Archive for February, 2010

KGBKGB’s Global Warming Commercial

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

Mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand, they’re obviously making fun of the doofus dad. It’s just completely in-your-face. Or…

On the other hand, it seems like they’re making fun of somebody else, and if I’m interpreting it right it’s the right people: Global warming zealots. Gawd do they ever deserve it.

And, I have a soft spot for Elizabeth Bogush. She’s a brain-babe. Besides, you win or lose a bet with your buddy and she’s the one whose clothes come off. Can’t get better than that eh?

Was Bush a Smarter World Leader?

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

Over a month’s worth of dust on it, from SodaHead. But it really oughta stir the puddin’ because the control for the experiment is our current and 44th President.

Bush or Obama? Who’s smarter? SodaHead points to the village-idiot-from-Crawford, and they have ten decent arguments to back it up.

2. Bush identified and confronted evil

There was something very refreshing in George W. Bush’s Reaganesque interpretation of the world in terms of good and evil. In contrast, Barack Obama has viewed the globe largely in shades of grey, with a reluctance to describe who exactly America’s enemies are, from North Korea and Iran to Islamist terrorists.
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6. Bush cultivated key allies

Granted, Bush was hardly the most popular leader the US has ever had in Europe. But he did invest a great deal of time and effort in cultivating a strong personal relationship with several key European leaders, including Tony Blair, Jose Maria Aznar and Silvio Berlusconi. President Obama has largely ignored building alliances with European heads of state, and seems indifferent towards the transatlantic alliance. His administration has placed far greater emphasis upon backing the rise of a European superstate, than it has on strengthening ties wit close allies.
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10. Bush did not send mixed messages in the face of the enemy

A constant theme of Barack Obama’s speeches has been to describe the war in Iraq as a “war of choice”, underscoring his own intense opposition to the war, hardly a message of support for the more than 100,000 U.S. soldiers still stationed in the country. He also spent months dithering over whether to send additional US forces to the war in Afghanistan, and when he finally did make an announcement of an extra 30,000 troops it was tempered by the simultaneous declaration of an exit strategy, and a warning that America could not wage war against the Taliban indefinitely. This was hardly a display of Churchillian grit by the Commander-in-Chief. In contrast, President Bush never failed to give his soldiers the full, unequivocal backing they deserved, and always spoke in terms of achieving victory, instead of artificial timetables that hand the initiative to the enemy.

This is one of the primary Architects-versus-Medicators questions: Do we even want our leaders to be vastly smarter than we are? Can’t remember where I saw it, but some very passionate Obama-backer was saying Hell Yes! I don’t want my leaders to be like me, I want them to be better than me!

Out here in the real world, we see a lot of problems with that.

If the leader is smarter than I am, and this is to present us with some kind of advantage, that would necessarily mean sooner or later there is a decision coming up on which the leader would make the right choice and I would make the wrong one. Now, perhaps what follows next doesn’t apply to those who lust after these “smart leaders,” but — my fate, every single day, depends on my ability to make wise decisions. If I can be counted on to make dumbass decisions that actually destroy things, then dammit I want to know more about that.

Not so with this other batch of human. They want Obama because He’s smarter than they are, He can be counted on to make the right choice where they’d just bollux it up, and that pleases them just fine. Put him in charge, and they’ll go back to living their humble little lives. One cannot help but wonder what kind of life they’re going back to living.

Also: How come when it comes to voting for our next President, suddenly they’re able to decide things just fine? They don’t know what smartz would do, but goldang it they know it when they see it?

What we have here, I think, is a confusion between wisdom and irony. If you listen to these people prattle on for a good long time, you’ll notice something rather shocking: The “smart” decision, with regard to each and every question that comes up, is never, ever, ever ever ever the simple one.

Global warming is more dangerous than radical Islamic terrorism.

Queen Latifah is sexier than Beyonce Knowles.

To keep from going broke, we’ve got to spend more money.

A real man is in touch with his feelings and isn’t afraid to cry.

If there is a problem, the best thing to do is to make sure no one can ever make a profit producing a solution to it.

If innocent people could be harmed by a terrorist act, and it could be prevented by bringing physical pain to an evil man, decent people will make sure this doesn’t happen and let the innocent people go ahead and die.

If you’re a baby and you’ve crossed that Magical Vaginal Finish Line you’ve got rights to womb-to-tomb health care, a living wage whether you’re competent or not, a vote in all our elections whether you have common sense or not — but if you’re not there yet, then you don’t even exist as a person. It’s a matter of inches, and that’s just the way it is!

This is the part that scares the hell out of me. These people are not capable of recognizing or responding to the situation in which the simple, common sense answer is the right one. Right, as in — go ahead, put on a magical thinking cap and boost your IQ by a thousand points, you’ll still decide it the same way. This doesn’t work for them, because in their world you have to show off your smarts by deciding the opposite.

Therefore, when this happens they will consistently demand the choice that is made by these smart people, is the wrong one.

And that is not an occasional happenstance. The common-sense answer being the right one…common-sense, recognized by someone with an I.Q. of 100, not a single point greater…is a situation that arises roughly 99% of the time. Tall tippy glass on the edge of the table? Move it toward the center. House on fire? Put it out. Cops are out in force today? Slow the hell down. Importing too much oil? Drill baby drill.

Fact is, if you show me ten issues that arouse all this contention in our national discourse, eight or nine of them are going to be things that shouldn’t reveal any disagreement at all. They are made that way because Medicators continue to feel this need to inject new variables into relatively simple situations, variables that make it “pseudosmart” to go the other way. None of them make so much as a lick of sense. This is how & why Eric Holder decided to try that scumbag in civilian court in New York City. He wasn’t able to defend the decision when called upon to do so. It was just that extra-variable-thing; he was used to hanging out with a crowd that would sing hosannahs to his superior intellect, if he’d just make a decision opposed to common sense. He’s not a lone voice in the wilderness here. Roughly half our country’s population is exactly like this.

As your I.Q. increases, every time it passes somewhere between thirty or fifty points, your decisions should flip around to the opposite so you can demonstrate that it’s happening. Even with regard to simple things, things in which we all inwardly know the answer shouldn’t be changing, like third grade math.

“Scrap It”

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

“Death Panel for ObamaCare.”

It’s a catchy slogan, but it’s a model for what Steele, and the GOP, should not be using. The first time Palin used it, it was a net plus. It got people talking about the power being invested in government — read that as “a bunch of strangers” — over not only end-of-life counseling, but all equally intimate issues involved in the delivery and administration of health care.

Now drop the sound bites.

