TEOTWAWKI. Come as you are

Unplugged even.

FASB 157 gets a “clarification”

The much maligned accounting principle of “mark to market” accounting has received an important clarification today from regulators at the SEC.

“When an active market for a security does not exist, the use of management estimates that incorporate current market participant expectations of future cash flows, and include appropriate risk premiums, is acceptable.” source

FASB 157 came about as a result of the Enron scandal and subsequent regulations contained in the onerous Sarbanes Oxley Act.

Hopefully this is a first step toward its full repeal.

It is important to note that the SEC is NOT saying that cooking the books is now an acceptable accounting practice. That would be the last thing that corporate America needs in order to restore public confidence. Transparency is necessary, and the SEC’s clarification will help investors to see a much truer picture of the financial health of the corporate balance sheet. Perhaps, after the debacles of Bear Stearns, Lehman, Merrill, Wachovia, Wamu, and AIG, the SEC sees this as a way of acknowledging that many of the weaker players and their related toxic assets have been identified and dealt with, and it’s time to protect the healthier players that remain.

It becomes crucial as the Treasury anticipates buying some $700 billion in mortgage-backed securities, and in effect, establishing a market price for illiquid assets. A direct consequence would be that the remaining banks would have to take a write down on their assets to reflect the new market price.

This is an important clarification from the SEC. It will have an important and immediate impact.

more: At cnbc.com, Lee Brodie asks, “New rules, same game?”

Sarah Palin is better than Obama

Moving Forward, Without My Buddy!

MY BUDDY
(Gus Kahn / Walter Donaldson-1922)

Life is a book that we study
Some of its leaves bring a sigh
There it was written by a buddy
That we must part, you and I

Nights are long since you went away
I think about you all through the day
My buddy, my buddy
Nobody quite so true

Miss your voice, the touch of your hand
Just long to know that you understand
My buddy, my buddy
Your buddy misses you

Miss your voice, the touch of your hand
Just long to know that you understand,
My buddy, my buddy,
Your buddy misses you.

Your buddy misses you…yes I do

A friend told me about this song yesterday. Friends do help, at times like these.

These past five days have been difficult, and I don’t wish to bore others with my grief.
I am fortunate to have a friend that allows me the opportunity to express myself on his blog, and this post will be the last on the subject of ma’boy Buddy.

I have been dealing with this grief by forcing myself to put one foot in front of the other, and trying to maintain my focus, which is much easier when I am away from home, either working, or visiting with family and friends.
But today I was home all day. I still miss him. I miss telling him that I loved him.

Driving home from my brother’s, after burying Buddy, was one of those tasks I knew I had to perform, and went about it perfunctorily. I never reached the speed limit, knowing that I would get back to my empty home soon enough, and was preparing for what I still had to do. There were many pieces that needed to be picked up. Arriving home, I slowly went room to room, pausing and remembering his presence in each, and looking at all of the things that were his.
This was the time for crying, and I didn’t hold back.
Slowly, I began to take the steps I knew I needed to take. I got a large trash bag out, and started collecting all of his things. His food dishes and water bowl, his litter box, his toys, his grooming aids, his medicines, his pillow, they were all put in the trash bag, but not after having flashes of each item, and of when and where I got them. After moping around the house, expunging all the little reminders of him, so they wouldn’t ambush me in the future, I realized it was nearly four a.m., that I hadn’t eaten since lunch the day before, and it didn’t matter. I went to bed, knowing I still had much to do. I took the day off that day, Tuesday, and stayed home. I began cleaning the house, and got out the carpet cleaner. There were some spots on the carpet near where his litter box had been, where he had had some accidents, in the last week of his life. I got down on the floor with a brush and foam stain remover, and lovingly removed the spots, as lovingly as I had cleaned him. Then I shampooed the carpet, sighing often.

Since that Tuesday, slowly I am feeling more like myself. I had asked family and friends to not contact me for a few days, as I needed to deal with my pain alone. Since then, I have talked with some of them, and it has helped, though I still can’t say the words out loud, that Buddy died, without becoming overwhelmed with emotion. Expressing my loss, and how I feel, is beneficial, and I know that, but I also know time and distance between where I am now, and the event, has a healing effect. For the first few days, I had constant replays in my mind, of the last hour of Buddy’s life, before that final moment, when I felt his heart stop. The replays were never in sequence, just short clips, and they were just as painful as the actual experience. I was fearful that they would never end, and they may not, but for now they have subsided.

My grief is personal, of that I am aware, but I have experienced it before, as have we all.
So I go on, one step, one breath at a time. I’ve tried to resume normal habits, such as when I sleep, and eat. It occurred to me earlier this evening, that eating has become another perfunctory task, and I hope that one day soon the pleasure in preparing and eating a good meal will return. I tried this evening, with a roasted chicken breast, sweet corn, and a tossed salad, but it only satisfied my need to survive.
Nothing tastes good when I’ve been eating pain for five days.
If only pain tasted like chicken.

