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Friday, April 15, 2005

Rap's Dehumanizing Message
The good thing about the market is that it efficiently provides the goods that people want. The bad thing about the market is that it does the same thing. That is why it is imperative that a free market system be nested within a moral culture that is concerned with protecting human dignity and promoting true human flourishing.

CNN.com - Bush questions border I.D. rules - Apr 15, 2005
Plans requiring passports from people entering the United States don't pass muster with President Bush, who has ordered a review of this border security effort amid fears it would impede legal travel from Canada, Mexico and other U.S. neighbors."
Bush, a former Texas governor, said he has ordered a review of the rules. "If people have to have a passport, it's going to disrupt the honest flow of traffic. ..."
Actually, it's going to disrupt the dis-honest flow of traffic. Which is what we should be trying to do.

Jonah Goldberg on McDonald's on National Review Online
Excellent summary of what's right with McDonald's. Plus their yummy fries.

washingtonpost.com: At RFK, Good Times Are Here Again
Those who were inside were a crowd of strangers who barely knew how to take their cues, since the RFK replay scoreboard is so distant and tiny, and the park's PA system so scratchy that the introductions might as well have been for the Federal Open Market Committee.

Perhaps the person most bothered by this was the president, who, as a baseball fan, ranks far beyond avid.

'He's so up on the game that it's astounding,' said Tavares, who was peppered with questions all night on various pitching rotations and opinions of Nationals rivals. The president (ssshhhh) doesn't like the Mets' chances, has the Phillies picked third and thinks the Marlins are the class of the division.

At one point, the subject of the best catchers in the National League came up. 'I blanked on who catches for the Phillies,' Tavares said. 'I asked the commissioner. He didn't know. The president said, '[Mike] Lieberthal' '

If Tavares was shocked, Eischen was stunned by his presidential moment. Long before the game, Eischen mentioned he'd played in the Rangers' organization when Bush was a managing general partner. 'I was a 19-year-old punk kid in A ball,' Eischen said. 'He didn't want to meet me. I wasn't even on the big club's roster.'

By midseason, Eischen was traded as an insignificant minor league throw-in as part of a deal for Oil Can Boyd.
Afterward, Eischen said: 'The president came in before the game and shook hands with everybody. I said my name. Later we had pictures taken. He looked at me and said, 'Eischen, right?' I said, 'Yes, sir.' He said, 'Oil Can Boyd. Bad trade.' '
Whatever you might think of the President's policies, you have to be pretty much lbinded by hatred to deny he's a good guy.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Eugenics By Abortion (washingtonpost.com) - George Will
The mother's 1999 experience indicates the need for Sen. Sam Brownback's bill, the Prenatally Diagnosed Condition Awareness Act. Its purpose is 'to increase the provision of scientifically sound information and support services to patients' who receive positive test diagnoses for Down syndrome, spina bifida and other conditions. Under this bill, parents could learn, for example, that there is a waiting list of families eager to adopt children with Down syndrome.

Michael Howard, leader of Britain's Conservative Party, promises that if his party wins the May 5 general election, he will have Parliament debate lowering to 20 weeks the legal time limit for abortion. According to a Sunday Telegraph poll, that change is favored by 53 percent of all voters and by a large majority of female and younger voters.

Such temperate adjustments of law are possible in a constitutional monarchy governed by a parliament. In our constitutional republic governed by judges, lawmakers have less latitude for making law. Brownback's bill is surely an unobjectionable exercise of that latitude. If it is not unobjectionable, let's identify the objectors, who probably favor the pernicious quest -- today's 'respectable' eugenics -- for a disability-free society.

