Wednesday, December 31, 2008

How About Them Special Interests?

The first couple of lines of Yahoo's story on the "controversy" surrounding Obama's inauguration prayer: "President-elect Barack Obama's choice of Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural invocation drew one kind of protest. Whether the evangelical pastor offers the prayer in the name of Jesus may draw another." The story goes on to cite how gay rights advocates protest the choice of minister, and how anti-Christian groups protested the inclusion of the word "Jesus" in Bush's inaugural prayer. Atheists even filed a lawsuit in protest. There is pressure on evangelical pastor Warren to avoid the use of the words "Jesus" or "Christ."

This is about the inaugural prayer. Imagine the special interest groups' influence on Obama's policies.

"Man-made climate change is a con"

So says Sammy Wilson of Northern Ireland. That's Environment Minister Sammy Wilson.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Global Warming (or not) in the New Year

Christopher Booker has written a column in the UK Telegraph entitled "2008 was the year man-made global warming was disproved."

A few pertinent quotes from the column:

"...all over the world, temperatures have been dropping in a way wholly unpredicted by all those computer models which have been used as the main drivers of the [global warming] scare."

"All those hysterical predictions that we are seeing more droughts and hurricanes than ever before have infuriatingly failed to materialise."

"At long last, as in the Manhattan Declaration last March, hundreds of proper scientists, including many of the world's most eminent climate experts, have been rallying to pour scorn on that "consensus" which was only a politically engineered artefact, based on ever more blatantly manipulated data and computer models programmed to produce no more than convenient fictions." ("Proper" scientists as opposed to agenda-driven ex-politicians; i.e. Al Gore.)

We have to fight every move by politicians to devote more money to fighting a "threat" that does not exist. With the government throwing alms to the beggars in the financial and auto industries -- and more businesses/beggars waiting in the wings -- it's stupid to throw good money after bad. Any further attempts by politicians to control our lives in the spirit of "fighting climate change" are merely more ways of imposing government control where it doesn't belong.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

An Irish Blessing

This message was sent to me by a good friend via e-mail. It embodies much of the philosophy I have as a human being and as an American. While not political in nature, it represents much of the Conservative belief I have that, in an imperfect and sometimes harsh world, people can -- with determination, hard work and yes, hope (thought not hope alone) -- persevere.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Change in Terms

With Las Vegas and other parts of the country (and world) having record snowfall and record low temperatures, it reminded me of something I've noticed lately. If the earth is getting warmer, and the last decade is the warmest on record, etc. etc., why have those people started calling the whole problem "climate change" after years of calling it "global warming?" Could it be so that now, regardless of the temperature, they can cite it as an indication of the peril we're in? For years the alarmists have declared this year or that year as "the hottest on record." When the facts start to diverge from their claims, they simply change what they call their claims.

It seems to me that if your argument is strong, you don't start calling it something else. Are we in supposed danger from global warming or from climate change?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Relatively Unimportant

A quick look at a poll on the IMDB website made me realize something. Many of my favorite movies have one word titles. From their list of the top-rated one-word movie titles, I enjoyed:

Goodfellas
Psycho
Alien
Aliens
Amadeus
Braveheart
Jaws
Unforgiven
Fargo
Patton
Platoon
Glory
Spartacus
Rocky

Relatively unimportant, but interesting.

Reality Check

Thomas Sowell has a column today in which he discusses how bailing out the big three automakers postpones reality. Their way of producing cars failed, whether through their own business practices, the excessive demands of the unions or the excessive demands of the government.

One passage in the column introduced me to a concept I hadn't seen before. To wit:

"A renowned economist of the past, J.A. Schumpeter, used to refer to progress under capitalism as "creative destruction"-- the replacement of businesses that have outlived their usefulness with businesses that carry technological and organizational creativity forward, raising standards of living in the process."

Sowell then goes on to describe what happened to the horse and buggy business with the introduction of the automobile a hundred years ago.

"Creative destruction." I like that. It implies a constant renewal, like a snake shedding its skin or a butterfly leaving a cocoon. In economic terms it causes short term pain for groups that are displaced, but the process is what's necessary for long term economic growth. Plus, as Sowell said, a greater standard of living.

Try selling that idea to a politician who's trying to be re-elected. Feh.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

America's Most Wanted - Related News

Sherry Denise Halligan is wanted for murder. Here's her picture:

I think she's playing Angela in The Office:


Somebody notify the authorities.

Adam's Case Solved

The murder of Adam Walsh has finally been solved. Adam was the son of John Walsh, who started the television show "America's Most Wanted."

If you can call anything "good" that comes out of the murder of a 6-year-old boy, it's that now parents and police departments treat missing children cases much more seriously. Because of John Walsh's determination and activism, we now have faces on milk cartons, shopping bags and mailbox flyers, fingerprinting programs and increased security at schools and stores. "Code Adam," the internationally-recognized alert that a child has gone missing, is named for Adam Walsh.

The family now has closure. "America's Most Wanted" has put hundreds of scumbags behind bars. And the killer is dead. May he get what he deserves in his next existence.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Thought on Deadlines

I'm working on a book right now with a savage deadline approaching. The writing is going well, but I have a lot to do. My experience with the previous book, which nearly beat me down, served me well. I work much better when I take the time to write up an extensive outline beforehand.

I'll be missing the Christmas party Monday evening as I try to make this deadline. Doggone it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Obama, Obama, Pants on Fire

Barack Obama, Spartanburg, NC, November 3, 2007: "I have done more to take on lobbyists than any other candidate in this race - and I've won. I don't take a dime of their money, and when I am President, they won't find a job in my White House."

December 11, 2008, Washington Post Headline: "Obama Nominates Daschle for HHS [Tom Daschle as Secretary of Health and Human Services.]"

