Saturday, October 31, 2009

NY 23rd Congressional District: Scozzafava Drops Out

Fighting plunging support, Republican Dierdre Scozzafava abruptly suspended her campaign Saturday in the 23rd Congressional District special election that has exposed a rift among national factions of the party...Campaign spokesman Matt Burns said Scozzafava thinks stepping aside is for the best of the party. He said Scozzafava is essentially withdrawing from the race, although her name will remain on Tuesday's ballot....Republican in NY House Race Suspends Campaign, Valerie Bauman, Google hosted news, 10/31/2009

It's too late for Scozzafava to take her name off the ballot, but her announcement will encourage a lot of fence sitters to vote for their candidate instead of settling for that of the national party.

Kudos to all those who rushed to the aide of Paul Hoffman.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Health 'Care' Bill Ceremony Bars Public: More 'Open' Government

House Democrats blocked the public from attending the unveiling ceremony of their health-care bill Thursday morning, allowing only pre-approved visitors whose names appeared on lists to enter the event at the West side of the Capitol...The audience at the crowded press conference included Hill staffers, union workers, health care providers and students, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who thanked them for attending...House Democratic bill ceremony closed to public, Kara Rowland, Washington Times, 10/29/2009

Actually, those invited were the only likely beneficiaries of the health 'care' bill, AKA the Tax the Middle, Abandon the Old bill. You didn't expect to be in on this party, did you? Neither you nor most Representatives and Senators will read the bill, either. That's by intention. Open government at its finest -- that's how it would be described by Hugo Chavez.


Free Speech; Fox News; Citizens United vs. FEC -- a truly weighty case for the Supreme Court

Fox News’ ratings have been off the charts lately, and it has the White House to thank for that. After the administration decreed that Fox is not a “legitimate news organization” and that people shouldn’t watch it, more people than ever are tuning in to see Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly fight back...But we shouldn’t be so entertained by this spectacle that we lose sight of why, at bottom, it is a disturbing one. It’s not just because, as many commentators have already observed, the president appears to be taking a page out of Nixon’s playbook. Fundamentally, it’s because the administration’s media war against Fox is but a minor display of the tremendous power the government has to stifle speech it views as illegitimate...With the Obama administration now arguing that Fox News is a partisan political group masked as a news outlet, expect politicians to call for the government to revoke the network’s media exemption and use the campaign finance laws to mute its speech. Other networks will be on notice that they could suffer the same fate if they are too critical of the administration...Of course, if the media’s speech becomes illegitimate — and thus subject to restriction — when it turns critical, then the same is true for everyone else...For example, take grassroots groups such as the tea party protesters...Looking for payback, politicians are now proposing to subject those groups to so-called “disclosure” laws that will discourage them from protesting by wrapping them up in miles and miles of red tape if they dare to continue to speak out.Is Dissent 'Legtimate'? Not According to Campaign Finance Laws, Bert Gall and Robert Frommer, Pajamas Media, 10/29/2009

Gall and Frommer blast the door open on the real objectives in White House vs. Fox. The Administration, in its pathological narcissism, wants to silence FOX while Congress wants to silence Tea Party protests. What stands between acting like a free American and tyranny?

Fortunately, it appears that the U.S. Supreme Court is about to remind politicians that free speech is a right, not a privilege subject to their mercurial whims. In the coming weeks, the Supreme Court will issue a decision in the case of Citizens United v. FEC. ...(Dissent 'Legitimate>', cont'd)

It's not often that a Supreme Court case holds the entire national life in thrall, but Citizens United vs. FEC (Federal Election Commission) is that vital, and that important. The issue here is the core of McCain-Feingold, the banana republic 'campaign reform' law passed some time back, a law that seems written to ensure that incumbents stay in office. It has already been partially overturned by a previous decision. This case goes right to the heart of that oppressive law. There isn't much to do but depend on the Court's Constitutionally protected objectivity. One hopes we can. Otherwise, there will only one voice allowed to speak in America, and we will have truly changed, from a free people to the servants of a tyrant.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Senator Lieberman: Not Just a Hawk

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said Tuesday that he’d back a GOP filibuster of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s health care reform bill...Lieberman, who caucuses with Democrats and is positioning himself as a fiscal hawk on the issue, said he opposes any health care bill that includes a government-run insurance program — even if it includes a provision allowing states to opt out of the program, as Reid’s has said the Senate bill will..."We're trying to do too much at once," Lieberman said. “To put this government-created insurance company on top of everything else is just asking for trouble for the taxpayers, for the premium payers and for the national debt. I don’t think we need it now."...Joe Lieberman: I'll Filibuster Harry Reid's Plan, Manu Raju, Politico, 10/27/2009

In the old days of "Scoop" Jackson, this was called political integrity. Kudos to Senator Lieberman.


Federal Seizure of States' Power through 'Stimulus'

Remember last spring, when many Republican governors balked at accepting Stimulus funds? Governors such as Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal sounded the alarm that these funds came with many unpalatable strings attached. Well, it hasn't taken long for the chickens to come home to roost, as Rev. Wright would say...The United States, thanks to the policies of the Obama Administration, officially is in the midst of the longest recession since 1933...While the federal government can deficit spend in unheard of amounts, the states cannot. Because of the continuing high unemployment and lack of economic growth, most states are facing deficit problems worse than those experienced in's what is happening in the State of Washington as a result of rushing to accept $4 billion in Stimulus funds to help close their $9 billion deficit in 2009...When Washington legislators began looking for ways to close their next billion-dollar deficit, the legislative staff informed them that their options were limited. The "maintenance of effort" provisions in the Recovery Act [Stimulus], ed.mean that Washington state cannot adopt eligibility standards for Medicaid that are more restrictive than those in effect on July 1, 2008...Recession working out as planned, Steve McCann, American Thinker, 10/27/2009

An old rule in doing business with gangsters is this: "if you accept my help, I will own you."

Those of us tearing our hair out about New York State's Assembly refusing to reduce spending now know a terrible truth. They can't. Governor Paterson signed away their right to do so in accepting Recovery Act funds.

This is what we're dealing with America. Speak. Act. Vote. Write those emails and letters to Congress.


White House's Nonstop War on The United States

Americans concerned about the decline of American power under the presidency of Barack Obama should turn their radar on and keep it on. We should be aware that Obama intends to roll out for Senate approval a series of international treaties that will further bind America to the will of the international community if they are ratified....Signing away sovereignty, Ed Lasky, American Thinker, 10/27/2009

It's not just the new version of Kyoto (the so-called 'global warming' agreement that hardly anybody paid attention to), the Copenhagen treaty which the President has promised to sign. It's the Law of the Seas Treaty, which has been sitting on Presidential desks since President Reagan refused to sign it in the early 1980s. This abomination would assign development and planning rights to our own shorelines and immediate offshore areas to United Nations bureaucrats, you know, the kind of people who brought us the Food for Oil scandal in the 1990s, sexual assaults by UN "peacekeepers" and a willingness to surrender to radical Islam on such issues as our own first amendment right to free speech.

The more we proceed into this administration, the more his fumbling of the oath of office seems like a profound omen.

Watch. Look. Listen. And, where it matters, at the polls, vote. At home,write your Senator! (The House has no voice in treaties.) ACT!


State of Fear: The Imagination of Crisis and Its Political Exploitation

Americans are overreacting to events: to the "Great Depression" of 2009, to the increasing numbers of young people with Attention Deficit Disorder, to the histrionic fantasy that climate change will become global boiling. None of these issues is without substance, and none of them should be ignored; but in one way or another, we are overreacting by turning each of them into a crisis...We seem to have fallen in love with crises, and the more crises we find the more animated we seem to be. We are immersed in a Crisis of Crises, replete with illogic, a surfeit of emotion, and strings of events vying for crisis status..."Crisis," literally, means separation, and involves a break with the past by supplanting the existing order with a new one...All Crisis, All The Time, Irwin Savodnik, Weekly Standard, 10/19/2009

Savodnik has illuminated the subject the late Michael Crichton left out of his seminal State of Fear, a novel about the political exploitation of fear, especially as it involved ecological 'disasters' like 'global warming.' What Dr. Crichton didn't pay nearly attention enough to was the popular openness to their emotional manipulation by cynical politicians. (Only a profound cynic would use these fear campaigns to exploit citizens.) It's evident from polling after proclamations of crisis that we must like to be scared. Why do we act that way?

Read his article to guide the answer to that question. And, the next time you're inspired to fear by a politico grandstanding about a crisis, ask yourself a simple question? Is he or she just playing on fear? You can find out by investigating the sources of the "crisis" yourself. CNN doesn't have all the answers. In fact, by their slippage to 4th place in cable ratings for news programs, it's likely they have very few that audiences recognize.


NJ Governor's Race: Critical Shift

New Jersey’s closely contested race for governor...the latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in New Jersey show Christie with 46% of the vote and Corzine with 43%. While the margin is little changed from a week ago and the week before, the biggest news may be that support for independent candidate Chris Daggett has dropped four points to seven percent (7%). The number of undecided voters is down to four percent (4%)...Election 2009: New Jersey Governor, Rasmussen Reports, 10/27/2009

The mystery of independent Daggett's candidacy deepens. Rumors are thick about who is financing this campaign. In what is not a rumor, in virtually every real position, i.e., a match between what Daggett has advocated in the past and what he's promising now, in what he's done or advocated he's a virtual clone of Gov. Corzine. Makes one wonder. Hang in there, Chris Christie. New Jersey needs a Republican's bailout!


Dismantling American Freedom and Democracy: Thomas Sowell

Just one year ago, would you have believed that an unelected government official, not even a cabinet member confirmed by the Senate but simply one of the many “czars” appointed by the president, could arbitrarily cut the pay of executives in private businesses by 50 percent or 90 percent?...Did you think that another “czar” would be talking about restricting talk radio? That there would be plans afloat to subsidize newspapers — that is, to create a situation where some newspapers’ survival would depend on the government’s liking what they publish?...Did you imagine that anyone would even be talking about having a panel of so-called “experts” deciding who could and could not get life-saving medical treatments?...Dismantling America, Thomas Sowell, National Review, 10/27/2009

Thomas Sowell, like Clarence Thomas, has a problem. He's not a liberal. He defies expectations. He's independent. And he writes like an angel. You should read his books and columns. On economics, politics, and the national life, there are few as good as Sowell. This is only a small sample. Enjoy


Doug Hoffman Speaks: NYS 23rd Congressional District

Two weeks ago, political observers noticed a poll from New York’s 23rd congressional district that showed the liberal candidate fading fast and the conservative candidate gaining faster. This is the resurgence Republicans have been hoping for!...Unfortunately, the Republican party had nominated the liberal candidate. The conservative candidate is running against both the Republican party and the Democratic party...Isn’t that a good metaphor for the state in which conservatives find themselves?...How Quickly Things Change, Paul Hoffman, Conservative Candidate for Congress, NYS 23rd CD, National Review, 10/27/2009

It sure is, Mr. Hoffman. Ask any Tea Partyer. Either the national party is trying to take credit for what they won't do themselves, or they're horning in by making "modernizing" or "mainstreaming" selections of candidates. All this writer can say is "go, Doug, go!"


NY Tax Flight: What Raising Taxes Does

New Yorkers are fleeing the state and city in alarming numbers -- and costing a fortune in lost tax dollars, a new study shows...More than 1.5 million state residents left for other parts of the United States from 2000 to 2008, according to the report from the Empire Center for New York State Policy. It was the biggest out-of-state migration in the country...The vast majority of the migrants, 1.1 million, were former residents of New York City -- meaning one out of seven city taxpayers moved out....Tax Refugees Staging Escape from New York, Andy Soltis, NY Post, 10/27/2009

To which, "Republican" Mike Blooomberg's answer is for New York to become an open city for illegal immigrants, thus replacing taxpaying American citizens with people who serve either as cheap labor (nannies, housekeepers) for the upper middle class, or as welfare clients for the latest budget-busting program from Albany.

Obamanation is the same thing gone national.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

ObamaNation3: Buyers' Remorse

A few months back, I noted with some pleasure the attack of "buyers' remorse" that was spreading throughout New York City's financial environs. Statistically, every one of Wall Street's thieving bankers and hedge fund operators got on the fashion bandwagon last fall, donating to and voting for Barack Obama for President.

They and their money won. Cause for celebration, and after all, being New Yorkers, they were ready for "anyone but Bush" anyway.

You can imagine that they, like their counterparts in the trade and public employee unions, just sat back, no matter what trouble they were in, and waited for January 20, 2009, whereupon "The One" they funded would do what politicians usually do upon election--put top priority on paying off their supporters first with contracts, money, and other political plums such as swell ambassadorships.

But surprise! Just like the general public I referred to in my earlier post above, they voted for a media manufactured image, not a real person. Had they bothered to actually think, they'd have realized they were voting for a closet Marxist. But they didn't because they don't think.

Within a month or two, they had ample cause to re-examine their enthusiasm, according to a couple of good pieces in the Wall Street Journal. (I subscribe, but can't link, since content is generally subscription only.) The unions, of course, like the socialists they are, knew what they were buying and got their payoff in the stimulus package.

As to those wealthy Idiotarian poseurs, imagine their further surprise and horror as they discovered this week that Obama's "pay czar" (an unelected, unvetted, unconstitutional invention of this White House) was going to unilaterally roll back the pay of major financial executives by as much as 50%!! Oh, the humanity! More taxes at eleven.

These financial bigwigs have about as much political acumen as they do fiscal sense. As a current teen might say, "It's, like, who KNEW??" Ditto their wealthy friends in DC and elsewhere. Fashion sense, it seems, trumps common sense these days. Now, all of these wealthy dopes are terrified as they face squarely the horror they created for themselves.

PowerLine carries some dead-on comments today that I can link to, penned by a gent named Mark Falcoff. They echo my own thoughts from earlier this year as well as the Wall Street Journal's observations. But they're incredibly well presented.

Falcoff first sketches the scene:
The latest polls show Obama sinking among independent voters (and a few Democrats as well, though possibly for different reasons). They bring to mind an epiphany I had last summer while driving through the residential suburbs of Chevy Chase, Maryland. I was overwhelmed by the abundance of Obama lawn signs, many more than you might see in my own neighborhood of Dupont Circle in downtown Washington, which probably has the highest rate of Democratic registration in the nation.
Falcoff goes on to describe the incredible wealth in the Chevy Chase community which, in case you didn't know, vastly pre-dated the self-important Saturday Night Live comedian using the same name. You know, the kind of wealth that New York's (and LA's) financial and entertainment bigwigs currently enjoy.
Having lived and worked in area for nearly thirty years I have a pretty good idea of who lives in these houses. If I don't know the occupants, I know their neighbors or people like them. Typically the owners are a two-income couple, usually both lawyers. The husband may be a partner in a blue chip law firm downtown, the wife a principal of a "consulting" (e.g., lobbying) firm. Or the husband is the president of some sort of data processing company and the wife is the lawyer for a medical insurance concern. Or the husband is an ex-congressman, now lobbying for the Mattress Ticking Association or the Cotton Council or even some fat-cat union like the AFSCME, while the wife has an almost equally well paying job at some association or business concern.
They have big money, but, as Falcoff observes, really big expenses, too. But what's the point here?

As F. Scott Fitzgerald once said about "the very rich" -- "they are different from you and me."

It's not difficult to see that these people are living beyond their means.

And now the Savior Obama is threatening to raise their taxes. How else is he going to finance his various projects?

(Picture Homer Simpson slapping his head and shouting, "D'oh!!")

My question is: what were these people thinking back in the middle of last summer? [Italics here and elsewhere are mine.--tlp] That the outcome of a presidential election as ideologically polarized as the last one would make no difference whatsoever to their lifestyle? That voting for Obama was more of a style choice than a political decision? That they thought this would establish beyond all doubt that they weren't racists? Who knows? Maybe even they couldn't answer these questions now.

The point is: the chickens have come home to roost. Somebody is going to have his taxes increased, and there just aren't enough super-rich people around to finance Obamacare, the so-called stimulus, the nationalization of General Motors, and other bottomless pits for government revenue. Our friends in Chevy Chase (and several dozen suburbs like it across our land) are going to be hit in the pocketbook, and hit hard. One can't feel sorry for them, but one does wonder how things came to this.

I couldn't agree more with the above, save for that last sentence. Falcoff may "wonder" about this, but I don't.

To wit: When you get smug and wealthy; when you can't stand in the same room with someone who doesn't share your often shallow political "beliefs;" when you routinely condescend to those who live in 90% of this country; and when, in fact, you stand for nothing except that which gets you ahead today, you have essentially abandoned your God-given intellect and reason.

You have divorced your action from responsibility for that action. You have lost your ability to connect the dots and no longer dwell in a world that is real. You have accepted the fantasies, imagery, and false gods of others because they've helped you get ahead and because it's easier to go along with your fashionable crowd rather than question their actions. And now you have to pay the price for your wilful ignorance.

Too bad the rest of us also have to pay the same price. Your ill-considered support for your sworn enemies has placed them in power over us as well as yourselves.

You now have one of two choices: either wake up, join the American team, and help get the situation fixed in 2010.

Or get the hell out of the way.

ObamaNation2: The Cipher That Is "The One"

My previous post was a bit lengthy but I wanted to take some time to shape the field of battle. Successive posts in this area will be shorter and have more links. Except this one has only a single link because I don't really see anyone writing about this.

I told some of my closer friends last summer that I really feared the 2008 elections. While the media started out by being in the tank for Hillary, they quickly decided that candidate Barack Obama was more interesting, charismatic, and, well, a better story since electing him would "make history." They never bothered to investigate his professional background (essentially nonexistent, save for his work as a "community organizer"). Yet, paradoxically, they took the overnight red-eye to Anchorage to dumpster dive Sarah Palin, the opposing VP candidate, assassinating her character from the get-go while failing to delve more deeply into Obama, the arguably more important candidate since he was, after all, running for President rather than veep.

The result was that Obama became a "celebrity," a dude famous for being famous. It was a relief for a public who, whether they actually supported him or not, had grown tired of the George Bush they grew to know--the media built caricature who never got any credit for keeping our country safe from terrorism every single month after 9/11. Obama became a feel good vote: a young guy, a pretty good looking guy (as opposed to the old Vietnam war hero he was running against), a with-it guy, a fresh face who could easily solve all the problems we found ourselves in. In short, it became fashionable for people to vote for Obama, and unfashionable not to.

In a tawdry, media driven age, this was just the ticket. Let's elect the history-making guy which will automatically put distance between us and BushHitler. Simple, easy. Except no one knew who they were voting for. They were voting for a "community activist." A professional, radical socialist who, like Castro, hid from a gullible public and a worse media his core belief in socialism and his distaste for American capitalism. Nurtured by hardened Marxist Saul Alinsky and befriended by the Stalinist Bill Ayers (America's original, modern, home-grown terrorist), he came of age in the City of Broad Shoulders and Democrat machine-made politics.

Barack Obama is, in fact, our very own Manchurian Candidate, a cipher set up to head our government and serve as its pleasant and friendly face. He is anything but. He is a rote learner, not an intellectual. He claims to support policies but the policies are dreamt up by radicals on the Hill and in his administration. He had no stimulus plan, no medical insurance plan, nothing at all. He serves as the symbol for a radical left that's doing its best behind the scenes to eviscerate our way of life, and he stays above attack by playing the kind of race card that was, in fact, made obsolete by the very fact of his election.

Barack Obama is a very dangerous man, not in and of himself, but because of the people he's fronting for: avowed socialists all and dedicated to destroying American Exceptionalism and turning us into a third-world country where all of us depend on the government for our existence. Sober minds reading this may very well agree with me, even if they voted for Obama. True Believers will laugh and scoff. But as with much of life, just watch and learn, if you haven't done so already.

ObamaNation: Second Semester

During my latest lengthy online absence, attending to what I hope is the final batch of ongoing family end-of-life affairs, ObamaNation has gradually taken hold. Family issues or no, I was resolved to keep quiet on this presidency as long as I could in order to give things a chance to develop. After all, even a new guy I didn't vote for deserves an opportunity to get up and running.

Why? Congress typically likes to take its time approving nominations for your new team to afford themselves maximum opportunities for posturing and false moralizing on national TV. And, like it or not, your new budget is largely inherited from the previous Congress and White House, since the budgeting process is actually begun the previous spring. Ergo, it takes the better part of your first six months just to feel like you live in the White House. Actually getting something done is hard to do in your first semester.

But things have been different this time around. First of all, with a Democrat-led Congress with one of their own guys in the White House, nominations sailed through the approval process, unlike Bush's, which were balked at every opportunity by the Dems, even in a Republican-led Congress. Of course, the Obama-ites weren't so good at their own vetting process and several of their own top picks (like Governor Richardson and Idiotarian Tom Daschle) had to pull out due to alleged skeletons in their closet.

Nonetheless, and here was the surprise, the Obama-ites didn't let this stop them. Imagining themselves to be somewhat like FDR's original crash solution team back in 1933, this intrepid crew of insiders dove right into the fiscal mess from the get-go, hoping to make a big splash. Undaunted by the difficulty of this task, they also decided to restructure the entirety of America's medical insurance industry and, overnight, put an end to "global warming" forever.

Caesar may be ambitious, but we're not sure he's an honorable man. As ObamaNation enters its fall semester, let's see what "The One's" team has accomplished in the last 10 months or so:

Housing crisis: Obama's people are pushing various flavors of mortgage relief for those who are more or less underwater and in danger of foreclosure. Did it work? Nope, too much red tape. If you don't believe me, check out this current story via CNN, known for its adulation of all things Obama. You'll find, in spite of the reportorial spin, that for most of the interviewees, the program never really worked. Typical government assistance: job security for the bureaucracy (both the Feds and the banks), and not much coming out of the other end for actual people. The $8000 subsidy program for first time buyers has "succeeded" at the time, but now its gone, so the vaunted increasing housing sales will tank again, since no one can borrow money. A band-aid is not a solution. Package Grade: F.

Employment crisis: The Obama-touted, Democrat Congress constructed "stimulus plan"--derided in Republican circles as the "porkulus plan"--has proved to be precisely that. Obama promised that circa 3.5 MILLION jobs would be created or saved. According to Larry Summers (who was quickly silenced), the porkulus bill has, in fact, "created" no more than 30,000 jobs. The rest of the total, presumably, were "saved." Which ones? Public service union jobs in states famous for overspending on them, like California, Michigan, and Ohio. Payback time for 2008 union support, no doubt. The Fed money backstop for these thieves is perverse. Public service employees are paid by the taxpayers. But, of course, there are less taxpayers every month, which is why many states are starting to go bankrupt paying ridiculous public employee union salaries and benefits. The Federal government is merely delaying the inevitable day of reckoning. Meanwhile, the average working Joe is, well, outta work. Do the math. This will end badly. Total failure. Grade: F.

Economy: See above. For better or for worse, we've allowed our country to become primarily dependent on consumer indebtedness--not genuine employment and production of goods--in order to drive economic development. The Dems, over the past 30 odd years, have increasingly made it easy for unqualified people to obtain mortgages. This resulted in the housing bubble for which the Bushies were unfairly blamed. Congress and the administration are, in fact, trying to reignite the "consumer" once again by subsidizing mortages to the credit unworthy (see above) which means they're essentially attempting to solve the problem by re-creating it. How dumb is this? The country either has to start reviving solvent consumers and letting the impecunious bear some blame for their own complicity in the credit bubble. Or we're going to have to create a new version of contemporary capitalism that doesn't involve everyone getting in hock up to his or her eyebrows. Won't happen. This crew is trying to kick the can down the road. Nothing has gotten close to being solved on the consumer front. Grade: F.

Health Care: It's common wisdom, and actually true, that if a new prez wants to get his plans enacted, he'd better act early in his administration while he still has loads of political capital. Problem is, if you're in the middle of an epic economic mess, you have to solve that first in order to fund your grandiose plans--later. The Obama-ites, however, are focused, and actually don't give a damn about the economy, since they're all socialists anyway. They figure that by printing money and paying off their supporters, eventually the economy will reflate itself out of trouble, providing them with the money to socialize healthcare. They weren't willing to solve the economy first. So they've been chasing at windmills on the healthcare issue even as the unemployment rolls grown, making socialized medicine, in fact, a current fiscal impossibility. This won't stop them, however. They don't care. The debt burden will, in turn, further burden a decaying economy. It's a mess. While you need to give these guys an A for keeping their eyes on the prize (socialized medicine), their battle plan is fatally flawed from an economic point of view. Grade: F.

Global Warming: I.e., the "carbon tax." First of all, more and more people, even the Euro-freaks who started it, are beginning to realize that "global warming" is a gigantic hoax, driven on by socialists who've intimidated the scientific community into supporting the results of questionable, one-sided "research" on the issue. EVERYONE has backed away from the idiotic Kyoto protocols, and China, India, and Russia have stated flat out that they don't give a rat's ass about any of this. But "global warming" and its purported solution, carbon taxation, has become a core belief of the socialist mantra since it will enable immense control of companies and economies by the anointed in control of government. People are looking at the horrendous costs of this nonsense and are backing away--except for the radical Democrats who are driving the agenda. Which, in fact, proves they don't care about the economy. They want to replace capitalism with a new religious dogma that will, ultimately, keep most people impoverished and unemployed since it will needlessly drive up costs for everything. Thus, everyone will need "help" from the state, which, of course, will be run by the radical left. Grade: F.

So, 10 months in to government by "The One," we have no real stimulus, growing unemployment, and an entire Federal government more interested in socializing medicine and in destroying what's left of the economy with a "cap and trade" regime that has, I guarantee it, the Chi-coms, the Russians, and maybe even our friends in India rolling on the floor with laughter as their greatest competitor disembowels itself willingly.

I've now been on this planet for nearly 61 years. I've spent roughly 38 of them in Washington. And let me guarantee you: this is, by far, the most arrogant, ignorant, ideologically-driven White House and Congress I've ever seen. At this point, I'd even take Clinton back. The man had the moral scruples of a hyena. But he still had enough sense to help out his pals while keeping intact the system that enabled him to do so. And as to Obama himself. More in my next post.

Friday, October 23, 2009

What Kills More, Medicare, or No Insurance?

Democrats, and their media sock puppets, have shamelessly exploited highly questionable estimates of uninsured shoehorn the entire population into ...a government-run health care system -- on steroids...They cite an exaggerated claim that 45,000 Americans die each year because they don't have health insurance. That figure comes from a study funded by your federal tax dollars, even though it was recently distributed to the media by Physicians for a National Health Program, a fringe, pro single-payer group based in Chicago...By contrast, a comprehensive study of over 35,000,000 acute care records over a...three-year period concludes that preventable medical mistakes actually cause a similar number of deaths in the government-run Medicare by HealthGrades concludes that '224,537 Medicare lives could have potentially been saved during 2006 through 2008' if all hospitals across the country had performed at the quality of care levels of its top-ranked facilities...Yet why aren't the Democrat demagogues braying about a "holocaust" in government-run Medicare?...45,000 Uninsured Deaths? William Tate, American Thinker, 10/23/2009

Because it's their program, of course. In the harmonized political environment of Obama's Washington, it's only the other guy, especially in private industry, who's at fault. So what if there are a quarter of a million corpses buried under the White House lawn? Wise up. The public option is all about forcing you to die their way.


FOX: White House Blinks (A Growing Habit?)

The White House sent out an alert today to the press pool that "Pay Czar" Kenneth Feinberg would be doing a press availability— a round robin with the major news networks, in which Fox is customarily included. The administration specified that everyone was invited except Fox News, according to Bret Baier on "Special Report" tonight...The press pool, acting in the interest of its members, admirably stood up to the White House bullying. All the other networks declared that if Fox was not getting an interview, they would not be conducting interviews. The White House responded by cutting Feinberg's time with the neworks from five minutes to two minutes...Escalation: White House Tries to Exclude Fox From Press Pool Interview, Mary Ham, Weekly Standard Blog, 10/23/2009

Tricky Dick Nixon must be giggling somewhere.

For a remarkable essay on the administration's FOX hunt, you might want White House Tactics Go Too Far, Charles Krauthammer, Real Clear Politics, 10/23/2009. A sample:

"Fox News is no monopoly. It is a singular minority in a sea of liberal media. ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, NPR, CNN, MSNBC vs. Fox. The lineup is so unbalanced as to be comical -- and that doesn't even include the other commanding heights of the culture that are firmly, flagrantly liberal: Hollywood, the foundations, the universities, the elite newspapers...." -- Charles Krauthammer


Feinberg to Regulate Bankers Pay: Sure, They Deserved It, But Then What?

If this were simply a case of politicians’ grandstanding upon the misfortunes of seven deeply troubled firms, that would be one thing. If the ruins of General Motors are the rooftop from which you wish to shout your critique of capitalism, the very best of Motor City luck to you. But the Democrats wish to see these czarish pretentions extended over most of the American economy. Senator Schumer, the New York grandee renowned for his ability to squeeze campaign money out of Wall Street, wishes to see Mr. Feinberg’s pay restrictions extended to every publicly traded company in America: not every financial company, mind you, not every TARP recipient, not every bailout basketcase, but every single American company with shares trading on an exchange. Those aspirations are authoritarian, and remarkably so. Further, Mr. Feinberg intends to demand a number of structural changes at these firms — changing the way board elections are structured, forbidding CEOs to serve as chairmen, etc. — which Senator Schumer and others may well be tempted to insist upon generalizing....Feinberg's Folly, The Editors, National Review, 10/23/2009

Three years after World War II, under a Labor (socialist) government, England, which had been on the victorious side of the war against Nazi Germany, was bankrupt, under a heavy rationing regime, and barely able to sustain itself as a nation. It was, in some respects, worse off than the wreck of Germany. Recovery wasn't very real until a brief flare in the 1960s, and substantive only during the Thatcher era forty years later. State-run economies are disasters. But state-run economies are also operated by sanctimonious hypocrites like Charles Schumer, the kind of nanny goats who don't approve any individual decision, who are the first to criticize any exercise of individual ambition (other than their own), and who would be happy to come into your kitchen and shout instructions at you on how to cook nonfat meals.

This huge intervention in corporate governance, while not surprising in banks and brokerages after their bubble-head management led to the crash and credit crunch of 2008-2009, will not give us perfected organizations, but one British-Leyland after another, i.e., a ghastly conglomeration of mismatched political and economic objectives that will have to be broken up and sold to private entrepreneurs if any of them are to survive.

The reason Ayn Rand is held in such high regard in her sometimes hyperventilating style about what happens when the state takes over enterprises is that she saw it happen in the first decade of the Soviet Union. What the current Administration is doing is becoming hard to distinguish from the demolition of private enterprise before the appearance of John Galt at the end of Atlas Shrugged. Sanctimonious intrusion heaps upon sanctimonious intrusion until the most gifted entrepreneurs and managers simply can't juggle all the bouncing demands any more. In Rand's book, the good ones fled to Galt Gulch to rebuild. But where's Galt Gulch today? The usual outcome of socialism is bankruptcy, economic stagnation, and long-term corruption so deep that only war or revolution can root it out. The magical appearance of a savior, as we know very well from the current resident of the White House, is less a guarantee of safety than of national ruin.

Regardless of how just you might think it is for bankers and brokers to have their pay constrained by the government, that's not where it ends. It ends when the sanctimonious hypocrites have their mitts on everything.

These are the stakes for 2010. These are the stakes now.


Virginia Absentee Ballots Late: Here We Go Again

The Virginia State Board of Elections is investigating why more than 10 percent of the state's local elections boards have apparently failed to comply with a new state law requiring absentee ballots be ready 45 days before an election...Sixteen of Virginia's 134 localities, which were not identified by the State Board of Elections, failed to confirm with state officials that they had made at least one of three types of ballots -- paper, e-mail, or touch-screen in-person -- available on Sept. 18, the first day of absentee voting...A federal judge ruled earlier this month that the state violated the voting rights of military and overseas voters in last year's presidential election by sending ballots without sufficient time for them to be returned on Election Day....Gaps Found in VA's Absentee Ballot Access, Sarah Abruzzese, Washington Times, 10/23/2009

In dictatorships, people are denied the vote by arresting them, killing them, or declaring their votes illegal. In Virginia, as in Minnesota and elsewhere in recent years, absentee ballots, heavily used by US military personnel, are simply delayed until the votes don't count. One suspects that if the ballots went primarily to college professors teaching in another state, that they'd be there six months in advance. Stop the cheating; and don't be fooled, voters.


FOX War: Shades of Richard Nixon

President Obama has yet to decide on deploying more troops to fight the Taliban, but his administration is resolved to defeat at least one pressing security threat: FOX News...Fox and Foes, Jacob Laksin,, 10/23/2009

Those intent on comparing the current administration in Washington to that of LBJ or FDR might want to think again. Was it not the Left's Great Bogeyman Richard Nixon who went after the NY Times, CBS News, and a whole list of enemies in the early 1970s?

In a slightly different interpretation of remarks by the late Winston Churchill on foxhunting, this administration in its FOX hunt looks like the pursuit of the inedible by the unspeakable.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Car Czar: GM Management Atrocious - Why Is This News?

"Everyone knew Detroit's reputation for insular, slow-moving cultures," Rattner wrote. "Even by that low standard, I was shocked by the stunningly poor management that we found, particularly at GM, where we encountered, among other things, perhaps the weakest finance operation any of us had ever seen in a major company."..."At GM's Renaissance Center headquarters, the top brass were sequestered on the uppermost floor, behind locked and guarded glass doors," he wrote. "Executives housed on that floor had elevator cards that allowed them to descend to their private garage without stopping at any of the intervening floors (no mixing with the drones)."...GM, Chrysler were the Clunkers: Car Czar, Paul Tharp, NY Post, 10/22/2009

Gee, it sounds like how Congress and the White House relate to the citizens of the United States. For this report, information which was fairly common knowledge in Detroit, certainly to the UAW, and to a fair number of now looted GM bondholers, we paid sixty billion bucks? It could be understood as a consultant's fee. Guess what? We're the consultants. And guess who got the check? Yep, the UAW.

In the future, when you hire representatives, senators and a president to sort out what they're going to do with your money, read the contract's fine print. It was NOT news that Democrats would give the UAW anything requested, throw any amount of money thought necessary to keep the GM corpse's heart beating, and tell any lie to justify the expenditure. Next time, read the contract!


Missing Missing Link: Why Public Relations and Science Don't Mix

Remember Ida, the fossil discovery announced last May with its own book and TV documentary? A publicity blitz called it "the link" that would reveal the earliest evolutionary roots of monkeys, apes and humans. Experts protested that Ida wasn't even a close relative. And now a new analysis supports their reaction...In fact, Ida is as far removed from the monkey-ape-human ancestry as a primate could be, says an expert at Stony Brook University on Long Island....Hyped Fossil 'Link' Just a Big Boner, Malcom Ritter, NY Post, 10/22/2009

If you experience a sudden association with global warming, don't feel bad. When science and public relations collude, it's usually the propaganda provider who gets the upper hand. As Hitler could tell you, a big lie will be believed, if it's repeated often enough, even if there's proof that it's not true.

Believe it. Ida's closer to your cat than to you. But they're still looking. And the propagandists will never give up.


Democrats Using Race to Obliterate Debate on Other Issues?

Democrats have continued to argue that disapproval of their agenda stems from hidden racial animosity. Claiming their critics are racists and making themselves the defenders of antiracism touches the long history of Americans treating minorities as monolithically-thinking groups that need to be cared for, rather than self-reliant individuals in communities that have a wide range of opinions...From paternalist slaveholders who treated all blacks as children, to segregationists who treated them all as criminals, to current senators who won't accept the opinion of a black businessman on energy policy because it disagrees with the NAACP, American society has rarely treated African Americans and other minorities as anything but part of a group...Democrats and the Politics of Rage

It is worth remembering a little history. The strongest supporters of the South (and slavery) in the American Civil War were Democrats. The developers of Jim Crow racial separation laws, or apartheid, were Democrats under the Wilson Administration. The floor fight for Lyndon Johnson's greatest contribution to civil rights was not led by a Democrat. It was led by a Senator from Illinois. His name was Everett Dirksen. He was a Republican who felt that the proposed civil rights law would help to complete a project begun by Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican President. You could look it up.


Reds in the White House: Naming Names

President Obama and "the other side of Barack's brain," Valerie Jarrett -- whose stepfather coincidentally maintained close ties with the President's adolescent mentor and Communist, Frank Marshall Davis -- handpicked the following bureaucrats and placed them in positions of great authority, power, and visibility:
Van Jones, "Green Jobs Czar," self-defined Communist; Ron Bloom, "Manufacturing Czar" cites Chairman Mao as a political guide; Anita Dunn, White House Communications Director, who stated in an address to high school students this past June that Chairman Mao Tse-tung was one of the two "philosophers" she most often turns to...All the President's Mao, Mac Fuller, American Thinker, 10/22/2009

The MSM would like you to believe that the old "he's a commie" accusation is a silly aftereffect of the late Cold War. Who believes in that anti-Communist stuff any longer? The Reds, as they were called, may now come mostly from within our borders instead of being sleeper agents in the State Department, but they still believe in the same thing: the destruction of freedom and capitalism; the destruction of the United States. They may be bust in Moscow, but they're inside the White House now. You could look it up.


Medicare Reimbursement Scam Defeated

The Senate on Wednesday blocked an expensive change to the way doctors are paid under Medicare over concern about the mounting deficit, in what Republicans called the first defeat for President Obama's health care plan...Democratic leaders had sought the 10-year, nearly $250 billion bill as a fix to the long-term Medicare problem, but without proposing a way to pay for it, they lost support from moderate Democrats...Senate Defeats Costly Medicare Fix, Jennifer Habberkorn and Kara Rowland, Washington Times, 10/22/2009

That's one scam down. Who knows how many more are to come? However, it appears that not all Democrats in the Senate are part of Rahm's Chicago gang.


John Kerry as International Relations Advisor: Secretary of State Clinton Must Love This

He's not a Cabinet member or an ambassador, but Sen. John Kerry has ascended to the unofficial role of President Obama's global adviser on key issues that could reshape the nation's image around the world....Kerry Finds Spot in Obama Circle, Laurie Kellman, Washington Times, 10/22/2009

It's quite a stretch to go from betraying your comrades to build your anti-war credentials, while avoiding war crimes charges yourself, to the Senate, to a losing Presidential candidacy which promised to give up in the war on terrorists in Iraq, to the role as an unconfirmed chief diplomat, or perhaps State Department Czar, for a White House devoted to unofficial means of forcing mandates on the United States and its citizens. Secretary Clinton, who is fast becoming the William Rogers of the Obama Administration -- i.e., a totem of foreign policy rather than a principal actor, might want to re-think her plan not to run for office again. If she really wants to play in the Washington power game, elective office might be a better choice than serving as the State Department's official blonde.


Iran: Another Dictator Endlessly Dying

The Obama Administration may have found its breakthrough in dealing with Iran, but not through its diplomatic engagement. Rumors are spreading in and outside of Iran that Supreme Leader Khamenei, who at 70 years old has been known to be in poor health, is in a coma or dead....Khamenei's Demise? Ryan Mauro,, 10/22/09

Let's see. Castro started dying twenty-five years ago. Brezhnev died for almost a decade. Mao Tse-Tung, the mass murdering peasant so loved by the current White House Director of Communications, was believed to be dying for almost twenty years. North Korea's Kim Jong Il has been dying for decades. One suspects that part of the rationale behind Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of Hitler in 1936 was an MI6 report that Uncle Adolf was fatally ill. It is always and forever the endless dying of dictators that has been presented as "hope and change" by weak, appeasing leaders in the West. Slapped stupid by the Iranian government in the effort to "reason together" with Teheran's mullahs, now the best the current White House occupant can offer is hope that change will come through yet another endlessly dying dictator?

Not that such wishful thinking is the unique province of the Left. The federal takeover of the medical economy has been dying since last August, at least according to Drudge.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Kingston NC: Blacks Can Only Judge Candidates by Party Label?

Obama's Justice Department has ruled against the actions of the town of Kingston, North Carolina. What did this town do that was so terrible? The residents voted overwhelmingly to eliminate partisan elections for mayor and city council members. The Justice Department stepped in and said, "Whoa! Wait just a second!" According to the Justice Department, blacks in Kinston must have the Democrat Party in order to elect their "candidate of choice."...Justice Department: Blacks Must Have Democrat Label to Know How to Vote

In essence, this intervention by the Department of Justice is on behalf of the profoundly racist idea that one race can't judge someone on the contents on his or her character, but on what label he or she wears.

You can't make this stuff up.


Edolphus Towns: Countrywide Scandal's Protection Enforcer

Some big name Democratic lawmakers as well as contributors would be embarrassed and possibly liable for ethics violations if the truth about the list of "VIP's" who benefited from overly generous mortgage terms offered by Countrywide Financial ever came out...So the number one job of House Oversight and Government Reform chairman Edolphus Towns is to try and bury the issue - just as it's the number one job of the ranking minority member Darrell Issa to try and bring it out into the open...The result? When the GOP tried to force a vote on the investigation during a mark up period, the Democrats refused to show up. And now they've locked the GOP out of the Committee room entirely....Dems running scared on Countrywide scandal, Rick Moran, American Thinker, 10/21/2009

When you elect thugs, bandits, and gangsters to Congress, this is what they do. They lie, cheat, attack, steal, and in general act more like John Gotti, Sr., than representatives of the people.

That rarest of endangered species in California, a Republican, Rep. Darrell Issa,is fighting to keep this latest version of transparency in government, as in transparent lies and coverups, from vanishing from public view. Support Rep. Issa. It's not about Republicans. It's about the integrity of Congress. Try not to smile as you read that.


NY Congressional Race: RINO Scozzafava vs. Conservative Hoffman

Politicians like far-left New York Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava who have Republican congressional nominations handed to them by local GOP poobahs sometimes turn out to be lousy candidates...New York GOP leaders could have gone with Doug Hoffman, a...successful entrepreneur of...unquestioned conservative principles. Instead, they chose Scozzafava...endorsed in years past by ACORN's Working Families Party, and who supports the Obama-Reid-Pelosi agenda across the board, including Big Labor's Card Check proposal to abolish the secret ballot in workplace representation elections...Hoffman received the Conservative Party of New York endorsement and in the last three weeks his campaign has gone from nowhere to gangbusters...Siena Research Institute's latest survey...which finds a very tight race, with Democrat Bill Owens leading at 33 percent, Scozzafava at 29 percent, and Hoffman at 23 percent...No Wonder Scozzafava Called the Cops..., Mark Tapsott, Washington Examiner, 10/21/2009

New York is plagued by a fake two-party system. Republicans become that way by label changes about as subtle as the old Detroit annual model change. Make identical chassis. Call one a Chevy, another a Buick, another a Cadillac. Mike Bloomberg? A Democrat who changed parties to become Mayor. George Pataki? If you can tell the difference between wildly irresponsible spending under his administration and that of Gov. Paterson, let us know. In upstate and western New York, there still distinctions, but, as in this election, every effort is made to turn all heads in the same direction. Doug Hoffman is a real conservative, and is making this a very unique election in New York State. Hey, even the sainted Fiorello LaGuardia was a socialist.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Liverpool Care Pathway and ObamaCare: The Change You Wanted?

The Government is rolling out a new treatment pattern of palliative care into hospitals, nursing and residential homes. It is based on experience in a Liverpool hospice. If you tick all the right boxes in the Liverpool Care Pathway, the inevitable outcome of the consequent treatment is death...Dying Patients, Letters, UK Telegraph, 9/3/2009

Let's not mince words. The Liverpool Care Pathway adopted by Britain's National Health Service is euthanasia. Euthanasia is one of the species of mass murder practiced by human beings, mostly in the last 150 years, but in some views for as long as we've existed.

To recap, mass murder takes one of several forms: infanticide; genocide; euthanasia.

Infanticide, while universally scorned in a less populous time, has been largely legitimized in the last four decades in the form of either therapeutic, or individual choice, abortion: therapy for those raped or otherwise traumatized by pregnancy; individual choice for those who'd rather buck for promotion at work than take on the thankless job of parent. It is interesting that in areas where this is widely practiced, such as Europe, Japan, and the non-immigrant population of the United States, population growth has dipped far below replacement. The next fifty years in Europe, the United States and Japan will bear little resemblance to the past fifty. Those aborted will be replaced by those born overseas. New generations won't sit peaceably by while whole countries turn into populations of nursing home residents. There have also been philosophical explorations by such ethicists as Princeton's Peter Singer into the idea of post-natal abortion where a parent, disappointed by the outcome of reproduction, kills off a child.

The genocidal form of mass murder has recurred numerous times in the last century and a half, from the slaughter of six million Congolese by agents of Leopold the Second, to the Holocaust in 1940s Europe, to Kampuchea, and on to Rwanda. Elie Wiesel argued that the M.A.D. (Mutually Assured Destruction) doctrine of nuclear combat, established during the Nixon & Carter Administrations, was genocidal planning on a far larger scale than that of Auschwitz-Birkenau. While universally condemned, unlike individual abortions, genocides have always been a government's legal policy. While an individual can, on moral grounds, refuse to have an abortion, it is very difficult for a citizen to stop a government intent on murdering a whole population.

Euthanasia has always been presented as "beneficent" murder, the assisted, or unassisted, killing of individuals deemed to have lives too miserable to continue. Of the three traditional forms of mass murder, euthanasia is the one with the least associated guilt. After all, getting rid of the old and the infirm relieves caretakers, family, spouses and friends of the horror of looking after, visiting, or paying for the care of someone they once knew as young and whole and healthy. It also relieves insurance companies, or the state, of financial responsibilities for individuals whose futures are considered too expensive to maintain. In the Netherlands, and in Britain, there is obvious collusion between such private worries and public policy. Britain's NHS would never have been developed Liverpool Pathway without widespread, public support, however subtle or implicit. And it takes other forms. Treatments considered routine in the United States are routinely denied to patients over 70 in much of Europe. Be honest, EU; that's just another form of euthanasia as policy. If bypass surgery would keep someone alive, and it's denied as official policy in France, the state may fairly be considered as accomplice to murder if the patient dies for want of treatment. And yet, other than stories of medical tourists to the United States, we don't hear too much protest about this in the popular media. Indeed, during the summer of 2005, the hottest summer in sixty years in France, vacationers refused to respond to emergency messages about their parents and grandparents dying of heat exposure in un-air-conditioned nursing homes in the north. Between fifty and one hundred thousand elderly died of such causes that summer. It was hard to get vacationers to come home to even claim the bodies of their loved ones; their reservations on the Riviera were more valuable. In some cases, it's evident that human beings rather prefer euthanasia to, say, visiting Mom or Dad at the Home.

Infanticide, genocide, and euthanasia are the principal species of mass murder. The government, that is to say, you and the elected officials you put in Washington, have approved the first method long ago, and are openly talking about approving the third as part of medical reform. Is that the change you voted for?


Monday, October 19, 2009

Chicago Style in Washington: Mao-loving Dunn versus Chris Wallace, FOX

The White House stopped providing guests to 'Fox News Sunday' after Wallace fact-checked controversial assertions made by Tammy Duckworth, assistant secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, in August. Dunn said fact-checking an administration official was "something I've never seen a Sunday show do."..."She criticized 'FOX News Sunday' last week for fact-checking -- fact-checking -- an administration official," Wallace said Sunday. "They didn't say that our fact-checking was wrong. They just said that we had dared to fact-check."..."Let's fact-check Anita Dunn, because last Sunday she said that Fox ignores Republican scandals, and she specifically mentioned the scandal involving Nevada senator John Ensign," Wallace added. "A number of Fox News shows have run stories about Senator Ensign. Anita Dunn's facts were just plain wrong."...White House Escalates War on Fox News,, 10/19/2009

Chris Wallace is a very fine reporter and more than fairminded. But, he obviously doesn't understand the Chicago style employed by the Mao-loving Anita Dunn, Director of White House Communications. In Chicago, if you allege that an alderman has stolen money, the alderman responds by accusing you of being a child abuser, a rapist, or, worse, of having written critically about the Mayor. The issue of the original accusation is never addressed. That would be telling.


Obama's Mao-Loving Director of Communications: "We Control Media"

President Obama's presidential campaign focused on "making" the news media cover certain issues while rarely communicating anything to the press unless it was "controlled," White House Communications Director Anita Dunn disclosed to the Dominican government at a videotaped conference..."Very rarely did we communicate through the press anything that we didn't absolutely control," said Dunn....White House Boasts: We 'Control' Media, Aaron Klein, WorldNet Daily, 10/19/2009

Hey, Anita Dunn is certainly consistent. If you're going to praise Chairman Mao, you might as well emulate his totalitarian government as well. What next? Little villages with happy people in pinafores talking about free health care?


Abandoning Pop Culture?

I have some confessions to make, not because any of you readers are particularly interested in my views; but rather because I think some of you are in the same boat: Have you stopped reading, listening, watching, and paying attention to most of what now passes for establishment public or popular culture?...Confessions of a Cultural Drop-Out, Victor Davis Hanson, Pajamas Media, 10/19/2009

Former NEA Chairman Dana Gioia often made the point in his talks around the country that high culture, whether that produced by Euripides, Poussin, or Wynton Marsalis, was enjoyed, at most, by a few percent of the population. The vast proportion of people, in any age, never paid much attention to great plays, magnificent paintings, or challenging music. We were fortunate, Gioia would remark, that in each era a few carried on and developed, and a few more enjoyed, artistic traditions.

It is tempting to resign in the face of the utter onslaught of popular culture. Hugely amplified by technology, whether electronic amps, television, satellites, radio, cable, it seems to be omnipresent. But, as Victor Davis Hanson suggests, there is an old, reliable means to avoid the barely literate production of pop songwriters, moviemakers, and the endless hash-slinging of the Internet. Ignore them, or pay closer to attention to the fact that high culture is being distributed in much the same way. Modern segment marketing, in fact, encourages this.

Few ever go to Lincoln Center, but there are thousands of classical and jazz music streams on the Internet. Not that many people go to repertory theaters and movie houses. You don't have to. Almost any film ever made is available, as Hanson notes, on DVD. Almost anything of quality written in English is available in either inexpensively printed books, on the online Gutenberg Project, or on university and other electronic text outlets. You can sit on top of a mountain and order a book for your reading device, including thousands, if not tens of thousands, unavailable in any brick and mortar bookstore. Indeed, one of the great advantages for those who appreciate high culture is its easy availability using the same media as that dominated (financially) by pop culture.

The real lesson here is that old standby: if you don't like the program, change the channel.


As Water Reaches the Boat Deck, California Adds More Regulations

San Franciscans must be truly idle, and ruled by a devilishly cunning imp, to be hoodwinked into squandering any of their existence rooting around in their own garbage...A more intrusive regime for the simple act of discarding something could hardly be devised. There will be...three color-coded bins into which garbage must be classified, as it is assessed for compostability and recyclability. This is more than enough to flummox the average left-coast high school grad...This government-in-your-garbage ordinance is in response to a self-inflicted wound. It is deemed necessary in order to comply with the city's self-imposed goal of 75% recycling by 2010, as a waypoint to zero waste by 2020...One consequence that was apparently not intended is how much more expedient it is to throw garbage onto the street instead of into the correct aperture in your suite of trash receptacles. Already 80% of the millions of pounds of trash on the beaches, in storm drains and rivers, is washed off the land....Compost Conserved, Lifetime Wasted, Jeremy Haddock, American Thinker, 10/19/2009

Mr. Haddock evidently doesn't understand how things work. In the world of the Left, bankruptcy and policy failure matter very little. What's important is that, as you sip chardonnay and nibble bris at the garbage dump, you feel superior. California's "politicians" would have stood at the rail on the Titanic demanding that steerage class passengers refrain from throwing deck chairs into the Atlantic to hang onto when the ship went down.


Health "Care": More on Obama/Biden Saving the Middle Class

None of the new distortions that the Senate health-care bill will layer onto the already-distorted tax code have received the attention they deserve, but in particular its effects on marginal tax rates could use scrutiny. Incredibly, for those with lower incomes, ObamaCare will impose a penalty as high as 34% on . . . work...ObamaCare's Tax on Work, Editorial, Wall Street Journal, 10/18/2009

In the old days in Brooklyn, "taking care" of somebody meant one of several things: a) an uncooperative local gang leader would get his knees busted with a baseball bat; b) an uncooperative store owner would get his or her knees busted with a baseball bat; or c) one of the above would be assassinated for failing to cooperate after getting his or her knees busted. This was a model in Chicago as well.

The definition of health "care" seems similar for the Administration whose Vice President said "we're going to save the middle class". If you take a benefit away from someone who has earned it, then force he or she to take something worse that they don't want, then force them to pay more taxes, and threaten to throw them into jail if they don't obey, what kind of "salvation" is that? Sounds more like John Gotti than Jesus to this writer.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Can't Get a Date? Might Soon Be No Problem

Scientists at the University of Toronto found that by genetically tweaking fruit flies so they failed to produce a particular type of pheromone or odour, it turned them irresistible to their species...They discovered that when the pheromone was removed, it created a "sexual tsunami" where the bugs proved attractive to one another, regardless of sex.... Scientists Create Sexual 'Tsunami', UK Telegraph, Chris Irvine, 10/15/2009

Hey, great news for aging (or hideous) metrosexuals! Expect dosages of this to be included in the Democrat Health Plan. What patient will care if denied coronary bypass surgery?


California Saves World from LCD Screens

The influential lobby group Consumer Electronics Assn. is fighting what appears to be a losing battle to dissuade California regulators from passing the nation's first ban on energy-hungry big-screen televisions...LA Times, Mark Lifsher, 10/15/2009

Let's see. California won't develop its own offshore oil and inland natural gas resources, but it's going to ban LCD TVs of a certain size because they use "too much" energy. There's a certain logic to these two things. However, most manufacturers' new sets already meet, or soon will meet, the proposed new standards for energy use by large screen televisions in California. Perhaps the new rules serve the same purpose as banning energy development -- good public relations to present to those voters who contribute to the Sierra Club.


Army Funds for Weapons Diverted to Earmarks?

Senators diverted $2.6 billion in funds in a defense spending bill to pet projects largely at the expense of accounts that pay for fuel, ammunition and training for U.S. troops, including those fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to an analysis...Washington Times, Shaun Waterman, October 15, 2009

Sure glad that the U.S. Senate Democrats are rallying behind our troops in Afghanistan.


Not Making Chinese Bondholders Think Twice?

Having gone through what has to be the worst non-wartime fiscal year in American history, Obama and the geniuses in control of Congress want to impose de facto energy taxes euphemistically referred to as “cap and trade” on almost anything that emits carbon, take over the health care system (because they have done so well with Social Security and Medicare), and impose a frightening array of other tax increases and new taxes that will almost definitely not yield the amounts predicted. All items noted would further pummel an already staggering economy...We’re surrounded by either fools or knaves...The support for the “knave” alternative is becoming more compelling. People who are serious about their desire for an economic recovery simply don’t do the things they have done and don’t propose the things they are proposing. What they want are things you would expect from the government of a banana republic, not the supposed leader of the free world....Seeing Red Ink, Tom Blumer, Pajamas Media, 10/15/09

What's more amazing is the apparent, silent approval of Chinese buyers of American t-bills. Trillions in red ink here means trillions of devalued dollars there. Or is it that what's common reporting in the Asia Times every day about Chinese $anxiety doesn't pass muster in American news outlets? Don't expect to find out from Chris Matthews. You could try FOX. It's not radio....


Friday, October 16, 2009

Heene Family Robinson: Hoaxing the Hoaxters?

Just a brief comment on this hot air balloon farce:

It gave this writer a great deal of pleasure to see the Heene family make fools of those who seem to think their profession is making fools of us.


Friday, October 09, 2009

Nobel for Obama: You have GOT to be kidding!

There's no need for a weblink on this post. By now, anyone who has any contact with what passes for news these days knows that the Nobel Prize Committee, in its infinite wisdumb, has awarded this year's Nobel Peace Prize to none other than The One, U.S. President Barack Obama.

In case you could never quite believe that the non-science Nobel awards (i.e., Peace Prize, Literature Prize) are almost always based on the prize winner's association with socialism, you can now rest easy. This year's Peace Prize has been awarded to a man who, quite literally, has had:
  • no actual career
  • no accomplishments
  • no foreign policy victories
  • no domestic victories
  • only 9 months in office, and
  • no effect on the real world at all to date, unless you count the negative return of his Chicago Olympics pitch, smashed down by the IOC the very next day
Or unless you credit his election as President last year as an accomplishment.

But even that's a stretch if you think about it. It would be tough to lose against a guy, in this post-TV era, who looks old enough to be your great-grandfather tethered to a vice-presidential running mate doomed from the get-go by a massive smear campaign engineered by the greatest slander artists of our time.

Add to this a near 100%, 24/7 PR campaign mounted by the massive media combine, the East Coast Liberal Establishment, all professors, all unions, nearly all of Hollywood, and George Soros' endless fountain of money, and you have an electoral train that's incapable of being stopped.

Eight years of mindless and endless Bush hatred on the part of the elites only further greased the skids in Obama's favor. An unknown space alien could have one last year's election with this kind of backing. Wait a minute--isn't that exactly what happened?

The utter worthlessness of the Nobel Peace Prize is now fully exposed in case most of you haven't figured this out. This year's prize was not awarded on the basis of any accomplishments at all. If you think about it, actually, the award wasn't even for Obama. It was for the American people who, after their lunatic years supporting Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II, have finally come to their senses. They've elected a true, unreconstructed socialist fully acceptable to our betters, Europe's smug, upper class elites. It was a symbolic thing. America has finally grown up and come to its senses. And the Nobel Eurocrats have vetted it so it must be so.

Europe can now relax, secure in the knowledge that Americans have seen the light and will allow a socialist government to take over their lives, ruin their economy, and leave themselves to the tender mercies of any oil or nuclear-armed foe who chooses to dictate their future. To hell with rugged individualism, self-sufficiency, and brash, cowboy diplomacy where the guys in the red, white, and blue hats are always the good guys. We can at last join the Euros and hang our heads in collective post-colonialist shame and helplessness.

That's the way the Euros have lived pretty much since the dawn of the 20th century. And it's what the Eurocrats have always wanted for us. It's always pissed them off that their own rejects sailed over here and built a much better country based on freedom of opportunity, not class structure. Now maybe we can just accept our fate as yet another has-been empire.

And it is for this that a grateful Nobel Committee has awarded Barack Obama its now entirely meaningless Surrender Prize. Disgusting. But somehow, not much of a surprise.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Chicago Loses!

No, not the White Sox, the Cubbies, the Bears, the Bulls, or the Blackhawks. The Windy City itself. Just a day after debasing himself (again) by pitching the International Olympic Committee on the virtues of Chicago as an Olympic site, the Olympic pooh-bahs have eliminated Chicago and Tokyo from consideration.

Thousands of people gathered in downtown Chicago stood in stunned silence Friday after watching the International Olympic Committee choose someone else for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Chicago Olympic Candidate Flag

The vote in Copenhagen was carried on huge television screens in the Daley Center, set up to carry what many had hoped would be approval of Chicago to host the games.

Instead, Chicago was bounced in the first round of voting. An audible gasp could be heard from the crowd. Many stood for a few minutes, staring at the screen, and at least one flung his hands into the air in a crude gesture toward the TV screen.

So much for "Yes We Can!"

Guess that's some of the strange new respect we continue to get from around the globe now that the hated Bushitler is gone.

It's funny how this popped up the day I got back to blogging. It's trivial in itself, but is a microcosm of the unfolding disaster that is this Administration. I'll be coming up with numerous posts over the next few days catching you up on my views as to what's behind what's been going on while I've been gone.

Bloggers MIA

Holy cow, we've been gone a long time!

Unfortunately for moi, it's been for what's been the usual reason for the past 2 years--the loss of our 4th and final surviving parental unit, Mrs. P's dad, Harry, at the ripe old age of 95. The end came quite suddenly in mid-August.

We've been pretty busy with wrapping up the odds and ends of both "Greatest Generation" families now for quite some time. Work still needs to be done. But now that all the old timers have gone on to their rewards, I guess it's now time for the current generation to pick up the slack and make something of ourselves before our own curtains ring down on the last act.

As I get back to the blog, I note with rue that the current administration is turning out to be every bit the Marxists that I knew them to be I'm also amused to see that pretty much all the rich smart guys, particularly in New York City's financial community, who bankrolled these unreconstructed Stalinists are having second thoughts. What a concept.

East Coast elitists love to think they're smarter than the rest of us. But as Forrest Gump told us, "Stupid is as stupid does." Now the Royal Smart Guys and the rest of the American voters who lemminged to the polls last fall have got a far worse situation than they did with Bush. So maybe it's time HazZzmat stepped back in and started helping out with the counter-revolution before it's too late.

I'm actually really glad for their sake that all four of our hardworking parental units won't be around to view the gory workout of this mess. Stay tuned.