Friday, October 31, 2008

MSM Bias As Editor Career Extender?

ABC News: Media's Presidential Bias and Decline

This is a good short story on media bias, The fact of bias is obvious to all but the most ardent and credulous lefty and covered in nearly excruciating (though recommended) detail in the "Bias" books by Bernie Goldberg, but this is still well written and much shorter than the books.

It has a twist at the end that I hadn't fully considered relative to the "perfect storm" that seems intent on electing BO. I'm sure that much like major corporations, the average age in the news room is getting a bit long in tooth and there are too many folks "running out the clock". The "Fairness Doctrine / Return of Unions for 50+ers in the newsroom" is an interesting angle--especially to a 50+er at a corporation.

Gee, maybe I need to look on the "bright side"--protect my job for another decade with a union? Sure, it would destroy the company, but so what? Don't I have a RIGHT to employment in my golden years?

Special thanks to the Vegas readership for pointing this one out.
In other words, you are facing career catastrophe -- and desperate times call for desperate measures. Even if you have to risk everything on a single Hail Mary play. Even if you have to compromise the principles that got you here. After all, newspapers and network news are doomed anyway -- all that counts is keeping them on life support until you can retire.

And then the opportunity presents itself -- an attractive young candidate whose politics likely matches yours, but more important, he offers the prospect of a transformed Washington with the power to fix everything that has gone wrong in your career.

With luck, this monolithic, single-party government will crush the alternative media via a revived fairness doctrine, re-invigorate unions by getting rid of secret votes, and just maybe be beholden to people like you in the traditional media for getting it there.

And besides, you tell yourself, it's all for the good of the country …

The Cloward-Piven Strategy

American Thinker: Barack Obama and the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis

One of my maxims on understanding the left --- When they accuse the right of something, it usually means that the gambit that they are making accusations of is well known and heavily used by the left already.

One of the accusations by a surprising number of lefties was that "The War On Terror"  is a manufactured crisis to keep the right in power. It seems a little hard to imagine that 9-11 was an "inside job", but a shocking number of lefties buy that, or the only slightly less harder to swallow idea that "Bush lied about WMD" -- since the "lie" would have involved Bill and Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Colin Powell, the entire CIA and DOD and only about 90% of all intelligence agencies in the world plus the UN. They agreed Saddam had WMD, they just disagreed over the US doing something about it.

The Sub-Prime debacle and subsequent financial meltdown doesn't require a lot of imagination to fan into a "conspiracy theory", but more accurately it fits into a whole series of overall left activities that had the objective of "breaking the capitalist system". They didn't know exactly which one would malfunction, but they were pretty sure that one or more of them eventually would. A look at this site can be a bit scary. The specifics of the Cloward-Piven Strategy are here. In short, "manufactured crisis to achieve a result".

The whole idea of the "radical left" is something that the MSM would have you believe doesn't exist in this country. In their narrative, the "far right" (America's constant danger) chased communist spies that never existed in the McCarthy era, hung around with "The Military Industrial Complex" to manufacture a cold war with the benevolent USSR and hideously morphed into the "Religious Right", "Neocons" and other "well documented" elements of the "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy"--an organization so well known and factual that a First Lady could talk about it in all seriousness on NBC's Today Show in the '90s and still be elected Senator from NY.

The "organized right" with all it's nefarious connections to "The Trilateral Commission" and all manner of corporate and religious connections involving "Jews", "The Pope", "The Military" and all other elements is well known by the MSM. Utter the phrase "Un-American" --  as Michelle Bachmann was led into doing by Chris Matthews, and the specter of "McCarthyism" is roused from its grave in an instant.

Strangely, one can go through a bunch of schooling and live a long MSM fed life and come to the conclusion that "there is no organized far left". Strange.

I'd argue that the main reason that Americans don't realize anything about "the left" is the same reason that a fish is going to have a hard time telling you what it means to be "wet". Post FDR, we have been so far toward the left and fed by a MSM that finds the views of the left to be way more factual than the average "Sunday Christian" finds the teachings of Christ, so that like the fish, we just don't know about being "left".

Welcome to the Obamanation! BOO!




Thursday, October 30, 2008

False Optimism Based on Facts

RealClearPolitics - Articles - Obama's Economic Mythology

Great article that covers the fact that the MSM, BO and the Democrats are lying about what has happened to the poor and middle class over the past 30 years. ALL Americans have had stunning success in that time, BUT, since the MSM / Democrats have managed to convince everyone that they HAVEN't had good times, a bunch of actions that are nearly certain to kill prosperity are going to happen.

How To Create More Democrats

Why Democrats Will Target the Investor Class in 2009 - Capital Commerce (usnews.com)

We pretty much know what creates Republicans--belief in God, Family, personal responsibility, hard work, thrift, etc

So what will Democrats likely do once they get in? Well, naturally:
  • replace religion with "unity and support for BO"
  • replace family with "domestic partners", mandatory head start, "youth programs"
  • replace responsibility with government "rights" of all sorts so there is no sense of responsibility to work
  • replace hard work with union seniority, government restrictions / incentives / disincentives for job actions
  • and thrift ... well, that is the subject of the linked column, the coming attack on the investor class.

I'd say there are 3 things that give you an 80%+ odds of being Republican:
  1. Practicing Christian (you go to church, do your best to follow Christ)
  2. Married with kids--especially one marriage.
  3. You have consistently invested something from say 5-10% of your income in the stock market

The linked article covers what Democrats are likely to do to try to destroy #3. Essentially, increase taxes on investing at the front end and at the back end and provide incentives to take government alternatives that create more dependency on the government. They will go further by putting "government money" into business to crowd out private capital ... socialism/fascism that politicises business so business becomes just one more part of an oppressive and inefficient state.

Why does #3 tend to make you a Republican? He touches on this in the article. If you actually believe in the ideal of America, you believe in WE THE PEOPLE ... NOT, "We the Government". Free people freely interacting in a free market has created the greatest standard of living for the greatest number of people in world history. If you believe in that, then you invest in it and discover the truths of the real world of which markets are just a part.
  • It is HARD (in fact impossible) to predict what will go up and when and when it all will go up
  • Nobody is "in control" ... not the rich, not labor, not the government, NOBODY. The force of human ingenuity is greater than the comprehension of any person or persons if it is allowed to operate relatively freely.
  • Markets ... and luck, weather, business, prices, opinion, sports teams, etc WILL "fluctuate" ... the only way to rid yourself of the fluctuation is "least common denominator, little or no growth or opportunity"

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How To Judge BO

CONCEDE!!!

Joe the Plumber "Public Notoriety"

Hot Air » Blog Archive » Ohio official OK’d records search on Joe the Plumber


If you are Bill Clinton, BO, or John Edwards, then the media has so little curiosity about looking at your background or activities that even when obvious difficulties arise, it is difficult to see the MSM cover them. If you are Sarah Palin or even Joe the Plumber, then the MSM is going to dredge through all sorts of stuff including "sealed records" finding whatever dirt they can.

Simple!

Libertarian Right Republican Disenchantment

Instapundit.com

This from an Instapundit reader, I think he has it exactly right. We are ALL heavily influenced by the MSM--sometimes just in attempts to think differently from them if you are an iconoclast like me, but one has to realize that "I disagree with everything that X says" is a VERY profound form of inflence. I certainly try to avoid that as well, but I'd be an even bigger fool than I already am if I thought I typically succeeded. I've long thought that essentially what happened to Bush / Republican party is that the far right of the party got ticked about what "actual governing" was like rather than "criticizing the opposition". Was there a lot to criticize about the last 8 years? Absolutely, it is SUPPOSED to be conservatives that realize that there is ALWAYS going to be PLENTY to criticize about government!! The question is a bit like a root canal or procto --- the idea that a "good one" is going to be "everything you hoped for" is a bit unreasonable!!! HOWEVER, what we tend to forget is that a bad one can be really bad ... eg 30's, 65-82 kind of deal.
If the libertarians are disgusted with the GOP and conservatives are disgusted with the GOP (see e.g. Mark Tapscott and others who have floated the idea of a new party), is there a theory which would explain both trends? Yes. I think you can blame the MSM. Seriously.

GOP politicians are still politicians and they learn early not to fight with those who buy ink by the barrel. Conservatives who expect that the GOP is going to step in front of the MSM-driven train to defend principle are destined for a letdown. Few are going to commit political suicide and those who do aren't around next term to do it again. Conservatives don't need a new party. They need a new news media.

I think the libertarian discontent with the GOP is also driven by the MSM. Let's face it, libertarians who voted for Reagan are not leaving the GOP over gay marriage. Can anyone summarize all the legislation and regulation that the GOP has enacted which has alienated libertarians? There's nothing much there. What there has been is a constant drumbeat from the MSM and Hollywood to demonize conservatives. The standard cultural portrayal is a cartoon. But over time, it seeps into the subconscious and becomes perceived fact. I really think the disenchantment is due more to the cartoon than reality.

