Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Change we can believe in!
Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and change the future. This acceptance is the reformation essential to any revolution. To bring on this reformation requires that the organizer work inside the system....
I feel lost a lot. And I recognize that the past is gone, and that change is in the nature of reality.
So how come I'm not supporting revolution?
Forgive me, but when I hear the word "change" (especially from people who seek greater power over me), I generally assume they want to make things worse -- but for what they claim is my own good.
Why did we wreck our economy?
One of my pet peeves involves ideologues who misuse the word "we" -- especially in a scolding manner which implies that "we" all oppress the poor, have abortions, engage in hedonism, hate God, etc. Whatever it is that that's the ideological complaint of the moment, "we" are said to all be guilty of it.
Predictably, the latest misuse of the "we" pronoun involves the economy. Richard Miniter tears into the idea that "we" did it in post titled "No, We didn't Cause This Wall Street Mess":
You must be as tired of hearing it as I am. Somehow, we are all at fault for Wall Street's meltdown. We demanded cheap loans for houses we couldn't afford and voted in corrupt dolts, who took from Fannie Mae and told us what we wanted to hear. Now, we are getting what we deserve.Yes, and I imagine that if Obama is elected president, I'll have to listen to endless scoldings about how "we" are all guilty for living in a country shameful enough to elect him. (Never mind that I oppose him.)
Likewise, if McCain wins, I'll have to listen to the left complaining about how "we" are a very guilty and racist people for letting it happen. In neither case am I given credit for being an individual; I'm lumped into a group in which I don't belong, and my motives are impugned.
Miniter points out that "we" did not elect Barney Frank or Chris Dood:
Rep. Barney Frank was elected by a majority of the people of his district in Massachusetts. Senator Chris Dodd is brought to us by many but not all of the voters of Connecticut. And so on. Most of us never had the chance to vote for or against these solons. So why should we be blamed?Well, I guess I should be glad that at least they're not blaming the blogosphere.
The misuse of the "we" pronoun also helps the guilty parties escape blame:
What about cheap mortgages? Sure, some of us took them when they were offered. But who offered them and why? Yes, it is the Clinton-era changes to the Community Reinvestment Act that forced banks to lend more for "affordable housing." Law firms, including ones connected to Obama, sued banks that failed to meet their low-income quotas for mortgages. Bankers were not driven by greed, as everyone says, but by fear. Fear of the baying hounds of regulators and lawyers would call them racist and ruin their careers. But who unleashed the hounds on the bankers?Many of them were the same people who are now releasing the "we" pronoun on everyone except themselves.
If you visit this blog regularly, you probably know that I have no tipjar, but that I occasionally urge readers to donate to other bloggers instead. Right now, Dean Esmay could really use your help. Details and tip jar here.
While it's a real drag to ask people for money, I'd like to give a couple of reasons why I think readers should donate to Dean.
One is that while I don't ask for money, I like to think that if readers like what they see here, they might consider it worth an occasional donation. So, as I'm lucky enough not to need to ask for money for myself, shouldn't I be allowed to redirect some of that "goodwill" to others? As I see it, I have a responsibility to use this blog that way if I can.
Two is that Dean is a great blogger and thoroughly worthy of a donation even if he wasn't in need (which he is). He's been a personal inspiration, and he was one of the first bloggers to link and encourage me when I was completely unknown and he was well established. Which means that any readers who like this blog and also like Dean's World have a double obligation to make this donation. In fact, I'd go so far as to say to any reader who likes both blogs, you have no excuse not to hit Dean's tip jar!
So please, go donate now.
UPDATE: My thanks to Glenn Reynolds for linking this post. Please help out if you can; I donated yesterday and I'm donating some more today. I'm not George Soros and I can't afford to match your contributions dollar for dollar, although I would if I could, because I think helping Dean is a worthy cause right now.
Who gets to define rights?
What's shocking (to me) about the clamor to "save people's homes" (see M. Simon's earlier post) is that in many cases, they're trying to "save" people who owe more than the house is worth.
I think it is economically dishonest to talk of "saving" homes in this context. When someone is allowed to walk away from a loan in excess of the property valuation, he is the opposite of a victim.
To illustrate, suppose I had bought a house with a $350,000 taxpayer-guaranteed mortgage, and the house is now worth only $250,000. I'm financially screwed, and I'm on the hook -- in a bad way. I'd be far better off renting.
If the bank is willing to let me walk away from the indebtedness (or will allow a short sale, which many do) I'd be ahead $100,000.
Being able to walk away from a bad investment and have the debt forgiven is hardly victimization. (It is even considered income by the IRS, although there's legislation pending to change that.)
How the left and the MSM are able to spin as victims people who manage to walk away from legitimately incurred debts is beyond me.
I used to think that buying a house was a big decision fraught with risk -- something to be engaged in by responsible adults. That contracts were binding, you should read them carefully, etc.
Something must have changed.
I think it might involve the profoundly evil meme that "housing is a right." I say "profoundly evil" because such a "right" cannot exist except at the expense of other people.
From where derives the idea that anyone has the responsibility to provide housing for anyone else? I'm not saying people who cannot care for themselves because of disability or mental incompetence should not be cared for, but there's a huge difference between that and defining housing as a "right."
Of course, it's easy for libertarian cranks like me to prattle on about how "we" don't define housing as a "right" here in the free United States.
Many of "us" do. And they vote.
1. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.Fortunately, this is not binding on the United States as would be a treaty, so it cannot be enforced.
In her "Address to the United Nations General Assembly On the Adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," US Ambassador Eleanor Roosevelt said this:
....my government has made it clear in the course of the development of the Declaration that it does not consider that the economic and social and cultural rights stated in the Declaration imply an obligation on governments to assure the enjoyment of these rights by direct governmental action. This was made quite clear in the Human Rights Commission text of article 23 which served as a so-called "umbrella" article to the articles on economic and social rights. We consider that the principle has not been affected by the fact that this article no longer contains a reference to the articles which follow it. This in no way affects our whole-hearted support for the basic principles of economic, social, and cultural rights set forth in these articles.I guess it should be comforting to know that even Eleanor Roosevelt recognized that there is no "right" to housing in the United States.
Needless to say, the US faces ongoing criticism like this for its failure to recognize what amounts to an obligation as a "right":
The refusal of the United States to recognise the right to housing is of course symptomatic of a wider problem in the international community which arises with the tendency to give a higher priority to civil and political rights over economic and social rights.I suspect this is something that Obama would like to change.
Consider the following proposals from his Democratic colleagues:
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States regarding the right of citizens of the United States to health care of equal high quality (Jackson, D-IL)--H.J.Res. 30. Creates a constitutional right to equal health care.(Links added; more here.)
Considering that Jackson is Obama's national campaign chair, I think it's worth asking Obama how he defines rights.
But just as the word "socialism" is taboo, some questions can never be asked.
MORE: Suppose a clear majority of Americans decide that there is a "right" to property at the expense of others. Founder James Madison cautioned that what a majority might want is not necessarily an ideal standard:
There is no maxim, in my opinion, which is more liable to be misapplied, and which therefore, needs more elucidation than...that the interest of the majority is the political standard of right and wrong. Taking the word "interest" as synonymous with "ultimate happiness," in which sense it is qualified with every necessary moral ingredient, the proposition is no doubt true. But taking it in the popular sense, as referring to immediate augmentation of property and wealth, nothing can be more false. In the latter sense, it would be the interest of the majority in very community to despoil and enslave the minority of individuals; and in a federal community, to make a similar sacrifice of the minority of component States. In fact, it is only re-establishing, under another name and a more specious form, force as the measure of right....Tyranny by the majority is still tyranny.
It's comforting to know that such things were on the minds of the founders.
Vote for Obama! Or else!
Victor Davis Hanson has one of the best analyses of the current predicament vis-a-vis the election that I have seen in recent days. (A must read.) He thinks time is running out (that's the title of the piece!), and even though the most moderate Republican in history is running against the most left wing Democrat in history, ordinary voters still don't get it:
The truth is that we have an election between a moderate Republican whose centrist positions worry conservatives, who is pitted against a fringe-hyper-liberal candidate who must somehow assure the voters he is merely liberal. Never in recent history, have Republicans nominated one so moderate, never Democrats one so hard left. Yet we are not getting from a proud and unapologetic Obama "My left-wing views have at last proven prescient and arrived, and McCain's namby-pamby moderation is not what these crisis times call for."I couldn't agree more. The Bill Ayers connection needs to become known.
Hanson thinks the race card has been played very skillfully:
The most brilliant prepping has been an anticipatory demonization of the white working class in an effort through shame, fear, or pity to sway them to vote Obama. The narrative advanced is that if McCain wins, the real reason is because working-class Democrats--once they collectively get into the privacy of the voting booth--sighed and voted against Obama because he is of half-African ancestry, despite telling pollsters they would not.However, it's being overdone, and he thinks they need to cool it:
The white working class is tiring of the constant sermons on race, either chauvinism or veiled threats or overt insults. Obama's supporters really need to cool it, and stop suggesting that at each dip in his polls, Americans are proving less than noble people. The only thing that will really lose them the working-class vote is the gun-to-the-head, you'd better vote this way or else attitude.Good advice for the Obama campaign. I hope they fail to heed it, and I hope they continue to overplay their hand.
Endless accusations of racism and thuggish Obama Truth Squad tactics may be McCain's best hope.
UPDATE: My thanks to Sean Kinsell for linking this post in a great discussion of elitism.
ITER vs The Stone Axe
Stephen Strauss takes a look at big science and comes away unimpressed. He talks about two exhibits he saw. One for the $15 billion ITER (pronounced EATER - heh) and another about neolithic technology - mat weaving, pottery making, chipping stone axes.
At the recent European Science Open Forum conference in Barcelona, for example, I was strolling through exhibits aimed at -- please don't gag -- science outreach. The underlying theme of all these displays seemed to me to be: since their schooling actually teaches many ordinary people to be discomforted by -- if not to actually fear and loath -- science, let's see if we can't do something in these venues to get people to hate science a little bit less.And why do people hate science so much? Well it is hard to understand and requires a lot of complicated math and difficult concepts. I'm pretty good with that sort of thing. I understand Einstein but the math is beyond me. String Theory? Fuhgeddaboutit. So how about neolithic technology?
Right across from ITER was an exhibit in which a group of paleo-archeologists had set up a display to show the technology of the past in operation. So you had a guy sitting cross-legged, banging away at a rock to make a hand ax. Chip, chip, and chip. You had someone else weaving plants together to make a mat. Weave, weave, and weave. Someone else was taking clay and making a pot. There was no placard asking: Hand axe making, will it always be 40 years away? There were no critics of the effort calling it a huge waste of national resources.So how should we be thinking about such projects? A little differently to be sure.
What you put in place with these vastly expensive research efforts is a "can't afford to fail" paradigm. Unlike trying to find the best plant material to weave into a mat, ITER, the Large Hadron Collider, etc., must succeed on first go-round. With ITER, there is no second kind of rock to be chipped away, no other plants to be woven, no different type of clay to be baked into a plate.So what should we be doing about fusion? Lots of small "understand the science" and "proof of concept" projects. Say 100 two million dollar efforts. About 10 twenty million dollar efforts based on the successes of the two million dollar jobs. And one or two two hundred million dollar efforts based on the promise of the $20 million efforts. Total cost of around a billion dollars a year when everything is fully ramped up. Nothing that is too big to fail and nothing where testable results are fifteen to thirty years off.
Of course I have my favorites. Here is one that I described in the Fusion Report of 29 August 2008.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Who Stole The Chairs?
So who is to blame for the mess we are in? Victor Davis Hanson has some thoughts on the subject.
no one dares to ask what really drove the wheeler-dealer portfolio managers. Who re-elected these shady politicians of both parties? Who fostered the cash-in culture in which both Wall Street profit mongering and Washington lobbying are nourished and thrive? We citizens did -- red-state conservatives and blue-state liberals, Republicans and Democrats, alike. We may be victims of Wall Street greed -- but not quite innocent victims.I'm one of those 4 in 10. And you know what? I'm renting. I may have no assets but my liabilities are limited as well. Call it a form of reverse security. If my income goes down I can move to cheaper digs. What can a home owner do when the market tanks and his income goes down? Marx had a term for it: Stucco. That would be Groucho not Karl.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Karl Rove On How Democrats Failed
It is unwise to attribute to malice alone that which can be attributed to malice and stupidity.
Monday, September 29, 2008
At least conservatives still smoke red meat
We all know that smoking is conservative, because Republicans tend to defend tobacco, while Democrats tend to attack it.
With that principle in mind, I decided to look back in time at cigarette ads.
Sure enough, I spotted what can only be called "cultural conservatism" in this ad:
And there's no denying that genuine Paleo Conservatism is at play in this one:
Finally in the 1960s, LSD was added, and people started coming out of the TV!
But it was still a form of conservatism that had not yet been snuffed out.
(I hope there's no serious message here. I'd hate to think that conservatism might be as endangered as smoking. But nothing ever seems to remain the same. And therein lies the paradox.)
With Friends Like These
It looks like the community dis organizers need some help. From Mr. Obama.
WHAT exactly does a "community organizer" do? Barack Obama's rise has left many Americans asking themselves that question. Here's a big part of the answer: Community organizers intimidate banks into making high-risk loans to customers with poor credit.I have covered this at length but it you missed it try ACORN Is Not About Nuts and The Best Congress Fannie Could Buy and Barney Frank Frankly Not Frank.
What is going on in my opinion is nothing short of a coup attempt. The American Thinker explains who planned it and how they plan to pull it off. Obviously these events are way beyond my control. The only chance we have is on November 4th. If Obama gets in with a Democrat Congress you can kiss the Republic goodbye.
Let me add that Eric has a very nice chart from the American Thinker article that gives the basics in a very quick look.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
So why isn't it cool for presidents to have terrorist friends?
Via Glenn Reynolds, I am delighted to see that the Ayers story is starting to be reported in the MSM.
Well, the New York Post might not be the New York Times, or the Washington Post, but it's a start:
CHICAGO - While Barack Obama has long downplayed his connection to Bill Ayers, a co-founder of the violent Weather Underground radical group, new documents show the two worked much more closely together in starting an educational foundation than has been previously known.It's going to take time to get this story out, and it will be denied, minimized, and obfuscated, in every possible way. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't remember Ayers and the Weather Underground, and a new generation of young people have either never heard of them, or think it's no big deal, because they've heard they were cool. Like "Weren't they working for social justice or something?" Or "I think my English teacher used to be with them, so it's no big deal." That's the problem; young people simply do not understand why it's a big deal. Many of them have been raised and trained by people who think a guy like Bill Ayers is perfectly acceptable. Mainstream, even.
So, in addition to getting this story out, there needs to be an effort to remind people that doing things like blowing up an NCO club is way uncool. Definitely not part of the mainstream.
And that people who were into stuff like that but wish they were more successful, well maybe they shouldn't really get to be mainstream.
And maybe their close cronies shouldn't get elected president.
So many dots! So little time!
I'm of two minds about the "Cloward-Piven Strategy" theory of Obama and Ayers, which is explained here and represented in the following chart:
While I first heard about it last night thanks to a comment from Donna Barber, it is a very interesting theory and it might well be true. In that respect, it is worthy of study. As is Gramscian Marxism.
However, there's another side of me that tends to worry about conspiracy theories (whether true or not) being used as an obfuscatory tactic, especially when they complicate relatively simple issues and appear out of nowhere and muddy the waters just when relatively simple issues have become tough to ignore.
I refer to Bill Ayers, and his close association -- possibly even mentorship of --Barack Obama, over a long period of time. Over the past few days it has struck me that this is just about to "break through" from the blogosphere and talk radio and into the MSM. And now that it seems about to do that, there's a sudden interest in what may or may not be the "root cause" of the Ayers-Obama association.
Forgive me if I seem blunt, but what's damning is Obama's association with an unrepentant terrorist.
A guy wearing a bracelet bearing the name of an NCO killed by a terrorist IED was a close collaborator and friend of a guy who wanted to kill other American NCOs with IEDs, and who regrets he did not do enough.
This -- the one thing that will outrage middle America more than anything about Obama -- is the subject of a desperate media and campaign coverup.
Yet suddenly, the topic shifts to a tactic floated by obscure Columbia professors in 1966.
Again, the theory might be correct. But why right now?
I'd hate to think that when Obama is finally asked about Ayers, he'll be able to snark back with something like, "Yes and they're also saying that my friendship with Ayers is part of something called the 'Cloward-Piven Strategy,' which I'd never heard of until now" -- to great laughter from a pliant and clueless audience.
If Obama is elected, there will be plenty of time to look for root causes. I may be wrong, but right now, I think the focus should be on Ayers.
MORE: M. Simon aptly summarizes the Cloward-Piven strategy as a practical application of Lenin's "Worse is better," and Alinsky's Rules for radicals. No doubt it is both.
As I've noted many times, the fact that socialism does not work because it requires more socialism means that failure is success. But saying that won't win an election.
Barney Frank Frankly Not Frank
The Boston Globe, normally a reliable liberal paper, says that Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank (D - Corruption) has a lot to do with the mortgage crisis. It opens with a quote from Cong. Frank
'The private sector got us into this mess. The government has to get us out of it."I go into more detail on all the components of the problem at ACORN Is Not About Nuts and at The Best Congress Fannie Could Buy.
However, I just came across an American Thinker article which asks the question: are the people behind this stupid? Or was it a plan?
Despite the mass media news blackout, a series of books, talk radio and the blogosphere have managed to expose Barack Obama's connections to his radical mentors -- Weather Underground bombers William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, Communist Party member Frank Marshall Davis and others. David Horowitz and his Discover the Networks.org have also contributed a wealth of information and have noted Obama's radical connections since the beginning.So this is a long time coming.
The American Thinker article points out that the strategy behind it has a name. The Cloward-Piven Strategy of Orchestrated Crisis. Lenin also had a name for it: Worse Is Better.
I think a deeper look into what the American thinker has to say is in order:
Before the 1994 Republican takeover, Democrats had sixty years of virtually unbroken power in Congress - with substantial majorities most of the time. Can a group of smart people, studying issue after issue for years on end, with virtually unlimited resources at their command, not come up with a single policy that works? Why are they chronically incapable?You know that sounds a lot like the Alinsky Method - Rules For Radicals. The American Thinker article goes much deeper into Cloward-Piven with lots of links and how the players are connected (see the connection chart - it is a beaut). May I suggest that a thorough reading is in order?
H/T commenter Dan at Classical Values for the Boston Globe bit.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
ACORN Is Not About Nuts
ACORN is about vote fraud in Michigan.
Several municipal clerks across the state are reporting fraudulent and duplicate voter registration applications, most of them from a nationwide community activist group working to help low- and moderate-income families.Well. Two hundred thousand potentially fraudulent voter applications. I think it is a pretty good bet that those voters would be voting for Democrats since B. Obama has hired ACORN to do work for his campaign.
I think it would be instructive to learn more about ACORN.
If you thought the New Left was dead in America, think again. Walk through just about any of the nation's inner cities, and you're likely to find an office of ACORN, bustling with young people working 12-hour days to "organize the poor" and bring about "social change." The largest radical group in the country, ACORN has 120,000 dues-paying members, chapters in 700 poor neighborhoods in 50 cities, and 30 years' experience. It boasts two radio stations, a housing corporation, a law office, and affiliate relationships with a host of trade-union locals. Not only big, it is effective, with some remarkable successes in getting municipalities and state legislatures to enact its radical policy goals into law.That is very interesting. It may explain why Bill Clinton was so interested in welfare reform and why he worked with Republicans to get the job done. It may also explain why a certain faction of the Democrat Party hates the Clintons so. He was ruining their game.
What else has ACORN been involved in? Would you believe that part of their organizing has been an effort to get voters enrolled in states other than Michigan? And that in the original bail out plan ACORN was to get money from the plan?
Washington, Sep 27 - House Republicans have made clear that they will fight for an economic rescue package that protects the interests of families, seniors, small businesses, and all taxpayers. And as discussions continue in order to forge an agreement that reflects these principles, the American people are taking note of a left-wing giveaway Democrats are pushing to force taxpayers to bankroll a slush fund for a discredited ally of the Democratic Party. At issue is the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now - better known as ACORN - an organization fraught with controversy for, among other scandals, its fraudulent voter registration activities on behalf of Democratic candidates. Here are just some examples of ACORN's most recent scandals and unlawful activities:Those ACORN folks are some busy beavers. They kind of give a new twist to the idea of a work party. I wonder if they get their training in Chicago? Well no. ACORN Headquarters is in New Orleans, Louisiana. That might explain the Hurricane Katrina debacle. Curiouser and curiouser.
So who else was going to benefit from the mortgage bail out bill?
The housing package signed into law by President Bush extends an unlimited line of credit to troubled mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and rescues homeowners near or in foreclosure. The measure also increases the federal debt limit by another $800 billion -- and sends millions of dollars in aid to [the National Council of La Raza] and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN.Did you know that La Raza means "The Race" in Spanish? Fortunately they are not racists. At this point funding for ACORN and La Raza has been stripped out of the funding bill for the stock market bail out. I think that funding for them is still included in the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bail outs unfortunately.
I wonder why ACORN has not been prosecuted under the RICO Statutes?
WASHINGTON, Sept 25, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ -- James Terry, Chief Public Advocate for the Consumers Rights League, today testified at a joint House Administration and House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on "Federal, State and Local Efforts to Prepare for the General 2008 Election," where he highlighted "corruption at every level of ACORN including embezzlement, cover-ups, misuse of taxpayer funds and voter fraud." An excerpt of his testimony follows:Pretty good question. Why isn't the government going after them? One thing is for sure, if B. Obama gets in nothing will be done about them.
Oh yeah. If you want to learn more about how ACORN was also involved in mortgage fraud may I suggest reading: The Best Congress Fannie Could Buy.
Update: 29 Sept 008 0723z
Here is a present for ACORN that Chris Dodd and Barney Frank included in the mortgage bail out bill (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac). A similar provision in the Wall Street bail out bill has been eliminated in the current version. So I'm told.
H/T commenter JBean at Just One Minute.
Update: 29 Sept 008 1129z
The American Thinker has an article that explains that the above documented methods of vote fraud are not an accident but part of a plan. Fraudulent names. The same name multiple times. Names out of the phone book etc.
A Man And His Mouth
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Sunday, September 28, 2008
I hate football! (But when in Rome....)
A sports blog this is not.
Regular readers know that the above might even be understatement, as I have less than zero interest in athletic events. Where it comes to sports, I'm like an alien visiting a strange planet. This has never been more true than since the move to Ann Arbor, Michigan where I find myself living just a block away from the Michigan athletic complex, in an area dominated by students, many of whom would be stereotyped as "jocks." However, I very much like the fact that even though they have loud parties, they generally mind their own business, don't care what other people do (nor do they express busybody fears of "pit bulls"), and I can enjoy the relative anonymity of being an older guy who happens to live in the neighborhood.
Just because I'm generally uninterested in organized athletic events does not mean that I'm hostile, though. I'm also ignorant about science fiction, but I'm not hostile to that. Why, were I to be plunked down in the middle of a Science Fiction Fair somewhere, I'd probably be curious enough to at least ask questions, and maybe read some of the most important things. (You know, the stuff that SciFi folks might see as basic "cultural literacy.")
Additionally, there's that slogan "When in Rome." Considering the absolute intensity of what happens when there's a football game down the street, I don't think it is any exaggeration to say that living here and not attending a football game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor would be a bit like time-traveling back to ancient Rome and not bothering to attend a gladiatorial event. You'd not only be violating the "When in Rome" rule, you'd be missing out on an important aspect of the culture.
I think that's enough by way of a background explanation of what happened to me yesterday, which was in and of itself a highly unusual event in my life:
I went to a football game.
And not just any football game, but Michigan versus Wisconsin. The Wolverines versus the Badgers! Yes, by a process of inverse anthropomorphism, football apparently turns people into animals -- in this case it was a battle of the mustelids versus a weasel like group. Interestingly, both animals are quite vicious in real life, and although combat is unlikely in nature, I think wolverines could defeat badgers. (As happened yesterday with the human variety.)
The human variety of wolverine can be just as wild as the natural variety, especially when seen in its characteristic blue and gold phase:
Yes, that's me on the left, wearing a very fraudulent T-shirt. This year's official T-shirt is bright yellow gold. Too bright for me. So my blue color is out of date, plus I never attended Michigan Law School. And even though I am a lawyer, my only connection with "Michigan Law" is a blog post I wrote criticizing one. But I'll leave the T-shirt ethics to others; I am in Rome doing as Romans do, and that shirt is the "When in Rome" equivalent of a toga.
When I first entered the stadium, here's what it looked like:
Eventually, it was filled to capacity; around 110,000.
The first half of the game went so poorly that I was beginning to wonder whether everyone was a bit deluded about the Wolverines being such a great team. The Badgers scored two touchdowns and a couple of field goals, and were ahead 19-0. But finally, in the third quarter, the Wolverines showed their stuff. During halftime, I had heard someone talking about how they had "worn out" the Badgers and allowed them to get ahead, but they'd definitely come back and finish them off, but I thought this was wishful thinking. To my astonishment, the Wolverines did just that, and pulled off a wildly impressive upset victory. I don't think I've ever heard a crowd go as wild.
A couple of action pictures I took:
In the stands, a couple of very blue Wolverine fans:
And in the air, the Goodyear Blimp was replaced by the DIRECTV Blimp!
The final score was 27-25.
Here's a video of the final "Hail to the Victors" as the team leaves the field in triumph.
To show what a total ignoramus I am, I was already familiar with the tune, but because I'd heard it played repeatedly at Republican events and conventions I had assumed that it was a traditional celebratory tune intended for political rallies. Once I learned that it is the official Michigan victory song, I put two and two together, and realized that it had been seared into my memory as a "political" tune only because I had heard it played for years to honor President Jerry Ford, who was a noted football star here in the 1930s. (Fool that I am, I had unwittingly put a political spin on something that wasn't political.)
I can't believe that I had so much fun doing something I'm not supposed to like.
Macsmind Hacked - Obama Plans To Disarm America
Gateway Pundit has the details.
This is MacRanger of Macsmind. As you know I was hacked by operatives of the Obama Campaign last month. Well, it happened again. Basically they flooded the site with "sql bombs" according to the host that caused the shared server to stop running. Subsequently be had to disable the site. This had to do with running the "Obama wants to Disarm America" post which more than 2 million people viewed on the site. Just like the goons in Missouri, the Obama truthers can't let the truth be known. I've now moved the blog back to blogspot at macsmind.blogspot.com at least temporally. Because of the hacking job I had to move to another host but unfortunately they haven't got the server up yet to redirect the traffic to blogspot. I would appreciate a mention to your readers. I'm getting a couple of hundred emails about "what happened", but as you can imagine it hard to get the word out by reply.Macsmind can currently be reached at blogspot. Here is the video they didn't want you to see:
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Bracelets, NCOs, and improvised explosive devices
Ryan's father Brian -- who is no longer married to Tracy -- told Wisconsin Public Radio that his ex-wife had misgivings about Obama wearing the bracelet and mentioning their son on the campaign trail. It seems as though just as Tracy Jopek supports Obama and wants to end the war, Brian Jopek has a different take on what should happen in Iraq and may be more inclined to support McCain.Obviously, this is going to heat up. Whether it will become MSM news is another matter.
What seem not to be getting much attention are the dead soldier's thoughts on the war. What did Sgt. Ryan Jopek think?
When I read that Ryan Jopek's father had also served in Iraq, I just found myself wondering. Obviously, there's a family quarrel underlying this story, and if there's one thing I've learned, there are always two sides in a family dispute.
If Obama has weighed in on the mother's side, and she has changed her mind, it doesn't make his campaign look any better.
But any better than what?
Considering what Obama's friend Bill Ayers and his Weatherman group had in mind for Army NCOs back in 1970, I don't see how anything could make his campaign look worse. I'm not a member of the military, but according to Wiki, all grades of sergeants are NCOs. Which means Sgt. Jopek (the guy whose name is on Obama's bracelet) was an NCO.
Here's what was planned for the NCOs at the Fort Dix NCO Club:
In less than the blink of an eye, the blast of eight tightly-bound sticks of dynamite shattered the brittle wooden shell of the building hastily constructed during the Second World War, adding jagged splinters and rusting nails to the shrapnel that ripped through cheap tables and chairs, taffeta and chiffon, uniforms, and flesh.Fortunately, that did not happen, as the anti-personnel bombs didn't go off at Fort Dix. Instead, they blew up in a Greenwich Village townhouse, killing three of the bombmakers. One of them, Diana Oughton was at the time romantically involved with Bill Ayers, who will never forget her as long as he lives. Touchingly, they met while working for CCS -- an educational program of the sort to which Ayers has dedicated his life:
Oughton dedicated herself to the school and teaching and designed a fund-raising button that read, CHILDREN ARE ONLY NEWER PEOPLE. It was at CCS that Diana Oughton met Bill Ayers. The two fell in love and soon began living together. In 1968, when the school ran into severe problems and lost its funding, Oughton and Ayers sought to become active elsewhere in the community.This led the lovebirds to the SDS, the "Jesse James Gang" and ultimately, to the Weathermen (and of course the failed Fort Dix bombing which killed Oughton instead).
I'm sure Ayers considers his deceased ex worthy of a bracelet; I don't. However, I find irony in the wearing of a bracelet to honor an American NCO killed by an improvised explosive device, by someone who befriended a guy who believed passionately in killing American NCOs by an improvised explosive devices.
Should I? Am I making more of this than I should? I realize that Obama was just a kid when the improvised explosive device failed to kill the NCOs, and took out Ayers' girlfriend instead.
But Ayers has expressed a lack of remorse, and has said he was sorry he and his group didn't do more, has he not?
My question is simply this:
Should someone who worked closely with a guy like that and may have been his protege be elected president?
I can't believe it's necessary to pose a question like that. But it's a damned serious question, and it isn't being asked. Seriously, of all the reasons Obama should not ever be elected president, I think the Ayers issue is Reason Number One. It's why I keep writing post after post after post about it.
Forgive me for saying this, but I'm seeing more irony than sincerity in Obama's wearing of the bracelet with that NCO's name on it.
MORE: Here's Joe Trippi (who thinks the election will be a rout for Obama):
In my view McCain may have sounded more dangerous to voters as he tried so blatantly to make them think Obama wasn't a safe bet in this very "scary" world.If he's right, then McCain needs to turn up the volume on Ayers. (And on Obama's lack of respect for dissent.)
Anyone who thinks McCain is scarier than Obama needs a dose of reality.
No justice! No peace! And this means you!
Is there a First Amendment right to intimidate people?
What is intimidation?
I don't see easy answers to these questions, because to a certain extent, demonstrations -- and demonstrators -- are intended to intimidate. (I have experienced this personally on a number of occasions, and I won't bore readers by quoting yet again from numerous posts.)
Not only do demonstrators fully intend to intimidate their targets, but their goal is to discourage people from sympathizing with their targets. If the target is popular (or sympathetic), the goal is to make him unpopular (and unsympathetic). And if the target is unpopular or unsympathetic, the goal is to send a message along the lines of "Don't even think of sympathizing with this scum!" Open mindedness becomes a casualty. In the name of "free speech" of course.
Whether demonstrations constitute intimidation in the legal sense is another issue. The standard legal definition provides no clear line:
INTIMIDATE - means to intentionally say or do something which would cause a person of ordinary sensibilities to be fearful of bodily harm. It is not necessary to prove that the victim was actually frightened, and neither is it necessary to prove that the behavior of the person was so violent that it was likely to cause terror, panic or hysteria.A concerned old lady holding a sign would certainly not constitute intimidation, because a "person of ordinary sensibilities" would not fear bodily harm. But a huge angry crowd, hurling insults and shouting obscene slogans, that very well might be. The larger the crowd, the more intimidating it is. Intimidation can be accomplished by sheer numbers alone. But then, even a smaller crowd of demonstrators can be extremely intimidating, especially if they are known for a history of violence. Angry large tattooed bearded men holding signs saying "TEAMSTERS LOCAL 666 -- DO NOT CROSS OUR LINE!" would frighten most people away. Why? Because they would have a reasonable fear of bodily harm.
Where this gets especially dicey is in the case of demonstrators targeting people who have to be at a certain place -- i.e. a captive target group. If you have to go to work, and the Teamsters are there in force, they have their First Amendment rights, but what about your right to earn a livelihood? And what if the demonstrators target your home? Even if that's done in a "peaceful" manner, it's enough to make most people give way to whatever the demands are. So I would call it intimidation.
What about jurors? While there are strict laws prohibiting "jury intimidation," these laws typically contemplate criminals, mob cronies trying to frighten individual jurors. Where it comes to demonstrators, it's a fuzzy area.
Not so fuzzy, though, to have escaped the attention of the Village Voice's Nat Hentoff. Writing about the trial of a police officer in the Abner Louima shooting case, he describes the scene:
And when this federal jury declared itself seriously divided, Reverend Al, in a televised weekend press conference, urged his supporters to insist that Schwarz [the accused cop] be thoroughly convicted. Accordingly, on the following Monday, while the jury continued to deliberate, busloads of anti-Schwarz demonstrators descended on the courthouse, shouting dire epithets and becoming so boisterous that Schwarz and his attorney, Ronald Fischetti, needed a police escort to get through. The intent was to convince the jury to do the right thing. Remember: This jury was not sequestered.If that's not intimidation, then what is?
Remember, these jurors are not like military recruits trained and hardened in boot camp. They are ordinary people, who have to ride the subway home, and they know that what they are doing is a matter of public record, and that thuggish activists will remember whatever they do long after the case has faded away into oblivion. How many people remember Abner Louima today? Two groups: political junkies and angry activists. Political junkies won't hurt you, but it's in the nature of activists to always be angry, and never forget.
The thing is, our legal system requires that these cases be tried, and juries have to hear them. But who in the hell would want want to be a juror in a high-profile case that attracts the presence of demonstrators? This is not to say that demonstrators are necessarily wrong (in some cases I would agree with their position), but I do think their very presence has an intimidating on those inclined to be fair and impartial.
These are just a few examples. I can't draw the exact line, but I think there is real tension between the First Amendment and the right to be free from intimidation.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
new hood, old friends
I've been in Ann Arbor for almost two months now, but I've hardly met anyone other than a few people in the neighborhood.
One of the coolest things about blogging, though, is that it can turn out you know more people in more places than you realized. I tend not to think of bloggers in terms of their geographic location, and perhaps for that reason, I had not realized (or remembered) until a couple of weeks ago that one of my very first friends in the blogosphere -- the legendary Dean Esmay -- lives within driving distance of here, and visits Ann Arbor regularly. So after touching bases by email, we arranged to meet up for a post-lunch coffee today at Mark's Midtown Coney Island, where I'd never been (I'm still finding my way around), but very much enjoyed.
It was a real honor for me to finally meet Dean after all these years. There aren't all that many classical liberals, but Dean is one of them, and he's been an ongoing inspiration to this blog from the very beginning. We might not always reach identical results in our thinking (does anyone?), but we share the same principles, and I wish there were more bloggers like Dean, whose integrity is impeccable, and whose ability to see through bullshit is second to none.
It's incredibly cool that I've moved more or less into Dean's hood. Having a respected old friend living in the area makes Ann Arbor go up in my estimation.
And speaking of hoods, after we had coffee and talked for a couple of hours, we went outside and posed on the hood! (Of Dean's car, that is....) There was no one around to take the picture, so I positioned my camera on a USA Today box, and set the timer.
Here are the two troublemakers on the hood:
And if you don't find that picture enlightening enough, you'll definitely be enlightened by Dean's bumper, which has the bumpersticker to end all bumperstickers:
Dean's own design, of course. Naturally I'm jealous, as they can't be bought anywhere.
Of course, now that I've unleashed Dean's logically unassailable meme on the world, just watch some leftist whiner design another bumpersticker that says,
"If Bumper Stickers Are the Answer, Then What Was the Question?"
While it's probably just a coincidence, I see that since our little get-together, Dean has issued a death threat against his readers. (Geez, he seemed so peaceful over coffee....)
Seriously, though, it's not easy being in a new place, and I'm grateful to Dean for making me feel welcome here. It's amazing to think that I was lucky enough to have an old friend, right here in my new place.
Another lesson in the magic of the blogosphere.
It Wasn't Broke
The video is about 9 minutes. If you would like more details on how we got into this mortgage meltdown mess may I suggest The Best Congress Fannie Could Buy.
H/T No Quarter
"Ben is far better informed than the critics" (Including yours truly!)
I don't think I've ever said "I'm not an economist" as many times as I have in the past few weeks.
But I'm not.
My point is that I, along with a lot of people who are not economists, continue to sound off on a daily basis about extremely complex economic issues of vital importance to the country, without really knowing what we're talking about. While this is our sacrosanct right as American citizens, I somehow find myself doubting we would do quite the same thing if the issue involved the details of whether Ted Kennedy's brain surgery had been performed correctly.
Oh, I'm no brain surgeon either. But it doesn't a brain surgeon to comprehend that brain surgeons know more about brain surgery than non-brain surgeons.
With that it mind, I could readily understand what leading economist Greg Mankiw said about Ben Bernanke and the bailout plan:
I know Ben Bernanke well. Ben is at least as smart as any of the economists who signed that letter or are complaining on blogs and editorial pages about the proposed policy. Moreover, Ben is far better informed than the critics. The Fed staff includes some of the best policy economists around. In his capacity as Fed chair, Ben understands the situation, as well as the pros, cons, and feasibility of the alternative policy options, better than any professor sitting alone in his office possibly could.(Via Eric Posner whose post was linked by Glenn Reynolds earlier.)
If only Greg Mankiw were a member of Congress right now.
He's not, though -- any more than I'm an economist.
My admitted ignorance about economic matters is analogous to my admitted ignorance of military matters. I can't count the number of times I've pointed out that I'm not a war blogger, and it's one of the reasons I can't offer much more than stressing the importance of victory. I want our side -- meaning this country -- to win.
While I know it's not an exact analogy, I tried to point out earlier that economists are like generals. Especially Ben Bernanke, who strikes me as the economic equivalent of General Petraeus:
If we were going to face the conditions which might trigger another Depression, we couldn't pick a better man to possibly prevent it than Ben Bernanke:I'm in no position to second guess either General Petraeus or Ben Bernanke, so I won't.Bernanke is particularly interested in the economic and political causes of the Great Depression, on which he has written extensively. On Milton Friedman's ninetieth birthday, November 8, 2002, he stated: "Let me end my talk by abusing slightly my status as an official representative of the Federal Reserve System. I would like to say to Milton and Anna: Regarding the Great Depression. You're right, we did it. We're very sorry. But thanks to you, we won't do it again."I think it's fair to say that (at least in academic terms) Bernanke's Depression-prevention expertise is roughly analogous to General Petraeus's Vietnam-prevention expertise.
I just wish our politicians and the chorus of self-appointed experts would try listening to him before grandstanding.
This is not to say "the experts" are always right.
But what kind of track record does Congress have? Why did they ignore Alan Greenspan's warnings?
BAIER: The legislation was blocked.So, while I'm not recommending mindlessly following the experts, I think there's a lesson here that mindlessly ignoring proven expertise is reckless.
Friday, September 26, 2008
I want my narrative shift, dammit!
"If This Campaign plays to type, McCain will hit an absolute home run tonight and the narrative will shift yet again."
So says the Corner's Rich Lowry.
With a buildup like that I guess I've gotta watch.
Right now I'm making blackened catfish with red beans and rice.
You know, a Southern flavored dinner for a Southern flavored debate.
Gimme a break; I'm in Michigan now.
Maybe I'll have some time between bites to watch the narrative unfold....
08:57 -- The narratives are warring on both CNN and Fox, and the debate hasn't even started yet. I guess you could call this live-pre-debate blogging.
Damn, that catfish smells great!
And the kids in the hood are driving up and down the street honking their horns. Not in anticipation of the debate, mind you. They're honking in anticipation of tomorrow's Michigan versus Wisconsin game.
9:03 -- Lehrer begins by creatively switching from foreign affairs to the economy by means of a 1952 Eisenhower quote, and starts by asking Obama about the economy.
He's giving a speech.
Quite credibly McCain stresses the work involved in successfully coming up with a plan.
Obama is trying to reframe the issue as involving "deregulation" and saying he told them so. Incredible.
I need more catfish.
Obama is stuttering.
9:13 -- McCain is talking like a president. Obama is making speeches.
Sincerity debates phoniness. I didn't think I'd see that tonight.
9:17 -- Pork barrel spending! McCain tears Obama a new one, and Obama looks defensive. Rope a dope fails. McCain is barely warmed up.
9:20 -- Asked about their differences in tax policy, McCain says he wants tax cuts, and reminds people that the corporate tax rate is 35%, and notes that Ireland's is 11%. Obama says businesses actually pay lower taxes because of "loopholes." (What? Like not being taxed on losses?)
Obama slams the market solution.
McCain calls this an example of "walking the walk versus talking the talk." Reminds of his record against wasteful spending.
McCain is relying on his record and his ethos, and it is working. Obama looks like a confused man trying to sound profound.
Now Obama is bashing the oil companies.
9:30 -- I'm captivated, and my catfish is getting cold.
But it's looking more and more as if Lowery was right about the narrative.
9:38 -- Obama tried the old "McBush" meme, and instead of being rattled, McCain saw it as a golden opportunity to contrast his position with Bush. And he reminded everyone about his position on Iraq, and how he was proved right.
Now Obama is talking about his original opposition to the war. (What was Obama then? State assemblyman or something?)
9:43 -- Glenn has a roundup of lots of other live bloggers with faster fingers than mine.
I'm just licking off the catfish juice.
9:49 -- I love the way McCain smiles when he's hit. Remarkable.
9:52 -- Ann Althouse also noticed McCain's calmness -- no glee -- under pressure:
McCain gesticulates and smiles. Obama looks a little pissed off and interrupts a few times with the muttered phrase "That's not true."And like a kindly schoolmaster, McCain just gently chided Obama with some gentle advice on not giving away your intent to your enemy.
Brilliant. Just brilliant.
10:05 -- They went from the bracelets from mothers of sons who gave their lives (McCain wears one; Obama said he has one) to Afghanistan, to Iran.
Obama stressed Afghanistan and the Taliban, while McCain sees linkage in the overall war.
McCain says that opposes unconditional talks. Obama talks about direct diplomacy and cites Kissinger.
(McCain is again unfazed, with that little smirk.)
After Obama's speech, McCain retorts, "I'm not going to set the White House visitor schedule before I'm president; I don't even have a seal yet!"(That's the line of the evening, I think.)
He got Obama to stutter again. (Pointing out that talks with Iran legitimize their insane remarks about wiping Israel off the map.)
10:18 -- Russia. McCain again shows his strength. I look Putin in his eyes and I see a K a G and a B.
I think if anyone can make Putin stutter, McCain can.
(He's now got the Democrats gnashing their teeth the way the right wing of the Republican Party once did. Add he does it with a smile!)
