Saturday, March 15, 2008

Did I Forget To Mention The Contempt?

The triumph of “environmentalism” is symptomatic of the madness that has gripped our power elites, under the thrall of “political correctness” -- for there is real insanity in creating an actual and predictable disaster, to avert an imaginary one.

Noting food riots already in Egypt, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Mexico, and food rationing in Pakistan and China, the Indian development economist Deepak Lal writes: “For the Western ‘good and the great’, their academic acolytes and the pop stars grandstanding to save Africa and to end poverty, this latest Western assault on the world's poor by their promotion of biofuels to replace food on the limited land in the world, can only evince contempt.”

We "Is" Rubes (Part 92780)

ABC and FNC both bought from the website of Trinity Church a video collection of the best of  Pastor Wright! All this very bad stuff is what Wright and the church think the best of his work!

By issuing such lawyerly evasions and implausible claims in his statements, Barack Obama treats the American voting public as rubes who can be fooled, a jury that wants to get on with the trial and go home after a quick and painless deliberation focusing only on general impressions.

It strains credulity to believe that he never picked up a hint of Wright's vehement hatreds. We don't think he can get away with it. The American public has been schooled by Bill Clinton in the arts of lawyerly evasion on the meaning of the word "is". How ironic that his rival's husband's use of the tool makes it harder for Obama to re-use it.

The Nods Begin

Rev. Jeremiah Wright, July 22, 2007:

Wright's strong sentiments were echoed in the Sunday morning service attended by NewsMax.

Wright laced into America's establishment, blaming the "white
arrogance" of America's Caucasian majority for the woes of the world,
especially the oppression suffered by blacks. To underscore the point
he refers to the country as the "United States of White America." Many
in the congregation, including Obama, nodded in apparent agreement as
these statements were made.

Well - if an enhanced Victims Studies curriculum shouldered by our already struggling public schools is really Obama's bridge to a united tomorrow, please help us all.  Help us to keep a straight face, I should say.  My impression is that his minister, Jeremiah Wright, is an extremely intelligent and well-educated man who is well-versed in black history - how is his reconciliation progressing?

Britney World (Part 92366)

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Students in 55 of the nation's leading universities can't identity the Constitution as the document that establishes the division of governmental powers into three branches. More than half of the country's high school students don't know why or who we fought in WWII. Sixty percent of Americans think that it's the president, not the congress, with the power to declare war. Fifty percent think that the president can suspend the Constitution at will. And week after week, the most widely-read "news" stories are those focusing on celebrities and gossip.
And I do mean WORLD. Contrary to what the loony left press will marinade you in, as disgustingly uninformed as we are, the rest of the world is largely worse. Don't forget, Hollywood does its best to spread our ignorance far and wide.

And sadly, I'm amazed that there are still even odds that high school graduates will say we allied with someone other than Hitler. This means that in addition to our students being indoctrinated in leftist shibboleths by leftists, they're incompetent at it to boot.

So I'm guessing there's still a corner of a frown on Gramsci's smiling corpse. Or ... he may have had that as the goal all along.


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Mr. Kling has some sound practical advice:

Whenever the subject of politics comes up in conversation, try to bring up the name Spitzer. Yes, he’s a real Spitzer all right.

The Spitzers in the legislature say they need to spend more of our money this year? What happened, did the Empereror’s Club raise their rates again?

That Spitzer wants to tell me what light bulb I have to buy? You tell Spitzer what socket he can stick it in.

“What socialism implies above all,” said Lenin, “is keeping account of everything.” Could Eliot Spitzer or Patrick Fitzgerald or Michael Bloomberg or Hillary Clinton or Barack Hussein Obama have put it better? Keeping track of your health care, disposing of your money, regulating your food and drink and ration of tobacco: there they all are, ready, able, and willing to run your life for you.
Quoth James Carville in 2002: “You in New York are so blessed to have an attorney general who just showed what it was like to be a Democrat.”

In Focus (Part 2)

Berlin was a Jew and he suffered slights: He grew up in the poverty of New York’s Lower East Side. When he made his name and fortune, his marriage to a Park Avenue heiress resulted in her expulsion from the Social Register. In the Thirties, her sister moved in with a Nazi diplomat and proudly flaunted her diamond swastika to Irving. But Berlin spent his infancy in Temun, Siberia (until the Cossacks rode in and razed his village) and he understood the great gift he’d been given:

God Bless America
Land that I love.

The Reverend Wright can’t say those words. His shtick is:

God damn America
Land that I loathe.

I understand the Ellis Island experience of Russian Jews was denied to blacks. But not to Obama. His experience surely isn’t so different to Berlin’s — except that Barack got to go to Harvard. Obama’s father was a Kenyan, he spent his childhood in Indonesia, and he ought to thank his lucky stars that he’s running for office in Washington rather than Nairobi or Jakarta.

