Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Senator Ann Coulter Gives Republican's 60 Votes

Franken 'thrilled' after court declares his Senate victory - CNN.com

Suppose the MSM would like my headline? I've read both Ann's and Al's books and they are both bomb throwers of the same vitriol and partisanship, the only difference being which side they are on. The MSM essentially went crazy when the Republicans had both houses of congress and the presidency in 2002-2006. The Democrats had the kind of majority they have now in the '30s and the '60s. As I've said before, it took from '29 - '53 before the DOW went back above it's '29 highs, and it took from '65-'83 before it broke above the level of '65. Welcome to disaster.

Sadly, the Democrats were not near as far left those times as they are now, and I'm not sure we have ever had anyone in the Senate that was as amoral, partisan, and just plain nasty as Al Franken. Even though I live here, MN can now give up all pretensions to "MN Nice". What a crock.

I think Republicans and just reasonable people in general need to realize that there ought to be limits. The problem is that there AREN'T!! What little is left of what used to be America is so far off the road to the left that we put the left wing equivalent of Ann Coulter in the Senate and it gives the Democrats 60 votes! If this shoe was on the other foot, the MSM and the left would be screaming so loud that it would crush all else!!!

Maybe it is time for the "reasonable" to get UNreasonable!!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Proof of Amorality

Remind me: Which political party is "decadent" and "sick"? | Salon

It is the LEFT that points out the "high standards" of the right as being "hypocritical", and Clinton is always trotted out as the poster child for "see, his affair was not so bad". Of course the issue for Slick really wasn't the "affair" (and only some perverse lefty would call staining a dress an "affair"), it was the fact that he was under investigation for sexual harassment AND he was having a "sexual relationship" with a current employee. McDonald's managers are fired for having sex with employees at work. a) the job description doesn't include sex at work and b). it's illegal under federal harassment statutes that BILL CLINTON signed into law!!!

The other major league Democrat is of course Teddy Kennedy. Now he KILLED his date, and last I checked, he was STILL in the Senate, and murder was worse than "having an affair". Teddy even came close to getting the Democrat Presidential nod AFTER killing his date, personally, I don't think Sanford has much chance of being elected as a Republican again. John Edwards? The media knew all about his affair for a long time, and since he is a "D", it was a non-story until it was obvious that he was not going to be the nominee.

So does Christianity guarantee freedom from sin? Nope, unfortunately it doesn't even guarantee that the the Christian is "better" than others from the point of view of "earthly judgment". In the Christian view, the important issue is eternity, not the heartbeat spent in this veil of tears anyway. Does that mean "sin boldly"? Absolutely not, but it does mean that we have to TRY for Gods standards and accept that we are sinners -- something that the left generally finds completely abhorrent.

So Gingrich has "retained his position"? Huh? Was he Speaker up until the Republicans lost the majority? Not in my universe. As far as I know, the Ensign affair is just out. Will he survive? I don't know -- I suspect that will be up to the voters. Did anyone say that Senators ought to lose their jobs for affairs?

I guess I would question how he "knows" that Spitzer or Edwards will "never be candidates again"? Is he saying that it IS a good idea to hold up having affairs or paying prostitutes as a "lifetime loss of viability"? But then what about Teddy? or Barney Frank for that matter? Is the Democrat party now setting up a standard by which they WOULD say that Slick Willie and Teddy ought to lose their jobs over sexual dalliances or murder?? I guess if we really do have a change of tune here and are not competing on which party HOLDS to the highest standards, then it is a whole new ballgame.

By the way, while Vitter, Ensign, Gingrich and perhaps Sanford have been able to retain their positions and political viability, the same cannot be said for the most recent offenders on the progressive side. Neither Eliot Spitzer nor John Edwards, each among the most promising figures in the Democratic Party, will ever be a candidate for public office again, although their misbehavior was no worse than what their Republican counterparts did.

If they looked honestly at themselves, religious conservatives might notice that they are morally lax, socially permissive and casually tolerant of moral deviancy -- just like the liberals they despise. So as they wonder aloud why the same salacious nightmare haunts them, year after year, the best advice they can get happens to come from that old sinner Clinton. As he so often says, the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing while expecting a different outcome.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Last Best Hope

The subject book by Joe Scarborough is subtitled "Restoring Conservatism and America's Promise". I like Joe in general and I think the book decently written. He quotes Burke, Russel Kirk's "Conservative Mind", Reagan, and Bill Buckley -- all minds that I respect a lot.

Chapter 9, "The Gipper's Greatest Lesson" is in my view the key "right on" message of the book. If we are going to have a "Conservative/Republican/Libertarian/Constrained" renaissance, then we are going to HAVE to have a solid, simple and POSITIVE message! Lord knows there are PLENTY of basics to build off -- investment vs borrowing, having less than perfectly followed morals vs none, belief in the American People vs remote and massive government, ... the list could go on and on. But if it isn't positive, forget it -- Reagan had that right.

As to the message of the rest of the book -- the facts are right. Way too many entitlements we can't pay, way too much debt from all sources, way too much willingness to put off until tomorrow that which has a strong chance to end our nation. There are good messages there, but I get an uncomfortable feeling that even though Joe has read all the right stuff, at his core he is too much of a compromiser. The line between winning with a smile and giving away the store in the support of comity can be a narrow one. I'm not sure I trust Joe to tap dance down it.

I have no problem with his basic idea that "conservatives conserve", but signing up with the Global Warming team because "that battle is lost" sounds too much like leaving being "reality based" behind and deciding that "truth doesn't matter". That seems like a bridge too far. It is too easy to squander hundreds of billions, whole industries and millions of jobs on government wishful thinking relative to climate. There is a very good reason why all the "progressives" are signed up for it -- it allows them to politicize everything in your life including the odss that your toilet is going to flush (federally mandated reduced flow toilets).

