Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mayors Against Guns Report

I saw this first linked at Alphecca. I found the report here. I've begun reading it and it is quite transparent on its intent. It's trying to look like a scientific study, but it ignores some really big issues.

First, I don't find any discussion that points out that all the activities they discuss are already illegal at the federal level, and in most cases are illegal at the state level as well. They also don't discuss the issue of ATF enforcement which should be the real issue if the database is being utilized properly. They do discuss the number of investigations the ATF has made, but fail to discuss the numbers for prosecutions or convictions. You'd think if you really wanted to stop gun trafficking, that is where you'd really start complaining.

Next is the usual distortion of what a dealer is. They begin with the usual gun-show loophole discussion about unlicensed gun dealers. Oddly, a dealer is required to be licensed by federal and most state laws, so there is no such thing as an unlicensed dealer. They dance around this in other sections as well.

I couldn't find, but will look some more, to find analysis of the states with the weakest gun laws and how they compare their "export" of crime guns to the largest "exporters." That would have been telling if their contention is accurate that local gun laws would lesson gun trafficking.

I did find the table comparing gun imports to exports. Interesting that New Hampshire is on the top of the list, though it isn't one of the top 10 trafficking states, but it is right next door to Massachusetts which has a fairly high importation rate. By this report's implication, NH is the one at fault here. Couldn't possibly be that the MA crimials have cars and drive to another state to commit a crime. Wouldn't that be an interesting bit of a study as to who is committing the crime.

Well, there are a lot of other complaints, but I'll wait until I have time to finish the report.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Spoofing License Plates

Saw this at NRO. This is a "prank?"
As a prank, students from local high schools have been taking advantage of the county's Speed Camera Program in order to exact revenge on people who they believe have wronged them in the past, including other students and even teachers.

Students from Richard Montgomery High School dubbed the prank the Speed Camera "Pimping" game, according to a parent of a student enrolled at one of the high schools.

Originating from Wootton High School, the parent said, students duplicate the license plates by printing plate numbers on glossy photo paper, using fonts from certain websites that "mimic" those on Maryland license plates. They tape the duplicate plate over the existing plate on the back of their car and purposefully speed through a speed camera, the parent said. The victim then receives a citation in the mail days later.

Students are even obtaining vehicles from their friends that are similar or identical to the make and model of the car owned by the targeted victim, according to the parent.

"This game is very disturbing," the parent said. "Especially since unsuspecting parents will also be victimized through receipt of unwarranted photo speed tickets.

Makes you wonder how the police will react to this. Probably by putting out more tickets. Because, you know, they haven't heard of this happening:
The Montgomery County Police said they have not seen or heard of this prank occurring but said they will keep an eye out for people committing the crime.
I wonder how exactly that is illegal. I'm guessing fraud is in there somewhere. But of course, again they call it a prank. I'm sure its all innocent fun and such, unless you're the one that gets the ticket.

And no doubt, now that it's in the MSM, it will just go away and no copy cats will be seen.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

The divided high court appeared to signal that rescue efforts are the responsibility of trained professionals. It was also thought to be the first ruling by the court that someone who intervened in an accident in good faith could be sued.

Lisa Torti of Northridge allegedly worsened the injuries suffered by Alexandra Van Horn by yanking her "like a rag doll" from the wrecked car on Topanga Canyon Boulevard.

Torti now faces possible liability for injuries suffered by Van Horn, a fellow department store cosmetician who was rendered a paraplegic in the accident that ended a night of Halloween revelry in 2004.
Ah yes, rescue efforts are the responsibility of the trained professional. Of course, the trained professional may not be present when you're burning to death in a car crash or the LEO isn't there when your house is being invaded, but we can only rely on professionals.
Torti testified in a deposition that she saw smoke and liquid coming from Watson's vehicle and feared the car was about to catch fire. None of the others reported seeing signs of an imminent explosion, and Van Horn said in her deposition that Torti grabbed her arm and yanked her out "like a rag doll."
This still requires that the Samaritan use some intelligence as to what is really needed. How to make that decision though is difficult. And if you do wait to long and the car does catch fire, are you then going to take the risk of going into a fire to save them? Makes me wonder if the lawyers even considered that. I'm going to go my usual way and doubt it. Of course with all the good hollywood training people get on how cars explode all the time when they crash I suppose this woman thought she was doing the right thing.

I suppose now if you deem to assist, you best stop and think long and hard about whether you should. And then once the person is safe, it probably is a good idea just to sneak away and hope no one got your license plate number or a picture of you.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Helprin's Take on American Weakness

Sorry, I read the article and one specific statement loses him all credibility. And this is it:
This confusion has come at the price of transforming the military into a light and hollow semi-gendarmerie focused on irregular warfare and ill-equipped to deter the development and resurgence of the conventional and strategic forces of China and Russia, while begging challenges from rivals or enemies no longer constrained by our former reserves of strength.
How does he manage to type this with his head so far up his ass? Is he really advocating we go back to the cold war model of military strategy? Considering nearly all modern analysis by those actually looking at the wars/conflicts we may be involved in, the majority seem to conclude that fourth generation warfare is far more likely than third.

He also make a major mistake in assuming that because a military learns how to deal with irregular warfare means they are incapable of dealing with major battles. This guy couldn't be more wrong. Armor and Air superiority are still arenas that the US will never be bested in unless Russia somehow figures out how to jump ahead, and that appears unlikely with the present economy. As for China, they seem to need to steal or buy the technology, since they consistently prove their inability to innovate.

He seems to have missed the recent news, from oh say the past year, on how Iraq has been doing as well.

His conclusion strikes me as he's likely building a fallout shelter in his back yard.
But the costs of not reacting to China's military expansion, which could lead to its hegemony in the Pacific; or of ignoring a Russian resurgence, which could result in a new Cold War and Russian domination of Europe; or of suffering a nuclear detonation in New York, Washington, or any other major American city, would be so great as to be, apparently, unimaginable to us now. Which is why, perhaps, we have not even begun to think about marshaling the resources, concentration, deliberation, risk, sacrifice, and compromise necessary to avert them. This is the great decision to which the West is completely blind, and for neglect of which it will in the future grieve exceedingly.
I'd advise the dried beans, rice and a really good water filtration system. Oh, and make sure you're at least 6' below the surface. That way you're ensured continued detachment from reality.

100 Things Meme

Guess I've read a few of these around so I'll play late.

100 things I've done.

