Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Locked Up -- Liberals are Stumped ...
... and looking for explanations.
One of the most entertaining things about liberals is how they twist themselves into pretzels trying to explain away and/or ignore what's patently obvious to anyone else.
I saw this piece on Opinion Journal's 'Best of the Web' and laughed:
Stop the Presses!
Forgive us for not noting earlier Richard Tomkins's scoop from last Friday's Financial Times: "We have a paradox. Crime is falling, yet we are locking more people up. Why?"
That's not the scoop. The New York Times had the story ages ago. But the FT has actually resolved the paradox:
I decided to ask David Green, director of the think-tank Civitas and an outspoken supporter of the "prison works" approach. Green said he saw no incongruity between rising rates of imprisonment and falling crime. Rather, crime was falling because more criminals were being locked up.
It's counterintuitive, but it sort of makes sense when you think it through. Kudos to the FT for its aggressive investigation.
Porcine Sicko Smackdown
Great editorial from IBD on the latest hit piece by bloviating Michael Moore.
By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Tuesday, May 22, 2007 4:20 PM PT
Hypocrisy: Propaganda filmmaker Michael Moore is wondering where
's soul has gone. He could get the answer by engaging in a little bit of introspection. America
is being feted and toasted at the Cannes Film Festival for his latest manipulative movie "Sicko" just as he had been for "Fahrenheit 9/11." Imagine that: Garnering applause at a snooty international event for anti-American movies. Moore
Naturally, the media treat
as if he's a serious person making serious movies, which lets him explain his higher motives in creating an opus with a schoolyard title. Moore
"I'm trying to explore bigger ideas and bigger issues, and in this case the bigger issue in this film is who are we as a people?"
told reporters after a press screening. Moore
"Why do we behave the way we behave? What has become of us? Where is our soul?"
Speaking of "soul," the real soul-destroying problem we have in this country comes from a cadre of hostile culturati who harbor malice for the virtues that made
strong and proud. America is mainly an ego-driven opportunist, but he fits in neatly with the sneering elitists since he speaks their language so well. Moore
The elitists — who are always on the left — trade in lies, half-truths and disinformation. They're anti-capitalists (except when it benefits them). Their goal is to undermine our American tradition of free men, free markets and individuality that has served better than any other system in history. They dreamily long for progressive (or more precisely, statist and socialist) policies to regiment human behavior. They are nostalgic for a time that never was in this country but regrettably was in the
The elitists' rejection of our time-honored values has torn at our souls, assaulted our sensibilities, eroded our work ethic, softened our attitudes about responsibility and increased our sense of entitlement. The last insult is in their mainstreaming of mushy thinking.
The insufferably narcissistic Moore, who lives on the ritzy Upper West Side of Manhattan while portraying himself to be just another working man, has helped the cause by using the art of distortion to paint America as a villain.
In "Sicko," his critique of the
U.S.health care system, Mooretries to claim that medical care is a captive of free-market "greed." Nearly 20 years earlier, he used "Roger & Me" to try to paint General Motors and then-CEO Roger Smith as cogs of a rapacious American corporate machine that devours the weak and the poor. U.S.
was most dishonest when he made "Fahrenheit 9/11." He accused President Bush of using the 9/11 attack as a rah-rah excuse to go to war with Moore . It was propaganda. Dave Kopel of the Colorado-based Independence Institute documented 59 deceits in the movie. Iraq
In his Riefenstahl-ish "Sicko,"
Mooretries to make the argument that Cuban health care is superior in both quality and cost to health care. But if it were U.S. Moore's own health at stake, would he choose Cubaor the ? This year even dictator Fidel Castro had to call in a doctor from abroad to get proper medical care for a relatively uncomplicated illness. U.S.
But don't say anything negative about the island-prison's health care. Doing so has landed many a Cuban in prison — assuming the care itself didn't put him in the ground — as would making a film that criticized the Cuban government, even on milder terms than Moore criticized the U.S.
It's reasonable to think that Moore himself may have considered the irony. But his greed and ego override it.
merely poking at an ossified establishment, were he a modern-day Will Rogers or H.L. Mencken, then his work might have value. Moore
But he has tried to pass off his fiction as fact. He goes for the emotional at the expense of the rational. He stages scenes and takes cheap shots. His is the work of a pretentious auteur looking for his own soul. That such a man should be praised is a shame on everyone involved.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
blinded by the leftist rhetoric his party"
Here is installment #2 of IBD's review of the Jimmy Carter presidency:
By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Tuesday, May 22, 2007 4:20 PM PT
Leadership: When it comes to economic performance, there's no contest: Apart from the early years of the Depression, Jimmy Carter's brief tenure as president was the worst in the 20th century.
Carter's rather smug attempt to rank President Bush as the worst president ever wouldn't be so bad if it weren't so wrong. The irony, of course, is that the peanut farmer from Plains,
, shares that distinction with a number of other presidential mismanagers of our nation's economy. Ga.
Carter apparently has gotten so used to being called the "greatest living former president" that he's forgotten to consult the record. And what the record shows is he inherited a bad economy and made it worse — much worse — before a man named Ronald Reagan came in and changed course.
Here's where things stood in 1980, Carter's last year in office, and in subsequent periods:
• Carter: Interest rate, 21%. Inflation, 13.5%. Unemployment, 7%. The so-called "Misery Index," which Carter used to great effect in his 1976 campaign to win election, 20.5%.
• Reagan's last year: Interest rate, 9%. Inflation, 4.1%. Unemployment, 5.5%. Misery Index, 9.6%.
• Bush today: Interest rate, 8%. Inflation, 2.6%. Unemployment, 4.5%. Misery Index, 7.1%.
It's not even close. The only question is: Why did things get so bad under Carter? And that's a long story. The fundamental reason, however, is he made mistake after mistake, blinded by the leftist rhetoric his party adopted after the infamous '72 Democratic Convention, when the so-called New Left seized control.
In office, Carter adopted the Keynesian economics of the time, buying into the theory that there was a reverse "trade-off" between inflation and unemployment — an idea that proved spectacularly wrong. The
became mired in "stagflation," with both inflation and unemployment rising sharply. U.S.
As things grew worse, Carter sharply boosted government spending. When that didn't work, he blamed the American people. "I think it's inevitable that there will be a lower standard of living than what everybody had always anticipated," he told advisers in 1979. "The only trend is downward. But it's impossible to get people to face up to this."
