Saturday, May 24, 2003

Why Racing and No Politics?


Congress passed sensible tax legislation this week. There's not much to rant about when you are smiling at the victory, but give me a couple days and there will be plenty. Actually after reading some of the ideas of the opposition, there is already plenty.

The results:

"If you have a combined income of $56,000, you're going to save $1,200 this year. If you have two kids, you can add another $800 on top of that. That's $2,000 of savings for a married couple that has combined taxable income of $56,000. That is significant tax relief for families," said Sen. Don Nickles, Oklahoma Republican.


The Dims' view:

"Thanks to years of disastrous Republican economic policies, every American will be saddled with roughly $3,500 worth of debt," said Sen. Jon Corzine, New Jersey Democrat and chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. "After four straight surpluses under Democratic leadership and more than 20 million jobs created, we have finally seen what Republicans are capable of when they have full control of Congress and the White House ? skyrocketing deficits and unemployment as far as the eye can see."

Many of the new tax breaks, such as reducing the marriage penalty and the dividend and capital-gains rate cuts, expire in several years, which prompted Democrats to call them "yo-yo" tax cuts.

"Phase-ins and sunsets are used to shoehorn large tax cuts into a small budget window," said Sen. Max Baucus, Montana Democrat. "This tax cut is one big yo-yo. Now you see it. Now you don't."


Corzine is politically shrewd, but intellectually, he is smart enough to know that he is a lying bastard. You have business cycles and we have just gone through one of the wildest cycles in this country's history. Thank Heaven Republicans control Congress and the White House because they can control the landing at the bottom a lot more effectively than the Dims would have. It is still astonishing that the Dims are able to ignore the facts of the last boom cycle - Much of it was created by the supply-side economics of the Reagan Administrtation. They also ignore the smart strategies and the effective results of their own "supply-sider," JFK.

The sunsets will be the most brilliant part. They diminish the benefits of optimism in the future, but they force politicians to make the choice that we need to waste more money in DC, by forcing those politicians to vote for "tax increases." If one presumes that they resist that choice for an increase inthe future, Bush actually got more than he wanted.

The Dims have been defeated on the tax cut issue. If they are really so concerned with deficits, it is past time to work on wasteful spending. That is their next test.

Democrats said this week they tried to derail the bill, and Republicans gave credit to Mr. Bush for winning in spite of their efforts.

"This is the finest presidential leadership that I have ever seen with reference to an important piece of legislation," said Sen. Pete V. Domenici, New Mexico Republican, who has served more than 30 years in the Senate. "He has handled this absolutely perfectly."


Maybe it's the type of assessment in the last paragraph that is giving me comfort and preventing the ranting mood.

Catalytic Converters for NASCAR


I am not surprised to hear about this one. Having been to these races, I wouldn't be surprised if the fans need catalytic converters in their seats.

The device, which will be optional, has been one of the top projects at NASCAR's research and development center. It costs around $400 to build and can be installed in a car in about two hours.

NASCAR has identified one manufacturer for the catalyst and is looking at other designs to be used in the driver's ventilation system.

Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart used one of the devices last month at Martinsville, Va., and other teams tried them at California and Richmond. Sunday's race, the Coca-Cola 600, is the longest race of the season.

The catalyst sits on the floor in the car next to the driver and sends clean air to the driver's helmet. It's the same theory as catalytic converters used in street cars to diminish pollutants in the exhaust, ``but this is a low-temperature catalyst.''

NASCAR has been working since last fall on systems to filter the air a driver breathes during a race, a project that drew increased focus after Rick Mast announced in January he was retiring because years of exposure to toxic fumes had given him acute and chronic carbon monoxide poisoning.

The effects of carbon monoxide are cumulative, building in a driver's body each time he or she is exposed to it. Since last year, some drivers have been undergoing heavy oxygen treatments after races to decrease the effects of breathing carbon monoxide.

Thankfully, it's not the same catalytic converter that slows down your passenger car...

Stopping the Penske Double


I like Newman and Castroneves is pretty cool, but I'll be rooting for everyone else, especially at Indy.

Newman, last year's top rookie, ran a lap at 185.312 mph to give owner Roger Penske cars on the front row in both of Sunday's races.

Halfway across the country, Helio Castroneves is on the pole for the Indianapolis 500.

Castroneves is trying to win his third-straight Indy 500 in a Penske-owned car, and Newman will try to give Penske a sweep in "The Double.''

"That's our goal, and I think it's pretty cool,'' Newman said. "Sunday is a big day for Penske Racing.''


Of Course, the real double is Robby Gordon doing both races...1100 miles of some pretty hard work...I hope things go very well for him.


Friday, May 23, 2003

Via Goldberg at The Corner - He's upset that he did not get a badge of honor from these guys.

Kerry's Home State Knows the Scoop


A new poll shows that Kerry can't hold his own in his own state. Clearly, it's because the voters know him. I'm thinking Bush will be facing Dicky Gephardt.

If the 2004 presidential election were held today in the state of Massachusetts, President Bush would defeat favorite son Sen. John F. Kerry, according to a new poll.

WCVB-TV in Boston was the first news outlet to report on this poll on Wednesday. It shows Kerry falling behind President Bush by 6 percentage points in the race for president in Massachusetts. The poll of 500 potential Massachusetts voters was taken at the end of April by Mass Insight, a Boston-based research institute.

A similar poll conducted by the same research group in January showed Kerry with a 16-point lead in Massachusetts in a hypothetical head-to-head race against President George W. Bush in 2004.

Maybe Kerry could win Texas.

While Cutting Taxes, Let's Talk about Waste


The next time someone complains about tax cuts, give them this, courtesy the Federalist:

Regarding the redistribution of your income...

As the Senate prepares to consider funding for the UN-sponsored Global AIDS initiative to the tune of $1-billion, a few not-so-surprising facts have emerged. Among them, the UN Secretariat's office employs 63 staff at an average salary of $174,603 (the average American brings in $36,000 annually, while the average income in the African nations targeted by the Global Fund is $3,020). Readers will recall President Bush's promise to fund AIDS prevention in Africa in his most recent SOTU. The Federalist supports the administration's position for a variety of domestic security and economic reasons. The UN, however, does not enter into our equation for effective aid to Africa.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

A good Fisking of the Mckinney Graduation Speech


Go review it. This is on fire.