10:21 -- Noting the danger, McCain stresses the importance of standing with the Ukraine. Obama follows, first agreeing, then nitpicking.
That's the pattern with a lot of this debate. McCain takes a strong position on something, then Obama agrees and tries to undercut it. (It's not man to man; it's almost leader-follower. I'd be tempted to pity Obama, except he wants to be president.)
So why don't I get any?
10:35 - Flashback to Stephen Green: 8:09PM Pardon me as I wet myself while McCain spanks Obama over his promise to negotiate with Iran "without preconditions." It's like gay porn, only this stuff turns me on. (Sorry, Bruce!)
Now why didn't I think of that?
It's over, and I think McCain creamed Obama.
I did miss a pronunciation issue, though:
Why does Obama pronounce Taliban as "Tal-ih-ban"?? It makes it sound like a Japanese restaurant.I wonder how he feels about "Chee-lay."
10:46 -- The analysts are having at it, and no one seems to think Obama won, but they think he held his own. I think the differences in levels of experience and character was overwhelming. And McCain doesn't need to say anything.
7:58PM Do a shot every time McCain says "I have a record." He doesn't *need* to say, "And my opponent doesn't."
10:46 -- CNN calls it "a tie," and they're saying McCain engaged in name-dropping. Whatever.
I think McCain is so much more experienced, has so much more common sense, is so much more grounded, that it wasn't even a contest.
But they keep saying Obama "held his own" Held his own? Why are his supporters even saying that? He's ahead in the polls, right? He wants to be president of the United States and Commander in Chief of the most powerful armed force in the world, right?
To say he "held his own" sounds almost belittling.
UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds has a poll up. McCain is winning overwhelmingly. (10 to 1 the last time I looked.)
Meanwhile, CNN is nitpicking over minor verbal flubs of interest mainly to snarky political junkies.
MORE: On Fox, Giuliani just made a good point -- that "neither one of them demagogued on the economy."
And a couple of excerpts from the Corner:
Regarding McCain's "I Don't Even Have a Seal Yet" remark, Kathryn Jean Lopez says,
I bet most people watching don't know the backstory.And Amy Holmes -- "From a Civilian Mom":
Watching at home here in NYC with her husband and two little babies: "I hope I am not assessing out of my pro-McCain bias, but McCain has had Obama on the defensive 90% of the time. And Obama is rambling on so much- good lord I can barely follow him!"I quite agree.
It will be interesting to see how ordinary voters react.
MORE: Here's Ed Morrissey:
McCain kept Obama on defense all night long, made Obama lose his composure, and maintained his own in a very presidential performance. This one is a clear win for McCain.
I'd say he gave a B-level performance and Obama was a B-minus. Edge to McCain, but not by a lot, and neither candidate distinguished himself. Both, I suspect, were tired and distracted from the economic events.I admit, I'm partisan here, and I'm quite a fan of McCain's style. I've enjoy watching his failure to get rattled during debates ever since I saw him smile when Mitt Romney nailed him -- despite the fact that most observers thought McCain was wrong:
McCain likes a fight, he sparkles when he gets one, and he won't back down. He's turned Romney's Iraq "timetable" remark from a war over the words into something resembling a fistfight he provoked. Romney thinks it's about the words, but I think it's more along the lines of a duel.Anyway, that's my McCain narrative, and I like it.
I hope the pit bull with lipstick does as well!
MORE: For those who missed the debate, Dean Esmay has the video.
And Dave Price thinks McCain missed an excellent opportunity to bring up Bill Ayers:
I also think that when Obama rather snottily brought up the humorous "bomb Iran" song and some hyperbolic comments regarding N Korea, McCain should have countered with the Ayers card. Obama looked petulant and petty anyway with his "coming from you" remark, but pointing out that Obama had some level of relationship with an unrepentant terrorist that bombed the Capitol would have been devastating as Obama's complaint centered on McCain's national security judgment.I agree, but the problem is that it's not yet October.
Also, last night was the first time ordinary people in middle America had a chance to see McCain and Obama debate and form impressions. McCain might not have wanted to come off as going straight for the jugular on their first date.
MORE: Just for the record, I don't think McCain held off bringing up Bill Ayers because he feared being arrested by the Obama Truth Squads.
MORE: Don't miss Jennifer Rubin's "Who Won the Debate":
on foreign policy McCain simply hit it out of the ballpark. He again and again came back to Obama's opposition to the surge and to his willingness to meet without conditions with Ahmadinejad -- who, he reminded viewers, has called Israel a "stinking corpse." Likewise, he skewered Obama for his initial response on the invasion of Georgia that both sides should "show restraint."Yes, and M. Simon managed to find and embed the video before the debate stage had even been cleared!
UPDATE: Here's the recipe Donna asked about in the comments:
Cajun Blackened Fish Recipe Cajun blackened fish was made famous by New Orleans chef Paul Prudhommes. In this blackened fish recipe, fillets of fish are coated with a blend of herbs and spices, and pan-fried in butter.Except 4 minutes is too long. I cover the pan, then cook for 3 1./2 minutes on one side, then turn and cook for 2 !/2 minutes on the other. Use common sense and poke at it to make sure. Catfish varies in consistency.
Recipes, BTW, are not to be followed to the letter, but they are intended to give a general idea. Eat your mistakes and keep practicing.
The key is mixing the spices. I make a lot, store it in a jar with a screwcap, and dust the fish heavily before cooking. You don't have to cook the peppers if you don't have them, but cooking garlic in the butter ahead of the fish helps. Experiment!
First, they came for the radio talk show hosts...
Last night when I heard (via this link that M. Simon sent me) that the Obama campaign is threatening the licenses of TV stations that run NRA anti-Obama ads, I noted that Team Obama does not go ballistic unless the information is seen as:
-- devastating; andThe way they went after Stanley Kurtz with both barrels because of his Ayers reporting was a clue.
I think it's quite obvious they fear the gun issue, and they should, because they are vulnerable as hell on it.
So basically, stop running NRA's ads, or your broadcast license could be in jeopardy. They detail the WaPo's FactCheck.org repetition as proof. This is Chicago politics at its finest folks. If you can't win fair, win dirty. This is not how a free society is supposed to function. This is not the kind of man I want leading my country.And if you think that's bad, check out the Obama Truth Squads. No seriously, pro-Obama government officials are issuing legal threats against people who "speak out falsely" against Barack Obama!
St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce and St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch are threatening to bring libel charges against those who speak out falsely against Barack Obama.Look, this is the United States under the Constitution, not the Soviet Union under Communism where people could be summarily charged with "Anti-Soviet Agitation" for criticizing their rulers.
I recently wrote a post about Obama being a threat to the Second Amendment, which included two of the NRA videos; M. Simon embedded the one that's upset the Obama Truth Squad in this post. Along with more links and this remark:
This is politics Vladimir Putin style. Every single Democrat on the ballot needs to be defeated.Right now, I'm speechless, because apparently if Simon and I were in St. Louis they might decide to haul us up on "criminal libel charges."
Excuse me, but are these people insane?
Isn't the Obama campaign's hostility to the Second Amendment bad enough? Do they really have to trample on the First Amendment as well?
I agree with Glenn's reader Carolyn Gockel :
The whole NRA flap is going beyond gun rights advocates...I'm not as pro-gun as you and I am furious.Even I am amazed, cynic that I am.
Kurtz has obviously hit a nerve. It is the same nerve hit by the American Issues Project, whose television ad calling for examination of the Obama/Ayers relationship has prompted the Obama campaign to demand that the Justice Department begin a criminal investigation. Obama fancies himself as "post-partisan." He is that only in the sense that he apparently brooks no criticism. This episode could be an alarming preview of what life will be like for the media should the party of the Fairness Doctrine gain unified control of the federal government next year.Ugly, ugly, ugly.
Then they tried to silence author David Freddoso, who wrote a book critical of Barack Obama.
And now it's threats of litigation, license revocation and even criminal charges for running NRA ads.
Anyone beginning to see a pattern here?
I'm with Glenn. Where's the ACLU when you need them?
I mean, who else are you gonna call? The Department of Justice? Aren't they're already compromised? See my post for more about that; I have to agree with the Volokh commenter who said,"I fear that under the Obama administration, the lawyers sending these letters will be government employees."
If Team Obama is acting this way in an election, imagine what they'll be like if they get power.
Let's face it: this kind of thuggery is standard operating procedure for the left. In 2006, when ABC ran “The Path to 9/11,” Harry Reid & Co. wrote a mafia-style letter threatening ABC’s broadcast license. In 2004, a group of Democrat lawmakers wrote Rupert Murdoch and threatened Fox News’s broadcast license over what they believed was skewed reporting. And the DNC threatened Sinclair Broadcasting’s broadcast license over an anti-Kerry documentary called “Stolen Honor.” Kerry spokesthug Chad Clanton was quoted as saying: “I think they’re going to regret doing this, and they better hope we don’t win.” He hastened to add that it wasn’t a threat.Bad as all this was, I think the threats of criminal prosecutions by the Obama people represent a new low.
MORE: Video of Team Obama's St. Louis Truth Squad here.
That prosecutors, sheriffs and other law enforcement personnel could be on board with this assault on the First Amendment is amazing, and shocking.
If there is any criminal activity here, it's on the part of the officials who are violating their clear public duties.
Truth squads now may have consequences later.
MORE: Jonathan Gewirtz is a very careful fact checker. He has read all the posts relating to the NRA ads, and his careful analysis -- along with this fact check of FactCheck leaves little doubt that the ads are factually correct.
Via Glenn Reynolds.
Does that mean they should call the Truth Squads the Lie Sqauds?
UPDATE: Missouri Governor Matt Blunt has strongly condemned the Obama Truth Squads as an abuse of law enforcement reminiscent of the notorious Sedition Acts:
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Matt Blunt today issued the following statement on news reports that have exposed plans by U.S. Senator Barack Obama to use Missouri law enforcement to threaten and intimidate his critics.What's shocking is that any law enforcement people would get involved in something like this.
A Ten Minute Explanation
H/T The Patriot Room
What? No Ayers bailout plan?
Tony Blankley tears the MSM a new one for its blatantly biased reporting as well as the more shocking non-reporting. Especially about Ayers:
...worse than all the unfair and distorted reporting and image projecting are the shocking gaps in Obama's life that are not reported at all. The major media simply have not reported on Obama's two years at New York's Columbia University, where, among other things, he lived a mere quarter-mile from former terrorist Bill Ayers. Later, they both ended up as neighbors and associates in Chicago. Obama denies more than a passing relationship with Ayers. Should the media be curious? In only two weeks, the media have focused on all the colleges Gov. Palin has attended, her husband's driving habits 20 years ago, and the close criticism of the political opponents Gov. Palin had when she was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska.There's a lot more, and Blankley concludes with an anaology to Wall Street:
The public will be voting based on the idealized image of the man who never was. If he wins, however, we will be governed by the sunken, cynical man Obama really is. One can only hope that the senior journalists will be judged as harshly for their professional misconduct as Wall Street's leaders currently are for their failings.I wish that ordinary people (the millions of non-activist voters who only get to have their say every few years) would realize that they are being fed a steady diet of left-wing activism, by activist journalists, carefully calculated to persuade them to vote in their favorite left-wing activist to be Commander In Chief.
The non-reporting of the Ayers story epitomizes the dimensions of the problem, and I think the Wall Street analogy is not a bad one.
Because at this point, by keeping the lid on the Ayers story, the non-reporting reporters are doing more than simply protecting Obama (or even Ayers). They're engaged in their own damage control, and trying to prevent a major credibility freefall.
I don't think the economists will be able to help them much.
Cheerful thought on home economics
I'm having trouble being optimistic right now.
Which probably means I should stop whining now and delete this post.
But if I do that, I will have nothing to say at all.
The problem is that it's bill paying time, and paying bills always reminds me of death.
But hey, my checks are in the mail! Maybe I should cheer up; I'm probably worth more than the damned gummint.
And I have to say that an analysis by Steve Gill of a disturbing trend in polling has counterintuitively cheered me. Gill shows how a recent Washington Post-ABC poll is "a textbook example of how partisan media outlets manipulate 'news.'"
A disturbing trend in recent elections has been the intentional use of skewed polling by the media to promote their ideological bent rather than to report the news. We got another dose of this biased effort to twist the news to the liking of the media giants just this week with the latest Washington Post-ABC poll, which "revealed" that Barack Obama has moved to a nine-point lead over John McCain in the presidential race. The mainstream media breathlessly reported this information as indicative of McCain's loss of campaign steam after the post-convention bounce and the recent euphoria over Sarah Palin.Now, if I could just figure out how to interpret today's front page:
I can't help notice that the front page story is authored by "TODD SPANGLER - FREE PRESS WASHINGTON STAFF," but the pollster is in Iowa, polling Michiganders by phone. It's all Greek to me, and I can barely remember any of my high school Latin.
It's like, reconciling the above with the overall average poll results at RealPolitics (which show Obama ahead only by 5.2.% overall) makes paying bills and balancing my checkbook look easy!
Which is a cheerful thought.
So I guess can stop whining now.
Between No And Hell No
Reader John Marcoux writes:The Democrat plan is larded up with pork for ACORN and similar frauds. The Democrats are also trying to use this bill to stop production of new oil resources. The Democrats have a majority in the House and there is no filibuster there. Let them pass it and reap the results. The Republicans need to stick to their guns. A clean bill or no bill.Congressman Paul Kanjorski (D-PA) was just on CNBC and said that his mail and calls on the bailout plan are running 50-50: 50% no and 50% hell no.This is what Barney Frank is up against. Even if the Democrats ram through the plan without Republicans signing on, they will be left holding the bag if the plan fails, as it very well could, and have to face the wrath of their constituents.
I have already instructed my representative. Instruct yours:
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Instapundit has a lot of links on Obama's efforts to eliminate free speech in America.
This is politics Vladimir Putin style. Every single Democrat on the ballot needs to be defeated.
"Old" news about to re-break?
According to the New York Sun, the McCain campaign is gearing up to talk about Bill Ayers:
WASHINGTON -- The McCain campaign is gearing up to criticize Senator Obama for his past associations with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright and a former Weather Underground operative, William Ayers, in the home stretch of the presidential race.I don't think they really need Jeremiah Wright; after all, Wright only talked the talk. Ayers is the real thing.
Plus, Obama made no secret of his ties to Wright. Ayers is the real stealth scandal: a coverup within a coverup within a coverup. They are definitely hiding something.
Therefore, Team Obama would prefer that this all be about Jeremiah Wright. Naturally; that way, they can scream about how it's "old" news. And of course "racism":
Any decision to run ads that feature Mr. Obama's former spiritual adviser, Rev. Wright, is bound to attract jeers from the press. Already, Time magazine's Karen Tumulty has written that an ad featuring a former Fannie Mae chairman, Franklin Raines, was racist. Mr. Raines, like Mr. Obama, is an African American. An ad that pointed out Mr. Obama's longtime association with Rev. Wright, who emphatically hollered in one videotaped sermon: "God Damn America," will likely draw responses from Democrats claiming that Mr. McCain is appealing to the racial fears of Americans.Ah, but hold on. There's more.
There's Ayers (although why he seems to be playing second fiddle to Wright, I'm not sure):
The McCain campaign's push will likely not be limited to Senator Obama's ex-pastor, whom the Chicago lawmaker criticized in the spring after having earlier said he would not disown him. Another association will be William Ayers, the former agent for the Weather Underground, a violent left wing group that exploded defense labs and other government buildings in the late 1960s and 1970s. Mr. Ayers, in an interview with the New York Times published on September 11, 2001, said he regretted not doing more when he was in the group. Senator Obama attended a fundraiser at the home of Mr. Ayers and also served on the board of the Woods Foundation with him in Chicago.Boy, is that the understatement of the campaign.
There's now a lot more than the fundraiser at the home of Mr. Ayers and their service together on the board of the Woods Foundation. Surely, the Sun reads the Wall Street Journal. By now, they must have heard that a young lawyer somehow landed the top job handing out millions of dollars to radicalize school children in the name of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.
How is it possible that Obama in writing two autobiographies could ignore his 13 year-long association with Ayers if he were not purposely trying to hide or downplay it? How is it possible that the media could continue to ignore the CAC story? How is it possible that American voters, who regularly indicate such enormous concern over educational issues, could be so long kept in the dark by the Fourth Estate about the educational project Obama ran into the ground while he aided his revolutionary pals in recruiting Chicago kids to their extreme left wing mission?I realize that the story isn't being reported, but why is the Sun being cute and dangling tantalizing hints? (The left is freaking; I found the link at Raw Story.)
Unless the goal is delay, I can't --
Oh, now I get it.
Is that it? Are they all locked into the traditional "October surprise" routine?
I guess I should remind myself that in the blogosphere, October surprises are usually rehashes of August and September news....
Maybe I should be patient.
The End Of Free Speech In Missouri
Two public officials in Missouri are threatening to bring criminal charges against any one who speaks falsely against Obama. You know it should be illegal to blaspheme against The One. In a police state.
St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce and St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch are threatening to bring libel charges against those who speak out falsely against Barack Obama.I have been saying for some time on various blog comments that a coup is under way. I'm going to say it out loud. If one Democrat is left in office after this election the American people will deserve what they get. They don't just need to be defeated. They need to be crushed.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
It Is All The Fault Of White People
Eric asks Whose fault will it be if he loses?. I think Obama has already answered that question. Listen to the video (about 35 seconds). The answer is at the end.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Whose fault will it be if he loses?
It's not too often these days I see a headline that says "Why Obama will lose" so I was fascinated.
EDMOND -- When Benjamin Franklin was dispatched to France as ambassador of the United States in 1776, he won the hearts of the French through his authenticity. Rather than take on an affected and phony continental style, Franklin eschewed the powdered wig of the European gentleman and donned the fur cap of an American frontiersman. Original genius and polymath, Franklin understood that the French would see through any false pretension but respect an authenticity that sprang from an unpretentious and naive love of country.The piece is by Professor David Deming (remarkable for his struggle to speak his mind despite academic tyranny), and it was linked by Glenn Reynolds and Bob Owens, who has this to add:
He [Obama] never experienced his first taste of mainland American until he was already a grown man, and his experience was further indoctrination and immersion in universities with a radical leftist bent. He was further radicalized by 20 years of indoctrination in a Christian cult founded on the teaching of the Black Panthers and Malcolm X, one that taught a self-segregating, blame-casting "black values system" that added spiritual alienation to his pre-existing cultural alienation. He embraced an infamous domestic terrorist as a friend and partner in schemes designed to undermine core American cultural values to push small "c" communism and radicalism, and pissed away the future of a generation of Chicago's school children as he helped launder $150 million of educational grant money to former terrorists and radicals that sought to indoctrinate, instead of educate.Yes, but if he loses, it won't because he lacked authenticity, or was the protege of Bill Ayers, or even that he lost the debate over the issues; it will be because America is a racist nation.
I guess an inauthentic man needs an inauthentic excuse.
And if you put lipstick on a pit bull, then what?
I'm usually a patient and reasonable person, but this time, M. Simon has gone too far.
...wolves are more equal than caribou, says the Humane Society in its endorsement of Barack Obama. The Humane Society Legislative Fund's president writes that the group has never before endorsed a presidential candidate, but Sarah Palin simply poses too great of a threat to animals....The post mentions "the Humane Society's decision to veer off into PETA territory." That's putting it mildly; see these three posts for starters. HSUS has made a convicted Animal Liberation Front criminal activist a deputy in their organization, and he has gone from illegal pre-dawn raids on mink ranches to legal (but trumped up, IMO) raids on dog breeders. Naturally, he wants to end all dog breeding. So presumably, the cute little Fifi dog Obama is holding will be part of what the new HSUS boss wants to be the last generation:
"One generation and out. We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding."Sorry, but these people have a very radical agenda, and the fact that they have warmly endorsed Barack Obama provides yet another reason to vote against him.
I'll take a pit bull wearing lipstick any day!
And really. "Dog Man"? (Surely Simon must know what the term means in pit bull lingo....)
Not to get overly cute, but for the life or me, I just can't resist sharing a true story of a pit bull with lipstick:
Although something of a genius in working dogs, even Tudor had a problem with Centipede. When he walked the dog, he stayed back at the end of the leash. Puzzled, Tudor stopped and looked at the dog, and the dog lay down! As patient as he was with the dogs, he wasn't sure that he could ever get Centipede in shape. He decided to rely upon natural ability and endurance for his first contest, which Centipede won handily in less than thirty-five minutes.Advantage, lipstick.
NEPOTISTIC DISCLOSURE: Centipede's name appears eight times in Coco's pedigree.
Obama Plans To Debate Himself
A senior guy in the Obama Campaign says Obama is going to show up at the debate Friday no matter what. John McCain says he will only show up if Congress does what it has to do to resolve the Mortgage Securities crisis. No doubt Obama needs the face time on TV to bolster his failing campaign, because if it wasn't failing he would have no need to show up.
Obama campaign senior strategist Robert Gibbs predicted this morning that John McCain will change his mind after all and show up tomorrow in Mississippi for the first scheduled presidential debate, rather than skip it to concentrate on the financial industry bailout. "I believe the debate's going to happen as scheduled," Gibbs told reporters at a breakfast meeting hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. "I actually think he's going to come to the debate," Gibbs said of McCain. "I think he will decide a president is capable of doing more than one thing at a time." In any event, Gibbs said, Barack Obama will be there.If Obama shows up he is going to look like a fool debating himself. McCain is off in Washington trying to fix the Mortgage mess and Obama is on TV debating himself. Obama will be looking very Presidential. Very Presidential indeed.
Lets see how that would work in practice. Obama on the right says I have always said... and when it comes time for the Obama on the left to respond it will be that is not the Obama I once knew. I sure hope the TV guys provide a laugh track.
Did I mention that McCain has Obama pwn3d?
H/T Just One Minute commenters.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Bill Clinton Fires Up The Base
It appears that Bill Clinton has fired up the Democrat base. Not necessarily in a good way.
...the straw that really broke the leftwing camel's back was Clinton's statement today to Chris Cuomo on ABC's Good Morning America defending John McCain's request for a debate delay until after the financial bailout crises is resolved. Here are a couple of things that Bill Clinton said that drove the left absolutely bonkers:We know he didn't do it because he's afraid because Sen. McCain wanted more debates.This caused a firestorm of anger at both the Daily Kos and the Democratic Underground. So just how angry is the leftwing blogosphere with Bill Clinton? You can get an idea by reading this sampling of comments posted at the Democratic Underground:
If you are looking for more entertainment of a similar sort you can visit Daily KOS and/or Democratic Underground. I think Bill is a PUMA. You know the Party Unity My Ass brigade.
I think Barry made a big mistake when he got Bill to promise to campaign for him. Heh. Well the long knives are out and it looks like Bill has the longest and sharpest one. What can Obama do? Well nothing. He needs those PUMA votes.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
A Dog Man
The great Obama versus Obama debate? Why not?
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., McCain's representative in debate negotiations, told The Associated Press that McCain will not attend the debate unless there is agreement on a solution that is publicly endorsed by Obama, McCain, the White House and congressional leaders.Even if McCain does not show, there are still plenty of questions to ask Obama. (Beginning with how he came to be an apparently trusted asset of Bill Ayers while Obama was a new lawyer and political nonentity. Why would "a guy who lived in my neighborhood" who hardly knew Obama entrust this obscure stranger to head his pet project involving many millions of dollars?)
Besides, Obama has flip-flopped on so many issues, this might be a good time for him to debate himself.
They could always start with the usual YouTube video clips, and give him a chance to, you know, respond.
Keeping Up The Burn Rate
Obama is going to have to raise a lot of money to maintain his required burn rate. His efforts should keep the television advertising business out of recession for a few more months.
Democrat Barack Obama's campaign has budgeted $39 million to win Florida, and that's just one of several "robust" set asides for swing states, campaign manager David Plouffe told supporters in a fundraising appeal this month.Yep. What if they don't? And it is not just a matter of outspending. He has to do it by a large margin, because as his primary race against Hillary proved, he had to spend a lot more dollars per vote than Hillary did.
Lets look at some battle ground states and their electoral votes. And assume it will take money proportional to the electoral votes (very roughly) to win a state.
CO - 09 $13
That is $150 million (roughly) to win those 6 states. That means he has to raise about $75 million a month just to win those states. If his calculations are correct. In August he only raised $66 million. Given other states he has to spend in and campaign expenses I'd say he has a problem. And that does not even count providing any money to down ticket races.
Look at it another way. He outspent Hillary by 3 to 1 or more in a number of states and still lost to her. No wonder why he has to rally by day and fund raise by night. If he maintains a pace like that he is going to be very tired by the last debate. And tired people make a lot of mistakes.
How is McCain dealing with the fundraising problem? He has decided to Leave The Money and Get The Votes. In other words he and Palin will be campaigning and doing very little fund raising. They will be rested and refreshed for the debates.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Obama To Get Help From Johnson Brief
Mr. Obama, who already has had a Johnson problem, is sticking his oar back in the same waters.
Former Fannie Mae chairman Jim Johnson was dumped from Obama's vice presidential search team, but he's still playing a behind-the-scenes role on the campaign.He must need those PUMA votes really bad to risk another attack ad from McCain tying Obama to one of the guys in charge of the Fannie Mae meltdown.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
the case for bailout?
If we were going to face the conditions which might trigger another Depression, we couldn't pick a better man to possibly prevent it than Ben Bernanke:
Bernanke is particularly interested in the economic and political causes of the Great Depression, on which he has written extensively. On Milton Friedman's ninetieth birthday, November 8, 2002, he stated: "Let me end my talk by abusing slightly my status as an official representative of the Federal Reserve System. I would like to say to Milton and Anna: Regarding the Great Depression. You're right, we did it. We're very sorry. But thanks to you, we won't do it again."I think it's fair to say that (at least in academic terms) Bernanke's Depression-prevention expertise is roughly analogous to General Petraeus's Vietnam-prevention expertise.
On a less serious note, can anyone Paul Krugman says is Satan be all bad?
I'm inclined to take another look, and I want to be fair. (It's the least I can do; especially because being fair is supposed to be one of my rules.) Like Professor Bainbridge I can change my mind. Who knows? there might be virtue in waffling right now.
Bernanke thinks that the government might not only be saving the economy by this bailout, but getting a good deal:
Bernanke said there is plenty of blame to go around for the current crisis, as he named Wall Street firms and banks that underestimated risk of the securities they were creating, rating agencies and regulators.Here's the part I like:
And he stressed repeatedly that while the Treasury Department plans to spend up to $700 billion buying the securities, it can expect to recoup most if not all of that money by selling them at a higher price later on, once markets have stabilized. He argued that doing nothing would cause the economy to slow so much that there would be a bigger hit to tax collections than the program will eventually cost taxpayers.I might be naive, but Bernanke strikes me as a decent and knowledgeable man, who is not out for himself.
Maybe all the political hotheads (including myself) should try counting to ten, and at least listen to him. He might just be worthy of our trust. If he is worthy of our trust, and he turns out to have been right, it would be a tragedy to ignore him simply because there's an election and everybody wants to win. (I think it speaks highly of McCain that he suspended his campaign, btw.)
Earlier today, I did not hesitate to embrace the third rail. If I can do that, I see no reason why I can't occasionally waffle too.
And if the economic collapse of the United States isn't worth waffling over, then what is?
MORE: Please forgive the sloppiness of my thoughts and the spontaneous way I may have presented them here. It's late at night, and I probably shouldn't be writing a blog post. But I think this is damned serious.
AND MORE: For more on why this might not even be the bailout it's said to be, read The Paulson Plan Will Make Money For Taxpayers." It's fascinating, and here are former hedge fund manager Andy Kessler's conclusions:
.... it is possible, all in, for this portfolio to generate between $1 trillion and $2.2 trillion -- the greatest trade ever. Every hedge-fund manager will be jealous. Mr. Buffett is buying a small piece of the trade via his Goldman Sachs investment.(Via Glenn Reynolds.)
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Top Obama Fundraiser Meets Ahmadinejad
That Obama has all the best friends.
A founding member of the campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois met in New York City tonight with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.You know, if this gets out it is sure to give the Obama Campaign a big boost with the bitter clingers. So you know. Spread it to all your e-mail buddies and help it go viral. Obama needs all the help he can get. With so many out of work in America these days it is your duty to help him keep his job. As the Junior Senator from Illinois.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
the coverup of the coverup of the coverup
The biggest story of the campaign is that a man running for president was not only a close associate, but was quite possibly even a protege of an unrepentant terrorist.
It's huge, rapidly unfolding news, but aside from yesterday's WSJ article, it's still not news to most voters, and I think it's obvious that the MSM want to keep it that way. They're more concerned with investigating the intricacies of an obscure Alaska bridge that wasn't built.
The Corner's Peter Kirsanow summarizes the latest:
Stanley Kurtz's piece today describing what appears to be an attempt to cover-up the extent of Sen. Obama's ties to William Ayers should have journalists salivating. This is a big story that, so far, the press seems determined to avoid.Via Glenn Reynolds, who adds, "And yet, they avert their eyes."
They have to. The mere possibility that Obama could be a protege of an unrepentant terrorist is immensely damaging, which is why it has to be covered up by Obama, and why the coverup itself has to be covered up by the MSM. If the voters learn about this, and have time to learn about who Ayers is, they will not want to elect Obama president. The longer it goes unreported, and questions are not asked, the better the chances that the voters will never know.
As to the swarms of reporters who have investigated every facet of Sarah Palin's life, they have done their damnedest to make her minuscule association with the Alaskan Independence Party a major campaign issue, but where it comes to an unrepentant terrorist having a close relationship with a presidential candidate, and who might even have been the guy's mentor, they don't consider it even worth a look.
...What did Ayers see in (or hear from) Obama that caused the former to take such an interest in him?I don't know which is a bigger story: the close association, Obama's coverup of the association, or the media blackout. Considering the latest, I think the near total failure of reporting it is a huge story in itself. I said "near total," because a few journalists like Michael Barone of US News are behaving conscientiously. And the Washington Times's Inside Politics section ran a column titled NEWS BLACKOUT which quotes from this Newsbusters piece:
"The association between Obama and Ayers has received virtually no attention from the three broadcast networks, with the conspicuous exception of a primary-season debate sponsored by ABC when George Stephanopoulos asked Obama about his relationship with Ayers. Out of 1,365 broadcast evening news stories about Obama prior to the end of the primaries, only two mentioned Ayers - one a brief mention of the debate question on the April 17 'Nightly News,' and the other an April 20 'World News Sunday' story about [John] McCain raising the Ayers issue on 'This Week.'(I guess it would be unreasonable of me to expect the MSM to report on their own non-reporting, wouldn't it?)
That a story of this magnitude is being ignored, involving as it does a man poised to be elected president, is nothing less than shocking.
Whether it's surprising is beside the point. There's only one way to get them to stop ignoring it, and that's to make noise.
MORE: Clarice Feldman looks at the close working relationship between Obama and Ayers, and asks some good questions:
How is it possible that Obama in writing two autobiographies could ignore his 13 year-long association with Ayers if he were not purposely trying to hide or downplay it? How is it possible that the media could continue to ignore the CAC story? How is it possible that American voters, who regularly indicate such enormous concern over educational issues, could be so long kept in the dark by the Fourth Estate about the educational project Obama ran into the ground while he aided his revolutionary pals in recruiting Chicago kids to their extreme left wing mission?(Via Glenn Reynolds.)
Eight Is Enough
Evidently, despite the poll numbers, the Obama Campaign is in melt down mode. The ever popular Jane Pauley, a former NBC regular, is not a big enough draw to get many Obama supporters to come have a look. Quoting from the Times of Northwest Indiana about a panel discussion on the economy:
PORTAGE Former television news anchor and Hoosier native Jane Pauley returned to her professional roots Monday during a local appearance on behalf of Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama.She doesn't know that real Americans play cowboys and Indians when they are kids? Or that Maverick was once a very popular TV show? Well it doesn't matter.
Alas, Jane's witty comment didn't enjoy as much currency as it deserved. That's because only eight people showed up for the rally.According to carnival slang that would be a "blue one". In other words a low turn out appearance as opposed to a "red one" where the crowds are numerous. I think it has to to with Obama's numerous friends who "burned the lot".
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Jewish Democrats For McCain-Palin
I assure you that Democrat assistance for the McCain/Palin team wasn't intentional.
NEW YORK (CBS) ― Politics and diplomacy were not a good mix at Monday's protest rally against Iran at the United Nations.Well it was more partisan in the aftermath than the Obama team hoped.
"Republicans benefitted more than the Democrats did," political consultant Hank Sheinkopf said. "Why? Sarah Palin wanted to be there, but it looks like she was purposely told not to and rejected. It gives her standing, particularly among those people who are thinking about voting Republican anyway."For Jews in New York to be even thinking about voting Republican is a serious reversal of fortune for the Obama team. I covered the New York situation a while back in Is NY In Play? And you know what? Maybe it is.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
It seems like Mr. Obama has heeded the call of President Bush.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- With extraordinary stakes on the line, President Bush has invited both presidential candidates and the leaders of the House and Senate to the White House on Thursday in hopes of securing a bill to rescue the economy. Bush took the unusual step Wednesday night of calling Democratic Sen. Barack Obama directly to invite him to the meeting, White House press secretary Dana Perino said. An Obama spokesman said the senator would attend.Well. Isn't that lovely? Yes it is.
But what were Obama and his pals saying earlier? Obama had a few words on the subject.
But he disagreed with McCain's call for postponing Friday's first presidential debate in Oxford, Mississippi.Yep. Having the debates on time is so much more important than helping to negotiate one of the biggest spending bills Congress has ever authored.
Good ole Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, chimed in.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid issued a statement saying that the presidential debate should go on and that McCain's negotiations should not be a "photo op."This is the same guy who said a day earlier that McCain's presence was essential. Evidently once McCain decided to be there he was no longer needed.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said McCain's move was "just weird."Good old Chucky Schumer. So according to Reid, Johnny Mac was essential until he wasn't and then Chucky sees McCain's move as a grand stand play. Until of course he finds out Obama has changed his mind. Then it will be Obama's being Presidential. And that evil McCain playing politics. First.
You know what is missing from the Democrat Machine is earpieces. So that when the message changes every one will be on the same page and speak with one voice. Axelrod needs to get right on it. Before his team looks even stupider. If that is possible. Given enough time I'm sure it is.
And this little gem from Jim Ryan at Just One Minute.
By withdrawing into inaction, McCain leaves Obama with two intolerable options: follow McCain the leader or be left standing there with his dick in his hand.It's a Zen thing.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Harry Reid Can't Make Up His Mind
Harry Reid yesterday said McCain's help with the financial crisis was essential. According to a McCain adviser:
"Yesterday, Harry Reid said that consensus couldn't be achieved without John McCain's leadership. John stepped up and is providing that leadership.Today the Senator from Nevada changed his tune.
A Democrat tells ABC News that, in a phone call late this afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., that it would NOT be helpful for him to come back to Washington, D.C., to work on the Wall Street bailout bill.I suppose Obama will be voting absent when it comes to hammering out a deal. Evidently in the Senate he is NOT The One they have been waiting for.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
McCain Suspends Campaign To Work Mortgage Crisis
U.S. Republican presidential candidate John McCain will suspended his campaign tomorrow to work on the U.S. economy.Obama said he is talking to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. He said if you need me call me. Evidently he doesn't think his presence will help. I'm inclined to agree.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Better a fiddle than a flame thrower
There were a couple of things that came up in comments that I thought bear repeating in a separate post.
One is this: check out the view of an economist I've been reading for a long time and whom I trust, Arnold Kling. Bottom line:
The risks of enacting the plan are far worse than the risks of doing nothing.(Via Glenn Reynolds.)
I realize that there are times when the urge to "do something!" becomes irresistible. An economic crisis weeks before an election is surely one of those times. But that does not mean that doing something is the thing to do. Sometimes, not doing something is the thing to do. It ought to at least be considered as an option. The problem is, when hysteria rules, one of the most common popular cries is what?
The government just sat there, doing nothing!
This was reflected in a column I saw by Rochelle Riley in yesterday's Detroit Free Press, titled "Candidates fiddle while Rome burns." Among other things, she says this:
While Rome burns, I don't want to hear the gladiators fight about who, why and wherefore of the Iraq war. That ticking sound we hear isn't counting down the days since the surge changed life in Baghdad. It is the sound of America's economy nearing Armageddon.Hmm....
Even if we accept the historically problematic analogy to Nero, what is being forgotten is that the economic "fire" under discussion is in large part a fire the government started, whether intentionally or not. Unlike the Great Fire of Rome, which was falsely rumored to have been started by Nero, whose persecution of Christians was described by Tacitus as an attempt to stop the rumors by shifting blame. At any event, there were no fiddles in ancient Rome, so Nero could not have "fiddled" during the Great Fire any more than Governor Roosevelt could have gone on TV in 1929 to discuss the Great Crash. (And no, that is not a moral equivalency argument!)
But hey, if the Great Fire analogy won't work, I guess there's always Armageddon.
Anything to get the government to "do something!" What if the government has already done something? What if it has already done too much, and that any more will be like throwing gasoline on a fire uner the mistaken belief that it is water?
What's the hurry?
Who will bail out the bailout?
Or, if we look at the government the way a college kid looks at daddy's money, "What happens when Daddy's check bounces?"
Why aren't these questions being asked? It's as if everyone is making a kneejerk assumption that the money is there to bail everything out and make everything OK. Yes, of course it is there. Why? Because, well, it just has to be there! Because, like, this is the United States and everything, and the government is just so huge and has so much money it's awesome man! The government has enough money to bail out everything, and if they run short, why they can always print more, right? And if that doesn't work they can always take it from the rich people, all those fat cats who've stolen it from the government and the poor people, right? So it's like, there will always be plenty of money to bail everything out, because all money comes from the government and like if it weren't for the government printing it you wouldn't even get the money they let you take home with your paycheck!
This is why the bailout beats doing nothing, even if it's the wrong thing.
Unfortunately, telling people what they want to hear is just as important now as it was in Nero's time.
And where it comes to "economic issues," the Democrats are far better at telling people whatever they want to hear than are Republicans.
MORE: Speaking of the "Do something now!" mentality, Ilya Somin has the Bailout Quote of the Day, from Mike Pence: "I must tell you, there are those in the public debate who have said that we must act now. The last time I heard that, I was on a used-car lot," said Rep. Mike Pence, R-Indiana. "The truth is, every time somebody tells you that you've got to do the deal right now, it usually means they're going to get the better part of the deal." (Via Glenn Reynolds.)
The Crony Capitalist Clique
Our financial troubles are caused by people treating the government as if it was their own piggy bank. And it is quite evident that our current troubles are a case of hogs gone wild.
In the past couple of weeks, as the financial crisis has intensified, a new talking point has emerged from the Democrats in Congress: This is all a "crisis of capitalism," in socialist financier George Soros' phrase, and a failure to regulate our markets sufficiently.So we know who the pigs are. And we know who was dishing out the slop (taxpayer dollars - your dollars). Sadly the pigs are going to require one more feeding before they get slaughtered and delivered to the market.
Leave The Money - Get The Votes
It looks like Sarah Palin has more value as a vote getter than as a fund raiser.
John McCain's campaign is scrapping, rescheduling or offering surrogates for nearly every one of the fundraisers Sarah Palin was to hold this month, instead having her campaign jointly with McCain, prepare for her sole debate next month and get some foreign policy exposure.It seems like that is a very good idea. According to the polls at Real Clear Politics Obama has been gaining ground. And that does not even include ACORN vote fraud.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
The third rail is easy to embrace
George Will thinks that in the near-hysteria over how to control the current economic stampede, people are forgetting the big picture:
An enormous range of complex judgments will have to be made about who will decide -- and by what criteria -- to whom money will be directed, and how to value and price the financial instruments, and the assets behind them, that the government might soon own. But these micro problems, although quite huge, pale next to the macro problem, which is:Eric S. Raymond wrote a very disturbing post about this, and he thinks it will require getting rid of the so-called "entitlements.":
The IBD correctly notes: "Allowed to grind on without real reform, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will do what no invading army or cabal of terrorists has done or will ever do: bring this mighty republic to its knees. Increasing federal taxes by 150% will strangle economic growth."(My previous thoughts about this are here.)
The problem is, even though the Big Crash is ultimately inevitable, getting rid of the "entitlements" could result in rioting in the streets. Even revolution. Politicians cannot face things like that. They can't even talk about entitlements, which have long been considered a "political third rail."
Fortunately, there is no such third rail for bloggers, because bloggers don't have to worry about getting elected. In that sense, they are either part of the current flow, or else they're ungrounded, depending on your point of view. So I can reach out and touch the third rail with complete impunity. I won't get shocked, not even if I say it's time to scrap the welfare state.
Why, I can even yell "Get rid of Social Security!" "Take care of yourself and your own family!" "Buy guns!" "Store food!"
But I wish that those for whom this really is a political third rail would remember that there's nothing to fear but the fear of death.
(Which means we have nothing to fear but the inevitable itself.)
QUESTION: Amidst the endless talk about bailouts, I have a nagging question for those who think "the government" is a blank check:
Who will bail out the bailout?
(Or, if we look at the government the way a college kid looks at daddy's money, "What happens when Daddy's check bounces?")
The double-secret Tom Eagleton non-prediction prediction!
How many Eagletons do we need in this election?
I mean, no sooner was Sarah Palin's nomination announced than the liberals went ballistic with Palin/ Eagleton comparisons and predictions. Which went nowhere. It was just a lame attempt to rattle the McCain campaign.
So, when I read that poor Tom Eagleton's political corpse had been disinterred yet again by pundits invoking his specter vis-a-vis super-gaffer Joe Biden, I figured it was some kind of "Let's even the score!" deal. Possibly by vengeful right wingers (or by wishful thinkers on the left who want to float the idea while crediting the right wing).
That might explain the peculiar attempt to make it appear that the prediction came from Glenn Reynolds -- the "notorious conservative blogger" who has been dutifully not predicting Biden's Eagleton moment right from the start.
But will Glenn's "non-predictions" really fool the truly reality-based searchers for the truth?
To these seasoned conspiracy theorists, the fact that Reynolds would predict by not predicting (especially because as "notorious conservatives" go, he's notoriously non-conservative) makes infinite sense. As I have explained in more posts than I have written, expert analysts (especially Gleen Grenwald) have determined that when Glenn Reynolds says something, he really means quite the opposite, just as when he links something, he's really not linking it at all, but he's playing a complex game of passive aggressive linking. This also means that when Rush Limbaugh says something but Glenn does not, Glenn actually said what Limbaugh said, whether he did or not! (Likewise, when Glenn says someone is straight, he means they're gay. Hmm... Did he ever say Joe Biden was straight?)
So obviously (at least to anyone who studies these things in the detail that's required) it would be a simple thing for Glenn to predict something by not predicting it. As a matter of fact, I can't think of a more effective passive aggressive way of predicting something will happen than by predicting it won't happen!
