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

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Big Success in Immigration Enforcement Spun by Media

A recent raid on a hog slaughterhouse yielded an interesting result: illegal aliens were too scared to come into work because they feared more raids. Translation: Enforcement of laws is a successful model to obtaining the desired goal.

When there was discussion of border enforcement including the building of a wall all of the liberals howled out references to the Berlin Wall. I saw and heard many comments that enforcing the laws we already have would help the problem. Of course those statements when made by liberals were simply a diversion from a border enforcement solution. Now that the Dems are in power and there is zero chance of funding the wall, liberals do not seem very keen on immigration enforcement.

I have heard many references to the sensationalism of the media. However, this news story from the NewsObserver will practically put you to sleep. Instead of focusing on the success of the enforcement, the story focuses on the plight of those here illegally. The fact is that illegals too scared to come to work (illegally) is a success story. The liberals in the media could have made a headline "See, we don't need a wall to solve the illegal immigration problem!" That would have been sensational.

Of course the reason I still support a wall is that such enforcement is at the whim of the enforcers. It can be temporary until the political heat passes by. It can be only partially enacted - where 95% is still unenforced but the 5% makes the news.

The best alternative to distasteful enforcement measures is for Mexico to reform its government and economy so that they have a strong enough economy to retain their workers in Mexico. Instead, most of their energy seems to go to bashing the U.S., making sure their people have free access to the U.S., protecting the drug cartels and retaining their bribe infested socialist government.

There is also another way. The Mexican economy is bolstered by $8 Billion per year from illegals sending money back to their families in Mexico. We should offer the Mexican government $20 Billion per year in additional foreign aid with the stipulation that they enforce the Mexican-U.S. border aggressively. With technology we can monitor their success and withhold the money if they are not meeting their agreement. This idea is a win-win for both sides. For Mexico, they can use the extra cash to invest in their country's infrastructure. The increase in jobs will also increase their tax base. For the U.S., we will win on multiple fronts. We will not have so many illegals taking jobs from our people. Wages will rise since there will not be such a suppression effect that exists today. Our tax base should increase with defraying the cost of the investment. Our economy will not lose the $8 Billion per year also defraying the cost. Our southern border will not be the Swiss Cheese for terrorists that it is today. Our border patrol can focus more on restricting drug trafficking and ensuring WMD are not smuggled into the country from either border.

By focusing on the plight of the illegal alien who is too scared to go to work in a negative manner, the media has lost sight of the potential success and problem solving such enforcement can have. It is but a slice of how an irresponsible media today loses many opportunities to improve this country. Unfortunately, seeing the U.S. succeed does not seem to be high on their agenda.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Winken Blinken and Nod

I have not had much time lately to post. Tonight I did not have time to watch the full State of the Union address. The portion that I did watch, I was quite distracted from what Bush was saying by the chronic batting of the eyes by Nancy Pelosi. The first time we heard the media refer to blink rate was during the presidential debate between Bush 41, Clinton and Perot. Since then high blink rate has been associated with dishonesty. I am going to predict that this will not be mentioned about Pelosi by the MSM. Not that I think it is necessarily a worthy subject for the MSM, but that they are inconsistent for when they find it worthy.

Pelosi blinked at a rate more than one blink per second. Bush must have felt a breeze at the back of his neck during his speech. Most of the speech you only saw Bush, Cheney and Pelosi. Hence the name of my post: Winken(Bush), Blinken (Pelosi) and Nod (Cheney). Cheney looked like he could use a Red Bull energy drink. Ah well, at least we don't have to look at Bill Frist.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Multiple Facets of 24

I just finished watching the fourth hour of the season opener of the show '24' . Don't worry, there will be no spoilers here for those 'Tivo-ing' the entire season before watching it (not mentioning any names here). This is the third season I am watching and so far it is obvious that they are pulling out all of the stops to break past all boundaries.

I have heard some snippets of people that are complaining about some seeming "political correctness" that has crept into the show. From my perspective I think that is bunk. Yes, some people say things that make you want to slap your head. The way I see it, the show is pushing boundaries and completely manipulating events to show a few powerful threads. Without giving details I will state that there is a high level of terrorist activity in the show (that is shown in the first 2 minutes). During such events there would be a wide variety of perspectives and viewpoints. I think that is what 24 is trying to capture. There will be a wide range of reactions ranging from full fledge appeasement to a full fledge vigilante outlook.

The show also captures the complex decisions that leadership and field agents would need to make. If you saw the show, the last 15 minutes show just that in vivid detail. Being charged with protecting the people, to what lengths would you go? If a clear choice presents itself to choose between protecting thousands and breaching the freedoms of others, what would you do? I think the show presents both sides very well.

