Monday, March 31, 2008

Reagan Library and Griffith Observatory

Day 2 in CA included a trip up to the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, and then up to the Griffith Observatory, high above Hollywood. A little time was remaining for a run down to Redondo Beach Pier for a great seafood dinner at Tony's.

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.

California 2008

Sunday, March 30, 2008

I Was Just About to Quit


Here we have a BO dissemble worthy of Slick Willie. Golly, he was just about to leave that church anyway! So he actually DOES understand, it was just taking him 20 years to get around to doing anything about it.

The bottom line is pretty much Slick all over, only this time the drug is black racism and it is BO claiming to have "not inhaled" over 20 years at the church. Like Billy though, Democrats never believe that character is an issue in their candidates, otherwise they wouldn't be able to find anyone to run.


Power Line: Obama lowers the bar again

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Two Books In Flight

Winging my way toward LA from Minneapolis at midnight central time, 10 LA time. It would be nice to sleep, but Mooses and airplane seats aren't all that good a match. About half way through two very different books that I just started on this trip, but have gotten tired of reading in the dark with bleary contacts for now. "Blue Like Jazz", a very different sort of a Christian book by a youthful Christian male that is very honest and has a unique perspective since he spent some time at Reed College in Portland that is a private pagan school that pretty much explicitly worships "whatever feels good", but also is very demanding and full of very smart people.

The other book is Sam Harris, "Letter to a Christian Nation". I read his "End of Faith" a couple years ago. Sam is pretty angry and disappointed in America because of Christianity. To Sam there is nothing beyond the material world and his own intelligence. Religion is not just horribly stupid, it is horribly dangerous. It must be fixed, somehow.

Blue is pretty much the complete opposite in both message and attitude. An infinite God that is beyond our ability to understand loves us beyond our ability to comprehend. The material universe is far from "all", and in the eternal view of things only really counts in relation to that eternal. Harris isn't going to let a God that allows slavery, little girls to be raped and killed, tsunamis and Katrina to exist. Sam wills it to be abhorrent, and so it must be--to not agree is to not meet his standards of being "god", so therefore there can't be one. One of the bumper stickers the Blue author saw at Reed said "Let's Throw the Christians to the Lions"-Sam would seem to agree. Violence is bad, but Sam is very close to thinking that Christians are just so far out that it may be required in self defense.

The Blue author and his few Christian friends "came out of the closet" during the peak of the main "do what feels good" orgy at Reed when basically anything goes on campus and the local authorities are kept away. How they "came out" is to have a "confession booth", but the confession was for the Christians to confess how bad they were as Christians to anyone that anyone who wanted to stop. They failed the poor, they sinned, their churches didn't set good enough examples, there was an inquisition--they took all the blame and let the folks that stopped know they would do their best to love them, but they could never do it well enough since they were just trying to do the best "impressions of Christ" that a poor broken but forgiven human could do, and it fell way short of the kind of forgiveness that God becoming man had provided.

Sam is right, that kind of love is just as dangerous today as it was 2K years ago and Sam is very angry that anyone could be so irrational to believe in such a horribly foolish thing as something beyond the material world, let alone something beyond the material world that would love human beings specially. We are not special, the rest of "randomness" (what just happened without any reason) is every bit as special, and the only reasonable thing to do is to give up this foolish God stuff and love the randomness-and of course ourselves.

The contrast between the two books is very revealing. Blue is sure of his fallibility, the greater power of God and the trust that in the big picture, God and Grace are sure, and while useful and interesting (at least to us), whatever "amazing" achievements human kind has "created", they pale in scope and perfection next to the infinite. Harris is clearly "left", but the Blue book is anything but "right", unless the core of "right" is the belief that man and the material is NOT "all there is".

It seems to me that is the rub; at least true Christians are always sure that they are NOT the "final answer". They haven't fallen prey to the fundamentalist heresy by which everything that man needs to do is in or can be discerned from the Bible. Christ is alive to and in them, as The Word. A Word that is revealed as spirit and truth that is beyond just words.

The message of Christ speaking in parable and metaphor says that you CAN'T have a cut and dried answer in the same way as a fundamentalist would want. The method is a major portion of the message. The fundamentalist is forced to "fake righteousness" in the same way as the scribes and pharisees. Don't drink, don't smoke, don't dance, don't go to movies, don't watch TV, maybe avoid certain fashions ... the list of rules and regulations can go on endlessly, but when they are done, one prideful judgment, one momentary enjoyment of "I think I'm better than X", one self-centered moment of failing to love God with the whole heart is no different in ultimate terms than a lifetime of whatever you believe the worst sins to be. God and Grace is beyond our calculations - reason is very useful in this material world for getting planes in the air, cars on the road, the internet connecting and generally "keeping the trains on time", but compared to the infinite, it is less than spit in the ocean.

Throwing ourselves over to the other side however and invalidating logic with pure human emotion is just as much a trap. Our emotions, especially love, may be very major hints to the nature of God, but they are only hints-in the same way as quantum mechanics is a hint that the universe is far more special than a "clockwork".

We arrived safely, and in fact it is now Saturday night after a fun day out in LA. Breakfast at a little open air place in Venice Beach, walking out on the pier and talking to the fishermen, talking to a Christian biker gang "Set Free Soldiers", driving around a lot of "just plain old LA", with a focus up in the Hollywood area. We spent a good hunk of time walking up and down Hollywood Boulevard with all the stars. Lots of wild looking people, shops and "glitter". Very crowded-Hollywood seems to be surviving the "Bush Horror" quite well.

Checked into the hotel down in Santa Monica, drove down and looked at some of the beautiful condos along Oceanfront drive, ate seafood for dinner out on the Santa Monica Pier, walked around a bit more, and here we are.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hillary Not Swift Boated

I don't read Ann every week, but this week she is right on. The MSM is treating poor Hillary as an "honorary Republican". The MSM actually found the video of her landing in Bosnia with no gunfire and figures that if she isn't telling the truth, she must be lying. Why, this is almost how they would treat a non-Bush Republican! Except in the Bush case, when he takes action based on the same information as everyone else in the world that says Saddam has WMD and it can't be irrefutably proven by finding them in sufficient amounts, THAT means "Bush lied". As I've covered before, most people are held to the status of having to report correctly about facts that they actually know-like "gee, isn't amazing that the Secret Service let me get off the plane in Bosnia when we were under fire, I've been under Secret Service protection for a long time, and in general, they are really adverse to gunfire--no matter, it sounds great to have landed under gunfire, so I guess I'll just go for it".

Failing to accurately predict the future (especially when your prediction agrees with everyone else's) is not NORMALLY considered "a lie" ... but the MSM has made a pretty huge exception for Bush there, and the vast majority of the sheep are perfectly willing to bleat along. Normally, Democrats are immune from lying, and if proof is found that they did lie, the evil people that found the proof have to be investigated and a lot of stories written about how they must have had a political agenda to find things like the blue dress, that Nixon wasn't President in December of 1968, that Kerry's boat never went to Cambodia, etc, etc.

