January 27, 2005 - January 20, 2005
Thursday, January 27, 2005
Hitler was Crazy --
And how could anyone have known that way back when he first got elected chancellor?
Michelle Malkin pointed out that there was a BLOGBURST
underway to remind people of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz -- see
world leaders at Auschwitz.
in the BLOGBURST don't seem to be participating, or perhaps we
just looked too early. Our cursory review found few posts on the topic, but, like we said, maybe we've
looked too early.
Hopefully, you won't be taking history so lightly to avoid consideration of what all this might
mean for us today. Like, how is it that a civilized country began to behave in such a manner? A manner that
everyone seems to simply want to forget and demonstrates what governments are capable of doing to us. The
insistence by some
that Democracies have never attacked one another seems to be putting
too fine a point on the definition of democracy.
Do not miss our headline link
today sporting additional links for your edification.
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Working the List
Somebody throw Grey
Beard a line. Maybe you could stop by and wish him well or lay some of your hard earned lessons
learned on him. All we can say is don't be afraid to do something you want to do -- creditors and
detractors be damned.
A Meaningless Random Accident
Clearing snow can get you killed -- or, at least, shot. PhillyBurbs.com
is reporting that a man was carrying a two-shot Derringer when it accidently dishcarged a round into his chest while
he was working the snow blower.
Come on fellas, check those guns while your doing the heavy lifting of snow removal. Or, move some place warm.
The Will of the People -- meaning their feelings
If you're going to address your critics, you may as well pick on the weakest nitwits and the bunch that can't
help but use the most vitriolic language and character assassination. That way it is easy to dismiss
This is the approach Mr. Boortz chose to use
in dealing with his nonsense comments
about the permanent unemployment of smokers -- as a class.
Of course, he did not address the
real concerns raised
by our own InstaPunk. Why? That would have required more thought and more than the 300 words
he dedicated to defending himself against his critics -- especially since his own site's pool showed
that 65% of respondents disagreed with him.
Get yourself a box of fine cigars or a carton of
enjoy one of life's simple pleasures (may we
suggest this). And, if
you can't smoke in the work house, take up the ghastly habit of chewing
tobacco. You can spit in a coffee mug and who will be the wiser. If it gets disgusting enough, maybe
they'll welcome smokers back into the office.
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Chipping Away at a Hot Potato -- see Yanks.20.9-10
We first heard of The
Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act (S.2466
and today, The Washington
Times is reporting
that the Bush Administration is going to support the measure. Chip . . . Chip . . . Chip.
The Hypocrite Dumbass
Neal Boortz, Self-Important Nonsmoker
. Right-wing talk radio host Neal Boortz
is on his
high horse today. A news item about smokers caught his attention, and
he commented on it in his daily feature Nealz Nuze
morning on CNN Jack Cafferty was a bit exercised over reports that more
companies are not only refusing to hire smokers, they're firing
They're getting fired not for smoking on the job .. but for just being
smokers. Bad? No ... Good!
Neal likes being a provocateur, of course, and we take some of the
tirade that follows this opening with a grain of salt, but our native
inclination to let it go, as we do with so much of the antismoking
hysteria, was overturned by his weaseling conclusion to the piece:
So there. If you're a
smoker, don't direct your anger at
me. I'm not your problem. YOU are your problem.
to figure out why you hate yourself and why you're so bent on
self-destruction. I don't know the answer to that question.
do. Start figuring it out.
