Sunday, August 31, 2008

How John McCain can get my vote

Here's the speech that would do it.

My friends, I am here today to announce what will be certainly be described in the media as flip-flops so stunning as to send a tingle up both Chris Matthews' legs - and his notochord, since “spine” would be an overstatement.

I have examined the results of my efforts to remove the appearance of corruption from politics, and I find them to have been an abject failure. I see now that McCain-Feingold campaign finance regulation is an intolerable violation of the First Amendment. Worse, like other well intended leftist policies, its effect has been exactly opposite to the intent.

After my defeat in the 2000 North Carolina primary, I wanted to “clean up” politics by suppressing lying in advertising; as if protecting people who believe everything they hear was the job of government, rather than simply being impossible. Instead, I enabled a labyrinthine industry of 527(c) and 501(c) issue-based lobbying groups not subject to any easily accessible scrutiny.

For example, George Soros continues to pump vast sums of money into issue advertising, including such despicable ads as the attack on General Petreaus in the New York Times.

My friends, is this sort of attempt to affect public policy NOT lobbying? Was its genesis NOT secretive? Does it not appear corrupt?

I’ll bet you didn’t know Soros put a lot of money into 527s and 501s that lobbied for campaign finance restrictions. The Reform Institute, which I founded in 2001 as an unofficial arm of my campaign for president, was one beneficiary. I know now that I should have put the Constitution before my desire to be elected President. More information on this disguised lobbying initiative/campaign staffing ploy can be found here, here, here, here, here and here.

You have probably asked yourself why someone like George Soros, who freely spends his vast fortune on political messages, should be vitally concerned about restricting others from spending a pittance. I know now that I should have asked that. I didn't. I'm sorry, and I'm ashamed. When I'm ashamed, as in the Keating affair; or pissed off, as in North Carolina, I make very serious commitments to correct things. If I can logically connect ashamed with pissed off, look out. McCain-Feingold was an attempt to assuage my guilt and ire in these cases respectively. That's why it's taken me so long to recognize what a mistake it was.

I am proposing that all restrictions on campaign finance be removed in favor of an absolute, complete, detailed and immediate disclosure of funding sources. Let the ads run. Let us know exactly who is paying for them. No cover in “foundations” or other bundling organizations.

For example, if T. Boone Pickens finances Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads, it should be known immediately. If he runs ads where he promotes a project he says will be “financed by private funds,” it should be revealed that he is in fact lobbying for billions in government funding that will result in what can truly be described as windfall profits for a Pickens-owned energy company in which the Speaker of the House has herself invested hundreds of thousands of dollars.

If he wants to build windmills with private money, supposedly like Nancy Pelosi's, why is he running ads costing millions instead of simply building windmills and proving his thesis? Pickens is mounting a major advertising campaign because he's lobbying for government assistance to build infrastructure in support of windpower, while simultaneously promoting the use of Pickens-supplied natural gas for automotive uses. One consequence of this would be to raise the price of heating your home. He doesn't mention that.

If he wants to extract more natural gas, why did he ever say “[W]e can't drill our way out of this.”? If we pay for the infrastructure Pickens wants, we should get at least as many shares of CLNE as did the Speaker of the House.

Frankly, such transparency is coming to pass anyway, as more and more investigative work is undertaken by a handful of so-called bloggers. Access to such information might as well be made easy for the average disinterested, Google-challenged American, and it might as well have some teeth making sure we find out when Jack Abramoff or Norman Hsu, or Ted Stevens or Nancy Pelosi are up to no good.

As to public campaign financing, my opponent has demonstrated that there is no practical limit to the campaign funding that may be achieved by an attractive and energizing candidate. Celebrity aside, however, the willingness to participate in public financing of Presidential campaigns (on which Senator Obama has anyway flip-flopped) is no measure of worth. Public campaign finance is a bad idea whose time has obviously passed. Without public financing, all candidates would have to appeal for support rather than taxing supporters and opponents alike. I say this knowing that, for me, it would have been disastrous in this election cycle. I probably would have reversed my position on campaign finance even earlier.

While we’re at it, recent events in Georgia have convinced me on grounds of both environmental protection and national security that it is not an option for the United States to arbitrarily prevent drilling in ANY location where private industry might recover fossil fuel of any kind. It’s not that we should allow drilling in ANWR, it’s mandatory that we drill there. The Russian invasion of Georgia has caused more damage to the environment, and to innocent people, than oil extraction has in the last 50 years while they simultaneously threaten to take complete control of vast amounts of oil. Meanwhile the Chinese are drilling just off Cuba.

In exchange for opening all of the United States for oil drilling and an expedited regulatory approval process; all subsidies to oil companies will cease. Some may call this a tax increase. I call it a reduction in corporate welfare. We’ll get out of your way. You get out of our pockets. As a bonus, you'll save a lot on lobbyists' salaries.

If Big Ethanol wants to take note of that, I have no objection. I’m calling for an immediate elimination of tariffs on Brazilian ethanol and cessation of all subsidies to domestic ethanol production. To eliminate the actual corruption represented by ethanol industry lobbyists, ethanol production will no longer receive any subsidies; through protectionist tariffs or in the form of tax breaks. There will be nothing to lobby for.

In closing, I am fully aware that several other positions I have taken, notably on global warming and the treatment of illegal immigrants, will still not sit well with many voters. Well, them’s the breaks. What I can tell you is that, unlike my opponent, I will never subordinate the interests of the United States to either of these things. In terms of implementation of actual legislation in those areas, you can read into that what you will. Take comfort in the fact that the phrases “global warming” and “climate change” appear nowhere in the GOP platform.

My judgment is not always perfect, as I have just now acknowledged. But, as far as change goes, I can do it when I see good reason for it.

I have changed my positions because they proved not to be in the interests of the United States. I will not change positions in the interest of making other countries like us more. That vastly distinguishes me from my opponent. So, I hope you will vote for John McCain in November, because the alternative is obviously the greater of two evils.

That's straight talk. Thank you, and God preserve America.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Unforced error - Let's debate experience




Official statement from Obama spokesman Bill Burton:
Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency.
On Wednesday, the Democrats nominated a former "Community Organizer" with the same amount of foreign policy experience to be President. I can't believe the Obamans want to bring up experience, much less dis a female Governor because she's from a ("gun clinging") small town.

Governing the only State to border the Soviet Union easily trumps Obama's Berlin speech in terms of foreign policy experience. That is to say, none of consequence either way. If I had to pick a President with little foreign policy experience, Sarah "Barracuda" Palin beats Barack Obama hands down.

She killed the "bridge to nowhere." She's an energy expert. She has more executive experience than Obama and Biden combined. She's personally pro-life. She hunts moose, ice fishes, rides snowmobiles, and owns a float plane. She holds a lifetime membership with the National Rifle Association. Her son, Track, is scheduled to deploy to Iraq in a few days. I like her.

