The Logic Lifeline

A logical approach to sorting out world events. Where logic, opinion and speculation are combined to produce a reasoned, but entertaining reading experience. The unofficial hometown conservative blog of Woodridge, Il

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

AICS on Hiatus

To those who keep coming back looking for a new post, my apologies. I have had very little time in recent weeks to devote to the Logic Lifeline. Some of the posts I was able to write were lacking in the quality I like to have. Instead of being under the gun of producing posts, for now I will be in reading and research mode. I may be able to respond to some comments.

I am pleased with the way the election is panning out. It is likely several of my predictions will come true (and we will hear endless belly-aching about Diebold Voting machines). I hope to resume posting well before the election. Until then, please visit my links and look through my archives. I will be visiting yours and dropping a comment from time to time.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A Single Photo That Sums Up Kofi's Tenure

A picture is worth a thousand words. This says it all.

Human Rights Watch Dons Kick Me Sign

Your organization has limited people and limited resources. The entire world is filled with Human Rights abuses for you to explore and challenge. What person in distress do you use these precious resources on - Saddam Hussein. Yes, that is what Human Rights Watch did. They were so concerned because Iraq's president fired the judge presiding over Hussein's trial. This judge stopped important court business to kiss Saddam's backside by assuring him he was not a dictator. It is not clear what dictionary the judge was using to define "dictator".

Iraqi law allows for the removal of a judge for any reason whatsoever, so this seems to fall within the legal authority of the president. According to the NYT, HRW seems to be hung up on the idea this decision: “sends a chilling message to all judges: toe the line or risk removal.”
It is not clear what message HRW thinks a judge sympathetic to the man with the blood of thousands on his hands sends.

I think the judge's removal sends a healthy message that prejudicial and sympathetic statements to not belong at the trial of the man who killed thousands with nerve gas, housed rape rooms to assault the wives and daughters of perceived enemies and ordered men placed into human shredding machines.

If this does not highlight the debilitating nature of liberalism, I don't know what will. HRW has embarrassed itself and undermined progress in true human rights advancement in the world. I give them an honorary "kick me" sign.

Southern Border Suddenly Real

Whether it is 12 million illegal aliens or WMD and explosives from Mr. Nuclear, according to politicians the border between the US and Mexico has been a figment of our imagination - until now. Now that something really important needs to happen, suddenly the border exists.

I am talking about the recent arrest of Duane "Dog" Chapman, the famous Bounty Hunter from A&E Television. Three years ago Dog did the unthinkable and rose to heroism in the US. Andrew Luster, the heir to the Max Factor fortune, was awaiting trial for raping several women. According to Wikipedia, police had video evidence showing Luster raping women he had given the date rape drug GHB. Luster jumped bail and ran to Mexico.

Dog Chapman went to Mexico and captured Luster in a bid to collect part of the $1 million bail Luster forfeited when he ran. Luster was found with more GHB, as well as evidence he had plans against some that participated in his trial. Luster was sent back to serve a 124 year prison sentence. Dog was not only denied a reward because he was not officially on this case, he was arrested in Puerto Vallarta for kidnapping Luster. Instead of being heralded as a criminal, he was treated like a criminal. Dog himself jumped bail for that charge and came back to the US where his fame allowed him to launch his television show "Bounty Hunter".

All went well until suddenly out of the blue US Marshals were sent to take Dog into Custody. He was arrested and an extradition hearing has been set to send him back to Mexico to stand trial. I reluctantly admit that he did something wrong here, but my question is why is this case so important to Mexico and why is the US cooperating in this small crime? Why is the border suddenly real to the authorities who have ignored it so often? I think they need to treat the border seriously, but this is selectively honoring the border for an insignificant crime while they have been ignoring the border for serious issues.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Shame or Shameless?

