Saturday, December 11, 2010

“Finally, America has a black President again…”

was the response when Barack Obama put Bill Clinton in charge again. As Fox News’ Andy Levy said, “That was the best episode of VH-1’s I Love The 90s ever!”

Clinton said he was “excited and honored” by the appointment, and would work “day and night” to defeat all the key policy objectives proposed by Mr. Obama during the campaign.

Ed Driscoll linked the above, noting that the above was written November 24, 2008, making Iowahawk, along with IMAO’s Frank J., who predicted the U.S. would slam an explosive warhead into Earth’s satellite, one of the few true prophets of the Internet. /bows head “May death come swiftly to their enemies.”

Jim Treacher asked, apparently watching TV with the sound off, echoing others: “Did Obama just quit?… Say what you want about Sarah Palin quitting her job, but at least she finished her own press conference.

In “Great news: Bill Clinton apparently now president again”:

The depressing truth: Given the alternative, it really would be great news.

I can’t do justice to what you’re about to see. The spectacle of the president bugging out of his own press conference to go to a Christmas party is weird enough, but having Clinton back at the White House podium fielding questions on the hottest domestic issue of the day shoots past deja vu and lands firmly in “am I hallucinating?” territory.

At Pajamas Media, Bryan Preston wrote:

Clinton looks quite a bit older now, true, but he also looks like he’s in charge. He handled the press as well as he ever did, which is a stark contrast to the way the current president mishandled the press — twice — earlier this week.

After Clinton ended the press conference, MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan came on and asked about the “optics” of all this.

Here’s what I saw. I saw a current president who has never looked less interested in doing his job. I also saw a former president who never lost interest in doing that job.

The New York Times tells how it happened. Even MSNBC was shocked.

Thank for the heads-up from the mighty, puppy-drinking Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds, in whose great, dark Shadow we all serve. And, of course, more death, more enemies. /unbows head.

p.s. National Reviews @ Goldberg tweeted in agony, “Arrrrrgh!! I missed the whole Clinton-Obama press conference! Was busy buying an X-mas tree.” Andy Levy haughtily scorned: “Worst media-running Jew ever.”

Friday, December 10, 2010

Net Neutrality: Threat or Menace?

ETA: Part II here.

But one expert says Net Neutrality isn’t about regulating content on the Internet or the Fairness Doctrine.” via

Stupid, guys. First off, we already have per-GB pricing. Every server hosting account, every home machine is tied to a tier plan, priced and measured for bandwidth. Net Neutrality is very, very late to this battle. Presently the FCC is considering the legality of per-bit pricing, as opposed to tiered service. This is a power the states have already.

Net Neutrality has two different advances: one is outlawing latency billing, the other is outlawing ISPs from blocking or rate-limiting some sites. Latency billing first: I approve of it in principle, though an ISP could abuse it. TCP/IP has a latency protocol built-in. ISPs already charge you more per GB and for GB/s. What, I’m sorry, is it in the Bible that bandwidth pricing is true and holy, but those who charge for latency shall surely die? I don't recall that bit.

Government control of site access: it would allow the U.S. government to choose which least-favored sites get to be hamstrung. In the hands of a corporation, this is a nuisance; in government, it is a menace. Basic Hayek, c’mon.

Most providers now set up a home page for you: AT&T teams with Yahoo for their consumer home page. This can easily be reset. But the government is considering ruling on legal and illegal home pages: a power the states already have and the U.S. government does not need.

Net Neutrality: a power government does not need.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The Monumental Stupidity of WackyLeaks

@daveweigel Alas, Leslie Nielsen will never get to star in my comedy about a bunch of bumbling anti-war hackers, WackyLeaks. #toosoon

Michael Ledeen of Pajamas Media is old and wise enough to have his laughs while he can about WackyLeaks, quoting Kissinger: “the only reason to write a memo is to have it leaked.” But again, still wise enough to note:

Second, the leakers should be punished violently. It has to be possible for our leaders to talk privately, both among themselves and with foreigners. If it’s all going to be leaked, candor will vanish and we will be locked into a wilderness of mirrors.

