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Topic: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces (Read 418917 times)
Idiots Everywhere in America, I
Reply #650 on:
August 19, 2009, 06:17:31 PM »
This screed is reminiscent of one of my favorite cynics, H. L. Menken. I've not encountered this source before, can't find a succinct position statement anywhere on the site, and so fear it will turn out to be some LaRouchie or Moonie haven. Good invective is good invective so I post this anyway in all it's curmudgeonly glory. Please note, one table did not reproduce here; check the site to see it.
by James Quinn
August 14, 2009
According to the CDC, 66% of adults over the age of 20 are overweight or obese. That is approximately 140 million adults. Somewhere between 15 and 20 million Americans can be classified as alcoholics. As many as 50% of those on welfare are alcoholics. There are 225 million people over 18 years old and 32 million of them do not have a high school degree. There are 32 million adults or 14% who are illiterate (23% in California, 22% in New York, 20% in Florida, 17% in New Jersey). The United States’ spending per pupil in public schools at $9,266 is in the top 5 in the world. New York and New Jersey spend $14,000 per pupil and one-fifth of their adults are illiterate.
Forrest Gump, when asked “Are you stupid or something”, responded “Stupid is as stupid does”. A person’s appearance does not prove they are stupid. It is their deeds and actions which prove whether they are stupid or not. The terms stupid and idiot are not politically correct in today’s America. Intellectually challenged, IQ disadvantaged, aptitude deficient, brain power wanting, and acumen poor might satisfy the PC police. Let’s take a look at their definitions according to Webster’s Dictionary and assess whether they might apply to anyone in the increasingly socialized United States of today.
Stupid - slow of mind; given to unintelligent decisions or acts; acting in an unintelligent or careless manner; lacking intelligence or reason; lacking in power to absorb ideas or impressions; implies a slow-witted or dazed state of mind that may be either congenital or temporary.
Idiot - a foolish or senseless person; a person of subnormal intelligence; a person lacking intelligence or common sense.
Besides describing George W. Bush, these definitions sadly describe millions of Americans. As a wise person I know likes to say, “It is a sad state of affairs”. Our citizens have failed to heed the wise words of our Founding Fathers:
“Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.”
“Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”
“Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army.”
The American people’s ignorance, stupidity, and disinterest in the governance of this nation have allowed an oligopoly of politicians, bankers, and powerful corporations to seize control of the country and loot its riches for their personal gain. By failing to educate themselves, millions of ignorant Americans have lost all of their power and are now dictated to by the few with knowledge. The elite who dictate the path of our country do not want the masses to become educated. Their power would be in jeopardy. The American public school system insures the retention of their power and wealth.
“Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.”
The Ugly Numbers
Educational attainment is the single biggest determinant of lifetime income. As of 2008, 14% of Americans over 18 years old haven’t graduated high school, 31% have achieved a high school degree, 27% have earned a bachelor’s degree, and only 9% have earned an advanced degree. The median household income in the U.S. is $46,326. The median household income of Asian households is 24% higher at $57,518. The median household income of Black households is 35% lower at $30,134. Asian households have a fantastic educational achievement, with 49% of Asians achieving a bachelor’s degree or higher. Black households have a higher percentage with no high school degree (18%) than they do with a bachelor’s degree or higher (17%). Hispanic households have even more dreadful levels of educational attainment with only 12% achieving a bachelor’s degree or higher, while a full 37% of Hispanics have not graduated high school. Even though 69 million Americans have attained a high school degree, many are functionally illiterate as our public school system has just matriculated them through the system.
If you make the effort and earn a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree, the likelihood of making it into the top 10% to 20% of earners goes up dramatically. Drop out of high school and you guarantee that you will remain in the bottom 25% of earners, making less than $22,500 per year. There are approximately 111 million households in the United States. Only 5.6 million households earn more than $167,000. On the other end of the scale, there are 36.6 million households making less than $30,000. The middle is occupied by another 36.6 million households making less than $62,500. The bottom is occupied by high school graduates or dropouts. The top is occupied solely by college graduates. Those with knowledge and money are able to use their power to generate more money and consolidate that power by manipulating the ignorant poor masses. The U.S. public school system insures a continuous flow of ignorant masses.
Liberal Waste of Money
“In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.”
The United States takes in excess of $500 billion per year from its citizens through income taxes, real estate taxes, and school taxes to educate our young people in the public school system. The local and state bureaucrats along with the thousands of government officials responsible for the U.S. public education system believe that a half a trillion dollars is not nearly enough. There are 50 million students enrolled in 97,000 public schools in this country. The U.S. Department of Education spends $59 billion of your tax dollars and employs over 5,000 bureaucrats to guide our top notch world class educational system. There is no country on earth that spends close to the amount spent by the U.S. With this level of spending, we must have the smartest, best educated, most motivated students on the face of the earth.
Source: Perot Charts
Somehow, despite the billions “invested” in our children, millions graduate and can’t add or subtract. Cashiers in most retail stores would not know how to give you change from a dollar if the cash register didn’t tell them. Even then, it is often times a struggle. The Mathematics literacy of our 15 year olds is well below the world average and 10% to 15% below the leading Asian countries. We did beat Russia, Italy and Mexico. Any cost benefit analysis of what we spend versus what we get would conclude that our educational system is a complete disaster. It should be clear even to a high school dropout that our government bureaucrats haven’t spent our tax money efficiently or effectively. Our public schools are either not teaching the right things or not using the right techniques.
Source: Perot Charts
The liberals who are clamoring for more money and more government control of education have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that their methods have failed. According to the U.S. Dept. of Education the per pupil spending in 2005 was $9,266, up 128% since 1971. This means that from the time a child enters 1st grade until he/she graduates from high school (if they graduate), it costs taxpayers $111,000. You would think that with that investment, more than 33% of high school graduates would go to college. A study of public school students from 1991 to 2002 by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research generated disturbing results:
The national high school graduation rate for all public school students remained flat over the last decade, going from 72% in 1991 to 71% in 2002.
Nationally, the percentage of all students who left high school with the skills and qualifications necessary to attend college was 34% in 2002.
The states with the lowest graduation rate in the nation were South Carolina (53%), followed by Georgia (56%), Tennessee (57%), and Alabama (58%).
In the class of 2002, about 78% of white students graduated from high school with a regular diploma, compared to 56% of African-American students and 52% of Hispanic students.
About 40% of white students, 23% of African-American students, and 20% of Hispanic students who started public high school graduated college-ready in 2002.
The bureaucrats that allocate the billions in education spending have decided to concentrate on special education, education for the disadvantaged, and closing the “achievement gap” between white students and minority students. The results of these efforts have been dreadful. The facts are:
In 2007, the federal government spent $71.7 billion on elementary and secondary education programs. These funds were spent by 13 federal departments and multi ple agencies. The Department of Education spent $39.2 billion on K–12 education. The largest programs in the Department of Education's elementary and sec ondary budget were "Education for the disadvantaged" ($14.8 billion) and "Special education" ($11.5 billion).
While spending per pupil has more than doubled, reading scores have remained relatively flat.
The achievement gap persists, with black and Hispanic children still lagging behind their white peers despite decades of federal aid targeted at equalizing opportunities for all students. Similarly, in 2005–2006, the national high school graduation rate for white students (80.6 percent) remained significantly higher than the graduation rates of black students (59.1 percent) and Hispanic students (61.4 percent).
In many cities, spending per stu dent exceeds $10,000 per year, yet graduation rates are below 50%. In Detroit, per-student spending is $11,100 per year, yet only 25% of Detroit's students are graduating from high school.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, only 52% of public education expenditures are spent on instruction. This percentage has been slowly decreasing over recent decades.
Instead of encouraging excellence in our most gifted children, government bureaucrats spend billions experimenting with the latest educational fads and trying to make sure all students are treated equal. This socialist teaching methodology has accomplished mass mediocrity. The devastating combination of mediocre teaching methods, weak curriculum, disinterested or non-existent parental involvement, lazy unmotivated pupils, and greedy self serving teachers’ unions has led to the poor excuse for a public education system.
More Perfect Union
“I don’t represent the children. I represent the teachers.”
Al Shanker, former president of the American Federation of Teachers
One of the major reasons for poor academic result is non-caring tenured teachers, protected by powerful teachers’ unions. We could use teachers who cared as much as Mr. Hand. It has been 28 years since I was in high school. I had mostly mediocre teachers, but two teachers left a permanent impression on me. Charlie McLaughlin’s and Thomas McGrath’s enthusiasm for learning, knowledge of the subject matter, and concern for the students generated a passion for learning in me. Being inspired by a teacher is what every student needs to get to the next level.
The average salary of public school teachers is approximately $53,000. The average salary of public school teachers in California leads the nation at $65,000. This gives the term pay for performance a new meaning. A full 32% of all public school students in California don’t graduate high school. The California public school system doesn’t even prepare the average student well enough to read a newspaper or fill out an employment application at McDonalds. Based on information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following facts can be gleaned:
The average public school teacher was paid 36% more per hour than the average non-sales white-collar worker and 11% more than the average professional specialty and technical worker.
Full-time public school teachers work on average 36.5 hours per week during weeks that they are working. By comparison, white-collar workers (excluding sales) work 39.4 hours, and professional specialty and technical workers work 39.0 hours per week. Private school teachers work 38.3 hours per week.
Compared with public school teachers, editors and reporters earn 24% less; architects, 11% less; psychologists, 9% less; chemists, 5% less; mechanical engineers, 6% less; and economists, 1% less.
Public school teachers are paid 61% more per hour than private school teachers, on average nationwide.
The Detroit metropolitan area has the highest average public school teacher pay among metropolitan areas for which data are available, at $47.28 per hour, followed by the San Francisco metropolitan area at $46.70 per hour, and the New York metropolitan area at $45.79 per hour.
Idiots Everywhere in America, II
Reply #651 on:
August 19, 2009, 06:17:50 PM »
With the highest average salary per teacher, Detroit must be turning out the best and brightest. Does a 75% high school dropout rate merit the highest salaries in the country? The district has 15,000 workers, an annual budget of $1.2 billion, and only graduates 25% of the 94,000 students it matriculates through its horrific system. Well done. I’m sure they will get big union negotiated raises this year. There is absolutely no evidence that average teacher pay is related to high school graduation rates. Due to their strong teachers’ unions, salaries, benefits and tenure are fought for, while the interests of the students are disregarded.
“A lot of people who have been hired as teachers are basically not competent.”
Al Shanker, former president of the American Federation of Teachers
Excellent motivated teachers produce excellent motivated students. Incompetent, unmotivated, burnt out, tenured teachers produce dropouts and functionally illiterate students. Tenure allows bad teachers to stay employed for decades. It is virtually impossible to get fired. In ten years, only about 47 out of 100,000 teachers were actually terminated from New Jersey’s schools. Newark’s school district successfully fired about one out of every 3,000 tenured teachers annually. Graduation statistics indicate that Newark’s graduation rate was a fabulous 30.6%. New York City’s Chancellor has revealed that in that city, only ten out of 55,000 tenured teachers were terminated in the 2006-2007 school year. According to the New York Daily News, at any given time in New York City an average of 700 teachers are being paid not to teach (they instead report to “rubber rooms”) while the district goes through the hoops (imposed by the union contract and by law) needed to pursue discipline or termination. A city teacher in New York that ends up being fired will have spent an average of 19 months in the disciplinary process. The Daily News reported that the New York City school district spends more than $65 million annually paying teachers accused of wrongdoing, in addition to the cost of hiring substitutes.
One highly destructive feature of the typical teachers’ union contract is a system that forces principals to hire teachers who transfer from other schools within the district. Since these teachers frequently are transferring because of poor performance in their original schools, the practice is called “the dance of the lemons” or “passing the trash.” One problem related to the destructive transfer system is a hiring process that takes too long and/or starts too late, thanks in part to union contracts. Would-be teachers typically cannot be hired until senior teachers have had their pick of the vacancies, and the transfer process makes principals reluctant to post vacancies at all for fear of having a bad teacher fill it instead of a promising new hire. Anywhere from 31% to almost 60% of applicants withdrew from the hiring process, often to accept jobs with districts that made offers earlier. Applicants who withdrew from the hiring process had significantly higher undergraduate GPAs, were 40% more likely to have a degree in their teaching field, and were significantly more likely to have completed educational coursework than the teachers who ended up staying around to finally receive job offers. Another common problem with the union contract is a “bumping” policy that fills schools which are more needy (but less desirable to teach in) with greater numbers of inexperienced teachers. In its report Teaching Inequality, the Education Trust wrote:
“Children in the highest-poverty schools are assigned to novice teachers almost twice as often as children in low-poverty schools. Similarly, students in high-minority schools are assigned to novice teachers at twice the rate as students in schools without many minority students.”
The nonprofit Education Sector found in a 2007 report that nearly 19% of all public education spending in America goes towards things like seniority-based pay increases and outsized benefits -- things that don’t do much to improve teaching quality. If these provisions were done away with, the report found, $77 billion in education money would be freed up for initiatives that could actually improve learning, like paying high-performing teachers more money. Teachers unions push for contracts that effectively cripple school districts’ ability to monitor teachers for dangerous behavior. In one case, school administrators in Seattle received at least 30 warnings that a fifth grade teacher was a danger to his students. However, thanks to a union contract that forces schools to destroy most personnel records after each school year, he managed to evade punishment for nearly 20 years, until he was finally sent to prison in 2005 for having molested up to 13 girls. As an attorney for one of the victims put it, according to The Seattle Times:
“You could basically have a pedophile in your midst and not know it. How are you going to get rid of somebody if you don't know what they did in the past?”
