Friday, October 30, 2009

The Philmon Stamp of Approval

Goes to:  Not An Angry Mob.

I llllllllllllike this!  Very simple, not in your face, but makes a statement and shows solidarity.

Sorry about the two "free ads" in a row. Just worked out that way. I'd never do it for something I didn't personally like, that's for sure.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

How Many People at the 9-12 Tea Party Redux

I ordered one.

Yeah, this is a free ad.

Why Fox News Isn't News

(well according to Rachel Maddow anyway)

Update: Newsbusters agrees with me.

Constantly moving the goal posts is a go-to strategy for progressives losing arguments.  And so it is with the "Fox News Isn't News" meme.

First it was because they "lie"... but nobody could come up with anything that held water as a "lie".

Then it was because they were "biased".  But it was pointed out that every other news network is biased.

Then it wasn't the news so much as their opinion shows.  But it was pointed out that other news networks have opinion shows that are extremely biased.

Well one of those opinion show hosts on one of the other networks, the cocky Prog Queen Rachel Maddow, now has her trump card.  It's because they "advertise", with their own money, they organize and promote "anti-government" rallies.

I should first point out that the initial call for a Tea Party movement did not come from Fox News or anyone at Fox news.  In fact, (and I remember watching this) it was Rick Santelli on CNBC (about 2:13 into the following clip) last November, while Bush was still president.  The liberal press (and Democrats in general, and waaaay too many Republicans) still doesn't get it that these tea parties are not partisan.  They are about government run amok, too big, too powerful, and meddling in idiotic ways in things that have no basis in the Constitution.

But as you can see, the people around him (and he was on the CME floor before the opening bell ... these are not generally investors around him but rather infrastructure people who work there) -- it was a widely felt frustration that a lot of other Americans were feeling (such as my wife and me -- who were watching this together).

Later Glenn Beck brought it up on his radio show -- which is an opinion show -- and liked the idea (his opinion) and suggested that people do it, but made it clear that he would not be organizing it -- that that was left to people at the grass roots level, and that is where the organization has stayed.  I've met local organizers.  They're moms and grandmas and working people.

Fox talks about them before they happen like other news networks have reported on protest events coordinated by leftist groups, talking about them before they happen, reporting on when they are going to happen, having people on from the movements talking about it -- and then they report on the event when it happens, and then after it happens.  But see, that's only "promoting" when Fox News does it and the ideals are not progressive.

In short... Fox does not ignore them as the other networks would like to do, but instead have to ridicule and try to marginalize.  You know, the opposite of advocacy is advocacy for the other side.  So, in fact Ms. Maddow, these things are like the others after all.

On the whole shows the tea parties in a favorable light, as opposed to other networks who do things like this: (note ... it apears that CNN is trying to scrub YouTube of this video.  Susan has been fired because CNN was called out on this by conservatives.)

But at leftist events report things in a different way:

Note that she does not ask why he thinks the President is a fascist, but in typical leftist style dismisses the the idea out of hand on the grounds that it is "offensive".  She sees it as merely a slur, rather than a word with a meaning that might apply.

But the bottom line is, the federal government does not get to decide who is a legitimate news outlet and who is not.  At least it doesn't yet.

Fox News, as opposed to other news outlets, presents things from a center-right point of view, no doubt.  I've watched them enough to see that they are fair (they allow opponents to air their positions at least as much as on other networks).   And as far as balanced, well, I'd say that they ARE the balance that is needed, and they are the reason Fox kicks all the others combined in ratings.  If the others were balanced, there'd be no need for Fox News.

And of course, regarding balance ... keep this in mind from my last post:

"... the great advantage of cultural relativism is that it absolves you of the need to know anything. For if everything’s of equal value, why bother learning about any of the differences?" - Mark Steyn
This applies to the world of opinion as well.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Life Is Not A Bumpersticker Redux

Recently small-"tee" tim reminded me, via a reference to the COEXIST bumper stiker, of this excellent Mark Steyn treatise on moral relativism and kitchy bumpersticker politics, which gave me the opportunity to go read it again.  And this time, this quote stuck out to me.  And it needs posting by itself.
"... the great advantage of cultural relativism is that it absolves you of the need to know anything. For if everything’s of equal value, why bother learning about any of the differences?" - Mark Steyn
That article inspired me to "create" the bumpersticker at the bottom of this post at  I've used them several times.  They're fast.

The Importance of Diversity™

To round out this series and just get it all out of my system, here's another thing that's been bugging me a while.

Before I get started let's make one thing real clear.  I've got no problem with diversity.  Diversity IS, whether anybody likes it or not, and it is important to allow it to a rational extent especially when it comes to ideas.  Allowing it to all extents when it comes to race.

Now I just gave away my answer to the question I am about to pose to those who go about ... yeah, I'm gonna say mindlessly touting "The Importance of Diversity™" ... and that question is:

Just what, excactly is the importance of diversity?   500 words or less.  Go!

I'll wait ....

[ ... ... ...]

Here's the deal.  Like I said, diversity is fine.  Diversity simply is.   Allowing it leads to competition of ideas, and good ones generally win out.  It is important to allow diversity.  Do you sense a "but" coming?  Your Spidey Sense serves you well.


Enforcing diversity is an entirely different story.   It comes along with its own set of problems, as does enforcing uniformity.   Maybe not exactly the same problems.  But problems that are just as bad, and perhaps even worse.  But we don't have to choose between enforcing diversity or enforcing uniformity.  The third way is to allow it -- and that's what our Constitution does.

But back to enforcing diversity.   Enforcing it runs counter to freedom of association for one thing.  Enforcing it also artificially boosts some ideas that have, over time, been rejected in the decision making process of a particular society, thereby prolonging the detrimental effects which are the reasons the society rejected them in the first place.

Remember the term, "United We Stand, Divided We Fall"?   This extends beyond solidarity in the face of an enemy.

There is something to be said for cultural cohesiveness.  A glue that holds a people together.   A country will not last long without it.

Up to the last 30 or so years, that glue here in the USA was mainly the Judeo Christian tradition.  Perhaps not all where religious to the same degree, or the same sect, but by and large even those who were not religious at all were raised in and well aware of the idioms -- it was a common denomitator -- especially the Christian part.

That glue is being deliberately weakened, to the detriment of our culture.

The enforcement of Diversity™ appears to boil down to basically this.  Anything that is outside of European Judeo-Christian culture is "Diversity™".   Anything inside of it is, defacto, not.

Imagine if Americans who suddenly decided that tequila, tortillas, and heat were what we all really want, and we started illegally crossing into Mexico in droves, demanding other Mexicans support us when we can't find work, demanding they make everything available to us in English, including a free education, and demanding that they not only accept us as we are, but also to peel down any symbols of Mexican culture from the public square because it makes us feel marginalized and inferior.

Imagine that.

Think Mexicans would be upset?  Think the Diversity™ cops would cry that we were destroying Mexican Culture?

You bet they would.   The Mexicans would be right.  The Diversity™ cops would be hypocrites.

Things I Know #31

Another for the Things I Know pile.
31. Activism for activism's sake is a form of narcissism.
And you'll never guess what reading material is making that ever-more obvious to me.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Latest Reading Material

Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals"... you know ... "Know Thy Enemy" and all.  Just showed up in the mail today.  This book is the manual for groups like ACORN -- and the group of radicals Obama has surrounded himself with for a good portion of his life -- the people he has brought into the executive branch of the Federal Government with him to "Fundamentally Change" the United States of America.

So I read the back cover and he's being praised as another Thomas Paine or even Samuel Adams by such publications as The Nation.  (I know, big shock).

Then I crack the cover and there's three quotes.

