As is normal on early vacation we have been going so hard that there isn't a lot of time to spend writing about all the details. Here is the start of the photo album.
Books, Life, Computing, Politics, and the tracks of the domestic Moose through hill, dale, and lovely swamp.
Also, unlike Kerry, Hillary acknowledged her error, telling the
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "I was sleep-deprived, and I misspoke."
(What if she's sleep-deprived when she gets that call on the red phone
at 3 a.m., imagines a Russian nuclear attack and responds with mutual
assured destruction? Oops. "It proves I'm human.")
The reason no one claims Hillary is being "swiftboated" is that
the definition of "swiftboating" is: "producing irrefutable evidence
that a Democrat is lying." And for purposes of her race against matinee
idol B. Hussein Obama, Hillary has become the media's honorary
In liberal-speak, only a Democrat can be swiftboated. Democrats
are "swiftboated"; Republicans are "guilty." So as an honorary
Republican, Hillary isn't being swiftboated; she's just lying.
Indeed, instead of attacking the people who produced a video of
Hillary's uneventful landing in Bosnia, the mainstream media are the
people who discovered that video.
Don R. Willett, a justice of the state Supreme Court, has commuted behind bumpers proclaiming "Better a Bleeding Heart Than None at All," "Practice Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Beauty," "The Moral High Ground Is Built on Compassion," "Arms Are For Hugging," "Will Work (When the Jobs Come Back From India)," "Jesus Is a Liberal," "God Wants Spiritual Fruits, Not Religious Nuts," "The Road to Hell Is Paved With Republicans," "Republicans Are People Too -- Mean, Selfish, Greedy People" and so on. But Willett thinks Austin subverts a stereotype: "The belief that liberals care more about the poor may scratch a partisan or ideological itch, but the facts are hostile witnesses."
-- Although liberal families' incomes average 6 percent higher than those of conservative families, conservative-headed households give, on average, 30 percent more to charity than the average liberal-headed household ($1,600 per year vs. $1,227).
-- People who reject the idea that "government has a responsibility to reduce income inequality" give an average of four times more than people who accept that proposition.
The single biggest predictor of someone's altruism, Willett says, is religion. It increasingly correlates with conservative political affiliations because, as Brooks' book says, "the percentage of self-described Democrats who say they have 'no religion' has more than quadrupled since the early 1970s." America is largely divided between religious givers and secular nongivers, and the former are disproportionately conservative. One demonstration that religion is a strong determinant of charitable behavior is that the least charitable cohort is a relatively small one -- secular conservatives.
"As older generations did, they take with them the knowledge of what was lost when the new technology arrived, and only the sense of what was gained remains. It's in this way that progress covers its tracks, perpetually refreshing the illusion that where we are is where we were meant to be."It is a nice wistful quote, but how about books? At least the Roman Catholic Church would argue that we suffered a great loss due to books, since the reformation would not have happened without them. Fire? I'm sure that life prior to man having fire was very different than life with control of fire. Anesthetic? Certainly not having that would allow us to be MUCH more in touch with our bodies during surgery!
In America, a conservative is one who protects and defends what are considered liberal (old style) institutions in Europe but largely conservative ones in America: private property, free speech, free markets, individual liberty, freedom of conscience, and the rights of communities to determine for themselves how they will live within these guidelines. This is why conservatism, classical liberalism, libertarianism and Whiggism are different flags for the only truly radical political revolution in a thousand years. The American founding stands within this tradition, and modern conservatives seek to advance and defend it.
Mr Le Mière said that the US had fallen down the scale, although it stillI supppose it is pretty sad for a lot of liberals to see Iraq not make the bottom 10 ... indicating that even the UN sees progress there, I thought our MSM and Dems almost always thought the UN had it's head on straight ... I guess the idea that it shows progress in Iraq may be trump the lower rating for America, and we won't see it in the news much anyway.
scored an average of 93 out of 100, partly because of the proliferation of
small arms owned by Americans and the threat to the population posed by the
flow of drugs from across the Mexican border.
