Monday, July 31, 2006

Fr. Martin Fox Has Questions for the 'Women Priests'
Fr. Fox has a great post on the "women's ordination" going on in Pittsburgh today, including several good questions a reporter with moxie might ask. My favorite:
Who ultimately decides this question? You say ordain women, the pope, backed up by a pretty long tradition -- the Church says constant -- says no. Do you believe the Church has no right to take this position? If it does, at what point do you accept the decision? And, if you won't, no matter what, isn't that what finally created a parting of the ways with Luther and other "reformers" of their time? I mean, if you give Luther full credit for sincerity, integrity, and even if you say he was right -- the fact is, he ultimately could not accept the authority of the pope or even a general council to define Catholic teaching, if that went contrary to his insights. How are you different?
There are plenty of Protestant flavors to go around, so I'm always amazed at the audacity of those who would attempt to destroy the Church from within.

Update (Same Day):

More on this from Gerald.
Israel Rejects Ceasefire
Ehud Olmert has so far turned out to be a dramatically pleasant surprise as Israel's leader.
"The fighting continues. There is no ceasefire and there will not be any ceasefire in the coming days," Olmert told local officials, drawing sustained applause.
The airstrikes continue, and it appears as though Israel is serious this time, more serious than they may have been in many years. It's time we stopped letting the Middle East have the "if Israel does ANYTHING to defend herself, it will polarize our societies and we'll hate you" excuse. Common sense should dictate that those who would hurt us, hate us.
Mel Gibson: Unleashed!
By now, the world knows the story of Mel Gibson's arrest for drunken driving, and his subsequent anti-Semitic comments, taken down in a police report following the arrest. So... I suppose the big question is, why is everyone so obsessed with a Hollywood actor's drunken rambling and ranting, when the president of a foreign nation that is seeking nuclear weapons and supporting terror denies the Holocaust and calls for the destruction of Israel? Clearly Mel has issues, but there are larger, much more important issues in the world. At least he realized his mistakes and was man enough to apologize.

Update (Same Day):

Gerald has some more info on Mel. Unrelated to the main story, but I had long suspected he was a Lefebvrist... just never had it confirmed. From Closed Cafeteria:
The fact that Mad Max is right about some problems doesn't mean he's right about the solution.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Krauthammer Nails It... Again!
Charles is on a roll with a great article on the insolence of attempting to equate morality between Israel and the terrorists in the latest conflict.
What other country sustains 1,500 indiscriminate rocket attacks into its cities -- every one designed to kill, maim and terrorize civilians -- and is then vilified by the world when it tries to destroy the enemy's infrastructure and strongholds with precision-guided munitions that sometimes have the unintended but unavoidable consequence of collateral civilian death and suffering?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

First Cup o' the Day
Unfortunately in this case, it's not my true friend coffee, but rather Kofi of U.N. fame. Yes, we all know the U.N. has been irresponsible in the past, backed and defended the enemies of the United States, criticized our leadership wherever possible, etc, etc. Apparently yesterday, the Secretary General of the United Nations took it upon himself to accuse Israel of deliberately targeting U.N. positions before knowing anything about the attack, consulting anyone who had details, or even taking a break to read any news articles on the subject.