The determining factor of whether this was a good pick will be the debates with Xerox Joe.

She is not without weapons.


She is in the midst of a minor scandal the Left will pound.


She doesn't need the faux hunting video-bite like Gore and Kerry. Obama will probably skip it.

Friday, August 29, 2008

I'm not one of those people


Yes, you are.

Putting off Ayers

John M. Murtagh
Fire in the Night
The Weathermen tried to kill my family.

...Nobody should hold the junior senator from Illinois responsible for his friends’ and supporters’ violent terrorist acts. But it is fair to hold him responsible for a startling lack of judgment in his choice of mentors, associates, and friends, and for showing a callous disregard for the lives they damaged and the hatred they have demonstrated for this country. It is fair, too, to ask what those choices say about Obama’s own beliefs, his philosophy, and the direction he would take our nation.
RTWT

When asked about his association with Weather Underground founder Bill Ayers, a leader of the bombers, Barack Obama is quick to point out that Ayers' terrorism took place when he (Obama) was eight years old and that he has denounced the bombings. This is true. Ayers, however, has not. He thinks he should have planted more bombs.

Senator, the problem you have with Bill Ayers is that you call him a friend and your website claims Ayers is "respected" and "mainstream."

Senator, the question isn't about what Ayers did when you were eight, it's about how you can justify associating with an unrepentant terrorist. The question isn't about what Ayers did when you were eight, it's about his stamping on a flag in 2001 when you were forty-one. The question isn't about what Ayers did when you were eight, it's about his saying, "I don't regret setting bombs; I feel we didn't do enough," that same year.

Senator, the question isn't about what Ayers did when you were eight, it's about what he must have said about America while you were on a Board with him. The question isn't about what Ayers did when you were eight, it's about your defense of him as "mainstream" and "respected" today. The question isn't about what Ayers did when you were eight, it's about your launching your political career in 1995 with his aid, in his home. Senator, the question isn't about Bill Ayers the in 1960s, it's about your judgment in 1995, 1997, 2001 and now. Just like 20 years sitting at the feet of Jeremiah Wright. How could you?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Georgia on their minds

Michael Totten, like Michael Yon, is self financed and he is also worthy of your support. He writes from Georgia.

The Truth About Russia in Georgia
Read the whole thing.
TBILISI, GEORGIA – Virtually everyone believes Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili foolishly provoked a Russian invasion on August 7, 2008, when he sent troops into the breakaway district of South Ossetia. “The warfare began Aug. 7 when Georgia launched a barrage targeting South Ossetia,” the Associated Press reported over the weekend in typical fashion.

Virtually everyone is wrong. Georgia didn't start it on August 7, nor on any other date. The South Ossetian militia started it on August 6 when its fighters fired on Georgian peacekeepers and Georgian villages with weapons banned by the agreement hammered out between the two sides in 1994. At the same time, the Russian military sent its invasion force bearing down on Georgia from the north side of the Caucasus Mountains on the Russian side of the border through the Roki tunnel and into Georgia. This happened before Saakashvili sent additional troops to South Ossetia and allegedly started the war.
Cathy Young grew up in Moscow, writes for Reason magazine and The Weekly Standard and has some thoughts on the "victimization" of Russia which is being used as an excuse for the invasion. Here:
...The painful humiliation of Germany after World War II had one major positive aspect: The Nazi virus was purged from the nation's system. Russia never truly confronted or rejected the evil of its Communist past. Yeltsin, to his credit, sought to do just that. He outlawed the Communist party (which successfully challenged the ban in court) and spoke of the Soviet Union as "the evil empire." This changed under Putin, whose idea of resurgent Russian pride includes celebrating Soviet-era "accomplishments" while treating the crimes as deplorable, but fundamentally no worse than the blots on any other nation's history.

The new Russia bristles at any effort to account for those crimes, be it Ukraine's attempt to have the state-engineered famine of 1932-33 recognized as genocide by the United Nations or Estonia's prosecution of veteran Communist Arnold Meri for his role in the deportation of Estonian "undesirables" in 1949. In July, the Russian foreign ministry issued a peevish protest against President Bush's Captive Nations Week proclamation that mentioned "the evils of Soviet Communism and Nazi fascism," decrying it as an attempt to "continue the Cold War." "But how can it not continue," asked Soviet-era dissident Alexander Podrabinek in an article on the EJ.ru website, "when those in charge of Russia's foreign policy openly try to whitewash Communist ideology?"

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Kimbo disruption

Tonight, former First-Gentleman-to-be Bill Clinton addresses the Democrat convention. Yesterday, the day of his wife's big unity speech, he was telling some Europeans about some imaginary candidates. Bill Clinton in Denver again undercuts Obama
The former president, speaking in Denver, posed a hypothetical question in which he seemed to suggest that that the Democratic Party was making a mistake in choosing Obama as its presidential nominee.

He said: "Suppose you're a voter, and you've got candidate X and candidate Y. Candidate X agrees with you on everything, but you don't think that candidate can deliver on anything at all. Candidate Y you agree with on about half the issues, but he can deliver. Which candidate are you going to vote for?"

...The former president did say early in his remarks that the purpose of a party convention is to "introduce the candidate in a new and different and hopefully more positive way... [to] unify the party and [aid in] defining the battle" between the two parties.

...From when he called Obama's candidacy "a fairytale" to when he compared the Illinois senator's win in South Carolina to that of Rev. Jesse Jackson's, many Clinton loyalists, detractors and analysts feel that Clinton did irreparable damage to both his wife's candidacy and his legacy as president.

Now in a convention that continues to be racked with stories and questions about how unified the Democratic Party truly is, Clinton's appearance Wednesday — and his tendency to go off the teleprompter — has some Democrats very nervous.

"[I]ntroduce the candidate in a hopefully more positive way? How much more positive could it have been? What's the MSM going to do, talk breathlessly about how the faux-temple stage Obama will use tomorrow sends thrills up their legs?

Accounts are Clinton won't be there to see Obama's victory prance. Irresistible farce won't meet immovable hubris.

I might even watch tonight just to see if Bill can stay on the rails. Whatever h
appens, Hillary knows about it already.

Click the pic for a
full size original.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Xerox Joe

Why Biden's plagiarism shouldn't be forgotten.

It's more than plagiarism and it was committed multiple times.

Gassical lass

Classical Ass

Nancy Pelosi doesn't think natural gas is a fossil fuel. It's


...cheap, abundant and clean compared to fossil fuels

[and she believes] in natural gas as a clean, cheap alternative to fossil fuels.

[and we have so much of it, home heating should be free] ...the supply of natural gas is so big, and you do need a transition if you're going to go from fossil fuels, as you say, you can't do it overnight, but you must transition. These investments in wind, in solar and biofuels and focus on natural gas, these are the real alternatives.
She doesn't think we have to drill to get it either.
MR. BROKAW: Sounds like we're going to have offshore drilling.

