Thursday, March 29, 2007

Criswell predicts: Birth Control

I predict that birth control will no longer be a major problem in the United States. Placed in the water system of the country, in every city, regardless of size, will be chemicals which will act as contraceptives on the entire populace. In addition to this, the electricity that comes into each home will have certain ionic particles that cause contraception.
-The Amazing Criswell
Talk about overkill! I suppose the ionic contraception isn't completely reliable, hence the necessity of putting chemicals in the drinking water.
Criswell went on to say that the government would allow certain persons to take a pill that would reverse the effects of the twin environmental contraceptives.

One would think that he'd point out a Supreme Court decision paving the way for something like this, since Criswell was careful to emphasize that point respecting increased sexual license.

Largest tax increase in U.S. history?

That seems to be the company line from GOP politicians and blogs alike.

Sounds like a claim reliant on fine print, to me.

First, the descriptions I've heard seem to attach the label to the mere sunset of the Bush tax cuts. Is that a minor point? I suppose it could depend on your perspective. I'm frankly conservative, but I think it's worth noting, at least, that the tax increase is a passive act of the Democrat leadership.

A mistake, in all probability? I think so; we'll see.

The problem I have with the claim is that it seems to play a game with numbers. The sheer size of the tax increase in terms of dollars we can expect to be the most ever. On the other hand, the tax increase in terms of percentages is almost certainly far lower than that. It's misleading political rhetoric. On the one hand, I kind of hope it works, since the Democrats will foul up the economy. On the other hand the use of misleading political rhetoric leaves a sour taste in my mouth. Even if I'm not the one using it.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Criswell footnote

I was curious as to whether I am the first to chronicle Criswell's results from "Criswell Predicts," so I googled a key phrase from the amazing one's first prediction.
As a matter of fact, Stephen Thompson wrote a feature article on Criswell, touching on quite a few of the, er, high points of Criswell's book. A number of other folks have made comments about Criswell's predictions, also, but not to the extent that Thompson did.

So, I'm not the first. On the other hand, it seems like Criswell made plenty of predictions that haven't received the benefit of later commentary.
Plus I allow readers to view the incredibly snazzy book cover.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Democrats have continued to disappoint.

US Senate endorses Iraq troop withdrawal timetable
WASHINGTON: Defying a veto threat, the Democratic-controlled Senate has narrowly signaled support for the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq by next March.

Republican attempts to scuttle the non-binding timeline failed on a vote of 50-48, largely along party lines. The roll call marked the Senate's most forceful challenge to date of the administration's handling of a war that has claimed the lives of more than 3,200 U.S. troops.
(The News)
A number of these Senate Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, have previously said that setting a date for withdrawal is a bad idea. They were right then, and now they're acting stupidly by supporting this bill.
On the good side, the president is sure to veto the bill, and it's unlikely to ever garner sufficient votes to overcome the veto.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Wauwatosa brawl suspect pleads guilty

When I last updated this story, it was thought that Graham would plead guilty, and Wauwatosa police had declined the DA office's recommendation to fine one of the gay/transgendered brawl participants.
A man accused of being involved in a fight with two gay women and a man at a George Webb restaurant in Wauwatosa appeared in court Tuesday.

Jason Graham, 26, pleaded guilty to battery and felony bail jumping charges.
The story ends with reference to the the fact that Graham faces 10 years in prison. When I first read the story that seemed excessive to me--I hadn't noticed the second paragraph above. Jumping bail is just the sort of thing that will extend prison time.

Thus in addition to the first lesson of this incident (if you get into a disagreement with homosexuals or transgendered folk, do not strike or throw glass containers at them), we get another lesson: don't jump bail.

I probably won't update this story again. I'll just sum up the interesting aspects of the story.

The press did a terrible job reporting. Television news aired portions of interviews with the three "victims" (they were victims, but as the DA recommendations show, they weren't perfectly innocent) but not with other witnesses. The news services were given the surveillance tape, and oddly edited portions were shown to the public.

I can't fault the DAs for pressing the case against Graham, however. It appears he acted criminally when he re-entered the restaurant and threw dangerous objects at others.
I will fault, at least tentatively, the Wauwatosa police for not ticketing the transgendered person who threw a chair at Graham, and I fault the press for turning an almost absolutely blind eye to that aspect of the occurrence.

I'll also fault the members of the Wisconsin press who gave me the runaround and no answers when I tried to obtain an explanation for the editing of the surveillance video.

