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:


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."


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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.



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.


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.