Thursday, March 27, 2008

In Comparison

During World War II, the Japanese attacked the Aleutian Islands, establishing small numbers of troops on American soil (the Aleutians are part of Alaska.)

One of the major battles the Americans fought was to regain the island of Attu. Read what Wikipedia has to say about the operation.

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On May 11, 1943, the operation to recapture Attu began. Included with the invasion force was a group of native Alaskan scouts known as Castner's Cutthroats. A shortage of landing craft, unsuitable beaches, and equipment that failed to operate in the appalling weather made it very difficult to bring any force to bear against the Japanese. Many soldiers suffered from frostbite because essential supplies could not be landed, or having been landed, could not be moved to where they were needed because vehicles would not work on the tundra. The Japanese defenders under Colonel Yasuyo Yamasaki did not contest the landings, but rather dug in on high ground away from the shore. This caused bloody fighting: there were 3,929 U.S. casualties: 549 were killed, 1,148 were injured, 1,200 had severe cold injuries, 614 succumbed to disease, and 318 died of miscellaneous causes, largely Japanese booby traps and friendly fire.

On May 29, the last of the Japanese forces suddenly attacked near Massacre Bay in one of the largest banzai charges of the Pacific campaign. The charge, led by Colonel Yamasaki, penetrated U.S. lines far enough to encounter shocked rear-echelon units of the American force. After furious, brutal, close-quarter, and often hand-to-hand combat, the Japanese force was killed almost to the last man: only 28 prisoners were taken, none of them an officer. U.S. burial teams counted 2,351 Japanese dead, but it was presumed that hundreds more had been buried by bombardments over the course of the battle.


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Use your imagination to picture what the outcry from Democrats today would be over such a battle in Iraq. The casualties above occurred in just over two weeks. This goes to show something the Democrats seem to have missed -- War is messy.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

From the Left to the Far Left

Thomas Sowell has written an insightful column about Barack Obama. He points out something that isn't discussed -- that Obama has been consistent in his actions his entire adult life. In college he sought out extreme leftists (Marxist professors, structural feminists, punk rock performance poets, the "more politically active" black students,) and later visited a member of the Weathermen underground terrorist group who endorsed Obama. He sought out Jeremiah Wright's church.

Barack Obama's voting record and actions have been remarkably consistent throughout his career. Although he now tries to project himself as a "unifier," nothing he has ever done in his career substantiates that assertion.

From Sowell:

"There is no evidence that Obama ever sought to educate himself on the views of people on the other end of the political spectrum, much less reach out to them. He reached out from the left to the far left. That's bringing us all together?"

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Three Stooges Candidates




How could I ever pass this up?

Was Obama Talking About Me?

In a recent radio interview, Barack Obama referred to his grandmother as a "typical white person."

Create your own scenario of what would happen if it were another candidate with a different version of that statement.

This boggles my mind. I may have to crack open a six pack of MHL, eat a Moon Pie and watch Full House in HD just to calm myself.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Nothing Here

> The national political battle rages -- nothing much has changed in the last week. Rush Limbaugh's Operation Chaos is wreaking havoc on the Democrats.

> I'm about through with the book. It's taken longer than I anticipated. I overestimated how many pages I could write in a day. I mistakenly translated my sprint speed (I can write 4-5 pages in a single hour) to my marathon speed and thought I could write 20-30+ pages a day. I probably can some day, but the most productive day I've had this week is 14 pages. It's hard to keep that intensity for several hours straight. One bit of good news -- every day this week I've written more than the day before. I hope to get the manuscript in the mail by Monday.

> I plan on visiting the Mexiteria this afternoon to pick up some chiles rellenos. My birthday present to myself.

> If I don't talk to you before then, Happy Easter.

> Time to get back to the book.

[Edit: The book is finished. Now I can rejoin the land of the living.]

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Racial Divide

"OBAMA DECRIES RACIAL RHETORIC" ran a recent headline. In the article, Barack Obama decried "the forces of division" over race that he said are intruding into the Democratic presidential nomination contest. "We have to come together," he said.

"The forces of division have begun to raise their ugly head again," Obama said. "It reminds me: We've got a tragic history when it comes to race in this country. A lot of pent-up anger and mistrust and bitterness. This country wants to move beyond these kinds of things."

Yet Barack Obama has for twenty years been a member of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, where his pastor, Jeremiah Wright, says things like this:








When the media spotlight shone on Wright's anti-American, racist attitude, Obama "denounced" Wright's remarks as "inflammatory."
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In 2006, Barack Obama gave $22,500 to the church.
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Only after getting caught did Obama try to "distance" himself from the remarks of his pastor of seventeen years. Prior to this he had never publicly criticized the remarks as "racist" or "divisive."
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Does a potential POTUS get away with something like this? Shrugging off the remarks of his spiritual mentor of twenty years as though they were unimportant, and accusing others of the exact same thing for bringing up the subject? How much of a free ride does this guy get?
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"President" Obama?
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Not if I can help it.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Happiness is a Warm Light Bulb

A recent column written by H. Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, highlights something I've been saying for a long time -- much of the research done by "manmade global warming" scientists is sloppy and inaccurate.


The gist of their argument, of course, is that climate-caused catastrophes will occur in the future due to mankind's activities (unless the United States pays exorbitant amounts of money to the United Nations while at the same time turning our society's calendar back 100 years.) This argument is championed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Burnett points out that forecasting researchers have compiled 140 principles that can be applied to a broad range of disciplines, including science, sociology, economics and politics. Even if global warming research scientists had collected accurate data on historical temperatures (which they have not; see my discussion of the discredited "hockey stick" graph) they would still need to use sound methods to predict possible future outcomes.

From Burnett's article: "In a recent NCPA study, Kesten Green and J. Scott Armstrong used these principles to audit the climate forecasts in the Fourth Assessment Report. Messrs. Green and Armstrong found the IPCC clearly violated 60 of the 127 principles relevant in assessing the IPCC predictions. Indeed, it could only be clearly established that the IPCC followed 17 of the more than 127 forecasting principles critical to making sound predictions.


"A good example of a principle clearly violated is "Make sure forecasts are independent of politics." Politics shapes the IPCC from beginning to end. Legislators, policymakers and/or diplomatic appointees select (or approve) the scientists — at least the lead scientists — who make up the IPCC. In addition, the summary and the final draft of the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report was written in collaboration with political appointees and subject to their approval."
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Global warming alarmists want changes on a massive scale made to the US economy and society. Our politicians have taken up the argument, beginning with outlawing incandescent light bulbs. Interference in our daily lives based on a theory supported by flawed science should astound and enrage anyone with a bit of common sense. They have managed to get laws enacted based simply on fear (and a fear of bad publicity for the politicians.)
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Our side loses if we simply sit idly by and watch it happen.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

All Things Warm and Wonderful

A quick catch-up on some of the recent news on global warming.....

In a recent column by Bill Steigerwald, we find a few interesting facts: The Arctic ice cap, represented as melting so much that New York would be under water, and hapless polar bears were drowning, is now at nearly normal levels, and one expert says it's thicker than usual in some spots.

Another researcher, California meteroologist Greg Watts, finds that 70% of NASA's groundweather measuring sites fail to meet the government's own standards because they are not 100 feet from a building, are on blazing rooftops, sit next to air-conditioner exhaust fans, etc. These 1200+ sites are used to measure the "official" average annual temperature of the United States.

This news has been very under-reported in the US Media.


Real Scientific Minds
Global warming scientists who use the scientific method are starting to fight back. More than 19,000 scientists have signed a petition saying global warming is probably natural and not a crisis. (The complete list can be seen at www.oism.org/pproject.)

The International Conference on Climate Change is meeting this week in New York City. Its topic is "Global Warming: Truth or Swindle?" and according to the announcement, "More than 400 scientists, economists and experts will meet ... to challenge the claim that global warming is a 'crisis.'"

Common sense on this issue seems to be gaining traction.


Proof that Cable Started Off Right
John Coleman, who founded the Weather Channel, wants to sue Al Gore on this whole business of global warming being a hoax. In an interview on Fox News, Coleman said, "I see absolutely no evidence that CO2, carbon dioxide, is causing any warm-up in temperatures. I don't think it's happening. I'm asking the question: If Al Gore knows that CO2 forcing is invalid -- isn't really happening -- and he goes ahead and sells these carbon credits for millions of dollars, is he committing financial fraud? That is the question."

And he goes even further. Read more about it here.

Our side is winning.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Financial Illiteracy

Listening to radio host Dave Ramsey discuss a recent story in USA Today about how Americans are depending more and more on their credit cards to get by....

Ramsey said that his organization's experience as financial counselors suggests that many people pay their credit card payments and car payments before they pay their mortgage. Could it be that we don't have a "mortgage crisis" but instead have a "credit card crisis?"

I won't go into the math involved, or the collection techniques used by credit card or auto loan companies. Instead, right now I'm thinking about how people get into that kind of mental state in the first place.

Lord knows I've made more than my share of financial mistakes, and will probably make more in the future, so I'm no expert. But shouldn't some of the efforts of the teachers' unions and educational groups go toward teaching our children the basics of personal finance?

I'm not sure what the curriculum would include. Budgeting basics, to be sure. Balancing a checkbook. An explanation of compound interest -- should it take thirty-five years to pay off a credit card? How to comparison shop.

But those are mechanical things, subjects that can be taught like any other in school. I think there needs to be a teaching of a new philosophy, at least new to the current generation -- the principle of delayed gratification. We have been taught since the advent of television that we must have the next thing, the newest trinket, the shiniest object that catches our attention, and we must have it now.

Our grandparents knew about this. The generation that lived through the Great Depression understood what it meant to do without -- our current "poverty level" is the equivalent of what was once considered well-to-do. You saved up to pay cash for a car. You couldn't afford a house until you had a substantial down payment, usually well into middle age. You ate meals at home, and a burger and coke was considered a very special treat.

That mindset created the Greatest Generation. America prospered throughout the 50's and 60's, because of the understanding of adults that nothing is free, you have to work hard for what you get, and sometimes you have to just do without.

video

We don't have a financial crisis in America. We have an appetite crisis, one in which we want everything we see, and we believe that it's our right to have it all.

Education should start early, fifth or sixth grade at the latest. By the time our children graduate high school, responsible personal finance should be as programmed in their minds as reading and arithmetic.

Of course, if an entire generation of Americans became financially responsible, the Democrat party would wither and die.