Results matching “fear” from Bill's Words

Bad Assumption, Good Outcome

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As I was stopped at an eternal red light on my way to work the other morning, I saw two kids in the distance. They’d stoop to pick up something and then hurl it at each other.

In my mind, I flashed back to being about 8 years old, and I was instantly aghast that I was witnessing kid vs. kid cruelty, the kind I could identify with. Emerson and Charlie and I would throw pecans and other tree droppings at each other. It was great fun… for them. I threw… let’s just say they had nothing to fear.

Pretty soon, I drove past them and saw what they were really up to. They were picking up balls and were on opposite sides of a fence. They launched the balls at minor-league pitcher speeds at the fence with the intention of getting the ball stuck in the fence, and I saw one stick in the fence. Success!

What I witnessed transformed itself from cruelty to unbridled joy, the kind of joy that I don’t think I’ve felt since I was a kid.

And I was jealous.

I’ve been reading The Motley Fool since Apple’s remarkable tanking two weeks ago. So far, Fool has been consistent in its observations regarding the irrational behavior of the market—namely, that what happened was nuts.

Here’s the money quote from today’s article:

There is only one basic truth why the market suddenly fell out of love with Apple, and that is exuberant expectations. The market expected Apple to grow at a double digit rate, each and every year. This, of course, is unsustainable. Because fear and greed are such dominant emotions in the market, a littleĀ sense of disappointment quickly turned into aggressive selling. It has nothing to do with the business or spirit of the company; it has everything to do with the minds and emotions of investors.

Keywords to note: fear, greed, emotions. If you have no stomach for these, you have no business investing in the stock market.

Apple’s getting into the fray, formally.

“I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto (disputed)

The U.S. problem of what to do with spent nuclear fuel has been highlighted by the problems that the Japanese are experiencing at the Fukushima plant as pointed out in this CNN article. The problem is that the spent fuel is stored in… well, I’ll let one scientist put it out there for you:

David Lochbaum, a nuclear physicist with the Union of Concerned Scientists…:

“At many sites there is nearly 10 times as much irradiated fuel in spent fuel pools as in the reactor core,” he said. “The spent fuel pools are not housed in robust concrete containment structures designed to protect the public from the radioactivity they contain. Instead the pools are often housed in buildings with sheet metal siding like that in a Sears storage shed,” Lochbaum said.

“I have nothing against the quality of Sears storage sheds but they are not suitable to nuclear waste storage,” he said.

Not suitable, indeed.

However, the bigger question is, why are we bothering to store it in the first place? Why are we (1) storing the stuff in places it’s not safe like a Sears storage shed or (2) hauling to a place where it might be safe, namely Yucca Mountain, which isn’t even ready and may never open in the first place?

There is an alternative, one in which the French (who have an extremely good track record with nuclear energy) and the Japanese (who have a good track record, too, but maybe planned and built this particular plant a bit too hastily) have had much success with for decades: reprocessing.

In a nutshell, reprocessing takes the old, spent fuel and makes it reusable with just about the same amount of energy the second time around as it had the first time. However, Jimmy Carter killed that option in 1978 because of “concerns” over nuclear proliferation, and we’ve simply never recovered. What the French and Japanese do is much like recharging the batteries in your iPod (which do eventually wear out, true), but the United States has declared that we’ll continue to use alkaline batteries, thankyouverymuch, because rechargeable batteries are just too scary.

So. Now what?

Well, first, I’d say that we—the U.S., that is—will never get to be a more nuclear-dependent state. It’s unfortunate, but unless there are some significant policy shifts, there is a change in the technology to something more stable such as pellet-bed reactors, and there is an end to the fearmongering that the anti-nuclear community persists in conducting, we’ll never get there. Second, we do have nuclear plants which currently generate 9% of our electrical needs, and they aren’t going away; so, third, there will continue to be waste. Finally, we will never restart waste reprocessing—it’s not economically feasible anymore.

With all that in mind, I recommend that we send our spent fuel to France and other states which have embraced and perfected the nuclear reprocessing cycle. Ship it in small-but-inconveniently-sized-to-prevent-easily-losing-them bits at a time. Sell it to them, or even give it to them. Either way, it gets the spent fuel off our hands and into the hands of people who can use it, and ends the renewed debate (and commensurate spending) over Yucca Mountain at the same time.

If only CNN would would publicize something so radical as that idea…

Until recently, I didn’t fit into the former category but landed squarely in the latter. As an avid Mac user, I do have a fear of losing my sight. But this article by Matt Gemmell gave me a new perspective.

The bit that did it for me:

When you first enable VoiceOver on a Mac, you’re asked if you’d like to take a brief tutorial; I did. After the first couple of minutes, I closed my eyes, and really used it. I wept.

Yes, it will be different. But all is not lost.

And now, as an iOS developer (or at least a student developer, anyway), this article provided a significant insight into the realities of the assistive technologies of Mac OS and iOS.

I will read and heed.

Go read it, no matter which category you’re in.

[Via DaringFireball.net. I swear, it must be incredible to be paid to surf the web and produce the occasional highly-insightful article as John Gruber is.]

Arsalan Iftikhar is wrong, too.

Let’s put the shoe on the other foot, shall we?

Imagine if you are in a country which has been invaded by Americans wearing standard issue Battle Dress Uniforms. Think you might be nervous when you see someone in BDUs? Well, by everybody’s interpretation of this situation, you are a bigot if you say, “I get nervous when I see an American in BDUs.”

