MAXINE

"Aim at Heaven ... you get Earth thrown in - Aim at Earth and you get neither" - C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Hewitt's Pebble Now A Boulder

For the longest time over the last month or so, the only media outlet talking about the exploits of Rob Reiner (son of Carl Reiner, Actor, Producer, Meathead on “All In The Family”, and big time Hollywood liberal) in California politics, was the Hugh Hewitt Show on KRLA radio (Salem Radio Syndication) and the Hugh Hewitt website.

The Wall Street Journal on its WSJ Opinion Journal website has taken up the focus (after articles in the L. A. Times and the L. A. Weekly) and it lends credibility to the credo – not all Hollywood actors can be Ronald Reagan. At this moment, not even Arnold will be able to escape the light.

Excerpts from: Meathead Economics - Hollywood liberals drive productive
Californians to leave the state. (WSJ Opinion Journal)

But the worst growth killer may well be California's tax system. The business tax rate of 8.8% is the highest in the West, and its steeply "progressive" personal income tax has an effective top marginal rate of 10.3%, or second highest in the nation. CalTax, the state's taxpayer advocacy group, reports that the richest 10% of earners pay almost 75% of the entire income-tax revenue in the state, and most of these are small0business owners, i.e., the people who create jobs.

And things may soon get worse, thanks to Rob Reiner, who played the liberal "Meathead" on the "All in the Family" sitcom in the 1970s and now plays the same part in real life. He and his rich Hollywood friends have put an initiative on the state's June ballot that would add a 1.7-percentage-point income-tax surcharge on "millionaires" with income over $400,000, with the proceeds earmarked for universal pre-school.
--
All of this has contributed to the trend of wealthy taxpayers disappearing from the state. State finance office data indicate that the number of Californians reporting million-dollar incomes fell to 25,000 in 2003 from 44,000 in 2000. That decline has cost the state $9 billion a year in uncollected tax revenues. The dot-com implosion of 2000 and 2001 no doubt wiped out many paper millionaires, but migration out of the state to escape its hefty tax premium has also played a role. Republican Assemblyman Ray Haynes notes that the average high-income individual can buy a newly built house in neighboring Nevada and pay for it just from the money saved in a year of not paying California taxes.
--
By the way, Mr. Reiner serves on the board of the Children and Families Commission, which oversees the expenditures of the tobacco trust fund. That Commission approved spending $23 million of tobacco taxes to finance TV ads that promote his own new tax-and-spend-on-pre-school scheme. This use of taxpayer dollars to lobby for more taxpayer dollars may violate state law preventing taxes from being used to finance campaign activities. And the Los Angeles Times reports that some $200 million of the children's education fund has found its way into the bank accounts of public relations and advertising firms, some of which are run by friends of Mr. Reiner.

The lesson: Beware liberals promising to tax someone else in the name of helping "children." They'll end up taxing you, while they and their friends benefit.

Read More>>

Dirty Laundry - Dubai Port Parent Firm Enforces Israel Boycott


This "exclusive" article found at The Jerusalem Post:
ht: The Drudge Report

The parent company of a Dubai-based firm at the center of a political storm in the US over the purchase of American ports participates in the Arab boycott against Israel, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

The firm, Dubai Ports World, is seeking control over six major US ports, including those in New York, Miami, Philadelphia and Baltimore. It is entirely owned by the Government of Dubai via a holding company called the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCZC), which consists of the Dubai Port Authority, the Dubai Customs Department and the Jebel Ali Free Zone Area.

--

Moreover, the Post found that the website for Dubai's Jebel Ali Free Zone Area, which is also part of the PCZC, advises importers that they will need to comply with the terms of the boycott.

In a section entitled "Frequently Asked Questions", the site lists six documents that are required in order to clear an item through the Dubai Customs Department. One of them, called a "Certificate of Origin," "is used by customs to confirm the country of origin and needs to be seen by the office which ensures any trade boycotts are enforced," according to the website.


We all know, the more we dig, the more we are going to find. If these "Global" Muslim run companies want to participate in business operations throughout the world - they should expect to operate in a manner and standards that the 72.46% of the rest of the world (non-Muslim) expects to operate. For DP World - "It's Time To Put Up Or Shut Up"

Read More>>

Monday, February 27, 2006

A “Pro-Victory” Political Stance Outlined

This written by John Noonan – The Officers' Club

- The Essence of being Pro-Victory -

I was sitting in my backyard this weekend -enjoying a six pack and unwinding- and I started thinking about blogging and how it has shaken my old ideologies to the core. I once self-identified as a conservative, in the Reagan-esque definition of the word "conservative." No big government, few taxes, guide the nation according to the concrete Constitution (as opposed to those silly "living Constitutionalists," and a strong national defense.

I still believe in all that, but I realized that blogging day in and day out about our new enemy, the war in Iraq, and the rise of the new anti-war movement has given me tunnel vision. Today I could care less about stem cell research and gay marriage, abortion and taxes. I don't give a damn about the petty squables of the pre-9/11 world. All I care about is winning this war.

Thus my new ideology is that of victory. I'm not conservative or liberal or liberatarian or Green or Republican or Democrat. I'm pro-victory. Once upon a time my vote would have gone to a Republican 99.999% of the time. Today my votes will go to the candidates who prove themselves as committed to fighting this fight to the end, even if it takes years, decades, or centuries.

Read More>>

Mayor Nagin Honored By Mardi Gras T-Shirt

Photo found at Yahoo News:


Mardi Gras revelers including Teresa Crosby (C) of Metairie, Louisiana wear t-shirts satirizing New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin during an unofficial parade in the French Quarter of New Orleans.
February 24, 2006. REUTERS/Lee Celano

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Ports Issue - An Econimic Perspective

This from an email newsletter:
The Daily Reckoning - Weekend Edition

MARKET REVIEW: BEGGARS CAN’T BE CHOOSERS

Dominating the news this week was the deal made to sell London-based
Peninsular & Oriental Navigation Company to the United Arab Emirates
controlled Dubai Ports World. ‘How can we be making a deal like this in
our post-9/11 world?’ wonder both Republicans and Democrats, whipping the
media frenzy into high gear.