REP. PELOSI: No, no, no.
So, she must think, because natural gas is mostly methane, that we get it from land fills or maybe...Update: 8:02PM 27-Aug This is what Nancy won't allow a vote on, "No, no, no."
Look at natural gas. In 1982, Congress banned offshore drilling in virtually all U.S. waters. In addition to limiting our ability to produce more oil, that put at least 76 trillion cu. ft. of potentially recoverable natural gas off-limits.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Universal health care

Be careful what you wish for.
...Take the much-vaunted Canadian system. More than 825,000 Canadian citizens are currently on waiting lists for surgery and other necessary treatments. Fifteen years ago, the average wait between a referral from a primary-care doctor to treatment by a specialist was around nine weeks. Today, that wait is over 16 weeks.

...In part, these waits are due to a doctor shortage. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Canada ranks 24th out of 28 countries in doctors per thousand people.

Why so few doctors? Over the past decade, about 11 percent of physicians trained in Canadian medical schools have moved to the United States. That’s because doctors’ salaries in Canada are negotiated, set and paid for by provincial governments and held down by cost-conscious budget analysts. Today, in fact, the average Canadian doctor earns only 42 percent of what a doctor earns in the United States.
Of course, like guns in Toronto, this is the fault of the United States. If we didn't have a free market in medicine the docs would be stuck.

RTWT

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Gaffe-orama

Nice pick Barack, Biden'll distract from your gaffes.

8-)

I would add that there is a considerable element of wishful thinking in the media coverage of Biden's selection, where Biden is often described as a "street fighter" or an "attack dog." Biden does in some respects resemble a dog: in his eagerness to be liked, and his inability to recognize when his audience has had enough of him and would like him to sit down and be quiet. But an "attack dog?" Please!

My State Was A Slave State


You cannot go to a 7-11


Clean Obama


Update: 2:05PM the Washington Post generally likes the Biden pick, but they note this:

With a knack for self-defeating and insensitive verbosity, Mr. Biden at times has been his own worst enemy. It has been said that, having been lampooned for this filibustering, he became more disciplined. Perhaps, but we saw a glimpse of the old Biden when he met with The Post's editorial board during his short-lived presidential campaign. Asked about failing schools, Mr. Biden seemed to suggest that one reason so many of the District's schools fail is the city's large minority population and contrasted D.C. schools with those in Iowa. "There's less than 1 percent of the population in Iowa that is African American," Mr. Biden said. "There is probably less than 4 or 5 percent that are minorities. What is in Washington? So look, it goes back to what you start off with, what you're dealing with." The Biden campaign quickly issued a statement asserting that the candidate was referring to socioeconomic status, not racial differences.
One has to wonder why he didn't say "poor people" rather than "African American," in that case. The Post doesn't think he's a racist, and neither do I, but his mouth gets the better of him in that regard on a regular basis. He certainly qualifies on content.

Maybe you should be able to say such things without drawing a charge of racism (stupidity's another thing), but if he drops one of these stinkers before the election - watch out.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Comparisons - Obama unplugged

Barack Obama considers the liberation of Iraq equivalent to the rape of Georgia.
“We’ve got to send a clear message to Russia and unify our allies,” Obama told a crowd of supporters in Virginia. “They can’t charge into other countries. Of course it helps if we are leading by example on that point.”
In that last bit, he can only be referring to his signature issue, the Surrender Battle of Iraq.

This is more Obama "without a teleprompter" tripe. Not only is the Russian invasion of Georgia not comparable to the UN sanctioned deposing of a Stalinist mass-murderer (an operation, moreover, where the US was accompanied by dozens of unified allies*) who had plotted to assassinate a US President; it is not comparable to Kosovo, whatever Vladimir Putin may say. Christopher Hitchens explodes that bit of Russian posturing here.

This is relevant because, if Obama's right about setting an example for the Russians, he would pretty much have to buy into Putin's Kosovo payback argument since that is the example Putin choose as a partial rationalization for invading Georgia.

But, Barack's not content to be furbishing his foreign policy credentials by excusing Russian aggression because of the actions of a multi-national coalition under completely different conditions, nor is he finished when he implies that Mikheil Saakashvili's Georgia is equivalent to Saddam Hussein's Iraq. He's apparently ignorant of the fact that our ally Georgia had to pull troops out of Iraq in response to the Russian invasion.

No, ignorance and insult are not enough, Obama also has to demonstrate that he's clueless about China. He is convinced Chinese infrastructure is "vastly superior" to our own.
"Everybody's watching what's going on in Beijing right now with the Olympics , Think about the amount of money that China has spent on infrastructure. Their ports, their train systems, their airports are vastly the superior to us now, which means if you are a corporation deciding where to do business, you're starting to think, 'Beijing looks like a pretty good option.'"
Earth to Obama, China's infrastructure is not only not superior, but it's built on the blood of millions in a country where 120 million children suffer from malnutrition, where Christians are enslaved in factory conditions that would have appalled Charles Dickens, where air-pollution that's far worse than anything in Coketown is a feature of daily life and where organs are harvested from executed prisoners without their permission.

The death penalty, by the way, is something China carries out more often than the rest of the world combined. One crime that attracts many death sentences is tax evasion. Maybe Obama is confusing the moral equivalency of China and Russia. Or maybe moral infrastructure isn't important to him as long as the airports are painted and the trains run on time when there's no snow.

Here's a visual analogy for China's superior infrastructure as set up for the Olympics. Can you say facade?


H/T The QandO Blog, where you will find a couple of other pictures worth viewing.

It does put me in mind of the substance behind Obama's facade.

Do you remember in February that more than half-a-million people were stranded for a week in the Guangzhou Train Station? That thousands of Chinese houses collapsed from snow? Obama apparently doesn't.



H/T Supernaut where you'll find more pics of this event.

That picture of stranded Chinese being herded by police nicely combines the totalitarian aspects of China with a peek at actual infrastructure robustness.

At a hospital in the Buyi and Miao autonomous prefecture of Qiannan in the remote south of Guizhou, snow and sleet have cut electricity and tap water since Jan. 15. A hospital had to save power by canceling surgery to light up the emergency ward.

...The price of charcoal had climbed from eight yuan to 14 yuan a kilo...

In the central Hunan Province, one of the worst hit areas, seven people have died and snow is affecting the lives of 25.22 million people in 14 cities and 112 counties across the province.

...Heavy snow has also blanketed Diqing, a Tibetan autonomous prefecture in the southwestern Yunnan Province, starting from Jan.19. As of Sunday morning, Shangri-La had reported 35 centimeters of snow.
That's about 13 inches. It was a 50-year occurrence natural disaster that included areas unaccustomed to heavy snow. A reasonable question then, vastly inferior infrastructure-wise: How would we cope?

