Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mark Steyn: Obamacare Worse than Europe's

This is a very insightful and frightening peek into the future of the post-Obamacare political/cultural/economic landscape. Our eyes need to refocus on the big picture.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Stolen from Andy McCarthy:

To All My Liberal Friends:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or explicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2010, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

To All My Conservative Friends:
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas--From the CBO!

The Congressional Budget Office just gave us our Christmas gift. Unfortunately, it looks a lot like a horrid Christmas sweater from your Aunt Ethel (with no gift receipt). The CBO has finally decided to mention that they double-counted their medicare savings figures. After the Dems get 60 votes--what timing! Thanks, CBO! Merry Christmas to all! The real gift comes tomorrow from Harry Reid, and YOU get to pay for it!

NOTE: In case you're skimming--the chart at the linked sight is based on the faulty CBO accounting. It is not even close to reality.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Perfect Climate Storm

From Victor Davis Hanson on NRO:

A satirist could not dream up Copenhagen. Icy-cold temperatures and snow descend on both Copenhagen and Washington at the time of the conference. It is preceded by one of the great scandals in recent academic history with Climategate and the fabrication of climate-change evidence. Al Gore has to cancel his pay-for-photo meet-and-greet session and then wildly misquotes one of his alleged experts. The world's creepiest thugs like Mugabe and Chavez are given air time — and even applause for their anti-Western communist rants. Obama flies in to do an Olympic-lobbying-type quickie, and even his sudden fire-in-the-belly sermons are of no avail. More and more details leak about global warming's international advocates and their green capitalist, conflict-of-interest profit-making. Carbon-spewing private jets dot the tarmac, while gas-guzzling limos line up outside the hotels. Who in their right-mind would give up any shred of autonomy to this bunch?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The True Face of Global Warming

Just in case you don't believe Rush when he says that the environmentalists are the new home for displaced Communists, check out Hugo Chavez's reception at Copenhagen. He was only one ruthless, murderous dictator among several featured at the conference. It's the Star Wars Cantina all over again . . .

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Post-Lieberman Health Care Bill

So, the public option is out. What's still in? Mainly just the requirement that you buy private insurance. The irony astounds, as James Capretta explains. Also, it's still filled with loads of harmful and wasteful new regulation and bureaucracy. It's nowhere near a done deal . . .

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Financial "Reform" Bill and ACORN

The House just passed another legislative monstrosity which seeks to create an entirely new agency with all the bureaucratic horror that entails. Byron York explains the committee maneuvering over ACORN's possible involvement in the highest levels of this new government beast. It still has to clear the Senate before Obama can make some more "history."

Thursday, December 3, 2009

NASA Might Also Be Hiding Climate Data

Shocking. It turns out they are just as reluctant to honor FOIA requests as the British CRU. It certainly gives one pause . . .

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Food Stamp Map

This is an interesting and unfortunate story, complete with an interactive map. Something like 10 million new people have started getting food stamps in the last two years (bringing the total to about 35 million). Perhaps if only the extremely poor could get them that would be something, but it seems like most people just end up using them as disposable income. People in the United States, for the most part, are not starving--they have money for food and other basic needs. Food stamps allows them to use the money they would have spent on food to buy, well, anything. There's nothing quite as expensive as free money from the government.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

More On Climategate

The more of this scandal that comes to light, the more shocking it becomes. The mainstream media are doing there best to ignore the story, but they won't be able to do so for long. Times have changed. Here are a few more prominent editorials.

Yesterday Rush noted that high temperatures during the Medieval Period were refuted by climate scientists on the basis of only three trees in Siberia, and those were cherry-picked! Meanwhile, Obama & Co. continue their march toward wrecking the economy and placing America under the thumb of world governing bodies, unabated and deaf to any and all dissent.

Also, have a Happy Thanksgiving! Thank the Creator for making such a resilient planet for us to enjoy.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Climate Science, Stolen Emails and Fraud

I don't know if this will pan out or not, but it looks like someone hacked into Britain's Climate Research Unit and stole some emails. They then posted those emails and files on the Internet. The documents seem to indicate a climate science cover-up of global proportions. Was stealing these documents illegal? Undoubtedly. But so is falsifying climate science, so . . .

Monday, November 16, 2009

More Global Warming Discussion

I want to thank Sarah, the astronomer, for her in-depth responses. One of the reasons I wanted to start this blog was to force myself to do more research and become better-informed. This recent episode has indeed pushed me toward that goal. Unfortunately, the subject of global warming poses some significant challenges to me.

First off, I am not a formally trained scientist. The literature of climate science gets very technical very quickly. This is not to say that scientists are always right. Even a cursory sifting of the available information reveals that opinions and theories differ widely between individual scientists, governmental agencies and international panels, as well as over time. To my eye (and to many other ordinary observers), climate science looks more like a work in progress than a masterpiece of scientific knowledge.

Second, the issue is about as politically charged as one can get. Conservatives cannot help but be skeptical when they hear avowed socialists proposing solutions to avoid a global warming doomsday that just happen to align perfectly with their dreams of ever-increasing social control. I suppose it is technically possible that the science does really indicate that our only hope for survival is to place our economic and individual freedoms in subservience to an international board of tyrannical dictators scientists, but I'm going to need a lot more convincing to take that deal. Global warming might be irreversibly harming the planet, but it sure feels like a scam.

I did manage to find this interesting site called Skeptical Science. It seems to be very damaging to my position, providing explanations for all the top arguments. I also found some interesting discussion in the comments section at the bottom of the article on that page. The number one argument against man-made global warming seems to be solar radiation. The standard answer seems to be that solar activity went flat around 1970 while global temperature continued to rise. This leaves CO2 as the only viable culprit. However, the estimates of solar activity might not be correct. The IPCC rates the Level of Scientific Understanding (LOSU) of solar irradiance as Low. NASA continues to learn more about the sun. Also, a recent study by Scafetta and Wilson (2009) suggests that solar radiation may account for nearly 65% of warming observed in the last 30-40 years.

Another promising argument seems to center around long-term hydrological cycles (see comment #6 on the Skeptical Science link above for more). These might also explain the past variations observed in Arctic ice. These would seem to be better predictors of droughts, etc., than global warming.

I will leave off with this. Sarah asked why I might object to global warming on theological grounds (as we are both Christians). In Genesis 8:22 (While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.), God promises that the earth will remain habitable until the end. God's promise to never again flood the earth follows soon after. I believe in a God that controls and maintains our planet. As a result, I'm not very worried about us damaging the planet in any significant way. I certainly don't think we should go around wasting and destroying for no reason, but it is clear from Scripture that the earth is here for us and not the other way around.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

October Was the Third Coldest On Record

Today we get yet another strange bit of data for the global warming crowd. This gives me an opportunity to address a related issue. Recently, a few of my global warming-related posts attracted some negative comments from an astronomer who studies climate on a planetary scale. These can be read here. Some of the highlights are as follows:

"Global warming is a serious issue, even for just a 1 degree rise of temperature. Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet is very worrisome as it most definitely will cause a rise in sea level, up to 7 meters. By some estimates, 1 meter rise in sea level is almost inevitable at this time. Consider, then, that 25% of the world's fertile growing regions are within 1 meter of sea level. Preventing 25% of our loss of food will take a huge effort and amount of money."

