Blogarama Vocal Minority: March 2005

Vocal Minority

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The United Nations Thugs

Is there any doubt that the United Nations has outlived its usefulness. Blue helmeted U.N. soldiers have been dispatched all over the world to combat aggression and protect innocent people and I have yet to see any successes. They currently list 16 locations where peacekeeping forces are present dating back to 1948. Do they ever accomplish the goal of peace? They claim to have done that in 42 countries, including Somalia. Yeah, right. The United Nations is a textbook example of nepotism to the extent that the U.S. refuses to pay it’s dues and even though we are assessed 1/3 of the bill we finance our own actions all over the world. The last year for which I could obtain a budget, 2001 saw them walk through $11.9 billion. Of course that pales in comparison to the $200+ billion we are spending right now.
The point is that the United Nations is a self perpetuating spending machine that is concerned about it’s own existence than about those it is supposed to serve. This story is a good example of what they have evolved into. These assholes, the U.S. included, refuse to admit that an army cannot win against terrorism. Terrorist activities, by their very nature, thrive in a military situation. Doesn’t anyone remember the French underground during WWII? Dictators are allowed to exist because they are granted the status of statesman. They can then negotiate a deal with the U.N. and retire to another country with their plundered funds after killing a few hundred thousand of their own.

The only method that will effectively work against dictators, revolutionists, slaughters, terrorists, etc. is the Rule of Commerce. The same rule that the U.N. depends on for its plunder. The murderous heads of state should be cut off from the rest of the world with absolutely no exceptions. Food and medicine should be shipped to the border. Those that seize power through force should have no where to hide. I’m in favor of saving money and placing a $100 million bounty on their heads, dead or alive. This was supposed to be the plan with Saddam Hussein if Iraq but the U.N. let plenty of money slip through to him and it was clear he would have been allowed to go in exile, a free man.

The second half of the plan calls for the wealthy nations to share the wealth. I know, I worked hard for what I have, let them get their own. The thing is that few will credit luck, government and circumstances for good fortune, only failure. Any millionaire or billionaire, for that matter, who claims to have made it on their own, is patently full of shit. No one “made it” without numerous dedicated employees’ working their butt’s off for a lot less money. You’ve never bought a Nike shoe made personally by Phil Knight and Bill Gates did not write DOS, he bought it. Certainly we could provide a job to a 14-year-old girl in the Congo so she doesn’t have to sell herself to a blue helmeted thug.

We sit here in America beside one of the poorest nations in the world, Haiti. A great deal of their turmoil comes from the inability to provide food and shelter for their people. The U.S. can’t help a country of oppressed people a hundred miles away yet they travel around the world to save the grateful people of Iraq.
In accounts of WWII returning soldiers, they stated that the people in the Netherlands began cleaning streets and picking up bricks to rebuild their country the day after the American troops arrived to liberate them. They also noted that the French asked them who was going to pick up the mess and rebuild France.

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Sunday, March 20, 2005

Terri Schaivo & Urban Legend

I’ve been reading a lot about Terri Schiavo lately and now her story is front-page news. Even though this is a matter of our right to control our own destiny and an affront to Oregon’s’ assisted suicide law, what matters more is the bloggers statements that are appearing. I have read some of the statements and done some research on their authenticity.
 I watched the video of the Democrats laughing it up and saw that they laughed at comments by the media, nervous laughter. The statements they made at the press conference were serious. The accusation of their hilarity is crap.
 The statement made by Michael Schiavo on the March 18, 2005 Larry King show that “We didn't know what Terri wanted, but this is what we want...” is an unfinished sentence taken out of context. Larry interrupted him before he finished his statement. For an in depth interview with Michael Schiavo try this.
 Then we get to the opinion on brain dead. If the matter weren't so serious it would be laughable. The article referenced wasn’t written by an M.D. but by Lee Kent Hempfling, Chairman CEO Neutronics Technologies Corporation (USA). It seems that he writes books about the brain and publishes them through the Enticy Institute. “The Enticy Institute is the future center of brain and planet friendly energy studies world wide.” He states “… Terri Schiavo is suffering from a lack of motor control. He brain is sending signals to motion but those signals are not getting through to muscle groups and that results in the inability to speak, move and control motion.” Of course, the neurosurgeons wouldn’t think of this, right?

