Thursday, June 30, 2005

Whither SCOTUS

Those of a conservative bent – mostly the republicans – have been gnashing their teeth for a long time now with regard to the activism that has become the hallmark of many judges, even some entire courts of appeal, such as the federal Ninth Circuit in the wild and wooly far west, that is overturned by the SCOTUS 75% of the time. One also remembers the shenanigans of the Florida Supreme Court in 2000, when it attempted to steal the Florida electoral-college votes from Bush and give them to Gore, and the Supremes had to read it the riot act (also with gnashing of teeth on its part). Those Florida beauties exhibited more criminality than many of the criminals to whom they apply the law.

Enter the recent decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court with regard to who may activate the law of eminent domain in the effort to take what belongs to one guy and give it to somebody else or some other entity, and the entitlements relative to where the “Ten Commandments” (and presumably other religious elements) may or may not be physically in place. As has been the case for some time now, these decisions were of the 5/4 and 4/5 variety, indicating that nine supposedly brilliant jurists can study the Constitution, with the result that nearly half never agree with the other slightly-more-than-half on what it means. This is scary and simply points to the proclivity that some judges, if not all (at least some of the time), come at their judging with personal biases regarding a document that seems fairly easy to understand – or at least fairly easy for those who have spent years/decades studying it. One longs for 7/2 decisions or even 6/3 ones, with 9/0 the jackpot, but these seem too few…or, it may be that the high-profile ones get all the attention.

In any case, these latest decisions work to the advantage of those who fear the obvious judge-activism (government by judicial fiat) that seems rampant, and scream for change. Even conservative democrats – and there still are plenty of those around – are bound to feel the shivery draught of a wind that breezes in a government by a handful of un-elected elitists, instead of government by the people. So…if Chief Justice Rehnquist decides to retire soon, the liberals in the Senate will have a very hard time turning back the appointment to his seat of a strict constitutional constructionist like Associate Justice Antonin Scalia; therefore, this is good news for conservatives who are sick and tired of judges who say men may marry each other, for instance, and in this process of social/mental sickness never realize that they’re opening the door to a veritable Pandora’s Box of social dysfunction already reflecting the grossness of the society of “Olde European” countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands.

Nothing could be plainer than the Fifth Amendment: “…nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” The keyword is PUBLIC! In the New London, Conn., 5/4-decision, the SCOTUS opened the door for any covey of corrupt politicians or other officials to take private property in behalf of those private entrepreneurs who claim that the taking is in the best interests of the community, in this case allowing for construction that will eventuate in much higher property taxes – that being for the good of the “public.” A fifth-grader can see through this. This is the socialist approach that might be expected in an “Olde Europe” setting, but runs counter to everything for which this nation was founded. The Court said nothing about the huge profits the “businessmen” will reap since the government has no plans to develop anything itself – socialism again…the wealth accruing to the tiny group that can buy its way to eminent domain. Disgusting!

As for the “Ten Commandments” issue, the Court actually decided nothing, which probably is what it intended, convening as it does under, in, and around displays in its own confines referring to God and the commandments. SCOTUS just split 5/4 to the effect that one group recognized historical precedent and embedded displays that have been in place for decades, both therefore being justified, while the other group got its 5/4 way in simply saying that the magic legal term INTENT carries the day, and just left it up to the locals to fight it out on that basis, which is what they’ve already been doing for years, making the lawyers happy, at least. Obviously, the simple way to leave the displays in place is simply to place a sign with them that indicates no religious significance is to be drawn from the presence of the display, no matter where it is. That’s about all the folks in Harrodsburg and Somerset will do, if they do anything at all.

The God referred to by the founding fathers and firmly embedded in the founding documents of the nation was/is the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jesus, John, and Paul. Until they have the power to turn the Constitution around on this matter, particularly in the absolute clarity of the First Amendment, the naysayers should just let it go…at least for a while. There is absolutely no evangelistic/proselytizing intent in the substance of the commandments, even if the posters think there is. These tenants simply recognize God of the Holy Scriptures, firmly indemnified by the founders as the anchor/protector of everything, and explain how to live – not a bad combination. Those who can’t live with that need to explain how it has damaged them. Not even the ACLU can point to anything. People worship or don’t worship according to their individual mindsets, and that’s that, notwithstanding anything found in a public place.

So…conservatives need to take heart as SCOTUS shoots itself in the feet (as, admittedly, it did not do in 2000 and probably most often does not) and reasonable people realize the silliness of some justices, as well as the idiocies of activist judges all over the landscape. These citizens will clamor for a return to sanity, not least because the “eminent domain” decision represents that everyone who owns property can be at the mercy of unscrupulous elected officials, bureaucrats, and – yes – the judges. Strict constructionists will be the choice of those who see the nation slipping into something very ugly, and they will let their legislators know it.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Yoo-hoo, Boy Columnist

Eureka, zounds, and shaz-z-z-zam-m-m, you have stumbled, tumbled, fumbled, and bumbled your way in the environs of the Giddy Gang to (or maybe been attacked by) the TRUTH – there should be NO amendment banning flag-burning (Lexington Herald-Leader – June 26). The creatures of the congress (called by some the “lost lagoon”) are already in 2006-election mode, however, so what better to do than wave the flag, never realizing that the idiot who burns it only furnishes the opportunity for more electioneering patriotism? You even scored well by condemning the Supremes for approving the right of Lexington entrepreneurs to bulldoze your house when it suits, confirming at the same time, of course, that if strict constructionists are not soon placed on the Court, the nation will suffer in the extreme. Obviously, you will be rooting for Scalia or Thomas to take over the Chief’s seat if Rehnquist retires. Nah! You probably will go looking for Anita Hill, like the Metzenbaum and Kennedy hatchet guys did in 1991, though old Clarence is on the Court and Anita is well…where is Anita? Collecting those royalties (or is it speaking fees?) maybe, if her experience still sells.

Then, you came up with this gem of wisdom: “Condemn it so the public owns its own water system? Hell, yes.” Have you thought about carrying that little statement to its logical conclusion? Apparently you have, or you wouldn’t have made it. So…the electricity company(ies) and phone company(ies) should by all means be condemned so the public will own its own vital power and communication systems. Right? After all, not a gallon of water could be pumped or processed without electricity, so condemning the power entity actually is more important than condemning the water company, just the bunch of pipes and process through which electricity makes everything possible. Do you also think the public should own all the vehicles driven on publicly owned highways? If so, look out Toyota and General Motors…Boy Columnist (Keeling) is on your trail. Just keep following this line of thought to its logical conclusion and – bingo – you have the public owning everything…another Soviet thing, in other words. Yuk!

As for the lead editorial…PDA (taking it from the poor [us] and giving it to the rich [the horsey gang, among others]) puts the paper in an awkward position…sorta condemnation by stealth (or actually stealing) rather than constitutional fiat. Besides which, bribery has always been sorta frowned upon. I would gladly take $$$ for promising not to put a trailer in my backyard, but who cares? But…eating up some more green stuff for a resort hotel, huge arena, huge swimming pool, and huge other amenities and huge parking lots for everything from mobile homes to maybe a runway for private jets (the Horse Park Paradise) – ah, that’s okay, never mind the World Monuments or whatever…like that Bluegrass Area that simply must be preserved at all costs! I’m sure you don’t see an inconsistency here…or do you, perhaps? Perhaps, considering the need for new housing for an ever increasing population, you would be willing for the government to just build a couple stories on top of your house, or at least over the backyard and patio. Just think of the income!

