August 31, 2008
This from Jack Kemp:
Tim, the press release says 50,000 but I wouldn't bet on that big a number.
Protest groups set up camp on Harriet Island
Katrina Plotz, an organizer with the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War, the group planning the 50,000-person march Monday from the State Capitol to the Xcel Energy Center, said keeping police officers in line would be an important part of holding a peaceful convention.
Intrepid reporter Jack Kemp is walking into the lion`s den in Minneapolis; anarchists and radical left-wing thugs are planning to disrupt the convention, including slashing the tires of Republicans and throwing urine on them, plus assaulting police officers and block traffic. This report from Pioneer Press at TwinCities.com gives us the story.
Here is a brief excerpt:
Sharp objects to puncture the tires of Republican National Convention delegates' buses. Buckets of urine to throw at police officers. Large-scale maps with routes targeted to be blocked.
Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said Saturday these were among items seized in searches of anarchist leaders' homes and a center used by the RNC Welcoming Committee, which describes itself as an anarchist/anti-authoritarian group and uses the motto "Crash the Convention!" on its Web site.
Fletcher alleges plans are under way "to both shut down the Republican National Convention and actually harm the officers that are working this convention" and says what was found "is only a portion of what is out there."
Five people, whom Fletcher described as core leaders of the RNC Welcoming Committee, were arrested Saturday on suspicion of three conspiracy counts to riot, to commit civil disorder and to damage property.
Bruce Nestor, president of the Minnesota chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, said he doesn't know whether the people arrested are RNC Welcoming Committee members, but he criticized the searches and arrests.
"To go in and arrest people on conspiracy charges without any solid evidence is to start to criminalize protected political activity and speech," Nestor said.
People planning to protest at the convention and St. Paul City Council Member Dave Thune called the actions a pre-emptive strike before the RNC. The convention is slated to start Monday.
"This is all about free speech," Thune said. "It's what my father fought in the war for."
So, the ``Recreate `68`` crowd failed to disrupt the Democrat`s convention, but now want to screw up the Republicans. This is vintage Leftism; they demand the right of free speech but want to deny it to others. The ``free speech`` they demand-slashing tires, blocking streets, urinating on people-is designed to stifle the free speech rights of Republicans, and they become angry that the police are arresting them for plotting these illegal acts. Liberals are all about exempting themselves from what they want to do; they force other people`s children to attend terrible schools while sending their own to ritzy private ones, they want windmills for power generation but fight when their ocean view is going to be disturbed (Ted Kennedy), they make Americans live on a crappy social security system while they give themselves a much better government pension fund. They want to ban guns for others but keep them handy for themselves, demand that the average citizen limit his fuel consumption and ``carbon footprint`` while they jet around the world, giving speeches on Green behavior and live in lavish, energy wasteful mansions. They want to shut the mouths of Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham via a ``fairness doctrine`` while exempting their friends in the mainstream media and the Daily Kos. The hypocrisy of the Left is staggering!
Now they want to act to prevent Republicans from having their say. Free speech, as St. Paul City Council member Dave Thune fails to understand, does not extend to illegal acts or intimidation. The Republicans are engaging in free speech. The ``protestors`` are engaging in Racketeering. Being from St. Paul, the Councilman should understand the difference. (For those who do not know, St. Paul was notorious for being controlled by gangsters, and was perhaps the safest city in America because the mobsters had an interdiction on crime.)
Liberals are terribly two-faced; their standards are so warped they don`t even understand the fact.
Wil Wirtanen sends this our way:
Changes in Politics
Saturday, August 30, 2008
One of the few political cliches that makes sense is that "In politics, overnight is a lifetime."
Less than a year ago, the big question was whether Rudolph Giuliani could beat Hillary Clinton in this year's presidential election. Less than two months ago, Barack Obama had a huge lead over John McCain in the polls. Less than a week ago, the smart money was saying that Mitt Romney would be McCain's choice for vice president.
We don't need Barack Obama to create "change." Things change in politics, in the economy, and elsewhere in American society, without waiting for a political messiah to lead us into the promised land.
Who would have thought that Obama's big speech at the Democratic convention would disappoint expectations, while McCain's speech electrified his audience when he announced his choice of Governor Sarah Palin for his running mate?
Some people were surprised that his choice was a woman. What is more surprising is that she is an articulate Republican. How many of those have you seen?
Despite the incessantly repeated mantra of "change," Barack Obama's politics is as old as the New Deal and he is behind the curve when it comes to today's economy.
Senator Obama's statement that "our economy is in turmoil" is standard stuff on the left and in the mainstream media, which has been dying to use the word "recession."
Not only has the economic slowdown failed to reach the definition of a recession, the most recent data show the U.S. economy growing at a rate exceeding 3 percent-- a rate that many European economies would die for, despite our being constantly urged to imitate those countries whose end results are not as good as ours.
Barack Obama's "change" is a recycling of the kinds of policies and rhetoric of the New Deal that prolonged the Great Depression of the 1930s far beyond the duration of any depression before or since.
These are the same kinds of liberal policies that led to double-digit inflation, double-digit interest rates and rising unemployment during the Carter administration. These are "back to the future" changes to economic disasters that need repeating.
Make no mistake, the political rhetoric of FDR was great. For those who admire political rhetoric, as so many of Barack Obama's supporters seem to, FDR was tops. For those who go by actual results, FDR's track record was abysmal.
Although the Great Depression of the 1930s began under Herbert Hoover, unemployment during Hoover's last year in office was not as high as it became during each of the first five years under FDR.
During the eight years of FDR's first two terms as president, there were only two years in which unemployment was lower than it had been under Herbert Hoover-- and not by much.
World War II has been credited by some with getting the United States out of the Great Depression. What the war did was put an end to the New Deal, as national survival became the top priority and replaced FDR's anti-business and class warfare rhetoric.
Senator Obama's rhetoric today is the anti-business and class warfare rhetoric that worked so brilliantly in a political sense for FDR in the 1930s. But Obama is following an opposite course from FDR when it comes to recognizing threats to American national security.