LGF said it best:
I thought the head of the United Nations was supposed to be a diplomat, someone who understands the gravity of making hasty accusations with no evidence, and refrains from heated rhetoric that could make situations worse.
Pettifrog has some great graphics helping to define "good" and "evil" for those who only see shades of gray in this conflict and the world.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Israel Vs Terrorism
Some have inquired as to why I haven't been posting on the conflict in the Middle East, given my vested interest in the region and seeing as it is such a big event. I have been watching closely, but to be honest, I just haven't felt the need to drop any words as the MSM had up to this point covered it pretty accurately. No one likes Hezbollah. Well, terrorists, terrorist sympathizers, and future terrorists LOVE Hezbollah. I was quite surprised to see the Arab nations initially take a hands-off approach to the situation. Also, I was stunned that the media would portray Hezbollah in such a negative light. For a few days, moral equivalency went out the door, and Israel was allowed to do everything within their power to solidify the security of their nation. It was clear to see that they were restraining themselves as best they could, while also strategically knocking out every Hezbollah bastion of power they were aware of (most nestled in residential areas, a common deterrent tactic of terrorists who are truly cowards at heart). As expected, the media has turned against the forces of civilization and democracy. We've also learned that while John Edwards would have been able to make Christopher Reeve walk again, John Kerry could have resolved the whole Middle East mess (with Howard Dean's help of course)! So things are devolving into the normal mess in the media, but Israel continues to do what needs to be done.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Charlotte Church: Exposed!
OK... I've toyed with the idea of purchasing some of Church's music. She truly does have a beautiful voice, and seemed to be a decent enough person. My eyes were opened by The Cafeteria is Closed today. From the article cited:
The pilot for The Charlotte Church Show was recorded before a live audience on July 12 in London. During the show, the hostess Charlotte Church, dressed as drug-using nun, smashed open a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary revealing a hidden can of cider, and spoke about worshipping “St. Fortified Wine.” Along the same vein of comic blasphemy, the pop diva pretended to hallucinate while consuming communion wafers branded with Ecstasy smiley faces, and denigrated Pope Benedict XVI as a “Nazi”, even though she had performed for the late Holy Father, John Paul II, when she was a 12 year-old girl.
While I disagree with Gerald regarding her voice, his comments "What's next? Head-spinning and green vomit?" are quite fitting. Who woulda thunk?
Voinovich Takes Back Passionate Weeping
If you'll recall, the first time John Bolton was nominated to be the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, George Voinovich wept. His stated reason for weeping on the floor of the United States Senate was that the very future of his children and grandchildren was at stake. Well, apparently that has changed. Yep, he was so wrong in his pathetic opposition the first time, he has decided to change his vote. Voinovich must feel that this could have some VERY serious political repercussions, to feel the need to fix it now while his re-election campaign is very distant in the future. I agree with Hugh on why Bolton has been successful. I disagree that Voinovich is admitting or correcting anything other than his political course. He caused nearly irreparable harm to one of the President's most important nominees, damaged the unity of his party, and did everything except sell his soul to get some camera time and derail this nominee. At least there weren't any reports about behind-the-scenes soul selling.

I haven't forgotten George. Not just this, but all of your anti-conservative votes. Your primary opposition will be stronger than that of Mike DeWine, so if you're hoping to solidify your conservative credentials you had better work on that every day for the next 4 years.
Pat Buchanan... We Hardly Knew Ye
Pat Buchanan has actively been attempting to destroy the Republican Party for around 14 years. He has provided primary opposition to otherwise good candidates, weakening them for the general election. He's constantly launching into tirades about the current leadership of the Republican party. In 2000, he ran a national general campaign under the Reform Party banner that nearly derailed GW Bush's victory (thank goodness Nader acquired slightly more votes). I do wish that my party were more conservative as a whole entity, but I am not going to destroy it in order to have a miraculous "rebuilding." We have disagreements over some issues, but debate is healthy. Lately, the debate has been between Paleocons who are isolationist in nature and Neocons who believe that American might should be used to make American and the world a safer place. I fall somewhere in the middle of this debate... a NeoPal if you will. While I would love it if America were able to withdraw its tentacles from the world and build gigantic national-monument style walls, keeping our society a self contained unit, I am also too much of a realist to believe that this could happen. I'd like to address Pat's article in WorldNetDaily today.
On American TV, former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says the ruination of Lebanon is Hezbollah's doing. But is it Hezbollah that is using U.S.-built F-16s, with precision-guided bombs and 155-mm artillery pieces to wreak death and devastation on Lebanon?

No, Israel is doing this, with the blessing and without a peep of protest from President Bush. And we wonder why they hate us.
Pat Buchanan, terrorist sympathizer. I never thought I'd see the day. Ahem... I'll assume you're ignoring the last 60 years for the purpose of your argument, Pat, and we can pretend you don't really know about the history of this conflict. Since you've answered your own rhetorical question, I'll spare my own.
"Today, we are all Israelis!" brayed Ken Mehlman of the Republican National Committee to a gathering of Christians United for Israel.