They don’t work as well in the conservative realm as they do in the liberal realm. They simply don’t. Anyone who’s sat down to a Thanksgiving meal with one token right-wing curmudgeon at one end of the table, and a liberal counterpart at the other (uncles, grandparents, in-laws, whatever) knows what I’m talking about. The liberal loves to drop sound bites and then smirk smugly. The conservative isn’t quite as likely to do this. That’s because the conservative has some genuine concerns over the idea of strangers in the beltway telling him he has to pay more taxes…or not eat fatty foods…or his bonus was too big…or that only Washington spending can “stimulate” this economy…or that people who’ve never owned slaves, should pay billions of dollars in “reparations” to people who’ve never been slaves.

It’s not that the conservative’s brain is bigger (although that is likely the case). It’s that his motives are more honest. “I want to pay more taxes so the government can give it to people who deserve it more than I do” is simply not an honest thing to say. If it was honest, the guy who says it would be paying his tax liability plus a whole lot more…something I’ve personally not seen, been told about, or believe to have taken place very often.

“I trust myself to spend my money more than I trust the government to spend it” — maybe you think that’s impure, or evil. But it’s honest. And so the conservative argues from the heart. He doesn’t need his party boss to tell him what the focus-group-tested phrases are.

And so, by and large, conservatives do not squeal with delight when they hear their so-called-leaders blossom forward with a new slogan. That’s what liberals do. Anything to avoid actually addressing the logic of this or that thing said at that holiday meal by that asshole on the other side of the family tree.

Conservatives do not adore sound bites, they do not think with them. And so conservative leaders should not use them. “Death panel for ObamaCare” does not have the same effect as Obama Himself saying “We should get out of Iraq with the same level of responsibility we did not use getting in” or what-not.

It’s kind of like a guy-driver crying to get out of a speeding ticket. NOT GOING TO WORK FOR YOU. …and that is just the way life is. All things are not equal. Knights and princesses.

Having said that, where do we go from here? I think everything that needs to be said about health care, has been said. No minds are going to be changed, one way or t’other. Some of us are living our lives to embiggen our opportunities, and we see security as something that will never be complete — it has to be compromised, in some increment, just to get life lived. I referred to these earlier as the Architects, because while we’re living life and trying to increase our options we’re building stuff. Or trying to.

Others don’t give two shits about opportunity, and they see every single marginal potential that something might go wrong, as some sort of unfinished task. They try to get everything they want, and occasionally the message sinks in that that’s never gonna happen. Stunned, they blink a couple times, their throats do that bobbing-up-and-down thing, and then they announce equality must be the new name of the game. It’s called tall-poppy syndrome, or TPS: we all gots ta be equally miserable. These are the Medicators. They go through the motions of thinking through their problems just like Architects, but really what they’re doing is feeling their way around the problems which is why they’re constantly self-medicating. When the whale to your Ahab is something that has to do with eliminating risk, and you’ve lost sight of what you’re trying to do by eliminating this risk…you’re probably a medicator.

Those of us who are into living life, rather than sanitizing it, labor day in and day out to stop those other people from ever learning the horrible secret: The human body is a miracle machine that is built to fall apart. Once the utopia-hype-sanitization-equality people catch onto that, their tall-poppy mania will kick in and we’ll all be living in Logan’s Run City of Domes. It is an absolute certainty. They have to remain ignorant of this, or by the next weekend we’ll all have colored blinking crystals embedded in the palms of our hands.

I’m exaggerating? Think back. These people are never done. They are just as obsessive as any other self-medicating druggie. They don’t compromise. If they do, it’s on the size of the baby-step to be taken today. Once we are agreed on that, the ink won’t even be dry on the signatures before they are planning the next baby step. They just take these baby steps to look moderate, but there’s nothing moderate about ‘em. There’s always something left to be done, they’re never happy, and the next “progress” is always in the same direction. That isn’t compromising.

One other thought…

There’s something about being a security-over-opportunity person that causes one to buy into the malarkey that we’ll save money providing health care insurance to whatever-the-number-is-today millions of folks who currently do not have it. Also, they tend to buy into the idea that a tax cut costs money. They’re wrong on both counts, of course. But if that is where the lines are drawn, I say let us then do this:

Bundle whatever monstrosity emerges from this perversion of a process, with a huge tax cut across the board for corporations, small businesses and individuals. Scrap the death tax for good while you’re at it.

Those of us who know what we’re talking about, will look at it like: The economy is going to take this deadly beating from the monstrosity, but with this other item to sweeten the pot maybe we’ll survive it.

Those among us who believe every little word told to them by He Who Argues With The Dictionaries, just because His voice sounds a little bit like Walter Cronkite’s and He says “uh” and “um” so thoughtfully — they can console themselves with the double-falsehood that the tax cut will cost hundreds of billions of dollars, but ObamaCare will save so much money that we’ll break even.

If the democrat party really does believe all the nonsense they’re telling people, this could be given some serious consideration at the very least.

Update: Blogger friend Buck dropped this into the comments, and it needs to see light, get around, be seen. Especially by the Medicators mentioned above…and The Blog That Nobody Reads is not the ideal place for that, of course. But still. This deserves a second & third look.

Liberalism, Atheism Linked to Intelligence

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Someone hasn’t met the liberals & atheists I’ve been meeting.

Although, to be fair about it, I’m thinking specifically about the liberals-and-atheists I’ve been meeting on the innerwebs, not in real life. And the ones on the innerwebs are probably thirteen and under.

I thought this part of the story was kind of funny:

“The adoption of some evolutionarily novel ideas makes some sense in terms of moving the species forward,” said George Washington University leadership professor James Bailey, who was not involved in the study. “It also makes perfect sense that more intelligent people — people with, sort of, more intellectual firepower — are likely to be the ones to do that.”

Bailey also said that these preferences may stem from a desire to show superiority or elitism, which also has to do with IQ. In fact, aligning oneself with “unconventional” philosophies such as liberalism or atheism may be “ways to communicate to everyone that you’re pretty smart,” he said.

Heheheheh…what’s Latin for BINGO? I see that in a lot of innernet-liberals-and-atheists. Some specialized intellect…a little bit of general density…theoretical brilliance and practical not-quite-functional-ness. But nothing really stands out quite so much as this eagerness to pass oneself off as a genius. Not just any genius. An unconventional genius. Unconventional…up to, over, and well past the point where unconventionalism provides any return on investment to the person being unconventional, or any goal he’s pursuing.

I think Mr. Not-Involved-in-the-Study just hit a home run here.

“I’m Superman, Idiot!!!”

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Probably just as well.

Thing I Know #203. Superman’s adventures are only fun to read about when Lois is still clueless about who he really is. As soon as Clark Kent lets her in on The Big Secret, everything gets lame.

The One Where the Monkey Gets Away

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

My better half just read this sequence of events being presented on someone’s FaceBook page. And I recognized the plagiarism immediately. Not the entire episode…just the thing with the tranquilizing dart and waiting for animal control to arrive.