Yale Law Fights Back


Via the JURIST's Paper Chase:

Our building has suffered a wound, but not our community. In the last 18 hours, I have been impressed by the resilience and imagination of the students, staff and faculty of the Yale Law School, and by the support we've received from everyone in the University. We have a mess to clean up. But we will repair all the damage that’s been done. And as we do, we will be grateful that no one was hurt and mindful of the hours we’ve spent in Room 120 and in the Alumni Reading Room, doing the things we’re accustomed to do freely and without fear in our beautiful building.

Examination and paper deadlines will be extended to enable students to complete their work on a schedule that is comfortable for them. And all graduating students who are unable to complete their work by the deadline for submitting grades will receive a grade of provisional pass, to be converted to a final grade at some later time, so that they can receive their diplomas on schedule.
I haven't paid much attention to the Blair Times Witch Trials, but Letterman's Top Ten is priceless - via MRC, of course:

And a second timely Top Ten list. From the May 21 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Chapter Titles in Jayson Blair's Autobiography." Late Show Web site: www.cbs.com

10. "My Journey From Writing 'The New York Times' To Delivering 'The New York Times'"

9. "Quoting Dead People: My Word Against Theirs"

8. "How Morpheus Trained Me To Fight The Matrix"

7. "I Nailed Jennifer Lopez"

6. "All The Tools A Reporter Needs -- A Copy Of 'The Washington Post' And A Pair of Scissors"

5. "'New York Times,' You've Been Punk'd"

4. "The 'Y' In 'Jayson'? I Made That Up, Too"

3. "How The Modern Reporter Can Be In Two Places At The Same Time"

2. Chapter 6: "Chapters 1 Through 5 Were A Load Of Crap"

1. "At Least I'm Not Geraldo"

Dim Logic on Unemployment


If you want to provide incentive to people to go get a job, do you give them 13 more weeks of unemployment compensation? No, I think you do the opposite.

Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives and the Senate said Wednesday that Congress should scrap plans for tax cuts proposed by the Bush administration in favor of doubling the length of time out-of-work Americans could collect unemployment payments from the government.

Republicans argue that the best way to help the economy and reduce unemployment at the same time is to create more jobs.

"Every American president since World War II has had a record of job creation except President George W. Bush," claimed House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). "Two-point-seven million people have lost their jobs since President Bush became president. Almost nine million Americans are unemployed."

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) also blamed President Bush for the country's unemployment rate and said the problem is not just how many people are out of work, but also how long they have been jobless.

"We have seen the loss of 2.7 million jobs now during this administration," he charged. "The number of people who are in the category of 'most unemployable' - or the long-term unemployed - is the highest number now that it has been in 20 years."

The federal Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation Program gives unemployed workers who have already exhausted 13 weeks of unemployment payments from their states an additional 13 weeks of compensation from Washington. It is set to expire on May 31, but Daschle and Pelosi want to expand the payments past 26 weeks for those workers. They also want to extend the supplemental 13-week program to cover employees whose state payments run out after the May 31 deadline.


The Dims like Pelosi feel that the government is more trustworthy with your money than the businesses you patronize. I just know too many people who are trying to hire. Is it, "Life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and guaranteed pay if you don't want to go to work."

If Singers Would Run for President -
Recount Needed


I can't believe they got 24 million people to vote for this thing. It shows that if you want to run for President, maybe you should learn how to sing someone else's song?

Voting for 'Idol' vs. Voting for President

(CNSNews.com) - About 105 million Americans cast ballots in the 2000 presidential election. Last night, 24 million people cast ballots for their favorite "American Idol," according to the Fox TV network. According to Fox, Ruben Studdard beat competitor Clay Aiken by only 1,335 votes. On Thursday morning, the Drudge Report mentioned that an unnamed executive at a rival TV network was demanding an audit...

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

What's a Neocon?
Do You Know a Neorepublican? OMG


I appreciate Jonah Goldberg's 3-part series on Neoconservativism [Parts 1 and 2 are linked within]. He explains a good amount of the history, but I still don't understand it.

This passage explains one of the reasons for that:

The neocon label gets folded, spindled, and mutilated in any number of ways, every day. But there are four enduring misapplications of the word. These myths are: (1) the idea that neoconservative means "pro-war"; (2) the idea that neoconservative means "foreign-policy hawk"; (3) the idea that neoconservative means Jewish; and, (4) the idea that neoconservative refers to ex-liberals. Some of these used to be true, none of them are reliably so anymore.


I have a far-left friend who calls me and others "Neorepublicans." Missing in all of the discussion is a true analysis of the terms. Neo does mean new. But when it is used as a prefix, to me, it means more like "new-old," or "revisit-of." It's not new at all, but it is a harkening back to the old ages. Neoclassicism is modern music in the classical style. Neoromanticism, same thing. A neorepublican might be someone who is of the party of Lincoln. What the fuck is wrong with that? But when I think of neocons, I think of new conservatives who are harkening back to the theories of John Adams. Again, what the fuck is wrong with that? Some say John Adams would not have dealt with Iraq or even he NorKs, but I say he would have if he had lived in our age.

Just for Balance, Here's the Pro-Waste Crowd


Via The Federalist, here you go - Now, let's hear about the balanced press:
And they want the government to have more of your money... "He did this in the face of three big arguments against the tax cut: That it's going to increase the deficit, that it's weighted to the rich and that the American people would prefer, you know, to spend the money on health care, education, other priorities. How does he do it?" --George Stephanopoulos on the recently passed tax cut ++ "It's not about class warfare, it's about values. What's the appropriate use of this very rich country's resources? And I think the argument comes down to tax cuts for a segment of the population versus other services." --Michael Martin, responding to the charge that Democrats are playing class warfare with the tax cut ++ "The amount in this tax bill is about what the deficit is. I speak as the frugal one in my family and I think this is a really stupid way to run a budget." --Nina Totenberg

And another tidbit from the same issue - The dimmest of the Dims being dimultimate:

Freudian slipping into the truth: "...[I]n the end you cannot look at any progress America has made and not see the face of the Democratic Party." --DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe

He just needs to clarify the sentence construction and work on brevity: "You can look at everything wrong and see the Democratic Party."

Government Fraud is Larger than that "Massive" Bush Tax Cut


Here is right-thinking that you will never hear about in the press. If you do hear about it, it will be that the Republicans are taking school lunches away from desperately poor indigents.

