October 17, 2009


From the Introduction to Men, Money and Motors - The Drama of the Automobile, (1929) by Theodore MacManus and Norman Beasley

There was a huge picturesqueness to those pursuers of fortune. They had about them something of the tang and flavor of piracy. The stuff from which men are made heroic was not altogether lacking in them. Big things were done and the doers became big in the doing. When we measuree the paths through which we have come this was as it should have been.

Heraldry is gone. The s
turdy trek behind the covered wagon is no more. Business has become the last great heroism. In its beginnings the automobile business was as were - and will be - the beginnings of all business…a conflict of the hard-muscled and strong-willed, for only they survive….Business is business, and not the saving of the soul nor the redemption of the body politic.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

General Motors was orginally called International Motors. It was formed in 1908 by the genius huckster capitalist, William Durant. It almost included Ford Motor Company, but for a disagreement over cash transfers, so it began life as a merger of Cadillac, Oakland, Oldsmobile and Buick.

By 1917, GM had 20 more automobile companies, along with electrical producers, lamp companies, rim and wheel companies and other subsidiaries and a credit arm, GMAC, which was added in 1917. Durant lost control of GM in 1911, but won it back in 1916 in what amounted to a hostile takeover with Chevrolet Motor Cars as the truncheon, which almost ended up as the parent of GM. The authors of Men, Money and Motors lamented, in 1929, that there were fewer than fifty auto manufacturers in the US.

GM's tumble from 1929 to today's market irrelevance and government parasitism didn't follow a straight line, but its angle downward became acute in the 1970's, when (it's said) the company was taken over by money men. It was, after all, Roger Smith who provided the opportunity for Michael Moore to make his place in documentary history. Roger Smith was an idiot, but that's not important now.

There was, in my view, a change in the idea of competition itself. The money men at GM seemed to believe that perception of value, rather than genuine product superiority, could be achieved by trickery and packaging rather than through the objective realities of superior engineering. For years they produced junk that was dressed up to look like their fierce competitors, the Euro and Japanese models, and gave them ridiculous names that sounded like adjectives, or names like Euro Sport, which with its quality, begged to be forever known as the Chevrolet Urine Spot. Today? Well, you know what's going on today.

The horrifying lesson for conservatives is that Big Business has the same dessicating effect as Big Government. It turns everything to dust. It spurns roughneck talent and squelches disorganized energy for the squirming discomfort they inflict on the suits at Mahogany Row. Every capitalist bureaucrat is essentially a statist. This is why it was so easy for the auto clods and the bankers to merge their interests with the Obama Administration. Or why Cap/Trade and ObamaCare is so popular with GE and others. Corporatism is where the money is, this time around.

This, Your Native Land

Most of the people in this Smithsonian Gallery are gone now. Certainly the American ethos is gone. But the past also has a past, and to many of these souls the 1940's was an awful, turbulent time. And it was, in many ways. The images are drawn from all over, from both coasts and everywhere in between. For the moment, politics has no place here. This is all of us, and what we are....all races, nationalities and origins.

Southington, Connecticut. May, 1942

One of these Goombas is not like the others...

October 16, 2009

Obama Poised to Cede US Sovereignty, Claims British Lord

Cbullitt at Soylent Green has been acting as Paul Revere and notifying the Internet about this sobering story. Opus #6 has reposted it and I'm doing the same.

The Minnesota Free Market Institute hosted an event at Bethel University in St. Paul on Wednesday evening. Keynote speaker Lord Christopher Monckton, former science adviser to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, gave a scathing and lengthy presentation, complete with detailed charts, graphs, facts, and figures which culminated in the utter decimation of both the pop culture concept of global warming and the credible threat of any significant anthropomorphic climate change.

A detailed summary of Monckton’s presentation will be available here once compiled. However, a segment of his remarks justify immediate publication. If credible, the concern Monckton speaks to may well prove the single most important issue facing the American nation, bigger than health care, bigger than cap and trade, and worth every citizen’s focused attention.

Here were Monckton’s closing remarks, as dictated from my audio recording:

At [the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in] Copenhagen, this December, weeks away, a treaty will be signed. Your president will sign it. Most of the third world countries will sign it, because they think they’re going to get money out of it. Most of the left-wing regime from the European Union will rubber stamp it. Virtually nobody won’t sign it.

I read that treaty. And what it says is this, that a world government is going to be created. The word “government” actually appears as the first of three purposes of the new entity. The second purpose is the transfer of wealth from the countries of the West to third world countries, in satisfication of what is called, coyly, “climate debt” – because we’ve been burning CO2 and they haven’t. We’ve been screwing up the climate and they haven’t. And the third purpose of this new entity, this government, is enforcement.

How many of you think that the word “election” or “democracy” or “vote” or “ballot” occurs anywhere in the 200 pages of that treaty? Quite right, it doesn’t appear once. So, at last, the communists who piled out of the Berlin Wall and into the environmental movement, who took over Greenpeace so that my friends who funded it left within a year, because [the communists] captured it – Now the apotheosis as at hand. They are about to impose a communist world government on the world. You have a president who has very strong sympathies with that point of view. He’s going to sign it. He’ll sign anything. He’s a Nobel Peace Prize [winner]; of course he’ll sign it.


And the trouble is this; if that treaty is signed, if your Constitution says that it takes precedence over your Constitution (sic), and you can’t resign from that treaty unless you get agreement from all the other state parties – And because you’ll be the biggest paying country, they’re not going to let you out of it.

So, thank you, America. You were the beacon of freedom to the world. It is a privilege merely to stand on this soil of freedom while it is still free. But, in the next few weeks, unless you stop it, your president will sign your freedom, your democracy, and your humanity away forever. And neither you nor any subsequent government you may elect will have any power whatsoever to take it back. That is how serious it is. I’ve read the treaty. I’ve seen this stuff about [world] government and climate debt and enforcement. They are going to do this to you whether you like it or not.

But I think it is here, here in your great nation, which I so love and I so admire – it is here that perhaps, at this eleventh hour, at the fifty-ninth minute and fifty-ninth second, you will rise up and you will stop your president from signing that dreadful treaty, that purposeless treaty. For there is no problem with climate and, even if there were, an economic treaty does nothing to [help] it.

