Sunday, November 30, 2003

Chicago's Plan to End Homelessness

This article in the Christian Science Monitor by Amanda Paulson discusses a new approach to be implemented by the city of Chicago to fight the problem of homelessness.
In a move being closely watched around the country, the city is undertaking an ambitious experiment: a 10-year "plan to end homelessness," a drastic shift in strategy that emphasizes permanent housing over shelters.
The article is short on details but appears to indicate that the city will stop funding homeless shelters and start building permanent housing for the people. In addition, it seems the program will include some type of cash payment to encourage the people to continue residing in the permanent housing. It's not clear how the costs will be paid, but the homeless advocates are giddy about the promise of a new and, as yet undefined, pile of cash to spend.

Frankly, without specifics, it's difficult to assess the plan's chances of success. This writer is fairly certain that if the plan is implemented as it's described, it will help mitigate homelessness to some degree. With people being paid to live in free housing, the migratory instinct of homeless people in surrounding cities will become energized. There will likely be a marked reduction in the homeless populations of Milwaukee, WI, Rockford, IL, Gary, IN, and other places.
A College "Core Function" is to Teach High School, Says VP

The Ohio Board of Regents has proposed phasing out the funding for remedial classes for incoming freshmen. It seems that high school graduates are enrolling in college without having learned prerequisite knowledge in reading, writing, and arithmetic. Therefore, Ohio colleges and universities are teaching basic high school courses to the students with the taxpayer picking up the cost.
"Assisting underprepared students is a core function of higher education and is something we do at the University of Cincinnati. There is nothing to indicate that this is going to change anytime soon," said Anthony J. Perzigian, UC's senior vice president and provost for baccalaureate and graduate education.
It is incomprehensible to this writer that a senior official with the University of Cincinnati states that teaching high school is a core function of the university. It also doesn't make any sense that the taxpayer should be responsible for a university to teach high school courses.

Worthy of mention is the scope of the problem with high school graduates who didn't learn anything in high school.
The 2002 Performance Report for Ohio's Colleges and Universities said 32 percent of new freshman [sic] take a remedial math and/or English course their first year on the main campus, and that the average for Ohio main campuses last year was 23 percent.

On UC's Clermont campus, about 47 percent of new freshmen take a remedial math and/or English course their first year, and about 54 percent of new freshmen take a remedial math and/or English course their first year at the Raymond Walters campus in Blue Ash.

The 2002 statewide average for branch campuses was 48 percent, UC officials said.
There it is. Final tally, approximately one-half of enrolling HS graduates didn't learn the basics in high school. Pretty sad.

On a positive note, unnamed officials have been heard to remark that incoming students are well versed in diversity, environmentalism, homosexuality and transgenderism, animal rights and radical vegetarianism, and the problems of the homeless. No remedial classes are necessary in these areas. Areas of deficient knowledge are exclusively reading, writing, and arithmetic.
Comment System Change

In July, I signed up for the comment system offered by SquawkBox and everything was fine, I thought. The terms were explained that the service would be free for a year and then I'd have to pay to continue. Well, the folks at SquawkBox must use a different calendar or they changed their minds. Yesterday, they informed me that my account was history. So, I've lost all previous comments.

My only complaint is that it would have been nice if they had given me a heads up. Based upon their slamming the door on me without notice (I fully expected the service to continue for a year), I don't recommend SquawkBox. I am, however, appreciative of the service provided between July and November.
New Weblog Showcase

Many years ago, in the US Navy less than a year, I was on a destroyer, in port at San Juan, Puerto Rico, and my Chief told me, "Strip down to your skivvies. This is gonna get dirty." He then gave me a bucket and a trowel. "There's the access hole," he pointed. "Crawl in there and clean it out." 'In there' was a diesel storage tank, about two feet high.

I crawled into an 18-inch opening, over four weir walls, to the back of the tank. With the trowel, I commenced scooping diesel oil sludge into the bucket. When full, I took it to the access hole and got another bucket and went and filled it. This went on for about 30 minutes, then the Chief told me to get out and he sent someone else in. "You're filthy," he said. "Go get cleaned up."

From the top of my head to the bottom of my feet, I was covered with diesel oil sludge. I had never been so completely engulfed in oily, grimy, foul-smelling filth before. And I prayed it would never happen again.

Unfortunately, my prayer was not answered. Mucking through this week's New Weblog Showcase, I got the same feeling of being covered in foul-smelling filth. The first four I read were an insult to the eyes and mind. A seethingly, evangelical Bush-hater was followed by an insidiously stealthy Greenie cloaked in conservatism. These were followed by a pornography apologist/normalizer and then another Greenie, this one a fixated cultist drippingly close to being a flat-earther. I should have printed them out. Then I could sit in the smallest room in my house, reading the blogs in front of me and disposing of them behind me.

Fortunately, the other blogs were not of the wacko variety and I was able to select one. My only choice this week is:
The Fiduciary Duty of Good Faith which appears in Venturpreneur.
Of note is that I really didn't see anything positive in the first four I read. Also, extreme leftism is as obscene as the foulest of pornography.

Of course, there's no accounting for personal tastes and preferences.

Saturday, November 29, 2003

EPA to Visit Toronto for Trash Talk

The controversy (see here for description) of every scrap of trash from Toronto being sent to Michigan has prompted a visit by representatives of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They will examine the city's garbage and recycling facilities and discuss how to reduce the amount of garbage exported.
Representative Joseph Rivet of the Michigan legislature said that while people want the state government to simply ban Canadian garbage, bilateral agreements between the two countries supersede any laws that the state could pass to change the situation.

"There is pressure to stop the garbage. But since we can't do that, I'd rather work with our neighbours to make the best of the situation," Rivet said.
Various proposed legislative actions are being considered in the US Congress to address the garbage controversy. At the same time, the Toronto City Council is reviewing alternatives to just sending garbage to Michigan. So, in summary, the issue remains unresolved, but a lot of people are working on it.
Cafe for Potheads Opens in Montreal

Chez Marijane, a cafe for marijuana smokers, has opened for business less than a block from the police station. Possession of marijuana is illegal, however, three hours after opening, the police had not taken any action.
Cleveland Recycling Program Canceled

Due to a severe budget shortfall, Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell announced last Monday that the city is eliminating curbside recycling and leaf pickup. Mark Ricchiuto, the Director of the Department of Public Service, disclosed the details, stating:
The cuts will cost 44 workers their jobs and save the city $2.6 million . . . [and]

"When you have a budget deficit of this significance, you have to make tough decisions," Ricchiuto said. "Our first priority is safety and health."
Of note is that other cities, Cincinnati and Chillicothe, are also considering dropping curbside recycling in their efforts to cut costs.

What isn't mentioned often is the fact that, almost universally, recycling programs are a net drain on government budgets. It represents another utopian idea of the environmentalists that will never work until somebody figures how to make money from it. Up till now and the foreseeable future, recycling programs require taxpayer subsidies to operate. In the case of Cleveland and other cities, there are no taxpayer dollars available for low priority projects.
Small Business in Russia

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union a mere decade ago, the new Russia has struggled with instilling democracy and free market philosophy into the government and population. The transition continues with understandable difficulty. Seventy plus years of communist rule bequeathed the country with local and regional bureaucratic institutions that were and continue to be overbearing, intrusive and corrupt. And nowhere have the regulations, inspections, permits, fees, and so on, been as burdensome than on small businesses. Of note is that, as of January 1, 2003, there were about 800,000 small businesses in Russia being overseen by 1.5 million federal bureaucrats. That's two regulators for every entrepreneur.

Irina Khakamada, a deputy speaker of the State Duma, recently organized several fact-finding regional visits to obtain first-hand information on the small business climate. The results were dismal with more than half of Russian entrepreneurs stating that business conditions were bad. Excessive government red tape was cited as the greatest impediment to starting, conducting and expanding small businesses. Analysis by a group led by former Economics Minister Yevgeny Yasin produced similar results.

Specific complaints include the endless inspections, approvals and other procedures that bureaucrats mandate. Added to troublesome and costly administrative barriers is the ubiquitous corruption where small business people are also compelled to make:
. . . "voluntary contributions" to all manner of pet projects dear to the hearts of bureaucrats at all levels. These contributions amount to some $4 billion per year, or 1 percent of GDP, of which small business coughs up approximately $400 million.

