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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Famed atheist Richard Dawkins decides attacking Islam is too dangerous.

Not afraid to attack the God of Jews and Christians, famed atheist Richard Dawkins decides that discretion is the better part of valor when asked about Islam.

In a recent Al-Jazeerah interview, Richard Dawkins was asked his views on God. He argued that the god of "the Old Testament" is "hideous" and "a monster", and reiterated his claim from The God Delusion that the God of the Torah is the most unpleasant character "in fiction". Asked if he thought the same of the God of the Koran, Dawkins ducked the question, saying: "Well, um, the God of the Koran I don't know so much about."

One of the world's so-called "smartest men" knew it was very smart not to insult the God of Islam because he knew that insulting the Islam's God would subject him to more than an article on a blog and the praise of the world media. Cowards are a dime a dozen. We don't need a moral or physical cripple to prove that point.

Professor Dawkins is not an enemy of Jews or Christians. He is a critic of their religions. Lars Hedegaard is not an enemy of Muslims. He is a critic of aspects of the Islamic religion. If Professor Dawkins were murdered tomorrow by an Orthodox Jew the world would be unlikely to ignore the event. And I suspect that they would be unlikely to blame the victim rather than his assailant.

But of course nothing will happen to Professor Dawkins because from the tree of anti-religious knowledge he picks only at the easiest and lowest-hanging fruit. Hedegaard - and a few others - have tried to deal with a harder and more globally pressing issue. In the reaction and lack of reaction to that fact, the vitriol and the silence, much can be told about the state of our times. This is now the norm in Europe. Blaming the victim or pretending they had it coming is our easiest defence mechanism. Because doing so means we can avoid facing uncomfortable truths. Or think we can. For the time being.
Glenn Reynolds:
Don’t want your religion attacked? Behead a few attackers. It doesn’t take many — most of them are cowards and poseurs, and will shut up at the least hint of risk. Hey, don’t blame me. I didn’t set up this incentive system.
What is this "Islam" of Which You Speak?
It’s funny how these confident, cocksure prophets of atheism-who barely have time to take a breath between slamming the tenets of Christianity and Judaism-often get curiously tongue-tied and shy when the subject of Islam comes up. The idea that Dawkins doesn’t “know so much about” the God of the Koran is absurd.

The incredible courage of the MSM (sarcasm alert)

Ron Fournier tells us how brave he is.  To hear him tell it he bravely bared his breast to the foe ... and the loss of an anonymous source. He told one of his sources in the White House to stop sending him vulgar e-mails. But he wants Obama to know that he's still good because
... there is no reason to doubt Obama’s integrity -- period.

Ron tells us of his courage:
Woodward-gate is a distraction the White House welcomed, even encouraged, as part of a public-relations strategy to emasculate the GOP and anybody else who challenges Obama. It is a distraction that briefly enveloped my reporting last weekend, when I essentially broke ties with a senior White House official.
Yes, I iced a source ...

I'm not quite sure how attacking Woodward advances the Obama plan to destroy the GOP, but that's the reason I'm not an editor of a major MSM publication.

I decided to share this encounter because it might shed light on the increasingly toxic relationship between media and government, which is why the Woodward flap matters outside the Beltway.
Increasingly toxic? Well, if you want to classify a married couple who were madly in love having a quarrel a toxic relationship, I suppose you could write a sentence like that, but to the rest of the country the "toxic relationship" was the incestuous relationship between Obama and the press that adored him.

Obama's Alternative Universe

Daniel Henninger thinks that Washington may finally be coming  to grips with he fact that Obama really does live in an alternative universe, where everything revolves around the government.

The sense is growing around Washington, and this increasingly includes Democrats, of living in an alternative universe. Barack Obama gives his State of the Union speech, the sequester looms, and the president flies around the country giving speeches. He's had virtually no contact on the sequester with the legislative branch. Now he's going to meet with them after the sequester happens. This is unusual. We need to look outside normal politics for explanations.

Mr. Obama likes to convey the impression that he doesn't think or do business like other presidents. It's time to take him at his word. If Washington is starting to look like an alternative universe, that's because the president is creating an alternative universe, the Obamaian Universe. ...

The Obama administration is trying to pull us back into what astronomers would call the pre-Copernican world. Copernicus' heliocentric system overthrew what was known as geocentrism—the belief that everything in the universe revolved around the earth. Beautiful maps exist depicting geocentrism.

Economic thinkers since at least the time of, well Copernicus, have understood that national well-being derived from private individuals going out into the private world to produce goods and trade goods, an activity that for centuries has created wealth for many nations. No longer. Mr. Obama and his circle divide the economy into separate parts. In the Obamaian universe, the units of the private economy—companies large or small—are satellites orbiting the great fixed planet of public spending. All material and economic life in the Obamaian model radiates outward from a central source of public spending. This is why spending in the Obama presidency abruptly jumped as high as 25% of GDP from a 40-year average of 20% of GDP.

Of course if you gather enough crony capitalists, you can get these satellites to revolve around you. Examples abound like Jeff Immelt at GE and uber-rich billionaires like Warren Buffett who profits handsomely from the Federal Reserve's zero interest rate policy. The big banks and Wall Street get rich while retirees on fixed income and savers get shafted. Keeping people poor makes them easier to control.

Republican leaders’ ‘meeting’ with Obama: Seven minutes

Never let it be said that President Obama has failed to spend time with Republican leaders in seeking an alternative to automatic budget cuts that are due to hit most federal departments Friday. On Wednesday, for example, the president gave GOP lawmakers as much as seven minutes, a rare face-to-face encounter that the White House described as a “meeting.”

The White House’s characterization of this momentary huddle at the Capitol as a meeting illuminates Mr. Obama’s strategy in dealing with Republicans on the budget cuts and other fiscal deadlines.
I, for one, would consider a meeting for even seven minutes a hole in my life.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Philosophes says nazis told the truth, Communists lied

Barton Swaim has written a book review of a series of essays by philosopher Leszek Kolakowski, who died in 2009. Kolakowski was a Polish intellectual who observed both the Nazi and Communist tyrannies first hand. It explains one of the great questions of the 20th Century

To those younger than 35, communism must seem like some ridiculous hoax. How could so many Western intellectuals have defended an ideology—and defended it into the late 1980s—that had never produced anything but economic devastation, cultural perversion and mass murder? And yet they did. In "Genocide and Ideology," from 1977, Kolakowski asked why Soviet communism attracted so many artists and intellectuals and Nazism so few. He pointed out that Nazism at least stated its aims straightforwardly: Nazis promoted Teutonic racial superiority and the conquest of Europe. Communism, on the other hand, "never preached conquest, only liberation from oppression; it never extolled the state as a value in itself, only stressed the necessity of reinforcing the state as an indispensable lever to destroy the enemies of freedom." All it took to gain the loyalty of influential writers and thinkers, in other words, was some heavy-handed rhetorical legerdemain.

