Plan B's Plan Uncertain

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

So much fuss in Washington over a tiny little pill:

WASHINGTON - A high-ranking Food and Drug Administration official resigned Wednesday in protest of the agency's refusal to allow over-the-counter sales of emergency contraception.

The FDA on Friday postponed indefinitely its decision on whether to allow the morning-after pill, called Plan B, to sell without a prescription. The agency said it was safe for adults to use without a doctor's guidance but that young teenagers still needed a prescription and it couldn't determine how to enforce an age limit — a decision contrary to the advice of its own scientific advisers.
I, unlike most of my colleagues on the right, am an enthusiastic supporter of the Plan B contraceptive, because it allows women who are at risk of becoming pregnant a way to halt the process before another unborn child ultimately ends up in the medical waste bin.

As for restricting it to minors without a prescription, the drug should be regulated the way cigarettes are. Obviously minors will still find ways to get access to it just like they do for every drug regardless of its availability, but it's a risk they and their abettors take.

Canada Cracks Down on Pit Bulls

Monday, August 29, 2005

Ontario has become the first province in Canada to put its foot down on the breeding and maintaining of pit bulls. Before the end of the 60-day grace period any pit bull currently in Ontario must be spayed or neutered and muzzled when in public. After two months the province will bar any pit bulls from being bred or imported.

A similar law is already in effect in many Canadian cities and here in the United States in places like Denver, Miami and Cincinnati. Pit bull lovers as you can imagine aren't happy with the increase of widespread restrictions.

But when neighborhood animals, let alone humans, are being terrorized by vicious pit bulls inadequately raised by their owners, the city has an obligation to protect its citizens.

I'm quite aware of the number of "good" pit bulls that don't deserve scrutiny, so perhaps there is a better way of handling the problem. No person should ever have to worry about getting mauled and the problem won't remedy itself.

Lap Dances: Between "Freedom Of Speech" And "Or Of The Press"

Sunday, August 28, 2005

I guess we now know where this judge likes to spend his free time when he's not inventing new constitutional rights:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A new state law banning seminude lap dances at Missouri strip clubs was declared unconstitutional by a judge Friday, two days before it was to go into effect.

Cole County Circuit Judge Richard Callahan said provisions of the law violate First Amendment protections and state constitutional limits on amending a bill beyond its original purpose.

"The state may not limit persons of majority age from engaging in lawful expressive conduct protected by the 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution without a substantial and direct connection to adverse secondary effects, a showing that has not been made," Callahan said in the declaratory judgment.

Under the law, signed in July by Gov. Matt Blunt, seminude lap dances would have been banned and dancers would have had to stay at least 10 feet from each other. Customers would have faced misdemeanor charges for tucking money into a dancers' G-strings, and the minimum age for dancers and customers would have risen from 19 to 21.
As someone who supports whatever one wants to do with his or her body, I must concede that exchanging money for stripping naked and grinding on a customer's crotch is hardly a fundamental right granted by our forefathers. Apparently the judge sees it differently, so boys and girls, let's review the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Yep, pretty sure the act of stripping naked and grinding on a customer's crotch in a strip club is a loose interpretation of "freedom of speech," just as stripping naked and grinding on a customer's crotch in a restaurant would be.

Tobacco Fascists Strike

Friday, August 26, 2005

Of all the things wrong with our entertainment industry country music is the last thing that should be under the microscope. From the Billings Gazette:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The state attorney general wants the country singer who made the song "Redneck Woman" a hit to stop "glamorizing" the use of smokeless tobacco at her concerts.

State officials said Gretchen Wilson can be seen on concert jumbo screens pulling a can of Skoal from her pocket while performing her new song, "Skoal Ring."

That may violate the 1998 settlement between states and tobacco companies forbidding tobacco ads targeting young people, Attorney General Paul Summers said.

"Many young people attend your concerts and purchase your music and T-shirts," Summers wrote in a letter he sent to Wilson Thursday. "Because your actions strongly influence the youth in your audience ... I ask you to take steps to warn young people of negative health effects of smokeless tobacco use."
If this isn't hypocrisy at its finest then I don't know what is. Meanwhile, rap artists glamorize sex and drugs to such extremes that rappers light joints on stage while half naked women parade around while being virtually groped by the entertainers.

Ah, but the real problem is tobacco! Never mind youth pregnancy is as high as 13% at some high schools and pot is abundant almost everywhere, me mustn't encourage those innocent children to discover chew!

Book Review: 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America (And Al Franken Is #37)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Over at the main site you can read my extensive analysis of Bernard Goldberg's latest book 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America (And Al Franken is #37). I actually took the time (a little less with each analysis) to write out all 100 people who Bernard Goldberg thinks are screwing up America.

