Desert Cat's Paradise
"The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it." - Proverbs 27:12.
Thursday, April 29, 2004
Blogiversary: Time to Launch or Time to Quit?Comments
Some folks create a great deal of dismay when they announce to the world that they are leaving the blogosphere. They have built up a substantial readership that has come to depend upon their daily droppings of wisdom, bile, lunacy, or whatever they've become known for. So when they quit, a whole lot of people feel like they are losing a friend.
I'm coming up on my first blogiversary in just a few short weeks, and taking stock of where I may take this blog in the future. After a year of daily musings, I see that my average hits per day hover around 9 to 12. That's pathetic, if a wide audience is what I was after. And how can I deny that is a secret wish--I mean really, is there any blogger who does not write in hopes of reaching a wide audience? But to be perfectly honest, I have not run this blog in such a manner as to attract a wide audience. Occasionally I make a splash by catching the attention of one of the "big dogs", or annoying Vox such that he's compelled to respond. But by and large this has been just simply my personal rant space. So I am grateful to those of you who stop by occasionally and see what drivel I've spewed recently. But I'm sure I wouldn't create a great deal of weeping and gnashing of teeth if I disappeared.
So what now?
Little Miss Attilla graciously extended to me an invitation to joint the mu.nu collective. This would certainly mean more regular exposure, at the very least to the rest of the denizens of the collective. I have only hesitated because I want to check out another blogging service that promises to be easier to use (though not free, as LMA noted). I have not had time to try it out yet. And that gets to the crux of the problem.
I've recently made my life a little more busy by enrolling in a couple of correspondence courses. This will leave me with less available time in the foreseeable future for blogging. Somehow I feel that if I am going to move up to a new platform, I owe it to the munuvians and/or the rest of the blogosphere to put out more of a quality product, and to do it on a regular basis. Now what constitutes a "regular basis" varies from blogger to blogger, and I could easily scale it back to 2 or 3 decent posts a week if I wanted. And what constitutes a "quality product" varies just as much. One thing I want to avoid though, is having my writing feel like an obligation, or get into a situation where I feel like I'm limited in any way in regards to my topical choices--or whether I even need to comment on X or Y event in the news, etc. I've seen several good bloggers go through this same angst, with some of them quitting outright. For example, Serenity recently swore-off the news and any blogging about it. It was either that or throw in the towel entirely. I really don't want to quit though. There's always going to be something I'll need to sound-off about.
The one feature I want though--and this is what will eventually drive me off blogspot--is the ability to easily post photos. I got a nifty digital camera a year ago, and I've been collecting "artsy" photos that I'd like to show off from time to time. It's not impossible with blogspot (just upload them to the free webspace that came with my ISP service, then link to them), but kind of a hassle. So it rarely happens.
Bottom line? Still don't know. The above rambling is really just part of the ruminating process.
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:31 PM | permalink
Tuesday, April 27, 2004
The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: More Morons MarchingComments
The Emperor has a good counter-protest line here:
"If you can't carry to term, don't invite in the sperm."
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:31 PM | permalink
Monday, April 26, 2004
Baldilocks: My Congressional Representative:Comments
"I have to march because my mother could not have an abortion."
--US Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif) at Pro-Abortion Rally Sunday, April 25"
Representative Waters, you won't believe how many people are sorry about that...
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:13 PM | permalink
A man seeking pain relief gets 25 years for drug traffickingComments
Reason: "Here's a bit of legal information that may interest Rush Limbaugh: Under Florida law, illegally obtaining more than 28 grams of painkillers containing the narcotic oxycodone--a threshold exceeded by a single 60-pill Percocet prescription—automatically makes you the worst sort of drug trafficker, even if you never sold a single pill. Even if, like Richard Paey, you were using the drugs to relieve severe chronic pain.
Although prosecutors admitted Paey was not a drug trafficker, on April 16 he received a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years for drug trafficking. That jaw-dropping outcome illustrates two sadly familiar side effects of the war on drugs: the injustice caused by mandatory minimum sentences and the suffering caused by the government's interference with pain treatment.
Paey, a 45-year-old father of three, is disabled as a result of a 1985 car accident, failed back surgery, and multiple sclerosis. Today, as he sits in jail in his wheelchair, a subdermal pump delivers a steady, programmed dose of morphine to his spine. But for years he treated his pain with Percocet, Lortab (a painkiller containing the narcotic hydrocodone), and Valium prescribed by his doctor in New Jersey, Steven Nurkiewicz."
Click the link at the top to read the rest. But here is the real killer:
A juror later told the St. Petersburg Times he did not really think Paey was guilty of trafficking, since the prosecution made it clear from the outset that he didn't sell any pills. The juror said he voted guilty to avoid being the lone holdout. He suggested that other jurors might have voted differently if the foreman had not assured them Paey would get probation.
Hel-LO?! Jury foremen do not have anything to do with sentencing. If you're on a jury, and you do not think the defendant is guilty, you vote "Not Guilty", no matter if you're the lone holdout or not.
As a juror you have the right to give the evidence presented whatever importance you think it deserves when coming to your verdict decision. For that matter you have the right to consider none of the evidence as having importance to your decision. Jury nullification is the last stand we as citizens can take against oppressive and unjust laws. Don't let ANYONE talk you out of a "Not Guilty" verdict, if you believe justice will not be served by a conviction.
You just don't want to let anyone know of your libertarian leanings during the jury selection process. Prosecutors do everthing they can to keep libertarians off the jury in drug cases.
Meanwhile an accident victim is in jail, and Justice weeps.
posted by Desert Cat @ 3:49 PM | permalink
Million Murder March?Comments
Hundreds of thousands march in Washington for abortion rights
I had to read through this entire article to try to find out what the pro-abortion crowd was getting worked up over. What erosion of "reproductive rights" are we talking about?
Has Bush appointed a strongly pro-life justice to the Supreme Court? No.
Is Roe v. Wade any closer to being overturned now than it has been in the last thirty years? No.
