Wednesday, June 29, 2005

How to Cook Like A Nazi

There's a compilation of recipes of dishes served at Camp Gitmo. Story here. Buy it here. Proceeds go to charity.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Quick, Somebody Call Dick Durbin

Two Democrats did something that Dick Durbin did not before he insulted US servicemen, they actually visited Gitmo and drew their conclusions from their own observations rather than relying upon the New York Times.
Guess what? They saw no evidence that we were operating a gulag or a concentration camp or a Pol Pot killing field.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Billy Jack's Coming Back, And He's Pissed

The dreary cult hero Tom Laughlin as Billy Jack is returning to the big screen again. Apparently Laughlin learned nothing from the failures of "The Trial of Billy Jack" and "Billy Jack Goes to Washington."

Oh, I hope that the radio doesn't start playing "One Tin Soldier" again.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Predictable Showboating

The only surprise is why it took so long for Bill Clinton to start shooting off his big mouth about Gitmo.

Democrats are continuously squealing that they resent having their patriotism challenged, even though they can't point to any one person who does.

I do challenge their patriotism, from Dick Durbin to Patrick Leahy to Ted Kennedy to the execrable John Conyers, who added a layer of anti-Semitism to his anti-Americanism last week.

And now, we can add Bill Clinton, who surely knows that he's simply playing into terrorism's hands with his criticism, but he wants to move back into the Whitehouse and nothing matters to him more than that, not even his country.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

VRWC Strikes Again

If we're half as smart as the geniuses in the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy thinks we are, then we deserve to be running the world. First the convince themselves that Karl Rove somehow tricked Dan Rather into that National Guard Memo story. It was Republican strategists who tricked John Kerry into saying he voted for the $87 billion before he voted against it. It was a Republican ploy that baited John Kerry into saying that, even with everything he knows now, he still would have voted for the Iraq War. It was Republicans who enticed Bill Clinton with Monica Lewinsky.
And now, Republicans are the puppeteers who manipulate Howard Dean into saying all those stupid things he can't seem to avoid saying.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Howard Dean Admits to Anti-Semitism in Democratic Party

A great many of us have known for years that anti-semitism is rampant in the Democratic Party, and the leftwing in general. Now, even Howard Dean was forced to acknowlege it. How could he not? His party elected to put it on display on C-SPAN.

Has OPEC Priced Itself Out Of The Market?

Now that oil prices have gotten entirely out of hand, the door is wide open for alternative fuels. Brazil is ideally situated for exploiting this, with 30 year old biofuel industry, and they are. But we can do it too.
Nothing produces more energy per acre than sugar beets. And, sugar beets do not require a tropical climate to thrive. Even North Dakota can produce 7000 pounds of sugar per acre.

It's All YOUR Fault

Dick Durbin apologized yesterday - sort of. He's sorry if you misunderstood him.

"I have learned from my statement that historical parallels can be misused and misunderstood," said the Illinois senator. "I sincerely regret if what I said caused anyone to misunderstand my true feelings: our soldiers around the world and their families at home deserve our respect, admiration and total support."

Harry Reid offered his support for Durbin, saying that he was simply a victim of the, "noise machine of the far right."

