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Archive for May, 2004

Reggie Rivers is a former running back for the Denver Broncos. In his football retirement he has hosted a radio show in Denver, and is also a columnist for the Denver Post newspaper. Friday’s edition carries an editorial by him entitled Keep our Slaves Safe a reference to the US Military and the servitude he believes they work under.

The military world according to Reggie

Our military is one of the last bastions of slavery in the United States. At the moment, our slaves are stuck in a combat zone, getting killed and maimed, and there’s nothing they can do about it except hunker down and pray.

Yes, our slaves signed up of their own free will, but most of them were as misled about their job as the rest of us were about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

And I don’t think “slave” is too strong a word to describe someone who is not permitted to quit his job no matter how dangerous it becomes or how much he hates it. For most of us, the 13th Amendment abolished slavery and guaranteed that we have the right to withhold our labor. It doesn’t protect soldiers.

I will admit during my 20 years in the U.S. Navy I felt at times I was “owned by” Uncle Sam. Mostly it occurred while stuck on the ship for duty, as the other 75% of the crew were allowed to leave “the plantation” to enjoy the sights and sounds of the many beautiful ports of the world. But I knew that going in, and my chance to view the same sights came 24 hours later as I went off duty. It’s also true in four assignments on ships, and three on shore duty I had my choice. It was my decision to serve on two Destroyers, two Crusiers, and 7 years in Japan for my shore stations. My choice, not the Navy’s. It was my choice to complete 20 years. It is also the choice of those serving now “to quit” at the end of their contracts, be it 20, 10, or as little as 2 years. While its true some military members are being extended past their original contracts, this only applies to certain jobs with critical skills. If those being extended are unhappy, or have beliefs like your “slavery” scenario, to bad. “Let the buyer beware.” That possibility, along with entering combat, was in the contract they signed, if that clause went unread, or misunderstood, tough. Live with it and get on with life.

Considering your NFL background, and the environment it fosters, I fully understand your misconceptions on obligations and contracts. Players sign a 4 year contract, then “hold out” of training camp in the third year, whining and crying because they want $5 mil instead of the $3 mil the contract calls for. Then the greedy owners give in instead of slapping him with a breach of contract lawsuit. I understand Reggie, I really do.

Here are a few questions for you:

When you graduated with your Journalism degree (I assume thats correct ) were you given a choice of which NFL: team to play for? Did any of your compatriots, except Elway, and Manning? No!… Hey look at that, a “plantation” mentality.

Once drafted and signed to a fat 3 or 4 year contract did you, or your compatriots, have the ability to “opt out” and go play somewhere else at the two year mark? No!… I guess slavery is in effect here also.

When performance wasn’t up to your teams expectations and a trade sent you packing to the NFL wasteland of the Arizona Cardinals did you have an option to “quit?” No, not as a matter of a league wide policy. Only the “big time” stars had that option and was granted by a individuals contract. Sounds like the “plantation” to me, gotta work for “da man” no matter what.

What about that free agency thing? Great wasn’t it. Finally everyone had a choice in the NFL. Almost. There was that slight bump in the road called collusion. Got so bad no free agents could move anywhere one summer. It took an anti-collusion rule, and more than a few lawsuits, to break that little conspiracy up.

But lets move on to what else you have to say:

Our armed forces recruiters are quite adept at making military service appear beneficial (it mostly is) and safe (it’s not). The threat of war is minimized, because few rational people actually want to fight.

According to Chalmers Johnson, author of “The Sorrows of Empire,” almost half of our enlisted forces are between 17 and 24 years of age, and they were lured into military service with promises of education, job training, escape from poverty, medical benefits and the chance to operate some cool, high-tech equipment.

Johnson wrote: “A real deterrent to recruitment is the possibility that a new soldier will find himself or herself in combat. Roughly four out of five young Americans who enlist in our all-volunteer armed forces specifically choose non-combat jobs … .”