Part of History That Won't Get Told

Orders for durables rise 0.8% in Sept., lifted by aircraft - MarketWatch

The longer I'm alive the more I suspect that most people that lived through an era and paid reasonable attention to what was actually happening would scarcely recognize the "general historical view" that ends up being accepted by people in the future reading history. Part of this is simply the need for humans to arrive at a "story" that has a narrative form that "makes sense to humans". We know that everything no longer revolves around us, but we live in the constraints of our gray matter and existence which needs to have a "simple, historical, narrative story that"makes sense".

In many cases, that alone is enough to make the "story" wrong in a lot of significant ways, add some biases (which we all have), sprinkle in the fact that everyone's picture (including mine) is RADICALLY incomplete, and pretty soon, "historical reality" starts to look more like a cartoon of something that might not even be recognizable to those that were alive and not total sheep during the era.

It appears that the fact is that we never had a recession prior to the 4Q of 2008 (two successive quarters of negative growth) -- it seems unlikely that with a lot of corporations reporting reasonable numbers in 3Q that GDP is going to be negative. HOWEVER, kind of like Katrina, Valerie Plame, Global Warming, "lying about WMD", Bush/Cheney supposedly "creating" connections between Iraq and 9-11, etc, we live in an era when manufactured reality IS reality for 90% of the population. Therefore, "We have been in a recession" for something like a year now, so when we now have what appears to be a real downturn at least impending, it CAN'T just be a "recession" -- therefore, "Depression".

Kinda like the little kid that lies about what happened to his homework, the lies just have to keep getting bigger. The PROBLEM is that with the economy, a major part of economic activity depends on what people think! When 90% of people believe we are in a recession ... and then a bunch start to think we are in a depression, that can have a really big effect on how they behave.

Worse, when they are told that the "fault" lies with "capitalism and too little regulation", and they start to believe that as well, then LESS capitalism and MORE regulation is likely to be the "fix"--which of course makes the situation worse, and now we have what is commonly referred to as a "death spiral".




Monday, October 27, 2008

The Meaning of Joe the Plumber

Everyone knows about "Joe the Plumber", the guy that asked BO about why he wanted to raise his taxes, to which BO said "He wanted to spread the wealth". Since I've read BO's own book and some other analysis, I think it is VERY safe to say that BO believes that taking money from the set of people that earn it and giving it to some set that government feels is more "deserving" is EXACTLY what is coming -- I'm trying out "BOcialism" as a good name for it. But that isn't really what I think the concern is.

The press wasn't very interested in the answer given by the guy that is running for president. No, they didn't like the question, so they went after Joe. They found out he had some problem with his plumbers license, owed some back taxes and was divorced. They tried to insinuate he was a wife abuser because he had made a donation to a woman's shelter (seems like an odd thing for abusers to do), but it turns out that giving some money to woman's shelter is just something they do in divorce cases where he lives -- go figure.

After 8 years of hearing "chilling" whenever some singer got booed for saying something stupid about the ware or some company didn't invite someone to speak that called Bush a war to criminal, 9-11 an "inside job" or a ton of other things, the MSM going after a guy that ASKS BO A QUESTION doesn't concern anyone??

All these other folks were PUBLIC FIGURES that took it on themselves to pop off at the mouth about the president or the war and what happened to them was a direct result of a position that they explicitly took.

Joe ASKED A QUESTION!!! Now I'd be embarrassed too if a plumber was more able to get an isightful answer out of BO than any official media person, but folks are so smitten with BO they don't see any problem at all with our lovely national media going on a fishing expedition to discredit a PLUMBER because he asked a legitimate question of a guy that wants to be PRESIDENT???!!! Golly, the question from a PLUMBER was just too tough and got old BO to tell the truth, now THAT is something that can get those old MSM folks really riled up.

Note the "slight" difference here. They have armies of reporters digging through the garbage and interviewing everyone that they can get their hands on in Alaska frantically trying to dig up dirt on Palin, but BO, their "shining star" needs their HELP to deal with Joe the Plumber! Oh, and BTW, no concerns about a "chilling effect" when a private citizen is investigated because he asked a questions of his supreme odiferousness BO!

Welcome to the Depression

The Age of Prosperity Is Over - WSJ.com

Actually, they won't remember "This Administration and Congress", much like "Hoover" it will be "The Bush Depression". The panic of the right wing of the Republican party in '06 that ushered in Democrats in both houses had a huge effect. Once most of his own party abandoned him, Bush was REALLY a lame duck and unable to do anything but fortunately virtually stand alone and win the war in Iraq.

People forget that Democrats really look to the 30's as a GREAT ERA! It ushered in a much larger government and policies that allowed Democrats to hold sway for a very long time. Democrats love to tinker with big government, they don't really care if it works, it is what they like to do, just like us computer programmers if left to our own devices will often just "write some code" to "see what happens".

Welcome to BOcialism

Shame, Cubed by Bill Whittle on National Review Online

Kind of like "Bolshevism" ... BO socialism. Trying that one on for size.

One doesn't really need to listen to old radio broadcasts to realize that this BO is an old fashioned re-distributor that will reduce the size of our economy and keep trying to pass the smaller and smaller remaining pieces around to buy votes for his coalition. But apparently Whittle did, and now he has got it and is worried.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Hugging and Guns

It was a weekend when there wasn't a ton of "must do" items, so some fun was had. Friday evening we had a nice steak dinner with another couple and then went to the John Hassler Theater in Plainview to see "Don't Hug Me". Lots of fun poked at Scandinavians, cold winters, little towns in MN, marriage and romance and a few other topics. Lots of corny little songs like "I'm A Walleye Woman in a Crappie Town" and "I Want to go to The Mall of America".

Saturday AM it was up to Froyum's Sports just West of Zumbrota to look over some firearms with an eye toward picking up potentially the "last of an era" with potential gun bans likely if the outcome of the election is as expected. Froyum's is just "a bit" off the beaten path so to speak, and the organizational structure of the store is "eclectic" shall we say, but Eric and his wife are folks for whom guns and shooting are a passion and not just a business. Besides, their "shop cat" is very friendly!

Gander Mountain got my Remington 870 20GA drilled and I mounted my Bushnell Red Dot and headed out to the range. I keep forgetting how much shotguns kick ... I put a lot of slugs through the Remington and my single shot rifled 20 GA backup open sight backup gun, but by the end of the day I was feeling confident and did a little "recreational shooting".

I took the Bushmaster .223 out with some 2 new 20 round and a 30 round Brownells magazine that I had picked up in the AM. Was shooting Wolf steel jacket rounds that are nice and cheap and everything fed through the gun with no problems. I got into the 30 round mag, had an "orange peel" target out at 50 yds and started working on my rapid fire. It is clear why they worry about "assault weapons" ... very little kick, lots of sound, but with the slotted muzzle brake keeping it on target as fast as one can pull the trigger is relatively easy. It tore the bull out of the target and it looked like 25+ of the rounds made it through inside the rings--maybe more, some of the holes were clearly multiple rounds. As I set it down with a nice warm barrell I got a round of whoops and cheers from folks at adjoining benches. In at least that crowd, the "Assault Rifle" is a cool toy.

Finished off the day finally watching "Office Space" after so many folks have told me that I just had to see it. It was a funny film, although I think I found it much more humorous now that I don't live in a cube any more!

The BO Temptation

This one is just so good I pulled it in off NRO. Levin is sure that "a changed America will survive". Is he adequately considering the potentials for destruction of the conservative voice in the media and on the web? How about direct government control over vast swaths of American business and potentially much greater dependency on government but huge swaths of the American public?
Just read it!!
Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Obama Temptation [Mark R. Levin]
I've been thinking this for a while so I might as well air it here. I honestly never thought we'd see such a thing in our country - not yet anyway - but I sense what's occurring in this election is a recklessness and abandonment of rationality that has preceded the voluntary surrender of liberty and security in other places. I can't help but observe that even some conservatives are caught in the moment as their attempts at explaining their support for Barack Obama are unpersuasive and even illogical. And the pull appears to be rather strong. Ken Adelman, Doug Kmiec, and others, reach for the usual platitudes in explaining themselves but are utterly incoherent. Even non-conservatives with significant public policy and real world experiences, such as Colin Powell and Charles Fried, find Obama alluring but can't explain themselves in an intelligent way.

