Thursday, July 29, 2004

This day in military history

On this day (29 July) in British military history, in 1588, the English fleet under the command of Lord Charles Howard and Sir Francis Drake defeated the Spanish Armada off the coast of Gravelines, France.

On this day (29 July) in US military history, in 1945, a Japanese submarine sunk the crusier USS Indianapolis after it had delivered the atom bomb to the island of Tinian.  Of the 1,196 crewmen abord the Indianapolis, 883 seamen died.  Some 350 crewmen were killed in the initial attack and the rest died from wounds, exposure or sharks.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

The Great El-ahrairah is out of the office

Due to my upcoming vacation, the Great El-ahrairah will not be posting or posting very lightly for the next month.  I'm going to the Great State of Utah (AKA "Zion" or "the promised land") to see my Sainted Parents and my gun-grabbing, animal-killing, ozone-depleting Worthless Brother (and his Sainted Wife and Kids).  While there, I may or may not go live my "Castaway" fantasy of being stranded on a desert island full of topless, nubile native girls who will attend to my every need (depends on what the Sainted Wife says).  So, think of me when you are stuck in a John Kerry campaign rally being bored to tears while the Gigolo drones on about how he has "nuanced posititons" on the legal amount of bomb-making material that Islamic terrorists can carry on a commercial airliner or how he would fight the terrorists better than Bush (for at least four months before heading for the exit).

What gun to buy?

Kim du Toit linked to a column by Mike Adams who described some of the guns he thinks everyone should own, which, of course, triggered a similar column by Mr. du Toit.  Waaay back about a year ago, in the old Warren days, Captain Holly wrote a series of similar posts, based on my own experiences and opinions.  I won't bother Bigwig to dig it from his archives (he rarely shows up here anymore, anyway.  It must be all that fishing).  I'll just rewrite a relatively short, updated version.
This is America, and unless you are trying to buy some eeevil Class III weapons, the average American can walk into a gun store and buy pretty much any gun he wants to (which is as it should be, BTW).  There's a wide variety of firearms available in a whole range of calibers and styles (and after that idiotic AW ban expires, there should be even more).  But for working-class guys like myself, who have limited funds, what are the best choices?
I based my choices on three criteria:
1.  Availability.  Is the gun found at virtually every gun store, or do you have to special order it from a dealer?  Is it in a caliber that is widely used, or do you have to stock up on expensive ammo?  Are parts, accessories, and add-ons easily obtained, or if something breaks, you're SOL?
2.  Practicality.  Is the gun adapted to multiple uses, or is it good only for hunting Alaskan brown bears?  Would it be useful in the event of Total Societal Meltdown, or is it limited by capacity or action (think muzzleloader or single-shot)? 
3.  Cost.  Is the gun relatively affordable, or is it so expensive you won't dare shoot it or even take it out of its case?  Can you spend a day at the range for less than $20, or does even sighting it in cost more than a tank of gas?
So for those who are looking for the best options, here are the six types of guns that every gun owner should have:
1.  A bolt-action rifle with an adjustable scope, in .308 Win. or .30-06 Springfield.  Reliable design, cheap ammo, good performance.  If you're going to hunt only deer or antelope, go with the .308; elk or bear, go with the .30-06.  I'm partial to Savage package guns, available at any gun store, price runs from $350 to $450.
2.  A .22 rimfire rifle.  For price, performance, accessories and all-out fun, you can't beat the Ruger 10/22, which is why they sell so much of them.  And you can buy it virtually anywhere.  Price:  $175 to $250.
3.  A 12-gauge pump-action shotgun.  A pump-action 12-gauge is the gold standard for both bird hunting and self-defense (which is why so many police agencies use them).  There is a wide range of loads available for anything from grouse to deer.  I bought a Mossberg 500 package gun, with an extra 18.5 inch "home defense" barrel included.  Big 5 Sporting Goods price:  $200.
4.  A semi-automatic, detachable magazine-fed centerfire rifle, otherwise known as an Eeevil Assault Weapon.  Great gun for plinking, target shooting, jackrabbit slaughtering, Diane Feinstein enraging, etc.  Get one in a standard military caliber, such as .223 Remington, 7.62 X 39, or 7.62 NATO; this ensures that you can always get cheap, jacketed ammo.  I, like thousands of others, own a Ruger Mini-14, which unlike the AK clones or the SKS is still legal in most gun-hating Blue states (except Noo Joisey).  Price:  $450-500.
(Note: don't overlook the M-1 carbine either.  Fun little rifle).
5.  A semi-automatic, centerfire pistol.  This is a self-defense/carry gun, and should be in one of the standard military/police calibers:  9 mm Luger, .40 S&W, or .45 ACP, depending on your tolerance for recoil and your desire for knock-down power.  Lots of choices, I would recommend one of the Ruger P Series, simply because they are affordable and widely available.  Price:  $350-$450.
6.  A .22 rimfire pistol.  I added this choice simply because it allows for more practice for less money.  My recommendation would be one of the Ruger Mark IIs, but there are several others.  Price:  $275-350.
So, adding it all up, a person can go out and (depending on local laws) buy an entire basic gun collection that will allow him to hunt most North American game animals, target shoot, plink, and defend self and others for only about $2000.
Is this a great country, or what? 

