Wednesday, January 30, 2008

How the "Truth" Works

Today one of America's "good guys", John Edwards, dropped out of the race. As he said "the son of a mill-worker" would "survive just fine". I'm thinking that might not be all that hard in his brand new 30K square foot house with 10's of millions of dollars of wealth gained largely via lawsuits against the health care industry. Naturally, whatever Edwards gained, we are assured by the MSM, has no effect on increasing costs. Apparently the "productive benefit" of these lawsuits and his huge gains has no effect, while CEO pay is a GIGANTIC problem. That is "just the way it is". CEOs bad, John Edwards good, that is all the sheep need to know.

I find myself not particularly surprised that even after I heard him on more than one occasion say he was "in it for the duration", or "all the way to Denver", he happened to drop out. Things turn out differently than planned sometimes, and of course if you are a Democrat, that is OK. For a Republican, the MSM would see it as a "lie".

One could potentially look at Hillary differently, who said multiple times she would not campaign in Michigan or Florida, and now is touting her "victories" in both. Apparently she "didn't get around to getting off the ballot in Michigan, and doesn't accept that what she did in Florida was "campaigning" since the events were "closed". Yes, "campaign" is a much bigger word than "is", and definitions have always been hard for the Clinton's.

One can't expect the MSM to take much note of these items, we are talking about Democrats after all. Whatever else might be true, Edwards and Hillary "care deeply"-we know because they say so, and as the MSM has told us, "they can be trusted". It is simply beyond the pale to even consider that such wonderful people could just be "poverty pimps" willing to take advantage of the very people they claim to be trying to help in order to keep them as a permanently enslaved hopeless underclass for their own purposes.

NOPE, absolutely ZERO evidence of that, but it is EASY to believe that Bush and Cheney only went into Iraq because they wanted to scare people and get a lot of money for Haliburton. There is a TON of evidence for that! No matter that everyone was certain of WMD, and Saddam killed 100's of thousands-it is CLEAR that Bush cared nothing about those items, only scaring the public and money for Haliburton.

We have poured Trillions down the "stop poverty by telling people that someone else owes them a living" hole wihout success since Johnson declared "war on poverty" in the 60's. It isn't like there haven't been plenty of lives lost in that battle too; from crime, suicide, drugs, etc. It is just that nobody honored those "soldiers in a truly lost cause". A half a Trillion and 4,000 lives is tiny compared to the poverty war-and at least in '07, there was actually progress in Iraq.

When a multi-millionaire comes running your way telling you that "they are going to solve your problems"-for free, the right response is to run the other way as fast as you can. Once you buy into that dependent-victim world view, you are well on the way to perpetual slavery of thought and condition. The only remaining issue is just how much of the rest of the country may get taken down that road with you.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Teddy the drunken Senator has decided to endorse Obama. He has previously endorsed terrorism and both Saddam and Osama Bin Ladin over Bush, so I guess there is a bit more consistency there than one would typically see from a lefty. So much for Obama being seen as a "moderate". I was thinking that I'd only trust Teddy in picking Scotch and young women, but I think there is a 3rd area that I believe him. He is probably able to pick the most out to lunch lefty in the race pretty well. Maybe by the coke-crazed look in his eyes? Anyone ever remember when the left was trying to make such a big issue out of young W's supposed cocaine use? I suspect that cocaine use will be seen as a "positive thing" with Obama.

The NYT has endorsed McCain! Just when I was trying to get used to thinking that I was going to have to support him as "the best available", THIS !!! Well, I'm sure the NYT knows that their endorsement hurts him with a lot of Republicans and their endorsement of any Republican is sort of like the Pope saying who the least objectionable Demon in Hell would be. It isn't a statement of who their constituency ought to vote for, just the action that they think will screw up the devils on the right the most. Gee, I WONDER which party they will endorse for President? ... being "unbiased" and all.

Therefore, in the interest of consistency, I have to ignore the NYT on the positive as much as I ignore them on the negative.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Reagan Mythology

It seems that both conservatives and liberals are locked in bitter struggle over the legacy of Reagan. Bill Kristol points out that Reagan was "conservative before he became Republican" which he argued makes him a unique politician in the 20th century, unlike FDR and Kennedy who were just politicians who liberalism adopted.

Meanwhile, Paul Krugman, the Democrats and a lot of the MSM are back to trying to re-write history so that the last 25 years were some sort of an economic debacle with the only exception being the Clinton years-oh, and somehow "Internet Bubble" is a term that has strangely been lost in a lot of the lefts "unbiased recent history".

One thing seems to be clear, Reagan is a pivotal figure in recent US history, the ineffectual don't get this much attention 20 years after leaving office. One of the fun things about at least Clinton and Carter as Democrats is that they managed to hand the incoming Republican Presidents econimies that were either "in" or very close to recessions, while Bush Sr handed Clinton a growing economy.

This is a nice little trick, as the sagging economy means lower revenues and almost requires higher deficits, so those numbers come out bad. The downside for the Dems is that if the Republican DOES get the economy turned around, as both Reagan and Bush were able to do, then they might get credit for it. The solution to that, since the MSM is so sypathetic is to just "talk the economy down" during a Republican administration. A Republican recovery is always "jobless", or "just based on debt", or "only benefiting the rich", while a Democrat economy, even if it turns out to just be an internet stock bubble ala Bill Clinton is always "robust", "structural", "broad based", or some other positive term.