Watch out for the Bloggers, some of them have a motive.

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Representatives bought for $52K

Following is how your Representative voted on the Bankruptcy Bill and the payoff for a YES vote -
Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore) $3,500 Yes
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore) $0 No
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore) $10,279 Yes
Rep. Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore) $0 No
Rep. Darlene Hooley (D-Ore) $22,500 Yes
Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore) $7,500 Yes
Rep. David Wu (D-Ore) $8,500 Yes

Total Payoff = $52,279

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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Oregon Legislature Fiddles While State Burns

The Oregon legislature currently list about 1,267 new bills in the House and 1,060 new bills introduced in the Senate. A portion of these are normal housekeeping bills but probably a good 1,000 of them are new laws that will effect you and your neighbors. Every time the Legislature meets they play around with these inane, stupid bills eventually pass a few hundred and leave the serious matters until the end of the session. Then, in their haste to leave, they ignore matters such as PERS and land use problems, leaving the issues unsolved for another session.
Currently Rep. Jackie Dingfelder thinks it’s more important to ban commercials or previews after the start time of a movie in your local theater, subject to a $200 fine per customer HB3367. I had no idea the people of Oregon were up in arms over movie times. Personally I like the built in delay, as I have a difficult time getting to my seat on time.
But what really irritates me is the fact that these new bills are introduced daily and the media chooses to virtually ignore them. The Oregonian posts a Bill Watch column buried in the paper’s Metro section listing a few of the interesting ones. They generally don’t write anything about a new bill unless it pertains to land use laws or same sex marriage. In the past the press has been touted as a government watchdog that protects us by informing the public on what our government is doing so they can’t operate in secrecy. Not in Oregon. Of the estimated 300 or 400 new bills that are expected to pass this session you might be lucky to find out about a dozen of them before they become laws. You can view them here.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Irritating Tidbits

Isn’t it refreshing to see government, any government, respond in a friendly, non-adversarial way? Washington County has prepared a preliminary guide for handling their Measure 37 claims in which they are not charging a fee to claimants and limiting the ability of neighbors to sue. Personally I am amazed at all of the doom and gloom statements from the opposition. For crying out loud, only 95 claims have been filed in the entire county. If you want their land so you can drive by in your SUV and look at the wildlife, then buy it.

The Oregon House of Representatives is considering dumping the CIM/CAM program for Oregon schools. It’s about time. I’m surprised it’s taken 14 years to realize that the whole approach was crap. Thanks again Vera and Norma.

OK, makes sense to me. Cut physical education out of the schools and make the parks and adult area, then wonder why kids are going sideways. Portland approved money for the Children’s Investment Fund and they’re dishing it out. Now I like children and I’ve done my volunteer time in their activities but I think they should see more bang for their buck. One program received a 2-year $220,000 grant and serves 200 children. Another gets $300,000 to serve 536. A third got $435,621 to serve 150 children.

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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Congress is bankrupt

Yesterday the senate voted to pass the revisions to the personal bankruptcy bill. When reading the quotes of the bill’s supporters I am appalled at their callousness and ignorance of the facts (details here). As far as I’m concerned the Congress is morally bankrupt. Oregon’s Ron Wyden voted to give National Guard soldiers a break when shipped off unexpectedly and also people forced into bankruptcy due to medical bills. He voted against capping the interest rate at 30%, presumably he thought it too high. I hope so. Oregon’s Gordon Smith voted against all three.
Meanwhile banks are adding 2% transaction fees to anyone that uses a credit card overseas, because they can.
During the recent years banks have passed Check21, eliminated personal bankruptcy, added unexplained 2% fees and cut their bank staff to nothing. They own us.
Everyone should remember how their representatives voted on this bill at election time.