With the support of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Budget Committee Chairman Jim Nussle (R-Iowa) has asked House committees to come up with a one-percent cut in social programs such as Medicare, Social Security and welfare.

A one-percent cut in so-called "mandatory spending programs" - originally passed as part of the House budget resolution - would yield some $471 billion in savings over 10 years. Unlike discretionary programs, mandatory programs are not controlled by an annual decision of Congress but are automatically continued by laws previously enacted.

Nussle's committee has recruited fiscal conservatives to help with the budget-trimming effort, winning praise from Susan Mosychuk of Citizens Against Government Waste.

"It's complete and total accountability for federal dollars, federal taxpayer dollars," said Mosychuk. "It's holding these programs, these agencies accountable for how the taxpayer dollars are spent."

I would venture to say that the fraud in those budgets is at least 2% and the waste is an additional 8-10%, so the 1% cut goal is extremely modest. If the Dims complain about this venture, it will brand their party as not only being anti-American, but also anti-rational.

MRC Nails ABC


I like MRC's headline.

Sailors Better Off in War Zone

"Today in San Diego, the supercarrier USS Abraham Lincoln finally docked after nearly 10 months at sea. We'll have more on the reunion with eager loved ones in just a moment, but thesesoldiers, of course, are coming home to a sober reality as well. An economy that, if anything, is struggling more than it was when they set sail. The government said today the unemployment rate is up to six percent. More than half a million jobs were lost in the last three months."

-- ABC's Claire Shipman anchoring the May 2 World News Tonight.

Unfortunately, there's a lot more where that comes from. "If we can't lose the war, maybe we can beat up the country in some other way."

Leave it to Dave to Hammer the Fleischer Victorious Move resignation



Top Ten Signs Ari Fleischer Doesn't Care Anymore


10. Will only take questions from "Kung Fu" magazine

9. Qualifies each statement with, "...but that might be the gin talking"

8. Gives monosyllabic answers to press questions, then goes back to his Gameboy

7. Doesn't try to hide the fact that he's accepted a position with Al-Qaeda

6. Last few briefings have been from the V.I.P. room of D.C. area gentlemen's club

5. Spends entire press conference arguing why "Ruben should beat Clay"

4. Discloses Cheney's location -- a K.F.C. in Baltimore

3. Challenges Rumsfeld to a Texas steel cage rasslin' match

2. Keeps hitting on Helen Thomas

1. Refers to Bush as "President Bonehead"


I am sad to see Ari go, but I am awfully happy for him. I do think he'll miss Helen.

TK Places Pulitzer Nomination



"I wonder if Linda will submit this incisive piece of reporting to the
Pulitzer people?"

Pets die in Oak Grove fire
By LINDA MAN
The Kansas City Star

An electrical fire in the laundry room damaged an Oak Grove home early today, killing four dogs and one cat.

Fire officials said they received the call about 1:30 a.m. for the 1800 block of Kingsway Street. Officials said a smoke alarm woke family members, who escaped unharmed. One dog and cat also survived.

No damage estimate was available.

Two Daves in One Day


I think I have become Dave's blog. C'mon folks, tell Dave to get his own blog going, no reason to be conservative or timid about it.

BAD SISSIES! NO DAIQUIRIS FOR YOU

The shrieking queens who infest the State Department are at it again. Backbiting and making snide comments and posting whatever cartoons they can find which ridicule their boss, these insects must be feeling untouchable in their Civil Service anonymity ( and are apparently stung that President Bush ignored all their puling and vapid pronouncements, and went with a more forthright and robust handling of recent foreign affairs AND WAS MORE SUCCESSFUL AT IT THAN STATE HAS BEEN AT DOING ANYTHING FOR THE LAST THIRTY YEARS!)

Quite apart from their odious little gestures of contempt for the President (who is the man they are supposed to work for), these puffed up pissants seem to think themselves superior to everyone else in the administration. Their track record is appallingly bad (high water mark was getting the NNPT signed, knowing that it was largely meaningless, and claiming that the fact it was signed was the real achievement), and their world view is as twisted and stupid as was that of their hero, the bloated ego from Arkansas.( I suspect it's the practices of the Man/Boy Love Association which does that to a person's world view.)

Do not mistake me here. I bear no love for President Bush. In truth, I mistrust him because I am convinced that he is sincere about his religious beliefs (and I
think that makes him untrustworthy in many of his secular functions). I do respect him, however. NPR's smarmy cracks notwithstanding, and despite all the cheap shot cartoons posted around State these days, President Bush is not some drooling, inarticulate piece of oilfield trash. He's a bright guy, if less than
glib (HAVEN'T WE HAD ENOUGH GLIBNESS FOR A DECADE OR TWO?), a hard negotiator, and a smart deal maker. He's also a manly sort of man, something
one can say of very few in the State Department, and of NO ONE in the previous White House.

Those Viola tricolors over at Foggy Bottom had best rejoice in the fact that I am not in our President's shoes. If I were, they'd find their next budget slashed by one half, and the one after that slashed by one half again. Being protected by a really ugly Civil Service code, they would have to be found new jobs in places such as the US Forest Service, the DEA, and the Postal Service (some could go to Amtrak). I would wager that US foreign relations would suffer not one whit for their absence, and one could hardly worsen those other agencies.

That's all I have to say about that?


smilingdave8

Holy Racecar Racing!!!


I wasn't going to admit it, but my odometer went over to 40 today. The reason I bring that up is that I was the very fortunate recipient of the Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure package. My Father, et al, really did it this time. It beats the shit out of a new suit.

I am a bit nervous about all of this, but at least they have a safety switch:

REMEMBER: We reserve the right to judge all participants’ performance. Any person participating in any activity that we feel to be unsafe and dangerous will forfeit their right to drive at our discretion with no refund.

I wonder if I don't get up to 165, will I be unsafe for being a slow chicken and blocking traffic?

Holy racecar racing.

I am charged up about this one.

I am pretty damn charged up about this one.

THE BLOG REVOLUTION


Damn it, Dave is making me think and that pisses me off. I got all depressed after reading this. About twice a week, I think I should quit blogging, and Dave was inspirational this time, but what the hell, I think he needs to quit being deliberate and start blogging. I also think that we need to start pushing blog content in unique ways. I do sometimes wish I had more than 9 readers.
I do not have my own blogsite. Some people have urged me to start one, but I am more deliberate than one of Tolkien's Ents, and I feel no compelling urge to do anything hasty. In the meantime, I read other peoples' blogs voraciously. I visit about twenty five sites regularly and occasionally look in on about that many more.

