Don Kates on Clinton and Obama

Don Kates writes:

As puerile as Hillary’s excuses are (e.g. "sleep deprivation" caused her to three times claim having been under fire in Bosnia), they are no more absurd than Obama’s excuses for Rev. Wright.

Obama solemnly analogizes criticism of Rev. Wright to attacking somebody for "the five stupidest things" they ever said. That is persuasive only because Obama has implied a premise which is both missing and false. If someone frankly admitted "yes, I did say X and it was really stupid," I would have to admit to having said some really stupid things from time to time myself. But this is wholly inapplicable to Rev. Wright who has not disavowed even one of his bizarre lies. He does not admit that No, AIDS was not invented by America to commit genocide against blacks (or for any other reason); and, NO, the American government does not sell narcotics to blacks in order to imprison them (or for any other reason); and NO, the American government did not support South African state terrorism against blacks – in fact our sanctions against South Africa were a major reason for the fall of its white-only government.

Remember how Rev. Wright’s nonsense assertions came to light. Not because enemies of him or Obama gathered the nonsense up to criticize, No, it was Rev. Wright himself who had these bizarre lies recorded and put them on sale in the church store as exemplars of his views.

In sum, Rev. Wright has not disavowed any of these and other vicious falsehoods whose most charitable explanation is that he is sincere but mentally deranged. So Obama’s defense of Rev. Wright does not at all work and only raises more questions about Obama himself.

The refusal by American leftists to unhesitatingly condemn Rev. Wright is explicable as a matter of what might be called deliberate mental confusion. Instead of focusing on Wright’s deranged falsehoods leftists focus on his expressions of hatred for America. This appalls most Americans but is congenial to leftists because, just like Rev. Wright and Mrs. Obama, they too are ashamed of their nation. . . .

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Freedom works in Switzerland

John Fund has a nice article on Switzerland at The American:

For years, prosperous and peaceful Switzerland has been underappreciated. Being small and successful, frankly, is boring to many people. Consider the Cold War spy movie “The Third Man.” In a famous scene, the shady character played by Orson Welles observes, “In Italy, for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed—they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love; they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.” To add insult to slur, the cuckoo clock is actually from Germany.

In reality, the Swiss have produced a remarkable success story that goes far beyond the signature tourist products they are known for: chocolates, watches, and knives. They have one of the world’s most stable economies, a skilled workforce, internationally recognized export companies, a sound currency, and renowned banking and financial services. All this is combined with remarkable social harmony, given that Switzerland has four national languages and great religious diversity. . . .

In 2005, The Economist Intelligence Unit ranked the “quality of life” in 111 countries and found Switzerland a stellar achiever in the nine factors of its index: material well-being, health, political stability, both family and community life, climate, job security, political freedom, and gender equality. Indeed, when ranking “human misery” among all countries, Switzerland ranked at the very bottom. . . . .


Quandry: UCLA or Xavier for NCAA?

The match up between UCLA and Xavier presents something of a quandary for me, a quandary that I am sure that few others face. I have all my degrees from UCLA, but I know from past research how much a good performance in something like the NCAA tournament helps out schools, both in terms of the quality of students and fund raising. A small private school such as Xavier or Davidson would benefit much, much more from winning these games than a large state university. Given how hard it is for small private universities to compete against government subsidized public universities, I guess that I am going to root for Xavier and Davidson. Well, it should be fun starting at 6:40 PM EDT today.

UPDATE: Well, it was never really a close game. UCLA was ahead by seven points at the half and never looked back, winning by almost 20 points. I was hoping that it would have been closer.


Philly City Government Ignores State Gun Pre-emption laws

It seems to be a matter of faith that these gun laws will make a difference, though no evidence is provided. The Philly Daily News has this:

Council's Committee on Public Safety approved legislation to limit handgun purchases to one a month; require owners to report lost or stolen guns to police; allow police to confiscate guns from people considered a risk to themselves or others; require a license from police to bring a gun into the city; ban semiautomatic weapons with clips that hold more than 10 rounds; and establish a registry for ammunition sales.

That legislation, introduced by Councilman Darrell Clarke, could be approved on Thursday.

Mayor Nutter, who has pledged to sign it into law and start enforcement, yesterday called it "the kinds of tools we need to make Philadelphia safer." The city Law Department, he added, is reviewing the legislation.

