Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Charlie Wilson's RONALD REAGAN'S WAR

According to Hollywood, as presented in "Charlie Wilson's War", opening this Friday, conveniently forgets History. The Investors Business Daily (IBD) has published Reagan's War, Not Charlie Wilson's as an attempt to counter Media Bias.
Hollywood would have us believe that Democrats defeated the evil empire in Afghanistan, and that President Reagan played only a minor role and even helped pave the way to 9/11.
Of course Hollywood has a long history of rewriting History. In "Charlie's War", President Reagan is a bit player. In reality it is Charlie Wilson who should be the footnote.
Charlie Wilson was a pro-abortion, Equal Rights Amendment-supporting congressman widely known as "the liberal from Lufkin." To his credit, he did play a role in facilitating support to the Afghan mujahadeen. But it is he who should be the historical footnote.
Of the 5 main characters involved in the actual events in Afghanistan, (Charlie being one), 4 were Republican Conservatives.
The movie is based on the book by former "60 Minutes" staffer George Crile. Crile's credits include the infamous 1982 CBS documentary alleging that Gen. William Westmoreland led a conspiracy to mislead America about the Vietnam War. The screenplay was written by Aaron Sorkin of "West Wing" fame.
Considering the writing history of the authors of the Book and the Screenplay, helps to explain the possible bias presented in the film.

Actually another Left-Wing conspiracy theory is also featured in "Charlie Wilson's War".
The movie also perpetuates the left-wing myth that the covert operation funded Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida and ultimately led to the 9/11 attacks. Reagan-era officials such as Ikle say Osama never got funding or weapons from the U.S. and that he didn't launch his terror war until after U.S. involvement and the Soviet withdrawal in 1989.
Alas Jimmie Carter is also not featured prominently in this movie.
It was his naivete about Communist expansion that led the Soviets to invade Afghanistan in the first place. Had Reagan not beaten Carter in 1980 there would have been no Stingers and no victory in the Cold War.
Food for thought.

Strange Event

FedEx Truck Hijacked In New York City - Strange Event details a "What were they thinking?" event in the news. Read the article and then let me know what it means.
Many aspects of this story just don’t make sense to me. Maybe I’ve just been doing this too long and I over analyze things.
In this on "edge world" events like this are worthy of questioning.
On one hand it appears to be a planned crime and not a crime of opportunity (guns, handcuffs, badge). However, if that was the case why didn’t the hijackers bring along some type of tools to break open the seals on the containers?
As the author points out, the hijackers had this truck for 9 hours. Surely this is enough time to acquire the tools and means to open the containers, if that was their purpose. But apparently they did not distrube the cargo. Why???
This is where I begin to over-analyze. What if the truck was hijacked for some other purpose and the hijackers hadn’t planned on it being full of merchandise? What if they were actually hoping to take control of an empty truck just before Christmas and use it for some other purpose?
Another event that may mean nothing, but might mean something. The question is Which.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all, but especially to our men and women, and the families of our Military, (past and present) I also say Thank You and God Bless.

Murky Research

Monday, December 24, 2007

Self Deportation - It Works!

Illegal immigrants "self deport" as woes mount is an article which shows that we don't have to round up the millions of Illegal Immigrants. They will self-deport if the laws are enforced.
Mexican illegal immigrant Lindi sat down with her husband Marco Antonio in the weeks before Christmas to decide when to go back to Mexico.
Contrary to what the Left has maintained, when the economics are changed to favor the Legal Americans rather than the Illegals, the Illegal Immigrants leave. Of course not all will go, but if the economic incentive is gone, most will leave.
The couple are among a growing number of illegal immigrants across the United States who are starting to pack their bags and move on as a crackdown on undocumented immigrants widens and the U.S. economy slows, turning a traditional Christmas trek home into a one-way trip.
The fence is a must if we really want to secure the border, but when the law is enforced, the results are clear.
Mexican consular sources in Phoenix say they are seeing a spike in the number of immigrants applying for Mexican citizenship for their U.S.-born children, which will allow them to enroll in schools in Mexico. [emphasis mine]
They didn't have to prove US Citizenship to go to school here, but they do in Mexico. But it's not just Mexican Citizens who are leaving.
Members of the Brazilian community in the U.S. northeast, meanwhile, say they are starting to see an increase in the number of illegal immigrants heading back to their homes in Brazil in recent months.
However, many are moving to the Sanctuary Cities, Counties and States instead of going home.
While some illegal immigrants are simply self deporting, others are moving within the United States to avoid federal immigration raids and pro-enforcement measures passed by a patchwork of state and local authorities.
Self-Deportation works and costs little.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Global Warming Question

My Global Warming Question at TCSDaily asks the question which is also on my mind.
I am not a skeptic about the rise in average temperatures. Nor am I skeptical that the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been increasing. However, I remain skeptical about the connection between the two.

My question is this:

what are the most persuasive reasons for believing that the rise in temperature is due to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide? [emphasis in original]
The answer to that question is the crux of the arguments about Global Climate Change. At this point, neither Dr. Kling nor I have encountered the persuasive reasons for the connection.

The author of this article is Arnold Kling. Dr. Kling holds a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Bio). Dr. Kling and I have almost identical views on Global Warming.
I am worried about climate change. In one respect, I may be more worried than other people. I am worried because I have very little confidence that we know what is causing it. One of my fears is that we could reduce carbon emissions by some drastic amount, only to discover that--oops--it turns out that climate change is being caused by something else.
As you read this article, Dr. Kling gives several examples of Scientific and Economic Theories for which the facts overwhelmingly support the Theory. Dr. Kling and I agree that no such factual data has been assembled to overwhelmingly support one position over the other.

There are about the same number of arguments on each side, and on both sides it appears the opposition would rather attack the author of a dissenting opinion rather than the facts the study author presents. This is emotion, not Scientific Research. For those of you who are old enough to remember Jack Webb's "Dragnet" the common phrase Jack used is appropriate here. "Just the facts Madam, Just the facts."

Read the article and if you can, and as Dr. Kling asks, send him an e-mail with your facts. I would also appreciate a copy too. (E-mail me here Murky Research)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

What Does Islamic Sharia Law Look Like?

Teacher Hidden As Sudan Mob Urges Death says it plainly.
Thousands of Sudanese, many armed with clubs and swords and beating drums, burned pictures of a British teacher Friday and demanded her execution for insulting Islam by letting her students name a teddy bear Muhammad [emphasis mine].
This is Radical Islam. This is al Qaeda. This is the Muslim Brotherhood. This is what we are fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The application of Sharia Law is not limited to the Sudan. Saudi Rape Ruling Puts Govt on Defensive articulates the application of Sharia Law to a RAPE VICTIM.
Saudi Arabia is bristling at international criticism over the sentencing of a rape victim to prison and 200 lashes, insisting the West should stay out of its legal system. But the case could empower voices for change in the kingdom's Islamic courts.
And what was the Rape Victim's crime?
In the case of the Girl of Qatif, the woman - a member of the kingdom's Shiite minority - was attacked in 2006 when she met a high school friend in his car to retrieve a picture of herself from him, since she had recently married. Two men got into the vehicle and drove them to a secluded area where five others waited, and then the woman - 19 at the time - and her companion were both raped, she has said. [emphasis mine]
Did you understand the crime the Rape Victim committed?
In October last year, she was sentenced to prison and 90 lashes for being alone with a man not related to her - a violation of the kingdom's strict segregation of the sexes. The seven rapists were also convicted. [emphasis mine]
Of course this criminal conviction was reversed on appeal. Wrong!!!
When her lawyer, Abdul-Rahman al-Lahem, appealed the sentence and made public comments about it, he was removed from the case, his license suspended, and the court increased the woman's penalty to six months in prison and 200 lashes. [emphasis mine]
This is the application of Sharia Law as practiced by Radical Muslims. The Appeals Court claimed justification for the increase in the Rape Victim's penalty.
It also defended the doubling of the sentence against her, insisting she was an "adulteress."
Sharia Law is Government and Religion as one. It is not Freedom of Religion. It is not separation of Church and State. It is Governmental Law based solely on Religion. It is Church IS State.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A National Language Makes A Country Unique

A National Language is the glue which holds a country together, by helping to create a National identity. Just as every person is unique, so is each country. It is failure to please everyone all the time. Polls have repeatedly shown the American Public favor English as the Official National Language of the USA.

The liberals greatest failure has always been the attempt to appease everyone. Abraham Lincoln said it simply - "You can't please all the people all the time." But this doesn't stop another Democrat from trying. Nancy Pelosi is now trying to force the Salvation Army to drop its requirement that their employees speak English in the US.

