Friday, July 31, 2009

Thought for Today

[Speaking of the American Indians] "No group has been more taken care of by the government – and no group is in worse shape."

~~~~~ John Stossel, appearing on the Glenn Beck TV program of July 30, 2009

Letter to Citizens for Responsible Government

Here is a letter I just sent to Citizens for Responsible Government, a group with expertise on the right of recall.
Hi ---

Would you have any suggestions on how we can start the process of seeking the right of recall of statewide officers in Tennessee?

As of now, all we have is the right of referendum on measures originated by the legislature. There is no provision for either initiative or recall. The predictable result is that our governors (with 4-year terms) and U.S. Senators (with 6-year terms, of course) invariably run as freedom-loving, fiscally responsible conservatives, then proceed to do as they please once they are safely elected to office.

For example, earlier today, Senator Lamar Alexander announced his intention, in direct defiance of the wishes of the vast majority of his constituents, to vote in favor of the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor to a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

In addition, I received a form letter from him last week in response to a contact I made with his office regarding the pending cap-and-trade legislation. In it, he made plain that despite mounting evidence to the contrary being reported by hundreds of qualified climatologists, he believes the Global Warmist pseudo-religious doctrine holding that "human activity is having a significant impact on global temperature increases" (his words). Thus, instead of opposing on principle the idea of passing any sort of legislation attempting to restrict our carbon dioxide output – and therefore our economy and our standard of living – he is merely quibbling over the timing and severity of the measures he is planning to vote in favor of imposing. (Thank goodness he has also – finally, after decades of unnecessary delay – come out in favor of constructing a large number of new, modern nuclear power plants. Here, though, he appears to be doing the right thing for the wrong reason: he likes nuclear plants not primarily because they provide huge amounts of safe, clean, economical electricity, but because they produce no carbon dioxide!)

Sen. Alexander was re-elected against token opposition in 2008. Therefore, he knows that his seat is safe until 2014. Undoubtedly, he thinks that his constituents are so stupid that by the time he runs for re-election, we will have forgotten all about his numerous votes in opposition to our interests. He probably plans to don his old plaid shirt and travel throughout our 95 counties once again masquerading as a reliably conservative man of the people.

Other than recall, a tool which is not available to us, I can think of no method we can use to exert any sort of influence upon faithless officials such as Sen Alexander. Phoning, writing, faxing, and emailing him seem to have no effect whatsoever other than the triggering of form reply letters such as the one I received last week. The Tennessee Legislature is most unlikely to originate any legislation granting us the right of recall. Can you suggest any means by which we might achieve it in spite of them?

Thank you in advance.
Morton A. Goldberg, DVM
Lebanon, TN 37087
(615) xxx-xxxx home
(615) xxx-xxxx cell

Crazy? Foolish? Futile?

Maybe all of the above, but we have nearly lost control of our country, and we have to start somewhere to take it back.

7/31/09 12:25 AM UPDATE: That was quick! I received a very thorough reply from Chris Kliesmet of CRG within 38 minutes. It turns out that he will be in my area this weekend, and has offered to meet with us. More later.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Woman Does What a Woman's Gotta Do

Carroll woman's answer to highly visible Obama: Selling her televisions
A 78-year-old Carroll [Iowa] woman says she's so tired of seeing President Barack Obama on the airwaves that she's selling her television sets - two of them.

Deloris Nissen, a retired nurses' aide and former Kmart employee who was raised on a farm near Audubon, placed a classified advertisement with The Daily Times Herald for Friday's paper.

In the $5.50 ad, Nissen tells readers she has two television sets for sale.

The reason: "Obama on every channel and station."
I know the feeling!

Thought for Today

"Do for others with no desire of returned favor. We all should plant some trees we'll never sit under. Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame."

