Thursday, April 30, 2009

Shocked!!! Britan DID Torture in WWII

The secrets of the London Cage | UK news | The Guardian

Can it be? BO **LIED**!!!!
It is only fair to hold him to the same standard as Bush, right? ... also, since BO is omniscient, there is no chance that he didn't know.

Is it REALLY a surprise to ANYONE that the Brits tortured German prisoners to get information to save the lives of their people and their soldiers??? How about if they hadn't and the war was lost? Would the modern moralists think that a better outcome???

Again, we aren't talking "fuzzy caterpillars and things we do to our own folks" -- we are talking "being beaten until they begged to be killed". I'm betting that "left a mark".

Ann On "Torture"

Ann Coulter : Muslims: 'We Do That on First Dates' -

I like to read her, I'm sorry. The fuzzy caterpillar torture is just too much -- I may recall evil little boys that would even tell the girls that the caterpillar would bite -- although I suppose all of them grew of to be Republicans or mass murderers ... oh wait, same thing.

Imagine an alternate universe where Ann could be elected Senator from the Republican party like her best equivalent from the Democrat side, Franken. It is hard to even imagine -- the Democrat candidate would have to be as bad as Franken for even me to consider going out and voting for her, but just try to imagine today's media and left wing if Ann Coulter was being elected Senator in a very close and questionable race ... especially if it would give the Republicans 60 votes in the Senate!!!!

Just give a moment of thought to another "shoe on the other foot" ... If a Democrat had been indicted and convicted the week of the election, lost by <1% and then the charges were subsequently dropped like Ted Stevens in AK? They were apocoplytic about Max Cleland being defeated in GA in 04 because someone questioned his voting record on military issues! He lost limbs in Vietnam, nobody ought to be able to question a Democrat on the issues if he was injured in war!!! (of course, no such pass for a Republican, see Bob Dole) I personally read a book, purchased at a Barnes and Noble on "The Assassination of Paul Wellstone" -- the Dems and MSM were bleating for years on how "unfair" it was for Republicans to show pictures of the Dems hooting and hollering for blood at his memorial service!!! Egads, showing the public how Democrats act! The Republican's evil knows no bounds.

Suppose if Ann Coulter was on the verge of being elected as the 60th vote, Lieberman had just switched to the Republicans to make that possible, and 1 of the seats now owned by the Republicans was due to indictment / conviction / charges DROPPED??

Considering how berserk they went in 2000 and '04, I simply can't imagine where the left would be at were the shoes on the other foot. Well, this is the country we live in -- there is really no such thing as too far left, and any concerns from the right are either ludicrous, unpatriotic, dangerous, or all of the above!

Early to Regret

RealClearPolitics - We Will Regret 'Post-American' Outcome

I suppose some folks will have to wait for the future to experience their regret -- mine started right after the 2006 election.

I have always believed that there are many ways to love America. Sharing my politics is not a precondition. I have watched elected officials denigrate a war in progress (that we are now winning), soften borders that once protected us, erode cultural standards that once united us, and now attack an economic crisis not with an energizing call to boldness and courage but with astonishing spending designed to spawn dependency and thus political obedience.

This new era requires America be brought down several notches, laid low by the frustrations and envies of rivals, taught a lesson about excessive pride. Our president is more than glad to direct us to this new humility. It is evident in his economic strategies, which liquefy wealth in a blender of socialism and environmental extremism. It is evident in his foreign policy, which kowtows to tyrants and comforts terrorists with the assurance of an America ready to step down as alpha male to become just another animal in the pack.

This is supposed to make the world like us better. It may, in the short term, until the dictators given room to breathe by an enfeebled America choose to broaden their adventures.

And when that time comes - and the world turns to America, as it has for centuries, only to find that we are no longer a superpower but just an ordinary neighbor - I hope those who favored and helped raise the curtain on the "post-American" world are stricken with a horror and regret that only the great tragedies of history can impart.

BO's Economic War on America: Day 100

The Real Culture War Is Over Capitalism -

To put a modern twist on the old axiom, a man who is not a socialist at 20 has no heart; a man who is still a socialist at 40 either has no head, or pays no taxes. Social Democrats are working to create a society where the majority are net recipients of the "sharing economy." They are fighting a culture war of attrition with economic tools. Defenders of capitalism risk getting caught flat-footed with increasingly antiquated arguments that free enterprise is a Main Street pocketbook issue. Progressives are working relentlessly to see that it is not.

That is pretty much the core -- the Democrats wrote article after article about how the evil Carl Rove was out to create "a permanent majority" from a coalition of the religious, the investor, the believer in American exceptionalism and the "working nuclear family". That is actually what politics is SUPPOSED to be about, it is called "representative government".

The Democrats strategy is far simpler, but like a lot of their strategies, it is antithetical to the core values of America and will destroy the heart and soul of the nation. They want to create a PAID majority of the net recipients of government largess ... through increasing the number of government owed business (auto as an early example, healthcare to come ... 17% of the economy), deciding who can get money and who can't (banking and finance), as well as the usual dogs breakfast of benefits for dependence, penalties for independence.

There needs to be a battle for the heart of America, but Republicans are now beset with an extreme lack of LEADERSHIP!! Not surprising considering the high cost of sticking ones head up as a Republican, but never the less, an extreme problem for the way forward.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Another 100 Days Retrospective


These guys are a bit less positive than the MSM. Some of it is pretty ticky tack, but OTOH, had Bush governed like BO in first 100 days, they would have started impeachment proceedings. The Leno "special olympics" comment would have likely have been enough, but the Manhattan fly-by and "lying" about the British "never stooping to torture" would have certainly got the proceedings started at least in the MSM!


Teleprompter Of The US

BO is a good reader in front of groups of people. Is that what is called "leadership" these days?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Democrats on Debt

Last I recall, the Democrats claim to have turned into deficit hawks. Things haven't gone so well since they took over congress in '06.

Ever Hear of Photo Shop??

'Furious' Obama orders review of NY plane flyover -

So who was paying for this? "Training mission" -- what a line of BS. Clearly this was a photo op for some campaign donor gimme. My bet would be BO's Christmas calendar to be sent to all the Wall Street, Banking and Union fat cats that paid the freight on his bloated campaign and have already been paid in WAY more than full by taxpayers!!!

So BO will throw someone else under the Bus. I'm SURE that the press would be letting Bush dodge responsibility if he was "furious". Ha!

Come on you completely biased MSM! Can't you even glimpse the disdain for the "common man" that your royal pain in the Butt BO has!

The Real Pirate Story

The "Real" story about the Somalia pirates and the NAVY SEAL'S

Lots more detail and it sounds a bit more realistic relative to the "BO orders". My guess is that the Bainbridge Captain was the real "decider" here. BO is far more qualified to decide things like low passes over Manhattan on a Monday than life and death issues.

In any case, it makes one proud to read it.

BO Stops No Bucks

White House apologizes for low-flying plane -

The BO media love fest is truly amazing to watch. Gee, I wonder who it is that would have been responsible had one of the AF-1 747's been dispatched over lower Manhattan for a "photo op" during the Bush administration???

So why are BO's popularity numbers high? EVERYTHING at this point that can be cast in some sort of a positive light is attributed to his brilliance, and NOTHING that is "stupid, ham-handed, or just flat out a human error, made by all" is attributed to his worshipfulness.

Again, **IF THE TREATMENT OF BOTH PARTIES WAS THE SAME** this level of treatment for a story would be fine by me -- report it, blame the staffie that did it and the the FAA, and just "move on". Were the shoe on the other foot though, responsibility would be driven to the top (where it always is, but can never be fully covered because we really do put humans in those positions). I'd bet dollars to donuts if the shoe were on the other foot we would have to be talking about "how much did this cost" -- and "is this a campaign expense, or a legitimate government expense?".