"Where there are no men, be thou a man." - Rabbi Hillel
Ok, nice, I can dig that (snap, snap).
"Let them call me a rebel and welcome, I feel no concern from it; but I should suffer the misery of devils were I to make a whore of my soul..." - Thomas Paine
All right, I get that one, too -- and being a Tea Partier, I know what he's saying. Kind of echoes the tag line on my blog, really.

Then the third quote:

"Lest we forget at least an over-the shoulder acknowledgement to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins-- or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom -- Lucifer." - Saul Alinsky

Let's blur the lines between mythology and history -- perhaps even switch one for the other, and emulate Lucifer and build our own kingdom.

Hell on earth. Nice.

Update: Ok, I wasn't even done with the second paragraph of the prologue, and already he's used the word (or a form of the word) "dialectic" -- pretty much an immediate turn-off for me as I find it is generally a marker for psuedo-intellecualism -- and laments that "few of us survived the Joe McCArthy holocaust of the early 1950's ..."  (emphasis, mine) ...

Read it again and think about it...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Theory vs Fact

It occurs to me that Progressive thought ... which is basically runaway academic thought ... is marked by an impairment in the ability to differentiate between theory and reality.

Theories are useful.  Even necessary to expanding understanding.  But in the past, oh, I don't know, 30-50 years ... maybe more, there has been an emphasis on ideas over substance, ostensibly to encourage ideas.  "There are no wrong answers."  And no idea is better than another.

Well... yes there are.  And yes ... some are.

In scientific method, theories are tested to see if they hold up.

A favorite bumpersticker of Progressives is --
 "Imagination is More Important than Knowledge".  (Apparently Albert Einstein)
Well ... no.

Imagination is important, no doubt.  But it can never trump knowledge.   Imagination comes up with theories, and verification adds to knowledge.  Now there are things that have been considered knowledge (the earth is flat) that imagination challenged and experimentation ... verification ... found to be incomplete, not accurate, and knowledge was expanded.

Knowledge (verification) must always have the final word.

The earth didn't suddenly become round when someone imagined that it might be round.  The earth has flatness when taken in small chunks, and it has roundness when taken in larger chunks.  (Calculus deals with this concept mathematically.)

Anthropogenic Global warming is a theory.  It has a basis in known physics.  But it is incomplete -- and the data is inconclusive at best, and contradictory when we overlay atmospheric CO2 and temperature records and look at the offset.  You know, verification.  What you're supposed to do with theories before you accept them as "true".

And yet the academic cannot accept that the theory is wrong ... well ... not most.  And proving the theory is correct is where the money is.  Showing that it is not leads to scorn and very little funding.

Keynsian economics is theoretical.

It has been shown not to work.

And it's the same as with AGW.

Being "right" is more important than being, you know... correct. You know, as in, matching reality.

Friday, October 23, 2009

That NEVER Happens!

From our local newspaper yesterday:

In other news, "Baker Uses Oven", "Weather Man Gives Forecast", and "Batter Steps Up to Plate".

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Race Baiting™

I noted that Mr. Johnson's tsk-tsk list I talked about in the previous post is his response to the fact that he was exposed as pushing the fake quotes that have been widely circulating.  I further note that he doesn't claim that all the quotes are racist, but that they were either racist or "Race Baiting™"

Now I am just as sure that race baiting exists as I am that racism exists, and may I add that racists of all colors engage in it.

But I am just as certain that the progressive definition of "racist" has expanded to the point where it has little meaning other than, "he who disagrees with me and is white", and hence the ™ ... they've hijacked the word.  It's theirs now, and they get to define it.  (Well, according to them.  Really, it's because we let them.)

"Race Baiting™" is a further obfuscation designed to provide cover for those who don't want to have to even consider going through the pretzel logic of explaining why something that isn't racist is Racist™.

Basically, Race Bating™ now means any reference by a white conservative to anything that can possibly be remotely connected by any thread of logic, no matter how thin or twisted ... to something that isn't of "white culture" or "whiteness".   Makes things pretty easy for them.  And in a pinch, they'll even use it on white liberal opponents.  Ask the Clintons.

But it only works because we let it work.

Remember, these charges are thrown about by people who use "logic" like this not only with a straight face, but they're actually proud of it:
"Although black persons comprise a majority of the city's registered voters, in three of the past four general municipal elections, African Americans comprised a minority of the electorate on election day; in the fourth , they may have been a slight majority. For that reason, they are viewed as a minority for analytical purposes." -- Loretta King Acting Assistant Attorney General 
I'm all for post-racial. But as long as we keep seeing grotesque rationalizations like this.... we're not there.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Reverend Paul

Perspective:  If you aren't aware of this -- you need to be before you go on to gain the right context.  And I'll warn ya.  This is a long post.  And the one I linked isn't all that short.

This dude really, really hates Rush Limbaugh, and it looks like he's scouring the net for any mention of him and posting little diatribes.  I suspected that before I looked at my stat counter ... and sure enough. Limbaugh%22&btnG=Search Blogs

Whoomp!  There it is.  That's exactly what he is doing.  Searching blogs for mentions of Rush Limbaugh and leaving his campaign calling card.

He has a blog called "Chasing Evil", and by looking at his tags, I'd say he's got classic Progressive Narcissist Syndrome.  It's not just Limbaugh.  It's Robert Spencer, Pam Geller, right-wing extremist, homophobia, neo-nazis, racists, and it goes on and on and on and on ...

His tag line is "Shining Light on the Darkness of Hate".  Classic Progressive Cult Narcissist.  Probably unsavable.  Too bad.  I hate to see that.  He could have chosen to live a happier life.

So he has bought into the Progressive idea of the Right-Wing Boogeyman, and is on a crusade to get hit after hit of the relief that comes by countering it with his magic sword of self-righteousness.

He is Jeneane Garafaolo.  Sad.  Used to like her, too.

They see Hate™ everywhere they look like the John Birch Society is said to have seen Communism behind every tree.  The want so desperately to find it and renounce it that they see it everywhere.  But the real goal is not to end evil.  It is to be seen renouncing it.  No, they need the evil, or there'd be nothing for them to renounce.  Which is why they make it up so often.  It's easier.

Both of the initial comments he left on my blog made it a point to point out that Rush Limbaugh also had a psuedonym of "Jeff Christie" on one of his early DJ jobs.  Well, he doesn't really go into when or where he used that name.  He just seems to think it's important to mention it for some reason or another.

Starts out the first one:
"It seems to me that all the negative vibes this blowhard (Rush Hudson Limbaugh A.KA. Jeff Christie) has been spewing over these many years has come back to blow back on his face .... (blah dee blah dee blah ... he's fat, and hates everyone who isn't white and male, the whole litany), and 'all you have to do is listen to his daily prejudices (sic) filled sermons'."
Well, I've been listening and haven't heard one yet.

Today he dropped by and left another comment on my last post, which only peripherally mentioned Rush and not the NFL, and he went on ranting about Michael Vick ... whom I'd never mentioned.  Started out the same way:
"All this blowhard (Rush Hudson Limbaugh A.KA. Jeff Christie) has to offer is his money and his opinions,..."
And ranting on about the NFL and racism and who's better qualified to own a team ... none of which I really give a rat's ass about.  He also mentioned in the first one something about "cry baby" and in the second one something about Rush being "almost in tears"... (I listened to that entire show... he wasn't, this is delusional thinking to satisfy Paul's ego.  He needs to believe Rush has been crushed.  You know, after you build up too many delusions about the world you actually become insane.  I'd watch those roadsigns if I were him.)

