Men stumble over the truth from time to time, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened. -- Winston Churchill
All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them. -- Galileo Galilei
I never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it's hell. -- Harry Truman
- The Volokh Conspiracy
- Compass Points Blog
- Right Wing News
- An Eye on Iran
- Iraq the Model
- Storming Jericho
- Captain's Quarters
- Mon Dieu! New IQ Study Says French are Dumb, Germans Smart
- Should Supreme Court Justices Shut Up?
- Back With New Ubuntu Linux
- Bullseye! Veto on Concealed Carry Overriden by Kansas House
- Kansas Senate Overides Veto of Concealed Carry Bill
- Kansas Legislative Update - Sex, Guns, Illegal Immigrant Tuition, and School Finance
- Supreme Court May Decide Who Owns Your Genetic Code
- Political Correctness is Killing African-Americans
- Breakfast at Denny's?
- The Constitutionality of Sex Toys and a Solution for Kansas
- St. Patrick's Day Politics
- On Australian Strippers, Canadian Sex, and Habeneros
- Big Bang Evidence Stuns Scientists
- Leftist Groups Continue Slaughter
- Jessica Simpson Won't, Porn Star Will
- US and Iraqi Forces Go on Offense
- Sirhan Sirhan Denied Parole
- Ahmed Saadat Not Ready for Martyrdom
- More Details on Al-Qaeda Plot for Embassy Attack
- Al-Qaeda Plot to Attack US and UK Embassies in Bagdad Foiled
- Is there a Candidate that would be a Good President?
- U.S. will be Blamed for Israeli Break into Palestinian Jail
- Norway Woman Gets Beer from Kitchen Faucet
- Is Iraq in Civil War?
- Iran Steams Russians
- Sunni Outrage Against Al-Qaeda Grows
- The Legacy of Slobodan Milosevic
- The Billionaire Club
- French Workers Fried - Labor Law Gauls Them
- Gratuitous Hillary Jokes
- Closing Our Eyes on Africa
- Demand Real Solutions on Illegal Immigration
- Where are Democrats on Iran?
- Fred Phelps Lets the Good Times Role
- Alabama Church Arsonists Arrested
- Iran Battening Down the Hatches
- Iran Playing a Deadly Game
- Iraq Pessimists may be in for a Surprise
- Howard Dean Lays Out Democrat's Legislative Agenda
- Will Fertility Defeat Liberals?
- Hollywood Liberals Used for Target Practice at Oscar's
- Making Technorati and del.icio.us Tags Easy and Automatic
- Sex and Politics
- Ubuntu Linux - Free At Last From Microsoft
- Blood in the Water
- The Cure for Democrats - A Good Family Therapist
- A New Format!
- Diagnosing the Republican Party
- The Trouble with Katrina Recovery
- Diagnosing the Democratic Party
- Kansas Illegal Immigrant Tuition Bill Gets Second Vote
- Saddam Ends Hunger Strike
- Iran and Russia Deal for Real?
- Take a break
- Far Left Morphing and the Impact on the Democratic Party
- Some Signs of Hope in Iraq
- Sudan man forced to 'marry' goat
- Leaders, Writers, and Quarterbacks
- "Blogger Scale" Needed
- Bennett and Dershowitz Team Up on Failure of the Press
- Save the Children!
- Dutch Schools Ban Flag Fearing Muslim Reaction
- Jihad Goes Cyber
- Shiites Waste No Time In Reprisal Attacks
- Iraqi Mosque Attack – A Bid for Civil War?