Well, we have an answer: the Blizzard of '93, the "Storm of the Century" affecting 26 states and most of eastern Canada.
Cities that usually receive little snowfall, such as Chattanooga, Tennessee, received anywhere from 2 to 4 feet (1.2 m) of snow, causing some municipalities to adopt at least an emergency winter-weather plan for the future where one may not have existed before. Birmingham, Alabama, which normally receives 1-inch (25 mm) in a year, received 17 inches (430 mm) shattering the records for most snow in a single storm, a single month, and even a single season.
8 inches fell on Atlanta. 18 to 24 inches fell at the Georgia-Alabama border.

Yet, tens of thousands of North American houses didn't fall down, hospitals weren't rationing backup power for a month
and nobody thought to mention the rising price of charcoal. That was 15 years ago, and I suspect US infrastructure has improved since. China's seems still somewhat brittle behind the whitewash. More at NRO.

From an infrastructure standpoint let's also consider Chinese censorship of information, particularly the Internet, and the fact they're building a coal-fired generator every week: An infrastructure initiative anyone who believes in man-made global warming should condemn in China at least as vigorously as they do here.

The coal, by the way, is supplied by 5 million miners who are 117 times more likely to die in a mining accident than are American miners. The working conditions are
...not much better than those at the dawn of the industrial age in the 19th century.

The miners' days are filled with degradations. They share soiled sheets and hard beds in dormitory rooms. They work without union representation for bosses they never meet. Yet theirs is also a culture of dependency. Though they rarely make more than $150 a month, they do better than peasants who work the surface of the land. If mining kills or injures a family member, the healthy need extra income to pay medical bills and support dependents.
The Daily Mail notes "Four out of every five mining-related deaths in the world are in China; ten Chinese miners die every day."

They're paid about $150 a month. Health care for those seriously injured is practically non-existent. Both of which circumstances Obama's Maoist and Weather Underground terrorist friend, Bill Ayers (According to Obama a "respectable fixture of the mainstream in Chicago."), should be required to defend on principle.

Barack Obama might want to consider where business is less likely to be disrupted by weather or state interference, and where it depends a bit less on human and environmental exploitation, before he starts urging any outsourcing to China.

*This list varies over time, but at least all of the following have supported the Iraq mission in theater:
Albania, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji,
Georgia, Hungary, Iceland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

State sponsorship, State ownership

Last Monday, in Suing the State, I pointed out that the state had paid Andrea and Daniel Kelly to have 10 children. They're the Philidelphia "parents" who starved to death their 14 year old daughter.

Here are some related statistics from Carpe Diem:

Birth Rate 3X Higher for Women Receiving Welfare
The 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) gave states greater flexibility to formulate and implement initiatives to reduce welfare dependency and encourage employment for members of low-income families with children. For the nation, in 2006, 10 years after passage of the Act, the birth rate for women 15 to 50 years old receiving public assistance income in the last 12 months was 155 births per 1,000 women, about three times the rate for women not receiving public assistance (53 births per 1,000 women).
As I said, State sponsored breeding. It's a contract in and of itself.

Monday, August 18, 2008

No biggie

British anti-Americanism 'based on misconceptions'
A poll of nearly 2,000 Britons by YouGov/PHI found that 70 per cent of respondents incorrectly said it was true that the US had done a worse job than the European Union in reducing carbon emissions since 2000. More than 50 per cent presumed that polygamy was legal in the US, when it is illegal in all 50 states.

...The survey showed that a majority agreed with the false statement that since the Second World War the US had more often sided with non-Muslims when they had come into conflict with Muslims. In fact in 11 out of 12 major conflicts between Muslims and non-Muslims, Muslims and secular forces, or Arabs and non-Arabs, the US has sided with the former group. Those conflicts included Turkey and Greece, Bosnia and Yugoslavia, and and Kosovo and Yugoslavia.

Asked if it was true that "from 1973 to 1990 the United States sold Saddam Hussein more than a quarter of his weapons," 80 per cent of British respondents said yes. However the US sold just 0.46 per cent of Saddam's arsenal to him, compared to Russia's 57 per cent, France's 13 per cent and China's 12 per cent.

...Almost a third of Britons believe that "Americans who have not paid their hospitals fees or insurance premiums are not entitled to emergency medical care"; by law such treatment must be provided.
This is no big deal. I'm sure half of all Americans and 98 percent of all Democrats believe the same things.

Suing the State

From the Philidelphia Inquirer comes word of someone suing City Hall.
After allegedly starving their disabled daughter to death, the parents of Danieal Kelly turned around and sued the city for failing to protect the girl from them.

Andrea and Daniel Kelly, with the help of some greedy attorneys, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city, state and outside social service contractors who were charged with supervising Danieal while she was under her mother's care.

The suit was filed a day after the couple was charged in the death of Danieal, 14, who weighed just 42 pounds when her bedsore-ridden and maggot-infested corpse was found in a squalid West Philadelphia rowhouse, where she lived with her mother and siblings.

...There are nine children who lived through the horror of watching their 14-year-old sister waste away.
H/T The Rougblog

I, for one, think this suit is perfectly logical. When the State takes on responsibility for breeding and raising children, why shouldn't it be held accountable when it fails?

The State had never previously required the Kellys to display any personal responsibility. Why is it all of a sudden their fault just because they inconvenience a few social workers and cops? Isn't starving their daughter to death simply exceeding the expectations of those who "were charged with supervising Danieal while she was under her mother's care."?

Supervising Danieal?? Mother's care??

"[C]ity, state and outside social service contractors," told Andrea Kelly that since she was unwilling to accept responsibility for her own life, they'd pay her to have 10 children. When she did that, they had another deal - "You give up your rights as a parent and we'll make sure you don't hurt your kids."

The State consistently fails to live up to such contracts and ought to be sued until it stops making them.

For example: You give up the right to own firearms and we'll make sure you're safe. You give up the right to free speech and we'll make sure corruption is taken out of politics. You give up 6% of your income and we'll take care of you in your old age.

Lest you think I'm overwrought about nanny-statism and the destruction of personal freedom in this case, let's look at what's happening across the pond.

Dangerously overweight children will have to be taken from their parents and put into care because of Britain's worsening "obesity epidemic", council leaders have warned.

...The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents 400 councils in England and Wales, predicted social services teams would have to take drastic action to improve the health of seriously overweight children.

...the LGA warned that social services might have to treat very fat children as victims of "parental neglect" – just as malnourished children are.

It predicted that social services would have to intervene "more and more" with obese children. It added that councils would have to take action against parents who put their children's health at risk, with the ultimate sanction of taking the fattest boys and girls into care.

...The Government faced criticism this month after it announced plans to warn parents if their child had a weight problem, but banned the use of the word "obese". The Department of Health is instructing primary care trusts to inform all parents automatically about their child's height and weight as part of a national measuring programme.