Friday Night Crop Circles

Obama grant being probed

from Chicago Sun-Times

A $100,000 state grant for a botanic garden in Englewood that then-state Sen. Barack Obama awarded in 2001 to a group headed by a onetime campaign volunteer is now under investigation by the Illinois attorney general amid new questions, prompted by Chicago Sun-Times reports, about whether the money might have been misspent.

The garden was never built. And now state records obtained by the Sun-Times show $65,000 of the grant money went to the wife of Kenny B. Smith, the Obama 2000 congressional campaign volunteer who heads the Chicago Better Housing Association, which was in charge of the project for the blighted South Side neighborhood.

Smith wrote another $20,000 in grant-related checks to K.D. Contractors, a construction company that his wife, Karen D. Smith, created five months after work on the garden was supposed to have begun, records show. K.D. is no longer in business.

Although decried by Chicago mayor Bill Daley, McCain’s recent ad about Chicago machine-politics seems to be right on the mark.

All together now, look real surprised.

+++++

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President Bush addresses the nation

Here is the text of the President’s address to the nation:

THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. This is an extraordinary period for America’s economy. Over the past few weeks, many Americans have felt anxiety about their finances and their future. I understand their worry and their frustration. We’ve seen triple-digit swings in the stock market. Major financial institutions have teetered on the edge of collapse, and some have failed. As uncertainty has grown, many banks have restricted lending. Credit markets have frozen. And families and businesses have found it harder to borrow money.

President George W. Bush addresses the nation from the East Room of the White House, Wednesday evening, Sept. 24, 2008, on the nation's financial crisis. President Bush has invited legislative leaders from the House and Senate, including both Presidential candidates, to a meeting Thursday at the White House to discuss a bipartisan plan to rescue the economy. White House photo by Eric Draper We’re in the midst of a serious financial crisis, and the federal government is responding with decisive action. We’ve boosted confidence in money market mutual funds, and acted to prevent major investors from intentionally driving down stocks for their own personal gain.

Most importantly, my administration is working with Congress to address the root cause behind much of the instability in our markets. Financial assets related to home mortgages have lost value during the housing decline. And the banks holding these assets have restricted credit. As a result, our entire economy is in danger. So I’ve proposed that the federal government reduce the risk posed by these troubled assets, and supply urgently-needed money so banks and other financial institutions can avoid collapse and resume lending.

This rescue effort is not aimed at preserving any individual company or industry — it is aimed at preserving America’s overall economy. It will help American consumers and businesses get credit to meet their daily needs and create jobs. And it will help send a signal to markets around the world that America’s financial system is back on track.

I know many Americans have questions tonight: How did we reach this point in our economy? How will the solution I’ve proposed work? And what does this mean for your financial future? These are good questions, and they deserve clear answers.

Continue reading

Tuesday Open Thread

ex-AIG head turns down severence deal

Robert Wilumstad, the former CEO of insurer AIG said no to a $22 million dollar severance package that he was entitled to under the terms of his employment contract.  After being ousted as a condition of the Federal takeover, Willumstad’s decision to reject the deal is a bright spot in an otherwise cloudy situation.

Willumstad didn’t take the money because his three-month tenure ended before he could unveil a turnaround strategy and because investors and employees had lost so much on AIG stock, said the person, who declined to be identified because the refusal hasn’t been announced yet. Willumstad informed AIG of his decision in an e-mail to new CEO Edward Liddy, the person said.

read more at Bloomberg

Obama buzzed in Florida

Joe Biden’s most recent gaffe was brought up on the campaign trail by Sarah Palin at a Cedar Rapids rally….

“our opponents, they have some strange ideas about raising taxes. To them, raising taxes – and Joe Biden said it again today — raising taxes is about patriotism.” That line brought a chorus of boos.

“To the rest of America, that’s not patriotism, raising taxes. It is about killing jobs and hurting small business and making things worse,” she continued. “This isn’t about anyone’s patriotism, it’s about Barack Obama’s poor judgment.”

“He wants to raise taxes by hundreds of billions of dollars. And at a time like this, that will make today’s bad economy seem like the good old days.” source

And, just in case the Anointed One didn’t get the message, a protester at a Jacksonville rally brought it to his attention in a unique way…..
from FoxNews (Bonney Kapp)

Protesters are as common to the campaign trail as supporters – from those waving McCain signs at the entrance of events, to the more subtle passersby who flash the thumbs down gesture (or worse) along the motorcade route, to the occasional group that infiltrates and interrupts an event.

But this afternoon, someone went all out to get his or her message out at Obama’s rally in northern Florida.

A single engine plane pulling a banner behind it – like those you’d see at the shore – circled Obama’s rally, which was held at Metropolitan Park along the St. John’s River in Jacksonville.

The protester’s message: “Raising taxes is not patriotic.”

Friday Reading

The new digital “brownshirts”: Informed observers don’t get “the facts” only from a political campaign. They read and listen to the independent media outlets – the same outlets the thin-skinned Mr. Obama is currently trying to quash. Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's Oasis

Corning Inc. blasts Obama ad: More of the “new” politics from the anointed one.

