Friday, January 29, 2010

The Party of "No"

I've been thinking about this for a few days, and while over at Morgan's place I found a decent lead-in for the topic. 
... the question is not: Does this person make wise decisions? But instead: When this person makes stupid decisions, is there a huge following of people motivated to vote for, support, and show up at rallies to egg [him on]?
I was listening to Dennis Miller yesterday, and he was talking about California Congressman Brad Sherman's saying that they were working on a stimulus bill, but they're not supposed to call it a stimulus bill.  This made Dennis snicker.   Dennis figured he'd gacked it and was in for a Pelosi-whuppin', so he got him on the phone for an interview. 

To his credit, the Democrat meant it.  And it seems Nancy is no longer someone to fear.   Brad sounded serious and thoughtful... a serious and thoughtful believer in Keynsian economics, to be sure ... but he was definitely not being a blow-hard.

He did have some talking points, though, that we heard in the President's SOTU speech and beyond.  And the phrases he kept coming back to were, "required super-majority" resulting in "disfunctional government" and the "party of 'no'" .... "rejoicing in disfunctional government."

Now.... to my thoughts.

"Yes" and "No" are meaningless words without additional context.  They mean, and I cannot stress this enough, absolutely nothing.

So what does "the party of 'No'" mean?    Just as much as "No" means when extricated from the context in which "No" is spoken.

The context, of course, is -- what are they saying "no" to?

The answer that would come back from the Democrats would be "Everything."

But that's not really an answer, either.  Because what they really mean is "Everything we propose."  So my followup question would be "What are you proposing?"

I know, I know.  Logic has no place in politics.  But we were going for the "new" politics, I thought, leaving "the politics of the past" behind.  Right?

So let's consider the opposition party, if one were allowed, in Nazi Germany.
Hitler:  "Let's invade Poland!"
Other Party:  "No!"
Hitler: "Russia then?"
Other Party: "No!"
Hitler: "How about France?"
Other Party: "No!"
Hitler: "I don't suppose you'd be for annexing Austria?"
Other Party: "We love the Von Trapps.  Absolutely not!"
Hitler: "What say we round up all the Jews and kill 'em in awful, horrible ways?"
Other Party:  What, are you crazy?
Hilter:  "Racist!  You're only saying that because I don't have blonde hair and blue eyes!"
Other Party:  "No we're not, you're a loon!"
Hitler:  "That's all you say is 'No!'  You're just a bunch of negative obstructionists.  How can my government get anything done with you people around?
Point being is if all one party has is bad ideas, so bad that the other party can't even get behind a part of them, "No" is the right answer.   All of the Democrats ideas last year have been for massive spending of money we already have less than none of because we're running huge deficits, reversing War on Radical Islam policies that were advertised to be terrible ideas but as it turns out one by one were actually pretty well thought out given the available options, and hugely increasing the direct role of government in our economy and in our health care decisions.  If that's what they want to get done, then ... NO, we don't want any of it done.

The Dems could have passed thier Health Care bill without any Republican votes. But they didn't. And they didn't because since no Republicans (again, in the super-minority) wouldn't get on board so the Democrats knew it would be their bably and couldn't call it "bi-partisan". They knew what the political consequences would be in November.

The Dems had a fillibuster-proof majority and still didn't pass health care, Gitmo is still open, and now the New York Gitmo trials aren't going to be held in New York.   All those bloody New Yorkers voted for Obama presumably because Bush was handling all this stuff wrong, but when Obama tries to handle it "their" way, it's "Not in My Back Yard".  But it's all being blamed on "the [super-minority] Party of No!"

Well hell!  Is it now time to consider the tiniest remote possibility that Bush was not, in fact, a Constitution-Hating Moron bent on totalitarian Christian rule and just hated brown people -- but rather, was doing his job?

At least where the Islamist threat was concerned?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Obama to SCOTUS -- "You Suck"

From an NYT (imagine that) opinion article on The Obama SCOTUS Diss:
Mr. Obama’s words were sharp, echoing his earlier criticism of the court’s decision last week in the Citizens United case to strike down the limits that the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law placed on independent political expenditures by corporations and unions. The decision would “open the floodgates for special interests — including foreign companies — to spend without limit in our elections,” Mr. Obama said, adding that “I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests.”
As opposed to anti-capitalist, anti-American community organizer who present themselves and are treated as the representatives of people who do not necessarily share or even know all of their views, but claim their numbers anyway.    Or how about the fact that the Obama campaign took down any checks on who was contributing through the website -- you could be from China, Saudi Arabia, Iran ... put down any name you want.  The donation would go through.   So much better to have foriegn operatives contributing than American Corporate interests.