There are a few details the media is glazing over. First, it is not
uncommon for foreign countries to operate U.S. shipping terminals; in
fact, China already runs a terminal at the Port of Los Angeles and
Singapore runs terminals in Oakland. Second, Dubai Ports World will not be
running security at the five East Coast ports that have been acquired in
this deal – that will continue to be up to U.S. Customs and the U.S. Coast
Guard. And third – and this is the part that you haven’t been hearing much
of in the news – “America no longer has the internal wherewithal to fund
the rapid growth of its economy,” as Morgan Stanley’s Stephen Roach puts
it.

In other words, since our net national savings rate fell to -1.3 percent
for the first time since the Great Depression, we are spending more than
we are consuming – and then some. This leaves us open to external funding
and production, which is where our involvement with Dubai and China comes
in.

“Faced with a shortfall of domestic saving, countries basically have two
choices -- to curtail economic growth or borrow from the rest of the
world,” continues Roach.

“The first option just doesn’t cut it in the land of abundance. America,
in general, and its consumers, in particular, treat rapid economic growth
as an entitlement. That leaves the United States with little choice other
than to pursue the second option - drawing heavily on the pool of surplus
global saving as the means to fund economic growth.”

The United States is clearly relying on the kindness of foreign strangers
– in 2005, we had a balance of approximately $200 billion of cheap, high
quality Chinese goods, which expanded the purchasing power of the American
consumer. Despite this, the pundits in Washington are still pushing these
protectionist measures, doing their best to squash the deal with Dubai and
trying to stop trade with China by imposing high tariffs or forcing a
Chinese currency revaluation.

What good will these measures do for the United States? Our deficit
reached an all-time high in 2205, we are in over our heads in debt, we
aren’t saving anything and incomes have actually decreased – if we don’t
get help from China or Dubai, we’re going to have to get it from another
foreign country.

“It is short-sighted protectionist measures – like the ones being pursued
by members of Congress – that helped precipitate the Great Depression,”
says Capital and Crisis’ Chris Mayer. “The more difficult politicians make
it to do business in the United States, the more they risk triggering
global depression and economic stagnation.”

Kate Incontrera
The Daily Reckoning

Personally, I do not believe that we are safer from terrorist acts when we allow Nation-State owned companies run our port operations … especially if the Nation-State does not operate from a rule-of-law tradition.

The security threat actually comes from the fact that these companies are responsible for the hiring and firing of personnel … If one were an uber terrorist/spy; it would be smarter to launch terror attacks at our ports from within this Nation-State infrastructure. This process flies under-the-radar of our Coast Guard, Customs, and other on-site security operations … it is not their job to be vetting the stevedore and other associated workers. This deal may be less leaky than our borders ... but some ships will have an easier time sinking!

U.S. Turns War on Insurgents

The Washington Post, in interviews with U.S. soldiers -- from top generals to front-line grunts in Tall Afar, Mosul, Ramadi, Balad and throughout Baghdad -- as well as briefings at the U.S. military headquarters for the Middle East in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar, reveal a markedly different war from that seen in 2003, 2004, or even this last year of 2005.

"In the Battle for Baghdad, U.S. Turns War on Insurgents"

It is a difficult way to wage war. On one typical day this month, there were 24 "significant acts" -- small-arms attacks, bombings and other noteworthy events -- recorded in one relatively small part of Ebel's area of operations. "We got ambushed all over" but didn't suffer any casualties, said Maj. Daniel Morgan, operations officer in a 101st battalion southwest of Baghdad. "We've been pushing into the west," into insurgent havens along the Euphrates River southeast of Fallujah, "and they don't like it."

A drawback in this slow-motion war is that some soldiers find it frustrating. At the medic's station in Patrol Base Swamp -- which with its bare cots and hanging light bulbs feels like a scene from World War II -- three soldiers of the 101st said they loathe their time here, especially since the death of a beloved squad leader a week earlier.

"It's like trying to track down a bunch of ghosts," said Sgt. Chad Wendel, sitting on an Army cot under a window frame shielded by a blanket.

Read More>>

Censorship At The Oscars

The Oscar nominated tune – “It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp”, from the film “Hustle & Flow” will have to edit its lyrics for the Oscar telecast.

Oscar producer Gil Cates informed the RAP group that “f---“, “s---“, and a derogatory term for African-Americans – “niggaz” are not OK for primetime TV but the words “bitch” and “ho’s” are!

REALLY?!

Story with updated response from the RAP group here>>
ht: Army Archard

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Baker - I Was Against It Before I was For It ... Ports Deal

Exerpted From AP Story:

President Bush, Homeland Security Secretary Top of Form
Bottom of Form MichaelChertoff, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and even Treasury Secretary Top of Form Bottom of Form John Snow, who oversees the government committee that approved the deal, all say they did not know about the purchase until after it was finalized. The work was done mostly by assistant secretaries.

Snow now says he may consider changes in the approval process so lawmakers are better alerted after such deals get the go-ahead.

Stewart Baker, a senior Homeland Security official, said he was the sole representative on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States who objected to the ports deal. Baker said he later changed his vote after DP World agreed to the security conditions. Other officials confirmed Baker's account.

"We were not prepared to sign off on the deal without the successful negotiation of the assurances," Baker told the AP.


Somalia –Yes, Somalia Mentioned In Al Qaeda Declassified Documents

More at Austin Bay:

This week’s suicide attacks on Saudi oilfields flopped. However, Al Qaeda has the Saud regime in its gunsights, and has for some time.

This post continues my series of looks at the declassified Al Qaeda documents found at West Point’s counter-terror center’s wbsite.