I can't imagine it being useful for anything but a campaign expense -- but I'll bet it isn't being charged that way by BO, and no doubt after the hullabaloo got over, it would have to be by a Republican. A Republican President woudl lose the WEEKS news cycle on this and come out -- "how did it happen", "when did you know", "what was the purpose?", "what did it cost and who is paying"?, "will there be reimbursement of the companies that lost work hours for people having to leave the office?" ... lawsuits for pain and suffering for those that were there on 9-11 ... the list would just go ON and ON and ON ... until even most moderates would just be SICK of it.

However, to follow what happened in the Bush administration, such things leave a "bad taste in your mouth" even if you generally agree with the President's politics and even him personally -- seeing stuff like this drug through the media for a week, or weeks is just "unseemly", it adds "the patina of incompetence". Were the shoe on the other foot, I may well be unhappy primarily with the media, but I would be "unhappy" -- and clearly would realize that if someone in the WH had not made a mistake, there would be no coverage.

Monday, April 27, 2009

BO Throwing In Towel on Assault Weapons Ban?

First 100 days: Assault weapons ban - The First 100 Days-

Were that it were true. My bet is that once they get their 60 in the Senate they will try at least SOMETHING.

The Truth

100 days in office, Obama coronated Messiah

Imagine if they were "having fun" with the image of Mohamed! I love the title of the image; "The Truth". Reference to "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life"?

As I saw this, I was thinking of the BO symbol

I was wondering who the last leader was to have a symbol of their own?

Buy an Assault Weapon!

Op-Ed Contributor - What Happened to the Ban on Assault Weapons? -

If Jimmy Carter is against it, then I'm for it, and it must be important for America -- I'm not going to be a slave to that rule like the Statist's were against W, but it isn't a bad starting position. The best use of his writing is to see how a Statist argues:

But none of us wants to own an assault weapon, because we have no desire to kill policemen or go to a school or workplace to see how many victims we can accumulate before we are finally shot or take our own lives. That’s why the White House and Congress must not give up on trying to reinstate a ban on assault weapons, even if it may be politically difficult.

This is a CLASSIC Statist argument. The ONLY people who would want an Assault Weapon are people that:
1). want to kill policemen
2). what to go to a school or workplace and stack up victims / commit suicide

A conservative person looking at a point wants to understand BOTH sides. So here is the other side. No real need to run off there. EVERY major hunting gun is rooted in a military gun -- it is simply much easier to take whatever the current military platform is and adapt it to civilian hunting use. NONE of the guns banned by the "assault weapons ban" are in fact "assault weapons", because none of them have the selector switch to shoot full auto. That was made illegal in the '30s. If Carter is referring to anything at all, he is referring to a STYLE of gun -- black, collapsible stock, shrouded barrel and large magazines. They are often referred to as "black guns" -- unsurprisingly, because they are almost always painted black.

What are the results of this profligate ownership and use of guns designed to kill people? In 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported more than 30,000 people died from firearms, accounting for nearly 20 percent of all injury deaths. In 2005, every nine hours a child or teenager in the United States was killed in a firearm-related accident or suicide.

Across our border, Mexican drug cartels are being armed with advanced weaponry imported from the United States — a reality only the N.R.A. seems to dispute.

The gun lobby and the firearms industry should reassess their policies concerning safety and accountability — at least on assault weapons — and ease their pressure on acquiescent politicians who fear N.R.A. disapproval at election time. We can’t let the N.R.A.’s political blackmail prevent the banning of assault weapons — designed only to kill police officers and the people they defend.

Let's similarly look at these "arguments"; Those numbers of deaths. How many of those were due to assault weapons? Apparently Jimmuh wants us to believe a large number, but we all know that is not true -- as does Jimmuh! See above, the ONLY people that buy Assault Weapons are those that want to kill cops or mass murder. His stats are of course COMPLETELY idiotic, because they INCLUDED murder and suicide, which are ALREADY ILLEGAL. Assault Weapons are used in < 1% of all crime. Crime went DOWN when the Assault Weapon ban went off. Banning Assault Weapons is has no purpose relative to crime or consumer safety.

I've covered the "Mexican Issue" elsewhere -- classic Statist argument to claim "ONLY" some group supports it. So what? That has no effect on truth or falsehood. Truth isn't determined by poll numbers. If Jimmuh thinks it is, then he ought to clearly be very quiet since Reagan completely trashed him in '80, so the definition of "truth" is "poll says", then Jimmuh is a loser. The guns used in Mexico drug wars are FULL AUTO -- those are ALREADY ILLEGAL HERE !!!! Everyone is entitled to their opionion, but not to their own facts.

WOW, a class of firearm DESIGNED to only kill ONLY policemen and civilians??? But wait! Why would cops carry them??? Do they want to just kill each other and civilians??? Like what happens? You point the Assault Weapon at a "criminal" and the bullets go seek out cops or innocent bystranders??? I've shot a few thousand rounds at paper targets with my Assault Weapon, and so far no bystanders or police killed -- does that mean that all the folks at the gun range when I was shooting were criminals, and thus saved??? I mean Jimmuh is a Nobel Prize winner -- just like Al Gore and Yassir Arafat, so he MUST know what he was talking about.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

BO's "Pantywaist" Global Standing

Barack Obama and the CIA: why does President Pantywaist hate America so badly? :: Gerald Warner

Ah yes, the Brits. Sometimes it takes someone from across the pond to note the nakedness of the emperor:

If al-Qaeda, the Taliban and the rest of the Looney Tunes brigade want to kick America to death, they had better move in quickly and grab a piece of the action before Barack Obama finishes the job himself. Never in the history of the United States has a president worked so actively against the interests of his own people - not even Jimmy Carter.

Obama's problem is that he does not know who the enemy is. To him, the enemy does not squat in caves in Waziristan, clutching automatic weapons and reciting the more militant verses from the Koran: instead, it sits around at tea parties in Kentucky quoting from the US Constitution. Obama is not at war with terrorists, but with his Republican fellow citizens. He has never abandoned the campaign trail.

Remember when any foreign criticism of a US President was trumpeted from the MSM as if it had been handed down from God Almighty? Bush just HORRIBLY "reduced the standing" of America "in the world" -- well yes, in the eyes of the French cheese eating surrender monkeys, or the German engineering Saddam reactor sales team, but like most opinions, it is VERY unlikely that the WHOLE world was in one accord with our brilliant MSM. They certainly aren't now!

President Pantywaist Obama should have thought twice before sitting down to play poker with Dick Cheney. The former vice president believes documents have been selectively published and that releasing more will prove how effective the interrogation techniques were. Under Dubya's administration, there was no further atrocity on American soil after 9/11.

President Pantywaist's recent world tour, cosying up to all the bad guys, excited the ambitions of America's enemies. Here, they realised, is a sucker they can really take to the cleaners. His only enemies are fellow Americans. Which prompts the question: why does President Pantywaist hate America so badly?

Yes, BO is a hero to enemies of America both here and abroad. He is fast on the track to seeing if he can't start rounding up some of those awful political enemies on the right with the Homeland Security shock troops. Based on his books, he hates America because it has a lot of white folks in it, and he doesn't like them very much. They are all RACIST you know -- I think that is why they elected him President, they had a lot of guilt and self-loathing and thought it would be cathartic to have a Black racist destroying their nation.