This television season is packed with good shows. A few years ago, there was very little I was interested in watching on TV on a regular basis. I think some very good shows have been created in recent years. Here are my regulars(some in season, some not):

The 4400
Hell's Kitchen
American Idol
Justice (not sure if it survived)

My favorite fillers are the forensic shows on Court TV. I love to see the bad guys get caught by some rug fiber or by the DNA of an acorn that fell on a car from the crime scene, etc. Feel free to share your thoughts about 24. WARNING SPOILERS ALLOWED IN THE COMMENTS. Also, feel free to comment on your favorite shows or mine. 99% of TV is still junk, but at least there are some good ones.

Is it Safe to Report Good Economic News Yet?

The media has been quite hostile to the economy for several years now. As posted here many times, even good news was always balanced by bad news or some mitigating commentary. From my perspective it seems that the hostile winds abruptly slowed right after the November elections. AFP is now reporting on "surprising" good economic news. According to the story:
Economists are hastily upgrading their forecasts for the US economy after a series of surprisingly strong reports suggesting the so-called "soft landing" may be over and growth is accelerating.

Over the past week, surprises have come in stronger-than-expected reports on US job creation, the trade balance and retail sales -- all key contributors to economic activity.

The eye rolling quote states:
"After slowing in November, the economy seems to have regained its stride," Harris said.
The question is how long before the media begins attributing an improved economy to the Democrat win in November? This would be the reverse of 2001 when the media sat on bad economic news during the 2000 campaign. Bush "stole" the election and suddenly we were in a recession. Suddenly it was Bush's recession. So how soon before this is the Dem's economic upturn? If they could only get the minimum wage raised and some taxes hiked before more good news comes in, they could link the growth to these initiatives. (You read it here first).

Of course the AFP report speculates on the growth in areas other than Bush's economic policies:
But some analysts say the strong data may be distorted by mild weather and drops in energy costs.
So are they going to link global warming to an improved economy? No that is stretching it a bit. On the energy costs, the analysts may have swerved onto something. I don't recall if I ever posted on it, but I have stated in my personal discussions that the lower gas prices would have the same effect on the economy as a tax cut. This is the same effect that Bush's tax cuts had at bringing an economy hammered by recession and the effects of 9/11 back from the brink. Since the economy was in good health back in the fall, the gas prices after taking full effect will have a strong boosting of the economy.

It must be freeing to the media to be able to simply report on good economic news knowing there is now an alternative to giving Bush credit for it.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Another Wonderful Vacation in Florida

My vacation in Florida was fantastic. Though I love my job, the axiom is always true that a bad day on vacation is better than a good day at the office. We chose to fly to Tampa due to flight availability. This meant some driving time but the state is beautiful to drive through. Our ultimate destination was the Florida Keys. We arrived there in the evening staying in our favorite Key: Marathon. The place was an absolute charm. The first thing I noticed were the hammocks. It was heaven lying on a hammock in the warm evening breeze. The breezes lasted until the last day, and kept the bugs away. Our hostess took us in a boat to a sandbar out on the ocean. We were able to walk around in shallow water due to the low tide. We were able to find some interesting shells and pieces of coral.

The saying is often true that "No good deed goes unpunished". While I was looking around I saw something floating in the water. It looked just like a partially inflated balloon with a string on it. Some readers are already laughing at me, but it seriously looked like a balloon. I have heard about how ballons are left in the water and sea turtles choke on them. So in my zeal to save a sea turtle from certain death, I grabbed the string of the balloon to throw it safely away. I found out
quickly that it was no balloon, but a Man of War. It got a good sting on my thumb before I was able to throw it back in the water. Within minutes my whole arm hurt. After some first aid, some aspirin and about an hour it finally stopped hurting. Reminds me of some news stories I have grabbed onto and posted with, as you can read about in my last post. When the pain stopped, my wife and I got into a canoe and explored the Mangroves. In the lagoon, there was an entrance into the Mangrove trees that led through a "pathway" to another lagoon on the other side. There were hundreds of crabs crawling on the mangroves. There were so many other living things in the area making the experience truly amazing. We were told a manatee was visitng the area lately and searched very diligantly for it, but did not see it. I have seen one from a large boat before, but it would have been great to come close to one in a canoe. We saw a 3 ft. iguana and some exotic birds. I later saw a book showing the ecosystem that occurs in the root systems of the Mangroves.