Just Not Working Out

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Here I sit on the couch cross-legged, in my jeans barefoot and shirtless, with my big ol’ belly spilling all over the keyboard. Lovely Saturday, full of fresh air outside, and I’m not in it. Because it’s a bit too fresh. As in dripping wet.

This “stay in shape by riding my bike on the weekends” thing is abso-freakin’-lutely not working out. The chosen dieties. Murphy. Evil weather-gremlins.

Doubt me? Take a look at this:

Brings to mind the old saying: Just because you’re certifiably paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. “They” being the weather muses. I know I’m not that important in the cosmic scheme of things, but on the other hand I know what random chance looks like…I know what a conspiracy looks like. What’s above resembles much more the latter than the former.

Viking PrincessSwimming laps in the pool for now. This is the 38th parallel, dammit — I can see real palm trees from right here — I shouldn’t have to wait until mid-March for the get-blood-pumping season to start. I already declared the season open a good month and a half ago.

So glad I’m a dude. We can look somewhat gelatinous and somewhat sexy, at the same time. Still and all, I gotta do something that doesn’t involve sitting. My ass can’t take it, just for one reason. The Freeberg ass draws mostly from Scandinavian genetic material, and it really shows. There’s nothing back there. There’s about as much cushioning in our rear ends as there is in the dietary staples that feed into it…and what fed into the asses of our ancestors…which is mostly white codfish.

There. Now you’re not going to watch viking movies quite the same way ever again, are you? It’s good you come by to get my perspective on these things.

Live-Tweeting Her Abortion

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

The Frisky, hat tip to Linkiest.

I hope it doesn’t start a trend, because some abortions fail. Others are abandoned. Can you imagine watching your Mom say this stuff about you, your age plus eight months previous, on YouTube? Yeah maybe eight out of ten of us are “oopsies.” But look at her cavalier attitude. Tell me that wouldn’t make you look at life differently if you knew she was talking about that face you see in the mirror.

The contradictions are really disturbing, too. She doesn’t want approval or disapproval, she just wants other women to know it’s not that bad. So they will be more likely to do what she’s doing. Which she doesn’t really care about. But clearly, she’ll feel a whole lot better about doing it if there are other people doing the same thing, so she does care. Non-values-judgmentalism…all the way down the line…and then “have a great and godless day” thrown in at the end.

Having grown up in a college town, I consider myself perfectly qualified to sum this all up in one single bumper sticker slogan: “Let’s force people to leave others alone.” Want another? “Nobody has the right to force their value systems on others…except cool people, like me.”

Best Sentence LXXXV

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

The eighty-fifth award for Best Sentence I’ve Heard Or Read Lately (BSIHORL).

FrankJ takes it once again:

Democrats are a lot like sparkly vampires in that a lot of women like them but they just confuse and irritate most men.

YES. Those stupid teevee-moovee vampires, with their surly GQ looks and their spiky hair and their leather boots & trench coats.

It’s definitely a chick thing. Although to be fair, I think the sparkly vampires have made better progress earning their approval from the fairer sex than the Nonsense Party. I doubt like hell that I can find any gentlemen who will be late for work because they stayed up late the night before reading Ann Rice novels in bed, or watching Buffy reruns. But I can produce for you a “stud” pretty easily who thinks Islamic terrorism is harmless but global warming is a threat. I can’t promise that guy can change a tire or drive a stick shift, but still. The gender skew is greater with the vampires…

…but it’s still there. The simile works.

On the “Health Care Summit”

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

I could say all that needs to be said with a disrespectful and dismissive “blah blah blah blah blah blah blah…” Word count: Seven, or five, or three, or whatever. Maybe twenty to capture the sheer magnitude of the blah-blah-blah-ness and get-nothing-done-ness and waste-of-time-ness of the event.

But this would venture outside my sphere of knowledge, for I am not in the Noonan/Chait/Podhoretz camp of folk who suffered through from moment to moment (and now bitterly regret it, I venture to say). I am in the more voluminous set of casual observers who caught a snippet here and there, and then read the re-caps afterward.

It is purely out of respect for the mere concept, not the practicality, that says one should confine one’s remarks to those things about which one knows — that I shall refrain from going out on a limb speculating on what a massive waste of oxygen this really was. Let the record state, however, that in my opinion this would not be going out on much of a limb at all. I’ve attended meetings.

And so I shall quote from persons who are known to me to be experts on their chosen subject matter.

First up, is me. Commenting on meetings in general, in the Architects and Medicators essay. Prescient as always.

Running a meeting is yet another good litmus test. Some meeting chairs do it right: Agenda item, question, answer, does anyone have any objections, next agenda item — boom, boom, boom. Others engage in this ludicrous and time-consuming practice of using the forum to adjust the emotional tenor of the participants, as if it’s a high school pep rally.

The architects, who see the world as a massive assembly of parts, each part further reducible into a plurality of parts and then into atomic parts that can be reduced no further…grind through an agenda. Or blast their way through. If, that is, things are left up to them. The medicators, who see the world as a mysterious orb that gives off emotional vibes, bask in the glow of the meeting and go through this time-consuming cycle of adjusting the emotional tenor, then feeding off of it. Then adjusting it again.

It doesn’t take too much professional experience before one can say one has sat through both types of meetings. Doesn’t take too much wisdom to start to notice the contrast.

The fact that this “summit” took seven and a half hours tells me all I need to know about what kind of meeting this was. And that tells me all I need to know about what sort of person was running the meeting. Let is say none of this comes to me as a huge surprise.

Next expert (who did not attend) to opine is James Taranto, in yesterday’s Best of the Web.

[Wall Street Journal Commentary's John] Podhoretz…summed it up this way:

My sense of this summit is that President Obama is exactly as he always is — extremely intelligent, knowledgeable about policy details, so certain of the rightness of his views that he has no compunction about declaring the views of his antagonists to be merely politically convenient rather than substantive, startlingly condescending at moments, and even more startlingly long-winded when he gets going. As a result, he both looks good and bad in these settings — good because he’s serious and doesn’t appear to be a fanatic, and bad because of the condescension.

Which prompted this defense of condescension from [The New Republic's Jonathan] Chait:

Podhoretz calls Obama “startlingly condescending at moments.” How can that be avoided when you’re trying to have a high-level discussion with people who reply either on debunked claims at best and talk radio-level slogans at worst?

Actually, describing that as a defense of condescension is too charitable, isn’t it? It’s an example of condescension. If we didn’t know better we’d think Chait was exaggerating in order to illustrate Podhoretz’s point. And it’s not the first time–not even the first time in a day–that Chait did this. Podhoretz’s post quoted an earlier one of Chait’s:

President Obama is so much smarter and a better communicator than members of Congress in either party. The contrast, side by side, is almost ridiculous. . . .

