Thursday, January 29, 2009

Two more good Eisenhower quotes

And they sum up what we're trying to do here at The Clue Batting Cage.

"Politics ought to be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." Dwight D. Eisenhower
"I would rather try to persuade a man to go along, because once I have persuaded him, he will stick. If I scare him, he will stay just as long as he is scared, and then he is gone." Dwight D. Eisenhower

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Ok, especially considering my last post, this one is too good to pass up. I found it following a link from blogger friend Morgan through his buddy Gerard. I changed the button slightly, 'cause I've always kinda liked Bob.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Little things that bug me

Here's one. Just saw an ad on the "usa" TV network, somthing about "character approved". And this ad was about the guy who did the Soviet style Obama posters. You know, about some guy we're not supposed to suspect has any socialistic leanings regardless of his influences and associations. But that's another story.

What bugs me is that it didn't seem to bother the Obamaniacs at all. I mean, these posters and the iconography they hail back to.

Especially this one. Which they showed on the commercial.

Weird. More than weird. Creepy.

They were giving their stamp of appoval to this guy, who was touted as a "street artist" -- he works in spray paint. Which used to be known as "vandalism" years ago. (update: you've gotta see this) He said he loves doing something he's not supposed to be doing and getting away with it. And these are the people who got Obama elected -- the guy said it himself.

Looked up this "Character Approved" campaign. It is by USA. They give their "Character Seal of Approval" to different people.

NEW YORK, Jan. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- USA Network announced today the winners of the first-ever Character Approved Awards, a new program created to honor individuals from a cross-section of creative disciplines who are positively influencing American culture. In its inaugural year, USA Network selected seven visionary characters based on their cultural impact, legacy and personas. While each honoree is at a different stage in his or her career, they are all cultural trailblazers who are influencing our opinions, style and view of the world.

Or go straight to the source.

Yeah, but the media isn't liberal.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Eisenhower hated war.

Everybody hates war. Except Jihadis. Because they think it'll send them to heaven.

Had a particularly Progressive friend from college post something the other day, a quote she found interesting by Dwight D. Eisehnower, that went thus:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
Dwight had seen the fallout of war up close and personal.

But it is a false choice, Bread vs Bombs. You need both. Because a fat lot of good your bread and clothing are going to do you when someone comes to pillage them for their own and you do not have the means to deter or stop them. And I know darned well Dwight Eisenhower understood that. So I went and found some more quotes, and posted them in response.

"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid."
Dwight D. Eisenhower

"We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security. "
Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative."
Dwight D. Eisenhower

(ah, those sticky caveats - ed.)

"If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking... is freedom."
Dwight D. Eisenhower

"In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable. " Dwight D. Eisenhower

"In the final choice a soldier's pack is not so heavy as a prisoner's chains."
Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Only strength can cooperate. Weakness can only beg."
Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Our real problem, then, is not our strength today; it is rather the vital necessity of action today to ensure our strength tomorrow. "
Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Pessimism never won any battle."
Dwight D. Eisenhower

"The free world must not prove itself worthy of its own past. "
Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Unlike presidential administrations, problems rarely have terminal dates. "
Dwight D. Eisenhower

"We are going to have peace even if we have to fight for it."
Dwight D. Eisenhower

"We are tired of aristocratic explanations in Harvard words. "
Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Any man who wants to be president is either an egomaniac or crazy."
Dwight D. Eisenhower
I was less than surprised that she bit on
"The free world must not prove itself worthy of its own past."

But I already had a different take on that than the Progressive take on it: that America is inherently flawed and must be changed into something else of their desiring. That something else being a state where Progressives tell us what to do and what not to do, what to say and what not to say, where our talents would best be put to use, where we will practice them, and how much we will be paid for it. Ultimately that is where it must end up. Looking like Orwell's 1984. Maybe not tomorrow. But tomorrow will always be another progressive step toward it.

My take is this: We must not live down to our past mistakes. Nor must we continually flog ourselves for the ones we have overcome. Because if you really want to talk about past mistakes, the free world isn't going to take the bulk of the flogging. To talk about the mistakes of the free world outside of the larger context of human history is unfair as well as misleading.

He's Still Awesome!

Great article in the WSJ today...

A few highlights:
More than 144 hours into Barack Obama's presidency, the economy is still in recession, the country is still at war, and in many parts of the country it's still cold outside. Citizens are growing impatient: Wasn't President Obama supposed to bring change?
In his inaugural address, President Barack Obama signaled conciliation to America's foes by using the metaphor of an outstretched hand to an unclenched fist.

Already, there are signs that some of those foes were listening, sensing an opening for improved relations after eight combative years under President George W. Bush. Fidel Castro is said to like the new American leader, and North Korea and Iran both sounded open to new ideas to defuse nuclear-tinged tensions.