- Abortion is the Supreme Court's Gordian Knot
- Partial Birth Abortion Goes to Supreme Court
- Rewarding Illegal Immigration in Kansas
- Supporting a Nazi Lover
- McCain Bombs Obama
- Tiny Election has Global Impact
- One Newspaper Shows Courage
- Islamic Genocide of Gays
- Media Surrendering to Terror
- Another Muslim Murder for Hire Offer
- When Conservatives Aren't
- Sheriff's Have Sex In the Line of Duty
- Michael Chertoff Needs to Go
- Liberals and Lemmings
- Halting a Nuclear Iran: If Diplomacy Fails
- Media Fires Both Barrels Over Cheney
- Concealed Carry Law's Concealed Agenda
- Iranian Contest for Jewish Holocaust Cartoons
- Discovery May Take Us to the Stars
- Carlos Mayan's Porn Crusade – Wichita's “Don Quixote” Quest Against Smut
- The Path of Jihad
- Name: Brandon
- Location: Wichita, Kansas
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Monday, March 27, 2006
Should Supreme Court Justices Shut Up?
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Back With New Ubuntu Linux
|Sorry for the lack of updates to the blog. I lost a hard drive and had to recover files. As someone who left the world of paying Bill Gates for Windows some time ago, this meant installing Linux. If you are not already a Linux buff, that means installing an alternate operating system to Microsoft Windows – all free and open source.|
My favorite flavor of Linux is Ubuntu, which releases an updated official version about every six months. It's very easy to install, and basically fool-proof. Being foolish, I decided to go with the latest “experimental” version called “Flight 5”, which means it has the latest “bleeding edge” code being developed. It was really easier than I imagined, and the problems I encountered were actually few. If you don't know at least a little about Linux and have some command line familiarity, some fixes could stump you. The reward for going this route is having the newest features available.
Once everything was up and functioning, I then went further to install something called XGL and Compiz. This takes advantage of code released into open source by Novell in the last month, who has been doing great things in Linux development and contribution of their results. Installing this was not easy, but if you have the patience to do so, you'll be blown away at the results.
You'll get a user interface or desktop that is stunning. Some of the effects are cool eye candy, while others are useful features that are unbelievable. You wind up with a 3-D computer system that is aesthetically superb, customizable, and improves ease of use and productivity.
The next Microsoft release, codenamed “Longhorn”, has been delayed once again until next January. Given the sophistication and features you can obtain right now with Linux, you can have a system that is generations ahead of WindowsXP. It's not even a close contest. Moreover, when the new Windows does come out, you'll not only pay for the software, but find you'll need to upgrade your computer's memory, CPU, and video card to run it properly. I built my computer several years ago, and the state of the art Linux I am describing hums along just fine on it.
The truly amazing part for me was the close cooperation between users and developers in the Ubuntu support community. When I would get stuck, and request help in the Ubuntu forum, another user would provide a solution, often within minutes. Sometimes you see a glitch being fixed in the coding itself by a contributing programmer within hours of it being identified and the solution being uploaded. The talent these folks have and donate to making this happen are so impressive.
Here's a few links if you want to know more, and even preview Compiz by watching videos of it in action.
Ubuntu Support Forum
Novell Compiz Announcement
I'm back in the saddle now with my uber-cool new operating system, so expect posts to resume as usual.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Bullseye! Veto on Concealed Carry Overriden by Kansas House
Kansas Senate Overides Veto of Concealed Carry Bill
|The Kansas Senate voted to override the Gov. Sebelious veto of a concealed weapons bill. The House is expected to take a vote on the matter soon. The bill originally passed in the House by a sufficient margin to overide, so it will be a matter of whether those representatives will stick to their guns.|
Senator Phil Journey(R) has worked on passage of this measure for a decade. He must be getting the champagne ready after such a long battle to allow Kansans the right to obtain concealed carry permits. It's close, but not over the goal line yet.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Kansas Legislative Update - Sex, Guns, Illegal Immigrant Tuition, and School Finance
|Kansas legislators never seem to tire of their efforts to regulate sex, yet are running as fast as they can from an up or down vote on illegal immigrant tuition and solving school finance.|
Three measures are in the hopper related to punishing sexually related businesses and making it easier to outlaw what material adults in the state can read or view.
First we have Sub SB 253, which seeks to define the size and content of signs for adult businesses located within a mile of any highway or interstate. It would mandate that there could only be two signs, one no more than 40 square feet with the name, address, phone number and operating hours, and another noting the premises are off-limits to minors. It passed a first vote in the House, and if passed will go to the Senate. Sen. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler said, "It's good for children and families and sends a message that Kansas is a family friendly state." Apparently such signs are only a public menace when near a highway.
