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now this is what makes america great

hip hip hurrah!

like most of you, my first reaction to the news that a federal judge had overturned the FTC's beloved do-not-call list was an almost overpowering desire to kill. i think that, for the first time in my life, i finally understood the "black rage" that burned inner-city la to the ground in the wake of the rodney king ruling. i felt like going to the nearest credit card company or long-distance phone service provider and opening fire with a nail gun. one loaded with extra rusty nails.

later, as i sat in the lotus position sipping herbal tea laced with barbiturates and chanting the sacred oooom, it occurred to me that, as a conservative, i really needed to support this federal judge's decision. it wasn't an easy thing to swallow--worse than the tea, even.

i don't pretend to have the first clue about the regulations governing the FTC, but if it's anything like the regulations that govern cabbage farming, there must be at least five million pages worth. but the heart of the judge's ruling was something that all conservatives can and should embrace: the FTC, a federal agency, overstepped its bounds and needed to be put back in its place. i'll have to take the judges word that they really walked on the grass, but assuming he ruled correctly, this is exactly the sort of thing we need more of.

we live in a nation of, by, and for the bureaucrat. clichéd analysis, i know: bashing bureaucrats is like bashing rats or lawyers (well, i guess rats aren't that bad...) but it still needs to be said. you can't swing a dead cat in this country without smacking into some sort of regulation. what's so frustrating about it is that these aren't even laws, as in, the legislature seldom has anything to do with them, or, if it does, it merely rubber stamps what the agency in question wants. if that doesn't make you people mad, it should, because the inflation of bureaucratic authority is inversely proportional to your liberty--how can you have democracy when the people who are making most of the decisions that directly impact your life aren't elected by you, accountable to you, or even the least bit interested in what you think? that, my friends, is tyranny. and if we're going to have tyrants governing our lives, the least we could expect is a tyrant with a little bit of style. i don't want small men in cheap suits pushing me around--i deserve louis XIV dammit, and so do you.

so bravo to the judge who's sick and tired of filling out form b, schedule f in triplicate, and bravo to the legislature, those guys we elect, at least theoretically, to increase our freedom.

locdog doesn't feel the least bit bad for the telemarketers, btw, and hopes that they'll be promptly rounded up and tried for crimes against humanity



political roundup

powell insults millions of muslim americans

if NPR ran a news service, it would be reuters:

"The remark was likely to antagonize millions of American Muslims, most of whom want to be included in the mainstream."

that's reuters’ analysis of a remark made by colen powell on yesterday's charlie rose show. before i tell you what powell said, i'd like you to put your scenario cap on and try to think up what it was that powell could have said to engender such dire predictions. did he employ an ethnic slur like rag-head or camel-jockey? did he call mohammed a "demon-obsessed pedophile?" did he imply that the reason arab women wear those blankets over their heads is because they've got plenty to hide?

nope. powell said that "we are a Judeo-Christian" country, although he immediately amended himself by adding "Well, it's hard to tell any more, but we are a country of many faiths now."

that, according to reuters, will "antagonize millions."

but then, according to reuters

The first amendment to the U.S. constitution prohibits the establishment of any state religion -- a provision usually interpreted as requiring strict separation of church and state, though Christian activists dispute that.

emphasis mine.

did i miss something here? i mean, they are talking about america, right? so now, according to reuters, "strict separation" is normative and the only ones who disagree are those nutjob religious right whackos, the "Christian activists." last time i checked, "strict separation" is a country like turkey, where women must de-blanket before they enter a post office. the united states has gobs of religion in public life, and always has. but this is what the liberals in the media always do: they proclaim the left the middle and anyone to the right of howard dean is therefore an extremist kook.

anyway, back to poor powell. he expects "[iraq will be] Islamic country by faith, just as we are a Judeo-Christian..." but then he hurriedly changes to "Well, it's hard to tell any more..." no, actually. it isn't. we're still mostly Judeo-Christian.

it's pretty damn clear what powell meant. iraq isn't going to be an islamic state except in the sense that most of its people will be muslims, just as the united states isn't a Christian state except in the sense that most of its people are Christians. but reuters wants to make its own news by first framing the secretary of state's offhand remark as a willful violation of the first amendment, then predicting, rather than reporting, the reaction of muslim americans. they dig up some innocent comment from a show probably twenty people--most of them related to powell or rose--saw, make it a story, then tell muslim americans how they are to react.

