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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Incomprehensible

Why can't the publisher of the Charleston Gazette find editorial writers who passed sixth-grade English class?

Check out this pathetic attempt at composition that appears in today's paper:
After the Evangelical Lutheran Church voted to accept monogamous gays and lesbians as ministers, Charleston's St. Timothy Church protested that this change is contrary to scripture. But Leviticus says gays must be killed. Surely, nobody wants to follow that biblical command. Therefore, virtually the whole American society is contrary to scripture in this regard.
Surely, therefore, ... what?

Is there an editor at the Gazette? If so, can he or she recognize incoherent - and laughingly puerile - writing before it's printed and exposed to the world?

Good grief.

This Is No Way To Run a Country

Robert J. Samuelson (in "Ducking the Deficit Issue") on the potential train wreck that is the United States of America:

In 1946, after World War II, the ratio of publicly held federal debt to GDP was 108.6 percent. Since then, the economy (our income) has generally grown faster than the debt. In 1974, the debt-to-GDP ratio reached a post-World War II low of 23.9 percent, and even in 2007, it was only 36.9 percent. That was manageable.

By contrast, today's prospective colossal borrowings dwarf likely economic growth. The Obama administration's latest projections, released last week, show nearly $11 trillion of borrowing from 2009 to 2019. In 2019, the debt-to-GDP ratio would be 76.5 percent. This could be too optimistic, because it assumes some spending restraint and tax increases. A projection by the Concord Coalition, a watchdog group, adds about $5 trillion in borrowing in that period. In 2019, the debt-to-GDP ratio could be roughly 100 percent.

Because such borrowings would be unprecedented in peacetime, they might go badly.

The problem of the burgeoning government debt is mainly political, but the adverse consequences may be economic. The trouble is that we don't know what those consequences may be, when they may occur or even whether they will occur.
"We don't know what those consequences may be, when they may occur or even whether they will occur."

If the people ("we") who are overseeing our federal accounts were piloting a 747, would you get on board?

Yet these same jokers are entrusted with our children's and grandchildren's futures.

For the love of God.

Quote of the Day

From former Senator Bob Dole:
Many of us were taught that the president proposes and Congress disposes. Today, Congress is doing both -- with the president relegated to the role of cheerleader in chief as he campaigns for various House committees' efforts. Certainly, Obama supports much in these proposals -- but Barack Obama is our president, not a commentator.
"Starting Over On Health Care," Washington Post, August 31, 2009

Who's The Ignorant One Here?

Katie Couric, poster girl for the blind, deaf, and dumb:
False reports about guns
Washington Times editorial

In Portsmouth, N.H., a man carrying a gun, William Kostric, joined an Aug. 11 health care protest. This was blocks away and hours before Mr. Obama's town-hall meeting in that city. Mr. Kostric was given permission to be on church property where the protest occurred and was not at the place the president visited. What most of the coverage left out was that Mr. Kostric didn't carry his gun only for the protest; he legally carries a gun with him all the time for protection.

On the CBS Evening News, Katie Couric asked, "Are we really still debating health care when a man brings a handgun to a church where the president is speaking?" Deliberately or not, she got the facts wrong. As we know, Mr. Kostric did bring a gun to the church, but the president was not there and never was scheduled to speak there. Mr. Obama spoke at a separate event at a local high school at a different time. Not letting facts get in the way of her hysterical story line, Ms. Couric linked Mr. Kostric's gun to "fear and frankly ignorance drown[ing] out the serious debate that needs to take place about an issue that affects the lives of millions of people." [link]
"Ignorance."

Ignorance
Noun: ignorance ĭg'nər-əns
1. The condition of being (a) uneducated, (b) unaware, or (c) uninformed.

Ignorance? Someone in this story certainly qualifies, having met conditions (b) and (c). And it's not the gun-totin' right-wing redneck in New Hampshire.

A Global Warming Skeptic Speaks Out

Scientists, he says, are not politicians. Or maybe they are ...
Global Warming Blues
By Norman Rogers, writing in The American Thinker

I spent my working life as a computer engineer and entrepreneur. I have a long history of tilting at windmills having been involved in numerous causes and crusades during my life. So when my retirement started it was natural for me to look for something to get involved with. I picked global warming. Since I had completed the course work for a Ph.D. in physics I felt that I could deal with the technical side of global warming theory. As a computer expert I though that I would have insight to the giant computer models of the earth's climate that are central to global warming science.

I smelled a rat right from the beginning.

I learned that most scientists don't have a good grasp of the big picture because they are narrowly specialized and don't think about much outside of their immediate interests. The scientists that do have a grasp of the big picture can be divided into global warming advocates, skeptics and the majority of passive observers who play it safe by not taking a position. The global warming advocates have the upper hand and the most power. The skeptics, including quite a few excellent scientists, are marginalized and frankly persecuted. They are whistle blowers. A lot of skeptics are retired. The warmers can't cancel pensions, at least not yet. The most famous promoter of global warming, James Hansen, wants to put his opponents on trial for crimes against humanity. [link]
Read the whole thing. Bottom line?

"The science behind the IPCC predictions and the scary claims is incredibly weak, really bordering on fantasy."

This from a scientist who went into this as a skeptic seeking the facts, rather than entertainment from Al Gore slide shows. To his credit, he doesn't call for those who disagree with him to be imprisoned. He doesn't belittle them. He just wants them to observe and to test their theories. And spend less time campaigning for funding from politicians and more time doing what scientists do.

So Now He's Dead & Buried

Now that the over-the-top Death Fest is subsiding, it's worth a moment of our time, just a brief moment, to reflect on that chapter in Saint Ted's life that the mainstream press has tried to avoid mentioning at all costs. And for us to consider the lengths to which the mainstream press went, when obligated, to airbrush history.

Mark Steyn:
As Joan Vennochi wrote in the Boston Globe: “Like all figures in history — and like those in the Bible, for that matter — Kennedy came with flaws. Moses had a temper. Peter betrayed Jesus. Kennedy had Chappaquiddick, a moment of tremendous moral collapse.”

Actually, Peter denied Jesus, rather than “betrayed” him, but close enough for Catholic-lite Massachusetts. And if Moses having a temper never led him to leave some gal at the bottom of the Red Sea, well, let’s face it, he doesn’t have Ted’s tremendous legislative legacy, does he? Perhaps it’s kinder simply to airbrush out of the record the name of the unfortunate complicating factor on the receiving end of that moment of “tremendous moral collapse.” When Kennedy cheerleaders do get around to mentioning her, it’s usually to add insult to fatal injury. As Teddy’s biographer Adam Clymer wrote, Edward Kennedy’s “achievements as a senator have towered over his time, changing the lives of far more Americans than remember the name Mary Jo Kopechne.”

You can’t make an omelette without breaking chicks, right? I don’t know how many lives the senator changed — he certainly changed Mary Jo’s — but you’re struck less by the precise arithmetic than by the basic equation: How many changed lives justify leaving a human being struggling for breath for up to five hours pressed up against the window in a small, shrinking air pocket in Teddy’s Oldsmobile? If the senator had managed to change the lives of even more Americans, would it have been okay to leave a couple more broads down there? Hey, why not? At the Huffington Post, Melissa Lafsky mused on what Mary Jo “would have thought about arguably being a catalyst for the most successful Senate career in history . . . Who knows — maybe she’d feel it was worth it.” What true-believing liberal lass wouldn’t be honored to be dispatched by that death panel?