"On geological timescales (~400,000 yrs), yes the Earth does regulate climate. Solar luminosity (energy flux) has increased steadily since the formation of Earth yet the climate has been relatively constant. This is due to the Carbon-Silicate cycle which is controlled by biology and geology. So yes, in 400,000 the Earth should resolve whatever damage we cause now. But are you willing to wait that long? We need to do something now, as this issue will directly affect our children and grandchildren."

"I don't believe our planet will be 'destroyed' just that we are not being the best stewards of the resources and Earth God gave us. And we are causing ourselves undo harm. Ironically, the environmental movement was originally Republican and from Biblical teachings, I'd expect Christians to be the most staunch supporters of being 'green'. Materialism (which is a huge part of the Global Warming issue ) is sure not on Jesus' priority list."

"I would also like to mention that before I really understood more about climate science, I was also skeptical of Global Warming. Since it's become so politically charged, it's difficult to look at unbiased reports on it and everyone and their mother has their own opinion supposedly backed by 'science'. Climate is a very complex system, and there are many unresolved questions, such as the amount of predicted warming, the rate the ice sheets will melt etc. But there are a few things that remain sure 1) carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. It has in the past, it does so now, and it will warm the Earth and 2) human activity has added substantially to the carbon concentration since the industrial revolution. This is independent from volcanic activity or other non-human sources."

I have not included every argument here, but this makes a good jumping off point for a more public (front page) discussion. Again, I am forced to admit that I am not a scientist and have limited knowledge of climatology theory and research. As such, I depend on others to stay informed on the important and timely issue of global warming. The following sources are representative of those that have influenced my understanding of the science at hand:

Roy Spencer's website and blog - Spencer is a climatologist at the University of Alabama at Huntsville and the official climatologist for Rush Limbaugh. He is the author of Climate Confusion.

The Hockey Stick: A New Low in Climate Science by John L. Daly - This is a thorough debunking of a chart made famous by Al Gore's venture into climate cinema.

The Great Global Warming Swindle - This documentary features quite a few scientists who doubt humanity's responsibility for global warming and discuss some of the non-science-related interests pushing the "conventional" view.

I will end this post by stating that, as a Christian, I am also opposed to the wholesale degradation of the earth with which God has entrusted us. I am also more than a little wary of the rampant materialism that seems to be choking our culture. However, I see the theory of man-made global warming as just another attempt by the left, making full use of alarmist scare-tactics, to usurp the rights and freedom of individuals and add yet more power to an ever-increasing government bureaucracy. I oppose materialism on a personal level; I do not wish to see our modern economy to collapse under the weight of arbitrary and onerous carbon limits and regulations. I also do not want our country to cede its sovereignty to the U.N. or any other world entity.

The environmental movement has produced very little of worth to our country, specifically, or to humanity at large. It has all but halted our ability to extract and refine fossil fuels, the life-blood of a modern standard of living. It has committed unspeakable harm to the third world by causing DDT to be banned. Malaria has killed millions since this dubious environmental "victory". Time and again, environmental regulations are used to punish one group while advancing the interests of others. They have kept the developing nations in their place, refusing them the basic tools of modernity, all the while propagating a false sense of guilt to further their aims. From celebrities who decry carbon footprints while flying their private jets to federal regulators blocking any attempt to become energy independent and punishing what little profits are made by energy producers, I simply don't have any confidence in them whatsoever. I believe man-made global warming is a terrible lie designed to destroy our economy and our place as the world's most powerful nation.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Laura Ingraham on NY-23

Have you been watching the unfolding drama concerning New York's special election in district 23? It seems like something very important is going on here. The rise of Doug Hoffman, the only conservative in the race, over the liberal Republican nominee and perhaps even over the Democrat is stunning. I think the lesson is not so much about third parties but about the electoral power of conservative principles. Laura Ingraham has some good commentary.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Transparency

. . . was promised again and again by Barrack Obama. It would be nice to get some even now and then. Instead, Republicans get locked out of committee rooms and bills are passed before they are written, let alone read. Don't expect things to get better--the Democrats cannot afford to have the public know what's really in their legislative proposals.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Nurture Shock

Karen and I just finished reading Nurture Shock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman. It's a collection of some recent (and counter-intuitive) advances in child development research. Entertaining and surprisingly conservative in places, the authors touch on a plethora of topics ranging from sleep to self-control to teen rebellion. While none of the areas are considered in any kind of an exhaustive way, the book manages to be quite thought provoking. Parents will definitely benefit from the experience. A few tidbits:

Telling your child he is smart will likely encourage less effort on his part. Instead, try praising specific achievements focusing on the effort applied. Self-esteem is a red herring.

Kids are getting somewhere between 30 minutes to an hour less sleep each night than they used to only a decade ago. Loss of sleep causes problems for adults but it absolutely destroys a child's ability to function academically, turning sixth-graders into fourth-graders. There is also an amazing correlation between sleep-loss and obesity in children (more so than between diet or exercise and obesity).

Kids lie many times a day, and parents can't always (or even usually) tell when. Smarter kids lie better than other kids. They mainly lie to please a parent or other adult, not to avoid punishment.

Tests to identify gifted kindergartners get it wrong about 73% of the time. IQ is not stable in children and testing is meaningless until at least the third grade.

A teenager's need for autonomy peaks around age 14 or 15. It is higher at 11 than at 18. When adults hear disturbing phrases like "swim with sharks" and "bite on a lightbulb" they experience an immediate emotional aversion. When teens hear these phrases, they weigh the decision in the cognitive parts of the brain--they actually have to think about it! Their brains do signal danger during experiments involving sharing their tastes and preferences with peers. Arguments between parents and teens tend to indicate a lower level of dishonesty in the relationship.

Children who watch educational TV shows (like Arthur and Clifford) exhibit a higher level of aggression--they're even worse than Power Rangers! 96% of all children's programming contains verbal insults and worse. Spanking, when done consistently and not as a "nuclear option" is effective (though the authors can't bring themselves to recommend it).

Infant language development is not driven by the number of words the baby hears, but by the number of times the baby gets a response for making sounds. Baby Einstein videos are useless at best and could even be harmful.

As you can see, the list of topics covered is large and diverse. Even so, parents or those who work with children are sure to benefit from the many insights provided.

Friday, October 16, 2009

All the World's A Stage

Shakespeare told us that "all the world is a stage and all the men and women merely players". I suppose we can now add "and all the boys and girls are too".

