We know the stuff in them will inevitably kill us, but who doesn't occasionally indulge in a handful of hot and crispy French fries or a box of icy-glazed donuts? New York doesn't care if you do, just as long as those delectable treats don't contain any artery-clogging trans fats by July 1 of the new year. Is this law against trans fats necessary?
As a follower of the trans fat threat long before it became a widely known fact that said hydrogenated oils are potentially worse than saturated fats, I knew it would be a matter of time before they would be legally unwelcome in public restaurants.
But even as the first city to ban trans fats in public establishments, NYC is hardly the driving force behind the movement to eliminate trans in the food we consume. When the public became aware of trans fats a few years back, companies began finding new ways to prepare their products without compromising taste - and with much success.
Can you tell the difference between an Oreo today and one you enjoyed five years ago? How about a Doritos chip? Did you even know a difference existed? With companies making the transition on their own why are city legislators trying to get involved when they clearly don't have to?
Universal followed Disney having just announced that hey will begin phasing out trans fats from there theme park menus in 2007. Before you know it you won't be able to find a product with trans fats anywhere.
The point is that government intervention is not always necessary. When it does step in the consequences can be worse than the problem it tries to resolve. In an effort to protect the public from the dangers of secondhand smoke, countless restaurants and businesses found themselves closing down after devastating smoking-bans sent smokers home early with fuller wallets.
In Florida the law is extremely tough on restaurant owners and one friend of mine in particular really felt the crunch. Apparently Florida legislators and those in other states believe they should be able to decide how private restaurants should be run, even though no one is ever forced to go into one and inhale secondhand smoke. You know what you're getting into when you venture into an establishment frequented by smokers.
Similarly, you know what you're doing every time you chomp into a greasy hamburger. And by all means if that's what you want to do then you should be allowed to do it. Fortunately companies are smoothly switching from trans fats to healthier oils with not much of a cost adjustment, and patrons are hardly noticing.
Most are doing it voluntarily, and so far the NYC trans fat ban hasn't resulted in any businesses closing down. But we should not be comfortable with the government prying itself into the restaurant industry. Now it's a trans-fat ban, but what will it be tomorrow? Portion restrictions, carb limits? I wouldn't be surprised by any of it.
We know the stuff in them will inevitably kill us, but who doesn't occasionally indulge in a handful of hot and crispy French fries or a box of icy-glazed donuts? New York doesn't care if you do, just as long as those delectable treats don't contain any artery-clogging trans fats by July 1 of the new year. Is this law against trans fats necessary?
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 10:31 PM
In a somewhat surprising 9-0 decision, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals erred when it ordered a new trial for a murder defendant whose victim's relatives wore buttons with the victim's picture on them at his trial.
The Ninth Circuit believed Mathew Musladin was denied his right to a fair trial because the buttons were prejudicial, and because they were in plain view of the jury, the said buttons may have influenced the jury's verdict.
Without deciding if the buttons could have indeed had that effect, the Supreme Court reversed the lower court's decision because the Ninth Circuit didn't apply a legal principle the Supreme Court had adopted.
In a way the High Court dodged the issue because it didn't set a clear principle or standard for wearing buttons at a defendant's trial. The likely reason is because the opinion's author - polarizing Justice Clarence Thomas - might not have had enough votes on his side had he tried to convince them that it's reasonable in most or all circumstances to wear buttons at a defendant's trial.
Instead, Justice Thomas utilized the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, which states that a writ of habeas corpus "shall not be granted" by a federal court unless a state court issued a decision "that was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States."
Taking that avenue the justices determined that the Ninth Circuit was wrong in granting habeas corpus because the state court that tried and convicted Musladin didn't run contrary to federal law.
Musladin was convicted in 1994 of killing his estranged wife's boyfriend, Tom Studer. At his trial, Musladin's lawyer objected to the buttons that were worn by the victim's family. The judge however, said the buttons presented "no possible prejudice to the defendant."
A California appeals court agreed and upheld the conviction because they saw the buttons as nothing more than a sign of "normal grief" by the family. The first federal court to look at the case also upheld the conviction, until it finally got thrown out when it got to the predictably liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals based in San Francisco.
I am positive Justice Thomas would have written a broader decision if he could have that would have permitted buttons at trials because victims' relatives have a right to grieve in public. The decision to wear those buttons should be allowed if they aren't prejudicing the jury or influencing the outcome of the trial.
But waiting in the wings were Justices John Paul Stevens, Anthony M. Kennedy and David H. Souter who wrote separately and did not sign Justice Thomas's opinion because they wanted to explore the possibility that such buttons could be a problem in the courtroom.
With Justice Kennedy being viewed as the critical swing vote on a lot of cases that stand 4-4 before his vote, the more conservative justices such as Thomas have to be careful in their writings if they don't want to lose him. And in the attempt to appease Justice Kennedy the justices sometimes have to write narrowly enough to also satisfy the remaining members of the court.
Should the Supreme Court eventually get to decide if wearing buttons in court is permissible? I see no problem with them. A jury is going to see the grieving family anyway, and if that doesn't influence their verdict I don't see how the addition of an attached button is going to either.
You can read the decision here.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 4:07 PM
And just like that the boneheaded decision to take down the “Holiday” trees at Sea-Tac airport was reversed:
SEATAC, Wash. (AP) -- Christmas trees are going back up at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.This is of course good news. Airports are hardly a cheery place to be at - especially on Christmas Eve/Day -- and the inclusion of a few harmless plastic trees symbolizing the most popular holiday on Earth is a sensible way to brighten the mood.
Pat Davis, president of the Port of Seattle commission, which directs airport operations, said late Monday that maintenance staff would restore the 14 plastic holiday trees, festooned with red ribbons and bows, that were removed over the weekend because of a rabbi's complaint that holiday decor did not include a menorah.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 11:09 PM
Michelle Malkin reminds us that 25 years ago today Mumia Abu-Jamal, an Islam convert, shot and killed a Philadelphia police officer in cold blood and was subsequently convicted and sentenced to death. The death sentence was later thrown out on appeal but Abu-Jamal remains in prison serving a life term.
For reasons that still boggle my mind Abu-Jamal is a celebrated hero with a street named after him in the French city of St. Denis. I guess being a member of the Black Panther Party automatically makes you a political prisoner, but in my mind he's just another dirt bag off our streets.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 9:10 PM
Unfortunately this Christmas I will be one of countless Americans having to spend part of it in the sky, but the good news is I won't be going through Sea-Tac Airport which has caved in to the demands of a few citizens who didn't like the presence of "Holiday" trees in the airport because they didn't "represent all cultures and religions."
Having to fly on Christmas alone will be depressing enough for some people, and now they will be robbed of the last sense of the holidays because Sea-Tac has taken down its trees down indefinitely. So anybody who wants to say there is no War on Christmas is obviously not paying any attention to stories like this.
I will personally do my part and raise a complaint or two if the airports I'm at on Christmas are as bare as Sea-Tac.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 8:47 PM
ABCNEWS landed this exclusive interview with the Chief Justice of the United States. In it he talks about his new role as the highest judge in the land as well as how he conducts business at the Court. It's a good interview for those looking for a little more insight into a man we still hardly know.
My favorite part: He didn't join the hippy protesters during his student years at Harvard. That says a little about what we should expect from a judge whom many still see as moderate.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 5:26 PM
Disclaimer: The following is a paid review for a promising new site called ReviewMe.
While perusing the internet for political stories to discuss I came across a friend's site who talked about ReviewMe, a new site that allows advertisers to pay well-established bloggers to honestly review their sites for maximum exposure.
Becoming a member is extremely easy and takes virtually seconds to establish an account. Bloggers who wish to solicit reviews for money must submit their blog for evaluation. Once the details are entered such as title, description (plus keywords), RSS feed and URL, your site is immediately evaluated and accepted or declined based on your overall popularity on the web. ReviewMe looks at your Alexa and Technorati ranking, as well as the number of RSS subscribers you enjoy. Reviewers may have up to six blogs to review on. The more popular your blog the more money you can earn.
While reviewers may be inclined to write favorably because they're getting paid, ReviewMe's policy explicitly states that reviews must be honest and not unfairly influenced. This is a good requirement and advertisers should be aware that they can't pay for a positive review unless it's earned.
The only problem I foresee is the ratio of paying advertisers to paid bloggers. For this new concept to work there must be a generous number of advertisers willing to pay bloggers (mostly amateurs) to review them.
To advertise you simply go to the website and chose which blogger you would like to review you. Each site's popularity is listed for you to consider.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 5:17 PM
There's no doubt I appreciate his timeless musical contributions to the world, but I must say there are fewer political opinions I value less than those of singer/songwriter Elton John. As a homosexual who feels religion spurs hatred toward gays, Sir Elton has taken the hypocritical path to the issue and proclaims we must not tolerate religion, because - like him - it lacks tolerance.
LONDON (AFP) - Religion should be outlawed because it lacks compassion and promotes hatred of homosexuals, gay pop star Elton John said in an interview.Every rational person understands that religion in no way advocates "hatred" towards gays. But then again, it might not be as clear as it should be until we define "hatred" and how it applies to this debate.
"I think religion has always tried to turn hatred towards gay people. From my point of view, I would ban religion completely," he was quoted as saying.