We are all flawed, and most of us are weak, and in hellish moments, at a split-second’s notice, confronting the choice that will define us ever after, many of us will fail the test. Perhaps Mary Jo could have been saved; perhaps she would have died anyway. What is true is that Edward Kennedy made her death a certainty.
"Airbrushing out Mary Jo Kopechne," National Review, August 29, 2009

- - -

"Instead of reporting the accident Edward Kennedy returned to the party. According to a statement issued by Kennedy on 25th July, 1969: 'instead of looking directly for a telephone number after lying exhausted in the grass for an undetermined time, walked back to the cottage where the party was being held and requested the help of two friends, my cousin Joseph Gargan and Paul Markham, and directed them to return immediately to the scene with me - this was some time after midnight - in order to undertake a new effort to dive.'

"When this effort to rescue Kopechne ended in failure, Kennedy decided to return to his hotel. As the ferry had shut down for the night Kennedy, swam back to Edgartown. It was not until the following morning that Kennedy reported the accident to the police. By this time the police had found Mary Jo Kopechne's body in Kennedy's car." [source]

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I'm In Good Company

I've stated on these pages in the past my belief that our governments (state and federal) could - and should - adopt new budgeting rules based on a simple principle:

Spend this year that which you took in last year.

No budget shortfalls. No "rainy day funds." No gimmicks. No shenanigans. No red ink. No national debt.

What??!! We can't do that! What if ...! What about ...! Calamity! Katrina! Stimulus! War! Pestilence!

Stop your whining and do it.

Now you know why I don't run for public office. I don't whine and I don't countenance those who do. Especially while they're on my payroll.

But get this. There is a politician, one with some serious cred, who agrees with me. A Californian, no less. And check out his bio, as provided by columnist George Will:
He has a Harvard law degree and a doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago, where his faculty adviser was Milton Friedman. He clerked for Supreme Court Justice Byron White. Working in the Reagan administration in 1983, in the wake of a severe recession, he assumed Reagan would lose in 1984 ... and accepted a professorship at Stanford's law school. He represented Silicon Valley in Congress for five terms.
His name, so you know, is Tom Campbell. And he's running for governor of California.

Here's the point:

"He favors resetting the budget cycle so that the state would accumulate one year's revenue to be spent the following year, when precise knowledge would replace wishful thinking about available revenue."

Among other really sound ideas.

"But we can't do that!! Calamity!! Katrina!! Swine flu!! Jock itch!!"

Be My Guest

New York Times to Washington Democrats: Walk that plank.

From on High to Democrats: Please. Make my day:

"If the Democrats want to enact health care reform this year, they appear to have little choice but to adopt a high-risk, go-it-alone, majority-rules strategy."

Yeah, adopt that strategy. Put that loaded .45 to your skull and pull the trigger. What could possibly go wrong?

Come to think of it, we'd all be better off if the Democrats did adopt that "strategy."

There are your marching orders, fellas. Bye bye.

We Come Full Circle

I've often stated (and I'm not alone in doing so) my belief that the left in this country is actually the reactionary extreme, regardless what Katie Couric and other deep thinkers like her would have you believe.

There is no better example to prove the point than this:
Supreme Court to Revisit ‘Hillary’ Documentary
By Adam Liptak, New York Times

Washington — The Supreme Court will cut short its summer break in early September to hear a new argument in a momentous case that could transform the way political campaigns are conducted.

At issue is whether the court should overrule a 1990 decision, Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, which upheld restrictions on corporate spending to support or oppose political candidates.

The American Civil Liberties Union and its usual allies are on opposite sides, with the civil rights group fighting shoulder to shoulder with the National Rifle Association to support the corporation that made the film.

To the dismay of many of his liberal friends and clients, Floyd Abrams, the celebrated First Amendment lawyer, is representing Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, a longtime foe of campaign finance laws.

“Criminalizing a movie about Hillary Clinton is a constitutional desecration,” Mr. Abrams said.

At the first Supreme Court argument in March, a government lawyer, answering a hypothetical question, said the government could also make it a crime to distribute books advocating the election or defeat of political candidates so long as they were paid for by corporations and not their political action committees.

That position seemed to astound several of the more conservative justices, and there were gasps in the courtroom.

“That’s pretty incredible,” said Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.

The discussion of book banning may have helped prompt the request for re-argument. In addition, some of the broader issues implicated by the case were only glancingly discussed in the first round of briefs, and some justices may have felt reluctant to take a major step without fuller consideration.

In an interview, [Fred] Wertheimer seemed reluctant to answer questions about the government regulation of books. Pressed, Mr. Wertheimer finally said, “A campaign document in the form of a book can be banned.” [link]
“A campaign document in the form of a book can be banned.”

Books must be burned. It's for the greater good. So say most of America's liberals (the ACLU being the notable exception).

My God.

"Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings."*
-- Heinrich Heine

* Written the year Die Säuberung, The Cleansing, which included the ritual burning of books by the Nazis, took place.
* Written ten years before the Nazis started burning human beings.

Our Future, Our Regret

Obama says he wants to reduce health care costs and improve health care delivery. And he intends to have government step in and achieve both goals.

This was not from a late-night stand-up comedy routine. By all accounts, he was serious when he said it.

If only he'd been studying when he was sucking cocaine up his nose:
Massachusetts' Obama-like Reforms Increase Health Costs, Wait Times
By Michael F. Cannon, Cato Institute

If you are curious about how President Barack Obama's health plan would affect your health care, look no farther than Massachusetts. In 2006, the Bay State enacted a slate of reforms that almost perfectly mirror the plan of Obama and congressional Democrats.

Those reforms reveal that the Obama plan would mean higher health insurance premiums for millions, would reduce choice by eliminating both low-cost and comprehensive health plans, would encourage insurers to avoid the sick and would reduce the quality of care.

Massachusetts reduced its uninsured population by two-thirds — yet the cost would be considered staggering, had state officials not done such a good job of hiding it. Finally, Massachusetts shows where "ObamaCare" would ultimately lead: Officials are already laying the groundwork for government rationing. [link]
Read the whole thing.

- Higher health insurance premiums for millions.

- Reduce choice.

- Encourage insurers to avoid the sick.

- Reduce the quality of care.

And it's worse than all that. The problems Massachusetts faces aren't simply those brought on by Mitt Romney's attempt at universal health care. They are, every day, being exacerbated by meddling do-gooder Democratic politicians who demand more and more from a seriously flawed system, and from the taxpayers. A system that is on its way to the breaking point.

You want universal care? Move to Massachusetts. And take your checkbook.

So Sure of Themselves, and Yet ...

Peter Foster on those who would rather (you) die than have their belief system regarding global warming questioned:
[O]nce you get people believing in “authority,” then you’re pretty much home and dry. Authority relieves us of the anxiety of uncertainty and the pain of thought. If the issue can also be portrayed as “moral” (millions of poor people dying from biblical droughts and floods!) then to question it is not merely cause for rejection but censure. Skeptics must be either crackpots or in the pay of Big Oil or Big Coal.

I recently had what I tried to make a level-headed exchange with somebody who was visibly agitated at my daring to quote science, facts and sources. This person — dredging up material from the conventional noosphere — finally told me that I was like “a holocaust denier,” or somebody who believed in UFOs! Their conviction ... was based on the fact that “Nobel prize winners” had declared that catastrophic global warming was a fact.

Now it’s certainly true that Al Gore has a Nobel, but it is equally certain that it isn’t for science. The nations of the world are currently involved — ahead of the next giant climate shindig in Copenhagen in December — in rancorous discussions about sharing the economic self-mutilations that are claimed to be needed as part of a successor to the egregiously-failed Kyoto Accord. No issue has more divided the rich and poor, and pitted the West against India and China.

In case you don’t remember, the Nobel that Al Gore shared with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was for Peace. But mentioning that massive incongruity would probably cause people’s eyes to roll, or maybe even buildings to shake.
"Peter Foster: The man who doubted Al Gore," The National Post, August 28, 2009

This Pretty Much Sums It Up

Climate "science" is junk science. And yet so much more:
Climate alarmism is a runaway fire
By Professor Will Alexander

Climate alarmism is like a runaway fire. It started quietly with a genuine concern. It was like lighting a match beneath a pile of flammable material. The environmentalists and politicians took over. The fact that the basic science is demonstrably false is no longer an issue.