Senator Obama has repeatedly tried to deal with national security threats with rhetoric. He tried to dismiss the threat of a nuclear Iran with because Iran is "a small nation"-- even though it is larger than Japan, which launched a devastating attack against the United States at Pearl Harbor.
FDR had the good sense to begin urging greater military preparedness in 1940, more than a year before the United States was attacked. He said, "If you wait until you see the whites of their eyes, you will never know what hit you."
Cutting the military budget and taking foreign policy problems to the United Nations are Obama's version of "change."
That is change that we dare not believe in. It is the audacity of hype
August 30, 2008
Jack Kemp (not the politician) is on his way to the Republican Convention in Minnesota (by way of St. Louis, so we`ll get together for a spell, as we say in these parts) and will be reporting his experiences here and at the American Thinker. It will benefit all to keep an eye on this website for some first-hand reporting.
Jack, who would have made a terrific campaign manager, has come up with an idea:
``I just contacted Jason Lewis's radio station (he is a substitute host for Rush Limbaugh) about my scheme to demand the first prize in the Minnesota Powerball Lottery with blacked out numbers on my ticket, based on the fact that the Sec. of State of Minnesota will accept Barack Obama as a valid American born citizen & Democratic candidate with his certificate of live birth also having blacked out registration numbers. I'm thinking of holding a press conference in the Capitol Rotunda in St. Paul, if anyone would listen.
This is a terrific idea! Obama has never satisfied us that he is eligible to be President of the United States. (Read through my archives for more on this.) Where was he born? In-country or abroad? Was his father actually married to his mother? She was not old enough to automatically pass along citizenship. Obama has refused to produce a valid birth certificate, and there have been several supposed ``authentic`` certificates that have proved to be forgeries.
An ordinary citizen cannot get a job, or medical treatment, or even make a large purchase such as real estate without proving his identity and citizenship. Here we have a guy seeking the highest office in the land, the position of chief law enforcement officer, and he doesn`t think he should have to prove he`s eligible!
Jack intends on conducting an act of political theatre; trying to claim a lottery jackpot with a blackened ticket. I hope Jason Lewis and other opinion-shapers in the Minnesota area get on board with this! In fact, I would like to encourage anyone in the Minnesota area to join in this campaign. If you are visiting the Minneapolis/St. Paul area for any reason, try to pull this stunt. It illustrates the point far better than all of our writing and speaking ever could.
The Left has used tricks like this for years, with good results; it`s time we gave them a taste of their own medicine. I hope that Jack could start a convention-wide campaign, and get plenty of media coverage. The average person doesn`t read Birdblog, but seeing thousands of Republicans trying to claim winning lottery tickets without the numbers would make the case.
Let`s all get out there and support Jack`s plan!
Jack Kemp forwards this WAPO piece for our consideration:
The Perfect Stranger
By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, August 29, 2008; A15
Barack Obama is an immensely talented man whose talents have been largely devoted to crafting, and chronicling, his own life. Not things. Not ideas. Not institutions. But himself.
Nothing wrong or even terribly odd about that, except that he is laying claim to the job of crafting the coming history of the United States. A leap of such audacity is odd. The air of unease at the Democratic convention this week was not just a result of the Clinton psychodrama. The deeper anxiety was that the party was nominating a man of many gifts but precious few accomplishments -- bearing even fewer witnesses.
When John Kerry was introduced at his convention four years ago, an honor guard of a dozen mates from his Vietnam days surrounded him on the podium attesting to his character and readiness to lead. Such personal testimonials are the norm. The roster of fellow soldiers or fellow senators who could from personal experience vouch for John McCain is rather long. At a less partisan date in the calendar, that roster might even include Democrats Russ Feingold and Edward Kennedy, with whom John McCain has worked to fashion important legislation.
Eerily missing at the Democratic convention this year were people of stature who were seriously involved at some point in Obama's life standing up to say: I know Barack Obama. I've been with Barack Obama. We've toiled/endured together. You can trust him. I do.
Hillary Clinton could have said something like that. She and Obama had, after all, engaged in a historic, utterly compelling contest for the nomination. During her convention speech, you kept waiting for her to offer just one line of testimony: I have come to know this man, to admire this man, to see his character, his courage, his wisdom, his judgment. Whatever. Anything.
Instead, nothing. She of course endorsed him. But the endorsement was entirely programmatic: We're all Democrats. He's a Democrat. He believes what you believe. So we must elect him -- I am currently unavailable -- to get Democratic things done. God bless America.
Clinton's withholding the "I've come to know this man" was vindictive and supremely self-serving -- but jarring, too, because you realize that if she didn't do it, no one else would. Not because of any inherent deficiency in Obama's character. But simply as a reflection of a young life with a biography remarkably thin by the standard of presidential candidates.
Who was there to speak about the real Barack Obama? His wife. She could tell you about Barack the father, the husband, the family man in a winning and perfectly sincere way. But that takes you only so far. It doesn't take you to the public man, the national leader.
Who is to testify to that? Hillary's husband on night three did aver that Obama is "ready to lead." However, he offered not a shred of evidence, let alone personal experience with Obama. And although he pulled it off charmingly, everyone knew that, having been suggesting precisely the opposite for months, he meant not a word of it.
Obama's vice presidential selection, Joe Biden, naturally advertised his patron's virtues, such as the fact that he had "reached across party lines to . . . keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists." But securing loose nukes is as bipartisan as motherhood and as uncontroversial as apple pie. The measure was so minimal that it passed by voice vote and received near zero media coverage.
Thought experiment. Assume John McCain had retired from politics. Would he have testified to Obama's political courage in reaching across the aisle to work with him on ethics reform, a collaboration Obama boasted about in the Saddleback debate? "In fact," reports the Annenberg Political Fact Check, "the two worked together for barely a week, after which McCain accused Obama of 'partisan posturing' " -- and launched a volcanic missive charging him with double-cross.
So where are the colleagues? The buddies? The political or spiritual soul mates? His most important spiritual adviser and mentor was Jeremiah Wright. But he's out. Then there's William Ayers, with whom he served on a board. He's out. Where are the others?
