Saturday, March 31, 2007

Warning: Possible side effects of cancer could include excruciatingly painful death

There is an anti-cancer drug out there called DCA that is still in the rat-testing phase. The drug has shrunk tumors in rats by 75% in around three weeks. Even though it is not on the market, people with cancer are managing to buy DCA on the Internet in an attempt at treating their cancer. Many of these people are terminal. Doctors are aghast that people are buying an "untested" drug and warn that there could be possible side effects.

Just because a drug works in rats doesn't necessarily mean that it will have the same efficacy in human beings, I admit. However, there is one thing I will never understand about doctors and that is when they tell a person who is dying of a horrible, painful disease like cancer that they can't use a treatment drug because there might be side effects. Gosh, you mean side effects that could be worse than, I don't know, say, dying a painful death from Cancer?!

I notice that this worry about side effects comes from doctors who are currently not dying from a terrible disease.

Good Day to You, Sir

Another illegal alien whitewash from the Sac Bee

Leave it to the Sacramento Bee to once again downplay, diminish, and deny the role of illegal immigration in so many of the issues our nation, and in particular, the state of California currently faces. Today, the Bee ran a front page article on the legacy of Cesar Chavez. The very first thing Bee writer Bobby Caina Calvan does in the story is profile a man named Reynaldo Acosta, who in 1975, "slipped into the United States from Mexico, joining the migration north to toil in California farms" as Calvan delicately puts it. That's my emphasis by the way. I love these creatively tortured exercises in wordsmithing that these hack writers for the Bee employ. You could just tell that Calvan put a lot of thought into how exactly he was going to tell his readers that Reynaldo Acosta came into our country illegally and stayed, without explicitly saying so. Not to worry though, because later in the article we find out that Acosta, "became a legalized resident after the federal government in 1986 launched an amnesty program for thousands of illegal immigrants. Over the years, his family joined him in the United States." Ah, the wonders of chain immigration; legalize an illegal, and you don't just get the former illegal, you get the entire family as well. At least, halfway into the article, author Calvan finally said the "I" word. In regards to Cesar Chavez, Reynaldo Acosta is quoted as saying,
He did a lot for a lot of people, a lot for our people... His name is a symbol for us, for us farmworkers.
Remember that quote for later. Next we continue the article to the back page on A14, where the top of the fold photo shows a Chicana activist from Sacramento City College with her MEChA t-shirt as she marches in a local protest demanding that school districts recognize Cesar Chavez day as a holiday. MEChA is the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, a brown supremacist organization that seeks to remove whites from the southwest, by deadly force if necessary, and reclaim the American southwest for Mexico. They fully support massive illegal immigration from Mexico into the United States, as they see at as an easy way to repopulate the southwest with their Raza (race) and force the "foreigner 'gabacho'" to leave.

So why do I harp on these two examples of the legacy of illegal immigration that are mentioned in a puff piece on Cesar Chavez? Because not many people know that Cesar Chavez, a third-generation American and U.S. Navy veteran, was dead-set against illegal immigration. He even participated in marches against illegal immigration, including one occasion in 1969, as mentioned on the website for the Library of Congress, when Chavez participated in a protest against the use of illegal aliens as strikebreakers during the grape boycotts. Remember, Cesar Chavez's whole mission was to improve the working conditions and the pay for farm workers, many of whom are of Hispanic descent. Chavez recognized that the use of illegal aliens in farmwork would drive those wages back down, and also working conditions to once again deteriorate, because employers can get away with a lot more shenanigans when they are dealing with illegal aliens instead of bonafide workers.

I find it to be the ultimate irony that so many of these Latino/a activists who were yelling "Si Se Puede!" last spring in those huge marches in support of illegal immigration, are the same ones who lionize a man who was dead-set against illegal immigration. Why do they do this? Because many of them simply don't know. Others might know, but they shrug their shoulders and use Chavez's legacy for their own purposes, and count on the ignorance of others.

Naturally, in his entire puff piece on Cesar Chavez, Bee reporter Bobby Caina Calvan never saw fit to mention Chavez's view on illegal aliens, even as he quoted illegal aliens who sang Chavez's praises.

Good Day to You, Sir

Friday, March 30, 2007

Hillary! is still trying to shove socialist healthcare down our throats

Hat tip to Cox and Forkum for another of their searing political cartoons (See blogroll left)

Saying she has "learned a lot" since the last time she tried to impose socialist health care on us in 1994, Hillary! earlier this week promised "We're going to have universal health care when I'm president, there's no doubt about that. We're going to get it done...." God help us all, I says.