Mr. Obama came came from the Saul Alinsky, Bill Ayers, Cloward & Piven, Jeramiah Wright school of "tear the system down". Much is made of his "Constitutional Scholar" "Taught Constitutional Law" background.  I think in his study of the constitution he probably spent a lot of time arguing over such things what the meaning of the word "is" is so that he can make it "mean" what he wants it to mean. Kinda like FDR did. And FDR did slam the Supreme Court when it did it's job and started striking down policies that were unconstitutional -- you know, doing it's job as a check on the other two branches of the Government. So FDR then tried to stack the Supreme Court. He looked for loopholes in the letter of the law to deliberately circumvent its intent.

I read "Rules for Radicals".  I could teach a class and lecture on it, but it doesn't mean I support Alinsky or believe in what he believes in.

Teaching a class on it means nothing with respect to your intentions or your core beliefs. He may know the Constitution like the back of his hand, but he learned it with an eye toward how he can make it turn inside out on itself, that is apparent.

I maintain that, as usual, he was intentionally imprecise -- as a "Constitutional Scholar", he knows it not to be true. As a disciple of Alinsky, he doesn't care. He knew he had a big national audience, and that's the message he wants out. And he's always vague and imprecise in his trademark "soaring" (teleprompter-driven) rhetoric -- so that he can't be nailed down on anything. He's far slicker than even Slick Willie....
"This time, Justice Alito shook his head as if to rebut the president’s characterization of the Citizens United decision, and seemed to mouth the words “not true.” Indeed, Mr. Obama’s description of the holding of the case was imprecise. He said the court had “reversed a century of law.”"
Fortunately, he's also arrogant. It's when he speaks off the cuff in settings he believes to be friendly where you get insight on where the man is really coming from -- and that's where he's gotten himself into the most trouble.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cultural Standards and Traditions

I was over at Morgan's place the other day, and I found something that has been rolling around in my mind but has never come out in actual words.   Well Mr. Freeberg, my buddy, my pal in Sacremento -- he put it into words:
What we have condemned with such severity — without having the balls to out-and-out condemn it — is inter-generational transfer of knowledge. Bar Mitzvahs, taming the wild mare, the institution of marriage itself, Ten Commandments, Pan Far…these are traditions that got started for a reason. And the reason is that these are traditions that got started for a reason. And the reason is that some requirements, some customs, some prohibitions that are needed for a society to continue to thrive, are absolutely essential. Among those are essential, even if you’re a real smart ticket it’ll take you a long time to figure out they’re helpful. Like, to age fifty or so. Well, we don’t have time for everyone to reach age fifty and figure it out. And so traditions are handed down from mother to daughter and from father to son. Rules are recorded in books, and then they’re followed. Old people are going to have to tell young people what to do, and then the young people are going to have to do it without asking questions about everything.
I was in the car today, which is the only time I ever hear Dr. Laura ... if I happen to be in the car around noon-ish ... and she was playing Bristol Palin's statement that having had sex out of wedlock and having become pregnant -- she had learned a lesson, and she vowed abstainence until she gets married in some teen magazine article.

She was on Oprah Winfrey's show, and Opra was apalled.  She "bristled" (Oprah's words) at Bristol's words.  "Why set yourself up for failure?"

I hear the women on The View were cackling disapprovingly at it as well.

This is one big difference between progressives and conservatives. Conservatives, especially Christian conservatives (they're usually the targets of these charges) tend to shoot for standards to better themselves, understanding that they may fail.

Progressives say "Why try? You might fail!"

Jesus Christ himself said that even the just man sins seven times daily.  You are not expected to be perfect.  You are expected to try.

Misunderstanding this, progressives call those who fail "hypocrites" -- and they themselves are immune to the charge because they believe in no such standards to try live up to.  Which brings me to Things I Know #29.
29. I much prefer people who have standards and sometimes fail to live up to them over people who never fail to live up to theirs because they have none.
You can't be a hypocrite if you have no standards.  Unless of course you want to criticize people for their failures to live up to standards that you don't hold yourself.

