Friday, August 08, 2008

O's Soiled Utility Closet a place where some children born alive in hospitals are persons, and some are not. Some of these babies are entitled to legal protection, and some are not. Some get the best care which today's hospitals can give to a sick newborn. Some are put into a soiled utility closet at the hospital. Alone. To die.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Threshold Uncertain

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There has been some debate within this group, for example, about whether the
Sept. 11 attacks were a good idea in hindsight — given that they prompted the
U.S. to go to war against al-Qaida in Afghanistan and destroy the group's
sanctuaries there.

Brachman says such considerations may influence al-Qaida leaders as they
consider whether to hit the U.S. again — and how hard.

"That type of example — that we will react violently if the cost to the
United States is high enough — shapes the way they calculate whether or not to
use weapons of mass destruction in the future," Brachman says. "There's a
certain threshold of pain we're willing to accept, and if you exceed it we will
respond aggressively. And I think they are trying to keep the pain that they're
inflicting on us below a certain threshold at this point."

But neither Brachman nor other terrorism experts who monitor al-Qaida thinking can be certain what conclusions the group will reach.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

ORules For Radicals

So let us have a look at Alinsky's handbook Rules For Radicals. Just so we can see the train coming and get off the tracks. Here is a list of the rules.

RULE 1:"Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have." Power is derived from 2 main sources - money and people. "Have-Nots" must build power from flesh and blood. (These are two things of which there is a plentiful supply. Government and corporations always have a difficult time appealing to people, and usually do so almost exclusively with economic arguments.)
That would explain a lot of the current campaign's dynamics. Obama is running on the idea that a lot of people fear being called racists. If that fear is not there then his campaign has no power. McCain has neutered that whole line of attack. It may play well among the latte liberals (Tom Wolfe called them the radical chic) but it will not play well against the original anti-slavery party (Abe Lincoln was a Republican).

Stein's Britney World Update: Over The Target

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Now, this is perfect. First of all, Paris Hilton was a total nobody party girl in West Hollywood until she and her boyfriend made AND then "someone" SOLD a hard core video of Paris Hilton having sex. So basically, she got her start as a porn star. And she's being trotted out by the media barons to smear John McCain, as brave and patriotic a man as lives in this nation. This little tramp, who isn't even close to being pretty, is belittling a man who spent six years in brutal captivity for defending his country.
And Senator McCain, a little note you might be familiar with: the flak is always heaviest when you're right over the target.

The Mask Slips: Green Luddism Today

Environmental campaigners, citing government-commissioned research, have said that the UK's claimed carbon emissions figures are "a big lie". The analysis adds carbon burdens associated with offshore manufactures, shipping and aviation to the UK total, and - according to the activists - shows that economic growth and carbon emissions are inextricably linked, and that the UK is actually responsible for much more greenhouse gas than it admits.

John Barrett, one of the authors of the reports by the Stockholm Environment Institute at York (SEI-Y) for the government and campaign group WWF*, was quoted by the BBC today:

"We are constantly battling against increases of wealth... There's a very fundamental problem here that no one really wants to talk about."

Thou Shalt ONot

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SEN. OBAMA: John, don’t put words in my mouth or anticipate what I am going to do. I’ve been opposed to Yucca Mountain from the start so if the suggestion is that John McCain who is in favor of Yucca right now should get a pass on that.

He was opposed to telecom immunity at the start, supported public financing at the start, thought the surge would create more violence at the start, and so on, and so on.  “Don’t anticipate what I am going to do?”  No one can anticipate what he will do — that’s the problem.

Jen Rubin says that the Obamessiah has apparently added another commandment: Thou Shalt Ask No Tough Questions of The One.  I’d add, Thou Shalt Not Anticipate My Actions Based On My Statements.

"Bad Luck"

The best thing the government can do is remove barriers to permitting nukes (and maybe also to selling retrofit kits for older vehicles so they can become PHEVs) and otherwise get out of the way. Clever, greedy people will take care of the rest. Obama can then villify and tax them.

As I said, intelligent power management is key. And as for vilifying and taxing success -- that's what government is for. Otherwise the rest of the citizenry might develop self esteem problems. This was all addressed by Robert Heinlein, natch:

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as "bad luck."

Nissan Awakens?

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Motor Co. unveiled a new prototype electric vehicle Wednesday with batteries
twice as powerful as conventional technology, aiming to take a lead in
zero-emission cars.

Japan's third-largest automaker said the front-wheel drive, boxy-shaped car
has a newly developed 80 kilowatt motor with advanced lithium-ion
installed under the vehicle's floor to avoid taking up space.

The laminated batteries, jointly developed with electronics giant NEC Corp.,
pack twice the electric power of conventional nickel-metal hydride batteries
currently used in hybrid and electric cars, it said.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


Capitalism is the greatest system ever created for alleviating general human
misery, and yet it breeds ingratitude.

People ask, “Why is there poverty
in the world?” It’s a silly question. Poverty is the default human condition. It
is the factory preset of this mortal coil. As individuals and as a species, we
are born naked and penniless, bereft of skills or possessions. Likewise, in his
civilizational infancy man was poor, in every sense. He lived in ignorance,
filth, hunger, and pain, and he died very young, either by violence or disease.

The interesting question isn’t “Why is there poverty?” It’s “Why is
there wealth?” Or: “Why is there prosperity here but not there?”

At the
end of the day, the first answer is capitalism, rightly understood. That is to
say: free markets, private property, the spirit of entrepreneurialism and the
conviction that the fruits of your labors are your own.

No Matter How Many Times We Explain It

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Jim Geraghty calculated at the time that, assuming a 10% improvement in gas efficiency, we could save about 330,000 barrels of oil a day through proper tire inflation.  Most experts put the actual improvement at 3%.   With our present consumption of 20 million barrels a day, that comes to a savings of 1.65% at the most generous assumptions, and more likely about 0.5%.  Current production of American oil is 8 million barrels a day; expanding drilling to the OCS and to interior shale would eventually provide millions more per day, not just the 100,000 barrels we’ll get out of our tires.

So yes, inflate your tires properly and get regular tune-ups.  But if you think that will solve the supply crisis or make us independent of foreign oil, then you probably won’t get the joke no matter how many times we explain it.

Brother, You Have No Idea

Naturally, I was in the perfect mood to read the entire Gulag Archipelago. I got all three volumes from the drugstore – which should have told me something about the land in which I lived, that one could buy this work from a creaky wire rack at the drugstore – and it taught me much about the Soviet Union and the era of Stalin. After that I could never quite understand the people who viewed the US and the USSR as moral equals, or regarded our history as not only indelibly stained but uniquely so. Reading Solzhenitsyn makes it difficult to take seriously the people in this culture who insist that Dissent has been squelched. Brother, you have no idea.