Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Face of Grace

Paul A. emailed me about This story from The American Legion. The father of a US soldier in Iraq gives us a glimpse into something the MSM will never dare show us:

Stationed outside a city on the Tigris River, Luke had accompanied his colonel into town as part of a security team, while the colonel spoke with a local sheik. While standing guard, Luke noticed a woman approaching from behind and cautiously turned in her direction, his rifle at the ready.

An interpreter told our son it was OK – the woman just wanted to touch a soldier. Still uneasy, Luke stood still while the woman reached out her hand and touched his face, tears in her eyes.

Looking to the interpreter for meaning, our son was told that the woman simply "wanted to touch the face of grace." It seems this trembling woman, like most of the people in her town, looked upon our soldiers as angels of grace, sent by God to protect her from the violence and oppression her people had come to know up to then. Learning this, our son squeezed and kissed the woman’s hand, and she left, weeping.
This is how we won. We let these people hear how freedom rings. At least some of them are thankful for it, as should we all be.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

If He Keeps This Up...

I'm going to have to start paying him.

So here we are again - my Euro/Arab friend (who I will refer to as "Mo") says that:

"as for Russia and Iran, it’s time America stopped walking around with it’s chest sticking out, bulling everyone.
Let others shoulder some of the leadership. I think you will be surprised how much Iran is interested in stability , as well as Russia."

In the words of MuscleDaddy-the-Elder: "Ok - Let's Review"...

Hmmm - yeah... let Russia shoulder some 'Leadership'...

Do you know anyone in Georgia?
I know people in Georgia ...

- if you'd like, I could let you ask them how Russia's "Leadership" and "desire for stability" has been working out so far...

And that "Show of Power" - sending a missle cruiser to Venezuela?

- No, I'm sure you're right...
Clearly only demonstating Russia's desire for stability with THAT move.

And ... Iran?

If Iran "wants stability" - why ignore sanctions (which makes it harder to feed their people) and continue enriching uranium?

- and don't bother saying 'for nuclear power' - they have more oil than they could even use (that 'oil giant' thing)

- and don't bother saying 'to go nuke to protect the environment' - if that were a real concern, they'd stop selling oil to every country with the intent to burn it.

- and don't bother saying 'to defend themselves' - No one is threatening Iran with nukes - Hell, no one would be interested in attacking Iran at all if they'd back off of developing nuclear weapons, threatening other countries (even if they're dirty Jooooos) and funding terrorists all over the world.
(go ahead - try and tell me they're not)

- and you might as well forget the "Don't want to be told what to do" meme - that is not the attitude of a "stability-craving" government.

They have as much money as they could ever need - all anyone's ever said is:
"Quit trying to build nukes, quit sponsoring terrorists and quit threatening other countries with total annihilation, and you can do what ever you want - free trade - open international relations - whatever"...

- doesn't seem unreasonable,
but they just can't seem to go with that for the sake of "stability"

And btw, what sort of "Leadership" has Iran evinced a desire to "shoulder"?
I mean, aside from an open & blatant desire to take over a weakened Iraq (and her oil fields) ?

...Oh, and to one of the old arguments on the Iran/Nuke topic:

"The US has nukes - why shouldn't Iran?"

Just to make sure that one's covered -

The US has hundreds-or-even-thousands of nukes and has for decades - and has, since 1945, demonstrated time and time again the overwhelming desire to never use them.

Iran seems to only want one -- and we don't have to guess why they want one, because they have said, in no uncertain terms, time-and-again what they would intend to do with it.

Mo, you have always thought that the world should show greater respect to Muslim/Arab countries -

What greater respect can be granted than taking someone at his word?

Yeah - absolutely....

This is who should be entrusted with the safety of the free world. /sarc-off

[Click on the title above, or date stamp below, to see the full article.]

The Future of Iraq is in Excellent Hands

If you haven't been reading Abby, you've been missing out.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I Admit To Having Wondered...

...but now I only wonder why I wondered...

So, I have a friend (shocker, I know) who alternately lives in Europe and the Middle East and is a deeply-imprinted Bush-Hater (and the shocks just keep on comin').

We were trading emails, and he started off on one of his glazed-eye jags about how 'racist' America is and how everything America does is just another "Christian Crusade Against Brown People" who, at the brass-tacks, America hates more than anything else, of course.

I replied, saying something to the effect of "Looks like you're going to have to revisit the holy meme-generator, 'cause I think that one's officially fallen by the wayside, Sparky - or ain't you been watching the news - I think even Al-Jazeera covered that one."

He went quiet for a little while, but later came back with:

"I was actually thinking about bush. He has put Obama is such a mess, that I think the first Black western president is going to prove that dark people can not rule the west. Perfect for people like you. Without a miracle , Obama doesn’t have a chance. No one does."

So there it is.

I had kind of wondered, you know, what all the screaming Leftist/Socialist/BDS-afflicted were going to do once Bush was gone?

- What would they shriek about?
- Who would they blame when their shirts came back with too much starch?
- Where would the Che-Che's go when they couldn't cry on the couch anymore?

Why. Did. I. Even. Wonder?

It's as obvious as the alternative is Unthinkable.

Throughout the (interminably long) election, Obama was heralded far & wide as the Messiah - "The One"

- HE would bring us back from the Great Dark Time of Bush

- HE would find our way back into the Good Graces of the Global Commmunity

- HE would lower the rising Oceans, heal the earth and the streets would run with Milk & Honey

People screamed and fainted at his rallies as though he were the Beatles and the Main Stream Media blatantly carried his water, flatly refusing to to allow attention to be brought to his Far-Socialist voting record in the Senate, his utter lack of experience at running anything, his life-long associations with terrorists, criminals, open racists and just-as-open America-Haters, or even his own statements advocating defeat in war, capitulation to terrorist-states, protectionist trade policies sure to damage the economy and the calculated, deliberate weakening of the United States.

- None of that mattered nor could even be spoken of - all were making ready for the GoldenAge of Obama

Oh...but now...