One wonders if these Christians care about what is happening to our Christian brethren in Lebanon and Gaza, who have had all power cut off by Israeli airstrikes, an outlawed form of collective punishment, that has left them with no sanitation, rotting food, impure water and days without light or electricity in the horrible heat of July.
"Brayed" he says. So now, since Ken Mehlman has declared his support for Israeli self defense, he apparently is a jackass in the mind of Mr. Buchanan. Colorful language Pat, nice touch. Yes, we do care about our Christian brethren in Lebanon and Gaza. I pray that they may find their way to safety before the conflict reaches them. When you take a position in Beirut you understand there are huge risks associated with that position. Regarding an "outlawed form of collective punishment," I really would have liked to see a reference there Pat. It's not that I doubt the rule has been passed regarding international warfare somewhere down the line (and we all know how the terrorists always toe the line regarding Geneva), but at least cite something. So, aside from Pat's insinuation that American Christians who support Israel want to see Christians living in Lebanon and Gaza die a horrible filthy death, what are they doing in these purportedly squalid conditions? They are fleeing, with the help of the American military and State Department.
Answer: It never did. But these neoconservatives care no more about the Constitution than they cared about the truth when they lied into war in Iraq.
WOW! Write for Kos, MoveOn, or the Democratic Underground much, Pat? Any citations? Do you even CARE that you appear to be insane?
What about America? Richard Armitage, who did four tours in Nam and knows a bit about war, says that, in its ability to attack Western targets, al-Qaida is the B Team, Hezbollah the A Team. If Bush bombs Iran, what prevents Hezbollah from launching retaliatory attacks inside the United States?
Terrorists all play for one team, Mr. Buchanan... the "kill innocents and civilians intentionally to inflict horror and fear" team. Apparently, this has worked on you. Should we sit petrified in our bunkers, living in eternal fear of the next airliner screeching toward a skyscraper in a large American city? Do you choose to wait for this Pat?
None of this is written in defense of Hamas, Hezbollah or Iran.
I just thought it was funny he felt it necessary to include this line, as its own paragraph. Then, to kick off the very next paragraph:
But none of them has attacked our country, nor has Syria...
Huh, how about that, a defense of Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran! You are correct in stating that they have not attacked us with their formal militaries Pat, to do so clearly appears ludicras to even Iran's crazy president. They do fund terror, harbor terrorists, call us the "Great Satan," and daily call for our fiery destruction. If that does not bother you, then so be it.
The last superpower is impotent in this war because we have allowed Israel to dictate to whom we may and may not talk.
I used to defend you against criticisms of being anti-Semitic. My, how far we have fallen. I regret those many defenses now. It could be the BDS causing you to write as you do. It appears to be a much lengthier lineage to this point, unfortunately.
But all this carnage and destruction has only piqued the blood lust of the hairy-chested warriors at the Weekly Standard.
Oh yes... all supporters of the War on Terror are bloodlusting, hairy chested silverbacks. Nice work in raising the context of the debate.
But there is no evidence Iran has any tighter control over Hezbollah than we have over Israel, whose response to the capture of two soldiers had all the spontaneity of the Schlieffen Plan.
I would imagine you're attempting to draw parallels between the Schlieffen Plan and Israel's latest attempt to defend itself by thoroughly routing Hezbollah. The Schlieffen Plan was neither spontaneous nor successful, it appears as though Israel's response to terrorist aggression has been both. I'm certain the Israelis had this plan on the books for some time, as the Schlieffen Plan was on the books for 9 years prior to implementation, but that is the only parallel I see. Aside, that is, from your flirtation with comparing the Israelis to the Nazis.
..again, Hezbollah attacked Israel, not us. And there is no solid proof Iran is in violation of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which it has signed, but Israel refuses to sign.
Again, Buchanan defends Hezbollah and Iran (but not really according to his prior statement!), and this time adds a nice little jab at Israel.
If Iran's nuclear program justifies war, why cannot the neocons make that case in the constitutional way, instead of prodding Bush to launch a Pearl Harbor attack? Do they fear they have no credibility left after pushing Bush into this bloody quagmire in Iraq that has cost almost 2,600 dead and 18,000 wounded Americans?