An update from Galveston: Tough times ahead

Twelve-year old makes solar cell breakthrough: And a child shall lead?

Blast from the Past: An archive report from WSJ…quite prescient…“Fannie Mae Enron?”

Update: Rangel calls Sarah Palin “disabled”

What are you reading? Links welcome (WFFOT)

Continue reading

Unfit for command

td blog says the ad will start next week.

I think these will sell well……….

It occurs to me that my one man rant against the tobacco prohibitionists (and let’s be real here, that’s just what they are) may get me into hot water some day. People who speak up for freedom usually do end that way. And make no mistake: this isn’t just about my right to smoke a pipe or cigar. It’s about a group of fanatics who have hijacked a legitimate health concern and turned it into a way to expand Nanny Government. The anti-tobacco movement has become nothing more than a group of disingenuous fanatics whose real goal is nothing short of the total prohibition of tobacco. Their moral standing is now no higher than that of the cigarette companies. Anyone who doubts this should click here, here, and ESPECIALLY here.

So it’s only a matter of time until they come after me. I honestly believe that at some time a little old fashioned civil disobedience is going to be needed here. So when the time comes, I thought it might be helpful to have a few items to sell so I can raise money to make bail. Or rather, so that my friends can raise money for me, since I’ll be in jail.

So I thought a t-shirt would be a nice touch. Revolutionaries look cool on a t-shirt. So scroll down and let me know what you think of mine. I think it will be a collector’s item one day.

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Keep going!

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TAH DAH!

Saying Goodbye To “Buddy”…A Loving Tribute In Tears!

As I look at the above picture of Ma’Boy Buddy, I am reminded of how happy we all were, how he loved my mother and me and how joyously he viewed life.

Buddy was always an indoor cat. He never knew what it was to be cold, wet, hungry or chased by a dog. His world was one of giving and receiving love, of being adored by all who knew or met him and most especially to my dear, sweet Momma.

My mother came to live me with in Dallas in her late sixties, so she could be close to her children, grandchildren, and soon thereafter, her great-grandchildren. She was almost seventy years of age when I brought Buddy home and into our lives. She met us at the front door and she and Buddy both had broad, beaming smiles when they first saw each other. She had never experienced the simple joy of a kitten, as she grew up on a farm and the cats there served a useful purpose, not as pets. With Buddy, she was constantly amused with his playfulness, as it appealed to her playfulness, as well.

Buddy had been with us for a few days and his magnificent personality began to show, after the initial shyness, and it was clear he was something very special. His inner beauty exceeded his physical beauty.

We were having difficulty deciding what his formal name should be and would try a different name for a day, to see if it would stick. None did. While relaxing in the living room one evening, I was playing with Buddy using his “feather on a tether” toy, which he loved. As he was developing into a marvelous athlete he would often leap as high as seven feet, catch the feather in his teeth, while performing a somersault and landing perfectly. He is still the finest athlete I have ever seen, with hind legs so powerful I couldn’t restrain him if I wanted to.

My mother was watching us and she got very serious and asked me if she could name him. Before I could answer she explained that she had never named a pet, that her siblings always named their pets and then her children after them and that she had always wanted to name a pet. I said absolutely she could, that I had no objection at all and asked if she had a name in mind. She said…Buddy. Buddy was the nick name of her only brother who died before she was born and that she had always wanted to name a pet in his honor. I then said, Buddy it is! I think it’s the perfect name for him and a fitting tribute to the brother she never knew. While we were having this discussion, our new Buddy was watching us still wanting to play and when I asked him what he thought of the name, he joyfully leaped over and started chewing on my toes, in a playful manner. I took that as a yes.

It was only a few days later, as I was in the living room, I heard a ruckus in the hallway and stepped into the doorway to see what was going on. There was my seventy year old mother, running full speed down the hall with a little fur-ball named Buddy bouncing joyfully behind her, batting her heels with his tiny paws, while she was laughing her wonderful joyful laugh.
My mother finally got to play with a young boy named Buddy.

My dear, sweet Momma left us almost four years ago.
Losing her has been hard on me, as we were very close, and I loved her dearly.
Buddy has been dying a little each day since she left and never returned. He couldn’t understand, only that his world was now absent the loving kisses, words and head scratchings he got all day long. Within five months of her passing, his health broke and he has been slipping away ever since.

And now, the veil of darkness is encroaching faster.

The magnificent athlete, the joyful playfulness, they are only a memory now, like the photograph.

Buddy couldn’t even jump on the bed this past Sunday morning.

He tried twice, a leap he made without effort just a week ago, and he gave up. He lied on the floor looking at me, his once bold, strong Siamese voice a mere squeak. I reached down and rubbed his head and noticed he was out of breath from the effort.
I sat up and watched him slowly walk away, teetering slightly and then I began to cry. I know his time with me is now very short and the memories of our years together hit me like a flood.
The way he would run when we were playing, throwing his head back, galloping and bouncing, front legs to back, with a joy that made me laugh. It was pure, simple, it was an example of how we should all live.
I love him dearly for who he is, for what he has taught me and for the love he gave and received from my mother and me.

