Monday, June 28, 2004

Taxation "Debate" - Lileks

Lileks has a good anecdote about his encounter with a mindless drone - er, Kerry campaign worker. (Reprinted without permission):

The other day a young girl came to the door to solicit my support for her presidential candidate. I asked her why I should vote for this man. She was very nice and earnest, but if you got her off the talking points she was utterly unprepared to argue anything, because she didn’t know what she was talking about. She had bullet points, and she believed that any reasonable person would see the importance of these issues and naturally fall in line. But she could not support any of her assertions. Her final selling point: Kerry would roll back the tax cuts.

Then came the Parable of the Stairs, of course. My tiresome, shopworn, oft-told tale, a piece of unsupportable meaningless anecdotal drivel about how I turned my tax cut into a nice staircase that replaced a crumbling eyesore, hired a few people and injected money far and wide - from the guys who demolished the old stairs, the guys who built the new one, the family firm that sold the stone, the other firm that rented the Bobcats, the entrepreneur who fabricated the railings in his garage, and the guy who did the landscaping. Also the company that sold him the plants. And the light fixtures. It’s called economic activity. What’s more, home improvements added to the value of this pile, which mean that my assessment would increase, bumping up my property taxes. To say nothing of the general beautification of the neighborhood. Next year, if my taxes didn’t shoot up, I had another project planned. Raise my taxes, and it won’t happen – I won’t hire anyone, and they won’t hire anyone, rent anything, buy anything. You see?

“Well, it’s a philosophical difference,” she sniffed. She had pegged me as a form of life last seen clicking the leash off a dog at Abu Ghraib. “I think the money should have gone straight to those people instead of trickling down.” Those last two words were said with an edge.

“But then I wouldn’t have hired them,” I said. “I wouldn’t have new steps. And they wouldn’t have done anything to get the money.”

“Well, what did you do?” she snapped.

“What do you mean?”

“Why should the government have given you the money in the first place?”

“They didn’t give it to me. They just took less of my money.”

That was the last straw. Now she was angry. And the truth came out:

“Well, why is it your money? I think it should be their money.”

Then she left.

And walked down the stairs. I let her go without charging a toll. It’s the philanthropist in me.

re: Unfairenheit 9/11

A movie review titled Unfairenheit 9/11 has this to say about Michael "Stupid White Man" Moore's latest drivel:

"To describe this film as dishonest and demagogic would almost be to promote those terms to the level of respectability. To describe this film as a piece of crap would be to run the risk of a discourse that would never again rise above the excremental. To describe it as an exercise in facile crowd-pleasing would be too obvious. Fahrenheit 9/11 is a sinister exercise in moral frivolity, crudely disguised as an exercise in seriousness. It is also a spectacle of abject political cowardice masking itself as a demonstration of "dissenting" bravery."

Read the whole thing - it gets better.

Hewitt on progress in Iraq

from Hugh Hewitt (8:15PM, Jun 27) in reference to this article:

Professor Ignatieff announces in his piece that "the United States did one thing well in Iraq, and nobody else could have done it --overthrew a dictator. Everything else was badly done, and some of what was done (Abu Ghraib) was a moral disgrace and a strategic catastrophe."

The professor concludes many other silly things, and in overwritten prose that wouldn't make a high school editorial, but this paragraph should haunt him for the rest of his no doubt distinguished career. "One thing well?" "Everything else was badly done" --everthing else? How about the unearthing of those mass graves? How about the cessation of a state-sponsored killing spree that National Geographic estimates at having snuffed out the lives of 5 million Iraqis, minimum, over 20 years? How about the return of worship rights to the Shias, or the surgeries for those whose hands were severed by Saddam's secret police? How about the disarming of Libya of its WMDs, or the busting up of the A.Q. Khan network? Was it a bad thing to end Saddam's oil-for-food-for-bribes scam? To rebuild thousands of schools? To dismantle the secret police? One good thing? Everything else badly done? With a new government arriving, and Zarqawi running as opposed to sunning himself? With Abu Nidal dead and the pay-offs to the suicide bombers in Jerusalem halted?
...
But moral incoherence on this level is beyond foolishness, and signals that a part of the elite has simply lost all ability to judge good and evil. In this respect it is like the Vietnam conflict, when the Ignatieffs of that era were proclaiming Pol Pot an agrarian reformer, and the North Vietnamese liberators. That era's foolishness wasn't harmless. It cost millions of lives. Every one of which deserved saving. The Ignatieffs of thirty years ago never owned up to their compliciity in the deaths of millions. This time around, we shouldn't allow tweedy indifference to the suffering of peoples far away to go unchallenged.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

