Thursday, December 31, 2009

What Ever Happened to the US?

Turn On, Tune In, Veg Out - New York Times

Scientists and technologists have the same uneasy status in our society as the Jedi in the Galactic Republic. They are scorned by the cultural left and the cultural right, and young people avoid science and math classes in hordes. The tedious particulars of keeping ourselves alive, comfortable and free are being taken offline to countries where people are happy to sweat the details, as long as we have some foreign exchange left to send their way. Nothing is more seductive than to think that we, like the Jedi, could be masters of the most advanced technologies while living simple lives: to have a geek standard of living and spend our copious leisure time vegging out.

If the "Star Wars" movies are remembered a century from now, it'll be because they are such exact parables for this state of affairs. Young people in other countries will watch them in classrooms as an answer to the question: Whatever became of that big rich country that used to buy the stuff we make? The answer: It went the way of the old Republic.

Listened to MPR chortling over a judge deciding that the governor has no right to use his unallotment power to cut funding to some group or the other. We live in a "make it so" world where ever more of the teeming masses believe they have a "right" to everything from talks with a shrink to a flat screen TV -- oh, and while that is being gotten up for them, please be sure it has a negative carbon footprint. People know how less and less of how and why their lives operate, but they feel that they are totally justified to get more of whatever they want at someone else's expense, and complain that it wasn't acquired with a cheap enough rate from the folks that knew how to do it!!




Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Avatar: "Dances With Ewoks"

First of all, I went to see the movie with the family last night in 3D and it was great, a real trip -- immersive, enjoyable, beautiful, exciting and a lot of fun, go see it. I pretty much checked my brain at the door and just thought of it as an amusement park theme thrill ride, and it did extremely well at that level.

The blog title is a mostly tongue in cheek joke -- someone else on FB had mentioned the "Dances With Wolves" connection and when they were in the forest retreating, the Ewoks came to mind. There is some truth to the pangs of it being a really good ride, but it IS quite long for the volume of  insanely shallow plot while trotting out new effects. I think it leaves an "ontological hangover".

This isn't a movie that I'd worry about "spoilers" -- it is the all formula all the time, good vs evil, princess kisses frog, earth mother vs war god father, buddy bonding, technology vs nature, etc. with a blatant attempt at being a "Wizard of Oz" (color), Star Wars" (special effects), Toy Story (all computer generated imagery), etc  blockbuster that changes the industry for the digital / 3D technology. It may, but it seems a bit "tarted up" in trying.

My stream of consciousness:
  • Must we ALWAYS suspend tactical awareness in odd ways? Humans can't breath the air on the planet. Your forces have to break off close contact with the core human base because of strong difference of operational objectives/outlook. You are willing to "go native". You have a group of "natives" at your disposal. Take control of the air supply in some innovative way for gods sake! You only have to put up with pompous ass old marines for a max of 4 min if they won't negotiate on air issues!
  • I think "We're not in Kansas anymore" is a bit too much of a wishful reference to Wizard of Oz being the first film of the color eara -- 3D was interesting, but I think it is "always" going to be a high stakes tech two edged sword on the border of "immersive" vs "intrusive". It isn't color.
  • OK, so we quit paying attention to religion, philosophy and have ditched western culture for the "noble savage". How does a guy worth over $100 million spend $300+ million on popcorn munching entertainment that supposedly disses the war god Yahweh "man has dominion" material / technical model for the eco green nurturing earth mother mixed with Klingon warrior uses the force model with a straight face? Only in America circa early 21st century. Oh, and the main character makes this transition while inhabiting a bio-engineered amalgam of human and alien DNA linked up by some sort of MRI / wifi from the Star Trek school of technology. Maybe there is a meta humor statement here of this is what happens when any concept of "the good" or "the sacred" is forcefully removed from the Prometheus / Pandora / etc world of myth? I mean, he named the planet "Pandora" -- he must have SOME understanding of mythology. 
  • The witch goddess psuedo orgy pagan transfer of human to "golem" TWICE (attempted) was just a bit much. Yes, yes, we got it -- western civilization murdered mother earth. Father god = evil. Mother god = good. Mother god get angry, mother god kill just like daddy. Mother god better though -- use spears and arrows and have swaying tail and chanting at home rather than nasty polluting boy toys with smoke, fire, video games and enough comfort to drink your coffee while mass murdering. Those men are all alike -- and no doubt they would waste time watching football on Sunday rather than tending the flowers too!
I really don't need to be reminded "this is just entertainment", I did have fun DURING the film. Is there really any reason to go QUITE as far out on the "noble savage vs technology" theme?. MUST we have TOTAL boobs on the side of technology (the compound reminded me of Jurrasic Park)? Is it REALLY "all or nothing"? The Pandora planet is 100% nurturing for those that are adapted -- with luminescent plants for the night, giant leaves to enfold you in secure sleep, and lovely creatures for you to "plug in" in order to have all the high speed thrills and spills of your earthly atv, hang glider, mountain climb, etc.Come to mommy and you can have everything if you just "grow up" like mommy says is best. There there now, mommy can provide with just a few simple rituals of "joining". So much better than awful "separation".

Damn -- daddy threw us out of Eden. If ONLY we were lucky enough to have a mommy god,  it would have been so much better! At least we got to play with all our nature destroying daddy tech computers and build us one hell of an amusement film making mommy look nice while we are destroying the planet!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Only a SLIGHT Double Standard!

Power Line - In which the Strib arrives late to the case

Golly Mark Dayton had some struggles in his life -- depression, alcoholism, a couple of dissolved marriages. He had plenty of erratic behavior, and to listen to him talk was painful -- he seemed to be unaware of a ton of things. For example he thought that a call about "depleted uranium" used in military projectiles was rather about "uranium being depleted -- as in short". He kept mumbling about how he was unaware, but would look into it even though Gary Eichten kept trying to bail him out.

So how long would we not know about such things from a Republican? I had never heard a word about any of it relative to Dayton, even though he apparently covered it in detail to everyone on his Christmas card list! One would think that media would at least report it in that case, but NADA! I guess we have no right to know -- as long as we are talking about a Democrat!


The "Spirit" of Ted Kennedy

Incredible! If this doesn't hit the MSM they are COMPLETELY out to lunch! The guy that authored BOcare drunk on the Senate floor!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Judaism: A Way of Being

Really enjoyed the subject book by Davide Gelernter. Gelernter is special to me because he is a leading computer scientist teaching at Yale. He survived an attack by the Uni-bomber, and he was the Doctoral adviser for a coworker from Haifa Israel.

He opens in the preface with the great questions of human existence:
  1. How do we understand our place in the unspeakable vastness of creation?
  2. Is physical creation all their is?
  3. How do I order my life as a human being?
  4. Does life have a goal (purpose) beyond comfort, power, prosperity, survival?
He breaks Judaism into four key theme images:
  1. Separation -- From the "waters" in creation, at the Red Sea, at the Jordan, at birth, and with the Sabbath. God creates a separation for life, for holiness, for transcendence. Man is not part of nature, he is held separate and must struggle with nature. Man is made in God's image, not God in man's. That is paganism, of which the end is simply man worshiping himself. "Jews defy nature by defying its most fundamental impulse -- the onrush of chaos, reducing all things to one level, abolishing all distinctions". How profound, and how at odds with the onrush of chaos of our current political climate.
  2. The veil -- God can not be seen, imagined, named. He is "on the other side", but paradoxically, deep within. He is not nature, he is behind nature. He is not man, he is behind man -- and what sets us apart from nature is his image. Maybe that is what it means to be conscious, maybe not that simple.
  3. Perfect asymmetry -- God is one but man is two, male and female. "The force field between maleness and femaleness creates marriage and colors the whole universe. But the modern attempt to make the two sexes interchangeable, shorting out the battery that operates civilization, wiring it's poles together is an act of aggression against both sanctity and humanity."
  4. The inward pilgrimmage -- "The still small voice".
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God" (Psalms 14:1). Today the atheist publishes a book about it. Such an atheist is like an emotionally frigid philosopher who says in his heart "there is no love in the world." Should he wish to change this apparent state of affairs, he need only love someone and accept love in return. But if he chooses not to, he must understand that he has made an assertion not about the work, but about himself. If you see no God in the universe, striving to make yourself holy (or godly) will change your way of seeing.
Having read a couple atheist authors in the last couple of years (Dawkins, Harris), that particular paragraph struck me.

The book is relatively short, but also quite information dense. I recommend it highly, even if the Hebrew terms do tend to get in the way from time to time. It is infused with the core of the special nature of Israel -- that they are the only embodiment of God that exists on earth since he "withdrew his presence" after the loss of the Ark. For a Christian, one really sees the stark contrast between "God With Us" and "the veil", and it gives a whole new meaning to "the veil of the temple was rent".

I KNOW I didn't "get it all", but it is a marvelously well and lovingly written book by a highly intelligent and spiritual man.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

AGW Enemy Action?