Friday, June 17, 2005

Make Them Do The Hokey Pokey

Well, thanks to Time Magazine, I now know for a fact that the United States does indeed operate a gulag archipelago, just as Amnesty International said it did. And furthermore, I was once an inmate. In fact, I have spent a significant period of my early life in a “gulag,” as Amnesty International phrased it, or in a “torture facility,” as the Associated press described the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. And the proof came courtesy of Time Magazine’s Michael Duffy.
According to Duffy, the threshold for torture may be as low as being forced to stand for protracted periods of time, or to be forced to listen to Christina Aguilera music. I assure you. I suffered far worse than that. I now fully understand why the Democratic Party is demanding that we turn these terrorists loose. They have indeed suffered enough.
Ever since Newsweek Magazine stumbled with its discredited “Koran desecration” story, a lie that resulted in at least 15 deaths and incalculable diplomatic damage, the mainstream press has rallied around its stricken brethren and tried to resurrect the spirit if not the substance of the Newsweek fable.
One particularly resilient bit of nonsense that the mainstream media will not let go of is that the United States, under the cruel despotism of George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld, tortures prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Cynical Democratic politicians (Is there any other kind anymore?), have joined the chorus. The number two Democrat in the United States Senate went so far as to compare U.S. soldiers to Nazis.
And now Time Magazine supposedly has the goods, proving that indeed, the Guantanamo Bay detention facility is a torture chamber.
Among the abuses meted out by the savage interrogators include making prisoners stand for protracted periods of time.
Gosh, you mean like standing in the check out line at Costco, or waiting your turn at the Department of Motor Vehicles? When I was in elementary school, I was frequently forced to stand for protracted periods of time – and not just in the corner. My sixth grade teacher would walk me up to the chalkboard, note the elevation of my nose, draw a circle about half an inch above it and force me to stand, with my heels off the floor and keep my nose in that circle. Those terrorists should thank Allah that the Gitmo guards didn’t learn their trade from Mr. Frazier.
And that was for being the class clown. These guys in Gitmo are getting off a lot easier for plotting the mass murder of women and children.
The Gitmo inquisitors would also deny their inmates trips to the restroom. Again, this was standard procedure at my little elementary school gulag. We were never allowed bathroom breaks except during recess. If you missed your opportunity to go to the can, you sat in your chair and endured until the next intermission.
Other Gitmo tortures exposed by Time included, and I am not making this up, “mild, non-injurious physical contact such as grabbing, poking in the chest with the finger and light pushing.”
Oh my gosh! Tell me it isn’t so! Light pushing? Those terrorists must be thankful they weren’t at my little gulag. I got my butt paddled by teachers now and then. These poor guys are darned lucky that they didn’t have to navigate the bullies in my playground. The lunch line at Freeport Elementary was rougher than Gitmo.
Recently, The New York Times finally ended an era. For 34 consecutive days, a story about the Abu Ghraib prison was on the front page. For a while, it appeared that Joe DiMaggio’s streak might be in jeopardy.
I wonder sometimes what planet our cognoscenti grew upon on. Did the inhabitants of Planet Time, Planet CBS or Planet NYT never have to stand in a corner or endure a squirt gun? Have these NYTwits forgotten 9/11?
If Time Magazine and Amnesty International think that being told to wait before being allowed to visit the restroom, or having to stand is torture, imagine what they’d have to say if the terrorists were forced to participate in my worst grade school torment – square dancing. And if you think Christina Aguilera is bad, try the “Hokey-Pokey.”
No terrorist could endure being forced to put their right foot in and take their right foot out and shake it all about.

And Who Would The Other One Have Been?

John Kerry said that he very much wanted Dick Durbin as his vice-presidential candidate last fall, but decided against it because he didn't think that America would tolerate two Roman Catholics on the same ticket.

That's just one of the gems in a tedious image resurrection piece on Dick Durbin in today's Chicago Tribune.

Dick Durbin's big mouth has gotten him into a bit of heat lately and the man that Harry Reid describes as the best debater in the Senate needs a little help from his press lackeys to pull him out the hole he created for himself when he compared US soldiers to Nazis, among other things.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Who Gives A Rat's ASS?

Some nitwit is actually planning to make a movie based on the life story of that kooky runaway bride.

"ReganMedia, a New York multimedia company, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for a story in Thursday's papers it has acquired all media rights to the "life stories" of Wilbanks and her fiance, John Mason."

I'm sure people will be camping out for the opportunity to be the first to get tickets for that flick.

Making George Soros Look Sane

Once upon a time, there was speculation that the Democratic Party used its lunatic fringe, like, to keep the moonbats fed permitting real Democrats, like those in the Senate, to appear sane and responsible.
Well, Dick Durbin abandoned that and compared US soldiers to Nazi storm troopers.

