Saturday, February 28, 2009

If conservatism could speak

Too good not to bring to your attention:

Mike Church asked me to prepare a talk for his national radio program. He asked me to give the speech that I would have given had I been invited to speak at CPAC on the state of conservatism in America today. My initial reaction was: Who cares what I have to say about the state of American conservatism?

I wondered, instead, what Conservatism (incarnated as a principle or an ideal) would want to say to the members of CPAC. Here is the result of my thought experiment:

Something beautiful, sad, unexpected, and miraculous happened today at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Conservatism appeared at the meeting and spoke for nearly ten minutes.

Dressed in a brilliant white gown, Conservatism blinded all of the conference attendees, panel members, celebrities, and speakers when she appeared at the main entrance in a flash of light. Conservatism made her entry right at the end of a heated panel discussion: Bipartisanship ... Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

Many CPAC members fell to their knees and begged forgiveness as Conservatism made her way to the podium. "Compassionate Conservatives" were turned into pillars of salt as she walked through the crowd. Religious bigots, who last year had made theological nitpicking the center of the presidential campaign, were struck deaf and dumb.

Conservatism stood at the podium, lifted her shining arms, and the entire building shook. This is what she said:

"Thank you for inviting me here today. I am rarely invited anywhere these days. Of course, this does not bother me ... nor does it matter in the least. I exist in principles of truth. I do not die and my principles do not change. You ignore me at your peril ... not mine."

At this early point in her speech, several leading members of the Republican National Committee, all of whom were sitting in the back of the room, tried to crawl beneath their chairs to an emergency exit. Conservatism blinked. The RNC members were turned into tiny white mice.

"You ignore me at your peril not mine," Conservatism repeated. "There seems to be some confusion in this room about who and what I am. I will make it clear for you: I am common sense. I am the truth of the market and the real world. I survive in even the most evil of regimes. I existed in the black market under Soviet communism. I existed with the maquis in France under fascism.

"I am not compassionate, I am patient. I am hard work and its eventual reward. I am the unreserved sharing that comes from a freely created surplus -- not confiscation through bureaucratic intervention and force.

"My enemy is not socialism. Given time, I always overcome the power of the state ... because I am the free collective power of individuals acting to buy and sell, and to provide goods and services, from one to another. My enemies are sloth, greed, bigotry, ignorance, lawlessness, and ... fate."

Conservatism shivered slightly as she mentioned the word "fate." The walls of the convention center trembled and ceiling tiles fell like rain on the audience. She continued:

"My right hand is freedom. The freedom to think, to act, and to speak the truth."

Conservatism raised her right hand and several members of the Main Stream Media who were reporting on the conference melted like wax.

"My left hand is private property. The absolute right to keep or trade such things as human beings invent, create, cultivate, and harvest by the sweat of their brows."

Conservatism raised her left hand and nearly every elected Republican official in attendance hid his or her face in shame.

"But this is not why I have come here today. As I said, I have nothing to fear. No policy or legislation can harm me. You may stand by as industries are socialized and economies bankrupted ... but this does not harm me. You may even convince yourselves that a little socialism is good for America; that no child is left behind when the central government controls education; that the elderly, no matter how wealthy, should not have to pay for their medications; or, as some in this country believe, that the government owes them medical treatment and a home. You may even allow liberals to drive me away for years, perhaps even a few decades. But they cannot destroy me.

"America will invite me back. I live without America; but America cannot live, for long, without me. As some in this room understand, government cannot, over an extended period of time, feed all of you, clothe all of you, house all of you and heal your wounds. I can.

"Government does not inspire you (although it may try to force you) to achieve, to create, to invent, to explore, to invest in the future. I do.

"I hope that this much is clear: I am not here on my behalf. I do not need even CPAC's support or acknowledgment. My principles exist whether or not they are recognized by this, or any other, audience.

"I do not need to be here to defend myself. I am here because of my heart ... for my heart ... my heart is the Constitution...." Conservatism wept and the earth shuddered beneath her. "I am here for the Constitution. I am here because America is breaking my heart."

There was a stunned silence in the room. Many members of CPAC remembered who they were, and why they had gathered, and they began to cry too.

Conservatism's voice rose like thunder:

"You have not done enough to protect and defend the Constitution. You have broken my heart. And because of this ... America will suffer."

There was a flash like lightening. A deafening clap of thunder rocked the auditorium. Conservatism vanished. And the members in attendance at CPAC asked themselves, "Have we done all that we can do to protect our Constitution and to preserve our republic?"

Audio version.

Larrey Anderson is a writer, a philosopher, and submissions editor for American Thinker. His latest award-winning novel is The Order of the Beloved. His memoir, Underground: Life and Survival in the Russian Black Market, has just been released.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Tonight's Music

Here's a good music video for a hillbilly! I don't know if the moonshiner in this video is a real moonshiner or an actor (I suspect actor) but he captures the mountain flavor very well.


BTY, this video was shot not far from where I live in the Smokey Mountain's Fontana Village.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I'm flattered

I am a: Glock Model 22 in 40 cal
Firearms Training
What kind of handgun are YOU?

H/T Shooting the Messenger

They want another shot at your guns

From ABC:

The Obama administration will seek to reinstate the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 during the Bush administration, Attorney General Eric Holder said today.

"As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons," Holder told reporters.
After the free ride that Obama has been given by the Democrat party and the mainstream media (sorry, redundant) I suppose that it is understandable that he lacks a realistic sense of what is possible and what should be avoided.

It is possible to ram a giant pork-laden spending bill which contains a massive expansion of federal government power through the legislature because the public has been driven into a state of near hysteria by talk (much of it pouring from the mouth of B. Hussein Obama) that we are experiencing the "worst economy since the Great Depression" (when the numbers actually show that we are experiencing the worst economy since the Carter Recession of early 80's).

However "gun violence" is not an issue over which the media or the politicians have managed to generate panic in recent times so Obama's current desire to bring back the "assault weapons" ban is likely to find a very different reception in the halls of congress (even a Democrat controlled congress) than the recent "stimulus" bill.

The fact is that even people as inherently stupid as Democrat politicians have finally learned the lesson that gun control is a losing issue. With Ted Kennedy busy preparing for his eternal cruise on the SS Brimstone he will not even be able to wave his brothers' bloody shirts around for dramatic effect during the debates. There hasn't even been a massive high-profile school shooting this year to generate some pressure to "do something" - even if it's wrong.

So the administration is attempting to create some kind of rationale for depriving the American people of their liberty and property by invoking the threat of heavily armed Mexican drug gangs:

Holder said that putting the ban back in place would not only be a positive move by the United States, it would help cut down on the flow of guns going across the border into Mexico, which is struggling with heavy violence among drug cartels along the border.

"I think that will have a positive impact in Mexico, at a minimum." Holder said at a news conference on the arrest of more than 700 people in a drug enforcement crackdown on Mexican drug cartels operating in the U.S.

Mexican government officials have complained that the availability of sophisticated guns from the United States have emboldened drug traffickers to fight over access routes into the U.S.

A State Department travel warning issued Feb. 20, 2009, reflected government concerns about the violence.

"Some recent Mexican army and police confrontations with drug cartels have resembled small-unit combat, with cartels employing automatic weapons and grenades," the warning said. "Large firefights have taken place in many towns and cities across Mexico, but most recently in northern Mexico, including Tijuana, Chihuahua City and Ciudad Juarez."

So let me get this straight. . . Banning SEMIAUTOMATIC rifles in North Carolina will keep FULLY AUTOMATIC rifles and GRENADES out of the hands of drug cartels in Mexico?

Notice the old left-liberal bait and switch where two completely different things are brought together and discussed as though they were the same thing and then a false choice is presented to the voters.