Those remarks were followed by his now-famous "malaise" speech in which he unveiled six proposals — including import quotas, windfall profits taxes and increased spending on alternative fuels — to combat higher oil prices charged by OPEC. Nothing about tax cuts. Nothing about finding more energy. In short, he told Americans to consume less, but pay more.
"We have learned that 'more' is not necessarily 'better,' and that even our great nation has its recognized limits," Carter said, borrowing heavily from the "limits to growth" movement that swept liberal intellectual circles in the '70s.
With public anger growing and his own polls lagging, Carter started wearing sweaters and encouraging us to turn down the thermostat. But his big spending didn't work. The resulting budget deficit, 12 times bigger than the one President Nixon left, gave him a serious public relations problem.
On this score, Carter might have escaped his own malaise if he had cut taxes to get the economy going again. But even with marginal income tax rates at a hefty 70%, he accepted the common wisdom that a tax cut would boost inflation and lower government revenue. He was dead wrong.
As noted in "The Commanding Heights," a leading economic history of the last century, "Carter's attempts to follow Keynes' formula and spend his way out of trouble were going nowhere."
Eventually (but grudgingly), Carter did agree to slash the tax rate on capital gains to 28% from 40%. But that didn't kick in until 1979. By then it was too late to help him politically.
Two other moves have garnered Carter praise: setting deregulation in motion and naming Paul Volcker as Fed chairman in 1979. Carter did begin deregulation, for which he deserves credit. And to be sure, Volcker clamped down on the growth in money supply, bringing on a deep recession but also killing the inflationary spiral.
Inflation, however, was already easing when Carter entered office. It was only after he named a political supporter, the late G. William Miller, as Fed chairman that prices really took off. Miller, who served only a year, is now viewed as the worst Fed chief ever.
Volcker? He wasn't Carter's choice. He was nominated only after a contingent of Wall Street power brokers, alarmed at the economy's decline, went to the White House and demanded the appointment of the well-respected president of the New York Fed.
In his last years in office, Carter spoke of an "erosion of our confidence in the future." But his failure to support the Shah of Iran led to a takeover of that oil-rich republic by fundamentalist Muslims, and a second
Mideastoil shock hammered the economy and pushed inflation to new highs.
Desperate, Carter tried "voluntary" wage and price controls. They didn't work. He tried credit controls. They didn't work. He kept oil-price controls mostly in place, and created a vast new bureaucracy — the Energy Department — that has since wasted tens of billions of dollars without creating a single drop of new energy.
The result can be seen in key indicators of American well-being. Real median after-tax income fell nearly 3% during Carter's last two years. For his entire term, productivity — the fuel for future growth in standards of living — rose a miserable 0.6% a year.That's why, when candidate Ronald Reagan said, "Ask yourself if you're better off today than you were four years ago," the answer came back a resounding "No."
"Haven't you done enough damage?"
A while back, Commentary magazine did a great article on Jimmy Carter entitled "Our Worst Ex-President". After Carter's recent trash-talking directed against Pres. Bush, Investor's Business Daily launched a ten-part series on the awful Carter presidency. If the rest are as good as this first installment, I may have to post them all.
Look Who's Talking
By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Monday, May 21, 2007 4:20 PM PT
Leadership: So Jimmy Carter calls the Bush administration "the worst in history." This from the man who wrecked the world's greatest economy and made a nuclear
Iranand possible. North Korea
We didn't think we'd see the day when a president-elect of
Francewould be more appreciative of 's role in the world than one of our own former presidents. America
But here is Carter telling the
Democrat-Gazette that President Bush's "administration has been the worst in history," one that has "endorsed the concept of pre-emptive war even when our own security is not directly threatened." Arkansas
Later, Carter called his comments "careless or misinterpreted." But given a chance to retract, he didn't. Apparently the man whose idea of leadership was to sit in front of a fireplace and blame everything on
's "malaise" does not consider Islamofascists turning passenger jets into manned cruise missiles and flying them into skyscrapers a direct threat. America
Nor does he consider himself responsible for the chain of events that gave us not only 9/11, but al-Qaida, the Taliban, Hezbollah and a nuclear
Iranand . North Korea
On taking office in 1977, Carter declared that advancing "human rights" was among his highest priorities.
America's ally, the Shah of Iran, was one of his first targets, with Carter chastising him for his human rights record and withdrawing 's support. America
One of the charges was that the Shah had been torturing about 3,000 prisoners, many of them accused of being Soviet agents. Carter sent a clear message to the Islamic fundamentalists that
would not come to the Shah's aid. His anti-Shah speeches blared from public address systems in downtown America . Tehran
The irony, as noted by Steven Hayward of the American Enterprise Institute in his book, "The Real Jimmy Carter," is that the regime of Ayatollah Khomeini "executed more people in its first year in power than the Shah's SAVAK had allegedly killed in the previous 25 years." Khomeini's regime was a human rights nightmare.
When Khomeini, a former Muslim exile in
, overthrew the Shah in 1979, he established the first modern Islamic regime, a role model for the Taliban and the jihadists to follow. And when the Paris U.S.embassy was stormed that November and 52 American hostages were held for 444 days, 's lack of resolve was confirmed in the jihadist mind. America
The wreckage of Carter's foreign policy was seen in the Iranian desert, where a plan to rescue the hostages, a plan never formally presented to the Joint Chiefs, resulted in the loss of eight aircraft, five airmen and three Marines. The rest, as they say, is history.
As we have noted, it was the Ayatollah Khomeini who introduced the idea of suicide bombers to the Palestine Liberation Organization and who paid $35,000 to PLO families who would offer up their children as human bombs to kill as many Israelis as possible.
It was Khomeini who would give the world Hezbollah to make war on
Israeland destroy the multicultural democracy that was . And perhaps Jimmy has forgotten that Hezbollah, which he helped make possible, killed 241 U.S. Marines in their Lebanon barracks in 1982. Beirut
The Soviet Union, seeing us so willingly abandon a staunch ally, invaded
, and it was the resistance to the Soviet invasion that helped give birth to the Taliban. The Iranian revolution led to the Iraq-Iran War that took a million lives and encouraged Hussein to invade Afghanistan to strengthen his position. Kuwait
That led to Operation Desert Storm and bases in Saudi Arabia that fueled Islamist resentment, one of the reasons given by Osama bin Laden for striking at America, the Great Satan. Now we're about to face a nuclear
as we are embroiled in a war on terror. Iran
If we'd stuck by the Shah and his successors, the history of the last 25 years in the
Middle Eastand here at home would have been very different. As Haywardobserves, the fruits of Carter's disaster are with us still, spawning the rise of radical Islam, terrorism, the Taliban and al-Qaida. Iran
When President Clinton first learned of the North Korean nuclear program in 1994, a surgical strike against its Yongbyong reactor might have sufficed to send
Pyongyanga message that a nuclear was unacceptable. North Korea
Instead, Clinton allowed Jimmy Carter to engage in some private foreign policy and jet off to the last Stalinist regime on earth to broker a deal whereby North Korea would promise to forgo a nuclear weapons program in exchange for a basket of goodies that included oil, fool and, amazingly, nuclear technology.
