WUI (Writing under the influence)
Somebody once said we are all Americans, sometimes born in the wrong places.
On a warm autumn day in 1986, while enjoying beer with my college buddies,
I decided to join my new homeland.
I've come to appreciate the ideals that helped create this great country.
Liberalism, political-correctness, multiculturalism and moral equivalence
are destroying it.
This old house
American wine better than French.
Friday, December 31, 2004
Should I start buying French wine again?
From today's WSJ
In 2004, then, the world finally awoke to the fact that the only line worth taking against terrorists is a hard one, and this was reflected in political trends. In the U.S. and Australia, George W. Bush and John Howard decisively won contests framed as referendums on their handling of the war on terror. In Britain, Tony Blair survived every effort by the antiwar lobby to bring him down and looks set to win a third term in 2005. In France, the most popular politician today is Nicolas Sarkozy, who is outspokenly pro-American and pro-Israel. Only Spain proved an exception, and that now looks like the result of clumsy post-attack news management by the former conservative government, which might otherwise have held on to power.
Thursday, December 30, 2004
Europe's economy? Thanks, but no thanks.
From today's WSJ
[...] it becomes tedious to hear the "sluggish" mantra mindlessly repeated in the media, when the most cursory comparative analysis shows the U.S. economy performing robustly by international and historical standards. That's especially so when the same folks who carp about a supposedly sluggish U.S. economy advise us to adopt European-style labor regulations, tax rates and environmental standards, and to expand the government's reach into health care. At least in Europe there's a broad recognition that consistently low growth is the price to be paid for lavish social benefits.
Which brings us to a final point. To look closely at international economic data is to be reminded that countries with comparatively low tax rates and regulatory burdens consistently outperform countries with high ones. Of course it's nice to know that America's "sluggish" economy remains a world-beater. It's even better to know why.
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
This year, we decided to visit some friends in the NW. First, Gig Harbor, WA (a Polish friend who followed me in 1987 to join his new homeland); then Bothell, WA (this is the guy I left with -- too scared to go alone?) with the required drive through Seattle and UW. We went to the Snoqualmie pass ski resorts to let our children play in snow; they miss snow since we left Wisconsin (yeah!) and it takes almost two hours to drive to Mt. Hood from Forest Grove. Luckily for us, there was only enough snow for us to play but not enough for skiers to ski so the place was virtually empty. First such occurrence in 30-some years (blame the usual suspects: global warming, Bush
, Halliburton, etc.)
It's raining in Seattle today so we went to the movies. The Incredibles, of course. Good, family movie where the French and the lawyers are the real enemies. This was the first time since I've gone to the movies since, I don't know, 15 years ago. And I don't think I will go again any time soon. A dude next to me answered his cell-phone; his son was blowing bubbles through the straw in his drink; the seats smelled bad and we sat too close to the screen. Nothing beats a DVD at home.
We are leaving Seattle tomorrow morning to visit another friend (a Dane I met in Pierce College 16 years ago and to whom I'm eternally thankful for having called me in Madison every few months to convince me to come work for Intel) and play some poker. Should be at home Friday morning just in time to unpack and get ready for the New Year.
Not One Damn Dime Day
Another Democrats' tantrum. Fully supported by my district's new representative. The meeting he refers to is to work on anti-war stratigery.
Wish I could attend the meeting, but I will be in Salem getting ready for swearing in on the 10th. I will participate fully in no dime day.
Not One Damn Dime Day - Jan 20, 2005
Since our religious leaders will not speak out against the war in Iraq, since our political leaders don't have the moral courage to oppose it, Inauguration Day, Thursday, January 20th, 2005 is "Not One Damn Dime Day" in America.
On "Not One Damn Dime Day" those who oppose what is happening in our name in Iraq can speak up with a 24-hour national boycott of all forms of consumer spending.
During "Not One Damn Dime Day" please don't spend money. Not one damn dime for gasoline. Not one damn dime for necessities or for impulse purchases.
Not one damn dime for nothing for 24 hours.
On "Not One Damn Dime Day," please boycott Walmart, KMart and Target. Please don't go to the mall or the local convenience store. Please don't buy any fast food (or any groceries at all for that matter).
For 24 hours, please do what you can to shut the retail economy down.
The object is simple. Remind the people in power that the war in Iraq is immoral and illegal; that they are responsible for starting it and that it is their
responsibility to stop it.
"Not One Damn Dime Day" is to remind them, too, that they work for the people of the United States of America, not for the international corporations and K Street lobbyists who represent the corporations and funnel cash into American politics.
"Not One Damn Dime Day" is about supporting the troops. The politicians put the troops in harm's way. Now 1,300 brave young Americans and (some estimate) 100,000 Iraqis have died. The politicians owe our troops a plan - a way to come home.
There's no rally to attend. No marching to do. No left or right wing agenda to rant about. On "Not One Damn Dime Day" you take action by doing nothing. You open your mouth by keeping your wallet closed.
For 24 hours, nothing gets spent, not one damn dime, to remind our religious leaders and our politicians of their moral responsibility to end the war in Iraq and give America back to the people.
Saturday, December 25, 2004
Another interesting map
I didn't do it. I simply followed the instructions
but liked different results.
I couldn't resist.
Friday, December 24, 2004
WA, FL, OH and SD
Gregoire has managed what Gore tried in 2000.
Republicans, don't turn WA into FL '00 or, worse, into OH '04. Play Nixon '60 and put Rossi against Cantwell in '06. Learn from Thune '02. His victory in '04 was so much sweeter.
Thursday, December 23, 2004
UN's Abu Ghraib
If there is any fairness left in MSM, these pictures
will be published, shown on TV during prime time the same way the Abu Ghraib pictures were shown.
HOME-MADE pornographic videos shot by a United Nations logistics expert in the Democratic Republic of Congo have sparked a sex scandal that threatens to become the UN's Abu Ghraib.
The expert was a Frenchman who worked at Goma airport as part of the UN's $700 million-a-year effort to rebuild the war-shattered country. When police raided his home they discovered that he had turned his bedroom into a studio for videotaping and photographing sex sessions with young girls.
When the police arrived the man was allegedly about to rape a 12-year-old girl sent to him in a sting operation. Three home-made porn videos and more than 50 photographs were found.