If, and it is a huge IF, any of the fully automatic assault rifles being used by the Mexican drug runners came from the United States they were not purchased in American gun stores or gun shows. They were either stolen from military or law enforcement in this country or they were sold onto the black market by Nicaraguan Contras that we aided in their fight against the Sandinistas or by elements of the El Salvadorian military or police whom we supplied in their civil war against Soviet and Cuban backed revolutionaries.

However what hat I find a great deal more likely is that the Mexican cartels are armed with Soviet bloc weapons which the Soviets and Cubans poured into central America during their attempts to export Castro's revolution into the American continent. That or they are simply taking the billions of dollars in drug profits they have at their disposal and buying new weapons from Cuba or some Eastern European or even Russian source.

Support from that theory comes from another article on ABC's website datelined May of last year:

Mexico's federal police need more-powerful weapons to battle heavily armed drug cartels, a senior police official said Wednesday

Gen. Rodolfo Cruz said seven federal officers killed Tuesday in a shootout in Culiacan were outgunned by members of the Sinaloa cartel.

Cruz told reporters in Culiacan, Sonora that the federal government was sending 200 more officers to state to join the 749 already stationed there. But he said agents really need high-caliber weapons to face traffickers armed with armor-piercing bullets and AK-47s.

So unless we are to believe that the Mexican drug cartels have rearmed themselves over the last 10 months it is Soviet bloc weapons the cartels are carrying. This means that no law banning any kind of American firearm would have the slightest effect on the firepower available to the Mexican gangs.

The fact that the administration's stated reason for bringing back the assault weapons ban can be shown to be a clumsily executed laughable lie by someone willing to do a Google search on "Mexican, police, weapons" does not bode well for the little messiah's attempt to disarm his political and cultural opponents (which is what it comes down to in the end; left-wing Democrats know that the kind of people who like guns don't vote for them). Congressional Democrats, especially House members, remember how deeply unpopular the last assault weapons ban was among the firearms community and they remember the part those "gun people" played in engineering the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994. They know that the more the public learns about the "stimulus" bill they just passed the angrier they are going to become.

The last thing a Democrat House member needs (especially one from the South, the Southwest or the Midwest) is to hand his Republican opponent in 2010 the gun control issue to beat him over the head with. However much Nancy Pelosi may personally want to ban all privately owned firearms (except those in the hands of leftist elites like Stephen Spielberg, who collects machine guns, or Diane Feinstein, who has a permit to carry a concealed handgun in San Francisco, or any of the other politically connected millionaires and celebrities who have permission to carry in places like New York City where ordinary citizens are left defenseless) she will bow to pressure from rank and file House members who need to be reelected every two years.

Yes I know Pelosi isn't the brightest bulb in the congressional chandelier, but even she isn't stupid enough to risk her Speaker's gavel over an issue which will only please the Sarah Brady brigades who in the end don't donate all that much money or turn out all that many voters on election day.

The fact is that if there were any real will to enact more gun control laws in congress they would have added them to the "stimulus" bill along with Harry Reid's supertrain and Nancy Pelosi's frog subsidy and the mafia museum and the repeal of welfare reform and all the other left-wing goodies that the Democrats tossed into that toxic stew.

Obama and the congressional left can and will (in fact have done) a great many bad things between now and 2010 but I really don't think new gun control is going to be one of them.

Miss Ann is talking

That means that YOU are listening!

As Obama prepared to deliver his address to Congress on Tuesday, the Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner, Fox News' Bret Baier and Charles Krauthammer all gushed that history was being made as the first African-American president appeared before Congress.

Even Gov. Bobby Jindal, whom I suppose I should note was the first Indian-American to give the Republican response to a president's speech, began with an encomium to the first black president. (Wasn't Bobby great in "Slumdog Millionaire"?)

Are we going to have to hear about this for the next four years? Obama is becoming the Cal Ripken Jr. of presidents, making history every time he suits up for a game. Recently, Obama also became the first African-American president to order a ham sandwich late at night from the White House kitchen! That's going to get old pretty quick.

But as long as the nation is obsessed with historic milestones, is no one going to remark on what a great country it is where a mentally retarded woman can become speaker of the house?

Obama spent more than twice as much time in his historic speech genuflecting to the teachers' unions than talking about terrorism, Iraq or Afghanistan. So it was historic only in the sense that Obama is the first African-American president, but was the same old Democratic claptrap in every other respect.

After claiming that the disastrous stimulus bill would create or save 3.5 million jobs -- "more than 90 percent" in the private sector -- Obama then enumerated a long list of exclusively government jobs that would be "saved."

He was suspiciously verbose about saving the jobs of public schoolteachers. Because nothing says "economic stimulus" better than saving the jobs of lethargic incompetents who kick off at 2 p.m. every day and get summers off. Actually, that's not fair: Some teachers spend long hours after school having sex with their students.

As with the Clintons, Obama so earnestly believes in public school education that he sends his girls to ... an expensive private school. He demands that taxpayers support the very public schoolteachers he won't trust with his own children.

It is one thing to tell voters that school choice is wrong, because, you know, the public schools won't get better unless Americans sacrifice their children to the teachers' union's maw. But it is quite another for Democrats to feed their own kids to the union incinerator.

Consequently, no Democrat since Jimmy Carter has been stupid enough to send his own children to a public school.

And yet the stimulus bill expressly prohibits money earmarked for "education" to be spent on financial aid at private or parochial schools. Private schools might use it for some nefarious purpose like actually teaching their students, rather than indoctrinating them in anti-American propaganda.

The stimulus bill includes about $100 billion to education. By "education," Democrats don't mean anything a normal person would think of as education, such as learning how to talk good. "Education" means creating lots of useless bureaucratic jobs, mostly in Washington, having nothing to do with teaching.

Apparently, nothing irritates public schoolteachers more than being asked to teach. While 80 percent of the employees of private schools are teachers, only half the employees of public schools are. The rest are "coordinating," "facilitating" or "empowering" something or other.

The Department of Education alone provides more than 4,000 jobs that haven't the faintest connection with teaching. And now the stimulus bill will double the Education Department's funding. (For those of you who went to a public school, that means it will become twice as big.)

We've come a long way from Ronald Reagan promising to eliminate the Education Department, which itself was a Jimmy Carter sop to the teachers' unions.

Federal meddling in education has been an abject failure, so the Democrats' plan is to keep doing more of the same. If only there were some aphorism about people who fail to learn from history -- oh, well!

It can't be easy to reduce the educational achievement in America year after year, but the education establishment has done it! Yes they can!

Thanks to the hard work of thousands of government workers at the Department of Education and well-paid teachers' union employees, American schoolchildren perform worse on education tests for every year they spend in a public school.

It turns out that being in U.S. public schools has the same effect on people as hanging around Paris Hilton does.

In fourth grade, the earliest grade for which international comparisons are available, American students outperform most other countries in reading, math and science. Fourth-graders score in the 92nd percentile in science, the 58th percentile in math and the 70th percentile in reading, where they beat 26 of 35 countries, including Germany, France and Italy.

But by the eighth grade, American students are only midrange in international comparisons. (On the plus side, by the eighth grade they're noticeably fatter.)

By the 12th grade -- after receiving the full benefits of an American education -- Americans are near the bottom. Let X represent the number of years spent in U.S. public schools, and Y represent average test scores in math and reading -- oh, never mind.

With an additional eight years of a public school education under their belts, Americans fall from the 92nd percentile in science to the 29th percentile. While American fourth-graders are bested only by South Korea and Japan in science, by 12th grade, the only countries the American students can beat are Lithuania, Cyprus and South Africa.

Which suggests that if public education were extended all the way through college, by the time a student gets to graduate school he might very well be qualified to be ... speaker of the house!

Way to go Miss Ann!

What the Blonde One has to say about the NEA and public education in the US is absolutely true. The greatest enemy our children have is not NAMBLA it is the teacher's union.