Gun Fun

Kim du Toit has invited his readers to participate in a hypothetical gun shopping spree.  You have inherited a from a crotchety old uncle a gift certificate from a local gun store worth $10,000.  What guns do you buy?

I have my ideas.  But this is about as close to a gun shopping spree that I am going to be for quite some time.  I came to the realization a couple of years ago that my gun buying days were over, or at least postponed for a while.  With 3.5 kids, a stay-at-home homeschooling wife, and a new house payment, a $1,350 Springfield Armory M-1A is simply not possible right now.

Gun owners regularly argue and bicker about which gun is the best.  Gun owner A will praise his new Model X in caliber Y, which will be immediately followed by someone saying that Model X is a POS and besides, caliber Z has more stopping power.  It's a natural feature of any discussion of guns.

But there is definitely a "Ferrari Mentality" among gun owners.  I've seen people recommend an expensive, match-grade pistol to a novice who has never been shooting in his life, or suggest a custom-built hunting rifle in some obscure caliber to someone who only hunts once or twice a year.  Nice guns, but for working-class stiffs like me they are grossly impractical.

It's like recommending that I buy a Lexus to drive to work.  Now the Lexus is a fine automobile, probably one of the best money can buy.  But for the price of one Lexus I can buy two Chevrolets, and keep them registered, insured, maintained, and filled with gas for one year.  They will get me to work just fine.  And I won't be so paranoid about having them damaged or stolen, either.

Same thing with guns.  I don't dispute that a SIG or a Kimber are excellent pistols, or that Weatherbys are fine rifles.  I just can't afford or justify spending that kind of money.  A cheap gun in the hand is worth two expensive guns in the store, and the highest-quality gun is worthless if you can't afford to buy it or even shoot it regularly.


Better than clubbing baby seals

Again from the StrategyPage.  The US millitary will be fielding yet another upgrate to the AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missile called the AMRAAM-D.  The new missile will incorporate a data-link which will allow the missile to report back it's status to the pilot and enable the pilot to "see" what the missile radar "sees".  It will also allow the pilot to engage targets that outside of his normal field of view, such as engaging an enemy aircraft which was behind the pilot and moving into position for a tail shot.  Before these improvements, engaging enemy aircraft with the AIM-120 was described as easy as "clubbing baby seals", so after the improvements, it will now be "better than clubbing baby seals".  Looks like even Brigitte Bardot can't save those "baby seals" now.


The facts do not support liberal arguments

Here's another interesting post from the StrategyPage.  It has to do with the favorite liberal argument that Iraq is a Vietnam-style "quagmire".  I will post the entire article because of the StrategyPage problem with not really "link rot" but older posts dropping off the webpage.

ATTRITION: Comparisons to Vietnam

July 28, 2004: American casualties in Iraq are often compared to those suffered during the Vietnam war. On an annual basis, American combat deaths per 1,000 troops in Iraq have been about 3.6. During the Vietnam war it varied from year to year, as the following chart shows.

Year      Combat Dead     Troops in Vietnam       Dead per 1,000
1966                   5,008                       385,000                          13.0
1967                    9,378                       486,000                          19.3
1968                  14,592                       535,000                          27.3
1969                    9,414                       475,000                           19.8
1970                    4,221                       334,000                           12.6
1971                    1,380                       156,000                             8.8
1972                       300                        24,000                            12.5

Why are the casualties in Iraq so much lower? After all, in both wars, most of the fighting was against irregulars, who operated among civilians. There are several major differences. Most importantly, the troops in Iraq are better trained and have more time in the military than was the case in Vietnam. The American officers and NCOs in Iraq are better trained as well. Another major factor is superior equipment, which ranges from more effective body armor, to better radios and lots of robots and UAVs. While it’s easier to credit better technology, by far the most important reason for the lower casualties has been the quality of the troops. This quality also leads to more effective tactics being developed and used. Some soldiers who have been in Iraq, and had seen combat in Vietnam (usually older reservists) have observed that the Vietnam communists they faced in the 1960s were much more capable than the Iraqis. But that is partly because the Vietnamese fighters had more experience at that kind of warfare, having been at it since the late 1930s. The Iraqis are new to it. 

