Saturday, October 29, 2011

Why people think Che Guevera is Cool

Che Guevera
zig zag man
Maybe the reason so many celebrities and college kids think Che Guevara is cool is because they don't know the difference between Che Guevera and the Zig Zag rolling papers man.  Che Guevera was a sadistic brutal Stalinist mass murderer. The Zig Zag man is an image on rolling papers that are most often used to roll a marijuana joint.

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Occupier guided by Che Guevara's Revolutionary Love

This morning's Tennessean featured several news articles and editorials on the Occupy Nashville movement. An article on the editorial page was accompanied by the above picture. Notice the sign taped to the tent quoting Che Guevara: "The True Revolutionary is guided by feelings of Love."

Che Guevara is the darling of American radicals and even moderate American liberals. Celebrities endorse him and wear his image, his picture adorns college dorm walls, and many young people wear his image around their neck and on t-shirts. He is trendy. In the 2008 Presidential campaign, there was a picture taken of an Obama Texas campaign headquarters with Che’s poster on the wall. To liberals, Che is cool.

Some year ago, I had a young teen relative of mine who for a long time wore a necklace with an image of Che Guevara around his neck. To maintain peace in the family I bite my tongue and avoided commenting. His parents are very liberal and I am sure they thought it was cool that their son wore the Che image. I thought it was as about as cool as if he was wearing a swastika or a Charles Manson medallion necklace. I wanted to ask them why they let their son wear an image a brutal mass murderer around his neck, but I knew it would just lead to ill will and would do no good.

If the Occupy Nashville participants is guided by love the same way Che Guevara was, what does that mean? Should that reassure or comfort us?

Che Guevara was one of Fidel Castro's top lieutenants and was a ruthless killer and instrumental in turning Cuba into a totalitarian prison island. He was second in command for a while after Castro took Cuba and fulfilled several roles in the new government. He was one of the architects of land reform and was president of the National Bank of Cuba and was instrumental in totally destroying the economy of Cuba. He established the Cuban secret police with help and guidance from the Soviet KGB.

He was a fanatical Stalinist. Had Che had the opportunity no doubt he would have rivaled Stalin who killed upwards of 20 million of his own people. He suppressed all descent and opposed freedom of religion, free speech, a free press, the right to protest, fair trials or any other rights not consistent with the most doctrinaire view of Communism. He tried to suppress rock music seeing it as an evil influence and he jailed people for being gay.

He was a sadistic killer who enjoyed torturing people. In his papers we find where he wrote, "I'm here in Cuba's hills, alive and thirsting for blood." In a letter to his father, he wrote, "I really like killing." He dealt harshly with anyone even suspected of disloyalty or lack of revolutionary zeal. Che's instructions to a subordinate on how to deal with a suspects was, "if in doubt, kill him."

Shortly after the overthrow of Batista, Guevara took responsibility for the executions of hundreds of former Batista officials. He ordered and organized the firing squads that killed hundreds. During the consolidation of power in Cuba, 14,000 Cubans were executed without fair trials and 500,000 Cubans were send to labor camps. That is the "great feeling of love" of a true revolutionary as practiced by Che Guevara.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

What to look for in the Metro Council Nov. 1

Neighborhood Zoning Issues, Billboards and maybe Chickens 

Tuesday night's council meeting is for bills on public hearing. Other than that, the only thing on the agenda are bills on first reading and resolutions, so unless you have a hot zoning issue in your neighborhood, public hearing nights can be real boring. With the current economy, there is less building and so there is not a lot of request for major zone changes for large tracks, so public hearings are not as lengthy as when we are experiencing a lot of growth and development. There are three bills dealing with billboard that may be of of general interest however.

BILL NO. BL2011-25.  This bill will change from RS15 to SP zoning a portion of property located at 3810 Kings Lane, to permit a digital reader board sign. This property is Temple Church.  SP refers to a new type of base zoning district in which design standards are established for that specific development and are written into the zone change ordinance. The purpose of this bill is to allow an LED sign where one would not otherwise be permitted. There has been a lot of controversy about LED signs and where they can be placed. Frankly, I have not kept up with all the nuances of this issue and don't care that much about it but I suspect some serious opposition to the bill. Neighborhood activist will fear this bill sets a president. A lot of neighborhood groups have become concerned about these bright signs on school or church properties in residential neighborhoods.  I understand that the Planning Commission today voted unanimously to disapprove the bill which means on third reading it will have to have a 2/3 majority to pass.

BILL NO. BL2011-29. This bill also deals with digital billboard or LED signs and essentially says that an existing non-conforming static billboard cannot be converted into a digital bill board. Since most billboards in Nashville are now non-conforming this bill would basically have the effect of prohibiting any new digital billboards in the city. I expect a lot of leaders of neighborhood groups will speak in favor of it and some sign companies will speak against it. 

BILL NO. BL2011-30. This is also a billboard bill prohibiting the conversion of nonconforming billboards to tri-face billboards Tri-face billboards consist of triangular louvers that automatically rotate to allow three different sign messages to be shown on the same sign. Expect the same groups as speak on the above bill to speak on this one.