So I end by saying to you the words that Winston Churchill addressed to your president in the darkest hour before the dawn of freedom in the Second World War. He quoted from your great poet Longfellow:

Sail on, O Ship of State!
Sail on, O Union, strong and great!
Humanity with all its fears,
With all the hopes of future years,
Is hanging breathless on thy fate!
Lord Monckton received a standing ovation and took a series of questions from members of the audience. Among those questions were these relevent to the forthcoming Copenhagen treaty:
Question: The current administration and the Democratic majority in Congress has shown little regard for the will of the people. They’re trying to pass a serious government agenda, and serious taxation and burdens on future generations. And there seems to be little to stop them. How do you propose we stop Obama from doing this, because I see no way to stop him from signing anything in Copenhagen. I believe that’s his agenda and he’ll do it.

I don’t minimize the difficulty. But on this subject – I don’t really do politics, because it’s not right. In the end, your politics is for you. The correct procedure is for you to get onto your representatives, both in the US Senate where the bill has yet to go through (you can try and stop that) and in [the House], and get them to demand their right of audience (which they all have) with the president and tell him about this treaty. There are many very powerful people in this room, wealthy people, influential people. Get onto the media, tell them about this treaty. If they go to, they will find (if they look carefully enough) a copy of that treaty, because I arranged for it to be posted there not so long ago. Let them read it, and let the press tell the people that their democracy is about to be taken away for no good purpose, at least [with] no scientific basis [in reference to climate change]. Tell the press to say this. Tell the press to say that, even if there is a problem [with climate change], you don’t want your democracy taken away. It really is as simple as that.

Question: Is it really irrevocable if that treaty is signed? Suppose it’s signed by someone who does not have the authority, as I – I have some, a high degree of skepticism that we do have a valid president there because I -

I know at least one judge who shares your opinion, sir, yes.

I don’t believe it until I see it. … Would [Obama's potential illegitimacy as president] give us a reasonable cause to nullify whatever treaty that he does sign as president?

I would be very careful not to rely on things like that. Although there is a certain amount of doubt whether or not he was born in Hawaii, my fear is it would be very difficult to prove he wasn’t born in Hawaii and therefore we might not be able to get anywhere with that. Besides, once he’s signed that treaty, whether or not he signed it validly, once he’s signed it and ratified it – your Senate ratifies it – you’re bound by it. But I will say one thing; they know, in the White House, that they won’t be able to get the 67 votes in the Senate, the two-thirds majority that your Constitution has stipulated must be achieved in order to ratify a treaty of this kind. However, what they’ve worked out is this – and they actually let it slip during the election campaign, which is how I know about it. They plan to enact that Copenhagen treaty into legislation by a simple majority of both houses. That they can do. But the virtue of that – and here you have a point – is that is, thank God, reversible. So I want you to pray tonight, and pray hard for your Senate that they utterly refuse to ratify the [new] Treaty of Copenhagen, because if they refuse to ratify it and [Obama] has to push it through as domestic legislation, you can repeal it.
Regardless of whether global warming is taking place or caused to any degree by human activity, we do not want a global government empowered to tax Americans without elected representation or anything analogous to constitutional protections. The Founding Fathers would roll over in their graves if they knew their progeny allowed a foreign power such authority, effectively undoing their every effort in an act of Anti-American Revolution. If that is our imminent course, we need to put all else on hold and focus on stopping it. If American sovereignty is ceded, all other debate is irrelevant.

Edited to add @ 8:31 am:

Skimming through the treaty, I came across verification of Monckton’s assessment of the new entity’s purpose:
38. The scheme for the new institutional arrangement under the Convention will be based on three basic pillars: government; facilitative mechanism; and financial mechanism, and the basic organization of which will include the following:

World Government (heading added)
(a) The government will be ruled by the COP with the support of a new subsidiary body on adaptation, and of an Executive Board responsible for the management of the new funds and the related facilitative processes and bodies. The current Convention secretariat will operate as such, as appropriate.

To Redistribute Wealth (heading added)
b) The Convention’s financial mechanism will include a multilateral climate change fund including five windows: (a) an Adaptation window, (b) a Compensation window, to address loss and damage from climate change impacts [read: the "climate debt" Monckton refers to], including insurance, rehabilitation and compensatory components, © a Technology window; (d) a Mitigation window; and (e) a REDD window, to support a multi-phases process for positive forest incentives relating to REDD actions.

With Enforcement Authority (heading added)
© The Convention’s facilitative mechanism will include: (a) work programmes for adaptation and mitigation; (b) a long-term REDD process; © a short-term technology action plan; (d) an expert group on adaptation established by the subsidiary body on adaptation, and expert groups on mitigation, technologies and on monitoring, reporting and verification; and (e) an international registry for the monitoring, reporting and verification of compliance of emission reduction commitments, and the transfer of technical and financial resources from developed countries to developing countries. The secretariat will provide technical and administrative support, including a new centre for information exchange [read; enforcement].

Progressivism Devouring The Childen

The figures are in for Hartford. 30 murders this year. An internal police report finds that the city has 138 gangs, with over 4000 members. Last year's high school graduation rate was 29%.

The city spends between $11000 and $17000 per year, per student, (depending upon the source of the data) with 80% of the total provided by the State of Connecticut. Teacher's unions are opposed to school vouchers, maybe because they aren't bullet proof and they're hard to read with bloodstains.

August, 2008: Following the city's West Indian Festival, in separate incidents, seven youngsters were shot. Among them, a 21-year old was killed, a 7-year old was shot in the head, and a toddler was shot in the leg. The city tried to enact a curfew but the ACLU intervened.

Beside the ACLU, the gargoyles on the ethical rubble of Hartford - and New Haven and Bridgeport, are the Democrats in the General Assembly and a liberal Republican governor. This is a deep blue state, as you might guess.

This time, after the West Indian Festival, they didn't even dispense the usual load of liberal crap; they were silent, the governor went on doing her PSA's for safer swimming pools, child safety seats, and the travail of 911 operators. The greasy Attorney General continued to sniff out the foul deeds of telephone marketers. The Democrat mayor was preoccupied with ethics charges.