"If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime _ Pol Pot or others _ that had no concern for human beings."

Torture like, "light pushing" and forcing terrorists to stand for long periods of time.

Oh, and don't forget five instances of inadvertent mishandling of Korans.
Yep! Just like Nazis.

Meanwhile, Dick Durbin's antics seem not have attracted the attention of the New York Times. Clearly, the Times aims to protect idiots like Dick Durbin from his own mouth.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

"Heavily Influenced By The Culture Of Lesbianism"

I haven't read the book, and don't plan to, but Edward Klein's accusation that Hillary Clinton had at least one lesbian affair while at Wellesley College rings true.

Wellesley reputation for lesbianism far exceeds its reputation for scholarship. As such, I find it hard to imagine that anyone from Chicago would choose to attend Wellesley for any other reason than for the lesbianism.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Kofi Lied. Iraqis Died,

A memo surfaces that irrefutably ties Kofi Annan to the Oil For Food scandal.

"UNITED NATIONS - The committee probing the U.N. oil-for-food program announced Tuesday it will again investigate Secretary-General Kofi Annan after two e-mails suggested he may have known more than he claimed about a multimillion-dollar U.N. contract awarded to the company that employed his son.

One e-mail described an encounter between Annan and officials from Cotecna Inspections S.A. in late 1998 during which the Swiss company’s bid for the contract was raised. The second from the same Cotecna executive expressed his confidence that the company would get the bid because of “effective but quiet lobbying” in New York diplomatic circles.

If accurate, the new details would cast doubt on a major finding the U.N.-backed Independent Inquiry Committee made in March — that there wasn’t enough evidence to show that Annan knew about efforts by Cotecna, which employed his son Kojo, to win the Iraq oil-for-food contract. The Associated Press obtained the e-mails Tuesday.

Through his spokesman, Annan said he didn’t remember the late 1998 meeting. He repeatedly has insisted that he didn’t know Cotecna was pursuing a contract with the oil-for-food program."

I think this is called Waldheimer's disease, the symptoms of which are that embarassing facts about one's history are conveniently forgotten.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Torture At Gitmo!

Time Magazine has the documented goods on torture at Gitmo, a minute by minute diary of one inmates interrogation.
In it, we learn that Donald Rumsfeld himself personally approved such aggressive interrogation techniques as, “mild, non-injurious physical contact such as grabbing, poking in the chest with the finger and light pushing.”

Oh horrors! Amnesty International was right! It really is just like a Soviet Gulag!
One of inmates, who attempted to participate in the September 11, 2001 attacks has suffered all of that, and more. Including forced shaving of his facial hair and up to 30 solitary confinement, and even wet towels!

Now This Is Interesting!

Israelis researchers have grown a previously extinct species of date palm from a 2000 year old seed.

"Sarah Sallon, of the Louis Borick Natural Medicine Research Center in Jerusalem, said she and her colleagues used seeds found in archaeological excavations at Masada, the desert mountain fortress where ancient Jewish rebels chose suicide over capture by Roman legions in A.D. 73. She said they were the oldest seeds ever brought back to life.

"A lotus seed was germinated (in China) after 1,200 years, but nothing has been germinated coming from this far back, not to 2,000 years," she said."

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Accurate, But Fake

George Will dissects an all too typical "news" stories from the New York Times and the Washington Post.

From the Times: "A Times columnist disapprovingly said Cox ``is a big-business advocate.''

Leaving aside the vacuity of such labels -- what might it mean to be an ``advocate'' against ``big business'' and its big numbers of employees -- the ``big-business advocate'' obscures an interesting fact: Cox has been criticized by big-business interests because he opposed requiring employee stock options to be recorded on balance sheets as expenses."

From the Post: The Washington Post's headline on his nomination said: ``Congressman Has Taken Pro-Business Stances on Issues.''

Who today, one wonders, is ``anti-business''? And what does that mean?