It generally goes unnoticed in the mass media that the casualty rate among American troops in Iraq is at a historical low. This is a remarkable achievement in military history, and will be studied for decades to come, even if it was not noticed much while it was happening.
So from the following data, we see that between the years 1966-1972, the lowest year for casualties per 1,000 troops was 1971 with 8.8 deaths per 1,000.  Contrast that with the current rate of 3.6 combat deaths per 1,000 shows that liberal arguments about Iraq becoming another Vietnam are at best over-blown and at worse, outright liberal lies.
Because playing "what if" scenarios are so much fun, let's extrapolate the total number of combat deaths for Iraq using the figure of 3.6 combat deaths per 1,000 over the same number of years (7) as Vietnam.  Using round numbers, let's estimate that there are 130,000 combat troops in Iraq.  At a rate of 3.6 deaths per 1,000, that would equal a total of 468 combat deaths in Iraq per year.  Take that number times the number of years in the sample (7) so that if the entire Iraq war lasted as long as the Vietnam War, we would expect 3,276 combat deaths.  Now, compare that to the amount of combat deaths during the Vietnam War (44,293) and we can easily see that the total amount of deaths during a seven-year Iraq War would be less than 10% (actually closer to 7.4%) of the total number of actual combat deaths during the Vietnam War.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that the argument that Iraq is a quagmire is not supported by the facts, but since most liberals are "mathematically challenged", they will be unable to comprehend these simple facts.  So, from the Great El-ahrairah Rules of Life, Rule #2 states: "Liberals cannot understand numbers larger than the amount of fingers and toes on two hands and two feet".

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Deja vu all over again?

I don't know about you, but isn't the on-going saga of the disappearance of Lori Hacking and her husband Mark is starting to smell like the on-going saga of the disappearance of Laci Peterson and her husband Scott? 

Bring on the clowns

The Democratic "Destroy America from Within" Travelling Snake-Oil Roadshow has arrived in Boston, Massachusetts to nominate John "The War Hero" Kerry for president.  For the next week, we will be subjected to the media telling us how the "sun shines out of the Gigolo's arse" and how we would all be as "intelligent" as them if we voted for him in November.  The Great El-ahrairah has pretty well decided to not watch any of the "festivities" since he sees it in the same light as pornography.  I don't need to "examine" or "watch" pornography to know that it is garbage and has no redeeming qualities in the same way that I don't need to hear or watch the Democratic Convention to know that the world's supply of fecal material will be spewed forth from the mouths of the second biggest group of human coprophagans the US after the UN (Yeah! I won double points by not only spelling the word right but by also using it in a sentence!).  So, unless there is a terrorist attack or Bill Clinton announces that he will be undergoing "sexual reassignment surgery", I won't waste my time to watch.

Monday, July 26, 2004

The Tour de Lance

The Great El-ahrairah just came back from another "invasion" of the beachs of southern France.  To any Americans who don't already know or care, Texican and current boyfriend of Sheryl Crow, Lance Armstrong, won the Tour de France for a record sixth time in a row.  Since Lance is an American, many Europeans wanted him to lose and told him so on more than one occasion.  I follow cycling to a certain extent and watched most of the mountain stages of the Tour.  Until the mountain stages, there was still a chance that he could loose, but after the first two mountain stages where he came from more than 9 minutes back from the leader to only 22 seconds and at the same time destroying any serious competition, it was really a foregone conclusion that he would make history.  The French are saying that he must be doping or something, but after seeing how he completely dominated his rivals, he must be a robot or at least bionic.

Here is another small fact to think about.  The Tour de France is such a grueling race that it's like running a marathon every day for 21 days.  As a result, many of the 198 riders who started the Tour this year dropped out due to injuries, fatigue, back luck, etc.  Depending on the year, more than 50% of the riders who start the tour may never finish, so it is unusual for a cycling team to have it's full complement of riders at the end of the tour.  US Postal, the team which Lance Armstrong rides for, finished the tour this year with all nine of it's riders, which is a tribute to just how well-conditioned the riders for US Postal are.  Just like any other sport, the team that is in the best shape at the start of the season is usually the team that will win the championship.