A Sincere Apology

this just arrived at my inbox...

"Various anti-American groups are asking for an apology for the events which occurred at Abu Ghraib; I humbly offer mine here:

I am sorry that Arabs have to live in squalor under savage dictatorships. I am sorry that their leaders squander their wealth. I am sorry that their governments breed hate for the USA in their religious schools. I am sorry that so many Arabs are still pathologically fixated on the unfortunate events that occurred nearly a millenia ago.

I am sorry that no such call for an apology upon the extremists came after 9/11. I am sorry that all of the murderers on 9/11 were Arabs. I am sorry the Arabs did not apologize for flight 93 and 175, the USS Cole, the numerous embassy bombings, etc.

I am sorry that foreign trained terrorists are trying to seize control of Iraq and return it to a terrorist state. I am sorry that any Muslim extremists are allowed to live, however we are making progress on this.

I am sorry the United Nations scammed the poor people of Iraq out of the "food for oil" money so they could get rich while the common folk suffered. I am sorry that the USA has to step in and be the biggest financial supporter of poverty stricken Arabs while the insanely oil-wealthy Arabs blame the USA.

I am sorry that Yasir Arafat was kicked out of every Arab country and hijacked the Palestinian "cause". I am sorry that no other Arab country will take in or offer more than a token amount of financial help to those same Palestinians. I am sorry that many African-Americans have become enslaved again by the Nation of Islam movement.

I am sorry that some Arab governments pay the families of homicide bombers upon their death. I am sorry that the homicide bombers think babies and schoolchildren are legitimate targets. I am sorry that Muslim extremists have killed more Arabs than any other group.

I am sorry terrorists hide in their convenient "Holy Sites". I am sorry that their "Holy Sites" all have such vast stockpiles of weapons and ammunition. I am sorry they didn't apologize for slamming a jet into the World Trade Center that collapsed and severely damaged Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, one of our Holy Sites. I am sorry that the name "Allah" is usually translated "God", because God is not the entity these devils worship.

I am sorry that the left-wing media elite and hollywood hypocrites can't understand any of this."

Monday, June 21, 2004

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

AWOL!

Here's another good Scrappleface article about John Effin Kerry's attendance record.

Questions for the class:

Bush has proven that he was not AWOL from his military service. Why is this still an issue?
Kerry is currently AWOL from the Senate. Why is this not an issue?

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Oliver Stone's new movie "Alexander the Great"

Apparently Oliver Stone is making a movie about Alexander the Great. Some details are coming out about possible "enhancements" to the story:

;)

A bungled break-in at the Library of Alexandria, resulting in an eighteen minute gap in several parchments.

A detailed explanation of the "Magic Phalanx Theory".

Drugged-out Alexander collapses on stage while yelling "I am the Lizard King!".

Quote: "It's a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma wrapped in a pita bread with some feta cheese!"

Odd flashback sequences in the style of "Father Knows Best".

Discovery that his father Philip was actually assassinated by Jack Ruby (who was working for the Persian Mafia).

Working title: "Born in the Summer of 356 BC".

Scrappleface: Original Text of Bush speech ;)

Scrappleface LEAK: Original Text of Bush speech

Excellent work again by Mr. Ott.

Monday, June 14, 2004

U.N. Quiz

I just ran across this - go check it out:

U.N. Quiz

Looks lke there's more other good stuff over there...