The whole column is very much worth a read this week-insightful and funny, but I copied a couple things out. Enjoy.

Welcome to AnnCoulter.com

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
Republican.

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.






Bumper Sticker Chairity

I've commented on this before, and I really need to read this guys book. Liberals like to talk a great game, but the data is in-they don't put their supposed generosity where their mouths are in dollars, time or even blood. Apparently they look at charity like everything else, they want others to do it, but for themselves, never mind.

The whole article is worth going out and reading, and I'm sure the book is too. I find that people's behavior means so much more than their words. My guess is that at least some of the reason that liberals have 6% higher incomes is a higher percentage of dual income families, but they don't go into that. No matter, even though they have more to give with, they give less in percentage. I guess to them, "greed" is defined by not being willing to try force others to pay more in taxes, but with the dollars that are yours, just keep them.

RealClearPolitics - Articles - Conservatives More Liberal Givers
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.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Big Switch, Nicholas Carr

http://www.amazon.com/The-Big-Switch-Rewiring-Edison/dp/039334522X

The subject book uses the history of industrial power from manual to water to steam to local generators to electricity supplied by utilities as a model for the ground covered to date and assumptions for the future of the move of computing power from individual companies and homes to the global "cloud or grid" of utility computing.

Carr believes that the Amazons, Googles, Yahoos and such are going to defeat Microsoft. In general, so do I, the model is changing. Software and solutions are already being delivered as services over the web with nearly zero impact on the client/user side. This Blog is done using Blogger, a free service of Google paid for by advertising. I happen to be typing it on a Mac computer, but that really makes no difference, the Firefox browser that the Blogger software runs within runs on Mac, Windows, Linux, and I'm sure a number of other platforms. This Blog is part of the cloud of the future.

He does some analysis of what we ought to all know to have been true since the first human whacked something with a rock or stick. Tools provide leverage; they allow one or a few people to create a lot more value than people without tools. They also move value around. Carr laments how small groups of people at YouTube, Facebook and such were able enlist vast groups of people to create all the content and then sell out to larger corporations for 100's of millions of dollars. He suspects more of this will happen and I suspect that he is right--I also suspect that a lot of other different large fortunes will be made in ways that are unforeseen to both Nick and I. If we DID foresee them, then I would guess we would go out and make them ourselves, or at least invest in those that will. He doesn't really say what he might DO about that, he just does some lamenting.

He ends up with a little ghost story about how the guys at Google want to create a computer smarter than we are, and they are really serious. In the epilogue he talks of how the move from candles to electric light caused us to "lose something" ... candles gave a glow, a reality that electric light did not. We have lost that. He laments that by the turn of this next century (2100), we will no longer have any people that had dealt with the world prior to the computer, and that will be a loss. He closes with this quote:
"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!

I don't disagree with him that much, and I like his prose, I'm just left with the "and your point would be"? I don't think he is suggesting either that we should give up progress or that we ought to really slow it down.

Maybe it is sort of like "once the Christmas of your son or daughter being 6 is over, it will never come again, no Christmas will we really like that ... we should be aware of that".

Very true! So we are aware. Now let's get that superhuman computer built and create the equivalent of fire that we will be unable to imagine the world without it's existence!

Liberal Facism, Jonah Goldberg

This is one of those books that I'm sure not many liberals will read, but for the few that actually care about America, they really ought to. The biggest point is that "Fascism", while it is probably the least well defined commonly used political term, is a lot more like "religion" or "desire for unity" than anything associated with a specific political party. The desire to "all be part of a national family, all be taken care of, all agree on nearly everything, feel safe, feel that we have a common purpose, feel that we are working for a cause" ... all those "nice human emotions" are what is subverted by Fascism. It doesn't HAVE to be evil, but it is always extremely dangerous because it destroys individual liberty and public skepticism.

The left in this country stole the term "liberal" in the 30's. Prior to the 30's, a "liberal" was like a "libertarian"--small government, low taxes, individual liberty. When the term "socialist" became unpopular because of association with the USSR, Germany and Italy, they decided to take over the term "liberal" and did so successfully.

What is less known and more insidious is that "Nazi" stands for "National Socialist Party". It doesn't take a lot of thought to realize that a revolutionary, totalitarian, anti-traditional, socialist, anti-Christian and dictatorial state isn't "conservative, libertarian or right wing" in any way. It is LEFT WING, and in fact prior to the holocaust discovery, the much of the left wing in this country revered both Hitler and Mussolini and vice-versa. Much of what both Hitler and Mussolini did was modeled on the Woodrow Wilson government in the US. Teddy Roosevelt, Wilson and FDR were all "progressives", which is close to "fascists". They were men of "collective action vs individual liberty".

Part of the confusion here is that the media and the left simply juxtaposes "facist, right wing, nazi, racist, militarist, evil, Republican, etc" in one tidy package and uses it for name calling, one of their favorite pastimes in lieu of rational discussion. Mussolini was certainly a totalitarian fascist-he created the term "totalitarian" to mean "the government takes care or your TOTAL life", but Mussolini was not anti-semitic or racist in other ways. Hitler was a fascist and he WAS racist. Franco was fascist and NOT racist. Racism is just another human problem, like flatulence, a fascist may have a problem with it, he may not. Same thing with Nationalism--Castro is very nationalist, but he would call himself a communist, as would most Americans.

Prior to the problems between Hitler and Stalin, there wasn't a lot of animosity between communism and fascism. Both were very much "workers parties", communism was just generally international, while fascism was generally nationalistic. The lefties of the world all correctly saw communism and fascism as pretty much the same thing -- heavier and heavier state control, less individual liberty, more collectivism, more central planning. When WWII happened, there was a rift between the USSR and Germany, so it tended to be couched in ideological terms. A lot of the book is spent on quotes and discussions from Teddy Roosevelt, Wilson, Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin and others showing that they were part of one big happy movement -- until they decided that a bad thing had happened in Germany, and they didn't want to be part of that. So, they picked the obvious scapegoat, "the right", even though there is nothing about "the right" that would lead one to think that "National Socialism" would be found there.

The book is 405 pages long, and the history of progressivism -> liberalism in this country and socialism, communism and fascism world wide is covered in a good deal of detail. The main point is NOT to say that "liberals are Nazis", although the cute little cover with the smiley face with Hitler mustache is certainly going to make liberals think that. Goldberg makes it clear in the book that fascist does NOT equal Nazi -- Fascist is pretty much "why can't we just get beyond politics, find a 3rd way, and let the smart experts do what needs to be done so we can we healthy wealthy and wise". That isn't evil, it is just dangerous ... because if you believe that can actually happen, you are already not thinking very straight, and if you think that the attempt at it isn't going to have a horrible cost in individual liberty, then you have been a grass munching sheep for way too long already.