But ministers do not want the word "obese" to be used in the letters after research showed people find it "highly offensive".

A public health expert, David Hunter, of Durham University, this week warned that rising obesity levels posed as a grave a threat to Britain as terrorism and urged "bold action" by ministers.
H/T SDA

Yeah, take them away from their parents and make them wards of the state because they are more dangerous than terrorism, but don't you dare hurt their self esteem by using the word "obese." Maybe if they weren't protected from being called "el-chunko" or "fatty" by their peers the problem would go away on its own. However, that sort of "hate speech" is already prohibited in Britain. The parents would probably sue.

For extra credit, is this British "parenting" initiative A) a different problem from Philadelphia's or, B) the same problem?

For extra, extra credit, should the United States consider suing the Brits for restriction of trade, since they'll be limiting sales of Coca-Cola and Twinkies as a matter of government policy? The precedent for this, of course, would be the Democrat suggestion that we sue OPEC into pumping more oil while we refuse to drill for our own.

If we can sue some country for not producing what we want when we want it, why can't we sue one for not buying what we want them to buy.

The inane idea of suing OPEC for oil is of a piece with the Philadelphia and British solutions to child abuse. The explanation of this connection is left to the student.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

History of the Hokey Stick

Readers of this blog will have noticed mentions of the infamous "hockey stick" graph, until recently a fixture of IPCC reports predicting ecological disaster. This graph was, and is, agenda science. Steve McIntyre, at Climate Audit, is the single person most responsible for showing the graph to be a fraud.

The following is a summary of that story and highly recommended. From the Bishop Hill blog:
The story is a remarkable indictment of the corruption and cyncism that is rife among climate scientists, and I'm going to try to tell it in layman's language so that the average blog reader can understand it. As far as I know it's the first time the whole story has been set out in a single posting. It's a long tale - and the longest posting I think I've ever written and piecing it together from the individual CA postings has been a long, hard but fascinating struggle.
If you are interested in the topic, or merely wish to have ammunition handy the next time you're called a "denier" by some officious Al Gore clone, this is a must read.

H/T SDA

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Chinese are afraid II

Aside from this being a good example of why I have not seen 1 second of the Olympics, it again shows how needy are the Chinese.
China has orchestrated some of the most subtle cheats in sports history, from refusing to allow obviously qualified US gymnasts visas, to using event organizers to break the US girls’ concentration, to sneaking in underage competitors, they’ve managed to show how desperate they really are to compete on the world stage.
Indeed. RTWT

Nothing to see here


It was found next to a dead Canadian named Saleman Abdirahman Dirie. Do you notice anything odd about the FBI's assurances? Emphasis mine.

The FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force is assisting in the investigation but FBI spokeswoman Kathy Wright said the incident has no apparent connection to terrorism.

"You have a suspicious substance that was found in a hotel room in conjunction with person being a foreign national, and we have a lot of questions and that is why we are assisting," Wright told the Post.

An online threat posted in July by a man with a similar name warned of death. The blog discussed the killing of Christians in Somalia by Islamists. The person who posted on the blog appeared to condemn Christians.

"Having the bible in one hand, and a bread in the other hand, is not a correct thing! Kill Them , Kill them, Kill them, that is my massage (sic),!" read the posting by Abdirahman Dirie on the 'Solmali's for Jesus' Blog.

It was not clear if Abdirahman Dirie and Saleman Abdirahman Dirie are the same person.
Of course it's not clear. But when Federal cops go out of their way to ignore such coincidences, it's a sign of political correctness - not investigatory zeal.

A more reassuring response from Ms Wright might have been, "We're investigating whether Mr. Dirie had any unsavory connections, aside from the fact that he was apparently over-friendly with a pound of cyanide in a city where a major political convention is about to take place, that is. And, uh, his apparent cultural profile is an issue, of course. We're just grateful he didn't have half a kilo of Polonium 210."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Government Schools

RTWT
Near Illiteracy of MI’s Not College-Bound Ignored in AP Report on ACT Scores
In words, the chart shows that:

* Less than 28% of high school grads who aren’t going to college have
the English skills necessary to be ready for college.
* Barely 5% of them have the requisite math knowledge and skills.
* Barely 15% can read well enough to be described as ready for college.
* Less than 6% have the requisite knowledge and skills in science.
* Less than 2% (less than 800 out of 45,000!) are college-ready in all four areas,
i.e., 98% of them would need remedial help in at least one area if they chose
to try going to college.

Although it would be easy, this isn’t a stab at Michigan. The Wolverine State’s switch to mandatory ACT testing provided a rare window into what those not going to college know and can do after being run through the educational sausage factory. I don’t doubt for a minute that similar depressing results for the Not College-Bound could be found in many, if not most, other states.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Canny Lies Op

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is giving up on trying "to save the planet," in order to save her own hide.
“They have this thing that says drill offshore in the protected areas,” Pelosi said. “We can do that. We can have a vote on that.”
She's been getting an ear-full from her House colleagues, and, apparently, she can read the writing done near The Mall. The Washington Post debunks some of the Democrat talking points about drilling, but repeats others.

Before exposing these myths the Dems perpetuate - 1) Drilling is pointless because there's so little oil here, 2) The oil companies aren't using their leases now and 3) Drilling is environmentally dangerous - the Post tells us how important it is to preserve ANWR, an opinion to which they are entitled despite their own point 3) above. However, this is merely a political position and has the square root of zero to do with "saving the planet," an idea the Post acknowledges in later in the article:
...if it is acceptable to drill in the Caspian Sea and in developing countries such as Nigeria where environmental concerns are equally important, it's hard to explain why the United States should rule out drilling off its own coasts.
That is, where environmental safeguards are infinitely more strict and there's far less chance of terrorist sabotage. So the argument to "preserve" ANWR is that it's "special?" A strategic mosquito resource, perhaps? Maybe continuing to delay drilling on a postage-stamp sized part of ANWR is simply the bare minimum Pelosi has to have to assuage San Francisco eco-hysterics. It is hard to explain otherwise.

The mystical allure in ANWR's tundra pulls the Post in the same direction as it does Democrats. Why the Post goes there is not entirely clear, maybe they're truly worried about Caribou, but the latter case is purely political pandering to lobbyists. The resistance to drilling in ANWR is not based on tiny potential environmental impact, it's based on the psychological impact on the Sierra Club, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth as it will affect campaign contributions and 501(c)(3) commercials yet to run.

The other canard the Post repeats is not a matter of opinion. The Post claims that it "would be years before any oil flowed from the Outer Continental Shelf" In fact, that is not true:
A report from Wall Street research house Sanford C. Bernstein says that California actually could start producing new oil within one year if the moratoria were lifted. The California oil is under shallow water and already has been explored. Drilling platforms have been in place since before the moratorium.
By all means, Ms Speaker, let us have a vote. The House GOP is ready right now.