I did this not just because I'm a masochist but because 100 People is one of the most pointless books I have ever read and I want to save whoever reads my review some money. To be sure, I have little in common with the mostly liberals who are described in Goldberg's tome, but I certainly don't think just because someone supports affirmative action that he is necessarily screwing up America.

I believe the book was written just to make east money (why else would the title point out Al Franken as #37?) and I'm ashamed so many of my conservative colleagues are eating it up, literally. Captain Ed of Captain's Quarters went so far as to say "In essence, the book serves its main course in that first 54 pages, and offers the reader 100 servings of dessert afterwards."

Dessert? Are you kidding me? Maybe if Goldberg had a funny bone in his body, but he doesn't. He learned the hard way on The Daily Show when he could hardly muster a laugh with his sarcasm as Jon Stewart noted comedy isn't an easy thing to do.

And now Goldberg is being hailed as a "courageous truth teller" because he took on gangsta rap and other unconventional issues for while men to tackle. Frankly, there's nothing courageous about reprinting rap lyrics in a book saying some (like old white men) would find it offensive.

America is a great country. Rap music isn't screwing it up. Grand Theft Auto isn't screwing it up. Feminists (as annoying as they can be) aren't screwing it up. Ann Coulter isn't screwing up America…oops, she of course isn't listed.

We're all entitled to our opinions, and when someone disagrees with you there's no reason to accuse them of being something they're not. Speaking specifically to Bernard Goldberg, there's no reason to write a book on such people. As a result you're making a lot of people angry, but at least your bank account is satisfied.

Ironically, Goldberg stated in many interviews that he wrote the book because our culture has gotten "mean" and reasonable discourse is no longer an option. Meanwhile, page after page of his dry book is nothing more than attacks on people in ways that can be best described as "mean."

What will the casual reader take with them after reading this book? Courtney Love is a "ho" and Paris Hilton is a "vapid, empty-headed, inane, hollow, vain, tasteless, self-centered, useless twerp."

Even the guy who created the harmless show Fear Factor is somehow screwing up America despite the fact his show is one of the most popular among American audiences.

Take it from someone who is no friend of the liberal establishment, 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America (And Al Franken is #37), valued at almost $30, is one of the worst purchasing decisions you can make this summer.

Cindy's War in Texas Continues

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Cindy Sheehan is no longer just a grieving mother. She's a political opportunist who's taken advantage of celebrity status among the far Left and is armed with a blog on Michael Moore's website.

Camped outside President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, Mrs. Sheehan has become an active political pundit who's willingly battling it out with her conservative critics fighting fire with fire. In her latest post at Michael Moore's website, Sheehan told readers, "The right wingers are really having a field day with me. It hurts me really badly, but I am willing to put up with the crap, if it ends the war a minute sooner than it would have."

It's true conservatives are all over Sheehan's developing divorce story and they shouldn't be. Such matters should be left private but the events are true nonetheless and on the open record. Sheehan says the divorce was in the works long before the protest began. I say it's none of our concern.

But many have legitimate beef with the high-profile protester, saying she's being unfair to the president, who already met with her once and has no intention of meeting with her for a second time.

I wouldn't either, considering Mrs. Sheehan is persistent on brining the troops home when President Bush has made it clear that such a strategy isn't on the table.

We already know what Sheehan would say to the president because she has made her statements public, and that they're conversation would hardly be a tea party. She wants to lecture, and wants to demand an immediate withdrawal out of Iraq - and now even Afghanistan because we have yet to catch Osama bin Laden.

Sheehan's son died over a year ago and it only took President Bush two months to address her concerns. While details of what happened at the gathering are sketchy and hard to confirm, a meeting did take place.

Now Sheehan has suddenly opened up camp at Bush's ranch, and a large following has accompanied her and support her agenda. While she has every right to protest the occupation of Iraq, the pro-war crowd has the right to scrutinize Sheehan, and are glad to refute her radical comments. Just what do the Jews in Palestine have to do with her son or the war in Iraq?

The mainstream media has been a darling to Sheehan, despite her claim that it is nothing but "a propaganda tool for the government." Without the Internet, we "would already be a fascist state." And according to Sheehan, America "is not worth dying for" and "has been killing people . . . since we first stepped foot on this continent." Of course it's no surprise Sheehan is convinced Bush is a liar and that "the Downing Street Memo proves that" Bush "lied to the American people."