Catholic World News : Illinois Gov. orders pharmacists dispense morning-after pills
Another liberal fighting for individuals rights. Except for the rights of the religious, for they have no rights.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Quote-a-palooza - Tax Day Edition
"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents...." --James Madison

"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical. ... A wise and frugal government...shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. ... Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare but only those specifically enumerated. ... Would it not be better to simplify the system of taxation rather than to spread it over such a variety of subjects and pass through so many new hands?" --Thomas Jefferson

"The apportionment of taxes on the various descriptions of property is an act which seems to require the most exact impartiality; yet there is, perhaps, no legislative act in which greater opportunity and temptation are given to a predominant party to trample on the rules of justice. Every shilling which they overburden the inferior number is a shilling saved to their own pockets. ... A just security to property is not afforded by that government, under which unequal taxes oppress one species of property and reward another species. ... Government is instituted to protect property of every sort; as well that which lies in the various rights of individuals, as that which the term particularly expresses. This being the end of government, that alone is a just government which impartially secures to every man whatever is his own." --James Madison

"The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If 'Thou shalt not covet' and 'Thou shalt not steal' were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free." --John Adams

"It is a signal advantage of taxes on articles of consumption that they contain in their own nature a security against excess. ... If duties are too high, they lessen the consumption; the collection is eluded; and the product to the treasury is not so great as when they are confined within proper and moderate bounds." --Alexander Hamilton

"When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic." --Benjamin Franklin

"Government does not tax to get the money it needs; government always finds a need for the money it gets." --Ronald Reagan

"In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other." --Voltaire

"Government cannot make man richer, but it can make him poorer." --Ludwig von Mises

"We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle." --Winston Churchill

"Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery." --Calvin Coolidge

"The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation." --Vladimir Lenin

"An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy; because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation." --John Marshall

If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement, we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised, to furnish new pretenses for revenues and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without tribute." --Thomas Paine

"That most delicious of all privileges -- spending other people's money." --John Randolph Of Roanoke

"To tax the community for the advantage of a class is not protection: it is plunder." --Benjamin Disraeli

"A government which lays taxes on the people not required by urgent public necessity and sound public policy is not a protector of liberty, but an instrument of tyranny." --Calvin Coolidge

"Virtually everything is under federal control nowadays except the federal budget." --Herman E. Talmadge

"Before we give you billions more, we want to know what you've done with the trillion you've got." --Les Aspin

"The current tax code is a daily mugging." --Ronald Reagan

"The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin." --Mark Twain

"Three groups spend other people's money: children, thieves, politicians. All three need supervision." --Dick Armey

"As I watch government at all levels daily eat away at our freedom, I keep thinking how prosperity and government largesse have combined to make most of us fat and lazy and indifferent to, or actually in favor of, the limits being placed on that freedom." --Lyn Nofziger

"Any politician who starts shouting election-year demagoguery about the rich and the poor should be asked, 'What about the other 90 percent of the people?'" --Thomas Sowell

"The Declaration of Independence, the words that launched our nation -- 1,300 words. The Bible, the word of God -- 773,000 words. The Tax Code, the words of politicians -- 7,000,000 words -- and growing!" --Steve Forbes

"The government taxes you when you bring home a paycheck. It taxes you when you make a phone call. It taxes you when you turn on a light. It taxes you when you sell a stock. It taxes you when you fill your car with gas. It taxes you when you ride a plane. It taxes you when you get married. Then it taxes you when you die. This is taxual insanity and it must end." --J. C. Watts, Jr.

"Today the percentage of taxpayers who rely on professional tax preparers is at an all-time high. The 67 percent of tax filers who do not itemize may think they avoid compliance costs, which include nagging uncertainty about whether one has properly complied with a tax code about the meaning of which experts differ. But everyone pays the cost of the tax system's vast drag on the economy." --George Will

"Give me a break -- They say taxes are inevitable ... like death. At least death doesn't come every year." --John Stossel

"Taxation with representation ain't so hot either." --Gerald Barzan

"I don't know if I can live on my income or not -- the government won't let me try it." --Bob Thaves

"The liberal take on Catholicism is that it's a controversial religion because of its positions on abortion, sodomy and various other crucial planks of the Democrat platform (curiously, positions that are shared by all three of the world's major religions)." --Ann Coulter

An End to the Judicial Filibuster?
Democrat Senator Ben Nelson is pursuing a deal with Trent Lott that would allow for floor votes on controversial judicial nominees after an allotted time for debate. The proposal would create a permanent Senate rules change.