No, Kenny boy, we are not "all Israelis." Some of us still think of ourselves as Americans, first, last and always

And, no, Mr. Kristol, this is not "our war." It's your war.
I can taste the venom in the air from this quotation. Pat Buchanan, if you can show us one constitutional violation that has occurred (a citation would have been nice here, but that doesn't appear to be his "thing"), it would be appreciated and valuable to the nation. Now, Americans are compared to Imperial Japan and its attack on Pearl Harbor. Seriously, with all of your "bloody quagmire" references you should consider writing for Kos, MoveOn, or the DU. Seriously... we're getting a little nervous with you in the room, Pat. I think of myself as an American first (clearly, based on my previous posts), but I also support Israel's right to self defense, as their actions today, tomorrow, and into the future will contribute to the continuing strength and saftey of democracies worldwide. It is not Bill Kristol's war, it is a war for the history and future of the world.

My defenses of Pat Buchanan are finished. As a result of this article, my positive views of the Nixon and Reagan administrations have been tarnished. I'm sure that will pass... there was a time when Pat appeared to be sane, prior to about 1990, but it's still sad to see him degenerate into labeling and namecalling as his influence continues to diminish.

Update (Same Day):

Bill Kristol's article, It's Our War.
What's happening in the Middle East, then, isn't just another chapter in the Arab-Israeli conflict. What's happening is an Islamist-Israeli war. You might even say this is part of the Islamist war on the West--but is India part of the West? Better to say that what's under attack is liberal democratic civilization, whose leading representative right now happens to be the United States.
Bloodthirsty, hairy chested animal indeed!

From VDH for NRO.

Chucky Krauthammer weighs in.

A great post on why this war falls under the Catholic "just war" doctrine. This one is for the "you claim to be a Christian, and since Jesus was a hippie, you should be too" crowd.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Madrid, Capital of Appeaseland
I'm sure there is a segment of the Spanish population that would rather civilization continued to exist, and would prefer to live under a democracy rather than Sharia law. This segment does not include the new Prime Minister Zapatero, who was elected specifically for the purpose of appeasement. It appears as though he is fulfilling his promises, handing over Spain to the Moors several hundred years after crusades liberated that land.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Kevin Smith Running Low On Cash?
Because that's the only reason I could see him wanting to ruin the reputation of Clerks, clearly his best work, by coming out with a sequel. For those who weren't aware, the original Clerks was supposed to end with Dante getting shot during a robbery of the store in which he worked. What a fitting ending to a great film that would have been. During a particularly bad day, following hours of muttering "I'm not even supposed to BE here today," the antihero is mugged and shot, and the movie ends. That would have closed off opportunities for a sequel, however. The only "semi-sequel" I've watched in Smith's portfolio is "Mallrats." Having seen that film, I decided it would be best to simply avoid his work, for while it was not a terrible film I could see the direction in which Smith was heading. It also turns out the director of "Jay and Silent Bob 1, 2, 3, 4..." as I've taken to calling his post-Clerks work, does not take kindly to criticism. Personally, I was surprised to find out that he was so petty... not so surprised to find out he so lacks confidence as to pepper his tirade with 4 letter words.
Contender - Round 2 Followup
Looks like the same formula that worked the first time is back. The show is still very entertaining, and the boxers are all strong, engrossing personalities. All boxing matches should be 5 rounds, but then all boxing matches should be judged by machines. The guy I picked to win before the show began, Michael Clark, went down in the very first fight. The second fight had Norberto Bravo, who seems like a genuinely good guy other than that he is fighting for his race, pounding Rudi Cisneros in a split decision that had me wondering once again about The Contender's panel of judges. I was particularly suspicious with the crowd reaction when Rudi's victory card was read. You know, it's all well and good to love and appreciate your heritage... Peter Manfredo pulled this off very well last year, but was clearly not absorbed by any concept of "la raza." Having been born and raised in America, I hope Norberto can one day see the distinction between fighting for your race, and having pride in your heritage. Cornelius "K-9" Bundrage was portrayed early as not having the mechanics to pull off any string of victories, but showed why he is 21-1 by pounding Clark.

A couple of quick notes:

Sergio "I Didn't Really Win My Rematch With Manfredo" Mora's mug popping up at various points was dissettling. Every time I see him, I think of the shady judging. He won last year's Contender, and made an obligatory appearance in this year's version. Now drop him.