~~~~~ Alexander Pope

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thought for Today

"Capitalism and communism stand at opposite poles. Their essential difference is this: The communist, seeing the rich man and his fine home, says: "No man should have so much." The capitalist, seeing the same thing, says: 'All men should have as much.'"

~~~~~ Phelps Adams

Liberal Eyes

Zack Rawthorne of Diversity Lane is on a roll! Here's his latest effort:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"It's a Wonderful Life" Redux

In case you haven't already seen it elsewhere, here's the must-watch video of CNN reporter Don Lemon interviewing three of Cambridge, Massachusetts Police Sgt. Michael Crowley's fellow officers. While Sgt. Crowley, choked with emotion, watches mutely, the CNN reporter speaks in turn with Sgt. Leon Lashley, an unidentified policeman, and Officer Kelly King. The reporter, Sgt. Lashley (who was on the scene at the Henry Louis Gates incident), and Officer King all happen to be black.

The interview brings to mind the climactic scene from It's a Wonderful Life, when George stands there speechless as his friends and family stream in with piles of money to save Bailey Building and Loan from the clutches of the venal Mr. Potter – it's actually that heartwarming. Sgt. Crowley, who, like George, seems like an idealistic individual who has always tried to treat others as he himself would like to be treated, stands there with tears welling up in his eyes as one after another, his fellow officers vouch for his character.

Officer Kelly King is particularly noteworthy. Most of us have never heard of her before. Undoubtedly, this is the first time in her life that she has ever addressed millions of people. She speaks straight from the heart, with no prepared script – and no teleprompter, yet she displays not a trace of nervousness. On the contrary, her eloquence and sincerity cause her words to have a far greater impact than those of any "hired gun" professional speechwriter. She even speaks in whole paragraphs, with nary an "umm" or an "uhh."

The eminent Henry Louis Gates would undoubtedly be Mr. Potter. However, we can take the "It's a Wonderful Life" parallel only so far. Despite his premeditated effort to inject himself into the controversy, there does not appear to be a meaningful role in this plot for our rookie President. His ill-considered remarks at his infamous press conference have boomeranged. The mud he aimed at Sgt. Crowley has somehow flown right back and splattered all over him. Now, in an attempt to extricate himself from his self-made mess as gracefully as possible, he has grasped gratefully at a lifeline thrown to him by the gentlemanly Sgt. Crowley. We are given to understand that the scheduled White House tête-à-tête over beers with His Eminence, Professor Henry Louis Gates, to be moderated (refereed?) by President Obama, was Sgt. Crowley's idea.

Watch – and be thankful that once in a while, just as in the movies, the good guys win at the end.


"Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men."

~~~~~ Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

The Wisdom of Children

Here's the latest from Zack Rawsthorne at Diversity Lane:

