Friday, April 28, 2006

 

Atlas Shrugged the Movie

(Via Drudge)

I am not holding my breath. I will start holding my breath when they begin production. The thing is, this novel was so long that it almost must be a mini-series for it to make sense. Other than playing Feyd Rautha I can't think of a more desireable role than John Galt. Brad Pitt would be good in this. Galt had a sense of humor and Pitt's insousiance would be a good fit.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

 

Allah is back, again. A primer on the leaker..

with Michelle Malkin at HotAir.com

Allah blogs, Michelle vents, and we are entertained. Allah's CIA leaker primer. A good look at a fast moving story.

(Via HotAir)

Aside from her Democratic Party ties (she apparently wrote a check for $2000 to the Kerry campaign in 2004), I also detect the whiff of sour grapes in her motivation for leaking information to the Post. At the time she talked with reporter Dana Priest, Ms. McCarthy was apparently working in the CIA Inspector General's Office. The agency, citing the Privacy Act, hasn't divulged her pay grade or title at the time of her firing, but it seems certain that she was not at the NIO level. After the rarefied air of the Clinton White House, McCarthy had been banished to a relative backwater at Langley, and she was likely upset by the apparent demotion.




Wednesday, April 26, 2006

 

Do As I Say....

...not as I do.

Peter Schweizer offers a detailed look at the hypocrisy of Al Franken, Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, and Ralph Nader. He concludes:
Hypocrisy is part of the human condition. If we set high standards for ourselves, we all are going to fall short from time to time. Conservatives and everyone else engage in hypocrisy. There’s the pro-family politician who cheats on his wife. There’s the issue involving Rush Limbaugh and the Oxycontin, or Bill Bennett and gambling. All cases where there seemed to be a gap between what people said and what they actually did.

But there’s a fundamental difference between conservative and liberal hypocrisy. Think about the conservatives who have abandoned their principles: Rush Limbaugh or Bill Bennett or the pro-family politician who cheats on his wife. Those individuals have said that it was a dramatic mistake, that it hurt them and it hurt their families. In other words, it was a bad thing that they abandoned their principles. The point is those conservative principles are kind of like guard rails on a winding road. You don’t always like it that they’re there. They can kind of be irritating and bothersome. But they’re there to protect you and to make your life better, and that is the experience.

But you would be hard pressed to find a conservative who has engaged in hypocritically behavior and who has ended up the better because of it.

Interestingly, with liberals, it’s the opposite. Liberal hypocrites oftentimes improve their lives when they’re hypocrites. For example, Michael Moore is better off because, instead of buying into his own rhetoric and avoiding corporations, he’s wealthier because he invests in them. Ted Kennedy actually feels safer because he has an armed body guard rather than a body guard who just sort of stands there.

The point is that liberal principles oftentimes are bad for you. They take away your rights, they take away your freedoms, and they end up hurting your prosperity. At the end of the day, what this hypocrisy teaches us is not just about the failures of the icons of the liberal left, also something about their ideas, and that is that people on the liberal left, when it comes to the things that matter most in their own lives, do not trust those things to their own ideas.
They know what's best for you; its just that its not what's best for them. And don't expect them to even attempt to practice what they preach. Because if they did, they probably wouldn't have the means to preach it.

 

No ‘Fred Hampton Way’

The fight to rename a Chicago street after the late Black Panther leader Fred Hampton is over:
Ald. Madeline Haithcock (2nd) announced today she doesn't have the support to bring to a vote a controversial proposal to honor slain Black Panther leader Fred Hampton.

In a written statement distributed at the monthly City Council meeting this morning, Haithcock said that 'certain interest groups have successfully conspired to confuse and intimidate the public on the issue.'

'As a result, we do not have the necessary support to bring this matter to a vote in the City Council at this time,' Haithcock said. 'As of today, I will discontinue my efforts to pass the ordinance.'
This is what she should have said:
The Fraternal Order of Police and many other civic groups outraged by my proposal successfully reminded those old enough to remember, and raised awareness among those who aren't, about the true nature of Fred Hampton. When faced with the choice of angering either the vast majority of their constituents or the radical leftists who form the ideological foundation of the their party, my fellow alderman, being the cowards that they are, agreed to simply dodge the issue. Having been taught what's what on this issue, I give up.

 

Illinois Republicans

Applying the lessons learned from George Ryan's conviction

The Chicago Tribune editorializes:
Given their party's devastating experiences with cronyism and insider politics, you'd think the Illinois Republicans in Congress would be careful about even the appearance of favoritism in choosing new federal prosecutors to enforce our public corruption laws.

But if you do think that, you're wrong. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, with an assist from several of this state's clueless GOP congressmen, has given President Bush the names of three candidates for the vacant U.S. attorney's post in central Illinois. One of the three is Darin LaHood, the son of, that's right, Ray LaHood, the distinguished GOP congressman from Peoria.