Buddy still eats a lot and drinks water, so his will to live isn’t lost and I know he isn’t suffering. However, he is getting so weak that he has become incontinent at times, as his legs are too weak to perch on the litter box, so he misses some times and soils himself.

Buddy was so fastidious about his grooming, one of his nick names was “Mr. Clean.” Now, when he soils himself he is clearly disgusted and won’t even try to groom himself. So, several times in the past few days, I have laid him in my lap and with Wet Wipes and a warm wash cloth, I have bathed and brushed him. He’s too weak to resist, even if he wanted, but he does appreciate my grooming him and lets me know.

Until the day comes when he is either suffering or his beautiful heart stops beating, I will take care of him and do whatever it takes to keep him happy.
I’m saying Goodbye to Buddy each day now. Thanking him and loving him.

He’s Ma’boy, the son I never had and the brother my dear, sweet Momma never knew.

Letter From Your Pet In Heaven

To my dearest family,
Some things I’d like to say.
But first of all, to let you know,
That I arrived okay.

I’m writing this from the Bridge.
Here I dwell with God above.
Here there’s no more tears of sadness.
Here is just eternal love.

Please do not be unhappy
Just because I’m out of sight.
Remember that I am with you
every morning, noon and night.

That day I had to leave you
When my life on earth was through,
God picked me up and hugged me
And He said, “I welcome you.

It’s good to have you back again,
You were missed while you were gone.
As for your dearest family,
They’ll be here later on.”

God gave me a list of things,
That he wished for me to do.
And foremost on the list,
Was to watch and care for you.

And when you lie in bed at night
The day’s chores put to flight,
God and I are closest to you…
In the middle of the night.

When you think of my life on earth,
And all those loving years,
Because you are only human,
They are bound to bring you tears.

But do not be afraid to cry:
It does relieve the pain.
Remember there would be no flowers,
Unless there was some rain.

I wish that I could tell you
All that God has planned.
If I were to tell you,
You wouldn’t understand.

But one thing is for certain,
Though my life on earth is o’er.
I’m closer to you now,
Than I ever was before.

There are rocky roads ahead of you
And many hills to climb;
But together we can do it
By taking one day at a time.

It was always my philosophy
And I’d like it for you too;
That as you give unto the world,
The world will give to you.

If you can help somebody
Who’s in sorrow and pain,
Then you can say to God at night…
“My day was not in vain.”

And now I am contented…
That my life was worthwhile.
Knowing as I passed along
I made somebody smile.

God says: “If you meet somebody
Who is sad and feeling low;
Just lend a hand to pick him up,
As on your way you go.

When you’re walking down the street
With me on your mind;
I’m walking in your footsteps
only half a step behind.

And when it’s time for you to go…
from that body to be free.
Remember you’re not going…
you’re coming here to me.”

This is the future

The anti tobacco movement is reaching new heights of audacity in their desire to curb personal freedom and turn law abiding citizens into criminals. As this newspaper article from the future shows, I will not go quietly.

September 13, 2040

Residents of a quiet Boston neighborhood were stunned to learn of the arrest and imprisonment of Stephen Smith, an elderly neighbor, on charges of tobacco possession. Neighbors expressed shock and dismay at the news that this seemingly respectable senior citizen had, in fact, been a secret tobacco user for many years.

“He seemed like such a nice old man”, said one neighbor who did not wish to be identified. “We never suspected he was a tobacco user. We thought he just smoked marijuana like the rest of us. I’m totally outraged when I think that he was putting the entire neighborhood at risk from his second hand tobacco smoke. How could he be so irresponsible? Everyone knows second hand tobacco smoke kills on contact.”

Neighbors became suspicious when they noticed an odd smell eminating from his pipe one day. Apparently Smith had devised a clever scheme to hide his tobacco use, mixing judicious amounts of the illegal leaf with the high quality marijuana he was often seen smoking in his beloved briar pipes. According to sources, he had been stockpiling tobacco for several years prior to its outlawing in 2013, the same year marijuana was legalized by then president Nancy Pelosi as her first act in office.

“It was the Latakia that tipped us off”, said an unnamed police source. “Nothing smells that bad. He kept putting more and more of it in his marijuana.”

Police raided Smith’s home in the early morning, dragging the elderly man from his bed as he was still clutching his briar. As he was being stuffed into the back of the police cruiser, neighbors could hear him shouting, “You can have my tobacco when you can pry it from my cold, dead fingers!”

If convicted, Smith, given his advanced age, would probably be able to avoid a lengthy prison sentence by voluntarily enrolling in a tobacco re-education program and remaining tobacco free thereafter. He would also have to register with the police as a Level 3 tobacco user, and avoid all contact with children.

He would still, of course, be permitted to smoke as much pure marijuana as he likes.

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Please visit my blog at murderofravens.org

If McCain is “just like George Bush,” then Obama is just like ??

A tale in pictures, courtesy of Free Republic

The Obama campaign’s mantra is that John McCain is “just like George Bush”. Well, there are some distinct similarities.

Both men have the respect and admiration of our warriors.