If leaving the truth behind is price to pay for getting in power again, it sounds like Joe is willing to say "go for it" -- I'm not at all sure that I'm there, even if it is obvious that BO is a horrible alternative. I think that is one of the other reasons that I balk -- Joe is pretty willing to castigate the Republican majority and Bush administration for falling prey to the ways of Washington. While they are certainly guilty as charged, if the "Republican 2.0" model comes out as against SUVs and believing in Global Warming isn't that pretty much just a version of "branding over substance"?

Sadly, I think our problems are even deeper than Joe's diagnosis. They didn't start with the Republican majority and Bush, they started with Reagan if not before. Reagan supported the Ponzi scheme of FICA in a big way with massive taxes -- TRUELY the "largest tax increase in history", and one that keeps on growing. It can't save a broken program though, and a party that seeks to be reality based can't ignore that fact.

The road to bankruptcy led through Reagan -- although it is longer than even that. The idea that it was somehow moral to pass massive federal debt on to succeeding generations is one of the core pieces of reality that has to be taken on directly. The truth needs no "rebranding", and neither does reality. I'm not sure that Republicans can be that party, but we desperately need one!

I recommend the book -- it isn't perfect, but it is an easy read that covers some key pieces that people need to know.

Glenn Beck's Common Sense

The subject book is currently on the bestseller lists and driving the left crazy, which means it can't be all bad. There is nothing "wrong" with the book, I just don't particularly like his style, but the message is more or less fine -- in my opinion he may be too hard on politicians! I know that is hard to believe for readers of this blog, but Joe Scarborough's Mom has a good point -- "you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar", and I fear that in our mourning over the direction that America has fallen, too many Republicans have switched to vinegar. Let the left be angry, we have too much to be thankful for to be angry! They can kill home, country, friends, family, and fortune, but they can't take faith, so our lot is still better than theirs even in death.

The book covers pretty much the factual litany -- out of control spending, the loss of individual freedoms, the Ponzi scheme we can't pay for of FICA and Medicare, the way the tax code is used to reward cronies and punish political "enemies", investing in dubious pollution ideas over people, the horror of gerrymandering ... etc.

It's all true, it is all sad -- I just don't really see a plan for action in it and worry that Beck is going to create more eneimies than he does converts to the cause. But, I may well be wrong on that, so if you don't think you have a full bead on just how bad things are, it isn't very long and it covers a broad spectrum of the current disaster.

No Morality Is Better

Op-Ed Columnist - Genius in the Bottle - NYTimes.com

Maureen makes it clear, the problem is "sanctimony and Republicans", certainly not bad behavior.

The Republican Party will never revive itself until its sanctimonious pantheon — Sanford, Gingrich, Limbaugh, Palin, Ensign, Vitter and hypocrites yet to be exposed — stop being two-faced.

So why is it that Palin is hypocrite? Daughter getting pregnant? I really don't know, but actually, I agree, she IS a hypocrite and Maureen is not. Maureen has successfully subscribed to that difficult position of absolute amorality -- there is nothing she could do that would show she has somehow acted against her principles, since she has none! It is a solution that certainly "works", yet I fail to see that it is the superior one.

The alternative is as Maureen points out -- to have morals, standards and principles and to almost certainly fall short of them -- sometimes horribly and publicly, sometimes in small and private ways. All those with standards bear that burden of hypocrasy, and usually not all that lightly.

I see the benefit of Maureens position relative to ease, but somehow it seems that it has it's own price. Sure, there is the enjoyment of bashing those with standards when they fail, but where is the joy in your own libertine existance? Is it only that vicarious pleasure in pointing the failings of others relative to their standards? or do you take joy at pushing some new boundary in your own unfettered world? Is it even "cheating" when one has no morals at all? Does breaking some old tired standard held by prudish (and almost certainly hypocritical) others gain the standard of "virtue"?

I'm sure I lack the sophistication that it takes to even understand that liberal thought nirvana where no standards reign and those that hold any are cretins whose failings are to be gloated over with a sort of joy in the misfortune of others that is in itself enough to give human nature a bad name to those of us too small minded to leave all thought of morals behind.

Monday, June 22, 2009

BO's Persian Education

Obama's Persian Tutorial - WSJ.com

Good article, I found the ending to particularly insightful. First paragraph is very important. If the MSM isn't going to make sure that our new failed community organizer gets educated on world affairs, he is just going to go on being a fool. What history is it that BO thinks he remembers? The one in the first paragraph is the one I lived through. If only the BO problem was as soluble as the Jimmuh problem. Wishful thinking. Carter was a simpleton from Plains, the elite didn't revere him as a messiah and there isn't a Reagan waiting in the wings that I can see. No, this debacle has already far exceeded the Jimmuh disaster economically -- I just pray it doesn't result in the loss of 100's of thousands or worse of American lives in a nuke or chemical attack.
Days into his presidency, it should be recalled, Mr. Obama had spoken of his desire to restore to America's relation with the Muslim world the respect and mutual interest that had existed 30 or 20 years earlier. It so happened that he was speaking, almost to the day, on the 30th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution -- and that the time span he was referring to, his golden age, covered the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the American standoff with Libya, the fall of Beirut to the forces of terror, and the downing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Liberal opinion would have howled had this history been offered by George W. Bush, but Barack Obama was granted a waiver.

Little more than three decades ago, Jimmy Carter, another American president convinced that what had come before him could be annulled and wished away, called on the nation to shed its "inordinate fear of communism," and to put aside its concern with "traditional issues of war and peace" in favor of "new global issues of justice, equity and human rights." We had betrayed our principles in the course of the Cold War, he said, "fought fire with fire, never thinking that fire is quenched with water." The Soviet answer to that brave, new world was the invasion of Afghanistan in December of 1979.

