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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Henry Louis Gates

That famous national conversation on race was recently advance by the arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Black, Harvard Professor and expert on all things Black. He teaches two courses at Harvard, African and African American Studies 10 (for undergraduates) and a graduate seminar African and African American Studies 301.
He called the policeman who was checking out to see if he was a burglar a racist.
Contributing to the conversation was Cambridge Police Sergeant James Crowley who – in trying to determine if Gates was who he said he was, arrested Gates for disorderly conduct.
And the third contributor was Barack Obama who identified himself as a friend of Gates and called the Cambridge Police Department “stupid.”

Let’s review what happened.

(1) Mr. Gates returned from a trip and had trouble getting into his home.
(2) Failing to enter through the front door, despite repeated tries, he enter via the back door.
(3) A person near the Gates home notices the actions and – believing that someone may be attempting a break-in calls the police.
(4) Sergeant Crowley responds.
(5) Words were exchanged between Mr. Gates and Crowley.
(6) Mr. Gates is arrested on the charge of disorderly conduct.
(7) Mr. Gates is released and charges have been withdrawn.

It should be noted that the early headlines were all about the prominent Harvard Professor being hustled by the racist cop. The cop decided that he was not going to be the designated patsy and fought back. The focus is changing, Mr. Gates is in at his home in Martha's Vinyard - recuperating - and Mr. Obama is trying to walk his comments back. The Cambridge police union is asking for apologies from Mr. Gates and Mr. Obama.

The incident brings to mind an experience I had. I was asleep late at night when I responded to a loud knock at my front door. Going downstairs I found a police officer who asked if I were the resident and asked for some identification. I was shocked and surprised and asked what the problem was. We had recently moved into our home and a light in the back yard had begun flickering intermittently. A neighbor called the police thinking that we were trying to signal that we were in distress. The incident made me thankful that we had neighbors that were concerned enough to call the police if they thought that there was a problem.

Henry Louis Gates had a different view of police. This may be because he is a Professional Black. Mr. Gates doesn’t teach economics or physics or chemistry … he teaches BLACK. For Mr. Gates, the police are THE MAN. The agents of oppression. The police will always be Bull Connor in Mr. Gates mind. And when Sergeant Crowley rang his front door bell, Sgt. Crowley was not there to protect his property, he was there to oppress the black man, and Mr. Gates was not going to put up with it. He was a Harvard professor, a millionaire with a house in Cambridge and one Martha’s Vineyard. No white cracker was going to hassle Henry Louis Gates, PhD.
For the record, the Mayor of Cambridge has apologized to Mr. Gates, the Governnor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, has expressed his outrage and the President of the United States called what the Cambridge did police stupid.

The race card is now overdrawn.

An esteemed professor in our most famous university, living in a city with a black mayor, in a state with a black governor, in a country with a black president, cannot, without embarrassment, play this card anymore

The Officer Didn’t Stereotype Henry Louis Gates — Henry Louis Gates Stereotyped the Officer

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Lagoon Nebula in Gas, Dust, and Stars

Having often stood in wonder at the beauty of God's creation here on the blue planet we call Earth, the heavens show both beauty and power. Who can comprehend the sheer power of the sun, magnified billions of times throughout the universe. All the energy produced by man in his total history is but a an unseen flicker to the power produced in one second in God's creation.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork ..."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Telling the elderly they have a duty to die

Bringing the "best practices" of European medicine to the United States.

Of the 130,000 Dutchmen who died in 1990, some 11,800 were killed or helped to die by their doctors, according to a 1991 report by the attorney general of the High Council of the Netherlands. (The 1991 report is the only complete report on euthanasia practices by the Dutch government.)

Some of these deaths are the classic cases cited by right-to-die advocates: A terminally ill patient, in agony, demanding to “die with dignity.” But many are not. An estimated 5,981 people–an average of 16 per day–were killed by their doctors without their consent, according to the Dutch government report.

And these numbers do not measure several other groups that are put to death involuntarily: disabled infants, terminally ill children and mental patients. [...]

Many old people now fear Dutch hospitals. More than 10% of senior citizens who responded to a recent survey, which did not mention euthanasia, volunteered that they feared being killed by their doctors without their consent. One senior-citizen group printed up wallet cards that tell doctors that the cardholder opposes euthanasia. [...]

As the cost of socialized medicine in the Netherlands grew, doctors were lectured about the importance of keeping expenses down. In many hospitals, signs were posted indicating how much old-age treatments cost taxpayers. The result was a growing “social pressure” from doctors and others, says Arno Heltzel, a spokesman for the Catholic Union of the Elderly, the largest Dutch senior-citizen group, which favors voluntary euthanasia. “Old people have to excuse themselves for living. When they say that all of their friends are dead, people say, ‘Maybe it is time for you to go too,’ rather than, ‘You need to find new friends.’ “

It's the modern Liberal version of putting the sick and elderly on ice floes and pushing them out to sea.

There are any number of ways that ObamaCare can justify this. Obama himself does a very good job of explaining why old people should die HERE. What's interesting is the support he has among the elderly. It's as if the German Jews kept voting for Hitler as they were being shipped off to "summer camp."

Divorce Agreement: Let's Agree to Differ and Split Up

Via Vanderleun at American Digest ...

Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, Marxists and Obama supporters, et al:

We have stuck together since the late 1950's, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce. I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has run its course. Our two ideological sides of America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right so let's just end it on friendly terms. We can smile and chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and go our own way.

Here is a model separation agreement:

Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by landmass each taking a portion. That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy! Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides have such distinct and disparate tastes.

We don't like redistributive taxes so you can keep them. You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU. Since you hate guns and war, we'll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA and the military. You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore and Rosie O'Donnell (You are, however, responsible for finding a bio-diesel vehicle big enough to move all three of them).

We'll keep the capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart and Wall Street. You can have your beloved homeless, homeboys, hippies and illegal aliens. We'll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO's and rednecks. We'll keep the Bibles and give you NBC and Hollywood.

Read the rest.

Obama to Jane Sturm: Hey, take a pill (You're too old)

Russ Carnahan's (D-MO) healthcare forum on Monday

These are "Tea Party" folks. Following the advice they have received on the Internet, they are finding their voices in public forums like this. I would guess that Congressmen are not used to being laughed at and challenged by members of the audience in these forums. Right now they are trying to determine if these are few malcontents or if it's more than that.

The point is that it does not take a majority to make a movement. The majority in any society is always going to be busy with other things. But they may well be sympathetic ... the sea in which the activists swim.

There are a few predictions that I would make:
(1) Congressmen will try to get their supporters out to these meetings to drown out the dissenters; to clap and cheer at the right time.
(2) There may well be fewer "town hall" type meetings as government officials try to figure out how to cope.
(3) There will be more "tea party" types getting going to these meetings with video equipment as the word spreads.
(4) There will be attempts by the Left to reclaim their role as leaders in "street theater" leading to verbal and perhaps physical clashes.

I will say that it's refreshing to learn that the Right can do activism. Success will feed on itself.

Here's one reaction from a congressman that's being repeated all over the country: calling the cops. Perriello’s office calls police to halt health care rally

More than sixty concerned United States citizens and residents of Virginia’s 5th Congressional District gathered in the parking lot immediately outside Democrat Congressman Tom Perriello’s Charlottesville office today. Organized by Bill Hay and the Jefferson Area Tea Party, the rally’s purpose was to allow attendees a forum in which to express their concerns over the prospect of nationalized/socialized medicine directly to Congressman Perriello (who chose not to attend), or in close proximity to his office.
Approximately forty minutes into the event, Charlottesville police were called to the parking lot area. Unconfirmed reports from the scene tie at least one of the complaining phone calls directly to Congressman Tom Perriello’s office staff. While the attending police officers (professionally and politely) compelled the gathered crowd to disperse, rally attendees grumbled at the prospect of their own congressman’s office terminating their first amendment, free speech protest. A protest that was peaceful and non-invasive in contrast to prior leftist assaults on the office of former 5th District Congressman, Virgil Goode.

