Wednesday, June 08, 2005

On a Wing and a Prayer

Grisly news from Reuters:
Body parts fall from plane

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Pieces of a man's body fell from the wheel well of a South African Airways passenger plane bound for John F. Kennedy International Airport Tuesday and landed in the yard of a suburban home, police said.

A U.S. customs inspector discovered the rest of the man's body at 7:30 a.m. (1130 GMT) after Flight 203 landed in New York from Johannesburg, South Africa, said a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees area airports.

A South African Airways spokeswoman said it appeared to have been a stowaway attempt. (link)
It is ironic that, while Democrats like Howard Dean constantly disparage the USA and seem to harbor deep-seated hatred toward everything it represents, people in faraway lands like Senegal are eager to risk their lives in order to gain entry into this country.

This poor wretch had a more fervent appreciation for the USA than our miserable malcontents on the left ever will.

Kaine's 2nd Amendment Flip Redux

John Behan over at Commonwealth Conservative has an excellent - and thorough - piece on gubernatorial candidate Tim Kaine's about-face on the gun control issue.

From all that has been written on the subject lately, it is clear that Kaine is as rabidly anti-2nd Amendment as anyone on the far left.

Despite what he says to the contrary.

Go to John's excellent blog for the details.

I Must Think Better of You

This blurb (below) on the editorial page of the Roanoke Times reminded me of a statue identical to this one (above) I saw in front of Liberty Tax Service in Abingdon, Virginia the other day.

Briefly put ...
The Roanoke Times

After being stolen Saturday from in front of a restaurant in Santa Rosa, Calif., a 6-foot-tall, 300-pound polyurethane statue of Charlie Brown was returned Monday.

Bob Forsyth, owner of Michele's Restaurant and the statue of the character from the comic strip "Peanuts," paid a $2,500 reward for its return, no questions asked. The thief, Forsyth said, called and told him he'd stolen it from his partners in crime and would return it for the reward.

And did. (link)

My immediate reaction, when I saw the statue of Lady Liberty was, "Man, someone is going to have fun stealing that thing."

I know I should think better of my fellow man but I know how you sick devils are.

Click on image to enlarge.
Photo courtesy of Liberty Tax Service. Posted by Hello

The Left Realizes Its Mistake

After reacting with disgust and outrage to the Supreme Court's irrational ruling related to medical marijuana use (the left loves to champion the joys and intrinsic value of smoking dope), they thought it through and decided that the ruling was actually in line with everything they believe in.

Thus we have this editorial in the Washington Post this morning.

Not About Pot

THE SUPREME COURT'S decision Monday in the case of Gonzales v. Raich is a defeat for advocates of the medical use of marijuana, because the court ruled that federal drug laws can be enforced against patients even in states that would permit them to light up. But the true importance of Raich has nothing to do with drugs; it relates rather to the balance of power between the federal government and the states. The government's crusade against medical marijuana is a misguided use of anti-drug resources; that doesn't mean it's unconstitutional. A Supreme Court decision disallowing federal authority in this area would have been a disaster in areas ranging from civil rights enforcement to environmental protection.

The Constitution's commerce clause, which provided the foundation for the court's ruling in this case, is the foundation of the modern regulatory state, underpinning since the New Deal huge swaths of federal law: worker protections, just about all federal environmental law, laws prohibiting racial discrimination in private-sector employment. Limit the legislature too much and Congress lacks the power to run a modern country whose national policy is necessarily more ambitious than it was in the 18th century. (link)

Thus the left is willing to throw longtime pain sufferers over the side in order to hang on to the pervasive and punitive power of the Commerce Clause, at least as it is interpreted today. The fact that the law that forced the medical marijuana case was originally pushed by conservatives in Congress, and that Commerce Clause abuse can be used by the enemies of the Post as well as their comrades hasn't caught up to them yet. When it does, listen to them howl once more. And quickly change thier minds.

Shrewd. Merciless. Unforgiveable.