Is our delivery system of medical care perfect? Of course not; show me a human system that has no flaws. Is our delivery system of medical care one of the best in the world? You bet. Just look at all the people from around the world who try by hook or crook to get here for medical procedures.

If you would like to see the future of health care in the United States if Hillary pushes through what she wants, there are plenty of places you can look. One of the best examples is Canada. They have socialist medicine, and it is literally killing their citizens. The backlog for starting cancer treatments can run to almost a year. What is that they always say about cancer survivors? It was caught and treated EARLY! Many Canadians sneak into the United States for immediate medical procedures that see months-long waiting lists in the Great White North.

For another example of socialist health care, look to Great Britain where they are seeing many of the same problems that Canadians are seeing. And of course there is Cuba which the left always raves about as the example for which we should all strive. Never mind that the "free" medical care in Cuba doesn't do you much good when there are chronic shortages of medical supplies and the grossly underpaid doctors make more money bartending in one of the European tourists-only hotels in Havana.

There is one more example of what socialist health care looks like: our own military. The Walter Reed flap referenced by the above Cox and Forkum cartoon shows what happens when there is no competition and hence, no incentive to serve the customer. I experienced various medical issues concomitant with being an active duty soldier, and I saw the inside of Moncrief Army Medical Center at Fort Jackson, South Carolina; Madigan Army Medical Center at Fort Lewis, Washington; and Landstuhl Army Medical Center in Germany. While the medical care I received was adequate, I always got the feeling that they were getting to me in their own sweet time. My visit to Landstuhl was especially disconcerting. A routine physical at my local base caused concern for the doctor during the "turn your head and cough" portion of the exam because the doctor didn't like what he felt. Just over one month later, they finally saw me at Landstuhl to determine whether or not I had testicular cancer. Luckily, I was cancer-free. Several fellow-soldier friends of mine with some medical issues distrusted the Army medical system so much that they grinned and beared it until they got out of the military so they could have their respective back and knee surgeries performed in the private medical market.

As usual, the problems we currently have with the cost of health care are largely due to government interference. When LBJ gave us Medicare, it was only supposed to cost around $9 billion dollars a year. However, even taking inflation into account, the Medicare monster has ballooned into a grotesque financial black hole. It is a common rule of human behavior: that which is subsidized will go up in price. Look at the cost of health care; look at the cost of college tuition. Government heavily subsidizes both, and both continue to skyrocket. Couple that with government laws that prevent insurance companies from offering cheaper plans to younger, healthier clients. Instead, all ages, sexes, and health conditions are, in the words of of Stuart Browning of the On the Fence Films, thrown into the same risk pool. Browning has done extensive research and video documentation on the dangers of socialist medicine. You can see his films and articles at the linked website.

As usual, what works in this country is apparent by the number of people who vote with their feet. We have people from Haiti turning the roof of their house into a boat in an attempt to land on our shores, and we have people from Canada sneaking across the border into the U.S. to quickly obtain simple medical procedures that take months back their home country, and people from all over the world coming here for procedures that are not offered anywhere else. If Hillary! becomes our next president, her intention is to force us all into this rationed health care system where the government literally holds our lives in its inefficient, often corrupt little hands. And if you attempt to seek medical services from a doctor outside this wonderful system that Hillary! wants to set up, you and the wayward doctor can be arrested and imprisoned. That is what Hillary! proposed the last time she was put in charge of socializing our health care. Think about that in 2008 when it comes time to pull the voting lever.

Good Day to You, Sir

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Something a leftie or a rightie can enjoy

Whatever your politics, I think we can all agree that the news organizations on television drive us all crazy. Those geniuses at Jib Jab show us how bad it is. Don't miss this hilarious musical number.

Good Day to You, Sir

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A contributor to the problem explains why there is a problem

Everyone sit back and enjoy, because that race-baiting buffoon, Jesse Jackson, has written a column for the Chicago Sun-Times, explaining the reasons for the dire straits in which many young black males find themselves in this country.

Jesse gets things going in the second paragraph when he says,
The crisis? Young American men who are African American and born into poor and working class households. These young boys are not making it. According to figures developed by the Schott Foundation, in an economy that requires more and more education, only 42 percent who enter ninth grade graduate from high school. The old blue-collar jobs that used to provide a family income, secure employment, health care and pensions are disappearing.
Those blue-collar jobs are disappearing for everyone Jesse, find another excuse please. That 42 percent figure takes my breath away. What are all these non-high school graduates doing with their lives? I feel lucky to have the lifestyle I do, and my wife and I both have Masters Degrees (OK, I don't officially have mine yet, but almost).