Recycling #0005: The Bill Of No Rights

The following has been attributed to State Representative Mitchell Kaye from Georgia:

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The Bill Of No Rights

"We, the sensible people of the United States, in an attempt to help everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, avoid any more riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior, and secure the blessings of debt-free liberty to ourselves and our great-great-great-grandchildren, hereby try one more time to ordain and establish some common sense guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt-ridden, delusional, and other liberal bedwetters.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that a whole lot of people are confused by the Bill of Rights and are so dim that they require a Bill of No Rights.

ARTICLE I: You do not have the right to a new car, big screen TV or any other form of wealth. More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteeing anything.

ARTICLE II: You do not have the right to never be offended. This country is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone - not just you! You may leave the room, turn the channel, express a different opinion, etc., but the world is full of idiots, and probably always will be.

ARTICLE III: You do not have the right to be free from harm. If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful, do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy.

ARTICLE IV: You do not have the right to free food and housing. Americans are the most charitable people to be found, and will gladly help anyone in need, but we are quickly growing weary of subsidizing generation after generation of professional couch potatoes who achieve nothing more than the creation of another generation of professional couch potatoes.

ARTICLE V: You do not have the right to free health care. That would be nice, but from the looks of public housing and public transportation, we're just not interested in public health care.

ARTICLE VI: You do not have the right to physically harm other people. If you kidnap, rape, intentionally maim, or kill someone, don't be surprised if the rest of us want to see you executed.

ARTICLE VII: You do not have the right to the possessions of others. If you rob, cheat or coerce away the goods or services of other citizens, don't be surprised if the rest of us get together and lock you away in a place where you still won't have the right to a big screen color TV or a life of leisure.

ARTICLE VIII: You don't have the right to demand that our children risk their lives in foreign wars to soothe your aching conscience. We hate oppressive governments and won't lift a finger to stop you from going to fight if you'd like. However, we do not enjoy parenting the entire world and do not want to spend so much of our time battling each and every little tyrant with a military uniform and a funny hat.

ARTICLE IX: You don't have the right to a job. All of us sure want all of you to have one, and will gladly help you along in hard times, but we expect you to take advantage of the opportunities of education and vocational training laid before you to make yourself useful.

ARTICLE X: You do not have the right to happiness. Being an American means that you have the right to pursue happiness - which by the way, is a lot easier if you are unencumbered by an overabundance of idiotic laws created by those of you who were confused by the Bill of Rights."

Recycling #0004: Liberal Manifesto

More from the archives. I felt a little queasy while editing this one:

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Manifesto of the Modern Liberal:

1) We believe the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of funding.

2) We are against capital punishment, but for abortion on demand, i.e. protecting the guilty and killing the innocent.

3) We believe that public school teachers who can't teach elementary students how to read are qualified to teach those same kids about sex.

4) We believe that trial lawyers are selfless heroes and doctors are overpaid.

5) We believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans are more of a threat than nuclear missiles in the hands of the Red Chinese.

6) We believe that global temperatures are less affected by cyclical, documented changes in the sun, and more affected by SUVs (except for the ones we own).

7) We believe that gender roles are artificial but being gay is natural.

8) We believe that businesses create oppression and governments create prosperity.

9) We believe that hunters don't care about nature, but animal rights activists who've never been outside Seattle do.

10) We believe that self-esteem is more important than actually doing something to earn it.

11) We believe there was no art before federal funding.

12) We believe the military, not corrupt politicians, start wars.

13) We believe the free market that gives us 500+ channels can't deliver the quality that PBS does.

14) We believe the NRA is bad because it stands up for certain parts of the Constitution, while the ACLU is good because it stands up for certain parts of the Constitution.

15) We believe that taxes are too low but ATM fees are too high.

16) We believe that Harriet Tubman, Cesar Chavez and Gloria Steinem are more important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, Robert E. Lee, Thomas Edison, or indeed any white male.

17) We believe that standardized tests are racist, but affirmative action and racial quotas aren't.

