The English newspaper The Telegraph is publishing its list of the 50 most influential pundits in American politics. They came out with their picks for numbers 50 - 41 on Monday and will publish ten each day. Here is their first twenty, with a few editorial comments from myself:
50. RACHEL MADDOW
One of the most acute minds among the analysts on Democrats’ favourite cable network MSNBC, Maddow seems destined for greater things, having already debuted for Republican-baiter in-chief Keith Olbermann.
With an evening radio show on Air America, the former Rhodes Scholar has a sound platform from which to promote her unashamedly Left-wing, activist agenda.
I would not have known who she was since I, like 99.99999999999999999999999999999% of America do not watch Keith Olbermann or listen to Air America. But I do listen, sometimes, to Andrew Wilkow's show on Sirius radio and he sometimes mentions things he's seen on Olbermann's show. He refers to Maddow as "Olbermann's little boy".
It seems strange to put her on a list of "most influential" people since only slightly more people watch MSNBC than read this blog and slightly fewer people listen to Air America than read this blog. So why am I not on the list as well?
49. MARY MATALIN
An assistant to George W Bush and Dick Cheney until she resigned shortly before the Iraq invasion, Matalin remains an authoritative and sharp-witted Republican voice on the airwaves.
But she backed the wrong horse in Fred Thompson, and since moving into publishing is not the force she was when hosting her own radio show in the 1990s.
One of the few things I've ever agreed with the late Molly Ivans about was the fact that Matalin and her husband James Carvell are extremely creepy. The Democrat party has transformed the American political scene into a vicious knife-fight and the idea of going home at the end of the day and crawling into bed with one of them should be disgusting enough to make a maggot vomit.
48. PAUL KRUGMAN
The Princeton University economics and international affairs professor has been a strident critic of Barack Obama in his twice-weekly opinion piece for the New York Times, to the fury of many fellow Democrats.
One of the first to question the media's infatuation with Obama, his antipathy raised suspicions that he was being lined up for an advisory role in a Hillary Clinton administration, which he denied.
Krugman is so consistently wrong that a cottage industry sprang up around correcting him. The "Krugman Truth Squad" once waited eagerly for every column to come out so that they could have a merry old time running the numbers, checking the facts and exposing the fact that Krugman's sources were sometimes nothing more than posts or comments, left without any reference to source material, on left-wing blogs.
The continuous exposure of Krugman as an imbecile was 50% of the reason that the New York Times hid its "premium" op-ed columnists behind a pay-per-view firewall (the other half of the reason was Maureen Dowd whose idiotic verbal diarrhea spawned its own legion of dedicated fiskers).
47. JC WATTS
A regular contributor across various networks, Watts is the last African American to serve as a Republican in Congress.
Having criticised his party’s candidates during primaries for failing to "show up" for black voters, the former American footballer is the sort of voice John McCain appears to be listening to as he attempts to reach out to African Americans.
JC is a good man but since he retired from politics to go into full time ministry I wonder if he still belongs on this list. I hope that he really is as influential as The Telegraph thinks he is.
46. MARK LEVIN
As a supporter of Mitt Romney, Levin failed in his bid to stop John McCain winning the Republican nomination. He now calls on his large radio audience to keep watch on the Arizona senator’s claims to be a bona fide conservative.
When the Democrats finally have a nominee he will have to weigh up his disdain for McCain and his dread at the prospect of a Democrat administration.
Mark Levin has become one of my favorite radio talkers. He has said that he might wind up voting for McCain ever since he locked up the nomination, but that he hasn't made up his mind. He heaps contempt upon other so-called conservatives who rushed to the cameras to endorse McCain without even holding out in an attempt to force McCain to choose a genuine conservative running mate.
45. FRED BARNES
Writer with the conservative "Weekly Standard" and regular presence on Fox News. Proponent of the Iraq war and global warming sceptic, he has been one of the most loyal supporters of President George W. Bush.
A figure that conservative Republicans look to, how enthusiastically he backs John McCain could be a factor in whether party stalwarts turn out in November or stay at home.
The Weekly Standard represents one wing of the conservative movement and Barnes does enjoy a great deal of respect. However it is a foregone conclusion that all of the Republican oriented radio talkers, talking heads, "big" bloggers and Republican office holders will wind up supporting McCain.
These people all want to have a future within the Republican tent so they will not do as I have done and tell the truth about McCain and the danger he represents to the party and the nation. The United States is a very large wealthy and powerful nation. It will take it decades to die and most of the established conservative pundits are old enough that they can reasonably bet that they won't live to see the end.
Given that many of them feel that it is in their interests to continue to enjoy the comfort of the luxury stateroom on the sinking ship since the water won't get to their deck in their lifetimes.
44. JEFFREY TOOBIN
CNN legal analyst and "New Yorker" with an easy, conversational manner and Rolls Royce brain. No one knows more about the inner workings of the US Supreme Court – an institution that is arguably more important to American life than the presidency.
A normally dispassionate commentator, he does not hesitate on occasion to accuse candidates of being dishonest or plain wrong. If Toobin turns against a politician, it can be a sign they’re in trouble.
Being a court-watcher is a highly specialized field so I generally take the word of the experts whom I've come to trust. Or, in some cases distrust, since if they are always wrong you can usually look in whatever direction they are not looking in and see the truth.
43. PAUL BEGALA
A dedicated Democratic partisan and former aide to President Bill Clinton, Begala has one of the most acerbic tongues on television. Currently committed to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, he is so contemptuous of Republicans that he will throw his weight behind Barack Obama with equal enthusiasm if the Illinois senator becomes his party’s nominee.
Made waves recently when he said he had "nothing but contempt" for ousted Clinton chief strategist Mark Penn.
Begala was one of the most fanatical of the Clinton kool-aid drinkers. That really tells you all that you need to know. Begala probably would support Obama if he gets the nomination, but he would be far more likely to be found waiting for Obama in a dark alley with a .22 revolver with the serial numbers filed off (metaphorically speaking of course).
42. BILL BENNETT
Former Education Secretary under Ronald Reagan and National Drug Czar under George Bush Snr, Bennett is an author, speaker, radio host and CNN commentator.
A committed conservative and strong moralist – subtitles of his books include the terms "Moral Clarity", "Moral Collapse" and "Moral Poverty" – he also has a keen understanding of political strategy and does not hesitate to criticise Republicans.
I have considered Bill Bennett a blood enemy since he convinced president George H.W. Bush issue an executive order banning the importation of so-called assault rifles (semi-automatic rifles which happen to resemble military weapons).
I also note that Bennett was one of the first Republican whores to jump on McCain's bandwagon to hell. Nuff said.
41. MARK SHIELDS
A former Senate aide and Democratic operative, Shields, 70, has a career that spans eight presidents.
With his syndicated columns and regular slot as the liberal pundit on the PBS show "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer", Shields is one of the ultimate Washington opinion formers. Attributes include a shrewd historical perspective and sharp wit.
I would substitute the word "half" for sharp, but it is a British newspaper.
40. TONY SNOW
Former Fox news host and most recently press secretary to President George W Bush, the affable Snow has just signed on as a CNN commentator. Would probably have placed higher were it not for his long and debilitating battle with cancer, which he appears to have won.
A committed conservative, his fair-minded approach and unfailingly reasonable means he is listened to right across the political spectrum.
I like Tony Snow. In fact I originally bought a Sirius radio so that I could listen to Tony's radio show. I am very glad that he is beating the cancer. However I did notice two things when I was listening to him on the radio nearly every day. One is that he would almost always come down on the moderate to RINO side of nearly every issue, supporting Harriet Miers, Amnesty and Israel's abandonment of Gaza are three that come to mind. The other is that whenever he would confidently assure his audience that something was sure to happen, that it was a "done deal" you could bank of the fact that whatever that thing was that is wasn't going to happen.