Then Jesse brings up the numero uno factor that continues to plague the black community:
These are children increasingly raised by a single parent. Too often they are starved from the start -- of adequate nutrition, adequate health care, adequate learning stimulants that are vital for young minds.
And whose fault is that Jesse? Is there some overlooked Jim Crow law I don't know about that requires a majority of black households to be headed by a single parent? By far, blacks have the highest rate of illegitimate births among races in this country; hovering right around 70 percent of all black babies born every year. This is a national tragedy. The ensuing poverty that Jesse describes has been shown in study after study to invariably accompany single parenthood. If you want to ensure that you will probably be in poverty, then become a single mother. Guess what almost 70 percent of black babies in this country are born to? That's right, a single mother. Tragically enough, this statistic includes Jesse Jackson. Several years ago he impregnated a single woman who worked in his organization.

What is most frustrating is that many people think this 70 percent statistic has always been how it is with American blacks; not so. Until the early 1960s, the illegitimacy rate among blacks was only slightly higher than whites, and the marriage rate of blacks was actually higher than that of whites. So what happened? The second half of the 1960s and the 1970s is what happened. The efforts of LBJ and a do-gooder Congress to "save" black people from themselves did nothing but grant incentives to blacks that encouraged too many of them to engage in self-destructive and dependent behavior, rather than self-reliance and responsibile behavior. Curse me for saying this if you like, but it still doesn't change the fact that blacks lead the country in illegitimate births, rates of crime, and dependence on public assistance. In the past, pointing out this fact has gotten me branded as racist. So go ahead and call me that if it makes you feel better, but in the meantime, this social pathology in the black community remains, and the question I am asking, and Jesse Jackson is asking, is what can be done about it?

The problem with Jesse's line of thinking is that instead of telling his fellow blacks who are not making it that they must start taking responsibility for their actions - good and bad - he continues to make excuses, essentially telling blacks that whatever happens to them is because of discrimination and is not their fault.

A perfect example of this is this line from his column:
In school, they face discrimination in discipline and in being slated for special-ed courses. They are underrepresented in advanced-placement courses that are key for college.
I am so sick of this mantra that black students are discriminated against in issues of school discipline. Just because black students are suspended at a rate that is disproportionately large compared to their percentage of the student population does not mean there is discrimination going on, any more than the disproportionate rate of crime that is being committed by blacks. More blacks are suspended, because sadly, more blacks misbehave. One of the reasons for this is because lefties like Jesse Jackson give black students a pass for their irresponsible behavior, saying that it is not their fault due to their status of poverty, or past discrimination, or the legacy of slavery and whatever else they can think of. It is pretty disingenuous for Jesse to speak of this matter of discipline when he went to Decatur, Illinois several years ago to defend some young thugs who terrorized people in the bleachers of a high school football game. It was a no-brainer that these students should have been expelled for their behavior, but there was Jesse Jackson, coming to town to "save" these "students" from the consequences of their own choice of behavior.

As for underrepresentation in AP courses, it is not for a lack of trying on the part of teachers and administration. Schools actively seek out minority students to fill the ranks of honors and AP courses, but the minority students often don't take advantage of the opportunity. As the old cliche goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

The solutions to all of these issues - discipline, crime, illegitimate births, single parenthood - are not something that our society can impose upon our wayward black citizens of whom Jesse Jackson speaks. This is something that needs to be changed from within. Bill Cosby has been going around saying the same thing, and for his trouble, he has been accused of "blaming the victim". At what point do we as a society show a little tough love and tell the "victim" that yes, much of this is your fault, and you need to take responsibility for yourself and fix it?

It's not a popular position, but it is most certainly a necessary one.

Good Day to You, Sir

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The changing music industry

This is one of the more unusual articles to which I have ever linked. It is a post from the blog of the band Counting Crows that they maintain on their official website. My wife is an obsessive Crows fan of the first order, and she pointed out this article, which was written by the band's piano player. The reason I am mentioning this article is because while I am writing this post, I am also downloading an enormous stack of CDs onto our computer in order to add the tracks to my wife's and my MP3 players. The gist of this article addresses exactly what I am currently doing. While the RIAA was cracking down on tweenyboppers and college students who were downloading free music off Napster and Kazaa, the recording industry was losing 97% of its money off people like me who burn and share CDs, not free music off the internet. That certainly explains why I was able to load the Counting Crows earlier albums onto my wife's MP3 player, but not the most recent CDs, because the Crows are one of the bands out there that have some sort of copyright protection code embedded on their discs.

