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    Krotchety Kegler

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    Wednesday, March 30, 2005
      Who did receive that "GOP talking points" memo?

    Yesterday, my wife, daughter and I attended the ribbon cutting and open house at Senator Jim DeMint's new office in Columbia, SC. I had an opportunity to speak to Senator DeMint for a couple of minutes, and I took that opportunity to ask him about ABC's so-called "GOP talking points memo" supposedly distributed to Republican Senators on the Senate floor.

    John Hinderaker of Power Line wrote this about that memo in The Daily Standard:

    Every Republican who has been asked about the memo has denied knowing anything about it.

    Well, add Senator DeMint to that list. He told me that he never saw any talking points memo concerning the Schiavo case. He also pointed out that it wouldn't have been needed, since the bill was going to be passed by unanimous consent.

    Mr. Hinderaker's title of "Fake but Accurate, Again?" seems more and more apropos every day.

      A Leftist Expedition into Flyover Country

    Yesterday, Hugh Hewitt posted a link to this Boston Globe article about an evangelical Ohio family, and asked for explanations as to why this was newsworthy. Here is the response I sent him:

    I wanted to respond to you about this story because it hit
    close to home, literally. I, like you, am an expatriate
    Buckeye. I lived in Mason, Ohio from my birth in 1962 until

    One thing I found somewhat strange about the article is its
    comments about the political leanings of Mason and Warren
    County, amidst a story about a family who attends church
    there, but lives, and presumably votes, in neighboring West
    Chester, which is in Butler County.

    I suspect that The Globe found the Wilkersons at their
    church, which may very possibly also be Ashley Faulkner's
    church. (This could be why they picked that location.) The
    church lies about halfway between Ashley's home and her (and
    my) high school.

    Mason has grown considerably since I left 22 years ago. When
    my parents brought me home from the hospital, I was the
    newest of ~4000 residents. I believe that the population now
    is closer to 23,000. Although I no longer live there, I do
    visit frequently. There are quite a few neighborhoods full
    of quite large houses, but there are also a lot of older
    neighborhoods with smaller houses, like the one my parents
    shared for 44 years, and that my mother still lives in. (My
    Dad passed away last year, and is buried about a mile away
    from both churches.)

    Mason, which is situated in a "cradle" formed by interstates
    I-71, I-75, and I-275, is ideally located to attract the
    upper middle class folks who occupy those larger houses.
    That is why I find it believeable that the mediam income
    could be $81,000, as the article mentioned. It wasn't always
    that way, though, and I can say without doubt that Mason was
    conservative long before it became affluent.

    An anecdote: Last year in early May I stopped at a gas
    station on Tylersville Road, very near the Voice of America
    Park, where President Bush held the rally that attracted
    about 55,000 people (about 2 miles from Mom's house). Inside
    the station, there was quite a bit of political
    paraphernalia for sale, and all of it for Bush - nothing for
    Kerry. This made me smile with pride for my hometown.

    It seems to me that The Globe is trying to portray the area
    as being the home of a large number of fundamentalist
    Christians. I do believe that there are a lot of church
    going people there, but no more than would be typical for
    any similar small mid-American city. As a member of the
    military, I have spent time living in Illinois, Virginia,
    and Florida, and after leaving the military I settled in
    South Carolina. Of all the places I have lived, I would have
    to say that SC is more religious than the others, but not
    markedly so. Mason does not stand out in this regard.

    I think that the article is just another example of a
    "liberal northeastern expedition into the uncharted depths
    of the benighted flyover country". Will the liberal elite
    never realize that it is they who are out of touch with most
    of America?

    Mike Dayton
    former Mason resident
    current resident of Gilbert, SC

    P.S. As for Skyline Chili (and Goldstar, for that matter),
    it is heaven on Earth. What I wouldn't give right now for a
    4-way and a couple of cheese coneys!

    Thursday, March 24, 2005
      Judge Greer rebuffs Gov. Bush

    No surprise that Judge George Greer has rejected Governeor Jeb Bush's request to allow Florida's Department of Children and Families to take custody of Terri Schiavo. The judge refused to even look at any new evidence about Mrs. Schiavo's medical condition. After all, he already has the opinion he apparently wants from Michael Schiavo's expert, Dr. Ronald Cranford. The fact that several dozen other neurologists, including a Nobel nominee, have disputed Dr. Cranford's diagnosis, carries no weight with Judge Greer.

    It is well known that, for the right amount of money, an expert can be found to testify to almost anything you want. If the first expert you approach doesn't give you what you want, keep looking. Eventually you can find one who will say what you want.

    The fact that Judge Greer relies only on the testimony of Dr. Cranford, a well known right-to-die advocate, and refuses to acknowledge that Dr. Cranford could be wrong and dozens of neurologists who disagree could be right, shows that Judge Greer has an agenda of his own.

    The bottom line is that the barbaric murder of Terri Schiavo continues unabated, and most likely will be seen through to its end.

    One of the most disturbing aspects of this case is the fact that the judge has not only prohibited any further feeding by artificial means, he also has prohibited any attempts to feed and hydrate Mrs. Schiavo naturally. Mrs. Schiavo has not had a swallowing test performed sine 1993, but she does not drool. She swallows her own saliva without choking so it seems to me that the possibility exists that she could swallow water and liquified food as well. Florida law makes it a felony to withhold food and nutrition from a disabled adult. Since Judge Greer has prohibited any attempt to feed Terri Schiavo orally, I believe that he should be arrested and charged under that statute, and if Judge Greer's actions result in Terri Schiavo's death, Judge Greer should be charged with murder.