1. Started your own blog. (Uh yeah)
2. Slept under the stars. (yes, froze my butt off)
3. Played in a band. (Several)
4. Visited Hawaii. (nope)
5. Watched a meteor shower. (Many)
6. Given more than you can afford to charity. (nope)
7. Been to Disneyland. (Nope)
8. Climbed a mountain. (Nothing major but a couple)
9. Held a praying mantis. (yes)
10. Sang a solo.(nope)
11. Bungee jumped. (nope Not a chance)
12. Visited Paris. (nope)
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea. (nope)
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch. (yes, wood carving)
15. Adopted a child.(nope)
16. Had food poisoning. (Don't think so)
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty. (nope, closed both times I was there)
18. Grown your own vegetables. (yes)
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France. (nope, See visit Paris)
20. Slept on an overnight train. (yes, worse than sleeping under the stars)
21. Had a pillow fight. (yes)
22. Hitch hiked. (nope)
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill. (It's called a mental health day)
24. Built a snow fort.(yes)
25. Held a lamb. (nope)
26. Gone skinny dipping. (yes)
27. Run a Marathon. (nope)
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice.(nope)
29. Seen a total eclipse. (Several of the sun and several of the moon)
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset. (your kidding right? Hasn't everyone?)
31. Hit a home run.(nope)
32. Been on a cruise.(nope)
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person. (yes)
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors. (If NH counts, since I'm a tenth generation Yankee I guess it does.)
35. Seen an Amish community. (nope)
36. Taught yourself a new language. (nope)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied. (You've got to be kidding)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.(nope)
39. Gone rock climbing. (yes)
40. Seen Michelangelo's David.(nope)
41. Sung karaoke. (Hell NO)
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt. (nope)
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant. (nope)
44. Visited Africa.(nope)
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight. (yes)
46. Been transported in an ambulance. (nope)
47. Had your portrait painted.(nope)
48. Gone deep sea fishing.(yes)
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person.(nope)
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.(nope, What's with these paris questions? Shouldn't they be disqualified once you admit not having gone to paris?)
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling.(yes)
52. Kissed in the rain. (yes)
53. Played in the mud. (yes)
54. Gone to a drive-in theater. (yes)
55. Been in a movie. (nope)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China.(nope)
57. Started a business.(nope)
58. Taken a martial arts class.(nope)
59. Visited Russia.(nope)
60. Served at a soup kitchen.(nope)
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies.(nope)
62. Gone whale watching. (yes)
63. Got flowers for no reason.(nope)
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma.(yes)
65. Gone sky diving. (nope, why jump out of a perfectly good plane?)
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp.(nope)
67. Bounced a check.(nope)
68. Flown in a helicopter.(nope)
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy. (nope)
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.(yes)
71. Eaten Caviar.(yes)
72. Pieced a quilt.(nope)
73. Stood in Times Square. (yes)
74. Toured the Everglades.(nope)
75. Been fired from a job. (nope)
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London.(nope)
77. Broken a bone. (One Ankle, several ribs)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.(nope)
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.(nope)
80. Published a book. (nope)
81. Visited the Vatican.(nope)
82. Bought a brand new car. (yes)
83. Walked in Jerusalem.(nope)
84. Had your picture in the newspaper.(nope)
85. Read the entire Bible. (yes)
86. Visited the White House.(nope)
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating. (a couple of times)
88. Had chickenpox. (yes)
89. Saved someone’s life. (nope)
90. Sat on a jury. (nope)
91. Met someone famous. (nope)
92. Joined a book club.(nope, why bother they only read crap)
93. Lost a loved one. (yes)
94. Had a baby.(nope)
95. Seen the Alamo in person.(nope)
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake. (nope)
97. Been involved in a law suit.(nope)
98. Owned a cell phone.(nope)
99. Been stung by a bee. (too many times)
100. Read an entire book in one day. (More than once.)

The "Elevate" Herd

Reading over at QandO I came across this article on the emotion of "Elevation" and how it appears to have been a major motivator for the Obama voters. Like many good progressives, they went into the vote based on feelings rather than facts. I'll pull some of the quotes from the Salon article and you can read Billy Hollis' piece at QandO which will for the most part be the same since he discusses them with clarity.

What is elevation?
In his forthcoming book, Born To Be Good (which is not a biography of Obama), Keltner writes that he believes when we experience transcendence, it stimulates our vagus nerve, causing "a feeling of spreading, liquid warmth in the chest and a lump in the throat." For the 66 million Americans who voted for Obama, that experience was shared on Election Day, producing a collective case of an emotion that has only recently gotten research attention. It's called "elevation."
We come to elevation, Haidt writes, through observing others—their strength of character, virtue, or "moral beauty." Elevation evokes in us "a desire to become a better person, or to lead a better life." The 58 million McCain voters might say that the virtue and moral beauty displayed by Obama at his rallies was an airy promise of future virtue and moral beauty. And that the soaring feeling his voters had of having made the world a better place consisted of the act of placing their index fingers on a touch screen next to the words Barack Obama. They might be on to something. Haidt's research shows that elevation is good at provoking a desire to make a difference but not so good at motivating real action. But he says the elevation effect is powerful nonetheless. "It does appear to change people cognitively; it opens hearts and minds to new possibilities. This will be crucial for Obama."

Keltner believes certain people are "vagal superstars"—in the lab he has measured people who have high vagus nerve activity. "They respond to stress with calmness and resilience, they build networks, break up conflicts, they're more cooperative, they handle bereavement better." He says being around these people makes other people feel good. "I would guarantee Barack Obama is off the charts. Just bring him to my lab."

When you start thinking about mass movements, all those upturned, glowing faces of true believers—be they the followers of Jim Jones or Adolf Hitler—you don't always get a warm feeling about mankind. Instead, knowing where some of these "social collectives" end up, the sensation is a cold chill. Haidt acknowledges that in "calling the group to greatness," elevation can be used for murderous ends. He says: "Anything that takes us out of ourselves and makes us feel we are listening to something larger is part of morality. It's about pressing the buttons that turn off 'I' and turn on 'we.' "
I suppose I'm extremely distrustful of such vague emotions that lead the herd, mob, or whatever collective you wish, to follow. I didn't see any proof or even justification for people defining Obama as morally beautiful, possessing and strength of character, or being virtuous in any way. But then, I didn't bother listening to his speaches. I read them and then looked at the extremely limited information provided by the MSM and found he was just another politician. (Say politicain as if you just stepped in something disgusting.)

As the last paragraph quoted points out this can lead to tragedy. That's primarily why I think it needs to be distrusted. I don't believe I've ever felt elevation, but that could be due to my reaction to herds when they begin such mob mentality reactivity.

I like this bit, mainly because the author has it inverted.
While there is very little lab work on the elevating emotions, there is quite a bit on its counterpart, disgust. University of Pennsylvania psychologist Paul Rozin has been a leading theorist in the uses of disgust. He says it started as a survival strategy: Early humans needed to figure out when food was spoiled by contact with bacteria or parasites. From there disgust expanded to the social realm—people became repelled by the idea of contact with the defiled or by behaviors that seemed to belong to lower people. "Disgust is probably the most powerful emotion that separates your group from other groups," says Keltner.

Haidt says disgust is the bottom floor of a vertical continuum of emotion; hit the up button, and you arrive at elevation. This could be why so many Obama supporters complained of being sickened and nauseated by the Republican campaign. Seeing a McCain ad or Palin video clip actually felt like being plunged from their Obama-lofted heights.

Interesting, but completely backward. Disgust is the strongest emotion for self preservation. It keeps you alive and thinking on your feet. Elevation can lead you to the edge of the cliff that you euphorically step off of. If that is the height of emotion it is the absolute bottom for survival.

Also interestingly, the Obamanites were disgusted by McCain Palin. I don't think I was ever digusted by Obama, just really distrustful. Makes you wonder how strong Repug voters felt.

Well, we'll see which emotion is justified in the end.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How Not to Defend Against Piracy

You have to love articles like this one in the Wall Street Journal. Arthur Bowring, from the Hong Kong Shipowners' Association tells the world how ships should defend themselves. Of course he doesn't want the ships to actually defend themselves.
But in the meantime, shipowners and their seafarers in the Gulf of Aden will protect themselves as best they can. We do not believe that they should do this by arming themselves, or by carrying armed guards, because this could contribute to escalating violence and put the safety of seafarers in jeopardy.

A better solution is to coordinate ships' transits more closely with the naval presence in those waters, and to monitor International Maritime Bureau reports, and other reports, to avoid areas where attacks are taking place. The naval forces working to protect our ships could also improve their effectiveness through better coordination, more defined "rules of engagement" and the organization of regular convoys. Countries should also adopt and enforce legislation that criminalizes piracy at sea, in line with the relevant articles of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, so that pirates may be caught by navy ships and prosecuted, not returned to the beach to pirate again.

That's right. Don't arm yourself, because being taken hostage and having your life threatened is much safer for seafarers, just like not fighting back is the safest response from a rape victim. Not that there aren't any international security firms out there that do these things professionally either.

Convoying works as we all know, but apparently there are reasons that they don't do it. Mainly because no one is willing to provide convoy protections. Bowring should have provided a list of Navies that are standing up and taking on the fiscal responsibility for convoys. Even more entertaining is his contention that they should be checking reports of where piracy is happening. Maybe he missed the point that the latest acts of piracy were far far away from where they normally hunt.

I really like the "rules of engagement" statement. It's quite simple actually. If someone starts shooting at you and trying to take your ship, you shoot at them. It is more difficult for Navies because they have an expected humanitarian behavior toward the pirates. Though India didn't seem to play that game recently. The British have stated they don't want to play because they have no way of prosecuting. As for the UN's Law of the Sea convention, it would have some use, except that it has so many hugely detrimental regulations against countries and their Navies, not to mention their sovereign rights, that it isn't worth being a party to. Of course, this wouldn't stop the piracy, it would just make it clear as to how to prosecute it.