"Obviously, we want to be in the strongest position as it relates to enforcement," Nutter said.

This is a second try: The same legislation passed last year but was never enforced because it called for matching action by the state General Assembly that never came. Clarke sued the General Assembly, and Commonwealth Court is now deciding if the case can go forward.

By suing and trying to pass the legislation, Philadelphia is taking two routes to what it hopes is a final destination: A review by the state's Supreme Court of its 1996 ruling that struck down local gun-control laws in Philadelphia.

The state House and Senate, joined by the National Rifle Association, have challenged the city's ability to pass its own gun laws.

Clarke yesterday said that he was not sure what would happen if the city tried to enforce the laws in the face of that 1996 ruling.

"We're in uncharted waters at this point," Clarke said. "But given the level of significance of this issue, we think it's prudent for us to attempt every imaginable strategy as it relates to gun violence."

Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross yesterday told Council that his department supports the legislation. Later, he said it could have a "profound impact" on gun violence here. . . .

Thanks to Brock Barnes for sending me this link.


Another anti-war movie flops: Stop-Loss

Even though this movie has been getting very positive reviews apparently there are not enough people to see this movie to get it in the top 5 films. See here:

I'm told #7 Stop-Loss opened to only $1.6 million Friday from just 1,291 plays and should eke out $4+M. Although the drama from MTV Films was the best-reviewed movie opening this weekend, Paramount wasn't expecting much because no Iraq war-themed movie has yet to perform at the box office. "It's not looking good," a studio source told me before the weekend. "No one wants to see Iraq war movies. No matter what we put out there in terms of great cast or trailers, people were completely turned off. It's a function of the marketplace not being ready to address this conflict in a dramatic way because the war itself is something that's unresolved yet. It's a shame because it's a good movie that's just ahead of its time."

The fate of other anti-war movies can be seen here. Not all these Iraq movies got as positive reviews as this one.

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Possibly Canadians are in better shape than I thought

Only "One in 600 Canadians have signed up to participate in Earth Hour." By my count, that is 0.167 percent, hardly something to write home about.


Interview on Jason Lewis' Show

I was on Jason's show again on Thursday. As the in the show's "in-house economist," these regular get togethers are a lot of fun.



More informed people less concerned about global warming

Two Texas A&M political scientists report that:

The more you know the less you care -- at least that seems to be the case with global warming. A telephone survey of 1,093 Americans by two Texas A&M University political scientists and a former colleague indicates that trend, as explained in their recent article in the peer-reviewed journal Risk Analysis.

"More informed respondents both feel less personally responsible for global warming, and also show less concern for global warming," states the article, titled "Personal Efficacy, the Information Environment, and Attitudes toward Global Warming and Climate Change in the USA." . . .

Why am I not surprised by this?

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Florida State House passes bill to let employees keep guns locked in cars at work

The Orlando Sentinel has this story:

TALLAHASSEE - Florida residents could pack guns along with their briefcases as part of their workday routine, under a controversial measure endorsed by the Florida House on Wednesday.

With little debate, the House gave the gun lobby a major victory by passing a bill allowing employees to take their guns to work, as long as the owner has a permit and the weapon is locked in a car.

The guns-at-work bill forced the Legislature's Republican leaders to choose between two core constitutional principles: the right to bear arms and private-property rights. Each is advocated by powerful and deep-pocketed interests: gun groups and big business.

The bill (HB 503) passed on a largely party-line 72-42 vote, despite a last-minute appeal from business groups that called it an attack on their ability to regulate the workplace. The National Rifle Association is promoting similar legislation in every state, and Florida would be the fifth to pass it. . . .


Pizza Deliveryman shots robber, Pizza Hut suspends permit holder

The Des Moines Register has the story here:

A pizza deliveryman told Des Moines police that he shot a man who robbed him at gunpoint when he delivered a pie late Thursday to a south-side address.

The alleged assailant, Kenneth Jimmerson, 19, was taken to Mercy Medical Center in serious condition. He was charged this morning with first-degree robbery and will be taken to Polk County Jail when released from the hospital, police said.

Melanie Stout, 18, the woman who placed the order for the pizzas, was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery.

Restaurant officials have suspended the Pizza Hut driver, James William Spiers, while the case is under investigation. Polk County officials today confirmed that Spiers holds a valid gun permit, which was renewed in November. . . .