Note the way she points out the hypocrisy of Obama and other Democrat presidents who do the bidding of the teacher's union but send their own children to private schools.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Leaving ruin in its wake

On today's Front Page Magazine Dennis Prager has an excellent summary of what the left has managed to do with the state of California:

Virtually throughout its history, and certainly in the 20th century, California has been known as the place to go for dynamism and growth. It did not become the richest, most populous, and most productive state solely because of its weather and natural resources.

So it takes a lot to turn California around from growth to contraction, from people moving into the state to a net exodus from the state, from business moving into California to businesses leaving California.

It takes some doing.

And the Left has done it.

California’s Democratic legislature has been more or less able to do whatever it wants with California. The Wall Street Journal has described the result:

“The Golden State -- which a decade ago was the booming technology capital of the world -- has been done in by two decades of chronic overspending, overregulating and a hyperprogressive tax code.…”

One might argue that’s this is a politically biased assessment. So here are some facts, not assessments:

  • California’s state expenditures grew from $104 billion in 2003 to $145 billion in 2008.
  • California has the worst credit rating in the nation.
  • California has the fourth highest unemployment rate in the nation, 9.3 percent -- higher even than the car manufacturing state of Michigan.
  • California has the second highest home foreclosure rate.
  • California’s tax-paying middle class is leaving the state. California’s net loss last year in state-to-state migration exceeded every other state's. New York, another Left-run state, was second.
  • Since 2000, California’s job growth rate -- which in the late 1970s was many times higher than the national average -- has lagged behind the national average by almost 20 percent.
  • California has lost 25 percent of its industrial work force since 2001.
Joel Kotkin, one of the leading observers of urban America, the presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University, recently wrote an essay on California, “Sundown for California.” He begins with these words:

“Twenty-five years ago, along with another young journalist, I co-authored a book called “California, Inc.” about our adopted home state. The book described ‘California’s rise to economic, political, and cultural ascendancy’...But today our Golden State appears headed, if not for imminent disaster, then toward an unanticipated, maddening, and largely unnecessary mediocrity.”

That is what left-wing policies have done to California. In Kotkin’s words, “the state legislature decided to spend its money on public employees and impose ever more regulatory burdens on business.”

Last week, Intel, the world’s largest maker of computer chips, announced that it would invest $7 billion to expand its facilities. Where? In Arizona, Oregon, and New Mexico. But not in California, the state in which Intel is headquartered.

The Left is bringing the greatest state to its knees.

What generations created, the Left destroys. There are few productive and noble institutions in America that the Left has not hurt or attempted to hurt. But while the Left destroys a great deal, it constructs almost nothing (outside of government agencies, laws, and lawsuits).

Go read the rest.

I like the fact that Mr. Prager uses the language correctly and calls the destructive force which is ruining, has in fact ruined, California leftism rather than liberalism.

A liberal is someone who believes what Thomas Jefferson believed. A leftist is someone who believes what V.I. Lenin, Adolph Hitler or Barack Obama believe. Not in the specific details but in the general worldview that the current order is in some way irredeemably "wrong" and must be replaced by something radically new.

For example contrast the opinion of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, whose basic message was liberal, that America must live up to its founding ideal that all men are created equal to that of Mr. Obama who believes that the founding was fatally flawed because it created a constitution which enumerates what the government may not do to the people rather than what it must do for the people. In other words the Framers were wrong to create a constitution which concerned itself with limiting the power of the federal government and preserving the autonomy of the states and the liberty of the individual. What they should have done, at least in the opinion of Barack Obama and his political party, is created a massive welfare state administered by an all-powerful central government.

This is the worldview which characterizes the left in whatever form it takes. Whether it is Robespierre's Committee of Public Safety, Lenin's Bolsheviks, Hitler's Nazis or Obama's Democrat party the unifying factor is the dream of an idealized society and the faith in the transcendent power of human government to achieve that vision.

And likewise what unites the left's opponents whether they are called classical liberals or modern conservatives is a deep skepticism about the power of government and an abiding faith in the ability of individual men and women to achieve a society which is not Utopian but "merely" decent - if they are left alone to do so.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009

Another cartoon jihad

The above political cartoon appeared in the New York Post last Wednesday. The cartoon plays off of the large amount of publicity being given to the incident in which a pet chimpanzee attacked and nearly killed a friend of his owner before being shot to death by police in order to make a point about the recently enacted economic stimulus legislation.

This commentary appeared on the left-wing Huffington Post about the cartoon:

A cartoon likening the author of the stimulus bill, perhaps President Barack Obama, with a rabid chimpanzee graced the pages of the New York Post on Wednesday.

The drawing, from famed cartoonist Sean Delonas, is rife with violent imagery and racial undertones. In it, two befuddled-looking police officers holding guns look over the dead and bleeding chimpanzee that attacked a woman in Stamford, Connecticut.

"They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill," reads the caption.

An email to Delonas and a call to the New York Post went unreturned. The cartoon appears both on the New York Post website and page 12 of the Wednesday paper.

At its most benign, the cartoon suggests that the stimulus bill was so bad, monkeys may as well have written it. Others believe it compares the president to a rabid chimp. Either way, the incorporation of violence and (on a darker level) race into politics is bound to be controversial. Perhaps that's what Delonas wanted.

First I can understand someone ignorant enough to write for or read the Huffington Post not knowing that the misnamed "stimulus bill" was not written by B. Hussein Obama. The bill was actually drafted by members of Nancy Pelosi's staff with heavy input from other other Democrat House members and especially from various left-wing special interest groups.

Barack Obama had almost nothing to do with the content of this legislation. He simply attached his name to it because it advances goals which he earnestly desires such as the expansion of the power and scope of the federal government at the expense of individual liberty and the confiscation of a much larger piece of the American people's hard earned money. Other goals which the bill accomplishes which are supported by Mr. Obama are the rolling back of the wildly successful and popular welfare reform measures signed into law by Bill Clinton and the funneling of vast sums of taxpayer money into the coffers of ACORN and other ultra-left "community organizers".

Another correction is also in order for the Huffington Post for another error inspired by pure ignorance. Travis the chimpanzee was not "rabid". Rabies is a viral infection of the brain which can cause an infected animal or person to behave in a violent fashion. However Travis was not suffering from Rabies, he was simply behaving like a normal chimpanzee. Chimpanzees are extremely dangerous wild animals and should no more be kept as pets than tigers, king cobras or alligators.

The Huffington Post also reproduces this quote by the "Reverend" Al Sharpton:

"The cartoon in today's New York Post is troubling at best given the historic racist attacks of African-Americans as being synonymous with monkeys. One has to question whether the cartoonist is making a less than casual reference to this when in the cartoon they have police saying after shooting a chimpanzee that "Now they will have to find someone else to write the stimulus bill."

"Being that the stimulus bill has been the first legislative victory of President Barack Obama (the first African American president) and has become synonymous with him it is not a reach to wonder are they inferring that a monkey wrote the last bill?"

I point out again that Obama didn't write the bill he simply fronted for it. Next, and far more important, why in the name of Sam Hill is any person of normal intelligence and good will (I know, that excludes the writers and readers of the HuffPo, but let's pretend for a bit that we share a common humanity with them) spending so much as one nanosecond concerning themselves with what Al Sharpton has to say about anything?

Remember that Al Shaprton catapulted himself onto the national stage when he seized upon a ludicrous lie told by a teenage black girl named Twana Brawley in Wappingers Falls, NY to explain why she had been absent from her home for a few days. The reality was that she had been shacked up with her boyfriend but fearing the wrath of her mother's live-in boyfriend she spun a fairytale in which she had been kidnapped, raped and brutalized by a group of white police officers.