The real question no one is asking is: who didn't predict this first?
"The biggest story of the campaign"
That's how the Guardian describes the New York Times revelation that a lobbying firm owned by John McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis "was being paid $15,000 a month by Freddie Mac until last month.":
The story is this. The lobbying firm of Rick Davis, the manager, was being paid $15,000 a month by Freddie Mac until last month. That fact is a direct contradiction of words McCain had spoken Sunday night. At that time, responding to a Times story being prepared for Monday's paper revealing that Davis had been the head of a lobbying consortium led by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae until 2005, McCain said Davis had done no further work for either mortgage giant.
Who lied to whom? This is the kind of thing we might not know for a while, or maybe never. My hunch would be that Davis concealed it from McCain and that McCain, as is his wont, just winged it Sunday night, without really caring whether it was true, because that's what he does. But let me clearly label that a hunch. I don't know. But it doesn't really matter.The author (Michael Tomasky) thinks Davis has to go. If the Times allegations are true, he's probably right. But I don't agree with the characterization of the story as "the biggest political story of the general-election campaign so far."
Yes, a campaign aide taking money from a robber baron in Robin Hood drag looks bad, especially when it was denied. (Whether the "everybody else did it" defense will work is questionable.)
But (IMO) nothing could top a candidate himself working with an unrepetentant terrorist to push radicalism on school kids.
Obama can't say everybody else did that, can he?
MORE: As commenter Debbie points out below, the McCain campaign says the Times's allegation is not true (surprised, anyone?):
...the allegation is demonstrably false. As has been previously reported, Mr. Davis separated from his consulting firm, Davis Manafort, in 2006. As has been previously reported, Mr. Davis has seen no income from Davis Manafort since 2006. Zero. Mr. Davis has received no salary or compensation since 2006. Mr. Davis has received no profit or partner distributions from that firm on any basis -- weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual -- since 2006. Again, zero. Neither has Mr. Davis received any equity in the firm based on profits derived since his financial separation from Davis Manafort in 2006.Not surprisingly, The Times has studiously ignored Obama's campaign people:
The New York Times has never published a single investigative piece, factually correct or otherwise, examining the relationship between Obama campaign chief strategist David Axelrod, his consulting and lobbying clients, and Senator Obama. Likewise, the New York Times never published an investigative report, factually correct or otherwise, examining the relationship between Former Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson and Senator Obama, who appointed Johnson head of his VP search committee, until the writing was on the wall and Johnson was under fire following reports from actual news organizations that he had received preferential loans from predatory mortgage lender Countrywide.
"white privilege" defined
From Team Obama:
White privilege is being able to claim your experience as a POW has anything at all to do with your fitness for president, while being black and experiencing racism is, as Sarah Palin has referred to it, a "light" burden.Via Kevin D. Williamson, who fails to understand that your're either part of the problem, or part of the solution, and Obama is the solution.
The full "White privilege" quote, in its superb fulminating essence, can be found here. (It's from Tim Wise, a guilty white guy who conducts the kind of seminars the bureaucrats like to make guilty white folks attend.)
Here he is:
Obviously, whiteness is a disease.
MORE: If you liked the above, you'll love Wise's open letter to Hillary's female supporters -- "Your Whiteness is Showing":
First, for those of you threatening to actually vote for John McCain and to oppose Senator Obama, or to stay home in November and thereby increase the likelihood of McCain winning and Obama losing (despite the fact that the latter's policy platform is virtually identical to Clinton's while the former's clearly is not), all the while claiming to be standing up for women...And that was written before the unbearable whiteness of Sarah Palin (whose marriage to an Eskimo descended man must make her at least as white as snow...)
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
"Disparate impact." A deadly remedy for a misdiagnosis
Want to understand what happened?
Ace has a very terse and cogent explanation:
If the federal government were guaranteeing a trillion new dollars for no-money down car purchases with no credit checks or proof of employment or income, what do you think would happen to the price of cars?(Via Glenn Reynolds.)
Ace singles out Barney Frank for especially harsh treatment, and while Frank is an insufferable fool, he's as replaceable as a piston ring. (As are "Chris Dodd, ACORN, Franklin Raines, Penny Pritzker, Jim Johnson, and of course Barack Hussein Obama.")
The problem is the relentless push for socialism (a word few will use), which has done enormous damage to the economy by the simple misuse of a two word phrase:
This is the legal doctrine behind much of the abandonment of standards in the name of "fair lending," but it is not limited to banking. It has come to permeate almost every aspect of business culture, and it is explained here:
These [disparate impact] claims do not allege, and need not prove, that individuals were treated differently because of their race. Instead, it is enough to show that a neutral practice has a disproportionate effect -- that is, a disparate impact -- on some racial group.Whether it's real, intentional, discrimination does not matter. To illustrate the dishonesty of this doctrine, let me return to Ace's example of automobile sales. Suppose I decide to sell my used car, and I run an ad offering it for $10,000. Right there, I would be having a disparate impact on the people who did not have $10,000. (I realize none of them would complain, but be patient. I'm still a low level "operator.") Suppose I decide it would be easier to sell the car if I offer financing, but only to those "with approved credit." Another disparate impact. But still no one complains. Eventually, I sell the car, use the proceeds to buy another one, then two, then five, and ultimately I find myself renting an unused parking lot for the 500 or so cars I have accumulated as my inventory. At that point, my "discrimination" will begin to attract enough public attention that one of my hapless credit-unworthy "victims" (someone I've turned down) will find a lawyer, and claim that my credit practices (which had nothing to do with anything but covering my bottom line) have a "disparate impact" on a particular group of people to which he happens to belong.
Sound unfair? You bet. But this same basic operating principle lies at the heart of the heart of the crisis.
In an earlier post in which I discussed the abandonment of banking standards, an angry commenter came right back at me:
Sorry, but that's a rather desparate attempt to blame this Republican generated disaster on minorities and liberals. Phil Gramm is the perp here, loosening the rules for the benefit of the financial sector, not so minorities could get loans. The worse part is that you know it and can't admit it.Ever trying to be reasonable, I replied thusly:
My complaint is with the elimination of standards. (No one has refuted the claim that "if Freddie and Fannie had stuck to low-risk lending they would today not be needing any government bailout.")I'm thinking I was too gentle, because I failed to point out that the charge I was "blaming minorities" was grounded in a fundamental error. The "disparate impact" movement is not about minorities. It is not about racism.
It is a lie. A lie grounded in labeling as "discrimination" things which are not. A lie promulgated and perpetuated by those who want to control the business sector. A lie which is always driven by the dishonest accusation that someone is guilty of discrimination. A lie backed by an ever present witch hunt mentality.
I realize, though, that "lie" might have too inflammatory a ring to it for some readers. But I think most reasonable people can agree that "disparate impact" is at least an error in logic.
I think it's a huge, tragic error. One for which we are all paying a very dear price.
Helping to bring about "change"?
Is education still an issue?
Anyone who thinks it is, or who wants to learn more about Barack Obama's background in the field should read "Obama and Ayers Pushed Radicalism On Schools":
Despite having authored two autobiographies, Barack Obama has never written about his most important executive experience. From 1995 to 1999, he led an education foundation called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), and remained on the board until 2001. The group poured more than $100 million into the hands of community organizers and radical education activists.As to why Obama is downplaying his leadership of the CAC, I think there are two reasons. For starters, the CAC was the brainchild of unrepentent terrorist Bill Ayers:
The CAC was the brainchild of Bill Ayers, a founder of the Weather Underground in the 1960s. Among other feats, Mr. Ayers and his cohorts bombed the Pentagon, and he has never expressed regret for his actions. Barack Obama's first run for the Illinois State Senate was launched at a 1995 gathering at Mr. Ayers's home.As the author Stanley Kurtz argues, this work with Ayers is hardly guilt by association; "it's guilt by participation."
Which comes to the second reason Obama doesn't want to talk about his work with Ayers and the CAC. The outfit promoted a radical approach to education based on Ayers' view that student radicalism should be emphasized, and educational achievement de-emphasized:
The CAC's agenda flowed from Mr. Ayers's educational philosophy, which called for infusing students and their parents with a radical political commitment, and which downplayed achievement tests in favor of activism. In the mid-1960s, Mr. Ayers taught at a radical alternative school, and served as a community organizer in Cleveland's ghetto.Little wonder Obama doesn't want anyone to know. It's one thing to hang out with a guy like Ayers in a bar and have a few beers. I could forgive something like that. But here he was, partnering with Ayers in a radical enterprise to indoctrinate children, by messing with their heads.
As if that's not bad enough, they also steered money to ACORN:
CAC translated Mr. Ayers's radicalism into practice. Instead of funding schools directly, it required schools to affiliate with "external partners," which actually got the money. Proposals from groups focused on math/science achievement were turned down. Instead CAC disbursed money through various far-left community organizers, such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (or Acorn).Of one thing we can be glad. The effort failed, because (surprise!) student test scores failed to improve.
Mr. Obama once conducted "leadership training" seminars with Acorn, and Acorn members also served as volunteers in Mr. Obama's early campaigns. External partners like the South Shore African Village Collaborative and the Dual Language Exchange focused more on political consciousness, Afrocentricity and bilingualism than traditional education. CAC's in-house evaluators comprehensively studied the effects of its grants on the test scores of Chicago public-school students. They found no evidence of educational improvement.At least, I guess the fact that it failed is good. But it's money down the drain, fed into the small c communist coffers.
Kurtz is right that there's a lot more to this than "guilt by association."
As CAC chairman, Mr. Obama was lending moral and financial support to Mr. Ayers and his radical circle. That is a story even if Mr. Ayers had never planted a single bomb 40 years ago.Obama's coverup is quite understandable. Associating with an unrepetant terrorist radical is one thing. Working with him is another.
But partnering with him to help bring about his radical educational ideas?
Whether the voters will ever know the details, I don't know. Obama continues to insist that the issue is how old he was at the time Ayers and his outfit were bombing people, and that his critics are stuck in the 60s.
What ought to matter is how old he was when they were both trying to bring about "change" in the 90s.
MORE: Noting that the MSM has "quite consciously and deliberately ignored and minimized this subject," Glenn Reynolds links the WSJ piece and also a great Hot Air post (from which I'll quote liberally):
Kurtz' report provides a very interesting look at the early political life of Barack Obama. He had already entered politics at the time he joined the CAC, and even at that stage had allied himself with ACORN, which has found itself at the center of more than a dozen voter-fraud investigations. Obama also allied himself with Ayers and helped the former Weather Underground fugitive push forward with his plans to radicalize an entire generation of schoolchildren in the area through the CAC. Note well the parallels to community organizing that play out in the activities of the CAC, and recall again how Obama claims that activity as a major qualification for the presidency.In an earlier post (titled "What if Ayers really is mainstream?") I speculated that the fact of Ayers being part of the Democratic mainstream is the real issue they want to hide:
Is Ayers mainstream or is he not?I keep saying this is worse than Jeremiah Wright, and I think it is. Far worse.
You'd almost think Wright was a distraction from this, um, mainstream issue.
MORE: Joshua Muravchik, writing in Commentary, looks at the Obama Ayers collaboration and says,
"There may be much more, so far successfully hidden by all concerned; but even these facts suggest that Ayers was among Obama's closest collaborators."My guess is that Obama would continue to say he hardly knew the guy.
I say "would" because I'm not convinced the Ayers questions will even be asked.
An issue that should not be forgotten
Regular readers know that I am a Life Member of the NRA and a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
I've said that I could never vote for Barack Obama because of his socialistic background. (The ACORN connection especially worries me.) But aside from being one of the most socialistic politicians in America, Barack Obama is also one of the most vehemently anti-gun politicians, and for that reason alone, I could also never consider voting for him -- even if I believed his malarkey about how he supports the free market system.
In short, Obama-Biden constitute the most anti-gun ticket in United States history.
Little wonder the NRA is running this ad:
I'm glad they're running it. This is a major issue that neither the complex economic debate -- nor the relentless promotion of the "Vote for Obama or else you're a racist!" meme -- should be allowed to obscure.
M. Simon sent me a link to some great NRA videos here.
In this one, a veteran who fought for his country says he will never vote for a man who wants to take away his right to own a handgun:
And here's one revealing Joe Biden's appalling record :
How anyone who owns a gun (or who believes in the right to keep and bear arms) could even consider voting for the Democratic ticket is beyond me.
Fanning the frames of flames
According to Matthew Rothschild, "the race boils down to racism":
With Election Day approaching, McCain surrogates or supporters may not be able to resist the temptation to fan the flames of racism. Expect the snippets of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright to resurface. Expect video of Michelle Obama sounding militant. Expect disgusting ads about Obama's admitted drug use as a very young man. Expect that picture of Obama in Muslim garb again.Sigh.
The way things are going with these endless charges of "racism," I think it's more likely to be a referendum on the intractability of the imputation of racism. Which of course the imputers would claim proves their point. That's because when an issue -- dishonest or not -- is injected into a campaign as relentlessly as "racism" is being injected into this campaign, it's there, and it won't go away easily. The old "try not to think about elephants" routine. American voters are being inundated -- on a daily basis now -- with the following, deeply ugly, message: if you're white and you don't vote for Obama it's because you're a racist.
The only people who have any hope of a defense are Republican stalwarts. They can say "I just voted the Party line as I always do." Not so for Democrats and independents. If they vote for McCain, they will have to live with the unsettling knowledge that post-election inquisitors will always be able to ask them who they voted for in 2008, and if they answer McCain, it will be seen as suspect. And even if they say, "It's my business who I voted for!" leftie McCarthyites will take that as a tacit admission that they voted for McCain. And either way, they're obviously racists, right?
Not that I could ever convince anyone on the left that I'm anything but a cracker, but I thought it might at least be entertaining to take a look at the "flames" Mr. Rothschild cites in his
It's hard to forget a malevolent clown like Wright. I can't stand the guy, although as I have said many times, I think Obama's close association with Bill Ayers is far worse. Forgive me if I am wrong, but not only were the Wright snippets first dug up by Clinton campaign operatives, but what really upset people was the one showing the guy screaming "God damn America!" Please correct me if they were really upset by Wright's race and not by the hateful things he said, but that's my memory of it, and I don't see what Jeremiah Wright has to do with race. Unless, of course, it's the same identity politics formulation that because he is black, all criticism of him by whites is assumed to be racist. (Or might the author think that hating America is "black"? The thought would never cross my mind, but I'm just wondering.)
Militant? I remember a video in which she said that she was proud to be an American for the first time in her life, but that didn't strike me as especially militant. The debate revolved around her patriotism, which Obama's opponents were questioning.
Hmmm.... So what's with the word "militant"? Am I missing the videos of her calling for armed struggle against "the Beast" like Ayers and his odious wife? I doubt such videos exist, and even if they did -- even if she had been as loony as the Weather Underground -- how would pointing that out be a form of racism? I think "unpatriotic" is the correct word here. Why didn't he say "Expect video of Michelle Obama sounding unpatriotic?" Is it possible that Rothschild is uncomfortable with the word? Or does he think that "militant" is a better word to fan the flames of racism because somehow (in his mind, at least) militant equals black? (Frankly, if I didn't know any better, I'd swear that was racist thinking on Rothschild's part. But he can't be the racist, because he's leveling the accusation. So forgive me!)
It's news to me (an admitted former drug user) that drugs have anything to do with race. As a matter of fact, the last time I visited the leading liberal news site (Raw Story) I saw countless lurid pieces revisiting Cindy McCain's past drug use. Naturally, in any campaign, such stuff can be used to generate "disgusting ads." And I agree that they're disgusting. Certainly they don't persuade me of anything. But can anyone tell me why they'd only be racist in the case of Barack Obama? Again, unless drug taking equals black (something no reasonable person would contend) I think this might reveal a certain bias on the part of the author.
Personally, I thought using that picture was a low blow, and the Clinton campaign should have been ashamed for doing it. But it fed into the meme that Obama was a Muslim, and Islam is a religion, not a race. I don't like anti-Muslim bigotry, but it is no more "racism" than is anti-Catholic bigotry.
I think the racist "flames" are being fanned by the hyperventilation of Rothschild's mind.
The problem is, if enough people want this race to be a referendum about race, it will become that.
Whether it should won't matter.
Just say no! To Bush!
Things look pretty bad for McCain right now. The left has been pushing the McCain=Bush meme for so long that a lot of people have come to accept it through osmosis.
And now that there's been an "economic meldown," there's a huge "rescue plan" being pushed by Bush. The Democrats are jumping all over each other trying to make political hay out of it. (Adrianna Huffington's "The Bailout Plan: Welcome to Economic Shock and Awe" from this morning is typical.)
And so far, McCain seems to be going along with it (although not so loudly as to be irreversibly loud).
Far be it from me to offer advice that wouldn't be heeded. But I can reflect on what other people are saying, and I think Newt Gingrich got it right last night when he said that McCain should go against Bush on this one. Show he is in fact real maverick he's always claimed to be.
He has consistently condemned pork, and if this isn't pork, then what is?
Here's Thomas Sowell:
Whenever there is a lot of the taxpayers' money around, politicians are going to find ways to spend it that will increase their chances of getting re-elected by giving goodies to voters.Dodd. That's the guy who's the number one recipient of Fannie Mae's, um, largesse. He just loves this gigantic bailout (which really ought to be called the Mother of all Pork Barrels):
bailing out people who made ill-advised mortgages makes no more sense that bailing out people who lost their life savings in Las Vegas casinos. It makes political sense only to people like Senator Dodd, who are among the reasons for the financial mess in the first place.McCain ought to say NO to all of this, in no uncertain terms. This will put him squarely in opposition to Bush, and with any luck, it will transform Obama into the status quo, Bush administration-supporting candidate.
Obama=Bush! Maybe that's "change" -- but I don't know how well it will go over with Obama supporters.
The reason this makes so much sense is that there's so little time. Neither the voters nor the politicians will be able to understand (much less reflect on) all of the infinite permutations of 700 billion dollars worth of pork, and process that intelligently during the next few weeks while there's an election on. (I do not mean to sound condescending; I can't process it either.) When voters are confused, they tend to proceed with caution.
So I think McCain taking a true-to-his-character, anti-pork, maverick stance works for a variety of reasons.
Hell, it might even be the right thing to do.
(Ask me when I've had time to process the numbers, in a year or so....)
MORE: Megan McArdle has a very sensible post which attempts to answer an excellent question; How close was the financial system to melting down? Conclusion: Consider that the Great Depression came upon a society much less dependent on unsecured credit than we are. Then count your lucky stars that our financial officials are moderately competent.
How likely was this doomsday scenario? No way to know. But it was possible. That's quite scary enough. That it was scary is the whole problem. It's scary but economically scary, not war scary. This favors the Democratic Party, and unfortunately, their candidate is (IMO) an ardent socialist.
McCain has to stop him -- even if it means opposing Bush now at the risk of making the economy wait a month. I'm no economist, but I think hasty solutions have a poor enough track record.
The timing is not merely bad, it's f*cking insanely bad.
(Believe it or not, I'm actually sorry for the country.)
MORE: These poll results cheered me a bit:
Electing a socialist now would throw gasoline on the fire.
MORE: Don't miss "Catastrophic apocalyptic armageddon!
At the risk of displaying my ignorance, I do think the economy is beyond our immediate control.
Unlike the election.
MORE: Here's the view of an economist I trust, Arnold Kling:
The risks of enacting the plan are far worse than the risks of doing nothing.(Via Glenn Reynolds.)
Monday, September 22, 2008
H/T Uppity Woman
Thirty Missing Investigators
H/T The Patriot Room
Welcome Instapundit readers. Here is something else that needs investigating. Crony Capitalism. Since the cronies are in Congress and include all of the Democrats (the Black Caucus is especially strong in that area) and many Republicans the investigation will need to be done by the people. Throw the bums out.
BTW thanks to commenter ZZ Mike here is some text on the Thirty Investigators.
For those of you who asked: at a McCain Town Hall a woman got up and asked why there were 30 people in Alaska investigating Sarah Palin and yet no media people were in Chicago investigating the ties of Obama to Bill Ayers and the Crooks from Crook County (Chicago).
If one were to read Hugh Muir's politics diary at the Guardian UK, one might get the impression that Condoleezza Rice were slyly passing judgment on Sarah Palin or hints to herself by manipulating the Great Seal (cf. Barack Obama's glossy Seal 2.0, whose Latin phrase sounds whiny to me: "Really, we can!"):
Is Condoleezza Rice, who was often spoken of as a potential Republican presidential candidate, fully on board with the Sarah Palin phenomenon? She seems to be dropping hints that she might be still available, for now, or perhaps when the cavalcade rolls again in four years? On her recent trip to Libya on Air Force Two, the napkins that came with the drinks bore the great seal of the US; except that instead of E pluribus unum "From many, one", the legend read E pluribus unam. Most took this to be a misprint, but Latin scholars noted that unam is a feminine form. From many, one woman, is it? Which one?
It is a typo, and it says nothing about Condoleezza Rice that someone made a mistake on a cocktail napkin.
How do I know it's a typo?
Because I, unlike those mentioned by Muir, actually am a Latin scholar.
In the phrase e pluribus unum, the word unum (neuter gender) is in the nominative case, the case that names the subject. But unam (feminine gender) can only be accusative, the case that marks the object of a transitive verb (among a few other things, e.g., extent of space or duration of time).
The formulation with unam is meaningless without a transitive verb, while unum is a purely descriptive phrase not requiring a verb of any kind.
As an aside, e pluribus unum makes better sense when considered not as "one out of many", which is ambiguous, but rather as "a union (composed) of a great many (states)". (The preposition e/ex with the ablative case--i.e., e pluribus--can denote the material out of which a thing is composed.) That's why it's part of the Great Seal of the United States: it speaks specifically to the nature of the union, not about a melting pot, not about pluralities, but about many states forming 'one thing' (unum).
In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the neuter idea underlying unum were not foedus, a kind of "covenant" or agreement underlying the idea of federalism. Then we're talking about one federal government which depends upon a great number of constituent states, and the very essence of the nation depends upon maintaining the sovereignty of those constituents.
My late "Astroturf roundup"
Astroturfing by the Obama campaign?
Say it isn't true!
Michelle Malkin has posted one of the videos they've been desperately trying to pull. YouTube accounts are being closed left and right. It appears the chief culprit is the Winner & Associates firm.
Within an hour of publication of the Jawa Report's investigation, "eswinner" deleted the smear video that he had uploaded several times on September 11.There are more, and all the accounts have been closed.
I figure that if they're such dishonest wimps that they can't stand behind their own work, the least I can do is republish here what they took down. That way, if they sue me for "copyright" violations, I can play "discovery" with them.
So here it is. (I've also downloaded it and saved it, and so have others, so it will never go away.)
(It's a lie, of course, as Palin was never a member of the AIP.)
People who want an encapsulated version of this story can find a good summary here, along with an observation:
If all of this is true and the Obama campaign can be connected to it, it would represent a massive set of FEC violations, as well as the ultimate repudiation of "hope and change" and "New Politics". In fact, it would be a massive demonstration of Chicago Politics on a national scale.Via Dave Price, who adds,
The only question now is how long the MSM can ignore this blatantly dishonest scheme. It took weeks for Dan Rather to be discredited.As Glenn says, stay tuned.
Gee, I didn't realize how the words "Astroturf" and "Roundup" look together. I guess Astroturf is not Roundup proof after all.
Also "Ace is rolling up the sidewalks behind and catching lots of other bit players in this nasty business."
Fannie Mae trivia question
Who turned down $100,000 from Fannie Mae?
No, that is not a trick question or a joke. (Nor is the economic crisis triggered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac a laughing matter, even if these things beg for ridicule.)
According to George F. Will (who is not laighing), the answer is the CATO Institute:
In the 1994 elections, Republicans ended 40 years of Democratic control of the House of Representatives. So in 1995, a vice president of Fannie Mae wrote a letter to Ed Crane, president of the Cato Institute, saying that Fannie Mae intended to give that libertarian, free-market think tank a $100,000 grant.I guess that was supposed to be a serious denial, even if it looks ridiculous in retrospect.
Will goes on to discuss another of the seemingly endless government subsidies (in this case more "corporate welfare for GM, Ford and Chrysler"), which also aren't meant as jokes, no matter how ridiculous they look.
And he closes by citing Marx. Which Marx?
Not Groucho, but Karl:
In "The Communist Manifesto," Karl Marx marveled that, such is capitalism's dynamism, "all that is solid melts into air." Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch should not be the last to learn the truth of that."All that is solid melts into air?"
(I don't know what Groucho would have said, but at the risk of sounding optimistic, I don't think Karl took into account the dynamism involved in using gaseous emissions to solidify our liquidity to prevent liquidating our solids.)
Who would Jesus tax?
"Catholic social doctrine as I was taught it is, you take care of people who need the help the most."Don't worry, I'm not going to play "Name that Christianist" again. The speaker was Senator Joe Biden, and he was explaining how his religious views define what he thinks ought to be government policies on taxation.
While there wasn't much media ink wasted on the statement (which was barely reported), imagine the uproar had Sarah Palin invoked the "social doctrine" of the Assemblies Of God.
Why? Because Sarah Palin is said to be a "Christianist" and a "theocrat," while Joe Biden never is.
What is a Christianist? Here's the definition, straight from the source:
I mean merely by the term Christianist the view that religious faith is so important that it must also have a precise political agenda. It is the belief that religion dictates politics and that politics should dictate the laws for everyone, Christian and non-Christian alike.
Precise political agenda about what?
Suppose that according to Catholic doctrine, abortion is a sin. If an anti-abortion politician were to cite Catholic doctrine in advocating abortion policy, why would that make him any more of a "theocrat" or "Christianist" than if he cited Catholic doctrine in advocating taxation policy.
What gives here? Why is abortion more Christianist than taxation? I mean, Jesus never mentioned abortion, yet the "render unto Caesar" line has been quoted to death. So if it is "Christianism" to have abortion policies dictated by Christianity, why isn't it even more "Christianist" to have our tax policies dictated by Christianity?
Hey, Jesus hung out with tax collectors, didn't he?
And while there is no biblical evidence that he hung out with either pro-abortion or anti-abortion people, he may well have, because it's beyond dispute that the Romans routinely practiced abortion, while Judaism generally frowned on the practice. (As to what the Talmudic scriptures teach about abortion, it's murky.)
So the question remains, why is advocacy of one Christian doctrine called "Christianism" and the other isn't?
Should start thinking of the IRS as a group of radical Christianists?
No, and the answer is simple. Opposition to abortion is right wing, which makes it automatically theocratic and Christianist. Support for tax hikes is left wing, which means it cannot be theocratic or Christianist, no matter how fervently religion is invoked.
MORE: Damn! I didn't see it, but Glenn Reynolds beat me to calling Joe Biden a Christianist:
JOE BIDEN, CHRISTIANIST: "The political left likes to score Republicans for claiming that God is on their side, but here we have Mr. Biden claiming support from both God and Caesar. If Sarah Palin tried this, she'd send the boys at the Daily Kos into cardiac arrest. We won't get into a theological debate with Mr. Biden, except to say that Biblical tax rates tended to run around 10%, not the 39.6%-plus that Barack Obama's tax plan calls for."No, I don't have time to examine the abortion rates from the Caesars' times. My point would be the same.
Master Of The Astroturf
That would be David Axelrod, Obama's Campaign Manager.
David Axelrod has long been known for his political magic. Through his AKP&D Message & Media consultancy, the campaign veteran has advised a succession of Democratic candidates since 1985, and he's now chief strategist for Senator Barack Obama's bid for President. But on the down low, Axelrod moonlights in the private sector.The article is kind of old (March of this year) so why did I bring it up? It might have something to do with a bit I posted earlier today: Is Team Obama Astroturfing? And for those of you not familiar with the term the wiki has an explanatory article Astroturfing. The short version: a well financed public relations campaign pretending to be a grassroots effort.
It seems nothing about Obama is what it seems to be. Except for his Chicago/Crook County connections. Which are better left in the dark. For Obama. Obviously McCain has other ideas.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Not even a conspiracy theory -- much less "history"
I hate conspiracy theories, especially blogging about them. Even more do I hate spending my time checking them out to see whether they have any merit. That's because few reasonable people care. Reasonable people don't waste time with conspiracy theories, and tend not to believe them. So, if a conspiracy theory is "debunked," the reaction of reasonable people is a collective "so what?"
OTOH, to the people who believe in conspiracy theories, there is no such thing as debunking. To the contrary; the latest scientific evidence is that debunking only heightens their determination to hold firm, dig in their heels, and relentlessly present "The Truth" -- and save the rest of us miserable people from our complacent selves.
So, trust me when I say that few things are more tedious than what I did last night, which was to stream a very tedious BBC broadcast and listen in the hope of verifying the "evidence" in support of recent contention that not only was last week's economic bailout a Bish coup, but that sinister Bush coups run in the sinister Bush family.
The Bush family, in the form of Prescott Bush, has tried a more aggressive coup before in order to install fascism in this country. This treasonous plot was called "the Business Plot," because the high-level plotters - including Prescott Bush - were Wall Street men who openly supported fascism.The author argues that this "latest" Bush coup leaves us no choice but impeachment or revolution. (See Bob Owens's and Jeff Goldstein's thorough discussions of that, which Glenn Reynolds linked yesterday.)
But for the "coups are a Bush family tradition" meme I would not have had much to add. And frankly, if the same argument had been made a writer at Rense.com or some other conspiracy site, I would not have bothered to examine the "evidence." The problem is, the author in question here -- Larisa Alexandrovna -- happens to be the managing news editor for Raw Story. The latter is a site I visit regularly, and while I knew it was liberal in its orientation, reading that the news editor thinks this way hardly inspires confidence.
Nor is the author backing down from her claim of Prescott Bush's 1933 coup involvement. She has attacked her critics as "right wing idiots," and at her blog she also maintains -- apparently seriously -- that this is no conspiracy theory:
Another one [critic] actually thinks that the infamous Business Plot is a conspiracy theory. So much for history lessons. Who needs them anyway, right?History lessons?
Again, here's the "history" this Raw Story editor believes is so settled as to be beyond dispute:
This treasonous plot was called "the Business Plot," because the high-level plotters - including Prescott Bush - were Wall Street men who openly supported fascism.While the Business Plot (which went nowhere) has been debated by historians, no one has cited a single legitimate historian anywhere who seriously maintains that Prescott Bush was involved -- much less as a "high level plotter." Instead, the people who are jumping on the "Bush Coup I" bandwagon cite as evidence a BBC radio show.
Here's how it is described -- by the BBC:
The coup was aimed at toppling President Franklin D Roosevelt with the help of half-a-million war veterans. The plotters, who were alleged to involve some of the most famous families in America, (owners of Heinz, Birds Eye, Goodtea, Maxwell Hse & George Bush's Grandfather, Prescott) believed that their country should adopt the policies of Hitler and Mussolini to beat the great depression.Ugh.
I hate seeing shit like that late on a Sunday night. Honestly, it felt like homework. Very ugly homework.
But like the dutiful schoolboy I never really wanted to be, I did my duty, and I found the entirety of the interview archived here, and I listened for more than 27 minutes.
At no point is there any allegation that Prescott Bush was involved in the Business Plot.
From the show, starting at 20:07:
...a shipping company called HAL was accused of providing free passage to Germany to American journalists willing to write favorable copy on Hitler's rise to power. The company is also alleged to have brought Nazi spies and pro-fasicst sympathizers into America.The claim is also made that names were edited out of the government archives, which does not prove Prescott Bush's involvement in a coup.
In short, there's nothing whatsoever to tie Prescott Bush to the coup. (Ironically, Ms. Alexandrovna is right to maintain that this is no conspiracy theory, because there's no evidence to support it.)
This is confirmed in Prescott Bush's wiki entry, which contains a heading titled Alleged plot to overthrow FDR:
On July 23, 2007, the BBC Radio 4 series Document reported on the alleged Business Plot and the archives from the McCormack-Dickstein Committee hearings. The program does not in any way state or imply that Prescott Bush was involved in the plot. The program mentioned Bush's directorship of the Hamburg-America Line, a company that the committee investigated for Nazi propaganda activities, and the alleged 1933 attempt, supposedly led by Gerald MacGuire, to stage a military coup against President Franklin D. Roosevelt aimed at forcing Roosevelt to resign (or, failing that, to assassinate him) and at installing a fascist dictatorship in the United States. OK, Wiki got it right -- but only about the contents of the actual audio portion of the radio program.
However, it's simply inaccurate for Wiki to say that the program "does not in any way state or imply that Prescott Bush was involved in the plot" -- because the program description clearly states exactly that. Again, the BBC:
The coup was aimed at toppling President Franklin D Roosevelt with the help of half-a-million war veterans. The plotters, who were alleged to involve some of the most famous families in America, (owners of Heinz, Birds Eye, Goodtea, Maxwell Hse & George Bushâs Grandfather, Prescott) believed that their country should adopt the policies of Hitler and Mussolini to beat the great depression.So, because there's a clear conflict between what Wiki says and what the BBC says, and because a news editor for a prominent web site asserts Prescott Bush's involvement in a coup is "history," I felt obligated to listen to it (and not take Wiki at its word).
I suspect that some of the people citing the radio show as "proof" have not listened to it, but instead rely solely on the description.
Whether this was a complete waste of time, I don't know. Those who want to believe Prescott Bush was involved in a coup may have an emotional need to believe that, so in that sense this is -- and always will remain -- undebunkable.
This reminds me of the time I listened to a long radio interview with a crackpot who claimed he enjoyed sex and drugs with Barack Obama (and that the latter had acted as a sort of limousine tour guide even though he was a state representative at the time). I thought it was absolute nonsense, but I slogged through it, and eventually, the man's story was debunked. But at least there was an actual allegation made during the radio interview to be believed or disbelieved depending on whether you're a conspiracy theorist.
In contrast, here there is no accuser, and no accusation.
I don't think this rises to the level of a conspiracy theory.
(Even for unreasonable people.)
MORE: Back in 2004, Hugh Hewitt said something in another context that I think might -- and I mean might -- be helpful here:
It would not be hard for intelligence services from around the world to build blogs with an intent to deceive or manipulate, putting out solid content to gain an initial audience before using it to disseminate disinformation intentionally.(Via Glenn Reynolds.)
Of course, there's no showing that any intelligence service has been involved in promoting the "Bush family coup" disinformation.
For starters, the BBC is not a blog.
There Is No Blockade Of Iran
At least not yet.
Here is where it started for me.
They can't help it, Part II
Considering the way the vicious attacks on Sarah Palin generated sympathy for her (with a resultant backlash reflected in earlier polls), I would have thought that her attackers would by now have learned to control themselves, at least for the few weeks that remain in this increasingly ugly campaign.
Almost ten days ago, I opined that her critics just can't help it:
....the media feeding frenzy results from the fact that they find Palin irresistible for a variety of reasons. She's new, she's a woman (which in their twisted way of thinking makes her a traitor), she didn't go to Harvard (or Princeton, like Charlie Gibson), and she belongs to the wrong church. As Andrew Sullivan says, the mere fact that she belongs to the Assembly of God justifies the use of the Dowdification method of quotation falsification:While I was talking about the media, it's become clear that Palin Derangement Syndrome goes a lot deeper than that. Her email account was hacked (to a chorus of enormous left-wing approval by people who would howl over the monitoring of email of al Qaeda operatives), and most recently, she was first invited, then disinvited, to an anti-Ahmadinejad protest. (Such a lack of American unity no doubt delighted Ahmadinejad and the mullahs.)She is a long-time member of the Assemblies Of God. That's all you need to know.Imagine the reaction if someone said that about membership in the Catholic Church.
The highly emotional "Disinvite Palin" campaign has all the earmarks of the "can't help it" mentality I described.
Sources say the axes were out for Palin as soon as Sen. Clinton pulled out because she did not want to attend the same event as the Republican vice presidential candidate. "I have never seen such raw emotion -- on both sides," said someone close to the situation. The groups sponsoring the rally against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaking at the UN were reportedly told, "it could jeopardize their tax exempt status" if they had Palin and not Clinton or Democratic VP candidate Joe Biden on hand. . . ."It's an absolute shame that this has happened," Hikind said. "To threaten organizations ... to threaten the Conference of Presidents that if you don't withdraw the invitation to Gov. Palin we're going to look into your tax exempt status ... that's McCarthyism."I am quite familiar with Kunst, a gay activist with solid left-wing credentials. To see him talking that way is a real eye-opener.
I don't know how much damage this will cause the Obama campaign. Noting that the activists demanding Palin's withdrawal included a man fired from the Obama campaign over his negotiations with Hamas, Jennifer Rubin asks some good questions:
It remains to be seen whether this issue will plague Obama as he continues to struggle to establish both his foreign policy credentials and his support for Israel. One supporter of the McCain-Palin ticket on Capitol Hill remarked ruefully, "Has it occurred that the reason that neither Obama nor Biden would show up is maybe that they would rather meet with Ahmadinejad without preconditions than protest his presence at the UN?"Pajamas Media founer Roger L. Simon thinks it is time for Jews to reexamine their traditional kneejerk ties to the Democratic Party:
From the days of FDR, the vast majority of American Jews have identified with the Democratic Party almost if it were their religion. This included most especially secular Jews like me whose blasé attitude toward their faith and toward religious observance in general made such a replacement all the more important emotionally. This same Jewish majority also identified with the cause of social justice and, as Barack Obama among many others has noted, were some of the most active participants in the civil rights movement of the Fifties and Sixties. That was all how it should have been and was a perfectly logical and praiseworthy epoch in the development of our country.And:
The virtual night of the long knives played out between the Democratic Party and various Jewish organizations surrounding the Iran demonstration, including allegations that party operatives were threatening the loss of tax exempt status over Sarah Palin's appearance, with more unpleasant revelations undoubtedly to come, is obviously causing people to reconsider this allegiance to the Democratic Party that approaches fealty.Plenty, I'd say. Roger is right. (Read it all.)
It is amazing that Sarah Palin is continuing to cause so many people on the left to miscalculate on such a grand scale, but for a lot of reasons, she is. The disinvition to an Ahmadinejad protest is proof that she triggers an emotional reaction which her enemies cannot control -- even when (as here) she agrees with them! Incredible.
Once again, they really can't help it.
AFTERTHOUGHT: This whole incident makes me wonder what other issues Sarah Palin's enemies won't allow her to agree with them on. (The more reasonable she sounds, the more they hate her. What would they do if she dared advocate separation of church and state?)
UPDATE: Thank you, Sean Kinsell for linking this post! Adds Sean:
The hysterical detractors are succeeding admirably--if that's the word--at getting the public to associate opposition to Palin with derangement.Be sure to read Sean's thoughts.
The Vice President From Rezko
It looks like Joe Biden and B. Obama have some mutual acquaintances. Or at least mutual once removed.
DENVER -- No matter what help Barack Obama might get from Sen. Joseph Biden, his newly named vice presidential running mate won't give Obama much cover on the Tony Rezko front.So how did Biden approach Obama? My guess is that he said "A friend of a friend sent me."
You can take the politician out of Chicago, but you can't take the Chicago out of the politician.
I'm looking forward to Obama's "I am not a crook" speech.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Is Team Obama Astroturfing?
My Pet Jawa thinks so.
It is also likely that the PR firm was paid by outside sources to run the smear campaign. While not conclusive, evidence suggests a link to the Barack Obama campaign. Namely:Go and read it all.* Evidence suggests that a YouTube video with false claims about Palin was uploaded and promoted by members of a professional PR firm.This suggests that false rumors and outright lies about Sarah Palin and John McCain being spread on the internet are being orchestrated by political partisans and are not an organic grassroots phenomenon led by the left wing fringe. Our findings follow.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Do they really hate cowboys?
I like cowboys. They are one of the greatest American icons.(Via Glenn Reynolds.)
Hey wait a second!
What he ">said to the coal miners was this:
"I like that little over and under, you know? I'm not bad with it.."His words, not mine. And while I know he was referring to a gun, isn't it common knowledge among the enlightened classes that guns are phallic symbols?
Geez. I don't mean to overanalyze, but as I've just finished attempting to comprehend what George Lakoff calls "biconceptualism," I'm like, all primed. I'm truly in the mood for what the PoMos call "subtext."
And considering Biden's remarks, there's no way to avoid the fact that the subtext of the moment involves cowboys.
I think that if we closely examine all possible facets and subfacets of this subtext, if we take into account the attacks on cowboys, the "cowboyesque" statements to the coalminers, the statement about liking "that little over and under, you know" and analyze all of this in the broadest possible spirit of "biconceptualism," it might be possible to come up with a new, um, frame.
Because deconstructing biconceptualism has to start somewhere.
Charisma is destiny?
Top Democrat issue framer George Lakoff has some advice for the Obama campaign. (From a psychiatric pdf file.)
Stop talking about issues. It's all about "character" (in quotes because according to Lakoff character is just "narrative"):
In 1980, Richard Wirthlin - Ronald Reagan's chief strategist - made a fateful discovery. In his first poll he discovered that most people didn't like Reagan's positions on the issues, but nevertheless wanted to vote for Reagan. The reason, he figured out, is that voters vote for apresident not primarily on the issues, but on five other "character" factors; values; authenticity; communication and connection; trust; and identity. In the Reagan-Carter and Reagan-Mondale debates, Mondale and Carter were ahead on the issues and lost the debates because the debates were not about the issues, but about those other five character factors. George W. Bush used the same observation in his two races. Gore and Kerry ran on the issues. Bush ran on those five factors."Reality," of course, is code language for the Democratic positions on the issues. I don't know whether Lakoff thinks character actually exists or really should matter, but he certainly sees it as a winner in the narrative department. It's all about manipulation and marketing:
Unfortunately, it is also easy to manipulate these things with marketing techniques. As Cillizza points out, McCain and Palin are being marketed as American icons: the war hero and the ideal mom. Obama and Biden were marketed (honestly) as realizations of the American Dream, living hope that it is still possible - with Obama as the lone figure with the charisma, character and talent to actually unite the country and bring back the dream. So far, the McCain-Palin narratives are proving powerful. Palin has enormous charisma of her own. Meanwhile the Obama narrative is being given up in favor of "the issues." It is as though, after the Republicans attacked Obama's charismatic leader persona, the Obama campaign gave up on it, instead of realizing that they could capitalize on it.Notice the switch from character to charisma, as if they're as interchangeable as moving parts in a machine. It does not seem to have occurred to Lakoff that McCain might actually have character in the true sense of the word.
However, he thinks Obama has character, because charisma is his "character." And because narratives and stereotypes are real reason which is reality, his charisma is also "real reason":
...the enlightenment theory of reason doesn't describe how people actually work. People think primarily in terms of cultural narratives, stereotypes, frames and metaphors. That is real reason.