Thought for Today

"A government, at bottom, is nothing more than a gang of men, and as a practical matter most of them are inferior men ... Government is actually the worst failure of civilized man. There has never been a really good one, and even those that are most tolerable are arbitrary, cruel, grasping and unintelligent. Indeed, it would not be far wrong to describe the best as the common enemy of all decent citizens."

~~~~~ H. L. Mencken

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sen. Alexander on Cap-and Trade

Saturday's mail brought me a form letter from Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN). I had been in contact with his office about the cap-and-trade legislation, urging him to oppose it when it reaches the Senate. Here is what Sen. Alexander had to say:
July 20, 2009

Dr. Morton A. Goldberg
Lebanon, TN 37087

Dear Morton,

Thanks very much for getting in touch with me and letting me know what's on your mind regarding climate change.

Every two-year Congress since I was elected to the Senate, I have sponsored clean air and climate change legislation that would place caps on carbon emissions from power plants -- but not caps on fuel used for transportation, because that would drive up the price of gasoline. In 2007, Congress passed into law an energy bill that included an amendment I cosponsored that raised fuel economy standards for the first time in 30 years, to an average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020. Telling automakers in this country that they have to make cleaner cars and trucks that use less fuel is the single best way our nation can start curbing our dependence on foreign oil and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The National Academy of Sciences of the United States – as well as the National Academies of Japan, Germany, China, and other nations – has concluded that human activity is having a significant impact on global temperature increases. While I believe it is appropriate for Congress to take reasonable steps to reduce U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases, I'm very reluctant to impose any sort of cap-and-trade, even on power plants, this year in the middle of a big recession. Now is not the time to put a national sales tax on every electric bill and every gasoline purchase.

As a member of the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works, I'll be deeply involved in this debate and will be sure to keep your comments in mind as climate change is discussed in Washington and in Tennessee.

/s/ Lamar

Translation: Despite the fact that that he sits on the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works – of which his colleague, the sainted Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), is the Ranking Minority Member – all of the overwhelming evidence against man-made global warming which Sen. Inhofe has assembled in his ongoing Minority Report impresses him not at all.

Sen. Alexander has already accepted as a given that man-made global warming is real, and is only quibbling about the timing and severity of the "corrective" measures he wishes to impose on us. No doubt, I, as one of his constituents, am supposed to be grateful that Sen. Alexander has only partially caved in to the environmental extremists pressing for draconian CO2 restrictions regardless of their effectiveness in preventing (imaginary) man-made global warming – or their effects upon our national economy and standard of living.

For whatever reason, Sen. Alexander chooses to ignore these inconvenient facts:
  1. The most recent ice core evidence shows irrefutably that during the last 650,000 years of Earth's history, rising CO2 levels have invariably occurred approximately 800 years AFTER warming temperatures, not before. Therefore, rising CO2 cannot possibly be causing the warming. Instead, it is far more likely to be caused by the warming.
  2. As has become increasingly obvious, average temperatures have not risen since 1998 despite the fact that atmospheric CO2 continues to increase. Instead, we are experiencing record cold temperatures, and may well be entering a period of dramatic cooling.
  3. While CO2 is unquestionably a greenhouse gas, and has been recognized as such for a century, the relationship between its atmospheric concentration and its greenhouse effect is not linear, but logarithmic. In plain English, that means that the CO2 in the atmosphere is already doing just about all the warming it can do. Doubling its concentration would cause a temperature increase so tiny as to be unmeasurable. In fact, by far the most important greenhouse gas is not CO2, but water vapor. Its role dwarfs those of CO2, methane, and oxides of nitrogen combined.
  4. As a direct result of the role of water vapor as the primary greenhouse gas, the theory behind man-made global warming posits the existence of an atmospheric "hot spot" located at the top of the troposphere within the tropical latitudes at an altitude of about 10 kilometers (6 miles). Yet, despite the existence of detailed and accurate radiosonde (weather balloon) data going back nearly 50 years and the increasingly desperate efforts of Global Warmists to massage it to fit their theory, no such "hot spot" has been shown to exist. Here, from a paper by Dr. David Evans (PDF), is a graphical comparison: observed data on the left; theorized data derived from computer models on the right. It's a fine example of that old joke, "Who are you going to believe – me or your lying eyes?"

    Of course, the reason the Global Warmists are desperate to prove the existence of the non-existent "hot spot" is simple: without it, their theory is obviously erroneous. If their theory is erroneous, then the entire man-made global warming house of cards collapses.

Sen. Alexander, with all due respect, in view of the ongoing controversy among qualified climate scientists about the validity of the man-made global warming theory, as well as the threat to our economy from the consequences of well-intentioned, though misguided, legislation, don't you think it might be wiser to hold off on the passage of any laws aimed at controlling our emission of CO2 until the relevant science has been settled?

A Case Against Precipitous Climate Action

Jo Nova brings us an important new article, A Case Against Precipitous Climate Action, written by one of the world's foremost climate scientists, Dr. Richard S. Lindzen. This is one you'll want to read all the way through, then share with as many intelligent people as possible. (Don't bother showing it to the dummies – you'll be wasting your time.)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Steyn on Gates

In Obama knows 'stupidly' when he doesn't see it, Mark Steyn addresses the Henry Louis Gates imbroglio with characteristic style, grace, and wit. Here's how he begins:
By common consent, the most memorable moment of Barack Obama's otherwise listless press conference on "health care" were his robust remarks on the "racist" incident involving professor Henry Louis Gates and the Cambridge police. The latter "acted stupidly," pronounced the chief of state. The president of the United States may be reluctant to condemn Ayatollah Khamenei or Hugo Chávez or that guy in Honduras without examining all the nuances and footnotes, but sometimes there are outrages so heinous that even the famously nuanced must step up to the plate and speak truth to power. And thank God the leader of the free world had the guts to stand up and speak truth to municipal police Sgt. James Crowley.

Go read the whole thing.

A Health Care Road Map

Dr. Bala Ambati was born in India, moved here at the age of 3, and proceeded to become the world's youngest physician at the age of 17. He's now been in practice for 14 years, and is still only 31.

Dr. Ambati has obviously given a great deal of thought to the health care situation. As a result, he has written this amazingly insightful blog post, Health Care.

I only became aware of the piece because Richard Fernandez ("Wretchard" of the Belmont Club blog) linked to it and praised it highly. You can read his post, Getting Better, by clicking the link.

If you are as impressed with Dr. Ambati's ideas as Richard Fernandez and I, then please do whatever you can to share them.

Climate Money

Joanne "Jo" Nova, a science writer from Perth, Australia, has been driving the Global Warmists totally bonkers. For 17 years, she was a True Believer. Then, in 2007, she became aware of a couple of pieces of key evidence that disprove the entire theory of AGW – that is, Anthropogenic Global Warming caused by the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere.

As a trained scientist (molecular biology) and a person of unquestioned integrity, once Jo realized that the theory in which she had believed was false, she changed her opinion. She began speaking and writing as a global warming skeptic, pointing out how the recent evidence had poked some pretty sizable holes in the hypothesis that humans are causing the earth to warm as a result of our CO2 production.

At first, Jo's former colleagues tried their best to ignore her. However, she's not easy to ignore. After all, she's a professional science communicator, and is very good at what she does. Not surprisingly, within a very short time, she began to experience the same sort of vicious personal attacks as all of the other scientists who dare to question the Global Warmists' cherished orthodoxy. To them, she was now an apostate, and they made it plain that if it were within their power to do so, they would gladly burn her at the stake, then bury her ashes in the nearest environmentally friendly landfill.

Last year, Jo started a blog, JoNova, in which she kept her readers abreast of the latest developments in the field of climate science. In September, 2008, she issued an invaluable book, The Skeptic's Handbook. Here is what she wrote about it at the time:
I want to lift the debate above the mud-slinging, pathetic ad hominem attacks, and specious argument by authority. The basic rules of logic and reasoning have been known since the Greeks. Educated adults ought to do better. Maybe one day, national curriculums will too.

The attacks grew more vicious and strident, but Jo was not dissuaded. Quite the contrary. She came to realize, as some of us have for a number of years now, that the believers in AGW theory were acting not like scientists, but like religious acolytes hanging on every word emanating from Prophet Al Gore and High Priest James Hansen. By the end of October, 2008, Jo realized that AGW is a religion, and had the temerity to say so in a blog post.

Reading the comments following that one post is a real education. Jo enforces certain standards of civility in her comment section, so you won't find the most depraved and vicious of the ad hominem attacks there (to see them, hang out in the left-wing blogs for a while and search on her name), but I was in turn amused, amazed, and disappointed to read some of the comments obviously intended as logical, reasoned discourse.

This month, Jo has just come out with another informative booklet, this time in cooperation with the Science and Public Policy Institute. It's called Climate Money, and you can download it as a PDF file from this page. Here's a summary of what you'll find within its 19 pages:

  • The US government has provided over $79 billion since 1989 on policies related to climate change, including science and technology research, foreign aid, and tax breaks.

  • Despite the billions: “audits” of the science are left to unpaid volunteers. A dedicated but largely uncoordinated grassroots movement of scientists has sprung up around the globe to test the integrity of the theory and compete with a well funded highly organized climate monopoly. They have exposed major errors.

  • Carbon trading worldwide reached $126 billion in 2008. Banks are calling for more carbon-trading. And experts are predicting the carbon market will reach $2 - $10 trillion making carbon the largest single commodity traded.

  • Meanwhile in a distracting sideshow, Exxon-Mobil Corp is repeatedly attacked for paying a grand total of $23 million to skeptics—less than a thousandth of what the US government has put in, and less than one five-thousandth of the value of carbon trading in just the single year of 2008.

  • The large expenditure in search of a connection between carbon and climate creates enormous momentum and a powerful set of vested interests. By pouring so much money into one theory, have we inadvertently created a self-fulfilling prophesy instead of an unbiased investigation?

Jo is also a talented artist and cartoonist. She illustrated both The Skeptic's Handbook and Climate Money herself with clear, easy-to-follow charts, graphs, and occasional cartoons, such as this one from the cover of Climate Money:

By all means, download a copy of Climate Money and, if you don't already have one, The Skeptic's Handbook, too. By the time you finish reading them, you'll have a pretty good understanding of why the theory of AGW is wrong, and why we are nevertheless spending billions of dollars in an attempt to prove its validity.

As is, sadly, so often the case – follow the money.

A Musical Interlude

Here's one of the finest classical guitar performances I have ever heard. The Odeum Guitar Duo (Robert Wetzel and Fred Benedetti) play Franz Schubert's achingly beautiful Serenade. The arrangement, by Robert Wetzel, is based upon Franz Liszt's version for solo piano.

If you're on a good broadband connection, you might like to click the HQ button and watch the High Quality (MP4) version. The improvement in audio and video quality is quite noticeable.

Thought for Today

"But America is a great, unwieldy Body. Its Progress must be slow... Like a Coach and six the swiftest Horses must be slackened and the slowest quickened, that all may keep an even Pace."