These papers are evolving into caricatures of caricatures.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

It Ain't Just Washington Where Democrats Steal Elections

Told ya so! One area where I catch the greatest hell is in incidents of voter fraud. Based upon news reports, voter fraud almost exclusively the dominion of the ironically misnamed Democratic party.
It's well established that Democrats stole the 2004 governor's race here in Washington. And every election there are several incidents of vote fraud, always involving Democrats.
There's a particualarly juicy case in Missouri going on right now, in which Democrats, led by an accused attempted murderer and pimp, sought to buy an election.

"The jury in the federal vote fraud case in East St. Louis heard undercover recordings today in which vote buying was discussed. The former deputy police chief for East St. Louis took the stand on Friday as a key prosecution witness.

Rudy McIntosh worked undercover for the FBI during the fall election campaign. McIntosh described a series of meetings he participated in with the five defendants, all members of the city's Democratic party organization. At the time McIntosh was a new precinct committeeman learning the political ropes.

He testified former city official Kelvin Ellis told him how to buy absentee votes for $5 a piece. Defense attorneys repeated objected to testimony. Several times Judge Patrick Murphy sent the jury out of the room to hear their arguments.

One undercover tape played for the jury had McIntosh talking to party leader Charles Powell. McIntosh said "Five dollars a vote ain't gonna get it." Powell responded, "I know what you're saying. Give them five dollars...ten dollars a vote."

There's more. Much more! You probably haven't heard about this - and that's because it involves Democrats. Imagine how the MSM would play this up if it had involved Republicans.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Don't Blame Dean

It has nothing to do with Howard Dean or the kooks he massages with his incendiary rhetoric. It our fault.

The No. 2 Democrat in the Senate yesterday blamed "the right wing" and elements of the press "in service to it" for repeating Howard Dean's remarks about Republicans and inflating them out of proportion.
"I think we all understand what's happening with you all," said Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin, in remarks echoing Hillary Rodham Clinton's blaming a "vast right-wing conspiracy" for her husband's legal-ethical woes.

So, it's conspiracy theory time again.

Frankly, I'm delighted to have Howard Dean running his big mouth. I think it's important that the vast middle hear for themselves what the Democrats stand for.

Stolen Fair and Square

So now it’s official – Christine Gregoire stole the election fair and square. The leftist Seattle Weekly phrased the Democratic position best. The winner is the one for whom the most votes were counted, not the candidate for whom the most legal ballots were cast. Christine Gregoire’s insatiable ambition has been temporarily slaked, and Dino Rossi’s will temporarily remain unfulfilled. If we learned nothing else from the last seven months, it’s that the election was all about them, and not about public service or any other lofty aim. It was raw, selfish ambition, undiluted by nobility.
There was one star in this drama - Chelan Superior Court Judge John Bridges. I think that George Bush should nominate him to a federal judgeship. In denying Dino Rossi’s challenge to the 2004 Washington gubernatorial election, he exhibited a level of judicial restraint that Democrats generally condemn as “extremist.” And yet, how could they filibuster the guy who kept Christine Gregoire in office?
If only the country had more judges like Judge John Bridges, this would be a better world. After acknowledging that at least 1,678 illegal votes were cast in the last election, he recognized the limits of his authority, and did not claim to know which candidate profited from those votes.
Was there fraud in King County? Occam’s razor indicates there was. There was certainly incompetence. After all, more ballots were counted than could be accounted for by the number of voters entering the polling places. But likelihood is not the same as certainty and even so, whom the fraud benefited could not be divined. Yes, the apparent fraud occurred in a Democrat-dominated county, and the fraud almost certainly inflated Gregoire’s tally. But, it cannot be proven. Nationwide, the felon vote breaks for Democrats by roughly a 10:1 ratio. Hundreds of Washington felons voted in the last election, but perhaps criminals in Washington are different from New York’s. Unlikely as that is, Judge Bridges would have been arrogant to assume that he knew for sure.
It’s almost overwhelmingly probable that Rossi won the majority of legal votes cast in that election. But, unless it can be proven beyond the shadow of a doubt, Judge Bridges could not have substituted his hunches for the vote count.
Was the Washington electoral system a mess that invited abuse? Yes it was. And yes it is. A few reforms were enacted during the last legislative session. In fact, had those laws been in place before the election, we would probably have a different governor today. But, Judge Bridges noted that it was not within his authority to change the law. It was the responsibility of the voters who can either enact the needed reforms by initiative or by electing representatives who will fix it. How’s that for radical thinking? In 2000, the Florida Supreme Court never hesitated to rewrite election laws to serve Al Gore’s needs.
Before the trial, King County Executive Ron Sims declared that his office administered the election with an accuracy that would be the envy of any bank. That just exposes Ron Sims’ ignorance of the private sector. The president and chief financial officer that ran a bank so sloppily would be wearing stripes.
King County was found not guilty, but was not exonerated. King County’s acquittal resembled O. J. Simpson’s. Of King County, Judge Bridges found that those running the election were very much guilty of malfeasance. "It's inertia, it's selfishness, it is taking our paycheck but not doing the work."
But, in spite of his belief that King County’s bumbling may well have upset the outcome of the election, he resisted the temptation to overreach his power.
“With respect to proportional deduction, the court concludes that an election such as this should not be overturned because one judge picks a number and applies a proportional deduction analysis. To do so within the context of the facts of this case would constitute the ultimate act of judicial egotism and judicial activism that neither the voters, Mr. Rossi or Ms. Gregoire should condone.”
Well put.
A chagrined Dean Logan, King County’s Election Chief promises that his department “can and will do better.”
Perhaps it can. But, it should do it without him at the helm. And if Ron Sims does not replace him, the voters should take Bridges’ advice and change the occupant of that office.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Now, I Know This is True

