Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The best of us....

For reasons too numerous to even think of listing, William F. Buckley was the best of us all, the proto-neo-conservative, the guy who had the decency and the courage and the sheer intellectual FORCE to work it all out and explain it in such a way as to be understood.

At least by anyone who wanted to understand. Some didn't.

Hot Air dot com linked to this marvelous remembrance of Buckley at his best/worst, in a 1968 television appearance with Gore Vidal, famed liberal weasel. Vidal was pompously pointing out all the same crap we hear today about the Middle East but regarding Vietnam-- you know, they have a right to put in whatever government style they want (as if there were no difference between north and south), we shouldn't interfere, Western Europe and the rest of the world all agree we're wrong. Same crap as today. He ignored the suffering of the south Vietnamese at the hands of the Cong, he ignored the Soviet involvement that was after all the primary reason for our going there, he oversimplified and blamed America for everything. Classic liberal weasel, Vidal.

After a testy exchange prompted Vidal to call him a Crypto-Nazi, Buckley said:

"Now listen, you queer, stop calling me a nazi or I'll sock you in your goddam face, and you'll stay plastered!"

Buckley was leaning forward, probably a millisecond from actually taking a swing at Vidal; he was not just aggravated, he was righteously outraged. He went on to point out that he fought in the infantry in the 'last war', the big one. Nobody calls an American soldier a Nazi and gets away with it.

Note that the time-honored leftist tradition of calling anyone from the right a Nazi was standard practice a full forty years ago. (Nazis were, of course, the National SOCIALIST party of Germany, demanding that everyone think and say the same thing and that private industry and citizens should subordinate their natural energies and productivity 'for the good of the state', but leftists never allow their own similarity to Nazis to prevent them from calling US Nazis.)

In addition to inspiring countless young conservatives (including me, not so young now but still impressed by "God and Man at Yale" and all the good years of National Review, and still a Blackford Oakes fan), Buckley also served as inspiration, example, confidant and friend to the man who is inarguably the torch-bearer in our generation; the one and only Rush Limbaugh.

Rush took this subject on today, letting us in on the day he first met Buckley and on some marvelous personal moments in the years afterwards. He once made Buckley well with tears when he admitted to him in the company of several friends that having Buckley in his life made him feel as if his father were still with him.

Rush is, as always, speechless and humble when people actually start loading him up with praise and compliments, but the listeners did it to him today. They let him know that he really is this generation's Buckley, keeping intact all the layers and textures of meaning in that assertion.

And I, here on an unknown and little visited blog, second that emotion. I'm the first Rush generation. I was introduced to his show in 1989, right after he had started the national broadcast, and I've been listening nonstop for almost twenty years, including a four year stint in Europe during which I listened on the internet most evenings.

I submit that, while Buckley is the best writer of conservative views we've ever known, Rush Limbaugh is the best extemporaneous explicator of said views, probably ever.

He would deny any comparison between himself and Buckley. But anyone paying any attention at all reaches the same conclusion. Conservative politicians are often unhappy about Rush; his quickness, thoroughness and adherence to conservative principle remind us every day of the weaknesses and failings of our guys in office, and often they are just not smart enough or well spoken enough to bring themselves back from such a comparison.

William F. Buckley was a true genius, a man who changed the lives of millions and who had no ego about it whatsoever. He was the best of us.

ABC tries to put white sheets over innocent Texans

This is appalling.

A news crew hires two actors, one to play a covered Muslim woman and another a redneck store clerk who shows loud and angry prejudice to her.

The bystanders, customers in this store, are BEING SECRETLY FILMED by the ABC crew, who clearly are trying to catch people supporting the 'clerk' to show how Americans are prejudiced against Muslims.

Two things come to mind--

Why can't they find a REAL example of anti-Muslim prejudice? Why did they have to manufacture such an elaborate scene? Seems to me there are enough women in this country who cover themselves in public that ABC should be able to just secretly film THEM to catch people 'hating'. But of course if they did that, the fathers and husbands of those women would be just a bit irritated at the news crew. Not to mention they would be filming and waiting a LONG TIME, because there just isn't that much anti-Islam sentiment in this country. Lots of people are concerned about radical Islamism, but most people, even here in Texas, don't care what religion you are or what you're wearing.

Why did they go to TEXAS? Anybody think the ABC people might have thought they stood a better chance of finding what they were looking for down here in cowboy country? Anybody think Dubya has anything to do with this witch hunt? Might ABC News be holding a bit of animus against you and me, the good folks of Texas?

You can find the same redneck attitude in the same small number of Arkansans (nah, Clinton is from there), Louisianans (nah, Democrats run the place), New Mexicans (nah, Bill Richardson is governor there), and so forth and so on. But they chose Texas, deliberately, to try to add another thin layer of guilt to the people of this state for voting Republican.

This is, of course, a complete insult to everyone who lives in this state. Texans don't have any larger percentage of people who have biases against other cultures than the 49 other states do. But we talk in this funny accent, you see, and some of us have cowboy boots on and drive pickup trucks with rifles in the back windows, or Bush/Cheney 2004 stickers, or both.

I'd like to see them set up a secret crew in Dearborn, MI., and stand a fake white guy preacher on the street corner with a bible and a megaphone shouting "Jesus saves!" and then get the responses of the passing Arabs on video. Think you might find some cultural bias at work amongst the good people of Dearborn?

Assuming the fake preacher survives long enough to make a 2 minute news package out of the results.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

McCain on the hook

UPDATE: Who would have seen this coming? The Times never got any real traction with their story; the 'story' was the political hit job the Times tried to do on McCain, and the entire spectrum of political punditry saw it that way. Leftists moaned that the Times was going to unify the Republicans around McCain. It was all about the New York Times this time, and their reputation is turning to dust.