But abortion rights advocates countered Sunday that Bush's policies put the government where it has no business, between doctor and patient. They are challenging the law that restricts certain late-term abortions, for example, asserting that it is so vague that it could outlaw many types of abortions performed after the first trimester and could keep doctors from performing procedures they think are in the best interest of the woman's health.
Aha! They wish to defend the practice of partial birth abortion then! The most heinous practice of birthing the baby just far enough to crush it's skull, then pull out the dead remains. See, she's not a "person" until her last pinky leaves mom's birth canal, so it's okay to murder her.
No, there was bipartisan support to ban that practice. A civilized society, even one that disagrees about abortion, has to draw the line somewhere.
A much smaller contingent of abortion opponents assembled along a portion of the route to protest what they called a "death march."
Police used barricades and a heavy presence at that site to keep it from becoming a flashpoint. Both sides yelled at each other as the vanguard of the march reached the counter-demonstration.
"Look at the pictures, look at the pictures," shouted abortion opponents, holding up big posters showing a fetus at eight weeks.
"Lies, lies," marchers shouted back.
Lies? They're photographs. They depict the truth about what is a "fetus". The problem is that the pro-abortion crowd has been lying to women for thirty years about what an abortion actually does. And for many women who've had an abortion, the truth really hurts when they finally realize it.
The day had a decidedly partisan edge, with many in the crowd carrying signs for Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., the presumed Democratic presidential nominee; several members of his family were among the marchers, as was Howard Dean, who also sought the Democratic nomination; Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. and the Democratic leader of the House; and Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic Party chairman.
That's really it, isn't it. This was nothing more than a partisan election-year rally staged by the DNC.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., said the last time abortion rights supporters rallied in Washington, the nation elected her husband to the presidency just six months later.
"We didn't have to march for 12 long years, because we had a government that respected the rights of women," Clinton said. "The only way we're going to be able to avoid having to march again and again and again is to elect John Kerry president."
And that's the ironic thing. Except for his pro-abortion stance, Clinton should have elicited revulsion and anger by all women for the profound disrespect he demonstrated toward women during his tenure in office, and during his public career prior. Have we forgotten Juanita Broaddrick? Abortion trumps rape? Clinton was a rapist and a serial philanderer, but he was a hero to the feminazis.
Bush was at Camp David this weekend, but a White House spokesman, Taylor Gross, said: "The president believes we should work to build a culture of life in America. And regardless of where one stands on the issue of abortion, we can all work together to reduce the number of abortions through promotion of abstinence-education programs, support for parental notification laws and support for the ban on partial birth abortions."
Administration officials, in fact, have long maintained that the Bush policies are solidly in the mainstream of American public opinion; although he opposes abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the woman, he has said the country is not ready for an outright ban.
Yeah, he's dangerous all right. We gotta run him outa office big time for holding positions like that!
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:16 AM | permalink
Sunday, April 25, 2004
U.S. Opts To Delay Fallujah Offensive (washingtonpost.com)Comments
But on Saturday, with Marine commanders preparing their attack plans, top American officials helicoptered into a sprawling base outside Fallujah for last-ditch meetings. Participants included the U.S. administrator of Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, and the overall commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, Army Gen. John P. Abizaid. Iraqi political leaders, who have been negotiating with civic leaders in Fallujah, implored the American officials to give the peace deal more time, according to a U.S. official familiar with the discussions. The Iraqis insisted that many in the city who had fought against the Marines earlier in the month had promised to cease attacks but did not want to give up their weapons, the official said.
In response, Bremer and Abizaid decided to try to implement joint patrols to give the local leaders a final chance to demonstrate whether they could control the city, the official said. "If they can keep the bad guys from shooting, that's great," the official said. "If the bad guys start shooting at the Marines, then we're going to have to go in with more force."
ConFOUND it! Isn't this the same strategy that failed in Vietnam? Fight a little, then stop before you gain real advantage and "negotiate"?!
Freaking ****! What's to negotiate? We have the capability of doing the job well and thoroughly! Let's get it on!
Some military officials have privately voiced skepticism about the patrols, saying they expect the insurgents to fire upon the Marines. "We need to engage them on our own terms," one officer said.
You got that right. So who wants to volunteer for pop-up target duty to placate the politicians? I don't like the smell of this ONE BIT!
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:12 PM | permalink
There is a time to garden, and a time to enjoy one's garden.Comments
For gardeners like me, knowing when to stop gardening and start enjoying is the hard part.
posted by Desert Cat @ 2:43 PM | permalink
The Religious PolicemanComments
Another for the "keeping an eye on it" file.
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:32 AM | permalink
Saturday, April 24, 2004
Well I just got back from an interesting day.Comments
I was part of a team that put on a medical clinic for the poor in Nogales, Sonora. After the Prilosec moment, crossing the border whilst laden with medical supplies and medications, the clinic itself went well. We saw about 175 patients, prayed with a few people, and got the good report from the Mexican pastor we had loaned a video projector and VCR to -- 132 salvations after two showings of the "Jesus" film! Praise God for that!
But on the way home, our medical team got another workout. Our three vans were passed on the freeway shoulder by someone who had to have been going 100 mph. He nearly had a collision with a car a couple hundred yards ahead of us, and continued weaving through traffic at an amazing speed. Daisycat got on the cellphone to 911 to report it. I knew it was just a matter of time before he crashed. Sure enough, a few minutes later we came upon it. He had weaved, overcompensated (as the skid marks testified to), and hit the ditch. He took out a few cactus before slamming into a Mesquite tree. I got to watch the emergency medical people in our team do their stuff. One guy (an EMT) hopped out of his van practically before it had stopped.
The guy jumped out of his car with his hands on his head (um hm...and I'm thinking, if he was armed, you "heroes" would be the one needing emergency care--apparently he thought youall were the police), before collapsing by the side of the road. They said he sustained some pretty severe internal damage when he crashed and was bleeding internally. The police and medical units arrived at least five minutes later, and I hoped they'd take over and allow us to be on their way. But there was no prying our EMT and other emergency medical people from that scene. Geez. This kind of thing must be a drug for them. I knew we wouldn't be leaving until the guy was in the medevac helicopter and on his way.