This deserves much more attention than it is likely to receive.

"More than 5 percent of scientists answering a confidential questionnaire admitted to having tossed out data because the information contradicted their previous research or said they had circumvented some human research protections.

Ten percent admitted they had inappropriately included their names or those of others as authors on published research reports.

And more than 15 percent admitted they had changed a study's design or results to satisfy a sponsor, or ignored observations because they had a "gut feeling" they were inaccurate."

I have more that 30 years experience as a scientist and I can tell you that these numbers are almost certainly low. A scientist who would lie in a published paper will certainly lie on a questionaire.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Help Central America

In the last 6 months, I've spent about 4 weeks working in Central America. At a time when so much of the world considers hating America fashionable, Central America is genuinely pro-American. They are grateful to us for saving them from communism and for helping establish genuine democracy in the region.
But, Central America is very poor and could use an economic boost. We don't need to give them money. We only need to liberalize trade.
And, it will help us too. US incomes are expected to rise by $17 billion after the free trade agreement is ratified. Central America will benefit to the tune of 5 billion. Considering that the country where I work, El Salvador, has a GDP of only about $12 billion, that will be a big help.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Quick, Call Amnest International!

Afghan teenagers, some as young as 13, report that they had essentially been kidnapped and forced into terrorism by the Taliban. I'm sure Amnesty International will make a big case about this.

Too Bad

Robert Mugabe insists that he is still alive.

On the other hand, this wouldn't be his first lie.

My "D's" are Better Than Your "D's"

After making fun of George W. Bush's academic record at Yale, John Kerry's grades are finally available. And guess what? His grades stunk too. In fact, in his four years, George Bush earned only on "D." John Kerry got 4 "D's" in his freshman year alone.

“I always told my dad that D stood for distinction,” Kerry said in a written response to reporters’ questions.

Kerry Signs Form 180?

Yes, supposedly, months after he promised to do so, John Kerry finally signed form 180, releasing all of his military records.
But, of course, the only journalist so far permitted to see them is Michael Kranish, the Boston Globe stooge who indistinguished himself during the campaign by simultaneously "reporting" on John Kerry while serving as his campaign (read friendly) biographer.

Why all the stalling?