Pelosi's latest appeasement attempt is described in a "John Fund on the Trail" article (Mi Casa, Sue Casa) in the on-line OpinionJournal of the Wall Street Journal.
It's been less than a week since New York's Sen. Hillary Clinton and Gov. Eliot Spitzer had to climb down from their support of driver's licenses for illegal aliens. Now House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has moved to kill an amendment that would protect employers from federal lawsuits for requiring their workers to speak English. Among the employers targeted by such lawsuits: the Salvation Army.
The attempt to claim an employer is guilty of Discrimination if employees are required to conduct business in English is a twisted perversion of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, a moderate Republican from Tennessee, is dumbstruck that legislation he views as simple common sense would be blocked. He noted that the full Senate passed his amendment to shield the Salvation Army by 75-19 last month, and the House followed suit with a 218-186 vote just this month. "I cannot imagine that the framers of the 1964 Civil Rights Act intended to say that it's discrimination for a shoe shop owner to say to his or her employee, 'I want you to be able to speak America's common language on the job,' " he told the Senate last Thursday.
An employee who can speak any foreign language in addition to English is an asset, and in today's society sometimes a necessity. But the ability to Conduct business in English should be a primary requirement for employment. Unfortunately we have not made English the Official Language of America. Yet we label all languages other than English a Foreign Language?

This error has helped to make all Americans feel a lack of National Identity. National language is one of the Basic characteristic of a society. It makes that country unique, and it binds that society and its people together in a shared characteristic identity. Members of the Hispanic Caucus in Congress do not agree.
"If it is not relevant, it is discriminatory, it is gratuitous, it is a subterfuge to discriminate against people based on national origin," says Rep. Charles Gonzalez of Texas ...
If discrimination against people based on national origin is illegal, as Representative Gonzalez claims, what about those of us who are of American origin and grew up speaking English?
The late Albert Shanker, head of the American Federation of Teachers, once pointed out that public schools were established in this country largely "to help mostly immigrant children learn the three R's and what it means to be an American, with the hope that they would go home and teach their parents the principles in the Constitution and the Declaration that unite us."
For National Unity we need to pass a National Language Law which establishes English as the only Official Language of the USA.
Mr. Alexander says that noble effort is in danger of being undermined: "We have spent the last 40 years in our country celebrating diversity at the expense of unity. One way to create that unity is to value, not devalue, our common language, English."
Here, Here!!

Income Inequity Is Not The Issue You Thought

Movin' On Up is an interesting editorial from the online OpinionJournal of the Wall Street Journal.
If you've been listening to Mike Huckabee or John Edwards on the Presidential trail, you may have heard that the U.S. is becoming a nation of rising inequality and shrinking opportunity. We'd refer those campaigns to a new study of income mobility by the Treasury Department that exposes those claims as so much populist hokum.
This study shows that America still is the "Land of Opportunity". The Treasury reached this conclusion by analyzing information from IRS Tax returns.
The Treasury study examined a huge sample of 96,700 income tax returns from 1996 and 2005 for Americans over the age of 25. The study tracks what happened to these tax filers over this 10-year period. One of the notable, and reassuring, findings is that nearly 58% of filers who were in the poorest income group in 1996 had moved into a higher income category by 2005. Nearly 25% jumped into the middle or upper-middle income groups, and 5.3% made it all the way to the highest quintile.
For any society to be able to claim upward mobility, there must also be downward mobility.
Only one income group experienced an absolute decline in real income--the richest 1% in 1996. Those households lost 25.8% of their income. Moreover, more than half (57.4%) of the richest 1% in 1996 had dropped to a lower income group by 2005. Some of these people might have been "rich" merely for one year, or perhaps for several, as they hit their peak earning years or had some capital gains windfall. Others may simply have not been able to keep up with new entrepreneurs and wealth creators.
Logically there must be "room" to move upward, before opportunity can be realized. This "room" can only be created in a society where things are dynamic not static. Dynamic movement allows for both up and down movement.
The key point is that the study shows that income mobility in the U.S. works down as well as up--another sign that opportunity and merit continue to drive American success, not accidents of birth. The "rich" are not the same people over time.
This is only true of a society where opportunity exists. This Treasury Department study also shows that the ability for the lower economic money earners to move upward is approximately the same as it was in the previous decade. In fact the percentages have remained stable since the 1960's.
All of this certainly helps to illuminate the current election-year debate about income "inequality" in the U.S. The political left and its media echoes are promoting the inequality story as a way to justify a huge tax increase. But inequality is only a problem if it reflects stagnant opportunity and a society stratified by more or less permanent income differences. That kind of society can breed class resentments and unrest. America isn't remotely such a society, thanks in large part to the incentives that exist for risk-taking and wealth creation.
The final paragraph of this Editorial piece illustrates the irony of claiming "Lack of Opportunity" as justification for raising taxes.
The great irony is that, in the name of reducing inequality, some of our politicians want to raise taxes and other government obstacles to the kind of risk-taking and hard work that allow Americans to climb the income ladder so rapidly. As the Treasury data show, we shouldn't worry about inequality. We should worry about the people who use inequality as a political club to promote policies that reduce opportunity.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Edwards Links to Trial Lawyers

George Will's article today, (Sunday, November 18th) in the Indianapolis Star is interesting. Mr. Will has brought to light the connection between Indited/Convicted Trial Lawyers and John Edwards. But it also highlights the ties to the Democratic Party in General. (Setting the Bar for Corruption)
John Edwards launched his slight public career -- one Senate term, two presidential candidacies -- with the money and reputation he made as a trial lawyer. Today he is the candidate of a small fraction of the electorate but a sizable portion of America's trial lawyers. Edwards says Washington is "corrupt." [emphasis mine]
Mr. Will goes on to examine that last statement, and finds a case of the kettle calling the pot black.
Within Edwards' lucrative trial bar constituency, there has been a flurry of criminal indictments. Their target has been what Fortune magazine calls the law firm of Hubris Hypocrisy and Greed. (See Peter Elkind's jaw-dropping report in the issue of Nov. 13, 2006.) The real name of the nation's foremost securities class-action firm is Milberg Weiss.
Milberg Weiss is a lawyer whose name and Democratic Party connections you should remember next time you enter the voting booth.
It has been indicted as a "racketeering enterprise" that obstructed justice and committed perjury, bribery and fraud while collecting about $250 million in fees from about 250 cases using paid plaintiffs, which is illegal. Several of the firm's members, past and present, also have been indicted.
According to George Will, Mel Weiss, who is going to trial, and his former partner, Bill Lerach, who has pleaded guilty to unspecified crimes, ...each pocketed -- it would be strange to say they earned -- more than $100 million in the 1990s. The firm itself has been charged with paying $11.4 million to three serial plaintiffs who testified in 180 cases over 25 years, claiming to have been repeatedly defrauded. by paying plaintiffs for testimony.

Now we have one partner pleading guilty, and one partner in the same law firm indited for alleged crimes. Here is the connection to the John Edwards Campaign.
Until Lerach pleaded guilty he was a fundraiser for Edwards, for whom he collected $64,000 from lawyers in the firm he founded after he had a falling out with Weiss.
As to the connection to the Democratic Party, Consider this from the Will article.
Lerach was a Lincoln Bedroom guest in President Bill Clinton's White House. Shortly after Lerach attended a White House dinner, Clinton vetoed legislation that would have restricted class-action lawsuits. Lerach gave $100,000 to Clinton's presidential library.
And this.
Milberg Weiss turned that narrative into gold, which it shared with Democrats. Since 1980, the firm's partners have given more than $7 million to Democratic candidates, and an additional $500,000 to help build the Democratic National Committee's new headquarters.
Remember this article when you hear about Democrats talking about Trial Lawyers being, as George Will writes, White Knights protecting little people. [emphasis mine]

Political Global Warming is DANGEROUS

Global Warming is a fact. Global Climate Change has been going on since the Earth was created. The debate question is "What is the cause of Global Warming?" Despite what Political Figures say, the question is not settled, according to the Scientists. The only place it appears to be settled is in the mind of "Chicken Little" Politicians like Al Gore and now UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

In an article by Arthur Max, (UN Panel Gives Dire Warming Forecast) the UN Secretary-General is calling on the US and China, as the Earth's largest polluters, ... to do more to slow global climate change. Like most Politicians, the "facts" should never stand in the way of Political Correctness and Gain.

Several "facts" about Global Warming are not mentioned in this one-sided presentation. Among the unmentioned but confirmed "facts" are:
  1. The Earth has been both Warmer and Colder in the Past
  2. The cost of Carbon Dioxide reduction as per the Kyoto Accord requires extreme (read impossible) Life Style Changes
  3. Carbon Dioxide is not the major Greenhouse Gas
  4. At least 1/2 of the atmospheric Carbon Dioxide results from Natural Events (Volcanoes)
  5. Since the Arctic Ice Cap is floating, its melting will not significantly affect Ocean Levels
  6. The Antarctic Ice Cap is Growing.
  7. Polar Bear populations are growing or at least stable
  8. Al Gore will not sign has own Global Warming Pledge
  9. Al Gore will not debate Global Warming nor explain the "factual" errors contained in his movie "An Inconvient Truth"
There are other "facts" which show "Chicken Little" alarmists claim of disaster unless we act now, are costly, will be unproductive and unnecessary. Political Mandates on Global Warming are dangerous. For more facts, click here.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Oklahoma Leads, California Fails

In Immigration Wars, Cal Thomas states:
Like the war on terrorism, progress in the immigration war is also mixed.
Immigration has become one of the main Political Issues. On one side are States like California, Some Federal Courts, the AFL-CIO, immigrants' rights groups and the US Chamber of Commerce.
A federal judge in San Francisco has temporarily prevented the Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration from using mismatched Social Security data to penalize employers who hire illegal aliens. The decision came as welcome news to the AFL-CIO, various "immigrants' rights" groups and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce who are behind a lawsuit that claims the federal government's actions are a violation of the law.
It is believed by some that Illegal Aliens are a necessary ingredient to fill jobs Americans do not want. On the other hand, Illegal Aliens are doing harm to our society as a burden to our Welfare Programs, Medical Care, School Systems, etc.