By the definition of the word bigot, however, “everybody” would be wrong.

Webster’s:

bigot: a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance

Where’s the hate or intolerance in what Mr. Williams said?

OK, another try. Princeton University:

bigoted - blindly and obstinately attached to some creed or opinion and intolerant toward others; “a bigoted person”; “an outrageously bigoted point of view”

Is Mr. Williams “blindly or obstinately attached” to his opinion—and being intolerant? I would guess that if he got up and said, “If I see a Muslim on the plane, I demand that he be kicked off the plane,” then, yes, I’d say he was being intolerant.

No, he’s just “nervous.” Shots make me nervous. Heck, doctors make me nervous. Lawyers… even more so. But I don’t hate doctors, I don’t hate lawyers, and I’m not intolerant of either. But if I say, “(X) makes me nervous?” Bigoted? Hardly.

But wait! “Bill,” you say, “that person has a reason to be nervous around Americans in BDUs. They attacked that person’s country!”

Ah, yes, “without reason.” Wiktionary:

bigoted - Being a bigot; biased; strongly prejudiced; forming opinions without just cause

Let’s review for a moment, shall we? Who was it, exactly, who attacked America on 9/11? Was it (a) evangelistic Christians (b) Jewish fundamentalists (c) Buddhist monks or (d) Muslim extremists?

Which of these aforementioned groups keeps up pressure on American interests with suicide bombers and the like? Oh, sure, the remaining groups have their share of extremists and nutjobs, too (except, perhaps, for the monks), but, really, which group has shown a tendency to give Americans pause for thought?

OK, then, let’s get past the question of bigotry. I think I’ve made my case: he wasn’t expressing a bigoted opinion.

But let’s assume that he did, in fact, express a bigoted opinion. Was NPR right to fire him? Let’s go to Mr. Iftikhar’s opinion and coverage of the subject:

Once Williams made that factually wrong statement, he then no longer continued being a “news analyst”; he had crossed over the line into simply voicing his paranoid and irrational fears to the general public.

“Juan Williams is a news analyst; he is not a commentator and he is not a columnist,” [National Public Radio CEO Vivian] Schiller told an Atlanta Press Club luncheon Thursday. “We have relied on him over the years to give us perspective on the news, not to talk about his opinions.”

She added, “NPR news analysts have a distinctive role and set of responsibilities. This is a very different role than that of a commentator or columnist. News analysts may not take personal public positions on controversial issues; doing so undermines their credibility as analysts, and that’s what’s happened in this situation. As you all well know, we offer views of all kinds on our air every day, but those views are expressed by those we interview — not our reporters and analysts.”

Problem: Mr. Williams was in no way, shape or form bound to not express his personal opinions in public on controversial issues. How do I know this? I read the source. From NPR’s Ethics Code:

V. Outside work, freelancing, speaking engagements

  1. The primary professional responsibility of NPR journalists is to NPR. They should never work in direct competition with NPR. An example of competing with NPR would be breaking a story or contributing a feature for another broadcast outlet or Web site before offering the work to NPR.

No problem here.

2. NPR journalists must get written permission for all outside freelance and journalistic work, including written articles. Requests should be submitted in writing to the employee’s immediate supervisor. Approval will not be unreasonably denied if the proposed work will not discredit NPR, conflict with NPR’s interests, create a conflict of interest for the employee or interfere with the employee’s ability to perform NPR duties. Supervisors must respond within seven days of receiving a request.

Not a problem here.

3. NPR journalists must get written permission for broadcast appearances or speaking engagements, whether or not compensated. Requests should be submitted in writing to the employee’s immediate supervisor, and copied to the Communications Division at mediarelations@npr.org. Approval will not be unreasonably denied if the proposed work will not discredit NPR, conflict with NPR’s interests, create a conflict of interest for the employee or interfere with the employee’s ability to perform NPR duties. Supervisors must respond within seven days of receiving a request.

I have to assume that Mr. Williams followed procedure here. And, if that’s the case, then just what the heck was NPR management thinking he would do if he went onto Bill O’Reilly’s show? Would he not offer his opinion? Or just offer his opinion on non-controversial issues? Would he just offer stock facts? O’Reilly’s show is all about opinion on controversial issues. Would they have fired him if he had made a non-bigoted statement about, say, his favorite color? “The color blue makes me nervous, Bill.” Whammo, Mr. Williams! You’re outta’ here! You can’t objectively report on art anymore!

3. NPR journalists may not engage in public relations work, paid or unpaid. Exceptions may be made for certain volunteer nonprofit, nonpartisan activities, such as participating in the work of a church, synagogue or other institution of worship, or a charitable organization, so long as this would not conflict with the interests of NPR in reporting on activities related to that institution or organization. When in doubt, employees should consult their supervisor.

Not relevant.

4. In general, NPR journalists may not without prior permission from their supervisor do outside work for government or agencies principally funded by government, or for private organizations that are regularly covered by NPR. This includes work that would be done on leaves of absence.

Not relevant.

5. NPR journalists may not ghostwrite or co-author articles or books or write reports - such as annual reports - for government agencies, institutions or businesses that we cover or are likely to cover.

Not relevant.