After eight long years of conflict under George W. Bush, Obama will restore the amicable relations with Cuba, North Korea and Iran that previously had prevailed since the Kennedy, Truman and Carter administrations. What a change!
But really, go read the whole thing for yourself. Pretty good.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Bush Administration kept people from going to restaurants

Yup, that's what I learned when we went out to a restaurant for my birthday dinner.


We'd been there like once a year for the past several years. It's never been busy when we'd gone. And we didn't think they even took reservations.

But when we got there, we found out a party of six was going to be a problem because, in fact, they were very busy.

They were very helpful in accomodating us... we sat at two adjoining tables. But I was talking to the hostess before we sat down and she said something like this:

"Yeah, we're kind of enjoying the business. I guess with things changing, and all, you know, people are more comfortable going out."

Bar-rack! O-ba-maaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!!!!
Savior of the Universe!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Our Hallmark Greeting Card President

A notable article I ran across today.

Here's the meat of it:

For all of the emptiness of Obama's speech, however, he did express one central
idea: he is against ideas.

"On this day," he declared, "we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics." He went on to expand by what he means about rejecting "worn out dogmas."

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them--that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works--whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified....

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control--and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous.

It is basic choices between opposing principles that Obama is telling us are "stale" and "no longer apply." And if you think that ideas and principles still matter, you're a cynic!

Thus, Obama begins his administration by declaring that he will run the government while rejecting any overarching ideas and principles regarding the proper role and scope of government action. He starts by telling us, in effect, that he has no idea what he is doing.
This actually followed another telling paragraph in the article:
There is a great irony in the respective reputations of Bush and Obama when it comes to giving speeches. Bush is viewed as an inarticulate dolt, but he hired excellent writers who frequently produced good, thoughtful, substantive speeches, which he then marred with a flat and uncomfortable delivery. By contrast, Obama has a great reputation for eloquence--because he is adept at giving a smooth, charismatic delivery to the oratorical equivalent of Hallmark greeting cards.

Jefferson & the Democrats

" -- a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities." --Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson is often touted as being the founder of the Democratic Party. If so, today's Democratic Party has certainly rejected any allegiance to that quote. But the fact of the matter is, the party Jefferson founded was called the "Democratic Republican" Party, and I don't think either party can really lay claim to Jefferson as a founder.

If I'm looking to who at least gives lip-service to the quote, I have to hand it to the modern Republican party. But they've been emasculated by compromise and the desire of "the people" to vote themselves more and more money from the treasury.

The Democratic and Republican parties as we know them today didn't really take shape until the middle of the 19th century. Andrew Jackson is considered the father of the party we know today, and the Republican party we know today was formed in opposition to slavery in the mid 1800's.

Yeah, that's right. Opposition. To hear the Democrats tell it today, you'd never know that the real party of Civil Rights, (including through the 1960's) has been the Republican Party.

The Democratic Party has become the Party of the Nanny State. And they're in charge now. Great.

Our governor hasn't been governor for more than a couple of weeks and we're already talking about a statewide smoking ban. Now I will puff the occasional cigar or pipe, but I'm not as "smoker". And I do like smoke-free restaurants and bars. However ... that decision should be left up to the property owners and the patrons (ultimately the property owners), not to the Government.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


To borrow from Morgan's BSIHORL, or "Best Sentence I've Heard Or Read Lately", I bring you a commenter "Patchy Groundfog" on ...
Men used to want to be Gary Cooper. Now they want to be Oprah.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Ok... I've about had it with a certain relative of mine and her typical Progressive habit of dismissing my arguments as kookie without addressing any of them, asking me how I know any of what I read is true while not allowing that same non-argumentative table to be turned on her.

Apparently she thinks I "just read blogs" and illigitimate websites (of course I'm sure she gets to define what's legitimate and what is not. If it doesn't have the words "New York" in it, I'm guessing would be her criteria, but I digress). I've compiled a list of several of the publications from which I read every day. Hers, I think, is limited to the New York Times (surprise, surprise), a local paper, and Time Magazine, for the most part.

Get this. She said the following "Don't say the press hasn't been kind to Bush. They've been very kind. He should have been investigated for all kinds of things and they didn't investigate."


Ok, here's where I need your help. I didn't excactly bookmark venomous articles about the president. So I don't have a bunch of them at my fingertips. I want at least 20 articles to forward to her, preferably from recongizable media outlets, that demonstrate the venom the President has been subject to. The more, the better. If you remember one or two, and you know people who remember one or two others, and so on, I can do this pretty fast.

Please post links or articles (and sources!) in the comments or email me at I'm a little steamed. I'll be searching myself as well. Can I get an A.P.B. out?