Power Line - Three Times Is Enemy Action

Nice set of pictures. Both sides can be guilty of assigning "divine justice" to things -- the left often found Katrina to be "mother earth sent", and some conservatives thought it was "justice for New Orleans". The assignment of cosmic significance to earthbound affairs is nothing new at all, and I'd argue it is common for the human.

The Bard:
Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
But will they come when you do call for them?


Tiger and The Bezzle

Op-Ed Columnist - Tiger Woods, Person of the Year - NYTimes.com

One of my favorite objects of study is "the liberal mind". We live in a sad world where the liberal feels no need to study the conservative, nor their thoughts, since they feel that would be beneath them -- conservatives are just plain wrong. Liberals on the other other hand, with their maddening (to conservatives) inconsistency, are certainly correct fairly often. The issue, like the difference between a stopped and a simply "off" clock, is that as the price for being somewhat frequently correct on some issues by never being consistent, they are extremely hard to pin down.

This column seems to provide a bit of a window into some liberal thinking.

As of Friday, the Tiger saga had appeared on 20 consecutive New York Post covers. For The Post, his calamity has become as big a story as 9/11. And the paper may well have it right. We’ve rarely questioned our assumption that 9/11, “the day that changed everything,” was the decade’s defining event. But in retrospect it may not have been. A con like Tiger’s may be more typical of our time than a one-off domestic terrorist attack, however devastating.

This is quite interesting. First of all, the NYT, Rich's own paper had Abu Ghraib on it's front cover 32 consecutive times in a short period in spring '04. He doesn't mention it in his list of laments of the decade, apparently because it didn't fit within his context as it was either "real", or it was "real in an NYT context", as opposed to the supposed "falseness" of this past decade as opposed to any other.

How does Rich come to the conclusion that 9-11 was "one off"? The WTC was bombed in '93 with direct connection to KSM and reasonable connection to Iraq, Khobar Towers in '96, embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in '98, and the USS Cole in '2000. There are of course other attacks -- Bali, Madrid, etc, just not directed against Americans. Clearly 9-11 "changed nothing" for Rich, nor for most liberals, and the idea that it was, is, and always will be, "one off" is an article of their current faith. Could not a liberal fall prey to "believing what they want to believe"?

People wanted to believe what they wanted to believe. Tiger’s off-the-links elusiveness was no more questioned than Enron’s impenetrable balance sheets, with their “special-purpose entities” named after “Star Wars” characters. Fortune magazine named Enron as America’s “most innovative company” six years in a row. In the January issue of Golf Digest, still on the stands, some of the best and most hardheaded writers in America offer “tips Obama can take from Tiger,” who is typically characterized as so without human frailties that he “never does anything that would make him look ridiculous.”

This gives us the sort of liberal insight that perplexes. "People wanted to believe what they wanted to believe". Is this not human nature in all times and places? Has there ever been a time when this was not true?

Enron was a "debacle" as were the S&Ls a decade before, the big crash of '87, the collapse of the "nifty 50" in the '70s, Lockheed, etc, etc. I really don't see any portion of human history that lacks the twin towers of hubris and wishful thinking. In fact, might one just give a moment's thought to the idea of BO running up trillions of debt while attempting to stop the "certainty" of human caused Global Warming and having the government take over health care as having some small percentage of that dynamic duo of self aggrandizement and wishful thought?

Rich meanders around through his view of "the Bush lies", Madoff, the housing bubble, interest rates, etc, but one thing he is completely silent on is "why". Why would the 2000's be somehow unique in these elements of people believing what they want to believe and people willing to let them believe it? He has nary a word to say.

I touched on something called "the Bezzle" in this blog. My view is that the US government makes all the Madoffs, Enrons and Tiger Woods out there completely honest by comparison. The US government has a couple $50 Trillion Ponzi schemes going called FICA and Medicare, and seeks to add and run others every day. National health care and the Fannie and Freddie sub-prime loan debacle as a couple other examples.

My view is that once the US Government signed up as the major player in the twin tower game of hubris and wishful thinking in the 20th century, with big increases in both hubris and wishful thinking in the '30s and the 60's, we were destined for collapse without SIGNIFICANT and ACTUAL change, which would have largely involved vast REDUCTION of the entitlements of FICA and Medicare that were ALWAYS unaffordable and dangerous to our entire national enterprise. What we see now is the acceleration into the abyss as BO and his 60 vote majority of the giants  of Bezzle drive a once great nation to a point from which recovery is in extreme doubt.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Left Knows No Irony

Eurostar Cancels Service Today, to Improve Snow Protection - Bloomberg.com

Friday AM on the way into work, the top three stories were:

  1. Eurostar trains stopped in chunnel due to freezing temps in N France
  2. Giant snowstorm on East Cost
  3. Global Warming conference
Nobody in the media sees any irony in this. In 2005 around the time of Katrina, the media was 100% on message that the strength of Katrina was due to Global Warming and we would see many more storms like that over the years to come. In this blog, I've pointed out that we have in fact seen FEWER strong hurricanes since Katrina. The MSM never admits when they are wrong.

The media still has a lot of the public convinced that the melting polar caps, lack of snow on top of Kilimanjaro and such is "proof" of "human caused global warming". First of all, if there was 100% air tight proof, it seems VERY questionable that a major scientific center would be suppressing competing research and deleting data. Anyone that wants to do a very short bit of research will find about the Medieval Warm Period from 800-1300, and the Little Ice Age -- 1650-1850. It seems very unlikely that these events were caused by man, so there must be significant natural climate fluctuation.

We also know that there have been a number of ice ages in earth history -- times when glaciers covered huge regions of the planet and sea level dropped by as much as 400 feet.

However, right now the media wants us to believe that vast amounts of personal freedom need to be given up to global climate authorities and that vast amounts of wealth need to be re-distributed at the behest of the UN and liberal governments like our own current BO administration. The giving up of freedom very much tends to be a one-way ratchet that is unfortunately only resettable with violence and the loss of life. As the elites get more and more powerful, they seek to remove liberty from the "masses" because clearly the elites strongly believe that they know best, and whatever they decide is "best" and most worthy of being enforced at the point of a gun.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Smalley Cilvility

The Associated Press: Franken shuts down Lieberman on Senate floor

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Elect Stuart Smalley to the Senate, and what does one expect? My guess would be that were his more conservative bomb throwing bookend Ann Coulter to have been elected as the 60th vote on the other side, she would be more civil and less partisan than this.

Democrats live with no rules at all (each one is their own god, thus they tend to squabble), so expect little coverage of this. This is NEVER done in the Senate, the two "extra" minutes is like leaving a 2 hour business meeting for a bathroom break. Humans allow it -- Stuart did not. No more case needs be made.


May As Well Dream Big

Gore 2000: Gore as President - An Alternate History - Newsweek 2010

Note, as part of the MSM, Newspeak has no biases. The "news" here is an alternate universe where Al Gore won in 2000. Here is how easy 9-11 was averted -- what a shame that Gore didn't clue Slick Willie in on just how easy this was prior to WTC1, Kohbar Towers, US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. No matter, liberal fantasy knows no bounds. Also really interesting how a guy that as Senator didn't even vote to support Iraq 1, was going to supposedly be cowboy enough to order probably the most effective strategic bombing in history that killed the whole leadership of Al Qaeda. As long as one is dreaming, they may as well dream big.

An August 2001 Daily Intelligence Briefing warns, "Bin Ladin [sic] Determined to Strike in the U.S.," which prompts the president to authorize the strategic bombing of targets in the Khost province of Afghanistan, near the Pakistani border. 

Frank Wall, White House counterterrorism adviser: "We had it on better-than-reasonable authority that Osama bin Laden, or at least his top guys, were hiding out under the protection of the Taliban who, if you remember, had just blown up the Bamiyan Buddhas that April, which was a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nasty guys. It didn't go over well. We were not greeted as liberators there, and here at home, the general consensus was that the president was trying to look manly. I still maintain it was the right thing to do. American interests haven't been attacked by Al Qaeda since the USS Cole in Yemen, but who can really judge if an endeavor is successful by something not happening?"


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Will On the BO Charm

RealClearPolitics - When the Charm Rubs Off

I guess I was almost singularly unimpressed by the aura of BO -- but then I read his books. I've found that everyone that has actually read them both is at least taken aback by: 1). The level of navel gazing and strange views of the world that he was willing to include in "Dreams", and 2) The absolute glorification of "the fake straddle". "Let me tell you how I have looked at both sides completely, in some sort of abstract godlike fashion, and the "fact" is just that after it is all said and done, the far left position is always right -- that is just the way things are!

Will does a good job of cronicaling some of the stupidities of December. Sadly, I think we can be assured that 2010 will include many more, let us pray that the deaths of Americans due to the meanderings of this disorganized community organizer are minimal.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Biased to Report Gallup Poll?

