Behind Enemy Lines
30 January 2005
Beautiful, simply beautiful
Iraqi voting day movie

If a picture says a thousand words, then these pictures speak one word eight million times...freedom.

When the Prime Minister of Australia says the BBC is biased... know that something must be up.

As reported on, Australian Prime Minister John Howard said in an interview with The Australian today that a debate at the Davos, Switzerland meeting, organized by the BBC "...was based on an anti-American mindset which was established right at the beginning by the moderators from the BBC"

The story goes on to report that "Later Mr Howard told The Australian he found the European "irrational level of anti-Americanism" perplexing."

Good show Mr. Howard!
A new day for the Middle East
How can anyone deny that a new day is dawning in the Middle East? With the voting in Iraq, the winds of Freedom are starting to wear away at the oppressive pillars of the past. What better example than this image?

Consider all that this image describes. A woman, in the Middle East, wearing the for an elected government. It's stunning.

The people, when given a taste of freedom, will do anything to keep it. Even bearing others on their backs to ensure that they have a right to vote. This is what freedom is all about.

29 January 2005
Peskin seems to be getting it...but Kamala Harris is still out in left field
While I applaud Supervisor Aaron Peskin's initiative (oh my, did I just compliment Aaron Peskin? What's the world coming to?) to crackdown on prostitution in The City by seizing the cars of Johns who are convicted of soliciting prostitution, he and especially District Attorney Kamala Harris however seem to still be out in left field as to the correct solution. DA Harris states that "...the true perpetrators of prostitution [are] the Johns, the pimps and the traffickers...". Actually Kamala they (pimps, johns, etc) are guilty of a completely different crime and I would hope that you, as the District Attorney and all, would know that.

Yes, they are part of the problem, but people aren't cruising the streets looking for a pimp or a trafficker, they are looking for prostitutes. The so-called "working girls" are just as culpable as the Johns, the pimps and the traffickers. To say anything less is just plain silly. Here's a crazy idea, why not actually enforce all the laws equally? Like it or not, prostitution is a crime in San Francisco and should be treated as such.

The problem in San Francisco (and many cities) is one of inequity. The governmental bodies refuse to enforce the law as ordered by the people. As a nation of laws we must be beholden to the will of the people as evidenced in our laws. If a law is unpopular does that mean that the law should go unenforced? No. It means that it should be enforced until such time as it is changed. To do anything else lessens the power of the remaining laws as people can then pick and choose which laws to enforce (or obey). That is the whole point of being governed by law. We can't pick and choose which laws to obey, nor should the government pick and choose which laws to enforce. If a law is unpopular amongst a majority of people, then let the people decide to change it.
Study finds that the Saudi Government is exporting hate
What do you want to bet that the Chronicle won't pick up this story?

Saudi Publications on Hate Ideology Fill American Mosques"
(Found via the "Counterterrorism Blog" (highly-recommended reading) )

The study was conducted by the Center for Religious Freedom, described on their web site as:

The Center for Religious Freedom is a self-sustaining division of Freedom
House. Founded in 1941 by Eleanor Roosevelt and Wendell Willkie to oppose
Naziism and Communism in Europe, Freedom House is America's oldest human rights group. Its Center for Religious Freedom defends against religious persecution of all groups throughout the world.

25 January 2005
Well, they went and did it
San Francisco Supervisors, in all their mighty wisdom and glory, have banned smoking in public spaces in San Francisco...except for where it could make the city lose money:

Alioto-Pier said she would be open to adding the city's public courses later. But she first wanted to study whether a smoking ban would drive away golfers and their fees -- an important source of revenue that funds other recreation programs.

The ban will apply to well-known open spaces such as Golden Gate Park and popular tourist destinations including Union Square and Pier 39.