The case has highlighted the apparently rampant sexual exploitation of Congolese girls and women by the UN's 11,000 peacekeepers and 1,000 civilians at a time when the UN is facing many problems, including the Iraqi 'oil-for-food' scandal and accusations of sexual harassment by senior UN staff in Geneva and New York.
The prospect of the pornographic videos and photographs - now on sale in Congo - becoming public worries senior UN officials, who fear a UN version of the scandal at the American-run Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq. 'It would be a pretty big problem for the UN if these pictures come out,' one senior official said.
Investigations have already turned up 150 allegations of sexual misconduct by peacekeepers and UN staff despite the UN's official policy of 'zero-tolerance'. One found 68 allegations of misconduct in the town of Bunia alone.
But this is much worse than Abu Ghraib. This involved children. Innocent children, subjected to sex sometime in exchange for food. One can make an argument that some of the Abu Ghraib's prisoners were probably terrorists and possessed information that could save American lives and that some level of torture was justified. In this case, there are no mitigating circumstances.
Incidentally, there is this
article about uselessness of UNICEF.
UNICEF was created in 1946 to provide emergency aid to the children of Europe who were starving after World War II. In 1989, however, the U.N. adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a legally binding, international document that extends to children "civil and political rights as well as economic, social and cultural rights."
[Emphasis mine; isn't this ironic in light of today's news from Congo?]
The CRC launched a fundamental shift away from UNICEF's original role of ensuring children's raw survival. This steady drift away from UNICEF's core purpose can be seen in two protocols added to the CRC in 2002. One addresses the issue of war; the other, child prostitution and child pornography.
Critics of UNICEF say that the emphasis on civil rights takes precedence over "the 'core business' of ensuring children's survival" and claim that this "'rights-based approach' [...] has [...] been devastating to children, an estimated 10 million of whom die from preventable causes before the age of five every year."
Is there anything UN has done right to date? How about preserving its inpartiality
[...] the odor of betrayal also hung heavily in the Rwandan air. This was not a genocide in which the U.N. failed to intervene; most of the U.N.'s armed troops evacuated after the first two weeks of massacres, abandoning vulnerable civilians to their fate, which included, literally, the worst things in the world a human being can do to another human being.
It did not have to happen. Gen. Romeo Dallaire, the U.N.'s force commander in Rwanda, sent Mr. Annan a series of desperate faxes including one warning that Hutu militias "could kill up to 1,000" Tutsis "in 20 minutes" and others pleading for authority to protect vulnerable civilians. But at the crucial moment, Mr. Annan ordered his general to stand down and to vigorously protect, not genocide victims, assembled in their numbers waiting to die, but the U.N.'s image of "impartiality."
The outline of this story is well known, but its most important detail is not: Tutsis often gathered in compounds (large church complexes, schools and even stadiums) where they had assumed they would be safe based on implicit, and sometimes explicit, promises of protection by Blue Helmeted peacekeepers. The U.N.'s withdrawal was, therefore, not a passive failure to protect but an active, and lethal, perfidy.
Rwandans still seethe. Last month I went to a tiny, remote village, deep in the central Rwandan hills to meet Charles Kagenza, a famous Tutsi survivor who hid in the bell tower of a church full of Tutsis that was bulldozed to the ground, burying victims alive. When I told him I worked for the U.N. 10 years ago, just after the war, he looked me straight in the eye, with his one remaining good eye, and shot back, "What are you doing here? You had the capacity to save us but you abandoned us."
What a day for UN! Remember, US pays 25% of UN's budget. That's 100% too much.
Global warm my ass
So the country
and, in fact, many parts of the world
are going into the deep freeze this winter yet environmental hysterics try to convince us that there is a global warming and that we cause it.
I wonder how long before we go back to the hysteria of "global cooling
" of the 70s.
[...] 30 years ago the fashionable panic was about global cooling. The New York Times (Aug. 14, 1975) saw "many signs" that "Earth may be heading for another ice age." Science magazine (Dec. 10, 1976) warned about "extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation."
"Continued rapid cooling of the Earth" (Global Ecology, 1971) could herald "a full-blown 10,000 year ice age" (Science, March 1, 1975). The Christian Science Monitor reported (Aug. 27, 1974) that Nebraska's armadillos were retreating south from the cooling.
The country-side around Gdansk, the city where I grew up, was once, many, many years ago, covered with glaciers. [I know that much of northern North America, Europe and Russia were also affected by glaciation but I like to reminisce from to time about the places I know and I remember vividly learning in school how the landscape of the northern Poland was affected by glaciation.]
Something happened to them long before any people appeared in those areas. Yes, it was probably caused by some kind of "global warming." It seems that there is a cycle the Earth goes through and we just have to learn to live with it. It is utter arrogance to think that we cause it or that we can stop it.
To those who still believe that our activities can change global climate, I recommend this video
(it was made for PBS so it must be true):
Scientists now believe the early Dark Ages may have been triggered by a natural event that occurred around 535 A.D. Science writer David Keys is convinced that the cause was a phenomenon of cataclysmic proportions. At the center of a complex chain of events seems to be a "loud bang" -- a volcanic explosion equal to two thousand million Hiroshima-size bombs.
It shows how the climate can be affected by a volcano eruption and how the changes in climate may have changed the human history. It's not about the 1883 eruption although that one also affected global climate. It's about a theory that Krakatoa also erupted in the 1st century, which started a long chain reaction.
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
I read with interest this profile
of Nina Camic, the owner of the Other Side of the Ocean
In this unfortunately titled post
, I said that I found most of what Mrs. Camic wrote in her blog to be a knee-jerk reaction to what I like about US. One thing I didn't say at the time is that I suspected that Mrs. Camic wasn't just another liberal Democrat but that her disdain for what's best about this country is rooted in some other ideology. Her profile on the normblog reveals what that ideology is.
"I had great faith in communist governance [...]"
Her "faith" was probably fostered by her father, Bohdan Lewandowski, who worked for UN between 1960 and 1966 in rather important capacity (see the last table here
.) There was only one way to be "appointed" to UN or to an ambassadorship at the time. One had to be deeply involved in the communist party. I'm not talking about a simple membership; I'm talking about total commitment to party's ideals and total loyalty to party's leadership. Party's leaders had to have unconditional trust in anybody representing Poland outside the country.