Through a form of trickery known as "conservative populism" which was invented in the 1960s, the Republicans have hoodwinked working people into imagining that they agree with guys like Reagan and McCain (and presumably, they've tricked the working people into believing that these man have character). The real job of Obamacrats is to show them -- by "real reason" (meaning resort to charisma), that they have been fooled:
The Obama campaign has problems with conservative populism. They don't seem to understand it. Conservative populism on a national scale was invented in the late 1960s. At the time, most working people identified themselves with liberals. But conservatives realized that many working people were what I have called "biconceptuals" - they are genuinely conservative in their mode of thought about patriotism and certain family issues, though they are progressive in their understanding of nature (they love the land) and their commitment to communities where people care about each other etc. So conservatives have talked to them nonstop about conservative "patriotism" and "family values", thus activating their conservative mindset. At the same time, conservative theorists invented the ideal of "liberal elitism": that liberals look down upon working people and are not like them. Conservatives have been working at constructing this mythology for nearly 40 years and liberals have stood by and let it happen. Palin is a natural for the conservative populists. She understands their culture.See? They're clinging to religion and guns only because their "biconceptual" mindset has been cynically activated. That's why they're so easily fooled into voting against their own interests:
Conservative populism is a cultural, not an economic, phenomenon. These are folks who often vote against their economic self-interest and instead vote on their identity as conservatives and on their antipathy to liberals, who they see as elitists who look down on them. Simply giving conservative populists facts and figures won't work.Well, I agree that it's not an easy job to get conservatives to see that Obama's and Biden's "values and character" are really like their own.
But then, if character is really just a narrative, and is actually a phony way of marketing charisma, then maybe he has a point. If not, then Lakoff (and the people who agree with him) are some of the most cynical opportunists in the business.
Call me a bamboozled biconceptual, but I think McCain's life is more than just a cleverly marketed narrative. Sure, there's a lot of political marketing involved in this campaign, as there always is. But no amount of marketing (in politics or anywhere else) can alter the fact that there can be genuine differences in the quality of what is being offered for sale. If character exists (and I think it does; hence the satirical post title), no amount of marketing can change it. There are vast character differences between John McCain and Barack Obama, and these will remain, regardless of who wins and who loses.
MORE: In a stunning show of "real reason," Joe Biden (campaigning in coalmining country) is appealing to the "biconceptual" crowd, and bitterly clinging to his guns:
One of rural Democrats' biggest fears about Obama? That he'll come after the Second Amendment. Not so, said Biden -- and he'd better not try.
Via Glenn Reynolds, who cruelly reframes the issue by pointing out that Biden has an "F" rating from the NRA.
See what happens? Biden speaks reality, while Reynolds resorts to cynical activation of the "biconceptual" mindset!
Sorry. I really should take "reality" more seriously.
MORE: Rex Murphy looks at Obama's narrative, and his charisma, and thinks both are depleted:
...Mr. Obama was the slate; the crowds brought their own chalk.Read it all.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Christianist theocrats are closing in for the kill!
It lists ten issues, each one with a button which, when clicked, makes the figures of McCain and Obama slide back and forth on the scale below so you can see how close or far apart on a given issue they are.
On the economy, for example, it shows them as pretty far apart:
I thought this was all nice, wholesome, harmless entertainment, so I emailed the "Issues-O-Meter" link to a liberal friend. Imagine my surprise when he emailed me back with a snarky remark about their respective positions on gay marriage: "they look so cozy together!"
Hey wait a minute! How did they "look"? I went back to the test, clicked the "Gay Marriage" button (if that isn't a hot button issue, what is?), and sure enough, they are close. Touchingly close, in fact.
Why, they're closer than two figures on a wedding cake!
What's up with that? Isn't the Culture War supposed to be tearing the country apart?
I mean, according to Andrew Sullivan things have gotten so bad that the forces of theocracy are closing in:
"With Sarah Palin, America has taken one very large leap toward a completely theocratic politics."(Via Ann Althouse.)
Interestingly, the hated "Christianist theocrat" who's forced America to take this great leap was specifically asked about her religion was the other night, and here was her answer:
Faith is very, very important in my life. I don't believe I wear it on my sleeve and I would never try to shove it down anybody else's throat and try to convert anybody. But just a very simple faith that is important to me -- it really is my foundation.Huh?
What kind of "completely theocratic politics" is that? Not wearing it on her sleeve? Never trying to convert anybody? Not trying to shove her religion down anyone's throat. Not even Andrew Sullivan's?
How lame can theocracy get?
A hell of a way to run a culture war, I'd say....
Mommy, I Learned A New Word - Psephology
Long time commenter and e-mail friend linearthinker brought that word to my attention. He quotes this definition:
"...the statistical analysis of elections. Psephology uses compilations of precinct voting returns for elections going back some years, public opinion polls, campaign finance information and similar statistical data."And then he explains why it is important.
One quarter of all registered voters are Catholics and Biden is losing Obama their votes.And since he was so kind to include a link to an article on the subject I will too. The Elephant Bar quotes from The Telegraph UK.
Remember, you read it here first: on September 11 this blog reported a mounting backlash from Catholic bishops against Biden, Barack Obama's "Catholic" pro-abortion running mate. At that time I estimated eight bishops had come out to denounce Biden; the total is now 55. Beyond that, Biden is being trashed across every state of the Union by Catholic newspapers, TV and radio stations, and blogs. It is a tsunami of rejection.Uh. Oh. Joe is deep in it. Now here is the killer:
There are 47 million Catholic voters in the United States. One quarter of all registered voters are Catholics. At every presidential election in the past 30 years the Catholic vote has gone to the winning candidate, except for Al Gore in 2000. This year 41 per cent of Catholics are independents - up from 30 per cent in 2004. Psephologists claim practising Catholics were the decisive factor in the crucial swing states in 2004: in Ohio 65 per cent of Catholics voted for Bush, in Florida 66 per cent. They were drifting away in disillusionment from the Republicans and split 50-50, until Joe Biden worked his magic. This is electoral suicide by the Democrats.Yep. And Jews are drifting away from the Democrats as well. In fact it looks like they are now being pushed. It all starts with an anti-Ahmadinejad rally. Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin were both invited to the rally. When Hillary pulled out Democrats threatened to sic the IRS on the Jewish organizations if Palin showed up at the official event.
CBS2 has a Democratic politician on record with the story of why Sarah Palin's invitation was rescinded after Hillary Clinton pulled out of the event upon hearing that Palin was also invited and planned to attend the rally to protest Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaking at the UN, with one Democratic lawmaker calling it "McCarthyism."Jeeze Democrats. What a way to shore up support with a core constituency. First the Catholics. Now the Jews. You would almost think that this was an attempt to lose in a landslide. Here is another little bit on the subject from an article titled: Jews For John McCain Poll Shocker.
The Siena Poll of New York likely voters is really going to upset the tummies of the Democrat Party, if they have any sense at all.It seems like the only identity politics the Obama team can play well is Black. That will guarantee him about 12% of the vote. Add in the Democrat "progressives" and it is still not enough to win an election.
You know this is pretty stupid for a Harvard educated guy who taught at the University of Chicago. Not to mention the fact that he has spent his adult life in Chicago identity politics. He should have spent more time in the ethnic wards on the North Side. They have Catholic areas up there. Jewish areas. And don't forget the hippie contingent. He might have learned a thing or two.
I think he is one of those kind of people who are over represented in academia. Too smart to learn anything new.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Unleash the squirrels!
Via Glenn Reynolds, who posed a subconscious question:
Shouldn't they be investigated by the Justice Department? Or am I dreaming here?That's a reference to the fact that even under a Republican administration, the Justice Department seems unabashedly leftist in its orientation. Headed by Obama supporters, the department's Criminal Section charged with investigating voter fraud appears to be more interested in punishing Republicans for legal activity than going after Democrats for illegal activity.
the Criminal Section has been given the green light to use these same criminal statutes to harass and prosecute political activists (particularly Republicans) who are engaging in protected political activity, not violence or the threat of violence. No candidate for federal, state, or local office should take this unprecedented threat lightly. The entire apparatus of federal election law enforcement was assembled for this conference including every FBI agent and Assistant United States Attorney responsible for election-related matters.It almost sounds surreal, and it echoes the familiar theme touched on by Bill Whittle yesterday -- the persistent meme that all resistence is futile and there is nothing anyone can do.
When all is said and done, Civilizations do not fall because of the barbarians at the gates. Nor does a great city fall from the death wish of bored and morally bankrupt stewards presumably sworn to its defense. Civilizations fall only because each citizen of the city comes to accept that nothing can be done to rally and rebuild broken walls; that ground lost may never be recovered; and that greatness lived in our grandparents but not our grandchildren. Yes, our betters tell us these things daily. But that doesn't mean we have to believe it.(Via Glenn Reynolds.)
Over my lifetime I've seen wave after wave of what might be called "urban flight." People who stay in large cities learn to put up with a lot. They accept the broken urban infrastructure and the dysfunctional schools as facts of life, as things which simply cannot be changed. Try to change them, you'll go nuts. (A good friend simply quit teaching because of it..)
This is nothing new, of course. Nor is my cynicism. The term "You can't fight City Hall" goes back to the mid 1800s. Those who don't put up with it simply leave to the relative comfort, safety, and convenience of the suburbs or small towns, where they can live in ever-vigilant fear of "City Hall" -- which idiomatically is a large enough term to encompass the now-dysfunctional United States Justice Department and government in general. It probably includes the taxpayer-funded "charity" in question.
A little ACORN here, a little ACORN there, and pretty soon you're talking about real power. Most people would throw up their hands and say "There's nothing you can do about it!"
I disagree, and I say this as one of the more cynical people in the blogosphere. If I can notice ACORN's fraud in the local paper, and I can take time to write a post about it, and if Bob Owens notices it in his local paper and writes a post about it, then others can. The more noise that is made, the more likely something can be done about it -- if for no other reason than the "squeaky wheel" principle.
I realize that the organization's deep ties to Barack Obama might tend to intimidate those charged with investigating these things, for after all, they don't want to appear "partisan."
But this is an election, right? We still live in a democracy, right? There are still laws, right?
I'm cynical, but I'm not too cynical to make a little noise. Not that I'm expecting the Justice Department attorneys to start acting like pit bulls (lipsticked or not).
But ACORN's conduct is so blatant, so repetitive, and so egregious that it doesn't take a pit bull.
Even a squirrel would know what to do.
(I might not work for the Justice Department, but I can squeak, can't I?)
Palin On Iran
Friday, September 19, 2008
Obama Has A Housing Problem
H/T Uppity Woman
Soros Stocks Up On Lehman
This is a story from August 15th so it is a little old. However, it ties in with this story about the interrelations among climate change profiteer Al Gore, climatologist Jim Hansen, and the financial firm Lehman Brothers. So lets look at the connection between George Soros and the now bankrupt Lehman Brothers.
George Soros thinks the world may be in for a long recession and that housing prices will continue to fall more than most economists expect. He thinks a "superbubble" has been forming for 25 years--and it's currently collapsing.Lehman Brothers is trading today at about 21¢. Which is to say George has lost all his money. Unless he made money covering the positions of naked shorts. Which is way more complicated than I want to explain here. You will have to look it up.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Some children are born unwanted. Others aren't.
An anti-abortion group has sponsored this anti-Obama ad, in which Gianna Jesson (a woman who survived an abortion) points out that "If Barack Obama had his way, I wouldn't be here."
It's hard hitting, and intended to highlight the fact that Barack Obama's position on abortion is to the left of Hillary Clinton and Barbara Boxer.
While I think abortion is immoral, I oppose criminalizing early term abortion primarily for two reasons:
1. I am philosophically uncomfortable with the idea of imprisoning women who are so miserable with the idea of having a child that they decide to terminate their pregnancies. (However, this means that there is no excuse for waiting, and I therefore believe that the earlier the abortion is performed, the better. The longer a woman waits, the more immoral it becomes.) I have a problem with compulsory anything, including compulsory pregnancy, and it strikes me as especially unconscionable to require a rape victim to carry a child to term. (Again, though, there's no excuse for delay.)I am horrified by third trimester abortions (the stage at which Ms. Jesson apparently was when she was aborted), and I am shocked that any doctor would perform one except to save a mother's life.
So I'm hardly in the anti-abortion ("pro life" I guess is what they call it) camp. Nor can I be considered solidly pro-choice. (I know I'll never have an abortion, though, so it's easy for me to shoot my mouth off.)
I don't agree with McCain on abortion, nor do I agree with Barack Obama.
But Obama's position strikes me as more outside the political mainstream than McCain's, and I think the above ad raises a legitimate point.
One of the red herring memes that has long annoyed me is the idea of an "unwanted child." This is said to be the worst fate in the world. Why? Clearly, this Gianna Jesson woman was unwanted, or else why would her mom have had her aborted? But she obviously would rather have not been aborted. So she's more content with having been an unwanted child than not to have been a child at all.
I think most unwanted children (aborted or born) would say the same thing. So it strikes me that "unwanted" is a rhetorically sneaky term having more to do with what the mother wants than what the child wants. Clearly, if a mother does not want a child, she can put it up for adoption. Is that really a tragedy? They make it sound like "unwanted child" is some kind of horror. I don't get it. Are there not also unwanted adults? So what? I can understand why a woman might not want to see her pregnancy through (and I have philosophical problems with forcing her), but because she is not required to keep the child after birth I don't see what the status of the child ultimately being wanted or unwanted should have to do with it. How do we know what person will be "unwanted"? It strikes me as implying a moral judgment based on the child's anticipated eventual status as a justification for the abortion. Little different than, say, a judgment that the child would be born into poverty. Or born with alcoholic (or homosexual) genes. It just strikes me as arrogant to decide based on some statistic that a child will be "unwanted," and that this is a terrible fate.
Do any of us know to a moral certainty whether we were really and truly "wanted"? If any of us learned that we weren't wanted, I don't see how that would have been an argument for abortion. Whether we agree with the right to an abortion or not, it is supposed to be based on a woman's right, not a judgment on the status of her child. I know the distinction sounds like nit-picking (and activists on both sides would not care), but I think there is a huge logical difference between "I cannot face going through with this pregnancy" and "The baby would be an unwanted child after its birth." The former strikes me as an understandable reason grounded in an individual decision, while the latter strikes me as grounded in communitarian social-planning eugenics.
Even if I'd thought my mother wanted to abort me, I'd rather have it be because she couldn't go through with the pregnancy. Not because she thought I'd be an "unwanted child."
I think there is a difference. It may sound silly, but I'd rather be murdered by someone who hated me than by someone who thought I was part of the overpopulation problem.
Washington Post Says: Don't Trust Us
It seems that the Washington Post says that Franklin Raines really wasn't an Obama adviser. And by the way, you can't believe what we write in our newspaper. Talk about boosting the brand.
The Obama campaign last night issued a statement by Raines insisting, "I am not an advisor to Barack Obama, nor have I provided his campaign with advice on housing or economic matters." Obama spokesman Bill Burton went a little further, telling me in an e-mail that the campaign had "neither sought nor received" advice from Raines "on any matter."So yeah. Obama seeking advice from Raines is not the same as Raines advising Obama.
Well there is at least one impossible thing there I can believe before breakfast. Hope and Change people. Hope and Change.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Some children are born sinful. Others are born normal.
Reflecting on the discovery that a Tennessee Democratic legislator's son was the hacker who accessed Sarah Palin's email account (see Rick Moran's post on the general subject), Richard Miniter makes a prediction:
I predict that the same crowd that said that Palin should have been able to control her 17-year old daughter will defend the 2o-year old hacker by saying no one can control their kids. At least they will be right once.I agree with the prediction, but at the rate the story is being reported, the Obama supporters won't even need to put themselves to the trouble of defending the kid. There's a lot more detail at Gateway Pundit, and it's a big story.
At least, most people would think so. If they had a chance to read about it. But as Michael Silence notes, maybe they won't:
I find nothing on the story in the New York Times or the Washington Post. Oh, that's right, it wasn't Joe Biden's e-mail that was hacked. Seriously, unless my search was incomplete, how do you not carry something on that story?The Times and the Post aside, though, I don't even know whether the story will get tabloid treatment.
The tabloids are too busy titillating their viewers with stories like these:
What this means, obviously, is that Biden's kids must be perfect angels. Well, even perfect angels occasionally get arrested, but isn't that just a technicality raised by mean-spirited Republicans to hide their hypocrisy?
Yes, hypocrisy. We all know that the rule that "no one can control their kids," only applies to Democrats. And the Republicans are hypocritical to maintain otherwise.
Republicans have long been held to a much higher standard, and therefore, so should their children! How hypocritical of them to demand that their kids be treated the same way as the kids of Democrats!
Misbehaving Republican children are sinful and their parents are hypocrites. Misbehaving Democratic children are normal and their parents are blameless.
It's, like, genetic or something.
Why, they even have a bumpersticker to go with the thought:
Republicans are mean people and they have mean children.
Only a right wing hypocrite with bad genes could possibly disagree.
John McCain Is A Great Man
Yeah. We all knew that. So that is not the story. What is the story? Look at who is saying it.
Former President Bill Clinton has largely kept himself out of the public eye since his wife lost the Democratic primary to Barack Obama.I'm sure Bill has Obama's best interests at heart. Like helping him keep his seat as the Junior Senator from Illinois.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
The Man With No Plan
It seems like the man with a plan for solving the Iraq War has No Plan for solving the economic crisis.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama said on Friday he supported efforts by the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve to shore up confidence in the financial markets and said he would hold off from presenting his own economic recovery plan.But mister we has proposed no bold and decisive action. I guess voting present is bold and decisive for him. No doubt he has to confer with Jim Johnson and Franklin Raines before he can take any bold action. Or perhaps he has to visit the Mudd hut to find out what to do. After all the man whose name is Mudd personally thanked Obama for his help. And why shouldn't he? The man whose name is Mudd wound up with a 22 room Colonial mansion in return for assisting with the destruction of Fannie Mae. I'm betting that Obama is now wishing that he only had slum lord Tony Rezko to worry about.
One thing you can say for sure. Mr. Obama appears to have a lot of friends who are real estate geniuses. People who can take trillions and turn them into billions while making a tidy profit on the side.
It is my opinion that given his understanding of economics, we should all work hard to help Barack Obama keep his Senate seat.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
John McCain Plays Race Card
This is hardly subtle: Sinister images of two black men, followed by one of a vulnerable-looking elderly white woman.Well yes. Johnson is fair game. In fact Mr Johnson has been hit hard today in a video showing his connection to Senator Obama.
So I guess what we have today is a white guy and a black guy teaming up to steal from the white woman. We are truly fortunate that Mr. Obama is no racist. Otherwise the number of crooks he could partner with would be severely limited.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Change I never wanted to see
I won't vote for Barack Obama. I can't, because aside from everything else, his politics and policies are too socialistic for me.
However, I have a long history of defending him in this blog -- which stretches all the way back to his run against Alan Keyes, which actually prompted me to start "RepublicansforObama.com." (Yeah, I let it lapse -- probably one of many of my financial mistakes in life.)
But my defense of Barack Obama (whom I saw as kind) did not end with a reaction to the candidacy of Alan Keyes (whom I saw as cruel).
When he was campaigning against Hillary Clinton, I found him to be pleasant and polite (again Obama the Kind) in contrast to Hillary the Cruel. I noted it in my Pajamas Media column about the South Carolina debate:
At least Obama sounds reassuring, even if his policies aren't.How touchingly naive that looks now.
Well, at least I was cynical enough to recognize the political irony of this civility theme, which I amplified in a post titled "Hillary the Cruel does Obama the Kind":
Seen in old fashioned, politically incorrect terms, Obama is polite, and Hillary is rude.It will be? Please.
In light of yesterday's news, I don't know whether I was a rube to see Obama as kind. Or civil. Or polite. Or whatever word is allowed these days.
Let me stop right there before I get to the news item.
I'm not engaged in overwrought political hyperbole "whatever word is allowed these days," because apparently I'm not supposed to talk about civility.
At least, not according to writer Frank Furedi who was given an official warning from his publisher:
I was moved to despair when I found out that one of my favorite words, "civilized," ought not be used by a culturally sensitive author because of its alleged racist implications.So if I shouldn't praise civility, that probably goes for probably equally applies to politeness.
Anyway, the news is that Obama seems to have abandoned what probably in retrospect ought to be called his "politeness meme":
"I need you to go out and talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors. I want you to talk to them whether they are independent or whether they are Republican. I want you to argue with them and get in their face," he said.In your face. Great.
There went my argument in favor of Obama. (With that statement, he's demonstrated that he doesn't mind moving to the style of the shrill and angry Alan Keyes. Or the venomous Ann Coulter. Yeah, or even "Anndrew Coulter.")
I might not have wanted socialism, but I had at least hoped for civility. I know I'm not perfect in that regard, and I've often admitted I don't live up to my own standards. I can't say I've never lost my temper or succumbed to the temptation of in-your-face politics, because I have. But standards -- and civility is a very important standard -- set a goal, and not living up to them does not make the standards wrong.
With civility out the window as a standard, can condemning civility itself be far behind?
If liking civility is now considered a form of racism, what does that mean? Incivility becomes good? Rudeness and in-your-face politics are now desirable ways to communicate?
Forgive me if I say that it's not looking like a better world.
AFTERTHOUGHT: I realize that there are those who would accuse me of racism for disliking Barack Obama's recent angry rhetoric. (And probably for liking the older, kinder, Obama.) According to this view, not liking angry rhetoric coming from a back man is racism (if the critic is white).
Well then, what about my intense dislike -- for many years -- of Alan Keyes' angry rhetoric?
I don't remember any accusations of racism.
And I might be wrong, but I suspect that if Keyes had a sudden change of heart (and did a Culture War about-face) his newfound white friends would not be accused of "racism" for liking him!
MORE: From Glenn Reynolds, a question:
if Obama is President, will Time regard every criticism of his administration as racist?Yes, just as they regard every criticism of Palin as sexist.
Johnson Connected To Obama
H/T Hot Air
Palin Visits With Hannity
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Gains Of 30 Years Wiped Out
Many scary stories have been written about the dangers of catastrophic global warming, allegedly due to increased atmospheric concentrations of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) from the combustion of fossil fuels. But is the world really catastrophically warming? NO. And is the warming primarily caused by humans? NO.You know this is really terrible news for financial outfits like Lehman Brothers.
LONDON - Lehman Brothers shut down its carbon emissions trading desk after the bank filed for bankruptcy protection, a source close to the company told Reuters on Monday.Trouble ahead, trouble behind. And speaking of behind. Who was helping Lehman to make carbon trading popular?
Al Gore's carbon trading business GIM was banked with Lehman Bros. It will be interesting to see how this will play in the future but I suspect that this increases the risk of participating in Carbon trading. Merrill Lynch was also deeply involved in this business.Well what do you know? Gore and Hansen. Two of the most prestigious names in the Carbon Trading and Global Warming Science business. If you have any stock in those two guys now is the time to short it, before it goes to ∅.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Raines In Obama Parade
Ben Smith had this cute little piece out on 16 July of this year on the Raines - Obama connection.
An ill-timed -- for Obama -- profile of former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines, forced out in an accounting mess a few years ago.Taking calls? Doesn't that mean Obama has been calling him? The McCain Campaign had a nice video out on the connection between Obama and Raines. And there is another video out of Fannie Mae head Daniel Mudd praising Obama.
So who is Daniel Mudd? I think it will come as no surprise that he lives in a Mudd hut. A 22-room Mudd hut. Evidently ripping off the taxpayers pays very well. Very well indeed.
As more than a million US homeowners face devastating mortgage foreclosures, ousted Fannie Mae CEO Daniel Mudd continues to live in an opulent Washington, DC, mansion replete with expansive gardens, servants' quarters and a home theater.So the little people get fleeced and the big guys walk.
That Obama has some really swell friends.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
An Admission Of Guilt
It looks like Congress is planning to leave town without addressing the financial meltdown.
Sept. 18 (Bloomberg) -- The Democratic-controlled Congress, acknowledging that it isn't equipped to lead the way to a solution for the financial crisis and can't agree on a path to follow, is likely to just get out of the way.Yeah. They don't know what to do. Why would that be? Maybe because they have their finger prints all over the cause of the problem? What are the chances Congress will work to fix what it broke? There is a number that expresses the odds exceedingly well.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Debunking the undebunkable
I've long thought that correcting misinformation (often called "debunking") helps enable human understanding. I think this is a principle which many bloggers believe in, to the point where it's often considered one of the basic advantages of the blogosphere. As the theory goes, the more bloggers do this, the more "self correcting" the blogosphere becomes.
So I was a bit taken aback to learn about a study which claims that correcting misinformation can have the effect of causing people to adhere more strenuously to the misinformation which is being corrected.
a series of new experiments show that misinformation can exercise a ghostly influence on people's minds after it has been debunked -- even among people who recognize it as misinformation. In some cases, correcting misinformation serves to increase the power of bad information.What that means is that when you're dealing with people who really want to believe something, and you show them it is not true, they'll believe it more firmly than ever.
Disconcerting, to say the least. But it might explain what it is that makes what we call the "hard core" hard and loyal to the core.
The Rathergate scandal stands out as an example of what I saw as the blogosphere doing its job. Dan Rather lost his job as a result, but he maintained his innocence, and he still has a core of devoted followers. The 9/11 Truthers are probably an extreme example of this phenomenon.
Speaking of "debunking," longtime readers may remember my role in debunking dishonest web site called "Capitol Hill Blue." At least, so I thought at an earlier point in my blogging career. As I was to learn (and as I explained here), there's no such thing as permanent debunking. At least, not to the loyal readers of Capitol Hill Blue:
Longtime readers may remember that I devoted a great deal of time to debunking that rather ridiculous "news site" run by Doug Thompson -- which featured fictitious characters like the disappearing "George Harleigh." I remember being foolish enough to think that because Capitol Hill Blue had been "discredited" that it would just go away. Not so. Capitol Hill Blue and Doug Thompson have a seemingly endless capactity for self reinvention -- which in turn is now forcing bloggers to reinvent the wheel doing what was supposedly done long ago. In "UPDATE 2: He's Baaack - More Lies, Hilarity & Hypocrisy from Doug Thompson & Capitol Hill Blue" and "One Man, Two Phantom Sources, a Few Fictional Friends, and Zero Credibility a very thorough blogger has painstakingly built yet another case against CHB and Thompson. I'm delighted to be cited as a source, but I wish it wasn't necessary for anyone to be doing this all over again -- especially in such painstaking detail.I concluded with this question:
Is there any way to debunk anything so that it stays debunked?According to this latest research, no.
I guess the rule is that if you're dealing with a true believer of any kind, forget it. If the study's conclusions are right, attempts to change his mind will only have the opposite effect of strengthening his position -- especially if you're using facts as opposed to opinions.
And of course, opposing opinions are also wasted on true believers, which most activists are.
I don't know how scientific the study is, but it would appear confirm something I have long suspected -- that arguments are generally a waste of time.
They might make things worse.
absence of standards guarantees success!
Yesterday I wrote a post ("The government giveth standards, the government taketh them away") in which I cited economists who see the lowering of banking standards as a major cause of the current economic mess.
Investors Business Daily has an editorial titled "Congress Tries To Fix What It Broke" which notes the prominent role of Democrats (especially Barack Obama) in abandoning "lending standards that had served the banking industry well for centuries."
Everyone in the subprime business -- from brokers to lenders to banks to investment houses -- absolved themselves of responsibility for ensuring the high-risk loans were good.Why there is so much resistance to discussing something which ought to be discussed, I don't know. What really irritates me is the way people misconstrue this debate as an attempt to "blame minorities" for the problem. On the contrary; they are the victims, not the problem. Abandoning lending standards hurt minorities (especially low income minorities) at least as much as it hurt the fat cats, and probably more, because the former lack the financial resources of the fat cats.
But I don't think the goal here was to help minorities so much as it was to advance socialism.
The more the system fails, the more socialistic things become. Abandonment of lending standards guaranteed that the system would fail.
But in socialist terms, the failure was a success.
Krisis? or Hyperbole?
Whatever it is, the Germans who write stuff like this certainly want to get people's attention over here in Amerika. I mean, look at this crap:
End of an EraI'm cynical, but it's hard to ignore, because that would be a form of denial.
But what form of denial would it be?
I'm no economist, but my initial gut reaction is that what's driving stocks downward (and the concomitant panic thinking) might be connected to the huge AIG bailout. I'm not alone:
Heavy-handed federal bailouts started this mutually reinforcing spiral rolling downhill by scaring anyone still holding stock in similar firms. And other regulations make it more likely to end badly.Makes sense to me. And of course regulations call for more regulations -- especially when they fail. So it really gave me an attack of "I-TOLD-YOU-SO-itis" to read this:
Every blunder of government regulation invites an understandable impulse to give failed regulators more money and power. Yet financial markets invariably notice looming financial problems (e.g., Enron) months before credit-rating agencies notice anything amiss - regulators even lag behind the rating agencies.Call me an ignoramus. Say I'm in denial. But right now it's not the market I fear; it's the government.
As to the German editorial panic over "the foundations of US capitalism," the election's just a little too close. I question their sincerity.
Above all, I question the timing.
"the biggest issue that nobody's talking about"
According to Those Who Know Better (like CNN's Jack Cafferty) the closeness of the race means that race is the biggest issue in the election:
Race is arguably the biggest issue in this election, and it's one that nobody's talking about.Oh, no. The fact that the man is a socialist -- and the most left wing candidate in US history -- has absolutely nothing to do with it.
Time magazine's Michael Grunwald says race is the elephant in the room. He says Barack Obama needs to tread lightly as he fights back against the McCain-Palin campaign attacks.I could say defensively that I don't think Obama is "angry" and don't care, but it's beneath my dignity. This whole line of attack is simply another example of people who will not allow other people the simple human dignity of being allowed to think what they think.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Partnership Between Fannie Mae And Congressional Black Caucus
I guess we can tell who some of the crooks are. Obama gets a prominent mention.
Also see Cash Cows and Pigs for links explaining in some detail the mortgage meltdown.
Who Is The Party Of The Elite?
And just in case you can't figure out who the party of the elite is, have a look at ∅bama Gets Up Close And Personal With Regular Folks.
H/T Gateway Pundit
Obama Gets Up Close And Personal With Regular Folks
Isn't that a wonderful shot at the beginning of ∅bama warming up the crowd? If I had to guess, I'd say that Michelle has cut him off for the duration.
Obama raised $9 million at $28K+ a head. That would be over 300 people. I wonder what you had to pay for the good seats?
H/T No Quarter
Sins of the flesh?
I saw a car parked near the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and I couldn't resist a shot. (License number altered to protect what I guess is "privacy.")
"Whatever can that mean?" I thought.
Cannibals for Obama?
Some things I find hard to swallow. I understand that people are into all kinds of lifestyles and stuff, but seriously, why would anyone eat a vegetarian? And why would such a person support Barack Obama? If anything, I'd expect whatever cannibals there are who support Obama to be into eating red meat conservatives, and even that they'd tend to keep in the closet. (For obvious reasons.)
Might this have been some sort of "false flag" by devious Republican tricksters trying to make Obama supporters look depraved, while poking fun at vegetarians? I doubt it, because very few people would get it. Besides, there's already a bumpersticker which they could use to ridicule vegetarians, which says "Eat a vegetarian."
So I was stumped, and it wasn't until I Googled the phrase that I realized that the "taste" referred to is not the taste of flesh, but the taste of, um, secretions. Here's Meghan Lane, the student coordinator of the Health and Sex Peer Education Program (at UC Berkeley's Daily Cal):
Vegetarians taste better: What you eat affects the flavor of your semen/vaginal secretions. Meat and asparagus supposedly make sexual secretions taste bitter, garlic can make them taste garlicky and fruits, especially pineapple, can give secretions a sweet taste.Note the weasel word "supposedly." This can only means that the author does not claim to be speaking from personal experience. I'm too much of a skeptic to take her word for it. On the other hand, I'm not sure I'd want to apply the old "trust but verify" doctrine too liberally.
Hmmm. Maybe I mean literally. I'd hate to have to investigate a claim that liberals taste better too. I'll just take the word of a commenter named "Do-Gooder" that they do. At least, where it comes to "normal" sins of the flesh:
....everyone knows liberals taste better. We're like those Japanese cows that get fed beer and are regularly massaged leading to contented stress-free lives. Though I have never tasted it myself, I am led to believe it is the finest beef in all the world. And as us liberals are happy-go-lucky types who do not believe the sky is going to fall in at any moment, we too lead stress-free lives, get regular massages (a little known perk) and drink beer (or vodka in my case). Thus we are finger ******* good. Any mountain lion would be proud to gnaw on us.Is there a "conservatives taste better" meme?
And is it flesh in the sexual sense, or flesh in the old fashioned normal sense? (Or should I say flesh in the normal sense, or flesh in the old fashioned sexual sense?)
Yes. And no. Because sex has nothing to do with it:
99% of academics polled say that conservatives taste better when char-broiled.What this proves is that whoever said "in matters of taste there can be no disagreement" did not have access to the Internet.
Beyond that, there may be profound implications for the old saying that "you are what you eat."
Cash Cows and Pigs
If you want to learn more about Obama and the Democrat's connection to the mortgage meltdown may I suggest the following to start:
H/T Hot Air which describes McCain's efforts to fix the problem in 2006. Well before disaster struck.
The government giveth standards, the government taketh them away
...if Freddie and Fannie had stuck to low-risk lending they would today not be needing any government bailout.So said Arnold Kling (who bases his view partly on personal experience), and while I'm not an economist, I'm inclined to agree.
It strikes me as logical that "low risk lending" is impossible without the presence of standards to evaluate risk. Otherwise, how could a risk be called low?
But in any case, they threw the standards out. As to the reasons why, Stan Liebowitz suggests that groups like ACORN played a role:
Perhaps the greatest scandal of the mortgage crisis is that it is a direct result of an intentional loosening of underwriting standards--done in the name of ending discrimination, despite warnings that it could lead to wide-scale defaults.Again, I have no way to track the numbers and evaluate this stuff. But if he's right, the problem was largely caused by government being constantly goaded and pressured by activists:
bank regulators required the loosened underwriting standards, with approval by politicians and the chattering class. A 1995 strengthening of the Community Reinvestment Act required banks to find ways to provide mortgages to their poorer communities. It also let community activists intervene at yearly bank reviews, shaking the banks down for large pots of money.Years ago (back in the 1980s) you couldn't buy a house if any of the downpayment was borrowed. The loan applications asked about that in a direct question, and if you answered "Yes," the banks could not make the loan. They also required independent appraisals to verify that the bank's 80% mortgage was solid.
I'm not saying that everything that happened is a direct result of lowering standards, but it's hard not to see the lowering of standards as a major cause.
And I think I'm being charitable by not saying "eliminating" standards.
What did they expect would happen?
Might as well eliminate grades in school.
Whose Side Is He On?
It seems like Senator ∅ has taken a crash course in order to gain foreign policy expertise. One minor problem. The course is crashing.
The Obama campaign spent more than five hours on Monday attempting to figure out the best refutation of the explosive New York Post report that quoted Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari as saying that Barack Obama during his July visit to Baghdad demanded that Iraq not negotiate with the Bush Administration on the withdrawal of American troops. Instead, he asked that they delay such negotiations until after the presidential handover at the end of January.What a howler. Joe Biden a foreign policy expert.
And Candidate ∅ calling for troop withdrawals in America and trying to delay them in Iraq.
How about that New York Post article?
WHILE campaigning in public for a speedy withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, Sen. Barack Obama has tried in private to persuade Iraqi leaders to delay an agreement on a draw-down of the American military presence.Well what do you know. The Iraqis would rather be running their own country instead of having a Junior Senator from Illinois running it. It is almost like they favor self government over foreign rule. I thought the lefties were saying that self government in the Middle East was impossible. I think the evidence points to the contrary. It appears it is rather robust and in fact so robust that they have rolled Senator ∅.
Speaking of lefties. I appears that the Demthuglies are out in force on this issue.
The real news I see in the Obama statement is that there may be an encouraging evolution in his position on Iraq: The "rebuttal" shows that the senator no longer shares his party leadership's belief that the United States has lost the war in Iraq.And that is not the only place the Demthuglies have been out in force. It seems they still don't like Milt Rosenberg.
Rosenberg's producer, Zack Christenson, e-mailed National Review's Corner with this message:And just in case you were wondering about the book being discussed. Here it is with a link to Amazon so you can check it out. The Case Against Barack Obama: The Unlikely Rise and Unexamined Agenda of the Media's Favorite CandidateTonight, we have David Freddoso on our show discussing his new book. As we speak, thousands of Obama supporters are flooding our phone lines and e-mail boxes, just as they did for our show with Stanley Kurtz. An Obama Action Wire was sent out tonight to intimidate us into taking Freddoso off the air.I caught the last twenty minutes of Extension 720. I'll download the podcast as soon as it is available.
In any case I seem to recall that this kind of political behavior was well known in history. So well known that it had a name. Storm something I think.
H/T Just One Minute.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Egad, yet another economic crisis!
According to leading economist Greg Mankiw, this situation looks serious:
And there's the usual scary headline to go with it:
Not to be a nay-saying pooh-pooher (and yes I do realize that people will be losing businesses and jobs) but just for once, can't we please just let the market take care of these things?
While Glenn Reynolds hasn't specifically weighed in on the Anti-Bush Merchandise Market collapse, yesterday he asked a good question:
How many bailouts is too many?I don't know, but we have to draw the line somwhere, and I just don't see why the government has to bail out the Anti-Bush Merchandise Market.
Besides, no matter what the government does, the fact is that Bush will be out of office soon, and the market won't exist.
It would take a coup to save it (and even that would have to be followed by an extremely benevolent, dissent-tolerant Bush dictatorship).
I'm no economist, but I predict that this time, the Democrats won't support such messing around in the marketplace.
UPDATE: My thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the link, and a warm welcome to all!
As I'm no economist (nor am I particularly economical), I especially welcome economical opinions -- such as the one below from Peter Ingemi:
Considering the hysterical reactions from people on the net and even from some people I know I'm sure the new anti-Palin market will more than make up for it.That's probably called "transitioning" to a new market or something. Maybe reinventing. There has to be a technical phrase....
Come on, help me out.
And while I'm at it, will someone please explain what Glenn means when he asks whether it's "TIME FOR ANOTHER BAILOUT?" Coming as it does on the heels of yesterday's "How many bailouts is too many?"
I'm left with the feeling that Glenn Reynolds might be hedging his bets.
What's really going on? Is he holding onto his anti-Bush merchandising stocks in the hope of that last minute Bush coup that's been promised for years by Ted Rall, Chris Hedges, and others? Which others? How about libertarians in deadly sneakers?
Or might Glenn be waiting for the right opportunity to sell short?
Not to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but at times like this, can we really be too careful?
MORE: Let's not forget about the total all-American classics that many of these merchandisers have in stock, and which never go out of style.
No matter what your preference, if you're a rabid activist, it can always be displayed with pride.
Stability versus sideshows
Dick Polman is on the left, and while I don't agree with him politically, he's a shrewd political analyst. Yesterday, in a column calling the current economic problems a "mojo opportunity" for Obama he expressed obvious irritation at his party, saying that if Obama couldn't exploit this economic opportunity properly, they didn't deserve to win:
The Wall Street meltdown has provided Barack Obama with perhaps his best opportunity to extricate himself from the sludge poured so copiously by his opponents. This is serious stuff, unlike the various pig/lipstick/Britney/Paris/Palin sideshows, and, quite frankly, if Obama can't turn this economic crisis to his political advantage, he doesn't deserve to win. Indeed (and here I am updating one of my old lines), if the Democrats can't win a presidential election in this climate, they should simply go out of business, just like Lehman Brothers, and take up residence in the history wing of the Smithsonian Museum, sharing a display window with the Whigs.I don't think the economy is the sure-fire winner for the Democrats that Polman thinks it is. At this point in history, many American voters are cynical enough to grasp that while presidents are routinely blamed for "the economy" during every election cycle, they don't actually run the free market system, and whether prices of oil or real estate go up or down, they don't deserve the credit or the blame.
I may be wrong, but I don't think the average voter perceives either Obama or McCain as an economic wizard capable of performing miracles.
The president is seen as a stabilizing figure, though, so in uncertain economic times (which these are), it is natural for people to look to leaders for signs of reassurance. Obama is hardly reassuring. He is young, he is green, and he is on the left. By contrast, to say that John McCain has "been around" is almost understatement. So, while neither man is an economic magician, McCain wins on the "stability" issue. (Hence the campaign to picture him as an angry, tantrum-throwing man, or as a literally demonic warmonger -- a "warmongerer" depending on your educational preferences.)
Statistically, the race is a virtual tie. McCain offers experience, but is somewhat hobbled by being a longtime member of the incumbent party, while Obama, even though he is new, seems eloquently repetitive. His message that "we need change" is already sounding stale, and his efforts to tie McCain to Bush could backfire, not just because McCain really is a maverick, but because most American voters realize in their hearts that Bush is not actually Satan. Activist Democrats tend to forget that his low approval rating (currently at 32.6%) does not mean that the other 64.3% aren't tired of Bush for a number of reasons, but neither does it mean they're gnashing their teeth and stuck in a permanent case of Bush Derangement Syndrome. Too much reliance on BUSH=EVIL=MCCAIN could backfire -- especially if something happens that gives Bush an opportunity to look like a beleaguered senior statesman doing what's best for the country at the last minute.
So I think McCain Obama remain a draw. If I were a Democrat, I'd be counting on Biden right now. Not Obama. Biden might not be my idea of a senior statesman, but he beats Obama in that department. And it's such a close race that if Obama and the Democrats have any sense, they ought to sit back and let Biden play the senior statesman game -- even if it might appear to slight Obama.
Biden can play the old LBJ game of "Which finger do you want on the button?" Frighten people. He can cleverly capitalize on the Palin-bashing, not by endorsing it, but by emphasizing his stability -- and (by insinuation) the unstable nature of the other side.
People on the left have done their best to make Sarah Palin look like a kook, and a religious nut. (Perfect example here.) I don't think she's a kook, but the GOP better hope there aren't any videos floating around of the sort that would make her look that way. The Kenyan "witch hunter" stuff (which Drudge linked yesterday) has no real substance to it, but I think the idea might be that if they throw a lot silly stuff at her -- the "sideshows" which Polman dismisses -- it might have a sort of cumulative effect, so that Biden won't have to address it directly, but he can just remind Americans about the importance of stability, and the importance of whose finger is on the button. This worked for LBJ when he ran against Barry Goldwater (who was painted by Democratic operatives as a kook with slogans like Bill Moyers' "In your guts, you know he's nuts," and whose endorsement of "extremism in defense of liberty" proved to be a bonanza for the other side). I think a similar approach might be able to work again, assuming Biden can pull off the "stability" "senior statesman" ethos -- and assuming sufficient numbers of Americans buy into the meme that Palin is a kook.
But there's a downside in framing the question as "Do Americans care about stability?" in that the familiar and older McCain is seen as inherently more stable than the younger, unfamiliar Obama. Biden is also known for his gaffes, and he might not be able to pull off looking like a senior statesman without the appearance of sexist condescension.
