Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Quick Religious Thought

I'm watching a History Channel show, "How Life Began." It's very good, I recommend it.

Part of the show talks about Charles Darwin and "The Origin of Species." According to some commentators, the book discusses the process through which species evolve, but not the origin of life itself, making for a decent mesh with a creationist theory.

At any rate, Darwin believes species evolve basically through sexual reproduction.

So I thought, some people believe that God created man in his image, and that can be divisive in a multi ethnic world.

But, if the two ideas mesh together, then eventually, man would be a composite, with the dominant traits from every ethnicity.

Such a composite would be awesome on its own. But on the grand scale that a creator would be ... well, it would be godlike, now wouldn't it?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Bringing Up Race -- 'Just In Case'

Politicians are just awful, regardless of party.

But, today's example is a Democrat, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.

Here's a story from Reuters:

JACKSONVILLE, Florida (Reuters) - Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama said on Friday he expects Republicans to highlight the fact that he is black as part of an effort to make voters afraid of him.

"It is going to be very difficult for Republicans to run on their stewardship of the economy or their outstanding foreign policy," Obama told a fundraiser in Jacksonville, Florida. "We know what kind of campaign they're going to run. They're going to try to make you afraid.

"They're going to try to make you afraid of me. He's young and inexperienced and he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black?"

He said he was also set for Republicans to say "he's got a feisty wife," in trying to attack his wife Michelle.

"We know the strategy because they've already shown their cards. Ultimately I think the American people recognize that old stuff hasn't moved us forward. That old stuff just divides us," he said.

Obama, born to a white mother from Kansas and a black father from Kenya, has cast himself as a candidate who can bridge divides within the country, including those involving race.

It has been rare for him to bring up the topic during his presidential bid. In March he gave a widely praised speech on the subject after receiving criticism over racially charged comments by his longtime pastor.

But here's the problem: So far, I haven't heard squat from the Republican side about race being an issue in the election. In fact, it seems like the Democrats are the ones who are preoccupied with race and gender.

Any criticism Obama received for his ties to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright had nothing to do with race, it had to do with Wright churning out sheer lunacy from the pulpit -- the U.S. government created AIDS, the U.S. is a terrorist empire, etc.

And, contrary to what the senator may think, the Republicans also haven't criticized his wife, Michelle, for being "feisty," as he believes; people questioned his wife because she stood in front of cameras and microphones and said questionable things, things that cause people to wonder if she shares the same views as Wright, that America is nothing more than a racist nation hell-bent on keeping down the brown people.

But it's the way the left works -- they put someone in front of a camera and they say things, but then no one is allowed to respond to what they've said: Michelle Obama can say whatever she wants, but you can't debate her because she's black and she's Obama's wife; Cindy Sheehan can talk about politics and policy all she wants, but you can't debate her because she's a mom who lost a son to war. The "Jersey Girls" can campaign for John Kerry and criticize U.S. policy, but you can't debate them because they lost their husbands in a terrorist attack.

I've got news for Obama -- people aren't afraid of you because you're "young and inexperienced." People are afraid of you because you pander to the lowest, most unproductive segments of America at the expense of the working middle class.

People aren't afraid of you because you've "got a funny name," they're afraid of you because you want to take all their money and give it to other people who don't deserve it.

I'm not afraid of you because you're black, I'm afraid of you because you're a liberal, and that's much more frightening.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Lots and Lots of Money, Down the Drain

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sen. Barack Obama told supporters Thursday that he has decided not to accept public financing for his general election campaign.

Obama repeatedly broke campaign fundraising records during the Democratic primary season.

In an e-mail message, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said the decision means that his campaign will forgo more than $80 million in public funds.

In exchange for taking public funds, candidates usually agree to a cap on the amount of money they can spend on their campaigns.

"It's not an easy decision, and especially because I support a robust system of public financing of elections," Obama wrote. "But the public financing of presidential elections as it exists today is broken, and we face opponents who've become masters at gaming this broken system."

Obama repeatedly broke campaign fundraising records during the Democratic primary season. Since January 2007, he has raised more than $272 million.

Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, raised less than half that amount, roughly $100 million, over the same period.

Obama's advisers argue that the Illinois Democrat has set up a "parallel" public fundraising system by soliciting small donations over the Internet.