The drama of the Balloon Boy, aka Falcon Heene, has thrown in sharp relief just how reality and make believe can collide. Yesterday, as news organizations breathlessly reported every new (and often not new) development in the story, everyone with any decency surely hoped and prayed for that family and that little boy. How terrible, how tragic, the story could have ended.

As it unfolded, I too prayed for the little boy and his parents. However, when it was reported that the balloon had landed and no one was in it and that Falcon's older brother had been the one to claim his younger brother had gone up in the balloon, I turned to my husband and told him, "That little boy is hiding in his backyard." (OK, I was off by a few feet.)

Why would I say such a cynical thing? Oh, maybe I just know something about human nature in general, and children in particular. It sounded to me like a childish prank gone awry. The story seemed to be resolved fairly quickly after that, as the six year old was found hiding in a box, and everyone was relieved (if chagrined) and that should be the end, right? Wrong.

When questioned, our young would-be adventurer piped up, "It was for the show". Show? What show? Here it becomes important to note that the Heene family are, ahem, a bit quirky. And they've managed to turn that quirkiness into profit by posting You Tube videos and appearing on the ABC reality show, "Wife Swap". (Side note: perhaps reality show ought also to be in quotation marks?)

Uh, oh. Did the Heene family lead the entirety of the U.S. media on a Wild Falcon Chase as a publicity stunt? Or is the young man just confused, and understandably so, about what is and isn't reality?

Whatever the answer may be, our media must share the blame. The lines between reality and make-believe, news and entertainment, have become hopelessly blurred. What did it benefit anyone that the news of October 15, 2009 was wall to wall "Boy Lost in Balloon" coverage? Would the reporting of the story in any way have helped the little boy if the story had been true? What exactly could all those reporters and camera men have done for the Heene family, anyway?

Falcon Heene, in his childish statement, has indicted his parents, the media, and, really, all of us. The media runs after a story for awhile, be it Anna Nicole Smith's death, Michael Jackson, Jaycee Duggard, "Octo-Mom" or really, anything that will sell papers and make interesting news coverage, until we're so saturated with all the sordid details, we just don't, and couldn't possibly, care any more.

Remember the old adage, "If it bleeds, it leads"? "The play's the thing", to quote our old friend Shakespeare again. Maybe we should just substitute "reality show" for "the play" in our time.

For today, the Heene family and the media, all have egg on their faces. We can be relieved that no one was injured, including all those willing to sacrifice themselves to save a little boy. We can be relieved, but we ought to be chastened and sobered by what this story can teach us.

"It was for the show," is exactly right, no matter how young Mr. Heene meant it. And everyone knows, the show must go on.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Grassley on Health Care

Senator Grassley explains the latest CBO estimate on the Baucus bill.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Obama on Education

From Reason today (H/T: NRO):

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Problem For Muslims and the West

I stumbled across this passage while reading The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman (a book filled with both insight and naivety). He quotes Theodore Dalrymple writing in the Spring 2004 edition of City Journal:

" . . . the problem is that so many Muslims want both stagnation and power: they want a return to the perfection of the seventh century and to dominate the twenty-first, as they believe is the birthright of their doctrine, the last testament of God to man. If they were content to exist in a seventh-century backwater, secure in a quietist philosophy, there would be no problem for them or us; their problem, and ours, is that they want the power that free inquiry confers, without either the free inquiry or the philosophy and institutions that guarantee that free inquiry. They are faced with a dilemma: either they abandon their cherished religion, or they remain forever in the rear of human technical advance. Neither alternative is very appealing, and the tension between their desire for power and success in the modern world on the one hand, and their desire not to abandon their religion on the other, is resolvable for some only by exploding themselves as bombs. People grow angry when faced with an intractable dilemma; they lash out."

Monday, September 14, 2009

More On Death Panels

Mere Comments breaks it down. Basically, if doctors think you look like you're dying (even if you're not really so close) they put you on the "pathway" to a painkiller-induced death. It's like the old Monty Python gag: "I'm getting better!" "You'll be stone cold dead in a moment." "I feel happy--I fell happy--" THUD. "He died . . . "

This doesn't happen because bureaucrats hate old people (not most of them anyway). It happens because no government on the face of the planet can afford to pay for every person's end of life care. Costs have to be trimmed just to keep the program afloat. These choices are tricky for individuals, too, but I'd still rather have my family make the tough call rather than my government. I bet you would, too.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

9/12 - The Biggest Tea Party Yet!



Michelle Malkin reports the turnout in Washington, D.C., at around 2 million! The mall is PACKED! This video (from Malkin's site) gives you a good idea of how it went.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Universal Health Care = Pro-Death

At least that's how it works in the UK. Arbitrary government guidelines dictate at what point a person deserves treatment. This story tells about how doctors are pressured to end medical care for the elderly. Another story recounts the tragic death of a premature baby because he was born a mere two days before the government standard for treatment. We must not let this happen in our country!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Death Panels

. . . in the UK. It really does work that way--and how could it not?

Also, in an unrelated note, September 8 is an official skip day for those of you who send your kids to government schools. Yet another opportunity to protest high-handed, liberal indoctrination. Of course, my kids skip every day and thus avoid even the low-handed variety.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Mattel Exemtped from Waxman Toy Testing

In yet another example of the crazy and ironic way government works, Mattel (Big Toy), the very company that started all the fuss about dangerous Chinese lead in toys way back, has successfully weaseled its way out from under Waxman's business-crushing legislation, which unreasonably requires the expensive testing of each toy/clothing/child item produced. No doubt the investigation committee is already being formed . . .

Friday, August 28, 2009

Book Review: Forbidden Fruit

Recently, Karen and I read the frightening, but fascinating, Forbidden Fruit by Mark Regnerus. I discovered this book and author while reading an intriguing article about early marriage at Christianity Today. He begins the book with stark reality:

"In an average day, at least 7,000 American teenagers experience sexual intercourse for the first time. Nearly every human being finds his or her way to it eventually, but few have by age 13 and most have by age 20. Some do so unwillingly. Without analyzing any data on adolescent sex, it is obvious that something significant is going on developmentally, biologically, socially, and culturally to make sexual intercourse attractive enough that roughly one-third to one-half of all young Americans try it for the first time--in spite of its physical and emotional risks--within the span of about two to three years (between ages 16 and 18)."

Regnerus draws upon two main sources: his own National Survey of Youth and Religion (conducted through a survey and selected follow-up interviews during 2002 and 2003) and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, widely regarded as the most comprehensive study of its kind available. Regnerus seeks to examine what effect (if any) religion has on adolescent attitudes and behavior regarding sex. I will now list a few of the more interesting and potentially helpful findings:

Terminolology about sex has undergone significant change in the last few years. What used to be called "losing one's virginity" is often referred to as "first sex." Note the change of emphasis from virginity, a cherished commodity, to sex itself as a right of passage. The term "pre-marital sex" also needs to be examined. Traditionally, this has applied to sex between to people who intend to be married at some future date. However, most sexually active young people have multiple partners and see marriage as a distant possibility at best. As it now stands, sex has been decoupled; it is much more about the individual than about the couple.