Liberty and Tyranny

Subtitle: A Conservative Manifesto, by Mark Levin. I've never read anything by this guy, I've barely heard his name, but ran into the book recommendation off Amazon due to earlier purchases. I didn't learn a lot new since I pretty much keep it with this stuff, but it MAY be a useful "summary book", although I'm not sure it is going to go very far at resonating with any "moderates" yet until the nation descends a whole lot farther.

I like his designation of the "liberal" as "statist". I've talked a number of a times about the difficulty with the term "liberal", since it is anything BUT "liberal" in all of the cases but a narrow band of largely morality related to sex. "Fascist" or "Totalitarian" would be closer to the truth than "liberal", and while I like the Sowel term "un-constrained" even better, the amount of education required to make that term meaningful to enough people is too large. "Statist" is short, and I think gets the critical point across well enough.

I'll start with his Reagan quote at the end of the book:

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on to them to do the same , or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free".

Mark's comment is "We conservatives need to get busy", which is hard to disagree with, but after reading the book, one can easily despair. To be a conservative is to accept this reality in as much truth as we can muster and maybe most of all to accept the flawed and limited capacites of ourselves as humans within the reality. For most conservatives, we pray for the strength of a higher power/reality to help us do that.

Mark draws a quote from Washington's farewell address:

"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and m0rality are indespensible results -- and let us wtih caution indulge in the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion"

Levin goes on to say:

"How can it be said, as it often is, that moral order is second to liberty when one cannot survive without the other? A people cannot remain free and civilized without moral purposes, constraints and duties. What would be left but relativism manifesting itself as anarchy, followed by tyranny and brute force?"

He says this on the issue of judicial precedent relative to the Supreme Court:

"If words and their meaning can be manipulated or ignored to advance the Statist's political and policy preferences, what then binds the allegiance to the Statist's words? Why should today's law bind future generations if yesterday's lawy does not bind this generation? Why should judicial precedent bind the nation if the Constitution itself does not?"

One of the things this book does a good job of is showing just how far we have already strayed what is the obvious intent of the Constitution, and how perilous that makes our hold on ANY remaining liberty. While I fear we are a LONG way from getting the kind of control that would be needed to move court rulings back to original intent, I find his arguement extremely persuasive.

He provides this excellent FDR quote on the subject of FICA:

Those taxes were never problems of economics. They are politics all the way through. We put those payroll taxes there so as the give the contributors a legal, moral, and political right to collect their pensions and their unemployment benefits. With those taxes in there, no damn politician can ever scrap my social security program".

There is arrogance, and then there is universal and perpetual narcissim of the the FDR and BO sort. The separation of "means" (economics) from "politics". As Burke put it: "What is the use of discussion a man's abstract right to food or medicine? The question is upon the method of procuring and adminstering them. In that deliveration I shal always advise to call in the aid of the farmer and the physician, rather than the professor of metaphysics". Once could easily add, "also before the politician, lawyer, or academic.

The book does a good job of exposing the Ponzi scheme of FICA and medicare, and the fact that all the politicians that promulgated them were well aware that the programs were ruiniousin the future, but sure to be popular in the present. I believe what even the most cynical supporters of the programs underestimated was the insidius ways which they instituted a general irresponsibilty for investment for old age, the idea that it is "OK" or somehow even "virtuous" to fail to pass anything on the the succeeding generation, save debt and ever greater future obligations. The spirtual and moral rot of FICA and subsequent "entitlements", along with the bold faced lies promulgated by their supporters went a very long way to creating the culture of a corrupt "spend it today, have someone else pay it tomorrow" US attitude.

I could go on. He has decent coverage of the Sub-Prime debacle, environmentalism, unions, and other topics, but those were some highlights. I recommend the book -- at some point I likely ought to check into other items that Levin has written.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Pelosi on a Rope?

PRUDEN: Steady descent into third world - Washington Times

Conservatives essentially have nothing left to lose, so a couple of us were reduced to noodling on the thought that if BO can manage to let North Korea get BOTH nukes and ballistic missiles, potentially San Francisco would be a target of choice. So, assuming that Pelosi is home for the weekend, would that be a bad thing?

The point is essentially moot, since we have 100% Democrats in charge, so we can of course rest completely easy, as can Nancy. Only fools would not have complete faith in BO and his talented minions to keep this nation completely safe.

We do notice the increasing movement toward a "3rd world Amerika". If Bush's lawyers need to attend a necktie party, it seems that Nancy from the Intelligence Committee that was fully aware of the "torture" would need to be an active bouncing broken neck participant! As long as we are supposed to start enjoying conversion of policy decisions to criminal proceedings, ti seems that BO could get a lot more right wing support if he just left Nancy swinging from a rope until all that was left was her bleached bones.

No reason to apologize for that kind of thinking, seems like it would be right in line with the perspecitive from the BO Luo tribe!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Krugman's America has a Soul?

Op-Ed Columnist - Reclaiming America’s Soul -

Wow, Paulie is a pretty strong leftist, I always thought he would have been a strict "randomness is god" materialist. Why would nature, let alone a nation, suddenly develop "a soul", and what would it look like?

Well, certainly not the Constitution to Paulie -- I've not seen any limits on what he finds acceptable for confiscation of private property, let alone the power of the federal government. He seems to be very sure of himself though.

No, it isn’t, because America is more than a collection of policies. We are, or at least we used to be, a nation of moral ideals. In the past, our government has sometimes done an imperfect job of upholding those ideals. But never before have our leaders so utterly betrayed everything our nation stands for. “This government does not torture people,” declared former President Bush, but it did, and all the world knows it.

Never? Golly. Like what "moral ideals"? Hatred for Republicans? BJs for all in the oval office and perjury is cool as long as you are a Democrat? Buying votes with other peoples money? Avoiding putting caterpillars on terrorists?

Slick Willie was doing foreign renditions, and it was the CIA that asked for the ability to use "enhanced interrogation", not the Bush administration. Anybody want to take a guess how Slick might have handled any request for executive guidance on interrogation methods? I'm thinking "don't ask, don't tell" was probably a really important Slickster policy for a lot more than what we know about.

For the fact is that officials in the Bush administration instituted torture as a policy, misled the nation into a war they wanted to fight and, probably, tortured people in the attempt to extract “confessions” that would justify that war. And during the march to war, most of the political and media establishment looked the other way.

WOW, that is quite a paragraph -- first of all, Paulie knows "facts". He has defined the line for torture for starters, and there is no need to write any memos trying to figure it out. Writing memos is beside the point -- the fact that the previous 4 CIA directors as well as the current one did not want even the memos released is a "non-point". It was BUSH that INSTITUTED the "torture policy" -- the fact that the CIA REQUESTED it has nothing to do with it. What is more, Pauli knows WHY! It was to extract "false confessions" to justify the war!! Man, that is really amazing -- how come both the Senate and the house, including most Democrats voted for the war WITHOUT any such confessions at all??

How mushy does one's head have to be to listen to this guy? I would love to see Pauli spend say "15 min" pointing out his "vision of the soul of America" to old General US Grant and General Sherman in a nice Union camp after one of the major battles. Suppose they ever had any captured rebel soldiers that needed to be asked a few questions? Suppose they wrote a lot of "memos"?

My guess is that Pauli would pee his pants the first instant Grant or Sherman focused his attention on him. His inflated ego would just start folding in on itself as he realized that America really did have a soul, but it was once so real and powerful that just being exposed to a couple of embodiments of it would be too much for the sort of maggot that now infests the rapidly decaying carcass of our once great nation.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Freddie Foster?

