Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day, 2008

I'm wondering this Memorial Day just how history will remember the invasion, very short war and very long occupation of Iraq. I believe the actions taken by our next President, whoever he or she might be, will actually determine the answer. That's why the November, 2008 election may be one of the most important in our history.

Regardless of how you feel about the war in Iraq, we can be very proud of the conduct and actions of our troops. With only a very few exceptions, they have undertaken their mission with courage, honor and valor. And they have made a real effort to understand and care for the Iraqi citizens.

And our troops have generally been well respected by the folks back home. It seems that America learned from the mistakes of Viet Nam and understands the sacrifice being made by our men and women in uniform.

I want to say thank you to all our soldiers throughout the world today. And I want to honor and remember all those who came before us.

God grant us the courage to be a beacon of light, hope, honor and courage throughout the world today and always.
Please enjoy our special MEMORIAL DAY BROADCAST, all day today, on Wizard Radio. Just click here to Listen! Holiday Music, lots of fun, and our famous extreme variety!

Friday, May 23, 2008

A Return to Reason and the Rule of Law

Longtime Wizard readers know what strong confidence I have in the U.S. Judicial System. As a long time member of the ACLU, I remain confident that, given time, the courts will defend the minority against the oppression of the majority. It is the way our Constitution was designed and it almost always works.

But I was really starting to get worried in the case of the Texas Department of Child Services massive raid on the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) ranch in El Dorado, Texas. The armed assault based on a prank phone call, followed by the wholesale arrest and confinement of over 500 children and mothers, was one of the darkest days in recent American history.

The Texas CPS violated Texas law, the Texas Constitution and their own guidelines in removing, confining and then placing into foster care over 440 children, many as young as 1 year old, without even a hearing.

And the children and parents were left with a ragtag team of court appointed lawyers from all across the state who had neither the time nor the resources to fight the battle.

Even the neighboring states of Arizona and Utah were appalled by the out of control Texas Department of Justice. They took the unusual step of
meeting with their FLDS communities to assure them that there would be no repeat of the Texas raid in their states.

Yesterday the Third Court of Appeals in Austin issued a sweeping ruling that should finally put both this case and the egregious actions by Texas law enforcement back on the right track.

From Michelle Roberts Associated Press story as published in
The Huffington Post:

    SAN ANGELO, TexasIn a ruling that could torpedo the case against the West Texas polygamist sect, a state appeals court Thursday said authorities had no right to seize more than 440 children in a raid on the splinter group's compound last month.
    The Third Court of Appeals in Austin said the state failed to show the youngsters were in any immediate danger, the only grounds in Texas law for taking children from their parents without court action.

    It was not clear when the children, now scattered in foster homes across the state, might be returned to their parents. The ruling gave a lower-court judge 10 days to release the youngsters from custody, but the state could appeal to the Texas Supreme Court and block that

    The decision in one of the biggest child-custody cases in U.S. history was a humiliating defeat for the state Child Protective Services agency. It was hailed as vindication by members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, who claimed they were being persecuted for their religious beliefs.

    "It's a great day for Texas justice. This was the right decision," said Julie Balovich, a Legal Aid attorney for some of the parents. She was joined by several smiling mothers who declined to comment at a news conference outside the courthouse.

    Sect elder Willie Jessop said the parents were elated, but added: "There will be no celebrations until some little children are getting hugs from their parents." He said his faith in the legal system will be restored "when I see the schoolyard full of children."
Over on Huffington, a commenter with the handle named iratior summed up my feelings best:

    "I'm just as much against child abuse and spousal abuse as anybody else, but I think that the way the Texas authorities handled this case set some terrible precedents. When they began their actions, all they had to go by was the phone call; the person making the call could have been a complete fake, for all they knew."
    "If you have children, would you want the government to have the power to seize them just because somebody who doesn't authenticate themselves and could be a complete fake calls a government agency and accuses you of abusing them? This concept of "guilt by accusation" is ruining our legal system."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Is McCain/Clinton the Real Dream Ticket?