The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg notes James Rubin of TNR noting that, while some leaks are laudable (his and my valuation differ greatly):

… The essential tool of State Department diplomacy is trust between American officials and their foreign counterparts. Unlike the Pentagon which has military forces, or the Treasury Department which has financial tools, the State Department functions mainly by winning the trust of foreign officials, sharing information, and persuading… Destroying confidentiality means destroying diplomacy…

The Wikileaks document dump, unlike the Pentagon Papers in the 1970s, shows that American private communication with foreign leaders by and large reflects the same sentiments offered by U.S. officials in public… The big hypocrisies here are not being perpetrated by Americans; they are being perpetrated by foreign governments, namely non-democratic ones… The hard left, so quick to demand that America accept other countries’ political systems, now seems blind to the fact that other governments want to have the right to say one thing in public and a different thing in private. By respecting that difference, American diplomats are doing their job.

Important to the Left, certainly. But why did Ledeen recommend punishment? Heather Hurlburt notes (I have greatly condensed, please read the article for the meat of it):

  • Fear of candor in diplomacy,
  • Middle Eastern officials are already getting more skittish about cooperating with America and the West,
  • Even Russia, an infamously hard case, is getting worse,
  • Historical document preservation is damaged,
  • The anti-paranoia movement for classified documents is damaged,
  • Again, the military is undamaged, but the diplomatic corps is pierced in its internals.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Three pictures of the U.S. Women’s Water Polo team

Being bisexual, a classical liberal, and anti-Marxist, I am neither a prude nor a Puritan. Nevertheless, I am not happy about this ESPN nude pic of the U.S. Womens’ Water Polo team. Not that it is nude, but it is simply not very good. The pose is contrived, but not well constructed, and almost everyone looks uncomfortable as hell. Now, wild fantasizing about lesbian sex in the locker room to one side (take a moment to clear your mind, I’ll wait), most of these women are straight. A bunch are likely leery of intramural relationships as well, so, straight or gay, they probably are not into the close contact. Not only is it not a good picture, but we’re also pulled out by empathizing with their discomfort when we should be celebrating with them.

We now move on to this nude pic of the team, though it may not be all the same people. The comfort level is up a lot; they aren’t all bunched together. Also, it is both more and less revealing than the other picture: some of the women are in the background, some are surrounded by bubbles. The dappled underwater light also distorts and hides. This picture is far superior.

Finally, we move onto the last team picture. I was about to call this one fully-clothed, if only in comparison to the last two, but of course they are wearing standard womens’ one-piece bathing suits; they are hardly union suits with a strategically placed hole. But the confidence here is at an all-time high. These are proud, happy people working together: a team. We get to really see faces and body language here; we see individuals. Attractive, athletic individuals, yes, but consider: not many people can project personality over their own nudity. It just doesn’t happen; it’s why Madonna was often far sexier covered up than completely nude.

(I would also like to note it bunches my favorites in the second row; they must be the linebackers in water polo, phwaaaaa! And second from left, second row... sigh.)

Finally, I would like to denounce the nude pictures… but not for nudism, or not directly. The nude pics were undoubtedly money-makers for the team; again, I have no problem with that, per se. But where money and nudity meet is a place filled with moral compromise and other hazards. I would recommend care to all involved.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Some points

I don’t have a account. I had one, lost the password and now am locked out because TVT’s super-easy sign up has no recovery facility. So when I read about the Golden Mean Fallacy:
  • Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity could be seen as this.
  • The premise implies that both the far left and far right are full of crazies and those in the center are sane. His point is more that channels like Fox News are deliberately invoking this trope by presenting wildly extreme right wing ideas and contrasting them with relatively moderate left wing ideas, creating the impression that the truth is somewhere in the "middle"... which is actually still fairly far on the right.
I have no mouth, yet I must gag. Stewart is presumed innocent of trying to pull the conversation Left, and the writer of the second block is blissfully unaware that he has surreptitiously, or simply unconsciously, defined a middle all by him or herself. Pathetic.