Mr. Carter would try an atonement in the last year of his presidency. He would pose as a born-again hawk. It was too late in the hour for such redemption. It would take another standard-bearer, Ronald Reagan, to see that great struggle to victory.

Iran's ordeal and its ways shattered the Carter presidency. President Obama's Persian tutorial has just begun.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

People Who Disagree are Crazy and Dangerous

Roger’s Rules » Announcing the Save Frank Rich Society

I've commented on the left view that there is only one sane and intelligent view of the universe (theirs) and those that disagree are by definition either incredibly foolish/uninformed, or flat out insane. Here we have more of that from slightly different sources.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Safer With BO?

Gates: U.S. ready for North Korea missile - CNN.com

There are few stories getting less air play than the North Korean threat to put an ICBM "close to Hawaii' sometime in the July 4-10 period,  but at least CNN is acknowledging that "something is up". It is hard to imagine how the North Korean government could show much less respect for BO than if they just nuke Honolulu -- I'm nearly sure he would find that "unhelpful" and he might given them a "stern warning", or potentially go so far as to have the UN give them another "stern warning". Say what you want, that BO is one tough cookie!

Nice to have a media so much enslaved to you that even when the military is deploying missle defense systems that they have been consistently against and claimed to be useless (as has BO), they don't point out the foolishness of that!!Why deploy what you swear doesn't work, and what would not exist at all if you have your way?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Punish Success, Regulate Risk, Reward Failure

Too Big to Fail, or Succeed - WSJ.com

Those of the unconstrained mental model believe that a centrally managed beauracracy can produce "moderate everything" -- no success that is too big, no risks that are too scary, and no failures that harm any.

His plan, if adopted, will fundamentally change the nature of our financial system and economy. The underlying concerns and assumptions are clear, and they are made clearer by considering other ways that his administration has dealt with the consequences of competition -- particularly the faux bankruptcies of General Motors and Chrysler and the impending change in antitrust policy. Although the president said in his speech that he supports free markets, these initiatives confirm that the administration fears the "creative destruction" that free markets produce, preferring stability over innovation, competition and change.

In the lefty BO world, nobody would love and lose, death would certainly be outlawed and all our children would be "above average". True, we would need to regulate out the Jordans, Woods, and Favres, but "small price" for a "fairer, blander, better managed" world.

But what about BO? Would not the world be a less wonderful place in the lefty's eyes without the brilliance and startling leadership of their blessed BO? Certainly they have to allow for SOME to rise above the grayish plain of post-leveling "fair existence"?

Cheerleading for Red Ink

IBDeditorials.com: Editorials, Political Cartoons, and Polls from Investor's Business Daily -- Media's Mask Is Slipping As Deficits Surge

The "media's mask is SLIPPING?" ... ha. When did they have any "mask" other than complete cheerleaders for the BO National Socialist parade?? While the MSM provides hours and hours of supportive time for the leftward slide into a deep deep ditch, the Democrats flirt with the idea that ANY opposition voice is too much! Get rid of Fox News, get rid of Rush Limbaugh! ANY voice of anything but the party line is just too DANGEROUS!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Wilderness

The Claremont Institute - The Wilderness Years Begin

The whole article is well worth a read, but this paragraph is a nice summary of why what is commonly (and mistakenly) called "liberalism" in America is as damaging as all forms of wishful thinking and irresponsibility.
The danger liberalism poses to the American experiment comes from its disposition to deplete rather than replenish the capital required for self-government. Entitlement programs overextend not only financial but political capital. They proffer new "rights," goad people to demand and expand those rights aggressively, and disdain truth in advertising about the nature or scope of the new debts and obligations those rights will engender. The experiment in self-government requires the cultivation, against the grain of a democratic age, of the virtues of self-reliance, patience, sacrifice, and restraint. The people who have this moral and social capital understand and accept that there "will be many long periods when you put more into your institutions than you get out," according to David Brooks. Instead, liberalism promotes snarling but unrugged individualism, combining an absolute right "to the lifestyle of one's choice (regardless of the social cost) with an equally fundamental right to be supported at state expense," as the Manhattan Institute's Fred Siegel once described it. Finally, the capital bestowed by vigilance against all enemies, foreign and domestic, is squandered when liberals insist on approaching street gangs, illegal immigrants, and terrorist regimes in the hopeful belief that, to quote the political scientist Joseph Cropsey, "trust edifies and absolute trust edifies absolutely."

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Threat of Another View

Op-Ed Columnist - The Big Hate - NYTimes.com

Nazi Germany, the USSR, European Socialism and the American left have the common thread of only one way to be successful. Eliminate the opposition. The only totalitarian program that has ever "worked" is the elimination of your opposition -- by muzzling them, getting them to move away, or if all else fails, shooting them.

Folks on the left ALWAYS know better -- about what kind of car you should drive, food you should eat, healthcare you should like, books you should read -- the list goes on and on ad nauseum. The fact that very nearly 100% of the time not only are their pronouncements and actions designed to remove your freedom to choose most anything, they they are also just as often very wrong -- meaning that what they demand you do doesn't work (if it did, free people would be doing it!). Their economies are less prosperous, their healthcare causes them to flee to the US if they actually get sick, and their cars are either exhorbantly priced, or reasonably priced but nothing you would want in your garage.

The key to left wing success is to destroy the opposition and to remove any sort of civil dialogue -- people that disagree with you are "haters", "religious nuts", "racists", "naive fools" ... and on and on and on. The bottom line -- people that disagree with their views are dangerous and need to be censored. Here is Paul Krugman on the horror of Fox news not bowing at scraping to BO 100% of the time. NOTE -- remember how the MSM treated Bush. Of course, the difference is that in Krugman's eyes, that was FAIR treatement of Bush, and anything less than complete boot licking for BO is "racist".