39. DEE DEE MYERS
Became the first female and the second youngest White House press secretary under President Bill Clinton. An MSNBC commentator, she was a consultant to "The West Wing" series and was widely believed to the model for the character C.J. Cregg.
Married to Vanity Fair political writer Todd Purdum, in her recent book "Why Women Should Rule the World" she argues that women are "better communicators, better listeners, better at forming consensus". Well placed to chip away at the traditional male domination of political punditry.
Another Clinton Kool-aid drinker and intellectual lightweight. The only reason she has any kind of career now is that she served a Democrat president.
38. MICHAEL BARONE
Fox News pundit, US News and World Report columnist and American Enterprise Institute scholar, Barone also co-authors the definitive "Almanac of American Politics".
Although on the Right, his political analyses usually set aside ideology and are based on rigorous number-crunching and an unparalleled knowledge of the electoral map right down to precinct level. Has recently argued that Hillary Clinton is ahead in the popular vote and could yet defeat Barack Obama.
Barone is hands down one of the smartest guys out there. If I couldn't have my own brain I would want his. He is also right about Hillary being ahead in the popular vote - if you count Florida and Michigan.
37. EUGENE ROBINSON
A regular on MSNBC, Robinson stars in his bi-weekly Washington Post column that not only pulls apart the Bush administration but on more than one occasion, Hillary Clinton.
Obama is held to account for lapses in consistency, but Robinson has been one of the senator’s most elegant cheerleaders, a role that will be useful as the campaign endures.
With all we now know about Obama anyone who is willing to lead his cheers is not to be taken seriously.
36. NEWT GINGRICH
The author of the Contract with America and leader of the Republican Revolution in 1990s has lost some of his lustre after the loss of Congress in 2006, but remains one of the most persuasive critics of the Democrats.
Will be a key man in Fox’s assault on Obama or Clinton in the presidential election.
I used to have a lot more respect for Gingrich than I do now. He did not really lead the Republican Revolution so much as figure out that it was going to happen and run out front so that he could look like he was leading.
Also, Fox will not "assault" Obama or Clinton. They really are "fair and balanced" and will strive to tell the truth about all the candidates. Although in the case of Democrats that could very will look like an attack.
35. JOE TRIPPI
One of the most respected Democratic strategists around, the quick-thinking Trippi has now brought his recent experience with the John Edwards campaign to bear on CBS, offering a competitor’s view of the successes and failures of the Clinton and Obama campaigns.
A pioneer of Internet electioneering with Howard Dean in 2003-04, he however remains a loyal party man and keeps his harshest views to himself.
Trippi worked on the Dean campaign and the Edwards campaign. Two men who crashed and burned so badly that they remain jokes to this very day. And that makes him "One of the most respected Democratic strategists around"?
If Democrats ran NASCAR the trophy would go to the driver who came in last.
34. HOWARD KURTZ
Long-time media correspondent for the "Washington Post", author, blogger and presenter of CNN’s "Reliable Sources", Kurtz is the media’s internal watchdog, helping shape coverage by critiquing political journalists – identifying and monitoring trends such the media’s infatuation with Barack Obama and fondness for John McCain.
Still an old-fashioned shoe-leather reporter, he also holds candidate’s to account by detailing their openness or otherwise and the way politicians manipulate the press.
Kurtz is another good man who does respectable work.
33. ROLAND MARTIN
A regular face on CNN and a radio host, Martin has repeatedly called for the media to show more balance and understanding on the Rev Jeremiah Wright issue, but hasn’t been afraid to criticise the pastor or Barack Obama when he sees fit.
Like Wright, he is a black pastor from Chicago, and has a strong perspective on an issue that will run until November, if Obama seals the nomination.
Good luck with that "getting people to understand Wright" business. But seriously, that's what makes him one of the 50 most important pundits?
32. WILLIAM KRISTOL
The former chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle is a ubiquitous media presence. Editor of the conservative "Weekly Standard" magazine, he is a Fox News contributor and newly-minted "New York Times" columnist – the Right-wing fox in the liberal hen coop.
A staunch defender of Israel and committed neo-conservative, he is a strong advocate of John McCain’s muscular foreign policy and the Iraq war.
I often find myself agreeing with Kristol, but I still find him a bit creepy.
31. JUAN WILLIAMS
Continues to be a contributing political analyst for the Fox News Channel, and a coherent critic of Obama and Rev Jeremiah Wright.
A vocal opponent of the ‘victim culture’ within the black community, he accused the pastor of ‘wacky and bitterly divisive racial rhetoric’ and said Obama’s decision to still sit in his pews indicated a crisis in black leadership.
I agree that Williams belongs on this list and I agree with what Williams has said about Wright and Obama. However there are many more and better reasons to put Williams on this list other than the Wright affair. I fear that The Telegraph is getting too caught up in the news of the minute and losing the big picture.
Having said that I do think the Wright business is important. Jeremiah Wright may have single handedly kept a black man from becoming president of the United States.
But that's not really fair. Obama did it to himself by staying in that church for 20 years.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
The English newspaper The Telegraph is publishing its list of the 50 most influential pundits in American politics. They came out with their picks for numbers 50 - 41 on Monday and will publish ten each day. Here is their first twenty, with a few editorial comments from myself:
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
ABC News' Nitya Venkataraman Reports: In a Tuesday appearance on Good Morning America, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., suggested that controversial pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright is angry with parishioner Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and may be deliberately trying to hurt his presidential bid.
Saying that Wright "went out of his way to weaken Obama" during Monday's address at the National Press Club, Gingrich told Barbara Walters "I think Reverend Wright has a greater interest in his self-importance."
Gingrich described Obama former pastor as "hard-line anti-American", and said "if Rev. Wright continues to talk that the burden that Sen. Obama carries becomes bigger and bigger. "
Gingrich isn't the only one to have made this observation and I think there is a great deal of merit to it.
You see Obama didn't just do what Wright expected him to do and distance himself from some specific statements which Wright had made. He went far beyond that and said that Wright was wrong in his entire approach and world view. He said that the United States of the 21st century was not as Wright describes it. He essentially accused Wright of being an out-of-touch fossil who was stuck in a pre-1950's mindset.
This kind of talk endangers the legitimacy of the entire Black "Church" and calls into question Wright's personal legacy. Compare Wright's ravings about how America is the "US of KKK-A" which creates diseases in laboratories to exterminate black people to Bill Cosby's message of how the legal obstacles to black advancement have been removed and now the only thing holding black people back is their own dysfunctional behaviors.
Who do you think is more in touch with the real world?
But Cosby's message is hard to hear because it puts the onus of responsibility on the listener to improve himself while Wright's message absolves the listener of all responsibility by placing the blame on sinister outside, in this case racial, forces.
Wright and every other black pastor who preaches the same kind of message as Wright is doing nothing more than making his congregation comfortable on the bottom and giving them an excuse not to even try to elevate themselves. That and filling their heads with a view of America which is completely in line with the MoveOn.org/DailyKos/Nancy Pelosi wing of the Democrat party.
And that is what it is really all about. Keeping blacks poor and ignorant with a massively inflamed sense of grievance and entitlement so that they will keep going into the voting booth and pulling the lever next to the picture of the donkey.
In an interview the other day Wright said that he would not denounce Louis Farrakhan because Farrakhan had never enslaved him or put chains on him. Mr. Wright no one has ever put chains on you nor has anyone ever enslaved you. The USA fought a bloody civil war which ended before you were ever born which ended slavery. So when, sir, were you ever "enslaved"?
Unless, of course, you count the moral, intellectual, spiritual slavery which is imposed upon 90% of blacks in America which holds them in bondage to a political party which only finds them useful as long as they are suffering the lash of poverty while living in crime and drug infested ghettos.