Vonnie Walbert, vice president of human resources at Pizza Hut, said:

“We have policy against carrying weapons. We prohibit employees from carrying guns because we believe that that is the safest for everybody.” . . . .

I wish that I had time to deal with this misinformation. It really puts people's lives at risk.

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Bob Barr running for President as a Libertarian?

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution breaks this story:

On an Internet site called Anti-War Radio, former Georgia congressman Bob Barr confirmed on Wednesday that he’s “very seriously” looking at joining the race for the White House as a Libertarian — and had harsh words for both the Iraq war and for the Bush Administration’s defense of “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

Many thanks to blogger Jason Pye for passing on word of the interview.

On a presidential run, Barr said:

“There’s been a tremendous expressed to me both directly and indirectly on the Internet. I take that support very seriously, and I think it also reflects a great deal of dissatisfaction with the current candidates and the current two-party system. So it is something, to be honest with you, that I’m looking very seriously at.”

Barr said a Libertarian candidacy would essentially be an extension of the Ron Paul campaign. . . .

Barr on the ballot could hurt McCain. I like Bob a lot and know him personally. Bob can't win, though it would be nice if he could educate people. If Bob could win, I would vote for him in a second. Bob is a better candidate than Ron Paul. I just don't think that I could vote for him though if it would help Obama win.


Amusing debate over wheelchair access in San Francisco City Hall

Fox News has the discussion here. First, the access is to a podium that no one uses any more. Second, the city is giving itself and exemption that would apparently not be available to a private company. Third, they apparently have already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the project. Fourth, the whole thing appears destined for a big lawsuit. All this for something no one is going to use.



First, the fact that Obama is changing his position yet again on this issue indicates to me that there is still significant fallout from his association with Rev. Wright. Second, is he serious to be changing his position at this late date? Now Obama says this:

“Had the reverend not retired, and had he not acknowledged that what he had said had deeply offended people and were inappropriate and mischaracterized what I believe is the greatness of this country, for all its flaws, then I wouldn’t have felt comfortable staying at the church,” Obama said Thursday during a taping of the ABC talk show, “The View.” The interview will be broadcast Friday.

But in his speech on race he said this:

I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother - a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.

These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.

Some will see this as an attempt to justify or excuse comments that are simply inexcusable. I can assure you it is not. I suppose the politically safe thing would be to move on from this episode and just hope that it fades into the woodwork. We can dismiss Reverend Wright as a crank or a demagogue, just as some have dismissed Geraldine Ferraro, in the aftermath of her recent statements, as harboring some deep-seated racial bias. . . . .

I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother - a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.

These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.

Some will see this as an attempt to justify or excuse comments that are simply inexcusable. I can assure you it is not. I suppose the politically safe thing would be to move on from this episode and just hope that it fades into the woodwork. We can dismiss Reverend Wright as a crank or a demagogue, just as some have dismissed Geraldine Ferraro, in the aftermath of her recent statements, as harboring some deep-seated racial bias. . . .

When I read Obama's now famous race speech I realized how many logical holes and unanswered questions there are.

I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. For some, nagging questions remain. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely - just as I'm sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.

OK, that seems clear enough, but then he says:

But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren't simply controversial. They weren't simply a religious leader's effort to speak out against perceived injustice. . . .

So this week it comes out that Obama clearly knew of some "controversial" statements when he was apparently approvingly quoting from Rev. Wright's sermon on "where white folk's greed runs a world in need."

So what is Obama saying that he knew? For his new claim though, it really doesn't matter because in his race speech he knew everything and said that he couldn't disown Wright. Now he is saying that he was planning on doing just that. Of course, the Friday before the speech Obama said that he had only heard of one of these controversial remarks by Wright and on that Tuesday it appeared as if he were saying that Wright was acknowledging much more in order to put this behind him. If Obama was a typical candidate, the press would tear him apart for these statements.

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Premiere of MARTIN SCORSESE's ROLLING STONES documentary

MARTIN SCORSESE's highly-anticipated documentary movie about the ROLLING STONES will premiere in DC next Tuesday. David Brock, from MediaMatters, gets to invite 100 people and Grover Norquist, with Americans for Tax Reform, gets to invite 100 people. Lots of well known people should be there. It should be fun.


