Friday, July 04, 2008
You tell me:
Honor The Spirit Of United StatesLet's see:
By Bristol Herald Courier Editorial Board
Today, we celebrate America’s birthday.
At the ripe old age of 222 years, our great country remains more united than divided. That’s a pretty amazing feat – given the high-decible shouting in this election year. (link)
2008 - 1776 = 232.
Unless we recognize the birth of our nation as having occurred when we began fighting against Shay's Rebellion.
I get so confused reading the papers.
That's why I wonder, when I look at this photo that appeared in this morning's Bristol Herald Courier, why the authorities even granted the accused a court hearing. It seems, based on the way he was outfitted by the government (for newspaper cameras no less), he's guilty and needn't even try to prove his innocence.
Find the related story here.
- - -
* Don't get me wrong. I have no problem with this guy suffering eight kinds of hell in jail if he's guilty. But give the system the opportunity to make that determination BEFORE we declare this American citizen to be a criminal.
Furniture manufacturer to eliminate 400 positionsThis is really regrettable. For the obvious reason, but also because American companies are of late starting to weigh the costs of transporting manufactured goods from overseas to markets here in the U.S., and are rethinking the decade-long trend toward relocating plants to China and Ecuador (as was predicted).
By Duncan Adams, Roanoke Times
Bad news will color the holiday weekend for about 400 employees of American of Martinsville.
The furniture workers learned Wednesday that they will lose their jobs by the end of August.
About 300 workers will continue to work at the company's Redd Level plant in Henry County.
The affected workers produce wood furniture for American. Those who will remain make upholstered furniture in the same facility. (link)
American of Martinsville thought otherwise.
Regrettable. So regrettable.
Gay-Marriage Opponents To Boycott McDonald's
By Frank Ahrens, Washington Post Staff Writer
A group that opposes same-sex marriage has called for a boycott of McDonald's, saying the fast-food giant has refused "to stay neutral in the cultural war over homosexuality."
The American Family Association (AFA) launched the boycott yesterday because McDonald's joined the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce several months ago and placed an executive on the group's board of directors, in addition to donating to the chamber.
The association asked McDonald's to remove itself from the chamber but the burger-maker declined, leading to the boycott. "We're saying that there are people who support AFA who don't appreciate their dollars from the hamburgers they bought being put into an organization that's going to fight against the values they believe in," Tim Wildmon, the association's president, said yesterday.
"Hatred has no place in our culture," McDonald's USA spokesman Bill Whitman said. "That includes McDonald's, and we stand by and support our people to live and work in a society free of discrimination and harassment." (link)
A spokeman for a hamburger joint that has now gone out of its way to piss off millions of Americans talking about hatred. Seems kind of ... hateful to me.
It reminds me of Kmart's unfortunate decision to lock arms with those in the environmental movement just months before it went bankrupt.
McDonald's becomes an advocate for deviant behavior. Big Macs will never taste the same again.
Or simply donate to the campaign of the man who has cut through all the Democrat claptrap and is now demanding that we ... Drill here. Drill now.
Oil: With the long July Fourth weekend, you might get a chance to see your senator or representative. If so, you should be ready to dispel a few myths politicians now have about drilling for more oil.
This is especially true of Democrats. Many in Congress seem either disconnected from reality or intentionally disingenuous about our energy crunch. They have well-honed negative responses to common-sense ideas about solving our energy crisis, particularly drilling for more oil.
These responses are based on a number of widely held myths. Sadly, they've become the backbone of the Democrats' energy policy. They include:
• "We can't drill our way out of our energy crisis."
Actually, we can. ...
• "Oil companies are sitting on 68 million acres of oil leases and refuse to drill."
This is yet another slander of "Big Oil" by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — one that ...
• "Even if drilling works, it'll take a decade or more for the oil to flow."
This is quite an argument coming from the Democratic Party, which has made keeping oil off the market a linchpin of its energy policy for decades.
If President Clinton hadn't vetoed the idea of drilling in ANWR back in 1995, we'd have that oil on the market today. Ditto ...
