Saturday, January 31, 2009

Progress Comes at a Price

Headline: "Google's Street View camera car hits a baby deer"

Read the tragic story here.

I really like Street View, but I also cried when I watched Bambi, so I'm not sure how to feel.

Quiz - Two P's in a Pod?

With a nod to Mental Floss for this quiz:

The Super Bowl involves two NFL teams that come from cities whose names start with the letter P. (Phoenix and Pittsburgh.) Can you name the three other cities listed in the top 100 most populous American cities that start with P?

Don't look below unless you want to see the answers. I've buried them in text so they're not quite so easy to mistakenly glance at.



Comic Wisdom

From the January 27 cartoon of Prickly City:

"Carmen, global warming is now called climate change."
"Why'd they change it?"
"So no matter what happens, they can blame it on people."

You know you're making progress when you get the cartoonists on your side.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Obama's Questionable Judgment #2

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - President Barack Obama on Tuesday chose an Arabic satellite TV network for his first formal television interview as president.... See the full story here.

In related news, Iran will have enough enriched uranium for a nuke later this year, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Let's see Obama "Yes We Can-Can" his way around that situation.

Obama's Questionable Judgment #1

Barack Obama will continue to use his Blackberry to communicate with senior staff and personal friends, despite the security risk, according to his White House spokesman.

Do you feel safer yet?

25 Most Influential Media Liberals has an article detailing who it considers the 25 most influential Liberals in the media. Few surprises as to who is included, (Bill Moyers and Jon Stewart, for example,) with a couple of names that I had never heard of before. Notably missing were the movie and television stars such as Tim Robbins, Alec Baldwin and Martin Sheen who always lend their celebrity to Liberal causes.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

AP/Obama Continues Smooch-Fest

Here's the headline from an AP story by Liz Sidoti: "Obama breaks from Bush, avoids divisive stands."

The story then goes on to delineate how Obama " focused on fixing the economy, repairing a battered world image and cleaning up government."

Yeah, that reinstatement of money to international groups that promote and provide abortions really helped the economy. So did Guantanamo Bay closing, and providing foreign terrorists with Constitutional rights.

And cleaning up government? He chose Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, despite the fact that her husband takes millions of dollars a year from foreign governments. He chose Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary, despite Geithner's failure to pay income taxes for several years. In fact, he failed to pay, or to admit he owed, income taxes from 2001 until after his nomination to the post -- upon which he promptly paid what he owed.

As part of his "cleaning up government" pretense, Obama supposedly imposed strict rules on lobbyists and their influence on his administration. Unfortunately for his fragile credibility, Obama also nominated Bill Lynn as Deputy Secretary of Defense. Mr. Lynn until recently worked as a lobbyist for Raytheon, one of the government's largest defense contractors. Hardly any conflict there, right?

Liz Sidoti, as it turns out, is a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. Hardly surprising that someone from San Francisco "reports" on all the righteous work Obama is doing, with nary a whiff of partisanism. As long as you don't count approving the deaths of infants, supporting America's enemies and appointment of bought-and-paid-for poltical prostitutes to his Cabinet, Obama's right down the middle of the road.

Obama's Plan in Action

If we interpret the concerns expressed by the Democrats and new President Obama correctly, then what we see is a group who wants Guantanamo detainees released. Now there's a report identifying three former detainees who were released (under Bush) who have apparently been promoted to high-ranking positions in al-Qaida, to the extent that the three appeared in an al-Qaida video posted to a jihadist website after they were released.

From the report: "The latest case highlights the risk the new US administration faces as it moves to empty Guantanamo of its remaining 245 prisoners and close the controversial detention camp within a year."

Obama promised a lot of things to a lot of people, but none of his promises received as much emphasis as his vow to deconstruct the security and safety measures implemented by President Bush. So far he's issued several executive orders doing just that. Obama and the other Democrats are very concerned with the rights and well-being of those prisoners held in Gitmo. Apparently, not so much the safety, security or well-being of American citizens -- and our right not to be killed by Islamic terrorists.

So do you feel safer yet?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Who'd a Thunk It?

Environmentalist and supergreen activist James Lovelock, who originated the Gaia theory describing the earth as a self-regulating entity, had this to say about carbon trading and the business of making money off of global warming fears:

"Most of the green stuff is verging on a gigantic scam. Carbon trading, with its huge government subsidies, is...not going to do a damn thing about climate change, but it'll make a lot of money for a lot of people..."
And that's from somebody from their side.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


I've heard rumors that there was some kind of an inauguration or something this week. I've avoided the media coverage because I'm trying to cut back on sugar, and I'm sure the saccharine fawning would overload my system.

So far in Obama's few days in office, he's issued executive orders to 1) Shut down Guantanamo Bay, 2) Halt military tribunals of terrorists held there, 3) Restrict interrogation methods of terrorist suspects, and 4) Halt offshore drilling.

Do you feel safer yet?

One thing to keep in mind with President Barack Obama - the welfare and security of the United States is not his priority. He wants nothing -- and I mean nothing -- more than to ingratiate himself with the rest of the world, especially Muslims in the Middle East. It is more important to the new President that America be "liked" than anything else on his agenda. He will likely try to accomplish this by throwing Israel under the bus and by sending American dollars to other countries, especially those who hate us the most.

Don't expect any public pronouncements from Obama on how great America is. Pride in our country is what Obama thinks is the problem. He will spend the rest of his time in office talking about the problems we face, and our failures as a nation. This is what the rest of the world wants to hear.

The rest of the world is happiest when it sees America on the decline militarily and financially. My brother asked me which countries I thought were America's enemies. My answer: All of them, potentially. Obama's attempts to buy friendships will be met with greed and derision. Greed, because other countries want our money. Derision, because Obama naively thinks his strategy will work. How much money would you have to pay a suicide bomber not to attack?

Obama wants to bring the prisoners at Gitmo to America, and to try them in the American judicial system. Clinton tried this during his administration, with horrible results. Obama's appointees so far are mostly Clinton retreads, so expect things to be very similar. Obama doesn't have enough experience or the judgment to make good decisions, so beyond his coterie of yes-men will be a staff of policymakers who have already shown themselves to be failures at protecting America.

Finally, proving that the scorpion is true to his nature, John McCain urged "speedy confirmation" for Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, telling fellow Republicans they should drop demands for more promises on the activities of former President Bill Clinton's global foundation. Texas Senator John Cornyn -- who I am beginning to respect more and more as a Conservative leader -- had delayed confirmation for Clinton. He feels that foreign contributions to the Clinton Foundation, totaling millions of dollars (much of it from foreign govenments,) might influence her decision-making on foreign policy. Incredibly, McCain doesn't think that's pertinent.

If McCain ever claims to have a Conservative bone in his body again, he needs to be shown the door. Let's hope we can do the same to the rest of the Obama crowd before a disaster befalls America.

Friday, January 16, 2009

How Conservative are You? Quiz

A comment by a poster on another blog made me think about labeling someone Conservative or Liberal. We all operate on a spectrum, but generally an individual believes one way more than another. (My answer to that person was that Conservatives proudly claim to be Conservatives, while Liberals do everything they can to avoid admitting that they're Liberals.)

Google helped me find the "
How Liberal or Conservative Are You?" Quiz. It's got a list of not-bad questions to help you find your own leanings. According to the quiz, I'm 90% Conservative.

You Are 90% Conservative, 10% Liberal

Social Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

Personal Responsibility: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal

Fiscal Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

Ethics: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal

Defense and Crime: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

Best Turn of Phrase This Morning

In Charles Krauthammer's column this morning on the rehabilitation of President Bush's reputation, he comments on how many holdovers Barack Obama is keeping from the Bush administration. According to Krauthammer, Obama is vindicating Bush's judgment by retaining his people. The key phrase occurs thus:

"Vindication is being expressed not in words but in deeds -- the tacit endorsement conveyed by the Obama continuity-we-can-believe-in transition."

I wish I had thought of that.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Who Lost My Invitation?

Yahoo News reports that Obama attended a dinner party at George Will's home, where a bunch of "Conservative" columnists were in attendance. Larry Kudlow confirmed that besides himself and Will, Peggy Noonan, Paul Gigot, Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer "and others" were there. Kudlow reported that it was a smoochfest (my word, not his) and that all of them were impressed with the President-elect and "wish him the best."

There are so many things going on here. First, with the possible exception of Krauthammer and some of those unnamed, the "Righties" were all part of the Rockefeller Republican set who believe that the Republican party must be more like the Democrats in order to win electiions. They all want to be "reasonable" when dealing with politics. This in spite of the fact that the Republican candidate who just got trounced in the presidential election has been one of the most conciliatory and compromising Senators imaginable. Obama chose his audience carefully, slumming among the friendliest foes he could find. The tone was reported to be extremely cordial and polite, with discussion but no antagonistic conversation.

Now, imagine if Bush had tried something similar with any of the Liberal media anywhere along the way. First, no Liberal media figures have been even remotely friendly or even forgiving of George W. Bush. They have been in attack mode for eight years, except for a brief honeymoon after 9/11. (For example, Bush was heavily criticized for his "extravagant" inaugural expense of $50 million in 2005. Compare that to the media love lavished on Obama's $120 million inauguration this year.) Bush would have been lucky to escape without bloodshed.

There is a rift in the Republican party between those who are mired in Washington DC political and social circles, and who will accept defeat in elections and principle to keep their place on the guest list, and those who believe that Republicans stand for a certain set of principles (such as smaller government and fiscal responsibility) who desire to defeat Democrats politically, socially and in the battle of ideas.

For those of us who want Republicans to do battle, these are cold times indeed. President Bush, despite his rhetoric when campaigning for President, proved to be one of the "Rockefeller" Republicans, rather than the more populist "Goldwater" Republicans. The Republicans who were at that party were, for the most part, those who are willing for Republicans to bend a principle in order to win an election. The flaw with that philosophy was demonstrated in the 2006 and 2008 elections.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Across the Board, They Were Wrong About Bush

With Obama's inauguration a little more than a week away, I thought it time to reflect on President George W. Bush, and how wrong his detractors have been about him. Completely wrong.

Liberal Democrats officially became Bush haters when he won the election in 2000. That was the first time that the media tried to influence a presidential election in an obvious way, "officially" calling Florida for Gore before the polls closed. Voters, ignorant of what the media wanted them to do, elected Bush. Despite claims to the contrary, Bush won, legitimately. This infuriated Democrats, and they have determined to undermine him ever since, in whatever way they could, no matter how vile the charges.

The accusations portray him alternately as either an evil genius or an ignorant rube. No consistency is required in Bush-hater logic; if one charge doesn't stick, move on to the next one.

For example, Bush has repeatedly been portrayed -- even in the media -- as ignorant, unintelligent, incurious, and otherwise intellectually deficient. His Democrat opponents in his two Presidential elections have been portrayed as near geniuses. When it's pointed out that Bush had a higher GPA in college than either Gore or Kerry, Bush-haters maintain that GPA doesn't mean that much.

When it's pointed out that Bush has an MBA from Harvard, Bush-haters say that his family bought the degree.

When it's pointed out that Bush reads several dozen books a year, most of them histories or biographies, his critics say they doubt that he actually reads them. When it's then pointed out that authors who have spoken to the President confirm that he's read them carefully and thought about their ideas, Bush-haters say that doesn't prove anything.

In other words, there is no proof that is enough.

Recently in another forum, Bush was blamed for the most recent Israeli-Palestinian problems because he had "completely ignored" them for seven years. I pointed out to the poster that he was right, if you disregard:

- Bush's call for an independent Palestinian state (2002)
- American participation in the Quartet on the Middle East and the "Roadmap for Peace" (2003)
- Bush's open support of Sharon’s position that a final peace should not be based on pre-1967 borders - a departure from longtime US policy (2004)
- Bush's endorsement of Israel's unilateral disengagement plan, welcome of the Palestinian leader in Washington, and support for parts of the Palestinian position (2005)
- the setting of a timetable by the US for easing Palestinian travel and bolstering Israeli security (2007)
- the hosting of a Middle East peace conference in Annapolis (2007)

The next accusation blamed Bush for supporting democratic elections among the Palestinians. In other words, nothing Bush did would have been acceptable.

Bush's legacy will be the war in Iraq and its consequences. Time will determine how he is judged. Regarding the Democrat Bush-haters, however, their legacy is already established. For Democrats, simple opposition is no longer enough, they must hate and destroy their opponents by any means possible. Hatred in politics has no need for logic or consistency.

Just as Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto guided communism and Hitler's Mein Kampf guided Nazi Germany, Democrats in American have their canon, Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals. Alinsky was a community organizer that influenced leftist politics using harsh, brutal and immoral tactics -- that worked.

Democrat attacks against Bush follow two of Alinsky's rules. Rule #5 says that "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon." There can't be any doubt at how effective this tactic has been, since the majority of younger voters get the majority of their "news" from The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. (Both, tellingly, from Comedy Central.)

Alinsky's Rule #8 says "Always attack, never let up." When one tactic fails, switch to another. This has been the modus operandi for Democrats since 2000.

History will determine the Bush legacy, but it's up to us to tell others the truth as we see it. Otherwise, the Bush-haters, using Alinsky's tactics, will influence our children and grandchildren. Regardless of his deficiencies and mistakes, Bush was a good man thrust into a horrendous situation. The major proof of his effectiveness is the absence of any more terrorist attacks in America for the last seven years, something that would have been considered a miracle on September 12, 2001.

Obama is inheriting his share of problems. Let's see if he can prove himself a good man.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Pre-Inaugural Scandals

Bill Richardson withdrew his name from contention as Commerce Secretary yesterday, because of a federal grand jury's investigation of how a California company won a lucrative contract in New Mexico after it contributed to Richardson's campaign.

Add this to Obama's links to the Illinois governor's legal problems surrounding his attempt to sell Obama's vacated Senate seat, and once again we find Obama surrounded -- but supposedly untouched -- by scandal. Remember during the campaign that Obama left behind Reverend Wright, ACORN, Bill Ayers and Tony Rezko. Now we can add the names of Bill Richardson and Rod Blagojevich.

The word "vetting" comes from horse racing, where horses were evaluated by a veterinarian to make sure they were healthy and in good condition to run a race. In politics, vetting means to thoroughly examine the past of a candidate for a position to determine if anything could arise out of his past that would be a liability while he is campaigning for office. And, if he wins, whether something could hinder his ability to do the job.

It certainly appears that our unvetted President-elect has trouble vetting people around him.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

My Only New Year's Resolution

I'm only going to try one thing this year -- to use more effectively the resources I already have at my disposal. That means that

  • I aim to use my home gym equipment more;
  • I aim to learn to use more of the software on my computer more thoroughly;
  • I aim to participate more in the organizations I belong to;
  • I aim to work more to establish my freelance writing.

Anyway, you get the idea. Add in the time, money and energy factors. If I can simply use what's available to me, I should have a very good year.

Happy 2009.