Even though the market crashed in March of 2K, and the economy was rapidly slowing, the MSM had nothing bad to say about it until Bush took over and it immediately became "the Bush recession". In '92 however, the "Bush recession" lingered in the minds of the MSM while Bill Clinton was elected, but in fact we were already out of recession before Clinton ever too office. Naturally, the Bush tax increase, which no doubt deepened and lengthened the recession cost Bush votes with conservatives (mine for one), but got him no credit from either the MSM or Democrat voters.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Squandered Wealth of Reality

Certainly nothing ever alarmist about Lou Dobbs, good think he gets headline billing every Thursday on CNN. So things were GREAT 25 years ago huh? Maybe for Lou. 1983, the depth of the hang-over recession that was basically "the 70's". The best years of America were behind us, there was no way we could complete, it was OVER. Golly, that was a GREAT time!

During Lou's "squandering of wealth", the inflation adjusted GDP more than doubled, and the stock market returned over 2000%.

I guess that for most of the sheep, "write it and it is so". How can someone that is as out of touch as this guy is have a weekly column in a country where people could actually just remember or look up how wrong he is? How lazy can people be? VERY I guess.

Dobbs: Our leaders have squandered our wealth -

By Lou Dobbs
NEW YORK (CNN) -- President Bush's assurances that we'll all be "just fine" if he and Congress can work out an economic stimulus package seem a little hollow this morning.

Much like Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke's assurances last May that the subprime mortgage meltdown would be contained and not affect the broader economy. And it seems Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has spent most of the past year trying to influence Chinese economic policy rather than setting the direction of U.S. economic policy.

There is no question that Bush, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will quickly come up with an economic stimulus package simply because they can no longer ignore our economic and financial crisis. That economic stimulus plan will amount to about 1 percent of our nation's gross domestic product, an estimated $150 billion.

But all of us should recognize that the stimulus package will be inadequate to drive sustainable growth in our $13 trillion economy. An emergency Fed rate cut and an economic stimulus plan are short-term responses to our complex economic problems, nothing more than bandages for a hemorrhaging economy.

Bush, Pelosi, Reid and the presidential candidates of both parties have an opportunity now, and I believe an obligation, to adjust the public policy mistakes of the past quarter-century that have led to this crisis. And only through courageous policy decisions will we be able to steer this nation's economy away from the brink of outright disaster.

We all have to acknowledge that our problems were in part brought on by the failure of our government to regulate the institutions and markets that are now in crisis. The irresponsible fiscal policies of the past decade have led to a national debt that amounts to $9 trillion. The irresponsible so-called free trade policies of Democratic and Republican administrations over the past three decades have produced a trade debt that now amounts to more than $6 trillion, and that debt is rising faster than our national debt. All of which is contributing to the plunge in the value of the U.S. dollar.

At precisely the point in our history in which this nation has become ever more dependent on foreign producers for everything from clothing to computers to technology to energy, our weakened dollar is making the price of an ever-increasing number of imported goods even more expensive.

All Americans will soon have to face a bitter and now obvious truth: Our national, political and economic leaders have squandered this nation's wealth, and the price of this profligacy is enormous, and the bill has just come due for all of us.

Bernanke endorsed the concept of a short-term economic stimulus package, but he cautioned that the money must be spent correctly: "You'd hope that [consumers] would spend it on things that are domestically produced so that the spending power doesn't go elsewhere."

Just what would you have us spend it on? The truth is that consumers spend most of their money on foreign imports, and any stimulus package probably would be stimulating foreign economies rather than our own. Imports, for example, account for 92 percent of our non-athletic footwear, 92 percent of audio video equipment, 89 percent of our luggage and 73 percent of power tools. In fact, between 1997 and 2006, only five of the 114 industries examined in a U.S. Business and Industry Council report gained market share against import competition.

And let's be honest and straightforward, as I hope our president and the candidates for president will be: This stimulus will not prevent a recession. It may ease the pain for millions of Americans, but a recession we will have. The question is how deep, how prolonged and how painful will it be. Unfortunately, we're about to find out how committed and capable our national leaders are at mitigating that pain and producing realistic policy decisions for this nation that now stands at the brink.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Crazies to the Left, Wimps to the Right

I borrowed the subject Bernard Goldberg book from a buddy since I like the guys sense of humor, but after reading his last two books, I didn't need to own another one. The complete title is "Crazies to the Left of Me, Wimps to the Right: How one side lost it's mind and the other lost its nerve". The title is a bit on the long side, the book is an easy read.

The basic thesis is one that I agree with; the MSM and the left in this country has basically come unhinged with "Bush Derangement Syndrome" and a host of other overblown "horrors" from Global Warming to the country supposedly becoming a "theocracy". On the other side, the Republican Congress during the Bush years has certainly not lived up to why they were elected, Bush never was, and certainly hasn't governed as a "hard line conservative"-perscription drug benefit, signing McCain Feingold, immigration. The list could go on. In the supposed interest of "moderation", the Republicans have pandered to all sorts of supposedly "middle of the road" thinking that has cost them votes from the more doctrinaire conservatives, not impressed anybody that just wanted the country to have success, and if anything helped the left to hate them even more.

What IS clear is that unlike liberals who were very willing to vote for (and otherwise support) Clinton during his "triangulation" of tacking to the right in NAFTA, Welfare reform and working with the Republican Congress to slow the rate of growth in government spending, there is no such "allowance" from something like 20% of the Republican party, so Bush has lost close to half the Republican vote. Goldberg would say that is a "good thing" and the those principled people will bring us back to the right path. Maybe-I sure hope so, but I'm afraid that the cost of the "detour" is going to be extremely high.