If you talk to people in the Bush administration, they know the truth about the report. They know that it makes the case convincingly for Saddam's terror connections. But they'll tell you (off the record) it's too hard to try to set the record straight. Any reengagement on the case for war is a loser, they'll say. Furthermore, once the first wave of coverage is bad, you can never catch up: You give the misleading stories more life and your opponents further chances to beat you up in the media. And as for trying to prevent misleading summaries and press leaks in the first place--that's hopeless. Someone will tell the media you're behaving like Scooter Libby, and God knows what might happen next.What Reagan realized that apparently Bush never has is that the MSM is going to say what they say, and there is nothing he can do about it. They have their agenda, they are going to follow it, and a major part of it is going to be to destroy a Republican President. What he needs to do is essentially what they will accuse him of doing anyway; he needs to claim what he wants to claim in very clear but GENERAL terms and let them spend time arguing about it. As long as they are arguing about how to "prove him wrong", he has won the battle.
When Bush said that "The British say that Saddam is trying to get yellowcake", he had the mistaken idea that since the statement was 100% true, it was safe. Clearly wrong, the MSM took the 100% true statement, and called it a lie. It didn't bother them to lie one little bit.
"I can no more disown [Jeremiah Wright] than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe."So I suppose when you are a deity like BO, you DO pick your Grandmother just like your church / pastor, but he may have to explain that to some of us just a bit more before we get it.
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."The fact that ALL American's don't inherently know what that means is beyond idiocy to me:
"Banning civilian ownership of all automatic weapons and all semiautomatic weapons that hold more than six rounds of ammunition. Six rounds is enough for any serious hunter, let alone a gangbanger."
"A ban with no loopholes or grandfather clauses on any gun that doesn't meet these standards or isn't brought into compliance within two years, with the penalty thereafter of a hefty prison term for anyone found with such weapons."
"An improvised explosive device is a weapon of terror; so is a military-style assault rifle in a civilian's hands. It's time we treated them the same, and the Supreme Court is not going to be of much help on that."
"Sources said a federal money-laundering investigation led agents to Spitzer. According to two sources, Spitzer hit the federal radar when a bank reported to the Internal Revenue Service that a significant amount of money had been suspiciously transferred from one account to another."
"We spend between the two kids, on extracurriculars outside the classroom, we're spending about $10,000 a year on piano and dance and sports supplements. And summer programs...Do you know what summer camp costs?"
"The salaries don't keep up with the cost of paying off the debt, so you're in your 40s, still paying off your debt at a time when you have to save for your kids," Michelle Obama said.
Actually, Michelle's salary has kept up pretty well. The University of Chicago Hospital, where she is vice president for community affairs, bumped her pay from $121,910 in 2004 to $316,962 after her husband was elected to the U.S. Senate that year.
This is the point at which one realizes the kind of unique insight these folks have. Their income is a mere $485K a year at a time when corporate CEOs, athletes and drunken barely dressed teenage girl singers make millions. It is obvious that Mrs Obama is right when she states that "We are a country that is just downright mean". Now mind you, I'm not including her income from 6 corporate boards or the millions that Obama has received for his books, which might help them a tiny bit as well., but you can see her firm grasp of the deplorable "meanness" and want that your "average $500K plus a year family that lives in a $1.6 million + house that was partially paid for by a good friend that is under racketeering investigation.
In a surprise move today DNC Chairman Howard Dean announced that the DNC had hired a group of Republicans to arrive at a solution to the Michigan and Florida primary debacle.
"While we in the DNC completely disagree with the solution to the 2000 election, we have come to realize that using our approaches we would still be litigating that election. 20% of Democrats are Lawyers and 80% are folks that are unwilling or unable to understand what that means; there is always another point of view that needs to be fully considered, and all points of view are valid and worthy of consideration (when they are held by Democrats). After a lot of very careful consideration we came to suspect that while it is nice to have all points of view, feelings , and precedent back to the Big Bang considered, there could be a problem lurking that we are unable to grasp.