Two months ago, McCain criticized Obama for appearing to backtrack from a previous commitment to accept public financing for his presidential campaign.

Steve Schmidt, a senior McCain adviser, called Obama's decision to opt out of public financing "a broken promise of staggering dimensions."

"Obama's candidacy is based on words, and it seems like every day that passes, those words look emptier and emptier when judged against his actions," Schmidt said.

So -- what do you make of this?

I think it's amazing, the amount of money raised by all the candidates, but especially Obama. Really, $272 million is just an astounding amount of funds. Add in McCain's $100 million, and you've got enough dough to do something really amazing. It's unfortunate that nothing really beneficial is going to come of it.

In defense of what seems like a paltry sum for McCain, I wonder how much of Obama's funds came from people who donated with Hillary Clinton in mind as the rival, rather than McCain.

Now, onto the public financing aspect ...

It is slightly unnerving that Obama decided not to go the public financing route after having said he would; usually politicians wait until after they are elected to do the opposite of what they said they would do.

What's also alarming is Obama's reasoning:
"The public financing of presidential elections as it exists today is broken, and we face opponents who've become masters at gaming this broken system."
It's typical political sidestepping -- 'Well, I believe it should be a certain way for other people, but I'm not going to do it that way, because (insert phrase here that explains how it's someone else's shortcomings that are forcing him to make this choice)."


If I understand Obama's point, it's that he's for "change," but he's not willing to take the risks that come with change -- at least not when it has the potential to affect him.

The worst part is that Obama's statement is absolutely meaningless -- even if Republicans have somehow "mastered" cheating at public financing, so what? What does fundraising have to do with his message?

If Obama went to public financing and the GOP cheated and bilked the system for twice as much as Obama, what difference would it make? If the whole point of the election is that Obama has a better "message" than McCain, then it shouldn't matter how many more commercials or T-shirts or buttons McCain can get -- if Obama's got the better message, and if he's going to get as much news coverage as McCain to spread that message to voters, then does it matter how much cash he has to spend?

It boils down to the hypocrisy one expects from a liberal -- "We want change, as long as it doesn't negatively affect us."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Minimum Wage Increase, Minimal Benefit

State Sen. Martin Looney, D-New Haven, is criticizing Republican Gov. Jodi M. Rell because she may veto a proposed increase to the minimum wage.

I've written about this before, but, obviously, Looney and his simple-minded ilk aren't paying too much attention.

If you raise the minimum wage, everything else increases proportionally, making the increase moot.

Is that too hard to understand, Marty?

Let me make it as clear as possible: An increase to the minimum wage will help no one, and will actually hurt middle-income residents!

If a guy who used to make $7.65 an hour starts getting $8 an hour, his boss is going to raise prices to make up for the extra money he has to pay his employees.

If the McDonald's where that guy works used to sell Big Macs for $2, that Big Mac is now going to cost $2.25. If the cable company has to pay their telemarketers more money, then the company simply charges more for the service to make up for it.

So the guy who just got the increase in his minimum-wage rate sees no real increase, because it's already been eaten up by increased costs everywhere else.

However, people whose incomes do not increase simply have to pay more for things, even though they're making the same amount of money as before.

The proposal to raise the minimum wage is a parlor trick. It is designed to appeal to the poor and the ignorant in order to gain their political support.

If Looney and his pals want to help the poor, then they should be honest and tell those people that minimum wage jobs are not supposed to be able support a family. That's why people are supposed to go to school and work hard, so that they can get a job with pay that can support a family.

If Looney and his peers really wanted to help the poor, they would be honest and show those people how to better themselves, instead of constantly trying to reinforce the behavior that keeps them poor.

Quick Thoughts About Oil

With gasoline between $4.50 and $5.00 per gallon around the U.S., I have a few thoughts about oil:

  • Since the initial invasion of Iraq, one of the main slogans of antiwar activists has been, "No blood for oil." Protesters sometimes add comments along the lines of, "Bush wants to steal Iraqi oil."

    How can they say this when it couldn't be any more painfully obvious that the U.S. is not taking oil from Iraq? Think about it -- maybe the U.S. should start taking some of that oil, then we'd see $2-a-gallon gas again.

    It's like seeing a 2-year-old with a 1956 Mickey Mantle baseball card getting ready to draw all over it. Just take it, the kid doesn't know the difference.