And then he points to a post from Charles Johnson (of LGF fame) about a bunch of documented, supposedly racist quotes to counter Rush's recent answer to a question -- "My racial views? You mean, my belief in a colorblind society?"

I've heard nothing from Rush so far that indicates that he doesn't, and found out a few things about him that support his claim that he does (believe in a colorblind society).

In fact, looking at Johnson's meticulously documented (by MediaMatters) list, the vast majority of them only someone who saw color before anyone else would assume they indicate racism. 

Here's the list:
  • On the Nobel Peace Prize: “I think Obama’s the second Kenyan to win.”
  • “We are being told that we have to hope [Obama] succeeds, that we have to bend over, grab the ankles … because his father was black.”
  • “I do believe” Obama is an “angry black guy.”
  • “[I]n Obama’s America, the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering.”
  • “Obama’s entire economic program is reparations.”
  • Obama is “more African in his roots than he is American” and is “behaving like an African colonial despot.”
  • Obama is “Halfrican-American.”
  • “Obama has disowned his white half … he’s decided he’s got to go all in on the black side.” 
  • Sotomayor “a reverse racist” appointed by Obama, “the greatest living example of a reverse racist.”
  • Obama “wants us to have the same health care and plan that he had in Kenya” and “wants to be the black FDR.”
  • Latching onto LA Times op-ed, Limbaugh sings “Barack, The Magic Negro.”
  • “God does not have a birth certificate. Neither does Obama”; Obama “has yet to prove he’s a citizen.”
  • Limbaugh on Gates controversy: “Here you have a black president trying to destroy a white policeman.”
  • Limbaugh suggests Obama would not have acted on Somali pirates if he’d known they were “actually young, black Muslim teenagers.”
  • Limbaugh suggests Democrats, media believe “you can’t criticize the little black man-child.”
  • “The government’s been taking care of [young blacks] their whole lives.”
  • “The days of [minorities] not having any power are over, and they are angry.”
  • “[M]inorities never do anything for which they have to apologize.”
  • Limbaugh: “The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well.”
  • Limbaugh says “NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips.”
  • Limbaugh declares basketball “the favorite sport of gangs.”
  • Limbaugh invented “racial component” to Hackett’s decision to withdraw from Ohio primary race.
  • Limbaugh on Survivor series: “African-American tribe” worst swimmers, Hispanics “will do things other people won’t do."
  • Limbaugh suggested Colin Powell only supported Obama because of race.
  • Limbaugh: Gates is an “angry racist.”
  • Limbaugh called illegal immigrants an “invasive species.”
  • Limbaugh repeatedly calls Native Americans “Injuns.”
  • Limbaugh says Democrats’ interest in Darfur is securing black “voting bloc.”
  • Limbaugh says that if “feminazis” had remembered to oppose “affirmative action for black guys … they wouldn’t face the situation they face today.”
 Now first ... in a color blind society -- that is to say a society that doesn't believe that people of one race aren't inherently "bettter" than people of another, we could all criticize, lampoon, & observe facts and trends about anyone regardless of their race.

I submit that if we can't criticize a black man, or if we have to walk on eggshells when we criticize a black man, but not when we criticize a white man... then there is a huge conflict of interest in electing a black man.   However, most conservatives reject the idea that one race is better than another, and so the fact that we elected a black man isn't a problem.   And thus we feel that he is as subject to criticism for things we disagree with him about just like any white man.

But progressives don't.  They've cultivated this double-standard and are using it to their advantage.  But it will only work if we accept their premises... that any criticism of a black man, any lampooning, noticing any facts that might not be flattering ... indicates racism.

So let's go through them, one by one, shall we?

On the Nobel Peace Prize: “I think Obama’s the second Kenyan to win.”

Where's the racism?  Is it racist to call someone whose father was Kenyan a Kenyan?

“We are being told that we have to hope [Obama] succeeds, that we have to bend over, grab the ankles … because his father was black.”

Well... aren't we?  And isn't that why?  After all, if we don't, what we hear is RAAAACISSSSTTTT!!!

“I do believe” Obama is an “angry black guy.”

Is Obama black?  Is it racist to observe or indicate that fact?  Did he look up to a Black Nationalist preacher for 20 years?  So ... it's an opinion.  Not racism.

“[I]n Obama’s America, the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering.”

And again, how is this observation/opinion racist?    This was a reference to an actual recent incident on a school bus in St. Louis.  What do leftists mean by "social justice" .... lots of things.  Are we not supposed to talk about motives and social constructs when it's black kids ganging up on white kids?  Or are we not even supposed to bring such incidents up?

“Obama’s entire economic program is reparations.”

Social Justice.  Spread the wealth around.  Economic Justice... I think it's fair to form that opinion. As I recall, Obama's problem with reparations is that "they don't go far enough."

Obama is “more African in his roots than he is American” and is “behaving like an African colonial despot.”

Suppose we had an Italian conservative president whom the left thought was acting like a mob boss.  Think it'd get brought up?

Obama is “Halfrican-American.”

Oooh!   Ow!   A silly pun!   Waaaah!

“Obama has disowned his white half … he’s decided he’s got to go all in on the black side.”

"Typical black person" would be deemed "racist".   "Typical white person" -- not racist.  Is this colorblind?  No.  It's color-conscious.  Did he say he thought black people were inferior to white people?  No.  He threw his grandmother under the metaphorical Progressive bus.  His grandmother was white.  This is what Rush was talking about.  Did it not happen? 

Sotomayor “a reverse racist” appointed by Obama, “the greatest living example of a reverse racist.”

I think the evidence supports this (maybe not the greatest living example -- I'd reserve that for Jackson and Sharpton).  She said she'd take race into account.  Not quite that bluntly, but almost.

Obama “wants us to have the same health care and plan that he had in Kenya” and “wants to be the black FDR.”

Rush believes single-payer government health care would be as crappy as a Kenyan plan.   He [Obama] is black. He wants a single-payer healthcare system.  And he doesn't want it to be private. And he wants to be FDR.  If he were tall, maybe he'd want to be the tall FDR.

Latching onto LA Times op-ed, Limbaugh sings “Barack, The Magic Negro.”

Must we go over this again?  The op-ed itself was written by a Black Man.  Rush was making fun of the entire concept.  Not black people... or Barack, even, necessarily.  Rather, the white progressives that bought into the myth.

“God does not have a birth certificate. Neither does Obama”; Obama “has yet to prove he’s a citizen.”

And where, exactly, does race come in to this tounge in cheek statment of opinion?

Limbaugh on Gates controversy: “Here you have a black president trying to destroy a white policeman.”

Well, he did call him "stupid" without (according to Obama himself) knowing the facts ... based on the fact that he's white and Gates is black. 

Limbaugh suggests Obama would not have acted on Somali pirates if he’d known they were “actually young, black Muslim teenagers.”

Limbaugh is using a humor device known as "irony".  That we bend over backwards to pretend not to notice that there is a problem in that demographic in many parts of the world.  Like France, for instance.  But I think 99% of Americans (you never say 100%) were behind Obama on that one.   Including me.  And Rush Limbaugh.  And I'm sure he made that clear.

Limbaugh suggests Democrats, media believe “you can’t criticize the little black man-child.”

Obviously, he's right about that.  Hence the John Birch-like witch hunt of people like Paul.  And Charles.

“The government’s been taking care of [young blacks] their whole lives.”

For a hugely disproportionate number of them, this is sadly true.  And it's not good for them.

“The days of [minorities] not having any power are over, and they are angry.”

Again.  This statement is racist how?  He didn't say he was angry.

“[M]inorities never do anything for which they have to apologize.”