I could quote and quote, but I'll leave with this one:

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.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Veterans In MN School Too Political


Forest Lake event canceled; too political

It sounds like the issue is really "too confusing". These tender young folks have been fully brainwashed with the "simple truths" like "Bush Evil", "Iraq War Lost", "Military Bad", "America Bad", "Muslims Good", etc. Star Trib readers have to get pretty up in arms when some veterans show up with a more nuanced opinion. I mean, what do THEY know, they were only actually over there. Certainly their viewpoints can't be allowed to complete with those of MEA teachers and the unbiased folks at the Star Trib! It is worse than Fox News and talk radio, people can't be expected to deal with all these differing viewpoints, so best to just get it back to one way of thinking, then we can be CIVIL!!

This country was founded on the idea that political speech ought to be curtailed wherever possible. We really can't have divergent opinion running around.

US Ranks 24th, Britan 7th

I suspect that this might some play in the MSM because it fits with their model of the universe. Of course economic freedom, how GOOD the health care / housing / transportation / etc are are no doubt not taken into account. There is certainly no consideration to the population difference (50M UK, 300M USA) or vast land mass differences. How well would this REALLY match with what liberals think if they thought for a couple minutes? How much diversity is there in Sweden for example? How much "freedom from religion" in the Vatican?

A lot of these places I haven't been to, but I have been to the UK a couple of times. Anyone from the US that wants to go there better get used to a RADICAL reduction in lifestyle if the size of your home, space, roads, shopping after 5PM, interesting television, and a whole list of other things are part of your idea of "lifestyle". It IS true however that the beer is excellent and they figure you ought to drink LOTs of it, so maybe that is a point that really counted in their favor. On that front, they may well be #1 in my book!


Britain is world's 7th most stable and prosperous nation - Times Online

It looks like the big issue was really guns and drugs. Well, the dead are the MOST stable, so I guess "stability" isn't everything, in fact, how well does liberty mesh with stability, and which is most important?
Mr Le Mière said that the US had fallen down the scale, although it still
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.
I 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.

I wonder how stable and prosperous Canada would be if the US actually became unstable and not prosperous? Supposedly Canada is 23rd to our 24th with a population of 33 million vs our 300 million. Guess there must not be any points at all for scale!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Guess That Party Game

Guess PowerLine plays the same game. It is a pretty boring game though. REPUBLICAN always shows up in the headline of anything bad, and it is hard to even find a little bitty "d" if the bad stuff is Democrat. If it is something good and there is an R involved, then it just doesn't get published at all.


Power Line: Guess That Party!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Typical White Person

I wonder if any Republicans could survive claiming that someone was a "typical black person" on video? Think not? Guess there is no bias in our world.

Obama typical white person
by dollarsandsense123

What We Miss



Just imagine what we miss when we try to be scientific and reduce the number of variables we have to deal with. How about when we only look at one side of an issue, or only look where the MSM or some candidate, party, friend, etc is telling us to look?

To be human is to have some very significant limitations. Even worse, other humans will often exploit those limitations. We don't know what we don't know, we are ALL suffering from only being able to see a tiny portion of reality. Humility is truly the foundation of wisdom.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Gunsmoke

Gunsmoke

Bill Kristol fumes a bit here on the Bush administrations silence on the leak of the "executive summary" of 600K documents related to Iraq / al Quaeda connections. The report says "no smoking gun", which the MSM translates to "no connection", and the Bush administration remains silent. This paragraph summarizes the Bush logic.

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.

What Bush needed to say was; "Saddam is building nuclear weapons". They are going to accuse you of lying about that as well, but we might as well have the real issue in front of the American people. 90% of them don't even have and idea of what "yellowcake" is, and it certainly doesn't seem worth fighting a war over. The peoples brain space is very limited. There is NO DOUBT that Saddam had a program to build nukes, there is a ton of evidence to that -- exactly how soon, how big and what color has a lot of doubt. If the discussion had been about THAT vs "Bush lied over yellowcake because of a memo and Joe Wilson", the battle would have been much easier to win even with the much lesser speaking talents of Bush.

As a Republican, you have to realize that NO MATTER WHAT YOU SAY, the MSM is going to call you a "liar", "evil", "incompetent", etc ... they did that with Reagan as well. The difference is that Reagan made his direct case to the American public like a media person, not like an "aw shucks, if I do everything right people will have to like me" honest guy. Don't expect the media to be fair, expect them toe be UNfair. Get THEM arguing about "well, the USSR really ISN'T an "evil empire" ... when Americans knew it was. If you are a Republican, you can count on the media trying to call up down if you call it up.

It is way too late for the Bush administration to make it's case, no matter what Kristol says. Reagan was such a genius. Did he believe that the USSR was an "evil empire"? Probably somewhat, but more importantly he knew how the media and the American people would react to his statement of a stark contrast. Even I can pine away for Reagan from time to time.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Racism of BO

So did Obama manage to turn his racist church into "old news" today? The MSM will certainly try to help him all they can.

"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.

Nice little video, be interesting to see if YouTube pulls it like they have been pulling quite a bit of stuff critical of the Hope Pope.

Facists On Guns

The Supreme Court heard arguments today in the "Heller Case" about the handgun ban in DC. One realizes very quickly that the gun issue isn't very rational -- the crime rate in DC very high and rising. Does that lead one to believe that a ban on citizens owning guns works? I guess it does if you are a criminal or a liberal (sometimes the difference can be hard to discern).

Here is a nice little Op Ed in USA today on the subject.

"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:
  1. How can ANYONE believe that our founding fathers thought there needed to be something in the Constitution so the MILITIA could have guns? The idea was to FORM the militia from private citizens with guns. That is how they raised their armies in those days.
  2. Has ANYONE read Jefferson? "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." The right to bear arms is EXPLICITLY in there to allow the PEOPLE to put together militias to ATTACK the Government! Those guys just fought a revolution against oppressive government. They understood the truth that power corrupts very well. They built a government full of checks and balances -- an armed populace was seen by them as just one more check. They well understood that liberty was something that was likely to require citizens to die to protect from time to time. They also understood that an armed populace just might deter some of the tyrants.
  3. The Constitution was ratified in 1789, does ANYONE believe it would have been ratified if people thought that their guns could be taken away legally by the Federal government under that document?
Those are the painfully obvious points. People are constantly getting "right and left" mixed up in this country because the media insists that "right is bad, left is good". Actually, left means big government and little liberty, right means little government and big liberty. The only "liberty" that you get on the left is "liberty" from individual responsibility, morality beyond what the state decrees, and religion. Nazi Germany was LEFT, not RIGHT ... it was the National SOCIALIST Party. The left likes to call it "right" because it was supposedly "patriotic" (and of course evil)-only, really it was only "pro-Nazi" and white supremacist. Sort of like Obama is Black Supremacist. Folks like to claim that it was "the RIGHT" that was racist and Jim Crow. Actually it was DEMOCRATS. Roosevelt held power by supporting Jim Crow! Yes, yes, Eleanor gave a few speeches, but FDR did nothing to do away with Jim Crow, and the people that made threats on her life were ALL DEMOCRATS. Being a Republican in the South for a long time was about as popular as being Jewish, Catholic or Black.