So some of the rest of the team got to make some interesting phone calls home...
Hi, I'm going to be a little bit late.
We're on the freeway, surrounded by police, EMT's, ambulances, fire trucks, and there's a Medevac helicopter parked on the freeway in front of us.
No, no, I'm fine, we're fine. We just came upon an accident, and some of our team is helping out.
As it turns out, the guy was being chased by the police all the way from Nogales, and they had recently broken off the chase because it was getting up to dangerous speeds. Dangerous? Hell yeah! As far as this guy was concerned, the chase was still on, 'cause he sure wasn't slowing down any. Some of the team saw big wads of cash on the seat, and there was a sack on the back seat that they didn't touch. Our best surmise was that he was fleeing from a drug bust.
While I have a substantial reserve of anger at this guy for endangering the lives of so many people (including us three vanloads!), I have more anger toward the drug war that created this situation in the first place.
But overshadowing both is my gratitude toward God, for His protection.
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:32 PM | permalink
Thursday, April 22, 2004
Raids Seek to Break Web Piracy Rings: "Pressing on in its fight against illegal Internet distribution of copyright-infringing materials, the U.S. Department of Justice today announced a massive antipiracy sweep of at least 120 locations worldwide, including 80 domestic searches in 27 states."Comments
Is this the same Justice Department and FBI that has had difficulty dealing with the terrorist threat in this country? Explain to me then, why resources are being devoted to this "massive" sweep of "warez kiddies" sites.
"Intellectual property" enforcement is JUST as important as preventing planes from flying into buildings...
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:52 PM | permalink
Wednesday, April 21, 2004
Bush Says World Owes Israel's Sharon a 'Thank You'Comments
Politics News Article | Reuters.com
And meanwhile I find reports of Arab "rage" at the US oddly refreshing. As in: "stick it where the sun don't shine. You had your chance(s) and blew it repeatedly."
The so-called "right of return" was totally impossible--it would have meant the swift end to the state of Israel--and has always been the poison pill preventing any final resolution. All this is, is an acknowledgement of that reality.
Maybe with this new reality, a future generation of Palestinian leaders can come to a workable solution for a Palestinian state, based on a true desire for peace and a recognition of what is actually feasable. As long as some hold out hope for the possibility of the destruction of the state of Israel and insist upon poison pills that would ensure that result, no peace will be possible.
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:47 PM | permalink
A Flippin' Dopeface!Comments
Vast Right Wing Conspiracy via
Kim du Toit - John "F***face" Kerry
Yep Demo's, he's your man for president!
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:50 AM | permalink
Tuesday, April 20, 2004
LILEKS (James) The BleatComments
Lileks has a great piece here. He touches on a couple of topics, but his main topic is gay marriage. It is worth a read.
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:45 PM | permalink
Exercise? Who needs exercise?Comments
New Zealand News - World - Chinese mushroom remedy found to boost fitness
Just munch on a few of these mushrooms, and you're ready for the Boston Marathon!
link via Venomous Kate
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:26 AM | permalink
noted for future linking
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:20 AM | permalink
Key Monroe has keyed in to the same unspoken fears I have had recently:
I hear voices!
Come on, Key, everyone's doing it. Come with us...
Hmmm...I don't know.
Come on....You know you want to. It feeeels goood. It looooks gooood. Join usss....
Oh, whew, I'm not sure...what are the side effects of doing munu? I've never heard of it?
Side effectsss....no side effectsss, join usss...
Is this some sort of cult, where people are running around speaking in tongues, or worse, latin?
Cult! Of course not! We're just a bunch of good-hearted people who reach out to those who need us. heh..cult, right.
I must confess to conjuring visions of Gary Larson cows, draped in dark cowls, standing before a ceremonial fire chanting: MOONOO! MOONOO! MOONOO! with the Reverend Pixy Misa with upraised knife before the altar...
Absurd? Of course! It can't be like that, right? heh...
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:52 AM | permalink
Monday, April 19, 2004
Boom x 2Comments
Cox and Forkum via Baldilocks: Boom Times Two
Prescient maybe? Funny definitely!
(Note, the first cartoon was released a week or two ago.)
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:48 PM | permalink
Sunday, April 18, 2004
LOL Moment at Gut RumblesComments
Gut Rumbles: don't jump the gun
I ain't dead yet. I spent five days in the hospital with the finest of the medical community working...and after umpteen tests, removed two buckets of blood and shot a series of X-rays, they gave me good news--- they all saved a bunch of money on their car insurance at Geico!
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:20 PM | permalink
Foiled al-Qaida Attackers Caught Red-Handed With WMDsComments
NewsMax.com: Inside Cover Story:
Two members of an al-Qaida cell connected to top terror master Abu Musab al-Zarqawi have been caught in Jordan with chemical weapons and poisonous gas for a planned attack that Jordanian officials say would have killed up to 20,000 people.
The officials told the London-based newspaper al-Hayat on Friday that the al-Qaida plotters planned to launch a WMD attack against a Jordanian Military Intelligence installation, the U.S. Embassy in Amman and a government building in the country.
According to the Israeli newspaper Maariv, the al-Qaida terrorists managed to smuggle three cars packed with explosives into Amman. Jordanian security forces found a chemical charge in one vehicle.
'The bomb, had it been detonated, could have affected people in a one-kilometer radius and cause the deaths of up to 20,000 people,' Jordanian officials told Maariv.
According to United Press International, the al-Qaida car was intercepted just 75 miles from the Syrian border and 'carried explosives, a chemical bomb and poisonous gas.'
Have I not said, the Iraqi WMD's were smuggled to Syria just before the US invaded Iraq last spring? And now they're showing up in the hands of al-Qaeda...