  • Environmentalists and the majority of Democrat congressmen refuse to allow drilling in even a tiny section of Alaska, even though there are millions of barrels' worth of oil to be had.

    It's been said that the oil under the Alaskan wildlife refuge could put the U.S. on track toward oil independence faster than anything else -- anything.

    Look, I love wildlife. I also really like my 6-cylinder Honda, so cut the crap already and start drilling, because I only get about 25 in the city.

  • Wealthy people should not be allowed to make decisions about economic issues, such as oil/energy.

    The morons with fat pockets that make up Congress base their decisions on their own belief systems -- which as we've seen time and time again are about as rational as Amy Fisher on the Buttafuoco doorstep. They don't -- they can't -- see things from the perspective of the average U.S. citizen because they have no idea what it's like to struggle to survive. And, if one gives you that sob story about their "humble roots," just remember that they're telling you about it because you can't see it in their actions.

    If the average congressman's pay is $160,000 a year, and yours is $30,000 ... do you think they ever have to make the same decisions you do? With $160G a year, do they ever have to choose between a car payment and a tank of heating oil?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bad Tomatoes

Here's an article from Web MD, about the salmonella outbreak linked to tomatoes from 17 states:

Salmonella Tomato Warning Expanded

Salmonella Outbreak in Certain Raw, Red Tomatoes Sickens at Least 167 People in 17 States
By Miranda Hitti
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

June 9, 2008 -- The number of people sickened by a salmonella outbreak linked to tomatoes has grown, and the suspect tomatoes are coming off restaurant menus and store shelves.

The FDA and CDC first warned last week of dozens of people in nine states who had gotten sick after eating certain types of raw, red tomatoes.

Now, the CDC reports that at least 167 people in 17 states have been infected with Salmonella Saintpaul, the salmonella strain involved in the current outbreak. Those 17 states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Salmonella bacteria can cause diarrhea (which may be bloody), fever, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Serious and potentially fatal cases are more likely in young children, frail or elderly people, and people with weak immune systems.

No deaths have been reported in the salmonella tomato outbreak. However, 23 people have been hospitalized with Salmonella Saintpaul, an uncommon strain of salmonella, since mid-April.

The true number of people affected by the salmonella outbreak may be higher, because cases aren't always reported immediately, notes the CDC.

The CDC, FDA, and other health agencies are investigating the source of the outbreak -- and they're telling consumers what to do in the meantime.

Not All Tomatoes Affected

The salmonella outbreak doesn't mean that all tomatoes are off limits. The FDA says it's fine to keep eating the following types of tomatoes from any source: cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, tomatoes sold with the vine still attached, and homegrown tomatoes.

Because of the salmonella outbreak, the FDA advises consumers not to eat raw red Roma, raw red plum, and raw red round tomatoes, or products containing those types of tomatoes, unless the tomatoes are from the following places, which have not been linked to the outbreak:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • New York
  • Nebraska
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • West Virginia
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Dominican Republic
  • Guatemala
  • Israel
  • Netherlands
  • Puerto Rico

Not sure where your tomatoes came from? The FDA suggests calling the store where you bought them for that information.

When outbreaks aren't under way, the FDA recommends washing whole, fresh produce before eating it. But during an outbreak, the stakes are too high. Washing tomatoes probably won't get rid of the contamination, so the FDA urges consumers to simply avoid eating the suspect tomatoes.

Restaurants, Retailers Pulling Tomatoes

The tomato warnings also apply to all restaurants and grocery stores. And it's not just about what's in the produce aisle. The warnings include raw tomatoes used in fresh salsa, guacamole, pico de gallo, fillings for tortillas, and in other recipes.

McDonald's, Burger King, Wal-Mart, Kroger, Outback Steakhouse, Winn-Dixie, and Taco Bell are among the companies pulling suspect tomatoes, the Associated Press reports.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Video: Bill O'Reilly Goes Bonkers

I love seeing how people act behind the scenes.

Here is a funny video from Bill O'Reilly's early days, on Inside Edition.

Be forewarned, there's cursing in the video. He's crazy!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Slowly But Surely

I'm not the only one who thinks Islam is dangerous. Here's an article from Breitbart:
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will hold an emergency meeting with senior aides Friday after Turkey's top court upheld a ban on the Islamic headscarf in universities, dampening his party's hopes of surviving a pending closure case.