Regnerus encountered a rigorous anti-judgmentalist sentiment among his participants. The value of tolerance is widespread and deeply-ingrained in today's youth. While this allows them to coexist with others in relative peace, it all but destroys their ability to condemn any action as wrong or to formulate a workable morality in any clear or consistent way.

The book finds that religiosity (how important religion truly is to a person) does seem to affect sexual attitudes and behaviors, whereas religious affiliation or even attendance largely does not.

Religious affiliation does affect attitudes much more than actual behavior. This is especially true of Evangelicals, who have an overwhelmingly conservative attitude about sex but who, nevertheless, demonstrate above-average levels of sexual activity. Regnerus conjectures that this may be the result of two opposing messages. Evangelicals have subscribed to American individualism and the prevailing consumerist culture while at the same time also truly value family and chastity. Thus, Evangelical youth are expected to abstain from sex until marriage but are also expected to marry only after securing such education and career attainments as to ensure their solid middle-class financial well-being (often not marrying until age 25-30). Clearly, there is a clash of cultures here. Regnerus discusses this in the article linked above.

The decision to commence sexual activity rests, in most cases, upon a shaky notion of one's "emotional readiness". This term excuses nearly any activity. What's more, teenagers admit that they cannot even know for sure if this flimsy standard has been met until after the first sexual encounter. One's positive or negative view of the experience tells the tale. A new morality has taken the place of the old. The worst taboo is having sex without adequate protection. This causes the closest reaction to shock as one can find. Other rules agreed upon by teenagers:
1. You should not pressure or feel pressured to have sex.
2. You should not sleep around too much, as this will reflect negatively on your reputation.
3. You are the only judge of your sexual decisions.
4. Sex belongs within a "long-term" (at least 3 months) relationship.

Regnerus also examined the trend of abstinence pledging. He found that pledging is of mixed benefit. Most pledgers are age 12 or 13--too young to realize the pressures that await them. Most pledgers break their pledge, 7 of 10 of these with someone other than their future spouse. However, pledging does have a small positive impact. Pledgers tend to delay their first intercourse and to have sex with fewer partners. This reduces their overall exposure to STDs.

While 8% of teens disapprove of contraception, fully 30%-40% fail to use it during their first time.

Finally, Regnerus pointed out that for all the mixed messages given and received about sex, the one and only clear message from religious instruction was, "Don't have sex until you are married." This message does not appear to be helping kids successfully negotiate the difficult challenges facing them.

Regnerus ends the book with what he calls his "unscientific postscript". He notes that, for all the rush to de-emphasize the religious and moral implications of sex, "there is no value-free perspective on sex." He asks, "Would we want to accept for our adolescents, then, something we adults tend to not wish for ourselves: sexual relationships largely divorced from real intimacy, security, love and commitment?"

Christians need to do some soul-searching on this issue, as well as what we teach about marriage and the family, and what we teach (or don't teach) about materialism and the culture. We must do more to encourage our young people to marry and to support them when they do. We must be clear about Biblical standards for sexual relationships. We must be consistent in our own lives as we live before our children and the community. And we must continue to proclaim the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Obama Supports Offshore Drilling

. . . in Brazil. Obama just committed $2 billion to Brazil's Petrobras. This odd development makes lots more "sense" now that it has been revealed that George Soros just happened to increase his stake in Petrobras (around 22% of his entire portfolio) only a few days ago. What impeccable timing--that man is a genius! Political corruption is rarely so palpable, yet it's only par for the course among socialist wannabe-dictators. Hot Air has more details.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

DNA Evidence Can Be Fabricated

What an amazing development. This really might affect criminology in a big way. It might also render some of my favorite movies obsolete.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Benevolent Dictator Gives to the Poor

Poor New York families received an early Christmas present Tuesday: $200 per kid for school-related expenses. As one grateful peasant exclaimed: "Thank God for Obama. He's looking out for us." This episode shares much in common with the infamous rice-cooker giveaway from Fidel Castro a while back. Benevolent dictators just love giving people "free" stuff to win a bigger place in the hearts and minds of their huddled masses.

But, you say, Obama is no dictator (yet); he's just the president. Quite right. So are the joyful serfs thanking the right person? Who really bought all these needy kids new shiny lunchboxes (or whatever else the parents decided to spend the money on--there were no restrictions)? Exactly 20% of the credit goes to the most merciful George Soros who ponied up $35 million. I suppose that's almost as good as getting the money from Obama himself. And who was so generous as to provide the remaining $140 million? You were.

The rest of the money came from the great magical stimulus bill (not sure whether it's from Porkulus 1 or 2). Free money for all! Real economic stimulus for none. That Obama is some financial wizard . . . I can't wait until we get "free" health care, too! Obama has a pretty sweet setup: You pay the bills and he gets all the credit. At least Castro used his own (stolen) money to buy trinkets for his clamoring people. Obama just uses ours to do it. Don't expect any thank-you notes anytime soon.

But at least the economy was stimulated, right? Wrong. Nothing new was produced. No value was added. What do you bet those nifty 10-notebooks-for-a-dollar sales are suddenly over? This was a simple transfer of wealth from U.S. taxpayers scattered all over the country to "deserving" and "entitled", albeit grateful (to Obama), New York residents and to local New York businesses. There will be more dictator-like shell games in our future if we don't take a stand and oppose this nonsense. Let the "uncivil" shouting continue!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Good Rant

Here is a nice article sent by Dad. It covers a lot of ground.

Friday, August 7, 2009

More Global Warming Nonsense

This article boggles the mind. The plan is to create artificial clouds to block more of the sun. Since global temperature is controlled by the sun, this almost makes sense. However, the article never acknowledges this. Rather, it argues both that particles/gases in the atmosphere would decrease the temperature and also that we should still worry about reducing particles/gases if they come from your car. Which is it?!?

Mike Wilson on Drudge Today

Mike Wilson, founder of the Cincinnati Tea Party, and the Cincy 9-12 Project caught the attention of the Drudge Report today. Their "Flag Me" pictures send a silent message to the White House, strongly opposing the President's misuse of authority in asking fellow citizens to inform on their neighbors and acquaintances. Obama truly wants to be our Big Brother.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

What's In the Bill?