"There is nothing which can better deserve our patronage than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness." George Washington
Whenever I read about failure, my immediate reaction is to look for examples of success. Based on the studies I’ve found, Finland finishes at or near the top of every survey in Math and Science. They must be doing something right. With the pitiful results achieved by the U.S., we should humbly examine what we can learn from the Finnish school system.
Some facts about the Finnish school system are as follows:
Pre-school begins at age 6
Comprehensive school: age 7 to 16
Upper secondary school or vocational school: 16 to 19
Pupils in Finland, age 7 to 14, spend fewest hours in school
Higher education places for 65% young people
Second-highest public spending on higher education
They don’t divide students until they reach 16 years old. Education Minister Tuula Haatainen describes their philosophy:
“There is a philosophy of inclusion underlying this system. Widening participation in education is the most effective way of finding the most talented students. It's like ice hockey. We let all the girls and boys play, not only the best ones. With this fair play, we can give everyone the same chance to practice their skills - and this also gives us the way to find the best ones."
Their methods are based on common sense, personal responsibility, financial support and strong families:
An important ingredient in Finland's high achievement in reading and writing is a strong culture of reading in the home.
Parents nurture a love of reading among children and this is supported by a network of public libraries.
In the last international education league tables, produced by the OECD, Finland's 15 year olds were judged to have the highest standards of literacy in the world.
School meals are free to all pupils, there are no university fees and students can stay in the upper secondary stage (loosely equivalent to sixth forms) for up to four years.
Finland has made a conscious effort to have highly-qualified teachers throughout the school system.
Other ideas that have worked to improve academic results include private school choice, public school choice, and charter schools. Private school choice policies like vouchers, scholarships, or education tax credits help parents to enroll their children in a private school of choice. Public school choice allows parents more opportunity to choose the best public school for their children by offering open enrollment within the public education system. Charter schools are publicly funded schools that meet certain performance standards set by the government but are otherwise free from the traditional public school system. It is amazing what happens when free market competition is created by school choice. Government bureaucrats and Teachers’ Unions despise these ideas because failure and mediocrity are penalized while success is rewarded.
In 2001, Harvard University Economics Professor Dr. Caroline Hoxby studied the effect of school choice options on the performance of public schools. She found that public schools that faced a higher degree of competition from private schools improved their performance compared to public schools that faced less competition. Many surveys and focus groups have found that parents are more satisfied with their children's learning environment when they can choose their school. That helps to explain why limited voucher programs are usually over-subscribed, with many kids ending up on long waiting lists. In 1998, the non-profit Children's Scholarship Fund offered private school scholarships to 40,000 low-income students across the country. In all, more than 1.2 million kids applied. Not exactly a vote of confidence in the public school system.
Implications of Failure
“We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.”
After spending trillions on education in the last 40 years, we have absolutely nothing to show for it. SAT scores in Reading are lower and Math scores are flat with scores in 1972. The general populace is more ignorant, less informed, less curious, and easier to manipulate than they were in 1970.
Our family has sacrificed financially to send our children to Catholic schools. Public schools spend anywhere from $8,000 to $14,000 per pupil and are able to send only 33% onto college. I pay $6,000 per year to send my oldest son to Catholic high school. Of the recent graduating class, 99% went on to college. The teachers are paid less, school spending is half as much per pupil and results are dramatically better. The combination of teachers who are competent and care, parents who are involved and care, and students who work hard and care, leads to success. The failure of public school education has vast negative implications for our society. Those with education and knowledge have pulled farther ahead of the uneducated and stupid. There are 225 million people over 18 years old and 146 million do not have a college degree. Only 20 million have a Master’s degree or better. Those who are educated make more money send their kids to private schools and continue the cycle. Ignorant teenagers who grow up to be ignorant adults, have kids who are brought up ignorant. It is extremely difficult to break this cycle.
This is a free country. No one is going to stop you from reading a book. My parents didn’t go to college, but their three kids did. All of our kids will go to college. It is expected and encouraged from the day they are born. The encouragement and involvement of two parents is more important than any other factor. The numbers speak for themselves. Asian children succeed the most because 85% of them are brought up in two parent households. White children are more successful in school because 76% of them are brought up in two parent households. Black children fail because only 38% are brought up in two parent households. The government can spend trillions more in urban public school systems and get no better results because black men have not taken personal responsibility for their children and families.
“Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.”
The dumbing down of America has allowed the intelligentsia to retain power and increase their control over the country. Lack of educational achievement doesn’t automatically mean you are easily manipulated, but it sure increases the odds. If you weren’t motivated enough to do well in school, you are unlikely to take your civic duties of voting, understanding national issues, and getting involved in your community seriously. The saddest part is that an enormous quantity of even the college educated is so intellectually lazy that they choose to trust their leaders without question. With 100 million, ignorant, non-thinking, non-questioning, and intellectually lazy zombies occupying space in this country, continued domination by a few thousand highly educated elite remains quite easy. A highly educated citizenry would endanger their power. By socializing public education, encouraging mediocrity, and not rewarding excellence, government bureaucrats insure that the masses remain ignorant and pliable. Those in power know that by keeping the ignorant masses sedated with socialist goodies like welfare, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, public housing, and easy credit, they can stay in charge. For them it is fabulous, for the country it is a disaster. Winston Churchill summed it up succinctly:
“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”
There is no area of ignorance more distressing than in the area of economics and finance. Those with superior knowledge and power are able to mislead the ignorant masses regarding the state of our economic situation because most Americans have no clue about deficits, inflation, or the printing of money out of thin air. I’m reminded of Jeff Foxworthy’s “You Know You’re a Redneck” comedy routine.
You know you are ignorant if:
You think Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Germans (Bluto)
You think the Civil War is a Guns N Roses song.
You think Inflation is what you do to tires.
You think the Federal Reserve is a brand of scotch.
You think GDP stands for Got Da Payment from the welfare office.
You think you deserve a $300,000 house when your annual income is $22,500.
You don’t know the names of the guys on the penny, nickel, dime or quarter.
You think the National Debt is a monument in Washington DC
John Adams predicted the confusion and distress that has arisen in America.
“All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise, not from defects in their Constitution or Confederation, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from the downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation.”
The question is whether we can change our course, properly educate our populace, and take this country back from the entrenched elite. There is no more important issue facing our country today.
Bio: James Quinn is a senior director of strategic planning for a major university. These articles reflect the personal views of James Quinn. They do not necessarily represent the views of his employer and are not sponsored or endorsed by his employer. He can be reached at
Re: Political Rants
Reply #652 on:
August 21, 2009, 09:23:16 AM »
I wonder if it will it be 'cars for clunkers' that ultimately brings down Obamacare and the version of selective socialism so many people were sold by the leftist political machine currently in power in this country.
Yes people responded to the 'free' offer of 4500 bucks of transfer money, pretend money that everyone knows we don't have, to stimulate the economy through a
consumer to a
business for a
Just like the efficiency of Amtrack, DMV and the Post Office and the public-private partnership that brought us the bridge collapse, a couple of things went wrong with cars for clunkers: They underestimated the demand for free money, so they tripled the budget and put up a new deadline. Not so different than the budget errors in the trillions we saw for all of our current entitlement programs, all in projected bankruptcy.
Then the government computers went down so the select few didn't see the money anyway, just sitting on a government promise. If they have to upgrade the computers, then they really underestimated the cost. What about adding permanent staff for a 2 week program? Who knows when they might want to do it again.
My biggest beef seriously is the mockery it makes of the concept of equal protection under the law. What about a consumer of a different product? What about a dealer of a different product? What about a citizen-environmentalist who did something else for the earth not covered in the bill? And what about the person who complies completely but doesn't get his application in until late Aug. or Sept. or Oct. as originally covered, passed and signed into U.S. Law?! Sorry, nothing for you.
If you believe in cash for clunkers as a worthwhile endeavor, in spite of destroying the charities that relied that business - also based on the tax code, then our omniscient bureaucrats priced it wrong. If we wanted to spend one billion until the end of October, the correct amount of the 'incentive' wasn't $4500. Maybe it was $1000 or $2167 or some other number that only a
could figure out, not congressional aide in a cubicle or a lobbyist who is paid to get it done, not to get it right.
What have we learned? The real clunker was the bureaucracy with their elitist leaders that don't know their own limits, and just like the next heart stint needed to save your life - offer expires Monday.
Last Edit: August 21, 2009, 09:31:45 AM by DougMacG
BO will drive this country into the gutter.
Reply #653 on:
August 21, 2009, 09:36:04 AM »
My arm chair opinion is that unless we all start sacrificing now this country is headed for a total collapse.
Even Buffett finally came out and said the obvious - all this spending will destroy us.
Entitlements will have to stop.
We should get the illegals to leave this country and stop allowing US employers to use them for beans on the dollar.
So some diners will close, gas stations, and consrtruction jobs.
Americans who are unemployed will have to take some of these jobs at lower rates and/or the owners will have to do the work themselves.
We need to stop giving life ling pensions to people who retire at 50 and then get other jobs.
Medicare and social security ages will have to increase to 70.
As a primary care doctor I have had to make due with less for years.
Nothing new to me.
I have had some skeptics decry that THIS IS the MO of BO.
Destroy the country so it has to be rebuilt from the bottom up - as a socialist state.
I am short of personally subscribing to this but I don't discount it altogether.
Yet the BO still has a 57% approval rating?
The only explanation for this is many still do not see any attractive alternative.
Re: Political Rants
Reply #654 on:
August 21, 2009, 09:37:44 AM »
Actually Zogby has Barry polling at 45% approval rating.
Re: Political Rants
Reply #655 on:
August 21, 2009, 09:41:39 AM »
Lets continue this conversation on the Politics thread.
Re: Political Rants
Reply #656 on:
August 21, 2009, 11:05:19 AM »
He has lived a charmed life. I have always felt Ted Kennedys, in particular believes the rules don't apply to him.
***What Ted Kennedy Wants
He's trying to change election rules—again.Article Comments (108) more in Opinion »Email Printer
Senator Ted Kennedy, who is gravely ill with brain cancer, has sent a letter to Massachusetts lawmakers requesting a change in the state law that determines how his Senate seat would be filled if it became vacant before his eighth full term ends in 2012. Current law mandates that a special election be held at least 145 days after the seat becomes available. Mr. Kennedy is concerned that such a delay could leave his fellow Democrats in the Senate one vote short of a filibuster-proof majority for months while a special election takes place.
"I therefore am writing to urge you to work together to amend the law through the normal legislative process to provide for a temporary gubernatorial appointment until the special election occurs," writes the Senator.
Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.
What Mr. Kennedy doesn't volunteer is that he orchestrated the 2004 succession law revision that now requires a special election, and for similarly partisan reasons. John Kerry, the other Senator from the state, was running for President in 2004, and Mr. Kennedy wanted the law changed so the Republican Governor at the time, Mitt Romney, could not name Mr. Kerry's replacement. "Prodded by a personal appeal from Senator Edward M. Kennedy," reported the Boston Globe in 2004, "Democratic legislative leaders have agreed to take up a stalled bill creating a special election process to replace U.S. Senator John F. Kerry if he wins the presidency." Now that the state has a Democratic Governor, Mr. Kennedy wants to revert to gubernatorial appointments.
Beacon Hill has long sported heavy Democratic majorities, so the state legislature has the votes to grant Mr. Kennedy's wish. But does it have the chutzpah? An election is the more democratic option. After witnessing recent attempts by incompetent Governors in Illinois and New York to fill Senate vacancies, Massachusetts voters may have soured on such appointments. Especially when Mr. Kennedy's motivation for changing the law is so obviously born of partisan interest, not principle.***
The Revolution Will Not Be Publicized
Reply #657 on:
August 21, 2009, 05:30:20 PM »
Back when I was a hippy who was gonna save the world I ran in Alinskyite circles where Gil Scott-Heron's poem
The Revolution Will not be Televised
was something of a street organizer's anthem. The gent posted below has updated that anthem a wee bit. I include Heron's original at the end so those who are unacquainted with it can get its flavor.
The Revolution Has Not Been Publicized (a poem)
(With apologies to Gil Scott-Heron)
You may as well stay home, brother.
You might as well just power down, order in, and shut it out.
You might as well just call up your kids, show off some pictures,
and attend church regularly on Sundays,
because the revolution has not been publicized.
The revolution has not been publicized.
The revolution was not waiting in your inbox
with a cute little subject line to catch your attention.
The revolution was not spelled out for you in three
easily-digestible sound-bites voiced over an apropos video
of the President getting off Air Force One.
The revolution has not been publicized.
The revolution was not immortalized in stories
of effete liberals sucking out your children's brains
bit by bit every time you sent them off to school.
The revolution did not suddenly announce itself
as it slithered through the flickering screen in your
darkened living room and crawled inside your head,
because the revolution was never publicized, brother.
