Tuesday, March 25, 2008

House prices

February housing prices are slightly up (here's an example, here is another).

The media seems mystified, as Glenn Reynolds says on Instapundit. I suppose they expect all trends to continue along the same chartlines forever-- unless it is good economic news, of course, which is always represented as short term news about to take a turn for the worse.

But as Instareaders point out, at some point the falling price of ANYTHING will bring along a few interested buyers. That is how the free market works.

And I have long wondered why this drop in housing prices is such bad news, given we are always publicly pulling for the little guy achieving his American dream. Doesn't a lower price mean more people can afford it?

We know, as we have finally heard some Republicans say, that speculation is the major problem with housing prices, not the economy per se. Borrowers would buy homes they could not reasonably afford, planning to sell them in two years for 40% more and take away a profit. Lenders, too, speculated, considering their really BAD mortgage loans safe on the grounds that they would repossess a property worth, yes, 40% more in two years. A no-lose deal for the banks, so they thought.

World wide, investors of all classes bought into the wobbly securities based on these rough loans with their higher interest rates, and when it headed south, lots of card-houses tumbled. This, in turn, affected home prices, as many a buyer found himself in trouble on the income side, through investment failures or more difficulty finding or keeping a job. Likewise many an owner found himself in need of a fast sale to correct financial imbalances of his own. The market was flooded and the prices plummeted. New homes stood partly finished and builders declared bankruptcy. Banks tightened requirements and new mortgages were harder to get, further drying up the pool of buyers. How did this all happen?

Reynolds lets his readers point out all the 'real estate' shows on networks like HGTV, which encourage young people to buy and remodel homes and then sell them for big profits. I would add to this the absolutely VIRAL spread of weekend radio shows on the same topic; real estate clinics, how to make money in real estate, become wealthy without working, yada yada.

I'm a radio guy. I even produced a couple of these shows as part of my staff work. From the beginning, I was a cynic; why aren't these people simply out DOING it, rather than taking money from people to give lessons? Surely there's more money to be made in that market than in giving classes, right? It's a ticket to MILLIONS!

But no.

It is of course because they knew all market trends come to an end. The line on the real estate chart was becoming more and more vertical-- a sure sign that it was all going to rebalance itself shortly.

Market forces at work have made a lot of money for a lot of people, and that money is spent or invested. It's been a boon. The new lower housing prices will also be a boon to many. But those who tried to get the richest the quickest have found out the perennial market truth-- with great reward comes great risk. Caveat emptor. Nothing in this world maintains an annual increase in value of 20%, not for long. For financial guys to make that money, they have to buy and sell things constantly; nothing in the investment world is a long term 20% annual gainer.

Risk-takers are what makes America the economic engine it is. I salute them, and I try to take a few risks myself from time to time. I've lost more than I've gained that way, though, and I have less of a stomach for it than I used to.

But of this I'm certain; taxpayers do not owe risk-takers the financial backing to save them from their own decisions.

If so, then listen, I've lost money investing-- who will give it back to me? Anyone? Anyone?

(crickets chirping)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Out from Under the Bus-- Obamagramma's real story

Barack Obama has sacrificed his grandmother's reputation in this world in order to improve his chances of winning an election.

The one thing all white people fear (if they have any sense) is somehow acquiring the tag of 'racist'. It's impossible to shed, impossible to prove a negative; and it can ruin you, financially, socially, literally. The Jerksons and Shrimptons have used it well, this magical sword which holds rational discussion at bay and compels their enemies to submit.

Now Obama has given this terrible burden to his own grandmother, just to advance his political career.

But as you see here, things are not what they seem. In his book, Obama tells the story of his grandmother's adventure at a bus stop, when she is accosted by a black panhandler and he genuinely frightens her with his aggression.

The speech he made this week said 'she was afraid of black men in the street', or some such. In reality, she was afraid of ONE black man who was acting aggressively toward her.

What's even worse is that in the book, Obama says it's his grandfather who regretfully told him his grandmother was a racist. The poor man felt terrible even saying it, and probably died with a truckload of guilt pressing down on him.

It might have been hard growing up half black in a white world, as did Obama, but I suspect this glimpse into his family interactions reveals it might have been just as hard being an older white family raising a black son. None of us is immune to external pressure and internal guilt.

The grandfather is dead. The grandmother is sequestered from the media.

If I was a white member of this family I'd be calling my lawyer right about now.