In addition, Federal and State Laws allow Illegals to Obtain Drivers Licenses and Vote. Current Lack of Immigration Enforcement is a recipe for disaster. But there is one bright spot in Oklahoma, which is leading the Nation by implementing New Immigration Law.
In Oklahoma, the toughest immigration law in the country was allowed to take effect when U.S. District Judge James H. Payne refused to accept arguments from Hispanic and immigrants rights groups who tried to block it. According to the Washington Times, the measure, House Bill 1804, "prevents illegal aliens from getting driver's licenses, denies them every possible public service or benefit not required by federal law, gives state and local police the ability to enforce immigration laws and beginning next year, requires employers to check new employees' identities through a federal database. ... The judge allowed the law to take effect while the case proceeds."
Much of our problem with Illegal Immigrants is the fault of the Federal Government. Congress has not appropriated enough money for Border Security, while Presidents have not enforced the Immigration Laws already on the books.
Most citizens know that if they break laws, they will pay a penalty. They know their driver's license is a privilege and that the state that issues them can take them away when certain laws are broken. They see New York Governor Eliot Spitzer ordering special classes of driver's licenses for illegal immigrants and regard it as a double standard. Countries to which Americans travel prohibit us from working in those countries, but we are told we must accept law-breaking foreign workers.
Why is there little money and little enforcement? Because the Politicians want the Hispanic Vote!
The war over immigration is essentially a battle for the Hispanic vote. Politicians will do anything to get it, including disregarding the laws they are sworn to uphold. The politician who gets on the wrong side of this issue -- like Hillary Clinton did in the most recent Democratic presidential debate -- is likely to pay a heavy price from the majority who obey laws. For the moment, we still outnumber the illegals.
However in their rush to court the Hispanic Vote, they overlook the backlash from the Majority. They would do well to consider that the Majority of voters is most likely to support those candidates, regardless of party, who are perceived as Fair and Just. No candidate will ever agree with all voters, but respect is given to those who are perceived as Fair and Just. Respect more often than not equals electability.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

John Doolittle - Poster Child For What's Wrong With Congress

John Doolittle (R-CA) is currently an elected member of the US House of Representatives. He is also under investigation by the FBI for corruption. Doolittle Inc. is the title of an article about the clouded dealings and arrangements of the Doolittles by Debra Saunders.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington placed Doolittle on its "22 Most Corrupt Members of Congress" roster. The Placer County, Calif., Republican also is in the small club of elected officials under federal investigation for corruption. His name has come up in connection with convicted uber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and with convicted (as of Monday, on bribery charges) defense contractor Brent Wilkes. In April, the FBI searched Doolittle's Virginia home.
Congressman Doolittle was forced to resign from the House Appropriations Committee as a result of the federal investigations, but as Ms. Saunders points out, Mr. Doolittle is running for re-election to his Congressional Seat. In all fairness, he has not been convicted of a crime, and as such, is presumed to be innocent.

John Doolittle is a Poster Child for "Whats Wrong With Congress" because of the loopholes which allow certain questionable practices to continue.
Doolittle, you may recall, made news for letting a campaign fund pick up the tab for babysitting his daughter -- $4,581 since 2001, The Washington Post reported in 2006. He brought new meaning to the phrase "family values."
This practice is legal, but why should it be? And there's more in the same vein.
Doolittle's annual salary has been more than $150,000 since 2002. Not enough. So he and his wife gave themselves a raise. Wife Julie set up a political fund-raising firm that allowed her to earn 15 percent off of every dime raised for Doolittle's Superior California Fund. She also received a cut for donations she raised for his re-election campaign -- to the tune of $140,000 over three years.
Again Legal, but Ethical or Responsible?
Savvy donors knew that if they wrote a check to a Doolittle campaign through Julie Doolittle, the congressman's household income would be richer by 15 percent of the check. This arrangement was a recipe for conflict of interest.
These and other questionable arrangements, are a big part of the reason the Republicans rightfully lost control of both Houses of Congress. But in the Spirit of Convicted Republican California Congressman Duke Cunningham, Democrat Nancy Pelosi and the Current Democrat House leaders continue to allow these practices to continue. The Majority changed from Republican to Democrats, but for practical purposes, IT IS BUSINESS AS USUAL, and Abuse of Power.

The only way to stop the abuse of power, is for us the Voters, to demand a higher standard from our elected officials. This is one area of Political Issues where no party affiliation has a monopoly. Political Ethics has become an Oxymoron.

Kathleen Willey Suspects Clintons Murdered Her Husband

Kathleen Willey's new book, "Target: Caught in the Crosshairs of Bill and Hillary Clinton," is scheduled to be released later this week.
In a new book alleging a campaign of slander and intimidation orchestrated chiefly by Hillary Clinton, Kathleen Willey points a finger of suspicion at the former first couple for the death of her husband, who was believed to have killed himself. [emphasis mine]
The preceeding paragraph is quoted in a WorldNetDaily (WND) article, Kathleen Willey suspects Clintons murdered husband. WND is a partner of the book's publisher, World Ahead Publishing. According to this article/press release, Ms. Willey, then a White House Volunteer, also claims President Bill Clinton granted her a meeting to discuss paying Government Jobs.
But Willey alleges the Nov. 29, 1993, meeting ended abruptly when the president cornered her in a private passageway and sexually assaulted her.
This book, set for release this week, will surely provide more fodder for the Political debates.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Global Warming or Polar Bear Pandering

U.S. Senate Committee on Environmental & Public Works Minority Ranking Member James M. Inhofe (R-OK) today posted a reprint and link to a San Francisco Chronicle article published yesterday. Senate Link here Polar Bear Pandering (In Case You Missed It...Debra Saunders, San Francisco Chronicle) or San Francisco Chronicle Link here Polar Bear Pandering

This post will use the Senate Link.
Sen. Barbara Boxer of California delivered a speech in the Senate last week in which she linked global warming to the San Diego wildfires, Darfur, the imminent loss of the world's polar bears and even a poor 14-year-old boy who died from "an infection caused after swimming in Lake Havasu," because its water is warmer. Forget arson. Forget genocide. Forget nature. There is no tragedy that cannot be placed at the doorstep of global-warming skeptics. [emphasis mine]

Apparently Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), as the last sentence of the above quoted paragraph indicates, believes almost everything bad which happens is because of Global Warming. Even when presented factual information to the contrary, Senator Boxer continues to maintain it's Global Warming which is to blame.

The article in the SF Chronicle makes note of this statement by Senator Inhofe.
Last month, Inhofe took on the Al Gore suggestion that polar bears are in peril because of global warming. Inhofe pointed to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services estimates that show the polar bear population at about 20,000 to 25,000 bears - up from the estimated 5,000 to 10,000 polar bears in the 1950s and 1960s.
In response, here is the article's paragraph of Senator Boxer's answer.
Boxer rejected Inhofe's claim that there are more polar bears, selectively citing the "best-studied population" of Canada's western Hudson Bay that found a 22 percent reduction of polar bears from 1987 to 2004. Then she referred to a World Conservation Union prediction that the polar bear population will drop by 30 percent by 2050. Global warming is supposed to be about science, yet projections now stand as fact. [emphasis mine]
So who's correct? Actually both are, but the Hudson Bay Study of Polar Bear decline Senator Boxer cites, doesn't mention this inconvenient fact.
Bjorn Lomborg addressed the polar bear scare in his book, "Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming." Of the 13 polar bear populations in Canada, the populations of 11 are stable or growing. The biggest cause of polar-bear deaths: hunters, who shoot an average of 49 polar bears in western Hudson Bay yearly. [emphasis mine]
But to Global Warming Alarmists, the cause really doesn't matter so long as it sounds like the cause could be Global Warming. To me that's Irresponsible. It is especially egregious when a powerful politician, one who like Senator Boxer, twists the facts to fit the theory.

It is also conveniently omitted by Politicians like Al Gore and Senator Boxer that the Kyoto Pact was brought to a vote in the Senate in 1993 and rejected by 95-0. Mr. Gore was VP and President of the Senate, while Ms. Boxer was one of the 95 Senators who voted against the Kyoto Accord.

What is usually heard is the fact that the Kyoto Treaty was supported by President Clinton, and rejected by President Bush. That's even more remarkable when the 1993 date is considered. In 1993, Clinton was President, Bush was not yet Governor of Texas (Elected 1994).

The Senate rejected the Kyoto Accord because of the severe adverse effect the terms would have had on our economy if ratified. In addition to an economic disaster, the Kyoto Accord would have, at best, a negligible effect on Global Warming. Negligible because the Kyoto Accord limits the production of Carbon Dioxide (CO2), but CO2 constitutes a very small part of the Green House Gases. Water Vapor is the greatest component of Green House Gas.
Today, Democrats have abandoned all reason. They buy the worst-case scenarios and sell snake-oil economics. The air of unreality pervades the debate. It doesn't matter what you spew if you say you believe in global warming. You don't have to sacrifice. Fighting global warming will be easy and good for the economy. This isn't science. It's fantasy. [emphasis mine]
There is some hope for San Francisco.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Should Illegal Aliens Vote in US Elections?