Once we made the breakthrough of contacting these Republicans, they were immediately aware that there was something that they referred to as "the bottom line". We have no understanding of what this is, but we think it has something to do with us being able to somehow select one candidate out of a field of two. While we have a vast array of perfect solutions to all problems of Iraq, Poverty, Health Care, Social Security, hemorrhoids and all other human or planetary ills, this selection of one from a field of two is beyond our capacities.
We have stipulated to the Republicans that while we are going to abide by their decision on the matter, we reserve the full right to criticize all aspects of it and in fact file suit in the future against them for making their choice. By agreeing to employ the incorrect methods and thought processes that Republicans engage in, we want it fully understood that this is in no way an endorsement of those methods! In fact, we are beginning investigations of the Republicans that we hired as we speak to insure that we bear no responsibility for either the candidate that they select, nor for the methodologies that they use in their selection. (this should not be taken to mean that we do not have complete confidence that either candidate is the best possible candidate)
Our confidence that we will be able to lead this nation to a much brighter future is completely undimmed by this small difficulty. Once we have complete control of the government, speech, guns, your money, religion, smoking, diet, the amount of water in your toilet, and any other aspects of your life we are currently forgetting, we are completely certain that we will be able to efficiently solve all problems of man and nature within a very short period of time and are willing to point out the moral error or anyone who would question us on that point.
Thank you, and we look forward to your vote in November."
"The audacity of hope. That was the best of the American spirit, I thought-having the audacity to believe in spite of all the evidence to the contrary that we could restore a sense of community to a nation torn by conflict; the gall to believe despite personal setbacks, the loss of a job or an illness in the family or a childhood mired in poverty, we had some control-and therefore responsibility-over our own fate.Whew, after all that talk of "shared values" in the book, there it was, although there was little in the book about personal responsibility and incentives. The book was about government and unions being able to solve just about any ill in the universe. One would think that we could just pass a law that everyone be wealthy, fulfilled, well educated, loved, happy, and have a meaningful life.
It was that audacity, I thought that joined us as one people."
Unfortunately, too often in our national debates we don't even get to the point where we weigh these difficult choices. Instead, we either exaggerate the degree to which policies we don't like impinge on our most sacred values, or play dumb when our own preferred policies conflict with important countervailing values. Conservatives, for instance, tend to bristle when it comes to government interference in the marketplace or their right to bear arms. Yet many of those same conservatives show little or no concern when it comes to government wiretapping without a warrant or government attempts to control people's sexual practices. Conversely, it's easy to get most liberals riled up about government encroachment in freedom of the press or a woman's reproductive freedoms. But if you had a conversation with thise same liberals about the potential costs of regulation to small business owner, you will often draw a blank stare.Whew! First of all, it is important to recognize that for all of that text he said precisely NOTHING. He started talking about "facing hard problems", touched on a number of points ... gun rights, wiretapping, abortion, maybe gay marriage (although hard to tell), but took NO POSITION AT ALL! This is "core Obama".
In a country as diverse as ours, there will always be passionate arguments about how we draw the line when it comes to government action. This is how democracy works. But our democracy might work a bit better if we recognized that all of us possess values that are worthy of respect: if liberals at least acknowledged that the recreational hunter feels the same way about his gun as they feel about their library books, and if conservatives recognized that most women feel as protective of their right to reproductive freedom as evangelicals do of their right to worship."
"I believe we must learn what can be obtained by exchange-monetary or otherwise and what we cannot trade for. The central concept of economics is not money but rather incentives. Quite simply, an incentive is anything that motivates human behavior, or encourages an individual to make one decision rather than another."
"One of the most important lessons of economics is how to cope with scarcity. Economics developed out of a recognition of that fact that many things worth having don't just fall into our laps in the course of our everyday lives. The real purpose of economics is to get more of the good stuff in life."
"It is a profoundly important fact that you can't understand how incentives work if you don't understand the importance of a respect for human liberty"