Pirates got the black spot, Lady MacBeth had the damned spot. I’ll title this document “the Oil Spot”— a curious phrase but genocidal fanatics are curious people.


World Population to Hit 6.5 Billion Next Weekend

This item found at Yahoo News

"Planet's Population to Hit 6.5 Billion Saturday"

On Saturday, Feb. 25, at 7:16 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, the population here on this good Earth is projected to hit 6.5 billion people.

Along with this forecast, an analysis by the International Programs Center at the U.S. Census Bureau points to another factoid, Robert Bernstein of the Bureau's
Public Information Center advised LiveScience. Mark this on your calendar: Some six years from now, on Oct. 18, 2012 at 4:36 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, the Earth will be home to 7 billion folks.

"What is worrisome about this demographic divide is not the differences among nations' population growth rates, but the disparities associated with these trends ... disparities in living standards, health, and economic prospects," explained Mary Kent, co-author along with Carl Haub, of a Population Reference Bureau report issued last month titled "Global Demographic Divide."

Remarkably, despite the many new developments over the past 50 years, one fact looks very much the same, explained Kent and Haub: Populations are growing most rapidly where such growth can be afforded the least—an observation that has changed little over time, they said.


And this information about Muslim population ...

We think that in some countries the total number of Muslims are more in percentage than shown in general sources, like in China and India. For all those few above cases Islamic Sources, news items and thought provoking articles came in great help. Our reasearch shows that the total Muslim Population is 1.79 billion in year 2006.
So, this question begs to be asked - How many of the 27.53% members of this planet (read 'Angry Muslims', or disaffected youth in France) want to rule over, and if they can not rule over, KILL the 72.46% of the rest of the world?

Also, how many of the 27.53% members of the planet will stand up and be counted among citizens of the rest of this world?

Friday, February 24, 2006

Cartoon By Tony Auth - Angry Muslims Anyone?


Or ... the Christian world of about 600 years ago - been there, done that. Muslims please welcome yourself to the civilized world.

Sawadee - Troubles In Thailand

AP - BANGKOK, Thailand - Thailand's embattled prime minister dissolved parliament Friday — a move forcing national elections three years early and guaranteeing a showdown with his political opponents.

"I have decided to dissolve the parliament," Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra told reporters after meeting with the country's revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej and winning the monarch's consent for elections. The ballot for a new National Assembly will be held on April 2, according to a royal decree released late Friday.
--
Thaksin has repeatedly rejected calls for his resignation, but said he would dissolve parliament if the political situation deteriorates.

Thaksin has also come under fire for mishandling of the country's most serious crisis, the Muslim insurgency in southern Thailand where more than 1,100 have died over the past two years. He is also accused of stifling what was once one of Asia's freest media and of allowing his business and political cronies to reap enormous gains from corrupt policies.

Read More>>

More angry Muslims acting badly ... 1,1oo dead due to Muslim strife in Thailand!

Saudi Arabia Suffers Foiled Suicide Attack


We are all counter-terrorist when faced with angry death-wish Muslims.

Exerpted from AP release - "Attack Fails at Huge Saudi Oil Site"

CAIRO, Egypt - Suicide bombers in explosives-laden cars attacked the world's largest oil processing facility Friday, but were prevented from breaking through the gates when guards opened fire on them, causing the vehicles to explode, officials said.

It was the first attack on an oil facility in Saudi Arabia — and it targeted one of the kingdom's most important. The huge Abqaiq processing facility near the Gulf coast handles around two-thirds of the country's oil output, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Intelligence Agency.

Saudi Arabia has been waging a fierce three-year crackdown on al-Qaida militants, who launched a campaign in 2003 aimed at overthrowing the royal family with a string of attacks — mostly targeting foreigners. In May 2004, militants attacked oil company offices in two cities.

UPDATE - Analysis from The Officers' Club, Charlie Munn

Dubai's Terror Ties

Posted at Fox News, this AP story

Fast Facts: Dubai's Terror Ties
Thursday, February 23, 2006


WASHINGTON — The United Arab Emirates has not had a major terrorist attack. But its largest city, Dubai, is a banking center that is believed to attract funds from groups such as Al Qaeda. Some of Dubai's brushes with terror groups:

Read More>>

Corporate Compassion - Not Oxymoron


This reported by the San Antonio Business Journal.

H-E-B delivers food, supplies to aid rescue workers in Mexico

A gas explosion trapped 65 coal miners almost a mile below the earth's surface on Feb. 19. Rescue workers are in the process of excavating the mines for survivors.

"To have H-E-B assist the families of the mines makes my heart swell with pride," says H-E-B employee Rosie Guerra, whose cousin Jesus Morales remains trapped in the mine. "I have been with H-E-B for almost 15 years, and I still am amazed at the way H-E-B extends its helping hand to those in need, even as far as Sabinas."



Bird Flu, In the Land of Coq au Vin



Reaction in France to a wild duck found dead to avian flu - from the N. Y. Times.


For the French, a bird is more than a bird.

Yves de la Fouchardiere, a lobbyist for the Loué poultry farmers, is campaigning to keep the region's chickens uncaged despite the bird flu scare.


The rooster has been the national emblem since ancient Gallic times and adorns official seals, church steeples, the garden gate of Élysée Palace, even the uniforms of the national soccer team.

In the early 17th century, King Henry IV declared the right of his subjects to have a chicken in the family pot once a week, and even today, the ritual family lunch on Sunday is defined by a perfectly roasted chicken.

"Poultry is for cuisine what canvas is for painters," wrote Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, the French 19th-century gastronome. "We are served it boiled, roasted, fried, hot or cold, whole or in parts, with or without sauce, deboned, skinned, stuffed and always with equal success."

So when a wild duck was found dead, infected with the avian flu virus, in a small lake in eastern France last week, it set off a national panic, a potential health and economic calamity and an identity crisis as well. The fears were stoked again on Thursday with reports of a second infected duck in the same area — the department of Ain — and, even more ominously, the possible spread of the virus to turkeys on a nearby farm.