Here is a partial list of frightening items in the health care bill (from Free Republic):

• Page 16: States that if you have insurance at the time of the bill becoming law and change, you will be required to take a similar plan. If that is not available, you will be required to take the gov option!
• Page 22: Mandates audits of all employers that self-insure!
• Page 29: Admission: your health care will be rationed!
• Page 30: A government committee will decide what treatments and benefits you get (and, unlike an insurer, there will be no appeals process)
• Page 42: The "Health Choices Commissioner" will decide health benefits for you. You will have no choice. None.
• Page 50: All non-US citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free healthcare services.
• Page 58: Every person will be issued a National ID Healthcard.
• Page 59: The federal government will have direct, real-time access to all individual bank accounts for electronic funds transfer.
• Page 65: Taxpayers will subsidize all union retiree and community organizer health plans (example: SEIU, UAW and ACORN)
• Page 72: All private healthcare plans must conform to government rules to participate in a Healthcare Exchange.
• Page 84: All private healthcare plans must participate in the Healthcare Exchange (i.e., total government control of private plans)
• Page 91: Government mandates linguistic infrastructure for services; translation: illegal aliens
• Page 95: The Government will pay ACORN and Americorps to sign up individuals for Government-run Health Care plan.
• Page 102: Those eligible for Medicaid will be automatically enrolled: you have no choice in the matter.
• Page 124: No company can sue the government for price-fixing. No "judicial review" is permitted against the government monopoly. Put simply, private insurers will be crushed.
• Page 127: The AMA sold doctors out: the government will set wages.
• Page 145: An employer MUST auto-enroll employees into the government-run public plan. No alternatives.
• Page 126: Employers MUST pay healthcare bills for part-time employees AND their families.
• Page 149: Any employer with a payroll of $400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays an 8% tax on payroll <>BR • Page 150: Any employer with a payroll of $250K-400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays a 2 to 6% tax on payroll
• Page 167: Any individual who doesnt' have acceptable healthcare (according to the government) will be taxed 2.5% of income.
• Page 170: Any NON-RESIDENT alien is exempt from individual taxes (Americans will pay for them).
• Page 195: Officers and employees of Government Healthcare Bureaucracy will have access to ALL American financial and personal records.
• Page 203: "The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax." Yes, it really says that.
• Page 239: Bill will reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors and the poor most affected."
• Page 241: Doctors: no matter what speciality you have, you'll all be paid the same (thanks, AMA!)
• Page 253: Government sets value of doctors' time, their professional judgment, etc.
• Page 265: Government mandates and controls productivity for private healthcare industries.
• Page 268: Government regulates rental and purchase of power-driven wheelchairs.
• Page 272: Cancer patients: welcome to the wonderful world of rationing!
• Page 280: Hospitals will be penalized for what the government deems preventable re-admissions.
• Page 298: Doctors: if you treat a patient during an initial admission that results in a readmission, you will be penalized by the government.
• Page 317: Doctors: you are now prohibited for owning and investing in healthcare companies!
• Page 318: Prohibition on hospital expansion. Hospitals cannot expand without government approval.
• Page 321: Hospital expansion hinges on "community" input: in other words, yet another payoff for ACORN.
• Page 335: Government mandates establishment of outcome-based measures: i.e., rationing.
• Page 341: Government has authority to disqualify Medicare Advantage Plans, HMOs, etc.
• Page 354: Government will restrict enrollment of SPECIAL NEEDS individuals.
• Page 379: More bureaucracy: Telehealth Advisory Committee (healthcare by phone).
• Page 425: More bureaucracy: Advance Care Planning Consult: Senior Citizens, assisted suicide, euthanasia?
• Page 425: Government will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney, etc. Mandatory. Appears to lock in estate taxes ahead of time.
• Page 425: Goverment provides approved list of end-of-life resources, guiding you in death.
• Page 427: Government mandates program that orders end-of-life treatment; government dictates how your life ends.
• Page 429: Advance Care Planning Consult will be used to dictate treatment as patient's health deteriorates. This can include an ORDER for end-of-life plans. An ORDER from the GOVERNMENT.
• Page 430: Government will decide what level of treatments you may have at end-of-life.
• Page 469: Community-based Home Medical Services: more payoffs for ACORN.
• Page 472: Payments to Community-based organizations: more payoffs for ACORN.
• Page 489: Government will cover marriage and family therapy. Government intervenes in your marriage.
• Page 494: Government will cover mental health services: defining, creating and rationing those services.

Rent control

I just liked the opening question of this Mises article:

"Suppose that you want to destroy a city. Should you bomb it, or would it be sufficient just to impose rent control?"

Malkin on Tea-Party Bashers

Michelle Malkin has it exactly right: The left can't seem to handle peaceful protesting when done by the other side. After enduring months, even years, of hateful protesting from the likes of Cindy Sheehan and ACORN, I find the current whining from the outnumbered left in health care town halls just a bit over-the-top. We have a community organizer as our president who continues to funnel money to liberal election-fraud groups, and all they can say is that we are manipulating these events! Nobody "organized" me into going to a town hall meeting (or bussed me there). I just happen to care about the fate of our nation, as do many other true Americans.

This is what mob rule really looks like.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Video of the Driehaus Meeting

This clip made the Drudge Report! The audio is very poor, but you can get most of it.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Driehaus Town Hall Meeting

Tonight, I (and some church buddies) attended Congressman Steve Driehaus's Health Care Reform Forum. It was a town hall style meeting held at a local Unitarian church in Avondale. The temperature inside the auditorium started at about 85 and rose steadily thereafter. It got particularly heated for this "blue dog" politician.

Despite being organized quickly by a liberal women's organization and held in a less than desirable part of town a good distance from the main body of westside constituents, the event was well-attended by the Cincinnati Tea Party and other like-minded conservatives. One liberal blog has already claimed that the meeting was "hijacked" by the conservatives. This is misleading. Yes, we were vocal at times. However, we were also interested in allowing the congressman and others to speak.

Driehaus is fairly adept at talking a long time without really saying anything, an important skill for any modern politician. However, no amount of stalling or double-speak could conceal the utter folly being considered by U.S. lawmakers. To his (little) credit, Driehaus did vote to delay the vote for a month. Beyond this small step, he seems unwilling to engage in further skepticism. He does seem extremely eager to assure voters that he is "deeply concerned." We'll soon get to see just how concerned he really is when the health care monstrosity comes up for a vote. My guess is that he's more concerned about Pelosi's cold, steely fingers jerking his funding away.

The health care debate seems to keep coming back to one fact: We don't have enough money to pay current health care prices. A single-payer system would require significantly higher taxes, printing lots of money or both while also lowering quality and availability of care. What we need to do is lower prices, not by mandating lower prices (leading to rampant shortages), but by limiting malpractice lawsuits. Another important step is to limit illegal immigration. No one wants to turn people away from emergency rooms, but we must take proper steps to avoid this situation in the firat place. Insurance premiums would decrease if companies could no longer hide behind state lines--give us true competition between the multitude of private plans, not a low-ball "public option" that doesn't have to worry about profit. Finally, we need to eliminate the massive fraud and waste associated with the current government health care program. Medicare enables over $70 billion in fraud each year.

When the meeting ended, the crowd broke into a rousing chant of "Vote For Chabot, Vote For Chabot!" I only hope that westsiders are awake enough to put Chabot back in his rightful place once the midterms roll around. Judging by the sweat pouring off Driehaus, I'd say we have more than a fighting chance. See this blog for another summary of the evening's event.