Then there is the Porn tax bill, HB 2680, which puts a 10% tax on adult oriented businesses. We had a creative suggestion for this bill, but the House Tax Committee is going to keep it in committee till next year, largely because Utah is being sued over similar legislation.
The third bill, HB 2912 wants to cleanup the language on dirty subjects, by amending the the state's anti-obscenity law to improve the chances of prosecutors charging people for sexually explicit materials. It to needs a final House vote to make it to the Senate.
While legislators are eager on those issues, no similar enthusiasm is being shown to allow an up or down vote on repealing illegal immigrant tuition, being championed by Rep. Becky Hutchins. She has been pushing for getting a floor vote, after attempts to first kill the bill in committee, and then a vote that sent her bill back to committee, by attaching her measure to other bills. So far it has not worked, but the plucky Holton gal has not given up. "She wants a clean vote and until she gets a clean vote, she'll keep bringing amendments," said Speaker Doug Mays, R-Topeka. "Once it comes up as a clean vote, it'll pass."
This tuition break amounts to $3,926 per semester for a student carrying just 15 credit hours at the University of Kansas, or $7,852 per year. Assuming they graduate in four years, that is $31,408 per student. So far 221 students have qualified, for a total cost of $6,941,168. Of course that will constantly be increasing as new students are approved. Here's a thought - why not take that seven million dollars and the additional millions that it would cost in the future, and establish a tuition fund for the children of legal immigrants. Sure it would mean changing the incentive toward people following the law rather than breaking it, so no doubt our legislature and governor would hate the idea.
Meanwhile, the must solve issue for this legislative session apparently won't be, as there are a number of legislators saying the school finance problem will be headed for a special session. We will be commenting more on school finance and the Kansas Supreme Court in the near future.
Finally, Gov. Sebelious once again vetoed the concealed carry bill that would allow Kansans with a permit to carry firearms, as all but three other states do. Expect a battle to override that veto shortly, which should be a close vote.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Supreme Court May Decide Who Owns Your Genetic Code
Monday, March 20, 2006
Political Correctness is Killing African-Americans
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Breakfast at Denny's?
Saturday, March 18, 2006
The Constitutionality of Sex Toys and a Solution for Kansas
Friday, March 17, 2006
St. Patrick's Day Politics
On Australian Strippers, Canadian Sex, and Habeneros
|Some frivolous items of the day, just because it's Friday. Happy St. Patrick's Day! - or Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh (pronounced "La ale-lah pwad-rig son-ah jeev")|
Australian Labor Board Exposes Need for Stripper's Holiday Pay
"We've got rights to have public holiday pay now, which we've never had in our career before," said a union spokeswoman called Mystical Melody. "We've got rosters and set hours. We can't work more than 10 hours a shift." The award also entitles unionized strippers to overtime, rest periods, meal breaks and maternity leave, she added. Apparently Australians take their stripper's seriously.
Canadian Baby Boomers Choose Internet and TV Over Sex
A study reveals Canadians between the ages of 40 and 64 spend an average of 15 minutes a day on sex and romance, but can spend as much as five hours a day watching TV or surfing the Internet.
Of 2,500 people surveyed, more than half said they were often too tired to have sex, while 42 percent said they were too stressed out and 40 percent said they did not have time. Another yet-to-be released study found that 37 percent of Canadians over 55 prefer a good night of sex to a good night of sleep, indicating that sex is still important to that age group.
Who wanted to know about about the sex lives of Canuck baby boomers? - Pfizer Inc., the maker of Viagra sponsored the study. The Canadian health care system does not pay for the drug, which may explain their interest, as well as the 15 minutes. Perhaps the Canadian government is concerned that sleepless nights would hurt worker productivity.
Holy Habaneros - Hot Peppers Kills Prostate Cancer
Capsaicin led 80 percent of human prostate cancer cells growing in mice to commit suicide in a process known as apoptosis, said Dr. Soren Lehmann of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine.