There are plenty of racist lefties -- Hitler, Obama, Mao, Stalin, etc. Being racist has NOTHING to do with being "right wing".

What do Nazi's have to do with guns? Well, just like other lefties -- USSR, China, etc, one of the first things they like to do is round up the guns. The idea of an armed populace doing a little refreshment of the tree of liberty with their tyrant blood isn't all that appealing to them.

So, back to USA today:
"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."


So, I have a 10/22 that is semi-automatic and intrinsically holds 10 rounds in it's magazine. It ought to be banned and I ought to go to prison if I don't give it up? I'm not even sure an IED is a "weapon of terror" -- is C4? is a grenade? Any CAN be, but I see nothing intrinsic in either the IED or an assault rifle. How about a semi loaded with liquid natural gas? How about an airplane?

One can tell a facist because they see "civilians". We are CITIZENS, we are the PEOPLE from which what government we have is to receive it's power. The government is to have it's power at our pleasure, not the other way around. Weapons in the hands of the wrong government have FAR more terror potential than weapons in the hands of CITIZENS.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Obama's Racist Church

Hard to get a lot of detail in the MSM, and no doubt a lot of it will be cleaned up since Obama took his ex-minister off his campaign as an offical advisor. It is a matter of public record that his church supports Louis Farakien, who is an avowed anti-semite. Jeremiah Wright after 9-11 said "God Damn America" from the pulpit and that "our chickens have come home to roost". There is no other way to describe the views of the church as "Black Racist". If a white candidate attended a church that was even a tenth as much white racist as Obama's is Black Racist it would be the only story in the MSM 24x7 and the videos of the pastor screaming racist remarks from the pulpit would be in front of our faces every second - as they should be, in that case and in this case.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ashland and Keweenaw Snowmobile Trip





The Movie Version:



My wife and I returned a bit after 11PM last night after a 3-day whirlwind end of the season snowmobile trip with another couple that was overall great fun and just a "tish" on the "doing a whole lot in a short time" side.

We took off at 9:30 Thursday AM in two vehicles with two sleds in each unit and rolled to Ashland WI, arriving at a bit after 2 even though we were slowed by some difficulty getting trail permits. It was 55 degrees and there was some group question of how good the trails would be, so we had a nice leisurely lunch at the Best Western Holiday House in Ashland that we were staying at. Take a look this Google Map with points of interest included.

View Larger Map

See more pictures from the trip here.

We finally got up to the Pub and Grub West of Washburn and on the trail just before 4. There were a lot of slushy areas, some plain old nasty mud and water in some areas, but there were also some really nice areas with long stretches of perfectly smooth and fun to ride stuff. We made it up to Herbster for some sodas, then drove down to "Old Baldy" to get a nice overlook in without having to brave the cold winds that are often the case up there. Made it back to the Pub and Grub shortly after 7, just barely dark for around 70mi for the short day. Had an excellent meal there and reached the conclusion that since were this far, we just had to go up to the Keweenaw and sample the conditions there.

Spent a short night at the hotel and hit the road at 7AM. By 10:30 we were unloaded at Krupps in Twin Lakes and out on the trails. The conditions up there were FANTASTIC ... generally perfect trails on the 13 loop down to Greenland. We cut off on the "newer tail" just N or Mass City off the Nichols (20?) and had some very high speed running over to N of Sidnaw. I discovered that in order to keep up with my wife on the '97 500cc Classic with something like 60 HP with my 120HP '06 Fusion HO I had to put some more throttle in it. She claimed 85, but I looked down and was floating over 90 catching her.

We had a bit of trouble stopping for gas enough-we ought to have gassed up in Greenland, but we came to the conclusion that we had to go down to Sidnaw and fill up. We came back N and ran "the whoops" heading toward Baraga-a series of quick rises and drops on a very straight run in which it one tends to get a little high-speed air or at least very significant track unloading. We OUGHT to have just reversed our course back out of there on the newer trail back over to the Nichols, but fell to the siren song of "maybe the trail to Alston will be improved, everything else has been so good"--well, it was in as good a shape as it probably could be, but narrow and super-twisty still gets long.

Stopped in at Krupps for tasty Pasties, took a spin N to S Range and stopped in front of the John Dee trail cam and found out there is no gas in S Range anymore, so rather than taking a shot at the Freda Loop we drove back down to Krupps, loaded up and headed in to the Ramada at Hancock. Had a decent (but not special) meal at the hotel a couple of beverages, and turned in fairly early.

Saturday we hit the road at 7:30 (central time, never changed to the UPs Eastern) up to Phoenix where we parked and unloaded. The trails were SUPER ... we were the first sleds out on a groom that had set up better than it usually does up there, they must have gotten the groomer out early. The temp was around 20 and the amount of snow is incredible -- no signs of spring up there. We ran up to LacLabelle and found that they no longer do any coffee / rolls stuff there, but have the bar/grill only that opens at noon.

Shot over the mount Bohemia and then N for Copper Harbor. Discovered that the trail out to the tip of the peninsula was fresh groomed for the ONLY time in 10 years of going up there that I have seen it any better than a kidney liquefying mass of moguls. It was perfectly groomed with no tracks so we went in and met the groomer coming out. I ought to have backed up, but thought I could get by him parked and banged up my knee and foot a bit, but nothing that seemed serious at the time ... little stiff and black and blue today, but able to walk and work out, so hopefully nothing.

The end of the peninsula is pretty cool with wind and waves coming in and a lot of hunks of ice grinding together. Standing there it hit me that if things work out well I'll be standing on the Santa Monica Pier in two weeks watching the Pacific waves crash in. Full scale winter in the center of the continent on sleds to "summer" on the W coast--naturally, it would be possible to just run the sled down to the Keweenaw airport, hop on a plane and be there in something like 5 hours, but two weeks is enough contrast for me.

We continued on to the top of Brockaway Mtn to look at the steep drops, feel the high winds and see the view out over the very cold Lake Superior with lake effect snows swirling around. Then down to Copper Harbor to the Mariner N restaurant for some good sandwiches and soup for lunch. Back on the sleds, over to Eagle Harbor to stand on the observation deck next to the lighthouse for another view of the "ice water mansions". I've been up there in early March when one could lay back on the already melted bench and catch a nap-not this year, it would be a chilly and windy nap.

Drove the sleds down to Phoenix, loaded up, fired up, and headed south at 2:30 central. Not a lot of moss grew on us as we motored toward home and walked in at a bit after 11PM, tired but happy to have had a fun little adventure with the sleds to end the season.