What will the consequences be? Nobody knows, of course, although the
analysts at Homeland Security fretted that things may turn out even
worse than in the 1990s — that thanks, in part, to the election of an
African-American president, “the threat posed by lone wolves and small
terrorist cells is more pronounced than in past years.”

that’s a threat to take seriously. Yes, the worst terrorist attack in
our history was perpetrated by a foreign conspiracy. But the second
worst, the Oklahoma City bombing, was perpetrated by an all-American
lunatic. Politicians and media organizations wind up such people at
their, and our, peril.

BO Relativism

RealClearPolitics - Hovering on High: Obama Surveys the World

The essence of fascism is the equivalence of all on a moral and very earthly plane, so that the brilliant leader of day -- Hitler 70 years ago in Germany, BO here today can make their Olympian pronouncements as the nearest thing in a godless world to holy writ.

Not that Obama considers himself divine. (He sees himself as merely messianic, or, at worst, apostolic.) But he does position himself as hovering above mere mortals, mere country, to gaze benignly upon the darkling plain beneath him where ignorant armies clash by night, blind to the common humanity that only he can see. Traveling the world, he brings the gospel of understanding and godly forbearance. We have all sinned against each other. We must now look beyond that and walk together to the sunny uplands of comity and understanding. He shall guide you.

The sheep are prepared, be it a foreign policy of bowing scraping profuse apology, buying the car companies to force Americans to buy the cars that BO and the climate Nazis approve of, or providing us with a health care system as as soulless as the post office, the fascists are on the march.
Well, yes. On the one hand, there certainly is some American university where the women's softball team has received insufficient Title IX funds -- while, on the other hand, Saudi women showing ankle are beaten in the street, Afghan school girls have acid thrown in their faces, and Iranian women are publicly stoned to death for adultery. (Gays, as well -- but then again we have Prop 8.) We all have our shortcomings, our national foibles. Who's to judge? 
That's the problem with Obama's transcultural evenhandedness. It gives the veneer of professorial sophistication to the most simple-minded observation: Of course there are rights and wrongs in all human affairs. Our species is a fallen one. But that doesn't mean that these rights and wrongs are of equal weight.

The sheep become so used to the dialectic of "on one hand this and the other ...", while the supposed comparisons are more like "in one universe thus, and in some other, not related universe ...". It seems that with media support, the level of critical thought for many is nil.
Distorting history is not truth-telling, but the telling of soft lies. Creating false equivalencies is not moral leadership, but moral abdication. And hovering above it all, above country and history, is a sign not of transcendence but of a disturbing ambivalence toward one's own country.
Actually, distorting history is far worse than that. Along with the constant false equivalence rhetoric it prepares the weak minded for the removal of the "other side" as "too dangerous". Some 88 year old crackpot shoots someone in the holocaust museum, a lone gunman shoots a late term abortionist ... Rush Limbaugh says something controversial -- how long can we "put up with this dangerous hate"?? The preparation for the complete destruction of any opposition to BO is now being sown in earnest.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Paygo Joke

The 'Paygo' Coverup - WSJ.com

All politicians lie, the problem is that Democrats usually get away with it:

The truth is that paygo is the kind of budget gimmick that gives gimmickry a bad name. As Mr. Obama knows but won't tell voters, paygo only applies to new or expanded entitlement programs, not to existing programs such as Medicare, this year growing at a 9.2% annual rate. Nor does paygo apply to discretionary spending, set to hit $1.4 trillion in fiscal 2010, or 40% of the budget.

Paygo isn't even really a "gimmick" -- it is just a flat out ruse to say one thing and do another. The other cool thing about being a Democrat is that you can "stack your lies".

The President also revived the myth that paygo was somehow responsible for eliminating budget deficits during the Clinton years. In fact, that brief era of balanced budgets was due to: mid-decade spending reductions by a GOP Congress elected on a balanced-budget pledge; an excessive cut in defense spending to 3% from 5% of GDP across the decade; and an unsustainable revenue boom due to the dot-com bubble. But harking back to the 1990s lets Mr. Obama avoid having to defend his own spending record.

Note also that none of those things had anything to do with Clinton, other than he signed the budgets. CONGRESS shall appropriate -- then and now, and guess what has been happening to deficits (not to mention the economy) since Pelosi and the Democrats took over in 2006:

That's what Democrats also promised in 2006, with Nancy Pelosi vowing that "the first thing" House Democrats would do if they took Congress was reimpose paygo rules that "Republicans had let lapse." By 2008, Speaker Pelosi had let those rules lapse no fewer than 12 times, to make way for $400 billion in deficit spending. Mr. Obama repeated the paygo pledge during his 2008 campaign, and instead we have witnessed the greatest peacetime spending binge in U.S. history. As a share of GDP, spending will hit an astonishing 28.5% in fiscal 2009, with the deficit hitting 13% and projected to stay at 4% to 5% for years to come.

Again, the WSJ is being optimistic -- they are assuming that the economy is going to recover and GROW in order to have the huge deficits account for "merely" 4-5% for years to come. That remains to be seen.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Dark Future is Today

RealClearPolitics - Growth's Rapidly Diminishing Prospects

The nation now is 17 months into the demographic deluge that began in January 2008 when the leading edge of the wave of 78 million baby boomers began exercising the preposterous entitlement to collect Social Security at age 62, as most Social Security recipients do. In 1935, when Social Security was enacted, no one envisioned it supporting most retirees for a third of their adult lives. So, should Americans shop until the boomers drop?