If you listen ... let yourself hear

Most time, a man will tell you his bad intentions if you listen, let yourself hear. John Wait, Open Range
You proved once more that people who love this country can change it.
- Barack Obama, Jan 17, 2009 at the start of his Inauguration tour.
The United States, in changing with relative speed into a social democracy, has undergone an alteration that is more fundamental than any other nation's. It has actually repudiated its own identity. America was born a capitalist nation; was created a capitalist nation by the intent of its founders and the Constitution. An American who is hostile to individualism, to the work ethic, to free enterprise, who advocates an increasing government take over of the economy or who advocates the coercive socialization of American life is in some profound sense advocating that America cease being America. He is advocating values that are not American and are philosophically antithetical to America itself. --William E Simon, U.S. Treasury Secretary 1972-1976. From his book "A Time for Truth", 1979
Why would you want to change the country you love? And to what? It's double-speak.

Jonah Goldberg on "Pragmatism"

Heard him on the radio this morning, and what he said was pretty brilliant. I may have to order his book.

This is really, really close to excactly what he said:

You hear it from liberals all the time, "I don't believe in labels. We need to move beyond our partisan differences. We need to move beyond our philosophical divide." Do they EVER say "And so for the sake of unity and bipartisanship, I'm going to abandon all of my principles and agree with you."? No one ever says that. People always say, you should drop YOUR philosophical differences with me and get with my program.

In his Philidelphia speech, Barack Obama said that we need a new Declaration of Independence, free from ideology, small-thinking, prejudice and bigotry. So "ideology" is now in the same list as small-thinking, prejudice, and bigotry?

Obama said he wants to take ideas from anywhere across the ideological spectrum, "but we do know one thing: that Government is the only solution". That is a kind of pre-emption. That is a way of saying about anyone who disagrees with him "oh, he's just an ideologue." "He's small-minded". When he said of people in rural Pennsylvania who bitterly cling to their Sky Fairy and Boom Sticks instaid of joining on with his program -- what he was saying is that anyone who holds a position contrary to his own is suffering from what the Marxists call "false consciousness" - that his position isn't ideological, his position is just common sense, it's pragmatic, it's non-ideological. And anybody who disagrees, well those are the people who are sort of crazed and warped by their crazy ideological and philosophical theories. And that's profoundly unfair in a democracy. It's not the way you're supposed to have a debate. You're not supposed to say "well, if you hold a position that's different from my own, then you're kind of loopy". Let's look at the arguments on their merits.
Never mind that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution itself, you know, the one he says is out of date ... is ideology.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Border Agents' Sentences Commuted

Good job, George. Now about Mr. Libby... oops, never mind. I still think $250,000 for not remembering excactly when you didn't commit a non-crime is kinda steep. I am going to guess that Scooter has more resources than I do, though, and it's not as bad as it sounds to someone like me.

The Dali Lama Agrees With Me

On George W. Bush.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thank You George W. Bush

My wife the other day expressed a desire to send Mr. Bush a letter of thanks. I think she was talking about a real live piece of paper with ink on it, expressing sincere appreciation.

As I've said before, there are certainly things to complain about his support for amnesty for illegal aliens perhaps topping that list. (And can we get those two border agents pardoned, please?????) I think the bailouts are a particularly bad idea. And about anything he's done that makes govenment bigger is against my philosophy.

But the man did do some important things. The most recent was signing legislation repealing the federal ban on concealed firearms on some federal lands and in national parks. He also appointed two Supreme Court justices who have actually read the Constitution, understand it, and respect it. That's gold. He has also appointed several lower level federal judges with an eye toward respecting rather than bypassing the constitution.

He used some rarely used powers of the Presidency and pushed for laws to help us figure out who was planning to do what to us next, and stop it before it happened. 7 years & 4 months later, the thing all the experts in the weeks and months following 9/11 said would certainly happen again has not happened.

But the most important and impressive thing he did was to actually do something about our enemies who game the system to gain the upper hand. He responded to Al Queda by invading Afghanistan when the Taliban government refused to turn Bin Laden over. And he finished the 1991 war Saddam Hussein started when he invaded and seized Kuwait.

He was cut little slack for the first action, and was condemned before he started on the second action. Every little detail was interpreted in the worst possible light by his political enemies and most of the press (I know, kinda redundant there). Some of the most vile things were said about him. And I never once, not once, saw him respond in anger. He never lost his cool with his enemies. Though not the most articulate public speaker, I still say he has more class in his little finger than any of his rabid political opponents do in their entire bodies.