The oddity of this convention is that its central figure is the ultimate self-made man, a dazzling mysterious Gatsby. The palpable apprehension is that the anointed is a stranger -- a deeply engaging, elegant, brilliant stranger with whom the Democrats had a torrid affair. Having slowly woken up, they see the ring and wonder who exactly they married last night.
By Jack Kemp
And the Vatican is right to bring this up. This relates to John Gibson's (of Fox News) book "The War on Christmas." Christian bashing has been disguised as "anti-European Imperialism" or "not wanting to offend anyone" (so we don't display any religious signs. Clinton once tried to stop the US Post Office from issuing its' annual Christmas stamp, but backed down in the backlash. If one shouldn't insult Jews, Moslems or Hindus, then Christian bashing isn't a "birthright" of those groups or the hard core Leftists.
Vatican warns of growing "Christianophobia"
Fri Aug 29, 2008 2:39pm EDT
By Philip Pullella
ROME (Reuters) - "Christianophobia" is a growing problem around the world and it must be fought with the same determination as anti-Semitism or Islamophobia, the Vatican said on Friday.
Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Vatican's foreign minister, spoke in the wake of attacks against Christians in India that have left at least 13 people dead this week.
Mamberti, addressing a conference in northern Italy, said religious freedom was a vital part of international relations and human dignity.
"In order to promote this dignity in an integral way, so-called 'Christianophobia' should be combated as decisively as 'Islamophobia' and anti-Semitism," he said.
This week in eastern India, thousands of people, most of them Christians, have sought shelter in makeshift government camps, driven from their homes by religious violence.
Hindu mobs burnt more than a dozen churches and attacked Christians after a Hindu leader was killed.
Mamberti said the events in India made the issue of religious liberty today all the more pressing.
While Hindu groups accuse Christian priests of bribing poor tribes and low-caste Hindus to change their faith, the Christians say lower-caste Hindus convert willingly to escape a complex caste system.
Pope Benedict has condemned the violence against Christians in Orissa but also deplored the killing of the Hindu leader.
Italy's foreign ministry said it would summon India's ambassador to demand "incisive action" to prevent further attacks against Christians.
Mamberti said 21 Catholic missionaries were killed in the world in 2007 and lamented that the Christian population of Iraq was now down to about 500,000 from about one million before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
Last month, Pope Benedict told Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki that minority Christians in Iraq needed more protection.
The Archbishop of Mosul of Iraq's largest Christian denomination, the Chaldean Catholics, was kidnapped in February and found dead two weeks later.
The Vatican has often expressed concern that conflicts in the Middle East are greatly diminishing the Christian population in the areas of the religion's birth.
Sarah Palin was a great choice by McCain, and this will get his conservative base out while also bringing many fence-straddlers into the fold. Frankly, I was pondering a vote for Bob Barr, but the Palin appointment will have me voting for that hotdog McCain with relish! (Hold the mustard, please!)
We can already hear the criticism from the Democrats and their media allies; she is too inexperienced has been the buzzword all day. Now, Obama was a ``community organizer`` meaning an agitator for ACORN type groups looking to succor at the teat of Big Government, then a state senator and finally has spent two years as U.S. Senator. He has never worked in the private sector, instead has taught law and pursued a political career. He has no experience running anything but his personal staff. Sarah Palin, on the other hand, had served on the Wasilla city council before being elected Mayor for two terms, and has been Governor of the largest state in the Union for two years (the same amount of time as Obama). Her state is does not even physically touch any other part of the United States, rather is bordered by Canada to the east and south and by Russia to the west. The accusation that she has less foreign experience is bogus; when did Obama have to deal with the Canadians and Russians on a formal basis? Sarah also commanded the state National Guard-something Obama has never come near. Before entering politics she worked as a television sports reporter and in the commercial fishing industry. The term ``regular Josephine`` certainly applies to her.
But Obama went to Harvard while Sarah attended the University of Idaho. His elite background certainly puts him in touch with those bitter Americans clinging to their guns and God. Poor simple Sarah has such plebein roots!
Most American Presidents have been governors of states, not patrician senators. Why? Because the governorship teaches people how to run organizations, and keeps them at home among the people rather than isolated in the Washington cocktail party and power culture.
Obama is perceived as an elitist, a radical in sheeps clothing, friend of terrorists and radical Black Supremacists who call on God to damn this country. Obama himself said ``white man`s greed runs a world in need`` and refered to the grandmother who raised him as a ``typical white person``, meaning she is a racist. He hangs around with communists, with shady wiseguy types, has a sweetheart land deal, in fact, from one such. He cannot produce a birth certificate, and may in fact not be qualified to be President. He was raised in a Madross in Indonesia, and was identified by his mother to Indonesian authorities as a Muslim. He is as American as apple pie! If Obama wants to get into these types of fights, he had better be prepared.
That`s why he picked Joe Biden, a man who has suffered with brain aneurysms. At the risk of being mean, it can be said that Obama has chosen a man without a full brain! (I take that back, it WAS really mean.) Actually, it does make one wonder if Biden`s angry and somewhat eccentric behavior in the Senate isn`t a result of instability caused by his surgeries, and if he won`t be subject to another aneurysm. Theoretically, we could end up with Nancy Pelosi in the White House.
I also have misgivings about electing as our deputy leader a man who is facing eternal damnation according to the Church he himself attends regularly. He has willfully set himself against Church teachings on abortion, and continues to accept Communion despite being ex-Communicated. If the Catholic Church is wrong, still I suspect God would not be pleased at such hypocrisy; Biden can either conform to his faith or leave it. He wants to have it both ways, and panders to his working-class Catholic constituents.
Obama denounced his church, at least. After spending many years listening to Jeremiah Wright`s racist rants. After Jeremiah Wright wouldn`t shut up during the campaign. After he was caught.
But at least he DID leave, although the new pastor of Trinity seems to be around a lot considering that Obama disavowed him (Mission Impossible ``the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions``)
Biden, the guy a heartbeat away from the Presidency, has refused to do likewise.