[I'm trying to find out more about Mr. Lewandowski so for now I will withhold further comments on what I suspect his level of involvement in the communist party must have been.]
The rest of her profile is also worth reading because it exposes her allegiance to very liberal causes, her "faith" in government and complete lack of respect for an individual.
"So long as we do not fully support care-giving functions (through parental leave, day care, etc), women will remain marginalized and gender relations in this country will remain stalled."
I know many of these marginalized women, my wife is one of them, and I'm pretty sure that they would not agree that they need government intervention to increase their worth.
"Having grown up as a non-Catholic in a country that appeared to be 99% Catholic, I remain suspicious of strong, unquestioning devoutness to any religious precepts, or to the totalitarian authority of any church."
I would hate the Catholic church too for destroying communism, for being unconditionally pro-life and for opposing gay marriage (example of stalled gender relations?)
As I said in the first post
, "[Mrs. Camic] is a somewhat influential Pole teaching in my graduate school. And she is wrong on all important issues. Just in case there is any doubt, she does not represent all Polish immigrants."
And speaking against her ideas is not denying her any freedoms
Visualize world without...
Sunday, December 19, 2004
Cost of war
Does the end always justify the means?
It had started with the dawn: an unexpectedly heavy artillery barrage. How had the retreating Germans managed to mass so many guns? Was this just a local attack, or a feint to distract the attention from a major blow elsewhere?
Soon it became clear that the enemy had massed more than artillery. The 6th Panzer Army, a mobile reserve that had disappeared from the view of Allied intelligence, reappeared. When the barrage lifted, German armor came pouring out of the woods, headed for the seam between the British and U.S. armies.
Instead of sheltering behind the Siegfried Line, the "retreating" Germans were advancing through an only lightly defended 50-mile stretch of the Ardennes.
Allied intelligence had collected reports of a transfer of German troops from the Eastern to the Western front in the fall of 1944, and there was ample evidence that they were being reassembled in the Ardennes, but word never filtered up to headquarters. No one had connected the dots. (Sound familiar?)
War is a mess. No plan survives the reality of war, somebody once said. And the price for "mistakes" is high.
More than a million men would be drawn into the battle. The Germans would lose an estimated 100,000 irreplaceable troops, counting their killed, wounded and captured; the Americans would suffer some 80,000 casualties, including 19,000 killed that's a rate of 500 a day and 23,554 captured.
And that was just one battle.
Who can possibly argue today that allies were wrong to cause so many deaths among their own troops, those of the enemy armies and of countless civilians? In fact, civilians were killed on purpose during WWII. Today, our troops are dying because of extraordinary measures they employ to spare civilian life. Was the price of WWII too high? Is there a formula one should use to determine whether a war is worthy of his support? What matters today is the outcome, the end that justified the means.
And yes, I think the price the allies paid during WWII was indeed considered too high. Poland was used as a bargaining chip and given to Stalin. Nobody was willing to go to war with communists who, as it turned out later in Korea and Vietnam, had no respect for their own people's lives and were willing to fight until the bitter end because communists knew that democracies were weak.
We are again risking to lose a war because some of us can't accept the cost.
Higher education watch
There is only one thing that makes me mad about this story
: some of my money pays for this.
Just admit it! You're broke. You spend the little money your puny economy produces on worthless social programs. That's why you
can't don't want to contribute to the missile shield program
Citing the lack of confidence in the technology as the reason for rejecting to fund the program is simply laughable. Stem-cell research so far has produced nothing yet few doubt it will succeed eventually. Man-caused global warming is just a theory discredited by many scientists yet many countries are bent on destroying their economies to stop it. It seems that Canada and other socialist regimes want to see what's not there but are completely blind to the reality that a nuclear attack on US and other western democracies is possible, if not likely.
BTW, the recent "failed" test turned out to be a minor glitch. Power Line explains what really happened
Saturday, December 18, 2004
Public school funding watch
There are those stupid ads on TV showing children begging Oregonians for more money for public schools. They seem to be telling us we were short-sighted for rejecting two tax increases in as many years because now the school year will have to be shortened. What they don't tell you is that we rejected those increases because in our opinion government wasn't interested in cleaning up waste and closing up wasteful programs. So until corruption like this
never happens again, ask somebody who cares. In my case, waste also includes government-run schools. By definition, monopolies are wasteful.
What do social security and unions have in common?
They are drags on our economy and it's time to get rid of both. I'm advocating that unions be outlawed. On the contrary. But many labor laws should be repealed because they are killing our businesses
or forcing them to ship good jobs oversees. Otherwise, we will end up with 50% working for the state and the other 50% working 35 hours a week. Wait, I forgot about 10% of chronically unemployed.
Public school watch
One thing that really gets me about the US public education system is that unruly children can't be (easily) expelled. When desperate teachers and administrators try creative solutions to discipline the most obnoxious children parents seem not to appreciate their efforts
. No wonder teachers' unions advocate for smaller classes. They see them as the only solution.
When I went to school in (communist) Poland, all classes had more than 30 students but were unbelievably disciplined because teachers had the power to expel pupils for bad behavior. Parents were also more supportive of teachers. Mine always believed a teacher before believing me in those he-said-she-said situations (yes, I was one of those "special" children who needed more attention.)
It seems to me that public education shouldn't be sold as a right but as a privilege. And one way to accomplish this would be giving parents the freedom to use public money to pay for private schools where bad behavior is not tolerated.
Thursday, December 16, 2004
I'm being chased by a stadium
When I lived in Seattle many years ago, local politicians got this great idea of using public money to finance constructions of new football and baseball stadiums (stadia?). I don't remember exactly all the chronology of events and when everything happened (I didn't become a citizen until 1993 so I hadn't followed local politics very closely). What I remember is a referendum that didn't pass but the politicians somehow built the stadiums anyway.
But by then, I was already in Madison, WI.
A year or so ago, local politicians here in the Portland area started talking about building a baseball stadium here to attract a major baseball team. I got concerned. I always get concerned when politicians say something is good for the economy but it requires an "investment."