General Motors Flails

General Motors announced yesterday that it has formulated plans to slash 25,000 jobs around the USA in its attempt at turning its fortunes around.
Can cuts lift GM?
By Ed Garsten / The Detroit News

Wilmington, Del. -- Under intense pressure to deliver a turnaround plan, General
Motors Corp.
said Tuesday that it will dramatically downsize its North American operations by closing factories and slashing at least 25,000 manufacturing jobs in the United States by 2008.

The cuts outlined by GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner at the automaker's annual shareholder meeting will save $2.5 billion a year but mark another sign of GM's waning industrial might.

Wagoner also put the United Auto Workers on notice that GM is committed to reducing soaring health care costs, calling on union leaders to cooperate in "addressing a huge risk to our collective futures." (link)
Tragic yet expected. Severe yet insufficient to solve the problems GM is facing.

The company needs to radically alter its business plan. GM is losing market share to Toyota and is falling woefully behind in technological advancements. And it will soon be marketing more brands than it makes cars.

The payroll / benefit issue is their most glaring fiscal problem but it's not the overriding reason for their troubles.

To coin a phrase: It's the end-product, stupid.

General Motors needs to build a vehicle that more consumers are willing - eager - to purchase.

My suggestion would be the Accord.

Or Maybe the Passat

If General Motors can't do a deal with Honda (see previous post), perhaps Volkswagen would be willing to sit down with GM execs and talk. They apparently have a good reason to.
VW's U.S. dealers need more than pep talk from top
By Christine Tierney / The Detroit News

New Volkswagen boss Wolfgang Bernhard will face a grumpy crowd in Dallas next month when he addresses VW's U.S. and Canadian dealers. The German brand is in a freefall in the U.S. market.

Last month, VW-brand vehicle sales tumbled 42 percent -- the worst performance of any major nameplate in the American market. (Taking into account two more selling days in May 2004, sales were down 37 percent on an adjusted basis.)

So far this year, its sales are down 25 percent. They fell 15 percent in 2004 to 256,111 -- less than half of the 1970 peak. (link)
A merger could be just the ticket for both GM and VW.

So Full of Hate

As it turns out, this guy exemplifies perfectly the organization that he leads.

By TODD VENEZIA, New York Post

Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean — the man who brought the manic scream to politics — is finding new and innovative ways to put his foot in his mouth and sink the fund-raising prospects of the party in the process.

In his latest gaffes, Dean went to San Francisco Monday and declared that the Republicans are "pretty much a white Christian party," according to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle.

The comment comes after Dean told a group of supporters that Republicans "never made an honest living in their lives." (link)

How did a respected and highly estimable political party descend to such a level?

And Speaking of Intolerance

If a group got together and burned pronographic books on the town square, leftists around the country - led by Howard Dean - would brand them Nazis and demand retribution as well as jail time for their having committed a hate crime.

But let a ten-year-old kid open a Bible on public school grounds and those same champions of free speech go apoplectic. Witness the case of little Luke Whitson, Knoxville, TN.

Intolerance In The Bible Belt

How many parents have pleaded with their child to read? Anything? In Knoxville, Tenn., a 10-year-old chose to spend his recess time reading the Bible with fellow classmates. In the opinion of most sensible observers, the studious boy represents a refreshing departure from usual grade-school behavior. Instead of bullying, fighting or other typical recess pastimes, Luke Whitson was reading. But his choice of literature has stirred the constitutional and cultural sensitivities of a public school principal.

According to a lawsuit filed by the Alliance Defense Fund, Karns Elementary School Principal Cathy Summa "abruptly interrupted certain fourth-grade students while they were in the midst of a Bible discussion during recess, demanded that they stop their activity at once, put their Bibles away and, from that point forward, cease from bringing their Bibles to school." So, the Pentagon buys Korans and prayer carpets for Islamist terrorists, but a fourth-grader isn't allowed to read the Bible during recess? (link)

I have an idea. Since our laws have become so twisted and incomprehensible, why don't we scrap them and start over? Before we decide we've had enough of bullshit like this and make our own.