There has been a lot of rhetoric about New York Governor Eliot Spitzer's plan to allow Illegal Aliens to obtain Drivers Licenses in New York State. The claim most often made as a justification for this granting of a State Approved Legal Drivers License is to bring the ILLEGALS out of the shadows and allow Governments to know who is in the US. And supporters argued that a legally issued State Drivers License would make our roads safer for all, because the Illegals could get Insurance and would have to pass a test covering "Rules of the Road".

All of these reasons sound good, noble and worthwhile, but there is another consequence which falls into the Fatally Flawed category. 'This Will Make Voter Fraud Easier' aptly identifies this Fatal Flaw.
The background here is the National Voter Registration Act, commonly known as "Motor Voter," that President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1993. It required all states to offer voter registration to anyone getting a driver's license. One simply fills out a form and checks a box stating he is a citizen; he is then registered and in most states does not have to show any ID to vote. [emphasis mine]
Voting is a privilege which should only be available to the Legal Citizens of the USA. Federal Law dictates that there is no way to reasonably exclude anyone, including Illegals, with an Official State Drivers License from the Voting Booth.
The potential for fraud is not trivial, as federal privacy laws prevent cross-checking voter registration rolls with immigration records. Nevertheless, a 1997 Congressional investigation found that "4,023 illegal voters possibly cast ballots in [a] disputed House election" in California. After 9/11, the Justice Department found that eight of the 19 hijackers were registered to vote. [brackets in original, but emphasis mine]
Similar cases have been found in other states too. Texas found over 300 Illegals registered to vote. In Texas, as in many other States, Prospective Jurors are chosen from Voter Registrations. Over 300 were disqualified for Jury Duty when they said they were not US Citizens. They were registered to Vote, however.

New York and Texas are not the only states to pollute the Voter Pool.
Under pressure from liberal groups, some states have even abandoned the requirement that people check a citizenship box to be put on the voter rolls. Iowa has told local registrars they should register people even if they leave the citizenship box blank. Maryland officials wave illegal immigrants through the registration process, prompting a Justice Department letter warning they may be helping people violate federal law.
There is some hope for the restoration of sanity and responsibility to the US.
While states such as New York are increasing the risk of such fraud, a half-dozen states have recently adopted laws requiring voters to offer proof of identity or citizenship before casting a ballot. A federal commission, co-chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker, gave such laws a big boost in 2005 when it called for a nationwide policy requiring a photo ID before voting. [emphasis mine]
I don't agree with about 99% of Jimmy Carter's ideas, but this is one time he gets it right. In the interest of Full Disclosure, I am an Election Judge in Cook County, Illinois. I know from this experience that my job would be easier if a Photo ID were required to vote.
Measures that curb voter fraud on the one hand and encourage it on the other will be central to the 2008 election. The Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of Indiana's photo ID law next spring, while lawsuits challenging Gov. Spitzer's moves will be in New York state courts.
Generally the Liberals, most of whom are Democrats, oppose any limit to voter identification. They are wrong, and it's, Presidential Candidate, Senator Hillary Clinton who is at the fore-front, and probably the most visible, of the Democrat leaders pushing for legislation allowing and encouraging Illegal Alien Voter Registration.
Despite her muddled comments this week, there's no doubt where Mrs. Clinton stands on ballot integrity. She opposes photo ID laws, even though they enjoy over 80% support in the polls. She has also introduced a bill to force every state to offer no-excuse absentee voting as well as Election Day registration--easy avenues for election chicanery. The bill requires that every state restore voting rights to all criminals who have completed their prison terms, parole or probation. [emphasis mine]
Voting is a privilege, not just a right. It should not be abused by Illegal Aliens, Criminals or other individuals who have no right or have by prior actions lost the right to this privilege.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Kucinich Has A Dream


Nov 7th Kucinich's Broadside At Cheney Is Foiled

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) Announced today that he will introduce a privileged resolution in the House of Representatives to Impeach Vice President Richard Cheney. (Kucinich Will Introduce Privileged Resolution To Force Up Or Down Vote On Cheney Impeachment)
“The momentum is building for impeachment,” Kucinich said. “Millions of citizens across the nation are demanding Congress rein in the Vice President’s abuse of power."
Mr. Kucinich apparently seeks help with his Presidential Bid by appealing to the Radical Left. This is an irresponsible political act during a time of war. A better choice would be a Recall Petition by the Voters in Ohio.
“Congress must hold the Vice President accountable. The American people need to let Members of Congress know how they feel about this. The Vice President continues to use his office to advocate for a continued occupation of Iraq and prod our nation into a belligerent stance against Iran. If the Vice President is successful, his actions will ensure decades of disastrous consequences.”
Since the Senate voted to authorize the use of Military force in Iraq, US Military presence in Iraq is necessary to the conduct of the actions authorized by a Majority of Senators. If this is occupation, then what do we call the presence of US Military in Germany, South Korea and many other places in this world? Why is Iraq different?

If Mr. Kucinich does not believe Iran deserves a belligerent stance, he should read and/or review Iran's stated position on Israel and freedoms in general.

Take a look at the co-sponsors.
H. Res. 333, Articles of Impeachment against the Vice President, has 21 cosponsors. They are: Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Robert Brady (D-PA), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA), Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA), Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Rep. Henry Johnson (D-GA), Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-MI), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), Rep. James Moran (D-VA), Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Rep. Diane Watson (D-CA), Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) and Rep. Albert Wynn (D-MD).
Shouldn't we insist that our Congressman actually do something which will benefit the country? Our economy is good, Unemployment is low, there have been no significant Terror Attacks since 9-11 as a result of Bush/Cheney, Not Congress. No wonder the approval rating of Congress is at an all time low!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Everything Happens Because of Global Warming

At least that's what some Politicians Think Say. And for the most part the MSM agrees. One exception is John Stossel as shown by this The Global-Warming Debate Isn't Over.
First he won the Oscar -- then the Nobel Peace Prize. He's being called a "prophet."
And out of the mouth of the "Prophet" comes the statement that Global Warming is not a Political Issue.
Impressive, considering that one of former Vice President Al Gore's chief contributions has been to call the debate over global warming "over" and to marginalize anyone who disagrees. Although he favors major government intervention to stop global warming, he says, "the climate crisis is not a political issue. It is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity". [emphasis mine]
When is the debate over? Most would agree when your opponent is beaten with facts into submission. Such is not the case for Al Gore's brand of Global Warming. However, Al considers the oratory of a "Prophet" (even if self-declared) to be the final word in any debate.

Gore declares that his facts are bigger than the opposition. So even if a British Judge, and Countless Scientists disagree based on evidence and factual findings the Goracle claims he's right and you're wrong. Gore operates on the following Principal. If the facts don't fit the Theory, throw out the facts, or recount until I win.

Mr. Stossel asks and answers a very important question.
The globe is warming, but will it be catastrophic? Probably not.
Stossel enumerates the inconsistancies of Al Gore's Movie, "An Inconvenient Truth". For instance Al claims the Sea will rise 20 FEET due to polar ice melting, but the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, (who shared his Nobel Award), says 7 to 24 INCHES. Gore claims Polar Bears are drowning due to lack of ice, but only 4 have drowned due to a storm and the Polar Bear population is growing.
And while man's greenhouse gasses may increase warming, it's not certain that man caused it. The most impressive demonstration in Gore's movie is the big graph of carbon-dioxide levels, which suggests that carbon levels control temperature. But the movie doesn't tell you that the carbon increases came after temperatures rose, hundreds of years later. [emphasis mine]
Actual historic evidence shows the Carbon Dioxide (CO2) increase happens about 800 years after a naturally occurring Warming Period. It appears clear that CO2 cannot be responsible for Global Warming. It is an more of a delayed indicator rather than a cause of Global Warming.
John Christy and Roy Spencer, who won NASA's Medal for Exceptional Achievement for figuring out how to get temperature data from satellites, agree that Earth has warmed. "The thing that we dispute is, is it because of mankind?" Spencer says.
Scientific Data show that Natural Volcanic action contributes about 50% of the CO2 to the atmosphere.
Some scientists say the warming may be caused by changes in the sun, or ocean currents, or changes in cloud cover, or other things we don't understand. If it's all man's fault, why did the Arctic go through a warm period early last century? Why did Greenland's temperatures rise 50 percent faster in the 1920s than they are rising now?
Good questions. What does Al Gore say in answer to these questions? Nothing, because he refuses to debate anyone and everyone on the issue of Global Warming. (This refusal to debate is one reason he will not run for President. If he were to Campaign, he would have to defend his views.)
The media also treat the IPCC as impartial scientists, but Reiter and Christy, who were members of the IPCC, say it is not what the public thinks it is. Many of the people involved in writing its report "are not scientists at all," Reiter says. "They were essentially activists." Members of groups like Greenpeace were involved. Skeptics were often ignored. [emphasis mine]
Many of the Scientists who were part of the IPCC resigned, but their names still appear on the IPCC Reports.
Skeptics like Reiter, Christy, Spencer and Tim Ball, who studies the history of climate change and heads the Natural Resources Stewardship Project, are often smeared as "deniers," lumped in with Holocaust deniers and accused of being "on the take" from energy businesses." Gore impugns skeptical scientists by saying "the illusion of a debate has been purchased."
Many of the Scientific Studies which conflict with the Chicken Little Global Warming Alarmists screed, do not receive money from Exxon or any of the other Energy Companies, Energy Groups or Energy Lobbyists. The ones who do receive far less than the money available to the Global Warming Alarmists like Al Gore.