What is Hastert thinking? Cronyism is an equal-opportunity source of scandal for both Republicans and Democrats in Illinois. But with a federal judge about to frog-march former Gov. George Ryan to prison after his conviction for public corruption, Republican officials in particular need to avoid any whiff of favoritism for insiders.

That's particularly crucial in selecting federal prosecutors. Senior members of Congress, who get to propose to the White House candidates for the state's three U.S. attorney's jobs, have never wanted to choose aggressive outsiders with the moxie to reform the state's culture of political sleaze.

The recent exception, of course, was former Sen. Peter Fitzgerald. It was Peter Fitzgerald who urged President Bush to appoint New York native Patrick Fitzgerald as U.S. attorney for northern Illinois. Patrick Fitzgerald had no connections to Illinois pols and their pals. The result: an unprecedented, and still expanding, attack on thievery in high offices.
Something Illinois politicians would like to see end as soon as possible so they can resume business as usual.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

 

The Democratic Party: A culture of treason

Rush Limbaugh's rant concerning Mary McCarthy and her fellow fifth columnists. Click the link at the top of the page and give it a listen.

Rush sums up this whole scandal to date and the connections here are unbelieveable. I cannot tell you how important it is that a criminal investigation takes place. Our country needs to know how far certain members of our intelligence and diplomatic community has gone to sabotage our elected governments foreign policy. I am spitting mad about this.

 

An interesting day in the markets

It is not often that you get a day when both the bond market and the stock market have a big drop in price on the same day. It happened today. Consumer confidence hit a four year high, no surprise here. Also, existing homes sales rose which was a slight surprise but they were down from last year and home inventories rose.

Inventories soared 7 percent in March, leaving a record 3.19 million existing homes available for sale at the end of the month. That equates to 5.5 months' supply at the current sales pace, the largest inventory since July 1998, when supply equaled 5.6 months' worth.


The answer is that the news doesn't explain what the markets do on a particular day. What this does say is that the stock market's recent rally is probably over and that we should look for lower prices. Interest rates have been rising relentlessly and they show no sign of stopping. Only G_d knows when higher interest rates will affect stocks but I would not want to own stocks right now. Too much like 1987 right now.

 

Playstation 3 at the Electronic Entertainment Expo

Look at the stupid man fetch the ball!

Sony has its E3 website up and it promises to include lots of news on the Playstation 3.

The website will include videos, developer commentary, screenshots, and of course, game information. The website will also feature highlights of the E3 gaming expo in LA; with the video coverage starting on May 9th.


The site also includes an intro video with the ubiquitous really smart woman and really stupid man...and she has him fetch a ball. Run, Steve, run. Anybody else find this offensive?

Monday, April 24, 2006

 

Great Leakers in American History

The Rosenbergs








Brought to you by John Kerry and the Democratic Party.

KERRY: ... Of course not. Of course, not. A CIA agent has the obligation to uphold the law and clearly leaking is against the law, and nobody should leak. I don't like leaking. But if you're leaking to tell the truth, Americans are going to look at that, at least mitigate or think about what are the consequences that you, you know, put on that person. Obviously they're not going to keep their job, but there are other larger issues here. You know, classification in Washington is a tool that is used to hide the truth from the American people. Daniel Patrick Moynihan was eloquent and forceful in always talking about how we needed to, you know, end this endless declassification that takes place in this city, and it has become a tool to hide the truth from Americans.
Speaking truth to power is, afterall, the most forgiveable sin. (HT: Mark Levin)

Friday, April 21, 2006

 

Congress Seeks To Ban Online Poker

Protecting people from themselves and restricting competition

Congress is currently considering legislation that will effectively ban Americans from playing poker online:
There are at least three bills pending in Congress that seek to ban Americans' from playing poker or other casino games online for money. It is already illegal for online casinos to operate domestically, so the multi-billion-dollar business has moved overseas. Credit card companies have also been ordered not to allow customers to use their accounts for the offshore gambling, so players have switched to online payment services that are also based overseas and pay with checks, debit cards and electronic funds transfers.

Sponsors of the legislation cite several reasons for their proposed crackdown, an idea that has been approved by both houses in Congress in the past, but not in the identical form required for sending legislation to the president. They say the lure of games that people can play at home on their computers is addictive and could be financially ruinous.
A bill sponsored by Bob Goodlatte (R, VA) would go so far as to criminalize hyperlinking to online gaming sites:
[N]ot only does it ban online gambling, it also bans linking to sites where online gambling takes place. And not only that, but the bill requires financial institutions to set up invasive (and, most say, impossible to implement) mechanisms to track every financial transaction you make. Particularly bothersome are ACH transactions, the favored method of payment at most gaming sites. ACH transactions leave a more generic paper trail than credit card transactions. For banks to get to the point where they could track these kinds of transactions would require a level of familiarity and intimacy with your buying habits that ought to make all but the most ardent police-staters skittish. One gaming industry rep describes the requirement as “know your customer on steroids.”
Via Kevin Aylward, who comments:
What's so disingenuous about the proposed legislation (bizarrely trumpeted as lobbying reform) is that all the monied domestic interested - state lotteries, casinos, Indian tribes, horse racing, etc. managed to get themselves excluded. Gambling, in one form or another, is allowed in nearly every state in the union - often sponsored by the state; yet we've driven the online gaming industry overseas. One could argue whether that is good or bad thing, but there's no arguing that the opportunity cost of the potential to tax that industry is staggering.
He's right. The blatent hypocracy on display amazes me.