I like Bernie's view of how odd a supposedly intelligent conservative like him seems to a liberal, since it doesn't fit their model;
"After all they figure, I'm not a racist. I can read and write. I'm not married to my sister and I don't drool on myself. So how in the world can I possibly be a conservative".
He writes of the old Clinton Staffer, Lanny Davis discovering that people on the left can be mean-IN August of 2006, Lanny wrote;
"My brief and unhappy experience with the hate and vitrol of bloggers on the liberal side of aisle comes from that last several months I spent campaigning for a longtime friend, Joe Liberman. This is scary hatred my dad used to tell me only comes from the right wing...".
Wow, impressive Lanny-I guess it was a surprise to you that although you may still believe that all the Republicans were Nazis, that comparison doesn't automatically make folks on the left into angels.

Here were a couple of examples that Bernie quoted to show that it isn't THAT unusual to hear some nasty stuff from the left:

Nina Totenberg of NPR, on air: "If there is retributive justice, Jesse Helms will get AIDs from a transfusion, or one of his grandchildren will get it." Ah yes Nina, I'm glad we provide tax dollars for your insightful and non-partisan commentary, it is indeed "all about the children".

How about lefty talking head Julianne Malveaux saying she hoped that Clarence Thomas's wife "feeds him a lot of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease, because he is an absolutely reprehensible person". These people are just plain caring, there is no way around it! No doubt Julianne is the flower of humanity and her judgment of Thomas is completely warranted.

I think he is generally right on the following 4-rule statement of the situation:

Rule 1: You can never outspend Democrats.
Rule 2: You can never out-compassion Democrats. They own the issue.
Rule 3: No matter how much money Republicans throw at the voters in an attempt to make over their image, it will never be enough. They can never shed their mean-spirited, we-don't-give-a-damn-about-the-poor label. The liberal media simply won't let it happen.
Rule 4: Republicans who try to repeal these rules will only succeed in losing an important consituency-fiscal conservatives, and will instantly see the cynical game they are playing and despise them for it.

He then lists a whole bunch of money that the Republican Congress spent on the poor, education, etc, and the fact that it didn't dent the left view of their lack of concern at all, but it of course DID turn off fiscal conservatives. Whole books are written on the fact that by a wide margin people that tend to vote Republican give more and do more than people that vote Democrat (even when you factor out church giving/volunteering), but that doesn't change the view either. Being on the left means that you usually let your emotions rule and "truth" is relative. When that is the case, you view the world the way you like and the facts aren't going to change your mind. In the case of the left, since the MSM is going to tend to be an echo of your views, you get to feel even more smug.

He points out the Senator Teddy the secretary killer's quote;
"Shamefully, we now learn that Saddam's torture chambers opened under new management-US management."
To which Bernie replies: "This is what is known as "moral equivalence", which pretty much comes down to this: They do horrible things. We do horrible things. On it's face, it is an intellectually lame argument, one that stems from nothing more than liberal hatred of George W. Bush. Does any serious person really believe that what went on in Abu Ghirab when Saddam Hussien was in power was the same as what goes on when the American military is in charge? Does any reasonable person really think that "Saddam's torture chambers opened under new management-US management"? Nothing speaks to the failures of modern-day liberalism-and it's moral bankruptcy more than this."

I think he over-estimates a lot of the American people on this. The NYT ran Abu Ghirab on their front page 32 days in a ROW. Most people have a hard time not being influenced by that. I think Bernie gets the points out in his book, but maybe not strongly enough that for even those with significant ability to resist propaganda, the fact that "using dogs on prisoners" runs on the front page for 32 days, while all manner of detail on the torture and KILLING of 100's of thousands of people under Saddam gets next to no mention at all. Virtually none of the kids and families helped, schools built, or thousands of other good things done by the US military get any coverage at all.

Meanwhile, what is it that Senator "Scotch and Water" (a LOT of water) would know about "shame"? Is that a concept that somehow reaches the recesses of that sodden mess in his head? I'm sure he knows a lot about drinking, picking up young women and how to bury the bodies, but I suspect his knowledge of "shame" is in the same league as Billy C, which is to mean that it is something that doesn't exist for them.

It seems that Bernie has a problem with Dan Rather, but I did think he pointed out something obvious that I had never considered. Rather used to sign off with "courage", which most thought was a bit strange. For this supposed "Liberal Texas Cowboy" to let those around him be forced out of CBS without his resigning as well is pretty much the nail in the coffin of any ACTUAL courage of character on the part of Dan.

This is a well-known, but never too often repeated statement on poverty:
"William Galston, a domestic advisor to President Clinton, made the same point. To avoid poverty he said, you have to do three things: finish high school, marry before having children, marry after the age of 20. Only 8% of people that do this end up poor, while 79% of those who do all three end up poor".
I guess the only thing a rational person decides from that is that we need more government programs to prevent poverty? Sadly, even though the facts are well known, the MSM and the Democrats treat the simplicity of what it takes to have a decent life in America as a state secret.

I enjoyed the book, but I suspect that very few of the people that would really gain from reading it will actually do so.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Faulty Design Rather than Insufficient Taxes?

Faulty Design Led to Minnesota Bridge Collapse, Inquiry Finds - New York Times
“This is not a bridge-inspection thing,” said one investigator, “It’s calculating loads and looking at designs.” The investigator spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss the investigators’ findings before the announcement Tuesday.
Wow, I'm shocked and surprised, the bridge fell due to a design error in 1967 rather than "Government on the cheap" by evil Republicans. I suppose that we can expect apologies from Amy Klobochar who thought it fell because of "Bush and Iraq". Would that be a "lie" in that from a Democrat POV if what you think is the cause doesn't prove true it means you lied? I mean, I don't think that anyone even told her that her insight into Iraq causing the bridge to fall was a "slam dunk".

How about Nick Coleman, he is just a media guy, surely HE will apologize? He thought it fell because of "insufficient taxes" and "wing-nuts in coonskin caps". You see, the thing about liberals is that they are HELPFUL, they say things that point the way to "a better world", they are pretty much immune to doing any "partisan sniping".