Freddie Mac's Acting CFO Found Dead -

As soon as I heard about this "apparent suicide", I thought back to the Clinton years. For some strange reason, Democrat administrations seem to have a lot of "tragic events" -- the Vince Foster "suicide" was one of the marque events of the Clinton regeime, but there were plenty of others -- Ron Brown dying in a plane crash, a plane crash with a bunch of Secret Services guys on it coming back from a Presidential vacation in Jackson hole are a couple that come to mind.

The Democrats have a lot of Union and Mob ties, and I often wonder if any of those are "contributors" to any of these tragic events. The MSM has been keeping the fact that Democrats were driving the easing up of all the credit restrictions since the '70s, and especially that all of these finanacial firms have been pouring money into the democrat party by the bucket load since at least the early 2Ks. Why?

"Follow the money" is a standard MSM line when the Republicans have any power, but right now there seems to be much less concern in doing that.

Would BO, Dodd and Barney Frank be willing to have someone killed that might be going to something stinky that linked some of the "wrong people" to the pure and shining Democrat party of the people? Nah, of course not. To even consider that, one has to be so foolish to think that Global Warming is questionable, nations might not become prosperous by just running humongous deficits and not everyone will be nice to you just because you bow to them and apologize for existing.

We don't have any time for that radical thinking today. Everything is fine.

Barocky Road

In honor of the 44th President of the United States, Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream has introduced a new flavor: "Barocky Road."

Barocky Road is a blend of half vanilla, half chocolate, and surrounded by nuts and flakes.

The vanilla portion of the mix is not openly advertised and usually denied as an ingredient.

The nuts and flakes are all very bitter and hard to swallow.

The cost is $100.00 per scoop.

When purchased it will be presented to you in a large beautiful waffle cone, but then the ice cream is taken away and given to the person in line behind you.

Thus you are left with an empty wallet, no change, holding an empty cone, with no hope of getting any ice cream.

Are you feeling stimulated?

BO Knows Better

RealClearPolitics - The Interrogation Memorandums

One of the terrible things about Bush was that he was "arrogant", which is another way of saying that he didn't kneel to the left on every issue (only massive spending and prescription drugs). Well, that is sinful, you have to agree with those lefties 100%, they don't believe in diversity of thought.

The four most recent CIA Directors-John Deutch, George Tenet, Porter Goss and Michael Hayden-all recommended against the release of these memorandums. President Obama's own newly appointed Director of CIA, Leon Panetta, also recommended against releasing the documents. Yet President Obama, in a seemingly relentless effort to discredit his predecessor, George W. Bush, made the memorandum available to the public anyway.

See, BO, the failed Community Organizer from Chicago knows more about gathering intelligence than the previous 4 CIA directors (2 of them appointed by Clinton) as well as his own current director, Leon Panetta. BO must be a joy to work for -- if you aren't going to take the advice of the folks you hired to do a job on a self-inflicted wound like the release of these memos, it is hard to imagine how you will have any working relationship at all when the time comes where other forces are dictating the game, lives are on the line, and outcomes are uncertain. Not surprising though, BO has never led anything in his life, he has probably never learned "you need to dance with the one you brung".

BO is obviously still a WHOLE lot more interested in defeating Republicans than al Quaeda. Unfortunately, the most likely outcome of his actions is going to be a lot of dead Americans. I'm not sure if he figures "we deserve it" and he will just do more aopology tours after a major city is a cinder, or we are burying 100's of K smallpox dead in trenches, or what. I guess as long as he can win the "torture" PR campaign, his position is "whatever".

Dear Mr President

Dear Mister President:

Thank you for helping my neighbors with their mortgage payments.You know the one's down the street who in the good times refinanced their house several times and bought SUV's, ATV's, RV's, a pool, a big screen, two Wave Runners and a Harley.

But I was wondering, since I am now expected to pay my mortgage and theirs, too, could you arrange for me to borrow their Harley now and then?

They also need help with their credit cards, when will you expect me to start making those payments for them too? I operate with a balanced budget, something neither you nor they seem to understand, but it requires planning and matching income to outflow.

P.S. I almost forgot - they told me they didn't file their income tax return this year. Should I go ahead and file for them or will you be appointing them to cabinet posts?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"Agressive" Interrogation Works?

Bush-era interrogation may have worked, Obama official says -

Tell me it isn't so. I thought everyone knew that:
  1. The Bush Administration used TORTURE
  2. It was COMPLETELY INEFFECTIVE!! (and they knew it)
Now the media generally didn't go all the way to telling you WHY they would continue doing this, but the answers seemed obvious to me:
  1. They were stupid
  2. They were evil
  3. Most likely both.
But wait, now we find out that "torture" was "something that didn't leave a mark". Putting a fuzzy caterpillar on your terrorist that was afraid of bugs, THAT was acceptable! (but not if it was a stinging caterpillar). In the Clinton administration we pretty much established that it wasn't sex unless pregnancy and multiple births ensued. Now in the BO administration we have discovered that little kids at picnics are regularly torturing their friends if they put a fuzzy caterpillar on them? What's more, the evil lawyers that tried to claim that such was NOT torture ought to be PROSECUTED for their opinion.

I stand corrected, I guess under THIS definition of "torture", it IS really rampant in America -- at summer camp, in the back yard, EVERYWHERE. I've heard that some of the kids (no doubt destined to become evil Republicans) will even make the claim that the caterpillar bites/stings to try to terrorize their victims more! The SADISTS!!

But wait! "aggressive interrogation" works! Wow, what a concept. It is like when the teacher comes into the classroom, sees an insult written on the board and asks "who did it"? According to what the BO administration has now figured out after careful study, if the teacher was to say "nobody leaves this room until I find out", that MIGHT have a better chance of working.

I hope we do a government study on that. Maybe they should try to figure out if people respond to incentives / disincentives in general? Finding out that they did would obviously be a huge piece of new information to the BO administration.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Memo's To Be Proud Of

The Case for the ‘Torture Memos’ by Rich Lowry on National Review Online

I've read a few of the dueling "torture books" -- on the left, the "horror" of any sort of treatment short of a comfy chair, nice bed and three squares a day is of course barbaric. The very idea that any sort of "coercion" at all would be used is simply unconscionable. If that is your standard and you want to accept the consequences of it, then so be it. I really hope they see the treatment of "right wing extremists" as being worthy of such high standards. They seem to be already calling for highly paid Wall Street types that they deem to be responsible for the financial meltdown to be "taken out and shot", "horse whipped", "hung", or some other not very nice sentiment. I'm certain those desires are meant to be figurative, but it is odd how much gusto they seem to be able to gather against those nasty Wall Street types. I wonder if it would help if they realized those folks are 90%+ Democrats and gave tons of money to both BO and the Democrat party to help get control of Washington?

Of course, the stogy issue from the right is to make "torture" almost boring -- we put our special forces guys through waterboarding to help them get familiar with the approach in case it is used on them. Most of them have likely had a couple "boo boos" already in their careers -- fractures, contusions, lacerations, hypothermia, deydration, sleep deprivation, etc, etc, so they have seen some of that more painful side of life. It seems that pain is pretty unavoidable for those that get away from the keyboard / tv / high horse from time to time, so the issue sort of becomes "how much pain" pretty quickly.

Thus, the memos -- "where is the line"? As Lowry points out, in all of human history, and even most all of the countries in the world today, any such thought process isn't even an issue. If one decides that they have a responsibility to their fellow citizens to protect them from folks intent on killing then by any means possible, then what one is interested in is methods that work within some boundary that makes sense. Perfection isn't even a consideration.