And the publicity keeps growing. In her most recent column, Ann Coulter wonders how a grieving mother could earn such publicity. "Call me old-fashioned, but a grief-stricken war mother shouldn't have her own full-time PR flack. After your third profile on 'Entertainment Tonight,' you're no longer a grieving mom; you're a C-list celebrity trolling for a book deal or a reality show."

Coulter continues with this insight: "If one dead son means no one can win an argument with you, how about two dead sons? What if the person arguing with you is a mother who also lost a son in Iraq and she's pro-war? Do we decide the winner with a coin toss? Or do we see if there's a woman out there who lost two children in Iraq and see what she thinks about the war?"

It doesn't matter what any one person has to say, whether they've lost kids in the war or not. This war involves all of us, and a successful outcome in the war on terrorism is crucial to our survival. Whether Iraq should be a part of it will be known soon enough.

NARAL Stands Behind Malicious Anti-Roberts Ad

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The slanderous pro-choice lobby is standing behind their recently pulled television spot that links Supreme Court nominee John Roberts to an abortion clinic bomber, according to its official blog.

The commercial NARAL still supports features a female narrator delivering this warning over dramatic piano chords: "Seven years ago, a bomb destroyed a women's 'health clinic' in Birmingham, Alabama. Supreme Court nominee John Roberts filed court briefs supporting violent fringe groups and a convicted clinic bomber."

Wow, Roberts actually filed briefs on behalf of a clinic bomber? Well, no. Not even close. Turns out the brief was written seven years before the clinic was bombed. In it, Roberts stated (and correctly so) that abortion protestors were not violating a specific Civil Rights law when they protested. Seven years later one of those protestors Roberts indirectly spoke for happened to bombed a clinic.

The audacious announcement then ends with this closer: "America can't afford a justice whose ideology leads him to excuse violence against other Americans."

Meanwhile others are saying "America can't afford a justice whose ideology leads him to excuse violence against unborn children."

But regardless of your stance on abortion the NARAL campaign is a total sham devoid of any credibility. As The Daily Show's John Stewart shrewdly points out in this clip, saying John Roberts supports abortion clinic bombers is like saying those who bought Michael Jackson's 1982 Thriller album support child molestation.

It's Called Stalking

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The sad story of a mother in despair:

The mother of a US soldier killed in Iraq warned she would camp outside the White House next month if US President George W. Bush refuses to meet with her here at his ranch.

"I don't understand why he cannot spend ten minutes of his time to talk to somebody whose life he has devastated," said Cindy Sheehan, 48, who has been camped out about a kilometer from the gates of Bush's ranch since Saturday.

"I want Bush to stop using my son's sacrifice to justify the killing," she told reporters, insisting that "he needs to bring the troops home now."
President Bush already spoke with Mrs. Sheehan, in private, which is pretty remarkable considering he was never obligated to, and it must take tough skin to confront a person accusing you of murdering their child.

Bush has already stated an immediate withdrawal is not an option so any further meetings between the two will likely be unproductive.

Tip or Expect the Burger King Treatment

An editorial in today's New York Times actually calls for the abolishment of the tipping system. In other words, this person believes we should adopt a European style of business where a service charge is automatically calculated into the bill.

This is a preposterous idea because it will completely wipe out any incentive for restaurant servers to give good service. If a waiter already knows he's getting three bucks for taking care of a specific party, what encourages him to makes sure the food is satisfactory and the drinks are filled at all times?

What will happen is waiters and waitresses will become the drones you see standing behind the counters at Burger King taking your order and possibly filling it correctly on the first try. No motivation exists to make the customer happy.

Tipping is the way consumers show their appreciation for the server sweating to the sound of rattling plates and boisterous chefs while making $2.00 an hour. And on the other hand, a voluntary gratuity procedure allows patrons to tip less than adequately for poor service which is not uncommon in the restaurant scene.

And a word of advice to the cheapskates: simply doubling the tax can turn out to be a tip as low as a 14%, while just leaving a dollar for every person in the party often means much less. Think about that the next time you get ready to stiff an excellent server who provided you with an exemplary dining experience.

Three Times a Charm

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

For the third straight week in a row Ann Coulter has dedicated her column to the nomination of John Roberts, and continues to explain why she is extremely skeptical of this relatively unknown jurist. Some in the conservative circles are beginning to tire of her constant pessimism, but it's unavoidably true conservative presidents have a horrible track record when it comes to nominating supposedly conservative judges. Highlights from "Read My Lips: No New Liberals":

Compared to what we know about John Roberts, Souter was a dream nominee.

He filed a brief arguing that the state should not have to pay for poor women to have abortions - or, as the brief called it, 'the killing of unborn children' and the 'destruction of fetuses.' At this point the only people more opposed to abortion than Souter were still in vitro.