And so it goes!!!

Jim Clark

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Durbin - Dimwit or Traitor?

Office of Senator Dick Durbin
Memo to all staffers, both in Washington and all regional offices in Illinois

***It has come to my attention that someone, no doubt from the White House or Rush Limbaugh’s clambake or Bill O’Reilly’s snake-pit, has leaked to the press that I am a Kleepdemoniac Klan Kapitan in the Illinois KKK, and that the Klan, at my direction, is going to burn crosses at Guantanamo on July 4 bearing the flaming message that American GIs Are Lynch-Bait. There is no – REPEAT – no truth to this, and anyone repeating this slander will be assigned to the Pol Pot Reeducation Cadre heading soon to Cambodia for indoctrination in the “Glory of the Killing Fields,” an “Introduction to the Koran,” and “The Art of Flushing Pictures of Rumsfeld and Cheney Down the Toilet or Liming Them in an Outdoor Privy, Whichever is Available.” Volunteers for this activity will also be accepted, and anyone who is interested may apply to my public affairs officer, but must give proof of at least one year served in an accredited penitentiary or work-camp to be eligible. In lieu of such proof, a recommendation from the Rev. Jesse Jackson will be accepted, with the provision that the applicant be from Illinois, have proof of at least four dead relatives voting in Chicago in the last election, and furnish his/her/its own subsistence from RAINBOW/PUSH/COALITION.

***I do not find it funny that there is a sign in red letters every morning on the outer door of my office that replaces the one with my designation as Assistant Democrat Leader (Whip) and bears the caption DURBIN’S GULAG. The culprit committing this dastardly deed, when apprehended, will be turned over to the Capital Police with my recommendation that he/she/it be charged with subversion, and my further application will be made to the court that he/she/it be shipped to Siberia without an overcoat and gloves for 50 years or death, whichever comes first (permission granted by President Putin as revenge for pulling a hamstring imitating the Bush swagger). This is a show of magnanimity on my part, since a death-by-firing-squad sentence for such an act against a U.S. Senator would be appropriate. Anyone having knowledge as to the identity of this hoodlum should come forward with that information, no matter if acquired through eavesdropping even on a relative, and will be rewarded with an autographed CD/DVD of the Dean Scream©. If it is discovered that a person with knowledge of the crime has not come forward, that person will be summarily fired and his/her/its family will be barred from any government job or unemployment insurance in Illinois or Massachusetts, the latter state upon the permission of Senators Kennedy and Kerry. This is doubly significant, since Senator Kerry WAS in Cambodia on Christmas Day 1968, notwithstanding the official record that he was nowhere near the place.

***There have been reports that some staffers have been lax in fund-raising, and a psychiatrist from the former Goebbels Institute of Mind-Management and Individual Collection Kinetics for Recalcitrant Yahoos (GIMMICKRY, for short) has indicated that staffers, comparing them to the latest victims of football/basketball/baseball/poker jargon, have lost their Focus and need to greatly increase their powers of concentration. This being the case, and in a patriotic reversal of the Bush policy of rigorous interrogation, a facility known as the Durbin Concentration Camp will soon be established – with Fidel Castro’s permission, of course – just outside the Cuba-side Main Entrance to Guantanamo. To enhance the importance of the indoctrination process, and to impress upon staffers the absolute necessity for loyalty, arm-twisting ability, and obedience, only one meal a day (cabbage soup on all but Thursdays, when a chicken wing will replace the soup) will be served; at certain times the lights will be left on 24/7, the better to enhance attention to the process. Those who fall behind in their improvement may be chained to the floor occasionally to focus their thinking, but for never more than a day. Minority Leader Reid has read the Durbin Concentration Camp into the Congressional Record, and is advising DNC Chair Howard Dean upon its availability to all DNC staffers. In a magnanimous gesture, Chair Dean has offered unlimited permission to use the DEAN SCREAM© to help participants focus, obviously with no royalties to himself for the privilege. There will be an incidental fence around the facility, but it will be only 20 feet high with no more than two rolls of razor wire on top. It is merely meant, of course, to help participants concentrate, and no concentration camp would be complete without such a fixture. Former GIMMICKRY representatives have noted this feature to be of inestimable value, and we all know how effective it was between East- and West-Germany before Reagan shot off his mouth to Gorbachev and in an un-American show of strength scared the poor man into tearing it down.

***It has been bandied about in the news media (at least the liberal/socialist/Moyers-PBS media) that I have apologized for remarks alleged to be critical of American policy and personnel in Guantanamo, comparing such to Nazism/Fascism, Nazi Concentration Camps, the Holocaust, Pol Pot and the “killing fields,” and the Soviet Gulags. Please be advised that I have done no such thing. A careful reading of my two statements regarding the initial remarks of June 14 will indicate that I only mentioned those who might be offended, and that I in no way suggested that I was wrong. This is an important matter for young staffers, since they can learn something about how to parse words, in much the same fashion as former president Clinton, with respect to what “is” is. Also, please note from the tape of my last statement, made on the Senate floor, my use of feigned emotion remarking an almost tearful breakdown. I learned this skill from Michael Moore, who has taught me how to feign emotions of laughter, surprise, melancholy, mourning, pain, etc. The efficacy of my effort was immediately seen in the statements of Senators McCain and Lieberman remarking my bravery and courage in admitting whatever it was that they thought I had admitted. Apparently, either each senator’s elevator did not reach to the top floor with regard to my words, or they were just sucking-up, a normal procedure in the Senate. In addition, I have personally called at the embassies of Germany, Cambodia, and Russia to apologize to those countries for comparing them to the bloodthirsty savages comprising the U.S. military establishment at Guantanamo.

***There will be a staff party at the downtown Hooters after the close of business today to celebrate, among other things, the Durbin Concentration Camp and the re-indoctrination trip to Cambodia. Hooters has set aside one Men’s Room that will be used for a ceremonial flushing of a copy of my so-called apology, along with a copy of the U.S. Military Uniform Code of Justice (or whatever it is). Everyone is invited to attend, and those with a dead relative who voted anywhere in Illinois last year will be eligible for a door-prize.

And so it goes!

Jim Clark

Monday, June 20, 2005

The Herald-Leader, LOTA, and GOTH

Wonders never cease when it comes to the strange positions newspapers can take regarding what seem to be quite simple issues unencumbered with complexities of one kind or another. A few weeks ago, a woman visited the dormitory on the University of Kentucky campus known as “Wildcat Lodge,” so named because all the basketball players in the high-profile basketball enterprise/program (formerly known as simply a team) are domiciled therein. When the building was new, only students connected with the basketball program were allowed to live in the plush residence. Under pressure of some kind from somewhere (some legal entanglement), a handful of other students also had to be admitted, not that any of this has to do with the matter at hand.

The woman, aged 29 and married, entered this sanctuary of the athletically divine at about 12:30 p.m. and departed at 2:30 p.m. – a quick little visit of some two hours, give or take a few minutes or passionate pants, the latter occasioned by the fact that while there she (or somebody) apparently removed her panties. She then went on her way, panties apparently again intact. Later – some 24-36 hours or so – she decided she had been raped and went to a hospital in a neighboring town for a “rape kit” and an apparent examination involved therewith. The evidence thus gained was turned over to the police in that town but later applied to the Lexington police, to whom she lodged a charge of rape against one of the basketball players, noting that she had a bruise on her thigh and drank or somehow otherwise ingested something fishy while in the hallowed halls of Wildcat Lodge.