Not to mention, an attempt to place the Overton Window.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sagan against the current state of AGW

Immanuel Velikovsky promulgated theories that astronomical collisions and near misses had caused various Biblical calamities and other catastrophes. Certainly, when it comes to mass extinction, he may have had something of a point. Scientists, of course, are no strangers to the herd mentality, and Velikovsky’s publishers, Macmillan, was threatened with scientific boycott.

Carl Sagan in Cosmos: A Personal Voyage (ep. 4) noted:
There are many hypotheses in science which are wrong, thats perfectly all right, it’s the aperture to finding out whats right. Science is a self-correcting process. To be accepted, new ideas must survive the most rigorous standards of evidence and scrutiny. The worst aspect of the Velikovsky affair is not that many of his ideas were wrong, or silly or in gross contradiction to the facts, rather, the worst aspect is that some scientists attempted to suppress Velikovsky’s ideas. The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion or in politics, but it is not the path to knowledge, and there is no place for it in the endeavor of science.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

6 more of the 15 books that always will stick with me…

More of the same…
The Birds, Aristophanes
Okay, The Frogs is a more interesting premise, but The Birds actually shows us more of what the contemporaries of Socrates thought about various things by contrasting the ludicrous wishes of the foolish protagonists with what could only have been the sensible opinions of the Athenian middle and working classes. The wish for fathers who berate unemployed Sophists for not sexually stalking their teenage sons sinks the entire Foucauldian mess in a swamp.
The Book of J, Harold Bloom and David Rosenberg
Bloom is useful at all times, but his marvelous critique and rediscovery of the J author, along with a fantastic translation by the poet Rosenberg, drags the most unique voice in the Old Testament out from under King James: “The KJV, with its unified, high-toned and poetic voice, is the ultimate work of the Redactor.” Indispensable.
Sexual Personæ, Camille Paglia
Sadly, I have nothing to say about this book, except that it is the other half of my mind; what isn’t Paines-ian politics and Burkean temperament simply is Sexual Personæ.
The Iliad, Homer, trans. by Robert Fitzgerald
The Bible is an ancient work, written in ritualistic styles in four languages over many centuries by dozens of authors, and today hidden under translation. The Iliad, on the other hand, is immediate, accessible and mostly modern. Mostly, I say, because the morality is entirely foreign to us modern Westerners; I have as much trouble understanding the morality of the ancient Greeks as I do your average Hong Kong chop-socky flick. Everyone does nothing but whine about how long their name will live and how they will avenge their father, and I am utterly stymied at getting where they are coming from, because I, as a Westerner, am so Judaicized that I obsess over morality and my relationship with God.
Interpretations of Poetry and Religion, George Santayana
“In the Gospels, for instance, we sometimes find the kingdom of Heaven illustrated by principles drawn from observation of this world rather than from an ideal conception of justice; as when we hear that to him that hath, shall be given, and from him that hath not, shall be taken away even that which he hath. Such characterizations appeal to our sense of fact. They remind us that the God we are seeking is present and active, that He is the living God; they are doubtless necessary if we are to keep religion from passing into a mere idealism and God into the vanishing point of our thought and endeavor. For we naturally seek to express His awful actuality, His unchallengeable power, no less than His holiness and His beauty.”
Leaves of Grass, the first edition 1855, Walt Whitman, introduction by Malcolm Cowley
About the only useful thing I've ever seen from a Marxist (and editor of The New Republic, but I repeat myself), Malcolm Cowley resurrected the original 1855 first edition of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass with an introduction that, aside from a single snide comment on “bumptious American nationalism”, is a marvel of clarity and original thought on author intent (indeed, on the authorial state of mind). Cowley’s simple thesis is that Whitman was inspired by a transcendental experience: what Freud called “oceanic” and the Zen Buddhists call satori. Later rewrites clouded the original vision, but the 1855 edition may be seen bright and clear.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Brad Thor of Big Journalism writes:
I have just received word that the New York Times is preparing to go public with a list of names of Americans covertly working in Afghanistan providing force protection for our troops, as well as the rest of our Coalition Forces. If the Times actually sees this through, the red ink they are drowning in will be nothing compared to the blood their entire organization will be covered with. Make no mistake, the Times is about to cause casualty rates in Afghanistan to skyrocket. Each and every American should be outraged.

As chronicled here, here, here, and here the Central Intelligence Agency via the New York Times has been waging a nasty proxy war against the Department of Defense over its use of former military and intelligence personnel to do what the CIA is both incapable and unwilling to do: gather the much needed intelligence that keeps our troops safe.

Read it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Two different views

Robert Reich, as cutting as only an out-of-power Leftie can be, notes The Jobs Picture Still Looks Bleak, “Many outsourced jobs will never return, and median income will likely continue to fall just like it did during the last so-called recovery… Since the start of the Great Recession in December 2007, the economy has shed 8.4 million jobs and failed to create another 2.7 million required by an ever-larger pool of potential workers. That leaves us more than 11 million jobs behind.” Reich also makes the mistake of assuming that spending, not investment, creates wealth: the anti-Hayek.
On the other side of the aisle, New Jersey Gov. Christie gives the voters what they've been starving for: Reaganism, New Jersey Style:
Mr. Christie knows he needs to put the hard choices before the state's citizens, and to speak to them as adults. Budget cuts are unfair[?] “The special interests have already begun to scream their favorite word—which, coincidentally, is my 9-year-old son’s favorite word when we are making him do something he knows is right but does not want to do—‘unfair’… One state retiree, 49 years old, paid, over the course of his entire career, a total of $124,000 towards his retirement pension and health benefits. What will we pay him? $3.3 million in pension payments over his life, and nearly $500,000 for health care benefits—a total of $3.8 million on a $120,000 investment. Is that fair?”

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Democrats’ Free Press Nazi

So, if we’re going to be killing journalists like Chavez, can we start with Robert McChesney?

But most galling in light of Free Press’ assurances that we have nothing to worry about by inviting the feds into the media business, is McChesney’s defense of Chavez’s crackdown on opposition media in Venezuela. Regarding Venezuelan broadcaster RCTV, a persistent Chavez critic whose license was revoked by the president himself, McChesney suggests that if the station were broadcasting in the United States, “its license would have been revoked years ago,” and that “its owners would likely have been tried for criminal offenses, including treason.”

Friday, March 19, 2010

Davey Crockett answers a hard one

No, Colonel, there’s no mistake. Though I live in the backwoods and seldom go from home, I take the papers from Washington and read very carefully all the proceedings of Congress. My papers say that last winter you voted for a bill to appropriate $20,000 to some sufferers by a fire in Georgetown. Is that true?

Not Yours To Give,” Col. David Crockett, Rep. (D-TN)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Public pensions: “The $2 Trillion Hole”

Jonathon R. Laing writes at Barron’s:
Making the state and local pension problem all the more trying is that government entities can do little to wriggle out of their exposure, even if spending on essential services is threatened. The constitutions of nine states, including beleaguered California and Illinois, guarantee public-pension payments. And most other states have strong statutory or case-law protections for these obligations. “One shouldn’t be surprised by this, since state legislators, state and local judges and the state attorneys general are beneficiaries of the self-same public pension funds that they’ve done so much to promote and protect,” Orin Kramer notes wryly.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A distant mirror?

Doctor Zero at Hot Air forwards a challenging theory in Obama by proxy:

They dismiss Going Rogue as “ghost written” while ignoring the specter of Bill Ayers plodding through Obama’s books, a sputtering bomb clutched in its skeletal fingers. A few lines scribbled on Palin’s palm glow more brightly in their imaginations than terabytes of data flowing across the screen of Obama’s teleprompter. They accuse Palin of being a “divisive” and “polarizing” figure, while Obama launches Taxi Driver rants against evil insurance companies, cops acting stupidly, tonsil-stealing doctors, and everyone else who crosses his path.

I used to dismiss these contradictions as simply hypocrisy, but perhaps these people are angry at Palin because of her perceived similarities to Barack Obama, not in spite of them. They need someplace to ground the lightning of their frustration and disappointment, and they’re not allowed to be angry at Obama.

Or maybe it isn’t unconscious at all, it’s intentional: accuse the other guy of a history of lying just as you’re laying down your biggest whopper.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Fifteen books you've read that will always stick with you

Oh, all right:
Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
What Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow tried to be, Dhalgren simply was. Circular, impressionistic, post-modern, but what the book did best was convey a world without time. I have read too many books to ignore the creaking of sets and plot behind the curtains, and I hate them. Dhalgren creates a real world where things just happen, on their own time, for reasons you may never know, yet is utterly gripping. The space and freedom in this book is so massive it may have inspired Grand Theft Auto 3.
Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
His juveniles are often more direct and vivid (see the marvelous Tunnel in the Sky for seat-of-your-pants adventure and angst) but SiaSL is where The Mighty Bob (gentile twin of that other, equally mighty Bob, Dylan) pulled theology, science and philosophy right into the heart of the sphere of the man of action.
A Fine and Private Place, Peter S. Beagle
Not as mature nor as expansive as his Folk of the Air, nor as purely inventive as The Last Unicorn, both great reads full of careful intelligence, this book was written when he was only 19 years old. It reads far more maturely than you would think (as you mentally handicap it). The raven is my personal hero: “There are people who give, and people who take. There are people who create, people who destroy, and people who don't do anything and drive the other two kinds crazy. It's born in you, whether you give or take, and that's the way you are.” Chilling.
Walden, Henry David Thoreau
Once you read this you can never be satisfied simply with more (not even with more pointless self-sacrifice, an idea that would have disgusted Thoreau). You will weigh your life and analyze it to see how you are being wasteful, or profligate, or simply not thinking things through. Thoreau was a product of Harvard before the demise of that institution; his intelligence, his awareness of his own marginality, is immense. He critiques his neighbors the local farmers, but I think he was never quite unaware of what they thought of him, and I think he took their opinions seriously. Did you know he ran the family business purifying graphite to sell to pencil makers, building and improving the machinery?
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard
The New York Times called her “no mere romantic twirling a buttercup,” which is hilarious and wrong both ways. First off, she is a romantic twirling a buttercup, and apparently no one at the Times knows just how dangerous they can be. Put this next to Walden and it will happily share the shelf, both alike and utterly different. There is no higher praise.
Tao Te Ching, Lao Tsu, trans. Gia-Fu Feng & Jane English
Memory fails. I may have read The Tao of Pooh first, but this book cemented itself on my mind. Clear, spare, profound in its silence lest it stutter, this is honestly the only book in the world I would stand next to the Bible. Chuang Tsu's Inner Chapters is subtle comedic relief compared to the first.
Engine Summer, John Crowley
Yes, I read Little, Big first, and again, more expansive, more mature, more everything, but Engine Summer stood me on my head. Some reviewer said he wrote “as if the author had never read science fiction, but had only had it described to him.” Yes. Elegiac as only science fiction can be, as only it and high fantasy can compass the death of civilizations, and sad, and so carefully written you will have no idea how bold this book is.
The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
What could I say about this book? Tolkien, who created his own languages for fun, never wrote an ugly sentence. Ever. Read the chapter in the Mines of Moria again. See how quiet everything becomes? Some post-modernist cheesehead would have repeated “dark” and “grave-like” thinking himself an impressionist; Tolkien simply writes dark and quietly. Amazing. Actually, the series has three ugly sentences, all in the mouths of his irredeemable villains. The man, a World War I veteran, had no understanding of evil because he had none in him. For more on the Oxford don's morality, I turn to Spengler: “The Ring and the Remnants of the West” and “Tolkien's Christianity and the pagan tragedy.”
Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
Again, I could choose the more expansive Chronicles of Amber (first five only, please) or an eclectic short story collection such as The Doors of His Face, The Lamps of His Mouth. But Lord of Light is the one book I returned to again and again. Zelazny was a poet writing prose and, similarly yet so different from Heinlein, the man of thought bringing to life the man of action. Bring your demon repellent.
Okay, nine (Princes in Amber) is all I have time for tonight. This morning. Six more later.