~~~~~ John Quincy Adams

Friday, July 24, 2009

Thought for Today

"Any people anywhere being inclined and having the power have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and force a new one that suits them better."

~~~~~ Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thought for Today

That liberals aren’t enamored of real freedom may have something to do with responsibility -- that cumbersome backpack which all free men have to lug on life’s aerobic nature hike. The second item in the liberal creed, after self-righteousness, is unaccountability. Liberals have invented whole college majors -- psychology, sociology, women’s studies - to prove that nothing is anybody’s fault. No one is fond of taking responsibility for his actions, but consider how much you’d have to hate free will to come up with a political platform that advocates killing unborn babies but not convicted murderers. A callous pragmatist might favor abortion AND capital punishment. A devout Christian would sanction neither. But it takes years of therapy to arrive at the liberal point of view.

~~~~~ P.J. O'Rourke

Sunday, July 19, 2009

When You've Gotta Go...

Astronauts deal with flooded toilet in orbit.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The bathroom lines at the already crowded space shuttle and space station complex got a lot longer Sunday because of a flooded toilet.

One of two commodes aboard the international space station broke down, right in the middle of complicated robotic work being conducted by the two crews. The pump separator apparently flooded.

I have a suggestion...

One or the other of those men in the picture ought to be able to solve the problem. If the Obamessiah is so busy rescuing the economy, taking care of all our health needs, and cooling the planet that he can't take just a moment to wave his magic wand and send up a Royal Flush, then maybe Joe the Plumber could lend them a hand.

Further along in the article, we learn that:
Teams of specialists in Houston and Moscow hurriedly convened to discuss the problem. The Russian-built, multimillion-dollar toilet flew up on a shuttle last November.

What a surprise! No one could possibly have foreseen that a Russian-built toilet would break down just when it was needed the most. After all, isn't Russia known throughout the world for the quality and reliability of its plumbing?