They can't stand the fact that Bristol is determined to try her best and thinks it's the right thing to do -- because they don't even want the standard out there for anyone to try to live up to.

Here's the kicker.  In another story yesterday, an increase in teen pregnancies last year is blamed on .... wait for it .... abstainence programs implemented during George W. Bush's presidency.  That evil GW.  Getting girls pregnant by not having sex.  My favorite comment on one of the Oprah/Bristol videos on YouTube was
"Abstinence doesn't work without sex education and access to condoms."
Yup.  That's right.  Abstinence doesn't work without condoms.  This is like saying that diets don't work without food ads and mouth plugs.

If you assume the worst about people and expect nothing, you can expect more destructive behavior.  If we expect people to live up to a standard, more people will do it, or at the very least try harder to.  And there will be less of the destructive behavior.

How many years of sex education and passing condoms out have we had?  Is the problem better, or worse?

What are you telling kids when you pass out condoms on prom night?  What are you telling the girl who would like to abstain, but feels the pressure of the culture that results from saying "Hey, it's ok.  We know you're going to do it anyway!" and her boyfriend is looking at her, slappin' the free condom packet against his hand in the parked car or hotel room?

Of course the progressive answer will always be, "oh, yes, but it would be much worse if we hadn't implemented these policies" with absolutely no requirement of themselves that they back that claim up with anything approaching hard data.  Just speculation and theories.  It's what they always do.  And the answer is always more of the same.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mao-ey Christmas?

"How many windows in a house do you have to see smoke coming out of before you realize that you can’t just explain it all away without using the word 'fire'?" - Me
Mao.  On the White House Christmas Tree.

Ok, so Glenn Beck ran a documentary of his Friday called "Revolutionary Holocaust" pointing out the admiration and sometimes even the glorification by the Left ... and it's leaking into popular culture ... of Stalin, Che, and Mao -- and the tens of millions killed by 20th Century socialism and communism (mostly thanks to Mao and Stalin.  Hitler's contribution was actually relatively light, to take nothing away from the horror.)

You've got White House Communications Director Anita Dunn with her "Go To" political philosopher Mao in public.  You've got Mark Loyd praising Chavez's "incredible Democratic revolution" ... that didn't take the first time because Chavez didn't shut media criticism down the first time. Where does Loyd work?  He's the FCC's Diversity Czar.  You look at the history in actions and words of the people the President has surrounded himself with and read and admired his whole political life ... Ayers, Alynski, Wright, Jarrett (back to Ayers with her), Van Jones, Cass Sunstein, even Rahm "First Amendment is Highly Overrated" Emanuel (with whom Mark Loyd and Cass Sunstein agree.)

You have a whole political movement, the Progressive Movement -- that has admired the likes of Stalin, Che, & Mao -- and Chavez .... for the past 100 years.  The big names in that movement in the last 40 years surround the man in the White House.

Beck exposes that.  And we get this in criticism:
Clemson University professor Steven Marks, author of "How Russia Shaped the Modern World," said that while Beck doesn't explicitly tie the left-wing totalitarian regimes of the past to contemporary liberals, that's what "he's hinting at here."
"No one in their right mind is going to defend Stalin or Mao or Che Guevara," Marks said. "The implication is that this is what's going to happen if Democrats get their way. This is just a complete lie."
No, the implication is that this is where that invariably leads, just as the Founding Fathers said it would.  20th Century Socialism/Communism proved them right.  It's not a "lie".  At the very worst it's speculation.  But it's very, very well-founded speculation.  You may have noticed over the last few years that lefties play fast and loose with that word, "lie".  About as fast and loose as they do with "racist".

Oh, and Andy Stern.  "We're trying to use the power of persuasion, and if that doesn't work we're gonna use the persuasion of power."

We saw thuggery used against the Tea Partiers  ... the same kind used by Unions over the years.  People in purple shirts.   That say SEIU on them.  The persuasion of power.  We've seen the White House trying to use the power of persuasion to marginalize Fox News, it's only real critic in a sea of media adulation.  The people don't want this Health Care bill, we're gonna cram it through anyway.  What do "they" know? Power and arrogance leads to crushing of dissent.  This is where it leads.  Bigger government = more power, power corrupts, arrogance takes over, violence ensues against anyone who dares to disagree.