The job will not be finished until "regime change" has been effected in Syria and Iran as well.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:31 PM | permalink
As All Sunday Afternoons Should BeComments
I'm working on a writing course at my patio table this afternoon. I wouldn't mind working from here on a more regular basis.
posted by Desert Cat @ 3:51 PM | permalink
Friday, April 16, 2004
Coming To Their Senses in GermanyComments
Germany's cannabis laws could go up in smoke in the next few weeks as Berlin's local assembly prepares to decriminalise pot. Ernest Gill reports on the build-up to the change in the law, which could also set a precedent for other parts of the country.
The centrist FDP is sponsoring the legislation, saying it is high time for the government to get its nose out of the affairs of otherwise law-abiding people when consumption of pot has not been proven to be more harmful that alcohol or cigarettes.
That is the ostensible reason. The real reason is that authorities in Berlin have given up trying to police the pot possession problem.
"The ban was based on a drug policy which has failed utterly," says FDP City Senator Martin Lindner, who introduced the bill.
"We are not trying to play down this drug," he adds, "but are simply striving to attain a more realistic approach to this drug."
So when will reality set in, in THIS country?
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:21 PM | permalink
Aaron's Take on the Kerry-Hillary Love-FestComments
Aaron's Rantblog -- Wardrobe Malfunction
Caution: You may fall out of your chair...
Also, Allah photoshops the pic I brought to his attention.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:11 PM | permalink
Beast Technology, Ltd. (aka Applied Digital Solutions, VeriChip Corporation) Gets First Implementation of "Mark" TechnologyComments
WorldNetDaily: Paying for drinks with wave of the hand
Like a scene out of a science-fiction movie, all it takes is a syringe-injected microchip implant for the beautiful men and women of the nightclub scene to breeze past a "reader" that recognizes their identity, credit balance and even automatically opens doors to exclusive areas of the club for them.
They can buy drinks and food with a wave of their hand and don't need to worry about losing a credit card or wallet.
That should read "Like a scene out of the Book of Revelation..."
Rev 13:16-17 "Also (the Beast) causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark...
Baja Beach Clubs International is the first firm to employ the "VeriPay System," developed by Applied Digital's VeriChip Corporation and announced at an international conference in Paris last year. The company touts this application of the chip implant as an advance over credit cards and smart cards, which, absent biometrics and appropriate safeguard technologies, are subject to theft resulting in identity fraud.
And wouldn't you know it! Identity fraud is a surging problem. My what an elegant "solution".
He also alluded to plans for FN Herstal, which manufactures Browning and Smith and Wesson firearms, to develop an implant-firearm system that would make a firearm functional only to the individual implanted with its corresponding microchip. A scanner in the gun would be designed to recognize the owner.
Chase's mention of the FN Herstal-Verichip partnership came a full week before it's formal announcement by Applied Digital yesterday.
Chase believes all gun owners should be required to have a microchip implanted in their hand to be able to own a gun. While yesterday's Associated Press story on the prototype is primarily from the angle of police usage, WND reported two years ago that from the he outset of the company's acquisition of its "Digital Angel" implant patent – said to be GPS trackable – Applied touted the implant as a potential universal method of gun control.
Finally a way to track those gun nuts! Force them to get an implant to be able to use their guns. Where else can we put scanners to track their movements?
Chase calls the chip implant the wave of the future.
The objective of this technology is to bring an ID system to a global level that will destroy the need to carry ID documents and credit cards," Chase said.
During a recent American radio interview, Chase said the CEO of VeriChip, Dr. Keith Bolton, had told him that the company's goal was to market the VeriChip as a global implantable identification system.
Interesting that they will readily admit that this is what it is for. But of course! This is the solution to world terrorism! Never again will terrorists be able to sneak around undetected. We'll be watching their every move, (along with the movements of everyone else we have a notion to watch).
Interesting how it is being promoted.
"From the moment of their implantation they will also have free entry and access to the VIP area," he said.
The nightclub director has been implanted along with stars from the Spanish version of the TV show "Big Brother."
"I know many people who want to be implanted," he said. "Actually, almost everybody has piercings, tattoos or silicone."
It's hip! It's cool!
Rev 14:9-10 "And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If any one worships the beast and its image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also shall drink the wine of God's wrath, poured unmixed into the cup of his anger, and he shall be tormented with fire and sulphur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb."
Rev 16:2 "So the first angel went and poured his bowl on the earth, and foul and evil sores came upon the men who bore the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. "
Rev 20:4 "Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom judgment was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands."
At some point it will not be "optional".
Chase also claimed that the VeriChip company had told him that the Italian government was preparing to implant government workers.
This is getting too close for comfort. The justifications for the urgent implementation of this kind of technology are all around us. World terrorist threat. Surging identity fraud. The "war on drugs". Illegal immigration. Money laundering and tax evasion. For libertarians of any flavor though, this technology is terrifying in its implications, even without the Biblical references. But I had hoped to live most of my life before this time came upon us. These words will all too soon be fulfilled:
Rev 13:4-10 "Men worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?" And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months; it opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and tongue and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, every one whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain. If any one has an ear, let him hear: If any one is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if any one slays with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints."
"Endurance and faith." Oh Lord, may they be given to us in sufficent measure for the time that is soon to come.
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:55 PM | permalink
Massive Drink Alert!Comments
Don't miss these, especially "yodeling Saddam"...
FlipFlopper.com - 2004 Campaign Commericals by Creative Conservatives
Thanks to Dadcat for the headsup!
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:22 AM | permalink
Losing a Doctor to Out-of-Control Jury AwardsComments
Malpractice costs reach a crisis for Arizona doctors | The Arizona Daily Star
One of the doctors that serves my family is leaving the state. Malpractice insurance premiums are skyrocketing due to sky-high jury awards. The doctors who perform high-risk procedures as a regular part of their practice (such as neurosurgeons, Ob/Gyn, etc.) are being hit particularly hard. In this state the constitution prohibits any law that limits damage awards. The constitution of this state is in serious need of amendment.
