Thursday, July 31, 2008

Crying Wolf "Racist!"

I know. It's my fault. I stepped in the cesspool that is the Huffington Post. But RCP linked it. Yeah. That's my excuse.

I saw a link that said "McCain Ad Racist", and I had to go see what in the heck was considered racist. And here's the meat of it:

Of all the famous celebrities they could have compared Obama to, why not Tom Cruise? Or Arnold Schwarzenegger, or Donald Trump, or Oprah Winfrey? Why Britney Spears and Paris Hilton? Why two white blond bimbos?

Only one reason. It's a somewhat tamer version of the white bimbo ad used so successfully against Harold Ford in Tennessee. In juxtaposing Barack Obama with Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, the McCain campaign is simply trying to plant the old racist seed of black man hitting on young white woman. Not directly, but subliminally and disgracefully.
WTF?!!!

There's a reason right there I don't want a progressive in the White House (or that big domed building, either). Decisions made using "logic" like that.

Comparing Barack Obama to two white women is racist. Eh? It suggested he was hitting on her. Huh? I mean -- gaahhhhh!!!! I guess you have to be really edumacated to make these connections.

And they call Bush an idiot. (heh. Dig this irony. The author's last name is "Press".)

Apparently, there's a racist behind every tree. Wait... if I tried hard enough, I could come up with an "explanation" that shows that statement is racist, too.

Recovery from what?

Headline in a Headline Email from the New York Times (yes, I get them. I do read "both sides", believe it or not). Nope. No media bias here.

G.D.P. Grows at Tepid 1.9% Pace Despite Stimulus By PETER S. GOODMAN and MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUMThe economy grew less than expected from April to June, the government said on Thursday, and it shrank in the final months of 2007, dimming the outlook for a quick recovery.
You would think by reading this that the economy was in a deep recession and that it just inexplicably was able to feebly raise its head on a wobbly neck just to punctuate how low it has gone and what a dismal position it is actually in.

Get this. The economy grew. Dispite record, gargantuan oil prices. But to the NYT, that's bad news, because it didn't grow enough to "recover".

Recover from what? A recession?

And what is a recession? Two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth. Which we haven't had. (But we don't need no stinking definitions. It's all about what we "feel".) So we're not in a recession, then. But this growth wasn't enough to recover from the non-recession. Must be the Republicans.

That's why we need HopeAndChange™.

HopeAndChange™. It's what America needs. For The Future™.

This message brought to you by Obama for President The New York Times.

The Race Card Card

I can't take the credit for that term, but it's a good one.

And I find it incredible that the big "O" is still doing this ... I saw on the news this morning that yesterday, in Union, Mo (not terribly far from where yours truly grew up), Big-Brother-Bama said:
"... they’re going to try to say, 'Well, you know, he’s got a funny name and he doesn’t look like all the presidents on the dollar bills and the five dollar bills and, and they’re going to send out nasty emails."
Now Obama's spin-folk apparently say that he wasn't talking about the McCain campaign or the Republicans, rather -- his oppenents in general. Talk-show hosts and such. Even though he started out the thought like this:

"John McCain and the Republicans, they don’t have any new ideas, that’s why they’re ..."
I listen to a couple of talk show hosts who oppose him ... Beck & Miller, to be clear ... and I've never heard either one of them come near that. I don't listen to Rush, but I really, really doubt he has, either. I don't believe any of them think his skin color is an issue -- or I'd probably stop listening to them. So how 'bout someone pointing out -- naming an actual person of relevance -- that has said such a thing? I mean other than the Obama campaign?

To slightly paraphrase a comment (on the same tactic on a different topic) from Morgan, it's a straw man the left-wingers have constructed so they can be seen attacking it. We who don't agree with them, have it in common that we look funny, stupid and pathetic -- when one pretends we said things none of us has seriously said anywhere.

Yes there are racists out there -- but the only people that will take them seriously are other racists -- so that sum is constant. None of them are going to win any converts. And while that may well be why those people vote for McCain, it doesn't follow that everyone else that votes for McCain are in the same camp.

