Archive for April 2007

Surviving Al Gore-aphobia

April 24, 2007

Try as we may, we just can’t rid ourselves of Al Gore and if there was ever anybody who deserves to be left on history’s trash pile, it’s the esteemed former vice president. But the man who forced the phrase “hanging chad” into the American lexicon, and hence made a debacle of the 2000 US Presidential race, continues to be foisted upon us by a fawning cadre of left wing activists. 

Unless you have been living under a rock, you are no doubt aware that Gore is now being hailed as a near modern-day “prophet” as his qausi-documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” continues to gain notoriety despite its penchant for, well, treating the truth rather inconveniently.

Gore’s latest effort, which consists of trying to scare the daylights out of unsuspecting and gullible citizens into believing that we are in the midst of a cataclysmic global warming emergency, stands as a monument to an empty shell of a man desperate to be taken seriously. After all, Gore has had problems with the truth for many years. Facts, like the truth, Gore should have learned by now, can be not only inconvenient, but downright stubborn.

This is the same man, after all, who:

  • Declared during the 2000 presidential race that the soppy, but classic, novel “Love Story” was based on him and his wife Tipper. Author Eric Segal quickly refuted that ridiculous assertion.
  • Stated that legislation he supported while a US Senator in 1989 led to the development of the Internet. The Internet actually came into being back in 1969.
  • Claimed that as President his cabinet would reflect his Senate staff, which he stated consisted of 50% females, but when challenged could not initially name a single female member of his staff and then when he finally remembered, got her name wrong.

So should we be surprised therefore when his latest effort is basically loaded with lies and half-truths?

Gore claims in “An Inconvenient Truth” that a “sampling” of 928 scholarly scientific articles revealed 100% agreement on man made global warming. Hmmm…sure, anybody can cherry pick articles that support a position and then declare unanimous agreement. But tell that to Dr. Richard Lindzen, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at MIT and the lead author of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Lindzen, a real expert on climate change, recently noted that “Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early twenty-first century’s developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree, and, on the basis of gross exagerations of highly uncertain computer projections combine into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age.” 

Dr. Lindzen’s point is well taken and points out the danger of making decisions based on junk science.

The world has experienced climate changes long before the industrialization and evil machinations of the United States. Did you ever hear of the Medieval Warm Period? Probably not but from 800-1300 AD the world experienced mild warming too but it is not likely that Leif Ericson was forced to give up his SUV. Also the world has experienced cooling periods, some considering the period of 1945-1975 such a recent time.  Of course you won’t find this mentioned in Gore’s deceptive little film. What you will find are scare tactics and downright lies.

The “highlight” of “An Inconvenient Truth” comes when two polar bears are seen drifting away on an ice float supposedly broken away from the polar ice caps that are melting. This is a complete fabrication. First, it is a computer generated graphic but even more damming, it is actually doctored from a 2004 photo when the bears climbed upon the supposed ice float which was actually created by the ocean’s waves. The bears safely explored it, climbed off and managed to swim back to their home. Go figure. But that little bit of trickery and deception has been enough to panic schoolchildren everywhere who are now being indoctrinated into the global warming temple of doom.

Schools are using Gore’s film to “teach” about global warming. Children are coming home crying because they think the polar bears are dying because mommy and daddy don’t care about what they are doing to the environment. Schools are sending kids home with “global warming worksheets” containing lectures on how they can be responsible global citizens.

Some point to the fact that Gore’s little effort won the Academy Award for Best Documentary as validation of its legitimacy. Sure, an award conferred upon it by Hollywood, the land of make believe and plastic surgery is a sign of validation.  Actually, that is quite appropriate after all.

Fortunately, some schools and parents are fighting back. The National Science Teachers Association recently rejected 50,000 free copies of “An Inconvenient Truth” because it recognizes it for what it is, primarily a propaganda piece for the radical environmental crowd. One student even recently took matters into his own hands when his school was presenting the film, bringing a universal remote control to school to disrupt the show.  There is hope.