The rule of debate invoked by Al Gore is classic. If you can't win on the facts, don't debate the issues, smear the opposition with personal attacks.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Politicians Are Slow Learners

Party affiliation does not matter to Politicians when it comes to Earmarks, commonly known as Pork. Most Politicians support this waste of Taxpayer dollars, while most of the public does not. One of the reasons the Republican Party lost control of both the House and Senate, was Earmarks. For Politicians, Earmarks are an addiction. All Politicians need remedial Earmark education.

Here is more proof that Senate Republicans are not getting passing grades in this class. Oink! Oink! Senate Republicans still slobbering over earmarks names names and points fingers at the Republicans needing a wake-up call on this issue.

While Democrats are also guilty of this practice, one would think the 2006 Mid-Term Elections would have had some effect on both parties, but especially the Republicans. It appears we, the Voters, will have to take matters into our own hands. We need to stop voting for any Politician, regardless of party, who supports Earmarks.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Birds of a Feather

We are known by the company we keep. Since on of Hillary's Closest advisers is a person Convicted of Stealing Classified Documents. This makes a very clear statement about Hillary Clinton's Character. In an article at, Ronald A. Cass makes this point, and we should all consider the implications. (Sandy Berger and the Real Hillary Clinton)
Sandy Berger isn't just a former National Security Advisor - he's also the only National Security Advisor in U.S. history to be convicted after stealing and destroying classified documents.
Many will judge Hillary other issues. There are many issues on which she is out of touch with the Average American. For me this one issue is enough to reject her at the polls.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Global Warming - Non-Issue (Politically)

Blog Action Day Post

First, please note that I consider Global Warming an issue, but not one needing Political Mandated Legislation.

Greenhouse Gases, and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in particular, are claimed by Global Warming Alarmists to be responsible for "run-away" Global Warming. The Alarmists also claim the Earth will suffer cataclysmic disasters unless actions begin immediately to eliminate Carbon Emissions in the form of CO2. The reason CO2 is so often mentioned is simple. We really can't do much about the other Greenhouse Gases.

The major greenhouse gases are: water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane and ozone. Of these gases, water vapor is by far the largest component and the one over which mankind has the least control. Carbon Dioxide is the only one of the remaining 3 over which mankind has any real chance to control. And about 1/2 of the atmospheric carbon dioxide comes from natural causes (mainly volcanoes).

It is generally accepted that much of the atmospheric CO2 increase during the last 150 years is most likely due to mankind's increasing use of Fossil Fuels (Oil, Gas and Coal) to produce energy. However, the scientific evidence is not yet clear as to several things. Therefore, before we go off the "High Dive into the Global Warming pool", it would be wise to insure that there is water in that pool.

Last month the OpinionJournal of the Wall Street Journal published an excellent article Chill Pill by a former Governor of Delaware, Pete Du Pont.
There is both global warming and global cooling on the planet Earth. There always has been and there always will be, because temperature change is cyclical: The Earth's temperature oscillates up and down, ebbs and flows, over decades and centuries. Sometimes the earth warms, as it did in the Roman Warming period (200 B.C. to A.D. 600), the Medieval Warming period (900 to 1300) and in modern times from 1910 to 1940. And sometimes it cools, as it did in the Dark Ages (600 to 900); the Little Ice Age (1300 to 1850) and from 1940 to the late 1970s.
As Mr. Du Pont notes, the Earth naturally goes through cycles of cooling and warming. It is known that the Vikings cultivated Greenland and in fact there is a reason it is called Greenland not Whiteland.

While CO2 is one of the Greenhouse Gases, it's role in the Earth's Climate Change Cycles is not clear. The levels of CO2 have risen and fallen in the past, but not necessarily in direct correlation to Earth's Temperature Cycles.
For example, about half of the global warming increases since the mid-1800s occurred before greenhouse gas emissions began their significant increases after the 1950s, and then temperatures declined well into the 1970s when CO2 levels were increasing.
Recently it was discovered that a mistake in US yearly temperatures shows that the widely held idea that 1998 was the Warmest Year is wrong. When the error was corrected, 1934 became the Warmest Year, and 5 of the 10 Warmest Years occurred before 1940, when CO2 levels were relatively low.
During the 20th Century the earth warmed by one degree Fahrenheit, and today the world is about 0.05 degree warmer than it was in 2001. These small increases have led the global-warming establishment to demand that we adopt the international Kyoto policy of stopping the growth of CO2 emissions so that global warming does not destroy us all. Or in Al Gore's words, "At stake is nothing less than the survival of human civilization and the habitability of the earth for our species."
Mr. Gore is a recent recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize. However, his "claims" as presented in Mr. Gore's Movie, "An Inconvenient Truth" are not backed up by hard evidence and facts. Recently a British Court found that Mr. Gore's Movie could not be shown in British Schools without a disclaimer due to the films errors. The court found that the errors were so great that it is more Political Propaganda than Scientific Evidence. Quoting again form Mr. Du Pont's Editorial.
Six years ago Danish scholar Bjorn Lomborg's "The Skeptical Environmentalist" took a look at the global-warming data and found it to be far less threatening than the Gore globalists were claiming. Mr. Lomborg's new book "Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide To Global Warming," makes the case that while "global warming is real and man-made," the Kyoto approach is the wrong way to improve the lives of the world's people.
The Kyoto Accord was rejected by the US Senate on July 25, 1997. The Vote was 95-0! At the time, Al Gore, Jr. was presiding over the Senate as the Vice President of the US (The VP can only cast tie-breaker votes). Mr. Du Pont continues with these interesting statements.
Global warming is supposedly killing people. The 35,000 deaths from the August 2003 European heat wave were, in Al Gore's view, an example of what "will become much more common if global warming is not addressed." But the actual data put things in perspective. Whereas 2,000 people died in the United Kingdom in that heat wave, last year the BBC reported that deaths caused by cold weather in England and Wales were about 25,000 each winter, and 47,000 a year, in the winters of 1998 to 2000. Similarly, in Helsinki, Finland, 55 people die each year from heat and 1,655 from cold. In Athens, Greece, a much warmer place, the deaths from excess heat are 1,376 each year and the deaths from cold 7,852. All told, Mr. Lomborg calculates that about 200,000 people die in Europe each year from excessive heat, and 1.5 million from excessive cold.
Sometimes the fact of a situation present very interesting conclusions, when one steps out of the box of conventional thinking. But there's more.
The final table in the book dramatically makes the case. Fully implementing Kyoto would cost $180 billion per year, but for $52 billion per year we could do much better by tackling the challenges Mr. Lomborg mentions. The world would avoid 28 billion malaria infections (and 85 million deaths) over a century, instead of Kyoto's avoidance of 70 million infections (and 140,000 deaths). There would be one billion fewer people in poverty instead of Kyoto's one million fewer, and 229 million fewer people would suffer from starvation rather than Kyoto's two million.
The evidence presented here clearly indicates that there are better places, with a much higher cost/benefit ratio, to spend our money.

For an idea of the Political Cost of Global Warming Legislation, look here.

For more on why Al Gore, Jr. may be pushing for Political Legislation to control Global Warming, see this previous post. For more on Global Climate Change, look here.

Finally, if you have the time, view this Video. Caution, it's about an hour and a quarter in length.

H/T Flopping Aces

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Gore Looses New Hampshire

Al Gore, Jr. has become one of the most heralded winners of The Nobel Peace Prize. The New Hampshire Union Leader Newspaper is underwhelmed. Todays on-line edition calls Gore's prize: A fraud on the people.
Five Norwegians gave a prize to Al Gore, and all the world is supposed to heed his counsel henceforth. No, thanks.
The article continues with an explanation of the purpose of the Prize as set-up by Alfred Nobel.
Alfred Nobel felt horrible about the uses to which his invention -- dynamite -- was put. So he endowed the Nobel Peace Prize and instructed that it go "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

Al Gore has done exactly none of those things.

Gore, however, did write a book and make a film about global warming. He has become the second environmental activist to win the peace prize in the past four years. Wangari Muta Maathai won it in 2004 for planting trees. [emphasis mine]
Maybe it is too kind to say they are underwhelmed. Sounds more like they are outraged. In fact a fraud on the people is what they called this award.
Thus we have indisputable confirmation that the Nobel Peace Prize is no longer a serious international award. In 1994 the five Norwegian politicians who award the prize gave it to the murdering thug Yasser Arafat. Two years before that they gave it to literary fraud Rigoberta Menchu, whose autobiography was largely fabricated. (An example: The brother she supposedly watched die of malnutrition was later found by a New York Times reporter to be very much alive and well.)
Has the Nobel Peace Prize become a meaningless award? Should the IRS consider removing the Tax Free Status from the Award? It sounds like the Union Leader would not be offended by this measure, rather they would probably applaud.
On Friday the prize was given to Al Gore and the International Panel on Climate Change. Two days before, a British judge ruled that Gore's film, "An Inconvenient Truth," contained so many errors (read: lies) that it could be shown in British public schools only if accompanied by a fact sheet correcting the errors.