There is a cult-like atmosphere around Barack Obama, which his campaign has carefully and successfully fabricated, which concerns me. The messiah complex. Fainting audience members at rallies. Special Obama flags and an Obama presidential seal. A graphic with the portrayal of the globe and Obama's name on it, which adorns everything from Obama's plane to his street literature. Young school children singing songs praising Obama. Teenagers wearing camouflage outfits and marching in military order chanting Obama's name and the professions he is going to open to them. An Obama world tour, culminating in a speech in Berlin where Obama proclaims we are all citizens of the world. I dare say, this is ominous stuff.

Even the media are drawn to the allure that is Obama. Yes, the media are liberal. Even so, it is obvious that this election is different. The media are open and brazen in their attempts to influence the outcome of this election. I've never seen anything like it. Virtually all evidence of Obama's past influences and radicalism — from Jeremiah Wright to William Ayers — have been raised by non-traditional news sources. The media's role has been to ignore it as long as possible, then mention it if they must, and finally dismiss it and those who raise it in the first place. It's as if the media use the Obama campaign's talking points — its preposterous assertions that Obama didn't hear Wright from the pulpit railing about black liberation, whites, Jews, etc., that Obama had no idea Ayers was a domestic terrorist despite their close political, social, and working relationship, etc. — to protect Obama from legitimate and routine scrutiny. And because journalists have also become commentators, it is hard to miss their almost uniform admiration for Obama and excitement about an Obama presidency. So in the tank are the media for Obama that for months we've read news stories and opinion pieces insisting that if Obama is not elected president it will be due to white racism. And, of course, while experience is crucial in assessing Sarah Palin's qualifications for vice president, no such standard is applied to Obama's qualifications for president. (No longer is it acceptable to minimize the work of a community organizer.) Charles Gibson and Katie Couric sought to humiliate Palin. They would never and have never tried such an approach with Obama.

But beyond the elites and the media, my greatest concern is whether this election will show a majority of the voters susceptible to the appeal of a charismatic demagogue. This may seem a harsh term to some, and no doubt will to Obama supporters, but it is a perfectly appropriate characterization. Obama's entire campaign is built on class warfare and human envy. The "change" he peddles is not new. We've seen it before. It is change that diminishes individual liberty for the soft authoritarianism of socialism. It is a populist appeal that disguises government mandated wealth redistribution as tax cuts for the middle class, falsely blames capitalism for the social policies and government corruption (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) that led to the current turmoil in our financial markets, fuels contempt for commerce and trade by stigmatizing those who run successful small and large businesses, and exploits human imperfection as a justification for a massive expansion of centralized government. Obama's appeal to the middle class is an appeal to the "the proletariat," as an infamous philosopher once described it, about which a mythology has been created. Rather than pursue the American Dream, he insists that the American Dream has arbitrary limits, limits Obama would set for the rest of us — today it's $250,000 for businesses and even less for individuals. If the individual dares to succeed beyond the limits set by Obama, he is punished for he's now officially "rich." The value of his physical and intellectual labor must be confiscated in greater amounts for the good of the proletariat (the middle class). And so it is that the middle class, the birth-child of capitalism, is both celebrated and enslaved — for its own good and the greater good. The "hope" Obama represents, therefore, is not hope at all. It is the misery of his utopianism imposed on the individual.

Unlike past Democrat presidential candidates, Obama is a hardened ideologue. He's not interested in playing around the edges. He seeks "fundamental change," i.e., to remake society. And if the Democrats control Congress with super-majorities led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, he will get much of what he demands.

The question is whether enough Americans understand what's at stake in this election and, if they do, whether they care. Is the allure of a charismatic demagogue so strong that the usually sober American people are willing to risk an Obama presidency? After all, it ensnared Adelman, Kmiec, Powell, Fried, and numerous others. And while America will certainly survive, it will do so, in many respects, as a different place.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Smellin Like BO

Power Line - ObamaFraud: Still Not News

Sure is nice to not have all those MSM folks all sanctimonious about "money and politics" this year. Man, they REALLY used to HATE the "big money interests". I remember when someone told me in the spring that BO didn't "take money from the special interests" and I looked it up on the web and found that he was getting huge donations from the financial folks--at the time I was thinking; "What's up with that? Do they really think that BO is going to be good for the economy?". Now we know -- "good for sub-prime loans and covering their tracks".

He certainly IS "different". Now money is pouring in by the 10's and HUNDREDS of millions and he is the FIRST candidate since Nixon to not take Federal matching funds. So all those leftys that complained and complained about  the "big money Republicans" and "buying elections" have a guy taking money from who knows where with no controls at all and they LOVE IT!

It ought to be fun to be a liberal -- no morals, no standards, no responsibilty--wonder why it is that they are always so angry? They always claim they are the smartest, the best, the most caring, the most concerned and most of all just plain "nice", yet every time you turn around they are screaming and yelling about something. The old world just never seems to give them all they were "owed". I'm sure they will be happy when BOs hundreds of millions get him the election he so richly deserves and the world is sunny and bright! It will be fun to watch those happy liberals smile as all their plans provide the success that their brilliance has always known would be theirs if they just had the controls of the ship of state!

Smooth sailing ahead!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Master Bedroom





With all the happenings of the late summer I came to realize that I never really did a "final" on the master bedroom project. We moved in during August, but the loss of our niece made that event seem quite small in comparison.

The first picture shows the two big windows, fireplace and Sony LCD 46" on the NE main wall. The addition is 24' x 18' and hangs out over our old deck making it a covered deck.

The 2nd picture is standing in the corner of the room looking back to where I shot the first one from. It shows the refrigerator, wine rack, granite counter, bed, and entrance to the walk-in closet. If you look at the top, you can see where the vaulted ceiling begins, that was the wall of our old bedroom for 13 years.

BTW, we have had the beds for a few years now, they are "hospital beds" with latex mattresses -- the head and the feet can be adjusted up and down. I have had some back problems and a bicycle accident in 2003 that resulted in broken ribs, a broken collar bone and a broken shoulder blade. I slept in a chair for a couple months and realized how nice it would be to have an adjustable bed. When our mattress cleared 10 years old, we went this way and have been very happy. I have sinus and acid reflux issues, so I always sleep with my head elevated -- it is pretty much a waste for my wife unless she is reading, but she MIGHT get older at some point as well.

The 3rd picture is looking across the room from the corner next to the bed and shows the air tub and the two chairs that are used for watching the TV. The TV is on a swing arm so it can be aimed at the chairs or at the bed. The two big windows look out on our back yard that is down a 20' hill and about the size of two football fields end to end. We have woods behind the yard and no neighbors that direction, so we likely will not be doing shades on those windows. In the summer we look right out into the middle of two large cottonwood trees that are about 30 yards down the hill, now the leaves are off and we can see the bare trees and hopefully soon the white snow in the back yard.

I grew up in a small farmhouse in northern WI, spent a few years in an even smaller farmhouse when I started work and in between lived in a home with a "master bedroom" that was something like 10x14' with no walk-in and no bath, and the previous 13 years lived in the old room that was like 12x16' but had a VERY small walk-in and very small bathroom.

Do we "need" this bedroom? Certainly not -- I've worked at a large corporation for 30 years and my wife has worked there for 25. We have seen a lot of our friends laid off, and fully realize that without timely breaks and lucky decisions, we could have been laid off as well. We "stole our home" in the mid-90's when local housing values were down. No doubt we would have trouble getting all the money we have in it today given all our renovation out if we had to sell today, but we don't, and it is pretty unlikely that we will be forced to sell. We "live in the country" about 2 city blocks from a major Wal-Mart shopping center, yet when you sit out at our firepit in the evening, you would be hard pressed to know how close you are to the city. We drive about 1 mile to work-when we do drive, often we can work from home.

I'm 52 -- my wife is very young and not aging, but she may age someday. After having back problems, a bike accident and a broken elbow in the past 10 years, I realize that as one gets older it is possible to have to spend more time in a "bedroom setting" than one might like to contemplate. Even when healthy, it is likely that something like "8 hours" may be spent there. So, on the "investment front", we decided that it was "worth it" for us. One of the great things about the US in the last 30 years has been that it is possible to work hard and make those kinds of decisions for yourself. Will that be the case going forward? Who knows, I'm thankful to be able to watch the world go by from our little "daily retreat".

W0uld I rather be back to living in my little farmhouse and have our niece back? Absolutely, in a heartbeat -- I could think of a whole long list of things that I would "rather have", but there are a set of things we can control somewhat and a really really big set of things that we can't control at all. I could also spend all my time whining about how much the market has gone down, how much CEOs make, how bad BO is likely to be for the country and wishing that this or that had happened in a different way over the previous 52 years -- but most of the time, I don't. I have the "gift" of HAVING to look at 100's of angles of almost everything that goes by my nose, but I've learned to let a lot of just "flow around me".