Urban renewal, commencing in the early 1950's and rising every five years or so, zombie-like, renovated empty buildings, laid herringbone brick sidewalks; cleaned up the projects. Spotless Brutalist concrete in the jungles of despair is always the progressive solution to these problems. In the beginning, they destroyed the old ethnic neighborhoods, rustled up the inhabitants and herded them to the soul-desolating brick and sheetrock iron maidens of subsidized housing, the mocking monuments to what was destroyed.

Now the third generation of these bereft pawns of progressivism find relief in drugs and violence, in degenerate music, or prestige in an Acura with wheels like razor blades. There's no refuge from their practical plight, or in the tinsel of materialism and fraudulent promise that more, and even more, "education" or after-school programs will bring rational order from moral chaos.

Nothing will, nothing can, change without a life free of the governing madness of the reformer, freedom from a political class trying to minister to the contradictory demands of the spirit, mind and the body. Whenever, some time-serving monster in a legislative chamber exerts himself to make your life better, run away screaming, or leap to his throat. Do it early, because a generation down to road, it will be too late.

* The painting is Goya's "Saturn Devouring His Son"

October 15, 2009


by Connie Hair @ Human Events

House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) held a hearing this morning to certify that H.R. 3200 -- the main House Obamacare bill which was the subject of all the town hall rage in August -- has met all requirements to pass as a “budget reconciliation” measure.

Under reconciliation, the bill can be passed by a simple majority vote in the Senate -- just 51 votes -- and will be given preferential treatment on the House floor as well. The Dems have apparently invoked the “nuclear option” to shut out Republicans and ensure the bill is passed before the end of the year.

The bill certified for “reconciliation” is the Ways & Means version of H.R. 3200 that was passed out of committee before the August break, and before it was read aloud at town hall meetings across the country and blasted by voters across the country.

It contains all of the horrors previously exposed: federal funding of abortion, coverage for illegal aliens, comparative effectiveness, healthcare rationing, deep cuts to Medicare. Everything the American people overwhelmingly reject.

No amendments were allowed at the hearing and no debate. Rangel told Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), the ranking Republican on the committee, that he would not have preferred to do it this way, but leadership -- i.e., Speaker Pelosi -- forced his hand.

While the media cameras are focused on Harry Reid’s office door, the House of Representatives has made it possible for H.R. 3200 to pass the Senate with 51 votes. It is still possible that Senator Reid won’t choose to use reconciliation in the Senate, but the odds against it are infinitesimal.

Since it has now cleared the Ways and Means Committee (fulfilling the $1 billion reconciliation requirement), H.R. 3200 will go to the Budget Committee where they will do the same thing that was done today in Ways & Means. They will agree that the bill has met the reconciliation requirements on a straight party line vote.

The bill then goes to Pelosi and the Rules Committee where Pelosi will do the same thing Reid is doing right now: merge the three House versions of H.R. 3200 together into whatever she wants it to be, then she will schedule it for a floor vote.

H.R. 3200 could see a floor vote in the next two weeks, or the first week of November. If it passes, the House it goes to the Senate and can pass there with 51 votes.

Winter In The Wings

Wind In The Night (1939) by Charles Burchfield

It's snowing.. Last night, here in New England, was like Burchfield's "Wind In The Night", cold and windy and mysterious.

All art is about recognition - which is why, with Nick's indulgence, I want to know if it's like this where you are.

Anne Coulter: Natural-Born Losers

The question of whether President Obama should send more troops to Afghanistan misses the point.

What Obama really needs to do is: Invent a time machine, go back to the 2008 presidential campaign and not say, over and over and over again, that Afghanistan was a "war of necessity" while the war in Iraq was a "war of choice." (Oh, and as long as you're back there, ditch Van Jones, Valerie Jarrett and that gay "school safety" czar.)

The most important part of warfare is picking your battlefield, and President Bush picked Iraq for a reason.

Neither Iraq nor Afghanistan attacked us on 9/11 -- or the dozen other times American embassies, barracks and buildings came under jihadist onslaught since Jimmy Carter presided over "regime change" in Iran in 1979. Both countries -- and others -- gave succor to terrorists who had attacked the U.S. repeatedly, and would do so again.

As liberals endlessly reminded us during the three weeks of war in Afghanistan before the U.S. military swept into Kabul, Afghanistan has all the makings of a military disaster. It is mountainous, cave-pocked, tribal, has no resources worth fighting for and a populace that makes Khalid Sheikh Mohammed look like Alistair Cooke.

By contrast, Iraq had a relatively educated, pro-Western populace, but was ruled by a brutal third-world despot.

It's always something with the Muslims. You either have mostly sane people governed by a crazy dictator -- Iraq, Iran and Syria (also California and Michigan) -- or a crazy people governed by relatively sane leaders -- Pakistan and Afghanistan, post-U.S. invasion (also Vermont and Minnesota). There are also insane people ruled by insane leaders (but enough about the House Democratic Caucus). Sane people with sane rulers has not been fully tried yet.


Freedom is Hard Work (ObamaCare makes it harder)

Grant Ellis at American Thinker questions whether Americans are up to the task ahead.
For better or worse, the ugly truth is that money is at the center of liberty. To resist the seduction of free money, you must have money you can call you own: money that is under your exclusive control. Money you earn by taking full advantage of the opportunities this nation offers to everyone: opportunities to prosper. Liberty only exists where opportunities to prosper exist but individuals must do the hard work required to prosper. THAT is why freedom remains hard. It's also why those that have already prospered tend to defend their hard earned money against governmental confiscation. In essence, they are protecting their very freedom.
The Founders were endlessly concerned about giving ordinary Americans an unprecedented measure of liberty as offered by the Constitution they were drafting. They wondered if regular folk could muster the sophistication necessary to make rational, intelligent decisions at the polls and they wondered if citizens would be able to self-regulate their activities in the absence of rigorous governmental oversight. As we now know, when finally offered nearly unbridled liberty Americans of the day did not disappoint.