But in the meantime we have to put up with the endless drone of the environmental activists telling us how evil we are and that we in the United States are nearly the sole cause of supposed global warming. Just ask singer Sheryl Crow.

Crow is currently doing the college tour, performing and lecturing about global warming. She has not addressed the fact however that her tour consists of three diesel fuel churning tractor trailers, four buses and six cars in her cross-country caravan, all, according to the global warming mainfesto, key contributors to global warming.

Hypocrisy is apparently a primary tenet of environmental activism. Well suited to the likes of Al Gore. 

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Honoring A Hero, Despite the Chicken Little Crowd

April 11, 2007

Danny P. Dietz of Littleton, Colorado grew up to be the kind of young man any American parent would be proud to call a son.

 Dietz, after graduating high school, decided to serve his country and joined the United States Navy. Dietz and the Navy proved to be a solid combination as the young Colorado native trained hard and became a Navy SEAL. It meant of course that Dietz would likely find himself in harm’s way as the SEALS are the Navy’s Special Operations Forces, highly skilled and trained in counter-terrorism and other more unconventional means of warfare. Only the best of the best make it through SEALS training. Statue of Navy SEAL Danny Dietz

Dispatched to Afghanistan, Dietz found himself in the middle of an ambush in June, 2005 and performed heroically in combat. Right up to his death.  

Tipped off by anti-coalition Taliban sympathizers of their location, Dietz and another member of the SEALS, Matthew Axelson of Cuppertino, California, were flanked on all sides by Taliban fighters.  

The SEALS’ mission had been to locate a central figure in the Taliban leadership in the mountains of Asadabad. Instead the fighters had found Dietz and Axelson and were pummeling the two Americans who called for assistance. The Chinook helicopter dispatched to aid the courageous SEALS never made it as it was shot down by anti-aircraft fire. In all, eight SEALS and another eight Army Nighthawks lost their lives in what would be the worst single combat loss for the Navy SEALS since Vietnam. Accounts from the battle indicated that Dietz fought until his last dying breath. 

Dietz was awarded the Navy Cross, this country’s second-highest military honor. His SEALS teammate, Matthew Axelson also was so honored. Dietz’s widow and parents received the posthumous award on his behalf in a ceremony on September 13 at the US Navy War Memorial in Washington, DC.   

Dietz’s hometown was also justly proud and wanted to honor this brave young man, commissioning a statue of Dietz that would reside in a municipal park. The statue, of a crouching Dietz in battle gear with his rifle at the ready, was commissioned and the city pushed forward in its efforts to honor its fallen hero. 

If the town of Littleton, Colorado sounds familiar, that’s because 8 years earlier, in 1999, the Colorado enclave made worldwide news thanks to the wanton, senseless slaughter at Columbine High School when two misfits murdered twelve of their fellow classmates before literally turning their guns on themselves. Here though was a chance for the community to rally around a hero with a gun, instead of being remembered for a couple of thugs. 

The statue of Dietz will be near Littleton Middle School, in Berry Park, which happens to also be near a couple of other schools (really, in a city the size of Littleton, what isn’t near a park or a school?) which seems to bother some misguided souls who seem to believe that a statue of an American hero is a bad message for the children.  

“After our experience with Columbine and the clear message that we teach within the Littleton schools…what were we thinking?” stated Emily Cassidy Fuchs to the Rocky Mountain News. Which makes one wonder what is being taught in the Littleton schools. Fuchs was part of a coalition of parents who were distributing flyers objecting to both the design and placement of the statue. “If I’ve got my 4-year old at the playground, I feel it would be a threatening image that would frighten her,” Fuchs amazingly added, apparently unable to explain to her child that the man in the statue with the M4A1 assault rifle and grenade launcher was there to protect her. 