Dick Morris lists false statements by Hillary Clinton

Morris' dislike for Hillary Clinton seems to be way over the top, but his piece is here:

The USA Today/Gallup survey clearly explains why Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) is losing. Asked whether the candidates were “honest and trustworthy,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) won with 67 percent, with Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) right behind him at 63. Hillary scored only 44 percent, the lowest rating for any candidate for any attribute in the poll.

Hillary simply cannot tell the truth. Here’s her scorecard:

Admitted Lies

• Chelsea was jogging around the Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. (She was in bed watching it on TV.)
• Hillary was named after Sir Edmund Hillary. (She admitted she was wrong. He climbed Mt. Everest five years after her birth.)
• She was under sniper fire in Bosnia. (A girl presented her with flowers at the foot of the ramp.)
• She learned in The Wall Street Journal how to make a killing in the futures market. (It didn’t cover the market back then.)

Whoppers She Won’t Confess To

• She didn’t know about the FALN pardons.
• She didn’t know that her brothers were being paid to get pardons that Clinton granted.
• Taking the White House gifts was a clerical error.
• She didn’t know that her staff would fire the travel office staff after she told them to do so.
• She didn’t know that the Peter Paul fundraiser in Hollywood in 2000 cost $700,000 more than she reported it had.
• She opposed NAFTA at the time.
• She was instrumental in the Irish peace process.
• She urged Bill to intervene in Rwanda.
• She played a role in the ’90s economic recovery.
• The billing records showed up on their own.
• She thought Bill was innocent when the Monica scandal broke.
• She was always a Yankees fan.
• She had nothing to do with the New Square Hasidic pardons (after they voted for her 1,400-12 and she attended a meeting at the White House about the pardons).
• She negotiated for the release of refugees in Macedonia (who were released the day before she got there).

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VIN SUPRYNOWICZ gives Alan Gura a hard time on DC Gun Ban Case

Vin is unfairly tough here on Gura:

In a "move that surprised some observers," the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday, attorney Alan Gura, appearing before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the federal guard who sued the District of Columbia in 2003, claiming he feels unsafe because he's not allowed to keep his guns at home, "appeared to concede large chunks of his argument, moving away from an absolutist position on gun rights."

"He concurred, at one point, with Justice Stephen Breyer that a ban on machine guns or plastic guns" (whatever those are) "would be constitutional because those weren't the kind of arms normally carried by members of state militias in the early days of the United States."

Was it a failure of nerve under pressure, or did somebody get to this guy? . . .
I understand the sensitivity over the issue of machine guns before the Supreme Court. It was clearly a strategic decision. That decision is easier than some of the other statements that were made before the court. Personally, however, I would have said that there are no such things as plastic guns. Personally, when questions were raised about accidental gun deaths involving kids, I would have talked about the small number involved and that most of those involve adult male criminals where gun locks are irrelevant. Personally, I wouldn't have advocated that people use a gun safe (this last one I think was a real mistake). All that said, it is hard being up in front of the Supreme Court for the first time. I think that DC's lawyer actually did a good job given how hard of a case he had to make. The gun lock issue in particular makes me worried that we may win the battle over the individual rights issue, but lose the war regarding either the DC gun ban or the standard involved. If we lose it because of the gun lock question, I will be extremely disappointed. Again, all that said, at this point it doesn't make much sense to spend a lot of time worrying about things. We will know soon enough.

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Gore on Global Warming: Calling names, not arguing facts

I have previously discussed the 400 scientists who question the notion that there is significant man-made global warming. CBS has this from Al Gore:

(CBS) Self-avowed "P.R. agent for the planet" Al Gore says those who still doubt that global warming is caused by man - among them, Vice President Dick Cheney - are acting like the fringe groups who think the 1969 moon landing never really happened, or who once believed the world is flat. . . . .

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Silly Government Regulation: Turning off Cell Phones in Airplanes

I know a former FCC commissioner who tells me that no one that he knows believes this. Here is a news report that I saw today.

Myth: If you use a cell phone while flying, the signal can interfere with the plane's compass and navigation systems, possibly leading to a crash.

. . . More recent studies by the NASA and the FAA have found no instances where a cell phone caused a crash, although some pilots claimed otherwise.


Airline Pilots Security Alliance releases press release on accidental shooting

Their press release is available here:

Airline pilots and federal flight deck officers (FFDO) say ill-conceived TSA weapons handling rules were to blame for the accidental discharge of a pilot’s firearm in the cockpit of a US Airways jet last weekend.