Those of you who think you deserve millions of dollars for your every wittle health problem that you don't think you were properly pampered for are maggots, eating the healthcare system alive from inside. You think the insurance company pays, so it doesn't matter? Hell it matters! Where do you think the insurance company gets the money it paid out to you for your wittle owie? Your doctor and my doctor and everyone else's doctors! And who do you think pays when the doctors can no longer practice medicine. All of us!
Selfish little maggot! You have your multi-million dollar settlement, and your lawyer is sitting fat and happy with his share. You think justice was served. But in fact a grave injustice has been done--by you and your lawyer against all of us. Those of you who engage in this practice, and those of you who cheer it on and wish for your opportunity to make a grab for your own "share" of big settlement dollars are the moral equivalent of jackals and maggots--an abomination, a semen stain on the dress of civil society. And the irony is, you are generally the same type of people who love to rail against "corporate greed". Greedy little muck dwelling maggots!
The bottom line is that too few people take responsibility for their own health. Too many people act as if they can do whatever they want to their body, and when something goes wrong, they are a "victim", and "someone better pay". No one is owed health care as some kind of fundamental right. And no one is owed compensation when their failure to take responsibility results in harm to themselves. That woman who stuck a hot cup of McDonald's coffee in her crotch should never have been paid a DIME for her stupidity.
If it was up to me, I'd limit malpractice damage awards to actual compensatory damages only--that is to say, actual medical expenses for correcting the problem, IF the doctor's culpability can be proven, and lost wages/earning ability IF the plaintiff was actually a productive member of society prior. "Pain and suffering" awards would be subject to strict statutory limits that take into account the patient's own culpability for his/her condition. Punitive awards in malpractice cases would be completely prohibited. If there are grounds for punitive action, the correct course would be for the provider to lose his/her license to practice.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:22 AM | permalink
Thursday, April 15, 2004
The Most Liberal SenatorComments
The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > Kerry Plans Effort to Show He Is a Centrist: "EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., April 15 --Declaring that he is "not a redistribution Democrat," Senator John Kerry told a group of wealthy and well-connected supporters on Thursday that he would soon start an aggressive campaign to define himself as a centrist..."
Right. And Hitler was a pacifist...
Thanks to Annika!
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:49 PM | permalink
Evidence of Iraqi WMD programs showing up in smuggled scrap metal shipments.Comments
"But U.N. and European officials confirmed that IAEA inspectors traveled to Jewometaal's scrap yard to run tests on the yellowcake. The search turned up missile engines and vessels used in fermentation processes that were subject to U.N. monitoring. The U.N. Monitoring Verification and Inspection Commission informed the council about the finds in a letter, according to diplomats. The IAEA, meanwhile, ordered up satellite images to assess conditions at Iraq's former nuclear weapons sites. A senior U.N. official said they discovered that two buildings at one former site had vanished and that several scrap piles contained weapons-related materials were also missing."
I keep saying...
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:29 PM | permalink
Kerry + ClintonComments
Sittin' in a tree...
The Arizona Daily Star
Is this an incipient Algore-Tipper moment?
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:52 AM | permalink
Has anyone besides me noticed how pretentious and self-important I sound here?
Seems to be a common affliction of bloggers though...
(...sorry. Nose is bent WAY out of shape this evening...)
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:03 AM | permalink
Tuesday, April 13, 2004
DRUDGE REPORT 2004
Campaign 2004 turns extreme in Florida with the placement of a newspaper ad calling for physical retribution against Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld!
"We should put this S.O.B. up against a wall and say 'This is one of our bad days,' and pull the trigger," the ad reads.
If this doesn't result in Federal charges being filed, then something is wrong. The only "mistake" they made is threatening physical violence against a Federal official.
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:56 PM | permalink
The Pan Galactic Blogger BlasterComments
Ok, it's brand new blog, but I know Nate from Vox's site, and I suspect this will be a good one.
posted by Desert Cat @ 2:57 PM | permalink
Monday, April 12, 2004
Next Stop, Iran?Comments
WorldNetDaily: Bush misses the mark
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:41 PM | permalink
Separating Wheat From ChaffComments
I am working my way through Watchman Nee's book, "Spiritual Authority", and also reading a bit on the web about it. What is becoming clear to me is that there is certainly some wheat in this book, but there is most certainly also a great deal of chaff. And some of that chaff borders on the poisonous, or at least has the potential to be turned to poison in the wrong circumstances. It appears from what I am reading, this book has become something of a standard textbook for legalistic church systems, as well as becoming the justifying "authority" for spiritual abuse and even some cults. So I have been keeping a very large grain of salt handy as I study.
Nee titles his book "Spiritual Authority", but he seems to apply his lessons as well to temporal authority. The New Testament writers talk about obedience to temporal authority as well as spiritual authority. Christ seems to make some distinction between the two (rendering to Caesar and to God). It is clear from these passages that this temporal authority carries with it some of the weight of spiritual authority from God. I have not fully sorted this out, and won't attempt to do so here. Specifically I'm dealing in this post with temporal authority.
Both the New Testament writers and Watchman Nee lived under a top-down authoritarian system. Nee lived in China at the time the Communists took power. Under such a system, if temporal authority is to be considered to be spiritually legitimate, it must be assumed that it has been handed down by, and maintained by God. However under the democratic republican system upon which this country was founded, a radically different authority structure is in place.
If we are to believe that this country is blessed by God and was founded upon godly principles, then we must conclude based on our founding documents that God has vested temporal authority in the individual members of society. From there authority is delegated to elected representatives, and further to the people that they appoint, both the courts and various governmental agencies. Under this system, literally vox populi, vox dei. The voice of the people is the voice of God. Our collective authority is delegated to governmental representatives, lends them legitimacy and provides them the authority to act on our behalf. In the measure and to the degree that these governmental representatives fail to reflect the voice of the people, they lose their legitimate authority.