WELCOME INSTAPUNDIT READERS: Here's my Palin prediction.

... and a comment on Walter Cronkite.

Thanks for the links.

Beltway Bandits: National Journal creates private 'pay-to-play' web site for Hill. The cost for access to Congress a mere $295,0000.

Since news doesn't sell well and opinions are more numerous that crooked politicians, what's a publisher to do?

Providing a private, limited-access only platform for lawmakers and lobbyists ... National Journal is creating a private web site for Members of Congress and their staff. Taxpayers are not invited. Lobbyists and others seeking to influence Congress will be able to buy their way onto the site via advocacy advertising

It brings new meaning to the term "media whores."

Erin Andrews Peephole Video

Nothing follows.

What's apparent is that videos of naked women are popular.

Click HERE for those who get a thrill out of porn.

"Pension Spiking": California Fire Chief Retires at 51 with $240,000 annual pension.

Via the Wall Street Journal ...

Can we understand why the state of California and its cities are in deep financial trouble?

Pete Nowicki just turned 51 and was eligible to retire. So he did. His pension was full pay (nice), plus he sold his unused vacation and holidays, raising his pension from a very healthy $186,000 to $240,000 - per year.

Pete Nowicki had been making $186,000 shortly before he retired in January as chief for a fire department shared by the municipalities of Orinda and Moraga in Northern California. Three days before Mr. Nowicki announced he was hanging up his hat, department trustees agreed to increase his salary largely by enabling him to sell unused vacation days and holidays. That helped boost his annual pension to $241,000.

..The boost was legal, and Mr. Nowicki said he is receiving a permissible pension. "People point to me as a poster child for pension spiking, but I did not negotiate these rules," he said.

Is this an isolated case?
Mr. Nowicki's situation isn't unique. Contracts that permit a jump in salary just before retirement -- boosting the pension payout -- have been around for years. But as tough times are putting more scrutiny on public pensions, Mr. Nowicki's case has sparked particular anger from colleagues and local residents. Some recently demanded an explanation from the department trustees and others have lobbied the Orinda council to divert funds away from the fire department.

"These guys may have priced themselves out of job," said Steve Cohn, a financial analyst in Orinda.

The practice is getting more attention amid growing concerns about the sustainability of guaranteed pension payouts for public employees after brutal market losses last year in public pension funds.

In California, which has taken to issuing IOUs to hoard cash, a private interest group has launched a campaign to publicize the names of government retirees with pensions of $100,000 or more to promote its view that steep pensions threaten to bankrupt states and municipalities. Mr. Nowicki's payout was brought to light in the spring in a Contra Costa Times column.

While it happens nationwide, pension spiking has been especially prevalent in California, which some attribute to favorable terms negotiated by powerful unions.
The cost of all this?

Mr. Nowicki recently turned 51 years old. If he lives another 25 years, his pension payments will cost the fire district an estimated additional $1 million or more over what he would have received had he retired at a salary of $186,000, not including cost of living adjustments, a fire board representative said.

To add insult to injury ...
In addition to drawing his pension, Mr. Nowicki currently is working for the fire department as a consultant at an annual salary of $176,400 while the department searches for his replacement.

If this is business as usual, the state is in bigger trouble than we realize.

DRUDGE headline: "This isn't about me."


There was a book written about a leader - a sort of Big Brother - who was on TV all the time.

Getting there in baby steps.

After some hesitation and a time shift, three major broadcast networks have agreed to carry Barack Obama's latest primetime news conference.
The conference will mark the president's fourth primetime press event since he took office six months ago.

The Horsehead Nebula

I like horses.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Does reality always win?

The answer may be yes, but sometimes not in time for the people involved. But that's no reason for despair.

Freedom implies the ability to make mistakes; it may even imply the necessity of them. Well might the perfect being exclaim: “not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall. … For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men, it is bitter to receive.” Bitter indeed; for freedom is humanity’s curse and greatest gift, the ground of both fall and redemption. It is our common fate and our staircase to the stars.

Cronkite's former chef to tell all

Walter Cronkite has his enemies, and it turns out one of them cooked for him.

Terri Schwab, Cronkite's former chef and manager of his Martha's Vineyard home for 10 years is shopping a tome that charges Cronkite suffered from dementia and was hated by his three children. Schwab said the newsman had a nasty temper and was never around for his three kids ...

That's a book I'll buy.

Questions about the reported abduction of Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl

Michelle Malikin has a roundup.

Dude, Where’s My Budget?

... The federal budget is due for release right now, but it’s being delayed because it bears bad news, and no, we don’t need bad news now that the administration is pushing for that “free healthcare” that will cost trillion$, the cap-and-tax that will bring the economy to a grinding halt, and possibly a second “stimulus” bill.

The AP speculates ...
The White House is being forced to acknowledge the wide gap between its once-upbeat predictions about the economy and today's bleak landscape.

The administration's annual midsummer budget update is sure to show higher deficits and unemployment and slower growth than projected in President Barack Obama's budget in February and update in May, and that could complicate his efforts to get his signature health care and global-warming proposals through Congress.

The release of the update - usually scheduled for mid-July - has been put off until the middle of next month, giving rise to speculation the White House is delaying the bad news at least until Congress leaves town on its August 7 summer recess.

Ya think?

How's that transparency working out for you?

No, you can’t see the numbers; the King is a Fink

From the Anchoress:

So, the White House is not going to give us taxpayers a timely update on the nation’s money and employment situation.
They’re just gonna “hold that information back” until Congress goes into recess.
They’re just gonna
keep everyone in the dark until they muscle through his unpopular Healthcare legislation – that 1,000-page, unread, undebated document – that will push our deficit into unbearable territory, give the government unprecedented control over our lives and will quickly render healthcare in America unrecognizable, for must of us, although the politicians will do alright.
Obamacare will also
federally fund abortions in direct contrast to what the president seemed to tell the pope, mere weeks ago.
I am waiting to hear the outrage in the press, over the heavy-handed, brazen and rather arrogant moves of a president who sounded downright thuggish
last week when he went before the microphone and said this monstrosity was going to pass, and it was going to pass quickly and “I mean it.”

[Don't hold your breath]

President Obama’s daily finger-wags and bully-pulpits are not in the mode ala President Bush, who said, “I have all this political capital, and I’m going to spend it,” which the press found unpardonably arrogant. It’s not even Obama saying, “I won,” which made the media giggle. This withholding of public information/ramming through of legislation is a whole ‘nother kind of arrogance.

Is an election fair if the results are tabulated before the voting begins?

"In Honduras, according to breaking Catalan newspaper reports (translations available, USA Today mention), authorities have seized 45 computers containing certified election results for a constitutional election that never happened. The election had been scheduled for June 28, but on that day the president, Manuel Zelaya, was ousted. The 'certified' and detailed electronic records of the non-existent election show Zelaya's side having won overwhelmingly."

I wonder how much press coverage this will get in the MSM?

What would Jesus carry?

CNN dimb bulbs...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

In 2002, even D.C. Democrats wanted to get Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants more than they wanted to get Dick Cheney.

How times have changed.

Debra J. Saunders at Townhall: The Gang That Couldn't Shoot -- Period

Such are the sensibilities in Washington that, collateral damage notwithstanding, it is politically safer to bomb terrorists than to shoot them.

While Democrats demanding an investigation might have set out to mess with Cheney, the only clear casualty to date is one of their own: Panetta.

He rushed to disclose the nonoperational covert operation to Intelligence Committee members, and unnamed sources rewarded his candor by leaking the story. He shut down a program that, if never implemented, makes complete sense in time of war. Add it all together and Panetta got rolled.

The message to agency staff may be unintended, but it is clear: If there's anyone left at CIA headquarters who wants to defeat al-Qaida, that person would be well advised to hire a lawyer first. Or maybe a shrink.