Along the way, Carter praised
's mass-murdering dictator as a "vigorous and intelligent man." And of North Korea itself, Carter said of this habitat for inhumanity: "I don't see they are an outlaw nation." North Korea
Jimmy Carter also once challenged Ronald Reagan's "aggressive" and successful strategy for winning the Cold War. Perhaps he'd like to send one of his Habitat for Humanity crews to rebuild the Berlin Wall brick by tyrannical brick. The fact is that Jimmy Carter could not have done more to damage our national security had he been a hand-picked mole planted in the White House by the KGB.
When Carter left office, the Soviet Union was on the march from Grenada to Afghanistan, control of the strategic Panama Canal had been given away, our military had planes that couldn't fly and ships that couldn't sail for lack of trained crews and spare parts, production of the B-1 strategic bomber had been canceled and our economy was in no shape to resist Soviet expansion.Jimmy Carter, the man who makes Neville Chamberlain look like Dirty Harry, made his remarks about President Bush while promoting his audiobook series of Bible lessons for children. Jimmy, thou shalt not bear false witness against your president and country. Haven't you done enough damage? If you want to see our worst ex-president, look in the mirror.
Ever hear the quip "A conservative is a liberal who's been mugged by reality"? Part of the reason it's funny is the element of truth. Here's a real life example I came across in the Cleveland Plain Dealer via the NRA .
Run-in changes lawmaker's stanceTuesday, May 15, 2007Phillip MorrisPlain Dealer Columnist
It's funny how a gun can instantly change your perspective on things, make you wish you could rewrite history.
State Rep. Michael DeBose, a southside Cleveland Democrat, discovered this lesson the night of May 1, when he thought he was going to die. That's the night he wished he had that gun vote back.
DeBose, who had just returned from Columbus, where he had spent the day in committee hearings, decided to take a short walk up Holly Hill, the street where he has lived with his wife for the past 27 years.
It was late, but DeBose, 51, was restless. The ordained Baptist minister knew his Lee-Harvard neighborhood was changing, but he wasn't scared. The idle, young men who sometimes hang out on his and adjacent streets didn't threaten him.
He is a big man and, besides, he had run the same streets before he found Jesus - and a wife. That night, he just needed a walk.
The loud muffler on a car that slowly passed as he was finishing the walk caught his attention, though. When the car stopped directly in front of his house - three houses from where he stood - he knew there was going to be a problem.
"There was a tall one and a short one," DeBose said, sipping on a McDonald's milkshake and recounting the experience Friday.
"The tall one reached in his pocket and pulled out a silver gun. And they both started running towards me."
"At first I just backed up, but then I turned around and started running and screaming."
"When I started running, the short boy stopped chasing and went back to the car. But the tall boy with the gun kept following me. I ran to the corner house and started banging on Mrs. Jones' door."
It was at that point that the would-be robbers realized that their prey wasn't worth the trouble. Besides, Cheryl, DeBose's wife, and a daughter had heard his screams and had raced out to investigate. Other porch lights began to flicker on.
The loud muffler sped off, and DeBose started rethinking his gun vote.
DeBose twice voted against a measure to allow Ohioans to carry concealed weapons. It became law in 2004.
DeBose voted his conscience. He feared that CCW permits would lead to a massive influx of new guns in the streets and a jump in gun violence. He feared that Cleveland would become the O.K. Corral, patrolled by legions of freshly minted permit holders.
"I was wrong," he said Friday.
"I'm going to get a permit and so is my wife.
"I've changed my mind. You need a way to protect yourself and your family.
"I don't want to hurt anyone. But I never again want to be in the position where I'm approached by someone with a gun and I don't have one."
DeBose said he knows that a gun doesn't solve Cleveland's violence problem; it's merely a street equalizer.
"There are too many people who are just evil and mean-spirited. They will hurt you for no reason. If more people were packing guns, it might serve as a deterrent.
"But there obviously are far deeper problems that we need to address," he added, as he suddenly seemed to realize he sounded like a gun enthusiast.
They say the definition of a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged. DeBose's CCW application will bear some witness to that notion.
Monday, May 28, 2007
I heard a report on the radio today about an increase in sales of push mowers after years of decline. "Don't tell me", I thought, "that people are buying push mowers to combat "global warming" ". Sure enough -- they are.
Global warming: There's green in push lawn mowers
CHICAGO — Powerful, loud mowers have been showing lawns who's boss for decades.
But now contraptions that couldn't cut butter without a good shove are quietly — really quietly — making a comeback.
Manual lawn mowers, long the 98-pound weaklings of the tool shed, are being
pushed around more yards all over the country.
"It's phenomenal," said Teri McClain, inside sales administrator at the
112-year-old American Lawn Mower Co. in Shelbyville, Ind. "Sales continue to
rise every year."
McClain estimates that 350,000 manual mowers are sold in the United States each
year — most made by her company. That is just a fraction of the 6 million
gas-powered walk-behind mowers that hit the market last year.
Still, that number is about 100,000 more than were sold five years ago and
seven times as many as the estimated 50,000 a year sold in the 1980s, McClain
American Lawn Mower is the only company making manual mowers in the United
States, although some U.S.-based companies make them in other countries.
According to buyers and sellers, the resurgence is due mostly to environmental
concerns and an increasing number of women who do the mowing.
"I'm not a tree-hugger, but I think we all think about being more
environmentally friendly and leave less of a footprint on the world," said Ben
Kogan, of Chicago, who started using his new mower this spring.
The mower also is inexpensive, around $200. With the use of lighter metals and
plastic, it's a lot lighter than the heavy iron and wood mowers some baby
boomers remember pushing around.
Says Eric Skalinder, 35, a teacher in Chicago: "I don't have to worry about
gas, repairs and getting it started."