Note: I had misidentified Graham as "Randolph" in the next-to-last paragraph. That error, as well as a typographical error in the same paragraph, have now been corrected.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Criswell Predicts: Homosexual Cities

No kidding, this was the first prediction after Criswell blessed his readers with some biographical information intended to show that he had been interested in the future from a very young age.
I predict that perversion will flood the land beginning in 1970. I predict a series of homosexual cities, small, compact, carefully planned areas, will soon be blatantly advertised and exist coast to coast.

I can't say I've noticed blatant advertisements for homosexual cities, but maybe they do exist--but that's not quite good enough to give Criswell the benefit of the doubt on this one.
And what was so magical about 1970? Was there a giant gay conspiracy set to build and advertise the cities in short order?

This first prediction gives a hint regarding Criswell's emphasis on sex in his predictions, perhaps indicative of his approach to selling his shtick.

The Amazing Criswell

I was going through some old books today and I found one that I picked up maybe 15 years ago. It was a book of predictions by "The Amazing Criswell" (Criswell Predicts: From Now To the Year 2000!).
Criswell's fame has been artificially extended by his role in the "Ed Wood" film by Tim Burton (and featuring Johnny Depp in the lead role).
Criswell was played (somewhat brilliantly) by Jeffrey Jones. Yes, that Jeffrey Jones.

Anyway, I'll plan to provide approximately a review per week of one of Criswell's predictions. It will become apparent that Criswell didn't play it safe with his long-term predictions. Some of them are perfectly audacious and it makes for an amusing review. Or at least I hope others will find it amusing.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Sandy Berger's explanation

Just spotted this over at Powerline (hat tip!).

Sandy Berger responded via e-mail to a story by Michael Barone about the purloined secret documents that Berger stuffed into his pants.
John Hinderaker doesn't buy the explanation.

Get a load of this load:

Michael: I screwed up. There was nothing sinister about it. I was under serious pressure to digest the entire Clinton record on terrorism for eight years so that we could testify fully to the 9-11 commission. I spent several arduous days at the Archives looking through the files. This document was interesting to me because I had commissioned it in 2000–a look at what we learned from the millennium terror threats that were avoided. Tired, stressed, I made a very stupid decision–to take the documents home with me so that I could review them in more detail and so that I could compare the apparent differences among versions. Since this document had been widely circulated to all the relevant agencies (State, Defense, CIA, Justice, etc.), I felt certain the commission would get it from one or more of these agencies.

There were no handwritten markings on the documents (which were copies) or anything else unusual. I took no other documents–originals or copies–besides the ones specified in my plea agreement.

The DOJ has stated unequivocally that there is no evidence that I took other documents and that the commission received everything.

That's the long and short of it. I made a very stupid mistake. I deeply regret it. Top-level career Justice Department prosecutors investigated it aggressively for two years. We reached a plea agreement that they believed was fair. That was two years ago. Now I wish this thing would go away.

Best, Sandy

Hinderaker nailed it in noting Berger's perfectly Clintonian parsing. "The DOJ has stated unequivocally that there is no evidence that I took other documents and that the commission received everything."
That's not an assurance that Berger did not take anything else, of course. Bill Clinton used language like this habitually, using the "truth" to mislead as he did during his testimony in the Paula Jones case.
Berger's explanation smells.

Give him the lie detector test that he agreed to when he was sentenced.

If Scooter Libby gets a harsher punishment than this clown, then there's no justice.

The Plame saga drags on

The Wilsons have a lawsuit pending against the Bush administration, but there's always time in Washington to delve into these matters between attempts to hamstring the war effort.

Of note, I believe that Bill Bennett, on his radio program "Morning in America" had held that Plame was not covert when her name was leaked to the press as a CIA operative. I had my doubts, and wondered at his basis for the claim (certainly it had been questioned, but I'd never heard it confirmed that Plame did not maintain covert status).
This Capitol Hill testimony sets that to rest (much better than Patrick Fitzgerald every accomplished it, I would say).

Valerie Plame put a glamorous face and a personal story to Democrats' criticism of the Bush administration Friday, telling a House committee that White House and State Department officials "carelessly and recklessly" blew her CIA cover in a politically motivated smear of her husband.

Plame, the operative at the center of the leak scandal that resulted in last week's criminal conviction of a former top White House official, created more of a stir by her presence on Capitol Hill than by her testimony.