The faux outrage is backfiring on the numskulls who are making a big deal out of this. Average Americans have to be scratching their heads. "You mean we don't have any people at the CIA that can actually, you know, go out and shoot the bad guys?" And "The Democrats in Congress are upset that we tried to begin a training program to get OBL and his henchmen after he killed 3000 Americans?" Are they upset that we did not have the resources, that we did not develop the resources or that they were not told that we did not have the resources and we never did develop the resources?


The problem for the Democrats is that Walter Cronkite is dead and his acolytes no longer have the information channels to themselves. People are no longer glued to the boob tube nodding their heads in glazed acceptance of the newsreaders' spin of events. It's more difficult these days to persuade people that victory is defeat and that black is white. They really don't get the Biden explanation that the government has to spend more to keep from going bankrupt.

I will never forget Chappaquiddick

Scott Johnson at Powerline ...

Ted Kennedy has styled himself an opponent of wealth and privilege, but his career is a tribute to their power when wielded by a man of the left. The lesson of Chappaquiddick thus remains timely forty years on.

I thought I would take a moment to bother you all, ladies included, to remind everyone that this is the 40th anniversary of the infamous Chappaquiddick incident in which an inebriated Senator Ted Kennedy marked a reunion of his brother Bobby's "Boiler Room" girls by driving one to her death off the Dyke Road bridge.

This manslaughter might have been forgiven if Kennedy hadn't decided to evade responsibility for the accident and cover it up by failing to report it, trying to co-opt one of his aides to cop to being the driver, and then leaving them to try and fix it for him for over seven hours.

Worse, Mary Jo Kopechne, whose drowned body was found in a position trying to eke out the last molecules of air within the submerged car, was left to drown by the self-involved Senator, who chose not to seek immediate help.

After proceedings by a Kennedy-friendly judicial system in Massachusetts, Kennedy was found guilty of leaving the scene of an accident and had his driver's license suspended. But perhaps the crowning event was Kennedy's appalling nationally-televised apologia, which I remember viewing on TV, and which still reigns as probably the worst and most self-indulgent political pitch ever.

The Kennedy family has received its reward for all it has done. I'm not sure that the American people were wicked enough to have deserved them.


James Lileks in the NY Post ...

The "gaffes," as we call unscripted thoughts, come delightfully often with Biden. The latest: Speaking before the AARP, Biden aarped up a peculiar formulation to explain the need to borrow 3.2 bejillion dollars in order to transform the American health care system, preferably by next week. He said people ask him "What are you talking about, you're telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt? The answer is yes, 'I'm telling you.'"

In Vietnam-era terms: we have to burn the hospital in order to save it. Even if that means losing the burn unit.

In one sense, Biden's logic isn't new; anyone who said we had to partition Iraq to save it is perfectly capable of believing we have to dig a deep hole now to keep from falling into a deeper hole later. But how does this fit with Biden's other summer misstatements? Let's take a quick review.

Read the rest.

The Gelded Age

Per Mark Steyn.

Having taken care of the grueling task of destroying the American economy, Congress turns it eyes on birth control for wild horses and burros for a mere $700 million dollars. In the Obama budget, a rounding error.

On Friday, the House voted on the Restore Our American Mustangs Act — or ROAM. Like all acronymically cute legislation, its name bears little relation to what it actually does: It’s not about “restoring” mustangs....

Under this legislation, no horses or burros could be, ah, terminated, and they would have to be released from their holding pens after six months. To facilitate the release of the tame “wild horse” population, the act adds to their present 33-million acre habitat (that’s bigger than New York State) another 20 million acres — or approximately the size of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont combined. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the total tab at around $700 million — ie, chump change. If you look for it in the line-item budget, it comes down at the bottom under “rounding error.” It’s a mere ten-and-a-half grand per mustang. If you’re wondering why it costs more to keep a horse on 52 million acres of wilderness than it does to stable him at an upscale horse farm in New England, that’s because, in order to prevent the mustang population doubling again by 2013 and requiring the annexation of another 50 million acres (ie, an area the size of Ireland, Denmark, Belgium, and the Netherlands combined), the bill mandates “enhanced” contraception for horses and burros.

Someday our granchildren will look at this and view this the same way we view the Wright flyer.

This picture is already 40 years old!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Some weirdoes at Volokh again.

I have been gently chastised by Glenn Reynolds for an occasional negative comment regarding the Volokh Conspiracy. It’s not the “conspirators” themselves who are the problem so much as the audience they attract. Glenn wisely, perhaps, does not allow comments. The people who have posting privileges are – mostly – law professors, so their posts are sane. The same cannot be said for the comments that follow. Why this concerns me I’ll get into a little later.

David Bernstein posted an essay entitled HRW's Whitson Defends Fundraising in Totalitarian Countries

The subject was Human Rights Watch soliciting funds from the Saudis. But the comments swerved into a discussion of evangelical Christians with this comment by someone calling himself “Seattle Law Student” who said

I might well be a republican were it not for the Messianic Christianity of their base*. I lived in Germany, they are good people, it took one charismatic douchebag to turn them into raving lunatics. I look at the republican base and see that waiting to happen.

Right now there is an odd confluence between far right wing Christians who want to see the temple rebuilt to hasten the end times and Israel. That is not a stable pairing.

* that and the party's absurd stance on personal liberties and other social issues.

He got some pushback.
That was followed by this comment:

I was characterizing why I'm not a Repbulican,[sic] based on my perceptions of Movement/Fundamentalist/Evangelical Christianity, not Christianity itself. Christianity in its many forms is a beautiful religion held dear by many millions of good people.

If I offended you, I apologize.

That said, to outsiders elements of Movement/Fundamentalist/Evangelical Christianity are genuinely scary. As is true of fundamentalists of any stripe, be they Christian, Jewish, Muslim, environmentalist, libertarian or whatever. When absolute certainty erodes doubt there is no room for rational discussion. I'm uncomfortable with people with whom I cannot hold such a discussion.

Which then led a commenter calling himself “Jukeboxgrad” to raise the level of discourse:

The Left Behind series has sold 65 million copies. A major theme of these books is that non-Christians are doomed, and this doom is portrayed in gory detail. The associated video game "rewards children for how effectively they role play the killing of those who resist becoming a born again Christian."

Jukeboxgrad lets his paranoia out for a stroll:

The video game embodies the former. And it's a short leap from the latter to the former. Once I believe that someone deserves to die, it becomes fairly easy to convince myself that I might as well kill him. Exhibit A: Scott Roeder.

And lots of people who aren't willing to pull the trigger are content to provide various forms of support to the person who is.

Infidels like me are an offense to and a potential target of all violent fundamentalists, and not just the ones that live in a cave on the other side of the world.

And compares these books to Mein Kampf

If we suddenly discovered that millions of copies of Mein Kampf (or some book expressing a similar philosophy) were flying off the shelf, we would probably not gloss over that by saying readers just found it "diverting." We would rightly be concerned. Because as a general rule, works of popular culture (books, movies, music) succeed when they find an audience which feels an affinity to the perspective expressed in that work.

Why do I consider this disturbing?

Because it’s a law blog.

People who are attracted to this blog are lawyers or lawyers in training. This is disturbing because it exposes a level of ignorance, hatred or virulence that is dangerous in the legal community. As a student of history, it bothers me that many of the leaders of the French Revolution were lawyers. These were the leaders who created the Great Terror in which thousand died because they were the wrong religion or the wrong birth. And they were superbly logical - and thorough. We expect a certain fustiness of our lawyers. Like a friendly dog, it’s unsettling when we find out they are rabid.


Doing your part for ObamaCare.

It's The Best!

Demographic Dead Ends

Mark Steyn makes the obvious point about the effects of birth rates that do not replace people who are dying. Japan is exhibit “A.”