Naturally Wright doesn't have to live that way. As an overseer on the Democrat's plantation Wright gets to live in a mansion which was paid for by the contributions of the very people he has helped to keep down.
Obama described Wright as "an uncle". I guess we know what that uncle's first name is.
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama denounced ``ridiculous'' statements made by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, using his strongest language to date to distance himself from his former pastor.
Obama cited Wright's contentions, repeated yesterday, that the government may have had a role in spreading AIDS in the black community, that U.S. actions overseas were partly to blame for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and about the importance of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
Wright's statements ``offend me, they rightly offend all Americans and they should be denounced and that's what I'm doing very clearly and unequivocally today,'' Obama said in a news conference in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
[. . .]
Obama said he was ``shocked'' by Wright's statements during a speech at the National Press Club yesterday in Washington.
``The person I saw yesterday was not the person I had come to know over 20 years,'' said Obama, an Illinois senator.
Wright repeated some of his most controversial statements during a speech and when answering questions yesterday. Asked whether he still believed the U.S. government shares the blame for the Sept. 11 attacks, Wright responded:
``You can't do terrorism on other people and expect it never to come back on you. Those are biblical principles, not Jeremiah Wright bombastic, divisive principles.''
Wright was unapologetic about his praise for Farrakhan, the Chicago-based leader of the Nation of Islam. Obama has denounced Farrakhan's support of his candidacy and condemned him as an anti-Semite. Wright's church gave Farrakhan an award last year for his influence on the black community.
[. . .]
``When Louis Farrakhan speaks, it's like E.F. Hutton speaks, all black America listens. Whether they agree with him or not, they listen,'' Wright said, adding that he doesn't agree with all of Farrakhan's views. ``He's one of the most important voices in the 20th and 21st century.''
Obama called such statements ``outrageous'' and ``appalling.'' He said Wright ``does not speak for me, he does not speak for my campaign.''
He said he was most angry that Wright seemed to suggest Obama's rejection of his remarks was only political. ``If Reverend Wright thinks that's political posturing, as he put it, then he doesn't know me very well,'' Obama said. ``I may not know him as well as I thought.''
Wright yesterday repeated a previous comment that Obama's effort to distance himself was politically motivated ``based on electability, based on sound bites, based on polls.''
Obama called that statement ``a show of disrespect to me'' and an insult to his supporters.
[. . .]
The candidate said he hadn't had a conversation with Wright before the news conference. He said he spoke to the pastor after giving a speech last month in Philadelphia in which he distanced himself from Wright's statements. In that speech, Obama said he wouldn't ``disown'' Wright even though he disagreed with his statements.
``Obviously whatever relationship that I had with Reverend Wright has changed as a consequence of this,'' Obama said today. ``I don't think that he showed much concern for me; I don't think he showed much concern for what we're trying to do.''
Obama really isn't very bright is he? Of course everyone with an IQ in the double digits knows that Obama is only mad at Wright because Wright is out there running his mouth repeating his wacko statements and telling anybody who will listen that Obama is denouncing him only because he is running for office.
But when you are running for president you tell everyone that your problem with Wright is that he hates the nation that you love (even if you don't) not that you're just pissed off that he's "dissing" you.
Obama is showing himself to be a genuine lightweight.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Does Hillary Clinton really believe she can overtake Barack Obama among elected delegates? No way. The math is dead against her and she’s a realist. Even after Pennsylvania, Obama still leads by more than 140 in elected delegates. They’ll likely break even in Indiana and he’ll win North Carolina where one third of the vote is African-American. After that? If she wins Kentucky, West Virginia, and Puerto Rico by 15 points and they break about even in Guam, North Dakota, Montana, and Oregon, she’ll still trail him by at least 130 votes among elected delegates.
Does she believe she can persuade super delegates to vote for her? Again, probably not. Obama has steadily eroded her edge among super delegates and now they are almost tied among committed super delegates. And the prevailing sentiment among those that remain is not to overturn the will of the voters.
So why is Hillary still running so hard? Why is she especially focused on pushing up Obama’s negatives?
Until the last vote is counted on June 3rd, we can chalk up her persistence to determination, courage and sheer obstinacy. But if she persists in her candidacy after the last primary, we must begin to consider whether she has an ulterior motive.
Does Hillary want to beat up Obama so that he can’t win the general election in November, assuring McCain of the presidency so that she can have a clear field to run again in 2012? Obviously, if Obama beats McCain, Hillary is out of the picture until 2016, by which time, at 69 years old, she might be too old to run. But if McCain wins, she would have to be considered the presumptive front runner for the nomination, a status which she might parlay into a nomination more successfully than she has been able to do this year.
Every day that she stays in the race and punches Barack Obama, she must realize that she is decreasing his chances of getting elected in November. Each time that she waves the bloody shirt and says that only she is strong enough to fight the war on terror, she obviously raises doubts about Obama’s strength and leadership. Every time she criticizes him for not switching pastors or for saying downscale white voters are bitter, she raises issues that are very destructive to Obama should he win the nomination.
[. . .]
In 2004, it is pretty obvious that Hillary did nothing to help John Kerry beyond giving a speech at the convention and waging a token campaign on his behalf. Bill did even less. Their goal was obvious: they wanted Kerry to lose to Bush so that Hillary could run in 2008. Is she playing the same game now? Only time will tell.
Slimy dick is correct this time and it only took him 5 days to reach the same conclusion that I came to last Wed. (read my post here)
As I said then a vote for McCain in 2008 is a vote for Hillary in 2012 and a vote to enlarge the Democrat majority in congress in 2010.
I've been lax with music the past few days so here are three favorites. The first is Irish/American band Solas with Coconut Dog/Morning Dew:
Next is Gwenno Saunders reviving the dead language of Cornish with Ysolt Y'nn Gweinten:
Last is Capercaillie with Breisleach. This video was made to tie in to an advertisement for some kind of whisky. I've tried to find it but have had no luck. If anyone has a link I would be grateful:
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Because you have to many wrong attemps on your Wachovia online banking,we had to put your account on hold.
Account Status: Blocked
We ask you to complete as soon as possible our security steps which will reactivate your online banking.
To do this please follow the link bellow:
Link Deleted - LC
After this steps are complete you will be contacted by phonein 3 days by a Wachovia representative.
Tip to the scam artists. At least get someone who speaks English as a first language to write your copy.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Just when I had decided to back away from posting about McCain for a few days out of fears that I was beginning to sound like a one-note-symphony Crazy John has to go and thrust himself into the news again by viciously smearing his fellow Republicans. The issue is the devastatingly effective, and totally appropriate, ad being run by the North Carolina Republican party. Let's watch it just to review:
Now let's remind ourselves what McCain has to say about the NC GOP:
Republican US presidential candidate John McCain accused North Carolina's Republican Party of being "out of touch with reality" over its refusal to pull an advertisement criticising Democrat Barack Obama. . .
"They're not listening to me because they're out of touch with reality and the Republican Party. We are the party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan and this kind of campaigning is unacceptable," McCain told NBC's Today Show.
"I've done everything that I can to repudiate and to see that this kind of campaigning does not continue," he added.
Asked if the state party's unwillingness to heed his call raised questions about his leadership, McCain replied: "I don't know exactly how to respond to that."
So as far as Crazy John is concerned if you don't immediately say "how high" when he says "jump" you are out of touch reality and the Republican Party?
John McCain is not even a real Republican! What the hell does he know about being in touch with the Republican Party?
And as long as we are talking about people's grips on reality McCain wants people to think that he is a conservative. How fraking delusional is that?
Watch the ad, listen to it. It is not racist. Not unless you consider it "racist" to take note of the fact that someone else is a racist. By that standard every organization that has ever existed to fight racism (from Dr. King's Southern Christian Leadership Council to the NAACP to the EEOC) would be racist itself.
