Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me

34 years ago today, my parents welcomed me into the world. Thanks, mom and dad.

I'm just glad to know the name

For the past few months, I have been struggling with a disorder. I knew the symptoms but had no idea my disorder had a name. And I felt so isolated and alone; surely, no one else was suffering from this. Over the last month or so, I have made a Herculean effort to overcome this malaise I was feeling to some moderate degree of success.

Well, I can wonder no more. Thanks to Jon Swift, I now know my condition is Conservative Fatigue Syndrome.

I'm just glad it has a name. And I'm glad to know I'm not the only one.

I wonder if they will find dinosaur SUVs

Further evidence that supports that, if global warming exists, it is caused by nature.

About 55 million years ago, the Arctic was downright tropical
Wed May 31 2006 11:39:53 ET

Scientists have found what might have been the ideal ancient vacation spot -- smack in the middle of the Arctic! First-of-its-kind core samples dug up from deep beneath the Arctic Ocean floor show that 55 million years ago an area near the North Pole was practically a subtropical paradise, three new studies show.


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Democrats continue their wishful thinking

In the latest attempt to persuade voters that Democrats will be the clear winners in the upcoming mid-term elections, the AP put out an article today listing the reasons why people will not vote for Republicans. And incorrect assumptions abound.

Republicans are three steps from a November shellacking _ each a grim possibility if habitually divided Democrats get their acts together.

First step: Voters must focus on the national landscape on Nov. 7 rather than local issues and personalities that usually dominate midterm elections.
That would sting Republicans, who trail badly in national polls.

Second step: Voters must be so angry at Washington and politics in general that an anti-incumbent, throw-the-bums-out mentality sweeps the nation.
That would wound Republicans, the majority party.

Third step: Americans must view the elections as a referendum on President Bush and the GOP-led Congress, siding with Democrats in a symbolic vote against the Iraq war, rising gas prices, economic insecurity and the nagging sense that the nation is on the wrong track.

That would destroy Republicans, sweeping them from power in one or both chambers and making Bush a lame duck.

Less than six months out, most Democratic and Republican strategists say the first two elements are in place for now _ a national, anti- incumbent mind-set _ and all signs point to the third.

Back to those three steps.

NATIONAL ELECTION: Among the two dozen Republican and Democratic strategists interviewed in the last two weeks, there was unanimity that the fall campaigns will be national in scope. Voters will give local issues less attention than normal, a bad sign for the GOP.
"If we keep it local we win; if they nationalize issues, they win," said Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis.

Sen. Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, head of the GOP Senate committee, seemed resigned to a national campaign. "Obviously, we're going to do everything we can here at the Senate committee to minimize any aspect of that," she said.

Even though the article claims that 24 Republican and Democratic strategists were interviewed and ALL agreed that the national issues will be the focus, I'm not buying it. Everyone has heard Tip O'Neill's quote that "All politics are local politics." It was true in the past and nothing has changed. When most voters head into the ballot booth, they vote for "their" guy (or gal, as the case my be), especially if the opponent has nothing different or new to offer. Incumbents also have the advantage of the office. They can and do fill bills with pork for their districts. The more money you bring home, the better your chances of winning re-election. Case(s) in point, Ted Kennedy and Ted Stevens.

THROW THE BUMS OUT: More than 70 percent of Americans tell pollsters that the nation is on the wrong track. Larger percentages think corruption is a major problem in Washington. Incumbents have been roughed up already this year in Pennsylvania and Indiana, and in both cases Republicans suffered the worst.
If this shapes up to be an anti-incumbent midterm, "we'll lose some members" in Congress, said Democratic strategist Steve Elmendorf, "but they have more incumbents."

While the polls are showing growing anger among Americans, I hope that the Democrats aren't relying on this as part of their strategy for reclaiming the House and Senate. Even though the mantra of the voting population might be "Throw the bums out," a lot of voters think that it is the other guy's problem. They lay the blame at the door of all the OTHER Representatives or Senators, while voting for their incumbent. Again, this leads back to what I said before - people tend to vote for the guy who already has the job.

ANTI-REPUBLICAN TIDE: Whether 2006 turns out to be an anti-incumbent or anti-GOP election "is the 15-seat question," said Democratic strategist Dane Strother, referring to the number of seats the Democrats need to win to seize control of the House.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., says GOP majorities are "clearly in jeopardy" because the political landscape is both anti-incumbent and anti-Republican.

All of these "reasons" are missing the point. If the Republicans lose control of Congress it is not because of the "anti-Republican" or "anti-incumbent" sentiment of Americans. It will be because they are not listening to what their constituents want. But in order for the Democrats to win a "landslide," they will have to overcome a lot of obstacles. Oh, I know they are looking at the 1994 mid-term elections as proof that it can happen, but they are forgetting a major detail. The Republicans in 1994 had the "Contract with America." They had ONE clear, concise message that resonated across the country. What is the current Democratic party's message. Well, that depends upon who you ask.