At any rate, Sarah Palin may not bring a large state to the table in terms of electoral votes, but she can bring many women who have been straddling the fence-and not a few of whom will be the PUMA gang of Clinton supporters. She is attractive, so she may bring the LGTB who were so enamored of Hillary Clinton when she was First Lady (just kidding). She fought corruption in Alaskan politics, going against her own party and Ted ``feed me`` Stevens. Her husband works in the oil business. She fishes and hunts Moose (Ted Kennedy had better be careful if he visits her at Camp David!) She is the real deal.
Also, you may remember the debate between then-Senate candidate Hillary Clinton and Rick Lazio. Despite the appeal of Mrs. Clinton`s alleged toughness, her victory was secured when Lazio came over to Hillary and ``invaded her space``. Poor, abused Hillary was being mistreated by a mean old MAN! Suddenly, everyone remembered their chivalry, and Hillary began pulling ahead of the guy who tried to beat up on a girl. Despite decades of feminism, we still hold some of this viewpoint; it is wired into our brains. A large part of the appeal of Biden was that he is a scrapper, ready to fight. What happens when he begins screaming at Sarah Palin in the debate, calling her names and accusing her of all manner of things? Will this backfire on him as it did on Lazio? I suspect Biden will have to tone down lest he arouse a backlash, and then the bankruptcy of his arguments will be visible. The Palin pick neutralizes Biden`s strongest asset.
So, Obama is afraid to debate John McCain, being useless without a teleprompter, and Biden will have to tiptoe around HIS opponent. The roaring lions of the Democrat Party are reduced to whimpering kittens!
Oh, and Biden is the consumate insider, having spent decades in Washington. If this election is about change, Sarah Palin is it!
The Russians have always been huge fans of chess, and are famous for producing Grand Masters. They are re-emerging, bringing their chess-like strategy to the world stage. John McCain showed himself to be a masterful chess player here with this pick, and, of course, Sarah has had to deal with the Russians herself. Who do we want in the White House? An inexperiences dreamer and radical, or two practical, tough, far thinking leaders?
I`ve been down on John McCain for a long time; he has gone a long way to mending fences. (I hope he BUILDS fences as well-especially down on the Mexican border.)
Sarah Palin is the future of the GOP!
A new PAC has asked me for donations and sent me these sample YouTube videos that show Barack Obama is not a mainstream citizen, let alone a mainstream politician.
Our Country Deserves Better PAC
Attn: Betty Presley, Treasurer
30151 Tomas Street
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
I recently wrote two pieces about the Arctic Ice recovery, and about the faulty graph used by the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The original story was based on a piece from Stephan Goddard, and I found out about it via Tom Nelson (a very reliable source). It turns out that the author has revised his analysis based on conversations with the NSIDC; the differences in the photographs he used to determine ice loss was based on pixel counts, and the pixels used different parameters, so the apparent contradiction has been resolved-at least as far as the original author was concerned.
Here is a statement by Goddard:
To expound further - after a lot of examination of UIUC maps, I discovered that while their 2008 maps appear golden, their 2007 maps do not agree well with either NSIDC maps or NASA satellite imagery. NSIDC does not archive their maps, but I found one map from August 19, 2007. I overlaid the NSIDC map on top of the UIUC map from the same date. As you can see below, the NSIDC ice map (white) shows considerably greater extent than the UIUC maps (colors.) The UIUC ice sits back much further from the Canadian coast than does the NSIDC ice. The land lines up perfectly between the maps, so it appears possible that the UIUC ice is mapped using a different projection than their land projection.
Because the 2007 UIUC maps show less area, the increase in 2008 appears greater. This is the crux of the problem. I am convinced that the NSIDC data is correct and that my analysis is flawed. The technique is theoretically correct, but the output is never better than the raw data. Prior to writing the article, I had done quite a bit of comparison of UIUC vs. NSIDC vs. NASA for this year. The hole in my methodology was not performing the same analysis for last year. (The fact that NSIDC doesn’t archive their maps of course contributed to the difficulty of that exercise.)
My apologies to Dr. Meiers and Dr. Serreze, and NSIDC. Their analysis, graphs and conclusions were all absolutely correct. Arctic ice is indeed melting nearly as fast as last year, and this is indeed troubling.
- Steven Goddard
Here is an explanation of the changes made by the William Chapman of the University of Illinois Champagne/Urbana on the changes he made to the sea-ice graph, changes that caused the confusion.
Here is a piece from the Rockymountain news in which Walt Meier of the NSIDC explains that, yes, this year was colder than last, and that it is most unlikely that we will have an ice-free Arctic this year. As he points out:
``We only have about two or three weeks more of ice melt, and it’s not going to make it to the North Pole,`` Meier said.
The Arctic Ocean has two types of ice. One type is the seasonal ice that starts forming in late September, typically reaches 10 to 15 feet thick, and may or may not survive the summer’s heat.
The second type is the perennial ice that lasts year after year -- at least it has until the last couple decades when so much of it has melted.
NSIDC scientists got interested in a possibly ice-free North Pole this year when they noticed that that perennial ice had retreated south of the North Pole. That left only the seasonal ice.
But the season was cooler than expected, so the seasonal ice is holding. ``We’re not going to set a record every year,`` Meier said.
Although Meier blames Global Warming, you will note this interesting comment from Arctic Sea Ice News, the NSIDC`s periodical:
Sea ice extent is declining at a fairly brisk and steady pace. Surface melt has mostly ended, but the decline will continue for two to three more weeks because of melt from the bottom and sides of the ice. Amundsen's Northwest Passage is now navigable; the wider, deeper Northwest Passage through Parry Channel may also open in a matter of days. The Northern Sea Route along the Eurasian coast is clear.
Hat tip; Tom Nelson.
Catch that? The ice is melting from beneath, not above. What does that tell us? That warmer water is coming into the Arctic, melting the ice. It is not melting because of high Arctic temperatures, but because of ocean currents.