BILL NO. BL2011-47. This bill sponsored by Karen Bennett is on first reading and almost always bills pass unanimously on first reading unless someone objects. This bill may prove controversial however when it reaches second reading.  This bill would allow one to raise a limited number chickens in ones backyard in the city.  Now chickens are prohibited in the city. To keep chickens one would have to pay a fee and no roosters allowed. I am in favor. Let people raise chickens. I don't see the harm. There are some people however who are adamantly opposed. On second reading, expect some jokes about hens and roosters and you may hear some "cluck, cluck, cluck" in the background as Council Lady Bennett argues her bill.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Skeptical Scientist Ends up Reaffirming Global Warming

I recognize that belief in man-made climate change is often a matter of ideology. Many conservatives deny it and ridicule the very concept. One would be hard-pressed to find a liberal who does not believe it whole-heatedly. They believed it even in its infancy when it was a mere theory. The reason I believe there is such an ideological divide on the issue, is because both sides believe that if global warming is real, certain global and societal changes will be necessary to address it. Conservative abhor those changes that are advocated to address the problem and liberals welcome them. Issues of lifestyle, freedom, and sovereignty are seen as at stake in the issue of addressing global warming.

While there have been a few reputable scientists who are not persuaded, most peer reviewed scientific studies support global warming. The global warming alarmist who predicted we should have all been burned to a crisp by now or inundated by rising oceans have not helped their cause. Sort like the prophets who keep predicting the end of time, the alarmist after a while breed more skeptics.

Several years ago, I was persuaded by the evidence that global warming is most likely a scientific fact and that human activity was most likely a contributing factor. My position was shaken however by the “climategate” scandal when emails of climate scientist were hacked and it appeared that the effect of global warming was greatly exaggerated, that contradictory evidence was ignored (“hide the decline”), and those scientist who dared offer a skeptical opinion were conspired against to be marginalized and ridiculed.

A new study has come out that has again confirmed the science of global warming. This study represents the most comprehensive independent review of historical temperature records to date. This study gathered a team of 10 prominent scientists, mostly physicists, who studied anew the data from 40,000 weather stations. Richard Muller, a physicist at the University of California-Berkeley and a former self-described climate skeptic, led the study. He says he was surprised by his findings and is no longer a skeptic and now agrees with the scientific consensus.

After gathering climate data, the researchers graphed their findings and their graph is almost identical to the previous graphs of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa). This new study confirms that global warming is occurring. Not only did they find that it is occurring but it is occurring at a greater rate than the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had estimated.

In addition to the study being led by a global warming skeptic, another thing that lends credibility to this new study is that the research is made available for anyone to review whereas secrecy had surrounded previous studies of global warming. This study is much more transparent. Another thing that adds credibility to this new study is that the funding came from a number of new sources, including $150,000 from a Koch brother’s foundation. The conservative Koch brothers have been critics of man-made global warming. A criticism of previous studies was that the research was tainted by the source of funding and that researchers had a vested interest in reaching conclusions that would support more research.

I know that a lot of people have their mind made up and are not going to be swayed no matter what the evidence shows, but if one can keep an open mind, I think one must conclude that man-made global warming is a reality.

How to address the problem of global warming is a whole different topic than whether or not there is man-made global warming. People who agree there is a problem may still disagree on how to address it. Admitting that man-made global warming is most likely a fact does not mean one has to reach the same conclusions as the socialist one-worlders or back-to-nature hippie spiritualist. It is time to argue about what to do about the problem instead of continuing to deny there is problem.

For more information on this new study see here, here, and here.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Democrats Shamefully support Occupy Wall Street

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

We need the ACLU

I have often been critical of the ACLU. I think they put too much energy into making sure we are not subjected to public prayer or see a public Christmas display and I think they generally have a liberal agenda. However, sometimes they are exactly right.

I think Hedy Weinberg, Executive Director of American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee is correct in her Tennessean editorail today when she says, "The federal government has the responsibility and power to enforce immigration laws, but it cannot do so by breaking the law and running roughshod over the Constitution." (link)

Too many conservatives who vow they love the constitution and are critical of a government that runs roughshod over the constitution are awfully selective about which parts of the constitution they are concerned about. They like the enumerated powers section, the Tenth Amendment, and Second Amendment, but they don't seem to care much for the First Amendment and the Fourth Amendment.

The First Amendment, they will argue, was not really intended to cover Muslims because the Muslim faith is not really a religion but an ideology so local governments should get to decide who gets to build a house of worship in their community.

Regarding the Fourth Amendment, many conservatives do not seem to mind that the government can demand, "show me your papers" or can conduct raids without search warrants or probable cause if the objective of the raid is national security or immigration control.

The Fourth Amendment says, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." This amendment is every bit as important as the second amendment or any other of our rights. If we accept that government can search our homes without warrants we may wake up and all of our freedoms are gone. We need defenders of the Constitution who will insure that government does not trample that right.

If Constitutional Conservative are going to be selective about which parts of the Constitution they really like, then we need the ACLU.

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