Why were the challenges for reward and picking the next fight dropped? The most logical conclusion I can come up with is injuries. Last year, it seemed to happen on multiple occasions where fighters would pull a hammy or twist this or that during a challenge.

Sorry to see Sly go, but Sugar Ray is doing a great job.

I now look to Steve Forbes to sweep through the tournament.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Contender - Round 2
The first season of the Mark Burnett TV Series The Contender was, for me, a defining moment. I'd not been a fan of the "reality tv" shows that I felt plagued the airwaves and dumbed down America. After watching one episode, I was hooked. The drama, coupled with spectacular edits of boxing matches to great mood music, was the perfect storm. This led me to watch other (what would properly be called game) shows such as the Amazing Race, and another Burnett production and the uncontested champ of the genre, Survivor. I still feel as though The Contender was the best among the mentioned shows, but a rematch of the title fight (along with a few others) and super shady judging doused my enthusiasm for the second season. What I'd like to see in the second season, which begins tonight (in a ridiculous 10pm timeslot, especially for a 2 hour season premiere), is an apology from whoever was responsible for the judging in the title rematch and the matches that occurred previously in that event. Regardless, I'll probably watch it... to see if the formula can be recaptured. Burnett certainly appears to have a magic touch in this area.
NRO - John Boehner
John Boehner has written an article for National Review following a recent trip to Iraq.
The most common concern I heard from Brandon and other soldiers was that the American people — and specifically Congress — would buckle and call for an early retreat. The soldiers on the ground repeatedly told us that no matter what someone’s opinion of the conflict, it is of the utmost importance that America prevail and a free Iraq rise to join the community of nations.
Indeed. Unfortunately, some of the very large MSM outlets have made it clear they do not wish for America to prevail in this struggle. Repeatedly publishing articles revealing national security strategies, encouraging the enemy to continue to fight, and broadcasting reasons to hate America above all else is their mantra. Hopefully we can continue to succeed despite the efforts of the enemy within.
Afghani Shows Thanks to President Bush
Anchoress has the story.
...a Kabul rug merchant who pulled Gile aside before he left the country. The merchant told Gile the story of an elderly man, so overwhelmed with gratitude to the United States for its intervention in the conflict that he made a gift for President Bush - a gift that was a year in the making and made, given the conditions of the country, under penalty of death.
But remember, they all hate us.

Monday, July 17, 2006

NYT - Enemy of the People
I originally saw this at LGF, but the Right Wing Nut House has a great roundup of reaction. But the MSM wants us to win, right? If anything is going to destroy this great nation of ours, it will be an overdose of moral relativism. Pity the needy, the starving, the masses of the world who have nothing and live in chaos. Do not pity he who would kill you, your enemy, for he will not only destroy you but all that is of worth to you. The very things you value above all else, your family, your freedom.

The Anchoress has a nice selection of reaction here as well.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

FCC Still Cleaning the Airwaves
Still, that's not why I'm making this post. It's amazing that an article can be written (even by an al-Reuters reporter) with such a strong anti-FCC bias. I know individuals have conflicting opinions on this issue... I personally consider myself to be pretty moderate (argh, I hate to use that word!) on what should and should not be allowed on TV and radio. Most strongly, I believe it is the role of the parents to... well... parent. Put on the controversial stuff later at night, and have disclaimers prior to the showings. By those rules, I say show anything! I'm actually quite happy to see an uncut movie or TV show such as South Park on later at night. What really stuck out in this article, however, is the following quote:
A live, on-field event -- albeit when no athletes were on the field -- during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show, when Janet Jackson's breast was accidentally bared, helped reignite Washington's interest in the indecency issue. Since then there has been a highly charged fight at the commission about just how far the commission can go in restricting broadcasts.
OK... I was offended when this happened. Not because a boob was exposed, rather because it occurred during one of the MOST watched shows for the entire year in television, in prime time, with no warnings. We can all joke about the "wardrobe malfunction," and funny jokes they are, but anyone who sincerely believes this was an "accident" has not seen the episode in question. That this article presumes just that is telling.
Israel Boldly Defends Herself, World Condemns
Grass still green, sky still blue... all that. Thank goodness there is one civilization in this world that hasn't been so crippled by political correctness that it can no longer defend itself. Israel has escalated the battle in the middle east after having 3 of its soldiers kidnapped. Of course Russia and France (bedfellows 'till the bitter, hateful, anti-Semitic end) have labeled Israel's military maneuvers as "disproportionate." Does it make sense to anyone that opposing sides in a war use "proportionate" force? I do not understand this criticism... a more valid criticism might be to FIRST condemn those that kidnapped the Israeli soldiers, since they kicked off this latest round of conflict, then call for the Israelis to come back to the negotiating table. While I disagree with that approach, at least it would have a shred of logic and impartiality within it. If every nation subjected to a terrorist attack were to retaliate as Israel is now, I would bet terrorist attacks would considerably slow. On one hand you have those who would saw off a man's head while he's still alive on camera to make a point, while on the other you have a nation that would allow even its own enemies to serve in parliament.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