Fixing the Effect Not the Cause

So Obama is stepping up and trying to play president before he's elected. I guess that doesn't matter much since he can't really do anything unless Bush agrees. I think the biggest issue is that most of what ChangeyHopey and the Progressives want is to again fix the after effects of the down turn into recession rather than the what has been causing it. In fact, I don't hear any discussion other than the bank bailouts that are fights against the cause.
"My commitment is to do what's required so that our financial system works and credit flows. President Bush has indicated that he has the same approach, the same attitude," Obama said.

But Obama stepped symbolically away from Bush as well, stressing repeatedly that his stimulus plan was aimed at middle-class wage earners, not just big financial institutions. It was an implicit reminder that many of Bush's economic policies have favored the wealthy.

"We cannot have a thriving Wall Street without a thriving Main Street, that in this country we rise or fall as one nation, as one people," Obama said, promising to make good on his pledge to bring tax relief to families earning less than $250,000 a year.

Obama also used Monday's news conference to lob a warning at the Big Three automakers — and indirectly their powerful union, the United Auto Workers — who have pressed Congress for $25 billion in government loans to wrest them from the brink of bankruptcy.

The problem with this stance is that it ignores that "the wealthy" includes small and medium businesses. Interesting that they are put into the same boat. Missing the point that the economy runs on business not on government handouts. Where is the reform legislation? The US has some of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. You want to keep jobs here in the US and create new ones, how about cutting businesses some slack and leaving their money in their hands.

As for the big three dinosaurs from the auto industry, I still don't see them reforming their ways. And let's not forget the UAW and other unions that are a party to the problems. I don't see any reason to bail the auto industry out. Especially since the Dems don't want to anger their major union voter base by telling them to get in touch with reality. Everyone else in business has to take pay cuts, the pilots unions and other unions for the airlines all finally came to that realization and the airlines seem to be healthier for it. Not that they are an example of a properly functioning industry. But at least they have worked through that difficulty.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Obama's Second Amendment - Eric Holder

David Kopel puts together an excellent description of Eric Holder with regards to gun control. If Obama thinks this is a convincing move to support his claim that he supports the second amendment, I think we can continue to believe him a liar, or at least a politician, which is about the same thing.
As Deputy Attorney General, Holder was a strong supporter of restrictive gun control. He advocated federal licensing of handgun owners, a three day waiting period on handgun sales, rationing handgun sales to no more than one per month, banning possession of handguns and so-called "assault weapons" (cosmetically incorrect guns) by anyone under age of 21, a gun show restriction bill that would have given the federal government the power to shut down all gun shows, national gun registration, and mandatory prison sentences for trivial offenses (e.g., giving your son an heirloom handgun for Christmas, if he were two weeks shy of his 21st birthday). He also promoted the factoid that "Every day that goes by, about 12, 13 more children in this country die from gun violence"--a statistic is true only if one counts 18-year-old gangsters who shoot each other as "children."(Sources: Holder testimony before House Judiciary Committee, Subcommitee on Crime, May 27,1999; Holder Weekly Briefing, May 20, 2000. One of the bills that Holder endorsed is detailed in my 1999 Issue Paper "Unfair and Unconstitutional.")
Read the whole thing. And you should follow the links. If this isn't indicative of a policy that is going to cause major damage to gun owner rights, I'd love to know what it is indicative of.

With this guy as Attorney General can we expect more Janet Reno type actions? Waco and Ruby Ridge seem to leap to mind. God forbid you have a license to carry. The police then will all have standing orders to use paramilitary force to serve warrants. And I'm sure with all that restraint and automatic weapons no one will die.

Wonder where he stands on all those wonderful last minute pardons? Hopefully he'll be taken through the gauntlet during the hearings irrespective of the pass that Patrick Leahy has already given him.
Speaking on the Senate floor, Leahy said that Holder "would bring the kind of leadership, temperament, experience and judgment we need to restore the rule of law and rebuild the reputation of the Department of Justice so that it is worthy of its name."
Restore the rule of law? Nice. I'm going to bet that Ruby Ridge was just fine with Leahy. And letting rich tax evaders off the hook for a nice contribution isn't an issue either.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

India's Moon Adventure

I saw this linked at Drudge. Interesting article. Especially since the Indian officials seem to think their achievement is comparable to the space technology developments performed by the USA or USSR. Get this:
Experts said it was a significant feat because India's moonshot was successful in the very first attempt — something that even major space powers like the US and Russia could not achieve. The man who launched the Indian moon mission, Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan, had said, "It's undoubtedly a great moment for India because nearly 50% of the moon missions of other countries have not been successful."
Right. Lets see. India is using computers that were only a dream in 1969. Rocket technology has existed for how many years? I seem to recall that the USA and USSR had to take the primitive rocket technologies from the Gremans and make it viable.

Should we discuss the modern power technologies? How about modern aerospace material technologies?

And they go there unmanned and the USA went there manned. So how about those technologies that they didn't have to develop? Life support, heating, food storage, water usage?

Good for India. Welcome to the Moon, fifty years after those that actually did all the real work go there.

Data Integrity and Global Warming

I'm still fascinated that this happened at all. You'd think that with data base management and programming that this government agency would be capable of the most simplistic of auditioning functions. Apparently the Algorithms top cheerleader has again proven to be untrustworthy.
A surreal scientific blunder last week raised a huge question mark about the temperature records that underpin the worldwide alarm over global warming. On Monday, Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), which is run by Al Gore's chief scientific ally, Dr James Hansen, and is one of four bodies responsible for monitoring global temperatures, announced that last month was the hottest October on record.

This was startling. Across the world there were reports of unseasonal snow and plummeting temperatures last month, from the American Great Plains to China, and from the Alps to New Zealand. China's official news agency reported that Tibet had suffered its "worst snowstorm ever". In the US, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration registered 63 local snowfall records and 115 lowest-ever temperatures for the month, and ranked it as only the 70th-warmest October in 114 years.
Their explanation is just pathetic.
A GISS spokesman lamely explained that the reason for the error in the Russian figures was that they were obtained from another body, and that GISS did not have resources to exercise proper quality control over the data it was supplied with. This is an astonishing admission: the figures published by Dr Hansen's institute are not only one of the four data sets that the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) relies on to promote its case for global warming, but they are the most widely quoted, since they consistently show higher temperatures than the others.
So how much of the data they've been feeding into the debate is absolute rubbish? Who knows. And since no one really knows doesn't this make it reasonable for a demand for audit of the methods and data? If this was a business this would have been a reason for people to be investigated. I'm guessing nothing will occur.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

You Can't Make This Shit Up

Caught this at damnum absque injuria. I'm pretty much stunned. From the original article:
As he prepares to take office, President-elect Barack Obama is relying on a small team of advisers who will lead his transition operation and help choose the members of a new Obama administration. Following is part of a series of profiles of potential members of the administration.

Name: Jamie S. Gorelick

Being considered for: Attorney general, but associates now say she is not interested in being considered for the job.

Would bring to the job: A wide-ranging Washington résumé that spans corporate, legal and national security affairs. Ms. Gorelick (pronounced Guh-REH-lick) was the No. 2 official at the Justice Department in the Clinton administration, from 1994 to 1997, and if chosen would be the second woman to be named attorney general, following her former boss, Janet Reno. Ms. Gorelick would also bring corporate experience to an Obama administration at a time of financial crisis.

Gorelick for Attorney General? WTF?! This fucking imbecile who put up walls between every intelligence agency and law enforcement agency frustrating any effort to even detect the 9/11 attack, who then sat on the 9/11 commission is up to make a further distaster of the justice deparment is stunning.

Want more entertainment, here's some more of her CV:
Used to work as: Vice chairwoman at Fannie Mae, the giant mortgage lender, where she was paid a reported $25.6 million in salary and other compensation from 1998 to 2003. She went on to join the Washington law firm Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale & Dorr as a partner, where she has represented a range of clients, including Duke University in defending claims brought against it by some of its lacrosse players in a highly publicized rape investigation. She was a Democratic appointee on the 10-member commission that investigated the Sept. 11 attacks.
With a midas touch like that, I'm sure she won't be another Reno. No Waco's or Ruby Ridges coming.