Fast forward to 2009 and it's easy to see why the Founders were so worried. In spite of various streams of round-the-clock news and data, most of our electorate is misinformed, blissfully ignorant or simply apathetic with respect to the means by which they are governed. Meanwhile, the civil, moral and ethical margins of our society are ever more deformed by a widening cultural belief that liberty means "anything goes". Where the "anything goes" belief intersects the notion that "the state should meet individual needs", we have real trouble. That's where we are now.

The great irony of America is that the maintenance of freedom is awfully hard work and with few exceptions, it's the work of individuals, not the government. The Constitution was drafted to ensure that this was the case. It was drafted to make government subject to the governed. Of course that means that the governed must do the hard civic work of keeping government in check. That work is made all the harder by those who are determined, in their vast ignorance, to have government impose equality-of-outcome across the social landscape. In short, those that argue for wealth redistribution lead us toward tyranny. Problem is, these ignorant few are often successful in co opting government, particularly when the hard civic work of containing government goes unattended as it has now for decades. As lovers of liberty we have been our own worst enemy.

Liberty and responsibility are codependent: two sides of the same coin. I don't think this concept is that difficult to grasp but our government, often at the insistence of a loud and ignorant political base, has sought for decades to make Americans less responsible for their daily lives and therefore less free. Curiously, this stealthy march toward tyranny is often done in the name of compassion, usually for "the needy". Shamefully, with the "help" of government, the truly needy are at high risk of becoming truly dependent. Once that happens, escape is practically impossible. As evidence, I refer you to the war on poverty which has yet to secure a single beachhead but holds an untold number of dependent prisoners within inner cities throughout America. For further proof of our national shame, look no further than the "Obama Bucks" stimulus debacle that occurred in Detroit last week.


October 14, 2009

It's not possible to keep track of all the illegal aliens coming into the country. BUT...

Kellogg's will use laser to burn logo on to individual corn flakes to stamp out fakes

According to the advertising slogan, if you see Kellogg's on the box then you know it's Kellogg's in the box.

But now the company has become so concerned about similarly packaged supermarket cereals, it has developed a laser to burn its logo on to individual Corn Flakes.

The concentrated beam of light creates a toasted appearance without changing the taste.

Kellogg's will produce a number of trial batches before considering whether to put some branded flakes into each box to guarantee authenticity.

If the system is successful it could be used on Kellogg's other best-loved brands including Frosties, Special K, Crunchy Nut and Bran Flakes.

More from the MailOnline

Sweet-smelling Giant

America, according to some sources, has a $14 trillion economy. That's our GNP, or GDP (Gross Domestic Product) as it's now called - "the total value of all a nation's goods and services produced during a specified period". But does a $14 trillion GDP make the United States a "strong" nation? No.

GDP alone doesn't make a nation "strong". A nation that produces $14 trillion in straw hats will be less strong than one which produces half that dollar figure in locomotives. The complexities of a locomotive industry assumes railroad technology, engineering, and manufacturing feats unknown to the straw hat kingdom.

Heavy industry which can be converted to war production - in a world that still goes to war - or other tangible national goals is potential strength. The economic conversion which supposedly put the screws to doctrinaire Marxism - the rise of the service industry - is also the crow on the cradle of American industrial power. We've narrowed our industrial shoulders; we're rich, but we can't buy security. Don't even ask where "green jobs" fit into this puzzle.

One of my former lives was in manufacturing; manufacturing of the kind that was done in the 18th and 19th centuries and survived almost unchanged into the middle 1960's. Foundry work with hot metal. We exported these miserable, hot, dirty and dangerous jobs to Asia, beginning in the 1940's, and only continued the processes here in the US that could be automated or made acceptably safe. We stopped manufacturing a lot of stuff here in the US, and that presents a supply problem.

Remember when the US oil patch tipped over in the 1980's? One of the ancillary problems of a defunct user of heavy durable goods like those used in the oil-extraction business is that the remaining US suppliers of these items simply go out of business. When they do, the pipes and impellers, shackles, swing arms, valves and chains and hundreds of other drilling-rig systems are gone from inventory, maybe forever. Drill now, drill here makes sense, but there are logistical limitations. You just don't start pumping. You have to re-build the industries that build the pumping equipment.

There probably isn't a major sand-casting foundry in this country that isn't already flush with defense contracts and automotive work. We don't have enough of them, I'm sure. If you've ever seen one of these places or worked in one, as I have, you'll understand the modernist's urge to do away with them, along with drop forges and rolling mills and steel furnaces - the dark satanic mills of Blake's imaginings - the places where hot metal was manipulated, poured, hammered and machined to produce heavy goods.

It's said that no one wants to do that work anymore. It's certainly true that the mush heads under the mortar board hats in the current and previous administrations do not consider those jobs "good jobs", due to the dumb confusion that dignity is something that is hung on the outside of the man by a government agency and a labor law. But contending with an 80-pound ladle of 1400-degree molten aluminum, to pour a mold for a water-pump housing is a damn sight better than standing in line for Obama Money.

Somewhere we went wrong, and we took the first steps a generation ago. We thought we could be strong and still have clean fingernails. We argued that education makes the person whole and muscle applied to real labor only employs half a human being, that knowledge of Karl Jung was more valuable than the ability to sharpen a drill bit, that our men should pump iron in a glass storefront rather than in a place that had a noon whistle and a loading dock. The world of solid objects isn't kind to the effete. We'll learn.

Nickie Goomba's Twin Brother "Captain Lou Albano" Dead at 76

Yes, it's true. In case you haven't seen it on the web today. Captain Lou Albano has left the surly bonds of earth ...

We've got to pull together to make it through times like these.

Here is a clip of the Captain and one of his main men ... Greg "the Rhoderick" Valentine.

Let us reflect together:

P.S. What is that thing on his face, any way?

Do the phrase 'Poetic Justice' mean anything to you?

Click on the photo below and let your mind fantasize about what comes next.

There isn't a blogger worth his bytes who can't write a perfect next chapter for this baby!