We poor scientific and engineering types are forced to deal in measures like gusset plate thickness, shear strength and load factors. Simple boring stuff hardly worth the notice of the kinds of genius of Nick and Amy. We bow in awe of the kind of brilliance that can immediately see the benefits of pointing at "Iraq" or "low taxes" as proximate causes for a bridge falling. I'm sure in some metaphysical sense they are "right" -- on the same plane as the CBS Bush National Guard memos. "Truth" is so much more "fluid" when it crosses a liberals lips.

It is clear our country will really move forward with more insightful leadership like that.

Letters to NYT Editor on Bill Kristol

Power Line: Letters to the public editor

700 to 1 Times readers taking the time to write a letter against having ONE only somewhat conservative voice on the NYT editorial staff? How pure has the left really gotten?

The points here are very well taken. "liberal" in this country of course has meant the OPPOSITE of "liberal" since FDR. It means "fundamentalist anti", where "anti" is pretty much business, religion, family, actual freedom of speech, values, etc. It isn't surprising that readers steeped in hearing only one view and having it labeled "the truth" would find it odd that there actually exists a diversity of ideas.

Power Line: Minnesota's angry humorist strikes again

Power Line: Minnesota's angry humorist strikes again:

Good old Garrison, his neighbors are so bad and he is so good. The idea of "Private Property" or just "obeying zoning laws" isn't enough for royalty like him, he must be consulted. I imagine that when you are processing as much air from temperate to HOT, you need a lot of it, so any "blocking" could be fatal.

Good thing he isn't my neighbor, I don't think I'd be rushing back from many vacations to try to placate an ego of that massive size.

Now who is it that thinks that it is only Corporate CEOs and Athletes that have outsized egos? The condition is very human, and we ALL fall into that case from time to time, the only issue is one of recognition (and visibility).

Monday, January 14, 2008

Hillary Responsible for Success in Iraq?

Power Line: Suspending take credit

The following from a soldier back from Iraq that seems to question if Hillary ought to be able to take credit for 2007 progress in Iraq. I wonder why the MSM doesn't find the assertion that progress in Iraq is due to promises of future policies to be questionable? Oh, that's right, it is HILLARY making them. The progress certainly CAN'T be due to BUSH policies and the efforts of American servicemen on the ground!

Must be nice to be a Democrat that can predict that the Surge will be a failure, call the war "already lost", and call our General in charge a liar-only to go ahead and take credit for success!
Having just gotten back from Iraq about a month ago, I'm stunned to see Hillary Clinton taking credit for the progress (political and otherwise) going on in Iraq. While she was jetting around the country, raising money for her personal political ambitions, I was riding around the streets of Iraq, fighting terrorists and raising the hopes of people I don't even know. For Clinton to suggest that her promises of future policies had more effect on the improvements in Iraq than even ONE of our soldiers is disgraceful and insulting. I will not allow her to take credit for the results of our hard work, especially when she opposed the policy to give us the help we needed ( i.e., the surge).
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Empowered Bald Guy

Somebody sent me an IM at work to inform me that we now had a "Diversity Group" for MEN! I guess we are now at least nearly as important as Women, Blacks, Gays, Americans, Indians, Hispanics, Chinese, People from Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Deaf People, Blind People, etc.

They wanted to know if I felt "empowered".

I responded that "I'm only going to feel empowered when somebody loses their job for making a bald joke".

Were I serious, that would be what I call "sick".

The Joy of the Pack

Everything you really need to understand about life can be explained by either being a Christian or a Packer fan. Being a Packer fan is a more select group and there are less people to talk to about "The Way", so I'll fill you in there.

First of all, you have to believe in the relevance of historical fact and tradition. Bears fans are the only other football fans that come close to understanding this, although it is a common thing in baseball. If one wasn't there "at the creation", then the world of the NFL has much less meaning. We share a bond with Bears fans that Vikings fans will never know. History has meaning.

Of equal importance is the reality of faith, hope and devotion. How dark those years in the wilderness of 70's and the 80's were, but for the vast majority of Packer Fans the faith never wavered. We of course suffered the constant attacks from Viking fans, and yes of course the Bears fans as well. Even though the Bears have been around a long time so at least understand the context, one has to remember that Lucifer has been around a long time as well. Longevity and goodness are not the same thing.

Packer fans are known as "The Faithful" for good reason. We know we will always be Packer fans, independent of the yearly results. Being a fan of the Pack involves transcendence. It means you have accepted a higher calling, the calling that the NFL has chose to honor for all time by naming the Super Bowl Trophy as "The Lombardi Trophy". While it is always gratifying to have the validity of transcendence recognized, the bottom line is that it's meaning exists beyond mere earthly recognition.

We know that our ultimate reward is on that Frozen Tundra in the sky where St Vincent presides over perpetual winning seasons, but games like Sunday provide those glimpses of paradise that are great blessings on the walk of faith. Much like life, there are those moments when you are down 14-0, but with faith, hope and devotion, those moments can become 42-20 victories in the pure white of sacred Lambeau snow. Such is the joy of being a Packer Fan.

Will we win Sunday? Unlike Vikings fans of the Atlanta NFC Championship era, we will not be counting on it until the results are written in the book of NFL history, but as always, we are optimistic. A Super Bowl as underdogs against the mighty Patriots would be the fitting end to a storybook season for the Old Pro Favre and his young team. Green Bay is the youngest team in the NFL, and without Favre they would be so young they wouldn't be allowed to play.

We will remain thankful for each and every contest added to the storehouse of memories that are what it means to be part of the heritage of Green Bay Greatness. Some are wins and some are losses, but all involve the Packers, so they are memories to be cherished.