Lehmann estimated that the mice ate the human equivalent of 400 milligrams of capsaicin three times a week. That is about the amount found in three to eight fresh habanero peppers, depending on how hot the peppers are.
Ever eaten a fresh Habanero? I've only seen one person take a big bite of habenero, which was fresh from the garden. An acquaintance, who ironically was an oncologist not familiar with them wanted to eat it, despite being warned - it wasn't pretty. He might just have have well taken a can of pepper spray and sprayed it down his throat.. No wonder the cells committed suicide.
Big Bang Evidence Stuns Scientists
|“Amazing”,”Stunning”, and “Spectacular” are descriptions you expect to see on every movie ad. This time these are the words leading physicists are using for a discovery giving the first evidence supporting the “Big Bang” theory of how our universe began. The normally more sedate scientists have reason to be excited. |
They now have the smoking gun that shows the universe went through extremely rapid expansion in the moments after the big bang, growing from the size of a marble to a volume larger than all of observable space in less than a trillion-trillionth of a second.
The new finding was made with NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) and is based on three years of continuous observations of the cosmic microwave background, the afterglow light from the first moments of the universe. "It blows my mind that we can now distinguish between different versions of what happened within the first trillionth of a second of the universe," said Dr. Charles Bennett of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, WMAP principal investigator. Go to the link, it is amazing.
Leftist Groups Continue Brutality and Slaughter
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Jessica Simpson Won't, Porn Star Will
US and Iraqi Forces Go on Offense
|“Operation Swarmer” started in the Salahuddin province of Iraq, where Samarra is a key city. It is described as the largest air assault since the 2003 U.S. invasion. It included 50 aircraft, supported by a force of 1,500 Iraqi and Coalition troops and 200 tactical vehicles. |
A US military spokesman is quoted as saying the assault is designed to “clear a suspected insurgent operating area north east of Samarra”. It is expected to last several days, and has already resulted in a number of enemy weapons caches being captured, containing artillery shells, explosives, IED-making materials, and military uniforms.
From outward appearances, our forces had been largely taking a back seat after the mosque bombing incident. It's important that we are resuming a more offensive campaign against insurgents. We will turn the situation in Iraq around only by going after these insurgents with all possible force. They need to be put on the defensive, not us. Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said that the terrorists must be “rooted out” and “they have no conscience so they need to be eliminated”.
Sirhan Sirhan Denied Parole
|The world will not be subjected to the treat of a Sirhan Sirhan on the loose, who said he “hates Americans and, if released, wants to be involved in Middle East politics". There was no real possibility of his release, as even if the California parole board had made a ridiculous call on this one, Gov. Schwarzenegger would have overridden their decision. Leave it to the good professor over at The Volokh Conspiracy to point this out:|
One of my favorite examples of Chutzpah was Sirhan's statement to the parole board in 1982:
"If Robert Kennedy were alive today, he would not countenance singling me out for this kind of treatment."
I suppose that it is just Sirhan's bad luck that somebody killed Robert Kennedy. This is a real-world example of the classic plea for mercy: "A boy is on trial for murdering his parents, and he begs of the judge leniency because he is an orphan."
The case of Sirhan has never disappointed fans of the bizarre. In 2003, Lawrence Teeter, an attorney for Sirhan was arguing for a new trial. "Have you seen The Manchurian Candidate? It's the same thing with my client. He was the victim of hypnotic programming." In Sirhan's case, Mr. Teeter and others claim he was the unwilling tool of some faceless fiends in the Central Intelligence Agency or an amorphous entity they call "the military industrial complex."
Mr. Teeter claims his client attended a hypnosis demonstration in Pasadena a month before the Kennedy assassination and may have been recruited by unnamed CIA members who he claims were experimenting with hypnosis at the time. That's one for the conspiracy theory Book of Classics.