Huge sums are also spent on gifts to individual bureaucrats to take care of specific problems, mostly involved with leasing property from government agencies. According to the latest estimates, this form of corruption costs Russian business some $33 billion per year, of which $3.3 billion falls to small business.
Many bureaucrats utilize these and other methods to continually milk the small business community. All this occurs in an environment where they change the rules often to suit the desires of individual bureaucrats.

To counter the unethical, if not illegal, treatment of small business, the federal government recently instituted some reform by legislating that, effective January 2004, "taxation bodies rather than municipal entities and registration chambers" will register individual small businesses and the procedure will be of a declarative rather than an authorizing nature. This action will eliminate some of the levels of corruption. If a businessman only has to go to one place to be fleeced, chances are he'll be fleeced less and it will be less time consuming.

Unfortunately, the entrepreneur will still have to register with the state Pension Fund, statistical organizations, social and medical insurance organizations, and be subject to predatory inspections by fire, health, and other departments seeking bribes.

In summary, the legacy of communism is a government at all levels that is unfriendly to free market business. The recent changes are noteworthy since they indicate that some leaders are beginning to realize pressures imposed by the government on small business. Sadly, much more needs to be done to change the mindset of the leadership so that small business can flourish.

Friday, November 28, 2003

Lefties Respond to Bush's Visit to Iraq

Bigwig provides a sampling of the reaction from lefties on the President's Thanksgiving Day visit to Baghdad. In summary, they all dance around the following themes:
1. It wasn't as brave as when Clinton went to Kosovo.
2. It was a response to Hillary's trip to Iraq
3. President Bush was a coward for landing at night.
4. President Bush was a coward for staying only two hours.
5. Johnson went to Vietnam, look what it did for him.
Click on the link to see the individual sources. The IndyMedia crowd seems to be the most inflamed, but then they usually are.

In any event, my holiday weekend was made much more enjoyable by the President visiting Baghdad. I think most Americans concur.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Free Admission for Undies Only

I've heard complaint after complaint about how Cleveland isn't as much fun as other cities. Well, friends, how many other cities have an establishment for people wearing only their underwear. Tomorrow night is "Undies Only Night" at the Pirates Cove, 2083 1/2 E. 21st Street, Cleveland. Free admission for all who arrive in their skivvies. Check it out here.
Puritan Idealism

Mark Pierce has composed an essay which analyzes the puritan idealism of the pilgrims on the Mayflower and how it translated into a singularity of purpose and enduring tenacity that allowed them to succeed in 17th Century North America. He then correlates the pilgrim's experience to American and British involvement in 21st Century Iraq.

In President Bush's speech this week in Britain, he made reference to puritan ideals and discussed common purpose, national strength, moral courage, and patience in difficult tasks as necessary for success. Mark's essay reminds us of the importance of those elements in the pilgrim's success and how they apply to Iraq. And publishing the post during the Thanksgiving Holiday is most appropriate. It's titled A Puritan Idealism in Iraq.

In my house, the piece was read out loud by my teenage son and the subject caused much discussion. You could say the essay was critically reviewed by a bunch of average folks from mid-America and the results were unanimous. My son thumped his chest twice, Sammy Sosa style, and said, "It's good." No higher praise is achievable from him. A bit more articulate was my wife, who said, "It's powerful." I think so too.

For many reasons, I want to encourage all my readers to visit Mark's site, Earthly Passions, and read A Puritan Idealism in Iraq. Afterward, I'm sure everyone will personally thank Mark for writing the essay. It's a marriage of clear thinking and talented writing. Hopefully, his friends and family save Mark the last piece of pumpkin pie.

Happy Thanksgiving!
President Secretly Visits Baghdad

What has to be considered a gutsy move, President Bush, under extreme secrecy, flew into Baghdad today to spend time with the troops and to convey a message of total support. Details of the trip were not released until the President had left and was in the air and out of harm's way. Drudge has more details.

Somehow my turkey tasted better after I heard this news.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

The Fizzy Effervescence Of Tom

(Via Common Sense and Wonder) Like a lot of people, I anticipate a toasty warm kitchen tomorrow as the stove slowly roasts a 15 pound bird for at least five hours. It's easy to dab away the beads of perspiration, but for that necessary inner refreshment, I put in an order for some Turkey & Gravy Sodas (Click for pic). There's nothing like a couple T & G longnecks to keep the kitchen worker cool.

But, wait. My order was rejected. They're sold out. I guess I'll just have to finish up the rest of my Pork Chop & Mashed Potato soda.
Possible Interstate Highway Sniper

(Columbus, Ohio) Someone is shooting at travelers on the Interstate highways around Columbus. Nine incidents have occurred in the past six months and, yesterday, a women was killed on I-270 east of the city. State, local and federal law enforcement agents have been assigned to a task force to investigate and find the perpetrator.
Windpower Has Risks - Environmentalists Perplexed

(Halifax, Nova Scotia) The utopian alternative energy advocates are in a quandary about this story. They are stubbing their toes because of the realization (which they will never acknowledge) that there are risks associated with wind power. Specifically, wind farming tends to reduce the natural beauty of pristine flocks of wild birds into chopped and bloody maggot food.

A sandbar named Sable Island lies about 200 miles out in the Atlantic where the weather is known to be especially nasty. Appropriately, a weather station is there to monitor the sea and the air. Electric power for the station has been provided by diesel generation with fuel being flown in. Since diesel fuel can spill, green geniuses decided that wind generators would be more suitable. So the government spends oogats of Canadian taxpayer dollars to load up and transport the equipment to the island and construct the wind towers.

Someone, however, noticed that birds inhabited the planned construction site so all work stopped.
"At first we thought it was just a couple of pairs [of terns] that might move on . . . but the group indicated that they were prepared to camp down there for a number of years," said George Finney, Atlantic director for the Canadian Wildlife Service.

The terns can become aggressive toward human intruders, so it would be unwise to try to scare them away, said Mr. Finney, who was attacked by a tern colony in the Arctic. [Mr. Finney also goes by "Fraidy Cat" Finney.]
The equipment has been lying in the sand for the past 18 months, surely degrading from the incessant salt spray from the ocean. Officials are evaluating how accommodating the birds will be to having humans around their neighborhood. The birds are calling the shots in this drama. The birdbrains are waiting for their instructions.

Thanks to Ranting and Roaring for pointing me to this story.
The Carnival Calls

The World has gravitationally pulled together a substantive commissary of brain food. Go see the menu at the Carnival of the Vanities #62 and remember that its impossible to overindulge. Next week, the Carnival will be hosted by Begging to Differ, the virtual vehicle of four guys racing down the highway with both turn signals on.

On a different note, Bigwig has created a communications niche on the web for Carnival announcements. Anyone can subscribe to it by sending an email message to

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

What's This Sticky Stuff?

The King of Fools has a post that's got me shaking my head. Some folks document everything.

Heather points out that Burger King is now allowing people to bring food with them and eat it in their restaurants.

Sean demonstrates his desire to be a cartoonist. His entry illustrates po-po patting.

Susie may think her little slice of life is worthy of the bonfire and I don't want to be a contrarian. So, I'll agree.

Blackfive has some exclusive Paris Hilton photos and they're not altered. Wide angle and a close-up inside view. Some might say that trespassing was involved.

I haven't finished all my reading but, based on the above, there should be little doubt that my submittal represents the crappiest entry of the week, so if you're reading this blog, it's a safe bet that there's better reading at Wizbang. Take a look at the Bonfire of the Vanities.
Animal Hoarding

Stories abound about people who "collect" dozens and dozens of pets. The people who participate are not collectors, however, they are "hoarders" of animals. It's a poorly understood phenomenon and is characterized by:
Accumulation of a large number of "pets",

Failure to provide minimal nutrition, sanitation, and veterinary care, and

Failure to recognize negative impact of large numbers of diseased/dead animals.
Although all types of people have been identified as hoarders, the typical animal hoarder is an unmarried female, probably elderly and living alone. The hoarder is not troubled by having excrement accumulate in their house nor their bed. Although seemingly well-intentioned, the behavior is pathological as demonstrated by their inability to stop collecting new animals even when existing problems are insurmountable.

Animal hoarding poses significant risks to public health. Regularly, the hoarder's dwelling must be condemned for health reasons even after the animals are removed. Of note is that the recidivism rate for hoarders after arrest, prosecution and removal/disposal of the animals is close to 100%.