We visited Bahia Honda State Park. It was apparant that the place was still suffering from Hurricane Wilma since our last visit. It was still beautiful and we were able to camp out on the beach for more sunshine. My oldest son loves to get a tan, and achieved his goal. We next drove to Key West. The last time I was there I made up my mind to avoid the place in the future. The kids wanted to go, so we did. I am now determined never to go there again. It is every bit of a moral cesspool as New Orleans, yet without much other redeeming value that I could find. New Orleans (pre-Katrina) had some character and history that interested me. Anything else that was in Key West could be found elsewhere in the Keys.

If you look on a map, the Keys have only one highway (US 1) that goes through it. The Keys are very small islands connected by long bridges (one is 7 miles long). The mile markers start at 0 in Key Largo West and end at exactly 100 in Key West Key Largo is around the 100 mile marker (thanks to Keys Treasures for the correction. My mind sometimes reverses things). Many places the land is so narrow you can see the Atlantic on one side of the road and the Gulf of Mexico on the other. With only one major road, you can imagine there is alot of impatience going on. Combined with large vehicles and trailers, drinking vacationers and speeders this is a very dangerous highway. We entered on the 3rd of January and a sign said "Number of fatalities on Highway 1 Year to Date: 10". Two days later Key West had a similar sign that had bumped the number to 18. Three fatalities per day is quite sobering. The police are doing everything they can to keep the speeding down. They are
literally ALL OVER. We were warned before coming that it was nearly impossible to speed without getting a ticket. So we went the speed limit.

We visited the Dolphin Research Center in Marathon. Of all the luck, while we were there a dolphin was being born. The place averages about 1 per year and we were there for this one. Turci the dolphin was in labor for about 30 minutes after we arrived. She went under water and the next surface, there were 2 dolphins. It was quite a special moment. They kept surfacing together in unison after that (see picture). There were other dolphins in the place we also saw. The male dolphins kept swimming slowly by with one eye cocked toward us. Must have been looking at Olive Oil.

We drove back to Tampa and went to Busch Gardens the last day of our vacation. They had 4 very good roller coasters which our whole family is passionate about. One coaster had a 200ft 90 degree drop straight down. That was a huge rush. The day we were there, the attendance was quite low. Every roller coaster was near zero waiting to ride. In two hours we had riden
each 5-6 times with at least two front row runs. I was satisfied enough to spend time looking at the animals in their safari section. My kids thought that was a waste, so they kept riding. The park closed at 6pm which is early for theme park professionals like my family. However, we all felt quite satisfied when we were walking out of the park that we had a sufficient number of rides.

It was a great vacation. There was more R&R than usual. The weather was fantastic. I think I counted 5 total drops of rain. We all came back with nice tans. We had some very good family time together. We survived driving on Highway 1. My bones are warm for some cooler weather that I am sure will come in the next few weeks. I have much to be thankful for.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Pitfalls of Blogging

To be sure, my main incentive for blogging is for my own personal enjoyment. I have no delusion that my writings will make any significant impact on the world. From where I sit I see that the world is full of nasty things: injustice, crime, greed, liars, agenda driven movers and shakers. There are politicians and media that lean both ways that intentionally attempt to deceive. I take great pleasure blowing off steam by writing against these antics. Though I have my political leanings, I make clear that regardless of which way political power leans it does not make or break my life. If those I like are in power, it does not mean that my life will improve dramatically due to their actions. If those I dislike are in power, it does not mean that my life will fall off of the earth. If my worst nightmares come true: either America becoming a socialist rathole like Europe, or if nasty terrorists commit significant destruction to portions of this country that cost thousands to millions of lives; I will not despair. This is rugged individualism at its best.

Blogging like any hobby comes after many of my other responsibilities. I have a job, a wife, children, a home, a church. I have friends and family. There are many other niches in life that collectively take priority of my time. Nearly all I consider a joy rather than a duty. What time is left is divided among my entertainment sources. I have a set of favorite TV shows. I enjoy movies when they are high quality. I enjoy music, both listening and playing the guitar that my son and I are taking lessons for. I drive my four wheeler, build on my home's landscape, read, attend live theater. Finally, there is Internet surfing and blogging. Blogging carries a few inherent pitfalls that are difficult to avoid or resolve.

Time and Resources. The big media guys have researchers, proof-readers, editorial boards, and many other resources that the lonely blogger does not. For some of the big bloggers, their effort has become part of their careers. This can justify spending money for more resources and more time to devote.