18) We believe that secondhand smoke is more dangerous than HIV.

19) We believe that conservatives are racists, but that black people couldn't make it without your help.

21) We believe that the only reason socialism hasn't worked anywhere it's been tried is because we were not in charge.

You say "potatoe", and I say "I invented the internet"...

Why haven't we heard as much about these as we did about Dan Quayle's "potatoe"?

==============

Qutoes from former Vice President Al Gore:

"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure."

"Democrats understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child."

"Welcome to President Clinton, Mrs. Clinton, and my fellow astronauts."

"Mars is essentially in the same orbit... Mars is somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, & water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe." 8/11/94

"The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history. I mean in this century's history. But we all lived in this century. I didn't live in this century." 9/15/95

"I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy - but that could change." 5/22/98

"One word sums up probably the responsibility of any vice president, and that one word is 'to be prepared'." 12/6/93

"Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things." 11/30/96

"I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future."

"The future will be better tomorrow."

"We're going to have the best-educated American people in the world." 9/21/97

"People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history."

"I stand by all the misstatements that I've made" 8/17/93

"We have a firm commitment to NATO, we are a part of NATO. We have a firm
commitment to Europe. We are a part of Europe."

"A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls."

"Illegitimacy is something we should talk about in terms of not having it." 5/20/96

"We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur." 9/22/97

"For NASA, space is still a high priority." 9/5/93

"Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach our children." 9/18/95

"The American people would not want to know of any misquotes that Al Gore may or may not make."

"We're all capable of mistakes, but I do not care to enlighten you on the mistakes we may or may not have made."

"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it."

"[It's] time for the human race to enter the solar system."

"As many of you know, I was very instrumental in the founding of the Internet" 3/99

Recycling #0003: Carlin?

This has been attributed to George Carlin, but I'm not so sure... It's good whoever wrote it.

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Things I Believe:

The money I make belongs to me and my family, not some unelected mid-level governmental functionary who wants to give it away to crack addicts.

Owning a gun doesn't make you a killer.

It's called the Boy Scouts for a reason.

Being a minority does not make you either noble or victimized.

If you are selling me a Big Mac, you'd better do it in English.

No one should use the excuse "it's for the children" as a lie for raising taxes, adding unnecessary regulations, or otherwise impairing our freedom.

The simple fact that you are a student does not make you enlightened.

Everyone has a right to pray to their God as they believe.

The wealthy do not deserve to be hated simply because they are wealthy.

The poor do not deserve to be pitied simply because they are poor.

"Pro Wrestling" is fake and it is a waste of time to argue about it.

Global warming is a big lie designed to punish American productivity.

I've never owned a slave, or was a slave, I didn't wander forty years in the desert after getting chased out of Egypt, I haven't burned any witches or been persecuted by the Turks and neither have you, so shut up already.

The police have the right to pull you over if you are breaking the law, regardless of what color you are.

If you are too stupid to know how a ballot works, you do not deserve to decide who is in charge of the most powerful nation the world for the next four years.

The passing lane is ONLY for passing. Yield signs mean YOU yield your right of way.

It does not take a village to raise a child, it takes two parents.

Tattoos and piercing are okay if you want them, but please don't pretend they are a political statement.

I'm neither angry nor disenfranchised, no matter how desperately the mainstream media would like the world to believe otherwise.

Who reads newspapers?

This was just forwarded to me today:

==============

The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.

The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country.

The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the country, and who are very good at crosswords.

USA Today is read by people who don't really understand the Washington Post, but like the colorful pie charts.

The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn't mind running the country, if they could spare the time, and if they didn't have to leave LA to do it.

The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country and did a faaah superiaah job of it, thank you very much.

The New York Daily News is read by people who aren't too sure who's running the country, and don't really care as long as they can get a seat on the train.

The New York Post is read by people who don't care who's running the country, as long as they do something really scandalous, preferably while intoxicated.