Update: 8:33PM 13-Aug
Check out another Pelosi motivation here. Jason Gillman's work on this is noted at Michelle Malkin's blog.

The Chinese are afraid

OK, what does it say about China that some bureaucrat thinks televising a 7-year-old whose voice is perfect, even if her teeth aren't quite, might be more damaging to China's image than being caught throwing her off camera and having a "cuter" child lip-sync? Have they never heard of Milli-Vanilli?

Given China's one-child policy and a history of female infanticide, this little whiff of wistfulness for either a eugenics program or increased mandatory sub-teen cosmetic dentistry is no surprise. Either might have saved some Mao-mandarin from having to make the decision.

From each - this little girl, according to her ability; to each - this faceless bureaucrat, according to his neediness.

Totalitarianism and fear. That's what it says.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Inflation Idiots

The furor surrounding Barack Obama's contention that "we could save all the oil they're talkin' about gettin' off drilling if everybody was just inflating their tires" has died down. The manner in which it died, however, was not in the ridicule it so richly deserved, but as a debate the MSM portrayed in Obama's favor. Thus, you may well run into people who will claim that Time magazine, for example, showed that Obama had a point.

In Time's August 4th issue, Michael Grunwald mounted this defense of Obama:
...who's really out of touch? The Bush Administration estimates that expanded offshore drilling could increase oil production by 200,000 bbl. per day by 2030. We use about 20 million bbl. per day, so that would meet about 1% of our demand two decades from now. Meanwhile, efficiency experts say that keeping tires inflated can improve gas mileage 3%, and regular maintenance can add another 4%. Many drivers already follow their advice, but if everyone did, we could immediately reduce demand several percentage points. In other words: Obama is right.
Grunwald also mentioned those "those twisty carbon fluorescent lightbulbs." Actually, they're called compact fluorescent lightbulbs, there's no carbon involved. This is a minor gaffe, but it appears in a supposedly definitive article on energy policy. Grunwald and his editors seem to have carbon on the brain, possibly from listening to too many ALGore speeches. It seemed right to them. Just as did the idea that opening the Outer Continental Shelf off California alone - where exploration has already revealed 10 billion barrels of oil in shallow water - not counting ANWR or the Alaskan Continental Shelf, would produce only 200,000 barrels a day by 2030. That doesn't even pass a first order reasonability check.

In any case, here are some facts about that "Bush Administration report" Grunwald cited:

...some have pointed [to, sic] an Energy Information Administration (EIA) report that estimated the amount of oil we could produce on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) if the drilling ban were lifted. EIA estimated this to be approximately 200,000 barrels per day.1

Unfortunately, this figure – and the data it was based on – is fatally flawed. For example:
* 200,000 barrels per day is roughly equal to the daily production rate of just one new offshore platform in the Gulf of Mexico. The Thunder Horse oil production facility, which will be on line this year, is designed to produce 250,000 barrels per day.2 The Atlantis oil platform currently producing in the Gulf of Mexico has a production capacity of 200,000 barrels per day.3
Despite these facts, the EIA projects that lifting the bans that prevent production on 85 percent of the OCS acreage surrounding the lower 48 states will yield an amount equal to that which can be produced from just one of these platforms. Obviously, the projections are flawed.
Don't hold your breath for a correction from Time, they've left exactly the impression they wanted to. You, however, can correct those people who buy into it. You could even ask your congresscritter to ask Nancy Pelosi to allow a vote on opening the OCS to drilling.

There's more of interest in the article, including busting the myth that any new OCS oil is 10 years away, so RTWT.

H/T Powerline

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Health care lotteries, a Canadian growth industry

The Democrats are going to ensure everyone has health care. Like in Canada.

Hope you're in good health. You'll need to be.
The solution to the doctor shortage in Canada is sweeping the country. Perhaps inspired by a lottery held by a Newfoundland clinic to weed out applicants seeking a doctor funded by their tax dollars, a doctor in Northern Ontario has selfishly entered his patients into a two part lottery to determine who no longer has a right to care. An alternate solution to the problem is to purchase a lotto ticket for the $43 million 6/49 payoff. The deadline is past, but foresight is hindsight. Pick your lucky numbers and continue to suffer.
You can't make this stuff up. If you're a Democrat you can't even acknowledge it.

Thanks to Dust My Broom.

The end of herstory?

"Herstory" is a term invented by feminists to describe a particular, and as it turns out peculiar, way of re-characterizing history.

"Herstory" is a rejection of the male-centeredness supposedly represented by the first syllable of "history," and an implicit criticism of dead, white male historians. The point is that women are given short shrift in history, and if more people, especially women, knew about specific contributions women have made to freedom (though as we will see, "freedom" has its own specific feminist context) they would understand that the struggle against patriarchy demands absolute rejection of even the slightest hint that women are different from men. This concept is manifest in our Universities under the veil of "Womens Studies," a course of study that typically delivers doctrinal talking points to the already indoctrinated.

"Herstory," is a term which might even be considered clever if it were not so obvious that it resulted from a search operation for the syllable "-his-" to be replaced with "-her-," probably conducted just before replacing "-men-" with "-myn-." This level of sophistication is to be expected from a movement still contending that "manhole cover" is an affront by the patriarchy.

As Christina Hoff Sommers notes in the article (RTWT, recommended) that inspired this post, Camille Paglia agrees. Here's how Paglia describes Womens Studies:
a jumble of vulgarians, bunglers, whiners, French faddicts, apparatchiks, dough-faced party-liners, pie-in-the-sky utopians and bullying sanctimonious sermonizers. Reasonable, moderate feminists hang back and keep silent in the face of fascism.
Ironically, or maybe not, the feminists themselves have a great deal to answer for in terms of a revisionism that actively suppresses the history of their own movement. We will see that this feminist disdain for women of great accomplishment relates to an agenda that rejects the concept of choice for individual women. From Sommers article, we hear Simone de Beauvoir's prescription for women who would prefer to stay at home and take care of their children:
No, we don't believe that any woman should have this choice. No woman should be authorized to stay at home to raise her children. Society should be totally different. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one.
"Liberated" women, according to de Beauvoir, obey the dictates of the annointed. De Beauvoir, for those unaware, is no fringe feminist. Indeed, she is an icon.

I suggest that the term of art "gender feminism," used (often in this blog) to describe the well indoctrinated graduates of Womens Studies programs per Paglia's quote above, should be replaced with the term "totalitarian feminism;" the idea that preventing women from making free choices is best for them. How could this be achieved except by a state like China where girl babies continue to die as a result of a state "one-child" policy, or a religio-cultural milieu such as fundamentalist Islam where women are not allowed to be educated, seen or heard? "Collectivist feminism" is another possibility, but it seems to me to be too weak to describe the intent.