Change Mexican corruption, not US immigration policy

Last week, we added a new member of our family - a 13 pound black lab puppy. Since I am a big fan of National Geographic's The Dog Whisperer, I immediately went out and bought Cesar Millan's book, Cesar's Way, to learn more about dog behavior.

While reading the book, I came across this passage:

It's been publised elsewhere, and I am not ashamed to say it: I came to the United States illegally. I now have my residence card, have paid a large fine for crossing illegally, and am applying for full citizenship status. There's no country I'd rather live in than the United States. I truly believe it is the greatest country in the world. I feel blessed to be living and raising my kids here. However, for the poor and working class in Mexico, there is no other way to come to America except illegally. It's impossible. The Mexican government is about who you know and how much money you have. You have to pay enormous amounts to officials in order to get a legal visa. My family had no way to get their hands on that kind of money. So, with just one hundred dollars in my pocket, I set out for Tijuana to figure out how to get across the border. (emphasis added)

Two thoughts struck me regarding this debate about our immigration policies:

1. Why do we have to change our policy when it is obviously a problem with the Mexican government. How easy it is for Vicente Fox to come here and lobby our Congress instead of doing the hard work of eliminating the corruption and graft of his own government. How arrogant, vain and downright lazy.

2. Why do we have to change our policy when we obviously have steps in place to help illegal aliens gain legal resident status. What the illegal aliens are lacking is not the ability to change their status in our country, it is the will and drive to do so. And no amount of "reform" is going to fix that.

Friday, May 26, 2006

This is good news for the city of New Orleans

Ding dong, the council's dead

Majority of New Orleans City Council gone

The guard is changing at the New Orleans City Council today. It was the last meeting for members defeated in last week's elections. Out are Jackie Clarkson, Jay Batt, and Renee' Gill Pratt. Eddie Sapir is also leaving after reaching his term limit.

This all means there will be four new members on the seven person council. They are Arnie Fielkow, Shelley Midura, Stacy Head and James Carter.

I have often said that a lot of the problems that faced Nagin over the last four years were created by the City Council. Sapir was one of Nagin's biggest critics. The council would oppose much of what Nagin wanted to do. It will be interesting to see how this new board works with the mayor.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Yes, because they always follow church doctrine

In the spirit of blaming others instead of taking personal responsibility, it seems that Elton John has decided that it's the Catholic Church's fault that homosexual friends are dying.

British pop music star Elton John has attacked the Catholic Church and its position on condom use as a reason for the demise of 60 of his friends to the sexually-transmitted disease, AIDS.

Speaking at a business awards ceremony, he said, "We don't have a medical vaccine but we have a social vaccine and it's called education." He failed to include in his so-called education platform that condoms may be a leading reason for the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Even leading health experts at the United Nations have acknowledged that condoms have an estimated 10% failure rate.

My question is: Why were Sir Elton's friends following the "condom rule" while ignoring the bigger church teaching regarding homosexuality? Me thinketh I see a problem with his logic.

And, in case you thought teaching abstinence wouldn't work:

Uganda's AIDS campaign, which stressed abstinence first and being faithful second and condoms only if one was crazy enough to forego the first two, has been seen as the only successful program in reversing the AIDS tide in Africa.

Appearing before the African subcommittee of the U.S. Senate on May 19, 2003, Green stated: "Infection rates [in Uganda] have declined from 21% to 6 % since 1991. Many of us in the AIDS and public health communities didn't believe that abstinence and faithfulness were realistic goals. It now seems we were wrong."

I hope that this isn't true

If this is true, this is obviously not good for New Orleans.

New Orleans seen top target for '06 hurricanes

New Orleans, still down and out from last year's assault by Hurricane Katrina, is the U.S. city most likely to be struck by hurricane force winds during the 2006 storm season, a researcher said on Wednesday.
The forecast gives New Orleans a nearly 30 percent chance of being hit by a hurricane and a one in 10 chance the storm will be a Category 3 or stronger, meaning sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour (178 km per hour), said Chuck Watson of Kinetic Analysis Corp., Savannah, Georgia a risk assessment firm.

If another hurricane hits New Orleans, recovery will end. There are so many houses that are still unlivable. So many New Orleanians are waiting to see what this coming hurricane season holds for the area. I have heard from a lot of people that if another hurricane hits here, they are leaving. Everyone here is gun shy. We are in no way ready for the threat of another storm.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Let me try to explain Nagin's re-election

Bloggers, such as Michelle Malkin, all around the blogosphere this morning are astonished that Ray Nagin won re-election. I am going to try to explain how it happened.