But Dietz’s widow, Patsy, had a ready answer in her response according to the same newspaper account when she said comparing the guns used in Columbine to her husband’s weapon was like comparing a criminal’s use of a knife to a surgeon’s scalpel. “One is used to take lives…and the other is used to save them,” she told the Rocky Mountain News. Dietz’s mother, Cindy, also, thankfully was able to bring this silliness into perspective when she told the paper that the statue “is about a hero. It’s not about war, and it’s definitely not about a gun.”  

Thankfully Littleton has already made the decision to proceed with the statue as planned.   

Despite the small but rabid chicken little crowd, a hero gets his just due.

Intolerance and Petulance on Campus

April 7, 2007

One of the great misnomers is the idea that free speech is embraced and welcomed at some of our nation’s largest and most prestigious universities. From “speech codes” to out and out attempts to silence the views of those not considered enlightened by today’s intelligentsia, campuses have become a hovel for petulent, impertinent adolscents who desperately need guidance from grown-ups. Unfortuantely, those masquerading around on campus these days as the grown-ups only instill such behavior.

Our campuses after all are now run by the same people who were the radicals from the 1960s but the difference from them and most of the people who grew up in that tumultuous era is that they never really got out into the real world. These people stayed in their cloistered little world of academia, apparently oblivious to the real world surrounding them. They see every little temper tantrum from today’s students as a throwback to their era. 

This has never been more evident than in the brouhaha that transpired at Columbia University this past October when an unruly mob stormed a stage and successfully shut down a speech by Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist who was invited by Columbia’s chapter of the College Republicans, an officially recognzied campus organization. Gilchrist was there to speak on the hot-button topic of illegal immigration and his views did not set well with the various and sundry group of radical student groups who apparently feel that it is more important to shut down the opposition than to engage in meaningful discourse. Or maybe they are simply incapable of such discourse. But should not we expect more of students at an Ivy League school like Columbia?

Just 45 seconds into his presentation, Gilchrist was confronted onstage by several members of this angry mob which proceeded to destroy the lectern, trash the stage and hoist a banner reading “Minutemen, Nazis, KKK, Racists, Facists Go Away.” Several people rush the stage, fistfights ensue and according to one report a female student is kicked in the head.  Security appears, the curtain goes down and the melee appears to be over, but not quite.

Outside, a student who had the audacity to be a supporter of the Minutemen, is encricled by the mob, shouting “racist go home,” before security again arrives on the scene to break things up. The mob though is clearly pleased with itself, chanting, according to another report, ” Asian, Black, Brown and White, we smashed the Minutemen tonight!” Intolerant diversity in action. Such a moment of pride.

Nearly six months after this incident, Columbia finally decided to issue so-called “punishment” to the ringleaders. Befitting a University that has seen its prestige level crash and burn under the leadership of Lee Bollinger, the school issued the lightest punishment possible, almost the equivalent of the now infamous “double secret probation” punishment issued by Dean Wormer at Faber College.

The once credible school initially gave only “warnings to three students” which is the lowest level of discipline as such a “warning” only means that it will be noted on students’ transcripts and that any “future violations will be treated more seriously.” Only after this information became public, these students’ punishment was “upgraded” to censure which means that if the student gets a second warning, they will be suspended.

One of the organizers of the chaos that ensued that October night recognized it for what it was “a light punishment.” Monique Dols called it a “slap on the wrist. It’s a victory for free speech and anti-racism.” Another student, Andrew Tillett-Saks, was determined to have engaged in “conduct that places another in danger of bodily harm.” Some places would consider that to be assault. But on the glorious ivy league campus of Columbia, it’s all perspective. After all, that other person was just a racist, anti-immigrant neanderthal. No need to get worked up over those types!

Anybody who was ever young knows how convinced they were at that age that they were right and nothing could convince one otherwise. These young people on campus are being ill-served by the very people who are supposed to be the ones shaping our future leaders. Without guidance, direction and backbone, our campuses have become home to the kind of behavior most would consider intolerable at a day care center.

I’m A Single Mom and I’ll Shoot!

April 4, 2007

Bernadette Headd states that she is “not an idiot” and “far from a danger” but the recent actions of Ms. Headd would seem to suggest otherwise.