Japan's population peaked in 2004 at about 127.8 million and is projected to fall to 89.9 million by 2055. The ratio of working-age to elderly Japanese fell from 8 to 1 in 1975 to 3.3 to 1 in 2005 and may shrivel to 1.3 to 1 in 2055. "In 2055, people will come to work when they have time off from long-term care," said Kiyoaki Fujiwara, director of economic policy at the Japan Business Federation.

Such a decline is cataclysmic for an indebted country that values infrastructure and personal service. (Who is going to maintain the trains, pay for social benefits, slice sushi at the Tsukiji fish market?) The obvious answers—encourage immigration and a higher birthrate—have proved difficult, even impossible, for this conservative society.

Steyn asks what the younger people in these countries will do.

The transformation of developed societies - either into old folks' homes (like Japan) or semi-Islamized dystopias (like Amsterdam, Brussels, etc) - will lead, in fact, to emigration. A young German or Japanese circa 2040 will have no reason whatsoever to stay in his native land and have most of his income confiscated in a vain attempt to prop up an unsustainable geriatric welfare system. So many will leave. Where will they go?

That's a very good question.

But the population of the earth is expanding and - I suspect – will continue to expand. Since the Japanese are not reproducing themselves, and neither are most of the Europeans, Russians, or Canadians, the answer is that the population will shift ever more heavily toward Africans or Asians. China has instituted a policy to limit births. In other parts of the world this is not so. India has not, Latin America has not, and neither have the Muslim countries.

In 100 years, the future may well belong to Latin America, Asia and Africa. Given their political past and present, that is not a reassuring thought.

Peggy Noonan: Sarah Palin Jealous

From the American Thinker
You're Peggy Noonan and you're jealous. You are a card-carrying member of the intellectual conservative elite, a PBS-anointed expert on family values who worked for both Ronald Reagan and Dan Rather, a talented speechwriter and wordsmith. And you are fuming: Sarah Palin refuses to be yesterday's news. You just can't get her out of your mind.

And, what's worse, everyone continues to talk about her. You've tried everything, using your mainstream media platforms, your Wall Street Journal columns, and powerful friends -- so many of them -- to savage her, to give her a rhetorical beating so fierce that it would bring a smile to the face of Vince McMahon -- if you knew who he is, and if you had ever watched a WWE wrestling match, which he heads. "She is a complete elite confection. She might as well have been a bonbon," you wrote, your $300 manicured fingers shaking on the keyboard.
You're Peggy Noonan and you're jealous. Your "beyond the mundane" co-founders -- "buds" as the Sarah Palin types so crassly put it-for your new venture are the essence of your kind of middle America: they include "60 Minutes" reporter Lesley Stahl; actresses Candice Bergen (actress, Democratic and Planned Parenthood spokesperson), Whoopi Goldberg (dropped by advertisers after a nasty Bush joke at a Democratic fundraiser and then hired by The View, a Barbara Walters talk show on ABC ), and Marlo Thomas (a major Democratic donor who is married to Bush-hater Phil Donahue), your type of conservatives, which puts them a bit to the right of Hugo Chavez. But after a year the audience is less than 20 percent of what you defined as success, your investors are worried, and the same women who pack Sarah Palin rallies are ignoring your venture, which features such pieces as "Michelle Obama's Scintillating Style" and "French Fashion Designers Churn Out Stylish Burqhas."What is wrong with this country? Isn't anyone a real conservative anymore? Don't they listen to you? Can't they read without moving their lips?You're Peggy Noonan and you're jealous. And, worst of all, Sarah Palin is not.

Read the whole thing.

Why I don’t mourn Walter Cronkite

Walter Cronkite is dead and I extend my sympathy to this relatives and friends who grieve. As for me, I cannot find it in myself to mourn his passing. I watched his version of the news constantly, recalling his famous closing line “and that’s the way it is.” The problem is, as I learned later, that’s not the way it was.

Walter Cronkite was labeled – I don’t know by whom, probably the marketing department at CBS News - as “the most trusted man in America.” He, and many others, used that trust to create an aura around the news business that it has taken literally decades to reveal as a false front. At a time when information was one-way and media outlets were severely limited in number, the version of reality that was reflected by Walter Cronkite shaped public opinion so massively that opposing opinions stood no chance. That is why it was Walter Cronkite who ended America’s quest for victory in Viet Nam.

When Lyndon Johnson said that "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost Middle America." He recognized a political truth. Consider this.

In mid-February, in the immediate aftermath of the Tet Offensive, both Gallup and Harris noted a surge in American support for the war. Both pollsters said 61% of Americans favored a stronger military response against the North Vietnamese Army. 70% of Americans favored increased bombing of North Vietnamese targets, which was up from 63% in the previous December.

Then came Cronkite's February 27 commentary.

To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe, in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past. To suggest we are on the edge of defeat is to yield to unreasonable pessimism. To say that we are mired in stalemate seems the only realistic, yet unsatisfactory conclusion.

In early March, just a few days later, 49% of Americans said it was a mistake to have entered the Vietnam conflict. Only 35% believed the war would end within two years. 69% now approved of a phased withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam.*

The political power Cronkite wielded was acknowledged not just by Lyndon Johnson - who effectively ceded control of America's war policy to a news commentator - but is acknowledged by his cohorts in the news business:
It is impossible to imagine CBS News, journalism or indeed America without Walter Cronkite," CBS News president Sean McManus said in a statement. "More than just the best and most trusted anchor in history, he guided America through our crises, tragedies and also our victories and greatest moments."
Repeat that in your mind: "He guided America." An employee of CBS news "guided America." This is not a brief for Lyndon Johnson or the literal crooks and clowns who inhabit the house and senate, but the power that Cronkite wielded over America is troubling to me.

From the same article we are reminded that Cronkite had a team. And who was on that team? Eric Severeid, Daniel Schorr, Dan Rather, Roger Mudd, Mike Wallace. See anyone there who you would recognize as a Conservative voice? Neither do I. Today Daniel Schorr delivers diatribes against the Right from his sinecure at NPR and Dan Rather maintains that it was those damn Right Wingers who smeared him by exposing his phony Bush papers story.

Cronkite, it was said, “did not editorialize often.” Well, let’s put it this way, he did not come out and say “this is my opinion.” But his way of editorializing is the same craft that the media used in his time and ever since: selective use of facts, the omission of this story, the emphasis on that story, all used to weave a version of reality that people believed about the world around them beyond the reach of their five senses.

Walter Cronkite gained immense power and, in my opinion used that power badly to advance his personal wealth and his personal ideology. There’s a lot of money to be made if you are the “most trusted man in America.” And you can convince a lot of people that “that’s the way it is” if they believe you.

The healthiest thing for American democracy has been the internet, having broken the death-grip that the mainstream media have had on American perspectives of reality. Had Walter Cronkite lived with the internet, his title and his sign off line would have been laughed at.

Rest in peace.
UPDATE: Roger Kimball has a few thoughts ...

His success was not a matter of substance. It was a matter of tone. As that piece in the LA Times acknowledged, “The news that Cronkite reported was barely distinct from the news his colleague-competitors reported.” Indeed. He didn’t research or write the news. He read it. He emitted the same platitudes every other news reader mouthed. He did so, however, with a sort of cardigan authenticity that used car salesmen would climb naked over broken bottles to emulate. When JFK was assassinated, Cronkite wept, almost. He swooned when Neil Armstrong walked upon the moon. He was righteously indignant over the war in Vietnam Watergate and the war in Iraq. How he loathed President Bush, how he admired President Carter, the “smartest” president he ever met. He was a partisan news reader whose reputation for impartiality survived only because he espoused the same ideology as those in the media who determine who is awarded points for impartiality. Liberals like Cronkite suppose they are objective because they are secure in the belief that their opinions represent a neutral state of nature. It is (they believe) only those who dissent from those opinions who bring politics into the equation.

Franken, Sotomayor and Perry Mason

From TheHill
... before wrapping up his question time, Franken returned to "Perry Mason," posing to Sotomayor the only question that has stumped her so far during the Judiciary Committee hearings.