The welfare of nations is at risk. [source]
The welfare of nations is at risk, as exemplified by our government's attempt to pass cap-and-trade legislation that will, by all legitimate accounts, crush the American economy.

This is no longer amusing. These people must be stopped.

Cheney Smiles

As many of us knew would be the case, Dick Cheney's approach to dealing with terrorists, as it becomes known, proved to have been the proper one all along. So many lives saved, yet so few thanks:
Acknowledging the Obvious
By Stephen F. Hayes, The Weekly Standard

Is the mainstream media coming around?

The Washington Post has an important front-page story this morning, with matter-of-fact reporting on the importance of Khalid Sheikh Mohammad as an intelligence source and the enhanced interrogation techniques that made him talk. The piece is headlined: "How a Detainee Became an Asset: September 11 Plotter Cooperated After Waterboarding."

One key source is former CIA Inspector General John Helgerson, who acknowledged that two of the CIA’s “most powerful” enhanced interrogation techniques “elicited a lot of information."

"Certain of the techniques seemed to have little effect, whereas waterboarding and sleep deprivation were the two most powerful techniques and elicited a lot of information," he said in an interview with the Post. [link]
This should put to rest the argument that enhanced interrogation techniques never elicit positive results. Now those on the left will have to rely solely on the argument that forcing a murdering thug to listen to Barbra Streisand's Greatest Hits is fundamentally a form of torture. Always a viable argument.

Anyway, Dick Cheney was right. Let's see the apologies.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

For You Civil War History Buffs

You'll find this to be really cool:
Confederate flag database available online
Associated Press

Richmond, Va. (AP) -- The Museum of the Confederacy's entire collection of 685 flags is available for the first time in a searchable database.

The non-profit Richmond museum says the collection can be found on the flag page of the museum's Web site at http://www.moc.org.

Each entry includes a flag's identification, history and measurements. Color photos are available for most of the flags. [link]

Fascinating stuff. Check it out.

* Note: Go to "Collections & Library," then "The Collections," then "Flags."

I'm Stunned

A man wanting to protest government takeover of our health care system at Jim Moran's town hall meeting this week was told by a police officer he couldn't hold up a sign out in the parking lot.

Why?

Because it had a "picture" on it.

When the protester persisted, he was told he would be charged with ... trespassing ... if he held it up again. At a public meeting. In the United States of America.

The most eye-opening part of the exchange between the police officer and the American citizen:

Citizen: "This used to be America."

Cop: "Well it ain't no mo', okay?"

It's all on video.

The sign the protester was carrying that included the "picture" that the police officer banned, in case you're interested, is here:

There'll be none of that. Not no mo'. So says the law.

Hat tip to Baldilocks.
Sihn courtesy of Jeffhead.com.

Tick Tock Tick Tock Tick ...

It's only a matter of time:
Tax Pledge Is a Target As Deficits, Debt Grow
By Lori Montgomery, Washington Post Staff Writer

During last year's campaign, President Obama vowed to enact a bold agenda without raising taxes for the middle class, a pledge budget experts viewed with skepticism. Since then, a severe recession, massive deficits and a national debt that is swelling toward a 50-year high have only made his promise harder to keep.

The Obama administration has insisted that the pledge will stand. But the president's top economic advisers have refused to rule out broad-based tax increases to close the yawning gap between federal revenue and government spending and are warning of tough choices ahead. [link]
You know that money you've been putting away for the kids' college education? Obama will soon want to talk to you about it.

It's as inevitable as the sunrise.

To think, you were warned too.

4% Of All Israelis Are Certifiably Insane

A poll: 4% of Israeli Jews: Obama pro-Israel

George Bush Was What Again?

Let's see if the leftists in this country go apoplectic over this (like they did this):
Bill would give president emergency control of Internet
by Declan McCullagh, CNET News

Internet companies and civil liberties groups were alarmed this spring when a U.S. Senate bill proposed handing the White House the power to disconnect private-sector computers from the Internet.

They're not much happier about a revised version that aides to Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, have spent months drafting behind closed doors. CNET News has obtained a copy of the 55-page draft of S.773 (excerpt), which still appears to permit the president to seize temporary control of private-sector networks during a so-called cybersecurity emergency.

The new version would allow the president to "declare a cybersecurity emergency" relating to "non-governmental" computer networks and do what's necessary to respond to the threat. Other sections of the proposal include a federal certification program for "cybersecurity professionals," and a requirement that certain computer systems and networks in the private sector be managed by people who have been awarded that license.

When Rockefeller, the chairman of the Senate Commerce committee, and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) introduced the original bill in April, they claimed it was vital to protect national cybersecurity. "We must protect our critical infrastructure at all costs--from our water to our electricity, to banking, traffic lights and electronic health records," Rockefeller said. [link]
Well, that makes absolutely no sense. (Ironically, the news that the effort is coming from Rockefeller and Snowe makes perfect sense). What exactly are they trying to "protect" when their government blocks access to the internet for the tens of millions of Americans who use it each day?

Is this the liberal alternative to George Bush's effort to spy on communications between foreign nationals and people living in this country? Rather than seek out potential offenders, they want to simply stop everyone from communicating at some "critical" point in time?

Have a Plan B, there, fellas?

Not a Confidence Builder

Obama and his ilk tell us that the reason we oppose his health care initiative is because we are unfamiliar with it and make no attempt to actually obtain and grasp its details.

In other words, we're dolts who need to be led around.

Well, it might help their cause if their standard-bearer in the crusade to reform health care knew something, anything, about it himself.

Case in point: Obama tells us that it's a myth that illegal aliens will receive care under his plan.

But the Congressional Research Office, having done its review of HR 3200 (the bill that passed the House), says otherwise:

Under H.R. 3200, a ‘Health Insurance Exchange’ would begin operation in 2013 and would offer private plans alongside a public option…H.R. 3200 does not contain any restrictions on noncitzens—whether legally or illegally present, or in the United States temporarily or permanently—participating in the Exchange.” [source]

Myth, Mr. President? How about you READ THE BILL before you shoot off your mouth.

A True Believer

A Unitarian minister from Pennsylvania is so convinced that the planet is warming, she is taking her RV up the East Coast to try to pass on the message: The threat is real and humans are causing it.

In the New York Times this morning: "A Sometimes Lonely Trek for Global Warming Awareness."

Her mission? To raise awareness about the carbon footprint that we're all leaving on this fragile Earth of ours.

Her mode of transportation? A tricked-out 1982 Chevy Class B motor home.

Gas mileage? 8 mpg.

Her journey? 1,100 miles.

1,000 miles divided by 8 miles per gallon? 138 gallons of fuel.

Expended for her to spread the word that WE are causing global warming.

For the love of God.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Do We Really Want To 'Reform' Health Care?

I read this opinion piece in this morning's Roanoke Times about the horrendous cost of health care, blah blah, blah, and had a thought:

There has come from the very contentious - and sometimes violent - debate about the potential scope of, and direction our health care delivery system should take a very positive result. Many Americans have looked at the alternatives being offered, alternatives to that which they have today - in other words, they've looked into the abyss - and they've decided in overwhelming numbers that the system we have is a good one. Flawed to be sure. But good. Sound. Certainly the best that exists anywhere on the planet.

And for that, they're willing to pay the prices we're paying to keep it.

To the point that they're willing to fight to keep it.

The bottom line, as I see it: Health care here is expensive. So is a Lexus. And health care is going to be more so as time goes by and as the population continues to age. But with that huge expense comes quality service. If you think about it, we do a darn good job of taking care of our own, all things considered, especially of those who are old and infirm among us. Granny. Little Jenny. And we have decided to stay on course. We are okay.