I overlooked your WMD canard, but this crap just begs a response. I have read Johnson’s book and it has many very valid points, but if your going to use this excerpt to buttress your slavery theme you need to look at another source. I find it frightening that you would believe the thousands of recruits since 9/11 are so stupid, so out of touch with the real world they had no idea a war was going on. And BTW military recruiting is at an all time high, men and women are waiting months after sign-up to start their careers at boot camp. All with no idea about the War on Terror by your account.

Do you know why 4 out of 5 that enlist are in “non-combat” jobs? Far from any fear or personal choice to avoid combat, the US military by necessity is made up of 80% non-combat jobs. Ever here the phrase, “an army travels on its stomach?” Thats your 4 out of 5 Reggie, much of it running the supply system, maintance of equipment, food delivery, doctors and nurses. I bet Jessica Lynch would dispute your claims non-combat jobs are a safe bet, she was part of the supply corps.

Go ahead Reggie, continue:

The recruitment effort gets more aggressive at the high school level. Johnson wrote, “Complaints about harassment by military recruiters in San Diego became so numerous in 1993 that the San Diego Unified School district adopted a policy against releasing student information to recruiters of any kind.”

Bans on overbearing campus recruiters became so common that President Bush addressed the issue in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The bill stated: “Any secondary school that receives federal funds under this Act shall permit regular United States Armed Services recruitment activities on school grounds, in a manner reasonably accessible to all students of such school.”

So our kids get bombarded with formal and informal recruiting messages – and they sign up. One day, they find themselves sitting in a Humvee in Iraq, with their best friend lying dead on the floor next to them, and they suddenly realize the deception of their recruitment and the shackles of their slavery.

They just want to go home, but they can’t. And domestically, we continue to trot out the tired mantra that supporting the troops means supporting the war.

If we truly care about our young slaves, we should do everything we can to get them out of harm’s way.

Your in a hole Reggie, and you keep digging. In addition to the normal anti-Bush, anti-war, “Bush lied, people died”, “where are the WMD’s?” spiel the far left wingers and Libertarians (like yourself) trot out, you add to your nonsensical rant that Bush has sent his jackbooted stormtroopers into schools looking to steal away our children to a life of slavery. Shear lunacy! Not to mention a flat out lie.

NEWSFLASH Reggie, its called discrimination. You more than most of us should understand the concept. Military recruiters were denied access to many schools because of leftest anti-war school boards that allowed anyone from the private sector, and other governmental agencies to hold school job fairs, meet with school guidance councilors, and make promises of fat paychecks, college tuition assistance, and free vacations in Casablanca. The Department of Defense were banned from doing the same. Its called discrimination, and its illegal. That was corrected with the No Child Left Behind Act.

Its Memorial Day weekend Reggie. A time to reflect on all those that have sacrificed for our freedom. Even your freedom to write this editorial, honest dissent is always welcome, but don’t you think a little respect is in order? What we get are false assertions, twisted logic, and flat out lies.

Reggie, your despicable, The Denver Post should place you on its waiver wire. Maybe Moveon.org will pick you up for the $100 waiver fee and you can join Al Gore in his next ravefest.

UPDATE: Dale Franks also has a few Memorial Day greetings for Massa Reggie!

UPDATE: Reggie is getting a rather large following. Captain Ed has joined the ranks sending greetings.

UPDATE: Blackfive, Baldilocks, and Sgt. Hook have also pulled a safety blitz on “Mr. Reggie.”

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And to think I grew up worshiping Larry Harmon and kneeling at the alter of Bozo the Clown. Spent countless hours being entertained by Bozo and Mr. Ringmaster. At the dawn of the TV Age he recruited over 200 orange haired Bozos to do his bit on local staions. His fame was so wide spread he did personnel performances for President Kennedy. President de Gaulle invited him to France, and Chiang Kai-shek got her dose of Bozo in a trip to China. Bozo has taken pies in the face from the best and the biggest in over 50 years of playing the part.