Obama's Real Plans On Health Care

Friday, July 31, 2009

Cash for Clunkers: Money Pit #314

Okay, I've been secluded at church camp all week. It took me an incredibly long time to realize that the "Cash for Clunkers" program was a real government program and not some right-wing conspiracy exaggeration to make administration officials look like imbeciles. They really did start doing this. What a week to be out of the loop. Your car is worth $500, but this week only the government will buy it for $4,500. It's like Tony Rezko, but for car dealerships!

I also missed shocking development #2: The program ran out of money before the week was out. You know anybody else that can turn $500 into $4,500? That won't lead to incarceration? So, let's review: First, the government buys worthless loans. Now they're buying worthless cars. What other worthless items will be "invested in" next? Maybe they could buy my old sofa or my old lawnmower. What if we had this big yard sale for the whole country next Saturday? Special "expert" government shoppers could show up and start handing out $50s for all your junk.

You know it's bad when even the New York Times is getting in on the fun. This article contains several jewels:

"Barry Magnus, the general manager of DCH Paramus Honda, told us he was owed more than $80,000, and he wondered if he would ever see it. The government has said it would take 10 days to reimburse the dealers, but that was before the program apparently ran out of money and devolved into chaos Thursday night."

"Mr. Kurkin, the lawyer in Miami, said that many dealers are attaching clauses to their sales agreements, saying that if the government money does not come through, the customer will have to make up the difference."

". . . the dealers’ plan says only that the replacement car be more fuel-efficient, so it could get just one more mile per gallon. That may help sales, but is likely to do little for the environment. But experts said the government plan would do little for the environment either."

"Michael Gerrard, director of Columbia Law School’s Center for Climate Change Law, said in a statement that the cash-for-clunker program is not a cost-effective way to reduce fuel use or greenhouse gas emissions. Any energy savings, he said, could take several years to realize, considering the time it takes the fuel savings from a new car to exceed the energy cost used to make it."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Global Cooling

Gore's home state, Tennessee, continues to cool. It's also more-or-less my home state (I'm glad they finally took down the big Gore signs when you enter the state). It hasn't been this cool on July 21 since Rutherford B. Hayes was president! Catch a clue, folks--global temperature is a result of solar activity, not levels of CO2.

BTW - Sorry for the recent wave of blog-cooling. It's camp season.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Palin Gone?

Hot Air has the latest.

Cap & Trade Dissected

NRO has an incredible list of 50 things wrong with the awful (and unread) "Cap & Trade" bill. Check it out! Maybe you can even send your senator a letter and get one of those nifty replies:

Dear Ignorant Citizen,

Thanks for your concern about this important issue. I plan to do the opposite of what you suggest. I look forward to benefiting greatly from the hidden earmarks in the bill. Feel free to contact me about other issues, as my staff loves the ensuing fits of laughter.

Your Most Gracious & Powerful,
Senator

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Peek Into Cap and Trade (and Tax, Tax, Tax)

Rich Lowry at NRO has an insightful column today. A sample:

The formulation of the so-called Waxman-Markey bill was less traditional legislative sausage-making than an unspeakable practice out of The Jungle. Its architects bought off every possible interest group no matter what the policy consequences until they had a bare majority to slam it through the House sight unseen (a physical copy of the final bill didn’t yet exist when it passed). Mission accomplished, although at the price of a ramshackle bill that won’t succeed on its own terms, even as it introduces costly distortions and invasive bureaucratic controls into the economy.

Monday, June 29, 2009

EPA Supressing Internal Reports

Stephen sent me this story today from CNET. Someone at the EPA authored a 98-page report questioning the regulation of carbon dioxide based on current science and observable evidence. Unfortunately, reports about real science are not welcome at the EPA, whose current mission seems to be the destruction of our modern economy based on fictitious fears of climate devastation. A few excepts:

After reviewing the scientific literature that the EPA is relying on, Carlin said, he concluded that it was at least three years out of date and did not reflect the latest research. "My personal view is that there is not currently any reason to regulate (carbon dioxide)," he said. "There may be in the future. But global temperatures are roughly where they were in the mid-20th century. They're not going up, and if anything they're going down."

Carlin's report listed a number of recent developments he said the EPA did not consider, including that global temperatures have declined for 11 years; that new research predicts Atlantic hurricanes will be unaffected; that there's "little evidence" that Greenland is shedding ice at expected levels; and that solar radiation has the largest single effect on the earth's temperature. . . .

That appears to conflict with an e-mail from McGartland in March, who said to Carlin: "I decided not to forward your comments... I can see only one impact of your comments given where we are in the process, and that would be a very negative impact on our office." He also wrote to Carlin: "Please do not have any direct communication with anyone outside of (our group) on endangerment. There should be no meetings, e-mails, written statements, phone calls, etc." . . .

"All this goes back to a decision at a higher level that this was very urgent to get out, if possible, yesterday," Carlin said. "In the case of an ordinary regulation, these things normally take a year or two. In this case, it was a few weeks to get it out for public comment." (Carlin said that he and other EPA staff members who were asked to respond to a draft only had four and a half days to do so.)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Russian SU-35

Obama and the Democrats are capping and trading and spending us into oblivion for useless, graft-filled programs. Meanwhile, the Russians are doing this:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sobering Thought

In a society where anything goes, everything, eventually, will. A society that stands for nothing will fall for anything - and then, of course, will just simply fall. - John Underwood

Friday, June 19, 2009

Iranian Crackdown

Here is a post containing Iranian twitters from today. The picture looks grim, but the sheer size of the demonstrations may count for something.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sounds About Right...

The more readily the peasant pays, the more he is made to pay.
- Ammianus

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Real Tea Party

In case you haven't been following it, hundreds of thousands of Iranians are throwing a very big tea party right in the middle of Tehran. See some great pictures here. Andrew Sullivan's blog has much more. We need to support these people as they struggle against the grip of fascism. We might also want to start figuring out how to keep our own country free from the totalitarian statism so popular in recent days . . .

More Conservatives Than We Thought

Gallup shows that, as in 2004, most people again consider themselves to be conservatives. Now if we can just get all these people (and everyone else) to read Mark Levin's excellent Liberty and Tyranny and figure out just what that is supposed to mean. Because pretty much every policy being considered and/or implemented in the last six months at the federal level is the exact opposite of conservatism. Seriously, READ THIS BOOK IMMEDIATELY. If you have even a lingering doubt as to what the true conservative might think regarding any important issue, you will find the well-reasoned answer here. Mark Levin has finally given us the definitive "conservative manifesto".

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Obama's Economic Plan & Stimulus News

Kevin Hassett at Bloomberg has figured it out: tax businesses into "bailouts".