In coming weeks, we'll try to look at some of the other myths surrounding America's energy. The problem is, there are so many that dispelling the falsehoods about energy can become a full-time occupation for a newspaper.
In the meantime, let us suggest that if you think more oil will help, you should tell your local members of Congress. They're easy to find at the government Web site thomas.loc.gov. The only problem is, on this topic, many won't want to be found. (link)
Well, not really, but close to it:
If there's anyone out there who believes the New York Times is still not going to heartily endorse this joker come November, they'd be high on crack. But it's fun to watch these people try to deal with the sudden loss of magic in their Magic Man.
New and Not Improved
Senator Barack Obama stirred his legions of supporters, and raised our hopes, promising to change the old order of things. He spoke with passion about breaking out of the partisan mold of bickering and catering to special pleaders, promised to end President Bush’s abuses of power and subverting of the Constitution and disowned the big-money power brokers who have corrupted Washington politics.
Now there seems to be a new Barack Obama on the hustings. First, he broke his promise to try ...
The new Barack Obama has abandoned his vow to ...
In January, when he was battling for Super Tuesday votes, Mr. Obama said that ...
Now, he supports ...
The Barack Obama of the primary season used to brag that ... The new Mr. Obama tells evangelical Christians that ...
He says ... But ...
On top of these perplexing shifts in position, we find ourselves disagreeing powerfully with Mr. Obama on two other issues ...
We were equally distressed by Mr. Obama’s ...
We are not shocked when a candidate moves to the center for the general election. But Mr. Obama’s shifts are striking ...
There are still vital differences between Mr. Obama and Senator John McCain on issues like the war in Iraq, taxes, health care and Supreme Court nominations. We don’t want any “redefining” on these big questions. This country needs change it can believe in. (link)
Barack Obama. Just another cynical politician. Where have I read that before?
The ’60s Begin to Fade as Liberal Professors RetireMake that 40 years, old man. Comes after 39.
By Patricia Cohen, The New York Times
Baby boomers, hired in large numbers during a huge expansion in higher education that continued into the ’70s, are being replaced by younger professors who many of the nearly 50 academics interviewed by The New York Times believe are different from their predecessors — less ideologically polarized and more politically moderate.
“There’s definitely something happening,” said Peter W. Wood, executive director of the National Association of Scholars, which was created in 1987 to counter attacks on Western culture and values. “I hear from quite a few faculty members and graduate students from around the country. They are not really interested in fighting the battles that have been fought over the last 20 years.” (link)
The 60's hippies who turned our college campuses - where once higher education was important - into derisory repositories for social movements are finally dying off. A positive development indeed.
And this startling discovery makes for news:
Seasonal Factor Seen in Melting and Ice Shifts in GreenlandWell, come to think of it, I suppose this is news. Experts have determined that, with the onset of summer, warmer temperatures bring about considerable melt of ice and snow. And here we all thought that there was some kind of global warming thing to blame.
By Andrew C. Revkin, The New York Times
One of the most vivid symbols of global warming is the torrents of melt water that drain from the lakes that form each summer on Greenland’s ice sheet.
Recent studies have shown that this water, which flows deep into the ice through natural drainpipes called moulins, allows the ice to slide faster over bedrock toward the ocean. And the faster the ice flows, the faster sea levels rise. But a Dutch study using 17 years of satellite measurements in western Greenland suggests that the movement associated with the meltwater is not as rapid as had been feared. The acceleration appears to be a transient summer phenomenon, the researchers said, with the yearly movement actually dropping slightly in some places. (link)
Still, we have the declining polar bear population to rely on for our unwavering belief in global warming.
Oops. Scratch that one too.
I hope the U.S. government wasn't involved in the arrest. If it was, I hope the terrorists were read their Miranda rights. I hope those who "detained" the terrorists had probable cause. I hope the murderers have access to an attorney. I hope their detention meets all habeas corpus requirements. I hope the Indonesian police who made the bust have sufficient evidence to secure a grand jury indictment. I hope the docket in district court in Omaha is sufficiently free to take on this case when the terrorists' attorneys ask for a change in venue.