Democrat's Fairy Tale

The Democrats’ Fairy Tale - New York Times

Yesterday, on “Meet the Press,” Hillary Clinton claimed that the Iraqis are changing their ways in part because of the Democratic candidates’ “commitment to begin withdrawing our troops in January of 2009.” So the Democratic Party, having proclaimed that the war is lost and having sought to withdraw U.S. troops, deserves credit for any progress that may have been achieved in Iraq.

That is truly a fairy tale. And it is driven by a refusal to admit real success because that success has been achieved under the leadership of ... George W.
Bush. The horror!

Yup, Everything good is due to Democrats and everything bad is due to Republicans. One wouldn't really mind Democrats thinking that, it is the MSM thinking it that gets a bit dreary. The other line from this that bears repeating is:

Do Obama and Clinton and Reid now acknowledge that they were wrong? Are they willing to say the surge worked?

No. It’s apparently impermissible for leading Democrats to acknowledge— let alone celebrate — progress in Iraq. When asked recently whether she stood behind her “willing suspension of disbelief” insult to General Petraeus, Clinton said, “That’s right.”

To believe anything that ever slithers out of one of the Clinton's mouths is to be committed to at at best ignorance and likely much worse. To take Hillary's word over Petraeus is overtly choosing evil in the face of good.

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Imagine how long this would take if you were listening to an assilant work their way up to your bedroom. Imagine how long it would take if you were unarmed.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

We Just Want to Lose!

I always wonder if there are any circumstances under which the Democrats would actually hope for success for America. No, probably not. In the unlikely event they ever wanted to take a shot at truth, the "We Just Want to Lose" motto could be a great slogan!

Power Line: Political Progress in Iraq
Political Progress in Iraq

The Democrats' party line is the "surge" in Iraq has failed despite the best efforts of our troops, because the surge has not been followed by the political progress called for in Congress's "benchmarks." Yesterday, one of the benchmarks was achieved as Iraq's Parliament voted to reinstate the ability of former Baathists to serve in government jobs.

Much more progress remains to be made. Still, perhaps one can look forward to the day when the Democrats, out of ammo, unveil a new slogan: "We just want to lose!"

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Friday, January 11, 2008

America's Bull Run

America's Bull Run - US News and World Report
America's Bull Run
Can we keep it going?
By James Pethokoukis
Posted January 4, 2008

What an amazing run. For a quarter century, from late 1982 through 2007, Americans enjoyed a financial and economic boom that was as powerful as it was unexpected. During that generational span, the economy more than doubled in size—rising from $5.2 trillion to $11.7 trillion, adjusted for inflation—as the stock market generated an incredible 2,300 percent total return. Downturns have been blessedly brief. Consider this: Since 1982, the economy has suffered two recessions, in 1990-91 and in 2001, for a total of 16 months. In the previous 25 years, the economy suffered six economic downturns for a painful total of 67 months.
It WAS "unexpected" to the MSM and most Americans, but of course both the economy and the demise of the USSR were EXPECTED to one "simple minded" Ronald Reagan. Maybe Reagan wasn't quite as "out of touch" as all those brilliant lefties in the MSM think.

Wouldn't it be amazing if just a few Americans tried to understand what was different from 1982 on, and WHY we had such an unprecedented run? In 1989 the Japanese Nikkei finished just shy of 39K, and today it sits at around 15k. In the late '80s LOTS of pundits, including Lee Iaccoca, talked of the "foolishness of the Reagan administration", and how the Japanese were buying our country and were going to "take us over". Wouldn't it seem worth understanding why the supposedly brilliant were very wrong and the supposedly foolish were very right?

So what do we do to keep doing what we have done for the last 25 years? Actually it is pretty simple:

  1. Keep Competition High - No trade barriers, more deregulation.
  2. Keep Inflation Low - When prices rise, raise interest faster.
  3. Keep Taxes Low - The Reagan tax cuts ignited the growth in '82 and they and every tax cut since have MORE than paid for themselves with growth in the economy. Of course the government has always figured out how to spend even MORE than that growth, but that is hardly the fault of the growing economy for that. Try to harvest that growth with higher taxes, and every indication is that the growth will stop.
So US News covers this. How many of the sheep in the country even think that the economy is GOOD? Not many, all most can talk about is "change". There is no guarnentee inherent in "change" that it will make things better, in fact, unless those doing the changes are VERY clear about what it is that they are doing and WHY, the odds are that the change will be highly negative.

We are hurtling down the road in the economy that Reagan built, and we are likely to hand it over to folks that don't understand anything about what it takes to continue at anything like the current growth we have.

iPhone Article

How The iPhone Blew up The Cell Industry is a good article in Wired about the iPhone development and business change. Since I have one in my pocket, it may be more interesting to me. I remember a time when in order to buy the latest and greatest PC it was $5K or better of more expensive dollars.

No longer. Where the iPhone is built makes very little difference, the design, deals and profit end up with Apple and AT&T. Japan thought that manufacturing excellence was the way to a perpetually growing economyin the '70s and '80s. Their stock market peaked at 39K in the late 80's and it hovers around 15K now. If we would have listened to guys like Lee Iaccoca and most Democrats in the '80s, we could be sitting at 50% of our 89 market highs as well.

The need for continual innovation to provide growth ought to be plain. This article shows a concrete example. The "growth economy" of tomorrow is not going to be the same as the growth economy of today, and the way to predict that economy isn't by listening to government bureaucrats, MSM reporters, or even ivory tower professors. "The way" is the way of creative destruction, and it involves a lot of experiment, failure, and plain old luck. There better be millions of people taking part in that, not any supposedly super brilliant central planners. If they WERE super brilliant, they would realize they weren't as smart as millions of people.