Mao ornament on the White House tree.  "No one in their right mind is going to defend Stalin or Mao or Che Guevara".  Pictures of Che at some Obama campaign offices.  Pictures of Che all over progressive's clothing.  Anita Dunn's favorite political philosopher, the one she turns to most.

Who is living in an "Alternate Universe"?

How many dots is it going to take before the rest of America sees the picture?  How many of these little "coincidences" and "misstatements" and things where the context needs to be spun away is it going to take???????

In other words, like I said in the beginning:

"How many windows do you have to see smoke coming out of before you realize that you can’t just explain it all away without using the word 'fire'?"

Friday, January 22, 2010

Rahm Emanuel's First Amendment Rap

Cut together by yours truly.  The beat was actually in the background.  I added the funky effect to it.

Yeah.  It's cheesy.  But it gets the point across.  Not only do Cass Sunstein and Mark Loyd think the First Amendment is "overrated" (foxnews *cough* talkradio *cough* except for "air america") .... so does Rahm Emanuel.

Here's Mark Loyd talking about how Chavez's revolution failed the first time around because he didn't take the Venezuelan media seriously.  Apparently doesn't want our Progressives to make the same mistake.

That's Not Right

From some Brazil fashion show.  Wow.  I mean ... if we have people in societies whose job it is to "create" and to wear stuff like this ...  we're waaaay too affluent.  Clearly we are way past having enough resources for hunting & gathering and putting roofs over our heads.

Somebody got paid to do this.

I think about these things.  Like when I hear a jingle about "Depends" or something, I imagine the singer in the studio with the monitor headphones and the mic dropped out of the ceiling, holding the headphones with his or her hands, eyes closed to reach down deep, singing passionately about adult diapers or something.

Producer at the mixing board, nodding in approval.  "That's a wrap!"

I'm weird that way.

from Samuel Cirnansck's Fall/Winter show at Sao Paulo Fashion Week in Brazil.

Speaking of Facebook ads ...

For the last year or more it's been all "Hope Won!", "Yay Obama!", "Obama Wants Moms to Go Back to School".... yada yada.

Well today's the first time I saw this one, or anything like it -- on facebook.  Heh.

The winds they are a-changin'.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Who falls for this stuff?

I'm 45, male, and live in Missouri.  And facebook knows this.  So I'm looking at these two ads that showed up (at the same time) on my facebook page.

If I were a 44 year old female and lived in Indiana, the ad would read “Indiana residents: If you’re 44 and female, you can qualify for $250 in free gas with participation. Time running out.”

I know, makes it sound more exclusive. “I’m SPECIAL.”

Heh. Yeah. I’m also cynical.

Also gotta love the PYT on the Free Gas ad.  She's obviously not 45 or male.  But they know what will catch the eye of a 45 year old male, don't they?

As to the Time running out bit, there's this article:
First of all, what excatly does that mean?  Just tell everybody they're covered but don't bother with little details like how?  Just mandate it.  You know, like extracting sunshine from cucumbers?
Secondly, it does seem to smack of  "USED CAR SALE!!!! BUY NOW!!!! NOW, NOW, NOW!!!!  DON'T think WAIT!!!!  TIME IS RUNNING OUT!!!!!"
I wish I could find an old Peanuts cartoon I remember where Linus was sitting on a stool in front of a TV, and the TV said
We'll be back after these messages.
And the next frame is practically filled with the words from the TV,
and Linus being bowled off the stool.  The rest of the strip was him struggling against the "wind" of the blaring commercial, trying to get back to his seat.
The last frame, he's simply saying

Baghdad Bob Gibbs

Whitehouse Press Secretary Baghdad Bob Gibbs on the Scott Brown win:
“I think there’s a tremendous amount of upset and anger in this country about where we are economically. That’s not a surprise to us in this administration because…in many ways we’re here because of that upset and anger.  That upset and anger, quite frankly, dates much farther back than simply the 2008 election."
Ooops.  Damn!  I forgot they've caught on to the "Blame Bush" fallback.  Backpedal, backpedal ....
"That’s not to talk about any previous administration, except for quite some time the middle class has thought that Washington was looking out for Washington and the big special interests, and not looking out for them. I don’t think there’s any doubt of that.”
Baghdad 'Bama on the Scott Brown win:
"Certainly, I think a lot of us were surprised about where this was going, about a week ago. Here's my assessment of not just the vote in Massachusetts, but the mood around the country: The same thing that swept Brown into office swept me into office -- not just because of what happened in the last year or two years, but what's happened over the last eight years."
Note the direct reference to "the last 8 years" ... and no backpedaling.