Erdogan cancelled his programmes in Istanbul and was to return to Ankara to chair the meeting of his Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) at 3 p.m. (1200 GMT).

He also scrapped a trip to Switzerland on Saturday where he was to have watched Turkey's first Euro 2008 match against Portugal.

The Constitutional Court Thursday annulled an AKP-sponsored law allowing women to wear Islamic headscarves in universities on grounds it violated Turkey's secular system, enshrined in an unchangable constitutional article.

The law was a principal argument advanced by Turkey's chief prosecutor when he asked the Constitutional Court in March to ban the AKP on charges that it is seeking to install an Islamist regime in the mainly Muslim country.

The ruling was largely seen as strengthening the prosecutor's hand in his bid to outlaw the party and bar 71 party officials, among them Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul, from politics. The verdict is expected later this year.

Since the court "sees the headscarf amendment as a breach of the republic's basic principles, it will give the gravest punishment to the party which is responsible for this act," the Vatan newspaper wrote.

"A decision to close down the AKP has become inevitable," it said.

At Friday's meeting, AKP leaders were to discuss their response to the ruling, with some members even suggesting Erdogan should call snap elections, media reports said.

The annulment of the headscarf amendment is Erdogan's "greatest political defeat" since the AKP came to power in 2002, the liberal Radikal newspaper wrote.

Overriding fierce objections by secularists, the AKP pushed the amendment through parliament in February, boosted by its re-election for a second five-year term in July with nearly 47 percent of the vote.

The party, the offshoot of a now-banned Islamist movement, says it is committed to secularism, but argues that the headscarf ban in universities violates both the freedom of conscience and the right to education.

But hardline secularists -- among them the military, the judiciary and academics -- see the headscarf as a symbol of political Islam and defiance of the secularism system.

Easing the restrictions, they say, will increase social pressure on women to cover up and encourage challenges against similar bans in high schools and government offices.

The AKP, backed by a number of jurists, slammed the Constitutional Court Thursday for overstepping its jurisdiction, saying it can examine only procedural flaws in constitutional amendments, and not their essence.

With the pending closure case in mind, one AKP lawmaker called the ruling a judicial "coup."

The military, a staunch defender of the secular system, welcomed the ruling.

Army chief Yasar Buyukanit urged respect for the court's decision, while air forces commander Aydogan Babaoglu said any other outcome would have been "abnormal."

The AKP has disowned its Islamist roots and embraced Turkey's bid to join the European Union, but maintains that rigid interpretations of secularism in Turkey breach religious freedoms.

Opponents argue that moves such as the headscarf amendment and a ban on alcohol sales in restaurants run by AKP municipalities indicate a secret Islamist agenda.

Many fear that outlawing the AKP, a coalition of religious conservatives, pro-business liberals and mainstream centre-right politicians, would trigger political chaos as the party still enjoys solid popularity in the face of a weak and fractured opposition.

It's hard not to think that anything Muslims do is aimed at forcing people to adhere to their religious and social ideology, when you look at the places where Islam rules and they kill anyone who disagrees with them.
That's why I laugh when liberals in the U.S. moan about losing their "civil liberties" under Republican rule. They have no idea. ... They refuse to hear freedom's enemies rattling the swords.

Where Credit is Due

I've always liked Clint Eastwood's movies. I'd have to say, "Josey Wales" is my favorite (and I would put "Pale Rider" right up there, too), but "Dirty Harry" is also great, as are both of the films he did with the orangutan, "Every Which Way But Loose" and "Any Which Way You Can."

Here's a link to a pretty good interview with him from the Guardian.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

It All Depends on Who's Offended

Here, read this:
Flag flap: confederate flag controversy keeps students from attending

They say they're just "good ol' boys" who, like the song
goes, were "never meaning no harm." But three Bloomington Kennedy seniors were
not allowed to attend their commencement Wednesday night after bringing a
Confederate flag to school on Tuesday.

"We're all big fans of the Dukes of Hazard," said Dan Fredin, who was
suspended, along with Joe Snyder and Justin Thompson. "It's just us showing we
have our own style and we aren't going to conform to whatever anyone else

School officials say at least one of the students waved and carried the
flag in the parking lot.The boys argue they never took the flags off their
trucks, but they admit they brought them to the school.