Most the time [sic], this is like watching Lebron James play basketball with a bunch of kids who got cut from the 7th grade basketball team. He’s treating them really nice, letting his teammates take shots and allowing the other team to try to score. Nice try on that layup, Timmy, you almost got it on. But after a couple minutes I want him to just grab the ball and dunk on these clowns already.

Podhoretz’s answer:

Here we have a sterling example of how ideological predilections, his and mine, might color our opinions here. Except for one thing: You can only think Obama is Lebron James playing 7th graders if you are already certain his opinions are right, because the best you can say about this summit so far for him is that it’s a draw, and it’s probably worse than that. And given that only 25 percent of the public wants ObamaCare, he needs to be Lebron James. And Pete Maravich. And Oscar Robertson. And Kareem. All at the same time.

Chait actually makes two distinct claims about Obama: that he has a superior intellect and that he is a superior “communicator.” The first claim could be true, although it is far from indisputable. But the second claim is so absurd as to be delusional.

Obama has spent the past year trying to sell Americans on ObamaCare. He has failed utterly, as Podhoretz notes. Now, maybe Chait is right that opposition to ObamaCare is a product of stupidity. Maybe ObamaCare would be popular if a majority of Americans were as brilliant as Jonathan Chait. But in a democratic republic, elections are not limited to the elect. Shockingly, half of all Americans have below-average IQs. They vote too.

By no imaginable standard can a politician be considered a great “communicator,” or even an adequate one, if he is unable to persuade voters of average-or-below intelligence to back his policies.

Further, is there any evidence that Obama is especially good at communicating with those on the far right of the bell curve? Chait is persuaded, and we’re willing to stipulate that Chait is brilliant. But Chait was persuaded before, and we know lots of brilliant people who oppose ObamaCare.

Obama is very good at making smart liberals feel superior. That is a communication ability, but not a terribly useful one for a politician in a democratic country.

This is a “D’Jever Notice” moment and a “Best Sentence” all rolled into one. The D’Jever notice moment is about conservatives and liberals — supposedly, in spite of their different outlooks on the world, they view each other in more or less exactly the same way. Dimbulbs, on the other side of the divide, who are just plain wrong. Two images opposite from each other. Alike in so many ways, just mirror-image-flipped.

It’s obviously not so. Conservatives — the ones I know — are pretty consistent in their curiosity about what makes sense to liberals and how it might make sense, even for a moment. In a “What in the F*ck Are They Thinking??”, bewildered sort of sense. They become disgusted with it, but only occasionally and only temporarily. They/we are constantly trying to come up with explanations.

This is not true of the liberals. They are dismissive of those who disagree with them. They work at achieving a superlative of this dismissiveness, and they work very hard at it. As if they’re competing with each other, which they probably are.

They are not curious. They are like Jonathan Chait. Just dunk these clowns already!

And the best sentence has to be this zinger at the end about “Obama makes smart liberals feel superior.”

Under what circumstances, as a flawed human mortal being, could my need to feel superior to others trump my curiosity about how lesser human beings think? The only answer I can produce is that something might have happened to make me feel inferior, and I’m trying to compensate for it. But that, again, would venture outside of my sphere of knowledge…and so these skewed priorities of “smart liberals” like Chait, and many others, shall remain a mystery to me.

They must be realizing inwardly, right about now, that it isn’t going to work because it labors under an irreconcilable internal contradiction. The process of deciding what is to be done, is to be an all-inclusive “summit” from which no one will be deprived of the opportunity to participate. This will ensure that the conclusion at the end will be perfect, in some way, having been produced democratically. But! In the process of producing this decision we shall make it a glorious goal of ours to neutralize, to ineffectualize, to practically geld any & all who do not share our correct opinions.

These are mutually-exclusive, oppositional goals.

Barack Obama tried to achieve them both on Thursday, and that is why He wasted so much time and got nothing done.

That’s my take on it, just from what little I know, since I did not attend. I await the words of those who disagree with me and are in a position to so disagree, since they attended and I did not. Should any of them come along, I bow before their superior knowledge.

But I don’t need to dive into the sun to know it’s hot.

Bowing to Yet Another One…

Friday, February 26th, 2010

…foreign royal figure, that is.

With thanks to Daphne.

CAIR National Board Member Deported for Terrorist Ties

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

The guys on the radio are talking about this, and they’ve made an excellent point.

Guy didn’t even show up for his own immigration hearing to avoid answering questions under oath about his ties to Islamic terror groups. From NBC-Dallas/Fort Worth:

An immigration judge in Dallas on Friday ordered an outspoken Islamic leader deported after the U.S. government alleged he had ties to terrorist groups in the Middle East.

Nabil Sadoun, a Dallas resident and former board member of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, was deported to his native Jordan after he failed to appear at his immigration hearing. He entered the U.S. in August 1993.

Sadoun’s attorney, Kimberly Kinser, said he was already in Jordan and was unable to return to Texas because the government had taken his permanent resident card, or green card.

She denied he was tied to any terrorist groups.

The excellent point is, that when something bubbles to the surface of the stewpot that is The News, and the something is an item that CAIR wants to discuss — you can’t get away from ‘em. Wait until a Muslim is arrested for something and we’re all breathlessly awaiting an anti-Muslim “backlash,” feeling all kinds of guilt for something that hasn’t even happened yet. Turn on the cable teevee, to any channel. There will be a CAIR representative on there talking about the backlash.

This tidbit, on the other hand, is an item CAIR just might not want to discuss: their ties to radical Islamic terror.

If you don’t live in D/FW, you have to go to someplace like My Pet Jawa to get the story. Which is not intended as a slight against the Jawa, but ideologically-leaning blogsites like ours are not supposed to be quite this important. Are we (they)? Aren’t we supposed to have some resources for getting ahold of the news that matters to us? By which I mean, both sides…not just the side certain overly-enthused advocacy groups want us to have.

There are stories that are easy to get, there are stories that are hard to get, and then there are news blackouts…and news blackouts sometimes border on the surreal. This is a little bit surreal. I would think a lot of people would want to know about this.

Gerard Picks on Charles Johnson — Again

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

He’s a man on a mission. “Must drive stake into heart. Dismember body. Expose to sunlight. Stir ashes into dung. Shoot resulting mixture into the sun. Must. Must.” What inspires him to tread so close to the precipice, beyond which one becomes precisely what one seeks to defeat?

Bullshit like this…

Follow the link. You know you want to see the Pink Hitler.

Me, I’m one of the supporters of this effort. Like I said, “if this is an unhealthy addiction…I’m a willing enabler and want to be one.”

Religious Leftists

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

As long as I’m quoting myself:

Rick had a link to a nice, logical, beefy, well-thought-out rebuttal to the “New Christianity” being espoused by Brian McLaren and others. I thought so highly of it that I sent it to some relatives whom I thought would be interested.