I was relieved when the major baseball team decided to move to Washington D.C. instead. It seemed that local politicians there had promised a better deal.
So I considerthis
to be a major setback to my hopes of avoiding being finally caught by a stadium financing.
"The president of Major League Baseball last night called the District's legislation for a new stadium "wholly unacceptable" and halted all business and promotional activities for the Washington Nationals until further notice.
"Baseball's aggressive response came at the end of a day in which city officials, business leaders and fans contemplated the potential impact of the D.C. Council's decision Tuesday to dramatically alter an agreement negotiated over several months.
"Robert A. DuPuy, baseball's president, appeared to rule out renegotiating with the city. In a statement released last night, DuPuy said the council's decision to require private funds to pay for half the cost of building a stadium 'does not reflect the agreement we signed and relied upon.'"
Why does this concern me? How about this?
"[...] baseball officials could decide to move the Nationals to another city immediately or after the team plays next season at RFK. Other regions that have sought a team include Northern Virginia; Las Vegas; Portland, Ore.; and Monterrey, Mexico."
Got it? The team could decide to come here. Why? Because apparently Oregon in general and Portland in particular have great economies and are flash with money. Mayor Katz insists that no taxpayer money would be used for the construction of the new stadium I and many others don't believe her. It wouldn't be the first time politicians lied about such things, would it?
The news from D.C. is, in fact, raising new hopes
for the fans of major baseball in Portland. My only hope is that Northern Virginia, Las Vegas, or Monterrey are more desperate to play ball than Portland is.
Minimum wage wars in Madison
Oregon has the second highest minimum wage, which, by popular demand, is tied to inflation. Oregon has the second highest unemployment and a stagnant economy. Coincidence? I think not.
Yet, mayor Cieslewicz wants to raise the minimum wage
in Madison, WI to the same, insane levels.
"A host of state organizations representing businesses large and small filed a lawsuit this week, asking for a temporary injunction to halt the plan from going into effect Jan. 1, 2005.
"'Our members would not be surprised to see this city council decide to secede from the state of Wisconsin and create its own currency,' said Doug Johnson of the Wisconsin Merchants Association, which represents 6,000 merchants statewide.
"Cieslewicz said he's disappointed by the lawsuit, but 'I'm sure it's even more disappointing to the hard-working families who would benefit from the minimum wage ordinance.'"
They will be much more disappointed when all business leave Madison and there won't be any minimum-wage jobs left. These wages only hurt people they are supposed to help. Has anybody noticed that teenagers can't find any summer jobs anymore?
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Public school watch
Reasons why my children will not attend public schools any time soon. Got this in e-mail:
"I coordinate a program for lesbian, gay, bi, transgender and questioning youth in Washington County called the Pride Project. Recently there has been some controversy regarding an ad that we tried to place in the FGHS newspaper designed to let students know about the Pride Project and also the chapter of PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) that meets in Forest Grove. The principal did not want the ad to include the words "lesbian, gay, bi, transgender and questioning" or the faces of two boys because he felt it was too provocative and not appropriate for younger students.
"In the end they agreed to print an ad with only the acronym LGBT and no pictures. However, this month the principal and superintendent decided that even that was too much, and would not print either the ad for PFLAG or an ad for Planned Parenthood that has been running in the paper for years. By law a principal is able to decide what will or will not appear in a school-funded paper, according to their own judgment, so there isn't necessarily legal recourse for the students.
"Having grown up in FG (and having edited the school paper), :-) I am well aware that there are people who disagree with issues such as sexuality or family planning being discussed in the paper. However, I feel it is important that students have access in accurate information and support that will allow them to make healthy decisions and feel safe in their community. Fear of controversy is not a good reason to prevent students from receiving information.
"This issue will be discussed at the school board meeting on January 10th. [...] If anyone is interested in hearing more about the issues, or supporting students rights to have accurate information about sexuality and health provided to them via the school paper, please contact me [...]. If you are a student or a parent of a student from the district, I think your voice is especially powerful. It would be great to have many people present at the meeting to present their views on the issue. I think this is a good opportunity to increase awareness of LGBT youth and people in our community, and educate people about how they can help crease safer and more inclusive schools for all youth."
I may go to that meeting because apparently I'm not sufficiently aware how wonderful our schools are where my teaching of no sex before marriage is undermined by mindless liberals. And that part about Planed Parenthood ads running in the school paper is just unbelievable.
UPDATE: It seems I'm not alone
. And it would be so easy to resolve this problem with school choice.
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Got this in e-mail:
Headline: Canada Busy Sending Back Bush-Dodgers.
The flood of American liberals sneaking across the border into Canada has intensified in the past week, sparking calls for increased patrols to stop the illegal immigration. The re-election of President Bush is prompting the exodus among left-leaning citizens who fear they'll soon be required to hunt, pray and agree with Bill O'Reilly.
Canadian border farmers say it's not uncommon to see dozens of sociology professors, animal-rights activists and Unitarians crossing their fields at night.
"I went out to milk the cows the other day, and there was a Hollywood producer huddled in the barn," said Manitoba farmer Red Greenfield, whose acreage borders North Dakota. The producer was cold, exhausted and hungry. "He asked me if I could spare a latte and some free-range chicken. When I said I didn't have any, he left. Didn't even get a chance to show him my screenplay, eh?"
In an effort to stop the illegal aliens, Greenfield erected higher fences, but the liberals scaled them. So he tried installing speakers that blare Rush Limbaugh across the fields. "Not real effective," he said. "The liberals still got through, and Rush annoyed the cows so much they wouldn't give milk."
Officials are particularly concerned about smugglers who meet liberals near the Canadian border, pack them into Volvo station wagons, drive them across the border and leave them to fend for themselves.
"A lot of these people are not prepared for rugged conditions," an Ontario border patrolman said. "I found one carload without a drop of drinking water. They did have a nice little Napa Valley cabernet, though."
Nan & Bill Jessberger of Edmonds WA were detained at the Peace Arch crossing after being apprehended on a nearby Canadian golf course, looking for a lost golf ball they claimed they hit across the border.
When liberals are caught, they're sent back across the border, often wailing loudly that they fear retribution from conservatives.