What we do know more factually about the murder is that Sirhan was a 24-year-old Palestinian born militant at the time he pulled the trigger. In a diary police found at his home, he reportedly wrote: "My determination to eliminate RFK is becoming more the more [sic] of an unshakable obsession. RFK must die. RFK must be killed. Robert F. Kennedy must be assassinated..... Robert F. Kennedy must be assassinated before 5 June, 1968."
The date is significant because it is the first anniversary of the start of the Six Day War, in which Israel trounced its Arab neighbors, capturing East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and the Sinai. Sirhan and his family had been uprooted from their home in Jordan by the Arab-Israeli war in 1948, and prosecutors at his trial claimed Sirhan, who was a Christian Arab, was vehemently anti-Israel. Sirhan testified he was angry at Kennedy after finding out from a radio broadcast in May the senator had promised to send 50 U.S. bombers to Israel.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Ahmed Saadat Not Ready for Martyrdom
More Details on Al-Qaeda Plot for Embassy Attack
|The story of the Al-Qaeda plot is beginning to come out. Sounds like Secretary Rumsfeld tried to deflect inquiry when he was asked. He told reporters that he had not received anything definitive on the report, but cautioned that earlier accounts are often adjusted later on.|
"We've always known that there are people who have tried to infiltrate the various security forces and tried to get close access to places that they ought not to be," he said. "There's nothing new about that that I know of."
Nothing new? Here's the key points uncovered so far:
1. The plot centered on 423 Al-Qaeda members who infiltrated the security force guarding key checkpoints in the green zone, needing only one more bureaucrat's signature to induct the recruits.
2. They would be in charge of security in the Green Zone, controlling the entrances to the Green Zone and internal squares.
3. Most of them are wanted terrorists using false identification, and most are from the same tribe and from the same area. (Specifics not disclosed yet)
4. The Al-Qaeda recruits planned to take U.S. and British diplomats hostage and then demand withdrawal of U.S. and British troops.
5. A number of Defense Ministry officials had been jailed after the plot was discovered. Some of them had forged the signature of the Defense Minister Saadoun al-Dulaimi on behalf of the terrorists.
6. The plot was uncovered by the military intelligence and the government’s General Intelligence Service.
Interior Minister Bayan Jabr disclosed the information to an AP reporter. He is a Shiite, with past accusations of allowing actions to occur against Sunnis. However, his remarks were confirmed by the top Defense Ministry official, a Sunni, who described it in even more dramatic terms.
That Al-Qaeda had not only infiltrated their members in the most sensitive high security area in all of Iraq, and that they had ranking officials inside who were working for Al-Qaeda to make the plot work is amazing and extremely worrisome. Imagine having the top Diplomats of the United States and Britain kidnapped out of their own Embassies in the green zone, probably with significant loss of life. Follow that up with the television screens of the world filled by their hostages repeating their captor's demands, and Al-Qaeda harangues on their superiority over the American Infidels.
This would have been the most successful single Al-Qaeda operation since 9-11. Thank god it failed, but that it almost succeeded raises some very serious questions that are going to need some serious answers. This plot was uncovered three weeks ago. Think about the timing. There seems little doubt that it was intended to be coordinated in concert with the mosque bombing.
The bombing alone was a close call, requiring the best efforts of everyone to keep it from sending Iraq down the drain. Had both plots worked, Iraq would be a nightmare that we would be hoping to wake up from. As it is, if most of those involved are rounded up, and those in custody are effectively interrogated, it may turn out to be a major blow against Al-Qaeda. We were lucky, but being lucky is not a confidence inspiring strategy.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Al-Qaeda Plot to Attack US and UK Embassies in Bagdad Foiled
|The Associated Press reports that:|
Iraq's Interior Minister Bayan Jabr says security officials had foiled a plot that would have put hundreds of al-Qaida men at critical guard posts around Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, home to the U.S. and other foreign embassies, as well as the Iraqi government.
A senior Defense Ministry official said the 421 al-Qaida fighters were recruited to storm the U.S. and British embassies and take hostages. Several ranking Defense Ministry officials have been jailed in the plot, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information.