Wikipedia entry on Tom Daschle: "[Daschle] signed on as a Senior Policy Advisor with the K Street law firm Alston & Bird. Health care interests, including CVS Caremark, the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, Abbott Laboratories and HealthSouth, are among the firm's lobbying clients."

In other words, Obama's new HHS Secretary was a lobbyist. Ahem.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Followup to "First of Many"

A quote from a November 5 report -- that's the day after Obama was elected -- from KHQA's Carol Sowers:

"Now that Barack Obama will be moving to the White House, his seat in the U.S. Senate representing Illinois will have to be filled. That's one of Obama's first priorities today. He's meeting with Governor Rod Blagojevich this afternoon in Chicago to discuss it."

Ahem.

2008 - The Democrats' Year

As Democrats gloat over their successes in getting Obama elected, and having won majorities in both houses of Congress, yesterday's stories about the arrest of Democrat Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich reminded me of other "successes" the Democrats have had in 2008:

Representative Charlie Rangel (D-New York): 1) Paid his son $80,000 to design websites that should have cost less than $100; 2) used Congressional letterhead to solicit donations for a center bearing his name (often called Rangel's "Monument to Me",) using earmarks to start the financial ball rolling, then obtaining tax breaks for donors; 3) claimed five primary residences to receive tax breaks, 4) failed to claim $75,000 in income from his ownership of a Dominican resort. Charlie Rangel is the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Representative William Jefferson (D-Louisiana): Loses his re-election bid for his seat in November. Jefferson has been under indictment for bribery, laundering money and misusing his congressional office since 2006.

Democrat Mayor of Detroit Kwame Kilpatrick: Charged in March with official misconduct, perjury and obstruction of justice; went to jail in October for lying during a civil trial to conceal an extramarital affair. (Why does that last point sound familiar?)

Massachusetts State Senator Dianne Wilkerson (Democrat, Sulfolk): Arrested in October on public corruption charges. This followed her arrest in 1997 for federal tax evasion, fines in 2001 and 2005 for ethics violations and a 2005 charge of perjury.

Pennsylvania State Representative and Democrat Whip Mike Veon and 11 other members of the Democrat caucus: Charged by prosecutors in July with theft and conflict of interest for running a massive political campaign machine out of government offices.

Florida Representative Tim Mahoney (D-Florida): Defeated for re-election in November. Mahoney won his seat in 2006 after the incumbent, Mark Foley (name sound familiar?) resigned after a sex scandal. In October, Mahoney was revealed to have agreed to a $121,000 payment to a former mistress who worked on his staff and was threatening to sue him.

Ohio State Representative Matthew H. Barrett (D-Amherst): Forced to resign after a photo of a topless woman popped up during his lecture to a high school civics class.

Former US Senator (D-North Carolina) and former Democrat candidate for President John Edwards: Admitted in a statement and interview in August that he had an adulterous affair with former campaign worker Rielle Hunter, but denied he was the father of her child. A campaign aide, Andrew Young, claims that he, not Edwards, is the child's father. NBC reports that Edwards' former campaign consultant and many others raise the possibility of Young covering for Edwards.

Former Democrat mayor of Newark Sharpe James: Indicted on 33 counts of corruption in July.

Former Democrat Governor of New York Eliot Spitzer: Forced to resign in March after the New York Times revealed that Spitzer had spent as much as $80,000 on prostitutes. Spitzer is still under investigation over wrongdoing in his handling of travel records and for his involvement in the prostitution ring.

California State Senator Carole Midgen (Democrat, San Francisco): In March, Midgen was assessed the largest fine in the history of the California Political Fair Practices Commission -- $350,000 -- for 89 violations of the state’s campaign financing laws.

I'm stopping here simply out of exhaustion. Maybe sometime I can do "Year of the Democrat, Pt. 2." But 2008 was certainly a great year for Democrats, wasn't it? Let's see if Nancy Pelosi can get that "culture of corruption" slogan up and running again.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

First of Many

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was arrested today. on charges of corruption connected to filling the vacated Senate seat of Barack Obama. With political agility which has become second-nature to him, Obama raced to distance himself from the governor:

"I had no contact with the governor or his office, and so I was not aware of what was happening" [concerning any possible dealing about Blagojevich's appointment of a successor.] said Obama.

However, Obama's top advisor, David Axelrod, said this on Fox News Chicago on November 23: "I know he's talked to the governor, and there are a whole range of names, many of which have surfaced, and I think he has a fondness for a lot of them."

Obama's people said that Axelrod misspoke. However, Axelrod's words seem pretty clear and precise to me.

Don't be surprised if a whole bunch of Chicago-style chicanery suddenly turns up on Obama's docket. He's been neck-deep in Chicago politics for years, and the press let it go before the election. The primary process is supposed to weed out candidates that have issues like this. Let's see how the press handles a scandal-ridden President in his first year in office.

Not Exactly Kosher


In celebration of the season, I'm focusing today on the best food in the world -- bacon. If you are still looking for a present for that special someone, read on.
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In pursuing the subject in my usual manner, I conducted extensive research. First of all, bacon was not named for the 16th-century philosopher and scientist Sir Francis Bacon.
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There are several blogs devoted to bacon exclusively. One of the best I've found is
Bacon Unwrapped. There you can find all the latest news and developments in the world of bacon.
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There are hundreds of recipes listed around the internet that feature bacon. My favorite bacon-oriented dish, however, is my wife's bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers. Cream cheese inside, jalapeno, and bacon on the outside. What's not to like?

