Thursday, August 28, 2008

if Orwell could blog...

Supa cool! George Orwell's diaries are being posted to the day, 70 years later, as though he were a blogger.


The Orwell Prize, Britain’s pre-eminent prize for political writing, is publishing George Orwell’s diaries as a blog. From 9th August 2008, Orwell’s domestic and political diaries (from 9th August 1938 until October 1942) will be posted in real-time, exactly 70 years after the entries were written.
Orwell’s ‘domestic’ diaries begin on 9th August 1938/2008; his ‘political’ diaries (which are further categorised as ‘Morocco’, ‘Pre-war’ and ‘Wartime’) begin on 7th September 1938/2008.
The diaries are exactly as Orwell wrote them. Where there are original spelling errors, they are indicated by a ° following the offending word.

The entries so far are mostly weather and gardening; the good stuff should start in a week or two. This is definitely worth keeping an eye on!

Bookmark this link:
Orwell Diaries

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Anarchist Riots in Denver

A group of radicals/anarchists calling themselves "Recreate '68" are attempting to disrupt the Democratic National Convention in Denver. They wear black and cover their faces; their tactics include hurling rocks and bags of urine at police officers. Their main agenda seemed to be disrupting fundraisers and other functions in downtown Denver related to the convention. Of course, denied the opportunity to do that, they resort to petty vandalism.

These new age brown shirts aren't confined to this event. They (ne'er-do-wells dressed in black intent on rioting and inflicting property damage in the name of the cause-du-jure) make appearances at other evens such as meetings of the WTO and G8 in the US and Europe. They have also announced plans on the internet to disrupt the Republican National Convention, as well. They are fuzzy on their ideology; these gangs are usually made up of an odd alliance of communists and anarchists. Their overarching grievance is usually euphemistically phrased as "anti-imperialism" or "anti-capitalism" of course we see in this case, the real result of their actions is to interefere with the legitimate democratic process.

Blogger and citizen journalist, Zombie, was in Denver and has reports posted on littlegreenfootballs. Follow the links for pictures and excellent commentary:

Zombie: The Denver Games - Opening Ceremony
Zombie: Recreate 68 Finally Lives Up to Its Name: Riot in Denver

Best caption:
An unfortunate side effect of announcing your riot on the Internet is that the police can see the announcement as well. As a result, squads of cops milled through the crowd, looking for troublemakers.


Jimmy Carter didn't speak at the Dem convention yesterday; that's like the summer Olympics without the speed walking or the synchronized swimming! Think of the missed entertainment opportunity.

Link: Carter won't speak at Dem convention

Monday, August 25, 2008

FYI Obama: You’re Not Reagan

But you’ve got that Jimmy Carter thing down

Obama would like to think of himself as the liberal’s Ronald Reagan, and his campaign would love to invoke the image of the Reagan 1980 electoral landslide in the minds of voters. Obama frequently compares himself to Reagan in stump speeches, and why wouldn’t he? Reagan rode a wave of public discontent to a historical political landslide. He appealed to voters in both parties to engineer a nationwide political realignment that still shapes today’s political landscape. He was a celebrity idealist and sunny optimist whose only apparent weakness was his image as an inexperienced Hollywood lightweight. Obama kicked off the Reagan comparisons early in the primary season with this widely quoted interview with the Reno Gazette Journal Editorial Board on Jan 14, 2008:

I don’t want to present myself as some sort of singular figure. I think part of what’s different is the times. I do think that, for example, the 1980 election was different. I mean, I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America, in a way that, you know, that Richard Nixon did not, and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it.

Unfortunately, as has been a trend with Democratic candidates in the last two presidential elections, Obama underestimates the intelligence of the average voter. The majority of Americans are more sophisticated than the Democratic campaign gives them credit for. Issues and character inform the average voter and direct their ballot – not slick photo ops and snazzy logos. The Obama campaign and its supporters are tragically focused on the latter and fail to recognize that it was common sense policies and strength of character that fueled Reagan’s political appeal amongst both Republicans and Democrats. Some superficial similarities to Reagan aside, Obama has much more in common with Jimmy Carter on deeper levels of policy and political thinking. Whether it is taxes, foreign policy, or even racial politics, similarities to the Carter administration are strikingly evident.

First on taxes and the economy, hoping to deflect criticism of Obama’s policies, Chuck Raasch wrote last month in, “Democrats had ridiculed Reagan as an actor who had crazy economic theories.” It is a convenient narrative for Democrats to point out that Reagan was criticized for promoting “voodoo economics” much as Obama is being ridiculed for his taxation policies today. However, the ridicule is where the similarities to Reagan end, and in terms of taxes, Reagan and Obama could not be further apart in their respective philosophies.

Reagan was an adherent to supply side economics that promoted strategically adjusting capital gains and income taxes to encourage production and thus maximize tax revenue. In our modern tax climate, this means cutting taxes. Obama, on the other hand, advocates raising taxes to make things more “fair.” His campaign dubs its policy, “Tax Fairness for the Middle Class;” of course, Obama would be our grand arbiter of fairness. During the Democratic primaries in the ABC debate against Senator Clinton on April 16, 2008, Charles Gibson challenged Obama on his capital gains tax policy. Gibson pointed out that, historically, lowering the capitol gains tax actually increases government revenue so why would Obama favor increasing capitol gains tax? Obama responded, “I would look at raising taxes for purposes of fairness.”

Additionally, taking a page directly from the Carter playbook, Obama also advocates a revival of the disastrous Windfall Profits Tax. In stump speeches, Obama calls out Exxon-Mobile by name and sneers at their supposedly unseemly profits to finagle public support for this bill. Of course, Obama fails to mention that this tax decreased domestic production and increased dependency on foreign oil while failing dramatically to produce expected revenues. Reagan finally succeeded in repealing this tax in 1988.

Likewise, we see eerie echoes of Carter foreign policy in the Obama campaign. The most striking example is their mutual fumbling on questions of American policy towards Iran. During the Iran hostage crisis, Carter’s bungling resulted in hostages being held for 444 days and a botched rescue attempt which still holds propaganda value for terrorists to this day. Obama isn’t Commander in Chief yet, but his current stumbles on the campaign trail may foreshadow future debacles. During the YouTube/CNN Democratic primary debate, a participant asked the candidates the following question:

Would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during your first year of your administration in Washington, or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?

Without hesitation Senator Obama responded affirmatively, and for bonus points, threw in another Reagan reference:

I would, and the reason is this: that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of [the Bush] administration is ridiculous. Now, Ronald Reagan and Democratic presidents like JFK constantly spoke to the Soviet Union at a time when Ronald Reagan called them an evil empire… [Iran and Syria] have been acting irresponsibly up until this point, but if we tell them that we are not going to be a permanent occupying force, we are going to be in a position to say that they are going to have to carry some weight in terms of stabilizing the region.