Uh uh, Neal. You don't get off that easy. Ostentatiously self-righteous
health choices are not synonymous with moral virtue, and risky
lifestyles are not synonymous with self hatred. They are a choice. Are
they an irrational and self-destructive choice? Perhaps. But it
shouldn't take a genius to realize that some people do not place a
higher value on longevity than on simple pleasures that accord with the
ancient ideal known as 'carpe diem.' As a libertarian who constantly
inveighs against the kind of statism that makes so many old people into
helpless chattels during their final ten or twenty years of life, Neal,
you should be able to understand that some of us would prefer to
live life on our own -- not your -- terms for 65 or 70 years rather
than stagger on into our nineties on a diet of veggies, Evian water,
and sugar-free chewing gum. Instead, you seem pretty intent on imposing
your own tediously mundane values on everyone else:
In Michigan Weyco, Inc. has a new
policy. They won't hire
smokers. They're also requiring all current employees undergo
see if they are currently smokers. Presumably this will be a step
firing all smokers. Employment lawyers says this reeks of
discrimination. Well, duh! Of course it's
discrimination against people with unhealthy lifestyles who are going
your health insurance costs even higher. [emphasis added]
It's discrimination against
people who have been shown to have poor work habits and higher absences
job. Oh .. and it's discrimination against the stupid and
ignorant ... and
people who stink. Now don't you think that these are all
reasons to discriminate?
Nothing like an argument for unregulated corporate despotism that's
built on a collectivist platform of "us good, you stink." Stalin would no
doubt approve the logic. As it happens, we agree that employers should
be able to hire and fire as they choose. This is not the same thing as
congratulating those who would fire all employees who are too fond of
the color lavender, have been known to play poker in their off-hours,
wear unfortunate colognes, or ride motorcycles on the weekends.
Intelligent libertarians know that not all the freedoms afforded by
their ideal form of government should be exercised. Most, if not all,
will be exercised, including the freedom to engage in risky behaviors
such as smoking -- and the persecution of unpopular minorities by those
who feel themselves superior to the Great Unwashed. Only hypocrite
libertarians commit the sin of arguing for the institutional
enforcement of their own prejudices via mechanisms created by a
welfare-state bureaucracy they elsewhere deplore.
Boortz's insurance discussion is an example of the latter kind of
argument. He says:
Just consider health insurance.
Unfortunately we have come to the point
in this country where it is expected that employers will take care of
the health care for their employees. This unfortunate situation
primary reason health care costs are seemingly out of control in this
but that's another subject for another sermon from the Church of the
Truth. If you, as the employer, are going to be responsible for
of your employee's health care then you should be allowed to select
and get rid of employees based on any aspects of their lifestyle that
unhealthy and, therefore, would cost you money.
This falls into the "two wrongs make a right" category of reasoning.
What, one wonders, would Boortz's position be if employers were not
responsible for the cost of their employees' health care? Presumably,
it would be the same: in a libertarian world, employers would still be
able to fire smokers because they don't like them. Therefore the health
insurance argument is a logically irrelevant disguise for the fact of
Boortz's prejudice. It's also an argument that's eerily reminiscent of
the decidedly anti-libertarian defense of motorcycle helmet laws.
Motorcyclists take the position that if they bash their heads in an
accident, they are hurting only themselves and have every right to
accept such risks. The healthcare bureaucrats counter that the virtuous
majority who do not ride motorcycles too often wind up paying the
treatment costs of head injuries suffered by cyclists who do not carry
enough insurance. This is an institutional argument which effectively
demonstrates that in an era of government-mandated safety nets, the
government owns every part of your body but your uterus (if you have
one). In the bad old days before doctors, hospitals, and insurance
companies locked their lips on the teats of government regulators, a
motorcyclist would have have been able to ride helmetless and
uninsured, and if he smashed his head on the pavement, a physician who
believed in the quaint language of the Hippocratic oath would have
treated him, and the cyclist or his surviving family would have been
morally obligated to make good on the debt to the doctor and the
hospital. Which of these scenarios better represents the libertarian
ideal? A vast incestuous network of government agencies and insurance
cartels which extort increasingly less individualistic behavior from
the herd -- or a society in which individuals really are free to accept
risks to life and limb that others prefer not to accept? Yet Boortz
asks us to accept the flimsy proposition that the right response to the
general loss of liberty in our society is further erosion of liberty
for those the elect(?) deem to be deficient in secular virtues like
But Boortz is at pains to gloss over the specious and totalitarian
heart of his position. He would have us believe that there is, in fact,
a valid market-based argument to be made as well. He asserts that:
Generally speaking, smokers simply aren't
as productive in the workplace as are non-smokers. They take more
frequent breaks (to do drugs,) and they're absent from work more often
due to illness.