Ahh, but apparently areas where tourists (the major source of income for San Francisco) may congregate are fair game as the City doesn't make any money from them there (outside of rent at Pier 39, but that's just trickle-down money (wait, trickle down doesn't work right?)) . Never mind that tourists are already annoyed that they can't smoke in bars and restaurants in San Francisco (and that the City's oh so wise ban on smoking in bars never mandated that bars put ashtrays outside so the evil cigarette butts just clog the streets)

They claim that they are banning smoking because of the " and environmental risks associated with discarded cigarette butts and second-hand smoke..." for the children (even though we all know that there have been studies performed by the World Health Organization and others that found " association between childhood exposure to ETS [Environmental Tobacco Smoke (a.k.a. Second-hand smoke)] and lung cancer risk....", but that doesn't matter to the City's Eliberliti. Alioto-Pier even included this little tear-jerking statement:

"Like most young parents out there, I've had the wonderful experience of sitting with my children on the lawn and seeing them pick up a cigarette butt and popping it in their mouth..."

To them, it's "bad" [read: "we can ban this and make money off the fines while looking like good Eliberliti!"), science be damned. Science is a tool of the male-chauvenist meritocracy that imprisons the Fae souls of the wood nymphs and turns them to the darkside after all.

Of course the City still has it's polluting diesel buses but no one dares ban them for "health" reasons now do they? Funny how apparently the state found that diesel exhaust "...accounts for 70 percent of the cancer risk from air pollution in California..." yet somehow smoking is such a big bad boogyman that it must be stopped now...with large fines to enforce the will of the Eliberliti.

Personally what I find really offensive about the whole thing (other than it being based on bad or non-existent science, it's hypocritical as it takes a chunk (potentially) out of businesses rears (Pier 39) yet leaves the City's coffers alone (protect the fatted calf!) and that it is so very very facist) is that there is a minimum $100 fine for a first offense... compare that to the minimum fine of $50 for a first offense of defecating in public or the $0 fine for being nude in public (just so long as you aren't being lewd...or smoking)

20 January 2005
God love 'em they're trying...
...but the Chronicle / SFGate just can't let go of their anti "Care not Cash" bias. In an article published on January18th (yes yes, I've been busy ok?) titled "Place to live is just a first step Needs beyond Care Not Cash room send Brandy back to begging" they talk about Brandy, a homeless woman who panhandles on the corner of Van Ness and Golden Gate, even after getting an apartment, $59 a month in cash and $140 a month in food stamps because apparently that's just not enough.
"She also got her first-ever welfare check that day. It was $29.50. That's what homeless recipients receive every two weeks under Care Not Cash, the program that cuts their welfare in exchange for shelter or housing. The food stamps help, but they don't buy toiletries, movie tickets, or the other niceties of normal life."

Granted, $29.50 isn't a lot. But please remember...they're homeless and living on welfare. What should the amount be? $50 every two-weeks? $50 a week? I mean, yes, it sucks being homeless, but making your claim that you aren't getting enough for " tickets..." isn't just asinine, it's insulting and really shows where people have the absolutely wrong idea about how to get off welfare and end their homelessness. They're homeless, not on vacation. $59 is enough to buy toiletries if you are prudent about it. Say $6 for shampoo, $3 for soap, $2 for toothpaste, $5 for toilet-paper and say $20 for other (whatever, I don't know, I couldn't come up with any absolute necessity toiletries after my list. Maybe Shaving cream, deodorant, "womens things", etc.) That's $31 so far still leaving $28 left over. With $28 I could buy some books (used granted but so what...the words don't decay), even go see a movie if I wanted to and still have money left over. Heck, I could save more money by watching the movies for free at the San Francisco Public Library.
My point being that if you are serious about getting off the street and you are wise about your money (don't spend it getting drunk like Brandy supposedly does "every few weeks", with housing and food paid for you can get by on $59 a month in San Francisco. Would it still suck? Yes, but like I said, you're homeless, not on vacation.