We have been talking about "what will we do in the future when the Boomers retire" -- the future is now. We are having a nice recession.
Recently, Standard and Poor's noted that Britain's ballooning need to borrow might cost the country its AAA credit rating, which would raise its cost of borrowing. Britain's deficit this year is expected to be at least 12.4 percent of GDP. America's is scheduled to be more than 13 percent. Years of such government borrowing might crowd private sector borrowers out of credit markets and raise long-term interest rates.
So after years of the press talking of the US being "A banana republic" for borrowing mere 100's of billions, now that we are actually borrowing like a banana republic with TRILLIONS being borrowed and 13% of our GDP, they are applauding it!

The president's astonishing risk-taking satisfies the yearning of a presidency-fixated nation for a great man to solve its problems. But as Coolidge said, "It is a great advantage to a president, and a major source of safety to the country, for him to know that he is not a great man." What the country needs today in order to shrink its problems is not presidential greatness. Rather, it needs individuals to do what they know they ought to do, and government to stop doing what it should know causes or prolongs problems.

If only BO could figure out that he is not a great man before he completes the great bankruptcy!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Good In Fox News


Charles is always good, this is critical:

A few years ago, I was on a radio show with a well-known political reporter who lamented the loss of a pristine past in which the whole country could agree on what the facts were, even if they disagreed on how to interpret and act upon them. All that was gone now. The country had become so fractured we couldn't even agree on what reality was. What she meant was that the day in which the front page of The New York Times was given scriptural authority everywhere was gone, shattered by
the rise of Fox News.

What left me slack-jawed was the fact that she, like the cohort of mainstream journalists she represented so perfectly, was so ideologically blinkered that she could not fathom the plain fact that the liberal media were presenting the news and the world through a particular lens. The idea that it was particular, and that there might
be competing ones, perhaps even superior ones, was beyond her ken.

Get that? What is the use of "freedom" if everyone thinks there is only one "true" view of the world. That is what Fox News gave us -- it, along with National Review and Rush Limbaugh gave a lot of Americans the courage to no longer bleat in unison with the view of the MSM.

Letterman Civility

So Palin's 14 year old daughter having sex in the stands with a Yankee player is "funny"? In his top ten list he also talks about Sarah Palin's "slutty flight attendant look". BO has a daughter that will turn 14 while he is in office -- is it OK to have a joke about her having sex then? After all, black teens have a much higher incidence of teen pregnancy than whites, so it is "statistical". How about Michelle as a "Crack Ho"? Humorous with no MSM outcry? If not, why not? Are we a reverse rascist nation, an anti-Republican nation, or both.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Conservatism is Dead

RealClearPolitics - The Collapsing Global Left

The MSM is largely ignoring the drubbing that the parties of the left continue to take around the world. Why? Because socialist centralized governments can't "deliver the goods" -- the countries that have handed the keys to those governments have health care systems that are not only costly, they are in complete shambles. Declining standards of living and no outlook for improvement. In short, they already have what now seem to be intent to garner for our own nation.

Why is this? The last paragraph of the article gives the main point:

American voters are bombarded by their media with the message that
conservatism is dead, because a Democrat got 52 perecent of the
presidential vote. Meanwhile, the collapse of the Left proceeds apace
elsewhere in the world.
At some point, the US sheep will turn away from the media and look at the reality of the real world. Until that time, we will continue to decline.

Saved or Created

McGurn: The Media Fall for Phony 'Jobs' Claims - WSJ.com

Mr. Obama's comments yesterday are a perfect illustration of just such a claim. In the months since Congress approved the stimulus, our economy has lost nearly 1.6 million jobs and unemployment has hit 9.4%. Invoke the magic words, however, and -- presto! -- you have the president claiming he has "saved or created" 150,000 jobs. It all makes for a much nicer spin, and helps you forget this is the same team that only a few months ago promised us that passing the stimulus would prevent unemployment from rising over 8%.

I find that the national sheep are so attuned to the MSM these days that they believe what they hear more than what they see. As late as Sept of 2008, the market was at 12K and unemployment was 6%, yet the MSM was screaming "depression" and the man in the street was as mad as hell at the "horrible" economy. They ignored what they were living and went with what the news told them.

Now unemployment is at 9.4%, when it was promised that if we followed the BO plan would not exceed 8%, but "things are better" -- the market is under $9K.

I'm waiting for some bogus statistic on debt and deficits. Maybe "Net Invested Surplus" or something ... assume some nice solid rate of return on deficit spending ... like the old saws about 2-4x return on deficit spending. Just flat out count it was "income" as if all that investment came in as tax revenues, and all of a sudden, massive real deficits become charming "NIS Surpluses" ... in the trillions of dollars. BO ends up with a "booming" economy when running for election with 10's of millions of "Save Or Created" jobs and trillions of "NIS Surplus".

Maybe we could have the "happy days index" -- sort of the inverse of the old Carter "misery index". Forget any real numbers, this is the age of BO -- make them up and get happy!

Because Most Voters Are Healthy

Canada's ObamaCare Precedent - WSJ.com

I answered the good doctors question at the end with my title.

Here is the problem with the Canadian system:
The problems were brought home when a relative had difficulty walking. He was in chronic pain. His doctor suggested a referral to a neurologist; an MRI would need to be done, then possibly a referral to another specialist. The wait would have stretched to roughly a year. If
surgery was needed, the wait would be months more. Not wanting to stay confined to his house, he had the surgery done in the U.S., at the Mayo Clinic, and paid for it himself.
When the writer was young and living in Canada, he was in favor of the system -- because he was healthy!! How good is your fire insurance? Would it be better if it was "free" government fire insurance?? Basically, you have no idea how good something is unless you use it. "Free fire insurance" would be a great example of a government program -- the VAST majority of people would never use it, so would be happy. The few that did may be happy or unhappy, but it would make no difference -- since the government provided it for "free", their would be no alternative, so it would be like a lot of other things that we just say "that's the way it is"

I personally know multiple people that I work with that have emigrated from Canada or England to get health care. They liked government health care when they were healthy and voted for it. Why not? It was fine until they ended up on the short end of health care rationing. Are there folks that get sick and are happy with it? Sure, some are at the front of the line -- even though the vast majority of lottery players lose, the fact that some win keeps a lot of gamblers in the game. Government health care can be thought of as a "line lottery" -- if you never get sick, you never have to worry, so it is GREAT! If you do get sick and are lucky enough to end up with a shorter wait -- again, GREAT! You win!

