En Garde

Cox & Forkum editorial cartoons are almost always funny, and are insightful at least that often. Yesterday’s cartoon commemorating the 2-year anniversary of our invasion of Iraq is a great example:

Cox and Forkum Cartoon, 03-20-2005

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Let’s have an Obstruction Party!

From the Associated Press, “GAO Official: No Crisis in Social Security“:

Social Security “does not face an immediate crisis,” the head of the Government Accountability Office said Wednesday, but it does face a long-term financing problem “and it would be prudent to address it sooner rather than later.”

Prudent. Prudent, eh? Wait, wait, that means we should do something? A few paragraphs later:

In his opening statement, Rangel declared, “Private accounts will not be on the table if you are looking for bipartisanship.”

Sorry, Chuck, but “bipartisanship” sometimes has to take a backseat to “a solution.”

It seems the leading Democrats have two responses to the conclusion that Social Security is in need of reform:

1) Nu-uh!
2) mumblemumble…Minor adjustments…mumbletaxincrease…

If the issue is bipartisanship, let’s hear some constructive alternatives. “Chimpy is trying to bankrupt the old folks!” or “There’s not a problem, he’s a liar! No social security reform for oil!” or, if you ask Howard Dean, a simple “YEEEAARGH!!!!” seem to sum up the vibe from the People’s Voice of the Left. I guess the President should have known better than to suggest something psychotic like (*gasp!*) private accounts. Cause we’ve seen what a horrific fiery disaster has resulted from the… what, 1983?… implementation of the Thrift Savings Plan for Federal employees.

For an old, interesting, and sort of repetitive but overall good look at Social Security reform, read this 1998 article from the Senate Republican Policy Committee. Keep in mind, Bush made up this whole problem, and Social Security will be fine. With a small tax increase. It’ll be small, we promise.

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The state of things

I know you’re all wondering, as the millions of fans of any famous person would, what exactly is going on here. Several entries to the journal in as many days… a lack of updates to the rest of the site – which, by now, is probably less than surprising. Am I turning into a blogger? Am I leaving behind my simple roots as a movie reviewer/CD reviewer/mediocre essay and poetry writer for the people? The answer to the first question would be, “no, not really.” Actually, that would probably be the answer to the second question, too, if I were to bother responding to such a dumb question.

I’ve been trying to find a “job.” Fellow college students, perhaps you, too, have heard of this fabled item. From what I gather, it’s something that takes about 8 hours out of 5 days of every week for the rest of your life (more, if you pick the wrong kind of “job”). In return you get money to buy a new car when you feel like it, and you don’t have to become a penniless wino or continue going to school forever (to be honest, I’m not sure which would be worse).

So, anyway, spring break is next week and graduation is two months from yesterday. If you happen to own a company in Columbus that is looking to pay a new MIS graduate around $30 grand a year for doing stuff, be sure to let me know. Or if you wield control over someone who owns a company in Columbus that is looking to pay $30 grand a year for new-MIS-graduate stuff, well, wield ‘em my direction. I’d especially like to work for The Ohio State University, because they are cool and I could get discounted football tickets, so if you’re a big donor or the president’s niece or something, put in the good word. Thanks.

Until then, the site will continue to be the tangled up ball of goofiness you’ll expect if you’ve read anything here before. Hopefully I will find new and interesting things to say and do. More hopefully, I will stop saying and doing things that are not new or interesting. We’ll see how that goes.

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Mark Steyn = Comic Genius

And he knows a ton of stuff, too. Today’s column in The Spectator (irritating but free registration required) is a long, sweeping reflection on the predictions of Steyn and others regarding the Global War on Terror. No, it’s not the first article of this sort that’s been written (hey, even Jon Stewart has been re-thinking his stance), but it’s one of the best I’ve seen. If you’ve got the time, read it all. If you don’t, the last few lines were my favorite part:

If Rumsfeld were to say, “Free Tibet? Jiminy, what a swell idea! The Third Infantry Division go in on Thursday”, the bumper-sticker crowd would be aghast…

But for those of us on the arrogant unilateralist side of things, that’s not how it works. “FREE AFGHANISTAN”. Done. “FREE IRAQ”. Done. Given the paintwork I pull off every time I have to change the sticker, it might be easier for the remainder of the Bush presidency just to go around with “FREE [INSERT YOUR FETID TOTALITARIAN BASKET-CASE HERE]”. Not in your name? Don’t worry, it’s not.