Lance may be back next year to try for a record seventh Tour, but in the annals of history, he isn't the best cyclist ever.  There are three major cycling races ever year, the Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta Ciclista a Espana.  Lance has won the Tour six times, but has never won or entered the other two.  The best cyclist ever, Eddie Merckx from Belgium, won the Tour fives times, the Giro five times and the Vuelta once during the 60's/70's.  In today's world of specialization, I'm not so sure that winning all three in the same year is possible, but it would be interesting to see if Lance could do it.  He has said that now he has set the record for Tour wins, he wants to compete in some of the other races, so maybe next year, we could see Lance dominate these other races.  Only time will tell.

Friday, July 23, 2004

A tale of two reports

Here is an example of "media bias".  A court in Texas has upheld a ban on same-sex adoption and I have provided links here and here to two reports of the same court ruling.  Go and read both versions of the court ruling and see which one you agree with more.  Now, think back to the "bad old days" before there was Drudge, FOXNews and Internet blogging.  Guess which version you would have never seen.  Sounds a bit like censorship, ne c'est-pas (Argggh!  French!!)?  If you have ever watched StarTrek, you have probably heard of the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition.  Well, from the Great El-ahrairah Rules of Life, Rule #1 states: "The worst offenders of censorship and freedom of speech are liberals".  Remember that when the liberals start complaining that FOXNews channel is "biased".

Why am I not surprised.

Just as the Great El-ahrairah predicted earlier here and here, a lesbian couple who were married in Massachusetts has decided to sue, not only their state guv-mint (Florida) but also the federal guv-mint to have their "marriage" legally recognized in the rest of the United States.  If the donks want the drumbeat of gay marriage to go away so they can focus on how Bush "lied", it doesn't seem that gays want to cooperate.  Pray for the lawsuit to get "class-action" status before the election to keep this first and foremost in everyone's mind.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

The biggest holiday in Utah

For those of you who just can't get enough of parades, "cheesy" beauty pagents, watermelon-eating contests and fireworks, the Great State of Utah is the place to be this weekend.  The 24th of July is Pioneer Day in the Great State of Utah and the end of the Days of '47 celebration.  This holiday commemorates the day in 1847 when the Mormon pioneers, led by the prophet Brigham Young, entered the Salt Lake Valley and he uttered those immortal words, "This is the place" (some think that he really uttered "This is the right place." but they are usually liberals).  For members of the LDS Church, this is the biggest holiday in the state, even surpassing Independence Day, and just like Independence Day, most eveyone gets the day off from work, except the federal guv-mint.  Now if we could only find a holiday where the bankers have to work.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

This is simply unbelievable

I heard about this yesterday.  I am simply speechless.  The callousness, the craven materialism, the self-serving attitude of this woman is utterly incomprehensible.  Others have provided some great comments, however.
It is not hyperbole to call this woman a Nazi.  Her disregard for the lives of her children is sickening.  And her spineless wimp of a boyfriend is even more disgusting.
For all those who say "Don't judge her until you walk a mile in her shoes", I say fuck you.  I have walked a mile in her shoes, and I'm still walking.
I am a mid-level government scientist.  My wife is a stay-at-home mother.  This woman and her boyfriend probably make 3 to 4 times the money I make.  Not only that, but I have three children, ages 14, 5, and 3.  At the time they made their "decision", this couple had none.
About 5 months ago, my wife and I were quite surprised (and very dismayed) to find out that we are going to have yet another daughter.  This was probably the worst thing that could have happened to us, financially speaking.  Because I changed positions last year and no longer get a travel allowance, I ended up taking a $150/month pay cut at my job.  We were still able to make ends meet, but it was tight.  We refinanced our small but comfortable 1800 sq. ft. house at a great rate, and I was actively planning to retire in about 14 to 15 years when the house was paid off.
Now we have to move to a larger house to accomodate our new child.  I am already looking for a better paying job, or a part-time job to help make ends meet.  Our decade-old cars will not be replaced for at least another three years.  I will probably have to work for another 18 to 20 years before I can retire.  There will be no big vacation next year.  Christmas this year will be tight.
However, even with the tight budget, even with the new sacrifices, even with the disruption to our future plans, we never even considered killing this baby.  Never.
And, come to think of it, only our first child was "planned" and "expected".  Our second was planned but unexpected; the last two have been both unplanned and unexpected.  But there was never any question as to whether or not we would have any of them.  They are my children.  And had some doctor shown me their heartbeats and then suggested injecting concentrated potassium chloride into their hearts,  I would have seriously considered shooting him.
I do not consider myself to be a militant pro-lifer.  I believe that there are situations when abortion is justifiable; namely, in cases of rape, incest, or threat to the life of the mother.  None of these were present in this case.  It was a killing of convenience, pure and simple.
Some may criticize me as extreme for failing to consider abortions in case of grave fetal deformity.  Once again, I've been there, done that.  My second daughter was diagnosed at high risk for Down's Syndrome, due to high alpha fetal protein levels.  My wife had to go in for an in-depth ultrasound examination to detect any physical defects.  Thankfully, there were none, and she was born healthy.  Yet even as we waited for the examination to begin, we decided that no matter what, this baby would be born.  We were not going to kill our daughter just to spare us the difficulty of raising a child with Down's Syndrome.
I do not wish to sound alarmist, but I seriously begin to wonder whether our society can survive such depraved attitudes such as those displayed by this "feminist".  It is one thing to have legal abortions for cases of extreme necessity; it is another altogether to have legal abortions to spare upper-class Manhattanites the embarrassment of shopping at Costco.

