Sunday, September 30, 2007

A code of ethics for journalists?

An interesting comment on by someone going by the moniker "Woody". This caught my attention:

"... When you ask some student why he is majoring in journalism, he smugly and proudly responds, "To make a difference," and college journalism professors encourage that rather than teach ethics. If an accounting student gave that answer, he wouldn't have a future in providing objective information on companies. No one should call journalism a profession until it has an ethics code and lives by it."

Why not a code of ethics for Journalism?

Too much to hope for, I know, but there are so many so-called Journalists trying to make news, instead of report it. And there seem to be any number of professional (paid) "bloggers" out here that are in the biz of spinning for one side or another.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Islam and Immigration -- James Leroy Wilson

Islam and Immigration -- A country has the right to keep out those whose beliefs are hostile to its laws. By James Leroy Wilson

There are three reasons often given to allow just about anyone into America. The first is that people should have the right to go where they please. The second is that multiculturalism and diversity is good for a country. The third is that even foreigners with widely divergent beliefs and attitudes will be converted by the American way of life and embrace freedom, openness, and tolerance.
Regarding the right of anyone to go where they please: Let's say there's a Marxist rebel army in Mexico. Are we saying that, if they are on the run with the Mexican army in pursuit, they have a right to retreat into America? Can this rebel army cross back into Mexico for guerrilla raids, and then retreat back to their new base in the United States?
Should they be allowed to stay and establish their desired communist dictatorship within the United States itself?
Don't we have a right to keep out not only criminals, but also dissidents with anti-liberal views? Don't we have a right to keep out those who would overthrow our political system and our laws if they could?
On to multiculturalism. There is
mounting evidence that the more diverse a neighborhood, the more crime and less community involvment – but let us leave that point aside. Let's instead imagine that a German neo-Nazi is fleeing Europe's hate-speech laws and seeks asylum in the U.S.
Is another neo-Nazi voice something we really need? We may want cultural diversity and differing viewpoints, but must we presume different viewpoints are equal to each other? If
so, why not let the neo-Nazi in? Are we to say he can broaden our perspective and enlighten us? While we tolerate intolerant opinions expressed by Americans exercising their free speech rights, how is it helpful to add to their number?
As to converting immigrants to the American way of life. Let's say members of an apocalyptic cult from Japan, India, England, or wherever seek to enter America with the intention of winning more converts before embarking on a campaign to get their leader, who they call the Messiah, crowned King. Would the United States have a moral obligation to welcome in such nut-jobs? Should we assume that, once here, they will see the benefits of liberal democracy and give up their cult?
Such an assumption would be an unfounded faith in the ability of liberal democracy to turn everyone into liberal democrats. All too often, what we see as prosperity and freedom, others see as decadence and blasphemy. Liberal democracy isn't a religion, and "faith" in its laws, systems, and culture won't save it from its enemies.
An English-speaking, highly-skilled immigrant with a clear criminal record may want to become a permanent resident of the United States. Just the same, if his beliefs are hostile to our social systems and our laws – if he would overturn them if he could - it makes little sense to admit him, or others with the same beliefs.
Which brings us to the problem of Islam. Islam is not just a religion, it is a
political ideology. As Muslim immigration and birth rates increase their numbers, they are more likely to insist on enforcing their laws amongst themselves. Over time, their numbers could turn into majorities in certain neighborhoods, then cities. With increasing political power, there is an increased likelihood of Islamic law, or Islam-inspired law being enforced upon everyone.
If Islam is a threat to the United States and Western world, the threat comes not from terrorist attacks, because terrorism is not a means of conquest. Indeed, terrorism on U.S. soil is strategic folly, because it would probably create a backlash against Muslims already here and cause a crackdown on further Muslim immigration. It is more likely that if Islam prevails, it will through demographics, through population growth – first in Europe, then in North America.
If Western countries want to keep that from happening, they shouldn't let Muslims move into their lands.

Monday, September 24, 2007

In honor of Ken Burns' WWII, on PBS....

I normally don't post my lyrics here, but it's warranted, I hope.
My dad won a Bronze Star and served two tours in WWII.
He taught anti-aircraft accuracy to crews all the way from North Africa, up through Italy and France, to Germany. He invented a remote, automatic firing switch that was used on anti-aircraft guns up through Vietnam. Dad was finally promoted in May.