I saw an Obama ad last night attacking McCain for attacking him. Here's the substance of Obama's commercial:
McCain attacked me. Same old politics.
That's it. "Mommmmm!!!! He's looking at me! Tell him to stop looking at me!!!!!!"

An attack ad attacking a candidate for the act of attacking. Does it get any more hypocritical than that? He attacked McCain soley for attacking him. Nothing about the validity of the attack. He wasn't responding to the substance of the attack so we could better judge whether the attack had any merit or not.

Just like the rest of his campaign. Long on frame and short on substance.

Yeah, I'm afraid of Obama. But not because of his middle name or the color of his skin, or if and when he attended a madrass.

It's because he's a "progressive" politician, and we've had far too much of that in recent years. Of the two Americas he wants the new, shiny, statist one.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pen & Teller on AGW

This is way too good not to bring to what, all 30 of my readers? And how many of them don't read House of Eratosthenes? No matter. These must be posted. I shall shamelessly cross-post lift.

Via Morgan, via Misha, via, via, via....

3 10 minute segments. The first two really back up the theory that this is a replacement for religion in some very real ways. But if you have to pick just one to watch, pick the last one. (Language warning. This is Pen & Teller.)

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Dems Cry "Deficit"

Now I'm not saying either party is any kind of model for fiscal restraint. But in response to this statement:
House Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt, D-S.C., said the deficit projection confirms "the dismal legacy of the Bush administration: under its policies, the largest surpluses in history have been converted into the largest deficits in history."
I'm looking at the figures, and I see this:


(note: fiscal years start in October)

I'm not even saying that the Democrats caused it. Or that they didn't. But it's one of those things that make you say "hmmmmm."

Spin, spin, spin.

Intellectual Cud

Thomas Sowell's "Random Thoughts" posts always give me a few worthwhile things to chew on.

And that's what his latest post is.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Rock Star Appeal, eh?

Huh. Free concert in Berlin before the speech. And apparently in Oregon, too.

Also, 200,000 people turned out to see Obama in Berlin? Or was it more like 20,000? (ht: Malkin)

Inquiring minds want to know.

This is good

Typical Midwesterners and the Dark Side of the Force

I have a friend -- same friend who is hopelessly infected with Bush Derangement Syndrome, use a term this weekend about "typical midwesterners" -- and it was not meant as a compliment.

Her husband ... born and raised in the midwest. Me ... raised in the midwest. My wife (whom she was talking to at the time) born and raised in the midwest. And her birthday party the night before where her house was filled with family and friends, all of whom live in the midwest. Many born and raised there.

In my book, it was a house filled with "typical midwesterners". I kind of shook my virtual head -- the one inside my head. Imagine saying "typical woman", "typical Black", "typical Arab". But "typical midwesterner" is fine. Cling. God. Guns. Superstitions. Not progressive. Unlike me. Can I get an Amen here?

This woman -- nice and well-meaning as she may be, is a dyed in the wool progressive. And I got to thinking about that kind of thought -- the kind of thought where you take a whole class of people based on geography and use them as a foil to let people know what you aren't by contrasting your self-image with what that group, supposedly is. And I thought ... what drives that? What need does it fill?

The answer is, of course, that it is a need to feel "special". And knowing what I know about her I know her childhood wasn't excactly a praise-fest from her parents. Mine wasn't either, but there was some modicum of balance -- plus, I had religious teachings to fall back on when I needed to gauge how decent a person I was when I was feeling inadequate. She did not.

There is an acknowledgement void in her life that has never been filled. That kind of void can never be filled from without, it can only be fed. It's a temporary satisfaction, but it always leaves the recipient wanting more.

Not all, but I'd say most "artists" fall into a category of people who have that void to some extent. Actors, especially. (Hollywood).

And what is the easiest place to to go to -- to fill the "feel good about myself" void?

The trough of Progressive Politics.