Instead of imposing draconion regulations on the banking industry and criminalizing speech, Congress should legalize, regulate and tax online gaming. Though I don't think and form of gaming should be illegal, perhaps Congress could at least make a distinction between games of chance, like roulette and craps, and poker, which is a game of skill.

Via James Joyner.

(Full Disclosure: I'm a member of the Poker Players Alliance.)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

 

Another Brick In The Wall?

Sending a brick to Congress might be a good message but the Minuteman leader's border fence suggestion is a better idea:

Simcox, whose civilian watch group opposes illegal immigration, said Wednesday he was sending an ultimatum to President Bush to deploy military reserves to the Arizona border by May 25 or his supporters will break ground for their own building project.

"We're going to show the federal government how easy it is to build these security fences, how inexpensively they can be built when built by private people and free enterprise," Simcox said.


Bill C adds: I was just watching a news conference with Michael Chertoff regarding the raids at IFCO systems. He said it was the beginning of many more similar raids on companies. The best way to reduce illegal immigration is to keep companies from hiring illegals. A wall is a good idea but the best idea is to end the reason for crossing the border: jobs. Of course we will have to see how the gov't treats the managers who organized this criminal venture.

Bill C Updates: I guess this answers my question.

Two Houston men were arrested Wednesday for hiring undocumented workers at a shipping and supply manufacturing plant and hundreds of the company's employees were taken into custody during an immigration raid that spanned nine states

Abelino ``Lino'' Chicas, 40, the assistant general manager of the Houston West IFCO Systems plant and James Rice, 36, a former IFCO regional general manager were charged with conspiring to transport, harbor, and encourage undocumented workers to reside in the United States for commercial advantage and private financial gain.

If convicted, they each face up to 10 years in prison. [Emphasis added.]

More on gov't crackdown on illegals.

The government plans to crack down ever harder on employers who harbor and hire illegal immigrants, pursuing companies that ignore the law so they can exploit cheap labor.

"We are going to move beyond the current level of activity to a higher level in each month and year to come," Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Thursday. He pledged to "come down as hard as possible" on violators.




 

The ARM Disaster

Adjustable Rate Mortgages are coming due in a rising rate enviroment.

I can't imagine why a bank would lend money to people who would take out a loan with little money down and the possibility that payment could rise by 50 - 100%. Wouldn't you think that a borrower that needs to rely on financial slight of hand to buy a house is a disaster waiting to happen?

Borrowers who chose ultra-low teaser rates of 1% to 2% in the last couple of years could be among those most at risk, Cagan said. One in five such borrowers who took out loans in 2004 and 2005 was underwater as of September. These borrowers face the sharpest payment increases as their loans reset to market rates.

A 1% teaser rate on a $300,000 mortgage that rose to a market rate of 6%, for example, would increase a family's monthly payment by 86%, from $965 to $1,799 a month. If the old payment represented 30% of a family's gross income, the new payment would represent over 55% -- a squeeze that few families could endure for long, Cagan said.


Do these banks not realize they could be left with a lot of homes to unload in a falling market? Here's the silver lining:

Big upticks in foreclosures have repercussions that extend beyond the families that lose their homes. Lenders that wind up with too many foreclosed properties may cut prices by up to 20% to sell the houses quickly, which can depress house values in surrounding neighborhoods.

For a glimpse of what could happen, take a look at Michigan. Foreclosure rates there have soared as the auto industry sheds jobs and reduces paychecks. One of every 408 Michigan homes was in some stage of the foreclosure process in February, RealtyTrac said.

The uncertain local economy and a huge inventory of unsold and bank-owned homes are depressing real-estate values throughout Michigan.

When Robert Darmanin refinanced his mortgage earlier this year, for example, he was told his home was worth $12,000 less than a year ago. His appraiser said her situation was even worse; her home had lost $20,000 in two years.

"We had all gotten so used to house appreciation," said Darmanin, director of corporate relations for LaSalle Bank in Troy, Mich. "It's quite shocking."


How is this good news? It is if you are house shopping in Michigan. :-P

Monday, April 17, 2006

 

The Gamers' Manifesto

If you are mildly interested in video games, you will find this hilarious.