Captain Holly has returned

The Great Mount St. Helens expedtion was a resounding success.  The son and I did alot of camping throughout the Pacific Northwest, hiked to the top of St. Helens, visited Mt. Rainier, saw two black bears (one ambled right past our cabin door), camped under 250 foot-tall Douglas firs, and had a roaring good time.  It has been somewhat disorienting to come back to the civilized world.
The only thing I wasn't able to do was fish, and that was largely due to the cost of out-of-state licenses.  I know Bigwig will consider this to be heresy, but I simply didn't make it a priority on this trip.
Unfortunately, efforts to get pictures of the trip posted have been so far unsucessful.  I'll keep working on it.
Now, let's get back to politics. 

On this date in history.....

On 20 July 1944,  Adolf Hitler escaped being killed by a briefcase bomb, thereby prolonging World War II for another 10 months and costing the lives of countless people.  Today, 60 years later, Germany paid tribute to the leader of the plotColonel Claus von Stauffenberg and his fellow conspirators.  It is interesting how just the simple act of moving a briefcase to the other side of a table saved the life of Hitler and prolonged the war.  As had been said before, "For want of a horse, a war was lost...."

And he wants to be the vice president

Senator John "Ambulance Chaser" Edwards likes to brag about how his time serving in the Senate on the Senate Judiciary Committee, but my hometown newspaper (not quite, but close enough), the Deseret News, has an interesting article describing exactly how much time he actually spent doing his job.  OK, take a guess.  75%?  60%?  50%?  Try 33% before he decided to run for president.  Since he started running for president, it has natually gotten worse.  I guess the only reason that his presence is required is to block President Bush's judicial nominees.  I wonder how much time he would spend on the job if elected vice-president.  Not much if this is any indicator, except to make some bogus "symbolic" vote.  I guess the people of North Carolina don't care too much about getting their money's worth from their national representatives.

Monday, July 19, 2004

See, the Great El-ahrairah told you so.........

Well, that didn't take too long to "pop-out" (just like Janet Jackson's nipple). Former Clinton adminstration National Security Advisor, Sandy Berger, is being "probed" for removing classified documents and notes from a secure room during preparations for the "bi-partisan" (read: Democratic) Sept. 11 commision hearings.  As I blogged previously here, the whole raison d'etre (Cool. French. I'm an intellectual.) for this commission is to pin the blame for Sept. 11 on President Bush and hide anything incriminating that the Clinton administration may have done.  And what better way of doing that than have the former Clinton administration National Security Advisor (who obviouosly knows where all the bodies are buried) hide all the evidence.
In yet another angle that was pointed out by Stefan from That Liberal Media (Thanks to Michelle Malkin) is that Sandy Berger is an "informal" advisor to John "the Gigolo" Kerry.  Apparently he is "informing" him on more than just national security issues (like how to cover up a paper trail).
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that the so-called "bi-partisan" Sept. 11 commission hearings are just another smokescreen for the Democrats to bash President Bush in the name of national security.  Remember boys and girls: Terrorists and people who hate the USA (like Michael Moore) vote Democrat.  True patriots and people who love the USA vote Republican.  Which side are you going to be on come November?

Thursday, July 15, 2004

It's better than being called "Sir"

Melbourne, Australia has decided to honor hard rockers AC/DC by renaming a street "AC/DC Lane". I guess that's better than naming a freeway "The AC/DC Memorial Highway to Hell". Maybe the state of Michigan could name something after Ted Nugent? How 'bout the "Ted Nugent Memorial Kill It and Grill It National Wildlife Free-Fire Zone"? What do you think Cap'n?