The most poignant fact that I culled from the article was the very last sentence, where the author posited that these days, the Counting Crows make more money from touring than they do from selling records. In fact he said that once upon a time, a band would tour in order to promote a record; now, a band releases a record in order to promote a tour!

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some CDs to rip.

Good Day to You, Sir

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Stating the problem without stating the problem

Back in March of last year, I blogged about an article in the Sacramento Bee that danced around the fact that the rise in cases of Tuberculosis in California is due to immigration, and especially, illegal immigration. I see that a year later, the Bee has yet to grow a backbone and call a spade a spade. Today's edition of the Bee has yet another article on page A3 that mentions that even though cases of TB are down in California, the majority of cases in the state are attributed to people who were, as the Bee puts it, "born abroad." In fact, here is the money quote from the article:
The vast majority - 77 percent - of all TB patients in California were born outside of the United States, where TB is widespread. Gaps in immigration policies, which may allow people with active disease into the country, and latent infections among immigrants who become ill after settling in the United States contribute to its spread.
Do you see what the Bee is doing here? They can't get around mentioning the overwhelming contribution of immigrants to our TB problem, so they try to minimize it as best they can with dry and meaningless language. "Gaps" in immigration policies? That is Bee-speak for the fact that we don't medically screen legal immigrants anymore like we did once upon a time on Ellis Island in the east and Angel Island in the west. The other "gaps" of which the Bee speaks would be President Bush's and the Congress' almost non-existent protection of the border, and the ensuing invasion of illegal aliens that are a consequence of our federal government's inaction. Since the editorial board of the Bee is favor of immigrants - both legal and illegal - overrunning our country, it stands to reason that they will do their best to not let their beliefs be put into a bad light. As the old quote goes, the first thing a person will do in defense of his beliefs is lie. Although, technically, the Bee doesn't exactly lie in this article, they omit crucial information and dryly word the article in a way that minimizes the negative aspects of the position that they hold. But really, can you expect anything different from, yes, the bias of the leftist media?

Good Day to You, Sir

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

We had to destroy the village in order to save it

Remember that famous quote by an American officer during the Vietnam War? That same mentality also applies to some in the so-called animal rights movement.

Check out this story of what an animal rights activist wants to do to a cute little baby polar bear who lives in zoo.

Good Day to You, Sir

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I'll just stick to cream and sugar, thanks

Read here, the disturbing tale of an eighth grader who spiked his teacher's coffee with urine. The most bizarre aspect of this tale is that the student was busted when a jar of urine was found in his locker - eeeeewwwww!

Good Day to You, Sir

Monday, March 19, 2007

Middle Management

Joanne Jacobs (see blogroll at left) linked to a great NY Times article about the travails of teaching middle school. Seeing as how I teach middle school, this article naturally hit home with me. I freely admit that my ultimate aim is to eventually leave middle school behind and move up to high school. Finding a social science teaching position is extremely tough, and I took the first position that was offered. That position was at a middle school. It is just so frustrating sometimes to have all this knowledge and enthusiasm about my subject, yet the students couldn't care less. Not to say that I think high schoolers would be googly-eyed about history either, but at least the incentive to graduate and the added maturity of another couple years of age are in the mix.

Since the NY Times requires one to register in order to read their articles, I have taken the liberty to post some of their juicier quotes that made me nod my head and utter an occasional "AMEN!":
Faced with increasingly well-documented slumps in learning at a critical age, educators in New York and across the nation are struggling to rethink middle school, particularly in cities, where the challenges of adolescent volatility, spiking violence and lagging academic performance are more acute...

“There was a lot more anger and outbursts,” Christian Clarke, 29, a Bronx high school teacher, recalled of the students he encountered during his four years teaching middle school. “Twice as much time was spent on putting out fires; twice as much time was spent getting the class quiet. Twice as much time was spent on defusing anger in the kids...”

The most difficult high school students often drop out or skip class, while middle school teachers tend to face a full house.

“Problematic kids in high school don’t come to school anymore, but in middle school they still show up,” said Barry M. Fein, the principal of Seth Low. “I think that piece alone makes it more challenging...”
The quote about the future dropouts still coming to school really caught my attention, because I have pondered that fact many times myself. I can think of so many students who I can easily identify as not likely making it past their sophomore year in high school. Yet in the meantime, here they are in my classroom, raising hell and sometimes making it impossible to teach the students who truly want to be there and truly want to learn something. That right there is the biggest frustration I have with teaching. Every day, I see the looks of frustration, boredom, and helplessness on the faces of the conscientous students as they sit there, tediously waiting for the latest class clown or class disruptor to finish his/her performance. Sometimes, I wonder what it is like to truly teach, and not be a policeman and a babysitter instead.