There was no shouting in the streets that could be heard
above the almost silent drone of the machine as it snipped
away-the almost silent drone of the machine as it snipped
away-the rest of what was left of Madison's great idea.
The revolution has not been publicized.
There were no pictures of thirty million bureaucrats
snuffing out the fire of liberty one entrepreneurial spark at a time.
There were no pictures of forty million bureaucrats
marching out of the yawning pit to extract minutes and seconds
and years from what will be left of your life when you get done
standing at the window.
There were no pictures of fifty million bureaucrats
wagging their fingers in your face and showing you
the back of the line-the wrong line, as it turned out.
There were no videos on YouTube showing your kids'
noses pressed to the window waiting for you to come home.
ACORN, MoveOn, and the ACLU did not
particularly mind if you saw them coming.
In fact, they would have liked a little recognition now
and then for their role in bringing down the juggernaut
of Judeo-Christian constitutional republicanism.
But the revolution has not been publicized.
NBC, NPR, NYT, and the rest of the acronyms
did not openly self-congratulate on their sublime indifference
to difficult facts or for their daring,
prophylactic cultivation of ignorance, envy, and greed.
The revolution did not announce its consummation on the lips of Andrea Mitchell,
Chris Matthews, Larry King, or Keith Olbermann.
The revolution has not been publicized.
The revolution did not leave a sticky note on your wallet
warning you that at 12:05 p.m. on the twentieth day of January
it would take possession of the empty relic that was
left to you after your parents and your grandparents
and your great-grandparents tore it open and gorged on its contents.
The revolution did not stick in your throat on its way to your belly.
The revolution did not cause vomiting or obvious weight-gain.
The revolution is not reversible by liposuction.
The revolution has not been publicized, has not been publicized,
has not been publicized, has not been publicized.
The revolution will not be scaled back in the next election, brothers;
The revolution is complete.
Bill Whittle on the PC Narrative
Reply #658 on:
August 25, 2009, 11:56:21 AM »
An interesting rant by Bill Whittle, former writer of the Eject, Eject, Eject blog IIRC:
Re: Political Rants
Reply #659 on:
August 25, 2009, 11:41:08 PM »
WOW doesn't cover it! Thanks BbG!
The Government can
Reply #660 on:
September 01, 2009, 09:56:50 AM »
Reply #661 on:
September 02, 2009, 07:39:10 PM »
I cringe every time I encounter something Pat Buchanan has written; even when I agree with his opinion he makes it in such a snarky, unctuous manner, often caricaturing those he oppose to such a degree it hurts to read his rants. In this Reason piece the author does a good job of reminding us just how often Buchanan's screeds evoke sympathy for Hitler and the Nazis.
Buchanan: Everything You Know About Hitler's Foreign Policy is Wrong
Michael C. Moynihan | September 2, 2009, 6:19pm
Back in 1996, George Will wrote a column in Newsweek attacking Pat Buchanan's peculiar brand of conservatism; one that replaced the sunniness of Reaganism with a "snarl of resentment about people 'sitting on the corner playing bongo drums' in downtown Washington, about the economic onslaught from mighty Mexico, about the voicelessness of 'Euro-Americans' about the teaching of 'Godless evolution,' and other affronts to this 'Christian country.'" Will reminded readers of Pitchfork Pat's curious fixation on Nazi war criminals, and his revisionist view of how Jews were murdered at Treblinka:
In 1990 Buchanan, blithely misrepresenting "1,600 medical papers," ridiculed the "so-called 'Holocaust Survivor Syndrome'," which he said involves "fantasics" of martyrdom and heroics. He said that "reportedly" half the survivor testimonies on file at Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem are considered "unreliable." He did not say who reported that.
Regarding the use of diesel engine exhaust to asphyxiate Jews at the Treblinka concentration camp where 850,000 died, in 1990 Buchanan wrote: "Diesel engines do not emit enough carbon monoxide to kill anybody." How did he know? "In 1988, 97 kids trapped 400 feet underground in a Washington, D.C., tunnel while two locomotives spewed diesel exhaust into the car, emerged unharmed after 45 minutes." The source of that anecdote? "Somebody sent it to me." It had already appeared in a publication specializing in Holocaust denial.
Buchanan's eagerness to use such stuff that comes in, as it were, through his transom is telling. And as Jacob Weisberg wrote in The New Republic: "Carbon monoxide emitted by diesel engines is sufficient to asphyxiate people when they are crammed by the hundreds into thirteen-foot chambers. According to the 'Encyclopedia of the Holocaust,' suffocation at Treblinka took as much as half an hour: Buchanan's comparison only proves that the children he described had sufficient oxygen to survive whatever length of time they were trapped in the tunnel." Even though the tunnel was open at both ends, some children were made sick.
I covered much of the same territory responding to Buchanan's fact-free column on the John Demjanjuk case, in which he misunderstood the German penal code, compared a former concentration camp guard to Alfred Dreyfus, and generally made a hash of the facts surrounding the prosecution's case. And I took on Buchanan's view of the Holocaust—which he viewed as merely a consequence of a war started by Churchill—here.
And now Buchanan is back, with a column arguing that Hitler, the misunderstood Reichsfuehrer, didn't really want war, and could have been negotiated back from the brink. There is so much nonsense here that one barely knows where to begin, but here is a representative sample of Buchanan's argument:
The German-Polish war had come out of a quarrel over a town the size of Ocean City, Md., in summer. Danzig, 95 percent German, had been severed from Germany at Versailles in violation of Woodrow Wilson's principle of self-determination. Even British leaders thought Danzig should be returned. Why did Warsaw not negotiate with Berlin, which was hinting at an offer of compensatory territory in Slovakia? Because the Poles had a war guarantee from Britain that, should Germany attack, Britain and her empire would come to Poland's rescue.
Same was true of the Sudetenland, says Buchanan. These are, coincidentally, the very talking points one would find on the September 2, 1939 editorial page of the Völkischer Beobachter. And like much revisionism, such idiocy requires a significant refutation (which can be found in most any objective study of the war's origins). But let me just address a rhetorical question posed by Buchanan, and designed to convince readers that Hitler had no strategic designs on his neighbors:
But if Hitler was out to conquer the world — Britain, Africa, the Middle East, the United States, Canada, South America, India, Asia, Australia — why did he spend three years building that hugely expensive Siegfried Line to protect Germany from France?
This is pretty thin gruel, even by Buchanan's low standards of evidence. The Siegfried Line (or Westwall), a defensive structure built on Germany's western border, was by no means an indication of Germany's peaceful intentions. During the Sudeten crisis, which resulted in Czechoslovakia's incorporation into the Reich, "Hitler was hoping to prevent British intervention [by building the Westwall], and was certain the French would not act alone," writes historian Ian Kershaw. "A key deterrent, in his view, was the building of [the Westwall]...to provide a significant obstruction to any French invasion." There are piles of evidence to support this uncontroversial argument; simply, the German leadership constructed fortifications in the west in order to move on the east. As one book on the Westwall states flatly, the fortifications were "built not to protect against a French aggression per se but to deter France from attacking in support of her allies when Hitler sought to realize his territorial ambitions in the east."
And full credit to Adam Serwer at The American Prospect for his headline, "Pat Buchanan: Sotomayor? Racist. Hitler? Misunderstood."
Re: Political Rants
Reply #662 on:
September 03, 2009, 10:50:15 AM »
Buchanan was very much against deposing Saddam IIRC, and departs from most Republicans on the issue of trade as well. When he ran against sitting Pres. Bush (1) in 1992 he was very protectionist - we need to buy everything American etc. Then he drove his Mercedes to New Hampshire.
Very charismatic guy who, along with Perot, succeeded in weakening Bush which led right into the Clinton presidency. So Bush lost his 90% popularity for breaking his 'no new taxes' pledge, Buchanan was very tough on that, and then Bush lost his job to a guy committed to raising taxes much further on his first day in office. Somewhere in there I hope are lessons learned.
Reply #663 on:
September 04, 2009, 07:26:28 PM »
Another fine Bill Whittle screed:
Re: Political Rants
Reply #664 on:
September 05, 2009, 06:19:49 PM »
This is in reponse to those screwhead hollywood types and thier rediculous pledge to serve the obama.
Re: Political Rants: Klavan PJTV
Reply #665 on:
September 06, 2009, 02:49:11 PM »
I have been exploring PJTV and ran across Klavan.
Here are 2 of his vids I thought well worth watching.
"Klavan on Culture: Shut Up"
"Why Are Conservatives So Mean?"
Reply #666 on:
September 07, 2009, 11:48:28 PM »
PATRIOTS a poem
Reply #667 on:
September 14, 2009, 06:03:50 PM »
We glance about and see the signs, as memories buried deep
Begin to surface in our thoughts, and make it hard to sleep.
For once within our country there was freedom earned by blood
And full belief that freedom came from all our trust in God.
But now it is as though the story needs to be re-told.
What's that! I hear the marching feet of patriots of old!
You can't usurp a country born by those whose hearts were free
Who structured laws and government to work for you and me;
Who threw into the king's own court his yoke of tyranny
And vowed to die before they ever gave up liberty!
Those men and women's honor was the type that can't be sold!
O yes! I hear the marching feet of patriots of old!
Our country is the only one that fought for Freedom's Way.
To freely live religion and to give each man his sway;
To build and prosper honestly--not plunder nations' wealth.
And so we thrived as vigorous youth of joy and strength and health.
O! Liberty is in our veins, by God to us bestowed!
That's why I hear the marching feet of patriots of old!
Now tyranny has reared it head again within our land,
And cunning foes from many parts think vic'try is at hand.
For treason has been purchased by the best laid plans of men
From godless politicians who do not yet know their end.
O give me men of honesty, whose hearts are made of gold!
Alas! I hear the marching feet of patriots new and old!
by A. J. Forester
July 4, 2009
Permission to reprint this poem is freely given by the author. -- A. J. Forester
"9/12 Quincy, Illinois: Dana Loesch Uncut - Snake Oil Salesmen & The New Revolut
Reply #668 on:
September 15, 2009, 11:38:37 PM »
This just made me smile. She may not say much new but wow what pasion. This is how to rant!!!!
"9/12 Quincy, Illinois: Dana Loesch Uncut - Snake Oil Salesmen & The New Revolution"
A Liberal Contemplates Food Fascism
Reply #669 on:
September 23, 2009, 03:01:31 PM »
Then They Came for the Fresca
The growing ambitions of the food police.
By William Saletan
Posted Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009, at 11:23 AM ET
A nonalcoholic sequel to the Whiskey Rebellion seems to be brewing. And Slate may be joining it. I'll call it the Fresca Rebellion, in honor of our editor, David Plotz, a hard-core addict of the citrus-flavored soft drink.
For a long time, the only discernible libertarian around here was Jack Shafer, a man unable to wean himself from speech, guns, and other annoying constitutional amendments. But lately, other folks seem to be getting a bit Ayn Randy. On Saturday, Jacob Weisberg blew the whistle on New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg for trying to ban outdoor smoking in public parks ("First They Came for the Marlboros"). Yesterday, Daniel Engber went after the hypocrisy and overreaching of soda-tax advocates. And I've become such a knee-jerk defender of burgers and fries that I'm tempted to seek funding from the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
What's going on here? Most of us used to be good liberals. Are we getting conservative in our old age?
I'd say it's the opposite. We're what we were five or 10 years ago: skeptics and fact-mongers with a bias for personal freedom. It's the left that's turning conservative. Well, not conservative, but pushy. Weisberg put his finger on the underlying trend: "Because Democrats hold power at the moment, they face the greater peril of paternalistic overreaching." Today's morality cops are less interested in your bedroom than your refrigerator. They're more likely to berate you for outdoor smoking than for outdoor necking. It isn't God who hates fags. It's Michael Bloomberg.
In Engber's case, the provocation is scientific. To justify taxes on unhealthy food, the lifestyle regulators are stretching the evidence about obesity and addiction, two subjects on which Engber is burdened with contrary knowledge. Liberals like to talk about a Republican war on science, but it turns out that they're just as willing to bend facts. In wars of piety, science has no friends.
In my case, the provocation is partly scientific and partly libertarian. But mostly, it's a shift in the slippery slope. One of my basic rules is that slippery slopes run both ways. If you've never seen it, go watch that Monty Python sketch about Dennis Moore, the Robin Hood copycat who keeps stealing from the rich and giving to the poor until he realizes he's now stealing from the poor and giving to the rich. You have to notice when the balance of power and zeal has shifted from one party to the other.
Engber points out that 40 states have enacted special taxes on soda or junk food. And the soda taxers are becoming ever bolder. Their latest manifesto is an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, co-authored by the health commissioner of New York City, the surgeon general of Arkansas, and several others. It declares soda fair game for government intervention on the grounds that "market failures" in this area are causing "less-than-optimal production and consumption."
What exactly are these market failures? First, the authors argue,
because many persons do not fully appreciate the links between consumption of these beverages and health consequences, they make consumption decisions with imperfect information. These decisions are likely to be further distorted by the extensive marketing campaigns that advertise the benefits of consumption.
