Blaska's Blog -- building better brains nature's way
National treasure John Stossel asks: "In the wake of the underwear bomber, why is it still politically incorrect to talk about profiling?"
Actually the Obama administration has taken what Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal calls a "half step toward sanity" by ordering additional screening of passengers from 14 countries, including Yemen, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Nigeria. Stephens makes this wonderful point: "profiling goes against the American grain. ... But a civilization becomes incompetent not only when it fails to learn the lessons of its past but when it becomes crippled by them."
Right after 9/11, I remember Kate O'Beirne of the National Review asking why we were strip-searching Suzy Creamcheese and her children at the airport?
Abdul Mutilated Bob's own father warned the State Department that the boy was in with Al Qaeda. His visa renewal was denied by the British. His name was on a counter-terrorist watch list. He purchased a last minute ticket with cash and no luggage for an international flight. And still he flew!
"Nothing is more unproductive than searching an 80-year-old woman in a wheelchair from Sweden or a 3-year-old child simply because she or he was the 10th person in line," notes a CNN commentator.
Isn't profiling what the FBI does to catch serial killers? Isn't that what Clarice Starling was doing when she interviewed Dr. Hannibal Lecter?
Clarice Starling: If you didn't kill him, then who did, sir?
Hannibal Lecter: Who can say. Best thing for him, really. His therapy was going nowhere.
Processing dimpled Chads
Here is the most under-reported significant fact of the past 12 months: 47 percent of respondents to a mid-December Wall Street Journal/NBC poll say they think government is doing too much while 44 percent believe government should do more.
If that trend holds and the degree to which it applies to the Second Congressional District here in south-central Wisconsin is what Chad Lee is banking on.
Who he, this Chad Lee?
He is the impossibly good-looking young challenger to 10-year incumbent Tammy Baldwin. I sat down with Chad in mid-December over coffee to talk about the race.
Lee is very young but he makes the case that he is the same age as Paul Ryan when he first won election to Congress from Wisconsin's First Congressional District. That would make Chad Lee 28 years old.
Lee started his own small cleaning business and is positioning himself as a fiscal conservative rather than as a social conservative -- although his social views lean that way, he admits. He grew up and lives in Mt. Horeb.
The challenger's big pitch is that Tammy Baldwin has a thin sheaf of accomplishments after 10 years in Washington, that she has not been a player on health care, that her own party (the Dems) take her for granted when they think of her at all.
The health care bill that passed Congress, he notes, does not lower premiums but does result in higher taxes -- "and that leads to fewer jobs."
He makes a good point, I thought, when he says that "once the government takes over health care then you get (political) warfare over each sickness or illness." If you think we've got lobbyists now, watch advocates for each illness hire their own hired guns.
We've already seen that with the mandate of equal coverage of mental health with physical illnesses, with the result that the employee-owned Woodman's food stores have had to drop mental health care entirely.
Lee states flatly that "government cannot create jobs. It can create government jobs but nothing else. You need small business to create jobs." Absolutely!
He advocates term limits as did the last Republican to serve the Second, Scott Klug, who proved to be a man of his word. Come to think of it, Klug was fair of face, too.
Chad Lee comes to the race with much less personal wealth than the Republican challenger in the last two elections, radio station owner Dave Magnum, P.I. Even so, he thinks he can raise a million dollars. We'll see.
Lee also was unaware of the names of some of the heavy hitters in the local party who could help raise that kind of money. But it's early and he is working hard. There's no Barack Obama at the head of the ticket and there may even be Obama fatigue.
Mother Jones Washington bureau chief David Corn writes "The folks who I've talked with -- in conversations that often feel like counseling sessions -- have said they are unlikely to hit the pavement for Obama and the D's in 2010."
The argument on the other side is that a challenge to popular Senator Russ Feingold and a spirited governor's race ensures a decent turnout come November. So, who knows?
Slogan: "Fighting for fiscal sanity, limited government, and free market solutions."
Bonus fact: He was the keyboardist and back-up singer for a rock band where he wore either a "a bleach-blond mohawk, or long curly hair." Chad -- might work for you again when you rustle the campus vote.
Bonus insight: his full name fits on a yard sign.
Why the health care bill is unconstitutional
It forces citizens to use their private money to purchase health insurance. (Don't confuse that with automobile insurance; driving a car has never been adjudged a right under the constitution.)
It is one thing, however, for Congress to regulate economic activity in which individuals choose to engage; it is another to require that individuals engage in such activity. ... The individual mandate tells Americans how they must spend the money Congress has not taken from them. [Wall Street Journal, 01-02-10]
National Socialist Radio
For the December 25, 2009 Isthmus I wrote:
National Public Radio asked correspondent Mara Liasson to quit appearing on Fox because of the network's bias. Fox's, not NPR's, of course.
This piece of propaganda on NPR's website clearly demeans, as knuckle dragging idiots, those citizens who protest the quantum enlargement of the government sector at the expense of the private sector. Defund NPR now!
A roll-up laptop computer?