musing minds

Kerik's pseudo-nannygate

LaShawn Barber is guestblogging over at Blogs for Bush.

In her post Leftist Media (And Bloggers) Still Campaigning for Kerry she notes that the liberal media are trying to make a scandal out of this.

My own thoughts mirror LaShawn’s.

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Kerik Withdraws

Bernard Kerik has withdrawn his name from consideration for the post of Secretary of Homeland Security. Reuters story has the following:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Bush’s pick to become homeland security secretary, former New York police commissioner Bernard Kerik, abruptly withdrew his nomination for the job on Friday night.

The move came after news organizations raised some potential problems about Kerik, including his profitable membership on the board of Taser International, the stun-gun maker.

Read the rest.

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The Anti-Immigration Wing of the Republican Party – updated

Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) said on O’Reilly tonight (I had to watch the repeat to make sure I had heard correctly the first time) that the people having trouble with drivers licenses are the “Anti-Immigration Wing of the Republican Party.”

Did you get the memo? I sure didn’t.

I am not against immigration – I have friends who are immigrants. People who followed the rules, learned the language, took the test and took the oath.

Illegal Aliens don’t belong here. Period. Go back to your home country and if you want to come back here, do it right. Any amnesty would be allowing them to “cut in line”. If you want to become an American – you are quite welcome here. Just do it legally.

Terrorists come here illegally to use our own system against us.

When 19 terrorists can have 63 drivers licenses between them, there is a problem. When I moved from Vermont to back to Illinois and got my Illinois drivers license I had to surrender my Vermont drivers license. Of course, the terrorists didn’t tell the DMV that they had valid licenses from other states and/or lied and said they physically lost it or something. If there were a national database of drivers licenses, DMV’s would be able to check for unexpired licenses from other states, and, if they issue a new one, have the previous unexpired license(s) declared void.

Update: Prestopundit has more on the Driver’s License issue from an article in the LA Times.

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Protestant Reformation = Bloggers vs MSM??

I saw Luther when it came out on DVD last week and when I read Bill Bennett’s commentary at RCP I was struck by the similarities between the two.

In Bill Bennett’s commentary there is the following quote:

Empowered, the people are changing talk radio. Speaking as a host of a three-hour talk show, it is evident that the public, which is checking assertions of fact as they are being made, is not sitting back and merely absorbing pontification. On talk radio, the lecture is fading, and it is being replaced by the interactive national seminar, where callers inform the host and audience as much as the host is informing listeners.

This is the paragraph that brought to mind the story of Martin Luther. He felt that the Church was interpreting the Word of God for the masses, not as written, but how they felt it should be. The Church was getting rich selling indulgences, time off from Purgatory and Martin couldn’t find anyplace in Scripture that said there even was such a thing. He translated the Bible from Latin to German so the masses could read the Word of God for themselves, making their decisions from that Word, and not just the Church’s interpretation of it.

It seems to me that there is a parallel between Luther and the Church and the MSM and bloggers. The MSM tries to sell us their interpretation, expecting us to sit back and absorb their pontification. The bloggers and talk radio are providing the translation so we can make up our own minds.

Update: Welcome Polipundit readers! Thanks Lorie.

Update 2: Some commenters over at the Polipundit post that directs visitors here are positing that bloggers are equivalent to the printing press, rather than Luther. I still think that the bloggers are equivalent to Luther and the internet itself is equivalent to Gutenberg’s printing press. Luther did the translation and the printing press was what allowed the translation to be widely disseminated.

Think back to Rathergate – The attitude was “This is the truth because I/we say it’s so.” The bloggers took that “truth”, dissected it, translated it and using their printing press (the internet) broadcast their translation to everyone.

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Never Forget

Today is the 63rd anniversary of Pearl Harbor. 2,388 Americans lost their lives that day.

Michelle Malkin has a great post with links.

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Becker-Posner Blog up and running

Gary Becker and Richard Posner have started their blog Becker-Posner Blog. They should provide some very interesting reading.

We have decided to start a blog that will explore current issues of economics, law, and policy in a dialogic format. Initially we will be posting just once a week, on Mondays. In time we may post more frequently. The first postings will be tomorrow, December 6.

Becker is a Nobel-prize-winning economist who in addition to scholarly publications on a wide range of economic issues including education, discrimination, labor, the family, crime, addiction, and immigration, for many years wrote a monthly column for Business Week. Posner is a federal circuit judge and also a writer of books and articles in a variety of fields, including antitrust, intellectual property, and other fields in which economics is applied to law, but also topical fields such as impeachment, contested elections, and national-security issues. (The rules of judicial ethics preclude Posner from commenting publicly on pending or impending litigation or participating in politics, as by endorsing candidates.)