We have Obama to thank for this. Had he not initiated the debate, had he not called for his sweeping government takeover of our current system (lower costs, better care, more choice, my ass), we would never have been forced to do the soul-searching that we have.

Thanks, Barry, for clarifying things. We like this system of ours. As is.

Now, get your hands off of it. We'll take it from here.

I Wonder How I'm To Take This

Remember several years ago Time magazine was accused of publishing a photo on its cover that depicted George Bush with horns on his head?

An accident, no doubt.

Well, I was reminded of that little faux pas when I saw this photo of the recently departed Ted Kennedy on the front page of the on-line version of this morning's New York Times:

Does Pinocchio come to mind?

* Note: Photo still up as of 0931 hours eastern.
** Click on the image to enlarge it.

Greenland Is Melting. Again.

A reporter for Time magazine wrote not long ago:
What matters is not that change is happening but that it is happening so fast. In Ilulissat, [Greenland,] the ice that once covered much of the sea in the winter and allowed hunting, fishing and travel by dogsled comes no longer. In less than a human lifetime — barely the blink of an eye in geologic time — a way of life millenniums old will be lost here. Elsewhere we may see temperate and fertile areas turn dry and barren in the same time period. What we've known and lived with may no longer exist — and we may not be able to adapt in time for what is coming.

Years go by, we add more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, temperatures rise, glaciers retreat and deserts expand. One of the essential facts about climate science is that unlike, say, weather forecasting, the farther ahead we look into the future, the more confident we can be of our predictions. [my emphasis]
That last may be the most preposterous sentence I've ever read. If you can't predict tomorrow's climatic conditions (look it up; the definition of climate is weather over time), how can you look far off into the future and make weather predictions (weather being climate) with any confidence whatsoever?

But beyond that, if the reporter had spent as much time looking into the past as he does the future, perhaps he wouldn't be writing such foolishness as "There's no doubt here, no room for skeptics: temperatures have warmed in Greenland, and as they have warmed, the ice has melted. It is as simple as that."

Really. That simple?

Could it be even simpler? Like maybe Greenland regularly warms and cools?
New Paper: Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Air Temperature Variability: 1840-2007
Climate Research News (originally appearing in The Journal of Climate)

Meteorological station records and regional climate model output are combined to develop a continuous 168-yr (1840–2007) spatial reconstruction of monthly, seasonal, and annual mean Greenland ice sheet near-surface air temperatures.

It is found that volcanic cooling episodes are concentrated in winter and along the western ice sheet slope. Interdecadal warming trends coincide with an absence of major volcanic eruptions. Year 2003 was the only year of 1840–2007 with a warm anomaly that exceeds three standard deviations from the 1951–80 base period. The annual whole ice sheet 1919–32 warming trend is 33% greater in magnitude than the 1994–2007 warming. [link] [emphasis in the original]
So volcanoes have an influence on climate? Who knew?

Well, certainly not a Time magazine reporter who takes a boat to see a crumbling iceberg and declares it, upon said crumbling having taken place, a sign that the entire planet is melting.

Are these people really that foolish?

Liberals Are Morons

I know you don't need more proof, but this entertains me.

There exists, apparently, a radio talk show host by the name of Mike Malloy. According to his brief autobio, Mr. Malloy is "a traditional Liberal Democrat doing his part to return the Democratic Party to its Liberal roots." Something he freely admits to, oddly.

Oh, and he worked for CNN.

Strikes one and two.

Malloy's show can be heard on all of twelve local radio stations around the country (mostly in radically leftist American cities). And that's fine. I'm not sure what the small number of stations means, but I'm sure there's a good explanation for his miniscule listenership.

Mr. Malloy, not wanting to let the opportunity to gain infamy for himself and his show pass when Ted Kennedy died, had this to say about the death of Massachusetts' senior Senator the other day:
So with the death of Ted Kennedy last night, liberalism in this country has lost its champion; the person who, in the modern era, personified liberalism to a greater degree than anyone in Congress; I think that his death heralds the beginning of a very, very very dark period in this country.

I remember feeling that way in 1963 and in 1968 - when his two brothers were murdered by the right wing in this country. [link]
What? Ted Kennedy's brothers were murdered by "the right wing"?

Quick, Mike, name Ted Kennedy's two brothers.

Quicker, name the assassins who took the lives of John and Bobby.

Now, Mike, True or False:

Lee Harvey Oswald (an avowed Communist) and Sirhan Sirhan (a Palestinian immigrant) were right-wing.

Finally, Mike, a multiple-choicer:

Mike Malloy:

a) is a moron.
b) has a serious drug problem.
c) has his head stuck up his ass.
d) All of the above.

Hat tip to The Radio Equalizer.

Haves vs. Have Nots

While much is being made in Washington about CEO paychecks and bonuses these days, there's little mention of a growing wage disparity that exists here in the USA. Why?

I think folks there would rather you didn't know about it This graph says it all:

Do you find it to be rather startling that federal workers on average are earning $79,197? The average employee? While the average schmuck in the private sector (the 83% of all jobs that includes yours and mine) makes less than $50,000 a year?

Meanwhile, in the real world:

As employers cut payrolls, average workweek and average wage decline

Some will look at this and decide that we should all be federal employees. But if that happens, who's going to pay for them?

Oh, never mind:

Obama's Budget Projects $1.75 Trillion Deficit

Graph courtesy of the Cato Institute.

You Have To Be Kidding

Did you ever read a headline in a newspaper and decide within a nanosecond that you wouldn't read it if someone had a cattle prod to your backside?

In the Washington Post this morning, a column by Sally Quinn:

Teddy Kennedy's Search for Meaning

For the love of God. There is no way ...

Did CBS Forge The Documents?

Charles Johnson over at Little Green Footballs is wondering, now that it has come to light that CBS producer Mary Mapes knew all along that the premise of her "George Bush joined the Texas Air National Guard in order to avoid service in Vietnam" was false, who manufactured the documents she used to support her effort. Documents that the world now knows were fake.
[T]he entire enterprise absolutely reeked of dishonesty, from the fake documents to the way Rather and CBS initially tried to cover it up and/or claim the documents were genuine.

It does raise an interesting question, though: since Mapes was apparently willing to cover up what she knew about Bush volunteering for Vietnam, did she also know all along that the documents were frauds? Most people have assumed that Mapes and CBS were tricked into airing the memos — but what if it was deliberate?

One of the really striking things about the Rathergate incident is how little curiosity the rest of the media had when it came to finding out the truth of what happened — completely uninterested in finding out the source of the documents, and completely uninterested in examining how the obviously phony memos could have even gotten onto 60 Minutes in the first place.

Hmm. Lots of questions still linger. With no answers forthcoming. And no "journalists" seeming to be interested.

As one might expect.

It Might Hurt The Cause

Is anyone shocked by this news?

ABC, NBC Won't Air Ad Critical of Obama's Health Care Plan

Isn't it about time for another hour-long primetime ObamaCare infomercial, fellas?

Quote of the Day

From the incomparable John Stossel:
The politicians who defend Cash for Clunkers remind me of the silly people who said that the rebuilding that would come after the destruction of Hurricane Katrina would “stimulate” the economy. What they forget is that the money for rebuilding —and the cash-for-clunker money—is forcibly taken from people who would have used that money to create other things.

Brad Smith asks:
Are the people running the government the most economically illiterate bunch since FDR ruled the roost?

I doubt that. Most power-hungry lawyers and others who run for office to rule over others—not to mention the media who cheer them on—are economically illiterate. I don’t think that this bunch is better or worse than their predecessors.
"Cash For Clunkers," John Stossel's Take, August 26, 2009

Democrat To Old People:

Learn to live with poorer health care.