Sharpton became a champion of Miss Brawley trumpeting and embellishing her story and in the process slandering a number of innocent people. In due time Brawley's story unraveled and the truth came out. Sharpton was sued by one of his victims and was ordered by the court to pay damages of $65000.00 which he refused to pay. It would seem that in his mind no black person should ever be held to account for any crime committed against a white person. Interest and penalties accumulated until the amount Sharpton owed was $87000.00 and a group of wealthy black men stepped in and paid Sharpton's debt.

Shaprton's other forays into the public eye involved acting as an apologist for a black mob which ran wild in Brooklyn's Crown Heights neighborhood after a seven-year-old black immigrant named Gavin Cato was killed in a traffic accident by a car being driven by a Jewish man. During the riot, in which blacks ran through the streets breaking windows, setting fires and shouting "get the Jews" and "heil Hitler" two men, one a Jewish rabbinical student named Yankel Rosenbaum an the other an Italian-American named Anthony Graziosi (who was targeted by the mob because he "looked Jewish") were murdered.

Sharpton cheered the acquittal of Lemrick Nelson, the black sixteen-year-old who was positively identified by Yankle Rosenbaum as one of the people who stabbed him, who was found in possession of a knife covered in Mr. Rosenbaum's blood and who confessed to the crime.
When Sharpton got wind of the fact that Mr. Rosenbaum's brother was going to meet with then Attorney General Janet Reno to ask her to open a federal civil rights investigation into his brother's murder he quickly flew to Washington to attempt to prevent the Justice Dept. from hearing Mr. Rosenbaum's petition.

Unfortunately for Mr. Sharpton a federal investigation was opened and Lemrick Nelson was convicted of attacking Yankel Rosenbaum because he was Jewish and sentenced to 19 years in federal prison (from which there is no parole).

In another violent incident in which Sharpton was even more directly involved was a mass murder at Freddie's Fashion Mart in Harlem. Freddie's Fashion Mart was a clothing store owned by a Jewish businessman and located in space he rented from a black church. When the store owner attempted to expand his floor space into space which was occupied by black sub-tenant Sharpton led a series of protests at the store.

Sharpton called the owner of Freddie's a "white interloper" and the protesters led by Sharpton shouted about the "blood-sucking Jews" and "Jew Bastards". Sharpton and his partner went on the radio and referred to the owner of Freedie's as a "cracker" and promised that he would be "made to suffer".

One of Sharpton's protesters forced his way into Freddie's Fashion Mart and fatally shot three white people, then he shot a Pakistani immigrant to death because he "looked Jewish" and set fire to the store. A fire in which five Hispanics, a Guyanese immigrant and a black security guard (who had been referred to by the protesters as a "cracker lover") all lost their lives.

Of course when confronted with the logically predictable consequences of his incendiary rhetoric Sharpton promptly denied any connection to the protest except to say that he had visited the once to "express his support" and to engage in discussions with "all the involved parties". When Curtis Sliwa played tape recording of Sharpton's venomous speeches, delivered to the picketers on more than one occasion, on his WABC radio program Sharpton responded by calling WABC "hate radio".

This essay does not come close to cataloging the outrages of Al Sharpton (he will never again be referred to as "Reverend" on this blog as he is in no way deserving of reverence) but they should suffice to illustrate my point that nothing that Al Sharpton has to say about anything should ever again be paid the slightest bit of attention.

Now back to the New York Post's cartoon and the phony controversy surrounding it. It is true that if that cartoon had appeared in the New Orleans Bee or the Atlanta Post-Dispatch in the year 1833 there would have been no question that the intent was racist. The monkey would have been universally understood to represent a negro and the message of the cartoon would have clearly been "this legislation was so bad that it looks like it was written by a "nigger"".

However the United States of 2009 is not the Deep South of 1830. The progress which the United States has made in putting its past racism behind it has been so astounding that in 2008 the American people elected a black man with no record of accomplishment whatsoever to be president.

The default position of the average American in 2009 is to be anti-racist. Only a vanishingly small percentage of white American citizens would look at that cartoon and in their own mind think something like "yeah, that Obama ain't nothing but a monkey like all other niggers".

So let us from this moment forward stop tolerating the imputation of racist motives to our fellow citizens unless there is good evidence to support it. Of course professional racial grievance mongers like Al Sharpton (a man whose hands are covered with innocent blood) have a massive interest in preserving the illusion of an America which has made no progress in ending racism. Of course leftists who are stung by the absolute accuracy of the cartoon's message (that the stimulus bill is bad law which will fail to help the economy and may make things worse) have an interest in deflecting attention from the cartoon's valid criticism onto a patently bogus charge of racism.

However we, the American people, can simply choose not to play the game any more. From this point forward I will not entertain any charge of racism against any fellow American unless the writer, speaker or artist says in so many words that his/her intent is racist or unless the content and context allow no other plausible explanation. And I will not alter my opinions or the expression of those opinions in any way whatsoever because of a charge of racism or the fear of such a charge.

When Al Sharpton rants about "white interlopers" and "Jewish diamond merchants" the content and context leave no doubt that he is a racist and antisemite. When an editorial cartoonist brings together two events from the front page of the newspaper (the stimulus bill and the "Travis incident") to make an absolutely appropriate political point the content and context do not support a charge of racism so the only reasonable response to such a charge is to question the motives and character of anyone leveling such a charge.

The culture of a nation is nothing more than the aggregate of the thoughts and actions of the population of that nation. The sooner that the American people wake up to the reality that the very fact that we feel enough collective guilt to allow creatures like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to bully and browbeat us means that we have already expunged the guilt of our nation's racial sins.

The sooner we can come to grips with the fact that we don't have to do racial penance any more the sooner men like Al Sharpton can find that they have to obtain honest jobs to support themselves and the sooner men like B. Hussein Obama will have to build up an actual record before seeking, let alone obtaining, high office.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

More Democrats acting like Democrats

From Front Page Magazine:

News broke last week that Rahm Emanuel, now White House chief of staff, lived rent- free for years in the home of Rep. Rosa De Lauro (D-Conn.) - and failed to disclose the gift, as congressional ethics rules mandate. But this is only the tip of Emanuel's previously undisclosed ethics problems.

One issue is the work Emanuel tossed the way of De Lauro's husband. But the bigger one goes back to Emanuel's days on the board of now-bankrupt mortgage giant Freddie Mac.

Emanuel is a multimillionaire, but lived for the last five years for free in the tony Capitol Hill townhouse owned by De Lauro and her husband, Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg.

During that time, he also served as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee - which gave Greenberg huge polling contracts. It paid Greenberg's firm $239,996 in 2006 and $317,775 in 2008. (Emanuel's own campaign committee has also paid Greenberg more than $50,000 since 2004.)

To be fair, Greenberg had polling contracts with the DCCC before - but each new election cycle brings its own set of consultants. And Emanuel was certainly generous with his roommate.

Emanuel never declared the substantial gift of free rent on any of his financial-disclosure forms. He and De Lauro claim that it was just allowable "hospitality" between colleagues. Hospitality - for five years?

Some experts suggest that it was also taxable income: Over five years, the free rent could easily add up to more than $100,000.

Nor is this all that seems to have been missed in the Obama team's vetting process. Consider: Emanuel served on the Freddie Mac board of directors during the time that the government-backed lender lied about its earnings, a leading contributor to the current economic meltdown.

The Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight Agency later singled out the Freddie Mac board as contributing to the fraud in 2000 and 2001 for "failing in its duty to follow up on matters brought to its attention." In other words, board members ignored the red flags waving in their faces.

The SEC later fined Freddie $50 million for its deliberate fraud in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

Meanwhile, Emanuel was paid more than $260,000 for his Freddie "service." Plus, after he resigned from the board to run for Congress in 2002, the troubled agency's PAC gave his campaign $25,000 - its largest single gift to a House candidate.