No one is really sure how, exactly, Obama would convince Iran and Syria to “carry some weight in terms of stabilizing the region,” or how announcing a retreat of the US military would encourage regional strongmen to act more “responsibly”. The Obama campaign never really clarified the points, either. However, there is no doubt that Ahmadinejad, or any other Iranian leader, would milk a face-to-face meeting with a US president for all the propaganda value it was worth, and furthermore, meeting without preconditions would only reinforce present bad behavior by the regime.

In a rebuttal to the same question, Senator Clinton avoids falling into the trap:

Well, I will not promise to meet with the leaders of these countries during my first year; I will promise a very vigorous diplomatic effort because I think it is not that you promise a meeting at that high of a level before you know what the intentions are. I don’t want to be used for propaganda purposes; I don’t want to make a situation even worse.

Before even securing his party’s nomination, Obama hands the Iranian regime a needless propaganda victory.

Like taxes and Middle East policy, even race politics came up back in 1980, and once again, Obama comes out looking a whole lot more like a Carter than a Reagan. Speaking on August 4, 1980 to the Neshoba County Fair outside Philadelphia, Mississipi, where three civil rights workers were murdered in 1964, Reagan delivered what he intended to be a standard stump speech about restricting the size and influence of the federal government, but he unwisely used the term “states’ rights” to reference this concept. It is true that the term “states’ rights” has an ignoble history in the South. The States’ Rights Democratic Party ran Strom Thurmond for president in 1968 on an anti-segregation, pro-Jim Crow platform; however, in 1980 it was Jimmy Carter who first played the race card when he accused Reagan of racism. Speaking to the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia on September 15, 1980, Carter told the audience:

You’ve seen in this campaign the stirrings of hate and the rebirth of code words like “states’ rights” in a speech in Mississippi in a campaign reference to the Ku Klux Klan relating to the South.

Reagan already had a long and well documented history of supporting states’ rights—in the small federal government meaning of the phrase—in a completely non-racial context as governor of California. Certainly, the use of the term was an insensitive gaffe on Reagan’s part made by a Californian out of his element in the deep South, but to construe his statement as a secret message to white supremacists, as Carter did, is race baiting hysteria.

Fast forward to 2008, McCain has not yet made any such slip, yet Obama pre-emptively accuses him of running a racist campaign. Speaking at a campaign stop in Missouri on July 30, 2008, Obama warned supporters to be on guard for racist attacks:

What they're going to try to do is make you scared of me. You know, he doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills."

After the Obama campaign initially denying that his comment was about race, David Axelrod, Obama’s chief strategist, conceded the obvious, that Obama’s remarks were about ethnicity, making the Obama campaign the first to play the race card. The race card may have helped nudge Obama ahead of Clinton in the primaries; however, Reagan weathered these types of attacks in 1980, and they ultimately reflected poorly on Carter. Likewise, this line of attack is unlikely to bear fruit for Obama in the 2008 general election.

Finally, Obama sought the ultimate Reagan-esque photo op and hoped to cement the image of himself as the liberal Reagan with a speech at Berlin’s Brandenburg gate in front of a crowd of cheering Germans. After expressions of concern from German chancellor Angela Merkel, Obama was forced to move his rally to the Berlin Victory Column. Obama did indeed get his photo taken in front of thousands of cheering Germans; however, in a speech smattered with no less than sixteen wall references, Obama never once achieved the clarity and impact of Reagan’s imperative, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” Instead, Obama’s wall metaphors ran together into a bland string of platitudes because he utterly lacks the character, precision of thought, and sound principles that Reagan articulated in one simple sentence.

It was not Reagan’s clever use of a good line that riled the crowd; it was Reagan’s unambiguous rejection of tyranny against an undertow of moral equivalence that awed Germany and America. Sadly, from his questionable associations with Raila Odinga, to his vote on the Iraq war and opposition of the surge, right up to his timid and ambiguous statements on the Russian invasion of Georgia, Obama has shown Americans that he is all too willing to tolerate tyranny and embrace moral equivalence. Furthermore, Obama’s tax policies and even his use of the race card in the current election bear a much closer resemblance to those of Carter in 1980 than of Reagan. With Jimmy Carter speaking on Monday night of the 2008 Democratic National Convention, the electoral analogy comes around full circle – but clearly not in the way that favors Obama.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

3AM Obama Central

Like a needy ex-girl friend drunk dialing from outside some cheesy frat boy bar, the Obama campaign texted its VP announcement to supporters just after 3AM (eastern) early Saturday morning.

Drumroll please... the winner is Joe Biden!

The Obama campaighn promised that supporters would be the first to learn of the VP text and would find out by text message (wow... Obama is just soooo cool). Unfortunately, Obama's pick was leaked to the media late friday forcing the campaighn to send the 3am message.

Obama selects Biden

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A/C = Bush = eeeevil

Does air conditioning make people vote Republican?

Wow. Just wow. The author attempts to make the case that A/C is responsible for the rise of the eeeevil "Bush dynasty," John McCain, and the all around degenration of the idustrial Northeast. Yep. A/C is resposible for all our social ills, chief among them the fact that more people are voting for conservatives:

As we observe Air Conditioning Appreciation Week, we should thank A/C for reducing malaria and infant mortality, for allowing pollen sufferers to breathe in the summer and for cooling the labs that produce our computer chips. But we should also talk about the unintended consequences of a machine that pumps out cold air.

Let's start with the Bush dynasty.

So... we have fewer dead babies and no one dies of malaria... BUT people are voting for George Bush! Unintended consequences, indeed.

In 1966, Texas became the first state in which half the homes were air-conditioned. That same year, George H.W. Bush was elected to Congress -- from Houston. Coincidence? Or does air conditioning make people vote Republican? After all, the GOP's rise in the South coincides with the region's adoption of air conditioning.

Yep. A/C, definitely eeeeevil.

It's easy to write this now because we've had a cool summer in Chicago. The temperature has never topped 91 degrees. On Monday night, I turned on the bedroom fan for the first time all of August. But I moved here on the day the Great Heat Wave of 1995 spiked. I nearly fainted carrying furniture up a flight of stairs. Over 500 people suffocated to death inside their apartments. Air conditioners would have saved lives, but it's too simple to say the heat wave victims died just because they didn't have them. Most were old, alone and afraid to open their windows. Some died not because they lacked air conditioning, but because they lacked it in an air-conditioned society. The traditional method of cooling off in a heat wave -- camping out in the parks -- is no longer acceptable. No one looked in on those people because, in the age of air conditioning, it's hard to remember that a heat wave can cull the weak and the elderly.