Like a lot of socialist policies though, the trouble with this is that EVERYONE except the very filthy rich is forced to play, but those that take jobs that pay more end up paying MUCH more to play, yet unlike gambling, they don't get any more chances to win. The "game" penalizes those that it needs the most to keep operating, so less and less people are incented to work at higher stress and higher difficulty jobs that pay more -- all that pay allows them to do is to finance the health care gambling game that they could play without any job at all!!!

The incentives are reversed -- minimal or no work is advantaged over difficult and long hours of work.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Follow Europe?

European election results: Battered and bruised | The Economist

I think our MSM usually indicates that Europeans are a lot smarter than Americans and we ought to emulate them. So ought we be moving hard right and protesting leftism? Somehow I suspect that this topic won't get a lot of coverage in our unbiased US press.

Friday, June 05, 2009

History Of Liberalism in US

Forbes.com - Magazine Article

Nice short academic article that just recites some history. Three waves of US liberalism:

1).Progressives.  Woodrow Wilson. The "vision of change" -- old is bad, new is good. Destruction of tradition.
2). Economic liberals, FDR, "extended rights". Forget "pursuit", you have the right to ACHIEVE food, a home, medical care, education, retirement, a well paying job you like -- tons of stuff. "Gimme liberals"
3). Cultural liberals. "freedom from morals" -- no fault divorce, gay rights, abortion, legal drugs, etc. "do what feels good" liberals.

BO is looking to extend all three of these waves, and the fact that each of them has done broad damage to America already in the past is of no concern. Understanding a liberal is essentially just understanding the world view of a two year old.

  • I'm a new phenomenon, forget all that has gone before me, be still and know that I am god.
  • I want it, I want it all, I want it right now, and I have no responsibility to do anything to get it. Make it so, Peons.
  • I'm going to do whatever I want to do and do it whenever and with whomever I like. Restrictions are evil and stupid, whatever feels good to me ought to be applauded and celebrated.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

A Muslim Nation?

Barack Hussein Obama: US "one of the largest Muslim countries in the world" :: Toby Harnden

Our MSM chastises anyone so foolish to ever make the statement that the US is a "Christian Nation". It is one of those cases that I'd tend to agree with them -- we USED to be one, and we were founded as an "Anglo-Saxon / Judaeo-Christian VALUED" nation, but no longer. I guess BO is right yet again, we may as well be a "Muslim Nation" -- I'm not sure if that is somehow better than a "Pagan Nation" which is what we really seem to be, but it is probably more accurate than "Christian".

So, does anyone have any expectations of some flap in the press over BO making this statement??? Now whenever there are any statements about a "Christian Nation", we get the big "intolerance" claims -- no gays, no legal abortion, no drugs, no beer, people looking in your bedroom window ... all that "Christian stuff".

So, how about a Muslim Nation? Last I checked the Muslims were much more strict on all the same stuff as the Christians, PLUS, you get your women in burkas, stoning adultresses, rape being the womans fault, stoning gays, multiple wives, etc ... so why would the MSM not immediately leap to the horror of what it would mean to be a "Muslim Nation" when our infallible President BO makes the statement?

It is enough to make one suspect the potential of press bias!!

The Race to One Party

The GOP Ain't Dead Yet - WSJ.com

The left is still having problems with not everyone joining the Democrat party. One party rule is a strong tradition of the left, and the idea that anyone would not think the same as their brilliance has directed us puts them in some degree of high dungeon.

Naturally, all problems are a direct result of Republicans and Republican policies -- while it may need saying (again and again and again), it needs no supporting evidence -- it is a plain fact.
Unfortunately, they have been able to come up with only one way: Impostor theory. The movement's instinct, developed during better times, is to dismiss all failings as authenticity problems. The true faith wasn't discredited, they say, Dubya simply failed to live up to it. We didn't change Washington, they moan, Washington changed us. 
Sorry, chaps. Conservatives did change government, and their long experiment with that institution discredited central elements of their faith. That is obvious today, even if it remains a forbidden thought for the movement itself.
There we have it -- massive pork, federal meddling in education and a huge new drug program were ALWAYS part of the core Republican policy, and the idea that "conservatives" caused all current problems (they were always such huge fans of sub-prime loans for instance) simply needs no support. It is the obvious -- like the earth being round.

I'm one of the few folks to the right of Marx that had the strong stomach to slog through Frank's "What's the Matter With Kansas". I'll save you the trouble -- it says OVER and OVER that the only values worth thinking about are economic, and OBVIOUSLY, Democrats can "give" (rob from the "rich" and give to the "poor") far more than Republicans will, so only an idiot would vote Republican! From Franks and (BO's) POV, that golden goose will just keep laying eggs just as fast after they cut it open and take a few extra!

So Frank's believes he has completely discredited the idea of "populist Republicans" in the following paragraph. There simply is no "elite", just as there is no "left wing media" -- it doesn't exist at all. However, no matter how few Republicans are left, as long as they draw breath there is a threat of a return to "the religious right" or worse. Potentially death camps for Christians would be a good move??