Because Progressives like Paul will always make excuses for them and tell us it's The Man's fault for looking at him wrong.  Or his great grandfather looking at his great grandfather wrong.

Limbaugh: “The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well.”

You mean they haven't?  Or it's just racist to say that they have?  I'm confused.

Limbaugh says “NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips.”

He was talking about unsportsmanlike conduct, unnecessary roughness, taunting ... unprofessional behavior on and off the field.  Now... are you saying that this behavior is there because they are black?  Because that would be racist.  Limbaugh didn't say that or indicate it anywhere.  Or are you saying the Bloods and the Crips are really just a bunch of nice guys you'd let take care of your daughter for the weekend?

He also said just moments before that that he thought LaDanian Tomlinson was the classiest player in the NFL.  Question for ya.  What color is Ladanian Tomilinson?   I know.  Do you?  (hint: it ain't white).

Limbaugh declares basketball “the favorite sport of gangs.”

I don't know if it is or not.   Do you?  Is he wrong?  Is it bad to like basketball or something?  Because somebody needs to tell all the white people in Indiana.

Limbaugh invented “racial component” to Hackett’s decision to withdraw from Ohio primary race.

Don't know anything about this.  But "the racial component" gets thrown at whites all the time.  Do you believe that there aren't black racists?   Someone who believed in a colorblind society wouldn't.

Limbaugh on Survivor series: “African-American tribe” worst swimmers, Hispanics “will do things other people won’t do.”

I never watch Survivor.  Is he wrong?  Was he talking about observed behavior/abilities of the people on the show?  Is it racist to observe differences in how different groups behave?  Because we're gonna have to shut down a bunch of social science departments at a bunch of colleges if that's true.  --  Say......

Limbaugh suggested Colin Powell only supported Obama because of race.

And that is Limbaugh's opinion.  Does it mean he thinks that black people are inferior to white people?  Explain how.

Limbaugh: Gates is an “angry racist.”

Sure seemed to me Gates was quick to judge the cops based on the color of their skin.  And he sure talks a lot about race, and not in a happy way.

Limbaugh called illegal immigrants an “invasive species.”

What do you call people who illegally cross your country's borders in large numbers? "Invasive" is apt.   "Species"?  A metaphor.   They come in, set down roots, and cause problems ... remember, they broke the law getting here.   That causes all kinds of problems.  Ask government officials and law enforcement.

Limbaugh repeatedly calls Native Americans “Injuns.”
 "And if it weren't for the injuns, who befriended them, and gave them coats and skins and taught them how to fish, and share their food and corn with them, the Pilgrims wouldn't have survived." - Rush Limbaugh (right there in the Media Matters link LGF provided)
Does that sound racist to you?  Sounds like admiration to me.  It appears "injuns" is a quirk word of his.  It could actually just the way he pronounces "indians".  I don't know.  But I doubt he thinks there's anything inferior about their race.

Limbaugh says Democrats’ interest in Darfur is securing black “voting bloc.”

Pundits and strategists talk all the time about demographics and what appeals to them.  White males, hispanics, white middle class moms ... whatever.  Means nothin'.

Limbaugh says that if “feminazis” had remembered to oppose “affirmative action for black guys … they wouldn’t face the situation they face today.”
In his 1992 book, Limbaugh wrote that there were probably fewer than 25 real "feminazis" in the country.  In other words, he's talking about a group of hard-core, militant, male-hating feminists ... that unfortuntately came to dominate the movement (which drove so many women away from it).  What Rush is saying here is that there's a potential conflict between affirmative action for females because there's also affirmative action for black males.  A silly point to make, really -- but it still doesn't say that he thinks blacks are inferior to anyone else.  Ergo, not racist.
Context, context, context, people -- and common sense.
Now, why would two prominent black economists, Walter E. Williams and Thomas Sowell, guest-host an evil white racist's show?  Why would he have a black call screener who has his own spots on an evil white racist's show?  Why do I hear black callers calling in who listen to him all the time and seem to be huge fans?  Why would Ken Hutcherson defend Rush and say he's a close friend ... of an evil white racist?
No, this is all about self-aggrandizing, self-centered, religious progressive zealots preachifying the way they resent conservative Christians preachifying to them.   Each rant is like a drug hit of self-righteousness for them.  
Which is sad.

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream is here if so many of our black bretheren would stop looking at themselves as victims and say "Yes I Can" and go do.  There are many black leaders saying just this, but they are villified as "Uncle Tom"s.  And there are lots of white conservatives who would reach out to them if they'd wipe the angry -- kick it to the curb.

I will never convince Paul he is wrong.  That's not the exercise here.  He, like a crack cocaine addict, would need long, intense therapy to give up his addiction -- only his is to condemning other people for the purpose of being seen doing it.  He will continue to invent evil even where there is none for this purpose.

Limbaugh's bombastic and prone to hyperbole.  He's not my cup of tea, but he's not evil.   I doubt I'll continue my subscription beyond a month.

But there is another side to the story, another way of looking at things.  That's my take.  Your mileage may vary.

"Real" Journalism

After the man from the Chamber of Commerce comes in and deems it a fraudulent press conference, and tells everyone that that man is not from the Chamber of Commerce, an apparently irritated and incurious journalist asks
Are you interrupting a press conference?" (Yes). "Can we finish the [unintelligible]? I'm on a deadline here."
Wow. Really? You're in a press conference. A man bursts in and claims it's a fraud. That is a story. Real journalists would immediately ask, "Is this a fraud? Who is the real Chamber Dude? Who is telling the truth here? If it is a fraud, why is it being held? If it isn't, who is this other dude? Why did he interrupt?

Who? What? Why? (I actually did take a journalism class once.)

No, first reaction is, "Can we finish? I'm on a deadline!"

Why? Because the guy in the front of the room is saying what they want to hear, and it's a big scoop. A reversal of position. An endorsement of cap & trade.

Same reason the fake Rush Limbaugh quotes were eagerly passed along as facts. Same reason CBS's fake Bush TNG memos were put out there for consumption.  They tell the story most journalists already want to tell, so they won't be questioned.

On Grabbing A Mop

Barack Obama:
"Another way of putting it is when, you know, I'm busy and Nancy's busy with our mop cleaning up somebody else's mess, we don't want somebody sitting back saying, 'You're not holding the mop the right way.' Why don't you grab a mop, why don't you help clean up? 'You're not mopping fast enough.' 'That's a socialist mop.' Grab a mop -- let's get to work."
"That's a Socialist Mop."

Well it is. And it does matter what kind of mop you use. Especially when it's actually a giant paint brush and a bucket full of red ink. Red as in socialist, and red ink as in spending money we don't have and making what we do have worth less. Or worthless.

How about, "Hey Barack! That's not a mop!"

And I'm not going to help you use it.

I also dispute that it's "somebody else's mess." It's government meddling's mess. It's interference in the free-market's mess. It's forcing lenders to make bad loans based on things other than financial solvency. It's ACORN's mess. Just about everyone in the Federal Government has this mess's stain on it's hands, and, Barack ... you in particular have more than your fair share of it.

You don't clean up paint with paint. Only cover over it.

Faux News - Fox in the White Hen House

Finally. Somebody calls them on it, and we find out -- what?

ABC's Jake Tapper pushes the point, forcing Gibbs into showing it's a smear campaign based upon opinion programming the White House doesn't like:

Tapper: It’s escaped none of our notice that the White House has decided in the last few weeks to declare one of our sister organizations “not a news organization” and to tell the rest of us not to treat them like a news organization. Can you explain why it’s appropriate for the White House to decide that a news organization is not one –


Gibbs: Jake, we render, we render an opinion based on some of their coverage and the fairness that, the fairness of that coverage.