Okay, try to follow this logic: 500 elderly people suffocated to death in their apartments (in Chicago), they were too afraid to open their windows or go out into parks (in Chicago), and no one checked in on them (in Chicago). All of this is the fault of "air-conditioned society" a.k.a. Bush, Texans, and Republican voters in the south. Did you follow? No? Well, you are obviously a dumb redneck.

Update -- Chicago Annenburg Challange

They're friends. So what?

Via Ed Morressey at Hot Air: Obama hiding behind Daley's skirts?

Morressey links to Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass, who provides an informative quote on the issue from Chicago's mayor Richard M. Daley:

When Daley says shhh, library is quiet on Obama
"Bill Ayers--I've said this—his father was a great friend of my father," the mayor said. "I'll be very frank. Vietnam divided families, divided people. It was a terrible time of our country. People didn't know one another. Since then, I'll be very frank, [Ayers] has been in the forefront of a lot of education issues and helping us in public schools and things like that."

The mayor expressed his frustrations with outside agitators like Kurtz.

"People keep trying to align himself with Barack Obama," Daley said. "It's really unfortunate. They're friends. So what? People do make mistakes in the past. You move on. This is a new century, a new time. He reflects back and he's been making a strong contribution to our community."

Oops! I bombed the Pentagon!

So what? The voters get to decide what matters--not Obama and his buddies. With a resume as light as Obama's; his friends do matter. Now, we may never see the records though. The common consensus seems to be that if Kurtz, or anyone, ever does receive the documents, they will have been sanitized beyond recognition.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

McBain for President!

Cute, Simpsons themed McCain parody:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Obama, Taxes, and Fairness

From William McGurn at the Wall Street Journal:
For Obama, Taxes Are About Fairness

McGurn presents some good analysis about the Saddleback Church debate, and concludes with a good followup question:

Mr. Warren, a man of the cloth, has done us a great service by asking the candidates to answer a pretty secular question: What kind of income makes an American "rich"? Maybe in the more secular setting of an upcoming debate, one of our nonpastor moderators could ask the candidates the moral question: What specific rate of individual taxation would it take for the rich to be paying their fair share?

I don't know how John McCain or Barack Obama Jr. would answer this question. However, Barack Obama's father, Barack Obama Sr. has given us his opinion:

Theoretically, there is nothing that can stop the government from taxing 100% of income so long as the people get benefits from the government commensurate with their income which is taxed. ( )

Note: One of Obama's two autobiographies was title Dreams from My Father. Apparently, Obama's dad was dreaming of a whole lotta taxes.

Update: Chicago Annenberg Challange records

Will we find out what's in those 132 boxes of documents before the election? Maybe not.

Bill Burton, a UIC spokesman, says "The university has not received ownership rights to the Chicago Annenburg Challange collection. The university is aggressively pursuing an agreement with the donor, and as soon as an agreement is finalized the collection will be made av to the public." Burton would not disclose the donor, but did confirm that the donor was not Bill Ayers. Near the end of the interview, Burton reveals "If it can't be done [an ownership agreement] then the material will be returned to the owner."

Annenberg Records in Grave Danger
Radio Interview:

Latest Nutroots Nuttiness

The buzz over at DailyKos is whether McCain is making up his story about a Vietnamese guard drawing a cross in the sand outside his cell during one of his Christmases in captivity. There is no way to prove whether or not McCain is making this story up. Of course, the bigger picture is: McCain spent five and a half years enduring beatings and torture in the service of his country while during the analogous period in his life, Obama was chillin' with Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright. Somehow, that point goes blazing straight over the nutroots pointy little heads.

Here is a link to a dailykos journal outlining their 'evidence' that the story is fabricated:

I was watching the forum last night and decided that since I hadn't eaten yet, I would try to listen to John McCain speak. I was doing OK with the "my friends" and the evil chuckle when I heard him talk about his POW story of the cross in the dirt. That was when I couldn't take it anymore.

rickrocket's diary :: ::
It just sounded so fake and so contrived, so I did a little research about it. Someone on here said it sounded like a scene from Ben-Hur, so I did a google search about Ben-Hur and cross in the sand and such. No dice. But I searched around a little bit more and here is what I found. A story about Alexander Solzhenitsyn from his times in the Soviet Gulags.

Along with other prisoners, he worked in the fields day after day, in rain and sun, during summer and winter. His life appeared to be nothing more than backbreaking labor and slow starvation. The intense suffering reduced him to a state of despair.

On one particular day, the hopelessness of his situation became too much for him. He saw no reason to continue his struggle, no reason to keep on living. His life made no difference in the world. So he gave up.

Leaving his shovel on the ground, he slowly walked to a crude bench and sat down. He knew that at any moment a guard would order him to stand up, and when he failed to respond, the guard would beat him to death, probably with his own shovel. He had seen it happen to other prisoners.

As he waited, head down, he felt a presence. Slowly he looked up and saw a skinny old prisoner squat down beside him. The man said nothing. Instead, he used a stick to trace in the dirt the sign of the Cross. The man then got back up and returned to his work.

The silver lining to all this? Lefties reading Solzhenitsyn!

Monday, August 18, 2008

What's in the Chicago Annenberg Challange records?

Will we ever find out?

Obama's relationship with Weather Underground terrorist and unrepentant Pentagon bomber, Bill Ayers, came up during the Democratic primaries, but the press has been lax on following up on the details of this relationship since Obama dismissed Ayers as some guy who lives in his neighborhood.

On Obama's short resume, his Chicago community activism plays a central role. According to wikipedia Obama served on the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challange (CAC) from 1995 to 2002, including a four year stint as chairman of the board. Bill Ayers founded the CAC and wrote the charter grant in 1993 and served as a co-chair with Obama.

During the Democratic primary debates, the question of Obama’s association with Ayers came up and Obama dismissed it casually:

This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who's a professor of English in Chicago who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He's not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis."

An extensive collection of records of the CAC are currently housed in the J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Writing at, Stanley Kurtz outlines the potential significance of these documents:
That document cache contains the internal files of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. The records in question are extensive, consisting of 132 boxes, containing 947 file folders, a total of about 70 linear feet of material. Not only would these files illuminate the working relationship between Obama and Bill Ayers, they would also provide significant insight into a web of ties linking Obama to various radical organizations, including Obama-approved foundation gifts to political allies. Obama’s leadership style and abilities are also sure to be illuminated by the documents in question.

Kurtz contacted the library and obtained written permission from library officials to view the records. As Kurtz was boarding a plane to Chicago to examine the records, he received an email that his access had been revoked!

Kurtz’s expedition into the depths of the UIC bureaucracy to view the enigmatic CAC records can only be described as Kafka-esque. The whole tale is detailed here, and it reads like the plot line of a political thriller – all it is missing is a car chase and a couple of shootouts:

Chicago Annenberg Challenge Shutdown?