Our founding documents were intended only to delegate specific authority to government, with the remainder being retained by the people. Thus the Bill of Rights is really about what authority is not granted to government, rather than being about what rights are granted to the people. Natural rights and authority begin with God, are granted to the people, and then specific authority is delegated from us to the representatives of the people.
Nee makes much of the model of David in his relationship to Saul when he argues for our unquestioned obedience to delegated authority. However it should be remembered that the establishment of a monarchy in Israel was not God's perfect will. The people demanded, and in his permissive will, he provided for them a temporal king. His perfect model was for the people of Israel to look upon Him as their king, and for His delegated authority to reside in judges who were raised up from amongst the people. To me this bears a rather remarkable resemblance to the republican ideal.
Under the democratic republican authority structure, one cannot be accused of reviling authority when one questions or calls down elected representatives or governmental agencies for their misdeeds. In fact, this is a legitimate exercise of the authority vested by God in the members of society. While it is important to remember that this delegated authority is collective, and therefore must represent all the people, the collectivization of the authority of many into the hands of a few representatives does not invert the essential authority structure.
All government officials, from the lowest DMV clerk to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, serve below the people in this system, not above them, and must remain sensitive and very responsive to vox populi if they are to maintain the legitimacy of their authority. "Social Engineering" has no place here. No one except for God Himself is appointed above the people to decide for us what the "collective will" is. When we speak, we must be heard and heeded.
For the survival of this democratic republic, it is crucial that both the people and government officials remember this foundation.
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:00 AM | permalink
Sunday, April 11, 2004
Via Drug War Rant:
"This is from an important organization you should visit called FEAR (Forfeiture Endangers American Rights):
Today a new FEAR member called and related his story. He was driving across the South with a group of friends on their way to Las Vegas on vacation. They were stopped by cops in Texas for some obscure traffic infraction -- driving in the passing lane, as I understand it. The police searched and found cash money, and seized it. A drug dog was brought and he alerted to the money -- that was the official excuse for seizing it. No one was arrested or even cited for the traffic infraction. The hapless vacationers stayed in Texas for days fighting the system to try to get the money back. All they got was the 'run around.' The local authorities kept claiming they were on the verge of giving it back, and then decided instead to turn it over to the Feds for forfeiture under the Federal Adoption* program. (*This program, called 'Equitable Sharing' by the Justice Department, allows state and local police to seize property -- even if they couldn't forfeit it under the requirements of their state's forfeiture law. The local agency gets up to 90% of the profits of the federal forfeiture.)
They must have been drug dealers -- what other reason would there be for carrying cash on your way to Las Vegas? (Note: Cocaine contamination spreads between bills from banks' bill-sorter belts, so its most likely that the cash in your wallet would test positive for cocaine. The drug dog could have alerted to that, or it could have been one of the 80% or so times that drug dogs false alert.)"
Right. I can't possibly imagine why anyone would be taking money on a vacation to Las Vegas... What else can you call this except highway robbery? Literal highway robbery by the out-of-control "drug war" apparatus. So for any reason or virtually no reason at all, the police can stop you, seize any cash you may be carrying, and keep it, just because they want to? Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America be damned, eh? Call them "bandits with a badge"!
The "war on some drugs" will be the undoing of this country unless it is stopped.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:32 PM | permalink
Saturday, April 10, 2004
20/20 Hindsight and the Armchair QuarterbackComments
John of Argghhh! has some observations on the 9/11 commission:
"All the dots are sooooo obvious when all the dead end paths are x'd out. The maze is easy to negotiate when all the turns are nicely labeled.
I worked in the WMD response task force for DoD in 98-00. We considered airplanes into buildings. We considered ricin in the food supply. We considered toxins in the water. We considered nerve gas in the subways. We considered low-order radioactive material distributed in any number of interesting ways. We used complicated models to try and determine downwind paths in complex urban terrain, simulating someone dispensing a biological from a high building. We considered lots and lots of stuff. And there was intel that supported all of it.
We made plans to react to all of it. We rehearsed those plans and the coordination with Federal, State, and Local agencies. And we lost sleep over the probable casualties.
The problem was no one (this means you, the public, in addition to the executive/legislative leadership) was going to buy the recommended preventive measures - because no one really BELIEVED it could happen here. An attitude carried forward with the change in administrations."
Go read the rest...
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:14 PM | permalink
Friday, April 09, 2004
Condoleezza Rice for President 2008 - Unofficial SiteComments
Now more than ever...
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:24 PM | permalink
Thursday, April 08, 2004
Kerry Assails Bush's Foreign Policy (washingtonpost.com): "Sen. John F. Kerry criticized President Bush's foreign policy Thursday, questioning why the United States is virtually alone in Iraq and pledging that as president he would work closer with the international community."Comments
Shut up johnny boy, few people are paying attention to your blather. With daily reports about the South Koreans and the Japanese and the Poles and the Ukranians and the Australians and the Brits and the Italians and yes, even the Dutch, and many more working together with us in Iraq, your words ring hollow. When you say "international community" everyone now knows you mean "france". And frankly, we don't give a damn what the french want anymore.
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:44 PM | permalink
In the immediate aftermath of 9/11 there were many people of both parties exclaiming how relieved they were that Bush was president at that time.
As much as I appreciate the president himself, I appreciate equally the people he has surrounded himself with. I was unable to watch the testimony of National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice this morning, but after reading accounts of her testimony in various venues, I am breathing another sigh of relief.
I get the sense that this woman has a level of competence that borders on genius, and I sleep a little bit easier knowing she has been applying her considerable talents to helping the president deal with the terrorist threat for the last 3-1/2 years.
The New York Times
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:04 PM | permalink
Kerry says he would cap federal spending:Comments
"John F. Kerry yesterday sketched the fiscal vision that would guide him as president, saying he will cap federal spending, a move that he acknowledged will require scaling back several campaign promises."