Franken asked Sotomayor the name of the one case where Mason’s client was actually guilty.

But Sotomayor, for all her knowledge of real-life cases, couldn’t come up with the answer, prompting mock surprise and disappointment from the senator.

“Didn’t the White House prepare you?” ...

Sotomayor assured the panel that “I watched it all of the time” but could not remember.

Why does the Government need to hire someone to create humor in the workplace when we already have Joe Biden?

Jon Sanders remarks on Team Obama's ad for a workplace comic ...

The glaring redundancy of the position became obvious. Who counsels spending more to avoid bankruptcy ? Joe Biden. Who says that if milk prices went up 57 percent, there'd be a lot of dead cows ? Joe Biden. Who said that if the Obama administration did everything right, there was a 30 percent chance they'd be wrong ? You know it.
The man is a master, reducing stress at every workplace across America (save one) with each new addle pated utterance. Not since "The Far Side" of Gary Larson have people been treated to the daily enjoyment of a perfect blend of the hilarious and the weird. Who needs workshops?

Friday, July 17, 2009

"You lowlife fascists." Jackie Mason on the critics of Sarah Palin

Via Theo Spark.

Iowahawk channels that wise Latina woman

This is exactly the kind of wise, precedent-faithful Latina legal approach that I believe will be welcome by others on the Supreme Court bench, all of whom bring their own unique genetic legal wisdom and instinctual empathy. Justices Roberts and Souter for example, with their aloof, sexless, constipated, emotionally-stunted WASPy intellects and natural affinity for preppy white collar criminals. Justice Stevens has this as well, along with a keen grasp for the legal issues facing Americans with senile dementia. As an Irishman, Justice Kennedy enjoys a natural "gift of the gab" and poetically tragic alcoholism. Like you, I imagine that Justice Breyer can be kind of pushy and whiny, but we should also remember that as a Jew he is probably very skilled at cases that involve complicated numbers and math. To the casual observer, it probably seems absurd to have greasy Italian "goodfellas" like Justices Alito and Scalia working inside the legal system, but if we give them a chance they may eventually break the code of Omerta and finally turn state's evidence against their Cosa Nostra bosses. Yes, many have criticized Justice Thomas for being a self-hating "Oreo" and "Uncle Tom," but I like to think that deep inside him still lurks the the DNA of an angry Cadillac-driving streetwise Superfly, ready to show "The Man" that his pimp hand is strong.

McCaskill's Office Locks Doors, Pulls Blinds, Calls Cops & Forces Obamacare Protesters Off Public Property

Gateway Pundit (with video and lots of pictures).

H/T Instapundit.

Newsflash: CIA can't kill al-Qaeda

Johan Goldberg: Anger Over CIA Flap Is Misplaced

Call me crazy, but I just assumed that the CIA was out there trying to kill as many senior members of al-Qaeda as it could. Congress, in the spirit of broad patriotic bipartisan righteousness, authorized the use of force on al-Qaeda after it killed 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11, 2001. Now we find out that the CIA lacked the competence or will to hunt down and kill men desperately in need of killing.

"It was like being in Mississippi in 1945."

National Black Chamber of Commerce CEO Harry C. Alford talked with editors Scott Baker and Liz Stephans during Thursday afternoon's live edition of "The B-Cast."

Black Chamber of Commerce CEO Rips Sen. Boxer for ‘Condescending’ Racial Remarks

A black swan event.

Where’s the ACLU?

I recently wrote an essay (I want to say column, but I don’t want to be confused with literary pornographers like Paul Krugman) about Casually Slurring Christians which generated a debate about whether the ACLU was a defender or an attacker of Christianity in America.

What is not in dispute is that the ACLU is litigious. They will threaten to sue at the drop of a crucifix or the threat to utter a prayer at a public function.

So where is the ACLU when it comes to some questionable – some would say illegal – acts of the Obama administration? Which is a greater threat to American civil liberties: a cross on a hill or a government official ordering the chairman and board of directors of a private company to resign? What is the bigger threat to civil liberty: valedictorian of Foothill High, Brittany McComb, sharing her faith voluntarily at her graduation ceremony or a President over-ruling the law regarding the distribution of assets when a company goes bankrupt – to the benefit of said President's political contributors – as in the case of Chrysler?

The argument may be made that the company in question is a debtor of the government. Whether governments should lend money to private companies is an issue for another day because collaboration between big business and big government has an unsavory history.

Shareholders – and even creditors – of companies have been known to demand changes in management. But that is the private sector negotiating among itself. The government stands in a much different position to corporations than do private creditors and shareholders. The latter can’t send the IRS, the SEC, the FBI, and all the other agencies of coercion to threaten you with jail if you don’t agree.

I am amazed and baffled that there have been no outcries from the self-described “civil libertarians” in the legal community about the actions of the Obama administration. Team Obama’s annexation of some huge chunks of the private sector has gone virtually unremarked from a legal perspective. Except for a few scattered lawsuits regarding the Chrysler and GM takeovers - suits that were quickly quashed by pressure from the White House – the legal eagles have been largely silent regarding the clear threats to civil liberties. The same lawyers that demanded that foreign terrorists captured in foreign countries during a war should be treated like domestic criminals including Miranda warnings – are silent when the government in-effect nationalizes private property.

I was going to say strangely silent, but I never really expected that the Left, the law professors and legal Libertarians really were being honest about wishing to preserve civil liberties. By their silence they appear to be perfectly fine with a Liberal Fascism. They couch their disagreement – if any exist – on policy rather than legal grounds. It strikes me as a cowardly ducking of the issues. Of course there does not appear to be a support group in the legal professoriate for anyone who wants to defy a popular demagogue, thus demonstrating the level of courage for which the academy is famous.

What's disappointing is that Conservatives don't seem to have the legal infrastructure to do for the Right what the ACLU does for the Left.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Senior Moment

When you get to be a certain age, you let go of your inhibitions (trust me on this) and say what’s on your mind. When you are a Supreme Court Justice with lifetime tenure and you are within a few years of retiring, you can let your inner racist-eugenicist out.

Jonah Goldberg is polite when he questions what Ginsburg meant in her interview with the NY Times.

Here's what Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in Sunday's New York Times Magazine: "Frankly I had thought that at the time (Roe v. Wade) was decided," Ginsburg told her interviewer, Emily Bazelon, "there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don't want to have too many of." ...

Ginsburg's certainly right that abortion has deep roots in the historic effort to "weed out" undesired groups. For instance, Margaret Sanger, the revered feminist and founder of Planned Parenthood, was a racist eugenicist of the first order. Even more perplexing: She's become a champion of "reproductive freedom" even though she proposed a "Code to Stop Overproduction of Children," under which "no woman shall have a legal right to bear a child without a permit." (Poor blacks would have had a particularly hard time getting such licenses from Sanger.)

If Ginsburg does see eugenic culling as a compelling state interest, she'd be in fine company on the court. Oliver Wendell Holmes was a passionate believer in such things. In 1915, Holmes wrote in the Illinois Law Review that the "starting point for an ideal for the law" should be the "coordinated human effort ... to build a race."

The assumption is made by Goldberg and others that these advocates of government control - or “encouragement” - of “family planning” were race based. But this is an assumption that may have penumbras and emanations (to quote one famous Supreme Court decision). Can’t we assume also that the eugenics movement may also have as an objective the selective breeding of people who no longer believe in God? The people who were in the forefront of the that movement also believed that religious belief was irrational and even dangerous to the kind of rational, ordered society they envisioned.

Even people who in other contexts make fine distinctions, have trouble seeing the difference between - say - Ayatollahs and Christians.

I can well see Ruth Bader Ginsburg – a leading light of the ACLU – deciding that too many fundamentalist Christians were breeding. Not good for a “enlightened secular” society, eh Ruth?

Of course, John Holdren, Obama's science czar shares Ginsburg's views on culling the human race, so why should we be shocked? Their views are become mainstream Democrat beliefs - again.