The Nobel Peace Prize is worse than a joke. It's a fraud. It is such a transparent fraud that the five Norwegian politicians who award it have been reduced to defending their decision by concocting elaborate rationalizations. This year they laughably claimed that Gore deserves the prize because, well, global climate change" may induce large-scale migration and lead to greater competition for the Earth's resources," and "there may be increased danger of violent conflicts and wars." (Emphasis added by the Union Leader.)
Next a little sarcasism from the Union Leader.
And Islamic terrorists may give up jihad and sing Kumbaya after listening to old Cat Stevens records. But that's no basis for distributing the world's formerly most prestigious prize.
Prior posts here have already shown my view towards the Goracle. (Here, here and here, for starters) The Union Leader exemplifies the independent spirit of the New Hampshire populace.
If winning this useless medal prompts Al Gore to get into the presidential race, which we doubt, the irony will be that the American people will turn a more skeptical eye to His Smugness than the Nobel committee did.

The American public won't accept at face value Gore's self-righteous proclamations or his self-serving predictions of looming global catastrophy. And Gore has to know that, which is why he will almost certainly stick to the world of make-believe -- Hollywood and International Do-Goodery -- where he can pretend to be the great sage and savior he wishes he really were and left-wing Europeans and thespians try to convince us he is.
For more posts on the General subject of Global Warming click the link.

Touch Screen Voting Machines

Much was made of the 2000 Florida hanging chad endless recounts. It was a real problem and it was amplified by repeated handling of the punch cards. Each time the card was handled for a one of the repeated recounts, the potential for dislodging chads increased. The recounts, therefore, had the potential to change the outcome of the election, and thereby the will of the people. It is an outdated system and needed to be changed.

In many ways the Florida 2000 mess reminded me of the problem NASA encountered during the beginning of the space program. Current pens would not write in zero gravity. So NASA spent something like 6 million dollars to create a pen that did not require gravity to leave its mark. The Russians used a pencil. So too we often out fox ourselves to solve problems.

Florida is one case currently facing a financial headache of monumental proportions. Voting Machines Giving Florida New Headache from New York Times online has the details. Florida has declared the "Touch Screen Voting Machines" cannot be used because they don't leave a paper trail. Without a paper trail, recounts are suspect and therefore have about as much confidence level as the old punch cards.
Across the nation, jurisdictions that experimented with touch-screen voting after 2000 are starting to scale back or abandon it based on a growing perception that the machines are unreliable and concern that they do not provide a paper trail in case questions arise. California will sharply scale back touch-screen voting next year after a review by the secretary of state found it was vulnerable to hackers.
Having served for the past few years as an Election Judge in Cook County Illinois, I have some experience with "Touch Screen" machines. As in Florida, the machines we use are products of Sequoia Voting Systems. But apparently Cook County spent the extra money for the "Deluxe" model, because our machines unlike the Florida machines do have a paper trail. We also have optical Scan Machines for those who prefer a paper ballot.

The value of a paper trail is however, lost on some of the Cook County Voters. Cook County "Touch Screen" machines require on screen approval and an approval of a visible paper trail printing of each voters ballot choices. If at any point in this voting process, even after the printed choices are displayed, each voter is given the chance to make changes.

Interestingly, according to Illinois Law, any voter who leaves before finalizing his ballot is considered a "fled voter" and none of his/her choices are recorded. To Be Counted, a ballot must be inserted and counted by optical scan or by completing and approving the entire process, including the printed paper trail, on a "Touch Screen" Machine. Partially completed ballots are voided and cannot by law be cast or recorded.

Only after the Voter has visually approved both the on screen visual and the printed ballot is the ballot cast. If changes are made during the Printed Ballot process, the Printed Copy is Visibly Voided in Print and must be approved again both on screen and in print before being cast. To most voters, this is a needless process. One value which Cook County Voters have, but most don't appreciate.

As an additional feature and "Touch Screen" advantage, "Over Votes" are not permitted, and "Under Votes" must be approved by the Voter before the machine will allow the ballot to be cast. "Over Votes" indicates that the voter has made too many choices. In this situation, no votes will be counted for that office, but any correctly made choices will be recorded. "Under Votes" indicate that some offices remain unselected. "Under Voting" is acceptable if the Voter specifically approves the "Under Vote". After all, sometimes no candidate is preferable to those running.

Optical Scan Machines also notify the voter of "Over Votes", which then must be approved or remrked by the voter. However, to change an "Over Vote" Optical Scan Ballot, the original ballot is marked "Spoiled", signed by 2 Judges and the Voter must make all his/her choices again. Optical Scan Ballots do not notify the voter of "Under Vote" situations.

Both Systems do allow Write-In Candidate Votes to Be cast. Plus the "Touch Screen" Voting Machines have provisions for the handicapped. There is a Braille keypad, an Audio option and even "sip and puff" for those who need these features.

In order to save some money in Florida, the no paper trail option was a costly choice. My experience with the Cook County "Touch Screen" machines shows that they are quick, easy to use and with the paper trail, less susceptible to voter fraud than other systems. Even the Optical Scan Paper Ballot is not as easy to use, and could be more easily changed after the voter has cast his/her choice.

Secure The Border(s) - It's Worth the Wait

W. Ralph Basham, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, says it's worth the wait to secure the border. In his article, Secure Border is Worth the Wait, Mr. Basham makes the following claim.
But any way you look at it, a safer, more secure border is well worth the investment and the wait.
That line is the final line from Mr. Basham's article. The beginning of states the following key points.
  • All vehicles are now being scanned for radiation and;
  • In fiscal 2007, 270 people with known terrorists ties were identified attempting to enter the country.
If 270 people with Known Terrorist Ties were prevented from entering the country at the border, how many more crossed without being detected? The potential damage inflicted by 19 Terrorists on September 11, 2001 indicates what can be done by those with an evil purpose.

In many instances, increased border enforcement will inconvenience some legal entrants, but it is obviously preferable to the alternative.
To keep bad people and bad things from entering America, at a minimum we scan all vehicles for radiation and check all individuals for proper documents. This process is not a bureaucratic game, but a security imperative. At our 99 land ports of entry, we processed just under 300 million people last year. We spend approximately 45-60 seconds with each person at the primary inspection booth, where we check for terror watchlist matches, outstanding criminal warrants, public health and narcotics lookouts and other indications of risk. Those who present some concern and require additional scrutiny are then referred for secondary inspection.
From this article we learn that 300 million people were screened, and now the results that Mr. Basham says make it worth the wait.
This process has yielded approximately 25,000 arrests during the 2007 fiscal year that just ended, a 10 percent increase over the previous year and a two-thirds increase from the launch of DHS in 2003. Keep in mind that these arrests are more than just a number; they represent the capture of murders, drug dealers, child molesters and potential terrorists. We’ve kept 300 tons of marijuana from entering the U.S. through the ports, as well as 93,000 pounds of cocaine. Last year we encountered 270 people suspected of having terrorist ties.
I believe we need to be aggressive in enforcing our border security for many reasons. This is one of them and is reason enough for Congress to Fund, Build and Staff the Border, Both of them.

Nuclear Syria?

In early September this year, Israel attacked and destroyed something in Syria. Of course Syria complained about the attack, but oddly, so did North Korea. Even more surprising was the lack of information from all, especially Israel. Normally Syria and Israel would be leaking information about this incident like a sieve. But after this Israeli Military Air Strike, a virtual black hole developed. Normally this would call for Banner Headline News and Government chest thumping from all sides. In this case after initial one line Government Statements, almost nothing.

It is therefore not surprising that speculation runs high that what little information and rumor about this raid is known, the information supports the idea that something very big happened. North Korea, silence from Israel and Syria, could indicate a Syrian Nuclear facility and aid from North Korea. North Koreans are thought to have been killed by this attack in Syria. It seems likely that the attack involved Nuclear Expansion.

Analysts Find Israel Struck a Nuclear Project Inside Syria from the online New York Times is the latest to make this link.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 — Israel’s air attack on Syria last month was directed against a site that Israeli and American intelligence analysts judged was a partly constructed nuclear reactor, apparently modeled on one North Korea has used to create its stockpile of nuclear weapons fuel, according to American and foreign officials with access to the intelligence reports.
In 1981, a similar Israeli attack set back the Iraq Nuclear Capability many years. But some, including American Analysts, believe the attack was premature. The Reagan Administration officially condemned the 1981 attack, while the Israeli government considered it one of their finest military victories.
Many details remain unclear, most notably how much progress the Syrians had made in construction before the Israelis struck, the role of any assistance provided by North Korea, and whether the Syrians could make a plausible case that the reactor was intended to produce electricity. In Washington and Israel, information about the raid has been wrapped in extraordinary secrecy and restricted to just a handful of officials, while the Israeli press has been prohibited from publishing information about the attack.
The Bush Administration has remained concerned about the effect of this attack. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates have expressed this concern for the implications of a pre-emptive strike in the absence of an urgent threat.