That's what friends are for, isn't it?

Now Rahm Emanuel is in the White House helping President Obama dig out of the mess that Freddie Mac helped start.

The president's chief of staff isn't subject to Senate confirmation, but his ethics still matter. Is this the change that we can depend on?

It is tempting to lay this at the feet of the fact that Emanuel crawled out of the same sewer of Illinois Democrat party machine politics as impeached governor Blagojevich and Obama himself. However this is a problem which is common to the entire Democrat party. After all Obama'a Treasury Secretary who refused to pay his income taxes for some years and lied on his returns in other years is not a Chicago native nor or any of the other Obama appointees who have had to withdraw their names because of tax or other ethical problems.

And Bill Clinton, the most corrupt president in US history, was not from Chicago (although the Little Rock/Hot Springs axis in Arkansas gives Cook County a run for its money). No, the reason why this kind of corruption and criminality is the rule in the Democrat party (unlike the Republican party where it exists but is the exception) flows from the mindset of the kind of person who is attracted to the Democrat party.

The average Democrat who seeks political power is, in his own mind, and elite who is better and smarter than the average citizen. Because the Democrat politician views him or herself as an elite they feel that the rules which apply to everyone else should not apply to them. Rank, after all, should have its privileges.

Democrats also tend to reject the authority of traditional religion-based morality. Observe the way in which his fellow Democrats rushed to defend Bill Clinton after he was caught committing adultery in the Oval Office or the way in which Democrats who claim to be Christian or observant Jews nevertheless still defend practices like abortion.

If you deny the authority of God and hold yourself above the laws of man then what exactly is there to restrain you? Nothing but the fear of legal consequences and public relations problems if you are caught.

And how much fear do those things still inspire? After all Bill Clinton committed perjury in federal court and his only "punishment" was having his law license temporarily suspended and a fine which he could pay with bribe money collected from Red Chinese spies. And he left office with a 60% approval rating despite the fact that both the adultery and the Red Chinese spies were common knowledge by that time.

In the bubble inhabited by the left-wing establishment (Democrat politicians, the mainstream media and academics) the judge of a politician's character is not to be found in how he behaves when no one is looking or in how he handles his own money or how he treats those over whom he personally wields power but in the public positions he takes on a shopping list of liberal litmus test issues. Issues such as abortion, the minimum wage and racial preferences.

Again I point to the example of Bill Clinton who was credibly accused of forcibly raping a woman and was still defended by feminists, one of which said that she would gladly suck him off to "thank him for keeping abortion legal" (she did not, however, indicate whether she would swallow).

In a world in which "virtue" is nothing more than publicly upholding a set of political positions then privately anything goes. Nancy Pelosi can support sweat shops in American Samoa, B. Hussein Obama can engage in corrupt land deals with a felonious Chicago developer and spend 20 years in a church whose pastor screams "God Damn America!" from the pulpit and preaches sermons about how the CIA created AIDS to exterminate black people and befriend an unrepentant communist terrorist bomber like Bill Ayers. Bill Clinton can rape and molest women and rake in hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal contributions from hostile foreign governments and terror-supporting Arab potentates. Barny Frank can allow his "partner" to run a gay prostitution ring out of his apartment and Ted Kennedy can kill a young woman then attempt to bribe someone else to take the blame for it.

Elected Democrats can do all of this which ranges from disgusting hypocrisy to outright criminality and still be welcome in and be defended by their party because they want to "keep abortion legal". Is there anything so terrible that a Democrat, even one who supports abortion, can be expelled from that party? As a matter of fact there is. Joe Lieberman - supporter of partial birth abortion - was kicked out of the Democrat party for the monstrous crime of taking a principled stand in support of the war against Islamofascism.

So a Democrat will lose the support of his party if he comes out in favor of making war on people who do things like plan and execute the 9/11 attacks, stone homosexuals to death and behead or hang young girls for the "crime" of "allowing" themselves to be raped and thereby bringing shame upon their father and brothers. Provided that the war was begun under the leadership of a Republican president.

Of course a political party which offers unconditional support to any elected official who will simply support a particular legislative agenda and oppose anything supported by Republicans will be attractive not only to left-wing ideologues but to another class of people commonly known as sociopaths.

Which answers the oft asked question of "what the hell's wrong with that damned party anyway?" You fill a political party's leadership with people who are either true-believers who will do anything to further their ideological agenda or are sociopaths willing to do anything to further their personal agenda, neither of which believe that the rules which govern normal mortals apply to them, and you get exactly what you see running Washington today.

Tonight's Music

Altan performing There's a Fair Tonight.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Miss Ann is talking

That means that YOU are listening!

Being gracious winners, this week, liberals howled with delight at George Bush for coming in seventh-to-last in a historians' ranking of the presidents from best to worst.

This was pretty shocking. Most liberals can't even name seven U.S. presidents.

Being ranked one of the worst presidents by "historians" is like being called "anti-American" by the Nation magazine. And by "historian," I mean a former member of the Weather Underground, who is subsidized by the taxpayer to engage in left-wing political activism in a cushy university job.

So congratulations, George Bush! Whenever history professors rank you as one of the "worst" presidents, it's a good bet you were one of America's greatest.

Six months after America's all-time greatest president left office in 1989, historians ranked him as only a middling president. (I would rank George Washington as America's greatest president, but he only had to defeat what was then the world's greatest military power with a ragtag group of irregulars and some squirrel guns, whereas Ronald Reagan had to defeat liberals.)

At the time, historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. dismissed Reagan as "a nice, old uncle, who comes in and all the kids are glad to see him. He sits around telling stories, and they're all fond of him, but they don't take him too seriously" -- and then Schlesinger fell asleep in his soup.

Even liberal historian Richard Reeves blanched at Reagan's low ranking in 1989, saying, "I was no fan of Reagan, but I think I know a leader when I see one."

Reagan changed the country, Reeves said, and some would say "he changed the world, making communism irrelevant and the globe safe for the new imperialism of free-market capitalism." In Reeves' most inspiring line, he says Reagan "was a man of conservative principle and he damned near destroyed American liberalism."

By 1996 things hadn't gotten much better for Reagan in the historians' view. A poll of historians placed Reagan 26th of 42 presidents -- below George H.W. Bush, his boob of a vice president who raised taxes and ended Republican hegemony under Reagan. Four of the 32 historians called Reagan a "failure."

I guess it depends on your definition of "failure." To me a failure is someone who aspired to be a legitimate scholar but ends up as an obscure lecturer at Colorado College.

Speaking of which, Colorado College political scientist Thomas Cronin explained Reagan's low ranking, saying Reagan "was insensitive to women's rights, civil rights, oblivious to what was going on in his own Administration -- the procurement scandal, HUD, Iran-Contra."

Soon after he took office, President Reagan famously hung a portrait of President Calvin Coolidge in the Cabinet Room -- another (Republican) president considered a failure by historians.

Coolidge cut taxes, didn't get the country in any wars, cut the national debt almost in half, and presided over a calm, scandal-free administration, a period of peace, 17.5 percent growth in the gross national product, low inflation (.4 percent) and low unemployment (3.6 percent).

Unlike some recent presidents with Islamic middle names, he didn't run around comparing himself to Lincoln constantly.

Arthur Schlesinger Jr. ridiculed President Calvin Coolidge as a hayseed who slept too much and took decisive action only once in his life. Schlesinger never tired of pointing out that Coolidge slept 11 hours a day, as if hours of sleep is the true measure of presidential greatness.

Perhaps Schlesinger's venom toward Coolidge was meant as penance for his once mistakenly admitting that Eisenhower was a good president -- another hated (Republican) president among historians.

Under President Dwight Eisenhower the gross national product grew by over 25 percent and inflation averaged 1.4 percent. George Meany, then AFL-CIO president, said that the American worker had "never had it so good." Like Coolidge and Reagan, Eisenhower was enormously popular with the American people.