I am awed by the quality of some of the minds behind the better blogs. The ease with which some folks can separate truth from lie, accuracy from error, and good reporting from bad bemuse me. People, if I were as incisive, as well reasoned, and as succinct as some of you, I could declare myself Emperor or Maximum Leader and get away with it. As it is, I'll have to rely upon hiring and training my own fedayeen to sieze the office by main force.

For all that I admire many of you, however (and granting that Blogdom is going to revolutionize information processing), a nagging question keeps slithering into my thoughts:

When the consensus among bloggers seems to be that a governmental or a journalistic distortion of the truth is in the offing, WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABOUT IT? Passing it back and forth among yourselves is, besides smacking of incest, not very efficacious, you know. It's all very well that the people in the club know what's going on, but who is getting the word out to everyone else?
The blogosphere is great, but it's only a tiny fraction of the body politic.

It is all very well to say that every blog is merely self gratification for the blogger, and that those who don't like that can hit their BACK button and leave, but if all that you want to do is examine and discuss your own reactions to things (much as a monkey will puke on its own lap, and then stir the vomitus around with its finger), then why play at enlightened commentator? Why not merely air the fascinating details of your daily life, or engage in cathartic rants, or just dazzle your readers with clever wordplay?

I believe that blogging offers a real opportunity to get good information into the hands and minds of nonbloggers, and I'm somewhat disappointed that most of the blogs I read think it is enough just to have discerned what information is good, and to pass that along to fellow members of the elite little circle. (But what
do I know? I don't blog.)

smilingdave8

Dave, thanks for your wisdom - Everyone can take nuggets away from this...

Back to my day job, which is increasingly a night job, too.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Morbidly Obese Toddlers


I am not sure why a google search for "MORBIDLY OBESE TODDLERS" landed on my site, but thanks for visiting.

This is what I get for quoting Stupid, Stupid Dims on the site as in this paragraph:

Soon, all Arabs will be able to drink Budweiser and Jack Daniels, stuff their mouths with slice after slice of delicious and vitamin-rich Wonder Bread, and dream of a time when their children, and thier children's children will happily transform into the morbidly obese, incontinent automatons of the Bush New World Order.

I need to stop doing that...

NASCAR Likes the Fans
CART/IRL Can't Think about the Fans


These guys are just digging a deeper grave.

CART and the Indy Racing League have found something new to fight about.

Three of five CART panelists withdrew Tuesday from a two-day open-wheel racing summit after questioning the forum's objectivity.

CART officials were also put off by the location, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which is owned by Tony George's family. George was the founder of the Indy Racing League and the key player in the CART-IRL split in 1996.

"There's a reason political summits are held in places like Geneva or Iceland, and that's because of neutrality,'' CART spokesman Adam Saal said.

The two-day discussion was focused on improving the image of open-wheel racing amid a poor economy and the rapid growth in popularity of NASCAR. Topics included how to attract more sponsors and fans as well as increasing television viewership.

I've said it here before. I am a huge IRL fan, but they need to get back together with CART and both groups need to grow up and focus on their fans. As far as live racing goes, IRL is superior to NASCAR, but NASCAR breeds the personalities and the story lines that people want to follow.

NASCAR is a saga. IRL and CART are managed like the local church's dart club season. Almost everyone prefers a saga.

"I need a saga.
What's the saga?
Songs for the deaf.
You can't even hear them."


Sorry to go off track there. I need to get back to work.

I'm a Survivor


I am not worthy, but I have survived the first few rounds of delinking. I feel honored. Do not, under any circumstances, tell Acidman how crappy my blog is, I'd be toast.

UPDATE: Speaking of crapblogrolls, why is it that this guy manages to link to 175 blogs, 90% are crap, and my crap didn't make the grade. There must be a lot of crap out there...

UPDATE 2: This guy doesn't link to crap so I added a comment that he better not blogroll me.

Fire this Guy, Don't Promote Him


Vikingpundit is watching the candidates. [Holy cow, permalinks are working???] Gephardt has missed 85% of the House votes since January. He should forfeit 85% of his pay and I'd be telling him that if I were from Missouri, but wait a second, I wouldn't count on the Missouri voters. After all, they voted for him. Well, at least it's not all of Missouri, it's just St. Louis. Over here in Kansas City, our problem is worse - Karen McCarthy. I am awfully thankful I am not in her District. I'd be forced to move.

The American Survey - Good News


Good news if you're very afraid of Howard Dean and the rest of the Dim's three-ring circus.

Beyond suggesting a difficult road for the Democrats, this sentiment could explain at least some of the fatalism about a Bush reelection seen in the survey. Almost half of the respondents (47 percent) think that President Bush will win re-election in 2004. Less than half (23 percent) think the Democratic nominee will win. In the sort of sentiment that becomes corrosive and eventually self-fulfilling, one in five of those who plan to vote against the president think he will win; among self-identified liberals, 37 percent believe the president will be re-elected; 35 percent believe he will not be.

I can live with this particular brand of fatalism.

Oddly Enough??? Gross Enough.
This is why we have bottled water?


MANILA (Reuters) - Millions of people in Manila have been drinking super-chlorinated water this week as the body of a teenager remained stubbornly stuck in a major supply pipe.

Manila Water Co dumped large doses of the disinfectant into a reservoir serving the eastern part of the Philippine capital after the young man fell into an aqueduct on Saturday while picking fruit.

The company has insisted the water supply is safe as it tries to dislodge the body. Health officials agreed that the chances of contamination were slight but urged Manila Water to work faster.

"We will have to fish out the body first," Dr Concepcion Quizon, chief executive assistant to Health Secretary Manuel Dayrit, told reporters on Tuesday. "The public will not feel good or right using the water."


I wish I had not read this right after dinner...

"I'm not overly political, but..."

smilingdave8 saved me tonight. I have 12 more hours of day job work to do, no time to post much of anything, but Dave sent another missive. This one may ruffle some feathers. But I think the 9 people who read my blog will be forgiving...