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Another I.D. theft

Another 32,000 got slammed by I.D. theft when bad guys got a hold of passwords and invaded a database owned by a company called Lexis Nexis. They are apparently a division of Seisant, which provides data for Matrix, a crime and terrorism database project funded by the U.S. government that has raised concerns among civil liberties groups.
If you were worrying about your personal information at Choicepoint you can feel better now. They just announced they have hired Carol A. DiBattiste, former deputy administrator of the Transportation Security Administration as the company’s chief credentialing, compliance and privacy officer. It certainly makes me feel safer knowing a former TSA official is in charge. Considering the fine job they've done with airport security I know I feel better...

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Monday, March 07, 2005

U.C. President quits - Barnett doesn't

Since we’re talking about college football coaches, how about that Gary Barnett of Univ. of Colorado. The guy slams a woman football place kicker after she claims to have been raped by a fellow player. It also turns out they provide sex and drugs for recruiting parties, have bought hookers for the assistant coaches, and created a slush fund for god knows what (any guesses?). The athletic director has resigned and now the university president. Meanwhile, last November Barnett was chosen AP Big 12 coach of year, 9 months after the scandal arose.
Is there any question in your mind where the current pro athlete attitude comes from?

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Another loser gets a big payoff

Another loser gets a big payoff. The University of Washington and NCAA settles out of court with Rick Neuheisel for $4.7 million. He got $3 million for being fired and a $1.5 million loan with $200,000 interest forgiven. Most importantly he gets bragging rights for justice being served and made the following statement.

"I feel fully vindicated," Neuheisel said outside the courtroom. "Obviously they're going to have their stories, too, but I feel like this is the best scenario. Nobody's nose gets bloodied."
"The legal system works," he added. "The players got together and found an amicable resolution. I'm thrilled to be moving on."

The jerk clearly broke a NCAA rule of betting on football and now feels vindicated. $4.7 million seems like blood money to me. Great example for our young people.

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Saturday, March 05, 2005

Assisted Suicide - It's not about you.

Today I have to talk about a serious and somber topic, assisted suicide. Friday, March 4th. The Oregonian chose to run a front-page article on David Prueitt and his failed suicide attempt. It seems Mr. Prueitt did everything correctly but went into a coma for three days, lived two more weeks and died of natural causes. Rather than pick a more sensitive headline they chose to go with “Why am I not dead”. The Oregonian has been against assisted suicide all along and their attitude in the editorial section has long affected their coverage in the paper. They did acknowledge that Pruiett had unbearable pain, followed all of the proper steps for obtaining assistance and took the pills prescribed. However they included two inane and uninformed quotes.

The first –
"By any standard, this is a failed attempt," said Dr. Greg Hamilton, a Portland psychiatrist and former president of Physicians for Compassionate Care, a group against assisted suicide.
"That's one of the reasons we oppose assisted suicide. The dying process is prolonged and inhumane, and it's traumatic for the family."

OK, it’s a failed attempt. He did not suffer additional pain. He was simply disappointed and confused. How did the attempt prolong his dying process? The man is dealing with the pain from cancer on a daily basis and Dr. Hamilton says that ending the slow process of dying is inhumane? As to the family, I’m sympathetic but you’re not the one with cancer, support David and deal with it. It’s not about you.

The second –
But Dr. Kenneth Stevens, vice president of Physicians for Compassionate Care and chairman of the radiation oncology department at Oregon Health & Science University, called Prueitts death a failed assisted suicide. The most likely reason for such a failure, he said, is that the patient did not consume the complete lethal dose.
"We've always been concerned that the dose would not always be lethal and that there would be complications. In this situation, living is considered a complication."

He took a lethal dose Dr. Stevens and did not regurgitate it as verified by a nurse. The reporter, Don Colburn, should have told you that. Or did you ask? So by your logic, if he had died the process would have been a success, right? You really have nothing to say of any value here.