Read More>>

Cartoon Lampoon!



Michelle Malkin discusses how far the control of human thought and expression has gone in Malaysia.

MADNESS IN MALAYSIA

By Michelle Malkin · February 24, 2006 09:17 AM

Let's review.

Depictions of Mohammed are not allowed.

Depictions of ordinary human beings and animals are not allowed.

Depictions of mosques are not allowed.

And now, depictions poking fun on the prohibition of depictions are not allowed, either...

After The New Strait Times newspaper published the Non Sequitur syndicated cartoon, wrote the following in order to appease the Muslims and governmentofficialss in Malaysia.

Obviously, we misjudged how different people would react to Wiley Miller's Non Sequitur syndicated cartoon published by the New Straits Times last Monday. We have written to the Internal Security Ministry in response to its letter asking us to show cause, explaining the processes involved and how the cartoon came to be published. It is a process involving the human factor, and humans err.

We told the ministry the same thing we are telling you that we may have misjudged how different people would react to the cartoon, which, as we have pointed out to the authorities, was NOT one of the 12 produced by Danish cartoonists that outraged Muslims throughout the world. It was a totally different cartoon.

It was wry humour by an artist whose work is syndicated in more than 700 newspapers, including those in Islamic countries, and whose strip has run in the NST since 1998.

There was no caricature of the Prophet Muhammad at all in that cartoon; nor was there any derogatory comment made about the Prophet or Islam.

Perhaps, in more ordinary circumstances, such a cartoon would not have received more than a passing mention.

Yet, these are different times. The Muslim world was outraged by the blasphemy of the Danish and European newspapers.

When the Sarawak Tribune and Guang Ming Daily reproduced pictures depicting the caricature of the Prophet, the Government acted firmly and suspended both newspapers. Their editors and publishers were held accountable.

In the case of Wiley Miller's cartoon in the NST, there was no caricature of Prophet Muhammad at all. NONE.

And that is why we believed it was inoffensive. But just as we have received letters and emails, many from Muslims, saying they could not see what the fuss was all about, there are also those who feel strongly about this.

They include some members of the Cabinet, including newly appointed Information Minister Datuk Zainuddin Maidin; NGOs, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his son Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, the Opposition Parti Islam se-Malaysia, and others who have called the NST office to register their protest...

...We should have been more sensitive, human error or not. So again, we apologise. And again, we will willingly accept any action deemed fit by the Government.

OUCH! Do you think The New Strait Times could show a little backbone? This is an example to what we are at war for - to live in freedom, to freely express our point of view through most any means ... save shouting "FIRE" in a crowded theater.

Unfortunately, it has become the cause of the most liberal, progressive, nuanced (you get the picture) of our society to enforce the ideals of political correctness. The Malaysain stance and the apology above is the worst example of that type of sensitivity taken to its most absurd ends.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Report: African-American Buying Power

African-American Market to Reach Almost $1 Trillion by 2010
Progressive Grocer, Feb. 23, 2006

"Having roughly the same purchasing power as Hispanics, African-Americans tend to be left behind when it comes to marketing and advertising because Hispanics are expected to have more rapid population growth," said Don Montuori, the publisher of Packaged Facts. "Marketers would be wise, however, to tap into the African American segments that outpace their Hispanic counterparts, such as those with incomes greater than $50,000; owner-occupied households; married-couple families; and African American women--all sectors which offer huge potential in the consumer goods markets."According to the report, "The U.S. African-American Market," which for the first time examined the black population from a regional perspective, African-Americans in the West and Northeast have higher average incomes than those in the Midwest and the South, and consequently account for a disproportionate share of the aggregate income of African Americans.

NON-PROFIT, Non-Math on "Global Warming"

Information found at Slocomhouse. Information based on data from several government and UN sources. The web page sponsor is an environmental non-profit.

Credit: NASA GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio Data Source: Airborne Topographic Mapper

Any change is important since a smaller ice sheet could result in higher sea levels.

“A conservative estimate, based on our data, indicates a net loss of approximately 51 cubic kilometers of ice per year from the entire ice sheet, sufficient to raise global sea level by 0.005 inches per year, or approximately seven percent of the observed rise,” Bill Krabill, project scientist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, VA., said.

“This amount of sea level rise does not threaten coastal regions, but these results provide evidence that the margins of the ice sheet are in a process of change,” Krabill said.

“The thinning cannot be accounted for by increased melting alone. It appears that ice must be flowing more quickly into the sea through glaciers.”

Do The Arithmetic (an analysis)

Either no one proofread the material or they didn't know arithmetic. I suspect the latter is true of most believers in global warming.

The web page doesn't give data on the portion of the global ice sheet that is in Greenland, but for the combined Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets they claim 30 million cubic kilometers of ice.

Greenland is roughly 2 million square kilometers and Antarctica is about 13 million. Greenland is 15% the size of Antarctica. Greenland is probably less than 4 million cubic kilometers of ice, by using those two numbers.

The image above shows the additions and subtractions from the Greenland ice sheet annually. The web page claims that there is a net decrease of 53 cubic kilometers of ice per year in Greenland.

They are talking about 53 cubic kilometers out of 4 million cubic kilometers. The idea that anyone could measure 53 cubic kilometers of net ice melt per year (.00001, one hundred thousandths of the total) is absurd.

The further idea that this incredibly insignificant amount of ice from the net melt of Greenland could create a trend of .005 inch per year rise in the oceans is even more absurd.

That would be .5 inch in a century. Half an inch increase in a century in oceans that already vary with tidal action by 45 inches twice a day every day is quite hard to picture as a global danger.

Posted by Michael Phillips on Feb 18, 2006 at 11:17 AM

Memo to "60 Minutes" and Scott Pelley ... Do The Math, Michael Phillips has!

ht: "Gods Of Commerce"

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Just Think, We Are All Profilers NOW!