To many people, any opposition to sex-same marriage constitutes hatred. To this class of radicals, anyone who believes the institution should be limited to one man and one woman is a bigot. As a result we will never make any progress because we refuse to see where these people are coming from. We refuse to be, well, "tolerant" of conservatives who value marriage to a certain degree that does not allow for exception to the rule.
It's a two-way street, this tolerance concept is, and rather than contribute meaningfully we are witnessing the hypocrisy of a gay man who craves tolerance so much that he has turned his back just like the supposed enemy of tolerance: religion.
But religion is not the culprit. Ignorance is. A person who would be violent toward a gay man just because of his sexuality is suffering from something other than being religious. Homophobes who are uncomfortable around gays aren’t so because Jesus told them to fear queers, but because they don’t know how to act any other way.
Saying we should ban religion is taking the low road, disgraceful, and borderline fascism. The rules may be a little different in Europe, but here in America the right to be religious is essential to calling our nation a free one. I have no more respect for the person who is hostile toward religion or spirituality than the person who abhors alternative lifestyles.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 12:21 AM
I hope we don't see more of this as a result of the Democrats winning Congress:
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Student leaders at a California college have touched off a furor by banning the Pledge of Allegiance at their meetings, saying they see no reason to publicly swear loyalty to God and the U.S. government.If only these idiots would realize that swearing loyalty to God is exactly how we go about not swearing an uncomfortable level of loyalty to the U.S. government. But they malign the Pledge as if it were a conservative conspiracy to force Christianity upon hoi polloi.
The move by Orange Coast College student trustees, the latest clash over patriotism and religion in American schools, has infuriated some of their classmates -- prompting one young woman to loudly recite the pledge in front of the board on Wednesday night in defiance of the rule.
Adherence to an organized religion is not at all what the Pledge is about. We say "one nation under God" to recognize our independence from a mortal leader with absolute authority over us. So if you have a problem with our government or President Bush in particular, reciting the Pledge is a great way to express it!
Kudos to Christine Zoldos, the 18-year-old political science major who didn't cower to the liberal ignorance in California and ignored the ban. It's good to know there are patriots in all parts of the country.
I'm getting tired of the endless assaults on the Pledge of Allegiance, and I hope the new Democrat-controlled Congress will take a stand against the ideological extremists on their side of the political aisle by publicly supporting the Pledge, especially in our schools where morality is most needed.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 4:35 PM
Embattled Republican Senator George Allen of Virginia may have caught a break with the revelation of a few "interesting" passages posted on the Drudge Report this week from the fiction novels of his Democratic opponent, Jim Webb.
With control of Congress at a boiling point and an election less than 10 days away, Democrats are optimistic about taking over the House and/or Senate with two years of the Bush administration left remaining.
One race that's absolutely critical is in Virginia, where current Senator George Allen is fighting off bogus charges of racism and cultural insensitivity. Lucky for him however when his campaign discovered this little gem among others written in various fiction novels by Jim Webb:
"A shirtless man walked toward them along a mud pathway. His muscles were young and hard, but his face was devastated with wrinkles. His eyes were so red that they appeared to be burned by fire. A naked boy ran happily toward him from a little plot of dirt. The man grabbed his young son in his arms, turned him upside down, and put the boy's penis in his mouth." (Lost Soldiers; Webb, Jim pg 333).Webb was quick to respond, saying "I actually saw this happen in a slum in Bangkok when I was there as a journalist." It does appear that this rather unusual behavior graphically depicted in "Lost Soldiers" is practiced in certain cultures. So who are we to judge?
But then there's the book "Something to Die for" and this line:
"Fogarty...watch[ed] a naked young stripper do the splits over a banana. She stood back up, her face smiling proudly and her round breasts glistening from a spotlight in the dim bar, and left the banana on the bar, cut in four equal sections by the muscles of her vagina."Did he witness that as a reporter too?
Surely this is all small beer and has nothing to do with Webb's qualifications or suitability to serve in the Senate. After all, Ted Kennedy has made a fine career for himself in Washington...and he killed a woman.
You can read more of Webb's good stuff as well as his defense over at Drudge Report. It isn't anything to get all worked up over, but as a George Allen supporter I certainly don't mind watching Webb's downfall.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 2:12 PM
After previewing the latest scuffle between Fox's Bill O'Reilly and the hot-headed talk-show host David Letterman, one must wonder why O'Reilly was ever invited in the first place.
According to the NY Post, it gets ugly, fast:
Am I right about one thing: You guys over there at Fox and guys like Rush Limbaugh, you guys know it's all just a goof, right? You're just horsing around. You're doing it 'cause you know it'll be entertaining?" Letterman adds he's never seen O'Reilly's show because, "I dial up Fox and it's always 'The Simpsons.' "So Letterman has never watched O'Reilly's show. He has never read his latest book, or any of them. But he has a rather unfavorable opinion of him. Classy. And he's not alone. The best-seller at Fox has spent the better part of last year using his massive influence to get weak-on-crime states to pass tougher laws against child predators - laws which used to be laughable, and yet he has become one of the most detestable figures in the media.
O'Reilly tries to lighten the mood by telling the audience he and Letterman are "on the same bowling league" and asks whether he'd appear on "Dancing With the Stars."
"Bonehead!" snaps Letterman, who then starts shaking his fist and waving his arms at O'Reilly as the subject turns to the war in Iraq. "Let me ask you a question - was there more heinous, more dangerous violence taking place [before America invaded] Iraq, or is there more heinous, dangerous violence taking place now in Iraq?"
"Oh, stop it," O'Reilly scolds the host. "Saddam Hussein slaughtered 300,000 to 400,000 people, all right, so knock it off…It isn't so black and white, Dave - it isn't, 'We're a bad country. Bush is an evil liar.' That's not true."
"I didn't say he was an evil liar," Letterman shoots back. "You're putting words in my mouth, just the way you put artificial facts in your head!"
Letterman admits he hasn't read O'Reilly's new book, "Culture War," because "I looked at it. I said, 'What is it, a book on sailing?' "
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 9:40 PM
The Supreme Court issued its first significant ruling of the term last Friday, deciding unanimously that Arizona could put its new voter-ID rules into effect for the Nov. 7 election. The law states that voters must present proof of citizenship when registering to vote and identification when they cast their ballots, despite claims that Proposition 200 -- approved by Arizonian voters in 2004 -- is unfair to minorities.
A similar law was struck down in Georgia by a lower court not too long ago, one that bought the claim that requiring proof of citizenship is burdensome to minorities.
Friday's ruling however is unlikely to affect nation-wide election law, as the decision was not based on the legality of such a law but instead on the time-restrictions Arizona faces before heading to the polls.
"Given the imminence of the election and the inadequate time to resolve the factual disputes, our action today shall of necessity allow the election to proceed without any injunction suspending the voter identification rules," the court said in its unsigned opinion.
If the Supreme Court ever does decide on the merits of such laws that restrict voters from casting a ballot without proof of identification, I am confident the Roberts-led group with Samuel Alito in his first full term will rightfully uphold them as constitutional.
Democrats argue that requiring a photo-ID is tantamount to racial discrimination because poor minorities supposedly have a hard time acquiring identification. Never mind that you can get one at no cost if you lack the financial means, and in some cases the district in which you reside will provide free transportation to get you that ID.
There may be some truth to the notion that these initiatives to restrict voting (almost exclusively by Republicans) is done to keep Democratic-voting minorities away from the polls, but to say it's unfair to require everyone to possess a photo-ID because black people don't have the resources to get one is insulting.
The real reason why these laws must be in place nationwide is simply to prevent voter fraud. As the nation awaits an upcoming election that can significantly alter the makeup of Congress, it is imperative that the results are as legitimate as possible lest we repeat the 2000 election hangover.
In Arizona's case, Proposition 200 was designed to prevent illegal aliens from voting. Considering that illegal aliens shouldn't even be in this country in the first place, keeping them away from the polls is the logical conclusion to this scenario.
Voting in a federal election is a privilege bestowed upon American citizens who wish to exercise the greatest freedom afforded to them. It should not be cheapened by political activists who are afraid people won't show up to vote because they don't have a measly ID card.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 4:11 PM
It looks like the major movie theater chains won't be showing "Death of a President" to audiences anytime soon. The faux documentary, which depicts the death of President Bush using a mix of real news segments and dramatized fiction, garnered both praise and controversy after it’s premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.
At least two chains are passing on the flick, according to Reuters":
"We would not be inclined to program this film," Regal Entertainment Group CEO Mike Campbell said. "We feel it is inappropriate to portray the future assassination of a sitting president, regardless of political affiliation."I do question the mentality of anyone who would find enjoyment in such a film, let alone wanting to see it in the first place.
Texas-based Cinemark USA also has declined to play the indie film, corporate spokesman Terrell Falk said. "We're not playing it on any of our screens," Falk said. "It's a subject matter we don't wish to play. We decided to pass on the film."
To be sure, my opposition to many of Bush's policies is almost limitless, but to appreciate a film that depicts his fictional death while he's a sitting president is contemptible.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 3:34 PM
Yes our public school system is a complete joke. Nothing new to report here, but this story is particularly disgusting because patriotic students were suspended from school for wearing t-shirts with writing on them:
Ben Lewandowski says he was only trying to be patriotic when he wore a homemade T-shirt featuring an American flag bumper sticker and the words "Remember 9/11" to Lincoln Park High School on Monday.