Now myself and Bozo’s legion of fans learn he was a sham, faker, a con man in big floppy shoes. A charlatan that has been stripped of his “Lifetime of Laughter Award” and a place in the Clown Hall of Fame.

The International Clown Hall of Fame has pie on its face: They inducted the wrong Bozo 10 years ago

For years, entertainer Larry Harmon claimed to have created Bozo and to have been the original silly clown. But after some investigation, the International Clown Hall of Fame found that Capitol Records executive Alan Livingston actually created Bozo for recordings in 1946, and that the late Vance “Pinto” Colvig was the first person to play the clown.

On Friday, the hall is posthumously inducting Colvig as the first Bozo.

I’ve pretty much accepted the fact nothing is sacred anymore. But did they really have to recind Harmons award? Wouldn’t it be better to re-issue it in recognition of his 50 years as Bozo. A Bozo that far out lived anything “Pinto” Colvig accomplished.

To be honest the Clown Hall of Fame has made three mistakes. They didn’t do enough research to uncover the orignator of the character Bozo, they stripped away Harmon’s accomplishments as Bozo, and the worst omission of all was in not nominating this clown for induction into the Hall.

Oh well, maybe next year Al will get in.

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If you enjoy Hollywood disaster flics Fridays (U.S.) opening of “The Day After Tomorrow” will probably be on your list of “to do’s” this weekend. Directed by Roland Emmerich, who also did Independence Day its an adaption of the book Coming Global Superstorm by Art Bell and Whitley Strieber. (more on Strieber later) But even as a disaster flic its seems to have come up short. One reviewer has called it:

“Hilariously awful in most places, with an incoherent script and questionable acting, “Day After” will come on Friday and the question will be: Can innumerable, mind-numbing special effects, nearly all of them created on a computer and placed in what can only be called a random order, overcome sheer inanity?”

Hmmmm, that don’t sound good, but thats not the point of the movie. Its sole reason for being is a political statement. It is a $200 million effort to shape American, and later thru world-wide release, opinion in favor of fighting global warming. The producer Mark Gordon admits as much, “part of the reason we made this movie” was to “raise consciousness about the environment.” A noble cause for a concerned citizen but a fact based documentary would have been a better choice. Of course this wouldn’t have brought near the notoriety or publicity of this baseless piece of trash. Or the tens, if not hundreds of million of dollars in profits.

Climatologist Stefan Rahmstorf has said this about the movie:

I think it would be a mistake and not do the film justice if scientists simply dismiss it as nonsense. For what it is, a blockbuster movie that has to earn back 120 M$ production cost, it is probably as good as you can get. For this type of movie for a very broad audience it is actually quite subversive and manages to slip in many thought-provoking things. I’m sure people will not confuse the film with reality, they are not stupid – they will know it is a work of fiction. But I hope that it will stir their interest for the subject, and that they might take more notice when real climate change and climate policy will be discussed in future.

Patrick J. Michaels senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute and author of the upcoming book, Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians and the Media, discusses the “science” contained in the movie:

Global warming causes the Gulf Stream to shut down

Carl Wunsch, a professor of physical oceanography at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, knows more about ocean currents than most anyone. He thinks the nonsense in The Day After Tomorrow detracts from the seriousness of the global-warming issue. So he recently wrote in the prestigious science journal Nature that the scenario depicted in the movie requires one to “turn off the wind system, or to stop the Earth’s rotation, or both.”

The stratosphere will become the troposphere when all three laws of thermodynamics are repealed. Hailstones can’t reach bowling-ball size because their growth is limited by gravity. Hurricanes can’t hit Belfast because the intervening island of Ireland would destroy them.

The movies website claims that there were more tornadoes recorded in May 2003 than in any other month?