The news got out. This wouldn’t have been big stuff, except that in Kentucky basketball is somewhat superior to what the Pentecostals call the “second blessing,” the Baptists call “sanctification,” and the Muslims call “Paradise-of-the-72-Virgins.” The player’s name was immediately mentioned in the newspaper, but, of course, the lady of the afternoon (hereinafter referred to as LOTA) was not so “outed,” the paper anxious to protect her good name, even though she had been mentally-challenged enough, apparently, to actually “sign in” at the famous (or now infamous) Lodge. The player, seeing the handwriting on the wall (or on the page, actually) did what a lot of athletes do as a simple reflex, especially since the world-shaking “Kobe Bryant” affair, and got himself a good lawyer, who made the surprising!!! statement that the player noted that he and LOTA had engaged in consensual sex, thigh-bruises (whatever they are) and fishy potions notwithstanding.

In the meantime, the newspaper got in touch with LOTA, though exactly how is unknown in this corner. Indeed they contacted her another time, but her husband told them to bug off. The paper even wrote LOTA a letter; however, the reporters never interviewed the player, but (at least it seemed so) strongly felt that a vicious crime had been committed. The player was smart enough (or at least smart enough to listen to his lawyer) to maintain silence and went on his merry way attempting to get into the NBA at the earliest opportunity, having already furnished proof that he was a big-timer since he already had at least one groupie, with more to come, considering the fortuitous notoriety involved with LOTA.

As 29-year-old-married-LOTAs who hanky-panky with 22-year-old-Gods-Of-The-Hardwood (hereinafter referred to as GOTH[s]) are wont to do at least sometimes, this LOTA soon after changed her course by 180 degrees and declined to cooperate with the police, notwithstanding the rape-kit, bruised thigh, and fishy potion, in further pursuing the errant GOTH, never mind that acronym of barbarianism being the crux of her complaint.

LOTA apparently was given a blood-workup as part of the rape-kit affair or at some appropriate time in the mix, such workup revealing that there was no trace of any drugs in her body, such as a fraternity’s favorite and potent love-potion called Ecstasy, notwithstanding the fishy potion she claimed to have ingested in the Lodge, probably just a “Big Orange Drink” and a “Moon-pie.” Ugh! In other words, the police didn’t any longer have a crime to solve or a charge to make because they no longer had a victim. After all, a bruised thigh could be incurred simply by a swinging door, and, in any case, anyone intent on incapacitating any LOTA would hardly use a baseball bat on her thigh, and certainly not a GOTH, who could inflict incapacitation simply with his strong weight-room-induced well-muscled hands. Incurring a thigh bruise while having sex, even rough sex, may be possible, but…well…

The newspaper, meanwhile, was being cheated of the best gossip/rumor of the whole year, and sued for all kinds of things, such as the sign-in sheet of the Wildcat Lodge used on that memorable afternoon. It got the things it wanted (but not the sign-in sheet), but with certain information, such as LOTA’s name, which they already had anyway, redacted. To make things more interesting, LOTA had a lawyer by this time and threatened to sue for privacy rights anything and everybody, including the city, not moving under its own power. So…the folks at the paper went on a caterwauling spree…screamed about the freedom of the press…the whole nine yards, even though there was no crime at that point, except that LOTA had made a false charge, which is frowned upon by the courts. Being of a magnanimous nature, the police did not charge her with anything, also probably fearing a lawsuit if they did, probably wished her well and suggested she grow up.

The newspaper went the editorial route with this statement by the editor, not just the editorial-page editor: "What is the role of a newspaper in all of this? As always, it is to seek and report the truth, to shine light on dark corners in which official secrets are kept. It is to replace rampant gossip and innuendo with facts. It is to be governed at all times by the charge that the public has a right to know." The reporters talked to LOTA on at least two occasions and obviously knew her identity, but the paper never talked to GOTH. So, naturally...his name was dragged through the mud on what amounted to hearsay as far as the paper was concerned, but it never mentioned LOTA’s name, even though it had direct knowledge regarding her. Could anyone possibly see anything strange in that?

The editor further editorialized: "By this point, in our view, the coverage left all Kentucky basketball players under a cloud. And the rumor mill was churning wildly. Our story identifying [GOTH] not only accurately informed the public but also lifted suspicion off of other players and residents of the Wildcat Lodge." Using the same logic, would the publishing of LOTA’s name have removed suspicion from...well...all the ladies in Kentucky or in the immediate area or maybe even in the world? Does one suppose women in the area are looking at each other and wondering? As it is, alas, the rumor mill is still churning...just who was she...maybe the lady next door...or down the street...those rumors! Rather than spin the paper's actions, it would have been better for the editor to have said nothing, though the editor may not realize the contradiction, of course. If so, more's the pity. This corner considers both fornication and adultery immoral acts, so takes no sides in the matter. Both LOTA and GOTH share equally in the sleaze. It is the paper's duplicity that amazes, especially when no crime was committed.

All this sounds weird and beyond belief…but it happened.

And so it goes

Jim Clark

Thursday, June 16, 2005

"Leaky Leahy" Strikes Again!

The notion that anyone should take Senator Pat Leahy seriously when he pontificates about the situation with respect to the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo (Gitmo) is hilariously off the wall. Just an interesting reminder about Senator Leahy, whose credibility about anything is zilch:

Leahy gained notoriety in 1987 for his role in leaking classified information in 1986 about a covert operation by the Reagan Administration against Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddhafi.

Leahy, at the time, was on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Leaky Leahy was quoted in the Washington Times as saying he thought this effort "was the most ridiculous thing I had seen, and also the most irresponsible." Apparently he felt obligated to leak this intelligence information to the press - and the plan was aborted. One can only wonder how many innocent civilians have died since then because of Gaddhafi's terrorist activities.

Leahy also leaked intelligence information in 1985 dealing with the terrorist attack on the cruise ship Achille Lauro. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that this leak apparently cost the life of at least one Egyptian operative who was working on the case. When Leahy leaks, people die.

The Senate conducted an internal investigation of Leahy's penchant for leaking classified information, and he was allowed to save face by resigning from the intelligence committee.

This info was excerpted from http://www.traditionalvalues.org/modules.php?sid=119. I remembered the Leahy stuff and just looked it up. If I remember correctly, the good senator actually did his bowing-out number while sitting on the committee conducting the hearing on Ollie North in the Iran-Contra affair. Leahy is disgusting.

Sorta reminds, also, about the hatchet job staffers from Senators Metzenbaum and Kennedy attempted when they turned over the rocks and found Anita Hill in 1991 to try to discredit Clarence Thomas. These democrats – beauties…and treacherous.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Monday, June 13, 2005

LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER Racial Treachery

There seems to be no limit to the determination of the Lexington Herald-Leader to both distort history and consciously keep racial unrest alive, well, and dominant in its coverage-area. Its front-page, above-the-fold headline of June 13: Lynching era was ‘the American holocaust.’ Above it was a less noticeable sub-head: 4,743 LIVES WERE TAKEN. It is inconceivable that such blatantly obvious America-hating propaganda could emanate from a Kentucky city newspaper, albeit a monopoly organ responsible only to its corporate owner, Knight-Ridder, but this sort of rant, besides being warped and dishonest, is routine for the H-L.