Know Fear

The young man wore a t-shirt
That said he had "No Fear"
We bumped, I said "Excuse me son"
And sat down to drink my beer
And I saw the beach at Normandy
The trench at Guadalcanal
The jungle just outside Da Nang
And I wondered how
He don’t know fear

'til you feel the knife hit bone
And know the blood is all your own
'til you're starin' down the barrel
Four-thousand miles from home
And you think about your family
And you see them oh-so-clear
You don't know fear

Oh, you won't find it on the weight-room floor
Or on the football field
Pills and booze might by you some
But you need the thought they steal
'til the doctor said she's got bad news
And winter's hand comes callin' near
You don't know fear

'til you feel the knife hit bone
And know the blood is all your own
'til you're starin' down the barrel
Four-thousand miles from home
And you think about the one you love
And you see her oh-so-clear
You don't know fear
You don't know fear

The young man wore a t-shirt
It said he had "No Fear"

© D. Dain, 1997.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Wheel in the ditch....

Alabama -- the State, not the Band -- is using the term "Sweet Home Alabama" in their latest tourism promotion.

Neil would be proud. He needs the pub (not).

I have only driven through a couple of times, but on first impression I am not so sure that Mr. Young, as we guys refer to him, was wrong, as Skynyrd supposes.

I'll leave that statement by itself, and wait for Chuck's rebuttal -- BUT, in my defense, when confronted by two opposing songs, I'll always go with the one which has the best lyrics, and there is no debate on that....

Personal Debt Lifestyle...

Why is it acceptable to be "in debt" all your life?

I know people who will never own their houses free-and-clear, and will be paying student loans, etc... well into their 70s.

This is the norm now, and I don't think you can convince me it is a good thing. Especially when the collective personal debt of Americans continues to grow, the dollar continues to fall, and the Fed prints more backed-by-nothing money by screwing with rates over and over.

Of course, in these times, I really don't think we need to worry 'bout that, do we....

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Guns and Crime....

A wonderfully succinct and, I believe, very accurate editorial from the UK.

And I just have to repost this comment from a guy in Kentucky....

"Someone suggested that the murder rate in the US is ten times the murder rate in the UK. This is false. The murder rate in the US is three times the murder rate in the UK. That is a change from nine times higher forty years ago, when the gun laws of the UK were less stringent and the US had far fewer states that allowed citizen concealed carry. In the time since, the US murder rate has gone down, while the UK murder rate has gone up, narrowing the gap between homicide rates.

Banning guns or allowing guns does not noticeably affect the crime rate. Crime is a problem of culture. The only statistically significant result of gun bans are a reduced ability of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves against criminals who have no concern what weapons are legal or illegal." -- Keenan, Louisville, KY.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Quick thought on the "Smoking Ban"....

And to think… I had the chance to get in on the ground floor of the “recycled Altoid box business”.

Another golden, errrrr… burnt ember opportunity missed.

Dem Donor on the RUN. But don't worry, though....

... he'll move to Switzerland and after a few years President (Hillary) Clinton will pardon him.

But first, his wife will have to learn how to throw a good party and write insipid pop lyrics.
On the other hand, guys named "Norman" don't get pardoned very often. And he's not really RICH.
Sigh. It's what makes the world go round.
Follow it.

The Man Who SHOULD Be President....

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Buckeyes and Youngstown State, Michigan Upset, Cable Contracts, etc....

It's part of my personal tradition to listen to the Buck's games on the radio, unless it's the UofM game, or a bowl, so the Big-Ten Network crap is just background noise to me. But I do understand the upset. The Buckeyes are our property, they are a state-supported school, so all TV and Radio broadcasts should be free. End of argument.

On the UofM upset:

I was driving into Athens for Shrimp to make a salad for supper (goes really good with Bloody Mary), and I heard that Mike Hart had run them ahead. Then about five minutes later I heard that ASU had blocked the field-goal to win....

Gotta admit, I really loved it. Almost put my fist through the dash-board of the ol' jeep. Gave a whoop or two. Maybe three.

Then I had two thoughts, admittedly a lot for a Buckeye:

First, I hope Lloyd doesn't have a heart attack or stroke. And second, this can't be good for the Big-10.

On the Buckeyes, I was very disappointed with the O-Line and running game. The Power-O formation is about 10 years past it's prime. The running plays take way too long to hit the hole, and they have for several years. Even in the 2002 Championship year, we wouldn't have had any success, were it not for MC's ability to make the first man miss.

Additionally, when we can't push around a 1-AA team's defensive line, we are in trouble.

This worries me.