Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Gone to Boston

Snowy weather in SL over the last week or so.

McKenzie Mountain in background

Mt. Baker

Another Mt. Baker

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

McClellan Claims Bush et al Lied

Scott McClellan finally realizes that he was duped.
"I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest-ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice president, the president's chief of staff and the president himself."
What exactly is Scottie saying here? Is he actually acusing the President and Vice-President of the USA of lying? I wonder how far this is going to go?

How Not to Support the Troops

Can you believe that the military is actually asking wounded troops to give back part of their signing bonuses because they are unable to serve out their commitments?
Fox was seriously injured when a roadside bomb blew up his vehicle. He was knocked unconscious. His back was injured and lost all vision in his right eye.

A few months later Fox was sent home. His injuries prohibited him from fulfilling three months of his commitment. A few days ago, he received a letter from the military demanding nearly $3,000 of his signing bonus back.

Fox received a $10,000 signing bonus. Who comes up with these inane ideas? How much are they paid?

Supreme Court to Hear D.C. Handgun Case

Finally, after decades having passed, the US Supreme Court is going to determine what the 2nd amendment means. The second amendment is a single sentence, here it is:
A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
It would have been much clearer if it simply read The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Unfortunately, it doesn't read that way. Why exactly was the qualifying statement A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State part of the 2nd amendment? What does it mean?

It's been 68 years since the Supreme Court has attempted to define the meaning of the 2nd amendment to our Constitution. Here is the question the Court has set for itself to answer:
“Whether the following provisions — D.C. Code secs. 7-2502.02(a)(4), 22-4504(a), and 7-2507.02 — violate the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are not affiliated with any state-regulated militia, but who wish to keep handguns and other firearms for private use in their homes?”
It going to be exciting to finally find out what "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State" actually means.

Maybe they will rule that it is up to the States to decide what it means and how to apply it.

If you want to bone up on Constitutional law as it relates to the 2nd amendment go here to the UCLA Law school website and read what Prof. Eugene Volokh has to say.

Scroll about 1/3 of the way down on Prof. Volokh's page and you will see a summary of the only modern discussion of the 2nd amendment by the Supreme Court (United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939)).
In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a "shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length" at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense.

Rep. McHugh to Hold Plattsburgh Forum

Rep. John McHugh will hold a community forum in Plattsburgh on Tuesday Nov. 27 from 6 PM to 7:30 PM at 130 Arizona Ave. on PARC. The Plattsburgh Press Republican calls for decorum.
It is to his credit that he wants to engage in an unfettered dialogue. The probability exists that not everyone who attends shares his views. Some people disagree vehemently. Nevertheless, we ardently encourage everyone who plans to participate to do so with politeness and respect. The exchanges must be intellectual, not emotional.

I agree. However, it might be hard not to be emotional if your loved one has been wounded or killed or is on their third deployment to Iraq. It might be difficult to be unemotional if you are having family problems due to the war. Maybe you are concerned that the war is going to cost trillions instead of the "much less than 200 billion" promised by Bush, or maybe you care about the tens of thousands of dead innocent Iraqis. These are emotional issues resulting from the votes of congressional members like Rep. McHugh. He needs to specifically defend his votes supporting the Iraq War.

The Press Republican says:
A number of people in Plattsburgh have asked specifically for a session so they can clarify his stand on several matters, but the one most people seem intent on pressing is his views on the war in Iraq. The congressman is the senior Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, and he has visited Iraq eight times to see for himself how the war is being conducted. He is truly one of Congress's most informed members on the conflict.

Ok, then let's hear specific reasons for how we are going to end the Iraq conflict and a specific timetable for doing so. Exactly how many and for how long will our troops be in Iraq. Let's hear Rep. McHugh tell us specifically how what we are doing in Iraq makes the USA stronger, especially in light of the fact that our military is being all but destroyed.

This is your turn to shine Rep. McHugh. Come prepared to give real answers to real problems concerning the Iraq War.

Here is a possible question for Rep. McHugh.

Violence seems to be down in Iraq. How soon will Iraqi national reconciliation take place and how long should the USA give the Iraqi government to make it happen?

If national reconciliation takes place, how long should the USA keep troops in Iraq and in what numbers?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Be Progressive

I like this one too.

Both ads from the Center for American Progess.