The definition of “holocaust” (Merriam-Webster Collegiate, 11th Edition): the mass slaughter of European civilians and especially Jews by the Nazis during World War II. This slaughter was wreaked upon six million Jews and probably about five million Christians and others. It was perpetrated by the German government as an official operation in roughly 1932-45, with most of the carnage occurring 1940-45 during World War II. Using the six-year period 1940-45, this works out to about 1,833,000 murders per year or about 5,025 per day, far more in one day than all the lynchings, according to the H-L, that took place during the 86-year “lynching-period” 1882-1968, and of which of the 4,743 total 1,297 (27%) were not African Americans. Whereas the holocaust in Europe was due to an enactment that made it an official government operation, the lynchings were carried out in this country by a handful of criminals, mostly in the South. The notion that the lynchings were American, the obvious implication being that they were government policy as charged in the H-L headline and spurious story, is so dishonest that the publisher should publicly apologize, also on the front page…but this won’t happen.

The lynchings represented a horrible, animalistic practice of hooliganism, and just one such hanging was one death too many. All the individuals and families affected by these murders have a right to hate the people who carried them out, and they have the right to hate all the white people in the country if they feel so disposed. However, I resent the H-L charge deeply, particularly because my great-grandfather (wounded once), two great-uncles, and my wife’s great-grandfather fought in the Union Army, even though, being Kentuckians and not subject to the draft, they were not required to do so. They certainly never owned and therefore never abused slaves.

The constant drumbeat in the H-L about slavery, race, lynchings, and all the rest of the hatemongering that results from the seemingly endless front-page stuff accruing to these subjects has worn thin, probably even among most African Americans, for whom these ramblings form a persistent reminder of things every adult knows about and every student learns about in school. The facts should not be forgotten, but the generations associated with them have long been dead, and those living now, as well as those who have tried diligently especially through government action to right a wrong for which they have borne no responsibility, should take the H-L stuff for just what it is – hatemongering that promotes divisiveness, ill feeling, and, worse, the relentless insistence made to young African Americans that they are forever in every generation to be considered victims and, as such, entitled to whatever they can cadge from the system. Disgusting!

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Tuition vs. Waste

University of Kentucky President Lee Todd has just been awarded his annual $100,000 bonus. His salary for this year is $275,330, so the bonus automatically increases it by a whopping 64 percent to $375,330. Add to this financial windfall the use of both a house and a car, and the president does quite well. Is he worth that? Well…yes, or at least he’s worth whatever it takes to keep him because he, by all accounts, has done a good job, especially if the shortcomings of the Athletic Department are not held against him. Since that department is in a world of its own, often shady and not known for graduating its student-athletes in even slightly acceptable numbers as well as being presided over by a director who is paid far more than Todd – actually unbelievably and intolerably overpaid – perhaps Todd should be forgiven any connection with it, much less oversight of it, notwithstanding that such oversight is part of his job. At Vanderbilt, the president became fed up with the Athletic Department there and just took it over. Perhaps that’s what Todd should do.

This matter converges with a monologue presented by Tucker Carlson on his weekly PBS program Friday evening, June 10, entitled Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered. Carlson is an author and regular contributor to Esquire and the Weekly Standard, among other writing and TV/lecture activities. This is what he had to say: “Over the past seven years, the price of a college education has risen five percent a year, more than double the rate of inflation. For the price of a single year at Harvard, you could buy a cabin on a lake in Maine.” Carlson, on some of the reason for tuition-creep: “Colleges have gone on a building spree. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, colleges and universities will spend more than $6 billion on construction this year, much of it on non-essentials like recreation centers and lavish dorm upgrades.”

UK is heading into the most expensive building program in its history, according to Linda Blackford of the Lexington Herald-Leader in the June 11 edition, – some $375 million in its medical center. There’s no argument with this if it’s needed, but it sticks in one’s craw that another $27 million is on the boards for – get this – a basketball-practice gymnasium, never mind that Memorial Hall is as good a practice facility as there is in the state and has not, despite whatever reason it’s considered inadequate, kept UK men’s teams from being perennial national powerhouses. Also, the team is allowed a significant number of practices each year in Rupp Arena, where it plays its home games. This is not even to mention the loss of valuable parking spaces to be taken up by the gym on a campus already plagued by the lack of same.

There are other reasons for the increase in student costs, of course, but this kind of wastefulness, especially on programs that bear little academic fruit, is intolerable. The football team has an indoor practice facility. How silly does it get? Football is played out of doors and outside practices have never kept great football teams from winning. Ironically, the winningest UK teams in recent history had no such facility.

In the middle of all this is the almost certain closing of Rose Street as part of the building project, one of the city’s main arteries, and one of the two main avenues connecting the university with downtown, not to mention THE main artery connecting the city’s vital business thoroughfare – Nicholasville Road – to downtown. UK has other options, so there would be no argument with this circumstance if there were no other way to effect the construction. UK has offered to widen Virginia Avenue through the campus as a sort of sop in the wake of the closing. Actually, UK should do that anyway, as well as forget the request to close Rose, on which tens of thousands have been spent in just the last 3-4 years to make it more campus/community-friendly.

Todd should take the lead in addressing this problem. The Urban-County Council actually voted to close the second-most important street in the city – Vine Street – a few years ago before finally coming to its senses under tremendous citizen pressure and rescinding its action. It is ALWAYS a mistake to close a main artery, and Todd, with his engineering background, should, of all people, recognize this and take the lead in rescinding the university’s request to close the street. Just contemplating the difficulty and consequent time-lost of ambulances in getting to the UK Hospital Emergency Room in the absence of Rose Street at that location boggles the mind, unless extensive, further, costly arrangements are made.

Is Todd worth it? Yes. However, he also has a responsibility to the people of Lexington.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Lexington's Junketeers

The Lexington Herald-Leader ran a front-page story on June 5 dealing with the fact that two of the 15 Urban-County Council members had spent 40 percent of the Council’s total expenditure for travel in the last five or so years. Both of them have already overspent their council budgets for this fiscal year (ending June 30) by $3,200 (Brown by more than $3,700), and both have trips planned for this month. Councilman George Brown will make trips to Orlando and Denver in June, never mind the overspending, while colleague Jacques Wigginton will head for Orlando, a fun place if ever there was one. If the trips over the last 5.5 years third-in-line councilman David Stevens has taken are added to the mix, the three men, representing 20 percent of the council members, have spent more than 50 percent of the total travel expenses.

Why do Wigginton and Brown do this? Simple…because they can. By the end of June, Brown will have averaged one trip a month representing the city-county in 2005. One wonders just how much representation the city needs. According to the H-L, Brown has taken more than 37 trips since January 2000, while Wigginton has hit the road more than 30 times since January 2001. Again, one wonders just how much representation the city needs from just two of its councilpersons. The real kicker, however, lies in the fact that these two officials went to the same conference (or whatever the clambake du jour was) 22 times. Is Lexington so big and its population so humongous that the city can’t make it on just one representative per outing? Or…could it be that these officials were sort of just representing themselves? Well, both of them plan to be in Orlando this month. One wonders further what financial distress might be engendered if all 15 of the councilpersons decided to hit the road as often as Brown and Wigginton. After all, there are all kinds of clambakes out there just waiting for elected officials to do the per diem number on their cities.

