Saturday, October 08, 2005

What's With the Blogosphere?

I was a Large Mammal, then dropped to a Crawley Amphibian, rose to Adorable Little Rodent, up to Maruding Marsupial and now I'm back down to Adorable Little Rodent. I'm actually referring, of course, to the TTLB Ecosystem, not the entire Internet. For those of you who don't know, it's a ranking system based on links. While we don't live and breathe by these rankings, everytime we go up to a higher rank, we puff up a bit with pride (all-right! I went from a Wiggly Worm to a Crunchy Crustacean!). When we drop in ranking, we suffer just a teeny-weeny little bit (I dropped to a Flippery Fish?? Don't they love me anymore??? wahhhhhh!). In my case, my ego needs the stroking that being (at least) a Large Mammal gives me. Aspiring to higher ranking means that I could gain the notice of Playful Primates like The Anchoress, a Mortal Human such as LaShawn Barber; or (dare I even dream it?) Higher Beings such as Michelle Malkin or Instapundit. The thought of perhaps, maybe, in my wildest dreams, joining their ranks! is just well, too much to even think of. Well, what are we if we don't have dreams?

Don't get me wrong, I know I don't have the readership (and if the truth were known, the writing ability) to be more than an ALR, but I've been going up and down like an elevator over just the last couple of days.

I need some Dramamine for the motion sickness!

Note: Whoo-hoo! I'm back to being a Large Mammal! Now, where did I put the Dramamine?
What Caused the Levee Breech?

The Bush-haters won't like this, read this, or even report it, but if you are open-minded, you should at least read it. Here's the link from the LA Times.
Trivia Question

What do Americans use "loving trees" for?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Have Some Cheese With That Whine?

I used to say that to the liberal side of the aisle, but now I'm saying it to the conservatives among us as well. I can't believe all that I am hearing from the conservative side. All this whining is what I expect from the libs not from the generally more stable side of the aisle.

What the heck is going on here? The President made his nomination of Harriet Miers to the Bench to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Almost immediately, the conservatives are whining that she's not "conservative" enough. Or that it can't be proven that she's conservative enough. She only went to SMU. She's never been a judge. She only got the nomination because she a Bush "croney." It's made to sound like no one has ever suceeded by being an insider before. People, it happens everyday of the week in every industry, private or public sector. Right or wrong it happens. Personally, I can't see GWB nominating anyone to the High Court unless he thought they would carry on his ideals of how the Court should run.

It wasn't that long ago that conversatives were saying that the President had the right to nominate whomever he chose. Apparently, all that has changed and he has to nominate someone who will pass muster. Abe Lincoln once said to another Harriet, Harriet Beecher Stowe, “So you’re the little woman who made the book that made this great war.” Harriet Miers might not have written a book, but her nomination seems to be what is causing the Republican Party to unravel.

Democrats and Liberals have been searching for something that might win them a majority in Congress and maybe even the White House.This might be it. No, not the nomination itself. The stupidity that is happening as a result of the nomination. I might live in the South, but I am about as Middle American as it comes. And I don't like what I'm seeing. It's not the Republicans versus Democrats or conservatives versus liberals. It's conservative vs conservative, as in who's more conservative, or really conservative. It's a good thing that the elections are a year away. That gives the Republicans a year to repair the damage or the Democrats a year to throw it away. And everybody a year to grow up.

Let's not get stuck on stupid. Let's see what Ms. Miers is all about before going off on this stupid tangent. She deserves the time to present her case. And let's face it. She has to convince first the Judiciary Committee and then the Senate. Not you and not me. Sure, we can be against her nomination, but in the long run, no matter what we say, it ain't gonna make a difference.

The Anchoress has a great post that you really need to read. She said it much better than I can.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

On The Miers Nomination

I've been thinking about President Bush nominating Harriet Miers to replace Sandra O'Connor on the Supreme Court. I've also been listening to various pundits offering their sage opinions on the matter.

I don't know Ms. Miers. I don't place a lot of credence in the fact that she was the first woman to do this or that. Admirable, perhaps, but in the long run, being first isn't what I look at. I'd rather look at the job she performed. One of which was managing a law firm of over 400 lawyers, most of whom were men. Now, I have nothing against men. I married one, after all, but I also know how difficult it is for men to accept a woman as their supervisor. Especially when this is the first woman to hold that particular position. In this position she was actually running a business. She had to be sure there was money coming into the business, meet payroll and accounts payable, mediate between employees and between employees and clients, know taxes, and was, of course, accountable to her supervisors. Who were most likely men. Not to mention that she had to know the law and psychology in order to assign the right lawyer to the right case. You don't put a lawyer who's skills are in tax law in a case where he has to defend a client who may be facing the death penalty. In law firms, lawyers, especially young, new to the profession lawyers, don't usually get to choose their cases. Cases are assigned to them. That usually falls to the manager.

Ms. Miers has also been a practicing attorney. She's argued cases before the court for many years. I think I would rather have a Supreme Court judge who has actually practiced law as opposed to someone who talked about it in a classroom. Remember the old adage? Those who can, do, those who can't, teach. It might be an old adage, but there's a reason it's said.

I have to place some trust in the person who submitted her name to the Senate as a nominee. President Bush has known Ms. Miers for more than ten years. As he says, he knows her "heart". It's true that she has little, if any, "paper trail". This doesn't mean that she's going to turn into a liberal. As I said, not personally knowing her, I have to place my faith in someone who does.

I'll be watching to see what happens, but, until I know there's going to be problem, I'll continue to trust President Bush. He's made mistakes, but since he didn't ask for my advice, I'll have to trust him.

It never fails to amuse me that so many people think that because Bush is slow and deliberate in his speech (and sometimes mispronounces words), that he must be some kind of blithering idiot. And not only do they call him everything but a child of God, they use the nastiest language they can. As if that only reinforces their stand. Give me an argument with reason behind it and I might listen. Start throwing in the expletives and you tell me that you just want to sound like a "big man" (or woman as the case may be), not that you have an argument worth listening to.

A man who graduated from Harvard Business with an MBA isn't any kind of an idiot. At the very least, Bush is smart enough to know to surround himself with people who are good at what they do. They give him advice based on their knowledge and experience. He takes it into consideration, along with his knowledge, experience, and moral beliefs and makes a decision. One of the things that I like about him is that he will make a decision and stick with it. He has moral strength and a moral core and he stands by his beliefs. I think that scares people. They don't understand that belief system. Whether I agree with a person's beliefs or not, I admire a person who stands by their beliefs in the face of derision and arguments, and sometimes, just plain meanness. I like the fact that he stands by his friends. That's not to say that I think he rewards his friends by giving them positions of power and authority. I think that he puts people into those positions because he believes they can do the job.

I think that conservatives and Republicans alike need to take a step back and reconsider where they stand on many topics. If they don't, they stand to lose the House, the Senate, and the White House.

Here's a link to The American Thinker article that says it better than I can.
The Buses That Did Not Flood

If this is true, then someone has some 'splaining to do. I shouldn't be so flippant, but if I don't laugh, I'll only get mad, and I can't do anything about it except rant and rave here.

Remember the photo of the buses that were under water? The ones that could have been used to bus people out of the path of Hurricane Katrina? If I remember correctly, Mayor Nagin said he couldn't find anyone to drive them. Then the hurricane blew in and almost everything, including the buses, were flooded. I said before that I thought he probably could have found someone to drive those buses, loaded with passengers, out of town had he looked hard enough.