Of course, the world has always had visionaries, and the world of bacon is no different. From the same people who brought you
Bacon Salt, there is now Baconnaise, a bacon-flavored condiment to go with everything. (Not to be confused with my previously featured condiment, chili dog-flavored mustard.)
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Here is a picture of what would be my perfect food:

And, to make sure we embrace the actual spirit of Christmas, here is a song that will warm your heart throughout the holidays.

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Note: Due to the abilities of the skilled lawyers at Warner Brothers, we must identify the artist on this record as Seymour Swine, not Porky Pig. (Actual recording made in 1982 by
Denny Brownlee, an aspiring DJ who worked on the John Boy and Billy radio show.)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Holy Moly

Don't ask questions. Take seven minutes and watch this video.




And that, my children, is how it's done. This guy interviews politicians the way all reporters should. Besides Pelosi, Jan Heldfeld has evsicerated Harry Reid, Pete Stark, George Stephanapoulus and others. Go to his website to see more.

Wow.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Who Designed This System?

Al Franken -- incredibly -- may yet steal the election for the US Senate seat in Minnesota. According to the rules apparently in place, the decision of whether the Democrat or the Republican won the election may go to the Democrat-controlled US Senate. Even though Republican Norm Coleman has the majority of votes from Minnesotans, Franken could join "Washington's most exclusive club."

This is one of those parts of the American political system that don't make sense. If we can't change stupid rules like this, then there's only one other thing to do. As Hugh Hewitt put it in his appropriately-titled 2004 book: "If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat: Crushing the Democrats in Every Election and Why Your Life Depends on It."

Advocating A Jaundiced Eye

Georgia Republican Saxby Chambliss won his run-off for the US Senate, preventing Democrats in Washington from achieving a filibuster-proof majority. Good news, but not the point of this post.

Deep in the heart of the AP story on Chambliss's victory comes this paragraph: "Chambliss came to the Senate in 2002 after defeating Democratic Sen. Max Cleland in a campaign that infuriated Democrats. Chambliss ran a TV ad that questioned Cleland's commitment to national security and flashed a photo of Osama bin Laden. Cleland is a triple amputee wounded in the Vietnam War." (Italics added.)

A few points here: 1) Max Cleland served America honorably in the military, and his wounds are tragic and regrettable. 2) The sentence about Cleland has nothing at all to do with Chambliss winning re-election. 3) Max Cleland's wounds were self-inflicted.

The short version of the story is this: Cleland picked up an American grenade on a routine noncombat mission and the grenade exploded. Cleland himself said: "I didn't see any heroism in all that. It wasn't an act of heroism. I didn't know the grenade was live. It was an act of fate." That is why Cleland didn't win a Purple Heart, which is given to those wounded in combat. That Cleland had been wounded in battle was clearly what the AP reporters were trying -- falsely -- to imply. Presumably, that would have meant that he should be immune from a tough campaign.

Even in a story that reports a positive result for Republicans, the AP reporters -- Greg Bluestein, Kate Brumback and Errin Haines -- felt compelled to put in a misleading and irrelevant passage to dilute one of the few bright spots for the Republican party.

When you read news stories from the "Associated Press," remember that those stories are written by reporters, the same ones that have shown such anti-Republican, anti-Conservative bias over the last several years. Read (and watch) the news with a jaundiced eye.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Okay, I'm Going Soft

Two knockout versions of an old standard that will bring tears to your eyes.

First a mashup by a boys choir on BBC Two:







Next, the "international" version from the documentary "Playing For Change." I'm not sure that music will bring peace to the planet, but listening to this song sure makes you wish it would:


Peripheral Note to My Previous Post

A writer for one of my favorite websites/magazines, Mental Floss, in an article about how much television Americans watch -- and the harm that befalls them because of it -- commented that he didn't watch much TV, "mainly The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and sometimes I'll watch a bit of Olbermann."

Any bets on where the writer gets most of his political information? He probably believes that he's knowledgable about politics. And as a writer for Mental Floss, he's supposedly one of the more intelligent people.

Why Polls Shouldn't Matter

If you want to find out what people want in dishwashing liquid, bath soap, toilet paper or deodorant, marketing research is the tool to use. Personal preference in items we use in our daily lives is part of our culture. We know what we like.

The same principle applied to politics is a disaster. I've made no secret of my disdain for polls and how the media use them to generate the stories that they want to promote. A recent study revealed the fruitlessness of polling Americans to ask them their opinion on political matters.

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) conducted a survey of 2500 Americans, quizzing them about American civics. The average score of all respondents was 49%. College educators did a bit better, at 55%. Something that may or may not surprise you: political officeholders scored 44% -- lower than the average person surveyed. (Take the quiz yourself here.)

I'm not criticizing anyone who doesn't score high on the quiz -- we each have our own strengths and interests. But the ignorance of Americans that the survey revealed illustrates the worthlessness of polls that ask Americans their "opinion" about something going on in politics. As we saw from the survey of Obama voters, most opinions are based on ignorance.

Pollsters should stick to soap. Everyone else should ignore polls.


(For those who are curious, I scored 93.4% on the quiz.)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

When the Government Wants Power...

...it doesn't matter who dies.

New York City just told church-sponsored shelters that provide beds for the homeless that they must stay open at least five days a week or not at all.

Temperatures in NYC are below freezing. Last year four homeless people froze to death.

What this means -- assuming the church shelters can't or won't agree to stay open -- is that if homeless people want a bed they have to turn to the city's government shelters, effectively replacing privately funded charitable work with taxpayer funded "entitlements." City officials are willing to risk homeless people dying in order to increase their power.

Never doubt how far government will go to impose its will.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Other People Say Smart Stuff, Too (Obama Edition)

Headline from a CBS story: "Obama Advisers to Public: Temper Expectations"

Now the words of wisdom from Obama's transition officer, Robert Reich: "We all have to be very careful about the expectations that we are putting on this man...."