The Perjury Scam

As part of the concealed carry class I was exposed to how important it is to not talk to the police, especially when you have just been in a stressful situation like involved in using your gun in self-defense. The Police are NOT your "friends" in that situation--they are "gathering evidence", and part of their job is "convictions". They are drilled to "gather evidence" and let the courts sort it out. That is why a good attorney is so important-they are the ones that select from the evidence what it is that is going to "make the case" that shows that you are innocent (your attorney) or guilty (the prosecution). Most people are confused that what we have is a "justice system" ... we don't, we have a LEGAL system. Good and bad lawyers, jury bias, and how you behave in the "creation of evidence" makes a BIG difference if you have brush with the law.

If it comes to trial, the state is ONLY concerned about a conviction, they could care less about "justice". In order to get you convicted, one of the big dangers is perjury. You may remember shooting once but have shot twice or even more -- under great stress, people don't count very well (sometimes they don't even NOT under great stress). You may "remember distinctly", but be wrong. Your time-sense will certainly be in "slow motion" -- a few seconds may see like a minute, and you could easily show up as having stated a different time span than multiple witnesses, which could expose you to a perjury charge that is enough to put you in jail all on its own, but maybe even worse (depending on the charge), it certainly makes you look to not be credible. There is NO BENEFIT to talking to anyone other than your attorney.

We get the false idea that perjury isn't a big deal, because Clinton was obviously guilty of it and got off -- BUT, we fail (and the medial helps us to fail) to understand recent high profile cases where perjury was the only case that counted.

For Martha Stewart,there was no proof of insider trading, BUT, they "proved" (compared her word to two others) that she stated something wrong, so they "got her anyway"-and then of course proceed to call it "insider trading", even though it was perjury, not insider trading. When the left wants you, they have figured out how to use perjury to get you, and then claim "you are guilty" (they just switch the "of what"). "Martha Stewart was guilty"-- people don't even really care "of what". Being rich, trying to make everything too perfect, not being "common enough", whatever. The point is "they got her", in a certain world, that is all that counts.

Same deal with Scooter Libby - they "got a conviction", so it allowed them to talk about the Plame affair as if it had some legitimacy, even though the charge that stuck was the perjury charge that they completely ignored with Clinton. By putting inconsistency in their corner and having virtually total control of the legal system, they can pretty much prosecute anyone at will as long as two of them will agree on a story. (has to go all the way to the Supreme Court to have a chance of circumventing them, and no doubt they will remedy that in short order once they get the White House).

The scam is pretty simple - make some accusation that fits their biases, use a Grand Jury, which with proper management anyone knows, can "indict a ham sandwich", then have two folks involved in the Grand Jury indicate that the "target" differed with "the facts" (or at least what two other people will swear are "the facts") on some point. Case closed on a perjury charge. Given the control of the mass media, they simply state "guilty", reiterate the original charges of the case, and let the sheep make the connection, no need to mention perjury is what they actually got a conviction on.

It is really a pretty sweet deal, and in this Easter season one can maybe better understand why they see Clinton as such a great man. He is sort of the "lefty christ". He showed that the wages of perjury don't apply to a Democrat of sufficient stature and adherence to the Democrat sacraments ( abortion, environmentalism, lying). He used his position to get the sex he wanted, lied about it, and even though perjury continues to be used constantly to get people on the right, he lives on in public life. Sort of a "risen lefty".

You know, now that I think of it, maybe he IS the Anti-Christ? I wonder if there is anything in Revelation that could be construed to be a man married to the first woman ruler of the earthly superpower?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Uncomfortable Liberty

Saw the following in the CNN article on Spitzer's resignation today:

"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."


I know I'm the only odd duck in the world that finds our national lack of concern about constant warrantless surveillance of financial transactions to be more of a concern than warrantless surveillance of international phone calls to the numbers of suspected terrorists. I understand the truth of my odd position, and of course I have some ideas as to why that might be, but I'd STRONGLY suggest that the vast majority of us are more "at risk" of some sort of Government intervention in our lives due to dollar transfers than we are due to having the Feds listen in on our call to Osama Inc..

My suspicion is that the largest reason for the outcry on the phone surveillance is that "Bush did it" and the lack of interest in the financial surveillance is that "we need that to help soak the rich on taxes". Since the left and MSM has no principles or need of consistency, this seems to work fine to them. One would think that unfettered access to hookers is one of those "rights" that Democrats would hold dear, but apparently Spitzer was too prudish for the left to want to defend.


The Spitzer case shows us again that the Government is watching all our financial activity-even account transfers down to a fairly low level. I certainly have no love for the EX-Democratic Governor of NY, nor for high priced hookers -- BUT, if this "bust" had been the result of a Bush administration wiretap, might not we hear some outcry? Spitzer had made a lot of enemies on the right AND the left, so nobody is standing up to defend him, and of course it is VERY hard to do so -- a family man that is Governor of a state hiring very expensive hookers is just pretty hard to defend.

That is the hard part about real liberty-it allows citizens to use it to do right and WRONG. The principles that the country were built on are intended to CERTAINLY protect against INDISCRIMINATE warrantless surveillance of the sort that seems to have caught Eliot Spitzer. Since I believe that "consistency IS an issue", I'm forced to conclude that he ought not be prosecuted at all. There is NO REASON for the government to have the power to violate his right of privacy here! This is exactly the kind of abuse of government power that the left likes to allege has been made by the Bush Administration in listening in on calls to suspected terrorist international numbers. I'd argue there is a clear difference, and the lack of concern over what has been done to Sptizer shows that the outcry against Bush on this front is due only to partisanship, not to real concern over the infringement of individual liberties.

Putting the principle of individual liberty at a higher level than personalities and politics means that a guy like me has to defend the rights of an Eliot Spitzer, since the cost of loss of liberty to us all is MUCH greater than the cost of not being able to catch Spitzer. I agree that the question needs to be ASKED relative to listening on international terrorist numbers, but were our country to return to an era of rational discourse vs uninformed generally left-leaning bickering, we would see that our rights have already been trampled in the financial realm, and no matter how much the lefties might be willing to give up some of their financial liberty to see it used against "the evil rich", we fail to recognize the loss of liberty that snares our "enemy" at our own peril.

Today they get someone using questionable methods that we happen to be OK with them getting -- when those methods are used against us, we have already surrendered the high ground.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Brings a Tear to My Eye

This is a great little article that covers the kinds of hardships the Obama's have to live with and maybe gives some insight to the horror of American as seen through their eyes. The whole thing is well worth a read, but some little insights may be enough for you to want to send them some cash:

"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?"

Golly, I wonder why those aren't government funded? I mean talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel! I can't see any way a cash strapped family could get by on less.

"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.

The Clinton's may be ruthless corrupt narcissists, but at least that part is clear to everyone now that they have been mean to the poor Prince of Promises. Funny how the MSMs and lefts attitudes change once their own Unicorn gets gored a bit. Oh well, always good for the left to get at least a minimal handle on reality. It sure would be nice if they caught on the to the lack of anything in the BO show.

Monday, March 10, 2008

D or R?


