Friday, July 28, 2006

Madison Avenue and Global Warming Myths

The last two weeks of July are normally the hottest of the year, so it’s no surprise that we’re being deluged with public-service announcements about the horrors of global warming. Radio and television stations are compelled to transmit these announcements at no charge because of a long-standing policy that they must provide “public good.” “Don’t Litter” and “Fasten Seat Belts” come to mind. Now the notion has been expanded to “Fight Global Warming.”

By defining it as something we all should fight, these announcements tell us warming must be bad — something no comprehensive treatise on the science and economics of climate change has ever demonstrated.

Ogilvy and Mather, a prestigious public-relations firm whose for-profit clients include IBM and Motorola, produced the global-warming ads for free on behalf of Environmental Defense, a major environmental nonprofit that clearly advocates certain types of global-warming legislation.

Like their ads for Motorola, Ogilvy and Mather’s global-warming announcements are clearly targeted towards sullen youth — a brilliant idea, considering the
appallingly low level of scientific knowledge our children have in comparison to their counterparts around the world. But scientific exploration requires critical skepticism, and these ads are full of unquestioned certainties.

Perhaps the most egregious is a radio ad, called “
The Gift.” It mentions dying coral reefs, rising sea levels, melting ice caps, devastating floods, and hurricanes, and accuses us of leaving them all to our children.

The ads ignore facts that are widely accepted in the scientific community. Take hurricanes. The frequency of category 4 and 5 storms — the really destructive ones — has increased as the planet warmed. Good sound bite, with only one problem: It’s back to where it was in the 1940s and 1950s, long before human
beings started warming things up.

In fact, as late as the 1970s, scientists were more concerned with planetary cooling, as revealed in the 1974 CIA report,
“Potential implications of trends in world population, food production, and climate,” that presented cooling-related food shortages as a major strategic threat. The report first appeared in public in the New York Times on May Day, 1976. Soon, global cooling abruptly reversed into global warming. Crop yields rose.

The public-service announcements are all similarly big on melting polar ice caps and consequent rises in sea level. The Arctic cap loses ice in the summer, but no one bothers to mention that we only began collecting data on it in 1979, at the end of the second-coldest period in the Arctic in a century. The ice had to be abnormally expanded then.


Excerpt from Public Disservice, by Patrick J. Michaels, in National Review Online. Read More...

Sphere: Related Content
DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati FavesFacebook

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Pic of the Day

Saw this and had to laugh...


The truth about marriage...
h/t to The Circus I Call Life






Sphere: Related Content
DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati FavesFacebook

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The anti-illegal immigration genie is out of the bottle

Last week I posted about the new anti-illegal immigration law in Hazleton, Pennsylvania (which was one of the weeks most popular search term for the humble blog). In my last sentence, I suggested Hazleton should be a model for the rest of the nation.

Well, it has begun....

THE MORNING CALL, Allentown, PA: Allentown Councilman Louis J. Hershman,
saying he wants to protect jobs of legal U.S. residents, is preparing a Hazleton-style ordinance that would penalize city businesses that hire illegal immigrants and landlords who rent to them.

Hershman's version, still in draft form, omits many of the Hazleton Illegal Immigration Relief Act's references connecting illegal immigrants and crime, but
contains essentially the same prohibitions and penalties.

If the ordinance is enacted, Allentown would become the largest city in the state to consider such a law. Several other Pennsylvania cities, boroughs and townships, including Hazleton in Luzerne County, Mount Pocono in Monroe County and Frackville in Schuylkill County, have approved or are considering similar legislation.

Other cities across the country, including Palm Bay and Avon Park in Florida,
and Escondido and San Bernardino in California, have proposed similar measures.

Some of these ordinances will face stiff opposition, and this blog does not endorse any such legislation that would trample on the civil rights of legal immigrants or citizens. But any disincentive to illegal immigration is a welcome site, indeed!



Sphere: Related Content
DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati FavesFacebook

Wal-Mart and Double Standards


I've neglected posting about Wal-Mart of late (overall, I've missed posting about a lot topics of late), but this bears mentioning.