We see a repeat of that in the United States where Obamaism ever preaches “fairness” instead of confiscation, “compromise” instead of submission and the Federal Government as the only thing that protects the people from the greed of private individuals.

What makes an internet community?

There is a certain feel to an Internet blog … just as there is to a neighborhood.  In a neighborhood you get a feeling for the kind of people that live there.  Are the lawns well-kept or weedy?  Are the homes well maintained or are there signs of abandonment and decay?  Would you feel safe walking around or do you keep your car doors locked driving through?  
Blogs are like that in may respects.  They reflect the issues and attitudes that the proprietor cares about.  The sites that do not accommodate comments are defined by the proprietor of the site who sets the standards, creates the atmosphere and does all the posting.  One of the most prominent is Glenn Reynolds, a Law Professor at the University of Tennessee, who blogs as Instapundit.  Another example is Walter Russell Meade who recently turned off comments on his blog.  He is also a College Professor, from Bard College, and editor of the American Interest, a bi-monthly magazine that focuses on foreign policy and international affairs. 
A third example is Ann Althouse, also a Law Professor, at the the University of Wisconsin.  She writes on a wide range of issues ranging from photography to politics and culture.  She is a “moderate” who voted for Obama and appears to be socially liberal but fiscally conservative.  She attracts commenters who are mostly on the libertarian/conservative side along with a small gaggle of very liberal commenters who seem to be there primarily to tweak the conservative commenters. 
A fourth example is Free Republic which is an informal gathering place for Conservatives, started by Jim Robinson.  Unlike the blog posts cited above it does not have a series of essays to which commenters respond.  Sign up at Free Republic and you can post links to newspaper articles or other media sources and allow others to comment.  Free Republic acts as a news aggregator with a decidedly Conservative slant.  FR is widely credited for exposing the Dan Rather hoax about Bush National Guard papers.   
Many newspapers allow reader commnets, in effect turning their editorial pages into Internet blogs.  The Wall Street Journal allows people to post comments on its editorials and op-eds and comments are not limited to subscribers. As in most blogs, the community that comments is closely aligned with the position of the editorial page.   
But there is one glaring exception that I have found.  If I want to read comments from people who hate conservatives, FOX News and Christians; who insist that whites are racists with white hoods in their closets, who believe that gay is the new black, that opposition to same sex marriage is rank, homophobic bigotry and  a Christianist plot, I don’t have to go to the Washington Post, the NY Times, the Huffington Post or even Daily Kos.  I can go to The Volokh Conspiracy, which - despite what the name implies   -  is a blog run by law professors who post primarily about legal issues which are well written and interesting to read for lawyers and non-lawyers alike.   
Which brings me back to the question of what makes an Internet community and why do the comments in some cases not reflect the general attitudes of the proprietor?  Perhaps Volokh is an anomaly.  You can go to the Washington Post to read Jennifer Rubin – the Post’s token conservative blogger - being torn limb from verbal limb by the readers of that newspaper.  But that's not a surprise because the Washington Post - like the NY Times  - is written for a Liberal audience, for people who hate Rubin's position and the comments are perfectly reflective of the paper's editorial and news orientation.   The Washington Post publishing Rubin is like Romans throwing Christians to the lions, it's entertainment.   
But Volokh is different.  It’s proprietors (there are a number of regular contributors who write article from time to time) are law professors of either a Libertarian bent or moderate conservatives.  Yet the comment section is mostly a gathering of Leftists, many of whom use their commenting privileges to denigrate the contributors.  The more conservative the contributor, the more hateful comments he receives. 
David Bernstein is one of the  contributors who posted a one-line comment on Ann Coulter’s participation in Libertarian’s John Stossel’s program for Libertarian students.  As always, Ann makes it controversial and entertaining.  Bernstein’s comment in full read:   
You have to watch the video to appreciate how apt that line was.  But this post gave vent to the denigration of not just Coulter but Sarah Palin, Ronald Reagan, Christians and the Koch brothers,  while defending Jimmy Carter and Saddam Hussein.  We are also informed by Arthur Kirkland, a frequent commenter, that Coulter is a

… foul-mouthed, bottle-blonde, Guccione-fornicating, barren, leather-mini-skirted spinster .. who fleec[es] student activity funds.

Coulter is no doubt a Conservative provocateur as well as a best-selling author and frequent guest on TV shows and public debates.  It’s how she makes her living.  And she does it very well.  What’s interesting about this comment is two things:  first, Liberals tell us to stay out of their bedroom yet the essence of Arthur’s criticism is misogynist and blatently sexual.  Second, while Arthur is somewhat more extreme than the other members of this community, he is simply the one to put together a string of adjectives with which the others in the community essentially agree ... or they would comment on it, but they don't.  There are exceptions in this community, but like the Liberal commenters in the Althouse blog, they are the like the homeowner in Detroit keeping the grass mowed and the shutters painted, hoping for improvement that never comes.   
But essays by the members of the "Conspiracy" who have the right to post articles there, project a totally different atmosphere.  I have asked myself the question why is there this apparent disconnect between the proprietors and the commenters?  There are a couple of observations and conjectures.
·         Conjecture #1: Law students are flaming leftist:  The actual posts by the Law Professors like Jonathan Adler such as:  No Standing to Challenge FISA Surveillance does not really interest the layman but could interest law students who then go on to comment:  “In my judgment, anyone who uses FISA and this decision to engage in the described surveillance is a pussy hiding behind authoritarian skirts, probably because of fright.”
·         Conjecture #2: The proprietors like this because it builds readership.  Stacy McCain, another blogger, maintains that there's nothing quite as good for traffic as a flame war.  The post on Ann Coulter elicited 138 comments when I last checked. That’s a lot of traffic.   The site averages about 25,000 hits a day according to Sitemeter.  That’s good for a bunch of lawyers writing, for example, about anti-trust and its effect on the tobacco settlement. 
·         Conjecture #3: Where gangs form, good people move inside.  When the gang-bangers in the neighborhood gather on the corner or assemble their posse and move down the street, people in a neighborhood move inside.  They don’t want any trouble.  Althouse, Free Republic, the Wall Street Journal, Kos, Huffington Post attracted people who were like minded and were in tune, mostly, with the proprietors.  But if a blog finds itself congenial for commenters who do not share the bloggers’ viewpoints the comments can still create the neighborhood because in the end the comments on a blog, unless it’s constantly moderated, do not have to bear any relation to the original post.  Many comments are simply people replying to each other.  It’s fairly simple to “hijack” a thread by making a provocative statement and many people enjoy doing just that.   
I suspect the real reason is a combination of all three.  Volokh and friends are college professors, and college today is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Left.  Even if they are Libertarian or Conservative, they are used to the abuse heaped on anyone who isn't Liberal and don't find it jarring.  Having a popular blog can’t be a bad thing to have when the dollars are counted.  Finally, like a neighborhood, you end up moving to a place where you’re at home.   Once the neighborhood – or the blog - becomes a war zone the people who don’t want to be in the line of fire leave and the only ones left on the street are the gangs and the cops. 