If not, still read it because it was written well.

 

The Monopolist & The Con Artist

A post about technology and a plea for help

Armed and Dangerous comments after learning his name and copyright are in a Microsoft EULA (End-User License Agreement):
I write my code for anyone to use, and ‘anyone’ includes evil megacorporate monopolists pretty much by definition. I wouldn’t change those terms retroactively if I could, because I think empowering everyone is a far more powerful statement than empowering only those I agree with. By doing so, I express my confidence that my ideas will win even when my opponents get the benefit of my code.

Besides…now, when Microsoft claims open source is inferior or not innovative enough or dangerous to incorporate in your products or whatever the FUD is this week, I get to laugh and point. Hypocrites. Losers. You have refuted yourselves.
Indeed they have.

On a related topic, AOL might not be a megacorporate monopolist, but they are evil. They seem adept at convincing otherwise smart people who are not very knowledgable about computers that they somehow need AOL to use the internet. (I have had to explain to more than one friend with an MBA from a Big Ten school that AOL is completely unnecessary to access the internet. They were shocked to learn that IE was a free standing application on their desktop.) AOL's use of restrictive rules and proprietory formats make this partially true -- its difficult to access and use saved data without using AOL products. Difficult, but not impossible.

I know that programmers have in the past written routines that convert data stored in AOL formats into more common formats. But I can't find any that will convert the files stored by most recent version of AOL. A friend of mine would like to save old emails stored in AOL's format after she switches ISPs. If there is anyone out there aware of comercially available software or freeware that will do this, or even just routines that will perform most of the necessary functions, I'd appreciate it if you could let me know.

 

Ryan Guilty On All Counts

Chicago Tribune:
A federal jury convicted former Gov. George Ryan today on all charges that as secretary of state he steered state business to cronies in return for vacations, gifts and other benefits for himself and his family.

Lobbyist Lawrence Warner, a close Ryan friend, was also found guilty on all charges against him in the historic trial.

On their eleventh day of deliberations, the six-woman, six-man jury found Ryan, 72, guilty on 18 counts of racketeering, mail fraud, false statements and tax violations. Warner, 67, was convicted on 12 counts of racketeering, mail fraud, extortion, money laundering and evading cash-reporting requirements.
Nice to see. At least a dozen deaths resulted from corruption in the Secetary of State's office which he encouraged and covered up. He deserves a long sentence, but as he's 72, I don't expect he'll get one.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

 

Should the FDA Advise?

Noting that a blogger (Michelle Malkin) broke the story questioning weather the AP is staging news, The Anchoress comments on the state of journalism:


The harm and destruction being wrought upon this nation and others by people who have moved far beyond their commission to simply supply the facts of any given story is becoming incalculable - politically, socially, societally, militarily. Our press is out of control, or - more correctly - under the control of something malicious. Without a free and honest press, we are in trouble. And we are without a free and honest press, these days.

I wouldn't say we are completely without a free and honest press. You just have to know where to look. But you can't just turn on the TV and pick up a paper for news like you can stop in the grocery store or drug store for food and drugs with the confidence that what you are getting is not harmful. The FDA has plenty of requirements for accurate labeling of products on the shelves, perhaps a percentage of crap disclaimer should be listed on the front page of newspapers and at the lead of every news broadcast.

I'd like to see places like Pajamas Media and Powerline's citizen journalism experiment get more exposure. Relying on headlines and sound bytes for news will not just leave you uninformed but also misled. The blogshpere may be too vast to trust as a whole but that should not discredit any singular blog. Any source for news should have to earn your trust and then keep it by contunually proving to be accurate.

John O adds: Stephen Green observes:
If we’re going to win a long, ideological war, we need our primary schools to our children what patriotism is - and for the most part, they don’t. We need our college professors to give our best and brightest the intellectual ammunition to confront our destroyers – and for the most part, they don’t. We need our public thinkers to defend our laws and our way of life against foreign aggression – and for the most part, they don’t. We need our entertainers to choose the home team – and for the most part, they don’t. We need our politicians to show the backbone of Churchill, but for the most part, they don’t. And we need our military to understand, embrace, and put everything on the line for their country.

One out of six? That’s pretty bad. Is it enough? Probably not.

I said before it took the constant threat of a nuclear launch for us to keep our focus during the Cold War – end even then it was a hit or miss affair. It’s pretty obvious right now that we lack the tools to keep our focus during the Long War. I know exactly what it would take to get our focus – but it’s so terrible, it’s almost worse than losing***.
The corruption of our media and much of our elite establishment institutions, including academia, is no accident:
But the Soviets, following the lead of Marxist theoreticians like Antonio Gramsci, took very seriously the idea that by blighting the U.S.’s intellectual and esthetic life, they could sap Americans’ will to resist Communist ideology and an eventual Communist takeover. The explicit goal was to erode the confidence of America’s ruling class and create an ideological vacuum to be filled by Marxism-Leninism.