Good Day to You, Sir

The Moonbats come out in San Francisco

Being on vacation and all, I couldn't make it to any local anti-war protests to take some pictures, so I must lean on the master of the protest photo chronicle: Zombie.

Zombie was at the annual freakshow in San Francisco where they came out to show off their insanity. Seriously, even if you are against the war in Iraq, do you really want these... people... to speak on your behalf?

Here is a photo from Zombie's collection to give you an idea of what I'm talking about:

Good Day to You, Sir

This campaign ad is doubleplusgood

One of the most famous t.v. commercials in history was the Apple Computer ad that was shown during the Super Bowl in January 1984. You may remember it: the commercial showed a 1984-esque society where a bunch of zombie-like citizens are sitting in a vast room watching a big brother talking head on a screen. Enter an athletic woman carrying a large sledgehammer who runs into the room, twirls around with the hammer, then throws it into the screen image of the talking head. Thus, millions of people were liberated from the conformist tyranny of IBM and were given the (in my opinion) even more screwed up Mac-OS.

I don't support Barack Obama, but a supporter of his has come up with a very clever parody of the famous Apple ad in which Queen Hillary! is simply savaged. If you would like to see more, just click on the embedded YouTube link below:

I will admit that this ad plays into every paranoid - and not so paranoid - fear that I have of Hillary! becoming our next president. And remember, it was not produced by some "evil right-winger"; it was produced by a supporter of a Democrat presidential candidate that is arguably as leftist as Hillary!.

Good Day to You, Sir

Well deserved vacation

Hello from San Diego! The fam and I flew down here on Thursday morning to spend a little time with my wife's sister and her family. It has been a wonderful few days, even though the weather has been rather dreary by San Diego standards. I make no secret of the fact that I am not a city person - never mind the fact that I live in Sacramento. Nevertheless, when asked if I had to live in a city what would it be, my answer is always Sacramento, because it is essentially the gateway to the northern California that is so dear to my heart, and while it has almost 500,000, it is still considered a cow town, especially since it is so close to the oh-so-cosmopolitan San Francisco (which I also love to visit). However, if I had to pick a second choice of what city I would live in, I think San Diego would be it. There are lots of mountains to look at, the weather is usually gorgeous, I love the ocean. Then again, it is too close to Mexico and all the problems that come with that benighted country, it is too far away from my roots, and it is a much bigger city than Sacramento.

One thing San Diego has lots of is good golf. On Saturday, my brother-in-law and I joined up with two of his friends to play a round of golf at the municipal course on Coronado. Don't let the municipal part scare you; it is one of my top three all-time favorite golf courses. I didn't take any pictures (I always feel too rushed to pull out the camera), but here is a pic from the course's website that gives you an idea of how lovely this course really is:

The 18th hole is shown in the center foreground right below the clubhouse. As you can see, any errant shot off the tee that pulls to the right will put your ball into San Diego Bay. The bridge that is just visible on the right is the Coronado Bridge that stretches across the bay to connect Coronado with the city of San Diego. You play in the bridge's shadow during some of the early holes. The whole time I am playing this course at Coronado, I am always in awe that my green fee only cost me $35.

Although Coronado is a wonderful course, there is one more I like even better, and that is the Fall River Golf and Country Club in Fall River Mills, California, up in the northeast quadrant of the state. It is absolutely breathtaking, and over 7,000 yards long. In fact the photo of me golfing that you see in my profile was taken at the Fall River golf course. Here is another photo from their website:

Anyone who wishes to share their views, I have two questions for you:

1.) If you had to live in a city, what city would you choose?

2.) If you are a golfer, what is the best course (in your opinion) that you have ever played?

Good Day to You, Sir

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I wonder what his behavior was like in the classroom?

On the heels of the serial impregnator story comes the tale of this fine little upstanding citizen named Andrew Riley. At the ripe old age of 13, Andrew has been charged with - count 'em - 128 felony counts, including destruction of property, burglary, and witness intimidation (he severely beat up one of the kids who turned him in).

What could cause this young man to take such a wayward course? Judging by the quotes from his stepfather in this article (be sure to watch the accompanying video), I have a pretty good idea of one of the factors that has determined young Andrew's behavior. All emphasis is by yours truly:
His family did not deny he has been in trouble, but they said he could not commit so many crimes.

"Honestly, you know, we are baffled by all the charges," said stepfather James Blake. "We suspected a few could come out of this, but nothing like what's been going over."

His stepfather said Riley had a rough childhood.