It is well worth the time to follow the link and read Kurtz’s full account. He sets loose an avalanche of questions; whose answers may have major implications in the upcoming election. Why was Kurtz’s access to these files abruptly revoked? What do these records have to say about Obama’s relationship with Ayers? What else might they tell us about Obama? Who is suppressing their release? It’s possible that this is dead end, just a bunch of ho-hum meeting minutes of some obscure education committee, but if so, why go through all the trouble to hide them from the public?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Russia, not so tiny

The Russia/Georgia conflict continues to heat up; Putin is clearly not taking the weekend off. Currently, headlining over at The Drudge Report:

Kremlin Warning: Poland Takes the Shield

MOSCOW (AP) - A top Russian general said Friday that Poland's agreement to accept a U.S. missile interceptor base exposes the ex-communist nation to attack, possibly by nuclear weapons, the Interfax news agency reported.
The statement by Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn is the strongest threat that Russia has issued against the plans to put missile defense elements in former Soviet satellite nations.

Poland and the United States on Thursday signed a deal for Poland to accept a missile interceptor base as part of a system the United States says is aimed at blocking attacks by rogue nations. Moscow, however, feels it is aimed at Russia's missile force.
"Poland, by deploying (the system) is exposing itself to a strike—100 percent," Nogovitsyn, the deputy chief of staff, was quoted as saying.

In the immortal words of Scooby Doo, “Ruh-row.” I am also reminded of some other immortal words from Our Dear Leader from a few months ago:

That’s what Reagan did with Gorbachev; that’s what Nixon did with Mao. I mean, think about it; Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union! They don’t pose a serious threat to us, the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us, and yet, we were willing to talk to the Soviet Union at the time when they were saying, “we’re going to wipe you off the planet.” And ultimately that direct engagement, lead to a series of measures that helped prevent nuclear war, and over time, brought about the kind of opening that brought down the Berlin wall.

First off, I would like to give Senator Obama props for recognizing that the USSR was actually a threat to US security prior to 1989. However, putting Obama’s tiny-ness to threat ratio aside, if Obama has any “direct engagement[s]” or “series of actions” he would like to suggest that would onvince Russia to take a chill pill, right now might be a good time to speak up. I mean, think about it; Russia isn’t such a tiny country. And lastly, Obama, you might be a celebrity, but you ain’t no Reagan.

WWII According to Quentin Tarantino

World War II not gory enough for you? Never fear! Concerned that there are not enough blood and guts WWII movies available in cinematic archives, Quentin Tarantino endeavors to fill the void:

Quentin Tarantino signs Brad Pitt to star in gory World War II movie
Cult moviemaker Quentin Tarantino is poised to make a blood-spattered World War II epic starring Brad Pitt as the leader of a maverick U.S. unit of Jewish soldiers which scalps Nazis.

Tarantino, in Berlin this week scouting locations for ’Inglorious Bastards,’ begins directing the film at the famed Babelsberg Studios on the outskirts of the capital on October 13.

The director of ’Pulp Fiction,’ ’Reservoir Dogs’ and ’Kill Bill’ wrote a 165-page script in record time about a no-rules squad of desperadoes operating behind enemy lines in the war.

I always thought that Brad Pitt looked kinda Jewish!

Darth Bush

The Newsweek (print) cover this week is totally giggle inducing. In case you haven't been paying attention to the MSM for the last eight years, Bush is eeeeeevil.

The article by Fareed Zakaria is titled, "What Bush Got Right." I confess, I haven't slogged through it, but judging by the cover graphic, Newsweek must be panicking that they only have a few more months to point out that Bush reminds them of a Star Wars Sith lord.

Et tu, NYT?

Even the notoriously slanted New York Times is starting to notice the disparity in depth between McCain and Obama’s reactions to the Russia/Georgia conflict.

McCain Displays Credentials as Obama Relaxes

HONOLULU — For the last several days, Senator Barack Obama has seemed to fade from the scene while on his secluded vacation here, as his opponent, Senator John McCain, has seized nearly every opportunity to display his foreign policy credentials on the dominant issue of the week: the conflict between Russia and Georgia.

Only once, at the beginning of the week, did Mr. Obama discuss the fighting in public, when he emerged from his beachfront rental home to condemn Russia’s escalation, in a way that seemed timed for the evening television news. He took no questions whose answers might demonstrate command of the issue.

Mr. McCain and his surrogates, however, have discussed the situation nearly every day on the campaign trail, often taking a hard line against Russia to the point of his declaring the other day, “We are all Georgians.”

Of course, after a good start, the editorial degenerates into making annoying excuses for Obama:

Still, some Hawaii residents and political observers acknowledged that exotic impressions of the islands have become mythology among Americans, making it one of the most unlikely places for a presidential candidate to call home.

Perhaps that is why Mr. Obama has played down his Hawaiian roots, said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, a professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Obama’s biographical narrative has focused on his mother from Kansas and father from Kenya, and less on his time in Oahu.

“When you’re being accused of being an elitist,” Ms. Jamieson said, “and when people are using code words such as ‘exotic’ in order to describe you and your background, you would not want to locate your biography in Hawaii, if you had a choice.”

Riiight … the observation, supported by facts, that Obama’s foreign policy is uninformed and timid has nothing to do with it. All you voters are just stupid and distracted by the fact that Obama was born in Hawaii. Sorry, even if Obama was vacationing in Oklahoma, I would continue to be under whelmed by his non-statements on the developing events.

PS: McCain was born in frickin’ Panama for gosh sakes.


Clarification – Iowahawk: Breakthrough in Georgia

Aaaaaack! I heard a crazy rumor that I might possibly have readers, like maybe even more than one. That is so way much scarier than when I thought I was just randomly blathering to the vast internets to hear myself type.

In my post from yesterday, I realized that the formatting might have been misleading. That was an excerpt from a hilarious satire blog called Iowahawk, . The excerpt was in blockquotes, but without more non-quoted text around it, you can’t really tell. No, that was not my original writing, but hey, I surf the internet so you don’t have to!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

VP Picks

If I were a gambling kind of gal, I would put money on Lieberman as McCain's VP pick. Don't get me wrong; as a mostly libertarian at heart, this ticket sends a shiver up my spine, but that is until I look at the alternative. Lieberman is not my personal favorite choice for VP, but he makes sense for McCain. Picking Liebs reinforces both McCain's bi-partisan credentials and his desired maverick image. If fear of four years of Obama doesn't energize the conservative base, then there is not much McCain himself can do. Obama represents the Daily Kos/ wing of the party so McCain can safely straddle the center and still be far to the right of Obama. After 8 years of playing Neocons vs. Hippies, much of the electorate might be sick of playground politics and willing to compromise on a centrist ticket.