Both were military aviators. McCain saw combat in Vietnam; George Bush volunteered, but was not sent.

And both men love this nation and understand American Exceptionalism…

The enemies of liberty and our country should make no mistake: America remains engaged in the world by history and by choice, shaping a balance of power that favors freedom. We will defend our allies and our interests. We will show purpose without arrogance. We will meet aggression and bad faith with resolve and strength. And to all nations, we will speak for the values that gave our nation birth.

I’m going to fight to make sure every American has every reason to thank God, as I thank Him: that I’m an American, a proud citizen of the greatest country on earth, and with hard work, strong faith and a little courage, great things are always within our reach.

So yes, on the important issues that define what America stands for, and what she must do to combat our enemies, John McCain and George Bush are alike.

——————————–

But who does Barack Hussein Obama remind us of? His liberal policies remind us of a litany of failed socialists.

Obama’s calls for more government handouts reminds us of the 2004 democratic VP candidate, John “Two Americas” Edwards….

Where one America works hard, has church BBQs and volunteers to defend our country; and the other America buys 28,000 square foot homes with proceeds from class action lawsuits, and spends $400 every two weeks at the beauty parlor.

—————————–

Obama’s pie in the sky, no drilling energy policy reminds us of the 2000 Democratic Presidential Candidate, Algore, who trots around the globe in a private jet, chastising the peasants for their wasteful carbon footprints…

and declaring the internal combustion engine to be the “greatest enemy” of mankind while utterly ignoring the gathering storm of islamic terrorism.

—————————–

Obama’s anti-gun, anti-second amendment record clearly reminds us of Michael Dukakis whose “Just say Yes” to gun control platform led to a thorough drubbing at the hands of George Bush’s father…

and to much deserved ridicule to this day.

——————————–

Obama’s pro-infanticide record and policies reminds us very much of the pro-abortion Mondale/Ferraro ticket, which had the same enthusiastic support from NOW and NARAL that Obama has….

and led to his excellent showing in 1984 where he held onto his home state of Minnesota, by 3,800 votes.

——————————–

And significantly, Obama’s limp wristed foreign policy in which he blames America first certainly reminds us of the last ‘unknown’ democratic candidate who received the mainstream media’s undying affection, Jimmy Carter….

who still to this day cannot discern friend from foe of the United States of America.

———————————

And by dragging along the media to see him workout and shoot hoops, Obama reminds us of the 2004 democratic presidential candidate, John F. Kerry, who also tried to mask his elitism and effete lifestyle….

but who unfortunately, just like during Obama’s bowling adventure, had rogue photographers capturing his real essence.

———————————

And finally, Obama reminds us very much of the last black democratic presidential candidate, Al Sharpton, whose Community Organizing prowess certainly rivals that of Obama….

except that Al still holds his hand above his heart for the Pledge of Allegiance.

——————————-

So yes indeed, this election is truly an election between “more of the same” and something new. Unfortunately for the Obama and Biden team, the “more of the same” applies to them, as they are merely a continuation in a long line of elite, effeminate, tax hiking, enviro-alarmist liberals, who have no concept what real Americans value.

——————————-

If they want to see what change looks like and they want to understand America and patriotism, all they have to do is make an appointment with the next Vice President of the United States.

h/t pissant

Hoping for Change? Part 2

More interesting polling results from… Gallup

The positive impact of the GOP convention on polling indicators of Republican strength is further seen in the operation of Gallup’s “likely voter” model in this survey. Republicans, who are now much more enthused about the 2008 election than they were prior to the convention, show heightened interest in voting, and thus outscore Democrats in apparent likelihood to vote in November. As a result, Republican candidates now lead Democratic candidates among likely voters by 5 percentage points, 50% to 45%

As recently as one month ago, the conventional wisdom was that “this will be a Democrat year,” with increasing majorities in the House and Senate, and a climactic coronation of Obamessiah.

This is no longer a slam dunk. In fact, this polling data suggests just the opposite may be true.

Works for me.

+++++

This is the World Famous Friday Open Thread: a free speech zone.

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Shattered. Remembering 9/11/01

From Time Magazine:

A remarkable collection of photographs by award-winning photojournalist James Nachtwey.

Never Forget.

Former KKK Member’s Conviction Vacated

James Ford Seale, the former KKK member who was convicted of kidnapping and conspiracy last year in the 1964 murder of two black teens was granted an acquittal by the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The court said the statute of limitations had expired. 

Seale is the former KKK member convicted of kidnapping and conspiring to kidnap  Thomas Moore’s brother, Charles Eddie Moore and his friend, Henry Hazekiah Dee in 1964. The teenagers were taken into the woods and beaten, driven across the state line into Louisiana, strapped to an old engine block and some railroad ties and dumped alive into the Mississippi River….murdered for no apparent reason other than the color of their skin.