Also, last night Drudge linked to a Cincinnati Enquirer story about the stimulus. This little slice is typical:

In Woodlawn and Lincoln Heights, taxpayers will spend $100,000 to resurface one-seventh of a mile of Prairie Avenue, and install curbs for 20 houses along the way - a project that Rev. Jesse O'Conner hopes will stop the flooding in his basement. Without curbs or gutters, rainwater comes down the street and settles on his property.

So, to review, we borrowed $100,000 from the Chinese and/or inflationary money printing that the children from every state in the union will have to pay in taxes and lost wealth in a few years--all so some guy in Cincinnati can have his basement fixed for "free". And Obama says this will save the economy, all the while raising taxes on "rich" people and employers. The audacity of insanity. . .

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Government Health Care

One more item from NRO: Obama sent a letter to Senators Kennedy and Baucus outlining his "plan" (3 pages) for taking over U.S. health care. Basically, health coverage would be mandated and provided (at extreme cost) to most Americans. An independent commission would then magically work out all the little details of what benefits will be cut, where the money will come from and how long your wait will be for an x-ray or brain surgery. Utopian schemes always sound nice at the beginning, but in the real world WE DON'T HAVE THE MONEY. Not even all of us put together can pay for this type of program! Our only chance is to stall until 2010--better start up more tea parties . . .

NRO on School Choice

Question: If an education policy allows over 20,000 students get a better education for less money and saves taxpayers over $32 million each year, are Democrats for it or against it? Milwaukee's unprecedented and highly successful school choice program will soon be a thing of the past if state Democrats, now in the majority, get their way. Once again, Democrats side with teachers' unions and career educrats over citizens and students. Read more at NRO.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Grown-Up Sighting

We've had another grown-up sighting (the last was Cheney's recent speech on terrorism). Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock has temporarily halted the Obama administration's move to take over the U.S. car industry. Maybe the rule of law does have meaning . . . Way to be a grown-up!

Georgia Denied Control of Voting Roles

In between all the nationalization and irresponsible foreign policy, the Obama administration's "Justice" Department has put the brakes on Georgia's plan to comb through its voter roles and remove all illegal or dead people listed there. Democrats will need all the help they can get in 2010. So much for federalism--welcome to the United State of America. Andy McCarthy has a good post on The Corner.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sotomayor For Jury Duty?

Andrew McCarthy asks a great question about the new Supreme Court nominee: Would she be fit to serve as a juror? Prospective jurors are asked a number of times whether they harbor specific biases based on race, sex, etc. Those that do are promptly excused. I would hope this basic standard would apply to the selection of appointed-for-life justices on the nation's highest court. An exerpt:

Would Judge Sotomayor be qualified to serve as a juror? Let's say she forthrightly explained to the court during the voir dire (the jury-selection phase of a case) that she believed a wise Latina makes better judgments than a white male; that she doubts it is actually possible to "transcend [one's] personal sympathies and prejudices and aspire to achieve a greater degree of fairness and integrity based on the reason of law"; and that there are "basic differences" in the way people "of color" exercise "logic and reasoning." If, upon hearing that, would it not be reasonable for a lawyer for one (or both) of the parties to ask the court to excuse her for cause? Would it not be incumbent on the court to grant that request?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

CA Home Bible Study Threatened By Government

What an outrageous abuse of the First Amendment:

SAN DIEGO -- A local pastor and his wife claim they were interrogated by a San Diego County official, who then threatened them with escalating fines if they continued to hold bible studies in their home, 10News reported. Read the rest here.

Expect more of this type of treatment from increasingly hostile government agencies.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Sotomayor Nomination

Obama's first Supreme Court nomination reveals much about his radical view of the Constitution and his desire to remake America according to his liberal imagination. By choosing to nominate Sotomayor, Obama reaffirms his view that judges should ignore the constitution (at least the American one) and engage in policy-making. Sotomayor clearly believes that the bench is "where policy is made."

So we have two broad theories of the American justice system:
1) Judges should be impartial and unbiased, making decisions according to the US Constitution and turning a blind eye to all else.
2) Judges should make decisions based on emotion and partisan political philosophy with an eye to handing out rulings favorable to the chosen few.

The Founding Fathers and nearly all Americans up to about 1950 and most Americans today would probably go with theory #1. Obama, Sotomayor and the Democrat political class are clearly going with theory #2, a choice that undermines the rule of law and threatens to erase much of the unprecedented individual liberty enjoyed by our nation for the last two centuries.

Not much is known about Sotomayor yet, but her involvement in a New Haven firefighters discrimination case should tell us enough. She voted in favor of the lower court's ruling in favor of discrimination, rejecting a 46-page opinion with a solitary paragraph of her own. George Will has some of the details of the case in a Washington Post column last month (the case will soon be heard by the Supreme Court). Suffice it to say that the firefighters involved have the wrong skin color to elicit Sotomayor's fabled sympathy.

Republicans cannot reasonably expect to block her confirmation. The Democrats have the votes. However, Senate Republicans can and must use this opportunity to expose Obama's radical agenda to the American people. Democrats from conservative states need to feel the heat. We need to acquaint the American people with as much information as possible about this and future nominees to the bench. Elections have consequences, but so will will the next one.

Michelle Malkin has much, much more.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

John Hood (The Corner at NRO) shared this passage from Thucydides to commemorate the day:

I believe that a death such as theirs has been the true measure of a man's worth; it may be the first revelation of his virtues, but is at any rate their final seal. For even those who come short in other ways may justly plead the valor with which they have fought for their country; they have blotted out the evil with the good, and have benefited the state more by their public services than they have injured her by their private actions.

None of these men was enervated by wealth or hesitated to resign the pleasures of life; none of them put off the evil day in the hope, natural to poverty, that a man, though poor, may one day become rich. But, deeming that the punishment of their enemies was sweeter than any of these things, and that they could fall in no nobler cause, they determined at the hazard of their lives to be honorably avenged, and to leave the rest. They resigned to hope their unknown chance of happiness; but in the face of death they resolved to rely upon themselves alone. And when the moment came they were minded to resist and suffer, rather than to fly and save their lives; they ran away from the word of dishonor, but on the battlefield their feet stood fast, and in an instant, at the height of their fortune, they passed away from the scene, not of their fear, but of their glory.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Karl Rove Editorial

Karl Rove does a great job of comparing Candidate Obama to President Obama, underscoring the many flip-flops and policy reversals we have witnessed during his short time in office.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Wrong Marriage Debate

Mona Charen at NRO makes the case that our fight against gay marriage has distracted us from a bigger problem: having children without the benefit of marriage:

In fact, as Kay Hymowitz limned in her 2006 book, Marriage and Caste in America, what we really have in this country is a caste system. At the top are the college graduates who nearly always get married before becoming pregnant. At the bottom are poor women of all races and backgrounds who routinely have babies before they marry (if they ever marry).