In Focus

I’m not a believer in guilt by association, or the campaign vaudeville of rival politicians insisting this or that candidate disassociate himself from remarks by some fellow he had a 30-second grip’n’greet with a decade ago. But Jeremiah Wright is not exactly peripheral to Barack Obama’s life. He married the Obamas and baptized their children. Those of us who made the mistake of buying the senator’s last book, The Audacity of Hope, and assumed the title was an ingeniously parodic distillation of the great sonorous banality of an entire genre of blandly uplifting political writing discovered circa page 127 that in fact the phrase comes from one of the Reverend Wright’s sermons. Jeremiah Wright has been Barack Obama’s pastor for 20 years — in other words, pretty much the senator’s entire adult life. Did Obama consider God Damn America as a title for his book but it didn’t focus-group so well?

In Sync

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I’m white and have gone to a lot of big, black, churches here in Dallas and Oakcliff, Texas (I love a black gospel choir), and have NEVER heard anger and rage like this racist preacher of Obama’s is spewing.

Bishop T.D. Jakes, of Potter’s House, has inspired me through many services…and most services are almost 3 hours long, so you’re pretty committed to that person preaching to you every Sunday! Any white person would feel completely comfortable and would be welcomed and greeted by all, at Potter’s House.

Sorry, but Obama goes to this church because he’s in sync with the message of the preacher. Obama’s toast…and now the poor Dems have only Hillary to go back to. Sheesh. Sad….cause we only have McCain to turn to.

Everything Is Always Wrong

As a child of the '60s, I accepted as an article of faith that government is corrupt, that business is exploitative, and that people are generally good at heart.

These cherished precepts had, over the years, become ingrained as increasingly impracticable prejudices. Why do I say impracticable? Because although I still held these beliefs, I no longer applied them in my life. How do I know? My wife informed me.

I had been listening to NPR and reading various organs of national opinion for years, wonder and rage contending for pride of place. Further: I found I had been—rather charmingly, I thought—referring to myself for years as "a brain-dead liberal," and to NPR as "National Palestinian Radio."

This is, to me, the synthesis of this worldview with which I now found myself disenchanted: that everything is always wrong.

But in my life, a brief review revealed, everything was not always wrong

Friday, March 14, 2008

Spitzer Wives

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THE UNIVERSAL SPITZER: "We ought to think of all politicians as Spitzers. No, they don't all have lurid involvements with prostitutes. But they all have an inflated view of their superiority over the rest of us. . . . What about the rest of us? To the extent that we root for strong politicians, join political cults, invest our hopes and desires in charismatic leaders, all of us are Spitzer wives."
It's worse than this actually. There is no authentic Spitzer wife. She didn't think he should resign over it! Or is it that we're just pikers when it comes to being Spitzer wives?

Welcome to the morality mirror maze...

A Wee Bit Of A Contrast

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

I Sat In His Church, But I Didn't Inhale?

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OBAMA RESPONDS ON THE JEREMIAH WRIGHT SCANDAL, and Tom Maguire has it unpacked. "Whoa. It is hardly as if this is the church Obama's parents selected and he inherited. He sought out Wright, was moved by Wright, and is now pretending he had no idea Wright said these things."

UPDATE: It's coming fast-and-furious: Obama Says Rezko Played a Bigger Fundraising Role Than Previously Known.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Ed Morrissey emails: "I sat in his church, but I didn't inhale."

What A Surprise

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"As usual, there are no penalties for foolishness. The people like me who made rational housing/mortgage decisions and make their payments on time get to bail out the fools."

Of Devastation And Myths

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A long time skeptic of the connection between al Qaeda and Iraq and a former CIA senior Iraq analyst, Judith Yaphe yesterday said, "I think the report indicates that Saddam was willing to work with almost any group be it nationalist or Islamic, that was willing to work for his objectives. But in the long term he did not trust many of the Islamist groups, especially those linked to Saudi Arabia or Iran." She added, "He really did want to get anti-American operations going. The fact that they had little success shows in part their incompetence and unwilling surrogates."
this report is damning to those who doubted Saddam Hussein's involvement with Jihadist terrorist groups. It devastates one of the central myths plaguing our government prior to 9-11, that a Jihadist group would not cooperate with a secular regime and vice versa."

The Same Trough

To give a taste, Steve provides this from the new report's abstract.  Once you read it, you might ask yourself (if you didn't already know where the New York Times and the rest of the MSM are coming from), how anyone could read it and conclude "no link":

Captured Iraqi documents have uncovered evidence that links the regime of Saddam Hussein to regional and global terrorism, including a variety of revolutionary, liberation, nationalist and Islamic terrorist organizations. While these documents do not reveal direct coordination and assistance between the Saddam regime and the al Qaeda network, they do indicate that Saddam was willing to use, albeit cautiously, operatives affiliated with al Qaeda as long as Saddam could have these terrorist-operatives monitored closely. Because Saddam's security organizations and Osama bin Laden's terrorist network operated with similar aims (at least in the short term), considerable overlap was inevitable

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

It's What We Do When Nobody's Looking...

What Eliot Spitzer did was not out of character. It was completely in character for someone with the hubris that comes with the ability to misuse his power to make or break innocent people.