According to a report in the Detroit Free Press on March 30,  Ms. Headd was on her way to work when she decided to relive the days of the wild west and opened fire with her handgun while traveling 70 miles per hour on eastbound I-94 in suburban Detroit. Actually, it’s a disservice to the wild west to compare her actions to that era.

What caused such an intemperate response from cool hand Bernadette?

Apparently Ms. Headd, after merging onto the freeway, drifted aimlessly into the left lane (known in these parts as the “get the hell outta my way fast lane”), doing  “about 70 mph.” Of course doing the speed limit in the left lane on a Detroit area freeway is not the best idea. As anybody who has driven the freeways in Detroit knows, the speed limit, especially in the left lane, is a mere suggestion. The police won’t even bother you until you pass the 80 mph mark. So, it should not have surprised ol’ cool hand Bernadette that in short order she had somebody in her rear view mirror, none too pleased with her holding back the morning rush.

Cool Hand claims she “feared for her safety” when the Dodge Ram driven by Russell Sabo came “within inches” of the rear bumper of her 1993 Cavalier, so she reacted as anybody would. She brandished a handgun at the driver after she pulled into the center lane and he was next to her in the left lane.

But apparently Mr. Sabo did not flinch or show sufficient fear to Cool Hand’s weapon and allegedly Sabo swerved his car in front of her. Cool Hand indicates that she brandished the weapon to “scare him off,” so having not accomplished this objective, ol’ Cool Hand decided to point the gun out of the window of her car while traveling 70 mph and fired a random shot into the median of the freeway. 

To hear Cool Hand tell it, she had no choice. “I just couldn’t believe that I was put in a position to have to use the gun,” she told the Detroit Free Press from her attorney’s office. Ah yes, you were in your car, Mr. Sabo was in his vehicle (admittedly a big, bad Dodge Ram) and you felt you had no choice but to fire the gun. There were apparently no other options?

In this cell phone technology driven world, Ms. Headd could have easily called 911 on her cell phone if she truly felt threatened. She could have simply backed down and moved away from traffic. There were many, many options short of firing a random shot during morning rush hour traffic that could have easily caromed and/or found another random target.

Ms. Headd, immediately after the incident told police that she “was sick and tired of people running up on her on the freeway.” Now, in the aftermath, and after lawyering up, she has changed her tune. Now, you have to understand, she feared for her life. After all, she is “the primary caregiver” for her mother, who is recovering from a kidney transplant, and her 18-year old son who had surgery in January. 

There is no indication of course as to whether Cool Hand had given any consideration to whether maybe others on the road at the same time may also have had family who would miss them if her wanton, flagrant misuse of her legal firearm had somehow found an unintended target. It’s all about her. She is a victim!

Ms. Headd was in perfectly legal possession of the 9mm handgun. She has apparently owned it since 1999 and went through the appropriate legal means to carry a concealed weapon. This is not a rant for gun control. Far from it. But it appeaers that Cool Hand forgot some of the basic lessons taught during the required handgun ownership course for obtaining a CWP. One of the first is that you never bring out your gun unless you intend to use it. This is to prevent yahoos from doing exactly what Cool Hand just did.

Some will use this incident as an issue to argue for gun control. But this is not about gun control. It is about personal responsibility.

Cool Hand is now out on bail pending a May court appearance in Macomb County, fully enmeshed in the belief that being a single mother, caregiver, gave her some special dispensation to act in a reckless manner, endangering the lives of many motorists that morning.

Thankfully, she no longer has the handgun and will probably lose her CWP, having clearly demonstrated a lack of responsibility.

But Cool Hand does not regret her actions. She actually feels that she should not have been charged with “defending herself” and “has no regrets.”  If you are inclined to buy into the self defense argument, you should also know that she had a second clip of ammo in addition to the loaded gun and another box of 18 bullets behind the passenger seat.