The response I got back, reminded me of my problems with organized religion. And, not-so-organized religion. And, come to think about it, social affairs outside of religion. In all walks of life, we become enemies of our own intellectual acumen when we spend too much time and energy trying not to argue about things. It causes us to fail to see incompatibilities among the various components we try to snap together. That’s one of the constructive points to arguing about things, you know: Try to determine incompatibilities among things, incompatibilities that would otherwise go undetected.

I won’t quote the other party, but I’ll excerpt from my reply:

The phrase “[McLaren] would have credible answers to many of his critics’ doubts” suggests a lack of experience “debating,” if one can call it that, religious leftists. These folk are not the debating type. Think of Al Gore being confronted by well-informed global warming skeptics…it’s a few steps down from that. A distracting sucker-punch, which neither the opponent or any bystanders can genuinely understand let alone dissect for a response, followed by a hasty change of subject. That’s about the best you can get out of them. See, “leftist,” in religion as well as in politics, has come to indicate a desire and inclination to think things out emotionally. Ideas are evaluated emotionally; new members are recruited to the movement emotionally. In religious leftism, there isn’t an awful lot of thought given to the thinking-concepts of Christianity — The Fall, man’s redemption, Christ Himself. As that McLaren critic pointed out, these things are all missing. Instead, the core elements are, as I’ve noticed:

1. I feel X;
2. (unstated but more important) I wouldn’t feel X if I were not a Good Person;
3. (also unstated but even more important) Others don’t feel X and therefore are not as good as I am.

And it is a constant that, as these other concepts are being discussed, all conversations lead back to #3. It is a relative exercise of self-evaluation. Therefore, it ends up being negative when it was conceived as something that was supposed to be positive…I suppose all cults are stacked into this crude, three-level pyramid — the idols and officials who drive the movement, the followers who are mere mortals but at least are heading in the right direction, and the stupid rubes who haven’t joined, don’t belong, aren’t heading in the right direction, and provide the contrast by which the cultist can feel good about himself.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: This need to feel like a worthy person, appears to drive everything else. There is a sense, on the left, in both religion and politics, that motion is needed for redemption. This makes the entire engine go. Redemption from what? Real Christianity is precise and thought-provoking in answering that question. Also, in real Christianity the emphasis is on coming to terms with one’s Creator, with one’s destiny, so that one can turn one’s attention to other pressing worldly concerns on the other six days of the week. Be functional. Just as God was on His six days. Leftists, on the other hand, seem to be engaged in a Sisyphean struggle to continually earn some redemption which is lost to them a few seconds later, so it has to be earned back again. Audibly.

They’re pretty annoying, and they don’t seem to have a clear understanding, themselves, of what they do & don’t want to discuss. When people ritually dispense the time-honored advice of “let’s not discuss religion or politics,” the older I get the more convinced I am this is a reference to leftists.

Their Own Double Standard Exhausts Them

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Me:

This is the saddest part of modern day liberalism, IMO. It’s the part that compels otherwise-decent and otherwise-thoughtful people to reject simple, straightforward, wise courses of action, and accept simple, crooked, fraudulent, stupid ones. They get distracted by the question of who else is decent. And choosing just the right double standard to make Bill-n-Hillary look like saints, and cast such a contemptuous darklight on Levi-Bristol that hopefully some of it bounces up and hits Sarah Palin, consumes all the brain cycles they have. Like, somehow Hillary’s a “victim,” Bill was “tempted,” Bristol is just a shitty judge of character and surely she got that from her Mom…

By the time they’re done writhing around and jumping through their own intellectual hoops, they’re so exhausted you could tell them we’ll fix the nation’s economy with a trillion dollar health care plan, and get rid of our racial-tension for good by drinking beer.

What am I talking about?

Daphne’s liberal friend had some kind of point to make. I’m doubting the liberal friend, herself, would be able to explain what exactly the point is…but Daphne noticed Mr. Johnston is not keeping current with his child support obligations.

One way or another, it all reflects on the former Governor, and therefore anyone & anything that doesn’t agree with Obama. Or something.

“There’s No Joke Here”

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

FrankJ says the reality is so comical and so poignant that you can’t make parody out of it.

I can certainly see where he’s going with that:

People are comparing Obama’s foreign policies to those of Jimmy Carter, and Carter is offended.

The best comment has to be the one from hwuu (#2):

Carter gave the panama canal back, gave mixed signals to the shah of Iran inciting a revolution.
Canceled the Olympics on the basis of Soviet Russia being too mean in their war with Afganistan, Gave the communists a toehold in El Salvador, and got Taiwan thrown out of the UN. And thats just off the top of my head without bringing in domestic agenda issues like the dept of education or Hyper-inflation.

All in all Carter was pretty effective at being a Bad president. He should be offended. It would be like comparing Timothy McVeigh to the Underwear Bomber. [emphasis mine]

Unions and Productivity

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Daniel Griswold:

The weight of evidence indicates that, for most firms in most sectors, unionization leaves companies less able to compete successfully. The core problem is that unions cause compensation to rise faster than productivity, eroding profits while at the same time reducing the ability of firms to remain price-competitive. The result over time is that unionized firms have tended to lose market share to nonunionized firms, in domestic as well as international markets.

After studying the effects of unions on company performance, Barry Hirsch of Georgia State University concluded that unions will typically raise labor costs to a firm by 15 percent to 20 percent, while delivering a negligible increase in productivity. As a result, “Unionization is associated with lower investment in physical and intangible capital and slower growth. The combination of a union tax and sluggish governance is proving debilitating in economic environments that are highly competitive and dynamic,” Mr. Hirsch wrote in a 2008 study.

He links to himself, and some other stuff, at Cato.

Hat tip to Boortz.

Filibuster Hypocrisy

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

They should show this in tenth grade, just for the students to pick out the glaring misstatements about the original intent of the Founders. Why do we have a Senate? Why do we have two chambers? And which article/section/clause of the Constitution creates the filibuster? Anyone? Bueller?

Hat tip to Rick.

Audrina Patridge Talking on a Cell Phone

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

I’ve been thinking I want to start a gallery of people smiling into cameras while they talk on cell phones.

To me, that’s like the ultimate give-away. Must socialize…must socialize…every hour, every second, must constantly bathe in chit-chat. I suppose I should cut some slack to hot girls. They can take a good picture doing just about anything. But for everyone else — don’t you realize you’re having a picture taken of you with a phone being held up to your ear?

There’s something slipping off the rails here. You should be able to do pretty much anything if it’s a candid shot. That’s the definition of candid. This one looks borderline…it bothers me a little when people pose for pictures and don’t say “Oh hey, hold on a second, (insert name here) is taking my picture.” (Phone goes down.)