Dick Morris has much the same analysis on a possible McCain / Lieberman ticket and additionally predicts an Obama / Joe Biden ticket. I don't think it's going to matter too much who his VP is. He definitely won't pick Clinton so regardless of who else he picks, his campaign is going to be all Obama all the time.

Iowahawk: Diplomatic Breakthrough in Georgia

Red Faced Party Crashers REtreat

By early Saturday morning, however, Russia's loutish behavior had gotten out of control, and according to some included wearing lampshades and carpet bombing of civilian areas. In response, the US State Department prepared a carefully worded rebuke, reading "Dude, totally not cool," and the UN Security Council issued a special envoy to the region expressing "grave concern" and warning that "come on dude, you're drunk."

The harsh international diplomatic verbal response brought an immediate halt to the Russian firebombing campaign, followed by what observers termed "an uncomfortable silence."

"Everyone was just sort of staring at Russia, who's in the middle of beating the hell out of Georgia, and Russia's like, 'what? Come on man, you have to admit it's funny,'" said a source with UNSCOM. "So Russia's going around, looking for high fives and is like, 'don't leave me hangin', bro,' but the G8 gives him the total gas face, so he's like, 'whatever, dude, this party sucked anyway.'"

As Russia sobered up and began packing up its tanks and bomber groups, the source said it began feeling bad.

Aafia Siddique

A high level female Al Queda operative caught with detailed plans for terrorist attacks and a thumbdrive full of email contacts caught following a shootout:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Olympics Make Satan Happy!

According to Saudi Cleric Muhammad Al-Munajid, the Olympics are "an exposure of women's private parts on a global scale."

Wow. Which sport is that? Oh yeah... all of them.

Video at lgf:

Almost 3AM - Update

Obama has finally figured out that Russia is the aggressor and adopts McCain's position calling for Russia to withdraw ground forces from Russia. He has also clued into the cease-fire. "For many month I have warned that there needs to be active international engagement to peacefully settle the disputes over South Ossetia." Hmmm. I've heard the Global Citizen call for international engagement in all kinds of things, but this is the first time I've heard him mention Ossetia.

We should also convene other international forums to condemn this aggression to call for an immediate end to the violence and to review multi-lateral and bi-lateral arrangements with Russia including Russia's interest in joining the World Trade Organization.

Oooo ... multi-lateral and bi-lateral, that must be super duper diplomatic. So ... Russia invades a small democratic neighbor, and in response, we should consider letting them join the WTO? Forgive my lack of nuance, but WTF? Also, according to Obama, Russia's behavior is "wholly inconsistent with the Olympic ideal." For real, Russia, if you're going to go and invade neighboring democracies -- don't do it during summer vacation! "Michelle is going to be, like, so pissed if I make this press conference longer than five minutes." [Okay, I made that one up.]

McCain presents a lengthy review of Georgia's history and attempts to put the recent crisis in a larger context:

9min 13sec is an awfully long time for me to pay attention to anything, and the salmon colored tie and powder blue shirt are definitely making me wonder, if he's not senile, could he possibly be color blind? I also don't understand the point of going to the UN Security council when Russia has a veto over any putative action; however, McCain's past advocacy of a League of Democracies and calls to exclude Russia from the G8 appear impressively prescient given its recent aggressive behavior. Either of these two organizations might have given us a multi-lateral platform from which to exert diplomatic pressure as opposed to the UNSC in which Russia has veto power or the continually ineffectual EU. McCain may not be the hip candidate, but he does come out looking like the informed one.

Our handling of Georgia is an important test for the United States. Putin is likely to be sublimely unconcerned with international opinion, and Russia's natural gas and petroleum reserves make economic sanctions an empty threat. However, a limp response by the US risks emboldening Russia to expand its ambitions to other former Soviet Republics and eastern European satellites meanwhile encouraging any wanna-be's like Venezuela and Iran to make power and territory grabs of their own. Recent history is full of examples where the appeasement of dictatorial ambitions only allows conflicts to fester precipitates a broader crisis.

Almost 3AM

Remember this campaign add?

Clinton was ridiculed for it during the Democratic primaries, but maybe she had a good point. Okay, okay, so Russia invading a tiny, democratic, potential NATO member is not quite a 3AM moment; it’s more of a stop over on the way to your Hawaiian summer vacation moment. However, it is illuminating to compare and contrast the reactions of Obama and McCain.

Obama – 8/08/08, Sacramento, CA:

I am extremely concerned about what is happening there. I whole-heartedly condemn the violation of Georgia’s sovereignty. I think it is important at this point for all sides to show restraint to stop this armed conflict. Georgia’s territorial integrity needs to be preserved and now is the time for direct talks between the various parties on behalf of stability. So, I think it’s very important for the US to work with the UN Security Council and others in the international community to make sure we are beginning to bring this conflict to a close.

This is a volatile situation. Obviously, we are getting updated on a regular basis, but what is clear is that Russia has invaded Georgia’s sovereign [sic], encroached on Georgia’s sovereignty, and it is important to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.

McCain – 8/08/08, Des Moines, IA:

Today, news reports indicate that Russian military forces crossed an internationally recognized border into the sovereign territory of Georgia. Russia should immediately and unconditionally withdraw all forces from sovereign foreign territory. What is most critical now is to avoid further confrontation between Russian and Georgian forces.

The consequences of Euro-Atlantic stability are grave. The government of Georgia has called for a cease fire and for a resumption of direct talks on south Ossetia with international mediators. The US should immediately convene an emergency session of the UN Security Council to call on Russia to reverse course. The US should immediately work with the EU and the OSCE to put diplomatic pressure on Russia to reverse this perilous course that it has chosen.

Obama’s first response to news of an international conflagration is to catalogue his feelings on the issue. He is “extremely concerned,” and he “whole-heartedly condemns the situation.” Of course Obama is concerned about the situation; it threatens to reveal how dangerously weak in foreign policy Obama really is. Contrast Obama’s touchy-feely platitudes with McCain’s clear and concise enumeration of the facts. McCain’s statement includes specifics on both the military situation, “Russian military forces crossed an internationally recognized border into the sovereign territory of Georgia” and the diplomatic situation “The government of Georgia has called for a cease fire and for a resumption of direct talks on south Ossetia with international mediators.”

The best situational analysis Obama can offer is to blame Georgia for being the victim of Russia’s aggression, “I think it is important at this point for all sides to show restraint,” yet somehow, “Georgia’s territorial integrity needs to be preserved.” At least Obama seems to be aware that there is in fact an armed conflict in progress. Without a sound grasp of the basic facts on the ground, Obama is left to sputter about, “direct talks between the various parties on behalf of stability” without being able to describe who exactly should be talking and what the ultimate goal of these talks actually is. McCain, on the other hand, recognizes that we must speak with the UNSC, the EU, and the OSCE and that a successful outcome of the talks requires that “Russia should immediately and unconditionally withdraw all forces from sovereign foreign territory.”