Federal officers familiar with the investigation say they repeatedly warned TSA officials that an unprecedented TSA requirement that pilots take off and lock up their guns before leaving the cockpit is manifestly unsafe and would result in accidents.

“The pilot was trying to lock his gun and remove the holster in an airplane going 300 miles per hour in preparation for landing and the padlock depressed the trigger,” said a federal flight deck officer who declined to be identified. “TSA knew this could happen but didn’t get rid of the requirement.” . . . .

Putting a lock on a trigger involves this exact type of risk unless you are also going to require the pilots to load and unload the gun once they get on the plane. Indeed, it is precisely because of this concern that trigger lock makers warn people not to put these locks on a loaded gun.

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California Appeals Court to Rehear Home-Schooling Case

The discussion in the Washington Times can be found here:

The California appellate court that recently appeared to outlaw home-schooling in California has now agreed to rehear the case, raising hopes among home-schooling supporters that the court will revise its ruling.

"Because this ruling impacts all Californians, we believe the case deserves a second look," said Gary McCaleb, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, which asked the 2nd District Court of Appeal for a rehearing of the case, "In re: Rachel L."

Home-schooling advocates nationwide were outraged with the appellate court's unanimous Feb. 28 ruling that ordered two parents to send two of their children to school — as the children requested, through their lawyer — instead of home-schooling them. . . . .


Doesn't Obama own stock?

John Fund at the WSJ's Political Diary reports this very strange fact, especially for someone in Obama's millon dollar plus income range:

Mr. Obama's tax returns, which he released this week, apparently show that he and his wife Michelle have next to no stake in the investor class.

Ryan Ellis of the American Shareholders Association has examined the Obama returns for calendar years 2001 to 2006 and found that, in all of those years, the couple reported a mere $1,188 in dividends in 2006 and another $2,754 in dividends in 2005. In the previous years, they reported no dividends of any kind.

Indeed, even though Michelle Obama had a large self-employment income from the University of Chicago's Hospital System that often exceeded $1 million a year, she appears to have neither a 401(k) plan or an IRA for retirement contributions. In another sign the Obama household wasn't into building a nest egg, the couple cashed out $6,260 from a pension or 401(k) plan in 2000.


Obama Publicly Supports the Public Financing of Campaigns, but actions don't match rhetoric

Last year Obama got a lot of political attention for trying to save the public financing for presidential campaigns. This year he has tried to back out of his promise to use the system. Kim Strassel at the WSJ's Political Diary now reports:

"In his two most recent tax filings, for the years 2005 and 2006, he didn't check the box that designates $3 of taxes to go to the public presidential campaign fund."


What People in England Are Forced to Do to Try Protecting Themselves in England

This poor chap is reduced to try and defend his home in some pretty ridiculous ways. See this film clip here.

Thanks to Chad Baus for sending me this link.

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"Alabama Senate committee blocks campus gun bills"

The article can be found here:

MONTGOMERY -- A state senator, motivated by deadly campus shootings in Virginia and Illinois, drew opposition from Alabama higher education officials and got nowhere with his bills to allow professors and some students to carry guns on Alabama campuses.

The Senate Education Committee split largely along party lines Wednesday when it voted down the bills by Sen. Hank Erwin, R-Montevallo. Republicans mostly supported the bills, and Democrats were united in their opposition.

"I gave it my best shot, and the committee, representing the people of Alabama, said no," Erwin said after the votes.

Erwin began working on his bills last April after a gunman at Virginia Tech killed 32 people. He increased his push after a suicidal gunman killed five people at Northern Illinois University in February.

Alabama's public universities, like most colleges around the country, ban guns on campus. . . . .

More on Dems Saying that if their candidate doesn't win, they will vote for McCain

A new Gallup Poll says that 28 percent of Clinton supporters would vote for McCain over Obama and 19 percent of Obama supporters would vote for McCain over Clinton. There is also a substantial number of undecided voters among Clinton supporters. Who knows how accurate these polls are given how long that we have until the November election, but it is interesting how high these numbers are and that Obama would appear to be hurt more from this than Clinton. It would be interesting to see how much of this difference were due to the problems that Obama has had with Rev. Wright. Here is a video that Gallup has put out on this poll. Presumably the effect on independents is even larger than what this poll shows for Democrats.