Hot air balloon burns and falls over Egypt

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Cuccinelli in Church

Virginia’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli was asked to addressed a breakfast meeting of the Virginia Christian Alliance (VCA) with the theme of “Christian Citizenship and Godly Government” on what pastors are allowed under the law to say from the pulpit. The group of nearly 300 was comprised of a number of Pastors from the African-American community who see the basic morality of the country in severe decline. As ministers, they have an obligation to lead their congregation, and that leadership includes pointing out the actions that are leading to the moral decay in America.

Specifically concerning do’s and don’t in the pulpit:

“You will be surprised to learn just how much freedom you have. You can speak to any issue in America, from the pulpit, full-throated, ears pinned back. You don’t have to hold back at all. Any issue at all. You can be critical of votes elected officials have taken on those issues. Now be careful, don’t cross the line into un-endorsing. Don’t say ‘we need to defeat this person’ while you’re standing there in the pulpit. But when you get down out of church you can hold fund-raisers, you can put your name on candidates, you can identify yourself as the pastor of thus and such church but it needs to say something like ‘for identification purposes only’. You never want to lead anyone to possibly believe that you’re, on behalf of a church, endorsing a candidate.”

Monday, February 25, 2013

WPost: Yes, we fear and loathe religious traditionalists

They call us "religionists."

Even though the Wa Po ombudsman defends the bigoted reporter, the Post is giving him the boot.  The Wa Po will be so much quieter without somebody airing the dirty laundry.

“Religionists’?  Is that the new “macaca?”

Sunday, February 24, 2013

NY TIMES is trusted source for al-Qaida

The UK Telegraph provided us with a translation of al-Qaeda's 22 tips for dodging drones. When you go to the document you will note that al-Qaida relies on the New York Times to report to them what the American military is up to.
I have said in my article “Strategies of Capabilities for Ansar al-Sharia” that the American retaliation against the Mujahideen military movements in Ibyan province will be restricted to the war of the drone. My expectations have been assured after the recent New York Times leakage that the CIA will handle the situation, and for this, it set up a secret military base for the drones in a neighboring country.* It is important now that we understand this American army strategy and discuss ways to disable this strategy.

This makes Rush Limbaugh's spoof commercial for the NY Times subscription both funny and true.

WASH POST Guppy Says Legend Is WRONG...

Headline thanks to DRUDGE.  He is referring to one of the kids working at the Washington Post, Ezra Klein, who claims that, not only is Bob Woodward wrong about the sequester, but that Democrats won the House. 

No, really: 
And then they [the American people] voted for a House that would cut the deficit by increasing taxes, though due to the quirks of congressional districts, they didn’t get one.
You can't make this stuff up!

Obama as Captain Queeg

What, exactly have things come to when a cockroach of a country, apparently run by real, certifiable lunatics, can threaten the United States with nuclear weapons? The typhoon waves are starting to break over the bridge.

Is Barack Obama really Captain Queeg?
In Herman Wouk’s classic World War II novel, The Caine Mutiny, there is a moment when a group of the ship’s officers are getting away from the increasingly eccentric Captain Queeq by relaxing ashore.

Suddenly the malcontent Lieutenant Keefer asks the others: “Does it occur to you that Captain Queeg may be insane?

In fact Queeg is not insane, at least not at that time. He is simply grappling, more and more disastrously, with a job too big for him. Come the crisis of a typhoon, he becomes paralyzed and nearly sinks the ship by failing to give the obvious orders. ...

Obama’s second inauguration speech may be his Queeg moment — an undeniable demonstration that, in an emergency, he is incapable of grappling with reality. For all his unceasing invocation of the word “change,” the outstanding thing about Obama has been his apparent inability to react, even to an imminent crisis. Like Queeg, he stands frozen on the bridge as the waves grow higher, or obsesses over issues like homosexuals and women in the military as the typhoon rises.

Faced with the worst looming fiscal cliff-fall in world history Obama, like Queeg in the typhoon, has done nothing at all, but has, increasingly, resorted to meaningless words. His pseudo-Keynesian fiscal notions and a mantra-like repetition of old and failed ideas, suggest a serious lack on mental versatility.

If more examples are needed, reflect on Obama's predictions of doom and destruction if he does not get his way on sequestration.

The problme that America has with a Chief Executive who may not be sane is that instead of freezing up he may act totally irrationally. We may have to begin asking, at least in private, what the country can do to protect iself against a President who is so far out o fhis depth that he goes insane.

How bad can Obama make the sequester hurt?

Democrats in and out of the media are becoming concerned that the sequester is not going to be the disaster it's being billed as. So it will be to the Left's advantage to make the sequester results as bad as possible

“By summertime, if the economy gets much weaker, then the pressure to do something starts to grow,” [AIE's] Makin said. “Then the blame game will really get exciting, because Democrats will say if Republicans hadn’t been so awful and mean, we wouldn’t be having a recession now. And the Republicans will all panic.”
But then, this paragraph: And here I thought that the my local police, firemen, teachers, etc. were paid out of my property taxes.
Until a few weeks ago, many public workers who stand to be heavily affected — state public health officials, teachers, police officers — were still not fully aware of the gun to their heads, said Holubowich, who serves as executive director of the Coalition for Health Funding.
So how can Obama make the sequester really, really bad?  I'm sure his crack staff is working on that.

Meet the MILLION DOLLAR government employee...

The headline is via DRUDGE.  The story is infuriating. 

If you live outside Colorado, you probably haven’t heard of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory – NREL for short. It’s the place where solar panels, windmills and corn are deemed the energy source of the future and companies who support such endeavors are courted.

It’s also the place where highly paid staff decide how to spend hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars.