After all, it was Sept. 11 -- five years after the terrorist attacks.
The 17-year-old Lincoln Park resident put the shirt on Monday morning and headed to school -- where he was quickly sent to the office and suspended for three days for violating the school's dress code.
He was one of at least seven students sent home for wearing shirts featuring patriotic images and messages. It comes less than a week after three siblings were suspended for wearing shirts emblazoned with the First Amendment, despite warnings, and a week after more than 200 students were sent home on the first day of school for violating the district's dress code -- which bans apparel with writing or pictures.
For Lewandowski, who was sent home on the first day of school for wearing a shirt with writing on it, Monday's incident was his second offense.
"I was frustrated," said the junior, whose desire to become a firefighter was fueled after the Sept. 11 attacks. "It just made me so mad that I can't be patriotic."
Lincoln Park Schools Superintendent Randall Kite said the high school held a moment of silence Monday to give students an outlet to show their patriotism. He said some students had asked last week whether they could wear shirts to commemorate the day, and they were told no.
"We didn't think it would be appropriate, because of the dress code, to wear T-shirts with writing," he said Tuesday.
According to the dress code, students are allowed to wear school-sanctioned clothing, such as T-shirts bearing the school's mascot or clothing that supports school organizations.
Kite said the district had lawyers review the policy before it was enacted. Members of the district's school board have said the dress code is lenient compared with other districts such as Detroit and Pontiac, which have banned jeans and T-shirts completely.
Southfield's school district implemented a dress code last year similar to those enacted in Detroit and Pontiac this year. Southfield Schools Deputy Superintendent Ken Siver said Tuesday that the district didn't have any problems Monday with students violating the policy to wear patriotic garb.
Still, some Lincoln Park parents say they feel the district has gone too far.
Kaye Belcuore's granddaughter, 14-year-old Karly Belcuore, was sent home Monday from Lincoln Park High for wearing a T-shirt with patriotic messages on it.
"I think it's a little ridiculous under the circumstances," Kaye Belcuore said.
Kelly Galley agrees. Her three children -- 13-year-old twins Monique and Jaicen Massa and 11-year-old Jaymie Massa -- were suspended last week for protesting the dress code by wearing T-shirts with the First Amendment on them. Jaymie had stayed home from Lincoln Park Middle School on Tuesday, but Monique and Jaicen wore the shirts again -- their third offense -- and were suspended again, this time for five days. One more offense and they'll be expelled.
Galley said it's likely she'll end up homeschooling.
At least the Galley-family story will have a happy ending when the kids are finally home schooled and not subjected to the mercy of schoolboard members and other bureaucratic officials.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 8:57 PM
A lesson we may never learn:
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to think "profiling" is worse than the slaughter of innocent people...
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 12:54 PM
You see kids, congressional candidates are more than just vote-hungry politicians devoid of soul:
WASHINGTON - Voters weary of campaign advertising will get a reprieve Monday in the political equivalent of a moment of silence.Take that Casey. Not a single buy from the Santorum campaign. And not a single buy from me either - in regards to this stunt. It would be easier to believe Sept 11th isn't a day for "politicking" if it weren't true that both parties have been using it to attack the other ever since that horrible morg five years ago.
Several candidates say they are pulling their campaign ads for the day to mark the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
In Pennsylvania, where Republican Sen. Rick Santorum and Democrat Bob Casey have filled the airwaves in one of the nation's most competitive races, both said Thursday they are pulling down their commercials fninor the day.
Casey "thinks it is a day for remembrance and not for politicking," said Larry Smar, a campaign spokesman.
Santorum's campaign press secretary expressed a similar sentiment.
"We had always planned to be dark that day," said Virginia Davis. "We knew it would be disrespectful to run ads that day. We had never even placed a buy."
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 12:58 AM
They say cocaine doesn't mix well with alcohol and other drugs. Now we can add tasers to the list:
A forensic pathologist says she couldn't tell whether police use of a Taser contributed to the death of 44-year-old Robert Bagnell in Vancouver more than two years ago.The debate concerning the use of tasers by police is continuing to intensify now that another suspect has died after receiving the nasty jolt. Advocates for the use of tasers maintain that they are non-lethal devices that help officers subdue unruly suspects who would otherwise be subjected to greater injury with a more punishing weapon.
Bagnell died after he was restrained and Tasered by police as they tried to remove him from a bathroom at a Granville Street hotel in June 2004.
Dr. Laurel Gray told a coroner's inquest on Tuesday that Bagnell had four times the lethal level of cocaine in his blood, and had also taken amphetamines.
She also told the inquest that she found a series of 13 red marks on Bagnell's body - most of them in pairs about two centimetres apart.
The pathologist said she could not tell whether the marks were caused by a police Taser.
A police account of the fatal incident states that officers applied a Taser twice, and that Bagnell continued to struggle after being hit by the Taser.
Gray said if the Taser caused the cardiac arrest, Bagnell's heart would have stopped immediately after the 50,000 volts of electricity were applied.
The Bagnell family has launched a lawsuit against the Vancouver Police Department, the officers involved and the maker and distributor of the Taser, with the hope of getting the device banned in British Columbia.
Human Rights groups such as Amnesty International opposes such devices and claims that they have been responsible for more than 90 deaths in the United States and Canada alone. Surely they will be following this particular story and fuel the anti-taser movement.
If tasers alone are in fact brining out fatal results, its use by police needs to be seriously questioned. However all too often those killed after being tased were found with lethal amounts of drugs in their system. After all, it's only logical that someone who needs to be tased in order to be subdued was under a chemical influence.
Cocaine, a stimulant that can make users aggressive and uncharacteristically strong, puts an unhealthy amount of a stress on the heart that is only worsened when accompanied by 50,000 volts of electricity.
Supporters of the device would say consuming illegal drugs is something you do at your own risk and the threat such users face should not outweigh the positive effects of tasers. Agencies worldwide tout the success of the device, and one study found that the presence of a taser alone is enough to convince a criminal to surrender for fear of getting shocked.
I have yet to draw my own conclusion on the use of tasers. I've never been confronted by a belligerent thug set on causing my great harm - and well, if a taser can be used instead of a gun, I think they serve a vital purpose.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 3:21 PM
The mayor of New York City wants to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, and is calling for laws that will have nothing to do with criminals. His plan:
Mayor Bloomberg renewed his call for stronger gun control laws yesterday after the fatal shooting of a hero sanitation worker.Or we can make it harder for criminals to commit crimes in the first place, but for some reason it's "mean" to suggest keeping violent criminals where they belong - in jail.
"Our nation has to finally get serious about keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and cracking down on the few reckless gun dealers who make their living catering to them," Bloomberg said.
The mayor has been pushing for stricter gun control across the country and has lobbied Congress to change laws so it's easier to track guns used in crimes.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 3:34 PM
Not Florida State. Say hello to the Top 10 and better things in the weeks to come. The FSU/Miami rivalry is always ugly. We knew going into tonight's contest would be a game of defense, and tonight Florida State proved it has a nasty one.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 11:43 PM
While my pro-life (or "anti-choice.....to have an abortion") friends are frowning upon the decision to allow over-the-counter sales of Plan B birth control, I see this as an opportunity to make a stronger case against the abortion option as a "necessity." There's good news in this:
WASHINGTON (AP) - Women may buy the morning-after pill without a prescription - but only with proof they're 18 or older, federal health officials ruled Thursday, capping a contentious three-year effort to ease access to the emergency contraceptive.The purpose of Plan B is simple: to stop unwanted pregnancies - the kind that results in abortions. Conservatives fear the availability of this drug will promote promiscuity and give women a false sense of security, but I don't think that's for us to determine. Condoms have the same consequences but we're at a point where we know they're necessary.
Girls 17 and younger still will need a doctor's note to buy the pills, called Plan B, the Food and Drug Administration told manufacturer Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc.
The compromise decision is a partial victory for women's advocacy and medical groups that say eliminating sales restrictions could cut in half the nation's 3 million annual unplanned pregnancies. Opponents have argued that wider access could increase promiscuity.
The pills are a concentrated dose of the same drug found in many regular birth-control pills. When a woman takes the pills within 72 hours of unprotected sex, she can lower the risk of pregnancy by up to 89 percent. If she already is pregnant, the pills have no effect.
The earlier it's taken, the more effective Plan B is. But it can be hard to find a doctor to write a prescription in time, especially on weekends and holidays. Hence the push to allow nonprescription sales.
The two-pill pack of Plan B costs from $25 to $40. A Barr spokeswoman estimated that pharmacists dispense about 1.5 million packs a year.
Plan B's maker was disappointed that FDA imposed the age restriction and pledged to continue working the agency to try to eliminate it.
But higher-ranking officials rejected that decision, citing concern about young teens' use of the pills without a doctor's oversight. Barr reapplied, asking that women 16 and older be allowed to buy Plan B without a prescription. Then, last August, the FDA postponed a final decision indefinitely, saying the agency needed to determine how to enforce those age restrictions.
But opponent Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, said Plan B's wider availability could give women a false sense of security, since it isn't as effective as regular birth control. Wright also worries that adult men who have sex with minor girls could force the pills upon them.
"Statutory rape is a very serious problem. This decision is going to allow statutory rapists to rely on this drug to cover up their abuse," Wright said.