The Canadian National Post has an editorial by a Father Raymond J. de Souza titled Rioters' Madness Shames Muslim World. It is a lengthy piece that addresses the reaction to the Pope's speech. The portion I address is the notion that many in the Muslim world are shamed by the reactions. The title clearly reflects this, but another section also highlights it:
In response to this historical excursus in an academic lecture by one of the world's most erudite theologians, we are witnessing a wave of madness and malice, no doubt an embarrassment to millions of Muslims.
When I read that, my first thought was that I have yet to see or hear any sign of embarrassment by the Muslim world over any of the outrageous behavior we have seen in recent decades. If such shame exists, I am not aware of it through any media source including those associated with Muslim countries.

I have read the Pope's speech and come to the conclusion that those offended by the contents must be somewhat low in intelligence and unable to grasp such concepts as context and quoting. It was a matter of reacting first and thinking later; though I am not sure they have come to the thinking part yet. Though I don't see it, even if the Pope's words were offensive; the Islamic world needs to come to grips with the concept of freedom of speech.

Michelle Malkin has quite a rundown on the reactions. There are a number of threats and destructive behavior:

  • The Anglican church in Gaza was firebombed
  • A group threatens to kill all Christians in Iraq if the Pope does not apologize in 3 days
  • A fatwa is issued to kill anyone on the spot who offend Mohammed
  • A threat of property destruction at the Vatican
  • Threats by the Taliban for the Pope to apologize
  • And more
I wish it were true that many in the Islamic world are embarrassed by these actions. I just don't see any sign that it is true. If there is shame, those who feel it have been cowered into silence by the radical elements and their followers. Hopefully more moderate elements will rise and gain followers who will find the courage to speak out against these actions.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Sometimes a friend has to tell us we are embarrasing ourselves

At times in life we focus on one point so much we lose sight of everything else. During these times our behavior may become a little askew, grasping onto that one point like a pit-bull and are unwilling to let it go. In these times of obsession we need a friend to step in and tell us we are embarrassing ourselves and to help us return to the light of normal behavior.

While I try not to be critical of the religion or faith of others (except when discussing one on one the merits of each of our perspectives) I keep observing the actions of those who live in Muslim countries and wonder when somebody from within is going to step up to the plate and ask if this is truly the image they want to portray. While there have been legitimate times of anger, the image of these people boiling over in outrage at the slightest word of offence is truly getting old.

The two outstanding events are the cartoon outrage and now the Pope comment outrage. It seems at the slightest provocation, they take to the streets and work themselves up into a rage. Sometimes it is simply protest and shouting; other times it is serious threats; sometimes it boils into violence. Michelle Malkin said it best by wondering if Islam is the Religion of Perpetual Outrage. Is this the image that is desired? I do not claim that they should be silent when events are offensive to them. I speak out all of the time on this blog when events offend me. To address the issues in a more civilized manner is surely more effective than flying off the handle every other day. There may be a time where a protest of outrage is appropriate, but if this is the only tool in your arsenal it quickly becomes ineffective. It soon makes you an object of ridicule.

In the US, Christians are habitually subjected to offensive speech and actions; often times being the butt of many jokes. While some is deserved, most of this is based in a completely inaccurate view of what a Christian is. Sometimes it is based on an accurate view of what a Christian is, but based in hatred of such. Sometimes it spills over into direct sacrilege and blasphemy against God. While I might speak out against such things, or write to sponsors expressing my disagreement; my view is that my God is able to avenge Himself of offenses against Him. He does not need me to stick up for Him. I can only think of one instance where somebody in the Bible felt the need to "defend" God: Peter took his sword and cut off the ear of a priest to keep them from taking Jesus. Instead of commending Peter, Jesus told him to put away his sword and then healed the priest's ear.