This should be a fascinating story if details come out. The big questions would be how such an ambitious plot came about, how it was discovered, and the extent to which "ranking Defense Ministry officials" were involved. This sounds like an important big win for the good guys. Had a plot of that scale and magnitude suceeded, it's effect would have been devasting.
Is there a Candidate that would be a Good President?
U.S. will be Blamed for Israeli Break into Palestinian Jail
|Israel sent 50 jeeps, three tanks, and an armored bulldozer into the West bank town of Jericho in the Jordan valley, as two helicopters hovered overhead. Grabbing Ahmed Saadat was apparently the main objective. Saadat, leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, is blamed by Israel for killing a cabinet minister in 2001. An Israeli army spokesman said 182 people had been taken from the prison and were being questioned, including 26 wounded. Saadat, however, and between 30 and 80 other people were still hold up in the compound, at last report from the BBC. Aljazeera is reporting that Saadat has already surrendered.|
This story will cause diplomatic problems, as the U.S. and the U.K. had been monitoring the jail under a 2002 agreement with the Palestinians. Recently concerns for the security of the monitors had grown, and they were pulled out shortly before the Israeli raid. Anticipate much more on the timing of these events to come out.
Demonstrations, kidnappings, and killings have already occurred in response in Palestinian territory. This looks like more than the average Israeli – Palestinian violence, in a time that was already tense and uncertain.
Charges of U.S. complicity with the Israeli's are going to come fast and furious, which can do nothing but inflame the overall middle east situation. It will no doubt cause anti-western propaganda and demonstrations beyond the west bank.
Monday, March 13, 2006
Norway Woman Gets Beer from Kitchen Faucet
Is Iraq in Civil War?
|There are those in Iraq who desperately want civil war and will do anything they can to bring it about. Most notably, of course, Zarqawi and Al-Qaeda. That the bombing of an important Shiite mosque, an extreme act of desecration, did not cause the break down into civil war is the remarkable thing. It was a provocation designed to do just that, and failed to achieve it's end. |
For Al-Sistani and even Moqtada Sadr to push for unity after that event, and thousands to march in the streets against civil war, speaks to the deep desire of Shiites for Iraq to emerge intact. The Kurds could have used the situation to try to break away from Iraq, but they did not. An increasing number of Sunnis are committed not only to participating in the government, but are actively fighting against Al-Qaeda, a story that receives virtually no media coverage, but may be one of the most important developments happening in Iraq.
Groups in one of Iraq's most violent provinces claim that they have purged the region of three quarters of al-Qaeda's supporters after forming an alliance to force out the foreign fighters.“There is a hatred for Zarqawi in Ramadi now,” a resident said. “People are exhausted by what he has done. Six months ago he was still accepted, though not 100 per cent. Now we see him continue to target locals and their sons and kill our leaders, and we reject him totally.” "We have killed a number of the Arabs, including Saudis, Egyptians, Syrians, Kuwaitis and Jordanians," said an insurgent representative in the western province of Anbar.
All three of the major groups in Iraq have centuries of dislike, distrust, and blood between them. Overcoming that is an extraordinary challenge for them, and is not going to come easily. It may be in the end that they will fail. The insurgents who are willing to kill indiscriminately and destroy even sacred mosques to prevent a democratic Iraq may prevail. But those that say this has already occurred are wrong.
The violence we see now is not millions of people at war with each other. It is the same IED's and suicide bombers as before. The same murder of civilians by those that don't care who they blow up, as long as someone dies.
There are many agendas and a labyrinth of political maneuvering going on in Iraq, as groups jockey for influence. Sadr hates America, and yet he has pushed for restraint in sectarian violence. He knows that in the long run it is not in his best interest. "Sunnis and Shias are not responsible for such acts, national unity is required," he said after Sundays car bombs in Sadr City, adding he would order his Mehdi army militia not to respond.
Each time a bomb goes off in Iraq, the media portrays it as sectarian violence. It is not. It is murder by terrorists who want to incite sectarian violence. If that is civil war, fine, call it that. But no major leader of any of the factions in Iraq is calling for his followers to go out and kill the others. None of them.