October 10, 2006

This Is Too Much for the Real 9/11 Victims and Their Families to Have to Bear

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:47 pm

The Arizona 9/11 memorial designers wanted to commemorate ….. the hijackers:

  • Ace
  • Hot Air (with vid from Fox News that you simply MUST watch just to get the “explanations” of the memorial’s commissioner as to why certain inscriptions are there)
  • Michelle Malkin

It seems a miracle that the hijackers AREN’T memorialized. The memorial is an insult to everyone who died on September 11. If the state’s current governor actually approved the inscriptions on the memorial, she should be fired by the voters in 4 weeks.

Placeholder for Strickland’s 1999 ‘Present’ Vote Post

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:15 am

The entry has been moved to October 13, and the URL (web address) changed as a result.

Oh, and a belated welcome to WorldNetDaily readers!

Ted Strickland’s 1999 ‘Present’ Vote on H CON RES 107 — Part 1: Why It’s Being Brought Up

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:09 am

Other posts in the series:
Index — What It Means, Why It Matters, and Overview
Part 2 — The Resolution, and Strickland’s Floor Speech
Part 3 — The Reason Why He Said He Opposed It (and My Conversation with Him about It)
Part 4 — What It Reveals about How He Might Govern


Part 1: Why It’s Being Brought Up

In March, when Democratic gubernatorial primary candidate Brian Flannery first brought up opponent Ted Strickland’s 1999 “Present” vote on H CON RES 107, I thought it was out of line.

When there were rumblings inside the center-right blogosphere some months ago that Strickland’s 1999 vote should be emphasized during the general-election campaign for governor, I suggested in several places that it would not be a good idea. Part of my reasoning was that his congressional opponent in 2000 tried to make an issue of Strickland’s vote, to very little effect.

Now, having observed how Ted Strickland has conducted himself during the primary and general-election campaigns, and having seen the hypocrisy on display in Washington since Mark Foley resigned, I am forced to admit that I have been wrong.

As to the candidate himself — Ted Strickland is conducting the stealthiest gubernatorial campaign I have seen in the 30-plus years I have been following Ohio politics. And I am not the only one who is of this opinion — Three of Ohio’s newspapers launched an initiative on September 10 to get candidates’ views on their three hot-button issues: kids, college, and jobs. In what one of the papers’ officials called “(arguably) the most important gubernatorial election Ohio’s ever had,” their frustration with the “state of the state” and the responsiveness of one of the candidates was, and I suspect still is, palpable.

Their frustration came primarily from Ted Strickland’s galling lack of specifics up to that point. Whine if you will about where this link is coming from, but whining won’t change the fact that the eleven cited quotes from mainstream Ohio journalists, who you would ordinarily expect to be predisposed to support him, all reflect impatience with Strickland’s vagueness on the issues. This vagueness bordering on evasiveness (masquerading as “vision”), starkly contrasts with his Republican and Libertarian opponents’ detailed proposals.

Nothing has changed since the newspaper initiative. Just one example — In a remarkable video clip from late September, Strickland was unable to answer a question about what a reporter who was questioning him called “a major part of your ‘Turnaround Ohio’ program.”

It has become very clear that Ted Strickland has no intention of taking off the mask between now and November 7. So, to get some kind of clue as to what kind of governor he will be if he gets his stealth act past us four weeks from now, what are we as voters to do except study what he has done and how he has conducted himself in the past?

Then there are the recent events inside the Beltway — If Strickland’s close-to-the-vest campaign isn’t reason enough to start looking elsewhere for character and conduct clues, the parade of hypocrisy we’re seeing out of Washington during the past two weeks seals the deal. At the linked post, just compare the resigned-in-disgrace Mark Foley, IM pervert and pursuer of gay sex with of-age partners, to Mel Reynolds, convicted child molester (“convicted [in 1995] on 12 counts of [underage] sexual assault, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography,” and who by the way was re-elected after his 1994 indictment on those charges), and you’ll see what I mean. Oh, and add to that the fact that Reynolds was among those pardoned by Bill Clinton for other crimes just before he left office in 2001.