McCain/Clinton. The Wizard ponders the future on a remarkably boring Tuesday Primary night...... Gosh, they do make an attractive couple, don't they?
Of course it's not going to happen. Hillary Clinton would never accept it, would she? And John McCain is going to be forced to pick a VP that is acceptable to the right wing of the Republican Party, isn't he?
But, I must tell you that I genuinely believe Barack Obama will win the Presidency. John McCain has almost no chance. Obama is a rock star. The American people really do want change. The "Republican Brand" is tarnished. It would take an seismic event for McCain to pull this one out.
On the other hand, Barack Obama will do almost anything to avoid picking Hillary Clinton as his running mate. There is a genuine hate for Clinton among Obama staffers (and I've heard Michelle Obama doesn't like her either).
I saw a poll tonight on (the world famous and much beloved among progressive and liberal bloggers) FOX News (the cited source on television was "USA Poll," whoever that might be) that showed the strongest possible ticket is Barack Obama teamed with John Edwards. An Obama/Edwards beats McCain by a whopping 17 points among Pennsylvania voters!!
But that poll never even tested an Obama/Clinton ticket. I'm guessing no one thought that was even a possibility. Obama just isn't going to pick Clinton.
But I think a McCain/Clinton ticket might pose a real challenge to Obama. It's the earthquake that would rock the entire world!!
Although the so-called progressive bloggers are attempting to deny it, McCain is really a pretty much a liberal. Anybody remember McCain/Feingold? How about the Kennedy/McCain Immigration Bill. He's a hell of a lot more liberal than the some Democrats who have won the recent special Congressional elections recently. Talk about Democrats in name only. But I digress.
If Clinton is passed over for the Democrat VP (as is likely), she's staring down the throat of 8 years of a President Obama, with John Edwards carefully groomed as the heir apparent to the Presidency.
So why not take a chance with the rather progressive McCain? Perhaps a "guarantee" of 50% of the cabinet being Democrats would win her over. Or a guaranteed role for Bill Clinton. Or even a "promise" of an early resignation, guaranteeing that Hillary Clinton would become President.
If the addition of Hillary Clinton could tip the scale in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, West Virginia, and other swing states, the McCain/Clinton ticket would win the day. And McCain will likely serve only one term. Hillary would be groomed to replace him.
Now it's not going to happen, is it? Surely Clinton will remain loyal to the Democrat Party. Surely McCain will move to the right in his VP choice.
But it is interesting to think about. Do you think anyone in the McCain camp is considering this? How about anyone in the Clinton camp?

In Praise of the Bush Vision for Democracy

George Bush gave a superb speech once again outlining his vision for Democracy in the Middle East. I have long praised Bush's vision and his pursuit of Democracy in the Islamic world, even though I've had to criticize and often outright condemn his flawed execution of this vision.

Frankly, had George Bush done a lot more to engage the leaders of the Middle East (exactly as Barack Obama is now proposing), and a whole lot less military posturing, name calling and outright military invasions, we might be a heck of a lot closer to realizing Bush's dream.

Here are the key points and highlights of Bush's speech as reported yesterday in
The New York Times,

    After basking in a showy celebration of America’s close ties with Israel, President Bush criticized other Middle East leaders on Sunday, prodding them to expand their economies, offer equal opportunity to women and embrace democracy if they want peace to become reality.

    President Bush received restrained applause in Sharm el Sheik, in contrast with the strong response by Israelis last week.

    “Too often in the Middle East, politics has consisted of one leader in power and the opposition in jail,” Mr. Bush said in an address to the World Economic Forum here, adding, “The time has come for nations across the Middle East to abandon these practices and treat their people with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

    “In our democracy, we would never punish a person for owning a Koran,”
    Mr. Bush said, taking aim at those who, he said, claim democracy and Islam are incompatible. “And we would never issue a death sentence to someone for converting to Islam. Democracy does not threaten Islam or any other religion. Democracy is the only system of government that guarantees their protection.”