Sometimes that makes me slower than molasses in January-- but I've learned to adapt. I force myself to "limit the stream" or I certainly could not get out of my own way. Thankfully, my wife is an "action person". I would NEVER have made the decision to build the bedroom without her. It is very easy to get used to something that nice, but I strongly believe that folks that have never had such a thing tend to give it a lot more significance than it warrants. There is a long list of things that I've "pressed my nose up against the glass" wanting during my life, and a more limited, but still significant list of things that have been "achieved" (with plenty of luck and help from others).

Health, love, peace of mind, faith, values, family, friends, a great football team (hard to beat Green Bay), good pets (Tiger is typing this part) ... the list goes on and on. ALL are more important than "a really nice place to live". I'm VERY happy and thankful to have the nice bedroom, and hope that we can enjoy it for a long time to come. It is our little "cabin" that we get to utilize all the time, and a wonderful retreat from the stresses of our world. If you come and visit, you are welcome to spend a couple nights there -- but be warned, it was too many nights spent in nice places like Bluefin Bay on the N shore and nice hotels in the cities that caused us to have too many ideas!

Gird Your Loins

Gird your loins, folks, an international crisis looms - David Reinhard - The Oregonian - OregonLive.com

Wow, if McCain was talking like this they would have the padded room ready. When is the last time you heard "gird your loins" from a rational person not in church? Naturally, this is a non-story since it doesn't reflect "all that well" on either the sanity of the Democrat VP candidate or the prospects for his young apprentice BO as he looks to make history by being the first "Commmunity Organizer" to be President. Note, Bill Clinton was declared our first black president in 2002 by Nobel Prize winning Toni Morrison and many other lefty news outlets, so that must be true). Teaser:


What is it about West Coast fundraisers that prompt the two of you
guys to let fly with the family secrets? In San Francisco, we learned
Obama believes that bitter small-town Pennsylvanians cling to God and
guns. In Seattle, Biden warned that Obama will face an international
crisis in the first months of an administration. Heaven knows what we
would find out if Biden let 'er rip in Portland.

Don't voters deserve to know this before Election Day? Please reply
with the candor you demonstrated in Seattle and San Francisco.

Yes, I'd like actual campaign reporters to ask such questions of
Obama and Biden between now and Election Day. But this year, for the
first time, I've given up on the prestige media to think it's their job
to do so. I now depend on the likes of Joe the Plumber.






Obamanomics, Triumph of Hope Over Experience

An Obamanomics Preview - WSJ.com

As I've been saying for awhile, we are already in the "change". Democrats took over congress in '06, and they definitely promised a lot of change, now they just don't seem to be willing to admit that "they delivered".

Economic growth is pretty much 100% about people investing and working with the belief that they will be able to improve their lot in life by keeping a lot of the positive results of their investing and working, or suffering the consequences if they guess wrong and invest in or work at the "wrong things". When the government promises to allow them to keep less of the rewards of that investing and working, or worse yet indicates that BAD decisions in what mortgage to take out, bank to invest in, or work decisions will be REWARDED with bailouts, income credits, extra programs, etc, the net result tends to be that intelligent folks work less, invest less,  and sit on the sidelines and wait for government to "get the rules straight".

That would seem to be pretty much where we are now. The government is promising a bunch of rewards for those that have made poor decisions and a bunch of penalties for those that have made good decisions. Tax what you want less of, subsidize what you want more of; the rule is as old as mankind itself. So we are taxing folks that have selected good jobs, good investments, lived in their means, etc and we are subsidizing folks that have failed to find descent work, invest in anything and lived outside of their means. Gee, I wonder what decisions and actions we will get more of and which ones we will get less of?

The quote from this article that is obvious is:

If we may borrow a phrase, this is the triumph of hope over experience.
The one thing Washington hasn't failed to do in recent years is spend,...

Truth In Reporting

Meridian Magazine:: Ideas and Society: Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?

I suspect that this guy actually IS a Democrat, although since it looks like he is a family man and probably a Mormon, he has little in common with today's Democrat party and no doubt won't be writing for any MSM source in the future. It all needs to be read, but I'll throw in a teaser.

The point is that the cause of the housing crisis being the sub-prime loans that the Democrats pushed is completely obvious, yet unknown to most Americans. The connections to Obama are obvious and easy to find. I've written a lot about WHY I think the press has come to this point (their hatred has overshadowed their reason), but this guy does a good job of just laying out what is happening without trying to analyze the why.
If you had any personal honor, each reporter and editor would be insisting on telling the truth — even if it hurts the election chances of your favorite candidate.

Because that's what honorable people do. Honest people tell the truth even when they don't like the probable consequences. That's what honesty means . That's how trust is earned.

Barack Obama is just another politician, and not a very wise one. He has
revealed his ignorance and naïveté time after time — and you have swept
it under the rug, treated it as nothing.Meanwhile, you have participated in the borking of Sarah Palin, reporting savage attacks on her for the pregnancy of her unmarried daughter — while you ignored the story of John Edwards's own adultery for many months.

Unimaginable November 5th?

RealClearPolitics - Articles - Long National Nightmare

I always have a soft spot for those that go against the conventional wisdom. NY Giants defeat New England Patriots in Super Bowl? Jets Win? Mets Win? or has he points out, Truman over Dewey?

I'll believe it if I see it ... BUT, I would be very worried about rioting in the streets were this to happen. The left just doesn't have that same "reasoned approach". Watch George Will, and then watch Keith Oberman, and see if you notice any difference.

The Mote In Your Brother's Eye

Who are left-wing haters to point fingers at John McCain?
I've covered this before, but it just keeps happening. The left tends to think that any small slight they suffer is some "chilling, nazi, etc" horror. So after 9/11, they were beside themselves about all the flags waving and people wearing flag lapels and such. It was "horribly jingoistic". When Dixie Chicks uttered some anti-Bush rhetoric in England and their FANS decided that they didn't need to buy CDs from entertainers that didn't represent the country they loved in the way they wanted it represented, that was TERRIBLE!

So, now we have BO and company threatening the pulling of FCC licenses if they don't like some political speech and the whole MSM equating any criticism of BO with "racisim", and that is naturally just fine. Nothing "chilling" about any of that!

Facism is GOVERNMENT taking over PARTS of private and business life and converting them to "political enterprises" where your politics count for more than your merit. If they took over ALL of it, it would be communist. If they didn't take it over, but just taxed everything like crazy to "share the wealth" it would be SOCIALIST. So note, when BO tells Joe the Plumber that he wants to "share the wealth", that part is socialist, and it doesn't matter one whit if BO is black, red, white, or purple. Racism is when Rev Wright says in his "Audacity of Hope" sermon on which BO titled his book that: "It is this world, a world where cruise ships throw away more food in a
day than most residents of Port-au-Prince see in a year, where white folks' greed runs a world in need, apartheid in one hemisphere, apathy in another hemisphere…That's the world! On which hope sits!"

The idea of racism is that "white folks" part. If someone said "black socialists", then THAT would be racist, but there are plenty of black and white communists, socialists, fascists and capitalists ... there are also plenty of greedy blacks, reds, yellows and all colors of the human spectrum. To accept the flawed nature of humanity is obvious to all, save liberals who choose to believe that human flaws are only due to poor parenting, poor government, or the fact that conservatives exist.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Burying the Liberal / Conservative Hatchet

http://www.claremont.org/crb/article/reforming-big-government/

Long but very good. The bottom line of all this is that the welfare state keeps winning, but only because we aren't paying for it. The bills are increasingly coming due and we will need to face the facts that:
  1. There WILL be "welfare" for some lower percentage of the population -- we need to decide on that number.
  2. There CAN'T be "welfare for everyone" -- the bumper sticker is "Vote Republican: We can't ALL be on Welfare". But due to Social Security and Medicare, we just THINK that we can!
  3. Give the bottom 10-20% Welfare, everyone else has to have INCENTIVES to take care of themselves (and that 10-20%) ... or we won't even have enough economy to help that bottom 20% before long!
But, the article is VERY well written and I've summarized a shorter version. First, the main point of the liberal/conservative argument is presented:
If the expansion of the welfare state is the reason liberals get up and go to work in the morning, its contraction is the reason conservatives do. Almost any page from the writings of Ronald Reagan will demonstrate this point. To pick just one example, Reagan told the American Bar Association in 1983, "It's time to bury the myth that bigger government brings more opportunity and compassion.... In the name of fairness, let's stop trying to plunder family budgets with higher taxes, and start controlling the real problem—Federal spending."