This From Michelle Malkin (writing at RealClearPolitics):

It was Democrats who tried to block Bush administration efforts to impose common-sense citizenship requirements on airport security workers in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

It was Democrats who attacked the Bush Justice Department after the September 11 attacks for fingerprinting young male temporary visa holders traveling from terror-sponsoring and terror-friendly nations; temporarily detaining asylum seekers from high-risk countries for background screening; and sending undercover agents to investigate mosques suspected of supporting terrorism.

It was Democrats who secretly attempted to remove funding for the National Security Exit-Entry Registration System -- the Justice Department program that helped nab at least 330 known foreign criminals, 15 illegal-alien felons and three known terrorists who attempted to enter the country.

And just one week ago, it was failed Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore who was in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, attacking the Bush administration's profiling and immigration enforcement against illegal aliens from terror-friendly countries as "terrible abuses."

Perhaps the UAE will be hiring Gore to condemn the "abusive" practices now being championed by his fire-breathing extremist Democrat colleagues?

After all, they are all red flag-raising, threshold-hiking, thorough review-espousing, foreign ownership-banning profilers now.

To Deceive ... Or Not To Deceive?

FDA says carbon monoxide additives in meat are "generally" safe!

Studies Attest to Buyers' Focus on Color of Meat
By Rick Weiss - Washington Post Staff WriterWednesday, February 22, 2006; Page A07

Carbon monoxide "does not reduce the safety of meat," Laura Tarantino, director of the FDA's Office of Food Additive Safety said, referring to meat-company-sponsored studies indicating that treated meat is not more likely to harbor harmful bacteria than conventionally packaged meat.

That aspect of safety is essentially undisputed. But Tarantino appeared unacquainted with a significant body of data -- some of it generated by the meat industry -- indicating that red color is a central cue used by shoppers to determine the freshness of meats, which are increasingly sold in sealed, "modified atmosphere" packages.


The issue of how consumers make their choices is central to the argument made by Kalsec Inc. of Kalamazoo, Mich., that the use of carbon monoxide to keep meat red is a "deceptive practice."

Kalsec sells natural extracts that slow the browning of packaged meats -- a business threatened by the growing use of carbon monoxide.

The real question is ... To Deceive, Or Not To Deceive?

Bush Administration Asleep At The Wheel

(photo credit - AFP/Getty Images)

Let me see ...

>State owned Muslim company.
>Acts as a clearing house for all major Mullah cash.
>UAE port in Persian Gulf acts as end point for nuclear parts headed for Iran.
>Two of the 9/11 attackers came from UAE, the state that owns the port management company.
>Information is power and power equals a breach of security. Wouldn't this management company need to have access to the blueprints to all of the storage facilities and manifests on what is stored, and by whom?
>UAE port management company would have to hire and staff their operation ... so do they get a "greenlighted" visa approval process?
>If Bush and Rumsfeld were not aware of this 30 day decision process (yes! - 30 days), and that the decision had been made, than WHO was? Who and where was this decision made?

Bush Unaware of Ports Deal Before Approval
By TED BRIDIS Associated Press Writer

Christopher Hitchens Weighs In - Twice!


Cartoon Debate: The case for mocking religion.

Hitchens - As it happens, the cartoons themselves are not very brilliant, or very mordant, either. But if Muslims do not want their alleged prophet identified with barbaric acts or adolescent fantasies, they should say publicly that random murder for virgins is not in their religion.

Actually, the cartoon above by Cox & Forkum is far funnier and intelligent than the infamous 12 published in Denmark ... which reminds me of a previous Hitchens editorial.

Stand up for Denmark!
Why are we not defending our ally?


Hitchens - The preposterous person of Karen Hughes is quoted in the same New York Times article, under her risible title of "Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy." She tittered outside the store she was happily giving away: "The voices of Muslim Americans have more credibility in the Muslim world frankly than my voice as a government official, because they can speak the language of their faith and can share their experience of practicing their faith freely in the West, and they can help explain why the cartoons are so offensive." Well, let's concede that almost any voice in any world has more credibility on any subject than this braying Bush-crony ignoramus, but is the State Department now saying that we shall be represented in the Muslim world only by Muslims? I think we need a debate on that, and also a vote. Meanwhile, not a dollar of Wahhabi money should be allowed to be spent on opening madrasahs in this country, or in distributing fundamentalist revisions of the Quran in our prison system. Not until, at the very least, churches and synagogues and free-thought libraries are permitted in every country whose ambassador has bullied the Danes. If we have to accept this sickly babble about "respect," we must at least demand that it is fully reciprocal.

This Bush Adminstration is going woefully off track ... and now we have to worry that our ports will be managed by Muslims. We are part of a World War and the proof that this war is anything but over is exemplified by this Cartoon Jihad.

-------------------------------------

To bad that our mainstream media seems content and has elected to sit by and let the Danes take this war on by themselves.

This response by the Los Angeles Times Readers Rep. when asked why the Times did not print the cartoons as part of a NEWS STORY.

L.A. Times - Thanks for your note. You're referring to a statement made by the editorial board, which is separate from the newsroom, where the readers' rep office is. However, the cartoons also were not reproduced in the news pages of the L.A. Times, though the newsroom editors are separate from the editorial board editors.

It sounds as if you believe that the L.A. Times hasn't reported the news thoroughly because cartoons weren't run. I'll let editors know.

I'm curious: Have you read all of the stories about the international furor? There have been quite a few and they've included news from all over the world about reactions ranging from the benign, because some Muslims don't have proscriptions against images of Muhammad, to, of course, the riots and killings. I do think the articles about the controversy and violence have included lots of the details for readers to know of the controversy, and question your saying that the story has not been reported. Is it your thought that the cartoons should be published with each day's stories?

In any case, thanks for writing and I'll let editors know you believe that the story isn't complete without the cartoons.