    The president also warned that Middle Eastern economies would not thrive unless opportunities were offered to women. “This is a matter of morality and basic math,” he said.

    Mr. Bush did try to link his speech in Israel and his speech here. In the first speech, timed to coincide with the 60th birthday of Israel, Mr. Bush outlined his vision for what the Middle East would look like on Israel’s 120th birthday.

    He used some of the same language on Sunday, repeating certain passages word for word and telling his audience that his vision “is not a Jewish vision or a Muslim vision, not an American vision or an Arab vision; it is a universal vision.”

    “It breaks my heart to see the vast potential of the Palestinian people really wasted,” Mr. Bush said, with Mr. Abbas by his side. “They’re good, smart, capable people that, when given a chance, will build a thriving homeland.”

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Barack Obama Deserves to Lose in Kentucky

I'm really unhappy to have to write this post. And I'm very upset. But if the news report written by Ryan Alessi, reporting for the Lexington Herald-Leader is true, I'm losing significant respect for Barack Obama. The remarks made by Obama to the Lexington newspaper are just plain stupid.

The headline? Obama blames Fox News, e-mail for likely loss in Kentucky

What we have here is a rerun of his
San Francisco speech that labeled him as an elitist before the Pennsylvania election. Not in exact words, but in tone and tenor, we have the same message he gave to his latte sipping supporters. He loses only when the voters are just too damned ignorant to understand the real Obama. Anytime Obama loses..... well, it's just not his fault. And it's not because of Hillary Clinton's hard work, either.

Obama is going to lose Kentucky, so he blames the rural voters, who somehow are simultaneously factually stupid while being Internet and email savvy. Oh, and he blames Fox News, too.

    LEXINGTON, Ky. — Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, facing a likely defeat in next Tuesday's primary election, won't travel to Kentucky before the voting, but said he hopes to have much more time to win over Kentucky voters before the November general election.

    He also blamed Fox News for disseminating "rumors" about him and said that that and e-mails filled with misinformation that have been "systematically" dispersed have hurt him in Kentucky.

    “Part of it is because there have been these e-mails that have been sent out very systematically, presumably by various political opponents, although I don’t know who,” he said. “And there are a lot of voters who get their news from Fox News. Fox has been pumping up rumors about my religious beliefs or my patriotism or what have you since the beginning of the campaign.”
To say Obama just doesn't get it is a tragic understatement. Worse, his cry baby attitude is simply not befitting any Presidential candidate.

The nearly mythical email campaign has been thoroughly refuted months ago, including many times over on FOX News and in all media. Kentucky has lots of major media, big newspapers, and excellent news coverage. And FOX News has a very tiny viewership in the grand scheme of things, in Kentucky and all across America. Yes, more people watch FOX than MSNBC or CNN, but a lot more people watch Jay Leno, David Letterman and Comedy Central than watch FOX News.

By the way, FOX News is also has the most viewers in Oregon, where Obama is likely to win.

Dammit Barack. Why not accept the blame for your defeat. Stop blaming and insulting the voters. They are certainly smart enough to know when they're being insulted.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

POSTSCRIPT: I read a great quote on another blogsite this evening that seems to sum up this story best. The comment was written by a person using the name "Buy Danish"

"One thing for sure, if Obama wins the White House there will be no “The buck stops here” sign on the Oval Office desk."

A True Crime Against Humanity

You already know about the cyclone that hit the coast of Burma, now called Myanmar by the military junta that seized power years ago in a military coup. And you already know at least a little bit about the human disaster unfolding daily.

Can you possibly imagine the world's reaction if we actually could see the disaster? If there was television or Internet coverage, if there were bloggers on the scene and photographers and newspaper reporters, the world would be in shock.