Tapper: But that’s a pretty sweeping declaration that they are “not a news organization.” How are they any different from, say –

Gibbs: ABC -

Tapper: ABC. MSNBC. Univision. I mean how are they any different?

Gibbs: You and I should watch sometime around 9 o’clock tonight. Or 5 o’clock this afternoon.

Tapper: I’m not talking about their opinion programming or issues you have with certain reports. I’m talking about saying thousands of individuals who work for a media organization, do not work for a “news organization” — why is that appropriate for the White House to say?

Gibbs: That’s our opinion.
(emphasis mine)
So. Hannity and Beck. Not "Fox News".

And it's fine for the White House to "push a point of view", an opinion, if you will. But not for the rest of us. Well, unless it's the correct point of view.

Nothing about Olbermann and Maddow and Matthews over at MSNBC. They're still a news organization. Maureen Dowd & Paul Krugmann and a host of others at the New York Times. The White House Approved Point of View. Peachy. I get the picture, Comrade Gibbs.

Another Good Quote to Bookmark

Government by nature is coercive. It is the only group that may legally use nondefensive physical force, that is, force against people who have aggressed against no one.

I'm sure it's been said before, but you know me and distilled truth. That there's a winner. Got it here.

This is why it's better to have the market ... private enterprise, contracts and agreements between people ... to do the nudging. Government adds the potential for unwarranted physical force to the equation, and the temptation is always toward using it.

Insurance Sucks

Apparently John Stossel has made the jump from ABC News to Fox (can Jake Tapper be far behind? If I were ABC, I'd want to keep him just for some token credibility).

Listening to John on Health Care Reform this morning, I heard him put something as succinctly as I've heard it put --
... it compounds the basic problem of saying "the answer is more insurance". Because insurance ... sucks, as a form of capitalism. It's a necessary evil, it's necessary risk-pooling. But it makes people not care about what things cost. And that makes prices rise. That's why lasik eye surgery prices are dropping, but things covered by insurance companies go up.
That's the money quote. As an aside, he went on to say:
The one useful thing that insurance companies do is to apply incentives, like charging a Lindsay Lohan more, charging you less if you take driver's ed or the insurance companies charging somebody less if they have a stone house with good fire detectors. But the current rules means that the health insurance companies can't reward you quit smoking or diet. It takes away the good pushing of incentives that insurance can do.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Silver Lining

Oh, man, finally a "silver lining" to that whole stupid event and it's incessant, ad-nauseum coverage. A perfect lampoon opportunity for Anthropogenic Global Warming!

Ok, now I won't scream at the television anymore when they blather on about the balloon. The event has hereby been redeemed as newsworthy, if only as a shared cultural reference on how gullible the media is as long as it's "sensational".

Like Algore's Chicken Little crusade.

(ht to Morgan & American Spectator).

Well You Don't Have to Make a Federal Case Out of It

I agree with the Obama Administration on something, and whenever I do, I try to post it. It's kind of like Kahoutek or something. A rare event. But they do occur.

It's not much. They've put out a mealy-mouthed memo that says that federal prosecution of marijuana use in states that allow it for medicinal purposes won't be a "priority". A step in the right direction, but one wonders about how such vaguery will wash with equal protection under the law, especially because Sotomayor et. al. don't really believe in it for their political opponents.

Frankly, I'd like to see the war on drugs dropped altogether, as it is a war on liberty. Drugs, especially marijuana, ought to be legal. Not saying I condone their use. I'm just saying the whole thing runs counter to The Law.

Imagine how nice a wall we could build on the Mexican border with all that money we'd save ;-)

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Fable

A fable, forwarded to me by my wife ... and frankly too good not to post:
John was in the fertilized egg business. He had several hundred young hens called 'pullets,' and ten roosters to fertilize the eggs.

He kept records, and any rooster not performing went into the soup pot and was replaced.

This took a lot of time, so he bought some tiny bells and attached them to his roosters.

Each bell had a different tone, so he could tell from a distance, which rooster was performing. Now, he could sit on the porch and fill out an efficiency report by just listening to the bells.

John's favorite rooster, old Butch, was a very fine specimen, but this morning he noticed old Butch's bell hadn't rung at all!

When he went to investigate, he saw the other roosters were busy chasing pullets, bells-a-ringing, but the pullets, hearing the roosters coming, could run for cover.

To John's amazement, old Butch had his bell in his beak, so it couldn't ring.. He'd sneak up on a pullet, do his job and walk on to the next one.

John was so proud of old Butch, he entered him in the Renfrew County Fair and he became an overnight sensation among the judges.

The result was the judges not only awarded old Butch the No Bell Piece Prize but they also awarded him the Pulletsurprise as well.

Clearly old Butch was a politician in the making. Who else but a politician could figure out how to win two highly coveted awards by being the best at sneaking up on the populace and screwing them when they weren't paying attention.

Vote carefully ...the bells are not always audible...


Remember back when G W Bush was President, and we kept hearing how Divisive™ he was?

Oddly, it seems the country is at least as divided now as it was before, but now that Obama is president, it's somehow not his fault. Obama is not "Divisive™".

Now Rush Limbaugh, he's Divisive™.

Glenn Beck? Divisive™.

Keith Olbermann? Not Divisive™.

Rachel Maddow? Not Divisive™.

Chris Matthews? Not Divisive™.

Sarah Palin? Divisive™.

George W. Bush? Divisive™.

Barack H. Obama? Not Divisive™.

I think I'm sensing a pattern here. I see how this works. I now know what the Newspeak Definition is.

Divisive™: (adj) 1. expressing or defending position which opposes progressive philosophy.

God & Guns - Lynyrd Skynyrd

I've always been a huge music fan -- but I grew up on my Dad's EZ listening stuff, and from there into Sinatra & Big Band -- from there into Jazz. I was taught to hate Rock & Roll, and got in to it as a teenager through the door of Jan & Dean & The Beach Boys.

Even during college while my musical spectrum was expanding greatly, Skynyrd was considered too red-necky, and at that time in my life I was breifly trying to prove I was "better" than my roots -- because I cared too much about what my new peers thought of me.

Several years ago I bought Skynyrd's Greatest Hits and joked that I wouldn't admit I had it. Freebird, after all, is a classic, Gimme Three Steps is a lot of fun, and though the comeback to Neil Young on "Sweet Home Alabama" I always thought was fairly lame (a southern man don't need him around anyhow) -- the "hook" guitar lick is one of the finest and most recognizable in rock -- and beyond that line -- you know I really kind of like the song. It was catchy enough to inspire a romantic comedy, so it can't be all that rough.

I wasn't familiar with "That Smell" ... which is an anti-drug song, but it grew on me, and of course "Simple Man" ... which didn't make the greatest hits is an excellent song I have in MP3 form.

So this morning on the boob toob, there they are in front of the Fox News studio playing one of those free promo things they often do on Fox and Friends in the morning -- pushing their new album.

God & Guns.
Well, you know -- never was a huge fan of theirs beyond a few songs, but if they're gonna go ahead and name the album "God & Guns" ... I was just going to have to give it a listen all the way through just on principle.

So I'm giving it a listen on Rhapsody, and I'm payed of by a couple of songs -- this line from "That ain't my America" -- you can take your change on down the road and leave me here with mine. And another tune called "God & Guns" that ... frankly, they're tapping in to the sentiment behind the Tea Parties here.

I'm here in my back of the woods, Where God is great and guns are good You
really can't know that much about 'm If you think we're better off without 'm
It's a fairly hard-driving, southern-rock, hard-working, blue-collar America album that will probably never make it to "classic" status, but ... it's a good listen and worth it just for the two songs I mentioned.