Silicon Israel

How market capitalism saved the Jewish state

George Gilder in City Journal focuses on a glimmer of hope for Capitalism
But what I learned in Jerusalem was that Israel was not only a site for research and outsourcing and the occasional conceptual coup, but the emerging world leader, outside the United States, in launching new companies and technologies. This tiny embattled country, smaller than most American states, is outperforming European and Asian Goliaths ten to 100 times larger. In a watershed moment for the country, Israel in 2007 passed Canada as the home of the most foreign companies on the technology-heavy NASDAQ index; it is now launching far more high-tech companies per year than any country in Europe.
The most precious resource in the world economy is human genius, which we may define as the ability to devise significant inventions that enhance survival and prosperity. At any one time, genius is embodied in just a few score thousand people, a creative minority that accounts for most human accomplishment and wealth. Cities and nations rise and thrive when they welcome entrepreneurial and technical genius; when they overtax, criminalize, or ostracize it, they wither.

During the twentieth century, an astounding proportion of geniuses have been Jewish, and the fate of nations from Russia westward has largely reflected how they have treated their Jews. When Jews lived in Vienna and Budapest early in the century, these cities of the Hapsburg Empire were world centers of intellectual activity and economic growth; then the Nazis came to power, the Jews fled or were killed, and growth and culture disappeared with them. When Jews came to New York and Los Angeles, those cities towered over the global economy and culture. When Jews escaped Europe for Los Alamos and, more recently, for Silicon Valley, the world’s economy and military balance shifted decisively. Thus many nations have faced a crucial moral test: Will they admire, reward, and emulate a minority that has achieved towering accomplishments? Or will they writhe in resentment and plot its destruction?


October 13, 2009

How does one kill a Zombie?

What, Me Worry?

Paul Rahe concluded his post about President Obama's Nobel Prize by wondering: "what happens. . .when it becomes clear to our new Messiah that his presidency is not, as he repeatedly calls it, a 'defining moment,' that our allies are profoundly uneasy, and that our enemies abroad are laughing up their sleeves?" I have a different question along these lines: what would have to happen in order for these things to become clear to Obama?

The question should be asked, despite the depressing nature of the probable answer, because Obama thinks he's operating in a kind of Platonic universe in which the rules of foreign policly, and indeed of cause and effect, as they have been understood for centuries do not apply. This raises the possibility that Obama's world view cannot be refuted by the kinds of events that ordinarily would be deemed to serve that purpose.

For example, evidence that our allies are uneasy can be viewed as proof that Obama's presidency is, precisely, a defining moment. After all, "change is never easy."

It's also unlikely Obama would notice that our enemies are "laughing up their sleaves." Frankly, I'm not sure he would notice if they relieved him of his pants.

Nods to Powerline

Artificial Stupidity: How the Democrats Deceived the CBO to Get Their "Reduces the Deficit" Claim

Ace of Spades HQ has provided this important and timely post...

The CBO has very strict rules about how they "score" a bill. Most importantly, they have to score a bill -- or "conceptual language" in a non-bill, as we have here -- according to what is written therein, even if it's jackass.

In other words, if a bill claims that certain things are going to happen that the CBO knows with 95% confidence will never happen -- like Medicare payments being cut -- the CBO still has to pretend those cuts will happen, even though they know, as we all know, they almost certainly won't.

Their scoring methodology resembles a computer's "thinking" -- a computer doesn't think. It follows the rules it's been programmed to follow, no matter how stupid those rules might be. It has no common sense or judgment. The analysts at the CBO might have common sense and judgment, but they're stripped of that -- prevented from using that -- by the "code" of the program they follow, hard-wired into the system by law.

That means that it's not very hard to trick the CBO's "programming," just as it's no difficult feat to crash a computer. Garbage in, garbage out. And the Baucus bill is specifically designed to produce garbage, to get a "salable number" for the deficit.

And that number, while salable, is 100% false, by design.

Among the tricks used to generate that false number:

1. Increased revenues through increased taxes begin in 2010, but new payments and outflows begin in 2013. Meaning the ten-year window the CBO is required to score contains ten years of higher taxes and higher revenues, but only seven years of higher expenses. This is obviously an apples-to-oranges comparison -- and if the CBO looked at 2013 through 2023, with ten years of higher revenue matched against ten years of higher expenses, they'd find a growing deficit, not a faked-up "deficit reduction" of $81 billion.

But the Baucus bill deliberately takes advantage of the artificial stupidity of the CBO's code to compare seven years of spending to ten years of taxes to get a "deficit reduction."

Sure it's jackass to do that. But that's the way the CBO is supposed to do it -- even if it makes no sense -- and the Baucus bill "conceptual language" deliberately exploits that in order to deceive the public.

2. A large amount of the expense for federal health care spending is simply pushed off to the states, taking it off the fed's books -- supposedly. But the states are all operating at deficits now -- they only reason they're not bankrupt is that the federal government periodically votes them huge grants (supposedly as "stimulus") to help close the gap between revenue and spending.

If this health care bill passes, the states will be in even worse shape fiscally. They will avoid bankruptcy through two means: They will raise taxes -- many of these hitting those who make under $200,000 per year (sales taxes, cigarette taxes, other sin taxes) and thus breaking Obama's pledge of no new taxes for such people. He's just mandating that the states do his dirty work for him.

And they will seek, and receive, more aid from the federal government, this aid granted to pay down the huge new unfunded mandates the government has imposed on them.

The CBO's rules are deliberately subverted here -- because technically, the states are supposed to come up with this revenue themselves. In reality -- which the CBO isn't allowed to consider -- the federal government will simply grant them more aid.


And, here's a Team Sarah Update

The Chairman’s Mark-Up version of the Baucus Bill is our focus!

Chairman’s Mark of the America’s Healthy Future Act of 2009 HERE:

If you’re a reader for the Team Sarah Health Care Bill Review Board (TSHCBRB) and you have not completed your assignment, NOW is the time. THIS IS NO LONGER A DRY RUN. We are treating the mark-up version as the bill! We have 8 Collator Groups ready so that you can place your “Review” in the proper place.