Thursday, May 24, 2007
From Patriot Post:
“Government has no wealth of its own. Before it gives anything to anyone, it must take from those who produced it. But the taking could discourage future production, leaving less to be distributed by the politicians. Productive Americans have forged ahead despite a constellation of transfer programs, but how long will they continue to do so? The European welfare states are learning that producers don’t leave themselves available for milking forever. Their economies are sluggish, and unemployment is high. Government promises exceed resources, and citizens who were guaranteed lifelong security find their benefits shrinking. Yet this doesn’t deter our champions of big government. Even the coming Social Security and Medicare train wrecks don’t faze them. So don’t expect government to stop growing... Thomas Jefferson said, ‘The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.’ It’s sad that that’s no myth.” —John Stossel
Monday, May 21, 2007
Great point from John Hawkins I saw on Patriot Post:
“Conservatives and liberals approach almost every issue with completely different philosophies, underlying assumptions, and methods. That’s why it’s so hard to find genuine compromise between conservatism and liberalism—because not only are liberals almost always wrong, their solutions almost always make things worse.”—John Hawkins
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Saw this curious story via James Taranto's 'Best of the Web':
Catapult boy is eaten after taunting crocodile in pen
A schoolboy who climbed over a fence into a crocodile enclosure and taunted the animals with sticks and a catapult was dragged into the water and eaten.
The nine-year-old, whose family name was given as Liu, and three friends sneaked into the crocodile park at the Silver Beach holiday resort at Beihai in the southwestern Guangxi region on Friday.
The children shot at the animals with catapults and beat them with sticks.
The official Xinhua news agency said: “One of the irritated crocodiles bit Liu’s clothes and dragged him into the water where he was eaten by a swarm of crocodiles.” His companions then raised the alarm.
Investigators searched for the missing boy and decided to check inside the crocodiles. Snipers used pork to lure them out of their pool and shot dead the first animal to lumber on to the bank.
Inside it they found human remains that were confirmed to be those of the boy.
I almost felt sorry (well, not really) for bloviating film maker Michael Moore in this spat with Fred Thompson. However, the bovine director picked the fight and got what he deserved when Thompson smacked him down. I'm really starting to like the thought of Thompson as the Republican presidential candidate.
The Undeclared Candidate
Fred Thompson debates Michael Moore rather than the other Republicans.
by Stephen F. Hayes
05/28/2007, Volume 012, Issue 35
As the ten declared Republican presidential candidates traveled to Columbia, South Carolina, last Tuesday to participate in a nationally televised GOP debate, Fred Thompson stayed home. While the announced candidates put on suits, smiled, and fielded questions about Iraq, taxes, and terrorism, Thompson shot a homemade video to be posted on the Internet responding to a frivolous attack from lefty filmmaker Michael Moore.
To some, it was an odd decision. Why would Thompson choose to engage a hack propagandist looking for publicity while his would-be rivals discussed the important issues of the day at a forum designed to make them look "presidential" (even with Ron Paul on the stage)? It would take several days, but by week's end the answer would be clear.
Here's the backstory. Moore is preparing to release a new "documentary" on the U.S. health care system. He traveled to Cuba for some of the filming in an effort to contrast the care available to Americans with that provided by Fidel Castro's regime. (In Moore's world, the comparison favors Cuba. Seriously.) Thompson criticized the trip. Moore, seizing on a detail from a story in THE WEEKLY STANDARD last month--that Thompson's office features many boxes of Montecristo cigars--wrote a letter to Thompson suggesting the former senator is a hypocrite for liking to smoke Cubans. Moore challenged Thompson to a debate on health care. The letter was first reported Tuesday morning on the Drudge Report, the news website once derided by mainstream reporters as too gossipy and now has become the most important political site on the Internet.
Two of Thompson's informal advisers made their way out to his Northern Virginia home with a cameraman and an Apple laptop. As they did, Thompson composed a response in his head. When they arrived, he did a quick run-through as they set up, and then recorded the 38-second video in one take. There was little discussion of the wisdom of a response. Thompson wanted to do it as soon as he heard about the letter from Moore, and four hours later his response was online.
"You know, I've been looking at my schedule, Michael, and I don't think I have time for you," said Thompson, sitting in a leather chair, chomping on a big cigar. "But I may be the least of your problems. You know, the next time you're down in Cuba visiting your buddy Castro, you might ask him about another documentary filmmaker. His name is Nicolas Guillen. He did something Castro didn't like and they put him in a mental institution for several years, giving him devastating electroshock treatment. A mental institution, Michael. Might be something you ought to think about."
The video response, released to the Breitbart.tv website and also linked on Drudge, was played more than 200,000 times that day. By the end of the week, that number would have more than tripled. Conservative blogs posted the video with their own commentary on Moore and Thompson, the former deemed moronic and the latter most excellent.
It wasn't just the Internet. CNN ran the Thompson video in full the next day. So did MSNBC. The Associated Press distributed a story about the confrontation on its wire. The New York Daily News highlighted the exchange and, more important, so did the Des Moines Register. That night, Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly replayed part of the video on his ratings-topping show and discussed it at length in his "Impact" segment. Said O'Reilly, "I'm giving it a win for Fred Thompson."
The GOP debate went well. Both Rudy Giuliani and John McCain turned in strong performances, and Mitt Romney, the clear winner of the first contest, didn't do anything to hurt himself. Still, Thompson's tête-à-tête with Moore ensured that he was mentioned in post-debate analysis. National Journal's Hotline, the insider's guide to campaign reporting and analysis, put it this way: "Thanks to Michael Moore, Fred Thompson may have upstaged the entire GOP field without even showing up to 5/15's debate." Thompson was named the winner of the debate in an unscientific poll on Glenn Reynolds's high-traffic conservative/libertarian blog, Instapundit.com. And on it went.
When Thompson and his advisers talk about running a "different kind of campaign," this is what they mean. They believe he can use the Internet--in videos, audio files, and written commentary--to communicate directly with voters. His message will be unfiltered and therefore somewhat protected from mischaracterization by a left-leaning press corps in Washington. Campaign events will be filmed and posted so that interested parties--in this case, very interested parties--can see for themselves whether a Thompson performance was actually "lackluster" or lackluster only in the eyes of reporters. It is all part of Thompson's plan.
And Thompson is planning to run for president. His friends and advisers have moved on from the will-he-won't-he talk of just a month ago. Now, they speak of an exploratory committee. Barring some new unforeseen obstacle, he will be in by late June.