The silence from the principals, and everybody else concerning this attack is very unusual.
In his only public comment on the raid, Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, acknowledged this month that Israeli jets dropped bombs on a building that he said was “related to the military” but which he insisted was “not used.”

A senior Israeli official, while declining to speak about the specific nature of the target, said the strike was intended to “re-establish the credibility of our deterrent power,” signaling that Israel meant to send a message to the Syrians that even the potential for a nuclear weapons program would not be permitted. But several American officials said the strike may also have been intended by Israel as a signal to Iran and its nuclear aspirations. Neither Iran nor any Arab government except for Syria has criticized the Israeli raid, suggesting that Israel is not the only country that would be disturbed by a nuclear Syria. North Korea did issue a protest.
The Bush Administration also refuses to discuss this matter.
The White House press secretary, Dana Perino, said Saturday that the administration would have no comment on the intelligence issues surrounding the Israeli strike. Israel has also refused to comment.
There are 2 different paths to enriched nuclear material used nuclear weaponry.
Nuclear reactors can be used for both peaceful and non-peaceful purposes. A reactor’s spent fuel can be reprocessed to extract plutonium, one of two paths to building a nuclear weapon. The other path — enriching uranium in centrifuges — is the method that Iran is accused of pursuing with an intent to build a weapon of its own.

Syria is known to have only one nuclear reactor, a small one built for research purposes. But in the past decade, Syria has several times sought unsuccessfully to buy one, first from Argentina, then from Russia. On those occasions, Israel reacted strongly but did not threaten military action. Earlier this year, Mr. Assad spoke publicly in general terms about Syria’s desire to develop nuclear power, but his government did not announce a plan to build a new reactor.
Whatever was located at the attack site appears to have been discovered by Israeli satellite photography. It is believed Israel was the first to detect the possible nuclear activity, and then brought it to the attention of the Bush Administration. North Korean involvement is interesting, and very likely significant.
North Korea has long provided assistance to Syria on a ballistic missile program, but any assistance toward the construction of the reactor would have been the first clear evidence of ties between the two countries on a nuclear program. North Korea has successfully used its five-megawatt reactor at the Yongbyon nuclear complex to reprocess nuclear fuel into bomb-grade material, a model that some American and Israeli officials believe Syria may have been trying to replicate.

The North conducted a partly successful test of a nuclear device a year ago, prompting renewed fears that the desperately poor country might seek to sell its nuclear technology. President Bush issued a specific warning to the North on Oct. 9, 2006, just hours after the test, noting that it was “leading proliferator of missile technology, including transfers to Iran and Syria.” He went on to warn that “the transfer of nuclear weapons or material by North Korea to states or non-state entities would be considered a grave threat to the United States, and we would hold North Korea fully accountable.”
President Bush has not repeated his warnings about North Korea. This silence is likely because of the delicate balance and sensitive negotiations while the 6 party talks between North Korea, the US and 4 other nations, continue in an attempt to convince North Korea to end their Nuclear Weaponry ambitions.
While the partly constructed Syrian reactor appears to be based on North Korea’s design, the American and foreign officials would not say whether they believed the North Koreans sold or gave the plans to the Syrians, or whether the North’s own experts were there at the time of the attack. It is possible, some officials said, that the transfer of the technology occurred several years ago.

According to two senior administration officials, the subject was raised when the United States, North Korea and four other nations met in Beijing earlier this month.
Whatever happened on September 6th remains a mystery and therefore subject to speculation. But there is an excellent chance that the speculation about Syrian Nuclear Facilities and North Korean aid are correct.

One important detail is left out of the New York Times article, however. That is the fact that Syrian Air Defenses were unable to prevent Israeli Air Attacks. This is siginificant because the Syrian Air Defense System was an advanced Russian System similar to, but more advanced than the Russian System in Iran.

We continue to watch for further developments.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Al Gore - Nobel Peace Prize Winner????

Considering the fact that Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth", has questionable facts, and that it has nothing to do with Peace, the action of the Nobel Peace Prize committee is surprising. A British Court has recently correctly decided that "An Inconvenient Truth" is not Scientific fact, but rather Political propaganda.

The Telegraph of Britain on-line article, What has Al Gore done for world peace?, raises some good reasons for calling this a bad choice. Frankly, I believe it ranks with the past Nobel Peace Prizes given to Jimmy Carter and Yasar Arafat, and the Telegraph is not very kind to the Goracle.
So Al Gore is the joint winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Admittedly, he has to share it with the United Nations’ climate change panel - but, even so, I think we need to declare an international smugness alert.
But smugness is not the end of their characterization of Mr. Gore. They follow with this comment.
The former US Vice-President has already taken over from Michael Moore as the most sanctimonious lardbutt Yank on the planet. Can you imagine what he'll be like now that the Norwegian Nobel committee has given him the prize?
According to the Telegraph, Al Gore is not only a hypocrite,
More to the point, can you imagine how enormous his already massive carbon footprint will become once he starts jetting around the world bragging about his new title?

Just after Gore won an Oscar for his global warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth - in which he asked American households to cut their use of electricity - the Tennessee Centre for Policy Research took a look at Al's energy bills.

It reckoned that his 20-room, eight-bathroom mansion in Nashville sometimes uses twice the energy in one month that the average American household gets through in a year. The combined energy and gas bills for his estate came to nearly $30,000 in 2006. Ah, say his defenders, but he uses rainwater to flush his lavatories. Is there enough rainwater in the world, I wonder?
he is also guilty of exaggerations and unsubstantiated claims.
Gore claims that the rises in carbon dioxide and temperature over 650,000 years show an "exact fit". That's wrong, says Mr Justice Burton: there is a connection, but not a precise correlation.
And then there is this.
Gore predicts sea levels rising by up to 20ft in the near future. Not so, according to the judge: that will happen only after millions of years.

Those low-lying Pacific atolls that Gore claims have been evacuated? No evidence. Polar bears who drowned swimming to look for ice? Again, no evidence: four bears have drowned - but because of a storm.
As the article makes clear, he may not be a liar, but he is an "exaggerator and a braggart".
In 1999, he boasted about having uncovered the most famous toxic waste site in America ("I found a little place in upstate New York called Love Canal"). Yes, but Love Canal was already notorious by the time Gore "found" it.

That's typical of his arrogance, says the non-partisan US politics website Skeleton Closet: "When he says the words 'little place', you can feel him struggling to contain his pleasure with his good deeds."
And he has serious trouble withe his memory.
Gore struggles with his memory, too. "I certainly learnt a lot from 3,000 town hall meetings across …Tennessee over a 16-year period," he told National Public Radio. And so he would have, had he actually attended 187 town hall meetings a year, which is what it works out as: he might even have managed to hold his home state in 2000.

But my favourite Gore memory lapse is his account of being sung to sleep with the lullaby Look for the Union Label, written in 1975. How sweet: being sung to sleep by your parents at the age of 27.

Then there's his evasiveness on the subject of alleged ethical violations. He resorts to "legalisms", says Skeleton Closet: although he might technically be in the right, "he has such a tin ear for the way normal people talk that he sounds like a mafia don".
In addition to Al Gore, Jr.'s memory, exaggeration and arrogance what does the Global Warming question have to do with World Peace?
Climate change is a threat to the environment, not to "peace" and international order. The prize has gone to some sleazy recipients in the past, but at least you can make a case that their actions staved off bloodshed.

Lumping together global warming and terrorism, as David Cameron did in his conference speech, is a rhetorical sleight of hand typical of opportunistic politicians who are trying to hoover up liberal and conservative votes at the same time. I don't think that description applies to the Tory leader, but it sure as hell fits Albert Gore, Jr.
When it comes to big heads, Al Gore, Jr. was already one of the biggest. Now I'm afraid he will be even more insufferable.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Illegals Issued IDs

Illegal immigrants issued ID cards reminds us of some of the problems caused by the "Bleeding Heart Liberals" and the "Amnesty" for illegal aliens policy. Let's start with the following paragraph from the article and consider through to the conclusion(s) of these actions.
Illegal immigrants are getting driver's licenses and identification cards in cities and states that are bucking the national trend to take official documents and public benefits away from them.
We are a wealthy nation who should take care of the less fortunate. Sounds good, but think about what that involves for a minute. Do we really want to encourage all who have less, which is most of the World, to illegally enter our country so they can get on the benefit rolls? Then ask who do you think will pay for all these benefits?
New Haven, Conn., began issuing municipal ID cards in July to all residents, including illegal immigrants. New York will join eight other states in giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, starting in December.

Gov. Eliot Spitzer "believes it's important to bring a significant population in New York state out of the shadows … (and) allow them to participate in the economy," Motor Vehicles Commissioner David Swarts says. [ellipsis in original; emphasis mine]
Notice the use of the word "participate" above. There are 2 ways to participate. Participators can put into or take out of the economy. They can be either contributors or beneficiaries.