John "ABSCAM" Murtha, Corrupt Coward
Simply because you served in the military doesn't make you immune to criticism. That being said, there is much to criticize the Congressman on. ABSCAM involved an FBI sting operation to nail members of Congress who accepted bribes from a "mysterious Arab sheik" (see link). More information from Murtha's involvement tape has come to light. From the Spectator article:
"I want to deal with you guys awhile before I make any transactions at all, period.... After we've done some business, well, then I might change my mind...."

..."I'm going to tell you this. If anybody can do it -- I'm not B.S.-ing you fellows -- I can get it done my way." he boasted. "There's no question about it."...

But the reluctant Murtha wouldn't touch the $50,000. Here on secret videotape was this all-American hero, tall and dignified in a disheveled way, explaining why he wasn't quite ready to accept the cash.

"All at once," he said, "some dumb [expletive deleted] would go start talking eight years from now about this whole thing and say [expletive deleted], this happened. Then in order to get immunity so he doesn't go to jail, he starts talking and fingering people. So the [S.O.B.] falls apart."...

"You give us the banks where you want the money deposited," offered one of the bagmen.

"All right," agreed Murtha. "How much money we talking about?"

"Well, you tell me."

"Well, let me find out what is a reasonable figure that will get their attention," said Murtha, "because there are a couple of banks that have really done me some favors in the past, and I'd like to put some money in....["]

The dialogue continued as follows:

Amoroso: Let me ask you now that we're together. I was under the impression, OK, and I told Howard [middleman Howard Criden] what we were willing to pay, and [This is where the available videotape begins]I went out, I got the $50,000. OK? So what you're telling me, OK, you're telling me that that's not what you know....

Murtha: I'm not interested.

Amoroso: OK.

Murtha: At this point, [This is where the available videotape ends] you know, we do business together for a while. Maybe I'll be interested and maybe I won't.... Right now, I'm not interested in those other things. Now, I won't say that some day, you know, I, if you made an offer, it may be I would change my mind some day.
If the Democrats want a military spokesman for their obviously weak on national security party, they could choose someone who hasn't been involved in scandals either during their service, or since they have taken office. That would leave... hmmm... no one that I could think of offhand. The Democratic "Culture of Corruption (TM)" continues unabated.

I wonder who you have to accept bribes from to demand a static date for our troops to be completely withdrawn from a battlefield? I know of only one side that would benefit in the long run.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

India Bombed, Who's Next?
There were many terrorist attacks across many nations before 9/11. It just happens that post-9/11 awareness of such activities makes them seem more prevalent. New York, London, Madrid, Bali, Bombay, Moscow, Paris, Amsterdam. These murderers are indiscriminate, if you do not stand up to them now, you will be living under an Islamic caliphate and Sharia law. It's quite simple really.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Personal Responsibility
Though I believe that ultimately, whether it be smoking, drinking, or going too deeply into debt to get out are all up to personal responsibility, Bizzy has a great article on the shady practices of creditors. I am extremely fortunate to only have the debt of my home mortgage. It used to be that I used credit for just about everything, to give myself the "convenience" of only having one bill at the end of each month. What I, and undoubtedly millions have found out is that the ease of having a large line of credit makes it convenient to blow out your pocketbook every month. I find it amusing that despite my lack of debt I receive virtually no credit card offers, while a close friend of mine has some pretty hefty debt issues and they receive credit offers on a nearly daily basis. I have one credit card for emergency purposes. One. While some debt such as mortgages or car payments are to be expected, if you have credit cards and have the ability, pay them off as soon as humanly possible. Some points from The Biz:
The tidal wave of mail offers encourages those who don’t know better to keep applying, which only increases their futility, and certainly in some cases causes them to take a look at really bad borrowing ideas (the consumer-finance sharks, title loans, and payday “advances”).