Voting Irregularities in New Hampshire

This link on supposed Diebold voting irregularities. in New Hampshire showed up on a techie net clipping service this AM. I was noticing that the MSM seemed quite incurious about potential irregularities in NH, even though the "polls were very wrong" problem was much larger than the often reported case in '04 where the polls said that Kerry would win. The same thing happened in NH with both the polls right before the election and with the exit polls. Naturally though from an MSM POV it can't be "fraud", because by definition, there is no such thing as a "Bad Democrat" -- it takes a victory by a Republican to arouse suspicion.

While I don't tend to buy into this allegation either, it is interesting that a PRIMARY is especially ripe for voter fraud. Lots of Government employees run the polling places, and they are overwhelmingly Democrat. Easier to pull of fraud if you don't have someone that is likely to be suspicious of your actions looking over your shoulder.

Wireless Power

Click on the Blog link to go off to see a Blog from CES on wireless power. The idea would be that if your whole home (or some rooms) had wireless power, you would not have to remember to plug in your devices anymore, they would "just charge". If it was common enough in public places where you use your devices or commonly are (office, coffee shops, car, airport, etc) then you might be able to forget about charging all together!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Best Available

Well, McCain has won New Hampshire for the Republicans, so I may have to change my mind on a guy that I never thought I would. He just got in a good line; "We are the makers of history, not it's victims" ... followed up with "we will never surrender, they will" He is right on the shape of the foe we face, that is something way more than I think any other candidate in the race has.

I disagree with him completely on campaign finance and I find him to sometimes be a primping prima donna, BUT, when one stares into the abyss of Obama and Hillary, even a thin reed looks pretty good.

McCain and Lieberman with a huge Democrat majority in both houses of Congress? Maybe there is a chance and the depth of defeat for America that would be assured with Hillary or Obama can be yet averted.

Hope. Something that is very hard for some of us to resist.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Remember Gary Hart and Vince Foster

Powerline has a good post on poor Hillary here.
It is pretty funny to see Slick talking about media bias in Obama's favor. Is he right? Sure, the MSM loves Obama big time and they haven't said a thing critical about him. Of course the front-running Dem is pretty much always the love of the MSM, it is just that it looks different to Slick when he isn't in that roll for a change.

I think folks need to remember Gary Hart. Does anyone really think that there is any limit to what the Clintons will do to gain power? Osama Obama has no doubt been fully probed by the Clinton machine and is due to have his insides displayed for all to see. Of course maybe he is clean, but what difference would that make? There weren't any smoking gun Bush National Guard memos either, but that didn't prevent CBS from making them up out of thin air. If it hadn't been for some Bloggers and talk radio, they would have gotten away with it too. Only the unimaginative or the naive think you actually have to do anything wrong to be "convicted" in the court of public opinion when you have the MSM and folks like the Clinton's out there.

Sex, drugs, theft, cheating of one sort or another, felony crime, etc-real or created, it really makes no difference. The MSM will be willing to let the Clinton's stick the knife in covertly, and Bloggers on the left have no interest in truth or standards, only gaining power. We still don't know exactly who ran the DWI op on Bush 3 days before the election in 2K, and of course THAT wasn't a "dirty trick" anyway because the target was a Republican. Nope, only Republican's do "dirty tricks"-or "Willie Horton" or "Swift Boating". Those Dems run a really clean show!

How many times has Bush been accused of taking military action for political gain? It is so common that it hardly bears repeating. How times have changed from the days when Slick did the obvious "wag the dog" attacks on the aspirin factory and camel butts when the "stain" surfaced and then the attack on Saddam that delayed the impeachment hearings. Naturally, we only got REAMS of ink about how "partisanship stops at the waters edge", and how it would be a cynically evil day for American politics if anyone thought that Slick had ANY thoughts of "wagging the dog". Sure, nobody should ever think ill of old Wandering Willie, but there is NO PROBLEM in claiming "lies, political calculation, blood for oil, etc" every other day against Bush. The slight difference is what it means for the sheep to think there is an "unbiased media". I wonder what it was that suddenly made politics NOT "stop at the waters edge", and for it NOT to be "horribly cynical" to make horrible accusations about a President as common as the weather? Well, last I checked, Bush is a Republican.

Can I prove that Billy C used the US military for political purposes? Of course not, but William of Occam long ago thought that simple explanations were best. Can anyone prove that Bush did Iraq, Afghanistan, 9/11 or whatever for "political purposes"? No, of course not, or successful impeachment proceedings would be under way. The Dems are in power in both houses and Republicans mostly still have some allegiance to truth. They (as would I) join completely in the impeachment of Bush if ANY of the miliatry actions were launched for political purposes. In fact, in my book, there is no greater crime possible than for a Commander In Chief to put soldiers sworn to defend their country in harms way for personal political gain.

I argue that the circumstances for Slick taking military action TWICE in the manner he did when he did CRY OUT for an investigation and understanding of why he took those actions at those specific points. How much arm chair psychology have we had to listen to about the relation between Bush and his Dad relative to Iraq, but how little have he had to listen to on children of alcoholics (Billy C) pushing limits beyond the pale to "prove that they can control it all". Clinton all but slapped us in the face with the OBVIOUS explanation for why he took the actions he took when he took them, but the sheep refused to note the obvious, and the Republicans refused to do the investigation those actions required. So, now we will never know, but the Clinton's are still on the loose. I maintain that we ought to be very strongly suspicious that the Clinton's have no moral limit on actions they will take to get what they want.