Time again for a game of "D or R". Under my rules, if the party designation doesn't appear prominently in the early part of the article and it is a D, I win. If it does appear and it is a D, or it is an R and fairly hard to find, then the MSM wins and gets a point for being "surprisingly unbiased". Looks like today is a losing day for the MSM. One has to dig pretty hard to find the D.

I'll go out on a limb here and guess that based on the look from Mrs Spitzer's face, last weekend wasn't all that hot a weekend for Eliot. Probably not a lot of favorite foods, drink delivery or "cuddles". She really needs to give Hillary a call. When one talks about "experienced", dealing with husbands that follow the liberal view of "fidelity" is an area that Hillary truely knows of what she speaks.

I don't see the issue here; it certainly doesn't make him a "bad Democrat" does it? Barney Frank was LIVING with the male prostitute. Did Eliot fail to pay minimum wage or smoke during his "business arrangement"? Now those MIGHT almost qualify him has a "bad Democrat". Maybe that is what they are investigating.

My take on this would be that it must be the evil Bush administration "peering into bedroom windows" yet again on an issue that is clearly "only about sex" (and hopefully appropriate union based hooker living wage of course). We have just got to get this evil administration out of there so Democrats can start having their way with the hookers and the taxpayers -- er, I mean "focusing on the nations business".

Concealed Carry

Over the weekend my wife and I completed the MN Concealed Carry and Utah Supplement Classes from MN Pistol Class their schedule fit ours and I think the material was covered well and relatively efficiently. The shooting portion of the class was taken at the Circle Pines location of Bill's Gunshop and Range which was a nice indoor range and included the ability to rent and shoot a fairly broad range of pistols to see if those were the gun for you.

The classes consist of basic pistol safety, minimal tactics for self defense and a lot of information on the laws and questions of if you really want to carry a pistol at all. The "chain of requirements" for use of deadly force in self defense is drilled extensively:

  1. You are a reluctant participant - you in NO WAY instigated the situation, and as soon as it is possible to disengage, you do. No "chasing an assailant".
  2. Imminent threat of Death or "great bodily harm" - and it better pretty much be death, rape doesn't count as "great bodily harm".
  3. No lesser force will do - Don't carry pepper spray and a gun. If you shoot somebody and didn't try the pepper spray first, you will fail this one.
  4. Escape is not possible - If you can get away, you HAVE to, at least in MN. In some other states you are allowed to stand your ground.
In your home, the restrictions are relaxed A LITTLE, but not much. You are NOT allowed to "protect your property". The use of deadly force is to protect your life, and you had better consider that you will have to defend that choice in front of a jury of cud-chewers that probably don't like you having the ability to defend yourself at all and would likely have more sympathy with the dead criminal than you--no doubt he would vote Democrat if he were not a dead felon with 9mm slugs in place of a heart, but might be able to vote in the future in either Chicago (under "rights of the dead") or be raised from the dead if Obama is elected.

We passed, so the permit applications will be going to to both MN and Utah for one of us and Utah for the other. The reason for getting the MN permit is that it also acts as a permit to buy a pistol for 5 years. The reason for getting a Utah permit is that there is no re-take on the class required in 5 years, it renews for $10 where MN requires you to re-take the course PLUS yet another $100 fee

My major impressions from the class:
  • Other than my wife and I, the other 4 people in class were current or ex military, and the instructor was ex-military and ex-police. Apparently military folks feel comfortable being able to carry.
  • The instructor made the comment that there are 3 kinds of people; sheep, wolves, and sheep dogs. He clearly left out Mooses, but I'd say the comparison is similar with the sheep dogs. The sheep are as expected. Their odds of being a victim are low so they choose to believe they are zero. They assume that someone else (police) will protect them. They decide to believe that they are incapable or that it is unwise to try to protect themselves. The wolves are as expected. They understand sheep well, and look for opportunity for a tasty lunch. Sheep dogs would just as soon there were no problems, but they are the kind of folks that have to look at reality as it is and tend to be responsible for themselves, and even others if required.
  • Police are there to SERVE the state, and "protect" if they have time, there are enough officers, they are an especially good cop, or other considerations. They are a "Law Enforcement Officer", and often forget that the law abiding public is made up of citizens that are their employer, not "civilians". At least in a CC state, there is an alternative to being a sheep. In MN there are around 100K permit holders, but only 2K police. The criminals odds of being confronted with an armed adversary are something like 50x higher in a CC MN rather than in a mostly sheep MN.
  • The whole "movie gun use", plus lack of exposure to hunting and even war leads most of the sheep to have a poor understanding of what guns can and can't do. They don't repeal the laws of physics-if they had the power to stop, turn around and throw through the air a 200lb man, they would break your arm when you fired them. Every action still has an equal reaction. I blew half the heart away on the deer that I shot last fall and it jumped and ran 30 yards or so. An assailant that is shooting at you is very likely to keep shooting as you put rounds in him, it is a good idea to have a reasonable caliber (.38 or better) and a decent number of rounds.
The horrible news here is that the .32 Tomcat was likely not the best CC gun purchase, so now we have to trek to Cabelas, Gander and other gun locations in search of a small light .38 Special +p or better revolver. Darn. I really hate looking for guns, and I suppose I'll have to shoot it some too! Life is hard.

Democrats Hire Republicans

After listening to the Democrats hard work on the subject of who their nominee ought to be and the problems with Michigan and Florida, I was heartened to see the following in the news:

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."

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Too Liberal for Standard Rules

Interesting Powerline Post on Al Franken being "wanted in NY" for a $25K fine for not providing unemployment insurance to his employees. I was surprised to see that Paul Wellstone also had not insured his employees and after his death the state had to kick in to help on a settlement.

I don't expect either Franken or Wellstone to be perfect, only that the MSM would make some attempt to treat them as the less than perfect humans that they are. The fact that they tend to agree more with the political views of those in the media ought to not exempt them from criticism from the media, least of all when their failures are in areas specifically related to the "State as Church" faith they and the media espouse.

How can one claim to be "the champion of the little guy" yet not provide the basic benefits to your employees that you DEMAND are provided by "the evil corporations"? The only answer that makes sense to me is to fall back on "consistency isn't an issue". Once you take that step into liberalism, all bets are off-you do what feels right at the moment, and do whatever feels right at the next moment. You have slipped the surly bonds of consistency.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Audacity of Hope 2, The Scent of BO

One of the hardest things about BO is going to be to pin him down (kinda like "where is that coming from?"). He makes Slick Willie look positively "direct" by comparison. He tries to come off as a sort of "Rational Liberal" as kind of a book-end to W's "Compassionate Conservative". If voting Democrat when you were young proved you had a heart, and voting Republican as you matured proved you had a brain, W and now BO say "We are BOTH a floor wax AND a desert topping, have your heart, have your head, vote for us".

I believe that W actually was a "uniter" with his attempts to improve education for all Americans and "leave no child behind", very expensive drug benefits for Seniors and spending for lots of favorite lefty programs, the Democrats decided early on that they were going to fight him tooth and nail, and in the end, all of his "olive branches" amounted to nothing but alienation of his far right base while not gaining a vote in the middle-thus a 30% President.