Rumors have been circulating about the Bush administration establishing re-education camps in which liberals will be forced to drink domestic beer and watch NASCAR.
In the days since the election, liberals have turned to sometimes-ingenious ways of crossing the border. Some have taken to posing as senior citizens on bus trips to buy cheap Canadian prescription drugs. After catching a half-dozen young vegans disguised in powdered wigs, Canadian immigration authorities began stopping buses and quizzing the supposed senior-citizen passengers. "If they can't identify the accordion player on The Lawrence Welk Show, we get suspicious about their age," an official said. Canadian citizens have complained that the illegal immigrants are
creating an organic-broccoli shortage and renting all the good Susan Sarandon movies.
"I feel sorry for American liberals, but the Canadian economy just can't support them," an Ottawa resident said. "How many art-history majors does one country need?"
In an effort to ease tensions between the United States and Canada, Vice President Dick Cheney met with the Canadian ambassador and pledged that the administration would take steps to reassure liberals, a source close to Cheney said."We're going to have some Peter, Paul & Mary concerts. And we might put some endangered species on postage stamps. The president is determined to reach out."
Resistance is futile
If we can't persuade you, we will out-marry you and then out-birth you
. I'm doing my part. Married for almost 13 years, 3 children and 1 on the way.
Some common sense from UK
When in England last Christmas, I just couldn't understand why anybody would watch or listen to BBC. It was so over the top anti American and anti capitalist that most fair minded people would eventually stop, I thought. I was right
What's more unbelievable is that people have to still pay for it
This wouldn't happen in a bleeding-heart liberal bastion like Madison, WI, would it? Well, it would
. In fact, it's not surprising. People are taxed so much that they think the government should take care of everything. Or maybe, they think that higher taxes lead to better economies, more jobs and prosperity for everybody. In that case, poor children simply don't exist. Like terrorism.
The best argument against socialized healthcare:
I want you to have the freedom to get as fat as you want
and pay for the consequences yourself.
There has been a lot printed last week about so called man-made global warming and the Kyoto fraud. First, we (people with some common sense) all know that (honest) scientists don't know why there is global warming. In fact, they don't even know if there is any warming at all
"There is no scientific evidence to back claims of man-made global warming. Period. Anyone who tells you that scientific research shows warming trends--be they teachers, newscasters, Congressmen, Senators, Vice Presidents or Presidents--is wrong. In fact, scientific research through U.S. government satellite and balloon measurements shows that the temperature is actually cooling--very slightly--.037 degrees Celsius."
So it's fun to read something like this
"Fossil fuel burning is one of the biggest sources of CO2 emissions
The UK is set to miss a key target on cutting greenhouse gases, Tony Blair has admitted."
They are damaging their economy and are failing in the process anyway. BTW, why isn't there more outcry and condemnation against UK in our MSM? It must be because the Brits have good intentions. It seems that US is doing much more but it didn't sign a stupid piece of paper so everybody is up in arms
"Still, expect the U.S., as usual, to be painted the villain in Buenos Aires -- despite the fact that, as Harlan Watson, the chief U.S. climate negotiator, said last week, "The U.S. effort is equal to that of any other nation to deal with climate change." We're spending more on research than anyone else, and we've signed more than 200 agreements with other nations for scientific studies and the development of clean-energy technologies. What the U.S. rejects is the nonsense of Kyoto."
BBC article goes on:
"[...]30,000 people had died in the summer 2003, the hottest since the 15th Century."
Wait a second! How could it have been hotter in the 15th Century when there were no cars like these
? Well, apparently it was
"Global temperatures were higher in the Roman times when grapes were grown on British islands and Hannibal's elephants walked through the Alps into Italy. They were higher in the medieval period when the Vikings found and colonised the island that they have called Greenland and when Norwegians grew grain on the fields that are 300m in altitude higher than it is possible to do today."
But that would never stop the Oregonian from criticizing auto manufactures
who reject this pseudo science:
"Major automakers have responded to California's tough new emissions law just they way you might have predicted."
"They didn't marshal their engineers. They called in their lawyers."
(Are lawyers supposed to work only on behalf the DNC?)
Limiting our dependency on middle east oil seems like a good idea. But it shouldn't be done in the name of pseudo science.
But even if there were a global warming and even if we could slow it down a little by altering our behavior, we would probably cause more harm than good
"We live in a world with limited resources, where we struggle to solve just some of its challenges. This means that caring more about some issues end up meaning caring less about others. If we have a moral obligation, it is to spend each dollar doing the most good that we possibly can.
"So in a curious way, global warming really is the moral test of our time, but not in the way its proponents imagined. We need to stop our obsession with global warming, and start dealing with the many more pressing issues in the world, where we can do most good first and quickest."
I thought he'd got fired
. Why would we want to reconcile with the French anyway now that we know why they opposed the war
? Maybe it's just me, but after learning that France is America's oldest enemy
and knowing how badly it screwed Poland during WWII, I just don't understand why we even care any more. Is French wine so good?
I hate to say this but it seems that to have at least one Republican senator from Oregon, he also has to
be bring a pig
. I shouldn't be surprised. This is what kept Daschle employed for so long in very conservative South Dakota. Incidentally, Daschle is packing
"Kofi Annan should resign"
What ultra conservative paper printed the following?
"It matters little that U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan might be completely innocent of any criminal wrongdoing in the United Nations' oil-for-food scandal. He is the man ultimately responsible for one of the biggest humanitarian aid efforts in history, which turned into one of the biggest financial rip-offs in history.
"As such, Annan has lost all credibility as leader of the world body. Its viability, in fact, may depend on his willingness to step down soon."
The answer: the Oregonian
Sometimes I think that once a month a lonely conservative at the Oregonian is allowed to write whatever he wants.
Thursday, December 09, 2004
There was a very good reason why there were people celebrating a mass in a Catholic church on a Wednesday morning
(this link doesn't work very well so I quote below).
"At the same time, in a side nook, some 40 older people were listening to a sermon. Forty, on a Wednesday morning. Only in Poland."
It had very little to do with being Polish.
