Conduct

The Ill Natured Girl

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Here is a representation of an ill natured little girl. See what an angry and unpleasant expression her countenance has assumed. She is angry at her sister and is tearing up a note, sent to her sister by her grandmother. I will tell you the story. The grandmother of those three children, was on a visit to the house. She had observed how violent and overbearing Susan was, and how properly her sister Annie behaved. Annie was of a gentle, mild, and willing disposition. If Susan's brother should happen to take up her book, she would immediately scream out in a sharp tone, "let my book alone." If her brother should attempt to reply, she would snappishly retort, "I don't care, you shall not meddle with it." Her conduct towards Annie was just the same, in fact, she more than once answered her grandmother in such a tart and abrupt manner, that her mother whipped her for it.

A few days after the grandmother had left, there was a package came for -- "Miss Annie." It proved to be a most beautiful writing desk, made of rosewood, inlaid with mother-of-pearl. It was filled with fine paper, pens, wafers, sealing wax, and a nice seal. It contained a note in these words: -- "This present is for a little girl who knows how to keep her temper. From her affectionate grandmother." Susan was so angry that she snatched the paper and tore it into pieces. The lesson will do her good.

-- The Girl's Cabinet of Instructive and Moral Stories by Uncle Philip

American Patriotism


Welcome to this section of my site honoring America the beautiful.
Sheri’s Patriot Website.This salute to President George W. Bush will remain here until the Iraq conflict is over. This reflects the promise of young conservatives across the U.S.A. to stand by our Commander in Chief!” Godd Bless America and godblessamerica.info.America is great because of Jesus Christ, and if we lose Christ we lose our greatness.” America Triumphant, the movie, and America We Stand as One.

Congress Is Busted


"Hastert Launches a Partisan Policy"
-- Charles Babington in The Washington Post, 11/27/04:

In scuttling major intelligence legislation that he, the president and most lawmakers supported, Speaker J. Dennis Hastert last week enunciated a policy in which Congress will pass bills only if most House Republicans back them, regardless of how many Democrats favor them.

Hastert's position, which is drawing fire from Democrats and some outside groups, is the latest step in a decade-long process of limiting Democrats' influence and running the House virtually as a one-party institution. Republicans earlier barred House Democrats from helping to draft major bills such as the 2003 Medicare revision and this year's intelligence package. Hastert (R-Ill.) now says such bills will reach the House floor, after negotiations with the Senate, only if "the majority of the majority" supports them.

Senators from both parties, leaders of the Sept. 11 commission and others have sharply criticized the policy. The long-debated intelligence bill would now be law, they say, if Hastert and his lieutenants had been humble enough to let a high-profile measure pass with most votes coming from the minority party.

That is what Democrats did in 1993, when most House Democrats opposed the North American Free Trade Agreement. President Bill Clinton backed NAFTA, and leaders of the Democratic-controlled House allowed it to come to a vote. The trade pact passed because of heavy GOP support, with 102 Democrats voting for it and 156 voting against. Newt Gingrich of Georgia, the House GOP leader at the time, declared: "This is a vote for history, larger than politics . . . larger than personal ego."

Such bipartisan spirit in the Capitol now seems a faint echo. Citing the increased marginalization of Democrats as House bills are drafted and brought to the floor, Rep. David E. Price (D-N.C.) said, "It's a set of rules and practices which the Republicans have taken to new extremes."

No Intelligence Reform Bill


"Intelligence Overhaul Bill Blocked"
-- Charles Babington and Walter Pincus in The Washington Post, 11/21/04:

Long-debated legislation to dramatically reshape the nation's intelligence community collapsed in the House yesterday, as conservative Republicans refused to embrace a compromise because they said it could reduce military control over battlefield intelligence and failed to crack down on illegal immigrants.

The impasse, which caught congressional leaders by surprise, was a blow to President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and others who had personally asked House conservatives to accept the measure proposed by House-Senate negotiators early yesterday. It also marked a major setback for the Sept. 11 commission -- whose July report triggered a drive toward overhauling the nation's intelligence operations -- and for many relatives of victims of the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The sidetracked bill would have created a director of national intelligence and a counterterrorism center, along with scores of other changes to the nation's approach to gathering intelligence and battling terrorism. The measure would have given the new intelligence chief authority to set priorities for the Central Intelligence Agency and 14 other agencies that gather intelligence, including several at the Defense Department. Hastert refused to call the proposal dead, saying Congress may reconvene Dec. 6 to try again, although lawmakers had planned to close out the 108th Congress this weekend.