6. NPR journalists must get approval from the Senior Vice President for the News Division, or that person’s designee, before speaking to groups that might have a relationship to a subject that NPR may cover. Generally, NPR journalists may not speak at corporation or industry functions. NPR journalists also may not speak in settings where their appearance is being used by an organization to market its services or products, unless it is marketing NPR or its member stations’ interests, and then only as permitted in Section IX, Item 5 (below). NPR journalists are permitted to engage in promotional activities for books they have written (such as a book tour), although they are expected to get approval from their supervisors on scheduling.

Not relevant.

7. NPR journalists may only accept speaking fees from educational or nonprofit groups not engaged in significant lobbying or political activity. Determining whether a group engages in significant lobbying or political activity is the responsibility of the NPR journalist seeking permission, and all information must be fully disclosed to the journalist’s supervisor.

Not relevant.

8. NPR journalists may not speak to groups where the appearance might put in question NPR’s impartiality. Such instances include situations where the employee’s appearance may appear to endorse the agenda of a group or organization. This would include participation in some political debates and forums where the sponsoring group(s) or other participants are identified with a particular perspective on an issue or issues and NPR journalist’s participation might put into question NPR’s impartiality.

Well, one might wonder if this is relevant. Bill O’Reilly and his gang are certainly not impartial. But, again, if it were a problem, why would NPR management have approved this engagement?

9. NPR journalists must get permission from the Senior Vice President for News, or their designee, to appear on TV or other media. Requests should be submitted in writing to the employee’s immediate supervisor and copied to mediarelations@npr.org . Approval will not be unreasonably denied if the proposed work will not discredit NPR, conflict with NPR’s interests, create a conflict of interest for the employee or interfere with the employee’s ability to perform NPR duties. The Senior Vice President or designee must respond within seven days of receiving a request. It is not necessary to get permission in each instance when the employee is a regular participant on an approved show. Permission for such appearances may be revoked if NPR determines such appearances are harmful to the reputation of NPR or the NPR participant.

Interesting as this is more specific to TV appearances. It doesn’t contradict section 3, certainly, but neither does it say, “You’ll be fired.” It just says that the permission will be revoked.

10. In appearing on TV or other media including electronic Web-based forums, NPR journalists should not express views they would not air in their role as an NPR journalist. They should not participate in shows electronic forums, or blogs that encourage punditry and speculation rather than fact-based analysis.

I’m going to have to guess that Mr. Williams would have said what he said no matter the forum. If this isn’t the case, then, yeah, he was wrong. What are the consequences of violating Section 10, then? Firing? Disciplinary action? Indeterminate.

11. Any NPR journalist intending to write a non-fiction book or TV or movie script or other guiding documents for non-radio productions based in whole or substantial part on assignments they did for NPR must notify NPR in writing of such plans before entering into any agreement with respect to that work. NPR will respond within 14 days as to whether it has any objections to the project.

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12. NPR journalists considering book projects or TV or movie productions based on stories that they have covered must be careful not to give any impression they might benefit financially from the outcome of news or program events. They should before taking any actions with respect to such matters seek guidance from the Senior Vice President for News, or their designee.

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And that’s it. That’s the entire section of their Ethics Code which applies here. Nowhere does it mention that “news analysts may not take personal public positions on controversial issues.” Since Mr. Williams presumably has read and acknowledged receipt of this Code, perhaps a good, stern talking to is more appropriate than a firing. But his entire conversation with NPR was, in essence, “You’re fired.” “Why?” “Because we said so.”

NPR unfair? Never!

Mr. Iftikhar argues that he knows the difference between a commentator, of which he is one, and an analyst, of which Mr. Williams is one. The interesting thing is that the Ethics Code quoted above does not differentiate between the two, so presumably, Mr. Iftikhar is also under the same responsibilities as Mr. Williams.

So, Mr. Iftikhar, perhaps you’d better keep your opinions—outside NPR, that is—to yourself.

The guy who wrote this article is the same Ruben Navarrette Jr. who prompted my reaction to another one of his illogical diatribes. This piece of so-called “reporting” is merely the liberal mainstream media at work, celebrating itself for standing up for something which makes little to no sense to those who don’t have their liberal blinders on.

Let’s take his article apart, shall we? This should be fun.

Phoenix, Arizona (CNN) — It was an ethnic twist on an American classic, the kind of thing that some people consider appealing and others frightening. Pinto beans, diced tomatoes, salsa and jalapenos top a hot dog that’s grilled to perfection.

It’s 10 o’clock on a Saturday night at ground zero in the immigration debate. The hot dog vendor, a woman from the Mexican state of Sinaloa, would normally be doing a brisk business. Her cart is across the street from a popular Latino dance club that used to be frequented by Mexican-Americans but is now normally crammed with Mexican immigrants.

No mas.

Was that Spanish you were trying to use? I’m sure it was, but stick to English, which you haven’t gotten right. You see, I can’t make head or tails out that last paragraph. Is the place normally crammed with Mexican immigrants? Or was it frequented by Mexican-Americans? I can’t tell what the heck is happening across the street from the vendor’s cart. I get the idea, though: she has no customers at 10pm across the street from a dance club. What kind of town is this?!

“The city feels abandoned,” the woman tells me in Spanish. “Everyone has left.”

It sure looks that way during a drive though the city’s predominantly Latino west side, with its abandoned buildings, deserted homes and empty parks.