Yet McCain is willing to tar the entire NC Republican party as racist. Why? Rush Limbaugh talked about this on his show Friday. Let's look at some of what he said:
This is very, very tough for me, folks, but I think Senator McCain has a responsibility now to explain exactly what is racist about this ad. This is precisely what the Drive-Bys want in the Democrat Party: they want any criticism of Obama to be disqualified and not permitted because it's racist, and McCain's falling right in line. And don't tell me he's got some grand strategy here to pick up a lot of black vote in the general election.
That's not what this is. If you think there's a grand strategy here, you're missing the point. Keep listening. Senator McCain owes us an explanation. Tell us what is racist about this North Carolina ad. He sounds just like a liberal, asking that we may take inferences about the North Carolina Republican Party and the people that run it. I take from this several things. Number one: it appears to me that Senator McCain is back to his usual tactics of using Republicans as foils. He's attacking the president over Hurricane Katrina. Not the mayor of New Orleans, but the president. He's trying to prove to the liberal media, the so-called independents and Democrats, that he's the eventual nominee of the Republican Party but that this is all about him. It's not about Republicans, not conservatives, so no need to worry about him being too much of either. He's sending a message to Democrats and independents whose votes he wants: "Don't worry about me. I'm not one of these wacko conservative right-wingers." It's about him, not about a grand strategy here.
That's why he is relentlessly pounding away at the North Carolina party now. This is a tactic. He's creating an image of himself at the expense of others, and he does this all the time. Now, I take from this -- if you do want to talk about strategy -- that McCain believes he has the South in his back pocket even though he didn't win it in the primaries. Huckabee did. He wouldn't risk alienating Southerners over an ad that clearly is not racist if he didn't think he had the southern vote in his back pocket. I don't think he understands how livid North Carolina Republicans are about this, and Republicans everywhere. Now, it is obvious to me (and this has been one of my concerns from the get-go) that Senator McCain has no interest in rebuilding the Republican Party as an institution. He intends, instead, to use it to achieve his ends and leave it in whatever state it is when he is done. Now, we know this. What was the purpose of McCain-Feingold? It was to cripple the party system.
It was to cripple the party system. It was McCain's revenge when he lost the 2000 GOP primary which he blamed on party officials and Bush. It's interesting. Kimberley Strassel at the Wall Street Journal has a piece today on how McCain has been hoodwinked by his own McCain-Feingold restrictions, and is now finding ways to get around his own restrictions in McCain-Feingold in order to raise money and keep up with Obama. Now, a question I have for Senator McCain and his handlers: "Senator, you love being praised as a 'maverick;' you love being praised as an independent. Why can't the rest of us be independents? Why can't the rest of us be mavericks?" I want to be very clear about this, folks. If Senator McCain is campaigning not as a Republican or conservative, but as a "maverick," and an "independent," why shouldn't we behave in the same way? Why do we have to fall in line with whatever he dictates? Why does the North Carolina Republican Party have to fall in line and do what he says; when he is free to abandon us at any and all times, on the basis of his own desire?
Why should Republicans vote for McCain? Just because he's a Republican? McCain himself teaches us that's the wrong thing to do! His recent Senate career is based not on voting for people or things because they're Republican, but rather other criteria. So why should conservatives get behind McCain? Just because he claims to be conservative? He teaches us that's the wrong thing to do as well. If McCain isn't going to be loyal to his own party, and if he isn't going to be loyal to conservative principles, why should Republicans be loyal to him? Why should conservatives be loyal to him? The way I see it, folks, we are all mavericks and we are all independents, now. Senator McCain, with these outbursts last night and today, seems to have reserved the right to dictate to all Republicans what they should say, what they shouldn't say, what they should think; while at the same time reserving for himself the right to abandon the Republican Party whenever he so chooses.
So we're supposed to do what he says. We're supposed to not run commercials that he doesn't like. We're supposed to not criticize Obama in a way he doesn't like. We're only supposed to do what he tells us to do, but then he's free to wander off the reservation any time he wants, and we are not to be critical of that. So it's almost as though that he is demanding, McCain is demanding, that we follow a cult of personality here. But since we're not Democrats and since we're not liberals, we don't do that. We don't follow cults. Those of you who are conservative Republicans follow ideas. We follow issues. These ideas and issues that we believe are the best for the future much America and its people. We're not interested in following a cult of personality because he makes us feel good, or because we think he cares, or because we think he's some kind of messianic figure. If you want the support of conservative Republicans, if you want the loyalty of conservative Republicans, you have to earn it. You don't get it by commanding we be loyal while you aren't at the same time.
[. . .]
So McCain is out there chastising the North Carolina Republican Party. They're not listening to him. He's upset about it. We're supposed to do everything he says, but he's allowed to be the maverick. He can cross the aisle. He can make deals with Democrats left and right. He can sell out his own party. He can leave his party in the lurch. But we? We are supposed to sit there and follow the orders as dictated by the enemy campaign. We're not to run ads he doesn't like. We're not to say things he doesn't like. We are to say things he does like. He's free to abandon us; we have to stay loyal. He can be a "maverick." Well, Senator McCain, we are all mavericks now. We are all mavericks and independents, and that's that.
Remember that Rush Limbaugh has been working hard with his Operation Chaos to get McCain elected yet even he can't stomach McCain when he comes out and shows himself as he truly is.
Limbaugh is exactly right about McCain. John McCain has no intention of building up the Republican Party as an institution nor does he have any intention of advancing the interests of the conservative movement.
He is lying to Republicans and conservatives and using them as nothing more than stepping stones to the White House. He will leave the Republican Party critically damaged fractured, demoralized and bereft of its conservative base. McCain knows this and not only does he not care he is counting on it!
Please listen to me. The United States has come too far down the road to socialism to be able to survive a 20 or 30 year period of unbroken rule by socialist left-wing Democrats. There would still be a place on the map called the USA, but it would not be a free nation nor would it be a prosperous nation. It would not be the nation bequeathed to us by our Founding Fathers.
Without a Republican Party which is both viable and conservative the long term prospects for the survival of the US as a free and prosperous are nil. Zip, Zero, Nada.
The election of John McCain as president will leave a Republican Party which is neither viable nor conservative.
For the sake of our nation's future we have got to accept a president Clinton or a president Obama and "screw our courage to the sticking place" and fight the worst of their socialist excesses in exactly the same way we fought socialized medicine under Clinton and amnesty under Bush. We will have to gut it out for two years until a Republican congress can be sworn in and restore some measure of sanity to Washington just as they did in 1994.
To do otherwise virtually guarantees that Ronald Reagan will have been our last conservative president and the 1994 congress our last conservative legislature.
Now, I will back off McCain posting for a few days - unless he sticks his snout into things again in such an egregious way that I have to take notice.
Just a little late and with a speech included at no extra charge.
This is Irish group Dervish being a bit more traditional and a bit less fusion than we've seen them in the past.
On the group's website there is a note that the band is going to be performing at a protest rally in the Irish city of Sligo. What is being protested are cutbacks in cancer services at Sligo General Hospital. This is from the organization's website:
Why should Cancer Patients in the North West have to leave their homes for up to seven weeks for Radio Therapy treatment leaving their children, family and friends?
Why are some women in the North West left with no option but to have radical mastectomies because they cannot leave their children for weeks for Radio Therapy?
Why should Cancer Patients in the North West have to travel hundreds of miles for assessment, diagnosis, surgery and treatment away from all they know and love at a time when they need this support most?
Why should Cancer Patients suffer horrendous journeys over bad roads in ambulances/mini buses from early in the morning to late at night without rest after surgery and cancer treatment?
Why should Cancer Patients have to leave their homes in the North West at three and four in the morning to get anything up to four buses to get to Dublin and Galway when they are suffering from cancer and the aftermath of surgery and treatment.
