Thursday, November 27, 2008
But on this day especially, I am especially grateful for, and mindful of, those loved ones I won't be seeing. This quote is for them:
"Here at the frontier, there are falling leaves. Though my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups on my table."
And there are threats closer to home as well, as details of a possible al Qaeda attack on Penn Station and/or the NYC subway system begin to emerge.
Wherever you are traveling this holiday season, be safe.
BENEDICK ADDS: Come on. They don't want us dead. They want us to just submit to the will of Allah. We could end the violence tomorrow if only we'd stop this silly, constant defending of our liberties, values, and our way of life.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Obama Names Bill Clinton to Presidential Post:
Ending weeks of speculation and rumors, President-Elect Barack Obama today named Bill Clinton to join his incoming administration as President of the United States, where he will head the federal government's executive branch.
"I am pleased that Bill Clinton has agreed to come out of retirement to head up this crucial post in my administration," said Obama. "He brings a lifetime of previous executive experience as Governor of Arkansas and President of the United States, and has worked closely with most of the members of my Cabinet."
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.
"I am gratified that the President-Elect has entrusted me with this important responsibility," said Clinton. "I'm looking forward to getting back behind, and under, the Oval Office desk again. As I have told the President-Elect, I pledge to do whatever I can to serve his historic administration by making sure that none of that bullshit he talked about during the campaign will ever see the light of day. Americans can rest assured that he will be safely confined to the East Wing, as far away as possible from any potentially dangerous office equipment or nuclear buttons."
The long anticipated naming of Clinton to head Obama's Oval Office team comes after a week that saw Obama appoint dozens of Clinton associates to his transition team including John Podesta, Rahm Emanuel, Eric Holder, Larry Summers, and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Hundreds of other Clinton Administration holdovers are rumored to be in line for remaining appointments, including Bill Richardson, Janet Reno, Webb Hubbell, Chelsea Clinton, zombie Vince Foster, and zombie Socks the cat.
"Let's face it, it's obvious I'm in way over my head here," explained Obama. "Anyone paying attention knows I am a disaster waiting to happen, and who can blame them? I mean, just look at the stock market. That's why I think it's in the best interest of the country that I hand over the reins to people who, whatever their ethical shortcomings, at least have a faint clue about what they're doing. Come on, man. I've got a 401-k, too."
While the naming of Clinton appears to have momentarily calmed jittery financial markets, it sparked ripples of disapproval at liberal websites like Huffington Post and DailyKos. The progressive blogosphere was an early key source of support for Mr. Obama's candidacy, but a steady stream of Clinton-era appointees since the election has left some charging that he had betrayed his campaign promises to bring them to Washington as part of a sweeping culture of change -- a charge that Mr. Obama vehemently accepted.
"Oh, for crissakes. Are you kidding me? Are you friggin' kidding me?" asked Obama. "Of course I betrayed those goddamned idiots. Have any of you actually spent five minutes with them? I have, unfortunately. Nothing personal, but I wouldn't trust these internet windowlickers with a plastic spork from Taco Bell, let alone a freaking $3 trillion dollar budget global superpower. Look, I may be naive, but I'm not stupid. And if Kose or Koz or whatever the fuck his name is thinks for one second I give a rat's ass about who he wants in charge of the Treasury Department, he's even stupider than he looks."
"Look, I'm sorry I kinda snapped there, and pardon my French," added Obama. "But I just spent the last two years surrounded by these starstruck moonbat retards, and I'll be goddamned if I'm gonna spend the next four with them parked in the next cubicle over."
Obama also announced that he had accepted his own appointment of himself as an Assistant Undersecretary in the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
"It's a fairly low-stress job that I'm reasonably qualified for," said Obama. "I really can't do much damage there, and it will give me plenty of free time for Oprah specials. Plus work on my next autobiography and re-election campaign."
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
The U.S. Attorney filed charges against Drew -- not for homicide, but for conspiracy and fraudulent misuse of MySpace computers. The trial began last week, and Reuters reports that closing arguments finished yesterday. Drew faces up to 20 years if convicted. More to come.
Levant reports today that a government-funded report just issued recommends the repeal of the statory basis for the Commissions. And thousands of legislators are mobiling to make it happen. There appears to be plenty of reason to hope this Canadian black eye will heal.
And then the Marines opened up about 10 cans of whoopass, sent 50 of these idiots to their virgin-riddled paradise and made the rest scurry home to ma.
Responsible for nearly 50% of the whoopass was an unnamed designated marksman (read: "sniper"), who killed 20 guys himself and didn't miss a single shot. Not an easy thing to do when shooting unencumbered at the target range - let alone when bullets are coming back and landing inches away from you.
The best part? Not one Marine was seriously injured.
Ace of Spades suggests that this sniper may be a badass.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
New York magazine's John Heilemann . . . offered another reason for all the positive press coverage Obama received.
"The biggest bias in the press is towards effectiveness," said Heilemann, who is authoring a book on the 2008 race . . . . "We love things that are smart."
Because Obama's campaign was generally so well run, he argued, the press tended to applaud even his negative tactics.
Heilemann went on to explain that modern journalistic ethics compel positive coverage of super-awesomeness, total-coolitude, and unchallengeable-perfectyness.
Me, I got 31 of 33 correct. That's an A (approximately 94%), so I feel pretty good about myself.
Unfortunately, elected officials who participated in the test scored an average of 44%. I don't feel very good about that at all.