I looked up federal tornado statistics, and indeed they’re going up, and there was a peak in May 2003. Then I determined the number of radar stations and their type. When our first radar-tracking network was established in the 1960s and ’70s, the number of tornadoes rose proportionally, then leveled off until the new Doppler radars came online in 1988. It took a decade to put this system in place, and the number of reported tornadoes went up accordingly.

Then I plotted the number of severe tornadoes. If anything, it’s going down. So the flashy Doppler radars are merely detecting more weak storms that cause little, if any, damage.

Global warming is making hurricanes worse

Christopher Landsea, the world’s most aptly named hurricane scientist, has studied the maximum winds in these storms as measured by aircraft and finds a significant decline.

Global warming? Some scientists think climate change strengthens El Niño, the large atmospheric oscillation responsible for a variety of weather — both good and bad. El Niños are known to rip apart hurricanes. So it’s more likely that climate change is weakening these storms than enhancing them.

Three views to make a choice from. A movie reviewer that cuts the movie to ribbons, and two scientists. One that favors the movie to publicize the effects of Global Warming, and another that shreds its creditability on scientific grounds.

Now, back to Whitley Strieber. Strieber’s also authored Communion: A True Story, where he claims to have been abducted by aliens who told of the Earth’s upcoming apocalypse. He even passed a lie detector to prove his veracity. Not that a lie detector proves anything beyond fleshing out the plot of a TV detective story. They have proven so unreliable the “evidence” obtained from them aren’t admissible in court.

So the bottom line on The Day After Tomorrow: It’s a crappy movie, with poor acting, wrapped in dubious science and taken from someone that believes he has been abducted by aliens. Oh, and one of its frontmen is Al Gore, who famously gave a global warming speech on one of New Yorks coldest days in history.

I think I’ll spend the weekend watching paint dry. And hoping to see an alien.

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From AP dispatch:

Morgue Records Show 5,500 Iraqis Killed

More than 5,500 Iraqis died violently in just Baghdad and three provinces in the first 12 months of the occupation, an Associated Press survey found. The toll from both criminal and political violence ran dramatically higher than violent deaths before the war, according to statistics from morgues.

Sounds like life really sucks to be an Iraqi. But there is a catch, Saddam didn’t run his victims through the morgues. He processed those bodies himself:

That doesn’t mean Iraq is a more dangerous place than during Saddam Hussein’s regime. At least 300,000 people were murdered by security forces and buried in mass graves during the dictator’s 23-year rule, U.S. officials say, and human rights workers put the number closer to 500,000.

And the answer is. Under Saddam Hussein 13,000 to 21,000 were brutally murdered each year. Looks like the U.S. occupation has quite a few living Iraqi’s on its side of the ledger. Call it what you will, but it sounds like an improvement to me.

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If a group of Christian activists have their way, America will lose one state. Calling the approval of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts “the straw that broke the camel’s back,” they are in the beginning stages of an effort to have one state secede from the United States to become its own sovereign nation.

“Our Christian republic has declined into a pagan democracy,” says Cory Burnell, president of Christian Exodus org, a non-profit corporation based in Tyler, Texas. “There are some issues people just can’t take anymore, and [same-sex marriage] might finally wake up the complacent Christians.”

Burnell is leading the charge for a peaceful secession of one state from the union, and after originally considering Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina due to their relatively small populations, coastal access, and the Christian nature of the electorate, Burnell says South Carolina has been selected as the target location.

“We’re not an invading force, we’re reinforcements,” Burnell tells WorldNetDaily, saying it would be a waste to move to liberal-minded states such as Massachusetts, New York or California where conservative votes would be diluted.

Dulusionary? Yes. Possible? NO. But he has plans, he gets credit for that.

If all goes according to plan, Burnell is hoping to have a constitutional convention by 2014, with a president of the new nation – still to be known as South Carolina – elected in 2016, which is also a presidential election year in the U.S.

Assuming South Carolina isn’t on the table and they are searching for a state to “inhabit” which state would you suggest? I have my own ideas that I’ll add later. Leave your thoughts in the comment section.