This argument—over the proper size of America's welfare state—has been going on for 75 years. Three things might prevent it from going on another 75, but two of them are unlikely. The first is that one side will score a decisive victory over the other, winning (so to speak) all the arguments and all the elections. The second is that the two sides will split the difference in a way they both feel reasonably happy about. The third, less far-fetched possibility, is that the debate will not be resolved but abandoned—after political and intellectual exhaustion motivates the combatants to redefine what they're arguing about.
Reagan and W believed that they were going to "win the argument", so does BO ... as did FDR and probably Johnson. I too believe that BO will be unable to actually "win the argument" **IF** he plays within the Constitution. What I'm worried about is that he realizes that and is willing to go well beyond the Constitution in control of the media, business in general, mandatory influence of youth, sanctions against religion, etc. Hopefully not. If not, then I think this author is right--reality is in the process of intervening in the argument.

Now, the reality of conservatives inability to contain the welfare state is brought out:
This table reveals that the welfare state battle between liberals and conservatives has been as evenly matched as the one at Little Big Horn between Sitting Bull and Custer. Real, per capita federal spending on Human Resources was 15 times greater in 2007 than in 1940. Whatever else it may tell us, this 1,394% increase is one more demonstration of the power of compound interest. You achieve that huge expansion over 67 years with an annual growth rate of 4.10%, which doesn't sound so formidable.
So, we keep increasing benefits for EVERYONE and expecting less and less people to pay for them ... and we keep borrowing more and more. SO:
The baby boomers' retirement will be the best documented, least surprising policy challenge in American history—and still we are not prepared for it. Herb Stein's Law remains operative, however: if something can't go on forever, it won't. Entitlements can't go on, indefinitely, laying claim to a bigger portion of the federal budget and the GDP. Once the furniture is engulfed in flames we will finally start shopping for fire extinguishers.
We all know that we have had a crisis brewing for a long time, it isn't going away, and there is every sign that we are going to elect BO and make it even worse. How do we get out of this? By changing the argument to something that can maybe work!

Supply-side tax cuts did little to necessitate or even facilitate reducing the welfare state, and there is no reason to believe an explicit campaign for that goal will succeed where Barry Goldwater's failed. Given all that, conservatives need to weigh the costs and benefits of putting liberals' minds at ease by explicitly renouncing the war against the welfare state, the one that's barely being waged and steadily being lost. They could do so by making clear that America will and should have a welfare state, and that the withering away of the welfare state is not the goal of the conservative project, not even in the distant future. What libertarians will regard as a capitulation to statism is better understood as conceding ground conservatives have been losing for 75 years and have no imaginable prospect of regaining.

The political advantage of this concession is that it leaves conservatives positioned to argue for a better, smarter, and fairer welfare state. "Liberalism needs government," says Cohn, "because government is how the people, acting together, provide for the safety and well-being of their most vulnerable members." Very well, but in a society that is remarkably prosperous by global and historical standards, shouldn't "most vulnerable members" be construed as referring to the most vulnerable 5, 10, or 25% of the population—not just the abjectly miserable, let us concede, but people confronting serious threats or problems? Yet when it turns out, time and again, that the effective meaning of liberal welfare and social insurance programs is to elicit compassion and government subventions for the most "vulnerable" 75, 80, or 95% of the population, it's hard not to feel scammed.
It is really more like the "most vulnerable 100% of the population" -- we are ALL at least TOLD that we are going to get the benefits of Social Security and Medicare. The reason for this is that liberals are trying to win the argument by buying ALL of the votes!
Liberals, in short, should take Yes for an answer. 75 years of their rhetoric about defending the most vulnerable among us really has persuaded the American people, who are fully prepared to support, on the merits, government programs to help the needy. For everyone else—the vast majority who are not needy—public programs are not the best or only expression of the public interest in economic security. Government should give them incentives to enhance their own economic security, without paying the freight charges to send their money round-trip to Washington.
I'd argue that the point that is missed is that most liberals aren't even close to only about "helping the needy", they are really about HURTING THE RICH! Many many liberals have decent homes, decent cars, plenty of food, plenty of at least "basic luxuries", BUT, they are locked into envy because "somebody has more" and they are absolutely convinced that is somehow "hurting them" ... the rich are "taking their money" and they are itching for some heavier duty class warfare.

For many of them, they are "economic suicide bombers" that really don't care if their actions hurt themselves worse than the "rich guy", they just want to be sure that he is hurt. Unfortunately, that kind of attitude is going to be MUCH harder to deal with than just the already difficult task of getting conservatives and liberals to give up on the hope for the complete win and vanquishing of the opposition with commensurate boot licking and abject apologies".

The Me-Too Conservative

RealClearPolitics - Articles - The Birth of the Me-Too Conservative

I agree completely with Blankley on his conclusion, but not so much on where he sees the origins. Much like any movement, the seeds of the failure of the "Reagan Brand" were there at the inception. In order to gain power, a lot of compromise was required -- big Social Security tax increases, big deficits, still growing government. ALL of the folks in government are politicians. The offensive linemen from the Packers and the Vikings have a WHOLE lot more in common with each other than they do with "the man in the street". They happen to be on different teams, but that is actually minor compared with what they share -- the same is true of Democrat and Republican politicians.

What looks like "small issues" have a way of growing over 30 years or so kind of like gaining a pound or two each year. The "Thousand Points of Light" from Bush Sr and the "Compassonate Conservatism" of W along with lots of earmarked pork for all sorts of Republican districts back home stacked on top of the Democrats made a whole bunch of folks "Me-Too" long ago. When the going got tougher in W's 2nd term (as it always does in 2nd terms -- see Iran Contra, see Monica), the Reagan Brand was too fluffy around the middle and not able to work through the difficulty. The "real conservatives" got fed up and walked off the field to "teach the rest of them a lesson" in '06, and what a lesson it has been already! Unfortunately, like a lot of "lessons", it is a long way from being over.

So, we will have to rebuild from the ashes, and probably do it under a lot of duress from control of conservative media and potentially even  sanctions against those that hold conservative views relative to religion and morality through loss of income / deductions or worse. Freedom has never been free. I loved his last two paragraphs:

Peggy's unconscious fear may be that it will be precisely Sarah Palin
(and others like her) who will be among the leaders of the
about-to-be-reborn conservative movement. I suspect that the
conservative movement we start rebuilding on the ashes of Nov. 4 (even
if McCain wins) will have little use for overwritten, over-delicate
commentary. The new movement will be plain-spoken and socially
networked up from the Interneted streets, suburbs and small towns of
America. It certainly will not listen very attentively to those
conservatives who idolatrize Obama and collaborate in heralding his
arrival. They may call their commentary "honesty." I would call it --
at the minimum -- blindness.


The new conservative movement will be facing a political opponent that
will reveal itself soon to be both multiculturalist and Eurosocialist.
We will be engaged in a struggle to the political death for the soul of
the country. As I did at the beginning of and throughout the
Buckley/Goldwater/Reagan/Gingrich conservative movement, I will try to
lend my hand. I certainly will do what I can to make it a big-tent
conservative movement. But just as it does in every great cause, one
question has to be answered correctly: Whose side are you on, comrade?

Franken on Christ

Vulgar mockery of Christians: Is this what we want in a U.S. senator?

Ah yes, the old "MN Nice". Franken isn't really "from Minnesota" in any real sense of course, he is a NY and Hollywood kind of creature, so the term "crude" can just be converted to "sophisticated" as far as the MSM is concerned. I'm probably the only living human that has read a couple of his books and a couple of Ann Coulters books. They are book ends of political pornography -- lots of nasty abuse of the other side and accolades for their own. Running Al from the left is exactly the same indication of how out of whack our poltics has become as running Ann from the right would be. Since I'm the only one that has read books by both of them, I guess I'm the only one to see that. To Ann's credit, she is much better looking and I've never seen her go into a screaming tirade of obscenities at anyone or resort to physical violence, but in the interests of trying to get lefties to understand what they are doing, I'll do her the disservice of a direct comparison.

Here is a typically "nice" piece of Franken humor, I think it WOULD be REALLY funny for him to go the Mohammed route, those "religion of peace" folks REALLY know how to take a joke!

Franken finds Christ's crucifixion to be a barrel of laughs. For
example, in his 1999 book, "Why Not Me?" he wrote about his discovery
-- as a fictional former president -- of "the complete skeleton of
Jesus Christ still nailed to the cross" during an archeological dig. At
the Franken Presidential Library gift shop, visitors can buy "small
pieces of Jesus' skeleton."

"We would like to display Jesus' skeleton at some future point,"
Franken went on. "It's merely a matter of designing and building an
exhibition space ... . Until then he's very comfortable in a box down
in our basement near the geothermal power station."

Very funny. Anybody want to try a joke like that about Mohammed?




Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Realistic Except for Thinking It Can Be Avoided

Townhall.com::Blog

Conservatives ought to have figured out that "imperfect political power" is WAY better than "unmitigated disaster". The time to figure that out would have been '06, when they decided to "teach Republicans/Bush a lesson", it is way late at this stage.

We ALL get to take part in the "lesson" now, and it isn't pretty!

BOs Character "Glimmers" in Grandma Visit

ABC News: Glimmer of Obama's Character as He Visits Grandma

This is the white grandma that he indicated was "racist" because she was worried about black men at a bus stop. He could "no more disown Wright than he could her" ... but of course he DID disown Wright, and indeed his whole church of 20 years.

Visiting his dying Grandmother is "normal kind of nice", does ABC news NEED to use it as an extra character boost for their favorite Son? With the sub-text "Taking Time to Visit Sick Grandmother Couple Help Obama Connect With Voters"??? (or at least ABC news certainly HOPES SO, and believes that it SHOULD!!!)

Slow Joe Second Thoughts?

Political Radar: Biden to Supporters: "Gird Your Loins", For the Next President "It's Like Cleaning Augean Stables"

Man, this sounds all wrong, I thought BO was promising us that happy days were going to be here again if we just got his eminence elected. Now this from his VP:

"Mark my words," the Democratic vice presidential nominee warned at the
second of his two Seattle fundraisers Sunday. "It will not be six
months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy.
The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old
senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it
standing here if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're
gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the
mettle of this guy."

Tested? Why in the world would anyone ever try to test the great and powerful BO? Worse, Joe seems to think that it may not go that smoothly:

. And the kind of help he's gonna need is, he's gonna need you - not
financially to help him - we're gonna need you to use your influence,
your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it's
not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're
right."

Not apparent  that BO and a lefty Senator are right? Golly, I thought it was ALWAYS apparent that BO and company were right. What gives? Now BO has promised a "new kind of politics", and we know how little the Democrats and the MSM believe in useless finger pointing. Why Bush was responsible for a "recession" that had it's ONE down quarter  in the 4th Q of Clinton's last term! I'm CERTAIN that once BO takes over he will step up to the plate and we will immediately move forward without a "blame game". That kind of thing would be so "old politic", and this is the age of the "New BO".

Monday, October 20, 2008

Understanding BO

RealClearPolitics - Articles - The Audacity of Barack Obama

This is long, but not as long as Audacity of Hope, and I believe you get most of the benefit of having read that as well as some of "Dreams of My Father" as well. It isn't particularly anti-BO but it isn't BO adoration like most of the MSM either. I find this paragraph sums up a lot of what we need to know.

Thus the commentators who interpret Obama as a new kind of post-partisan political figure get it exactly wrong. It's true that he wants to stop "arguing about the same ole stuff," as he told Planned Parenthood; he wants to move beyond the decades-long debate between liberalism and conservatism. Bill Clinton wished for the same thing in 1992, as did George W. Bush in 2000. The 42nd and 43rd presidents had doctrines that they hoped would precipitate this magic synthesis--the Third Way, and compassionate conservatism, respectively. What's interesting, as political scientist James W. Ceaser noted in these pages ("What a Long, Strange Race It's Been," Spring 2008), is that Obama does not feel the need for such a doctrine. Nor does John McCain.

The 2008 race is taking place squarely within the familiar ideological framework of liberalism and conservatism, but with McCain promising some maverick departures from the norm (while still accepting the norm), and Obama talking up hope and the need for change. The change needed, however, is for nothing less than a full-blown electoral earthquake that will permanently shatter the 50-50 America of the past four presidential elections. He thinks liberals can get beyond the old debate by finally winning it.

The part that is not covered here is that I strongly suspect that BO seeks to "lock down" a lefty majority by suppressing conservative speech and thought via "The Fairness Doctrine", "Net Neutrality" (how to kill the conservative movement on the Web), removal of tax deductions for religious giving, mandatory head-start and mandatory "youth core" to be used for indoctrination. The left has long been after "unity", it is just that they are typically more than willing to get there via the gulag.

A BO Record!

Obama Takes in a Record $150 Million, But McCain Narrows Gap in Some Polls - WSJ.com

Wow, those Democrats and the MSM LOVED "campaign finance reform", and folks like Russ Feingold and that "Maverick" John McCain were HEROS for "standing up to the big money interests and trying to clean up politics". We heard a lot in those days about "Republicans buying elections" and "all the big donations from the rich to screw over the little guy". Yup, those were the days.

Now BO is breaking every fund raising record known to man and every spending record as well, and it is just fine! No calls for campaign finance reform at all! Now McCain thinks there will be "scandle", but I have my doubts--think the MSM and the big Dem majorities in congress are going to go snipping for bad smells in the BO camp? Give me a break, I wasn't born yesterday.

Understanding Palin Hatred

Loathing Sarah Palin

Good attempt to understand leftward leaning women's hatred of Sarah Palin. Much like this discussion of Arthur Miller, I think that he gets very close to the point. Liberals tend to believe that conservatives MUST be some sort of "narrow, unhappy, closed minded, brittle, inauthentic people". Much of what galls them in the case of Sarah and George Bush for that matter is "authenticity".

They hate it worst of all. They LOVE pointing out "hypocrisy", because it meets their expectations of "how everyone REALLY is". They assume that any moral or religious beliefs espoused are "fake", just like their stated positions on everything from poverty to the environment. They EXPECT that ALL people are willing to stand up and talk about the global warming CRISIS, yet fly in private jets, live in an energy hog home and buy a 100' houseboat like Al Gore.

Sarah Palin says she is against abortion, had a Down Syndrome son and her pregnant daughter is having her baby. Those kinds of things make liberals squirm -- they LOVE to say "what if it was YOUR Son that was dead in Iraq, how would you feel THEN"? So, do they make decisions on automobile travel in the same way? Look for the worst that can happen, decide that they would "feel awful", therefore it must be a bad idea! They love to talk about any Republican that supports the war that didn't serve in combat, BUT, when John McCain HAS served in combat, and BOTH McCain and Palin have children in Iraq, that is a total non-story!

Are conservatives consistent? No, of course not, just like liberals, conservatives are human, therefore far from consistent. BUT, they have a STANDARD and they believe that it is important to TRY to live up to that standard. When they do, they get applause from other conservatives and hatred from liberals. Liberals avoid the issue both by having no standards and applauding their folks independent of what they do -- thus Slick Willie can be a huge proponent of sexual harassment laws, yet harass women in the workplace and not lose the respect of his followers. In fact, the hypocrisy of a Billy C or an Al Gore tends to make their followers MORE comfortable. Most times the left doesn't even WANT to practice what they preach -- they want SOMEONE ELSE to give money to the poor, clean up the environment, pay taxes to balance the budget, etc.

So, we have this --
A few months ago Vanity Fair ran an article about the discovery that the playwright Arthur Miller, with his third wife, the photographer Inge Morath, 40 or so years ago had a Down syndrome son. Miller promptly clapped the boy into an institution--according to the article, not a first class one either--and never saw the child again. 
Most people would have taken this for a heartless act, one should have thought, especially on the part of a man known for excoriating the putative cruelties of capitalism and the endless barbarities of his own country's governments, whether Democratic or Republican. Yet, so far as one can tell, Arthur Miller's treatment of his own child has not put the least dent in his reputation, while Sarah Palin's having, keeping, and loving her Down syndrome child is somehow, by the standard of the liberal woman of our day, not so secretly thought the act of an obviously backward and ignorant woman, an affront to womanhood. 
"Her greatest hypocrisy," proclaimed Wendy Doniger, one of the leading feminist lights at the University of Chicago, "is her pretense that she is a woman."
There you go, one can't "be a woman" and not support and take part in the modern feminist sacrament of abortion. See, liberals are the "open minded nice folks" -- the only "catch" is that you MUST agree with them!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

SNL Great Bailout Skit



They scrubbed this a bit because some of the Billionaire Dems didn't like being made fun of ... guess they are a group that doesn't see the value of humor nearly as much as Bush and Cheney.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

WSJ, Change Defined

A Liberal Supermajority - WSJ.com

I had continued to hope that a lot of the worst I had been concerned about in this Blog would not come to pass. The WSJ runs down a littany here that coveres most of it without collection of guns, removal of deductability for religous contribution and further indoctrination of the youth through mandatory head start and mandatory "public service".

More than ever, it will be important for those Americans that retain transcendent values to realize that this life is very short compared to eternity, and even in a gulag, it is possible to be happy with a focus on the truely important.

Friday, October 17, 2008

BO Trys Humor



Game try, standup is very hard to do, but if one can tell character by ability to do comedy, the wrong guy is leading.