The 2007 conviction, 3 life sentences, left Thomas Moore with a better feeling about the Magnolia state. Said Moore, “I now feel Mississippi is my home that I would not have owned up to even last night. So, Mississippi, you’ve come a long way.” But that relief will likely turn to grief and anger with the decision of the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

 

The Court said: “The district court erred by failing to recognize the presumption that changes affecting statutes of limitation apply retroactively, even without explicit direction from congress. … While we are mindful of the seriousness of the crimes at issue, we cannot abdicate our duty to faithfully apply a valid limitations period.”

Update: McComb native, and U.S. Attorney Dunn Lampton said he was disappointed in the decision….(link)

“We spent a great deal of time and effort in this case,” he said. “They were just brutal murders. The court didn’t reverse it on the facts. They reversed it on a technicality.”

Lampton said he’s going to discuss the matter with Paige Fitzgerald, a lawyer from the Justice Department who helped prosecute the case, to determine if prosecutors will ask the entire 5th Circuit to review Tuesday’s decision.

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Hoping for change? McCain +10

A new Rasmussen national telephone survey shows that the approval ratings for the current do-nothing Congress has tied the all-time low.

“Just nine percent (9%) of Likely Voters give Congress positive ratings, while 51% say it’s doing a poor job.” source

I find it interesting that the most liberal member of the Senate, Barack Obama, has in fact voted with the Democrat leadership 92% of the time in his brief career.

And, speaking of polling data, Drudge is reporting the USA Today/Gallup poll of likely voters showing a whopping 10 point lead for McCain-Palin. Going into the RNC, McCain was down by as much as 8 points in some polls. To go up by 10 at this point shows just how enthusiastically the American people have embraced Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

It also adds fuel to the dump Biden movement.

Democracy? We don’t need no stinkin’ democracy!

Greetings from Loony Massachusetts, the second goofiest state in the country!

This one has me really riled up! It may seem at first like a local issue, but it is already happening in other parts of the country. The implications here are ominous, not just for smokers, but for the very concept of representative democracy.

According to an article in the Boston Globe yesterday, “cigarette sales at Boston drugstores and on college campuses would be banned under sweeping new tobacco control rules likely to win initial approval today from health regulators.” Furthermore, after a five-year grace period, the city would close cigar bars, which are the only remaining public establishment where people can smoke indoors. It would seem that the Public Health Commission finds the sale of tobacco products to be “incompatible with the mission of a drugstore.”

They did not offer any rationale for the closing of the few remaining cigar bars in the city. But then, they didn’t really have to, did they?. The Public Health Commission doesn’t like smoking. THAT’S the rationale. The sad truth is, in this city, they don’t need any other.

What I find more disturbing about this than anything is that a handful of non-elected bureaucrats believe that it is up to them to decide what the “mission” of a private business should be. What is genuinely troubling here is that the Boston Public Health Commission is answerable to NO ONE except the Mayor. They do NOT answer to the City Council, and therefore, by extension, they are not answerable to the people. They have complete autonomy to pass whatever laws they wish irrespective of the wishes of the people. Of course, they call them “regulations” rather than laws, but what’s the difference, really? The head of the Commission is for all practical purposes a dictator when it comes to any matter that she perceives to be a matter of public health. And yet these non-elected bureaucrats, who make no effort at all to hide their anti-tobacco agenda, are in a position to dictate that a private business cannot sell tobacco, even though tobacco is a completely legal product that is, by the way, still enjoyed by millions of people.

Their pitch that selling tobacco is incompatible with the “mission” of drugstores is nothing more than a red herring. Drug stores nowadays are, for all intents and purposes, glorified convenience stores. You can buy many, many things at a drug store that have nothing to do with medicine. In fact, you can buy a lot of things there that are quite bad for your health, such as candy, junk food, and tonic (what the rest of the world outside Boston calls soda pop). So is the Public Health Commission proposing banning the sale of those things in drug stores and college campuses? No, of course not.

This alone demonstrates the utter hypocrisy of the Commission regarding this issue. This is NOT about improving public health. That goal was achieved several years ago when Boston, and in fact the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts, passed laws making it illegal to smoke indoors, with only private homes and cigar bars as the exception. Massachusetts is 99.9% smoke free. The public is in no danger from second hand smoke (not that they ever were in the first place).

This brings me to my next point. What I find even more disturbing in this article is the Commission’s stated goal of closing cigar bars within five years. It is unthinkable that in a free society that non-elected officials can, on a whim, CLOSE DOWN NOT JUST A BUSINESS, BUT AN ENTIRE INDUSTRY THAT IS SELLING A LEGAL PRODUCT!!!!

Sorry, didn’t mean to shout there, but this one makes me truly angry! They claim to be concerned about the health of the employees, but this is ineffable rubbish. Employees who work in cigar bars are almost ALWAYS cigar smokers themselves who not only were aware that smoking was allowed in these places, but in fact sought employment there for that very reason! If the Public Health Commission is truly so concerned about the welfare of these employees, it should reconsider its decision to throw those employees out of work.