Adult women will have to be trusted to use Plan B responsibly, and at its price range I don't see many girls substituting it every time they have sex for traditional forms of birth control. It's to be used when traditional birth control fails.
Critics are right to say Plan B should be restricted to adults or minors with permission. At no time should it be easier for underage girls to buy contraception than cigarettes or lottery tickets.
And because underage girls must have permission, the argument that rapists will force Plan B upon them is moot. What is a problem however is the ability for rapists to drive underage girls across state lines to get abortions unbeknownst to their parents (recently addressed by the Senate).
In a perfect world unwanted pregnancies would not exist. Needless to say we don't live in one, and something like Plan B can help reduce the number of pregnancies that end up in the trashcan.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 3:04 PM
The clean-slated judge who was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in 2003 probably just raised a few eyebrows with this decision:
OKLAHOMA CITY - A federal judge on Friday said a Ten Commandments monument outside a courthouse can stay, rejecting arguments that it promotes Christianity at the expense of other religions.That's right, according to this ACLU attorney, the ruling "represents a loss for religious freedom." Apparently religion is only free when every last remnant of it is shielded from public view.
U.S. District Judge Ronald A. White in Muskogee ruled that Haskell County did not violate the Constitution by erecting the monument. The county did not "overstep the constitutional line demarcating government neutrality toward religion," he wrote.
The county argued that the monument outside the Stigler courthouse was part of a historical display that included other monuments recognizing war veterans, the Choctaw Tribe and others. The Ten Commandments monument has the Mayflower Compact etched on the other side.
"A significant factor is that someone comes and looks at all the monuments on the lawn, they can't just single out the Ten Commandments monument and say, `Ah ha!' and that means government is impermissibly endorsing religion," said Kevin Theriot, an attorney for the Haskell County commissioners.
Micheal Salem, an attorney representing the American Civil Liberties Union and Stigler resident James W. Green, said he thought "the court's decision really represents a loss for religious freedom." He said he would have to thoroughly review White's decision before deciding whether to appeal.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that religious displays on government property are not inherently unconstitutional and must be considered on a case-by-case basis.
The Supreme Court looked at two similar cases a few years ago and came to opposite conclusions on the constitutionality of religious displays. Because each case must now get individual attention, we don't know whether a display is constitutional or not until the highest judge who hears the case makes a decision.
With Alito now on the Supreme Court we may get a more definitive answer in the near future. In both 2005 cases, Justice O'Connor - whom Alito replaced -joined the side that found the displays unconstitutional.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 10:37 PM
If you're like me you get used to your homepage and don't want it messed with. I had enough of a problem when Yahoo! moved its e-mail button from the left to the right side of the screen last update, but now they've completely redone their homepage and I don't like it one bit. I'm currently using the old page but it will expire the first of September.
So now I have to get used to a new new page, only to see it change probably some time early next year. Bastards!
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 7:51 PM
A Democratic candidate from Maryland promises to cure cancer by 2015 if elected:
With a month to go before primary voters head to the polls to choose Senate nominees, Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin kicked off yesterday a weeklong effort to highlight his congressional record and vision on health care by making the mother of all campaign promises - to cure cancer.But wait, he's not the only Democrat making ten-year predictions. Even if Cardin is right, we must contend with the more ominous prediction from Al Gore, who says that by 2015 our precious planet will have imploded from the consequences of Global Warming.
And while we're on the subject of predictions, the Democratic Party never said exactly when they'll catch Osama bin Laden if they take back Congress. But they'll catch him, they say. And Benjamin Cardin will cure cancer.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 9:36 PM
Remember when a whole lot of people had to die because a Swedish newspaper printed those cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed? Now Iran wants to turn the tables and is inviting cartoonists to do their best by depicting the Holocaust. Amazingly, these idiots think a cartoon of Mohammed is comparable to what we can expect in this new fun contest:
TEHRAN (AFP) - An international contest of cartoons on the Holocaust opened in Tehran in response to the publication in Western papers last September of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed.This cute little stunt is only going to prove just how fanatic the extremist Muslims are. When they saw a cartoon of their prophet, people had to die. When their precious cartoons are released I highly doubt it will look like the end of the world.
"We staged this fair to explore the limits of freedom Westerners believe in," Masoud Shojai, head of the country's "Iran Cartoon" association and the fair organizer, said.
"They can freely write anything they like about our prophet, but if one raises doubts about the Holocaust he is either fined or sent to prison," he added.
"Though we do not deny that fact that Jews were killed in the (second world) war, why should the Palestinians pay for it?" Shojai told the opening ceremony of the month-long fair in Tehran's Palestine Contemporary Art Museum.
He added that around 1,100 cartoons were submitted by participants from more than 60 countries and that more than 200 are on show.
He said the top three cartoons will be announced on September 2, with the winners being awarded prizes of 12,000, 8,000 and 5,000 dollars respectively.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 4:34 PM
And Huffington Post readers are responding accordingly. Sick stuff.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 4:20 PM
President Bush pinched a few nerves yesterday with his choice of words:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Muslim groups criticized President Bush on Thursday for calling a foiled plot to blow up airplanes part of a "war with Islamic fascists," saying the term could inflame anti-Muslim tensions.Which is why he didn't say we're at war with Islamic people. We're at war with Islamic fascists. By using the word "Islamic" as an adjective Bush was purposely not associating Muslims with fascism, hence the qualifier. And if you haven't heard by now, the roster of suspected terrorists has not a Tom, Dick or Harry among them:
U.S. officials have said the plot, thwarted by Britain, to blow up several aircraft over the Atlantic bore many of the hallmarks of al Qaeda.
"We believe this is an ill-advised term and we believe that it is counterproductive to associate Islam or Muslims with fascism," said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations advocacy group.
Lest you be confused with the suspects from an earlier plot foiled in Canada a few months ago:
Umir Hussain, 24, London E14
Muhammed Usman Saddique, 24, London E17
Waheed Zaman, 22, London E17
Assan Abdullah Khan, 22, London E17
Waseem Kayani, 28, High Wycombe
Waheed Arafat Khan, 24, London E17
Cossor Ali, 24, London E17
Tayib Rauf, 21, Birmingham
Ibrahim Savant, 26, London E17
Osman Adam Khatib, 20, London E17
Shamin Mohammed Uddin, 36, Stoke Newington
Amin Asmin Tariq, 23, London E17
Shazad Khuram Ali, 27, High Wycombe
Tanvir Hussain, 24, London E10
Umar Islam, 28, (born Brian Young) High Wycombe
Assad Sarwar, 25, High Wycombe
Abdullah Ali, 26, London E17
Abdul Muneem Patel, 17, London E5
Nabeel Hussain, 21, Waltham Forest
Fahim Ahmad, 21, Toronto;We've got a Steven, the one word that didn't crash my spell-check, despite it being followed by a Vikash Chand Abdul Shakur. Folks, if it's Islamic, and fascist, it's an Islamic fascist. But because we don't want to sound hateful we must pretend everyone's a possible suspect and make airline travel more miserable than it's ever been.
Zakaria Amara, 20, Mississauga, Ont.;
Asad Ansari, 21, Mississauga;
Shareef Abdelhaleen, 30, Mississauga;
Qayyum Abdul Jamal, 43, Mississauga;
Mohammed Dirie, 22, Kingston, Ont.;
Yasim Abdi Mohamed, 24, Kingston;
Jahmaal James, 23, Toronto;
Amin Mohamed Durrani, 19, Toronto;
Steven Vikash Chand alias Abdul Shakur, 25, Toronto;
Ahmad Mustafa Ghany, 21, Mississauga;
Saad Khalid, 19, of Eclipse Avenue, Mississauga.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 12:20 PM
The conservative National Review has endorsed Joe Lieberman's independent Senate run on the heels of his defeat in the Democratic primary. The reason isn't explained too well in an editorial titled A Friend in Need:
Joe Lieberman may go on to win his Senate seat as an independent, and we hope he does. But the Connecticut primary race was about the future of the Democratic party as much as it was about the future of his seat. And while the margin may have been small, Lieberman's loss was big.National Review is backing Lieberman for one of two reasons; A Lieberman victory would mean one less "D" in the tabulation for Senate control. The fact that he could be a hard-left liberal and vote liberal all the time is irrelevant, just as long as Republicans control the Senate and lead the committees. The goal of the game is 51. If you subtract one "D" for an "I" you make it that much harder for the Democratic Party to become the majority.
He is an 18-year incumbent. He was his party's candidate for vice president six years ago. He is squarely in the mainstream of his party on most issues. He had the backing of most of the party's establishment. Yet he lost. The election was close enough that it is possible to think that Lieberman could have won if he had started campaigning earlier, or had kept in closer touch with his constituents. But the question posed to Democrats was whether they could tolerate a man who, while toeing the liberal line on abortion and taxes, supported the Iraq War and was willing to work with a Republican president. The answer is no.
Since the race now pits Lieberman against Democratic nominee Ned Lamont, a creature of fevered liberal bloggers, and a Republican candidate who is a non-conservative nonentity, we're backing Lieberman.
The other reason to support Lieberman is for his position on the Iraq War and willingness to work with the President. Because NR just loves this freakin' cowboy and is blood-thirsty for more combat they are willing to ignore their pro-life, anti-tax principles to support a true liberal who happens to be too far to the right for the Democratic Party.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 6:00 PM
The political correctness police are at it again:
PHILADELPHIA - Health officials yanked public service advertisements urging HIV testing after a gay advocacy group expressed concerns about images depicting young black men in a gun's cross hairs.It's an analogy, and an effective one. No one is talking about blacks and violence. If we're going to discuss the dangers of HIV, let's be honest add talk about the group most at risk: gay men - black or not.