The first thing you have to do is go back to the days before Katrina. Ray Nagin was a conservative businessman who was actually a very good mayor for New Orleans. He was fighting the in-grained corruption that has plagued the city for decades. It was a hard fight, but slowly he was gaining ground.

Then came Katrina. I'm sure that you are all thinking of those pictures of the flooded buses, right? Well, I don't think the nation understands how little time we had to put plans into action. Yes, we had years to prepare, but we only had 2, yes TWO, days to put those plans into action. In contrast, with Hurricane Rita, Houston started to evacuate a full week before the storm was projected to hit land. As of Friday night before Katrina, we were still being told that the storm was going to Florida. We woke on Saturday to full panic mode. NO ONE WAS PREPARED! I think that this fact has been lost in the aftermath.

That being said, could things have been better handled by the mayor? Absolutely, without a doubt. Could Nagin have been a better leader in the immediate aftermath and in the months following Katrina? Absolutely, without a doubt.

Obviously, many people thought that was the case, too. So many, in fact, that New Orleans was faced with 23 candidates to choose from in the primary election. With so many candidates, no one could gain much traction and the two with the most name recognition headed into the runoff.

Voters in New Orleans were faced with Nagin and Mitch Landrieu. The conservatives in New Orleans had a very tough choice. Judging from the calls into local talk shows, and the results of the election, many New Orleaneans were voting against Mitch Landrieu. The thought of another Landrieu as mayor of New Orleans was a worse scenario than the re-election of Ray Nagin.

Let's look at Mitch Landrieu. He comes from an extremely liberal political family. Some have even referred to the Landrieus as the Kennedys of Louisiana. The national Democratic Party was heavily supporting his run for mayor, over that of the incumbent Democratic mayor. Why would they do that? Because, if Mitch is mayor of New Orleans, it would help greatly with the re-election of his sister, Mary, to the Senate. Mitch's defeat, I believe, also sends a message to Mary. I think that she is going to have an up-hill battle.

Many in New Orleans also want to get out from under the corruption that has held the city and the state captive. Electing a Landrieu would be a step back instead of forward.

Did some voters vote race? I have no doubt. New Orleans hasn't had a white mayor in many years and a certain faction of voters don't want there to ever be another one. Of course, the same is true on the flip side. Some voters voted for Mitch because he was white. There is no denying that. There are racial tensions here. I'm sure it will make some angry to hear that, but, sorry folks, it's true. But, for many remaining in the city, it came down to the vote between a liberal and a somewhat conservative.

I would have loved to seen a change, but, given the choices, I think Nagin was the lesser of the two evils. Before the storm hit, Nagin was a good mayor. Obviously, the New Orleans' voters are hoping to see that good mayor again soon.

Update: Laura over at Dummocrats defends the re-election of Nagin, too.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

My faith in the youth has been restored

This story just makes me think how proud I would be to see my son or daughter have this kind of strength of conviction.

Update for Amy:
Judge Blocks Prayer at High School Graduation

The senior class at a southern Kentucky high school gave their response Friday night to a federal judge's order banning prayer at commencement.

About 200 seniors stood during the principal's opening remarks and began reciting the Lord's Prayer, prompting a standing ovation from a standing-room only crowd at the Russell County High School gymnasium.

The thunderous applause drowned out the last part of the prayer.

The revival like atmosphere continued when senior Megan Chapman said in her opening remarks that God had guided her since childhood. Chapman was interrupted repeatedly by the cheering crowd as she urged her classmates to trust in God as they go through life.

The results are in

Nagin projected winner over Landrieu in New Orleans' mayorial race.

I have nothing more to say.

It's Election Day

Tonight we find out if the people of New Orleans learned anything since the last election. I doubt it, but we will see. Of course, decision between the two candidates for mayor comes down to a decision of the lesser of two evils.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Debunking immigration myths

John Hawkins debunks many of the common myths and misconceptions regarding immigration. Check it out; it's a great read.

A quick question

When did toothpaste become a "dental plan?"

The reality of the mayoral race

A Times-Picayune front page article about last night's mayoral debate was titled:

Pair End Up Debating Moderators

And why is that, you ask? Because there is not a big enough difference between these two guys to actually make a debate interesting. How boring would it be to constantly hear, "I agree with Mayor Nagian." and "The lt. governor is correct...."

It basically became a debate between the moderators, Chris Matthews and local talk show host Garland Robinette, and the mayor or between the moderators and Mitch Landrieu.