What this is about is no less than Prohibition through the back door. As things stand now, there is certainly no shortage of smoke free bars in Boston, for the simple reason that they’re ALL smoke free. So why can’t there be a few places where people who enjoy smoking (and there are many, many of us still out there) can do so? I can think of no rational reason to eliminate the city’s three or four remaining cigars bars except anti-smoking zealotry. A handful of anti-tobacco zealots, not satisfied with banning smoking in bars, restaurants, and workplaces throughout the city, want to stamp out smoking altogether–under the now disingenuous pretext of “public health”– by outlawing the last few places where people who like to smoke can do so in a welcoming environment, while not in any way inconveniencing non-smokers.

But the real danger in all of this is not the further harassment of smokers here in Boston, although that certainly is an issue here. What is happening here is nothing less than the erosion of representative government. As I stated before, the Public Health Commission does not answer to the City Council. What this means is that I can get on the phone and talk to my city councilor until I’m blue in the face, and even if he or she happens to agree with me, the councilor cannot do anything. This is not how representative democracy is supposed to work. When a handful of appointed bureaucrats can trump the power of the people’s elected representatives, then democracy begins to die a slow death.

This may not generate a lot of ire in the populace, simply because, once again, it’s only the smokers who are getting shafted, and no one really cares about what smokers want, right? But just remember, if a handful of non-elected bureaucrats can take away my rights today, they can take away your rights tomorrow.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, I’m off to smoke a cigar in the privacy of my own home. While I am still allowed to by the Public Health Commission, that is.

–Smith

“taking up a glowing cinder with the tongs and lighting with it the long cherry-wood pipe which was wont to replace his clay when he was in a disputatious rather than a meditative mood”–Dr. John H. Watson

Please visit my blog at murderofravens.org

MSM scandal of the day

Trying to keep up with the on-going character assassination attempt by the MSM has been tough.
Have I left any out?

1) Trig not Palin’s son – LIE
2) SP was hiding Bristol’s pregnancy – LIE
3) SP endorsed Pat Buchanan – LIE
4) SP hates Jews – LIE
5) SP was never discussed as a possible veep candidate – LIE
6) SP was a member of an Alaskan secessionist party – LIE
7) SP was not vetted by the McCain campaign – LIE
8. SP said the Iraq was was a mission from God – LIE
9) SP lied about opposing Bridge to Nowhere – LIE
and most recently debunked by the Smoking Gun
10) SP had an affair with her husband’s business partner – LIE
11) SP is a book burner – LIE

Sarah has been on the scene for a week now.

The behavior of the media is disgusting.

Here is the latest attempted smear, brought to you courtesy of the AP…
12) SP’s church is promoting a conference that promises to convert gays into heterosexuals through the power of prayer. ((( Prayer? …… G A S P !!! )))

And of course, the M.O.A.S., The October Surprise, the so-called Troopergate scandal. Pshaww.

Not to mention the illegal release of her social security number, the rumors, innuendo, and the untold number of truly mean-spirited references to her sex, her small town background, her Christian beliefs, etc., etc., etc. Nothing is out of bounds to these sleezey vermin.

The hell with them.

Update: Howie Carr is keeping a list of Sarah’s so-called “sins”

Update 2: Fox News is also keeping score

Update 3: Michelle Malkin has the latest scandal. “Palin called Obama a “sambo”

Update 4: Ed Morrisey takes on the latest nutroots meme – The Palin Bubble

Update 5: Charles Martin has the Mother Of All Sarah Palin Rumor Lists.

Continue reading

It must lose something in the translation

Webster’s on-line dictionary offers the following definition of the word “rational”

\ˈrash-nəl, ˈra-shə-nəl\,adjective, Etymology:Middle English racional, from Anglo-French racionel, from Latin rationalis, from ration-, ratio

1 a: having reason or understanding b: relating to, based on, or agreeable to reason : reasonable <a rational explanation> <rational behavior>

Perhaps it just my American-centric point of view that leads me toward having a positive feeling about rational behavior. Rational behavior, I would normally suspect, is a good thing. So, imagine my surprise at the following headline from The Times (UK): “Josef Stalin acted rationally in killing millions, claims Russian textbook”

The book, A History of Russia, 1900-1945, will be used as a teaching guide in Russian schools, 55 years after Stalin died.

It is designed for teachers to promote patriotism among the Russian young, and seems to follow an attempt backed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to re-evaluate Stalin’s record in a more positive light.

Historians believe up to 20 million people died as a result of his actions, many times more than were killed under Hitler’s Nazi regime in Germany.

Here is a direct quote from the texbook: “He acted entirely rationally – as the guardian of a system, as a consistent support of reshaping the country into an industrialised state.”

Mass Murder is rational. Who knew?

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This is the World Famous Friday Open Thread: A Sarah Palin Fan-Zone. Trackbacks, comments, linkage, Sarah photos, welcome.

WFFOT: To boldly go where no thread has gone before.

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Trackposted to Blog @ MoreWhat.com, The Virtuous Republic, Rosemary’s Thoughts, Right Truth, Dollar Traveler, Shadowscope, , The Amboy Times, Cao’s Blog, Leaning Straight Up, Democrat=Socialist, Diary of the Mad Pigeon, third world county, Allie is Wired, Woman Honor Thyself, DragonLady’s World, Walls of the City, The World According to Carl, The Pink Flamingo, and Right Voices, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's Oasis

Sorry, Sarah

I know this viewpoint will not be popular here, but then, one of the things that has made America such a great country is our freedom to disagree reasonably. It is in this spirit that I offer the following post.