"Putting the face of a black man in the cross hairs of a gun paints a damaging message about violence and black men," Lee Carson, chairman of the Black Gay Men's Leadership Council, wrote in a letter to the city's interim health commissioner last month.
The $236,000 campaign, which ended abruptly Monday, was geared at gay and bisexual men and featured the tagline, "Have YOU been hit?"
So here we had an abrasive ad campaign that might have gotten attention but because some might find it "offensive" it has been pulled indefinitely. Maybe Lee Carson needs to re-examine the purpose of his job.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 8:13 PM
Finally our cafeterias in Washington don't look so retarded anymore:
WASHINGTON (AFP) - French fries are back on the menu of cafeterias that cater to US lawmakers on Capital Hill, more than three years after they were replaced by "freedom fries" in anger over France's refusal to join the US-led war inI wonder if any Republican lawmakers will be protesing this by opting for egg salad over the fried potatoes that have no relationship whatsoever to France.
Of the five food outlets that had heeded calls by House Republicans to inject patriotism into their menus in March 2003, the last two that still used "freedom fries" reverted back to the original name in the last two weeks.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 9:24 PM
It's no fun losing all the time:
WASHINGTON - Rep. Charles Rangel (news, bio, voting record), a senior Democrat in Congress and the dean of New York's congressional delegation, said Wednesday he'll retire if the Democrats don't retake control of the House this year.Can we get this in writing?
"Hell, if we don't take back the House, then the Democrats would go down in history, saying that there's no group in the world that can grab defeat from the jaws of victory," Rangel said in an interview Wednesday. "It just seems like America is so frustrated and fed up like I am and if she's not, then I may have to say maybe it's me."
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 9:11 PM
Here's a shocker: Lance Bass of 'N Sync is gay. If only this had been confirmed back in 1998 when he was worth something; oh the fun we could have had with this story. Now we wait for the tape to emerge on the internet of what really happened on that tour bus.
But on a more serious note, the woman who systematically murdered her five children in a bathtub was found not guilty today by reason of insanity. She will spend some time in a state hospital until doctors determine she can released back into society amongst those of us who haven't systematically murdered our five children in a bathtub.
So I guess the type of insanity that would force a woman to drown her five children is a temporary one.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 3:41 PM
It's not a ban on abortion. It's not a restriction on abortion. It's a bill that would make it a crime to drive a pregnant minor across state lines to get an abortion without notifying her parents. So why does Hilary Clinton think a lot of girls will die because of this? Well according to Democrats we live in a country of abusive parents who rape their children and force them to give birth to their bastard offspring.
This bill should have passed without objection:
WASHINGTON - A bill that would make it a crime to take a pregnant girl across state lines for an abortion without her parents' knowledge passed the Senate Tuesday, but vast differences with the House version stood between the measure and President Bush's desk.Ted Kennedy is worried about grandparents becoming criminals if the bill becomes law. I am worried that without it adults who have sex with children have no problem discarding the evidence, as was the case in Ohio where parents are seeking records of an unauthorized abortion their minor had who was impregnated by a 21-year-old. The boyfriend claimed he was her brother and was successful in getting a Planned Parenthood clinic to abort a child that was conceived illegally by a man who shouldn't be having sex with minors.
The 65-34 vote gave the Senate's approval to the bill, which would make taking a pregnant girl to another state for the purposes of evading parental notification laws punishable by fines and up to a year in jail.
The girl and her parents would be exempt from prosecution, and the bill contains an exception for abortions performed in this manner that posed a threat to the mother's life.
Struggling to defend their majority this election year, Republican sponsors said the bill supports what a majority of the public believes: that a parent's right to know takes precedence over a young woman's right to have an abortion.
"No parent wants anyone to take their children across state lines or even across the street without their permission," said Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. "This is a fundamental right, and the Congress is right to uphold it in law."
Bowing to public support for parental notification and the GOP's 55-44-1 majority, Democrats spent the day trying to carve out an exemption for confidants to whom a girl with abusive parents might turn for help. It was rejected in floor negotiations.
Democrats complained that the measure was the latest in a series of bills designed chiefly to energize the GOP's base of conservative voters.
"Congress ought to have higher priorities than turning grandparents into criminals," said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass.
No one knows how many girls get abortions in this way, or who helps them. But Democrats say the policy would be dangerous to pregnant teens who have abusive or neglectful parents by discouraging other people from helping them.
"We're going to sacrifice a lot of girls' lives," said Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.
Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., countered that opponents "want to strip the overwhelming majority of good parents their rightful role and responsibility because of the misbehavior of a few." He pointed out that the judicial bypass provision would help pregnant teens with abusive parents get around the law.
But the Democrats in the Senate know their support and money come from pro-abortion groups who oppose any legislation whatsoever that would make it a tad more difficult to get one, even though all we're talking about is making sure parents are aware that their daughter is being carted off somewhere to get her uterus scrambled.
Senator McConnell got it right. You can't even begin to justify allowing a minor across the street without their parent's permission, let alone into another state. But this bill doesn't even require permission - as it should - it simply requires that parents be notified so, you know, if a child doesn't make it back home after a long road trip they at least have an idea of where to begin their search.
That Democrats are currently trying to prevent this bill from ever reaching the president's desk is a telling sign of what we can expect to come if Democrats pick up considerable ground in this November's election.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 9:42 PM
Someone didn't get enough attention from his father as a child:
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - Keith Olbermann was eagerly anticipating his first meeting with Bill O'Reilly. It didn't happen.Nothing is more transparent than Keith Olbermann's publicity whoring in his attempt to prove that MSNBC isn't a complete joke. He's the Tom Green of journalists who would dress up like Greta Van Susteren if it meant another puff piece by his friends in the mainstream media. If you haven't seen his show, you're not alone. He can't get anywhere near O'Reilly's numbers but is always talking about how he is "the worst person in the world."
The feuding cable TV personalities both attended a charity fundraiser thrown by New York Yankees manager Joe Torre last November. Olbermann picked up his name tag and spotted O'Reilly's tag on the table.
"He never got within 20 feet of me," Olbermann told the Television Critics Association's summer meeting Saturday. "I swear to God, every time I looked up, he would suddenly look down. He was staring over at me. But we're about the same height, so I really don't think he's going to come talk to me. If I were about a foot shorter, I'm sure there would be a confrontation of some sort."
During his "Countdown" show on MSNBC, Olbermann regularly tweaks O'Reilly, whose "The O'Reilly Factor" on Fox is No. 1 in the cable TV news ratings. Olbermann generally runs third in the same time slot.
O'Reilly has referred to Olbermann - although not by name - as a "notorious smear merchant" and pointed out his low ratings.
Interesting, I don't recall Olbermann doing anything to get tougher laws passed across the country against sex offenders. Oh, but that would require influence of which he has none.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 11:38 AM
It's a fruitless lawsuit but I'm all for it if it embarrasses the fascist administration for its handling of the student whose speech was too taboo for a graduation ceremony:
LAS VEGAS - A high school valedictorian who had the plug pulled on her microphone as she gave an address referring to Jesus Christ has filed a lawsuit against school officials, claiming her rights to religious freedom and free speech were trampled.High school students have no free-speech rights, at least not in a broad sense because we all know how creative students are - and what often happens when their behavior goes unchecked in the name of free speech. For example, what if instead the valedictorian claimed she had a First Amendment right to say something inappropriately vulgar? (Pretend for just a moment that there's something worse than mentioning God in a speech.)
Brittany McComb, 18, said she was giving her June 15 commencement address to some 400 graduates of Foothill High School and their family members when the sound was cut.
"God's love is so great that he gave his only son up," she said, before the microphone went dead. She continued without amplification, "...to an excruciating death on a cross so his blood would cover all our shortcomings and provide for us a way to heaven in accepting this grace."
McComb's lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court of Nevada, names the principal, assistant principal and the employee of the school in Henderson who allegedly pulled the plug.
McComb said she was warned that her speech would be cut off if she did not follow an approved script that deleted references to Christ and invitations for others to join the faith. But she memorized the deleted parts and said them anyway.
"In my heart I couldn't say the edited version because it wasn't what I wanted to say," she told The Associated Press. "I wanted to say why I was successful, and what inspired me to keep going and what motivated me. It involved Jesus Christ for me, period."
The lawsuit asks the court to declare that school officials deprived McComb of her rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, The Rutherford Institute, the conservative legal group backing the lawsuit, said in a news release.
So I expect the lawsuit to go nowhere but at least the story is getting publicity. People around the country are getting to see just how ridiculous the politically correct forces are. McComb did not proselytize or encourage her fellow students to believe in Jesus. She simply credited God's "only son" for her success, and she should have been afforded the few minutes to say so without interruption.
Of course the ACLU could care less about Brittany McComb because they're more concerned about the students who have the right to not hear the word God. I mean, there could have been atheists in the crowd and hearing the forbidden three-letter word might have offended them.
ACLU lawyer Allen Lichtenstein was happy with the school's decision, saying "Proselytizing is improper in school-sponsored speech at valedictorian graduations."