The good senator is wriggling mightily this morning, doing a presser to refute the story published yesterday in the New York Times about a possible romantic attachment.

They say 'former staffers' (who are of course unnamed) related concern eight years ago (!) over a friendship between the senator and a female lobbyist thirty years his junior; they claim (anonymously) to have actually formulated policies amongst themselves to intervene, break up schedules, prevent access, etc., in order to reduce the chances of such an attachment blossoming and becoming public.

No evidence was produced. No sources were named. And of course, no more information is available to them now than eight years ago, during the LAST time McCain tried to become president, not coincidentally.

Clearly the notable points are:

McCain's currency with his pals in the media is worth nothing, now that he is the presumptive Republican nominee. All his past smooching with the press, even his endorsement by the Times, has come to nothing, as any sensible conservative would have predicted. This isn't the end, either, as we are going to hear rehashed Keating Five stories and all sorts of other stuff nobody's talked about for years.

McCain is still using the verbal 'quote' when he talks about "conservatives" coming on board with him. He is still on his high horse, and we conservatives are still out in the cold, rebels, unrepentant of our sins, to be welcomed to the warm hearth of McCain as soon as we get humble. It is the opposite of how it should be. He should be the one making at least a token apology for his outrageous positions of late. But he is still waiting for an apology from US.

McCain really really can't talk. I mean it's BAD, folks; when it's time for him to speak concisely, clearly and firmly on point of principle, he defaults to lawyer type talk, badly formed and semi-coherent, and furthermore, utterly unconvincing. He makes Bush look good. At least Dubya can simplify his language until his point is clear; McCain seems unable to bring himself to say anything really strongly, with the exception of a nice brisk "no" to any question for which that is the correct answer.

He seems determined to withhold soundbites from the press, and the result is that he seems unwilling to be firm about the points he makes. And when he does use firm language, it is not accompanied by clear and concise explanations. He's a fumbler, in some ways worse than Bush. Nobody expects anything of Bush at this point in terms of speaking. McCain now carries the water of the entire Republican party, and he's not doing much of a job expressing himself.

I sometimes wonder if he is intellectually overmatched by this job. I've never heard him sound like he really understands something, and he has admitted there are some things he knows little about; the economy, for instance. Is he really smart enough to do this, or is it all image and reputation, all war hero and maverick?

A maelstrom of doubt engulfs me. I hate when that happens.

Castro News Network

Powerline links this morning to a CNN guideline note to writers on how to treat the subject of Castro's resignation when writing news stories.

Nobody tries harder than the left to see what's not there and to NOT see what's staring you in the face. And it's all the more damaging to public knowledge when they blatantly manipulate how broadcast news is presented so that their view is the dominant one, and comes to be accepted as fact by those who do not study the issue.

"Please say in our reporting that Castro stepped down in a letter he wrote to (Cuban news organization), and not 'in a letter attributed to Castro'. We have no reason to doubt he wrote the letter, he (sic) has penned numerous articles over the past year and a half."

Well, if you ASSUME he wrote the articles, then you have no reason to doubt the letter, I suppose. But that begs the question; is Castro lucid, coherent, ALIVE? We don't know, and it is a fool's game to presume the positive when dealing with a regime that owes its continued existence to maintaining public ignorance on matters of consequence.

It is just plain childish to cite other written works to provide provenance for a letter, when all such works are presently subject to the same possible sets of circumstances which lead us to use caution in attributing the letter.

It's childish, and it's an arrogant presumption that viewers aren't smart enough to wonder whether Castro is writing his own propaganda these days.

And in that respect it is unnervingly similar to that propaganda; weak proofs offered with confidence and pride, and (at least on CNN, thanks to this note) no other viewpoint available for the viewer to consider.

But it gets worse--

"please note Fidel (yes, a warm personal first-name reference from the CNN brass) did bring social reforms to Cuba - namely free education and universal health care, and racial integration. in addition to being criticized for oppressing human rights and freedom of speech."

The grammar of these superior journalist types is atrocious, and so is the blindness; Cuba's "free education" is propaganda and sufficient basics to get the young slave to work in the cane fields, no more.

The 'universal health care' wasn't good enough for "Fidel" himself, as he imported a Spanish surgeon to deal with his own health care.

Powerline notes that Eldridge Cleaver, a man with some unfortunate experience in fighting racism, went to Cuba to live in the worker's paradise while on the run from American law. He found racism was worse than ever under Castro and came back to the States, commenting that Fidel's real Cuba didn't match the fantasy.

But if you're CNN's brass, you stick to the fantasy.

And note the end of that graf -- "being criticized for oppressing human rights and freedom of speech."

The positive stuff - "did bring social reforms to Cuba" - is objective fact in CNN's view, and the negative stuff is asserted to be someone's opinion of what he did, some criticism he suffered, some whining rightwinger's idea of how Cuba was.

"while despised by some, he is seen as a revolutionary hero, especially with some leftists in Latin America, for standing up to the United States."

There can be little doubt how CNN sees Castro. Standing up to the United States is at present the policy of the network, no matter what the issue, for as long as Bush or conservatives remain in charge of anything.

Fidel Castro is a mass murderer; God alone knows how many deaths he is responsible for and how much suffering he has inflicted on his nation. He is a thief, having secured for himself more money in foreign bank accounts than Saddam did, than Arafat did, than any other dictator in history.