Progressive Politics lays out problems that everyone acknowledges and provides flowery generalized psuedo solutions that typically pay homage to some utopian ideal but have little or no substance to them.

Feed the babies who don't have enough to eat.
Shoe the children with no shoes on their feet.
House the people livin' in the street.
Oh oh, there's a solution.
(don't get me wrong ... great song, but it's a song.) How are we going to do all that? We're going to:


fly like an eagle to the sea
fly like an eagle
let my spirit carry me
fly like an eagle
till Im free
oh, lord, through the revolution

Which all sounds good, but what "solution" have I provided here? None. I've used flowery words and expressed a desire for change. I've brought it to society's attention, and I want something done about it. And that is the extent of my responsibility.

I bought a T-Shirt. I went to a concert. I scolded my neighbor for throwing that shopping bag away. I chained myself to a fence. I painted my face and shouted people down with a slogan-filled sign on a stick. I voted for the candidate that said he/she would fix it. How? Doesn't matter. I did my part, and I feel good about it.

Progressivism is the dark side of the force. The dark side is the seductive, easy side. It requires no thought, no discipline, only emotion. You give yourself to it. You feed that emotion to something that has the power to feed off of it, to use it, and your responsibility is done. The higher powers will now take care of it.

Every socialistic revolution got its power from the hawking of these quick and easy emotional "solutions". Be careful what you wish for when you wish for a revolution.

One of the last things she said as we left was "I wish we could sue these oil companies for making so much money" when we were expressing a preference for lower gas prices.

How many "amens" do you suppose she gets in an average day saying stuff like that? High gas prices? Sue the oil companies. I'm paying too much, they're getting too much - 'cause I say so and it'll make me feel better.

And of course that's the kind of solutions progressive politicians offer. So people vote for them. With no understanding of what the economics of oil actually are -- or for that matter, the economics of anything. Suing oil companies (for something that isn't illegal ... but suppose "we" win anyway) ... raises the cost of oil companies doing business.

You wanted lower gas prices. That won't get them for you. You might feel like you "stuck it to 'em", and they might even make less money because of it. But you won't pay lower prices. If anything, you'll pay higher prices so they can cover the cost of the lawsuit.

They make about an 8% profit margin, from what I understand. They make the money they do because of volume, volume, volume and the security of increasing demand. Suppose we cut that profit margin down to 4%. New exploration, new production is less worth the cost. Supply goes down. Price goes up. Oil company employees lose jobs. Who wins?

Nobody.

But progressive politics doesn't have to go into studied detail about things, only provide a flashy veneer of "truthiness", and people are all over it.

It is much harder to study and learn the ways of the Jedi, the mechanics of economics, the dynamics of human nature than it is to say "education is important!" and vote for the candiate who promises more "support" (whatever that means) for public education. Never mind how badly public education is failing us. Never mind how public education is now one of the top preachers and purveyors of the ideals of progressive politics.

You can talk about Hope™ and Change™ and Real Solutions™ until your face turns blue, but until you incorporate a knowledge of how things actually work into your solutions to bring about the change you hope for ... rather than try to dictate or force the change by fiat ... you'll only make things worse.


I realize that Misha long ago published a convincing dissertation on why the Imperials were, in fact, good and the rebellion bad in the Star Wars series. This is why he calls himself the Emporer. But that's one valid analogy. Mine is a different one. Different take. His is worth a read, and I'd link it if I could find it again. I'll give it a little more effort later. Update: Misha was kind enough to send me links to his essays: part 1 and part 2.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Orwell


I see Obama's campaign plane has been outfitted with a new logo...

It, and all the adulation, lead me to come up with this one:

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A little honesty from the Anti-War left?

Wow. Didn't expect this at all.

Confessions of an Anti-Iraq-War Democrat
- Lenny Davis

You know, from the beginning it seemed to be a religious edict of the Left never to give Bush credit for anything. Where I agree with Obama, I say it. These people, however, have almost never had a kind word to say about the President since the war became imminent. No recognition that the President just may have been enacting a strategy based on a bigger picture than they were willing to admit. If anything good happened, it was an accident that Bush had nothing to do with. There was always a caveat, a "but....", a spin into the worst possible interpretation of facts, heavily salted with conjecture and peppered with seething venom.