BENEDICK ADDS: Meh. You beat me by one. But I plead the subjectivity of some of the questions.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Query how the blame will be apportioned between Bush and Global Warming. Wait -- who am I kidding? Global Warming is Bush's fault. Ergo, the predicted-but-not-yet-occurred earthquake will be entirely Bush's fault. Regardless of how far in the distant future it may occur.
For the record.
In other words, the state's citizens followed a constitutionally prescribed process to amend the state's highest law, and liberal activists now resort to the state's courts seeking a determination -- as Hinderaker so ably puts it -- that the state constitution is unconstitutional.
Which would, of course, be hilarious if it didn't portend future efforts by "progressives" to use what inevitably will be a more left-leaning judiciary to override the legislative process.
Me, I'm pretty laissez-faire when it comes to gay marriage. Live and let live. Indeed it's always struck me as rather hypocritical for social conservatives to denounce gays for living irresponsible, sexually promiscuous lives, and then to passionately thwart any effort to encourage gays to form lifelong, committed, responsible, monogamous relationships.
But when the laws throughout western civilization for thousands of years have recognized marriage as an institution between a man and a woman, it doesn't seem unreasonable that we should let our constitutionally prescribed procedures guide society's shifting values toward any change in that institution.
Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post mocked Bush’s “fantasy-based escalation . . . which could only make sense in some parallel universe where pigs fly and fish commute on bicycles.” At Time, Joe Klein ridiculed “Bush’s futile pipe dream.” Jonathan Chait, writing in the Los Angeles Times, found “something genuinely bizarre” about those Americans who actually supported the new strategy. “It is not just that they are wrong. . . . It’s that they are completely detached from reality.” The New Republic’s Peter Beinart predicted that, by 2008, American soldiers would “still be dying, and the catastrophe will still be deepening.” In sending more troops to Baghdad, Beinart wrote, “Bush is showing his commitment to win—except that the United States has already lost.”Even when General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker demonstrated the undeniable progress attributable to the surge, liberal critics crossed their arms, stomped their feet, and continued to bray:
Liberal politicians were just as certain that the surge was a doomed and irresponsible policy. On the night of the announcement, Senator Barack Obama proclaimed: “I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq are going to solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse.” Later in the month, Senator Joseph Biden declared: “If he surges another 20, 30 [thousand], or whatever number he’s going to, into Baghdad, it’ll be a tragic mistake.” Senator Hillary Clinton similarly insisted that “I cannot support [the] proposed escalation of the war in Iraq,” while Senator John Kerry said that sending in additional troops was not an “answer” but “a tragic mistake.”
Throughout the spring, even though the full complement of additional troops had yet to arrive in Iraq, the drumbeat of opposition continued, and so did intimations of American defeat. To Richard Cohen of the Washington Post, “the [American] lives lost in Iraq were wasted.” Former Ambassador Peter Galbraith, writing in the New York Review of Books, argued that Bush had embraced a plan that “has no chance of actually working. At this late stage, 21,500 additional troops cannot make a difference.” On Capitol Hill, Senator Christopher Dodd asserted that “there is no military solution in Iraq. To insist upon a surge is wrong.” Senate majority leader Harry Reid declared that “this surge is not accomplishing anything” and in April announced flatly that the Iraq war was “lost.”
While both Petraeus and Crocker were careful not to overstate the degree of progress in Iraq, and reminded everyone who would listen that the country remained a fragile place, they left no doubt of their belief that, in the words of Crocker, “a secure, stable, democratic Iraq at peace with its neighbors is attainable.”Wehner cites numerous additional examples of this species of I-Refuse-To-Believe-It-ism before turning to the question of why:
But none of this mattered to the administration’s liberal critics, who to their earlier prognosis of failure were now adding charges of government cooking of the evidence. Even before the Petraeus-Crocker testimony, Senator Dick Durbin, the Democratic majority whip, warned Americans that “by carefully manipulating the statistics, the Bush-Petraeus report will try to persuade us that violence in Iraq is decreasing and thus the surge is working.” After the hearing, Representative Edward Markey of Massachusetts said the general’s testimony was “just a façade to hide from view the continuing failure of the Bush administration’s strategy.” To Representative Rahm Emanuel, the general’s written report deserved to win “the Nobel Prize for creative statistics or the Pulitzer for fiction.”
Paul Krugman, an influential columnist for the New York Times, could not have agreed more. The administration, he flatly asserted, was intentionally misleading the public by “creating the perception that the ‘surge’ is succeeding, even though there’s not a shred of verifiable evidence to suggest that it is.” Others were even more reckless. A Democratic Senator complained to the website Politico that no one was willing to call Petraeus “a liar on national TV,” hoping instead that “outside groups will do this for us.” As if in response, MoveOn.org, the left-wing political-action committee, promptly took out a full-page ad in the New York Times proposing, in giant type, a new name for General Petraeus: “General Betray Us.”
A generous interpretation is that by the end of 2006, many liberals had made a definitive good-faith judgment that the Iraq war was irretrievably lost. This then became the filter through which they viewed all later developments. Once convinced of the impossibility of substantial progress, never mind a decent outcome or an actual victory, they could not help receiving good news as anomalous and/or inherently unsustainable.But Wehner sees more behind it than innocent, bad judgment:
But the generous interpretation may be too generous, and also condescending. Reasonable and responsible adults are expected to assess the solidity of their convictions against the available evidence and in light of changing circumstances. Even at the time of the surge’s announcement, when things were going quite badly, should responsible adults not have been able to entertain the possibility that, given the enormity of what was at stake in the war, a fundamentally new approach merited at least a degree of support, however hesitant or conditional?
Instead, many pronounced the new approach a failure even before it was tried. Still worse was that they continued to pronounce it a failure even as the evidence began to amass that it was succeeding. Even those few who (like Richard Cohen and Joe Klein) eventually admitted they were wrong about the surge itself continued to insist they were right about the war. Others stuck more and more zealously to their original position the more it became falsified by reality. They, and not the President, were the ones who were truly “doubling down” on their bet—as if a decent outcome in Iraq threatened their entire worldview.
Nor was their blindness limited to the good news occurring in the lives of Iraqis. They seemed no less blind to the huge drop in American combat deaths. Those deaths, after all, had been said to be among the core concerns of the anti-surge critics, who along with their allies in the media had been focusing relentless attention on the numbers of American casualties in Iraq. Yet little was now made of the fact that—to take just one example—there were but five U.S. combat deaths in Iraq in July 2008.
(The previous monthly low had been eight in May 2003, after the invasion.)
Nor, finally, has much if anything been made of the fact that coalition forces have drawn down significantly. All five of the U.S. combat brigades committed to the surge, as well as two Marine battalions and the Marine Expeditionary Unit, have withdrawn. One could not ask for a clearer sign that the surge has been achieving one of the key declared objectives of the anti-war critics themselves—namely, a reduction of American combat troops in Iraq. It is a sign that remains, for the critics, all but unnoticed.
Enter, ignominiously, politics. For some liberals, hatred of the President was clearly so all-encompassing that they had developed a deep investment in the failure of what they habitually dismissed not as America’s war but as “Bush’s war.” To an extent, this passion was driven by merely partisan considerations: Iraq had become a superbly effective instrument with which to bludgeon Republicans. It had helped the Democrats take control of both the House and the Senate in 2006; might not a thorough “Republican” defeat in Iraq lastingly reshape the political landscape in their favor?Wehner too-hopefully concludes that, whatever the prejudices and motivations of pundits, media elites, and politicians, the citizens will, one day, get it:
This is, admittedly, an unpleasant line of speculation, and those foolhardy enough to venture upon it have been loudly condemned for questioning the patriotism of their political adversaries. But patriotism is not the issue—judgment is. When politicians acting in good faith misjudge a situation, nothing prevents them from acknowledging their error and explaining themselves. For the most part, we await such acknowledgments in vain.
In partial extenuation, it might be contended that politicians have an elementary obligation to be responsive to the opinions of their constituents; since Iraq had become a certifiably unpopular cause, stepping out of line on the issue was likely to be regarded as an offense punishable at the polls. But what, then, are we to say of the opinion shapers, the editorial writers of our great newspapers, the essayists and columnists and book authors who, unconstrained by petty interest, present themselves as stalwartly independent spirits willing to follow the truth wherever it may lead?
What was at work in them when the evidence of American progress—which started as a trickle, and then became a river, and eventually became a flood—could no longer be denied? For not only did they continue to deny it, but they actively promoted an alternative policy of withdrawal and retreat that would have made an American defeat, and a jihadist and Iranian victory, inevitable. Is it not fair to say that what was at work in them was an ideological antipathy not just to an American President, but to America’s cause?
Americans at large are not so ready to deny the evidence of their senses, and appear open to reasoned argument on the basis of that evidence. For a political leader in high office, this is a great blessing. Some eyes will refuse to open and some ears will refuse to hear and some voices will always be raised high in derision. To act rightly in such circumstances is difficult and often enormously costly; but it is the very essence of leadership. If a leader’s decision is wise, there are grounds for hoping that in time this wisdom will be vindicated and, perhaps, recognized—even in the case of a war once massively unpopular but now winnable.I hope he's right, but I think the calculatedly false narrative has too much traction to be undone anytime soon. Those of us interested in the truth, though, should study the names of the deliberate deniers listed by Wehner (and there are more in the full article, including Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi) and bear their track records for reckless, breathless, over-the-top, spectacular wrongness when they take to their soapboxes in the future.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Bad Idea Jeans: The CEOs of the "Big 3" American automakers flew to D.C. today to beg Congress for a bazillion dollar bailout. Given the cash-poor state of their companies, and out of respect for the working stiffs whose tax dollars they seek to use to prop up their arcane and suicidal labor contracts with the UAW, they flew commercial. Oh wait, no they didn't.
Whatever you do, don't ever feed it after midnight: Mogwai-like creature found in Indonesian rain forest. Bears striking resemblance to Gizmo.
And in the category of "Headlines I Could Do Without," from Drudge: "Bill Clinton Offers to Bare All for Ethical Review..." (Then again, it could be worse. It could be Hillary.)
Al Qaeda went there. They Went There:
Al-Qaida's No. 2 leader used a racial epithet to insult Barack Obama in a message posted Wednesday, describing the president-elect in demeaning terms that imply he does the bidding of whites.Oh. Oh no you di-in't.
The message appeared chiefly aimed at persuading Muslims and Arabs that Obama does not represent a change in U.S. policies. Ayman al-Zawahri said in the message, which appeared on militant Web sites, that Obama is "the direct opposite of honorable black Americans" like Malcolm X, the 1960s African-American rights leader.
In al-Qaida's first response to Obama's victory, al-Zawahri also called the president-elect—along with secretaries of state Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice—"house negroes."
Speaking in Arabic, al-Zawahri uses the term "abeed al-beit," which literally translates as "house slaves." But al-Qaida supplied English subtitles of his speech that included the translation as "house negroes."
First of all, let me say that I am all for Al Qaeda making an enemy in Barack Obama. I hope somewhere down deep inside, the president-elect takes this nice and personal.
But it certainly sets up a conundrum for the hard left-wingers. I mean, according to The Narrative, the radical Muslims -- oops, Militants . . . er, Freedom Fighters . . . yeah, that's right, Freedom Fighters -- hate the United States because the United States is an evil, oppressive, imperialist, zionist entity that to this day exists for the purpose of enriching and empowering Christianist white males at the expense of everyone else. The Narrative tells us that if we stopped being so evil, and if we stopped our unforgiveable and offensive objections to their culture (which is just as worthy as ours, notwithstanding all that stoning of rape victims and female genital mutilation, which it's better if we just ignore), the Freedom Fighters wouldn't want to kill us anymore.
So now, we have elected a President who embodies Change and who will remake America into a peaceful, just, tolerant nation that is friendly to the rest of the world, doesn't step on toes, and is willing to abdicate its position of economic and military dominance. Hooray! The Freedom Fighters will be so happy!
But, whaaaaa?! Instead of throwing down their IEDs and running to join the drum circle, the Freedom Fighters are calling The One a fucking House Nigger? But . . . . that doesn't . . . I mean, why would they . . . because if that's what's going to . . . don't they understand that . . . but now that means . . . except before, it was like . . . . AAAAAAAGH!!!!! AAAAAAAAAGGGGHHHHHHH!!! THE PAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIN!!!!!!!
57.4% could NOT correctly say which party controls congress (50/50 shot just by guessing)
81.8% could NOT correctly say Joe Biden quit a previous campaign because of plagiarism (25% chance by guessing)
82.6% could NOT correctly say that Barack Obama won his first election by getting opponents kicked off the ballot (25% chance by guessing)
88.4% could NOT correctly say that Obama said his policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry and make energy rates skyrocket (25% chance by guessing)
56.1% could NOT correctly say Obama started his political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground (25% chance by guessing).
Only 13.7% failed to identify Sarah Palin as the person on which their party spent $150,000 in clothes
Only 6.2% failed to identify Palin as the one with a pregnant teenage daughter
And 86.9 % thought that Palin said that she could see Russia from her "house," even though that was Tina Fey who said that!!
Only 2.4% got at least 11 correct.
Only .5% got all of them correct.
This is what happens when the media decides which candidate is "worthy" to win. Heaven help us all if the Fairness Doctrine takes hold.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
If you've heard the phrase, "drinking the Kool-Aid," but aren't sure exactly sure what it refers to, here's a retrospective. The piece focuses on the Leftist nature of Jim Jones' People's Church, as well as on the refusal of a left-leaning local government and a left-leaning press to take any reasonable steps to interrupt known child-abuse, sexual assault, and weapons crimes during the many years when Jim Jones' pulpit operated proudly in San Francisco.
If you're interested in a more detailed, events-oriented recounting of what happened when Jones and his followers to their cult south of the border, the wikipedia entry is rather thorough and well done.
By contrast, here's a complete triviality that took me by surprise. Prince -- er, the artist formerly known as Prince -- is a Jehovah's Witness. Read the New Yorker interview. If you've seen Dave Chappelle's impression of Prince, imagine the artist's quotes in the being uttered in that lusty alto, and enjoy the chuckles.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Not so fast.
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 AlBut, like, whatever. There's a "consensus," after all.
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.
So what explained the anomaly? GISS's computerised temperature maps seemed to show readings across a large part of Russia had been up to 10 degrees higher than normal. But when expert readers of the two leading warming-sceptic blogs, Watts Up With That and Climate Audit, began detailed analysis of the GISS data they made an astonishing discovery. The reason for the freak figures was that scores of temperature records from Russia and elsewhere were not based on October readings at all.
Figures from the previous month had simply been carried over and repeated two months running. The error was so glaring that when it was reported on the two blogs - run by the US meteorologist Anthony Watts and Steve McIntyre, the Canadian computer analyst who won fame for his expert debunking of the notorious "hockey stick" graph - GISS began hastily revising its figures. This only made the confusion worse because, to compensate for the lowered temperatures in Russia, GISS claimed to have discovered a new "hotspot" in the Arctic - in a month when satellite images were showing Arctic sea-ice recovering so fast from its summer melt that three weeks ago it was 30 per cent more extensive than at the same time last year.
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.
Friday, November 14, 2008
There's nothing going on. I'm with the 10th Mountain Division, and about half of the guys I'm with haven't fired their weapons on this tour and they've been here eight months. And the place we're at, South Baghdad, used to be one of the worst places in Iraq. And now there's nothing going on. I've been walking my feet off and haven't seen anything. I've been asking Iraqis, 'do you think the violence will kick up again,' but even the Iraqi journalists are sounding optimistic now and they're usually dour.Via InstaPundit.
Good thing the folks who proudly and vehemently opposed the surge will be making the strategic decisions from now on.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
When winter came, the ant had plenty of food to eat, while the grasshopper had none.
Suddenly, giant spaceships appeared over every major city on Earth. Everyone was terribly frightened, particularly when the giant spaceships started making the cities explode.
But then the President of the United States got in an airplane and Jeff Goldblum made all the aliens' computers go haywire, and Will Smith smoked a cigar in the desert.
Not so fast.
You've been punked.
Such is the standard of journalism, though, when the subject is a back-woods breeder-hick who didn't have the decency to abort her retard offspring. But hard evidence about Obama being a member of an avowedly socialist political party or collaborating with terrorists?
Not fit to print, see?
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
"The peaceful transfer of power is one of the hallmarks of a true democracy," Bush said. "And ensuring that this transition is as smooth as possible is a priority for the rest of my presidency."
In case anyone missed the point, Bush underscored it in his Saturday radio address. He pledged an "unprecedented effort" to help Obama take power.
Obama's team is noticing. "So far, cooperation has been excellent," said transition, a veteran of Bill Clinton's White House.
Ironic, that observation by Podesta, given that when Clinton transitioned to Bush, White House staffers caused thousands of dollars in damage, infamously ripping phone cords from walls, leaving obscene voicemail messages, defacing bathrooms, and vandalizing computer keyboards by removing the ”W” keys when they left the White House.
The mainstream concern from the right over Obama's election basically holds that his policies, combined with a compliant Congress, threaten to usher in the sort of soft socialism (economic and political) that has overtaken Europe (much for the worse, we contend). This sort of soft socialism doesn't lend itself to dictators -- just to smothering, state control of speech, property rights, and the market.
But some take it too far. Like Georgia Congressman Paul Broun, who has warned of an Obama dictatorship. Congratulations, Congressman Broun, you are the first exemplar of ODS.
I'm not saying there aren't a few lefties who salilvate at the prospect of amending the Constitution to let Obama serve multiple terms. What I'm saying is that anyone who believes that is likely to happen needs to stay away from the peyote for awhile.
There are little ways to show gratitude year-'round. Give to a wounded veterans' charity. (This is the one I support.) If you're eating or drinking in an airport lounge and you see a table full of men and women in uniform, ask the waitress to put their tab on your check. Write a thank you email (or send a letter or even a care package) to a deployed soldier.
There are many ways to say thank you to those who opted to serve. The most important thing is that our armed forces understand how grateful their nation is.
Aside: Kudos to Google for acknowledging Veteran's Day on its home page today. The internet giant rightfully took heat for ignoring Memorial Day, even after having celebrated such critical remembrances as Earth Day and Ground Hog Day.
Monday, November 10, 2008
This species of dissent and disrespect will not be tolerated.
Ready the bulldozers.
I guess I could have titled this post Shill, Baby, Shill (in honor of Obama's sop to the environmentalists), or perhaps even Chill, Baby, Chill, in reference to what this winter's going to be like for many if gas prices go back up after this news.
The president-elect also reportedly plans to rescind the executive order denying federal funding to embryonic stem-cell research. I concede that reasonable people can disagree on this one, but this was a no-brainer for Barack Obama -- the guy who voted against legislation that would mandate care for aborted babies inadvertently born alive.
La la la. Hope and change! Can you feel it?
Isn't this the kind of thing we typically do in this country after somebody has served well and nobly, and improved the lives of his countrymen? I mean, I don't think even giants like Washington and Lincoln got their national holidays until long after they were dead.
Friday, November 07, 2008
Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year.Forced volunteerism. For the Greater Good. It's about time we supplemented the redistribution of wealth via income taxes with some gawsh-darned, no-frills, involuntary servitude.
I hope you're all taking notes, my progressive brethren. Our savvy fellow travelers across the sea have raised the art of keeping a population "on message."
I crossed the street and walked into the newspaper's tony lobby, where I was greeted by four smiling security guards. They were as pleasant as could be in asking who I was and whom I voted for in the election. I declined to give my name but cautiously ventured that I'd voted for McCain. "Very well, Sir," one of them said. Graciously, the guards escorted me down a flight of stairs to a richly appointed waiting room, where I was offered a seat in an incredibly soft chair with the most comfortable wrist and ankle straps you can imagine. Other than an ever-so-brief, sharp pinching sensation in my neck, the balance of the afternoon proved to be overwhelmingly positive and enlightening.
At least I assume it was. The next thing I remember is waking up in seat 32B as my plane began its final descent into Pittsburgh. I felt totally refreshed and optimistic -- still do, in fact. And while I'm at my keyboard, I have a few thoughts to share with you.
First of all, I want to apologize for some of the truly crass and offensive things I've written on this blog. From time to time I have expressed unreasonable criticism of Our Fearless Leader. I recognize now that this was not only hurtful, but disloyal and counterproductive to America's progress. If we are truly going to perfect ourselves as a nation -- as a society -- then that sort of treasonous incitement must not be tolerated.
Moreover, I am now aware of how incredibly selfish I've been all my adult life. When I have put in 60-, 70-, even 80-hour work weeks, I should not have been doing so with the prospect in mind of personal financial gain. When I have grumbled that half of my income is siphoned away in taxes, I should simply have been ashamed to have spent or saved -- SAVED of all things! -- the other half for my own selfish purposes. Why should I enjoy material comforts when there are so many unfortunate souls in our midst who lack the wherewithal to be productive? They are our brothers and sisters, too.
I am, moreover, thoroughly ashamed to have distorted the concept of "equality" into a perversion that denied special treatment to groups of people on the basis of their race or gender. Obviously, the only way to have true equality in a society is to use the power of the state to materially reward certain groups of people for being brown (oops! I mean pigment-blessed) or for having vaginas (oops! I mean abortion hatches). Indeed, I now understand that it is my duty to be ashamed of my own race and gender and to spend my life atoning for the misdeeds of my racist, patriarchist forebears.