The issue of assisted suicide will stay controversial as long as there are selfish people out there that want to impose their values on everyone else. Suicide involves only the person contemplating it for everyone else involved suffers far less than the person that is dying. I lost my mother and father to long slow deaths due to cancer and currently have a close relative suffering from a fatal brain tumor. When I listen to the trite uninformed crap spewed out by the likes of Oklahoma Senator Don Nichols and talk radios Lars Larson it becomes unbearable. The uninformed state that the terminally ill can be made quite comfortable with modern medicine. They haven’t been there. Pain can be handled with morphine but the patient is affected mentally. My mother, on a morphine drip, constantly begged to go home from the hospital so they knocked her out with another drug, an induced coma.
The bottom line of all this is the mental anguish of being terminally ill and the process of dying. My relative with the tumor is a proud Viet Nam vet that has lived his life proudly and independently. I hurt when he tells me what bothers him most is a task he did yesterday, he can no longer do. As the tumor grows in his brain he bears witness to his own demise. He knows he will eventually be unable to care for himself and others will watch after him like they would a small child. He is faced with being stripped of his last vestige of dignity before dying.
Those that oppose assisted suicide must do so on religious grounds for there is no valid reason to interfere in someone else’s life. Everyone screams about separation of church and state and demands the Ten Commandments be removed from the courthouse, yet here is where we really need true separation of church and state.
We need to honor a dying man or woman’s last wish. It’s not about us.

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Thursday, March 03, 2005

Nun released from prison

From The San Francisco Chronicle-
“A nun who spent the past 18 months in prison for defacing a missile site in a peace protest is scheduled to be released Friday, but she may face another confrontation with prosecutors for refusing to pay $3,000 in restitution.

Jackie Marie Hudson, 70, was convicted in April 2003 of obstructing national defense and damaging government property. She and two other nuns had poured blood on a Minuteman III silo in northern Colorado in October 2002, hit nearby railroad tracks with a hammer and then sat down to await arrest.”

I won’t support or condemn the nun’s actions but it seems that the current government is trying to suppress peaceful demonstrations. For crying out loud, 18 months for pouring blood on a missile silo. The Choicepoint identity theft man in Calif. only got 16 months. The police show up at peaceful demonstrations in full riot gear and pepper spray the crowd, including children, like it was the start of the second American Revolution. These people couldn’t even begin to handle the 60s demonstrations.

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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Mo Cheeks - R.I.P.

If you didn’t see the firing of Mo Cheeks coming then you probably spent the last few months in Europe.
We all know that coaches are typically sacrificial lambs that are fired when the team just can’t get the chemistry right. Take a look at Mike Dunleavy who was Coach of the Year in 1999 and then unceremoniously dumped after the Blazers fell apart the next year. I thought Cheeks situation would be different.
Mo was brought in to clean up a team that Whitsett and Paul Allen had turned into a bunch of spoiled, overpaid, under performing millionaires. From 1997 to 2003, 14 different players had been either arrested or cited for 30 different incidents ranging from sexual assault to marijuana possession.
Over the next few years they dumped their garbage including Rasheed Wallace, Bonzi wells and Qyntel Woods, but much more was needed. They didn’t change the attitude of the players that remained. Paul Allen and Co. had unlimited wealth, a high tech dynamic background and the ability to do just about anything he wanted. He had the opportunity to change the Blazers but conducted business as usual just like the rest of the NBA owners. Instead of offering bonuses for character, honesty and respect, he signed Randolph and Miles to long term, big money contracts. They then proceeded to turn into assholes.

One word I’m really getting tired of is “dissed”, the illiterate term for disrespect. It seems that those that use the term the most are themselves incapable of showing any for others.
I also hope that 20 years from now the NBA jerks have a little trouble sleeping at night due to their actions.
BTW – The Blazers 25 Point Pledge doesn’t cover staff.

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