The lesson here is not about gun control. It is about pesonal responsibility and accountability. Thankfully this lesson did not cost any lives, but the perpetrator, ol’ Cool Hand herself, appears to have learned nothing either.

Everything is always somebody else’s fault in Ms. Headd’s world. A world that too many people seem to take up willing residence within.

The Shame of Senator Edwards

April 1, 2007

Just when you didn’t think Senator John Edwards (aka Senator Blow Dried) could get any lower, he comes out swinging, lowering himself further into the political cesspool.

By now everyone is aware that, tragically, his wife’s cancer has returned. Elizabeth Edwards, who had previously revealed at the end of her husband’s failed vice presidential bid in 2004 that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer is now about to undertake another bout with this terrible disease. The mother of two faces the fight for her life.

Fast forward now to 2007. John Edwards, a truly vapid politician that many had probably long forgotten about, is running for President. His campaign though lags far behind the frontrunning campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama. It seems that a pretty smile, a full head of meticulously coiffed hair and a glint in the eye may not necessarily be enough to catapult Edwards’ narcisstic presidential plans and this presents Edwards with a real dilemma.

Substance over form has never been Edwards’ strong suit.

The good Senator has, as I am sure you have noticed, had no compunction about trotting his ailing wife out in front of TV cameras, holding numerous press conferences and feature interviews with the likes of Perky Katie Couric (that is her full name, isn’t it?). Without his wife’s cancer, Senator Edwards would certainly not be front and center in the attention of the press. In the past three years Senator Edwards has accomplished less than have the Detroit Lions and the United Nations combined. In other words, Senator Edwards has not even been a footnote during the past three years and during his entire Senatorial career, has been an even bigger non-factor.

For those who wonder how he got to be a US Senator, it is quite simple. Senator Edwards made a veritable fortune as a trial lawyer. Nothing necessarily wrong with that, but consider that he made millions by successfully suing praticing obstetricians for alleged malpratice using nothing more than emotion and junk science. Senator Edwards you see found the ultimate boogeyman for traumatized parents desperately trying to understand how their child had become afflicted with cerebral palsy.

As an “advocate” attorney, Edwards won record setting verdicts and out of court settlements, driving out many practicing obstetricians. The increased cost of malpractice insurance alone drove many physicians out of their chosen field.  You see Edwards had convinced sympathetic juries that the cause of the affliction of cerebral palsy lied in errors in treatment during labor.  Edwards had struck a blow for the common man! A man of the people was born. Except for the fact that the theories that he prevailed upon have since been debunked as junk science and leading researchers now believe more than ever that the cause of cererbral palsy lies in genetics.

But those pesky facts came along too late to make a difference. Edwards had made his millions and parlayed his reputation as “a man of the people” into a US Senate seat. Did I also mention that Edwards managed to skirt over $500,000 in medicare taxes?  After all, 63 lawsuits tallying $152 million was all that mattered.

So is it any surprise really that Senator Edwards will now use his wife’s cancer to further his political goals?

His wife is about to embark, literally, on a fight for her life. Her cancer has spread to the bone, one of the most painful and among the highest mortality, of any cancer. At a time when Senator Edwards should be prepared to abandon his blind political ambition and be next to his wife’s side as she fights this brutal disease, he instead sees only opportunity. This is after all no time to abandon his campaign. If anybody could afford to take a leave from their “job” would it not be the Good Senator? Would that not be the decent and right thing to do? But, in Senator Edwards’ world, this is just another way to promote yourself. What a great angle! This is too much of an opportunity to pass up. Why step off the campaign trail now and be by your wife’s side?

It’s all about opportunity for a man consumed with personal ambitions. Opportunity to take away some of the media momentum from the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama, opportunity to play for sympathy, opportunity for himself.

Hopefully America will now take this opportunity as well. His homestate of North Carolina did in 2004 when he failed to carry the state during his vice-presidential bid. Now the rest of the nation may see the real John Edwards.

Vapid, self-absorbed and willing to use his wife’s cancer to further his presidential bid. Sadly though, is anybody truly surprised?