning for The Weekly Standard -- but this banshee, Zaleski, has sunk to unfathomable depths of depravity with these accusations of incitement.

Zaleski represents the most repugnant aspects of the activist Leftist shout-down shut-up "journalism", and she should never work at any respectable media outlet. Fortunately neither the Huffington Post nor MSNBC qualifies.

I should probably stop writing now before I get accused of saying something incitive.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Round-up: Coke Zero Edition

(1) Fight socialism, drink Coke Zero! Hugo Chavez has banned the tasty beverage from Venezuela for "health" reasons.

(2) Obama is going to take away your gun knife! "They are saying that any knife that you can open quickly or any knife that you can open with one hand is therefore a switchblade."

(3) The obligatory mention.... The AMA has come out against the public health plan option:
"The A.M.A. does not believe that creating a public health insurance option for non-disabled individuals under age 65 is the best way to expand health insurance coverage and lower costs. The introduction of a new public plan threatens to restrict patient choice by driving out private insurers, which currently provide coverage for nearly 70 percent of Americans."

(4) Obama is Mirandizing terror suspects. This used to be a punch line, now it's real.

We're shifting back to a law-enforcement model for terrorism. Awesome. That worked out so well before...

(5) Oh noes! Not a non-binding shareholder vote on compensation!

What a joke! How about fixing corporate governance laws so shareholders can decide this or any other issue without special say-so from the government? This is a band-aid on the gunshot wound of shareholder rights.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Intertubes Mini Round-up

Just three items (so far) today...

(1) Rasmussen - "62% Say Obama Should Not Meet With Iran Until It Stops Nuclear Weapons Program"

I'm sorry, what?! That necessarily includes a lot of Obama voters.

Let's see what happens in the upcoming Iranian elections and ask the question later.

(2) Bob Smith, go home. Nobody cares about you, you gasbag.

(3) New source of amusement and/or fear for the future of the nation: "Spotted: DC Summer Interns".

I don't want to believe these interns are that stupid, but I do believe it.

Added --- Be sure to check out Ed-vs-Ted and the Ed/Ted redux posts, if nothing else.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Quote of the Day: Obamaesque

From a conservative who infiltrated a myBO health plan meeting:
As the discussion began, the meetings participants immediately began firing off questions about the details of the health care plan to Sandra and the other woman who was leading the event. For all of their enthusiasm these group leaders were completely incapable of describing the particulars of the Obama plan in any coherent way. What they did understand however was that Obama’s “public option”, the government run insurance program that Obama wants to create to compete with the private insurance companies, was the first step towards the entitlement that almost everyone in that room (based on the raising of hands at the beginning of the meeting) was really longing for. That being a European style “single payer” health care system. They also understood that part of their job as grassroots activist promoting the plan was to ensure people that the plan was not going to result in “single payer”. How Obamaesque.

Social issues hurt party

... the Democrats in NY, that is, who lost back the NY State Senate to the Republicans, who for some bizarre reason have traditionally controlled the body in recent years.

When will the Democrats learn to be less radical and more moderate in their social stances?</snark>

Friday, June 05, 2009

Intertubes Round-up

(1) Pelosi's favorability profile is comparable to Cheney's. Heh. I noticed the press stopped dogging Cheney for about 24 hours or so when he endorsed a federalist version of same sex marriage. The press quickly recovered from their shock and started beating on him again just as before. (He's still Darth Cheney, right? Yeah. Ok, good -- Carry on.)

(2) - Fascism! Barney Frank managed to get Government Motors to reconsider closing the plant in his district. Some animals are more equal than others, and GM won't be "run by the government". Sure.

(3) Soto -- I still expect Sotomayor to be confirmed, but it's interesting to see that this "wise Latina" stuff has some legs. Shame on Obama for trying to gloss over her remarks as an off-the-cuff misstatement when they were prepared ahead of time and delivered in some form or another over a period of years.

I don't particularly care that she was for Puerto Rican independence --that's a thorny subject and I don't have a strong opinion about it--, but I am a little put off by her persistent use of "North American Congress".

(4) I haven't said much about the so-called "torture memos" and the scrum between Cheney and the ex-CIA chiefs' claims that EITs worked and the few CIA employees who say they didn't work and weren't necessary. With more GOPers claiming they were in fact briefed on successful EITs, it's getting harder and harder for Democrats to claim they've proven a negative, which is always a hard thing to do even if you're right.

Since Nancy Pelosi is obviously a terrible, terrible liar, it's clear that she really believes all the other garbage she spews. And that is a scary thought.

(5) This chart has gone totally viral, but I'll share it anyway. This is what the Obama folks put out to try to sell the stimulus bill, and the red dots are what has actually happened to unemployment according to official numbers.

I think we all knew the passage of the porkulus bill -- which still hasn't been spent significantly -- wouldn't cause unemployment to miraculously turn on a dime. (Is it actually having the opposite effect?) It's like the liars at the White House aren't even trying to be credible. At least there weren't any unicorns on the chart.

Thursday, June 04, 2009


Some (even on the right) are saying Obama gave a pretty good speech. Others are considerably less generous. (transcript) I just don't see much to get excited about one way or the other.

Sure he glossed over finer aspects of "the religion of peace", and turned the Barbary wars on their head, and implicitly suggested Thomas Jefferson had been sympathetic to Islam, but that's not too different from what Dubya would have done. Anybody could nit-pick this speech to death. But overall, he didn't say much that hasn't been said before, and most of it will be ignored and irrelevant by next week.

Obama's relying on the idea that he's the one delivering it. (And he's also trying to fulfill a campaign pledge to give such an address.) This is where the rubber hits the road on The One's ability to get things done with diplomacy. Color me skeptical.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Quote of the Day: Satriani

Matt Lewis:

During the 90s, it was often written that Bill Clinton was almost as good at communicating as The Great Communicator. To be sure, Bill Clinton was a gifted orator, but other than, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" and "the era of big government is over," it's hard to remember anything he said. In this regard, he's sort of like a great guitarist such as Yngwie Malmsteen or Joe Satriani. They are technically great players, but nobody has ever had one of their songs stuck in their head. Contrast that with George Harrison, who was not a great player, but could write a catchy riff. Well, Ronald Reagan had a million memorable and substantive lines -- not the least of which was, "Tear down this wall!"