Some months ago I posted how Wal-Mart was being criticized for their own public relations (as if good PR is a crime). Included in this criticism were blogs who defended the retailer (as if we are not entitled to our own opinion). Fine. What's even worse, so the story goes, was that Wal-Mart was paying some of these bloggers.

Today I read that Democracy for America will be co-sponsoring an event in Philadelphia that plans to discuss how We need to see change in multinational corporations, and Wal-Mart is the place where it can start.

So it's apparently OK to mobilize people against Wal-Mart, but it is not ok for Wal-Mart to mobilize people for it??

Mores the pity: While critics will lambaste Wal-Mart with accusations they pay for good PR, will anyone notice that the largest groups of these critics are well paid themselves?




Sphere: Related Content
DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati FavesFacebook

Monday, July 24, 2006

Birthday Greetings

Today this blog salutes the birthdays of two comic geniuses:

  • Gladys Ormphby, a/k/a Ruth Buzzi, turns 70 today. My favorite scene, from the days of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In:
    Tyronne F. Horneigh: Do you believe in the here-after?
    Gladys: Why, yes I do.
    Tyronne: Then you know what I am here after!!
  • Leo Anthony Gallagher, a/k/a that watermelon smashing nut, Gallagher, turns 60 today. Remember, always, his sage advice: Never fry bacon naked!




Sphere: Related Content
DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati FavesFacebook

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sorry, wrong number

So we're in the family car, driving about on late Saturday afternoon when my cell phone rings. Caller-id tells me its a call from a co-workers cell phone.

Her: Hey.

Me: Hi... what's up?

Her: It's me, firstname.

Me: Yeah, I know; what' going on?

Her: Is it raining by you Charlie?

It should be noted my co-worker lives near our job, where I, on the other hand, have the unenviable commute of 120 miles.

Me: Er.... it was, but it's cleared up. Why, what's up?

Her: Nothing's up. What's wrong with you??

Me: Firstname, do you know who you're calling?

Her: Of course I do, silly!

Me: Let's make this clear... why are you calling me?

Her: Fine; I thought it would be nice for me to call my cousin.

Me: I'm sure it would be! But you called Charlie, your co-worker instead.

Her: No I didn't. I did?

Me: Good talking to you, firstname

Her: Oh my God, that is so funny....

Me: Hey, I gotta go... bye!

George Carlin once asked 'Did you ever dial a phone and forget who you're calling?' Once I called one friend and ended up dialing another by accident. That wasn't bad, however, until you consider that the first friend was at the second friend's home.


That wasn't all; the first friend has a sister, who at the time of this incident, was at a particularly obnoxious age; that is who I thought I was speaking to:

Me: Hi, can I speak to firstfriend

She: Don't you want to speak to me?

Me: Really, why would I ever want to speak to you?

The rest of that week didn't go well at all...



Sphere: Related Content
DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati FavesFacebook

Friday, July 21, 2006

Revisiting the definition of disproportionate

Last week I discussed Israel's alleged disproportionate response to Hezbollah; today I provide Ben Stein's view on the use of the word:

Out of Disproportion

So, now I see that some commentators are saying that Israel's bombing of Lebanese Hezbollah strong points and neighborhoods is "disproportionate." The Israeli campaign, so this story goes, is bullying and terrorizing the Lebanese populace, and this is (so the argument goes) typical Israeli thug behavior.

Hmmm.

Let's see. In World War II, the Germans bombed exactly no United States cities or towns. We bombed the hell out of them, day and night, for more than two years, including helping the British with firebombing Dresden, one of the most appalling civilian killings by a free people of all time.

Was it disproportionate? Well, no. The Nazis had bombed our allies, the British, in
terror raids for years. They had started a world war. They had created a genocide unspeakable in human history. So, yes, there was horrible killing, but is anyone now saying it was disproportionate? Maybe a few, but not many.

Hat tip to Tammy Bruce.