thank Yahweh-Jesus for fox news.

btw, the folks at reuters evidently don't give muslim americans much credit. in case they missed what it was they were supposed to get angry over even after all that, reuters closes with the following line:

Some American Muslims have coined the term Judeo-Christian-Islamic to reflect their ideal of what the United States should be.

is it just me, or is that one scary ideal? islam doesn't have the best trackrecord when it comes to peacefully coexisting with other faiths. given that the overwhelming majority of wars being fought on the earth today have muslims fighting on at least one side, this strikes me as a rather ominous vision.

wesley clark: and you thought al gore had no character

he's tied or leading in presidential polls, but who, exactly, is wesley clark? he raises funds for the gop in 2000, and runs for president as a democrat in 04--but only because karl rove wouldn't return his phone calls. now he says

I'm running for president because I could not stand by and watch everything that we fought for, everything our nation had accomplished and become, unravel before our eyes.

so who is this guy?

"oh, you know. he's the guy who would never have voted for the war he would have probably supported."

and what in the blue hell is he talking about?

"not gonna touch that one, locdog."

me either, imaginary reader. and if any of you can relate to what clark is saying here, then my only hope is that you're sterile, or, failing that, in the habit of eating your young. i know you liberals live with your heads in the clouds, but i'm at a loss to visualize even the fantasy america you think is being destroyed. i wonder if it's anything like the "strict separation" version reuters concoted above...

what about hillary

clark's a loser and i think time will bear that out. once the media-wide orgasm over his entrance subsides, he'll be one more boring democratic candidate with not a lot to say--less than the rest, really. he's not particularly quick-witted or knowledgeable, and unlike most generals who became presidents, he never won a war. kosovo doesn't count because a) no one knew what the hell was going on over there b) we never had troops on the ground and c) people were more interested in bill's sex scandals anyway. that was sorta the point, if you take my meaning.

but, for the heck of it, let's play a game of What If. What If wes keeps climbing? What if it begins to look like he's a genuine threat to bush? what does hillary do? and before i go any further, my premise here is that hillary is power-mad and will follow the quickest path to the presidency no matter what. if you don't accept that premise then you're a dolt.

so the ideal scenario for hillary is a bush win in 04 and an open seat in 08. if you can think of a democrat who could defeat her in this hypothetical 08 primary, or a republican who could match her style, charm, and notoriety, i'd like to hear about 'em now. ok, so the 08 is a gimme as far as hillary is concerned--IF bush wins...but what if he doesn't? she'd have to compete against a democrat incumbent in 08. definitely not hillary. so if bush loses, then her best bet would be the 12 which time she'd be in her mid-sixties. assuming hillary does not want to be collecting SSI by the time she's president, what does she do? if clark continues climbing, will she jump in?

she doesn't want to run against bush, that's for damn sure, but she'd almost have to. here's my prediction: if clark's numbers stay high through the holidays, she's in. she'll pick him up as a veep and it'll be off to the races. clark would give her the military credentials she so sorely needs--and what's he gonna do? say no? his money people are clinton people anyway, or could be without too much persuading. no way clark could beat hillary in a primary. even he knows that.

recall is on!

for now, anyway. the ninth circus court of appeals reverses itself, but the ACLU hasn't said whether or not they'll appeal. i'm guessing they will, but it won't matter. the only reason the ninth circuit overturned its own panel was because they were sick of getting (deservedly) smacked around by the USSC. no way this one gets overturned.

random thought: is there some way for ahnold to put mcclintock on his ticket? legally, i mean. i don't know the rules of this recall election, or anything about california election law in general, but if it's doable, ahnold should make it happen. like right now. promise mcclintock whatever he wants and get him on the ticket. tom can be governor later--in fact, he's got a real shot of being governor as the third-term-of-ahnold candidate. a lot better than he has of getting in on his own, that's for sure.

locdog has decided he wants ahnold to win for two reasons: 1) his political career has limitless humor potential, and 2) any state that elects ahnold deserves ahnold, and i couldn't think of a state i'd rather see it happen to than california

update: a california friend informs me that the guv and vice guv are elected separately. too bad. also, the ACLU will not appeal. recall on!