That's true. Some people don't realize how bad soda is for them. And I trust the soft-drink companies as far as I can throw them. So let's educate people about how much sugar they're drinking and what it's doing to them. But special taxes? To justify that, we'll need more. So let's move on to the authors' next rationale. They write that
consumers do not bear the full costs of their consumption decisions. Because of the contribution of the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages to obesity, as well as the health consequences that are independent of weight, the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages generates excess health care costs. Medical costs for overweight and obesity alone are estimated to be $147 billion—or 9.1% of U.S. health care expenditures—with half these costs paid for publicly through the Medicare and Medicaid programs. … Escalating health care costs and the rising burden of diseases related to poor diet create an urgent need for solutions, thus justifying government's right to recoup costs.
If you're trying to sink health care reform, this is a good way to do it: Show everyone how subsidized health insurance will entitle other people to regulate your eating habits. But it's worth noting that the authors base their argument on programs that already exist: Medicare and Medicaid.
I'll leave the socialism question to the rest of you. My real interest is in the authors' third basis for regulation: market failure that
results from time-inconsistent preferences (i.e., decisions that provide short-term gratification but long-term harm). This problem is exacerbated in the case of children and adolescents, who place a higher value on present satisfaction while more heavily discounting future consequences.
Wow. This isn't socialism. It's sheer paternalism. It applies even if you cover every cent of your medical expenses. You buy and drink soda because you want the "short-term gratification." Later, you regret this purchase because of its "long-term harm." This, according to the authors, is a market failure that justifies taxation to alter your behavior, totally apart from its impact on public health costs.
This is what worries me about the crackdown on death sticks and edible crap. There's no end to its ambitions. We'd better start applying some brakes.
If you think I'm overreacting, I call your attention to this paragraph in the NEJM article:
No adverse health effects of noncaloric sweeteners have been consistently demonstrated, but there are concerns that diet beverages may increase calorie consumption by justifying consumption of other caloric foods or by promoting a preference for sweet tastes. At present, we do not propose taxing beverages with noncaloric sweeteners, but we recommend close tracking of studies to determine whether taxing might be justified in the future.
I'm sitting here looking at a can of Fresca. The nutrition label says it has no calories. The ingredients label lists only aspartame as a sweetener. If studies show that drinks like this one indirectly increase calorie consumption "by promoting a preference for sweet tastes," the food police are explicitly prepared to tax them. And the crusade won't end with soda. Anything sweet is a target.
I warn you people now. You can ban the Marlboros, tax the Cokes, and zone the Whoppers. But you'll get Plotz's Fresca when you pry it from his cold, dead hands.
William Saletan is Slate's national correspondent and author of Bearing Right: How Conservatives Won the Abortion War.
Reply #670 on:
September 30, 2009, 02:46:47 PM »
In which our liberal author awakens one morning from uneasy dreams . . .
By David Kahane
I have a nightmare.
I have a nightmare that sometime before the 2010 elections, the scales will fall from your eyes and you will see us as we really are.
I have a nightmare that you will read C. S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters and realize that it is not fiction.
I have a nightmare that you will read Plunkitt of Tammany Hall and get firsthand instruction in how we steal elections.
I have a nightmare that you will read Machiavelli’s The Prince and realize that we got there way ahead of you.
I have a nightmare that you will read Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead and recognize us in the figure of Ellsworth Toohey — the “friend” who is in fact your mortal enemy.
I have a nightmare that you will read Dickens’s Bleak House and see us in the character of Mrs. Jellyby, the “telescopic philanthropist,” who lets her own family go to hell while she frets over the fate of an African tribe.
I have a nightmare that you will re-watch Saving Private Ryan and realize that Corporal Upham, the liberal stickler for process played by Jeremy Davies, saves the German prisoner’s life only to get most of his platoon killed, including Tom Hanks. And then commits the very war crime he tried to stop.
I have a nightmare that while you’re enjoying the scatological dialogue and ultra-violence of Pulp Fiction, you’ll realize that Vincent Vega, the unbeliever, dies unredeemed in Butch Coolidge’s bathroom, while Jules, who accepts the reality of miracles, grants absolution to Pumpkin and Honey Bunny and is thus saved.
I have a nightmare that you will go back and watch any B-movie made between 1933 and 1963, like Gun Crazy, and see an America that was not afraid of inanimate objects like firearms, and instead blamed the man for the crime.
I have a nightmare that some of you are old enough to recall a time when the law was an honorable profession, the Constitution was not so deconstructed that, essentially, all that is left of it is the Commerce Clause, and your doctor charged a fee for service and made house calls.
I have a nightmare that when you think of the late Ted Kennedy, resting peacefully at Arlington Cemetery, all you will be able to see is Mary Jo Kopechne, gasping for air in the Oldsmobile while the senator returned to his hotel room and went to sleep.
I have a nightmare that you will remember that Sirhan Sirhan was a Palestinian who hated Bobby Kennedy because of his support of Israel.
I have a nightmare that you’ll realize that, far from being a right-wing nut, Lee Harvey Oswald was a self-proclaimed Marxist who defected to the Soviet Union, came home with a Russian wife, agitated on behalf of Castro’s Cuba, tried to re-defect to Russia, returned to Dallas, brought his rifle to work, and killed JFK with a classic marksman’s shot group: miss, hit, kill.
I have a nightmare that you’ll remember that, in the week leading up to the murders of George Moscone and Harvey Milk, there was no right-wing “climate of hate” in San Francisco as Nancy Pelosi, aka Maerose Prizzi, would have you believe. Instead, the city was riveted by the murders of Congressman Leo Ryan and journalists Don Harris, Bob Brown, and Greg Robinson at the Port Kaituma airstrip on Nov. 18, 1978. This was followed by the “revolutionary suicides” of hundreds of Jim Jones’s radical-leftist Peoples Temple followers, most of them African American. One of the suicide notes read, “I, Marceline Jones, leave all bank accounts in my name to the Communist Party of the USSR.”
I have a nightmare that people will eventually realize that Dan White, who shot Moscone and Milk not over gay rights but over Moscone’s refusal to give him back his seat on the Board of Supervisors, was a Democrat.
I have a nightmare that one day Dianne Feinstein, a good and decent woman who not only was there but owes her entire national political career to the tragic events of Nov. 27, 1978, will straighten out Maerose Prizzi, as well as the rest of the country.
I have a nightmare that eventually you will recall that, just a few years after the events depicted in Milk, the newly liberated gay community in San Francisco was decimated by AIDS.
I have a nightmare that one day you will recognize the destructive philosophic effect on the American way of life of the “Institute for Social Research,” aka the Frankfurt School of radical neo-Marxists — Adorno, Horkheimer, Fromm, Habermas, Marcuse et al. — who, fleeing Hitler, arrived in America in 1934 and promptly affiliated with Columbia University, where they injected their notions of “critical theory” and “scientific Marxism” into the body of American academe.
I have a nightmare that one day, perhaps during another Great Awakening, the Supreme Court will overturn Murray v. Curlett, which outlawed school prayer in a lawsuit brought by Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the founder of American Atheists. In 1995, O’Hair was murdered along with her son and granddaughter by another American atheist, who chain-sawed their bodies into bits.
I have a nightmare that one day the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade, thus returning abortion to the states — although, alas, we will never get those 40 million dead souls to pay into the Social Security system.
I have a nightmare that I will still be alive when the Mother of All Ponzi Schemes finally beggars the nation, and the heroic, eco-friendly childless couples starve to death as they realize they forgot to manufacture their old-age meal tickets.
I have a nightmare that you will finally understand what the Manchurian Candidate, “mmm mmm mmm / Barack Hussein Obama,” meant by “fundamental change.”
I have a nightmare that one day Bill O’Reilly will wake up and realize that he’s letting a valuable television franchise descend into idiotic “culture warrior” and “body language” segments, and that he needs to stop hawking his books and Factor gear and remember to dance with what brung him — before the audience abandons him in favor of Glenn Beck.
I have a nightmare that we liberals won’t be able to stop Andrew Breitbart or any of the other maquis now shooting at us from every tree and from behind every rock, turning our own tactics against us, mocking us and rendering us frustrated and impotent.
I have a nightmare that W. will go on national television, rue his not naming a viable successor, castigate McCain for his disgraceful accommodationist campaign, and apologize for not fully executing the Bush Doctrine when he had the chance.
I have a nightmare that, one day soon, the New York Times will collapse into irrelevance, along with Time, Newsweek, and The New Yorker, and no one will be there to set the TV networks’ agendas, forcing you to once more think for yourself.
I have a nightmare that you will pick up a copy of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and actually read it, boring and poorly written as it is.
I have a nightmare that you will organize and rally to take back your country from the frauds, poseurs, hollow men, gangsters, communists, atheists, perverts, Daley Machine hacks, ballerinas, and Jake Lingles who have parlayed a desire for Change, a touching but absurd reliance on Hope, and a huge dollop of racial guilt into something this country has never seen before.
I have a nightmare that you will come to understand the truth of Goya’s axiom that “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters.”
I have a nightmare that Sarah Palin will get the Republican nomination for president in 2012.
I have a nightmare that she will win, scattering us like so many scuttling Gregor Samsas.
I have nightmare that . . .
Nah. Never happen. You’re too stupid.
— Like Jack Valenti during the reign of LBJ, David Kahane sleeps each night a little better, a little more confidently because His Serene Highness, Barack Hussein Obama, is his president. Don’t even think about disagreeing with him, or with any of the sentiments expressed above, at
, or by becoming his friend on Facebook, or by reading his Rules for Radical Conservatives, out from Ballantine Books next summer.
National Review Online -
As the spin turns or churns
Reply #671 on:
October 05, 2009, 10:39:02 AM »
Well this is easy to respond to. The Republicans are rooting for America. We are responding to a President who travels around the world apologizing for this country. Instead of being our advocate he has been agreeing with those who are our adversaries and enemies about how evil we are.
So naturally we are rooting for this President to fail. Just like the liberals did when Bush was President.
"Moulitsas was more blunt. “So when did wingnuts start cheering against America? Their unbridled joy at losing out to Brazil is a bit unseemly, isn't it?” he asked, adding: "America, f—- yeah!" has become "F—- America, Yeah!"
Oh really?? Hasn't "F---America" been the mantra of the liberal left for decades now??
So now their radical left guy frontman is in office they are ardent patriots?? As usual if it wasn't so sad it would be funny.
My head spins with all the spin.
*****Dems: GOP rooting against America
Glenn Thrush Glenn Thrush – Mon Oct 5, 5:48 am ET
During the Bush era, Republicans from Karl Rove to Joe Wilson questioned — in ways both veiled and overt — the patriotism of Democrats who challenged the administration’s Iraq policy, pre-war intelligence and surveillance programs.
But the joyous reaction in some GOP quarters to the International Olympics Committee's snub of Chicago — coupled with the party’s rapid-fire reaction to bad economic data – has some Democrats turning the tables and asking if Republicans are the ones cheering against America now.
Many Democrats saw the outbursts following the IOC decision – the merry Tweets, videos of cheering conservatives and chest-thumping by party leaders like Newt Gingrich — as part of larger pattern that includes the flirtation of right-wing Texans like Gov. Rick Perry with secession and the caustic tone of right-wing talk radio, embodied by Rush Limbaugh’s “I want him to fail” comment about Obama in January.
“Some of these people are starting to put politics first and country second,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, taking particular issue with Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.
“The American people are starting to wonder if they are rooting against America,” he added.
Two influential progressive spokesmen, Talking Points Memo founder Josh Marshall and Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos, hit that theme hard last week, with Marshall musing, “I wonder if right-wingers would be less stoked if Chicago were part of America.”
Moulitsas was more blunt. “So when did wingnuts start cheering against America? Their unbridled joy at losing out to Brazil is a bit unseemly, isn't it?” he asked, adding: "America, f—- yeah!" has become "F—- America, Yeah!"
Republicans say this is all nonsense, and that liberals are exaggerating the importance of reactions by a handful of hard-liners to distract attention from legitimate criticism of big-government Democratic policies.
Michael Steel, spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) — who criticized Obama’s trip to Copenhagen to lobby for the Olympics as a distraction and pounded the administration last week in the wake of a report that showed unemployment at 9.8 percent — said there are “no examples of House Republicans ‘rooting against America’ in any way, shape, or form."
Obama’s critics on the right openly ridiculed his lobbying trip to Copenhagen on behalf of his hometown as a major distraction from the country’s larger problems – and proof that he was losing “command focus.”
And the reaction to the city’s defeat was swift and, in some places, ecstatic.
A young organizer at the conservative “Defending the American Dream Summit” interrupted a panel discussion last Friday to reads the news from a BlackBerry.
A liberal tracker attending the event caught the crowd’s reaction in the Arlington, Va. hotel ballroom on video: The place erupted in hooting and wild applause, a scene perversely reminiscent of the exultation that followed the U.S. Olympic hockey team’s “Miracle on Ice” victory against the Soviets in 1980.
“[Chicago lost] on the very first vote! They did not have any chance…” the woman said to an ovation, recorded by Think Progress, an offshoot of the liberal Center for American Progress.
A blogger with the right-wing Weekly Standard reported: “Chicago loses! Chicago loses!... Cheers erupt at WEEKLY STANDARD world headquarters,” before hastily pulling down the post and replacing it with an item that omitted the newsroom reaction.