Unless Israel (and the US in Iraq) can act without trying to be Politically Correct, the conflict(s) will continue far longer than need be.




Sphere: Related Content
DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati FavesFacebook

Birthday Greetings...

A Special Birthday This Week.

Monica Lewinsky turns 33 this week.

Can you believe it? It seems like only yesterday she was crawling around the White House on her hands and knees...




Sphere: Related Content
DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati FavesFacebook

Thursday, July 20, 2006

President Bush and Embryonic Stem-Cells

The problem not being discussed with this issue is what we, as a people, have achieved to date with technology, and what is to be done with its results.

In principle, I have no problem with President Bush saying the Federal Government should not fund stem-cell research; there isn't a ban on it, just a limit on certain Federal spending. There are plenty of valid ethical reasons why it should not be done, and that's fine. Spinal cord injuries are an area I know about, and as such I have a vested interest, but the promise of something down the line is not enough to sway a persons ethics when considering the cost.

In practice, however, the President's veto - and its underlying reasoning - leaves untouched an equally troubling point, that of in vitro fertilization1. We have become so accustomed to the practice and its benefits that many do not see the unintended consequences.

In order to make IVF cost-effective, many more embryos than needed are fertilized. The unused ones are left in cold-storage (literally) for future, possible implantation in the mother's womb. Not every implantation takes, so repeating the procedure is not uncommon; also, some women may elect to save the fertilized embryos for later implantation.

The question then becomes: what happens to the unused embryos, say if a woman no longer wishes to become pregnant, cannot afford the rest of the procedure, or for whatever other reason doesn't use them?

What happens is eventually they are destroyed, basically flushed as medical waste. Practically speaking, they can't be stored forever, and without the consent of the donors, can't be given to another woman for implantation.

If the fertilized embryos, which the President (and quite a number of others) believes are life, and ought to be protected from the unavoidable destruction that is caused by embryonic stem-cell research, shouldn't the same protection be extended to the fertilized embryos in cold storage?

If A=B and B=C, doesn't A=C?

I don't profess to have the answer to this conundrum; I have been scratching my head for months about it, and now I pose the question to you , the reader, and ask for your input.




1 Or as Guardian Angels founder and Talk Radio legend Curtis Sliwa says: Vito Infertilization ... I always picture a scene in the Bronx with an Italian guy wearing a sleeveless t-shirt, holding a turkey baster.... but I digress...



Sphere: Related Content
DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati FavesFacebook

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Stem-Cells and Vetoes

No time to comment on the first-ever veto by President Bush, save to say the in spite of the rhetoric you will likely hear and read, he did not ban stem-cell research.

For a well-written FAQ on what the debate is about, check out Wired News: Stem-Cell Cheat Sheet

Sphere: Related Content
DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati FavesFacebook

Mayor Lou Barletta and Hazleton, PA gets it right

Who is Louis J. Barletta? He's the Hazleton, PA mayor, with the consent of the City Council, has implemented the toughest anti-illegal immigration law in the country. The ordinance mandates the following:

  • it denies licenses to businesses that hire illegal immigrants
  • it fines landlords for each illegal immigrant tenant
  • that English is the official language of Hazleton, PA

I am proud to say this legislation passed in my state. The ordinance clearly states that employers and landlords must knowingly hire or rent illegals, and this allows relief for those who hire/rent to people who produce fake documentation; a suitable means to test submitted documentation ought to be provided to help alleviate this issue, but at the very least, the employer/renter should keep copies of all relevant documentation.

How do I know this will be effective legislation? Check how Philadelphia's 6ABC Action News reports on the story:

Opponents are in an uproar, saying Hazleton is the first Nazi city in America.

If the best, possible opposition quote that can be had invokes Nazis, you know you've struck a nerve. That Action News calls the law the Hazleton anti-immigration act speaks volumes: this law clearly isn't anti-immigration, it is anti-illegal immigration. You can read the act yourself here.

Hazleton should be a model for the rest of the nation (do you hear that, US Senate??)