Advice that could (and should) have been given prior to the election.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What Obama Voters Knew (and Didn't)

Zogby International conducted a multiple-choice poll of Obama supporters after the election to determine their level of knowledge about the candidates and the campaigns. What the poll revealed will be surprising to many people (mainly Obama supporters.)


Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes (Or Not)

(First, I know that the song is in your head now, so here's a link so you can listen to it.)

Two things really caught my attention recently. There's the story that my friend Keith told me about his encounter with an Obama supporter in an airport. She was an older lady, and while they were both waiting for their flights they struck up a conversation. Unbidden, she asked him his thoughts on the election. Keith, ever the gentleman, said words to the effect of, "Things didn't go quite the way I would have liked."

The lady began to rhapsodize about how happy she was that Obama won, that America needed a change, etc.etc. Having stood all he could take, Keith asked the lady how she felt about Americans having to pay a tax to the United Nations. The Obama supporter looked confused and said, "I wouldn't like that."
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Keith is a regular reader of the blog and said, "Didn't you know that Obama introduced legislation proposing just that?" I believe Keith concluded his story with "She got real quiet."


The other story that caught my attention was this news story detailing how, although Obama promised "change," he is choosing longtime political insiders for key posts. There's a saying about leopards changing their spots, and it's not a stretch to assume that these career politicians won't be doing anything different from the way they've always done it.
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I'd say that Obama used the old "bait and switch" to win the election. Are the ones who voted for him smart enough to recognize when they've been bamboozled? Or is the fact that they voted for Obama in the first place all you need to know to answer that question?

Monday, November 17, 2008

How to Thrive in the Coming Economy

With the trillion dollar government bailout for lenders that made bad investments, the roller coaster of the stock market, and the unknown future of the cost for fuel (although we're now paying under $1.80 a gallon,) it's hard for most people to have any idea of what to do financially. Expert economists don't know what the effects of all this will be on our personal finances, so what's a regular person to do? Here are some strategies that will work in any economy:

1. Get out of debt. A few observations -- the less debt you have, the more of your own cash you get to keep. The less debt, the more flexibility you have in what you do with your money. The less debt, the less risk you have if a financial catastrophe strikes -- you lose your job, you have a medical emergency, etc. PLUS if you've saved your money because you have less debt, you have cash to handle the emergency.

2. Earn as much as you can. This might sound like a no-brainer, but we get complacent when we think we are making "enough" money. You may have heard of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. These are usually classified as motivators, or pressures to fulfill a need. After a need is met, though, it is no longer considered a motivator. If you're making "enough" money, there's no real pressure to earn more. In the next few years there's probably a 99.9% chance that our income taxes will go up. Democrats control the government. (Regardless of Obama's "promises," Democrats can't change their nature.) Somehow the bailouts have to be paid for. And the Bush tax cuts expire in 2010 if they're not renewed...and see my previous comments about Democrats and their nature. Tax revenue is their money. You can't avoid paying income tax (legally,) but you can try to outearn its effects. Extra jobs, overtime, selling stuff -- extra cash will always be handy. Consult a tax adviser to see what you can do to minimize the amount of taxes you owe.

3. Shop wisely. In a down economy, bargains show up. If you have extra cash, the appetite to buy things can overwhelm you. Resist the urge to buy the first shiny thing that you see. Buy quality. Establish the items that you want the most, and look for the best bargains in those.

4. Buy guns. Related to #3, this point concerns buying items that increase in value, a personal finance variation on the "guns and butter" model in economics. Americans typically are consumers -- that is, they buy lots of "butter." Think of the items that you use once and then have to replace. Those who purchase items that will increase in value -- "guns" -- also increase their net worth, their wealth. One thing about income taxes - they only tax your income, not your wealth. As Andrew Tobias wrote, "A penny saved is worth two pennies earned." Take advantage of financial situations, and use the opportunity to increase your non-taxable wealth. When the dust settles, you want to be in a better position financially than you were before.

Notice that I didn't say anything about investing. If the experts don't know whether to invest in stocks, bonds, real estate or, say, subprime mortgages, then I surely don't know. But if you follow the advice above, you'll be ahead of 99% of Americans.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Post-Election Revelations

Check out the media coverage surrounding the "new" afterword terrorist William Ayers wrote for his book "Fugitive Days." A quote from Ayers:


“We had served together on the board of a foundation, knew one another as neighbors and family friends...."



So Obama's "guy from my neighborhood" comment was an outright lie. Somehow "I told you so" seems a little inadequate. Not much coverage of the Obama-Ayers connection pre-election, other than to ridicule Palin for mentioning it. How can anyone anywhere dispute that the media were in the tank for Obama? The media selected the President of the United States.

Ten Most Annoying Phrases

University of Oxford researchers recently compiled a list of the "Top 10 Most Irritating Phrases in the English Language." Luckily, I manage to avoid using most of them, except for #6 when I'm trying to sound like Rocky Balboa.

1 - At the end of the day
2 - Fairly unique
3 - I personally
4 - At this moment in time
5 - With all due respect
6 - Absolutely
7 - It's a nightmare
8 - Shouldn't of
9 - 24/7
10 - It's not rocket science

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Quick Wit

From Mental Floss comes a nice little puzzle.

The names of three states contain the letter sequence "NNE". Name them.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Movies and Inspiration

During the course of casual reading, I discovered something that I hadn't known before. This iconic image from Stanley Kubrick's The Shining



was inspired by this 1967 photo by Diane Arbus


If you didn't know the top photo was from a horror movie, wouldn't the real-life girls at the bottom look creepier than the movie ones?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Today's the Day

Plan on announcements of Obama’s victory to start at about noon.