Remember, the Antarctic is GAINING ice
With all that said, the main point of my pieces may have been wrong, but the ancillary points-that the press is in the tank on GW and only reports those making apocalyptic statements is spot-on, and there is still no reason to believe we are facing environmental catastrophe.
The Alarmists have been trolling websites; they think they`ve got the goods based on this one argument. You gotta love people who call for trials of those who disagree with them!
August 29, 2008
by Dana Mathewson:
I'm sure you've seen that joke making the e-mail rounds, about that
new disease: Electile Dysfunction -- the inability to generate
enthusiasm for any of the candidates.
It's all relative, though -- and I'm saying this as a person who has
watched every election (though certainly not every convention) since
Ike ran against Stevenson the second time -- maybe even the first
time. I was quite young and less able to see the "warts and pimples"
on candidates then, of course.
McCain isn't the guy I would have chosen. But compared to anybody on
the donkey's side, I'll embrace him warmly. He's cockeyed about some
things (global warming, ANWR) but he instinctively understands about
national security, and he appears to be learning about the economy --
things that liberals CAN'T get right even if they wished because
they're beholden to the far left.
Besides, I look at it this way: what choice do we have? Stay at home
on election day, that's a vote for Bam-Bam. This is all too important
to indulge in "teaching the Republicans a lesson." The way to teach
them is elect 'em, then bombard them with letters and phone calls.
There are three kinds of people in the world. Those who make things happen,
those who watch things happen, and those who say "What happened?" -- Fr. Bill
Dana Mathewson forwards <a href=http://tinyurl.com/6xr4av
>this</a> piece about Obama`s attempt to stifle criticism in a Nazi Brownshirt fashion.
Here is a brief excerpt:
<i>Obama's campaign is urging supporters to call the radio station to complain. "Tell WGN that....
...by providing Kurtz with airtime, they are legitimizing baseless attacks from a smear-merchant and lowering the standards of political discourse," the note said.``
<i>"It is absolutely unacceptable that WGN would give a slimy character assassin like Kurtz time for his divisive, destructive ranting on our public airwaves," the note continued. "At the very least, they should offer sane, honest rebuttal to every one of Kurtz's lies."
<i>``Zack Christenson, executive producer of the long-running interview program "Extension 720 with Milt Rosenberg," said the response from Obama supporters was strong. Rosenberg like Ayres is a college professor.``
<i>"I would say this is the biggest response we've ever got from a campaign or a candidate," said Christenson. "This is really unprecedented with the show, the way that people are flooding the calls and our email boxes."
<i>``Christenson also stressed that the Obama campaign was invited to send a representative to appear on the show to balance the discussion of the newly-opened documents. But the campaign headquarters just down Michigan Avenue from the station refused the request. This is not the first time Obama's organization has sought to steer supporters to influence a broadcast outlet airing criticism.``
For a guy who taught Constitutional Law and a member of the ``progressive`` wing of the Democrat Party, His High Holiness is certainly quick to stifle dissenting views. What will he do when he has the power to REALLY stifle dissent?
But then, questioning one`s Messiah is Heresy, is it not? They used to burn Heretics.
August 28, 2008
I`ve been doggedly watching the Democratic (sic) National Convention, but haven`t written about it until now, and won`t write much on this post. Doggedly watching, I say, because infomercials on toenail fungus remover would be more exhilerating. I`ve been to livelier funerals in my day than this convention. I`ve never seen a bigger collection of morose freaks in my life! I can stomach a lively freak, but a morose one?
Last night, Bill Clinton roused them momentarily, but they lost interest before his speech was concluded, as they had with Hillary`s speech the night before. I went to bed before Shoeless Joe Biden could mount the podium, but I have little reason to expect Biden made a bigger splash then anyone else.
I think the Democrats are in despair; as they always do, they believed their own press, that they would be swept into power on the wings of eagles with the thundering voice of the prophet Obama, and now they are realizing that the inexperienced ``black boy`` (as Jimmy Carter dubbed him) is a fine tailored suit sans anyone inside. Reality is knocking at their door, and they are loathe to let it in. The grand sweep they had been dreaming of has turned into a squeaker at best, and they are fully aware of the fact. This must have been what the passengers of the Titanic felt when they were told to start heading for the lifeboat stations.
I`m enjoying the Schadenfreude, but I really had hoped to be entertained by the hippie antics of the PUMA chicks and the Recreate 68 crowd, both of whom promised jolly fun but have failed to deliver. As a result, we have an anemic convention which rivals writing poetry in your alphabet soup in terms of excitement.
Good news for Republicans, but we`ll be stuck with the booby prize anyway, since Still-in-Saigon John is good for about a fifth of a loaf.
Obama is literally going to have to walk on water if he wants to pump up his base. I wonder if he`s rigging up some kind of special effects for that; I`ve heard he`s going to rise up from under the stage like Jesus at the Ascencion, or at least in imitation of Elijah. Maybe he can photoshop himself parting Niagara Falls or strolling down the Big Muddy. At least he ought to buy some of those inflatable shoes that let you stroll out onto a lake.
What they heck; it`s worth a try!
This from the Federalist Patriot:
``Vanity Fair found Barack Obama’s long lost brother George Hussein Onyango Obama in Africa. He’s now living in a hut on the outskirts of Nairobi on a dollar a month. He bet everything he had that Hillary Clinton would get the Democratic nomination.``
August 27, 2008
I have to laugh; just a couple of days ago, I wrote this piece about the non-event of Arctic ice melt, linking a website which shows satellite photos of the Arctic ice and which specifically mentions (and falsifies) the National Snow and Ice Data Center`s ridiculous claim that the cap is kaput. Thinking the matter settled, I went about my business. Well, I clicked on Yahoo, and what appears in their news section but an AP story trumpeting the NSIDC`s fantastical and illusionary claims!
I would love to post the entire piece, but the AP is threatening to sue bloggers for doing that, so you will simply have to go and read it for yourself. I`m rolling with laughter at the stupidity of the authors, who clearly made no effort whatsoever to learn the truth.