UPDATE: The genie is out of the bottle!



Sphere: Related Content
DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati FavesFacebook

Monday, July 17, 2006

Putting your 5-Day pads to the test

Taking from Philly.com: Preheating is over; begin to bake. Parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York can expect highs above 100 today. For Philly the heat advisory states:

Of course, I love summer heat like this.... I sweat pretty much year round, even in air conditioning, so at least I don't stand out when it gets this hot. Of course, my much-better-half and kidlets don't fair as well, so it's not a good thing for all.

Some readers may be lost at my choice for subject line. I was going to see if Google had any archaic reference to the antiperspirant and deodorant of the 1960s and 1970s, but was surprised to find the product is still available! Having used it some 25 years ago, I rate it slightly below that of roll-ons.


Sphere: Related Content
DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati FavesFacebook

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Define disproportionate

Dan Gillerman, Israel's ambassador to the UN, in response to critics who say Israel's response is disproportionate, today said those critics were right: for if their countries were attacked, their response to the attackers would be far greater than Israel's response.

I'm searching for the exact quote, but in my opinion, this sums up the situation succinctly.

And yet Israel still gets criticized.


Sphere: Related Content
DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati FavesFacebook

Friday, July 14, 2006

Middle East dilemma

I had hoped to have more time today to produce a more detailed post, but this will have to suffice. In no uncertain terms do I support Israel in their defense of those that would wish it annihilated.

A weaker party is constantly hitting Israelis at their most vulnerable. Frequently bombing buses and cafes, which have no military value. Yet the stronger party bides its time and bury their dead. Hezbollah makes war on Israel, much to the chagrin of its Lebanonese hosts, and the world condemns Israel? How does that work?

The recent battle started when Hezbollah agents tunneled under a check point and ambushed the Israeli soldiers guarding the point. They killed all save 2, who were captured. The Israeli air force responded by bombing an airstrip; Hezbollah and their allies launched missiles into a residential neighborhood. The Israeli air force dropped leaflets over a community, telling the residents their neighbors, harboring Hezbollah agents, were soon to be targets of their fire power. The next day they launch an air strike on the same area, and much of the world condemns them.

The stronger power continues to show restraint against its foes, but for how long?

When will 'much of the world' condemn the Hezbollah, Hamas and their allies for their sworn pledge to destroy Israel?

In 1981, Israel bombed a an Iraqi nuclear plant under construction; soon after the UN voted a resolution to condemn Israel for its aggressiveness (and sadly, the US did not use its veto power).

On July 4, 2006, North Korea launched over a half-dozen missiles in what can only be described as an act of aggression. The US can't get the Security Council to even vote on a condemnation, knowing China and Russia would veto. Iran's saber rattling goes unchallenged in the world theater as well.

Yet on July 13th, a UN resolution to condemn Israel's defensive efforts in the Gaza was nearly passed, save for the USA veto. Does anyone seriously doubt the majority of members of the UN would be happier if Israel was simply destroyed, once and for all?

Remember Middle East history: not days after the birth of Israel, the fledgling Democracy was told by its neighbors their intent to destroy it. Israel may not be perfect, may not be free from blood on its hands (as if any nation could claim otherwise), but clearly has been given the short-end of the stick since its birth.

I, for one look forward to the day Israel does what it must to end this always-simmering war. They've tried to negotiate, they've given back land; yet much of the world still mocks them and their enemies continue fighting against them.

There's only one way to end this viscous cycle: Israel can either succumb to its enemies, or they must destroy them.

There is no other way.

And this same lesson can be applied by the USA as well.

Sphere: Related Content
DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati FavesFacebook

This just in...