As Instapundit likes to say, the country's in the very best of hands.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

E85 Prices, Lunar Landings, and ObamaCare

What on earth do E85 prices, lunar landings, and ObamaCare have in common? Please indulge me for a moment.

Here in Lebanon, Tennessee, E85 is presently selling at 30¢ less than 87 octane regular grade ($1.999 vs $2.299). It's still no bargain, though, because most drivers find that they get about 30% lower mileage when they use it. Therefore, just to break even, when 87 octane is $2.299, E85 would have to sell for 69¢ less per gallon, or $1.539.

Keep in mind that the government that instituted E85 and the Flex-Fuel program is the same government that thought it was a good idea to save money by erasing and reusing the original videotapes of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. It's also the same government that now wants to take over all of our health care.

Is it any wonder that ObamaCare has become a bridge too far even for many of the members of Obama's own party?

Thought for Today

"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these."

~~~~~ George Washington Carver (1864-1943)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Jeffrey Lord on Sotomayor – A Real Eye-Opener

Yesterday's American Spectator includes a major article by Jeffrey Lord, Two Presidents and the Court: When Bigotry Takes the Bench. In it, Lord masterfully illustrates the disturbing parallels between the race-obsessed Supreme Court Justice James McReynolds and the race-obsessed Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. His conclusion: both are equally incompatible with our supposedly impartial legal system.

Here's how the article begins:
In a surely unintended bit of symbolism, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, accused of racism, has been named to the Supreme Court seat once held by one of the Court's most fervid racists: Woodrow Wilson appointee James McReynolds.

McReynolds' vividly racist 27-year tenure from 1914 to 1941, obscured by time, has resurfaced in a fashion that can only be less than helpful to Team Obama as Sotomayor's nomination faces Senate confirmation. Why? It forces everyone to focus on two very real questions as this nomination moves forward this week.

First: What does the Sotomayor nomination say about Obama? And second: will Sotomayor deliver what the President expects of her if seated on the Court?

Here's the McReynolds story.

The place: The United States Supreme Court.

The occasion: oral arguments in what would turn out to be the first crack in a famous Supreme Court precedent.

Arrayed behind the raised bench, the nine Justices peer down from their lofty, high-backed leather chairs, their black robes distinct against crimson drapes trimmed with gold.

Rising to his feet to begin his presentation is attorney Charles Hamilton Houston. Houston is one of America's more brilliant members of the bar. Educated at Amherst College, where he was the class valedictorian, he had gone on to graduate cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he served on the law review. Today, the historic courtroom is hushed, with all eyes on Houston as he begins to speak.

Suddenly, silently, without a word, there is movement from the bench.

Justice James Clark McReynolds swivels his chair, turning it around 180 degrees. And keeps it that way. There is a moment of stunned silence as the recognition dawns on McReynolds's fellow Justices, headed by Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes. So too is there a jaw-dropping understanding in the rest of the ornate, historic chambers as everyone else realizes the import of what has just occurred. The Justice is now staring steadily at the curtains, the back of his tall chair quite deliberately, ostentatiously, and literally turned to Houston.

There was a reason.

Are you curious to know why the honorable Justice McReynolds acted in such a thoroughly reprehensible manner? Then click here to find out. Hint: Sotomayor's words, publicly uttered on at least three occasions, "My experiences will affect the facts that I choose to see as a judge," could just as well have been spoken by McReynolds.

This one's a must-read.

O'Reilly Finally Gets It

Last night's O'Reilly Factor marked a watershed of sorts. Bill finally recognized the truth of what thousands of us have been saying for years: cap-and-trade is a giant scam, and Al Gore is a shameless con man and hypocrite. Welcome aboard, Bill. What took you so long?

Bill took pains to explain, though, that he still believes that man-made global warming is real. It's just that he has finally gotten it through his thick skull that the measures which would be imposed upon us by Waxman-Markey would do nothing to stop it, but would do enormous damage to our economy while transferring billions of dollars to a few well-connected corporations and individuals.

Later in the program, Bill spoke briefly with Glenn Beck, who tried to gently inform him that man-made global warming is itself a scam, and that the data upon which O'Reilly has been relying is not true. However, Bill is not yet ready for that next step. He'll have to be led to the truth slowly and carefully over a period of time.

Nevertheless, the fact that Bill, until now a zealous missionary in Gore's Church of Global Warming, has gone apostate on the cap-and-trade scheme is yet another hopeful sign that public perception on this issue has finally turned the corner. It appears that from now on, the Global Warmists will face an increasingly uphill struggle.

Those of us who have been signally honored by being labeled "Deniers" by con man Gore cannot afford to relax, though. While the tide may be turning in our favor, the battle is far from won. If there is one thing we know for certain about the opposition, it is this: they never give up until they have attained their objective. Even when they have suffered a major setback, they never consider a defeat to be permanent. They will lick their wounds for a while, rally their forces, and attack again from a different direction. We cannot afford to let our guard down even for a moment.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


It's no secret that I love a good editorial cartoon. Zack Rawsthorne of Diversity Lane has just hit one out of the park with this masterpiece in which he skewers the concept of political correctness with surgical skill.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Thought for Today

"The Ship of State is the only ship that leaks at the top."