Officials asked the students to remove the flags. Eventually, all three
students were suspended for three days -- which, in this case, included

Officials say a Student Code of Conduct prohibits behavior that may provoke
or offend other students. "We are very clear that the Confederate flag is
a symbol of hatred, bigotry and racism," said Rick Kaufman, the Executive
Director of Community Relations at Bloomington Kennedy High School. "It's truly
unfortunate that the bad decision they made will prevent them from walking
across the stage in graduation," Kaufman said adding that the school has dealt
with students bringing confederate flags to school before.

But the students argue the punishment doesn't fit the crime. They say they
show the flag as a sign of rebellion, not racism.

"The confederate army was in rebellion to the U.S. Army who were about
money and power," Fredin said. "We never took it as racial or anything like

Meantime, the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota said the students
would likely not have a case in court. "If the authorities can make the claim
that the presence of the flag can reasonably disrupt the educational process
than they can censor it," said Charles Samuelson with the ACLU of

The three students will still receive their diplomas. Already they have
plans for next year, which for two of them, includes serving in the U.S.

So, did you see the line, "Officials say a Student Code of Conduct prohibits behavior that may provoke or offend other students. " That's pretty vague, and leaves the door open for way too many things.

What if someone is offended by cheerleaders (the exploitation of underage girls)?

What if a vegan student is offended by others eating meat at lunchtime?

What if a heterosexual student is offended by 2 gay students holding hands?

Seems to me that these kids are victims of a society that bends over backward to try and not offend people; the problem is, they only worry about offending certain people. That type of disparity is something that not only won't unite people, but most certainly will divide them. Saying that the Confederate flag is "a symbol of hatred, bigotry and racism" is utter crap -- if you believe that, then every flag of every nation is a symbol of hatred, bigotry and racism, because all nations have checkered pasts.

Is a Kiss Just a Kiss?

This is interesting:

Lesbian kiss at Seattle ballpark stirs up gay-friendly town

SEATTLE (AP) — Most of the time, a kiss is just a kiss in the stands at Seattle Mariners games. The crowd hardly even pays attention when fans smooch.

But then last week, a lesbian complained that an usher at Safeco Field asked her to stop kissing her date because it was making another fan uncomfortable.

The incident has exploded on local TV, on talk radio and in the blogosphere and has touched off a debate over public displays of affection in generally gay-friendly Seattle.

"Certain individuals have not yet caught up. Those people see a gay or lesbian couple and they stare or say something," said Josh Friedes of Equal Rights Washington. "This is one of the challenges of being gay. Everyday things can become sources of trauma."

As the Mariners played the Boston Red Sox on May 26, Sirbrina Guerrero and her date were approached in the third inning by an usher who told them their kissing was inappropriate, Guerrero said.

The usher, Guerrero said, told them he had received a complaint from a woman nearby who said that there were kids in the crowd of nearly 36,000 and that parents would have to explain why two women were kissing.

"I was really just shocked," Guerrero said. "Seattle is so gay-friendly. There was a couple like seven rows ahead making out. We were just showing affection."

On Monday, Mariners spokeswoman Rebecca Hale said that the club is investigating but that the usher was responding to a complaint of two women "making out" and "groping" in the stands.

"We have a strict non-discrimination policy at the Seattle Mariners and at Safeco Field, and when we do enforce the code of conduct it is based on behavior, not on the identity of those involved," Hale said.

The code of conduct — announced before each game — specifically mentions public displays of affection that are "not appropriate in a public, family setting." Hale said those standards are based on what a "reasonable person" would find inappropriate.

Guerrero denied she and her date were groping each other, saying that along with eating garlic fries, they were giving each other brief kisses.

On Tuesday, Guerrero said a Mariners director of guest services had apologized to her. The team spokeswoman could not immediately confirm that.

After the story broke, the Mariners were blasted by the sex-advice columnist Dan Savage, who wrote about the incident on the blog of the Stranger, an alternative weekly paper.

"I constantly see people making out," Savage said. "My son has noticed and asked, `Do they show the ballgame on women's foreheads?'"

Savage called for a "kiss-in" to protest against the Mariners.

Web sites have been swamped with blog postings for and against Guerrero and her date. And the story has people talking in Seattle.