It would be wise to look at the potential for each type of participant. How likely is it that these would be highly skilled or highly educated individuals? The evidence indicates it is more likely that they will be poorly skilled and uneducated immigrants. Therefore, it also seems likely that the great preponderance of the illegal immigrants will be "participants in the economy" as beneficiaries. Like most immigrants, they come to America because of the opportunity to improve their socio-economic situation. After all, if they had opportunity in their native land, they have no need, and little desire, to illegally enter the USA.

We are the most generous country in the world, but there is a limit to our generosity. We simply cannot support the entire world. By allowing illegal immigrants access to the wealth of our country, we will taxing (pun intended) our legal population beyond their capacity to pay. To this mix, we must add the criminal element that is assimilated into our society as illegal immigrants. (Do some research on MS13)

As the article points out, there are some illegal aliens who are hard working and will contribute positively to our economy, but the cost/benefit analysis shows that the cost exceeds the benefits of granting "official documents" to illegal immigrants. The fact remains, they came to a country which became great because we are a country of Laws, equally applied to all. The illegal immigrants broke the law and continue to break the Law by staying in America.
Tom Fitton, president of the conservative Judicial Watch, says the cards "raise the specter of local governments conspiring with illegals to help them stay here."

"In the least, they undermine federal law," he says, "and at worst, they violate the law."

Friday, October 5, 2007

Political Global Warming

The Groupthink Global Initiative appears to have as it's agenda the implementation of costly and drastic life-style changes mandated by Political Solutions Worldwide. Political Solutions to the Global Warming Crisis which may not be a crisis. And even if it were a crisis, Global Warming may be something which we can do almost nothing to prevent. Global Warming is one of those issues that could prove that the cure is worse than the illness. So much worse that the patient (Earth) could die from the effects of the Political Cure.
One would expect some diversity of opinion at a gathering of heads of government, CEOs and nonprofit organizations from different sides of the political spectrum. That was not the case at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting last week, devoted mostly to climate change. From the CEO of Duke Energy Corp. to the president of the Natural Resources Defense Council to Al Gore, everyone agreed on the need for draconian limits on carbon emissions worldwide. The proposals varied from taxes on a carbon "cap and trade" system, but the assumptions on which they were all basing them were the same -- and they seem somewhat premature. No one was too concerned with the costs that a blanket limit on emissions worldwide could inflict on millions of desperate people trying to pull themselves out of poverty. [emphasis mine]
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is widely claimed to be the cause of Global Warming. But there are 2 facts make it obvious that CO2 is not a significant contributor to Global Warming. First, most of the increase in CO2 occurred after 1950. Second, 5 of the 10 warmest years occurred before 1940. These two facts illustrate the need to question the Global Warming Alarmists insistence that Immediate, Drastic, Costly Life-Style Changes are needed Worldwide to avert their doomsday predictions. It is therefore hard to explain that the cause follows the effect rather than precedes the effect. Real World events require the order to be Cause first, Effect second.

Global Warming crisis predictions are inconsistent and vary widely due to computer generated predictions of future conditions. The widely different projections are the result of insufficient Historical data. Simply put, the programs do not have enough historical data to make accurate consistent predictions of future Climate Change. And Inconveniently for the Global Warming Alarmists, recent studies are tending to show that current Global Change is well within Normal variance.
Finally, everyone seemed to assume that government imposition works better than voluntary action. They kept citing the case of the European Union, where a cap and trade system establishes a general limit on carbon emissions and allows companies to exchange carbon "rights." However, in the last 10 years the rate of growth of carbon emissions has been much lower in the United States, where there is no federal limit, than in Europe. There was even a reduction of 1.3 percent in carbon emissions in the United States last year. [emphasis mine]
Seems to be another case of the Private Sector being able to do things better and usually cheaper than the Government. And here's more proof that Private is better than Government in this case.
Corn is a much less efficient source of ethanol than is sugar cane. Private companies are well ahead of the politicians with regard to the environment. They are investing in new technologies, making more efficient use of energy and beginning to develop financial instruments that will provide liquidity to nascent ecological markets. For instance, Jeff Bortniker, the CEO of Equator Environmental, is creating financial assets and carbon credits linked to reforestation in Brazil that can then be traded internationally. "The market is by far a better solution," he tells me, "and we are already showing that without bureaucratic interference we can create value and at the same time protect the environment." Brazilians will appreciate it -- they have lost nearly 150,000 square kilometers of Atlantic forest since 2000, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of Amazon rain forest lost in recent decades because no one felt the need to protect land that was nobody's property. [emphasis mine]
If you take nothing else from this post, remember this quote.
Governments need to look at the science more closely before taking actions that could have damaging consequences. We also must remember that, when it comes to protecting the environment, private enterprise can be more successful than governments.
It is very telling that Al Gore, The Leading Spokesperson for Global Warming Alarmists, will not debate the inconsistencies and falsehoods in his Inconvenient Truth. Chilly reception for debate offer asks the question, Why won't Al Gore or his representative debate the facts of Global Warming? The Heartland Institute will spend $1.2 Million by next March in an attempt to get Mr. Gore to debate the issues which are not settled. There are many recently completed scientific studies which present facts and draw valid conclusions that are in direct conflict with the claims made in Al Gore's Movie, "An Inconvenient Truth".
"We have tried, repeatedly, to contact Gore directly, with registered letters and calls to his office, and have never received a reply," says Joseph Bast, Heartland president.
It appears Mr. Gore may be avoiding the issue. One could easily assume that his reasoning for not debating the issue, is he knows he can't win.
A spokeswoman for Gore told me by e-mail that Heartland is an oil-company-funded group that denies that global warming is real and caused by human activities.

"The debate has shifted to how to solve the climate crisis, not if there is one,"
said Kalee Kreider. "It does not make sense for him to engage in a dialogue with them at this time." [emphasis mine]
The oil-company-funding is an often repeated attempt to discredit any and all conflicting results as biased. But Mr. Gore and the other Global Warming Alarmists fail to note that significant amounts of their funding comes from agenda biased groups too.
As for the Gore camp's statement about Exxon funding, Bast says those contributions are too little to control Heartland policy and amount to "far less than what Heartland spends speaking out on climate change."
But the real head-scratcher is the fact that the debate has shifted from if to how to solve the problem. It seems to me that if there is no Global Warming Crisis, there is no need to solve a problem which doesn't exist. Mr. Gore is still claiming that "It is settled" in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary.

According to the Heartland Institute there is no crisis requiring a Costly, Political action in the immediate future.
The issue is a bit more complicated than that. What Bast wants is for Gore to debate one of three authorities who dispute the former vice president's assertion that global warming is a crisis that requires an immediate, hugely expensive response potentially damaging to the U.S. and world economies.

One of the Heartland experts is Dennis Avery, an economist, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and co-author, with Fred Singer, professor emeritus of environmental science at the University of Virginia, of the book Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years. As you might guess from that title, Avery sees global warming as a natural phenomenon in which "there may be a human factor but if so it's small." He describes the warming as "moderate" and says there's been no warming since 1998. "Where's the crisis?"
Good question. Where's the Crisis, Mr. Gore? Please explain your insistence on claims in dispute, and overwhelming facts which conflict with your Inconvenient facts.
The Heartland case is not the first time Gore has ducked a forum. Earlier this year he canceled an interview with Denmark's largest newspaper when he learned it would include questions from Bjorn Lomborg, respected author of The Skeptical Environmentalist. "Gore's sermon is not one that will stand scrutiny," says Christopher C. Horner, another one of Heartland's debate candidates, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism.
It may be that soon the warmest place on Earth will be the "Hot Seat" on which Mr. Gore rests during the mounting clamor for grilling explanations.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Symbol of America

UPDATE For Clarification: Wearing or not wearing a Flag Pin does not make anyone more or less a true patriot. But to stop wearing a Flag Pin because of someone else's perceived attitude is a show of naivety. It is the sign of a Follower, not a Leader.

If someone were to ask you to name one item which is the best representation of America, what would that symbol be? To me it is our American Flag, which is the reason it is featured so prominently on this Blog. Apparently that is not the case for Senator Barack Obama according to this AP article (Obama Stops Wearing Flag Pin).
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama says he no longer wears an American flag lapel pin because it has become a substitute for "true patriotism" since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
I am sure that there are some who take a flag pin for granted, but I do not understand how our flag can become a substitute for "true patriotism". Our Flag is the most recognized symbol of our way of life, our freedom and our country. It cannot become a substitute for anything else.

On my left hand, I proudly wear a gold band as the most recognized symbol of my marriage, even though it too can be a substitute for "true feelings".
"My attitude is that I'm less concerned about what you're wearing on your lapel than what's in your heart. You show your patriotism by how you treat your fellow Americans, especially those who serve. You show your patriotism by being true to our values and ideals. That's what we have to lead with is our values and our ideals." [emphasis mine]
Those who serve salute our flag because it is the symbol of the country they serve. It is true that what's in your heart is important, but so is the visible outward symbol of your patriotism exemplified by a lapel flag pin. The sincerity of some other person should not prevent me from proudly displaying a flag pin as a recognizable symbol of my True Patriotism.

The clothes I choose to wear to an event makes a statement about me long before I reveal my Heart by opening my mouth. A lapel flag pin is the American Symbol which functions in much the same way.

Free Clipart

I Pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.