And the public pays those decision-makers well: NREL’s top executive, Dr. Dan Arvizu, makes close to a million dollars per year. His two top lieutenants rake in more than half a million each and nine others make more than $350,000 a year.
It's track record so far spells failure:
“NREL has given us two of the most significant boondoggles, one of them being ethanol and the other being (bankrupt) Abound Solar,” she said. “They were part of the team that pushed Abound Solar along. In fact, they wrote in March 2011 on their website how proud they were of their role in abound solar.

How did this scam come to be? Let's see who got over $12,000 in campaign contributions from it.
NREL’s taxpayer-funded management company has seen its budget more than double since 2006. That’s when one of its most ardent supporters, Rep. Ed Perlmutter D-Lakewood, was first elected to Congress. The lab sits in the middle of his district.

It is the height of irony that this boondoggle actually creates pollution.
“I’ll tell you what’s pollution,” Cooke said. “It’s solar panels and wind turbines abandoned — things with toxic chemicals in them,” she said. “We don’t know what’s going to happen to these things. What do you do with a farm of abandoned wind turbines that are 500 feet tall?”

Saturday, February 23, 2013

How I Learned To Stop Caring.

Too good not to quote in full.

By way of introduction, I'd like to explain some of my former positions. Please do not reply and tell me why I'm wrong. That's not relevant to this post. These WERE my positions, for right or wrong.
I used to believe women had a right to reproductive choice. As a male, I will obviously never have an abortion. I supported access because birth control is cheaper than abortions, abortions are cheaper than welfare, welfare is cheaper than jail. And I don't believe the government is capable of legislating for every circumstance. Most of the time, a woman and her doctor will make a decision that works for the situation, and until a baby is an independent organism, it's a parasite. This was also important to me because my wife was warned that a further pregnancy could kill her. That's been surgically remedied and is no longer a problem.
I used to believe gays were entitled to relate as they wished, including marriage. What two people do together doesn't affect me unless I'm one of them.
I used to believe it was wrong to treat people differently based on their skin color. Even if a few people fit a stereotype, millions of others do not.
I used to believe there should be a strong division between church and state, that any support of a religious entity using property of the state constituted endorsement and was wrong.
I used to believe people had a right to protest, campaign, rant and create non-violent incidents to express themselves and their positions. I also believed they had a right to publish as they chose. I believed they were entitled to burn the Flag in protest, to make a statement.
I have obviously been at odds with conservatives over these positions. There have been loud arguments, heated discussions and occasional insults.
I believe the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms. The Supreme Court agrees with me, which means that right is as valid as abortion, sexual privacy, protest and speech.
This should mean that strict scrutiny applies, meaning the government needs to prove the fabric of society itself is at risk before limiting it. Just as the Press has the right to broadcast troop movements it can see or acquire, regardless of casualties, I have the right to own weapons, regardless of how someone else may act. "Someone might get hurt" is an invalid excuse for restriction.
In fact, it's easy enough to prove that freedom of the press HAS caused harm and even death to people, whether it's troop movements, or the address of a person of interest.
The rights of gays to relate as they wish brings the risk of AIDS (60% of all cases are from gay relations, not drugs or medical contamination.)
It's provable that if we required proof of need before awarding a driver's license, we'd have less car accidents.
So, the argument that "guns kill people" is null and irrelevant to the discussion. Lots of things kill people. That's not relevant to our civil rights.
Now, over this position, I've had at least 5 death threats (though of course, no "liberal" actually has the balls to attempt so).
I've twice been reported to Family Services on the grounds that I have guns in the house, which means I'm a danger to my kids (which complaints were laughed at, here in Indiana).
I've been accused of racism...because I own guns.
I've been accused of fascism…because I own guns.
I've been called a coward…no "real man" needs a gun to protect himself. This is a surprise to me as a veteran, who carried guns regularly for the purpose of protecting myself and others, but what do I know?
I've been called a "Fat, Fox News watching, McDonald's munching, inbred, retarded, drooling redneck imbecile."
I've been told I have a small penis.
I've been told I'm insane to "imagine fighting the government" by people with no military experience who also hate the government, sometimes for the same reasons.
I've had a date tell me I "seem so normal, for a gun nut."
I've been called a "rightwinger." Indeed. A gay/female/black/abortion/separation of church and state/free speech supporting rightwinger.
I've been told this right doesn't exist, that if it exists I can't "pretend" it's more important than wage inequality for women, or gay marriage.
When the Heller Decision was decided in favor of gun ownership, I was told "I hope you all shoot yourselves with guns, because I can't marry the man I love!" by an alleged friend.
There's apparently a "Right to feel safe," and my owning a gun destroys it, because I might shoot someone. However, if I say a gun makes me feel safe, I'm paranoid and insane.
I've been told I support "baby killers."
I've been threatened with having my Wikipedia page vandalized, by someone who claimed he was more of a man than me.
I've been told I can't be trusted. How can anyone know I won't go on a shooting spree, because I own an "assault rifle"?
So much for liberal tolerance.
I didn't realize I was so evil and hateful an individual I deserved to be treated in such fashion.
But when I look at the arguments, I think they may be correct:
"At the time the Constitution was written, the weapons in question were muskets."
You know what? You're right. And marriage was between one man and one woman. So what's with gay marriage? No longer will I offer any moral support, oppose any online statements attacking it, speak out for it. They have the same right as anyone—to marry someone of the opposite gender. And given that all gays support raping little boys (just like all gun owners support shooting school kids), I don't think I can support them. We should do things just the way they were done 220 years ago. That's the liberal way.
"The Heller Decision was by an activist court. It doesn't count."
Indeed. Just like Roe v Wade was an activist decision. It doesn't count.
"We're not trying to take your guns away, just have reasonable limits. It's a compromise."
And some people want reasonable limits on abortion, like waiting periods, gestational time limits, ultrasound, etc. It's a reasonable response to an activist court decision, and reasonable restrictions on a right, for public benefit. Don't come whining about your right to murder babies, and I won't come to you whining about my right to shoot school kids.
And no one is saying you can't ride the bus. You just have to sit where people think is reasonable. No one is saying women can't work. They just have to get paid what is reasonable for the work they do, allowing for the fact they're going to leave the workplace and raise a family. It's a compromise.
"Assault weapons are an extreme interpretation."
True. And not allowing any religious emblems on government premises is an extreme interpretation. As long as they're privately paid for, what's it to you? No one is saying you can't belong to the Christian church of your choice, just not to extreme groups, like atheists or Muslims. It would be paranoid to think anyone was trying to infringe on your legitimate right to be free from state religion, just like I'd be paranoid to think they wanted to take my guns. Quite a few states had official churches well into the 1800s. This is not an infringement on your freedom of religion.
"Given Sandy Hook, you have to make reasonable compromises."
"We just want licensing and safe storage requirements so the wrong people don't get guns."
"Publicizing the information lets people make informed choices about who they live near."
Accepted. In exchange, gay men should make reasonable compromises over Penn State. They will simply have to accept being registered and kept a safe distance from children. This isn't a violation of their rights. It's just common sense. The public has a right to know.
This should apply to protests, too. No reasonable person would object to being identified. They should welcome it—it means they can't be wrongly maligned. All union members, blacks, gays and feminists should be signed in with ID before a march or gathering, just so we can track the real criminals to keep the rest safe.
"The country survived without assault weapons for 240 years."
True (well, no, it was 135 years, depending on your definition of "assault weapon"). And it survived without women in combat even longer. The infantry's trying to scare off women? Serves them right. Things were working just fine the way they were.
"This woman is being badly portrayed on the cover of a book."
No, no, that's an accurate portrayal, just like all military contractors are sociopathic mercenaries who torture people, all gun owners are moral cowards with Walter Mitty complexes and all gun dealers exist to make money from gangbangers. It's silly to suggest one group is singled out for inaccurate portrayals when we know the other portrayals are spot on.
Yup. I'm taking you at your word. Want money? Don't care. Want a petition signed? Call someone who who gives a shit. Want a link spread? Yawn. Women or gays or blacks or Hispanics don't feel they're being treated nicely? So what?
First they came for the blacks, and I spoke up because it was wrong, even though I'm not black.
Then they came for the gays, and I spoke up, even though I'm not gay.
Then they came for the Muslims, and I spoke up, because it was wrong, even though I'm an atheist.
When they came for illegal aliens, I spoke up, even though I'm a legal immigrant.
Then they came for the pornographers, rebels and dissenters and their speech and flag burning, and I spoke up, because rights are not only for the establishment.
Then they came for the gun owners, and you liberal shitbags threw me under the bus, even though I'd done nothing wrong. So when they come to put you on the train, you can fucking choke and die.
Or you can commit seppuku with a chainsaw. I really don't care anymore. This is the end of my support for any liberal cause, because liberals have become anything but.