Now, as Obama continues to install beltway insiders, Chicago political hacks and old-school Clintonistas to his cabinet and appointment posts and only moves to expand and increase the goverment footprint...

NOW we start to hear the pro-active excuses - NOW we hear how :

"It's not his fault that he won't be able to follow-through on any of the Hype"

"Not even The One, sent from above, can hold to His Own Promises"

"He won't really be able to do any of the things he spent the past two years saying he would do."

"But it won't be his fault! The One cannot be held accountable His own failures which now must surely come - He is a higher being, and cannot be blamed!"

There will be only One Man to blame for Obama's coming failures, double-talk and broken promises...

Look at that - the Obamatons will get to go right on blaming Bush - just like they always have - just as their talents are singularly suited for...

No one will even have to remake the giant paper-mache heads they like to wave at protests, or create new effigies to burn... look at the time & work efficiency of that - how convenient!

And later, when Obama's relative lack of spine or willingness to back up failed "sanctions" becomes apparent to more than JUST the Russians ...

- and Iran, knowing that it will not face retaliatory strikes from a delibately-weakened US, decides to throw someone some canned-sunshine ...

Obama will need not worry about being blamed for his own fecklessness - because the usual suspects are already, proactively, hard at work blaming "Bush" for the presidential mistakes of the coming years...

All Hail The One - coming soon to the paper-dollar, too!

[Click on the title above, or date stamp below, to see the full article.]

Monday, November 24, 2008

It Would Take Only One

Chilling article over at the Wall Street Journal about the thin line that separates us in our current state of worried comfort from medieval chaos: What a Single Nuclear Warhead Could Do.

Grim reality in three paragraphs:

Think about this scenario: An ordinary-looking freighter ship heading toward New York or Los Angeles launches a missile from its hull or from a canister lowered into the sea. It hits a densely populated area. A million people are incinerated. The ship is then sunk. No one claims responsibility. There is no firm evidence as to who sponsored the attack, and thus no one against whom to launch a counterstrike.

But as terrible as that scenario sounds, there is one that is worse. Let us say the freighter ship launches a nuclear-armed Shahab-3 missile off the coast of the U.S. and the missile explodes 300 miles over Chicago. The nuclear detonation in space creates an electromagnetic pulse (EMP).

Gamma rays from the explosion, through the Compton Effect, generate three classes of disruptive electromagnetic pulses, which permanently destroy consumer electronics, the electronics in some automobiles and, most importantly, the hundreds of large transformers that distribute power throughout the U.S. All of our lights, refrigerators, water-pumping stations, TVs and radios stop running. We have no communication and no ability to provide food and water to 300 million Americans.

So, how does one prepare for the end of civilization as we know it here in the early 21st Century? I dare say no basement of canned goods, bottled water, and guns is sufficient for this grim scenario.

This article reminded me of the ABC TV movie The Day After, which aired while I was in elementary school. It left indelible images and feelings in my memory, none more memorable than the scene in which the Soviet missiles arrive:

Because of the power and reality of the film, the concentric circles of its impact were felt all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
[Click on the title above, or date stamp below, to see the full article.]

Fifteen Iraq war movies, three killer asteroid movies in a single year's time, and yet another alien invasion flick. Oh that Hollywood would make a movie about a real threat. Sadly, that's likely the only way to get most people to realize the gravity of the reality that we face now. Unfortunately, Hollywood got out of the "help America" business sometime ago.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Zombie: Victory in Iraq Day

The indomitable Zombie has proclaimed today...
Victory In Iraq Day: 11-22-08
...and we are proud to join in the celebration

By now you've probably seen the report from Michael Yon:

THE WAR IS OVER AND WE WON: There's nothing going on. I'm with the 10th Mountain Division, and about half of the guys I'm with haven't fired their weapons on this tour and they've been here eight months. And the place we're at, South Baghdad, used to be one of the worst places in Iraq. And now there's nothing going on. I've been walking my feet off and haven't seen anything.
We're not going to get an official event like the surrender of the Nazis after Hitler's suicide, or a signing ceremony like the one on the Missouri. And we still have forces in Japan and Germany, 60 years after World War II ended.

Per the new Status of Forces Agreement, expected to be ratified by the Iraqi Parliament next week, we'll have troops there for about three more years, gradually reducing their numbers as the Iraqi Army and Police continue to prove they are capable of maintaining order. We've already started drawing down troop levels.

Celebrate Victory in Iraq!
[Click on the title above, or date stamp below, to see the full article.]

Reason TV: Obama's "Enron Problem"

Former Ken Lay speechwriter Robert L. Bradley, Jr. explains what the media got wrong about Enron, and why Obama's energy policy suffers from similar flaws:

Friday, November 21, 2008

Iowahawk: Lemon

Paul A. sent us a tip about Iowahawk's latest, a look at what we can expect from the UAW Bailout:

All new for 2012, the Pelosi GTxi SS/Rt Sport Edition is the mandatory American car so advanced it took $100 billion and an entire Congress to design it. We started with same reliable 7-way hybrid ethanol-biodeisel-electric-clean coal-wind-solar-pedal power plant behind the base model Pelosi, but packed it with extra oomph and the sassy styling pizazz that tells the world that 1974 Detroit is back again -- with a vengeance
That's just a taste. You owe it to your funny bone to read the whole thing.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pournelle: Republican Principles or Democrats Light?