It was the same reason why my wife and my two sons and at least 200 others went to St. Matthew church in Hillsboro, OR. It's called anniversary of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Every year on this day most Catholic churches in US hold several masses a day. This year was especially important
Somehow I'm not surprised that Ocean wouldn't know this and arrogantly attributed the morning presence of a few church goers to their being Polish. I would bet that there are more church goers in US (save Madison, WI and other liberal bastions) than in Poland. My father, who is very active in his church in Poland, is amazed to see full churches in US. He is especially amazed to see children, teenagers and young adults. He says that those days in Poland are over and this is why there were only 40 older people
in that Polish church.
I remember Polish churches with standing room only every Sunday and filled to capacity with people spilling onto the streets on big holidays. But something has changed since I left. Ironically, communism was much better for the Polish Catholic church than today's liberal secularism.
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
Being married to a citizen of EU I could live in any of the EU member countries. If I were to give one reason why I wouldn't leave US, I'd say that I cherish individual freedoms too much to trade them for living in a nanny state like UK, for example. I prefer to take care of myself. In UK, where one can get easily assaulted in his own home
and self-defense is against the law, this attitude could land me in jail
When I visited England last Christmas, I was amazed by the number of security cameras. I guess that's how the nanny state tries to protect its citizens. And fails.
What's the difference?
Poland's education system...
... is in dumps.
"When compared with all 39 nations that produced
scores, the United States was below 23 countries,
above 11 and about the same as four others, with
Latvia joining the middle group."
If Polish children do as well (or badly) as American
has gone wrong since I left.
I often argue with my father who comes to visit me at least once a year that visas for travelers from Poland are justified by the numbers of Poles who are here illegally. I'm torn of course between common sense and my family ties (not to mention Poles' participation in Iraq) but stories like this
soothe my guilt a little bit.
When my first son was born, Karol Wojtyla was visiting US. I'd been very proud of "my" pope so I named my son Jeremiasz Karol in pope's honor.
I was obviously disappointed when statements of condemnation of the war in Iraq started flowing from Vatican. I understood that the pope couldn't support the war for political reasons. But I hoped he would at least keep quiet. It's difficult to hear repeatedly about his outspoken opposition to the war in Iraq; especially from people who otherwise disagree with much of what he says
It turns out however that he may never have said anything about the war
So I'm hoping that deep down he knows this may be the only way to peace (and it's about peace, isn't it?) and lets others do the talking.
Thanks, but no thanks
Are these the guys
Kerry wanted to help us in Iraq?
Fair and balanced?
The Oregonian supports the manual recount in Washington's gubernatorial race
but it insists that all counties participate in the re-recount and that previously rejected votes not be counted. Fair and balanced? Or just nuanced.
Also, why is the Oregonian so sure that Rossi would have also asked for a manual recount had he lost the election? Must be projection.
Give life a chance
Euthanasia-happy Oregon doctors have seconds thoughts when it comes to the Groningen protocol
"Merkens, director of the spina bifida program at Doernbecher Children's Hospital, recalled that the infant's brain looked so deformed that 'it was possible the child would not experience interaction with human beings or anything going on in the environment.'
"'I discussed the case with an experienced colleague,' he said, 'and he made a minor point about the anatomy of the brain and the accuracy of our projection. We provided the lifesaving surgery.'
"Today that newborn is a young teenager who attends public school and has normal mental abilities."
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
Separation of church and state
It's not true that Bush wants to blur those lines. He rejected the Kyoto protocol because it's based on a religion
What about me?
It's all fine but why would I want to do business with you? Philanthropy is commendable but corporations exist to make a product that I want to buy and to make money in the process. Everything else is fluff.
Greetings from Wells Fargo,
As 2004 draws to a close, all of us at Wells Fargo would like to thank you for your business and wish you and your family a happy and peaceful holiday season.
We truly value our relationship with you and remain committed to helping you realize your financial goals in the coming year. And, as always, our team members 140,000 strong are eager to serve you, whenever and wherever it's most convenient for you. To that end, we've recently added 100 new stores.
During this time of giving and sharing, we're also proud to have served our communities in the following areas:
Donated more than $69 million to thousands of non-profit organizations across the United States, including $24 million to education, $21 million to health and human care and $13 million to community development.
Supported the American Cancer Society and breast cancer research by running public service announcements on our ATMs.
Opened more than a half million accounts using the Mexican matricula card, and expanded online services in Spanish, including the ability to apply for InterCuenta Express® cards, deposit accounts and credit cards.
Sponsored a series of research studies on women-owned businesses that demonstrated their increasingly central role in contributing to the U.S. economy.
Promoted increased access to capital among Asian business owners through a national alliance with the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce. Co-sponsored a leadership award with this organization to honor the nation's leading Asian business owners.
We look forward to working with you in 2005 to help you reach the Next Stage® of your financial success. Wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.
From all of us at Wells Fargo
Monday, December 06, 2004
Is it wise to add to the federal deficit...
...by funding research to find a cure for a preventable disease
What would be the cost of government-run health care system if such a cure were found?
Another Pole (and a lawyer)...
Saturday, December 04, 2004
The French are good at giving advice...
...but not good at all at following it
"Because the French demand the approval of the UN for any military intervention, especially an American one, it is surprising that they forgot about asking Kofi Annan if they could "intervene" in the Ivory Coast."
Of course, European media are too busy pushing fraudulent stories
to discredit American corporations too pay attention to this small inconsistency of our oldest enemy
Tom Brokaw did me a big favor...
...by being the speaker at my graduation from UW (Washington not Wisconsin). When I graduated from UW (Wisconsin not Washington) I didn't even go to the ceremony. I find it to be a complete waste of time. It's the last chance a liberal schools like UW or UW has to brainwash the graduates. The diplomas come in mail anyway. The hard cover diploma folder can be bought in the University Bookstore for a few bucks if one really needs it.
So this is how I will remember Tom Brokaw: a pretty boy with a nice, low voice, whose boring, self-absorbed drivel made me understand uselessness of graduation ceremonies.
I also enjoyed watching Brokaw on the election night in 2000 when he had to keep his composure while talking to Rush Limbaugh who had hard time hiding his amusement over the results. I bet Brokaw had invited Limbaugh expecting much better outcome for the Democrats.
After attending my graduation in Seattle, Brokaw follows me to Madison. Unfortunately, I'm already gone. I wonder what those Kerry-Edwards signs are hiding.