The selective Foley outrage on the part of Ted Strickland’s fellow party members puts an evaluation of his 1999 vote fairly, and squarely, on the agenda. Thanks to the actions and statements of HIS party, it’s impossible for his outlook on related matters NOT to be fair game now. So if Ted Strickland is looking for anyone to blame for this turn of events, he should look at his Democrat colleagues ….. and, as you’ll see in Part 2, in the mirror.

Ted Strickland’s 1999 ‘Present’ Vote on H CON RES 107 — Part 2: The Resolution, and the One-Minute Speech

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:08 am

Other posts in the series:
Index — What It Means, Why It Matters, and Overview
Part 1 — Why It’s Being Brought Up
Part 3 — The Reason Why He Said He Opposed It (and My Conversation with Him about It)
Part 4 — What It Reveals about How He Might Govern


Part 2: The Resolution, and the One-Minute Speech

H CON RES 107 was a “sense of the Congress” resolution condemning the 1998 publication by the American Psychological Association (APA) of a report (actually a “study of studies”), and the report’s authors, for suggesting that “adult-child sex,” i.e., pedophilia, might be beneficial ….. for the child.

The Weekly Standard’s January 1, 2001 article, “Pedophilia Chic” Revisited,” (link is to second page of article) summarized the content of and the agenda behind the APA publication (entitled “A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples”) very succinctly:

The density of its professional jargon and 30-plus pages aside, the argument of “Meta-Analytic” was straightforward enough: that the common belief that “child sexual abuse causes intense harm, regardless of gender” was not supported by the studies the authors cited; that, to the contrary, “negative effects [of child sexual abuse] were neither pervasive nor typically intense, and that men reacted much less negatively than women.” The article also criticized the “indiscriminate use of this term [child sexual abuse] and related terms such as victim and perpetrator,” suggesting instead that the child’s feelings about sex acts with adults should be taken into account, and that “a willing encounter with positive reactions would be labeled simply adult-child sex.”

….. In retrospect, there were two significant and little-noticed facts in all this. One was not so much the schism that this controversy revealed between elite-therapeutic and popular thinking about pedophilia, but rather that the schism itself had gone unnoticed for so long. For shocking though it may have been to the general public, “Meta-Analytic” was in fact only the latest in a very long series of professional attempts to revise therapeutic conceptions of boy pedophilia, attempts of which most lay readers remain quite ignorant.

Professionals in the field know better…..

H CON RES 107 was drafted within a few months of when talk-show host Laura Schlessinger, followed by many others, including many prominent “conservatives” and “liberals,” raised a hue and cry over the APA publication. By the time the July 12, 1999 House vote took place, APA had, in an extremely rare move, withdrawn “Meta-Analytic.” The Roll Call vote was 355-0 supporting condemnation of the study (“Expressing the Sense of Congress Concerning the sexual relationships between adults and children”). Ted Strickland and a dozen other congresspersons voted “Present.”

What has been overlooked in what I have previously read about this vote is that Ted Strickland must have been one unhappy guy, someone with a LOT of pent-up emotion to unload that simply would not go away. Why? Because fully 15 days later, on July 27, 1999, long after the House had in essence put the matter behind it, Strickland delivered this intense rebuke on the floor of the House to 355 of his colleagues (saved at blog host because of the use of temporary links at relevant web site; the House did get the Resolution back on July 30 from the Senate for a perfunctory final approval without a Roll Call vote; bolds are mine):

(Mr. STRICKLAND asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. STRICKLAND. Mr. Speaker, it troubles me that sometimes in this Chamber we stand and say things that we ought not to say. We criticize people that we have no right to criticize.

We recently voted to condemn a scientific study and an organization, an organization that has done as much as any organization in this country to fight child abuse.

I wonder how many of us read the study before we were willing to vote to say that the methodology was flawed. I wonder how many of us were technically competent to make that decision.

I believe that we ought to observe the Ten Commandments. One of those Commandments says, you ought not to bear false witness against your neighbor.