The incomparable Jerry Pournelle examines how the Republican Party has lost its way.
While the article begins with a discussion of the Anthropogenic Global Warming hoax, it does so mostly to explain why the McCain-style "me-too" approach is a loser. Turning to the general principle:

But do note that playing loyal opposition, Democrat Light, has been effective for many Country Club Republicans: they were allowed to keep their positions and influence. That was the situation when Newt Gingrich organized the Republican takeover of Congress. Unfortunately, without Newt's iron control -- you may ascribe his motive to dedication to principle or to simple desire to keep power -- without Newt's iron control the Republican congress went mad and truly acted as if it were Democrats: it spent money in ways that even the Democrats wouldn't have (then; not now), including the old Wilson/Roosevelt interventionism that generally led to war.
Dr. Pournelle offers this advice for the future:
The only way the Republicans can survive will be to become a party of principle: smaller government, devolution of power to the states, transparency and local control; the old principle Adams stated, "we believe that each man is the best judge of his own interest". Trust the Associations (as Tocqueville described) rather than government, and states more than federal. Give up "right to life" and adopt the constitutional position that abortion ought to be left to the states -- as should education and many other matters. We have plenty of failed experiments in federal control to show that it's not always a good idea and sometimes federalizing things is disastrous.
On this matter, I offer a weak semantic disagreement with the use of the word "federal" to mean "national". What he advocates (as do I) is a return to the original meaning of "federal": power devolved to the most local level practical, where the resources it commands can be used more efficiently, and tailored to the peculiar needs of the locality. Most of what the US Government does would be better done by state, county, or municipal governments, or by private-sector entities. If the GOP is ever to be trusted with power again, it will need to make that case, and make us believe they'll actually do it this time.
[Click on the title above, or date stamp below, to see the full article.]

Given the choice between faux Democrats and the real thing, the voters chose the latter. We need to give them a real choice.

I call BS

Some 691,000 children went hungry in the U.S. sometime in 2007, while close to one in eight Americans struggled to feed themselves adequately even before this year's sharp economic downtown, the Agriculture Department reported Monday.

If by sometime you mean there were no Pop Tarts in the cupboard this morning. I'll cop to that.

If by struggling you mean, "What? I have to do something for food?" I'd believe that too.

With the plethora of government, private, and religious organizations in this country, if you or your kids go to bed hungry tonight...
It's your own damn fault.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Let no one consider us partisans When someone is right, they're right. Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD7) asks a relevant, if rhetorical, question:

Maybe the name "Kashkari" is a subliminal suggestion.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

We Have the Best Commenters Pt. 3

"I’m still too pissed off to write much."

And yet, he does.

Any blog with a picture of Inigo Montoya on the sidebar deserves a thumbs up, IMHO.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Wherein McCain proves our doubts correct

Last February I wrote a long post asking if Sen. John McCain was stupid or insane, because those were the only explanations I could come up with for his behavior over the years. I asked "Why does a man go out of his way to make enemies out of friends?"

It took a lot to get me to futilely pull the lever for McCain. And now I regret that I even did that.

McCain's "anonymous" trashing of Sarah Palin in the press is beyond contempt. For years McCain has been happy to thumb out the eyes of his supporters, while "reaching out" to his enemies. This is only the latest, and best defined example.

John McCain, you are a sorry excuse for a man.

Multiculturalism Drops the Mask

The council of Caerphilly, Wales has instructed municipal employees to avoid using the word "British":

The idea of “British” implies a false sense of unity – many Scots, Welsh and Irish resist being called British and the land denoted by the term contains a wide variety of cultures, languages and religions.
The advocates for multiculturalism have admitted what many of us have known all along. The entire point of their enterprise is to divide people into ever-smaller tribes, to emphasize our differences and make them points of conflict.

A sense of identity as "British", transcending tribal identities, uniting people under the common culture of Anglo-Saxon common law, Greco-Roman natural philosophy, and Judeo-Christian ethics, fueled the United Kingdom to become the preeminent power in the world. The "American" sense of identity, on the same foundations, allowed a former British colonial possession to take her place.

The name "Britain" itself comes from "Britania", the name the Roman Empire gave the province. A famous Roman maxim is "Dividae et impera" ("Divide and conquer"). Only by being divided into petty squabbling factions can we be defeated.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Well, that explains it.

I was wondering why the internet had suddenly lost interest in the size of my pen!s after expressing such repeated concern on a daily basis.
The Washington Post

The volume of junk e-mail sent worldwide dropped drastically today after a Web hosting firm identified by the computer security community as a major host of organizations allegedy engaged in spam activity was taken offline, according to security firms that monitor spam distribution online.

Good Question

Air Wars: Revenge of the Plumber

We told you the day before the election about the unhinged rant against "Joe the Plumber" by San Francisco talk jock Karel Bouley. Now comes some good news [H/T Political Byline] : He's lost his radio job. Of course the Examiner has Bouley as the victim:

"They silence the most prominent gay voice in the Bay, right as Prop 8 passes. How lovely," said Karel in an email.
How reflexively he plays the homophobia card! There simply can be no other explanation for his dismissal in his mind; his homosexuality innoculates him against any responsibility for his performance.

To hear him tell it, it's all the engineer's fault:
In his defense, Karel says that he was told by the engineer, who left the studio to use the bathroom, that his microphone was off. The engineer was also told, he says, to make sure it is off during breaks because Karel talks to his chat room during the breaks, saying things not appropriate for the air.
I am not a radio professional, but I know that it's normal for every microphone to be equipped with a "cough button", which, when pressed, takes the mike offline momentarily, no matter what the sound engineer may be doing on his board. It allows on-air talent to take responsibility for what comes out of their mouths. Just as a responsible gun user treats every gun as if it's loaded, a responsible broadcaster treats every microphone as if it's hot.

Bouley was irresponsible, and now he's unemployed. May we hope that Helen Jones-Kelley be close behind?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tumor, Inc.

Very interesting, if somewhat dense, essay on how free market principles and Big Business' corporate interests are not the same, and why everybody confuses the two.

Call me a rube, but I don't understand this notion of a business being "too big to fail." How does this happen? As I recently wrote to a friend whose professional expertise I sought to tap for an answer: If a skyscraper was discovered to be built on sinking sand, with rotting i-beams, wouldn't it have to come down regardless of how big it was, or how many people would be put out of work due to the high number of offices it housed? Maybe the analogy is too simplistic, but I just don't understand how sheer corporate size and the variety of tentacles a company has embedded throughout our economy insulate the company from the consequences of mismanagement, unhealthy risk-taking, or an obsolete business model. Hmm . . . a large mass with complicating tentacles making removal impossible. AIG or cancer? You make the call.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ah, Hell...