And ... to cap it all off ... smokers
just aren't all that bright. In repeated trials smokers have
scored lower on intelligence tests than non-smokers. Smoking,
then, is an excellent way for you to get an immediate indication of who
has common sense, and who doesn't . OK .. I know that there are
exceptions, but across the board the rule holds. An employer who
has a policy of simply not hiring smokers, and getting rid of employees
who do smoke, is going to have a smarter, more capable workforce than
will an employer who hires these pathetic drug addicts.
Note that he is careful to use the word "trials" in preference to
"studies." Could this uncharacteristic (for Boortz) nicety of diction
be attributable to his own bent for railing against the various studies
undertaken by liberals to prove the existence of global warming, the
efficacy of affirmative action, and the correctness of innumerable
other progressive policy positions? We think so. He likes studies which
result in sweeping disparagement of those he disdains, regardless of
the fact that tobacco use has been the subject of frequent statistical
horseplay (ref. the fraudulent pseudo-research continually being
conducted to document the dangers of secondhand
smoke). He almost certainly doesn't like studies which disagree
with his views, such as the unwelcome finding that smoking is strongly
correlated with a reduced risk
of Alzheimer's. In this he's as much a hypocrite as the lefties
he's continually eviscerating in the carelessly written and punctuated
(though oxymoronically longwinded) apothegms of Neals Nuze.
And beyond that he is a
dumbass. Smokers less intelligent? Tell it to these
guys, Neal. But be prepared for the fact that some of them might
tell you a thing or two --
such as the idiocy of relying on math geeks to measure something as
subjective as productivity. If this prized commodity consisted only of
putting in hours at a desk, maybe there'd be more than smoke and
mirrors to your point. But productivity has to do not with hours served
but quality of output. Not to be rude about it, Neal, but you could
live to be 144 and you would not have been as productive as F. Scott
Fitzgerald, who gave us two truly great American novels before dying of
a heart attack at age 44. And don't try to tell us that no one in the
past knew that smoking wasn't healthy. Cigarettes were called "coffin
nails" all the way back in the twenties.
We can't wait to hear what you've got to say about lard-asses.
Heavens, to read your writing, one might suspect that you were some
kind of Adonis. Are you?
Oh. Well, shut up, then. So there.
Other thoughts on this story:
Ravenwood's Universe -- lists other dangerous employees.
Frizzen Sparks -- counting the lawsuit winnings.
UPDATE: One brave blogger commented on this post. Where is everybody else? And, don't miss Dave Hardy's spot on comment in the commentary section. You can see Dave's site here.
And, there is more talk:
My Way, My View, My Opinion
New England Republican -- who knew?
Dump Dick Durbin
Monday, January 24, 2005
Doing the Dirty Work
Blogs of War records the existence of 'Yoda' and it is worth a read.
Especially informative for those who would like to forget the type of people required to cut through
the web of international, Islamo-Facist, terrorism.
Don't Make Your Bed
Well, well, well. I knew it. Making your bed is really just making a nice
home for dust mites (you really have to see the picture). Horrible
creatures with horrible things for you and your family.
I have two children and a husband that have all been
in excellent health. I don't do all that much housework -- my daily routine includes leaving food out all
night, not making beds, and doing laundry only when absolutely necessary -- meaning, somebody has no clothes to
wear. You might call me a slob, but I always knew it was doing something that kept my family healthy. Now,
modern science is helping to explain the counter-intuitive results achieved through slovenly sloth that has been on
the lips of my detractors lo these many years. Thanks to The
Geek Press for calling this out.
Watching Too Much Television
Having been to a few March for Life rallies, the most striking thing about this 32nd Anniversary of the Roe v. Wade
decision by the U.S. Supreme Court (1/22/1973) is the number of elected representatives at this one. Usually the
speakers were made up of various firebrands from organizations involved in the pro-life movement with a video
message from some high profile politician. We remember Congressman Henry Hyde introducing himself as a 700+ month-old
fetus . . . but, elected legislators typically kept a low profile.