I'll never forget the tale told me by a Cuban emigre I met, of late night knocks at the door, of the men in the town being whisked off in darkness to work at cane fields on the other side of the island, families not notified where they were or when (or if) they would return.

And when there were no more men, they came for the women.

Castro had a policy of allowing a few families to leave, so nobody could criticize him for imprisoning his people. It was by lottery, and families waited years to find out that they had to go in two weeks or lose the chance. They left everything behind. At the airport, they were searched and all valuables taken, including the wedding ring of a young boy's mother (the boy having grown to be the man I knew).

Castro was and is a pillar of evil, the worst this world has to offer. The amount of mental and moral gymnastics one must go through in order to write that note to CNN's news writers is beyond my imagining.

But those are the people who shape public opinion.

Thank God they don't have a monopoly on it anymore.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

If PBS says it

It must be true.

The Marines at Haditha are innocent of murder or any other evil act, and were simply doing the best they could with the information they had at the time-- set up, as they were, by bad guys trying to make them look like they committed a massacre.

At least that's the conclusion that the most ardent leftists in broadcasting, the folks at PBS, have come to.

If PBS can offer a program that concludes our Marines are hardworking guys in a profession fraught with danger who must make split second decisions about the lives of locals, the lives of their men and fighting bad guys, then why can't Jack Murtha admit he was wrong?

If our military courts can throw out the charges against the Marines over Haditha, why can't congressman Murtha admit he was wrong when he called our men 'cold blooded killers'?

Thus far there is no public record of any journalist asking him this question. One intrepid student followed him with a camcorder and asked it, last year. Murtha ducked into an elevator and closed the door without answering.

For a former Marine, that guy is vile, venal and cowardly. I'm honestly surprised some vet hasn't already taken it upon himself to give Murtha a much-deserved a$$-kicking. His entire life is a continuing insult to our men in uniform.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Great column by former presscorpse turned Bush writer

The Anchoress links to a wonderful column whose base facts elude me, but I will guess--

this writer was once a media hack covering politics and is now working, or until recently worked, in some capacity for the Bush White House.

(update: it's a former WSJ writer turned Bush speechwriter and retired this month)

The perspective from the writer is eye-opening and perhaps gives a clue as to how Bush will be remembered in times to come.

It is also an indictment, albeit gently delivered, of the MSM, and how the media so often gets it wrong.

Read it, and tell the Anchoress I apologize for any bad links or other violations of web protocol.

Gore effect?

Anybody seen Algore? Is he perhaps on a luxury yacht in the Greek Islands?

I"m just sayin'.

Monday, February 18, 2008

First time for everything

Michelle Obama has now said that 'for the first time' (speaking of the possibility of Barack becoming president) "I can be proud of my country."

Let's see, billions given from the pockets of private citizens for the tsumani relief in 2004, billions given from private citizens to help in New Orleans, space missions, scientific achievements, the dismantling of the Soviet Union, "tear down this wall", and dozens and dozens more good reasons to be proud of America since she reached adulthood in the early '80's. None good enough for her, of course. No, the only thing that would make an educated, successful attorney from Chicago who entered university management as a second career PROUD of her country is--

If it elected a black man president.

No better irony could be manufactured than what is available now; George W. Bush is days into a visit to Tanzania, working out charity and benefit packages to cut down on malaria deaths and improve education and so forth. Bush is welcomed with music and cheering as he tours Africa and promises American help. Many billions of dollars will flow into Africa and the benefits are accruing daily, in better lifes and in increased hope for the future.

And back in America? Well, if you're Michelle Obama, Bush is evil, America is anti-black and racist, Michelle Obama has never been proud of her nation for anything its done, until at least this nation makes HER first lady.

If she truly has never been proud of this country until Barack wins, she has holes in her history and philosophy you could drive a Peterbilt through. She skipped class during that top notch education, and passed the bar in Illinois on looks alone, apparently.

How it happened

Captain Ed has a good breakdown of how evangelicals shot themselves in the foot and ended up with McCain as nominee.

I would add only that sensible people (like me) tried and tried to make them understand that we were not voting for a PASTOR IN CHIEF.

President of the United States is a secular political office, and Mitt Romney would have made a fabulous president. As a Mormon, he'd make a lousy Southern Baptist pastor, but that wasn't on the ticket. I only know that every Mormon I've ever known (or even met) has been a model citizen, helpful and charitable and responsible and honorable beyond belief. Parts of their religion are a bit opaque to me, but I can say the same about some sects of traditional Christianity as well.

But throughout this primary season Christians in this country were completely exposed in their anti-Mormon bias and we are all paying the price of their foolishness.

And I say this AS a Christian. I was pleased to see Dubya ascend to the office, knowing of his faith. But if I am to take him at his word, his faith led him to several positions and actions for which my own faith helped me to completely opposite conclusions. Christian faith guarantees almost NOTHING in terms of concrete policy direction, and that isn't hard to understand.

Christians shot themselves in the foot this year. I hate it when that happens.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Proof they think we're stupid

If you've ever wanted to see absolute, incontrovertible proof that the media believes the masses are easily led, check this out.

Rioting continues in Denmark, obviously a result of the Danish newspapers' choice to reprint the Mohammed cartoons 'out of solidarity and in the name of free speech'.

There can be no doubt even to the most casual observer that this is Islamic rioting, burning of Danish flags, death to America, death to Israel, car burnings, yada yada. No surprise, no mystery.

Unless you're Reuters.

If you're Reuters, 'police can give no reason' for the rioting, and it might have been because schools are on winter break and the weather is unseasonably warm.

Bored kids, global warming. The two great causes of rioting, if you're Reuters.