Why should Cancer Patients have to travel to a packed Galway Hospital to be turned away because there is no bed for them?
What does this have to do with the music? Nothing, but it is a clear warning.
If American politics has taught us anything over the past two decades it is that the people still wield an enormous amount of power in the American political process - when they are united and determined to make their voice heard.
During Bill Clinton's first term he and Hillary developed a plan to socialize American health care. The Clintons had a Democrat controlled House and Senate whose leadership agreed that government health care was the right thing to do. They also had the mainstream media on their side and serving as little more than their propaganda ministry (as usual for Democrats).
In the end not even one Democrat voted for HillaryCare! The people learned the details of the plan and wanted nothing to do with it and their elected representatives realized that they could not support the plan and remain elected representatives and so it went down in flames.
Then just last year the president backed up by the leadership of both the Democrat and Republican parties attempted to force an amnesty for tens of millions of illegal aliens down the nation's throat. The people once again rose up and said HELL NO and the effort died.
They tried to revive the effort, remember Trent Lott auditioning for a role in the European Union bureaucracy by raving about how the "will of the Senate" would be done and the people be damned? That effort went down in flames as well.
We The People of the United States of America still rule this nation - when we choose to.
It does not matter who sits in the White House or who controls the House or Senate. If we withhold our consent from socialized medicine or amnesty or any other damn thing that we refuse to accept and if we are loud enough and persistant enough and united enough IT WILL NOT HAPPEN!
Friday, April 25, 2008
From the International Climate Science Coalition:
Dr. Kenneth Tapping is worried about the sun. Solar activity comes in regular cycles, but the latest one is refusing to start. Sunspots have all but vanished, and activity is suspiciously quiet. The last time this happened was 400 years ago -- and it signaled a solar event known as a "Maunder Minimum," along with the start of what we now call the "Little Ice Age."Tapping, a solar researcher and project director for Canada's National Research Council, says it may be happening again. Overseeing a giant radio telescope he calls a "stethoscope for the sun," Tapping says, if the pattern doesn't change quickly, the earth is in for some very chilly weather.
During the Little Ice Age, global temperatures dropped sharply. New York Harbor froze hard enough to allow people to walk from Manhattan to Staten Island, and in Britain, people reported sighting Eskimos paddling canoes off the coast. Glaciers in Norway grew up to 100 meters a year, destroying farms and villages.
But will it happen again?In 2005, Russian astronomer Khabibullo Abdusamatov predicted the sun would soon peak, triggering a rapid decline in world temperatures. Only last month, the view was echoed by Dr. Oleg Sorokhtin, a fellow of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences. who advised the world to "stock up on fur coats." Sorokhtin, who calls man's contribution to climate change "a drop in the bucket," predicts the solar minimum to occur by the year 2040, with icy weather lasting till 2100 or beyond.
Observational data seems to support the claims -- or doesn't contradict it, at least. According to data from Britain's Met Office, the earth has cooled very slightly since 1998. The Met Office says global warming "will pick up again shortly."
Others aren't so sure. Researcher Dr. Timothy Patterson, director of the Geoscience Center at Carleton University, shares the concern. Patterson is finding "excellent correlations" between solar fluctuations, a relationship that historically, he says doesn't exist between CO2 and past climate changes. According to Patterson, we shouldn't be surprised by a solar link. "The sun [is] the ultimate source of energy on this planet," he says.
Such research dates back to 1991, when the Danish Meteorological Institute released a study showing that world temperatures over the past several centuries correlated very closely with solar cycles. A 2004 study by the Max Planck Institute found a similar correlation, but concluded the timing was only coincidental, as the solar variance seemed too small to explain temperature changes.
However, researchers at DMI continued to work, eventually discovering what they believe to be the link. The key factor isn't changes in solar output, but rather changes in the sun's magnetosphere A stronger field shields the earth more from cosmic rays, which act as "seeds" for cloud formation. The result is less cloud cover, and a warming planet. When the field weakens, clouds increase, reflecting more light back to space, and the earth cools off.
Recently, lead researcher Henrik Svensmark was able to experimentally verify the link between cosmic rays and cloud formation, in a cloud chamber experiment called "SKY" at the Danish National Space Center. CERN plans a similar experiment this year. A few years ago, Stanford University's Hoover Institution also reported finding a correlation between the sun and climate.
Even NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies -- long the nation's most ardent champion of anthropogenic global warming -- is getting in on the act. Drew Shindell, a researcher at GISS, says there are some "interesting relationships we don't fully understand" between solar activity and climate.
If global warming were actually occurring in the way that the climate alarmists want us to believe it would not be a problem. During the time that the great Mesopotamian civilizations arose the earth's average temperature was eight degrees higher than it is now and archaeologists call that the "climate optimum". We know that in Russia that temperate zone forests once grew all the way up to the northern coastline, which is inside the arctic circle.
The earth has been warmer in the past than it is now and the plant and animal species, including humans, were better off. The evidence even suggests that the polar bears would cope with the loss of the ice cap by turning brown again and re-adapting themselves to forest dwelling. This would result in an increase in their numbers because food is more easily obtained in a warm forest than on the barren ice.
However global cooling is a horse of a different color. The last time the earth cooled off to the degree which we are likely to experience over the next few decades the results were catastrophic, at least for humans.
During the Little Ice Age the growing season shortened and land that had once been productive became marginal and land that was marginal became non-arable. Societies which had been prosperous were reduced to starvation and the stress caused by the lack of food and the cold weather weakened the population and prepared them for the Black Plague.
It took the population of Europe hundreds of years to recover to their pre-cooling numbers.
In developed societies like North America and Europe the prospects of starvation and plague are remote, however that cannot be said about the undeveloped parts of the world, which happens to be most of the world.
As the acreage which can be farmed practically shrinks food prices will rise and the nations which currently produce an agricultural surplus will need to keep more of that food for their own populations. As the amount of food aid to the Third World decreases populations will be stressed and nature's methods of population control will begin to assert themselves.
Nature's methods of population control where humans are concerned are warfare and disease.
Much could be done now to lessen or even eliminate the harm that global cooling will cause. Mexico has large amounts or arable land which will remain productive even in a cooler world. If that land were farmed with the technology and efficiency of US farms Mexico would become a breadbasket. The same can be said of Africa.
The advanced nations need to assume that the coming cooling period will be as bad as the Little Ice Age and take a hard look at what this will do to agricultural productivity and start pouring their resources into those parts of the world which will remain productive.
The first step in this process is going to have to be an aggressive policy of electrification using clean coal and nuclear power. Modern agricultural methods depend upon a technological infrastructure which cannot exist without electric power. If this means that power plants in Africa have to be guarded by NATO troops to keep the warring tribesmen from shooting up the containment building and causing a meltdown then so be it.
A side effect of this will be to spread the benefits of civilization and modern technological society to places which have never known either.
Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore says there is no proof global warming is caused by humans, but it is likely enough that the world should turn to nuclear power - a concept tied closely to the underground nuclear testing his former environmental group formed to oppose.
The chemistry of the atmosphere is changing, and there is a high-enough risk that "true believers" like Al Gore are right that world economies need to wean themselves off fossil fuels to reduce greenhouse gases, he said.
"It's like buying fire insurance," Moore said. "We all own fire insurance even though there is a low risk we are going to get into an accident."
The only viable solution is to build hundreds of nuclear power plants over the next century, Moore told the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday. There isn't enough potential for wind, solar, hydroelectric, and geothermal or other renewable energy sources, he said.
With development of coal-fired electric generation stopped cold over greenhouse gases, the only alternative to nuclear power for producing continuous energy at the levels needed is natural gas. But climate change isn't the only reason to move away from fossil fuels.