Proselytizing? Thanking God is now a form of proselytizing? Did I miss the part in the story about McComb passing around Bibles or a signup sheet for potential converts during the brief speech? Of course, if she credited "Sex and the City" reruns for her straight-A performance we wouldn't be in the mess. But alas, what got her through high school is the one thing too dastardly to mention before a graduating class.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 7:28 PM
Here's yet another constitutional right invented by a federal judge: the right to vote without being asked to identify yourself. Absurd? Of course it is, but not as absurd as the idea that blacks and the poor aren't capable of getting of photo ID.
But it's true according to a federal judge:
So it costs not a single penny to get a photo ID in Georgia, but to require one in order to vote is somehow an act of discrimination against the poor. Then we have critics who say the law was implemented to dissuade blacks and other Democrat-supporting minorities from going to polls, so therefore we compare a legitimate law aimed at stopping voter fraud to a racist poll tax.
ROME, Georgia (AP) -- The same federal judge who threw out Georgia's voter ID law last year blocked the state Wednesday from enforcing its revised law during this year's elections.
U.S. District Judge Harold Murphy's ruling, which he delivered verbally from the bench, was much broader, also including the November 7 general elections and any runoffs.
If the rulings stand, Georgia voters will not have to show a government-issued photo ID to cast a ballot this year. The state's primary election -- which would have been the first election for which the IDs were required -- is scheduled for Tuesday.
Murphy said the state's latest attempt at requiring voter photo IDs discriminated against people who don't have driver's licenses, passports or other government-issued IDs.
"That is the failure of this legislation as it stands," he said.
In October, the judge rejected a more-stringent voter ID requirement, saying it amounted to an unconstitutional poll tax because of the fees associated with getting the required ID.
This year, the Legislature passed a law that made the IDs free and available in all counties.
Murphy commended lawmakers for addressing problems with the previous version but said more work is needed. The latest version still denies citizens equal protection under the law, he said.
But unlike the poll tax, a law requiring a photo ID is easy to overcome; all you have to do is get a photo ID! And did I mention they're free? Oh, but of course there's an excuse as to why even that is unreasonable. Maybe the next charge will be that the law is unfair because it "discriminates" against those who just don't like getting their picture taken.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 1:37 PM
I must congratulate Adam Carolla for his impressive victory over conservative powerhouse Ann Coulter the other day. In a fierce debate between the two on his show, Carolla was so intellectually superior that Coulter couldn't make even a single argument...of course it was kind of impossible for her to do so considering Carolla dropped her from the show.
Queerty couldn't have been more impressed, bragging that Coulter "met her match." The exchange went like this:
ADAM CAROLLA: Ann Coulter, who was suppose to be on the show about an hour and a half ago, is now on the phone, as well. Ann?Damn those liberals are smart. Here I thought they had reached the apex of their intellectual dominance over conservatives by mastering the art of pie-throwing, but now they have figured out how to achieve the same effect by simply cutting off their microphones.
ANN COULTER: Hello.
CAROLLA: Hi Ann. You’re late, babydoll.
COULTER: Uh, somebody gave me the wrong number.
CAROLLA: Mmm… how did you get the right number? Just dialed randomly — eventually got to our show? (Laughter in background)
COULTER: Um, no. My publicist e-mailed it to me, I guess, after checking with you.
CAROLLA: Ahh, I see.
COULTER: But I am really tight on time right now because I already had a —
CAROLLA: Alright, well, get lost.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 10:03 PM
I've always wondered if the feminist movement did more harm than good to their fellow sisters. To some feminists I am a women-hating misogynist just for asking. To be sure, women have come a long way because of feminism. Now they can get abortions, work 9-5 jobs, and die on the battlefield as a member of the US. Military. And according to a new study, the more hours a woman works the more she suffers from a host of detrimental effects.
Whatever it takes to reach equality:
LONDON (Reuters) - Working long hours has a greater negative impact on women than men because it makes them more likely to smoke, drink coffee and eat unhealthy food.The same stress also impacts the household when a working woman takes it home. It leads to unstable relationships. It leads to divorce. It leads to children spending more time in daycare when both parents are away from the home.
Both sexes consume less alcohol if they spend more time working, researchers said on Wednesday, but toiling extra hours makes women crave unhealthy snacks.
"Women who work long hours eat more high-fat and high-sugar snacks, exercise less, drink more caffeine and, if smokers, smoke more than their male colleagues," said Dr. Daryl O'Connor, a researcher at Britain's Leeds University.
"For men, working longer hours has no negative impact on exercise, caffeine intake or smoking," O'Connor said in a statement released by the Economic and Social Research Council, which funded his study.
O'Connor's team of scientists were studying the impact of stress on eating habits. They looked at what causes stress at home and at work and how people react to it.
The results show that one or more stressful events such as making a presentation, a meeting with the boss or missing a deadline was linked to eating more between-meal snacks and fewer or smaller portions of fruits and vegetables.
"Stress disrupts people's normal eating habits," he said.
The people who were most vulnerable were so-called emotional eaters.
"These individuals have higher levels of vulnerability and tend to turn to food as an escape from self-awareness," O'Connor said.
"When they feel anxious or emotionally aroused or negative about themselves, they try to avoid these negative feelings by turning their attention to food."
And as more women enter the workforce an increasing number enter the prison population - at a higher rate than any other demographic. More women are seeking employment opportunities than ever before, but more are also seeking criminal opportunities.
But it's worth it to feminists. They still have work to do, and probably won't rest until gender-segregated bathrooms are a thing of the past, every NFL team has at least one female linebacker, women are on the front lines in battle, and life-expectancy becomes indistinguishable between the genders.
I admit I'm not a woman, and I have no idea what it's like to desire an unrealistic level of "equality" between the sexes. But in light of everything that has happened as a result of the feminist movement, was it really such a bad thing being a housewife who spent more time running a family than working overtime in a stressful office?
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 4:24 PM
It's a war zone here in Florida if you read the Brady Campaign press releases. We're an "F+" state because we hate our children and want to kill them all with handguns, but the statistics tell a different story.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida's crime rate dropped for the 14th straight year in 2005 to its lowest mark since 1971 because of tougher laws, increased financial support from the Legislature and law-abiding citizens with guns, Gov. Jeb Bush said Tuesday.Which is why we need tougher sentences for habitual offenders. Too often you hear about a young girl taken from this world by a depraved sex offender. And every time we ask why their exhaustive criminal history hasn't kept them behind bars.
"This report shows that staying tough on crime works," said Bush. "Law abiding citizens that have guns for protection actually probably are part of the reason we have a lower crime rate."
The crime rate, compiled by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, decreased 3.7 percent from 4,855 crimes per 100,000 people in 2004 to 4,677 crimes per 100,000 people last year.
Last year Bush signed a bill that allows people who feel threatened on the street, in a bar, at a ball game - or just about anywhere - to "meet force with force" to defend themselves without fear of being prosecuted.
"You send a real powerful signal when you know the citizen has a good potential of being armed and doesn't have to back off anymore," said John Birch, president of the Illinois-based Concealed Carry, Inc.
Opponents, however, have said the idea would legalize shootouts in the streets.
A telephone message left for comment after hours with the The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington, D.C. was not immediately returned (Go figure; emphasis mine).
"The people that commit the majority of the crimes are habitual offenders," Bush said. "They're the ones that commit a crime after crime after crime."
Why is John Couey currently on trial for the rape and murder of a 9-year-old girl when he never should have been out of prison in the first place? If it wasn't enough that he broke into the home of a sleeping 12-year-old to cup her mouth and kiss her, maybe the last straw should have been the time he masturbated in front of a 5-year-old girl and had her touch his genitals. Forget the fact he was convicted for burglary and illegally concealing a handgun, that's the small stuff on his rap sheet. After committing unspeakable acts to two young girls on two separate occasions, why was he allowed to be around a third - a third who was raped, murdered and buried alive?
But I digress. We know Florida has a long way to go, but making it easier for law-abiding citizens (you know, those of us who don't expose ourselves to young girls) to possess firearms is a giant step in the right direction.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 11:11 PM
But two days is just too much for the rich and famous:
SEAN PENN, SUSAN SARANDON and WILLIE NELSON are just some of the big names who will be lending their support to anti-war activist CINDY SHEEHAN's hunger strike.I've never understood the point of hunger strikes other than the fact that they make for great publicity stunts. Cindy Sheehan opposes the war in Iraq so much that's she going to go the summer without eating. Why? Will her going on the brink of starvation change the hearts and minds of the Bush administration? We know what her cause is, and we know she's supported by our friends in Hollywood whom we are told will go on their own little 24-hour hunger strike - though it's debatable just how hungry you could get by going only one day without food.
Sheehan, whose son Casey was killed while serving in Iraq, began her "Troops Home Fast" protest outside the White House on Independence Day. Her plan is to abstain from eating and consume only water and juices throughout the summer.
Penn, Sarandon and Nelson, meanwhile, will participate in a "rolling fast" along with actor DANNY GLOVER, author ALICE WALKER and nearly 3,000 activists nationwide. The concept involves each participant to refuse food for 24 hours on designated days and then pass the fast over to the next individual.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 2:33 PM
Supporters of criminal rights were enraged when the Supreme Court ruled in Hudson v. Michigan this term to weaken the exclusionary rule and allow evidence to be submitted at trial even if collected improperly. Among them was a liberal professor whose own theory was used against him by the smartest justice on the Supreme Court.