One way back is the populist one, expanding on conservatism's understanding of itself as a rebellion against "elites." I have spent no small amount of ink criticizing the emptiness of this rhetoric -- conservatism is pretty much responsible for our massive economic inequality, after all -- but I will acknowledge that hollow populism beats none at all.
Ah, the threat of having a two party system -- we need to recognize the danger (how ever small it may be) and work to stamp out the last vestiges of those evil Republicans!

Dunning-Kruger Effect

Dunning-Kruger effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As Darwin put it, "ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge". The Dunning-Kruger (DK) study seems to prove it and shows the following:
  1. Incompetent individuals tend to overestimate their own level of skill.
  2. Incompetent individuals fail to recognize genuine skill in others.
  3. Incompetent individuals fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy.
  4. If they can be trained to substantially improve their own skill level, these individuals can recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill.
We **ALL** fall prey to this, since we are OFTEN incompetent!  In fact, for ALL of us, our areas of incompetence VASTLY exceed those areas we are competent, and the worst problem tends to be those areas where we are "unconsciously incompetent". We are too stupid to know that we don't know!

I believe the greater the intelligence of a person and lower their formal training, the worse the DK problem is likely to be. Why? Because formal training is going to teach some level of humility, no matter how intelligent you are. In formal training you WILL find out there are things that you thought you knew but didn't. Some things will be counterintuitive and downright HARD for you even though you are normally bright. These discoveries will tend to teach at least a little humility, so it will be more possible to realize the dangers of "unconscious incompetence" and avoid some DK effects.

If you are more intelligent than the average person, you can commonly "make something up" that will sound plausible to all but the more intelligent or the better trained in some area that you happen to drift into. Even worse, if you couple high intelligence with argumentative ability, you are likely to intimidate even those who really DO know from pointing it out since you will STILL be hard to argue with / convince. (If you are REALLY bad, you will just call them "racist" if they point out where you are wrong!)

A near certain sign of a vast level of ignorance and high level of the DK  effect is the belief  that "Someone that was "smart" could explain this to me SIMPLY (meaning "simple" to the person that wants the explanation)". Often this comes with the corollary that "If it can't be explained (to the person) "simply", NOBODY  understands it very well and all views (certainly MINE!) are pretty much "equal"".  (the simple answer to this is Quantum Physics -- even guys like Feynman said that if you weren't confused, you REALLY didn't understand it!)

The core of this idea is viewing ones self as the center of the universe to an extraordinary degree -- why is it that all phenomena ought to be easily explainable to YOU (if indeed to ANYONE)? It is a piece of unfounded faith that shows extreme ignorance coupled with hubris, but remember, it is very possible to couple extreme ignorance with high intelligence. Narcissists are often exactly this case -- convinced they are the only one that really matters, and their special knowledge, opinion and perspective is really the only one that counts! (Obama may be the greatest example of this in history!)

High Dunning-Kruger and great communication skills is especially dangerous. "See Obama". Note, Reagan had great communications skills, but very low DK -- he clearly knew what he didn't know and acted accordingly. Bush had poor communications skills, and I'd argue a low DK problem as well -- he also was willing to bring in expertise that he knew exceeded his and support them. BO has no clue about economics, mideast history, running car companies, what it takes to win against terrorists, or apparently even Constitutional Law, which was SUPPOSED to be his specialty!  -- but no matter. He is absolutely convinced he can do all of them because he has a law degree from Harvard and worked as a Community Organizer for awhile!

Very much thought about this and the term "chilling" doesn't really do it justice!

Unintended Effects

Perils of pop philosophy

In general, I agree very much with this author -- I too find that the more I read about various things, the less confidence that I have that I "really get it" -- and that odd word "epistemology" (the study of meaning/knowing) pops into my head more and more often. Sadly, the problem discussed here is MUCH worse when the "dominant cultural vision" is in power. When Bush was President, the MSM was quick to point out how "overly simplistic" or "wrong headed", or just plain WRONG most all his thoughts and polices were. Thus, BO.

But wait, just because trying to rocket skyward at 10K MPH forever may not be a "perfect solution", doesn't making trying to plunge earthward at 100K MPH a perfect solution either. There is a HIGH potential that MANY alternatives are at least equally, if not much worse. The set of wrong answers is always infinity, and the set of "good / correct" answers is always much much smaller, often even coming close to ONE. (as in 2+2=4).

Those are real enough, but there’s also the problem that the general
glut of information and opinion makes it disconcertingly easy to kid
yourself about how well you understand a particular topic. (My friend
Michael Moynihan refers sarcastically to “Google pundits
who affect deep understanding after plucking a few talking points from
a search—a sin I’m sure I’ve committed myself on occasion.)  It’s
something of a cliché, but the older I get, the more I find that
learning more about an area where I once held a strong opinion will
often mean realizing just how limited my own understanding is. No doubt
if you look back to the earliest days of this blog, you’ll find me
ranging across a much broader array of topics with much more
confidence. There is, as Yeats

reminded us, a certain perversity here: People who actually know
something are more likely to be fairly tentative and circumspect, while
people ill-informed enough to think everything is quite simple will be
confident they know all they need to.
I find that paragraph particularly scary as I think of BO. In my life to date, I've never seen anyone with the combination of as much arrogant certainty across a broad set of topics and as much general credulousness from the broad swath of Americans. This is a very dangerous combination.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Anarchy and Disney

Since I've never read any serious books on anarchy, I decided to pick one up. It is titled "Anarchism A Collection of Revolutionary Writings" by Peter Kropotkin. He died in 1921 and was considered a hero in the USSR at the time this set of writings was pulled together in 1970. Both Kropotkin and Roger Baldwin (the guy that pulled this book together) found the move to at least socialism if not communism and anarchy to be "inevitable". Death is inevitable, otherwise, the future of man is pretty much a closed book. The lesson ought be learned many times by now, but for some reason it never is.