You can watch the rally on television via EWTN over your cable or satelite system -- or on-line at their
website. It started at 11:00 a.m. today and will be
on until around 5:00 p.m. today and
will be rebroadcast at 10:00 p.m. today and again on Saturday, January 29th, 2005 at 1:00 p.m. (all
If you're not doing anything, take a look. We're pretty sure you won't hear a word about this anywhere else
today. Maybe we're just too cynical.
The Chain Gang is watching the TV and taking notes.
Saturday, January 22, 2005
FREE! -- Porn Magic for You.
Urthshu points out an interesting article related to search
engines and internet traffic. So, as part of our little totally unscientific analysis, please have the
courage to leave us a comment on how you found this post and whether or not you read the referenced article
above. If you're feeling particularly philosophical, tell us what all this means. Or, you could just follow
our headline link for some illuminating commentary -- see 'Information Explosion.'
So, You Want to Have an Abortion . . .
January 22, 1973 -- Roe v. Wade. Today marks the 32nd anniversary of this great
decision by the
Supreme Court and there has been no up or down vote on the abortion issue from our fearless
legislators yet. That's right. For all their arguing and campaigning not a single member of
Congress or U.S. Senator has cast a vote for legal or illegal infanticide. Not Sen. Kennedy, not
Sen. Santorum, not Sen. Kerry, not any of them.
We thought it would be good to note that for those of you that think that some law has been
made one way or the other on the abortion issue. And, please don't write us about the 'Partial-Birth
Abortion Bill,' we know that got passed but that's really not the issue -- is it?
So, on this anniversary we thought we would direct you to some previous musings as you consider the
44,695,262 abortions that have been performed since this date in 1973 (See the Priests
for Life website -- the counter is near the bottom of the page and the number we use was
where it was at the time of this posting.) -- see The
Doorway by our own, RFLaird.
Our picture on the right is from the Show
the American people what an abortion is! section of the Priests for Life website. You should go there if you are
unfamiliar with this prevelant surgical procedure.
UPDATE: Thanks Michelle for the link.
Others are talking as well:
This is Life!
LaShawn Barber's Corner
Generation X -- see the site for the full title
Feministing.com -- real fun
Kill Them All from the UK
Right Thinking Girl
Sondra, born in 1981, thanks her 17 year-old mother for not aborting her.
Stand in the Trenches
Here's another guy that almost bought it . . .Glad to know you Mr. P.
Everyone seems to love this article
Friday, January 21, 2005
We are Provincials No Longer -- Yanks.74.7-8
We are provincials no longer. The tragic events of the thirty months of vital turmoil through which we have just passed have made us citizens of the world. There can be no turning back. Our own fortunes as a nation are involved whether we would have it so or not.
And yet we are not the less Americans on that account. We shall be the more American if we but remain true to the principles in which we have been bred. They are not the principles of a province or of a single continent. We have known and boasted all along that they were the principles of a liberated mankind. These, therefore, are the things we shall stand for, whether in war or in peace:
That all nations are equally interested in the peace of the world and in the political stability of free peoples, and equally responsible for their maintenance; that the essential principle of peace is the actual equality of nations in all matters of right or privilege; that peace cannot securely or justly rest upon an armed balance of power; that governments derive all their just powers from the consent of the governed and that no other powers should be supported by the common thought, purpose or power of the family of nations; that the seas should be equally free and safe for the use of all peoples, under rules set up by common agreement and consent, and that, so far as practicable, they should be accessible to all upon equal terms; that national armaments shall be limited to the necessities of national order and domestic safety; that the community of interest and of power upon which peace must henceforth depend imposes upon each nation the duty of seeing to it that all influences proceeding from its own citizens meant to encourage or assist revolution in other states should be sternly and effectually suppressed and prevented.