You Can't Do That

Here ----->

It's just fine to do this --->

But not to do this ---->

Or this ---->

Just making sure I have that straight.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Ladies and Gentlement, iBring You ...

The i.

We have an iPresident. This is the marketing that brought him to us.

Rush Limbaugh

I've said before, I don't haven't listen(ed) to Rush. I remember reading at least the first half of his 1992 book just to get behind the curtian and see what makes him tick ... and frankly, I really didn't have any problem with him. Just wasn't my cup of tea, though I've been in general political alignment with him.

A few years ago when the left spin in both what they report on and how they report on what they report on ... got so obvious that I began looking for something else. I stopped listening to NPR when I found myself yelling at the radio in the car asking questions they didn't ask and suggesting alternate answers to the ones they did.

I had, years ago, tuned in to Dennis Miller's breif stint on ... what was it, CNBC? MSNBC? But I found I had other things to do in the evening like spend quality time with my family, play guitar, read ... so I didn't watch it much.

I have a friend who is a history professor here ... he'd been a hard core liberal Democrat all of his life ... until Election 2000 when he got disgusted with the party. He asked if I ever listened to our local talk radio station, and the answer was "no". But I got curious and turned it on in the car one morning. A guy named Glenn Beck was on. I'd heard of him from his HNN (CNN) TV show and had watched one on Radical Islam. And I left it on in the car, so that for my 8 minute commute I'd hear Beck.

He was engaging. Entertaining. And I agreed with a lot of what he was saying.... except for his talking about the pending collapse of our financial system ... I couldn't go there with him. But his commercial parodies and other comedy pieces were so good, I found myself wanting to hear them again and play them for family and friends .... so I paid the money to listen to him on the web at my leisure (and without commercials ... the only way to fly, baby).

And he turned out to be right about the economy.

What impressed me about Beck was the fact that he's passionate but measured, seems to research things before he'll speak definitively, and if it turns out he's wrong, he'll lead with it and say, "yup. I was wrong."

The guy grew on me. I went to see his Common Sense Comedy tour, and I was impressed by its tone and content.

He moved to Fox on TV, got huge ratings, and the leftist machine noticed him. He's a danger to them. And he's a danger to them for precisely the reasons I listen to him. He does his research. He is sincere. And he will say he's wrong if he finds out he's wrong. Isn't that what we want from the News Media? (I realize ... he's a gigantic Op Ed... )

The things I started hearing about him from the MSM did not jive at all with what I was hearing on his radio show. When there were quotes I recongized them right away as wildly out of context -- but more often, I just heard general charges (as if they were matter of fact) that he is "hateful" and "racist".

No. Freaking. Way.

Which brings me to Rush Limbaugh. I haven't really listened to him. But every time I heard something horrible he supposedly said and I went and checked it out in full context on the web ... You Tube, sound recordings, transcripts ... I didn't have a problem with what he was saying (except for the Chelsea Clinton bit ... I thought he was out of line there. Small potatoes, but still wrong).

Now ... it's ironic that this NFL thing is what finally pushed me over the edge, because frankly I really don't care about it. But it's all the "hate" and "racist" charges that I've heard ... and had doubted before -- and the fact that it's the same stuff I'd been hearing about Glenn Beck which I knew not to be true.

So here's what I've done. I've subscribed to Rush 24/7 for a month. Why? Because that's the only way to get a good overview of what the man is like, what his show is like -- so that when I do defend him (if I continue to do so after this month) it will be from a position of knowledge ... first-hand knowledge. Not hearsay like 99.9% of his critics. I waded through my first show yesterday, which sadly spent far more time than I cared for talking about the NFL bit. But I did learn a few things.

He's good friends with Ken Hutcherson, former Dallas Cowboy and Seattle Seahawks linebacker. Met him on a fishing trip. Bunked with the dude. That's how they became friends. Oh, and he's black.

Two of his guest hosts (when he takes time off) are ... George Mason University Economist Walter E. Williams ... and my personal favorite columnist Thomas Sowell, from Amherst, Stanford, and UCLA. Thomas. Freaking. Sowell. One of my intellectual heroes. (if he were the full time host, I'd be a full-time subscriber). Oh, and both of them are black. (I know, Walter E. Williams is probably a more widely recognized name than Thomas Sowell).

And (via my research) his call screener, "Mr. Snerdley?" James Golden. Also black.

Can we shut up with the "racist" charges now, at least?

(one more thing I learned is that his 3 hours on the air is actually only 1:45 without commercials. Which is fine by me)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sowell's latest - a two parter

Magic Numbers in Politics: Part 1
Magic Numbers in Politics: Part 2
In real life, people weigh one thing against another. But in politics one declares one thing to be imperative, so the issue then becomes how we do it. In real life, all sorts of desirable things are not done, either because of other desirable things that would have to be sacrificed to do it or because of the dangers incurred in achieving the desired objective are worse than the problem we want to solve.

Almost never are the dangers of having uninsured people weighed against the dangers of having government bureaucrats over-ruling doctors and deciding whether money would be better spent saving the life of an elderly person or paying for an abortion for some teenager.

The crowning irony is that the problems caused by insurance companies refusing to pay for certain medications or treatment are to be solved by giving government bureaucrats that same power, along with the power to prevent patients from using their own money to pay for those same medications or treatments.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

ACORN Funding starts up again November 1

Senate Finance Comittee Passed a Bill that Does Not Exist

Tipped off to this by Michelle Bachmann on Dennis Miller today.

Speaking of that...

How about Palin/Bachmann 2012?

Ain't Turnabout Fair Play?

Just sayin's all.

I do this to point out the obvious hypocrisy of those who scream "foul" about criticizing the President of the United States.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Update on the "Weapons" in schools post

There is also the case of this six year old who brought his swiss army knife with a fork and a spoon in it because he thought it would be cool to eat his lunch with it.

Add that to our 17 year old with the bitty pocket knife in his car.

Did I mention the damned thing was in his car????!!!!

Anyway, I read in one of those stories that the zero-tolerance rules were a response to the Columbine and Virginia Tech massacres..

Excuse me?

I'm fairly certain there were rules, not to mention laws -- against bringing guns and bombs to school. Pretty sure of that. If not, there were certainly rules and laws against firing the guns and setting off bombs at school. And if not, surely there were rules against shooting the guns AT people and exploding bombs where people might be in danger of being hurt. And failing all of that, there are laws against assault and murder.

Did any of those things stop it from happening?

How is taking a rule against pocket knives in school going to stop anything bad from happening? If they are willing to do the thing you're trying to prevent them from doing by verbally prohibiting a tool or precursor to that thing ... they're not going to let that additional rule stand in their way.

I always think of the hypothetical robber who wants to rob a store -- so he goes out and gets his conceal & carry permit, jumps through all those hoops -- legally buys a pistol and stashes it in his coat, and then walks up to the door of the convenience store and sees the sign that says "Firearms Prohibited In This Building" ... and he throws up his hands and says "damn!" and leaves.

People are not bound by rules they are willing to break.

(and with that I think I have come up with Things I Know #30)

On Liberty, American Culture, and Pocket Knives

Saw this this morning on the news … the 17 year old in New York … Eagle Scout … has completed military basic training ….

Suspended, for having a regular utilitarian 2″ pocket knife in his car!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Folks, since I was about 12, I have had a pocket knife in my pocket every day, all the way through the last part of grade school, all of high school, and college, at school, and there’s one in my pocket right now. I use it all the time.