Oh, and anyone who disagreed with them obviously loved war and was a bloodthirsty, hegemonious, hate-monger. There was just no other explanation for supporting the decision to go to war.

This -- this gives me hope that deep down underneath some of the rabid Bush Derangement Syndrome, there is actually some doubt -- typically supressed by the "can I get an amen here" anti-war left crowd. Lenny apparently found the kahunas to express them openly, and bluntly.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hiatus

I'm back from a bit of a hiatus. But a little swamped. Just letting you know I'm not dead or anything.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Rock Bottom?

Ok, I heard a report the other day, and I see it at USA Today and a few other places. Congress's approval rating is now 9%.

Bush's seemed to stablize a few years ago right around 30%. And much was made of our Republican-controlled congress's rating being at 18%... then 15% ...

Then "we" elected a congress with a Democrat majority.

And now it's down to 9%.

Well, no longer can they say that it has a direct correlation with Bush's and the Republicans' policies.

Single digits. Apparently in colonial America King George's approval rating was 15-20%.

Think about it.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

No Exceptions!

I saw a bumpersticker at lunch today.

God bless the whole world. No Exceptions.

At first I thought, "hmm, there's a few people who I could think of I could do without him blessing." Unless, of course, the blessing was these people came to their senses and stopped being the murderous, evil bastards they are.

But then I realized ... duh! This is another liberal scolding bumpersticker. It's supposedly a response to "God Bless America".

Now I'm not sure about you, but I've never seen a bumpersticker or sign that said "God Bless America, and Nobody Else." Just like I've never heard anybody (who wasn't clearly joking) say that only English should be spoken in America. Either they just like to misrepresent what people say in order to scold them from on high, or they have a terrible case of projection (exclusivity such as, say, only sleeping with Democrats, for instance).

Probably a bit of both.

English Only

Heard NObama on the Radio this morning saying:
You know, I don't understand when people are going around worrying about, "We need to have English- only." They want to pass a law, "We want English-only."
You know, I don't understand people going around talking about people going around worrying about "English-Only". Who, excactly, are these people? I've heard of people wanting to pass a law making English the official language of the country. And even Barack says he's got no problem with that. But that is a far cry from requiring that people speak nothing else. So... all you scolders out there -- I want you to tell me who "they" is.

I'm sure there are a few out there. There are also people out there who think they're from the planet Zork, for crying out loud. I'm not too worried about them, either.

If I go to visit Germany, I would be at a disadvantage because I don't know German. I would be grateful that most Germans can get by in English. And if they didn't that would be my tough luck. But if I ever went to LIVE in Germany, well I would fully expect that I would have to learn German. Why should it be any different here?

We're concerned about mandates that our schools and government offices and whatnot offer classes and services in languages other than English. It increases the cost to us, and as Barack said, they need to learn English anyway. Plus, where do you draw the line? After Spanish? After Arabic? After Swahili? After Eubonics?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Reason #328 why we must guard the second amendment fiercely

Via Morgan: Prosecuted for owning a stick

See Joe Horn Revisited.

I stand even more firmly beside my analysis. People rob homes and throw stones at them, in broad daylight even, because they are confident that nobody will do anything to stop them. The last thing we need to do is make up laws that make it impossible to, with any sort of reasonable self-protection, try to stop a crime in progress.

Joe Horn went to try to stop criminals from looting his neighbor's home. When they threatened him, he took them out with a shotgun.

Sydney Davis went out waving a board at boys who were THROWING STONES AT HIS HOUSE. He hit nobody with it. The boys ran off. He went to jail.

Let's be more like Europe? No. Thanks.

Promising Resource

This looks pretty even-handed.