FATWAH

The world today has a lot of problems that its peoples should be addressing. No society has the time or resources to waste on religious fanatics with murder in their hearts. Such human offal are powerless to change the world to fit their own twisted vision, no matter how venomous the shrill exhortations of their clergy, but ? being a rather stupid group to begin with - they must needs try.

All religions are nurtured in the bosoms of life's losers. From the silly fantasies of the Hindus to the parasitical pederasty of the Pope's poofters, religions are a way to fill some void in people who would otherwise have little in their lives to feel good about. Whether a cave-painting shaman of the Cro-Magnons, or one of the Eudemonistic babblers of the NewAge, they who speak for movements of faith feed themselves by convincing the easily led to follow their direction. While annoying to many, such waste of energy is largely benign, and usually harms few outside that particular faith.

From time to time, humanity's darker impulses will take over a religion, turning it to their own perverted ends. This has sometimes resulted in human sacrifice,
cannibalism, self flagellation (and worse), forced mutilation, and other practices which disgust decent people of all stripes. (With the advent of readily available pornography, I half expect many of these darker impulses will be siphoned off or harmlessly spent in voyeurism.) When such practices have come to the attention of others, those perverted religions have historically been stamped out.

I have reluctantly concluded that another such evil religion ( Islam by name) is due to be stamped out. My reluctance is because I was raised in the western tradition, and tolerance for others is ingrained in me. The pernicious behavior of Muslims in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, however, has worn out my inclination to tolerate. I have watched, horrified, for fifty years, as time and again, Muslims have perpetrated atrocities upon those non-muslims they could get at (as their holy book of gibberish has commanded them to do). At seemingly every opportunity, the flint-eyed old ignoramuses who direct those benighted masses of boy molesters have repeatedly set their cannon fodder upon any infidel (read dissenting voice) whose words have penetrated the dim citadels of their ignorance. The bestial arabs of Palestine, busily breeding suicide bombers and practicing their ululations for the television cameras are but one facet of this odious movement. The hateful Shi'ite clergy are another, as are the not-quite-up-to-speed asiatic Muslims. All are part of the whole, however; and the whole is rotten. I think them unfit to live among us any longer. I believe it is time for another crusade, although no Christian church should be permitted a voice in this one. Islam has proven itself inimical to all decent folk. Let us now work together to utterly destroy it.


smilingdave8

Please get the blog going, Dave. Please.

Monday, May 19, 2003

Mr. Gonzales Weighs in
on the Dasshole Judicial Obstructionism



The solution to the problem should be very simple. As the ABA said, "Vote them up or down, but don't hang them out to dry." A system with timely up or down votes for all nominees is fair to all senators, allowing each to have his voice heard and vote counted. It also is fair to the president, the judiciary, the nominees, and the American people who depend on a fully staffed judiciary. As Sen. Bob Graham said in 1991, "I consider it a judicial emergency when a judgeship is vacant for one day more than necessary." A Senate majority vote is the approach that our Founders established in the Constitution and that the Senate has followed for most of the nation's history.

The judicial confirmation system will remain broken and subject to abuse until judicial nominees are ensured a prompt up or down vote within a reasonable and set time after nomination. It is time for the Senate to do so for the benefit of the country.

C'mon, Dasshole, give us the up or down vote.

Father-Daughter Day at the Library


OK, my daughter and I are going to the library tomorrow evening to search for a science experiment, which she can replicate in class on Thursday. If you have any ideas, please let me know. It seems that her 4th grade teacher is placing a high mark on creativity. I like creativity, but I am not a scientist. Math is OK, but chemistry sunk my battleship

Any ideas for an experiment my daughter can do in the class on Thursday?

UPDATE: Simplicity won the day - Aluminum cans can support up to 8000 times their own weight - UNTIL YOU DISRUPT THE SIDE OF THE CAN.

The DNC CRAWLS to a New FRICKIN LOW


These guys are deserving of the Acidman 'Fucktard' label.

If you're not educating your neighbors on the tax topic, you must educate them on this one so that they can write their Senators in support of the Constitution.

Look at this crap:

Act Now! America's Values at Risk With Supreme Court Vacancy

The United States Supreme Court protects America's most cherished values: equal rights and protections for all, public education, environmental safeguards, the right to privacy, a woman's right to choose, civil liberties, free speech, religious freedom, and much more. [emphasis mine.]

And here I thought that the Supreme Court interpreted our laws and our Constitution and decided what was appropriate and what was not in light of those sometimes competing interests???

But these American values are endangered.

One or more Supreme Court Justices will likely retire at the end of the current session this June. When this happens, President George W. Bush will name ultra-conservative nominees who will vote to quickly overturn decades of Supreme Court protections of our cherished American values.

Or you may look at it as his Constitutional obligation to nominate judges? If he wins in '04, you guys will be crapping in your pants and will be sorely missing any kind of common sense cause?

You and your friends must get involved NOW. The clock is ticking -- and the right wing is aggressively readying for this fight.
We've already seen the signs:

- Secret meetings, including one at the Bush White House with Chief Justice Rehnquist...

- Secret fundraisers, including one hosted by former President George Bush, to raise money for a massive, expensive ad campaign pushing Bush's judicial nominees...

- Republican Senator Orrin Hatch -- the chair of the Senate committee that considers judicial nominations -- has pressured Supreme Court Justices to make their move...

When one or more Justices retire at the end of this June, Bush will -- just a few days later -- name ultra-conservative nominees who will quickly vote to overturn decades of Supreme Court protections of our cherished American values. [emphasis mine.]

I am really serious on the fucktard bit - These people are really asinine. Basically, they are saying that Bush wants to ruin our country. I am thinking that what they are afraid of is that the Supreme Court might decide to use the Constitution as a guide in making decisions. This is radical, but it may just happen if you hammer on your Senators.

Please, hammer on your Senators.

Fundamentalists Can be Spot-On


Sometimes Gary Bauer is over the top with some of his fundamentalism, but every once in a while, he nails the issue with perfect aplomb.

Today, he nailed the road map to peace deal right between the eyes:

Road Map Wreck

The bombing this afternoon at a shopping mall in Israel was the fifth terrorist attack on Israeli civilians in the last 48 hours. The White House and Secretary of State Powell, the European Union and the United Nations keep talking about a "road map to peace," but the reality is that the peace process is already in a ditch. Hamas and Hezbollah, along with Yasser Arafat's Al Aqsa Brigades are in a bloody competition to see who can kill the most Jews.