It's a complicated game. Charlie Gibson learned that male condescension only helped Governor Palin, who not only did not come off looking kooky, but made him look like a bit of an ass. OTOH, Gibson doesn't have Biden's "finger on the button" advantage; all he can do is push the edit button and erase anything that might have benefitted his
Of course, there's a downside in framing the question as "Would America prefer to have Biden's finger on the button?"
Not only does it up the ante to national security (an area where Democrats don't fare well), but people might start asking, "well then, why he isn't at the top of the ticket?"
Besides, if we want to debate "sideshow" issues, I think Jeremiah Wright has them all beaten. He makes Palin's pastor look boring. (Frankly, I'm a bit disappointed by the absence of snake handlers in any of these churches, but that's just me.)
Polman is right about one thing. Focusing on the "sideshow" tends to make people forget that the election is between McCain and Obama. However, the more Obama looks like a loser, the better the case for focusing on the "sideshow" becomes.
If Biden pulls an LBJ, we'll know why.
UPDATE: Here's Rick Moran on the current economic situation:
...there seems to be general agreement that the situation is serious but that the Federal Reserve is on top of the situation. There is some disagreement whether the federal government should be stepping in with both feet, but, as far as the immediate crisis, it is being handled.Fear? Hasn't Barack Obama been preaching against that for the past year?
McCain Goes After Vote Fraud
John McCain has opened up a new front in the vote fraud wars.
ARLINGTON, VA -- The McCain-Palin 2008 campaign today announced the formation of the Honest and Open Election Committee, with a mission to ensure that every qualified citizen has the opportunity to vote in a fair and transparent manner. The committee will work with state and local election officials to anticipate, and where possible resolve in advance, problems likely to arise on Election Day.One thing to keep in mind is that the Democrats have a nationwide vote fraud machine by the name of ACORN. I have looked at their involvement in vote fraud at Election Fraud Control. There are links there that explain how to report suspected election fraud. I also look at how they have been involved in the mortgage meltdown at The Best Congress Fannie Could Buy.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Fighting Over The Money
It seems like the Democrats are fighting over money.
Earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made a personal appeal to Barack Obama: Help me grow the Democrats' Senate majority by sharing some of the $77 million you've got in the bank.I discussed ∅bama's money troubles in Obama Piggybank Broke. His figuring was that he had to raise $100 million a month for three months for his campaign and $50 million a month for Congressional races. So although $66 million may be a record it is far below what he needs to win. Given that he outspent Hillary by margins of 3 to 1 or more in a number of states and still lost those states in the primaries he is in a world of hurt. And so is the Democrat Party.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Fannie - A Timeline
If you want to get deeper into the history of the mortgage meltdown, The Wall Street Journal has a page of links to its past articles. Here are a few titles and dates to give you an idea.
• Inside Fannie 03/19/02 - Fan and Fred don't function like other companies. They're allowed to pile up debt, implicitly guaranteed by taxpayers, without being held to even the minimum of corporate governance standards.Go to the page for links.
Here is a relevant bit from the New York Times from 2003.
The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.Did the new oversight plan get passed by Congress? What do you think? I'll save you the trouble of looking it up. No.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
McCain On Obama And The Mortgage Meltdown
McCain echos what I said in The Best Congress Fannie Could Buy. Obama's cronies and advisers are the thieves.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Let there be light
The days are getting shorter here in my new town. (Ann Arbor.) If experience is any guide, they'll continue to get shorter until December 21. The problem is, Michigan is further north than Pennsylvania, and as far as I'm concerned, the days were too short there in the winter. Quite frankly, I was suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), and it might have even affected my blogging! I shudder at the thought, because that might mean that my darker moments might reach out and make other people's moments a tad darker. And we can't have that, can we?
Like water, air, or food, light plays a vital role in our daily lives and in our feelings of comfort and well being. Based on the latest scientific research, the Lumiram AuroraTM Full Spectrum Light System has been engineered for those who have shown to be adversely affected by the lack of Natural Sunlight, due to inadequate exposure of their living and work space or during the dark and depressing Fall and Winter months.But I'd better be careful not to ever run for public office, or else I might be accused of "eltism" by Keith Olbermann, who's now asking whether Sarah Palin has "ever been treated for depression or is subject to mood swings."
Apparently she bought a tanning device instead of a Florida vacation.
Hey, at least Palin's critics have finally decided to focus on serious issues.
Or am I missing something?
A criticism of Barack Obama that cannot be called "racist":
Barack Obama is truly a phenomenon of our time-- a presidential candidate who cannot cite a single serious accomplishment in his entire career, besides advancing his own career with rhetoric.It's a very insightful piece, and its author, Thomas Sowell, cannot be charged with racism for writing it.
Or can he? I don't think so, because Sowell is black. And according to the standards of identity politics, when a member of a racial minority group criticizes another member of the same minority, that is not racism.
Not only that, but according to the crazed identitarian rules that prevail today, Thomas Sowell is arguably "blacker" than is Barack Obama. Unlike Obama -- who is "not descended from slaves, nor was his childhood marked by poverty, segregated schooling or social deprivation" -- Sowell grew up in poverty in the South:
He grew up in poverty in the South when black folks were still on the fringes of society. As a kid he visited the home of some white folks, for the first time saw the taps for both hot water and cold water, and thought that the "rich" people "drank a lot of water" because they had two taps. He did not even know that blond was a possible color for hair until he was older. His family moved to New York City when he was still a child. When he enrolled in the schools, he had to fight the Southern stereotypes because everyone knew that "Southern kids were dumb."So, while I am not personally impressed by identitarian arguments based on race, at least they can't apply them to Sowell's criticisms of Obama. Unless I'm missing something.
Maybe I am. I've been wracking my brains over the bizarre assertion that Sarah Palin is "not a woman." The idea is that she's "a Republican, conservative man who just happens to be in a woman's body." Assume that's the case. There's nothing suddenly wrong with being transgendered, is there? Or am I missing something else?
Maybe I am.
Perhaps the rule is that you can't be what you are unless you agree with what they tell you you have to think in order to be what you are.
It sounds simple, until you discover that you're not allowed to disagree, because you'd be disagreeing with your missing self, which is not yours.
MORE: According to the comments below, what I've been missing is that conservatism is racism.
Does that mean that as a small l libertarian, I'm off the hook?
"fittingly called The Manipulator"
Michele Catalano takes a close look at the Jill Greenberg affair in a piece titled "Unrepentant Photographer Turns McCain Into a Monster":
What has become of journalistic integrity? As if it wasn't already on its way to a slow death, its demise has been shoved forward a few steps thanks to the Atlantic and photographer Jill Greenberg.In its defense, the Atlantic explained that "When we contract with photographers for portraits, we don't vet them for their politics." Fine. No one is asking them to. But Catalano points out something I also objected to -- it's not so much Greenberg's politics that are at issue, but the fact that this was not the first time she engaged in deceptive tactics to advance her political views.
Too bad Jill Greenberg has a history of behaving unprofessionally.I'll say. "Laid back" is a kind way of putting it.
Here's Greenberg in her own words, explaining in an interview why it's OK to make children cry to promote her greater cause (linking Bush and the Iraq War to End Times):
...Maybe getting kids to cry isn't the nicest thing to do, but I'm not causing anyone permanent psychological damage.It was hard work too:
We would book 12 or so for one day, and see who we could make cry. At the end of the day I was not in a good mood. I don't like making little kids cry.You know what? I probably wouldn't enjoy making little kids cry either. I've never given it much thought, but if I decided to make little kids cry in order to promote my favorite cause, it wouldn't surprise me if people thought that raised questions about, you know, my integrity. (Being that I'm male, I might not get the same sort of pass, either. But that's another topic.)
Little wonder she rationalizes. It's all about the "strength" and "beauty" of the "images" (may Godwin forgive me for thinking about Leni Riefenstahl):
...That was one of the things that interested me about the project--the strength and beauty of the images as images. I also thought they made a kind of political statement about the current state of anxiety a lot of people are in about the future of the country. Sometimes I just feel like crying about the way things are going.I don't know whether she cried or not, but she certainly seemed upset by the criticism directed at her. So upset that she switched her subject material from sensitive children to insensitive bears -- which she compared to bloggers:
After my "End Times" series, with children crying, I wanted to do more work with children, but I needed to take a break because I'd gotten such crazy backlash from people who think it's a scandal that children cry.I didn't know that bears were known for randomly misguided rage. They do have their instincts, and of course they can be dangerous. While I'm not sure how "randomly misguided" or rage-filled the attacks on her were, mine was pretty specific. But I think she's missing the point when she characterizes her critics as "people who think it's a scandal that children cry." The point was never that children cry; it's that she made them cry.
Michele Catalano mentions Greenberg's attack on a fellow professional photographer, Thomas Hawks, who described her retaliatory tactics:
First she tries to discredit me as an insane person with personal problems who she doesn't even think has kids (even though in my blog post about her I clearly state I've got four children, have photos of my four children up on flickr and elsewhere on my blog etc.) She tells this to a professional publication American Photo (whom I've asked for a retraction from and who never contacted me to verify her claims even though they pulled quotes from my same post that referenced that I had four kids).Wow. She makes bloggers look like lambs by comparison. (Perhaps she identifies with the bears more than she lets on.)
She doesn't seem to mind using the First Amendment to her own advantage and use children to assail Bush and link him to the far right, but heaven forbid that another photographer dare criticize her! (A classic example of "free speech for me, but not for thee!")
Michele Catalano concludes with the hope that her latest crooked manipulation is her last:
By bragging about how underhanded, dishonest and childlish she behaved in regards to the shoot, Jill Greenberg brought on herself everything she deserves, including but not limited to some very bad publicity. This is not the first time she gave professional photographers a bad name; hopefully it is the last.Considering the woman's smarmy, sanctimonious self-righteousness, I doubt she thinks she has done anything wrong. In her mind, it's all for a higher cause. (And not about her, of course.)
Jill Greenberg can make children cry, demand her critics be fired, and use her photo assignment from the Atlantic as an opportunity to literally demonize McCain by making him into a profane, blood-dripping monster. This all fits the profile of a bully. But then, when people don't like it, she quickly becomes the victim, and they're bullying her.
Catalano observed that her web site is "fittingly called The Manipulator."
It's a perfect fit. Greenberg chose the name well.
Monday, September 15, 2008
The Best Congress Fannie Could Buy
This is a long and complicated story about how Obama backers were behind the mortgage industry meltdown. It hast to start some where, so lets start with a well known Chicago name Penny Pritzker. It starts with a bank failure.
Unfortunately, this wasn't the case for the 1,406 people who lost much of their life savings when Superior Bank of Chicago went belly up in 2001 with over $1 billion in insured and uninsured deposits. This collapse came amid harsh criticism of how Superior's owners promoted sub-prime home mortgages. As part of a settlement, the owners paid $100 million and agreed to pay another $335 million over 15 years at no interest.Yeah, that ∅bama. A man who stands up for the little guy. After his friends have kicked them down.
Though Superior Bank collapsed years before the current sub-prime turmoil that is rocking the world's financial markets - and pushing those millions of homeowners toward foreclosure - some banking experts say the Pritzkers and Superior hold a special place in the history of the sub-prime fiasco.Well, isn't that special. Kind of reminds you of ∅'s special friend Tony Rezko who worked the low income housing scam in Chicago. Small potatoes that Tony. He only destroyed millions in housing value. Pritzker was involved with trillions. But you know the Democrats really have a heart for the poor. As long as they can rob them blind.
OK we have a looked at one thief for ∅bama. How about another? James A. "Jim" Johnson,
James A. "Jim" Johnson, born in Benson, now lives on the top floor of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, D.C., with views of the Potomac and the Washington Monument. But you'll also find him in the inner circle of many of the nation's power groups.Just a regular guy with lots of money? Maybe not so regular.
He was a backer of Walter Mondale in 1984.
Following the failed 1984 presidential bid, Johnson went about the business of making money. He joined with diplomat Richard Holbrooke in founding Public Strategies, which gave political advice to business clients. Later, he did similar work with Sherman Lehman in D.C. Holbrooke and Johnson remain together now, as vice chairmen of Perseus, an international merchant bank and private equity fund management company.Well, what do ya know. Another ∅bama backer tied to the breakdown of the mortgage industry.
Which brings us to the Fannie Mae Foundation. A sweet little set up for handing out cash to a nice little outfit called ACORN among others. Here are a few of the grants to ACORN.
ACORN Housing Corporation - DallasOK so ACORN helps people who were barely qualified or totally unqualified get housing. So what would they be doing? Finding landlords who would rent to them? Well no. Landlords want to get paid. Fannie Mae had no such scruples. Ever hear of NINJA mortgages? Funny name, huh? It stand for No Income, No Job, No Assets. Just the kind of reliable folk honest lenders are looking for. People with a credit score of ∅.
Help with getting poor people mortgages was only one service ACORN provided. Another was help with elections. I wrote a little about that in Election Fraud Control. Let me quote a little from that piece. The question I'm asking is who you might need to be on the look out for when it comes to voter fraud?
Now who might you want to be on the look out for? A group called ACORN.Well it seems like he actually was tied in to the ACORN web of intersecting interests.Late last month six people hired by ACORN were indicted for their role in filing false voter registration forms involving a 2006 drive to increase Missouri's minimum wage.Here is something else interesting I'll bet you didn't know about ACORN:ACORN is a former legal client of Senator Obama's, as the Sun-Times reported in 2006:Voter fraud? From a Chicago Machine politician? I'm shocked. Actually I think the Chicago Machine needs to be praised. Jesus brought a few people back from the dead. Jesus himself is reported to have come back from the dead. But the Chicago Machine is special. They bring tens of thousands back from the dead. No wonder they hail ∅bama as The One.In 1995, former Republican Gov. Jim Edgar refused to implement the federal "Motor Voter" law, which Republicans argued could invite fraud and which some Republicans feared could swell the ranks of Democratic voters.
And ∅bama was not the only one involved. Barney Frank a noted champion of the poor was out in front, attacking the Fannies.
There were many moments of high entertainment during last week's House hearings on Fannie Mae's creative accounting. But our favorite was the Mister Magoo performance given by Barney Frank (D., Massachusetts) after learning that Fannie had handed out $245 million in bonuses over five years. Mr. Frank chided Fannie CEO Frank Raines and CFO Tim Howard, saying, "At the level of compensation you get, we ought to be able to count on you to do your very best without additional incentives."Well what do you know. A wretched hive of scum and villainy. Our very own Congress. Well that was a report from 2004. Let me use the Way Back Machine and go back to 2002. A lovely year. We were still distracted from the thieves by the aftermath of 9/11. But some people were paying attention. The Wall Street Journal for instance. They had a cute name for their piece Fannie Mae Enron?
We were reading President Bush's budget the other day (we know, get a life), when we came across an unusual mention of our all-time favorite companies -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. What we found is a tale we think taxpayers and investors should want to hear.Well, things have turned down. The Chickens are coming home to roost. Say haven't I heard that some where before? Oh, yeah. ∅bama's favorite minister. Before he wasn't ∅bama's favorite minister.
Well Barry ∅bama was right in there looking out for the interests of the taxpayers.
Senator Barack Obama and two other prominent Democrats urged federal housing regulators on Tuesday to cut the golden parachutes of the ousted leaders of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, another sign that the government bailout of those mortgage giants could reverberate through the presidential campaign.Why yes. Mr. ∅ was outraged. The very people who helped to rip off the American people were taking millions from the taxpayers while ∅ was helping the thieves get away with trillions. I'm outraged. At the theater. What a great act. And he seems so sincere.
During Obama's time on the Woods Funds ACORN received grants of $45,000 (2000), $30,000 (2001), $45,000 (2001), $30,000 (2002), and $40,000 (2002) from the Woods Fund. (Obama in the early 1990's helped train ACORN organizers and later served as counsel in 1995 for ACORN in a "motor voter" registration lawsuit.) And ACORN certainly appreciated whatever assistance Obama afforded the radical organization over the years.∅ must be a genius to keep all that all in his head. So lets look at another little connection. Which politicians did Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae's Political Action Committees support? How about a look at the top five.
1. Dodd, Christopher J D-CT $133,900You know. Some of the names on that list look familiar. I'm sure I've seen them some where before.
Let's follow the money some more. Brian Lamb is interviewing Peter Wallison a Resident Fellow of the American Enterprise Institute.
LAMB: Let me show you a piece of paper. This is not very fancy graphics, but there are 70 members of the House Financial Services Committee. Every time you see a line through a name, that means that, in the 2008 cycle - and you can actually turn the pages here, same thing on the other side - the names really don't matter.Well that is more than enough for one day. You have enough leads to follow the money and vote out the bastards behind it.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Update: 29 Sept 008 1135z
Here are some more articles that will help flesh out the story:
ACORN and vote fraud: ACORN Is Not About Nuts
Especially have a look at the American Thinker article linked at: Barney Frank Frankly Not Frank which also covers the mortgage fraud stuff.
Is NY In Play?
The New York Post has some surprising news. Johnny Mac and Sarah Palin have picked up 5 points in New York State.
Boosted by the selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate, Republican John McCain has experienced a surge of support among women in heavily Democratic New York state - where he has closed the gap with Barack Obama, new private polls show.I guess ∅bama's team was scoring an own goal with all the attacks on Sarah and ∅'s cuteness with the lipstick joke. Evidently no women want to be called pigs even vicariously. Given the way Black Culture disrespects women (shouldn't that be sluts, skanks, and hos? ed. - yes it should), how was he to know? Besides, it worked against Hillary. And you know what happens in a typical family when the woman makes up her mind? The man gives in eventually just to keep the peace. Lets see, there are about seven more weeks of hectoring to go. Hardly a man can stand up to that. Not to mention getting cut off. Fork it. ∅ is done.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Out with the old!
Many people are being influenced (some may find themselves beaten into submission) by the idea that John McCain represents all that is "old," while Barack Obama represents all that is "new."
I've lost track of the number of times I've heard this theme. Of course, I realize that constant repetition of something does not make it right. I'm such a stubborn case that if anything, the more something is repeated, the more resistant (and the more suspicious) I become. I suppose that if the repetitive classes who want to convince the world that socialist tyranny is "new" ever gain power, stubborn cases like me might find themselves targeted for "reeducation." I'm not into being a martyr, so I'd probably just tell them whatever I thought they wanted to hear, then do my best to make up for my sins by subverting socialism by passive aggressive stealth. (Become what Stalin called a "wrecker," but keep the wrecking ball in the closet....) The bottom line is that being outspokenly and resolutely opposed to socialism is no way to get ahead in life. It's a mark against you. And if you're a truly repentant radical who regrets his radical Marxist past, you're unlikely to be hired by the companies and firms that hire or kowtow to unrepentant radicals.
Enough personal rambling.
But I did enjoy this piece by Michael Ledeen, who it's my guess probably won't be seeking a job in the Obama adminstration. Not if he keeps pointing out what any student of history should know by now.
Obama's ideas are old and tired:
Obama is an advocate of ideas that have aged to the point of dementia. He's an old-fashioned radical, and the leftist ideas that inspire him are no longer relevant to our world. As Hegel used to say, the world changes, and the ideas that once described reality, and could be used to effectively change it when necessary, no longer apply to the changed world. Obama's political ideas have aged, which is why they have no policy saliency. They're just words, fossilized remnants of a civilization that no longer exists.Yes, they are not only still hanging around, their ideas act as economic embeds which in my darker moments I see as poised to bankrupt the national economy:
....what would happen if tax eaters ever became the majority? If de facto nationalization of the private sector continues as a growth "industry" the way it has, pretty soon most people will be transformed into de facto tax eaters, because they'll be working for the government.Eric S. Raymond sees a catastrophe coming, but he also sees hope:
The fundamental problem is that income-transfer programs (and the interest service on the debt purchased to keep them running) are spending wealth in higher volumes than the economy can actually generate, and demand for that spending is rising faster than the economy is growing. Thus, raising tax rates is no longer a way out, if it ever was.(Via Glenn Reynolds.)
The essay is a must-read, and Raymond allows room for optimism:
In the rest of this essay I am going to make, against my best judgment, the optimistic choice of a near-term crash; bear in mind that if I'm actually correct in my pessimism the devastation will be worse...I think the country might be approaching a turning point of sorts. We've gone about as far as it's possible to go with the socialist-flirtation, welfare-state mode without plunging over the abyss into the irreversible, tyrannical, full-blown variety.
I probably rant and rave too much against socialism and risk boring readers. (Always a mistake in blogging.) But the reason I do that is that I think this country is in serious denial, as if they want to have their socialism and not have it too. What will happen if the day of reckoning that Eric S. Raymond warns about ever comes? Is this just something to not think about the way we don't like to think about a nuclear attack on a major U.S. city?
Or is it paranoia? I mean, don't we have an unlimited supply of freedom, resources, and enough of the can-do American spirit of individuality to overcome all obstacles? What worries me is that socialism is incompatible with freedom. So is extreme debt. (Even the 13th Amendment to the Constitution allows that slavery in payment of debt is not slavery.)
Free countries do not declare massive "entitlements" by one class to the money of another class, especially when the money is not there. In free countries, no one is "entitled" to the property of someone else without just compensation.
What worries me is that the closer we get to full-blown socialism, the more the word becomes politically unmentionable. Even discussing an end to the entitlement system is politically taboo. This puts politicians who might want to do something about it in a very difficult position.
It's all too easy for me to shoot off my mouth. I'm not running for anything, and I couldn't get elected to anything. Not unless I moved to one of those outlying areas where people go to imagine that they're fleeing socialism, but even there I'd be unelectable, because I refuse to respect things like the war against condoms on bananas. (So for now I can just shoot off my mouth against socialism in the hope that its final triumph might be postponed.)
Michael Ledeen ends on a note of optimism:
In the past few days, the polls have suggested that the Democrats may not only fail to gain the glorious victory they've been confidently anticipating for the past two years, but things may actually go against them in November. It would not surprise me. They have become the ultimate reactionaries, they cannot explain the world or suggest sensible ways to improve it. If the voters recognize this, they will take their chances with the mavericks. Holding their noses, to be sure, but they'll do it.Hey, I've got lots of experience with nose-holding, so I can drink to that!
Except the choice is so clear (and the stench of socialism coming from the other side is so overpowering) that I don't have to hold my nose this time.
Obama in a statement yesterday blamed the shocking new round of subprime-related bankruptcies on the free-market system, and specifically the "trickle-down" economics of the Bush administration, which he tried to gig opponent John McCain for wanting to extend.Read it all.
The editorial warns that the worse it gets, the bigger the government bailout will become -- while Obama and company clamor for more of the same meddling that created the problem:
...the worst is far from over. By the time it is, we'll all be paying for Clinton's social experiment, one that Obama hopes to trump with a whole new round of meddling in the housing and jobs markets. In fact, the social experiment Obama has planned could dwarf both the Great Society and New Deal in size and scope.What they won't acknowledge publicly is that the failure of the banking system is a success for government.
And the fact that socialism does not work is part of the plan. It's not supposed to work; its failure is supposed to put the government to work.
UPDATE: I wrote this post before the AIG bailout, which I think is yet another example of the relentless push towards a socialist, state-run economy.
The consequences of the recent government interventions -- of which this is the latest, not the last -- are wide and deep. Far greater than most Americans imagine, far beyond anything even hinted at in the government's terse announcement. America is changing -- right now, right before our eyes, in a way totally unconstitutional.Is socialism inevitable? Do we have it now?
Does anyone care?
Praise the Lord! (And pass the applications....)
Regardless of whether Obama turns out to be Jesus, there's still an election, and halos don't necessarily translate into votes. (Jesus never ran for public office, nor did he win an election.)
Under normal circumstances (which I hope we still have in this country) what it takes to win is votes. In an earlier post, M. Simon observed that "Marxism doesn't even sell well to its target population: the poor," and later, that "they have no game at this point except mud slinging."
The problem is, no matter how much mud is slung, it takes more than mud to win an election. It takes votes. Each voter has the legal right to cast one.
But what if there aren't enough votes? Or voters?
Today's Detroit Free Press revealed that ACORN (a notorious Marxist group with such close ties to Barack Obama that he's been called the "Senator from ACORN") has been manufacturing voters. So many that it's tough for many local bureaucrats to look the other way:
Several municipal clerks across the state are reporting fraudulent and duplicate voter registration applications, most of them from a nationwide community activist group working to help low- and moderate-income families.I do not doubt that they are. Anything to improve the system.
I agree that as products go, Marxism is a hard sell. I don't know whether Marxists believe in the laws of supply and demand, but isn't this what might be called manufacturing a (fraudulent) market?
Nevertheless, might it not still fit the religious meme? You know, bringing people -- in this case, thousands of people -- back from the dead?
(It might take a miracle, you know....)
I just got an interesting e-mail:
My name is Eric Baumer, and I'm a PhD student in the Department of Informatics at UC Irvine. I'm working on a project called metaViz (metaviz.org), which is designed to find potential conceptual metaphors in political blogs. The goal is to draw reader's attention to patters suggestive of metaphor, give them the opportunity them to reflect on what those patterns mean, and encourage them to come up with their own interpretation. There's a tutorial video on the site that has more detail about how to use the visualization.Of course I'm always interested in research. Especially when I'm the subject. Have a look and let Mr Baumer know what you think. A comment or two here wouldn't hurt either.
Is Obama Jesus?
In this video Tom Brokaw holds up an ∅bama button saying Attention Sarah Palin. Jesus Christ was a community organizer. Pontius Pilate was a Governor. Thus comparing ∅bama to Jesus. Well they do say he is The One We Have Been Waiting For. So maybe the connection is not so far fetched. Stupid maybe. Not far fetched.
Just another sign that ∅ and his friends don't understand Christians. How in the heck do they expect to get the Catholic Democrat vote with carp like that? Or evangelicals? Maybe they are trying to get a lock on the Unitarian vote or hope that they can lock up the Atheists for Jesus contingent.
They just added another point or two to McCain/Palin.
Now I'm Jewish and naturally have my reservations about the Son of God bit. But still, I know way better than to insult my Christian friends with shite like that.
Yet ∅'s "friends" think that is a winning slogan. ∅'s friends are his biggest enemies. Seriously. I couldn't think of a more stupid slogan in what is mainly a Christian nation.
The bitter clingers are not going to like that at all. At all.
And a lot of Blacks are devout Christians. What is he trying to do? Suppress the Black turnout? It is hard to imagine a more inept political campaign. In fact I have never seen one this bad in my lifetime. No doubt we will have to wait four more years to see something worse if the Gore, Kerry, ∅bama progression holds.
It is like they think religion is for the little people whose votes he doesn't need to win.
Of course the wags on the right have a really good counter slogan. Invoking Godwin's Law of course. Adolph Hitler was a Community Organizer. FDR was a Governor. We all know how that one worked out.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
The panel interviewing ∅bama was from WTTW (PBS) Chicago. It looks like the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and the connection between it ∅bama and Ayers is going to break out big time now that there is video footage out there where ∅bama admits the connection. Maybe we will finally get some media attention to the results of ∅bama's efforts on behalf of education in Chicago.
It will be interesting to see how ∅ handles this latest corruption eruption.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Don't say I didn't warn them!
Anyone remember Jill Greenberg, the far left photographer who deliberately made children cry for photographs so she could depict them as victims of the religious right? Her rationale was along these lines:
I also thought they made a kind of political statement about the current state of anxiety a lot of people are in about the future of the country. Sometimes I just feel like crying about the way things are going.I thought the woman was a highly partisan, far left BDS type, and I didn't give her much thought after I wrote my post.
I was shocked, though, to see today that Greenberg has gone mainstream in a big way. The Atlantic hired her to take the most unflattering photos possible of John McCain for their cover (to which they've added words like "porn" and "adultery" in a plausibly deniable manner), and she's decided to take the photos and embellish them. McCain thought he was posing for The Atlantic, but it turns out he was being used in a sinister game of cheap political trick photography.
...what we see here is a candidate for President showing up at a photo-session for a cover shot for a magazine he knows is not going to give him an Obama-pass, but still making time for it. Waiting for him is the contracted representative of that magazine, Jill Greenberg, who has literally set a trap for him and then lures him into it. She mocks the McCain staff for not being "very sophisticated" about lighting when, in truth, the lighting used for a professional photo session is very complicated. There are umbrella lights, fill spots, and a raft of others being used at any given time.(Via Glenn Reynolds.)
It is certainly deceptive and slimy. Greenberg has upped the ante from her previous trickery with children to "political pornography" and gotten ahead in the process.
But was it really a betrayal of The Atlantic? In view of the fact that they let someone with Greenberg's known background negotiate a two-week embargo in order to re-license the images (in a supposedly arms-length transaction), I'm having trouble seeing The Atlantic as her victim:
The Atlantic didn't select the diabolical looking McCain for its cover. Greenberg is hoping to license that image to some other magazine (she negotiated a two-week embargo with The Atlantic so she could re-license images from the shoot before the election).Might she be right? Surely The Atlantic has heard of Google. Greenberg's manipulation of children by making them cry for political purposes is partisan and vile. I knew about it, and posted about it over two years ago, and I'm not even in the business.
So I may be wrong in my suspicions, but right now it's hard to see The Atlantic as anything but Ms. Greenberg's turn-a-blind-eye collaborator in this venture. They lent their still respectable name to the photoshoot, lured McCain in, and the predictable result is this:
(Soon to be on the billboard, of course...)
But really. Is it reasonable to expect a photographer who deliberately made children cry as pawns in her partisan antiwar crusade to be upfront and honest with John McCain?
I'd say shame on The Atlantic, but what's the point?
There's not even a pretense of journalism anymore.
MORE: A priceless comment from Bill White:
What the heck is a "warmongerer"? Someone who does something to warmongers?I don't know, but Matthew Yglesias called Joe Lieberman one, and Russell Shaw used the same epithet against Paul Wolfowitz, so a warmongerering we will go!
(Normally I'm not one to especially care about errors, but imagine the outcry if Bush called Ahmadinejad a "warmongerer.")
"The editor of The Atlantic Monthly said Monday he is sending a letter of apology to John McCain after a woman the magazine hired to photograph the Republican presidential nominee posted manipulated pictures from the photo shoot on her Web site. . . . Editor James Bennet said Greenberg behaved improperly and will not be paid for the session. He said the magazine is also considering a lawsuit."My faith is restored a bit by this news. (At least vis-a-vis The Atlantic.)
I mean really. I've complained a lot about "demonization" by the MSM. The problem with the Jill Greenberg stuff is that it's the real thing.
Looking at the above picture makes me think that the word "demonization" has lost its sting. I've used the word so long that when the real thing comes along, it seems inadequate.
(Hyperbole can become a form of crying wolf.)
And I'm glad to see that The Atlantic has taken a stand against demonization.
Looking for signs of strength?
Last night, M. Simon touched on an important theme in American politics when he opined that Barack Obama,
has come off as weak. And as I pointed out in Midway for Obama, Americans do not elect weaklings to office.How true. Say what you want about Bush, but weakness is not the first thing that comes to mind. If anything, his strength has made him even more hated by the left -- especially because in spite of his faults, that's the one thing the voters like (perhaps "respect" is a better word) about him. In the post 9/11 period, strength matters more in the voters' minds than ever.
Most Americans grasp intuitively that like any bully, our terrorist enemies understand -- and fear -- one thing: STRENGTH. Weakness, OTOH, emboldens them, and they have nothing but contempt for those perceived as weak. (Hence the series of attacks through the late 1990s.)
What that means is that voters who are concerned for the security of this country can be expected to look at which candidate is the stronger, and which is the weaker. I think it's fair to say that in this race, the contrast is so shockingly apparent that anyone can see it -- even a leftist.
No wonder the left is so furious. It's as if (in psychological terms) they hope their anger will become a form of strength. But I don't think it will, and not just because they're supposed to be keeping their angry leftist wrath in the closet until after the election, but because leftist "strength" is based on intimidation tactics, and most people (especially ordinary voters) see intimidation as a bullying tactic. Bullies may seem strong, but their strength tends to limit itself to targeting people weaker than themselves, or who for whatever reason find it expedient (or, in the case of large companies and boards, not cost effective) to cave, or simply not stand up to them.
When a strong person stands up to them, they'll find another target -- in much the same way that a burglar who knows a homeowner is armed because of an NRA sticker (or, a United States Marine Corps sticker) on the door would do well to choose the house with the peace symbol instead. (Similarly, a home with no dog is more likely to be hit than a home with a dog, and a home with a larger, tougher dog is less likely to be hit than a home guarded by a teacup poodle.)
But what about Obama's ties to Communists like Frank Marshall Davis and Communist terrorist Bill Ayers? They're strong, aren't they? In terms of signs, isn't that more like having a hammer and sickle on your door than a peace symbol? If you were a burglar, which house would you target? The peace symbol house or the commie hammer-and-sickle house?
I think most rational burglars would target the peace symbol house. Which may be why when push comes to shove, pacifists like to have the hard left behind them. (They may deny it, but their commie compatriots offer them at least an appearance of the strength they lack.)
They can pretend that it's all about peace, but it's really all about fear.
However, if the choice is between the hammer and sickle and the NRA/USMC sticker(s), I think most burglars would choose to invade the former instead of the latter, because in spite of the "sign" of strength, they're still less likely to be armed. (And less likely to know how to shoot.)
It's all hypothetical, but that's what I think.
It's 3 a.m. You're the burglar. You decide.
MORE: Error corrected with thanks to Stewart's comment below.
Libertarians, conservatives, and open-minded liberals only!
(All others stop reading now!)
Via a link from Darleen Click, I was drawn to a discussion of copyright law at Rolling Stone. The lefties are pissed that the Republicans played the song "Barracuda" -- because it turns out that the copyright holders don't like Republicans:
Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin has the nickname "Barracuda," which inspired the use of the Heart song of the same name during Palin's speech at the RNC on Wednesday night. Heart sent out a statement Thursday afternoon announcing they had sent a cease-and-desist letter asking the campaign to stop using the song. "The Republican campaign did not ask for permission to use the song, nor would they have been granted that permission. We have asked the Republican campaign publicly not to use our music. We hope our wishes will be honored." Their wishes were not honored, as after John McCain's RNC-ending speech last night, Palin joined him onstage to the sound of "Barracuda." This set off Nancy Wilson, who told EW.com "I think it's completely unfair to be so misrepresented. I feel completely fucked over."While many of the commenters display predictable ignorance, you'd think an outfit like Rolling Stone would know the basics of copyright law as it pertains to playing music at public venues, as this is not a new issue. Once artists sign on to have ASCAP represent their copyright interests, it is not up to them who gets to play or not play their music.
Here's the way it's supposed to work:
....organizations don't have to go directly to the copyright holder to get permission to use their work. They can get a license from ASCAP, the American Society for Composers, Authors and Publishers. (Someone should tell the London Guardian editorial writers this inconvenient truth.)While I'm no fan of the copyright system, it's easy to imagine the chaos which could be created if individual artists had the right to decide (on an after-the-fact ad hoc basis) who got to play their music and who didn't. I suppose if they wanted to be able to do that, they could refuse to sign an agreement with ASCAP, but I doubt very much their music would get much play over the air or that many companies would be willing to market their CDs.
Naturally, if the Democrats had played this song at their convention, it would have been fine with Heart. But by their way of thinking, suppose they decided they didn't like Joe Biden at the last minute. They seem to think it's just fine to withdraw permission after the fact, by claiming that they "never gave permission."
This is about as ridiculous as an author claiming that even though you paid for it, you had no right to read his book!
Maybe I should announce a new rule that if I don't agree with you, you have no right to read this blog!
OTOH, none of you have the right to hear or watch this:
High time we put some teeth into the copyright laws!
Saturday, September 13, 2008
On The Verge
It seems things are not going well for The One we have been waiting for. In fact it seems like fewer and fewer people are waiting for him.
The Democratic presidential candidate's slump in the polls has sparked pointed private criticism that he is squandering a once-in-a-generation chance to win back the White House.He got off on the wrong foot with the "bitter clingers" and has not managed to get back on their right side. Now with Sarah Palin attracting the "bitter clinger" vote because she is one of them he has his work cut out for him. How does he win them back? There is already evidence he doesn't have a clue. Here is some more:
A senior Democratic strategist, who has played a prominent role in two presidential campaigns, told The Sunday Telegraph: "These guys are on the verge of blowing the greatest gimme in the history of American politics. They're the most arrogant bunch Ive ever seen. They won't accept that they are losing and they won't listen."Yep. That "Celebrity" commercial that McCain ran and that went viral on the Internet punctured that bubble. ∅bama has come off as weak. And as I pointed out in Midway For Obama, Americans do not elect weaklings to office.
Since Sarah Palin was unveiled as Mr McCain's running mate, the Obama camp has faced accusations that it has been pushed off message and has been limp in responding to attacks.Dem mean ole Republicans are being mean to us. Waaaaaaaah. Mommy make them stop. It hoits. Not a winning message.
Mr Obama's campaign manager, David Plouffe, called it the first day of the rest of the campaign.Damn. The ∅ campaign has more pairs of gloves than OJ. What ∅ needs to do with some of his campaign money (which is not flowing the way it used to be) is to buy a glove factory so he can spend his days putting on and taking off the gloves. Better yet, I think he needs to buy a clue factory. Fortunately he is too proud to do something like that.
Obama's big mistake is in thinking that a campaign that worked in the Democrat primary caucuses can work in a general election. Thugs like ACORN can take you far in a caucus state. However, there are no caucus states in general elections. Vote fraud and voter intimidation only carry you so far in a general election. It works in big cities, especially in Democrat Machine Cities. In the suburbs and rural areas its effect is slight to non-existent.
Mark Cunningham of the New York Post summed up the private views of many: "If it suddenly seems like the Obama campaign doesn't have any idea what it's doing, maybe that's because it doesn't."They hope to make it up with the youth vote. That may have worked except for two things. The youth factor exceeds in enthusiasm that is for sure, but it has a bad record of showing up for elections. Second, since the announcement of Palin as VP the youth vote is now evenly split between Obama and McCain. Besides, youth thrives on novelty and Obama is so yesterday. He was last year's celebrity. And now there is a new fresh face on the block.
And what has been the McCain Campaign's best line of attack?
A senior aide to one of the most powerful Democrats in the House of Representatives voiced the fears of many: "Palin doesn't just play to the Republican base. She has much broader appeal."That is right. Obama has been tarred with the campus radical label in two words. However, considering his Communist mentor Frank Marshall Davis, his seeking out Marxist professors, and his associations with Bill Ayers, it fits pretty well. On top of that he admits he was a failure at community organizing. Evidently Marxism doesn't even sell well to its target population: the poor.
Another Brit paper, The Times Online tells a similar tale of woe about the ∅ campaign.
THE high-heeled, moose-hunting governor of Alaska has sent Barack Obama's campaign into a state of panic as support for the Democratic presidential candidate haemorrhages in the battleground states he must win to reach the White House.I saw that. It should help the McCain/Palin ticket pick off a few more Hillary voters.
In the face of Palin's onslaught, Obama has continued to base his campaign on the outdated claim that John McCain and his running mate represent four more years of a failed Bush administration.Actually, as far as I can tell, they have no game at this point except mud slinging. Change has been stolen from them and they are left without Hope.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
A New Front Opens In The Culture Wars
The singer is Gretchen Wilson.
They can't help it
Democratic political strategist Mark Penn pointed out in a recent CBS interview that the media's targeting of Sarah Palin is hurting the media more than it's hurting Palin:
CBSNews.com: Your former colleague Howard Wolfson argued that you all unintentionally paved the way for Palin by exposing some of the unfair media coverage that Hillary Clinton received. And, therefore, a lot of the media may now be treating Sarah Palin with kid gloves. Do you agree with that?Two points stand out here.
One is that regardless of what anyone thinks of Mark Penn, for prominent Democrats to be blaming each other for having "paved the way for Palin" reveals genuine desperation.
Two is that the media feeding frenzy results from the fact that they find Palin irresistible for a variety of reasons. She's new, she's a woman (which in their twisted way of thinking makes her a traitor), she didn't go to Harvard (or Princeton, like Charlie Gibson), and she belongs to the wrong church. As Andrew Sullivan says, the mere fact that she belongs to the Assembly of God justifies the use of the Dowdification method of quotation falsification:
She is a long-time member of the Assemblies Of God. That's all you need to know.Imagine the reaction if someone said that about membership in the Catholic Church.
So, they just cannot help themselves. That libertarians like David Harsanyi, Vin Suprynowicz, and Radley Balko (link via Glenn Reynolds) have praised her only makes them angrier. I suspect that the media intuitively fear the alliance I discussed earlier:
I have long believed that what "they" most fear is an alliance between libertarians and social conservatives. I'm not saying this will necessarily happen, but if it ever did, the fallout would be very bad.And of course, the more reasonable Palin sounds, the more they hate her, and the more they accuse her of "dishonesty."
In a way, the latter accusation makes sense. Because if you set someone up to be a fulminating, right wing "Christianist" maniac, any reasonable utterance out of that person cannot be considered reassuring, but instead becomes an outrageous lie. (I can't blame them, because after all, they are only interested in winning, and such closed systems are completely self-insulating against all arguments.)
The nice thing about the feeding frenzy is that it has produced a backlash.
I know I complain, but the altruist in me hopes they keep it up.
Community organizing has a proud record of success
Jennifer Rubin has a carefully researched piece titled Obama and the Woods Fund ("Woods Hole" ought to be the outfit's name, but I guess that name's already taken). The whole piece is a must-read, I want to focus on a seemingly innocuous (and largely obscure) outfit with the gently nutty name of ACORN:
Another recipient of the Woods Fund largesse was the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), an organization infamous for its left wing agenda. Stanley Kurtz who has researched ACORN's far-left agenda described its "in your face tactics":No doubt Obama is very proud of his role as a "community activist" for ACORN.Just think of Code Pink's well-known operations (threatening to occupy congressional offices, interrupting the testimony of General David Petraeus) and you'll get the idea. Acorn protesters have disrupted Federal Reserve hearings, but mostly deploy their aggressive tactics locally. Chicago is home to one of its strongest chapters, and Acorn has burst into a closed city council meeting there. Acorn protestors in Baltimore disrupted a bankers' dinner and sent four busloads of profanity-screaming protestors against the mayor's home, terrifying his wife and kids. Even a Baltimore city council member who generally supports Acorn said their intimidation tactics had crossed the line.During Obama's time on the Woods Funds ACORN received grants of $45,000 (2000), $30,000 (2001), $45,000 (2001), $30,000 (2002), and $40,000 (2002) from the Woods Fund. (Obama in the early 1990's helped train ACORN organizers and later served as counsel in 1995 for ACORN in a "motor voter" registration lawsuit.) And ACORN certainly appreciated whatever assistance Obama afforded the radical organization over the years.
If ACORN were merely another whiny left-wing group that never did anything, it might be something we could all laugh off as cute. But alas, ACORN is neither cute nor laughable; it is a very determined, very powerful outfit which believes in implementing socialism, and works hard to create the right conditions to make socialism inevitable, and ineradicable.
