Archive for March, 2006

911 Calls Become Reality TV

Thursday, March 30th, 2006

Does anyone else find it highly disturbing that news agencies insist on playing 911 calls involving tragedies. Last night, on one of those “soft news” programs that dominates cable news, a 911 call by an eight year old who had just witnessed her mother murder her father was played. I would say that girl had enough problems without her tragic 911 call being played for the entire world. Yes, 911 calls are public record and probably should be, but this is voyeurism of the worst kind. Come on, give traumatized people some privacy.

Mountain Sunset

Wednesday, March 29th, 2006

A Few Facts on the Immigration Debate

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006

My views on the immigration debate are fairly down the middle. I think both sides make some good points, but are also guilty of demagoguery. Therefore, I wish to point out a few facts on the issue without the spin:

1. Illegal aliens are just that – illegal. They are not “undocumented workers.” They are illegal aliens. Passing laws does not criminalize them – illegally entering our country does.

2. The national security argument for securing our southern border is valid, but why only secure the Mexican border? No known terrorist has ever entered the U.S. from Mexico – but have from Canada. The Canadian border may be even more wide open than the border with Mexico – yet no one seems to care. This leads me to wonder how concerned with national security closed-border proponents really are. Don’t misunderstand, the Mexican border needs to be secured, but so does the Canadian border.

3. Claims that illegals are taking jobs away from Americans are overblown. The unemployment rate has actually been in decline. If Mexicans were really taking jobs away from Americans, the unemployment rate would be on the rise. Finding Americans to work crappy jobs is hard – just notice the “help wanted” signs everywhere. There are individual cases of illegals taking jobs away from Americans, but these are considerably fewer than we are led to believe.

4. Americans will do any job – for the right price. True, but wage increases will invariably be passed on to the consumer. Do you really want to pay $20 for a combo at McDonald’s?

5. Passing harsher laws on illegal immigration is simply a play to the masses. Whether or not these laws are appropriate is irrelevant. The laws on the books now are not being enforced. What makes you think these new ones will be?

6. Immigrants are necessary for the economy. They will continue to come no matter what we do. The question we must answer is, Do we want a guest worker program with background checks and tabs kept on those who come, or the current system where they come here illegally?

7. Amnesty for those illegals here will create an incentive for more people to enter our country illegally and is an insult to those who obey our laws and come legally.

8. Immigrants from Mexico are not going to turn the U.S. into Mexico. Those who choose to pursue citizenship do so because they want to become Americans. They came here because they wanted to leave their country of origin. Does it make sense that they would want to reform it here?

9. A wall along the Mexican border would be a waste of money. Walls can be scaled and tunnels can be dug (in fact, many already are). Increased border control would make more sense.

I guess that you can see from this that I’m in favor of legal, but easy immigration. I think our immigration laws are archaic and need reform.

Here’s my suggestion: Let migrants come to the U.S. and work for five years. After five years, if the migrant has held a job during the time, stayed out of legal trouble, and has learned basic English, then he or she can be placed on track for citizenship. Of course, background checks will be performed on all applicants.

At the same time, we need to increase border patrol on both the Mexican and Canadian border, and reject calls for amnesty. Think a policy similar to this will be adopted? Nah – it makes too much sense.

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Elsewhere: Glenn Reynolds, Captain Ed, Glenn Dean, and Impossible Scissors

Voter Turnout by Comparision

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006

Israeli voters were apathetic and cynical, and had their lowest voter turnout ever – 63.2 percent.

In 2004, America had one of the closest contested elections in history, during a war, and had their HIGHEST voter turnout in 36 years – 60.7 percent.

Van Wagon is Off the Tracks

Monday, March 27th, 2006

Is it just me, or does it seem like the blogosphere is getting meaner? Charles Badger of The Van Wagon has launched a ridiculous attack on Rob Huddleston for daring to criticize Van Hilleary. Chuckie closes by calling Rob an “a–hole.” Nice. If Van has any integrity, he’ll ask Chuck to shut up. Don’t count on that, though.

Hot! Hot! Hot!

Monday, March 27th, 2006

This is pretty much the worse college promotional video ever made.

Fancy Ford

Friday, March 24th, 2006

Am I the only person who doesn’t get what the big deal with this is? It appears that Harold Ford Jr.’s University of Tennessee campaign chairwoman posed in a “scandalous” photo, and this has caused an eruption of emotions in the comments section of the original post, with both sides getting hot and bothered (no pun intended.. well, maybe!).