Years and years ago, I knew a woman who kept a house, separate from her own, specifically for her cats. She had over 100. And she had constant complaints from her neighbors. Her behavior was standoffish to most people. The folks in the community just considered her to be a little wacky and didn't pay her much attention. Based upon recent study in the field by psychiatrists, it seems that there is a significant pathology associated with animal hoarding.
Mexican Bologna Smuggling

(El Paso, Texas) From the Anything-For-A-Buck File comes this story about an enterprising man who tried to smuggle bologna into the United States.
Border agents last week landed a meaty bust, seizing 756 pounds of bologna arranged into the shape of a car seat and covered with blankets in a man's pickup.

[. . .]

"It puts the ultimate consumer at risk," said customs spokesman Roger Maier. "Who knows how long these products have gone without refrigeration or without proper handling?"

Children were sitting on top of the illegal load before it was discovered, Maier said. The rear seat had been removed from the extended-cab pickup and the bologna was put in its place.
Apparently, Mexican bologna is cheap and considerable profit can be realized when it's sold in the US.

I think it's interesting that the US Customs agent's name is Maier. Do you think his supervisor has a sense of humor. If he didn't, he does now. "Hey, Oscar, er, I mean, Roger! Tell us about that big bologna bust again."

Thanks to Pstupidonymous.
Doctor's Office Waiting Rooms

The erudite and experienced staff at the Interested-Participant Research Lab has concluded its investigation on the origin of doctor's office waiting rooms. It was discovered that sometime in the 19th Century, an unknown member of the medical community in Heidelburg, Germany, set aside a separate room in his house for his patients to wait since the neighbors were complaining about the noise created by so many women in the street gossiping. It appears that women congregating at doctor's offices created such disturbance that it became necessary to put them somewhere.

Based upon this finding, further research was performed to determine why only women caused the genesis of the waiting room. After extensive review, it was found that women actually enjoy going to the doctor's office, often arriving early and leaving late. It was also found that women tend to extend the duration of each visit using various stalling techniques, such as, asking numerous questions, prolonging the time taken to disrobe and then get dressed, and engaging the doctor and staff in mindless chit-chat.

By contrast, the researchers noticed that, in addition to men disliking any time being spent at the doctor's office, they don't even like going. Men maintain that going to the doctor only increases the chances of being hospitalized and it's generally recognized that more people die in hospitals than anywhere else. During a survey of a whole bunch of guys, many responded that the doctor should have drive-through service. This is supported by the fact that men customarily are credited with the invention of the emergency room for fast service. However, since everyone has equal access to the emergency room, it became necessary to accommodate women in addition to providing fast service for men. Consequently, the emergency room was outfitted with its own waiting room for the women.

The Intelligent and Cheap Resources Institute (ICRI) refused to support or dispute the findings. Also, the Interested-Participant Research Lab is an independent entity and is not affiliated with this weblog.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Afternoon Vignette From Hippy Town

Ben writes from the Pacific Northwest in his blog, henerdspage. The following descriptive excerpt is worth reproducing.
There's nothing quite like a cafe in hippy town. On the way in I noticed two "Kucinich for President" bumper stickers. The pierced (bridge of the nose!) fellow making my coffee saluted me with one of those freaky "be well" wishes. There's a dude across the room loudly explaining his recent self-renaming to a rapt fellow weirdo. The new moniker? Yoj. Yes, it's "joy" spelled backwards. Behind me, a proud product of the local public high school is reading the newspaper aloud to what I pray is his mother. So far, she's had to help him with the words "surreptitious," "fiance," and "characterize." Meanwhile, I sit here sporting packers, trucking around a biography of Chesty Puller and bearing the aroma of cheap cigars.

On my table sits a copy of this month's "Oregon Peace Worker." Amid ads for astrologers and organic grocers are articles with such titles as "White House Action Treasonous," "87 Billion Appropriated Irresponsibly," "With Liberators Like U.S. Who Needs Invaders?" and "U.S. Soldiers Bulldoze Farmer's Crops." In one arrogant election piece by Kucinich volunteer Janell Jures, we are invited to "seek out the story told collectively by all of the Democratic candidates, to search for the higher truth that emerges from their perspectives, experiences and hearts." The problem is that "higher truth" is not found in the hearts of politicians of any political stripe. The term "higher truth" itself alludes to the existence of an absolute outside of human reality. Lefties would first define (as only they can) this "truth" and then implement it politically for all of us to enjoy. . . .
Ah, utopia. Life in leftyland, where everybody lives in collectives, communes with nature, and volunteers at the local food co-op.

Ben works in forestry but I doubt he'll be nominated for any tree-hugging awards. Those elephant hide boots are an immediate disqualifier for any leftie accolades. Not to mention the .357 Ruger Blackhawk.
Cleveland Mayor Campbell Announces Budget Cuts

Mayor Jane Campbell announced a total of 663 layoffs today, the majority among law enforcement and safety: 263 police, 150 firefighters and 22 to 25 EMS workers. Basic city services, trash removal, snow plowing, street sweeping and street repair will be maintained. The reductions will decrease expenditures by $61 million. Mayor Jane hopes to avoid a fiscal emergency and prevent control of the city being turned over to the state.

She can enact her plan without City Council approval. Many people are unhappy.
Town Mandates Homes to Have Guns

(Geuda Springs, Kansas) The Geuda Springs City Council voted 3-2 to require heads of households to equip their homes with firearms and ammunition. Violation of the ordinance will be subject to a $10 fine. To take effect, the City Council has scheduled a meeting with the mayor for a Dec. 1st signing.

The town has a colorful history involving guns so the ordinance doesn't raise any eyebrows locally. Legendary gangsters, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow visited the town during their criminal rampage in the 1930s. The outlaw Dalton Gang had relatives who lived in Geuda Springs. Plus, there's more here.

When one gets past the sensationalism that accompanies gun accidents and murders (which occur despite gun laws or their absence), evidence shows that communities with wide gun ownership are generally safer than those where guns do not exist. I think it's a good thing for Geuda Springs to require their residents to be armed.

(Update 11/25/03) Visiting Random Nuclear Strikes, I was quite impressed with a post that discusses the epitome of holstered weaponry. The residents of Geuda Springs would have nothing to fear if they were forced by law to possess a 500 S & W Magnum. I honestly could not take my eyes off it. And, it's just a picture. Readers can see for themselves here.
Couldn't Be More Thrilled
More than two dozen FM music stations ditched regular programing (sic) this month in favor of an all-Christmas-music format, with plans to keep the carols coming until Dec. 26. Somewhere between 200 to 300 more are expected to follow suit in the next few weeks . . . .
There is nothing quite like having an incessant, pounding, brain-numbing reminder that I have to buy gifts with money I don't have for people I don't like. Merry Christmas.
Dormitory Fire Kills At Least 32

(Moscow, Russia) A fire in a Moscow dormitory housing foreign students killed at least 32 and injured 127. The fire burned part of a five-story dormitory belonging to the Patrice Lumumba Friendship of Peoples University. Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov said it appears the cause may have been a short-circuit in a second-story room where three Nigerian girls lived.

The university was once a showcase for the Soviet Union, teaching strict Marxism, but has become rundown in recent years due to neglect.
Shakeup in Georgia

(Tbilisi, Georgia) Without bloodshed, a dramatic political change has occurred in Georgia. Eduard Shevardnadze relinquished his post of Georgian President to Nino Burdzhanadze. As acting President, she will have to prepare and conduct presidential elections and then parliamentary elections in Georgia.

This is good news. The last thing that part of the world needs is more armed conflict which seemed to be a real possibility a few days ago. Secretary of State Colin Powell had a telephone conversation with Burdzhanadze and noted he was glad that the Georgian conflict had been resolved constitutionally.
Carnival of the Capitalists #7

Kevin Brancato hosts this week's Carnival of the Capitalists at Truck and Barter, "where sympathy and hedonism collide." My thoughts on first glance is that there are some fresh and interesting posts to read. Next week the carnival will be hosted by HobbsOnLine.

BTW, I didn't see any sympathy or hedonism.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Environmental Thugs Vandalize Golf Course

At first glance, this story just doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Environmentalists customarily protest against and attack developed or developing areas. There motivation is to protect Mother Earth and keep the land open and natural for plants and animals. They seem to have a particular aversion to buildings, roads and anything constructed of concrete. Society has come to expect outcries whenever the Greens think something new threatens the environment.