Thompson has had a timeline in mind ever since he told Chris Wallace in early March that he was seriously considering a bid. Despite lots of advice about the timing of an announcement--most of it unsolicited--his timeline remains largely unchanged. (When I pressed him on whether he'd be a full-fledged candidate by the Iowa straw poll in Ames on August 11, Thompson demurred, saying only that he was well aware of the date.)
The current challenge is to keep uncommitted Republicans and other potential supporters in the uncommitted camp. Underneath the smiling public faces, Republican candidates have been engaged in a ferocious battle to secure endorsements, to build organizations in early primary states, and to land top fundraisers. Elected officials who have not yet committed to one of the announced candidates are being encouraged by those candidates--in some cases threatened--to do so soon, so as to keep them from waiting for a possible Thompson announcement.
Even as Thompson gets pressure to accelerate his schedule from those folks and others, he seems content to do things his own way. And he makes no apologies about the cigars, either.
"As to the cigars, they are the result of the generosity of a friend of mine who gives me a few from time to time. We intend to see to it that they are destroyed over the next few months." No doubt one at a time.
Stephen F. Hayes is senior writer at THE WEEKLY STANDARD.
Global Warming Hysteria Goliaths
Very interesting interview in this weekend's WSJ with Robert Murray, CEO of Murray Energy, a coal mining concern. The whole interview can be accessed here but I'm posting some great excerpts below:
"The science of global warming is speculative. But there's nothing speculative about the damage a C02 capture program will do to this country. I know the names of many of the thousands of people -- American workers, their families -- whose lives will be destroyed by what has become a deceitful and hysterical campaign, perpetrated by fear-mongers in our society and by corporate executives intent on their own profits or competitive advantage. I can't stand by and watch."This past March, Murray testified before Congress on global warming. Because of politically incorrect views, Democrats tried to block his appearance. When they were unable to do so, the comittee's Democratic chairman got up and walked out of the room when Murray began his testimony. (Isn't that priceless and just like liberals -- they're so tolerant and open-minded that when someone wants to express a contrary view, they try to suppress it and, when they can't, they refuse to even listen.) According to the Journal, Murray gave:
a useful, and irrefutable, analysis of just what today's legislative proposals for a global warming program would mean to the economy, including the nation's many miners. "Some 52% of this country's electricity is generated from coal," Mr. Murray says. "Global warming legislation would place arbitrary limits on the use of coal, yet there's nothing to replace it at the same cost. There's nuclear, but the environmentalists killed it off and aren't about to let it come back. There's hydro, but we're using that everywhere we can already. There's natural gas, but supply and pipeline capacity is limited, and it's three times the cost of coal. Politically correct -- and subsidized 'alternative energy' is very limited in capability and also expensive.After reading this interview, it's easy to see why Murray is so unpopular with liberal Democrats. Plain speaking and common sense are alien to Democrats and threaten their hold on the reins of political power. That's why they try to stifle these voices and walk out of the room covering their ears saying "I can't hear you!"
"So what you are really doing with a global warming program is getting rid of low-cost energy," he says. The consequences? Americans have been fretting about losing jobs to places such as China or India, which already offer cheaper energy. "You hike the cost of energy here further, and you create a mass exodus of business out of this country." Especially so, given that neither of those countries is about to hamstring its own economy in order to join a Kyoto-like accord.
Friday, May 18, 2007
This Guy Should Run for President! :-)
From Patriot Post:
The Gun Owner's Champion
Ronald Reagan, then two-time Governor of California, penned this column in the September 1975 issue of "Guns and Ammo." Reagan steadfastly held to this position throughout his Presidency, even after an assassin attempted to murder him in 1981. In 1983, President Reagan noted, "You won't get gun control by disarming law-abiding citizens. There's only one way to get real gun control: Disarm the thugs and the criminals, lock them up, and if you don't actually throw away the key, at least lose it for a long time... It's a nasty truth, but those who seek to inflict harm are not fazed by gun controllers. I happen to know this from personal experience."
There are tales of robbery victims that are shot down in cold blood or executed "gangland style." There are stories of deranged parents killing their children or deranged children killing their parents. There are reports of snipers. And now and then the headlines blurt out that an assassin has struck again, killing a prominent official or citizen. All of these stories involve the use of guns, or seem to. As a result, there is growing clamor to outlaw guns, to ban guns, to confiscate guns in the name of public safety and public good.
These demands come from people genuinely concerned about rising crime rates, persons such as Sheriff Peter Pitchess of Los Angeles, who says gun control is an idea whose time has come. They come from people who see the outlawing of guns as a way of outlawing violence. And they come from those who see confiscation of weapons as one way of keeping the people under control.
Now I yield to no one in my concern about crime, and especially crimes of violence. As governor of California for eight years, I struggled daily with that problem. I appointed judges who, to the best of my information, would be tough on criminals. We approved legislation to make it more difficult for persons with records of crime or instability to purchase firearms legally. We worked to bring about swift and certain punishment for persons guilty of crimes of violence.
We fought hard to reinstate the death sentence after our state Supreme Court outlawed it, and after the U.S. Supreme Court followed suit, we won.
Now, however, the California court that sought eagerly to be the first to outlaw the death penalty is dragging its heels as it waits for the U.S. Court to rule. The Chief Justice in California, whom I appointed with such high hopes, in this regard has disappointed many of us who looked to him to help again make our streets, our shops and our homes safe. I find it difficult to understand persons like President Ford's new Attorney General, Edward H. Levi. Attorney General Levi would ban guns in areas with high rates of crime.
Mr. Levi is confused. He thinks somehow that banning guns keeps them out of the hands of criminals. New Yorkers who suffer under the Sullivan Act know better, they know that the Sullivan Act makes law-abiding citizens sitting ducks for criminals who have no qualms about violating it in the process of killing and robbing and burglarizing. Despite this, Mr. Levi apparently thinks that criminals will be willing to give up their guns if he makes carrying them against the law. What naivete!
Mightn't it be better in those areas of high crime to arm the homeowner and the shopkeeper, teach him how to use his weapons and put the word out to the underworld that it is not longer totally safe to rob and murder?
Our nation was built and civilized by men and women who used guns in self-defense and in pursuit of peace. One wonders indeed, if the rising crime rate, isn't due as much as anything to the criminal's instinctive knowledge that the average victim no longer has means of self-protection.