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The Groningen Protocol

Hugh has several posts (here, here, here and Hugh’s Weekly Standard column) on the Groningen Protocol linking to several other posts on the subject. He was looking for more MSM and blogger coverage of the story. I sent a copy of the Washington Times AP story to Fox to see if they were aware of it. Currently they have one story dated Tuesday, November 30 with two different links and headlines: Dutch Hospital Euthanizing Gravely Ill Babies and Netherlands Hospital Permits Euthanasia for Terminal Newborns.

Hugh’s Weekly Standard column contains the following:

This is either a low point, or a point of no return. The establishment of “independent committees” to dispatch non-consenting humans is nothing but a death penalty committee for innocents. Once begun, it is impossible–simply impossible–to limit the concept with any bright line. Abortion, of course, has always been limited by the physical act of birth, and once out of the womb, only the most extreme “reproductive rights” advocates have argued that the baby’s natural right to live can be compromised by the mother. But now the Netherlands has gone farther–much, much farther. If the “severely retarded” may be killed upon appropriate motion, second, debate, and majority vote, why not the moderately retarded? Why not the mildly retarded? Why not, in fact, anyone the “independent committee” deems as usefully dispatched.

This is what really concerns me. My daughter has a developmental delay, epilepsy and moderate hearing and vision impairments. She weighed 4 pounds 10 ounces at birth, which is small, but her APGAR scores were 9 and 10. She has two genetic anomalies: She has an “extra” gene on one of her 10th chromosome pair and her 19th chromosome has a “ring” in a mosaic pattern. The chromosomes usually look like an eleven (11) two straight lines. On Katie’s 19th chromosome, every other pair looks like a ten (10) instead. One of the pair is a circle instead of a straight line. She is 14 years old now. She doesn’t speak well and uses some sign language to help her “get her message across.” Her 4-year-old brother is leaps and bounds ahead of her in speaking and development. Her 10-year-old brother also passed her up a long, long time ago.

She may have Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. It is a severe form of epilepsy that usually develops in children between 1 and 8 years old (I took her to a neurologist at 18 months old). Most children with Lennox-Gastaut experience some degree of impaired intellectual functioning or information processing. It may be caused by brain injury, severe brain infections, genetic brain diseases, or developmental malformations of the brain. In some cases, no cause has been found. Prognosis varies, there is no cure. Complete recovery including freedom from seizures and normal development is very unusual.

She can dress herself, feed herself, use the bathroom herself, and watch Barney and Shrek all day long. She likes to color and can copy some letters down. She can sight read some words. When her littlest brother was five weeks old and she was 10 years and 5 weeks old (her littlest brother was born the day before her 10th birthday) she had surgery for a vagus nerve implant. We were hoping that it could help “reprogram” her brain not to seize so often. She’s been on many different medications over the last twelve years. Currently we have her on only one that seems to be working better. Her seizures are not as frequent, or as long. We are lucky that she doesn’t have grand mal seizures. She’ll just suddenly stop and jerk a few times. She can do this while walking and not fall down (atypical absence and myoclonic seizures).

She needs to have weekly occupational, physical and speech therapy. Insurance companies don’t want to cover this though, because the therapies will need to long term. The insurance companies seem to only want to cover, say, physical therapy after a broken bone. Something that won’t take too long to show progress and finally be done. I’ve seen some that limit all three therapies to 30-60 visits total. This would allow her 10-20 weeks of all three therapies.

I was first worried that Hugh was sliding down a slippery slope, but I don’t think he is. Eventually they could do this to children and people older than 12.

Katie is a beautiful, loving child and she will be a beautiful, loving adult. However, she probably won’t be a “productive” adult. She probably won’t be a “normal” woman who has a job, or gets married and has children. She won’t go to college. She will need care for the rest of her life, either with me or with a group home of some kind. I also have to think about her care after I am gone.

Death by committee could decide that she’s “useless” and terminate her. That’s what’s really scary.

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Kerik tapped to head Homeland Security – Updated

A senior administration official said that Bernie Kerik will be tapped to fill the Homeland Security Secretary position left open after Tom Ridge’s resignation. Forbes story.

I personally think that Bernie Kerik was a very good choice.

Update: 12/10/04: Kerik withdraws name from consideration.

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