In a recent column in the Dallas Morning news, columnist Mark Davis observed:
For them, just as it was never enough to simply disagree with the Bush agenda, his departure is not limited to relief or even celebration. It is an occasion to suggest, as the reliably hateful Bob Herbert has for years from his New York Times pulpit, that President Bush has intentionally sent our sons and daughters into harm's way, corrupted the Constitution and mistreated those poor souls at Guantanamo, all with malevolent intent.
We went to war. We made some mistakes. We corrected the ones we could correct. The war was not won when the "Mission Accomplished" banner was displayed on that carrier. But nor did I ever believe Bush would quit until it was won. Contrast this with Harry Reid and company who kept screaming louder and louder that the war was lost right up to and well into "the Surge" -- no strategy could possibly work. Defeatists, posing as leaders.

Not so G.W. Bush. The man was a leader, and on the most important things, a good one.

Terrorists now know that the United States will not continue to roll over and capitulate to them. Dictators know we won't tolerate continued threats and defiances of cease fire agreements, and that there is a limit to the number of U.N. resolutions (apparently that number is 17) we will let you ignore after we whip your butt on it's behalf (and take all the flack for it even from the very members who voted for it.)

It's those who do who open themselves to criticism. We hire presidents to do. George has done, and he has handled the criticism with dignity (though his P.R. sucks. In his defense, he doesn't get it free from the press like Obama will.)

Thank you, George. Clear some brush on that impressively eco-friendly ranch of yours, and give Laura a kiss for me. On the cheek, of course.

Monday, January 12, 2009


I got to thinking about all this "Government creating jobs" talk. Ever have a thought get distilled in your head to its essence?

Yeah, well here goes:

The only source of government money is taxpayers. That is the only source of government money outside of the printing press, and even that amounts to a tax on the private sector.

The only jobs government can create are government jobs. To do this, it has to take money from taxpayers. This basically means business owners, since contrary to popular belief, the rich pay the vast majority of the taxes in this country (if you don't believe me, go check out the IRS's web site).

When you take more money from business to create government jobs, business can afford to fund fewer jobs for itself. Government gets bigger, private sector growth is stiffled. Tax revenues fall (or at best, do not grow). Government needs more money for said jobs. It can only get it from taxes. And so on, and so on, and so on.

Barack Obama's going to create more jobs. That's the promise.

Do people wonder why "Atlas Shrugged" is flying off the shelves these days?

Public Presentation

So I'm listening to this US New & World Report editor (Alex Kingsbury)being interviewed talking about how we have to be careful with our interrogation policies and our detainment policies so as not to fan the flames, further enrage ... our Islamic Fanaticist Foes.

Miller presses him saying -- look, what can we possibly do to appease them? Nothing will appease them, and sometimes we have to get information, and sometimes we have to take POWs and keep them somewhere if we're not going to kill them on the battlefield.

He comes back saying "that's not to say that we have to take their concerns all the time over policy, ... but the point is there has to be some sort of change in the way we publicly present the way our intelligence is carried out ..." and also said "[there is disagreement on whether] ... waterboarding is a reasonable thing for the government wants to be publicly engaged in."

"Publicly"? You mean it's ok, then, as long as we do it but don't say we're doing it? Well who do you think "publicized" what the Bush Administration was doing? Bush???? Cheney???? Or the New York Times/Newsweek/Left-Wing Bush-Hatin' Press????

I think we're going to be finding out more and more over the next few weeks and months that a whole bunch of things that were allegedly evil were only evil because Bush was doing them. When Obama does them, there'll suddenly be some new nuance that justifies them.

The Absurd Keeps Getting "Absurder"

Don't Google that!!!! You'll kill the polar bears!

Friday, January 09, 2009

It's not the size

I saw this headline on RCP today. Had to laugh.

It's Not Big Enough - Paul Krugman, New York Times
But Paul, it's not the size that matters. It's how you use it.

He's talking about the Obama Stimulus Package. (Uh-huh-huh. He said "Stimulus")

Ok, that's not the Times' actual headline -- RCP reheadlines its links, typically summarizing what they think the author's point was.

But I avoid Krugman as much as I do Dodd and for the same reason. So I didn't actually read it.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Miller on Reid, et al

Dennis Miller played a clip of an interview with Harry Reid where he was asked if he regretted saying the war was lost and wouldn't he admit, as even Obama has admitted that the surge has "succeeded beyond our wildest expectations". Reid tried weaseling out of it with something like ... "well at that time we weren't talking about the surge."

Which set Dennis off. In a good way:

"He's gonna say 'at that moment'... Exactly, pal! That's why you don't come adamante like that, 'at that moment' you said the words 'the war is lost'. And I'm sitting there at home and all I hear is Gore saying the debate on Global Warming is over. And I'm thinking what is it with these pinheads over there, that they get one foot in the door on their belief system, and then slam it behind them, and spot weld it -- pop-rivet it shut, so nobody can get in with an opposing view? You said 'the war is lost'. You should be ashamed of yourself."

This is Promising

Andrew Breitbart launches a new site for Hollywood Conservatives to Come Out.