No one knows how many crimes are committed because the criminal knows he has a soft touch. No one knows how many stores have been let alone because the criminals knew it was guarded by a man with a gun or manned by a proprietor who knew how to use a gun.
Criminals are not dissuaded by soft words, soft judges or easy laws. They are dissuaded by fear and they are prevented from repeating their crimes by death or by incarceration.
In my opinion, proposals to outlaw or confiscate guns are simply unrealistic panacea. We are never going to prevent murder; we are never going to eliminate crime; we are never going to end violent action by the criminals and the crazies--with or without guns.
True, guns are a means for committing murder and other crimes. But they are not an essential means. The Los Angeles Slasher of last winter killed nine men without using a gun. People kill and rob with knives and clubs. Yet we have not talked about outlawing them. Poisons are easy to come by for the silent killer.
The automobile is the greatest peacetime killer in history. There is no talk of banning the auto. With the auto we have cracked down on drunken drivers and on careless drivers. We need also to crack down on people who use guns carelessly or with criminal intent.
I believe criminals who use guns in the commission of a crime, or who carry guns, should be given mandatory sentences with no opportunity for parole. That would put the burden where it belongs--on the criminal, not on the law abiding citizen.
Let's not kid ourselves about what the purpose of prison should be: It should be to remove criminals from circulation so that they cannot prey upon society. Punishment for deterrent purposes, also plays a part. Rehabilitation, as many experts, including California Attorney General Evelle Younger, have discovered, is not a very good reason for imprisoning people. People don't rehabilitate very well in prison.
There is an old saying that slaves remain slaves while free men set themselves free. It is true with rehabilitation, also. Criminals rehabilitate themselves, there is little you and I can do about it. But back to the purpose of this article which, hopefully, is to make the case against gun control.
The starting point must be the Constitution, because, above all, we are a nation of laws and the foundation for our laws, or lack of same, is the Constitution.
It is amazing to me how so many people pay lip service to the Constitution, yet set out to twist and distort it when it stands in the way of things they think ought to be done or laws they believe ought to be passed. It is also amazing to me how often our courts do the same thing.
The Second Amendment is clear, or ought to be. It appears to leave little, if any, leeway for the gun control advocate. It reads: "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
There are those who say that, since we have no militia, the amendment no longer applies; they would just ignore it. Others say nuclear weapons have made the right to keep and bear arms irrelevant, since arms are of little use against weapons of such terrible destructive power. Both arguments are specious.
We may not have a well-regulated militia, but it does not necessarily follow that we should not be prepared to have one. The day could easily come when we need one.
The nuclear weapon argument is even more silly. Many wars have been fought since World War II and no nuclear bomb has been dropped. We have no assurance that the next world war will be a nuclear war. But, regardless of any possible merit they might have, both these arguments beg the question, which is: Shall the people have a right to keep and bear arms?
There is little doubt that the founding fathers thought they should have this right, and for a very specific reason: They distrusted government. All of the first 10 amendments make that clear. Each of them specifies an area where government cannot impose itself on the individual or where the individual must be protected from government.
The second amendment gives the individual citizen a means of protection against the despotism of the state. Look what it refers to: "The security of a free state." The word "free" should be underlined because that is what they are talking about and that is what the Constitution is about--a free nation and a free people, where the rights of the individual are pre-eminent. The founding fathers had seen, as the Declaration of Independence tells us, what a despotic government can do to its own people. Indeed, every American should read the Declaration of Independence before he reads the Constitution, and he will see that the Constitution aims at preventing a recurrence of the way George III's government treated the colonies.
The declaration states this plainly: "But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government and to provide new Guards for their future security."
There is no question that the first 10 amendments are a part of those "new guards" for their future security. And one of the most basic of those guards is the right to keep and bear arms.
There are those in America today who have come to depend absolutely on government for their security. And when government fails they seek to rectify that failure in the form of granting government more power. So, as government has failed to control crime and violence with the means given it by the Constitution, they seek to give it more power at the expense of the Constitution. But in doing so, in their willingness to give up their arms in the name of safety, they are really giving up their protection from what has always been the chief source of despotism--government.
Lord Acton said power corrupts. Surely then, if this is true, the more power we give the government the more corrupt it will become. And if we give it the power to confiscate our arms we also give up the ultimate means to combat that corrupt power. In doing so we can only assure that we will eventually be totally subject to it. When dictators come to power, the first thing they do is take away the people's weapons. It makes it so much easier for the secret police to operate, it makes it so much easier to force the will of the ruler upon the ruled.
Now I believe our nation's leaders are good and well-meaning people. I do not believe that they have any desire to impose a dictatorship upon us. But this does not mean that such will always be the case. A nation rent internally, as ours has been in recent years, is always ripe for a "man on a white horse." A deterrent to that man, or to any man seeking unlawful power, is the knowledge that those who oppose him are not helpless.
The gun has been called the great equalizer, meaning that a small person with a gun is equal to a large person, but it is a great equalizer in another way, too. It insures that the people are the equal of their government whenever that government forgets that it is servant and not master of the governed. When the British forgot that they got a revolution. And, as a result, we Americans got a Constitution; a Constitution that, as those who wrote it were determined, would keep men free. If we give up part of that Constitution we give up part of our freedom and increase the chance that we will lose it all.
I am not ready to take that risk. I believe that the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms must not be infringed if liberty in America is to survive.
Monday, May 14, 2007
Saw this on Patriot Post:
“I have no idea whether Fred Thompson, former senator from Tennessee, will run for the Republican nomination for president, but he should. He has Ronald Reagan’s communication skills and speaks plainly in ways most people can understand... Thompson conveys Middle American, common sense values. When he is asked a question, he doesn’t sound as if he’s giving a poll-tested pabulum answer. Agree or not, his statements spring from conviction... There’s something else to like about Fred Thompson. He doesn’t appear to be lusting after the job as if he needs it for his self-image. This, too, is much like Reagan, who knew who he was before becoming president and was the same after he left office... Fame and the presidency may be about to follow Fred Thompson. That would be good for the Republican Party and, should he win, good for the country.” —Cal Thomas
THE GIPPER ON ARMS
From Patriot Post:
"There are those in America today who have come to depend absolutely on government for their security. And when government fails they seek to rectify that failure in the form of granting government more power. So, as government has failed to control crime and violence with the means given it by the Constitution, they seek to give it more power at the expense of the Constitution. But in doing so, in their willingness to give up their arms in the name of safety, they are really giving up their protection from what has always been the chief source of despotism—government. Lord Acton said power corrupts. Surely then, if this is true, the more power we give the government the more corrupt it will become. And if we give it the power to confiscate our arms we also give up the ultimate means to combat that corrupt power. In doing so we can only assure that we will eventually be totally subject to it."