Today, two-dozen Christian leaders joined me in sending a letter to President Bush urging him to not pressure Israel to make concessions to these murderers. We also requested that these five principles guide U.S. policy. All five are goals the President has previously endorsed. They are:

1. There can be no viable peace unless Israel's neighbors concede its right to exist.
2. The Palestinian leadership must end the propaganda that permeates schools, cultural institutions, and government-owned media, that teaches Nazi-inspired hatred of Jews and incitements to violence.
3. Terrorism against Israel, sponsored by Syria and Iran, and carried out by Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, the Al Aqsa Brigades and other terrorist groups, must stop and the terrorist infrastructure must be dismantled.
4. Israel has a right to defend itself when attacked and should not be pressured by the United States, the United Nations or anyone else to be passive in the face of attacks on its citizens.
5. There is no moral equivalency between the free nation of Israel, that believes in the consent of the governed and in individual human dignity, and the terrorist thugs that celebrate the deaths of innocent Israelis.

Don't Miss The Pattern

The bombings in Israel in the last two days are just part of the overall terrorist offensive that is now underway. It began last week with the bombings in Saudi Arabia, Chechnya, and Pakistan. And it continued over the weekend in Morocco and Israel. In every case, the perpetrators are believed to be radical Islamic extremists associated with a variety of groups from Al Qaeda to Hamas. Yet our media still has trouble connecting the dots and our government can't bring itself to say that the terrorists are virtually always motivated by their understanding of Islam and what Allah requires of them.

Theologians can argue about whether these murderers, who adhere to Wahhabism, are correctly interpreting Islam. Many Muslims insist they are not and that Islam is a "religion of peace." The Muslims who died in Saudi Arabia and Morocco in recent days are victims too. But we are making a terrible mistake to ignore that virtually all of the terrorists are inspired by what they believe to be the requirements of their faith - namely to kill non-believers, particularly Christians and Jews.

Porkers for May


Speaking of taxes and government waste, I was grinning when I saw this item from Citizens Against Government Waste:

(Washington, D.C.) -- Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today named Senator Robert Byrd (D-W. Va.), and Representatives John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) its May 2003 Porkers of the Month for their criticism of President George W. Bush's trip to the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln off the coast of California.

The hypocrites have landed:

- Pork-barrel projects brought home to West Virginia by Sen. Byrd in 2003: $298 million;
- A new office space in the U.S. Capitol for Sen. Byrd: $150,000;
- Rep. Conyers' 2001 Congressional government waste vote rating: 15 percent;
- Rep. Waxman's 2001 Congressional government waste vote rating: 16 percent;
- GAO investigation into President Bush's trip to the USS Abraham Lincoln: "Does not pass a cost-benefit test;"
- The Commander-in-Chief visiting 5,000 sailors who have been out to sea for 10 months, fighting for their country: priceless.

Senator Byrd sucks and these folks nail him on that.

Of Taxes, Not Golf


The Christian Science Monitor had a good explanation of the tax cut bills that are getting negotiated now. I hate the sunsets because they induce uncertainty in the markets, but it is true that tax cut sunsets are unlikely to set - A congress that allowed them to would be a tax increase congress, and the vast majority of Americans (at least the ones who are between the coasts) who lose more than they gain on their federal tax bill understand this.

You can tell that the writer had a leftist slant, but everytime I sense that whiny, negative liberalism, my response is, "So, what's wrong with that?"

The most controversial feature of both the House and Senate proposals is the use of "sunsets" - provisions to eliminate a feature after a certain date. On the dividend tax, the Senate voted to cut the dividend tax in half in 2003, eliminate it altogether in 2004, 2005, and 2006, then allow the full tax to return in 2007.

The House would allow its provision for dividend and capital gains taxes - cutting each to 15 percent - to expire in 2013.

But the Senate's use of sunsets has come in for the most criticism, in part because that chamber was seen as the body likely to pass the most fiscally restrained plan.

Proponents of sunsets argue that they allow future Congresses to revisit policies and assess their effectiveness. Critics reply that sunsets are a gimmick allowing Washington to institute tax cuts far more expansive than they seem on paper. They caution that no future Congress or president would dare advocate, for political reasons, that the sun actually be allowed to set on any tax cuts. [ed. - And what could possibly be wrong with that?]

So while the Senate's 10-year tax cut has a nominal bottom line of $350 billion, if all sunsets were eliminated, the actual cost would be $660 billion, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington. By the same measure, the true cost of the House package - officially $550 billion over 10 years - would be $1.1 trillion.

Tax analysts also point out that, under the Senate plan, dividends are tax-free to the individual regardless of whether the corporation has paid any tax or not. Under the White House plan, which aimed to eliminate "double taxation," dividends are tax free as long as the business has paid taxes on that profit.

House and Senate tax plans

Individual tax rates

Both plans lower all income-tax rates and put more people in the lowest tax bracket. They also raise the child credit to $1,000 through 2005 (House) or 2012 (Senate).

Investment income

In the House plan, the maximum tax on dividends and capital gains drops to 15 percent (from 38.6 percent today) through 2012. In the Senate plan, dividend taxes are halved in 2003, eliminated in 2004-2006, and reinstated in 2007.

Business tax cuts

Both bills allow small businesses to write off more expenses immediately - raising the limit from $25,000 on factories and equipment to $100,000, through 2007. The House plan temporarily lets larger businesses write off half of their investment expenses.

State and local aid

The Senate bill provides $20 billion in new spending for Medicaid and other state and local programs.

I don't understand why you sunset the portions of the cuts that are meant to introduce fairness. Why on Earth do they sunset the abolition of the marriage penalty? I guarantee you that it was Gephardt or Pelosi or perhaps Daschle on the Senate side that had something to do with that. The anti-American, anti-family party.