One also wonders why the respective entities sponsoring all these conferences don’t have budgets of their own, perhaps funded by cities, corporations, civic organizations and the like. Then, elected officials could be reimbursed by the sponsoring agencies, which could make rules pertaining to who may attend, and conceivably get rid of a lot of dead wood, such as attendees who don’t actually attend most sessions or who represent unnecessary replication, but who do have a swell time.

The irony lies in the fact that Lexington, like most cities, has been strapped for cash in recent years, but is governed by some people who don’t even take their own budgets seriously. There’s no argument with the fact that local officials profit from meeting with officials in similar capacities from all over the country, but the notion that they need to hit the trail as a routine matter is balderdash. The multiplicity of such trips, especially to venues of redundancy, both member-wise and substance-wise, smacks of vacationing far more than doing the city’s business. Whether this happens or not matters little, since it’s the perception of what happens that matters. It’s inconceivable that one councilperson can’t either report his conference-education to the whole body or at least arrange for an aide to do it; or, it’s inconceivable that one councilperson can’t represent the city’s positions at a conference. Paying two or three people to do what one can is being irresponsible.

The city has just cut trash pickup by about half, one result being the consequent ability to pay policepersons and firepersons a more decent salary. It has just suffered through a loss of well over a million dollars in a useless attempt to take over the water company. Although the city has been tagged for millions in court awards to people abused by Ron Berry, a pedophile who ran a city-financed program for many years, it now faces another round of accusers, the cost being no telling what. [Incidentally, the novel “EDDIE et alia” noted in the Links section was triggered primarily because of this circumstance, and is set in Lexington.] The last thing the city needs is more proof of wastefulness and/or incompetence. Wigginton and Brown would do well to cancel the June excursions – if it’s not too late, that is.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Deaniac-speak

“Hoof-in-Mouth Disease” is an ailment generally thought to be endemic to animals, but human beings can sometimes suffer – if not actually the pain – the outward signs of the bothersome affliction, such signs causing snickers and giggles among the onlookers or the hearers or both, in the case of TV. A classic example of H/M symptoms occurred a couple Sundays or so ago when Howard Dean appeared on Meet the Press with host Tim Russert. It’s not surprising that Dean would show signs of this problem, since he manages often to let out the clutch on his mouth before he puts his tongue in gear with his brain. Not surprisingly, he can also be expected to lop off the last syllable of any word having more than two, so fast does he slap his lips together. It’s almost as if he’s afraid he simply will not have the opportunity in the media-op du jour to avail the world of ALL of his wisdom and so must talk as rapidly as possible.

In the interview with Russert, Dean made the statement: “Hypocrisy is a value that I think has been embraced by the Republican Party.” Well…okay, Dean has a right to his opinion, but don’t most folks think that hypocrisy, far from being a value, is a shortcoming to be avoided at all costs? Indeed, much is made by politicians of all stripes these days of value or family values or traditional values or some sort of values ad nauseam, among which, however, most decidedly is not hypocrisy. Of course, Dean may have been using value adversely just to indicate that the Republican Party is so corrupt or whatever that it actually embraces hypocrisy as something admirable, thus effectively showing its ignorance and moral turpitude. If so, kudos to the fast-talker from Vermont…but that’s an idea that doesn’t wash. Dean had his foot in his mouth.

A moment later, Dean made the statement: “I will use whatever position I have in order to root out hypocrisy.” Did he mean to root out hypocrisy from the republicans or root it out from the democrats or maybe from the French or even from Russert? Who knows? Admittedly, I didn’t observe most of the program. If he meant that hypocrisy resided only in the Republican Party and that he would root it out, wouldn’t that make the Republican Party a better entity? Well…only if it was a value, one supposes, since values are things that make a party look good; however, Dean had already made it clear that hypocrisy is a value, so that must be what he meant, meaning, one supposes, that he would harm his own party…or something like that…who knows?

A further example of H/M affliction was seen in this statement by Dean in the interview: “…Be careful when you talk about the shortcomings of somebody else when you haven’t removed the mote [italics mine] from your own eye.” This is all well and good and sounds very pontifical, but it’s a good example of why politicians, especially, need to be careful when quoting the Bible. A look at Matthew 7:5 (KJV): Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. Either Dean thought a mote (speck) was the same as a beam (a long piece of timber), or he simply clamped his foot securely among his bicuspids. Of course, he could have gotten – and probably did get – his metaphors terribly mixed, but he could hardly afford to laugh at the president’s inability to say nuclear, as many people do (not that Dean ever has), unless he gets his own act together, word-wise.

On the other hand, Dean may have meant that the non-threatening mote actually is in the eye of the republicans and that the beam, representing extreme perfidy, is preferable for the democrats. Politics being what it is on all levels, maybe he’s right. While it’s true that God makes the sun and rain available to both the just and the unjust (if biblical metaphors must be used or abused as the context of the day politically), Dean may be saying that the democrats believe in making the blessing/advantage available only upon themselves, greed (and other despicable things such as filibusters, especially of judicial nominees) being a good representation of the beam. In other words, Dean misspoke regarding the consensus-preferable mote being in the republicans’ collective eye, instead of the self-serving preferable beam, and that may start him down the road to DNC oblivion. Or, will it – politics being not so much the “art of the possible” as the “modus operandi of the irascible.”

Of course, there’s the thorny issue of what the Bible clearly said, which is that the beam is to be connected with the hypocrite…so, if Dean prefers the perfidious beam he must also accept that the democrats are the hypocrites, which is what he claimed the republicans to be…so, is he actually saying the democrats and republicans should be just alike, and, if so, is the mote preferable to the beam…or vice versa? Plainly, Dean might have been better served if he had simply confined his “religious remarks” to his eschewing of the Episcopal Church in favor of the Congregationalist, at least with respect to that infamous bike path, surely the broad highway to perdition, on which the Bible clearly states that many travel.

And so it goes

Jim Clark

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Smoking Gun vs. Chauvinism?

A short while ago, State Attorney General Greg Stumbo declared that he would not be a gubernatorial candidate in 2007 unless Governor Ernie Fletcher became “wildly unpopular.” Then (coincidentally?), dropped in his lap was that famous 288-page document from Doug Doerting, assistant personnel something-or-other in the somewhat infamous Transportation Department, with all sorts of claims about abuses in hiring with regard to merit jobs in his department. The Transportation Department was a source of constant irritation to Governor Patton’s administration because its honchos simply couldn’t escape the long arm of the law. One remembers, for instance, all the problems with kickbacks related to the painting (or non-painting) of the I-64 bridge over the Ohio River in Louisville. Mr. Doerting (conveniently) retired at the end of May.

Interestingly, this is a recent paragraph by Tony Fyffe in the Big Sandy News of Louisa, Ky.: In the four-year-old lawsuit, former highway department official Dan Hall accuses Doerting, assistant director for personnel services, of telling Hall to drop an issue involving alleged fraud in the highway department. Hall claims his reports of fraud and abuse led to a false job evaluation and his eventual removal from his job. Strangely, this matter, initiated in 2001, has not yet been resolved, and has the smell attached to it that Doerting has introduced in his recent maneuverings. Surely, AG Stumbo will look into this matter, though one should not hold one’s breath, democrats not anxious to put the hurt on one of their own, and, after all, Stumbo has only been in office for a year and a half…not enough time to take a look at the backlog.