FOXNews.com - Obama's 47 Percent Approval Lowest of Any President at This Point

So the Gallup poll, which has conducted presidential polls since 1938 is being ignored by the MSM. Gee, wonder why? Here are the previous 11 presidents at this point in their terms:

-- George W. Bush, 86 percent
-- John Kennedy, 77 percent
-- Lyndon Johnson, 74 percent
-- George H.W. Bush, 71 percent
-- Dwight Eisenhower, 69 percent
-- Richard Nixon, 59 percent
-- Jimmy Carter, 57 percent
-- Bill Clinton, 52 percent
-- Gerald Ford, 52 percent
-- Ronald Reagan, 49 percent
-- Harry Truman, 49 percent
-- Barack Obama, 47%

Hmm, BO is dead last. Do I put a lot of stock in that? No -- Note that Reagan is tied for 2nd from the bottom. My point is that WERE it a Republican as opposed to Democrat, the reporting of this factoid would be hard and heavy with a lot of analysis. "Can he recover"? "Is his presidency failed", etc, etc.

The other interesting fact is that BO hit these numbers with about as much positive media as one could ever hope to have -- apparently results really do make a difference!

If the economy turns around, BOs numbers will improve at least some. If we are attacked (something his policies make exceedingly likely), his numbers will improve for at least a bit -- then one would hope that the electorate realizes that Bush kept us safe for 8 years and the BO policies put us at grave risk.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Secret Non-Government Polls

Power Line - Don't Look Now, But...

Don't expect any of this to be "leaked" to the MSM -- no doubt this ought to be as secret as the Global Warming hoax. Anyone showing polls that look negative for BO ought to be jailed!!

There is just a slight difference here from the Bush years. Falling polls were one of the main bludgeons that were used to help drive him down. Most people hate to stand up against the majority, so constant messages of "sliding in the polls" tend to be a self fulfilling prophecy.

How different BO ... nobody in the history of polling at the Presidential level has fallen so far so early in his term, yet the media coverage is pretty much "natural slippage because he has taken on tough problems".

Man, it is REALLY nice to have them on your side -- dealing with 9-11, being handed a recession by his predecessor, Katrina, creating a monstrous drug benefit that almost rivals 1/10th of the gargantuan BO healthcare plan, and attempting FICA reform never even counted as "a tough job" when Bush was in office!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

38 BO "I's" OR ....

I Pledge Allegiance to Global Warming - WSJ.com

The BO Noble acceptance had 38 references to "I" ... but the highlight ...

"I . . . reserve the right to act unilaterally" is especially good, though it's hard to top the show of faux humility: "Compared to some of the giants of history who've received this prize--Schweitzer and King; Marshall and Mandela--my accomplishments are slight." This is not humility: It takes a bloated ego to compare oneself to great men, even if only to assert that there is no comparison.

Next to BO, I'm nothing ... but, the speech he ought to have given

When I heard about this prize, I didn't think I deserved it. I mean, what have I done? But then I looked at the list of past recipients. Yasser Arafat? A peace prize for a terrorist? What's the deal with that, guys? Al Gore? For what, making a movie with charts? And Jimmy Carter. Jimmy Carter! He endorsed me, and even I can't stand that sanctimonious little twit!

Well, I think Carter will look like a great man by the time BO is done.







Goodbye to Your Health Insurance

RealClearPolitics - You Will Lose Your Private Health Insurance

Do you believe it is an accident that suddenly no mammograms are required at less than 50 years of age? Expect many rulings of this sort in the months and years to come, but rest assured that the STATISTICS on health will continue to look better and better. The fox is in charge of the hen house, he has declared the hens are all fine and happy!
So there we have the real essence of this bill. It restricts our choice of which insurance to buy and pushes us into more expensive plans. At the same time, it destroys the economic incentive to purchase insurance in the first place and replaces insurance with a free-floating tax on one's very existence.

Essentially, this bill forces the insurance companies to cover everyone at the same rate without regard to pre-existing conditions, demands that the coverage cover every little thing (thus making sure that health costs go up), and removes any prospects of profit for the insurance industry.

The part I think I "love" the most is the part that Al Franken was bragging about on MPR today -- insurance companies MUST put 90% of premiums paid into payments for medical care. ONLY 10% can be spent on administration, management, advertising, etc. Isn't that sweet? So what incentive do we have here? Let's see, if I have $1,000 premiums today, I can make only $100, but if I get to $10,000 in premiums, I can make $1,000. Do you think the medical community would like to get that extra $9,000, or do you think they would turn it down?

Oh, I know, there will be a "government regulator" -- guess what, there always have been PLENTY of "government regulators" at SEC, HEW, USDA, etc, etc, and billions of dollars are wasted, skimmed or just flat out missing all the time. Did you hear of anyone at SEC losing their job over the Sub-Prime meltdown? A couple real high level guys at FANNIE and FREDDIE got canned, but they got picked up in the BO campaign. One needs a crisis before one can be sure it doesn't "go to waste". We are set up for a "crisis" a minute now.

The real purpose of this bill is to run up the cost of insurance for everyone as a prelude to government takeover. There isn't a lot left between this level of mendacity and cynicism and the gulag. Merry Christmas, Comrade.



Sunday, December 06, 2009

Will On Climate Change

RealClearPolitics - The Climate-Change Travesty

A well written perspective on the fallacy of spending Trillions of dollars on something that is questionable enough that at least some scientists feel they must lie to defend.


Friday, December 04, 2009

Shoot Toto!

RealClearPolitics - We-Don't-Want-to-Talk-About-It-Gate

Remember in the Wizard of Oz when Toto was pulling the curtain back so you could see that "the great Oz" was nothing more than a machine being manipulated by an old guy behind the curtain? He spoke through the machine saying "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain", when it was obvious that there was no "Oz" -- only a big machine and a regular old guy manipulating it.

Thus, as some hackers have pulled the curtain back from the "The Great Global Warming Hoax", the MSM, the Democrats, and the Copenhagen grifters admonish us "pay no attention to it being a hoax".

Amazingly, most of the masses are gullible enough that even when they see the main perpetrators of this supposed "settled science" right in the act of silencing those with data that calls their hypothesis into question, and in some cases being forced to delete data and manufacture data to show what they could not show honestly, they are afraid to question the "Oz" of Global Warming.

Have we lost all ability to independent th0ught?


Thursday, December 03, 2009

Will: Will Not End Well

RealClearPolitics - This Will Not End Well

A good one from George.

But after 11 months of graceless disparagements of the 43rd president, the 44th acts as though he is the first president whose predecessor bequeathed a problematic world. And Obama's second new Afghanistan policy in less than nine months strikingly resembles his predecessor's plan for Iraq, which was: As Iraq's security forces stand up, U.S. forces will stand down.

Having vowed to "finish the job," Obama revealed Tuesday that he thinks the job in Afghanistan is to get out of Afghanistan. This is an unserious policy.




Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The BO View From Abroad

Opinion: Searching in Vain for the Obama Magic - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

Whenever Bush would give a speech on matters of war, the MSM provided us with the obligatory "lack of respect from abroad" view. Gee, doesn't look like they would have any trouble finding that now if they looked a bit.

One wonders if cynicism has any limits. BO who was 100% against the Surge in Iraq, now takes credit for an "orderly exit" with no mention that it was the Surge that made that possible. He institutes his own "2nd Surge" (his first was in March) in Afghanistan, but rather than stand up and take the heat of "we are committed to objectives, not dates", he goes ahead and states a date where he will start withdrawal. It is hard to come up with the perfect analogy for committing troops for a specific duration. Men are being sent to fight and die when the enemy knows that if they just run and hide for 18 months, the US troops will be gone and they can mop up the Afghan forces at their leisure. Maybe getting married and promising to not have any other women for the next 18 months would be similar.

This quote is a good summary:

Never before has a speech by President Barack Obama felt as false as his Tuesday address announcing America's new strategy for Afghanistan. It seemed like a campaign speech combined with Bush rhetoric -- and left both dreamers and realists feeling distraught.

The following is a rather breathtaking assessment. "The least truthful address" for BO gives one huge pause -- the mind reels to try to think of any that had even a mild sprinkling of truthful content, but indeed, this one is certainly in the running for most disingenuous.
One didn't have to be a cadet on Tuesday to feel a bit of nausea upon hearing Obama's speech. It was the least truthful address that he has ever held. He spoke of responsibility, but almost every sentence smelled of party tactics. He demanded sacrifice, but he was unable to say what it was for exactly.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Crushing Legacy of Bush

A Crushing Legacy of Bush | The New York Observer

One reads through something like this and wonders at the thought process of the writer beyond "I hate  Bush".