OK, let’s see, Ruben: How many doors did you knock on to assess how many of those homes were abandoned? How many buildings did you survey? How many were abandoned before April? And at 10pm, I’d expect most lights to be out, and the parks darned-well better be abandoned. Oh, you drove through during the day? Hmm. I’d expect the homeowners to be out working and the parks to be filled with… nobody! They should be working.

Since April, when Gov. Jan Brewer signed SB 1070 to punish illegal immigrants for the sins of the employers who hire them, estimates are that tens of thousands of illegal immigrants have left Arizona for a warmer climate in Utah, Colorado, Texas or New Mexico.

Score 1 for Arizona, then, in spite of the gutted law. I’m going to guess that this trend won’t stop until the wave reaches Canada.

Last week, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton struck down four of the most grotesque and illogical parts of the law, including the requirement that local police attempt to determine the immigration status of individuals they suspect of being in the country illegally and language making it a crime to solicit work.

I’m glad you’re not trying to pass this off as objective reporting. “Grotesque” and “illogical” are hardly objective terms.

I have been watching this drama play out from California. But as someone who lived in Arizona about 10 years ago, I needed a closer look to see what life is like in this desert metropolis now that the law has taken effect — or rather, what’s left of it.

So you visit a Latino section of town and decide that there’s not much left of Phoenix. I’m guessing that the rest of Phoenix is disappointed to hear that pronouncement.

I’m a U.S. citizen; my parents and three of my four grandparents were born in the United States.

Relevance, Ruben, relevance.

When I lived here a decade ago, I was struck by how comfortable Latinos and whites seemed with one another. There was the occasional conflict, but more often there was compromise and cooperation, even on the issue of immigration.

A decade ago, the Obama administration was not in office. Much has changed since then. Obama and his acolyte Nancy Pelosi are hell-bent on spending as much of your tax money—and mine—on feeding, housing, clothing, educating, and treating illegal immigrants as they possibly can. Their solution to avoiding class warfare is to make the illegal immigrants into legal immigrants—merge the classes—at tremendous cost. Arizona’s solution to avoiding class warfare is to enforce the laws as they stand at significantly less cost.

Your world of ten years ago doesn’t exist anymore. It evaporated last November.

Today a heated debate has produced hard feelings. The everyday interactions between Latinos and whites are much more frayed than when I was covering Phoenix as a reporter for The Arizona Republic.

No observations? No data? Oh… wait, here comes some data:

Seventy percent of whites, according to polls, support SB 1070 but 70 percent of Latinos oppose it. Until the judge’s decision, there were many whites who were happy the state was taking action against illegal immigration; now they’re unhappy with the judge’s ruling, meaning almost every group in the state is up in arms for one reason or another.

Weak, at best.

Point one: cite the polls—I hate reporters who don’t cite statistics, but since this is an op-ed piece masquerading as reporting, I’ll give you a pass. Anyway, do these polls include illegal immigrants? I’d be surprised if they didn’t.

Point two: who cares if the people who support the bill are up in arms? Who cares if the people who don’t support the bill are up in arms? Is there anything wrong with that? That’s what a democracy is all about, Ruben: expressing your opinion and voting in support of that opinion. Get used to it. Or, rather, don’t, because the Obama/Pelosi machine will ensure that the only branch of government that counts is the judiciary, and your opinion, and vote, will not be heard.

Point three: you make some very sweeping generalizations. Are they based on observations? Or just your gut feeling?

I ask the hot dog vendor how “los Americanos”—her landlord, the people at the supermarket, etc.—are treating her. “Everyone is different,” she says. “Some are friendly. Others look at you funny, like you’re not welcomed.” I think about my question. Unwittingly, I had invited her to engage in the same kind of racial profiling that most opponents of SB 1070 deplore. She prefers instead to judge people as individuals and not generalize based on stereotypes.

Whew. At least there’s one sensible person involved in this article.

Good for her. I wonder if this woman is available to give seminars to Arizona law enforcement officers who might soon find themselves in need of that skill set.

Woah… wait a minute. You have automatically placed all Arizona law enforcement officers into the role of bigot. Where do you get off doing that? Did you interview any law enforcement officers and report on equally open-minded officers? No, you sure didn’t. It wouldn’t support your story well, would it?

Later, I interviewed a married couple who came to the United States legally but lapsed into illegal status when their visa expired. They should have gone back to Mexico, but they’d already put down roots in Phoenix, where the husband could earn at least 10 times what he could make in Mexico. We talked about how some conservatives insist that illegal immigrants take jobs from U.S. workers.

There’s so much wrong here, it’s not even funny: First, the couple “should have gone back to Mexico.” They are illegally here, and yet somehow, “putting down roots” and “earn[ing] at least 10 times what he could make in Mexico” buys them a pass. Next time I’m pulled over for a traffic violation, I’ll be sure to use that defense. “I’m sorry, officer, but it’s OK because I’ve sped before and my car is fine at these high speeds.”

Second, “some conservatives” should be “some people,” because otherwise you are typecasting and stereotyping just as much as the next guy. I guarantee you can find a liberal who thinks the same thing, but it wouldn’t help your story, would it?

“That’s not true,” says the husband, who’s worked his way up from manual labor to an office job for a jeweler. “Americans are lazy. They don’t want to work.”

But then, he catches himself — and corrects himself.