Of similar interest was this statement by Stumbo noted in the Louisville Courier-Journal of May 17: Stumbo also said he was disappointed that his office had not been notified earlier of Doerting's allegations by state Auditor Crit Luallen or the Executive Branch Ethics Commission. Doerting met with officials in those offices earlier this year before meeting last week with Stumbo's investigators.

So…Stumbo is on the record as raising a humongous stink that just might cause the governor to be unpopular shortly after asserting that he would run only if the governor became unpopular. He has even talked already of the inevitable “smoking gun,” as well as the damning proof already in hand…but as yet not disclosed. He has performed admirably for the Lexington Herald-Leader and the Courier-Journal, both papers willing to make a deal even with the devil in order to do damage to Fletcher.

However, he may be pushing his luck a bit too far, with reference to Luallen, a popular democrat who has the added advantage of being a woman at a time when women are classified along with minorities, especially in the above-named papers, as being victims in a society in which victim-hood has risen to a place of unmitigated prominence. It has certainly been bandied about all over Kentucky for months that Ms. Luallen has her eye on the top job. So…in his slam against the lady, Stumbo may have crossed that unforgiving vale of chauvinism. If so, he’d better hope he finds lots of smoking guns in Doerting’s piles of papers. Not only will that help him against the guv; it will also help him against the lady. In fact, just as a show of good faith and all, maybe he ought to settle in on Doerting’s alleged peccadilloes. Nah! Never happen!

And so it goes

Jim Clark

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Boy Columnist Strikes Again

There’s an institution in Lexington known as the Headquarters for Enabling Riotous And Laughable Demagoguery (known for short by its acronym, HERALD). The people who work there experiment with far-out evils such as political patronage, pseudo-meritocracy, and (gasp) republicans. The department in which they work at HERALD is known as the Laboratory for Excitement And Delirium Energizing Reporting (known for short, of course, by its acronym, LEADER). The two departments are often combined in just the term HERALD-LEADER, italicized because it is sometimes called a newspaper.

HERALD-LEADER is controlled by a consortium/methodology operating under a theory known as Kinetic Energy Enervating Legitimate Intelligence in News-mongering Government (known for short by its acronym, KEELING), notwithstanding the fact that the theory is the mother of all oxymorons, since energy used to enervate amounts to the same as beating one’s head against the wall in order to pound intelligence into it (the head, that is), whether for news-mongering or anything else. The resident writer of articles for the op-ed page at the HERALD-LEADER is Boy Columnist (BC), who is actually known, coincidentally, by his nickname, Keeling.

Boy Columnist always refers to the state’s leading executive as Boy Governor (BG), and describes him as a non-factotum heading an administration referred to by BC as the Kiddie Korps (KK). BC, in turn, is part of the editorial consortium at the HERALD-LEADER known as the Giddy Gang (GG). Since this section of the paper is and has been run for a long time by ladies, some wags chauvinistically call this group the Girlie Gaggle, but no one who is politically correct and in his right mind would stoop to such a thing, except that maybe California Governor Arnold Schwarzeneggar might do so. The HERALD-LEADER’s publisher is male and the op-ed elitist columnist is male, so it’s only fair that the op-ed department belong to distaff staff.

Boy Columnist is a politically sensitive writer who is known for his ability to spot shady shenanigans, especially those having to do with merit-system abuse in government. He gained his nose for noticing nattering nabobs nominating non-entitlementists (okay, not a word, but get the picture) to jobs by simply observing democrats do this evil thing to republicans and especially to each other over a long period. Thus, he has launched a vicious campaign against BG and KK in behalf of BC and GG, not to mention the publisher, using the good auspices of the HERALD-LEADER to focus attention on alleged republican illegalities in hiring republicans instead of democrats and maybe a couple or three Green Peaceniks and Nader’s Raiders. Unfortunately, he has used the theory of KEELING in the process, and politically astute commentators have snickered in print and over the airwaves. Some have wondered at his mental state, since he admitted in a column of June 5 to being at one time possibly befuddled and confounded by his inhaling (accidental or otherwise) of lawnmower exhaust fumes. Since his lawn must be mowed regularly in Lexington, there may be something to the notion of Post-Traumatic-Lawnmower-Syndrome. If so, more’s the pity.

Another example in the HERALD-LEADER of PTLS/KEELING-think appeared in the editorial of June 5. The writer made much of the fact that 12.7% of Kentucky families existed below the poverty level in 2000. At that time only democrat administrations had ruled the state for some 30 years. However, in 2003 the number living below the poverty level was 14.3%, a decline of another 13% in just three more years of a democrat administration. Since the HERALD-LEADER is a virtual propaganda machine for the democrats, this little-known fact was not mentioned, but the editorialist(s), using KEELING-think apparently, figured no one would notice this further failure.

Likewise, the editorialist(s) mentioned that in 2000 there was a graduate rate of only 74.1% or higher (whatever that means) among resident hillbillies. In 2002, the public high school graduation rate was 64.9%, which…yeah, KEELING-think again. If that means anything, it mostly means the pork-barrel Kentucky Education Reform Act of 1990, passed by a democratic legislature and signed by a democratic governor, is a total bust, notwithstanding that much, if not most, of the Act has been rescinded. Only 1.33 generations of students have been harmed, but at the current rate – unless the school-based councils are disbanded – more disaster will be on line by the target year of perfection, 2015, when every student is supposed to be an “A” student with unrelentingly high self-esteem.

Using the Headquarters for Enabling Riotous And Laughable Demagoguery and the Laboratory for Excitement And Delirium Energizing Reporting, BC and GG are protecting the public from republican evils perpetrated by BG and KK, so no one should have trouble sleeping at night. It is to be hoped that BC will perform a similar act of public protection by warning lawnmower users to be careful…maybe even go electric or hand-scythe.

And so it goes

Jim Clark

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Special Prosecutor - MERCY!

The equivalent in the newspaper world of the “Oracle at Delphi,” otherwise known as the Louisville Courier-Journal, in its hugely superior wisdom has studied, philosophized, researched, and editorily-strained mightily to bring forth this 24-carat gem of wisdom: Kentucky Attorney General Greg Stumbo should appoint a special prosecutor to pursue the apparent abuses of the merit system by Gov. Ernie Fletcher's administration. … He should do it for two reasons. First, the public deserves the concentrated efforts of the best, most experienced prosecutor available to protect the integrity of its civil service from the kind of rank, spoils system manipulations that state whistleblowers have alleged . Second, the administration, after intially acknowledging error, is now circling the wagons, stalling for time and using Mr. Stumbo's own political ambitions as a smokescreen, accusing him of conducting a self-serving and partisan probe. … A high official in the Transportation Cabinet's personnel operation turned whistleblower and delivered to Mr. Stumbo a substantial body of evidence of seeming illegality.

WOW! Admittedly, one has to wait for a while until nearly uncontrollable laughter has subsided upon reading wisdom of this magnitude and rising from one’s collapse upon the floor at being exposed to such high-mindedness and gathering one’s traumatized wits from near oblivion in order to recognize the unmitigated genius that brought forth this declaration, complete with explanations so that the lowly reader can understand the gravity of the matter.

Although involving, if found, only misdemeanor-catalogued activity, the C-J, ever watchful for fair dealing and public disclosure of dastardly republican deeds, must surely be given kudos for recognizing the need for a special prosecutor. This suggestion places whatever the scandal is on a par with Nixon’s Watergate and Clinton’s Whitewater/Travel-Agency/Monica/IS-is perjury stuff. This definitely is not to be sneezed at! Or, could it be that a reporter saw someone in the governor’s office flushing the C-J down the toilet? Would that be reason enough for a newspaper to begin a campaign for impeachment?