Just a taste of what's to come...

Nuthin' but class from The One. (H/T-Drudge)

"Just hours after President Bush and President-elect Obama met in the Oval Office of the White House, details of their confidential conversation began leaking out to the press, igniting anger from the president, sources claim."

The ASSOCIATED PRESS quickly followed with details of the conversation, citing "aides who described the discussion on grounds of anonymity, citing the private nature of the meeting."

If they didn't KNOW that they were wrong to leak details of a PRESIDENTIAL BRIEFING, they wouldn't have insisted on anonymity, now would they?

I don't know which would be worse - The One not knowing who on his staff would go straight to the press by now - or The One knowing who on his staff would go straight to the press.....

I find myself disliking this guy a little more every day.

- MuscleDaddy

Thank You

Photo of US Marines raising flag at Iwo Jima

UPDATE [The Monster] From time to time, people have noticed that Google has strange criteria for which days deserve a special graphic. This is today's:

Why They HAVE To Hate Palin...

The other day (right after seeing CNN do it) , I found myself in a brief discussion with some mouth-breathing network-news adherents who were busily parrotting the MSM talking points around the latest push to marginalize Sarah Palin into "non-threat-to-The-One-in-four-years" status.
I calmly destroyed point-after-point, using nothing but historical fact and logic, but was later bothered by what I saw as just one more salvo in a much larger battle. I spoke to my brother about this (some of you may remember Monopticus) - which helped me sort of codify the following ramble....

The biggest problem Palin ever had was that she’s demonstrated herself to be the living, breathing embodiment of America’s Frontier Spirit ("Hey! Hold on, let me stomp off some of this snow - there - Now, what's the problem? Aw, Hell, we can fix that!") - and ran afoul of a media (and I mean nearly ALL media) that has labored slavishly for years to make any commitment/proclamation to the favor of that AFS not only Politically Incorrect (in the very country where it brought them to their own relevance) , but actually…Rude.

This is just another demonstration of the slow, insidious removal of “Hero” from the Meaningful-Word-Lexicon.

Spread that once-revered word around - with a well-meaning-appearance, of course - so that the Domino’s kid becomes a “Hero” for getting your pizza to you in 30-minutes-or-less, and suddenly, you don’t have to worry about any of those actually exceptional people mucking up your plans by saying:
“Hey! THAT’S not the way we’re supposed to be doing it.”

Because they’ll have no standing to go with that actually authentic appellation of “Exceptional”.

And this BU!!$#!T of the “New Dan Quayle” meme against Palin is just another way to get people on board with dismissing even the basis of Heroism, via a sneering rejoinder of “Standing up and saying ‘Do What’s Right Because It’s Right’ is just UN-NUANCED!!!”
- Why, the next thing you know, she’ll misspeell something!!

They have to hate Palin - not just for being who she is, but for what she both demonstrates and represents.

Because. They. Know.

They know that if we start moving the party (and, leading by example, our Country) back toward a real Conservatism - toward the real, bedrock virtues and ideals America was built on... they don’t stand a chance.

They know that the only way they get to run things is to convince people to ‘Go Along To Get Along’.

And they know that the only way to do that is to convince the mouth-breathing, lowest-common-denominator that anyone who suggests or displays actual exceptionalism is just “oversimplifying” or “being unrealistic” or “is out-of-touch with the real problems/issues” or "caught up in being a Cowboy/BoyScout/etc".

(Remember when the imagery of both the 'Cowboy' and the 'Boy Scout' was enfused with virtues and ideals considered to be universally Good? - what do you suppose ever happened to that?)

Convince them that to merely do-your-job makes you a “Hero”, then merely doing-your-job is not only the highest attainable goal, but anyone who does or suggests or expects more/better (or, God forbid, Greatness) must actually want to upset-the-system-that-keeps-us-all- (fill in the blank).

Arbeit macht frei…. Not.

So now what?

“Vote the bums out” seems to have largely been taken care of - seems like the same flesh-eating-zombies that voted in The One went for a straight Left-ticket wherever they were.

Nearly a clean-slate, as far as Conservatism is concerned, politically
[Click on the title above, or date stamp below, to see the full article.]
The question becomes - how do we make it so that the ideals and principles that have gotten the country this far can be considered worthy - nay, Virtuous again.

And how do we keep from getting another crop of only-degrees-from-Left McCain-RINOs, out for the "Cash-Hos-and-Blow" that comes from acting like Democrats?

- MuscleDaddy

The Broken Window Theory, in Reverse

...disorder and crime are usually inextricably linked, in a kind of developmental sequence. Social psychologists and police officers tend to agree that if a window in a building is broken and is left unrepaired, all the rest of the windows will soon be broken. This is as true in nice neighborhoods as in rundown ones. Window-breaking does not necessarily occur on a large scale because some areas are inhabited by determined window-breakers whereas others are populated by window-lovers; rather, one unrepaired broken window is a signal that no one cares, and so breaking more windows costs nothing. (It has always been fun.)

The essence of The Broken Window Theory is that the little things matter. When disorder is allowed to gain a foothold it perpetuates and accelerates. Individuals living in a community of broken windows feel powerless. (There's no way they can fix all those windows themselves.) This leads to isolation and suspicion and the downward spiral continues.

This post on the Chicago Board of Alderman outlawing little plastic baggies got me thinking of the power of little things. When we see our elected government use their powers of ordinance to try to regulate something as mundane as the zip-lock, we rightly jeer. We know this ordinance will not be enforced. Can you imagine an officer going through the time and trouble of making an arrest and filling out the paperwork for a "plastic" bust? Since we know that this law will not be enforced (it just gives the elected official the illusion that he is "doing something" about crime) we loose another increment of respect for the law.