The following came across the AP this morning:
“Once the Finance Committee has acted, the dealmaking can begin in earnest with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., working with White House staff, Baucus and others to blend the Finance bill with a more liberal version passed by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

A major question mark is whether Reid will include some version of a so-called public plan in the merged bill. Across the Capitol, House Democratic leaders are working to finalize their bill, which does contain a public plan, and floor action is expected in both chambers in coming weeks. If passed, the legislation would then go to a conference committee to reconcile differences.”

For members, please get to the phones today to call your own senators!

Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121
Senate Finance Committee: (202) 224-4515
Master Senator Phone List:

The Tiny Team behind the Team

Help Wanted - Blogosphere ObamaCare Legislation Battle

On Team Sarah, We have 204 people in the review board and 170 on the social networking side.

100 people will "read and report", around 20 will collate information and ensure that there are no "holes" in our coverage. If we succeed we will have digested any bill, up to 2,000 pages, within 2-4 hours or, I hope, less. I do, however, want BACKUP.

Can you help be reviewing information or reading a section if we need to fill in a missing "reader"? Can you help to track down information or find the "meaning" of obscure references or language?


If you want to be included on the ALERT list or if you can help, go here:

When I send an alert I will assign a "code" of 1-4 for reliability, 4 being best. This is an old intelligence code and it will allow us to quickly absorb the information and send it out to people like you. If you have feedback or questions or need clarification, let me know and I will send your request back down the line to get it clarified.

If we can pull this off we will be doing a HUGE service for our country and our cause. We will be funneling your findings to major blogs, websites, groups, and media to QUICKLY inundate the internet with this information and PREVENT these people from slipping ANYTHING past us.

Ask your friends to go to to volunteer, clear your schedule if at all possible, this is a VERY CRITICAL HOUR, we could receive this AT ANY MOMENT, or at midnight, or at 6AM.

I will be "up" for the duration with a giant pot of coffee watching this like a hawk.

I cannot tell you in words how seriously vital and important our work is right now: they are putting together a MONSTER OF A BILL that they want to OVERWHELM US WITH and we must not let them hide in the darkness!


Visit Team Sarah at:

October 12, 2009

Would you like a preview of Socialized Medicine??

My husband had beaten cancer, then doctors wrongly told him it had returned and let him die

A grandfather who beat cancer was wrongly told the disease had returned and left to die at a hospice which pioneered a controversial 'death pathway'.

Doctors said there was nothing more they could do for 76-year- old Jack Jones, and his family claim he was denied food, water and medication except painkillers.

He died within two weeks. But tests after his death found that his cancer had not come back and he was in fact suffering from pneumonia brought on by a chest infection.

To his family's horror, they were told he could have recovered if he'd been given the correct treatment.

Yesterday, after being given an £18,000 pay-out over her ordeal, his widow Pat branded his treatment 'barbaric' and accused the doctors of manslaughter.

Mr Jones was being cared for at a hospice which was central to the contentious Liverpool Care Pathway under which dying patients have their life support taken away, although the hospice claims it wasn't officially applied in his case.

The scheme is used by hundreds of hospitals and care homes, and is followed in as many as 20,000 deaths a year.

Supporters say it brings dignity to a patient's final hours, but critics fear that some are placed into it incorrectly.


Oh, and this too!!

Soldier dies after receiving smoker's lungs in transplant

LONDON, England (CNN) -- A leading UK hospital has defended its practice of using organs donated by smokers after the death of a soldier who received the cancerous lungs of a heavy smoker.

Corporal Matthew Millington, 31, died at his home in 2008, less than a year after receiving a transplant that was supposed to save his life at Papworth Hospital -- the UK's largest specialist cardiothoracic hospital, in Cambridgeshire, east England.

Papworth Hospital released a statement saying using donor lungs from smokers was not "unusual."

The statement added that the hospital had no option but to use lungs from smokers as "the number of lung transplants carried out would have been significantly lower," if they didn't.


Hat tip to Michael

What do bloggers want??

Daring to Question Al Gore

October 11, 2009

We've Killed All the Prophets

In the spirit of The Screwtape Letters, the following is presented for your consideration. I'd like to offer a couple of caveats, though, before you dive in. First, if you see yourself in some manner in the following, take heart. We are all there in some measure. We are all fallen. Indeed, that's one of the issues that the postmodernists use to divide and conquer us. That is, in pointing out our failings, they encourage us to give up or to pursue strategies with the same effect.

So, if you see yourself, join the club and learn. The important thing, though, is to see the adversary. Oh, and one more thing ... these guys are prone to extremism, but listen, learn, and grab a fighting hole.

Now, friends, here's what I overheard from a post-modern ghoul who was lecturing a cowering, confused crowd:

We've killed all the prophets. That's so much better, no? Oh, it's so glorious to be rid of their moralizing, demonizing and sermonizing. Now, we can get on with life.

Of course, long gone is the scourge that is prayer in schools and even innocuous "moments of silence". Oh, but we've come so far since 1963, have we not? Things are so much better now that roaming bands of emos can rightfully pursue moral anarchy as the true religion of our public schools ... and do so in peace. Oh, to be rid of the foul stench of shackling standards. Now we can get on with experiencing, loving, with life ... be free ...

To hump who we want, when we want ... hump what we want ... hell, hump the air like a dog. Let people watch. What do we care? Film a woman in her hotel room and put her naked body on the internet, and news outlets will send it along for prurient interest in the name of the public good and the "need to know." We rule. We have won.

Indeed, we are free to screw and spew forth human lives like stray cats and discard them as we wish, with no restrictions whatsoever, as we finally and rightfully decide matters of life and death without consequence. Does this shock you? Oh, but you must be infected by that wretched remnant. Time will heal you. And our intellect will divine how this transformation has occurred.

Haven't you heard? The prophets are dead, man! And we? We are on to a better place. Time to live a little. No, a lot.

To quote them ... "Thank God" they are gone. Ha! Now, that is funny. They used to lecture us and sternly warn that thinking is a moral exercise. But we thought better, and we slaughtered them all when you weren't looking. In truth, though, many of you were looking, but you didn't want to be made fun of by the enlightened in your midst. And we thank you for that. We needed you at a crucial juncture and you have our deepest gratitude for standing up for your right not to be embarrassed by standing for the quaint concept that was "moral principle".