“I shouldn’t say that,” he says. “They’re not all like that, but some are. They’re spoiled. They think it’s easy to come to the United States legally, and they speak from ignorance.” It’s interesting that even in a state that recently made it legal for police officers to make assumptions and jump to conclusions about who is or isn’t an illegal immigrant, there are illegal immigrants who are fair-minded enough not to make assumptions and jump to conclusions about the rest of us.

Wow. Yet another open-minded person who supports your cause! Wow! Two for two! You’re batting 1.000, Ruben! Next time, interview the guy on the corner with the sign that says, “Will work for food.” See if he doesn’t say, “Los estadounidenses son perezosos.”

The rest of that paragraph is just crap: you characterize the entire state of Arizona as bigots, except some illegal immigrants. Good job.

No matter what Bolton decided, the hot dog vendor is still worried. She thinks a lot of Phoenix police officers and county sheriff deputies, under the command of cartoonish Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, have been champing at the bit for a law like this to give them an excuse to hassle people with brown skin. People like that, she says, won’t let the judge’s ruling get in the way of enforcing a law which they support.

Ah, so she’s not quite as open-minded as you portray her to be. Apparently, your assertion that officers of the law are bigots is shared by her. Well, fair enough, she’s entitled to that opinion. But until the law can actually be tried, and until we can see how it works, there’s really not much point in worrying about it, is there? If you’re not an illegal immigrant, that is.

Since the law took effect, Arpaio’s deputies have raided residences thought to be “drop houses,” where illegal immigrant smugglers harbor their human cargo.

And good for them! After all, immigrant smugglers are often enslaving unwitting illegals. Should they not prosecute this crime because you’re paying attention to their actions? Put another way, do you raise hell because they raid crack houses? And should people ever be in a position to be referred to as “human cargo?” Isn’t that worthy of prosecution?

And stop using the error of omission to distort the truth: deputies also raided residences thought to be “drop houses” before the law took effect, too.

No wonder immigrants are afraid. Those who haven’t left the state are living as shut-ins. They go outside when they have to go to work. Otherwise, they stay behind closed doors.

Since that’s by their choice, tough. Do they really think that if they look/act/do as normal legal citizens do (such as drive to work, do yard work, perhaps take a walk with the kids, fix their cars in their driveways, go to the store) that they will be accosted by police for acting suspiciously? Don’t they think that it’s the people who stand around on street corners for hours a day, doing nothing, who are most likely to be challenged by police? Apparently not, I guess.

Anyway, eventually, when the illegal immigrants are few and far between, the suspicion that someone is here in the US illegally will naturally die down, won’t it? In the meantime, the legal immigrants should be out and about and should enjoy showing up Officer Bob and his ilk when they are hassled for their documentation. Oh, and of course, they should avoid activities which would get Officer Bob’s interest in the first place, just like you and I should.

By the way, I think Officer Bob should ask every suspect of some offense, including me, lilly-white Bill Eccles, for my proof of citizenship (whatever that is), and should not be asked to make a determination which might be misconstrued as “racial profiling.”

There is another kind of racism at play here. You’ve heard how Arizona tried to empower local police to arrest gardeners and housekeepers to crack down on Mexican drug dealers. Baloney. That’s just how the state’s anti-immigrant efforts are packaged for public consumption. The Mexican drug dealer is the Willie Horton of the immigration debate. I get it.

Huh? The state somehow has an anti-immigrant effort? No, there’s no anti-immigrant effort. There’s an anti-illegal-immigrant effort, however, which is what SB1070 is all about. You are confusing your issues, Ruben.

What are nativists supposed to do? Convince Arizonans that the nannies they give their babies to every day are dangerous, that the gardeners to whom they volunteer their security code are a threat. You need drug dealers in this dialogue. Who else are people going to be afraid of?

I’ll just leave this paragraph with a, “Huh?” because I can’t make any sense out of it whatsoever. I’m not sure how nannies and gardeners and drug dealers are relevant to illegal vs. legal status.

Not a hot dog vendor. Think about where that woman was from — Sinaloa. That state is the capital of the Mexican drug trafficking industry. It’s quite simple.

This ought to be good…

If you’re from Sinaloa and you sell drugs, you can live a luxurious life in Mexico. If you sell hot dogs, you work long, hot nights in the desert. Arizonans are ginning up fear of one to rid their state of the other.

So, let me translate Rubenese to English: Sinaloans who come to America are drug dealers. Since that fact hasn’t been brought into the debate by either side—until now—I have to assume that Ruben is ginning up fear of one to get rid of the other.

Or maybe I’m missing something here, so I’ll try again: Illegal immigrants who are from Sinaloa should get a pass just like illegal immigrants who are hot dog vendors or drug dealers. There. I think I got it.

I finish my second hot dog—the best I’ve tasted this side of Coney Island—and pay the bill. Oh, by the way, I ask the woman: “What’s your name?”

Who pays after they eat their hot dogs? This story smells fishy to me. You get your dogs, you pay the vendor. Then you eat them. Strange…

She smiles, looks away and shakes her head. She won’t tell me. She must figure, why take chances? For immigrants, there’s enough of that going on already in this city, where just getting in a car or walking down the street can be a high-stakes gamble.

“She must figure…?” Ruben reads minds. Enough said.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Ruben Navarrette Jr.

Thank goodness for that. More like him and… well, too late. They’ve already been elected.