I've complained that the people who want socialism know the dirty little secret that socialism does not work. That this is a feature and not a bug. That problems created by socialism create a demand for socialist solutions, and so on.
ACORN, as it happens, spent many years working tirelessly to create the conditions that led to the current mortgage crisis. From "Thank ACORN (And Co) For Mortgage Crisis":
At the crisis' core are loans that were made with virtually nonexistent underwriting standards - no verification of income or assets; little consideration of the applicant's ability to make payments; no down payment.Etc. Sorry for the long quote, but I think this is important, and it's been (and is being) swept under the rug.
It's a very simple concept. People do not like being intimidated. Nor do they want their work and lives disrupted. If demonstrators show up where they work, they usually cave. And if that doesn't work, there's always the tried-and-true tactic of invading their personal spaces, or even threatening their homes and families. (Something which caused Berkeley's rather decent City Manager to flee to the relative safety of New Mexico.)
I cannot overstress the effectiveness of these methods. Read Stanley Kurtz again:
Acorn protesters have disrupted Federal Reserve hearings, but mostly deploy their aggressive tactics locally. Chicago is home to one of its strongest chapters, and Acorn has burst into a closed city council meeting there. Acorn protestors in Baltimore disrupted a bankers' dinner and sent four busloads of profanity-screaming protestors against the mayor's home, terrifying his wife and kids. Even a Baltimore city council member who generally supports Acorn said their intimidation tactics had crossed the line.Don't think the executives on the Fed board weren't thinking about their homes and families.
Noting Obama's ties to ACORN are so deep that he calls him the "Senator from ACORN," Kurtz recites numbing detail after numbing detail:
Important as these questions of funding and partisanship are, the larger point is that Obama's ties to Acorn -- arguably the most politically radical large-scale activist group in the country -- are wide, deep, and longstanding. If Acorn is adept at creating a non-partisan, inside-game veneer for what is in fact an intensely radical, leftist, and politically partisan reality, so is Obama himself. This is hardly a coincidence: Obama helped train Acorn's leaders in how to play this game. For the most part, Obama seems to have favored the political-insider strategy, yet it's clear that he knew how to play the in-your-face "direct action" game as well. And surely during his many years of close association with Acorn, Obama had to know what the group was all about.Of course he knew. Read all about the tireless devotion of Obama to ACORN, and ACORN's tireless devotion to destroying the market economy. They've been successful because they have a wide spectrum of tactics, and they know that when they fail to win by playing fair, intimidation works:
Do Atlas and Dreier dismiss Stern's catalogue of Acorn's disruptive and intentionally intimidating tactics as a set of regrettable exceptions to Acorn's rule of civility? Not a chance. Atlas and Dreier are at pains to point out that intimidation works. They proudly reel off the increased memberships that follow in the wake of high-profile disruptions, and clearly imply that the same public officials who object most vociferously to intimidation are the ones most likely to cave as a result. What really upsets Atlas and Dreier is that Stern misses the subtle national hand directing Acorn's various local campaigns. This is radicalism unashamed.Read it all. And weep that someone who's been so tight for so long with such people may well become what Kurtz calls the "President from ACORN."
(In light of that damning piece alone, little wonder that Team Obama went after Kurtz with both barrels when he dared to look into the Chicago Annenberg Challenge records.)
While it is right to focus on Obama's close association for years with Bill Ayers (and I have, in a number of posts), the ACORN connection is more than enough reason not to vote for the man. For that reason alone, I would never, ever even consider voting for him. He might be likeable and articulate, but his background indicates that he's a dyed-in-the-wool socialist who has not just talked the talk, he's walked the walk. (If he had just talked the talk, I wouldn't be as worried.)
There's also this crucial difference between ACORN and Ayers: if the Ayers matter ever heats up, Obama can always through the guy under the bus, per his usual pattern. But there's no way he can or would disavow or repudiate ACORN. It's part of his resume, his political heritage -- his living, breathing legacy. His political family tree (if you will) has strong roots in ACORN. Uprooting or cutting down that kind of heritage would be political suicide.
He'll have to live with it.
The rest of us will have to live with the mortgage mess.
(If only so many people didn't see it as a failure of capitalism....)
In Her Own Words Part 2
You can watch part one of the interview at In Her Own Words. One interesting aspect of this exercise is the fact that when Charlie Gibson interviewed Obama he gave him a bunch of softball questions. Palin was hit hard on all kinds of policy questions. ∅bama? Not so much.
Here is the first question asked ∅bama.
How does it feel to break a glass ceiling?
Here is the first question asked Palin.
Do you have enough qualifications for the job you're seeking? Specifically have you visited foreign countries and met foreign leaders?
Follow the link to read the rest. So who do you think Charlie's candidate is?
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Friday, September 12, 2008
Out Of Touch
The ∅ campaign is mocking McCain for being a computer illiterate in their latest ad.
NEW YORK (AP) -- John McCain is mocked as an out-of-touch, out-of-date computer illiterate in a television commercial out Friday from Barack Obama as the Democrat begins his sharpest barrage yet on McCain's long Washington career.Well that is certainly going to hurt McCain with all the folks who are up to date with the latest computers, cell phones, and iPods. What an old out of touch guy. At least so it would seem.
Until you know the rest of the story.
McCain's severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes.Well that sure is taking the fight to McCain. I hope they choke on it. In fact I'm sure they will. That should add another two or three points to McCain's totals.
∅bama is swine. And no amount of lipstick on that pig is going to change it.
H/T Just One Minute
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Not Safe For Work
For those of you who want to help this go viral it is also available on YouTube
Everybody loves a winner?
I'm not sure the old saying "everbody loves a winner" always applies to political winners. I think it might have more to do with the fact that in politics people love underdogs, and distrust "winners" when they display too much arrogance. (Nobody likes sore losers, but sore winners are unbearable.)
In an earlier post, M. Simon observed that the Democrats are setting themselves up for defeat, and noted that "when people get panicked they often do the wrong thing." That is absolutely right.
An observation by a commenter, though -- "I'm still waiting for the Republican Party to screw this up" -- reminded me of another principle.
When people get overconfident they often do the wrong thing.
That's because human nature being what it is, overconfidence leads to a feeling of unaccountability. The anticipation of victory leads to a similar feeling to that produced by actual victory. Once a battle or struggle is over, it is natural to relax your guard.
The Democrats have gone from the overconfident state to a state of incipient panic, while the Republicans have been the underdogs until very recently. The election is still six weeks away (I typed "sex weeks"; did my Freudian slip show?), and my worry is that if the public starts to perceive signs of GOP triumphalism -- if Republicans are perceived as relishing their incipient victory (or, worse, gloating) it won't go over well.
But that's just my paranoia. Charles Krauthammer also thinks the Democrats are in a panic state, and he thinks that the stardom timing cycle is favoring the Republicans:
One star fades, another is born. The very next morning McCain picks Sarah Palin and a new celebrity is launched. And in the celebrity game, novelty is trump. With her narrative, her persona, her charisma carrying the McCain campaign to places it has never been and by all logic has no right to be, she's pulling an Obama.That's true, but in my darker moments I'm inclined to think that the finish is only on the veneer.
People who can't communicate can't lie. Or can they?
Today's Detroit Free Press has a real horror story about a family which was torn apart by zealous bureaucrats acting in the name of a cruel superstition called "facilitated communication." According to the educrats who believe in this discredited nonsense, autistic children "communicate" by having their hands placed on computer keyboards, while the "facilitator" types the answers to the facilitator's questions.
The couple, who had no criminal history, suddenly faced decades in prison. He was charged with repeatedly raping their 15-year-old, severely autistic daughter, and she was charged with child abuse for failure to stop it.I'm glad they're suing, and I hope they end up owning the school district.
Of course, that's an emotional reaction on my part; the problem is that it's the taxpayers who end up having to pay settlements and judgments in these cases. The problem is that there is no accountability, and it is becoming an all-pervasive disease. The individual wrongdoers are immune -- even though the "facilitor" in this case had only two hours of "training":
"My dad gets me up, bangs me and then we eat breakfast," typed messages the school provided to the police said. "He puts his hands on my private parts mom knows and doesn't say anything." Other messages said her father had assaulted her in the shower and that her younger brother had fondled her breasts and genitals.Yeah, well maybe it would have been a good idea to brush up on this widely debunked form of junk science before jailing the parents, and placing the boy in juvie. As this earlier piece pointed out, the bogus nature of the case could have been determined simply by using Google:
But the girl's parents believed the controversial method, whose proponents called it FC, had unlocked their speechless daughter's inner voice. Ironically, it was the parents' faith in FC that convinced investigators the girl's facilitated accusations were authentic.I'll say. Facilitated communication has few defenders, there's a whole string of cases involving fictitious charges of sexual abuse by parents, and it is rejected as scientifically unfounded by the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. (See also the Wiki entry on Facilitated Communication.) It's been debunked on Frontline, on Penn and Teller, and most skeptics consider it old history -- little more than a long defeated superstition.
So settled is the evidence (and case law) against it that a New York Civil Rights Lawyer (quoted in an earlier piece) expressed amazement that a school would even use the method:
Spurred by a flurry of cases in which autistic children using FC accused seemingly trustworthy adults of sexually molesting them, researchers began conducting double-blind experiments. In trial after trial, experimenters demonstrated that typed messages were actually being directed -- albeit unconsciously -- by the facilitators themselves.What fascinates me is how to assign blame here. Clearly, the parents were desperate (as would be expected of parents of severely autistic kids), so they would go along with anything, including this electronic voodoo. While the actual "facilitator" with two hours training is worthy of blame, what about the school officials who hired her to do this? The prosecutors who filed the charges, jailed the father, and even put the boy in juvenile detention would seem to be the most guilty parties, because they didn't do their homework. But their asses may be covered if they can come up with an expert who can claim "facilitated communication" has validity. The Facilitated Communication Institute at Syracuse University takes the position that facilitated communication is a civil right, and even a free speech issue:
Where people lack an adequate communication system, they deserve to have others try with them to discover and secure an appropriate system. No person should have this right denied because they have been diagnosed as having a particular disability. Access to effective means of communication is a free speech issue. (TASH, Resolution on the Right to Communicate, November, 1992)I don't doubt there are people in the Autism Lobby, and an assortment of teachers aides, other "paraprofessionals," and others in the educational bureaucracy who would champion this discredited method. (As I've argued before, bureaucrats tend to love things that don't work, because bureaucratic failure generates more bureaucratic jobs.)
While nothing that the educrats might do would surprise me, this is more of a disgrace to the legal system than anything else, because the legal system is supposed to be based on accountability. When accountability fails there, where are people to go?
What shocked me even more as I dug into this was the appalling nature of the police interrogation of the innocent boy they sent to juvenile detention:
For nearly an hour, Detective Joseph Brousseau had grilled the boy about accusations that he and his autistic sister had been sexually molested by their father. No, the boy insisted, he'd seen nothing to support the detective's lurid suspicions. Three times, he offered to take a lie detector test. But Brousseau hammered away, challenging the boy's honesty, his manliness, his loyalty to his disabled sister.The details are fiendish. If the prosecutors filed charges based on an interrogation like that, I'd say Mike Nifong didn't have anything on these people.
Perhaps even Cotton Mather didn't either. (He was only trying to do his job...)
But if we look at the broader issue (in the spirit of dark humor), imagine what a facilitative communicator could do with Alzheimer's patients. Stroke victims. The legally brain dead.
I better keep them away from Coco, because you never know what she might say.
Especially if she had "help."
MORE: I'm wondering about something. Is there any reason why facilitative communication would not work with dead people? I would think that if used combination with a good medium, the results might be spectacular.
At the very least, it might be a great way to preserve the right of the deceased to vote.
Goddess Of Democracy
Worried - Not Yet Panicked
Democratic jitters about the US presidential race have spread to Capitol Hill, where some members of Congress are worried that Barack Obama's faltering campaign could hurt their chances of re-election.The problem with that attitude is that when people get panicked they often do the wrong thing.
Let's take a look at what Bill Whittle has to say about that in his piece Forty Second Boyd. He is discussing an engagement between two fighter pilots
Red and Blue are closing at 1000 miles an hour. Fight's on!And that is what is happening to the whole Democrat party. The fight is now so lopsided that they are no longer co-ordinating their efforts. They no longer have the power of unified action. They set themselves up for defeat in detail.
I expect big gains for the Republicans in the House and Senate despite the fact that the conventional wisdom in June was that the Democrats would be making gains.
And lets not forget that the fight over energy resources hasn't even begun. Their bad situation has come from skirmishes without the weight of unified action which has yet to come.
∅ has lost two or three days fighting over pigs and lipstick. He is off message. How does he get back on track? His only hope is to break contact and then come back with a new message. He has to stop his attacks on Palin and focus his attentions on his opponent, John McCain. Can he do that? I doubt it. It takes the ∅bama campaign days to respond to Republican attacks. Where he needs to be agile he is cumbersome. Because of that, even if he can retool he will be addressing a situation that no longer exists.
∅bama's position on the Russia/Georgia dust up is instructive. McCain came out with a position in hours. ∅bama came out with a position that did not help him electorally. Over a period of three days he modified his position and modified it again until at the end his position was the same as McCain's. Look at that again. Hours vs. days. As Bill Whittle would say: He is out of altitude, out of airspeed, out of ideas. Eject! Eject! Eject!
I think ∅bama and the Democrats are going to be ejected by the voters come November 4th. I don't think I have ever witnessed an election campaign where a candidate and a party has come from so far behind to whip the opposition so badly. Only 54 more days to go. This has got to be an eternity for the Democrats. From caviar to ashes. It will no doubt leave a bad taste in their mouths for a long time to come.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Not fit for public discussion
Speaking of crime, a recent psychopathic hammer attack in Philadelphia has been getting national attention. The lead story is titled "Psycho hammers subway passenger":
As the SEPTA subway train rocked forward, a thirty-something guy leaned over near the doorway and gently planted a kiss on the little boy at his side.The incident was captured on video, which shows, chillingly, that there were a number of able bodied men present, and not only did no one try to help, one of then opportunistically pitched in and stole the victim's cell phone:
The video shows Taylor, a lab technician at the University of Pennsylvania, dozing after a long day at work on a seat of a subway car, headed home to East Germantown.By the time I read that, I was irritated, and even though I didn't have time for a post this morning beyond the 9/11 anniversary post, I spent a little time looking into this.
I discovered that something is being omitted in the Inquirer. A little detail about the psycho -- as he carried out the unprovoked attack, he was chanting in Arabic:
The attack was unprovoked. Taylor had dozed off while listening to his iPod. He was on his way home from work as a lab animal technician at the University of Pennsylvania. It happened at 12:15 a.m. last Thursday. Taylor tells Action News he remembers the attacker chanting in Arabic.Well I wonder why that didn't get into the papers that most Philadelphians read.
In another ABC story, it is reported that the man kept repeating "Allah":
Taylor told Action News last week that all throughout the attack, the man kept chanting something, and he distinctly recalled the word "Allah."But there's nothing about that in the papers.
Instead, readers are treated to the usual litany of excuses from the family of the psychotic thug:
Five months ago, and again four weeks ago, she said, she had him committed to a mental-health facility for treatment of paranoid schizophrenia. But he refused to take the prescribed medicine, saying doctors were trying to poison him, and was then released because of problems with health insurance.Released because of problems with health insurance? That sounds fishy to me. Does anyone check these stories? This man had a long criminal record, and it seems that if he was in fact committed and he was dangerous, it wouldn't be an insurance issue.
Call me skeptical.
The story has been picked up by a number of bloggers, including Baron Bodissey:
Yes, it's likely that this guy is simply a deranged psychopath who should have been on medication.And Robert Spencer:
Is this guy a Muslim? A jihadist? I have no idea, and I am not saying he is. But the possibility cannot be dismissed out of hand when he chants "Allah" and mutters in Arabic while attacking a man he does not know with a hammer. In a sane society, government, media, and law enforcement would be calling upon American Muslim groups to do something about this -- to face up to the capacity of Islamic texts and teachings to incite violence, and to institute comprehensive, honest, inspectable programs teaching against jihad violence and Islamic supremacism. But this is hardly at this point a sane society.Whether society is sane or not, this hammer man clearly wasn't. By all accounts, he had a long history of mental illness and criminal charges, including rape. One after another, they seem to have been dropped. If you're a real loon, they don't want you cluttering up the courts or the prisons, which are designed for sane criminals.
Which brings me to the topic that the press always wants to avoid in cases like this: Islam. The reason the chanting in Arabic and the "Allah" stuff is not being reported is that "responsible" journalists believe ordinary people can't handle it, and that some might engage in acts of bigotry against Muslims. Accordingly, they scrub such details, even though by doing so they are abrogating their clear duty to report what happened, and rationalizing it with the arrogant claim that they cannot trust their readers. (This is a major reason for the growth of the blogosphere, but that's another rant and you've all heard it.)
My problem is not with regular Islam, but with the psychotic, jihadist form. This won't be easy to explain, but I think that psychotic Islam attracts psychotic people, and as never before in history.
For the record, let me pause and admit my bias. I believe it is psychotic to engage in suicide bombing of innocent civilians based on the delusion you will be rewarded by Allah in heaven. Calling it "religion" does nothing to change its inherently psychotic nature.
I think that 9/11 can be called a psychotic triggering event, because I have noticed that American psychos have gravitated towards Islam as they never did before 9/11. I think it is psychotic to wear a bag covering your entire body, your head, and leaving only slits for your eyes in a free country, OK? A lot of Americans do this now. You can see them walking around in any big city, and I'm sorry, but I think they are the kind of people who are deeply anti-social, the kind of people who are doing it for attention, because they get a big kick out of freaking people out, and because it's a way to advertise their psychotic hatred. This is not dictated by Islam, but they don't care.
The bottom line: they simply did not behave that way in such numbers before America was attacked on 9/11 by Islamic psychotics.
The scandal that no one will discuss is that radical, psychotic Islam is a draw for mentally ill Americans. It is not allowed to be discussed, because those who discuss it are called "Islamophobic." "Bigoted." Or of course "racist."
Nonsense. Ordinary Muslims are citizens like anyone else. This has nothing to do with ordinary Islam. What I want to know is why Americans with mental problems are gravitating towards the psychotic manifestations of Islam, and why this isn't being discussed as it should be. Calling them "terrorists" is mistaken and misses the point, as does calling Islam an inherently terrorist religion. (As does calling people bigots for discussing the problem.)
MORE: In a post titled "What would you do?" Dr. Helen notes how methodical the psycho was:
One thing that struck me is just how methodical the perpetrator was, just sort of like he was at another day at work. He puts his bag down, takes out the hammer and starts wailing away.Calmly wailing away while chanting.
The whole thing gives me the creeps.
Variety is the spice of life
It's not every day that I see a headline reading "Man rubbed with spices, other beaten with sausage," but that's what's in the news:
FRESNO, Calif. -- A stranger broke into a home east of Fresno, rubbed spices on the body of one of two men as they slept and used an 8-inch sausage to whack the other man in the face and head before he fled, Fresno County sheriff's deputies said Saturday.It's hard to imagine a stranger behaving this way.
So I looked further. The arrested man, 21 year old Antonio Vasquez, has been freed. Lack of evidence:
SANGER, Calif. (Map, News) - A Sanger man suspected of breaking into a home, rubbing spices into the face of one man and hitting another with an 8-inch sausage has been set free.Not enough evidence? Two men rubbed with spice as they slept? Man arrested nearby wearing nothing but his underwear? Wallet found? Money "recovered"? Charges dropped?
Something about this case does not make sense, unless we consider the possibility that Vasquez was not exactly a "stranger."
Charlie Interviews Sarah
Here is the Charlie Gibson Sarah Palin Interview. Let me start you out with a question or two and then go read the whole thing.
GIBSON: Governor, let me start by asking you a question that I asked John McCain about you, and it is really the central question. Can you look the country in the eye and say "I have the experience and I have the ability to be not just vice president, but perhaps president of the United States of America?"H/T Just One Minute
Cross Posted at Power and Control
It's A Nightmare
The Democrats appear to be in a lot of pain. Their hopes and dreams appear to be fading away. Normally they don't start getting desperate until October. This is an early crash. Even by Kerry standards.
"They were set up to run 'experience versus change,' what they had run [against Hillary] Clinton," Trippi said. "And I think Palin clearly moved that to be change [and] reform, versus change. They are adjusting to that and that threw them off balance a little bit."Some Democrats aer saying that they didn't define McCain. That they left him alone to control his image. Hmmm. I thought they spent a LOT of time working the McSame bit. You don't even hear that much any more. And how did ∅ get tied with the ∅ label? And he was so proud of being a community organizer in a Democrat town. Now he is running from that. School reform? He has the perfect solution. For his children. Send them to a private school at a cost of $15K a year. If it is good enough for him why wasn't it good enough for the communities he was organizing?
Obama's problem is that McCain has a better resume. Which is to say he has more to work with. Successes and failures. What does Barry have? ∅. And don't forget those 130 Present votes in the Illinois Legislature. McCain has good ideas and bad ideas. Barry has ∅ ideas. Or at least none that the American people as a whole are buying. His party controlled Congress for the last two years. In that time oil prices have doubled. How does that compare to their promise to lower oil prices?
Their problem isn't definitions. Their problem is that they are our of altitude, out of air speed, and out of ideas. I discussed this a number of years ago in Socialism has died - it has not gone to heaven v2.0. Now I must admit I thought the crash would come a lot sooner than it has. I chalk that up to my eternal optimism. However, the analysis still rings true. The fundamentals are correct. Without Socialism as a guiding principle they have nothing.
Oh, they rant a lot about civil liberties. So let me ask you, are they fighting Drug Prohibition or promoting it? George Bush has quietly reigned in Drug Task Forces. More than any liberal has done on the issue. What did Clinton do? Redoubled the war on Pot smokers. And you know what? More people die of aspirin overdoses every year than have ever died in all history from Pot overdoses. So are they trumpeting this fact? Of course not. Why? Well they depend on money from the Prison Guard Unions to run their political campaigns. The Drug War is not about stopping drugs. It is about funding their brand of politics. And that is true about almost every program they champion.
Nightmare? It has only started and will get worse. Why? Because Alaska has some of the most liberal pot laws in the nation. And their situation is no worse with respect to pot than the places with the most draconian laws. Why is that? Pretty simple. According to the NIDA Addiction Is A Genetic Disease. I defy you to explain to me how laws can affect a genetic disease. So why are the Democrats silent? Follow the money. Follow the money. They are not about helping people. They are about using them.
It is only going to get worse for them. Much worse. The curtain has been opened and we are about to see who the man behind the curtain really is.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Forgetting leads to denial
Seven years into the war that officially started with the 9/11 attack, and even though Al Qaeda is serving up yet another boastful video, a large part of the world still claims not to know who was responsible for 9/11.
The survey of 16,063 people in 17 nations found majorities in only nine countries believe al Qaeda was behind the attacks on New York and Washington that killed about 3,000 people in 2001.I'm wondering whether Al Qaeda is feeling slighted, because it's not as if they've kept their responsibility a secret. Perhaps this video is intended as an educational effort so that they can keep their place in the history books.
I mean really. I can understand why people in the Mideast might be in denial. But what's with the Germans? And the Mexicans?
The U.S. government was to blame, according to 23 percent of Germans and 15 percent of Italians.Yes, more education is needed.
In many ways, the war on terror is and remains at least as much a propaganda war as it is a series of military operations. We seem to do a better job with the latter than with the former.
I mean, take the fact that a major American writer for Salon compares Sarah Palin to Osama bin Laden. (Via Glenn Reynolds, who has more.) The reality of such preposterousness makes my derisive snorting about German or the Mexican denial almost seem like a form of denial. This war brings out the worst in people as well as the best.
Which is why I think it's important on this day to say Never Forget.
I can hardly do those two words justice in a short post like this, but Michele Catalano can and does:
Never forget? That phrase always made me cringe. Who could forget such a thing? Who could forget the pain, the loss, the rage, the image of smoke, fire, and buildings collapsing while people ran for safety? Who could forget such a powerful, staggering loss?Read it all.
We have not forgotten Pearl Harbor, nor should we, and the same applies to 9/11.
Glenn Reynolds links this memorial and a great piece by James Lileks, who says, "I am resigned, in advance, to the loss of an American city by a nuclear weapon." So am I, and it's a been a real life adjustment to have been thinking that for seven years.
As an admirer of Ayn Rand for most of my life, I share her view of the American skyscraper as more than just a building. Each one is a monument to individuality, to the American "can-do" spirit, and, most of all, to freedom. The Twin Towers stood as gigantically strong, seemingly indestructible, twin pillars of freedom. I will never be able to shake that awful memory of how, in the instant these giants came crashing down, they were suddenly not strong at all, and certainly not to be taken for granted. Instead, they appeared very frail and delicate.I came to see their strength and fragility as symbolic of the strength and fragility of freedom ("seemingly strong and indestructible, but at the same time frail and delicate -- and quite mortal in the face of an evil threat.")
Quite significantly, (as the Examiner noted this morning), not much has happened on US soil:
Exactly seven years after 9/11, the war against jihadist terrorists has been an unappreciated success. Nobody should take that success for granted. In those seven years, despite numerous plans and several attempts by terrorists to replicate or even surpass that horrendous day, they have not succeeded a single time on U.S. soil. No body count of innocents. No successful biological or chemical attacks. No airports, bridges, buildings, or trains blown up. Nothing. President Bush's strategy has succeeded far beyond what the experts predicted would be the case in the weeks following the horrors at the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and the rural field where Flight 93 crashed near Shanksville, Pa.The fact that there is so much denial and so much disagreement about Iraq and even 9/11 (I see that Congressman Kucinich is calling for "Truth" hearings, and of course prosecutions) shows that in the propaganda war, we have become a victim of our success in the real war.
All the more reason to remember.
MORE: Abe Greenwald fears we are squandered the chance to remember ane relearn:
The truth is something vital has been squandered in the years since we were attacked. It's not the world's sympathy or money or American lives. I fear we've squandered the chance to remember and relearn what it means to be a part of the longest-running and most honorable revolution in world history. To appreciate not just the fruits of American democracy, but the frustrations and sacrifices that were endured in creating and defending it. Instead of excoriating our president for his blunders and setbacks, we should have been rallying, as a nation, recalling in our history the many times we triumphed in the face of determined and evil adversaries. We're told we've forgotten about the principles of our Constitution, but as Americans sit around and freely describe our elected leaders as fascists and our soldiers as indiscriminate killers, it's clear we've forgotten what it takes to keep those principles alive.Via Michelle Malkin's "Seven years later: Remembrance and resolve."
Don't miss Ace's tour de force account of that day, and a very articulate explanation of what he thinks happened since. Excerpt:
It's not that the "lessons of 9/11" have been forgotten by some; it's that they never truly believed them to be lessons, or at least did not see the same lessons most of us did. What 9/11 taught most of us was that our respective political philosophies were not simply correct but more demonstrably correct than ever; what may have been incongruous or discomforting to liberals about 9/11 has since been recontextualized, retrofitted, and retconned so that for liberals too 9/11 proves they were right all along.Great post, and so were many more I found in LawHawk's great post and roundup which Glenn linked.
From The Anchoress, a prayer:
In the tragedy and terror of 9/11 we saw the best and the worst of humanity. I pray never have to again.AJ Strata remembers in a way few others would this close to an election -- by saluting the left's favorite villain -- the much maligned George W. Bush.
George Bush leaves office with al-Qaeda now the enemy of Islam in much of the Muslim Street. Just as there are Nazis running around still today, one day soon al-Qaeda will just be the sign of a sick and deranged mind, hopefully trapped by the laws of lands barely tolerant of them due to the basic respects to the individual of democracy. We are well on the path to reaching that day - thanks to George W Bush.Jules Crittenden quotes from a prior remembrance:
Logic is irrelevant in combating these fears, as it is with children who fear monsters under the bed. This is not to disparage these fears. The threat is real. And while statistically remote, there is a factor that elevates terrorism beyond the many mundane fates we all dodge daily. It is the malice.Don Surber
For most Americans, 9/11 is just another day. Stuff happens.And this:
The presidential candidates were to speak in a joint appearance in New York City today. It was billed as bipartisan.Great posts all.
MORE: I think it was very decent of both John McCain and Barack Obama to put aside their differences in order to remember 9/11:
SHANKSVILLE, Pa. (AP) - Recalling the nation's unity in a time of peril seven years ago, presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama placed their partisan contest on hold Thursday and spoke as one in honoring of the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.Glad to see it.
Barack is in trouble. So says Mind Ray Magician Karl Rove.
If Mr. Obama keeps attacking Mrs. Palin, he could suffer the fate of his Democratic predecessors. These assaults highlight his own tissue-thin résumé, waste precious time better spent reassuring voters he is up for the job, and diminish him -- not her.Good argument Barry. But it only works if you are up in the polls. Once you start free falling it works against you.
A debate between Mr. Obama and Mrs. Palin over executive experience also isn't smart politics for Democrats. As Mr. Obama talks down Mrs. Palin's record, voters may start comparing backgrounds. He won't come off well.Yeah Barry. That is not going to look so good.
Well Karl is on a roll so far. And then he makes a huge mistake in analysis.
In Denver two weeks ago, Mr. Obama said, "If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from." That's what he's trying to do, only the object of his painting is Sarah Palin, not John McCain.Actually, Barry is painting himself as low class. A gutter snipe. Normally it is the VPs roll to be the attack dog in the campaign. It allows the top dog to be above the fray and look "Presidential". So why has Barry reversed the rolls? First Biden is not up to the task and second Barry ∅ is only qualified for the VP slot. Under Hillary. That would have been a tough ticket to beat. However, given his performance so far I think it is safe to say that strong women scare him. I think that gives a big insight into his personal weakness.
In my post Midway For Obama I quoted Spengler of Asia Times on why Palin was an inspired choice. I think it is worth repeating:
McCain's selection was a statement of strength. America's voters will forgive many things in a politician, including sexual misconduct, but they will not forgive weakness.The longer the campaign goes on the more evidence we find of Obama's insecurity when dealing with strong women. Obama's shtick works with people who see themselves as victims. It was little noticed but I did a review of McCain's acceptance speech which I called The Sermon. I didn't mention it then but I will say it now. That speech was the opening shot in the war on "The Victim Culture". Why did John McCain survive as a prisoner of war? Because with the help of other prisoners he refused to be a victim. Even when he failed he did not fall into self pity.
And who is going to be the first major casualty of that war? Barry ∅. The champion of the victim. He is going to be a victim of his identification with the victims of the world. Every day he looks more and more like a master of self pity. A master of weakness. America is not interested in pity parties. It is not very attractive. At least not attractive enough to win Presidential Elections.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Why do they hate pigs?
Why, because the great Porky Pig defeated a suicide bomber, that's why.
And here's the video to prove it. Watch for yourself.
So now you know.
UPDATE: My thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the link, and a warm welcome to all.
For the record, the video is titled "Ali Baba Bound," and it was made in 1940.
I've watched it a couple of times, and while I don't want to sound like a conspiracy theorist, I have to ask something. Is it my imagination, or does that odd device the suicide bomber has strapped on his head bear a suspicious resemblance to a tube of lipstick?
MORE: Here's what I mean.
(From this link.)
Code language which cannot be decoded
In a fairly major news story today, I see that "community organizer" is now code language for race.
[New York Governor] Paterson referred to McCain's running mate Sarah Palin who compared her work experience to Obama's.Except I'm just not getting the reference to race, subtle or otherwise.
Unless all references to Obama are references to race, I'm stumped.
MORE: M. Simon comments below,
Saul Alinsky the original Community Organizer was white and Jewish. The Guys who sent Obama to Chicago were Jewish and white.He is right. The term is an Alinskyism:
Saul Alinsky, based in Chicago, is credited with originating the term "community organizer" during this time period. Alinksy wrote two books: Reveille for Radicals, published in 1946; and Rules for Radicals, published in 1971, which was adopted as a "bible" by many radical activists.Some important community organizers are listed:
Many of the most notable leaders in community organizing today emerged from the National Welfare Rights Organization. John Calkins of DART, Ernesto Cortes of the Industrial Areas Foundation, Wade Rathke of ACORN, John Dodds of Philadelphia Unemployment Project and Mark Splain of the AFL-CIO, among others.Pat Robertson is black?
MORE: If you're wondering about the definition of "community organizer," it's complicated and important . Read Frank J.'s FAQ.
UPDATE: My thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the link, and a warm welcome to all!
If only the accusers had read Frank J.'s diligent FAQ in the first place....
We could have all gotten along!
My outrage is more legitimate than yours!
"These are serious times and they call for a serious debate...spare me all the phony outrage. Spare me all the phony talk about change."I'd name the politician who said that, but it would spoil the suspense.
I have to say, though, that I enjoy phony outrage, and I don't understand why people are so upset about it. Are they actually, legitimately, outraged by phony outrage? I suppose they might be, but that's only one possibility.
I may be missing something, but right now I'm seeing four possibilities:
It's easy for anyone to say "My outrage is legitimate, but yours is phony."
But how are we to determine whether the outrage in question is phony or legitimate?
I'd call for an outrageous litmus test, but that would be outrageous. And phony.
Maybe I should issue a real call for phony change.
Genetic cherry picking
Barbara Oakley (author of Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed, and My Sister Stole My Mother's Boyfriend) is puzzled by the fact that psychologists (and many "social scientists") continue to oppose growing evidence that psychopathology has a strong biological and genetic component.
Noting that "the DSM in its current incarnation hasn't incorporated the seminal recent findings from neuroscience and personality genetics," she asks what I think is an excellent question:
...why have researchers for so long been certain that environment was the one and only explanation, and why have they been so extraordinarily antagonistic towards simple and obvious scientific findings involving genetics?(Via Dr. Helen.)
Oakley points out the historical downside to this approach, noting that parents once blamed themselves for things like schizophrenia and autism in children, and that many people suffered in the process. It's becoming more and more clear that the earlier these things can be identified, the better the ultimate result. The evidence is accumulating that some people are born with a genetic propensity towards evil. (Yeah, I'm thinking of some kids who recently burned a pit bull to death in Philadelphia. It would not surprise me if they were undiagnosed sadists at age three.)
But as Oakley points out, this threatens the entire field of (gulp) social science!
Sociology, unfortunately, is in an even worse situation--you don't want to even get me started on about a profession whose very livelihood seems to depend on denying the effects of genetics.Frankly, I have a more enjoyable time talking with my fundamentalist friends who deny evolution.Yeah, fundamentalists are more reasonable in that regard. It's not so much that they're less doctrinaire, but perhaps it comes from the fact that they're accustomed to living in a world where their religious views are routinely questioned. Sociologists live in a confused state in which their essentially moralistic worldview is seen not as the belief system it is, but as scientific fact. Anyone who questions them is therefore likely to be seen as either ignorant or evil. Additionally, they're not used to being questioned. (Personally, I try to be gentle in my discussions with such people, because they also interpret these disagreements as a negative judgment of their entire purpose in life -- something not easy for anyone to accept.)
However, the inconsistencies never cease to intrigue me. It completely escapes me how it can be that sexual preference is genetic (and homosexuals are said to be "born that way"), but yet there are absolutely no differences between the male and the female brain. That physical size and strength can be inherited, but not mental ability. The idea that IQ might be inherited is almost a heresy in the same circles which would fight like tigers to defend the idea that homosexuality is. It makes no sense unless you consider the possibility that they're more concerned with the consequences of the particular application of the theory than the theory itself.
What they're doing amounts to cherry picking. If they like the result, they allow for the genetic theory. If they don't, why, genetics must be ignored, and it's all to be blamed on the environment. This is often grounded in political considerations, and it is not limited to the left. It has long baffled me how many social conservatives will maintain that pedophilia is innate and cannot be cured, but homosexuality is a choice which can be. They might selectively cite scientific studies in support of their arguments, but there is nothing scientific about agendas driven by politics.
What's interesting to me is how this might interact with human free will. Genetic propensities do not dictate behavior so much as they motivate it. Free will is not negated, but strengthened. Someone with evil genes who can find a legitimate outlet could end up being a great credit to himself and society. In fact, if he knows that he has a genetic propensity towards evil, the awareness of it might inspire him in a way that being told society made him that way might not. In fact, psychopaths delight in telling society that "you made me this way."
...in your hearts and your own souls, you are as much responsible for the Vietnam war as I am for killing these people. . . .So says Charles Manson.
I suspect many sociologists agree, and I think that buttresses Manson's psychopathic claims into a sort of justification for his life. It's as if he's fulfilling society's prophecies. Bad societies make bad people, who are not born bad, but are instead the fault of bad societies. The individual is never defective, never at fault. This seems to remove free will and hope (if I can use that tired word) from the equation. What would have been the harm in telling Manson during his first juvenile incarceration that he had a genetic propensity for evil, which he might be able to overcome? Could it have made him any worse? I'm sure that sociologists would argue that telling a bad kid he has evil genes would harm his self esteem, but would it? Might it instead make him more capable of making informed choices than the current approach of blaming an evil society? Or would such people only seek each other out on the Internet and form "evil gene support groups"?
Unfortunately, I don't know the answers, but it strikes me that the current politically selective approach to dealing with scientific evidence is foolish.
You Can Have It Both Ways
∅bama has made a statement about pigs in lipstick that seems to insult Sarah Palin. In fact it seems to have insulted a lot of women.
If it was unintentional - ∅bama is a stupid politician.
If it was intentional - ∅bama is a stupid politician.
Proof positive you can have it both ways.
Which leads to the inescapable conclusion that ∅bama doesn't need the women's vote to win. You can see the McCain video response at Smeared Lipstick.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Evidently followers of ∅ don't want you to see the YouTube version of the video. So I have changed services.
It is also available here.
Acting Like Swine
There is a whole lot of smoke about Obama's latest insult of the McCain/Palin Campaign. Instapundit has a good roundup. It appears that Obama is resorting to something called the dozens. An art form popular in the ghetto where males hurl insults at each other to prove their manhood.
"The Dozens", also known as "Yo Momma Fights", is an element of the African American oral tradition in which two competitors, usually males, go head to head in a competition of often good-natured, ribald "trash talk". They take turns insulting--"cracking", "west coast dissin'," or "ranking" on--one another, their adversary's mother or other family member until one of them has no comeback. This is called playing the Dozens or doin' the Dozens, and sometimes dirty Dozens, The Dozens is a contest of personal power--of wit, self-control, verbal ability, mental agility and mental toughness. Each putdown, each "snap," ups the ante. Defeat can be humiliating; but a skilled contender, win or lose, may gain respect. The Dozens is one of the contributing elements in the development of hip hop, especially the practice of battling.So what is my advice to the McCain/Palin campaign? Keep it classy. Let the other side de-moralize themselves. As the Drill Sgt says: "Campaign's be they political or military are all about morale. Him that has it wins, him that don't becomes worm food."
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
holier than a pig?
Proving I guess that he has an intuitive instinct for insinuation, Barack Obama (always one to stay above "that kind of politics") made fun of Sarah Palin with a very clever pig reference:
Obama poked fun of McCain and Palin's new "change" mantra.Yes, and I suppose you can put lipstick on a donkey, and it will still be an ass.
But I guess he thinks some asses are holy -- too holy to be smeared with lipstick, at least.
The way this lipstick business is going, pretty soon we'll need toilet paper for wiping.
How many divisions?
To a suggestion that the Soviet Union encourage Catholicism in order to mollify the Pope during World War II, Joseph Stalin famously replied,
The Pope? How many divisions has he got?Cold-blooded and amoral, perhaps, but calculating political realities works pretty much the same way.
It may sound coldly calculating, but in politics, it's votes that matter. There are a number of people (myself included) who think that the Republican Party ought to drop the anti-gay song-and-dance once and for all.
Happily married gay couples with closets full of assault weapons. That's my vision for America, and it's a good one.The Stalinist Republican answer, of course, would be "How many voters have the happily married gay couples with closets full of assault weapons got?"
By the way, I said "Stalinist Republican" not merely to be facetious, but to make clear that the real Stalinist fear would be more along the lines of "How many guns have the happily married gay couples with closets full of assault weapons got?" (Yes, tiresome as the GOP gay debate has become, it is beyond dispute that gay couples with assault weapons are far more compatible with Republicans than Stalin.)
But "how many" is a fair question. In an earlier post, I estimated that the gay conservative vote is about 25% of 3%. In numbers, this translates into fewer than a million votes. (25% times 3% = 0.75% of 121,480,019 million votes = 911,110.) In a close election, that's certainly enough to make a difference, but in terms of political numbers, I have to ask what I'm sure many a strategist has asked:
Are gay conservatives outnumbered by anti-gay conservatives?
Has anyone objectively counted the anti-gay conservatives? I suspect that they have, but I also suspect that whoever does such counting would consider the number too politically sensitive to be released to the general public. By "anti-gay conservatives," I'm not talking about people who oppose gay marriage; I mean people and organizations I won't name but with whom we're all familiar who are paranoically single-minded about this issue. People who clung to (if I may say that) sodomy laws, who fret about the existence of gays in the GOP, and who spend their time organizing boycotts of "gay friendly" companies while denouncing gay-friendly Republicans as "anti-family." Quite frankly, I have no idea how many of them they are. But I suspect the number is a small fraction of the number who oppose gay marriage.
The problem with my hard and cold Stalinist analysis is it isn't just a question of tallying up gay conservatives and anti-gay conservatives to see who has the most. Suppose each group has 911,000. There is a much larger group of Republicans who are not gay, and who may not go out of their way to be "gay friendly" but who are most decidedly not anti-gay. They might not like the gay left (something they share with most gay conservatives), and they might disagree with same sex marriage, but that does not mean they agree with the anti-gay right. So the question becomes, how many of them are there, and how might they vote?
Another underlying consideration is the independent voters, who could go either way. I don't know how many of them are gay or gay-friendly, but common sense suggests to me that not very many of them are dyed in the wool anti-gay activists.
If the Republican Party is seen as more anti-gay friendly than gay-friendly, I think it is doubtful that this will draw many independents in; the question becomes how many independents would be driven away.
Thus, the problem with analyzing the numbers is that a pure head count of the gays versus the anti-gays alone cannot reveal the effect this dispute has on people who are not single-issue-minded in their orientation. As divisive issues go, this one's pretty bad, because (as I've said many times), there really isn't much chance of compromise. (Unless, of course, a "bigoted and immoral alliance" can be acheived. I can dream, can't I?)
Oh, and speaking of numbers, there's also this survey:
A recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive found that among adults online, gays and lesbians read more blogs than heterosexuals.Yes, but how many divisions does the blogosphere have?
(An infinite number, I'm afraid....)
Nationalization in all but name
"Nationalization" is a word normally associated with socialist dictators and petty Third World tyrants. In this country, the government is not supposed to nationalize companies, much less entire industries. Instead, it bails them out or buys them up when they run into trouble.