Thursday, May 03, 2007
I Wish, I Wish, I Wish ...
... I had a brain
By Mark Earley
Note: This commentary was delivered by Prison Fellowship President Mark Earley.
What if I promised you that you could make anything happen—anything!—just by wanting it to happen?
You would think I was crazy, and you would be right. So why is a book based on this premise selling so fast that bookstores cannot keep it on the shelves?
Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret has been on the New York Times bestseller list for months, and a DVD version is also selling out everywhere. Byrne is selling the tempting message that anything you want is possible and easy to get.
This isn’t just about keeping an optimistic attitude to improve your life—it goes far beyond that. Byrne says a force called the Law of Attraction guarantees that if you think positive thoughts about what you want, you will get it. “The Universe” will bend over backwards to hand you whatever you wish for: money, a better job, a spouse, anything.
Byrne’s claims are absurd on their face. She swears repeatedly that the Law of Attraction never fails, that it’s as reliable as the law of gravity. So what happens if two people both use “the secret” to make opposite things happen—for instance, if one wanted a sunny day and the other wanted rain?
Somehow, Byrne forgets to address this topic.
But that’s not the worst part. Among all the positive rhetoric are some very ugly concepts. While you are rearranging the universe to suit your own wishes, Byrne claims, you must avoid people who might inspire negative thoughts. So you should never look at overweight people or let sick people tell you about their illness.
Furthermore, if some people are poor, it “is because they are blocking money from coming to them with their thoughts.” (Jesus Christ, she announces, was actually a millionaire.) And people involved in tragedies and disasters brought it on themselves. They did not want enough not to “be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Friends, I am not exaggerating. It’s all in there.
Tim Watkin reports in the Washington Post, “I watched Bob Proctor . . . one of the ‘gurus’ Byrne quotes most often, being asked on ‘Nightline’ whether the starving children of Darfur had ‘manifested’—that is, visualized—their own misery. In utter seriousness, he replied, ‘I think the country probably has.’”
But Byrne is not saying you should not care about other people. You should care about them—because it is good for you: “If you think thoughts of love, guess who receives the benefits—you!”
Unfortunately, people are really swallowing this stuff. And it is dangerous. The book contains examples of people who supposedly cured themselves of cancer without treatment, and people who bought expensive things because they just knew the money was coming in—I saw many of those in bankruptcy court when I was a practicing attorney. Karin Klein reports in the Los Angeles Times, “Therapists tell me they’re starting to see patients who are headed for real trouble, immersing themselves in a dream world in which good things just come.”
Byrne has scammed millions of people by appealing to their pride and greed, and she is making a fortune. But I will tell you this for free: Byrne’s hot new trend is simply a repetition of the oldest lie there is—“You shall be like God.”
That’s the secret, not of success, but of misery.
Can You Live on Food Stamps?
Entitlements run amuck.
By Mona Charen
Associated Press photos showed the governor pushing a shopping cart and ostentatiously relinquishing a noodle cup and two bananas at the checkout counter when his total topped $21. “Could you feed yourself for $3 a day?” demanded headline in the next morning’s Oregonian.
Let us stipulate that in a country as wealthy as ours, the idea that anyone should go hungry is unacceptable.
But is that what’s really happening? Why is it that whenever you listen to a Democrat you feel that the year is 1966? They seem to live in a time warp in which no progress has been made on race relations, poverty, childhood malnutrition, and on and on.
Let’s start with some numbers. If you go the state of Oregon’s website and calculate your eligibility for food stamps, you will find that a family of four with no income (and 70 percent of food stamp recipients do not work at all) is entitled to $518 monthly or about $32 weekly for each person. This is a very rough estimate because all sorts of factors are taken into account in calculating eligibility, including number of dependents, housing costs, expenses, and other income. Perhaps the governor’s office is correct that the average food stamp allotment in the state is $21. But that means some get more and some less. Eligibility is based on need.
Now even $32 seems like a very small amount of money per person, but that is only a small part of the largesse provided by the U.S. government, which spent $522 billion on low-income assistance programs in 2002. It doesn’t count hot breakfasts and lunches at school (which push high-calorie, high-fat diets on kids). It doesn’t count the Earned Income Tax Credit by which the working poor get cash back from the federal government ($41.4 billion went to 22.2 million recipients last year, according to the). It doesn’t include housing subsidies, Medicaid, or the Supplemental Security Income program, which can free up funds for food. Nor does it count the WIC program, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.
The WIC program provides highly caloric packages of juice, cereal, eggs, and other food to pregnant women, nursing mothers and children up to the age of 4. WIC also provides baby formula, thus discouraging the poor from breast-feeding their babies. About 50 percent of the formula sold in the U.S. goes to families using WIC. Formula-fed babies are more likely to be overweight, suffer ear infections, have allergies, and, if you believe some of the data, have lower IQs than breast-fed infants.
Douglas Besharov of the American Enterprise Institute notes that while he can recall visiting ruralin the 1960s and seeing severe cases of malnutrition, the problem among the poor today is more likely to be obesity. Today, 70 percent of low-income Americans are overweight, compared with 60 percent of the non-poor. The mean intake of poor children aged 6-11 was 2,000 calories a day in 1994 compared with 1,969 calories for non-poor children of the same age. President Bill Clinton’s secretary of agriculture, Dan Glickman, acknowledged that “The simple fact is that more people die in the of too much food than of too little, and the habits that lead to this epidemic [obesity] become ingrained at an early age.”
We are pushing food at the poor as if hunger and malnutrition still crouched at the door when the bigger threat these days is saturated fat and excess sugar. The Food Stamp program arguably needs a massive reform, offering cash grants instead of vouchers or credit cards, which encourage over-consumption. Is it too much to ask that politicians and journalists (that photo of Gov. Kulongoski showed up everywhere) address today’s problems and not those of 40 years ago?