Here is a good little quote from the book to give you a flavor for this guy:

Primitive man may have thought it very right -- that is, useful to the race-- to eat his aged parents when they became a charge upon the community--a very heavy charge in the main. He may have also thought it useful to the community to kill his new-born children, and only to keep two or three in each family, so that the mother could suckle them until they were three years old and lavish more of her tenderness upon them."

Touching. You see Kropotkin is an "atheist, scientist and evolutionary moralist". ALL forms of control MUST be removed before the flower of human nature can truly blossom. Only the foolish or the "oppressors" believe in God, the state, or laws of any sort. All man needs for a perfect society is "the quest for pleasure". It is the only natural motivation that there is, and if we simply return to it, we will have a "just", "fair", and "equal" society -- oh yes, and of course all private property has to be abolished.

We can prove with a wealth of examples how in the animal and human worlds the law of mutual aid is the law of progress, and how mutual aid with the courage and individual initiative which follow from it secures victory to the species most capable of practicing it.

Well, I guess that is "proven" then. It is so odd that the "inevitable" and ONLY way for a species to survive (anarchy / mutual aid) hasn't caught on more. Thinking of the bees -- I could swear that they had defined roles like worker, queen, drone, etc and that each did what they were required to do or the other bees stung them to death. But I must be wrong. Ever see a pack of housecats hunting? It is a thing to behold -- it is hard to beat cats for hands down mutal aid of each other -- and why not? No question that their species would not have made it if not for that ever present feline mutual aid!

The socialists and communists have a lot of support for guys like this. I'd expect that BO would find many of his arguments about capitalism, private property, classes, oppression, etc to be very convincing. Of course BO kind of likes power, so I think the "abolish the state" would be a bridge too far. If there isn't any government, you don't have a big plane to scare the folks in Manhatten with, nor the money to go up for the big date with the missus!

Reading a book like this while on a business trip to a convention being held at the Disney Dolphin hotel is strange. I grew up listening to folks in my family bray about "the big shots" and how there was "no hope for the little guy". Now I have to admit that BO is hard at work making sure that middle class folks fall to poverty and the bottom of the "wealthy" fall to lower middle, but for the last 30 years, opportunity has been great.

I went out for a nice walk tonight around an area called The Boardwalk and over to the gates of Epcot Center. As a young man, my family never made it to Disney, an ocean, a mountain, or anywhere outside the upper midwest. I remember my aunt, a nurse telling about seeing the Magic Kingdom on CA, Alaska, or Yellowstone. My uncle in Rockford worked and a screw plant, and they were "rich" as well -- they went on vacations to places like Disney, mountains, etc.

For thousands of years, families would take many generations to make any movement at all on the economic ladder, then all of a sudden, along came America and the opportunity was there. So now I've been to Disney multiple times with my kids, on cruises and on trips all over the US as have millions of others. That opportunity was provided because failure WAS an option -- those that failed to invest in education, markets, property or just plain failed to take the risks of moving to where a decent job was or zillion other things would OFTEN fail!

The beautiful resorts, accessible by a huge majority of Americans, were built on the idea that "not everyone makes it" -- int0 the NBA, on to the stage at Carneigie Hall, or not even to Disney. The fact that failure WAS an option enabled so many more to gain so much, and to raise the standard of living and the potential for all. Is that over now??

I hope not, but I fear that it hangs by a weaker thread than it did in the late 70's. Class warfare has been ignited, but I suspect very few of the folks walking around at these resorts realize that it is them on whom that war has been declared.

Oh, and unless you just want to get mad at "oppression" or just have no brain, this book is way to painful to read to recommend to anyone.

Behold the Power and Danger of the MSM

New poll results are devastating for Obama's Gitmo plan | Washington Examiner

York doesn't state the obvious here. Marketing works!! The MSM was all over Gitmo as one of the big Bush sins, so folks hated it. Of course they knew nothing about it, and no matter how many times Bush or Cheney told them how important it was, they couldn't be believed. They were LIARS!!!

Nobody would drink soda if it wasn't for marketing -- it is expensive, doesn't taste that good and isn't any good for you. But we are all marketed to all the time on it and it is readily available at every corner, so we drink it. We are all sheep, the only issue is if we are able to REALIZE that we are sheep and at least apply SOME critical thinking.

As soon as BO was in power and said he was going to close Gitmo, the MSM was happy. HOW it is supposed to be closed isn't their concern, that is for LEADERSHIP -- of which BO knows nothing. So far he shifts with the polls and has no trouble stating one thing and doing the opposite (campaign finance, wiretaps, military tribunals, gays in the military, releasing torture photos, the importance of deficits, putting lobbyests in the cabinet ... oh well, I'm tired of typing). Will he change his mind on Gitmo? It wouldn't surprise me any at all.

Racism Under New Management

RealClearPolitics - 'Out of Context'

Sotomayor has indicated that her "latino woman better than white man" statement was "taken out of context" ... to which Sowell replies:

What could such statements possibly mean-- in any context-- other than the new and fashionable racism of our time, rather than the old-fashioned racism of earlier times? Racism has never done this country any good, and it needs to be fought against, not put under new management for different groups.

Sowell goes on to make the following unarguable point:

The very idea that a judge's "life experiences" should influence judicial decisions is as absurd as it is dangerous.

It is dangerous because citizens are supposed to obey the law, which means they must know what the law is in advance-- and nobody can know in advance what the "life experiences" of whatever judge they might appear before will happen to be.

Whey bother to have a written Constitution? laws? Bible? anything? If new versions can be made up out of whole cloth at any moment because of somebodies "life experience", "compassion", or just plain "whim". The "standard" that is being foisted on us at every turn now from car companies to the Supreme Court is "no standard at all". The rule of law is dead -- all hail the power of BO!