MORONS. FOOLS. COWARDS. At least the Danes had the guts to reprint the cartoons; Reuters doesn't even have the guts to mention Islam while reporting on this riot.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Hamas attacks books

Hamas nasties have now shoved their way into a library and blown it up.

Thousands of books are on fire. The computer terminal survived, because THAT bomb didn't go off.

Why would Hamas attack a library?

It was the library in the YMCA, the Young Men's CHRISTIAN Association.

Non-Muslim knowledge. Evil. Must be destroyed. May lead the faithful astray.

God save us from religious zealots, the REAL kind. You don't see many book burnings these days over here in America, let alone book BOMBINGS. I guess our "religious zealots" aren't holding up their end of things, compared to Islamist religious zealots.

Or maybe ours have some sense of propriety, humility, allegiance to the rule of law, self-restraint, you know..... the stuff of civilisation.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Clemens and congress

UPDATE: I fear I haven't made myself clear, so I'll sum it up.

When congress holds a hearing like this one with Clemens and MacNamee, they reveal themselves to be stupid, vain, arrogant, self-aggrandizing, dimwitted and utterly incompetent.

Just in case their performances of regular congressional duties don't make it clear, this hearing did. These people are a national embarrassment. This hearing was cringeworthy.


Well, after twice switching off the TV for fear I'd throw something at it, I have some conclusions:

Roger Clemens is to be commended for not going over the podium and thrashing Waxman at the end. I could see the veins bulging on Roger's temples as Waxman exercised the ax and fascia of Imperial power at his expense.

I cannot say for sure whether Clemens is telling the truth, but it's obvious to me that the only evidence anyone has against him is the words of a man who has told six different stories on this subject and is a known liar on a variety of topics. Brian MacNamee is a weasel, an amoral and self-promoting snake trying to make a fast buck by prostituting himself in a variety of ways, ingratiating himself with athletes by providing what they shouldn't be asking for.

MacNamee is a colossal weasel. Clemens was consistent from the beginning in his assertions that he's never used performance enhancing drugs. Everything that makes us pause about his story ultimately comes down to MacNamee's word, and his word is no good.

Clemens had to sit through the most pointless exercise imaginable, suffering the bloviations of some of the most vain, arrogant, self-aggrandizing and mediocre people I've ever seen in this life.

At one point he was being 'questioned' (he was being accused of lying, in the FORM of a question), and when he attempted to correct his 'questioner', he was told to stop talking, because he was using up the questioner's time!

I can't remember the name of that congressman, but he is the one who once claimed that over 200 million Africans were thrown overboard and eaten by sharks during the slave trade.

Of course logic tells us the vast majority of slaves made the voyage and were sold in Europe and America. This means that billions of slaves were traded, if you buy the story about the sharks and the 200 million.

And yes, in those days there were not even 1 billion people on this earth.


Idiots, I should say. Vain. Arrogant. Self-loving, self-aggrandizing. Mediocre to the point of pain. These people are politicians because not ONE of them could MAKE it in the business world. Too stupid, too lazy, too incompetent.

God help me, I'm afraid people overseas are accidentally watching this kind of spectacle, and theyve been given a damn good reason to suspect that America is a bunch of dimwits who shouldn't be in charge of anything.

A sad end to a great career for the Rocket. But of course nobody's proven anything, and he can go to his grave claiming he was innocent.

MacNamee's doubtless planning a book (he has a sick child and needs money, which he now will not be able to earn), and trying to clear the way for his future written assertions about Roger's guilt. Roger is equally busy trying to make sure none of this sticks, for obvious reasons, including future Hall of Fame votes.

A stupid waste of congressional time, television time and my attention.

/end rant.

Monday, February 11, 2008

bilingualism shows moral superiority... right?

We're told over and over that it's racism on our part if we object to bilingualism, teaching immigrant children in their own language, offering business and services on their terms and in their language, so they don't bother to learn ours.

We defend our own culture and we're told that's racist and evil. Keeping the brown man down. We defend our sovereignty and the rule of law and we're chided as cruel and backward-- by the president of MEXICO.

Well, now the Egyptians are declaring that teaching a foreign language to students of their universities would be destructive to their culture.

Never mind the fact that they teach many foreign languages already in Egyptian schools. This particular one is apparently just too much.

You see, the Israeli ambassador to Cairo has requested that Hebrew be taught in Egyptian schools.

Not gonna happen.

Now I"m officially holding my breath waiting for American liberal leftists to complain about the Egyptian stance, insisting that it's only appropriate for countries that share a border to be bilingual so cultures can be in contact and economics can improve, for the sake of the poor.

After all, It's not a COUNTRY; it's a REGION, the Middle East, and everyone should move freely and speak all the languages.... right? If borders are enforced and languages are stamped out in certain areas, hardship will follow, and the poor will be among the hardest hit.


Still waiting for the Viva Israel cries, the blue and white signs hoisted high in rallies and protest marches, the sympathetic voices singing the Egyptian national anthem in Hebrew, the---

Never mind. Egypt will get the benefit of the doubt, and will be permitted by libs to maintain THEIR cultural monopoly and their hard-edged borders policy.

But Los Estados Unidos is still evil and wrong.

Tom Lantos requiescat in pace

I didn't know this about Tom Lantos, but apparently his rescue from Nazi-occupied eastern Europe included help from the amazing Raoul Wallenberg. Talk about a life that left ripples spreading through generations-- Wallenberg saved thousands of Jews, and presuming certain math formulae for reproduction and for aliyah (emigration to Israel), it is certain that Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish aristocrat, can be personally credited with making life possible for a substantial portion of the population of present day Israel. The Wallenberg story, even though it's been made into a movie, has not yet been told enough, in my view.