The end result? The government runs them just as if they had been seized with military force. I'm not an economist, but I'm having trouble seeing this as anything other than de facto nationalization.
In a piece titled "Risk for thee but not for me," David Harsanyi looks at the disgraceful (IMO) bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac not as a singular event, but as part of a trend:
The bailout allegedly will cost taxpayers approximately $200 billion. And, as you know, federal projections are always on target.Harsanyi does not spare Republicans:
Now, not only has a Republican administration boosted an incontrovertibly unfree market, but Democrats are selling Americans on the idea that similar centralization and regulation will benefit us in the areas of health care and energy.Harsanyi goes on to make the case for privatization, and while I agree, the powers that be seem to be in near-unanimous agreement that privatization is a dirty word. That privatization is what caused the problem. Common sense would suggest it's the government guarantees; that when these large private sector entities know that the taxpayers will bail them out, they have no incentive to be responsible. Yet the only people who seem to be able to grasp this common sense notion are the ordinary middle class taxpayers who have to balance a checkbook and pay their bills -- precisely the ones whose money supplies the guarantee. In what adds insult to injury, the tax-eaters don't even seem to understand that the money they are eating comes from the tax payers. It's as if they think "the government" is another gigantic unaccountable entity with an unlimited supply of money.
In the Third World countries that practice nationalization at gunpoint, they can always print more. And if that fails, they can engage in things like outright confiscation of wealth, or not allowing people to move their money.
Hope we don't go that route.
Not as funny as it sounds; in California there's a ballot initiative which would confiscate wealth, and impose a 55% "Exit Tax." Fortunately, California remains a state in which taxpayers still constitute a voting majority, so I doubt it will pass.
But what would happen if tax eaters ever became the majority? If de facto nationalization of the private sector continues as a growth "industry" the way it has, pretty soon most people will be transformed into de facto tax eaters, because they'll be working for the government.
And when we're all working for the government, who will pay the taxes?
I'm glad I'm not an economist.
Obama Piggybank Broke
A few days ago American Thinker did a post on how the ∅bama money machine was breaking down.
We have heard quite a lot over the past year about Barack Obama's fund raising prowess. But the good times may be over.Ah yes. Finally. Change we can believe in.
The American Thinker links to a Wall Street Journal article.
During the primary campaign, Sen. Obama set fund-raising records while Sen. McCain struggled to meet monthly budgets. Now it appears Sen. Obama's money advantage is far smaller than it was assumed to be early on.How can they do it? They take the money given and divvy it up into smaller chunks to stay within the law. ∅bama has a similar operation but it is not working as well as the McCain fund raising efforts.
Sen. Obama turned down the government funds, opting instead to raise money from the public. When he secured the Democratic nomination in early June, Sen. Obama's campaign said it hoped to raise a total of $480 million for his campaign and the Democratic National Committee.The Journal goes on to describe how the money being raised will go to support Republicans in House and Senate races. Of course all the money coming from the McCain campaign will go to unify the message of the Republicans across the board.
It looks like the ∅ campaign is having trouble raising money according to their plan.
After months of record-breaking fund raising, a new sense of urgency in Sen. Barack Obama's fund raising team is palpable as the full weight of the campaign's decision to bypass public financing for the general election is upon them.Extremely anemic. Which means that instead of campaigning ∅ will have to take time out to raise money. It becomes a vicious cycle. The more time he spends fund raising the less time he has to garner free media making him look weaker, lowering his fund raising ability.
The Obama campaign is struggling to meet the goals it set in mid-June of raising $300 million for the campaign and more than $150 million for the party, fund raisers said. As of the end of July, the Obama campaign was well short of the $100 million a month pace it had set, taking in about $77 million between the campaign and the party that month.I think we can start a death watch for the Obama campaign. One sign is that they begin thrashing around striking in every direction and going off message. What was their message? Let me see if I can remember. Oh yeah. Hope and Change. And what have they been doing lately? Well it seems like Sarah Palin has become a burr under their saddle. And they are lashing out hard. This has two effects. It leaves McCain untouched and draws sympathy for Palin. Every blow they strike comes back at them doubled. What is the best thing to do in that case? Nothing. Get back on message and sell your plan. I believe it is something they are incapable of. They can't hold their fire and regroup. Why? They don't have the strength to appear weak.
The New York Times has an interesting report from California.
A California fund-raiser familiar with the party's August performance estimated that it raised roughly $17 million last month, a drop-off from the previous month, and finished with just $13 million in the bank.Hmmm. I find that suspicious. Of course they can announce anything they want and it will be a while until the facts can be checked.
The Republican Party can spend unlimited amounts of its money independent of the McCain campaign. It can also split the costs of so-called hybrid advertisements with the campaign, commercials that must promote not only Mr. McCain but also other Republicans down the ticket, something media strategists said could be ineffective when trying to create a cohesive message. Nevertheless, McCain fund-raisers pointed out the pressure is now on the Obama campaign to raise far more than it ever has before.Well yes it could be ineffective if there is no unified message. So what might a unified message look like? How about Energy security = economic security = national security. Gee. That was tough. How did I outsmart the media strategists? Just lucky I guess. We will see if the Republicans follow my advice.
So how is fund raising in the black community coming along? For that we have to depend on the BBC for our news.
Nigerian anti-graft investigators have seized money raised by the head of the Nigerian Stock Exchange to support US presidential candidate Barack Obama.Well, well, well. ∅bama was once associated with the group but now that the fraud is out in the open they are under the bus. What an embarrassment. I wonder if ∅bama has any other friends in the world who would like to see him become President?
How about a Saudi Billionaire?
New evidence has emerged that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was closely associated as early as age 25 to a key adviser to a Saudi billionaire who had mentored the founding members of the Black Panthers.Well there is enough there that you can start looking deeper into the connection. I want to go forward with another of ∅bama's overseas friends. Nadhmi Auchi.
A British-Iraqi billionaire lent millions of dollars to Barack Obama's fundraiser just weeks before an imprudent land deal that has returned to haunt the presidential contender, an investigation by The Times discloses.Well that is right neighborly of him.
You know if Obama's overseas pals don't come through for him and Americans won't pøny up for the phøny he could very well lose the election. I hope so.
And to finish this off how about a little anecdotal evidence from No Quarter
Comment by sayitisntso 2008-09-09 00:43:42Well that is good news indeed. Without Michigan it will be nearly impossible for ∅bama to win the election.
Let me just add that there is so much I have left out of this report. Read all the supporting material and remember Google is your friend.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
A Trainwreck Waiting To Happen
H/T No Quarter
Tha Man Behind Rumor Control
For those of you who frequent Just One Minute you would know the guy being interviewed better as commenter Charlie(Colorado). You can find more details on his rumor control pages with links at Palin Rumor Control.
The Alaskan Hick Bitch
It seems like I have a commenter who doesn't like hick bitches. Especially if they are from Alaska.
I would personally like to thank the commenter for driving the bitch vote, the hick vote, and the hick bitch vote to MCain/Palin. I'm sure they will welcome with open arms all the votes ∅ doesn't need.
Thank you from a supporter of the McCain/Palin Team. And please keep it up.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
In an editorial titled "Can You Say 'Sexist'?", Newsweek's Anna Quindlen brings up an incident from November of last year in an attempt to prove that McCain endorses calling women "bitches."
John McCain has been no advocate for women; when asked during the primaries, on the subject of Senator Clinton, "How do we beat the bitch?" he responded, "Excellent question." (Note to the GOP: that IS sexist.)OK, it is certainly rude to call any woman a bitch, just as it is rude to call a man a bastard or an asshole or a prick. (There are worse terms for both sexes, but I'll try to avoid George Carlin's seven words, not because I'm a priggish moralist, but because I try to be polite and I try to avoid agitating the Net Nannies when I can.) But these terms are not necessarily sexist unless they are used specifically to denigrate a person because of that person's sex. If a man calls a man a bastard, is that any different from a woman calling a woman a bitch? So, if a woman call a man a bastard, why would that be less sexist than a man calling a woman a bitch? (Likewise, if there are sexist bastards, why not sexist bitches?)
As it happens, the entire incident was caught on video, which shows that the question to McCain was posed by a woman, and McCain, while laughing it off, did try to be as polite as possible under the circumstances.
I think he was being every inch a gentleman, under slightly awkward circumstances. Hardly a sexist.
But what do I know? Watch it for yourself.
Perhaps I'm insensitive. The thing is, in some of the circles I've lived and worked in, men call each other bitches with some regularity. (Just try analyzing the sexist nuances of the phrase "you bitch" when you're the "bitch" sometime...)
At the risk of sounding like an asshole, I think it's fair to say that "sexism" can be a real bitch to pin down.
Anna Quindlen may be in need of sensitivity training.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Sarah Is A Bitter Clinger
∅bama said today:
Obama told the crowd that McCain and Palin spent most of the convention talking about their biographies.I thought ∅bama needed the votes of the "bitter clingers" to win the election. I guess he must be way up in the polls. Øøps. Maybe not.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
A grave issue?
Dick Polman has a list of questions he believes should be asked of Sarah Palin, and one of them compares AIP founder Joe Vogler to Jeremiah Wright, without (IMO) laying a proper foundation that the two even knew each other, much less saw each other weekly for decades.
...why do you continue to associate with a group whose founder, Joe Vogler, declared that "the fires of hell are glaciers compared to my hate for the American government" and declared that "I've got no use for America or her damned institutions"? Governor, why haven't you renounced this man, the way that Senator Obama has renounced Jeremiah Wright?I don't know how chummy Palin is with the AIP, but I don't think she's very chummy with Vogler.
How could she be? The man died in 1993.
How does one go about renouncing a corpse?
By now everyone realizes that Google seeks world domination, and their new browser, Chrome, gives us the reason why we should make the switch.
Apparently because Simon says:
Religion in schools
The more perspicacious among our readers may have gathered that I am a public school teacher. I may just be among the smallest minorities in the profession: atheist, libertarian, Republican, skeptic.
The last of these in me was amused by an e-mail with which one colleague plagued the district today: an effort to sell a Salt Crystal Lamp:
I have new - in the box - never used - Himalayan Salt Crystal Lamp. These lamps release healthy negative ions to keep the air you breathe pollution free. They are also pretty.
Boy, am I glad she hasn't wasted any of those negative ions yet. I can use all the negative ions I can get, and as everyone knows, there's nothing more healthful than HIMALAYAN salt crystals. They are formed from the tears of dying sherpas, weeping with joy at thoughts of nirvana.
And did I mention that they are also pretty?
Knowing this about a colleague gives me all the more reason to oppose the intrusion of the personal and the ideological (in this case the idiotical?) in the classroom.
vengeful fashionistas in floral shorts
From the looks of this outfit, it really and truly appears that the men's fashion industry is involved in a conspiracy to upset Ann Althouse.
(Via Glenn Reynolds, who properly calls the above "A MEN'S FASHION EEEEW!")
My conspiracy theory doesn't take much imagination if we consider that Ann Althouse is the most outspokenly anti-shorts-on-men blogger (she even has a category of posts on the subject), and if we consider that above outfit constitutes the most absolutely, unspeakably, unbearably dreadful example of shorts on men in the history of modern fashion. (Seriously, I dare not show the above picture to Coco, my lipstick-wearing pit bull, lest it frighten the bejeezus out of her.)
Why, it's the most absolutely unspeakably dreadful example since Brooks Brothers's last dreadful example, in the form of a similar (if slightly more masculine) look. At the time, I took issue with Brooks Brothers, suggested that they find a more appropriate model, and proposed John Edwards as the ideal candidate:
Instead of following my advice, the fashion industry has now upped the ante, with silly floral Little Lord Fauntleroy outfits that no self-respecting boy man (no, not even John Edwards) would ever wear. Why, the latest outfit is so silly and frivolous that Sarah Palin wouldn't be caught dead in it, and she's a woman.
As I say, unless the goal is simply to upset Ann Althouse, I can think of no other explanation.
Yeah, I realize that such reactionary behavior by the fashion industry demonstrates the ultimate power of the blogosphere, but consider the effect it might have on innocent fashion victims (who might go out and buy such an outfit, only to be murdered later by angry mobs). How low can the fashionist titans stoop?
Alternate conspiracy theories are welcome.
I Think He Is Stupid
In this video ∅bama talks about the earmarks Governor Palin accepted. That has got to be a dumb move. From a guy who is smart enough to graduate from Harvard and teach at the University of Chicago. Because the next McCain ad is going to deal with all the earmarks ∅bama voted for. Including one that helped the son of his good friend Joe Biden. Can you say "culture of corruption"? I knew you could.
I was absolutely sure after the 2004 election that the Democrats couldn't possibly run a worse candidate than Kerry this year. How wrong I was. Just another of my many errors in judgment. My sincere apologies to all concerned. Just consider it part of my never ending entertainment value.
So could the Ds do worse in 2012? At this point I think I have to give credit where credit is due. I'd say there is a strong possibility.
Interesting point: The video is captioned on YouTube Obama punches back. Except the blow is a strong upper cut to his own chin. Any one know how you score that in boxing?
Accept No Substitutes
H/T Hot Air
Why are they desperate?
Speaking of libertarians and Sarah Palin, I can think of no fiercer libertarian pundit than Vin Suprynowicz. (He's long been one of my favorites.) I have to say, it came as a surprise to me to see that he's endorsing the McCain-Palin ticket. Not that he considers McCain a libertarian. But then, McCain is not claiming to be a libertarian. Bob Barr is, however, and Suprynowicz just isn't buying:
...This year,  the Libertarian Party has nominated Fearless Drug Warrior Bob Barr, a man who has opposed medical marijuana initiatives, opposed needle exchanges, a man who zealously locked up for years those seeking to peacefully medicate themselves or help others to do so, shoving them into small cages where they're subject to anal rape by guys named "Bubba."Like me, Suprynowicz harbors no delusions that McCain is a closeted libertarian trapped in a centrist Republican's body. Still, he recognizes that the man has integrity and character:
Wishing won't make John McCain a small-government libertarian. But think back to how the defeatist fellow-travelers in the media ridiculed him when he said The Surge could defeat al-Qaida in Iraq.There's something about the frantic attacks coupled with transparent "helpful advice" to McCain that he avoid "another Eagleton" that evinces pure desperation. Suprynowicz looks closely at this, and offers a disturbing explanation.
Why the desperation?Save itself from whom?
Why, from them, of course!
The only thing I'd add is that I have long believed that what "they" most fear is an alliance between libertarians and social conservatives. I'm not saying this will necessarily happen, but if it ever did, the fallout would be very bad.
Why, such a thing might even jeopardize the very future of socialism!
Getting up to speed with the eyelashes and backlashes
Abe Greenwald has a post titled "Oprah Windbag" -- the gist of which is that Oprah Winfrey is (surprise) putting politics ahead of her purported tear-driven concerns about children with Down's Syndrome.
Apparently, her concerns are so tear-soaked that her false eyelashes are affected:
The web of "spiritual" gobbledygook around the Oprah Winfrey phenomenon is as thick and tacky as the fake eye-lashes she cried off her face during Barack Obama's speech last Thursday. But if you do decide to "Live Your Best Life" and venture into the misty realms of Oprah's "Angel Network," you'll find on her web page a dropdown menu under "Spirit," and the last option there-after "Know Yourself," "Inspiration," "Emotional Health," and "Body Image"-is "Martha Beck." Beck is one of the luminaries in Oprah's pantheon of guru saints, and if I were her I'd be severing all ties with Oprah today.I can't sever my ties with Oprah, because in all the years she's been on I have never watched an entire episode of the show. The snippets I did see on occasion (when flipping through the channels) struck me as emotional, manipulative, and insincere. So I just wasn't a fan, and I can't sever my ties. Nor do I wear false eyelashes which might detach if I started bawling.
But I guess millions of people are influenced by Oprah's falling eyelashes. And something called a "kindness chain":
...if she believes in a fraction of what she celebrates about Beck's story and really wants to "start a kindness chain" as she professes on her website then she should explain to Beck, and her own audience, why she's refusing to have Sarah Palin on her show. What greater living exemplar of all the sentiments expressed above than Sarah Palin - a woman whose unconditional love for her Down's Syndrome child could serve as a the most effective public object lesson imaginable. Oprah should explain to Beck, and her trusting audience, why on Dec 4, 2007, she put out a casting call for "10 to 11 year olds with DS [Down Syndrome] and good speaking skills" to "say a line for [her] Martin Luther King episode," but after crying her eyelashes off on the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream Speech," she is refusing to have on her show a mother who embodies the spirit of love and acceptance professed by Dr. King. She needs to tell Martha Beck: "Yeah, I know about your son, and I know about my whole pledge to change lives for the better and all that, but you see, the thing is I signed on to support Barack Obama, and I have to stay true to his message of hope, change, and the American promise."I don't know how the show works, but maybe Oprah needs more tears and more detachable eyelashes to deal with the inevitable backlashes.
Election Fraud Control
I did a couple of posts earlier in this election season on election fraud. You can read them at What Counts? and at Black Box Voting. So what is to be done to prevent this election from being stolen? Here is what a commenter at No Quarter suggests.
I was advised to be very alerted to this by taking a camara or a photo mobile phone with me when I go to the poll station in November. If you see anyting suspecious or fraudulent, photograph it and report to Republican Lawers on the following websites:Republican National Lawyers Association
Now who might you want to be on the look out for? A group called ACORN.
Late last month six people hired by ACORN were indicted for their role in filing false voter registration forms involving a 2006 drive to increase Missouri's minimum wage.Here is something else interesting I'll bet you didn't know about ACORN:
ACORN is a former legal client of Senator Obama's, as the Sun-Times reported in 2006:Voter fraud? From a Chicago Machine politician? I'm shocked. Actually I think the Chicago Machine needs to be praised. Jesus brought a few people back from the dead. Jesus himself is reported to have come back from the dead. But the Chicago Machine is special. They bring tens of thousands back from the dead. No wonder they hail ∅bama as The One.In 1995, former Republican Gov. Jim Edgar refused to implement the federal "Motor Voter" law, which Republicans argued could invite fraud and which some Republicans feared could swell the ranks of Democratic voters.
It seems the Obama campaign has rather close ties to ACORN.
JAFFA, Israel - Did Sen. Barack Obama's campaign attempt to hide a paid working relationship with a radical leftist organization that has admitted to major financial improprieties and has been convicted in numerous major voter fraud scandals?That ∅bama. He has such an honest face.
Here is an interesting case of Name That Party.
Milwaukee has discovered some more voter fraud with 10 more voter registration workers are being investigated by Wisconsin authorities. Fittingly, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel covered the story in its paper on August 29. Unfittingly, the Journal Sentinel forgot one, tiny aspect of the story... that the voter fraud was perpetrated by Democrats. In fact, one of the organizations, ACORN, is intimately linked with Barack Obama.Yes it is a surprise. Why would an honest Party like the Democrats do such a thing? I blame it on a few bad apples. ∅bama, that proud community organizer, has been duped. No way he could be involved in such shenanigans.Milwaukee's top election official said Thursday she plans to seek criminal investigations of 10 more voter registration workers, including two accused of offering gifts to sign up voters.So, what we have here is an Old Media story about voter fraud where the salient fact that the fraud is being committed by Democrats and Democrat organizations is somehow absent from the story. What a surprise, eh?
I think this year's election advice has to be the same as the election advice in 2004: if it isn't close they can't cheat. Well at least not enough to win.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Michael Moore Gets It
No seriously. He gets it.
But before everyone gets all smug and self-righteous about the Palin selection, remember where you live. You live in a nation of gun owners and hunters. You live in a country where one out of three girls get pregnant before they are 20. You live in a nation of C students. Knocking Bush for being a C student only endeared him to the nation of C students. Knock Palin for having kids, for having a kid who's having a baby, for anything that is part of her normalness -- a normalness that looks very familiar to so many millions of Americans -- well, you do this at your own peril. Assuming she's still on the ticket two weeks from now, she will be a much tougher opponent than anyone expects.Now I have read the rest of the piece so you don't have to. And I really don't recommend it. It is his usual load of crap.
But in that one paragraph he shows that he at least knows the American scene. He may not like it. But he does know it.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
An Interview There Will Be
Talk Left is discussing the pressure on Sarah Palin to do an interview. They basically have covered the bases so I'm just going to let them have their say. Pretty smart for a bunch of lefties. If you want to stop reading this post now let me just give you the short version. Those clamoring for an interview by a major Shrinking Media outlet have been pwned.
Here is a person who thinks that all the "she is afraid to be interviewed" stuff in numerous comments on the 'net have worked in Palin's favor.
Lowered the bar again. by Chisoxy on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 05:35:31 PM ESTI know the answer, ask me ask me. A little farther behind. Of course it does help ∅bama, it takes the spotlight off Biden.
Now here is a commenter who understands PR. Give kredwyn a cigar.
Isn't it a rule of PR... by kredwyn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 05:40:49 PM ESTWell yes it is. For Democrats. For Republicans - not so much.
The McCain campaign is playing this by tootired on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 05:47:18 PM ESTSince in politics as in warfare moral forces prevail, getting the opposition in a bad psychological state is the first step to a win. And if you can get them in a bad enough state, an easy win.
In StrategyBHL Hart suggests that the best tactic is to hold off your offense until the defense is frothing:
It was Lenin who enunciated the axiom that 'the soundest strategy in war is to postpone operations until the moral disintegration of the enemy renders the delivery of the mortal blow both possible and easy.'I think press access to Sarah will be rationed. This gives the campaign the leverage to choose the interviewer and makes the rest of the press start behaving better in the hopes of an interview. Sound tactics. As one of the commenters alluded to above: these guys are no ordinary fiddlers.
Now here is a commenter that notices something important.
This is why the GOP by Salo on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 06:07:01 PM ESTSo how about the Dem ticket. Well if you want to score it that would be 2 lawyers to 0 lawyers. Which clearly puts the Democrats behind. Which reminds me of a joke I read in a comment today in reference to Sarah Palin being a pit bull with lipstick. The commenter said "They put the lipstick on the wrong end of the pit bull". OK. Back to serious stuff.
The downside? by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 05:31:03 PM ESTRuh, Roh.
Now here is some really bad news for Democrats
Historically, by tootired on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 06:45:10 PM ESTWell as of today the candidates are tied, even steven, although some polls give McCain/Palin a slight but statistically insignificant margin.
Now I have a theory as to why the polls tend to go in the Republican direction as it gets closer to election time. Pollsters cheat. When the election is at hand they want to be as close as possible because it makes them look good. But in the early stages of the election season they want to demoralize the Republicans. The bad thing though is that it gives the Democrats over confidence and they can't figure out why they lose elections. You know, it is the old "but we were way ahead in the polls" refrain.
Baring some catastrophe it looks to me like the Democrats have lost the election. I expect the ∅bama campaign to get more frantic as time goes on.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Palin Rumor Control
I'm sure by now you have heard many rumors about Sarah Palin. I think the latest is that she censors books. Well no. Here is a site and its blogspot mirror that can be used to check out rumors. It has links to sources.
If you hear a rumor that is not on the list leave a link in the comments at either site and Charlie will check it out.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
A commenter named baked at Just One Minute was trying to explain ∅bama's position on Iraq and the surge vs McCain's position on Iraq and the surge. He wasn't doing a very good job so Charlie(Colorado) cleared it up for him.
So, baked, you're saying you prefer someone who got it wrong once and changed his mind to someone who got it wrong, changed his mind, changed his mind again, said he didn't change his mind, said claiming he'd changed his mind was a distraction, changed his mind again, said he didn't mean what he'd said, changed his mind again, and finally changed his mind and said that even though he was wrong before he was right to be wrong because being wrong wasn't right.The next clarifying statement I expect from ∅bama on the subject is "I've said all along..."
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Scared in San Francisco
Former San Francisco Mayor and California Assembly Speaker Willie Brown is a veteran politician who ought to know trouble when he sees it. And in today's San Francisco Chronicle, he sees trouble -- big trouble, for the Democrats -- in the form of Sarah Palin:
The Democrats are in trouble. Sarah Palin has totally changed the dynamics of this campaign.Talk like that is enough to send chills up the spine of every liberal in San Francisco and beyond.
(Via Jonah Goldberg, who doesn't seem frightened.)
Proud to be a traitor
Phyllis Chesler has written one of the most depressing posts I've read in a long time. ("The Coming Civil War in America.") Chesler paints an America I would hate to live in, of two hopelessly irreconcilable "cultures" -- each of which is basically at war with the other:
Each of the Presidential candidates and those who support them are fighting for the soul of America. Each has a radically different world view; each inhabits a radically different culture. They listen to different music, watch different movies, read different media. Each mainly socializes only with others who are like themselves. They do not talk to those with whom they disagree and when they do, it is often with anger and contempt.If I thought America really was about two hopelessly different cultures, I'd leave.
Let me admit my bias: as I have said numerous times, I am an admitted traitor to the damnable, despicable "Culture War." There should not be any "war" at all based on tastes and values. These things are personal. This is supposed to be a free country based on the Constitution and respect for individuality, not identity groups filled with like-minded conformist assholes who can't wait to grab power so they can impose their competing value systems on the other side.
I think that most Americans (regardless of their individual tastes) reject such tribalist nonsense, and if I didn't think so, it would be time for me to consider moving to another country. Otherwise, if I stay here, I can look forward to being a traitor, and if a war starts over this nonsense, I will do my best to betray both sides, as I have nothing but contempt for people who would go to war over tastes and (gag) values. (A weasel word I hate so much I grabbed it as a satirical blog name six years ago -- my reasons remaining as misunderstood now as then, much to my delight.)
So, much as I'd like to be dismissive, thoughts like this worry me:
If McCain wins-I predict that the cultural wars will not only intensify but will turn into the beginnings of the next Civil War in America.I sincerely hope McCain wins, and I certainly hope Phyllis Chesler is wrong.
What kind of culture war are we talking about? A war over what, exactly? Conservative SWAT teams breaking down liberal doors in search of forbidden values? Or vice versa?
Before we start shooting each other, I think we all ought to take a deep breath.
For God's sake, even the dreaded Sarah Palin smoked pot.
(Something to remember before we exhale.)
What's up with that? Can't they even agree on the "values" they're supposed to be imposing on everyone else?
A hell of a way to run a civil war, I'd say....
NEWSFLASH: The civil war may have suffered another setback.
Palin's running mate, John McCain, and the GOP platform say children should be taught that abstinence until marriage is the only safe way to avoid pregnancy and disease. Palin's position is less clear.I'll say. What I'm unable to discern is whether she's always been condom friendly, or whether she's gone wobbly since she became governor.
Needless to say, this could have serious repercussions on the war against condoms on bananas.
The bird who cried wolf?
While I never like to read news reports about police kicking in the doors of people's houses, at least this one was different:
TRENTON, N.J. - Cries for help inside a Trenton, N.J., home turned out to be for the birds. Neighbors called police Wednesday morning after hearing a woman's persistent cry of "Help me! Help me!" coming from a house. Officers arrived and when no one answered the door, they kicked it in to make a rescue.Hey, at least they didn't use a SWAT team.
This is the sort of story which could be spun into an interesting question on a law school exam. Suppose the occupants had been home when the police entered, that the bird stopped yelling, but the owners were having a loud and animated time in bed -- with which the bird had been vocally interacting (as psittacines are wont to do). The clueless officers then go upstairs to "help" the woman in distress, and are greeted by her husband -- just interrupted from sex -- who, thinking there's a burglary in progress, grabs a gun. Who gets shot? Who's fault is it? Who is chargeable with what? Suppose it turns out that the neighbor knew they had a noisy bird that often shrieked "HELP ME!", that she wanted the police to do something about the noise, and figured that reporting the cries without adding the details about the bird would get a more effective police response. Would she be liable too? Or would she be immunized from suit because this was a report to a government agency? (Remember, she did not lie; she just didn't tell them the whole story...) What about the dispatcher, who did not ask the neighbor whether she was certain the cries were coming from a human being?
Add a SWAT team, and it could get even more interesting....
HTML Lesson: Zero
To help you improve your html skills today we are going to cover characters with slashes through them.
First is the capital letter "O" the code for it looks like this: Ø When rendered it looks like this: Ø
Second is the small letter "o" the code for it looks like this: ø When rendered it looks like this: ø
Third is one of my favorites, the symbol for the empty set. The code for it looks like this: ∅ When rendered it looks like this: ∅
If you want to teach some one how to make a ∅bama you can use this code: &empty;bama
For a whole table of special character codes visit here.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Capture The Flag
You can read more about this story at Used Flags.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Cross Posted at Power and Control
The last post (about religious proselytization) reminded me of a lesson I learned in childhood, which seems timely.
An older Catholic woman in the neighborhood used to threaten non-Catholic children with damnation in no uncertain terms.
"If you aren't a Catholic, you will go to hell!"
Needless to say, this is a frightening thought to a child -- especially a non-Catholic child (which I was). That's because children are taught to believe adults, especially when they talk in an authoritative manner, and if an adult stranger says something like that, the only recourse is to go to a trusted familiar authority, which in this case was my father. When I asked him whether I'd go to hell for not being Catholic, he said that he didn't believe in the Catholic doctrines, but that some people did, and that this was a free country where people were allowed to believe in whatever they wanted. In other countries, they weren't. So I came to see this misguided woman as a lesson in freedom as opposed to a threat to my freedom. It's hard to forget something like that. She was free to threaten me with hell, and I was free to ignore her.
I wish more people could see religious disagreements that way, but they don't. Instead, they get incredibly exercised. This is not to say that I appreciate someone telling me I'll go to hell, but because of the nature of religion in a free country, that is an inevitable byproduct. Millions of people believe passionately that millions of others will go to hell, and if this is played out mathematically, it means that almost everyone is going to hell by someone else's definition. Not something to lose sleep over, and it shouldn't even frighten children.
Take away that freedom to tell people they're going to hell, and you're imposing a religious restriction on them. The other night, I watched the movie Becket, starring Peter O'Toole as King Henry II and Richard Burton as his once-beloved, eventually martyred archbishop. What pushed Henry over the top was Becket's habit of telling people to go to hell -- quite literally in those days, for he was vested with authority to send them there, via a process called excommunication. The power struggle between Henry and Saint Thomas played itself out in different forms many times over the centuries. Should the state run the church? Or should the church run the state? Many people died in that unending power struggle, which was historically much fresher in the minds of the founders of this country than it is in people's minds today. The founders did the best they could to keep both entities at arm's length, so that the state could not run the church and the church (or churches) could not run the state.
As the founders knew, Henry VIII had not ended the debate by taking over the church, executing religious leaders, sacking monasteries, and desecrating the shrine and relics of Saint Thomas. The battle between church and state continued (with England committing regicide in the process), and it was very much alive at the time of America's founding.
I think this very old debate between church and state is still very much alive, and is currently manifesting itself as a debate between religious zealots and atheist zealots. The former militate against separation of church and state, while the latter want the state to encroach on the right to free exercise of religion by prohibiting the acknowledgement of God by public officials or even individuals in schools. (In practice, the former seem to want to make people pray, while the latter want to prevent people from praying.)
Perhaps it was good for me to be told I was going to hell, because it deepened my understanding of why it's better for people to be told they're going to hell than for the government to make it a "hate crime" to tell them they're going to hell.
Religion should not have the power to control government. Nor should government have the power to control religion.
So simple a child could understand it, until you try putting it in practice.
Proselytizers who won't leave people alone
I can't stand proselytization. I'm one of those people who wants to be left alone in matters of personal conscience. My beliefs about the unknown are as much by business as is my sexuality, and I don't like it when people try to tell me what I should be doing with my body or my soul. Both are my business and not theirs.
So I don't like groups like Exodus (which tries to recruit gays into turning straight) any more than I would like the idea of gays trying to turn straight people gay. (Also, the phenomenon of "outing" is something I find deeply disturbing, because it violates the personal, private lives of people in order to advance the political agenda of others.)
Something I consider even worse is the organized attempt to convert Jews to Christianity. The reason I think it's worse is because of the long, horrendous history of anti-Semitism (which I don't think requires elaboration here). I find organizations like Jews for Jesus more repellant than Exodus. Yet at the same time, I recognize the First Amendment rights of both.
While I didn't say anything at the time, it really bothered the hell out of me a few years ago to go to a church of a good friend and see pamphlets in their common area from both "Exodus" and "Jews for Jesus." I didn't say anything because it would have been rude and I'm not the argumentative sort, but I never forgot it. While I don't belong to any organized religion (as a fuzzy Pagan-Christian Deist who'd have me?), I would never have anything to do with a church like that.
However, in all fairness to the church which offended me, I'm the first to recognize that the pamphlets might very well have been put there by professional activists. (Regular readers know how I feel about activists; there are religious activists as well as political activists, and these proselytizing outfits are religious/political hybrids.)
While I haven't been keeping up with the rantings of the left as I perhaps should, this morning I awoke with a start with memory of my friend's church looming large in my mind, and the thought "What about Sarah Palin's church?" would not go away.
Sure enough, her church shares some of the same conversion issues which bothered me. Nothing new or surprising about converting the gays. The unfortunate reality is that many fundamentalists embrace the busybody idea; it fuels mutual animosity, but just goes with the turf, and most conservative gays are able to separate a candidate's religious views from his or her political or personal philosophy. (In Palin's case, she not only was able to veto a bill denying health care benefits to same sex partners, but she seems to have gay friends, who probably wouldn't hang out with someone who waved the Bible at them and threatened them with Hell on a regular basis.)
However, with gay conservatives, in terms of actual voters we're talking about maybe 25% of 3% of a population which is predominantly invisible. That's the political reality.
Whether she personally wants to save the homos from themselves or not, Palin would never win in leftist strongholds like San Francisco anyway, but converting the Jews is the sort of thing that might -- and I stress might -- not play well in Florida. (While Andrew Sullivan is gloating over the "loss" of Florida because a Jews for Jesus spokesman recently delivered a sermon at Palin's church, the ADL doesn't seem to mind, and Sullivan is annoyed with the ADL for not minding as much as he does.)
Again, I don't like proselytization, but I think if the ADL isn't especially bothered, this might not be a huge issue.
The bottom line is that I won't join Palin's church, and I wish these places weren't so friendly to annoying activist groups like Jews for Jesus. Or Exodus.
But that won't affect my vote.
I mean, it's not as if there aren't annoying activists on the other side. And many of them are proselytizing against guns, against the free market, and in favor of Marxism... Now, I complain a lot about being left alone. There is a huge difference between left wing activist proselytizers and the mostly conservative religious variety in that only won't the former leave you alone, they want their activist views enforced by the government. They don't merely ask you to give up your guns or your money, they want to take away both -- with government force.
(All things considered, I'd rather be threatened with hell by distasteful crackpots.)
MORE: Some commenters seem to be misunderstanding my point of view. For the record, I think it's rude to threaten people with hell, but the right to do that is the essence of freedom, and as I explain here, I consider myself very fortunate to have been threatened with hell at an early age.
The McCain campaign has been criticized in various quarters for pandering or condescending to women and insulting their intelligence with the pick of Sarah Palin. So what do you make of this?
Senator Barack Obama will increasingly lean on prominent Democratic women to undercut Governor Sarah Palin and Senator John McCain, dispatching Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to Florida on Monday and creating a rapid-response team to deploy female surrogates to battleground states, Obama advisers said on Thursday.
Rabble rabble! How dare the Republicans insult women with this pick! Ah, how courageous of Barry to create a rapid-response team! He'll silence this bullying once and for all. (Lipsticked pit bullying?)
Friday, September 5, 2008
You want her to talk to you?
This is the start of the death watch for for the Shrinking Media.
H/T Hot Air
I believe McCain gave the best sermon I've ever heard last night and let me tell you why. Nothing says it better than giving the core of the sermon and then I'll touch on some other excerpts.
Long ago, something unusual happened to me that taught me the most valuable lesson of my life. I was blessed by misfortune. I mean that sincerely. I was blessed because I served in the company of heroes and I witnessed a thousand acts of courage, and compassion, and love.That I thought was the most powerful and moving part of the speech. Blessed by misfortune. I think that is one of the very best lessons of life. To find out how to take misfortune and turn it into a blessing.
Now how about some other good bits?
On cultural modification of Washington:
And let me just offer an advance warning to the old, big- spending, do-nothing, me-first, country-second crowd: Change is coming.Going after the enemies of the people:
I've fought the big spenders in both parties, who waste your money on things you neither need nor want, and the first big-spending pork-barrel earmark bill that comes across my desk, I will veto it. I will make them famous, and you will know their names.On foreign policy:
We're going to stop sending $700 billion a year to countries that don't like us very much...Economic plan:
Cutting the second-highest business tax rate in the world will help American companies compete and keep jobs from going overseas.That is probably enough. You can read the whole thing at the above link or watch the video here.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Some things are worse than regular pork
Here's some pork we can do without:
Barack Obama was a founding member of the board of Public Allies in 1992, resigning before his wife became executive director of the Chicago chapter of Public Allies in 1993. Obama plans to use the nonprofit group, which he features on his campaign Web site, as the model for a national service corps. He calls his Orwellian program, "Universal Voluntary Public Service."Naturally. That's because Marxism and socialism are now as mainstream as Bill Ayers.
And while Public Allies might deny it, there's plenty of indoctrination -- which the Obamas seem to support wholeheartedly:
Public Allies brags that more than 80% of graduates have continued working in nonprofit or government jobs. It's training the "next generation of nonprofit leaders" -- future "social entrepreneurs."Amazingly, some of the idealistic young people who've signed up don't seem to appreciate ideological indoctrination seminars:
Not all the recruits appreciate the PC indoctrination. "It was too touchy-feely," said Nelly Nieblas, 29, of the 2005 Los Angeles class. "It's a lot of talk about race, a lot of talk about sexism, a lot of talk about homophobia, talk about -isms and phobias."This is still a free country, and every citizen has a right to be a "community organizer." Or even a "paid activist." Much as I think the ideas promulgated by these people are wrong, there is a right to be wrong. (And I think "Public Allies" is a misnomer.)
However, is there a right to engage in Marxist, anti-military activism and force people who don't agree with that to pay for it -- just because some people think such activism is right?
The idea that my money is funding something like "Public Allies" violates my conscience.
Thomas Jefferson had a very pertinent thought on this subject which I've quoted before, and I'll quote him again:
...to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical.I think if lefties were being made to pay for conservative youth indoctrination camps, we might hear a little more about it.
This is not just pork; it's noxious ideological pork.
Aren't ordinary pork projects bad enough?
MORE: Regarding the contention that "heterosexism" is a byproduct of capitalism, Dave Kopel asks some good questions:
...do VC readers know of any serious research about a link between heterosexism and capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy and male-dominated privilege? My initial impression is the cause and effect theory of heterosexism is quite wrong. Communist dictatorships, for example, are often quite hostile to homosexuals; yet Communist states are not capitalist, generally have legal equality of men and women, and (outside Europe) are run by non-whites. Conversely, ancient Greece was relatively tolerant of some forms of homosexuality, and yet was patriarchal, dominated by whites, and had a primitive free market.Via Glenn Reynolds, who frames the question as, simply, "DOES CAPITALISM CAUSE HOMOPHOBIA?" and observes that the most tolerant societies tend to be capitalist.
Considering that the Communists were calling homosexuality a product of "bourgeois decadence" for many years (this was standard Marxist doctrine; even the Socialist Workers Party refused membership to gays), isn't it more likely that capitalism is actually the root cause of homosexuality?
Or have the Marxists revised their thinking in order to harness for their own ends the power of the "bourgeois decadence" they condemn?
(This might explain why only left-wing homosexuals tolerated.)
Time to play "Name that Christianist"!
I've been in Ann Arbor for a month now, and I have been subscribing to the Detroit Free Press, mainly because I believe in the importance not only of reading a daily newspaper, but I think a major city should have one. I don't mean to sound like a East Coast snot, but I think it's fair to say that the Free Press is not as good as the Philadelphia Inquirer. That may reflect a difference between the cities. Detroit is in worse shape than Philadelphia, and that's an understatement.
As for regional news, I have been treated to huge front page headlines every day about Kwame Kilpatrick's sordid scandal and coverup. My immediate reaction was that they were beating around the bush by dwelling at length on every squalid detail, and that the man should have simply resigned, or been forced to resign. Nearly everyone wanted him to resign (even the political allies who put him in), but he was just too pigheaded or egotistical, and he clung to power.
In a word, I thought it was all pathetic, and I refrained from writing about it here, mainly because it seemed almost boring, and I would have sounded like a condescending newcomer putting down my new greater metropolitan area when it is in dire need of help from somewhere. Plus, what could I -- a small l non-conforming libertarian Republican registered as a Democrat -- possibly add which would be of any help? They don't need my help; they need a miracle, and I'm no miracle worker, but an often pessimistic worry wart who often resorts to comedy as an antidote to gloom. Making fun of Kilpatrick strikes me as a bit like shooting fish in a barrel.
In addition to all that, I've been extremely busy, and have not had time for blogging in the style to which I became accustomed over the years. (Plus, it's not as if there aren't more important things to blog about....)
Now that he's officially out, though, I thought it might be a good time for a post-mortem comment.
I won't recite the details of the drama; today's Free Press covers most of it in a piece titled "Kilpatrick's rise and fall: Detroit's mayor an example of the best -- and worst -- of city" -- a story which appears on page 7A of today's paper.
The front page of today's Free Press looks like this:
(Just ignore Coco's appearance, OK? I apologize for the fact that she hasn't had time to put on her lipstick.)
The entire front section is devoted to article after article (with numbing detail after numbing detail) about the mess. The front page lead story begins with this:
Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick -- who once said God chose him to lead his hometown and pledged to Detroiters "I would never quit on you" -- resigned Thursday, bringing an ignominious end to what once seemed like a career without limits.God chose him? I thought only the "Christianists" talked that way! And aren't "Christianists" supposed to be Republicans? If you were from out of town and didn't know any better, you'd have to slog through the paper to page A7 to discover that the crook was in fact a Democrat.
But whoa! I see that I'm not the only one to be playing "Name that Party."
And because I so hate to bore readers, I thought I'd try a new name.
UPDATE: My thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the link, and a warm welcome to all -- especially "name that Christianist" game players.
Not to dwell on Coco's lipstick issue, but I was going to consult a leading expert about the right shade, and I just never got around to it....
Thursday, September 4, 2008
A moving speech (even if it's hard to be moved at this point)
I hate liveblogging speeches because my fingers don't walk fast enough to keep up with the words. Plus, it seems a little pointless, not only because machines do a better job, but because the candidates release prepared texts which are available for analysis later.
So I didn't liveblog McCain's speech. Instead, I watched it, and I have to say I was moved. Contrary to popular belief, McCain doesn't talk about his captivity in North Vietnam all that much. Tonight he not only talked about it, but in a coherent explanation of why he's running. The man's sincerity is obvious.
I agree with Glenn Reynolds that it was a good speech but "like Obama, he was overshadowed -- Obama by Bill Clinton, McCain by Sarah Palin." I think he knew he was being overshadowed -- quite possibly by everybody including the damned hecklers who disrupted him repeatedly -- but didn't especially mind.