Obama’s entire statement is maddeningly vague; however, he does offer this bit of reassurance, “obviously, we are getting updated on a regular basis.” You’ve gotta love the use of the royal “we.” Russia and Georgia could be replaced in his remarks with any other antagonistic pair of countries -- China and Taiwan or Iran and Isreal, for example. Obama’s delivery is timid; clearly, he is more concerned with making a statement that will damage his poll numbers and razor thin lead than any number of Russian tanks bearing down on the civilian population of a staunch ally.

The MSM narrative, that Democrats would have you believe, is that Obama is eloquent while McCain is senile, but Obama trips over all 300 of his foreign policy advisors and his own tongue on the way to delivering a rambling and vacuous non-statement. In the coming four years, the US will face numerous geo-political challenges, but the greatest threat to our country is a president who becomes befuddled and frightened when required to form a single coherent opinion on a developing crisis.

Hat tip: Daddy-O

Update -- VDH: Moscow’s Sinister Brilliance
VDH gives a good (albeit depressing) overview of how the Georgia/Russia conflict fits into the larger picture.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Just FYI: You're a racist

The Color-Coded Campaign
Why isn’t Obama doing better in the polls? The answer no one wants to hear
by John Heilemann

C'mon admit it. You're not voting for Obama because you're a racist. The fact that his domestic policies reek of Karl Marx and his foreign policies sound like something Neville Chamberlain would come up with has nothing to do with it. You are just a rascally racist!

I knew the left would try this angle; I just never imagined the whining would start this early.


The desire to ignore the elephant in the room is easy to understand, but Obama will not have that luxury. With the Jeremiah Wright fiasco, Obama was stripped of his post-racial image, transformed in the eyes of many whites from a candidate who happened to be black into a black candidate. And now he faces a Republican machine intent on blackening him further still. Add to that his exotic background (Kenyan father, Indonesian upbringing), his middle name, his urbanity and intellectualism, and the scale of the challenge ahead for him comes into sharp relief. Whereas Reagan was an otherwise familiar archetype who needed to convince America that he was neither senile nor crazy, Obama has to make the country comfortable with the most unusual profile of any person ever to come within spitting distance of occupying the White House—while at the same time preventing the election from becoming a race consumed by race.

I do happen to own a color television; I was able to discern Barack Obama's race for myself before the Jeremiah Wright scandal, thank you very much. Somehow, Heilemann manages to miss the fact that what America objected to about Wright had absolutely nothing to do with race but can be summed up with Wright's emphatic, "God Damn America" from the pulpit. Heilemann also conveniently omits two other Obama associates from his analysis -- William Ayers and Beradine Dohrn. Furthermore, it wasn't Reagan's "familiar archetype" that won him the presidency twice. It was his policies (oh yeah, and the fact that he managed not to make friends with anyone who happily admits to bombing the Pentagon). If Obama imitated Reagan's policies, he would win in a landslide. Instead, Obama takes a page from Jimmy Carter and proposes windfall profits taxes on eeeeevil oil companies. If Barack Obama were preaching smaller government, smaller taxes, and a coherent foreign policy, I would donate my next paycheck to his campaign and skip merrily to the polls in November to vote for him.


Would it really seem strange from that vantage point if the first black major-party nominee—a guy with a thin résumé, no foreign-policy credentials in an era scarred by terrorism, a background alien to much of Wonder Bread America, and the full name Barack Hussein Obama—lost? No, it would seem inevitable. That Obama has convinced us that the opposite outcome is even possible is testament to his many gifts. The next three months will show whether they include a talent that would serve him very well in the Oval Office: the ability to conduct a necessary, indeed vital, conversation that no one really wants to have. [Empahsis added]

"Wonder Bread America" For real? Did someone really write that phrase while lecturing others on their supposed racial intolerance? The cognitive dissonance makes my head hurt. We keep hearing about how Obama will lead us all in this "necessary, indeed vital, conversation that no one really wants to have." where in people like John Heilemann imagine all us crackers would confess our burning racist hatred and promise to vote Democratic to atone for our sins.

Obama may indeed lead us in a conversation about race, but the real topic might not be the ills of "Wonder Bread America." Instead, it might about how the racial paranoia of people like John Heilemann and Jeremiah Wright harms the noble cause of racial equality. Baselessly flinging the epithet "racist" is the equivalent of any other racist slur. It not only maligns an innocent party, but it weakens the meaning of the word and erodes our ability to identify true instances of racism.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Eroding Free Speech: Part 2

Update: It is already happening in the US. Will the intimidation tactics silence our writers, artists, and average citizens?

You Still Can't Write About Muhammad


Random House kills a book about Muhammad

K2 Tragedy

K2 is the second tallest mountain in the world, but it is regarded by many experienced mountaineers as the most difficult. It is part of the Karakoram range in the Himalayas along the Pakistan-China border.

Five climbers are thought to have perished along the infamous section known as the Bottleneck. As with other Himalayan climbing tragedies in recent years, crowding on the mountain played a part in the high number of casualties. 22 climbers started out to make the summit. It is reported that as they made their way back down, a serac overhanging the Bottleneck collapsed, instantly killing 3 climbers attempting the traverse and sweeping away fixed ropes across the treacherous section. 9 climbers who had not made the traverse were trapped above 8000 meters in a region of elevation known as the "Death Zone." Initially all 11 were thought to be dead. However, Pakistani helicopters rescued 2 Dutch climbers, and 2 Austrian climbers were able to down climb and find camp III. The remaining missing mountaineers are assumed to have perished while attempting the traverse without fixed ropes or to have become lost on the mountain attempting to find camp.

Commentary by Ed Viesturs and additional links:

bitsy [heart] UK news

British papers really are so much better than ours. From the UK mailonline science and technology section:

Why beaming messages to aliens in space could destroy our planet

Also Creepy

So the racism thing didn't stick. Accusing McCain of using phallic symbols in his adds didn't work either. Hmmm...Let's try a different angle. I know:

An Anti-Christ Obama in McCain Add?,8599,1830590,00.html?xid=rss-topstories

Wait a minute, I'm confused. I thought Karl Rove was Satan.

First off, after 8 years of comparing President Bush to Adolf Hitler, Guantanamo to Auschwitz, US troops to concentration camp guards, and conservative bloggers to brownshirts, is the left seriously going to whine about Obama being compared to the anti-Christ? The McCain add, "The One," strings together absurdly narcissistic quotes from Obama and uses Obama's own words to make him look foolish; sounds like clever campaigning to me.