An anonymous comment to that post sneered, "It's nice to see the right focused on the big issues of our times. Pass me a "baggie" i'm gonna hurl little chunks of minutia." And that is precisely the point. When senseless and useless laws proliferate each new law weakens respect for all the existing laws. When everything is against the law, everyone is a criminal so why bother? Rather than fix the broken window, we'll just hang curtains.
[Click on the title above, or date stamp below, to see the full article.]

I'm Sorry...Ready to - What?!?

H/T to Newsbusters:

"The co-chair of Barack Obama's Transition Team, Valerie Jarrett, appeared on Meet the Press this weekend and used, shall we say, an interesting word to described what she thinks Barack Obama will be doing in January when he's officially sworn into office. She told Tom Brokaw that Obama will be ready to "rule" on day one. It's a word that reflects the worst fears that people have for Obama the "arrogant," the "messiah," that imagines he's here to "rule" instead of govern. "

"Jarret told Brokaw that "given the daunting challenges that we face, it's important that president elect Obama is prepared to really take power and begin to rule day one."

"Prepared to Really Take Power and Begin to Rule"
"Begin To Rule"

I saw something posted by a reader @ another site, regarding The One's stated economic policies - crystal, pure bumper-sticker fodder:

"When a citizen is no longer allowed the fruits of his own labor, then he is no longer a citizen... - he is a subject."

Looks like somebody's been channelling somebody - don't much suppose it matters who.

- MuscleDaddy

Monday, November 10, 2008

Scalping Tickets - a Federal Crime

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., also said she's crafting a bill that would make a federal crime of selling tickets to the historic event Jan. 20.

Chicago Stupidity

In all of the excitement of the recent election, I missed
this story of Chicago's Board of Aldermen showing what brilliant things a legislative body can come up with:

CHICAGO (WBBM) -- Aldermen have given preliminary approval to an ordinance that would ban the sale or possession of tiny plastic bags often used by drug dealers.
. . .
The bags are two-inch, sealable, plastic and stamped with little logos, like hearts, spiders or superhero symbols. And 2nd Ward Alderman Bob Fioretti says, in his area, they’re used to hold crack cocaine and heroin.
. . .
One Alderman previously questioned suggested some of the bags have a legitimate use, like holding extra buttons for clothing.
Yes, if I buy a shirt with a little zip-lock bag holding extra buttons attached to it, or some electronic gizmo whose manufacturer thoughtfully included one or two spare fuses in such a bag, why I'm exactly the same as a drug dealer!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Too good to stay in comments


I grew up spending my summers in the Polish ghetto of Chester, Pennsylvania. I use the word "ghetto" in the sense that neighborhoods were strictly segregated. The Poles held the area of Front St. throught 4th Street. Beyond that other immigrant groups had staked out their claims. It was never clear to me why I had to stay away from Irish and Italian neighborhoods. In my child's mind's eye my mental map said simply "there be monsters." My little enclave was a safe and secure place to grow up.

The Polish people of that generation, first and second, were known as the working poor. My grandfather quit school at age twelve when his father died. The custom was to keep a factory seat open for the next in line, that being the only social security on offer. My grandfather became the family bread-winner. Somehow the family survived the Great Depression if only barely. Then came the war. The neighborhood sent its young men off to fight. Some did not return, but the neighborhood survived.

My grandparents owned a modest rowhouse on the 100 block of Thurlow St. Some people called it the wrong side of the tracks. Actually, we were on the tracks. We used to shoot cans off the rails with a BB gun from the neighbor's porch. I guess to the older folks it seemed far safer than the old habit of sending young boys clambering up the side of moving coal cars to rob them of the precious fuel that would keep a family warm for the day. Despite our "poverty" the neighborhood was thriving.

The center of our lives was St. Hedwig's Church, a majestic structure with stain glass windows stretching to a vaulted ceiling. The congregation was large enough to require five masses on Sunday. Piety was our chief virtue, except for Joe Schpok and Handsome Harry. But those two were excused because Joe was a bum, and Harry was mad. Joe lived in an abandoned car and earned his livelihood doing odd jobs. Harry owned a rowhouse next to my aunt. I guess he was harmless, but his sudden appearance sent our mob scurrying for cover. The neighborhood monster was tall and oily with fingernails an inch long. When he got sick, the local women would bring him food and medicine. Same for Joe. The community looked after its own.

Life was simple and routine. There was work and church, kielbasa for dinner, and Phillies baseball on the AM radio. There was no crime in our neighborhood and the streets were clean. You painted your concrete porch and front steps every spring. They didn't really need it, of course, but no one wanted social stigma of being called a slacker. Kids graduated from St. Hedwig's Catholic School, and wonder of wonders, began to enroll in college. The next generation began moving into the middle class.

It all looked like a dream come true. Until the day something truly dreadful happened. The government arrived . . . to help. You see, the g-men had been studying the demographics. As the third generation moved out, more properties became rentals. The modest rowhouses were never worth much, about 30K in the late 1970's. So the government began to encourage real estate agencies to buy them up. The government would supply tenants and guarantee rents.

The new arrivals were nothing like us. By this I mean they didn't share our values. They didn't work or attend church. Their children were wild and undisciplined. They didn't even paint their steps and porch every year! It didn't take long for the neighborhood to become feral. We began to notice rats and stray animals. Broken windows went unrepaired. Garbage began to pile up in the alleys. The Polish people fought back with brooms and buckets of paint, but to no avail. You see, the neighborhood was now full of retirees. The muscle that the next generation might otherwise supply had moved to the suburbs.

The new class moving in had no vested interest in our neighborhood. The government would take care of everything. The government should take care of everything, at least that was their attitude. And worse, the new arrivals tolerated crime. They actually turned their backs on break-ins and assaults. Then the drug dealers and prostitutes arrived. But the police didn't care. The neighborhood was dying. When tenants moved out, the landlords simply boarded up the wreckage left behind. The remaining Poles secured their doors and windows with locks and bars and hunkered down to await the death knell. The Polish ghetto died without so much as a whimper.