Whether it intended to or not in its first explanation, the C-J pointed out unmistakably that Attorney General Stumbo is not up to the task of ferreting out serious misdemeanors. What this says about Stumbo’s ability to handle something on the level of a felony is…well…not kind, to say the least. In its second reason, the C-J does not deny that Stumbo has his own political ambitions as a smokescreen, [the administration] accusing him of conducting a self-serving and partisan probe. The least the editorialist might have done would simply have been to suggest that Mr. Stumbo has no political agenda, would absolutely choke upon experiencing a smokescreen, is not self-serving, and (gasp) has no partisan tendencies. But, he/she/they didn’t. H-m-m-m.

And the whistleblower? Gimme a break. This guy has been in the Transportation Cabinet doing something or other for 30 years or so…has been a cog in only democratic administrations all those years. A far bigger surprise would have been that no one came forth with shady accounts of (sorry, another gasp) patronage activity. The democrats have been at this business since time immemorial in Kentucky. The various democrat factions have perennially knifed each other in the back as part of the game, the devil take the hindmost. The wonder is that Doerting waited so long, although, considering the peccadilloes rampant in the Transportation Department in just the last democrat administration (and the jail terms), the wonder is that anyone from that agency would say anything about anything.

So…in great ultra-liberal tradition, the C-J is proposing a huge outlay of cash (say at least 25 lawyers at $250 per billable hour -- $50,000 per day or a million bucks a month for the next year-and-a-half), at which time there might be a great hullabaloo about two guys in Lincoln County who still had to shovel asphalt instead of being timekeepers. Gotta hand it to the C-J…they’re looking out for you…or is that O-Reilly’s line?

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Amnesty International - Whew!

Last week, Amnesty International called the detention center at Guantanamo Bay a "gulag," comparing it to the network of Soviet prison camps where tens of thousands of people were held under extremely harsh conditions for decades for alleged political crimes. AI’s Secretary General Irene Khan in a recent speech: Guantanamo has become the gulag [of] our times, entrenching the notion that people can be detained without any recourse to the law. … In 2004 thousands of people were held by the US in Iraq, hundreds in Afghanistan and undisclosed numbers in undisclosed locations.

AI is calling on the US Administration to "close Guantanamo and disclose the rest". What we mean by this is: either release the prisoners or charge and prosecute them with due process. … In 2004 our Report recorded incidents of religious humiliation of detainees in US custody, growing anti-Semitism in western Europe, including France and Belgium, and Islamophobia in Europe and North America. Ironic that this should happen as we mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

This is the sort of hogwash that destroys any credibility AI might actually be able to induce and maintain. The detainees at Gitmo need to be there because they are a danger to society anywhere else. Send them back to Afghanistan and turn them loose to kill and maim Afghanis and Americans again…or enslave women and prohibit girls from attending school? As Gen. McAuliffe told the Nazis at Bastogne in December 1944 when he was offered the opportunity to surrender – NUTS!

Gulag indeed! Ms. Kahn apparently has no conception whatever of what inhumane prison conditions are. Ask the American survivors of the Bataan death march who actually survived their enslavement in Japan’s coal mines 1942-45, starved almost to death. Ask the American POWs who spent months or years in the German stalags and/or concentration camps, while German and Italian prisoners in this country never had it so good, many of them working the farms in the Bluegrass and eating high on the hog…and being paid for it. The Afghan thugs at Gitmo are probably living better than they ever have, studying their Korans and remarking the parts that order them to “kill the infidel (Americans)” whenever it is possible to do so. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld has made it abundantly clear that the Gitmo inmates have their Korans and are availed of special provisions for their religious beliefs, including the proper food and the opportunity to pray. Prisoners in other places are lucky to get weak soup and a slice of bread per day…or unlucky enough to have their heads chopped off.

Is it any wonder that there’s some Islamophobia in Europe and North America? In the first place, the Koran DOES approve – even demand – the killing of infidels. Using four planes as ballistic missiles and killing 3,000 people in a matter of minutes in the name of Allah is not exactly obeying the Golden Rule, found in the Holy Bible. Olde Europe is gradually becoming Muslim, since the native birth rates in countries such as France and Germany are below sustainable native levels while the rates among the Muslims are much higher. Europeans need to worry – big-time.

Kahn and her gang need to realize that the rank and file are not much concerned with Gitmo or Abu Ghraib (Saddam’s little gang), knowing full well that people are not being tortured in these places. If they get their feelings hurt over a few things, so what! They haven’t minded killing innocent people by the thousands. The Holy Bible could be flushed into sewers all over the world and AI would not likely have anything to say. Nor would most Americans because they have better sense than to believe their destiny is tied up in documents, sacred or secular.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Friday, June 03, 2005

DNC Dean and DFA Dean

Conservatives not only in Kentucky but in the rest of the country, as well, can only be heartened by the direction being taken by the democrats, particularly as it’s established by DNC chairman Howard Dean, former Vermont governor and president wannabe. This is a quote from the Web site of Democracy for America: “Dean founded Democracy for America in 2004 to build on the grassroots momentum for reform that his bid for the presidency sparked. The movement propelled DFA into a successful national organization in just a few short months. In February 2005 Governor Dean resigned from the leadership of DFA to chair the Democratic National Committee.”

This just about says it all with respect to where the emphases will be placed in the run-up to both the congressional elections next year and the presidential race in 2008. This is another quote from the DFA Web site: “Inspired by the presidential campaign of Howard Dean, Democracy for America (DFA) is a political action committee dedicated to supporting fiscally responsible, socially progressive candidates at all levels of government—from school board to the presidency. DFA fights against the influence of the far right-wing and their radical, divisive policies and the selfish special interests that for too long have dominated our politics.” The magic words are “political action committee” (PAC), meaning that, just as in 2004, billionaires like Soros and outfits like the lunatic-fringe MoveOnOrg gang can pump millions of dollars into the democrat war-chest, thus bankrolling candidates vying for such obvious democratic priorities as making sure activist judges make law, instead of interpreting the Constitution.

How much effect will the DFA, Howard Dean’s own left-wing organization, have on the Democrat Party? Here is another quote from the DFA Web site: “DFA has a long-term goal that looks past November 2004. This organization will rebuild the Democratic Party from the bottom up—it will take time, but we must start building a base now for the future.” Here again, conservatives can take heart, since it is obvious that the democrat base, as determined by the Deaniacs, will be formed by the likes of Dean, Harkin, Kennedy, Biden, Byrd, Kerry, Schumer and others of the usual suspects who seem hell-bent on taking the country down the road to socialism, military weakness, and accommodations with the world within the parameters set by the United Nations. It is likely that Senator Clinton will distance herself from Dean and the above-named, whose many years of statements and/or voting records weigh them with too much loony-tunes baggage to escape the unforgiving test of common sense. Actually, some of the above probably will distance themselves, also, from Dean as they realize the condemnation of guilt by association.

The chairman of DFA is James H. Dean, Howard Dean’s brother. One wonders how this circumstance compares to the democrat/media charge that House Leader Tom Delay has committed the unpardonable sin of placing relatives on his campaign apparatus…and (gasp) actually paying them. One also wonders if Howard Dean’s placement in the entire democrat picture gives him the edge the next time around in the presidential sweepstakes. It’s sort of shocking that any political party would place a relatively young, high-profile, highly active former and recent presidential contender in Dean’s DNC position, where, besides plumping for the party, he can plump for himself. Maybe it was an act of inoculation against the Dean Disease. A doctor, Dean might understand that.