It seems that there were some buses in New Orleans that weren't flooded. I know I had no idea that there was more than one bus barn. There just happens to be another Orleans Parish bus barn, (the Algiers Bus Barn at 801 Patterson Ave. This is the one that wasn't flooded. Here's a link to Wizbang (this is a must read) where photos of the non-flooded buses can be seen. And not only that, but the route between the Superdome and the Algiers Bus Barn was not flooded. These buses could have been used at any time, before or after the hurricane, to bus people out of New Orleans.

All the time Mayor Nagin spent waiting for the Feds to come to the rescue, could have been used busing people out of the Superdome. He didn't have to wait. By using resources available to him, he could have been the hero of the day. Instead it looks as if he was looking to Big Brother Uncle Sam to save the day. I plan to one day write a post on the Welfare Mindset and it's reliance on other people and the utter inability of those who have the Welfare Mindset to rely on themselves. But that's for another post.

I hope there's more to it than mayoral incompetence going on here.

Thanks to The Anchoress for the link.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Is She...Or Isn't She?

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The nominee, that is. It's reported this morning that Harriet Miers, 60, of Texas, is Bush's choice to be Sandra Day O'Connor's replacement on the Supreme Court.

If you remember, up until the actual nomination, Edith Brown Clement was the supposed nominee. I wonder if GWB has another surprise up his sleeve and will nominate someone else.

Ms. Brown has never sat on a judicial bench, however, conservatives call Ms. Miers a top-notch attorney who understands that judges should play a limited role in Society. MyWay says:

In nominating Miers, they say Bush is reaffirming his commitment to picking judges who will respect the letter of the law and not allow cultural or social trends sway their opinions.

"Choosing somebody who is not a judge would put that much more of a premium on straight answers to questions because there would be that much less for senators and the public to go on when looking at such a nominee's judicial philosophy," says Elliot Mincberg, counsel with the liberal People for the American Way.

I wonder if Ms. Miers constitutes the "consensus" that Senator Schumer wants. I doubt it. Not having a judicial record I have to admit that I would have questions as to how Ms. Miers would rule on cases coming before her as a Supreme Court judge. However, she does have a legal "trail" so I'm sure there's enough to pick apart by those who don't agree with this choice.

As I understand, this is not the first time a nominee to the Court was not a sitting judge. Judge Rehnquist and Justice White were nominated from the Attorney General's Office and Judge Warren had been governor of California. In fact, ten of the 34 justices appointed since 1933 were nominated from within the Adminstration. Link from NRO.

And now it's a fact. Harriet Ellen Miers is the official nominee. Here's a link to her biography. Courtesy of Blogs for Bush,

Sunday, October 02, 2005

A Time for Consensus...or Appeasement?

"If ever there was a time that cried out for consensus, the time is now," New York Senator Chuck Schumer said Thursday. "If the president nominates a consensus nominee, he will be embraced — the president will be embraced and the nominee will be embraced with open arms by people on this side of the aisle. Not only we on this side of the aisle but the American people hope and pray in these difficult times for a consensus nominee."

In other words, President Bush, nominate a liberal, not someone you want. Don't nominate someone who represents your own conservative values or the conservative values of the people who elected you. Nominate someone who represents the opposite of what you stand for.

Sure, by nominating a "consensus" candidate, Bush might get his selection through with little problem. But you and I both know that no matter who Bush selects, someone ain't gonna like it. In my opinion, Bush should (and probably will) nominate the person he feels is best for the job, not the person the Democrats will confirm. The Democrats aren't gonna play nice unless they get to make the rules and choose the nominee.
The Media - Fact or Fiction?

"If you read it in The Sun, you know it to be true." Or words to that effect. That's what Little Virginia wrote to the editor of the New York Sun newspaper many decades ago when she wrote the famous letter asking about Santa Claus.

I wonder whether we should be writing letters to the editor about news reporters of today. Should we write to ask whether journalists who report facts really exist? I have to do something I really don't like doing: I'm lumping all reporters together. We all know that there are reporters who are careful to follow the rules of journalism: report what you know to be fact. And I personally don't have an objection to reporting rumor if it's also reported as a rumor. I apologize to those who report facts. I personally don't trust MSM now. I watch mainly Fox News and I'm careful about what I believe even there. I have more trust in Fox than I have in most other media, but still not total trust.