What a Republican Leader Should say

Bill Wilson has an interesting article in Forbes in which he illustrates why Republicans are the stupid party.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with pointing out that Obama lied about proposing the sequester. That’s a fair point about lying by high government officials.

But then they switch roles. Obama plays his in the traditional way:
But the current debate over sequester – an across-the-board $85 billion reduction of budget authority which translates into just a $53.8 billion cut to outlays this fiscal year ending September 30 – is notable for both its unfounded hysteria as well as a surprising role reversal.

To recap, the sequester was originally supposed to total $109 billion – but lawmakers delayed its onset by two months during the fiscal cliff negotiations. Now U.S. President Barack Obama – who first proposed the sequester as part of the 2011 debt ceiling deal – wants to delay it again.

According to Obama, the sequester would represent “a huge blow to middle-class families and our economy as a whole.” Obama’s White House has also referred to the sequester as “devastating,” saying its cuts would “imperil our economy, our national security (and) vital programs that middle class families depend on.”

But the Stupid Republicans™ in the person of patsy John Boehner echoes Obama’s horribles
Where the sequester debate deviates from the norm is in its dramatis personae. Unlike prior spending debates, the sequester features Republicans attempting to shift the onus for cutting government onto Obama. U.S. Speaker John Boehner has repeatedly referenced “the president’s sequester” while decrying its “harmful cuts.” …
More to the point it highlights the extent to which leaders of both parties in Washington, D.C. are abandoning taxpayers in order to curry favor with the legacy media and special interest establishment – both of which are dead set against any reduction in the size and scope of government.

If John Boehner had just half a brain, this is the kind of statement he would make:
Ladies, gentlemen I believe it's time for the American people to hear the truth.
The President who is responsible for running up trillion dollar deficits every year he has been in office; the President who is responsible for spending over three-and-a-half trillion dollars just this year; this president is telling the American people that the world will end if the growth of government spending is slowed down just this much (makes sign with thumb and forefinger).

This is a scene we have seen played many, many times before. There is even a name for it: the Washington Monument ploy. In the past, if the ruling class in the Washington establishment did not get its way, they threatened to shut down the Washington Monument because that’s where the budget ax would fall. President Obama has taken the Washington Monument ploy, dusted it off and Supersized it.  He's telling us that if this minuscule reduction, not an actual cut, but a reduction in the rate of growth occurs we would lose our police, our firefighters, our air traffic controllers, our teachers and our baby sitters. He has sent his surrogates out to tell us that we would be waiting for hours to board planes. He and his Defense Secretary have told us that this would destroy our military. He has delayed the deployment of an aircraft carrier scaring the people of Virginia to death. Between now and March first I expect that there will be predictions of water turning to blood, fiery hail, the sun blotted out and plagues of locusts if he does not get his way.

And the ladies and gentlemen of the press have lapped up every prediction of doom and even expanded on them. Well, I’m tired of it. I refuse the play the game any longer. Let’s make something very clear. If the President does not believe he’s up to running the government on a mere $3.5 trillion dollars a year, he should resign and let’s find someone who can. If the members of the Senate and the House don’t believe that they can find a way to fund the essential duties of the government without borrowing twenty trillions from generations yet unborn, they should leave and let someone else do it. If the members of the media will not do their duty to report honestly instead of fanning the flames of fear, they should find another line of work.

The sequester is a baby step in the direction of fiscal responsibility. The one bad part about it was that it does not distinguish between programs that are essential and programs that are a waste. In that respect, it was deliberately designed to be a bad idea. It was designed by the White House, but it was passed by the Congress so we are all to blame. But here we must stop because the horrible results that the President has predicted will not come to pass … unless he deliberately creates them. His is the responsibility actually fulfill the oath of office he took. If instead, he prefers to give speeches, stumble from crisis to crisis and conduct a perpetual campaign, please step aside Mr. President and let’s find someone who can do the job.
If Boehner won't make it, will someone please step up and provide REAL leadership for the people outside of the Washington Ruling Class? 

Coulter versus Libertarianism

Bob Woodward: Obama and Lew lied about sequester

I know, I know; this is like saying that the sun rises in the East.  But what is different about it is that one of the big guns in the MSM is saying it.  The same MSM that has been lying for Obama, covering for Obama, licking Obama's boots, performing a sexual act on him.  This is the media that gets a thrill up its leg when he speaks. 

Why is this happening?