While The Hill notes Harry Reid would certainly be against the proposal, there may be enough moderate Democrats from red states to push it through.
This is good news if it happens. The Senate will begin fulfilling its Constitutional responsibilities, with a minimum of rancor outside the Radical Left.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Heath Shuler?
Democrats have long trailed Republicans in being able to recruit sports stars to run for political office. Think Jack Kemp and J.C. Watts. That's why North Carolina Democrats are salivating over the prospect that they may be able to recruit former Washington Redskins quarterback Heath Shuler to challenge veteran GOP Congressman Charles Taylor.

So eager are Democrats to entice Mr. Shuler into the race that they are willing to ignore his Republican-tinged past. Mr. Shuler, a former football star at the University of Tennessee, hosted a fundraiser for Van Hilleary, a GOP candidate for Tennessee governor in 2002. He followed that up by campaigning with Ed Bryant, a GOP Senate candidate. Then again, that kind of political cross-dressing may play well with North Carolina's independent voters. Meanwhile, Mr. Taylor, an incumbent who has weathered both ethical controversies and health problems in recent years, has struggled to win re-election in his last few campaigns. Last November, he ran behind President Bush in his Asheville-based district and won by only 55%. If Mr. Shuler can convince the district's football fans that he can master policy as well as pigskins he could be a formidable challenger.

-- John Fund

Thomas Sowell: Above criticism?
Over the past several decades, we have gotten used to judges being above the law, so it was perhaps inevitable that we would now be asked to get used to the idea that judges are above criticism.

In the wake of the Terri Schiavo case, where a Florida judge ignored Florida law and Congressional subpoenas, and where federal judges ignored Congressional legislation duly signed by the President, some people dared to suggest that judges had overstepped the bounds.

Immediately there has been a firestorm of reaction by those who think it is just fine to have judges make social policy, even if that policy is contrary to legislation, so long as it is in tune with 'evolving standards,' political correctness, or what people do in Europe.

Catholic World News : John Paul II on fast track for canonization?
Ordinary procedures require a 5-year waiting period after an individual's death before the cause of beatification can be opened. But many leading Catholics-- in particular, the Focolari lay movement-- have argued that the requirement should be waived in the case of John Paul II. The late Pope himself lifted that requirement to allow the early beatification of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and a new Pope could put the cause of John Paul II on a fast track.

Jonah asks a good question
Looking forward, in what order will we have: a female president, a Jewish president, a black president, a president with facial hair?
My guess:
1) Black President
2) Female President
3) Jewish President
4) Facial Hair
5) Female President with facial hair

One caveat: I can easily see our first black President having facial hair. For some reason, I think blacks can pull off facial hair far better than whites.

Ex-NFL Player Saw Siegfried, Roy As Threat
Read the link to see the full story.

Monday, April 11, 2005

My current reading
I don't expect much, but it did get two 5-star reviews so far. (One of them wrote: "...it wove baseball and the Bible seamlessly (like a two-seam fastball)..." Think about that for a second.)

Today's Saint - Saint Stanislaus of Poland
Patron Saint of Poland.

More information at Catholic Forum.

Super Boys
Early in my career as a mother of boys, I dismissed my sons’ attraction to fighting as an unhealthy inclination toward violence. Play fighting troubled me, and so I outlawed toy weapons in our home. Eamon and his younger brother Ambrose, however, were not discouraged by silly rules. Ever resourceful, they bit their toast into buttery pistols, they whittled sticks into swords, and the battle was on.

It was then that I discovered I had largely misunderstood their boyish passions. Play battles aren’t so much about the violence as they are about the eternal struggle between good and evil. I may witness an occasional dramatic death scene in which one of my sons lies writhing on the floor gasping his last breath, but for the most part their imagination centers on the triumph of good over evil, and that is not a bad thing.