In his piece titled Scalia got it wrong in police ruling for the L.A. Times, professor Samuel Walker fumes over the decision:
A FRIEND e-mailed me last week with exciting news -- the Supreme Court had cited one of my criminal-justice policy books in an important, late-term decision. My law professor friends tell me that being mentioned by the court is a huge deal. And my 93-year-old mother in Cleveland will certainly be impressed that her son has finally done something worthy of noteRight of the bat, Walker exposes his political identification by calling the ruling "a terrible decision" as he obviously believes in the merits of the exclusionary rule. It's no surprise whenever this professor disagrees with Scalia, especially when he incorporates his own writings.
Alas, as I surfed the Net for news about Hudson v. Michigan, my excitement turned to dismay, then horror.
First, I learned that Justice Antonin Scalia cited me to support a terrible decision, holding that the exclusionary rule -- which for decades prevented evidence obtained illegally by police from being used at trial -- no longer applies when cops enter your home without knocking.
What caught me off guard in Walker's piece is the part that reveals just how liberal he is when it comes to the Supreme Court and his vision of how it should be deeply involved in political matters governing our country:
Scalia quotes my book, "Taming the System: The Control of Discretion in American Criminal Justice," on the point that there has been tremendous progress "in the education, training and supervision of police officers" since the 1961 Mapp decision, which imposed the exclusionary rule on local law enforcement.Walker accuses Scalia of misrepresenting his opinion, but all the justice did was use the same findings to come to a different conclusion. Walker believes the exclusionary rule has required law enforcement to reform its policies over the years and that it should continue. Scalia believes it is no longer necessary. The difference is Scalia has a much better constitutional argument to make while Walker has to rewrite the purpose of the judicial branch...and admits it:
My argument, based on the historical evidence of the last 40 years, is that the Warren court in the 1960s played a pivotal role in stimulating these reforms. For more than 100 years, police departments had failed to curb misuse of authority by officers on the street while the courts took a hands-off attitude. The Warren court's interventions (Mapp and Miranda being the most famous) set new standards for lawful conduct, forcing the police to reform and strengthening community demands for curbs on abuse.
Scalia's opinion suggests that the results I highlighted have sufficiently removed the need for an exclusionary rule to act as a judicial-branch watchdog over the police. I have never said or even suggested such a thing.
To the contrary, I have argued that the results reinforce the Supreme Court's continuing importance in defining constitutional protections for individual rights and requiring the appropriate remedies for violations, including the exclusion of evidence.
The ideal approach is for the court to join the other branches of government in a mix of remedies for police misconduct: judicially mandated exclusionary rules, legislation to give citizens oversight of police and administrative reforms in training and supervision.But the Supreme Court was never supposed to "mix" with the other branches to do whatever today's criminologist feels is important. The Court was created specifically as an independent branch to correct legislative wrongdoings among a limited number of other things unrelated to this topic. Laws governing police should be written -- naturally -- by lawmakers.
No single remedy is sufficient to this very important task. Hudson marks a dangerous step backward in removing a crucial component of that mix.
Libertarians have a right to be concerned about the outcome of this case because police now get more power to conduct investigations. But let's not overestimate the Fourth Amendment. We are protected against "unreasonable searches and seizures." There was nothing unreasonable about the evidence seized from Hudson - even with the police having failed to properly "knock and announce."
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 2:16 PM
As it turns out, Rush Limbaugh won't be charged for possessing a bottle of VIAGRA that had his physician's name on the prescription label. VIAGRA, as I am told by the Associated Press reports, is a drug that treats erectile dysfunction, and was confiscated by authorities when Limbaugh arrived at an airport in Miami. Because he had VIAGRA.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 9:46 PM
What's wrong with a portrait of Jesus that's been hanging in a high school hallway for the last thirty years? Everything, 'cause you never know when a secular student might walk by and become indoctrinated by Christian dogma. I wonder what Barack Obama would have to say about this:
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Two civil liberties groups sued in federal court Wednesday to remove a picture of Jesus that has hung in a high school for more than 30 years.Let's pretend, for a second, that instead of Jesus was a portrait of Buddha. Would the Criminal Liberties Union be up in arms over that? Of course not, because only symbols of Christianity are deemed offensive - even an innocuous portrait of Jesus that in this case only serves the purpose of decor.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the West Virginia American Civil Liberties Union say the painting, "Head of Christ," sends the message that Bridgeport High School endorses Christianity as its official religion.
So what say you, Barack Obama, who believes Democrats should make an effort to court evangelicals? Please explain to your pals why they're nuts for supporting the groups filing suit against this school? This should be a no-brainer, but for Democrats it never is.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 7:10 PM
The Supreme Court announced its ruling today in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld divided along idelogical lines with John Roberts abstaining due to his involvement at the D.C. Circuit level and Anthony Kennedy joining the liberals in a 5-3 decision that is 185 pages long.
The actual vote is a little confusing. Stay with me now: John Paul STEVENS delivered the opinion of the Court with respect to Parts I through IV, VI through VI-D-iii, VI-D-v, and VII, in which KENNEDY, SOUTER, GINSBURG, and BREYER joined, and an opinion with respect to Parts V and VI-D-iv, in which SOUTER, GINSBURG, and BREYER joined. BREYER filed a concurring opinion, in which KENNEDY, SOUTER, and GINSBURG joined. KENNEDY filed an opinion concurring in part, in which SOUTER, GINSBURG, and BREYER joined as to Parts I and II. SCALIA filed a dissenting opinion, in which THOMAS and ALITO joined. THOMAS filed a dissenting opinion, in which SCALIA joined, and in which ALITO joined as to all but Parts I, II-C-1, and III-B-2. ALITO filed a dissenting opinion, in which SCALIA and THOMAS joined as to Parts I through III.
It will take me a little while to read the whole thing, but I rarely agree with a John Paul Stevens opinion. I'll post highlights from the opinion and dissents when I'm finished.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 4:48 PM
And here I thought Democrats had learned a lesson from DNC Chairman Howard Dean when he made a fool of himself during his presidential run saying he wanted to be the candidate "for guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks."
Winning elections is all about getting the votes; something Democrats haven't successfully done in a long time. Realizing there's big numbers in the religious bloc, the popular first-term senator from Illinois is trying to tap that reserve.
The only problem: he's a Democrat:
WASHINGTON - Sen. Barack Obama chastised fellow Democrats on Wednesday for failing to "acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people," and said the party must compete for the support of evangelicals and other churchgoing Americans.Sounds reasonable, right? But that kind of thinking is considered "extreme" by many far-left liberals who don't want the phrase "under God" recited by children in fear of indoctrination. They don't want voluntary prayer groups anywhere near schools. They get behind the ACLU, an organization that sues the government every time a single red cent of tax money ends up in a church.
"Not every mention of God in public is a breach to the wall of separation. Context matters," the Illinois Democrat said in remarks prepared for delivery to a conference of Call to Renewal, a faith-based movement to overcome poverty.
"It is doubtful that children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance feel oppressed or brainwashed as a consequence of muttering the phrase `under God,'" he said. "Having voluntary student prayer groups using school property to meet should not be a threat, any more than its use by the High School Republicans should threaten Democrats."
Just what incentive is there for religious voters to go blue? As if one speech by Senator Obama is going to convince the religious masses. And it's not like Obama is somehow a friend of the faithful just because he wants their votes. Since he became a senator in 2004, Obama has so far opposed every federal judicial appointment by President Bush who is seen as a threat to the constitutional right to abort a fetus in the ninth month.
He talks about voluntary prayer groups in school as being okay, but the judges his party appoints routinely strikes them down as unconstitutional. Obama was one of only 22 senators to oppose John Roberts for the Supreme Court, placing him to the left of most Senate Democrats. He opposed Samuel Alito and many of Bush's appellate court picks - for the same reasons the party is getting scorn from Obama in the first place.
Forgetting that he always opposes judges who loosely interpret the "separation of church and state" doctrine, Obama criticizes his party for not loosely believing in the "separation of church and state" doctrine:
"Secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering the public square."So Obama wants it both ways. He wants religion to be tolerated in public but not to the point that it violates church and state. But at what point does that happen according to Obama? If reciting the Pledge is okay, how about a monument of the Ten Commandments? I can see him sweating already.
As a result, "I think we make a mistake when we fail to acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people and join a serious debate about how to reconcile faith with our modern, pluralistic democracy."
Obama mentioned leaders of the religious right briefly, saying they must "accept some ground rules for collaboration" and recognize the importance of the separation of church and state.
Democrats will never win the Christian vote because they don't understand Christians. I can't think of a better way to earn the respect of evangelicals than to vote for an amendment protecting the flag from desecration. Sure enough, just yesterday the proposal fell one vote shy in the Senate because most Democrats opposed it. Gee, to think if only Obama had voted in favor of the amendment it would have successfully passed the Senate.
But to Democrats, supporting an amendment protecting the flag is "silly" and a "waste of time." Yet it's those silly patriotic issues that are important to evangelicals, and yet Democrats can't even get that issue right. Let's not even go near abortion - perhaps the single most important issue to religious Christians, an issue they're still fuming over ever since the Supreme Court invented a right to the practice back in 1973.