It’s just a complete failure to figure out where exactly you’re attention is supposed to be going. It’s a give-away that you expect others to pay attention to you, but you can’t be bothered to reciprocate. Really a way-off-into-the-deep-end WAGTOCPAN move.

But, like I said. Fetching visions like Audrina earn a pass. For reasons that should be obvious.

Update: That’s it.

Ball Pit

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

From here.

Palin Speech Opens Sixth Seal

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Buck doesn’t like coming to our pages and finding grim depressing stuff; I guess for him it’s all hockey stuff, something else cheery, or nuthin’. Well, in our book when you see some dumbass putting square wheels on a shopping cart, you take the time to tell him things aren’t gonna work, right? And the shopping cart of the U.S. of A. is being fit for square wheels, make no mistake about it.

But we do recognize the benefits of balance. And this Onion piece that apparently seeks to poke some fun at the former Governor, tickled our funny bone. But that’s a little complicated in itself, as we’ll explain below:

“This Tea Party movement just goes to show ya that America is ready for another revolution,” Palin said as things long ago divined came finally to pass. “Who do you think is gonna stand up for the freedoms promised by our Founding Fathers? Folks like us, or some socialist professor of constitutional law in the Oval Office?”

It was then, witnesses claim, that there was a tearing of the heavens, and the skies receded as does a scroll when it is rolled up, and anecdotes about everyday middle-class Alaskan families were enunciated in down-to-earth tones.

“That’s right, partner,” Palin said, as every mountain and island moved from its place, and flames overtook the lakes and the rivers and the seas. “Thanks, but no thanks.”

What does intent matter?

The outcome is, both sides are ridiculed; Palin fans, and Palin bashers. With much of the unintended comedy aimed squarely at the bashers.

Palin giving a speech, after all, doesn’t have much to do with End Times. By Onion standards, the satire is a little clumsy. What’s the point? She’s such a mental klutz that we should expect the dead to rise out of their graves the first time she forms a complete sentence? No, if I’m looking for a recent event to portend the Apocalypse, my mind would go back to Holy One’s (broken) promise to close down Guantanamo. Or the Beer Summit. Something like that.

Government’s broke. I don’t mean just the feds. I’m referring to all the states as well. Here in mine, we have “furlough Fridays.” Every Friday morning like clockwork, our airhead traffic report radio people flock to the airwaves to gladden our hearts that the roads are going to be nice and clear, without those bothersome state workers sharing them with us.

Get the picture? We’re paying taxes…all 51 governments are moving in the direction of — no services. Not that productive people tend to be in demand of such services in the first place. But we’re moving rapidly in the direction of just dropping the pretenses. We pay our taxes, and it just goes to people who are friends of the politicians who go through the motions of providing “services” to us.

Palin gives speeches pointing out that you know, maybe this isn’t the best way for things to work.

And the Obama apologists, and Palin-bashers, work up a hysterical lather just as well as any loco barnyard animal ever did. Acting like…yeah…the world’s coming to an end.

Poking fun at anything and everything. Just hoping the topic of conversation, for God’s sake, will somehow change.

We have Health Care II. We have Son of Stimulus. Huh. I suppose the world is gonna end if we don’t pass those.

“Drop The Pretenses Day” can’t arrive soon enough, in my book. I’ll open the seals of the Great Book myself. Just stop pretending you’re trying to help people, using stem cell research to cure polio victims, giving burn therapy to orphans, “creating or saving” jobs, blah blah blah. Just take our money, give it to your friends who aren’t any better at securing a productive and honest livelihood than you are — right out in broad daylight — and start counting down with us to the inevitable revolution.

That way, you’re not insulting our intelligence anymore. And frankly, this business of “Boy Sarah Palin’s Stupid, Who’s With Me?” hoping the subject will change whenever you find it convenient for the subject to change, is as insulting as anything. Just because some folks fall for it, doesn’t mean everyone does.

Update: This is more like it.

Memo For File CVIII

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

It was an evil magic potion that drove men insane. Some said it was the pitch extracted from some long-dead tree that in life had been possessed by the devil. Whatever its source, unscrupulous men sought it out. It made such men dangerous, for its power was to end debate. A man cast a spell with this evil sticky black stuff, and all who sought to contest him on this matter or that one would be rendered powerless — even if they were immediately affected by the outcome, and he was not. The elixir had no name so they called it the “Do It My Way” potion.

It was pure tyranny in liquid form.

The mightiest nation on the face of the globe had used this terrible ooze to lay taxes upon her colonies. Do it our way, they said. This much tax on lead glass, this much tax on your playing cards. This much tax on pins, this much tax on your rum. And so the colonies rose up against their mother nation. But the war was really against the awful sticky black-magic stuff. They started a new country and declared the stuff would never, ever be used here again. This was to be their founding principle; their home would be stuff-sanitized, now and forevermore, a tyrant-free zone. They wrote documents about Inalienable Rights and Separation of Powers to make sure no one single man, or small group of men, could lay claim to decisions that belonged to others. They even started a government with no single head, now isn’t that silly? And yet it worked for a long time — three co-equal branches of government. No king or kingmaker could cast such evil spells, and effectively geld the people who were most directly affected by the decisions being made. They spent months, years even, deliberating the best way to keep the evil sticky black magic potion out of their new country. The embargo against the stuff that had no name, was firm, uncompromising, unyielding, and effective. For generations and generations it remained effective and the nation remained clean. And free. Violent, at times; war-torn; certainly rugged and often even dangerous. But there was no ick. Free men of all sorts of background, even humble backgrounds, had the final word in shaping their own destinies.

And it worked.

For awhile.

The experiment began to unravel with the mere appearance, not established fact, that the evil stuff had somehow made it into the borders. It started with the railroads. Wealthy men bought up land, and were able to make decisions about what took place on that land, decisions that obviously had an impact on others. Concerned citizens made the charge that the railroad men were wizards who were using the forbidden evil sticky black stuff to cast their spells. What does it matter if we do or do not find some actual stuff in their massive basements? The outcome was the same, was it not? This was sufficient evidence to heap the first abuse upon the free market, and so the young country outlawed “monopolies” because they found it so utterly reprehensible that anyone within their borders could cast spells with the evil sticky black stuff that had no name. It was not to be allowed, even in appearance. The irony was that, as soon as a man was barred from having the final word about his own property, it became just a matter of time before everyone could have the final word on everything. Which of course meant nobody could really decide anything.

A few generations onward, someone was allowed to use the evil potion that no man could touch. Womens’ suffrage was imminent, and it was such an event that they allowed the witches to cast the spells forbidden to the warlocks. The issue was the prohibition of consumption or sale of alcoholic spirits. The debate, with the aid of the evil sticky black stuff, was ended prematurely. Stop talking about it. Stop discussing it. Become accustomed to the new “reality.” Prohibition is here to stay, and you need to deal with it. That is the way the ladies want it. Or will want it, as soon as they start voting.