There is nothing unique about this story. It has happened to thousands of neighborhoods across the country, is happening still to this day. It happens because government thinks it can substitute its influence for citizen virtue. But a republic can stand strong only so long as the citizenry retains values based on hard work and commensurate reward. Nothing is valued that is not earned. The citizenry must have a vested interest in community and nation. It can't be given; it must be earned. There is no other way. The government cannot cure poverty because government policy creates poverty. How many lessons do we need? Or should we sit back and wait till the entire nation is naught but a blight upon the land?
[Click on the title above, or date stamp below, to see the full article.]

Chester Pennsylvania didn't die. It was murdered.

Killing Us Softly

Mark Steyn is on point again:

While few electorates consciously choose to leap left, a couple more steps every election and eventually societies reach a tipping point. In much of the west, it's government health care. It changes the relationship between state and citizen into something closer to pusher and junkie. . . .
I disagree with my fellow conservatives who think the Obama-Pelosi-Reid-Frank liberal behemoth will so obviously screw up that they'll be routed in two or four years' time. The President-elect's so-called “tax cut” will absolve 48 per cent of Americans from paying any federal income tax at all, while those that are left will pay more. Just under half the population will be, as Daniel Henninger pointed out in the Wall Street Journal, on the dole. By 2012, it will be more than half, and this will be an electorate where the majority of the electorate will be able to vote itself more lollipops from the minority of their compatriots still dumb enough to prioritize self-reliance, dynamism, and innovation over the sedating cocoon of the nanny state. That is the death of the American idea.

[Click on the title above, or date stamp below, to see the full article.]
Or, as Bill Whittle said here: "But the moral assumption [of social engineering by wealth redistribution] . . . well that's just fatal. It's fatal. Because when people who don't pay any thing taxes realize that they can vote themselves someone else's money, it's the end of us."

Friday, November 7, 2008

And Then... The Horrible Aftermath

Obama Win Causes Obsessive Supporters To Realize How Empty Their Lives Are

Friends don't let friends.... you get the idea.

- MuscleDaddy

Melanie Phillips: Preventing National Suicide

Melanie Phillips compares the challenges the UK Tories and US Republicans have in restoring the core values of Western Civilization, in Preventing National Suicide. She gets to something that has been very obvious of late:

As a result, freedom has shrunk to what ideology permits. Equality legislation has cemented a “victim culture” under which the interests of all groups deemed to be powerless (black people, women, gays ) trump those deemed to be powerful (white people, men, Christians). Since this doctrine holds that the “powerless” can do no wrong while the “powerful” can do no right, injustice is thus institutionalized, and anyone who queries the preferential treatment afforded such groups is vilified as a racist or bigot.
This evokes Jerry Pournelle's famous quotation of Jim Burnham: "Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for Western Civilization as it commits suicide." It also ties well into Evan Sayet's theory of leftist thinking, which I recomend heartily.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

From our Good Buddy Don

Johnny at the Bat
(with apologizes to Earnest Thayer)

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Republicans that day;
The score stood two to one, with but one election more to play,
And then when Freddy died at first, and Huckabee did the same,
A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, "If only Johnny Mac could get a whack at that —
We'd put up even money now, with Johnny at the bat."

But Romney preceded Johnny, as did also Rudy G.,
And the former was a hoodoo, while the latter was on a spree;
So upon the stricken Moderates grim melancholy sat;
For there seemed but little chance of Johnny Mac getting to the bat.

But Rudy let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Romney, the much despised, tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and men saw what had occurred,
There was Romney safe at second and Rudy a-hugging third.

Then from five thousand throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It pounded on the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Johnny, mighty Johnny, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Johnny's manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Johnny's bearing and a smile lit Johnny's face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Johnny at the bat.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt.
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance flashed in Johnny's eye, a sneer curled Johnny's lip.

And now McCain/Feingold came hurtling through the air,
And Johnny stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy Senator the bill unheeded sped —
"That’s just my style," said Johnny. "Strike one!" the electorate said.

From the benches, black with Moderates, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore;
"Kill them! Kill the Conservatives!" shouted some one on the stand;
And it's likely they'd have killed them had not Johnny raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity great Johnny's visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and Immigration Reform flew;
But Johnny still ignored it, and the electorate said "Strike two!"

"Fraud!" cried the maddened Moderates, and echo answered "Fraud!"
But one scornful look from Johnny and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Johnny Mac wouldn't drop that ball again.

The sneer has fled from Johnny's lip, the teeth are clenched in hate;
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
And now the consultant holds the ad, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Johnny's blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright,
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and little children shout;
But there is no joy in the Heartland — Johnny Mac has struck out.

[Click on the title above, or date stamp below, to see the full article.]

Viscount Monckton: Open Letter on AGW

In honor of the recently-departed Michael Crichton, one of the stalwart opponents of the "consensus" of Anthropogenic Global Warming, we present this open letter to John McCain, published recently by Viscount Monckton of Brenchley. It is a withering and systematic fisking of Gorebal Warming, and the statist prescriptions to "remedy" it that are advocated by both Senator McCain and President-Elect Obama (the former being generally more moderate in his pursuit of their shared agenda). Here's but a taste of why it's a must-read:

The facts are that the free market can scarcely be blamed for having failed to address an imagined "problem" that has not long been widely talked of; that, now that the free market has been made aware of the imagined "problem", it will be able to deal with the "problem" (to the extent that the "problem" is real) far more quickly and effectively than the State; and that, given the late Milton Friedman's Nobel-prizewinning observation that the State consumes twice as much of the world's resources to achieve a given objective as the free market, it is the State, not the market, that has failed, and it is the State, not the market, that must be cut down to size, regulated, and controlled.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Breakfast Discussion With My Daughter...

This morning over breakfast, Angela (9 years old & previously referred to as MuscleBaby-The-Elder) asked me what I was "thinking about so hard".

I looked up and told her:
"Barack Obama won the election for President last night - and I'm thinking about that."