Any claims to unbiased reporting by the mainstream media are lies; these guys had to have taken steps to verify the information, yet they simply chose not to do so. This is one of the most egregious examples of the Big Lie, of sleazy yellow journalism to promote their worldview I have ever seen. Of course, the Global Warming crowd has been full of this sort of thing for years, and their lapdog media nuzzle their backsides, determined to trick the World into believing this malarky.
I love the way they threw in the cuddly Polar Bears, too! Fuzzy animals in trouble are great for jerking at heartstrings. The reality is the Polar Bear is not endangered in the slightest; it was put on the Endangered Species List because liberals in the Department of the Interior ASSUMED that Global Warming would melt sea ice, causing them to drown! As of yet, their numbers remain quite healthy, but the dolts at the AP make it sound like they are drowning by the millions.
Also note that the authors state that the sea-ice is at it`s second lowest level ``in history`` by which they mean since the beginning of satellite data in 1979.
The scary thing about this is that many people-especially the young-will read this piece of used toilet paper and fear the worst, believing every lying word of it. Since the authors ignore contrary evidence and take the NSIDC (a think-tank known for such hysterics) as Gospel. If journalists are supposed to bring the truth to the public, they have a duty to check with opposing sources. They NEVER do that with Global Warming.
So tens of thousands believe that we are at a ``tipping point`` because the sea ice is melting away, when it`s doing no such thing and has recovered nicely this year. They further throw that scientists find hints of methane release, but they don`t cite any details.
In short, these two are liars, and they are scaring people.
We need Regime Change in the mainstream media.
Global Warming is freezing the Brits. I found this on CCNET:
The Daily Telegraph, 22 August 2008
Sales of winter clothes and thermal underwear are soaring as Britons suffer a dismal summer and prepare for a winter of high fuel bills, according to a leading retailer.
Department store Debenhams said shoppers were turning their back on summer sarongs, shorts and swimwear and opting for woollens instead.
Sales of thermal underwear at the store are up 54% on this time last year, winter coat sales are up 76% and warm knitwear is up by 53%.
Debenhams said the figures were similar to those traditionally seen during October.
The retailer said it had expected a slight increase in sales of winter clothes during the dismal August weather, but put the "massive boost" in figures down to "hibernation hysteria".
It noted the higher sales followed comments by Jake Ulrich of Centrica - the parent company of British Gas - telling consumers struggling with soaring fuel bills that "maybe its two jumpers instead of one".
Debenhams' spokesman Ed Watson said: "The awful weather clearly has something to do with this hibernation hysteria.
"However with gas and electric companies turning up the heat, it looks like many people will be turning to their wardrobe rather than the central heating thermostat this winter to keep warm.
"I suppose it's a reluctant thanks to Jake Ulrich as well. A full set of Debenhams' long johns and a couple of our woolly jumpers are in the post so he can follow his own advice."
By Dana Mathewson:
For those of you who love a well-turned lyric, especially those of the
political satire kind, I offer one from my friend Barry Mitchel, a man
whom I consider the Johnny Mercer (or perhaps the Ira Gershwin) of
Joseph Biden, Senator since 1973, Judiciary Chairman who stopped Robert
Bork and impeded Clarence Thomas, current Foreign Relations Chairman,
gives it all up for a chance to preside over the Senate. Originally, I
wanted "Old White Joe" as my title, then "Old Hack Joe", but due to his
outspokenness I chose the final stronger adjective. See
for original words by my Pittsburgh idol, Stephen Foster. -- Barry
Bold Hack Joe
[First stanza sung by Barack Obama; remainder by Joe Biden]
Gone is the praise
When I started 'mong the fray.
Gone are the trends,
Long forgotten, that held sway.
For second place,
There's no better man I know.
This year, my gentler voice is calling:
Bold Hack Joe.
I'm coming, I'm coming,
For my head is mending so.
I hear your gentle voice now calling,
B. H. O.
Why me for veep
When that part gives me no gain?
Why do I fly
Where my friends had sought in vain?
Leaving the storms
That I charted long ago,
I cheer that gentle voice that's calling:
Bold Hack Joe.
Where are my darts,
Once so snappy and so free?
They chilled men, in fear
That I'd fell their climbing tree.
Gone from the floor,
Where my soul belonged, for show.
Next year, my Senate voice is bawling:
Sold Flack Joe.
August 26, 2008
My brother Brian has a column at Townhall today questioning the mantra of Change. Check it out! The piece has elicited many comments, so be sure to visit Townhall and read them all.
Is Joe Biden the Change We Have Been Waiting For?
Late Friday night NBC interrupted their interminable Olympic coverage to issue a special news bulletin. Technical difficulties drowned out half of the news flash but the gist of the message turned out to be the fact that Senator Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee from Illinois , had selected a Vice-presidential running mate, Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware . The news, while not completely unexpected since Internet sources had been discussing this likelihood for at least a day, certainly merited the importance attached to it by media outlets. The Vice-Presidency undoubtedly carries more weight than the office formerly held and certain second bananas, most notably Al Gore, have developed followings based on a cult of personality that would have made Benito Mussolini blush.
Given the increased profile of the office and the significance the media attaches to the celebrity factor, it came as no surprise that Obama’s choice would dominate the news cycle. Obama, the revered figure, had teased the country for six weeks or longer about his running mate, and the nation waited on pins and needles to see who the vaunted agent of ``change`` would select as the figure who could step in and run the government if the worst should come to pass. The press and public speculated that Obama would make a bold choice. He might select Hillary Clinton and bind the party wounds. He could choose a Reagan Democrat like Senator James Webb of Virginia , thereby attempting to unify the country by truly reaching out to the other side. If Jim Webb proved too bitter, clinging to guns and religion, former Senator Sam Nunn of Georgia could have been employed to lend the ticket some defense and foreign policy heft. Obama could also opt for one of the promising women in his party like Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius or Senator Clair McKaskill from Missouri in order to satisfy the gender equity bean counters. No one knew for sure, but Obama, showing that his pitch for ``change`` was more than a mantra, would make a bold and decisive choice. He would prove, by his decision, that he was daring and courageous, he was a visionary of post-ideological politics! Obama thought through all of his options and gave his supporters-Joe Biden! Yes, Senator Obama confronted his first momentous decision and settled upon Senator Joe Biden, the consummate Washington insider, as his Vice-Presidential running mate.