Those events began with the inexplicable decision by officials of the previous administration to allow Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and other ranking leaders of Al Qaeda to escape from Afghanistan to Pakistan in December 2001. At the time, as a new Senate report on the battle of Tora Bora recalls, Donald Rumsfeld, the secretary of defense, and Gen. Tommy Franks, the commander of American forces in Afghanistan, decided not to augment the tiny force of special operations troops on the ground with sufficient force to capture or kill Mr. bin Laden and his deputies. They later claimed to be worried that “too many American troops in Afghanistan would create an anti-American backlash and fuel a widespread insurgency,” a rationale that can only evoke bitter laughter now.

No further recrimination is necessary; history will render sterner judgments than any that can be written now. But after eight years of incompetence and arrogance, how can the United States salvage what has become of the “good war”?

So the ONLY purpose of US troops being in Afghanistan was and is to capture Osama Bin Ladin and Mullah Omar? Even the rest of the article would seem to give the lie to that, is BO putting in 30K more troops for that reason? No. So if more troops is bad now, why was it not bad in '01? Only because then it would have been the evil Bush putting them in and now it is the savior of the world BO?

We live in a post 9-11 world where the threat of "asymmetric warfare" is almost guaranteed to be with us always and always increasing. How many guys does it take to comandeer an oil tanker and crash it into Manhattan and set it afire? How about a LNG tanker? Supposedly their explosive impact could equal a small nuke. We have seen planes. We know that the next use could be nukes, nerve gas or biological weapons. How secure are some of the control centers for our power grid? How about a small nuke on a SCUD producing an EMP explosion off the Eastern Seaboard? The list is endless, and the "unknown unknowns" are impossible to calculate.

So, we are faced with "Nation Building or Defeat". A very difficult problem. I'm not sure that Afghanistan and Iraq are close enough to the same to use the same strategies -- I think that is what got us in trouble in Iraq. What at least SEEMED to be working in Afghanistan in '01 and '02 was a "small footprint". That strategy was not right for Iraq, but I'm not sure that just because the strategy of a larger footprint worked in Iraq is any reason to assume THAT strategy is portable to Afghanistan.



Sowell Nuggets

RealClearPolitics - Random Thoughts on the Passing Scene

I liked a bunch of these, here are my favorites:
In response to news of President Obama receiving the Nobel Prize for peace, an e-mail from a reader recalled a black classmate's comments upon graduating from high school many years ago. When asked to list the advantages and disadvantages of being black, the black student facetiously listed as an advantage "being praised for infinitesimal accomplishments."

I'd say the following is sort of the core value of the left -- show off with something clever as often as possible, but never even have a clue what wisdom is.

Some people are so busy being clever that they don't have time enough to be wise.

The next one is very sad, but very true -- maybe a lot of prayer will prevent it:

No one likes to admit having been played for a fool. So it will probably take a mushroom cloud over some American city before some Obama supporters wake up. Even so, the true believers among the survivors will probably say that this was all George Bush's fault.

I think everyone that has worked for their positions in life knows the next one from experience -- they stepped beyond their competence and learned about both their limits, the strength of others, and thus at least a little humility. Think about how hard this learning would be (is it possible) when you are used for "praise for infinitesimal accomplishments".

Stepping beyond your competence can be like stepping off a cliff. Too many people with brilliance and talent within some field do not realize how ignorant-- or, worse yet, misinformed-- they are when talking like philosopher-kings about other things.

Much as the media liked to say about Bush: "He started on 2nd and thought he had hit a double", when you follow the liberal mantra, you get home-runs for just showing up.

There has probably never before been as drastic a decline in the quality of vice presidents as there has been when Dick Cheney was replaced by Joe Biden. Yet the New York Times is lionizing Biden as a wise counselor to President Obama. When you support the liberal agenda, that makes you brilliant ex-officio in the media, whether or not you are vice president-- and whether or not you have even common sense.













Monday, November 30, 2009

Objectivity Is Out

Ferguson: How Economic Weakness Endangers the U.S. | Newsweek National News | Newsweek.com

Excellent article from NEWSWEEK! Ferguson is an extremely intelligent economist and author who is currently a professor of history at that bastion of conservatism - Harvard. The whole thing is well worth reading, but I find the quote from Krugman to be especially troubling. It seems that many of our supposed intelligentsia subscribe to the post-modern view that there are no facts, only human views of the world. How else can one claim that claim that deficits in the low 100's of billions are "irresponsible", yet applaud multiple Trillion deficits as far as the eye can see? Doesn't a Nobel Prize winning economist have to have SOME objectivity to be called "a professional"?

Now, who said the following? "My prediction is that politicians will eventually be tempted to resolve the [fiscal] crisis the way irresponsible governments usually do: by printing money, both to pay current bills and to inflate away debt. And as that temptation becomes obvious, interest rates will soar."Seems pretty reasonable to me. The surprising thing is that this was none other than Paul Krugman, the high priest of Keynesianism, writing back in March 2003. A year and a half later he was comparing the U.S. deficit with Argentina's (at a time when it was 4.5 percent of GDP). Has the economic situation really changed so drastically that now the same Krugman believes it was "deficits that saved us," and wants to see an even larger deficit next year? Perhaps. But it might just be that the party in power has changed.
A lot of the article is taken up by thoughts on what is likely to happen because of the entitlement and debt train wreck that we are in. The idea of hyperinflation is covered but amazingly (to me) dismissed. What he suggests is more likely is a rise in the real interest rate and inflation falls -- or, while he doesn't say this, goes negative into deflation. Deflation is what has already happened to the stock market, home values and gas prices. Maybe we are developing a trend?

So here's another scenario—which in many ways is worse than the inflation scenario. What happens is that we get a rise in the real interest rate, which is the actual interest rate minus inflation. According to a substantial amount of empirical research by economists, including Peter Orszag (now at the Office of Management and Budget), significant increases in the debt-to-GDP ratio tend to increase the real interest rate. One recent study concluded that "a 20 percentage point increase in the U.S. government-debt-to-GDP ratio should lead to a 20–120 basis points [0.2–1.2 percent] increase in real interest rates." This can happen in one of three ways: the nominal interest rate rises and inflation stays the same; the nominal rate stays the same and inflation falls; or—the nightmare case—the nominal interest rate rises and inflation falls.
I'm not sure I completely understand the reason for his 20% tipping point, but debt service rising from 8% to 17% of revenues by 2019 sounds bad enough to me anyway. It seems to me that people tend to grossly UNderestimate what we spend on entitlements and grossly OVERestimate what we spend on Defense and debt already -- as in I suspect that most folks would think for some reason that we spend over 20% of the budget on debt payment already. I'm not sure what they will think when it is reality, but no matter what they think, I really doubt it will be good.

Already, the federal government's interest payments are forecast by the CBO to rise from 8 percent of revenues in 2009 to 17 percent by 2019, even if rates stay low and growth resumes. If rates rise even slightly and the economy flatlines, we'll get to 20 percent much sooner. And history suggests that once you are spending as much as a fifth of your revenues on debt service, you have a problem. It's all too easy to find yourself in a vicious circle of diminishing credibility. The investors don't believe you can afford your debts, so they charge higher interest, which makes your position even worse.




BO Not god

How President Obama Can Take Back His Presidency -- New York Magazine

The Thursday before last, President Barack Obama came home from his eight-day trip to Asia and received a welcome even frostier than the subfreezing temperatures that had greeted him in Beijing. In the House of Representatives, the populist Democrat Peter DeFazio of Oregon was calling for the heads of Tim Geithner and Larry Summers on a pair of pikes. The Congressional Black Caucus was thwarting the progress of Obama’s financial-reform agenda, on the grounds that the economic policies of the first African-American president were callous toward African-Americans. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus, furious about provisions regarding illegal immigrants in the Senate health-care bill, was casting blame on the White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel. The next morning, the front page of the Washington Post featured a story with the blaring headline “Angry Congress Lashes Out at Obama,” but which might as well have been titled “What a Difference a Year Makes.”

Boo Hoo BO, Being President is Tough

RealClearPolitics - Obama's Thankless Thanksgiving

EJ is amazed that BO should be criticized by "right wingers". One reads this and realizes that because of the dominant media culture on the left sees a world where the hammering on Bush as being "appointed" from day one, the joy of Jeffords switching parties in the Senate, and the constant blathering about "war crimes" as just being reasonable.

How can people not be praising BO this T-day? Don't tell EJ that some folks believe there is a higher power than either BO or the MSM. He might not be able to handle it.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

How Short the Memory

Report: 'Bin Laden was within our grasp' - CNN.com

Remember reports that the whereabouts of Bin Ladin were known in the late '90s and Billy C specifically decided against killing him? They made the MSM, but always with a lot of caveats and the "futility of 2nd guessing". Any thought that ANYTHING that Billy C did could have had ANYTHING to do with not protecting the nation on 9-11 -- other than of course the oft asserted that the Republican impeachment procedures took poor Billy's mind off his job, was always soundly rejected. Bush was supposed to have sniffed out the plot and taken action in his less than 8 months in office, no need to look back WHAT SO EVER at that time!