"He's our oldest, you know. He's our first born and he's been through a lot," said Blake.
OK, Mr. Blake, I'll bite - What has he been through? Please explain to us the tough life circumstances of young Andrew Riley that forced him to ruin people's property and livelihood. I am sick to death of this whole he-had-a-rough-childhood game. Lots of people have rough childhoods, and somehow, many of them manage to make it through life without committing even one felony, let alone 128 of them.

I'll tell ya, I would love to interview this kid's teachers and find out what it was like for them to have him as a student in their classroom.

Good Day to You, Sir

The 110th Carnival of Education... now underway at the Education Wonks. Take a walk down the midway if you dare.

Good Day to You, Sir

I weep for those children

Meet Ricky Lackey. Ricky has been busy, busy, as he has six children on the way; no, not sextuplets. Ricky has managed to impregnate six different women who will all be delivering between August and October of this year.

This information came to light during a court appearance where Ricky was being sentenced for passing almost $4,000 in bad checks. The judge asked Ricky if he had any children. Ricky explained that he had six on the way, and after some confusion on the judge's part (understandable), he further explained that the babies are all from different women. Ricky then further explained himself to the judge with what has to be the most astonishingly atrocious utterance from one of the most atrocious beings currently breathing our oxygen:

"I be concubining."

To tell you the truth, I am surprised that he knows what a concubine is. So, there be six more young 'uns that will grow up without a father in the home. Two questions I have:

1.) Is he planning on continuing his quest to "be concubining"?
2.) Who is going to pay for the results of Ricky's concubining?

Slime... absolute slime.

Good Day to You, Sir

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Short memories and mainstream media bias

This subject would otherwise be a little too insider-Washington-policy-wonkish for me, but the double standard is just too glaring for me not to mention it. Several times on the radio news tonight, I had to listen to that nasally reprobate Charles Shumer (Kleptocrat-NY) as he waxed indignant, calling for the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez because he fired eight U.S. Attorneys, apparently with the knowledge and approval of President Bush. Sounds real scandalous right? President Bush ordered the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys, apparently without good reason... oooooooohhh.

Of course, the president doesn't need a reason. Those U.S. Attorneys are part of the executive branch, and they serve at the pleasure of the president. If you think firing eight of them is scandalous, how about Reagan and Clinton? When they took office, they both fired every single one of the 93 U.S. Attorneys in this country. Attorney General Janet Reno did the firings after being told to by President Clinton. Did the Democrats in Congress call for her resignation? Heck, for that matter, did the Republicans? The answers are no and no.

I for one don't give a rip if Alberto Gonzalez resigns or not, I don't give a rip about the whole thing. What I do give a rip about is consistency. Nary a peep was made by the media when Clinton fired all 93 U.S. Attorneys in 1993; in fact, it was considered a part of the political game that is played when leadership of the Executive Branch changes hands. But once again, the mainstream media has a different set of rules for our current president.

I have already seen the same thing in other aspects of Bush's and Clinton's presidencies. Remember when Bill Clinton ordered the bombing of Serbia in 1999? He killed thousands of innocent Serb civilians. Did you see any mass demonstrations on the National Mall and impassioned celebrity speeches? Neither did I. After it was determined that the reason for our bombing of Serbia - genocide - was a sham, did the peaceniks chant "Clinton lied, Serbs died"? Nah, I never saw that happen either.

I don't even support 90 percent of what President Bush has done so far during his time in office; this isn't about defending the current president. All I ask for is consistency. I am tired of hearing the media get all worked up about non-issues that they turn into issues simply because the current president has an "R" next to his name instead of a "D".

Good Day to You, Sir

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Got an hour and fifteen minutes to kill?

If so, then watch this documentary from the UK's Channel 4 that debunks the notion of manmade global warming. The earth will thank you.

Update: Not sure what happened to the embedded video; it's also down at Little Green Footballs. Try this link or this link instead.

Good Day to You, Sir

(Hat tip to the uber-blog Little Green Footballs)

Friday, March 09, 2007

What part of "the people" is so hard to understand?

Preamble: We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union...

First Amendment: Congress shall make no law... abridging... the right of the people to peacably assemble...

Fourth Amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects... shall not be violated...