Or maybe the Indonesian government will just take the terrorists out back and execute the bastards and not have to deal with Anthony Kennedy's idiocy.
I suspected that the company had gone off the deep end when it announced the opening of a new store in Wytheville, Virginia. Population 8,000, on a good day. In the South, where gourmet coffee isn't the treasure that it is in Seattle.
Lax Real Estate Decisions Hurt Starbucks
By Brad Stone, The New York Times
This week, in an announcement that surprised even analysts who have grown accustomed to bad news from Starbucks, the company said it would shutter 600 “underperforming stores,” and significantly scale back plans to open new outlets.
The bitter economy is hurting countless retailers and restaurant chains. But the prospect of Starbucks closing stores, rather than opening them, is different. The company has long been known in the world of commercial real estate for its expertise at selecting prime locations and its fearlessness in establishing almost comic ubiquity in some neighborhoods.
Starbucks would not comment for this article. But it appears that the company strayed from the exacting real estate science that it had perfected and guided it through its first expansion wave.
In some cases, brokers say, Starbucks misjudged the risks of putting stores close to each other, leading to the decline in same-store sales that the company started reporting for the first time in its history this year.
It also overextended itself in certain regions, like in the South and in Southern California, which are among the hardest hit by the housing crisis, and whose older demographics and hot weather are not generally conducive to creating long lines of customers eager to pay $4 for foam-top lattes. (link)
That store (at the entrance to the Wal-Mart/Lowe's shopping center) is near completion. It will be interesting to see if it ever opens.
Just goes to show, even the best and brightest in the business community can sometimes do stupid things in order to appease the board of directors gods.
Senator asks if nation's drivers should slow downI swear, this guy will be plaguing us when he's finally forced at gunpoint into his assisted living home. Everyone in this country now knows that the 55 mph mandate that was passed in the Jimmy Carter years was (a) ignored by the vast majority of highway drivers, (b) a boon to those who like to write speeding tickets, and (c) proven to result in an infinitesimal savings in fuel consumption (a 00.18% savings to be exact).
By H. Josef Hebert, Associated Press Writer
Washington - An influential Republican senator suggested Thursday that Congress might want to consider reimposing a national speed limit to save gasoline and, in turn possibly ease fuel prices.
Sen. John Warner, R-Va., asked Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman to look into what speed limit would provide optimum gasoline efficiency given current technology. He said he wants to know if the administration might support efforts in Congress to require a lower speed limit.
Congress in 1974 set a national 55 mph speed limit because of energy shortages caused by the Arab oil embargo. The speed limit was repealed in 1995 when crude oil dipped to $17 a barrel and gasoline cost $1.10 a gallon. (link)
So, please. Don't. Not again. Consider the source. Ignore the musings of this old
Tell me if this makes any freaking sense:
Obama says McCain camp misstates his Iraq policySo he's going to have all the troops withdrawn from Iraq in 16 months, except for the 90% - or so - that he'll leave there indefinitely. Can he be so two-faced?
By Jennifer Loven, The Associated Press
Fargo, N.D. (AP) - Democrat Barack Obama says he's always been open to refining his Iraq policy but blamed Republican John McCain's campaign for suggesting "we were changing our policy when we haven't."
The Illinois senator called a second news conference of the day Thursday to address the GOP criticism of him and resulting questions about where he stands on Iraq.
He said what he learns from military commanders on his upcoming trip to Iraq will refine his policy but "not the 16-month timetable" for withdrawing U.S. troops from combat in Iraq. He said what he learns could affect how many residual troops might be needed to train the Iraqi army and police. (link)
Thing is, he'll get away with this too ...
Obama’s migration to the political center has been well-documented, and is already a frame McCain is building around his candidacy. But Iraq -- this is qualitatively different, an issue that lives on a higher plane, since opposing the war was the rationale for his candidacy in the first place."Obama's Iraq Quagmire," ABC News, July 3, 2008