Accordingly, the Soviet espionage apparat actually ran two different kinds of network: one of spies, and one of agents of influence. The agents of influence had the minor function of recruiting spies (as, for example, when Kim Philby was brought in by one of his tutors at Cambridge), but their major function was to spread dezinformatsiya, to launch memetic weapons that would damage and weaken the West.

In a previous post on Suicidalism, I identified some of the most important of the Soviet Union’s memetic weapons. Here is that list again:
  • There is no truth, only competing agendas.

  • All Western (and especially American) claims to moral superiority over Communism/Fascism/Islam are vitiated by the West’s history of racism and colonialism.

  • There are no objective standards by which we may judge one culture to be better than another. Anyone who claims that there are such standards is an evil oppressor.

  • The prosperity of the West is built on ruthless exploitation of the Third World; therefore Westerners actually deserve to be impoverished and miserable.

  • Crime is the fault of society, not the individual criminal. Poor criminals are entitled to what they take. Submitting to criminal predation is more virtuous than resisting it.

  • The poor are victims. Criminals are victims. And only victims are virtuous. Therefore only the poor and criminals are virtuous. (Rich people can borrow some virtue by identifying with poor people and criminals.)

  • For a virtuous person, violence and war are never justified. It is always better to be a victim than to fight, or even to defend oneself. But ‘oppressed’ people are allowed to use violence anyway; they are merely reflecting the evil of their oppressors.

  • When confronted with terror, the only moral course for a Westerner is to apologize for past sins, understand the terrorist’s point of view, and make concessions.

As I previously observed, if you trace any of these back far enough, you’ll find a Stalinist intellectual at the bottom. (The last two items on the list, for example, came to us courtesy of Frantz Fanon. The fourth item is the Baran-Wallerstein “world system” thesis.) Most were staples of Soviet propaganda at the same time they were being promoted by “progressives” (read: Marxists and the dupes of Marxists) within the Western intelligentsia.

The Soviets consciously followed the Gramscian prescription; they pursued a war of position, subverting the “leading elements” of society through their agents of influence. (See, for example, Stephen Koch’s Double Lives: Stalin, Willi Munzenberg and the Seduction of the Intellectuals; summary by Koch here) This worked exactly as expected; their memes seeped into Western popular culture and are repeated endlessly in (for example) the products of Hollywood.

In his post entitled Suicidialism, Armed and Dangerous defines a 'suicide thinker' as "a Western academic or journalist or politician whose mission it is to destroy the West’s will to resist not just terrorism but any ideological challenge at all." He concludes:
I think it’s important to understand that, although suicidalism builds on some pre-existing pathologies of Western culture, it is not a native or natural development. It is an infection that evildoers and their dupes created and then spread as part of a war against the West; their goal was totalitarian control, and part of their method was to talk the West into slitting its own throat.

Al-Qaeda’s goal is the restoration of the Caliphate and the imposition of shari’a law on the West so that the Dar al-Harb is abolished and absorbed into the Dar al-Islam. In other words, totalitarian theocracy. Western suicidalists have transferred their allegience from Communism to Islamofascism without a hitch. They’re doing their best to see that we lose — and their best is rather more effective than any bombing campaign.

Thus, to defeat al-Qaeda, stopping the suicide bombers is not sufficient. We must recognize, condemn, and reject the suicide thinkers as well.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

 

Tawana Brawley Redux

From the American Thinker:

Not mentioned in most of the articles, protests, teach-ins and “dialogue” about the incident was the possibility that it could be a Tawana Brawley-type hoax. Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong was “very confident” that the rape occurred but has yet to file any charges. Nifong, who is facing the voters in 21 days for election to his office, and who is contemplating a run for mayor in the heavily black city of Durham, had said he will pursue the case even if the DNA results come back negative. Yesterday, in a community forum at historically black North Carolina Central University, the school attended by the accuser, he said: “My presence here means this case is not going away.” {Emph. added]


The "facts" of the Duke rape case is that the alleged perpetrators are white males and the victim is a black female. That is all you need to know because women never lie about something like rape.

This case is straight out of the liberal victim playbook. It reads like Bonfire of the Vanities with a sexual component.

Our stripper is a student at a North Carolina Central University. Colleges are famous for mandatory hyper-feminist coursework featuring lawyers and feminist activists that teach women how to use sex to take advantage of men and any institution that involves men.

NCCU has a chapter of the National Organization for Women on campus. One of its major “missions” is fostering the agitprop on which the Violence Against Women (VAWA) is based – to keep $4-billion in sexist VAWA federal funding flowing. As most of us know, this is just another wedge designed to distract from the fact that women initiate slightly over half of all serious spousal altercations.