The fact that Souter decided - like Warren, Brennan, Blackmun, Stevens, O'Connor and Kennedy - that he would prefer to be a Philosopher King rather than a judge once he got on the court doesn't mean you never can tell with any of these guys. It means you have to find judges who wake up every morning: (1) thinking about the right answers to legal questions; and (2) chortling about how much his latest opinion will tick off the left.

We had a pretty good idea what kind of justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas were going to be. Scalia had spoken at the very first symposium of the Federalist Society as a young law professor — before it became a felony to do so — and served as faculty adviser to the group. (By contrast, Roberts is running from the Federalist Society like a 9-year-old boy running from Neverland Ranch.)

Before becoming a judge, Thomas had spent 10 years on the editorial advisory board of the Lincoln Review, a black conservative publication that ran articles comparing abortion to murder. He had given a speech praising an article by Lewis Lehrman calling abortion a 'holocaust' that should be outlawed without exception. (There were even rumors, never proven, that during his law studies Thomas had actually read the Constitution.)
But the majority of conservatives are still behind John Roberts, probably because they're hopeful Bush knows something no one else does about how Roberts will handle the issue of abortion when put on the nation's highest court. Coulter lacks such confidence.

Most conservatives, like the folks at Power Line, believes there is a perfect strategy in the nomination of Roberts. "Might Coulter be providing Roberts some cover on his right flank? In her column today, Coulter seems to me to give the game away."

Or better yet, might Coulter still be bitter over the seven Republicans who kept the filibuster alive with that deal? Because with that precious filibuster still in the Democrats' quiver the minority party can prevent proven anti-Roe nominations from getting through the Senate confirmation process.

It's a War, Stupid...I Mean Struggle

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Bloodier than usual today. Seven U.S. Marines were killed in two separate attacks west of Baghdad as American forces try to seal a border infiltration route for foreign fighters. The deaths pushed the U.S. military death toll in Iraq past 1,800.

Then from the time Times:

The Bush administration is retooling its slogan for the fight against Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, pushing the idea that the long-term struggle is as much an ideological battle as a military mission, senior administration and military officials said Monday.

In recent speeches and news conferences, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and the nation's senior military officer have spoken of "a global struggle against violent extremism" rather than "the global war on terror," which had been the catchphrase of choice.
So now it's no longer a war but a struggle? What does that mean? It's time for the Bush administration to stop spinning the debacle that has become of the occupation of Iraq. Either start withdrawing troops or figure out a way to decrease the number of body bags we're sending over there.

Court Grants Gays Equality at California Clubs

Monday, August 01, 2005

The California Supreme Court ruled today that country clubs must offer gay members who register as domestic partners the same discounts given to married ones -- a decision many believe could extend to other businesses such as insurance companies and mortgage lenders. From the Associated Press:

The decision by the California Supreme Court dealt with a policy at the Bernardo Heights Country Club in San Diego that allowed only the children, grandchildren and spouses of married members to golf for free.

Birgit Koebke, 48, an avid golfer who pays about $500 a month in membership fees, challenged the policy after being told that her longtime lesbian partner could only play as a guest six times a year while paying up to $70 per round.
The court ruled that the policy constitutes "impermissible marital status discrimination."

While businesses might once have claimed a legitimate business interest for maintaining different policies for married couples and gay members who cannot legally wed, such distinctions are no longer justified under a sweeping domestic partner law that took effect in California on Jan. 1, the court said.
At first glance the ruling doesn't make sense because gay marriage is not legal in California, therefore homosexuals should not be entitled to the same privileges that straight couples are at private country clubs. However, California has a "domestic partner" law that treats gay couples like married ones. With that law in effect I can't argue with the ruling, even though I am cautious whenever a court strips power away from private companies to regulate their own businesses.

It was good when country clubs/restaurants were desegregated, and required to comply with sensible safety laws, but now you can't smoke in them, certain employees can only work certain hours, liquor can only be sold at certain times, it's nearly impossible to discriminate against applicants (even when there's good reason to), and customers can sue when the coffee is too hot.

Bolton Bumped

President Bush waited exactly five seconds after Congress went into recess before elevating embattled nominee John Bolton to the United Nations, to the disgruntlement of many Democrats.

Was this a wise move? Frankly I don't believe it's all that important but is Bush's right to exercise. It's an appointment to the U.N., not the Supreme Court.

Regardless, many are angry at Bush for bypassing the Senate so I would like to remind those that President Clinton was no stranger to the recess appointment as he made 140 of them during his two terms according to an article from today's Associated Press.