Contrary to what's expected, however, the Greens are now attacking golf courses. At the Stamford Golf Club in Tameside, England, nine greens on the 18-hole course
. . . had been savagely dug up and a memorial bench ripped out of its concrete footholds overnight on Friday.

Armed with a spade, the culprit had even found time to carve a foul-mouthed message of hate on one putting surface. The damage comes hot on the heels of an incident a fortnight ago where youths poured petrol on another green before setting it ablaze.
These actions seem contradictory to the professed goals of the Greens. But it doesn't take too much reflection to realize that the destruction of a golf course is entirely consistent with the normal tactics of fanatic lefties. That is the tearing down and destruction of all structures and symbols of civilized society.
Ukrainian 1932-1933 Famine

In 1932, Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin's program for collectivizing all Soviet agriculture met with resistance in the Ukraine so he decided to purge the intelligentsia and leadership while starving the population. Influential citizens were arrested and executed. Grain harvests were confiscated and people starved to death. Anyone who appeared healthy was accused of hoarding grain and executed. By the end of 1933, the Ukraine was properly collectivized and the famine was pronounced a "great success" by one of Stalin's lieutenants. Over six million Ukrainians died.

The 1932-1933 genocide that occurred in the Ukraine is only one of many atrocities caused by communism. Communism requires the murder of multitudes of people. Think about it the next time you see International A.N.S.W.E.R. protesters. It is closely affiliated with the Workers World Party which is communist and dedicated to the overthrowing of capitalism, democracy, and the American way of life. There are many other, similar groups who spew socialism, Marxism, and communism. Watch CNN. These groups star in many news programs. They are all around us. And think about the murdered Ukrainians while you're at it.

To commemorate the millions of Ukrainians who died because Stalin starved them to death for the sake of communism, a candlelight vigil will be held tomorrow by the Ukrainian Community of Greater Cleveland. It is scheduled for 5:30pm outside the Ukrainian Museum-Archives, 1202 Kenilworth Ave., across from Lincoln Park in Tremont.
Using Wi-Fi for Child Porn

Debbye writes on Being American in T.O. and is as troubled as I am about a report of a man in Toronto who was stealing Internet access by wardriving and downloading child pornography. Debbye's take is that the incident "re-defines perversion" and that the penalty for the crime will be stupidly slight. I agree.

I've written time and again about pedophiles and the ridiculous penalties meted out when they are caught. There is no cure nor rehabilitation possible for these perverts and putting them back onto the street after a short or no prison stay just places children at greater risk. Hell, there are an unknown number that haven't been caught and it's unconscionable to allow them to walk freely in society once they are identified and caught committing crimes. Pedophilia should be a throw-away-the-key crime. Or at least incarcerate the scum until they're too old to act on their perversions.

A society has a responsibility to protect its citizens. In this day and age, more emphasis is devoted to protecting citizens from workplace discrimination than protecting children from brutalization and, all too often, murder. Children are citizens, too.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

New Weblog Showcase

The showcase has an interesting variety this week. I just finished a very pleasing late snack and found a couple pleasing posts to enjoy as dessert. My choices are:
Europe Hates America posted at FREE MARKET FAIRY TALES.

O.P.M. - The Congressional drug of choice posted at The New American Revolutionist.
Good writing and good content on both.
The Painful Road to Democracy

Working my way through this week's Carnival of the Vanities, I was stricken by a post by Mark Pierce. He looked at the similarities between the birthing of democracy in America and what's occurring in Iraq right now. Take a look at The Iraqi Double Fork at Earthly Passions.

I had my teenage son read the post and we discussed it at length. For him, it was a history lesson and a chance to put his brain to work using some of the knowledge he's learned at school. When we stopped, he had a good grasp on how difficult a process our founding fathers endured and how long it took.

Thanks to Mark for a well-written post which sends the message that no matter how many alligators there are, don't forget the job is to drain the swamp.
Construction Hiring Practices Called Racist

(New York City) Columbia University's planned expansion has raised strong objections from Harlem Fight Back, a black and Hispanic workers rights group. The primary complaint is that the city has a 62 percent minority population, however, the black and Hispanic community is not getting 62 percent of the nine billion dollars of contracts issued by the City of New York every year.
"We should get 62 percent of the money, not of the contracts," said City Councilman Charles Barron of Brooklyn. "That kind of contractual racism must stop. We want a fair shot," he added.

Jim Heyliger, the president of the Association of Minority Enterprises of New York pointed out that of the 500 million dollars spent on the cleanup of the former World Trade Center site, "not one dime was given to a black or Hispanic contractor."
The strident remarks are aimed at Mayor Bloomberg, former Mayor Giuliani, and Columbia University administration.

In response, Mark Burstein, the director of Facilities Management for Columbia, stated that for years the university has ensured the inclusion of minorities, women, and locally owned firms in all construction projects. Their goal is to give 15 percent of the revenue of all contracts to minority owned firms, 5 percent to women, and 5 percent to local firms.
"All of our construction projects for 2001 and 2002 exceeded these targets," Burstein said. Of the four main projects the University is presently undertaking, the targets are also being exceeded.
Burstein believes the demand that 62 percent of city construction funds go to minorities is an admirable goal but changes in the industry can only be expected to occur incrementally. The university, he said, would be fully supportive of changes in that direction.

It seems there will be a lot more shouting before the amount that's doled out equals the amount desired.
Contribution From Topless Club Rejected By Charities

(San Francisco, CA) The Penthouse Grille and Broadway Showgirls Cabaret topless clubs in North Beach have collected over $4,000 in recent weeks from a lap dances for charity project and they are having trouble giving the money to a charitable organization.
"Unfortunately, we had to decline," said Julie Homan of the Breast Cancer Fund. "They were really nice and everything, but we didn't want to be associated with a gentlemen's club. . ."
Other organizations rejecting the donation were the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corp., the Hamilton Family Center, and Raphael House. In every case, the charity stated that they didn't want to be associated with topless men's entertainment.

Some observers are surprised that any morality can survive in San Francisco, known around the world as the bastion of bawdy behavior and attitudes. A gambler would probably ask how many zeroes need to be added to the donation for all traces of morality to disappear. You be the judge.
Mexican Green Onion Shipments Stopped

Because of the outbreak of hepatitis A in several states, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is stopping shipments of green onions from three Mexican companies at the border. Although the green onions are strongly suspected as the cause of the outbreak, the FDA does not yet have conclusive proof and stopping shipments is part of their investigation. The companies have not been identified.

In addition to stopping Mexican green onions at the border, wouldn't it be nice if they could stop just plain old Mexicans at the border.
Grand Jury Probes Possible Criminal Management at Davis-Besse

This cannot be good news for FirstEnergy Corp.
A federal grand jury is investigating whether managers of the Davis-Besse nuclear plant broke the law by creating and submitting reports that deliberately understated the worsening condition of the reactor's lid.

The Cleveland grand jury has subpoenaed records from the plant's owner, FirstEnergy Corp., describing the inspection and maintenance of Davis-Besse's protective steel lid. FirstEnergy disclosed the subpoenas yesterday in a special Securities and Exchange Commission report it is required to file about events that could affect investors.
Having some familiarity with the nuclear industry, I'm fairly certain that the management at Davis-Besse acted timidly. Most nuclear plant managers are afraid to act aggressively and decisively. The politics of nuclear power has inculcated an entire generation of professionals with an avoidance attitude. Therefore, no criminal acts were committed by plant staff and management in relation to normal performance of their duties. They're forced to walk on eggshells in a highly politicized environment. And the eggshells were there long before any of them arrived.

If, however, evidence indicates that required records were destroyed and replaced with forged documents, the grand jury may have reasons for indictments. The destruction or falsification of legally required records is criminal behavior. Also, lying while being deposed under oath is normally a crime (Note: The President of the United States is not required to tell the truth under oath. Reference; Paula Jones vs. Bill Clinton, 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, 1999).
Ugandan Anglicans Sever Ties with US Episcopalians

As a result of the Episcopal Church naming a homosexual to the position of bishop, the Anglican Church of Uganda formally severed ties with American Episcopalians. The action was taken despite the fact that it will result in the loss of scholarships and financial aid from the Episcopal Church.