The race, so to speak, goes on.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"Seas Not Warming- GW on temporary break"

That's what the the good folks at NPR are thinking/hoping after this scientific research project reveals that the seas just aren't warming.

The Manmade Catastrophic Global Warming crowd is ignoring ever more evidence to the contrary of their setpiece.

Oh, and look at this-- if you're writing for Reuters, the first couple of months of this year are cold cold cold, but no worries-- global warming will devastate the planet this summer for sure, heh heh..

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Global Warming 1920's style

Tim Blair has dragged together lots of interesting stuff from back in the 1920's, stories about warming seas and ice melts and the earth is going to burn up and kill us all, yada yada...

And of course, it got hotter and hotter. 1930 and 1931 were ridiculously hot years, contributing mightily to the 'dust bowl' in the great depression. Even now 1931 is one of the hottest years on record, hitting 100 degrees or more in Washington DC for more than 30 days straight.

And as we know, it got cool again, so much so that by the 1970's scientists were warning of an impending ice age, we're all gonna freeze and starve in the cold, yada yada.

Cyclical, anyone? Natural patterns, anyone? Sun-related, anyone?

This ain't the first time around the track for these people.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

AP attempts self-fulfilling prophecy

Here's a classic lefty media effort to make something happen.

It appeared on Yahoo's home page with the (Yahoo-written) headline, "US death toll in Iraq quietly nears 4000."

In the first place, how is it 'quietly' if the HEADLINE ON A PAGE WITH A MILLION VIEWS A DAY IS SAYING IT?!?!?!

It should say "Courageous Yahoo News Headline Writers Expose Evil Military Effort to Conceal New Symbolic Death Toll Not Yet Reached".

And if the Yahoo headline doesn't make you blow Diet Coke out your nose, read the A. P. story itself.

It's a laundry list of stuff they HOPE will happen and will publicly discuss in order to advance the possibility of it becoming reality.

It's media wishful thinking at its finest.

Historical perspective

I was browsing an antique mall yesterday and came across some old advertising pieces, magazine ads under plastic and for sale as collectibles.

One was for the 1971 Chevy Monte Carlo, a medium-priced and very comfortable car of that era, well equipped-- and listed at $3,300.

Roll forward to 37 years later, and the same sort of car, medium size and well equipped, sells for almost ten times as much.

So how much was gasoline, more or less, in the same year?

About 35 cents a gallon.

Roll forward to 37 years later, and gasoline costs (gasp!) almost ten times as much.

For all who moan and groan about gas prices and the evil oil companies, please note that gasoline costs no more than anything else, adjusted for inflation.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Rage and incoherence

Pastor Wright, the mentor and example and shining light of one Barack Obama, is finally getting the attention he deserves.

But what stands out to me is not so much the boilerplate black militant talking points; those after all have been around for forty years or more.

No, what stands out is the incoherence. He hates and hates and hates America, but the must cursory examination of the issues he mentions will yield a thorough concern for the mental stability of the good pastor. His classic liberal talking points about nuclear weapons and our primacy on the world stage and so forth are utterly superficial, sometimes in conflict with one another, and overall they give me the sense that he is less than mentally stable.

He is clearly nourished on black militancy and an unsatisfiable thirst for revenge of the black, against the white.

He doesn't acknowledge that the entire western world was guilty of this treatment of black people. He doesn't acknowledge that black people were, are, sold into slavery by other black people. He doesn't acknowledge what any black world traveler will tell you, that America is the least racist of any nation on earth in real daily life.

He doesn't acknowledge even that black people have their own racial prejudices. Ask Jews or Mexicans about that.

He believes America created AIDS to kill black people.

HE believes America knew in advance about Pearl Harbor, that it was deliberately used somehow as an excuse to go to war. Same for 9/11, of course.

He doesn't acknowledge that the reason we used the nuke in Japan is because our calculations of American casualties from a conventional invasion (necessary to end the endless war) were above a MILLION AMERICAN MEN (doubtless including some black men).

He doesn't acknowledge that most of the decisions in American history which he now decries were made in a complex and changing set of circumstances, or that most decision makers actually were and are decent men trying to do the right thing.

Wright believes that white people are responsible for much of the evil in the world and at home, and that they should be punished for their transgressions.