Ninth Amendment: The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Tenth Amendment: The powers not delegated to the United States, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Second Amendment: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Notice anything identical in all those passages from our Constitution? Of course you should, I bolded it for you. Every one of those passages speaks of "the people". When you read, "the people", do you assume that means everyone in the United States? I do; it seems logical enough. According to present jurisprudence, all those above passages do apply to everyone... except the last one; the Second Amendment. Over and over, the government and our courts have determined that rather than guaranteeing an individual right to bear arms, the Second Amendment describes a "collective" state right that only applies to members of the state militia, i.e., the National Guard. A couple of years back, there was a decision in a case out of Texas called United States v. Emerson where the 5th Circuit Court determined ownership of a firearm to be an individual, not a state right, but that was only one decision out of many others that found exactly the opposite, and Emerson was largely ignored or pooh-poohed by our legal system and our so-called mainstream media.

Today, things got kicked up a notch. A three judge panel from the D.C. Circuit Court, the most influential court in the country aside from the Supreme Court, found in a 2-1 decision that the gun ban in Washington D.C. is unconstitutional because it violates the right of the people to keep and bear arms. This is a huge decision because of the gravitas that the D.C. Circuit Court brings to the table. This decision will most likely go before the entire D.C. Circuit Court rather than the three judge panel, so who knows what the eventual outcome of the case will be, but it is monumental just the same. There is even talk of this case maybe, perhaps going before the Supreme Court sometime this year.

The Supreme Court has never given a clear decision on the status of the Second Amendment. The only case of any consequence on which they have rendered a decision is the case of United States v. Miller back in 1939! In that case, the SCOTUS played both sides of the fence, saying that Miller shouldn't have been in possession of the sawed-off shotgun for which he was arrested and convicted because it wasn't a weapon that was sufficient enough to be considered for use in a militia. Because of this muddled ruling, both sides of the gun control debate have been able to use the Miller decision to justify their position on the subject.

I have had my share of arguments with people who either want guns banned outright, or severely limited. They inevitably bring up their illogical interpretation of the Second Amendment whereby they posit that it only guarantees the right of state militias to bear arms. Imagine their pleasant surprise when I agree with them. Their giddiness disappears however, when I explain to them who is considered to be in the militia. That information is found in Title 10 of the United States Code, Section 311 (10USC311). The National Guard is part of our militia, yes, but there is more:
(b) The classes of the militia are—
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.
The unorganized militia is made up of everyone else who is not required to be in the militia. We the people are all in the militia. The only difference is that some have to be, and the rest can decide for themselves. As founding father, George Mason so eloquently put it, "I ask, who are the militia? They consist of now of the whole people, except a few public officers." I'll tell you one thing, if there is anyplace in our country that needs a militia, it is Washington D.C. Look at their crime rate for pete's sake. Do you think a gun ban since 1976 has done them any good? Let's hope that the case brought by six residents of D.C. who want to arm themselves against the thugs and lowlifes (no, not Congress) of our nation's capital bears fruit in the highest court in the land. Of course, no matter what the Supreme Court says, I will continue to exercise my God-given right to protect and defend myself and my family, whether it be from a common criminal, a foreign invader, or, God forbid, my own tyrannical government.

Good Day to You, Sir

Teach as I say, not as I do

Since June 2005, I have been working toward my Masters in Education (Curriculum and Instruction) through Chapman University. In January, I completed my final class; now all I have left to receive my M.A. is a comprehensive exam that I am scheduled to take this month on the 31st.

During this entire experience - both in Chapman's teacher credential program and their Masters program - I have been bombarded with the typical progressive education bromides about higher-level thinking, "learning to learn", authentic assessment, the evils of "rote memorization", and the belief that it is more important that one be able to find information rather than memorize it because "information is always changing". For a refresher on what Chapman University considers to be an effective educator, check out this travesty of a poster about which I have previously blogged.

Imagine my amusement when I opened up the instructions and study guide for my exam, both of which are provided by Chapman. A passage that caught my eye was this:
Candidates may not use any reference materials during the examination - e.g., notes, books. (Emphasis theirs)
Additionally, another passage says this:
When making a statement, the student must support the statement by known facts and appropriate citing of sources.
What?! You mean by rote memory? You mean they want me to regurge and cite information to them without looking it up first?

Don't misunderstand me; I'm not complaining about the format of the test. It is as it should be. What has me waxing indignant is that these pin-headed academics are using some of the very same assessment techniques on us that they tell us are verboten to use in our classrooms. Why aren't we just doing some portfolio - an "authentic assessment" as they call it - of our work that we have done over the course of the program? That's what they have recommended we do with our students. This is prima facie evidence that "progressive" educators are either as dumb as a sack of hammers, or they really don't believe their own b.s. that they sling in their graduate lessons... or both.

Good Day to You, Sir

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Went to see "Zodiac" last night

I have been fascinated with the Zodiac case since I was a kid. My parents had a set of books called The Peoples' Almanac by Irving Wallace and David Wallechinsky. Within one of those almanancs was a feature on famous unsolved crimes. One of the featured crimes was about a serial killer in the San Francisco Bay Area known as the Zodiac.