"No limit" means just what it says. During the Clinton years the right wing "Back Helicopter" conspiracy folks ran wild over Foster, Ron Brown, the secret service plane crashing outside Jackson Hole and a HOST of other theories where the Clintons' may have killed one or more people. Of course, the MSM was always as incurious about that as they are about who leaked the DWI stuff 3 days before the 2k election, why Joe Wilson (Plame) didn't have an NDA that prevented him from writing magazine articles, or the facts of the Juanita Brodderick rape charge against Willy C..

I think the secret service is well advised to step up security on Obama, and while they do it they ought to remember that Hill-Billy have some understanding of their operational profile.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

McGovern for Impeachment

Here is an important piece of news - George McGovern thinks that Bush and Chaney ought to be impeached. One thing about the old lefties, their anger just gets deeper as they get older and once a sore loser I guess always a sore loser. Bush Sr may not have much in taste in trying to be friendly with Slick Willie, but at least he doesn't waste his days running around as a sore loser. One would hope that there was a statute of limitations on acting like 5 year old, but I guess that for old lefties that is way too much to ask. Look at Jimmuh Carter.

I suppose when the MSM is happy to give your rantings billing and treat you sympathetically, it makes you feel like what you have to say is sensible. It is pretty clear that from the POV of the left that democracy is just plain bogus. Congress gets a chance to vote on the war in fall of '02, there is an off year election and the Republicans pick up seats, 80%+ of the people support going into Iraq in '03. What is it that would make going to war "legal"? What did they "lie" to the American people about?

The left seems to have a lot of trouble with "what everyone thought in advance wasn't proven" (as in all intelligence services from every country, the UN, the US Congress, the MSM, etc was SURE that Saddam had WMD, but we didn't find them) and "a lie". For a LIE, one has to KNOW the truth (as in, "I didn't have sex with that woman" -- where unless you have sex with so many women at the office that you just forgot, it is assumed that you DO know, so you can lie, one has to know the truth to lie).

It is pretty much impossible to "lie about the future". It is the PAST that mortal non-omniscient humans can lie about. Effectively that means that it is McGovern and all those that claim that "Bush Lied" who are ACTUALLY lying. Since what they are talking about is in the past, they know the truth but continue to lie about it because they like the sound of "Bush lied". For the left, the idea that they would even care about their OWN truthfulness is absurd, since once one cares nothing for consistency, the idea of "truth" is nonsense in all cases. They know that people with values DO care however, so their constant claims of "Bush lied" have some effect there.

For the evil Bush, their standard of truth is that that he is supposed to predict the future correctly or he is "lying". For Slick Willie, I'm not sure the MSM would find it possible to establish that he was lying under any circumstance. Which is quite a statement, because if his lips are moving, it is certain he is lying.

Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar

Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes, by Thomas Cathcart and & Daniel Klein.

One of the joys of having grown children is that sometimes they can purchase you gifts that are really fun, such is the case with this witty, very funny and actually quite educational little book on exploration of philosophy through jokes. The essence of the book is that many jokes have as their basis a philosophical problem being exposed in a whimsical way-as non-philosophers, we are just usually unaware of the potential deeper thought behind what makes it funny.

There are way too many to pick from here, but I'll just do a couple of examples to give a flavor. Anyone that enjoys jokes will like the book, one that has any interest at all in thought will love it.

"An irishman walks into a bar and orders 3 pints and proceeds to drink them down by taking a sip from each one in turn until they are gone. He then orders 3 more, and the bartender says, "You know, they would be less likely to go flat if you bought them one at a time".

The man says, "Yeah, I know that but I have two brothers, one in the States and one in Australia. When we went our separate ways, we promised we would drink this way in memory of the days we drank together. Each of these is for one of my brothers and and the third is for me."

The bartender is touched and the guy becomes a regular at the bar and always orders the same way.

One day he comes in and only orders two pints. The other regulars notice and silence falls over the bar. When he comes to the bar for his 2nd round, the bartender offers his condolences.

The Irishman responds, "Oh, no, everyone's fine. I just joined the Mormon Church, and I had to quit drinking."

The following joke shows the difficulty of reasoning from a false premise:

"An old cowboy is sitting at a bar and a young lady comes in and sits down beside him. She asks him "Are you a real cowboy"?

He replies, "Well, Ive spent my whole life on the ranch herding cattle, mending fences and branding calves, so I guess I am."

She says, "Well, I'm a lesbian. I spend my whole day thinking about women. As soon as I get up in the morning I think about women. When I shower or watch TV, everything seems to make me think about women."

A little later, a couple comes in and sits down next to the old cowboy and asks him, "Are you a real cowboy"?

He replies, "I always thought I was, but I just found out I'm a lesbian".

Ok, so this isn't a very good "summary", but I have to do one more since readers of this Blog know that I like to poke fun at empiricists.

"A man is worried that his wife is losing his hearing so he consults a doctor. The doctor suggest that he try a simple at home test on her: Stand behind her and ask her a question, first from 20 feet away, then from ten feet, and finally right behind her.

So the man goes home and sees his wife cooking facing the stove. From the door he asks, "What's for dinner tonight?", no answer.

Ten feet behind her he asks, "What's for dinner tonight?" Still no answer.
Finally, right behind her he says, "What's for dinner tonight?"

His wife turns around and says, "For the third time-chicken!"

I love this one  -- replace the man by "human perception" and one sees the limits of empiricism.

Extremely fun book and one that must be read to be appreciated.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Bearing Arms

The Constitution pretty clearly states that we have the right to bear arms, but at least here in MN there is already a lot of paperwork that includes a lot of information to the government involved. I wonder why the MSM and the left finds  the government listening to a cell call to a known terrorist number to be "a chilling infringement of constitutional rights", where the government gathering all kinds of data on a law abiding citizen exercising a specific constitutional right to be just fine? In fact, I strongly suspect that when the Democrats move to restrict that right even more in '09 or so, the MSM and the left won't find that "chilling" either. We decided that it was time to arm while the arming was good. 