RedState's Erick Erickson ditched loftier prose and punched out the letters "Hahahahaha,” while former House Speaker Newt Gingrich combined the loss with Friday’s dreadful unemployment report to conclude "President Obama fails to get the Olympics while unemployment goes to 9.8% …America needs focused leadership," on his Twitter account.
Former Bush Press Secretary Dana Perino, who supported Chicago’s bid, shrugged off such reactions: “I… don’t know anyone who’s high-fiving,” Perino wrote in an e-mail. “Though I’d bet there are some doing that, I’m just as sure there are some who are finding a way to blame President Bush somehow. “
But other GOP insiders are worried the reaction may reinforce Democrats’ attacks, however unfair, that the party’s anti-Obama fervor is pushing them away from their self-professed patriotism.
Moments after the Chicago news broke, former Bush deputy press secretary Scott Stanzel Tweeted, "Note to GOP officials/consultants - resist temptation to pile on about Chicago losing just becuz Obama made the pitch."
Kevin Madden, who served as Mitt Romney’s spokesman in 2008, sent around Stanzel’s sentiments to friends and cautioned against a backlash.
“Republicans disagree with Obama on many policies, ranging from taxes and spending to national security,” Madden told POLITICO.
“He has a lot of really wrong ideas. But does that mean his effort to bring the Olympic games to Chicago and a chance to put America on the world’s stage should also automatically be subjected to scorn? I don’t believe it should. That’s just criticism for criticism’s sake. Reactionary criticism could even dilute any valid and legitimate criticism of his bad policies.”
Democrats are still smarting from years of GOP attacks on their own commitment to America’s safety and security, criticism that sometimes crossed the line into attacks on the party’s patriotism.
In late 2002, Rep. Joe Wilson shouted down Rep. Bob Filner, a California Democrat, who challenged Bush administration pre-war Iraq intelligence, bellowing, “This hatred of America by some people is just outrageous, and you need to get over it.”
Summing up his view of Democrats in 2005, President Bush’s top political advisor, Karl Rove, remarked that liberals are “concerned about what our enemies think of us, whether every government approves of our actions."
Rove echoed that sentiment in a March 2008 Wall Street Journal op-ed, writing, "Democrats appear to have an ideological investment in things going badly in Iraq. They seem upset and prickly when asked to comment on the progress America is making."
Boehner, talking to reporters in 2006, quipped, "I listen to my Democrat friends, and I wonder if they're more interested in protecting terrorists than in protecting the American people."
And Limbaugh, defending his “fail” comment at a conservative conference in February, asked the audience, "Did the Democrats want the war on Iraq to fail?” The crowd shouted “Yes!" and Limbaugh agreed.
The meme has carried into the Obama era, with Steve Doocy, the co-host of "Fox and Friends,” touting a video showing Obama without hand over heart during the playing of the national anthem.
“First he kicked his American flag pin to the curb,” Doocy said. “Now Barack Obama has a new round of patriotism problems.”
Democrats also point at the way the GOP has been pouncing on any scrap of economic data that shows the economy is still struggling.
Within the first 45 minutes after the Labor Department announced a worse-than-expected 263,000 jobs lost in September, POLITICO received no fewer than eight GOP press releases blasting away at Obama for failing to stem the tide of unemployment.
The office of Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) literally hit the send button at 8:30 a.m. -- the moment of the announcement.
Former Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who helped Democrats win 14 seats in the last two cycles, said the GOP risks the perception rooting against recovery.
“They are playing to their base again, which I think is a big mistake.” he said.
“Criticizing the White House for spending nearly a trillion dollars of taxpayers’ money to produce a jobless recovery is the responsibility of public officials who believe there is a better way,” responded Steel.****
The New Chum
Reply #672 on:
October 10, 2009, 08:44:10 PM »
Why I'm with Hamas and the Taliban
From: The Sunday Telegraph Sun Oct 11 00:00:00 EST 2009 Sun Oct 11 00:00:00 EST 2009
When it comes to awarding US President Barack Obama with the Nobel Peace Prize, I'm with the Taliban!
The terrorists think it stinks (Hamas does, too) and I believe he shouldn't have come within cooee of the purse.
The Nobel for Medicine is awarded on results, not to a recent medical graduate who aspires to find a cancer cure.
Nor is the prize for Literature handed to someone who has written the first paragraph of what they think will be a masterpiece.
That's how it should be, but the Nobel Peace Prize Committee doesn't live in the real world. Look at previous winners such as Yasser Arafat in 1994.
The father of modern Middle Eastern terrorism was at least engaged in peace talks (he signed the Oslo Accords) though 15 years on nothing has really changed.
Or the 2001 award to former UN boss Kofi Annan, on whose watch possibly 800,000 Rwandans were slaughtered.
North Vietnam's Le Duc Tho had the grace to refuse to share the 1973 award with Henry Kissinger, becoming the only nominee to reject the glittering prize. His scruples were genuine _ the communist North were planning their major invasion.
Obama, on the other hand, is still dithering about whether to send more troops to Afghanistan (he should), but he took the prize without a blink.
In office for less than nine months, Obama could have just moved into the White House after his January 20 inauguration, mere days before the Nobel nominations closed last February 1. What has he done, then, to deserve anything?
The chairman of the prize committee, former Norwegian PM (coincidentally the only male on board) Thorbjorn Jagland said: ``We have on many occasions given it to try and enhance what personalities were trying to do.''
When asked whether it was premature, he said: ``It could be too late to respond three years from now. It is now that we have the opportunity to respond, all of us, I hope it will help him.''
Sounds like Norway runs on the basis of handing out elephant stamps for encouragement rather than marking people on their performance.
Even the AP White House Correspondent Jennifer Loven, not known for her critical views on the Obama presidency, noted that it has actually barely begun.
"He won! For what?'' she wrote. ``Work on the President's ambitious agenda, both at home and abroad, is barely under way, much less finished.
"He has no standout moment of victory that would seem to warrant a verdict as sweeping as that issued by the Nobel committee.''
As for peace, she noted that he is currently running two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and cannot get a climate change bill through his own Congress.
If he was being graded, his scorecard would read: "Incomplete.'' The award illustrates a number of serious problems that currently exist - not only in the Peace Prize process - but globally.
The principal flaw is the readiness to accept spin over substance.
Obama has promised the world but has not delivered anything significant.
His list of ``incomplete'' projects includes the pledge to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, already slipping behind and unlikely to meet his own January, 2010 deadline.
Then there are his others: his failure to bring home US troops from Iraq; his failure to deal with the real threat of Iran developing nuclear weapons; his failure to even lay the groundwork for a new peace initiative between the Israelis and Palestinians. As for a nuclear-free world, see Iran.
Then there is climate change, which he sees as a ``priority'', unlike our own Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who sees the issue of man-made carbon dioxide as the biggest moral issue facing the world.
It seems highly unlikely that Obama will have anything to present to his fans on this issue in Copenhagen come December.
He could always call former US vice-president Al Gore to deliver one of his emotion-rich but fact-lite speeches on the topic, bearing in mind the Nobel committee awarded him a Peace Prize in 2007(in conjunction with the dodgy IPCC) for his claptrap.
The Nobel committee seems to be sending a politically correct affirmative action love note to the Left in the US and elsewhere, applauding voters for electing a black man, albeit, one who has kindled divisions in his own country to such an extent that his opponents are starting to protest against his policies with a vehemence which may one day equal that of Obama's own more extremist supporters.
That Obama has marked his presidency by attempts to define down the power and global leadership clearly appealed to the Eurovision team, tired of America being the world's greatest nation and shamed by having to appeal to the might of the US to resolve conflicts that have been beyond the capacity of the UN, or the European Union or any other multilateral bodies to deal with.
But if an ``E'' for effort mark, or an "H'' for hope, is going to win what was once the world's most prestigious prize, it's time the Nobel Committee was told of Wilson Tuckey's efforts to broker peace in the Liberal Party, and Mick Gatto's mediation efforts in Melbourne's gangland.
We have plenty of Australians just as worthy of this award as the new chum in the White House.
Re: Political Rants
Reply #673 on:
October 15, 2009, 11:56:27 PM »
Dated but still relivent today...WOW
You have to scroll down a bit but WOW
Interconnected Economics and the Magic of Numbers in Politics, Thomas Sowell
Reply #674 on:
October 16, 2009, 11:22:31 AM »
Back in the days of the Soviet Union, two Russian economists who had never lived in a country with a free market economy understood something about market economies that many others who have lived in such economies all their lives have never understood. Nikolai Shmelev and Vladimir Popov said: "Everything is interconnected in the world of prices, so that the smallest change in one element is passed along the chain to millions of others."
What does that mean? It means that a huge increase in the demand for ice cream can mean higher prices for catchers' mitts, among other things.
When more cows are needed to produce more milk to make ice cream, then fewer cows will be slaughtered and that means less cowhide available to make baseball gloves. Supply and demand mean that catchers' mitts are going to cost more.
While this may be easy enough to understand, its implications are completely lost on many people in politics and in the media. If everything is connected to everything else in a market economy, then it makes no sense to have laws and policies that declare some given goal to be a "good thing," without regard to the repercussions, which spread out in all directions, like waves that spread across a pond when you drop a rock in the water.
Our current economic meltdown results from the federal government, under both Democrats and Republicans, declaring home ownership to be a "good thing" and treating the percentage of families who own their own home as if it was some sort of magic number that had to be kept growing — without regard to the repercussions on other things.
We are now living with those repercussions, which include the worst unemployment in decades. That is the price we are paying for increasing home ownership from 64 percent to 69 percent.
How did we get from home ownership to 15 million unemployed Americans? By ignoring the fact that there was a reason why only 64 percent of families owned their own home. More people would have liked to be home owners but did not qualify under mortgage lending standards that had been in place for decades.
Politicians to the rescue: Federal regulatory agencies leaned on banks to lend to people they were not lending to before — or else. The "or else" included not having their business decisions approved by the regulators, which could cost them more money than making risky loans.
Mortgage lending standards were lowered, in order to raise the magic number of home ownership. But, with lower lending standards, there were — surprise! — more mortgage payment delinquencies, defaults and foreclosures.
This was a problem not only for banks and other lenders but also for those in the business of buying mortgages from the original lenders. These included semi-government enterprises like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as Wall Street firms that bought mortgages, bundled them together and issued securities based on the anticipated income from those mortgages.
In other words, all these economic transactions were "interconnected," as the Russian economists would say. And when the people who owed money on their mortgages stopped paying, the whole house of cards began to fall.
Politicians may not know much — or care much — about economics, but they know politics and they care a lot about keeping their jobs. So a great distracting hue and cry has gone up that all this was due to the market not being regulated enough by the government. In reality, it was precisely the government regulators who forced the banks to lower their lending standards.
The other big lie is that this was a failure of economists and others to foresee that the housing boom would turn to bust and set off financial repercussions across the economy.
In reality, everybody and his brother saw it coming and said so — including yours truly in the Wall Street Journal of May 26, 2005. As far away as London, The Economist magazine warned about the danger. So did many American publications and individuals. The problem was that politicians refused to listen. They were fixated on the magic number of home ownership and oblivious to the economic interconnections that Russian economists saw long ago and from far away.
It is understandable that many people do not pay nearly as much attention to political issues as they do to practical decisions that they have to make in their own lives. For one thing, they have only one vote among millions, so their influence on what policies the government will follow is in no way comparable to the weight of their decisions in their own personal affairs.
One consequence is that politicians can get away with half-baked arguments that people would never accept in their personal lives, where they apply a lot more scrutiny.
People who would never let some high-pressure salesman rush them into signing a contract to buy a car, before they have a chance to read the contract, may see nothing wrong with a President of the United States trying to rush Congress into passing a thousand-page bill before anybody has a chance to read it all.
Numbers, as well as words, get more scrutiny in private life than in political issues. Politicians love to cite magic numbers that are supposed to tell us whether some policy is a "good thing" or not. By sheer repetition, it is claimed that bigger numbers mean better results, whether the number is the percentage of families that own their own homes or the miles per gallon that automobiles get.
Administrations of both political parties, going back as far as the 1920s, have from time to time pushed the idea that a higher percentage of people owning their own homes is a "good thing," completely ignoring such repercussions as rising foreclosure rates in the wake of extending mortgage loans to people who are unlikely to be able to keep up the payments.
One of the other magic numbers that is popular in politics is the average miles per gallon of gas that cars are supposed to get, in order to meet standards set by the government. No matter how big this number gets, it can always get bigger, so there is no logical stopping place — which means a never-ending political crusade to increase that magic number.
The open-endedness of magic numbers is not their only problem. The more fundamental problem is that the costs entailed by a magic number are often either ignored or downplayed. More miles per gallon, for example, are usually achieved by having lighter cars — and lighter cars mean less protection from the consequences of automobile accidents. Bluntly, it means more severe injuries and death.
Many of the same people who protest against "trading blood for oil" when it comes to military interventions in the Middle East seem not to see that higher miles per gallon can also mean trading blood for oil.
The magic number du jour is the number of Americans without health insurance. Apparently getting more people insured is another "good thing" — which is to say, it is something whose costs are not to be weighed against the benefits, or whose costs are to be finessed aside with optimistic projections or a claim that these costs can be covered by eliminating "waste, fraud and abuse."