The consecration of a homosexual man, Gene Robinson, as bishop of the New Hampshire Diocese has been condemned throughout Africa. And:
On Nov. 3, overseas bishops who said they represented 50 million of the world's 77 million Anglicans jointly announced that they were in a "state of impaired communion" with the Episcopal Church - a step short of declaring a full schism. Episcopalians form the U.S. branch of Anglicanism.
These actions are coincident with the announcement by William Tumbleson, a lifelong Episcopalian, that he was quitting the priesthood for the same reason.

One has to wonder if there will be other repercussions.

On November 29-30, 2003, the 24th Annual Mid-Ohio-Con Comic Book Convention will occur at the Hilton Columbus at Easton Town Center in Columbus, Ohio. For aficionados of comic books, this is a major event. Over 100 comic book writers and artists and media celebrities will be guests.

Mark your calendar.

Friday, November 21, 2003

Insurance Covers Cost of Stolen Stash

(Regina, Saskatchewan) The Saskatchewan Government Insurance department must process claims for stolen marijuana since the Canadians have made the drug legal. Unfortunately, drugs are stolen regularly, so this may be a case of unintended consequences. People that smoke marijuana are known to have short memories so a scenario such as the following is to be expected.
"Hey, man. Someone stole my dope, man."

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah, man, I'm sure. It gets stolen all the time."

"Well, you'll have to file a claim. Fill out this form and return it to me."

"OK, uh, man, you'd better give me a bunch of them forms. I think my stuff is gonna be stolen again."

"How could you know that?"

"Uh, man, uh, I just know."
Sounds like a crime wave, man.
Dayton Schools Going Year-Round

(Dayton, Ohio) The entire Dayton Public School District is going to a year-round schedule starting the 2004-2005 school year. The new calendar starts:
. . . in early August and ends in early June with two-week breaks in mid-fall, early spring and over the holidays and a nine- or 10-week summer break.

Classes also will be offered during the breaks, providing intervention for students needing extra help or enrichment. The new calendar provides for the same, state-required 178 days of school in current school calendars.
This is a great idea! Of course, I'm not a student. Nor a teacher. I imagine both groups will have complaints.
World Toilet Day

I've decided to quit tracking my popularity profile. Yet another celebration goes by without receiving an invitation. In fact, I didn't even know about it.

Two days ago, the World Toilet Organization celebrated World Toilet Day and not one tankard was raised in tribute by me or my friends.
San Francisco Ranked No. 1 in Syphilis

San Francisco health officials have reported a 127 percent increase in syphilis cases for 2002. This allows the city to jump to first place nationally, ahead of Detroit, Atlanta, Newark, Baltimore, and Oklahoma City. The sharp increase is attributed to new cases involving homosexual white men. Officials are disturbed that two-thirds of the new cases are among HIV-positive men.

Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, director of sexually transmitted disease prevention and control at the San Francisco Department of Public Health, stated that the city spends $2 million a year on syphilis prevention. Efforts include testing, partner notification and a highly public marketing effort called the "Healthy Penis" program where bus shelter billboards depict cartoon characters of the male organ. It appears that homosexual men in the city aren't getting the message or they don't care.
Lakewood Issue 47 Fails on Recount

The West End Development Project (Ballot Issue 47) in Lakewood has been voted down on recount and the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections has certified the results. However, the difference between yea and nay was narrow and another recount is required in December. This news is from local radio station WTAM and I really don't understand why there has to be another recount.
Teaching Future Generations Poor Hygiene

(Arvada, Colorado) The practice of shoving liberalism down the throats of high school students was addressed in a previous entry about a school-sponsored slumber party to recruit political activists for the homeless. It included a catered soup-kitchen and a performance by a rock band. Well, based on the following story, it was by no means an isolated occurrence. The Pomona High School social studies curriculum includes a much greater dose of liberal propagandizing than a cardboard slumber party.

Teacher Kerrie Dallman introduced Project Safety Net into her liberal social issues class. The Project is a "partnership" between her class and HomeAid Colorado, a left-wing political lobby for homelessness. Participating are 26 of Dallman's students who must not bathe nor change clothes for a week. They're required to panhandle for their food money and sleep in cars in the school parking lot.

According to Laura Brayman, the executive director of HomeAid Colorado, the goal is to make the students into political activists for the homeless.

It's particularly sad that the Ten Commandments are forbidden in school while the students are being force-fed Marxist ideals. Nonetheless, this provides a perfect opportunity to announce the result of secretive research conducted by the staff at Interested-Participant. The research produced The Five Laws of Homelessness.
The First Law of Homelessness
The number of homeless people is directly proportional to the number of homeless shelters. For any change in the number of shelters, there will be a corresponding change in the number of homeless people.

The Second Law of Homelessness
Homeless advocacy groups will exaggerate the number of homeless people by a significant factor. There are no qualms about overestimations of 1000 percent.

The Third Law of Homelessness
At no time in the future of the Earth, the Milky Way, or the Universe will there ever be no homeless people.

The Fourth Law of Homelessness
There will always be homeless advocacy groups wanting more and more taxpayer dollars to spend on unproductive members of society.

The Fifth Law of Homelessness
The granting of more dollars to homeless advocates produces more people wanting free stuff from the taxpayers.
On a positive note, if a student flunks out of Pomona High School, he will be adequately prepared to set up housekeeping in an alley.

Thanks to the Colorado Conservative for shining the light on Pomona High School.

(Update 11/26/03) Based upon a comment from a reader, the following addition to The Five Laws of Homelessness is provided.
Amendment 1
Homeless people can never be blamed for their homelessness. Their condition is always the fault somebody else.
Sorry for my oversight and thanks go to an astute reader.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Browns Running Back Stabbed in Back

William Green, running back for the Cleveland Browns, was stabbed in the back by his fiancee at his Westlake home. When police arrived at the scene, Green said he had fallen while carrying kitchenware which caused him to accidentally stab himself in the back. Investigation by the police determined quickly that he had been stabbed by Asia Gray. She was arrested and charged with felonious assault and domestic violence.

The Cleveland Browns have had other bad luck recently with Green being arrested for DUI and possession of marijuana for which he was serving a suspension imposed by the NFL. He's been released from the hospital.

With the Browns playing the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend, the team really doesn't need any distractions.
High School Teacher Smokes Dope With Students

(Eastlake, Ohio) First-year Eastlake North High School math teacher, Anthony Minnillo, 30, was arraigned on felony corruption charges in Willoughby Municipal Court for smoking marijuana with his students on at least six occasions. According to Eastlake Detective Frank Bergant:
"After school, he would meet them at Jakse Park and smoke dope with them," the detective said. "During his sixth-period lunch, he would follow students to a Vine Street apartment and party with them and come back and teach. Some people eat lunch; he smokes it."
As is typical, high school students couldn't keep the secret, rumors flew through school and the principal called the police. After an investigation, detectives made an arrest.

Minnillo resigned his $42,500 per year teaching position. He's apologetic and mourns the loss of his job. A court date of Dec. 2nd has been set and, if convicted, he faces over 19 years in prison.
"He was just a partying type of guy," [Detective] Bergant said. "He said he's been smoking dope all his life."
It's been contended that marijuana use makes a person stupid. Minnillo's exceedingly dimwitted decision to smoke dope with his students supports that contention.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Cleveland - A Best Walking City

The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) has just published the results of a survey which ranks America's Best Walking Cities. Interestingly, Cleveland ranks number 10 on their list. Yay! We're number 10! We're number 10!

What's more interesting, though, is that one of the criteria used to do the survey was counting the number of podiatrists in the city. The more, the better.

Now, it seems to me that the number of foot doctors would depend on the number of people with foot problems. If Cleveland has lots of foot doctors, that would indicate that:
1) Walking in Cleveland causes foot problems, or

2) Walking in general causes foot problems.
This would be contrary to the whole purpose of the article, which was to encourage people to walk.

Using the number of podiatrists as a basis for determining the best city for walking makes as much sense as using the number of iron lungs to determine the best city for breathing.

Of course, I could be mistaken.
Paris Hilton

I saw this at the Colorado Conservative and, since everybody with a keyboard is weighing in on Paris Hilton, I thought I'd join the cluster commentary. CC posted the following:
Hilton Hotel heir Paris Hilton says she never thought the sex video she made with her ex-boyfriend would be made public. In a statement, Hilton says quote, "I feel embarrassed and humiliated, especially because my parents and the people who love me have been hurt. I was in an intimate relationship and never, ever thought that these things would become public."
A characteristic unique to wealthy celebrity families is their obsession with schooling their children to stay away from the public, all cameras, and venues of record like newspapers and television. I'm sure that Hilton was schooled in this manner.