Well, boys and girls, it's not because they have turned honest.  They are Democrat partisans with by-lines and that is what they will be till death do them part. 

This is a unique case.

Bob Woodward is trying to protect his reputation.  He made certain statements in a book he wrote
“The Price of Politics.” He's standing by his story that the sequester was:
... initiated by the White House and were the brainchild of Lew and White House congressional relations chief Rob Nabors — probably the foremost experts on budget issues in the senior ranks of the federal government.

Obama personally approved of the plan for Lew and Nabors to propose the sequester to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
We have Woodward and the White House giving diametrically opposed stories about how the sequester came about. Woodward says that Obama lied about it in the debates with Romney and the Jack Lew lied about it in his confirmation testimony before congress.   Which raises a minor point: did Jack Lew perjure himself? 

Getting the truth out for reasons of selling a book may not be purely altruistic, but it's progress.

Friday, February 22, 2013

America's Mandarin Class

The Chinese empire created a "Mandarin Class" that was open to anyone who could pass a series of very tough tests. There's a problem with that. It creates a person who knows to the fiber of his being what the people in power want and giving it to them.

All elites are good at rationalizing their elite-ness, whether it's meritocracy or "the divine right of kings". The problem is the mandarin elite has some good arguments. They really are very bright and hard-working. It's just that they're also prone to be conformist, risk averse, obedient, and good at echoing the opinions of authority, because that is what this sort of examination system selects for.

The even greater danger is that they become more and more removed from the people they are supposed to serve. Since I moved to Washington, I have had series of extraordinary conversations with Washington journalists and policy analysts, in which I remark upon some perfectly ordinary facet of working class, or even business class life, only to have this revelation met with amazement. I once had it suggested to me by a wonk of my acquaintance that I should write an article about how working class places I've worked usually had one or two verbally lightning-fast guys who I envied for their ability to generate an endless series of novel and hilarious one liners to pass the time. I said I'd take it under advisement, but what on earth would one title such an article? [snip]

But many of the mandarins have never worked for a business at all, except for a think tank, the government, a media organization, or a school--places that more or less deliberately shield their content producers from the money side of things. There is nothing wrong with any of these places, but culturally and operationally they're very different from pretty much any other sort of institution.

More and more, the budding mandarin has no experience outside of the experience all other mandarins have.

Almost none of the kids I meet in Washington these days even had boring menial high school jobs working in a drugstore or waiting tables; they were doing "enriching" internships or academic programs. And thus the separation of the mandarin class grows ever more complete

The mandarins believe their position at the top is the natural order of things. They believe that know what everyone else needs and wants. If those outside that class disagrees, they must be suffering from "false consciousness."
And like all elites, they believe that they not only rule because they can, but because they should. Even many quite left-wing folks do not fundamentally question the idea that the world should be run by highly verbal people who test well and turn their work in on time. They may think that machine operators should have more power and money in the workplace, and salesmen and accountants should have less. But if they think there's anything wrong with the balance of power in the system we all live under, it is that clever mandarins do not have enough power to bend that system to their will. For the good of everyone else, of course. Not that they spend much time with everyone else, but they have excellent imaginations.

Insurer with NY's 'worst' record of complaints gets $340M Obamacare loan

The Friends of O become multi-millionaires
A health insurance company headed by an old friend from when President Obama was an Illinois state senator got a $340 million federal loan to establish Obamacare co-ops in New York, New Jersey and Oregon despite having a chronic record of consumer and regulatory complaints.

The New York-based Freelancers Insurance Company has been rated the "worst" insurer for two straight years by state regulators, and data compiled by a national insurance association show an extremely high rate of consumer complaints.

The firm was founded in 2008 by Sara Horowitz, who worked with Obama while he was in the Illinois state senate to launch Demos, a left-wing, New York think tank funded in part by George Soros.

Before May 13, 2011, the Demos website described Horowitz and Obama as members of the founding group in 1999 that became "the core of Demos' staff and Board of Trustees."

How bad is Freelancers Insurance Company?

In 2011, the New York State Insurance Department ranked FIC last among commercial insurers with the most complaints and 49th of 50 among all the state's insurance providers, including health maintenance organizations.

In 2012, the Empire State insurance regulator again ranked Freelancers "worst" in complaints and 51st among 54 rated New York-based insurers.

The department ruled that "the health insurer did not comply with statutory or contractual obligations" in half the cases filed against Horowitz's company by consumers.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which represents 50 state insurance commissioners, reported FIC's complaint rate to be more than seven times the national average in the two most recent years for which data is available.
Can you say "culture of corruption"?  It's amazing how many Obama cronies get multi-million dollar loans and grant for things like "clean energy" facilites that go bankrupt leaving the cronies wealthy and the taxpayers poorer. 

Country Club Republicans: junior partners in the ruling class

Thus public opinion polls confirm that some two thirds of Americans feel that government is “them” not “us,” that government has been taking the country in the wrong direction, and that such sentiments largely parallel partisan identification: While a majority of Democrats feel that officials who bear that label represent them well, only about a fourth of Republican voters and an even smaller proportion of independents trust Republican officials to be on their side. Again: While the ruling class is well represented by the Democratic Party, the country class is not represented politically – by the Republican Party or by any other. Well or badly, its demand for representation will be met.
Thus by the turn of the twenty first century America had a bona fide ruling class that transcends government and sees itself at once as distinct from the rest of society – and as the only element thereof that may act on its behalf. It rules – to use New York Times columnist David Brooks’ characterization of Barack Obama – “as a visitor from a morally superior civilization.” The civilization of the ruling class does not concede that those who resist it have any moral or intellectual right, and only reluctantly any civil right, to do so. Resistance is illegitimate because it can come only from low motives. President Obama’s statement that Republican legislators – and hence the people who elect them – don’t care whether “seniors have decent health care…children have enough to eat” is typical.

Republican leaders neither parry the insults nor vilify their Democratic counterparts in comparable terms because they do not want to beat the ruling class, but to join it in solving the nation’s problems. How did they come to cut such pathetic figures?
Thus after WWII the Republican Party came to consist of office holders most of who yearned to be “ins,” and of voters who were mostly “outs.”

This internal contradiction was unsustainable. The Republican leadership, regarding its natural constituency as embarrassing to its pursuit of a larger role in government, limited its appeal to it. Thus it gradually cut itself off from the only root of the power by which it might gain that role. Thus the Republicans proved to be “the stupid party.”
In short, the Republican leadership finds itself in a position analogous to that of Episcopal bishops: They own an august label and increasingly empty churches because they have been chasing off the faithful priests and congregations.
Far be it from a party that represents the country class to ape what it abhors by imposing punitive measures through party line votes covered by barrages of insults: few in the country class’ parts want to become a ruling class. Yet the country class, to defend itself, to cut down the forest of subsidies and privileges that choke America, to curb the arrogance of modern government, cannot shy away from offending the ruling class’ intellectual and moral pretenses. Events themselves show how dysfunctional the ruling class is. But only a political party worthy of the name can marshal the combination of reason, brutal images, and consistency adequately to represent America’s country class.