So it's pretty clear that's the Administration's official position.  Voters are just mad, still mad at Bush, and they're irrational (except when they vote for Democrats).  Only now they can't blame it all on the dumb hicks in "flyover country".  This is those people in Massachusetts who've been wisely electing Democrats to Congress for decades.  They were so wise just last fall, giving Obama a 26 point victory.  But they've apparently suddenly gotten dumb.   Welcome to our world here in "flyover country", Massachusetts.   How quickly they turn on you, eh?  They'll call you every name in the book.  The narrative is coming unraveled so fast there is desperation & panic, and apparently the reaction is to pour it on faster and thicker and pretend that it's not happening.

Any of this sound familiar?  You can't possibly be against what his administration and PelosiReid are trying to do.  Totalitarians think if they tell the proletariat what to think, that will become reality.  Remember the original "Baghdad Bob"?


Nice Baghdad Bob quote collection here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Martin Luther King, Jr and Freedom

Morgan made a great point in this post.   Do go read it.  We'll wait.....


Ok, and if you didn't scroll down to the comments, there were some very good comments made, and I'm not talking about mine in particular. But I'm going to re-post it here. 
I had a conversation a year or so ago where I mentioned that the GOP should rightly bear the mantle of The Party of Civil Rights. I also pointed out the MLK himself was a registered Republican.

To which even my relatively conservative friend responded “yeah, but the two parties have kind of switched roles since then”.

I shook my head. No. They don’t get it. Civil rights are for everyone. It’s what the Constitution says. With slavery, we weren’t living up to the very ideals embodied in the Constitution that defines our Republic. The Republican Party’s tradition, embodied in its name, reflects that we are a Republic and we have rules to live up to to remain true to that Republic.

The other party that bears the name of one of the tools of our Republic, that being Democratic elections and approving certain things by popular vote within the confines of the Republic’s Constitution …. and they’ve fudged the very idea of what we are in most people’s minds … “we are a Democracy”. We are not a Democracy. At least we’re not supposed to be, and anyone who has studied the history of the founding of our nation knows it.

The Republicans have “switched” roles only to the extent that they appear to be ever more willing to go along with the idea that Government is there to fight for “social justice” … and “social justice” sounds like it means one thing, but as with most Progressive ideas it means something very specific and quite different from what it sounds like it means. It means “redistribution of wealth”. It means Socialism.  Democrats have not moved in the opposite direction, they've moved farther in the same direction.  So there's really been no switch.

But to the Republicans’ general credit, they do appear to be, or have appeared to have been, even in the years since the 1960’s, the party that pays more than a little lip service to the idea of the Republic — at least more so than the other party … and insists that All Men Are Created Equal, and no man deserves special treatment from the state no matter what his lot in life. So it is the party that sometimes resists when laws that do just that are brought up.

What has happened is that the Democrats have run a very successful PR campaign to paint opposition to special treatment as equal to opposition to Civil Rights. Up is Down. Black is White. Left is Right. Peace is War.

But the fact remains that equal treatment by the State is Civil Rights.

MLK would be proud of the destruction of institutionalized racism left in his wake. He would be appalled and saddened as to how that has been squandered and the movement was hijacked and turned into something which turned institutionalized racism to institutionalized reverse-racism, and dependence for many of the descendants of former slaves — effectively a kind of self-imposed “cultural slavery”.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cloward & Piven, Task Forces, and Congressional Vacation

Heh.  George Will wraps this column up very nicely:
Year one of the Obama administration was devoted to deliberately exacerbating the fiscal crisis. The gusher of spending, combined with the new multitrillion-dollar health care entitlement, is half of liberalism's plan to radically and permanently increase government's grasp on the nation's wealth. As a response to the crisis, the task force would produce the other half.