I came across some memorable headlines


  • Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge
  • Official: Only rain will cure drought (The Herald-News, Westpost, Massachusetts)
  • Man Struck by Lightning Faces Battery Charge
  • British Union Finds Dwarfs in Short Supply
  • Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
  • New Vaccine May Contain Rabies
  • Survey Finds Dirtier Subways After Cleaning Jobs Were Cut (New York Times)
  • Infertility unlikely to be passed on
  • Study Finds Sex, Pregnancy Link (Cornell Daily Sun, December 7, 1995)
  • Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors
  • Alcohol ads promote drinking (The Hartford Courant)
  • Plot to kill officer had vicious side
Of course there's my personal favorite from the front page of the NY Post:
HEADLESS MAN
FOUND IN
TOPLESS BAR



Sphere: Related Content
DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati FavesFacebook

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Independent, but perhaps too much so



Last Autumn, I related a story about a pretty young girl getting messy from crawling under her disabled car while her boyfried sat in the front seat, too cool (apparently) to help.

Tonight, at the very same gas station, I witnessed another gal, probably 22-ish, pumping her own gas while a guy who I can only guess is her bf sat in the front seat, foot on the dash. At least in this case, he and she chatted while she pumped.

Now before anyone gets all why can't she pump her own gas? are you afraid she's gonna melt on me, stop: I have no problem with women pumping gas, or doing damn well near anything. I make brief exceptions for certain occupations: if a man testing for a firefighter has to haul a 250 lb dummy down a flight of steps, so should a woman; I see nothing discriminatory in that.

Women should be able to - nay, ought to know how to - pump their own gas. There's no reason to the contrary.

But where has basic courtesy -- or dare I say chivalry -- when a guy sits back and lets his gal pump gas? Let's say they're not even dating... at least get out of the car and stand there. Hell, she even walked to the store to pay! The lazy S.O.B...

Some guys make the rest of the gender look a lot worse than we are!



Sphere: Related Content
DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati FavesFacebook

Rick Santorum, US Senator

In recent months my postings have become a bit thin, due mostly to growing responsibilities in my employment and elsewhere.

That has left me far behind in noting, in no uncertain terms, my support for various candidates for office in the November elections. Without further a do, this post is in support for Pennsylvania's own Rick Santorum.

Sen. Santorum's record on national security speaks for itself, and on that point alone I could back the man. But his record also includes his positions on border security, taxation, immigration, ANWR, and Social Security reform.

The Senator has also done a considerable amount of legwork in unveiling the previously confidential data on found WMDs in Iraq. Naysayers will state that the amounts found are trivial, at best, but they ignore the real potential of those weapons. Regardless of whether those weapons could kill hundreds or millions, they are certainly worthy of being uncovered and properly destroyed; something that Saddam Hussein clearly did not do as promised.

Senator Santorum's competitor, Bob Casey, has yet to define himself in any concrete way. His positions seem weak and variable... as if he crafts a response to suit the audience he is addressing. Without a firm message, how does he expect to lead?


As time permits I intend to post more about Sen. Santorum (not the least of which is his support of Autism funding or his charitable works). For now, you can visit RickSantorum.com



Sphere: Related Content
DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati FavesFacebook

Flame on!

Letters ... we get letters...

Well, perhaps letter is more appropriate. I encourage all who visit to leave comments, send an e-mail, or even IM me. Few ever send IMs, several comment (including first-timers), and some send e-mail. Rarely have I annoyed anyone to the degree that I have in this post on minimum wage. Per my disclaimer, I retain the right to post the senders e-mail address, but I will refrain from that for now, in case there are people in or around Ohio who know him. I've replied to him with a link to this post, so he may elect to respond here or via e-mail.

Charlie, do they pay you to say these things? It would be hard for me to say that a burger flipper earning 7 dollars an hour will cause my burger to cost 20 percent more. Your such an ass. No mention of the congressional pay raises or the CEO taking down companies or CEOs looting the companies funds but...god forbid some poor slob gets 7 dollars an hour instead of 5....probably ruin America....republicans rule....

The truly amazing part about you government workers is your hatred of unions yet you belong to one of the strongest. You suck on the government tit and whine about free enterprise. You scream about nationalized health care but have the best health care the government can buy. HYPOCRITE.