This is personal. I am a white person. I have never nursed any grudge against any black person, and have never been able to even understand the assumption that any race is somehow superior or inferior because of genetics. It is simply erroneous. It requires a certain level of stupidity or fear or hatred to believe something that visibly is not true. I do not hate, I am not afraid, and I am not stupid. The same can be said of hundreds of millions of Americans, ordinary decent people. Some are racist; the same can be said of some in every race.

We are farther along this road than we've ever been, and everywhere you see the evidence. Do interracial couples even get a GLANCE in the streets anymore? Not where I live. Truth is, race mongers like Jackson, Sharpton and Wright are starting to look like dinosaurs, anachronistic.

I do not claim to know, really know, the suffering of a black American; I cannot. But I do look around me and see incredible (given where we started) progress.

Mr. Wright has not changed his tune for forty years. America has changed its tune. He is out of tune. He is dissonant.

And Obama still calls him a mentor, a shining light for the past 20 years.

This is troubling, to say the least. Racism is not over; it will never be, because it springs from the flawed nature of human beings. Racism as national policy and cultural rule is most certainly over, to the point that people of all colors are voting by the millions for a black man BECAUSE he is black.

Never have so many white people taken advantage of such an opportunity to say to the world, and to themselves, "I am not a racist". What a great country, eh? Unless you're Barack Obama's preacher man.

One wonders what sort of world would satisfy him. One thing is certain; we will never have such a world, because man's sinful nature, man's built-in flaws (for which Jesus suffered and died, although Reverend Wright never seems to get to that part), will always bear bitter fruit.

BTW-- does anyone realize that Wright's divinity school degree has the equivalent of a 'major' in ISLAM?

For those conspiracy theorists who want to believe that Obama is a stealth Muslim out to destroy America, there's some red meat. I wonder why nobody has picked up on that.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Geraldine-- "the devil made me do it!"

Well, okay, it wasn't Flip Wilson's Geraldine character, but the real thing, Geraldine Ferraro-- one time Vice Presidential candidate-- who said "if Obama was a white man, he wouldn't be in this position." She said almost the exact same thing about Jesse Jackson twenty years ago.

Obama's campaign is furious, of course.

But it's not because of 'the race card'.

What Ferraro said is an insult, true enough; her assertion goes more to Obama's mediocrity than his blackness.

She is describing, in a roundabout way, the phenomenon known as 'white guilt'.

Ferraro is saying that it is white liberals (and probably some conservatives), feeling guilty about the suffering of black people down through the centuries, who are carrying Obama to the top of the vote count and delegate count and state win count.

After all, black people are only about 15% of this country, and some of those don't vote for Obama anyway.

Remember, not long ago Senator Joe Biden (D- Delaware), in one of his many frank but stupid moments, said Obama was 'clean and articulate', a wonderful candidate; Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson must have privately fumed, given they have both been presidential candidates in the past, but they did not speak out against the evil racist Biden-- he is a Dem.

And noted (black) author Shelby Steele has written a book on this topic, also called "White Guilt". It is a chance for redemption, to cast a vote and choose a black man to lead us, and expunge from the collective conscience all our previous maltreatment of black people by elevating a symbolic man to ultimate power. It is a way for a white person to overcome his own doubt and say to himself, once and for all, "I am not a racist". It is proof of his moral superiority, and I submit that is no small emotional pull.

It is, of course, a pitiful reason to vote for a President. Americans should know and vote the issues, instead of trying to 'make themselves feel better about themselves'. That sort of thing is selfish, juvenile and destructive. But they will do it, and Obama is the guy who will tug on their self-esteem all the way to the ballot box.

Ferraro has spoken the truth; if he were not a real, true-life African-American, he would not have been elevated to this place. He is a typical leftist, not distinguished by achievements; that is, unless you count the achievements others have planned that he take credit for.

His ascendancy from the beginning has been about the idea of marketing an 'acceptable black man' to the white guilt crowd. They knew of the power of this emotional tug, and they planned all along to use it. White people would never vote in large numbers for Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton; those two began their public lives as militants, agitators, troublemakers. But Obama is a Harvard guy, lawyer, was not raised in the 'hood' and does not speak in the patois of the culturally black (except for the odd excursion into that realm on the campaign trail, clearly phony but also clearly effective).

Electing Obama will do nothing to reduce racism, of course, and probably will exacerbate it-- if his pastor's activities and statements have any sway at all with him, Obama will encourage and promote a platform of racial preferences and so forth, and become in office the militant he never was in private life. After all, Pastor Wright accompanied Louis Farrakhan to Libya to meet (then the enemy of America) Muammar Khadafy.