I may have mentioned in passing that property taxes I pay in Oregon on a much bigger house are much smaller than those I paid in Madison.
Let's examine some numbers. First, the house I owned
in Madison was (and still is) 1,297 sq. ft. + full basement and sitting on a 8,190 sq. ft. lot. Today's taxes according to the City of Madison Assessor web site
The house I have now is almost 2,000 sq. ft + full basement on a 15,000 sq. ft. lot. I just mailed my tax bill for the grand total of $2,861.01.
So for almost twice the house, twice the lot I pay half the taxes. Of course, one can say I may be paying more in other taxes, like sales or income. There are no sales taxes in Oregon, just income. But it is well known that for people in my income bracket Wisconsin is much worse state than Oregon as far as taxes are concerned (in fact, as everything else is concerned).
So why aren't property taxes rising as fast in Oregon as they are in Madison or other places in the country
? By law (Ballot Measure 50), they can only rise 3% a year and the taxable base is much lower. For example, my house is valued by the county at $217,440 but the taxable base is only $165,960. Even if I remodel my house, as long as the value of the addition is not higher that $25,000 over a period of 3 years, the base will not increase. In other words, as long as I keep any improvements to the house below $25,000 in any 3-year period, my base stays constant (it increases by max of 3%).
The only other way to pay higher (than the 3% almost automatic yearly increase) property taxes is through ballot measures or bonds.
Every time I think about all of this because of articles like this one
I wonder why would anybody still live in Madison or wouldn't at least revolt:
"Madison, Wis., is an example of how some of these changes are affecting both the town and some of its residents. Assessments climbed 9 to 10 percent for several years in a row as housing prices have risen, reflecting the city's buoyant economy. This is happening once more, so even though the city is actually reducing the mill rate (the multiple of property value used to determine residential taxes) from 8 mills to 7.8, property taxes are going up 5.5 percent.
"The city's rising property taxes are squeezing retirees Diane and Donald Brockman, who have lived in the same house for over 40 years. Now, the retirees estimate it takes them two full months of their fixed income to pay their property taxes.
"'We don't go out to eat, we don't go to theaters, we don't travel a lot,' says Mrs. Brockman, who worked as a operating-room nurse for 40 years. 'You have to give up your pleasures that you have worked all your life to do,' she says, suggesting that it might be appropriate for the community to give some kind of tax credit to them for all the years they have faithfully paid their taxes."
I thought it was only Republicans who forced old people to choose between food and medicine. It seems that the good Democrats in Madison are forcing them to choose between their house and the food and medicine. But while Republicans are cutting taxes to let individuals decide how to spend their money, Democrats are rising taxes for the higher good. Besides, they think people are simply too stupid to know what to do with their money in the first place.
In truth though, I'm not sure why anybody would want to stay in Madison in these circumstances. Just look at the pictures below and tell me that there is anything in Madison worth paying these outrageous property taxes.
So, can anything be done to lower taxes in Wisconsin. Of course. In fact, Doyle is trying to just that by laying off some state employees. But they are not going quietly
"Tuesday during lunch hour, state workers skipped sandwiches and picked up picket signs instead."
I wonder why. The unemployment in Wisconsin is still much lower there than in Canada
, their favorite country. Also, the low unemployment in Madison where most of them live is so low that they shouldn't have much trouble finding another job. But, of course, it is so much more comfortable to be living on state payroll than to actually compete in the real market place.
Of course, if Doyle and Cieslewicz (mayor of Madison), had any guts (and brains) they would introduce some competition to the public school system. And I'm not just talking about Milwaukee-style vouchers but full-blown privatization of public education delivery.
Praca najwyzsza wartoscia czlowieka
If I remember correctly that was one of many communist mottos printed on huge banners attached to state-owned buildings in Poland. Loosely, it means that without a job you are a worthless human being. The implication was that only a communist state would give everybody a job. Indeed, everyone had a job in Poland. In fact, it was illegal to be unemployed, a student or a soldier.
In this context, I find the latest job reports from USA and Canada very ironic.
"November's unemployment rate slipped to 5.4 percent, calculated from a separate survey of households. That was down 0.1 percentage point, as more people looking for work found jobs."
"The unemployment rate edged up to 7.3 per cent in November, Statistics Canada said Friday.
"That's a small increase from the 7.1 per cent jobless rate reported in October."
This one is worth the other eight.
Friday, December 03, 2004
Prediction from 1954
Beware this could be a fake.
The caption reads:
"Scientists from RAND Corporation have created this model to illustrate how a 'home computer' could look like in the year 2004. However the needed technology will not be economically feasible for the average home. Also the scientists readily admit that the computer will require not yet invented technology to actually work, but 50 years from now scientific progress is expected to solve these problems. With teletype interface and the Fortran language, the computer will be easy to use."
My two littlest rascals
Natan i Irena
With profs like these...
...money for my children's college is only half of the challenge. The other half is to find college that will not brainwash them into the liberal ideology.
In his recent opinion piece
, Jeff Jacoby says:
"The left-wing takeover of American universities is an old story. In 1951, William F. Buckley Jr. created a sensation with "God and Man at Yale," which documented the socialist and atheist worldview that even then prevailed in the classrooms of the Ivy League institution he had just graduated from.
"Today campus leftism is not merely prevalent. It is radical, aggressive, and deeply intolerant, as another newly minted graduate of another prominent university -- Ben Shapiro of UCLA -- shows in "Brainwashed," a recent bestseller. "Under higher education's facade of objectivity," Shapiro writes, "lies a grave and overpowering bias" -- a charge he backs up with example after freakish example of academics going to ideological extremes."
Radical, aggressive, and deeply intolerant. Sounds familiar...
Daniel Pipes describes a very recent incident
when a radical, aggressive and deeply intolerant prof went Gore when his obvious anti-semitism was challenged by a student:
"The incident began late on Sept. 27, 2004, when Victor Luria, a Ph.D. candidate in genetics and a former soldier in the Israel Defense Forces, wrote Dabashi an e-mail taking strong exception to what Dabashi had written about the IDF in an article [...]