Ann Coulter on the Senate Supreme Court hearings

Sen. Patrick Leahy lied about Estrada's nomination, blaming it on Republicans: "He was not given a hearing when the Republicans were in charge. He was given a hearing when the Democrats were in charge."

The Republicans were "in charge" for precisely 14 days between Estrada's nomination on May 9, 2001, and May 24, 2001, when Sen. Jim Jeffords switched parties, giving Democrats control of the Senate. The Democrats then refused to hold a hearing on Estrada's nomination for approximately 480 days, shortly before the 2002 election.

Even after Republicans won back a narrow majority in 2003, Estrada was blocked "by an extraordinary filibuster mounted by Senate Democrats" -- as The New York Times put it.

Memos from the Democratic staff of the Judiciary Committee were later unearthed, revealing that they considered Estrada "especially dangerous" -- as stated in a memo by a Sen. Dick Durbin staffer -- because "he is Latino and the White House seems to be grooming him for a Supreme Court appointment."

Sandy Berger wasn't available to steal back the memos, so Durbin ordered Capitol Police to seize the documents from Senate computer servers and lock them in a police vault.

How can you tell when Leahy is lying? His lips are moving.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

When it's a choice between a mad scientist and a Christian, it's the Christian who is fed to the lions

Have you heard the latest controversy over an Obama appointment? No, not the guy who thinks that people should be sterilized by putting things in the drinking water, but the Christian.

Foiling the Next 9/11 and Not Even Knowing It

How long can we stay lucky?

The United States may have narrowly missed a repeat of the 9/11 attacks in June — and, apparently, even the FBI doesn’t realize it.

On June 4, a 24-year-old Muslim man named Raed Abdhul-Rahman Alsaif was arrested for trying to bring a seven-inch knife on board a U.S. Airways flight at Tampa International Airport, destined for Phoenix. The blade was seen by a screener and Alsaif was caught before he could get onto the airliner. Of course, he says he is innocent, as some forgetful friend gave him the luggage bag and failed to mention that a knife was embedded inside the material, which the criminal complaint states was “artfully” concealed in such a way as to allow for it to be retrieved once the flight took off.

In which Sotomayor addresses the constitutionality of nunchucks

Nearly all my professors are Democrats. Isn't that a problem?

The professors don't seem to think so. A journalism student at the University of Oregon wrote an article for the student paper. The result shocked him.

In my column, published in the campus newspaper The Oregon Daily Emerald June 1, I suggested that such a disparity hurt UO. I argued that the lifeblood of higher education was subjecting students to diverse viewpoints and the university needed to work on attracting more conservative professors.
A professor who confronted me declared that he was "personally offended" by my column. He railed that his political viewpoints never affected his teaching and suggested that if I wanted a faculty with Republicans I should have attended a university in the South. "If you like conservatism you can certainly attend the University of Texas and you can walk past the statue of Jefferson Davis everyday on your way to class," he wrote in an e-mail.

I was shocked by such a comment, which seemed an attempt to link Republicans with racist orthodoxy. When I wrote back expressing my offense, he neither apologized nor clarified his remarks.

Instead, he reiterated them on the record. Was such a brazen expression of partisanship representative of the faculty as a whole? I decided to speak with him in person in the hope of finding common ground.

He was eager to chat, and after five minutes our dialogue bloomed into a lively discussion. As we hammered away at the issue, one of his colleagues with whom he shared an office grew visibly agitated. Then, while I was in mid-sentence, she exploded.

"You think you're so [expletive] cute with your little column," she told me. "I read your piece and all you want is attention. You're just like Bill O'Reilly. You just want to get up on your [expletive] soapbox and have people look at you."

I think it's a problem, but that's just me.

Casually Slurring Christians

When was the last time you have heard – or seen in print – a casual racial or ethnic slur? Don Imus was fired for one. And don’t try any stupid Polish jokes or money hungry Jewish comments. But it seems that the casual Christian slur is still tossed out without a second thought.

I mention this because I was reading Dennis Gartman’s newsletter yesterday and ran across a comment that offended me.

First let me say that I think a great deal of Dennis Gartman. He and I are totally in tune economically and politically, so I was struck by a comparison he made that hit me as so unlikely that I felt I had to tell him what I thought.

To set the stage, Dennis wrote a section on Iranian politics on the assumption that the political turmoil there is not over and that it would be useful to know who the players were to keep score.

Here’s my e-mail:

Dear Dennis,

I read the Gartman Letter in my office … and as a fellow resident of Tidewater Virginia I appreciate both your market and your political commentary. So it pains me to make my first message to you in the form of a disagreement.

Your Tuesday July 14th letter contained the following passage, referring to the “names” in Iran: “He is supported on the archly religious side by Ayatollah Taghi Mesbah Yazdi, who is the Iranian correlative to the fundamentalist Christian sects, here in the US.”

Despite the fact that I consider myself a fundamentalist Christian, I don’t handle snakes. I can’t remember the last time our congregation stoned an adulteress to death and we have not hung any homosexuals this year – or last year – if I remember correctly. We allow out womenfolk to go out without male supervision and don’t insist that they keep their hair covered lest we are overcome with lust.

Regarding the intersection of church and state, we’re not so much interested in imposing a theocracy as we are in making sure that no mention of Jesus escapes our lips in a public setting just in case the ACLU is listening. Our religious police mainly keep the church lawn mowed and the trash picked up in the parking lot. And I cannot imagine the leaders of the Baptists getting together with the Methodists to pre-screen the approved candidates for the next presidential election.

Other than that, Dennis, the correlation between us Christian fundamentalists and the Iranian Ayatollahs is so close that they are amazingly hard to tell apart. I use as clues the facial hair, the turban and the accent.


As I get older, and as I learn from people and groups whose prickliness gets results, I have decided that turning the other cheek is a good Biblical admonition, but perhaps returning the slap is simply one more sin for which I have to ask forgiveness.

Casting "dispersions"

Port St. Lucie apologizes to Treasure Coast Tea Party

After a week of complaints about a sign at Freedomfest on July 4, city
officials apologized to the Treasure Coast Tea Party.

“It was not our intent to interfere or cast dispersions on the tea party,” said City Manager Don Cooper, who took responsibility for what he called a “bone-head decision.”

Rush Limbaugh often makes fun of Port St. Lucie. Now that he lives in Florida, he's using it instead of Rio Linda as an object of derision.

I wonder what he will do with this?

Breaking News

A man carrying a gun ate lunch in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Nobody was harmed in the course of the meal.


Are Obamas' Czars Above the Law?

Roger's Rules:

Back in April, when I first explained “Why Steven Rattner is Above the Law“, I pointed out that if you or I were (per impossible) to try this pay-to-play gambit with a state pension fund, we’d have the law on us before you can say “Andrew Cuomo.” If you are Steven Rattner, Obama Czar, however, you get The New York Times to sniff that “There is no indication in the complaint that Mr. Rattner faces criminal or civil charges in connection with the inquiry.”...

The deeper question concerns what George Will identified as “the tincture of lawlessness” that hovers about the Obama administration. Will was thinking primarily of the way Chrysler’s supposedly secured bondholders were treated, but in fact that maculation affects many aspects of the Obama administration. I suspect that key officials in the administration — beginning, I fear, with the President himself — do not really understand what the rule of law is all about. The nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court is one evidence of that deficit. Senator Al Franken, reverting to his earlier career as a comedian, publicly stated that in his view Sotomayor was “the most experienced Supreme Court nominee in 100 years.” (Ha, ha: what a card!) Obama’s reliance on powerful lieutenants who proceed with little or no public vetting or oversight — a.k.a., “czars” like Steven Rattner — is another dramatic example of the administration’s impatience with the rule of law. According to one report, Obama has named at least 18 such czars — people who wield enormous power but who are appointed without Senatorial scrutiny and who proceed more or less without accountability, except to the President.