At 80, the old geezer Lantos has finally left us, heart failure the cause.

Tom Lantos, lately remembered for his thinly veiled insults to General Petraeus in the hearings last fall, lived a full and uniquely American life.

He was the only holocaust survivor in Congress, and for the most part he had convictions equal to his experience. Lately, though, he had registered such profound opposition to Bush's foreign policy pursuits in the middle east that he had begun to sound like a typical liberal democrat rather than a moderate to conservative, old fashioned democrat, which he was for decades.

His Hungarian accent never seemed to diminish, no matter how many decades he was 'American by choice'. I recall back in the '90s, when Admiral Jeremy Boorda was discovered to be wearing medals he had not earned and killed himself over it, Lantos was prone to bring that up in discussions; his 'Mission: Impossible' style, 'generic eastern Eurovillain' accent was quite entertaining when he pronounced the word 'suicide'.

But everyone will remember him for this:

"With all due respect, General Petraeus, I don't buy it."

It came out "eye doan bie eeet."

Congressman Tom Lantos (D. Hungary); he will live on, as long as those audio clips are still useful to talk radio and network news.

eye doan bie eet.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Caterpillar-brow strikes again


How long until the Church of England, the official state bastion of Christianity in the British Isles, is led by its titular head the Starched Bishop of Canterbury into banning bibles from services for fear of offending Muslims?

Or banning women from the church unless they're 'covered'?

Of course, at present he is only talking about matters of state, not the Church in particular, but the path is inevitable as he himself lays it out.

Sharia law is the future of Britain, in his view, and piecemeal implementation should be taken up for consideration immediately.

Rowan Williams believes that it's bad for society to force a constitutional system of law on those parts of it which do not accept such things. But how is a group which does not accept constitutional law in a democracy a "part of society"? It's not. It's a virus, a bit of foreign matter inflaming the rest until something awful breaks out.

If Williams believes giving British muslims their own law system and excusing them from the one everyone else must follow will lead to a more integrated and open society, he's out of his bloomin' mind.

Britain will simply become a series of tribal enclaves connected by motorways. And the local imams in the Sharia sections will descend on the motorways in their neighbourhood and try to impose a tax on passing vehicles.

But seriously, you cannot have a constitutional democracy if segments insist on decoupling from the constitution and using their own very different set of laws. The very points a constitution is supposed to address (women's rights comes to mind, and human rights in general) are cast aside in favor of 'getting along' and 'avoiding friction'.

So in Britain, they have an official state Church, but its leadership is abrogating the defense of Christianity and instead leading the charge to destroy it.

Over across the channel in France, the wonderful old enlightened secular government was built on the premise that religion has no place in it, and matters of faith are not matters of state in any way.

Until, that is, some muslims win some local and regional elections.

One way or another, Europe is in deep doo doo here.

It's a bit late, but...

Scientists and the press are now starting, slowly, to admit some things about the Manmade Catastrophic Global Warming rush to doomsday.

Fresh off the wires, ethanol might add to MCGW instead of subtract from it.

Finally, the law of unintended consequences gets its due, and the full spectrum of bad effects of this new policy and trend is examined.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

How to put it best


Well, someone wrote him a good speech anyway. :-)

Sounded like the kind of thing that will win over the majority of anti-McCain conservatives, provided of course that he keeps the ship on the course he just gave us.

He made many specific promises, among them never to sign a bill with an earmark in it.

He says he now knows our opposition to the immigration bill was based in principle, defending the rule of law. Would have been nice if he'd admitted that DURING the battle. Instead we heard stuff from Trent Lott and Lindsay Grahamnesty about how we're the LOUD people, WE are the problem... and we all know that Grahamnesty is attached to McCain's rear end like a lamprey. If McCain is serious, the borders might actually get some real attention.

Nothing in this speech to raise my annoyance level any higher than it already was, and some good stuff.

Provided he keeps to it.


I finally figured out how to express myself over this McCain thing.

My dislike of John McCain is nothing more than the REFLECTION of HIS dislike of ME.

Almost everything he's said, done and taken responsibility for over the past several years has not just been against my beliefs in general, but seemed to be deliberately provocative of people like me, as if to say "you don't even deserve the respect of good faith opposition; you're just stupid."

McCain is vain, angry, contemptuous. He still turns the air blue at age 72, which really puts off those of us who have already dealt with the immature habit of foul language and are still 25 years younger than he is. Foul language is a sign of selfishness and immaturity and ego. He's way too old to talk like that. Especially when he uses it most often against people who are making the argument for my views.

McCain dismisses me breezily, and if I speak up, he snaps at me with F-bombs.

That's not a guy I feel good about, not a guy I want carrying my flag into the great social and philosophical battles of our time.

Blackfive strikes again

Great point made here on my favorite milblog, Blackfive.

I would add that not only is government money worth fighting and killing for in a failed state where there is no other money, but government money is often gigantic, because of oil and other resources.

It isn't just the difference between survival and starvation, it's the difference between VAST WEALTH and starvation.

Remember the position so many Africans find themselves in next time you want to say that all cultures and ways of doing things are morally equivalent to ours.

Because some ways are just dreadful, some cultures are madness, some governments are just semi-organized crime.

Solzhenitsyn tried to warn us back in the 1970s that not all 'other people' were anxiously trying to be more like the West, that some took affront at the idea they should change to liberal democracy, that some strongly cling to their own ways and hate the West on principle.