When we say things about an organization or about an individual scientist that are untrue or unsubstantiated, in my judgment, we have violated that Commandment.

We ought to have the decency not to vote to condemn something until we know what it is we are voting to condemn.

Wow — Does this statement ever call for serious dissection:

  • “We criticize people that we have no right to criticize.”

This is an outrage. His colleagues had no right to criticize a study that tried to advance the “cause” of pedophilia? My goodness, what CAN be criticized in Ted Strickland’s world?

  • “I wonder how many of us read the study …”

Oh, this is a real knee-slapper. Am I supposed to believe that Ted Strickland himself has read every word of every bill brought before Congress in its final form before voting on it? Call Guinness — He has to be the only congressman on earth who can make that statement.

  • “I wonder how many of us were technically competent to make that decision.

Strickland is being so disingenuous that it’s breathtaking. Has Ted Strickland never placed at least partial reliance on expert testimony before voting on a bill? And did his colleagues really need to understand all of the nuances of “the methodology” to know that any study which concludes that adult-child sex pedophilia can benefit a child is dangerously flawed? I’ve reviewed what his colleagues had to say (also saved to the blog host’s hard drive), and they seemed quite eloquent and on-point. But I will have to come forward and admit that I’m biased against adult-child sex pedophilia, so I suppose you’ll have to take my evaluation with a grain of salt.

  • “One of those Commandments says, you ought not to bear false witness against your neighbor…. we have violated that Commandment.”

This one really could occupy its own post, but in the interest of space — What’s with “we,” Ted? YOU voted “Present.” No one is fooled by the misdirection. More on point — Isn’t it obvious that in this instance, after having 15 days to think about it, Ted Strickland is calling 355 of his colleagues, including over 160 in his own party, a bunch of liars? Are, you, kidding, me? No wonder after 12 years in Congress his Power Ranking is 402. I suppose the only reason it’s not in the 430s is that some current House Members weren’t there when old “non-judgmental Ted” delivered his judgmental broadside.

* * * * * *

As hard to take as Mr. Strickland’s speech was (and is), it still doesn’t go into Ted Strickland’s stated reason at the time for not voting for the Resolution. In that sense, the speech is at least as noteworthy for what isn’t there as for what is.

Ted Strickland’s stated objection to the Resolution, the one he “somehow” didn’t mention in his one-minute floor speech, plus the conversation I had with him about that objection, are covered in Part 3.


UPDATE, Dec. 28: Right Angle Blog found an endorsement of the study in question by a very questionable group here, with the following text (note: this is NOT the original posting; the referenced link says that the original was taken down) –

A newly published analysis of 59 different studies of youth sexuality has just appeared in the prestigious Psychological Bulletin. Using a powerful technique called “meta-analysis”, the analysis shows that the current war on boylovers has no basis in science, (sic)

The scientists find that:

- Basis beliefs in the general population about the sexual experiences of children and adolescents with adults (such as the belief that they typically cause intense harm) are not supported by the evidence.
- Most youthful sexual experiences with older partners do not involve force or threats.
- Family environment factors are 9 times as important as sexual experience for predicting bad outcomes. Studies from the “sex abuse industry” consistently fail to recognize bad family environments as the main source of abuse and harmful experiences.
- There is no association between boys’ sexual experience and emotional problems unless the experience is unwanted. The correlation between girls’ sexual experiences which can be classified as “abuse” and poor emotional “adjustment” is very small and cannot be assumed to be due to any cause-effect relationship.
- On average, nearly 70% of males in the studies reported that as children or adolescents their sexual experiences with adults had been positive or neutral.

The Strickland floor speech took place on July 27, 1999. The above was issued, as best can be determined, sometime in July. The odds are very high that the above was released by the very questionable organization before Strickland’s floor speech. It would also seem fairly likely, given the firestorm of controversy surrounding the study, that Strickland would have been aware of its backing by this very questionable organization, but chose to deliver the one-minute barnburner criticizing his colleagues, not the study or its supporters.