Buying Honduras

A rich Leftist, draft dodging asshole by the name of Allen Andersson bought the election for Zelaya. After getting a this would-be dictator elected, a man who he characterizes as a
lazy, ineffective and clownish jerk
He leaves the Hondurans to clean up his messes and decides to live in New Hampshire. If there is any justice in the world, he will find himself living in Honduras, subject to the whims of fat-cat liberals who are bored and find it amusing to destroy little countries.

An F-22A Raptor--USA's cutting-edge fighter--pops flares over Kadena Air Base

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

It Looks Like Sarah Palin is Following My Advice

While all the "nattering nabobs of negativity" (to quote a former VP) were busy writing Sarah Palin's obituary while dancing on her grave, I predicted that she would come out and begin a conversation with the American people. Specifically, here is what I said in my essay What Palin Could, And Should, Do

Here's my suggestion for the key topic she should be focused on: ENERGY.

Outside of glaciers and polar bears, it's what Alaska is known for. It's also the area of Palin's greatest expertise. It also happens to be topic number one for most Americans. Every time they fill their gas tank, every time they pay their electric bills, every time they discuss "cap and trade," every time they see windmills on the horizon and know - in their hearts - that these ugly machines are not going to be the solution, they will think about Sarah Palin.

She will talk persuasively about the Democrats' refusal to tap the billions of barrels of oil in Alaska's wildlife refuge, about denying Americans access to clean coal in Utah, about the refusal of congress to explore for oil and gas off our coasts even as foreign companies are doing exactly that, about congress' refusal to allow the expansion of clean and proven nuclear power plants, the government's wrongheaded policies that make us rely more and more on foreign sources of energy even as they claim to be doing exactly the opposite.

She will be doing something that she does best: connecting with the American people in terms that they can understand. And she will be pointing out that the problem is a bipartisan one. She will have the opportunity to take on pandering and corruption on both sides of the aisle, just as she did in Alaska.

Sarah Palin can become the spokesman for abundance while the left preaches the politics if scarcity. The Left’s solution to the issue of energy is to try to cope with scarcity. Every “solution” they propose is build on the assumption that energy is going to be less available and more expensive. Even their technological fixes - wind and solar power – are no one’s idea of the source of abundant energy.
To this Leftist dystopia, Palin can bring the politics of abundance. The development of our own natural resources including oil, natural gas and coal. The re-vitalization of the nuclear power industry. Research can be funded to develop new power sources, but ones that are at least as efficient as current sources without requiring taxpayer subsidies to compete.

If given a choice between a vision of scarcity and a vision of plenty, a people will choose the path of plenty every time.

Sarah, are you listening?

Somehow, I suspect that she has it figured out already.

So imagine my surprise - NOT - when Palin emerges from her Alaska cocoon with an Op-Ed in the Washington Post The 'Cap And Tax' Dead End

Here's just a taste:

American prosperity has always been driven by the steady supply of abundant, affordable energy. Particularly in Alaska, we understand the inherent link between energy and prosperity, energy and opportunity, and energy and security. Consequently, many of us in this huge, energy-rich state recognize that the president's cap-and-trade energy tax would adversely affect every aspect of the U.S. economy.

There is no denying that as the world becomes more industrialized, we need to reform our energy policy and become less dependent on foreign energy sources. But the answer doesn't lie in making energy scarcer and more expensive! Those who understand the issue know we can meet our energy needs and environmental challenges without destroying America's economy. ...

We must move in a new direction. We are ripe for economic growth and energy independence if we responsibly tap the resources that God created right underfoot on American soil. Just as important, we have more desire and ability to protect the environment than any foreign nation from which we purchase energy today.

In Alaska, we are progressing on the largest private-sector energy project in history. Our 3,000-mile natural gas pipeline will transport hundreds of trillions of cubic feet of our clean natural gas to hungry markets across America. We can safely drill for U.S. oil offshore and in a tiny, 2,000-acre corner of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge if ever given the go-ahead by Washington bureaucrats. ...

We have an important choice to make. Do we want to control our energy supply and its environmental impact? Or, do we want to outsource it to China, Russia and Saudi Arabia? Make no mistake: President Obama's plan will result in the latter.

For so many reasons, we can't afford to kill responsible domestic energy production or clobber every American consumer with higher prices.

Can America produce more of its own energy through strategic investments that protect the environment, revive our economy and secure our nation?

Yes, we can. Just not with Barack Obama's energy cap-and-tax plan.

There you have it: the politics of energy, the appeal to abundance rather than living with scarcity, the discussion of the issues that any American can understand.

I don't know why all those people who are being paid the big bucks for their opinions could not figure this out. Why they could be so far wrong and still keep their jobs as "pundits." But maybe I had the advantage of not living inside the Beltway and not taking part in "salons" and exchanging ideas with the other members of the JournoList. Sitting here at my desk in Tidewater Virginia helps to keep the mind clear.

As Elvis would say as he took a bow: "Thank you, thank you very much."

Those Obama Tax Cuts

The Barack Obama fiscal plan has cut taxes by over 30% for the second quarter of 2009.
H/T to Bizzyblog.

According to the US Treasury, receipts have fallen 30.9% from the same quarter in 2008.

The Obama tax plan seems to be working fine.

Now some may say that this is because individuals have lost their jobs and can’t pay taxes. And others may say that companies are not making any money so they can’t afford to pay taxes.

But these are obviously “wingnuts” who can’t face the fact that Barack Obama is the COOLEST PRESIDENT EVER!!!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Obama plan to deal with Al Qaeda - don't hurt them.

Perhaps in sympathy to the Muslim faith, Team Obama has terminated a CIA program to eliminate Al Qaeda. Via the Wall Street Journal we learn that...

A secret Central Intelligence Agency initiative terminated by Director Leon Panetta was an attempt to carry out a 2001 presidential authorization to capture or kill al Qaeda operatives, according to former intelligence officials familiar with the matter.

The CIA does not get a lot of respect on this site. It has become a largely political organization that appeared during the Bush years to harbor high level executives who did their best to undermine Bush policies.
Perhaps this was along the lines of the CIA's Keystone Cops attempts on Castro: exploding cigars or poisoned wet suits. Whatever.

What's interesting is that this should become a major controversy since little was actually done to implement such a plan. This is too convenient as a way of covering up Pelosi's accusation that the CIA lie about briefing her on water boarding. I question the timing

One last point. The CIA or the military should have plans and teams in place to do exactly what this program implies: kill or capture enemy leaders without sending in whole armies. Why use a battle ax when a surgeon's scalpel is called for? If there is a scandal, it's America's inability to do something like this.

Erupting Volcano Anak Krakatau

A non-imaginary source of climate change.

Another is sunspots

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Jimmy Carter on steroids?

Barack Obama has been compared by his admirers to FDR, Lincoln … or Jesus Christ.

As time goes by, more sober assessments compare him to Jimmy Carter in terms of effectiveness or George Bush in terms of his policies regarding domestic surveillance.

But the comparisons are not really close. In terms of domestic policy – which is Obama’s primary focus – the comparison to Jimmy Carter is flawed. It’s flawed because the US economy has changed in the intervening 30 years and Carter was not nearly as ambitious..

Mark Steyn made the point in a monologue on the radio the other day.

This is worse than the seventies. In the seventies people had to worry about inflation and losing their job. Now you have much higher home ownership so you have people who are worries about their homes being worth a lot less. You have more people invested in the stock market directly or indirectly so that your 401Ks are now cut in half. So there is no limit to the damage that a president with determined statist policies can inflict on you.

The point about 401Ks and the stock market is especially important. Thirty years ago, a large portion of the so called “working class” was covered by pension plans. Today, most people – unless they work for the government – don’t have pensions, they save for their retirement with 401Ks, 403Bs, and other plans that depend on a rising market to provide the worker his or her retirement income.

This is like Jimmy Carter on steroids. He can clobber your home, he can clobber you savings and your pensions, he can clobber your job, and he can basically end the dollar as a world currency. He can clobber your health care, he can get you on every front.