The traditional media catch 22. There is a strange relationship between bloggers and the TM. Bloggers often blog out of frustration with the job that the TM does. Each member of the TM struggles with their inherent bias. I maintain that it is not possible to keep ones bias contained 100% of the time. Before HOW one writes, choosing what to write and what not to write is often based upon bias. Bias can cause one to make assumptions that thereafter are never challenged. The TM is also a slave to sensationalism. In their quest to make stories cutting edge, controversial and interesting they often stretch the facts so much out of shape they are no longer facts. The TM is subject to sources that can often be qustionable at best and purposeful liars at worst. The Tm can get lazy in their work and produce substandard stories that latter require a
retraction or apology. Yet for all of the flaws of the TM, bloggers need the TM. Bloggers cannot do as much research, field reporters to gather stories, gain access to people and situations, acquire a broad array of supporting pictures from all over the world. So bloggers tap into the TM in order to exist, yet often get bitten by the very problems they are frustrated with the TM about.

All of the above sets the stage for comments on recent posts in the Logic Lifeline. Being subject to the constraints of time and a faulty media, I cannot always provide the quality product on this blog that I would like. I can honestly say that I have never purposefully written anything false or misleading on this blog. I pursue truth even if it hurts or is at odds with any agenda I might have. The first question is whether under these circumstances to blog at all. So far in spite of not being able to meet an internal standard, I choose to continue blogging for the enjoyment. As I stated before, bloggers need the TM and even other bloggers to provide the seeds of posts. I will continue to use them. All writing seems to want to shine a light on controversy. Sometimes after a day or two, "exposed controversy" is explained or debunked. Retractions are made and on to the next one. I could be "safe" and only write after I am absolutely sure a topic will not be debunked. However, my blog would always be 5-6 days behind current. So I try my best to balance timeliness with prudence. So in summary I will continue to blog as best I can, continue to use the TM and other sources, try to balance a fresh blog with the best screening possible.

In the end there will be times where I have to make a retraction just like the big boys. I have a special reader who goes by the name Patriot that has taken on the task of being my fact checker. While sometimes it boils down to a difference of opinion or is a war between what his sources or my sources claim; often Patriot is successful at nailing an incorrection or inconsistency. It is like getting your teeth cleaned: much pain, but great afterward. I claim to seek the truth and I stick by that. So there is nothing left to do but make it right. The post I entered about the Gay Sheep is apparently based on a completely bogus story by the TimesOnline. The researcher was merely studying the behaviors of the gay sheep to try to find a biological basis. He was not trying to cure them, not had any success doing so as the story claims. Apparantly the radical animal rights group PETA started the whole controversy with outright lies about the research and the story gained steam from there. My post was based on the TimesOnline false story and I retract it. Feel free to read the comment trail for more details on the debunked story.

Patriot has made challenges elsewhere such as the "sic" story and a way back story about the Lieberman race. In the "sic" story, ABC has offered a plausible explanation. As you will see in the comments, I do not quite buy it but I will point out their explanation and the readers can decide. In the Lieberman story, the heading of the news story stated exactly what my post was about but the contents of the story showed contrary facts. Though the story is quite old and the news story was misleading, I will come clean and retract that as well. I have been challenged in other areas, but at this time I think future developments will show in my favor. Part of this post was to make retractions. Part of this post was to point out that blogging serves a purpose, and that there are great challenges for the little guy. Some may try to deceive or are irresponsibly sloppy. I try very hard with the time and resources I have to provide accuracy in my posts.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

On Vacation - Again


I have one last week of vacation from 2006 to use up or I am going to lose it. The family and I are going to Florida to warm our bones before the really cold season sets in the Chicago Area. Thanks to all for reading and I hope you come back in a week to resume reading. As usual, there is a chance I will have Internet access and may add a post before then if I do. (Or maybe I can prod R2W to drop a post or two). Have a great week.


Gay Sheep Story Exposes Inconsistencies in Gay Community

Update: Sadly this post has gotten the most hits of any post I have ever written. Since most come directly to this post, they will not know I have a retraction of sorts on a different post that can be read here. PETA is the original source of disinformation about this and it made its way into the TimesOnline. The sheep story I retract. The question of what would the reaction be if there was a way to prevent homosexuality stays.

The battle over whether homosexuality is a choice has been raging for some time now. During every single television or radio discourse I have heard, those representing the gay side have boldly made two claims:

1) They did not choose to be gay, they were gay from birth
2) The idea that nobody would choose to be gay as a supporting argument

Some conservatives have speculated a war among liberal groups when they identify the "gay gene" and are able to produce a prenatal test for the gene. The idea is that the gay community would go ballistic if parents had the option to identify if their child was gay and choose to abort it. What fun to see the gay community and abortion advocates go toe to toe.