Sorry Obama, your party is far from getting the religious voters on your side.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 9:26 PM
One more university professor who equates Americans to Nazis is no more:
BOULDER, Colo. - The top official at the University of Colorado's flagship campus called on the school Monday to fire Ward Churchill, the professor who compared some World Trade Center victims to a Nazi and then landed in hot water over allegations of academic misconduct.Churchill's defenders (yes, he has defenders) make argue he's being persecuted for exercising his First Amendment rights. But this case is not about the First Amendment, it's about a loony professor who shouldn't have a job indoctrinating his students; not to mention the credible charges of plagerism against him.
Interim Chancellor Philip DiStefano said Churchill has 10 days to go to a faculty committee to appeal his recommendation. Churchill, a tenured professor of ethnic studies, has denied allegations of plagiarism.
In an essay written shortly after the 2001 terrorist attacks, Churchill described some of the victims in the World Trade Center as "little Eichmanns," a reference to Holocaust architect Adolf Eichmann. The essay was largely ignored until January 2005, when it came to light before Churchill was to speak at Hamilton College in upstate New York.
The essay triggered calls for Churchill to be fired, but university officials concluded he could not be dismissed because of free speech protections. They did order an investigation into allegations of academic misconduct, which concluded two weeks ago.
The school's committee on research misconduct said Churchill "has committed serious, repeated, and deliberate research misconduct."
DiStefano agreed and said he has told Churchill he hopes to dismiss him.
Churchill has been relieved of academic work but will remain a paid faculty member as long as the firing is in the appeals process, university officials said.
If Churchill appeals to the faculty committee, members would make a recommendation to university system President Hank Brown, spokeswoman Jeanine Malmsbury said. Brown would then make a recommendation to the Board of Regents, which has the final say.
If Churchill doesn't appeal, Brown would recommend action to the regents.
If a professor wanted to go the distance and a preach Nazism he certainly has the First Amendment right to do so against prosecution by the state, but he doesn't have protection against his firing for being a loony professor.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 1:11 PM
In its final week before summer recess, the Supreme Court this morning announced their decision in Kansas v. Marsh. It was a splintered 5-4 ruling with Justice Alito once again breaking a tie-vote that resulted from O'Connor's departure.
Majority: Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito
Minority: Stevens, Souter, Ginsberg, Breyer
The Court upheld the constitutionality of a Kansas law that instructs juries to impose the death sentence if aggravating evidence of a crime's brutality and mitigating factors explaining a defendant's actions are equal in weight.
Michael Lee Marsh was convicted in the June 1996 killings of Marry Ane Pusch and her 19-month-old daughter, Marry Elizabeth. Pusch was shot, stabbed and her throat was slit. Her body was set on fire. The toddler died several days later from severe burns.
Writing for the majority, Justice Thomas explains that the instruction, however unique, falls in line with the traditional practice of juries determining the sentence of a guilty defendant:
Kansas jurors, presumed to follow their instructions, are made aware that: a determination that mitigators outweigh aggravators is a decision that a life sentence is appropriate; a determination that aggravators outweigh mitigators or a determination that mitigators do not outweigh aggravators -- including a finding that aggravators and mitigators are in balance -- is a decision that death is the appropriate sentence; and an inability to reach a unanimous decision will result in a sentence of life imprisonment. So informed, far from the abdication of duty or the inability to select an appropriate sentence depicted by Marsh and JUSTICE SOUTER, a jury's conclusion that aggravating evidence and mitigating evidence are in equipoise is a decision for death and is indicative of the type of measured, normative process in which a jury is constitutionally tasked to engage when deciding the appropriate sentence for a capital defendant.Continuing, Justice Thomas criticizes the dissenting opinion of Justice Souter for going off-topic in discussing DNA evidence:
JUSTICE SOUTER argues (hereinafter the dissent) that the advent of DNA testing has resulted in the "exoneratio[n]" of "innocent" persons "in numbers never imagined before the development of DNA tests." Post, at 5-6. Based upon this "new empirical demonstration of how 'death is different,'" post, at 8, the dissent concludes that Kansas' sentencing system permits the imposition of the death penalty in the absence of reasoned moral judgment. But the availability of DNA testing, and the questions it might raise about the accuracy of guilt-phase determinations in capital cases, is simply irrelevant to the question before the Court today, namely, the constitutionality of Kansas' capital sentencing system.
The dissent's general criticisms against the death penalty are ultimately a call for resolving all legal disputes in capital cases by adopting the outcome that makes the death penalty more difficult to impose. While such a bright-line rule may be easily applied, it has no basis in law. Indeed, the logical consequence of the dissent's argument is that the death penalty can only be just in a system that does not permit error. Because the criminal justice system does not operate perfectly, abolition of the death penalty is the only answer to the moral dilemma the dissent poses. This Court, however, does not sit as a moral authority. Our precedents do not prohibit the States from authorizing the death penalty, even in our imperfect system. And those precedents do not empower this Court to chip away at the States' prerogatives to do soon the grounds the dissent invokes today.
Justice Scalia defends the majority's decision today and reminds his colleagues how often DNA evidence has been used to vindicate an innocent prisoner:
There exists in some parts of the world sanctimonious criticism of America's death penalty, as somehow unworthy of a civilized society. (I say sanctimonious, because most of the countries to which these finger-waggers belong had the death penalty themselves until recently - and indeed, many of them would still have it if the democratic will prevailed.) It is a certainty that the opinion of a near-majority of the United States Supreme Court to the effect that our system condemns many innocent defendants to death will be trumpeted abroad as vindication of these criticisms. For that reason, I take the trouble to point out that the dissenting opinion has nothing substantial to support it.In dissent, Justice Souter calls the Kansas law "morally absurd" because the death penalty must be imposed when "the case for aggravation has failed to convince the sentencing jury:"
It should be noted at the outset that the dissent does not discuss a single case - not one - in which it is clear that a person was executed for a crime he did not commit. If such an event had occurred in recent years, we would not have to hunt for it; the innocent's name would be shouted from the rooftops by the abolition lobby. The dissent makes much of the new-found capacity of DNA testing to establish innocence. But in every case of an executed defendant of which I am aware, that technology has confirmed guilt.
In Kansas, when a jury applies the State's own standards of relative culpability and cannot decide that a defendant is among the most culpable, the state law says that equivocal evidence is good enough and the defendant must die. A law that requires execution when the case for aggravation has failed to convince the sentencing jury is morally absurd, and the Court's holding that the Constitution tolerates this moral irrationality defies decades of precedent aimed at eliminating freakish capital sentencing in the United States.But the case for aggravation hasn't failed just because there's an equal number of mitigating factors. Let's not forget that the defendant slashed a woman's throat and burned her daughter to death. His sentence is hardly "freakish." In fact I would want more than just one mitigating factor to outweigh the aggravating ones before commuting his sentence. But the jury was convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was responsible for his crimes and found enough aggravating circumstances to sentence him accordingly per Kansas law.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 3:20 PM
The unintelligent negro and most-maligned justice on the Supreme Court (who secretly pays Scalia to write his opinions) turns 58 today. In 1991 he replaced Justice Thurgood Marshall on the bench after a grueling and taxing confirmation process.
Unlike his predecessor, Thomas doesn't view the Constitution as an open invitation to change the law as he sees fit, or decide one day that capital punishment is unconstitutional - when it's clearly not according to the Fifth Amendment. But even more amazingly, he doesn't side with the criminal every time in habeas corpus cases, and believes that the laws that govern the people should be decided on by the people.
I can't think of a better way to honor the Georgia native than for 86-year-old Justice John Paul Stevens to step down at the end of the month. That way President Bush can nominate someone just like Thomas to join him on the bench come next term.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 3:32 PM
It's unfortunate Ann Coulter had to say what she did about the 9/11 widows. Not because she was wrong, but because that's all her critics have been bitching about since the book's release. Every article on the book is simple a rehash of "radical" quotes that do nothing more than bail out the critic who can't come up with a good rebuttal argument.
Here's a good piece explaining my point:
Ann Coulter's new book Godless: The Church of Liberalism is a rollicking read very tightly reasoned and hard to argue with. After all, the progressive mind regards it as backward and primitive to let religion determine every aspect of your life, but takes it as advanced and enlightened to have the state determine every aspect of your life. Lest you doubt the left's pieties are now a religion, try this experiment: go up to an environmental activist and say "Hey, how about that ozone hole closing up?" or "Wow! The global warming peaked in 1998 and it's been getting cooler for almost a decade. Isn't that great?" and then look at the faces. As with all millenarian doomsday cults, good news is a bummer.I don't always agree with what Ms. Coulter writes about, but I'm getting pretty sick and tired of people downplaying her intelligence without having the ability to refute it head on. Yes, it is just so much easier to copy-and-paste quotes from her book and call it day.
But nobody's talking too much about the finer points of Miss Coulter's argument. Instead, everyone -- from Hillary Rodham Clinton down -- is going bananas about a couple of paragraphs on page 103 and 112 in which the author savages the 9/11 widows. Not all of them. Just the quartet led by Kristen Breitweiser and known as "the Jersey Girls." These four widows have been regular fixtures in the New York TV studios since they first emerged to complain that the average $1.6 million-per-family compensation was insufficient. The 9/11 commission, in all its ghastly second-guessing showboating, was largely their project.
Posted by Aggressive-Voice at 1:50 PM