Saturday, July 26, 2008

I Learn From My Betters

If you want to read somebody who does what I do, only better, go to Some of the most insightful arguments I've ever seen. I don't agree with all his positions, but enough of them so that there's a good amount of overlap. Plus he does an extraordinary amount of research to back up his points.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

This is How It's Done

Michelle Malkin writes about a Pennsylvania candidate who is running as a pure Conservatve, and trouncing his oppostion -- incumbent Democrat Jack Murtha.

From candidate William Russell, Republican:

"I am a Conservative. I believe in the sovereignty and security of this one nation, under God. I believe the primary role of government is to provide for the common defense and a legal framework to protect families and individual liberty. … I believe that no one owes me anything just because I live and breathe."

Maybe there's hope for Republican politicians after all.

Learn more about William Russell's campaign at

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Unfairness Part Deux

Two additions to the "Outrageous Media Bias" file today:

1) Regarding Obama's sightseeing trip to the Middle East -- his first -- NBC News substitute anchor Lester Holt referred to the trip as Obama's "tour of duty." That pretty much makes his trip the equivalent of McCain's years as a POW in Vietnam, right?

2) The New York Times rejected an Op-Ed piece from John McCain a week after publishing one by Barack Obama. The Times public response said that McCain (in his article) would have to go into detail about his plans for Iraq before they would accept it. Apparently McCain's real sin was when he pointed out that Obama declared in early 2007 that the troop surge in Iraq would not work -- which turned out to be completely wrong. (McCain supported the surge, which he pointed out in his article.)

Once again, the biggest sin to Liberals is when you criticize Obama by telling the truth. (Detour: A very nice column about what makes Obama angry in this article by Guy Benson.)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Because Somebody Should Say Something

Unfairness as a Doctrine

There has been a lot of discussion about what would be the effect on talk radio if the Fairness Doctrine were reimplemented. Political talk radio is overwhelmingly Conservative, anchored by Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Supposedly, the Fairness Doctrine would force radio stations to give as much airtime to Liberal viewpoints as Conservative.
Since Liberal radio has proven to be unprofitable -- apparently almost no one wants to listen to it -- radio stations would be forced to either accept lower profits or do away with political talk radio. This would, in effect, silence Conservative talk radio.
The mainstream media, on the other hand, which is overwhelmingly Liberal, would not have to provide "balance," because they are supposedly objectively reporting the "news." What they refuse to acknowledge is that their bias is evident in the choice of what stories they choose to cover and the emphasis given to different stories. The preposterousness of their claim is evident as seen in this article discussing Obama's first trips to Afghanistan and Iraq. (These trips will show that he has foreign policy experience, you see.)
The anchors of the three main networks are traveling to the Middle East to interview Obama in that context. By giving such emphasis to their coverage they are amplifying the importance of Obama's trip. It takes on much more weight than it really has. Viewers will come away with the message and the image of Obama as an expert in foreign policy because of a single short visit to the Middle East.
McCain, on the other hand, has made numerous trips to the Middle East, Afghanistan and Iraq, without the fanfare or press coverage. His foreign policy credentials are solidified by his obligation over a number of years. Yet in the minds of television viewers, with a single short trip Obama will have equaled McCain's experience and expertise.
The article also says that Obama has benefited from a huge gap in the amount of media coverage he has received compared to McCain. The media spokesmen shrug it off. "We're just trying to do our jobs," said the president of NBC News.
Meanwhile the Democrats are wating until a Democrat is in the White House to reintroduce the Fairness Doctrine. They will legislate away Conservative voices while benefitting from the Liberal media machine's one-sided campaign.
All in the name of "fairness."

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Latest Reading List

A list of some of the reading I've done over the last eighteen months or so -- in addition to the hundreds of documents I've looked at online. I've got to get outside more.
Tocqueville in America, by George Wilson Pierson. Reading in progress. With 852 pages to read, I'm not rushing to finish. I'm trying to find out more about the man who wrote so perceptively about America nearly two hundred years ago.
The Conservative Mind, by Russell Kirk. An in-depth analysis of the roots of Conservatism from a historical perspective. I want to understand why I believe the things I believe. (Basically, the "latest fashionable idea" (e.g., reflexive government action on "manmade global warming") doesn't carry as much weight as centuries of collective wisdom.
The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D and William D. Danko, Ph.D. An analysis of how millionaires got to be that way. One salient point: Income does not necessarily equal wealth.
Powers of Mind, by Adam Smith. Re-read for about the fifteenth time. One of the best-written non-fiction books of all time. It happens to be about all the mysticism and science surrounding the abilities of the human mind.
The Key, by Joe Vitale. For research on self-help books.
You Were Born Rich, by Bob Proctor. Ditto.
Rain Fall, Hard Rain and Requiem for an Assassin, all by Barry Eisler. Eisler spoke at a writers conference I attended, and I wanted to familiarize myself with his work before I heard him speak. He was very cordial and encouraging to all participants, including me. I think I became "That Guy" by accosting him in the hallway a couple of times with questions. If you ever read this, Barry, I apologize.
Finding Your Voice, by Les Edgerton. Another book on writing. How to put your own personality into your writing.
The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters, by Karl Iglesias
Rebel Without a Crew, by Robert Rodriguez.
Filmmaking for Teens, by Troy Lanier & Clay Nichols.
Lew Hunter's Screenwriting 434, by Lew Hunter.
Setting Up Your Shots, by Jeremy Vineyard.
$30 Film School, by Michael W. Dean
Screenwriters on Screenwriting, by Joel Engel.
Filmmaking for Dummies, by Bryan Michael Stoller.
Adventures in the Screen Trade, by William Goldman.
All of the above because of my intense, but brief, interest in writing, producing and directing a film. Ultimately, I had to admit that I can't be a filmmaker. Hopefully the knowledge I gained will come in useful at some point, but I don't have the drive to actually make films. Life is too short and I have too many other more compelling interests that take up my time. I had to choose something to sacrifice, and filmmaking was it.
Low-Carb Dieting for Dummies, by Katherine B. Chauncey, Phd, Rd. Chauncey is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Texas Tech University School of Medicine. Not really an Atkins-like approach to carbohydrates, but more of a "whole foods" diet. Designed to encourage the eating of "good" carbs like fresh vegetables and fruit. Common sense dieting, which I need to do more of.
Scene & Structure, by Jack M. Bickham. Another book on writing, re-read for about the fifth time. The most amazing approach to how to get from point A to point B in writing fiction, based on a simple cause/effect sequence.
The Compleat Gentleman, by Brad Miner. The subtitle -- The Modern Man's Guide to Chivalry -- pretty much says it all. How to translate the lessons from all the stories about great men into our own lives..
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Solar Power for Your Home, by Dan Ramsey. More research for the "dream home" that I'm designing and hope to build in ten or twelve years. Big challenge I face: How does one go about being water self-sufficient in arid west Texas?
On Writing, by Stephen King. A writing book by the author voted Greatest Living American Writer by the readers of Writers Digest. A few nuts and bolts on writing, lots of biography, with details about the accident that almost killed him. Best part: the section on his and his wife's reactions when his novel Carrie made them rich.
Picks & Shovels, by Dee Burks & Liz Ragland. The writing book that put me on course to my current career.
Gettysburg, by Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen. An alternative-history novel about the Battle of Gettysburg. What if Lee's Southern troops had won that battle? This book stimulated my interest in the real battle, even to the point of buying the DVD of the movie Gettysburg.
Mobocracy, by Matthew Robinson. A book which documents what I've understood for a long time -- the mainstream media use polls to create news, rather than report it.
Crucial Conversations, by Kerry Patterson and others. Fantastic book on how to talk about subjects which are hard to discuss. As much as I talk, I'm guilty of avoiding hard discussions sometimes. This book gives tips on how to talk about things without destroying relationships.
Bare Knuckles and Back Rooms, by Ed Rollins. The architect of Ronald Reagan's 1984 presidential campaign talks about his life.
Freakonomics by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt. An unusual use of economic theory and techniques to analyze issues facing American society.
All seven Harry Potter books, by J.K. Rowling. Actually, I listened to the first six on mp3 and then actually read the last book. I avoided these books for years because every time I started the first one it came across as juvenile. Once I began listening to the first one, however, I got hooked on the story -- which got progressively more mature as the story progressed. Amazing phenomenon.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Can Racism Save America?

The New Yorker recently ran an issue with a controversial cover drawing of Barack Obama and his wife. This cover has raised a lot of questions about the perception of Obama in the popular mind. (The New Yorker's point was how Conservatives supposedly think of Obama.)

At the same time, Jesse Jackson made a remark that he thought was off-mic. He talked about doing to Obama what I had to do to pigs when I was a member of FFA in high school. (And no, that is not comparing Obama to a pig. Get over it.) Jackson's remark apparently reflects the feeling of a lot of the black power brokers in America, at least according to this article in the UK Mail online. The article goes on to analyze how this black backlash could hurt Obama in the Novermber election. (Coincidentally, Obama's remarks that generated Jackson's wrath are some of the few with which I can agree.)

In the book Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, the authors discuss polls and racism. When white citizens are asked their opinions about a black candidate, they will often lie to pollsters, saying they will vote for the black candidate, so that they will appear "color-blind" to the pollsters. In the privacy of the voting booth however, where no one can see their vote, they will then cast their ballot for the other (supposedly white) candidate.

In other words, either conscious or unconscious racism prevents many whites from voting for a black candidate, even though they claimed that race didn't matter in their choice.

With apparent race-based prejudice from both blacks and whites against Obama, is it possible that the polls as we see them now are inflated for Obama? Could it be that this fall's Presidential election will be much different than we have been led to expect by the polls and the media? Could a whole lot of people who claim to support Obama now secretly vote against him in November? (In addition to all of those voters who are against Obama for purely political, philosophical or issue-related reasons.)

Something to think about.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Myth of Consensus Explodes

The American Physical Society, which has a membership of nearly 50,000 physicists, has reversed its stance on global warming/climate change, and now says that many of its members don't believe in manmade global warming.
Would someone please tell Congress? (Al Gore already knows.)
The APS is also sponsoring public depate on the whole charade. One paper published by a member of the APS concluded that the United Nations IPCC report and its claims have been "grossly overstated by IPCC modeling."
Larry Gould, Professor of Physics at the University of Hartford and Chairman of the New England Section of the APS, called the paper an "exposé of the IPCC that details numerous exaggerations and "extensive errors."
I guess fifty thousand skeptical scientists are all "deniers" also. Is it too late to stop global warming legislation?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Why habeas corpus for Terrorists is a Mistake

GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) -"An accused September 11 conspirator told the U.S. military war court at Guantanamo on Thursday that he should have access to classified evidence against him."

I'm sure none of this "classified evidence" will ever find its way to our enemies via attorneys when the cases go to an American court. Right?

Read the entire article here.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Something For the Geeks

You know who you are....

Introducing the Jedi Gym.
(Watch to the end, it's worth it.)