The media will go all the way to make BO seem as moderate as they can, but the book is relatively clear that he is looking to find SOME way to get rid of any last vestiges of Republicans and gives a few hints as to how:
  • Make sure to play the race card for all it is worth while not seeming to play it. On page 27 he gives the famous Johnson statement that as transmitted to that bastion of reliability Bill Moyers, that with the stroke of a pen he had just delivered the South to the GOP for the forseeable future. On the next page though, he admits that "most Southern Democratic Congressmen who chose to stay in party would retain their seats on the strength of incumbency". The nice thing about being a liberal is that an obviously incorrect statement (the Democrats held the House of Representatives until 1994) can be used over to make the even grander point that "Republican's are racist". It is a nice game if you have the MSM on your side and not a lot of critical thinkers in your constituency.
  • So why were so many people "misled" to vote Republican? "The violence in the streets and the excuses for such violence in intellectual circles, blacks moving in next door and white kids bused across town, the burning of flags and spitting on vets, all of it seemed to insult and diminish, if not assault, those things-family, faith, flag, neighborhood, and for some at least, white privilege-that they held most dear. NOTE, it only "seemed to insult and diminish" and he mentions race twice here. I imagine that disagreement with the "Pope of Hope" here is tantamount to racism in itself. The evil right as been warned.
  • "...as disturbed as I might have been by Ronald Reagan's election in 1980, as unconvinced as I might have been by his John Wayne, Father Knows Best pose, his policy by anecdote, and his gratuitous assaults on the poor, I understood his appeal." Naturally, BO has no "pose"-unless all knowing, all seeing, perfectly correct on all issues isn't in fact true, but I don't see how that could be. He IS the messiah isn't he? Very much of a "uniter" to try to claim that Reagan made "gratuitous assaults on the poor"-Slick Willie must have REALLY been guilty on that front, he signed welfare reform. "Reagan spoke to America's longing for order, our need to believe that we are not simply subject to blind, impersonal forces but that we can shape our individual and collective destinies..." So I assume that BOs view is that we ARE simply subject to these forces and we CAN'T shape our destinies? We need BO to do that for us I imagine-apparently omnipotence comes with his omniscience.
  • "It is such doctrinaire thinking and stark partisanship that have turned Americans off politics. This is not a problem for the right; a polarized electorate-one that easily dismisses both parties because of the nasty, dishonest tone of the debate-works perfectly well for those who seek to chip away at the very idea of government. After all, a cynical electorate is a self-centered electorate." Hmm, Both Reagan and Bush presided over HUGE increases in government spending. The turnout in at least 2004 was a long term record and Bush won something that Clinton NEVER did, over 50% of the popular vote with much larger turnouts than Clinton. By making claims about the right that are clearly false, isn't BO trying a little "polarization" on his own? Since he is omniscient, he can't be just "mistaken", so isn't he being "nasty, dishonest and cynical" as he makes these claims that he must know to be false?
I could go on, but basically the only thing new about BOs leftism is that it is re-branded as being less ruthless and "all about BO" than the Clinton's brand--being less ruthless and narcissistic than the Clinton's isn't really all that much of a trick, and they had 8 years in the WH to really hone their sorry act. BO is just getting going, I expect a definite unmistakable stench increase. Just this week we find that he is using "campaign talk" to claim that he would get out of NAFTA, while telling Canada he would do no such thing. When reporters focused on this and the buddy that helped him buy his house, sold him some land for a good price and gave him $150K for campaigns (on the books), he walked out of the press conference.

Beneath the thin veneer of obfuscation beats the heart of a really shifty SOB that certainly is at least just as much concerned about the "vast right wing conspiracy" as old Hillie. Naturally, the NYT, NPR, ABC, CBS, etc are "unbiased" and there is no such thing as "the left". Same old worldview, new smile and more explicit press worshipfulness. We have the seeds of fascism, let us hope we don't smell the flower.

It's 3AM

I doubt he really bothers to call, but hey, it is funny.

Problems in Messiah Land?

One wouldn't expect a Democrat messiah to be sinless, so this should come as no surprise.

Seems like one of St Obama's best buds is under investigation for extortion and money laundering in good old 100% Democratic "bring out the dead vote" Chicago. I suppose we will hear that this too is somehow "politically motivated"-maybe some of the Democrat dead vote are mad about Obama not bringing them back to life yet? Not only that, one of his campaign cronies apparently told a Canadian Government official that the talk about bailing out of NAFTA was just "campaign rhetoric" (for those Democrat readers, were a Republican to do the same thing, that would be called a "lie"-the term is just different since Obama has a D after his name)

Seems like the national media remains uninterested. I haven't heard if he has healed any sick or raised any dead yet, but based on the media view I'm sure that can't be far away.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Audacity of Hope 1

The future will likely re-title this tome "The Audacity of Despair,  if there is enough freedom left in America to allow it after this demagogue gets through. He finally defines what he says he means by the title of his book on p 356
"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.

It was that audacity, I thought that joined us as one people."
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.

For me, the central message of the book was on page 57:
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.

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."
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".

However, my take is he is trying to make subtle points to all. He is telling HUNTERS that they will still have guns, but unfortunately our founding fathers always thought THAT was a GIVEN! The purpose of the right to bear arms is to convince the government that there are points to which they better not push an armed populace. Since he mentions "hunters", the gun control lobby can choose to believe that he is signaling that he may support removal of all guns except those explicitly required to hunt (maybe we can check them out at the local hunting preserve).

On the surface he seems "reasonable" and "moderate" ... he points out faults in both sides, however like most of his writing, the best guess is that is purely a ruse. Are conservatives really in favor of "wiretapping without a warrant"? Nope, in general they are fine with listening in on cell phone calls to known terrorists, which seems pretty different from "wiretapping". Wiretapping is more like warrantless collection of financial data on income, interest and stock sales (which the government does all the time!). Exactly what might he mean by "controlling sexual practices"? gay marriage? Is marriage a "sexual practice"? It used to be a legal arrangement designed to create families, but I'm not exactly sure what that has to do with gay marriage or sexual practices.

Notice his claim that "liberals" get riled up about "freedom of the press". Conservatives don't? In fact, I wonder who would get most riled up about putting the "Fairness Doctrine" back in place? I'm betting it won't be those defenders of press freedom the liberals. I love "reproductive freedoms" ... he of course means abortion on demand at any point in the pregnancy. Wow, liberals don't adequately care about the cost of government regulation.

Most chilling of all, a recreational hunter FEELS about his guns as a liberal feels about library books? Uh, this guy is a genius? So the founding fathers found it important to protect the "feelings of recreational hunters" in the CONSTITUTION? I wonder if any conservatives are smart enough to "care about library books"? Apparently not. I guess we are only smart enough to hunt in his mind.