Jamie Gold
Readers' representative


Didn't the fourth estate get the memo? ... The story is NOT the story without the cartoons. What, in fact, are the Muslims really getting angry enough to kill people and torch foreign embassies about? The L.A. Times readers will never know.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Saddam's WMD's Just Around The Corner

Information contained in a editorial filed by the Washington Times.

New questions on Saddam, WMD
TODAY'S EDITORIAL - February 20, 2006


More information has surfaced in recent days about Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction programs, and the possible roles of Syria and Russia in spiriting WMD and massive arsenals of conventional munitions out of Iraq prior to the start of the war three years ago.

--

One new piece of information revealed on the tapes, released Saturday by Mr. Tierney at the Intelligence Summit, a private conference held in Arlington, is that Saddam was actively working on a plan to enrich uranium using a technique known as plasma separation. This is particularly worrisome because of the date of the conversation: It took place in 2000, nearly five years after Iraq's nuclear programs were thought to have stopped.

--

Another speaker at the conference was John Shaw, former deputy undersecretary of defense for international technology security, who charged that Saddam's stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction were moved by Russian special forces into Syria and Lebanon. According to Mr. Shaw, former Russian intelligence boss Yevgeny Primakov came to Iraq in December 2002 in order to supervise "cleanup" operations to remove WMD production materials from the country. This operation, carried out by GRU military intelligence and Russian "spetsnaz," or special forces, troops, was designed to make it possible for critics of the war to be able to claim that Iraq had had no WMD.

--

Mr. Tierney points out that the 12 hours of information that he has translated thus far is just a small fraction of the hundreds of hours of tape recordings and other raw intelligence data collected after the fall of Saddam.

More to come...

Logo Creativity Over At Captain's Quarters



At Captain's Quarters, the talk about the MSM meltdown has taken on a creative life of its own ...

More Controversy, Crap, & Confusion!

Yesterday I noted an interview with former Senator Alan Simpson and his statement that the Washington press corps seemed to specialize in "controversy, crap, and confusion". I asked CQ readers to send me their best logos for what should shortly become a classic motto for the DC gaggle. I posted a couple of entries I received shortly after I asked in my original post, but here are a few others that have come in since.

See More>>

ht: Captain Ed

Monday, February 20, 2006

William Safire Discovers The Blogesphere

Blargon
By WILLIAM SAFIRE
thanks - New York Times

At 60 Minutes - "A Global Warning"


For those who understood that the main cause of "Global Warming" was still a debatable point ... this segment hosted by Scott Pelley showed evidence that was quite convincing - Ice Cap Taps (long poles of ice taken from the ice cap and analyzed for CO2).

Excerpts:

A Global Warning - Correspondent Scott Pelley went north to see what Bob Corell calls a "global warning."

(CBS) The North Pole has been frozen for 100,000 years. But according to scientists, that won't be true by the end of this century. The top of the world is melting. There's been a debate burning for years on the causes of global warming. But the scientists you're about to meet say the debate is over. New evidence shows man is contributing to the warming of the planet, pumping out greenhouse gases that trap solar heat. Much of this new data was compiled by American scientist Bob Corell, who led a study called the "Arctic Climate Impact Assessment." It's an awkward name — but consider the findings: the seas are rising, hurricanes will be more powerful, like Katrina, and polar bears may be headed toward extinction.


Well, there you go - it's over ... and two scientists in this piece say so.

It's activity like burning fossil fuels, releasing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The U.S. is by far the largest polluter. Corell says there's so much greenhouse gas in the air already that more temperature rise is inevitable.

And, It's ALL our fault, we are the largest polluter!

Even if we stopped using every car, truck, and power plant — stopping all greenhouse gas emissions — Paul Mayewski, at the University of Maine, says the planet would continue to warm anyway. "Would continue to warm for another, about another degree," he says

There is NO switch to turn this effect off.

That's enough to melt the Arctic — and if greenhouse gases continue to increase, the temperature will rise even more. The ice that's melting already is changing the weather by disrupting ocean currents.

And

"That said, the skeptics have brought up some very, very interesting issues over the last few years. And they've forced us to think more and more about the data that we collect. We can owe the skeptics a vote of thanks for making our science as precise as it is today," says Mayewski.

One big supporter of climate science research is the Bush administration, spending $5 billion a year. But Mr. Bush refuses to sign a treaty forcing cuts in greenhouse gases.

And we are at fault for NOT agreeing to the Kyoto Protocol. Forget the fact that China and India are NOT in the treaty to cut gases, and that we are still spending $5 Billion Dollars a year to support research.

"When you look at the American government, which is saying essentially, 'Wait a minute. We need to study this some more. We can't flip our energy use overnight. It would hurt the economy.' When you hear that, what do you think?" Pelley asked.

"Well, what I do then is, I try to tell them exactly what we know scientifically. The science is, I believe, unassailable," says Corell. "I'm not arguing their policy, that's their business, how they deal with policy. But my job is to say, scientifically, shorten that time scale so that if you don't push out the effects of climate change into the long, long distant future. Because even under the best of circumstances, this natural system of a climate will continue to warm the planet for literally hundreds of years, no matter what we do."

That's right - "the natural system of a climate will continue... "(so, why do we continue to spend $5 billion dollars toward research).

I like the solution I heard floated by Hugh Hewitt on his radio program last week ... Figure out a way to light off Krakatoa, you know, the volcano that blew its top back in 1883. Well, the effects of that event on the Earth were quite dramatic.

The volcanic dust veil that created such spectacular atmospheric effects also acted as a solar radiation filter, lowering global temperatures as much as 1.2 degree C in the year after the eruption. Temperatures did not return to normal until 1888.

Krakatoa information ht: Nicholas Elliott

Yeah! Let's flip that switch!

SoCal Native Wins First DAYTONA!

AP Photo

A team on the edge!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Where's The War Footing?


Chertoff defends Arab firm control of U.S. ports
Homeland Security director says government review provided ‘assurances’

WASHINGTON - Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff on Sunday defended the government’s security review of an Arab company given permission to take over operations at six major U.S. ports.