NCCU is an extension of Duke, which has an extensive women’s studies department tentacled deeply into core curricula via its funded interdisciplinary studies program. Duke has a fully-integrated SASS chapter (that screams out all sorts of social statistics debunked long ago) and a Center for LGBT Life (complete with their own “lavender graduation ceremonies”).

The mission statement of Duke’s women’s studies program is an end-stage fascist manifesto expressing full intent to turn all core curricula into subdivisions of feminist dicta: “In the field’s first decades, feminist scholarship reoriented traditional disciplines toward the study of women and gender and developed new methodologies and critical vocabularies that have made interdisciplinarity a key feature of Women’s Studies as an autonomous field. Today, scholars continue to explore the meaning and impact of identity as a primary - though by no means transhistorical or universal - way of organizing social life by pursuing an intersectional analysis of gender, race, sexuality, class, and nationality. In the classroom, as in our research, our goal is to transform the university’s organization of knowledge by reaching across the epistemological and methodological divisions of historical, political, economic, representational, technological and scientific analysis. In our Program’s dual emphasis on interdisciplinarity and intersectionality, we offer students new knowledge about identity while equipping them with a wide range of analytical and methodological skill.”

Will the Duke Lacrosse players see any justice? Don't hold your breath. They have probably been taught to take it like a man.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

 

Bush's Rising Disapproval Rating

I agree with Bryan Preston:
Bush is tanking, but not because the country has moved to his left. It’s because he and the GOP have moved to their base’s left, combined with the administration’s complete inability to articulate its own defense or makes its case on the issues. The scandals factor in there too, but I don’t think they have had enough impact yet to drive up his negatives so high. Iraq is having a souring effect among the rising chorus of “to hell with them” hawks who are ready to write off the Islamic democratization project (a position that seems more reasonable by the day, given Cartoon Jihad, Abdul Rahman, the flight of Miss Iraq under threat of death, that young Nigerian girl whose father tried to force her to marry a rapist because she’d converted from Islam to Christianity, Iran’s actions, etc etc etc. Newt Gingrich seems to have joined that club, too). But another problem is the administration just doesn’t defend its record. The economy is posting gangbusters growth, for instance, but does the administration trumpet this triumph? Um, no. It’s telling that NRO’s Rich Lowry has been coming up with issue stances to help Bush save himself, but the president seems not only uninterested but nonexistent. The only thing Woody Allen ever said that holds up is the bit about showing up being 80% of life. President Bush seems to flip that percentage fairly often. If he’d just show up once in a while he’d see a four or five percent uptick in his approval rating. Perhaps the presidency is another of those jobs Americans won’t do.


Bill C adds: If you noticed Bush's approval ratings dipped with the Harriet Miers nomination and with the Dubai ports deal. his ratings came back when the administration and congress coordinated a response to John Murtha turning woobly. All of this points to Preston's point: the administration has neglected telling its story and has allowed the MSM to create demonstrably false memes which get hammered into the collective conscious daily. Say something already!

 

Doctor who? Yes. Demento, that's who.

Beware the moonbat without sonar.

A recent post described my enthusiasm for the return of Doctor Who to the U.S. as the show is currently airing on the Sci-Fi Channel on Friday evenings. The show's main character never gives us his name, he is just called the Doctor. When asked, "Doctor who?" he usually replies simply, "yes". Thus the show's title. But for the recently shown episode he might as well have replied, "Doctor Demento."

The BBC produces Doctor Who and the 2005 season is the one currently showing on Sci-Fi. I watched the first 3 episodes prior to my previous posting on the show and then was hit with a two part episode that disappointed me and almost turned me away completely. The show has a long history, airing from 1963-1989 and then again in 2005 and 2006. In the past there have been several writers who have been responsible for the ups and downs of the show's quality and popularity. The 2005 season was written and produced by Russel T. Davies, perhaps a moonbat. I don't know but the last episode was far out there.

The first part was enjoyable. An invasion of earth is cliche but this had some interesting plot details. Aliens faked an alien space ship crash landing into the Themes River to trick the humans into responding while the aliens were ready with their plans. Having taken control of obscure cabinet members (obese ones whose bodies they could manipulate) they found themselves first in the chain of command when the Prime Minsiter and other superiors were killed off.

Okay, so now what. Well then comes part two, just like your favorite musician going off on a wild rant to ruin the mood when your are getting ready for the encore, Davies' story smacks you in the face like a moonbat without sonar.

The alien plan is to start WWIII and have the entire planet nuked so they can sell off the remaining radioactive rock as fuel to other aliens. So the alien controlled P.M. begs the U.N. to release to him the codes (the holier than thou U.N. controlls U.K. WMD!) for their nuclear arsenal so they can attack the fake aliens because, you see, they have "Massive Weapons of Destruction", the PM has seen them and they are real and they are a threat to the whole planet. When in fact it is all a ruse. Will the U.N. fall for it? Of course, "they did before" says Rose.