P.S. You need to go to Iraq and help defend this great administration and its' push for "Democracy"?

- Dave

Well, Dave, I seem to have pushed a button or two of yours. So be it! First, if anyone paid me, I'd immediately put that money into hiring someone to redesign this blog's template, then invest in a full commenting system, and probably purchase my own domain name. In spite of those costs being comparatively low, I operate on shoe-string budget. Clearly, no one pays me, tho if they did, so what? These views remain mine.

Capitalism means selling goods and services as low as possible to remain competitive. If you can't fathom why raising minimum wage does nothing to help the price the consumer pays, I would direct you to your college economics text for a refresher.

I may not have posted about Congressional pay raises, but that doesn't mean I don't oppose them (here are other things I've never posted about that I hate: wife beaters, child abuse, lobsters). Congress was never intended on being a full-time job for its members. I fully backed the spirit of the 1994 Congress who ran on term-limit agendas; sadly few have stood fast by them. No Congressman should enjoy the fruits of their pay raises until their next election cycle. This is a problem in both parties.

While no one can ignore the Enrons, WorldComs, and Tycos of the world, they number less than one percent of all CEOs in the country. Yes, those sensational cases deserve scorn, ridicule and jail sentences. Yet the vast majority of CEOs earn their pay legitimately. I hate bad cops, but I won't call all cops bad. And for those ordinary CEOs who get fat salaries: if there's blame to be had, I blame the shareholders, who voted them into their respected office and salary. If the shareholders think the CEO deserves the pay, who are we to question?

Tell me, Dave: do you think most sports stars deserve their pay? I do.

I am a government worker? News to me! I have worked for private companies my entire adult life. By way of full discloser, in 1981 I worked for the Queensboro Public Library, shelving books, so that was an government job. Heh... and because I was only logging 20 hours a week, I was paid below the prevailing minimum wage!

Anyone who has read this blog knows I don't consider myself to have a fantastic health care policy; it is good, yes, but not like a Congressional plan, or most union plans I know. Maybe it's because I work for a private company? Please check your facts (or what you believe are facts) before you spout off.

Hypocrite? If there's one thing I can not stand it's a hypocrite. Please, review my archives and do tell me where I am a hypocrite.

Dave, your last sentence was declarative in nature but ended in a question mark. While my spelling sometimes is faulty, I try to use correct punctuation. That much said: I've said before I would probably never be accepted into any branch of the military, but thanks for the suggestion nonetheless.

Since you've obviously spoke first without investigating the ample posts I've made in my humble blog, I think the term 'ass' is misplaced.

I've replied to Dave's e-mail with a reference to this post. Time will tell if he will stand by his words; I always do, but that's me.
Update: My reply to Dave was returned undeliverable... I'll try again in case the mail server failed, but if it fails again, its an example of the folly in giving flamers attention.

Sphere: Related Content
DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati FavesFacebook

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Overheard but not Understood

While waiting for a POC (point of contact) at a client site, I over-heard the following:

HE 1: Thanks for taking on this task, Bill. I'll forward the e-mail to you; the woman's name is Brenda lastname.

He 2: Not a problem! Besides, I'm happy to help, especially since I've always had a soft spot for women named Brenda.

He 1: Because that's your wife's name?

He 2: scoff -- What are you, crazy??

It was at that point my POC arrived, so I can't vouch for what transpired further.




Sphere: Related Content
DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati FavesFacebook

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Things that are not true

  • It is not true the inventor of E-Z Pass was Dr. Jack Kevorkian
  • It is not true Sen. Hillary Clinton got her idea for her book, It Takes a Village, from Potemkin.
  • It is not true DNA stands for 'The National Association for Dyslexia".
  • It is not true that ICBM is a cryogenic stool sample.
  • It is not true that "Veto Power" was an Italian Spy Pilot.
  • It is not true that a Baguette is an ugly French woman.
  • It is not true that Emile Zola's ugly wife was named Gorgon Zola.

Can you add to these of verities?



