Thursday, February 28, 2008

Hillary's Service Record

Well, we're getting back to what resembles normal after dealing with unfortunate events earlier this month, and we were intrigued with this observation, nested essentially three references deep from its initial mention in Instapundit:
When Hillary tells you that she has lots of experience, she doesn’t really tell you what the experience is, but you’re supposed to imagine what it must have been. She must have been sitting in the Situation Room when the Joint Chiefs of Staff were making their judgments about how to proceed in Iraq and elsewhere. She never says that but that’s what you’re supposed to fantasize... Hillary’s claim to have had a lot of experience in government is [BS]; she doesn’t have any experience. She’s been a senator for [a few] years but she’s not talking about that; she’s talking about sleeping with the president for eight years as if that’s prepared her to run the country.
We pondered this for a moment and came to an interesting thought: if the "service" Hillary is referring to is indeed defined correctly in the last paragraph above, wouldn't there have actually been at least one significant "break in service" during that period of time?

Hey, look, bloggers have to have a reason for getting up in the morning, right?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Death in the Family

Blogging's been a little sparse in these here parts for some time as Luther struggles with "progressive" attitudes at his place of employment while Wonker continues trying to evolve a strategy to create some much needed black ink at his.

But Wonk's putting issues aside this week and heading to Ohio (which we hope is still somewhere on the map after all those foreclosures) to deal with the final rites for his dad, who passed away a couple days ago after a long struggle with Alzheimer's. As with all such cases, this is a bittersweet moment, since dad actually left us a long time ago, in the sense that he no longer had a clue as to who we were. Nonetheless, you could see him early on still struggling to stay on this planet, mentally, as more and more pieces of info began to depart forever and his life lost its moorings.

Having lost mom last Christmas, this time after her own long fight with multiple sclerosis--which she managed to survive until she was an astonishing 85 years of age--well, that probably sent what was left of dad's memory into deep space, as often happens when a longtime life partner (in this case, almost 60 years) departs. As we gathered after the service to pick up the pieces, Dad started hitting on Mrs. Wonker, which was actually pretty funny, since he'd cordially despised her when Wonk was a'courtin many moons ago. That was sure a sign.

It's been a tough 3 years or so with all this going on. As more and more Boomers are finding out, longer lives aren't always the blessing you think they're going to be. Care for ailing parents, an ailing spouse, or both, is expensive, tough, and time consuming, and it forces a lot of compromises and changes to deal with it--in Wonk's case, the termination of several longtime efforts in the literary field which had meant a lot and were actually starting to make some headway. But family, ultimately, is more important than anything, since it's all you've got on this plane of existence, and they're the only people who likely won't desert you when you're up against it. So you gather round the flag and do your best. After all, for all the family sturm und drang, that's what the parental units always did for you.

Now the curtain has fallen on Act II, as our own Greatest Generation Wonkers proceed to their eternal reward, that mysterious light in the distance where you know there's a better world and where all is well. Which, emotionally, is passing strange to think about on a personal level--as the oldest kid, Wonk is now the next dude up at the exit gate. Gives you the willies when you think about it long enough.

So it's up to Ohio for a few days to close one chapter and open a new one in the never-ending pageant of life, which is still a pretty good cliché for describing how things seem to work. I'll see you when I return. In the meantime, by all means, enjoy the long weekend.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Toledo to Marines: Drop Dead! (But Not Here)

Apparently inspired by the Idiotarians running Berkeley, California, who declared the U.S. military not welcome in their nuclear- (and brain-) free zone, the Mayor of downtrodden Toledo, Ohio essentially pulled the same stunt:
The 200 members of Company A, 1st Battalion, 24th Marines, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., planned to spend their weekend engaged in urban patrol exercises on the streets of downtown as well as inside the mostly vacant Madison Building, 607 Madison Ave.

Toledo police knew days in advance about their plans for a three-day exercise. Yet somehow the memo never made it to Mayor Finkbeiner, who ordered the Marines out yesterday afternoon just minutes before their buses were to arrive.

"The mayor asked them to leave because they frighten people," said Brian Schwartz, the mayor's spokesman.
Gee, they're PAID to frighten people, you moron.

Interestingly, in this version and this one, we're unable to learn hizzoner's party affiliation. Idiotarian, for sure, but what's his real party? Can anybody guess? Try here.

Ohio, particularly northern Ohio, is losing jobs hand over fist, so what does this dope do? Gives his town another black eye. Real smart way to attract new businesses. That haven't already been deterred by Northern Ohio's socialist tax structure. Smart move, dude.

And in case you hit the link, Hizzoner is, of course, a Democrat. Who no doubt supported the troops before he didn't.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Little Mazel Tov for Maazel's Distasteful Remarks

The Washington Times noted that NY Philharmonic conductor Lorin Maazel is more than a little irritated that some Americans are criticizing the orchestra's upcoming concert trip to the world's Heart of Darkness, otherwise known as North Korea:
"People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw bricks, should they?" demanded Mr. Maazel. "Is our standing as a country — the United States — is our reputation all that clean when it comes to prisoners and the way they are treated? Have we set an example that should be emulated all over the world? If we can answer that question honestly, I think we can then stop being judgmental about the errors made by others.
Sarah Bryan Miller in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch gets right to the point posthaste:

For decades, some people have trivialized the horrors of Stalinism by putting McCarthyism in the same league. We can now update that comparison: the music director of the New York Philharmonic, Loren Maazel, has compared the United States to North Korea....