So much has been written about the campaign over the last two years that pretty much anything I add is redundant. It’s clear that McCain is not the best candidate Republicans could have chosen. When we look back at the early primaries we can see the beginning of the trend – Democrats crossing over like crazy to vote for McCain in states where it was allowed, and the media repeating over and over that McCain was the Republicans’ best chance at winning the presidency. I previously posted. how the New York Times endorsed McCain, primarily because of all the Republican candidates he was the closest to Hillary Clinton on the issues. Now, of course, McCain is criticized by Obama for voting with Bush “90% of the time.”


Obama.

I’ve followed politics for over thirty years, and I have never seen someone snake through the process like Obama has. Bill Clinton in 1992 is the closest, but he’s not even close to what Barack Obama has done. No charge, no scandal, no misstep, no gaffe, nothing has come close to sticking to Obama, and there have been plenty of them.

Obama has spoken offhandedly about the “typical white person,” about how poor people cling to their guns and religion, about how he’ll bankrupt the coal industry, about visiting “fifty-seven states,” and yet there have been absolutely no repercussions. The media downplays or completely ignores these statements.

The biggest surprise is the hostility the media had toward the Clintons. Two years ago I thought the Clintons were Democrat royalty, but when it came down to the wire, their friends abandoned them. (Think Bill Richardson.) The Clintons must have been pretty heavy-handed in their roles as leaders of the Democrat party, because the moment they were vulnerable, everyone left them behind.

***

Obama has made no secret of his plans. Historically he has been a collectivist/socialist, and in his speeches he has bragged about how he’ll raise taxes, and how he’ll spread the wealth around, a/k/a “buy votes.” There are Obama supporters who honestly believe that they will no longer have to pay their car payments or mortgage payments, because of him. (There is a reasonable argument to be made against universal suffrage.)

Obama has been against the 2nd Amendment – the right to bear arms – from the beginning. This ...politician... has proclaimed that he “supports” the 2nd Amendment, but that government should be allowed to ignore it. It’s not a big step to believe that he will press for a complete gun ban, and with a Liberal Democrat Congress it would likely pass.

***
The biggest loser this year is the media. They have lost all semblance of credibility or ethical standards. The one-sided support for Obama from the beginning has been chilling. Unquestioning, biased promotion of one candidate has made the media an extension of the Democrat party. And the probable introduction of the "Fairness Doctrine" in Congress to silence talk radio will add to the influence the mainstream media has on the country.

When did the decline of the media begin? When they started using polls as news. Poll numbers can be manipulated any way the polling body wants, and they are. The media reports nothing but bad news on the economy for weeks on end, then asks Americans how they "feel" about the economy. The predictable results are then published as evidence that Americans have lost faith in the President. In the same way, Obama's lead in the polls has been overplayed. Do you remember when McCain was leading in the polls, after he chose Sarah Palin as his running mate? No? It's because the media didn't want to report it. In one poll McCain led by as much as ten points, yet that was never a headline.

The media is the enemy. They wrap themselves in the Constitution just as other criminals do. And they are just as guilty of crimes against America.

***

With a likely Obama victory, what are Conservatives to do? Obviously, today you go out and vote, early and often. But for a long-term strategy, find and support the most conservative candidates locally, and at every level. Look for the ones who believe in smaller government. If they get into office and then become “big government” politicians, vote them out. Pressure every single representative to vote for smaller government. And you have to start at the local level.

Obama's election, if it happens, doesn't mean the end of the world. It can, however, mean a drastic change toward European-style governance (socialism) in the next few years. As Ben Stein put it, though, who occupies the White House is not as important as what happens in your house. Go out, earn as much money as you can, pay cash for eveything you can, and live the best life you can. The Democrats haven't taken those things away from you yet.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Hard to Understand

I've decided that after next Tuesday, I'm taking a break from politics for at least two weeks. This election has confused me more than any election ever. I absolutely do not understand the fascination with Obama. No big deal, there are a lot of things I don't understand, but usually I can put together an explanation for the opposing point of view. Not this time. The support for Obama is clearly not based on anything he's ever done, and the people who support him are fervent to the point of religious zeal. Those two facts just do not go together in my mind.

McCain may win; Obama will likely win. I know that the polls can't be trusted. Imagine you're a black voter who goes into the booth and decides that Obama is just not qualified (a very rational decision.) You go outside and the network reporter shoves a camera and microphone in your face and asks you how you voted. Are you going to say you voted for Obama, or for the white guy? The networks will start calling the election for Obama at about noon.

Even if McCain wins, however, I'll need a break from the craziness of this election. It will be fun to focus on other topics for a while. After that, we'll see. If Obama wins and the Democrat Congress starts its turn toward collectivism, I'll be making observations to say "You were warned."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Biden Erupts Again

Democrat VP candidate Joe Biden had another tough interview, in Philadelphia this time, where he was asked questions that he didn't care for. Once again he lost his temper, and once again the Obama campaign has shut off any further interviews with the TV station.

I see a trend.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

FINALLY!

Orlando, Florida's WFTV-Channel 9's reporter Barbara West conducted a satellite interview with Sen. Joe Biden on Thursday. She asked him questions that should have been asked long before now. Watch the interview below:



The Obama campaign's response was swift and severe. Biden's wife Jill was scheduled to have an interview with WFTV the next day. That inteview was cancelled. The cancellation came in a letter from the Obama campaign.


"This cancellation is non-negotiable, and further opportunities for your station to interview with this campaign are unlikely, at best for the duration of the remaining days until the election," wrote Laura K. McGinnis, Central Florida communications director for the Obama campaign.