ETA: Okay, I ended up with five-six, no-yes, more later.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Walter Russell Mead on Israel and lobbies

Walter Russell Mead, author of the best essay on American foreign policy as an offshoot of domestic policies, "The Jacksonian Tradition" of 1999, confronts many of the misguided critics of "the Israel Lobby" in his blog at The American Interest.
In "Don’t Blame The Jews":
A conspiratorial-minded and paranoid Jew could come up with a description of the modern Zionist movement as a gentile plot against the Jews: to push them all into a narrow, inhospitable strip of desert land entirely surrounded by people who hate them. This in fact is one reason so many American Jewish leaders opposed the Zionist movement in the early years. They saw it as a kind of “Jewish Liberia”; just as whites once hoped to recolonize African-Americans in Africa they might want to send the Jews ‘back’ to their ‘home.’
In "The Israel Lobby and Gentile Power":
Politicians don’t fear the loss of National Rifle Association PAC money nearly as much as they fear the loss of millions of pro-gun votes at the next election. This, I think is why AIPAC is so powerful. To be convincingly labeled an anti-Israel politician is the kiss of death almost everywhere in the United States — just as to be anti-gun is the kiss of death.
And finally, "Is This Lobby Different From All Others?":
What the Zionist movement asked from Americans at this time, and what it got, was pretty much what the other nationalities got: Sympathy and good offices before World War One, American support at Versailles. You could argue that this was exceptional treatment; unlike the other ethnic minorities, Jews did not have a large national terrain where they were in the majority. Persecuted almost everywhere, they needed a state more than anybody else, but scattered across Europe and the Middle East it was harder to find one for them.

"Masters of the possible, simply because they had to be."

Richard Fernandez, formerly known as The Belmont Club, is depressed that the U.S. military may have gotten too good for its own good:

What America has gotten, Kaplan says, is a quasi-imperial corps. Ironically, what brought about the revival of the imperial capability was the disinterest of the intellectual elite, who were too good to devote much time to the problems of failed beyond uttering banal generalities. So they left it to the men on the spot and forgot about them. That cut-off may have been just as well because George Orwell claimed that the British Empire had been ‘killed by the telegraph’.

Obama’s neglect may have been a blessing... which brings its own dangers:

This show of organizational dynamism points to a ground truth: despite the awful toll of casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq, American ground troops are emerging nearly a decade after 9/11 as a force that is even more organizationally and intellectually formidable than it was after the Berlin Wall collapsed, when the United States was the lone superpower. Army and Marine Corps company commanders, for example, can lead in a conventional fight and, as Kolenda’s experience showed, also bring order to chaotic tribal and ethnic messes, all while they communicate effectively up the bureaucratic chain (a skill they began to hone before 9/11, in the Balkans). And these officers have mastered what is, in fact, the colonial technique of partnering with indigenous forces molded in their own image. Rodriguez’s command is a culmination of this whole experience.

But the very dominance of the U.S. military can lead to a dangerous delusion.

Robert D. Kaplan also shares some of his memories of Afghanistan before the Soviet invasion:

Afghanistan is not some barbaric back-of-beyond, but the heart of a cultural continuum connecting the cosmopolitan centers of Persia and India. In fact, Afghanistan has been governed from the center since the 18th century: Kabul, if not always a point of authority, has been at least a point of arbitration. Especially between the early 1930s and the early 1970s, Afghanistan experienced moderate and constructive government under the constitutional monarchy of Zahir Shah. A highway system on which it was safe to travel united the major cities, while estimable health and development programs were on the verge of eradicating malaria. Toward the end of this period, I hitchhiked and rode buses across Afghanistan. I never felt threatened, and I was able to send books and clothes back home through functioning post offices.

There was, too, a strong Afghan national identity distinct from that of Iran or Pakistan or the Soviet Union. Pashtunistan might be a real enough geographic construct, but so, very definitely, is Afghanistan. As Ismail Akbar, a writer and analyst in Kabul, told me: “Thirty years of war and Pakistani interference have weakened Afghan national identity from the heights of the Zahir Shah period. But even the mujahideen civil war of the early 1990s, in which the groups were split along ethnic lines, could not break up Afghanistan. And if that couldn’t, nothing will.”

Afghans were so desperate for a reunited country after the internecine fighting of the mujahideen era that they welcomed the Taliban in Kandahar in 1994 and in Kabul in 1996, as a bulwark against anarchy and dissolution. Afghanistan, frail and battered over the years, is nevertheless surprisingly sturdy as a concept and as a cynosure of identity.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

68% now oppose passing ObamaCare without Republican support

Allahpundit, via Instapundit, notes:
More than four in five Americans say it’s important that any health care plan have support from both parties. And 68 percent say the president and congressional Democrats should keep trying to cut a deal with Republicans rather than pass a bill with no GOP support…

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Have you bribed your doctor today?

James Lewis of Pajamas Media, discusses the importance of socialized medicine to our new All-American nomenklatura.

Dafydd ab Hugh examined the corruption inherent in a system divorced from the idea of an honest price; quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus, but in this article Japan.

National Journal's "The Health Care Whip Count"

Oh, look! A list of people to call! By Reid Wilson! Let's just list the Michigan folks, 'kay?

Dem Targets: No On Reform, No On Stupak (15)
Member District Comments

Dem Long Shots: No On Reform, Yes On Stupak (21)

GOP Targets: Yes On Reform, Yes On Stupak (40)
Dale Kildee MI05
Bart Stupak MI01 Abortion concerns

GOP Long Shots: Dem Freshmen (16)
Gary Peters MI09
Mark Schauer MI07

Monday, March 08, 2010

The Economist, “The worldwide war on baby girls”

A terrifying story, but one with a surprise twist.
The use of sex-selective abortion was banned in India in 1994 and in China in 1995. It is illegal in most countries (though Sweden legalised the practice in 2009). But since it is almost impossible to prove that an abortion has been carried out for reasons of sex selection, the practice remains widespread. An ultrasound scan costs about $12, which is within the scope of many—perhaps most—Chinese and Indian families. In one hospital in Punjab, in northern India, the only girls born after a round of ultrasound scans had been mistakenly identified as boys, or else had a male twin.

Instapundit quoted by Rush

Not a few minutes ago, I was listening to my mom listening to Rush Limbaugh when he announced that Glenn Reynolds had written a great article and quoted it extensively.

But now things are looking a bit dicey. According to a recent Rasmussen Poll , only 21 percent of American voters believe that the federal government enjoys the consent of the governed. On the other hand, Rasmussen notes, a full 63 percent of the "political class" believe that the government enjoys the consent of the governed.

Kudos to the mighty Instapundit, in whose beneficent shadow we serve. ;-)

Diana West: The heir of Pym Fortuyn at the House of Lords

Overcoming the filthy Labour move to declare him persona non grata, Geert Wilders addresses the House of Lords:
Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t have a problem and my party does not have a problem with Muslims as such. There are many moderate Muslims. The majority of Muslims are law-abiding citizens and want to live a peaceful life as you and I do. I know that. That is why I always make a clear distinction between the people, the Muslims, and the ideology, between Islam and Muslims. There are many moderate Muslims, but there is no such thing as a moderate Islam.

No wonder that Winston Churchill called Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf “the new Quran of faith and war, turgid, verbose, shapeless, but pregnant with its message.” As you know, Churchill made this comparison, between the Koran and Mein Kampf, in his book ‘The Second World War’, a master piece, for which, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature. Churchill’s comparison of the Quran and Mein Kampf is absolutely spot on. The core of the Quran is the call to jihad. Jihad means a lot of things and is Arabic for battle. Kampf is German for battle. Jihad and kampf mean exactly the same.

I ♥ feminism…

I ♥ watching it burn.

Dr. Judy Kuriansky has a kindlier perspective on the emo boy. “This is the type of man that women have been screaming and begging for for years,” she said a bit reprovingly. “I’ve done innumerable research studies about this: after 20 years of asking what are the top three qualities that women want in a man, what comes out overwhelmingly from women is that they want the more communicative man, the sensitive and romantic man. That is overwhelming. They want the cluster of qualities that goes along with a more communicative man who speaks his feelings more, who is more intimate, more open.”

But Dr. Anna Fels comes down more on the ladies’ side. “I would say that historically, and right up through the present, one of the things that defined femininity — especially in the white, middle-class culture — is women listening to men and being their audience, their support system, and really asking for relatively little of that in return,” she said. “There’s been a really disproportionate share of attention of all kinds that men demand and assume as their due.”

Stuff It, Emo Boy!” by Rachel Donadio, Sheelah Kolhatkar & Anna Schneider-Mayerson in July 2004.

By the way, I should be neglecting if I did not point to the website and gorgeous photographs by Ryan McGinley mentioned (negatively) in the story above.

Senatorial Budget Reconciliation is not “simple majority rule,” Obama

National Review outdoes itself, again, with Myths about Reconciliation, using reconciliation to pass Obamacare would be inappropriate and unprecedented. Here’s why by Daniel Foster & Stephen Spruiell.
The truth is that every single piece of successful legislation to emerge from the Senate — via reconciliation or otherwise — has done so via a final, up-or-down vote with a 50-plus-one threshold. The debate about reconciliation is a debate about the path to that vote. It’s about whether the Senate is and ought to be something more than a slightly smaller, slightly crustier House of Representatives.

When Harry Reid took over the majority leadership of the Senate, he vowed that “as our founding fathers intended, the Senate will perform its role as the ‘cooling saucer’ where debate and amendments play a role in forging consensus and compromise.”

Would that he lived up to those words.

Drop the Hammer in 2012

I'm posting this to remind myself to buy one once I have the spare dough:

Friday, March 05, 2010

Your taxes will go up: the trap has sprung

The neo-fascist lie appears:
European governments have typically seen VAT hikes as an easy way to raise revenues [taxes] during a recession. In some countries, government spending is more than 50% of national income. The results have been fiscal stability, but lackluster growth and a dearth of dynamism and entrepreneurship.

Given the budget numbers, the United States has already chosen a path of far bigger government. The trap has been set. It's unlikely America can escape without a VAT.
Did you get your marching orders from Il Douche yet?

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Roger L. Simon: Criminal Fortney “Pete” Stark to replace more corrupt Rangel

Has the Universe gone insane? Roger L. Simon asks, “[D]id Nancy Pelosi’s plastic surgeon misfire and accidentally inject the Botox into her brain?
In 1995, during a private meeting with Congresswoman Nancy Johnson of Connecticut, he called Johnson a “whore for the insurance industry” and suggested that her knowledge of health care came solely from “pillow talk” with her husband, a physician. His press secretary, Caleb Marshall, defended him in saying, “He didn’t call her a ‘whore,’ he called her a ‘whore of the insurance industry.’”
More Pete-foolery on Wikipedia. This must be Nancy Pelosi’s idea of feminism.

Modern Grotesque

Stephen Green compares, properly, San Francisco's Planning Commission to the Red Guards : “In a 5–0 vote, it ordered Johnston to build a...