Archive for December, 2003

Mad Cows and Mad Democrats

Monday, December 29th, 2003

It never ceases to amaze me how opportunistic candidates for public office can be. The recent Mad Cow scare has offered more opportunities for opportunism.

Whose fault do you think the so-called “Mad Cow outbreak” is? Well, if you believe Howard Dean and John Kerry, it is President Bush’s fault. Both are blasting the president for not doing more to prevent it. As usual, they provide the same tired and true liberal solutions: more money for more agencies. Thus we should be taxed even more to fund programs to prevent Mad Cow disease, even though no American has ever contracted Mad Cow disease from eating beef in the United States.

In my view, this whole media circus with Mad Cow disease has gotten way out of hand. Exactly one cow and one state has been found that suffers from it. No human does. Your chances are better of dying from salmonella or choking to death on beef are greater. Let’s get some perspective here, folks. I’m not saying that this incident doesn’t deserve attention, but it’s been blown way out of proportion. There is no reason to be afraid at this point.

The Democrat’s exploitation of this “crisis” is predictable. My only question for them is this: Why didn’t you make any of these suggestions before the Mad Cow Scare?

The Ghosts of Christmas Cereal Commercials Past

Friday, December 26th, 2003

This Christmas has been a major disappointment.

Not because I didn’t spend it with my family (I had a great time) or because I didn’t get good gifts (I love my laptop). No, the real reason I’m upset is because I didn’t see two Christmas cereal commercials.

You remember the commercial for Honey Nut Cheerios, where the bee is harassing Scrooge? Scrooge is sitting at his desk doing work and complaining that he has work to do, complete with his “bah humbug!” Finally, Scrooge begrudgingly samples the Honey Nut Cheerios, and smiles, while in the background kids who are caroling sing songs about Honey Nut Cheerios. (It’s been a long time since I read Charles Dickens’ book, but I don’t remember Cheerios being mentioned in it.) I managed to find this interesting interpretation.

The other commercial is one of those famous commercials for Fruity Pebbles cereal featuring the Flintstones. Like all the others, this commercial featured Barney trying to steal Fred’s Fruity Pebbles. This one is a Christmas commercial, though. When you think about it, it kind of blows a hole in time/space continuum that the Flintstones are celebrating Christmas, since Bedrock is supposed to exist millions of years before Christ. But I digress. Anyway, Santa comes down the chimney, and Fred greets him with a bowl of Pebbles. Then Barney comes down the chimney dressed as Santa, in an obvious attempt to steal Fred’s cereal. Fred immediately recognizes Barney, and prepares to bludgeon him, like he did in all the other commercials. Fortunately, Santa intervenes and reminds Fred that “’tis the season to be sharing,” at which point Fred puts aside his differences with Barney and they share the cereal. Usually the two fight over it, but, in keeping with the Yuletide spirit, they happily share. It was all quite moving, kind of like the Christmas episode of South Park where Kenny doesn’t die. (You can see a complete rundown of the commercial here.)

These commercials were bona fide classics, some of the best ads ever made. Certainly right up there with the Frosted Flakes commercial featuring Tony Tiger and some girl whitewater rafting, the Doublemint Twins, “Where’s the beef?”, Sugar Bear, the “I’ve fallen and can’t get up” woman, the Maytag Repair Man, and that Cadbury Bunny Easter commercial. Those commercials come and go, but these Christmas commercials appeared every year. Until this year. It’s quite sad. Perhaps they will return next year. We can only hope and pray.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24th, 2003

It’s Christmas yet again, as hard as it may be to believe. I just wanted to make a quick update and wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, and to remind everyone not to forget that Jesus is the reason for the season!

Terrorists in Knoxville?

Wednesday, December 24th, 2003

Think there can’t be terrorists in Knoxville? Think again! This article reports that the Muslim Brotherhood, a fanatical Islamic group, was present in Knoxville raising money for terrorists during the mid-1990s. Could terrorists still operate in Knoxville? No one can be sure, but the War on Terror is far from over.