Kudos to WFTV for having the journalistic integrity to ask the questions that Americans are asking. Send them a message. and compliment them on their ethical stance and encourage them to stand up to Obama's bullying tactics. Specifically commend Barbara West for asking pointed questions in a courteous, professional manner. She is getting slammed hard in the Liberal blogosphere, one of the most powerful forces in America. West will need all the support she can get.

The important thing is that West is not the story; Biden's angry responses and the Obama campaign's swift retaliation are. They do everything they can to silence opposition, and they will do the same to WFTV and to Barbara West personally. Look how they have smeared Joe the plumber. (Someone in the Ohio state government may have accessed his information illegally.)

Bonus: Note that Biden accuses Bush and McCain of "spreading the wealth around" in his answer. That's a new one.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Global Warming Goes *Poof*

More and more scientists are "coming out" with their rebuttal of the manmade global warming scam. Apparently several consecutive years of global cooling indicates that solar activity, not man's activity, is the primary reason for the planet's temperature.

Where are the global warming alarmists now? I feel the need to rhetorically slap them around. And shouldn't this new evidence put a damper on global warming legislation?

Restoring Conservatism

I recently read a great column from Ken Connor, on how Republican politicians have parted from conservatism over the last dozen years, while still calling themselves "conservative." As a result, Liberals and even some Republicans have become confused over what a Conservative is. A quote from the column:

"Conservatives understand that every person is a part of a family and a community; they understand that each generation is just one link in the long chain of human history; and they understand that each person and each generation has duties to those who went before, those who are living today, and those who will come after us."

Worth reading for a reaffirmation of what conservatism really is.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Treason From the Past and the Distant Past

Ann Coulter wrote a book a few years ago entitled Treason. In this book she demonstrates how Liberals have been on the wrong side of foreign policy in everything from the Cold War to the war on terror.
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In the course of her arguments, she defends Senator Joseph McCarthy, who has been demonized by the Left for so long that his name has become a code word for unwarranted persecution. McCarthy led hearings and investigations into Communists who had infiltrated America, especially the government. Coulter illustrates that for forty years McCarthy was judged harshly as being wrong -- but that Soviet documents revealed in 1995 that Soviet Communist spies actually did infiltrate the American government, and that McCarthy was right all along. Her thesis is backed up by M. Stanton Evans' book Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies.
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This long buildup to my point stems from a video clip I saw recently. Coulter was a guest on Bill O'Reilly's TV show, where she was plugging her book. O'Reilly refused to take seriously her argument for McCarthy's correctness, and he argued (O'Reilly style) that she was wrong. The most wonderful exchange was this one:

Coulter: "I'm responding to 50 years of the liberal creation of a myth—turning an honorable American, a great American patriot, Joe McCarthy, into a virtual Nazi."
O'Reilly: "I'm not going with that. I'm not going with that. A guy who used his power to do some good but a lot of bad too."
Coulter: "Like what?"
O'Reilly: "He demonized people who didn't deserve to be demonized."
Coulter: "That's not true. Name one. There is not one."
O'Reilly: "I'll name one—Dalton Trumbo."
Coulter: "He had nothing to do with Dalton Trumbo."
O'Reilly: "Sure he did. It was the House Unamerican Activities Committee. And who was overseeing that?"
Coulter: "He was known as Senator McCarthy. He was in the Senate, not the House."



O'Reilly, it seems, in his desire to portray himself as a "centrist" and paint Coulter as a "right wing nutjob," had bought into the Liberal propaganda without thinking it through.
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It strikes me how easy it is to dismantle most Liberal arguments with facts. When confronted with facts that they can't refute, Liberals begin blustering and turn their attacks on the messenger (see "Joe the plumber.") Their attitude is My mind is made up, don't confuse me with facts.
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Although O'Reilly is no Liberal, he fell apart like a Liberal under facts that contradicted a "truth" he had held for so long. The lesson? Don't accept a Liberal's statements of "fact" until you've done your own research.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Still Think We Can All Get Along?

From James Wolcott's blog in Vanity Fair magazine:

"I don't want the Republican Party simply defeated in November, I want to see it smashed beyond all recognition, in such wriggling, writhing, anguished disarray that it can barely reconstitute itself...."

That sounds like someone who doesn't care what ACORN has to do for Obama to win. Wonder how many other Democrats feel the same way?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

How to Drive an Obama Supporter Crazy

If you want to send an Obama supporter into a snarling, spitting rage, bring up some of these subjects:

Obama’s longtime friendship with William Ayers, former member of the terrorist group Weather Underground.
Obama’s explanation: “He was just a guy who lived in my neighborhood.” Or “I was eight years old when he committed his crimes.”
Truth:
· Obama started his political career in 1995 at a get-together at Ayers’ home.
· Obama and Ayers served together for three years on the Wood Fund in Chicago.
· Obama and Ayers appeared on a panel on juvenile crime in 1997. The University of Chicago panel was organized by Michelle Obama.
· Ayers picked Obama to chair the Annenburg Challenge in Chicago. Obama served for eight years.

Obama’s longtime friendship with Jeremiah “God damn America” Wright.
Obama’s explanation: “I never heard him say any of those things.”
Truth:
· Obama was a member of Wright’s church for twenty years.
· If Obama attended church twice a month, he had around 500 opportunities to hear Wright speak.
· Obama thought enough of Wright that he titled his autobiography after one of Wright’s sermons.

Obama’s longtime friendship with Tony Rezko, Chicago businessman indicted for fraud and bribery.
Obama’s explanation: “I didn’t know anything about his activities.”
Truth:
· Rezko was a donor and fundraiser for Obama beginning in 1995.
· While a state senator, Obama wrote letters to government officials supporting Rezko’s bid to build apartments for senior citizens. After pocketing millions of dollars – some of which he donated to Obama’s campaign – Rezko let the apartment buildings fall into disrepair.
· Obama wanted to buy a home priced at $1.95 million. He bought the home for $1.65 million. The very same day Obama closed on his home, Rezko’s wife bought a vacant lot next door to the home for the full asking price of $625,000. An independent appraisal of the vacant lot put the value at about $500,000. Some time later, Rezko’s wife sold a strip of the land to Obama for $104,500.