Here's what ObamaCare comes down to. In order to reduce costs, which is our Fearless Leader's primary goal as he's stated it in the current debate, he's going to require that cuts be made somewhere. He has to. That's the only way cost savings can be realized.

But where?

We don't know. He continues to spin the lie that costs will go down but services will improve!

As the polls are showing, we all now know that that is bullshit.

So where will those cost savings be found?

The answer in the form of two related questions: How old are you and how old did you really need to become?
Democratic Rep. Betsy Markey: Yep, Medicare Will Take a Hit
By Mary Katherine Ham, The Weekly Standard

Obama has tried valiantly to keep discussion of cutting Medicare focused on the idea of cutting waste and waste alone, but the fact that the CBO (and Obama himself) concede that the bill on the table is not adequately funded in the first 10 years or beyond, has some folks worried.

Democratic Rep. Betsy Markey gave credence to seniors' worries with this comment at a Colorado town hall Wednesday:

"There's going to be some people who are going to have to give up some things, honestly, for all of this to work," Markey said at a Congress on Your Corner event at CSU. "But we have to do this because we're Americans."

Can Obama really blame seniors for being suspicious about whether cutting waste in Medicare ... means cutting benefits? [link]
Again, 70% of our health care expenditures go to keeping the elderly among us alive and healthy. Knowing that, those who are hellbent on making cuts have to be looking at the fat cow in the pasture (Medicare) with a butcher knife in hand.

If I were elderly, I'd be frightened to death by all this.

And AARP should be ashamed of itself.

Headline Of The Day

From Hot Air:

Dems’ new rallying cry: Let’s pass this trillion-dollar travesty for Teddy

Ouch.

Vultures

Does this headline in the Times of London surprise anyone?

Democrats accused of using Edward Kennedy’s death to promote reforms

I'm only surprised that they haven't propped him up with sunglasses on and a cigar in his mouth, a la "Weekend at Bernie's," and had a ventriloquist saying, "Pass KennedyCare. Pass KennedyCare."

Democrats exploiting Kennedy's death for their own gain. Such the shock.

Advertisers Might Want To Pay Attention

There is probably some psychological thing at work. It's the only thing I can figure. Get this: I enjoy Glenn Beck's radio show immensely (not that I'm able to listen to it very often) but I find him to be annoying on television. What's up with me?

But it looks like I'm the lone ranger on this. Much of the rest of conservative America loves his schtick:
Big Beck: Goes over 3 million viewers, beats O’Reilly in demo: Cable News Ratings for Wednesday, August 26, 2009
TV By The Numbers

Though a little scandal might alienate advertisers, it’s pure ratings gold. Last night Glenn Beck had over 3 million viewers at 5pm, second only to O’Reilly for the night. But, Beck had more 25-54 viewers than O’Reilly (888K to 876K). I don’t watch or really even care about the cable news wars, but still … wow. Even though Beck airs before primetime, when there are fewer people watching TV, he had the most 25-54 viewers in the cable news world for the night. [link]
Look at Beck's numbers compared to those of Chris "Obama makes me dribble down my leg" Matthews, whose program airs at the same time:
5PM – P2+
Glenn Beck– 3,040,000 viewers
Situation Room—688,000 viewers
Hardball w/ Chris Matthews—536,000 viewers
Fast Money—215,000 viewers
Prime News–267,000 viewers
Left in the dust.

- - -

It's worth noting, too, that Beck's early evening viewership numbers weren't far behind CBS's primetime fawning tribute to Ted Kennedy.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Not Hardly

Here's how the New York Times thinks of Ted Kennedy's legacy:
The record Mr. Kennedy leaves after 46 years can only be envied by his peers as they join the nation in mourning his passing after a 15-month fight against brain cancer — a record firmly anchored in Mr. Kennedy’s insistence that politics be grasped and administered through the prism of human needs.
The prism of "human needs."

Really.

And what was the last signature issue that Ted Kennedy campaigned hard to get passed and signed into law before he left the Senate?

A shockingly brutal tax on the poor to pay for the health care of children of middle class parents.

Human needs? Gimme a break.

Look with me through the prism of liberal needs and it all makes perfect sense.

It Couldn't Happen To A More Deserving Democrat

This made my day:
Moran's town hall descends into chaos
By William C. Flook, Washington Examiner Staff Writer

Rep. Jim Moran's [D-VA-8] town hall meeting descended into chaos Tuesday night as protestors clashed -- in one case violently -- with supporters of a broad federal health care expansion, leading the 8th District Democrat to angrily seek to evict some of the loudest demonstrators.

Moran and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean addressed a crowd of at least 2,500 at South Lakes High School in Reston, weathering hours of catcalls and heckling mixed with shouts from supporters.

Outside, a spillover crowd of protestors and counter-protesters shouted slogans at each other. A man in a Cato Institute T-shirt scuffled with a man wearing an Obama T-shirt, punched him in the face, and was shortly after kicked off the property by police officers.

Police said they were seeking to avoid arrests to help keep the crowd under control.

Inside, the scene was just as raucous. Moran -- fuming that his introduction of Dean was met with jeers -- finally lost his temper with the crowd.

"There are hundreds of people in this gymnasium who can't hear [Dean] because of a handful of people," Moran said. "These folks are not from the 8th District, they don't really belong here, and I'm going to ask them to leave." [link]
A "handful of people"? You decide:


Looks more like hundreds. All of whom appeared to be really pissed.

I've never seen anything like this. Those who brought this country to the position its in - and make no mistake, Howard Dean and James Moran were at the center of the effort - are being called to account for the mess they've created. Finally.

You guys rock.

No Compromise. No Retreat.

The Roanoke Times editorial page yesterday (and today) made clear that, since the GOP was unwilling to "compromise," their pals in Washington should pass health care reform without them. Their idea of compromise, of course, is always the same package: Come up with a bad liberal idea and sit down with the opposition and determine just how bad it is going to be.

Republicans, to their credit, have said NO. They're not going to inflict further damage on a once-great nation.

But they need to go further than that. They need to confront this bunch. And send them into exile. Forever.

Jennifer Rubin:
It’s the Personal Liberty, Stupid
Republicans must listen to the voters and finally give them what they demand: less government in their lives.

The pressure to find some middle ground on cap and trade, ObamaCare, financial regulation, and an uber-consumer protection agency will become intense. But the Republicans would be foolish to provide cover for and assist Democrats in pursuit of a goal — more government — which is at odds with the wishes of a majority of Americans, including those critical independent voters. And oh yes, it’s never a good idea to vote in ways contrary to your party’s stated core message.

In some sense Obama has been invaluable to libertarians and conservatives. It is one thing to rail against excessive discretionary spending but it is quite another to have the public see how ominous a force (not to mention how expensive) government can be when it seeks to regulate and control the most intimate decisions about one’s family finances and personal health. Who would have thought Obama would have created such a consensus in favor of keeping government’s mitts off private insurance companies, doctor-patient interactions, and end-of-life care?

It therefore would behoove Republicans to return to some first principles and explain that their opposition to Obama-ism goes beyond the eye-popping debt and the implications for future economic growth. It is about personal freedom. With this in mind the platform for Republicans struggling to avoid the tag of “do-nothingism” practically writes itself.

In place of ObamaCare, Republicans offer tax credits for individually purchased insurance, market competition (including the right to buy insurance across state lines), and legal reform. In place of cash for clunkers and government-run car companies, Republicans offer car company stock divestiture. In lieu of spending the remainder of the non-stimulus plan monies, Republicans urge tax reform, including reduction of corporate taxes and payroll tax relief, and restoration of funds for a real shovel-ready program: the F-22.