Sphere: Related Content
DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati FavesFacebook

Monday, July 10, 2006

Why GITMO??

Tammy Bruce asks the oft-heard question: why do we need Guantanamo Bay?

Because Islamist terrorists didn't develop in a vacuum--they grew up and were fostered in Islamist countries that fed and continue to feed, their savagery. In this instance, 19 Islamist savages are freed to continue their "jihad" against the United States.

Yemen Acquits 19 Suspected al-Qaida Members
SAN'A, Yemen (AP) - Nineteen alleged al-Qaida members accused of plotting to assassinate Westerners and blow up a hotel used by Americans were acquitted Saturday by a judge who also exonerated some of fighting U.S. troops in Iraq.

The accused denied many of the charges, but some had confessed to fighting U.S. troops in Iraq, and had Iraqi stamps in their passports.

``This does not violate (Yemeni) law,'' presiding judge Ahmed al-Baadani said. ``Islamic sharia law permits jihad against occupiers.''

Oh, but don't forget, the White House wants you to know Yemen is an ally in the WoT. Just like Saudi Arabia. And the UAE. And Jordan. etc, etc, etc.


Any questions?

Sphere: Related Content
DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati FavesFacebook

Cost increase for all

This weekend, Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell (D) was pleased to announce an increase in the minimum wage. Sounds good, many think, right?

Wrong.. this feel-good legislation will cost all in Pennsylvania more money... in many different ways.

For starters, common sense dictates that few people will suffer at a minimum wage job for any length of time. Certainly, someone starting at an entry-level job will get a low wage, but after a time, provided they show some initiative, they'll earn more (assuming the business can afford it, of course). If they aren't paid more, that employee is welcomed to cross the street to 'the other guy' and apply for a job with a better salary. Business owners are always looking to pay for quality workers, and it stands to reason the better workers will be eligible for better pay, keeping in mind that there are absolute limits in all endeavors.

In January, those workers who are earning $5.15 per hour today will earn $6.15, and one assumes that all comparable wage earners will also get a bump as well. By July '07, they'll be bumped up to $7.25 per hour. So for those people, without lifting a finger, they'll get a 20% raise in January, followed by another 18% raise next summer. Tell me: how often have you ever received a 40% raise in a year?

Meanwhile, employers, especially small business owners, will likely hire one person instead of two, especially in the next year, knowing that their fixed-costs will go up without any guaranteed increase in performance?

Businesses work hard to control fixed-costs in order to remain competitive. But when your fixed-costs and the fixed-costs of your competitors go up, what keeps you from passing those additional fixed-costs on to their customers by raising their prices?

And why only an increase to $7.25 ... why not $10? Why not $15?

Finally, the huge national security concern this year has been that of illegal aliens (finally!). The vast majority of these illegal aliens are employed off-the-books, and often below prevailing minimum wage. Do you think an employer who is already predisposed to break the law by hiring people off-the-books are suddenly going to be inspired to pay more for legal workers?

It is thinking like this and many other reasons that make it so easy for me to support Lynn Swann for Governor of Pennsylvania. In the coming weeks I'll be posting additional reasons why Mr. Swann is a better candidate, and why Mr. Rendell ought to be replaced.



Sphere: Related Content
DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati FavesFacebook

Tax Cuts in NJ ... sort of...

Yes, yes I realize the headline of this post is a bit deceiving. New Jersey property owners did get a tax break this weekend, as Governor John Corzine signed property tax cuts while simultaneously raising the State sales tax by a margin 17%. The net result is hardly a tax cut for all state residents.

Meanwhile, an estimated $67 $11.2 million in tax revenue was lost due to the week long shut down of Atlantic City casinos, caused solely to the Governor's stead-fast insistence on raising the sales tax. Please, tell me how any of that that will help the wallets of the constituency.

Note, this particular tax increase affects EVERYONE in the state. I emphasize this because the November 7th elections are just 120 days away, and voters will want to remember that the state's Republican Congress people fought against the sales tax increase, but alas were in the minority. Gee, who would ever think a Democratic Party Governor and State Congress would raise taxes??