Priceless McCain Humor



Wow, John ought to go into comedy! He laid on some real funnies. I wonder if BO has any sense of humor? Be interesting to see his segment, I'll have to try to find it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Shatner On Guns




Simple, direct, gets the point across. Nice drama, poor defensive technique. Center of mass, keep firing.

Lady in CA that had been attacked and killed assailant: "Why did you fire 7 rounds into the perpetrator?"

Answer: "That was all that was in the gun".

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Spread The Wealth Around



Hey, BO as Mr Robbing Hood ... goin to take from the greedy and give to the needy! Of course some of the "greedy" are not very likely to sit still and get fleeced, so what always ends up happening is that the total pie shrinks and the needy end up suffering more than the supposed hard working "greedy". Socialists never learn.

Worst Case Scenario

Worst Case Scenario

Fred Barnes isn't known for being very "out there" on the right, but sadly, he agrees with me that a BO administration would likely try to wipe out the conservative viewpoint in the media through use of "The Fairness Doctrine". The other big move he points to is the removal of the secret ballot in union organization so that thuggery can come back to power in union organization.

Wow, I wish moderate conservatives were not starting to agree with me about how bad this thing could get!

BO and Acorn

Obama and Acorn - WSJ.com

Acorn -- the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now -- has been around since 1970 and has 350K members. It picks up taxpayer money to "get out the vote", which turns out to be "the Democrat Vote", and as in many things Democrat, a huge number of the "voters" turn out to be duplicate, dead, or both. The following, quoted from the article gives a bit of background:

Acorn uses various affiliated groups to agitate for "a living wage,"
for "affordable housing," for "tax justice" and union and environmental
goals, as well as against school choice and welfare reform. It was a
major contributor to the subprime meltdown by pushing lenders to make
home loans on easy terms, conducting "strikes" against banks so they'd
lower credit standards.

Isn't that special. To have tax dollars used to help union goals, sub-prime loans and against things like school choice. Here is some information on the quality of the "voters" that they get out.

Then there's Lake County, Indiana, which has already found more than
2,100 bogus applications among the 5,000 Acorn dumped right before the
deadline. "All the signatures looked exactly the same," said Ruthann
Hoagland, of the county election board. Bridgeport, Connecticut
estimates about 20% of Acorn's registrations were faulty. As of July,
the city of Houston had rejected or put on hold about 40% of the 27,000
registration cards submitted by Acorn.

Where is the BO in all of this?

During his tenure on the board of Chicago's Woods Fund, that body
funneled more than $200,000 to Acorn. More recently, the Obama campaign
paid $832,000 to an Acorn affiliate. The campaign initially told the
Federal Election Commission this money was for "staging, sound,
lighting." It later admitted the cash was to get out the vote.

So we have a Presidential candidate that formerly worked for a corrupt left wing election fraud organization and later has funneled them over a million dollars. News story? Nah, only in the WSJ and occasionally with the McCain campaign. The MSM is "unbiased", so they needn't cover it.




Monday, October 13, 2008

BO Thugocracy

Michael Barone : The Coming Obama Thugocracy - Townhall.com

I've covered most of this, but it is really pretty amazing that the MSM isn't just a LITTLE concerned about First Amendment rights. I guess having BO in power means that there doesn't need to be an opposition.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Republican Rage?

Michelle Malkin » Crush the Obamedia narrative: Look who’s “gripped by insane rage”

Apparently a few boos and a couple names directed at his Deity BO is a horrible racist rage. We have comparisons between McCain and George Wallace but of course THAT is NOT "name calling".

Michelle pulls in a few 10's of examples of a SMALL part of the lefty rage of the last 7 years that includes a lot of "F**K Bush" bumper stickers and T-Shirts, lots of "Kill Bush" stuff in all sorts of methods and just TON of stuff in absolutely all sorts of obscenity, hatred, threats and some of the most completely uncivil false and scurilous accustations in US history. MSM concern? Zero. BO gets some Boos or accusations of "terrorist" just because he palled around with a guy that helped blow up buildings and is unrepentent? Well, "horrible, insane racist rage".

Seems obvious.

Friday, October 10, 2008

When Will They Remove This One?



I imagine that this will get pulled from the web as well as everything else pointing out that the Democrats are the source of the sub-prime debacle has. Guess the age of BO Fascism must already be here, truth has to be removed at every quarter.

Palin Abused Power

Panel: Palin abused power in trooper case - CNN.com

Boy, the MSM and Democrats can be REALLY quick on investigations! When Slick Willie was in the White House, "Troopergate", where Arkansas troopers said that he used them for his personal bimbo delivery service, "palace guard" to keep Hillary away, and they were summarily fired if Hillary or Bill didn't like something they did was "no news". Gee, Palin working to get a guy that tazered a 10-year old and drank beer in his squad car fired is an "abuse of power". Want to bet that these folks would be JUST as outraged if she HADN'T tried to get him fired for those offenses? I think the REAL issue here is that they don't like Sarah Palin!

How Does One Get Confidence?

A Market Meltdown That Won't Stop: Is This Rational? - TIME

Gee, Time magazine may even be starting to realize that removal of confidence from the public can have a downside rather than just the upside that they believe it will have of electing BO.

But as necessary as those moves may be, the stock market — the most visible gauge of investor sentiment — has not been convincingly reassured. Why doesn't the news of government's quick and sweeping response stop the slide? "The news has got nothing to do with it," says Jeffrey Saut, chief investment strategist at Raymond James. "What it is, is a sequence of events that have brought us into crash mode." Saut traces that sequence of events from the nationalization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which wiped out the stockholders of those institutions, to the collapse of Lehman Brothers, which did the same to that company's investors, to the run on money-market mutual funds, to the run on Washington Mutual, to the House's unexpected failure to pass the bailout bill the first time around.

"This is a confidence game," says Saut, "and the public has lost confidence not only in financial institutions but also in their elected officials." And confidence, unfortunately, is much easier to lose than to gain.

Nice that Time is starting to figure this out NOW! Would have been a bit better if they had figured it out while they were braying about "recession" in the middle of mutiple quarters of GROWTH!! Once people start to believe in the UNreal, how in the world are they going to get them back to believing in the real?

McCain Proposal Backlash

McCain faces conservative backlash over mortgage plan - CNN.com

I suspect that the MSM has a hard time understanding this, the thought probably crosses their mind: "Isn't he THEIR candidate"?? I'm sure the idea of ideas/principles being more important than political power is something that they can't even fathom. It is something that I believe that Republicans in general and conservatives in particular have not figured out.

To be "conservative" means having some transcendent ideas and values that are more important that ANYTHING else. If they aren't more important, then they aren't "transcendent". Not all conservatives think that deeply about this stuff or get into the big words, but "God", "America", "Personal Responsibility", "Family", "life" ... one or more ideas almost always are of bigger import to a conservative than the day to day hustle and bustle. While the primary mover of a liberal is always emotion, for a conservative, the emotions will usually be secondary to some idea or set of ideas.

I've thought at written a lot on the question of Bush / Republican Congress either having been imperfect enough on conservative ideals to warrant the abandonment of them by the right side of the Republican base. My general thought has been that while I was heavily disappointed in a number of things (earmarked pork, Abramoff, drug benefit, insufficient troops in Iraq, etc), I felt that given the direness of both our national security / economic conditions and the sad state of politics and proposals on the left, Republicans would have been FAR better served to continue to work to get folks elected and strive to change the direction from inside the party. No matter, in '06 they stayed home in droves or voted for "independence" candidates and we suffered and are still suffering the consequences.

I haven't decided yet if I can hold my nose enough to go out and vote for McCain after the $300 Billion proposal in the debate. He is a guy that conservatives have never been able to trust, and it shows that he is very much STILL that guy!!

BO Magic

RealClearPolitics - Articles - Obama's Magic

Read it all, it covers a few of the fallacies very well. I especially liked this paragraph:

Next up, Mr. Obama will re-regulate the economy, with no ill effects
whatsoever! You may have heard that for the past 40 years most
politicians believed deregulation was good for the U.S. economy. You
might have even heard that much of today's financial mess tracks to
loose money policy, or Fannie and Freddie excesses. Our magician will
show the fault was instead with our failure to clamp down on innovation
and risk-taking, and will fix this with new, all-encompassing rules.
Presto!


Where McCain has really let us down is by thinking that the populist rhetoric of "blame Wall Street / CEOs / Business" is acceptable. The reason FDR could never fix the depression is because you can't sit around and blame the folks that have to get you out of the hole you are in for all the known ills. It really matters not at all "who is responsible", what matters is "where do we go from here". Railing against "Wall Street" is just going to have all the productive parts of the society sit on the sidelines until the windbags get through yelling.