Friday, May 15, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Thomas Sowell: The Rhetoric of Torture

Travis posted this story on Facebook today. Sowell makes the point that many Americans have lost the ability to see behind the rhetoric and make true moral distinctions. BTW - did you know that we waterboard our own troops as part of their training? That's a strong indication that this technique, while highly unpleasant, is not torture.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sunday, May 3, 2009

"Global Warming" Is Over

The actual phrase "global warming", that is. The whole wacko movement bent on the destruction of your modern way of life because of made-up "science"? That's still going strong. Only the names have been changed to hide the guilty. According to the NYT (of all people), environmentalists want to trade in a lot of the old, clunky words and phrases (e.g., "the environment") for fresh, hip lingo (e.g., "the air we breathe, the water our children drink"). This is one of the reasons why we hear a lot more about the craftily ambiguous "climate change" than we do about the embarrassingly unreal "global warming."

Of course, the Times has to make everything "fair" by pointing out that evil oil companies and Republicans do the same thing all the time--always looking for a way to trick people into buying into their diabolical schemes [insert sinister laugh here]. The answer to all this Orwellian newspeak is to properly educate people to think, something that can be done in spite of public indoctrination via schools and media. The fact that "global warming" has become code for "we're going to tax you into oblivion based on a fairytale" shows that the battle is far from lost.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

London Understands Obama

Karen and I have been hooked on British media lately. Here's a sample from the Daily Telegraph:

It's official: Barack Obama is the second most reviled newbie president of the last forty years. A gallup survey today published in the Washington Times shows Obama to have an approval rating of just 56 per cent. The only president to have performed worse than that at the end of his first 100 days in office was Bill Clinton - and only then because it happened to coincide with the spectacular mishandling of the Waco siege, which might reasonably be laid at the door of ATF and FBI incompetence rather than presidential negligence.

Read the rest here.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Back From London

Well, we have finally (and safely) returned from the British Isles. Karen and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary in regal style. I know there's lots going on in the news, but I hope you won't mind a brief summary of the trip.

We spent the first part of the in London, where we saw many, many famous sights. The British Museum was spectacular, as was Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace.

We got to see the changing of the guard at close range:

The food was excellent--I don't know why people knock British food. I loved it! The steak & ale pie was especially good:

We also managed to visit Bath, the later traveled north to see Edinburgh and Glasgow.

A missionary friend also took us up into the Highlands for a few hours. Loch Lomond is truly a beautiful place. Then, we headed back to London and flew home on Tuesday. We're still battling a bit of jet-lag, but we had a wonderful time! For more detailed and engaging commentary of our trip, see Karen's blog, Candid Diversions (more updates to follow). Also, here are many more pics on my Picasa page. I'll try to get back to politics in the very near future!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

London Update

Just wanted to report in from London. We missed our connection in Newark Monday, but that got us on the 9:10 flight (barely--some tense moments here involving multiple "airport sprints"). We had a great time yesterday, seeing the British Museum and a good chunk of sights from a double-decker bus. Maybe I'll post some pictures later. Just to keep things on topic (yes, I know this isn't a travel blog), we did see a protest rally for something or other. I took a picture of that, too.

Friday, April 17, 2009

It Figures

I am a right-wing extremist. What about you?

Goldberg on DHS Report

Janet Napolitano's recent report on the rise of so-called right-wing extremists contains large amounts of speculation and demonization and an absurdly small number of facts. As Jonah Goldberg points out:

The problem with it is that it makes little effort to document or demonstrate its contention that “extremist” groups are resurgent, that they are right-wing, or that they may be formed from the ranks of “disgruntled military veterans.” Worse, it’s very sloppy about what qualifies someone as “extremist” in the first place. Basically, it’s fancy bureaucratese for: We’re guessing bad people will do bad things because the economy is bad and the president is black. But we have no real evidence.

This report reminds me of the old Jeff Foxworthy routine: If you've ever opposed abortion, you might be a terrorist. If you support states rights, you might be a terrorist. If you've ever been too drunk to fish . . . you get the idea. If you haven't read Liberal Fascism yet, what are you waiting for?

Also: Michelle Malkin has a great letter sent to Napolitano by a group of Senators.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Scary Graphic

Just in case you haven't seen this graphic from the Heritage Foundation:

Tennessee Tea Parties

My parents sent me this local news story covering the events. It's worth watching!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cincinnati Tax Day Tea Party

I attended my second Tea Party today. The Cincinnati Tax Day Tea Party involved a march to City Hall to deliver a petition urging them to reject the stimulus money (and the onerous programs established by it). As at the previous Tea Party, today's event did not fail to inspire. As you see from the pictures below, it was well attended (it looked like even more than last time, but I haven't heard the official estimate yet).

The event kicked off with the pledge of allegiance and the national anthem, a mark of a classy and orderly protest. I saw no bad behavior or over-the-top signs. I guess ACORN failed to plant those counter-protesters after all.

The only counter-"protesters" I saw were a small group on a street corner. They may have been waiting for a bus.


Here are a few of the signs I snapped:

And last, but not least, my Mom even got into the spirit for the Nashville Tea Party:

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tax Day Tea Party Tomorrow

From a Cincinnati Tea Party email today:

One more day and we are now at 3159 RSVPs for our Tax Day Tea Party. 25 cities have scheduled Tea Parties for tomorrrow in Ohio alone and about 600 planned are across the country. We estimate that nearly 20,000 will attend a Tea Party in Ohio and the national coalition is hopeful for 500,000 across the country.

The Cincinnati event goes from 11:30-12:30 tomorrow. Check this handy site for details about your city. This is a great opportunity to make a statement to the nation and our elected "representatives."

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Reprimitivization

Bet you didn't know that was a word. Me neither, until Mark Steyn made it up in this excellent piece on the results of all Obama's distractions. Also, for the record, I'm glad we got our man back from the pirates. Way to go Navy!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Obama and Climate Engineering

Scientist-in-Chief Obama wants to do more to fight global warming (which isn't happening at the moment, BTW). He would, of course, love to impose stricter emissions standards and many other economy-wrecking "solutions", but some of those methods are a little passe for Obama's level of creative genius. So he's now considering "radical" technologies. From the AP:

One such extreme option includes shooting pollution particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun's rays. Holdren said such an experimental measure would only be used as a last resort.

But Holdren (science fiction expert) noted that shooting particles into the air—making an artificial volcano as one Nobel laureate has suggested—could have grave side effects and would not completely solve all the problems from soaring greenhouse gas emissions. So such actions could not be taken lightly, he said.

You know it's bad when liberal eco-sceintists and news stories actually include the phrase "grave side effects." Practically all liberal policies (particularly those of a scientific bent) have grave side effects, but they usually don't get mentioned in mainstream print. This is nothing short of a blarring klaxxon. I don't think anything humans do can seriously change the climate system of the planet in any meaningful way, for better or worse. What they can do, and have been tirelessly working to do for the last 40 years, is severly limit our modern and prosperous way of life.