“We have a very disciplined process, it’s a classified process, for reviewing any acquisition by a foreign company of assets that we consider relevant to national security,” Chertoff told Tim Russert on “Meet the Press.”


London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co., was bought last week by Dubai Ports World, a state-owned business from the United Arab Emirates. Peninsular and Oriental runs major commercial operations in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia.

MSNBC staff and news service reports
Updated: 2:56 p.m. ET Feb. 19, 2006

ht: Carol Platt Liebau

Iraq wants to join the NATO!

This found at Iraq The Model

Iraq wants to join the NATO!

The senior advisor in the Iraqi defense ministry Mohammed al-Askari told the press today that the ministry is looking forward to seeing Iraq become a member of the NATO and that the minister Sa'doun al-Dulaimi, the chief of staff and the higher commanders are planning to propose this plan to the new government once it's seated.


Read More>>

Additional analysis and context at Austin Bay.

Important – It Is Time To Get To Racing!

--- NASCAR AT DAYTONA TODAY ---


Jay Leno will lead them to the start line through 33% banking in a ‘Vette that could go almost as fast as the cars he will be parading.

Read More>>
ht: Yahoo Sports

Get additional information about this racing series at the NASCAR website.

Upon Review, WaPo.com Clowning Around - NOT!

Photo Credit: Msnbc's "Countdown With Keith Olbermann" Photo

The Washington Post dot com Ombudsman, Deborah Howell, weighs in.

Dana Milbank can be controversial with readers. The Post reporter has his fans -- and I can be one of them -- but I think his appearance on MSNBC last week was a mistake in judgment.

Milbank wore hunting gear -- an orange stocking cap and striped vest and gloves -- on Keith Olbermann's show Monday night and made several meant-to-be-humorous remarks about Vice President Cheney's hunting accident. Here's an example from the transcript:

Read More>>
ht: Machelle Malkin

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Photo Tour Of Northern Iraq

Birds take flight over a river flowing south from the
Kurdistan mountains toward the Mesopotamian plains.


Take a tour and read some posts at Michael J. Trotten’s Middle East Journal

PETA Tries A "Mainstreaming" Stockholder Strategy


PETA Tries A "Mainstreaming" Stockholder Strategy ... one wonders how long this will last until the reactionary group goes back to using illegal force tactics and idiotic, insulting proclamations like the one that linked the atrocities of the human Holocaust perpetrated by Germany to the treatment of chickens in poultry processing plants. Why?

*excerpts from the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal

In a move described by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals as "groundbreaking," officials of Safeway Inc. have agreed to form a committee to look into some animal welfare issues.
PETA, an animal welfare advocacy group that has 192 shares of Safeway stock, has lobbied Safeway officials to promote a method of slaughtering birds called controlled-atmosphere killing, commonly called CAK. They announced they would withdraw a proposal to gain shareholder support for Safeway to support CAK.

Look, animals do not have rights ... until they (The Chickens) can organize, draft documents, and vote ... but I do agree with this mainstream tactic by PETA of properly sitting down with stockholder credentials and creating convincing arguments for a more humane and COST EFFECTIVE approach to putting food on the table.

Read More Here

A Generation GAP! … Not A Class Act.





Olympic Lesson -
Where the “act” goes dreadfully wrong.

Coming around the last turn, Jacobellis was a good 100 yards ahead of the rest of the competitors. The fans were ready to write Jacobellis' name in the history books when she launched off the bottom air and decided to footnote her accomplishment with an attention-grabbing victory kick. As she twisted the board back under her, she pushed her feet a little too far forward forcing her to land on the heel side of her board. Her feet slid out in front of her and she skidded off the side of the course.

Yahoo Sports Story - Read More Here

Friday, February 17, 2006

A Class Act!


Harry Whittington: 'I'm a Lucky Person'

The lawyer shot by Vice President Dick Cheney during a hunting trip was being discharged from a hospital on Friday and told reporters he was sorry for all the trouble Cheney had faced over the past week.

"We all assume certain risks in what we do, in what activities we pursue," Whittington, 78, said as he stood out the hospital in a suit, his face clearly bruised.

"Accidents do and will happen," Whittington said, "and that's what happened."
Whittington thanked the hospital staff. He also said he was sorry for all the difficulty the vice president and his family had faced. He said the past weekend encompassed "a cloud of misfortune and sadness."

"My family and I are are deeply sorry for everything that Vice President Cheney and his family had to go through this week," Whittington said, appearing emotional in front of television cameras.

Speaking in Wyoming to the state Legislature Friday, Cheney said, "Thankfully, Harry Whittington is on the mend and doing very well."

Friday, Feb. 17, 2006 1:22 p.m. EST © 2006 Associated Press.

Big Oil Responds Coolly to E-85


There are many people, like me, who recognize that our way of life is at war with forces that want to end our freedoms and force their world view on everyone who does not believe as they do (no it isn't a political party). Many also believe that the more we can become energy independent as it relates to the use of foreign oil, we are able to take away a large amount of the funding of the forces that are out to end our freedoms. I ask this question - In an age of record profits by oil and other business enterprises in this country, why isn't there a greater desire to embrace alternative fuel and power strategies?

WASHINGTON -- Executives of two big oil companies said they are lukewarm about trying to sell more E-85 fuel, due to storage and fuel-quality concerns, reported the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Journal Gazette .In letters to Sens. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, the president of Shell Oil, John Hofmeister said E-85 can’t be used in most vehicles and has to be stored in its own tanks at gas stations. But he said Shell has a pilot program in Chicago and hopes to learn more about E-85.James Mulva, chairman of ConocoPhillips, was less enthusiastic, saying mileage is better with regular gas, and "there remains a number of E-85 fuel quality and regulatory concerns."

Read More At Convenience Store News

I am reminded of something I had heard recited at a Sunday sermon recently and it goes like this - The Tyranny of "OR" verses the Genius of "AND" - from "Built To Last", by Jim Collins. E-85 fuel mix and other proven hybrid attempts at automobile energy consumption in our country are classic examples of the "AND" paradigm.