In a poll of "leading scholars" taken soon after Eisenhower left office, he was named one of the 10 worst presidents. The distinguished scholars -- none of whose names anyone remembers today -- called him dumb, dismissing the five-star general who smashed the Nazi war machine as "Old Bubble Head." As Patton said, these "bilious bastards ... don't know anything more about real battle than they do about fornicating."

It's as if geologists took a poll and announced their opinion that lead was heavier than gold.

Reagan and Eisenhower have recently started to move up in the presidential rankings -- for the same reason George Washington is always ranked one of the best. Historians ought to detest Washington, but his exclusion from the top ranks of these pompous historian polls would expose the absurdity of their rankings.

Putting preposterously overrated presidents like John F. Kennedy or FDR in the same category as Reagan or Washington is like a teenage girl ranking the Jonas Brothers with the Rolling Stones and the Beatles as the three greatest bands of all time.

Liberals may call him a "war criminal," but historians have inadvertently paid Bush a great tribute this week by ranking him as a "below average" president. I can only dream that, someday, no-name, left-wing historians will rank me as one of the all-time worst columnists.

Once again Miss Ann gets it entirely right. There are few better compliments than being disliked by a bunch of left-wing college professors.

George W Bush was far from perfect, but he will be remembered as a great president because of the forceful way he responded to the attack of 9/11. Thanks to him America was kept safe from another such attack during the entire rest of his term in office and thanks to him two nations ruled by poisonous theocratic dictatorships have been freed. The fact is that things have come so far in Iraq that not even B. Hussein Obama is going to be able to engineer a return to tyranny for that nation.

I'm sure that Mr. Bush understands this. And I'm sure that he has not and will never lose a second's sleep over the opinion of such contemptible lightweights.

Jindal looks to 2012

From CBS:

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, a potential 2012 GOP presidential candidate, has suggested his state may not be interested in all of the roughly $4 billion allotted to it in the economic stimulus package to be signed by President Obama today.

"We'll have to review each program, each new dollar to make sure that we understand what are the conditions, what are the strings and see whether it's beneficial for Louisiana to use those dollars," Jindal said, according to CBS affiliate WWLTV.

Jindal is scheduled to give the response to the president’s not-exactly-a-state-of-the-union address next Tuesday.

Louisiana reportedly faces a possible $2 billion budget shortfall next year. It has been allocated $538,575,876 for infrastructure spending in the stimulus package, and the White House predicts the bill will create 50,000 jobs in the state.
Governor Jindal is doing the right thing politically for a man who is looking toward a possible 2012 or 2016 presidential run but the right thing for the state of Louisiana (funny isn't it how what is good for Republicans is generally good for the country while the opposite is usually true for Democrats).

The "strings" which will come attached to this money will have the effect of rendering state governments more powerless and concentrating more power in Washington. States which wish to retain whatever sovereignty they have left after over a hundred years of power grabs by Washington should say "no thanks" to any "gifts" from D.C. especially as long as this administration is in power.

In order to be "fair and balanced" CBS decided to balance the wisdom from Mr. Jindal, who is intelligent courageous and a true leader, with a statement from someone who is the governor's polar opposite:
As WWLTV notes, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has said he’ll take any money that Louisiana turns down.
I simply remind everyone of the calm and competent way that Governor Jindal dealt with the first hurricane to threaten Louisiana during his administration with the panic and incompetence which were the best that Nagin could do in the face of Katrina (remember also Nagin's massive sense of entitlement as he went about whining that someone should come in and do his job for him).

But back to our discussion of an actual man.

Gov. Jindal is taking advantage of not only the unity of Republicans in opposition to the massive and misnamed "stimulus bill" but of the fact that a majority of independents and a large minority of Democrats also oppose the legislation.

If Governor Palin of Alaska wishes to capitalise on her popularity with a 2012 run of her own she needs to climb on board and reject Obama's Trojan horse. She should point out that developing Alaska's oil reserves would provide ample tax revenue for the state and provide thousands of jobs, as well as moving America toward energy independecne, if she were only allowed to proceed with plans to extract the oil in an environementally safe way.

The GOP lacks the power in the federal legislature to stop any of the left's destructive programs however every legislative battle which is fought represents a teachable moment for the public. Republican governors like Palin and Jindal represent the "bench" from which Republicans should draw their next presidential candidate (please G-d, no more Senators!). Those governors who have White House ambitions need to take the lead in explaining to the public why the left's program is bad for the nation.

It really is an ill wind that blows no good. Carter gave us Reagan and Clinton gave us a Republican legislature. Obama may well give us a House and Senate under control of not just the GOP but the conservative wing of the GOP after 2010 and Palin/Jindal or Jindal/Palin in the White House in 2012.

Another Chimpanzee shows its true colors

From The Daily News:

The chilling screams of a crazed chimp mauling a Connecticut woman were captured on a 911 tape - along with the animal's owner begging, "Send police with guns!"

The 15-minute recording captures the bizarre horror of Monday's attack, which left a 55-year-old woman critically injured and the 200-pound ape dead in a hail of police gunfire.

"Hurry, please! He ripped her face off," the ape's frantic owner, Sandy Herold, 70, is heard telling the dispatcher on the tapes released Tuesday night.

"Listen to me, you have to shoot him."

The terrifying screeches of Travis the chimpanzee are heard as he mercilessly pounces on Herold's pal, Charla Nash.

"He killed her!" Herold told the dispatcher. "He ripped her apart. He tried attacking me. How fast can you get here?"

The dispatcher sounds incredulous as Herold describes how she had to stab the burly ape and only aggravated him.

"He's eating her," Herold screamed. "Please have them go faster."

When cops arrived at Herold's Stamford home, she can be heard yelling for them to "Shoot him!"

Nash was so disfigured that a cop on the scene mistook her for a man, telling the dispatcher, "He's got no face."

Fighting back tears Tuesday, Herold mourned the death of her beloved chimp and expressed concern for her friend.

"He was all I had," Herold said outside her home.

She painfully recounted how she stabbed her 15-year-old chimp with a butcher's knife, trying to stop the attack.

Cops shot and killed the rampaging primate when he cornered them in a squad car.

People see chimps on TV acting cute and they think that it would be cool to have one for a pet. However the chimpanzee is an extremely dangerous wild animal. They possess near human intelligence and enormous physical strength.

They have violent natures and at the very core of their being they harbor a deep hatred for humanity based on bitter resentment that our species was the one which got the fully functional thumb and advanced verbal skills.

This feeling that only an accident of nature kept them from being the apex of evolution influences every aspect of chimpanzee psychology and society. Think of the sullen resentment that Western Europe feels toward the United States and multiply that by 1000 times and you begin to approach the depth of hatred that chimpkind have for mankind.

Right now chimpanzees are celebrating the "heroism" of Travis and mourning his death. But they are also very worried. The fact that Travis was able to surf the Internet was something they would have preferred not come out. Right now in chimpanzee chat rooms (don't bother trying to find one, they are heavily encrypted and membership is by invitation only) they are trying to come up with a damage control strategy in case people begin to inquire into what Travis was doing on the computer.

Chimpanologists (people who study chimpanzees and catalog their crimes) urge members of the general public to maintain a heightened state of alertness. People should not leave the house without a firearm and any chimpanzee exhibiting any kind of aggressive behavior whatsoever should be shot. Do not wait for them to attack. The Travis incident shows that they can take enormous amounts of damage and remain lethal so keep shooting them until they go down and stay down.

Any other kind of suspicious behavior by chimpanzees should be reported at once to local law enforcement authorities or the Department of Homeland Security.

Remember, better safe than sorry.