The contrast between the parties is especially great for young voters who were swayed to vote for the hip, young guy over the grumpy senior citizen in 2008. It turns out the hip guy wants to force them to buy health insurance, load debt and an enormous future tax burden on their backs, and raise energy prices. It’s not very 21st century. As Michael Barone observed after ticking off the list of statist policies at the core of the Obama agenda, “The larger point is this: You want policies that will enable you to choose your future. Obama backs policies that would let centralized authorities choose much of your future for you. Is this the hope and change you want?” [link]

I think it has become clear that the kind of change that Obama has introduced is not the kind of change that the American people were expecting.

But they still hold out hope. Hope for real change from the past, not continued growth of government and unsustainable federal profligacy.

The Republicans have a real opportunity here. But sitting down with the Democrats and hashing out a compromise on how long the rope should be with which we hang ourselves cannot be part of it.

Fight them. End it now, before it's too late.

The Real Enemy

Republicans who are willing to negotiate the length of rope we are to use to hang ourselves.

Like this guy, who was their alternative to Barack Obama in the last election.

For the love of God.

And This From a Democrat

It's no secret that the Republican Party establishment and the American people have turned against Obama's efforts to destroy the coal industry and our health care delivery system at the same time (in the forms of cap-and-trade and ObamaCare). But it is a bit of a shock that there is a growing number of Democrats who are voicing their opposition to the heavy hand of government as well. Today's offering:
Landrieu says she would likely oppose government insurance option
By Greg Hilburn, The News Star

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu told a relatively friendly overflow Monroe Chamber of Commerce crowd that she would likely oppose any government insurance option in health care reform and lobby against a proposed energy tax known as Cap and Trade.

Landrieu, D-La., who spoke during a chamber luncheon today, also met with local doctors earlier and briefly addressed about 15 demonstrators opposing a public insurance option and Cap and Trade.

When asked after her speech if the senator would support a public option under any circumstances, she said, “Very few, if any. I’d prefer a private market-based approach to any health care reform that would extend coverage.”

“I’d like to cover everyone — that would be the moral thing to do — but it would be immoral to bankrupt the country while doing so,” Landrieu said.

As to Cap and Trade, Landrieu said, “I’m not supporting that approach, but I’m open to hear modifications.”

“I’m going to be as strong a voice as I can that we still need oil and gas in America,” she said. “We don’t need less drilling. We need to do more as we move toward a greener grid.” [link]
She's sounding a lot like a Republican these days, isn't she? I wonder why that is.

Curiouser and Curiouser

I read the news item in some paper yesterday of the young twerp in Denver who took a hammer and broke a number of windows at the local Democratic Party headquarters. Along with the obligatory news that a Democratic official there immediately blamed right-wing hate ("Clearly there's been an effort on the other side to stir up hate. I think this is the consequence of it.") for the attack.

But the news included a suggestion that the "right-wing hater" was actually a Democrat, to one extent or another.

Because the information provided at the time was so flimsy, I decided not to mention it. Until other information came out, anyway.

Now other info has been made available and the perp can be better categorized.

He (she?) is, in fact, a nut:
Democratic HQ window-smashing: Health care, gay rights and Maurice Schwenkler's other identity -- Ariel Attack
By Jared Jacang Maher, Westword

When news first broke yesterday that eleven windows had been smashed at Colorado Democratic Party headquarters in Denver, initial speculation pinned the blame on conservative anger over Democratic heathcare reform efforts. When it emerged that one of the two suspects arrested in connection with that crime, 24-year-old Maurice Schwenkler, had once canvassed for Democratic candidates on behalf of a liberal political fund, the theories got weird.

[T]he suspect is not a Republican or a Democrat. Rather, Schwenkler is a local transgendered anarchist who also goes by the name "Ariel Attack."

So if it wasn't the healthcare debate raging on television screens across the nation, what motives might we assign to Schwenkler's alleged act? Some of the websites involved with the fundraising listed Ariel Attack as a "transgendered activist" associated with Bash Back!, a radical queer group that formed in the run-up to last year's political conventions.

On March 9, Ariel Attack was listed as the author of "Obama's War on Queer and Trans Youth," a blog on the Queers Against Obama site that denounced the president's move to repeal the don't-ask-don't-tell policy. The piece sees this change as a cynical ploy to create a false sense of equality for gays when the actual aim is to recruit more boots for the troop surge into Afghanistan. The blog also criticizes so-called wealthy gays for their apparent complicity ... [link]
OK.

This kid needs a role model. Or a psychiatrist. Fast.

Is It Worse Than We Thought?

According to an official with the Federal Reserve in Atlanta, it's far worse:
Real US unemployment rate at 16 pct: Fed official
Breitbart

The real US unemployment rate is 16 percent if persons who have dropped out of the labor pool and those working less than they would like are counted, a Federal Reserve official said Wednesday.

"If one considers the people who would like a job but have stopped looking -- so-called discouraged workers -- and those who are working fewer hours than they want, the unemployment rate would move from the official 9.4 percent to 16 percent, said Atlanta Fed chief Dennis Lockhart.

Lockhart pointed out in a speech to a chamber of commerce in Chattanooga, Tennessee that those two categories of people are not taken into account in the Labor Department's monthly report on the unemployment rate. The official July jobless rate was 9.4 percent. [link]
It would seem that a person being jobless would be considered unemployed, but I can see how difficult it would be to separate out those who wish to work but aren't working from those who simply wish to stay home.

Still ...

A Look Into Our Future

This is how government cuts costs when it comes to health care. Today Britain, tomorrow the United States of America:
'Cruel and neglectful' care of one million NHS patients exposed
By Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor, London Telegraph

In the last six years, the Patients Association claims hundreds of thousands have suffered from poor standards of nursing, often with 'neglectful, demeaning, painful and sometimes downright cruel' treatment.

The charity has disclosed a horrifying catalogue of elderly people left in pain, in soiled bed clothes, denied adequate food and drink, and suffering from repeatedly cancelled operations, missed diagnoses and dismissive staff. [link]
* 70% of our monumental health care expenditures today goes to care for the elderly.

* Obama's chief reason for pushing his health care plan is to reduce costs.

* Fewer beds, fewer doctors making less pay, fewer hospitals, less oversight.

* "Elderly people left in pain, in soiled bed clothes, denied adequate food and drink, and suffering from repeatedly cancelled operations, missed diagnoses and dismissive staff."

* Costs contained.

Do You Suppose ...

... the Democrats wished Ted Kennedy hadn't died during the Congressional recess when his death can't be used to their advantage?

'Win One for Teddy,' Say Dems Pushing for Health Reform

A fitting memorial to the Kennedy passing: pass Health care bill

Byrd wants health bill renamed for Kennedy

Darn the timing. We need to pass it now.

Did you expect anything else from this bunch?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Problem With Health Care 'Reform'

As illustrated by the Roanoke Times editorial this morning, entitled "Republican obstructionism."

The problems, as they see them:

· "Health spending is increasing at unsustainable rates."

· "The current system of employer-provided coverage leads to multiple problems."

· "Most Americans know that a single major illness could wipe them out financially."

We could certainly argue about just how pressing these problems are. And we have.

But to the point, what are the solutions to these problems that the Roanoke Times proposes?

"Reform."

That's it.

Nothing more.

Is it any wonder that the vast majority of Americans have decided that they'd rather keep what they've got rather than sign on to ill-defined, nebulous "reform"?

A Warning From The Liberal Washington Post

To the just-as-liberal Barack Obama:

Stop dicking around!
The new deficit numbers make it even more urgent that any health-care reform not only be fully paid for and certifiably budget-neutral in the eyes of independent analysts such as the CBO but also promise meaningful reductions in the cost growth of health care. So far, none of the plans under discussion measure up. The time is fast approaching for the president and Congress to face that reality, too.
"Bad News Budget," August 26, 2009

And They Wonder ...

... why Americans fear the thought of "death panels":
The government 'Death Book'
Washington Times editorial

The Obama administration claims that a health care takeover by government won't restrict access to care. Everybody will get more care for less money, the president has said. Of course, something has to give. One likely target for rationing will be care in the later stages of life. Bureaucratic disregard for the value of all life is insinuated in a government manual known as "the Death Book."