After John Whitehead, former head of Goldman Sachs, wrote an oped for the Wall Street Journal criticizing Attorney General Spitzer’s handling of a case involving Maurice Greenberg, Spitzer was quoted by Whitehead as saying: “I will be coming after you. You will pay the price. This is only the beginning and you will pay dearly for what you have done.”

When you start thinking of yourself as a little tin god, able to throw your weight around to bully people into silence, it is a sign of a sense of being exempt from the laws and social rules that apply to other people.
Character is what we have to depend on when we entrust power over ourselves, our children, and our society to government officials.

No Joke

A few weeks ago I wrote in this space -- facetiously -- that an effective response to global warming and/or the atmospheric accumulation of carbon dioxide would be to cut the world’s food consumption by half. This could be achieved if we would all agree to eat only on odd-numbered days.

Among the advantages of having our environmental commissars enforce this scheme, I mentioned the halving of the factory and transport infrastructure, that delivers the planet’s food. But beyond this, the food industry’s billion or so poorest customers, who barely get enough to eat now, would be removed from the carbon account entirely. Think of it on the analogy of a corporate buy-out, I suggested:
“At first, there is a net increase in CO2 ‘costs’ as people die and their corpses decay. But later, after they have finished decaying, there are substantial and permanent net savings.”

Perhaps I shouldn’t joke.

Then As...

The operation last week, in which Raul Reyes, the FARC “foreign minister” and second-in-command, was returned to his maker for final disposition, was, on the evidence presented, a brilliant success. Not only did an air strike demolish the guerrilla headquarters, but a subsequent commando operation sifted the ruins for evidence that will now be presented to an international court, showing direct financial and logistical support for the FARC by the Venezuelan government of that psychopathic buffoon, Hugo Chavez.
With the declining prestige of Karl Marx and V.I. Lenin, Chavez and his ilk have reached for another old revolutionary standard to wave -- that of a certain Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar Palacios y Blanco -- better known more simply as “Simon Bolivar.” History, if I may paraphrase the famous Marxian analysis, is repeated first as tragedy and then as FARC.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Welcome To Democratic "Energy Leadership"

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Yet, according to the Financial Times of London, Canada’s government recently sent U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates a letter of warning that it might not be able to sell the U.S. any of its oil, which the Pentagon desperately needs for national defense.

For that, you can thank the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, passed with great gusto and self-righteousness by the Democratic Congress.

The bill classified oil from tar sands as an alternative fuel, which places restrictions on its use.  Unlike regular crude, the US government cannot buy alternative fuels unless they release less greenhouse gas.  The tar-sands crude unfortunately doesn’t qualify, and it’s not even close; it produces much more of those emissions than regular crude.

It’s precisely this lack of strategic long-term thinking that makes people nervous about putting Democratic leadership in Congress together with Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton in the White House.  Congress needs to revisit these restrictions ASAP.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Protecting The Faith

In the 1960s social psychologists studied a doomsday cult which made the big mistake of predicting the day of Armageddon.  When that day came and went without crisping the world, the cult leaders didn't admit they were wrong. Instead, they discovered reasons why doomsday had been postponed. It was a triumph of faith over facts. That's how stock market bubbles and busts work. It's how the jihadi Armageddon cult of Tehran will crumble, if we're all very lucky.

How can this super-cold winter happen? It's got all the faithful a little worried. Climate modeling teams all over the world are sweating 24/7 to deal with it. They are producing epicycles for their models, to hang on the warming story.

"Epicycles" are cycles on top of cycles When traditional astronomy began to collapse in the years before Copernicus, True Believers reacted by adding lots of little cycles on top of the great cycles of the planetary orbits, to protect their faith.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

A "Flat Panel Technology" Update

As we noted here and, I believe, elsewhere, it has been rumored that North Korean nuclear engineers have been sent to Syria to aid that country's nuclear weapons development program. Today, diplomatic sources confirmed that North Korean engineers and "materials" have, in fact, been dispatched to Syria:

North Korea admitted to sending engineers to military- related and other facilities in Syria during its recent talks with the United States over its nuclear program, diplomatic sources in New York said Friday.

North Korea denied, however, that this scientific cooperation related to nuclear weapons:

Pyongyang, however, denied its involvement in Syrian nuclear development, according to the sources.

Sure, that's plausible. Maybe the Syrians wanted to learn about North Korea's industry-leading flat-panel television technology.

Looking For REAL Change

Bush noted that Communist repression continues in Cuba:

The president said the global community has largely remained silent in recent months, even as dozens of young Cubans wearing "change" bracelets were arrested, as Cuban authorities raided a Catholic church to spray parishioners with tear gas and drag them away. Last weekend, activists distributing copies of the U.N. Declaration on Human Rights were pushed and beaten.

The President emphatically rejected the idea that the U.S. somehow needs to meet Cuba's dictatorship halfway:

The only way for relations to improve between Cuba and the United States, he said, is for the government there to pave the way for free and fair elections, release all political prisoners and respect human rights "in word and deed."

"What needs to change is not the United States; what needs to change is Cuba," the president said.

President Bush continues to be the most eloquent spokesman for freedom on the world stage.

It's Not Ours To Give Away