According to this CNN report, the ACLU has issued a “travel alert” to people who might be going to Arizona for the Fourth of July weekend.

The money quote:

“Although the law is not scheduled to go into effect until July 29, the ACLU is concerned that some law enforcement officers are already beginning to act on provisions of the law,” the ACLU said on its website.

Nothing like a little fear, uncertainty and doubt to really help make your case. Where possible, eschew logic and even observance of the space/time continuum.

Barak Hussein Obama: Liar?

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Hadn’t read this E-mail until just now. Even if only half the stuff this guy says is true, then voting for Obama is, well, despicable.

Anyway, here it is:

To Barack Hussein Obama,

The New York Times carried a story on Saturday, October 4, 2008, that proved you had a significantly closer relationship with Bill Ayers than what you previously admitted. While the issue of your relationship is of concern, the greater concern is that you lied to America about it.

The Chicago Sun reported on May 8, 2008, that FBI records showed that you had a significantly closer relationship with Tony Rezko than what you previously admitted. In the interview, you said that you only saw Mr. Rezko a couple of times a year. The FBI files showed that you saw him weekly. While the issue of your relationship is of concern, the greater concern is that you lied to America about it.

Your speech in Philadelphia on March 18, 2008, about “race” contradicted your statement to Anderson Cooper on March 14 when you said that you never heard Reverend Wright make his negative statements about white America .. While your attendance at Trinity Church for 20 years is of concern, the greater concern is that you lied to America on March 14.

In your 1st debate with John McCain, you said that you never said that you would meet with the leaders of Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, and North Korea without “preparations” at lower levels… Joe Biden repeated your words in his debate with Sarah Palin… while the video tape from your debate last February clearly shows that you answered “I would” to the question of meeting with those leaders within 12 months without “any” preconditions. While your judgement about meeting with enemies of the USA without pre-conditions is of concern, the greater concern is that you lied to America in the debate with McCain.

On July 14, 2008, you said that you always knew that the surge would work while the video tapes of you from more than a year ago show that you stated that the surge would not work. While your judgement about military strategy as a potential commander-in-chief is of concern, the greater concern is that you lied to America on July 14.

You now claim that your reason for voting against funding for the troops was because the bill did not include a time line for withdrawal, while the video tapes of you from more than a year ago show that you voted against additional funding because you wanted our troops to be removed immediately… not in 16 months after the 2008 election as you now claim. While your judgement about removing our troops unilaterally in 2007 is of concern, the greater concern is that you lied to America about your previous position.

You claim to have a record of working with Republicans while the record shows that the only bill that you sponsored with a Republican was with Chuck Lugar… and it failed. The record shows that you vote 97% in concert with the Democrat party and that you have the most liberal voting record in the Senate. You joined Republicans only 13% of the time in your votes and those 13% were only after agreement from the Democrat party. While it is of concern that you fail to include conservatives in your actions and that you are such a liberal, the greater concern is that you distorted the truth.

In the primary debates of last February, 2008, you claimed to have talked with a “Captain” of a platoon in Afghanistan “the other day” when in fact you had a discussion in 2003 with a Lieutenant who had just been deployed to Afghanistan .. You lied in that debate.

In your debates last spring, you claimed to have been a “professor of Constitutional law” when in fact you have never been a professor of Constitutional law. In this last debate, you were careful to say that you “taught a law class” and never mentioned being a “professor of Constitutional law.” You lied last spring.

You and Joe Biden both claimed that John McCain voted against additional funding for our troops when the actual records show the opposite. You distorted the truth.

You and Joe Biden claim that John McCain voted against funding for alternate energy sources 20 times when the record shows that John McCain specifically voted against funding for bio fuels, especially corn… and he was right… corn is too expensive at producing ethanol, and using corn to make ethanol increased the price of corn from $2 a bushel to $6 a bushel for food. You distorted the truth.

You and Joe Biden claim that John McCain voted like both of you for a tax increase on those making as little as $42,000 per year while the voting record clearly shows that John McCain did not vote as you and Joe Biden. You lied to America …

You and Joe Biden claim that John McCain voted with George W. Bush 90% of the time when you know that Democrats also vote 90% of the time with the President (including Joe Biden) because the vast majority of the votes are procedural. You are one of the few who has not voted 90% of the time with the president because you have been missing from the Senate since the day you got elected. While your absence from your job in the Senate is of concern, the greater concern is that you spin the facts.

You did not take an active role in the rescue plan. You claimed that the Senate did not need you while the real reason that you abstained was because of your close relationships with the executives of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Countrywide, and Acorn… who all helped cause the financial problems of today… and they all made major contributions to your campaign. While your relationship with these executives and your protection of them for your brief 3 years in the Senate (along with Barney Frank, Chuck Schumer, Maxine Waters, and Chris Dodd) is of concern, the greater concern is that you are being deceitful.

You forgot to mention that you personally represented Tony Rezko and Acorn. Tony Rezko, an Arab and close friend to you, was convicted of fraud in Chicago real estate transactions that bilked millions of tax dollars from the Illinois government for renovation projects that you sponsored as a state senator… and Acorn has been convicted of voter fraud, real estate sub prime loan intimidation, and illegal campaign contributions. Tony Rezko has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to your political campaigns. You personally used your political positions to steer money to both Tony Rezko and Acorn and you used Acorn to register thousands of phony voters for Democrats and you. While your relationships with Rezko and Acorn are of concern, the greater concern is that you omitted important facts about your relationships with them to America …

During your campaign, you said: “typical white person.” “They cling to their guns and religion.” “They will say that I am black.” You played the race card. You tried to label any criticism about you as racist. You divide America ..