Saranac Lake, NY vs Lake Clear, NY Weather

Saranac Lake, NY is often reported as the coldest place in the USA during the winter. This is not exactly true. The temperatures reported for Saranac Lake are taken at the Adirondack Regional Airport in Lake Clear, NY about 8 miles northwest of the village of SL.

If you go to weather underground and scroll down to "State Extremes", you will see that the low temperature for SL is reported as 1 degree F. But if you put your cursor over the link you will see that the link is for airport/KSLK.

The actual low temperature for SL was actually quite a bit higher....14.1 degrees F. You can verify that by going to the Petrova Elementary weather station site located in the village of Saranac Lake.

Coldest spot in the nation gives bragging rights to the residents of Saranac Lake. But what good are bragging rights based on misinformation?

Supreme Court Supports President

Pakistan's Pres. Musharraf was "re-elected" last month. It appeared that the Pakistan Supreme Court was going to rule him ineligible to hold that office again. How did he solve the problem? Simple, get rid of the Supreme Court justices that ruled him ineligible (justices that he had appointed) and appoint new, "better" Supreme Court justices.
The powerful challenge that the previous Supreme Court represented to General Musharraf was the main reason why, on Nov. 3, days before the court was due to rule, he introduced de facto martial law, suspending the Constitution, dismissing the Supreme Court, and arresting the chief justice and other leading judges, a senior government aide has admitted.

It seems that the new Supreme Court has no problem with Pres. Musharraf holding the office of President again.
After dismissing the chief justice and the previous Supreme Court, General Musharraf appointed a new court of 11 judges who took an oath under the temporary Provisional Constitutional Order, which is in force under the emergency rule.

This is the kind of guy the USA supports time and time again. As long as he is willing to kiss our ass, he is ok with us.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

PBS "Judgement Day": The Letters

You can go here to read letters to the PBS ombudsman concerning the program "Judgement Day" that was aired several days ago. There is also a discussion of why a couple of stations did not air the program.

Here are a excerpts of a few letters:
I realize that PBS has always treated the neo-Darwinian theory of Evolution as sacred and beyond question but last night's dose of Darwin-worship was so strong and so contrary to any genuine search for truth that I can no longer consider support of public television a morally defensible practice. For years, I have defended public television among my fellow Christians for its many fine offerings for family viewing, but PBS has become so strident and so relentless in its disrespect for fair debate and dialogue on the subject of Evolution vs. Intelligent Design, that I can no longer do so.

It turns out the trial was actually about whether "intelligent design" was science or not. I thought they demonstrated quite convincingly that "intelligent design" is not science.
It doesn't take a "Rocket Scientist" to figure out that if we, as humans, evolved from monkeys . . . THEN WHY? . . . Are there STILL Monkeys???
Two words...common ancester.
I am glad I have not donated any $ to KQED for many years since I would not want to contribute to the propagation of the false, erroneous, illogical theory of macro-evolution.

I have a rabbit that is acting more and more like a dog. Does that prove the illogical theory of macro-evolution?
Surely you could have interviewed prominent scientists, philosophers and theologians who could explain how the two theories are actually one and the same.
Poor Prof. Behe. Are you saying he is not a prominent scientist. Why did the other "prominent scientists" from the Discovery Institute drop out of the case?
It gave precious little air time to ID scientists who have plenty of legitimate research, but gave plenty of time towards evolutionary research.
Actually I was surprised with the detail they covered the so-called intelligent design "reseach" concerning the flagellum. Not that any actual research was done by the intelligent design "researchers".
Intelligent Design is not religion. The end of the lesson does not offer any path to eternal salvation, claim that we are spiritual beings, or delve into supernatural phenomena; it merely states a theory of the origin of humankind that people in any arena should not be afraid to discuss.
Then the publishers of "Of Pandas and People" should have been more careful covering up that intelligent design is just creationism in disguise.
It was fascinating to see those dipstick high school teachers, bolstered by the heir to the Darwin fortune explain the impossible and to the great lengths that these . . . will go to deny that there is a greater power than some . . . that passed teacher's college in some backwater . . . state.

The Darwin fortune?
Having studied the issue of evolution and creation for the better part of 2 decades, I know that creationism is based upon sound research by responsible scientists.
Wait, don't you mean "intelligent design"?

An interview with the senior executive producer of "Judgement Day"
is here.