Who ever considered this train wreck for the position should be shit canned immediately.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I Smell Peanuts

Well, the nannying will begin shortly, though with a minor road-block in the senate. Let's hope the last bit of gridlock allows some sanity. I know it won't block much, but a coarse shit filter is better than none.

I have to agree, for the most part, with Jay Tea over at Wizbang:
Economy a bit on the shaky side: Check

Very unpopular Republican president blamed for the loss of his (would-be) successor: Check

Trouble with Iran brewing: Check

Energy crisis: Check

Smiling, cheerful national newcomer Democrat elected as president:<Check

Career Washington insider elected as vice-president: Check

Russians/Soviets feeling belligerent and expansionistic: Check

Man, we are so screwed...
I don't think we are screwed, but we will be in for some unpleasant times. Hopefully Obama won't make as much of a mess as Jemma did.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bail Outs and Golden Parachutes

Can't say I agree with a lot of the noise about restricting pay or parachutes for CEOs from the failing or failed banks/lending institutions. I think these things come in different parts that no one seems to want to separate.

First, if one company buys another failing company, usually they purge the managers who oversaw the failure. That is normal. Frankly, I think the politicians need to require that of any bank they bail out of this fiasco. You screwed up, you're gone BEFORE we bail you out.

Then there is the notion of restricting the pay of the new management. That strikes me as foolhardy. I could care less as to what is viewed as obscene. Especially from the context of what politicians make compared to their effectiveness. Do we really want politicians defining what is just compensation? Well, I suppose many Dems/Progressives do. Personally I think the pay should be bound to performance. But that doesn't happen, because in these institutions too much of the profit is directly tied to uncertainties that the manager just can't control.
I think some of the packages, particularly the massive separation packages for failed CEOs and even those of successful CEOs ($400M for departing Exxon-Mobile CEO) are obscene.

However - and this is important here - it is more obscene, nay unconstitutional, for the federal government to be entertaining the directing pay and compensation for private sector employees not on its own payroll. Laws on minimum wage are one thing, but putting a government imposed ceiling on earnings in a capitalist free-market economy smacks of class warfare and incremental socialism.

Incremental socialism indeed. We've had that creeping malignancy clawing into this country for a long time and I don't see any push back. I'm tired of seeing the government wanting to tell everyone what to do all the time. Both sides of the aisle play the game, just in different ways. The only problem is that the citizenry are the ones that end up paying.

Then there is the idea of a profit to be made by this whole bailout scheme. (link via the GeekWife)
There is a saying on Wall Street that goes, "The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent." Long Term Capital Management learned this lesson 10 years ago when it got its portfolio picked off by Wall Street as its short-term financing dried up. I had thought the opposite -- hedge funds picking off Wall Street -- would happen today. But in a weird twist, it's the government that is set up to win the prize.

Here's how: As short-term financing dried up, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's deteriorating financials threatened to trigger some $1.4 trillion in credit default swap payments that no one, including giant insurer AIG, had the capital to make good on. So Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson put Fannie and Freddie into conservatorship. This removed any short-term financing hassle. He also put up $85 billion in loan guarantees to AIG in exchange for 80% of the company.

Taxpayers will get their money back on AIG. My models suggest that Fannie and Freddie, on the other hand, are a gold mine. For $2 billion in cash up front and some $200 billion in loan guarantees so far, the U.S. government now controls $5.4 trillion in mortgages and mortgage guarantees.

Fannie and Freddie each own around $800 million in mortgage loans, some of them already at discounted values. They also guarantee the credit-worthiness of another $2.2 trillion and $1.6 trillion in mortgage-backed securities. Held to maturity, they may be worth a lot more than Mr. Paulson paid for them. They're called distressed securities for a reason.

My concern is for what will be done with the "profit." Let's see... We didn't have the money to actually pay for this bail out, and when we make a profit off of the non-existent money, not to mention the return of that money, where exactly will those funds go? I'm going to be really really cynical and place a big wager on they will SPEND it. They being the politicians. Not that we haven't seen similar things before, like say the spending of the Clinton era "surplus" which never came into existence. I understand the S&L debacle was profitable as well. Wonder where all that cash went? I certainly do. (Guess I'll have to try and search the internet for that answer. Though I have a suspicion that it was spent and not utilized on deficit reduction or anything intelligent.)

Read that article it's fairly interesting.

Then there is the rants on protecting the homeowners.
The bailout's structure must be altered. While the credit markets must be reassured, homeowners must also receive help to avoid unnecessary foreclosures. The Center for Responsible Lending projects 6.5 million foreclosures in the next several years. This will cause a $356 billion decline in surrounding property values for the 46 million families that live next to foreclosed homes.

Therefore, once the Treasury purchases distressed financial real-estate assets, I strongly urge the government to require mass modifications to owner-occupied home loans. This moderate investment might prevent thousands of foreclosures and considerable economic damage, much as the FDIC is doing with the loans it manages due to the failure of IndyMac bank.

I suppose I have some heartburn over that. Should we be bailing out homeowners who intentionally took on loans they KNEW they couldn't afford? This especially irks me because I wasn't smart enough to jump into this whole bailout scheme. I could have gone and bought a half-million dollar house on sub-prime and then gotten bailed out by the government. (Well, not really. I wouldn't have qualified for any of those loans from what I have discovered.)

I can understand whacking CEOs that frigged up the market legally since they weren't being responsible, but bailing out the bad loans from the other side is hypocrisy on a grand level. CEOs that make big bucks are held accountable, but if you were irresponsible yourself in buying that home, well, you should be forgiven.

Me I'm getting nothing out of any of this. I didn't make a bad loan and I'm not a CEO. So I'm just bitter all around.

Weekend Pictures from the White Mountains

No link. Just some photos.

This one is from Arathusa Falls. It was a knee jarring walk, but the falls were very pretty. I found it strange that people hiked in and only spent a couple of minutes at the falls before wandering back out.


Then there was Diana's Bath. Pretty cool place to wander around. Lot's of people though. It was an easy walk, so there were people all over. I managed to have enough patience to wait till some of the better sites emptied out before taking the picture.

And just a random picture. It looks much nicer enlarged. I seem to have things for red maple leaves in pictures.

I think we got lucky with the weekend. This weekend is pretty much just miserable weather wise.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fact Checking

I generally don't like politicians because they can't ever seem to tell the truth about anything. When I refer to truth I mean unadulterated, in context, fully disclosed truth. I understand that politics is now a blood sport, with nearly no "sport" being included. Then there are blogs and news blogs doing fact checking. I really like them. I really appreciate them. They do the job that takes me too much time while I fight through life.

This article/blog does some fact checking on Barack "Toom Tabard" Obama's recent advertising.
There are some real factual problems with this ad, which is titled “Dos Caras,” or two faces.

First of all, tying Sen. McCain – especially on the issue of immigration reform – to Limbaugh is unfair.

Limbaugh opposed McCain on that issue. Vociferously. And in a larger sense, it’s unfair to link McCain to Limbaugh on a host of issues since Limbaugh, as any even occasional listener of his knows, doesn’t particularly care for McCain.

Second, the quotes of Limbaugh’s are out of context.

Frankly, Limbaugh leaves himself wide open for such abuses. I can't stand Rush. I find him as offensive as any of the lefty talking heads. But, that's because I think he commonly does the same thing with distorting reality. Funny thing about reality is that we all have our own. Rush and Obama have very different versions, but neither of them sit close to where the majority of American's live.

Read the whole thing. It's pretty informative.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

NBC Desperately Seeking Integrity

I'm stunned. You mean even the execs at MSNBC have found that Olbermann is just an opinionated blowhard and moved him off of being a Journalist and now just is a commentator? Wow. That took what, a couple of years. With glacial reaction times like that who knows, maybe someone will actually pretend they know what they are doing.
When MSNBC announced the other day that Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews were being replaced as co-anchors of the cable network's nightly political broadcast, the news was widely taken as evidence that the grownups at the parent network are looking to salvage NBC News' reputation for balance. And who can doubt that Tom Brokaw and Brian Williams--who've had to squirm before the likes of Jon Stewart, pretending to be something other than appalled by the nightly goings-on at MSNBC--had a major hand in this move?

Indeed, during the conventions, what heretofore had merely been an embarrassment on MSNBC blossomed into full-blown travesty. While both Olbermann and Matthews had long since revealed themselves on their own shows as lapdogs for Obama, viewers were now treated to the spectacle of the two of them viciously snapping at one another; and, in Olbermann's case, at just about anyone else with what he took to be an errant take on the campaign or anything else.
Funny how the talking heads always want to abuse Fox for it's commentators, but completely fail to notice their own psychotic journalist issues. There are many Bloggers who have more journalistic integrity than Olbermann, and to a lesser extent Matthews. Letting these jerks rave nonsensically about issues without context or even merit and yet continue to hold them up as journalists in good standing is a joke.

Then there is the foolishness and unbalance of interviewing comedians on politics. Note, CNN isn't trying to pass this as a comedic interview. And Maher is about as funny as a flat tire. (Not an unusual thing.) You'll love his "brother" comment about CNN and HBO supporting the "brother" for president.

I dont' quite understand why anyone interviews actors or comedians with respect to news or politics. All the networks do it, but it always is quite pathetic. These people are not brilliant or even moderately intelligent, would I care what they think?

Maher is a comedian, so he's trying for a laugh, so why is he being interviewed as a news item?

I did watch most of Blitzer's show and never saw a right-leaning comedian discuss Obama's campaign. So, is this fair and balanced or just yellow journalism?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Vulnerability Report

You have to love the MSM, and the AssPress in particular. Why is it they never can tell you who is issuing these reports or even what the name of the report is? Who exactly is the "independent commission?"
A shocking study finds that seven years after 9/11, the U.S. remains "dangerously vulnerable" to chemical, biological and nuclear attacks.
The recent political rupture between Russia and the U.S. over the former Soviet state of Georgia has made the war on terror more difficult, the study by an independent commission also says.

The panel is headed by Lee Hamilton, the former congressman who helped lead the 9/11 commission, and other leaders from that disbanded bipartisan group.

"The threat of a new, major terrorist attack on the U.S. is still very real," concludes the report, which is to be released tomorrow, the same day a congressional panel holds a hearing in lower Manhattan on .nuclear and biological terrorism threats.

"A nuclear, chemical or biological weapon in the hands of terrorists remains the single greatest threat to our nation," reports the independent panel.

"While progress has been made in securing these weapons and materials, we are still dangerously vulnerable."
I suppose I'll have to wait for the report since this isn't providing any supporting evidence. I really like the Russian reference, since we all understand that terrorism by megapowers is so much less terrorizing than that of non-state actors. If anyone actually is question if what Russia did isn't terrorism, they may look at the reaction of the Baltic states, Poland, and Ukraine. No doubt they didn't feel threatened and reacted to move away from Russia and closer to the west.
The report describes the failure of international cooperation to prevent terrorists from obtaining weapons of mass destruction. Many countries continue to ignore a UN mandate to prevent the spread of weapons, and the ability of many countries to monitor potential bioterror is "essentially nonexistent," the report says.
What? Those that wrote the report were expecting the UN to be actually effective? Wow, that is simplicity on a grand scale.

Of course, as expected, though they waited till the last paragraph, it's all Bush's fault.
Congressional Democrats, meanwhile, also have a report out today. Written by the staffs of the House Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs committees, its concludes: "The Bush administration has not delivered on myriad critical homeland and national security mandates."
It's got to be true, I mean, they don't have any ability to legislate or anything like that now do they? No doubt Bush could deliver some of the 9/11 commissions more foolish recommendations, but seeing as he already has, why bother pissing away more money on things that won't make anyone any safer. RealID, TSA "improvements" etc. See Schneier for multiple examples.

I suppose I'll need to do a lot of searching to find the report. No doubt it will be screached about all over the MSM today, but we won't actually be given a link to it in the vast majority of reports.

Well the WSJ actually gives a name for the commission, though it's hard to tell which of the reports it could be discussing. I'm guessing it's the politician's report.
The Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism will hold public hearings during the run-up to the November election. The first, examining the nature of the threat, is to be held Sept. 10 in New York. The commission's final recommendations are due in mid-November.
The odd part of all this is that they never give you any idea of how real the risk is. If the vulnerability were that simple to use, you'd think it would have occurred.

I think WaPo has the actual name of the independent commision:
Seven years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the federal government has made only limited progress toward preventing a catastrophic nuclear, biological or chemical attack on U.S. soil and combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction abroad, according to a report card to be issued tomorrow by 22 former U.S. officials.

The bipartisan Partnership for a Secure America gave the United States an overall grade of C. The government received in total three D's, eight C's and seven B's in areas such as sustaining support of foreign scientists and governments, integrating programs to prevent nuclear terrorism and strengthening multilateral law enforcement efforts.

Of course, surfing around their website produced nothing. So we can only wait to see what the report card actually states.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Bill Whittle on National Review

Yep, haven't heard much from him at E3, but glad to see him writing.

Big hat tip to GeekWithA.45 for posting the link.

I'm going to read the article now.


Bill's Best Line:

As for the speech: yes, it was stilted. Awkward in places, true. Ugly background, cheesy flagpole, lack of polish — got it. But as the northerners said of Abraham Lincoln in the first days of the war, when he was mockingly compared to the effortless grace of Jefferson Davis: “We didn’t get him for ballroom purposes.” Damn right we didn’t.
Nice. That is killer perspective. Especially when you look at Barack Fandango Obama out there doing nothing beyond looking pretty. If he isn't making a speech and actually has to think on his feet, he stumbles and stammers. Yeah, I'd prefer a president that is better at reality than ballroom dancing.

Oh, and Bill has a bit of a hello at his site on the article. And he's saying he'll be publishing a longer piece shortly:
I'll have a long-format essay on this incredible campaign in a few days. Look for FOUR CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF A STORY in the near, near future.
Looking forward to that.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Biden's Preservation of the Law

Joe best be watching what he promises. This one would set a precedence that could come back and bite him in the future. (That is if he gets elected.)
Democratic vice-presidential nominee Joe Biden said yesterday that he and running mate Barack Obama could pursue criminal charges against the Bush administration if they are elected in November.

Biden's comments, first reported by ABC news, attracted little notice on a day dominated by the drama surrounding his Republican counterpart, Alaska governor Sarah Palin.

But his statements represent the Democrats' strongest vow so far this year to investigate alleged misdeeds committed during the Bush years.

"If there has been a basis upon which you can pursue someone for a criminal violation, they will be pursued," Biden said during a campaign event in Deerfield Beach, Florida, according to ABC.

"[N]ot out of vengeance, not out of retribution," he added, "out of the need to preserve the notion that no one, no attorney general, no president -- no one is above the law."

Not out for retribution, My Ass. If there was workable criminal charges for the President today they should impeach him, not make lame-ass threats for political posture with the fever-swamp left.

Biden again gives a very good reason not to vote for him. If you can't pursue justice in a timely manner, then there is no reason for us to expect you ever will. Anything other than a timely response in negligence. And this is obviously posturing in the most blatantly foolish of means.

You can note that Obama is on the same page:
Obama sounded a similar note in April, vowing that if elected, he would ask his attorney general to initiate a prompt review of Bush-era actions to distinguish between possible "genuine crimes" and "really bad policies".

"[I]f crimes have been committed, they should be investigated," Obama told the Philadelphia Daily News. "You're also right that I would not want my first term consumed by what was perceived on the part of Republicans as a partisan witch hunt, because I think we've got too many problems we've got to solve."

Just remember that Barry, because no doubt the next Repug president will be investigating you for vague and unsubstantiated crimes. And it won't be for retribution either, right?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Whakos Move to Repub Infomercial

Not a big surprise that they are acting more violently to the the repugs. Usual BS you expect from those with throw back ideas to the Fascist era.
Protesters smashed windows, punctured car tires and threw bottles Monday during an anti-war march to the site of the Republican National Convention. Police used pepper spray in confrontations with demonstrators and arrested five.

Instead of the single coherent march that organizers had hoped for, fringe groups of anarchists and others wrought havoc along the streets between the state Capitol and the Xcel Energy Center where the convention was taking place.

I wonder if the MSM will give the police more credit this week for restraint than they did last week.


Well, I'm not surprised.

Nothing like good ole rhetorical license to distort reality.
News of Sarah Palin and Hurricane Gustav has eclipsed a series of police raids that took place in the Twin Cities over the weekend, in which FBI agents and local law enforcement detained six people on suspicion of conspiracy to riot at the Republican National Convention. The detainees have not been formally charged with any crime and their lawyers are in court today seeking their release. There were no such pre-emptive arrests of protesters at the Democratic Convention in Denver last week.

The raids started Friday night with gun-toting officers entering an anarchist headquarters in downtown St. Paul, known as a “convergence space.” The occupants, ordered to lie on the floor, demanded to see a warrant, as heard on the audio on this not-very-revealing video.

So, it is interesting that they state there were no pre-emptive arrests in Denver, but never state whether the police or any LEO had any worry about such an issue there. I love the bit about "gun-toting" police. I've never heard of the police not having guns with them during an arrest. What do you thing the writer was trying to imply? Oh and the demands for a warrant without ever stating whether one was served or not again implies something nefarious on the police's part, though no evidence of wrong doing is shown. In fact they later state that the warant was served.

I have to say I don't like the ninja cops things and many of the problems LEOs face, but this is supposedly a journalistic report and the work is so shoddy that it's rather pathetic.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Shame on the Left

I think I first saw this discussed at SayUncle. I hadn't heard of this since I don't tend to bother with the stupidity of the DailyKos. (Nor will I link those losers.)

This is from Townhall.com.
Members of the lefty blogosphere haven't stopped perpetuating the rumor Sarah Palin "faked" her last pregnancy and are now humiliating her daughter Bristol on the blatantly incorrect suspicion she is the real mother of baby Trig. "Sarah Palin is NOT the Mother" is the title of this DailyKos blog that accuses Bristol, a completely fit-looking adolescent teen, of having a baby bump" in a photo they allege was taken March 9th of this year.

"Sarah, I'm calling you a liar" wrote blogger ArcXIX. "And not even a good one. Trig Paxson Van Palin is not your son. He is your grandson. The sooner you come forward with this revelation to the public, the better. " Photos of Bristol with detailed commentary about her abdomen are contained in the post.
And I did remove the embedded links.

I'm still waiting for some truth to be stated, but I'm not expecting any. Funny how the left so loudly screech about "swift boating" when they pull stunts like this. The Swift Boaters were at least 85% factual according to the analysis I've read. (Some said more. Some said less. But at least they had demonstrably factual parts.)

Funny how the Dems and the left love to point and shout about hypocrisy on the right, but wallow in it when they come to play.

Oh, Wait. Apparently they really were wrong.

Weekend Walk

No link, just a picture.

I took my girlfriend M. up for a walk in Pawtuckaway state park. This is on one of the nicer views on North Mountain. These "bushes" in the foreground are actually tree tops. Full sized trees.

It was a nice walk other than it was a bit much for M. It starts out through the appropriately Named "Devil's Den" and then is fairly easy. Well, I find it fairly easy. But that could just be that I don't know how people define these hikes. Funny thing is, I've never met anyone climbing up the hill in Devil's Den, only down.

That's M standing out on a granite knob in the park. The camera we brought was a POS so the photo didn't come out very well, but it's ok for this I suppose.

I bought us some trekking poles, which you can see she has. I don't think she quite got the hang of using them, but I do think they helped on the downward slopes. I know I liked them just for the aid in balancing and getting some of the abuse off of my knees. (The first one who says I'm getting old gets to have me give them the torn cartiledge that I have.)

The mosquitoes were horrid and even the bug spray wasn't the best of a help. But, when it was breezy they weren't so bad.

Anatomy or Jounalistic Malfeasance

Pajamas Media gives us this one. I saw this and didn't thing much of it, because frankly, I saw it was a code-stinker and was during a protest, so I just assumed the police were in fact doing the right thing. I didn't think it was the brightest thing, but understandable. Personally, I think he should have just grabbed her and cuffed her right there and added her to the original arrest.

But then, the code-stink protester was an imbecile for wallowing in her own sudden, it illusory fame and stuck around to gloat. If she had walked away, she would clearly have won.

It's not excessively long, and I think overall it is a balanced report compared to what you may have originally read or saw. They don't even mention that in one of the videos you can catch the code-stinker waving something at the police horse and it gets jumpy. (Also interesting to watch them walk the horses in a circle around the arrest group. Wonder if that helps keep the horses calmer and make it harder for anyone to interfere.)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mickey Moore Cheering on God

That Malignant Michigan Moron Michael Moore is pontificating again.
To liberal documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, the bounds are seemingly endless. Moore has made a recent career out of attacking President George W. Bush, bashing conservatives and criticizing business. His latest outrage occurred on MSNBC’s August 29 “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” and when he commented about the coincidental timing of an unfortunate disaster – the potential for Hurricane Gustav to make landfall at the beginning of the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.

“I was just thinking, this Gustav is proof that there is a God in heaven,” Moore said, laughing. “To have it planned at the same time – that it would actually be on its way to New Orleans for day one of the Republican Convention, up in the Twin Cities – at the top of the Mississippi River.”
Of course this was all on Keith Olbermann's show. No doubt he's hoping that they can blame all the deaths on Bush and now McCain.

You know, the nice thing about the prospect of the "Fairness" doctrine returning, it that shows like this will get hammered just as often as any conservative talk show. Olbermann isn't a reporter, he's just another editorialist who thinks he can hide behind that journalism badge and expect people to think he's actually honest.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Per Algore: Barry = Lincoln

This is quite humorous. And not unexpected for the usual nebulous attachment of progressives with history.
Gore also compared Obama to Abraham Lincoln, saying that "before he entered the White House, Abraham Lincoln’s experience in elective office consisted of eight years in his state legislature in Springfield, Ill., and one term in Congress –- during which he showed the courage and wisdom to oppose the invasion of another country, that was popular when it started, but later condemned by history.
Now, why did Lincoln oppose the Mexican-American War? Oh, that's right, I'll tell you what Algore was referring to since he seems to have left that little detail out. The answer is that the opposition was because they felt that the inclusion of Texas and the other territories would be a means for the Slavery supporting states to increase their populations and thus voting roles in support of slavery. (Go to Wiki if you doubt me.) That was a admirable stand. The end result wasn't what they feared though, was it.

I also don't agree with the contention that the Mexican-American war was condemned by history. There are good points on both sides of the argument, but the end result was the US got a very large amount of property and a better defined border in an area that was claimed by Mexico, but never actually under their control. In the context of the times, that was pretty much how it worked. Disagree? You might actually want to look at how colonization during that period worked.

Also, Lincoln's opposition actually mattered, since he was in congress and voted against it. Barry was just making noise where it had no effect.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Reasoned Discourse at DemCon

This actually starts of quite humorously with Stephen Green from Vodkapundit.

But the Reasoned Discourse kicks in with Alex Jones (radio host (?)) bellowing at Michele Malkin. Don't bother watching the whole thing. You'll quickly lose interest, if not just want to punch Alex Jones in the face.

Party of Whiners

I must admit, I've listened to some of the tripe that the speakers DemCon and I usually get quickly fed up with the whining. They do preach hope, but they all seem to seem to think that they are the down-trodden masses. I went to read VDH this AM and found he puts this in better perspective than I have.(Probably because I get nauseated by the whole thing and would rather not dwell on my loathing of the type.)
Let us hope that the Republicans avoid the teary-eyed, drippy stories that almost all these Democratic speakers insist on inflicting on us: in this Oprah world, one would think that there is mass starvation, depression, and general mayhem. In every introduction, we hear that the speaker to come was poor, deprived, and a multifaceted victim. Not since reading the Attic Orators has one heard how horrible life has been to such heroic figures, who nonetheless somehow ended up in such a cruel country with big salaries, enormous homes, and influential jobs.
I doubt the Repugs will avoid it, but then, they probably will not have nearly the level of victimhood on display that the Dems have.

Read the rest of Hanson's observations. I pretty much view his views as center/center-right. And please note, that is based on how elections have shown the political bases in the past few presedential elections. Just my opinion.

Well, the DemCon commercial will be over shortly. I plan to NOT see the Obama speech. I don't think I could stand that level of nausea.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Democrat's National Convention

I suppose this really says all you really need to know about those protesting at the Dems convention.

I suppose if they were civilized or even moderately intelligent they would have just ignored Fox News Reporter, but instead they show just how moronic they really are.

I don't know what Griff Jenkins was doing, but he obviously ended up on the wrong end of the protest. Personally, I'd think he'd hire the biggest and meanest looking camera men that he could find to go into such scenarios.

You can also note how little the police did. Makes you wonder how far they would have let that go before they actually stepped in.

UPDATE: Looks like he may have been trying talk to Ward ChickenShit Churchill. No footage of the actual interaction with that piece of crap, but the footage there pretty much sums up why I can't stand the far left.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Obama's Racial Issues

Saw these links at the Vodkapundit.

No doubt Slate is proud of moron Jacob Weisberg's piece. Not that there is any reason for Barry to lose, like his complete lack of experience, complete communist stance on money redistribution or any of that pantheon of other reasons that conservatives cringe about. Nope, it's just about race.
If it makes you feel better, you can rationalize Obama's missing 10-point lead on the basis of Clintonite sulkiness, his slowness in responding to attacks, or the concern that Obama may be too handsome, brilliant, and cool to be elected. But let's be honest: If you break the numbers down, the reason Obama isn't ahead right now is that he trails badly among one group, older white voters. He does so for a simple reason: the color of his skin.

Much evidence points to racial prejudice as a factor that could be large enough to cost Obama the election. That warning is written all over last month's CBS/New York Times poll, which is worth examining in detail if you want a quick grasp of white America's curious sense of racial grievance. In the poll, 26 percent of whites say they have been victims of discrimination. Twenty-seven percent say too much has been made of the problems facing black people. Twenty-four percent say the country isn't ready to elect a black president. Five percent of white voters acknowledge that they, personally, would not vote for a black candidate.

Not sure why the victim thing is relevant, but I'm sure if blacks were asked about who victimized them you'd get at least a similar reaction with whites as an antagonist. But any how, there is little doubt that race is a factor. You'd have to be blind or stupid to ignore it. Of course, Weisberg seems to completely forget the reversal of his topic, how many blacks will vote for Obama just because he's black and against McCain because he's white. Funny how that dichotomy seems to always be left out of the equation.

The best part is the "think of the children" canard.
Many have discoursed on what an Obama victory could mean for America. We would finally be able to see our legacy of slavery, segregation, and racism in the rearview mirror. Our kids would grow up thinking of prejudice as a nonfactor in their lives. The rest of the world would embrace a less fearful and more open post-post-9/11 America. But does it not follow that an Obama defeat would signify the opposite? If Obama loses, our children will grow up thinking of equal opportunity as a myth. His defeat would say that when handed a perfect opportunity to put the worst part of our history behind us, we chose not to. In this event, the world's judgment will be severe and inescapable: The United States had its day but, in the end, couldn't put its own self-interest ahead of its crazy irrationality over race.
What a pile of horse-shit. I love the fact that Obama will somehow cleanse the historical legacy of slavery, segregation and racism. How is that exactly? Those are things that definitely occurred, just having Barry as President won't make that go away, nothing will. And if your children are growing up thinking equal opportunity is a myth, then maybe you have no one to blame but yourself. A presidential election isn't about salving some pretended wounds, its about choosing the person right to direct our country for the next four years. That person is chosen by the majority, not by some made up contention that someone's children need some little push to have good self esteem.

The other link in that post is worth reading as well. George Will throwing darts at Barry "renewable resources" Obama.
Obama is (this is part of liberalism's catechism) leery of nuclear power. He also says -- and might say so even if Nevada were not a swing state -- that he distrusts the safety of Nevada's Yucca Mountain for storage of radioactive waste. Evidently he prefers today's situation -- nuclear waste stored at 126 inherently insecure above-ground sites in 39 states, within 75 miles of where more than 161 million Americans live.

But back to requiring this or that quota of energy from renewable sources. What will that involve? For conservatives, seeing is believing; for liberals, believing is seeing. Obama seems to believe that if a particular outcome is desirable, one can see how to require it. But how does that work? Details to follow, sometime after noon Jan. 20, 2009.

That bit cracked me up. I'd say it is funny, right up until I think about it and realize its true. Then, I get worried. Read the quotes from Will's piece. They have a creepy dictatorial tone.
Obama recently said that he would "require that 10 percent of our energy comes from renewable sources by the end of my first term -- more than double what we have now." Note the verb "require" and the adjective "renewable."
Require? He's not going to be king, so how is he going to require that we have this? Maybe he could legislate it with the assistance of a democrat controlled congress, but that still isn't his requiring.
Obama has also promised that "we will get 1 million 150-mile-per-gallon plug-in hybrids on our roads within six years." What a tranquilizing verb "get" is. This senator, who has never run so much as a Dairy Queen, is going to get a huge, complex industry to produce, and is going to get a million consumers to buy, these cars. How? Almost certainly by federal financial incentives for both -- billions of dollars of tax subsidies for automakers and billions more to bribe customers to buy cars they otherwise would spurn.
Again, this is another dictatorial statement, though you could take it more lightly if you remove any association with other statements.

I also don't see how Barry thinks this is going to work. Here in the Northeast these battery cars work, but they don't ever get mileage like that. And a plug-in car just moves the tail pipe somewhere else. Will goes on to discuss that. Personally, I won't drive one of these things. I don't like how they drive and I've seen them in the snow and I just don't want to end up that stuck that often.

Oh, and just a last stolen link to add from Vodkapundit. Here is Green Ego and Ham from Watchman's Words.

Heh. Got to love them when they do it well.

Russian Hypocrites

You have to love listening to the Russians. All you have to do is think Chechnya and you can recognize a hypocrite.
Georgia and Russia fought a brief war earlier this month over South Ossetia after Tbilisi sent in troops to try to retake the province by force, provoking a massive counter-attack by land, sea and air from Moscow.

"Today it is clear that after Georgia's aggression against South Ossetia (that) Georgian-South-Ossetian and Georgian-Abkhazian relations cannot be returned to their former state," upper house speaker Sergei Mironov said during the debate.

"The peoples of South Ossetia and Abkhazia have the right to get independence."

Well, I suppose there is little that Georgia can do about this, but the Russians should recognize that the rest of the world doesn't need to agree with their actions.

By this strategy I'm thinking that the US should be looking at a former Russian ally to crush and free just to the south of our border.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Problem with Batman...

Now the simpering ladies of the press find Batman's voice to rough for them.
"His Batman rasps his lines in a voice that's deeper and hammier than ever," said NPR's David Edelstein.

The New Yorker's David Denby praised the urgency of Bale's Batman, but lamented that he "delivers his lines in a hoarse voice with an unvarying inflection."
What do they want? I suppose he could have a high whiny lisping voice, but do you think that would work with the dark persona and the fear that he uses as his tool?

Or I suppose they'd prefer Adam West's voice and measured tone. That will strike fear in a 3 year old, but do they actually think a criminal would be intimidated?

Maybe these dolts should actually understand what the story is about rather than fret that his voice is raspy and deep.

You're Either With Me or a Racist

Glad to see I'm not the only one tired of being called a racist because I happen to find BarryO an arrogant ultra Liberal elite.
And Maureen Dowd better watch out when she talks about Obama being proud. Apparently, that is code language and it takes David Gergen to translate that for us. Today on ABC's show This Week, Gergen told us that everyone with a southern heritage knows that when the McCain campaign juxtaposes Obama with Moses and calls him "The One" (something both Maureen Dowd and I have also done) that every southerner knows that that is just code for calling him "uppity." Really!? Does that mean that no one can ever point out that Obama seems quite arrogant and full of himself without Gergen saying that we're playing to subliminal racism? Baloney! Remember the trouble that Biden got in for saying that Obama was articulate? Apparently, that was also racist. What is it when a white guy like John Kerry was ridiculed for being arrogant? And just as there is no defense against this sort of attack where every word is a hidden attack of racism, there is no arguing against Gergen's logic here. He knows this because he's from the South so that gives him an extra spidey-sense to detect this sort of thing. If you disagree, it's either because you're not from the South and don't know whereof you speak or you're from the South and probably just sublimating your inner racist.

This is quite a gig that these people have. Basically, they've drawn the rules so that whatever you say about Obama, you can be called out for catering to racism. I know that the Democrats would like to make Obama immune from all criticism, but this is an election, dang it! Candidates criticize each other in elections and Republicans refuse to unilaterally disarm just because Obama had an African father.
Now it's some mysterious code that conservatives use to racially denigrate BarryO by calling him arrogant, but when BarryO uses an obvious racial statement about not looking like president's on dollar bills, he's saying what exactly?
Sen. Barack Obama's chief strategist conceded that the Democratic presidential candidate was referring to his race when he said Republicans were trying to scare voters by suggesting Obama "doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills."
He's not just playing the scare tactic but the guilt tactic. Not a difficult game considering that large numbers of liberal whites still find some internal guilt over slavery. But that's not playing a racial card is it? No can't be. And every time he throws one of those grenades into the crowd, McCain has to dive for cover.

Nice to see that BarryO is still not playing the negative campaign style he swore not to get into.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Never Talk to the Police

Seen at Schneier's.

I'm not finished listening to this, but I'm convinced.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Obama's Vote

Now you tell me, is this report on Barry in Iraq accurate or just willfully distorting the truth? One paragraph should be all that's needed.
The Illinois senator, who voted against the March 2003 war to topple Saddam Hussein, is in Iraq at a time when violence has fallen to a four-year low -- partly on the back of the controversial troop "surge" which he had strongly opposed.
Now where exactly did he make that vote? He wasn't in the senate, so how did he make that vote?

According the wiki page on him he didn't start his tenure until January 4, 2005.

Good ole fact checking at the AFP.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Canadian "Human Rights" Censorship Commision

Always wonderful to hear Canadian courts taking out free speech on the side of the loser that started the whole problem in the first place. It may not be nice to be cruel or really rude to a heckler, but as far as I'm concerned, if you don't want to hear it, don't start it.
He claims it was his dedication to his art that led to the events at Vancouver’s Zesty’s Restaurant on May 22, 2007; he wanted some hecklers to give the evening’s final open mic comic a break. He told Pajamas Media it’s something he’s done countless times before as an MC:

I’ve said some awfully derogatory remarks to people who show no respect to a live stage show. My remarks are meant to shock and silence an unruly, disruptive group or person. I have generally offended a few people over the years but I never regret it because it is a function of being in a live and dynamic show and my jabs never come unsolicited. I can be accused of acting in poor taste but I cannot be accused of hating.

The Vancouver Sun tried to sort out the “he saids” and “she saids” of the booze-fueled event, but only Earle agreed to speak on the record:

Earle said he was the show’s MC when [Lorna] Pardy and two of her friends walked in, sat in the booth closest to the stage, and began heckling him and other comics.

“Two of them started making out, flipping me the bird, and saying I hated lesbians,” he said.

Earle said Pardy misconstrued some of his remarks and took others out of context.

“They were drunk, they were being jerks, and I was very rude and visceral to them because, like I said, if you have a heckler, what you want to do is put them in their place by offending them, so I tried to hit them where it hurts and the only thing I had to key on was the fact that they were lesbians.”

Earle says the women threw drinks in his face, and he admits he broke Pardy’s sunglasses. It wasn’t pretty and it sure wasn’t comedy. The sorry situation sounds like a matter for the management, or maybe the police. But the British Columbia Human Rights Commission?

No doubt the comedian will lose to this thin-skinned harpy. Canadian justice at its finest no doubt.

This is the same commission that is trying to take Steyn out. Frankly the US should do something in response regarding things that originate in our land of freedom.

Read the rest.

Childish in Frisco

I constantly read news from California and nearly always come to the conclusion that they either need a spanking or a lecture on when it's time to grow up. Here is one that tops the list of stupidity.
San Francisco voters will be asked to decide whether to name a city sewage plant in honor of President Bush, after a satiric measure qualified for the November ballot Thursday.

Backers of the measure, who for several months circulated a petition to place the measure on the ballot, turned in more than 12,000 signatures on July 7, said organizer Brian McConnell. The Department of Elections on Thursday informed those supporters, the self-proclaimed Presidential Memorial Commission, that they had enough valid signatures - a minimum of 7,168 registered San Francisco voters - to qualify for the November ballot.

McConnell, who came up with the idea over beers with friends, often donned an Uncle Sam outfit to drum up support for the petition. The all-volunteer group of signature gatherers often carried around an American flag and blasted patriotic music from a boom box to attract attention. He said the campaign to pass the measure will be an equally grassroots effort.

The measure, if passed, would rename the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant the George W. Bush Sewage Plant. McConnell said the intent is to remember the Bush administration and what the group sees as the president's mistakes, including the war in Iraq.

Yes, the rest of the country gets you message loud and clear. If I can't have it my way I'll whine and call you names until you change.

Maybe the rest of the country should break down and make California a synonym for cry-baby.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Mayor Daley and Other Morons

SayUncle linked this, but he only spoke of one moron. The quoted morons in this are frightening.
“This is not really an issue about the Constitution, the Second Amendment. It’s really about personal safety,” Prof. Charles Ogletree of the Harvard University School of Law told The Final Call. “It’s about the integrity of a process where we don’t have peace. We have hundreds of millions of guns in the United States today, almost as many guns circulating as there are people.

“And that just tells me, that’s not an answer to the problem. It hasn’t been an answer in any other country in the universe. And I just hope that we don’t regret the day, that we’re applauding the fact that we’re armed like the criminals, but it doesn’t solve a problem, it just creates a bigger problem, accidental shootings and other risks, particularly to our children and our families,” said Prof. Ogletree.

Not just the world, but the UNIVERSE. Damn!

And it is about the constitution and allowing people to use their right to self-defense in this specific case with a firearm. He seems to think that the ownership of a firearm can have absolutely no affect on personal safety. Well, good for him, hope he never needs one when he doesn't have one. Personally, I'll exercise my right.

Then there is Mayor Daley:
Chicago Mayor Richard Daley called the ruling “very frightening” and vowed to vigorously fight any attempt to invalidate that city’s gun ban.

“Does this lead to everyone having a gun in our society?” Mr. Daley asked June 27, according to published reports. “If (the justices) think that’s the answer, then they’re greatly mistaken. Then why don’t we do away with the court system and go back to the Old West, you have a gun and I have a gun and we’ll settle it in the streets?” said Mr. Daley.

Sorry, the Supremes never made any decision about whether guns were the answer to violence. They merely answered the question of whether it was a constitutionally protected right. That is all they did. Daley may want to take a second and calm down and actually talk about what happened rather than whine about what the effect is.

Next Idiot:
The decision contained some bad news and some good news, D.C. officials said. “The bad news is no handgun in your home is going to remain in your home,” D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton told Pacifica Radio’s “Democracy Now!” “These handguns—first of all, handguns in the home, according to the data, are used primarily for suicides and for friend to friend domestic violence.”
They don't stay in the home? I've never seen any of mine move, so I'm a bit dubious as to their ability to move otherwise. Or maybe she means that a person could perform an illegal act and steel them. But wait there's more:
“This court, which calls itself a conservative, strict constructionist court, simply reached around that, called it a preamble and said the use of the words ‘militia’ and ‘people’ was about individual rights. When you look at all of the amendments, six other amendments, the word ‘people’ is used, it is referring collectively, usually to the states,” Ms. Norton said.
Collective rights? You've got to be kidding me. No other right is seen as a collective right. I agree with SayUncle, if DC reps are this stupid then they really shouldn't be allowed the rights of a state.