Anyway, we now have a Beretta Tomcat .32 cal and a Springfield XD 9mm in the family arsenal. We picked up the 9mm today, and since it was warm we went out to the range and did some shooting. I was really surprised at all the handguns being shot out there today. This was the last of this model that they had at the local gun-shop, and when talking over at Cabella's as we were getting the Beretta, they said that they had broke all records for handgun sales in '07. 

The 9mm Springfield is a gun that puts an instant smile on your face. At 25', the first clip easily and comfortably all ended up in the plate, and it just got better from there on in. It is an extremely sweet little weapon with a 14 shot clip as one of the clips included. The gun is reasonably compact and light, but enough size and heft to make the 9mm recoil extremely manageable. I'm thankful that a buddy of mine let me shoot his .40 cal Springfield so that I was familiar with the piece, and a conversation with an ex-Marine Gunnery Instructor that works at the shop part time convinced me that 9mm was just fine for any potential defensive use that I might ever have for it. It is a gun that inspires instant confidence that rounds can be placed where you want them to go, it has a lot of capacity, 9mm ammo is relatively cheap and easy to get and the Springfield double safety system is hard to argue with. A great gun.

The Beretta .32 takes a little more getting used to. Ours has a Crimson Trace laser grip that is a nice addition to a weapon that may be used for self defense. Since the gun is smaller and lighter it is harder to shoot accurately, but after putting 100 rounds through it, my wife was able to shoot a couple of very nice groups at 25' as you can see from the picture. The potential to carry it in a purse or pocket much is of course the advantage to the small size and light weight.

I've only shot handguns a couple of times in the past and was surprised by how much fun these were (especially the 9mm). Since MN is a Concealed Carry state, we planning to avail ourselves of that right before the chance is passed forever. I still remember how crime was increasing rapidly in the 60's and 70's. I would hope that we would not return to those days (or worse), but one of the things that the left likes to do is remove the freedoms of law abiding citizens while reducing penalties for criminals and those kinds of policies often have predictable and unfortunate results. No doubt they will try to remove the rights of existing permit holders as well, but there is some chance that they might compromise at some "grandfather clause" for at least awhile.

In any case, it was a fun day and I'll have something else to do with my "spare time" as the weather warms this spring.

Friday, January 04, 2008

16 Year Itch

Great little Michael Barone analysis from the WSJ. I think the part in red is especially important. The median voter today doesn't know what bad times are, so is unafraid of them. Those of us who saw the '70s didn't even see how bad things could be after 8 years of FDR in the late '30s. WWIII might look like a "good idea" after 8+ years of Obama or Hillary, but for those for whom "bad times" are the "recessions" of 90-91 and 2000-2001, the definition of "bad" is certainly nothing to even consider. May as well "just take a chance".

OpinionJournal - Featured Article
My thought is that, over a period of 16 years, there is enough turnover in the electorate to stimulate an itch that produces a willingness to take a chance on something new.

Over time, the median-age voter in American elections has been about 45 years old. This means that the median-age voter in 1976 was born around 1931--old enough to have experienced post-World War II prosperity and foreign policy success, and then to have been disgusted by Vietnam and Watergate.

The median-age voter in 1992 was born around 1947 (the same year as Dan Quayle and Hillary Clinton, one year after Messrs. Clinton and Bush, one year before Mr. Gore). These voters came of age in the culture wars of the 1960s. They experienced stagflation and gas lines of the 1970s, and the prosperity and foreign policy successes of the 1980s. Mr. Clinton persuaded these voters to take a chance on change by promising not to radically alter policy. They rebuked him when he tried to break that promise, then for 14 years remained closely divided along culture lines as if the '60s never ended.

The median-age voter in 2008 was born around 1963, so he or she missed out on the culture wars of the '60s, and on the economic disasters and foreign policy reverses of the 1970s. These voters have experienced low-inflation economic growth something like 95% of their adult lives--something true of no other generation in history. They are weary of the cultural polarization of our politics, relatively unconcerned about the downside risks of big government programs, and largely unaware of America's historic foreign policy successes. They are ready, it seems, to take a chance on an outside-the-system candidate.

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The Laws of Simplicity

The subject book by John Maeda is a little book about a subject that is very important at the start of the 21st century. More about the subject can be found at

The ten laws are:
  1. Reduce - The simplest way to simplify
  2. Organize - Makes more appear as less
  3. Time - Saving time feels simpler
  4. Learn - Knowledge simplifies all things
  5. Differences - Simplicity and Complexity need each other (Wave function)
  6. Context - What is peripheral is important
  7. Emotion - More is better
  8. Trust - You must trust the simplification
  9. Failure - As in learning that it can't all be simpler
  10. The One - Subtract the Obvious, add the Meaningful.
There are also three actions to be used to achieve these laws:

SHE: Shrink, Hide, Embody
BRAIN: Basics, Repeat, Avoid, Inspire, Never
SLIP: Sort, Label, Prioritize

The example of the Apple iPod is used very frequently throughout the book, and as a fairly recent convert to the "Apple Kool-aide", I agree that it is an excellent object lesson in the miracle of simplicity in the modern world. I need to get a Blog out on the Apple Experience here very soon, and when I do, I hope to link it.

The copy of this book that I read was borrowed from the company library, but my own copy is on order to be marked up, further understood and probably re-blogged.

Maybe I'm an Edwards Guy?

Who could possibly be against ending all bad things? Only some nasty negative Republican!