Destructing the Concept of Moral Relativism


I found this courtesy of The Federalist

"The moral relativism implicit in postmodernism has soaked into the entire culture. The central assumption of post-modernism is that independent moral judgments are impossible and that conviction is a substitute for fact. If my personal truth is true 'for me' no one can say otherwise. ... I once defended myself against the charge of racism from a college student by citing the definition from the dictionary. She responded that 'dictionaries are meaningless' all that mattered is how she felt. 'One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter'; 'it depends on the meaning of "is" '; 'who are you to judge?'; 'it's all relative'; 'perception is reality'; on and on: These are the barnacles that build up on a society which takes postmodern thought seriously. When Hillary Clinton ran for the Senate in 2000, she told voters the only question was which candidate is more 'concerned' about the issues facing New Yorkers -- not which candidate was more qualified or which candidate had better ideas. ... If you can't grasp why this is a terrible trend, ask yourself this: When you hire a plumber, are you looking for someone who can fix your toilet, or are you looking for the person most concerned about fixing your toilet? ... The answer explains why we don't hire postmodernists as plumbers, and why we shouldn't hire them as politicians -- or professors -- either."

--Jonah Goldberg

I wish more people like Mr. Goldberg were teaching our children.

Is this a Golf Blog?


Coops sent us his big question of the week, no whining, just a question:

The real question for this week in sports is not whether Annika belongs on the PGA tour or whether she'll make the cut or whether she'll embarrass herself or whether some of the men will be rude to her, but the real question is--will Annika be allowed to wear shorts?

The Week Starts with a Good WOW


Whine of the Week is good this week:

Vijay Singh’s idea of speech is a series of grunts and mumbled sentence fragments. In all his years on the PGA Tour, he’s never been known to have an opinion and has never divulged a memorable line, even by accident. He did show an ability to whine, though, such as at last year’s Masters, when, with a chance to win, he drowned a sleeve of balls at 15 and afterwards said his problems stemmed from mud on his golf ball -- a problem that every one else in the tournament dealt with stoically, as golfers are taught to do.

Last week, Vijay finally found a cause important enough for him to deliver a full-blown speech -- Annika Sorenstam’s upcoming appearance in this week’s Colonial tournament in Texas. Sorenstam didn’t belong in a PGA Tour event, he said, and, if he was paired in the same group with her, he’d refuse to play.

Sorenstam came by her invitation legitimately and will play from the championship tees with everyone else, which will put her at a substantial disadvantage. The only logical reason for Singh to complain so bitterly would be because he is still that little boy who is afraid of girls.

Singh later tried to backtrack on his statements and say he meant no harm, which is also what Typhoid Mary said. But it all rang hollow, especially since he really didn't take anything back. It was our fondest wish that Singh would not only have to play with Sorenstam, but that she would beat him silly. Not only would it be poetic justice, but, given what he likely would say afterwards, it would guarantee that he would be back here at WOW next week. Unfortunately, Singh withdrew from the Colonial on Sunday after winning the Byron Nelson Classic. His reason? He promised his wife he would take the week off if he won the Nelson.

I've always wondered about that guy - His wife should tell him to keep his mouth shut.

Then, on top of this, Tiger Woods was third runner-up:

We are shocked to find Tiger here at WOW. (We are also secretly delighted, but we’d never let on.) After failing to three-peat at the Deutsche Bank tournament in Germany and finishing nine strokes behind winner Padraig Harrington, Tiger whined that the reason he didn’t win was because he couldn’t make any putts, which was because the greens, ?are not the smoothest in the world ? that has a lot to do with it.? If he were the only one putting on those greens and every one else had perfect greens to work with, we’d be inclined to sympathize, but everyone had to deal with the same conditions, and they coped better than he, which makes Tiger a WOW dishonorable mention.

It is Time to Replace a Few of these Guys:


Via Drudge...I'm not concerned about Roe V Wade, but we need some judeges on the panel who believe in the constitution...

Well-informed court observers say that there could be two Supreme Court resignations next month, Chief Justice William H. Rehn- quist and Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, bringing the greatest upheaval on the court in 32 years.

Rehnquist's resignation is considered likely, though not certain, while O'Connor's is considered likely by some court insiders and less so by others.

The White House, however, is preparing for the possibility of two or three vacancies, because if Rehnquist is replaced by a sitting justice and O'Connor also goes, two seats but three positions will be open.

Yet another seat could open up if Justice John Paul Stevens, who is 83, retires, but that is considered unlikely.

Let's roll.

Sunday, May 18, 2003

When in Doubt, Blame the Patriot Act


Damn those permalinks, but Volokh has a great post on the hysterics associated with the Patriot Act.

[Orin Kerr, 8:50 AM]
If in doubt, blame the Patriot Act: Once again I've come across a report of a law enforcement practice blamed on the Patriot Act that doesn't seem to have anything at all to do with the Patriot Act. Check out this story from the American Conservative (link from TalkLeft):

Last January, an FBI agent entered a branch of the St. Louis Public Library and requested a list of all the sign-up sheets showing names of people who used library computers on Dec. 28, 2002. Even though the FBI agent did not have a warrant or subpoena, the library quickly surrendered the list of all users.

The FBI acted because someone phoned in a tip that they ?smelled something strange? about a library patron of Middle Eastern descent.

Welcome to America under the Patriot Act. One person claims to ?smell something,? and the feds can round up everyone’s records. From books you check out to credit card purchases, money transfers to medications, your activities are now subject to federal surveillance. Uncle Sam now has a blank check to search and pry?all in the name of security.

What does this occurrence at the St. Louis Public Library have to do with the Patriot Act? Well, nothing, actually. The Patriot Act does not give FBI agents any authority to go into public libraries and ask for records without a court order, and it doesn't require librarians to divulge any records, either. What the Patriot Act does do is give the FBI the authority to get a court order from a federal judge requiring a third party to hand over record in a terrorism investigation-- an authority that at least in theory could be used at a library, although DOJ has suggested that it is "unlikely" that it would ever be used there. Clearly that is not what happened in St. Louis: the FBI had not obtained a court order, as the Patriot Act requires. The apparent connection between this event at the St. Louis library (described in more detail here) and the Patriot Act is only that librarian associations are very worried that the FBI might use this authority at a library, which has made people associate the general idea of the FBI getting records from libraries with the Patriot Act. The fact that the connection doesn't actually exist, well, that doesn't seem to get in the way.


The Patriot Act is fine, it's time to go after the bad guys, not our law enforcement personnel.

Holy Cow, smilingdave8 (8 is a clone thing) is at it Again


This is off the edge of the world:

THE WEIRD, WEIRD WEST

Not too far out of Ruidoso, N.M., there lived a Mescalero (You'd call him an Apache) who shall remain nameless. He's dead now, and his homestead is now on the bottom of a lake, but some of his family still live. He was no Reservation Mescalero, this man. He was pretty well assimilated into Anglo culture and was a successful sheep rancher.