I don't buy her "I never thought . . ." crap for a second. She knew exactly what she was doing. Of course, I could be mistaken.
OOPS! I Dropped My Muffin

The 61st Edition of the Carnival is posted at Peaktalk to enhance our knowledge and finally bringing us that much dreamed of forum of direct democracy. The lines are open, no waiting, visit now.

Next week's Carnival #62 will be hosted by Setting The World To Rights.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

San Francisco Mayoral Race

The runoff election for mayor of San Francisco is three weeks away and the candidates are heating up their rhetoric. This race is interesting because the population of San Francisco is so overwhelmingly ultra-liberal that all candidates must, therefore, also be ultra-liberal. So the question is, how does one ultra-liberal distinguish himself from another ultra-liberal?

In the race, one ultra-liberal, Democrat Gavin Newsome, has decided to adopt some conservatism to distinguish himself from the other ultra-liberal, Greenie Matt Gonzalez.

Historically, San Francisco has had a large homeless population and the prevailing philosophy has been that the homeless problem is somehow alleviated if they are paid. Democrat Newsome wants to cut their pay. Greenie Gonzalez thinks it is an attack on the poor and the pay to the homeless should not change.

Newsome also wants to put more restrictions on panhandling. Response from the Gonzalez camp is that they are going to expand their proposals. [Whatever that means?]

My interest in the Dec. 9th election will not diminish. It's like watching kids play "Who's the bigger dummy?"
The Demise of Redheads

Dr. Desmond J. Tobin of the Department of Biomedical Sciences at University of Bradford in England has recently completed research which indicates that naturally red-haired people will no longer be born in 100 years. Tobin studied the genetics of hair coloration in relation to the intermingling of populations and concluded that future generations of offspring will have a decreasing probability of possessing the necessary genes to be natural redheads. It's estimated that the same will happen to blondes but at a much slower rate since there are many more blonde people.

This is distressing news. From the standpoint of this writer, a benchmark of ultimate beauty, the red-haired woman, will become extinct. Fortunately, it won't be in my lifetime. Unfortunately, it will be in someone's lifetime.
No Accelerant Needed

The Bonfire of the Vanities is up at Wizbang and since I'm not doing anything else, I'm going over. It's No. 20.
Canadian Garbage Overview

About thirteen months ago, Michigan State Trooper Linda Jordan was dispatched to a suspicious circumstance at a US Customs facility in Detroit and found a garbage truck continuously leaking blood, leaving puddles wherever it stopped. Further investigation revealed the truck contained bags full of human blood transfusion bags, human blood products, and intravenous (IV) tubing. The truck had just entered the United States from Windsor, Ontario.

The bleeding truck was one of over 200 trucks carrying over 10,000 tons of imported Canadian garbage into Michigan that day. Although it was turned back at the border that day, it is assumed that it returned with the more than 200 trucks that were allowed to enter the country the next day. There is no evidence that any corrective action was ever taken to prevent future bleeding trucks.

In September 2003, US Customs inspectors discovered 2,000 pounds of marijuana on a Canadian trash truck trying to cross the Blue Water Bridge from Sarnia, Ontario, to Port Huron, Michigan. Illegal drugs have been found in Canadian trash on other occasions, but usually not when entering the US. Remarkably and against all odds, the drugs are sometimes seen when the truck unloads at the Michigan landfill.

It should be noted that 200 trash trucks daily hauling over 10,000 tons - an estimated 3.6 million tons annually - is an amount so gargantuan that expectations of an effective inspection program are unrealistic. It simply cannot be done. It should also be noted that the trash going to Michigan from Ontario amounts to more than 10 percent of all trash generated in Canada. Since Canada is larger than the US and has only about 10 percent of the population, and Ontario is more than six times the size of Michigan, why don't the Canadians have their own landfills? Good question.

The answer is simple. It's easier to dump trash in Michigan than to fight the political battles necessary to have a new Canadian landfill. Toronto attempted to utilize an abandoned mine (see Adams Mine) for solid waste but the city met with fierce opposition from Canadian environmentalists. Claiming landfills produce greenhouse gases and leach toxins into groundwater, the greenies pledged they would do anything and everything to kill the idea. Toronto caved and started sending caravans of trash to Michigan.

[As an aside, the Canadian greenies are selective environmentalists. They're concerned about the rainforests in Brazil and greenhouse gases from landfills in Ontario, but they aren't concerned about greenhouse gases from landfills in the United States. Maybe they should be called the Canadian NIMBY (Not In My BackYard) environmentalists.]

Another troublesome aspect of the Canadian garbage issue is the gaping loophole it represents in relation to the security of the United States. To have 200 plus truckloads of largely unknown material passing across the border daily has to be considered unacceptably risky to the Department of Homeland Security.

The drugs, the bleeding truck, and other examples of unwanted cargo in trash trucks, including radioactive materials, has many people outraged. Environmentalists (US), lawmakers, and the general population of Michigan would like the importation of garbage to stop, but they have been powerless since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) governs the importation of commodities (see here for SCOTUS decision on definition of commodity) and any restraint of trade is prohibited. Also, a 1992 decision of the US Supreme Court ruled that states blocking importation of trash would violate interstate commerce provisions of the Constitution. For anything to happen with regard to importing trash, the federal government needs to get involved and, so far, the administration and Congress have not acted. But, there is hope. Legislation has been introduced in Congress to ban the Canadian garbage. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Senator Carl Levin, and Congressman John Dingell are spearheading the legislative efforts. Hopefully, some kind of relief from the Canadian garbage problem will be legislated in the coming months.

The Canadian garbage controversy is multifaceted and involves many groups and individuals. This overview is intended to give a disinterested observer a general idea of the scope and complexity of the issue.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Threatened Lawsuit Against Blogger

Justene Adamec writes the Calblog, reporting and commenting on politics and the law from California. In so doing, she attracts a variety of visitors who comment on her posts. In one post, regarding a company named Infotel Publications, some comments were offensive to that company. This prompted Infotel to have their lawyers send Justene a letter threatening to sue her and her "agents" [visitors leaving comments] for invasion of privacy, misrepresentation and interference with economic relations.

Justene has been threatened to be sued for what is written by her visitors in the comments section, which she doesn't edit. This writer does the same. If someone leaves a comment, it appears as written unless the comment is obscene or vulgar. Probably most bloggers operate in the same manner. So, if Justene is legally liable for what's in her comments section, we're all screwed.

I'll be following the situation closely. Follow the link for more information.
Governor of Okinawa to Rumsfeld - Get US Forces Out

(Naha, Okinawa) On a mission to the Far East, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld visited the island of Okinawa and was rudely informed by Governor Keiichi Inamine that he wants the Americans to leave. Governor Inamine stated that Okinawans have shouldered a heavy burden due to the presence of US armed forces. The Governor and Prefectural Assembly President Kokichi Iramina gave Rumsfeld a petition with the following demands.
The steady implementation of a 1996 U.S.-Japan agreement to reduce the U.S. base footprint by 20 percent, and a "further reduction and realignment of U.S. facilities on Okinawa in a planned and step-by-step manner." U.S. bases cover about one-fifth of the island.

Ensuring that the new Marine air station to be built on northern Okinawa is returned to Okinawa after 15 years.

Relocating Marine training and exercises to other countries and reducing the number of Marines on Okinawa.

Review of the U.S.-Japan Status of Forces Agreement.
In addition, Rumsfeld was told to bend over for the environmentalists and ban a new low-frequency sonar used by the US Navy. This is to prevent harm to marine mammals.

Well, now isn't this just ducky. Maybe I'm wrong, but are not international treaties negotiated between the State Departments of the involved countries? Shouldn't the Governor of Okinawa be talking to his Japanese leaders in Tokyo about his problems with the US military?

What's next? Maybe the mayor of a small fishing village will approach Rumsfeld with his demand that US Naval ships not operate where fish are. The noise scares them away.
Child-Sex Stings on Internet

Stephen Hudak, reporting for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, has put together an informative piece about the identification and arrest of middle-aged men who troll the Internet for young boys and girls. Perverts have been repeatedly successful at luring adventurous and naive children to rendevous with them for purposes of sex.