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Now, Seriously–

Are they going to try to regulate Internet free speech using McCain-Feingold? Well, yeah. And anytime “they” refers to a Federal entity (in this case the Federal Election Commission), they’re going to do what they want unless a whole bunch of someones do something about it. I think it’d be safe to call this the Fuss of the Week around the blogosphere – there, I said it, I hate the word but there it is – and I think it’d be equally safe to say it ought to be. There are an awful lot of smart Americans who have realized during the past election cycle that, thanks to a half-dozen blogging services ranging from ‘free’ to ‘free and annoyingly ad-filled,’ the Internet really is a great marketplace for discussion and ideas. If the FEC decides to treat every Joe and Sally the same as NBC or Fox, a lot of us will be up the proverbial creek without a paddle (proverbial or otherwise).

First Amendment, First Amendment, First Amendment. For all the carrying on you hear about it from the attorneys of terrorists and Martha Stewart, here is a situation where a Federal bureaucratic agency is seriously targeting First Amendment protections. We’re not talking about millionaire nutjobs pouring dirty money into dirty politics here (ok, we’re not as long as you exclude moveon.org), we’re talking about insightful working men and women who take the time and energy to lend their own unabashed perspective to daily events. I, for one, enjoy that right, mostly because I like reading what they have to say. A lot. Ed Morrissey at Captain’s Quarters has posted a letter to Congress, and La Shawn Barber has a good rundown of the subject from top to bottom.

As far as open letters go, here’s my own much easier, dumb version:

McCain-Feingold must not be applied to the Internet. Would it be just – or within the intentions of the original legislation – to treat private citizens the same as NBC or The Washington Post? This is a dangerous swipe at our freedom of speech, and one that I’m counting on you and other Republican members of Congress to block. Thank you and God bless.

The Internet is, in addition to giving nerds such as myself someplace to write as though people were reading, a great resource for reaching our elected officials. If you’ve got a minute, send a quick message to your state’s senators. If you’re blessed to be an Ohioan, visit the contact forms at Voinovich.senate.gov and DeWine.senate.gov and drop a few sentences through. Otherwise, visit senate.gov and pick your state from the dropdown list.

Oh, by the way, those links to George Voinovich and Mike DeWine’s websites? In the months prior to an election, they’d probably be considered illegal in-kind assistance if McCain-Feingold were stretched to cover Internet communications. Yikes…

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I dunno… Let’s ask Pakistan!

Familiar with this week’s Supreme Court decision regarding the execution of minors? Probably more so than I am, since I don’t usually… read the newspaper or… watch TV. Apparently a majority of justices have decided that foreign law is a reasonable measure of constitutionality. For a good summary of this dangerous precedent, dissection of Kennedy’s position, and some of Scalia’s dissenting opinion, this article at New Sisyphus comes highly recommended:

Having been unable to justify their legal positions the traditional way, by arguing case law, distinguishing cases, comparing cases, arguing by analogy, etc., legal liberals have now turned to the only avenue left them. Not having the ability to point to good precedent in American law, they are reduced to pointing to European and Canadian law.

It’s lengthy but worth it, especially if your Constitution understanding is rusty.

Don’t get me wrong, capital punishment is a nasty and difficult topic. But a 16 year old murderer knows just as well as a 20 year old murderer that what he’s doing is wrong. If the State can execute adults, I have no idea how executing minors over the age of 15 is cruel or unusual. And seriously, do we want the rest of the world determining how our legal system should work? My vote is no.

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Start Reading Froggy, and Don’t Stop

If you’ve not read Froggy Ruminations before, you really ought to. Matt Heidt always has a smart, sharp point to make about the latest military-related news. His most recent entry is a particularly good one:

Obviously, Human Rights Watch does not consider any action in Iraq to be a worthwhile exercise and probably most things are construed as oppressive or cruel. Whatever. They are entitled to their bias which is the reason they are subsidized by The Left and hailed by moonbats everywhere. But they are not entitled to inject themselves into a legal proceeding in which they have no standing. Arrogant admonitions of punishment against innocent combat veterans may pay the bills, but it doesn’t make you right. Why don’t you take a nice little jaunt up to North Korea and see if anyone around there could use some ‘jailtime’… bitch.

No politically correct cushioning, plenty of acerbic wit. Check it out, regardless of whether or not I spelled acerbic correctly.

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