Ted Strickland’s 1999 ‘Present’ Vote on H CON RES 107 — Part 3: The Reason Why He Said He Opposed It

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:07 am

Other posts in the series:
Index — What It Means, Why It Matters, and Overview
Part 1 — Why It’s Being Brought Up
Part 2 — The Resolution, and Strickland’s Floor Speech
Part 4 — What It Reveals about How He Might Govern


Part 3: The Reason Why He Said He Opposed It

In response to anonymous letters that were being distributed in Southeastern Ohio about Ted Strickland’s 1999 “Present” vote on H CON RES 107 in the fall of 2005, an Athens Journal article in December purported to reiterate Strickland’s 1999 objection to the resolution (bolds are mine):

Strickland, who has publicly defended his HCR 107 vote in the past, reaffirmed Wednesday that he considers that his vote was cast “in support of the victims of abuse.”

Strickland said at the time of the vote that he could not in good conscience support the resolution, because it declared that anyone who has had a childhood sexual relationship with an adult can never have a healthy and loving sexual relationship in later life, and is likely to become a sexual abuser him- or herself.

The congressman has argued that this is unfair to victims, and rules out the possibility of healing. He has also questioned, as a trained psychologist, whether most of his House colleagues even understood the specialized study they voted to condemn.

He added Wednesday that while he could have skipped the vote, he chose to vote “present” so that “my constituents would know that I wasn’t just playing hooky.”

If “no possibility of recovery or healing” really was Ted Strickland’s objection at the time of the vote, why wasn’t that objection raised in his one-minute floor speech 15 days later? Maybe it was raised elsewhere at some other time, but I have seen nothing in the official record to indicate that; so color me skeptical. If anyone can show me Strickland raised this objection at the time of or before the vote, e-mail me the proof. I believe that Ted Strickland may have formulated this objection much later, but am open to the idea that I am wrong on this.

Nevertheless, here are the 33 words in the roughly 700 words of the full Resolution language (saved to host hard drive) that the Athens Journal reports Strickland objected to:

Whereas the Supreme Court has recognized that “sexually exploited children are unable to develop healthy affectionate relationships in later life, have sexual dysfunctions, and have a tendency to become sexual abusers as adults” (New York v. Ferber, 458 U.S. 747, 758, n.9 (1982));

The complaint about “no possibility of recovery or healing” is the same justification for his “Present” vote that Ted Strickland used when he called me in 2001.

His call came in response to my call to his office objecting to the congressman’s initiation of legal action against Mike Azinger, the Republican he had defeated the previous November, and whose campaign I had worked on for no more than 6 hours. I saw Strickland’s legal action, which turns out to have been an Ohio Elections Commission (OEC) complaint, as a vindictive hounding of a defeated opponent with no apparent purpose other than to financially harm him.

As was the norm at the time in most congressional offices, I had left my full contact information, including address, when I called. And as the norm was at the time for people living in a congressperson’s district, I expected to see some kind of written response a few weeks later.

I did not ask Strickland’s office to have the Congressman call me back, but he did. As I recall it, from the sound quality of the call, I believe he was in a car on a speaker phone, and that there was at least one other person in the car. I believe that one of the other person(s) in the car dialed the call and started the conversation before putting me on the phone with the Congressman. (These details are provided so that skeptical readers will understand that this phone conversation did indeed take place.)

I felt that I had to be guarded in my conversation, because I assumed Strickland knew that Azinger had spoken to me about the legal action, which had received no press coverage that I was aware of, and that anything I said might be relevant to that matter (at the time, I thought the action involved was a civil suit, not an OEC complaint). It was obvious that Strickland was interested in setting the record straight with me, and it didn’t take too long before he went to the “no possibility of recovery or healing” argument.

I believe that I had obtained the text of the resolution by that point. In response to the “no possibility of recovery or healing” argument, I told Ted Strickland that:

  • The language he objected to was in a Supreme Court ruling that the Resolution cited.
  • A person could disagree with what the Supreme Court said and still support the Resolution condemning the publication of the APA study.
  • 355 other congresspersons, at least some of whom would agree with Strickland that healing and recovery are indeed possible after childhood sexual abuse, didn’t see the citation of the Supreme Court decision as an impediment to their “Yes” vote. Yet, somehow, he did.