"Asked why he delayed signing the form for so long, Kerry said in a written response: ''The call for me to sign a 180 form came from the same partisan operatives who were lying about my record on a daily basis on the Web and in the right-wing media. Even though the media was discrediting them, they continued to lie. I felt strongly that we shouldn't kowtow to them and their attempts to drag their lies out."

Many of the records contain praise for Kerry's service. For example, the documents quote Kerry's former commanding officers as saying he is ''one of the finest young officers with whom I have served;" is ''the acknowledged leader of his peer group;" and is ''highly recommended for promotion."

Kerry's refusal to waive privacy restrictions dates back to at least May 2003, when the Globe asked in writing for Kerry to sign the Form 180. As questions were raised about various actions in Vietnam, the Kerry campaign gradually released documents last year, but had not authorized the release of the entire file until now."

So, one of the original rightwingers wanted the truth is the Boston Globe?

Glass Houses

Suddenly, Tom DeLay is not the only one who has errors on his travel records. In fact, Tom DeLay is in 120th place when it comes to who takes the most lobbyist paid trips.

Harold Ford Jr., a Tennessee Democrat who is planning a run for the Senate is first. And, since Democrats have chosen to point out DeLay's difficulties, more that 200 other congressmen and women have rushed to "amend" their disclosures, including House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi.

Monday, June 06, 2005

George "Jihad" Galloway Must Be Squirming

The French, the Germans and the Russians too. According to the Senate Committee investigating the UN Oil For Food scandal, Saddam's stooges are "singing like canaries," and naming names.

"In interview after interview, the officials were generally forthcoming and quite proud—even boastful—of their creativity in undermining U.N. sanctions," says Sen. Norm Coleman, who leads one of several congressional probes into Saddam-era oil deals. According to Senate documents, Ramadan is one of the most talkative captives, supplying pithy quotes about how Saddam allegedly manipulated the prewar oil program to buy support from influential foreigners. Senate investigators quote Ramadan saying that Saddam's regime gave foreigners oil allocations—which could be cashed in for lucrative brokerage fees—as "compensation for support." Al-Tikriti told investigators the former Iraqi leader and his aides "were all extremists" on the issue of oil sales to Israel. If they found an Iraqi oil buyer was selling to Israel, they would "not allow it," al-Tikriti said."

Behold, the Power of Cheese

Could it be something as simple as mozzarella that dooms the EU?

Bad News For Democrats

Democrats were hoping that fetal stem cell research would be their key to political success. But, it seems that researchers are on the brink of creating fetal stem cells from adult somatic cells.

"[T]he gathering consensus among biologists is that embryonic stem cells are made, not born -- and that embryos are not an essential ingredient. That means that today's heated debates over embryo rights could fade in the aftermath of technical advances allowing scientists to convert ordinary cells into embryonic stem cells."

Oh damn! If scientists are going to go and do that, then Republicans win the scientific debate and the moral debate.

Amnesty International, Full of Shit

Amnesty International is supposed to be about championing the cause of "prisoners of conscience." But, the organization appears to have no conscience when it comes to criticizing the United States.

The head of Amnesty International's American branch yesterday acknowledged that he "doesn't know for sure" what is going on at Guantanamo Bay prison, although Amnesty International's secretary-general has called the terrorist prison run at a U.S. military base in Cuba a "gulag."

Not one to let ignorance stay his mouth, he defends Amnesty's characterization of POW camps as "gulags."

"I don't believe [the charges] are irresponsible," said Mr. Schulz, the executive director of Amnesty International U.S.A. "I've told you the ways in which I think that [there are] analogies between the Soviet prison system and the United States."

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Religion of Peace Update

New Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, who was supposed to bring change after the barbaric Yasir Arafat snuffed it, has authorized the execution of 50 of his countrymen for supposedly "collaborating" with Israel.

"Three months ago, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) authorized the execution of the 50, who had been convicted of aiding Israeli security forces. Shortly thereafter, the head of the PA military tribunals, Saib al-Kidwa, said that 15 of the convicted men would be executed in the following weeks, after their sentences had been vetted by the senior religious authority in the PA, Sheikh Akrima Sabri.