Like many businessmen, this man avoided any form of labor, if it were in his power to do so. If there was work to be done, he'd hire it done (such as the considerable amount of flock tending which goes with a business like his) Every year, in early Spring, he'd get in his flivver and drive down to Alamogordo to hire sheep herders (Nobody in New Mexico uses the word "shepherd" outside of a church.) There would always be some wetbacks up out of Chihuahua or Sonora who were looking for work, and this Mescalero would hire three or four. He'd provide them with a sheep camp (the wooden forerunner of the camper trailer), provisions for the summer, and a good rate of pay. Their job would be to each take a flock up into the high summer pastures and to tend the sheep until autumn, when they'd bring them back down and be paid off. He did this for quite a few years, taking each man and a flock, and using a team to haul each sheep camp up to a different area of the mountains .

His business prospered, until the Lincoln County sheriff came around to ask him some questions. The Mescalero made no evasions, answering all of the questions honestly. It seems that ?every fall, when it was time to bring the flocks down - he'd been going up to each sheep camp and paying off the sheep herder with a .30-30 slug and a quiet burial. (Held down his overhead, you see.) The Sheriff appeared upset, and the Mescalero asked what was wrong with that. "Hell, they were just wetbacks.",he said.

The Mescalero never was charged with anything, but he was compelled to give up his cost cutting measures after that. When he was asked why no charges had been brought, the sheriff is reputed to have said, "Hell, they were just wetbacks, and I've been knowing _______ for twenty years." The man who told me this story had, as a young man, been one of that sheriff's deputies, and he swore it was a true story.

If you'd lived here awhile, you'd realize that this story is not very far-fetched at all.

smilingdave8

Please, Dave, get your f'in blog going.

The Final Word on the NY Crimes Saga


I have been spectating on the Blair episode, have not felt the need to comment on the mess, but I really appreciated Bill Kristol's piece on the topic.

Even if Raines were to go, everything we know about Sulzberger suggests his next pick would be no improvement. Fundamental regime change at the New York Times is not in the cards. Inspections and sanctions won't work. Even the French can't help. The Times is irredeemable. The question is whether a new newspaper of record will replace it.

The country needs such a paper. Its editorial page could be conservative or liberal, as long as it was thoughtful and serious, and not ignorantly disdainful of Red America--or anyone else. Its op-ed page would be intellectually interesting, mature, and diverse. This paper's editor would never be the former editor of the editorial page. And it would be possible for a member of the staff to enjoy career advancement even if he were known to hold some politically incorrect views.

[...]

The first-rate paper we need would have real diversity--of background, of experience, but especially of viewpoint. It wouldn't, for example, suppress columns by its own sportswriters who happened not to be entranced by the top brass's project of transforming an all-men's golf club.

More important, this new paper would serve its readers by producing serious "news analysis" on the leading stories of the moment, not unintentionally comical meditations by disengaged semi-retired reporters.

[...]

Finally, this new paper would have a culture of accountability without favoritism, and responsibility without defensiveness--the opposite of the current Times regime.

In sum, we need, and deserve, a great daily newspaper. That paper would be careful and truthful, lively and unpompous, confident and not smug--and, of course, fair, balanced, and unafraid. Who will found it?

I think it's out there already, perhaps.

The Dims Need More Than Wind Power


Via Pejmanesque, I caught this article about what the Dims need to do to get a President in '04. Here's the ending:

Whichever Democratic candidate wins their stamp of approval must then turn to voters in the 2004 general election and tell them this: In the midst of World War IV--a struggle that President Bush and his team are doing a remarkable job of winning, steadily deposing nasty dictators and capturing high-level al Qaeda operatives with admirable success--"You should make a change."

That candidate is going to need more political ammunition than "wind power" and "digital interstate highways."

"It's the economy, stupid," may not work so well...But Graham saying he would be better on bin Laden is absurd.

ScrappleFace Hits the Mark


Mr. Ott did it again:

Bush Should Get Bin Laden Like Clinton Did
(2003-05-18) -- Democract candidates for president attacked U.S. President George Bush this week on his failure to capture Usama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. They said if a Democrat had been in office, both terrorists would have already been tried, convicted and executed.

"We need another President like Bill Clinton, who wouldn't sleep until these wicked men were brought to justice and the American people were safe," said one unnamed Democrat presidential candidate. All of the contenders say they would bring back the Clinton-era "no mercy for terrorists" policy which prevented the deaths of thousands.

"We all remember the trial and conviction of bin Laden during the Clinton administration," said the candidate. "We remember the relief we felt when he was executed and his terror team dismantled. Well, now he's out there somewhere again, and Bush isn't doing anything about it. It's time for a change."

Other candidates cited with pride how Mr. Clinton's policies "brought down that bloody tyrant Saddam Hussein and installed a representative government in Iraq."

Why get all worked up when ScrappleFace will take care of it with satire. Go check it out...

Dullest Blog Update


How right is this one?

Walking along at a steady pace -- May 17

I needed to get somewhere and decided to walk there. I wasn't particularly early or particularly late, so I walked along at a steady pace.

Almost gives me the creeps it's so good...

One Reason I Would be a Bad Libertarian


I think this is a good idea:

President Bush has ordered federal agencies to make greater use of private sector high-resolution imaging satellites that take detailed pictures of objects on the ground from hundreds of miles above earth. The move will greatly commercialize the government’s use of spy satellites, according to administration and industry sources.


The White House on Tuesday announced a new national policy instructing agencies to utilize ?to the maximum practical extent? commercial satellites. The images those satellites produce, which are fine enough to depict an object just over 1 meter wide, are used primarily by intelligence agencies and the Defense Department. Since the images are unclassified, they can be shared without security clearance among U.S. allies for intelligence analysis and battlefield planning, as they were in recent military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Intelligence agencies already rely heavily on the only two U.S. firms that produce high-resolution images: Space Imaging of Denver, Colo., and DigitalGlobe of Longmont, Colo. The presidential directive instructs the agencies to use the firms even more so that they can focus more sophisticated government-owned and operated satellites on higher-priority tasks.

The government can continue to get personal information on people from public resources in a more aggressive fashion without a subpoena, but as long as they are doing so for useful purposes (like stopping terrorists), I'm all for it.