Now we have an absolute transparent move by the Democrats to try to get folks to focus on 8 year old history rather than BO making a failed but at the time much praised strategy change in March that has turned out to make things worse and dithering about a decision since August. I'm not sure that complaining about what might have been done 8 years ago qualifies as "leadership". It remains to be seen if the national sheep continue to figure out that this sort of discussion is a complete waste of time relative to our position in Afghanistan.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

How Important is Health Legislation?

Obama is having the best first year of any president since Franklin Roosevelt. - By Jacob Weisberg - Slate Magazine

One can argue long and hard about WHAT the effect of Federal Health legislation now floating through the Congress will be, but one thing is VERY certain -- it's effect on the basic fabric of American life will be HUGE:

We are so submerged in the details of this debate—whether the bill will include a "public option," limit coverage for abortion, or tax Botox—that it's easy to lose sight of the magnitude of the impending change. For the federal government to take responsibility for health coverage will be a transformation of the American social contract and the single biggest change in government's role since the New Deal. If Obama governs for four or eight years and accomplishes nothing else, he may be judged the most consequential domestic president since LBJ. He will also undermine the view that Ronald Reagan permanently reversed a 50-year tide of American liberalism.

Anyone fighting against the passage of a bill here is listed as some sort of a political obstructionist nut job at best, racist at worst. In fact, the left knows very well that this is the greatest power grab since LBJ! Anyone with even a hint of concern for liberty or productivity MUST fight aginst this as hard as possible!



Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Different Standards

RealClearPolitics - The Skeptics Are Vindicated

The US MSM's primary concern with the climate change e-mails seems to be "they were illegally obtained". Ah yes, how similar their concerns over classified Abu Girab information, "extraordinary rendition" and various cell phone intercept schemes. Naturally, since terrorists that have declared their intent to kill Americans at all costs are certainly a "clear and present danger" and leaking classified information aids and abets their case and should be prosecuted as treason, I'm certain our loyal MSM would be EXTREMELY concerned over how the information was obtained, right?

Not so much. Global Warming OTOH, if one believes the alarmists as one is told to do may make winters a couple of degrees warmer in MN and raise the ocean a centimeter or two in a century or so. How accurate have you observed that predictions of a "massive increase in huge hurricanes" has been since '05? This year's hurricane season is over -- not one of any category hit the US.

Speaking of accuracy. How many times did we hear that Bush (and everyone else) predicted that there would be WMD in Iraq, and there wasn't ... therefore, he LIED! Well, BO said that WITHOUT the stimulus, unemployment would go over 8.1%, but if we followed his leadership and spent $800 Billion, it would not. Last I checked it was 10.1%. Did he lie? I wonder what the difference is?

One has to go to the world press (or Fox News) to even hear about these e-mails. Here is what one of the leading Global Warming alarmists had to say about them as reported in a CANADIAN paper:

There is little doubt that the e-mails were real. Even so warmist a true-believer as George Monbiot led his column in the Guardian yesterday with: "It's no use pretending this isn't a major blow. The e-mails extracted ... could scarcely be more damaging. I am now convinced that they are genuine, and I'm dismayed and deeply shaken by them."

Anyone who is not such a media sheep that they believe what the MSM tells them rather than their own experience and good sense tells them is well aware it has been cooling for the last decade, and there isn't any "temperature hockey stick". It isn't like we really needed that information either -- it is well documented that there was a medieval warming period where the Vikings had a thriving civilization with crops and animals on Greenland for hundreds of years before it cooled. Then there is the "little ice age" in the 1800s. Were those due to "carbon"?

The bottom line -- as evidenced from our inability to make statements about weather a few months in advance, to our inability to predict the number and severity of hurricanes, to our lack of understanding of why some glaciers are advancing while others are receding just means that we have lots of science to do. Scientists ought to be happy with that -- but they bought into political warming in order to gain more grants, and once they became used to the flow of money, they became very afraid when they realized that what they said was "settled" wasn't settled at all. So they did a cover up.

There is nothing new about this ... this is human beings doing what human beings have always done. Making extravagant claims of knowledge that turns out to be not nearly as clear as what they thought when they first stumbled upon some tidy theory. What is somewhat new is the willfull suspension of disbelief from the media and the willingness of such volumes of sheep to shut off their brains rather than use what God has provided between their ears.



Everyone Wants Respect

US Foreign Policy: Obama's Nice Guy Act Gets Him Nowhere on the World Stage - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

Seems that these days we need to go overseas to get any sort of rational evaluation of our supposedly grand president.

Upon taking office, Obama said that he wanted to listen to the world, promising respect instead of arrogance. But Obama's currency isn't as strong as he had believed. Everyone wants respect, but hardly anyone is willing to pay for it. Interests, not emotions, dominate the world of realpolitik. The Asia trip revealed the limits of Washington's new foreign policy: Although Obama did not lose face in China and Japan, he did appear to have lost some of his initial stature.

"Everyone wants respect, but hardly anyone is willing to pay for it". Excellent comment on human nature -- everyone wants a lot of great benefits (health care, education, "living wage", etc) but hardly anyone wants to do the tasks required to earn those results, everyone wants a nice think waistline, but few are willing to push away from the table (I'm VERY guilty on this one!!). We are all human, but we don't all seem to accept that -- many believe that "someone else" ought to provide them "respect, income, health care, retirement, education ...." the list stretches on and on. Wants are infinite, means never are.

There are many indications that the man in charge at the White House will take a tougher stance in the future. Obama's advisors fear a comparison with former Democratic President Jimmy Carter, even more than with Bush. Prominent Republicans have already tried to liken Obama to the humanitarian from Georgia, who lost in his bid to win a second term, because voters felt that he was too soft. "Carter tried weakness and the world got tougher and tougher because the predators, the aggressors, the anti-Americans, the dictators, when they sense weakness, they all start pushing ahead," Newt Gingrich, the former Republican speaker in the House of Representatives, recently said. And then he added: "This does look a lot like Jimmy Carter."

How far the mighty have fallen -- Is BO more like Lincoln or FDR? or would he exceed both? That was the chorus from the left a year ago that was brayed loudly from the MSM. As Bush took office the MSM already had him locked as a "one term appointed president" -- BO was "historic". Now, at least in foreign lands, the media is starting to see the fact that BO is very much like Jimmy Carter -- without the experience of having been a governor, or the demonstrated combativeness against swimming bunnies!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Show Trial

RealClearPolitics - Travesty in New York

Krauthammer does a good analysis of the upcoming KSM trial in Manhattan.

So why is Attorney General Eric Holder doing this? Ostensibly, to demonstrate to the world the superiority of our system where the rule of law and the fair trial reign.

Really? What happens if KSM (and his co-defendants) "do not get convicted," asked Senate Judiciary Committee member Herb Kohl. "Failure is not an option," replied Holder. Not an option? Doesn't the presumption of innocence, er, presume that prosecutorial failure -- acquittal, hung jury -- is an option? By undermining that presumption, Holder is undermining the fairness of the trial, the demonstration of which is the alleged rationale for putting on this show in the first place.

Especially considering that the guys that attacked the Cole are getting a military trial, it is hard to see the decision to try KSM in NYC as anything but political. KSM was one of the very few (3?) people waterboarded in the now defunct "war on terror". We are no longer at war with the folks at war with us. Unilateral surrender, one of the things liberals excel at, has already been carried out. Trying the mastermind of 9-11 as a criminal is a great way of saying that OUR side of the war is over.

I strongly suspect that the BO administration has took a look around and reached a couple of conclusions:

1). Things aren't going well at all on any front -- economic, diplomatic, politically  or just plain "operationally" (as in they report "saved or created" jobs from congressional districts that don't exist).

2). Complaining about how hard the job that they ran for really is has started to wear thin. It kind of like an NFL QB complaining that the defense is big and fast, or a major league hitter observing that the pitchers throw stuff that is hard to hit. You don't say -- and how are we supposed to feel about voting in someone that didn't get that before they ran for the job?

So essentially, they realize that they are "becoming the show" and it isn't a very pretty show. Therefore, they have decided to "put on a show" and do all they can to get folks to remember "the bad old days" of that evil torturing Bush administration -- and oh, please watch that intently, we don't really want you paying any attention to the current parade of fools destroying your country all around you!



Friday, November 20, 2009

Homeless?


View Home in a larger map

Last night we attended a meeting outlining a traffic study of NW Rochester. One of the leading options includes a frontage road that would take out our home.