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

A battle lost but not the war

The Senate, back by Democrats and six Republicans (Traitors!) caved into the Hollywood Left and voted to stop the federal marriage amendment by a vote of 50-48. Senators John "Flip-Flop" Kerry and John "Pretty Boy" Edwards declined to vote and decided it was better to fool voters than tell the truth. The Great E-ahrairah is disappointed but not surprised. There wasn't enough support to begin with and with the Senate Republicans being unable to decide between two amendments, this played into the Democrats hands and the measure died a quick death in the Senate this year.

The Great El-ahrairah supports amending the Constitution to define marriage in the US as only between a man and a woman. I am not so sure about providing "domestic partnership" safeguards though. At this time, I do not know if they would eventually undermine the institution of marriage or not. I am still forming an opinion as to whether to support them and also to what extent.

The question of gay marriage will not go away anytime soon and is already popping up in congressional campaign ads around the nation. Could this be the classis example of losing a battle but winning the war? Only time and the November election will tell.

A preview of more "conflicts of interest"?

The Great El-ahrairah has stumbled across yet another example of more John "Flip-Flop" Kerry conflict of interest. Most of us can remember how during the primary election season, Senator Flip-Flop stated that he would change the corporate tax code to crackdown on companies doing business overseas avoid taxes. Well, come to find out, there would be tax loophole for companies that are organized a certain way and you have three guesses (the first two don't count) which well-known company that produces ketchup and other food condiments is organized that way. OK, for all the liberals out there who don't know the answer without being told by Michael Moore, the answer is Heinz Ketchup. The loony left screams and hyper-ventilates about Vice-President Dick Cheney and Haliburton, BUT we don't hear anything from them about this blantant conflict of interest. If elected president, you can be assured that Democratic party minions in Congress would funnel all kinds of tax breaks and loopholes to Teresa Heinz's company. You would expect situation like this to show up in third-world countries of South America and Africa (even Canada), but not the US. Yet another reason why voting for Senator Conflict of Interest is a very, very, very bad idea.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

In case you had any doubts 2.......

My previous post (In case you had any doubts...) about the LDS Church position on gay marriage generated some comments ("Wow! Two Comments! And not from my worthless brother either!") and instead of responding to them in the comments, I decided to devote another post to the responses. Many people have said that gay marriage is a civil rights issue. Since we are throwing the words “civil rights” around, let’s look at what exactly this means. From, civil rights is

The rights belonging to an individual by virtue of citizenship, especially the fundamental freedoms and privileges guaranteed by the 13th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and by subsequent acts of Congress, including civil liberties, due process, equal protection of the laws, and freedom from discrimination.

Civil rights belong to us because of our citizenship in the United States and include freedom from discrimination. From, freedom of discrimination is:

freedom from discrimination on the basis of race or sex or nationality or religion or age; guaranteed by US Federal laws

Race, sex, religion or age. No where in that definition are the words “sexual orientation” found. To believe that gay marriage is a civil rights issue is not supported by the facts. No where in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights is the “right to marry” found. If, as was suggested, marriage is a “basic right”, why has the United States on more than one occasion passed laws which were later upheld by the Supreme Court regulating the practice of marriage. As any member of the LDS Church knows (especially those from Utah), the US government after the Civil War, passed many laws outlawing the practice of polygamy. At that time, the only people practicing polygamy were the members of the LDS Church and these laws essentially told them that freedom of religion existed for others, but not for them. The LDS Church fought the laws in the courts, but when the Supreme Court finally upheld the laws, the church was forced to stop the practice. There are still polygamists in Utah and if we are going to argue that gays have a “basic right” to marry who they want, what about polygamists who desire to be married to more than one person? Does the “basic right” of marriage also apply to polygamist marriage? How can it be argued that gays have a “basic right” to marry who they choose and polygamists do not? What about men (and women) who desire to marry a minor? Should minimum age laws for marriage be scrapped because of someone’s “basic right” to marry who they choose? Now that we are heading down the proverbial “slippery slope”, why limit it to just humans? I’m sure that there are persons out there who want to be able to marry the object of their love, even if it happens to be an animal. Should we also allow them their “basic right” to marry who they love? It is easy to see that gay marriage advocates are confusing their “wants” (marriage) with “needs” (civil rights).

Is the “basic right” of marriage, which is not in the Constitution more important than my Constitutionally-protected right of religion. Will the Great State of Utah, where the majority of the population has deep religious convictions against gay marriage, be forced to accept gay marriages performed in other states? People who dismiss these concerns as over-reacting are the same people who dismiss people with strong religious convictions as being “out-of-touch”. As I said before, the civil war was fought over slavery and states rights. Will the next be over gay marriage?