You could call this another flip-flop. But I'll call it smoke and mirrors. The most liberal member of the Senate promising "fiscal restraint" is disingenuous at best.
However it bears remembering that liberals are fond of referring to tax cuts as "irresponsible spending"--a bizzare notion that assumes that all of your money belongs to the government. Therefore whatever they "permit" you to keep is somehow a form of government spending.
Watch and see if this is not a way for him to turn his $900 million dollar tax increase into a $900 million "cut in spending".
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:30 AM | permalink
Wednesday, April 07, 2004
U.S. Marines Fight Insurgents in FallujahComments
"Al-Sadr, meanwhile, said Iraq would become 'another Vietnam' for the United States.
'I call upon the American people to stand beside their brethren, the Iraqi people, who are suffering an injustice by your rulers and the occupying army...,' he said in a statement issued from his office in the southern city of Najaf. 'Otherwise, Iraq will be another Vietnam for America and the occupiers.'
Al-Sadr's al-Mahdi Army launched heavy gunbattles with coalition forces in the streets of at least six cities Wednesday and, for the first time, in the north."
So...when did Al Sadr get added to the Kerry campaign payroll? Or is he just freelancing--sort of like George Soros?
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:26 PM | permalink
Kerry: Terrorist Shiite Al-Sadr 'A Legitimate Voice'Comments
Speaking of al-Sadr's newspaper, which was shut down by coalition forces last week after it urged violence against U.S. troops, Kerry complained to National Public Radio, "They shut a newspaper that belongs to a legitimate voice in Iraq."
In the next breath, however, the White House hopeful caught himself and quickly changed direction, adding, "Well, let me . . . change the term legitimate. It belongs to a voice -- because he has clearly taken on a far more radical tone in recent days and aligned himself with both Hamas and Hezbollah, which is a sort of terrorist alignment."
Holy Cow! Scrappleface couldn't make this up if he tried! Is Al Sadr and his milita legitimate or not? Are Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist organizations, or maybe only sort of, depending upon the day of the week and what color socks you have on?
Flippa-flippa flop! FLOP!
Poor Democrats...ya shoulda gone with Dean. At least you knew where he stood.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:45 AM | permalink
Tuesday, April 06, 2004
Mr. No Good -- lifestyles of the nigger rich and the semi famousComments
A white cat can't say n-n-ni..., but I guess an "African American" cat can. This guy is pretty funny, but **warning! warning!** not sensitive individual appropriate! With that out of the way, he lays out how to be n-n-ni... rich, which is really a way of skimping on the unimportant crap in order to be able to spend more where it really matters. Now my choices of what really matters are a little bit different than his, but I was floored by how closely I am actually living the lifestyle he lays out. I've got a decent old house on a quiet cul-de-sac in a bad part of town, I drive an old van--I won't waste my hard-earned cash on flashy wheels. My home is largely furnished by Salvation Army, as is my wardrobe. But I have high speed internet, several computers, and money to spare for vacations to Hawaii and mission trips to the Amazon.
This is just too much...
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:28 PM | permalink
For Kerry aides, McCain would fit bill as running mateComments
John McCain will not get my vote. Whether he runs with Kerry or runs for re-election to the Senate, he will not get my vote. Even if...no, especially if his race is tight. I'd sooner throw the AZ Senate seat to a Demo for one cycle than contribute a single vote to this traitor. He is a traitor to the Republican Party, but more importantly he is a traitor to the Constitution of the United States of America that he swore to uphold.
I will vote for whomever the Libertarian or Constitution Party puts on the ballot. I might even actively campaign against him if the race is tight.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:31 PM | permalink
Administration wages war on pornographyComments
What an incredible waste of taxpayer dollars and government resources! Don't we have terrorists to be concerned about?
Tim Fitzpatrick, the spokesman for Comcast at its corporate headquarters in Philadelphia, declined to comment on the cable network's adult programming. But officials at the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, which Roberts used to chair, said adult programming is legal, relies on subscription services for access and has been upheld by the courts for years.
"Good luck turning back that clock," said Paul Rodriguez, a spokesman for the association.
In a speech in 2002, Ashcroft made it clear that the Justice Department intends to try. He said pornography "invades our homes persistently though the mail, phone, VCR, cable TV and the Internet," and has "strewn its victims from coast to coast."
Given the millions of dollars Americans are spending each month on adult cable television, Internet sites and magazines and videos, many may see themselves not as victims but as consumers, with an expectation of rights, choices and privacy.
Ashcroft, a religious man who does not drink alcohol or caffeine, smoke, gamble or dance, and has fought unrelenting criticism that he has trod roughshod on civil liberties in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, is taking on the porn industry at a time when many experts say Americans are wary about government intrusion into their lives.
The Bush administration is eager to shore up its conservative base with this issue. Ashcroft held private meetings with conservative groups a year and a half ago to assure them that anti-porn efforts are a priority.
But administration critics and First Amendment rights attorneys warn that the initiative could smack of Big Brother, and that targeting such a broad range of readily available materials could backfire.
I should say so! If it's not child porn, it's not broadcast, and is only available by subscription, then what business is it of government busybodies to meddle? I avoid it as a matter of personal moral convictions, and that is where it should stay--in the realm of personal convictions. This is the kind of thing where Republicans fall down. This is where the "Big Tent" shows tears and bulges at the seams. This is the kind of thing that drives sensible libertarian minded conservative folks away.