Oh, to be a fly on the wall during that jam session.

But the point Ferraro made is strong; Obama is a mediocre man, smooth talker but without much of a performance record and nothing to indicate that he's going to 'blossom' someday. The blossoming is all being handled for him, and the favors he'll owe are going to make a very very long list.

He would not be a leading politician, probably not one at all, if not for being the right color in the right place at the right time. Sad, but true. No wonder Obama's crowd are angry.

But his response was, essentially, to condemn Hillary for allowing her 'supporters' to 'bring race into the race', so to speak. He has not acknowledged what Ferraro was actually saying.

Global warming.. to a point

Here's a great story from Hungary on the awful terrible crisis of Global Warmening, courtesy of Tim Blair.

Apparently, the science which produced the 'runaway global warming' atmospheric model was all along based on a mathematic theorem produced in 1922.

Which would be fine, except that the 1922 theorem used as a base the notion that the atmosphere is infinitely deep.

Of course they already knew it wasn't, but sometimes an infinite base works almost as well as an actual number for such calculations, and nobody ever bothered to find out if an actual number would significantly change the outcome.

Until now. And it does.

In fact, this Hungarian scientist, formerly the loudest advocate there for Kyoto and a big believer in the warmening phenomenon, says the new formula causes negative feedback that serves to limit the carbon based warming activity, and the higher the warming, the greater the negative feedback.

His formula shows a strong coordination with the history of global weather, quick spikes of heating followed by long slow cooling spells. No other model predicts this, and they all have proven to predict warming that has not happened. in the predicted short term.

Not to mention the recent chart that shows 2007 was such a cooling year that it almost erased all the global warming of the past 100 years.

Again, remember the frightening forecasts after the big 2005 hurricane season, even more storms, ever more powerful, deadly danger, all Bush's fault, yada yada. What has followed was half the number of hurricanes in 2006 as in 2005, and just as few in 2007.

And watching the snowflakes come tumbling down just last week here in Texas has done nothing to convince me that we're going to be cooked off anytime soon.

If others are right about what drives it, it's the sun. And the sun is dead quiet, more than two years after the new cycle of sunspots was supposed to have already begun. DEAD quiet.

It's an eleven year cycle that is two years late and then some. This, to me, is enormously significant. The last time the sun was this quiet when it should have been active was just a few hundred years ago, and a generation of people in the northern hemisphere died of starvation and cold. Permafrost covered southern England. Crops did not grow. And it all happened AFTER Shakespeare wrote his plays. It is well remembered and completely documented.

And our present two years of cooling is, what, a coincidence? Quiet sun, cold air?

Seems completely normal to me. But then I'm not a scientist trying to keep his government funding and his professional reputation (which in too many cases seems to be for sale, for the funding).

Friday, March 7, 2008

Looks like a giant... WILLIE!

Courtesy of Instapundit--

Jim Geraghty wonders if, now that Austen (Goolsbie) and (Samantha) Power have fallen victim to the perils of telling it how it really is about the Obama campaign, could there be a campaign adviser named Danger (the legendary middle name, baby) and should he just resign now?

I say the REAL scandal would be if Barack Obama had an American Express card and was a--

wait for it--

Gold Member.

one way racism

Hollywood strikes again.

Not so long ago two Wayans brothers (in the literal sense but the cultural works too) dressed up, and put on makeup to become "White Chicks" in the movie of the same name.

It wasn't funny. It had some moments, but not enough to fill even the trailer.

But the make up and acting were themselves quite impressive. Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon fooled nobody, but these two actually pulled it off once or twice, skillfully if not subtly.

Now there is a new movie about to hit the screens in which Robert Downey Jr. (Currently "Iron Man") is made up to look like a black man. And it is at least as impressive in that sense.

A glance at the publicity photo and you'd never imagine Downey was in the photo. I cannot WAIT to see how the slightly unbalanced but brilliant Downey pulls it off.

It is a Ben Stiller movie, with Jack Black, a goofy comedy and satire on multiple levels including a send-up of egotistical and self-aggrandizing actors-- which gladdens my heart, as most of them appear to be exactly that in real life.