Armies on the march are supposedly no match for an idea, especially a bad one, whose time has come. But what armies cannot defeat, monetary incentives might. So, the Gregg-Conrad legislation should be amended to include this language:

"During the life of this task force, which will perform Congress' fundamental duties, all senators and representatives will be considered on vacation and will not be paid. If the task force's recommendations are accepted by Congress, there will be no congressional pay until 2050."

This would be a Madisonian measure, altering incentives in order to encourage responsibility. Let's vote.
Do you know what this means? It means that George Will agrees with Glenn Beck on his central theory.  That there are forces, and they are currently in power, that are deliberately trying to permanently increase the government's role by bankrupting the nation into accepting it as its only choice.  George Will.

I suspect Will would try to distance himself from Beck.  But in substance, he's saying exactly what Beck is saying, and I agree with both of them.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Stumping for Coakley

According to this article, Bill Clinton is out stumping for Coakley in Mass  ...
“There is a mass national effort to discourage progressive independents from voting and to discourage disappointed liberals from voting,” Clinton said.
And just who is out there telling progressive independents not to vote?

I think there is a mass national grassroots effort to convince progressive independents and disappointed liberals that they are wrong and they should vote the revolutionaries out.  Yes.  There is.

But it's Americans trying to convince other Americans what is right, and that is the right way to go.

I don't care who is behind it.  I care about who is right.  As in ... correct.

And like the Hokey Pokey, that's what it's all about.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"Ensuring" Airline Safety

I just read a typical idiot an article with the "but Christian extremists are just as dangerous" type of logical fallacy titled "Why Profiling Can't Ensure Airline Safety". 

The article went about pointing out two cases where an airline bomber (or potential bomber) was not an Arab or a Muslim (although in the woman's case I believe she was either dating or married to a Muslim -- and he had planted the bomb in her luggage) to show us why we shouldn't profile.   This is like pointing out the few rare instances in which seatbelts have actually cost lives and saying we shouldn't wear seatbelts.

Note the common element in these stories. In no case was the carrier of the bomb an Arab or a Muslim.
Question: Did they, or did they not profile this woman?

They thought it curious that the pregnant woman, a hotel maid, would be flying alone to Israel.
This is called "profiling".

Followup, since the answer to the first question is "yes" -- and they found the explosives, just how is this an example of profiling not working?

As some bean-brain said on Fox, "Christians are not blowing up airplanes." But they have ... some wittingly, some without knowing.
"Bean brain" on Fox, eh? Nope, no bias there at all. The fact remains that statistically, it's Muslims, and the margin is enormous to the point of making all others negligible. So make the Christians aware of Muslim Extremist trickery, and focus on the Muslim Extremists. The "Bean Brain" is right.  This line of thinking intellectualizes one into self-imposed idiocy.

Newsflash: Nothing can Ensure Airline Security. But certain things can go a long way toward minimzing risk.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The "Racist Reid" Flap

Oh come on!

I don't even know what he said.  I really don't care either.  I would like my side to be above tossing out the race card every time someone says something that might possibly have a double-meaning that could possibly be construed under just the right light (usually artificial) as "racist", or even makes an attempt at humor.  I mean, we're different in some ways.  Sometimes it's funny.  Big deal.

If and only if this is being used to point out the double standard ... I'd be behind it.  But let's make it clear that's what we're doing here.

Update: Apparently what we're hearing in the headlines and what the way the press is portraying Michael Steele's comments is (surprise!) wrong.

What he said was that if Trent Lott is the standard, then Harry Reid should resign.   He didn't call for Reid's resignation at all.

I'm good with that.

Friday, January 08, 2010

M*A*S*H and the Health Care Bill

I remember a M*A*S*H episode where a long chain of "favors" developed through the first half of the show, only to unravel in the end when someone in the chain either reneged or couldn't follow through on his/her promise.  Then all the deals were undone back to the beginning in a house of cards

One can only hope that the same happens with the health care "deals" and this bill.

Now ... what episode was that?  I've been poking through the episode descriptions on Wiki.  There's one called "Wheelers & Dealers" in season 10, but the brief description doesn't match the memory.  Might be another one.


Liberalism /lib-er-ul-iz-um/: (n) a proud belief in the practice of rationalizing all fact out of an argument in order to make a point.