As he said,
Again and again, I've worked with members of both parties to fix problems that need to be fixed. That's how I will govern as President. I will reach out my hand to anyone to help me get this country moving again. I have that record and the scars to prove it. Senator Obama does not.That's strong stuff (and inspiring to me), whether you think his delivery was slick or not. The people who are ecstatic over Sarah Palin would do well to remember just who put her there.
Some of the pundits (like CNN's Jeffrey Toobin, Fox's Karl Rove, and others) are carrying on about what a lackluster speech it was in contrast to Sarah Palin's, so yes, I just thought I should say that I found McCain inspiring tonight. Yeah, he was a bit slow to get warmed up. I'll be glad if I'm warm enough to speak at all at 72.
The man's stamina amazes me. But that's not what's important.
What is important is that the man is living proof that character still matters.
Even in the era of sound bytes.
MORE: Despite some problems he perceived with the speech, Powerline's Paul Mirengoff thinks McCain connected:
I think McCain may well have connected better with the American people on an emotional level than Obama did. And nothing matters more than that.I think that increasing numbers of Americans understand the difference between reality and a "reality" show.
Did Sarah Palin close the earlier eight point gap?
(CBS) The presidential race between Barack Obama and John McCain is now even at 42 percent, according to a new CBS News poll conducted Monday-Wednesday of this week. Twelve percent are undecided according to the poll, and one percent said they wouldn't vote.Interesting.
I suspect that Palin's bravura performance last night might have dovetailed with the backlash I've been predicting, but it's too early to tell.*
(Via Mark R. Levin, who notes that this happened "before McCain speaks.")
* It might also be that the closure of the "enthusiasm gap" was caused by the realization that Obama's speech had been written by a speechwriter.....
How to attack her
I hate to say this (and maybe I shouldn't be writing this post), but I think the best way to attack Sarah Palin is to make her out to be a far-right ideologue.
If I am correct, that might mean that Gloria Steinem (ugh!) has done a better job of attacking Palin than anyone else:
Palin's value to those patriarchs is clear: She opposes just about every issue that women support by a majority or plurality. She believes that creationism should be taught in public schools but disbelieves global warming; she opposes gun control but supports government control of women's wombs; she opposes stem cell research but approves "abstinence-only" programs, which increase unwanted births, sexually transmitted diseases and abortions; she tried to use taxpayers' millions for a state program to shoot wolves from the air but didn't spend enough money to fix a state school system with the lowest high-school graduation rate in the nation; she runs with a candidate who opposes the Fair Pay Act but supports $500 million in subsidies for a natural gas pipeline across Alaska; she supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, though even McCain has opted for the lesser evil of offshore drilling. She is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger.True or not, that's a much savvier line of attack than ridiculing her hair and her shoes (or belaboring away at the "inexperienced" meme)..
But is it true?
I don't know, and as a small l libertarian who believes in the possibility of an alliance between libertarians and social conservatives, I want to go there right now. But if I did, I'd have to ask, if she's such a crazed right-wing extremist, why is she so popular with the voters of Alaska, where a substantial majority believe in abortion rights?
So, my question right now is this: will Barack Obama's abortion ad campaign work?
Time will tell.
MORE: Noting the problems Democrats will have attacking Palin (who she calls "polityically brilliant" and "a hard act for McCain to follow," Megan McArdle quotes Clive Crook, who reached a similar conclusion to mine:
..the Democrats have a problem. They had a few days of calling her a clueless redneck, a stewardess, a nonentity, and she has hurled that back in their bleeding gums. (If I were Joe Biden, I'd start practising for October 2nd right now.) Even before tonight's speech, they had backed off the "no experience" strategy, because (as the Republicans intended) that was sending shrapnel in Obama's direction. Their line right now is their default mode, that McCain-Palin is four more years of George Bush. But this too is a completely untenable strategy, since the Republican ticket now looks stunningly fresh to voters, as fresh in fact as Obama-Biden. Where they will have to end up is obvious: McCain-Palin is an extreme right-wing ticket. It is a team that will prosecute the culture war against all that is decent and civilized in the United States: that must be the line.
I'd worry about that, except that we're certain to have a two-house Democratic majority anyway, insuring that the legislative stasis on this subject that has prevailed for decades will continue.I have to agree with Glenn. I'd also note that a constitutional amendment (crudely characterized by Obama as "John McCain will make abortion illegal") is a political impossibility.
Still, the left has no choice but to spin Sarah Palin as being as far to the right as possible.
I think she's too smart to cooperate.
Experience is an important issue!
The better Sarah Palin looks, the more ridiculous the attacks on her sound.
Hmmm... Should I have said "looks"? We'll see.
Right on the heels of McCain's announcement, the attacks started. First came the "inexperienced" meme. I've been listening and reading in search of a sound explanation why being a governor constitutes less experience than being a senator, because I think it's just the reverse. I try to understand, but I can't.
So for several days I have not been getting it. After seeing the meme flogged yet again in today's Detroit Free Press this morning it began to dawn on me that maybe I am not defining "experience" the same way as the people who believe it is their job to tell me what to think. I think there are three possibilities:
To be fair, I think that they might really think that "experience" means knowing the right people, and living in and knowing the ways of Washington. But that can't be right. Because, by that standard, a longtime journalist at the Washington Post or a policy wonk who's worked for years in a DC think tank has more "experience" than Sarah Palin -- something no reasonable person would contend.
It might be unreasonable, but it does seem to be the standard. Governor Palin referred to it this way in last night's speech:
I'm not a member of the permanent political establishment.I think she's right. A major reason she's being called inexperienced is that the people calling her that don't know her. They're in their own world, and they get to define who is one of them and who isn't. You're either in or you're not, and if you're not, why, you're "inexperienced." This is traditional, of course. (Especially for those in the 7th grade.)
Which means some of her critics really think that when they call her inexperienced, they mean it sincerely. It's as if she's trying to join their club. Seen this way, the fact that Barack Obama went to Harvard (a major entry portal to the club, and where many club members come from) automatically makes him more experienced than Sarah Palin -- for the simple reason that she went to the University of Idaho.
This all may feed into another criticism -- that her personal "style" is wrong. If "experienced" means belonging to the club, then if you want to be experienced, you have to at least look like the members of the club. If you didn't attend Harvard, you must at least kowtow to the standards of their Kulture Klub -- which means you cannot wear your hair like this:
Yes, Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin has a lot on her plate: a pregnant teen daughter, a son on his way to Iraq, an infant with Down syndrome and a looming national election.Not only does it go to show how "off" she is on current events, it goes to show how "on" Mr. Russo is! I'll just bet Russo does a lot of the Harvard doos....
Mario Russo is located on lower Newbury Street and was voted 2008's "Best of Boston" hair salon. Mario opened his doors 20 years ago and has consistently maintained his reputation of being a trend setter for Boston's power crowd. Since then he and his highly trained staff have catered to Boston's sopisticated crowd by giving top of the line cuts, colors, skin treatments, skin care, manicures/pedicures, waxing, and bridal parties. The atmosphere is comfortable, high energy, and features modern art displayed throughout. Talk about the latest trends with friendly and professional staff while overlooking the most prestigious part of Newbury St.Now that's experience! (But "sopisticated"? Isn't the correct spelling "sopissticated"?)
Glad we're talking about important issues and taking them seriously.
I'll have to contact Mr. Russo about the right shade of lipstick for Coco. She needs to get some "experience" as a hockey mom.
Did anyone notice all the orange in the crowd at the Republican Convention? Some Democrats did.
Comment by Zeke 2008-09-04 00:12:23And what is PUMA? Here is an explanation. The very short version: Hillary supporters. Disaffected Democrats.
Here is what Zeke thought when it was explained to him:
Comment by Zeke 2008-09-04 00:59:56This election has all the makings of a landslide. For the Republicans. Not only are Republicans fired up for the McCain/Palin ticket. So are a lot of Democrats. The Republicans are in touch with the pulse of the voters this year.
Of course when I first learned Sara was the pick I was fired up. It only took the rest of the Nation five more days to catch on. Wooo Hooo.
I ♥ Sarah'cudda and Johnny Mac
Cross Posted at Power and Control
A Wiff Of Panic
I thought this interrogation of Rudi Guilliani by some MSNBC commentators (Morning Joe) was very telling. Of course we know that the Shrinking Media is for the most part in the tank for Obama, but especially telling is sneering look Mika Brzezinski continually gives Rudi for his estimation of Sara Palin's qualifications.
It will be interesting to see the polls over the next week to see what effect Sara has had on the electorate, but I do smell a whiff of panic in the air.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Sarah Palin's speech
I'm not liveblogging this, but Sarah Palin just asked,
"You know the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull?With that unexpected line, she has just won Coco's vote.
(She already had mine.)
So far, she's doing very well. The crowd loves her.
11:21 -- I've watched a lot of speeches during this endless race, and my considered opinion is that Sara Palin delivered a virtuoso performance tonight. On the issues, she seemed very up to speed (especially on energy) and her delivery and timing were perfect. She is likable, poised, perceptive, and has a good sense of humor -- all of the qualities that will make her a very tough opponent. It's obvious why she's such a popular governor, and it's also obvious why her opponents keep trying to spin her as a political neophyte. I think she showed them all tonight that she has what it takes, and that she's loyal to and deeply respects John McCain.
Above all, she showed that the vicious and outgrageous personal attacks on her and her family have not fazed her at all.
Were I working for the opposition, I'd be wetting my pants in fear.
MORE: I am delighted to see that Coco is helping persuadeSean Kinsell.
I think it's worth noting that the pit bull remark does not appear in the prepared text of Governor Palin's speech, which means it might have been spontaneous.
Republicans cling to white power identity!
In a Washington Post Op-Ed purporting to be about economics, Harold Meyerson displays what I think is a near-total misunderstanding of identity politics:
...the GOP's last best hope remains identity politics. In a year when the Democrats have an African American presidential nominee, the Republicans now more than ever are the white folks' party, the party that delays the advent of our multicultural future, the party of the American past. Republican conventions have long been bastions of de facto Caucasian exclusivity, but coming right after the diversity of Denver, this year's GOP convention is almost shockingly -- un-Americanly -- white. Long term, this whiteness is a huge problem. This year, however, whiteness is the only way Republicans cling to power. If the election is about the economy, they're cooked -- and their silence this week on nearly all things economic means that they know it.Wow. The GOP has all the right elements! Whiteness! Power! Identity!
OK, I'll admit my ignorance here. I have not been doing head counts or skin color counts, and I lack access to official convention statistics, so I really don't know what percentage of the GOP convention delegates are white. Obviously, Mr. Meyerson is very upset about whiteness, which is his right. But what does he mean by "shockingly -- un-Americanly -- white"? How many whites are required in order to constitute a "shocking" degree of whiteness. Assuming that whites are over-represented at the convention, how is that "un-American"? Would he say that if a mostly black or mostly Asian crowd showed up at a political gathering?
If his argument is that more members of minority groups should show up at Republican conventions, he should say so. But I don't think that's what he wants. I think he wants a white-only Republican Party so he can castigate them as "un-American (and bigoted).
FWIW, I would like to see more minorities at these conventions, and I doubt I'm alone in that. But identity politics? In the context of whiteness? The idea that the people at that Convention believe in white identity politics is outrageous on its face, and a genuine smear.
Meyerson, though, probably doesn't think it's a smear at all. He's lived so long in the leftie echo chambers and heard so much of their hateful propaganda that for all I know, he actually believes that most Republicans align themselves with Christian Identity or something.
If he were talking about anyone other than Republicans, Meyerson's attitude would be called bigotry, because it is.
But such bigotry is so commonplace that it barely raises an eyebrow.
(I almost didn't think it was interesting enough for a blog post...)
McCain's enemies really wanted him to make a good choice!
I've lost count of the number of posts, articles, and opinion pieces arguing that McCain made a mistake in picking Sarah Palin. That he's really blown it. That his choice was a sign of dementia, etc.
Dick Morris has an interesting take on these arguments:
Some claim [McCain] made a mistake in choosing the Alaska governor. My bet is the reverse -- that she'll turn out to be a big win.Makes sense. She wouldn't be under this kind of attack if she was a bad choice, would she?
Certainly not by the left.
MORE: Ann Althouse is thinking along similar lines:
...if you want McCain to lose and you think she's so terrible, you should be happy to see Palin as the VP nominee. It will help defeat McCain.Via Glenn Reynolds.
Rarely have I seen so many people want to "help" the campaign of a man they want to lose.
possibility versus reality
Speaking of cool, regular readers know that I don't think censorship is. Needless to say, I was upset to read this New York Times account supposedly documenting attempted censorship in the local library by Sarah Palin when she was newly elected Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska.
Shortly after becoming mayor, former city officials and Wasilla residents said, Ms. Palin approached the town librarian about the possibility of banning some books, though she never followed through and it was unclear which books or passages were in question.If there were allegations of real attempted censorship, it would be damning. But I'd like to see some confirmation from the librarian who ended up keeping her job. As to Ann Kilkenny, I'd like to see some confirmation that she's not the urban legend (of email virus fame) some say she is. The email she allegedly wrote has circulated so widely that I'm wondering why the New York Times would misspell her name "Ann" when she repeatedly signed the email "Anne." Simple mistake? Or an attempt to frustrate casual researchers?
I'm puzzled over the fact that in this 1997 news account, there is no mention of library "censorship." Rather the issue at the base of the quarrel seems to have involved merging the library and the museum:
City librarian Mary Ellen Emmons will stay, but Police Chief Irl Stambaugh is on his own, Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin announced Friday. The decision came one day after letters signed by Palin were dropped on Stambaugh's and Emmon's desks, telling them their jobs were over as of Feb. 13.It is understandable that people who lost an election or their jobs might have an interest in exaggerating what happened. Was censorship really the issue?
And why isn't Emmons available for comment? Before I put any trust in the story I'd like to hear something from Emmons, and not hearsay from a third party who hasn't been verified but who's described in an email as having attended meetings.
From the looks of this news account, it's quite possible that the "censorship" claim involved a theoretical discussion which never was the basis for firing anyone, was never implemented, and was exaggerated.
* Palin Asked City Librarian About Censoring Books, Insisted It Was 'Rhetorical.' In 1996, according to the Frontiersman, Wasilla's library director Mary Ellen Emmons said Palin asked her outright if she could live with censorship of library books. Emmons said, "This is different than a normal book-selection procedure or a book-challenge policy. ... She was asking me how I would deal with her saying a book can't be in the library." Palin said in response, "Many issues were discussed, both rhetorical and realistic in nature." [Frontiersman, 12/18/96]So, no one is or was saying there was actual censorship. The librarian who can't be reached for comment never seems to have said she was fired over it.
I don't like censorship of any sort, and I'm very quick to condemn it. (Hence this post.) But as even the Times admits, this does not involve censorship, but a discussion over the possibility of censorship. An elaborate insinuation based on a discussion, supplemented by an unverified quote apparently taken from a viral email. Surely the Times can come up with a better hit piece than that.
This does not mean that the possibility of censorship does not concern me. In fact, there's a lot more going on than the mere possibility. There's the reality.
What about the fact politicians and parents all over the country are constantly and routinely censoring the Internet, and few complain?
But hey, at least it's not 100%... I do want to be fair to everyone.
My suggestion is that we let all those whose children's libraries have never installed
Being cool is not allowed
Ann Althouse asks a question a lot of people are asking:
...why are we even thinking of evaluating candidates based on the chastity of their offspring? Even if we could ascertain whether a candidate has this qualification -- and, given birth control and abortion, we can't -- it's a patently absurd and offensive idea for a qualification.It is a patently absurd and offensive idea for a "qualification," and the reason they're getting away with it is that they only apply it to the offspring of Republicans. No one has any idea what Senator Biden's kids do with their genitalia, because such things are considered off-limits.
Why should the sex lives of Biden's kids be off-limits? The only reason I can think of is that Biden is a Democrat.
Let me admit my bias here. I don't even care about the candidates' sex lives (perhaps I should), so why on earth would I care about the sex lives of their kids? As I said before, I hope this line of attack backfires. I think it represents panic, and a deeply ingrained leftist habit of politicizing the personal. Above all, personal muckraking is a diversion from discussing substantive issues they'd rather not discuss.
However, I have another theory as to why Sarah Palin scares the crap out of the left, and it's not just political, but psychological. I think that she and her family represent that lingering (but ever-cool) American pioneer spirit the emasculated left wants so badly to stamp out. For starters, it just kills them that Palin is more of a man than any of them are. As to the kids, it must absolutely gall Hollywood and New York liberals to see pictures of cool young teenagers unabashedly holding guns. True, they're Alaskans, but Alaskans are Americans, aren't they? And (gasp!) they look like American teenagers! Liberals fear that their own kids might see pictures like that and get ideas. Whether targeting sex lives is the best way to counter the underlying threat posed by America's lingering pioneer spirit is debatable, though.
It might just exacerbate the problem.
I hope it does.
MORE: Thomas Lifson thinks the MSM fears Sarah Palin's authenticity:
A desperate race is underway, with the liberal media scampering to define Sarah Palin to the public as a dangerous religious fanatic and naïve hick, some kind of back woods primitive incapable of effectively discharging the awesome job of president, soon to be thrust upon her as John McCain expires right after his inauguration. Tonight, Governor Palin will have her opportunity to speak directly to the American people, and thanks to the blizzard of critical coverage, she will be no doubt attract an enormous audience.Authenticity is cool.
MORE: In an exciting Op Ed I've been awaiting, Peggy Noonan says that Sarah Palin is such a threat that she could become transformative.Therefore, they have to kill her quick:
She could become a transformative political presence.Transformative. I like that. It's at least as cool as authenticy.
Who knows? It might even be cooler than "change."
Midway For Obama
The Democrats were watching the brightest and most articulate presidential candidate they have fielded since John F Kennedy snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. And this was before John McCain, in a maneuver worthy of Admiral Chester Nimitz at the Battle of Midway, turned tables on the Democrats' strategy with the choice of Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his running mate.Spengler thinks that Obama is at his core a weak man. He works so hard to please because he can't make the hard choices. We have already seen that with his reply at the Saddleback interview when he was asked about abortion. "It is above my pay grade", he said.
Obama will spend the rest of his life wondering why he rejected the obvious road to victory, that is, choosing Hillary Clinton as his vice presidential nominee. However reluctantly, Clinton would have had to accept. McCain's choice of vice presidential candidate made obvious after the fact what the party professionals felt in their fingertips at the stadium extravaganza yesterday: rejecting Clinton in favor of the colorless, unpopular, tangle-tongued Washington perennial Joe Biden was a statement of weakness. McCain's selection was a statement of strength. America's voters will forgive many things in a politician, including sexual misconduct, but they will not forgive weakness.And what about that old war horse McCain? The ancient mariner?
McCain doesn't have a tenth of Obama's synaptic fire-power, but he is a nasty old sailor who knows when to come about for a broadside. Given Obama's defensive, even wimpy selection of a running-mate, McCain's choice was obvious. He picked the available candidate most like himself: a maverick with impeccable reform credentials, a risk-seeking commercial fisherwoman and huntress married to a marathon snowmobile racer who carries a steelworkers union card. The Democratic order of battle was to tie McCain to the Bush administration and attack McCain by attacking Bush. With Palin on the ticket, McCain has re-emerged as the maverick he really is.It is interesting that the Democrats keep nominating successively weaker candidates. First Gore. Then Kerry. And now Obama. I think it is becoming obvious for all to see that the Democrat Party has no soul. As such it has no direction except the will to power. In fact the behavior of his base since Palin was nominated is an expression of that weakness. It would appear from their behavior that strong women frighten them. And they should be frightened.
There is more detail to Spengler's analysis which deals with his psychological profile of Obama. He also refers back to a column he wrote in February that I highly recommend. You should definitely read them both.
I think it is telling in many ways that the left's caricature of evangelical relations with women is really a projection of their own weakness. In fact Moloch is the god of the weak. You have to be strong to raise children. Not just for a day or a week but for 18 or 20 years. In fact for a whole lifetime. Which is exactly why what the left is going through now with the abortion issue and Sarah Palin and her daughter is so telling. They are attacking the mother and daughter because they are strong. And such strength only illuminates that which they would prefer to remain in darkness. Their weakness.
Does this mean I want abortion made illegal? Don't be silly. Such a law would serve no useful purpose. Botched abortions kill. They can also prevent future births when the woman and man involved find their strength. But that does not mean that we should avoid looking at it square on and seeing it for what it is. The fact that the Democrats and especially Obama have to a great degree fetishized abortion is very telling. Very telling indeed.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
And where were you in 1986?
A friend emailed me a link to a typical gossip column, um, "analysis":
While Levi Johnston (pictured below) admits he's "in a relationship" on his personal MySpace page, the teen hockey player made the candid statement that he does not exactly wanna be a parent, proclaiming, "I don't want kids."And of course, muck-raking about Todd Palin's 1986 arrest for DUI:
It's been quite the week for the Palin family, with the nomination, then rumors that Bristol Palin was the real mother of Sarah's son Trig Palin, then Todd Palin's old DUI arrest, then the revelation that Levi Johnston knocked up Bristol.What's next may be the realization that Republicans are people too.
I don't think any of this will prove especially fruitful. The father of the future baby of the daughter of the vice presidential nominee said he didn't want kids? Todd Palin was arrested for DUI in 1986?
Will anyone care?
Neither the baby's father nor Todd Palin are on the November ballot. Obama's mother was pregnant at 17. McCain's wife had a drug problem at some point, and so did Obama (at some point).
And so what?
Whoever was first to be stoned, let him cast away.
MORE: Andrea Tantaros thinks the bizarre attacks on Palin's family are evidence of panic:
Liberals like to pretend they are tolerant and accepting of those who are different but when it comes to anyone not ensconced in their progressive, elitist dogma they mock and attack their lifestyle to inspire hate. But because governor Palin is endearing, authentic-and with this latest revelation-easy to identify with, she invokes panic in the left. Why else would they assail a very popular, promising lady and her children?
Putting the Constitution ahead of Culture War
Whether you're a card-carrying Libertarian, a small-l libertarian, a libertarianish political non-conformist, or I suppose even if you're from the other side and hate libertarians, you don't want to miss David Harsanyi's The Libertarian Case for Palin.
The potential political consequences of Sarah Palin have been chewed over from every imaginable angle.I think he's right. (And I suspect M. Simon would agree; see his related post.)
Not that Palin will please all in the libertarian camp. Her social conservatism gives pause to many, although Harsanyi recognizes (as I did in another post) that she places the Constitution ahead of her personal beliefs. And of course, her Second Amendment position ought to delight any libertarian:
....unlike Obama, Palin seems to believe that the Second Amendment means the exact same thing in rural Alaska as it does in the streets of Chicago.Yes, it is.
And this was music to my ears:
On the counterproductive War on Drugs, Palin is no warrior.Whatever her personal beliefs are, Sarah Palin strikes me as a principled person who departs from the decades-old Culture War script that "the personal is political." I have long harbored the hope that someone might come along who'd be able to make a stab at uniting libertarians and religious conservatives....
Maybe "unite" is the wrong word, because they don't really need to be united. Brought together in a rational way, maybe. Because, the Culture War arises from instinctive, gut-level personal dislikes more than from a desire to have the government enact these dislikes into law. Religious conservatives and libertarians both know that any unconstitutional scheme that might allow, say, fundamentalists to take charge of "the culture" could be used against them, as it would also allow Islamists or Communists to do the same. And both libertarians and religious conservatives have now been holding their noses for a long time -- not just at each other, but at the Republican Party. Perhaps learning to hold your nose is a good thing if you learn that something you don't like (homosexuality or creationism, say) is not going to break your legs or pick your pocket. I have long thought that religious conservatives and libertarians have more in common than they realize, but are driven apart simply by constitutionally irrelevant feelings of mutual repugnance. Larger forces want them battling, though.
Anyway, I liked Harsanyi's piece so much that if I keep quoting it my enthusiasm will violate the DMCA, so just go read it all.
Obama then joined Joe Biden, who had made directly for the bar when the two candidates arrived, at a table celebrating another birthday.Luanne was most gracious. Good on her.
H/T No Quarter
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Sarah Palin Debates Health Care
This video lasts about an hour and a half. It deals with health care issues in her 2006 run for Governor.
MoveOn.Org Has Taken Over Democrats
Newsweek reports that John Coale, a major Hillary fund raiser, has gone over to John McCain. There is a video from the Republican Convention at the link showing a five minute interview with Mr. Coale.
John Coale, a prominent Washington lawyer, husband of Fox TV host Greta Van Susteren and a supporter of Sen. Hillary Clinton, announced today that he was supporting John McCain for president. Coale, who traveled with Sen. Clinton, President Clinton and her family through out the primary season, complained of sexism, and said the Democratic Party is "being taken over by the moveon.org types" in an exclusive interview with Newsweek.com's Tammy Haddad. He said he tried to prevent Clinton's brother, Tony Rodham, from attending an August 18th meeting in Scranton, Pa. with McCain campaign surrogate Carly Fiorina. "I urged him not to go and told him it would embarrass his sister, but he has a mind of his own."And what do you know, Clinton's own brother has been meeting with the McCain campaign. Huge.
In terms of voters, what happens in a deal like this? At first the defections are a trickle. A few come over and test the waters. When they see they are treated with decency and respect a few more come over. The trickle becomes a stream. Then a river. Then a torrent and then (you will pardon the expression) a flood. People tell their friends. Those people tell their friends and pretty soon it is a respectable position. Once it is respectable any one who has misgivings about the Democrats can change position without becoming a social outcast.
I think you can mark August 29th as the official beginning of the end of the Obama campaign.
Let me add that I think it is Hillary's intention to destroy the Democrat Party. Why? Because George Soros has bought the party. It is no good to her any more. Here is a report on it from 2004.
In a December 9th e-mail signed by "Eli Pariser, Justin Ruben, and the whole MoveOn PAC team," the Soros front group stated: "In the last year, grassroots contributors like us gave more than $300 million to the Kerry campaign and the DNC, and proved that the Party doesn't need corporate cash to be competitive. Now it's our Party: we bought it, we own it, and we're going to take it back."Who is behind the MoveOn PAC? George Soros. Another is the Tides Foundation which is funded by John Kerry's wife, Teresa Simões-Ferreira Heinz Kerry.
There is one saving grace. Despite the $300 million that supported the Kerry Campaign, he lost. He was defeated by the lightly funded Swift Boat Veterans For Truth and John Kerry's Christmas in Cambodia.
H/T No Quarter
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Monday, September 1, 2008
A good question from a leading Democrat
This was asked by Democratic political consultant Joe Trippi, who couched it by way of futuristic attribution to John McCain:
...if you think a first term Governor isn't ready for the number 2 slot, are your really sure that a first term Senator is ready for the number 1 spot?Actually, I don't think I ever spent much time arguing that Obama wasn't ready, although I do remember that it was a centerpiece of Hillary Clinton's campaign.
However, I think the "inexperienced" argument presents a problem for Democrats. If they attack Palin as inexperienced, they're basically raising an issue they now claim McCain can't raise.
So perhaps we won't hear much more complaining about "inexperience."
What a relief that would be. I don't think McCain really needed to talk about it anyway.
MORE: Frank J. thinks the Democrats have a point:
We like to dismiss everything the left says, but if you really are honest about it, don't they maybe have a point about how Sarah Palin and Barack Obama may be unqualified to be Vice President?
Buchanan smears Palin?
I don't know whether Palin ever supported Buchanan, but what about this?
A meme is developing out there among liberals that Gov. Sarah Palin was a supporter of Pat Buchanan in the 1990s, a charge that the McCain-Palin campaign strongly denies.Palin denies having been a Buchanan brigadista, as does the McCain campaign. Buchanan, however, claims otherwise to Chris Matthews:
Buchanan told Chris Matthews yesterday that Palin "was a brigader in 1996 as was her husband, Chris, they were at a fundraiser for me, she's a terrific gal, she's a rebel reformer."They were "at a fundraiser"? Even Code Pink members have managed to show up at GOP fundraisers, so I'm not sure that constitutes proof. Nor does the McCain campaign:
McCain-Palin campaign spokesman Michael Goldfarb writes: "Governor Palin has never worked for any effort to elect Pat Buchanan -- that assertion is completely false. As Mayor of Wasilla, Sarah Palin did attend an event with Mr. Buchanan in her home town where reports described her wearing a Buchanan for President button. She wore the button as a courtesy to Mr. Buchanan and in an effort to make him feel welcome during his visit, but immediately sent a letter to the editor of her local paper clarifying that the button should not have been interpreted as an endorsement of any kind."I have to say that of all the arguments that have come up against Palin, this one would make me the most nervous, if it were true.
The JTA has looked into the claim and come up dry. There's no evidence that she supported Buchanan in any material way, other than sporting the button, which she says she did out of courtesy:
Wexler's comments appear based on a 1999 report that Palin wore a Buchanan button during Buchanan's visit to Wasilla, the town she then led as mayor. At that time, however, Palin had written a letter to the local paper explaining that she wore campaign buttons as a matter of courtesy when candidates came to visit the town.(Buchanan did win the 1996 GOP primary in Alaska, so wearing the button in '99 may also have been a smart political move on her part, even though she appears to have been a Forbes supporter.)
Palin's Wiki entry makes no mention of Buchanan, and I'm coming up dry where it comes to hard proof.
From what I can see so far, what we have is Buchanan's word against hers, and the left takes Buchanan at his word. Certainly, he's not helping her by claiming she was a brigader, so the question becomes why would he do that?
Certainly not to help McCain.
Not if this piece reflects his current views.
Pretty unfriendly stuff.
Frankly, unless there was a showing of genuine repentance, I doubt McCain would pick a Buchanan brigader to be his running mate.
Not in Berkeley, but in Denver, where Zombie documents a scene numbingly reminiscent of what I used to sit through when I was a Berkeley Police Review Commissioner:
I personally witnessed the entire incident, from the beginning to the end, and can say without reservation that the Rocky Mountain News video is intentionally deceptive, and crafted to make the protester (Alicia Forrest) appear to be a victim of needless police brutality. I have photographic and video proof, shown below, that Alicia Forrest "asked for it" in the sense that she disobeyed police commands to stay back and also taunted the police; and that she was not seriously injured by Officer Stewart; and that the Rocky Mountain News in particular committed an act of media malfeasance by purposely posting on their site a deceptive video that left out all the context surrounding the incident. Furthermore, many blogs jumped on the story and trumpeted it as evidence of police misbehavior, when in fact there was no misbehavior at all.Read it all, and look at the pictures.
All I can say is that these protesters are professional people, and they have been carefully trained. They excel at doing everything they can to provoke the police into overreacting, but of course the police are well trained not to overreact. What this means is that even when the police merely do their job (and make an arrest, as they did in this case), the demonstrators are ready to pounce. They will claim police brutality, and they will pursue unfounded claims against the police. It is all part and parcel of their strategy, and as I learned when I sat on the Police Review Commission, at the core of the strategy is to intimidate the people charged (as I was) with reviewing the conduct of the police. (Hence my creepy feeling of nostalgia when I read Zombie's account.)
The Denver incident reminded me of what I described in this post:
According to this mindset, the very idea behind Berkeley's Police Review Commission -- citizen review, a remedy against police abuse, etc. -- was bogus, and we were (and were seen as) stooges legitimizing violent state power and private property.There's a lot more, but my point is simply that these activists are professionals, and they know exactly what they are doing.
Read Zombie's whole post and look at the photographs to learn more.
I don't recommend sitting on a citizen's police review commission, though. It really did a number on me, and in all honesty, it was one of those life-changing situations. I realized that most people think life is too short, so they go along with the intimidation. The problem with that approach is that it can lead to a life spent being afraid to ever speak up, and if we all did that, we would cease to be a free people.
Precisely what the professional activists want.
This touches on a major reason I blog. My thanks to Zombie for the reminder.
MORE: Anyone who doubts that Alicia Forrest is a professional (who is well-versed in deceptive techniques) should read Medea Benjamin's bragging account about how she disrupted a McCain event in disguise:
Three CODEPINKers, dressed like businesspeople (no pink!) and sporting McCain campaign buttons, got inside the ballroom in time for a lovely breakfast. When McCain starting speaking to the business association, Gael Murphy cried out, "War is bad for small business! Attacking Iran will only make things worse! We are spending 5,000 dollars per second, 12 billion dollars per month! Imagine the investments in small business we could make with that money instead of killing people and illegally occupying other countries."Oh yes. I'm sure countless McCain supporters were persuaded.
One standard for Palin, another for Stalin?
It's tough to know where to begin with something like this, it's so outrageous.
But in light of my earlier post about the vicious attacks on Governor Palin's daughter ("Trutherism is becoming a contagious disease"), I'm thinking that I need to revisit the question of what constitutes "trutherism."
At the core of the Truther belief system is not necessarily the assertion that a rumor or a conspiracy theory is true. Rather, it is the idea that such unfounded rumors require an "explanation" and have to be addressed, in the interest of "The Truth."
Politically, this is a great loophole for mischief-making and vicious slander-mongering, for it allows the accusers to hide behind the meme that they are actually engaged in a Search For Truth.
Thus, the people who attack Sarah Palin and her daughter can say that they really aren't attacking them. That this could all be cleared up! If only they'd offer proof!
Here's how Andrew Sullivan put it yesterday:
There must be plenty of medical records and obstetricians and medical eye-witnesses prepared to testify to Sarah Palin's giving birth to Trig. There must be a record of Bristol's high school attendance for the past year. And surely, surely, the McCain camp did due diligence on this. But the noise around this story is now deafening, and the weirdness of the chronology sufficient to rise to the level of good faith questions. So please give us these answers - and provide medical records for Sarah Palin's pregnancy - and put this to rest.And in an update, Sullivan comes close to admitting how wrong the speculation was, but he still hides behind the "search for truth" meme:
Here's a photo that looks like it confirms Palin's pregnancy, uploaded today, on what was the last day of the Alaska Legislature's Session, on April 13, 2008, five days before Trig Palin was born. More here. This seems to put the kibbosh on this, although it would still be good to have official confirmation from the McCain campaign, which should be easy enough to do. Just a simple confirmation from the doctor who was present at the birth. Here's a Times of London story on the affair. As for all the hyper-ventilation about how despicable and vile and evil it is to ask some easily verifiable questions about a central argument of the McCain-Palin campaign, read my original post a few hours ago.Yeah, I did read it. Standard, garden-variety Trutherism, much like the way the Obama Birth Certificate Truthers repeat the "It would be very easy for the Obama campaign to clear this up!" mantra.
Meanwhile, DailyKos is now having an Emily Litella moment:
Unless someone has counter evidence, we can drop this crap now. Yes, there are still some interesting questions, such as why she flew to Dallas and back when she was this pregnant, and why the Alaska Airlines crewmembers insisted that she was not visibly pregnant on the flight. Nevertheless, until this photo is debunked, we look stupid pushing this rumor.Really? I think they looked more than stupid. Accusing Governor Palin's 16 year old daughter (who had never done anything to any of her accusers) of being the mother of her brother was (to my mind, at least) downright evil.
They might drop the crap now, but the damage was done. To a young girl, who was -- and still is -- cruelly mocked in what may be the most outrageous (and sexist) displays of political viciousness in recent American history.
Bear in mind that this started with no evidence at all, other than someone repeating third-hand unsubstantiated information that Governor Palin never looked pregnant, and her daughter missed school because of mono:
;...the oldest girl is rumored to have actually been the one who had the last baby, the one with Down's Syndrome. She was taken out of school the last 4 or 5 months of her mother's pregnancy.Did anyone anywhere verify the "mono" story?
Ah, but that's part of the magic of Trutherism. There is no need for anyone to verify anything, any more than a troll commenter has to verify anything.
Under Trutherism, the onus is placed on the person accused to disprove -- in the name of The Truth!
How do we know, for example, that Todd Palin is in fact the father of any of "his" alleged biological children? And how do we know that John McCain, Barack Obama, or Joe Biden are the biological fathers of the children they claim to be theirs?
Americans need to know these things, because after all, the candidates claim to be in favor of family values, and by the Andrew Sullivan standard it shouldn't be asking too much for them to clear up these questions by performing easily available DNA testing, and "put this to rest."
The above may sound ridiculous, but it's an example of how Trutherism works. Once a rumor gets started and larger web sites with "credibility" get in on the action, even a baseless and otherwise ridiculous rumor can begin to take on the appearance of something that has to be denied. WorldNetDaily spread rumors that McCain was a Communist turncoat who lived in a Hanoi apartment with prostitutes during his phony captivity, and WND also helped spread an equally ridiculous rumor that Barack Obama was a sort of tour guide who had sex with his male client and plied him with drugs -- while in the state legislature! I took the claim seriously enough to carefully listen to the pack of made-up lies, which only reminded me how easy it is to promulgate them:
OK, I'm trying to be funny, and I'd like to laugh this all off, but it isn't the first time. That this is being treated as news by WorldNetDaily left me no choice but to painstakingly hear out the entire claim, word by word.Another nonsensical claim I've blogged about before is the "idea" (recently revived during the primary campaign) that Senator Chris Dodd is actually the secret son of Joseph Stalin:
Joseph Stalin, the Soviet dictator, had had an "illegitimate" son who became a U.S. Senator. Furthermore, according to Skolnick, highly respected by those who knew him, the son of that U.S. Senator is Christopher J. Dodd, now running for U.S. president!In my earlier post, after carefully (and sarcastically) examining the "evidence," I concluded that more proof is needed!
I know my opinion doesn't count for much, but for what it's worth, I'm going to stick my neck out here and say that more proof is needed before we declare Lincoln was shot by his wife in a Rothschild conspiracy, or that Senator Dodd is Stalin's grandson.Looking back, I think I was kinder to Senator Dodd (and to Stalin) than Andrew Sullivan was to the Palins yesterday.
I demanded no DNA testing, no medical records, even though they are all easily available and Senator Dodd could put this all to rest.
While the groundless Stalin/Dodd paternity rumor hasn't been taken seriously enough to have become a major industry, it's still floating around. Here's the original claim (by a well-known conspiracy theorist named Sherman Skolnick):
Soviet dictator Josef Stalin reportedly had an illegitimate son. The offspring, Stalin's illegitimate grandson reportedly is U.S. Senator Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut. His father was also a U.S. Senator who was censured by the U.S. Senate as a result of a scandal. A close associate of Chris Dodd in the past often visited Moscow and Siberia reportedly as part of the "U.S. State Department". More Great Secrets of the 20th Century to follow.I'll just bet there were more to follow.
Anyone can say anything about anyone. I'm not seeing much difference between the Palin Truther standard and the Stalin Truther standard. Both "cases" involve ungrounded assertions of parentage (bolstered by asserted photographic similarities) affecting important public figures. Yet there's no chorus of rumor-mongers hiding behind the claim that "the truth" about Senator Dodd matters, and that he could easily "put this to rest."
But even if the rumor ever were to morph and grow until it reached the "Truther" stage of development, the Stalin analogy is very different in its dynamics. Senator Dodd is a grown man, a United States Senator, a seasoned political hardball veteran fully capable of defending himself against silly allegations.
Contrast that with the cruel attacks on a 16 year old girl and there really is no comparison.
I'm hoping this Palin Trutherism will backfire big time.
MORE: It turns out that a key photograph cited as "proof" (and used in the disgraceful smear campaign against Bristol Palin) was not even taken within the period in question:
Not only is the DailyKos disgustingly inspecting Bristol's midriff with all the fervor of LA paparazzi examining J-Lo's or Jennifer Aniston's washboard stomachs for evidence of a "bump," the DailyKos is wrong on when the photo was taken. It was taken, and published, by the Anchorage Daily News in 2006. Baby Trig, a child with Down's Syndrome, was born on April 18, 2008. That's a long time for a teen girl to be carrying a "bump" which looks nothing more than the curve of a tight sweater.The people who did this ought to be ashamed. But instead they'll claim they were only interested in "the Truth."
Being a Truther means never having to check the details of what you're citing.
MORE: The Palin family released a statement saying that Bristol Palin is five months pregnant now, and that she plans to marry the father.
While this pregnancy is utterly irrelevant to the malicious claim that she gave birth to her brother in April (or that her mother was not pregnant), I'd be willing to bet that some of the Truthers will claim they were "vindicated." (Probably under the theory that iIf she wasn't pregnant with her brother, she might as well have been. And pregnancy is hypocrisy. Or something....)
I'm sorry this was forced on them.
The family shouldn't have had to say a damned thing about what should be a private family matter.
MORE: Michele Catalano looks at the smear-Palin machine:
The fact is, the left is all about privacy in the matters of the womb. Were they to stay true to their colors, this mantra of theirs would seem to preclude them from judging Bristol's pregnancy and her choice to keep her child, right? It will be interesting to see how this plays out. The Kos kids and their blog followers have already made one attempt to ruin this girl's life. Now that they have a story with actual truth behind it, we'll have to sit back and see how far they run with a teenager's identity.I think this will backfire with ordinary voters too.
Petrol Dictators Unpopular
Canadian Liberal Senator Jerry Grafstein has a few words about polls in America.
"The polling demonstrates that energy independence is looming as a bigger issue than the economy," said Sen. Grafstein. "It's good, but it's not directing that venom at us, but to the petrol dictators.He goes on to say that Canada wants to help. I for one want them to.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Democrats Worry Canadians
It looks like the Democrat vow to regain respect for America on the international scene has hit a snag.
DENVER, Colo.--Canadian Parliamentarians in Denver last week tried to seek assurances that Democratic Party presidential candidate Barack Obama isn't singling out Canada as he vows to wean the U.S. off foreign oil and protect domestic jobs.Great job Barry. You are not even in office and already you have one of our largest trading partners worried.
Fortunately I don't think that Obama and his ship of fools will be doing well in November.
In fact Sarah Palin who had to work with Canada to get a natural gas pipeline built will be much more reassuring to them. They will know her. Now about that no foreign policy experience meme the Democrats are pushing. I'm betting that it is a wet noodle.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
Most Convention Activities Suspended
Republicans will be running an abbreviated convention due to hurricane Gustav.
Republican presidential candidate John McCain announced most of first day's activities at the Republican National Convention would be cancelled due to incoming hurricane storms in the South.A Cat 5 hurricane would be just huge. The hurricane that flattened New Orleans was a Cat 3.
I think it is fortunate that we had Katrina as a warm up. Also that Blanko is out as Governor of Louisiana and Jindal is in. Unfortunately Ray "Buses Underwater" Nagin is still Mayor of New Orleans.
Republican National Committee Chairman Robert "Mike" Duncan said "essential" activities such as the election of officers, rules adoption and a vote for they party's platform would be performed Monday.Let us hope things turn out as well as possible for the people of the Gulf Coast. If you are the praying kind, say one.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
If Sarah Palin is anti-gay, isn't Barack Obama?
An entertaining video from J. Son of Naked Boy News, with some good questions for gay activists.
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