After that, people knew the evil sticky black stuff was in the country and would always be in the country. Not a single document was torn apart, or re-written, to this effect. But things changed. History was altered. The country was not about keeping the evil sticky black stuff out of our lives; it was about each man getting his hands on the potion that had no name, before the next fellow had a chance to use it. And so we started trade unions, which were created specifically for the purpose of seeking out the evil sticky black stuff and casting spells with it. They called it “collective bargaining,” and they described it in terms of giving “the little guy” a “voice” in the “decisions” at the “table.” But there was no table and there was no bargaining. Unions were, and are now, all about getting hold of that evil sticky black stuff, and using it to cast spells; to force the other guy to do things the union’s way.

Hard, cynical men who had spent their entire lives operating outside the law and laughing at it — would be told “The Union Says…” and they would immediately stop in mid-sentence, gulp hard, and resign themselves to the idea that the debate was now over. The evil sticky black stuff had been hauled out and the spell had been cast.

After the trade unions, it was a whole menagerie of embittered special-rights advocacy groups. The evil potion was consumed not out of need, but out of addiction. By the gallon it was consumed; by the bucket; by the barrel, by the truckload. The more we used, the more we wanted. The nation’s young people used it with a whole bunch of other funny mind-altering substances. The embittered, “liberated” women, the civil rights advocates, all with a mix of some causes noble and worthy, others not-so-much. They all said the same thing: “Do it our way, because right or wrong, we are together and we are using the evil sticky black stuff.” They used the evil sticky black stuff to defeat their enemies, and to make their enemies sorry they ever became enemies. They used the evil sticky black stuff to end careers. They called it the “vanishing.” It was a novelty at first, and then it became a habit. Someone would say something, or do something, and it wasn’t pleasing to someone else who had a stash of the evil sticky black stuff. So the spell would be cast and the offender would vanish. The stuff got him. People got used to it in a great big hurry because they didn’t want to be vanished. Before it was over, men were afraid to put up swimsuit calendars over their desks at work. Oh, they pretended it was because they were decent men. That was always the claim. But the real fear was that someone would use the evil sticky black stuff to end their careers and vanish them. And they still had to worry about retirement, and sending their kids to college. It wasn’t “worth it,” they said.

It took the country a century before it had any real fear the evil sticky black stuff had arrived at its shores. It took a century and a half for the country to actually use it. As it reached its bicentennial, it was now wallowing in it. Too late, we had realized: You need to have a social contract in order to keep any enclave clean and free of the ick. And the social contract demands that men who believe their positions are right, should be ready to put them up against the different positions of other men who believe their positions are right.

And when you participate in an argument, you have to be prepared to lose.

The cold hard truth is, we just weren’t that good anymore. We had gotten some ick on ourselves, and it would not wash off unless we wanted it to. We didn’t want it to.

The sticky black stuff is evil, therefore it is never used to create anything, only to destroy. It brings power only to the man who wields it, and it rots his soul from within. It does nothing good. That is why it was banned here.

People have now so reconciled themselves to living lives under the tyranny of the evil sticky black stuff, that the nation has been consumed by a modern plague: the proxy offense. Someone, wielding the now-commonplace evil sticky black stuff, might find that joke offensive. And so I shall act as his agent. You are to be vanished. And so, here and there a new business might be started free of the sticky evil black stuff, and within a fortnight it would be awash in the ick. Because the nation had already been engulfed. And so you are to be vanished because a handicapped person might find your joke offensive; you are to be vanished because you might have offended the homosexuals; you are to be vanished because that word you just used was phonetically similar to something that is actually a racial slur, didn’t you know?

Do it my way, because I make movies.

Do it my way, because I’m gay.

Do it my way, because I’m a woman.

Do it my way, because my dad’s a senator.

Do it my way, because I’m black. Or because the President’s black. Either way, you just have to stop talking and learn to live with what I’ve decided. I don’t need to argue with you. I don’t even need to make my decision look good. I don’t need wisdom, or logic, or common sense. I don’t need to show standing, injury or interest. All I need is a gimmick. Then I can cast my spell, and we’re done talking.

Now, we’re 234 years into it. And we’re about to build a massive engine that is actually fueled by the evil sticky black stuff. The new machine will run on barrels and barrels of it, daily. It’s supposed to be a “health care” plan, but the politicians hammering it together haven’t been talking too much lately about getting health care services to the people who need them. It’s been many a month since we’ve heard any of that kind of talk. No, this machine is built to consume a certain thing, not to build a certain thing. It gulps thirstily at the wellspring of ick, for it is constructed to do nothing else. It is an instrument of destruction, and like all other instruments of destruction it needs not draw on too high a threshold of design talent, to become an engineering masterpiece. The ancient, Revolution-era wizards of the evil ooze could never have dreamed of such a device or what it will do.

It will cast evil magic spells, now well-known to us, and secretly dreaded by each and every one of us. Massively, laboriously, unrelentingly, by the minute, by the second. It will churn through the ick and it will blacken the sky with the exhaust from its smokestacks. All according to plan…

No one who is in the process of building this evil device, talks about making sick people well. Ever. Not anymore.

But when they do give their speeches, we notice they seem to be awfully fond of that evil sticky black stuff. That sticky oozy substance that ends debate, and forces all involved to just do it so-and-so’s way. We started a nation to make sure the sticky stuff would never be used again, and now we’ve started a lifestyle that is devoted to it, in fact, seems to depend on it. Generations of young people, and not-so-young people, now know of no other way to live. Ah, well. It was a noble experiment while it lasted.

The Hard Left’s Reaction to Dick Cheney’s Hospitalization

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Things are looking positive at this point, but it’s still something to worry about and if you were close family it would probably be time to fly home like Liz Cheney had to.

I guess it’s beyond the capacity of a brittle hardcore lefty to be thinking that way, though. Like…you’re shocked?

For a few moments after I first tuned in, I thought he’d already died. Those were some happy moments.

[W]e could have his future grave made into a urinal.

He’s recovering? How disapponting [sic]…

he’s gonna die sometime…might as well be now…

Let’s go back over this one more time. People need to get it…

These are the people who are running just about everything, or whose idols are running everything, because we held a national election and decided there is something about their position on the ideological spectrum that makes people compassionate. Increases their ability to look out for others, take care of strangers, empathize with the problems of others. And do something positive about all of it. That was, as is always the case, the driving message behind why they should gain our confidence. And therefore win.

Winning, it would seem this late in the game, turns out to be the sole rationale behind all of it. Just crushing the opposition beneath their heel, and doing it some more. Up to, and beyond, the point of breathlessly anticipating the terminal heart conditions of their enemies, and I would presume celebrating hard when it’s time to build the coffin and dig the grave. This is the empathy, this is the compassion?