Of course, 250 years ago, that was not the meaning at all.  Which is why I tend to call the modern versions Progressives today rather than Liberals.

Nail. Head. Direct Hit.

As a person who has worked with data in IT for years, I'm gonna have to agree with Eugene Robinson here.  (I know, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.)
The National Counterterrorism Center was established in 2004 for the specific purpose of dot-connecting -- forcing the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, the State Department, military intelligence and other agencies to share what they know. But as those agencies gather more and more data, processing it inevitably becomes harder. The problem may not be that the system is improperly engineered but simply that it's grossly overloaded.

Do we need more analysts? Faster computers? Better software? Maybe all of the above. But I doubt we need to reshuffle the bureaucracy yet again -- and I doubt we need more information.

The very first task should be cutting that list of 550,000 "entities" down to a manageable size. The architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was right: Less sometimes really is more.

Thursday, January 07, 2010


You know, one theoretical advantage of profiling would be for the innocents in the group being profiled to apply pressure internally -- from within that group itself -- on those in the group who are, or would be, guilty of it.    Just a thought.

You know, there are no wrong ideas, right?  That's what I keep hearing in "brainstorming" meetings.

Massive Melting of Polar Ice Cap ... in 1922??

From Monthy Weather Review, Nov. 1922 (click to enlarge)

Quote of the Day

From Steve Green's "Trifecta" at PJTV.

Small Government, Big Liberty

Incidentally, if you haven't checked out Bill Whittle's latest "Afterburner", do. Sort of depressing at first, but in the end, inspiring. This is the kind of stuff that made Whittle's name in the first place.

I also enjoyed his Christmas message ... on the Golden Age of Toys.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Are ya gonna listen to me now?

Me, in Oct, 2008:

When he [Christopher Buckley on why he's voting for Obama] gets to the crux of his point, he says this:
But having a first-class temperament and a first-class intellect, President Obama will (I pray, secularly) surely understand that traditional left-politics aren’t going to get us out of this pit we’ve dug for ourselves.
Sounds like a huge leap of faith to me. Why would I imagine that Obama would do anything other than what his two autobiographies (at 47???), his record, or his campaign say he would do -- because he's intelligent? Because he's educated? Christopher ... really. An intelligent man bent on implementing the wrong ideas is far more dangerous than a man of lesser intelligence trying to implement the right ones.

Thanks a lot, Chris. Worked out well, wouldn't'cha say?

Please Do Not Interrrupt

(DeMo via Patriot Post Humor)

Please do not interrupt Democrats with pesky questions about constitutionality, ethics, transparency, cost, economics, and unintended consequences while they are busy Being Historic™ .  Because that is what this is about.  It is about them, not you.  It is about them, Being Seen Being Historic™ .

Monday, January 04, 2010

It's Official! Rights Come From the Government!

Senator Tom Harkin:
[..] What this bill does is, we finally take that step.  As our leader said, earlier, we take that step from health care as a privilege to health care as an inalienable right of every single American citizen.

 As I've said before, this bill is not complete. I've used the analogy of a starter home on which we can add additions and enhancements as we go into the future. But like every right that we've ever passed for the American people, we revisit it later on to enhance and build on those rights. And we will do that here surely, we will enhance and build on this. But we have made that first and most important step to make it a right rather than a privilege.
Inalienable Rights.

There you have it. Rights now come from the government.   Not self-evidently endowed to us and merely recognized and protected by the government.  "We", (congress) pass rights for the American people.

The Constitution does not matter.  As I've said before, and as Harkin confirms here, it doesn't matter what's in the bill that's being passed today.  It's a foot in the door.  And they know it.

Social Security ... expanded and "enhanced" into bankruptcy.  Medicare, expanded and "enhanced" into bankruptcy.  We've been talking about it for decades now, and pushing the inevitible as far into the future as we can, when it will be catastrphic, but not while I'm running for office.  Fannie.  Freddie.  Guaranteed loans.  Expanded and "enhanced" until people who couldn't afford homes began to default on them in droves.

And we want to start a brand new, huge Federal Entitlement.  Insanity.

Global Warming Hits Hard!

Just went out the the MSN weather page to check the week's forecast.  Click to enlarge.  Be sure to check out the headlines on the lower right after reading our midwestern forecast.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year

May 2010 mark the re-awakening of America.