The choice of Senator Biden as the Vice-Presidential nominee of a candidate running on the shaky platform of ``change`` simply staggers the imagination. Joseph Biden is sixty-five years old and has served in the U. S. Senate since first winning election in 1972. Thus, he has been in the Senate for more than half of his life, spending more than a full generation in that august body. Biden certainly should be mentioned along with Kennedy, Byrd, Young and a few others as United States Senators for life. His permanent residence in the upper legislative chamber, known as ``The World’s Most Exclusive Club`` clearly mocks Obama’s promise of change.
The Senator from Delaware also enjoys a cozy relationship with lobbyists and lawyers, two groups that Obama has loosely identified as part of the problem in Washington today. Biden has accepted over five million dollars in contributions, from attorneys and law firms, since 2003. He has also drawn substantial campaign support from credit card agencies, the real estate industry, and lending and financial institutions, all of which should merit careful scrutiny in this age of upheaval in the mortgage sector of the economy. Hunter Biden, the Senator’s son, is a registered Washington lobbyist and a partner in a D.C. lobbying firm who has worked the system to secure earmarks for various legislators, a practice which Senator Obama has publicly denounced.
In Senator Biden’s defense it should be noted that his own Presidential ambitions crashed in 1987, and while he briefly campaigned for the Democratic nomination last year, he was widely seen as a longshot candidate with little chance of winning the nomination. Therefore, he did not expect that he would face questions concerning his comfortable relationships with the legal/lobbyist subculture. He can expect these questions now, and in very short order.
Senator Biden is an officeholder who has served his Delaware constituency well. He is, however, a man who has earned barely a dime in the private sector, who has become, after thirty-six years in the Senate, the consummate Washington insider and is quite at ease with most of the time honored D.C. rituals many Americans find distasteful. Moreover, Biden’s senior partner running mate has condemned many of these same practices.
Senator Obama has gained momentum with his shrewdly calibrated call for change. He has stated, in fact, ``We are the change we have been waiting for``. Now that the Senator has announced his choice of running mates the American voter must ask: Is Joe Biden the change we have been waiting for?
David Hazony, writing in this piece at Commentaries, observed Condoleeza Rice hobknobbing around with the lame-duck Ohlmert government of Israel, prompting him to make the following observation:
Or put another way: Given the major foreign-policy challenges currently facing the Bush administration, why is the Secretary of State spending her time on the least profitable of world conflicts, the Graveyard of Diplomats, the Western Middle East?
If the trend quoted by Shmuel Rosner is right, that Rice is perceived as failing Bush on key crises like Georgia, it may just be that she is in the process of being peeled off central foreign-policy projects and relegated to ceremonial mop-up jobs in Bush’s waning months. It is not pretty to watch, all this dancing around for nothing. And I thought yesterday’s day-long Israeli government meeting on the budget seemed staged. But today it feels like we’re back at Annapolis, still shaking our heads, still wondering if there’s a better way.
I would concur; Condi is a bright woman and I`ve always liked her, but I think she would be better as Commissioner of the NFL (a post she covets) than as Sec. State. She has always seemed to me to be in over her head in this job, and her floundering about in the Georgia crisis-something well within her field of expertise-suggests she isn`t capable of managing State.
Now, I don`t blame her; State is full of career types, many of whom try to push their own, largely liberal agenda. Here is where there is a difference between being a smart college professor and being an administrator; Condi can`t rein-in her own department. Granted, Powell couldn`t either, but then Powell was more with them than with his President. Condi had a tough assignment. It`s too bad she hasn`t been up for the challenge; she had a bright political future, but I fear no more.
At any rate, the entire Bush Administration is running out the clock. THAT is why Russia chose this moment in time; they knew Bush would not act. Any action taken will be demogogued as political, with the coming elections, and the Republicans can`t afford to be accused of acting out of partisan interest. Had this happened in October it would likely have given McCain a bounce; something that nobody in Russia (or China, or the Arab World, or even in Europe) wants. President Obama would be fine with the Riddler aka Comrad Putin and his Dancing Teeth.
Our lame response to Tsar Vladimir illustrates to our allies that we are a paper tiger, one not willing to go to the mat when needed. It emboldens our enemies as well. This was a serious problem, and Condi addressed it with strong words but weak actions. We will likely regret that.
Found on Powerline and is an op-ed article in the dcExaminer.
Is the grass greener with socialized medicine?
By Sally C. Pipes
Special to the Examiner | 8/23/08 7:35 PM
With Democrats convinced 2008 is their year, the campaign trail is awash with promises to make universal health care a reality by the end of the next president’s first term.
The basic argument of those who support a government takeover of the health care system is familiar. As New York Times columnist Paul Krugman once put it, ``America’s health care system spends more, for worse results, than that of any other advanced country.``
Krugman’s line has been repeated so often it’s considered gospel truth in most public debates, people rarely check to see if it matches the facts. As the American humorist Josh Billings quipped, ``the problem with the world ain’t ignorance, it’s the things people know that just ain’t so.``
If they did, they’d probably be surprised. Socialized health care isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Take the much-vaunted Canadian system. More than 825,000 Canadian citizens are currently on waiting lists for surgery and other necessary treatments. Fifteen years ago, the average wait between a referral from a primary-care doctor to treatment by a specialist was around nine weeks. Today, that wait is over 16 weeks.
That’s almost double what doctors consider clinically reasonable. As Canadian physician Brian Day explained to The New York Times, Canada ``is a country in which dogs can get a hip replacement in under a week and in which humans can wait two to three years.``
In part, these waits are due to a doctor shortage. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Canada ranks 24th out of 28 countries in doctors per thousand people.