Will Clinton and Obama get pinned down on gun issues during Philadelphia Debate?

I am less optimistic than reporter Linda Douglass:

"When Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton square off in an April 16 debate in Philadelphia, they may be forced to spend time discussing an issue neither has talked much about in this campaign: gun control," Linda Douglass writes at national journal.com.

"April 16 will mark one year since the murder of 32 students at Virginia Tech, the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence will stage events around the country that day calling for stronger gun regulations, and for the candidates, gun control will be thrust on the table suddenly and unavoidably," the writer said.

"Guns are an especially potent issue in Pennsylvania, which is home to 300,000 members of the National Rifle Association — the highest per capita NRA membership in the country, according to Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action. A 2002 Quinnipiac University poll found that 42 percent of Pennsylvania households have guns, including 54 percent of union households, a key Democratic constituency. . . .

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Is nothing sacred?: Japanese Baseball Changes Game

For baseball purists, changing how the game is played makes it harder to make comparisons over time. This might not seem like a big change, but it is probably only the start. As someone who has actually watch Japanese baseball live, I think that the more serious problem is noise pollution (there is a real serious threat of hearing loss).

TOKYO (AFP) — Japanese professional baseball players have vowed to shorten playing time per game as part of the national pastime's contribution to the fight against global warming.
They will aim to cut playing time by six percent, or 12 minutes, from the average of three hours and 18 minutes per game, the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) commissioners' office said.
"When a professional baseball game is staged, a huge amount of carbon dioxides, a cause of global warming, is discharged because it requires use of energy to move players and spectators, supply electricity for lighting and other purposes and dispose of food and drink waste," NPB said in a statement.
The pledge to cut playing time was set in accordance with Japan's promise to cut its emissions of greenhouse gases by six percent from 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012 under the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.
Japan, despite being the home of the landmark treaty, is far behind in meeting its Kyoto obligations as it insists only on voluntary measures so as not to put at risk a steady economic recovery. . . .

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"the five [toilet] stalls have cost taxpayers about $4.3 million"

The article on the public toilets in Seattle is available here. This is an issue that the city of Seattle really apparently put a lot of thought into. I am sure that the government would take care of health care much more efficiently.


Clinton and Obama do real damage to each other

Fox News has this discussion:

“He would not have been my pastor,” Clinton told reporters at a press conference in Greensburg, Pa.

“You know, we don’t have a choice when it comes to our relatives. We have a choice when it comes to our pastors and the churches we attend,” she said. “Everyone will have to decide these matters for themselves. They are obviously very personal matters … I think the choice would be clear for me.”

Though Obama has come under intense scrutiny for the anti-U.S. and racially charged sermons by Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., until now Clinton has declined to make a political point of it.

The Obama campaign blasted back that Clinton only made the statement to distract from scrutiny about her own recollection of a March 1996 trip to Bosnia. . . . .

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Texas win Medellin Case

This was a strange case where President Bush ordered Texas how to enforce its law. I will have to read the case, but this discussion on Bloomberg caught by attention:

``When the honor of the nation is balanced against the modest cost of compliance, Texas would do well to recognize that more is at stake'' than the legal issues, Stevens wrote.

Unfortunately, it is not the first time that I have seen Supreme Court justices appealing to something other than the law.


Rush claims that Dems want to use people's internet chat discussions to investigate vote fraud

Did you hear that Dems in Ohio want to investigate people's internet chats to see if they really intended to register as Dems legitimately for the primary? This is the same party that gets upset about the Patriot Act. I guess that keeping the wrong people from voting is more important than National Security. I guess that I forgot about vote fraud.


New Op-ed: Blacks Have a Choice to Be, or Not Be a 'Victim'

You can see my weekly piece up at Fox News here:

How much of a victim do some blacks have to be to actually believe that the U.S. government invented AIDS and supplies dangerous drugs to blacks with the intent of killing them?

To say that the persecution of blacks by whites in the U.S. today corresponds to the white Europeans (Romans) who killed Jesus (said to be black, not Semitic)?

These dispirited views are obviously disappointing, but how can large numbers of people believe these things? What is the impact of the feelings that others are out to get them on people’s desire to improve themselves?

In a truly courageous act, Larry Elder's book "Stupid Black Men" rips into the festering sore of what passes as discussions these days about race. Elder confronts the "I-am-a-victim" attitude that corrupts people's sense of self-confidence and causes them to interpret the everyday difficulties people face in life through a prism of racial animosity. . . .