The New York Times reports that International Pressure on Myanmar Junta Is Building, but the world community is actually reacting slowly and mostly with empty words and meaningless gestures.

    "In the two weeks since the cyclone hit, the junta has allowed in a modest amount of supplies from a number of nations, but relief workers say it is far short of what they need to fend off starvation and disease. The United Nations says only 20 percent of the survivors have received even rudimentary aid."

    "In some of the harshest comments, Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain told the BBC on Saturday that a natural disaster “is being made into a man-made catastrophe by the negligence, the neglect and the inhuman treatment of the Burmese people by a regime that is failing to act and to allow the international community to do what it wants to do."

    "The French ambassador, Jean-Maurice Ripert, warned on Friday that the government’s refusal to allow aid to be delivered to people “could lead to a true crime against humanity,” according to The Associated Press."
The United Nations is impotent. And certain powerful nations, most especially China, generally prevent the UN from taking any action what-so-ever.

So we stand by, appalled at the death of over one hundred thousand people in Myanmar, many from disease, dehydration and starvation, and cry. But we've been watching tragedy after tragedy for decades and done nothing more than build monuments to the dead fifty years after any effort could have been made to save them.

Myanmar's leaders, like cockroaches, fear the light.

    "All foreigners have been expelled and banned from the hard-hit Irrawaddy Delta, even humanitarian aid workers with long experience in Myanmar. Impromptu aid convoys by local groups and private citizens — often with supplies donated by Burmese companies — have been turned back at military checkpoints."

    “These guys are xenophobic,” Shari Villarosa, the senior diplomat at the United States Embassy in Yangon, said in a recent interview, referring to the military leadership.

    "In addition to roadblocks and checkpoints, the junta’s shutdown of the country has included an Internet firewall that blocks most e-mail access. It also has disabled access to a number of computer programs that can evade firewalls, as well as access to dissident Web sites run by exiled Burmese."

    "Many residents of Myanmar get their daily news from the Burmese-language radio services run by broadcasters like the BBC and Voice of America. They listen to shortwave radios at home, away from neighborhood snitches. If they are discovered listening to the foreign stations, several Yangon residents said, they could be detained or beaten, or they could lose their jobs."
Today China continues to protect despots and tin dictators and completely ignore the genocide of hundreds of thousands in Darfur and now in Myanmar. While I don't want to prevent athletes from competing in the Beijing Olympics, I think it's time for all the world leaders to cancel their official visits.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Mother Nature Strikes Back!

Mother Nature has a new invention. And, as brilliant and creative as man might think he is, he doesn't hold a candle to the infinite abilities of the Goddess of Creation herself.

I know this will sound like science fiction. It's not. However, the Grayson Wray track you can listen to on the Amazon Widget to the right will sound exactly like Science Fiction. And, if you purchase the mp3 from Amazon the Wizard will actually make a little cash. He is going to need it to do battle with Mother Nature soon. Why?

The Rasberry Crazy Ants are headed this way and they are attacking computers, video games and even vehicles in their paths.

You heard right. Ants that damage computers! And Cars! And the damned things are tiny. About the size of fleas. They've been dubbed Rasberry Crazy Ants after the exterminator who first did battle with the invaders (Tom Rasberry) and their swarming "crazy" behavior.

Worse yet, they are virtually impossible to kill. They ignore the ant bait used by most exterminators and they ignore fire ant killer, too. Nests have multiple queens. You simply can't kill them all.

If there is any good news, they also kill fire ants.

They are omnivores and attack plants, insects and eggs. But they are attracted to electronic devices. Tom Rasberry told Techworld "I think they go into everything and they don't follow any kind of structured line. If you open a computer, you would find a cluster of ants on the motherboard and all over. You'd get 3,000 or 4,000 ants inside and they create arcs. They'll wipe out any computer."

The little ants are currently found in five counties around Houston, Texas. They have established a beach head in the Johnson Space Center. While NASA officials say they have the problem under control, they admit they cannot eliminate the colonies.