W is for the World
B IS FOR BASICS
For months we've all been talking about blue states and red states, but
what do we really know about them? Here's an efficient
little test that should be a no-brainer for all who believe they have
excellent insight about what's good for the country
How did you do? Is that because you're from a red state? A blue state?
Or because you took your Ritalin like a good little kid when you were
If you did great, take the test again and name the capitals. Feel free
to share your scores with the other children.
Thursday, January 20, 2005
Football - a great high school and college game
I understand there was a bit of a problem with the previous
commentator. By way of introduction, let me just say that I've been doing this in one form or another since
1970. I've won a lot. I've lost a lot. Figuratively speaking. Under the extreme circumstances facing the guys
at InstaPunk, I've agreed to give them a hand here near the end of the season, on short notice, for no money. Maybe
I'll get a chance to give you a more fuller explanation of my thoughts on sports betting, but for now,
let me just say that you shouldn't be betting anything you cannot lose -- unless, of
course, you absolutely know what is going to happen. So -- for entertainment purposes only -- let's take a look
at the upcoming games.
According to SportsBook.com:
Lincoln Financial Field
JAN 23, 3:00 ET (FOX)
JAN 23, 6:30 ET (CBS)
I hate to do it, but I've been saying all year if a team consistently runs the ball against the Eagles, they
can win. Eagles might win, but I see a close game.
NE -- Pittsburgh? Huge coaching mismatch. I think NE wins by more than 10.
Good night, mother.
Above and Beyond
Barbara Boxer at Rice confirmation hearing
Chain Gang has adroitly characterized the contribution of Senator
to the Condoleeza Rice confirmation process, but we
can't help feeling that another senatorial performance of note has been
overlooked. We refer, of course, to Barbara
, who showed up at the confirmation hearing to reaffirm the
Democrat conviction that the U.S. government should conduct itself as
if nothing whatever had happened on September 11, 2001. In our humble
opinion, this represented courage above and beyond the call of duty,
since Senator Boxer's tweed rag of a coat, her fright-mask makeup and
rat's nest hairdo spoke volumes about where she had come from to put in
an appearance. Everyone knows that homelessness is a tragically
persistent affliction in the city of San Francisco, but it is sad
indeed that a U.S. Senator should be ensnared in the west coast hell of
cardboard box apartments, Sterno aperitifs, and grueling daily commutes
from soup kitchens to curbside urinals to panhandling stations outside
the finest nouveau cuisine restaurants. Frankly, we are overcome with
admiration that this brave public servant would bestir herself to
demand turning back the clock to forget a traumatic event she probably
doesn't even remember in the first place. For this reason, we are
bestowing a rare InstaPunk award on Barbara Boxer, a scale model of a
supermarket shopping cart. If she weren't so clearly in need, we'd have
had it done up as a lapel pin, but in hope of facilitating her travels
among her constituents, we have elected instead to render it full size,
with complete operability. Maybe she can find another friendly red
jacket to put in it so that she will be prepared for future special
occasions in the nation's capital. Failing that, she can still use it
to stockpile a whole bunch of muscatel.
Lawrence Summers, projected President
Emeritus of Harvard
The other day, our attention was drawn (by Chain Gang, if you must
know) to an astonishing imbroglio involving the president of Harvard
University. It seems he had been invited to speak at some forum or
colloquium or filibuster about the plight of women and minority
scientists and engineers. Then, in his remarks to the assembled
aggrieved, he said something
that ticked them off no end. The full story is here
but we offer the
following as an example of the angry reactions he inspired:
According to a report in The Boston
Globe, when Summers'
remarks turned to a possible genetic basis for differences in ability
between men and women, several incensed guests got up and walked out.
Included among them was prominent
Massachusetts Institute of
Technology biologist Nancy Hopkins. A Harvard graduate who spearheaded
an influential study on gender-based inequalities at MIT, Hopkins later
said that if she hadn't left, she "would've either blacked out or
''It is so upsetting that all these
brilliant young women [at
Harvard] are being led by a man who views them this way," she said.