I have stated before that there is a need within Islam to condemn such terrible acts as September 11th, suicide bombers, beheading innocent hostages, forcing conversions at gunpoint, and targeting civilians with rockets. I think also there needs to be those to stand up and lead the people to a better image than what we see in these pictures.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Gas conspiracy travels over seas

With gas prices dropping, liberals will claim there must be a conspiracy to influence the upcoming election. After looking at this website showing gas prices across the pond, I have come to the conclusion that Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and the U.K. are all in on the conspiracy to make George W. Bush look good. Of course that is prepostrous.

The website shows weekly gas prices for these countries and it is not only the US that is significantly trending downward. The prices are in US dollars. Belgium dropped 30 cents in the last two weeks. France dropped 41 cents in the last 4 weeks. Germany down 30 cents in 3 weeks. The Netherlands went down 66 cents in 4 weeks. The list seems to be a week old, so I suspect the downward trend is continuing even more. As I said yesterday, the more we conserve, the more we ease the pressures on supplies. Carpool, walk and plan better to reduce trips.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Let the gas price conspiracy begin

It is now inevitable that the liberals will declare the drop in gas prices as a conspiracy for big oil to make Bush look better before the November elections. According to GasBuddy about half the country is charging less that $2.60 per gallon with the lowest pricing in a few counties in Ohio, Iowa and Missouri between $2.07 and $2.19.

The conspirators will overlook the high inventories in the US, the reduced risk of a hurricane like Katrina to rip through the Gulf, lessening of hostilities in the Middle-East, the fact that we are past the heavy summer driving season and other factors. They will fail to note that the price of oil has been somewhat artificial due to speculators flipping out every time there is any kind of possible ripple in the security of the oil supply. Maybe there was an effort to raise oil prices to make Bush look bad and it no longer could be sustained. Or maybe it is simply the laws of supply and demand kicking into place.

The real question is: do you want low gas prices? Or do you hope they stay high until after the election? I believe there is an element out there that welcomes every bit of bad news that they and media accomplices can then lay at Bush's feet. At no time during the Clinton years did I ever hope that things would go badly for the country so that conservatives would be elected. I have a very low opinion of anyone who would regardless of ideology.

I for one am doing my part to reduce fuel demand. I began carpooling today with a co-worker. It has been about three years since I have been able to carpool due to scheduling difficulties. It feels good to both save money and do my part to reduce the countries fuel consumption. It is even good for the environment. Maybe a few other readers will catch the bug.

Logic Lifeline miscalculates Couric crash

I went back to an April post I wrote just after Katie Couric accepted the position at CBS to see what I said. I remembered predicting an initial spike where she would be on top for awhile and then crash. Unfortunately for Katie, I had given her up to a year on top before the decline. First, when I wrote the post I misunderstood when she would actually start thinking it would be months sooner. Then I thought the decline would come after America saw her coverage of the '06 elections. Here was my prediction:
I again predict that Katie will have an initial fanfare at CBS that could last up to a year. Her coverage of the upcoming election could really sink her if she is as vacuously partisan as she has been on the Today show. She is both an intellectual and political lightweight and it shows easily once she leaves the "green zone" of broadcasting. The alternate media will take her apart if she tries. Once that starts to happen, it is over. Due to her status as first female solo anchor it will be extremely difficult for CBS to remove her once she is in. Being embroiled in controversy and tanked ratings will not be enough to swiftly end the pain.

My comments are not to be mistaken for my hoping for her or CBS' downfall. I am merely connecting the dots of her past performance with her new position and seeing an inevitable catastrophe. Well CBS, you are now saddled with her. You were warned.
Apparently, the decline has begun just days after her debut. According to an article in Variety:
Katie Couric's "Evening News" fell to third place Monday night, just six nights after she stormed into first in her debut week at CBS.

Couric's debut as anchor of the "Evening News" brought well over 13 million total viewers last week and while her audience dwindled from there, she finished the week with a comfortable 3 million-viewer lead over NBC's "Nightly News" and ABC's "World News."