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….. some, if not all of Mark Steyn’s words

There are some 8,000 towns and villages in the country. How many do you hear about on the news? For a week, it’s all Fallujah all the time. Then it’s Najaf, and nada for anywhere else. Currently, 90 percent of Iraqi coverage is about one lousy building: Abu Ghraib. So what’s going on in the other 7,997 dots on the map? In the Shia province of Dhi Qar, a couple hundred miles southeast of Baghdad, 16 of the biggest 20 cities plus many smaller towns will have elected councils by June. These were the first free elections in Dhi Qar’s history and ”in almost every case, secular independents and representatives of nonreligious parties did better than the Islamists.” That assessment is from the anti-war anti-Bush anti-Blair Euro-lefties at the Guardian, by the way.

That policy of ad hoc, incremental, rolling devolution needs to be accelerated. Towns and provinces should have as much sovereignty as they can handle, on the obvious principle that the constituent parts of ramshackle federations rarely progress at the same pace. In the former Yugoslavia, Slovenia is now an advanced Western economy, Kosovo is a U.N. slum housing project. If one were to cast the situation in rough British terms, the Kurdish areas are broadly analogous to Scotland, Dhi Qar and other Shia provinces are Wales, and the Sunni Triangle is Northern Ireland.

Even in the Sunni Triangle, remove Fallujah and the remaining 95 percent is relatively calm. And, while Fallujah hasn’t been removed, it has been more or less quarantined. There have been fewer lethal attacks in Baghdad in recent weeks in part because many of the perpetrators were Fallujah residents who used to drive up to the capital for a little light RPG work in the evening. Now they’re pinned down in their hometown.

We need more of that. The best bulwark against tyranny is a population that knows the benefits of freedom, as the Iraqi Kurds do. Don’t make the mistake of turning Iraq into a dysfunctional American public school, where the smart guys get held down to the low standards of the misfits and in the end they all get the same social promotion anyway. Let’s get on with giving the Kurdish and Shia areas elected governors and practical sovereignty, province by province.

Don’t stop there, contimue reading at the Sun Times.

Tipped by Instapundit

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…..before a new and legally married guy couple filed a lawsuit, and less less than 24 hours after the ceremony.

Michelle Charron and Cynthia Kalish, who married Thursday and have a 6-year-old daughter, sued Worcester’s Fallon Clinic and two of its doctors, claiming they misdiagnosed Charron’s now-incurable breast cancer. The legalization of gay marriage allows Kalish to sue for loss of companionship, grounds not allowed to gay couples before Monday’s historic change. Charron’s cancer has spread to her liver and sternum, bringing “substantial risk of premature death,” according to the lawsuit.

“It was hard (in Thursday’s wedding ceremony) when they got to the `in sickness and in health, for as long as you both shall live,’ ” said Kalish, 39, who works in human resources.

[…]

“Cynthia and I aren’t going to grow old together,” Charron said. “I think a lot about Hannah (their daughter) and the things in her life I may miss . . . her first date, the prom, her Bat Mitzvah.”

I may be far from being a medical expert, and even less a legal guru. But I fail to see why Charron had any less of a “substantial risk of premature death,” before the couples marriage, than after. The medical malpractice suit is the normal route to take in this type of case, and conceivably it could have been filed a year ago.

Hearing their lawyer speak only confirms somethings afoot besides compensation for loss of companionship.

Charron and Kalish’s loss of companionship claim highlights a new era in Massachusetts law, said their attorney, Ann Maguire of the Keches & Mallen lawfirm.

“The (companionship) claim brought by a spouse is not new, but the fact that this is a claim brought by a same-sex spouse is what makes this unique,” said Paul Martinek, editor of Lawyers Weekly USA. “This shows one of the major benefits for same-sex couples to say, `I am married.’ ”

Any bets that this shyster has been at the forefront of the gay rights movement in Massachusetts. Anyone? Anyone at all?

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