She revealed little new information about the case, which sparked a federal investigation and brought perjury and obstruction of justice convictions of Vice President Dick Cheney's former top aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. No one has been charged with leaking her identity.


It does not excuse the administration at all (if there was any wrongdoing), but Plame put her job on the line when she recommended her husband for the job and he wrote about it.

Wilson's article was fundamentally inaccurate, and of course attention began to focus on how Wilson got a gig like that in the first place.
The Wilson lawsuit strikes me as frankly hilarious. I cannot imagine what sort of evidence the Wilsons have that makes them think the suit has merit; most likely it's designed as a fishing expedition (hoping to search for the evidence by getting administration officials on the witness stand). And to keep the issue in people's minds so that George W. Bush will lose the White House in '08.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Ahmadinejad: "The Security Council has no legitimacy among the peoples of the world”

Here's hoping that Iran's dismal economy will topple the nutjobs in control of that country.

TEHRAN: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday said the UN Security Council lacked any legitimacy, as the world body prepared a second package of sanctions over Iran’s disputed nuclear programme.

“Today the enemies of the Iranian people are seeking to use the Security Council to prevent the progress and development of Iran.

But the Security Council has no legitimacy among the peoples of the world,” said Ahmadinejad.

“They think that they are the representatives of the international community but the Iranian people do not lend any value to their decisions,” the IRNA news agency quoted him as saying in a speech in the central Yazd province.
(The News)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Best news on the surge so far ...

Hat tip to Captain's Quarters.
Coalition forces have detained about 700 members of the Mahdi Army, the largest Shiite militia in Baghdad, the top U.S. commander in Iraq said Monday.

The militia, which is loyal to radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and has clashed with U.S. troops in the past, has mostly avoided a direct confrontation with American and Iraqi government forces, Gen. David Petraeus said in an interview with USA TODAY.

(USA Today)
This report continues to make PM al-Maliki look serious as to the new rules of engagement. As Captain Ed notes, Moqtada al-Sadr has kept an exceptionally low profile since the surge strategy began.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Saddam's judge seeks asylum in U.K.

No big surprise with this one. It's sad that Iraq is not safe for men like this who are trying to do the right thing.

LONDON: The Iraqi trial judge who sentenced former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to death has asked for asylum in Britain, Arab television reported.

The television said that Raouf Abdel Rahman had asked for asylum after going to Britain with his family in mid-December on a visitor's visa.

"The information we have is that the judge sought asylum for reasons including that he fears for his own life and the lives of family members ... The application is being considered by the Home Office," said London correspondent of the television, citing unnamed official British sources.
(The News)

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Wauwatosa brawl prosecution

The Wauwatosa (WI) brawl between a black male and a pair of whites, one a lesbian and the other a transgendered male has reached the prosecution phase, following the arrest of the suspect some time ago.
It took police awhile to find the guy because he used somebody else's car.

This news update vindicates portions of my earlier analysis, as I had noted that the transgendered chap lobbed a chair at the suspect from about 10 feet away at one point.

Man could plead guilty in George Webb's brawl

Wauwatosa - The suspect in last year's brawl at a George Webb's over homosexuality and gay marriage could plead guilty as early as next month.

Jason Graham of the 4800 block of N. Sherman Blvd. was arrested late last year on felony charges of battery and bail jumping in connection with the early morning brawl Sept. 24 at the Webb's at 6108 W. Blue Mound Road.

He is tentatively scheduled to plead guilty March 20, according to court records.

Graham, 26, is accused of assaulting two men - one gay, one transgender - when a discussion on gay marriage widened to include other patrons.

The Milwaukee County district attorney's office recommended that one of the assaulted men be ticketed for disorderly conduct, but no ticket had been filed as of Monday, said Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Kim Brooks. Wauwatosa police declined to ticket him.

(JS Online)

I wonder why they declined to ticket him? I don't mean that sarcastically or anything. He behaved very aggressively during the incident, moving very quickly to confront the suspect/protect the lesbian (however you wish to view it). Their combined behavior undoubtedly helped ignite the violence.
Quite possibly, the Wauwatosa police didn't want to deal with a negative publicity campaign by Gay/Lesbian groups in Wisconsin.

Come to think of it, this report differs from earlier reports. The persons assaulted were a lesbian and a transgendered person.
Was the bad reporting early or late? Or did the lesbian opt to become a guy and the other dude wasn't transgendered, as was reported early in the development of the story?

Why is bad journalism so commonplace?