But on Monday, the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Couric resumed a ratings position only slightly better than the one Bob Schieffer left her with. Her 7.49 million total viewers were slightly behind ABC's 7.87 million and NBC's 8.27 million

The article does point out that there is a very slim margin between the three networks, so this is not yet a crash and burn for Kouric. I do think that her coverage of the election season will still be her undoing. For now, it looks like the honeymoon is over. As I said in the original post, I am not wishing for her failure. I point this out to call into question the decision making abilities of CBS. They blew it and they will be finding that out soon.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

A pictorial tribute to the heroes of 9-11

Five years ago our country was senselessly attacked by those living in hatred with a mindset that is centuries past. This mindset remains virtually unchallenged by the religious and political leaders of Islam. We have seen lip service at best, silence from most, and support at worst. I hope in the next five years many of the Islamic faith will rise up and demand a cessation to a mindset that robs thousands of innocents around the globe of of the rights to life, liberty and happiness: elements which pursuit of comprises the American Dream.

Even tragedy caused by such seething hatred is an opportunity for the best elements of man (who was made in the image of God) to come forth. To this day many heroic deeds that happened on that tragic day are held up and praised. American culture has long celebrated the hero. In the last century, the literary genre of the comic book grew dramatically. While used for other themes, the idea of larger than life heroism became very popular. While some may look down on the genre, I think the super hero comic strip, at least in its early days, was something to be admired. Then the heroes were wholesome and upstanding citizens that embraced American Patriotism as a good thing. Shortly after 9-11, I found a group of pictures that used the comic strip hero theme to both mourn the lost and lift up those who displayed heroism and compassion for their fellow humans on that day. I believe most if not all of these pictures were retrieved from the website of Marvel Comics, the creator of the comic heroes pictured. The pictures above are some of those pictures to remember that day and remember how we felt at that time.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Al-Jazeera sticks pin in 9-11 conspiracy theory

Whatever their reasons Al-Jazeera is having none of the theory that the US government orchestrated the attacks on 9-11. They have released a video of Osama Bin Laden in pre-9-11 planning meetings. They even claim to recognize some of the actual hijackers in some of the footage.

Recently we have seen some Professors emerge with outrageous claims that the US government planned and executed the downing of the Twin Towers; complete with demolition explosives. The logistical impossibility of coordinating the attacks including cooperation from both American and United Airlines (this would require dozens of employees to be in on the plan) is not enough for these kooks.

Previously fellow blogger SkyePuppy has had two posts commenting on conspiracy busting articles from Popular Mechanics and WorldNetDaily. Just one was enough to dispel my doubts; both are a knockout punch. Of course we all remember footage of Bin Laden and other Al Qaeda members sitting around enjoying their victory after the attacks. Now the video shows pre-planning of the event by Bin Laden. Basically if the US government took down the towers, then Bin Laden should be walking free. It seems like from the far left we hear scream that the US did it AND screams that we have not caught Bin Laden yet. Maybe not from the same person, but definitely the same fringe. Now Al-Jazeera has officially stuck a pin in one of them.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Katrina lunacy will be with us a very long time

Something fundamentally snapped in the American psyche during the Katrina aftermath in New Orleans. With help from a major push from a willing accomplice in the media, many Americans bought into the notion that it is government's responsibility to swoop in and rescue seemingly comatose individuals from every danger under the sun. Depending on the agenda of the moment, will determine exactly which level of government is most responsible during these times. If it is to bash Bush, then the Federal government is targeted. If it some other gimme scheme, then it may be more local.

Katrina put irrational fear into all levels of government to such a degree that we are now seeing stories like Ernesto funds. Now everytime a rain cloud passes over during hurricane season, millions will be spent to avoid the tar and feathering sure to come if not really, really ready. Some counties in South Florida according to this Palm Beach Post story are asking for federal dollars in reimbursement for preparing for a hurricane that never happened.

Counties that combined to spend millions of dollars preparing for a wallop from Ernesto that never happened are banding together to ask state officials to flex their muscles getting the federal government to pay for their troubles.