One incident involved a 39-year-old former camp counselor, Donald Mularski, who was recently released from prison for criminal sexual conduct with a child. He signed on to an AOL chat room and lured a 13-year-old boy to a hotel room where he raped him. Mularski was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

In another incident, a 38-year-old father of two, David Pedro Villanueva, used the Internet to lure a 14-year-old Akron area girl into having sex with him. An investigation revealed he had tried to arrange similar trysts with three other girls he met online. A court sent him to prison for five years.

And, there are many others.
"In any one given hour, probably 400 to 500 kids around the country are contacted for some kind of a tryst of a sexual nature," said Robert Cornwell, executive director of the Buckeye State Sheriffs' Association.
That's right, folks. In any one given hour, 400 to 500 kids are contacted.

To counteract the growing trend, law enforcement detectives now patrol Internet chat rooms attempting to identify the perverts before they can harm a child. The detectives do this by impersonating naive and troubled youngsters and, thereby, lure the criminals into identifying themselves. Once their identity is known, the perverts are arrested and sent to prison.

I've only one comment. Laws are currently not tough enough on these perverts. In my opinion, luring a kid via the Internet leaves no doubt that the pervert is guilty. They've documented their premeditations, methods and intentions. There is no way to plead mistaken identity or misinterpretation of intentions. Based on those facts, sentences should automatically be doubled for child-sex crimes perpetrated via the Internet.
Housing Authority Makes Changes for 772 pound Woman

Carmen Bowen has complained about the difficulty of moving her 772 pound body around her public housing unit provided by the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA). Her recent visit to the dentist illustrates how difficult. Bowen's nurse, Virginia Turner, stated that:
Drooping fatty tissue from her stomach area extends from her body and prevents her from walking, she and Turner say. She cannot move from a medical bed that sits in the middle of what should be her living room. Turner estimates the growth around her stomach weighs as much as 350 pounds.

[ . . . ]

Things reached a crisis level on Aug. 31, when 22 firefighters and emergency medical technicians had to work for 21⁄2 hours to move Bowen from her apartment so she could see doctors at MetroHealth Medical Center for some dental problems. Emergency crews had to help her back in when she returned.
Let me repeat. 22 firefighters and emergency medical technicians! This is not a case of run-of-the-mill love handles.

Consequently, the CMHA is addressing her complaints and is modifying her taxpayer-funded home. In addition to providing access for a front-end loader motorized, oversized wheelchair, the modifications include
. . . taking out doors and walls, installing an automatic door operator and a panic device, demolishing the existing bathroom and installing a special shower, and putting in a sidewalk leading to a front doorway . . .
The controversy regarding Carmen Bowen will continue for a while. Funds for the forklift motorized, oversized wheelchair have not yet been authorized by Medicaid and a fair-housing complaint is still being reviewed by the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.
"Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity," [Nurse] Turner said.
Well, everyone except the taxpayer. My only comment is a recommendation that as CMHA is enlarging the door opening to her apartment so that she can pass through, serious consideration should be given to restricting the primary ingress to her alimentary canal.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Difference Between Democrat and Republican (Filched)

Thanks to Proud American Girl.
A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered altitude and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to him, "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."

The man consulted his portable GPS and replied, "You're in a hot air balloon approximately 30 feet above a ground elevation of 2346 feet above sea level. You are 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude."

She rolled her eyes and said, "You must be a Republican."

"I am," replied the man. "How did you know?"

"Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically correct but I have no idea what to make of your information, and I'm still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help to me."

The man smiled and responded, "You must be a Democrat."

"I am," replied the balloonist. "How did you know?"

"Well," said the man, "you don't know where you are or where you're going. You've risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise that you have no idea how to keep and you expect ME to solve your problem. You're in EXACTLY the same position you were in before we met, but somehow now, it's MY fault."
I couldn't pass it up. It encapsulates American politics perfectly.
Gen. Wesley Clark on Meet the Press

I just watched Tim Russert interview candidate Clark on the popular news program and must admit that I learned a lot. It's been my impression that the prevailing contentious issues are pretty much two-sided. Gen. Clark, however, has opened my eyes to the fact that each issue has 3, 4, 5, and sometimes more sides and he supports them all. And he's against them all. In one spiel, he agreed with Osama Bin Laden and President Bush while disagreeing with them.

He also said it was a strategic move to bow out of the political caucuses in Iowa. The only thing I can figure is that his strategy is to lose. Otherwise, it doesn't make sense.

Hell, nothing he said made sense.
Descendants of Cannibals Apologize for Eating British Missionary

(Nabutautau, Fiji) In 1867, Fijian natives cooked and ate Reverend Thomas Baker. Descendants of the cannibals believe it caused a curse to be put on the islands, keeping the inhabitants poor ever since. They are convinced that the spirit of the Reverend has prevented them from having electricity, running water and a school.

To remove the curse, the islanders have staged a continuous series of elaborate ceremonies to offer sacrificial gifts and apologies. The most recent apology was to the descendants of the missionary. Chief Ratu Filimoni Nawawabalavu, the great-grandson of the chief responsible for cooking the missionary in an earthen oven, stated:
"This is our third apology but, unlike the first two, this one is being offered physically to the family of Mr. Baker . . ."
A previous apology in 1993 didn't work. They presented the Methodist Church of Fiji with Baker's boots -- which the cannibals had tried unsuccessfully to cook and eat.

About 2,250 miles northeast of Sydney, Australia, Fiji is a nation made up of 320 islands inhabited by people who apparently will eat anything.
Reward Offered for Serial Cat Killers

(Napa, CA) This is a troubling story. Apparently two men are roaming around the city of Napa late at night searching for cats to shoot. Within the past month, three cats have been killed and six others wounded. A $10,000 reward has been offered for information leading to their arrest.
Napa Police Officer Ken Chapman said a resident of the Alta Heights area, in the eastern part of the city, spotted two men wearing hooded sweatshirts driving a white Toyota Tundra pickup truck on Oct. 11. One man was leaning out of the passenger window and pointing a rifle toward the houses in the middle- class neighborhood.
All of the cats have been shot with .22-caliber bullets. The shooter works around midnight and uses the luminescence of the cat's eyes as a target.

The police need to find the people responsible for these serial crimes quickly. All too often the senseless killing of animals is an indicator of a diseased mind. A mind that could decide to kill people next.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Toddler Plows into Gas Station

(Des Moines, Iowa) Unfortunately, parenting is a profession with no requirement for intelligence.
A two-year-old left alone in her mother's vehicle Thursday night shifted the vehicle into drive, allowing it to crash into the front of the Git-No-Go gas station, 1240 Keosauqua Way, police said.

Stacey Wilson went inside to pay for gas, leaving her daughter alone in the vehicle, which was still running, police said.
Stacey Wilson should face charges for child endangerment and criminal stupidity. She probably won't.
Diversity Most Important Says Urban League President

Marc Morial spoke at the Urban League of Greater Cleveland's 13th annual Equal Opportunity Day Luncheon and awards ceremony, a liberal fanny-patting fest. Through considerable blah, blah, blah about diversity, the Urban League CEO conveyed his main point that people of color should get college educations without paying for them.
Canadian Drugs Recalled

A recall notice has been issued which should be of interest to those Americans who purchase their drugs in Canada.
GlaxoSmithKline recalled certain batches of three asthma medicines - Ventolin Diskus, Flovent Diskus and Serevent Diskus - in Canada yesterday, because a device malfunction may lead to too little, or none, of the drug getting into the patient's lungs.
The notice pertains only to drugs sold in Canada. Manufacturing of the drug for sale in the US is performed in Great Britain and no malfunctions of the Diskus have not been found.

However, manufacturing of the Diskus for Canadian sale is performed in France where malfunctions have been found.

Just another reason to be angry with France.
New Weblog Showcase

I've reviewed this week's showcase and the following posts easily held my interest:
A Blessing and a Curse from Ruminations in Korea. Accurate news from Korea needs to have wide distribution and Jeff is helping with a well-written blog.

David Lynch to Bring World Peace - 'It Could Happen This Year' from The Daily Ablution. This blog is about general wellness. It finds and lances festering boils of idiocy.

The misleading statements of a misleading misleader from It should probably be called eWRITINGHEAD, but, either way, I'll be eREADINGHEAD. As an aside, I wonder what the blog's name would be if the author were a philanthropist.
All recommended. Visit and see.