What is is NOT is a 'real' role for a black man, stolen by a white man. It is doubtless a role created for Downey by Stiller et al, and Stiller is a second generation comic legend with many great creations to his name-- the king of 'awkward attempting to be cool and failing" comedy.

And yet the accusations have begun to fly.

Some perfectly qualified black man is out of a job because of the racists in Stiller's production team.


I saw an episode of "Scrubs" last week in which Donald Faison ("Turk") was made up to be a white-bread suburban insurance salesman for a skit. He pulled it off, marvelously-- it took me a few seconds to realize it was him.

No cries of racism here either.

Why is racism always a one way street? Even Stiller, doubtless a Hollywood liberal in every sense of the word, realizes we've made enough progress on that front that we ought to be able to exchange roles now and then without having labels like Minstrel Show tossed around.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

No Wonder Obama wants troops home

IT is beginning to be known that Obama is connected, through Rezko, to a bunch of very smelly Iraqi billionaires, and in very RECENT dealings.

Perhaps Obama has promised them to get our troops out so they can be free to indulge themselves in pillaging and corrupting the politicians of Iraq, as they seem to have done with some of ours.

Did you know that Rezko was born in Syria? That there are former Saddam officials and recent ministers of the present Iraq government involved with Rezko, one of whom was in jail over there awaiting trial for four months on a corruption charge and ESCAPED, and is now residing in his mansion... in CHICAGO?

This is all getting VERY interesting, and if it gets any hotter in that federal building, look for Dem higher-ups to find a way to torpedo the Obama candidacy.

Snow in unlikely places

UPDATE-- now it's early afternoon and fat wet snowflakes are blocking the view of the house across the street from me, so heavy is the fall. temperature has dropped from mid forties to mid thirties, will be 29 in the morning, and if there is much more snow it will stick and we'll be iced in.

Darn global warming is gonna kill us all.


This past year we've seen a deluge, if you will, of reports of snow in unlikely places.

Baghdad. Nobody there can remember the last time it snowed in Baghdad.

San Diego.

Lima, Peru.

And dozens of others.

It is somewhat less unlikely to have snow here in Dallas, Texas, of course. Happens every other winter or so, more or less. Last winter there were ice storms here, the kind that coat your car and make you wish you'd have carried ten gallons of hot water from the front door with you when you tried to go to work and couldn't get the key in the car door.

So this winter, we expected a pass. Global warming, right? The least it could do while threatening to kill us all is give Texans a break from winter weather.

So here in early March it was kind of disappointing to read today' forecast, calling for a 90% chance of snow.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Mini-me's perfect pistol

A swiss gun maker has produced a limited edition pistol that is only two inches long.

It's a little revolver, believe it or not. This article in the Daily Mail (UK) gives the details, including security concerns in America about how this might avoid detection in travel situations.

The Swiss manufacturer is Jean-Francois Pompousass. Well, okay, that's not his name, but it is certainly his attitude. He thinks it's ridiculous, that many air guns have twice the muzzle speed (true), and he says--

"It is ridiculous. Why would criminals want my gun when you can go out and buy a Kalashnikov there already?"

There, as in here, in the USA, of course. A Swiss guy thinks people walk around with AK47s in regular America. That is the leftist anti-gun rights opinion in action, and in an irony doubtless unnoticed by any readers of leftist persuasion, he IS HIMSELF A GUN MANUFACTURER.

His guns, of course, are sold in small numbers and put on shelves in chateaus for display only.

Then again, he does manufacture the ammunition for this little popgun as well, so perhaps he does intend for someone to actually pull the trigger now and then.

2.34 mm rimfire cartridges, made only for this gun. If you grabbed a paper clip and used wire cutters to snip off about an eighth of an inch of the wire, that's about how big the bullets are.

American officials say it's lethal, because it can penetrate the skin and damage the heart.

Of course, this is kind of overkill. .177 caliber air pistols can do that too, probably deeper.

But this 'gun' can get past security as a KEY FOB. A MINIATURE TOY GUN.

So give them some credit for noticing it.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Obama, the Pastor in Chief

Barack Obama defends his support of 'civil unions' (gay marriage in all but name) including the right to 'visit each other in the hospital, transfer property', and so forth, by citing--


In the words of our Lord, red lettered, with notes by this writer--

'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven'.