University of California, Santa Cruz,
chancellor designate Denice D.
Denton told the Associated Press she was also offended by Summers'
"Here was this economist lecturing
pompously (to) this room full of
the country's most accomplished scholars on women's issues in science
and engineering, and he kept saying things we had refuted in the first
half of the day," she said.
Wow. It seems almost inconceivable that a president of Harvard
would say anything that might
offend "biologist Nancy Hopkins... a Harvard graduate who spearheaded
an influential study on gender-based inequalities at MIT." Surely those
who excel in the academic world are endowed with a gene that
automatically prevents them from uttering any word or phrase that could
be interpreted as acknowledging any kind of difference between men and
women. We were so startled by the dudgeon that we scoured the article
for any kind of direct quote from Summers's remarks. There was none.
All the reporter offered was a characterization of the offending points:
Among his reportedly inflammatory remarks
were questions about how
great a role discrimination plays in female advancement at elite
universities, as well as a suggestion that child-rearing duties keep
women from committing 80 hours a week to their careers.
But when he suggested that the
discrepancy may be attributed more to genetics than socialization,
Summers caused a stir.
Shouldn't there be a transcript? It was Carl Sagan who used to
promote the (flagrantly illogical) notion that "extraordinary claims
require extraordinary proof." And while we never agreed with the
Cornell professor on this, it's clear that those who are responsible
for reporting on scientific developments believe it absolutely.
Otherwise, the general public might have a slightly better appreciation
of the honest-to-God (sorry) scientific problems with the Dawkins
theory of evolution. Therefore, something so incredibly unlikely (i.e.,
extraordinary) as a Harvard president casually dissing women in public
has to be verified by evidence beyond eyewitness testimony and hearsay.
We looked through other reports for a transcript. (Actually we asked
Chain Gang to do it, because he's not as lazy as some other folks.) CG
reported back in an email whose title said it all: No Transcript.
Wow again. This got our blood up a bit, so we put in a call to
Summers's office. Unsurprisingly, he was not in that day, but his
secretary was. We pursued the matter of a transcript with her. A
charming young lady named Mimi LeBoeuf, she proved to be very sweet,
though a bit of a giggler. Between helpless little laughs, she admitted
that she had typed the speech and still had a copy. She also said she
didn't see what all the fuss was about; it was just another speech. We
offered her cash money for a transcript, which she refused. But then,
happily, after a fifteen minute conversation about the amazing gift
assortments one could wire to pretty girls from Godiva chocolates via
the internet, she gave in and emailed us the text of Summers's remarks.
You can read them for yourself, but we have reluctantly concluded that
there may very well be some cause for the indignant responses noted
above. Something about the tone, we think. Herewith, an amazing InstaPunk Scoop: the only actual
transcript you will find anywhere of what Summers actually said.
After an exhaustive review of the
available research, I would suggest that it's time for us to admit the
truth and terminate the farce known as female science and engineering.
As a practical matter, these do not exist. So-called female scientists
are either dreary data entry clerks for legitimate male scholars or
skirt-clad Barnums perpetuating the pseudo-scientific fraud they call
either social science or, through a spectacular corruption of correct
usage, gender studies. The girls, in short, are wasting our time, our
valuable academic and research resources, and who knows how many places
in our student bodies. They can never be more than mediocrities in this
field. How could it be otherwise? Their genetic makeup is dedicated
exclusively to the non-intellectual processes of childbirth, shopping,
and interior decoration. It is no accident that American science is
gradually falling behind that of countries who maintain the wise
tradition of keeping their women at home while the men attend
university and learn how to think. If we do not immediately disband
nonsense organizations like this one, science in these United States
will gradually degenerate to a kind of women's auxiliary in which
consensus replaces logical rigor and gassy meetings replace the hard
lonely work of the laboratory. Can't we all agree on this today?
You see? A mite strong for a Harvard president, don't you think?
Maybe if he apologizes to enough women...? No. Probably not. Hail and
farewell, President Summers.
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