In real life, people weigh one thing against another. But in politics one declares one thing to be imperative, so the issue then becomes how we do it. In real life, all sorts of desirable things are not done, either because of other desirable things that would have to be sacrificed to do it or because of the dangers incurred in achieving the desired objective are worse than the problem we want to solve.
Almost never are the dangers of having uninsured people weighed against the dangers of having government bureaucrats over-ruling doctors and deciding whether money would be better spent saving the life of an elderly person or paying for an abortion for some teenager.
The crowning irony is that the problems caused by insurance companies refusing to pay for certain medications or treatment are to be solved by giving government bureaucrats that same power, along with the power to prevent patients from using their own money to pay for those same medications or treatments.
More than two centuries ago, Edmund Burke said, "Nothing is good but in proportion" — that is, when weighed as a trade-off. But a prudent weighing of trade-offs does not produce the political melodrama of pursuing a "good thing" measured by some magic number.
Testing the Theories
Reply #675 on:
October 16, 2009, 01:26:20 PM »
The people don’t believe any more.
By Victor Davis Hanson
Part of the problem with the president’s agenda is that it is predicated on a number of radical ideas that are asserted, rather than proven. His experts and the elites assure us of a reality that most people in their own more mundane lives have not found to be true. In short, they may find Obama personally engaging, but they no longer believe what he says.
Take cap-and-trade legislation. We are asked to endanger an already-weak U.S. economy with a series of incentives and punishments to discourage the use of carbon-based fuels, with which — whether shale, natural gas, coal, or petroleum — America is rather well endowed.
A number of eminent scientists, along with environmental advocates such as Mr. Gore, lecture us that global warming as a manmade phenomenon is unimpeachable. But this month Americans are shivering through one of the coldest Octobers in memory, whether in Idaho, Colorado, or Michigan. They understand that over the last decade average global temperatures did not spike; in fact, they slightly decreased.
We are advised, of course, to look at larger trends to grasp the full extent of the looming disaster. But again, that is a more abstract proposition. And it is not one that is enhanced by elite condescension. In the here and now, the weather seems cooler, and it has for a decade. Voters, unless convinced otherwise, are not about to invest trillions on a theorem.
If borrowing money is the right way to get us out of the recession, the public wants to know why we do not call it “borrowing,” rather than “stimulus.” If well over a trillion dollars in new debt was supposedly essential to restarting the economy, why not three, four, or five trillion more to make recovery a sure thing? And if Americans know from first-hand experience that charging purchases on their credit cards is optional, quick, easy, and fun, but that paying them off is necessary, slow, difficult, and unpleasant, why would they think their government’s charges would be any different?
We are in a terrible energy crisis, we are told: Petroleum supplies have spiked, and we must immediately convert to mass transit, hybrids, biofuels, and electric cars. Such concern is wise, since oil is indeed a finite product. And while this recession has unexpectedly given us a reprieve from crippling oil prices, it is only a reprieve.
But be that as it may, the public sees no reason why it should not hedge its bets. Why not keep frantically searching for oil and gas, both to avoid going broke by buying expensive imported fuels, and to ensure America’s political autonomy from the likes of Chávez, Putin, and the Saudis?
The annual World Gas Association conference in Argentina just announced that new finds — many of them in North America — have pushed natural-gas reserves up to 1.2 trillion oil-equivalent barrels. Recent discoveries of huge fields in the Dakotas, the Gulf of Mexico, and the interior of California remind the public that there are still enormous domestic resources, which, if tapped, could tide us over until solar power, windmills, and biofuels become more economical. Developing all our energy resources, rather than using often-changing parameters to brand some sources environmentally incorrect (is nuclear power still taboo, sort of okay, or acceptable in terms of global warming?), seems far wiser to voters.
Health-care reform presents the same disconnect. The public is told the president’s radical overhaul of American medicine will save trillions of dollars. But the public wonders how that could be when more people are to be covered, with greater government intrusion.
They do not believe that the government — given vast unfunded liabilities from Medicare, Social Security, and the Postal Service — is particularly efficient. Or that all those who do not purchase private medical insurance are indigent or being “murdered” in a “holocaust,” rather than, in at least a few cases, simply gambling that they will stay healthy and preferring to spend their cash on other things.
If ridding Medicare of waste and fraud will help pay for nationalized health care, why have we waited this long to realize such economies? And if Medicare is admittedly rife with abuse, why would an even larger government-run program be singularly exempt from the same inherent dangers?
Abroad, there is the same commonsense intuition that something about the president’s talk does not quite seem right. One or two apologies might convey magnanimity; three or more reveal obsequiousness. Apologizing to a cranky neighbor for mowing on a Sunday morning is wise; apologizing to the entire block for an array of past sins does not just ensure ridicule, but could prove downright dangerous.
There is a reason why previous presidents were skeptical of Ahmadinejad, Assad, Castro, Chávez, Morales, and Putin, and it had nothing to do with Bush’s strut or twang. When Obama acts as if these rogues have been misunderstood, he might be right about one of them but not all of them — and it would not be because they were collectively and gratuitously alienated by the United States.
When told that Obama’s resonance abroad and forthright candor about what America has done wrong should be welcomed, since it makes us better liked, not all the public agrees. Some prefer not to be liked by some abroad; others wonder whether the president wants himself or the United States in general to be the more popular. If Obama can be quite detailed about all the things America has done wrong in the past, could he just once offer the same specificity about what we’ve done right — especially since America seems a far more prosperous and successful country today than, say, Egypt, Kenya, or India?
Something is also not quite right about Afghanistan. We are lectured ad nauseam that Bush took his eye off the good war to fight the optional and hopeless one in Iraq, while Obama for years has promised to reset priorities by finishing off the Taliban and bin Laden.
But that narrative troubles the public. If we neglected the war in Afghanistan, why were almost no Americans dying there between 2001 and 2006? In some years of war, fewer perished in twelve months in Afghanistan than in a single month in Iraq. Either both sides went into an agreed-on remission, or both sides simultaneously escalated elsewhere, turning to the hotter theater in Iraq. If we took our eye off the ball, did not radical Islam as well, when it called forth thousands to flock to Anbar Province?
If Bush was crazy to think that an oil-rich Sunni Arab kleptocracy on the Gulf — with a long history of genocide, sponsorship of terror, and war with the United States — needed a long-overdue reckoning after 19 Sunni Arab terrorists slaughtered 3,000 Americans, were his enemies even crazier to agree that Iraq was indeed now the central front in radical Islam’s war against the infidel?
Other questions arise. If Obama long ago wanted to finish off the Afghan war, why doesn't he do it now when Iraq is not the distraction that it was under Bush? Why, after a victory in Iraq, should we be discouraged, while radical Islam, coming off a defeat in Anbar Province, should be eager to escalate in Afghanistan? And if General Petraeus was right about the surge in Iraq, and candidate Obama, who wanted to clear the country of American combat forces by March 2008, was quite wrong (“the surge is not working”), then why would we assume that Petraeus is now wrong on Afghanistan and Obama right? After all, the former has been proven wise and consistent, and the latter wrong in the past and erratic in the present.
Americans want out of the recession and wish long-term problems of war, energy, and health care to be solved. They welcomed a young, charismatic president who seems eager to tackle these challenges head-on. The problem, however, is that they are not convinced that he understands the challenges, let alone that he offers the right solutions. In short, what Obama says seems pleasant to the ear, but an increasing number of Americans believe that his answers are not just unlikely, but perhaps not even possible.
— NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.
— Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal.
National Review Online -
Rant / Pat Buchanan - continued
Reply #676 on:
October 21, 2009, 10:37:18 PM »
CCP: "Yet I find him to be the only one who will state what others are literally afraid to state."
That is very true in some cases. Digressing a little, there is a politician in Sweden charged with “hate speech” for writing an opinion piece in which he calls Islam the biggest threat to his country since World War II. On the board we have seen videos and threats caused by the newcomers to western European countries. In the US, it would be Buchanan to point out what everyone sees. Buchanan opposes a lot of the legal immigration we currently have and all of the illegal immigration. I might disagree with him on legal immigration but it should not be wrong or illegal to lament that there used to be a day when city notices didn't need to be printed in 13 languages and to comment that in those days the cities were stronger and the crime rate was lower, if that in fact was the case.
My point about protectionism was only that I disagree with him. Same goes for Iraq. The view he takes is certainly welcome on the board for discussion or debate IMO. Opposing WWII intervention is consistent with anti-Iraq-war views - I don't agree with it but it's worthy of discussion. I don't know the context of the Lincoln remark, but certainly by today's common rhetoric he led us into a bloody war. Hard to explain but bloody war can be a good thing, like war to stop Hitler and showing our massive destructive capability and proving the willingness to use in order to stop the Pacific war of WWII.
Suspicion of the Israel lobby in America is valid and healthy. Plenty of people think they have too much influence and it should be okay to say it aloud over the airwaves. My objection is that when they say we only have a policy because of money from Israel, misplaced loyalties or Haliburton (or coal companies etc.), but I favor the policy and I didn't receive any money, then I personally find that comment naive and condescending, still worthy of posting for discussion if for no other reason than that the view is widely held and deserves an opportunity to be answered and refuted.
Re: Political Rants
Reply #677 on:
October 21, 2009, 10:43:07 PM »
Indications of anti-Jewish tendencies by Buchanan go well beyond his thoughts on US-Israeli policy.
Re: Political Rants
Reply #678 on:
October 22, 2009, 08:08:19 AM »
"Twenty years ago this fall, the Iron Curtain was coming down in Europe. Across the Warsaw Pact, the jailers of the Communist prison states lost their nerve, and the cell walls crumbled. Matt Welch, the editor of Reason magazine, wonders why the anniversary is going all but unobserved: Why aren't we making more of the biggest mass liberation in history? Well, because to celebrate it would involve recognizing it as a victory over Communism. And, after the left's long march through the institutions of the west, most are not willing to do that. There's the bad totalitarianism (Nazism) and the good totalitarianism (Communism), whose apologists and, indeed, fetishists can still be found everywhere, even unto the White House." --columnist Mark Steyn
Re: Political Rants
Reply #679 on:
October 23, 2009, 10:34:12 AM »
I hope we don't hold out the same harsh treatment for those who sympathize with or deny the existence of the holocaust of our time.
Reply #680 on:
October 30, 2009, 12:30:06 PM »
I guess we could start a "fashion thread".
Nancy Pelosi has done wonders for the pearl necklace industry the way Imelda Marcos has for the shoe industry.
Has anyone noticed we never see her without her gigantic pears around her neck.
It must be some sort of phallic symbol, or symbol expressing POWER.
But there is something more than just fashion about this.
The number of Rx that just one of those pearls could pay for some poor broke elderly person...
The Piece that Didn't Make It
Reply #681 on:
October 30, 2009, 08:15:48 PM »
My submission to the WaPo's pundit contest. Decided to get right in their face about one of my biggest annoyances with their paper; perhaps I overdid it:
Oh dear. The Supreme Court is going to hear a case,
McDonald v. Chicago
, that may leave the Second Amendment interpreted as the nation’s founders intended. In circles where unenumerated rights to privacy are found lurking amid penumbras and emanations while enumerated rights are declared passé, the panic is palpable: folks in flyover country may actually have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
Assuming words are declared to have meaning chaos could clearly ensue. Embrace of concrete standards based on clear intent might lead some to take the next step and wonder why murder rates are so different for jurisdictions along the Potomac River. DC, with its high murder rate has restrictive gun laws, Maryland with its somewhat less restrictive laws has a somewhat lower rate, while Virginia has the least restrictive gun laws and the lowest murder rate. Perhaps it’s the water. Maybe a reporter should investigate.
An investigation, though, could find things sundry Brahmins would prefer the hoi polloi to be ignorant of. Concealed carry legislation enacted in Virginia, for instance, was supposed to result in Wild West scenes being reenacted on area interstates. Alas an armed apocalypse has yet to occur on the road or anywhere else and, as noted, the violent crime rate tends to be lower in places where the wolves may find themselves confronting armed sheep. It appears the threat of being killed, wounded, or held at gunpoint until arrest impacts the benefit cost analysis of predators. Who’d of thunk it?
Time to get out the big guns and prevent a cascade. Perhaps the “assault weapon” boogieman can be dusted off as few noticed the term is essentially meaningless the last time around. Or “junk guns” can be re-vilified since poor folk have no need of affordable self-protection. Maybe the “plastic gun” panic button could be pushed, or bullets that defy the laws of physics could be breathlessly re-postulated, or some new and improved Scary Thing could be earnestly bleated by our media friends.
But there’s the rub: America’s 75 million gun owners have an inkling the second amendment protects a right to bear arms, understand an armed populace reduces crime, and note media hyperventilation not only isn’t particularly congruent with firearm reality, but so shamelessly embraces anti-firearm biases that it throws credibility under the bus. Alienating that number of consumers in this competitive climate ought to leave editors thinking, “Oh dear.”
Re: Political Rants
Reply #682 on:
October 30, 2009, 10:58:51 PM »
BBG, Nice piece! I would sell that one to their conservative competitors if they don't want it - Wash Times, DC Examiner, Townhall or even Real Clear Politics.