The very short version:
  • If they do a "frontage / backage" road W of 52, our house is nearly certain toast. Other option would take out like 10 homes in the Harborage development (next to 52, marked in blue on the map).
  • Reading between the lines, there is some chance that the frontage connection is more a "red herring" just because they have to do a "full study" that looks at "all options" for Federal money. We can keep our fingers crossed.
  • OTOH, Menards owns the land N of 65th. I suspect that Menards and WalMart would love a frontage road running right between their two stores.
  • Sometime in spring we ought to know what the big plan is, potential dates, etc. Most likely the frontage road (if selected) would be "years" away ... maybe a decade.
Bottom line. Not a lot we can do, just have to write some letters and hope for the best. It is CLEAR from the proposal that we would actually be the "lucky ones" even if we got a low price for our home. The rest of the neighbors would have homes on a frontage slated to have somewhere between the number of cars on the WM to Timberlodge road and twice that (8K-16K per day). Getting out of and into your own home would be a major pain! They would only be compensated for 10' of added right of way, most likely be assessed for curb and gutter, and be stuck with homes that are virtually impossible to sell due to the level of traffic on the street in front of them -- sweet.

Still all sinking in. One "somewhat likely" outcome is that the frontage road is low on the list of "improvements" and ends up being "decade or forever" away. In general, we have kind of thought we might like to "live out our days" at this location, but with the future plan hanging over us, the chances of selling the property even if we wanted to might be very dim.

Certainly the most interested that I've ever been in a highway project! It is almost laughable to year these guys talk with confidence about their "25 year plan". 20 years ago, they agreed to put in the Harborage development right where a frontage road OUGHT to go! 55th Street Estates has been here since the '70s -- over 30 years. The lovely thing about government means that it NEVER takes responsibility! Who pays for the poor planning? The people that live along Chateau Road in 55th Street -- and of course, the lucky ones that get to lose their home entirely.

How likely is it that our previous 30 years performance is a guide to the next 30? Reagan was predicted to be a disaster for this country, which Carter had declared to be unsalvageable. Today, we have what the media views as god himself in the White House, and apparently the minions that are at least doing highway planning believe that the shift back to Jimmuh Carter policies with a lot less competence is going to be a ticket to things being at LEAST as good as was achieved by that fool Reagan.

I doubt it. My prediction is that we are in for a long spell here where having to deal with "growth problems" will be a fantasy from the "good old days".

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Newsmap, Palin

BBC News - Hurricane Palin rolls into town

About the same time that CNN changed the format of their web page (a change that I hated) I ran into Newsmap. I don't know a lot about it's exact algorithm, but it is trying to make visual sense out of the Google news aggregator, so I'm sure it has something to do with hits / links / measures of popularity. "The Wisdom of Crowds". Like democracy, markets, Wikipedia, etc.

I saw that Palin was very popular, and that the main article was from the BBC -- over on CNN the only thing to be found was one of their talking heads talking about how stupid she is and how much of a problem she is for Republicans. The BBC article points out the rather easy to see comparisons with BO -- "all hat, no cattle" ... "empty suit", BUT, very good at connecting with people and extremely popular with some core segments of the electorate (Sarah with "regular folk", BO with the hard left liberal elite). Naturally BO has the advantage that the media does whatever it can to soften his actual hard left views, lack of experience, smoking and narcissism, while for Palin they do all they can to expose any areas she lacks knowledge, her enjoyment of looking nice as a woman (something I've observed to be shall we say "somewhat common" in the female of the species, and the more egregious cases of her "folksiness". Hillary was certainly a better female candidate, nobody would ever accuse HER of looking good!

My point here is that the BBC seems far more willing to report Palin "straight up" -- as someone that brings out big crowds of adoring supporters in the US heartland -- and at least takes a decent shot at "why" with some level of respect for her supporters, rather than sliding off into  "why Sarah and these people are so stupid". Beyond that, aggregators like Newsmap are constantly making it even easier for masses of people to bypass the selectors at CNN, NPR, NYT etc and tap into the thoughts of a much wider set of people.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Roubini, Reality

A tale of two American economies - The Globe and Mail

Routbini is pretty much the only guy that called the US housing / derivative bubble well in advance (2005).
Consider also what is happening to private consumption and retail sales. Recent monthly figures suggest a rise in retail sales. But, because the official statistics capture mostly sales by larger retailers and exclude the fall by hundreds of thousands of smaller stores and businesses that have failed, consumption looks better than it really is.
And, while higher-income and wealthier households have a buffer of savings to smooth consumption and avoid having to increase savings, most lower-income households must save more, as banks and other lenders cut back on home-equity loans and lower limits on credit cards. As a result, the household savings rate has risen from zero to 4 per cent of disposable income. But it must rise further, to 8 per cent, in order to reduce the high leverage of the household sector.

Nothing new here for readers of this blog. "Kill the rich" does RAPIDLY lower the overall economy. While on a percentage basis, the wealthy may lose more, the middle class and poor are hard pressed to lose even the smaller percentage that falls their way. Added to this is the fact that most of the most "liberal / generous" state budgets are in complete disarray  bordering on bankruptcy, and one sees the sadness of killing the golden goose of economic growth.

Seems like the fact that cutting open the goose of growth to suck out all those golden eggs for the immediate use of the left power elite kills the goose is a lesson that must be learned anew with each generation. They really want to FORCE those rich folks to "product what they want" -- short of the Gulag, as demonstrated in the USSR and China, there isn't a whole lot of way to do that. While I'm sure it gives a lot of the lefties a lot of joy to see the formerly wealthy dying in a labor camp, it still doesn't really put bread on the table for the masses.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lying or Incompetent?

RealClearPolitics - Video - ABC News: Stimulus Jobs "Created" In Districts That Don't Exist

So BO is claiming that jobs are "created or saved" in congressional districts that don't exist. Suppose this will be a "big story"? Don't count on it. "Created or saved" is so dishonest just as a concept it is hard to imagine someone NOT fudging the numbers to make a meaningless number even more meaningless -- but there is no real reason you have to be so incompetent to get caught at it!

What other choices are there here beyond mendacity or incompetence for reporting numbers from districts that don't exist? Want to bet how this would be covered if it had been Bush? It would have certainly been BOTH incompetence and lies -- the kind of administration that can't be trusted BOTH because they don't know what they are doing AND because they are willing to lie about whatever they can. That was the story that the MSM applied to the previous administration, and "facts" never were even a factor.

The bar got set -- we can see now that the Bush administration was a more competent and truthful administration than the BO administration, but was characterized as absolutely untrustworthy and incompetent. Now we have the MSM lamenting the "lack of trust in government". Duh. If a solidly competent and exceptionally truthful administration is labeled "incompetent liars", and they are followed by folks that are actually completely incompetent to run even a candy store and are so unfamiliar with honesty that it seems clear they have no idea what the truth even is, would one not expect reasonably intelligent people to lack trust? (I guess that is pretty much a pure indictment of the MSM)

If you convince the people of the community that the most competent and moral Day Care Provider in town is a child molester, how do you expect them to trust an actual child molester? Surprise -- dishonesty ALWAYS has consequences, often unintended ones!!


Monday, November 16, 2009

A Little Contrast

Newsweek Photo of Palin Shows Media Bias and Sexism

The only people that these kinds of comparisons are a problem for are those that don't believe that even NEWSWEEK! is biased. I'm thinking that if you don't believe that by now, then it just isn't going to be possible for you to have any problems with anything that is reality based. How about BO being on the cover of Time in very flattering light something like 8 times already? Or the famous Time "GingGrinch" cover of Time with "How Mean Is He" after the Republicans took over the House for the first time in 50 years.

Other than the media that are labled biased (which they are -- just 180 degrees from the rest of them), it is pretty clear who the MSM in this country cheers for and whom then HATE!


Friday, November 13, 2009

BO's 4 Options

Sounds like BO is having a heck of a time figuring out what to do in Afghanistan. Here are the options he must decide between:

  1. Immediate unconditional cut and run
  2. Small troop buildup for cover, cut and run when enough of those die to call it hopeless
  3. Lots of talking / apologizing to NATO allies, begging for help, cut and run when they don't give enough.
  4. Declare big "mission change", maybe move some troops around, give some speeches, then cut and run in a controlled fashion and declare victory.
Sounds like BO is really stressed about all these big decisions. He has to get back to throwing some more staff under the bus for the fact he can't get Gitmo closed, and has to start picking out some sacrificial lambs to throw under there because the stimulus is a failure and the dollar is going down like a neutron balloon in a black hole.

Remember when BO was going to follow Bin Ladin all the way to his hole in Pakistan? It only it were true -- and he would just crawl in there with him, it could save us TRILLIONS of dollars and millions of jobs!

Krauthammer Summarizes our Peril

Newsvine - Center for the American Experiment - Dr. Charles Krauthammer

I think Charles is a bit optimistic, but one can always hope for the best. Just read it, short and I think extremely insightful.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pork Flu

Radical Islam?