Friday, November 14, 2003

New Residents Daily in Kansas City

In their study of migration in the population, the US Census Bureau has determined that 180 people move into the Kansas City metro area every day. This figure came from the American Community Survey Results on Migration, Education, Income and Housing.

Do you think this is from the Chiefs going 9 and 0? Or maybe it's the barbecue?
State Buys Car for Man With Fear of Busses

A Norwegian court has ruled that the government must buy a car for a man who fears riding a bus. The fear results from ridicule for being short in stature which was caused by medical treatments received as a child. Now he has bad memories of riding in a bus and anxiety at night. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the taxpayers of Norway to give him a car. So spoke the court.

If this guy has a hangup about his height, wouldn't it bother him at times other than when he was on a bus? Say, a movie theater, for example. Would the state buy him his own theater? What if he got claustrophobic in the car? Would the state then buy him a bus that was always empty?

I have real problems with the taxpayer having to pay because somebody just doesn't feel good.

Liberalism continues its relentless march towards deep-dish socialism in Scandinavia.
San Francisco Raises Minimum Wage to $8.50

The migration of businesses out of California has been recognized as a significant problem and the San Francisco voters want to be at the forefront of providing reasons to leave. Businesses in the city with 10 or more workers must pay $8.50 an hour by February. Opponents believe that the law will increase costs to a level where some businesses can no longer compete.

This action by San Franciscans just doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. Not only are they encouraging some folks to fold shop and leave, they're also notching up reasons for new businesses not to locate in the city.

Also, since the prevailing liberal mindset is to have everyone earn a "living wage," why didn't they jack up the minimum to $50.00 per hour. It costs about that much to live there.
French Distribute Fake Dog Droppings

(Lyon, France) In an effort to get the citizens of Lyon to clean up after their dogs, the government has decided to litter the city with fake dog droppings as a reminder. 10,000 canine ca-ca decoys are intended to raise awareness of the pooper-scooper law which hasn't been effective thus far. The sidewalks of France's major cities are pungent minefields of canine excrement.

Based upon this logic, the method of cleaning the roadside of a littered highway would be to dump more litter. I don't get it. Must be a French thing. Also, it's generally recognized that the dog excrement doesn't really have anything to do with the pungency of France. With or without dogs, there's a stench.
Celebrity Career - Plunge Over Niagara Falls, Join Circus

(Hidalgo, Texas) After successfully living through a plunge over Niagara Falls last month, Kirk Jones will make his debut tonight as the "World's Greatest Stunt Man" with the Toby Tyler Circus, on tour of Texas border towns.

Big deal.
Ohio State Fish

(Columbus, OH) The hard-working lawmakers of Ohio addressed two pressing state issues yesterday. In a bill approved by the House 88-3, an "Ohio Zoo" license plate was created and the smallmouth bass was named the Official Fish of the State of Ohio. The bill now goes to the Ohio Senate.

Of interest is that the smallmouth bass supporters beat strong efforts by the yellow perch and the walleye lobbies.

In other legislative business, rumor has it that a proposal is pending to make the Canadian mosquito the official state insect, however, considerable opposition is expected from supporters of the common cockroach.

Thursday, November 13, 2003


The Acidman has established a home security system that provides the best method of personal protection and crime deterrence available. Here's an excerpt:
Some outfit called ADT or some such made a house call on me this week. They were willing to put over $800 dollars worth of electronic security in my home for FREE, if I let them put a sign in the yard and I then paid a $30 per month service contract. I listened to their spiel.

Then, I reached under the couch and pulled out a pistol. They shrank like spiders on a hot stove. "Do you know what this is?" I asked. Of course they didn't know. "It's security," I said. "It's a Colt five-shot .38 revolver loaded with hollowpoints. I keep it here all the time." I put it back under the couch.

"See that coat-rack over there in the corner?" I asked. They nodded. I stood up and walked over to it. "My grandfather made this," I said, as I reached behind it and pulled out a .22 rifle. "I bought this at K-Mart," I said, as I showed them the rifle. "It stays loaded, too. That's security."
For the ultimate in home security and peace of mind, read the rest at Gut Rumbles.
Congress Passes 2004 Defense Bill

The House and Senate have approved the $401.3 billion defense bill which now goes to President Bush for signature. The bill authorizes the following:
Average 4.15 % increase in soldier's salaries,

Extension of increases in combat and family separation pay,

Reverses reduction in disabled veterans' retirement benefits,

Authorizes purchase of 80 and lease of 20 Boeing 767 airplanes as midair refueling tankers,

Authorizes $9.1 billion for ballistic missile defense,

Authorizes $6.6 billion for seven new ships,

Authorizes $4.4 billion for developing the Joint Strike Fighter,

Authorizes $3.5 billion for 22 F/A-22 Raptor jet fighters,

Provides flexibility for the Pentagon to hire, fire, and promote civilian employees,

Gives the military exemptions to the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act,

Removes research ban on low-yield nuclear weapons,

Authorizes $15 million for continued research into the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator, and

The bill adds 2,400 soldiers to the US Army.
My only comment regarding the legislation is that the exemptions to the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act are long overdue. For years I've read about exercises being hampered by various unheard of critters inhabiting the training ranges. It's ridiculous that the defense of the United States should be subservient to the welfare of the desert tortoise or the red-cockaded woodpecker.
Senators Voinovich, DeWine are "Porkers of the Month"

The Citizens Against Government Waste has selected Ohio Senators George Voinovich, Mike DeWine, and Congressman Dave Hobson as the November "Porkers of the Month" for opposing certain language in a prescription drug bill. They are against legislation that would force Medicare into competitive bidding when it pays for durable medical equipment - wheelchairs, walkers, canes and the like.

Since competition in bidding has a tendency to keep prices at a minimum, one can only conclude that our lawmakers have a vested interest in keeping prices high.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003


In Holland, a company named Agency Aquarion trains men to prepare them for their first intimate relationship with a woman. The training, called "Love-Coaching," costs about $3,000 and includes conversations, intimacy training and finally sex with one of the coaches. Dutch professional sexologists do not agree with the final lesson since their code prohibits intimacy with clients.

However, since Aquarion employees call themselves "coaches" instead of "therapists," the code does not apply.

Spokeswoman Marion van der Stad stated that:
". . . women having sex with clients is not prostitution. We believe sex is a natural desire of humans. No sex or bad sex may lead to aggression, depression and violence."

"It is a very good idea for some clients if they could practice with a woman before they try to establish their own relationships."
Looks like a duck, walks like a duck . . . .

I'll let my readers decide for themselves, but it sounds like a whorehouse to me.

Complaining about homework is a universal human trait that is as old as school. The Detroit Free Press has analyzed the homework controversy over the past century and Education Writer Teresa Mask reports the following:
1900: Ladies Home Journal article calls homework detrimental to students.

1901: California legislature abolishes homework.

1929: Bronx Board of Trade warns homework causes "eye strain and nervousness."

1958: Congress passes the Defense of Education Act after Sputnik launch. Homework increases.

1983: National Commission on Excellence in Education releases "Nation at Risk;" researchers see slight increase in homework.

1994: School districts across the country create homework policies after parents complain of too much/too little.

2002: No Child Left Behind signed into law. Increases in homework not seen yet, but may be seen in next several years as schools face sanctions.
More study on the subject was recently reported by the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution and the RAND Corporation. Their research contradicts dramatic anecdotes of children overwhelmed with homework.
The great majority of students at all grade levels now spend less than one hour studying on a typical day - an amount that has not changed substantially in at least twenty years, according to data . . . .

[ . . . ]

The Brown Center on Education Policy conducted the study after a wave of dramatic news stories over the past few years described a backlash against homework. Since 2001, feature stories about onerous homework loads and parents fighting back have appeared in Time, Newsweek, and People magazines; the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Raleigh News and Observer, and the Tampa Tribune; and the CBS Evening News and other media outlets.

"The stories are misleading," writes author Tom Loveless, director of the Brown Center." They do not reflect the experiences of a majority, or even a significant minority, of American schoolchildren."
Prudent parents should remember these findings when fielding complaints from their children.

Also, since students in the United States consistently rank lower in knowledge and aptitude than their counterparts in some European and Asian countries, it is strongly recommended that homework complaints be responded to with a statement along the lines of:
"Shut the hell up and hit the books!"
Call it today's recommendation.

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