I don't think you would have liked having their editors cut through your work. I wrote a counterpoint published by the Mpls paper alongside their endorsement of a young Bill Clinton in 1992. They cut out one paragraph probably because they didn't understand the significance of it but it destroyed the meaning and originality of the entire piece from my point of view. I had a couple of other run-ins with them and then started writing - no changes without permission - on my work. They never published anything I wrote again.
Re: Political Rants
Reply #683 on:
October 31, 2009, 09:27:36 AM »
I've got two letters to the editor into the WaPo that they cut pretty good, each time excising my comments about the utter fatuity of their second amendment editorial stand. They really don't like it when you point out their lack of philosophical rigor, which I probably ought to have factored in when writing my submission.
Déjà Vu Redux
Reply #684 on:
November 01, 2009, 09:46:52 AM »
Service.gov And Its Soviet Similarities
By SVETLANA KUNIN
Posted 10/30/2009 09:15 PM ET
USSR, 1959: I am a "young pioneer" in school. History classes remind us that there is a higher authority than their parents and teachers: the leaders of the Communist Party.
The story of young pioneer Pavlik Morozov is required reading. Pavlik reported his father to the secret police for disobeying government regulations. His life exemplified the duty of all good Soviet citizens to serve their government.
From the first year in school, all of us are made aware of our ethnicity (ethnic Russian, Jewish, Asian, etc.) and class (proletariat, intelligentsia), around which society is structured. This inherent divisiveness makes it easy for the government to stir ethnic and class tension and in this way distract from economic failure.
Newspapers and TV transmit government-approved news. Any critical voice is immediately suppressed and publicly denounced.
My parents, as all citizens of the USSR, work for state-run companies. All workers are unionized — another way the state controls the citizens. There is no private enterprise in USSR.
Whatever small private farms or shops that existed before 1930 have been taken over by the state. All medical care and schools are state entities. The government regulates what kind of technology, service and compensation are allowed.
From school age through adulthood, citizens are called to public service four to five times a year. Activities such as farming, cleaning places of work, and paper/metal scrap collections are mandatory.
Religious symbols are forbidden in schools or on state property. Most old religious buildings are transformed for secular use.
The Soviet government imposes the Iron Curtain. The state has strict control over our ability to travel abroad. This prevents us from realizing the discrepancy between the media's image of the great socialist country and the reality of our low standard of living.
USA, 2009: "Progressives" control the government. Children in some public schools sing songs about the president and study his directives.
Progressives view people not as unique individuals, but as groups. They play on class envy, or divide people by ethnicity (African-American, white, Hispanic, etc.). From early childhood they remind children of their ethnic identity. The idea of a color-blind society united under the American flag is not politically correct.
The mainstream media are aligned with the government. Those media outlets critical of government policy are publicly criticized by government officials and are in danger of suffering repercussions.
Government seizes a majority stake in two major auto companies and, through TARP money, has control over major banks. Congress discusses capping salaries in private businesses and is in the process of increasing its control over the health care industry.
Big labor union leadership is fully aligned with the progressives in government. There is strong pressure to eliminate the secret ballot in order to increase union membership.
Cap-and-trade, if passed, will drive a lot of small businesses into bankruptcy and create a fruitful soil for favoritism and government control over private entities.
Sept. 11 is declared a day of national service by the administration. It is no longer a day of remembrance for the horrific attack perpetrated by terrorists.
The American Constitution protects the separation between church and state. Atheist zealots pervert this ideal in order to force out religious symbols and traditions from public space. It is fashionable in progressive circles to ridicule religion and religious people. "Tolerance" is applied only to anti-religious values.
As a former citizen of the USSR, I heard and experienced all of this before. I listen to the speeches by the president asking people to sacrifice and serve. So what are we to sacrifice? For what? And to whom? I think I get it now.
Citizens of America, sacrifice your elders and forget your selfish aspirations of prosperity for yourself and your family! Sign onto Service.gov and serve your government!
• Kunin lived in the Soviet Union until 1980 and now lives in Connecticut. She wrote "The Perspective of a Russian Immigrant" that ran on the op-ed page Sept. 8-11. This column first appeared Oct. 22; we are repeating it because of its importance and for the benefit of our weekend-only subscribers.
Judge Andrew Napolitano Natural rights Patriot Act
Reply #685 on:
November 05, 2009, 01:29:58 PM »
I am becoming a huge fan
Political Rants - From 4.6% to 10.2%! Unemployment, When is enough, enough?
Reply #686 on:
November 06, 2009, 09:22:29 AM »
At 10.2% unemployment as we still go full speed backwards into destruction I must say that I am sick and tired of this President and Congress blaming problems on predecessors.
The 'Age of Obama' began nationally with his speech to the Democratic Convention in 2004, after which he said privately to Harry Reid: "Harry, I have a gift". I judge politicians by their policies, but if captivating crowds regardless of message is a gift, Adolf had it too.
Policies have consequences.
The power in Washington shifted in this week of 2006 when young Obama along with Hillary and Schumer and Barney Frank and Barbara Boxerand Pelosi and Reid were elevated to the majority.
After that time, Bush's lone effort and achievement was the surge in Iraq. All other control of our government had shifted to congress awaiting a new liberal for the White House.
The unemployment rate when power shifted was 4.6%! while the record economic expansion finally petered out after 50 consecutive months of job growth.
(This growth was in spite of big government RINOs still holding back real private sector potential.)
Obama's team in congress has their fingerprints all over this collapse and Obama's team in campaign and transition was fully consulted and fully on board with ALL emergency measures taken between the collapse of Sept.2008 and his inauguration.
I suppose he is not really lying if he doesn't even know that it is his policies and stated agenda (screw wealth, screw the rich and dismantle free enterprise) that are causing economic under-performance and failure.
Last Edit: November 06, 2009, 09:24:35 AM by DougMacG
Re: Political Rants
Reply #687 on:
November 06, 2009, 09:52:56 AM »
"screw wealth, screw the rich and dismantle free enterprise"
I agree 100%. I would also add screw the *taxpayer* (though it is camoflouged, sp?, not be this) and screw America as we know it, and perhaps even screw the concept of citizenship.
As long as most illegals vote Dem than screw the rest of us.
Re: Political Rants
Reply #688 on:
November 06, 2009, 05:04:44 PM »
Hey guys it really is sooo simple, here is a 9 min cartoon that explains what the czars in washington and any other progressive don't under stand.
watch and be astounded in 9 min.
Barry's double standard
Reply #689 on:
November 06, 2009, 10:05:12 PM »
Only rush to judgement when it concerns cops.
Re: Political Rants
Reply #690 on:
November 07, 2009, 12:06:42 AM »
Boyo I passed that on to my friends, nice find.
GM... Lt Col was spot on, thanks!
Last Edit: November 07, 2009, 01:04:45 AM by Freki
Ready for the Next Act?
Reply #691 on:
November 26, 2009, 11:34:02 AM »
We Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet
If you think things have been rough so far, hang on.
By Victor Davis Hanson
When it comes to the problems facing this country, an old slogan comes to mind: “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.”
High unemployment, the recession, and a terrorist resurgence in Afghanistan are bad enough. But there are a number of problems on the horizon that could dwarf President Obama’s first-year trials.
Why the pessimism? In short, we are doing nothing to prepare for the crises to come.
A global recession has led to low oil prices. Yet in this window of opportunity, America has not decreased its foreign-oil dependence. We are not encouraging domestic exploration. And we are still ambivalent on nuclear power.
But as the world economy recovers, oil will probably surge back over $100 a barrel, increasing our oil-import tab by 25 percent or more. The Obama administration, though, mostly is obsessed with subsidizing relatively small amounts of wind and solar power. It likely won’t be long before angry motorists at the pump are demanding to know why we have not pushed for more development at home of still-plentiful natural-gas and oil fields.
Meanwhile, other economic bad news may be just around the corner. Today, interest rates on short-term Treasury bills still are less than 1 percent. But they, too, will climb as business picks up and worries over American inflation spread.
If we have to pay foreign lenders 5 percent to 7 percent interest on our debt, as in the past, the increased costs will gobble up additional billions from our annual budget. Yet sadly again, we are missing this rare opportunity of low interest to pay off cheaply the trillions that we already owe. Instead, we are borrowing even more!
The War on Terror is also heating up again. Fairly or not, the Fort Hood massacre sent the message that the United States is more worried about appearing politically correct in matters of diversity than about hunting down radical Islamists on its home soil. Those who seek to copy what happened at Fort Hood will be encouraged. And those charged with stopping them will be discouraged and confused.
Such uncertainty was reinforced by the attorney general’s decision to try the architects of 9/11 in federal courts in New York City. At best, the confessed mass-murderer Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will lecture the United States. At worst, one sympathetic juror could find the monster only 99 percent guilty, and therefore the court might fail to convict him of planning the murders of 3,000 innocent people.
After announcing a new strategy of counterinsurgency in March, and appointing Gen. Stanley McChrystal the new supreme commander in Afghanistan, it looks like Obama only now will commit more troops to Afghanistan. That will be a wise decision — but one coming three months after the generals’ request.
We were given an unexpected reprieve through the defeat of al-Qaeda in Iraq. We can now build on that victory by routing the Taliban in the way the Iraq surge stabilized democracy there.
Finally, there is an array of taxes on the horizon — increased federal income-tax rates; promised hikes in health-care surcharge taxes; and even rumors of value-added federal sales taxes. These increases are said to be aimed at the proverbial wealthy. But that could change — given that the top 5 percent of households already provide 60 percent of the nation’s income-tax revenue. And many are already paying 50 percent to 60 percent of their incomes in combined local, state, federal, and payroll taxes.
Just consider. The price of gas will soon likely increase. The cost of servicing our profligate borrowing will, too. One more terrorist attack like at Fort Hood, or nightly sermons from a grandstanding Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, or a new Taliban offensive, and the momentum could shift to radical Islam in its decades-long war against the United States. Next year’s tax hikes will be real and large — and no longer just this year’s idle talk.
As these storm clouds gather, Congress bickers on Saturday nights about borrowing even more money for health-care reform, yet another federal entitlement.
If you think things have been rough so far, hang on, ’cause you ain’t seen nothing yet.
— Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. © 2009 Tribune Media Services, Inc.
National Review Online -
Re: Political Rants
Reply #692 on:
November 26, 2009, 04:15:36 PM »
Just had a moment to watch that one-- nice find!
Re: Political Rants
Reply #693 on:
November 26, 2009, 09:20:22 PM »
Thanks BBG regarding VDH post. My thoughts exactly, just expressed far better. How can anyone be very optimistic economically when everything we are doing and likely to do is the opposite of what needs to be done to grow back a healthy, vibrant economy.
Gas prices are reasonable right now, only because of global recession. Every year gone by is another year we didn't allow expansion or domestic sources, increase refining capacity, convert transportation to CNG or get started on new (carbon-free) nuclear plants. Any new economic growth will be choked out by the resulting energy cost escalation. Instead of action or solution, we plan the opposite - highest in history new energy taxes and regulations. All increases in energy purchases will result in equal problems of trade, payment and currency imbalances.
Interest rates are at zero out of the Fed. If they need to lower them further, they can't. But they will need to raise them, and the cost of anything burdened in debt (consumers, homeowners, federal governments, states, school districts, businesses, you name it) will go up drastically with no visible, offsetting benefit.
Taxes will go up and public spending will not go down as deficits continue no matter what the election gains are in 2010. Regulations in general aren't going to be eased in any foreseeable timeframe.
We can't go this far or this fast down a road in the wrong direction and turn it around on a dime - especially when we don't have consensus that we are headed in the wrong direction.
If this Keynesian stimulus appears to work with a short term uptick, we will follow it with what? More of what appeared too work, more public spending with more trillions in debt and more government takeovers of industries, choices and liberties.
If we add a 2 1/2 trillion dollar federal healthcare control system and find out that cost level isn't enough to do the job, we will then do what? Scrap it? No. We will be trapped and guilted into increasing taxes, debt and funding just like we still do with the first thousand-plus federal social spending programs.
Hard to be optimistic with these leaders facing these problems.
NBC Meet the Press today, outrage?
Reply #694 on:
November 29, 2009, 11:48:49 AM »
I was rebuked strongly (understatement) for comparing something horrific with something horrific in a post of mine in this thread in October.
Dr. Rick Warren, author of "The Purpose Driven Life" hardly a fire-brand far right wing extremist, was a Thanksgiving weekend guest of David Gregory on NBC's 'Meet the Press' and shared his otherwise sensible views on many subjects but also used the h-word to describe the tragedy of 46 million killed since Roe v. Wade. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032608/# ,
Last Edit: November 29, 2009, 04:39:01 PM by DougMacG
A Sad Time for Science
Reply #695 on:
December 07, 2009, 08:24:07 AM »
Donald Kennedy and the corruption of Science Magazine
By James Lewis
Science magazine has been stewing so long in the Global Warming bouillabaisse that its very brains are beginning to smoke. That may be because its august Editor-in-Chief Donald Kennedy (until last year) was a dedicated Warm-monger. Science is the flagship journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the political lobby for Big Science in Washington, D.C. The Editor-in-Chief of Science is like the Queen of England: It's the closest thing to God in the church hierarchy. Everybody kisses your butt and all you have to do is wave your hand to the cheering peasantry from your golden coach.