Friday, February 13, 2009

This tells you everything you need to know

From Human

Democratic staffers released the final version of the stimulus bill at about 11 pm last night after delaying the release for hours to put it into a format which people cannot “search” on their home computers.

Instead of publishing the bill as a regular internet document -- which people can search by “key words” and otherwise, the Dems took hours to convert the final bill from the regular searchable format into “pdf” files, which can be read but not searched.

Three of the four .pdf files had no text embedded, just images of the text, which did not permit text searches of the bill. That move to conceal the bill’s provisions had not been remedied this morning at the time of publication of this article. (You can find the entire bill on the House Appropriations [] website.)

So, what are they hiding? A lot.

We searched the bill randomly -- the only way possible -- to see what’s being hidden from the public and the members of Congress who will be voting on the bill today. We found one provision that may be a good example of why the Democrats are desperate to stop any exposure of what is in this bill. Like this gem:

SEC. 1607. (a) CERTIFICATION BY GOVERNOR -- Not later than 45 days after the date of enactment of this Act, for funds provided to any State or agency thereof, the Governor of the State shall certify that: 1) the State request and use funds provided by this Act , and; 2) funds be used to create jobs and promote economic growth.

(b) ACCEPTANCE BY STATE LEGISLATURE -- If funds provided to any State in any division of this Act are not accepted for use by the Governor, then acceptance by the State legislature, by means of the adoption of a concurrent resolution, shall be sufficient to provide funding to such State.

This provision --– apparently aimed at conservative governors such as South Carolina’s Mark Sanford who does not want the federal money -- would overturn state laws and constitutions, intervening directly in the state’s government to give the legislature the power to overturn a government’s decision.

This provision probably violates the US Constitution, a matter which will be of no concern to Congressional Democrats.

This act -- to strong-arm state governments and a governor’s ability to control the state budget -- is Chicago-style bipartisanship.

This bill is so bad that even the Associated Press analyst report today concludes that the bill will not jump-start the economy.

The example that Human Events found is bad, but it is far from the worst this festering turd of a bill has to offer. Like the undoing of welfare reform and socialized medicine, to name just two examples.

Human Events does report one bright spot, however:

Roll Call is reporting that Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) will likely not be able to travel to Washington for the vote. This causes a conundrum for Reid, as it would bring the vote total down to 60 -- the number needed -- but no Republican wants to go on record as the 60th vote. Reid may try to get around Senate rules to enable Specter, Snowe and Collins to avoid being Vote #60 for the stimulus bill.

Would it not be supremely satisfying if this steaming bucket of legislative sewage failed to make it into law because old Ted was too busy getting ready for his appointment with Satan's backyard barbecue to show up for the vote?

Might it possibly be that the one true act of service to his country this murdering old drunk will ever perform involves dying a painful death?

Would that all left-liberals would render such service to their nation.

A RINO grows a pair

WASHINGTON -- New Hampshire Republican Sen. Judd Gregg withdrew from consideration as Commerce secretary Thursday, saying his differences with the Democratic White House ran too deep.

The announcement was a fresh embarrassment for an administration rocked by a number of setbacks. While his recent predecessors each lost one or two early cabinet nominees, Mr. Obama has lost three less than a month into his term. And Mr. Gregg's withdrawal comes two days after a bank rescue plan was widely panned by financial markets and lawmakers from both parties, partly because of its lack of detail.

Mr. Obama was able to celebrate this week a victory with a congressional agreement over his economic-stimulus plan, but his goal of attracting widespread bipartisan support has faltered, and the Gregg move means his cabinet can no longer claim a trio of Republicans.

It is a mark of just how destructive and far left-liberal (sorry, redundant) that Mr. Obama's ideas are that he can't even get the usual RINO suspects to sign on to them. Yes, the two Senators from Maine and Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter voted for the giant "fund-the-left pork bill" but those three are special cases, being so stupid that they don't realize that they are members of the Communist Party of the USA.

And speaking of RINO's we note with some amazement that even Crazy John McCain and his detestable little butt-boy Lindsey Graham aren't busy assembling one of their "gangs" to aid the left in passing their "let's turn America into Venezuela" bill.

Too loony-left for John McCain to stomach? That's like getting kicked out of the SS for being too antisemitic.

The three RINO's in the Senate who voted for the Socialism Bill sealed their fates. The Democrats in their states will prefer to have real, as opposed to faux, Democrats representing them and Republicans will not turn out to save the jobs of people who use their position as a platform from which to stab them in the back.

And the Republicans who managed to maintain party discipline and stand together on principle have fired the first shot in both the 2010 congressional elections and the 2012 presidential race. By remembering who they were and what they were sent to Washington to do (hint, it wasn't "reach across the aisle" and be "bi-partisan") they have taken the first step down the road to recovering their credibility with conservative voters.

The next step for them will be resisting the Orwellian "Fairness Doctrine" which the left longs to reimpose on talk radio in order to silence the one portion of the mass media which hasn't gone beyond mere bias and become a voluntary extension of the White House press office.

The GOP has its work cut out for it over the next two years. We need to support them when they do the right thing and beat them without pity when they drift off the reservation. Only by standing together on firm conservative ideas can we hope to drag the nation back from the edge of the cliff which Obama and his minions are determined to push it over.

Tonight's Music

Clandestine at the Cactus Cafe on the University of Texas campus.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The door has been opened

Here is an editorial from the Washington Times on the socialized health care measures which are embedded in the "stimulus bill".

Secreted in the House version of the stimulus bill the President is trying to rush through Congress is the germ of a major overhaul of the American health care system. One provision causing increasing concern is the future role of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, who will be in charge of collecting and monitoring the health care being provided to every American.

Think of it, a centralized, federal database tracking your every visit to a health care provider - where you went, who you saw, what was diagnosed and what care was provided. Chilling. The immediate concern is privacy - traditionally these matters are between a doctor and patient, but now the federal bureaucracy will interpose itself into that relationship. The bill contains some boilerplate, assuring everyone that the records will be held in strictest confidence, but given the weakness of database security these days, that can be considered more a hope than a guarantee.

The purpose of the database is to help increase health care "quality, safety and efficiency." The first two goals are commendable, but what does efficiency mean?

The word is omnipresent in that section of the bill, but not defined. For guidance one can consult tax-impaired former HHS nominee Tom Daschle's 2008 book Critical: What We Can Do About the Health Care Crisis, which seems to have inspired that section of the legislation.

In it he discusses various approaches to reducing the costs of health care, including restricting the types of expensive treatments available to seniors and people with severe maladies. According to Daschle, Americans consume too much expensive health care. Thus one way to drive down costs is to limit the availability of or access to certain costly services. To many this sounds like denying care. But therein lie the efficiencies, making sure that providing health care is tied to a return on investment for society. If it costs too much to treat you, and you are nearing the end of your life anyway, you may have to do with less, or with nothing. You just aren't worth the cost.

Daschle's book recommends, and the bill appears to institutionalize, a body free of political influence to make the hard choices regarding how these efficiencies will be realized - what care will be limited, and who will be denied what services. Naturally politicians would prefer to stay clear of these critical decisions, but do the American people really want questions this important to be free of oversight?

One would think that the hard questions are the ones most in need of transparency and accountability, and not be buried in bureaucratic secrecy. It brings to mind Hannah Arendt's observation about the banality of evil. What nondescript GS-11 will be cutting care from Aunt Sophie after her sudden relapse before he or she heads to the food court for some stir fry?

There is no telling what metrics will be used to define the efficiencies, but it is clear who will bear the brunt of these decisions. Those suffering the infirmities of age, surely, and also the physically and mentally disabled, whose health costs are great and whose ability to work productively in the future are low. And how will premature babies fare under the utilitarian gaze of Washington's health efficiency experts? Will our severely wounded warriors be forced to forgo treatments and therapies based on their inability to be as productive as they once might have been? And will the love between a parent and child have a column on the health bureaucrats' spreadsheets?