After all, what we did was fair, in our estimation. And we acted in the common good. For who were the prophets to stand in judgment of us? We are greater, both in stature and in number. Plus, we like ourselves better, and we just think that we all need to give the Roman Polanskis of the world a little break. So now, we live in freedom from the ir tyranny.

Remember, judge not. We judge, and rightly. You judge not.

Yea, though we walked through that valley where extremists once prowled, we feared not their righteous extremism. For we stood as humans without god in that valley ... and we won.

In juxtaposition to the extremists, we laud the Holy Moderates, who in truth are extreme in their passivity, indecision, and cowardice. They have served us well, these dolts who we will make pliable and contort into the shape of their own weakness and guilt for our own purposes before we discard and flush them away.

As they swirl down the toilet, we hear again the long-ago voices of those who would challenge us, as if there were some standard of morality that transcended mere men, and argued that we cannot use men as the the tools for our crucial advancement that they are. But are such critics mad? Rather, were they?

Don't bother us free thinkers by arguing again that thinking is a moral exercise. Silence! And at once! Or we'll send you to speak with a "Blessed Independent". This blessed one is not just any independent. We speak of the super-virtuous, super-righteous, he that could not stain himself by any alliance with mere Republicans. Oh, we love him so, for claims to be supremely loyal to the conservative side but he criticizes only the Republican Party. It is principle, don't you know. You must be hard on those with standards, we explained. He got it. And bless him, indeed, for his "tough love". Verily, he scoffs at and looks down on mere conservative partisans and moralists from his lofty peak at the very edge of where oxygen hovers on the outskirts of the earth's atmosphere. He is far too high, grandiose and righteous to be weighted down with affiliation to any party or movement, at least not one that could win an election. No, he is not like us or of us. Still ...

We love our "Blessed Independent". Indeed, he is a hilariously useful idiot, and in truth is independent only from productive social co nnections and coalition-building while dependent upon strokes to his pathetic ego and the continual genuflecting to his "supernova" of an intellect. He controls the entire electorate, don't you know? (Actually, we do now.) As the Emperor in Star Wars said, "Powah!!!!!!" Thank their god he is able to save conservatives from their partisan predilections and the general sense that they need winning coalitions to, you know, win. If you had his omniscience and personality disorder(s), you could see all this so very clearly, too.

We learned long ago to grind the prophets' progress to a halt by merely pointing out the imperfections all the institutions that they held dear -- the family, their faith, and their slobbering love for their "shining city on hill", whatever the hell that is. And of course, now that the prophets are dead, we can ensure that they will not form coalitions with others who might be like-minded but otherwise "imperfect".

Let us be very, very clear: We will damn sure make sure that the Republican Party is not resurgent and a vehicle for conservatism.

And another thing we want to make sure all of you continue to do ... In all things, to show your "independence", open-mindedness, fairness, likeability, coolness, metrosexuality and all-around-"mainstreamedness", by all means continually throw in a gratuitous slap at Republicans whenever you discuss American politics. You are so "with it", man. You might even get on Joe Scarborough's show, if you keep it up. You can bend over together. People like you and think you are smarter when you do this. If they look at you like you are sucking up, just ignore them. That's not what they are really thinking. They will be your friends. Geez, we want to be like you. Actually, we are. Or is it vice-versa. It's all good. Your insecurity draws you like a magnet to our power and confidence. Oh, to feel you rub against our sides and cuddle .... mmm, mmm, mmm. Delicious.

Mmm ... mmm ... mmm ... Barack's the man with the health care plan ... retreatin' his ass out of Afghanistan ... mmm ... mmm .... mmm.

A prophet (were he alive) might slap you up side the head and ask you if you weren't more interested in your own self-image and popularity by repeating the inanity you routinely spew in the guise of "independent analysis". I mean clearly, there is not a dime's worth of difference between having Newt Gingrich vs. Nancy Pelosi in charge of the House. But let's not dwell on the past. Or the present ... I mean, clearly a Republican Congress would have us on the precipice of health care reform, too, and would be acquiescing to surrendering in Afghanistan. Clearly. From us, let me just say, thanks for your efforts.

You know, we think it's only fair to give you an example of our "Blessedly Independent" friends ... so we are clear what we are after. Check out this "blessed" one. So intelligent. So self-important. So right on with his principled grievances that warrant giving nuclear weapons to Iran and/or quadrupling the deficit in 9 months. So useful. He and his ilk have helped us tremendously by such making our case to break down conservatives' -- and America's -- will to fight us. We love it when the genius pundits say about the foibles of Bill Clinton and others, that "they all do it". I mean, they do, you know. You recall Pres. Reagan's dalliances with young women servicing him in the Oval Office, do you not? He was just better at hiding it than Mr. Pasty White Blabbermouth. He reminds us that courage is/was a moral virtue, too. Good riddance.

And when some smarty pants pipes up about the earliest snow on record or baseball playoff games being snowed out and such maybe ... maybe not being consistent with global warming, we shout him down and laugh about his usage of anecdotal arguments ... never mind that we use anecdotal arguments somewhere every day during every summer. In a big country, it's always hot somewhere in the summer, you idiots. The prophets used to scowl at us and moralize about our inconsistencies. But now their cowardly descendants are so civil ... yes, beautiful civility. We love it so, especially for the idiots.

Now that we have elevated civility to its "rightful" place at the top of our adversaries list of virtues ... it's an absolute, you know ... we are free to roam and, well, be who we are. But remember, it's for your own good. And ours. Judge not. Live in peace. Why all the tumult?

We laugh (and we win again) when people reduce every public figure and politician to the level of a David Letterman, who bangs his girlfriend while on a cruise with his wife and son. You go, Dave. They all do it, after all. Who is that hick hypocrite Sarah Palin to complain? She is not perfect. Her daughter was screwing that redneck hockey jock in high school like two dogs in heat. Put down your stones, Sarah Palin. C'mon. Be like the prophetless class. No stones. Hear, hear.

Don't you see the glorious perversion that we can pursue now that the prophets are dead? We do whatever we want. By contrast, we demand unattainable standards of them and their institutions. They wring their hands and seek perfection, egged on by the Blessed Independents in their midst on the one hand and the humbled by the Holy Moderates on the other. Thus, they are paralyzed. There is no prophet to save them now ...