Worth exploring. A geologist writes about what we know about oil. Where it comes from. Who produces it. Who is using it. How much it costs and why. In detail.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

No, Don't Drill Here! Don't Drill Now!

I wrote my senators to encourage them to ease up on restrictions to drilling our own oil resources.

Wrote the Republican. Wrote the Democrat.

Got an email back from the Democrat. I imagine it's boilerplate. Perhaps even across the Democratic Senate.

Thank you for contacting me regarding domestic energy production. I appreciate hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to respond.

Our leaders need to be more up-front about what is really going on with energy production in this country. Oil companies already have an opportunity to increase domestic oil supply, but they sit on their hands and ask for more land when there is no evidence that they need it. Approvals for drilling on federal lands are at an all-time high and leasing to areas like the Outer Continental Shelf is already occurring.

Combined, oil and gas companies hold leases to nearly 68 million acres of federal land that they're not using both in Alaska and in the Gulf. This is over 80% of available federal land and the federal government provides these leases at a discount. Congress needs to pass legislation that would force oil companies to fully utilize these existing areas which contain some of the most abundant supply of oil in this country. It only makes sense that they explore and develop the millions of acres they already have access to before Congress permits drilling in new areas.

Energy experts contend opening new areas like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would not lower prices at the pump for years and then only by a few cents. Additionally, it would fail to move the country toward energy independence. With only 3 percent of the world’s oil supply and 25 percent of the world’s demand, it is clear America can not drill its way to lower prices. Our country instead needs real solutions to the energy crisis.

Congress, for example, is taking a hard look at oil speculation and whether there should be more regulation in this area to more accurately reflect the rates of supply and demand. This could mean a more fair and reasonable price at the gas pump. I also believe that continued investment in alternative fuels is the best way to reduce America’s addiction to oil and America’s best long-term energy strategy. Unfortunately, some members of Congress continue to block legislation that would help address this crisis and allow our nation become energy independent.

Also, I want to take this opportunity to dispel the myth that appears to be circulating that China has partnered with Cuba to drill off the coast of Florida. Some of my constituents are concerned that this is happening, but there is no offshore drilling venture between Cuba and China at this time.

Again, thank you for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to let me know if I can address any other issue that is important to you.

All best,

Speaking of being up front, why do I get the feeling this is only half of the story?

What evidence is there that there is recoverable oil under the lands currently under exploration leases? Can you point me to a map of this leased land which indicates where, under this 68 million acres land, there are known recoverable oil deposits? I mean deposits that won't cost as much or more to extract than to develop the claim?

We need to drill where the oil is, which for the most part isn't in these leased areas, impressive though they sound. So it'll take a while and the price won't drop much, some say. But this is as much about energy independence as it is about oil prices, probably even more so. I don't know about you, but I plan on being around here in 10 years. If it takes 10 years for that oil to come online, then we'll have that in 10 years. Had we done it in, say, 1998 ... it'd be on line right now. How that doesn't help us move toward energy independence, I can't fathom. It would give us something to use for a few years to buy us the time we need to develop the new technologies into production systems, and it would come from here and not overseas.

As for solutions, I see a lengthy list of things we "can't" do to solve the problem depending on which special interest group you talk to. Then I see a short list of things we wish we could do and are trying to make viable (alternatives other than nuclear) -- but we're not there yet. In the mean time, let's take drilling off the "can't" list because we most certainly can and should.

We may not be able to drill our way out of this, but we cannot "conserve" our way out of it, either. We have to conserve some, diversify our energy sources, as well as utilize what we already have under our noses. We have the technology to drill responsibly. It's done all the time. Drilling is not "the" solution. But it is an important piece of the puzzle.

Ultimately, nuclear and clean coal power is the way out of this for the foreseeable future. But we don't have the capacity it's going to take to charge a fleet of tens of millions of electric cars. It apparently takes 10 years to get from approval of a new nuclear plant to actually getting electricity out of it. This makes it all the more urgent to get moving on short and long term solutions now.