"The little guy" can't work until there is some place for him to work. You can scream all day long about how much you hate "Wall Street", but what we need is a TEAM EFFORT. We just succeeded in "benching Wall Street". Congratulations!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Confidence, Reality, Rights

Listening to MPR today I heard the economist that they tend to bring in whenever there is big financial news talk about how "the underlying US economy is sound, what we have is a financial liquidity problem caused by sub-prime mortgages". Yesterday, on NPR, I heard a discussion about the Financial Bailout in Britain of $1 TRILLION, which is something like 1/3 of their total GDP, MUCH larger than the US $700 Billion, especially compared to GDP (1/3 vs 1/13).

Here we have a more or less standard view from Thomas Frank's, author of the book "The Wrecking Crew".
Here's what I mean: You've got people in the Republican Party whose philosophy is one of cynicism towards government and one of complete disrespect towards particular branches of government. ... They've run these branches of government completely in reverse, put people in charge of them who don't believe in the mission, and done everything else to make government accountable not to the voters, but to the business community. 
This has resulted in disaster in numerous cases. Now, when you look upon the disaster, do you say this is because government doesn't work? Or do you say, this is because a philosophy of government doesn't work? The obvious conclusion to anybody watching this stuff unfold is to say government just can't do anything right -- look how badly it's botched this job. 
But the correct answer is that government obviously does work in certain circumstances, in other countries, and it's even worked here when it wants to. What they're doing right now at the Fed and the Department of Treasury is they're playing the game exactly right -- they're intervening decisively, quickly -- they're doing it exactly right. When the chips are down and when it's something conservatives care about, they can make government work.
So, if Europe is the shining star of where "government regulation works", why would England need a BIGGER percentage bailout then the US? Wouldn't that mean that the "standard story" is wrong? The issue is NOT the "free market economy" if in fact in MORE socialist oriented, more controlled economies the situation is WORSE??

I become more and more convinced that what we are seeing is a "tipping point". In the US, the MSM and the Democrats have moved completely beyond any sense of reality on a list of fronts so wide that it defies description -- Iraq/Surge, Economy/Markets, Rights/Responsibility, are all examples.

In the late '90s we were CONSTANTLY lectured that "Bill Clinton has brought us prosperity, if you keep hounding him, the market might drop". The market dropped because the "prosperity" was nothing but the Internet bubble, BUT, the MSM had a point they really didn't realize--it is DANGEROUS for a nation/world to lose all confidence in their leadership and institutions.

It appears that we may now be beyond that tipping point where people have enough confidence to allow the system to continue to operate. My personal belief is that BO and the Democrats have realized that they WANT to get back to the 30's, for them that was the BEST OF TIMES!! They see BO as a "new FDR", sort of an "inverse Reagan", but in order to get what they want, they NEED to have DISASTER, and they NEED to "blame it on Republicans / the market / business"!!!

The worst part of the slump in the '30s happened between the 32 elections and FDR taking office the following spring. Hoover had lost all confidence from the public and the congress and the government stood idly by and let all manner of institution fail. Hoover begged FDR and company to help him do something, but in a way that only Democrats can do, they realized that it was in their political best interests to let things get as bad as possible before they came in so they could look better when it improved. Sadly, it never did improve until WWII -- none of the stuff that FDR did ever worked!!

Bush has been as powerless as Hoover was since '06, and the Democrats have worked him like a puppet on everything but the Surge. Barney Frank and company kept the pedal to the metal on Feddie and Fannie, giving as many seedy loans as they possibly could. The Dems took credit for the "stimulus", but gave Bush the blame for the deficit it added to. Economic numbers ceased to make a difference--we were in a RECESSION, no matter how much growth there was. Normally, trying to claim that our economy was "broken" when it obviously wasn't (and still probably isn't except for CONFIDENCE) would seem absolutely stupid for people that live here as all the media people do, but the MSM emotional hatred for Bush / Republicans has blinded them to the effects of a complete destruction of confidence in the both the Government and Business systems.

Two things that made the 30's as bad as they were was the constant thrashing of new government programs that added uncertainty to the economy coupled with the criminalization of normal business behavior. We are deep into both of those problems at this point. If we could have acted quickly and decisively on the underlying liquidity problem with the bailout when it first came up, MAYBE it would have been enough to get a re-start, but we couldn't. We needed to play a bunch of politics first. When both the far left and the far right are in agreement -- as they were against the bailout, my rule of thumb is "watch out".

So, we have heard a bunch of braying about "CEO Pay", "golden parachutes", "billions for Wall Street, nothing for Main Street", etc. Unfortunately we have heard it from both parties and McCain and Palin have joined in to suggesting more programs and blaming "Wall Street and not Main Street". Maybe emotionally satisfying for some, but this plays right into the Democrats hands in pushing us over the cliff.

CEO pay and golden parachutes are about CONTRACTS. The BEDROCK that allows our current western civilization to live even close to the manner that we have become accustomed is the enforceability of contracts!! When the government decides that it is going to break existing contracts that people have negotiated in good faith and legality at the time they negotiated them, then NONE of our contracts are safe. Say GE is in dire straits and decides that Lou Gerstner, former CEO of IBM, now retired, is the best man to get them moving. Lou looks at the situation and sees that, yes indeed, the odds are very long and the work will be very hard. Does a guy that is already worth 100's of millions have to work for potentially FREE in order for him to come on board?

The most logical thing for both parties is for GE to give him a "golden parachute" of say "50 million", but stock options / etc that are POTENTIALLY worth 100's of millions if he can pull it off. If Lou takes the job, there is no doubt he wants to win, but one isn't going to give up retirement with 100's of millions to go do a very hard job that may well be impossible knowing that if it can't be saved you walk away with nothing. If GE and Lou negotiate that contract, but the government now says "no golden parachutes", how many decades will it before there is enough faith in the rule of law to allow the retention of such talent for needed activity? A very long time to NEVER is the right answer, and even worse, if that contract isn't safe, why is ANY contract?

Essentially, all the Government involvement can be lumped under that same idea. The government is able to change the rules of the game during the game, and they have now decided to do that on a daily basis. The most likely effect of that kind of uncertainty is to have more and more people sit on the sidelines waiting to see when the game is going to stabilize. Why jump in when you aren't really even sure what game you are jumping in on? Worse, things like Sarbanes Oxley and other laws now being contemplated may put you in JAIL for actions that you took that were LEGAL at the time you took them, but are LATER declared illegal!!!

There isn't such a thing as "risk free business or investment". The riskiest things tend to have the highest potential for BOTH loss and gain. Sometimes there are boundaries put on that say "that has so little chance of return, it is illegal" ... the folks that are selling that are just making money off the selling, they aren't selling a legitimate product. Society certainly CAN make those kinds of laws, but it does so at the peril of missing some excellent opportunities for innovation and growth. Today's "stupid idea" in finance like technology, may well be tomorrows "big deal". OR, as in mortgage backed securities, yesterdays great idea may well be pushed beyond some boundary and become today's debacle. AFTER THE FACT a whole bunch of things look completely obvious. I ought to have bought Microsoft Stock in '85 and sold it right before the 2K crash. OBVIOUS, but only in hindsight.

So, the markets are in free fall, and all the kings horses and all the kings men can't put confidence back in again. In my opinion, starting in the '30s we set ourselves on the road to become a nation where a whole bunch of things were "rights and entitlements" vs "responsibilities and privledges". We had a "right" to retirement without savings (FICA), free medical care for the aged (medicare), food, shelter, clothing ... and eventually, even a home of our own(CRI, Sub-prime). Only problem is that very very few things are ACTUALLY "rights". About the only "right" that can be given all the people is the "right to opportunity", which is essentially the "right to work and keep the vast majority of what you earn". That is the only fundamental right that a government can really provide, and by providing it, the magic of free enterprise produces wealth beyond compare.

Apparently, the "right to home ownership" as expressed by the Community Investment Act proved to be "one fake right too far", BUT both parties and the MSM have decided to "blame the market" rather than blame the producers of fake rights -- the government (and those that elect it and avail themselves of the fake rights, US). The reason for that is because as the critics of the American experiment had predicted long ago, the reason the government did what it did is because the politicians were elected by people that wanted a lot of fake rights. We ALL really "want them" if we don't look too deeply at the COST of those fake rights. Ultimately, that cost is the loss of our freedom, our prosperity and any security that we thought we had.

So, will people come to their senses prior to that happening, or will they go on blaming the business and markets that make all the money that has created the greatest living standard in the world, or will they realize that all the supposed "rights" that they have created are completely illusionary without the business and market activity that produces the resources needed?? I'm completely unsure at this point, and obviously, so are a whole bunch of other people. Say your prayers, and do your part to try to get people to understand that paying attention to reality is critical to the financial health of the whole world.