Sometimes I feel so behind the times...
...or at least trailing in others wakes. The Diplomad points out how they apprently are making quite a splash with the Libereliti (my new phrase for "Liberal Elitists", tell me if you think it works or not) and points out a nifty little tool called "Technorati" where one can look up various blogs and just who is linking to whom. Lo' and behold your favorite (I can dream can't I?) Secret Agent is linked to by an "Adam Smithee" who seemed to misunderstand my response to Jan Egelends "stingy" remark, or at least didn't get my biting and witty point. Mr. Egeland was not referring to total western spending on humanitarian aid as Adam Smithee claims, but was very pointedly snubbing the United States. As for Adam Smithee's statements supporting his belief that U.S. military aid doesn't count for much, I still point to the operating expenses of SeaHawk and other military assets as a better arguement. Yes, they aren't purchased with humanitarian aid strictly in mind, but they are used for humanitarian aid. If UNICEF buys a hammer for use in their prestigious Manhattan offices and it gets used in Indonesia (little chance of that happening, but bear with me here) does that mean that their contribution of the hammer is lessened because it wasn't originally tasked to that purpose?
Would you say that the National Guard, being a military unit doesn't serve a role in search and rescue? Of course not, they have the best assets for search and rescue missions and hence are dual tasked. Check your local paper, NG or ANG unit and find out how many times they've been involved in SAR missions in the United States. Same goes for full-time military; Coast Guard, Navy, Air-Force, Marines. Does this mean they have a set, allocated amount of money to spend on SAR? Or that they can't assist in areas outside their normal purvue (cognizant of possee comitatus blah blah blah)? Of course not.
All branches serve and assist whenever and whereever needed...budget line items be damned.

Just because the military doesn't have a large line item dedicated solely to humanitarian aid doesn't mean that they don't provide humanitarian aid. Adam Smithee in his zeal to counter the arguement makes a good attempt to minimize the contributions the United States makes, while overlooking the obvious benefits that the United States brings to the world...even if they aren't spelled out in black and white.
08 January 2005
One of my new favorite blogs

Listed as "A Blog by career US Foreign Service officers. They are Republican (most of the time) in an institution (State Department) in which being a Republican can be bad for your career -- even with a Republican President!"

They definately have something to say and you should be listening.

07 January 2005
Stingy Aid
This is a phrase that really irks me. Considering all that the United States does for people around the world, to be called 'stingy' is more than an insult. Let's look at some of our 'stingy' money already being spent in theatre shall we?

All those nice SeaHawk SH-60 helicopters ferrying aid around (48 currently in theatre, bumping to 90 sometime this weekend). The nice helicopters that Mr. 'Stingy' Egeland claims are "worth their weight in gold". They must be free right? Wrong.

According to the nice people at Sikorsky International, the per hour operating cost of an S-70A (which is the base model of the BlackHawk, KnightHawk, SeaHawk, ad nauseum) is $1,285.82. Per bird, per hour. Let's see 48 birds x (let's be generous) 8 hours x 1285.85 = $493,754.88. Now take that number and multiply it by seven days (rough number of days they've been in theatre ferrying supplies) and you get $3,456,284.16. Roughly a third of what oil rich Saudi Arabia has "promised" to pay. We've already spent a third of their entire donation on real, hard, life saving helicopter missions. Notice this doesn't include the cost of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln and her battle group, nor the U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard and her battle group, nor the C-130's...

Damn, we sure are stingy.

p.s. 48 SH-60B's would weigh around 1,056,000 lbs (22,000 lbs max take off weight) which would be approximately $7,087,872,000 in gold. (at $419.50 an ounce). Just thought we should cover that ;)
Like husband like wife?
So, it appears that Senator Clinton's former finance director has been indicted for...fraud! What is it with Democrats and shady finance? Don't give me the whole "they only do it to compete with Republican's 'Big Business' links" because you know and I know that's a bunch of hooey.

Anywho, read for yourself what could be just the tip of the iceberg...
A Republican in San Francisco (Yes, he's under deep cover) relays his tales of interest... ...ok, "interest" is a strong and subjective word but you get the point.
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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

I shall know but one country. The ends I aim at shall be my country's, my God's and Truth's. I was born an American; I live an American; and I shall die an American. -Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

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