Women feel about abortion as evangelicals feel about worship? I guess that one is more apt from a liberal point of view, as they consider abortion a sacrament - although he misses the point that most evangelicals don't have any sacraments. I suspect he let a little bit of whatever he has that is somewhat like a soul slip through on that one. You can pretty much directly see that he finds an equation with the importance of worship and the importance of abortion to be reasonable in his universe.

His aim is for all the sheep to find him "reasonable". He constantly "covers" both sides (in his own biased way), but in the end you can tell that his real answer is that the farthest left is the "truth". He "sees all views", it is just that the right, business, the founding fathers, and anybody that doesn't agree with Obama is wrong. The only issue is to buy or fool enough votes to make his "truth" the policy of the nation. Sadly, it looks like he is well on his way.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Discover Your Inner Economist

I can't recommend this book by Tyler Cowan. I'm sure the guy is hugely intelligent and would be a lot of fun to chat with, but the book has such a complete lack of focus that it was hard to make it through.

He makes some points that I was relatively familiar with, but they are worth repeating:

"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"


I'd argue that the last point is the point at which liberals really part company with economics. To them, "human liberty" would actually mean "freedom from incentives" - all the "good stuff" would be a "right" and incentive could be better described as "a whim". What they believe they want is a "right to happiness", not a "right to PURSUE happiness". They mistake liberty for entitlement and fail to realize that the result of their pursuit is TYRANNY. Equality of opportunity is heaven, equality of result is hell.

They also tend to lament "how important money is", which means that they understand neither money or life in the US today, since we still have a good deal of personal liberty. Nobody is forced to drive, use electricity, modern medicine or much of anything in our society. Availability of something is neither encouragement or license. The success of our system creates huge OPPORTUNITY, and if one wants to take advantage of those opportunities, THEN money is very useful. It is however YOU that makes that money "important" by what parts the overflowing cornucopia of goods and services you feel "incented" to want.

To live in a culture with liberty means that some will find that money is "too important"
and others will find that leisure or religion or education or books or computing or technology or environmentalism or politics or ?? is "too important" or not important enough. That is essentially what liberty means-"the freedom to think or be different", and as long as liberty exists, there will be disagreement-on priorities, limits on liberty, etc.

Liberals tend to see the "best way" to get our country back to be "less divided" is to remove some liberty-by say re-establishing the "fairness doctrine" so a set of conservative views were no longer presented, removing this blog from the internet, reducing the number of kids that are home schooled or in private schools, taking some money away from those who earn it, or 1000s of other ways.

We live in a looking glass world where "liberals" as strongly put off by the availability of Fox news, talk radio or internet blogs. "Liberal" may be a nicer sounding name for that sentiment, but what it is really is TOTALITARIAN. Liberty means MORE difference, dissension, argument and disagreement, not less!

Obama Islam

I'm nearly through "Audacity of Hope" and got to have a conversation with my son on Iraq last night. I was struck how closely both he and Obama's view 100% reflect the mass media view:

1). Islam is a religion of peace, we have nothing to fear from Islam
2). Radicalization is all due to US and other Western involvement in the mideast. If we would leave them alone, there would be no issues.
3). Bush is as fault for making us far less secure, if there should be any problems in the future, they will be due to the war in Iraq

I look at those points and think of my view of current events:
1). We were attacked on 9/11 less then 8 full months since Bush took office, yet we have not been attacked since. Therefore we are LESS safe and if we are attacked in the future our best way to understand that will be just "it is Bush's fault"?
2). Obama mentions the attack on Bali in 2002 (he spent time in Indonesia in his youth). He also mentions that Indonesia is increasingly Muslim, and yes, it his thesis that us going on offense in Iraq has made us less safe. Did Bali send in troops?
3). Obama makes the claim that "in Cairo Muslims prayed for the US after 9/11" in concert with trying to both praise the immediate handling of 9/11 in the book and yet criticize it. (apparently the core of "Audacity of Hope" is to claim to be on all sides of an issue yet reflexively take the most far left position in each case and call it "moderate"). He completely fails to mention that in MANY places they danced in the streets celebrating "death to America" as well. Since 9-11 we have had Al Quaeda bombings Bali, Spain and Britan. We have waited in vain for the so-called "modertate Muslims" to rise up and decry the "hi-jacking of their religion by radical forces against the will of Allah".

We have however had some Danish cartoons that depicted Allah with a bomb in his turban and comments by the Pope that cited writings from the 14th century on the spreading of Islam by the sword. In both these cases the "Arab street" as well as Arab leadership acted quickly and loudly with violence and death threats, and in the Danish case, someone associated with the cartoonist was actually murdered.

What I personally conclude from this is:
1). There is absolutely zero evidence that at least modern Islam is a "religion of peace". There has been very close to zero outcry from the Arab street against Al Quaeda supposedly "hijacking their religion", yet loud demonstrations, statements and actual violence and threats of violence over cartoons and very non-inflamatory rhetoric in the case of the Pope. The "Arab Street" is paying attention, they "see" cartoons and comments by the Pope and react with anger and violence. They ALSO see attacks in Spain, Bali and Britain, yet even in this country their are no "moderate Muslim voices" that decry those attacks and certainly no "Arab Street" rising up to decry the "hijacking of their peaceful Religion". I can only conclude that Muslims are NOT offended by the use of violence in their name.

2). Even a cursory reading of Muslim history will lead you to a "House of Peace and a House of War". Look at WHY the Crusades started by looking at Moorish Spain and what was happening in the world at the time before you you come to the conclusion that all of the modern problems can be traced to "historical western meddling". The core of liberal foreign policy theology is "we don't really need to defend ourselves since all things that look like threats are really just "blowback", so as long as we stop using any military force globally we will be fine". I'd argue that the evidence that the evidence of "Balian Imperialism" is limited. Bali didn't even have a lot to do with the Crusades or the creation of hated Israel. Unlike Obama and the masses, I conclude that Muslims see "innocent infidel" as a complete oxymoron, and are perfectly willing to see plenty of "collateral damage" of Muslims killed in bombings and the WTC attack as well.

3). Muslims mean what I hear them saying. We are infidels and unless we bow to the will of Allah in matters as small as cartoons, speech (the Pope) and the treatment of women, we are in the "house of war".

So, I guess either Obama and the masses are wrong or I am. That is OK, I'll just keep reading, writing and observing. What I find most disconcerting from Obama about this is not the unwillingness to recognize any lessons from the bombings in Bali that affected him since he was familiar with the hotel that was bombed, but his pre-emptive view that the "Bush adventure in Iraq" increases the threat of violence against us. Bali was not in Iraq, yet they were attacked. We have NOT been attacked since 9/11, and we have been in Iraq since March of 2003. How is it observationally correct to conclude that going on offense against Al Quaeda is counterproductive? WORSE, at least my reading him, one would assume that if we ARE attacked in the future it will be written off as "Bush's fault". When we were attacked in 2001 was that Clinton's fault?