Second, so Democrats nominated a candidate that reminds bible beaters of the anti-Christ, how exactly is that McCain's fault? Obama's own campaign intentionally built the cult of personality around Obama -- the face posters, mass rallies, chanting, idiotic sloganeering, large crowds of adoring Germans. I wouldn't call him the anti-Christ; personally, he reminds me more of Lenin sans the goatee. However, the point is, to quite a few people, Obama's campaign is starting to look a little creepy. Actually, it's really creepy.

Okay, now that's just creepy

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Creeping Fascism, Eroding Free Speech

One tends to think of Canada as an easy going, freedom loving place, but you may have to reconsider. In a case that can only be described as Kafka-esque, the publisher of a conservative, Canadian magazine, Ezra Levant of the Western Standard, was hauled before the Canadian Human Rights Commission -- an unelected bureaucracy, not bound by any rules of the criminal justice system -- and charged with "illegal discrimination" for offending the prophet Mohamed by re-publishing the Danish Mohamed cartoons. At Canadian taxpayers expense and at no cost to the radical groups filing the actions, Levant has been dragged through 3 years of legal harassment. He was finally acquitted by the CHRC, but not without the pervasive chilling effect on free speech -- the ultimate intent of his oppressors.

Here is Levant's word on the ordeal:
How I beat the Fatwa and Lost My Freedom

If it can happen in Canada, it can happen in the US.


For the last 8 years, we've heard all heard a bunch of Bushisms:

"I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family." —Greater Nashua,
N.H., Jan. 27, 2000

"Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country." —Poplar Bluff, Mo., Sept. 6, 2004

"They misunderestimated me." —Bentonville, Ark., Nov. 6, 2000
They are pretty funny; Democrats and Republicans alike have all had a good laugh. Bushisms mostly result from transposing words or mangling a phrase. They make Bush look doofy, but besides being good for a laugh, they are pretty irrelevant.

However, contrast the Bushisms to the weirdly condescending and pessimistic stuff that comes out of Obama's mouth when he speaks off the cuff. The most famous Obama-ism is the bitter, clingy, voter:

They [small town voters] get bitter and cling to guns or religion or to antipathy toward people that aren’t like them.

On foreign languages, he opines:

You need to …um… make sure your child can speak Spanish! [Applause] You should be thinking how can your child become bilingual. We should have every child speaking more than one language. You know, it’s embarrassing. Uhm… err… um… It’s embarrassing when… uh… Europeans come over here. They all speak English; they speak French; they speak German, and then we go over to Europe, [laughter from crowd] and, uh… er… uh… alls we can say is ‘merci beaucoup.’ [laughter, applause]

They just keep coming. Most recently, when asked by a 7 year old girl why he wanted to become president he responded:

America is…is no longer…uh… what it could be, what it once was. And I say to myself, I don’t want that future for my children.

George Bush wanted to "put food on your family." Barack Obama is embarrassed by your family and doesn’t want your kids around his.

Truth Commisions

Laying the groundwork for a future Ministry of Truth?

More on Electricity

So where does electricity for those plug in hybrids come from? gives us this nice graph of sources of electricity for 2006. One thing that immediately jumps out at me is that carbon based fossil fuels currently account for 70.5% of energy generation. I'm confused, why were we going to start plugging in our cars again?

If you can't make out the numbers on the graph here is the larger version:

If we are truly concerned about foreign oil, fossil fuels and CO2 emissions (I'm not, actually; I am a global warming heretic, but that's a blog for another day. However, for the sake of argument I will go along with it in this entry.) then the next most abundant source of energy is clearly nuclear power. Unlike wind and solar, it is a continuous, reliable source for the whole country. Uranium is not renewable, but it is recyclable. Domestic supplies combined with reprocessing spent rods would greatly enhance our production capabilities. Reprocessing spent rods greatly reduces the need to store spent rods, and as pointed out in this commentary by Investor's Business Daily, we have a good track record of nuclear safety in this country. Many of the US Navy's ships and submarines are safely powered by nuclear technology:

Praying for the sun to come out and power you plug in hybrid is not really a good plan. However, building clean, reliable nuclear power plants for those plug in cars does make sense.

Nuclear fission is a natural phenomenon. The Oklo Nuclear Reactors are a natural geological formation located in Gabon in west Africa. A combination of uranium, percolating water, sandstone, and granite have allowed nuclear fission reactions to carry on intermittently for 1.7 million years. Furthermore, the radioactive waste has been safely and naturally contained at the site for the full 1.7 million years!

More reading:

Barack on Energy: Rolling blackouts = good

Did he really just say that? Yep. He sure did. The oil section of Dear Leader's energy policy was so absurd, I almost didn't catch the wackiness with the electricity!

Part of his solution to foreign oil dependency is plug in hybrids. He wants 1 million 150mpg gallon plug in hybrids. Simultaneously, he will reduce demand for electricity by 15%. If you think that is sketchy logic then read this; I promise it's good for a laugh:

The state of California has implemented such a successful efficiency strategy that while electricity consumption grew 60% in this country over the last three decades, it didn't grow at all in California.

There is no reason America can't do the same thing.

HAAAA hahahhaaa hah *giggle* *snort*

I guess that no one told Our Dear Leader about the rolling blackouts in California. California didn't grow their energy consumption because there wasn't enough electricity! Also note, that they didn't grow their energy consumption; Barack wants us to cut ours by 15%.

Who was governor of California during that period, anyway? Gray Davis, a democrat! FYI, team Obama, Californians got so pissed they held a special referendum to give Davis the boot; that's how Arnold got into office. So far, Obama is channeling energy policies of Jimmy Carter and Gray Davis. Brilliant! Give the man a Guinness. In a rare flash of modesty, Obama admits:

I will not pretend the goals I laid out today aren't ambitious. They are. I will not pretend we can achieve them without cost, or without sacrifice, or without the contribution of almost every American citizen.

Obama's energy plan for America: gasoline shortages and rolling blackouts. Awesome.

Update --
Good news! Rolling blackouts aren't so bad. They don't last for very long, and you'll even be notified in advance. If you live near a hospital, your power might not even go out at all! C'mon people; do it for the polar bears. They're cute.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Obama Energy Plan: Redbull Gives you Wings!

This week is all about energy. Speaking in Lansing MI on 08/08/2008, Obama delivered his New Energy for America speech. The transcript is available here:

In what is becoming his characteristic style, Obama serves up several Really Bad Ideas, layered inbetween fluffy wish-facts and surrounded in a candy coating of sugary language. It's pure junk food for the American soul.