Almost 40 years after his crime spree began, a major motion picture about the case has been released in theaters. Last night, I saw it, and it was pretty impressive. The reenactments of the murders were unflinching in their realism, showing just how brutal (and creepy) the Zodiac really was. In an age when people like this can become folk heroes, it is refreshing to be reminded that the acts that make people like the Zodiac infamous, involved real people who died horrible deaths.

The feature of the movie that impressed me most was the attention to detail in recreating the late 1960s and early 1970s. The smoke-filled newsrooms (and airliners), the dial telephones, the cars, the pop-culture references, the wardrobes based on a dare, the too-long unkempt hair and sideburns, and most impressively, the digitally altered skylines of San Francisco and Sacramento. Yes, Sacramento - my home of record makes an appearance in this film.

What also impressed me about this movie was its ability to keep my interest as the investigation drags on, even though I knew full well that no suspect was ever arrested, let alone convicted, for these crimes. The movie definitely has a favorite suspect, and the evidence against him is very damning, even if insufficient. The most frustrating thing about the prime suspect is that he died of a heart attack in 1992, right after the police got a positive ID from one of the surviving victims.

Zodiac has been called "The American Jack the Ripper", in that the case has never been officially solved, even though officials have a pretty good idea of who may have committed the crimes. As each year ticks by, it becomes less likely that the case will ever be solved, and will simply remain part of America's folklore. Just never forget that real people - young people just starting their lives - were sacrificed in the making of that folklore.

Good Day to You, Sir

Monday, March 05, 2007

Weell Keeuhs mah greeuts, Hillary!

Sometimes I hate it when I'm right. Back on January 22, I blogged about Hillary! announcing her candidacy for President of the United States. Among other things, I had this to say:
During campaign stops to the midwest, she will lay on her midwestern twang and talk about her Illinois roots. When campaigning in the south, she will switch to her southern accent that she perfected as the First Lady of Arkansas and emphasize her alleged fondness of living in and representing our southeastern region. Geographically and politically, she has much of the country covered.
Well zippidee doo da y'all! Check out Hillary's southern twang as she stumped before a black church audience in Alabama yesterday. What a pathetic woman she is:

By the way, I will also be waiting for the Democrats and lefties out there to denounce Hillary! for violating the separation of church and state by campaigning in a church. They always seem to get a pass on that one.

Good Day to You, Sir

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Work Centers for "undocumented immigrants"

On the front page of today's Sacramento Bee was this article about the poor, pitful "day laborers" who hang out on street corners in South Sacramento. The general point of the article was to pimp for a so-called hiring center, whereby these illegal aliens could congregate and obtain work where it can be ensured that they are not "stiffed." The article starts out with this:
Nobody seems too happy with the early morning scene along Martin Luther King Boulevard: Dozens of men in work boots waving and whistling at traffic, swarming any truck that slows for the chance to mow a lawn or paint a house.

Neighbors complain about garbage left in their yards. Businesses bemoan the loitering. Police report disproportionate numbers of robberies and assaults.

Day laborers voice frustration, too, saying they often get stiffed on wages and abandoned at job sites, and there's nothing they can do about it.
There is a reason there is nothing they can do about it; the same reason a pothead can't go to the cops when he gets stiffed on a drug deal: These "day laborers" are in our country illegally. Not once in this article did I ever see the term illegal alien or illegal anything. The closest they got was "undocumented immigrant". Talk about an oxymoron: "immigrant" is a legal term that, by definition, means you are documented. So these "day laborers", these "undocumented immigrants" are standing on a street corner looking for illegal work, and here is how a captain from Sac City Police Department describes them:
Sacramento Sheriff's Capt. R.C. Smith said he realizes a day labor center won't solve the problem. But it would benefit law enforcement.

Smith said the "overwhelming majority of day laborers are, law-abiding, hardworking, honest residents" who would use the center. (emphasis: Chanman)
No Captain Smith, they are not "law-abiding". If they were law-abiding, they wouldn't be on that street corner in the first place, they would not be in Sacramento in the first place, they would not be in California in the first place, they would not be in the United States in the first place. I don't care if you are as pure as the new-fallen snow; if you come into this country illegally, you are not law-abiding. Instead, you are consciously breaking the law with every breath and step you take while you are within our country's borders.

Instead of making it easier for illegal aliens to break the law by providing them with work centers, how about make it harder for them to find work, thereby making their return trip home that much more desirable and expeditious.

Good Day to You, Sir