Even some key Republicans, however, said prospects appear slim for producing a compromise that the House and Senate can pass. "I don't now see a process for which we can get this done in the next few weeks," said Rep. Peter Hoekstra (Mich.), chairman of the House intelligence committee and the House's top GOP negotiator.

Rep. Jane Harman (Calif.), the committee's top Democrat, said, "I think those who are vehemently opposed are not going to come around." She said it is up to Bush, Hastert and other GOP leaders to overcome the House conservatives' resistance. If a bill is not enacted by year's end, efforts would have to start anew in the 109th Congress that convenes in January.

The Republican Spending Bill


"$388 Billion Bill Is Show of GOP Power"
-- Alan Fram in The Chicago Sun-Times, 11/21/04:

WASHINGTON -- Republicans whisked a $388 billion spending bill through Congress on Saturday, a mammoth measure that underscores the dominance of deficit politics by curbing dollars for everything from education to environmental cleanups.

The House approved the measure 344-51 margin, while Senate passage was by 65-30. . . .

From its tight domestic spending to the Democratic-backed provisions on overtime and other issues that were dropped, the bill is a monument to the GOP's raw power controlling the White House and Congress.

Even Bush's initiatives were not immune to cuts as the bill's GOP chief authors heeded his demands to control spending. His request for development of new nuclear weapons was rejected; his budget for the AmeriCorps volunteer program was sliced 12 percent, and the $2.5 billion he wanted to aid countries adopting democratic practices was slashed by $1 billion.

Passage would crown the lame-duck session of Congress, which began Tuesday. Lawmakers hoped to leave town for the year Saturday night, but Senate delays on the spending bill and the collapse of bargaining over a measure reorganizing U.S. intelligence agencies left timing in doubt.

Also enacted during the post-election session was an $800 billion increase in the government's borrowing limit. The measure was yet another testament to record annual deficits, which reached $413 billion last year and are expected to climb indefinitely.

Congress made it a little easier for hospitals, insurers and other to refuse to provide or cover abortions. A provision in the bill would block any of the measure's money from going to federal, state or local agencies that act against health care providers and insurers because they don't provide abortions, make abortion referrals or cover them.

Congress Is Broken


"Republicans Red-Faced over Measure Allowing Tax Returns to Be Disclosed without Penalty"
-- Matt Yancey (AP) in The Boston Globe, 11/20/04:

Congress passed legislation Saturday giving two committee chairman and their assistants access to income tax returns without regard to privacy protections, but not before red-faced Republicans said it was all a mistake and would be swiftly repealed.

The Senate unanimously adopted a resolution immediately after passing a 3,300-word spending bill containing the measure, saying the provision ''shall have no effect.'' House leaders promised to pass the resolution next Wednesday.

''We're going to get that done,'' said John Feehery, a spokesman for House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

The spending bill covering most federal agencies and programs will not be sent to President Bush until the House acts on the resolution repealing the tax returns language.

''There will be no window where this will be law,'' Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said. He referred to the provision as the Istook amendment and congressional aides said it was put in the bill at the request of Rep. Ernest Istook Jr., chairman of the House Appropriations Committee's transportation subcommittee.

The provision and the inability of Hastert, R-Ill., to get the votes he wanted on an intelligence overhaul bill left Republican leaders chagrinned on a day they had intended to be a celebration of their accomplishments.

''This is a serious situation,'' said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Ted Stevens, R-Alaska. ''Neither of us were aware that this had been inserted in this bill,'' he said, referring to himself and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Bill Young, R-Fla.

Questioned sharply by fellow Republicans as well as Democrats, Stevens pleaded with the Senate to approve the overall spending bill despite the tax returns language.

But Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said that wasn't good enough. ''It becomes the law of the land on the signature of the president of the United States. That's wrong.''

Conrad said the measure's presence in the spending bill was symptomatic of a broader problem Congress writing legislation hundreds of pages long and then giving lawmakers only a few hours to review it before having to vote on it.

Stevens, who repeatedly apologized for what he characterized as an error, took offense at Conrad's statement. ''It's contrary to anything that I have seen happen in more than 30 years on this committee,'' he said.

Pounding on his desk, Stevens said he had given his word and so had Young that neither would use the authority to require the IRS to turn over individual or corporate tax returns to them. ''I would hope that the Senate would take my word. I don't think I have ever broken my word to any member of the Senate.''