You claim that you will reduce taxes for 95% of America , but you forgot to tell America that those reductions are after you remove the Bush tax reductions. You have requested close to $1 billion in earmarks and several million for Acorn. Your social programs will cost America $1 trillion per year and you claim that a reduction in military spending ($100 billion for Iraq ) can pay for it. While your economic plan of adding 30% to the size of our federal government is of concern, the greater concern is that you are deceiving America ..

The drain to America ‘s economy by foreign supplied oil is $700 billion per year (5% of GDP) while the war in Iraq is $100 billion (less than 1% of GDP). You voted against any increases to oil exploration for the last 3 years and any expansion of nuclear facilities. Yet today, you say that you have always been for more oil and more nuclear. You are lying to America …

Mr. Obama, you claimed that you “changed” your mind about public financing for your campaign because of the money spent by Republican PACs in 2004. The truth is that the Democrat PACs in 2004, 2006, and 2008 spent twice as much as the Republican PACs (especially George Soros and MoveOn.org). You are lying to America …

Mr. Obama, you have done nothing to stop the actions of the teachers union and college professors in the USA .. They eliminated religion from our history. They teach pro gay agendas and discuss sex with students as young as first grade. They bring their personal politics into the classrooms. They disparage conservatives. They brainwash our children. They are in it for themselves… not America. Are you reluctant to condemn their actions because teachers/professors and the NEA contribute 25% of all money donated to Democrats and none to Republicans? You are deceiving America.

Oh, Mr. Obama, Teddy Roosevelt said about a hundred years ago that we Americans should first look at the character of our leaders before anything else.

Your character looks horrible. While you make good speeches, motivating speeches, your character does not match your rhetoric. You talk the talk, but do not walk the walk.

  1. You lied to America. You lied many times. You distorted facts. You parsed your answers like a lawyer.

  2. You distorted the record of John McCain in your words and in your advertisements.

  3. You had associations with some very bad people for your personal political gains and then lied about those associations.

  4. You divide America about race and about class.

Now let me compare your record of lies, distortions, race baiting, and associations to John McCain: War hero. Annapolis graduate with “Country first.” Operational leadership experience like all 43 previously elected presidents of the USA as a Navy officer for 22 years. 26 years in the Senate. Straight talk. Maverick. 54% of the time participated on bills with Democrats. Never asked for an earmark. The only blemish on his record is his part in the Keating 5 debacle about 25 years ago.

Mr. Obama, at Harvard Law School, you learned that the end does not justify the means. You learned that perjury, false witness, dishonesty, distortion of truth are never tolerated. Yet, your dishonesty is overwhelming. Your dishonesty is tremendously greater than the dishonesty that caused the impeachment and disbarment of Bill Clinton. Your dishonesty is tremendously greater than the dishonesty of Scooter Libby. You should be ashamed.

Mr. Obama, it is time for us Americans to put aside our differences on political issues and vote against you because of your dishonest character. It is time for all of us Americans to put aside our political issues and vote for America first. It is time for America to vote for honesty.

Any people who vote for you after understanding that you are dishonest should be ashamed of themselves for making their personal political issues more important than character. Would these same people vote for the anti-Christ if the anti-Christ promised them riches? Would they make a golden calf while Moses was up the mountain? Would they hire someone for a job if that someone lied in an interview? Of course not. So why do some of these people justify their votes for you even though they know you are dishonest? Why do they excuse your dishonesty? Because some of these people are frightened about the future, the economy, and their financial security… and you are preying on their fears with empty promises… and because some (especially our young people) are consumed by your wonderful style and promises for “change” like the Germans who voted for Adolf Hitler in 1932. The greed/envy by Germans in 1932 kept them from recognizing Hitler for who he was. They loved his style. Greed and envy are keeping many Americans from recognizing you… your style has camouflaged your dishonesty… but many of us see you for who you really are… and we will not stop exposing who you are every day, forever if it is necessary.

Mr. Obama, you are dishonest. Anyone who votes for you is enabling dishonesty.

Mr. Obama, America cannot trust that you will put America first in your decisions about the future.

Mr. Obama, you are not the “change” that America deserves. We cannot trust you.

Mr. Obama, you are not ready and not fit to be commander-in-chief.

Mr. Obama, John McCain does not have as much money as your campaign to refute all of your false statements. And for whatever reasons, the mainstream media will not give adequate coverage or research about your lies, distortions, word parsing, bad associations, race baiting, lack of operational leadership experience, and generally dishonest character. The media is diverting our attention from your relationships and ignoring the fact that you lied about those relationships. The fact that you lied is much more important than the relationships themselves… just like with Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon… Monica Lewinski and Watergate were not nearly as bad as the fact that those men lied about the events… false witness… perjury… your relationships and bad judgements are bad on their own… but your lies are even worse.

Therefore, by copy of this memo, all who read this memo are asked to send it to everyone else in America before it is too late. We need to do the job that the media will not do. We need to expose your dishonesty so that every person in America understands who you really are before election day.

Mr. Obama, in a democracy, we get what we deserve. And God help America if we deserve you.