This means (the other possible meaning is incoherent) "the poor will be blessed in their spirit", and it has nothing to do with civil unions and is irrelevant to the position Obama defends. It is an extension of the Christian notion that suffering is inevitable and if we 'share it with God', dedicate it to Him, it is easier to bear and counts to our good in eternity. The theology is hard to fully understand, even for longtime Christians; the point is, it has NOTHING to do with government programs for the poor or oppressed or marginalized.

It is about the SPIRIT. It is God's word to comfort the poor, to reassure them that their suffering is not all in vain, that it is noted and will be rewarded in Heaven. The obverse meaning, that those who luxuriate on this earth will do less of that in Heaven, is left unsaid.

Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Having been a mourner, as I will be for the rest of my life, it's good news. It is also irrelevant to Obama's assertion, unless he's planning a government giveaway for everyone who suffers the death of a loved one.

Not out of the question by any means, if he can get votes with it.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Assuming Obama intends to defend his position with this part-

It takes a really loose interpretation of 'meek' to include today's typical 'poor' American, who has two televisions, a working automobile and a really whiny attitude about other people owing him/her a living
. They are in many cases the opposite of meek; assertive, demanding, unsatisfiable. And our modern meek do nothing to endear themselves to the other Americans, those who will pay the bill.

And I would certainly list as among this group the many gay activists I've seen and heard, given the sheer volume of the whining sound made by so very few people and the unique privileges they are usually seeking.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.

Righteousness being defined contextually here as acting in the way God wants us to act (as the Bible itself teaches us throughout both Testaments), this assertion by Christ certainly excludes cynical appeals to certain voting groups; and since the Bible is fairly unambiguous about what marriage is (even Christ says 'a man and woman shall leave their parents and cleave one to another' in Mark 10:6-9, not to mention Paul's discussion of 'perversions'), the gay activist cannot here claim anything like the 'righteousness' of which Christ speaks in this sermon.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

Defined as? A merciful redefinition of the word "marriage"? To his credit (not his moral sense, of course, but his political sense) Obama eschews changing the meaning of the word. But if the reality is there, the verbage matters little. And again this plainly goes against the words of Christ, saying unambiguously that 'the two shall become one flesh'; this union between a man and a woman is for life. It is marriage, and in the context of the Greco-Roman world in which the Hebrews live, it is revolutionary. It elevates the woman to the status of first-class human being, removes the label that says 'property of the man'. Divorce is now equivalent to amputation; they are 'one flesh'.

She had suffered with this second class status for as long as the human race existed, until the tablets came down from the mountain and the Hebrews learned how God wanted His creations to live.

We are wise to remember this revolutionary nature of the Hebrew way (one all powerful creator God, women and men different but equal in value, etc.) as we consider what is actually a counter-revolution, a return to the animal human and his subjective values, currently being conducted by leftists.

(aside-- part of the leftist arrogance at work here rests in their idea that only in this generation, only recently, have (only) certain people become wise and smart enough to address the reworking of the foundations of our culture. It takes a determined effort to ignore C. S. Lewis, Jonathan Edwards, Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine and Origen and Polycarp and John the Elder and all the Apostles and prophets, as well as Socrates and Plato and Aristotle and Cicero and Seneca and Marcus Aurelius and all the thousands of voices which have made and shaped Western and Jewish and Christian culture for thousands of years. Humility is part and parcel of the character which honors and admires the great teachers of the past; arrogance and contemptuousness is the hallmark of those who toss it all out the window and insist they are smarter than those old people, those 'dead white guys', those antiquated types from yesteryear. Stalin tried it with the 'new Soviet man', Hitler with the Aryan supremacy theme, following Lenin and Marx and Trotsky and Sartre and Neitzche. It didn't work for them, and it doesn't work now. The sheer gall of those who think theirs is the only generation smart enough to remake human culture is breathtaking. Hillary Clinton is one such person, and has been from a young age. Clearly Michelle Obama is another, and doubtless Barack is also.)

Back to the fisking-

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Not applicable, certainly not to politicians (who shudder involuntarily when hearing this part).

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.

Because sometimes peace only comes when the clenched fist is applied to the unashamedly violent and oppressive, I count the United States Military among the peacemakers. Obama would not. And it is not relevant to the idea of 'civil unions' or even government largesse in general-- unless 'making peace' is somehow (as it is always, in this modern world) the responsibility of the defenders of the old ways, so that they are compelled to sit down and be quiet and let the changes happen for the sake of peace.

It is always the more conservative among us who are asked to be silent, isn't it? Obstruction of 'progress', as it were.