New research may remove the need for an abortion, but gay advocates are ballistic anyway. According to the Timesonline:

SCIENTISTS are conducting experiments to change the sexuality of “gay” sheep in a programme that critics fear could pave the way for breeding out homosexuality in humans. The technique being developed by American researchers adjusts the hormonal balance in the brains of homosexual rams so that they are more inclined to mate with ewes.

It raises the prospect that pregnant women could one day be offered a treatment to reduce or eliminate the chance that their offspring will be homosexual. Experts say that, in theory, the “straightening” procedure on humans could be as simple as a hormone supplement for mothers-to-be, worn on the skin like an anti-smoking nicotine patch.

The research, at Oregon State University in the city of Corvallis and at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, has caused an outcry. Martina Navratilova, the lesbian tennis player who won Wimbledon nine times, and scientists and gay rights campaigners in Britain have called for the project to be abandoned.

Navratilova went on to claim that the sheep have a right to be gay and that it was wrong to take that right away from them (major eye roll on my part). Obviously from a livestock point of view, more reproduction means more profit. Livestock returns the investment of feeding and care by providing offspring and meat upon slaughter. To politicize research aimed at increasing livestock offspring is ludicrous.

Of course the real fear is that the same research will next be used in humans to prevent children from being gay. This goes against the two items listed above. First, you would think the gay community would welcome research that would prove that homosexuality is caused by factors other than choice. This research would do just that. Second, since we so often hear the line that being gay would not be the preferred choice; preventing it with some hormone therapy before birth would be fully consistent. If the gay community cannot be consistent with their statements, then perhaps they should stop saying them.

The Christian right community is often accused of fearing science. References to the "earth being flat" are often tossed at them. Now it is the gay community who is fearing science. Will they be called on it by anybody but me?

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Finally Got My Anti-UN Icon

I have been bobbing around on the Best Conservative Blog list over at the Honor Network for a few months now. Each month I breath a sigh of relief at not being named #1, since I know I don't deserve it. Especially lately as I have not been able to post as often as I wish. They do assign these nifty little icons that represent various things. I recently got the Fast and Friendly responses icon, which was nice. I value all of the comments here and really appreciate feedback. Some comments are stand-alone and it is obvious no response is necessary. I am usually nice until the comments are needlessly nasty. I respond in kind at times to show how truly silly it makes them look.

I was quite heartened to finally receive my anti-UN icon. I have been blasting the UN for some time now. I have worked hard for that icon and am proud to say I earned it. Thank you honor network for the link and my new spiffy icon. (P.S. I hope you nix one your lower class sponsors soon - you know which one)

Monday, January 01, 2007

ABC Outrageous One Word Editorial Dishonors Lost Serviceman

Not much shocks me from the liberal left these days. However, I am both shocked and angered at ABC for an editorial potshot they delivered with a single word. For those not familiar with the word "sic", here is the definition:
sic: thus; so. Used to indicate that a quoted passage, especially one containing an error or unconventional spelling, has been retained in its original form or written intentionally. - definition
When the media is quoting somebody, they will add this little word to show that the person made some error in their statement - that the error resides with the source, not the quoter.

So ABC is running a story on the 3000th U.S. death in Iraq. This is a warped fixation in itself that the media has been engaged in - as if only round numbers in the death count are significant. Numbers 2999, 1999, 1467, 4, 29, etc. were all significant. Round numbers are more easily sensationalized. The 3000th U.S. Serviceman to lose his life in Iraq is Army Specialist Dustin Donica. Good Morning America was relating the story and how Dustin's MySpace site had comments from those giving tribute to their fallen friend. ABC showed one of those quotes on the screen as follows:
"You were one of my best friends and I'll never forget you. All my prayers go to your family and I'll see you again." (sic)
As written, anyone with a functioning brain would realize that the friend was stating that they would meet again in the next life. It is simply not possible that anyone reading would think the friend expected to see Dustin at a gathering or in his home or anywhere on earth. Somehow ABC felt the need to editorialize the comments and point out their bias against belief in the afterlife. With one word, ABC gives the friend a backhand for being so foolish to believe in life after death. They felt it so strongly that they decided to mock the tribute with their little "sic".

This not only mocks the author of the tribute, it dishonors the fallen soldier. To take this man's death as an opportunity to dispute a tenet of religious faith is worse than walking on his grave. I am sure many will think this insignificant. However, when you vividly picture the conscious effort of an editor adding the word it is very significant. What thoughts passed through the mind of such a person? It is a shame and ABC needs to do more than apologize.

Hat tip: Newsbusters