Ha! Ha! Got a Maine sister in the Senate, lads. You can't support a party that tolerates that sort of imperfection. Never mind that every Republican in the Senate is against the president's health care plan. Don't you know she's "pro-choice"? C'mon. That's a violation of your conscience. (So, we don't have one. It doesn't stop us from pricking yours!) Don't you know that if the Demo-controlled congress passes health care and Obama signs it that it's still the Republicans' fault?

Give me two Blessed Independents on the case, and I win ... every time. Your party and candidate voted with us, once ... I think, maybe ... where's a moderate ... he would understand and endorse your candidate ... oh, wait ... now, your candidate is ours since the Holy Moderate praised him once. You see, all we have to do is obfuscate and scatter. Join us. It's great fun. ... It's easier. Aren't you tired of fighting? Join us.

The Bush Administration was wrong on immigration so they did nothing right, don't you know? Let us incessantly recount that beautiful untruth forever!! And ever! Amen. Don't you remember? Bush spent a lot. So, it was about a burgers-worth for Obama, but it was evil and a violation of conscience. You should have voted for Gore, and then Kerry. Or not voted at all. Better to sit on principle than to stand not perfectly upright. Don't be a judgmental hypocrite.

You must play by the rules ... always. We cheat ... always. Plus, we define your rules and success. We can't help but win.

Now that the prophets are dead, that is.

You know, I am beginning to think they were right. Thinking is moral. But the moralists are dead. So, let's not be troubled with their baggage, shall we?

Now, we are free to elect a postmodern leftist president for the first time in American history. We got a Holy Moderate through the Republican primaries (under the guise that the Blessed Independents would carry the day, of course) and then we goaded the opposition into settling for nothing less than perfection in the general election ... and now we have our wish. That's so funny. America got that whole process bass-ackward, just like we like it. It almost makes us believe in god, but not quite.

I mean, the world is safe now. Al Franken is our 60th vote in the Senate, thanks to great work by the Blessed Independent candidate in Minnesota. It really doesn't get much better, folks. Oh yes, it does. ACORN helped Franken steal the election, too. But we know that criticizing such public service groups is racist and uncivil. And aren't you on the right tired of playing that race card? Look in your hearts. Every one of you is prejudiced against some one or thing. You know it. So, be quiet and listen to us. Let you without sin cast the first stone at us.

Barack Obama has his Peace Prize. Hold on ... that's stretching it a bit, even for us. That's some funny caca, right there. But let's shoot straight, or as straight as we can.

Now, leftists who would rather shit on the Lincoln Memorial rather than celebrate America ... are celebrating worldwide. Do you get our drift?

As America grinds toward bankruptcy, it is urged to spend more in the name of "compassion" ... urged on by misplaced guilt and the inability to argue its case. Ah, we are almost there.

America's troops fight an enemy that claims to fight for a prophet, and they might, for all we care (we are neutral with respect to the jihadists' prophet, though, you see, although we approvingly note how correct the jihadists are in their critique of America). But because America's prophets are dead, its leaders can't define the mission against the supposed prophet-soldiers. And we know what happens when one side fights with a mission and the other one does not.

Glory ... glory!! It almost makes us want to sing that song.

But we won't. Wait ...

For we feel a chill.

We fear, for we know ... for some reason we fear that prophets still live. If there is a God, we fear for all we have gained and have.

For if we did not kill them all, surely he and his ilk will return with a righteous vengeance.

We must go now, just in case ...

The Pussification of our Nation

I may not be a part of the elite Republicans. I may be one of those uneducated, uncultured dolts that Peggy Noonan looks down her nose at. I may only be as “smart” as Sarah Palin, but I do know one thing, I know a man when I see one.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a real man in leadership. I miss real men. Right now in our country we have a bunch of wussies who’ll lay down and kiss the Dems asses for fear of not being liked. These so called Repubs who are so terrified of not being liked by the Dems are no different than the leftists who cry over our reputations with the rest of the world.

I expect this effeminate behavior from the left who’s goal is to make every woman and man androgynous, interchangeable, but our Republican men might as well be Dems as far as I’m concerned.

Well screw that. I want a real man.

This is an example of a real man.

Did you catch that? That was a real man.

Oh you didn’t?

Let’s try that again.

Sadly, this is what’s considered a real man these days.

Where have all the cowboys gone?

I blame soy.

Big Thanks to The Hostages

Helping or hurting Africa?

As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God

by Matthew Parris, TimesOnline

Before Christmas I returned, after 45 years, to the country that as a boy I knew as Nyasaland. Today it's Malawi, and The Times Christmas Appeal includes a small British charity working there. Pump Aid helps rural communities to install a simple pump, letting people keep their village wells sealed and clean. I went to see this work.

It inspired me, renewing my flagging faith in development charities. But travelling in Malawi refreshed another belief, too: one I've been trying to banish all my life, but an observation I've been unable to avoid since my African childhood. It confounds my ideological beliefs, stubbornly refuses to fit my world view, and has embarrassed my growing belief that there is no God.

Now a confirmed atheist, I've become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people's hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.

I used to avoid this truth by applauding - as you can - the practical work of mission churches in Africa. It's a pity, I would say, that salvation is part of the package, but Christians black and white, working in Africa, do heal the sick, do teach people to read and write; and only the severest kind of secularist could see a mission hospital or school and say the world would be better without it. I would allow that if faith was needed to motivate missionaries to help, then, fine: but what counted was the help, not the faith.

But this doesn't fit the facts. Faith does more than support the missionary; it is also transferred to his flock. This is the effect that matters so immensely, and which I cannot help observing.

First, then, the observation. We had friends who were missionaries, and as a child I stayed often with them; I also stayed, alone with my little brother, in a traditional rural African village. In the city we had working for us Africans who had converted and were strong believers. The Christians were always different. Far from having cowed or confined its converts, their faith appeared to have liberated and relaxed them. There was a liveliness, a curiosity, an engagement with the world - a directness in their dealings with others - that seemed to be missing in traditional African life. They stood tall.