I'm reminded of surgeons -- no question, even today with anesthetic, they inflict some severe pain -- in civil war times, the pain often had to be beyond unbearable. They don't WANT to inflict pain any more than a US interrogator, but they know that to not to the surgery is going to be worse than doing it. So too an interrogator, they only want the information, the pain is just a side effect. One would think that your average liberal utilitarian "what provides the most good for the greatest number", and "man is the measure of all things" would not be so bothered. I'm not sure there is any pain that could be inflicted on a baby in a partial birth abortion that would even give them any pause at all, and that has no prospect of saving any lives, only of taking one.

So the memos drag on about using a caterpillar (did these folks ever go camping?), how far you can push the waterboarding, and using using special "walls" to make a loud noise so the person thinks they are hurt worse then they are. Now that BO has spoiled all the surprise, getting captured by the US must be at worst as scary as a fun house where you can sit and watch everyone come out the other side. Now our enemies know that US policy never did allow any "lasting injury", and the new policy appartently doesn't allow any detainees to feel more stressed than your average Carribean cruise.

I'm wondering if we are going to maintain this attitude when we lose a city, a stadium, or a few million people to germ or poison attack? One would have thought that 9-11 would be enough for a little "learning experience", but apparently not. Lessons are so quickly forgotten by some parts of our population. I can kind of understand forgetting 32-53 and 65-83, but 2001 is < 8 years ago. One would think we would have more national memory than that. "The short and the dead" I guess.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Those Nasty Christians

State retracts militia report | | Springfield News-Leader

Gotta love this.

Missouri Highway Patrol Superintendent James F. Keathley ordered the Missouri Information Analysis Center to "permanently cease distribution" of the Feb. 20 report, which labels fundamentalist Christians, members of third-party political movements, strict followers of the U.S. Constitution and people who oppose taxes, abortion and illegal immigration as possible members of militias.

Gee, I wonder if a state had profiled say "Muslims, Hispanics, and Blacks" as potential "terrorists, illegal aliens, and drug users" there would have been any outcry from Federal anti-discrimination and "hate speech" types? Suppose that would have lasted 2 months????

Oh wait -- Christians, Ron Paul followers, folks that believe the Constitution means something, think they are better judges of what to do with their money than the government DO sound like REALLY radical types!!!

Uh, wonder where the ACLU is on the profiling thing in this case???

Facts and Reason on Carbon

Bound to Burn by Peter W. Huber, City Journal Spring 2009

This article is long and slightly technical, but it probably does about as good a job of summarizing a fairly complex issue as can reasonably be done.

First of all, what we already HAVE been doing since roughly the Carter era is making decisions that hurt our economy and while they MAY help OUR emissions, end up hurting world net emissions (stopping nuclear, developing less coal, failing to do oil shale):

Cut to the chase. We rich people can’t stop the world’s 5 billion poor people from burning the couple of trillion tons of cheap carbon that they have within easy reach. We can’t even make any durable dent in global emissions—because emissions from the developing world are growing too fast, because the other 80 percent of humanity desperately needs cheap energy, and because we and they are now part of the same global economy. What we can do, if we’re foolish enough, is let carbon worries send our jobs and industries to their shores, making them grow even faster, and their carbon emissions faster still.
So, most of our energy saving efforts shoot both ourselves and the world emissions in the foot. But, as the liberals often say, "you have to do SOMETHING" -- they nearly always prefer counterproductive action to a relatively benign status quo. It is just the way they are wired.

The oil-coal economics come down to this. Per unit of energy delivered, coal costs about one-fifth as much as oil—but contains one-third more carbon. High carbon taxes (or tradable permits, or any other economic equivalent) sharply narrow the price gap between oil and the one fuel that can displace it worldwide, here and now. The oil nasties will celebrate the green war on carbon as enthusiastically as the coal industry celebrated the green war on uranium 30 years ago.

Thirty years ago, the case against nuclear power was framed as the “Zero-Infinity Dilemma.” The risks of a meltdown might be vanishingly small, but if it happened, the costs would be infinitely large, so we should forget about uranium. Computer models demonstrated that meltdowns were highly unlikely and that the costs of a meltdown, should one occur, would be manageable—but greens scoffed: huge computer models couldn’t be trusted. So we ended up burning much more coal. The software shoe is on the other foot now; the machines that said nukes wouldn’t melt now say that the ice caps will. Warming skeptics scoff in turn, and can quite plausibly argue that a planet is harder to model than a nuclear reactor. But that’s a detail. From a rhetorical perspective, any claim that the infinite, the apocalypse, or the Almighty supports your side of the argument shuts down all further discussion.

So BO has promised to do carbon taxes and "invest" 100's of Billions in wind and solar. The 3rd world is doing coal for 3 cents a Kwh. Wind is 15 cents, Solar is 30 (when the wind blows and the sun shines) -- so even though we have no path at all to getting to the capacity that we require, we would be paying 5 and 10x as much for energy as the folks we are competing with IF we could get it that way (which we can't). Want to make a bet what is going to continue to happen to our jobs? We are going to pay other Americans inflated government salaries to hamstring us with a sunk-cost in ultra expensive energy for decades to come. Our major ongoing cost of production, communication and even entertainment is going to be 5-10x that of our competitors. I wonder who wins at that game??
Shoveling wind and sun is much, much harder. Windmills are now 50-story skyscrapers. Yet one windmill generates a piddling 2 to 3 megawatts. A jumbo jet needs 100 megawatts to get off the ground; Google is building 100-megawatt server farms. Meeting New York City’s total energy demand would require 13,000 of those skyscrapers spinning at top speed, which would require scattering about 50,000 of them across the state, to make sure that you always hit enough windy spots. To answer the howls of green protest that inevitably greet realistic engineering estimates like these, note that real-world systems must be able to meet peak, not average, demand; that reserve margins are essential; and that converting electric power into liquid or gaseous fuels to power the existing transportation and heating systems would entail substantial losses. What was Mayor Bloomberg thinking when he suggested that he might just tuck windmills into Manhattan? Such thoughts betray a deep ignorance about how difficult it is to get a lot of energy out of sources as thin and dilute as wind and sun.
It’s often suggested that technology improvements and mass production will sharply lower the cost of wind and solar. But engineers have pursued these technologies for decades, and while costs of some components have fallen, there is no serious prospect of costs plummeting and performance soaring as they have in our laptops and cell phones. When you replace conventional with renewable energy, everything gets bigger, not smaller—and bigger costs more, not less. Even if solar cells themselves were free, solar power would remain very expensive because of the huge structures and support systems required to extract large amounts of electricity from a source so weak that it takes hours to deliver a tan.
There is some complexity here, but the bottom line, as in most things where the BO position is followed is "we're screwed".

BO Attacks On Pirates

The BO administration is claiming that there was an unfortunate misunderstanding relative to his orders on the Somali Pirates.

Apparently he thought he was authorizing "a TAX on Pirates" and it was fatally misconstrued as the authorization of "attacks".

BO will be traveling to Somalia to bow deeply to as many leaders as possible, apologize profusely and seek agreement on more taxes for high income Pirates.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Safety With BO

One thing that Democrats excel at even beyond the "political normal" for any politician is inconsistency. We have heard 100's or even thousands of times how "Bush made us less safe" -- and of course, one of the ways that he did that was through "torture". Bush and Cheney were and are evil men that made the world hate us, and one of the reasons that the world hates us is "torture".
What was more interesting was the accompanying statement by the Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, trying to justify Obama's decision--or at least put it "into perspective." The perspective, the context, is that in the months after 9/11, "we did not have a clear understanding of the enemy we were dealing with, and our every effort was focused on preventing further attacks that would kill more Americans. It was during these months that the CIA was struggling to obtain critical information from captured al Qaida leaders, and requested permission to use harsher interrogation methods. The OLC memos make clear that senior legal officials judged the harsher methods to be legal."