Tony Carper, emergency management director for Broward County, sent e-mails Thursday to emergency directors in Collier, Miami-Dade, Martin and other counties that prepared for Tropical Storm Ernesto, asking them to send letters to Gov. Jeb Bush and their legislative delegation.

This is the way it is going to be for a good while. No level of government will hesitate to spend a bunch of money preparing for every little storm. Whether or not any serious catastrophe occurs, they will apply to the feds for money. This will start adding up to some serious money before long. My guess is that if the Dems ever get back in power, then some will begin to ask if maybe we have gone overboard after Katrina.

I am sure some will view me as cold for this post. Nothing could be further from the truth. There should be planning for assistance at all levels of government starting with the local first responders. Likewise, as always people should be ready all over the country to help on a private level to assist in need. The underlying fact, however, is that America needs to milk the masses from thinking "Government first" and American governments need to refrain from going overboard whenever a dark cloud is seen in the horizon.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Around the World Browsing

If you are like me you frequently run into days when you do not have much time to browse for current events. I have developed a system that I call "Around the world browsing". It is designed to get the maximum information on current events in the shortest amount of time. I have a small collection of staple links that if really in a bind for time can deliver within 15 minutes of fast clicking and speed reading a good idea of what is going on in a given day. I of course like to spend a little more time than that. If I have more time, I use my "Around the World browsing" system as a launching pad.

A broad spectrum source of current events.
Although he gets pummeled by many, the DrudgeReport by Matt Drudge is the most comprehensive, broad spectrum source of current events in one click that I have found. For those who would balk because it is Matt Drudge, I would point out that 98% of anything available on his site is simply a link to the work of others. The rest are his exclusives and also his unique labels to the links he adds. I think the real problem most people have with the site is that Drudge was the man who broke the story about the infamous "stained" dress of Monica Lewinsky. Anyway, the DrudgeReport has at least 25-30 current events links at any given time. They range from the critical to the curious and across the categories of news, sports, religion, life, finance, and fashion. DrudgeReport has been my first click for over 5 years now.

A productively prolific blogger who frequently posts on the items I am interested in
Everyone needs to find their own set of 1-3 blogs that have many posts each day and tend to zero in on topics that interest them. Browsing is about what interests the browser and about information, so this step is critical to stay interested. Many blogs crank out a lot of dull posts. For the time challenged, it simply is not worth it to dig among rubbish to find a diamond during your routine. That kind of stuff is for the days you have a few hours to browse away. My three prolific bloggers I turn to in my routine are:

HughHewitt or Powerline (not both during the quick days, so I alternate)

CaptainsQuarters is a great blog. Captain Ed truly does the world a service with his insightful well written posts. He truly has a grasp of world events and the inner workings of politics that spices his posts with rich flavor. An added bonus is his link to the interesting Day by Day comic strip. For newcomers, a trip to the comics archives is advised.

Michelle Malkin is a very feisty person in her personal interviews and in her blog. She has a great set of resources that keep her well informed. Her posts pack a punch that is a great supplement to my morning coffee in terms of wake-up power.

Hugh Hewitt is absolutely great on the radio. His background and experience in both government and law gives a broadened perspective to the things he says and writes. While I don't think his blog is on par with his show, it is still worth reading. I think with being a law professor, a radio talk host, an author, and a blogger (and I think he sits on a board or two) makes him a very busy man.

Powerline has an advantage of three contributing members. Based in Minnesota made them an interesting base for the exciting Senate elections of Norm Coleman (MN) and John Thune (SD). Being lawyers, this blog (as well as Hugh Hewitt's) has been a great asset when flamboyant claims of illegal actions by the Bush administration are thrown around.

Check in with a few of my favorite blogs who like me only have time for 1-3 posts on any given day
After digesting the bulk of current events through the links listed above, I like to settle down and see what a few of my favorite smaller operation blogs (like mine) have to say. I have four and depending on the the volume and subject matter of the other links, I at least hit 2-3 and catch the others later.