RealClearPolitics - Sometimes, an Extremist Really is an Extremist

How often do we hear of the "radical right" with various statements about the "danger" of everything from Evangelical Churches not having Gay Clergy, to Tea Parties as being "hateful, divisive, etc"? The general MSM response to the Fort Hood shootings is "gee, I hope nobody thinks badly of Muslims because of it". Does anyone else just have a second where they think; "How does the treatment of this compare with the last nut that killed an abortionist?". Recall a bunch of MSM stories trying to minimize the connection between the killer and normal every day folks who just disagree with killing babies that are viable to live outside the womb?
He demonstrated that being a trained psychiatrist provides no immunity to ancient hatreds and religious fanaticism, nor does psychiatric training provide much acuity in spotting such things in others. For example, the London Telegraph reports that, in what was supposed to be a medical lecture, Hassan instead gave an hourlong briefing on the Koran, explaining to colleagues at Walter Reed Army Medical Center that nonbelievers should be beheaded, have boiling oil poured down their throats and set on fire.
So, does that sound kind of "radical" to you? or is beheading, pouring oil down the remaining throat hole and setting the beheaded torso ablaze just one of those "cultural differences" that we all need to "respect and honor" since all cultural practices are equal, and to think that ours are somehow "better" is American exceptionalism -- something BO apologizes for regularly. What would it take to be seen as a "radical Muslim" or even a (dare we say it) "terrorist"??
Which raises the most troubling revelation: For a very large number of people, the idea that he is a Muslim fanatic, motivated by other Muslim fanatics, was -- at least initially -- too terrible to contemplate. How else to explain the reflexive insistence after the attack that the real culprit was "post-traumatic stress disorder"? The fact that PTSD is usually diagnosed in people who've been through trauma (hence the word "post"), and that Hasan had never in fact seen combat, didn't seem to matter much.
So how would the MSM treat something remotely "similar" from the "right"? Well, we have something that isn't all that similar, in fact it is really beyond the pale to even see how ANYONE but a confirmed "right hater" could even imagine a connection, but never the less, they did ...

A few months ago, an anti-Semitic old nut named James von Brunn allegedly took a gun to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to get payback against "the Jews" and killed a black security guard in the process.

In response to this horrific crime, the leading lights of American liberalism knew who was to blame: Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and the GOP. One writer for the Huffington Post put it succinctly: "Thank you very much Karl Rove and your minions."

How can we possibly make anything of this OTHER than our general media has enough blind rage toward anyone that disagrees with their views from the political right that they can find a supposedly important and even "scary" connection where there clearly is none, yet be completely unable to connect an obvious radical Muslim terrorist with his self-identified group even when there is loads of documentation, even including him yelling "Allahu Akbar"as he opened fire!!!

Assuming that we are sober and sane, there isn't any other conclusion. Our media and vast swaths of Democrats have drifted completely off the leftward side of the highway of reality.


Government Wins

RealClearPolitics - On Election Day, a Win for Government

Lest there be any misunderstanding of the what "right" means, it is LESS GOVERNMENT, meaning MORE FREEDOM. Note that this is clearly not "Fascist" or "Nazi", both of which refer to completely oppressive to totalitarian government.
Here's a story you may have missed because it flies in the face of the dreary conventional wisdom: When advocates of public programs take on the right-wing anti-government crowd directly, the government-haters lose.
Dionne is refreshingly honest and clear that the "right-wing is anti-government" -- which is honest and factual for a change. Therefore, we see that even the left fully recognizes that the right is NOT Fascist or Nazi. They just love to use those terms to scare everyone.

So what about "government haters"? Does wanting LESS government equate to wanting NO government? I'd think only in a world where "government lovers" -- certainly a reasonable name for the forces of the left given Dionne's rhetoric would want TOTAL government, in other words TOTALITARIAN government. If Dionne admits that is his goal, then I'll give some credence to the idea that anyone that wants any sort of limit at all on government wants NO government!

Dionne strongly praises the electoral win worked out by the opponents of the "Taxpayer Bill of Rights" which was based on the idea that such bills would CUT government programs. What the bill's would do is limit the GROWTH in government to a rate tied to inflation, income growth and population growth. Government could still grow, it just couldn't grow without any restriction.

In the haste to pile on restriction after restriction on business and individuals, the left finds ANY restriction on government to be entirely unpalatable. No question that proponents of reasonable measures to control the growth of government have a lot of work to do -- the MSM forces of misrepresentation won this one!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Paranoia on the Right

Op-Ed Columnist - Paranoia Strikes Deep - NYTimes.com

And if Tea Party Republicans do win big next year, what has already happened in California could happen at the national level. In California, the G.O.P. has essentially shrunk down to a rump party with no interest in actually governing — but that rump remains big enough to prevent anyone else from dealing with the state’s fiscal crisis. If this happens to America as a whole, as it all too easily could, the country could become effectively ungovernable in the midst of an ongoing economic disaster.

The point is that the takeover of the Republican Party by the irrational right is no laughing matter. Something unprecedented is happening here — and it’s very bad for America

And there you have it! California is in deep deep trouble. Why? Well, it is because of that teeny tiny rump Republican party! Certainly not due to the vast numbers of Democrats spending, taxing and borrowing as if there were no limits on what sort of fruitcake programs ought to be funded in lala land. Nope, it is those pesky Republicans. Damn!

Just think for one second here. The Democrats have a filibuster proof Senate and a huge majority in the house, but Republicans complaining at all is "paranoid"? Let's wind the clock back to just after the election in '04 when Republicans were like 6 votes SHORT of filibuster proof, and one would have thought the world had ended. Now Nobel Prize Krugman is afraid of there being ANY Republicans? That sounds BEYOND "paranoid" to me, it sounds borderline genocidal!



Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Divided Republicans Good, Divided Democrats?

A divided party: Progressives threaten Democratic lawmakers | Washington Examiner

As a regular MPR/NPR listener, I'm well versed on the horror of the NY 23rd district. The "sad facts" (but then why do they sound so happy on the air?) are that Republicans are absolutely killing themselves in a "safe district". The local "reasonable Republicans" selected a "suitable moderate" -- pro-abortion, pro-BO stimulus, etc. The kind of "electable Republican" that is the ONLY HOPE for ANY gains in '10. Now, as per usual, those stupid ideologues on the right have created a "classic no win" -- especially since the endorsed Republican candidate dropped out and endorsed ... the Democrat! (thus proving how reasonable she is!)

If the Democrat wins, obviously that means that Republicans are in far worse shape than they thought! Losing a seat that was "safe". If the conservative candidate wins, it might give the national Republicans FALSE IDEAS! (and we know how much the MSM and the Democrats want to avoid THAT happening!!). Why everyone knows that conservatives are "unelectable", especially in fairly liberal districts that have traditionally swung Republican like NY 23! If a conservative gets elected there, it is PROOF that ... er? ah yes, that "conservatives are UNELECTABLE"!!! Simple!!

Now, without even looking at the attached top secret piece of information -- seen nowhere in the MSM, one could just think of Joe Lieberman. Did the fact that he stood up for his own principles and was thrown out of the Democrat party somehow destroy the Democrats in '08? Was there a lot of coverage of old Joe at all? AFAIK, the Democrat VP candidate in '04 might be vacationing on Mars for all the attention he gets.

But DO go read the article. Why is it that the MSM isn't concerned at all -- the the level of not even reporting it, that MoveOn is raising millions of dollars to defeat moderate Democrats?

I think we know. To the MSM, the "moderate Democrats" are BO, Nancy, Harry, John Kerry and all the rest of what they see as "decent Democrats". Any Democrat that would even CONSIDER voting against BOcare is some sort of a "reactionary right wing ideologue that may as well be Rush Limbaugh or Glen Beck!! BTW, any media outlet that might have an alternate view of that is so biased that one must question their right to broadcast!


What Job Did BO Run For??

William McGurn: The Post-Gracious President - WSJ.com

This article covers a number of the BO Bush bashes, in some detail. I find this to be just another example in differential treatment between Democrat and Republican presidents taking over. Can you imagine the press cutting Reagan any slack for complainin he had to deal with hostages in Iran upon taking office? They were released the day he took office, that MUST have been because Iranians like Republicans! ... or maybe actors. How about Reagan complaining that the economy was bad, deficits were huge, unemployment was high and rising? Nope. The economy sucked when Reagan took office, and it still sucked in '82 when there was an off-year election and "the failure of Reaganomics" was one of the issues. As Reagan said in '83, he really knew his programs were working when the media stopped talking about Reaganomics!

How about Bush taking over in a recession in '01 with the stock market already sharply lower from it's highs in 2000? Did he get to complain about the "hangover from Slick Willie"? Not that I know of. How about Bush complaining about the security situation left over from Clinton when 9-11 happened? Can you imagine how THAT would have gone over? The MSM was all excited to somehow "blame Bush" even though terrorism was a rising tide all through the '90s. The idea that the MSM would allow any blame to fall on the previous Democrat administration is patently nuts. We know that no matter how many women Slick was groping and fondling in the oval office, his focus was never moved from the weighty issues of his office!