As an ardent supporter of Ed Bryant, I generally appreciate anything that may damage Ford’s chances. But come on folks, let’s get a grip here. Do you REALLY think anyone in Tennessee gives a crap who runs Ford’s UT campaign? Is anyone going to vote against him because of this? I doubt it. They’ll just see a college girl acting like… well, a college girl.

There are plenty of reasons to dislike Harold Ford, Jr. The fact that he’s a liberal. The fact that he comes from one of the most corrupt political machines in America. The fact that he can’t seem to tell the truth. The list goes on and on. But picking on a 21 year old college girl who happened to pose in “scandalous” photos just seems petty to me. Some may want to link this to Ford’s alleged “playboy lifestyle.” Whatever. I’d be much happier if we kept the campaign focused on issues like illegal immigration, taxes, the war on terror, and government spending, and steered clear of the stuff that frankly doesn’t matter.

And yes, bringing Nathan Moore’s wife into the debate and calling people “sluts” is uncalled for. But I digress.

Welcome to Knoxville

Thursday, March 23rd, 2006

Christy Cagle e-mails the following:

A VISITORS’ GUIDE TO KNOXVILLE

1. You must learn to pronounce the city name. It is NOX-VUL.

2. Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. Knoxville has its own version of traffic rules….Hold on and pray. There is no such thing as a dangerous high-speed chase in Knoxville. They all drive like that.

3. All directions start with, “Go down to Kingston Pike”… which has no beginning and no end.

4. The Chamber of Commerce calls getting through traffic a “scenic drive.”

5. The morning rush hour is from 6:00 to 10:00. The evening rush hour is from 3:00 to 7:00. Friday’s rush hour starts Thursday morning.

6. If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rear ended, cussed out and possibly shot. When you are the first one on the starting line, count to five when the light turns green before going to avoid getting into any cross-traffic’s way.

7. Gallaher Road can only be pronounced by a native.

8. Construction on I-40 / 75 is a way of life and a permanent form of entertainment.

9. All unexplained sights are explained by the phrase, “Oh, we are in Farragut!!”

10 . If someone actually has their turn signal on, it is probably a factory defect.

11. All old ladies with blue hair in pink Cadillacs have the right of way.

12. The minimum acceptable speed on the Pellisippi Parkway is 85. Anything less is considered downright sissy.

13. The wrought iron on windows in east Knoxville isn’t ornamental.

14. Never stare at the driver of the car with the bumper sticker that says,”Keep honking. I’m reloading.” In fact, don’t honk at anyone.

15. If you are in the left lane, and only going 70 in a 60 mph zone … people are not waving when they go by.

16. The Pellisippi Parkway is our daily version of NASCAR.

17. If it’s 100 degrees, Thanksgiving must be next weekend.

18 If it’s 10 degrees and sleeting/snowing, the Dogwood Arts Festival is going on.

19.Any amusement parks, stadiums, arenas, race tracks, airports, etc. are conveniently located as far away from EVERYTHING as possible so as to allow for ample parking on grassy areas.

20.Anyone within 20 miles of Knoxville on the day of a UT home game, is certifiably crazy.

It’s funny because it’s true!

A World Without America

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006

What would a world without America look like? If you want to find out, visit Sudan. Who can help?

So that leaves . . . guess who? The cowboy President, the American unilateralists, the Yankee imperialists–or, to put it another way, the only nation with the will and wallet to provide order in an otherwise Hobbesian world. However, that will and wallet are being stretched today in Iraq and elsewhere, and Mr. Bush is rightly wary of committing more American blood and treasure to a conflict in Sudan that the rest of the world doesn’t seem serious about ending in any event. One lesson of Darfur is that there really are limits to American power, and in its absence the world’s savages have freer reign.

Indeed. Read the whole thing.

What Happened to Religious Freedom?

Tuesday, March 21st, 2006

I don’t think this is what America had in mind when we liberated Afghanistan:

An Afghan man who allegedly converted from Islam to Christianity is being prosecuted in a Kabul court and could be sentenced to death, a judge said Sunday.

The defendant, Abdul Rahman, was arrested last month after his family went to the police and accused him of becoming a Christian, Judge Ansarullah Mawlavezada told the Associated Press in an interview. Such a conversion would violate the country’s Islamic laws.

Prosecuter Abdul Wasi offered to drop the charges if Rahman converted back to Islam, but Rahman refused. President Karazi needs to step in – fast.

Via Impossible Scissors

UPDATE: I caught part of Bush’s speech today, and he mentioned this incident. This is promising.