Read the whole thing.

The Racists on the Left

Let the naming begin:
  • The New York Times
  • Chris Mathews
  • Harry Reid
  • Dick Durbin
  • Ted Kennedy
Daniel Sosa in the PJ Tatler:
It’s clear that the sharp knives are out for Ted Cruz. It’s obvious that Cruz is coming on a little too strong for the liberal white men on Capitol Hill to tolerate. So they’ve solicited their proxies in the so-called, “news” media, to help destroy and marginalize this man before his career in politics even takes off. Their agenda is clearly seen by all of those who dare to see it. We’re onto them. And like the struggle undertaken by the great Dr. Martin Luther King decades ago, we conservative minorities will not allow their bullying to go unanswered. We will fight the liberal establishment as they continue to try and shackle our people to the failure that is liberalism. We’ll say with a resounding voice that they will not keep us down because we refuse to conform to their special brand of servitude to extremist causes. Get used to us Chris Matthews, we conservative Latinos are not going anywhere.

Hey Kids, Guess Who’s Protecting The Evil Corporate Jets?

Democrats: the Party of the Rich.
Did you know that Democrat and mega billionaire Obama supporter Warren Buffet owns Net Jets, the largest private jet fleet in the world with more than 650 aircraft worldwide. It is also being dunned for hundreds of millions in taxes it has not paid.

Listening to the White House, you might think that the “balanced” Democratic plan to avert the spending cuts would close that loophole for private jets.

But you would be wrong.

The Senate Democratic plan – which has been endorsed by the White House and is, in fact, the only Democratic plan actively under consideration right now – doesn’t touch corporate jets.
Once you follow the money trail you understand why Buffett and Obama support each other.

Mother sues Planned Parenthood over forced, botched abortion

Your tax dollars at work
According to that complaint, when Byer arrived at the Planned Parenthood clinic, it was determined that her pregnancy was too far along to be terminated through the use of a pill, therefore a surgical abortion was recommended. Ms. Byer agreed upon the condition that she would receive IV anesthesia, for which she would be charged extra. Although the employees could not get the IV started, the doctor came to start the procedure anyway.

The complaint states:

At this time, Plaintiff immediately told the Planned Parenthood Doctor to stop and that she did not want to go through with the abortion procedure because she had not received any anesthetic. Plaintiff also informed Planned Parenthood Doctor and agents or employees of Planned Parenthood Defendants that she believed this to be a sign she should not go through with the abortion. The Planned Parenthood Doctor did not stop despite Plaintiff’s request, and assured Plaintiff the I.V. would be administered and the procedure would only take a few minutes.

At this time, the Planned Parenthood Doctor turned on the vacuum machines and told Plaintiff it was too late to stop.

Seven minutes later, due to Ms. Byer crying from pain, the procedure finally stopped. She received an apology and a prescription for a painkiller and antibiotics and was sent on her way. Planned Parenthood never followed up with her.

About two days later, Ms. Byer went to the hospital due to pain and bleeding, where it was found that part of the aborted baby was still inside her, resulting in an infection. She had to have emergency surgery.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Tolerant Left

There Is No Media

Victor Davis Hanson must read the Virginian Pilot. Or perhpas he read the Politico article that sobbed that God Obama failed to provide them with their daily marching orders.

About four years ago, the media just dissipated. Gone, buried. Did we notice our newsreaders are virtual government employees? The media is a Ministry of Truth where spokespeople vie for superlatives — a living “god,” a man who creates tingles in our legs and is pictured as a “messiah” on our magazines. Each sermon is a new “Gettysburg Address,” each gesture is Lincoln’s, each new Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton part of the new Lincoln’s “Team of Rivals.”

Journalists are now Photoshoppers of news: Guantanamo once bad, now good; we all grew to stop worrying and to love Predators; renditions, the Patriot Act, and preventative detentions must have gone with George W. Goldstein.

Those noisy free-for-all press conferences are now like Xerxes’s court at Persepolis, where toadies compete with kowtows. “Investigative reporting” is how some reactionary, enemy-of-the-people hacks dig up dirt on a progressive like Sen. Menendez or Susan Rice. The video maker sitting in jail and the 16-year-old American who was vaporized were reactionary troublemakers — and that is all ye need to know.

The Science is Settled

Peer-Reviewed Survey Finds Majority Of Scientists Skeptical Of Global Warming Crisis

Don’t look now, but maybe a scientific consensus exists concerning global warming after all. Only 36 percent of geoscientists and engineers believe that humans are creating a global warming crisis, according to a survey reported in the peer-reviewed Organization Studies. By contrast, a strong majority of the 1,077 respondents believe that nature is the primary cause of recent global warming and/or that future global warming will not be a very serious problem. ...

People who look behind the self-serving statements by global warming alarmists about an alleged “consensus” have always known that no such alarmist consensus exists among scientists. Now that we have access to hard surveys of scientists themselves, it is becoming clear that not only do many scientists dispute the asserted global warming crisis, but these skeptical scientists may indeed form a scientific consensus.

Well, that's that. The science is settled and you don't want to be anti-science, do you? That foolish religion founded by charlatans such as Al Gore belong with the frauds like L. Ron Hubbard. It seems that Gore, like Hubbard, was in it for the money.

John Kerry threatens to bore the world to death with excruciating first speech as Secretary of State

John Kerry kicked off his tenure as Secretary of State with a lecture at the University of Virginia in which he calls the US congress a bigger threat than emerging China or Middle East instability. The UK Telegraph's Nile Gardiner:

Kerry has ended up in Foggy Bottom instead of the Pentagon, but if President Obama’s plan is to bore America’s allies to death he’s clearly succeeding. The former Senator’s first speech as Secretary of State, delivered earlier today at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, was so excruciating that students were probably pleading to be released. It has to be one of the dullest lectures on record by a senior U.S. official, making Madeleine Albright’s speeches sound like the Gettysburg Address in comparison. Not only was it exceptionally lethargic, it was also full of badly written clich├ęs put together by a speechwriting team that would be better suited to penning obituaries for The New York Times.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Remember when President Obama supported the sequester cuts?