It is likely they will spread nationwide over the next few years.

Additional news articles: KOCO TV5 News, Associated Press Report

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

We Interrupt This Blog

In the words of Kristin over at E! Online,
    This just might be the most depressing news yet coming out of the New York upfronts.

    I've just received word from Gabrielle Stanton and Harry Werksman, bosses of Moonlight, that the series has been canceled.

    They sent me this message to pass along to you fans:

    It's true. We found out about an hour ago that Moonlight has been officially cancelled.

    We are truly saddened by the news and are sorry that we won't get the chance to live with our wonderful characters and follow them on their adventures for a second season.

    We really want to thank all our loyal fans for their undying love and support of the show. We never would have made it this far without them.

    This series has one of the most dedicated, passionate audiences I've ever seen in the many years in this job. And to all of you I extend a heartfelt hug.
The move is stunning and reflects incredible stupidity on the part of the executives at CBS. One minute the network claims that women dictate the success of network television and then they cancel the most romantic series in the entire history of television.

If you somehow missed Moonlight, you missed a great televison drama. Alex O'Laughlin and Sophia Myles have real chemistry. The storyline is compelling and the production is first rate in spite of the rumored turmoil behind the scenes.

The ratings were quite good in the writer's ravaged split season. And the show won the People's Choice Award for Best New Drama. This simply isn't a show you cancel.

Within hours of the post above at
E! Online the boards there had gathered nearly 400 outraged comments. There will be an effort to save this series. I hope it succeeds.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

It's Tuesday Night.... Again

Will the primary season never end?
Hillary Clinton won by a landslide in West Virginia. but it raised only one question. Can Barack Obama win in November?
The pundits say "No." At least that's what they say tonight. Not unless Obama can begin to connect with blue collar, middle to lower income Americans.
I believe that Obama cannot win without picking Hillary Clinton as his running mate. The pundits are mixed on that one tonight. But it's my opinion.
I have some real concerns about the next six months, especially about the role the media might play in Obama's effort to appeal to these voters. But the problem will not be a lack of media support. It will be the absolutely clueless media continuing to talk down to the American public.
This week Newsweek has a very strong pro Obama cover story. It's a gigantic load of shit. It's factually incorrect and horrifically skewed. And it's arrogant. It talks down to America. It is elitist.
I hate to tell the folks at Newsweek, but the American public is not stupid, in spite of what writers Richard Wolffe and Evan Thomas might believe. Wolffe and Thomas made two things perfectly clear: First, they are geniuses even if they know nothing about the last 40 years of history and second, the American voters are prejudiced, cowering idiots.
I realize Wolffe and Thomas thought they were doing Obama a big favor, but they merely painted him into their highly prejudiced elitist corner.

In Case You Somehow Missed This.......

Of course, I think Hillary may have missed it.......

Monday, May 12, 2008


Here's a really, really short post this morning which might generate a little discussion. I will be addressing this topic a great deal more between now and November (and probably long afterward).

I was flipping between MSNBC's Morning Joe and Imus in the Morning (on RFD-TV) when I happened to catch Mika's interview with Senator Joe Lieberman. I was instantly reminded as to why I like the now Independent Connecticut Senator so very much.

Senator Lieberman made a statement with which I totally agree. He said (and I'm paraphrasing here) that the single most important issue this fall was partisanship. We cannot solve health care, or the economy or the environment until we can resolve the increasingly polarizing effect of partisanship in Washington.

I agree completely.

Lieberman made the point that both Republican candidate McCain and Democrat candidate Obama are campaigning on "reaching across the aisle" to solve America's problems.

Of course Lieberman feels McCain is better equipped to accomplish this and has a better history of bipartisanship.

While I cannot disagree with Senator Lieberman's observations, Senator Obama does make a strong case for changing the way Washington works and I believe he intends to try.