"Rather than answer Luria's critique, Dabashi early on Sept. 28 forwarded his note to several top Columbia officials, including the university's provost, Alan Brinkley. He also commented on what Luria had written:
"I consider this slanderous harassment a conduct unbecoming of a student of Columbia University towards a member of the faculty whom he has never met or known. I bring this defamatory attack against a Columbia faculty to the judicious attention of your respective offices. Given the military record of this person, I also feel physically threatened. I would be grateful if Columbia Security were also to be informed of this slanderous attack against my character and appropriate measures taken to protect my person from a potential attack by a militant slanderer."
How idiotic! Just because somebody challenges something you have written in a public forum you feel attacked, physically threatened even? What do you expect? That your insane, even dangerous ideas will be published for all to see and for some to accept as gospel, but never rebutted? You are not just some weirdo with a keyboard spewing nonsense into the abyss of the Internet. You are a prof who has power over his students who often feel too intimidated to challenge you for fear of reprisal.
There has to be somebody else watching over everything you write.
The good news is that there are many common sense gate keepers already. One of them, Mike Adams
, has recently challenged one such prof and the result is hilarious.
The whole thing started when Dr. Adams was notified by an oppressed student that his prof was rather intolerant to conservative views
The prof, for example, told his students that certain topics for their term papers are simply off limits:
"Topics on which there is, in my opinion, no other side apart from chauvinistic, religious, or bigoted opinions and pseudo-science (for example, female circumcision, prayer in public schools, same-sex marriage, the so-called faith-based initiative, abortion, hate crime laws, the existence of the Holocaust, and so-called creationism)"
So the prof puts abortion and hate crime laws into the same bin as Holocaust revisionism. Interesting.
Dr. Adams offered the following topics for prof's consideration:
"How have Professor Snider and his cronies converted the college classroom into a platform for their warped political beliefs?
Why does Professor Snider refer to a fetus as a potential child after saying that abortion is not debatable in his class?
How does Professor Snider identify Topics on which there is, in (his) opinion, no other side apart from chauvinistic, religious, or bigoted opinions and pseudo-science?
Does Professor Sniders emotional involvement with the issue of homosexuality cause him to violate the religious freedom of his students?
Is Professor Snider heterophobic?
Does Professor Sniders intolerance and ignorance of the First Amendment mean that all queer critics are intolerant, ignorant, or both?
Should college students be allowed to wear shut up and teach t-shirts to class at California State University, Long Beach?"
I wish I could be this funny when
challenging some liberal profs.
First, the prof threatened with a lawsuit
. How typical. Then he warned his students that somebody was illegally using material from his website
. He also added, however, that the students were really not limited when choosing topics for their paper and that he "believe[d] in and practice[d] academic freedom
." I wish I could be this funny...
Needless to say, I'm waiting for the next installment with great anticipation.
BTW, Dr. Adams receives a lot of hate mail
; I guess this should be expected in this line of work.
Another thing that I find really peculiar is that whenever these profs are challenged they invariably respond with something like "you can't silence me, I have freedom to say whatever I want." Of course you do! But I have the same freedom to say how wrong your ideas are. Lastly, I can't help you when you feel personally attacked. One possible explanation is that you define your being by the ideas you espouse. You may also equate speech with physical violence. After all, the left invented this whole idea of hate speech.
That's the Polish name of the town where Germans built one of many death camps used to exterminate Jews during WWII.
Some time ago I read an article in one of US newspapers that talked about "Auschwitz, the Nazi death camp in Poland
." The article never said who those mysterious Nazis were. I wondered if everybody reading that article would know that the Nazis were Germans, that Poland was under German occupation and that the camp was in fact operated by Germans. I wrote a letter to the author with my thoughts. I got a nice reply in which he promised to be more precise the next time.
Today, Reuters released the following
"Nearly half of Britons in a poll said they had never heard of Auschwitz, the Nazi death camp in southern Poland that became a symbol of the Holocaust and the attempted genocide of the Jews."
One can wonder why the British educational system is as bad as ours. One can also wonder how anybody so ignorant of the past could possibly understand our struggle with today's (Islamo) fascists.
I wonder why Reuters can't bring itself to clarify to those ignorant Brits that Germans started WWII, that Germans built death camps all over Europe and that many Poles also ended up in those camps and in their ovens together with 6 million Jews.
Germans murdered one of my grandfathers together with other adult males in his village. His wife worked as a slave until the liberation. My great-grandfather had a number tattooed on his forearm. He had survived one of those Nazi camps.
BTW, this blog
explains what Nazi stands for and why it's bad.
Thursday, December 02, 2004
the beginning of US-Iran war? Europe is useless. I'm not sure why the Bush administration even bothers paying attention to those spineless appeasers. Unless, of course, the goal is to show how useless they really are. Like UN.
I challenge anybody to give me an example of when appeasement (a.k.a. diplomacy) ever worked to avoid military conflict and had lasting effects. The three biggest threats to the Western civilization, Islamism, Fascism, and Communism have been solved by using military power or a threat of using it (Crusades, WWII, cold war).
If anything, appeasement kills
I like salmon. And I like it wild. In fact, we've stopped buying the farm-raised salmon because it contains high levels of PBCs
. But I will put humans' needs above fish or other animals (non-humans) anytime even if I have to change my diet.
So I'm encouraged to read this
"Federal officials said they are more carefully balancing the needs of threatened and endangered salmon against human demands for water, energy, timber and real estate along the Northwest's cold-flowing rivers."
Oregon has the (second?) highest unemployment and rather bad economy partially because of unsound environmental regulations. It started with the spotted owl 10 years ago. Since then, the logging industry in Oregon has been almost destroyed and with it many good local jobs. Isn't this ironic? Democrats decry lost jobs but they support the policies that contribute to the status quo and fight against any compromise
. So who is the radical here?
After 9 years in Bosnia, US soldiers are finally coming home
Bosnia was a tense mission at first. The country was, and still is, littered with landmines and hidden weapons caches. Ethnic hatreds remain strong, and there is a flourishing criminal underworld.
What? Clinton's war didn't work? Why did we go there in the first place? Couldn't the French have handled it for us? They are pretty good at squashing "ethnic hatreds
Just in case the link above is "broken
", I want to provide more "supporting evidence
" that is "functional
". I've heard that is "standard practice
." Here it is: