Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Dinner With Dan

Dan Collins has been a regular contributor at Protein Wisdom (easily our most linked-to site) for quite awhile now, and -- among other things -- he's also the teacher who orchestrated the online Shakespeare metapoetics course I attempted to promote here.

I find myself in Vermont this week (i.e., Dan's neck of the woods) on work-related matters, and so I emailed Dan to see if I could meet this legendary blogger-instructor in person. To my delight, Dan agreed, and we had dinner this evening. It was really kind of him to go out of his way (the man has a family, dammit) to spend some time with an admiring reader, and he couldn't have been more gracious.

The steaks were great, the beer was delicious, and the transsexual escorts were . . . well, perhaps a bit aggressive given our presence in a dining room filled with families toting young children, but a truly thoughtful gesture nonetheless.

In all seriousness (I was kidding about the beer), I truly enjoyed the opportunity to sow a real-world friendship (or, if that's too presumptuous, a friendly connection) with another member of an almost-completely virtual, online community of souls who happen to share similar values and who tend to communicate about them exclusively via written words and pixels.

All of which is a long-winded way of saying that stalking has rewards. Your mileage may vary.

Q: How Do You Know Joe Biden Is Saying Something Stupid?

A: His lips are moving.

Which leads me to my next question. When Joe Biden recently thanked Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero for all of his and Spain's help in Iraq, was he aware that Zapatero was the guy who, upon his election, pulled Spain's troops out of Iraq faster than you can say el cowardissimo, thereby assisting the U.S. Democrats -- Joey Hairplugs included -- in their bid to lose that war on President Bush's watch? Or is Biden just as pig-ignorant and unprepared to be a vice-president as the mainstream media told us Sarah Palin would be?

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Clinton left another pile of diplomatic dog droppings in our backyard. Free advice for Madame Secretary: when you visit another country's holy site, one famous for displaying an item considered to be a miracle, do do some research on the item before you talk to the locals, and don't ask stupid questions that might insult your audience.

I mean, it's not like Mexico's going to start a war with us over Hillary's ignorance of the miraculous cloak's history, but since these are the kind of amateur-hour goofs that Democrats always pestered George Bush about, I think it's fair to expect better of the head of the Smarter Diplomacy department (and former "co-president") Mrs. Clinton.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Life With a Two Year Old, Chapter One: The Wake-Up Call

The Piglet otherwise known as my darling two-year old daughter graduated from her crib some months back and recently has discovered the joys of getting out of bed at a time of her choosing -- and making sure everyone else in the house does too.

Just a few days ago, she popped out of her room 10 minutes before my alarm was set to go off. Having spent most of the night pleading with my infant son to go to sleep, I was none too happy to be roused from whatever rest I had left -- so I did what any normal parent would have done: I feigned sleep and totally ignored her pleas for me to get up.

Alas, two year olds can be persistent. And inventive. After tapping me on my head, pulling off all my covers, and advising me that she was in need of chocolate milk, Lucky Charms, and a new diaper, all failed to get the job done, she grew very quiet. Too quiet. I opened my eyes just a wee little bit and saw a dingy sock-clad foot approaching my face, coming to rest not two centimeters from my nose. Then did my Piglet lean over and whisper, ever so sweetly, in my ear:

"Mommy! Mommy, smell my feet."

I got up.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Headline of the Day

CNN Journalist, Others Arrested on Fargo Dikes

Hey! That's D-I-K-E-S. Get you mind outta the gutter.

Can We Adopt Him?

British member of the European Parliament Daniel Hannan has become an internet sensation, thanks to the YouTube-ification of his remarks to British Prime Minister Gordon Blair.

Too bad he's ineligible to run for POTUS.



Zing.

Obama: "Defeat Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Support Al Qaeda in the U.S."

The big headlines today report that President Obama is getting tough on terrorists -- or is that "man-caused disasterists"? The Obama administration's new language confuses me so -- by authorizing an additional 4000* troops to Afghanistan and increased aid to stabilize Pakistan. In an unexpected (but very welcome) twist, the president even used language suggesting he actually wants to win this war, not just end it: "coalition forces," he said, "must disrupt, dismantle, and defeat" Al Qaeda (emphasis mine).

(* EDIT: In addition to 17,000 other previously promised troops.)

That's the good news for those of you keeping up with the Global War on Terror -- er, I mean the "Overseas Contingency Operation" (goshdarnit, there's that new Obama language again!).

The bad news comes via OUTLAW Jeff Goldstein at protein wisdom:
During his news conference, [National Intelligence Director Dennis] Blair also said the Obama administration is still wrestling with what to do with the remaining 240 detainees at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, which the president has ordered closed.

Some of the detainees, deemed non-threatening, may be released into the United States as free men, Blair confirmed.

That would happen when they can’t be returned to their home countries, because the governments either won’t take them or the U.S. fears they will be abused or tortured. That is the case with 17 Uighurs (WEE’-gurz), Chinese Muslim separatists who were cleared for release from the jail long ago. The U.S. can’t find a country willing to take them, and it will not turn them over to China.

Blair said the former prisoners would have [to] get some sort of assistance to start their new lives in the United States.

“We can’t put them out on the street,” he said.

That assistance (cruder people might call it "welfare") will be provided by Mr. and Mrs. John Q. American Taxpayer. Meanwhile, the released enemy combatants -- or whatever the f$#% we are calling them these days -- will be laughing all the way to the nearest anonymous money-wiring facility.

And can't you already hear the Obama folks trying to justify their reasons for setting these bastards free in the U.S., after one of them takes out a mall, or a birthday party, or a busy Starbucks? "But but but -- he said he was never part of that Al Qaeda training camp! He was just travelling through the area and had stopped in to use their bathroom when our soldiers captured him! He claimed to have no affinity for global jihadism! Holy underwear, people, we've been had!"

This cannot end well.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Statism So Statist That Even Statist European Statesmen State: "Too Statist!"

Big Government pols in Europe have weighed in once again on the Democrats' $2 Trillion Big Government "stimulus" boondoggle. Simply put, it's "the road to Hell."

EU Head Mirek Topolanek suggested his American friends stop and take a look at history before sinking government talons into every facet of the economy and punishing market activity.

Topolanek, who is also prime minister of a former Soviet Bloc state, ought to have some perspective on the matter.

$orry, $orry, $orry

I hope an Obama administration spokesperson can rationally explain how cutting the wealthiest one-percent of tax-payers' ability to write-off donations to charitable organizations by eleven percent (read: hundreds of millions of dollars) won't result in thousands of non-profit, research, and private foundation job losses.

"Obama rejected this claim, saying there 'was very little evidence' to suggest there would be a significant drop in donations as a result of the tax increase."

Sorry, genome.
Sorry, AIDS.
Sorry, diabetes.
Sorry, homeless.
Sorry, drug addicts.
Sorry, cancer.
Sorry, Africa.
Sorry, cystic fibrosis.
Sorry, Boys Club.
Sorry, Katrina victims.
Sorry, sickle cell.
Sorry, Lou Gehrig's Disease.
Sorry, Habitat For Humanity.
Sorry, Bill & Melinda Gates.
Sorry, environment.
Sorry, Alzheimer's.
Sorry, Warren Buffett.
Sorry, Jerry's Kids.
Sorry, 9/11 Victims.
Sorry, Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans.
Sorry, ASPCA.
Sorry, first responders.

Don't think of it as unemployment. Think of it as.... Patriotism?


The Teleprompter Speaks!

If you haven't yet checked out Barack Obama's Teleprompter's Blog, please do so. In these trying times, we all need a good laugh. And the 'Prompter provides.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Most Smartest Diplomacy Evahhhh! (UPDATED)

So, now we're pissing off the French government too? Or, at minimum, French President Nicholas Sarkozy, a far better friend and supporter of the U.S. than his predecessors, cozying up instead to Jacques Chirac, the leftist former French president?)

It's either willful incitement of poor relations, or blatant stupidity. I can't think of a third option.

UPDATED: I thought of a third option. Wait for it ....


wait for it...


wait for it...




SPECIAL OLYMPICS DIPLOMACY!!!

Ba-dum-bum.

See you all in hell.

Via Gateway Pundit, via Ace.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Speaking of Which . . .

How about an Iowa Hawk flashback?



Seems to me the president's recent teleprompter . . . er, difficulties . . . may have a logical explanation.

Mwahahahaha.

Saturday Thought Experiments

What. If. Bush. Had. Done. These. Things?

Seriously. Close your eyes. Imagine that in the span of just a few weeks, George W. Bush had cracked a joke about the physically handicapped, bumped his head while boarding Marine One, thanked himself for his own hospitality because that's what the teleprompter said, ordered defense officials to conceal the budget process from public scrutiny, grandstanded about bonus payments by AIG only to have it revealed that he had, himself, accepted six figures from AIG, tried to walk through a window, and gifted the British Prime Minister with DVDs that are incompatible with UK DVD players.

I think it's beyond dispute that Maureen Dowd would be hosting an orgy in the New York Times editorial office.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

And Other Days I Want To Walk Down Bedford Avenue With A Kalashnikov

The fashion forward are abuzz with exciting news of the latest trend soon-to-be-rocked among Williamsburg, Brooklyn's Hipster Illuminati:



Slanties.

The "nihilistically optimistic" eyewear you never asked for but can, thankfully, propagate:
"slanties are based on ancient Inuit eyewear design. Handcrafted out of solid wood and backed with fiberglass for strength. slanties are available in four different varieties of wood and three different sizes, including a child’s size."
I'm assuming, for trademarking purposes, that gooks, slopes, injuns, and chinkamos were all taken. Yours for $75.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I'm Weary

There's no room in this post for sarcasm or quips.

In the wake of opting to spend billions on pork-barrel trifles, President Obama has decided to save the government a comparatively miniscule sum of money by (of all things) requiring wounded American soldiers to pay for their own medical care.

There is room in this post for shock, anger, and scorn. But I don't even know how to muster any of them at an appropriate level of volume.

I'm just sad. Not only that a president would do such a thing, but that his Democrat supporters -- who shrieked like stabbed infants every time President Bush exhaled -- can't be moved to so much as raise an eyebrow.

You know who you are. Your silence is deafening. Way to be patriots.

For shame.

Getting the Word Out

There's a lot of talk amongst conservative types these days about how best to communicate their ideas in the face of a hostile media and an administration that isn't shy about baring its teeth to the opposition.

Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom has been en fuego on this topic lately. Goldstein, a former university professor, knows language and knows how control of language leads to control of the message. For that reason, Jeff has written a number of pieces on the importance of intentionalism, or, in smaller words, understanding the message the speaker is intending -- not whatever message the listener superimposes on that message. Important stuff.

Similarly, Andrew Breitbart talks about the importance of engaging in debate, even with those who are "debating" in bad faith and are utterly unwilling to consider the conservative viewpoint.

Glenn Beck's 912 Project offers some suggestions as to principles and values that appeal to Americans of all political persuasions -- or ought to, at any rate.

Food for thought.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Consensus!

Al Gore, 2005:
Now, the scientific community is warning us that the average hurricane will continue to get stronger because of global warming. A scientist at MIT has published a study well before this tragedy showing that since the 1970s, hurricanes in both the Atlantic and the Pacific have increased in duration, and in intensity, by about 50 %. The newscasters told us after Hurricane Katrina went over the southern tip of Florida that there was a particular danger for the Gulf Coast of the hurricanes becoming much stronger because it was passing over unusually warm waters in the gulf. The waters in the gulf have been unusually warm. The oceans generally have been getting warmer. And the pattern is exactly consistent with what scientists have predicted for twenty years. Two thousand scientists, in a hundred countries, engaged in the most elaborate, well organized scientific collaboration in the history of humankind, have produced long-since a consensus that we will face a string of terrible catastrophes unless we act to prepare ourselves and deal with the underlying causes of global warming. [applause] It is important to learn the lessons of what happens when scientific evidence and clear authoritative warnings are ignored in order to induce our leaders not to do it again and not to ignore the scientists again and not to leave us unprotected in the face of those threats that are facing us right now.
Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Predictions Studies, 2009:
As previously reported here and here at Climate Audit, and chronicled at my Florida State Global Hurricane Update page, both Northern Hemisphere and overall Global hurricane activity has continued to sink to levels not seen since the 1970s. Even more astounding, when the Southern Hemisphere hurricane data is analyzed to create a global value, we see that Global Hurricane Energy has sunk to 30-year lows, at the least.
But, but, but . . . our planet has a fever!!! Look at this graph!!!

Commandments 1-4 Refresher

1.  I am the Lord your God.

2.  You shall have no other gods before me.

3.  You shall not make for yourself an idol.

4.  You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your God.

Seriously, it's right there in the Constitution.  Goddamn blasphemers.

Religion of Peace Update

Dateline: London.
A Christian minister who has had heated arguments with Muslims on his TV Gospel show has been brutally attacked by three men who ripped off his cross and warned: "If you go back to the studio, we’ll break your legs."
If only we understood them better, we could all live together in harmony.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Why I Love Charles Krauthammer

I started reading Krauthammer regularly after September 11, 2001. I don't always agree with where he ends up, but I find him to be among the most consistently solid thinkers and writers on the Right side of the talking-head-o-sphere.

Take today's column, for example. Krauthammer disagreed with then-President Bush's decision to block federal funds for research on new embryonic stem cell lines, Unless you are living under a rock, you know that President Obama rather publicly removed that block earlier this week. Seemingly unable to do anything without taking a swipe at his predecessor, however, Obama simultaneously issued a memo boasting that his administration would "restor[e] scientific integrity to government decision-making."

Krauthammer responds:
Restoring? The implication, of course, is that while Obama is guided solely by science, Bush was driven by dogma, ideology and politics.

What an outrage. Bush's nationally televised stem cell speech was the most morally serious address on medical ethics ever given by an American president. It was so scrupulous in presenting the best case for both his view and the contrary view that until the last few minutes, the listener had no idea where Bush would come out.

Obama's address was morally unserious in the extreme. It was populated, as his didactic discourses always are, with a forest of straw men. Such as his admonition that we must resist the "false choice between sound science and moral values." Yet, exactly 2 minutes and 12 seconds later he went on to declare that he would never open the door to the "use of cloning for human reproduction."

Does he not think that a cloned human would be of extraordinary scientific interest? And yet he banned it.

Is he so obtuse as not to see that he had just made a choice of ethics over science? Yet, unlike Bush, who painstakingly explained the balance of ethical and scientific goods he was trying to achieve, Obama did not even pretend to make the case why some practices are morally permissible and others not.

This is not just intellectual laziness. It is the moral arrogance of a man who continuously dismisses his critics as ideological while he is guided exclusively by pragmatism (in economics, social policy, foreign policy) and science in medical ethics.

You would do well to read the whole thing (free subscription required) -- and anything else by Charles Krauthammer you can get your hands on.

Nefarious Jewish Lobby Strikes Again!

This time, those sly Jews managed to derail the nomination of Charles Freeman, that fabulous "veteran diplomat" who, as Benedick reported a few weeks back,
has a long and deep association with Saudi Arabia. In particular, he became president of the Middle East Policy Council in 1997. The MEPC is a mouthpiece for the Saudi government, which finances it. In this capacity, the MEPC has published an abridged version of the notorious essay by John Mearsheimer and Walt, "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy," which argues that American Jews have a stranglehold on the U.S. Congress, and use it to advance Israeli interests at the expense of those of the U.S. According to Schoenfeld, Freeman has expressly endorsed this thesis. ...

This, by the way, is the same Charles Freeman who
is an unabashed supporter of the Chinese tyrants. And not out of Hillary Clinton style pragmatism, either. Freeman has written (in a "confidential" internet discussion) in favor of the Tiananmen Square massacre, calling it "a monument to overly cautious behavior on the part of the leadership, not an example of rash action." He added, "I do not believe it is acceptable for any country to allow the heart of its national capital to be occupied by disidents intent on disrupting the normal functions of government, however appealing to foreigners their propaganda may be."

Naturally, Freeman's nomination for a top U.S. intelligence position in the Obama administration -- essentially, Freeman was poised to be the guy who interprets the intelligence and reports it to the president -- led to more than a few raised eyebrows. Support, even from the Obama folks, was lukewarm. And yet, blessed with the self-awareness of your average dishrag, Mr. Freeman withdrew from consideration for the top intelligence position for which he'd been nominated, blaming not his questionable ties with certain unfriendly foreign governments or ill-advised and vocal support for murderous communist regimes, but those pesky Joooooooos!

Those Jews! Is there anything they can't do? But seriously. You think any of those American Jews who ignored candidate Obama's long history of association with anti-Israeli, anti-Semetic, and pro-Palestinian people and causes, is having buyer's remorse? I certainly hope so.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Even Smarter Diplomacy!

Last week, yours truly told you how badly President Obama stepped on his you-know-what by treating British Prime Minister Gordon Brown like the leader of any old country. As it happens, President Hopenchange telephoned Prime Minister Brown shortly after the low-key visit ended -- in fact, Brown was still on his plane when Obama reached out to him. British papers are speculating that the president called to apologize for overlooking diplomatic niceties. Apparently, according to American sources inside the White House, President Obama is so "exhausted" and "overwhelmed" by the demands of his job that he just hasn't had time to get up to speed on all this presidential protocol stuff. (Yes, even with all that community organizing experience, it turns out that being president is really hard work! I mean, who knew?)

But, before we throw our Dear Leader a pity party replete with tiny violins (remember, Barry: you won!), I think it's worth considering that maybe, just maybe, President Obama does think that Britain is just any old country and deserves to be treated accordingly. Witness:
[A] State Department official involved in planning the Brown visit []reacted with fury when questioned by The Sunday Telegraph about why the event was so low-key.

The official dismissed any notion of the special relationship, saying: "There's nothing special about Britain. You're just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn't expect special treatment."

Now, whether or not this guy was taking his cue from President Obama, that's an impolitic thing to say, period. It's also a very stupid thing to say to a reporter, especially a reporter from the country you just royally pissed off.

Worst of all, it's really going to suck for our soldiers when President Obama goes hat-in-hand to Britain asking her to commit her armed forces to a cause he seeks to win, and has that quote thrown back in his arrogant face.

In other Smarter Diplomacy! news, there's this.

Tra la. I feel safer already.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

M4W4T4M4W

Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart is suing popular online clearinghouse Craigslist for promoting rampant prostitution. Craigslist, however, is totally baffled by the suit as they've been partnering with various law enforcement departments throughout the homeland and have even been featured on MSNBC's entrapment "doc block" assisting local P.D.s, busting pimps and reuniting turned-out runaways with their families.
"Craigslist says it has since instituted new measures to prevent the website from being used as a tool in the illegal sex trade and implemented an anti-abuse plan endorsed by attorneys general in Illinois and 39 other states."

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Me and Kiki (my GFE transsexual whore) are totally convinced. This suit is baseless. Shame on you, Sheriff!

A Trillion Dollars

This is pretty cool.

The only thing missing is the lit match.

They All Hurt

But this one hurts a blogosphere friend of mine, who served with her, particularly hard.

Godspeed, Sgt. Robinson.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Smarter Diplomacy!

Beware of Obamas bearing gifts:
Our British cousins are getting the feeling that the new administration doesn't fancy them.

The murmurs began when President Obama returned to the British Embassy the Winston Churchill bust that had been displayed in the Oval Office since Tony Blair lent it to George W. Bush.

The fears intensified when press secretary Robert Gibbs, announcing British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's visit to the White House, demoted the Churchillian phrase "special relationship" to a mere "special partnership" across the Atlantic.

And the alarm bells really went off when Brown's entourage landed at Andrews Air Force Base on Monday night. Obama, breaking with precedent, wouldn't grant the prime minister the customary honor of standing beside him in front of the two nations' flags for the TV cameras. The Camp David sleepover that Blair got on his first meeting with Bush? Sorry, chaps.

Pissing off our best friend and the only major world power that has stood alongside us in the War on Terror? Genius! But it gets worse. It seems that, compared to their British counterparts, our elegant, sophisticated, Ivy League president and his lovely wife are a couple of thoughtless cheapskates:

During his historic trip to Washington, Gordon Brown gave Barack Obama an ornamental pen holder made from the timbers of the Victorian anti-slave ship HMS Gannet - once called HMS President. ... [along with] a framed commission for HMS Resolute, a vessel that came to mark Anglo-US peace when it was saved from ice packs by Americans and given to Queen Victoria.

He also gave a first edition set of the seven-volume classic biography of Churchill by Sir Martin Gilbert.

Nice. Thoughtful. Classy! Meanwhile,
...despite being leader of the world's most bountiful nation, President Obama handed over nothing more thought-provoking than 25 classic American films on DVD. ...

Number 10 was staying silent about the gift, but the Mail has learned the American Film Institute produced a box set of 25 top U.S. movies as a "special request" for the White House last month.

No word as to whether these American DVDs can even be played in Britain. The Brown children fared no better:

Mr Brown and his wife also showered gifts on the Obama children giving Sasha and Malia an outfit each from Topshop and six children's books by British authors which are shortly to be published in America.

In return, the Obamas gave the Browns two models of the presidential helicopter, Marine One, to take home to sons Fraser and John.

Which, as a commenter at Protein Wisdom notes, can be purchased at the White House gift shop for $15 a pop.

All I can say is, thank goodness we don't have that classless Texan cowboy in the White House anymore.

Via baldilocks, Ace, and Protein Wisdom.

BENEDICK ADDS: The Brits have a word for that: Niggardly. Go ahead and denounce me, knee-jerk non-grammarians.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Do The Math

President Obama is reportedly prepared to dismantle the U.S. missile shield program in exchange for Russian promises of cooperation in attempting to convince Iran to give up its nuclear missile program. 

Think about that.

Think about it some more.

Now be angry.

Are you @#$%ing Kidding Me?

Can we call it a trend yet?
Leaders of the Senate Finance Committee this afternoon revealed that another of President Obama's nominees -- U.S. Trade Representative-designate Ron Kirk -- has tax problems.

Finance staff briefed aides to committee members today on the revelations, which indicate the former Dallas mayor underpaid taxes to the tune of $9,975 during 2005-07, and that he has agreed to promptly file adjustments. The underpayments deal in part with speaking honoraria he received that he listed as charitable donations to his alma mater, Austin College.
Anyone else remember when McCain was excoriated for failing to fully "vet" Sarah Palin and her *gasp* pregnant daughter?  How it constituted evidence that McCain was inept and non-thorough?  Anyone?  New York Times, I'm looking at you.

But treasury and trade officials who feloniously evade their income taxes?  Meh. 



PUCK ADDS: So, now can we question their patriotism?

The Environment vs. My Delicate Tushie

Sorry treehuggers, but if the choice is left up to me, my delicate tushie wins every time.

I suspect most people would make the same call -- which is why our liberal betters will soon take the choice away from the (heh - spot the irony!) great unwashed. Maybe one day we can all be like the Russian family I stayed with in the early 1990s, when there was no toilet paper to be found and we were stuck wiping our bottoms with cut-up newsprint.

And maybe it's just me, but the day my husband has to look at my naked backside to read the latest "Mary Worth" is the day romance dies in this world. And who would want that?

Sunday, March 01, 2009

About Right

President Obama gave a speech Friday at Camp Lejeune about the current state of Iraq and the future of U.S. policy there.  All things considered, I like where he stands, certainly in comparison to his childish campaign rhetoric.  Gone are the whining and pessimism, which he replaces with frank acknowledgment of U.S. successes and a measured plan designed to ensure that our gains (and Iraq's) are not lost.

Although I'm still appalled by the president's shameful domestic policies and his overt hostility to Israel, I'm heartened that his campaign promises of a weak, craven military policy (which solidified his support on the Left) are among the many he's chosen to break since assuming office.