"I would be uncomfortable" seeing public displays of affection between lesbians or gay men, said Jim Ridneour, a 54-year-old taxi driver. "I don't think it's right seeing women kissing in public. If I had my family there, I'd have to explain what's going on."

"It all depends on the degree," Mark Ackerman said as he waited for a hot dog outside Safeco Field before Wednesday's game. "Even for heterosexual couples."

Since the incident, Guerrero's job and her past have come under scrutiny. She works at a bar known for scantily clad women and was a contestant on the MTV reality show "A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila," in which women and men compete for the affection of a bisexual Internet celebrity.

"People are saying it's 15 more minutes for my career," Guerrero said of the ballpark furor, "but this is not making me look very good."

In 2007, an Oregon transit agency chief apologized after a lesbian teenager was kicked off a bus when a passenger complained about her kissing another girl.

Also in 2007, a gay rights group protested a Kansas City, Mo., restaurant they said ejected four women because two of them kissed, and a Texas state trooper was placed on probation in 2004 for telling two gay men who were kissing at the state Capitol that homosexual conduct was illegal in Texas.

"There's a double standard. That's the bottom line," said Pat Griffin, director of the It Takes a Team! Education Campaign, an initiative from the Women's Sports Foundation to eliminate homophobia in sports.

SO ... what do you think? I personally don't care about anyone's sexual preference, but that's also based on someone simply being gay, not on me having to have a discussion with a child about why people are doing something so seemingly abnormal. I would like to think a parent could simply say, "Some men like men, some women like women," and have that be that, but I've spent enough time around children to know that that would be far from the end of the discussion.

There would have to be more, because then you would have to explain to the child that, no, that doesn't mean they should be kissing any friend of theirs that they like, male or female, or that if they have a friend that they really care about then they're gay.

But, at the same time, I don't like the idea of someone not being "allowed" to kiss their significant other in public because they're both the same gender. True, regardless of gender, people really going at it in public is a little much, and people should behave appropriately in public, but if any affectionate contact at all is questioned because the people involved are the same gender, that's not really nice.

The story did make me wonder, though, about the differences between what people say the think should be tolerated and what they are actually willing to tolerate.

It also makes me very sad for children, who, as this story shows, are no longer able to be clueless little kids. ... We're a nation of "letting it all hang out," and that, coupled with the state of TV and the Internet, means that kids today see a whole lot of confusing things that I, as a child, didn't have to see or try to sort out.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Seems Like Old Times

Here's a copy of Ann Coulter's column this week; I think it's very interesting.

Words mean nothing to liberals. They say whatever will help advance their cause at the moment, switch talking points in a heartbeat, and then act indignant if anyone uses the exact same argument they were using five minutes ago.

When Gore won the popular vote in the 2000 election by half a percentage point, but lost the Electoral College -- or, for short, "the constitutionally prescribed method for choosing presidents" -- anyone who denied the sacred importance of the popular vote was either an idiot or a dangerous partisan.

But now Hillary has won the popular vote in a Democratic primary, while Obambi has won under the rules. In a spectacular turnabout, media commentators are heaping sarcasm on our plucky Hillary for imagining the "popular vote" has any relevance whatsoever.

It's the exact same situation as in 2000, with Hillary in the position of Gore and Obama in the position of Bush. The only difference is: Hillary has a much stronger argument than Gore ever did (and Hillary's more of a man than Gore ever was). Unbeknownst to liberals, who seem to imagine the Constitution is a treatise on gay marriage, our Constitution sets forth rules for the election of a president.

Under the Constitution that has led to the greatest individual liberty, prosperity and security ever known to mankind, Americans have no constitutional right to vote for president, at all. (Don't fret Democrats: According to five liberals on the Supreme Court, you do have a right to sodomy and abortion!)

Americans certainly have no right to demand that their vote prevail over the electors' vote. The Constitution states that electors from each state are to choose the president, and it is up to state legislatures to determine how those electors are selected. It is only by happenstance that most states use a popular vote to choose their electors.

When you vote for president this fall, you will not be voting for Barack Obama or John McCain; you will be voting for an elector who pledges to cast his vote for Obama or McCain. (For those new Obama voters who may be reading, it's like voting for Paula, Randy or Simon to represent you, instead of texting your vote directly.)