Monday, July 12, 2004

It depends on where you start from

This just in from the "They're biased, we aren't" Department: FOX news channel is biased. I guess using the same reporting techniques against liberals that ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN have used all these years against conservatives is considered "biased".

The Spanish Flu

The Phillipines have caught the "Spanish Flu" and not willing to have any more of it's citizens threatened to be killed by terrorists (as opposed to being killed by Saudi employers), have decided to pull it's 51 troups out of Iraq ASAP. Yet again, the coalition is being let down by the weaker members. Looks like the score is Terrorists 2, Coalition 0. Any bets on if the hostage is released alive and un-hurt?

Thursday, July 08, 2004

In case you had any doubts.....

In case you are of the homosexual persuasion and had any lingering doubts over the LDS Church's stand on "gay" marriage, the church has endorsed the efforts now going on to amend the US and state constitutions to reserve marriage for normal, heterosexual couples. To many of the Great State of Utah, this will come as no surprise since the church has on other occasions contributed money and volunteers to help pass other "pro-family" marriage proposals, such as California's marriage law. The Utah constitutional amendment states:

"Marriage consists only of the legal union between a man and a woman. No other domestic union, however denominated, may be recognized as a marriage or given the substantially equivalent effect."

This amendment will be on the November ballot and was already widely seen to pass, but with the LDS Church's position more clear, it will be a landslide. The US Constitutional amendment, which is now being debated in Congress states (HJ Res. 56/SJ Res. 26):

Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution or the constitution of any state, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.

Expect to see demonstrations and acts of civil disobedience by pro-gay groups in the coming days to protest the US Constitutional amendment. Gays will scream about how this is a civil rights issue, but the Prophet of the LDS Church, Gordon B. Hinckley, stated that the legalization of same-sex marriage was not a civil rights issue, but gays and lesbians are welcome in the church as long as they "follow the same God-given rules of conduct that apply to everyone else, whether single or married."

As has been pointed out many times, gays and lesbians don't want "equal" rights, they want "special" rights. An amendment to the US constitution is the only way to prevent the ultra-liberal, Democratic gay-marriage views of Massachusetts (guess which presidential candidate is from Massachusetts?) from trashing my state of Utah. This is a vertiable powder keg that gays and lesbians are playing with. The last civil war was fought over state's rights and slavery. Will the next be fought over gay marriage?

Coming to an bestseller list near you

The LDS Church has decided to let Doubleday Publishing produce an offical commercial version of the Book of Mormon. The hardbound edition will be the same as the editions that members and the missionaries use, but will omit the cross-references, index and the footnotes. It will be easier to read for non-members who are not accustomed to the double columns of text present in the Book of Mormon and Bible. So, the next time you go to the Religion section of Barnes and Noble, you will find the Book of Mormon among all the different editions of the Bible, Koran and New-Age self-help guides.

Idiots "flocking" to see an idiot

The French, always known for their loathing of anything American (except when being liberated by those same Americans), have been "flocking" to Mikey "Mr. Creosote" Moore's film, Farenheit 9/11. This should come as no surprise that the French adore American "idiot" Mikey Moore since they also think that Jerry Lewis was/is a comic "genius". However, not everyone thinks that the sun shines out of Mikey Moore's rear end. Le Monde criticised the film stating that "To affirm ... that it was crowned (in Cannes) for its cinemagraphic qualities is either proof of incompetence, a pure lie or a cynical joke." At least someone has some taste. Mikey also stated in an interview that the film represented "his" version of the facts, which would make the film a work of fiction rather than a documentary.

If you are wondering about how Mikey's version of the "facts", differ from the truth, go to this blog. You can see just how much he stretches the truth to match his distorted world view.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Maybe this wasn't a good idea after all.......

I know that regular readers of the Warren (are there any?) are wondering what the Great El-ahrairah has to say about John "Flip-Flop" Kerry's choice of John "Ambulance Chaser" Edwards for Vice President. Bigwig over at Siflay Hraka has already blogged about how this is a good thing for Senator Gigolo. His reasons are pretty good why this would be a good thing, however, I tend to think that it may come back to bite Senator Gigolo in the end.

1. Experience. As illustrated by the President when asked what the difference between Dick Cheney and Ambulance Chaser, the President retorted "Dick Cheney can be president. Next?" Just as many people on the left criticised Bush I for his choice of Dan Quayle as vice president as being too "inexperienced" to be president if required, the President has already shown that this may become a issue for the right.