Nice discussion of Supreme Court DC Gun Ban Case

This discussion on Fox News' WSJ Report was one of the better discussions that I have heard.

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Obama's unfavorable rating continues rising, now at 52 percent

This at least seems pretty bad to me. Rasmussen's newest tracking poll results must be somewhat concerning for the Democrats. Clinton's unfavorable rating is at 55 percent. Obama's is at 52 percent.

Clinton 46% Obama 44%, McCain 50% Obama 41%, McCain 49% Clinton 42%



The desire to classify an "excessive" number of activities as evidence of mental illness is a mental illness

I assume that "excessive" amount of anything is not a particularly good sign, but I find it only moderately amusing the way that so many things get classified as a mental illness. Well now we have a new one "excessive emails and text messages."

PEOPLE who send excessive texts and emails may have a mental illness, according to an article in a leading psychiatric journal.

As more people leave the office computer, only to log on as soon as they get home, the American Journal of Psychiatry has found addiction to text messaging and emailing could be another form of mental illness.

The article, by Dr Jerald Block, said there were four symptoms: suffering from feelings of withdrawal when a computer cannot be accessed; an increased need for better equipment; need for more time to use it; and experiencing the negative repercussions of their addiction. . . .

File this under excessive psychiatry.


UN ranks the US as only 22 in terms of places to live primarily because of guns

I came across this article in the London Times because of a link on the Drudge Report:

"Mr Le Mière said that the US had fallen down the scale, although it still scored an average of 93 out of 100, partly because of the proliferation of small arms owned by Americans and the threat to the population posed by the flow of drugs from across the Mexican border."

I know that in the past the US has had a low rating because of claimed health care issues and I imagine that is still buried in here someplace.

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Well obviously this is only one factor: Study: Key to happy marriage is ugly husband

For an amusing report from Fox News see here.


Defensive Gun Use story from the Orange County Register

Gordon Dillow writes:

It happened earlier this month in Irvine. Police were looking for a man suspected of raping an 18-year-old woman in her home. As the cops searched, the fleeing suspect, a 27-year-old L.A. gang member, tried to hide by breaking into another home. Inside, the homeowner, a man who had recently undergone defensive firearms training, heard the commotion, grabbed a handgun and confronted the suspect. . . .


Ironic Result for AARP

The AARP pushes for more and more government healthcare benefits for individuals over age 65, though apparently these elderly individuals prefer private insurance. It is ironic that their push for government insurance now means that people aren't given the private insurance that they desire even more. The AP has the story here:

The Supreme Court on Monday let stand a federal policy that allows employers to reduce their health insurance expenses for retired workers once they turn 65 and qualify for Medicare.
The justices turned down an appeal by the 39-million-member AARP to undo a rule that essentially allows employers to treat retirees differently depending on their age. . . .


Accidental Discharge in US Airways Airliner Cockpit, no damage

This is the first time that I have found of this type of discharge. I have had at least one pilot today tell me about the problems with the gun locks required on the guns. According to those that I have talked to, the gun discharged when the lock was being put on the gun. Are these guys supposed to unload the gun before they re-lock their gun. Here is one story here:

A gun carried by a US Airways pilot accidentally discharged during a flight from Denver to Charlotte on Saturday, according to airline and federal officials.

No one was injured, and the aircraft was not in any danger during the flight, officials said. It landed at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport around 11:51 a.m. Saturday.

The pilot, who wasn't identified, was allowed to carry the firearm as part of the Federal Flight Deck Officer program run by the Transportation Security Administration, officials said. The program was created after the 9-11 terrorist attacks and allows eligible crew members to use a firearm to defend against an act of criminal violence or air piracy, according to the TSA's Web site. Those eligible include pilots, flight engineers or navigators.

The pilot involved in Saturday's incident last qualified for the TSA program in November. . . .

Here is crimefilenews' take.

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Another example of the limits of stun guns

Fox News has a story here, though its focus is on other issues.

The 30-year-old mother of three jumped from her disabled SUV following a chase, holding a gun to her head to keep police back. Officers fired a stun gun but the nonlethal weapon was foiled by her heavy coat. . . .

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Interesting new Ben Stein Movie on Education

A preview of the movie can be seen here.


Happy Easter!