Political Yen/Yang

Texas Rainmaker

Political Yen/Yang by LASunsett is always an interesting read. LA is very informed, and an excellent writer. LA has an uncanny ability to encourage new bloggers and was instrumental in keeping me going in the early days when very few came and fewer still wrote comments. I used to have a lesser opinion of those who took the label "moderate". After reading his perspective, I am come to a different understanding and a higher respect at least for some who are in that category.

Malott's Blog written by Chris Malott - a confirmed bachelor and gardener extroardinaire; is a unique blend of serious commentary, way out humor, world events, religious topics and last but not least: bachelor and gardener tips. The world really needs to get to know this man who at the zenith of his Senatorial write-in campaign in Indiana penned the famous slogan: "Malott for Senate...Why Not!"

SkyePuppy is another eclectic blog covering a spectrum of topics. SkyePuppy holds a special place in my heart as she seems to love everything I write. Every creative writer should have such a faithful cheerleader. On her blog whatever topic she selects for a given day (be it world events, history, science, etc.) she does a great job at digging deeply into the topic and writing something meaningful.

TexasRainmaker by Jason Smith has some very good bite to his posts. While he is not very prolific, what he does write is exceptional. The headline of his blog is what lead me to bookmark him stating, "Every morning when I wake up I read the Bible and the Newspaper...because I want to know what both sides are up to."

Elective supplements to round things out
Everyone should have a few supplements they then add to their usual routine. It may be some site that writes things you might agree with. Or to make it interesting it may contain information you may not agree with. Some sites that tend to write posts often that are from a different perspective than mine are:

Joe Schmoe's blog
FKAB's Blog

With the exception of OstroyReport, these blogs are written by frequent readers of the Logic Lifeline. We carry vastly different viewpoints but I consider them friends. To confine yourself to an ideological bubble robs us of the opportunity to challenge ourselves if our beliefs are rooted in sound knowledge or because that is all we have been exposed to.

Peace4Palestine is written by one who has strong Middle East roots. Housewife provides insight into the Palestinian/Israeli conflict and into Islam itself. Our perspectives are different as night and day and our first encounters were quite energetic. Since then we have become friends in spite of our differences. She is always available to ask questions in those tough areas we Westerners have trouble grasping.

FKAB is a confirmed atheist who ridicules all forms of organized religion. He often aligns religious belief to the erroneous belief in a Flying Spagetti Monster. In spite of our differences, he does rightly point out how people I may agree with often write very silly arguments to support their belief. For a completely opposing viewpoint to faith, this is the spot. If you have thin skin or are not secure in your faith, you may want to abstain.

Merete and Joe are frequent commenters here. They don't have many posts, but the ones they have are in high gear. I think they both hate George Bush twice as much as I like him. Combined with Andy Ostroy, they commonly compare or allude to Bush and Hitler in the same breath. Andy, however, unlike the others is a strong supporter of Israel.

I of course have many links of those more in line with my ideology that I can suplement with as time permits. The important thing is to reduce the likelihood of an important current event being missed.

News? What's news?
You may notice that my "Around the World Browsing" routine does not include any news. This does not mean I do not view news. This is a routine to gather information on world events. Sadly, the News does a very poor job of this. For example, every news source has a list of about 6 leading news items. Supposedly these are the most critical items of the day. Either we have a very boring world, or they do a very poor job at prioritizing the news. Last week the actions of Tropical Storm Ernesto qualified for the top 6 on most news sites.

News does play a significant role. More and more, however, it is to supply blogs with launching pads for posting topics and support. Blogs play a significant role by their massive research efforts by scouring all of the news and digesting it into a more proper priority list of current events.

In summary, regardless of which exact links you choose for your routine; you too can use this system for a quick around the world browsing experience. I of course read many other sources and often, but for a daily routine to get the most the fastest this is what works for me.