Any state could abolish general elections for president tomorrow and have the legislature pick the electors. States could also abolish their winner-take-all method of choosing presidential electors -- as Nebraska and Maine have already done, allowing their electors to be allocated in proportion to the popular vote. And of course there's always the option of voting electors off the island one by one.

If presidential elections were popular vote contests, Bush might have spent more than five minutes campaigning in big liberal states like California and New York. But under a winner-take-all regime, close doesn't count. If a Republican doesn't have a chance to actually win a state, he may as well lose in a landslide. Using the same logic, Gore didn't spend a lot of time campaigning in Texas (and Walter Mondale campaigned exclusively in Minnesota).

Consequently, under both the law and common sense, the famed "popular vote" is utterly irrelevant to presidential elections. It would be like the winner of "Miss Congeniality" claiming that title also made her "Miss America." Obviously, Bush might well have won the popular vote, but he would have used a completely different campaign strategy.

By contrast, there are no constitutional rules to follow with party primaries. Primaries are specifically designed by the parties to choose their strongest candidate for the general election. Hillary's argument that she won the popular vote is manifestly relevant to that determination. Our brave Hillary has every right to take her delegates to the Democratic National Convention and put her case to a vote. She is much closer to B. Hussein Obama than the sainted Teddy Kennedy was to Carter in 1980 when Teddy staged an obviously hopeless rules challenge at the convention. (I mean rules about choosing the candidate, not rules about crushed ice at after-parties.)

And yet every time Hillary breathes a word about her victory in the popular vote, TV hosts respond with sneering contempt at her gaucherie for even mentioning it. (Of course, if popularity mattered, networks like MSNBC wouldn't exist. That's a station that depends entirely on "superviewers.")

After nearly eight years of having to listen to liberals crow that Bush was "selected, not elected," this is a shocking about-face. Apparently unaware of the new party line that the popular vote amounts to nothing more than warm spit, just last week HBO ran its movie "Recount," about the 2000 Florida election, the premise of which is that sneaky Republicans stole the presidency from popular vote champion Al Gore. (Despite massive publicity, the movie bombed, with only about 1 million viewers, so now HBO is demanding a "recount.") So where is Kevin Spacey from HBO's "Recount," to defend Hillary, shouting: "WHO WON THIS PRIMARY?"

In the Democrats' "1984" world, the popular vote is an unconcept, doubleplusungood verging on crimethink. We have always been at war with Eastasia.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

No Free Speech in France

Here you go -- freedom of speech denied, simply to appease Muslims who refuse to accept criticism like the rest of us are forced to do:

PARIS (AP) - Brigitte Bardot was convicted Tuesday of provoking discrimination and racial hatred for writing that Muslims are destroying France.

A Paris court also handed down a $23,325 fine against the former screen siren and animal rights campaigner. The court also ordered Bardot to pay $1,555 in damages to MRAP.

Bardot's lawyer, Francois-Xavier Kelidjian, said he would talk to her about the possibility of an appeal.

A leading French anti-racism group known as MRAP filed a lawsuit last year over a letter she sent to then-Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy. The remarks were published in her foundation's quarterly journal.

In the December 2006 letter to Sarkozy, now the president, Bardot said France is "tired of being led by the nose by this population that is destroying us, destroying our country by imposing its acts."

Bardot, 73, was referring to the Muslim feast of Aid el-Kebir, celebrated by slaughtering sheep.

French anti-racism laws prevent inciting hatred and discrimination on racial or religious or racial grounds. Bardot had been convicted four times previously for inciting racial hatred.

"She is tired of this type of proceedings," he said. "She has the impression that people want to silence her. She will not be silenced in her defense of animal rights."

So what gives? At least in France, I guess people are no longer allowed to express their opinions in letters to their nation's leaders.

I can't help but wonder if Bardot would have received the same punishment had she been speaking of Jews, Christians or any other religious group. ... Basically, it looks like one more example of people's rights being stripped away in order to appease Muslims, angered by anyone that dares to criticize them.

According to the story, "French anti-racism laws prevent inciting hatred and discrimination on racial or religious or racial grounds."

So, basically, in France, people who want to do things that offend others without being criticized for it need only make sure that they are all of the same race or religion, then no one can say anything about them without being labeled a racist.


Although I suppose Bardot should be grateful, because when the Muslims take over and enforce sharia law, they'll simply kill people who speak against them.