Fossil fuels also are a major health threat. "Coal causes the worst health impacts of anything we are doing today," Moore said.
Plus, uranium can be found within the United States and also comes in large quantities from Canada and Australia. Nuclear Power reduces the reliance on supplies in dangerous places including the Middle East, he said.
The climate is changing. That is because it is in the nature of the climate to change. It has been changing since the beginning of time and will change as long as the earth endures. Humans, for the most part, have nothing to do with this but if one must believe that there is some possibility of harm from greenhouse gasses to support something as startlingly sane as nuclear power then that's fine with me.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
By now all of you have heard of the campaign ad by the North Carolina Republican party which draws the connection between a pair of NC Democrat politician who are running for reelection this year and Barack Obama and his insane racist pastor. Here is the ad:
There is nothing in any way remarkable about the fact that the Democrat party and its allies in the mainstream media are condemning this ad. This is standard operating procedure on the left. When a Republican makes an absolutely accurate point calling into question the character or experience or judgement of a Democrat and the left has no credible defense of their candidate to offer then they attempt to turn the situation around by accusing the Republicans of some kind of politically correct though-crime like racism or sexism.
This ad by the NC Republicans makes a dead-on accurate point. Barack Obama sat in a church for over 20 years while a paranoid racist pastor spewed hate filled "sermons" which, among other things, accused the United States government of creating the AIDS virus to wipe out black people and the importation of narcotics into the inner city to wipe out black people. He referred to the United States as the U S of KKK A and thundered "God Damn America" from his pulpit.
Obama called this pastor his friend and mentor. He joined this church after listening to this man preach and allowed this man to perform his wedding ceremony and to baptize his children. Obama and his wife have given tens of thousands of dollars to this church.
If these facts do not represent a legitimate question about the character and judgement of Barack Obama then literally nothing can.
Again, nothing about the Democrat or MSM response to this ad is surprising. Barack Obama is damned by the truth so the only refuge the party which is supporting him has is the lie and the smear. What is interesting is the reaction of supposed Republican John McCain.
The speed with which McCain rushed to a microphone to condemn this ad, which we need to remember contained not one word which wasn't absolute truth, threatened to shatter the speed of light.
To put this into context look at the way that McCain is out there trashing George W Bush for the federal response to hurricane Katrina.
The question that Republicans need to ask themselves is why is it that Mr. McCain has no problem attacking a fellow Republican for something which is not, for the most, part his fault but moves heaven and earth to shut down criticism of a Democrat which is entirely justified?
John McCain has the Republican nomination primarily because of early primaries where Democrats and independents were allowed to vote. However Republicans do not have to allow John McCain to speak for them.
Even if you feel that you must vote for McCain because he is the lesser evil you still do not have to allow him to do your thinking for you. John McCain does not speak for me. Not now and not ever. Leave a comment and let everyone know does McCain speak for you?
At the right is the cover from their DVD Enemy of Virtue which is described as "Six full blasphemous rituals from this black metal horde from the early '90s!".
Here is a fan video of their hit Spilling Holy Blood.
With a unique sound like this I'm sure they will be entertaining mentally ill serial killers in training for a long time to come.
There is an essay up on today's Front Page Magazine by Dan Rabkin about a New York Times article which attempts to be an "expose" of the "links" between the Pentagon and the retired general officers who now work as analysts for the media. It seems that the NYT thinks that there is something surprising and possibly sinister about the fact that retired generals would have ties to the Pentagon and to the defense industry. The Times also finds the fact that most of these retired officers are generally supportive of the war and the military to be proof of the fact that they are little more than puppets whose strings are being pulled by the administration.
Mr. Rabkin does a good job of mocking the left-wing anti-war NYT's hysterics however his article takes the position that bringing any criticism against these retired military officers represents a trashing of all veterans. Early in his essay Rabkin inserts this completely gratuitous paragraph:
The first piece, titled “For McCain, Self-Confidence on Ethics Poses Its Own Risk,” was published on February 21st. The article, heavy on drama and light on sources, attempted to brand Sen. John McCain a philandering, lobbyist-bedding, crook. Some might say that as the Republican Party’s presidential nominee McCain is fair game for such liberal-media hit jobs. Be that as it may, the fact that the paper was willing to publish such a low-grade attack on a decorated veteran was a revealing demonstration of its deep-seated contempt for the military.
This reference to a NYT article which referenced the fact that McCain once had a close relationship with an attractive female lobbyist, a relationship which some of his staffers feared was "too close", was gossipy and many on the right thought it was an inappropriate low blow (although I don't recall any of those right wingers complaining about the American Spectator's "troopergate" stories).
In my view the Times piece was entirely appropriate because one of McCain's primary selling points to the American public is his supposed honor and integrity. This makes the microscopic examination of all of McCain's personal and public relationships entirely fair just as the fact checking of all of Hillary Clinton's stories about dodging sniper fire or bringing peace to Northern Ireland is fair. Hillary is trying to sell herself on her experience and so her supposed experience is a legitimate subject for inquiry.
Dan Rabkin's attempt to close off any criticism of McCain by framing it as an attack on a veteran which reveals a "deep seated contempt for the military" is a cheap attempt to shield McCain from attacks against his most vulnerable area, what George Will calls McCain's "towering moral vanity".
McCain's absolute faith in his own purity and moral rectitude and his tendency to define the honorable as "anything which John McCain thinks or does at any given moment in time" blind him to the danger of questionable acts or associations. How convenient for McCain and his sycophants if anyone who points out anything negative about the Arizona Senator is simply an anti-military quack spitting on a veteran.
Does Mr. Rabkin think that any criticism of John Kerry or Jack Murtha is just a symptom of contempt for the military? McCain himself came close to that attitude when he damned the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth when they dared to tell the truth about John Kerry's inflated claims of heroism on the battlefield.
As this political season advances expect McCain's kool-aid drinkers to become ever more hysterical as their candidate is brought under ever more intense scrutiny. Some of the left-wing media's attacks will be unfair but many of them will not be and it will be the shots which strike a legitimate target that generate the loudest cacophony of shrieks from McCain's self-appointed defenders.
April 24 (Bloomberg) -- Brazil's discoveries of what may be two of the world's three biggest oil finds in the past 30 years could help end the Western Hemisphere's reliance on Middle East crude, Strategic Forecasting Inc. said.
Saudi Arabia's influence as the biggest oil exporter would wane if the fields are as big as advertised, and China and India would become dominant buyers of Persian Gulf oil, said Peter Zeihan, vice president of analysis at Strategic Forecasting in Austin, Texas. Zeihan's firm, which consults for companies and governments around the world, was described in a 2001 Barron's article as ``the shadow CIA.''
Brazil may be pumping ``several million'' barrels of crude daily by 2020, vaulting the nation into the ranks of the world's seven biggest producers, Zeihan said in a telephone interview. The U.S. Navy's presence in the Persian Gulf and adjacent waters would be reduced, leaving the region exposed to more conflict, he said.
[. . .]
Brazil's state-controlled Petroleo Brasileiro SA in November said the offshore Tupi field may hold 8 billion barrels of recoverable crude. Among discoveries in the past 30 years, only the 15-billion-barrel Kashagan field in Kazakhstan is larger.
Haroldo Lima, director of the country's oil agency, last week said another subsea field, Carioca, may have 33 billion barrels of oil. That would be the third biggest field in history, behind only the Ghawar field in Saudi Arabia and Burgan in Kuwait.
Analysts Mark Flannery of Credit Suisse Group and Gustavo Gattass of UBS AG challenge the estimate for Carioca. Lima, the Brazilian oil agency director, later attributed the figure to a magazine.
Flannery told clients during an April 16 conference call that 600 million barrels is a ``reasonable'' estimate and suggested Lima may have been referring to the entire geologic formation to which Carioca belongs.