With that warning to heart, I still believe Western ways are better than barbarism and tribalism and Stalinism. I still believe people everywhere would be better off to adopt at least some of the principles of the western world.

Economic reality, though, often dictates political will.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Christian chaos

This just isn't good.

I just saw noted Christian leader Dr. Richard Land on Fox News blowing off the conservative discontent with McCain, saying he's a good conservative and he goes to church and that the talk of a party split is overdone.

But just yesterday I read a public statement by Dr. James Dobson, saying that in his opinion McCain is NO conservative and that he cannot imagine himself supporting McCain under any circumstances.

Dr. Land and Dr. Dobson. I would not have seen this coming. These two guys have been pretty much completely aligned on every issue they've publicly discussed over the past thirty years.

Dr. Land sees the necessity of unity against Hillary. So does Dr. Dobson, but instead of pointing out McCain's good qualities and proposing unity behind him, Dobson points out McCain's bad qualities and draws a line in the sand--

"I am deeply disappointed the Republican Party seems poised to select a nominee who did not support a Constitutional amendment to protect the institution of marriage, voted for embryonic stem-cell research to kill nascent human beings, opposed tax cuts that ended the marriage penalty, has little regard for freedom of speech, organized the Gang of 14 to preserve filibusters in judicial hearings, and has a legendary temper and often uses foul and obscene language.

"I am convinced Sen. McCain is not a conservative, and in fact, has gone out of his way to stick his thumb in the eyes of those who are. He has sounded at times more like a member of the other party. McCain actually considered leaving the GOP caucus in 2001, and approached John Kerry about being Kerry’s running mate in 2004. McCain also said publicly that Hillary Clinton would make a good president. Given these and many other concerns, a spoonful of sugar does NOT make the medicine go down. I cannot, and will not, vote for Sen. John McCain, as a matter of conscience."

Dobson goes on to say how sad this is, and how this is the worst slate of presidential candidates to come along in his lifetime.

And after the careful review I've conducted over the past months on McCain's career of anti-conservative maneuvering and principle-free decision making, I'm afraid I've come down on the Dobson side.

Courageous, determined, indomitable, all that stuff applies to his war record and his suffering in the POW camp. But no matter now you slice it, those things are not equivalent to a set of conservative principles. McCain doesn't have them, not all of them anyway.

Reagan conservatism, as Rush said, is a three legged stool.

Social conservatives, including Christians. McCain doesn't understand them and doesn't like them.

Fiscal conservatives, the low tax low regulation crowd, business. McCain doesn't understand the economy, admits this, and speaks in terms like 'punishing' the Wall Streeters for 'lending to people who can't pay it back'. (Is it even possible to force someone to accept a loan and sign a contract? In America?) McCain thinks in terms of using tax to control behavior, a distinctly liberal trait. He has made cutting remarks about Romney's wealth, as if it was somehow less than honorable to be successful in business.

Defense conservatives, one of which McCain can lay claim to be in general terms.

But even those are split between the 'evil neocons' with their plans for changing the world and the traditional strong defense status quo crowd of times past. McCain is no neocon. He has no vision for the middle east and no plans to rid the world of dictators.

Bottom line is, McCain is a good sell to moderates and liberal-leaning Republicans, and in the general election will pull liberal votes from those on the left who worry about their candidate. Most real conservative candidates wouldn't pull those, so it would be up to the right to make sure they win.

McCain can win without me. And he will have to, because I'm on the Dobson side of this. McCain has stuck his finger gleefully in my eye one too many times, and it's clear to me he would be little different from a Hillary in stark policy terms.

Enjoy your pyrrhic victory, Senator. I suspect at this point that real conservatives are in the long term looking for a different sandbox to play in.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Things you should know

Here's the latest news from the 'war torn nation' of Chad in Africa.

Weeks of fighting, the news says, might soon end.

France might intercede on behalf of the sitting government.

I have it on good authority that more than one major oil company has had to evacuate its employees because the Chadean government withdrew its military protection, citing an existential need to deploy those soldiers elsewhere.

Oil investment in Chad is hundreds of millions of dollars, minimum, probably more like billions.

And it's all at risk. Not to mention exploration and production can't continue if a rebel army is moving around the landscape killing anyone who has any connection with the sitting government.

Ironically, the rebels are really just tribal gangsters trying to get the seat of power so THEY can claim the revenues from the Chadean resources. same for all the African 'rebel forces', sometimes three or four different groups in the same civil war, all laying claim to legitimacy.

It's about money and power. They want the money that comes from the oil, and they'll do anything to get it.

But if Western oil companies just packed up and left, what would happen? Chad would be descended upon by Russians and Chinese, hustling to pick up the production available there, trying to strengthen themselves for the economic war against America, trying to marginalize us by preventing us from having access to oil.

It wouldn't surprise me to learn that these rebels are backed by some of those anti-American interests.

Amongst all these facts, knowing that ExxonMobil's pursuit of production is inseparable from strong American foreign policy, our liberals STILL complain that EM makes too much money, they're evil, they should be punished.

In reality, America's future is at least partly in the hands of companies like ExxonMobil, depending on their success to provide energy for our future, our military, our economic growth.

One more example...

Not so many decades ago, the mainstream media (all three channels) had a total lock on what we heard and knew and believed.

Today, there are thousands of sources of information, and some are pleasantly surprising in their choice of topic and presentation.

Reason dot TV makes use of the humor of Drew Carey to puncture yet another MSM balloon, that of the 'middle class squeeze' in our economy. Woe is us, we can barely get by, life is hard if you're not a corporate fatcat, yada yada.