Blair continues: "Those methods, read on a bright, sunny, safe day in April 2009, appear graphic and disturbing. As the President has made clear, and as both CIA Director Panetta and I have stated, we will not use those techniques in the future. But we will absolutely defend those who relied on these memos and those guidelines."

So: We were once in danger. Now we live in "a bright, sunny, safe day in April 2009." Now, in April 2009, Obama's Director of National Intelligence seems to be saying, we're safe.

So either those horrible methods actually worked to put those dark days behind us, or all that was required was the sweetness and light of the divine presence of BO to make us safe.

We have now decided to tell every terrorist in the world "what we won't do"; for what? For the "benefit" of being able to re-state that BO finds Bush and Cheney to be evil? They won the election, they have said it over and over, when will they believe that they have made that point enough so that those that find their positions to be convincing are convinced, and those of us who are much less enamored with the divine power of BO are not likely to be convinced by further blandishments.

What the evil Bush and Cheney did "made us less safe" according to BO. On that, we are clear. It was evil and it didn't work, that is their position. Now, somehow, we are "more safe". How are we "more safe" than no terrorist attacks on the US since 9-11?? Are we now somehow metaphysically secure to not even have a cause for any concern due to the holy power of BO? I don't know, they don't say -- it seems odd that pirates took a US ship for the first time in 200 years, we are sending more troops to Afghanistan, and we have to shoot at folks from Predators in Pakistan. Is their a flaw in his most holy BO protective essence?

What will convince me of the correctness of the "BO Doctrine" of apology and blaming the past" will be RESULTS. Statements from al Quaeda to the majesty of BO and their desire to serve him humbly, or simply silence and a world wide reduction of violence in addition to no attacks against the US. As a citizen of the US, I find a "blame America" strategy to to be costly in that while there are no limits on how high we might have risen, there will eventually be some doormat level that we can't manage to sink below. When we are apologizing for existing and drawing breath, the next step could be painful.

We have fallen a good long way since "the change" started in '06, but seeing the acceleration since January, I'm afraid there is a lot of falling left to do.

The stench of BO's America -- a nation sorry for it's very existance.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Kooks, Demagogues, and Right Wingers On Tax Day

A Short Citizen's Guide to Kooks, Demagogues, and Right-Wingers On Tax Day | Robert Reich's Blog

The nice thing about the left is that they are always so caring and respectful--they believe whole heartedly in diversity, and as the intellectual cream of the crop, they know that diversity of thought is the only kind that really counts. That is why they are so open minded.

A buddy of mine asked me which of the key messages of the tea parties will resonate with the general public? That they are deranged, or that they are dangerous? I responded that with something like 80% of the public, even though it looks like millions turned out in protest, what will resonate is "Tea Party"? Who did that, and did anyone show up? I looked out on CNN today a couple times, not a word about the tax protests.

Mr Reich, and a few of the more radical of the lefties are of course up in arms about anyone showing up from the right to protest for any reason. What right do those people have to a different opionion? Well, to listen to Bob or most lefties, none at all. Our founding fathers created a nation dedicated to total thought agreement and maximum enjoyment of the payment of taxes. The essense of "American" is to transfer as much of your income as possible to the government to redistribute to any bank, deadbeat mortgate holder, defunct brokerage house, failing unionized car manufacturer, or just someone that has less money than you for whatever reason. The reasons we are all Americans is that we believe in the government taking as much of our money as they want, and anyone that questions that is simply "not patriotic".

I was unable to attend the local tea party as I had a business engagement that evening, but I did get to drive by. Looked like in excess of 1K people peacefully and quite quietly gathered with signs that were generally pretty tame -- "Trillions in Debt: CHAINS we can believe in" was pretty good I thought. What a far cry from Code Pink throwing buckets of blood on people or all manner of "Bush is a Terrorist", etc anti-war signs. Cindy Sheehan in a ditch outside the Bush ranch in the summer of '05 was a national story for weeks. One woman and some occasional hangers on saying "get out of Iraq" was worth hours of coverage, millions of people questioning the spending of many trillions of dollars is worth virtually none. Our press has no biases.

I shudder to think what would have happened if the Bush administration had come out with a Homeland Security finding on "Left Wing Anti-War Protesters" the week of some sort of planned anti-war demonstration. The press would have been apocolyptic for weeks -- and I'm not sure that if such a thing had happened, I might somewhat agree with them. Surprise, the BO administration comes out with a finding on "Right Wing Extremeism" on Monday of this week. Not a single MSM invocation of "chilling", even when the report goes so far as to indicate that "returning servicemen are a special threat". Oh, really? I thought the "demean the soldiers" went out with Vietnam -- apparently not.

A lot of the lefties seem to think that if you didn't protest a $400 Billion deficit, you can't protest $2 Trillion deficit. Huh? If I don't get mad over someone driving 40MPH, I'm not allowed to say anything about someone driving 200MPH? If I don't bitch about someone having 4 beers, I'm some sort of a hypocrite if I say that 20 is too many? There seems to have been a sudden development of some sort of logic that would receive rather shrill laughter were the shoe on the other foot. I believe that it is supposed to be the claim of the left that the right has all these "hard line views" and doesn't understand "gray". Most Republicans I know are "unhappy" with any deficits at all, were VERY pleased when the combination of the Repubilcan congress and Bill Clinton gave us a surplus, and VERY dissappointed when the combination for Bush and a Republican congress gave us deficits.

BO is exceeding the entrie Bush 8 year deficit spending in 4 months, and will exceed the entire deficit spending of all US presidents prior to him in 8 years by his own rosy estimates. The protests are not primarily about CURRENT taxation, they are about the DIRECTION that our country has turned. Some of us believe that we have turned in a direction that calls into question the very meaning of "America" in ways that may not be possible to ever recover. Are we right? Only the future will tell, but at one time we were a country where "diversity of thought" was considered a very good and prudent thing. We believed in not only an economic market, but even more importantly in a market of "idea competion" where concerned citizens were willing to stand up and take a postiion, even if (and sometimes especially) if it was contrary to the views of the masses.

Has that day passed? Maybe, but I'm proud to cast my lot with the "Kooks, Demagogues and Right Wingers".

Friday, April 10, 2009

Core Liberal Argument

Excellent coverage of the most effective liberal argument. 


BO Really Is Historic!

Hostage captain recaptured by pirates after dramatic escape attempt - Times Online

Hey, BO makes history! First US ship that pirates have taken in 200 years!!

More details have emerged about Wednesday’s dramatic seizure — and release — of the 509ft Maersk Alabama, which became the first US merchant vessel to be taken by pirates since the North African Barbary Wars two centuries ago.

The MSM doesn't seem to be making as much of a deal out of the historic nature of this one would expect! I got to read quite a bit about the Barbary Pirates in  "Six Frigates".

BO's Country?

RealClearPolitics - Articles - It's Your Country Too, Mr. President

Charles has another great column, but I disagree with his premise about the US being BO's country. BO seems to be more proud of being Luo (his tribe). He is very proud of his Kenyan heritage, but he seems quite ambivalent about white folks.

The MSM seems be in continuous worship mode and somehow seems to think that the BO trip to Europe was a "success" -- in what way? He got no stimulus money from those goverments, no help in Afghanistan, no help on Iran, and even less than no help on N Korea after saying:
"Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something. The world must stand together to prevent the spread of these weapons. Now is the time for a strong international response."

So what was the "strong international response"? Nothing!!! The security council couldn't even agree that Korea had done anything wrong. BO was snubbed 100%!!! Totally ineffectual with the UN, the body that he declared would be so important to his foreign policy. How does the MSM treat that abject failure? They don't -- "hail BO the magnificent".