Obama’s battle against granting rights to babies who were born alive.
Obama’s explanation:
Version 1: “The legislation would have impeded a woman’s right to abortion.”
Version 2: “I would have voted for the federal version of the bill.”
Version 3: “The federal version would have different effects than the state version.”
Truth:
· Obama voted against legislation while a state senator in Illinois. The legislation, known as the “Born Alive Infant Protection Act,” had the following wording: A live child born as a result of an abortion shall be fully recognized as a human person and accorded immediate protection under the law.
· Meanwhile the US Congress passed legislation with almost the exact same wording. The legislation included specific wording to protect a woman’s “right” to an abortion – as did the Illinois legislation.

Obama apparently had trouble coming up with a politically correct way to say Let the babies die.

***

Don't let it bother you when the Obama supporter can't explain the above facts about Obama. And don't think an Obama supporter will change his mind because of these facts. Facts and truth have no place in the Obama supporter's world. Simply use the above to slice them up for fun, and enjoy the carnage.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

This is what America's all about

Place: Boston's Fenway Park
Time: Summer, 2007
Occasion: Disabilities Awareness Day
Setting: For Disabilities Awareness Day, children with special needs were treated like VIP's at a Red Sox baseball game. They even arranged for a mentally-challenged young man to sing the national anthem. That's a hard song for anyone, and he ran into trouble halfway through.

Watch to see who comes to his rescue.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Who Covered for Fannie Mae?

It pretty much seems that the current economic crisis was caused by the implosion of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They basically guaranteed lenders that the federal government would cover any losses from mortgage defaults (which seems to be exactly what is happening.) Meanwhile Franklin Raines, former head of Fannie Mae, left after having taken bonuses of more than $90 million. Franklin Raines was accused of fraud, and had to pay back some of the money he took.

As you watch this video of congressional hearings in 2004, pay attention to the number of Republicans who called for more oversight of Fannie Mae, and the number of Democrats who insisted that oversight was not needed.

Who's responsible for the economic crisis due to the implosion of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Watch the video and see for yourself. Then think about who's calling loudest for the massive federal bailout.



Saturday, September 27, 2008

What Conservatives Aren't

In this column by John Hawkins, he details and debunks some of the popular misconceptions about Conservatives.

Condensed version:

  • Conservatives don't dislike minorities.
  • Conservatives don't want women kept barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen.
  • Conservatives aren't anti-science.
  • "Conservative" and "Republican" aren't necessarily the same thing.
  • Conservatives aren't theocrats.
  • Conservatives don't rig elections.
  • Conservatives don't want to pollute the environment.
  • Conservatives aren't in the pocket of the rich.

Obvious to those of us who are Conservative, but sometimes it helps to spell things out for those other people.

Friday, September 19, 2008

You Wanna Go With Your Strengths

Mental Floss posted a quiz on classic TV advertising jingles. Showing one of the few benefits of my misspent youth, I scored 100% on the quiz. You can take the quiz yourself here.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Real Difference Between Liberals and Conservatives

One of the most honest and compelling discussions of philosophical and political outlook I've ever seen. Almost 20 minutes long, so make time.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Obama Waffles























"Obama Waffles" were sold at the Value Voters Summit in Washington, DC. The image of Obama on the box is being described in news reports as a "racial stereotype." The question I have is, what's the difference between a "racial stereotype" and a caricature? As you can tell by the photo of Obama, the cartoon on the box is a pretty good caricature, much like what you'd see in a political cartoon.
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The problem is not that the Left immedately yells "racism" at any perceivied criticism of Obama. That's expected. What is bothersome is that the Associated Press story characterized the image as a "racial stereotype" rather than a caricature, and all the media are repeating the AP accusation.
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Let's compare the Obama pictures with these images with John McCain:


















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Is the Obama caricature any more stereotypical than that of McCain?
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The accusation of racism is one that everyone is sensitive to, and the choosing of a black candidate by Democrats gives them that charge whenever they want to use it. The Forum organizers apologized, dropped the waffle mix sales, etc., out of fear of being smeared as racists.
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It seems to me that the only way that any group can claim equality with another is when they can accept criticism, even ridicule, without relying on the "victimhood" argument. By being ridiculed with a caricature, clearly Obama in the above image is being treated as an equal to McCain or any other politician. To try to protect him from such ridicule by claiming racism is demeaning to anyone, regardless of race.
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The media have successfully labeled the image as racist, but that doesn't mean we must allow such a charge to stand. There are too many examples of real racism in the world which need to be corrected for a false charge such as this to attract any attention at all.

Friday, September 12, 2008

They Must Think You're Stupid

Ken Blackwell's great column "Words Obama Will Regret" lists several situations which could prompt Barack Obama to eat his words. Check it out.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

MSNBC Slap Down

Newt Gingrich gives MSNBC reporter Ron Allen what-for when he asks a stupid Democrat-talking-point question:

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Hammer Speaks

From the Politico:

Delay to media: "Keep it up"

"The media has done more for John McCain in the last two days than he’s done for himself in the last year and a half."


Read the post here.

By the way, remember all those indictments that Democrat fundraiser and Travis County prosecutor Ronnie Earle (now retired) brought against Tom Delay? Those may very well be dismissed.

It's alarming how much damage a Democrat prosecutor can wreak with trumped-up charges.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Obama's Campaign of Intimidation

This is one you'll want to e-mail people about.

Obama supporters -- like Liberals in general -- not only oppose Obama critics, but also are determined to silence them. Sen. Barack Obama's campaign organized its supporters Wednesday night to confront Tribune-owned WGN-AM in Chicago for having a critic of Obama on the Milt Rosenberg show.
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Stanley Kurtz is a Conservative (generally) writer whose work often appears in National Review. As part of his research, he has been investigating the relationship between Barack Obama and William Ayers (see an earlier post.) In particular he wanted to research papers at the University of Illinois at Chicago detailing Obama's work on the Annenburg Challenge, a foundation of which Obama was the chairman. William Ayers had a position on the board of that foundation. The University at first agreed to let Kurtz do research, then suddenly withdrew their approval. After Kurtz challenged them legally, they relented and allowed him access.
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Kurtz found information which shows pretty clearly that Ayers was more to Obama than simply "someone who lives in my neighborhood," as Obama said in a debate during the primaries. The video of Obama's comments about Ayers is below, starting at about the :40 mark.





Kurtz emphasizes in his interview that he focused on Obama's relationships in the 90s, not on Ayers's terrorist acts in 1971. Interestingly, no one from the Obama campaign was willing to go on the air to rebut Kurtz live. Instead, they started a campaign of intimidation against WGN for allowing Kurtz on the air at all. For the final hour of the interview, callers were invited to respond, and none of them could disprove any of Kurtz's points. Instead, they followed the talking points from the e-mail they were sent.

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This is the candidate that the Democrats are so proud of.
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You can listen to the interview here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Obama Nation

I'm about finished with the book "The Obama Nation," written by Jerome R. Corsi, Ph.D. Corsi was the co-author of the book "Unfit for Command" that undermined John Kerry's Presidential bid in 2004.
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With "The Obama Nation," Corsi creates an alternative story to that given by Obama in his book "Dreams from My Father," and to the narrative the Obama campaign has tried to push on the American electorate. Corsi depicts Obama as an angry young black man -- angry for no reason other than, as a black man, he felt he should be angry.
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Obama's father was from Kenya, and appeared to have come from a fairly well off family (by Kenyan standards.) Obama Senior attended school in Hawaii, where he married Obama's white mother. He then went to Harvard, leaving his wife and son Obama Junior in the process. Obama Senior then returned to Kenya and became a Marxist-leaning economist working for the Kenyan government. He began to drink heavily because of loss of his position due to tribal conflicts, and eventually died in an auto accident while driving drunk.
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Our Barack Obama, meanwhile, lived in Indonesia with his mother and stepfather, attending school and there receiving regular instruction in the Koran. (This was a public school and not a madrassas, an Islamic religious school. So while true in spirit on some points, those e-mails making the rounds are technically incorrect.) Obama attended an elite private prep school in Hawaii, paid for by his affluent white grandparents. At no time is there an indication that Obama encountered any racial discrimination like that historically suffered by typical black Americans.
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Corsi then goes on to list the various people with whom Obama has been associated over the years, and who Obama has distanced himself from since starting his Presidential campaign -- Communist poet Frank Marshall Davis, terrorist William Ayers (see last post,) convicted felon Tony Rezko and the infamous Reverand Jeremiah Wright.
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Corsi makes no bones about his oppostion to Barack Obama and his "cult of personality." The book's attacks were so savage that the Obama campaign felt compelled to issue a 40-page rebuttal of Corsi's charges. In addition to their "rebuttals," they also felt compelled to call Corsi "discredited," a "bigot," "liar," and "racist." -- familiar terms for those of us who dare to disagree with Liberal Democrats on any point.
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There's no question that Corsi's book contains inaccuracies, as well as omissions and phrasing that, while technically accurate, paint Obama in the worst possible light. At the same time, the Obama rebuttal does not address many of the charges in the book, and often twists Corsi's words or meaning so that they are answering accusations that Corsi never made, while not answering the underlying point. Both documents are propagandist in nature, with neither one going for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
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After reading both publications, however, I am left with the picture of Obama as a leftist politician who uses the techniques advocated by leftist philosopher Saul Alinsky (also a hero of Hillary Clinton's, who wrote her senior thesis on Alinsky.) Michelle Obama used some lines from Alinsky's book in her speech at the Democrat convention. One of Alinsky's pieces of advice was to avoid telling truth, or even lying, when necessary. Obama has also shown that relationships are to be sacrificed when it is politically expedient to do so.
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While "The Obama Nation" contains a lot of inaccuracies and should be considered anti-Obama propaganda, the author's main point -- that the American public really doesn't know enough about Barack Obama to make an informed decision -- stands as the truth.

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***
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INTERVIEW WITH DR JEROME CORSI, AUTHOR OF "THE OBAMA NATION"

The Ad That Outraged Obama

The American Issues Project, a 527 group, ran a TV commercial addressing Barack Obama's relationship with William Ayers, a terrorist who bombed the Capitol in Washington D.C. in 1971. The Obama campaigned responded quickly and savagely, threatening television stations that ran the ad.

In the name of keeping the public informed, here's the commercial:


Friday, August 15, 2008

You Might Be A Liberal If...

John Hawkins has a great column today listing indications of "You might be a Liberal if..." It's pretty funny. Some samples:

You might be a Liberal if:

* You're sure the Constitution explicitly guarantees the right to abortion and gay marriage, but not the right to own a handgun.

* You think Dan Quayle is the dumbest Vice-President we ever had because he believed a flash card that misspelled "potato," but think Obama is a genius despite the fact he believes we have more than 57 states.

* You couldn't care less about what Americans in states like Kansas or Virginia think of you, but you would be greatly upset if a Frenchman gave you a dirty look because you're an American.

Pretty funny.