2. Former Employment. Before "Ambulance Chaser" Edwards became a US Senator, he was a trial lawyer who made his money off multi-million dollar trial awards against the medical industy. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most respected and 1 being the least respected, most Americans rank trial lawyers around 1, either below or equal to used car salesmen. Senator Gigolo's choice of Ambulance Chaser will enable the President to paint them both as obstructionists to affordable healthcare. Expect the Bush campaign to trot out statistics about doctors leaving the practice because they cannot pay their malpractice insurance premiums.

3. Former critisicms. Senator Gigolo criticised Ambulance Chaser during the Primary campaign as not having the experience required to be president. Expect for these criticisms to come back in GOP TV commercials.

4. Wealth. Both Senator Gigolo and Ambulance Chaser are very, very wealthy. Ambulance Chaser made all his wealth by large jury awards. Expect for this to come many times during the campaign to show just how out of touch the two really are with the middle class in America.

5. Senate. Ambulance Chaser sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee and already, the President has criticised him for holding up his judicial appointments. Expect this to become an issue during the election.

The Great El-ahrairah feels that the choice of "Ambulance Chaser" Edwards brings more negatives than positives to the Senator Flip-Flop ticket. Right now, the Democrats are fat, dumb and happy (sounds like Mikey Moore) about the choice. Wait until the real election season starts to see how this pans out.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

So many guns, so few homicides

I was going to blog about this yesterday, but I was too busy celebrating Independence Day (in Utah, all the parades and fireworks took place either Saturday or Monday) and climbing Mt. Ogden with my son in preparation for our Great Mount St. Helens expedition.

Pay special attention to the figures. Not only were there no homicides in the month of June, overall homicide numbers are down for the year. Couple the low numbers with a growing population and in 2004 Utah will have the lowest homicide rate in close to half a century.

While there may be many factors for the decline, nowhere is it mentioned this possible explanation: There are now over 60,000 concealed weapon permittees in the Beehive state, roughly 3% of the adult population. True, correlation doesn't necessarily mean causation. But I think we can finally put to rest the myth that widespread gun ownership automatically results in death and mayhem.

Kerry picks Edwards

John Kerry picked John Edwards (John-John?) to be his Vice-Presidential running mate. This should probably come as no surprise since during the primary elections, Edwards didn't resort to much in the way of negative campaigning and criticism of John Kerry. To most everyone, it looked as if he was auditioning for the VP slot. We'll see if Edwards outshines Kerry the same way that Bentson outshone Dukakis in 1988.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Yet another John "Flip-Flop" Kerry moment

In an interview with the Dubuque, Iowa Telegraph Herald newspaper, John "Flip-Flop" Kerry stated that he opposes abortion and that he believes that life begins at conception. That sound that you just heard in the background was NARAL having a heart attack. Is this the same Democratic candidate for president that is being refused communion by Catholic bishops because of his stand on abortion?

Although I also believe that life begins at conception, I'm not sure what to make of this latest revelation from Senator "Flip-Flop". It makes no sense to me to state that someone opposes abortion and believes that life begins at conception and then to support a woman's right to "choose" (to kill her baby). It's as ridiculous as stating that you believe that murder is wrong, but you support a serial killers' right to "choose" (to kill his victims). As has been pointed out many times before, Senator "Flip-Flop" will say and do anything to be elected president of the United States. All the more reason to vote for President Bush.

Separation of church and state?

In the Great State of Utah, the so-called "separation between church and state" just doesn't seem to exist. Saturday night saw the annual "Stadium of Fire" festivities in Provo, Utah where conservatives like Sean Hannity and Oliver North ruled and liberals like Michael "Village Idiot" Moore and Senators "Flip-Flop" Kerry and "Der Schwimmer" Kennedy were suspiciously absent. Independence Day celebrations are nothing new, except when held on the campus of BYU, the LDS church-sponsored university in Utah. Invoking the name of God and the United States in the same breath is nothing new here, and in fact is highly encouraged to the point that the celebration was broadcast over the Armed Forces Radio Network to all our military men and women throughout the world.

Why would members of the LDS Church be so quick to tie God and the United States together? Because the LDS Church teaches that the American continent is a "..choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ..". Members of the LDS Church are taught that the Constitution of the United States is a document inspired by God. It is not unusual to hear the "Star-Spangled Banner" sung in church (especially in July) since the LDS Church includes it in it's hymnbook. So, if you are a true, God-fearing patriot and not one of the "Blame America First" (i.e. Democratic) crowd, then you should mark your calendar for next year's "Stadium of Fire". At least you'd be certain that John "War Hero" Kerry won't be anywhere in attendance.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Where's Johnny Cochran when you need him?

The trial of the century begins...

...and I'm not talking about Kobe.