She was quiet for a moment and then said:
"[kid-@-school] said Obama wants to let the Bad Guys destroy the world".

(despite keeping partisan-talk out of the house, this is apparently what kids talk about in fourth-grade these days)

I bit my tongue (hard - I can still feel it), and then calmly answered:
"Well, he just doesn't feel that it should be up to us to stop them."

I watched her digest that, with her pretty little eyebrows knitted together (and they really are pretty - some of you have seen pics) - then she looked back up from her cereal and asked:

"Then who will?"

-- I don't know, Baby.

- MuscleDaddy

Spock Lives

I would have enjoyed watching lefty heads explode if McCain had won. But we're going to see lefty heads exploding anyway; it's just going to take longer.

It used to be on the sidebar at E!3.
“If Steven Den Beste is Spock, then Bill is Captain Kirk” – James Lileks“

All Hail the Republic!

For the 44th time in 220 years, our nation has chosen a new President.
May he be blessed. May he serve our country with honor.
May he uphold his oath to Preserve, Protect, and Defend the Constitution of the United States of America.

We'll be watching.

Election Day! (bumped)

Watch it here.

Talk about it here.

(Click the chat button on the left sidebar)

8-12PM Eastern.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Lest we forget

Ok - Going To Vote Now...




And Some Intimidation - Just for Good Measure

No one said the win would be easy, folks...

- MuscleDaddy

Obama Tells Abbas:

"I Support a Divided Jerusalem, But Keep It A Secret"

... but, as a demographic, Jews overwhelmingly vote Democrat.

I just can't figure it.

- MuscleDaddy

Bill on NRO: Where Was the Ad?

Bill asks the question Where Was the Ad? at NRO. You know, the one that points out the Audacity of Hypocrisy, and a bonus dose of double standards:

And if that doesn’t bother you – at least a little – just ask yourself one question: What if Senator Obama, running on a platform of Change and “a new kind of politics” was the one to accept public financing, and the Republican opponent did not. What if the Democrat, true to his principles and a personal pledge, held true to his beliefs, while the Republican raised six hundred million dollars and turned off the standard credit card anti-fraud protections while doing so? What if the Republican outspent the democrat more than seven to one, and, as a result was up by a few points in key battlefield states.
I'd say for starters, the MainScream Media would tell us about the spending disparity and broken promise every single day.

Just a Voice In The Night...

So, there I am in the locker room @ the gym, when I happen to overhear Larry King on the Communist News Network - "Checking In" with CNN-correspondents in different cities...

This one creampuff "reporting" from Denver says "Well, Larry, it looks like Barack Obama is poised to take Colorado!"

But wait....

In the very next breath he says that "About 50% of the registered voters in Colorado have already cast their ballots"


So let me get this straight.... 50% - also known as HALF THE STATE - hasn't even VOTED YET but Obama is somehow "poised" to win?!?!

Oh, this is just going to be that much sweeter when, like Jennings calling FL for Gore in '00 before the polls closed, this doesn't work out for them and we kick their asses.

- MuscleDaddy

Requiescat in Pace

Colonel John Walter Ripley

Ripley at the Bridge.

"I'll never forget that order, 'hold and die'," Ripley said. The only way to stop the enormous force with their tiny force was to destroy the bridge, he said.

"The idea that I would be able to even finish the job before the enemy got me was ludicrous," Ripley said. "When you know you're not going to make it, a wonderful thing happens: You stop being cluttered by the feeling that you're going to save your butt."

Anchorage Daily News: Troopergate Report Clears Palin

This will probably be omitted by the MSM, having come in the after math of Hollis French's promised "October Surprise", but the Alaska probe sanctioned by the Personnel Board found no violation of any state law in "Troopergate".

- There is no cause to believe Palin violated the state ethics law in deciding to dismiss Monegan as public safety commissioner.

- There is no cause to believe Palin violated the state ethics law in connection with Wooten.

- There is no cause to believe any other state official violated the ethics act.

- There's no basis to conduct a hearing to "address reputational harm," as requested by Monegan.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Checklist - stuff to do today

No matter how the election goes tomorrow, in the short term bad things are going to happen. If you're near an urban center, there will probably be "civil disturbances." Here are a couple of things you should do today.

If Obama loses, the cities burn. Think of the Rodney King Riots in Los Angeles. If you're older, think about the riots that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King.

If Obama WINS, the cities burn. Ever been in an urban city that wins a sports championship? Think that times 100. Fewer banks burning, more cars burning. The celebratory fires will be smaller and shorter, but that doesn't help much if it's YOUR car that burns.

So TODAY, you should do some of the things you may not be able to do tomorrow.

1) Fill your tank with gas. More than one car? Fill them all. Gas is cheaper than it has been in a year. During the Rodney King riots I worked in Hollywood. A friend of mine, a pretty 20 something girl, drove a Triumph Spitfire with a non working gas gauge. She ran out of gas on her way home and coasted into a gas station. All she had were credit cards - and the cc machines were down. A homeless guy gave her $5 for gas to get home. He was killed the next day.

2) Hit the ATM. Withdraw the maximum. Don't spend it. See above.

3) Buy enough food to stay in for 3 or 4 days.

4) Have a gun? Make sure you have a box of ammunition, preferably hollowpoints and buckshot. Don't have a gun? If you live somewhere where you can buy one, buy one. And a box of ammunition.

5) Get a long garden hose, 50' or longer. Get the biggest diameter you can (usually 3/4"). Get an adjustable fireman's nozzle - something like this

6) Check or get batteries for your emergency radio and flashlight.

7) Check or get smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. Get an extra extinguisher for your car.

Am I being paranoid? Of course. I pray that I'm not right.
[Click on the title above, or date stamp below, to see the full article.]

The Passion of the Plumber II: Escalation

Joe The Plumber has committed the grievous crime of lèse majesté. KGO Radio 810 San Francisco talker and HuffPo contributor Charles Karel Bouley is unsatisfied with the mere bureucratic flogging that's already been meted out. Karel (who coincidentally uses his middle name on air, not unlike Joe himself) wants a Final Solution to the pesky Plumber Problem. Will no one rid him of this meddlesome plumber?