And so it goes

Jim Clark

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Americans Persevere!

This is a paragraph by Joe Conason that appeared the other day in the New York Observer: “Although the ongoing carnage in Iraq no longer gets the headlines reserved for exhibitionist celebrities, even the flickering attention paid to death’s daily drumbeat is too much for certain war enthusiasts. A conservative columnist for The New York Times has suggested that the media simply cease coverage of suicide bombings. This was a strange proposal from someone working for one of the world’s most important news organizations, but one that aptly reflected current attitudes in the White House, the Defense Department and much of official Washington.”

I don’t know if the conservative columnist to which Conason referred made such a suggestion, but the suggestion might be a good one in the sense that depriving the insurgents of the publicity accruing to the suicide bombers might dampen their enthusiasm for sending naïve, young Muslims to their deaths and conning them into believing that some sort of exotic paradise awaits self-styled martyrs “on the other side.” Also, it is doubtful that Conason has any better idea than I about the “current attitudes in the White House, the Defense Department and much of official Washington.” It could be that officials have just the opposite attitude, since accounts of these animalistic practices in the name of religion could be considered as another worthy reason for wiping out once and for all the instigators of suicide/homicide. Conason’s “flickering attention” remark, bedsides being humongously off-the-wall, is a slam at all his liberal colleagues in the media, who make it a point to grind out Bush-hating material on the war every day. CBS Rather-standin Bob Schieffer, for instance, offers a bio of a fallen warrior on the daily CBS evening news program in every broadcast.

The proper comparison of today’s suicide idiots, though not even close to being in the same league with respect to carnage, would be with the youthful kamikaze pilots sent out by their Japanese warlords to aim themselves and their bomb-laden planes at U.S. Navy ships in the waning months of World War II. The Japanese masochist-generals/admirals managed to get 7,465 of their youngsters incinerated while they sank 120 American ships and killed 3,048 Americans and wounded another 6,025. By contrast, whereas the Japanese beasts managed to kill the enemy while killing their own, the suicide bombers of today kill their own fellow Muslims, indiscriminately butchering women, children, and policemen, but few, comparatively speaking, American personnel (the ostensible enemy), though just one American lost is one too many. Indeed, the loss and maiming of all the victims represents needless carnage and remarks the instigators for just what they are – bloodthirsty animals of which the world must be rid, whether in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Indochina, or anywhere else. They represent the equivalent of weapons of mass destruction, as the number of their victims increases.

Although the loss of one GI is too much, it needs to be remembered when contemplating the casualty figures that the U.S. citizenry never flagged in its support of other wars, even though the numbers of dead and wounded were astronomical – actually unbelievable by most of today’s generation. Since the beginning of Afghanistan/Iraq hostilities, there has been an average of two-to-three American military deaths per day, whether by combat, accident, disease or other. During the Vietnam War era (roughly 1964-72 [when last U.S. troops left in August]), the average was 20 dead per day. During the Korean Conflict (1950-53), the average number of military deaths was 34 per day. During the roughly four-and-a-half actual years of combat in the combined World War I and II eras (1917-18, 1942-45), the average number of deaths per day was a shocking 320. In those two wars alone, a number larger than that of the deaths on 9/11 died every ten days through a period of 1,643 consecutive days. The bloody per-day average of military deaths during the Civil War of 1861-65 was an unbelievable 340.

This is not to say that any death is acceptable. It is to remind people like Conason that Americans, in a cause that is just, will accept the trauma that accompanies any war. The constant “drumbeat of death” by the anti-establishment media amounts to their preaching to the choir, but it doesn’t faze the average guy, who has sense enough to understand what’s at stake in this dangerous world.

Jim Clark

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Deep Throat -- Impeachment Redux

Deep Throat – Impeachment Redux


The “Deep Throat” affair is thankfully over, not that there probably haven’t been quite a number of people who have known the identity of Mark Felt, deputy FBI director in the early 70s, for a long time. Some have even written accurately about Felt, though terribly inaccurate statements have been made by other prominent folks. Starting in 1999 under the leadership of Professor Bill Gaines, investigative-reporting classes at the University of Illinois spent some four years of intensive work and came up with the indisputable fact that Fred Fielding, President Nixon’s deputy counsel, was Deep Throat. One wonders how much egg is on how many faces at this point. This motley crew was even interviewed, thus apparently taken seriously, by Aaron Brown of CNN.

There are no laurels to be thrown toward Felt. Even as a whistleblower, he chose the wrong direction to take, since he should have taken his case to proper government agencies. If that had failed, he could have gone public at any time, especially at a time when Congress was heavily controlled by the democrats, disseminated all the information that he had, and a much cleaner conclusion to the matter could have been effected. As it is, Woodward and Bernstein (whose son apparently spilled the beans to a friend many years ago), the Washington Post reporters who broke the story, operated more in plain good luck than anything else, and have that to credit for their tremendous success in exploiting the whole matter, gaining fame and fortune in the process. Even low-echelon government operatives are bound by their oaths of loyalty, so Felt, as a top official, comes off looking like little more than a “royal rat.” It is highly probable that his actions were/are subjects for a criminal investigation. There’s a big difference between gossiping to reporters and protecting both official information and the reputation of the nation’s top law-enforcement agency.

The “Nixon matter” furnishes fodder for speculation – maybe even more than just speculation – about how nearly everything in government stinks. In 1974, there were 56 democrats and 42 republicans (2 of neither party) in the Senate, meaning that on a straight party-line vote the two-thirds (66 votes) needed to convict on an impeachment charge could never have been accomplished. The House approved the three articles of impeachment against Nixon by a vote of 412-3, though the democrat majority stood at only 242-192.

The “Clinton matter” furnishes an interesting comparison. In 1998, there were 55 republicans and 45 democrats in the Senate, meaning that on a straight party-line vote there also would have been no conviction on an impeachment charge. The House approved two articles of impeachment against President Clinton by a vote of 228-206 on a perjury charge and 221-212 on an obstruction-of-justice charge. The republican majority in the House stood at 227-207. In the Senate trial, the perjury charge failed (45 votes for) and the vote on the obstruction charge was even, 50-50.

Nixon was the victim of overwhelming non-partisan voting in the House, while Clinton fared much better as the recipient of strictly partisan voting. The message was clear to Nixon that he had no chance in a trial in the Senate, since not even the republicans would buck the unmistakable statement made by the House. He resigned, the first and only president to do so.

Clinton, on the other hand, knew that the House had made no real statement, notwithstanding the truth of it, in his impeachment problem and therefore felt safe. He, of course, did not resign, knowing that he could easily ride out the storm, since the Senate democrats would never join in a conviction that required 66 votes. Guilt or innocence was not actually the prime consideration in either matter…it was just “politics as usual.” While Nixon probably had nothing to do with the Watergate break-in, he did attempt a cover-up, so this is no brief that he should have stayed in office. Clinton was doubtlessly guilty as charged, but he walked. Either both should have resigned or should have stayed in office. In this corner, it wouldn’t have mattered which, since neither Nixon nor Clinton was any worse or better or law-abiding than probably 98% of the whole miserable Washington crowd.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark