Wednesday, September 30, 2009

C'mon Everyone, Follow Me!

OK, it's time for a quick review on where we are on Afghanistan.

We've just screwed over two European allies, Poland and the Czech Republic, who have troops in Afghanistan and have supported us for years. In addition to throwing them to the Russian Bear, we've screamed at our best ally in the Middle East, Israel, and demanded that they stop all construction in any disputed zone. Sarkozy of France (France!) has publicly doubted the strength and wisdom of our approach to Iran. Finally, we've treated Britain like chumps, regularly insulting their prime minister.

Now it's time to rally our allies to finish the job in Afghanistan.

Right. I'll just bet that they can't wait to help us out.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Looking for More NATO Involvement

Dig this.

Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama called NATO’s role in Afghanistan “absolutely critical,” saying the fight there isn’t America’s responsibility alone.

“This is not an American battle; this is a NATO mission,” the president said at the White House after meeting today with Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the new secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Given their demographic decline and their total lack of martial spirit, we can expect a few brigades of these:

Lt. Harmony and Maj. Cloud reporting for duty, sir!

A Bit More on ADD

I stumbled across this site where Dr. Amen (no, really, that's his name!) has performed brain scans on a number of people with and without ADD. He's classified ADD into 7 different types and has brain scan examples from each. My daughter's condition is number 2 on his list and is characterized in terms of brain activity as follows:
Brain SPECT imaging typically shows decreased activity in the basal ganglia and dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex during a concentration task.
Here's wikipedia on the dorsolateral prefontal cortex:
The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DL-PFC or DLPFC) is the last area (45th) to develop (myelinate) in the human cerebrum ... DL-PFC serves as the highest cortical area responsible for motor planning, organization, and regulation. It plays an important role in the integration of sensory and mnemonic information and the regulation of intellectual function and action. It is also involved in working memory. However, DL-PFC is not exclusively responsible for the executive functions. All complex mental activity require the additional cortical and subcortical circuits that DL-PFC is connected with.
Hmmm. That sounds about right.

Learning About Learning

So I'm in the middle of an effort to learn how people learn. My daughter has a variant of ADD. I'm not going to get into an existence proof of ADD, suffice it to say that I am convinced it exists. In her case, I suspect it came about because of delayed brain development as an infant. She spent the first 15 months of her life in a Russian orphanage with minimal stimulation.

In any case, we're now trying to learn how to learn while mentally disorganized. With the help of our local librarian, I came across the SOAR system. So far the best part of SOAR has been its description of how we learn. The claim is that when you first hear a new concept, it goes into short-term memory. Short-term memory can be seen as a messy file cabinet where stuff is just piled all over the place. After about 24 hours, the brain discards anything that hasn't been reinforced, or in terms of the analogy, put away in it's proper place.

Using that analogy, I wonder if ADD shortens the duration of short-term memory. For the ADD person, is it 6 hours? 4 hours? 20 minutes? In my daughter's case, she struggles mightily with organizational skills and memory of all kinds. I'm wondering if the memory reinforcement techniques I'm learning in the SOAR system will help. They certainly make sense in the analogy.

After we've tried it for a while, I'll post a deeper review of what we've learned.

According to SOAR, you need to review the information before it gets swept away and ask questions about it in order to file it properly.

Monday, September 28, 2009


... looks to be spamtastic!

It looks like this takes a lot of control away from site owners. With this, anyone could leave any kind of comment on any site. I'll bet this becomes a massive pr0n link spamming tool.

President Petraeus

Practice saying that. Going out on a limb here, I think that's who will be sworn in on January 20, 2013. A wartime situation calls for a strong, wartime leader and no one under consideration from either party can compete with General Petraeus. President Obama is laying the foundation for his election.

By surrendering in Poland and the Czech Republic, Obama has emboldened the Russians. Expect another invasion of Georgia, this time for keeps. Obama is on the verge of surrendering in Afghanistan. In fact, he's doing it right now by dithering. When that happens, Al Qaeda will rightfully claim victory and the whole cycle of violence will begin again. In South America, Hugo Chavez is just getting warmed up. I wonder how much involvement he has in Mexico's problems.

And then there's Iran.

The current Iranian leadership are the same folks who used their own children as minesweepers in the Iran-Iraq war. I don't think they're too impressed with Barack's calls for international sanctions or threats of international law. They'll have their nukes before long because the only way to stop them is through invasion and overthrow. Given his pusillanimous reaction to the Tehran riots earlier this year and his inability to stick it out in Afghanistan, there's no way Obama will have the courage to get rid of the Mullahs.

Once in possession of nukes, Iran can distribute them freely around the world. To Venezuela, for example. Imagine nuclear-tipped Iranian missiles 1100 miles from Florida. Or perhaps in Mexico in one form or another.

If that's not enough of a reason, consider this. Obama, the College Administrator President is showing himself to be leadership-illiterate. He's abdicated every lead role to someone else and has substituted blathering in its place. By the time two more years have passed, we won't want some slithering, smooth-talking creep like Mitt Romney or another gasbag politician who's never done much of anything or even Sarah Palin who's the only one who's done something other than flap their gums. We'll want the real thing.

Mr. President?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Our Time Warner RoadRunner Telephone Line Is Out Again

... but don't worry, tech support is on the way.

Saying "No" to General McChrystal

Our buddy B-Daddy has a great post up about what's going on in Afghanistan. Others have suggested that Obama is dithering, but I'd suggest that the difference between dithering and making a decision is purely academic. To date, President Obama has said, "No" to General McChrystal's request for additional troops. Whether or not he does so explicitly is irrelevant. Either the troops show up or they don't. How it happens is irrelevant.

Guest Posting at Beers with Demo

Our vacationing Monks of Miscellaneous Musings, who seem to be completely unaware of what a vacation from blogging means, asked us to guest post from time to time over at their blog. I've got one up today describing my recent visit to Racist South Carolina.


So the Kids Sang About Obama. So What?

There's a video that's all the rage on the right side of the blogosphere right now, one that shows a bunch of second graders singing a religious hymn to Obama. Some are suggesting that this is just one more indication we're hurtling headlong into some kind of totalitarian state. Here's a sample of a post with the video. It has a matching video of Nazi Youth singing from a movie clip.


Yes, the video was creepy beyond words and the event was totally inappropriate, but so what? It indicates an isolated instance of a public school teacher who has crossed the line, not a vast, national conspiracy to indoctrinate our children into some kind of fascist cadre. Let the locals deal with it and just get over it.

This inflation of isolated events is precisely what drives the race baiting industry. Blackprof* is a website of black professors who spend their time making mountains out of similar molehills. Some high school in Mississippi has a racial incident and they blow it up into a return of the Confederacy. The Obama-as-the-Joker posters were a similar thing. It was totally meaningless, but the racial grievance crowd practically trampled each other rushing to bring up the usual imagery of nooses and whips and bondage and whatever.

For those of you unfamiliar with statistical analysis, let me simplify it. In a nation of 350,000,000, you cannot draw conclusions about the general population from a few incidents and certainly not from a single one. Period. The creepy video is just one nut. We're not turning into Nazi Germany and segregated lunch counters aren't coming back.

Don't let sites like Blackprof and Hot Air whip you into a frenzy of anger by drawing conclusions from statistical outliers. It takes your time and energy away from things that really are important.


* - I did not include the link here. My browser says it could be filled with viruses. Visit it at your own risk.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Oh No! Not the P5 Plus 1!

Boy, are the Iranians ever in trouble now. President Windbag lays it all out.

I can just see the Iranian leaders right now weighing their alternatives. On the one hand, they're close to possessing nuclear weapons. On the other hand, the Euros and Barack Obama are threatening them with international law.

Man, I'll bet that's a pretty tough choice.

Link of the Day

Our Pater of Prowling's got a great post up today. Check it out.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Reflected Sunrise

Atlantic Ocean Sunrise

Click on it.

Obama, Explained

I'm on travel and am spending my time in search of a good Atlantic sunrise, so the original content here at the 'Post is pretty slim right now. Even were I home with my big desktop PC, dual monitors and spacious keyboard, I'd still post this link and excerpt.

Victor Davis Hanson has been both the leftist academic and the rough-handed farmer. I always enjoy his work, but this one, suggesting that Obama is the College Administrator President, is particularly excellent. Here's a teaser.
For many in the academic community who have not worked with their hands, run businesses, or ventured far off campus, Middle America is an exotic place inhabited by aborigines who bowl, don’t eat arugula, and need to be reminded to inflate their tires. They are an emotional lot, of some value on campus for their ability to “fix” broken things like pipes and windows, but otherwise wisely ignored. Professor Chu, Obama’s energy secretary, summed up the sense of academic disdain that permeates this administration with his recent sniffing about the childish polloi: “The American people . . . just like your teenage kids, aren’t acting in a way that they should act.” Earlier, remember, Dr. Chu had scoffed from his perch that California farms were environmentally unsound and would soon disappear altogether, “We’re looking at a scenario where there’s no more agriculture in California.”
When you review what the president said yesterday at the UN, his hopelessly naive suggestion that the gathered tyrants, thieves and mass-murderers really could get together and uphold international law if they just tried, makes sense.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sullivan's Island Bluerise

Not a sunrise, but a bluerise this morning. I think it's worth a click.

Awesome Stuff

Dig this.



We found one! We got to dine on rich, golden, waffly goodness!

Nom nom nom!

Expedition to Goldbug Island

This morning the intrepid staff of The Scratching Post is up well before the crack of dawn to hop in our rental car and drive to Goldbug Island, SC so we can take photos of the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean.

Jacob is insisting we stop at a Waffle House, too.

Pictures and story to follow.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Unpolished Brass on the Titanic

Where I work, we have an internally-used IT product line that is going away. Despite the fact that it is archaic, unsupported and widely despised, it still has its advocates. It has just a few months to live and some of its users still want enhancements made to it.

Do you suppose the folks on the Titanic were still polishing the railings as it went down?

OK, So Now What?

A couple of reputable sites are suggesting that our commander in Afghanistan, General McChrystal, will resign if Obama doesn't send him the troops he's asked for. Lots of folks around the blogosphere are analyzing it like just another political horse race.

What would a resignation mean to the troops already there?

If it happened and Obama failed to take the hint and send the reinforcements, I would think it would be a morale crusher. General McChrystal did not get to his rank by being a poor analyst. He's not going to quit if the thing can be won. A resignation coupled with no change in course from the president would be a sure signal of defeat, both to our forces and to the enemy's.


Can I just vote "Present" on this one?

Tunnel of Light

I flew from San Diego to Charleston, SC yesterday and brought both my Nikon Artillery Piece and one of our little Canon point-and-shoot cameras. For ease of use, I used the little guy on the plane and got some nice cloud shots including this one of a tunnel of light in the clouds. We had just taken off from Dallas and were climbing as the sun was setting. There was a cavity in the clouds off to the west that made it look like there was a tunnel of light within them.

I cropped the photo, but left it fairly large. I think it's worth clicking on the image to see the bigger version. Enjoy!

Monday, September 21, 2009

About to Run Away?

If we were willing to surrender the missile defense systems in Eastern Europe when there was no major cost to having them, how likely is it that we will stay in Afghanistan where there is?

And why is the President wondering what our strategy is?

Cheezburger of the Day

The whole series of these is hilarious.

Moral Anesthesia

By now, I'm sure you've heard of the videos of the ACORN workers helping a pair posing as a pimp and a prostitute trying to import underage El Salvadoran girls to work as sex slaves. If you haven't seen them, you can check out one of the videos here.

I'll say it again. ACORN was happy to help these two import children to work as sex slaves. This is far, far worse than Abu Ghraib or Michael Vick's dogfighting ring and, in fact, systemically worse than anything I've seen in a long, long time.

The lack of outrage on the part of the media is the most frightening part of the whole thing. It indicates a moral anesthesia that is alien to me. This should have been jaw-droppingly horrific to them, but apparently it's not that bad.

Abu Ghraib stories ran on the front pages of the NYT every day for 40+ days. They dominated the news. People were outraged and the thing became a rallying point for protests. Where is the proportional response? I just don't see it.

Children being imported as sex slaves is just not that big of a deal. Why?

PS: Let me know when 60 Minutes gets on the case.

Elsewhere: Our Monks of Miscellaneous Musings claim it's evidence of media bias, but it has to be much deeper than that. Doesn't utter revulsion of underage sex slaves cross political lines?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Two Points About the Abandonment of Eastern Europe

Today, an editorial in the Telegraph excoriates President Obama for having surrendered the missile defense system in Poland and Czechloslovakia.
Be in no doubt about the stakes: the defensive system that Mr Obama has chosen to scrap was the West's ultimate insurance policy against a nuclear-armed Iran. If all our efforts to prevent Tehran from acquiring a nuclear arsenal were to fail, this anti-missile shield would have provided a measure of assurance.
Blah blah blah. If you read between the lines, here's what you get:

  1. Several first-world, technologically advanced, wealthy nations - England, Germany and France to name three - are wetting their beds because a country 4000 miles away isn't stepping in to protect them. Nowhere in all of these cries of outrage is there a Plan B wherein European anti-missile systems will step in and fill the gap. They aren't even talking about beginning a program to develop them. They quit trying to protect themselves so long ago that they no longer even think in those terms. Which leads to ...

  2. President Obama wants us to be more like them. Look, they've got national health care! They've got terrific social programs! They spend their money on butter, not guns! If only we were more like them! They're also completely defenseless unless The Wild-eyed Cowboy steps in and protects them.
One of the most critical jobs of any national government is to protect its citizens. Without that, it exists at the sufferance of its enemies. Pansy Euros, so eager to legalize drugs and prostitution and gay marriage and hand out all manners of goodies like health care and welfare checks not only can't do this, but they don't even consider it an option.

I'll say one thing for President Obama. He's going to reveal just what the world will look like when the entire West looks like Europe.

The European missile defense system.


I diverted my attention momentarily at my daughter's soccer game to stop taking photos of the team and snap a shot or two of some wildflowers. This was the best of the lot. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Working the Umps

... usually boomerangs.

This can't be too surprising. Obama has gotten away with things that no politician from a bipartisan area would. 20 years with Reverend Wright seals that assesment right there. There's just no way anyone who underwent any kind of press scrutiny at all could hang with that crowd and still be elected dogcatcher. The guy's lack of experience seems to know no bounds. Now he's coming up against hard, cold reality and he and his crew don't like it.

Just wait until the Russians smack him around a little.

The Missing Crypt

I went here and selected Mounties and Ottawa and got this:

A long-forgotten labyrinth deep beneath the streets of Ottawa.
A ruthless cult determined to protect it.
A white-knuckled race to uncover the Mounties' darkest secret

The Missing Crypt

When world-famous Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to the Parliament Buildings to analyze a mysterious geometric form—imprinted on a gold ring lying next to the disfigured form of the head docent—he discovers evidence of the unthinkable: the resurgence of the ancient cult of the Truminati, a secret branch of the Mounties that has surfaced from the shadows to carry out its legendary vendetta against its mortal enemy, the Vatican.

Langdon's worst fears are confirmed when a messenger from the Truminati appears at the National Gallery of Canada to deliver a grim ultimatum: Deposit $1 billion in the Mounties' off-shore bank accounts or the exclusive clothier of the Swiss Guards will be bankrupted. With the deadline fast approaching, Langdon joins forces with the lupine and charming daughter of the murdered docent in a desperate bid to crack the code that will reveal the cult's secret plan.

Embarking on a frantic hunt, Langdon and his companion follow a 1000-year-old trail through Ottawa's most historic libraries and exalted churches, pursued by a near-sighted assassin the cult has sent to thwart them. What they discover threatens to expose a conspiracy that goes all the way back to Sam Steele and the very founding of the Mounties.

A thrilling novel about the Mounties and Ottawa! Pass the maple syrup, I can't wait to see what happens next!

H/T: Secular Apostate

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bitter Irony

... can be found at the Secular Apostate.
September 17 is the anniversary of the invasion of Poland from the east by the Soviet Socialists (Bolsheviks). It was preceded, of course, by the invasion from the west by the National Socialists (Nazis).
Read the whole thing.

Loldog of the Day

When A Process Improvement Guru Mows His Lawn

... it must take forever. They probably have to stand around discussing value streams, requirements, metrics, customers and stakeholders with the rest of the family for hours.

Meanwhile, the guy next door is done and in his living room with a beer and a college football game on TV.

GenY - Paying the Stupid Tax

The WaPo is detailing yet another bill to be paid by the Gen Y so that the rest of us can party on.
Drafting young adults into any health-care reform package is crucial to paying for it. As low-cost additions to insurance pools, young adults would help dilute the expense of covering older, sicker people. Depending on how Congress requires insurers to price their policies, this group could even wind up paying disproportionately hefty premiums -- effectively subsidizing coverage for their parents.
Thanks, kids! By the way, how's that whole Social Security thing working out for you? And could you please look into taking another job? After Obama's through, you'll need one just to pay the interest on the credit card bills we're running up.

Waiter! Check, please!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What Did Joe Wilson Really Mean To Say?

Unlike that dingbat Sarah Palin, who probably can't write her name in the sand with a stick, the incomperably brilliant Maureen Dowd recently penned a column based entirely on inventing a suffix to Congressman Joe Wilson's (R-SC) outburst against President Obama. In it, she claimed that Joe Wilson (R-SC) was in fact a racist because when he shouted, "You lie!" at the president, what he really meant to say was, "You lie, boy!" That final word, invented entirely by Maureen Dowd, clearly proved Joe's racism.

Well, while Sarah Palin* works her way through third grade reading primers, let's all engage in a contest with the very clever Miss Dowd. Just what was the suffix to Joe's shout of "You lie!"? I have several possibilities. Feel free to place yours in the comments.

You lie! I have too filled my pants full of live starfish!

You lie! The apatosaurus was way cooler than the triceratops!

You like broccoli!

Now it's your turn. What did Joe mean to say? As I think of more, I'll throw them in the comments, too.

* - After all, any idiot can manage a massive state, run a family fishing business, be the mayor of a town and raise five kids, one of whom is mentally disabled. It takes a genius like Miss Dowd to be a permanently single, unpleasant, venomous harpy writing irrational screeds for a failing newspaper.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Another Reason to Pay off Your House Early

In previous posts, I had opined about the value of paying your house off early. The common rebuttal is that your mortgage interest is tax deductable and you're wasting money by paying it off early, forgoing the tax advantages. Allow me to suggest that if you want tax deductions, then charitable giving is a far better way to get them. For one thing, all of your giving is deductable, not just a portion of it. Near the end of your home loan, very little of your payment is interest, so you're not getting much of a tax deduction.

Perhaps the most important question is who do you want to get your money: a banker or someone like Catholic Charities?
No moar monies for you, Mr. Fatcat!

Help feed the hungry!

Your Surf Photo of the Day

... comes from my friend Neal.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Yet Another Cost to Moral Relativism

As I was listening to my Dave Ramsey podcast the other day, I heard a man call up who had the standard litany of financial woes. He had credit card debt, had fallen behind and was beginning to receive phone calls from collection agencies. He wanted to know if he should declare bankruptcy. As Dave did his normal sleuthing, it seemed strange that the man should be in such dire straights. He was single, owed $30,000 in credit card debt, but had an annual income of $42,000. With some discipline, he should have been able to knock out his debts one at a time, but instead he was in deep trouble.

It turned out that the guy had to pay a lot of child support, all of it court-ordered. He had kids by a variety of women and the government had stepped in to force him to do right as a father.

Just like the young man whose first interaction with a male authority figure is with a policeman who is carting him off to jail after a crime, this guy had lived the modern American life, fathering children all over the place without staying around to take care of them. It was all cool and groovy. Like CSNY told us to do, he loved the one he was with.

However, just as the youthful criminal discovers, we've passed laws that codify a stricter morality. If you steal, the government sends you to jail. If you father kids, you have to pay for them. Our moral relativism told this guy that his sleeping around was OK, but the rest of his life was going to be a financial train wreck as the government forced him to pay for his kids.

Listening to the guy talk, his future became visible, spent working hard, but never being able to do more than rent a small apartment and pay the bills for living the life our culture embraces.

Cheezburger of the Day

At Work in the Catican

As I struggled to listen to the Saints-Lions game yesterday, I worked in the garage installing shelves and putting away camping gear. I was pretty proud of myself - I only had to drill one idiot hole before I found a stud and was able to go 16" across at a time to find the others and hang my shelf brackets.

Meanwhile, our Maximum Leader provided invaluable assistance. I certainly don't think I could have done what she did.

Never send a man to do a cat's job!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Soggy Cereal

The president's supporters are at risk of becoming soggy cereal. In fact, I don't see how it can be stopped. Eight months into his presidency, they are screaming "Racist!" at everyone who disagrees with him. Maureen Dowd is the latest.

Once they start down this road, how do they stop? If disagreeing with Obama Care makes you a racist today, will you stop being a racist two years from now when you disagree with, say, taxing the living daylights out of the oil industry? If the premise is that opponents are racists, then the only way for opponents to stop being racists is ... is ... is what?

Hence, soggy cereal. With 3 years, 4 months to go in his first term, Obama's allies have poured the milk into the cereal bowl. It's not coming back out, either. The cries of "Racism!" are going to go on and on and on and on. Just like soggy cereal, the whole things is going to get old pretty fast.

Our Monks of Miscellaneous Musings took this photo at a San Diego Tea Party. These two guys are racists, according to the president's supporters. How long until they get tired of being called racists?

In a previous post, I suggested this follow-on to Godwin's Law:
When you claim your opponents are racists, you've already lost the debate.
That's a rational reaction to the endless cries of "Racism!" - there's an emotional one, too. Americans are going to get really sick of the people who are screaming it and will treat them the way we treat soggy cereal.

I hope you enjoy the garbage can, Maureen. Say "Hi!" to Paul Krugman when you get there.

^&@^@)()!_* NFL FieldPass

I bought NFL FieldPass this year so I could listen to New Orleans Saints game. The Saints are beating the Lions, 14-3 and I can't log on to NFL FieldPass. It looks like their server is overwhelmed.

@*&^#@&(&(*#@^&(^&(!@%$!@^% FieldPass.

Update: Field Pass is finally working, well into the fourth quarter of the game.

What Was Waldo Doing?

Ed Frank caught Waldo and his fellow racists on camera. It's sickening. Don't watch it if you have a weakness for spending your children's money or expecting others to pay for what you get. You've been warned.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Where's Waldo?

... he's somewhere in this crowd of about 1,500,000 70,000 120,000 racists protesting Obama's perfectly reasonable spending plans.

H/T: The Rhetorican.

Update: An anon in the comments claimed that the BBC's estimate of 1.5M was way too high. I found others that agreed. However, Matt Welch at Reason strongly asserted the number was well into the 6 figures. Matt, as far as I know, did not study comparative lit at journalism school and therefore has a better comprehension of math than the news media, so I'm taking his number as truth.

Over at the Frank Strategies blog, Ed Frank has this to say about the crowd.
Crowd estimates are varying widely, but it’s safe to say it’s by far the largest gathering of grassroots small-government folks I’ve ever seen in my 15+ years living in DC.

Religion Outlasts Nations

Bradley Wright has a great interactive map showing how it works. Dig the timeline for, say, communism vs. the timeline for Christianity.

I've been coming to the conclusion that Christianity has survived and thrived because it works. After watching the map linked on his blog, that hypothesis seems to be born out. People will stick with failure only so long.

A More Balanced Take on Mike Austin

... aka the blogger who (used to?) blog at The Return of Scipio. His blog has been shut down, so linking to it is a waste of time, but suffice it to say that he and I agreed on much. He was always a bit more forceful than I, but I was happy to consider him a friend on the blogs. I'd love to have a beer with him some time.

Over at Esquire, John Richardson wrote a profile of Mike, wondering if he might be the next Timothy McVeigh. Here's the essence of what John learned about Mike.

Mike is Catholic. Very Catholic. He has taken the teachings of the Church to heart, even the parts about Satan. Satan is scary and Mike feels the need to alert his readers about what he believes Satan is up to these days.

Mike owns guns.

Mike has studied history.

Mike has studied economics and asserts that President Obama is a fascist because, well, in an economic sense, he is a fascist along the lines of Juan Peron. To review: the economics of fascism are that you get to keep private propery, but only so long as you do what the government tells you. The purchase of GM and Chrysler, the absorption of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the attempted takeover of health care, the cap and trade bill are all inherently fascist because of the overwhelming power it gives the government over the parts of the economy connected to these. To object to the assertion that Obama is a fascist is to not understand fascism.

Most surprisingly to John, Mike is polite and well-mannered. Upon reading John's article, my reaction is that John needs to get out more. More to the point, John needs to socialize with people who don't read Esquire. Mike is polite and chivalrous. Esquire is not. Esquire regularly posts articles like this which are little more than grade school prose surrounding soft core porn.

I admit I don't read the magazine, but having perused a few articles, it looks like a pseudo-intellectual magazine for swine. The thoughtful piece about Mike Austin illustrates the author's ignorance of about half of America and the "article" on Abbie Cornish is more sexist and misogynistic than a thousand episodes of Father Knows Best.

I'm glad John wrote the piece. I think he did a good job profiling Mike and tried to be as fair as possible given John's apparently limited social circle. I learned a bit more about Mike because of it.

Now I'm hoping Mike returns to blogging.

Update: I just reread the article. It drips with condescension and is filled with ignorance. I get the sense that John wrote it as fast as he could so he could get back to the office and help pick out which porn pictures of Abbie Cornish to post. He shows no real understanding of Mike at all. John links to posts over at The Return of Scipio to illustrate points he makes. My bet is that Mike took down the blog to deprive John of those examples.

Update 2: Of considerable interest is something left unremarked in the article. Mike used to be a wild-eyed liberal, much like what John seems to be now. John shows no significant curiosity about Mike's evolution away from John's current position.

Second, what is it with the Sermon on the Mount and liberals? It's like the Bible begins and ends with the Sermon on the Mount for them.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Butterfly Nebula

Dig this image from the Hubble. If you click on the image, it will take you to the Hubble's most recent gallery of photos.

Cheezburger of the Day

Barack Makes the Ultimate Sacrifice

He stopped talking.
Sept. 11 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama observed a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. today on the South Lawn of the White House in honor of those who perished in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
For President Gasbag, that moment must have seemed like forever.

Update: Can't ... suppress ... desire to talk ... much ... longer ...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

OK, I've Seen Enough

I spent a little time reading the reactions to the president's speech on health care reform and a bit more about Van Jones and I've finally come to the conclusion that this is all just a gigantic waste of time. Obama is an economic illiterate. You'd be better off asking a pack of 6th graders to come up with plans for a nuclear power plant than listening to Obama discuss anything having to do with economics.

The evidence is all over the place. Profits are overhead. If we do without them, we can save money. Increasing the demand for a product while leaving supply unchanged will bring prices down. The biggest one of all is Van Jones.

Van Jones was a communist. Obama appointed him his green jobs czar. The very last thing a communist knows is anything at all about creating jobs. If the communists understood how to create jobs, the Soviet Union would still be around. Under no circumstances would anyone who knew anything at all about economics nominate a commie to a job creation post. You'd get better results nominating a marmot.

Your new green jobs czar and a big improvement over the last one.

Listening to Obama talk about economics and trying to interpret the meaning of his words is a total waste of time. It sounds like gibberish because it is gibberish. There's no point in trying to figure out his economic policies because they're coming from someone who doesn't know the first thing about the subject, which is exactly what you'd expect given his resume.

Unlike that airheaded Caribou Barbie, Sarah Palin, if Obama ran a business it would be bankrupt by now. And we're listening to him? I don't think so. Not any more.

Update: Over at the Atlantic, Arnold Kling illustrates this point exactly in his analysis of Obama's vapid speech on health care. Once you accept the premise that Obama is economically illiterate, everything falls into place.

Change You Can Believe In

... can be found here.

Littoral Combat Ship Points the Way!

Last night, President Obama gave a speech on Yacht Reform to a joint session of Congress. Among other excellent points, the president talked again about how profits are a form of overhead and how they increase the costs for yachts. By bringing the efficient and profit-free federal government into the yacht business, we can provide the kind of competition necessary to bring costs down and make yachts affordable for all. Nothing makes this point better than the Littoral Combat Ship.
Chief of Naval Operations Michael Mullen said Tuesday he is "embarrassed" by hefty cost overruns on the Littoral Combat Ship, but said he expects to get the program back on track as early as next month ...

The Navy stopped work on the third LCS ship Jan. 12, after learning that the price tag on the first ship would total roughly $410 million -- well above the $220 million the Navy expects to pay for future ships.

Through the judicious use of gargantuan taxpayer subsidies, government yachtmakers will bring competition to the marketplace and make yachts affordable.

Elsewhere, B-Daddy has an outstanding summary of the rest of the speech. Foxfier has additional thoughts and some good links. Rose illustrates the issue with illegal aliens in a clear excerpt from the current bill.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

B-Daddy is all Wee-wee'd Up

Geeze, dude get a grip.
In a move I am sure will win no friends for the President, Max Baucus is proposing fines of $3800 per family for a failure to buy health insurance. How outrageous and unconstitutional! To be fined just because you are alive and don't want a product? If this fine passes and isn't overturned, I might lose faith in our checks and balances.
Take a chill pill, B-Daddy. I'm sure that if you can't come up with the $3800, they'll accept the equivalent in internal organs. After all, your current GP was probably going to yank them out anyway because it would make him more money than prescribing you some antibiotics. Take a break from your right wing hate sites for a while and have a nice, soothing colonic irrigation. You'll feel better and it will prepare you for the speechifying tonight.

I Used to Like this Song

... now it has real meaning to me.

The President's Big Speech on Yacht Reform Tonight

... should focus on eliminating waste and abuse in the yacht purchase system. After all, if we just cut out the fat, we could all buy a yacht.

Yacht reform now!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Cheezburger of the Day

UFO Streaks

I don't know about you, but we've been having a lot of problems with UFO's hotrodding through our neighborhood. They're breaking all the speed limits for extraterrestrial craft. We tried to get a photo of them streaking through the sky, but all we managed to get was the trail of their exhausts.

Hey you! You with the tentacles and eight eyes! Get offa my lawn!

... and Make Sure To Wash Behind Your Ears ...

... and get plenty of sleep at night and use a sharpened #2 pencil and color in the circle completely and read your textbooks and listen attentitvely and keep a dry pair of socks in your backpack and wipe your nose and blah blah blah blah ...

At least I think that's what it says. To tell you the truth, I have no idea. I scoped out the President's blatherfest to the nation's crumb crunchers and my eyes glazed over at the length of the thing. I settled on reading one paragraph and wanted to fall asleep right away.
No one’s born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work. You’re not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new sport. You don’t hit every note the first time you sing a song. You’ve got to practice. It’s the same with your schoolwork. You might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something a few times before you understand it, or do a few drafts of a paper before it’s good enough to hand in.
Where did anyone get the idea this guy was a great speaker? If brevity is the soul of wit, then this guy is witless. One thing's for sure - the dude is totally in love with the sound of his voice. If I was in class for this toad of a speech, I'd be chatting up whatever chick I was hot for by minute #4.

Over at our Monastery of Miscellaneous Musings, Dean suspects that President Windbag is a closet righty. Whatever.

Don't Rent that Movie!

You know, the one with all those immoral scenes - the one extolling the values of evil. Don't rent it! Someone Up Above doesn't like it at all!

Monday, September 07, 2009

The Pre-Post-Racial President

I'd like to suggest that there is a silver lining in the Van Jones / Professor Gates / Rev. Wright / etc. affairs. I would hope that at the end of four years of this, we'll finally be emerging into post-racial America.

First off, there is no reason to expect this kind of thing to end. The President and his team have marinated in the racial grievance culture forever. Van Jones isn't an isolated case; he's completely within the standard profile of Obama's friends - wealthy, educated, priveleged and angry. Rev. Wright, for example, retired to a three-story mansion on a golf course following a career of screaming about racism. A black president, governor, mayor and Harvard professor screamed about a white beat cop's behavior illustrating racism in America. And the beat goes on.

No matter how much the MSM tries to cover these up - they didn't cover Van Jones until he voila! was resigning - you'd have to expect the public to get tired of this. As Obama's poll numbers continue to slide, his supporters' natural tendency to see racism in every event will lead to total racism exhaustion in the populace. That, in turn will lead to a new version of Godwin's Law (or is this a corollary?): When you compare your opponents to the Nazis, you've already lost the debate. The new version will be:

When you claim your opponents are racists, you've already lost the debate.

The number of times politicians on the left cry out, "Racism!" is only going to increase as will the number of racist maniacs unmasked in this Administration. Let's hope that leads to a backlash within the MSM that, in turns, leads to stories about people like this.

Willie DeWayne Clark

Willie was indicted for the murder of Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams. I found a couple of bios of Willie on the Internet - here's the best of them. I didn't spend enough time to find out if Willie came from a broken home, but I'm willing to place that bet given his behavior, the tenor of the stories about him and the statistics of the population in general. So let's assume he came from a fatherless home. If he didn't, it would take almost no time at all to find thousands of similar example that did.

Here's how Willie grew up.
Clark was just 12 years old in 1995 when two men shot at him and his friends, took Clark's bike, hit Clark over the head with a gun and shoved him into the trunk of a car.

Clark was dazed as the men drove him around Denver's Montbello neighborhood and dumped him back on the street with a concussion.
No dad read Willie stories at night. No dad played video games with him or threw the football with him in the street. No dad took Willie fishing or taught him to hit baseballs. No dad held him accountable for his grades or taught him table manners or respect for girls or how and why to be honest and brave. No dad protected Willie when he was young and vulnerable. Instead, Willie lived in a world where adult men thought nothing of stuffing 12-year-old boys in the trunks of cars after having pistol-whipped them.

About the time Van Jones was founding the Maoist Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Willie was getting stuffed into the trunk of a car. Van Jones was deeply concerned about police brutality.
The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights grew out of Bay Area PoliceWatch, a small initiative founded in 1995 as a hotline for victims of police brutality. The hotline was based in a closet-sized office donated by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights.[16] The need for assistance was great, so Bay Area PoliceWatch quickly outgrew the space and Van Jones officially launched the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights on September 1, 1996.
He wasn't much concerned about Willie's father. While the Ella Baker Center waxed fat and prosperous, Willie's descent into hell continued unabated. Willie lived the Ella Baker dream - he committed numerous crimes, but spent little time incarcerated.
(In 1999 at age 16) Clark was on the other side of crime, charged with obstructing police and filing a false report in the first of his eight adult arrests.

Despite the volume of arrests, Clark never did a long stretch in prison because he gave every appearance of being a low-level misdemeanor criminal. His rap sheet is littered with small-time street crimes
Despite following Van Jones' prescriptions for a better life, Willie persisted in the kind of behavior one would expect of a child growing up without a father.
Clark did not finish the 12th grade and held odd jobs over the years such as delivering newspapers, cutting lawns and working in a grocery warehouse.

He fathered a baby girl in May 2003, according to letters he wrote to the court in his car-theft case.
Eventually, Willie, totally bereft of any moral compass, the perfect example of moral equivalence and the apex of the do-your-own-thing-if-it-feels-good culture, ended up indicted for the shooting of Darrent Williams.

All through Willie's life, when he needed a man in his life to support and guide him, Van Jones and Rev. Wright and Fr. Pfleger and Michelle Obama and all of their marvellously erudite coterie were screaming about racism. They organized and rallied and took up collections and wore tailored suits and designer dresses and drove nice cars and retired into mansions on golf courses.

As far as I know, Willie joined a million or so fatherless Willie-clones and ended up in jail.

Eventually, someone's going to publish stories like this in the MSM. They'll be the natural backlash to the endless cries of racism from wealthy racial grievance pimps like Van Jones. And that's when we'll finally see a post-racial America. President Obama will not be the first post-racial president. But nausea with the endless race-baiting done by his supporters will bring it on.

Well, I can dream, can't I?

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Thunderstorm Time Lapse

Dig this.

I thought that the clouds moving in opposite directions at different altitudes was pretty wild.

Uh Oh. Now We've Done It.

Van Jones has resigned.
Jones, a towering figure* in the environmental movement, had worked for the White House Council on Environmental Quality since March. He was a civil-rights activist in California before turning his focus to environmental and energy issues, and he won wide praise before joining the Obama administration for articulating a broad vision of a green economy Democrats could embrace.
That vision was thoroughly steeped in racism and wild historical and factual inaccuracies. Well, forcing him to resign might just be the straw that broke the camel's back. Jones could shift from being a Maoist to a Trotskyite and use his newfound practical knowledge of the corridors of power to found a follow on to STORM**.

We may all come to rue this day.

While he's earning minimum wage mowing lawns, you better believe he'll be organizing. Oh yes. Organizing. Lots and lots of organizing.

* - A towering figure?!? Authors Garance Franke-Ruta and Anne E. Kornblut and staff writer Juliet Eilperin might want to polish their resumes a bit more. It's doubtful that anyone who considers this racist crackpot to be a towering figure in anything is going to land a decent job once their dinosaur print media jobs come to an end.

** - It could be the Committee to Organize a National United Front for Organizing Committees to Bring Unity to the People Who Organize National Revolutionary Movement Committees. Who knows? The possiblities are endless.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

The World's Biggest Hairball

Dig this.

The pathetic, little, wheezy gasp the guy does around 0:20 just cracks me up every time.

Crow's Nest

The top of our Maximum Leader's tree in our house has a crow's nest from which she can monitor the rest of us.

Friday, September 04, 2009

What I Would Say if I Were Obama

So the president has a big speech on ObamaCare next week. Or some time in the near future. I confess I'm not paying that much attention to Mr. Windbag. In it, he'll need to square the circle. Charles Krauthammer explains the problem in his previous attempts to defend Obamacare.
With answers so slippery and implausible and, well, fishy, he began jeopardizing the most fundamental asset of any new president -- trust. You can't say that the system is totally broken and in need of radical reconstruction, but nothing will change for you; that Medicare is bankrupting the country, but $500 billion in cuts will have no effect on care; that you will expand coverage while reducing deficits -- and not inspire incredulity and mistrust. When ordinary citizens understand they are being played for fools, they bristle.
I don't see what he can come out and say that will make a difference. His opponents are all violent, Nazi racists trying to scare old folks and his plan will reduce the deficit while giving each of us annual MRIs. At least that's the foundation he's laid for his speech.

If I were him, I'd fake a head accident in the White House. I'd have my aides claim I tripped over a copy of Das Kapital that was carelessly left at the top of the stairs by Van Jones and that I fell down the stairs and smacked my head. I'd then claim short-term amnesia, act like I couldn't recall anything I had said in the last 4 months and wonder what all the fuss was about. I'd then be able to backtrack out of the corner I was in.

Of course, it would be possible that some might call for my removal, positing that I might be suffering from more severe cranial trauma, but a quick speech or two by Joe Biden would put an end to all that.

There. That's my best shot. Can you do better?


I hear Obama's going to try to stop the bleeding on ObamaCare with a speech. Man, that's a good idea! Why hasn't he tried one of those things before?

So What's the Big Deal about Van Jones?

Van Jones is our new Green Jobs Czar (or something like that). He's also a racist lunatic. Apparently he's got a colorful past wherein he's been a communist, a radical, a rioter, an inmate and all manner of other things. It came out recently that he was/is a 9/11 Truther. I recall seeing something where he accused whites of polluting areas where blacks live. Believe me, I can't think of anything less interesting than retracing my steps to find that luscious tidbit.

Here's why.

Among all of his other past careers, Van Jones has the one key element on his resume that makes him perfect for this administration. He's a loser. He hasn't done a single thing that has ever affected my life, your life or anyone else's, nor have any of his pathetic little clubs, gangs or committees. For example, Van was a member of Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (STORM). You remember STORM don't you? They're the ones who ... who ... who , err, um, well, didn't do anything at all. I'm sure they organized and met and wrote manifestos and maybe they even marched or yelled. It resulted in nothing. The guy's a cipher, a digit, a speck. He means absolutely nothing. To fuss about what he's done in his past is to make a tempest not in a teapot, but on a fragment of a tea leaf in a teapot.

Update: Here's a good sketch of STORM. Pathetic.

Oh sure, you could get all exorcised about Van Jones being a demented bigot, but so what? Obama's past is positively encrusted with demented bigots. What do you think they talked about on the steps of Trinity Church after one of Rev. Wright's particularly stirring sermons? Were they discussing who was going to bring the potato salad to the picnic next week? Do you suppose Barack's fellow congregationalists talked in calm, even tones about the weather and bus schedules? The place must have been a snake pit of demented bigots.

So now there's one more and he's in the White House. Well, whoop-de-doo. He's the freakin' green jobs czar. Can you think of a more worthless position? What's he do all day, discuss how many people it takes to change a CFL? He's probably doing the same thing now that he did when he was a member of STORM.


Maybe as the Green Jobs Czar he could come over and plant a lawn in my front yard. It would be the first productive thing he's ever done.

Again, Because I Can

This is new stuff by Cheap Trick. They still got it.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Nicholas Kristoff is an Idiot

Today, little Nicky is writing in the NYT about how the government can run health care best.
Health care reform may be defeated this year in part because so many Americans believe the government can’t do anything right and fear that a doctor will come to resemble an I.R.S. agent with a scalpel. Yet the part of America’s health care system that consumers like best is the government-run part.

Fifty-six to 60 percent of people in government-run Medicare rate it a 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale. In contrast, only 40 percent of those enrolled in private insurance rank their plans that high.
It goes on for many more mind-numbing paragraphs.

Nicky, here's the problem with your entire piece:

The government is bankrupt, Nick. Bankrupt. They're a failure. If you allowed, say, Wellpoint, to run a monstrous debt like this, they'd not only provide every operation anyone wanted anywhere, but they'd send people over to your house to make your coffee in the morning, clip your hedges into the shapes of famous French poets and teach your kids thermodynamics. You'd float to your doctor appointments on hovercars and a robot would brush your teeth. Wellpoint would groom your dog and teach your cat to speak Farsi.

$1,600,000,000,000, Nicky. $1.6T. The government has managed to blow an entire forest of paper money into confetti and you think that proves they can handle health care the best.

You're an idiot.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Happiness


Check this out.

The Protests Will Keep Going On

Here's a little tidbit from an Arlen Specter town hall meeting.

When I watched this, I wondered if the angry man yelling at the senator had ever done this before. I doubted it. Under ordinary (or should I say, "previous") circumstances, this guy would be making a birdhouse with his grandson in his garage. As the government grows and people like Senator Specter gain a larger and larger role in our lives, the value of yelling at them rises.

If the government contented itself with doing what it did in, say, 1985 well and with thrift and efficiency, there'd be no reason to put down your tools (or your TV remote) and run off to a town hall meeting to scream at the local politicians.

The yelling and screaming won't stop if the Republicans win back the House or Senate, either. So long as the government is seen as a solution to our problems, the yelling and confrontations and protests will continue. It's the size and scope of the thing that drives protests, not the people in power.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Why Obama's Poll Numbers Are Sliding

My hypothesis: the wild spending spasms would have been acceptable had they produced results. When they didn't, Obama is just a fiscal incompetent who has burned all of our money and accomplished nothing. I think it's as simple as that.

Others are suggesting that he's trying to do too much too fast, but that implies that slowly annihilating our finances would have been OK. I don't think so. I think had he been more moderate in his approach to these same statist goals, his slide would have been slower, but would have ended in the same place.

$1.6T in debt this year alone to accomplish nothing.

Where Did He Get the Money?

So Charlie Rangel (D-NY) is in deep trouble because he failed to disclose income and assets.
With each passing day, it's becoming more clear that the powerful committee chairman in charge of writing America's tax laws is a financial wheeler-dealer, a serial asset-hider, and a tax offender.

Rep. Charles Rangel has been in the House since 1971...

Last week, we learned that Rangel filed a grossly misleading financial disclosure report for 2007 -- failing to report at least half a million dollars in assets.

It turns out Rangel had a credit union account worth at least $250,000 and maybe as much as $500,000 -- and didn't report it. He had investment accounts worth about the same, which he also didn't report. Ditto for three pieces of property in New Jersey.

Beyond that, we've learned that Rangel has failed to report assets totaling more than $1 million on legally required financial disclosure forms going back to at least 2001.

The news comes on top of revelations last year that Rangel didn't report -- and didn't pay taxes on -- income from a villa in the Caribbean. In that matter, the Internal Revenue Service gave him sweetheart treatment; Rangel paid about $10,000 in back taxes but was not required to pay any penalty or interest.
That looks like about a million bucks in undisclosed assets. Where did all that cash come from? He's never done anything but bloviate in Congress.