And what did he get for Guantanamo? France, pop. 64 million, will take one prisoner. One! (Sadly, he'll have to leave his swim buddy behind.) The Austrians said they would take none. As Interior Minister Maria Fekter explained with impeccable Germanic logic, if they're not dangerous, why not just keep them in America?

When Austria is mocking you, you're having a bad week. Yet who can blame Frau Fekter, considering the disdain Obama showed his own country while on foreign soil, acting the philosopher-king who hovers above the fray mediating between his renegade homeland and an otherwise warm and welcoming world?

It is pretty clear what BO meant by being "a citizen of the world" during the campaign -- he seeks to apologize for the country that he was elected to lead. It is hard to imagine a sadder commentary on where we have fallen.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Culture of Debt

RealClearPolitics - Articles - Reversing America's Culture of Debt

Good article -- I'd argue that the core evil that caused a lot of this problem is the creation of FICA. The idea that "everyone deserves a decent retirement", independent of how much they saved over the course of their life pretty much instigates the idea that "I might as well enjoy myself now" -- because tomorrow, I'm taken care of.

Recently, America has been moving from a culture of ownership to a culture of debt. People went from wanting to own their home and car and have enough for retirement to making monthly payments on everything they consume while relying on someone else (the government) to pay all the bills when they get older.

We have also been moving to a culture of "economic relativism". Democrats for years kept piling on long term entitlements -- FICA, Medicare, Welfare, Foodstamps, etc, etc that were effectively "debt". The promises were made to their voting blocks, and the checks would have to be cashed by subsequent administrations and generations. Yes, Bush piled on the same stupidity with the prescription drug benefit, but it was something that very few Republicans supported. The saddest part about it -- and his daddy's tax increase, was that it muddied the waters. With the dominant culture being Democrat, it is very important for Republicans to stand very firm -- when they don't, as in the case of Bush Jr and Sr, but even in the case of Reagan with the big FICA increase and large deficits, it all adds to the "both parties do it, so we might as well have the Democrats, cuz they give us more".

The other nasty part of the relativsm is that the sheep get confused about the numbers. When Republicans are in power, the size of deficits are a never ending source of sensational articles in the MSM of how HORRIBLE the numbers are. Of course, when the Republicans are in power, we tend to have a growing GDP, which means that the deficits as a % of GDP are low. If I tell you "I spent $1,000", the only way that is really meaningful is if I tell you what I make -- $10K a grand spent is huge, $100K it is significant but only 1%, $1,000K, and it is "lunch money". So the Bush deficits of $400+ Billion were chided as "records" but only in raw numbers. As a % of $10T+ growing economy, they were not records.

Suddenly, deficit numbers in the $2 or even $3 Trillion area on a GDP that is shrinking are now of very little MSM concern. Other than the issue of "Are they big enough??".

These policies are a Trojan horse creating not only a mentality of government reliance, but also a mindset where a lifestyle of permanent debt is acceptable. Not long ago, someone paying massive interest to finance things they couldn't afford was looked upon as irresponsible, and their behavior shameful.

Now, instead of debt being an unfortunate necessity for massive purchases like a house, everything is being financed by interest-bearing debt. If you can't afford something, don't save up until you have the money, just put it on a credit card and pay 12% or 20% interest for years. This interest can double the sticker price, cutting in half people's purchasing power and plunging them ever-deeper into debt.

I'd argue that we got here long ago -- we just keep going deeper, and the BO policies have put us in hyperdrive going straight down.

The Lack of Knowledge Depression

Our Epistemological Depression — The American, A Magazine of Ideas

I'm starting to love that word even more. Epistemology, the study of knowledge and of the limits on man's ability to know.

In many cases, even more importantly, our willingness to jump to anything that SEEMS like knowledge because it "sounds good enough". We don't really like to think about complex things much, even less if the answers turned out are grey to maybe negative, vs nice quick judgments that seem to show our enemies to be wrong, evil and deserving of punishment while showing those that we like, and above all, ourselves to be brilliant and morally above reproach!!

So with our current financial situation, the congress, the president and the MSM grind away about "greed, rich folks and the failures of Wall Street" -- and how in hind sight, it is all so "obvious".

These factors have received a good deal of attention. But they are not the whole story, and certainly not the most original part of the predicament. What seems most novel is the role of opacity and pseudo-objectivity. This may be our first epistemologically-driven depression. (Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that deals with the nature and limits of knowledge, with how we know what we think we know.) 
That is, a large role was played by the failure of the private and corporate actors to understand what they were doing. Most heads of ailing or deceased financial institutions did not comprehend the degree of risk and exposure entailed by the dealings of their underlings—and many investors, including municipalities and pension funds, bought financial instruments without understanding the risks involved. 
We should keep this in mind when we chastise government agencies such as the SEC for failing to monitor what was going on. If the leading executives of financial firms failed to understand what was taking place, how could we expect government regulators to do so? The financial system created a fog so thick that even its captains could not navigate it.

The article goes into a quite a bit of detail about how the financial firms were thinking and operating and that when it all went down, all the "features" that were supposedly there to "keep them safe" -- diversification, hedging, fancy mathematical models and "insurance" all turned against them and aided in the fall.

Confidence cannot just be conjured out of air. Nor can it be created with injections of capital or fiscal stimulus. It will be rebuilt to the extent that financial institutions take actions that lead us to believe that they know what they are doing. And they are more likely to know what they are doing if they are smaller, less diversified, and less engaged with financial instruments that are too clever by half. 
Some recent policies seem likely to exacerbate the problems I’ve outlined. Take the Treasury’s encouragement of institutional consolidation through amalgamation. Bank of America was encouraged to take over Merrill Lynch; and JPMorgan Chase took over Bear Stearns, and then bought the assets of Washington Mutual. Whatever the purported advantages of these takeovers, the creation of ever larger and more diversified companies makes it more likely that these firms will be plagued by the epistemological problems noted above. The Treasury has created more firms that can’t really be understood (or whose riskiness can’t be assessed)—not by their managers, not by government regulators, and not by investors. 
To speak of a crisis of financial epistemology may sound abstract, but it has had very concrete and disastrous consequences. Understanding this underrated aspect of our current crisis is a prerequisite for getting us out of the hole we’ve dug ourselves into.

I think that McCain was more right than we know when he discussed the "recession" in early '08 as being more mental than anything. In the late '90s, the MSM was VERY worried that impeaching Slick Willie would "hurt the economy". Somehow, when it came to casting the Bush administration as completely corrupt, incompetent and to talk about the economy as "depressed", before anything severe had even happened, there was suddenly no "confidence issue".

As in a lot of things, confidence is a lot easier to destroy than it is to build -- like economies, countries, investment accounts, relationships, careers -- and so much more. It can take decades for the things to be built (or longer), but usually, it is possible to destroy much if not all of what was built in a very short period of time. Look at how successful the Democrats have been! They only took over congress in '06, and the WH and filibuster proof congress in '09, and already we have the worst economic numbers in at least 25 years and the largest deficits by all measures in the history of the world!

BO Likes Secret Wiretaps Now

Government opts for secrecy in wiretap suit

There would be some elements of a hopeful sign here if BO is ONLY going to follow the same very limited actions taken by the Bush administration to thwart terrorism. The REAL problem with the Bush did is and always was "precedent", which was made much more horrible by the media "outrage" over the "destruction of constitutional rights". Naturally, considering how buried this obvious move by BO to keep the same programs legal is, we can see that the REAL MSM focus was on "destruction of the Bush administration" -- which I must admit that they succeeded at very well.