You will never win the "culture war" by employing the same statist tactics of the left! Mr. Ashcroft, you have a fine set of morals there, but you have no business appropriating the levers of government power to impose them on the country. You are misguided in your attempt to implement your personal vision of the kingdom of God on earth. If you cannot win people to the Kingdom one soul at a time, you will NEVER do so by government fiat! You are building with WOOD, HAY, and STUBBLE. Give it up, and ask the Spirit for gold, silver and precious gems, in order to build that which is eternal.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:59 PM | permalink
Democrats Stoop to New Lows as Kennedy Undercuts Terror FightComments
Kennedy Labels Iraq as 'Bush's Vietnam'
Every one of these politically motivated attacks gives encouragement to radical Islamists and remnants of Saddam Hussein's regime. No distortion is too absurd, no prevarication too obscene in their quest for a return to power. Their goal is to ratchet up the acrimony to unheard of levels, in a dirty attempt to smear the confidence that the American people place in their president in a time of war. These people are shameless. Their party is going downhill, and they deserve the ash-heap of history they are headed for.
posted by Desert Cat @ 6:45 PM | permalink
Monday, April 05, 2004
More trained "pilgrims" to enter Iraq:Comments
"...the (Iranian) regime is intending to create more and more turmoil in Iraq as the US Presidential Election is approaching. Several members of its National Security Council and Intelligence believe that more shocking images will hit American's minds and will push them toward voting for the US Democratic Candidate. They strongly believe that John Kerry, as he has stated, will open negotiations with them and will reward them with parts of their requests if elected as the next US President."
Ahem. Attention Strange...
This is further proof of Rush's Maxim, that the Democrats have set themselves up such that good news for America is bad news for them, and vice versa. Would the Democrats sell this country down the river in order to regain their own political power? You can bet your last dime they would!
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:10 PM | permalink
New Technology Reveals Mountain Lion LifeComments
It's them black helicopters! I'm tellin' ya! They're watching us...
"We are not on the menu," said Doug Updike, a biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game. "If a lion had any desire to catch and eat people, we would see literally hundreds of people dying every day."
As Hobbes once said to Calvin, "little boys just don't taste very good". With enough ketchup and enough starvation, maybe an overweight tourist from New Jersey, but otherwise...fughedaboudit!
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:05 PM | permalink
Rush Discovers ScrapplefaceComments
Heh. And instantly shut down the site the moment he mentioned it on the air. Glenn Reynolds, you got nothing on Rush! Call it a Rushtalanche.
UPDATE: The day was when getting a mention from Reynolds was the ultimate Big Deal in the blogosphere. I'm tellin' ya, I'll take something like THIS any day.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:28 AM | permalink
Sunday, April 04, 2004
BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Methane on Mars could signal lifeComments
First water was confirmed, now we have the possibility of methane-belching bacteria somewhere on the planet!
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:24 PM | permalink
MIT STUDENT INVENTOR SEES CLEAR FUTURE IN 'DESKTOP PRINTER' FOR LOW-COST EYEGLASS LENSESComments
News: Press Releases
Nice invention! Now if he can get it to production, and if it comes out reasonably priced, this'd be a great tool for our third-world medical outreach trips!
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:18 PM | permalink
Saturday, April 03, 2004
Nazis and Socialists/Communists: Fellow travellers with common roots.Comments
bastardsword: A Troll Smackdown Cocked and Ready
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:21 PM | permalink
Friday, April 02, 2004
New Ads for Viagra?Comments
Saw this over at CandyUniverse:
The boss of an Advertising Agency called a spontaneous staff meeting in
the middle of a particularly stressful week. When everyone gathered, the
employer, who understood the benefits of having fun, told the burnt-out
staff the purpose of the meeting was to have a quick contest.
The theme was Viagra advertising slogans. The only rule was that they
had to use past ad slogans, originally written for other products, that
captured the essence of Viagra. Slight variations were acceptable. About 7
minutes later, they turned in their suggestions and created a Top Ten List.
After all the laughter and camaraderie, the rest of the week went very well
The Top 10:
10. Viagra, Whaazzzzz Up!!
9. Viagra, The quicker pecker upper.
8. Viagra, Like a rock
7. Viagra, When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.
6. Viagra, Be all that you can be.
5. Viagra, Reach out and touch someone.
4. Viagra, Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman.
3. Viagra, Tastes great! More filling!
2. Viagra, We bring good things to life!
And the unanimous number one slogan:
1. This is your penis. This is your penis on drugs!
LOL! I'd love to see the graphic for that. If someone is good with Photoshop, get the original graphic for the ad, but for the second pic, show 3 or 4 upright eggs stacked up vertically. Add a Viagra logo somewhere on the graphic. I'll post it here with credit if you do.
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:38 PM | permalink
No Watermelons Allowed
For future perusal--this might get a place in my list. Via Gut Rumbles.
posted by Desert Cat @ 4:25 PM | permalink
Thursday, April 01, 2004
It's Time to Nuke the MoonComments
If ever there was a time for this approach, this is it. At least in the "Sunni Triangle".
Seriously though, what would be wrong with evacuating the city of Fallujah, setting up a temporary encampment, thoroughly searching every nook and cranny of that city for weapons caches, then thoroughly interrogating every man, woman and child before letting them return, and weeding out anyone with "attitude" for further corrective action?
Then set up a military tribunal, find the perps guilty, and summarily execute them. For final effect, cremate their remains and scatter the ashes over the city. How many would we need to execute? Ten? One hundred? One thousand? Ten thousand? How about identifying and executing every single participant in those street celebrations?
They apparently take us too lightly, and spit in the face of humanitarian aid. These are not civilized people, and do not deserve to be treated as civilized people. They are barbaric devotees of a sick cult of death. They want a return of Saddam? Let's give them Saddam AND his chemical weapons--in gas cloud form.
Yeah, I'm pissed.
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:18 PM | permalink
Cult of DeathComments
Herald Sun: Gruesome killing frenzy [02apr04]
The four civilians worked for Blackwater Security Consulting.
The firm hires former military members to provide security training and guard services.
It had been contracted by the Pentagon to provide security for convoys that delivered food in the area around Fallujah, which is 50km west of Baghdad.
Security guards for food convoys.
As in "humanitarian aid".
Despicable dogs of a death cult...
It's about time to turn Fallujah into a glowing glass parking lot. Or build a wall around it, cut it off, until they are forced to gnaw each other's entrails like trapped rats.
Here's to a "forceful" response.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:56 AM | permalink
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