~~~~~ attributed to James Reston

Friday, July 10, 2009

Obama and the Peter Principle

Before our eyes, President Obama is demonstrating the validity of the Peter Principle as stated four decades ago by Dr. Laurence J. Peter:

"In a Hierarchy Every Employee Tends to Rise to His Level of Incompetence."

While he managed to temporarily bedazzle a majority of the voters last November, more and more of his erstwhile supporters are coming to realize that they made a terrible mistake. As a result, we are now burdened with a President who continues to offer new proof every day that he is totally unqualified for the office he holds.

One indicator with a proven track record is Scott Rasmussen's Rasmussen Reports Daily Presidential Tracking Poll. It shows that for the first time since his inauguration, Obama's Presidential Approval Index – the difference between the percentages of those strongly approving and strongly disapproving of his performance – has swung dramatically negative, to a value of -8%.

Perhaps of even greater importance is the fact that articles highly critical of Obama have begun to appear with some regularity in influential and respected publications which have heretofore been faithful Obama acolytes, such as the Washington Post. For example, consider this piece by former George W. Bush chief speechwriter Michael Gerson, Obama's Iceberg:
Around midnight on April 15, 1912, there were a few minutes when Capt. Edward Smith of the Titanic realized his ship was going down -- six watertight compartments breached, less than two hours to float -- yet his passengers slept in happy ignorance. A historical fate hardened while most of the participants dreamed on.

The jobs report last week opened a long gash beneath the waterline of President Obama's legislative agenda. Few realize it, but a scramble for lifeboats is about to begin.
Gerson goes on to state:
To pass his health proposal this year, Obama would first need to violate his word. As a presidential candidate, he pledged that "no one making less than $250,000 a year will see any type of tax increase" -- the most memorable number of the 2008 campaign. Taxing health benefits would certainly cross this very bright line and add to the public stock of cynicism.
By all means, read the whole thing.

The fact that the Washington Post ran this column, even if only as an op-ed, is quite significant. In the future, we may well look back upon this moment as the turning point when the majority of the public has finally realized that our clueless President has risen to his level of incompetence.

Thought for Today

"No matter where or what, there are makers, takers, and fakers."

~~~~~ Robert Heinlein

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thought for Today

"We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind of self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."

~~~~~ James Madison

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Thought for Today

"No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.... We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained."

~~~~~ George Washington, First Inaugural Address

Monday, July 6, 2009

Thought for Today

"It is inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office."

~~~~~ H.L. Mencken

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Thoughts for Independence Day

"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."

~~~~~ Samuel Adams
"You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence."