Why don't they just stomp on the Bible and spit on it, too

I can't believe the audacity and self-righteousness that fills celebrities. I can just imagine how they must view their places in the world - them perched high on their pillars of knowledge looking down on us, the lowly idiots who aren't fortunate or intelligent enough to be one of them. Of course, they know their mission in life is not to entertain us, but to teach us, mold us and remake us into their god-like images. They do this by spouting their words of profound wisdom whenever they can.

... famed British actor Ian McKellen [Gandalf of Lord of the Rings], piped up:
"Well, I've often thought the Bible should have a disclaimer in the front saying this is fiction.

So basically what Sir Ian is saying is "All you yahoos who believe in the Bible as the Word of God are idiots who don't know fact from fiction. The Bible is no more fact than this movie."

Thanks again for reminding me why I discredit everything coming out of Hollywood.

My frustration mounts

Each day that goes by, I can feel my frustration mounting. I look around and I see so many things wrong with our country and feel absolutely powerless. We are no longer heading down a slippery slope. We are rolling full force.

I am frustrated with myself. For those of you dying to know, the topic that I am wrestling with in regards to blogging is homosexuality in our culture. Even though I feel to my very core that I am correct, it is a can of worms that I don't want to open yet. I'm sure one day my anger with surpass my timidness. I am frustrated with my own cowardliness and timidity.

I am frustrated with our local leaders. They continue to feed into politics as usual here in Louisiana. As I have noted before, nothing here has changed nor will it ever.

I am frustrated with Louisianians, specifically in the southeast. The culture here is, to be nice, unique. Historically, people who are born here never leave. They tend to grow up, get married and move down the street from their mammas. That way of living leads to very narrow thinking. Especially since in the last couple of decades, as the economy of Louisiana continues to decline, we have lost, and continue to lose, our best and brightest. What we are left with are a majority of people that are desperately clinging to a way of life that has become obsolete. They have no idea how they are hurting themselves and the state. I had no idea how bad it was until I moved back here two years ago. Even before Katrina, Jim and I decided that we don't want to live in the state any longer that we have to.

And now I am frustrated with national politics and our leaders. Leaders who have, until now, offered a glimmer of hope that the ideas of our founding fathers are not a distant memory alive only in the words of their works like The Federalist Papers, Common Sense and my favorite - our Constitution. With every word that I hear from elected officials, that glimmer of hope gets dimmer and dimmer.

I have always been able to find things to be positive about and have tried to remain optimistic, but I admit it is getting harder and harder. What will become of America? Where are we heading? The obvious answers scare me.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Something I've been contemplating

There has been a topic that I have been compelled to write about. But I am very hesitant to do so. Why, you ask? Because it would be very controversial. If I write about my thoughts on it, I have no doubt that I will get a lot of probably very negative feedback. The question that I am struggling with is "Do I have the energy to deal with the fallout?" In my mind, I continue to waver back and forth. But the need to write about it doesn't seem to go away. It is like a toothache. I know that I should just leave it alone, but I can't seem to stop playing with it. It is something that has been weighing on my mind a lot lately, especially in light of the fact that this issue is EVERYWHERE and is starting to pervade every aspect of daily life.

I will continue to think about it and hopefully I will come to some decision soon.

Thoughts before the weekend

This is just too sad.
A girl is to become Britain's youngest mother after becoming pregnant at 11.
The girl smokes 20 cigarettes a day despite being eight months' pregnant. She conceived aged 11 when she lost her virginity to a boy of 15 on a drunken night out with friends.

This is absolutely ridiculous.
The California state Senate today passed a bill that removes sex-specific terms such as "mom" and "dad" from textbooks and requires students to learn about the contributions homosexuals have made to society.

She can walk!
Authorities said a woman who claimed she was a paraplegic and repeatedly filed claims and lawsuits for noncompliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act was a con artist without any physical limitations.
After her arrest this month by Las Vegas police, Laura Lee Medley, 35, leaped from her wheelchair and ran for freedom, officials said.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

So you think there was a surplus?

Maybe you should read this.

Hattip: The New Editor

I'm back

Did ya miss me? The family and I got back Sunday, but this is the first chance that my schedule and the cooperation of the computer have come together. I tried this morning, but was having trouble with blogger.

Anyway, in case you didn't notice, Northshore Politics has a new contributor - Amy. She, too, is a conservative resident of the Northshore. She has great insight into the government mindset after spending about 8 years working for the US Postal Service (If you ever want to get under her skin tell her the government can run things better than private industry). I look forward to seeing more of her posts here.

I must admit that I didn't think much about blogging over the past week. Mostly we went to the parks and visited with family. I didn't even get a chance to see any of my friends - the week went by way too fast. I'm still hopeful that we will be moving back to Florida one day.

Now that I'm back, I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things. Of course, getting back from vacation practically brings you to the point of needing another one.