They are precisely what they call others. Precisely.

You know what I think? I think these are people who don’t really know enough about current events to form an informed opinion about ideology. They just know something about themselves, something that makes them terribly unhappy, and they’re scrambling around looking for some way to display Pollyanna manifestations of “decency” they know darn good and well they don’t really have. It’s not the first time I’ve commented on it, and I’m sure it won’t be the last time I’ll notice it.

Blumenthal’s Bad Day

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Barbequed by Breitbart.

Hat tip to Allahpundit, who provides a brief run-down of the antecedent events, and points several times to Patterico for a more thorough one.

When all the points you have to make are accusations, and every single accusation has a question mark at the end, something is terribly wrong.

Lee Doran provides a decent background as well:

This Is Good LXIX

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Selective protectionism, selective morality, selective ethics. Calling it out.

Hat tip to Rick.

President Me: The Musical

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Klavan being a little bit silly.

Grateful hat tip to Westsound Modern.

Scientists Withdraw Sea Level Claims

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

I’m completely confused about how to answer my grandchildren if the day arrives that they ask “Grandpa, what was ‘global warming’ all about?” And I’m not one of the people who fell for it. Ever. Back to day one.

I can only imagine what the suckers are thinking about it. Scale by scale, it’s all falling from our eyes.

Guardian.

In a statement the authors of the paper said: “Since publication of our paper we have become aware of two mistakes which impact the detailed estimation of future sea level rise. This means that we can no longer draw firm conclusions regarding 21st century sea level rise from this study without further work.

“One mistake was a miscalculation; the other was not to allow fully for temperature change over the past 2,000 years. Because of these issues we have retracted the paper and will now invest in the further work needed to correct these mistakes.”

It’s a pretty simple problem, really. Science tends to be funded by grants from national governments, and most national governments don’t spend a whole lot of money on science that says the world is not going to end. And so science becomes an industry dedicated to creating doomsday scenarios, whether it wants to be in that business or not. Kind of like an aging Hollywood celebrity selling life insurance on late-night teevee.

They don’t have to be socialists in order to get suckered into it. Quite the opposite. It becomes what pays the bills.

Now global warming isn’t “cool” anymore, and these studies are getting yanked.

Last week, three large companies walked away from the carbon cap-and-trade talks:

ConocoPhillips (COP), BP (BP) and Caterpillar (CAT) have decided not to renew their membership in the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a broad alliance of corporations and environmentalists supporting cap-and-trade legislation.

“House climate legislation and Senate proposals to date have disadvantaged the transportation sector and its consumers, left domestic refineries unfairly penalized versus international competition, and ignored the critical role that natural gas can play in reducing GHG emissions,” Conoco CEO Jim Mulva said in a statement.

When President Obama swept into office with huge Democratic majorities in Congress, many corporations felt they needed to get on board to try to influence the legislation. But cap-and-trade has stalled in the Senate, the Copenhagen climate treaty talks failed and there has been a slew of embarrassing revelations regarding global warming data and forecasts. So sweeping emissions curbs no longer seem inevitable.

James Taranto pointed out that the global warming advocates are the real “deniers”. He’s right.

There are, no doubt, lots of true believers in global warming–not scientists, but people, including many journalists, who have embraced global warmism as a political and quasireligious doctrine based, they have been led to believe, on the authority of science.

Even Phil Jones acknowledges climate science is rife with uncertainty, but global warmism’s popularizers refuse to brook any doubt or acknowledge that the “consensus” they have touted is a sham.

And they used to call us deniers.

So I think what I’ll tell my grandchildren is this: People tend to like to do what they see lots of other people doing at any given time, and then call it “science.” Make it a “teachable moment” with them…maybe have a beer with them and talk to them for part of an afternoon about people “acting stupidly.”

Son-of-Stimulus is “Puny”

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

The Hill:

Unions and liberal groups blast Reid’s $15 billion jobs bill as ‘puny’

Unions and liberal groups have dismissed Sen. Harry Reid’s $15 billion jobs bill as “puny” while calling for larger stimulus measures.

More than two dozen organizations, including the AFL-CIO, National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peoples (NAACP) and National Council of La Raza, warned Democratic leaders in Congress to avoid tackling the troubled economy through incremental action.

They urged the Senate to pass the $15 billion jobs measure, which features a hiring tax cut for small businesses, but called for much more legislation to bring down an unemployment rate the White House projects to average 10 percent this year, more than 9 percent next year and over 8 percent in 2012.

“If this $15 billion was the only thing [that passed], that would be like having an amputated arm and sticking a Band-Aid on the end of it,” said Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, on a conference call Friday.

You tax the money away from the businesses that created it, and “stimulate the economy” by siphoning it off onto the special-interest lefty groups. It doesn’t do a damn thing for the economy or for the employment rate, the public gets wise to it, but the liberal special-interest groups say you have to keep right on doing it and make it bigger bigger BIGGER!

It reminds me of that scene in Sideways where Miles insists that the bartender in the wine tasting room should pour him a bigger glass…something that simply isn’t done in wine tasting rooms. Then he insists that the guy leave the bottle, and then when all else fails he gulps out of the spit bucket.

Except Miles got thrown out. And, if memory serves, in his rage he offered to pay for the bottle…I think.

Republicans, if your brain-gears aren’t just spinning away coming up with campaign commercials to make out of this one…you really need a whole different line of work. Obama campaigned against the influence of “special interests,” and here he’s got a whole bar with drunks lined up at it, each one with the same demand: “Stimulus, single-malt, leave the damn bottle.”

The rest of us have to live within our means, and Obama’s pals just yammer away and complain until they get what they want, like spoiled little kids or rancorous drunks.

Warp Speed Will Kill You

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

The Register. Killjoys won’t even wait for us to get to the questions about “So did Picard, Troi and Riker ever exist?” No, they want to go all the way back to Zefram Cochrane’s invention and shut down the party right there.

Professor William Edelstein of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine explained to New Scientist that while interstellar space has just a couple of hydrogen atoms per cubic centimetre, as the crew of the Enterprise hit the gas pedal, a compression effect would greatly increase the number of atoms hitting the spacecraft.

As the spaceship reached 99.999998 per cent of the speed of light, “hydrogen atoms would seem to reach a staggering 7 teraelectron volts”, which for the crew “would be like standing in front of the Large Hadron Collider beam”.

This is a very bad thing, because humans in the path of this ray would receive a dose of ionising radiation of 10,000 sieverts, and as Bones McCoy would doubtless confirm, the lethal dose is 6 sieverts.

The result? Death in one second.

“Whatever It Is, I’m Against It”

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

Basil at IMAO says the “Party Of No” label, if accurate, isn’t such a bad thing. And his argument makes some pretty good sense. He goes on to include this…