Carioca is one of seven fields identified so far in the BM- S-9 exploration area, part of a formation called Sugar Loaf.
If additional drilling by Petrobras, as Petroleo Brasileiro is known, confirms the Tupi and Carioca estimates, the fields together would contain enough oil to supply every refinery on the U.S. Gulf Coast for 15 years. Petrobras said it needs at least three months to determine how much crude Carioca may hold.
When I first heard about this find around a week ago my first thought was "thank God this is off the shore of Brazil and not the United States". Because the Brazilians will actually go out and drill the stuff and sell it rather than letting econazis declare it off limits.
The Brazilian oil fields do not have to "replace" oil from the Middle East to be hugely important. Just the fact that the world's supply of crude is going to be increased significantly will exert downward pressure on the world price. Remember in the law of supply and demand when demand outraces supply prices rise but when supply manages to get ahead of demand prices fall.
If the US would tell the environmental wackos to shove a sock in it then start developing our own resources we could, along with the new discovery in Brazil, take the price of oil back to $70.00 per barrel.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
That means that YOU are listening!
The key problem for Hillary's campaign is that normal people reel back in horror at her association with the Clinton administration. (Which is why, as her supporter, I refer to her as simply "Hillary.")
If Hillary could run exclusively on her record since becoming a senator from New York, she'd be a relatively moderate Democrat who hates the loony left -- as we found out this week when a tape of Hillary denouncing Moveon.org surfaced. Think Joe Biden in a pantsuit.
But because of her unfortunate marriage, Hillary comes with a cast of undesirables like James Carville, Paul Begala, Terry McAuliffe, Joe Conason -- and of course Bill Clinton, along with his trusted impeachment manager Larry Flynt. Buy one, get the entire dirt-bag collection free!
No one wants those people back.
Even semi-respectable Democrats look sleazy by their association with the Clintons. No serious Democrat defended Clinton over his "presidential kneepads" incident with Monica Lewinsky. OK, that's not including adult film star Ron Jeremy, if you consider him a serious Democrat. Which I do.
That's why cable TV producers had to call in the O.J. defenders to flack for Clinton during his impeachment. Any Democrats still clinging to Hillary at this point appear to be soulless climbers desperate for jobs in the next administration.
So repellent are Bill Clinton's friends (to the extent that a sociopathic sex offender with a narcissistic disorder can actually experience friendship in the conventional sense) that B. Hussein Obama's association with a raving racist reverend and a former member of the Weather Underground hasn't caused as much damage as it should.
On one hand, Obama pals around with terrorists. On the other hand, Hillary pals around with James Carville. Advantage: Obama.
Asked why he would be friends with the likes of Weatherman Bill Ayers, Obama said: "The notion that ... me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8 years old, somehow reflects on me and my values doesn't make much sense."
That's a slick answer -- even "Clintonian"! -- but the problem is, Ayers and his Weatherman wife, Bernadine Dohrn, won't stop boasting about their days as Weathermen.
It's not simply that they haven't repented. To the contrary, those were their glory days! And Ayers isn't just someone who lives in the neighborhood: He and Dohrn were there at the inception of Obama's political career, hosting a fundraiser for Obama at their home back in 1995.
Besides wanton violence, including a dozen bombings of buildings such as the Pentagon, the U.S. Capitol, historic statues and various police stations, the Weathermen's "revolutionary" activity consisted primarily of using the word "motherf-----" a lot, dropping LSD, coming up with cutesy phrases -- like "the Weather Underground" -- and competing over who could make the most offensive statements in public. (I also believe Dohrn may have set the North American record for longest stretch without bathing.)
At one rally, Dohrn famously praised the Manson family for murdering Sharon Tate and others, shouting: "Dig it. First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them. They even shoved a fork into a victim's stomach! Wild!"
In a better country, just saying "Dig it!" in public would get you 20 years in the slammer.
Dohrn has recently tried to clarify her Manson remarks by saying it was some sort of "statement" about violence in society and, furthermore, that she said it while under sniper fire in Bosnia. Also recently, the members of the Manson family have distanced themselves from Ayers and Dohrn.
At other rallies, Dohrn said, "Bring the revolution home, kill your parents -- that's where it's at."
After a Chicago Democratic official, Richard Elrod, became paralyzed while fighting with a privileged looter during the Weathermen's "Days of Rage," Dohrn led the Weathermen in a song sung to the tune of Bob Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay":
Lay, Elrod, lay,
Lay in the street for a while
Stay, Elrod, stay
Stay in your bed for a while
You thought you could stop the Weatherman
But up-front people put you on your can,
Stay, Elrod, stay
Stay in your iron lung,
Play, Elrod, play
Play with your toes for a while
Only because of a merciful God is the author of that ditty, Ted Gold, not teaching at Northwestern or the University of Illinois now, alongside Dohrn or Ayers. That's because Gold is no longer with us, having accidentally blown himself up with a bomb intended for a dance at Fort Dix for new recruits and their dates.
While trying to assemble the bomb at an elegant Greenwich Village townhouse that belonged to one of the revolutionaries' fathers, the bungling Weathermen blew up the entire townhouse, killing Gold and two other butterfingered revolutionaries. Leave it to these nincompoops to turn their glorious Marxist revolution into an "I Love Lucy" sketch.
So in addition to being stupid and violent, the Weathermen were also incompetent terrorists. Would that Timothy McVeigh had been so inept!
If he had only said he bombed the building in Oklahoma City to protest American "imperialism," McVeigh, too, could be teaching at Northwestern University, sitting on a board with and holding fundraisers for presidential candidate B. Hussein Obama.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. John McCain is the luckiest bastard in the world.
I have also said before and I'll say again that God has abandoned America.
From The Scotsman:
Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, said yesterday that the UK would reconsider how far it was prepared to sign up to proposals for a tenfold increase in the use of biofuels by 2020, in response to fears this was causing a "world crisis" in the cost of food.
The doubling in price of rice and wheat has sparked riots in Egypt and Haiti, and led to a World Bank warning that 100 million people could be pushed deeper into poverty. And it emerged yesterday that price surges have seen grocery bills in the UK rise by around £15 a week in a year.
Since Tuesday of last week, 2.5 per cent of the petrol and diesel sold at the pumps in Britain has been bioethanol or biodiesel. Under European Union targets, this is due to increase to 5 per cent by 2010, and 10 per cent by 2020.
The UK's 5 per cent target is only half that on the Continent – and now Mr Brown has bowed to new scientific fears that biofuels may be doing more harm than good.
Total biofuel consumption in the UK is likely to be about 1.2 billion litres this year and 2.5 billion litres in 2010. Five years ago, it was only 19 million litres.
Yesterday, ahead of a Downing Street summit on the world food crisis, the Prime Minister said: "Now we know that biofuels, intended to promote energy independence and combat climate change, are frequently energy inefficient.
"We need to look closely at the impact on food prices and the environment of different production methods and to ensure we are more selective in our support.
"If the UK review shows that we need to change our approach, we will also push for change in EU biofuels targets."
This is wonderful news. One, because it means that less of the world's food supply will be diverted into motor fuel and two, it will mean that it will be harder for the US to continue down its ruinous biofuel rathole.
I don't think it is an accident that Europe is coming to its senses on this before the US. One factor is that Europe has a much larger dole than the US and a great many of those living on government handouts in Europe are Muslims. Muslims tend to riot whenever anything annoys them and food rationing would definitely be annoying. Another thing is that socialism is so deeply embedded in Europe that conservatives in Europe would be called left-wing Democrats in America.
As I said yesterday leftists become calmer when they hold unchallenged power and are sometimes willing to listen to reason.
Also the farm lobby is not as strong in the UK as it is in the US where giant corporations like ADM provide vast sums of money to both political parties.