Charming Superstition


"X = Not a Whole Lot"
-- John Allen Paulos in The Guardian, 11/18/04:

Excuse my mathematician's obsession with coin flips, but consider this. There is a large bloc of people who will vote for the Republican candidate no matter what, and a similarly reliable Democratic bloc of roughly the same size. There is also a smaller group of voters who either do not have fixed opinions or are otherwise open to changing their vote.

To an extent, these latter people's votes (and thus elections themselves) are determined by chance (external events, campaign gaffes, etc).

So what conclusion would we draw about a coin that landed heads two or three times out of four flips (or about a sequence of two or three Democratic victories in the last four elections)? The answer, of course, is that we would draw no conclusions at all.

One reason we tend to draw far-reaching conclusions about elections is the charming superstition that significant events must be the consequence of significant events.

This psychological foible is illustrated by an experiment in which a group of subjects is told that a man parked his car on a hill. It then rolled into a fire hydrant. A second group is told that the car rolled into a pedestrian.

The members of the first group generally view the event as an accident; the members of the second generally hold the driver responsible. People are more likely to attribute an event to an agent than to chance if it has momentous or emotional implications. Likewise with elections.

Bush Guard Service: Summary of Disappeared Records


"Bush's National Guard File Missing Records"
-- Matt Kelley (AP) at news.yahoo.com, 9/5/04:

Records of Bush's service have significant gaps, starting in 1972. Bush has said he left Texas that year to work on the unsuccessful Senate campaign in Alabama of family friend Winton Blount.

The five kinds of missing files are:

-- A report from the Texas Air National Guard to Bush's local draft board certifying that Bush remained in good standing. The government has released copies of those DD Form 44 documents for Bush for 1971 and earlier years but not for 1972 or 1973. Records from Bush's draft board in Houston do not show his draft status changed after he joined the guard in 1968. The AP obtained the draft board records Aug. 27 under the Freedom of Information Act.

-- Records of a required investigation into why Bush lost flight status. When Bush skipped his 1972 physical, regulations required his Texas commanders to "direct an investigation as to why the individual failed to accomplish the medical examination," according to the Air Force manual at the time. An investigative report was supposed to be forwarded "with the command recommendation" to Air Force officials "for final determination."

Bush's spokesmen have said he skipped the exam because he knew he would be doing desk duty in Alabama. But Bush was required to take the physical by the end of July 1972, more than a month before he won final approval to train in Alabama.

-- A written acknowledgment from Bush that he had received the orders grounding him. His Texas commanders were ordered to have Bush sign such a document; but none has been released.

-- Reports of formal counseling sessions Bush was required to have after missing more than three training sessions. Bush missed at least five months' worth of National Guard training in 1972. No documents have surfaced indicating Bush was counseled or had written authorization to skip that training or make it up later. Commanders did have broad discretion to allow guardsmen to make up for missed training sessions, said Weaver and Lawrence Korb, Pentagon . . . personnel chief during the Reagan administration from 1981 to 1985.

"If you missed it, you could make it up," said Korb, who now works for the Center for American Progress, which supports Kerry.

-- A signed statement from Bush acknowledging he could be called to active duty if he did not promptly transfer to another guard unit after leaving Texas. The statement was required as part of a Vietnam-era crackdown on no-show guardsmen. Bush was approved in September 1972 to train with the Alabama unit, more than four months after he left Texas.

Texts

Craig Calhoun, “The Class Consciousness of Frequent Travelers: Toward a Critique of Actually Existing Cosmopolitanism” (2002). C. Wright Mills, “On Intellectual Craftsmanship” (1959). Lion Kimbrough, How to Make a Complete Map of Every Thought You Think (2003). A treasury of Tom Swift texts. An infinity of George W. Bush speeches. NASA’s Apollo Lunar Surface Journal. Christian Bök’s Eunoia. The 2004 Bulwer-Lytton Awards. Seymour Hersh’s address to the ACLU (July 8, 2004) on the unfolding story of American war crimes. People write exactly one hundred words a day and leave them at a website. Discussions among testy copyeditors. An outline of Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. A scientific method FAQ. The 1,000 Journals Project. A chronology of the secretarial profession. US Presidents’ inaugural addresses and state of the union messages from George Washington to the present. Online books at Project Gutenberg and Bartleby.com. 100 top American speeches, most with links to .mp3 audio versions. Online book directories: The Online Books Page at The University of Pennsylvania, links to collections and archives at the University of Adelaide, and a collection of links at The British Columbia Digital Library.