[HT Radio Equalizer] His expletive-laced tirade starts 53 seconds into the clip, in response to the mere mention of the words "Joe the Plumber" during the ABC Radio news break.

Manuel Alvarez, Jr.: Deja NO!

I've written before about the difference between those who chose to leave their home countries to become Americans, and those who were born here, descended from either involuntary immigrants or those who found the soveriegnty of this country extended to their homes. Like Tito the Builder, Arnold the Governor, or Ayn the Author, Manuel Alvarez, Jr., the Cuban-born letter-to-the-editor writer understands what has happened in other countries that don't follow the ideals of our Founders. His letter has been made into a video:

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Steyn: Fugitives, Leaks, and ... Plumbers?

Did you remember to set your clock back before you went to bed?

If I were Joe the Plumber, I'd ask Aunt Zeituni if I could move in. It's his best chance of a quiet life.
It isn't Daylight Saving Time anymore, but it's always Double Standard Time.

"Faux News"?

The Project for Excellence in Journalism has compiled a study of network news coverage of the Presidential candidates, and the results are illuminating.

On Fox News, in contrast, coverage of Obama was more negative than the norm (40% of stories vs. 29% overall) and less positive (25% of stories vs. 36% generally). For McCain, the news channel was somewhat more positive (22% vs. 14% in the press overall) and substantially less negative (40% vs. 57% in the press overall). Yet even here, his negative stories outweighed positive ones by almost 2 to 1.

The wording is interesting, and fits the leftist idea that Fox News is "right wing", in that compared to the other networks it is more negative/less positive of Obama, and more positive/less negative of McCain. But don't compare Fox to the other networks; just look at the numbers:

The way I read this, Fox News treated Obama slightly more positively than McCain. It's only because they didn't bow down and worship at his feet, along with the other networks, that they are "right wing". What is undeniable, however, is that MSNBC is "left wing":
MSNBC stood out for having less negative coverage of Obama than the press generally (14% of stories vs. 29% in the press overall) and for having more negative stories about McCain (73% of its coverage vs. 57% in the press overall).
Both Fox and MSNBC are "out of the mainstream", but that only tells us how skewed the "mainstream" has become.
[Click on the title above, or date stamp below, to see the full post.]

Saturday, November 1, 2008

We have the best commenters Pt.2

When We are Queen

... In a world where a smart, capable, nice-looking and not-underprivileged man can choose his own identity, why does he persist in identifying himself as down-trodden, sneered at and marginalized? Why, in other words, did a young Obama (and now one suspects, a grown Obama) drink in all these imagined slights and condescensions...”

God Bless Vanessa Niekamp

Throughout America's history, there have been all kinds of patriots who have drawn a thin line in the sand and stood their ground against the on-rush of tyranny -- from the farmers and blacksmiths of the American Revolution to the flight attendants and businessmen of Flight 93. Yes, from time to time, they even come in the form of TV news anchors. I think it's time to christen a new category of patriot: the mid-level government bureaucrat.


Yep, you read that right. Meet Vanessa Niekamp.

See, Ms. Niekamp is the person who actually ran the nefarious records check on "Joe the Plumber" on orders from her boss (Asst. Deputy Director of Child Support) at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Then, a week later, her boss' boss (Deputy Director of Child Support) "'literally demanded' that she write an e-mail to the agency's chief privacy officer stating she checked the case for child-support purposes." In ordering this after-the-fact CYA email, this 'crat told Patriot Niekamp that his boss -- ODJFS Director Helen Jones-Kelley -- said the snooping of "Joe the Plumber" was warranted because "Wurzelbacher might buy a plumbing business and could owe support."

So what makes Vanessa Niekamp a new breed of patriot, you ask?

She's speaking out. Not only is she naming the names of her bosses who tasked HER with the actual snooping, unwittingly done. She's even contradicting the party line given by the Director Jones-Kelley herself:

Director Helen Jones-Kelley said her agency checks people who are "thrust into the public spotlight," amid suggestions they may have come into money, to see if they owe support or are receiving undeserved public assistance.

Niekamp told The Dispatch she is unfamiliar with the practice of checking on the newly famous. "I've never done that before, I don't know of anybody in my office who does that and I don't remember anyone ever doing that," she said today.

That's no small thing given the white-hot national spotlight now shining on this woman's previously anonymous workplace. Imagine the group pressure being exerted on all of the ODJFS employees to stick together. Imagine the fear of losing her nice-but-hardly-lucrative $69,000/year job and health care. Imagine the fear of getting "vetted" (Wurzelbach'ed?) herself, given that she's a Republican pulling the curtain back on her Democratic superior.

Am I guilty of a bit of hyperbole putting Niekamp in the class of Revere, Washington, Glick and Beamer?

Maybe, but I don't think so. Given the purely political motivation for this brazen violation of public trust and personal privacy, and the deafening silence from the privacy watchdogs who claim to be the last line of defense between the citizenry and Big Brother Tyranny, Inc., I find this whole episode frightening. It seems to me that the groupthink of Orwell's 1984 doesn't happen unless all the mid-level bureaucrats agree to play along.

Vanessa Niekamp isn't playing along. That makes her a patriot of the first order in my book.[Click on the title above, or date stamp below, to see the full post.]

[Ed. Note] Don't worry, Lance. Your "below the fold" has been fixed.

[Update] In the comments.
Anonymous said...
My family members found your post and forwarded it to me. Thank you very much for your inspirational words. - Vanessa Niekamp

There's no way to know if this is true but we ARE #5 on Google for Vanessa Niekamp.

Obama Supporter: Obama will take care of my mortgage and gas tank

Supporter Peggy Joseph was interviewed by a reporter after the Obamapalooza:

If he wins this election, his supporters are in for some serious disappointment.