I assume the allusion to accounting for 25% of the world's demand and 3% of the world's population is hinting at some sort of moral assessment of whether or not that should be so. This is an arbitrary judgment Our energy use is a measure of our innovation. It is a measure of our productivity. We aren't the Congo. We have higher standards than that.

Speculators speculate on what prices will be based upon what they see happening. They don't make money by speculating higher. They only make money when they are right about what the market is going to be. They can very well lose their shirts speculating higher. When demand goes up and they can see that supply is going to be hindered, they speculate higher. If we show that we intend to do something about increasing supply, they'll speculate lower. Even if it only keeps prices from rising further rather than actually lowering fuel prices, it would be worth it. (I can't imagine being an independent trucker right now.) But today speculators see world demand continuing to rise (with or without the U.S.) and Congress saying "no, no, no, no, no" to opening avenues to increased supply.

Most of today's energy market problems are at least in large part caused by government over-regulation. That is why I'd like Congress to look very hard at the consequences of our regulations and work with energy companies to come up with solutions. After all, they're people too.

Joe Horn Revisited

I just listened to the whole 911 tape.

Now is he a hero? In my book, kinda, yeah. Here's a guy looking after his neighbor when two guys who have no respect for their fellow man, much less the law -- boldly decided they could break in to someone's house in broad daylight and felt that they could get away with it.

Joe had every right to go outside onto his lawn, despite being advised not to by the 911 officer. He had every right to take his shotgun with him in case he was threatened. He had every right to try to make a citizen's arrest if he so chose.

If the men, in fact, rushed him, especially on his own property, he had every right to use deadly force if he thought his life or limb was in danger.

We weren't there. The audio tape and the body on his lawn supports his version of the event, and two people who needed to be removed from society were removed.

Was he smart to do it? Considering the danger to himself (both physical and legal), no. Was he brave to do it? How many of you would do it, honestly? Did he break any laws?

There is no evidence to prove that he did, and the available evidence suggests otherwise. That's why he wasn't indicted.

Does that make him a hero? He did something he didn't have to do to try to stop a criminal injustice -- something which put him in potential danger. That's what makes Joe a hero.

It turned out that danger was real. But the thugs decided to rush him. They made the decision that force was going to be used.

Joe Horn just had the upper hand this time.

So he's a live hero rather than a dead one.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Quote of the Day

The week. Probably the month, too.

On Christopher Hitchens undergoing waterboarding to see if it's torture -- blogger SWeasel says:

Torture is any experience so horrible that no-one would consider trying it out simply for the purpose of writing a Vanity Fair article about what it's like.
Via Morgan, through Ace, and SWeasel, eventually ending up at The Drawn Cutlass.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Blown Out of the Icy Water

Looks like the evidence supporting my analysis and speculation about the claims of an "ice free North Pole" for "the first time in human history".

Except for those other times it's been ice free, of course.

Here's a bit more thorough coverage of the lack of coverage of the nature of ... arctic ice coverage.

Incidentally... this article has to be at least 4 years old since Daly died in 2004, so it wasn't written in response to the recent reports of the betting on an ice-free pole.

Linky Goodness

Here's a long overdue link. I've long admired this blog. And I gotta say, I like his taste in graphics. American Thinker. Now linked in the "Highly Recommended" link list. Go check it out.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

I Heart Debra Saunders

In talking about Heller vs DC:
When fashionable people can afford to hire security guards or live in gated communities, they tend to think of self-defense as a neurotic obsession of the gauche and overwrought. They don't think they need handguns, therefore no one needs handguns. They are undeterred by research that shows that their gun bans don't reduce crime, because it only matters that they mean well.

They are undeterred by [facts that contradict their beliefs], because it only matters that they mean well.

Does that sum up the progressive drive or what?

Does Patriotism Matter?

Another must-read from the venerable Thomas Sowell.

Voting Litmus Test

When all else fails, just look for the candidate the socialists are backing, and vote for the other one.

Or at the very, very least, do NOT vote for the candidate they are backing.