Why so few doctors? Over the past decade, about 11 percent of physicians trained in Canadian medical schools have moved to the United States. That’s because doctors’ salaries in Canada are negotiated, set and paid for by provincial governments and held down by cost-conscious budget analysts. Today, in fact, the average Canadian doctor earns only 42 percent of what a doctor earns in the United States.
Canada also limits access to common medical technologies. When compared with other OECD countries, Canada is 13th out of 24 in access to magnetic resonance imagings, 18th of 24 in access to computed tomography scanners, and seventh of 17 in access to mammograms.
The problems plaguing Canada are characteristic of all universal health care systems.
In Britain, more than 1 million sick citizens are currently waiting for hospital admission. Another 200,000 are waiting just to get on a waiting list. Each year, Britain’s National Health Service cancels around 100,000 operations.
Britain even has a government agency explicitly tasked with limiting people’s access to prescription drugs. Euphemistically called the National Institute for Health and Clinical Effectiveness, the agency determines which treatments the British health care system covers. More often than not, saving money takes priority over saving lives.
In 2008, for instance, NICE refused to approve the lung cancer drug Tarceva. Despite numerous studies showing that the drug significantly prolongs the life of cancer patients, and the unanimous endorsement of lung cancer specialists throughout the United Kingdom, NICE determined that the drug was too expensive to cover relative to its effectiveness. As of August 2008, England is one of only three countries in Western Europe that denies citizens access to Tarceva.
Britain’s behavior is typical every European government rations drugs to save money. Eighty-five new drugs hit the U.S. market between 1998 and 2002. During that same time period, only 44 of those drugs became available in Europe.
The evidence clearly indicates that patients under socialized medicine are suffering. Why, then, do countries with government-run health care consistently outrank the United States on international quality surveys?
It’s not because the American health care system is inferior. It’s because these surveys use deeply flawed metrics that don’t reflect health care quality.
Case in point: The World Health Organization rankings of overall health system performance placed the United States 37th out of 191 countries. That’s behind not only Canada, Britain and France, but even countries like Costa Rica, Morocco and Cyprus.
Life expectancy accounted for 25 percent of a nation’s WHO ranking. But life expectancy is the function of a variety of factors. Medical care is just one of them. Just as important are a nation’s homicide rate, the number of accidents, diet trends, ethnic diversity and much more.
Another factor accounting for 25 percent of a nation’s ranking was “distribution of health, or fairness. By this logic, treating everyone exactly the same is more important than treating people well. So long as everyone is equal, even if they’re equally miserable, a nation will do quite well in the WHO rankings.
In measuring the quality of a health care system, what really matters is how well it serves those who are sick. And it’s here that America really excels.
According to an August 2008 study published in Lancet Oncology, the renowned British medical journal, Americans have a better than five-year survival rate for 13 of the 16 most prominent cancers when compared with their European and Canadian counterparts.
With breast cancer, for instance, the survival rate among American women is 83.9 percent. For women in Britain, it’s just 69.7 percent. For men with prostate cancer, the survival rate is 91.9 percent here but just 73.7 percent in France and 51.1 percent in Britain.
American men and women are more than 35 percent more likely to survive colon cancer than their British counterparts.
It’s no wonder then that foreign dignitaries living in countries with socialized health care systems routinely come to this country when they need top-flight medical treatment.
When Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi needed heart surgery in 2006, he traveled to the Cleveland Clinic, often considered America’s best hospital for cardiac care. When Canadian Member of Parliament Belinda Stronach, who had denounced a two-tier health care system for Canadians, needed breast cancer surgery herself in 2007, she headed to a California hospital and paid out of pocket.
So much for the `free` health care they could have received at home.
As for the supposed cost advantages of socialized medicine? Those are illusory, too. True, other developed nations may spend less on health care as a percentage of gross domestic product than the United States does, but so does Sudan. Without considering value, such statistical evaluations are worthless.
And one of the primary reasons health care costs more in America is that we are a wealthy country that demands the best. And, we’re investing a lot more in medical research.
The United States produces over half of the $175 billion in health care technology products purchased globally. In 2004, the federal government funded medical research to the tune of $18.4 billion. By contrast, the European Union, which has a significantly larger population than the United States, allocated funds equal to just $3.7 billion for medical research.
Between 1999 and 2005, the United States was responsible for 71 percent of the sales of new pharmaceutical drugs. The next two largest pharmaceutical markets, Japan and Germany, account for just 4 percent each.
While no one can deny that there are significant problems in the American health care system, overall it provides exceptional value. The ideologues who claim we’d be better off under socialized medicine are massively wrong. Government-run health care has proven to be heartless and uncaring — and the inferior treatments it provides come with a very steep price tag.
From my friend Barry Mitchel, in Virginia. He's a thinker, as you can see.
At the Saddleback Forum, Barack Obama stated that we (meaning the USA)
have used evil means to combat "perceived evil" in the world. Presumably
he was thinking about such things as "collateral damage" in war, or the
loss of international prestige due too our "unilateral action" overseas.
Here's what he probably forgot, mostly caused by liberal policies.
Solution: Homeless shelters, free meals, food banks
Result: More homeless people, with an attitude of entitlement
Solution: Redistribution of wealth to the "disadvantaged"
Result: More people learn to fit the criteria; more broken homes
Evil: Children born out of wedlock
Solution: Food stamps, welfare payments, subsidized housing
Result: More children born to single mothers
Evil: Uncontrollable children
Solution: Counseling and drugs; special education
Result: More parents learn how to game the system
Evil: Unequal elementary education
Solution: Forced busing, federal mandates, more & more money
Result: White flight, failing urban schools, stressed teachers
Evil: Unequal access to higher education
Solution: Financial aid, grants, student loans, affirmative action
Result: Higher tuitions, flooded admissions, lower standards
Evil: Some jobs do not pay a "living wage"
Solution: Minimum wages, laws favoring union shops
Result: Fewer entry-level jobs, all wage scales bumped up
Evil: Obscene corporate profits and executive compensation
Solution: Windfall profit taxes, regulation of stock options
Result: Higher consumer prices, less entrepreneur activity
....and on and on. -- Barry
"If you want more of something, reward it; if less, tax it."
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