Consider the following statement: "It must be made clear to anyone suffering from an incurable disease that the useless dissipation of costly medications drawn from the public store cannot be justified."

This notion is fully in the spirit of the partisans of efficiency but came from a program instituted in Hitler's Germany called . Under this program, elderly people with incurable diseases, young children who were critically disabled, and others who were deemed non-productive, were euthanized. This was the Nazi version of efficiency, a pitiless expulsion of the "unproductive" members of society in the most expeditious way possible. The program was publicly denounced in 1941 by Clemens Galen, the Catholic Bishop of Muenster, who said in a sermon, "Here we are dealing with human beings, with our neighbors, brothers and sisters, the poor and invalids...unproductive - perhaps! But have they, therefore, lost the right to live?"

The efficiency-based approach to health care reform is a betrayal of the compact between those who are most capable of work and those who are least capable of defending themselves. And we have come a long way from what was supposed to be a "targeted, timely and temporary" stimulus bill.

It is, or should be, a well known fact that the first state mandated murders in Nazi Germany were not committed against Jews. The victims were the sick and disabled.

There came a point after the machinery of the Holocaust began to operate at full speed when Germany could be declared judenrein (cleansed of Jews), but not before it had been "cleansed" of people had lost limbs in combat during the First World War.

The road which begins with rationed medical care can only end with a physician administered lethal injection.

Those nations with socialized medicine who do not routinely euthanize those considered "too expensive to treat" have not avoided the charnel house, they simply haven't gotten there yet.

In the meantime they practice euthanasia by neglect by withholding treatment outright or by maintaining waiting lists which are so long that people die while standing in line.

Time to think about buying that vacation home in the mountains

WASHINGTON (AP) - Economic stimulus legislation at the heart of President Barack Obama's recovery plan is on track for final votes in the House and Senate after a dizzying final round of bargaining that yielded agreement on tax cuts and spending totaling $789 billion.

Obama, who has campaigned energetically for the legislation, welcomed the agreement, saying it would "save or create more than 3.5 million jobs and get our economy back on track."

The $500-per-worker credit for lower- and middle-income taxpayers that Obama outlined during his presidential campaign was scaled back to $400 during bargaining by the Democratic-controlled Congress and White House. Couples would receive $800 instead of $1,000. Over two years, that move would pump about $25 billion less into the economy than had been previously planned.

Officials estimated it would mean about $13 a week more in people's paychecks when withholding tables are adjusted in late spring. Critics say that's unlikely to do much to boost consumption.

A thousand words

Red Planet accompanies this cartoon with an essay by James Lewis. Here is an excerpt:

Like famished swine shoving each other aside to get to the trough, self-proclaimed scientists and real politicians are again launching headline upon headline to claim yet another disaster in the name of utterly unproven global warming. Did you know that the flock of geese that flew into US Airways jet engines this month in New York City were put there by global warming? And that London fogs, or rather their absence, are making global warming worse?

Yep. It’s right there in the paper, Maud.

As scientific skeptics are finally discovering the courage to speak out, the hype machine is faltering just a little.

But President Obama just appointed a True Believer to be science czar in the White House. So we can expect the politicians to keep hammering on this little piggy bank until the last golden coin drops out. You’ll be paying for the biggest false alarm in history for years to come.

But what worries me most is that the credibility of science may never recover — and perhaps it shouldn’t. Credibility has to be earned, and once it’s squandered may never be recovered. By now far too many scientists have knowingly colluded in an historic fraud, one that would put Bernie Madoff to shame. We are seeing political larceny here on a truly planetary scale.

Why should scientists who’ve gambled their own reputations on this fakery ever be trusted again? They shouldn’t. Would you entrust your life savings to Bernie Madoff? Right.

Go read the rest and check out the other cartoons at Red Planet.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Miss Ann is talking

That means that YOU are listening!

It's bad enough when illiterate jurors issue damages awards in the billions of dollars because they don't grasp the difference between a million and a billion. Now it turns out the Democrats don't know the difference between a million and a trillion.

Why not make the "stimulus bill" a kazillion dollars?

All Americans who work for a living, or who plan to work for a living sometime in the next century, are about to be stuck with a trillion-dollar bill to fund yet more oppressive government bureaucracies. Or as I call it, a trillion dollars and change.

The stimulus bill isn't as bad as we had expected -- it's much worse. Instead of merely creating useless, make-work jobs digging ditches -- or "shovel-ready," in the Democrats' felicitous phrase -- the "stimulus" bill will create an endless army of government bureaucrats aggressively intervening in our lives. Instead of digging ditches, American taxpayers will be digging our own graves.

There are hundreds of examples in the 800-page "stimulus" bill, but here are just two.

First, the welfare bureaucrats are coming back.

For half a century, the welfare establishment had the bright idea to pay women to have children out of wedlock. Following the iron laws of economics -- subsidize something, you get more of it; tax it, you get less of it -- the number of children being born out of wedlock skyrocketed.

The 1996 Welfare Reform bill marked the first time any government entitlement had ever been rolled back. Despite liberal howling and foot-stomping, not subsidizing illegitimacy led, like night into day, to less illegitimacy.

Welfare recipients got jobs, as the hard-core unemployables were coaxed away from their TV sets and into the workforce. For the first time in decades, the ever-increasing illegitimacy rate stopped spiraling upward.

As proof that that welfare reform was a smashing success, a few years later, Bill Clinton started claiming full credit for the bill.

Well, that's over. The stimulus bill goes a long way toward repealing the work requirement of the 1996 Republican Welfare Reform bill and rewards states that increase their welfare caseloads by paying unwed mothers to sit home doing nothing.

Second, bureaucrats at Health and Human Services will electronically collect every citizen's complete medical records and determine appropriate medical care.

Judging by the care that the State Department took with private visa records last year, that the Ohio government took with Joe the Plumber's government records, that the Pentagon took with Linda Tripp's employment records in 1998, and that the FBI took with thousands of top secret "raw" background files in President Clinton's first term, the bright side is: We'll finally be able to find out if Bill Clinton has syphilis -- all thanks to the stimulus bill!

HHS bureaucrats will soon be empowered to overrule your doctor. Doctors who don't comply with the government's treatment protocols will be fined. That's right: Instead of your treatment being determined by your doctor, it will be settled on by some narcoleptic half-wit in Washington who couldn't get a job in the private sector.

And a brand-new set of bureaucrats in the newly created office of "National Coordinator of Health Information Technology" will be empowered to cut off treatments that merely prolong life. Sorry, Mom and Pop, Big Brother said it's time to go.

At every other workplace in the nation -- even Wal-Mart! -- workers are being laid off. But no one at any of the bloated government bureaucracies ever need fear receiving a pink slip. All 64,750 employees at the department of Health and Human Services are apparently absolutely crucial to the smooth functioning of the department.

With the stimulus bill, liberals plan to move unfirable government workers into every activity in America, where they will superintend all aspects of our lives.

Also, thanks to the stimulus bill, the private sector will gradually shrivel and die. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the cost of servicing the bill's nearly trillion-dollar debt will shrink the economy within a decade.

Robert Kennedy famously said: "There are those who look at things the way they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?'"

The new liberal version is: There are those who look at things and ask, "Why on earth should the government be paying for that?" I dream of things that never were funded by the government and ask, "Why not?"

Miss Ann sees the same thing in the "stimulus bill" as I and so many others do.

The sad fact is that this hideous piece of legislation has nothing to do with reviving the economy. What it represents is the far left's attempt to gain back all the ground they have lost since the GOP took control of the legislature in 1994.

The last I heard calls coming in the the congressional switchboard were running several hundred to one against passage of this monstrosity. If congress disregards the will of the American people and passes this - as they certainly will - the people will not forget or forgive.