Try a Google search for "Donald Kennedy AND Global Warming" and you get almost six million hits. Search for "global warming" in Science magazine itself, and you get 2,792 citations -- almost as many as you get for "increased science funding."
Here are some Science magazine headlines in the last several years, a period when we know that atmospheric temperatures were flat or declining. As MIT Professor of Meteorology Richard S. Lindzen just wrote in the Wall Street Journal: "Claims that climate change is accelerating are bizarre." The unfortunate tendency of the atmosphere to stop warming is of course why Phil Jones and the CRUdocrats were trying to "fix" the data in their infamous email exchanges.
During this time Science magazine published thousands of references to Global Warming, including headlines like:
CLIMATE CHANGE: Taming the Angry Beast
Science 17 October 2008 322: 376-377 (in Books) ....What Past Climate Changes Reveal About the Current Threat--and How... (human) activities have triggered the possibility of catastrophic climate change, how we have come to recognize the threat......
CLIMATE CHANGE: IPCC Report Lays Out Options for Taming Greenhouse Gases
Science 11 May 2007 316: 812-814
CLIMATE CHANGE: Global Warming Is Changing the World
Richard A. Kerr
Science 13 April 2007 316: 188-190
How Much More Global Warming and Sea Level Rise?
Gerald A. Meehl, Warren M. Washington, William D. Collins, Julie M. Arblaster, Aixue Hu, Lawrence E. Buja, Warren G. Strand, and Haiyan Teng
Science 18 March 2005 307: 1769-1772
Global Warming and the Next Ice Age
Andrew J. Weaver and Claude Hillaire-Marcel
Science 16 April 2004 304: 400-402
Et cetaera ad nauseam. It's not a pretty sight.
Things get only worse when we look at the Eurekalert site, which is also run by the AAAS. Eurekalert presents an endless flow of press releases from universities that make billions from Federal grants. This is where our pop media get their scientific news.
Here are some search results:
Global Warming: 2,500 hits
Climate Change: 5,140 hits
CO2 Global Warming: 2,498 hits
Anthropogenic: 338 hits
Catastrophic: 1,213 hits
Apparently a lot of PR guys and gals were mining this little vein of gold. Remember Goebbels' slogan that "A Big Lie repeated often enough becomes the truth"? This is the Big Lie Repetition Machine. All your average journalist has to do is go to Eurekalert, search for "catastrophic" or "global warming" and copy the latest headline. Since the media are firing human ‘journalists' these days, they might as well get a computer program to do it.
It was Donald Kennedy who initiated the Science magazine State of the Planet issues, to drive home the Global Warming meme. In an editorial in the 6 January 2006 issue of Science he wrote, "The consequences of the past century's temperature increase are becoming dramatically apparent in the increased frequency of extreme weather events ..."
Only trouble: It wasn't true.
As skeptic Roger Pielke, Jr. wrote in a letter to Science that somehow passed the censors:
"Over recent decades, the IPCC found no long-term global trends in extratropical cyclones (i.e., winter storms), in "droughts or wet spells," or in"tornados, hail, and other severe weather"... A recent study by the International Ad Hoc Detection and Attribution Group concluded that it was unable to detect an anthropogenic signal in global precipitation." (Science, June 9, 2005, Letters)
But Mr. Kennedy's mind was made up, and mere facts could not change it. In his Editorial on The Breakthrough of the Year for 2005, Kennedy wrote:
"An especially significant runner-up (to the Breakthrough of the Year for 2005) was climate change. 650,000-year-old ice cores from Antarctica give a continuous record of correlations between atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane and the temperature changes imposed by glacial cycles. New information put to rest the idea, popular with those skeptical about global warming, that satellite measurements, in contrast to ground measurements, showed cooling. One by one, holes in the global warming case are being filled. Government actions should follow; of that, I'll say more in the first Science issue of the new year." (
SCIENCE VOL 310 23 DECEMBER 2005 )
So -- guess who was instrumental in getting Donald Kennedy appointed to that plum job at Science magazine? Yes, it was our old friend Paul Ehrlich, the author of The Population Bomb of 1968 --- the one that sputtered frighteningly for decades but never went off. It was Paul Ehrlich who wrote the major puff piece for Donald Kennedy, introducing him as Editor-in-Chief of Science mag, the most powerful job in American science. 562
22 JULY2005 VOL 309 SCIENCE
Are you beginning to suspect a set-up? Unh-huh...
I know a liberal who fell for Paul Ehrlich's book The Population Bomb three decades ago and still believes it today. Liberals never have to change their minds, especially about facts. Certainly Ehrlich never changed his mind, and when his predictions about Planetary Doom failed, he didn't come to the obvious conclusion that I must have been wrong. He just added more epicycles to his pleasingly complicated picture of the climate. That little sentence "I must be wrong" is the most important one in the entire vocabulary of honest scientists, of whom there are still a few lonely souls wandering over the blasted heath of Big Academia.
It seems that Ehrlich and Kennedy are good buds. Neither of them are scientists -- but they do play them on TV, in the media and at Stanford.
Donald Kennedy was Commissioner of the FDA for Jimmy Carter in the Seventies and hasn't stepped into a lab since that time, as far as I can tell from his publications -- none are based on empirical evidence. All he writes are editorials. Instead, Professor Kennedy returned to being head of Biology at Stanford University.
If you look up Kennedy's bio on Wikipedia you'll see it's been airbrushed in Stalinist fashion -- it's only a few short paragraphs, with a big notice that Wikipedia does not allow disputed material to appear about living persons. That suggests that somebody wanted to cite some critical facts but Professor Kennedy objected. I wonder why?
One likely reason is the infamous Stanford University Overhead Scandal. "Overhead" is what universities charge the government over and above the cost of supporting research: In the evil corporate world it's called "profit margin." Of course universities would never think about making profits, which is why their tuitions and overhead charges to the Feds have been going up and up and up. Barred from making profits, all they do is raise their salaries and pensions and pad their expense accounts. They're in bed with a monopoly -- the Federal science bureaucracy -- so they charge monopoly prices.
Well, Donald Kennedy as President of Stanford was caught dipping a little too deeply into the honey pot. Some business about $7,000.000 bed sheets for the presidential residence and overbilling the Office of Naval Research 200 million dollars. Small stuff. But the US Congress took notice, and called Donald Kennedy on the carpet. Mr. Kennedy defended every penny of his charges and resigned. That's when his good friends, like Mr. Ehrlich, got him his job at Science mag.
Everything about Science now smells fishy. The scientific blog world should be searching through journal websites to see how deeply they are quagmired in the honey pot of Global Warming: Nature, Scientific American, The Lancet, National Geographic, the lot. They all have websites with search engines. Public exposure may help them to clean out that pervasive stink of rotten fish.
Because the decay goes far beyond the CRUddites in Britain; it's all over the world among the machine politicians of science. All of them knew what was going on with the Biggest Science Scam in History, because it should be obvious to a child of six. Undergraduates in calculus classes learn that nonlinear dynamical systems are unanalyzable. Introductory physics classes learn there is no solution to the three-body problem, and the atmosphere is a lot more complicated than just three asteroids cycling around each other in space. Metereologist Edward Lorenz rose to fame in science by dramatizing the nature of chaotical systems, physical systems that cannot be predicted from their initial conditions. The weather is one of the best examples, but the earth sciences and biology are full of them. So no sane scientist or mathematician could have believed the Global Warming scam. If any of them say they believe it today, they are either lying or incompetent.
Global Warming is like Political Correctness; everybody knows it's a lie, but nobody is allowed to say it in public.
This is a sad time for decent science.
But on the other hand, it's Springtime for Fraudocrats.
Page Printed from:
at December 07, 2009 - 09:22:38 AM EST
The New Cardinals
Reply #696 on:
December 08, 2009, 01:26:37 PM »
Climategate's bullyboy scientists
By Christopher Chantrill
The biggest thing that has taken a pounding in the last two weeks of Climategate is the fantasy PR image that scientists have maintained for so long.
Of course scientists fake results. Of course they bully other scientists. Of course they toady up to politicians. Of course they try to get people fired when they don't agree with them. Of course they threaten journalists with the "Big Cutoff."
What do you think they are? Monks or something? The only surprising thing is that the scientists kept people fooled for so long. On second thoughts, it's not surprising. Given what scientists dangle in front of us as they ask for money: a world without suffering, a world without physical labor, maybe even to know the inner secrets of the universe and the mind of God, why wouldn't we believe in them?
But there ain't no such thing as an impartial scientist. Ain't no such thing as settled science.
In the first place, as Thomas Kuhn related in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, science is a social endeavor. Here is one plausible explanation of the scientific process:
One reason science is social is that it is a difficult task to create a plausible and satisfying scientific culture, and therefore any science... is usually the product of many contributors. For this reason sciences are most effectively sustained by dedicated specialists. The second reason that sciences are social is that the universal problem of science is confidence -- the need to convince people that its teachings are true and that its practices are effective.
Actually that last paragraph was taken from a study of religion, For the Glory of God: How monotheism led to reformations, science, witch-hunts and the end of slavery by Rodney Stark. For "science" substitute "religion" in the paragraph above.
In the second place, scientists are completely in bed with government. It's a relationship that is useful to both scientists and politicians. Scientists want to do important work, and politicians want the fruits of science when it gives them more power.
Just as religious leaders have often turned to politicians and kings when the going got rough, so scientists have turned to government for help. After all, that's where the money is.
But just as an establishment of religion is a bad thing, so is an establishment of science. Today, if Thomas Jefferson were alive, he'd probably be calling for a separation of science and state -- in The New York Times Science section.
Physics offered the politicians bombs of unimaginable power, and they offered the scientists budgets of unimaginable size. It's a pity the bombs are so powerful they can't be used. And it's a pity that science-based war is now so expensive that the low-rent political actors have turned to terrorism, warfare on the cheap.
Macroeconomics offered the politicians the hope of manipulating the economy to reward their supporters without tears. It offered economists a seat in the citadel of power. Yet under the reign of the macroeconomic expertise the value of money has fallen faster than in the bad old days when kings and princes merely debased the coinage without the help of scientists.
There is nothing mysterious about this. The world is full of good ideas: scientific ideas, political ideas, business ideas. But what about good ideas that actually work? Not so many.
People with merely "good ideas" tend to sell them to the political world rather than the business world.
Conservative politicians have always been cautious about expertise. Edmund Burke railed against economists, sophisters, and calculators. Lord Salisbury, Conservative Prime Minister of Britain, wrote in a letter to a friend in 1877:
No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent: if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. They all require their strong wine diluted by a very large admixture of insipid common sense.
If you believe the climate scientists, nothing is as warm as today. So James Hansen, Michael "The Bruiser" Mann, and Phil Jones are nothing new. What is new is the cruel way in which Climategate is humiliating the Manns and the Joneses.
In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn asserts that a scientific field truly becomes a "science" when its practitioners can "take the foundations of their field for granted" and report their results in articles addressed to and understandable only by other specialists.
When a man like Steve McIntyre can come in from another field and rock the foundations of hockey-stickology with his critique, then he is telling the Manns and the Joneses that they don't have a "science." All they have is a religion.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Christopher Chantrill is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. See his roadtothemiddleclass.com and usgovernmentspending.com. His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.
Page Printed from:
at December 08, 2009 - 02:25:19 PM EST
Reply #697 on:
December 14, 2009, 10:45:08 AM »
"The USA has descended from its special position as the principled guardian of Western civilization and joined the club of sentimentalists who have until now depended on American power. In the administration of President Obama we see the very same totalitarian sentimentality that has been at work in Europe, and which has replaced civil society with the state, the family with the adoption agency, work with welfare, and patriotic duty with universal 'rights.' The lesson of postwar Europe is that it is easy to flaunt compassion, but harder to bear the cost of it. Far preferable to the hard life in which disciplined teaching, costly charity, and responsible attachment are the ruling principles is the life of sentimental display, in which others are encouraged to admire you for virtues you do not possess. This life of phony compassion is a life of transferred costs. Liberals who wax lyrical on the sufferings of the poor do not, on the whole, give their time and money to helping those less fortunate than themselves. On the contrary, they campaign for the state to assume the burden. The inevitable result of their sentimental approach to suffering is the expansion of the state and the increase in its power both to tax us and to control our lives. As the state takes charge of our needs, and relieves people of the burdens that should rightly be theirs -- the burdens that come from charity and neighborliness -- serious feeling retreats. In place of it comes an aggressive sentimentality that seeks to dominate the public square. I call this sentimentality 'totalitarian' since -- like totalitarian government -- it seeks out opposition and carefully extinguishes it, in all the places where opposition might form. Its goal is to 'solve' our social problems, by imposing burdens on responsible citizens, and lifting burdens from the 'victims,' who have a 'right' to state support. The result is to replace old social problems, which might have been relieved by private charity, with the new and intransigent problems fostered by the state...." --columnist Roger Scruton
Re: Political Rants
Reply #698 on:
December 14, 2009, 01:16:31 PM »
Second post of the day
Re: Political Rants
Reply #699 on:
December 14, 2009, 02:03:58 PM »
Lord Monckton rules!
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