The big question in my mind is do Obama's supporters want bipartisanship? Or are they merely interested in gaining control. Absolute control if at all possible.

I've written elsewhere I believe the Democrats will have a bulletproof majority in the Senate (over 60 Democrat senators). Bipartisanship might not be necessary if Obama wins.

This worries me greatly.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Hotter Than Hell

Barack Obama has had two of the toughest weeks any candidate has ever faced. Obama has taken a lot of heat.
And yet he powered through the North Carolina primary like a hot knife through butter!!
And he was hotter than hell in Indiana, too. You would never know Hillary had come off a big win in Pennsylvania and seemed to be on a roll. She simply rolled into a big brick wall called Barack Obama.
I think the Democrats and the American public are ready for this primary season to be over. I think they'd like to see Obama turn his fire toward John McCain.
I very much like and appreciate Hillary Clinton, but she needs to bow out gracefully....... now. Before she crashes and burns.

Friday, May 02, 2008

This Apologizing Crap is (Almost) Out of Control

Don Imus, you are one "nappy headed ho." There I said it! I mean Christ, you have got to do something about your hair! It's out of control!

And your latest whoring, this time for
RFD-TV mogul Patrick Gottsch is disgusting. Man, the guy can't even manage to sell a single commercial to sponsor your show! If I have to sit through one more slobbering love tribute from you to Mr. Gottsch , I'm gonna be sick. Get a frakking room!

Opps! That was over the line,wasn't it? I guess I better apologize before the Imus fanatics boycott my blog. And death threats can't be far behind. Sorry, Don. I apologize. You really still are the great radio personality you once were. And you do wear a hat, so it's all good. Okay?

In all semi-seriousness, this not offending people thing is simply out of control! Everyone has to be so careful, they almost can't talk, let alone editorialize. And satire.... forget about it.

It's a world wide trend and, tragically, many countries are actually putting it into law. Canada is totally out of control, with
many bloggers facing impossible lawsuits for offending someone.

Italy, Spain and virtually all countries with large Islamic populations have strong laws against offending religion, but usually that only means Islam.

Here in the good old U.S. of A. we have one special interest group after another demanding apologies, firing and worse.

So when radio personality Randi Rhodes makes a
wild, expletive filled rant about Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro, she is forced to apologize or lose her job. To her credit Rhodes quit rather than apologize (and has since found a new radio home for her far left wing talk fest).

Don Imus, of course lost his job and was exiled from radio for six months or more, before finally bringing back a highly sanitized version of his program, this time with two black co-hosts to keep him out of trouble.

Bill Maher's rant about the Catholic Church and the Pope was terribly funny, but far enough over the line that HBO was forced under pressure from Catholics to demand Maher apologize. And he did, sort of.

Of course you will absolutely never hear Maher take on Islam the way he attacks Christianity. Maher nibbles around the edges, but I don't think he wants to risk a fatwa.

And that is a shame. We've got to fight as hard for our right of "FREE SPEECH" as other special interest groups fight to protect their so-calling image or good name.

When the demand that we "never offend" one group or religion, you can easily end up with the kind of out of control mob violence now going on in India at Ranchi University where riots have closed the University because a history professor offended Islam by wording a final exam essay question in a way that was unflattering to the Prophet Mohammad. Links
here, here and here.

So easily offended is the Islamic population that the major newspapers in India won't even reprint the question in question. It was something about the tracing the life of Mohammad from "trader to raider." It was an Islamic history class.

By the way, if you'd like to read an extremely funny rant, I point you the newest Internet blogging sensation, Rachel Lucas and her terrific If I were Temporary Supreme Dictator of America. Then read her massive apology the very next day (yes, it's a real apology after outrage from her readers) Bold new blogging horizons: I deconstruct my very own post.
This is the kind of shit that happens when you get really popular. A problem that, alas, I will never have.
I promise that those two posts will brighten your entire day.