Ose Bill Well-Meaning, But Unconstitutional

Monday, December 22nd, 2003

Congressman Doug Ose, the California Republican, has recently introduced legislation that would ban the use of certain swear words on television. Ose was outraged when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) failed to take any action when Bono used the F-word at the Golden Globe Awards, and thus he has decided to do something about it.

I must say that I am somewhat sympathetic to Ose’s position. Some people do not like to hear foul language on television. I respect that point. However, I believe that it is the responsibility of the networks and of viewers to monitor the language used on television. The government should not be involved.

The First Amendment to the Constitution clearly states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…” All speech, including offensive speech, is protected from the government by this amendment. That doesn’t mean that we’re forced to endure it; after all, we can turn off the TV or change the channel at any time. However, any attempt by the government to suppress it illegal. It is for this reason that I also believe that the FCC is unconstitutional. Speech should not be regulated by the government.

Some of you are probably thinking, “great John, does that mean that porn can be shown on prime-time network TV?” No, it doesn’t. It does mean that the government can’t prevent it, but the networks, the sponsors, and the viewers certainly can. For instance, if a network shows something that is offensive, the viewers have every right to band together and demand change. They may do so by pressuring the networks and the sponsors through phone calls, e-mails, and boycotts. No network (or corporation) can remain in business if it doesn’t have a market. For this reason, they will listen to large numbers of consumers who complain. Think it can’t be done? Just think of the recent The Reagans mini-series that was set to air on CBS until pressure from viewers forced it to be moved to Showtime, where it was seen by only a fraction of the people who would have watched it on CBS.

Some, like Barbara Streisand, call actions such as boycott threats a violation of the First Amendment. In reality, statements such as these only show how ignorant Streisand and others are of the Constitution. Freedom of speech protects speech only from the government, not from individuals. The government was not involved in the cancellation of The Reagans.

If Congressman Ose wants foul language off TV, he should work to do so through grassroots efforts among regular Americans through letters, phone call, boycotts, and other ways that don’t involve the government. Trying to do so through legislation only limits freedom of speech, and will open the doors to much more government censorship in the future.

Saddam Hussein’s Capture Leads to Damage Control

Sunday, December 21st, 2003

Many left wingers who opposed the liberation of Iraq are worked into a tizzy. Up until last Sunday they could mope about Bush’s inability to capture Saddam Hussein, but now that charge is no longer valid. They can still harp on the WMDs of course, but the whereabouts of Saddam was their most damming charge. Let the damage control begin!

Howard Dean has based much of his candidacy on Bush hatred. Don’t expect that to change, as he discounts Saddam’s capture. The capture of Hussein has not made us any safer, claims Dean. Keep talking like that, Governor. If you do win the nomination, it could be a fun fall!

Dean wasn’t the only presidential candidate to discount Saddam’s capture. Dennis Kucinich released this brief statement . It wasn’t nearly as kooky as I had hoped. By the way, I know I’ve posted this before, but if you haven’t been to Kucinich.com, by all means check it out. It’s even funnier than Kucinich’s Kucinich’s actual campaign site.

The mainstream media didn’t take long to get back to their gloom and doom coverage either, as evidenced by this report from the Media Research Center. I’m not surprised. This just goes to show that what Bernard Goldberg wrote about in Arrogance is true.

Though Dean and Kucinich are certainly funny, no one can match the humor of left wing editorials, many of which try desperately to convince us that Saddam’s capture is no big deal, and, even more funny, it would have been better off if he hadn’t been captured (though, to be fair, it may indeed have been better if he hadn’t been captured for left wing extremists).

One of the best was this column in the Boston Globe, reprimanding us for breaking into Saddam’s hole without a search warrant. The Roane County News also had a funny column (sadly, it isn’t online) about Saddam’s capture which seemed to imply that we would have been better off had we not captured him, since the trial will be a long and arduous process. Perhaps the writer feels we should just allow murderers and rapists to run free, so as not to put their victims and families through the terrible process of a trial. The writer then goes on to argue that it would have been better if the GI who captured Hussein had just thrown his grenade into Saddam’s hole. So I guess there’s no value in interrogating Saddam? You can’t make this stuff up!

I hope these columnists will continue to argue Saddam’s capture is a bad thing. The logic they are forced to use to justify this position is hilarious. Keep up the good work, gentleman.