Because the insular country of North Korea is notable for (among other things) starving millions of its people, having one of the world’s most appalling records on human rights, pursuing an aggressive nuclear weapons program, and celebrating an astonishing second-generation cult of personality built around its (arguably insane) hereditary dictator, Kim Jong-Il, the Phil has taken considerable flak for its decision.

After taking a momentary, career-salvaging detour to issue a predictable, rote slap at the Bushies, Miller, thankfully regains her composure and her judgment:
If Maazel wants to claim that playing a concert for a collection of well-connected apparatchiks will help to foster international understanding, that’s his prerogative. But in attempting to put the United States on the same moral footing as the Stalinist hellhole that is North Korea, he trivializes the tragic sufferings of millions of people.
We agree. Maazel's casually thoughtless indulgence in moral relativism, which no doubt played well in New York, is another tiresome example of the entertainment world's generally adolescent grasp of world affairs.

A Shockingly Inconvenient Truth

Back in 1991, before Al Gore first shouted that the Earth was in the balance, the Danish Meteorological Institute released a study using data that went back centuries that showed that global temperatures closely tracked solar cycles.

To many, those data were convincing. Now, Canadian scientists are seeking additional funding for more and better "eyes" with which to observe our sun, which has a bigger impact on Earth's climate than all the tailpipes and smokestacks on our planet combined.

And they're worried about global cooling, not warming.

Read the rest here.

Seems the REAL cycles have to do with sunspots, and we're in store for a return to the icebox effect by roughly 2020. Wonder what that'll do to futures in carbon credits. Of course, the Global Warming nuts don't care. Hell, it's all Bush's fault anyway.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Love It or Leave It?

Love of country must always be qualified these days, lest anyone think you are unaware of slavery, insufficiently regulated railroad stock offerings, Lester Maddox or the attempt by Philip Morris to conceal the addictive nature of cigarettes. Say “I love this country” at a dinner table with strangers, and it’s like shave and a haircut without the two bits. But? But?

--James Lileks

The indispensible Instapundit provided the link to Lileks' words of wisdom today. Lileks, of course, goes on to describe his irritation at the truth of his own observation. It's really just another example of the miserable political correctness the average American seems to casually accept today.

Well, I don't.

I love the U.S., warts and all. Moreover, I'm grateful to have been born here and to live here, and Mrs. Wonker has been equally grateful to have had the opportunity to legally emigrate here and become a citizen.

Our National past, a process of learning and enlightenment, is what got us to the fortunate place we are today. Both can only truly occur in an environment that permits such progress to unfold unhindered once we achieve consensus.

I never make apologies for the U.S. I leave that to the self-loathing idiotarians of the left. Blaming America First is not a game that either I, or any self-respecting sentient American citizen, can afford to play.

Monday, February 04, 2008

HillaryCare: Listen to Me or Watch Your Wallets

People actually laugh at Wonker when he accuses Hillary of harboring a socialist agenda. Well if you don't believe me, why not ask Hillary herself? Ever doubt that Hill still stands foursquare behind the socialization of healthcare in this country? Well, think again:
Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton said Sunday she might be willing to garnish the wages of workers who refuse to buy health insurance to achieve coverage for all Americans.
She's aghast that Barack Obama has the temerity to disagree with her:
The New York senator has criticized presidential rival Barack Obama for pushing a health plan that would not require universal coverage. Clinton has not always specified the enforcement measures she would embrace, but when pressed on ABC's "This Week," she said: "I think there are a number of mechanisms" that are possible, including "going after people's wages, automatic enrollment."
Check out the aggressive, punishment-oriented verbiage here, "going after people's wages." It's an astonishingly blatant statement of intent, one that should give all voters, including well-meaning liberals, some pause. Hillary's belligerence is a great example of the smug, condescending attitude elite Democrats display toward the rest of us. Like the Stalinists they are, we're either going to willingly submit to their will, or, by God, they'll force us to.
Clinton said such measures would apply only to workers who can afford health coverage but refuse to buy it, which puts undue pressure on hospitals and emergency rooms. With her proposals for subsidies, she said, "it will be affordable for everyone."
Take that, you Gen X slackers who'd rather spend your money than fork it over to The State. We'll just take that money away from you before you get paid, to make health coverage "affordable for everyone." So there. And who gets to determine which voters are slackers who have the money but refuse to "buy" the package? Why Hillary, of course. Take it to the bank.

We actually appreciate Hillary's candor this time around. We hope voters will take her at her word. And really think before voting.

Unless, of course, you don't mind Hillary's Garnishment being added to the FICA, Medicare, Federal, State, and Local taxes that already reduce your take-home pay to a pittance.

Back Again. Really.

Wonk and Luther have been experiencing technical difficulties on a number of fronts over the last month. But with Super Tuesday looming, it's time to get back in gear, so here we go.