Here are some examples of heroic women in history whose contributions to freedom are routinely suppressed by "herstory:"

Hannah More (1745-1833)

More initiated a humane revolution in the relations of the sexes that was decorous, civilized, and in no way socially divisive. Above all, it was a feminism that women themselves could comfortably embrace: a feminism that granted women the liberty to be themselves without ceasing to be women. Indeed, if More's name and fame had not been brushed out of women's history, many women today might well be identifying with a modernized version of her female-friendly feminism.

...Hannah More is not the only once-famous women's advocate to have vanished from the official "herstorical" record. Ken Burns, the celebrated documentarian, followed his award-winning Civil War with a 1999 film about Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) and Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) and their struggle to win the vote for American women. There is one brief sequence in which the narrator explains that in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, Anthony forged coalitions with conservative mainstream groups. The mood darkens, and a pioneer in the field of women's studies--Sally Roesch Wagner--appears on the screen. Wagner informs viewers that Anthony was so determined to win the vote, she established alliances with prosuffrage women who were "enemies of freedom in every other way--Frances Willard is a case in point."
Frances Willard (1839-98)
One would never imagine from Burns's film that Frances Willard (1839-98) was one of the most beloved and respected women of the nineteenth century. When she died, one newspaper wrote, "No woman's name is better known in the English-speaking world than that of Miss Willard, save that of England's great queen." Because of her prodigious good works and kindly nature, Willard was often called the "Saint Frances of American Womanhood."

But Willard, a suffragist and leader of the Women's Christian Temperance Union, is another once-esteemed figure in women's history who is today unmentioned and unmentionable. Willard brought mainstream women into the suffrage movement, and some historians credit her with doing far more to win the vote for women than any other suffragist. But her fondness for saying things like "Womanliness first--afterwards what you will" was her ticket to historical obloquy.
Clare Boothe Luce (1903 - 1987)
...a conservative feminist who in her heyday in the 1940s was a popular playwright and a member of the U.S. Congress, wrote and spoke about women at a time when feminism's "second wave" was still more than twenty years away. Luce's exemplary remarks on Mother Nature and sex differences are especially relevant today.
It is time to leave the question of the role of women in society up to Mother Nature--a difficult lady to fool. You have only to give women the same opportunities as men, and you will soon find out what is or is not in their nature. What is in women's nature to do they will do, and you won't be able to stop them. But you will also find, and so will they, that what is not in their nature, even if they are given every opportunity, they will not do, and you won't be able to make them do it.
Those who prefer individual freedom to collectivist coercion will need to take feminism back before it can be relevant again.
Revisionist history is never a pretty sight. But feminist revisionists are destructive in special ways. They seek to obliterate not only feminist history but the femininity that made it a success.
Thanks to Democracy Project for making me aware of Sommers' essay.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Subliminal message?

And I don't mean the posterized communist realism


...though a case can be made for communist realism too.



Friday, August 08, 2008

Omar Khadr update

Terrorist, child soldier or Gitmo victim?

If those choices are A, B and C, I'll take a vowel.
He was just 15 years old when arrested after a fire fight with US forces in Afghanistan; Omar Khadr has spent the last six years locked up in the detention centre at Guantanamo Bay without a trial. A friend of mine mentioned the other day that spending this long in prison without trial is a form of torture. Supporters of Khadr say he is simply a child soldier and should not be facing charges in an American military tribunal. Others say that since Omar Khadr is a Canadian citizen, he should be brought home to Canada to face charges, rather than remain the last Western citizen locked up at the makeshift prison dubbed “Gitmo”.

If any of this is true, why is Canada, Boy Scout to the World, the country that pioneered “soft power” throughout the 1990s and spearheaded the international treaty on landmines, letting one of its citizens rot on his own without help? The answer is, things aren’t always what they seem with the Khadr family. History, post-9/11 politics and the legal systems of two countries all contribute to this tale that has been generating international headlines.

Truth be told, Omar Khadr is a Canadian of convenience. Although born in Toronto in 1986, Omar’s parents, both immigrants to Canada, had decided to raise their family elsewhere to escape a culture they viewed as having a corrupting influence on their young and growing family. The family was living overseas in locales such as Bahrain and Pakistan, returning for brief spells in 1985 and 1986 only for Omar and his older brother Ibrahim to be born or receive medical care from Canada’s state medical system. Omar left Canada for Pakistan’s Peshawar district when he was only months old, spending the rest of his life going between Pakistan, Afghanistan and when the family needed medical treatment, Canada.
RTWT and remember it the next time you hear his lawyers whining about how he cried for his mother during a Gitmo interview conducted by Canadian government employees.

H/T SDA

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Math and sex update

Dr. Janet Hyde (see also) was lead author of a research study that examined differences in how boys and girls perform in math. She has a long history of seeking to demonstrate that the so-called "gender" specific psychological differences between men and women are virtually non-existent. That this idea violates most people's common sense experience is explained by nuture, not nature. It's about proving there is no difference between the sexes that can be accounted for biologically - it's all about the patriarchy social conditioning.

Among other things Dr. Hyde's report found (much more at this link) is that boys are more variable in math skills than girls:
...their paper does mention that in the 99th percentile, they found the boys:girls ratio to be 2.06:1 (and for the 95th percentile, it was 1.45:1). Incidentally, these numbers roughly agree with Figure 2 in La Griffe du Lion's text about these matters. But Hyde et al. were very careful that this particular result didn't get into the media.

...It's been more than three years when Larry Summers introduced the width of the statistical distributions into the public debate but when you make a Google search, you will see that 99% of people still don't seem to get the point. Most people in the world are just stunningly stupid.

If you're one of them and you're disturbed by all these differences and you want to hear something encouraging about ordinary people, let me tell you that it can be calculated that if you pick a random man and a random woman, the woman will be g-smarter than the man in 45% of the cases. You need to calculate a somewhat tough integral to get this result. As Barbie correctly said, math class is tough. ;-)
However, Dr. Hyde's public pronouncements never mention this finding. She told Reuters,
"there aren't gender differences anymore in math performance" that could account for the pre-eminence of men in strongly quantitative careers such as math and physics
The discrepancy between Dr. Hyde's results and her rhetoric is suspicious. The high variability of boys' math performance could entirely account for the fact that the sex of those employed in high-end math and science careers is preponderantly male. What scientist would want to suppress this possibly inherent difference as a matter of public policy? One who does not like the conclusion.

Here's more on why seemingly small distribution differences at the high end of the scale are an important question: Small Differences in Variability of Ability Translate Into Big Differences 3-4 Std. Deviations from Mean
Assume that to be successful and get tenure in the math department at Harvard or MIT, you have to be 3-4 standard deviations above average, which is what Larry Summers said - "We're talking about people who are three and a half, four standard deviations above the mean...."