~~~~~ Charles A. Beard

Friday, July 3, 2009

Thought for Today

"And who can doubt that it will lead to the worst disorders when minds created free by God are compelled to submit slavishly to an outside will? When we are told to deny our senses and subject them to the will of others? When people devoid of whatsoever competence are made judges over experts and are granted authority to treat them as they please? These are the novelties which are apt to bring about the ruin of commonwealths and the subversion of the state."

~~~~~ Galileo Galilei

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Old Is New Again: Tyrannosaurus Debt

Back in the '70's, ABC began to broadcast Schoolhouse Rock!, a well-made animated cartoon series intended to educate children in subjects they weren't learning in school. One of Jonah Goldberg's readers brought this old, but newly relevant, YouTube video to his attention, and he embedded it in NRO's The Corner blog yesterday afternoon. The link to his post is here.

Hat tips: Jonah Goldberg, the anonymous reader who sent him the link, and YouTube member Iknowthesecret, who posted the video.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Why Do the Leftists Hate the Jews?

Many objective observers have noticed the unholy alliance between the left and radical Islam. Superficially, it seems so odd as to be inexplicable. After all, so many of their beliefs are diametrically opposed. Leftists believe – or so they say – in equality for women; Islamists treat women like chattel. Leftists believe in complete sexual freedom; Islamists kill homosexuals by stoning them or collapsing walls upon them. Leftists are often agnostics or atheists; Islamists believe that we all must live under strict sharia law. It would be hard to imagine any stranger bedfellows.

Closer examination shows that there is one consistent thread that unites the leftists with the Islamists: vicious, irrational hatred of the Jews.

Former Boston Herald columnist Don Feder has written a thoughtful, though disturbing, piece for which was also picked up by David Horowitz's FrontPage Magazine. It is called "Seven Reasons for Leftist Anti-Semitism," and you can read the whole thing here or here. Here's how it starts:

Old joke: Walking down a street, a rabbi is accosted by an anti-Semite who tells him “The Jews are to blame for all of our problems.” The rabbi replies, “You’re absolutely right. It’s all the fault of the Jews – and the redheads.” Puzzled, the anti-Semite asks, “Why the redheads”? The rabbi responds, “Why the Jews”?

But for the left, anti-Semitism makes perfect sense – almost as much sense as socialized medicine. Except for Islam (with which it’s increasingly allied), the left has a near-monopoly on organized anti-Semitism.

Last week, that geriatric Jew-hater Jimmy Carter was in Gaza condemning the “devastation” wrought by Israel’s military incursion to stop Hamas rocket attacks. “The citizens of Gaza are treated more like animals than people,” the man who put the ayatollahs in charge of Iran intoned.

At the American International School in Gaza, damaged by Israeli bombs, Carter told citizens of Hamas-istan, “I have to hold back the tears when I see the deliberate destruction that has been wrecked against your people.” That Hamas deliberately located a missile battery near the school is irrelevant to our pathetic ex-president.

The author of “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid” – who’s become the most prominent Western apologist for the Hitlerites of Hamas (“first of all, Hamas has to be accepted by the international community") – Carter has never shed a tear for the Israelis killed by Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza or those murdered or wounded by Palestinian suicide bombers over the past decade.

Next stop on Jimmy’s trail of tears – the S.S. cemetery in Bitburg, where he’ll weep for the devastation wrecked against the German people, who were treated like animals by the Allies in World War II.

For Carter, the political is also personal. In a 2006 story in the Jewish Forward, Carter was quoted telling senior aides prior to the 1980 election “If I get back in, I’m going to (expletive deleted) the Jews.”

Even though it's admittedly disturbing, I strongly recommend that you read all of Don Feder's important essay. You'll come away with an increased understanding of how the twisted brains of the committed leftists function to distort reality. However, the deeper mystery of what sort of malignant process it took to twist those brains in the first place – particularly in the case of the significant population of self-loathing Jews who dwell among the other strange denizens of the Left – remains unexplained.

Thought for Today

"A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled."

~~~~~ Sir Barnett Cocks