This tax increase only barely affects me, personally: I do, in fact, work in NJ ... have done so for 10 years now. While I do occasionally eat out, however, this tax increase won't break me.

On the other hand, I know several people who are residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, who happen to own property on the Jersey shore. They're laughing their way to the bank, for the taxes they pay on their vacation property have just been lowered. Sure, they'll buy fresh milk or the like at the local stores, but they'll load up in PA before they head to their beach fun.

Isn't it ironic... don't you think?

So on behalf of those residents of PA who have received a tax cut, allow me to thank the NJ voters, upon whose backs those tax cuts have been provided.

Sphere: Related Content
DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati FavesFacebook

Friday, July 07, 2006

Oh my, How generous your are with my...


All dialogue between my 10 year old and myself, is 100% accurate:

HE: Hey Daddy, Can you get home from work before 3:00 on Tuesday?

ME: That's kind of early for me. What do you need that day?

HE: Well, there's a blood drive at local supermarket and if you get there by 3:00, you can donate your blood!


What a guy, so generous with my blood!

He knows I've donated in the past (I have a 2 gallon pin from the Red Cross), and its been more than a year since I last donated, but the idea of getting jabbed because he thinks it's a good idea isn't my idea of afternoon fun.

I actually started donating as a way to get over my fear of needles.

It hasn't helped.

http://www.givelife.org



Sphere: Related Content
DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati FavesFacebook

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Liberal/Progressive vs. Conservative Book Sales

Brian Maloney of The Radio Equalizer revealed an interesting slant in the sales data of books at Amazon.com:

Is liberal Air America host Sam Seder's new book inadvertently encouraging readers to join the conservative cause?

In what is either a strange error, an Amazon.com staffer with a real sense of humor, or a bona fide trend, Air America host Sam Seder's new book
FUBAR: America's Right-Wing Nightmare seems to be encouraging buyers to purchase Ann Coulter's Godless instead!
I checked it out on my own and found the stats Brian reported to be consistent: as of this post, Ann Coulter's latest book is preferred by buyers who shop for Sam Seder's book by a huge margin:


Read More...


Click for a larger view

According to Amazon's own ranking system, 90% of people who viewed the Sam Seder's book bought Ann Coulter's, whereas a mere 8% bought Mr. Seder's offering (for current stats, click here).

Mr. Maloney concludes:

Apparently, a non-fiction release trashing Americans for expressing religious views isn't in especially high demand these days!

Perhaps this is nothing more than a modern-day Google Bomb. Or perhaps not. Consider the reverse:

Of those who shopped for Ms. Coulter's book, 47% went on to buy her book, but 37% bought An Inconveinent Truth by Vice President Al Gore (latest stats).

Does this mean more Conservative minded readers give global warming more credibility than Progressives/Liberals give to Conservatism? If so, which group has the more open-mind?

Sphere: Related Content
DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati FavesFacebook

New Jersey: Closed

Lots of ink about New Jersey government shutdown. The idea of Governor Corzine thinking he can tax his way to prosperity is a common Democrat Party idea that never - ever - works.

So instead the Governor sits idly by while gamblers travel to Connecticut to go to their casino. Say goodbye to over $1.6M in revenue daily, Mr. Corzine.

So tell me: if the state is 'closed', why am I still paying tolls on the highways??



Sphere: Related Content
DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati FavesFacebook

Monday, July 03, 2006

Blog Quiz: Where are you?


You are driving in a car at a constant speed. On your left side is a valley and on your right side is a fire engine traveling at the same speed as you.

In front of you is a galloping pig which is the same size as your car and you cannot overtake it. Behind you is a helicopter flying at ground level. Both the giant pig and the helicopter are also traveling at the same speed as you.

What must you do to safely get out of this highly dangerous situation?
Click for the answer...


Get off the children's "Merry-Go-Round", you're drunk!



Sphere: Related Content
DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati FavesFacebook