I essentially told him that if he objected so strongly to any language implying permanent damage to all sexually exploited children, that he should have voted “No” on the Resolution instead of “Present.” My recollection is that at the end of the conversation we agreed to disagree.

I’ll add this now to my response at the time:

  • The “whereases” in a Resolution can often be statements of opinion, but in the case of the citation of the Supreme Court decision, it’s an historical statement of fact. It’s not disputable; there’s nothing to object to; it is what it is.
  • Because the “whereas” Strickland had a problem with is really an historical statement of fact, you didn’t have to agree with all the “whereases,” including the reference to the Supreme Court decision, to agree with what was “resolved,” namely (text saved at blog host):

That Congress–

      (1) condemns and denounces all suggestions in the article ‘A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples’ that indicate that sexual relationships between adults and ‘willing’ children are less harmful than believed and might be positive for ‘willing’ children (Psychological Bulletin, vol. 124, No. 1, July 1998);
      (2) vigorously opposes any public policy or legislative attempts to normalize adult-child sex or to lower the age of consent;
      (3) urges the President likewise to reject and condemn, in the strongest possible terms, any suggestion that sexual relations between children and adults–regardless of the child’s frame of mind–are anything but abusive, destructive, exploitive, reprehensible, and punishable by law; and
      (4) encourages competent investigations to continue to research the effects of child sexual abuse using the best methodology, so that the public, and public policymakers, may act upon accurate information.

What was “resolved” did NOT, as Strickland claimed to the Athens Journal, declare “that anyone who has had a childhood sexual relationship with an adult can never have a healthy and loving sexual relationship in later life.” What was “resolved” also did NOT, as Strickland also claimed, “rule out the possibility of healing.” Only the Supreme Court decision cited in the “Whereases” leading up to what was “resolved” did.

Have we not gotten to the point where it’s perfectly obvious that Ted Strickland may have voted “Present” on HR CON 107, but that, for the reasons stated in his one-minute speech (the speech where he in essence called 355 of his colleagues a technically unqualified pack of liars with no right to criticize his professional colleagues), he was obviously and passionately against it?

* * * * * *

One of the reasons that I originally felt that bringing up Strickland’s vote on H CON RES 107 would not be a good idea was that Mike Azinger did bring it up during the 2000 campaign, and still lost by 18 points. This occurred partially because Azinger didn’t bring up enough other issues consistently, but in hindsight, a bigger part of the problem was that Strickland’s “Present” vote would arguably have little effect on his future conduct as a congressman.

Ah, but we’re not talking about Ted Strickland the congressman any more, are we? We’re considering Ted Strickland as a possible governor of an entire state of 11 million people, an annual budget of many billions of dollars, and responsibility over a workforce of over 45,000 (excluding all state university employees and certain others).

As such, the potential mindset of Ted Strickland the possible governor needs to be given much more scrutiny than that of Ted Strickland the 6th District congressman. Since, as was mentioned in Part 1 of this series, his gubernatorial campaign’s lack of issues specificity provides no meaningful guidance, we need to look wherever we can for clues.

There are plenty of potential clues in Ted Strickland’s 1999 “Present” vote, his reaction to the Resolution in question, and his stated reason for opposing it, that have potential implications on how a Governor Ted Strickland would carry out his executive and administrative duties. These will be discussed in the final part of this series.

Ted Strickland’s 1999 ‘Present’ Vote on H CON RES 107 — Part 4: What It Reveals about How He Might Govern

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:06 am

Other posts in the series:
Index — What It Means, Why It Matters, and Overview
Part 1 — Why It’s Being Brought Up
Part 2 — The Resolution, and Strickland’s Floor Speech
Part 3 — The Reason Why He Said He Opposed It (and My Conversation with Him about It)

Part 4: What It Reveals about How He Might Govern

So how IS that 1999 “Present” vote on H CON RES 107, his reaction to the Resolution and his congressional colleagues who supported it, and his stated reason for opposing it, relevant to how he might govern Ohio?