© 2007 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
The $67 Million Pants
Washington, D.C., Lawyer Sues Dry Cleaners for Lost Trousers
By JIM AVILA & MARY HARRIS
ABC News Law & Justice Unit
May 1, 2007 —
A Washington, D.C., dry cleaners says its their business a long-time customer is taking to the cleaners. A $10 dry cleaning bill for a pair of lost trousers has ballooned into a $67 million civil lawsuit.Plaintiff Roy Pearson -- himself a local judge in Washington D.C -- says in court papers that he's been through the ringer over a lost pair of prized pants he wanted to wear on his first day on the bench. He says in court papers that he has endured "mental suffering, inconvenience and discomfort.''
He says he was unable to wear that favorite suit of his first day of work.
He's suing for ten years of weekend car rentals so he can transport his dry cleaning to another store.
The lawsuit is based in large part on Pearson's seemingly pained admission that he was taken in by the oldest and most insidious marketing tool in the dry cleaning industry arsenal.
Pearson did not return numerous calls from ABC News for comment.
It's the kind of lawsuit that makes liability reform advocates' temples throb.
"People in America are now scared of each other,'' legal expert Philip Howard told ABC News' Law & Justice Unit. "That's why teachers won't put an arm around a crying child, and doctors order unnecessary tests, and ministers won't meet with parishioners. It's a distrust of justice and it's changing our culture.
The civil trial, set for June, has the scope of a John Grisham courtroom thriller and the societal importance of a traffic ticket. Pearson plans to call 63 witnesses. Defending themselves against the suit -- for two years running -- are Korean immigrants Jin and Soo Chung and their son, who own Custom Cleaners and two other dry cleaning shops in the Fort Lincoln section of Washington D.C.
The ABC News Law & Justice Unit has calculated that for $67 million dollars Pearson could buy 84,115 new pairs of pants at the $800 value he placed on the missing trousers in court documents. If you stacked those pants up they would be taller than eight Mount Everests. If you laid them side by side they would stretch for 48 miles.
Fort Lincoln neighbors are enjoying what they consider the comedy of it all.
"The whole city is aware of this lawsuit,'' said Bob King, who representing Fort Lincoln on the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions. "Everybody's laughing about it.''
Everybody except the Chungs, who have spent thousands of dollars defending themselves against Pearson's lawsuit.
"It's not humorous, not funny and nobody would have thought that something like this would have happened,'' Soo Chung told ABC News through an interpreter.
Her husband agreed.
"It's affecting us first of all financially, because of all the lawyers' fees,'' Jin Chung said. "For two years, we've been paying lawyer fees... we've gotten bad credit as well, and secondly, it's been difficult mentally and physically because of the level of stress.''
Later, Soo Chung broke down in tears.
"I would have never thought it would have dragged on this long,'' she told ABC News. "I don't want to live here anymore. It's been so difficult. I just want to go home, go back to Korea."
"I've been in the dry cleaning business for 14 years, but this has never ever happened before if anything happened to our customers' clothing we would always compensate them accordingly and fairly,'' Jin Chung said through a translator.
The problems date back to 2002.
Pearson says in court papers that he took a pair of pants in to Custom Cleaners in the Fort Lincoln section of D.C. that year, and the pants were lost. So Jin and Soo Chung, the Korean immigrant couple who own Custom Cleaners and two other dry cleaning shops, gave Pearson a $150 check for a new pair of pants.
Three years later, Pearson says he returned to Custom Cleaners and - like some real life "Groundhog Day'' nightmare - his trousers went missing.
It was May, 2005 and Pearson was about to begin his new job as an administrative judge. Naturally, he wanted to wear a nice outfit to his first day of work. He said in court papers that he tried on five Hickey Freeman suits from his closet, but found them all to be 'too tight,' according to the Washington Post.
He brought one pair in for alterations and they went missing -- gray trousers with what Pearson has described in court papers as having blue and red stripes on them.
First, Pearson demanded $1,150 for a new suit. Lawyers were hired, legal wrangling ensured, and eventually the Chungs offered Pearson $3000 in compensation.
Then they offered him $4,600.
Finally, they offered $12,000 for the missing gray trousers with the red and blue stripes.
Pearson said no.
With neither satisfaction nor his prized gray pants, Pearson upped the ante considerably.
The judge went to the lawbooks. Citing the District of Columbia's consumer protection laws, he claims he was entitled to $1,500 per violation.
What follows was the beginning of thousands of pages of legal documents and correspondence that -- two years later -- has led to a massive civil lawsuit in the amount of $67 million dollars.
According to court papers, here's how Pearson calculates the damages and legal fees:
He believes he is entitled to $1,500 for each violation, each day during which the "Satisfaction Guaranteed'' sign, and another sign promising "Same Day Service'' was up in the store -- more than 1200 days.
And he's multiplying each violation by three because he's suing Jin and Soo Chung and their son.
He also wants $500,000 in 'emotional damages' and another $542, 500 in legal fees, even though he is representing himself in court.
He wants $15,000 for ten years worth of weekend car rentals as well.
After enlisting neighbors and fellow customers, he sought to expand the case into a class action suit, but was denied, angrily, by District of Columbia civil judge Neal Kravitz.
"The Court has significant concerns that the plaintiff is acting in bad faith and with an intent to delay the proceedings,'' the judge wrote in court papers. "Indeed, it is difficult to draw any other conclusion, given the plaintiff's lengthy delay in seeking to expand the scope of the case, the breathtaking magnitude of the expansion he seeks, his failure to present any evidence in support of the thousands of claims he says he wishes to add, and his misrepresentation concerning the scope of his first amended complaint."
The case will now be heard by another judge in June. Both Kravitz and the new judge declined to comment on the case to ABC News.
Ironically, less than a week after he dropped off the missing trousers in 2005, Soo Chung says she found them. She tried to return them to Pearson but he said they were the wrong pants.
The Chungs say they are certain they have located the missing trousers.
"So these are the missing pants, huh,'' Avila asked the Chungs' attorney Chris Manning.
"These are,'' Manning said, holding up a flimsy pair of gray trousers. Manning's argument is based on both the receipt and the telltale "three belt loop situation,'' as he explains it.
"When the pants were brought in, Mrs. Chung noticed the three belt loop situation and in finding them realized that they were Mr. Pearson's pants based on that." He also said the receipt tag on the pants "exactly matches the receipt that Mr. Pearson has.''
Manning himself is angry with Pearson, claiming the judge has terrorized the Chungs for spite.
"They came to the United States hoping for the American dream,'' Manning said. "And Roy Pearson has made it a nightmare.''
Copyright © 2007 ABC News Internet Ventures
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