I can deal with the liberal jokes here and there but this took over the whole two hour episode and ruined it. What a shame. I like this show and will continue to watch but only so long as the plots are more realistic.

 

I hope the Iranian Mullahs love their children too

A rather sappy sentiment when it was sung by Sting in 1985. But this is about all we have to hope for, besides B-52 strikes and/or Israeli F-16s, considering the world's resignation to Iranian nukes.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said Iran will "soon join the club of countries with nuclear technology."

His comments came as new agencies quoted former President Hashemi Rafsanjani as saying Tuesday that Iran has enriched uranium for the first time using 164 centrifuges, a major development in its fuel cycle technology.

The announcement was the first disclosure that Iran had successfully enriched uranium since February, when it began research at its enrichment facility in the town of Natanz.

"Iran has put into operation the first unit of 164 centrifuges, has injected (uranium) gas and has reached industrial production," the Kuwait News Agency quoted Rafsanjani as saying.

"We should expand the work of these machines to achieve a full industrial line. We need dozens of these units (sets of 164 centrifuges) to achieve a uranium enrichment facility," he said.

This news is not the last word on Iran but there is very little time to react. Maybe Iran will be satisfied with a small nuclear arsenal, maybe. I know the Israelis have their own nuclear weapons. What I really would like to know is whether Israel is under the U.S. nuclear weapons umbrella? The diplomatic community is counting on the belief that Iran can be deterred. I am afraid this is all we will have to hope for.

John O adds: President Bush has said the US "will defend Israel."

Mark Steyn does an excellent job explaining our predicament. He concludes:
Once again, we face a choice between bad and worse options. There can be no “surgical” strike in any meaningful sense: Iran’s clients on the ground will retaliate in Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, and Europe. Nor should we put much stock in the country’s allegedly “pro-American” youth. This shouldn’t be a touchy-feely nation-building exercise: rehabilitation may be a bonus, but the primary objective should be punishment—and incarceration. It’s up to the Iranian people how nutty a government they want to live with, but extraterritorial nuttiness has to be shown not to pay. That means swift, massive, devastating force that decapitates the regime—but no occupation.

The cost of de-nuking Iran will be high now but significantly higher with every year it’s postponed. The lesson of the Danish cartoons is the clearest reminder that what is at stake here is the credibility of our civilization. Whether or not we end the nuclearization of the Islamic Republic will be an act that defines our time.

(My emphasis)
In addition to this, we need to sieze or incapacitate the Iranian oil fields. The time to act is now.

John O adds more: Captain Ed comments on the diplomatic actions the US should take:
If we allow Ahmadinejad to celebrate this defiance without fixing consequences to his actions, then we will have re-enacted the capitulation of 1936 seventy years later. It will also render the NPT moot and once again show the UN as nothing more than the League of Nations with a better flag and tonier address. The UNSC must take action against Iran's flagrant violation of both the NPT and its unanimous resolution of last month. Failure to do so will cement its reputation as an anachronistic relic of the Cold War.

If Russia and China will not allow any sanctions against Iran, then we need to make it clear that the Western nations no longer feel bound by the strictures of the UN and will instead act on our own to develop bilateral and multilateral agreements for diplomatic efforts in the future. This may actually motivate both countries to join against the Iranian mullahcracy, as they see the UN as a handy brake on American influence and power. Once freed of the bonds of Turtle Bay, they understand that we will act with much more aggressiveness to stop potential threats before they develop, endangering their strategies of diplomatic obstructionism.

We had better draw the line now. If we wait much longer, we may soon confront the reality of Iranian nuclear weapons instead of the potential, with all of the implications for terrorism that implies.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

 

Undocumented Golfer?

This gave me a good laugh:

I have to give credit to Glenn Reynolds for the idea (h/t Michelle Malkin) which I ran with a little bit, but what if on Monday, when thousands of pro-illegal immigration protesters are marching in cities around the country, a bunch of citizens showed up at the Capitol Building in Washington to report for work as "undocumented Congressmen"?

The marchers could demand that Congress take down the security wall that surrounds Capitol Hill and allow us in because we "want to do work that Congressmen aren't willing to do".

Why stop at "undocumented Congressmen"? How about "undocumented golfers" playing a round or two with Congress members at their local country club. The list could continue.

 

How Illinois Selects Supreme Court Justices

Behind closed doors without any public input

Here in Illinois, there won't be any ugly political fights over filling an impending state Supreme Court vacancy. The matter has been settled before the public was even notified there was to be one.

In a secret session, three weeks after voters could have had some say in the matter, the Illinois Supreme Court has selected its next member:
Justice Mary Ann McMorrow, the first woman to serve on the Illinois Supreme Court, announced Wednesday she will step down from the panel, clearing the way for the appointment of Appellate Judge Anne M. Burke, wife of Chicago Ald. Edward Burke.