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

"For righteousness' sake" is the key here; people who are persecuted in general, or believe they are, do not appear on that list. It is for people who stand up and speak (and live a life which does not make the speech hypocritical) for God and Jesus and the Bible, knowing they will recieve grief or harm for it.

This includes, ironically, many people who stand and oppose the gay rights agenda.

It is those who have the courage to speak for God and Christ, not those who claim to have courage in the general leftist sense, 'speaking truth to power', yada yada. The real "truth to power" is the Gospel.

Blessed are ye, when men shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.'

See previous paragraph; note that it is not for people in general who have been spoken against falsely, but those who suffer this for the sake of Christ specifically.

There is now growing a zeitgeist in the Western world, amplified with zeal by the media-supported gay activists, which ever more boldly denounces Christians as intolerably intolerant (an irony completely lost on the 'tolerant'); Christianity might soon go as Judaism has long gone, down the road of the truly oppressed. We are presently only a little down that road.

But some of us would be wise to educate ourselves on the millenia-long and terrible story of the Jews, if only to better prepare.

All this simple exposition of the beatitudes, the beginning of the Sermon, should serve to tell Barack Obama that if he is to use Scripture as support for a political stand, he'd best be sure of the contextual meanings.

Thus endeth the beatitudes, mostly irrelevant to Obama's articulated position. More on the remainder of the Sermon after I get a night's sleep.

/end notes on red letters-

In summary-

Looks like Barack Obama hasn't been listening to Pastor Wright in church; or worse, he HAS. This sort of appeal on Biblical grounds is utterly wasted on anyone who knows, and cares about, what is actually written in that Book.

Constituent politics using Biblical references fails at a key point; the spot where 'government programs' are presumed to have been what Christ and the Apostles were proposing as 'charity' or 'caring' or what have you. We can logically extend that to any effort by government to put any group in a position to financially benefit from its actions. That is not what Christ was about. He spoke to individuals, about their OWN choices and thoughts and actions. He was not a 'group activist' in that sense.

Spending someone else's money, as in supporting a government program you aren't paying for, is not only not charity; it is the opposite. It is something approaching theft. And if you stand to benefit from the program you support, it is an immoral conflict of interest, a grubby grab for other people's money cloaked in the clean white robes of democracy.

Gay activists certainly stand to benefit in many ways from this new Obama world. Of course, it is legal NOW to write a will which names a beneficiary, but that is apparently too permanent and too much work; in a promiscuous lifestyle such things are a constant chore to maintain. So they demand spousal rights to estate inheritance, hospital visitation rights, mostly as a cover for what they really want: BENEFITS. Health care free on a partner's work benefit program, legal co-ownership of pensions and so forth.

And that too is a hit to the average citizen, who will suffer from economic pressure consistent with the new burdens carried by businesses, burdens that result in fewer jobs, higher prices for goods and services and so on. It is not a huge burden
; gays are a small percentage of the population. (Although I'd hate to be working in the Human Resources department right about now.)

But it is one of many burdens which Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton would add (in a lunge for the votes of many special interest groups), and the totality is dreadful to contemplate.

I think it was Cicero who said something like--

When the masses discover they can vote themselves a share of the public treasury, the Empire is finished.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

living and dying in Las Vegas

There's a story in the news this week about a hotel room in Las Vegas whose occupant is now well on the way to dying from ricin poisoning.

He, apparently, was the one responsible for the ricin, likely having made it himself.

Police have already gone to the trouble to say that it wasn't terrorism. The man is American and does not have any obvious relationship to Islam or any middle eastern countries. He has a misdemeanor arrest but nothing glaring in his past, at least so far. Investigations are ongoing.

He did have a book whose subject matter was 'anarchy', they say. It had a chapter on ricin, and that chapter was tabbed or highlighted.

Probably a chapter on how to make and distribute it.

The article is, as always, tremendously vague, but I have to ask:

just because the book wasn't a Jihadi book or the Koran, how can we say he was not intending terrorism? Anarchy as a political philosophy died out almost a hundred years ago, but he didn't need to be an adherent of the book's antiquated political foundations to need it; all he needed was the highlighted chapter with the ricin instructions, which he clearly followed to the letter.

The man will probably be dead by the time I finish typing this, so we don't expect any answers from him. But it is far too early to abandon any notion that this might somehow be connected to terrorism.