As to whether card industry approval practices are actually permissive to the the point that they encourage consumers to get further into debt, two points:

1. The card issuers are in many cases owned by the same banks who have, with their “creative” products and the encouragement of mortgage security giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, lowered approval standards for conventional and subprime mortgage loans to the point where almost anyone who can fog a mirror can get a deal. Why should we believe that standards haven’t been similarly lowered in the card business?

2. I know this won’t apply to everyone, but many readers should ask themselves these questions:
– What is the total of all available credit lines on my cards?
– If I maxed every one out, could I afford to pay them back?
– If lending standard are supposedly so rigorous, how has this been allowed to happen?
The Case for the Amero...
WASHINGTON – Are secret meetings being held between the corporate and political elites of the U.S., Mexico and Canada to push North America into a European Union-style merger?
...Or rather, what can we do to stop the North American Union from happening? I was browsing WorldNetDaily today, and noticed this article. There have been alarmist, overblown reports in this publication previously, but by and far it is a reliable read which appears to rely mostly on external media. This article caught my interest because I have heard whispers here and there about the impending NAU which, quite frankly, is a terrifying concept. I am a strong believer in the capitalist system, but an equally powerful believer in this conglomeration of phrases: Money is power, power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. There have been some very benevolent CEOs, but they are becoming more and more rare. If the NAU concept were to come to fruition, the American job market would surely crash, beauracracy would reach new heights at the corporate and governmental levels, and the very sovereignty and security of the United States of America would be jeopardized.

Tom Tancredo is one of the few congressmen that appears to be supportive of American sovereignty to any degree. He has repeatedly called for border security, and has now called on the Bush Administration to reveal any plans set forth involving negotiations with the other North American states in this regard. He's quickly becoming one of my favorite Congressmen, up there with Moeller grad John Boehner.

With President Bush's post-election shift to the left, many Republican seats are up for grabs in the coming election. Let's hope sanity prevails, and a more Tancredo-like Congress emerges in the coming months. If this plan continues to sail through under the radar, The Case for the Amero will have to be considered one of the main harbingers. From that article:

The United States has less to gain from a monetary union than Canada and Mexico but there will be some benefits. Monetary union will reduce the threat to the power of the US dollar resulting from the greater use of the euro in place of the dollar in the rest of the world. Further, the United States will benefit from having more stable and prosperous countries as neighbours. When the United States joined other international organizations like the IMF, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, and the North American Free Trade Agreement, the expected economic and political gains appeared to offset the surrender of some national sovereignty. In this tradition, the United States may well find it worthwhile to join the proposed monetary union.
In other words, it's OK to sell off a little sovereignty now and then. That Phyllis Schlafly would oppose this immediatly sent up a red flag.
"Bush meant what he said, at Waco, Texas, in March 2005, when he announced his plan to convert the United States into a 'Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America' by erasing our borders with Canada and Mexico," she said. "Bush's guest-worker proposal would turn the United States into a boardinghouse for the world's poor, enable employers to import an unlimited number of 'willing workers' at foreign wage levels, and wipe out what's left of the U.S. middle class. Bush lives in a house well protected by a fence and security guards and he associates with rich people who live in gated communities. Yet, for five years, he has refused to protect the property and children of ordinary Arizona citizens from trespassers and criminals."
Whether this is incendiary rhetoric, or the absolute truth remains to be seen. The good news is it's getting out now. Stay posted for the bad news, should it come around.

A few articles on this topic:

Deanna Springola via Renew America.
A full article from Phyllis.
I'm Back
Vacations certainly can change perspective on things. Updates will be sparse as I catch up at work and ramp up my knowledge of last week's events. For those of you who read, thank you for your patience.

Go to the source!