Are the Media Arrogant?

Friday, December 19th, 2003

I just finished reading Bernard Goldberg’s Arrogance: Rescuing America From the Media Elite, the first of several books I intend to read over Christmas break. The book is basically a sequel of Goldberg’s earlier tome, Bias, and continues on the same thesis: that the press has a liberal bias which needs to be corrected. However, while Bias identifies the problem, Arrogance presents a solution.

I enjoyed the book. Not as much as I liked Bias, but I found it informative nonetheless. His ideas for reforming the media (which includes the national headquarters of networks moving out of New York City and to places like Mississippi and South Dakota) are great ideas, but don’t seem likely to happen anytime soon. Still, we would all be better served if they did. In the meantime, we still have Fox News.

It’s Bowl Time

Tuesday, December 16th, 2003

Yes, kiddies, it’s that time of the year again, when all our thoughts turn to college football bowls. Of course, everyone wants playoffs, but it’s not like the powers-that-be in college football give a hoot what the fans want, right?

Anyways, Bethany Stover has challenged me to out pick her on the bowls. Bethany actually thinks she has a chance?! I enter with a 43-14 record this year, but oh well, here goes nothing:

New Orleans Bowl
12/16/03
Memphis over North Texas
W – Memphis 27, N. Texas 17

GMAC Bowl
12/17/03
Miami (Ohio) over Louisville
W – Miami (Ohio) 49, Louisville 28

Tangerine Bowl
12/22/03
NC State over Kansas
W – NC State 56, Kansas 26

Fort Worth (Texas) Bowl
12/23/03
Boise State over TCU
W – Boise State 34, TCU 31

Las Vegas Bowl
12/24/03
Oregon State over New Mexico
W – Oregon State 55, New Mexico 14

Hawaii Bowl
12/25/03
Hawaii over Houston
W – Hawaii 54, Houston 48 3 OT

Motor City
12/26/03
Bowling Green over Northwestern
W – Bowling Green 28, Northwestern 24

Insight.com Bowl
12/26/03
Virginia Tech over California
L – California 52, Virginia Tech 49

Continental Tire Bowl
12/27/03
Pittsburgh over Virginia
L – Virginia 23, Pittsburgh 16

Alamo Bowl
12/29/03
Michigan State over Nebraska
L – Nebraska 17, Michigan State 3

Houston Bowl
12/30/03
Texas Tech over Navy
W – Texas Tech 38, Navy 14

Holiday Bowl
12/30/03
Texas over Washington State
L – Washington State 28, Texas 20

Silicon Valley Classic
12/30/03
UCLA over Fresno State
L – Fresno State 17, UCLA 9

Music City Bowl
12/31/03
Auburn over Wisconsin
W – Auburn 28, Wisconsin 14

Sun Bowl
12/31/03
Minnesota over Oregon
W – Minnesota 31, Oregon 30

Liberty Bowl
12/31/03
Utah over Southern Mississippi
W – Utah 17, Southern Miss 0

Independence Bowl
12/31/03
Arkansas over Missouri
W – Arkansas 27, Missouri 14

San Francisco Bowl
12/31/03
Boston College over Colorado State
W – BC 35, Colorado State 14

Outback Bowl
01/01/04
Florida over Iowa
L – Iowa 37, Florida 17

Gator Bowl
01/01/04
West Virginia over Maryland
L – Maryland 41, West Virginia 7

Capital One Bowl
01/01/04
Georgia over Purdue
W – Georgia 34, Purdue 27

Rose Bowl
01/01/04
Southern Cal over Michigan
W – Southern Cal 28, Michigan 14

Orange Bowl
01/01/04
Florida State over Miami
L – Miami 16, Florida State 14

Cotton Bowl
01/02/03
Mississippi over Oklahoma State
W – Mississippi 31, Oklahoma State 28

Peach Bowl
01/02/03
Tennessee over Clemson
L – Clemson 27, Tennessee 14 (Congrats to Casey Clausen!)