      Sleep apnea can be deadly

    I found these two articles about sleep apnea via Google News today. Both articles refer to a study of 112 Minnesota residents who died suddenly from cardiac causes. The study found that those who suffered from sleep apnea (repeated short episodes of stoppage of breathing during sleep) were twice as likely to die from cardiac arrest during sleep, while those who did not were more likely to have died during the first few hours after awakening.

    This hits close to home for me, as I just got off the phone with the clinic that will be fitting me with my CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine, which is the common treatment for sleep apnea. I spoke to my family doctor about sleep apnea in January, and he referred me to a respiratory specialist, who ordered a sleep study for me. The sleep study, which took place at the beginning of March, confirmed my need for a CPAP.

    This excerpt from the Globe and Mail article (Canada's national newspaper) makes me glad I live in the US:

    [Jeffrey Lipsitz, medical director of the Sleep Disorders Centre of Metropolitan Toronto] said a diagnosis of sleep apnea requires a sleep study and, in some parts of [Canada], the wait list stretches up to four years for the test.

    "You may die on a waiting list," Dr. Lipsitz said.
    (Emphasis mine.)

    Take note that the Canadian health care system is what Hillary Clinton wanted to emulate back in 1993. So, under Hillary's socialized, government run health care system, I would be getting my CPAP machine in about 3 years and 10 months, rather than next week.

    Saturday, March 19, 2005
      Democrats - the party of death

    I am astounded that anyone could possibly support starving anyone to death, as is now happening to Terri Schiavo. Democrats have become the party that supports killing unborn babies and disabled people, but there is no doubt that they will be the ones protesting when Jessica Lunsford's abductor and killer, John Couey, gets the needle. To reiteate, they support a ghastly, barbaric, lingering, painful murder of an innocent disabled woman, but support sparing the life of a rapist and murderer of children, or failing that, a quick, painless death.

    Congress needs to come back into session immediately, and pass a law against starving anyone to death. It is that simple. What is happening to Terri Schiavo right now is no better than the barbaric executions that used to take place in medieval times. It is not something that should be allowed to happen to anyone in the 21st century.

    Finally, everyone ought to read this article.

    Wednesday, March 09, 2005
      Caller ID spoofing

    The Fox News Channel reported this morning on the latest high tech threat to personal security - caller ID spoofing. There is now a website where anyone can perpetrate this type of fraud for a nominal fee. I did a Google search and found the following articles:


    and finally, this article about a Bill Clinton of North Little Rock, AR (unrelated to the former president), who has been harrassed by an as yet unknown person. This person went so far as to call the North Little Rock police while spoofing Clinton's phone number into the caller ID, and claim that he was about to shoot someone. The police raced to Clinton's home, only to find out what had really happened.

    According to Fox News' report, this activity is as yet still legal, if only because Congress cannot keep up with technology. The bottom line is, now you can't even trust your caller ID any more.

    Tuesday, March 08, 2005
      Jayson Blair had nothing on Dan Rather

    Power Line points to a Philip Chalk column that shows that Dan Rather was prevaricating as early as 1963. Chalk writes about a 1963 Dan Rather report that claimed that children at Dallas's University Park Elementary School had cheered when told of the President Kennedy's death, when in fact, the children had only been told that school was dismissing early that day. The children knew nothing of Kennedy's death at the time.

    Eddie Barker, the news director for CBS's radio and TV affiliates in Dallas at the time, says that Rather knew the story wasn't true at the time, but aired it anyway.

    Shame on CBS for not firing him then.

    Friday, March 04, 2005
      Anti-Americanism as a Monty Python Skit

    In today's Times of London, Gerard Baker invokes Monty Python to characterize anti-American sentiment in the world today:

    ONE OF MY favourite cinematic moments is the scene in Monty Python’s Life of Brian when Reg, aka John Cleese, the leader of the People’s Front of Judea, is trying to whip up anti-Roman sentiment among his team of slightly hesitant commandos.

    “What have the Romans ever done for us?” he asks.

    “Well, there’s the aqueduct,” somebody says, thoughtfully. “The sanitation,” says another. “Public order,” offers a third. Reg reluctantly acknowledges that there may have been a couple of benefits. But then steadily, and with increasing enthusiasm, his men reel off a litany of the good things the Romans have wrought with their occupation of the Holy Land.

    By the time they’re finished they’re not so sure about the whole insurgency idea after all and an exasperated Reg tries to rally them: “All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?”

    And today's version of that exchange:

    Confronted with this awkward turn of events, Reg’s angry successors are asking their cohorts: “What have the Americans ever done for us?” “Well, they did get rid of the Taleban in Afghanistan. ’Orrible bunch, they were.”

    “All right, the Taleban, I grant you.”

    “Then there was Iraq. Knocked off one of the nastiest dictators who ever lived and gave the whole nation a chance to pick its own rulers.”

    “Yeah, all right. Fair enough. I didn’t like Saddam.”

    “Libya gave up its nuclear weapons.”

    “And then there’s Syria. Thousands of people on the streets of Lebanon. Syrians look like they’re pulling out.”

    “I just heard Egypt’s going to hold free presidential elections for the first time. And Saudi Arabia just held elections too.”

    “The Palestinians and the Israelis are talking again and they say there’s a real chance of peace this time.”

    “All right, all right. But apart from liberating 50 million people in Iraq and Afghanistan, undermining dictatorships throughout the Arab world, spreading freedom and self-determination in the broader Middle East and moving the Palestinians and the Israelis towards a real chance of ending their centuries-long war, what have the Americans ever done for us?”

    Baker points out that one cannot claim that America's actions in the Middle East are the sole cause of the current outbreak of freedom, but asks if the outbreak could ever have happened without American intervention.

    It is an excellent column. Read the whole thing.

    Thursday, March 03, 2005
      Happy Blogiversary Krotchety Kegler!

    Today marks one year since my first post on this blog.