"An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy; because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation." --John Marshall

"Let us understand that God is a physician, and that suffering is a medicine for salvation, not a punishment for damnation." --Augustine

"No abounding of material prosperity shall avail us if our spiritual senses atrophy. The foes of our own household will surely prevail against us unless there be in our people an inner life which finds its outer expression in a morality like unto that preached by the seers and prophets of God when the grandeur that was Greece and the glory that was Rome still lay in the future." --Theodore Roosevelt

"For an illustration of the difference between proportionate and progressive taxation, we can look to the Bible. There, tithing is explained as the economic basis of our Judaic-Christian religions. The Lord says you shall contribute one-tenth and He says, 'If I prosper you 10 times as much you will give 10 times as much.' That is proportionate -- but look what happens today when you start computing Caesar's share. A man of average income who suddenly prospered ten times as much would find his personal income tax increased 43 times." --Ronald Reagan

"Liberals may think of themselves as people who believe in certain principles but, if you observe their actual behavior, you are likely to discover that most liberals have a certain set of attitudes, rather than principles. Liberals may denounce 'greed,' for example, but in practice it all depends on whose greed. Nothing the government does is ever likely to be called 'greed' by liberals. ... Even when the lands seized under 'eminent domain' laws are turned over to casinos, hotels, or shopping malls -- places that will pay more taxes than working class homeowners -- liberals can never seem to work up the outrage that they display when denouncing 'greed' on the part of businesses whose prices are higher than liberals think they should be. It is not the principle of sacrificing other people's economic interests to your own that causes liberals to denounce greed. It is a question of who does it and what the liberals' attitudes are to those segments of the population." --Thomas Sowell

Study suggests geography favored Kerry
This could be one of the dumbest articles ever. It essentially amounts to reporting on a geographer's imagining ways to spin the election results for Kerry.

Link via Best of the Web Today, which appropriately captioned its link with "Results Suggest Voters Favored Bush."

Michael Moore and the Myth of Fahrenheit 9/11
Overall, Fahrenheit 9/11 did extremely well in North America’s top eight markets, according to the numbers compiled by Nielsen EDI. The film actually underperformed slightly in the largest market, Los Angeles, down just under 4 percent from the market’s normal DMA share. (That was probably due to the presence of conservative Orange County, which makes up a significant part of the Los Angeles DMA.) But it overperformed in the next seven largest markets. In New York it overperformed by nearly 43 percent; Fahrenheit 9/11 took in 11.12 percent of its total box office in that city alone. It did even better in San Francisco, overperforming by 73 percent, and did above-normal business in Chicago, Toronto (by 79 percent), Philadelphia, Boston (by 49 percent), and Washington DC (by 62 percent).

Fahrenheit 9/11 also did well in Seattle, Montreal, Ottawa, Portland, Oregon, Monterey, California, and Burlington, Vermont. In all, two things stand out from those numbers. One is that the picture overperformed only in blue states, and even then only in the most urban parts of those blue states. And the second is that it did very well in Canada. Fahrenheit 9/11 consistently overperformed in Canadian cities; without that boffo business, the film’s gross would have been significantly smaller than it was.

That’s the upside of the story. The downside revealed by the Nielsen EDI numbers is that Fahrenheit 9/11, far from being the runaway nationwide hit that Moore claimed, underperformed in dozens of markets throughout red states and, most important — as far as the presidential election was concerned — swing states. Dallas/Fort Worth, the ninth-largest movie market, accounts for 2.07 percent of North American box office but made up just 1.21 percent of Fahrenheit 9/11 box office, for an underperformance of nearly 42 percent. In Phoenix, the tenth-largest market, Fahrenheit 9/11 underperformed by 29 percent. In Houston, ranked twelfth for movies, it underperformed by 38 percent. In Orlando, it underperformed by 38 percent; Tampa-St. Petersburg, by 41 percent; Salt Lake City, by 61 percent.

The list goes on for quite a while: Las Vegan, Raleigh-Durham, San Antonio, Norfolk, Charlotte, Nashville, Memphis, Jacksonville, Flint, Michigan (Michael Moore's home turf), and many others. And in Fayetteville and Tulsa, where Moore boasted that his movie had sold out, Fahrenheit 9/11 underperformed by 41 percent and 50 percent, respectively.
Essentially, Fahrenheit 9/11 only riled up people who were already anti-Bush. It had no pro-Kerry effect in swing states or red states. And given that it may have turned off people in those areas (as even Democrats said after the election), it may have helped re-elect Bush. That you, Michael Moore!

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