Hurricane Katrina is a prime example. Media was reporting before the storm that being a Category Five hurricane, Katrina would leave tens of thousands dead. Not so. Last I heard the toll was less than 1,000. Media reported that murder and rape were rampant in the Superdome. Again, not so. No one was murdered. Yes, there were seven deaths. Four of natural causes, one suicide, one overdose, and one other who's cause I don't remember. There were no rapes. It was no picnic, don't get me wrong. I'm sure it was a living nightmare. But what we were hearing before the authorities could get in and find out what was really happening, was wrong.

And of course Katrina was going to totally wreck the oil industry. Oil rigs would be destroyed. Refineries would be devastated. Price would reach all time highs. I believe it was within a week that all oil rigs and refineries were up and running, most at full capacity. Oil prices did shoot up, but they began to fall again, once some of the strategic oil reserve was released, the refineries got up and running again, and perspective was restored.

Then along came Hurricane Rita. She would do to Galveston-Houston what Katrina did to New Orleans. There were at least two differences. One, Galveston-Houston isn't in a bowl between a major lake and a major river and, two, Texans saw what happened to New Orleans and wisely left days before Rita rolled into town. No levees broke in Galveston-Houston, so there wasn't the flooding that Katrina caused. New Orleans was hurt by Rita too. They had a lot of rainfall they didn't need. I believe another levee was breeched and more flooding occurred.

There wasn't nearly as much reporting on Rita as there was on Katrina. Rita was downgraded to a Category 3 before she made landfall. Much of the drama was removed. We were again treated to scenes of reporters trying to stand against the wind and rain reporting that the weather conditions were increasing as the hurricane came closer. Well, duh! That's what happens.

After the hurricanes, it seemed to me that the name of the game was Point the Finger! Who is holding a press conference and who will they Point the Finger! at today? Will Mayor Nagin Point the Finger! at Governor Blanco? Will she Point the Finger! at the Bush Administration? There's enough blame to go around. Mayor Nagin didn't use city and school buses to get people out of town. He also refused Amtrak's offer to train people out. Governor Blanco failed to ask for Federal help as early as she could have. Bush offered to nationalize the Louisiana National Guard. Governor Blanco refused and I'm not sure she was wrong to do so. FEMA turned away Red Cross help. People could have had food, water, and medical care earlier than they did had FEMA relaxed it's ridiculous procedures and done the job.

FEMA is under the President. I can't argue about that. But it wasn't Bush who turned the Red Cross away from New Orleans. That was FEMA and their bureaucracy. It wasn't Bush who failed to ask for Federal help. That was Governor Blanco. It wasn't Bush who didn't get the buses rolling and refused Amtrak help. That was Mayor Nagin.

Sure, I'm focusing on the reporting of problems in the Superdome, but if I can't trust the media to report fact, and not rumor about a hurricane, I can't trust them to report what's really happening in Iraq, London, or Washington.

I looked up "journalism" at The third definition is: the style of writing characteristic of material in newspapers and magazines, consisting of direct presentation of facts or occurrences with little attempt at analysis or interpretation (emphasis mine).

It's not the job of a journalist to decide what facts to present. A reporter has the ability to choose which "facts" to present and which not to present. There's way too much reporting of the negative, and not nearly enough of the positive. In my opinion, the media chooses to report what is negative, and it's even better if they can point to the Bush administration and say it's Bush's fault. Once again I will say that Bush has made decisions I cannot support. But, he is isn't Satan incarnate either, despite what some segments of the public want to believe.

I want reporters to give me the facts. I'll make the determination how concerned I need to be about the current news events or what I need to do. Mark Steyn of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote a good article on this subject. You can find it here. It's well worth the read.