The Death Book is a nickname given to an advice manual published by the Department of Veterans Affairs that instructs veterans "how to prepare a personalized living will." Officially titled, "Your Life, Your Choices," the book fosters dark thoughts about a difficult life somehow being less of a life.

On Page 21, the Death Book poses questions to veterans to which they are to answer whether life would be "difficult, but acceptable," "worth living, but just barely" or "not worth living." The scenarios include: "I can no longer walk but get around in a wheelchair," "I can no longer contribute to my family's well-being," "I live in a nursing home," "I can no longer control my bladder," "I am a severe financial burden on my family," "I cannot seem to 'shake the blues' " and "I rely on a kidney dialysis machine to keep me alive."

The most positive answer allowable is "difficult, but acceptable." Every situation is phrased in the most negative terms. If veterans check any of the "not worth living" boxes, they are asked if this means they "would rather die than be kept alive." Further along, the book asks, "If you checked 'worth living, but just barely' for more than one factor, would a combination of these factors make your life 'not worth living?' If so, which factors?"

There is no attempt to ask people, "What would it take for you to want to live?" Instead, the booklet focuses on wanting to die.

Concern about rationing has been particularly acute among the elderly for good reason. The Death Book shows government's perverse interest in the end of life rather than its extension. [link]
Your government is currently nudging veterans - presumably - into ending their lives if they feel their lives aren't worth living.

Is it a stretch to assume that that same government will give the 40 million elderly citizens of this country more than a gentle nudge toward death's door when ObamaCare kicks in and the need for health care "savings" becomes paramount?

The Death Book is in use today. Can Death Panels be far behind?

Call them crazy, but ...

I Thought Maybe I Was Missing Something ...

... when I read the news that a union thug had been appointed to head the Federal Reserve in New York. A union man, I asked myself? Is he qualified to be making decisions for America's critical financial sector?

The short answer: NO.
The Real Fed News
Investor's Business Daily editorial

The renomination of Fed chief Ben Bernanke to a second term came as no big surprise. The same can't be said for the naming of a union activist as head of the New York Federal Reserve.

Denis Hughes, president of the AFL-CIO in New York, has served as interim head of the New York Fed board since May. His ascent to one of the world's most important financial posts is another troubling sign of this administration's too-tight embrace of organized labor.

But the naming of Hughes as the top banker at the New York Fed is the real news. And it's quite astounding.

He has no significant finance experience. Nor does his educational background — "Brother Hughes," as the AFL-CIO's Web site calls him, has a B.S. degree from the Harry Van Arsdale School of Labor Studies at Empire State College — reassure us.

Of greater concern is his career as a bought-and-paid-for union official and political operative. The New York Fed chairmanship is hardly a place for a person whose entire career has been spent fighting and strong-arming the very people he'll now be regulating.

As American Thinker editor Ed Lasky put it, Hughes is someone "who may be more schooled in extracting concessions from corporate America than the intricacies of high finance." [link]
Far be it from me to belittle anyone with a Bachelor's degree from Empire State College (is there really such a place?), but the chairman of the board of directors of the New York Federal Reserve has a BS degree from Empire State College? A degree in "labor studies"? That's it?

Has Obama lost his mind?

Your Senator, Fighting For You

First he decided to make convicted murderers' and rapists' rights his signature issue. Now Senator James Webb has moved onto the international scene. He's into Myanmarans' rights.

Thank God there's nothing important going on in his constituents' lives that requires even a moment of his attention.

Quote of the Day

From Ed Morrissey:
Instead of clucking their tongues at how Americans buy into ObamaCare myths, perhaps the media might start looking at how the American people have begun to see through the myth of ObamaCare. The polling suggests that the scales have begun to fall to the roadside.
"Yahoo misses as ‘Mythbusters’," Hot Air, August 25, 2009

Reaping The Whirlwind

Obama stirred up a hornet's nest when he decided to go on a CIA witch hunt a couple of days ago and try to divert attention away from his floundering administration.

This is one of the more mild reactions to his transparent political ploy:
King on Holder: 'You wonder which side they’re on'
By Ben Smith, Politico

A "furious" Rep. Peter King, the hawkish, maverick Long Island Republican, blasted a "disgraceful" Eric Holder for opening an investigation of CIA interrogators and chided his own party for what he described as a weak response to the move in an interview just now with POLITICO.

"It’s bulls***. It’s disgraceful. You wonder which side they’re on," he said of the attorney general's move, which he described as a "declaration of war against the CIA, and against common sense."

"It’s a total breach of faith, and either the president is intentionally caving to the left wing of his party or he’s lost control of his administration," said King, the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Homeland Security and a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence.

King, channeling both the sense of outrage and of political opportunity felt in parts of the GOP, defended in detail the interrogation practices — threats to kill a detainee's family, and or to kill a detainee with a power drill — detailed in a CIA inspector general report released yesterday.

"You're talking about threatening to kill a guy, threatening to attack his family, threatening to use an electric drill on him — but never doing it," King said. "You have that on the one hand — and on the other you have the [interrogator's] attempt to prevent thousands of Americans from being killed."

"When Holder was talking about being 'shocked' [before the report's release], I thought they were going to have cutting guys' fingers off or something — or that they actually used the power drill," he said. [link]

Nope. The interrogators did none of that. They (the bastards) intimidated those poor terrorists (the ones who have vowed to slaughter our children and grandchildren). Intimidation, if you ask the slimeballs at the Washington Post and New York Times - and now at the Justice Department - is now on par with slicing off fingers, removing eyes, electric shock, etc.

Even use of the word "BOO!" is beyond the pale.

Idiots? You decide.

Reprehensible? Without doubt.

- - -

Laugher of the day. From the editorialists at the New York Times:

The interrogations are certainly worthy of criminal investigation. The report describes objectionable and cruel practices well beyond waterboarding. They included threatening a detainee’s family members with sexual assault and threatening to kill another’s children; the staging of mock executions; and repeatedly blocking a prisoner’s carotid artery until he began to faint.

Threatening ... threatening ... and staging ...

Oh, the humanity!

This Is What The Democrats Want For You

Look into this world today and see the ObamaCare of the future:
Babies born in hospital corridors: Bed shortage forces 4,000 mothers to give birth in lifts, offices and hospital toilets
By Jenny Hope and Nick Mcdermott, London Daily Mail

Thousands of women are having to give birth outside maternity wards because of a lack of midwives and hospital beds.

The lives of mothers and babies are being put at risk as births in locations ranging from lifts to toilets - even a caravan - went up 15 per cent last year to almost 4,000.

Health chiefs admit a lack of maternity beds is partly to blame for the crisis, with hundreds of women in labour being turned away from hospitals because they are full.

Latest figures show that over the past two years there were at least:

* 63 births in ambulances and 608 in transit to hospitals;
* 117 births in A&E departments, four in minor injury units and two in medical assessment areas;
* 115 births on other hospital wards and 36 in other unspecified areas including corridors;
* 399 in parts of maternity units other than labour beds, including postnatal and antenatal wards and reception areas.

Additionally, overstretched maternity units shut their doors to any more women in labour on 553 occasions last year.

Babies were born in offices, lifts, toilets and a caravan, according to the Freedom of Information data for 2007 and 2008 from 117 out of 147 trusts which provide maternity services.

One woman gave birth in a lift while being transferred to a labour ward from A&E while another gave birth in a corridor, said East Cheshire NHS Trust.

Others said women had to give birth on the wards - rather than in their own maternity room - because the delivery suites were full.

Tory health spokesman Andrew Lansley, who obtained the figures, said Labour had cut maternity beds by 2,340, or 22 per cent, since 1997. At the same time birth rates have been rising sharply - up 20 per cent in some areas. [link]
Liberals in this country will scoff at the notion that this could happen in the USA. Why? Well, because ...