At that point, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's advisor Dov Weissglas approached various PA officials, including PA Prisoner Affairs Minister Sufyan Abu Zaydeh and the chief of PLO negotiations. Livni and Weissglas said Israel would not accept executions for collaboration, whether or not the condemned actually worked with Israel."

Global Warming Alert

Somalia receives snow for the first time in that nation's history.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Recall Jim West

Politicians are liars. And politicians are cynics. It’s cliché. And judging by the successes that certain prominent politicians have enjoyed just during my lifetime, the unavoidable conclusion one must draw is that we, the voters, have come to expect that only cynical liars will pursue a career in politics. It’s the sort of job one takes up after failing to uphold the ethical standards of a used car salesman, or a televangelist. But surely there is a limit to how much dishonesty and cynicism citizens should have to tolerate. Jimmy Swaggart’s video congregation eventually grew weary of his betrayals and changed channels. And after a while James Bakker could not even keep Tammy Faye around. The stakes are considerably higher when a man holds genuine power, and cannot be dismissed with the click of a television’s remote control. Surely Spokane should have some recourse for getting shed of its mayor other than waiting for his term of office to expire.
Spokane Mayor Jim West has shown himself to be a skunk of epochal proportions. As a politician he thundered against homosexuals. In his private life, he immersed himself in gay sex. Always quick to point the bony finger of indignation at others, he used his position to procure boyfriends.
Even if it is never proven that Spokane mayor Jim West broke the law, he must go. Even if it is ultimately proven that he did not break the law, he must go. One should not have to break the law to lose the privilege of occupying a political office.
What Jim West has admitted to is quite enough for him to be sent packing in shame. While living a dissolute life, he conducted a strident public campaign against the very lifestyle he lead. He used the powers, prestige, and even the treasury of his office to lure sex partners.
But most of all, he treated Spokane voters with the ultimate disrespect. He assumed that they were knuckle dragging, red-necked rubes and tailored his political message so as to pander to their presumed prejudices. Could he have been successful without campaigning so vociferously against gay rights and AIDS prevention programs? I like to think so. I don’t like to think that majorities are won by bigotry.
Almost a decade ago, a whistleblower exposed a cynical dishonest president who was using his office to solicit sexual favors from a naïve, immature intern. He and his party successfully argued that “high crimes and misdemeanors” was a standard that required felonious conduct. That was an historical and logical error. To be guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors one only had to conduct one’s self in a manner that falls short of the dignity of the office.
Living a double life is not a felony or even a misdemeanor. Lying, with no aggravating circumstances, is not criminal. One will not find cynicism in any criminal code. Indeed, cynicism is probably a constitutionally protected right. But this is not yet about pursuing criminal charges. Voters are entitled to hold their elected officials to any standard they wish. And if they decide that they and their city deserves more respect than they have received from Jim West throughout his public life, then they should send him on his way through a recall if he fails to show them the respect he has so far denied them by clinging to his office. It’s about excising a festering cyst from Spokane’s backside. It’s about restoring decorum to an office that has been besmirched.
The Washington state and Spokane County Republican Party have asked West to resign. The Spokane City Council has asked him to place the city before his selfish tenacity and step aside. The Spokane Spokesman-Review has asked for his resignation. And now, a citizens’ recall petition has been certified by the Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney’s office and awaits only a judge’s endorsement.
What Jim West hopes to achieve, either personally or politically, is not clear. If he hopes to successfully refute the charges, he can do that without making it the city’s business. He is clearly doomed and could save himself and his city embarrassment by leaving.
He continues to deny a few, specific charges. But fighting the narrow substance of those charges against will never remove the stain of his greatest sin - cynicism on a scale that will give cynics a bad name.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Guatamalans Doing Work Even Mexicans Won't Do

Central Americans are now taking jobs that Mexicans now refuse to do.