A certain extended family member, who is a progressive, can’t understand it. But I use it often. Even at her house — typically to fix or improve. It’s just there. Part of my standard equipment that gets transferred from one pair of pants to another as I change pants. Wallet. Keys (including my bottle opener keychain which also has a P38 can-opener on it). Change. Pocket knife. And usually a guitar pick or two.

Ask yourself how a country founded on liberty, limited government, and a basic right to self-defense is compatible with a country where a pocket knife in your car, off of your person can be considered a threat. Especially when, as the kid pointed out, the girl’s softball team walks around with baseball bats and there’s also a tire iron in his car which is far more dangerous than his bitty pocket knife, which again, was in his car. Not to mention that a car itself is a far deadlier weapon.

Kid can be trusted to drive a car to school and not kill anyone, but can’t be trusted with a bitty pocket knife in his car.

And they extended his five day suspension to a month.

Never mind the fact that it's a stupid rule anyway, made to make progressives feel good about themselves. After all, if everybody walked around with inch and a half pocket knives in their pockets, why there'd be slashing and bloodshed in the halls!

Of course, if everybody (or even 25%) on the planes had had boxcutters on 9/11, the hijackers would not have been successful. Perhaps this is an opportunity for teaching the value of the second amendment. Everybody in school should carry a pocket knife. See how much violence erupts from it.

A pocket knife speaks of self-sufficiency, self-determination -- not having to ask someone else to do little things for you that you could easily do yourself. This idea of higher-ups controlling every little detail of our lives to protect us from each other is the antithesis of our founding principles of liberty and self-determination.

In my culture (and I demand my culture be respected ... I mean, aren't we multi-cultural?) it is a rite of passage and a symbol of a level of responsibility. At 7 you get a watch. At 12, you are trusted with a pocket knife. At 14, you get a BB gun. At 16, you get a driver's license. At 18, a rifle or shotgun. At 21, you are trusted with alcohol.

I suspect that someone didn’t like his politics and/or the fact he is joining the military. I suspect. I’ll bet I’m right.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Industry Funded Studies

I'm reading this story on the insurance industry's rasing consumer cost concerns ... either at the taxpayer level or at the premium level, and I see this:
Democrats and their allies scrambled on Monday to knock down a new industry-funded study forecasting that Senate legislation, over time, will add thousands of dollars to the cost of a typical policy.
"Industry Funded" is thrown in to disclose a possible assumed conflict of interest. Now, I have a question ...

Who is doing the studies that come back and say how wonderful all of this government mandated health care regulation is going to be? Who is funding that?

The government? Or I could in this instance say the Democrat-controlled government? The one that wants to expand the role of government into just about everything? Government is self-interested to a very large extent. Why isn't that conflict of interest disclosed?

Or is it special interest groups, organized by the Community Organizers who now control the government? SEIU. ACORN. (but I repeat myself). TIDES. Apollo Aliance. Soros. Their myriad of special interest groups in their network. People who want to "transform" America into something fundamentally different? Why not disclose the funding of all research?

Why just demonize industry? Wait. Stupid question. It's the Progressive-Dominated press. You see this all the time in the media. Oil companies, coal companies, pharmaceutical companies, NRA ... any study that turns up something progressives don't like get's the qualification.

Happy Columbus Day

Just because it pisses all the right people off. And I'm not talking about the natives, either.

Yes, I realize there were people here when he got here. And I realize injustices were purputrated on those people. But that's not the whole story, and America wouldn't be America were it not for this event.

Sailed across the Atlantic 317 years ago when the powers that be thought he'd sail off the edge of the world. But it's round, round, baby, right round. And, IMHO, we'd still be speculating about what the moon is really like had this not been done. There wouldn't be throngs of Obama voters, because there wouldn't be voters. And no iPods to play their Obama-praising songs and Michael Moore movies on.

Big event.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Law - Frederic Bastiat

If you haven't read or listened to it, you must must must must must. Maybe I am late to the game on this... but it is stunning in its verbal and moral clarity. And it was written by a french dude, Frederic Bastiat. And it was published, in the year of his death... in 1850. Eighteen. Fifty. And it could have been written this year and been just as relevant. It's only like 60 pages, and the free MP3's add up to two hours listening. Great for your commute.

A country full of people familiar with this work would resist socialism like an immovable object. It ought to be required reading by 8th grade. And again by 12th grade.

In private schools, of course ;-)

Please encourage others to read or listen.

I also ordered a paperback for my library.

Friday, October 09, 2009

On the Nobel Peace Prize

That Obama now shares with the likes of Yassir Arafat ...

My first reaction was, "for what????"

Well, apparently for being inspiring.

Yeah, that's what the comittee said. What was that?

This man is famous for being famous, and reading vague but high-sounding rhetoric from teleprompters. What exactly has this man actually accomplished? Which reminded me of one of my favorite demotivational posters, which I have ... um ... sort of reproduced here with a new graphic.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

More Random Thoughts from Sowell

Honestly, these are often his best columns, and that's saying something.

Thomas Sowell is an observant man.

Here are the last two -- which prompted this post with the link:

Oliver Wendell Holmes said, "Think things, not words." In words, many see a need for "social justice" to override "the dictates of the market." In reality, what is called "the market" consists of human beings making their own choices at their own cost. What is called "social justice" is government imposition of the notions of third parties, who pay no price for being wrong.

Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Muammar Qaddafi and Vladimir Putin have all praised Barack Obama. When enemies of freedom and democracy praise your president, what are you to think? When you add to this Barack Obama's many previous years of associations and alliances with people who hate America-- Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, Father Pfleger, etc.-- at what point do you stop denying the obvious and start to connect the dots?

Update: here's another excellent column by him, with a nice baseball story.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

I Think I Like this Frédéric Bastiat Guy

"Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else." — Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850)
That one is great. Short, and simple.

But he really pegged it here:
"Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain."Frédéric Bastiat (The Law)

You know, now that I see the name of that book, I remember I downloaded it in MP3 format a few weeks ago for free from somewhere.

I definitely need to listen to it.

The most frightening words spoken by Obama

When you put this statement in the context of the culture and rhetoric of the people he has surrounded himself with all his life and in this administration -- these words take on a whole new meaning that most probably didn't catch during the campaign.

"We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America."

Into what?
It's 13 words, too.

That can't be good. ;-)

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

This is Good

"Demagoguing" the Johnathan Chait Way

Pop Fiction: How to demagogue health care and feel good in the morning.
by Jonathan Chait

Jonathan Chait knows a thing or two about demagoguery, and he proves it in this article with statements like these:

One could muster ideological extremism to make the case that the government has no business subsidizing health insurance for people who can't get it.

Why is that ideological extremism? One could also muster "ideological extremism" to make the case that it is the government's business to subsidize health insurance for people who "can't" get it. I think the current plans being discussed, for one thing, go far beyond subsidizing health insurance for the uninsurable. When adherence to our Constitution is considered "extremist"... I'm out.

Alternatively, one could make the equally nutty case that Medicare should not lose a single dollar from its budget, however wasteful and inefficient it may be.
One could, but one would be hard pressed to actually find a person making that argument. This is what we call a "straw man" argument -- laced with demagoguery by calling it "nutty" so you transfer this label to anyone who opposes the bill even partially on the grounds that it might affect Medicare. And we won't even delve into the realm of providing a platform for government health care waste on a far grander scale.

Its total lack of intellectual merit aside, this odd philosophical hybrid offers the GOP maximum demagogic potential. Republicans first began to gain traction on health care during the August recess, when a series of wild rumors (death panels, for one) devoured the agenda.
Total lack of intellectual merit? I suppose he's talking about the hybrid of the valid argument that the government has no buisiness subsidizing health care and the fake argument that anyone thinks that you can't reduce waste in Medicare. So, straw man once again. He's arguing against an argument he made up and that nobody is arguing. Besides, if we can cut waste in Medicare, why do we need to completely revamp the entire system in one fell swoop to do it? Can't we just pass a "Cut Medicare Waste" bill? Sounds like low-hanging fruit to me.