The Justice Department said Friday that government agents monitored only communications in which "a participant was reasonably believed to be associated with al Qaeda or an affiliated terrorist organization." But proving that the surveillance program did not sweep in ordinary phone customers would require "disclosure of highly classified NSA intelligence sources and methods," the department said.

Uh, Duh!!! Suppose that legally proving how you knew that some of these phone numbers were attached to al Qaeda would compromise getting that info in the future??? Who would have thunk it!!! Naturally, no such Bush defense would get even momentary consideration by the MSM as having any merit, but hey -- this is BO, we can trust him!!!

Unfortunately, I suspect that we can "trust him" to wiretap political adversaries, create a bunch of false indictments and do IRS audits against "enemies" like the Clinton administration liked to do. Of course, nothing to be worried about there, all those evil people would be on the RIGHT, and the MSM knows that they whatever THEY get, they deserve!!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Fluent Austrian?

Uh, gee BO, I think you will find that "Austrian" is not a language. He isn't sounding so good again -- maybe they don't have a teleprompter there?

Sunday, April 05, 2009

How Could Al Qaeda Last So Long"?

CNN Political Ticker: All politics, all the time Blog Archive - Axelrod hits back at Cheney: Not behaving like a ’statesman’ « - Blogs from

We all remember that supportive "statesman" Al Gore, and all the MSM criticism of him! Yes, former VPs coming out with such incendiary statements as "we think our policies were better" is something that certainly calls for condemnation.

I find it supremely ironic, on a day when we were meeting with NATO, to talk about the continued threat from Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where they're still plotting against us eight years — or seven years later," he said. "I think the question for Mr. Cheney is, how could that be? How could this have gone so long? Why are they still in business?"

Irony -- one of those things like beauty that tend to mostly be in the mind of the beholder. Now of course the MSM successfully spent a lot of time rubbing the nose of any Bush adviser that predicted that Iraq would be a "short battle" in it over and over -- and indeed, extended the comments of a few to be "administration policy that it would be short and easy", when the facts show that it was well understood to likely be a long hard slog.

So, we can be guarenteed that there will be no terrorist threat from Al Qaeda against the US in MUCH less than 7 years. It is utterly amazing to Mr Axlerod how even an administration that they have labled as "utterly incompetent" and "the worst ever" could not take care of this problem in less than 7 years. Let's not push them very hard, let's just assume that they are a mere 4x better than the "worst administration ever". That would mean that it would be "ironic" if there was still any remaining threat from Al Qaeda in 1.75 years. So by the time of the congressional elections next year, the new "better way" will have completely removed the Al Qaeda threat.

This is very useful. I'm sure the MSM will be reporting on that with the same alacrity that they are on this Axlerod comment.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

BO Does Bush Impression

The great BO goes overseas where apparently not everyone in the press feels that licking his boots is the key function of "reporting". Looks like maybe no teleprompter for a change?

All of a sudden it is uh, ah, pause, uh ... and then a very meandering dissertation of who knows what. Of course, if he was a Republican, the nightly news would be the worst 15 sec sound bite!

The One Thing You Need to Know

About Great Managing, Great Leading, and Sustained Individual Success, By Marcus Buckingham

This book is at the crossroads between business success directions and self-help. More on the business side. It is quite efficiently written, so I'll try to do the same in the review. There are 3 major points, I'll reverse his order because I think the last is applicable to all of us, the other two are less so.

  1. The one thing you need to know about individual success -- "Discover what you don't like doing and stop doing it". Whenever you become aware of some aspect you dislike, do not try to work through it. Do not chalk it up to the realities of life. Do not put up with it. Instead, cut it out of your life as fast as you can. Eradicate it.
  2. Are leaders born, or are they made? They are born. A leader is born with an optimistic disposition or she is not. If she is not, then no amount of "optimism training"is going to make her view of the world as optimistic as it needs to be to lead. To lead effectively you must be unfailingly, unrealistically, even irrationally optimistic. Like it or not, this is not learnable.
  3. All managers excel at turning one person's talent into performance. They will succeed or fail based on their ability to make their employees more productive working with them than they would be working with someone else.
The rest of the book is coverage of why these 3 items are especially important, as well as supporting information and anecdotes as to why the specific positions taken are true. My belief is that these three items ARE as critical as indicated, and are very much related. If you are bad at the task of turning talents into performance, you aren't ever going to be a great manager, no matter how hard you work at it ... and indeed, by breaking rule one, you are most likely to fail.

The same sort of analysis is key relative to leadership -- are you leading or are you managing? They are very different things.

The idea to not do what you don't like (and will typically be bad at as well) is sort of a reverse on discovering your strengths. There is some logic here -- sort of like the discussion about Michelangelo doing "David" supposedly said he didn't "create", he just uncovered the image that was in the stone. By removing that which we do not like, we become better in touch with "what we are", and increase our chances for success.

Quick read, well written, fairly useful information from a big picture point of view. Recommended.

Friday, April 03, 2009

BO Bows In Respect

I guess BO must know where all the oil comes from!!

90% of Guns

The Myth of 90 Percent: Only a Small Fraction of Guns in Mexico Come From U.S. - Presidential Politics | Political News -

Common sense would tell you that the statement "90% of the guns used in crime in Mexico come from the US" is a lie. Virtually all of those guns are fully automatic, and fully auto guns are ALREADY illegal here, and have been since the '30s.

This article shows that the number comes from "Of those guns that have serial numbers indicating that they MIGHT come from the US and are sent here for tracing, 90% of them actually are from here"!

That is like saying that "90% of the crime committed in WI is committed by Minnesotans" when what you "meant" was that of the criminals that you found to have MN IDs, 90% of them actually turned out to be from MN".

Doesn't seem like a "mistake" does it? That is because it isn't -- it is an overt attempt to set the sheep up to support an "assault weapons" ban because "of all the harm our guns are causing in Mexico". This is how the lefty's and the MSM get the herd bleating in unison!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Steven's Charges Dropped

Some Alaskans See Stevens As Good As Vindicated : NPR

I'm sure this won't get nearly the coverage as his conviction one week before the election!! The article says "some Alaskan's think he would have won had he not been convicted the week before the election". Ya think?? Gee, he lost by a whole 1% even though he WAS convicted!! Sure glad that I have NPR to tell me that he MIGHT have won!!!

I wonder if this was reversed and a long time Democrat had lost, the Republicans had taken over the White House and the Congress with big margins, if there might be "one or two" media stories about how the legal system was used to take away a Senate seat???

Note, CNN finds there is some really big news this PM so the Steven's story can't make it on their page -- the HEADLINE is a "Struggle With Food Allergies"!!! Democrats outright manipulate an election to steal a Senate seat and then it turns out that they had no case!!!!

Not even a National Story!!!

Make Democrats Tax Exempt?

The Associated Press: Sebelius admits errors, pays $7,000 in back taxes

Can BO find **ANY** Democrats without tax issues? It just becomes clearer and clearer why they are so much in favor of high taxes!! If you aren't going to pay them, it really doesn't make any difference how high they are!!

No Half Measures

Obama, Brown call for tough moves against economic crisis -

BO seems to believe that mankind controls it's own destiny and that there is no need to have "cycles". I wonder if that means he is due to banish death? I've heard that is unpopular with a number of people and gives them the "false impression" that many really important things are not within their control. Oh well, I guess that is old pre-BO irresponsibility talking. Now that BO has got it all in hand, the future is only sweetness and light!

"We've passed through an era of profound irresponsibility," Obama said at a joint news conference. "Now, we cannot afford half-measures and we cannot go back to the kind of risk-taking that leads to bubbles that inevitably burst. So we have a choice: We either shape our future or let events shape it for us."