The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren't sure there is a country... or that anyone is running it, but whoever it is, they oppose all that they stand for. There are occasional exceptions: if the leaders are handicapped minority feminist atheist dwarfs who are illegal aliens from ANY country or galaxy - as long as they are Democrats.

The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country but need the baseball scores.

The National Inquirer is read by people who think Elvis is still running the country.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Recycling #0002: France's Wars

The second one from my archives...

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The History of the French Military

- Gallic Wars - Lost. In a war whose ending foreshadows the next 2000 years of French history, France is conquered by of all things, an Italian.

- Hundred Years War - Mostly lost, saved at last by female schizophrenic who inadvertently creates The First Rule of French Warfare; "France's armies are victorious only when not led by a Frenchman." Sainted.

- Italian Wars - Lost. France becomes the first and only country to ever lose two wars when fighting Italians.

- Wars of Religion - France goes 0-5-4 against the Huguenots

- Thirty Years War - France is technically not a participant, but manages to get invaded anyway. Claims a tie on the basis that eventually the other participants started ignoring her.

- War of Revolution - Tied. Frenchmen take to wearing red flowerpots as chapeaux.

- The Dutch War - Tied

- War of the Augsburg League / King William's War / French and Indian War - Lost, but claimed as a tie. Three ties in a row induces deluded Frogophiles the world over to label the period as the height of French military power.

- War of the Spanish Succession - Lost. The War also gave the French their first taste of a Marlborough, which they have loved every since.

- American Revolution - In a move that will become quite familiar to future Americans, France claims a win even though the English colonists saw far more action. This is later known as "de Gaulle Syndrome", and leads to the Second Rule of French Warfare; "France only wins when America does most of the fighting."

- French Revolution - Won, primarily due the fact that the opponent was also French.

- The Napoleonic Wars - Lost. Temporary victories (remember the First Rule!) due to leadership of a Corsican, who ended up being no match for a British footwear designer.

- The Franco-Prussian War - Lost. Germany first plays the role of drunk frat boy to France's ugly girl home alone on a Saturday night.

- World War I - Tied and on the way to losing, France is saved by the United States. Thousands of French women find out what it's like to not only sleep with a winner, but one who doesn't call her "Fraulein."

- World War II - Lost. Conquered French liberated by the United States and Britain just as they finish learning the Horst Wessel Song.

- War in Indochina - Lost. French forces plead sickness, and take to bed with the Dien Bien Flu.

- Algerian Rebellion - Lost. Loss marks the first defeat of a western army by a Non-Turkic Muslim force since the Crusades, and produces the First Rule of Muslim Warfare; "We can always beat the French." This rule is identical to the First Rules of the Italians, Russians, Germans, English, Dutch, Spanish, Vietnamese and Esquimaux.

- War on Terrorism - France, keeping in mind its recent history, surrenders to Germans and Muslims just to be safe. Attempts to surrender to Vietnamese ambassador fail after he takes refuge in a McDonald's.

-----

"They're there when they need you." --Wall Street Journal

"Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion." --Norman Schwartzkopf

"I would call the French scumbags, but that, of course, would be a disservice to bags filled with scum." --Dennis Miller

Recycling #0001: Quagmire!

I'll be going back through my e-mail archives and posting some of the ones that bear repeating...

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Quagmire!

The next time you hear the word "quagmire" used in reference to Iraq, consider these facts:

It took less time to liberate Iraq than it took Janet Reno to take the Branch Davidian compound. That was a 51-day operation.

It took less time to find Saddam's sons in Iraq than it took Hillary Clinton to find the Rose Law Firm billing records.

It took less time for the 3rd Infantry Division and the Marines to destroy the Medina Republican Guard than it took Teddy Kennedy to call the police after his Oldsmobile sank at Chappaquiddick.

Numero Uno

Here's the first entry for the "Hatless in Hattiesburg" blog. I will probably use this blog for political/philosophical postings - I don't plan on posting the minutae of my daily activities.

I don't feed trolls. Any vulgar, nasty, or mindless comments will be deleted without further comment.

Now let's see if I can get some links in here...