It's obvious, it's simple, and it's brilliant. And it is the OPPOSITE of what you hear on television every night, as you will see.

What Carey does not conclude is just as significant; there is a REASON the media does stuff like this. Looks to me like they are somehow invested in public discontent, particularly in the Bush administration.

HT Instapundit.

The comfort zone of the truly intellectual

Thanks to my friend Ixman for finding THIS.

Christopher Hitchens, for all his inexplicable godlessness, is one of the most brilliant men I've ever heard. He likes to go on television and radio programs and put down the dimwitted with casual flicks of his rhetorical blade, and occasionally a wave of a blade of a different kind.

Note, as you watch, that the audience really does hesitate when Hitchens points out that making five "Bush is stupid" jokes every night on TV is easy, that anyone can do it, that it is now just a joke for people who haven't the skill do better. And Bill Maher is actually silenced, seemingly shamed by Hitch's cutting truth.

And when he points out that Bush is in fact more intelligent than any in the audience, the sound is decidedly mixed. Some people in that audience know it, no matter how loudly they participate in the Bush jokes. Hitchens slams an axe blade between trivial entertainment and actual hard reality here, and the crack of the leftard shield is loud and clear.

Support for cheesy liberal entertainment/propaganda may be a mile wide, but it absolutely is an inch deep. We need more men like Hitchens, willing to tell the truth and take the arrows, smiling all the way. An awful lot of people who think they're liberals actually aren't, and the more they're reminded of it by skilled men like Hitch, the less they'll be taken in by the happy hopeful change-ish talk.

Limbaugh says most people live as conservatives and raise their kids that way, even if they don't vote conservative or even understand that they share conservative values. But when you hit them with obvious truth, they feel it in their bones; they understand.

This audience knows the truth and is made to hesitate by Hitchens when he gives it to them on the tip of his finger. They know.

Monday, February 4, 2008

better late than never

the Australian Broadcasting Company has finally gotten up to speed with me.

They're carrying a story about the suspicious nature of three different internet cables being cut in the same region in the same week.

Twist? They think it was ISRAEL and AMERICA trying to wage information warfare on the Middle East.


I still think my theory is better; it was al Qaeda, trying to separate Muslims from their online porn.

(read the whole story linked here, but scroll down to just past the picture of the smiling Iraqi schoolboys to find out what I'm talking about-- and remember, after English speaking countries, the second largest ethnic and linguistic group on earth in terms of porn downloads is the Arabs.)

Tim Worstall strikes...

I read this earlier this evening, and now can't find the link.

But I know that one of my favorite writer/bloggers, England's Tim Worstall, has said that America already has universal health care, at LEAST as good as they have in the UK.

What Hillary is selling is universal health INSURANCE, which is quite a different matter.

And she's willing, apparently, to do whatever it takes to get everybody paying into the system, including garnishing the wages of the unwilling.

The old guard speaks up for its own

Well, Bob Dole has heard enough.

The old boy has roused himself and done a campaign PR gig for McCain, writing Rush Limbaugh a public "letter" in support of the little maverick.

In it he lists eight bullet points which are intended to prove McCain's conservative credentials, although tellingly Dole does NOT describe it as 'conservatism' but as 'support for his party'.

In a bill of particulars numbered 1 through 8, Dole wrote that McCain has a “Consistent pro-life record,” was a “Strong advocate for strict constructionist judges,” “Supported voluntary school prayer,” supported a balanced-budget amendment, was a strong advocate for cutting spending, consistently defended Second Amendment (gun-owner) rights, “opposed ‘Hillary Care,’ ” and was “Probably the Senate's strongest advocate for strong national defense.”

Let's take a look, shall we?

Consistent pro life record -- I'll give him that, for lack of evidence to the contrary. But does he believe a fetus is a human being and that abortion is murder? And if not, why is he against abortion? Or is he? Is a 'consistent pro life record' evidence of a belief, or of a simple desire to support fellow party members? Who knows? He never talks about it in these terms.

Strong advocate for strict constructionist judges -- uh, no. Gang of 14. Didn't like Alito because he wore his conservatism on his sleeve. McCain might say he likes constructionists, but they tend to write opinions of a conservative nature, and he has clearly said he does NOT like that. McCain is a George H. W. Bush type, and HIS picks for bench spots were plain dreadful.

Supported voluntary school prayer -- well, why not institutional school prayer, like it used to be? That's a cop out and is NOT conservative.

Strong advocate for cutting spending-- maybe, but he used this as an excuse to vote AGAINST Bush's tax cuts, TWICE. Real conservatives know that cutting taxes means increasing government revenue, and that spending cuts do not NEED to be tied to tax cuts. McCain is talking about CARBON taxes, about GLOBAL WARMING, right off the pages of the NYT's OPED section. He's not planning on CUTTING spending.

Besides, he's also said he opposed those Bush tax cuts because they were 'only for the wealthiest of Americans', just like every liberal says. So which is it? Was the problem a lack of spending cuts or that the recipients of the tax cuts were the EVIL RICH?

McCain is no conservative. Conservatives know you can't give a tax cut to somebody who didn't PAY any taxes. This is what's happening NOW, with the stupid 'stimulus' bill. They're going to send checks to people who didn't pay, and means-test the ones who DID in order to EXCLUDE them from the bonanza. It's the OPPOSITE of tax relief. It's simple redistribution of wealth.