Fiesta Bowl
01/02/03
Kansas State over Ohio State
L – Ohio State 35, Kansas State 28

Humanitarian Bowl
01/03/03
Georgia Tech over Tulsa
W – Georgia Tech 52, Tulsa 10

Sugar Bowl (Fraudulent National Championship)
01/04/03
LSU over Oklahoma
W – LSU 21, Oklahoma 14

Random Thoughts….

The #1 ranked team in the nation not playing in the national championship game? Way to go, BCS! Hence, the Sugar Bowl is the “Fraudulent National Championship Game.”

All serious college football fans (except for only the most zealous Michigan fans) must be rooting for USC to win the Rose Bowl, which will hopefully signal Armageddon for the BCS.

Tennessee, ranked #6, playing in the Peach Bowl? That’s what you call getting screwed! If the Cotton Bowl had only been a little more patient, they could have had Tennessee vs. Texas! That game would have been as big as the BCS bowls!

Northern Illinois goes 10-2 and doesn’t get a bowl? Another great screw job.

The SEC may well go undefeated in the bowls this year. That would be awesome!

We Got Him!

Sunday, December 14th, 2003

Obviously, the capture of Saddam Hussein is the biggest news item of the day. Our military continues to do an outstanding job in Iraq, and President Bush continues his tremendous leadership, as evidenced by his speech. Kind of makes you feel sorry for Evelyn G. Freeman of Seymour, who had a letter printed in today’s News-Sentinel bemoaning Bush’s inability to capture Saddam. There was much jubilation both in Iraq, as well as in America, and throughout the world.

It’s great that Saddam was captured alive. Now he can be interrogated. Perhaps we can find out where the WMDs are, and what countries he may have bribed (France and Russia are just a little nervous). Hopefully, he’ll also speak on his ties to international terrorism. An Australian news source is reporting that a hand written letter found on Saddam could provide the crucial link. The letter could even detail Iraqi involvement in the September 11 attacks. So much for the “Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11″ argument.

What should become of Saddam? He could be turned over to the Hague, sent to Gitmo, or face trial in Iraq. I would tend to support the latter. The problems of the Hague are plain to see. How long has Sloban Milosevic been on trial? Put Saddam, Chemical Ali, and some other top level scum on trial in Baghdad, much like the Nuremberg trials just after World War II. This would not only virtually assure Saddam would be severely punished, but it would also give closure to the Iraqi people, and give credibility to the Iraqi Governing Council. Make sure to interrogate Saddam for all he’s worth first, though.

Regardless of whether or not the link is established, today is a day to celebrate the capture of one of the most evil men of our time. Everyone, regardless of their stance on the war, should be happy about the capture of Saddam Hussein.

The Race for the Fourth Congressional District

Saturday, December 13th, 2003

In what could be one of the most crucial Congressional races in the nation, Democrat Lincoln Davis will defend his seat in Congress against a Republican challenger. Davis was first elected in 2002 when the seat was vacated by Van Hilleary, who ran for governor. Davis narrowly defeated Republican Janice Bowling to win, running as an old school conservative Southern Democrat. Since being elected, he has not exactly governed as such, generally voting with the liberal Democrats and taking plenty of money from some pretty leftist folks, as Josh Parker points out.

As of right now, there are two Republicans vying to challenge Davis. First there is Janice Bowling, who was defeated by Davis in ‘02. Bowling is a former Tullahoma Alderwoman and worked for former Congressman and Gubernatorial candidate Van Hilleary. She has described herself as a “pistol packing mama.” In ‘02, she portrayed herself as, among other things, tax cutter and a dixiecrat (Trent Lott, eat your heart out!).

The other candidate is Brock Hill, the Mayor of Cumberland County. Hill has worked to create jobs in Cumberland County, and has served during an amazing period of economic development for the area. He also worked to keep taxes low, as well as increase tourism and improve the schools in Cumberland County. Hill has earned praise from Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, which is a huge plus in my book during this time of increased spending and huge deficits. I like just about anyone who gets praise from Norquist.

It’s still early in the race, but I must say I’m impressed with Hill’s campaign thus far. As a native of Harriman, I can attest that great things have happened in Cumberland County over the past decade. Plus we definitely need some fiscal conservatives in Washington now!