So what makes so many people still like him? He’s cool!

Steyn again:

So he would have to be the coolest dude on the planet to make it worth voting for him just for his sheer cool instead of what he’s saying.

The lesson here is, listen to him on the radio, don’t watch him on TV. Or read him in the cold grey light of print. Do you actually like what he says in the cold grey light of print? Do you like the policies; cause if you don’t no matter how cool he is it’s not going to make up for your collapsed home price and unemployment and a shattered retirement savings plan.

Forget about a Jiminy Cricket foreign policy or a health care system that feeds the elderly pain killers as a substitute for treatment because it’s more efficient (read cheaper). Obama’s primary impact on the American people may well be to leave the elderly impoverished. The result could include people working well into their 70s. It could also result in a shift in domestic arrangements as the elderly and their children move in together – recreating the multi-generational extended family in one home, a throwback to earlier times.

You're not going to grandma's house cause grandma and grandpa are living with you.

The end of Obamania

From the LA Times. Putting the best possible spin on a failed foreign trip, declares that it was not a total disaster.

Obama avoided the rookie mistake that John F. Kennedy committed at his first summit meeting in 1961, when the new president left the Russians thinking he was young, untested and uncertain.

I got a chuckle out of that. Does Doyle McManus really believe that?

For some reason, a disaster for the US may not be something that Obama necessarily worries about. It is, after all, all about HIM. The country is an entirely different, and much less important, matter.

And for the REAL knee slapper, here's McManus' last paragraph:
All of which left Obama sounding, at the end of the week, as if he looked forward to getting back to solvable problems -- such as the economy and healthcare.

Oh yeah, the easy stuff.

Is Obama Jimmy Carter on steroids?

Yeah! Pictures ...Erupting Volcano Anak Krakatau

CNN's Don Lemon Gets His "Unprecedented Obama Welcome" Shot Down

It appears to be the The end of Obamania

And in the real world Sarah Palin has moved herself from the periphery to the center of power in the Republican party. The Party just doesn't seem to know it yet.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Ride The High Horse

Via Just One Minute:

News: A mostly white pool club in a Philadelphia suburb kicks out 65 black day-campers, fearing that they will "change the complexion" of the club. Or, maybe there was a legitimate safety issue. The Valley Club story has been picked up by the NY Times, the LA Times, the WaPo, USA Today, the AP, CNN, ABC News, and many more. Left unreported in all major news outlets - club chairman John Duesler is an Obama supporter and determined progressive.

Not News: Thirty to fifty black teenagers, allegedly chanting "It's a black world", assault six whites; one victim is hospitalized for five days with head injuries. Akron police can't figure out whether this is a hate crime, explaining that the victims never mentioned the "it's a black world" angle. This story has been picked up by the Akron Beacon Journal (1, 2) and some local television stations (NBC (with the wrong date), ABC).

Thanks but I'll wait ....

Economic Reporting: Then and Now

H/T Gerard Vandeleun...

Sarah Palin has moved herself from the periphery to the center of power in the Republican party. The Party just doesn't seem to know it yet.

2010 is a make or break election for the Republicans. And the person in that year that can make and break Republican candidates is now Sarah Palin. She's not only a star, she's the only star the Republicans have or are likely to have. Love her or hate her, the Republicans must have her, and she must be available for active campaigning across the country

The rest of the Republican hopefuls are sparklers while Palin is the whole damn fireworks display.

Romney? I would not mind him, but he's a Ken doll.
Huckabee? I would not mind him, but he's a little ... strange.
Any Republican Senator? I would not mind them, but come-on. Haven't we seen this movie before?
Sanford? I would not mind him, but he just self-destructed.
Pawlenty? I would not mind him. Who is he?
Gingrich? I would not mind him. But hasn't he spent the last decade creating a think-tank that no one cares about?

The point that Vanderleun is making is that she is unique, she's a star, she is totally in tune with the average American citizen. The rest ... get the "I would not mind them" treatment .. a monochrome lack of color or vibrancy that is the minimum required to wrest the government from the hands of those who will do anything to hold on to power so they can re-shape America into the image that America-haters-as-it-exists-now view in their mind's eye.

John Holdren, Obama's Science Czar, says: Forced abortions and mass sterilization needed to save the planet

We should be concerned about the people who are going to be running the country during the next 3 1/2 years. This is about one of the Czars.

Book he authored in 1977 advocates for extreme totalitarian measures to control the population

Forced abortions. Mass sterilization. A "Planetary Regime" with the power of life and death over American citizens.

The tyrannical fantasies of a madman? Or merely the opinions of the person now in control of science policy in the United States? Or both?

These ideas (among many other equally horrifying recommendations) were put forth by John Holdren, whom Barack Obama has recently appointed Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, and Co-Chair of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology -- informally known as the United States' Science Czar. In a book Holdren co-authored in 1977, the man now firmly in control of science policy in this country wrote that:

• Women could be forced to abort their pregnancies, whether they wanted to or not;
• The population at large could be sterilized by infertility drugs intentionally put into the nation's drinking water or in food;
• Single mothers and teen mothers should have their babies seized from them against their will and given away to other couples to raise;
• People who "contribute to social deterioration" (i.e. undesirables) "can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility" -- in other words, be compelled to have abortions or be sterilized.
• A transnational "Planetary Regime" should assume control of the global economy and also dictate the most intimate details of Americans' lives -- using an armed international police force.

Come on, this has to be an Internet hoax, right?

Click on the link for images from the book itself. We have a person in high government office to whom the "banality of evil" applies.

Sample passages:

Mass sterilization of humans though drugs in the water supply is OK as long as it doesn't harm livestock

A "Planetary Regime" should control the global economy and dictate by force the number of children allowed to be born

This is getting beyond strange and borders on frightening. The President of the US spent 20 years in a church run by a racist bigot who wished God to damn America - Jeremiah Wright; he pals around with violent Leftists who were responsible to bombing people and facilities - Bill Ayers, and appoints a would-be eugenics Fascist to be his science czar. Who else does he know, admire and want to help him run the country?

I don't expect laws passed in this country to limit the number of children, nor forced sterilization, or to have drugs placed on the water supply to make people sterile. But I am concerned about the direction of the government when people like this occupy high positions. It tells you the direction, if not the exact destination of government policy.

Watergate ‘hero’ threatens historian

Don Surber:
“Watergate figure John Dean, who once spent eight years embroiled in a libel suit against a publishing house, is now threatening to sue a college history professor for posting audio tapes online that suggest the Nixon confidant-turned-government witness is covering up the details of his role in the most infamous political scandal in American history.”

History and God will judge John Dean.

”This is our world” and ”This is a black world”

From Flopping Aces:

Akron police say they aren’t ready to call it a hate crime or a gang initiation. But to Marty Marshall, his wife and two kids, it seems pretty clear.

It came after a family night of celebrating America and freedom with a fireworks show at Firestone Stadium. Marshall, his family and two friends were gathered outside a friend’s home in South Akron.

Out of nowhere, the six were attacked by dozens of teenage boys, who shouted ”This is our world” and ”This is a black world” as they confronted Marshall and his family.

The Marshalls, who are white, say the crowd of teens who attacked them and two friends June 27 on Girard Street numbered close to 50. The teens were all black.

”This was almost like being a terrorist act,” Marshall said. ”And we allow this to go on in our neighborhoods?”

They said it started when one teen, without any words or warning, blindsided and assaulted Marshall’s friend as he stood outside with the others. When Marshall, 39, jumped in, he found himself being attacked by the growing group of teens. His daughter, Rachel, 15, who weighs about 90 pounds, tried to come to his rescue. The teens pushed her to the ground. His wife, Yvonne, pushed their son, Donald, 14, into bushes to keep him protected.

Should this be news or not?

Should it get any attention beyond Akron?

Is there a larger lesson here?

If the races were reversed should this be news or not?

Why or why not?