After chanting the magic mantra, biofuels, solar power, wind, he drops one of the anti-energy left's favorite wish facts: "[offshore drilling] won't make a dent in current gas prices." Uh, yeah Barack, it will. Even Paris Hilton gets it (see her campaign commercial). It's undergraduate level economics. Currently the price of oil is sky high because future supply is not expected to meet future demand; therefore, when supply is short and demand is high then price is high. Suppose you know you have a 1000 barrels of oil in your backyard. It doesn't cost you anything to 'store' that oil underground until you are ready to sell it. If you know the price of oil is going to be sky high 10yrs from now, you'll keep that oil in your back yard to sell at the future high price. However, if you know that the future supply of oil is going to increase to keep pace with future demand and your oil won't be worth that much more in the future than it is right now, you will pump your oil now and put the cash somewhere else where it can earn interest. Thus, the US announcing that it will contribute to the supply in the future means lower prices in the future thereby increasing the current supply and lowering current prices.

That is my layman’s, hand-waving version; here is an editorial from a few weeks ago that gives a more elegant explination:
A more scholarly treatment is available here:
And if you liked all that stop by and sign their petition: Drill Here, Drill Now

Inflating our tires and investing in alternate forms of energy are good ideas, no one is arguing against them. However, they aren't sound policy on their own. Another myth Barack subscribes to:

But we should start by telling the oil companies to drill on the 68 million acres they currently have access to but haven't touched. And if they don't, we should require them to give up their leases to someone who will.

This is just plain silliness. If there is oil to be had at a profit; it’s been drilled. There may be oil on those leases that hasn’t been drilled because with current technology it wouldn’t be profitable. For those of you tempted to say ‘those greedy oil companies; they should drill even if it’s not profitable; we neeeeed that oil,’ I ask you: how would you feel if the government demanded that you go to work without being paid? You would be pissed, and rightfully so because that would be slavery. So let’s get over this notion that profit is somehow evil; it’s not.

Furthermore, there is really nothing extraordinary about oil company profits. Our Dear Leader likes to single out Exxon-Mobile for special derision, but their profit margins are not out of line with the rest of the industry. The oil industry as a whole underperforms compared to manufacturing, computers, or chemicals. However, whenever the oil companies make a profit off of you, big government makes a bigger profit:


Keep in mind those taxes come out of your pocket. At least the oil company earned their profit; they had to hire a geophysicist to explore for the oil, a guy in overalls to go drill and refine the oil, and a bunch of guys in suits to figure out how to get it to the pump. What did Congress or Barack Obama do to deserve a chunk of those profits?

While we are on the topic of evil profits; let’s talk about the windfall profits tax that Barack just loves to throw around. This one of Our Dear Leader’s trademark Really Bad Ideas. Jimmy Carter tried it in the 1970’s and proved it was a Really Bad Idea. Barack is going to try it again, just to make sure. Obama supporter, investor, and billionaire, Warren Buffet, had this to say about the tax:

With copper at $3.60 a pound, you could say that the copper producers are getting a windfall. The networks are getting a windfall because of the Olympics. So, I don’t think that picking anybody that’s had a commodity that’s increased in price a lot and saying that there’s a special tax because of that makes any sense. (06/25/08 on CNBC with Becky Quick)

Even Barack’s supporters admit that his tax policy is arbitrary and nonsensical. Note that the definition of extortion given by the Random House Unabridged Dictionary is:

2. Law. the crime of obtaining money or some other thing of value by the abuse of one's office or authority.
Once again, the WSJ has a concise editorial that sums it up:

They conclude:

The point is that what constitutes an abnormal profit is entirely arbitrary. It is in the eye of the political beholder, who is usually looking to soak some unpopular business. In other words, a windfall is nothing more than a profit earned by a business that some politician dislikes. And a tax on that profit is merely a form of politically motivated expropriation.

It's what politicians do in Venezuela, not in a free country.

Gossip Time!

Former ska diva gone full blown pop star, Gwen Steffani, is so preggo she's about to pop:

Just for good old times' sake, here's a great vid from 1995:

*Sigh* I look forward to getting my abs back after my baby pops!

And the winner is...

Paris Hilton!

McCain and Obama traded barbs through campaign adds last week. Who would have thought that Paris Hilton would score the knockout punch? You know, her energy policy isn't half bad; if we are going to be forced to choose between the lesser of three evils anyway...

"I'll see you at the debates, bitches."

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Pertinent Question

In The Know: Are We Giving The Robots That Run Our Society Too Much Power?

The president was just speaking to its 'destroy all humans' base.

This isn't a flip-flop. It's a sex-change operation.

Over at the WSJ, Daniel Henninger asks a good question:

Is John McCain Stupid?

McCain refuses to rule out raising payroll taxes to fix Social Security stating, "everything's on the table" -- but also claims he won't raise our taxes like Barack Obama. Confused? Me too.

Perhaps McCain intends to imply that he won't raise your taxes quite as much as Obama? Maybe he just hasn't given it much thought? A quick scan of the 'issues' page over at McCain's webpage: does not seem to yield any references to a plan so you would have to forgive a voter for wondering if he's really thought about it very much. Seeing as "experience" is supposed to be the ace up McCain's sleeve these non-answers on Social Security seem pretty amateurish.

McCain's responses to the question given in Henninger's column indicates an unhealthy obsession with compromise. Compromise can sometimes be a virtue, but there are times when it just doesn't make sense. A personal anecdote: My first semester in college, I went with a potluck roommate in the dorm. At first, the girl I ended up rooming with was a ton of fun to party with. However, a few weeks into the semester, it turns out that she was Bi-polar and preferred self medicating with cocaine and random pills over taking her prescribed medication. Needless to say, things deteriorated pretty rapidly. At one point, she even begged me to drive her to the emergency room because she was experiencing heart palpitations and trouble breathing. She mysteriously returned to our room a few hours later, but refused to discuss what happened. I went to the floor monitor repeatedly for assistance, her solution was that we needed "mediation" and that there must be "some kind of compromise." She never seemed to appreciate that there was no reasonable compromise to be had when the issue is mental illness or a drug problem.

When it comes to taxes, the current Democratic leadership is like a manic college freshman on coke -- they can't get high enough. Compromise, in this case, pretty much means that you have to buy into the insanity of a self-destructive tax and spend cycle. The end result is that our economy collapses on the floor with heart palpitations. But now I am obviously pushing the metaphor too far because there won't be anyone to drive the economy to the emergency room. Furthermore, if Obama has succeeded in imposing his spiffy new socialized medicine plan on the country by that point, the economy will be lucky if it gets in to see a doctor before next month. Okay, okay, I'm digressing. Anyway, McCain needs to show Independents that he can reach across the aisle, but in this case, it doesn't make sense. Obama has already locked up the votes of everyone who thinks that giving more money to the government solves anything. If McCain intends to stand a chance in November, he needs provide proactive solutions to problems like Social Security that don't involve hiking our taxes.

A little bit of sci fi

The Nine Billion Names of God
by Arthur Clarke

This is a thought provoking short story about the intersection between spirituality and technology. Clarke's most famous novel is 2001: A Space Odessey.