There's so much more to say, but I really must get back to work for the Good of the People. Suffice to say, I pledge to conform to the will of our Fearless Leader. I will spread His Word and I will sacrifice in the name of Progress. And so will all of you.
If you know what's good for you.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
(Via Protein Wisdom.)
Meanwhile, the guy whose leg tingles when Obama talks has announced that it is his mission, nay, his very purpose, to make sure that Obama's presidency is successful.
But remember, kids: There is no liberal media bias.
The line was long and the crowd was angry at times.I love this quote. I love it so much that I want to drink a bottle of red wine with it, let it buy me chocolates and pour me a bubble bath. I love it not because it reminds me of my two-year old daughter when she wants her chocolate milk NOW and not after she sits down on her bottom like a good girl, but because it is especially poignant in light of a comment made by Representative Jim Moran (D.-Va.) a couple days ago:
"I want my money today! It's my money. I want it right now!" yelled one former campaign worker.
The American worker has produced more per person at any time, but it hasn’t been shared, and that’s the problem because we have been guided by a republican administration who believes in this simplistic notion that people who have wealth are entitled to keep it and they have an antipathy towards the means of redistributing wealth.So, yes, Obama campaign workers, you worked for five hours and only got paid for three. And that seems unfair. But that's because you, too, apparently believe in the simplistic notion that just because you earned something you ought to be entitled to have and keep it. Your antipathy towards the means of redistributing wealth will not be tolerated.
Are you all getting this yet? Hello, McFly?
BENEDICK PAUSES BEFORE HEADING ACROSS THE STREET TO INVESTIGATE THE SUN-TRIBUNE, AND ADDS: That angry volunteer makes a fundamental mistake. There's no such thing as "my" money anymore. It's OUR money now. And fortunately we elected a Daddy to decide how to spend it for us. Rejoice! We've been relieved of the stress of making decisions.
[Alternatively, I could have gone with, Chicago has more Wackers than a 42nd Street Bookstore. You choose.]
Anyway, I have a clear view into the building across the street -- The Chicago Sun-Times building. For reasons that aren't entirely clear to me, the building's occupants are bowing and scraping before what appears to be a slightly larger-than-life-sized statue of Fred Armisen. I'm going in for a closer look.
Puck, if you don't hear back from me by tomorrow, something bad probably happened. In such an event, please keep the blog going as a tribute to my sacrifice.
More to come . . . ?
PUCK SAYS: Oh, if there were ever a time for the ol' canned ham, this would be it. Drop trou and show 'em the moon, Benny!
I feel like I arrived in Jonestown just moments after they passed out the kool-aid, and everyone's got that "Hey, Stranger, You Look Thirsty!" glint in their eyes.
I need to get out of here.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
MOSCOW — In a wide-ranging attack on the United States as it elected a new president, the Russian leader Dmitri A. Medvedev warned on Wednesday that Moscow might deploy short-range missiles in the Baltic region to counter a perceived threat from a proposed American missile defense shield in Eastern Europe.
Mr. Medvedev also proposed to extend the constitutional term of the presidency from four years to six — a move that could enable future Russian presidents to serve 12 years in two consecutive terms. His remarks, in his first state of the nation address since assuming the presidency in May, were delivered within hours of the election of Barack Obama and offered a chilling glimpse into the potential issues and tensions confronting the new American leader when he takes office in January. His comments also seemed at odds with the broader groundswell of support for the American president-elect from many governments across the globe.
Not to worry! President-Elect Obama has already pledged to tear down the missile shield. Counter aggression with capitulation, I always say. Problem solved. Next!
PUCK SAYS: Hang on a minute! I thought if we elected Barack Obama, the world would like us again and not force the U.S. to deal with difficult situations like this. Next you're going to tell me that Iran and Syria are still hell-bent on acquiring nuclear weapons and driving the Jews into the sea. And that Kim Jong-Il is still a homicidal maniac. And that Al Qaeda is still a deadly threat.
What the hell?
I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled.
Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had. Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it
isn't consensus. Period . . . .
. . . . Finally, I would remind you to notice where the claim of consensus is invoked. Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough.
Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=mc2. Nobody says the consensus is that the sun is 93 million miles away. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way.
Reason has lost an able advocate.
From: [My real name]
Subject: Thank You, Mr. President
Dear Mr. President,
I write to express my sincere gratitude to you for being a steadfast -- and successful -- defender of our nation and her citizens. You have commanded our armed forces with honor. You have faced down our enemies with resolve. By any reasonable measure, given the enormous dangers in our shrinking world, your custodianship of the security of the United States has been enormously successful.
You have suffered undeserved scorn, mockery, and cruelty from many of the citizens who have enjoyed your tireless protection. Those shrill voices have brought dishonor only upon themselves. Please always remember, Sir, that a great many Americans -- though perhaps less vocal and prone to parading around in colorful costumes -- thank God that you have been our leader during these troubled times. We will remember you fondly, and we will teach our children that President George W. Bush followed his heart, defended freedom, and did so with grace and dignity.
Thank you, Mr. President.
The treatment President Bush has received from this country is nothing less than a disgrace. The attacks launched against him have been cruel and slanderous, proving to the world what little character and resolve we have. The president is not to blame for all these problems. He never lost faith in America or her people, and has tried his hardest to continue leading our nation during a very difficult time.I'm sure I'll have more to say about President Bush as his term in office expires, but for now I'll start with Thank You, Sir.
Our failure to stand by the one person who continued to stand by us has not gone unnoticed by our enemies. It has shown to the world how disloyal we can be when our president needed loyalty -- a shameful display of arrogance and weakness that will haunt this nation long after Mr. Bush has left the White House.
Tens of millions of Americans voted for a bright smile and an ethereal promise of change. Well, here it comes. I'm not making predictions about what will happen. But allow me to recap just a few of the agenda items Democrats have assured us they will tend to in the next four years:
- Suppression of opposition political speech. The "Fairness Doctrine" will return. Senator Schumer announced earlier this week that censoring conservative speech is on a moral and legal par with censoring pornography. (Ironic, that, since Democrats typically opt to fund pornography with your tax dollars rather than censor it . . . but, hey, who's above a little opportunism?)
- Depending on which Democrat politician or campaign official you listened to, "The Rich" will now include everyone earning over $250,000 . . . or $150,000 . . . or $120,000. Don't be surprised if the number drops further still now that the election is over. A lot of Americans are about to discover -- to their great surprise -- that they are "Rich." And under an Obama administration, with a Democrat-controlled Congress, "The Rich" will "pay their fair share" in the form of higher taxes. Ditto businesses large and small. People -- Not-Rich People -- will lose jobs. All of this will happen so that the government can write checks to people who don't pay taxes.
- Obama has pledged to make the military weaker. While North Korea, Iran, and even Syria toil away building nuclear weapons and developing advanced missile technology, Obama has pledged to dismantle our missile defense systems. He has pledged to halt development of "advanced combat systems" which consist of technology that protects American troops from harm. He has pledged to cut defense spending. He will do all of this while China's most rapid historical military buildup is underway, while Russia demonstrates aggression toward our allies, and while a hostile Venezuelan regime imports arms from around the world into the western hemisphere.
- Federal judicial appointees will consist of lawyers who believe the Constitution is an impediment to redistributive justice . . . that the Constitution is a "living" document that can -- and should -- be "reinterpreted" in order to enshrine fundamental rights, such as the right to not be offended by "hate speech," often defined as speech critical of liberal policies. Punitive damages caps will disappear, tort reform will shrivel, and trial lawyers will assail companies like never before.
- The government will take control of your health care, for your own good.
- America's natural energy resources will remain untapped, and energy companies that burn coal will be "bankrupted." Consequently, we will continue to pour trillions of dollars into OPEC coffers and will pay far higher prices for energy. This will not be good for individuals. It will be worse for businesses that rely on transportation of any kind. This will not merely affect "The Rich" -- cutting jobs is the easiest way to cut costs.
Again, this is just a sampling. And it is entirely from the mouths of the Democrats whom we have just elected. I hope they moderate. But I'm not counting on it.
And so, we have a winner. And it ain't my guy.
I'm terribly disappointed, naturally, and a little surprised. But the truth is, this election was the Democrat Party's to lose. Given 8 years of a now very unpopular president (though unfairly maligned on at least some issues, in my opinion), an economic downtown (which has more to do with Congressional Democrats' shenanigans than it does Bush policies), a campaign that either affirmatively encouraged or wilfully ignored unlawful fund-raising and voter fraud, and a fawning media openly determined to shield the public from the more repugnant aspects of their chosen candidate, it's hard to believe McCain did as well as he did.
But the popular vote (per Drudge, at this moment) doesn't lie: Barack Obama won by less than 6 million votes, out of more than 113 million cast. Unlike Al Gore, I know that the popular vote plus a couple of quarters will get me nothing more than shitty peanut butter crackers from the vending machine -- but it heartens me to know that there are at least 53.5 million people in this country who think, as I do, that Barack Obama's policies would -- er, will, I guess I should say -- fundamentally and irreparably damage this nation.
So: I give thanks that we live in a country that has now put paid to the absurd notion that we are too racist to elect a black president. I hope that President-elect Obama will be more of a centrist than his thin-as-Soviet-era gruel record would indicate. I pray for our soldiers, and for the freedom-loving souls in Israel, the Ukraine, and other countries under threat around the globe, whose fight for survival just got a lot tougher. I pray for the health of Chief Justice Roberts, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas, and for some semblance of adherence to the Constitution from Justices Breyer, Souter and Kennedy (Ginsberg and Stevens are a lost cause).
Most of all, I pray that my wonderful country makes it through the next four years without suffering a terrorist attack, a loss in either Iraq or Afghanistan, an economic depression, reinstatement of the "Fairness Doctrine," or the suppression of our fundamental rights: to speak freely, to worship the God of our choice, to bear arms, and to keep and do what we see fit with the property we have earned.
And I expect Bobby Jindal to clobber Obama's socialist ass in 2012.
(Meantime, I'm buying some guns, possibly home-schooling my children, and pricing land in remote areas of Texas and Montana.)
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Also in Philly, there are reports that Black Panthers bearing nightsticks are standing outside certain polling places, preventing the entry of military types, veterans, and others in non-approved categories.
UPDATE: More Philly fraud! Vote early, vote often.
Ace reports that in Virginia, people are being permitted to register to vote, and vote, without showing any ID whatsoever.
No reports yet of Republicans in sheets and hoods burning crosses in front of polling places to keep out the undesirables, but I'm sure Scott will keep us informed as to such GOP malfeasance.
Honestly: even if I were still a Democrat (and that ship sailed years ago), I'd still vote for McCain today, just to avoid supporting a party that permitted, even encouraged, this type of behavior. It's one thing to lose an election. It's another thing to cheat one's way to a victory. Between the illegal money raising, the outright lies he's told to the press, the media's refusal to call him on it, and the campaign's overt attempts to shut down anyone who disagrees with him, I have a hard time imagining a scarier presidential candidate than Barack Obama.
BENEDICK ADDS: Frankenstein would be scarier. He's really scary. Arrrgh.
PUCK ADDS: Uh, where've you been, Ben? Frankenstein is Bad Baracky's running mate. Oh no, wait. That's Botoxinstein.
Meanwhile, I emailed another former colleague. This gentleman is a paralegal, a former steelworker, and to my mind a prototypical non-urban Pennsylvania voter. He has expressed calm certitude about McCain's chances throughout the general election season.
Here's what I wrote:
Still confident? I'm worried.His reply:
It'll be fine. Trust me.And so I will cling to his wisdom to get through the day. Check back this afternoon for Tales From Elections Court.
UPDATE (3:52 P.M.) -- Our fearless compadres report that things are really very quiet in court today. No insanity of the sort I experienced in 2004. Our guy frets that it means the Obamaniacs have nothing to worry about. I think he's just disappointed because the Black Panthers haven't been active on this end of the state.
Take to the bank, folks, Pennsylvania is turning red this election. I’ve been talking Pennsylvania for the last couple of election posts so might as well continue. Pennsylvania is the *special state* of this election, the state that everyone will be talking about after the election. In that regards, Pennsylvania is to 2008 as Florida is to 2000 and Ohio is to 2004.
Election night will be very long because pundits will be stunned at what is going on. They think this is already over and election night is just a coronation. All these electoral map projections and polls, yet votes weren’t cast yet.(By the way -- did I say spades? Obviously that's a code word calculated to demean His Holiness The Soon-To-Be Great Leader of the People's Republic of America. I am obviously a racist and so denounce myself. Can someone point me to the nearest re-education camp?)
Consider Obama toast, guys. He will join Dukakis, Dole, Gore, and Kerry in the ashbin of history.
And, as a final word, let us return to Pennslyvania and discuss this story from Hillbuzz. In it, there is a story of a Hillary Clinton Campaign Manager who became a PUMA [Party Unity My Ass] and is shepherding much of the effort for the PUMAs in Pennsylvania.
Harriet and Betty Jean are back from the airport. They were turned down at the rally for McCain because there wasn’t room. So they high tailed it to the airport with their signs in the hope they could see him. They saw McCain’s car drive onto the tarmac and were despondent when the car headed away from them. Then, the car abruptly turned around and John McCain leapt out of the car and he ran over to the group with a huge smile on his face. Cindy and Joe Lieberman quickly followed. Betty Jean said McCain was quicker than the Secret Service who had to run to keep up with him. McCain thanked them enthusiastically and hugged Betty Jean. It made her day.
The Old School Democrats have allied with Republicans against Obama. If this is in significant numbers, Obama will lose and the margins will be larger than 2004.
If this is the calm before the storm, then the center which the storm will revolve around will be Pennsylvania.
GOP Election Board members have been tossed out of polling stations in more than half a dozen polling stations in Philadelphia because of their party status.According to Amanda Carpenter, to whom Power Line links, "[d]enying access to the minority (in this case Republican) poll watchers and inspectors is a violation of Pennsylvania state law. Those who violate the law can be punished with a misdemeanor and subjected to a fine of $1,000 and sent to prison between one month and two years. Those on site [are] describing it as 'pandemonium' and there may be video coming of the chaos."
A liberal judge previously ruled that court-appointed Republican poll watchers could be removed from their boards by an on-site election judge, citing their "minority" status as cause.
That's my Commonwealth!
And off I go to work.
I will be staying up late tonight, and perhaps blogging. My girlfriend has assured me she will be nowhere near me while I watch the returns.
Monday, November 03, 2008
Also From the No Duh File: Barack Obama has no problem bankrupting certain industries that offend his delicate environmental sensibilities. He's just very careful to make those confessions to San Francisco liberals, rather than crowds in Western PA, West Virginia, Ohio, etc., who might actually (gasp!) depend on such industry for their livelihoods, power, heating, etc.
And From the MSM-Couldn't-Care-Less File: Still more evidence that the Obama campaign's money-making prowess has been (quite intentionally) enabled by violating numerous laws or turning off basic shields to prevent identity theft and the like. In related news, MSM puts its fingers in its ears and yells, "LALALACAN'THEARYOUCAN'THEARYOUCAN'THEARYOULALALALALA."
What Puck Actually Said: "Shut up and get me a Kit-Kat."
As for the rape, beating, and murder of Muslim women at the hands of fathers, brothers and husbands, British feminists offered the following opinion:
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Is McCain making a move? The three-day average holds steady, but McCain outpolled Obama today, 48% to 47%. He is beginning to cut into Obama's lead among independents, is now leading among blue collar voters, has strengthened his lead among investors and among men, and is walloping Obama among NASCAR voters. Joe the Plumber may get his license after all. "Obama's lead among women declined, and it looks like it is occurring because McCain is solidifying the support of conservative women, which is something we saw last time McCain picked up in the polls. If McCain has a good day tomorrow, we will eliminate Obama's good day three days ago, and we could really see some tightening in this rolling average. But for now, hold on.Maybe -- just maybe -- Obama should chill a little on the million-dollar victory party.