The best way to get your arms around this is to ask yourself the following series of questions:

  1. Haven’t we had quite enough of non-judgmental “leadership” in the Statehouse during the past eight years? (Look, I don’t care what party the current governor is from. He should have resigned, and I’ve said so, and said so, and said so, and said so. The case that he should have gone away has done nothing but grow stronger with every new galling, painful revelation.) If Ted Strickland can’t bring himself to even criticize people who are so clearly in the wrong, while unloading with both barrels on those who are so clearly in the right and dare to say so, what confidence can we have that he will impose and enforce standards of conduct on his staff, or on state employees in general, that are any more meaningful than what we’ve seen from the current admnistration?
  2. Oh, and did you forget this (“U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland told a closed-door Toledo audience over the weekend that he would hire ex-convicts for state government jobs if Ohioans elect him governor in the fall.”)? Doesn’t there seem to be cause for more than a little bit of concern about what types of ex-cons might, thanks to non-judgmental Ted, become newly qualified to work for the state, and what areas of state government they might be able to work in?
  3. Gosh, I almost forgot about the other matter Bryan Flannery brought up in March — Is the situation with the “friend and protege” described at this link indicative of the level of screening Strickland will apply to staff members and state employees? What types of people can the state’s taxpayers expect to be, ahem, exposed to?
  4. Do we really want to give the gubernatorial pardon and commutation powers to someone who couldn’t even bring himself to condemn those who put together a study whose longer-term objective was clearly to normalize pedophilia? What other crimes might Ted Strickland be willing to forgive? What kind of people might he be willing to set loose on Ohio’s streets?
  5. Does anyone who was in Ohio in 1991 not remember the outrageous last-minute pardons and commutations granted by outgoing Governor Dick Celeste to hardened criminals like Debra Brown? Could Ohio be voting into the Governor’s office someone who might, in his final days in power while in essence accountable to absolutely no one, unloose a torrent of pardons and commutations that would actually make us forget Celeste?

So it turns out that a detailed look at that 1999 “Present” vote, and at the totality of all the circumstances surrounding it, raises red flags galore over how a possible governor Strickland might manage this state. The words of an unsuccessful candidate for a different office come to mind when imagining Ted Strickland as governor: “Risky Scheme.”

Regardless of who his opponents are, I have a hard time seeing how anyone can get past the questions raised here and still vote for Ted Strickland on November 7.

Markets’ Ho-Hum Reax to NoKo Gives Evidence of the ‘Terror Discount’

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:07 am

From SmartMoney.com:

TREMORS FROM NORTH KOREA didn’t quite make it down to Wall Street Monday, the rogue regime’s nuclear test overshadowed by speculation about pending deals and additional market gains.

The Dow spent Columbus Day adrift, landing a gain of 8 points to 11858 for its trouble. The Nasdaq rose 12 points to 2312, while the S&P 500 moved up a point to 1351.

India’s markets ended flat. South Korea and Hong Kong dropped 2.4% and 1.3%, respectively — noticeable but not all that dramatic.

If the markets hadn’t already factored in the threat of North Korea’s nuke program, there would have been a much bigger dive in reaction to the news of the test. But there wasn’t.

As I noted previously when the London plane-bombing plot was broken, the belief that the markets are depressed because of the ongoing threat of terror attacks is a very credible one. It also leads one to think that if the threat is ever convincingly contained and marginalized, the equity markets could go on a rally for the ages. So add a self-interested reason to the others as to why winning the War on Terror is important.

From the “Scant Comfort” Department

Filed under: Business Moves,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:02 am

Holland and France also have problems with e-voting machines that are easily hackable. And unlike in the US, Diebold doesn’t make them.

Meanwhile, Diebold continues not to impress.

Germany Restructures Its Healthcare, Probably Not for the Better

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:57 am

If, as the German proverb says, “the devil is in the details,” my instincts tell me, after reading this sketchy BBC piece on the Germany’s new healthcare funding scheme, that there will be a Satanic level of problems down the road.