Michael Master McLean, Virginia

Article here.

Now there’s a shock.

The weird thing is that the article says, and I quote:

The stunning decline of oil prices in recent weeks has left oil-exporting countries fearful that they will have to cut government budgets, including the popular social programs that cement many leaders’ hold on power.

So what social programs did these dictators put into place in the course of less than two years? In the United States, the only social program we managed to put into place in the course of less than two years (which was the last time prices were this low) was to hand out cash.

Hmmm… Is that what they’re doing with our money?

Or is it this?

Or is it both?

Drill, baby, drill!, indeed!

Article here.

Well, whaddaya’ know. Even the bastion of the liberal mainstream media agrees with me:

It was fear, not greed, that was driving everyone’s actions.

As I’ve said before, and will probably say again.

Article here.

I’m supremely confused. Gustav hasn’t even come close to the oil supply and yet we’re paying more at the pump as if there were an actual change in the oil supply.

The referenced article is full of “if“‘s and “fear“‘s and “doubt“‘s and “could be“‘s. Why are we allowing futures trading to affect now prices?

WTF?

Traders in what, exactly?

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I just don’t get it. Those who are supposedly in the know say that traders and funds and stuff have nothing to do with the high price of oil. And yet the cost of oil has risen to five times what it was a few years ago. Is it suddenly worth five times what it used to be worth? Have the Saudis had a sudden labor shortage which has driven up their costs? Or have the world’s ships crews demanded millions to transport the stuff in a show of solidarity? Or is there anything else out there which has changed the price of production that I’m unaware of? Heck, has there been a single constriction of supply in the past few years?

I really don’t think there is, but I’ve been known to be wrong before. (It happens.)

So, if the cost of getting a barrel out of the ground to the refinery hasn’t really changed all that much, why are traders willing to pay more for those barrels?

I expect it has something to do with the news reports that I keep hearing and reading. Go ahead, Google for a news story about oil prices and note that every single frickin’ one of them has the words “worry,” “fear,” “anxiety” and their synonyms in them. That’s right, they’re not buying and selling oil based on reality, they’re trading based on their own insecurities. It’s not like OPEC is saying to the market, OK, folks, the price today is $200, take it or leave it. They’re a monopoly and could do that, you know, but instead they just say, What are you willing to pay us? and we, like idiots, outbid ourselves for the privilege of paying them more.

And if I’m more afraid than you are, I’ll pay more than you will.

(Stupid me.)

OPEC doesn’t think that supply is constricted. And you know what? I trust ‘em. After all, though demand in the world has increased, I don’t think we can realistically say that demand has increased so hugely in the past few years so as to make anybody think the Saudis are going to run out any time soon. Supply has kept up because OPEC has kept supply up. And, for that matter, there’s nothing that some rogue state, such as Iran, can do that the US and every other oil-consuming country wouldn’t do something about if they got uppity and plugged up the Persian Gulf. In short, demand and supply seem to be running pretty well together and it’s not likely to change a bunch.

So what are the traders afraid of? Well, pretty much anything. Their shadows. Spiders. Weak dollars. Things that go bump in the night.

Now, how do we fix this problem? First, stop trading futures. Right now. Put a halt to it. Sure, let the people with futures finish out their deals, but after that, no more! Second, if you aren’t an oil consumer with real refineries and big honkin’ boats or if you aren’t prepared to take delivery of the barrels you bought, you can’t buy the stuff, either. Sure, you can still buy those barrels and sell them later on, but you damned well had better take delivery of the stuff you bought. And there can still be a market with people screaming about buying and selling, but those are real barrels that they’ll be buying and selling and if there aren’t enough barrels to go around today, the price will go up. If there are too many people yelling about selling and not enough takers today, the price will go down. No fears. Just real oil which either is or isn’t there.

(Who invented this futures stuff anyway? I realize that in some markets, such as those associated with real variable supply and demand, such as agriculture, there’s a purpose. But until we’re trading iPod futures, oil futures don’t make any sense. Monopolies are different.)

Now, are these ideas probably stupid, unrealistic and ridiculous? I’m sure they are. But to the layman who doesn’t get to trade on my fears but has to pay whatever the going price is for an iPod, they make sense.

Portland (AP) - In a press conference today, Chicken Little reported that the sky is falling.

“Unequivocal evidence witnessed firsthand points to the possibility of a sudden Earthward trend in the sky’s location,” he said. When pressed further about the nature of the evidence, he revealed, “Though I have witnessed only one acorn’s transition from the sky to the ground, there is certainly the possibility that the entire sky will, indeed, fall.”

Traders reacted with fear, driving up futures. “With the possibility of the falling of the sky,” said Henny Penny. “We can certainly expect prices to edge north of $150 throughout the trading day.”

Other traders had similar reactions.

“We’re afraid,” said Cocky Locky, Ducky Lucky and Turkey Lurkey. “We expect that space between Earth and Sky will constrict, driving up futures rapidly.”

Foxy Loxy, reserve chairman, could not be reached for comment. It is widely expected that he will eat the traders for lunch, though, in an effort to keep futures in check.

Article here.

Another take: Don’t miss the investors list of the Burkle Firm, especially the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum. Fear not, though, Billary supporters! Somebody on staff will certainly come up with a question about a definition, a blatant lie, or something misspoken to explain it.