McMorrow recommended to her colleagues as her successor one of the state courts' most highly recognizable jurists, a judge well-known for her work on behalf of children in Illinois and nationwide.

Noting the importance of earning the 'positions of trust' that judges hold, McMorrow predicted in a written statement that Burke would 'serve with distinction' as the newest member of the high court.

The recommendation by McMorrow and subsequent appointment by the full court mean Burke will take over the panel's open Cook County seat this summer and will have the right to serve until the panel's next election in 2008. Burke could run for a 10-year term of office at that time.
Burke will serve just about the maximum time possible before having to face the electorate.

I don't know how other states select supreme court justices, but I'm guessing its not anything like this.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

 

U.N. Proposes $1.9 Billion Renovation

This is not from the Onion, it is from Roger Simon who adds:
This blog long ago called for total online transparency for the international organization. As citizens of the world - the taxpayers who support it - we should demand no less.

John O adds: This renovation has been in the works for some time. Donald Trump has said he could do the job for $500 million or less.

I also must quibble with Simon's characterization of us as 'citizens of the world.' We aren't. We're all members of the human race, of course but the UN isn't a country and it isn't representative of the world community. We Americans are citizens of the United States. We shouldn't be giving the UN a penny.

I disagree with Simon that the UN should operate with complete transparency. Too many of its supporters are the type of people who completely ingore facts, so aside from some personal embarassment on the part of UN officials, what would it really matter? As I see things, the UN is an enemy of the US and shouldn't exist at all.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

 

Bush Was Right

Nay na na na nay na

If you haven't already, check out Bush Was Right. Its a decent tune with lyrics that recount Bush's obvious successes. I especially like the 'nay na na na nay na' quality of the guitar riff immediately following the 'Bush was right' line. Nicely done.

Monday, April 03, 2006

 

History's Hidden Engine

This short, about an hour, documentary covers the subject of socionomics. The underlying idea is that social mood is determinative. Wars and panics arise from negative mood and bull markets and the popularity of pop music are the product of a positive mood. The causality that is normally assumed is the exact reverse. Please give this a watch because it explains socionomics and is thought provoking.

What will be helpful is the idea that certain measures of social mood are more sensitive to changes. Armed with that knowledge you will be able to avoid manias that capture the public and, perhaps, ride them as long as it remains safe.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

 

Big Love

My wife and I have started watching the HBO series Big Love.

Think having three wives is a dream come true? Meet Bill Henrickson (Bill Paxton), a modern-day Utah polygamist who lives in suburban Salt Lake City with his three wives, seven children, and a mounting avalanche of debt and demands. The owner of a growing chain of home improvement stores, Bill struggles to balance the financial and emotional needs of Barb, Nicki and Margene (Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloë Sevigny and Ginnifer Goodwin), who live in separate, adjacent houses and take turns sharing their husband each night. While managing the household finances together and routinely sharing "family home nights," they try to keep simmering jealousies in check and their arrangement a secret — polygamy is illegal in Utah and banned by the mainstream Mormon Church. Adding to Bill's woes are a series of crises affecting his parents (Bruce Dern and Grace Zabriskie), who live on a fundamentalist compound in rural Utah, and his ruthless father-in-law, Roman (Harry Dean Stanton), the powerful head of the polygamist commune where his parents live.


It is really well acted and there are plethora of interesting story lines. If you can get past the polygamy. I also wonder how many husbands have said during the course of watching this show, "Wouldn't life be easier?" And gotten shut down immediately.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

 

Undead not so undead!


Does Amazon deliver during the apocolypse?







Zombies walk the earth!










No one knows why we have been so suddenly thrust into a world knit from nightmare, but as your grandmother's dentures lodged bicuspid-deep in your Louisville Slugger testifies: the zombie apocalypse is upon us.

It's uncertain why Z-Day stuck on that fateful day in late March. Some blame the Venusian orbiter that reentered our atmosphere, metal and glass sopping with fell atomic resonance; Some point half-chewed knuckles at the chemicals and elements leached into our landfills after decades of poorly-disposed-of consumer electronics waste.

Others speak of a sorcerous lunatic cabal, enslaving the population with white stela in pocket-sized effigy, inscribed with the runic twin annuli emblematic of their music-woven moon cult. First those under their sway thought different; then they were different.

Whatever the reason, we are faced with the same problem humanity has always faced, honed to a razor's edge: survival. That's why Gizombo will continue to provide the latest updates on gadgetry that will keep you and your still-living loved ones alive—at least until the dozens of oozing commuters begin to clog the tracks on which our never-halting subway command center rides, sending us sparking to our final resting place inside a cold and bloody iron womb with only a single shotgun shell for comfort.


If you come looking for us, we will holed up in Mulligans.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?