In that case, wouldn't we expect females to be under-represented, as the experiment above demonstrates, where "men" represent 77% of those observations 4 or more standard deviations above the mean?
We would, if we didn't have an agenda.

Several related TOC posts on this topic may be found here.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The cost of gaffoline

I noted this jaw-dropping gaffe on July 30th in a post titled Can he really believe this?

If the transcendent one is going to be stupid he's apparently intent on being transcendentally so. At the time of my first post the ludicrousness of this idea was so obvious that pressing the point seemed like piling on. Leave the poor fool alone. But, with encouragement from the full panoply of punditry, he's pushing this into full-blown canardhood. To prove that he believes proper inflation is the solution to expensive energy, Obama repeated it yesterday in Ohio:

So I told them something simple. I said, 'You know what? You can inflate your tires to the proper levels and that if everybody in America inflated their tires to the proper level, we would actually probably save more oil than all the oil we'd get from John McCain drilling right below his feet there, or wherever he was going to drill.'

So now the Republicans are going around - this is the kind of thing they do. I don't understand it! They’re going around, they're sending like little tire gauges, making fun of this idea as if this is 'Barack Obama's energy plan.'

Now two points, one, they know they're lying about what my energy plan is, but the other thing is they're making fun of a step that every expert says would absolutely reduce our oil consumption by 3 to 4 percent. It’s like these guys take pride in being ignorant.

You know, they think it is funny that they are making fun of something that is actually true. They need to do their homework. Because this is serious business. Instead of running ads about Paris Hilton and Britney Spears they should go talk to some energy experts and actually make a difference.
Senator Obama needs to talk to some reality experts before trying to make a difference. That would certainly not include his defenders on this issue in the Maim Scream Media™. They're certainly in the tank, but increasingly unrefined.

The dead silence of the audience when he first said it probably did tell him something, but he forgot as soon as the NYT and Time, et, al. began saying there was actually some substance to his naifness's pronouncement.

Elsewhere, the reality check has been done thoroughly. Here are excellent examples.

At Powerline: Time Tries to Salvage Obama's Gaffe

Barack Obama's suggestion that we can't drill our way out of the current energy shortage, but we can solve the problem through tire inflation, has been the source of much hilarity. We did the math here, and found that it would take approximately 11,308 years of tire inflation to equal the energy we can obtain by developing our own petroleum resources.
At Bizzyblog: Time’s Tripe Is ‘Tired’: Writer Claims Obama Is Right, Ridicule Is ‘Smear’ (See Update)
The total daily amount obtainable from all sources of drilling, if allowed, would be at least 28 million barrels a day (27.3 million plus 986,000, rounded to the nearest million), or at least 140 times more than Grunwald [Time magazine] claimed.

...All of this means that the maximum achievable usage reduction [if everyone has been driving around on underinflated tires and no one keeps their car tuned up, and if airplanes taxied from airport to airport, and if trains start using rubber tires] if everyone followed Maximum Leader Obama’s suggestions would be 280,000 barrels a day (2% of 14 million; but also see the Update below). That’s only 1% of the low-ball estimate above of 28 million barrels a day obtainable from all forms of drilling. We would be taking advantage of these gifts from God already if it weren’t for the fact that unlike every other country on earth, which sees natural resources as a blessing to be opportunistically exploited for the benefit of everyone, our politicians and elites see them as environmental liabilities that have to be locked up.
It's one thing that Obama was dumb enough to make such a statement in the first place. That he is repeating it with the assistance of major media is ... not even surprising. Obama can NEVER be wrong. Just accept it.

Read all of both links.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Racing the finesse card

And who was it who first associated Barack Obama with Paris Hilton, anyway?
The Senator's Humble Beginning
Rising Star Barack Obama Is Resolutely Down to Earth

By Mark Leibovich
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 24, 2005; Page C01

There's nothing exotic or complicated about how phenoms are made in Washington, and, more to the point, how they are broken.

"Andy Warhol said we all get our 15 minutes of fame," says Barack Obama. "I've already had an hour and a half. I mean, I'm so overexposed, I'm making Paris Hilton look like a recluse."


Lately, though, Obama supporters find such loose talk by any one not "The One" to be racist. Here's one now:
That ad was blatantly racist. Putting a black guy up alongside white women sends a strong racist message.
Well, to a racist, maybe. How does this guy tolerate Elin Nordegren and Tiger Woods? Or Heidi Klum and Seal? Or Taye Diggs and Idina Menzel? Or Richard and Mildred Loving? Oh, wait, that was a white male and a black female. My bad. Definitely racism there.

H/T Instapundit

Monday, August 04, 2008

The Democrat Energy Plan Explained




This woman is Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States of America: Second in line for the Presidency. Scared yet, Europe?

She did do her bit to conserve energy, though, by turning off the lights and microphones in the House Chamber.

So. Nancy? See you in September.

We'll be alone in this easy fight
While you're away, don't forget your spite

Bye-bye, so long, farewell
Bye-bye, so long

See you in September
See you in the gas-line queue
Here we are (bye, baby, goodbye)
Saying "What gives?" to the nation (bye, baby, goodbye)
Summer frustration (bye, baby bye, baby)
As voters have to pay (bye, baby, goodbye)

Have a good time but remember
There is danger 'neath Obama's speeding bus
Will I see you in September
Or lose you to a summer fuss
(counting the days 'til you'll be all through)
(counting the hours and the minutes, too)

Abu Khabab al-Masri at room temperature

Al-Qaida confirms death of leading commander al-Masri
CAIRO - Al-Qaida yesterday confirmed the death of a top commander accused of training the suicide bombers who killed 17 American sailors on the USS Cole eight years ago. Abu Khabab al-Masri had a $5-million bounty on his head from the United States, and was believed to have been killed in a suspected U.S. airstrike in Pakistan last week.

In an Internet statement, Al-Qaida said al-Masri and three other top figures were killed...
Update 7:15PM -
Obviously, the title of this post should have been Shish Khabab

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Finessing the race card

It worked on Hillary.

Obama says Republicans will use race to stoke fear
Fri Jun 20, 2008

"They're going to try to make you afraid of me. He's young and inexperienced and he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black?"
Barack Obama's Speech in Berlin
July 24th, 2008
I know that I don’t look like the Americans who’ve previously spoken in this great city.
Cleverly managing to claim the company of JFK and Ronald Reagan and insinuating race into a foreign campaign speech.

That's a lot of interpretive weight for a single sentence to bear, but since he keeps dealing the "I don't look like," "post-racial" card and since he went on in Berlin to discuss America's failures, it has a lot of assistance.

Obama's Bad Turn
August 1, 2008

"So what they're going to try to do is make you scared of me. You know, 'He's not patriotic enough, he's got a funny name,' you know, 'He doesn't look like all those other Presidents on the dollar bills.'"