Considering the length of the terms, I'd say that the MSM treats the REPUBLICANS correctly!! After all, what job did BO think he was running for? When a CEO takes over a company, do they get a lot of slack because "the other guy was bad"? How about when a new coach takes over a sports team? Do they get to be surprised by the job they took? How in the world COULD they be? That would mean that they didn't do a careful assessment of the job they were taking before they took it, which would indicate that they were someone that should NOT be in any leadership position at all!! Leaders are HIRED to take positions of RESPONSIBILITY -- that is one of the cores of what it means to be a leader. Why hire a new guy if he is just going to bitch and whine about the old guy?




Monday, November 02, 2009

Obamopoly


The object of the game is to destroy American capitalism by having the government take over everything.

Wanna play? No? Too bad, you're already playing.


Tenacity and BO

Op-Ed Columnist - The Tenacity Question - NYTimes.com

But they do not know if he possesses the trait that is more important than intellectual sophistication and, in fact, stands in tension with it. They do not know if he possesses tenacity, the ability to fixate on a simple conviction and grip it, viscerally and unflinchingly, through complexity and confusion. They do not know if he possesses the obstinacy that guided Lincoln and Churchill, and which must guide all war presidents to some degree.

I think the sad part is that they DO know. Afghanistan went to pot shortly after BO came in because I think everyone really knows the answer. Sure, he is tenacious in the destruction of America -- he will not rest until he has licked the boots of every tin-pot dictator on the planet and tearfully apologized to nations like the Russians, French, Germans and Japanese that only exist because of our largess following WWII. We won't have any industries or capacity to create new ones once BO is through with his reign of error.

The experts I spoke with describe a vacuum at the heart of the war effort — a determination vacuum. And if these experts do not know the state of President Obama’s resolve, neither do the Afghan villagers. They are now hedging their bets, refusing to inform on Taliban force movements because they are aware that these Taliban fighters would be their masters if the U.S. withdraws. Nor does President Hamid Karzai know. He’s cutting deals with the Afghan warlords he would need if NATO leaves his country.

Nor do the Pakistanis or the Iranians or the Russians know. They are maintaining ties with the Taliban elements that would represent their interests in the event of a U.S. withdrawal.

The determination vacuum affects the debate in this country, too. Every argument about troop levels is really a proxy argument for whether the U.S. should stay or go. The administration is so divided because the fundamental issue of commitment has not been settled.





Saturday, October 31, 2009

Rules For Radicals

"A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals", by Saul Alinsky.

This book is considered the "bible" for the Community Organizer, which is of course the only non-governmental position of any stature ever held by BO, and has been regularly in the news with the ACORN scandals.

The book is quite well written and very (surprisingly) honest. Alinsky is not only highly intelligent, but I'd assert he portrays the outlook of the modern "liberal" as directly and well as anyone that I have read. The key points here are PRAGMATIC and REALISTIC -- while many liberals (Lakoff being a great example) are highly intelligent, they often never get down to what it is that they are really trying to get done and how they are going to accomplish it. Alinsky does, and everyone that doesn't share the liberal class warfare view ought to be warned through actually reading this.

Everyone that believes they do share the lefty view would be well served to get down to brass tacks and understand what it is that they are signing up for!

Page 31, last paragraph:
Those that would be critical of the ethics of Lincoln's reversal of positions have a strangely unreal picture of static unchanging world, where one remains firm and committed to certain so-called principles or positions. In the politics of human life, consistency is not a virtue.
There, stated with clarity is what I have long observed as the only core and unchanging liberal position. "Consistency is not a virtue". In fact, I'd argue that it isn't even "an issue" -- their view of reality is such that it is a concept that simply doesn't register. Before you sign up, realize that true "liberals" and "progressives" eschew any idea of fixed thought on anything but what they want --**power**!!!  EVERYTHING else is completely fungible if it leads to a centralized totalitarian state where they have total and absolute control. "Women's rights", "Income Equality", "Climate Change' ...  all just means to the end of totalitarian control.

The second element of liberalism that I believe this book shows with clarity is that of "ends and means" -- we often know the CLAIMED ends of liberals. "Peace, harmony, removal of want, dignity for all, equality of everything, etc", but what they are often lacking in just what MEANS must be employed to achieve their goals. Not Alinsky. Page 142 and 143 cover a good example of a tactic he was extremely proud of, although just the threat got what he wanted. The "shit in".

I'm not going to quote a lot, essentially it is the realization that when people get off a plane, they often have to use the restroom. So Alinsky and company had a plan to have blacks fill all the stalls at all the bathrooms at O'Hare and then have a set of roving black men to fill the urinals in the area of the airport where flights were coming in. Here he is enjoying what this would entail:
One can see children yelling at their parents, "Mommy I've got to go", and desperate mothers surrendering, "All right then, Do it right here". O'Hare would soon become a shambles.
It turned out that this tactic was "leaked" (and Alinsky takes great joy in that "Freudian slip"), so the Alisky demands were given in to without them having to actually use this, but the willingness was completely not in question.

The need for use of bathroom facilities for ourselves and our children is something that humanity all shares. I remind you that this book is THE BIBLE for Community organizers!! They, and our current president see Saul Alinsky as a GREAT MAN! I'd say there is a good deal of difference between the founder of Christianity, Jesus, healing and holding the children and feeding the masses, and the founder of ACORN and BOism taking glee in the denial of the most basic of human needs to children. Not really surprising if you see no problem with killing them in their mothers womb I guess.

That is because I foolishly believe in a level of morality that transcends simply getting what I want through taking it from others by any means  -- and often find it hard to believe that there are those like Alinsky and his acolytes, Hildebeast and BO, that do not share that form of morality.

Page 43, near the bottom.
Moral rationalization is indispensable at all times of action whether to justify the selection of the use of ends or means. Machiavelli's blindness to the necessity for moral clothing to all actions and motives -- he said "politics has no relation to morals"--was his major weakness.

All great leaders, including Churchill, Gandhi, Lincoln and Jefferson, always invoked "moral principles" to cover naked self-interest in the clothing of "freedom" "equality" of mankind, "a law higher than man-made law", and so on. This even held under circumstances of national crisis when it was universally assumed that the end justified any means. All effective actions require the passport of morality.
Why does "liberalism" (certainly the theft of this term from those who believe in actual human liberty and dignity ought to be abhorrent to any reader of this blog by now!) still live on? Because when you couple "consistency is not a virtue" with joy at the prospect of the most basic denial of human dignity to even children, with the underlying essence that there IS NO MORALITY, yet one must "fake it for the masses", you have something "powerful". (as one often says of BO, "powerful, but power isn't everything"!)

In reading this book, I'm reminded of Luke's question to Yoda in Star Wars, "Is the Dark Side stronger?". Yoda says "no", but one wonders. In this universe, those that believe are assured that Christ is already victorious, but day to day I find that question is always a challenge to my faith.




Page 194:
The middle classes are numbed, bewildered, scared into silence. They don't know what, if anything, they can do. This is the job for today's radical-- to fan the embers of hopelessness into a flame to fight. To say, "You cannot cop out as have many of my generation!" "You cannot turn away--look at it--let us change it together!". ...

It is a job first of bringing hope and doing what every organizer must do with all people, all classes, places and times --communicate the means or tactics whereby the people can feel that they have the power to do this and that and on.
Hope and change, for "this and that and on". What is the "it" that is being changed? To the organizer , it doesn't really matter -- the system, the corporation, capitalism, America, the Constitution, society, white folks thinking,  ending Christianity --- "hope, change and action", that is what is important. Revolution, movement, CHANGE!! This was written in 1971, but until the US has becomes a totalitarian leftist state, the battle cry will be the same. BO is just more direct about it than recent liberals.

I could go on and on. He does actually cover "the rules", there are like 12 of them. I love the 5th rule -- "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule." I strongly suspect that many of our media friends are well aware of this one. Immediately during the Bush administration from the media to the late night talk shows, the ridicule of Bush and Cheney became universal. Sometimes it had some basis in truth, most times it was simply a caricature that was used to denigrate them. It worked extremely well with 80%+ of the population, the dark side IS very strong at a minimum.

Note the difference with BO. It is HARD to find him being ridiculed -- in fact, based on the most recent "hate speech" bill signed into law, is it even LEGAL to ridicule him? He is a black man after all. We know that BO read and used the tactics in this book with regularity. He venerated Alinsky. Is it out of character for him to limit speech such that one of the tactics that he knows like a Christian knows Prayer would be illegal to be used against him?

READ THIS BOOK!!! If you are a "liberal" read it and decide if the tenets laid out here are really what you have in mind. Don't believe me on how important this book is to your own movement. LOOK IT UP YOURSELF!!! This is the BIBLE of our current "messiah" BO! This book is dedicated to Lucifer -- are you?

If you consider yourself conservative, moderate or Christian (and note, in reading this book, there is NO WAY that any Christian can be a Community Organizer and venerate Saul Alinsky), then READ IT to know your enemy!

We are in grave danger.