Or they will choose to completely ignore the potential risks that ObamaCare brings because they prefer instead to focus on "reform" in whatever form it takes. Beyond reform? More reform!

But understand this: The whole reason for Obama and his ilk wanting to "reform" our health care system is to drive costs down. And there is only one way - in the real world - to do it. See the story above. Care has to be rationed.

If that's what you want, support Obama.

But if you don't want your daughter forced to give birth in a filthy bathroom in a hospital basement, fight these people with every fiber in your being.

The choice is yours.

This Is Typical Of The Mainstream Press

Remember the hullabaloo that broke out several years ago over the CBS News "report" aired by Dan Rather that charged George Bush with having joined the Texas Air National Guard in order to avoid service in Vietnam? A charge backed up with (obviously forged) documents? A "report" that cost Rather and his producer, Mary Mapes, their jobs?

Well, according to Bernard Goldberg, Mapes knew all along that Bush had volunteered for service in Vietnam in the 60's and was turned down because he didn't have the requisite flight hours. A bit of information that would have blown Mapes' story to Hades. Information that she kept to herself. So as to get Bush.

"CBS News. Experience You Can Trust."

We Work Hard, We Play Hard

What? You weren't able to make it to the beach last week?

Toooooo baaaaad.

That's Chase, by the way, reeling in the line (at sunset). He caught a 16" shark the evening before this photo was taken. It was carefully released back into the ocean.

Photo taken at Topsail Island, North Carolina, August 20, 2009

I Think I'd Be Watching My Back, Barry

How long do you suppose it will take for Harry Reid and his ilk to turn against the war in Afghanistan?

With news like this, I give them ninety days, max:

"Four U.S. servicemen were killed by a roadside bomb elsewhere in the south, NATO and the U.S. military said, making 2009 the deadliest year for the growing contingent of foreign troops in eight years of war."

By then, they'll be whining that our troops need to be pulled out and sent to ...

... Okinawa.

Déjà vu all over again.

We Now Know

Much was made (by the ACLU, the media, and other leftist organizations) about the Justice Department release of documents outlining the enhanced interrogation techniques used by the Bush administration.

In response, Dick Cheney asked for the CIA to release then-classified documents that proved the efficacy of those interrogations. The White House went silent.

Until now.

The documents have been released.

Dick Cheney follows up with this:
The documents released Monday clearly demonstrate that the individuals subjected to Enhanced Interrogation Techniques provided the bulk of intelligence we gained about al Qaeda. This intelligence saved lives and prevented terrorist attacks. These detainees also, according to the documents, played a role in nearly every capture of al Qaeda members and associates since 2002. The activities of the CIA in carrying out the policies of the Bush Administration were directly responsible for defeating all efforts by al Qaeda to launch further mass casualty attacks against the United States. The people involved deserve our gratitude. They do not deserve to be the targets of political investigations or prosecutions. President Obama’s decision to allow the Justice Department to investigate and possibly prosecute CIA personnel, and his decision to remove authority for interrogation from the CIA to the White House, serves as a reminder, if any were needed, of why so many Americans have doubts about this Administration’s ability to be responsible for our nation’s security.
"Americans have doubts about this Administration’s ability to be responsible for our nation’s security."

Amen to that, brutha.

Ted Kennedy Is Dead

And They Say WE'RE Being Ridiculous

So I'm driving down the highway yesterday, listening to the radio, and on came "The Osgood File," a brief commentary (patterned after Paul Harvey's legendary work, I'm guessing). You've probably heard it. It lasts for a minute or two and touches on the news of the day, with a comment from the narrator (Charles Osgood once hosted the segment but now some guy named Dave Ross does it).

I've noticed over time that this Dave Ross is a liberal of the standard media mold. It probably got him the gig, or at least didn't get him boycotted from the effort. So he's liberal. That's fine. It's his show.

But hold that thought for a moment.

Yesterday's piece was on Michael Jackson's death and the news that it was determined to be a homicide. Ross explained that Jackson's doctor had been found to have given him enough anesthesia to choke a horse and said doctor was likely facing serious punishment. Ross made the point that the doctor was certainly culpable in Jacko's death, but so was Jackson, a point of view that I maintain as well.

But ol' Dave couldn't simply leave it at that. Listen to how he ends the narrative (transcript courtesy of Westwood One):
Michael Jackson was one of those Americans who liked his health care plan --- and decided to keep it. That health care plan was Dr. Conrad Murray and his supply of sedatives.

According to the documents just released, Dr. Murray had been treating Jackson for insomnia for six weeks --- putting him to sleep with 50 milligrams of propofol, administered through an IV drip.

CBS News Correspondent Sanda Hughes:

"Proprofol is a powerful anesthetic drug that should only be used in a hospital setting." (:05)

Instead of a sleeping pill, he was getting a drug normally used to knock out a patient before major surgery. In fact, Dr. Murray himself was worried enough that on June 25th, he tried to replace the propofol with something safer.

At 1:30 a.m., with Jackson still unable to sleep, he gave him 10 milligrams of Valium. At 2 a.m., he injected two milligrams of lorazepam. At 3 a.m., two milligrams of midazolam, and then repeated the doses at 5 a.m. --- and at 7:30 a.m.

Michael Jackson still couldn't sleep and begged for what he called his "milk" --- the one thing he knew would work.

And so, at 10:40 --- ten hours after that first Valium --- Dr. Murray dripped 25 milligrams of milky white propofol into his bloodstream, and stepped out of the room.

And that, according to CBS News Legal Analyst Trent Copeland, was about the dumbest thing Conrad Murray could have done:

"That may be very likely criminal behavior that rises to the level of being second-degree murder, because it's so reckless and indifferent." (:07)

And yet, he was only doing what his patient demanded --- and in a way, what you hear many Americans demanding: providing privately-funded health care, unfettered by government regulation of any kind.

The Osgood File. Dave Ross on the CBS Radio Network. [my emphasis]
I almost put my car into the ditch. What in God's name does Michael Jackson's doctor shooting the man up with drugs have to do with privately-funded health care, "unfettered by government regulation of any kind"?

Is that a stretch or what?

And they call US ridiculous ...

- - -

For what it's worth, Dave, Jackson's health care was "fettered" by government regulation. Regulation that was ignored by his doctor. The doctor's actions having (allegedly) broken all kinds of laws.

Perhaps your story says more about the ability of the government to regulate bad behavior than about privately-funded health care. Eh?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More Trails, More Bluster

At some point some local politician is going to held accountable for the money being spent on hiking trails and bike paths. Until then, we just keep building them and the politicians keep telling us how sweet the benefits from them will be.

Some day:
Spearhead Trails group: We want ideas
By Ida Holyfield, Post Editor

Appalachia — When it comes to the need for advancing a regional trails development project, the folks packing town hall last Wednesday night were of one accord:

The sooner, the better.

The more localities involved, the better.

Spearhead Trails, a multi-use project modeled in part after West Virginia’s Hatfield-McCoy Trail System, would extend roughly from Pocahontas, near Bluefield, to Cumberland Gap, encompassing seven coalfield counties and the city of Norton.

Now in its second year, the trail development project is currently focused on completing a feasibility study which officials can take to the Virginia General Assembly to justify funding requests. The goal is to have trails open and bringing visitors to the region by 2012. [link]
We currently have dozens of trails in Southwest Virginia. Has anyone bothered to ask why they haven't brought prosperity to the region?

No.

We just keep building them. Lots of them.

And we keep getting these promises of future prosperity.

Somewhere, over the rainbow, way up high.
There's a land that I heard of Once in a lullaby.
Somewhere, over the rainbow, skies are blue.
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.

Dreams really do come true? WHEN?