I recommend that sensible Americans begin using the UK's action to begin shaming American biofuel advocates into abandoning their folly.
Too bad this didn't happen in time for Earth Day.
Sen. Barack Obama played down a defeat that did not substantially reduce his delegate lead, but the outcome only further muddled a race that has stretched on for nearly four months and has sharply divided the party. The two will meet again in primaries in Indiana and North Carolina on May 6.
An estimated 2 million Democrats voted, nearly triple the number who turned out in the past two presidential primaries in the state. Clinton ran up big margins with her core constituencies, winning white voters with incomes under $50,000 by 32 points, voters over age 65 by 26 percent, and Catholic voters by 38 percent -- more than countering Obama's strong showing among black voters and higher-income whites in Philadelphia and its suburbs. She signaled that despite her dramatic financial disadvantage, she has no intention of getting out before the last votes are cast on June 3.
"It's a long road to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and it runs right through the heart of Pennsylvania," Clinton said at a raucous post-election rally in Philadelphia. After a campaign that went on for more than a month and a half in the Keystone State, she said: "You listened, and today, you chose."
"Some people counted me out and said to drop out. But the American people don't quit, and they deserve a president who doesn't quit, either," she said.
At this point I think Hillary knows that winning the nomination is a long shot. Not that she'll drop out or fail to give it her best effort, but she knows that it will probably be Barack Obama who will face John McCain in November.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Here is a double shot of German Medieval/Folk/Metal band Saltatio Mortis. The first video is of the tune Skudrinka:
The next is of the song Dunkler Engel:
Bagpipes, drums, electric guitar and hurdie gurdie. What's not to like?
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) claimed a much needed victory over Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) in Pennsylvania tonight, her fourth victory in the last five contests in the Democratic presidential race.
ABC, NBC, CNN, Fox News Channel, the Associated Press and Reuters all declared Clinton the winner, and Clinton was also leading in the early vote returns. With 66 percent of precincts reporting, Clinton led Obama, 54 percent to 46 percent.
Clinton failed to obtain the double-digit lead that she needed to prove that she was still viable to the super delegates.
As things stand now her only real hope of ever being president is if John McCain beats Barack Obama next November. This will allow her to come back in 2012 and capitalize on the fury that voters will be feeling after four years of mismanagement under RINO McCain and the Democrat legislature.
So remember in November. A vote for McCain in 2008 is a vote for Clinton in 2012!
Also from NRO:
The last few years have witnessed an Internet-stock bubble and a real-estate bubble. Could we be approaching the bursting point of the climate-change bubble?
The intensity of the current climate crusade, Al Gore’s $300 million ad campaign, and Time’s fifth panicky global-warming cover in three years (“Be Worried, Be Very Worried” read the 2006 cover) are all good contrary indicators suggesting that the hysteria is reaching its terminal stage. Like mortgage-backed securities dealers, the climate campaigners are in a panic because the public isn’t buying what they’re selling. The latest annual Gallup survey on the environment shows that only 37 percent of Americans say they worry “a great deal” about global warming, down from 41 percent last year, about the same level as a decade ago. Americans put global warming way down on their list of major environmental concerns, behind air and water pollution, toxic waste, and the loss of open space.
The League of Conservation Voters is apoplectic that the TV anchors aren’t asking more climate-change questions in the presidential primary debates — and, if global warming is indeed the gravest threat in the history of mankind, they do have a point. Perhaps the blasé performance of the media on this matter is telling us something.
Thirty-five years ago, political scientist Anthony Downs discerned what he called the “issue-attention cycle,” a five-stage process during which the public and the media grow alarmed over an issue, agitate for action, generate reams of scary headlines, and then begin to draw back as they gradually recognize that the problem has been exaggerated and they get a good look at the price tag for sweeping action.
While Downs thought that the issue-attention cycle for the environment would last longer than for most issues, global warming is starting to follow the same familiar pattern as the “population bomb” and the “we’re-running-out-of-everything” scares of the 1970s. The planet’s coldest winter in 30 years has cooled the fever of climate panic. And while one cool year does not a trend make, a few more cool years and there will be a crisis in climate alarmism. Meanwhile, the gung-ho Europeans are looking for a way to retreat gracefully from their fulsome rhetoric as the real price of cutting emissions becomes apparent. U.N. officials now concede that prospects look grim for a successor treaty to Kyoto.
It may be about to burst, but the climate bubble is still sufficiently robust that the U.S. appears determined to enact the climate policy equivalent of Sarbanes-Oxley — an emissions-trading scheme that will deliver high costs while achieving only modest reductions. Meanwhile, concerns about soaring food prices and groundwater depletion are making people think twice about ethanol, though Washington marches on with its array of subsidies and mandates.
One of these days, the editors of Time and other publications are going to grow bored of producing yet another “green” issue and tired of writing editorials demanding “action now,” just as the media grew exhausted by the population explosion, AIDS, urban sprawl, homelessness, and other former front-burner stories. No doubt another terrifying novelty will be discovered (the threat of Earth’s magnetic field weakening perhaps?) because it is the nature of the media and activist groups to find some new panic to ride. But the current green mania may be reaching a weary, used-up phase that signals a turning point.
Once the climate bubble finally deflates, we can stop tilting at windmills and get back to solving environmental problems through economic growth and market-driven innovation rather than dirigiste dictates from Washington and the U.N.
As I've said before the elites are not going to give up on "climate change" until they have discovered some other hobgoblin with which to terrify the mob into giving up their liberty and their wealth.
What better time than Earth Day to reflect upon a few of the calamities that we humans have visited upon the environment and ourselves. We would do well to remember that even the best of intentions can prove deadly when, in our preoccupation with precaution, we fail to contemplate the unintended consequences of our actions.
Millions of acres of rainforest are fast disappearing as farmers in South America, Asia and elsewhere rush to clear land for cultivation. Among the culprits is government subsidization of corn-based ethanol — a supposed antidote to climate change. U.S. subsidies are expected to top $5 billion this year, which is prompting American farmers to devote more land to corn in place of soybeans. Consequently, their counterparts around the globe are clearing acreage to capitalize on higher prices for the displaced crops.
Every 30 seconds, a child somewhere in the world dies of malaria, according to the World Health Organization. The disease claims more than one million lives each year, although it is both preventable and treatable. The principle means of prevention is control of malaria-bearing mosquitoes. Of the 12 pesticides currently recommended, DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) is widely recognized as the most effective. But the erroneous claims about the toxicity of DDT in Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring prompted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1972 to ban the pesticide, precipitating the suspension of spraying in dozens of countries — and the deaths of tens of millions of people.
Tens of thousands of drivers and passengers have perished in crashes because of fuel economy standards. Specifically, government mandates to improve fuel efficiency have prompted automakers to produce smaller cars with lighter materials such as plastics, aluminum, and fiberglass. But a 500-pound reduction in vehicle weight increases crash fatalities between 14 percent and 27 percent annually, according to Harvard University and the Brookings Institution, among others. Moreover, cars weighing less than 2,500 pounds account for two-and-a-half times as many crash fatalities as SUVs weighing 5,000 pounds or more, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
A cholera outbreak in Latin America killed more than 10,000 people and infected up to a million more after the government of Peru limited chlorination of the public water supplies — as demanded by Greenpeace and other environmental activists. The war on chlorine was abetted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which erroneously associated chlorination of water with an increase in cancer risk.
Millions of pounds of apples were left to rot and family orchards were lost to foreclosure following reports that Alar, a common ripening agent, was the most potent cancer-causing compound in the food supply. The American Council on Science and Health later revealed that a child would have to drink 19,000 quarts of apple juice every day for the rest of their life to consume the same amount of Alar fed to mice during tests for cancer.
When the final reckoning is made I have no doubt that the environmentalists will have more blood on their hands than Adolph Hitler and his henchmen.