A Salute to the Aleuts (and Two Cheers for Maine)

Filed under: Business Moves,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:52 am

Neither is accepting subsidized Citgo heating oil from Venezuelan thug Hugo Chavez.

The stand (HT Blue Crab Boulevard) by some Aleutian villages in Alaska is the more remarkable of the two, because it’s obvious that they are making a financial sacrifice by doing so:

….. yet a few villages are refusing free heating oil from Venezuela, on the patriotic principle that no foreigner has the right to call their president “the devil.”

The heating oil is being offered by the petroleum company controlled by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, President Bush’s nemesis. While scores of Alaska’s Eskimo and Indian villages say they have no choice but to accept, others would rather suffer.

“As a citizen of this country, you can have your own opinion of our president and our country. But I don’t want a foreigner coming in here and bashing us,” said Justine Gunderson, administrator for the tribal council in the Aleut village of Nelson Lagoon. “Even though we’re in economically dire straits, it was the right choice to make.”

Your humble servant went to the USA Today 2004 red-blue county map, looked at where the Aleutian Islands are, and zoomed in. I’m not positive, but it appears that the Aleuts went blue in 2004, which, if true, makes their stand all the more impressive.

Maine has Democrat John Baldacci as governor and two of the three least conservative Republicans as senators, but the same AP article, at its second page, indicates that the Pine Tree State will not listen to Chavez’s overtures this year:

Maine Gov. John Baldacci, who approved an agreement last winter to buy discounted oil, said he had no plans this year to seek a similar arrangement.


Previous Posts:

  • Sept. 30 — How Bad Have Things Gotten inside Venezuela?
  • Sept. 16 — Whatever Happened to the Greed (when Chavez engages in it)?
  • July 18 — Venezuela: This Is Why Early Assessments of Political Leaders are Important
  • July 13 — Citgo’s US Retrenchment: Strategic Reaction by Hugo Chavez, or a Strictly Business Decision?
  • May 16 — The Hugo Chavez Gas Price Hike?
  • April 29, 2006 — When Is Someone Going to Criticize Venezuela’s Oil Greed?
  • Sept. 18, 2005 — Quote of the Day on Venezuela

Positivity: Comair Survivor out of Hospital

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:01 am

A bit of very good news came out of a horrible tragedy a week ago:

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

LEXINGTON – The lone survivor of the airliner crash at Lexington’s airport that killed 49 people was released from a hospital Tuesday to begin several weeks of rehabilitation.

James Polehinke, co-pilot of Comair Flight 5191, had been at the University of Kentucky Hospital since the Aug. 27 crash at Blue Grass Airport.

University spokesman Jay Blanton said the family asked that he not release Polehinke’s condition or the location of his rehabilitation.

Earlier Tuesday, in a phone interview with The Associated Press, Polehinke’s mother, Honey Jackson, said she thought it was too soon for him to be released but that he was eager to leave the hospital.

“I want my son to walk out of Kentucky,” Jackson said. “I don’t want him in a wheelchair. Got to stay strong. Got to believe in miracles.”

Polehinke was at the controls of Comair Flight 5191 when the plane headed down a too-short runway and crashed into nearby farmland shortly after takeoff.

Polehinke was pulled from the wreckage, but all 49 others aboard the regional airliner died. He has undergone surgeries to amputate his left leg, stabilize his spine and repair other injuries. Doctors also say he has experienced some brain damage, which is causing memory loss.

Jackson said Polehinke has no memory of the crash or the day before. The National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the crash, hasn’t spoke with him, Jackson said.

“My son is not ready to speak with anybody,” Jackson said. “He’s been through hell. He’s still going through hell.”

According to federal investigators, the flight’s captain, Jeffrey Clay, taxied onto a runway that was too short before Polehinke attempted to get the plane airborne.

Polehinke had a clean record as a pilot, with no accidents or mistakes, authorities said.

….. Polehinke, who experienced severe burns and a fractured right leg and foot in addition to the amputated leg, is extremely lucky to be alive and knows it, Jackson said.

“He’s an absolute miracle,” she said. “I think he’s going to go down in the medical history books.”