Why aren't the leaders of ConocoPhilips and other oil companies taking a broader view as it relates to the positioning of their business efforts? - like say, instead of our effort being focused purely as an oil company ... we are now an energy company! Embrace the genius of AND. Not only would they still make profits ... they would be able to participate in protecting their customer base and the freedoms they posses.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Man Shot In Accident After Laughing At Cheney

(AP) LAFAYETTE, Colo. Hours after laughing about Vice President Dick Cheney's hunting mishap, Josh Kayser was himself shot by a friend during a hunting expedition.

The 21-year-old Lafayette man was taken to the hospital Monday night after his girlfriend accidentally shot him while they were trailing a raccoon that had been preying on chickens on his family's property.

"I read that thing about the vice president and said to myself 'how can you shoot your friend with your gun?' And look what happened," he said Tuesday.

Kayser was crouched down to look under a shed where he thought a wounded raccoon was hiding, and his 17-year-old girlfriend accidentally shot him with a .22-caliber rifle. Police have not identified the girlfriend.
Feb 16, 2006

It's Just All In A Day's Hunting -

The Washington Times reports that a poll of 883 South Dakota bird hunters, conducted before Vice President Dick Cheney's weekend hunting accident, found that 484 of the hunters, or about 55 percent, had been "peppered with shotgun BB's."

The Officers' Club: One Soldier's Mantra

I dedicate this posting at Officers' Club to Harry Wittington, Dick Cheney's mistaken scatter shot victim and friend.


One Soldier's Mantra

When life sucks, I’m often reminded of this little saying:
When I’m tired, at least I’m not hungry
When I’m tired and hungry, at least I’m not cold
When I’m tired, hungry and cold, at least I’m not wet.
When I’m tired, hungry, cold, and wet, well… at least I’m not being shot at.
And when I’m tired, hungry, cold, wet, and being shot at… well, it can only get better from there!

It's Whineing Time, Again ... Because You Need Me!


CNN has an opinion on the Cheney 'responsibility' interview. Go figure.
(HT-Drudge Report, AP Photo - http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2006/02/16/MNGS3H9J3N1.DTL&type=printable)

Meanwhile, Chris Mathews was busy throwing "shot-in-the-heart" curve balls on his program last night. On MSNBC, Chris Mathews explored conspiracy theories giving credence to rumors that the program plans to change its name to "Oddball".

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Happiness Survey - Pew Research

Read and be happy - http://pewresearch.org/social/pack.php?PackID=1

ERBIL, IRAQ

This from Michael J. Trotten's Middle East Journal:

In no country are Kurds closer to realizing their dream of freedom and independence than they are in Iraq. They are wrapping up the finishing touches on their de-facto sovereign state-within-a-state, a fact on the ground that will not easily be undone. And they’re transforming the hideously decrepit physical environment left to them by Saddam Hussein – a broken place that is terribly at odds with the Kurdistan in their hearts and in their minds – into something beautiful and inspiring, the kind of place you might like to live in someday yourself.

read more - http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/001055.html

“Quail-Gate” - The Saga

The Washington press corps is all a twitter that they were left out of the loop on this whole story (first reported to and by a LOCAL newspaper).

It was only a little over a decade ago the press and the politico’s were extolling that private pursuits have nothing to do with ones public life when defending then President Clinton. Where are those attitudes and platitudes now ... while the press is asking if Cheney should step down from the Vice-Presidency, or speculating as Brian Williams did on "Nightly News" - "was he drunk"?

So, who will be donning the orange vest and headgear next, Bill Mahr, David Gregory, Jack Cafferty, Hillary Clinton?

Pray for the health and continued recovery of Mr. Harry Whittington (latest news here - http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060215/ap_on_go_pr_wh/cheney_whittington).

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A Valentine From Iraq

Iraqi Mayor thanks US Troops, an "in country" letter of appreciation that we will NOT see in the newspapers or TV. - credit to The Anchoress

It's Catching On - A Trend Of Fools


Paul didn't get the Caltrans memo ... suits and ties, suits and ties with the vest and headgear!

Just To Post - MSM At Its Best


I saw this screen clip at several websites and it is just funny (tip o' the hat to Michelle Malkin for the screen clips).

Judging from the clip image, Dana Milbank, of the Washington Post, was #5 in "The Countdown" ... but looks like he should have been featured in the "Oddball News" section ... under the headline "Caltrans Workers Demand New Dresscode" - Suit and tie required as a push for greater respect on the job.

Happy Valentines Day!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Laura Ingraham is back from her travels to Iraq. She opens her show with an "Elmer Fudd - Kill The Wabbit" / "Wild Wild West" sound montage to play off of Dick Cheney's hunting accident that happened over the weekend.

After hearing the interviews Laura had with random Iraqi people this morning, I wonder why the MSM does not go out and do more of the same. These personal accounts are a lot more interesting and informative than the reporting on the distorted pontification of loser politico's (read Al Gore) who believe it is their unique position and narrow perspective that will define what we should think about Iraq - if only their (the Iraqi) voices could be heard.

She can be found on Salem Radio

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Cooking up a little "teamwork" at an Amsterdam cook school!

Namesake

Well, I am jumping in feet first without a clue. This may be my first ... and last post but it is Sunday and God wants me to have a day of rest.

My mother, MAXINE, was a person who was not shy about meeting people and sharing a little time with them ... so I thought it would be a grand idea to use her name to lend a little spirit to this effort and bless her memory.

The neat thing about MAXINE, when she was in an area for awhile, someone, within earshot, in the crowd would inevitably be heard saying, "Hey, there's Maxine! I don't expect this blog to have that type of play but "MAXINE" will be out there from time to time, meeting people and sharing a little time.

My name is Ed and I will sign my posts ecj to keep the process short and simple.