Defended gun rights? Okay, at least he supports ONE of the amendments to the Constitution. But that freedom of speech thing? Forget it. McCain Feingold. The Incumbent Protection Act. A clear violation of our right to speak about politics in the public square during election season, supposedly to get money out of politics but really all it did was to remove accountability from that money.

the Senate's strongest advocate for national defense -- okay, but, Senator, what is your actual stance on Islamism and our long term foreign policy? I mean, we all demand to be protected from attack by our military, and that's fine; even Hillary would be responsible for the most part in that area.

But what's your plan? What's your opinion? What's your vision? Funny how he never talks in those terms. Bush says freedom and peace go hand in hand, and that unfree nations are the only ones that make offensive war these days. Free citizens tend to not want to do that. So Bush's vision is a free and democratic Middle East, with no dictators amassing weapons and dreaming of conquest.

It's a vision thing, whether you like Bush's vision or not. What is McCain's vision? Nobody knows.

We DO know that he believes totally in the leftist pap about global warming, including a need to tax the hell out of anyone with an extra dollar to pay for the mess he's going to get us into. We know he believes border fences are stupid, and anyone quick or smart enough to get here illegally ought to stay. He says he's strong on defense, but what about the defense of our own borders?

Match Point to Rush.

Dole has given the game away; he's responded to Limbaugh in such a way as to prove Limbaugh right AND to demonstrate that conservatism is NOT fading away as an American philosophy.

After all, if conservatism was a dying movement, why would Dole feel the need to defend McCain's conservative credentials? Why not just blow those crazies off, forget about them, reach out to regular mainstream America and win THEM over? Who needs a dying movement, a minority of cranks, a failed philosophy?

Apparently McCain does. The polls have been shifting mightily of late, showing lots of creep from McCain to Romney, showing Rush's assertions are having their effect. If we had anything like a Reagan in this game, even if Fred had caught on and been in Romney's shoes this week, McCain would be fading fast. Romney is the default candidate for conservatives now, and he's not really the best at articulating this. but so many are concerned at McCain's legendary non-conservatism that they're moving to Romney furiously. too little, too late, perhaps; still, it's happening. Huckabee is staying in ONLY because he takes votes from Romney; watch the McCain cabinet picks to see his smiling weasel face again in our future.

After all, if McCain was a real conservative, why would he have to EXPLAIN it to us? Wouldn't the conservative movement know it already?

Isn't this movement founded on principles and populated by attentive and politically astute citizens who are capable of determining through news and current events whether their politicians are adhering to their principles? After all, that was Rudy's problem in the end; he was not really a conservative, just a strong-on-defense moderate lib. The people voted on it, and he didn't get any real traction amongst conservatives.

Well, the people know McCain too. He gets lots of waffle votes, lots of moderate votes, independents, crossover Dem nutcases who illegally vote in our primaries-- but not the majority of the conservative vote.

If McCain was a real conservative, he wouldn't be enlisting a fake conservative like Dole to trumpet the conservative angle.

This is why Dole lost the presidency, folks; he was a blue blood country club establishment Republican who was embarrassed at all the conservative noise and ignored those crazy red-state rednecks.

And he lost to a man who did NOT get a majority of the vote.

I think that once the media has assured itself of getting McCain as the Republican nominee, they will rapidly fall out of love with him, and McCain will find it impossible to win in November.

The media are liberal, folks. They don't change overnight. If they've got a choice between Hillary (or Obama) and McCain, they'll go with the left leg every time.

Oh, and does anyone now believe the Dem ticket will NOT be some combination of Hillary and Obama?

This business of getting McCain nominated is just the media's effort to nullify conservatism as a topic of discussion. They're sending us out into the woods to be forgotten, to be hermitized.

But we're not gone just yet. :-)

Sunday, February 3, 2008


For what seems like decades now, Clinton-speak has been all about the millions of people who are uninsured, who can't afford it, who are left behind by our system....

But if Hillary herself is to be believed, there are actually a large number of people who can afford it but simply choose not to buy it.

And in her administration, you better believe those people will be forced to pony up and get in the system, up to and including garnishing of wages to pay the premiums.

If this is your vision of America, vote Clintons.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Islamists go for the easy target

For a few days, I grudgingly accepted the story about a ship's anchor accidentally cutting a transoceanic cable that provided internet service to Egypt and throughout the Middle East.

Seemed reasonable.

The web speed around the M.E. decreased significantly and the story was it would take a few weeks to fix it.

But now I'm pretty much convinced my first instincts were right.

Because now they're up to THREE cables cut, all within the past couple of weeks.

Islamists always go for the easiest target. Nothing like bottlenecking that dastardly Western sensuality in the cable, far at sea with nobody there to shoot at you.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Let's get real

For those who artfully wave their hands in the air and assume expressions of panicked outrage that we're not doing enough to combat global warming, read this.

The ice may well be reduced in the Arctic, but down there in Antarctica there's now more than ever. And the average winter temp in the Antarctic region is down one degree in the past fifty years.

Some parts of this darned old globe just aren't warmening enough for those guys.....

Darn Global Warming is gonna kill us all, I tell ya

I wonder whether Al Gore has made an unpublicized trip to China.

By now the "Gore Effect" is well known by global warming skeptics; wherever he goes, it gets ridiculously cold.

China is now on the verge of a food crisis. Thousands of square miles of crops have been destroyed by snow, and food prices are rocketing skywards. Homes are collapsing from the weight, infrastructures are failing, electricity is out in widespread areas because of downed power lines, roads are blocked and there are no snow removal vehicles to clear them... it's dreadful, just awful, what snow is doing in China, and over a hundred million people are in real crisis. There are almost a million people sheltering in TRAIN STATIONS. With no food. Because of snow.

Record snow. Record cold.

Gore just HAS to be there, on some sort of unannounced business trip. There's no other explanation.