I had something all written and ready to go about Sarah Palin. But I knew she would be speaking at the RNC last night, so I thought it only fair to hear what she had to say before pulling the trigger.

Speaker after speaker took the podium. Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, Linda Lingle, and Mike Huckabee all extolled her virtues. I began to wonder if anyone else was seeing the irony here: all four of these people are more qualified to hold the office of Vice President than the person they were praising.

Now don’t get me wrong, here. Sarah Palin gave a hell of a speech. I can see why people like her. Hers is a great American success story: Beauty Queen. Hockey/PTA mom. Mayor. Governor. VP candidate. Americans, and women in particular, have reason to feel proud of her and her accomplishments, even if one doesn’t agree with her politically.

What I particularly admire about her is how she didn’t simply choose to ride her good looks to wherever they might take her. She was determined to use her obviously considerable brain power, and entered the dirty, male dominated world of politics, and has been wildly successful. In my mind, she gets full kudos for that.

But strangely, the feeling I got deep in my gut as I listened to her is the exact same one I get whenever I hear Barak Obama speak, in spite of their obvious differences. In both cases, I am aware that I am listening to a person of exceptional intelligence, gifted oratory, and vast personal charisma. It is obvious that both Palin and Obama have bright political futures. I will even go out on a limb here and say that either one might make a fine president….some day. But not on this day. Today both are still a little too wet behind the ears for my liking.

I find the argument that she will attract disenchanted Hillary supporters puzzling. No two people could be farther apart politically than Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton. (Interestingly, they hold the same position on the death penalty–they are for it–but there’s not much overlap after that.) Unless voting for a female candidate is THAT important to someone, I can’t imagine a Hillary Clinton supporter voting for a pro-life, pro-NRA, pro-creationism candidate, regardless of her gender. In fact, if there are any former Hillary supporters out there who are considering voting for Palin, I would be genuinely interested in hearing from you.

Whenever I have objected to Palin’s lack of experience, it always seems as though someone’s immediate response is, “Well, what about Obama’s lack of experience?”. My answer to that, as I have stated above, is simply to point out that had I any intention of voting for Obama, that argument might have some relevance. But since I don’t, and for exactly the same reasons, that argument is a non starter, at least with me.

So it’s not that I don’t like Sarah Palin. I do, up to a point. I don’t agree with her on issues like sex education and teaching creationism in schools, but that’s a subject for another post. It’s not that I think she’s a bad choice, simply that there are better, more experienced ones.

Even if you support McCain (as I do) you have to ask yourself: if Sarah Palin had been running in the Republican primary, would you have even considered voting for her? Even for a second? The answer is surely no. Why not? Again, NOT because she’s a bad candidate, but because there were better ones available to vote for.

With this in mind, I would feel much more comfortable with someone like Joe Leiberman, Rudy Giuliani, or Linda Lingle as second in command. The phrase “a heartbeat away from the presidency” is a bit melodramatic in some cases. Neither Bill Clinton nor George W. Bush were likely to die in office. But John McCain is 72, and not a very healthy 72 at that. If he is elected, I have little doubt he will be re-elected. If he doesn’t live to 80, then Sarah Palin, with little executive experience and no experience at all at the federal level, will be the leader of the most powerful nation on earth at a time when we need the most experienced leaders possible at the helm.

McCain’s experience vs. Obama’s lack of it is what McCain had going for him. With another, equally experienced running mate, he might have buried Obama with this issue. But not now. While from a political point of view the move has merit. Bearing in mind that the one thing we all have in common is a desire to see McCain elected, I think we all should be concerned that his choice could leave his ticket vulnerable to the very criticism that has been quite rightly aimed at Obama.

Is this really what American politics has come to? Barack Obama names as his running mate a man who is the very embodiment of the old boy Washington scene he claims to deplore. Can there be any doubt that Biden’s skin color played a role in the decision? Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr labeled Biden “the first white male affirmative action hire in history”. Can their be any doubt that Palin’s gender played a major role in McCain’s decision?

I’m still voting for McCain, but I’ll be praying nightly he lives another eight years.

–Smith

“taking up a glowing cinder with the tongs and lighting with it the long cherry-wood pipe which was wont to replace his clay when he was in a disputatious rather than a meditative mood”–Dr. John H. Watson

Please visit my blog at murderofravens.org

Biden caught in a lie

This really couldn’t have come at a worse time for Joe Biden. Speaking on Fox and Friends, Sen. Biden, the Democrat VP nominee denied reports from ABC news that if elected, he planned on pursuing criminal charges against the Bush Administration.

“That’s not true. I don’t know where that report’s coming from,” Biden told Fox & Friends.

Here you go Joe. See if this jogs your memory just a bit.

Poor old Joe. I expect the “Dump Biden” movement to pick up steam in the next few days.

h/t FreeRepublic

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