President Obama on the sequester cuts
November 21, 2011

Already, some in Congress are trying to undo these automatic spending cuts. My message to them is simple: No. I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense spending. There will be no easy off ramps on this one.

John Boehner: The President Is Raging Against a Budget Crisis He Created

John Boehner is not an effective spokesman for either Republicans or Conservatives.  That being said, he's an honest man.  Here's his version of how we got the sequester.

During the summer of 2011, as Washington worked toward a plan to reduce the deficit to allow for an increase in the federal debt limit, President Obama and I very nearly came to a historic agreement. Unfortunately our deal fell apart at the last minute when the president demanded an extra $400 billion in new tax revenue—50% more than we had shaken hands on just days before.

It was a disappointing decision by the president, but with just days until a breach of the debt limit, a solution was still required—and fast. I immediately got together with Senate leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell to forge a bipartisan congressional plan. It would be called the Budget Control Act.

The plan called for immediate caps on discretionary spending (to save $917 billion) and the creation of a special House-Senate "super committee" to find an additional $1.2 trillion in savings. The deal also included a simple but powerful mechanism to ensure that the committee met its deficit-reduction target: If it didn't, the debt limit would not be increased again in a few months.

But President Obama was determined not to face another debt-limit increase before his re-election campaign. Having just blown up one deal, the president scuttled this bipartisan, bicameral agreement. His solution? A sequester.

With the debt limit set to be hit in a matter of hours, Republicans and Democrats in Congress reluctantly accepted the president's demand for the sequester, and a revised version of the Budget Control Act was passed on a bipartisan basis.

"Best Drive in History"

President's Office Vacant, It's All Congress' Fault.

The office of President seems to be vacant. At least that's the impression one gets reading the Virginian Pilot about the upcoming sequester. Congress' leaders have failed U.S. screams the lead editorial. In it we learn that "Congress is on a nine-day vacation." No word on someone named Obama's vacation to golf in Florida with Tiger Woods.

With no President in office all of our editorial venom is aimed at Congress.

Its members - fractious, partisan, greedy - have done nearly nothing for the country they claim to serve, turning Congress into the least effective lawmaking body in generations.

Rewriting history it seems is a job that American editorial writers can do, hence we learn that the idea for the sequester came from Congress (see how you can lie while appearing to tell the truth?)...
Since 2011, when Congress created "the sequester"
Neatly sent down the memory hole is the fact that the sequester was the brainchild of the White House. And yesterday we saw a video clip of somebody named Obama promising to veto any move by Congress to overturn the sequester. But that clip was shown on FOX News and is therefore not part of reality. By the way, who is this Obama fellow and who is he to be threatening a veto?  We thought that vetoes were a Presidential prerogative.

As an illustration of two papers in one we have the very same editorial, which just finished telling us the world was ending if the miniscule cuts embedded in the dread sequester were actually implemented, praising larger cuts including those in the paper's favorite welfare programs.
It [Simpson Bowles] offers one way forward, another $2.4 trillion in budget cuts for the next decade with a mixture of tax reform, cuts in Medicare and Medicaid and changes to the way inflation-related increases are calculated.
Oh, for the good old days of George Bush when everything was all his fault.  Oh, wait.  With no one else occupying the office of President, it must remain his fault. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Overwhelmingly white MSM opposes Hispanic Senator

The largely white drive-by-media will tell you who you can like and who to despise.  If you're an uppity hispanic or black who doesn't kow-tow to them, they'll try to destroy you.

Security Guard at Tax Prep Office in MI Uses AR-15 to Defend Himself, Customers and Owners

Fox 2 News Headlines

Suburb of Detroit.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Shopkeeper says Iraq is safer than Birmingham after fighting off two armed robbers

Mr Rasul came to Britain in 2003 when the Kurds were being persecuted in their native Iraq.

'I thought it would be safe here, but it isn't, it's very dangerous with crime always going on and lots of bad people around,' he said.

'It's more dangerous here than Iraq because at least there, you knew who your enemies are.'

Everything they say in the newspaper may indeed be true; but it’s the truths they don’t tell you that are important.

Zombie has a photo essasy on a rally in San Francisco that was attended by - not just the usual zoo - but the mayor and city council (sorry, that's part of the usual zoo) called 1 Billion Rising. 

Via Zombie:

This is the sneaky side of media bias: deciding what to emphasize, and what to ignore. Everything they say in the newspaper may indeed be true; but it’s the truths they don’t tell you that are important

A little lesson in photo editing:

From the stage, at a certain angle, one could take a photo encompassing the entire crowd, making it look pretty big.

Even from the front of the crowd looking toward the back, it can be made to appear like a sea of people (and note all the media on the platform to the left).

But walk to the back of Civic Center Plaza, and take a picture from a distance, and my oh my, it certainly seems like a small event!
See how deceptive photos can be, even when they’re showing “reality”? Editors can chose which reality they want to show.
So, how many people were there? I’m terrible at crowd estimates, so I couldn’t really say, but if forced to guess, I’d venture two thousand or so.
That may seem like a lot, but it felt tiny compared to the 50,000 protesters who had congregated at this exact spot just couple weeks ago at the Walk for Life rally.

 Trust me on this: If the Tea Party had stood in a circle and made a little black boy dance for them, it would have been The Racist Event of the Century. But here — it’s perfectly OK. Move along, nothing to see.
Read the whole thing.

Smear merchant: NY Times

The NY Times has nominated Johathan Weisman to write the first major hit piece on Ted Cruz. If I were the Washington Post, I would sue for plagiarism because both bird cage liners have come out with the same attacks: why doesn't this first termer shut up and sit down?
In just two months, Mr. Cruz, 42, has made his presence felt in an institution where new arrivals are usually not heard from for months, if not years.
This is especially true of Republicans although it seems that the rules are suspended if you are a lightweight from Chicago who goes for the Presidency shortly after being elected to the Senate.

The Times pulls out a lot of the stops: he’s a Tea Partier, he’s the reincarnation of McCarthy, he’s not a military veteran, he was born in Canada. So far no intimations of infidelity, but that will come.

You can tell a lot about people by looking at their friends and their enemies. I like Ted Cruze already.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Why doesn't Ruth Marcus like uppity hispanics?

The traditional stance for a freshman senator is to hold back a bit. Being reticent and deferential are not qualities that come naturally to those who manage to win Senate seats, but most new senators choose, as much as it clashes with their instincts, to tamp down.

Not Cruz.
Ruth Marcus prefers Hispanic Republicans to sit down and shut up.  As Glenn Reynolds says: "They’re not journalists. They’re Democratic operatives with bylines."