Again with the "Death Panels". Nope, there's nothing in the bill setting up any such panel. But Palin is right on in pointing out that that's exactly where government health care leads whether it is explicitly called for in the bill or not. Palin-bashing. No demagoguery there.

Of course, there's not much fun in conceding that your side is winning over public opinion by exploiting ignorance and fear. It's far more pleasant to imagine that the people have risen up in principled revulsion against statism.
Hmmm. Well that's why I've risen up. And it's why my friends have risen up. And it's why everybody I know who's risen up has risen up. I do realize there are people who have risen up because they're afraid it will affect Medicare. But even that doesn't preclude other reasons for rising up -- for instance, the same reason I have. Believe it or not, there can be multiple reasons for opposing or supporting something.

The vanguard of this fantasy movement rests at The Weekly Standard. One issue from a few weeks ago featured a cover image glorifying the town-hall protestors. Modeled after Norman Rockwell's famous Freedom of Speech painting, it depicted a heroic conservative with a copy of the Standard in his pocket. Unlike Rockwell's image, which portrayed the onlookers as fellow citizens holding their tongues in respectful disagreement, the Standard cover depicted them as hideous goons armed with brass knuckles. The corresponding editorial, unironically entitled "People Power," explained that the public had righteously stood up against elites in the name of "freedom and responsibility." The editors of Pravda would have called this package over-the-top.
Um ... no. There is one person speaking, others are anxiously looking on, presumably sharing his concerns. There is exactly one person with brass knuckles, glaring at the speaker -- representing the ACORN & SEIU goons that were bussed in to these town halls after it became apparent that normal citizens were actually showing up at these things in droves -- rather than the pre-selected activists more typical of these types of meetings. People speaking out against this kind of health care reform were passionate and their anger showed in their voices, but the only violence at any of them was instigated and carried out by "Community Activist" goons. The cover is spot on, and it is Chait who is clueless about the meaning -- yet spouting off anyway. Oh, and "Pravda" ... remember we're reading a lecture on demagoguery, and Chait dutifully provides us with yet another example of his own. Well, write what you know, eh? I also find it amusing that The New Republic would make a Pravda reference apparently to be taken as a negative by it's readers.

There is also the related inconvenience that opposition to health care reform
appears to be closely linked to misunderstandings of health care reform. Support
for reform rises when poll respondents are read details of Obama's actual plan.
Pardon me, but which bill being discussed actually embodies Obama's plan?

Seems to me Obama's plan is to get a foot in the door to go down the road to one single-payer, government run health care system. You know, the one he "never said" he was for.

This is not some irrational fear we're responding to. We're reacting to what we see, what we've seen, from those who are in power right now.

Joe Wilson was out of line shouting out in the Joint Session address. But he wasn't wrong, and he spoke for many.

Friday, October 02, 2009


Here's 4,000 words.

Need I say more?

ACLU. Taleban. The ACLU wants to wipe all references to America's Christian Cultural heritage as they seek to re-write history as well as the first amendment.


Well this should shatter that myth

That talk radio hosts are running/representing the GOP.

But David Brooks seems uncertain and logically inconsistent as he tells us why the GOP is in decline.

They pay more attention to Rush’s imaginary millions than to the real voters down the street. The Republican Party is unpopular because it’s more interested in pleasing Rush’s ghosts than actual people. The party is leaderless right now recause nobody has the guts to step outside the rigid parameters enforced by the radio jocks and create a new party identity. The party is losing because it has adopted a radio entertainer’s niche-building strategy, while abandoning the politician’s coalition-building strategy.
So let me get this straight, Mr. Brooks. The party is in decline because they let Fox & the Jocks set the agenda, except that the first part of the article talks about how the Jocks were all behind candidates who didn't win the nomination. Then, of course, the Jocks weren't that enthusiastic about McCain, but clearly preferred him over Obama.

And Obama won.

Mr. Brooks, can you tell me who in the party leadership is acting and speaking inside the "rigid parameters of the radio jocks"? Michael Steele? John McCain? I don't think so, Tim.

I think the problem in your logic is in large part based on this assumption:
The party is losing because it has adopted a radio entertainer’s niche-building strategy, while abandoning the politician’s coalition-building strategy.
Then why didn't Thompson or Romney win the nomination?

The rise of Beck, Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and the rest has correlated almost perfectly with the decline of the G.O.P.
Things I Know #4 : Correlation does not mean causation. Even when it does, it can be a chicken and egg type of proposition. Was the rise in popularity of Beck, Hannity, O'Reilly and the rest the cause of the decline, or was it caused by the decline? Is it symptomatic as people looked for someone who seemed to represent them as the GOP seemed to represent them less and less?

Judging by the New York Times Best Seller lists, the Tea Party movement, Fox News' ratings, talk radio listenership .... I'm thinkin' it's the latter.

Actually, the GOP is losing because it has moved away from its small-government principles in everything but perhaps rhetoric -- and because the Democrats launched a successful, unrelenting 8-year campaign through the media against Bush and the rest of the Republicans.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Obama-Ayers, 2008

I've heard the rumors. Bookmarking this for future reference.

Thanks for the heads up, Morgan.

Feel the Hate™

Heard about this billboard just east of Kansas City on Eastbound I-70 this morning. I'm quite familiar with that area. Drive by it several times a year.

So I went looking for a photo of it.

Found one. Where? At the DU. The Democratic Underground -- that OTHER cesspool of Peace, Love, and Understanding ... that looks strangely like ... vitriol, and dare I say ... Hate™?

The post, which decries the hate (again, throwdown... what is hateful about that sign, and how is it hateful?) ... is followed by comments titled thus:

personally, I want them to just die. Jeez, what an abuse of a slogan.
God damn them indeed
You know, paint guns would do wonders for that billboard

with content insulting the literacy of my entire state (because somebody disagrees with them), plus "Jesus himself would come smack them across the face ", That billboard boosts the Missouri Film Board's chances of getting a major studio to film a remake of "Deliverance" in the state, God damn the Far Right anyway. God damn them all, These people are sick, nutjobs

And of course, my favorite from liberals:

[mocking sarcasm] Swastikas and Hammer/Sickle mean the SAME THING!!!! [/mocking sarcasm] followed by the know-it-all "correction" Sometimes people can be so dumb in the ways of history. (well apparently some people can be so dumb "in the ways of" English, too, but I digress)

  • Hammer and Sickle -- symbol of the U.S.S.R. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
  • Swastika -- Symbol of the Nazi party, in German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or the National Socialist German Workers' Party ...
Nope, nothing in common there at all. I'm thinking they've got the wrong people pegged as bing so dumb "in the ways" of history.

On a side note, the White House is making good on promises to "Call out" the Liars™ and are directly calling out Glenn Beck for his lies, lies, filthy lies! You know, like it wasn't Vancouver that lost a billion dollars on the Olympics. Vancouver hasn't had the Olympics yet.

Yes, it makes all the difference in the world, just exploding Glenn's point -- because it was Calgary that lost the money. Yeah. Take that! Mr. Beck! See... 'cause, you know, it was Calgary!!!!! Slaughter's your whole point, Mr Liar™ Fear Monger!

Oh, it's pretty funny.

Looks like the Left is doing a Full Court Press on Glenn. Behar had Maher ranting about him last night, after having Bette Middler on the night before expressing her fears about him, and the White House is now responding directly to him.